Thursday, April 30, 2009
Personal Aside: Obamas 100 DaysRadical Domestic Policy and Scary Insouciance About Terrorism, Love of Country.
Media are thrilled that Obama is an action president. But his first hundred days that ended yesterday produced trillions in debt, throttled free markets, severely weakened individual liberties and failed to improve the economic climate.
They have reported that he: introduced a $787 billion stimulus package destined to cost $3.27 trillion (but the media didnt point out he allowed it to be fashioned by Nancy Pelosi and hence was full of pork) named Tim Geithner as treasury secretary who was behind on his taxes (but didnt report on Geithners failure to add details to a bank bailout nor that the bailout hasnt worked thus far) thrust the federal government into running large segments of the domestic auto industry propelled the government into becoming Citigroups largest shareholder and suggested it will do the same thing with other major banks ordered treasury to extend federal regulation to all trading in financial derivates announced he will create a regulator to monitor the largest financial institutions with the authority to take over major nonblank financial firms such as insurance firms and hedge funds encouraged his Department of Homeland Security to release a report titled Right-Wing Extremism: Current Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment, citing returned veterans as grist for reactionary radicalism which it described as rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority.
Ordered the EPA to regulate all carbon emissions appointed Catholic pro-abort Tom Daschle as secretary of health and human services (who was forced to withdraw for tax delinquency) and finally got one confirmed, Kansas Catholic pro-abort governor Kathleen Gilligan Sebelius, daughter of pro-abort Catholic governor of Ohio John Gilligan (the only father-daughter governors in U.S. history). Her confirmation was held up in the Senate after it was revealed that she misstated how much money she received from late-term abortionist George Tiller and had vetoed an important anti-late term abortion bill, leading Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann to ask her not to receive Holy Communion any longer extended taxpayer-financed health insurance to all children in families with incomes up to three times the federal poverty levelcrowding out private insurance and creating a vast federal government health insurance industry.
Pledged to remove all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010 ended the F-22 program that threatens to give us a deteriorated and hollow force that may not be able to win future wars taped a video message to Iran that discussed the possibility of direct negotiations banned interrogation techniques he has considered torture such as water-boarding relaxed rules so Cuban Americans can visit relatives on the island and send them money ordered Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorists to be closed by January, 2010 sought credit for the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips in the hostile pirate kidnapping off Somalia which was accomplished when Navy Seal sharpshooters killed three of his terrorist captors
Announced Bush tax cuts will end in 2011 for individuals earning more than $200,000, unprecedented by economic standards, which means tax hikes announced during a recession eliminated the voucher program in the D. C. public schools costing only $14 million a year which allows 1,700 poor children to escape the worst public schools in the nation, as a sop of the powerful teachers unions signed an order approving federally funded research on embryonic stem cells proposed an ambitious tripartite social democratic agenda: nationalized health care to cost $1 trillion and (which media have not reported) a $1.1 billion set-aside in the stimulus package for comparative effectiveness research, double-talk for a health care rationing blueprint covering everything from MRIs to intensive care much as is kidney and heart transplants based on survivability criteria which means queuing outlined federalized education from kindergarten through college paid for by a cap and trade carbon tax which will raise electric bills and further deteriorate the nations manufacturing capacity
Neglected to provide entitlement reform for Social Security and Medicare. ..lifted a Bush rule that blocked federal money from going to international family planning clinics ordered the EPA to rule that greenhouse gases threaten public health by increasing global warming and asked Congress to set limits on emissions.
The Hip President.
Important actions but not all that startling, given what we have come to expect from him during the 2008 campaign. All this dolled up with p. r. glitz for the young current and future voters are the stylistic flourishes he has made to show youth and hip-ness including...bringing his Blackberry into the Oval Office to remain in touch with the 21st century dressing in black, sitting courtside at a Chicago Bulls-Washington, D. C. Wizards game, sipping a glass of beer and high-fiving a trash-talking fan demonstrating panache to be either white or black or both with a personally gregarious style that is elusive and hard to define skipping work occasionally mid-day to go to the basketball court, expertly dribbling, swerving, faking and dodging Arne Duncan, his education secretary who himself was a Harvard hoops star unveiling his March Madness basketball predictions to the media in the Oval Office and talking wonk language on health care one minute and the next greeting pop artists Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Will.i.am (yes that name is spelled right: its not a typo), Sheryl Crow and Sweet Honey in the Rock, ultra-cool a capella singers with underground vibe.
Next to him, all politicians look square. Even John Kennedy notwithstanding who was tight with celebrities stars but they were establishment movie stars Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin not hip. Next to Obama, Bill Clinton playing his saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show looked like a chubby Ozark bubba: uncool.
Okay, now were getting warmer but even these are still not the most significant changes in the first hundred days. What were they? Give up?
Lack of Concern for National Security.
Answer: The most significant changes involve insouciant carelessness about national security including: releasing secret CIA documents on torture that betray techniques on information-gathering to our enemies leaving the door open for Justice to prosecute Bush administration lawyers who approved enhanced interrogation stratagems following 9/11: no concern about endangering America dropping the words war on terror in favor of overseas contingency operations and man-made disasters.
Then theres the obvious narcissism, elevation of self far above country. Imagine any other president sitting through 55 minutes of an excoriating verbal assault on America as a land of fascism, delivered by Nicaraguas Daniel C. Ortega who assailed John Kennedys actions against Cuba during the Missile Crisis. What was Obamas response: Im grateful President Ortega didnt blame me for things that happened when I was three months old. See what I mean? See the narcissism? His country is attacked and Obama shrugs it off as incidental to him since when the Cold War raged he was an infant. Meaning: shove off, JFK, Harry Truman. Those days of testing mean nothing to me. To our enemies this means: Hate the U. S if you prefer, but love me!
Hugo Chavez the arch-critic of the U.S. presents Obama with a book outlining his paranoid view of the United States and the president receives it warmly with a handshake, saying thanks, amigo! In Europe, Obama is asked if he believes, as other presidents have, in U. S. exceptionalism.
Exceptionalism is the idea that America is an unique laboratory of personal and economic freedom which unleashed unrivaled gains in technological and social advances. But this former non-tenured part-time instructor from the University of Chicago law school, says he is not an advocate of American exceptionalism but blands the concept to say just as some Americans feel their country is exceptional, so the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism and the Italians in Italian exceptionalism: thus every nation is exceptional. In other words, he doesnt believe in American uniqueness.
Then theres his release of CIA interrogation memos, pleasing to the left, which throws open the door to years of lawsuits and investigations that demoralize those who seek to protect this country by forcing them to fight an immoral jihad by Marquis of Queensbury rulesdespite the fact that Dennis Blair, Obamas own director of national intelligence acknowledges that the harsh interrogation methods did, in fact, produce high value information and a deeper understanding of the al Qaeda organization that was attacking this country.
All the while he apologizes to the Frenchthe French!for America having been too arrogant ignoring the fact that there are 9,800 graves of American soldiers in Normandy alone and 70,000 American bodies in 489 cemeteries all over France, men who helped liberate France in two world wars.
Also his insouciance, seeming lack of patriotism a cavalier, lighthearted unconcern when his country is under attack and the strange case of his wanting to prosecute Bush officials for prosecuting the war on terrorism and to change the nature of interrogations of terrorists who wanted us to die as 3,000 did on 9/11, who would have prevented even fake tactics used against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind 9/11? The reason the protective media have steadfastly resisted from bringing up an essential question. What is it? Itll be found later on in this piece. But media stealth cooperation with liberal presidencies earlier produced disastrous results for our country.
Media Protection of Presidents.
Media collaboration with presidents to keep voters in the dark has a long tradition here. Chester Arthur, Grover Cleveland and Warren Harding were had life-threatening illnesses the media knew about but didnt report. And then there was the scandal of Franklin Roosevelts poor health, kept from the people for at least a decade.
Franklin Roosevelt was all but a dead man when he ran for his fourth term in 1944 and the media, excepting a few outlets which were called reactionary and ultra-partisan, did not mention it thus the great majority of the people either didnt believe it or discarded the health issue as partisan. His top aide Harry Hopkins catalogued them after FDRs death.
In 1938 at the age of 56 while visiting his son at the Mayo Clinic, records there show the president suffered a the first in a series of relatively minor strokes, slight fainting, unilateral blurring of vision, a temporary one-sided numbness caused by temporary insufficiently of blood supply to the cerebral area, based on an arteriosclerosis occlusion of a vessel feeding the brain. The White House in league with most of the media kept these things private.
At the Teheran conference in 1943, his doctor, Admiral Ross McIntyre reported the president suddenly fainted, his complexion turned green and he was hurriedly wheeled away for a complete rest. McIntyres diagnosis: another light stroke.
In 1944, age 62, a already a paralytic victim, survivor of several minor strokes, a two-pack a day cigarette smoker, seeking an unprecedented fourth term, and against his familys wishes, he determined to show himself to as large a group of voters as possible. In a chilling October 21 rainstorm with the temperature at 40 degrees, he rode in a top-down green presidential Packard convertible, discarding his Navy cape and waving to crowds while bareheaded, through the four largest boroughs in New York city--Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Manhattan in a pouring cold drizzle lasted four hours. American media cheered that the Champ was fit and ready for another four years. Not that some of the public hadnt sensed the truth. I remember as a boy my father and his friends commenting about how bad Roosevelt looked in the photos. But holding that opinion was strictly politically incorrect at the time.
