Friday, February 29, 2008

Only Andrew Sullivan is surprised about this

Big thanks to Bubba for this gem about Andrew Sullivan's readership.

Andy, your 54.6% liberal audience (and just between you and me, some of those self-identifying moderates are likely operationally liberal) is not a function of your Obama love, which borders on worship. Your liberal audience and your Obama love are both symptomatic of the fact that — despite your self-identification as a conservative — your writing appeals primarily to the left.

Oddly enough, someone who considered voting for Al Gore in 2000, endorsed John Kerry in 2004 and is admittedly in the throes of a mancrush on the candidate who is the most liberal member of the Senate is not seen by most people as conservative. Throw in the anti-Bush hysteria that has been a staple of your blog since Pres. Bush decided to support the Federal Marriage Amendment (pure coincidence, of course), and you end up with a disproportionately left-liberal audience. You are Keith Olbermann with an accent.

I have to hand it to Sullivan for admitting this about who reads him. Of course, he still labors under the delusion that he's a conservative, but as many point out, he's on a lot of medication.

A Vatican "Service Bulletin" for a Serious Abuse

Coincidentally, I was just mentioning this exact invalid formula in an email to Bubba a few days ago:

The Vatican has warned that Baptism is not valid when the celebrant uses a popular new formula.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) released a statement on February 29 saying that a baptism "in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier," is not a valid Christian sacrament.

The invalid formula, the Vatican statement points out, arises from feminist ideology, and an attempt "to avoid using the words Father and Son, which are held to be chauvinistic."

Aside from being a serious liturgical abuse which would offend any traditional Christian with its sheer arbitrariness, this formula depersonalizes God. It reduces Him from his existence through all eternity as a community of all-knowing, ever-loving persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to a gender-neutral super-entity with a triple job description. Referring to what He does for us rather than the Mystery of His Being practically objectifies God. But hey, feminists objected to the objectification of women by objectifying men as "sperm donors". So welcome to the club, God.

The Roman Catholic Church accepts valid baptisms from all the non-Catholic Christians who use water and recite the Trinitarian formula properly. Let's hope and pray to the Holy Spirit that those who were not validly baptized will get a do-over by someone who knows what they are supposed to be doing. This is more serious than a radiator fan relay recall.

American Food

Last night I asked my wife, "Is this meatloaf pizza?" and she said, "No -- it's Sloppy Joe pizza." Whoops. Did I ever feel stupid. But it made me remember this.

We're having spinach quiche tonight.

Santorum explains why Barack Obama is a harsh ideologue

and pro-infanticide.

Medved on Buckley's Way vs Cheap Shots

From his Commentary email:

In 82 years of supremely active living, William F. Buckley transformed American conservatism profoundly and permanently. He established once and for all that the phrase "conservative intellectual" wasn't a contradiction in terms. In the '50's and '60's, when the word "conservative" conjured images of grumpy old men, the dashing Buckley showed that right wing activism could be fun, frisky, elegant and invigorating. He relished playing Bach on the harpsichord, sailing, writing spy novels, and hosting a long-running TV show on PBS--normally a bastion of establishment liberalism.

Like his friend Ronald Reagan, Buckley brought sunny, sparkling energy to the conservative moment, and shunned its bigoted, mean-spirited extremes. Ironically, his passing coincides with embarrassing controversy over an angry talk show host using Barack Obama's middle name as a form of insult and attack. That's the kind of cheap shot that happy warrior Bill Buckley would have characterized as beneath the dignity of his great cause.

Medved doesn't bring up the host's name and I won't either. I remember the same host was gleeful with his part during the last ditch attempt in the Blackwell campaign to smear Strickland with the gay tag. Tell me, Mr. Cincinnati, how did that work out?

If we can't find anything negative with what Barack Obama has done or said or the associations he's had with subversive ideologies then we all might as well throw in the towel.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Go clean the erasers

I was strongly reminded of this exchange from Get Shorty between Chili Palmer (played by Travolta) and Martin Ferrero's character, Tommy Carlo.

Carlo: Where the hell are you?
Palmer: I'm in LA now.
Carlo: What are you doin' out there?
Palmer: I'm going into the movie business - producing.
Carlo: What do you know about makin' movies?
Palmer: Producers don't have to know much.

Well, after reading this piece on crossover voters, I'm thinking of a new profession, too: Political Science Teacher. They obviously don't have to know much either. Tell me this Tony Campbell guy is ready for prime time:

Campbell, who claims to be pro-life, said he is not bothered by Obama's stance on the issue, because he doesn't think either candidate will change the status of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme decision that legalized the procedure nationwide.

"If abortion is such an issue with Republicans, why haven't Republican presidents over the past 30 years done something about it?" Campbell said. "Is it fair to ask a Democrat to do what the Republicans haven't done?"

