Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Obama's Co-opting Skill

I heartily agree with Dreher's conclusion here in discussing some minor gyrations in the Dems abortion plank.

I don't see it as nearly the victory for pro-lifers that Steve does, but I do share Steve's enthusiasm over the insight the process in all this gives us into how Obama might govern -- for better, or for worse. An optimistic read is Steve's: that it shows Obama as a pragmatist who will push for workable compromises over ideological purity. A negative read (surprise!) is mine: that it shows Obama's skill at co-opting the opposition with therapeutic measures while conceding no meaningful ground on the culturally leftist positions he already holds.

I also have to praise Rod for calling Obama's positions "leftist". A lot of people in Rod's camp (i.e., disgusted with Repubs and "mainstream conservatism") are going around saying "Obama's not really a leftist. That's just the tired, old mantra from the right." But he is, and the abortion issue is a prime example. On Hugh Hewitt's show last night Hugh stated that Obama represents the marriage of Chicago-style machine politics and the far left. I think he's right and this is the kind of "pragmatism" that neither the Democratic Party nor the country needs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What does this and a pack of smokes get me?

I don't like to engage in omphaloskepsis too much here, as you've all hopefully noticed, but I'm laughing at my latest sitemeter report because from it I've learned that googling the phrase imperfect contrition yields this link on the first page of hits. Fortunately it's down on the page after more serious treatments of a serious matter.

I'd forgotten about that post. It was in reaction to some people calling into question some aspect of someone's apology.

Well, maybe this page will now become a google hit for the word omphaloskepsis.

Pay Grade My Ass

Read Michael Graham on Obama's "pay grade" shuck-n-jive. Short excerpt:

With all due respect, Senator Obama, being President is above your pay grade. And the voters are starting to figure that out.

One could go on and on about the folly of the statement both as a limp-wristed dodge of how he really feels or as political rhetoric guaranteed to make him look weak-kneed. But I see it as a highly ironic reversal. Deciding that unborn babies aren't human, don't have rights and can be aborted in the first place was "above our pay grade". So don't try to self-righteously flip the tables on us, Mr. Abortion. You're all about playing God.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Steve Martin: I would like to buy a hamburger.

This is one of my wife's favorite scenes.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Patrick J. Buchanan: A Catholic Case Against Barack

Here's the article. Excerpt:

Is the right to an abortion so sacrosanct to Obama that killing by neglect or snuffing out of the life of tiny babies outside the womb must be protected if necessary to preserve that right?

Obama is an abortion absolutist. "I could find no instance in his entire career," writes Freddoso, "in which he voted for any regulation or restriction on the practice of abortion."

In 2007, Barack pledged that, in his first act as president, he will sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would cancel every federal, state or local regulation or restriction on abortion. The National Organization for Women says it would abolish all restrictions on government funding of abortion.

What we once called God's Country would become the nation on earth most zealously committed to an unrestricted right of abortion from conception to birth.

Before any devout Catholic, Evangelical Christian or Orthodox Jew votes for Obama, he or she might spend 15 minutes in Chapter 10 of Freddoso's "Case Against Barack." For if, as Catholics believe, abortion is the killing of an unborn child, and participation in an abortion entails automatic excommunication, how can a good Catholic support a candidate who will appoint justices to make Roe v. Wade eternal and eliminate all restrictions on a practice Catholics legislators have fought for three decades to curtail?

Here's a link to the Freddoso book on Obama.

More to meditate on from James McCoy

"Don't Quit Your Day Job."

Word up, dog.

Hey, I'm 41, married with children, too! Where's my Scarlet Letter!?

Homily by Clement of Alexandria, "How can the rich be saved?"

Here's an excellent commentary to consider in regards to wealth and the moral use of wealth. My favorite line: "You gain nothing from depriving yourself of your money if you remain rich in unregulated desires." I'll bet a lot of philanthropists wished they'd known that before they stood before the Judgement Seat. So let's think about that, fellow Americans.

I received this from the Daily Gospel email which I receive each day, here's a link.

We should not reject those goods that may potentially be of use to our neighbor. It is in the nature of possessions to be possessed and that of goods to spread good. God intended them for man's well being. Our goods lie in our hands like tools, instruments that we can put to good use so long as we know how to wield them... Nature has made a servant of wealth, not a mistress. So we shouldn't decry it since it is neither good not bad in itself but completely neutral. We ourselves are alone responsible for the use, good or bad, which we make of it. Our minds, our consciences are entirely set free from disposing as they choose of the goods entrusted to them. What we should destroy are not our goods but the covetousness that perverts their use. When we have acquired integrity then we shall know how to use them with integrity. Those goods we are told to get rid of we should understand to be the unregulated desires of the soul... You gain nothing from depriving yourself of your money if you remain rich in unregulated desires...

See how the Lord conceived of the use of external goods: we need to detach ourselves, not from the money that enables us to live, but from the forces that cause us to use it badly, namely sicknesses of the soul... We need to purify our souls, that is to say, make them poor and naked and, in that state, listen to the Lord's call: "Come, follow me." He is the way along which the pure of heart walk... Here is a man who thinks of his fortune, his gold, silver, houses, as graces from God, and he shows Him his thanks by succoring the poor from his own resources. He knows well that he possesses these goods more for the sake of his brothers than for himself; he remains stronger than his wealth and is far from becoming its slave; he does not lock it up in his heart... And if, one day, his money is about to disappear, he accepts his ruin with just as joyful a heart as in the days of his prosperity. Now this man, I say, God declares blessed and calls "poor in spirit" (Mt 5,3); he is a certain heir of the Kingdom of heaven, which will be closed to those who could not look beyond their own wealth.