On that trip, his car pulled into municipal garages after each borough and his aides peeled off his soggy overcoat and suit, giving him dry ones. After the tour, he rested at a privately rented apartment, had three stiff bourbons, a hot bath and a nap before hobbling on his braces, assisted by aides who held him up by gripping him under his arms (again violating his doctors orders) addressing a major crowd at Ebbets field.
He was suffering from illnesses the White House media knew in general but not in a specific way and which the public had no inkling ofcardiological problems including occasional angina attacks, high blood pressure, anemia, occasional insufficient blood supply to the brain which caused forgetfulness and a condition his physicians called secondary metabolic encephalopathy which led to a slack-jawed, gape-mouthed condition caught on some photographs, he convincing voters he was hale and hearty with his bronze face which had been sprayed to a golden tan by a Hollywood makeup artist.
Five months later, on April 12, 1945, he was dead at 63 of a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Only then did the media investigate his prior bouts of serious ill health. After Roosevelts death, Hopkins wrote to Britains Lord Edward Halifax that at Yalta, Roosevelt didnt follow more than half of what was said there. Churchills physician, Lord Moran (Dr. Charles Wilson) who was at Yalta said Roosevelt had all the symptoms of hardening of the arteries at an advanced stage. Walter Trohan, Washington correspondent for the Chicago Tribune has said in his unpublished oral history at the Truman library that there was a conspiracy between the Washington press corps and FDRs staff (and while Trohan himself reported on Roosevelts failing health, his reports were dismissed as products of a vengeful, mean-spirited, ultra-conservative, hate-filled anti-FDR Tribune) and ignored.
But media cooperate with president on other things than health.
The Strange Case of Obamas Birth.
By now it is recognized only dimly by a few Americans that there has never been submitted by Team Obama definitive proof that Obama was born in this country, a prime requisite for the presidency under the Article II of the Constitution. Instead, questions about his birthplace are dismissed as racism by the White House and its bull-dog defenders, the liberal elite media which discount all genealogical questions as from paranoid Obama haters. Not so about Republicans, however. In 1968 there were serious questions raised by the media about George Romney who was born to American parents in Mexico. And early in 2008 the fact that John McCain was born to American parents in the Canal Zone. Questions like these were viewed as okay: not so any about Obama.
The official Obama campaign biography is all the media have and it says he was born at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, Hawaii on Aug. 4, 1961 What we do know is that no one no member of the media has ever seen his original birth certificate. Last fall Team Obama posted what they said was a certification by Hawaii that an original birth certificate exists in a vault but the location of the vault or place of birth is not listed.
Obamas late paternal grandmother and several of his half-brothers have said he was born in Kenya and that his mother, 18 at the time, visited Kenya in 1961 in the late stages of pregnancy, was not allowed by the airline to fly back to Hawaii and gave birth to the baby in Kenya. A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent (Barack Obama, Sr. was a citizen of Kenya) acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) of U.S. immigration law provided the citizen parent was physically present in the U.S. for the time period at the childs birth. For birth between 1952 and 1986 a period of 10 years (five after the age of 14) is required for physical presence in the U.S. to transmit U.S. citizenship to the child. Because his mother was not 19 years old, she wouldnt have satisfied the requirement if rthe birth took place in Kenyaand Obama wouldnt have been born a U.S. citizen.
Disclosures from Obamas campaign fund last week showed that more than $1 million was paid out to a legal team to keep the original certificate from coming to light. Obamas people could easily settle it by releasing his original birth certificate; instead they released a short-form birth certificate which can easily be manufactured by anyone downloading a blank template. Why, then, doesnt his legal team end the controversy by releasing the original?
Be that as it may, we know he has been floating all his life in a disparate non-family structure involving scores of nondescript half-brothers, half-sisters and step-siblings in flotsam-jetsam fashion with supposed grant aunts and half brothers living in African shacks turning up all the time.
Lack of connection with this country may be one reason why he displays no visible patriotism for a country he may not feel a part of. To those who complain that this question of his birthplace is unfair, I say: end the controversy, then, by producing the original certificate. Instead they spend a million to prevent its disclosure.
One thing is sure: he is a Gentlemans Quarterly magazine sophisticate, smooth enough to win voters but with loyalty to very little other than the shifting kaleidoscope of his own political self-interest. And in this country today where political correctness reigns , dont count on the truth coming out from either the media or professional historians until long after he leaves the presidency.
Until then, were stuck with a presidential mystery man, unfeeling about many things including the well-being of babies born live from botched abortions. He decided coldly, by his action as Illinois state senate Judiciary chairman that they would be denied nutrition, medical care and comfort to assuage the pain and be allowed to die untended by any medical care.
As Churchill once said of the USSR: Obama is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
1. Arlen Specter.
The look on PBS Judy Woodruffs Vogue magazine, angular, sharply chiseled face told it all last night. A professionally worried look. Her brow wrinkling with faux concern, she asked one of her numberless liberal stooge-guests on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (pronounced la-rah by the New Yawk nasal voiced announcer) how in the world can the Republican party survive if it cleaves to conservatism and discourages moderate leaders like Arlen Specter that they have no future within it? As if the hyper intense Judy wife of lefty Al Hunt (managing editor of Bloomberg Washington) gives a good goddamn.
The answer came with the familiar hand-wringing: oh the GOP is in the grip of a terrible conservative clique and so this may be the turning-point, the degradation and debasement of a once great party to the status of the Whigs before its final dissolution. Actually the same question was asked if not by the aging Judy but by other mavens when wonder- and pretty-boy John Lindsay, one of the worst mayors New York city ever had, switched to the Democrats in order to run for president in 1972. He caused not a ripple and the media soon forgot him. He ran for the Dem senatorial nomination in 1980 and lost spectacularly. He has gone down in history as having been a carbuncle on the buttock of urban progress, driving the city into penury, doing very little that was right but looking pretty. At the end, ill, forgotten, himself at povertys door, he was forced to rely on Rudy Giuliani to give him an appointment to a few boards and commissions which paid him so that he could live on some meager income.
That was the unspectacular end of one progressive who broke with his party. The case of Arlen Specter is quite different. Born in tiny Russell, Kansas (the hometown of Bob Dole) to a Jewish junk dealer and fruit vender, Specter has always been bereft of a philosophical compass. He was without one when as a Democrat, he worked as an assistant to the elected Philadelphia prosecutor. Then Specter ran to succeed him on the Republican ticket while remaining a registered Democrat: hows that for duplicity? Once elected, he switched his registration to Republican. Disliked by many Republicans as well as Democrats, the reason was he never achieved solidarity with either. The Republicans felt they couldnt count on him nor could the Democrats. However the Bush administration made a wise choice in holding its nose and backing him for re-nomination over conservative and much-to-be-preferred Pat Toomey in 2004. The deal that was cut was a good one: Specter would vote for pro-life Supreme Court nominees which he did and which amounted to two outstanding jurists getting on the court. Toomeys election that year was in doubt and without the Specter deal we would not have gotten Sam Alito or John Roberts.
The familiar caterwauling that the loss of Specter will doom the Republican party unless it turns to the left is as old as the wailing when Wendell Willkie lost the 1944 Wisconsin primary in his return bid after having sucked up to FDR following his 1940 defeat. True Specter as a Dem and the likely victory of Minnesotas Al Franken will give the Dems a veto proof majority but there is a great gain in it as well. The Republicans unifying argument in the 2010 congressional midterms will be against a one-sided government: now against a Senate that is veto-proof. That was the case in 2001 when Vermonts Jim Jeffords switched from Republican to Independent giving the Dems a one vote margin over the Republicans plus Vice President Dick Cheney. Soon thereafter the Republicans captured the majority again and none other than Dem majority leader Tom Daschle went down to defeat. At his retirement from the Senate, only one Republican spoke in his praise: Chuck Grassley. All others walked out or sat on their hands. Thus ever to Benedict Arnolds.
To show the imponderable, circuitous and self-interested career of Arlen Specter, he made a feeble attempt to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996 but hardly made a dent. Then he not only remonstrated with Jeffords to stay as a Republican (because with the GOP in control of the body, Specter would benefit) but actually introduced a resolution which, if passed, would prevent a Senator from switching parties in midstream: a course Specter has now taken to save his worthless hide since he is sure he could not survive a Republican primary against the self-same Pat Toomey. Just two weeks ago he looked at the TV cameras and denied he would ever consider switching parties. As he was saying this, he was planning to do so.
Upshot: Specter is a self-obsessed survivor, interested only in himself but when you rent him he stays rented for a decent interval. The Bush people found out that by renting him they got their judge nominees confirmed which was all they wanted. My guess is that this 78-year-old will fail to be elected because he evokes so much distaste for his lack of constancy.
Mark my words, the Republicans will pick up sufficient seats in the Senate in 2010 to be a power again and given the excesses of the Obama-nation now misruling, will be a force in 2012.