So the appointments of Alito and Roberts don't count as doing anything about it. Or Thomas -- he did say 30 years. Oh, yeah... there was also the Bork-ing of Bork. But that had nothing to do with abortion How about Bush signing the Partial Birth Abortion ban? Clinton vetoed it twice. No difference?

Wow, you sure can learn a lot from teachers. Actually I heard that Laura Ingraham was going to have this guy on this morning, but I didn't catch the interview, so I don't know how many pieces she cut him into. But I googled his name to find these remarks. I'm sure he sounds convincing to those ignorant of recent political history.

I can see the point that many in the pro-life movement are always making that they wish that Reagan, Bush and Bush had done more for the cause, but to dismiss any contributions since 1978 should get anyone paying attention to scratch their heads, not to mention many hard-core NARAL types who continually make abortion an issue every four years. Honestly, the guy doesn't sound like any sane Republican I know, even a pro-choice one.

The other guy the article mentions, Peter Wehner from the Ethics and Public Policy Center, was making more sense.

"(Obama) is completely an orthodox liberal," Wehner said, adding that most of Obama's speeches don't reveal much about his ideology. "I don't think it's well known where he stands."


Wehner predicts that by the time the 2008 election rolls around, it will be business as usual.

"I think the uplifting, airy appeal of Obama is going to dissipate, and it's going to become a more traditional campaign," he said.

Buckley's Interview with Malcolm Muggeridge on Firing Line

Cubeland Mystic comments on how Buckley help change his life for the better.

"Over 20 years ago, I was channel surfing at a time in my life when I was kind of lost and in need of some guidance. As I recall it was late evening before cable, most certainly a Sunday, past the time of sports, probably in an off season.

Dying faith, no guiding philosophy, and no direction, the channel stopped on PBS, while these two older men discussed God. I was fixated. I don't recall if it was a 30 minute or 60 minute program, but I had never heard such richness of conversation in my life. Depth, conviction, intellect, and all directed toward understanding faith and God. Every sentence was clear and meaningful. It was Buckley interviewing Muggeridge.

I did not really know what a conservative was I had no faith, nor did I understand how savage politics could be, all I knew at that point is I wanted to be like them. I ordered up the transcript, and kept it till this day. That Firing Line changed my life. It would take another decade before I realized myself to be a conservative, and to finally revert back to Roman Catholicism. Thank you Mr. Buckley, you made a difference in my life. Rest In Peace, and please pray for us."

Via Dave Armstrong's site, I found an edited, online transcript of the broadcast as well as a Real Audio feed of the entire broadcast. The picture I posted here is courtesy of Cubeland Mystic.

Thanks for reading my blog. For current commentary and what-not, visit the Est Quod Est homepage

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Newt Gingrich Statement on the Passing of William F. Buckley, Jr.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2008 — Before there was Goldwater or Reagan, there was Bill Buckley.

From writing books, to creating, leading and sustaining National Review Magazine, to his 33-year run as the host of Firing Line on television, Bill Buckley became the indispensable intellectual advocate from whose energy, intelligence, wit, and enthusiasm the best of modern conservatism drew its inspiration and encouragement.

It was not until William F. Buckley, Jr., founded National Review Magazine in 1955 that the tide began to slowly turn for conservatives. National Review was a lonely voice of conservatism in an overwhelmingly liberal establishment. Buckley began what led to Senator Barry Goldwater and his Conscience of a Conservative that led to the seizing of power by the conservatives from the moderate establishment within the Republican Party. From that emerged Ronald Reagan. Bill stood up to defend freedom as a positive value of greater moral worth than either the state and the elite, and over time his work had a transformational impact on the quality of American politics that continues even today.

He was a wonderful friend, a great patriot, and a lively human being. Callista and I are praying for him and those who loved him. He will be missed.

SOURCE Gingrich Communications

Rick Tyler
Press Secretary & Spokesperson for Speaker Newt Gingrich

William F. Buckley dies at 82 years old


From the National Review Online's Kathryn Jean Lopez late this morning: "I'm devastated to report that our dear friend, mentor, leader, and founder William F. Buckley Jr., died overnight in his study in Stamford, Conn. After years of illness, he died while at work; if he had been given a choice on how to depart this world, I suspect that would have been exactly it. At home, still devoted to the war of ideas." Buckley founded National Review magazine in 1955, hosted the television show "Firing Line "from 1966 until 1999, and was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and author. Though the cause of death is unknown, his assistant, Linda Bridges, said he suffered from emphysema. "America has lost a giant. William F. Buckley was, in large measure, the architect of the modern conservative movement. His intellect, wit, and dedication have inspired generations," said House Republican Leader John Boehner. "In the 1950s, as many in America were moving toward a socialist future of ever-expanding government and ever-decreasing freedom, it took an act of courage and vision to stand athwart history and yell, 'stop' as Buckley wrote in the first issue of National Review. As long as America honors the ideals of our Founding Fathers - free speech, freedom of religion, and limited, Constitutional government - his legacy will be cherished," Boehner added.

