Friday, March 9, 2012

Joseph Hippolito compares Mark Shea and Ezra Pound

Joe and I have argued on the web before, and one thing I think everyone can agree on is that the man brings a lot of passion to all the subjects on which he writes. That's why it is impressive to me that he can be so thoughtful and measured in his FrontPageMag critique of Mark Shea, a man who has baited him and made fun of him for years. Here's an excerpt:

In “6 B.S. Myths You Probably Believe About America’s ‘Enemies,’”’s Mark Hill wrote that 1) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comment about obliterating Israel was mistranslated and taken out of context 2) Iran has a smaller military budget than either Greece or Australia and 3) Ahmadinejad can be overruled by his superiors and has no significant power.

“It’s sad when the writers of Cracked,” Shea wrote, “know more about the Imminent Threat that is not Iran than the warmongers of the Right and the combox cowards who…defend their rhetoric in favor of cold-blooded murder of innocent human beings.”

Shea ended by asserting that “all the panic about Ahmadinejad with his finger on the button is pure provincial ignorance…using his stupid blather as a justification for praising cold-blooded murder of civilians as ‘wonderful’ is both ignorant and evil.”

However, the German newspaper Die Welt reported in May 2011 that Iran was building bases in Venezuela for intermediate-range missiles, complete with anti-aircraft batteries and commando facilities. Engineers from a firm owned by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard visited the site three months earlier.

The purpose, reported Die Welt, was to attack Iranian enemies — likely the United States — if Iran itself was attacked.

Since Shea’s post, the Washington Post reported on Jan. 31 that “Iran is prepared to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States,” according to intelligence officials testifying before Congress. On Feb. 24, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Iran’s accelerated production of enriched uranium that could be converted easily into weapons-grade stock.

The Revolutionary Guard’s own news service published an article on Feb. 4 by Alireza Forghani, a strategic analyst who advises Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader. Forghani called Israel “this corrupting material” and stated that “it is a ‘jurisprudential justification’ to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.”

It is sort of amazing that Mark Shea gets a paycheck from EWTN for his uninformed rants. You can email them at, or use this page to tell NC Register what you think.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pope B16 and the Clamor of "Relevance"

Here's an excerpt from Samuel Gregg's latest article in Crisis about the Pope's and the Church's perceived geopolitical relevance.

Whenever one encounters such assertions, it’s never quite clear what’s meant by “relevance.” On one reading, it involves comparisons with Benedict’s heroic predecessor, who played an indispensible role in demolishing the Communist thug-ocracies that once brutalized much of Europe. But it’s also a fair bet that “relevance” is understood here in terms of the Church’s capacity to shape immediate policy-debates or exert political influence in various spheres.

Such things have their own importance. Indeed, many of Benedict’s writings are charged with content which shatters the post-Enlightenment half-truths about the nature of freedom, equality, and progress that sharply constrict modern Western political thinking. But Benedict’s entire life as a priest, theologian, bishop, senior curial official and pope also reflects his core conviction that the Church’s primary focus is not first-and-foremost “the world,” let alone politics.

Rather, Benedict’s view has always been that the Church’s main responsibility is to come to know better — and then make known — the Person of Jesus Christ. Why? Because like any orthodox Christian, he believes that herein is found the summit and fullness of Truth and meaning for every human being. Moreover, Benedict insists the only way we can fully comprehend Christ is through His Church – the ecclesia of the saints, living and dead.

Maybe we should have a index that shows daily fluctuations in the church's relevance. Sort of like the DJI. That would be a really relevant measure of... something.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Reaction of a Sensible Georgetown Woman

Read the whole thing here. Excerpt:

Sandra, I hope you take to heart our school’s motto of “Cura Personalis” — care of the whole person. You are so much more than your reproductive organs. Please, have some self-respect and take responsibility for your choices instead of having to beg the government for help. The government should not be able to force a religious institution — like the one we attend — to pay for the things they don’t believe in. That is pretty clear in the first amendment. But since you missed the ten commandments I can’t expect you to read the Bill of Rights either.

I believe in Georgetown. I love this school. And I know that we are so, so much better than what Sandra Fluke would make us out to be.

Nothing to add to that.