2. Chris Kennedy.
Rather pathetic isnt it, Chris Kennedys desire to run for the U. S. Senate. I always thought of him as the best of Bobbys kids but I guess the prospect of picking up the fallen, tattered Kennedy flag now that pro-abort Catholic Uncle Teddy has petered out literally and figuratively trying to outlive the memory of his depravity of allowing that girl to drown by slow degrees in his upturned car and pro-abort Catholic Caroline with her uh-uh-uh and ya-know, ya-know, ya-knows bombed out with the media (of all things) and was rejected yet again thankfully .thankfully when the Vatican gustily turned down this pro-abort very close pal of the minus-quantity dauphin prince legatee of the New York Times Pinch Sulzberger, as Obamas ambassador to it.
The Illinois media is notoriously sycophantic to Dem liberals and I can just see Philsy Ponce doing a back-flip on Chicago Tonight and un-spooling the old reels of JFK, Bobby and Teddy while wiping glycerin tears away and the grimacing Joel Weisman and his trained seals on Chicago Weak in Review predicting a Return of the Dynasty. Speaking of trained seals last night Blondie presided over a typically balanced panel on Obamas first 100 days. Now can you guess who she had? The all-time Obama black cheerleader Laura Washington for whom a stray conservative thought would produce an aneurism Alan Gittelson of Loyola who frowned intellectually, pondered dramatically and announced that Obama is an all-time great Blondie herself asking slanted lefty questions and one token, a pretty good conservative talk show host named Guy Benson.
I remember when Dick Ogilvie who was as magnetic as a lead nail ran for sheriff, then president of the Cook county board and finally governor getting elected to all three. He came along at precisely the time when there were doubts about glad-handing pols. His slogan was the right man for a tough job. I envision Ron Gidwitz doing the same tough thing were he to get the Republican gubernatorial nomination. This time his second try he will have the benefit of an experienced team in management and mediasomething I thought he lacked last time.
If the Republicans were smart which is in itself doubtful they will slate Kirk for the Senate where he at least belongs even though hed lose my vote but might gain others Gidwitz for governor Brian Wesbury, the WSJs favorite economic columnist (who hit all the numbers on the button a few years ago on his predictions) for Lt. Governor, followed by John Tillman of the Illinois Policy Institute, a by-the-numbers libertarian, for comptroller, Dan Rutherford for treasurer, Jim Durkin for AG and Dr. Eric Wallace, a bright young black educator and writer for secretary of state.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Let Your Conscience be Your Guide? Another Philosophy Lecture from Tough Fr. Ernie and the Old Saint Johns.
Conscience, Contraception and Natural Law.
It is January 14, 1948 and we are back again in Philosophy with the walking, talking reincarnation of Saint Thomas Aquinas, aka Fr. Ernest Kilzer OSB, chairman of the philosophy department, known behind his back as tough old Ernie.
Fr. Ernest. Shut the door please. The caterwauling in the halls is detrimental to our conversation. Mr. Bede Hall, youthe garrulous one. Shut the door and then return to your seat and if you would, please, shut your mouth [laughter]. What did I say that was funny? [Laughter dies immediately]. Harrumph. [A clearing of the throat that was done to express professorial displeasure].
The question is raised on occasion: The Church says I must follow my conscience. Very wellbut what if my conscience runs contradictory to the Church? What are the things a man must do to ensure his conscience is not in error lets see, Mr. Roeser. You say what? WHAT? Yes: you must form it correctly. But how do I do that Mr. Orville Hesch? What? WHAT? Pray a lot! Wrong! You should pray but that is not requisite in this case. Mr. Cornelius Whalen. Yes, YES. You can pray all you wish, Mr. Orville Hesch but the first step to ensure conscience is not in error is to form ones conscience. Gentlemen, conscience is not infallible. Thomas says in Question 79 Parallel with the duty to obey conscience is to what? EDUCATE IT, gentlemen! EDUCATE IT! What do I mean by this?
If your car needs oil you must consider what oil to put into the car by what? I see no hands. CONSIDER THE MANUFACTURERS DIRECTIONS! Why is that so hard to understand, gentlemen? This means that to decide whether an action is moral or not you must consider the directions of your Manufacturer. The Manufacturer speaks to you through the what? Two things. Mr. Austin Sullivan. Yes, YES. First the Manufacturer speaks to us through the natural law and second what, Mr. lets see, Mr. Harry Arth. YES, through the teachings of His Church. So these are the first two things, consider the natural law and the teachings of His Church. The teachings are conveyed through the Magisterium. Churchmen may dispute, may divide but once the teachings are postulated through the Magisterium they are requisite for consideration since they cannot be in error. These two elements comprise ONE step to resolve a matter of conscience: natural law and the Magisterium.
The second step is what, Mr. Jacob Polta? YES. Follow your conscience if it is clear. Which means you follow your judgment on the rightness or wrongness of an act only if your judgment is clear and doubt-free. We are obliged to act on the dictates of a conscience that is certain. Now here is something that at first seems hard to understand. We must obey our conscience even through later it can be found to be objectively wrong. Will we be blamed if we follow our conscience only to discover later it is objectively wrong let us see, someone who has been dawdling over his notes and who in fact is not writing notes at all but drawing cartoons: Mr. Albert Francis!
Perhaps you have not been listening to us since you have been so intent on your drawing, Mr. Francis. Here I will show the class your drawing. It is of a football player! Now I ask you Albert Francis, will we be blamed if we follow our conscience only to discover later it is objectively wrong? You say WHAT? WRONG SIR! WRONG SIR! Now because you have been wrong, I shall tear up your cartoon and urge you to concentrate on the subject at hand [He rips up the cartoon].
You will be blamed for following a conscience that is objectively wrong because why? I see no hands. What is this: the rest of your dawdling with your thoughts as Mr. Francis has with his cartooning? The answer is depending on the gravity of the circumstance, you may be held accountable for failing to form your conscience properly. So you are not off the hook. I SAY YOU ARE NOT OFF THE HOOK.
Why is contraception against the Magisterium of the Church? Mr. Roeser. You answered the first question and let us see if you can answer this one. You say, what? Aha, Mr. Roeser is right as far as he goesthat contraception is wrong because it is against natural law. But Mr. Roeser has not been listening intently, has he class? [Nods of agreement]. But there is an important distinction: The Church does not teach natural law; she proclaims Christ. The Church is still the arbiter of the application of natural law to particular cases but the Magisterium, Mr. Roeser, I remonstrate with you to understand the Magisterium goes much father. It incorporates the natural law into Lex Christi, the law of Christ. Thus your answer is incomplete! Does this sound like hair-splitting? I assure you it is not.
But perhaps I have been too hard on Mr. Roeser. Essentially he is right except he did not carry it far enough. Natural law was formulated first by Aristotle and refined by Thomas. The Church taken it from there and has enshrined it as the law of Christ. Why is contraception against first natural law, Mr .lets see, Mr. Paul Mulready? Because why? Yes, because yes, essentially you have it because at the root of origin of every human person is a creative act of God thus it follows that the procreative power embodied in human sexuality is a cooperation with Gods creative power. And so it follows that men and women are not the ultimate arbiters but cooperators, participants in Gods creative decision. And when married couples decide through contraception to frustrate exercise of their sexuality, they claim a power belonging solely to Godthe power to decide the coming into existence of a human person.
Now lets see how good you are at applying both the natural law and what the Church does which is to proclaim Christ. Mr., lets see, Mr. Donald Cascalinda how you describe the difference between contraception and abortion? Mr. Cascalinda, because you are thinking so ponderously is that the reason you do not rise? Ah, he rises! Mr. Cascalinda. You say---what? WHAT? That is not the answer I seek, Mr. Cascalinda. The two are in a sense inseparable. What is the common distinction? Class! Mr. Hesch. You say what? WHAT? Yes, of course, excellent, Mr. Hesch. Contraception is the PREVENTION of human life; abortion is the TAKING of human life and both come from a common cause. The contraceptive wish is hedonistic utilizing worldly pleasure and success as the primary goal of life. Of course the TAKING of human life is the greater evil but both are mortal sins the one involving murder and the other involving the personal sin of selfishness, pleasure acquisition but the contraceptive ethic you see prepares the ground for permissive abortion which, although illegal in this country, is practiced primarily among the rich.
Another test for this class. What is the judgment from both natural law and Church teaching on pornography? Aha, we have Mr. Cascalinda wishing to redeem himself. What is the distinction, Mr. Cascalinda? EXCELLENT! Pornography is the separation of sex from life and the reduction of sex to self-gratification. As is masturbation.
Our civil society as you have begun to realize is starting down the road to decadence. But when did all this begin to change? It began with the human condition, of course, as old as the ages but in modern history when did it begin lets see, Mr. Roeser: we will let you redeem yourself for not answering completely, Mr. Roeser. When did it begin? Yes, YES. The Enlightenment, roughly from 1650 to 1800. It does not represent just one strand of thinking of course but a philosophy that man must seize the archaic elements of tradition and overcome them that man must be free from authority to think on his ownand this is the important point: TO USE ONLY HIS OWN REASON.