The voices of our time weigh in on the chicken who crossed the road

My dad hardly ever forwards email jokes, but whenever he does it's a good one. Here's a post of one he just sent me. I think it's funny, but I've heard that sense of humor is genetic -- you get it from your kids.

"Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace." Attributed to John Lennon. I notice they didn't include the more controversial claim that the Beatles were more popular than chickens.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What's with the clothes anyway?

Here's something I don't get. Why do these guys have to play dress-up anyway? It always gets them in trouble. I couldn't care less if Barack Obama is a closet-Muslim. I know he isn't; no self-respecting Muslim would let his wife put her foot in her mouth at his expense on a regular basis. But he's plenty frightening with his wild-card, implicit socialism without being the member of a violent religion.

But many Democratic voters don't use reasoning, they just look at pictures. And who is the most famous man pictured in a white turban?

These high-powered politicians have handlers, don't they? They employ people to shield them from every sort of danger and trickery, they have immense resources, they have people doing everything for them, but they still manage to make fools of themselves by being photographed while wearing weird clothes? Look, even the African dude is laughing at him.

My wife got me a Steeler hat for Christmas, but do you think I'm going to wear that around Cleveland? Hell, no, and I'm not even running for office. Likewise, I can't see why Obama didn't politely thank the Kenyan tribal dudes for the nice duds and swiftly handed them to an aide who would directly relegate them to storage alongside the "I slept on a Virgin Island" t-shirt that his Uncle Ted bought him on his vacation.

I don't think I'll ever forget the image that was seared, seared into my memory, of a grown man, John Kerry, who wanted to be my President, on all fours wearing powder blue pajamas with a matching blue hoodie.


Was this to soften his image... uh, to make him appear more accessible? More like a friendly cartoon character?

I need to buy a vowel.

I know you readers understand why this is, please explain it to me. Explain it to me the way you would to a child.


Just for good measure, I give you prince of the dress-up dunces, Corporal Michael Dukakis. Talk about "you'll shoot your eye out."

Spengler says Barack Obama is an American-hating Political Sociopath

The guy who calls himself Spengler lets loose on Obama, and doesn't leave much. This is definitely the most negative thing I've read about Mr. Hope yet. The intro is a grabber:

"Cherchez la femme," advised Alexander Dumas in: "When you want to uncover an unspecified secret, look for the woman." In the case of Barack Obama, we have two: his late mother, the went-native anthropologist Ann Dunham, and his rancorous wife Michelle. Obama's women reveal his secret: he hates America.

But Spengler is just getting warmed up. Later on, after giving the radical connections via his mother and step-dad:

Barack Obama is a clever fellow who imbibed hatred of America with his mother's milk, but worked his way up the elite ladder of education and career. He shares the resentment of Muslims against the encroachment of American culture, although not their religion. He has the empathetic skill set of an anthropologist who lives with his subjects, learns their language, and elicits their hopes and fears while remaining at emotional distance. That is, he is the political equivalent of a sociopath. The difference is that he is practicing not on a primitive tribe but on the population of the United States.

Read the whole thing, it's worth it. Hat tip to Silicon Valley Steve for pointing this out.

Os Guinness Argues the Benefits of Ministerial Celibacy

Well, inadvertently, of course, in his article about the train wreck named Frankie Schaeffer. Excerpt:

The problem is not so much that Frank exposes and trumpets his parents' flaws and frailties, or that he skewers them with his characteristic mockery. It is more than that. For all his softening, the portrait he paints amounts to a death-dealing charge of hypocrisy and insincerity at the very heart of their life and work. In Frank's own words, his parents were "crazy for God." Their call to the ministry "actually drove them crazy," so that "religion was actually the source of their tragedy." His dad was under "the crushing belief that God had 'called' him to save the world." Because of this, his parents were "happiest when farthest away from their missionary work." Back at their calling, they were "professional proselytizers," their teaching was "indoctrination," and it was unclear whether people came to faith or were "brainwashed" and "under the spell" of his parents. Frank's own arguments in their support, he now says, were a kind of "circus trick."

O.G also discusses Frankie's sweet reminiscences about his dear mother, Edith.