These are the fallacies that stem from the misnamed Enlightenment: Thus truth is no longer an objective dictum. The idea of good as good is beyond mans grasp. You see then that conscience becomes subjective and subjective conscience is the source of our troubles, gentlemen the seeds of which even exist in our own founding where reliance on John Locke led founders to embrace natural law but a law which is shaped by majorities. So long as the old style dominated in this country, Lockes misguided principle worked but once our legal authorities recognized that Locke felt what is intrinsically good is what the majority believe, we ran into trouble. Until next time, gentlemen.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Personal Asides: A Thought While Shaving Social Conservatives Forgotten Thus Far as GOP Finance Leaders Build State Ticket.
This Thought While Shaving.
Small wonder the Tribune is monetarily bankrupt given its proclivity to sell liberalism, backpedaling from its tradition which makes it intellectually out of pocket as well. With the currently bankrupt Sun-Times, the general trend of big metropolitan dailies, the major newsmagazines, the broadcast networks: who needs yet another liberal house organ? Youd think the Tribune would try out of desperation, anyhow to be something different. But no: its liberal board of directors, its know nothing little Lucifer motorcyclist owner, its viscerally left-leaning editorial board are rooted in liberal cliché-dom. Heres what the nebulous one offered readers yesterday, Sunday, on its editorial spread.
Two columns trumpet under different bylines the papers weak intellectual bleating on lefty social issues. One is an academic travesty by a so-called legal scholar, Geoffrey Stone of the University of Chicago law school. It says that the Illinois legislature will soon act on the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. He says that since religious people largely oppose the legislation, religious doctrine cannot be the source of our law. Pardon me? Under what rock did this ignoramus Stone crawl out of? And how do students taking his constitutional course get their tuition back?
The concept of a law higher than the state was antedates our founders, is not a Catholic creation, but developed with Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine and Aquinas coursing down through the principal articulator of English common law, Sir Edward Coke, who described the law of nature as that which God at the time of creation of the nature of man infused in his heart for his preservation and direction, and this is `lex aeterna, the moral law called also the law of nature. And by this law were the people of God governed before the law was written by Moses who was the first reporter or writer of law in the world. Blackstones Commentaries first published in 1765 affirms the supremacy of the law of nature, insisting no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.
From there it took root in the Declaration of Independence and the Revolution itself, the writings of James Otis in The Right of the British Colonies and by John Locke who wrote The common good of the people in the Supreme law of nature given to the human race by the only monarch in the Universe Who alone has a clear and indisputable right to absolute power because He is the only one who is omniscient as well as omnipotent. What Stone has done is to short-circuit the entirety of jurisprudential law and focus instead on recent pronouncements of jurists of one general liberal species.
And of course the mal-educated Tribune Op Ed staff, run by a black woman feminist-liberationist whose background consists of editing the newspapers cookbook, publishes Stones truncated history ala fiction. The scholarship is so faulty, of course, that the paper itself is highly problematic as a newspaper of record. It is in fact a liberal propaganda sheet indistinguishable in most respects from the daily insult to intelligence, dinged up in elegiac liberal tones, the New York Times.
The second article of propaganda vs. scholarship appearing yesterday was written by the papers lefty rights libertine posing as a faux libertarian, Stephen Chapman who is in reality a programmed liberal who makes his living misleading readers that he stands for freedom and liberty when he does the opposite. He says the founders would have endorsed the right of states to pass same-sex marriage as part of federalism the doctrine that states themselves can decide, as an argument for same-sex marriage. Any study of what the founders believed negates that proposition. Jefferson, usually cited as the most liberal of the founders on deism and Enlightenment reliance on reason alone, not faith, specifically ordered as president the use of the national capitol for religious services on Sunday.
The fundamental concept behind the 1st amendment was that states can pursue the concept of established religion if they so choose. In fact the Congregational Church was the official church and religion of Massachusetts until 1833. Does Chapman support this as well, since established religion for the states is verifiable under constitutional law? Likely not. The entire Tribune editorial board would vociferously deny that right, citing as pretext Jeffersons wall of separation phrase which was written not in a federal document at all but in a private letter.
Social Conservatives Out of Luck So Far.
Illinois GOP leaders are doing what they have a right almost a duty to do to raise money in great gobsdouble digit millionsto be used in behalf of a unified state ticket. The only problem is that they have, thus far, ignored the most potent element of conservatism and Republicanism: grassroots social traditionalists based on the evangelical and conservative Catholic communities. Country-clubbers, these men are eagerly awaiting a decision to be made by Rep. Mark Kirk whether or not to run for governor.
If Kirk decides and gets the partys all-but-official nod, the party can kiss goodbye any hope that social conservatives will support Kirk. I divide Republican moderates as either pro-choice or pro-abort. Kirk has made no bones about the fact that he is a hard-left pro-abort. He supports not only abortion on demand but has spoken against the Born Alive bill which guarantees nutrition, comfort and medical care to babies born alive from botched abortions which puts him squarely in Barack Obamas pro-abortion camp. He supports partial birth abortion, public funding for abortion, total ban on parental consent and use of embryonic stem cells for experimentation. In short, where Jim Edgar could have been called pro-choice (he opposed partial birth abortion), Kirk is hard-line all the way.
It might be ameliorated if Kirk were to run for the U. S. Senate but as governor and leader of the party in Illinois, he would assuredly shut down any remaining pro-life dissent and would be a variant of Big Jimbo Thompson on the issue.
Some social conservatives have supported the gubernatorial candidacy of Ron Gidwitz knowing he is pro-choice, but understanding that his pro-choice view pertains to his opposition to a federal amendment banning abortion. On other aspects, public funding of abortion, Gidwitz would be libertarianmeaning that he would not espouse public monies used for the purpose. On gay rights he would not endorse special rights for homosexuals believing that like all our rights, theirs is contained as individuals in the 14th amendment. Gidwitz is not perfect on life issues but could be the basis for a coalition of supporters who see him as a very practical alternative. There is enough libertarian in him on the abortion issue to keep the states hands off the issue.
His pro-choice opposition to a federal amendment is not necessarily a threat since all realists understand the securing of a constitutional amendment banning abortion is by no means imminent. Gidwitzs tough-minded policy wonk decisiveness would warrant on reflection support from social conservatives who would recognize the importance of building a coalition to achieve victory. The Gidwitz familys own heavy financial support of Henry Hyde gives added luster to his credentials and in my last conversation with Henrynot long before his deathHenry expressed fervent gratitude for Ron Gidwitzs help as well as his confidence that Gidwitz would make an outstanding governor.
My knowledge of Ron Gidwitz having known him for years, having interviewed him intensively on the radio, leads me to vouchsafe that I could easily even enthusiastically support his candidacy for governor. To the skeptics who say yes you support him because he contributed to your project, The Chicago Daily Observer, I say: listen, if you think Im for sale or rent, so be it but his financial support has in no way been determinative in the long run and John Powers and I have given more to the project. So drop the cynicism. Those who think I echo those who pay the piper dont remember when I disagreed with my longtime mentor Bob Stuart who paid me a good salary on the presidency and other thingsnotably life issues. Stuart backed John Connally in 1980 and I backed Ronald Reagan. Ask Bob Stuart, former ambassador to Norway, who is a hearty 93 years old and see if its not true. Also if its not true that he and I would debate the pro-life issue strenuously during the 27 years I was in his employ. As hes a great man, he tolerated then and does today healthy dissent. Case closed.
To my mind, a case could be made for Kirk running for the U. S. Senate and Gidwitz for governor. Unfortunately it appears that those who are planning a double-digit state campaign budget are not so inclined. Another possibility would be the former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, Bob Thomas for governor.
Thomas is a deeply committed evangelical pro-lifer. I dont see any great support for him either among the financial powers. They should be warned against thinking Bill Brady is the answer. All I can say is there is much to him which is faux. And much which can come out.
Evidently the powers that be think it would be a great sop if they were to back a pro-lifer well down the ticket a Dan Rutherford for state treasurer. To them I say the role of state treasurer has nothing to do whatsoever with social conservatism. If they think slating State Rep. Jim Durkin for state AG would help, it wont. Durkin is a pro-lifer in mien but is not known for either the intensity of his feeling or his association in any meaningful way with the movement.
The good news seems to be that the business types are on to Judy Baar Topinka who wants to run for her old post of state treasurer. Two reasons why she ought to be cut adrift and allowed to make do for herself without a massive influx of party funds. One, her complicity as state GOP chairman to cause Peter Fitzgerald to abandon any plan he had for reelection because she was cozy with anti-Fitzgerald-ites George Ryan and Speaker Dennis Hastert. On my radio show heard for 100,000 she steadfastly refused to endorse him which she has shamelessly lied about ever since despite the fact that tens of thousands heard her.
Second: while running for governor she showed an idiosyncratic tendency to market herself as a flip, vulgar comedienne for the gossip columns example: owner of a late pooch who, she says with her back-alley humor, peed in 100 countries. Her self-marketing as an attempted comedienne is based on her need to divert attention from her lamentable failure to master the fiscal issues notwithstanding her long service in the legislature and state treasurer. She is counting on her strident anti-conservatism to woo friends in the media. I could not vote for her and wrote in Stufflebeam. She has told a friend of mine that by her estimation in my writing and radio broadcasts I cost her 16,000 votes. Good. I hope so. As governor she would have shut down any conservatism, would have given us a tax increase, social permissiveness and the spectacle of her riding in gay rights parades and prattling about her doggy going wee-wee in numberless foreign countries. Gee, if I cost her the job Ill take that Upstairs when I go as a recommendation.
At this writing no one has heard from Kirk about his plans. But this is just to say to the partys financial leaders who are planning that double-digit budget: it will all go to waste and be lost in the election of Lisa Madigan (likely to be the Dem gubernatorial nominee) if you dont consider conservative grassroots people in the gubernatorial selection. Madigan is a veritable pinwheel of grassroots movement support: pro-aborts, feminists, labor, gay rights. You name a nice little guy with a cute button nose and smile but no grassroots and youll once again have to relearn what you should have learned when you nominated Judy Baar Topinka: a Republican nominee for governor with no grassroots conservative support cant make it.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Personal Aside: Obamas Narcissistic Dont Blame Me for What Happened When I was Three Months Old!
At the outset, one doesnt know how to adjudge a president of the United States neglecting to defend his country on a foreign tripshrugging off a chance to defend three predecessors including John Kennedy. Thats because this is a presidency we have never seen beforebecause he is a jumble of inconclusive responses to political stimuli, devoid of philosophy, as imponderable as a kaleidoscope with its varying patterns every time it is shaken.
At the root is narcissism but also more than that. Barack Obamas still largely unexamined (by the media) personal background presages deeper analysis. His is not a family tree but a bramble bush of inconclusive parentage devoid of familial or parental stability which explains his unfeeling inability to even feign patriotism or loyalty when what is supposed to be his country is under attack by foreign enemies. Answer: it is not his country; he knows no loyalty to anyone by himself. He is a multi-layered ideological non-citizen of any country: an anomaly of confusion even to himself.
He went to Europe and told the Frenchthe Frenchthat America has shown arrogance and has been dismissive, even derisive toward Europea criticism of his immediate predecessor. When in Prague he said America has a moral responsibility to embrace nuclear arms control because after all we dropped the atomic bomb, a slur at Harry S. Truman. When Nicaraguas president Daniel C. Ortega spent 55 minutes ripping the U. S. as a fascist, anti-humane power he smilingly said,Im grateful President Ortega didnt blame me for things that happened when I was three months oldreferring to the climactic test with USSR-sponsored Cuba, supposedly a shining hour of the Kennedy years. Shove off JFK: your travail has nothing to do with me. You see, I was only a baby! To our enemies he says hate the U. S. but love me!
How did this imponderable species of man happen?
Born in an even as yet undefined chaotic non-family structure, in a location alleged to be Hawaii but with certification that is not accepted as valid by the state under suspicion he was in fact born in Kenya and protected from examination by a media that adjudges all queries as racist because if the probe were followed along reasonable paths his qualifications for president could be seriously challenged sired (purportedly) by a black alcoholic father who abandoned the family twice, born to a white atheist mother who skipped out at least once leaving him with her parents he has been floating all his life in a disparate non-family structure that involving scores of nondescript half-brothers, half-sisters, quarter-siblings and step-siblings in flotsam-jetsam fashion (grand aunts and half-brothers living in shacks in Africa turn up all the time) thus who can blame him for showing no fealty to his supposed land of birth? How can one expect him to be loyal to any country when in fact he never belonged to any except when he was a young hustler on the make in Chicago?
One can blame him for having no visible patriotism, nor loyalty to the system including two of his Democratic forebearsbut can also understand his vacuity. By the very chaotic system of his upbringing he is a genealogical cipher, glossed over with a veneer that makes him smooth, evasive, tentative, harder to pin down than it is to nail a pudding to a wall. To him theres a moral equivalence between the United States and its enemies. He says he supports the ideal of American exceptionalism the same way the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks in Greek exceptionalism. Which means he doesnt buy it. Of course he doesnt. The only exceptionalism he buys is imbued, he assumes, in himself.
The important thing to Obama the child of non-familial chaos is his own popularity, heedless of the fact that by shaking hands with Ortega and Hugo Chavez he has strengthened both in their anti-Americanism. So what? What is that to him? Hes not involved with America.
Indeed what is truth to this value-free relativist who doesnt care if babies born from botched abortions are left to struggle in pain, left without nutrition or comfort, left to die saying all this is above my pay grade. ? What does it mean to him? He is a glossy, faculty-lounge sophisticate who picked up Gentlemens Quarterly manners with no enduring values, no moral code, no patriotism, no loyalty to anything but to the constantly shifting scenes of his own self-interest.
And because America has always been gullible to liberal political confidence men like him, we deserve what we have.
Were so dumb we dont even realize it yet. But we will; we will. Will we ever.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Personal Aside: A Thought While Shaving--Pat Quinn the Hitchhiker. Whats So Hard About Admitting a Mistake?
Those of us who worked for Richard Nixon never had trouble acknowledging the character defects, the shriveled personality, the obsequious Uriah Heap nature of this character. As a matter of fact, Ive benefited from being fired by him its risen higher on my resume as the years go by. Despite being canned at age 41 with four kids to support, I landed a job at the Peace Corps and worked my way back to my old corporate joba sadder but wiser man. I can still say, on reflection, that Nixon for all his lying, performed nobly at foreign policy and was indispensable in enabling this country to make a positive turn in the Cold War: crafting an agreement with China which took advantage of the Sino-Soviet split. In fact at my new job in the Peace Corps, as its number 3, I was a foreign service officer who took advantage of it to learn a good deal about international relations.
No, its not hard saying I worked for Nixon n an urban program he advocated in the 1968 campaign that turned out to be bogus since it involved lying and misrepresentation on his part. Im sorry I was so dumb I believed him and quit a good private sector job to do it: discovering too late that the entire act was a masterpiece of duplicity on his part. So I confess, I was hoodwinked but looking back on it now, I think the experience in working for he who later on became known as the Burglar-in-Chief was salutary.
Ive known others who make no bones about having been conned. I was both conned and canned by the same guy. One of my best friends at the time I was fired was John Sears, an original Nixon strategist, who was fired by John Mitchell the same day I was cut loose by Maurice Stans. We had lunch together in celebration that day and for a time every year wed get together to memorialize our firing. John went on to run the Reagan campaign for president in 1976 which nearly toppled incumbent president Gerald Ford and to run the Reagan campaign once more for part of 1980 until he was fired againthis time in mid-campaign by Reagan. Other than being falsely identified as Deep Throat (which he decidedly was not) hes made out pretty well as a prosperous international lawyer.
Those of us who worked for Nixon can share the same laugh. Bob Dole who was not just a Kansas senator but also chairman of the Republican National Committee laughs that the Watergate break-in happened on his day off. Dole admits he was conned and then canned as well. He went on to become the partys 1996 presidential nominee: not too shabby.
Why, then, is Pat Quinn he of the supposedly incorruptible mien afraid to apologize for his earlier support of Rod Blagojevich as an honest man? Ill tell you why. Because theres more to it. Quinn actually has more to apologize for than faulty judgment. He benefited politically from his association with Blago. As a half member of the ticket from 2003 to 2009 he didnt have to raise money for himself at all as a candidate for lieutenant governorbut was given a free ride on the corrupt fund-raising that his boss engaged in. Quinn wouldnt be where he is today without Blago. As a relatively junior player in the Democratic hierarchy he couldnt hardly blow his nose in the fund-raising department. He bludgeoned his way onto the ticket and kept his mouth shut at the mouth nefarious goings-on in the first campaign but worse, in the second campaign where he again free-loaded himself.
Sure he broke with Blago when it became untenablebut never enough to resign: the largesse and the cushiony funding for a job he could never have done by himself were irresistible. The same goes for Mike Madigan who endorsed Blago twice, for Richard M. Daley who endorsed him twice and for Lisa Madigan. But at least at least they werent parasitically sucking nourishment out of Blago the way Quinn was as his lieutenant governor.
Quinns sanctimoniousness is hard to take. The thought of him having benefited from Blago but not having the manhood to at the very least apologize for riding along as a hitchhiker with Blago makes Quinn a repugnant creature to me. A moocher who sucks up at High Table and then when his benefactor gets tossed and Quinn benefits doesnt have the manhood to at least apologize for the fact that (a) he was either taken or (b) knew how crooked Blago was all along and decided to ride the gravy train for his own personal aggrandizement.
Hes only a slight second-tier to Blago so far as Im concern. Pat Quinn the Moralist. Pat Quinn with hypocritical eyes upraised to heaven as the reformer. Pat Quinn the hustler who got the amendment passed to the state constitution that changed the 3-member district concept under the rubric that fewer representatives would save the state money. Not only didnt it do it, it insulated the Top Four and made everyone else mushrooms in the dark and covered with manure so that Illinois got worse representation than it had before.
Honest Pat Quinn.
I know why he cant apologize. It would lead to too many questions about his errant opportunism questions that would be asked when he runs again as the craven political weasel he is. A political bloodsucker, sucking the nourishment out of a host body and then raising his eyes to heaven in righteousness.