....Frank describes his mother as a "high-powered nut," who was "best at the martyrdom game." He mocks her with vitriol in several of his books, and her incredible and justly celebrated passion for beauty and excellence he dismisses with a postmodern sneer as a mission that was "nothing less than repairing the image of fundamentalism." Several times I saw her reduced to tears in private after his barbs against her. But now in her nineties, with her failing memory, she neither fully knows nor is able to respond to all he has written about her. "If I read it," she said to me about one of Frank's earlier books, "it would probably break my heart."

Second, Frank's descriptions of other people and events are often equally irresponsible and wildly inaccurate. He rightly disavows the immaturity of his early books and films. He was as "addicted to mediocrity" as anyone he attacked. But for all his improved writing style, his manner of sneering dismissals is unchanged. Sometimes he is ludicrously negative, as in his remarks about Billy Graham and Carl Henry. Sometimes he is self-servingly positive, citing compliments from people—such as Malcolm Muggeridge—who were well known for their overall scathing dismissals of both Francis and Frank. Sometimes he is just plain cruel, as in his description of the woman assigned to be his home school tutor—and as in most cruelty, he is worst when mocking those unable to reply.

HT Rod Dreher, and I have to hand it to him for posting this since it showcases the kind of rage that a lot of these priggish Orthodox converts exude. Hopefully it will slow him down from his recent spate of Catholic-bashing, but I do not advise breath-holding.

Another one from Flineo

A Catholic-Calvinist Connection?

Really interesting Telegraph article regarding Augustus Toplady, author of the famous hymn "Rock of Ages". Excerpt:

And this is what is so strange about Toplady's devotion to the wounds of Christ, the real subject of his hymn. They (standing for Christ's one sacrifice in his suffering and death) have saving power. The hymn writer wants to "hide himself" in them - at face value a grisly desire. Yet it is one that medieval mystics expressed too - Julian of Norwich springs to mind.

The notion is also expressed in a prayer that dates from the 14th century, which later became a favourite of Ignatius Loyola's in the 16th, and remains popular today. It is generally known as the Anima Christi, after the words with which it begins in Latin. In English it goes: "Soul of Christ, sanctify me./Body of Christ, save me./Blood of Christ, inebriate me./Water from Christ's side, wash me./Passion of Christ, strengthen me./O good Jesus, hear me./Within Thy wounds hide me./Suffer me not to be separated from Thee."

Nothing in this would have disgusted Toplady. There would, I think, be difficulty in the way that the medieval devotion connects with the Eucharist. Obviously, Toplady believed in a link between the service of Holy Communion and the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus. He'd have been less happy about the connection between the wounds of Christ and the sacrifice of Masses. Devotion to the five wounds of Christ reached its height at the time of the Reformation, during John Calvin's lifetime. The image of Christ's wounds would appear in popular prayerbooks, accompanied by suitable prayers, partly designed to encourage empathy with the suffering Saviour, but also emblematic of the objective redemption of mankind by the death of Christ.

It would seem appropriate to me that any connection between the separated churches would be via the wounds of Jesus Christ. It's something to think about for Lent, something I'm always conscious of being that my the members on my family are serious Calvinists and I'm a Papist.

Senator McCain Visits Pauli Country

Dianne Mueller reports on McCain's stop in Rocky River, OH.

I noticed today during both his opening remarks and the question-and-answer period afterward that there's something quite endearing about a guy who's not afraid to tell you things you might not want to hear.

McCain talked about the "transcendent" threat of our time (radical Muslim extremists), keeping the tax cuts, treating our war veterans to a more efficient way to get their health conditions treated, fuel concerns - from having to get our oil from country's unfriendly to the U.S. - to the need for nuclear energy development. (I think I was the only one in the room who clapped when he brought up the advantages of nuclear energy.)

Well, I wish I had been there now to back Dianne up. Yes, as you might have guessed, I am a shameless solo clapper and God has gifted me with a pair of really loud hands. It's ridiculous that we don't have nuke power all over this great nation. It's safe, clean, powerful and plentiful. People who don't realize this have been watching too much TV; furthermore they probably think the people inside the television can see them. Wake up, morons.

As far as I know, McCain is the candidate who has made the biggest pitch for nuclear energy on stops. Both Huckabee and Paul are pro-nuclear and mention it on their sites. I didn't check Rudy's site or Romney's since those campaigns are basically spent fuel rods at this point.

Of course, Obama and Clinton don't mention the word "nuclear" on their energy pages. Their potential voters probably think they could get radiation poisoning from reading that word on the internets.

Monday, February 25, 2008

New Contributor

Although I didn't succeed in convincing him to change his name to "Marki", Mark Adams has agreed to become a contributor here. Mark is a law student, a veteran of the "culture war" and all-around smart guy, so readers will be happy to have the benefits of his insights. He lives a couple states down the highway with his wife and kids. Welcome aboard, mate.