He makes me sick.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
2 Thoughts While Shaving: Miss USA Contest Shows What Rahm Knows. No Cuts. No Razor Burn. No One Left on Base.
1. Miss USA Contest.
The gay lobby raving queen division is overreacting by assailing not just a tenet of Christianity but Jesus Christ. Perez Hilton, a raving homosexual queen who makes no bones about appearing as a synthesis of anti-Judeo Christian evil, turned thumbs down on a contestant for Miss USA because she announced her support of marriage between a man and a woman. Hilton punished her for her views by marking her grade zero which lost the contest for Carrie Prejean, Miss Californiaan errant act for which Miss Universe must be held responsible. Later he tore into Prejean in a YouTube video he made after the contest calling her in truly hysterical queen aberrant talk a b---h and worse, describing her in a disgracefully obscene term referring to a scatological mention of female anatomy. He drew a pornographic cartoon of Prejean.
This follows the behavior of another, flagrant, fragrant media crown prince, a CNN anchor who communicated obscenely via code to gay radicals concerning his hatred of the tea-party anti-tax concept.
While the concept of hate crimes is a liberal creation, Hilton has undeniably made the concept acceptable by his gutter behavior.
Finally this demented blogging circus clown who has posed nude to expose his genitalia while wearing a crimson wig, attacked Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christianity, by saying he demands a Miss USA winner be politically savvy and because Prejean is a Christian hePerez Hiltondoesnt want her talking about Jesus-Jesus-Jesus because thats offensive.
The litany of disgust continues with Keith Lewis, executive director of Miss CA USA writing that he is personally saddened and hurt that Miss CA USA 2009 believes marriage rights being only to a man and a woman. Although I believe all religions should be able to ordain what unions they see fit, I do not believe our government should be able to discriminate against anyone. Religious beliefs have no place in politics of the CA USA family.
Another rooter against Prejean and in favor of gay marriage was celebrity Miley Cyrus the Hannah Montana star who wrote in a Twitter Ya, thats lame. Gods greatest commandment is to love. And judging is not loving [sic]. Thats why Christians have such a bad rep. Also supporting Hilton was Britney Spearsno surprise. Both celebrity poodles should feel the sting in their pocketbooks.
To my mind, the dustup is a very good thing. It spotlights the insatiable madness of the extreme gay rights movement that has just acted in a thoroughly disreputable, obscene and anti-religious way. It shows that we are engaged in not just a battle of abstruse moral philosophy but a duel e that will end either by abrogating religious and human rights or validating them. I cheer the fact that the time is coming when those of us who support Christian morals will be discriminated against as was Miss California for expressing our views. It should bring our resolve to win this culture war front and center.
What Prejean should do is take advantage of her right for legal redress. She was discriminated against by the pageant for espousing her beliefs which is a clear violation of Title VII which prohibits discrimination based on religion. The suit should be entered against the Miss Universe organization and Miss USA for allowing a sick, perverted semi-animal like Perez Hilton to be a judge, knowing full well that he lives for controversy and is nourished by it. An Hispanic woman who won the Miss California USA contest last year and whose crown was taken away shortly thereafter sued the group on basis of race discriminationsued for $500,000 before receiving a settlement. That should be de rigeur for this case because the evidence of religious hatred is visible and at hand.
And what Christians of all denominations should do is treat Miley Cyrus and other anti-religious bigots where they feel it mostin the pocketbook. In no way should Hannah Montana be regarded as a model of teen-aged girlhood but what she isan articulate instrument of the decadent raving queen lobby in Hollywood. A consumer boycott action should continue against Campbell Soup um, um good indeed which pledges more gay ads and promotes two Mommy families and should scout out the position of other elements of corporate America including Pepsi.
2. Shows You What Rahm Knows.
It was just the other day on the tube with his good colleague and ideological partner George Stephanopoulos with whom he shared battle plans during the Clinton years and with whom he continues as fellow liberal that Rahm Emanuel from the exalted vantage-point of chief of staff to the president assured the nation that George W. Bushs people will not be prosecuted by the Obama-maniacs because they defended the country against terrorist attacks. That shows what Emanuel knows: nothing. Yesterday his boss, His Silken Suavity who without teleprompter goes um-um-um announced that he would let his Justice Department do its will: a disgraceful decision but one in line with all others that is bound to unleash a tsunami backlash which will do in Barack Obama by the next congressional election.
It is instructive to know when, if ever, he will challenge his left-wing base which has been calling for the heads of all those who protected America from its enemies. All in all, it has been a terrific week for those who want to see the Obama-mania discredited: bowing low to the king of Saudi Arabia, grinning with Hugo Chavez, listening to Daniel Ortega blister the country but shrugging it off because he didnt talk about me the ultimate narcissist and now his horror at our going tough on those who want to overthrow the country. Why should he carehes not an American anyhow.
In alla satisfying week for the move to take back the country. I never believed things would go all this well. I had worried that the Obama-maniacs would behave in liberal but orthodox fashion. That they have raced to the left with such ferocity is not a bad omen for change, beginning in 2010.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
After he sat listening to a 52-minute tirade about America the Fascist Imperialist tyranny, a droll Barack Obama told the media that the rant by Nicaraguas Daniel C. Ortega wasnt about me. No, it wasnt. It was about America which evidently didnt concern the narcissistic U. S. president since it involved John F. Kennedy, not he. And it did not occur to him to defend America since he himself wasnt named: thus the narcissism. Also the lack of patriotism.
Criticism about Obama back here has centered on his spinelessness and unwillingness to defend his country from attack. Yes, thats part of it. But a bigger part is the absolute obsession of this young man with himselfin contrast to concern about the country. This could be expected from one who has caused the press guilty over charges of racism to evade its own responsibility for checking facts on presidential candidatesnotably the one that his late paternal grandmother made declaring she was present when he was born in what is now Kenya also checking the recording supposedly of the grandmother making the admission which has been publicly available and about which two men have submitted affidavits attesting to its authenticity, which have not been answered by Team Obama.
Increasingly, Obama is becoming unmasked as a moral cipher as well as genealogical fraud although at this stage the major media have been too defensive to consider. All the while Obamas insouciance at the Summit of the Americas at Port-of-Spain in Trinidad and Tobago has been the object of growing concern in this country.
Drawing more attention than his defensive statement it wasnt about me concerning Ortegas attack was Obamas acceptance of a handshake and a book from arch-U.S. hater Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who has openly denounced U.S. foreign policies, has called President Bush the devil, and has sought to organize the region to oppose this country. He gave Obama a book which, if ever found to be readable, is a heavily anti-American tract. Obama, gecko-like in affable response, shook his hand and the two seemed cordial in the photographspictures which Chavez rushed to put on his website.
Obama has already done a great deal to re-write American foreign policy saying he would like to renew negotiations with the Castro brothers. When reminded what he had said on the same subject in 2004, the slippery U.S. president said: Hmmm. Well, 2004: that just seems eons ago. What was I doing in 2004? Always about himself. He was running for the Senate.
The best thing about the Obama experience to-date is that he is providing a great deal of material very early on that will make him a one-termer and able to be listed slightly under the worst president in modern timesJimmy Carter.
Monday, April 20, 2009
The Kept Press.
Its clear that the media want desperately to defeat Todd Stroger with Forrest Claypool in order to prevent what they regard as a great tragedythe likelihood that new Republican Paul Vallas will knock him off in the general. These are the same media types who fail with one notable exception to pin culpability for inventing the monster Blago where it belongson the twin Doctors Frankenstein Richard M. Daley and Mike Madigan working with their wacko assistant, Lurch aka Dick Mell. Madigan admitted that the worst Democrat is to be preferred to the best Republican. Media do not find that view necessarily wrong. Like him, media with one notable exception do not want Republicans to win or ti govern anything. Governance should be owned by the Democrats.
Democrat Blago was the worst governor of modern times but the two Doctors Frankenstein continued to support their monster even in the tough times better him bankrupting the state and violating the law than have him defeated by a (gasp!) Republican. Media save for one important exception hold the Twins blameless because media believe government belongs in Democratic hands. Thus there is no onus attributed by media to (a) Pat Quinn having run as a partner and beneficiary to Blago and now raising his eyes to heaven as the sainted successor (b) Daley and Madigan having supported Blago for reelection and (c) Lisa Madigan having signed on to reelect Blago in 2006. Mediawith one notable exception-- regard all this as natural and not blameworthy because there not to do so would help Republicans.
Media with one notable exception believe Democratic corruption is preferable to Republican governance. For proof: look around at the coverage. Do media blame Democratic leaders Daley and Madigan for Blago? Nope. (In 2006, my position was that any Republican would be preferable to Blago except Topinka who would swiftly destroy the party and make it impossible to support a view counter to liberalism so long as she held sway a view I still hold, by the way). Refusing even to consider liberal governance run by a Republican, media held their nose and preferred Blago. See: they are not at all different than Daley and Madigan in their support of one party politics! Thus they did not raise a finger to help Topinka because they are as committed to the Democrats as are Daley and Madigan.
On the county board presidency run last time, media supported the Toddler for election because they could not abide thinking that the county board presidency be controlled by a Republican, Tony Peraica. In this they agreed with their favorites Claypool and Mike Quigley: they favored The Toddler. Now with the Cook county board presidency, media are eager to see Forrest Claypool defeat the Toddler because were Toddler to be nominated, chances are improving that he would be defeated by Republican Vallas. That possibility media cannot abide. With the U. S. Senate, media are eager to see Roland Burris knocked off in the primary by Alexi Giannoulis or anyone so that a Republican doesnt win.
There is one major exception to this generality on the media, of course one columnistthe best of them all-- who sees the stakes clearly but he is not held highly in favor by the general run-of-the-mill down-the-line-Democratic-no-matter-what media.
This is a sea change with the media since the time I have been around roughly sixty of my eighty years in or very close to journalism .in two states. Things have changed in both states, I find. In my time working media have always been liberal (largely) but willing to support liberal Republicans on occasion to achieve liberal ends. Who? The governor whose campaign I ran in Minnesotamore progressive than his opponent. Rockefeller in New York, Lindsay in New York. Percy in Illinois. Ogilvie in Illinois because he had big statist intentions. Bernie Carey for states attorney repeatedly. Jack OMalley pretty consistently.
You dont find cases like that today at all here ever. Nada. I dont mean editorial endorsements which these days carry very little weight. I mean among the working press. Give you a couple of examples. Old line political columnists, John Dreiske of the Sun-Times and Charlie Cleveland of the Daily News had their liberal Republican favorites. Tagge of the Tribune had his friendship with Old Man Daley. Trohan of the Tribunes Washington bureau knew Jim Farley.
Those days are over. Nowadays the door to media approval is shut to any Republican hopeful, no matter how liberal, no matter how reformist. Media prefer their reform Democratic and wink understandably when reformers bow to the inevitable, the most corrupt party in the nation. Thats because media today are one party. Why? It began about 15 years ago and was sealed with the Obama victory last year. But even beyond that, because of the massive growth of liberalism in the journalistic profession, the view is just like the one Mike Madigan darkly hinted: the worst, most corrupt, rottenest Democrat is to be preferred to the best Republican.
Increasingly, the result is that with one powerful exception political journalists here are not convincing anyone. Who can possibly think Carol Marin is the equalor even a third of the worthof the late Steve Neal? Who cares what she thinks anyhow? Or Mary Schmich? Or Eric Zorn? Who can remember any Republican Marin supported? I can think of quite a few Neal supported. Who can think that anyone at the Tribune with one powerful exception is equal to the weight of a Neil Mehler or a Dick Ciccone? Not to even mention a George Tagge. Who can think that anyone on the boob tube today has the authenticity of a Len OConnor? Who can think that anyone of the cardboard persona at WTTW-TV whats his name: Ponte, Ponce,Ponce? are as influential as John Callaway? Who can imagine that Lynn Sweet as knowledgeable as she is about Democratic politics gives a good damn rap about Republicans? Probably the only one extant of any bipartisan analytical flavor is Steve Huntley but hes a relic of the old journalistic past.
The older political journalists were all liberals but at least could be seen to favor a few Republicans. Not this group with one powerful exception. They are bleating sheep following the Democratic ram horn and constitute the least effective era for journalism in modern U.S. history.
The tea parties are a case in question. Not only did the two papers here shove it aside, I now find something that in my lamentable 80 year old innocence I did not perceive. Take one major cable network. Its top anchor is noted for insisting his personal life be private. No intrusion into his personal habits. All well and good. But he doesnt leave things that way. In blasting the anti-tax tea-parties the other day, he couldnt resist sending a message by code to the gay community that only it understood. Thus he wants it two ways: one to be regarded as a private person two to be regarded by his supposed fellows as an advocate: the Silver Fox. So what we have here is a war not just for one party and strident liberalismbut a war to change the 2000-year-old culture: obvious by the language he used which after I had it interpreted I see him as an active combatant.
Hell lose, though. His network is not just out of the running: its fourth, running behind even an auxiliary it had created. Conservatives and Republicans have learned how to win without his ilk or other so-called major journalist big-footed ones.
And I dont mean to leave this fight until we win. So Im taking out a good many multi-year magazine renewals. So sorry laddies.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Personal Aside: Still No Thoughts While Shavingbut These While Eating My Quaker Oat Bran for Breakfast.
1. Tribunes Coverage of Tax Revolt?
The bankrupt Chicago Tribune had zip coverage of the tea party in this town which shows you that it is all but immobilized in a mausoleum. So very much interested in gay marriage, so very much engrossed in the trendy issuesgreeneries so very much, to look at the dour but pompous Bruce Dold on Chicago Weak in Review, worried about what will happen to Rep. Jesse Jackson by the feds. Do you believe this concern in the Tower? Do you wonder why the paper is fading so fast? Its completely, utterly out-of-touch with average Chicagoans.
2. Another Job for Cardinal Turcotte.
Yesterday I suggested a job in the Vatican library basement for Montreals Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte who criticized a Brazil prelate for excommunicating those Catholics involved in procuring an abortion for a child and killing as sacrifice her unborn twins Turcotte saying that after all, hes against abortion but allowing her to have the children would be unseemly.
That job has now been taken, I am informed. A lower level job, suited for Turcotte, whose Italian is not very good anyhow, is in the lower reaches of the Vatican post-office. The Vatican post office recently announced that due to a printing error, 100,000 rolls of Vatican City stamps were turned out without mucilage which means that somebody with a brush and dab should go over them and apply the requisite amount of paste. That would be excellent for Turcotte who has also said that he thinks its inhumane for AIDS victims not to have access to condoms so that they can continue to have intercourse without fear of spreading the diseaseall in the name of broadmindedness, you see.
How was Turcott appointed? Despite his sanctity and obvious enrollment in future beatification, John Paul II was known for absent-mindedly thumbing through the stack of prospective bishops sent from across the world and initialing his support at random. Which shows that even incipient saints are not perfect. Certainly not with this appointment.
3. Obama the Religious Fudger.
It turns out Barack Obama never said that the U. S. is not a Christian nation but in his typical weasel-worded way the United States is a little bit Christian, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Hows that for our firm upstanding young Kenyan-born usurper whose supporters in the media have bludgeoned any study of his dubious origins?
And now Georgetown University the so-called Jesuit university, obligingly took down the HIS designation, Latin initials standing for Jesus Christ, in order to accommodate Husseins Paleolithic misconception of separation of Church and state.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
1. CNNs Objection to Tea Party.
For those of you whove seen it, CNNs coverage of the Chicago anti-tax tea party downtown was intended to be similar to all the other elites reaction to conservative movements: disdainful. Usually they allow this to show by the reporters supercilious uplifted eyebrow, looking around to find an opponent in this case the very willing Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and summarizing with a summary statement that can be taken as dismissive winding up with a lefty meaningful dramatic pause. The CNN correspondent here was Susan Roesqen (close enough to my own surname to cause me to lift MY eyebrow). She was interviewing a dissenter and making the point against the, to her, tacky demonstration in her oblique, arched way when she let fire with a salvo that all this was a staging by the ultra-right-wing Fox News anyhow. Another reason why CNN is dragging its tail in the cable ratings.
Back in New York, anchor Anderson Cooper, Gloria Vanderbilts pampered son, went into a feline tizzy with a sour demeanor as if someone slipped a lemon into his fruit-bowl mélange complaining that it is very difficult to get a sage commentary with all the skuzzy tea-bag revolutionaries about. Poor dear.
2. Another Recruit for the Vatican Librarys Dewey Decimal System Brigade.
The Church needs many more men to work in the bowels of the Vatican Library inscribing volumes with Dewey Decimal System identifications. My nomination when the next opening occurs is the eminent Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte of Montreal who just finished contradicting the teachings of the Church on abortion. One reason could be that hes been wearing a mitre too small for him and which is too tight, constricting the vessels leading to the brain.
Turcotte said, Personally I am against murder but can understand that sometimes when someone is being attacked, they need to kill someone in self-defense. I am against abortion but I can understand that in certain cases there is almost no other choice than to practice it.
Really? The case involves those who participated in the abortion of a nine-year-old Brazilian girls twins by Brazilian Archbishop Cardoso of Recife. The girl was raped but her young age makes it mandatory to the um so-called mind of Cardinal Turcotte that innocent life be taken. No compassion or outward evangelization of the unfortunate girl, her parents and the performers of this murder fazed Turcotte.
Turcotte has been mentioned in the past as a possible candidate for Pope. Let us pray the Holy Spirit has other plans for him. My suggestion is the Vatican library basement.
3. The Topinka Self-Publicity Campaign Proceeds.
Oh dear, Judy is thinking of running either for state treasurer again or comptroller. Frankly, my dear, I dont give a damnjust stop polluting the papers with your self-aggrandizing publicity about the loss of your little dog who she told Steinberg peed in 100 countries.
See what I mean by low rent?
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
1. Obama Knows No Shame.
President Obama sends his two kids to a cushy private school, Sarah Siddons, rather than rely on a substandard public school in Washington but to placate the powerful teachers unions he is standing by and looking the other way as Congress is ready to pull the plug on vouchers for kindergarten through 12th grade. A provision in the $410 billion spending bill that passed the Senate on Tuesday says no more funds will be appropriated for the program after the 2009-10 school year unless Congress reauthorizes it and the District of Columbia council approves it. Arne Duncan that GQ fashion type who differed from Paul Vallas in Chicago by caving to the teachers unions and who now runs the U.S. Department of Education, shrugs and says that theres nothing he can do.
Nothing? I thought he was the secretary of education! Heres a major case in point where Obamas campaign promises which gained wide support in bucks from the teachers unions have to be redeemed on the backs of improvident school children. Not a single Democrat not a single one has spoken up for the voucher program. Least of all, fat boy hustler Dickie Durbin whose little heart goes pitty-pat when he thinks of more PAC gifts he can garner for himself and his friends. Screw the poor: we weep for them but let `em send their kids to substandard public schools while we send ours to Sarah Siddons.
2. Cross-Dressing: the Tribs Gay Advocacy Passing as News.
The soft media push for advocacy of civil unions and gay marriage has begun in the bankrupt Tribune which has a supple string in place of backbone leading to the business office. The other day there was a wonderful historic piece from Iowa showing how Iowa has been ahead of the curve in many things and now once again is leading the way on same-sex marriage. Just a friendly bit of unsolicited lobbying from a newspaper that has demonstrated even though its willing to sell out its principles, nobody is buying because of its crass opportunism. Yesterday came another one two GQ-style male couples sitting together in their home as the sun streams in their suburban windows and their adopted little son plays at their knees.
3. Danny Davis Tunes Up with the Soul Sisters Choir.
Davis: Mr. Studio Engineer, hear me! Ahm goin to start the song and the Soul Sistersll harmonize behind. Then ride the gain with their completion of the song while ah give the commercial. Were goin to be walkin talkin and rockin so lets try to make it in one take. The Soul Sisters will start hummin behind.
Engineer on microphone: Ready when you are, Mr. Davis.
Davis: Let me get the first note on the pitch pipe. Hmmmmm. Okay.
Davis sings with perfect bass intonation: Deres an ol man called de Mississippi/ Dats the ol man that ahd like to be. [Gestures and chorus becomes dominant].
This is Danny Davis. You know this song. It portrays a sad character whos susceptible to the forces of his world. Well, ahm ready to run for the Senate but Roland Burris that ol man has to get outta there and not run. As the song goes, ah gits weary/ An sick of tryin/ Not tired of livin/ Not skeered of dyin. Let`im cut ties to the white man boss and lets have a real black man in the Senate once more. Put the heat on Burris, willye?
Engineer: Its a take. HereIll play it back!
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
1. Roger Simon.
Roger Simon is a journeyman liberal who has been around forever. He is chief political columnist for Politico. Now he has a column in the Sun-Times. But what caught my eye the other day was the choked up emotionalism Simon says he felt watching Sen. Ted Kennedy throw out the first ball at the Boston Red Sox opener. The old guy who is battling brain cancer throwing out the first ballsob, sob, Roger cant stand it!
If thats hard to take, Roger, how about conjuring up the young woman starved for oxygen in a car overturned in a deep channel near Chappaquiddick island? There was no report of the accident since the driver, Ted Kennedy, didnt want to be tagged with it. He had been with another girl and the two of them were Irish drunk, not recognizing that Mary Jo Kopechne was asleep in the back seat.
The two of them swam out and when they discovered Mary Jo was in the back seat, Kennedy still neglected to report the accident since he didnt want to be tagged with driving a car with a girl trapped in it and he not having done anything to save her. So he let it hang, didnt tell anyone. When the diver finally came in response to someone reporting the car in the pond, the diver said that if he had been called earlier he might have saved the girl. She evidently had lived for quite a while, he said, since she, starved for oxygen, had crawled up to the front seat to gasp the last oxygen available in a bubble.
Yeah, watching that old senior citizen Kennedy tossing out the first ball was a real gripper, Roger. Can you imagine a national political correspondent still failing to comprehend the moral consequences of that infamous episode? And that these are the people who are determining the content of our news?
2. Walter Trohan.
Walter Trohan for anyone whos been in Chicago as long as I have, is a name that will be imperishable in the annals of journalism.
Before he died at the great age of 100 with all his mental faculties crystal clear, I had a chance to meet him. He was the longtime Washington political editor of the Tribune from the earliest days of the FDR administration through the last bleak days of the Nixon era. Incidentally, in his Chicago days he was the first reporter to come on to the scattered bodies of the Saint Valentines Massacre in 1929 at the SMC Cartage, 2122 N. Clark in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.
The other day I was perusing his Oral History which is locked up at the Harry Truman Library in Independence and has never been printed. Trohan told me some of what is contained in that Oral History. He said that when Truman came to Washington as a senator, he was still in hock for paying off the bills when his haberdasher store went bust in Independence. He and Mrs. Truman never had any great store of money and he was still in difficult financial straits when he became president. He would conduct a series of White House poker games to which there was a great line of people waiting to play for an intimate view of the president. But Truman was very choosy who played with him. Sen. Burton K. Wheeler (D-Montana) who was a very good poker player wanted to play but Truman, his friend, cautioned him away. Burt, you cant afford it.
He was right. Trohan didnt have the money to play either but once in a while theyd allow him to kibitz. As the bourbon flowed and the cigar smoke rose, the conversation all off the record was full of stories for an enterprising reporter. Everything was off the record of course but the tips for stories that were about to break were worth everything.
Then Trohan found out why Truman had told Wheeler why he couldnt afford to play. Those who played were brokers, rich men, rich senators, rich lobbyists. At the end of the evening, Truman toted up what they owed him and gave his players bills. Then and only then did Truman put a fixed price on each chip. He didnt win all the time but he won enough at huge stakes that when the checks flowed, his debt on the haberdasher store started to evaporate.
People who contributed found themselves named to the federal bench, one to the Federal Reserve. It was a lovely way for Truman to eradicate his debts, have fun with the boys and also entertain a newsman like Trohan with delicious news tips. So those of us who are ready to faint because Jesse Jackson, Jr. might have consorted with some Indians to raise dough for Blago to get himself named to the Senate should recall the evil old days under a man who is purported to have been on of the best presidents we ever had.
Monday, April 13, 2009
1: Rich Millers Engrossing Interview with Mike Madigan.
Rich Miller conducted a very interesting and historic to my mind 2005 interview with Speaker Madigan which he has just recycled. The take on the interview is mine, not hisbut it answers at least one very important question that has bothered me about recent Illinois political history.
The question is why the Democratic leaders did not run a primary challenger against Rod Blagojevich after his disastrous first term but instead the two Madigans and Rich Daley signed on as leaders of his reelection.
Madigan answers this by saying he was involved in a Democratic putsch one and it ushered in 20 years of Democratic rule. He said anything is preferable to a Republican ugh!...winning the governorship. Hes referring to Gov. Dan Walker who was a thorn in Old Man Daleys side. Madigan was then Daleys point man in the House. They ran Mike Howlett against Walker and beat him. But Jim Thompson won the governorship which started, in Madigans eyes, 26 years of terrible regime of Republican rule. He says he learned that lesson. So from that lesson, it is safe to say that Madigan concludes the worst possible Democratic governor should not be challenged in a primary because as bad as he is a thief, liar, a prospective seller of a Senate seat to the highest bidder it is better he survive rather than to challenge him in a primary and run the risk of electing a gasp!... Republican. Electing corrupt Democrats are better than non-corrupt Republicans.
With this in mind, it is stunning that the Republicans have been carrying the cross for electing George Ryan and no Democrats have apparently paid the price for sitting still when Blago rifled the state. The media, of course, shamelessly pro-Democratic, are partially responsible for this. Two points:
First, Walker was a egocentric showboat but not a rotten governor in the league of Blago. He went to jail for crimes he committed after his governorship, not during it.
Second, what never came up is whats best for the people of Illinois. The worst you could say about Dan Walker was that he was a demagogue (his going to jail came later and was unrelated to his governorship) who based much of his career opposing Old Man Daley. There is no doubt that Walker was a media showboat but also an honorable man as governor. Whereas the contrast with Blago is as night and day. The years we spent under Blago, the attrition and build-up of debt, the laughingstock this state has become all of that is preferable to taking a risk of dumping him in a primary because horrors a Republican might win!
Madigans view is as unalloyed as the old Irish Democratic and as benighted as that of my Irish immigrant great-grand-uncle, a hod carrier with no education who reflected the bitter immigrant-based Democratic fealty that Republicans are eeeevil. It is the ultra-partisanship that Finley Peter Dunne satirized in Mr. Dooley. I thought all this time Mr. Dooley was a relic. Not so. I had always suspected that lurking within Madigan was a relatively sophisticated politician. Not so. Whats lurking inside Mike Madigan a tightly wound-up little man who eats his lunch of an apple every day at Noon is the same bigoted, immigrant Irish soul of my immigrant great-grand uncle the illiterate hod carrier.
And to have it come publicly from the Speaker of the House is stunning. Believe me I have known partisans in my time in both parties but no one with the obvious spoken unconcern for the well-being of government as Madigan has shown in the interview. His view apparently carried among other leaders of the Democratic partyDaley who signed on for Blagos reelection, Lisa Madigan who also signed on and Pat Quinn who once again, not sickened by Blago, volunteered to run with him. They were all a pack of co-conspirators in refusing to tackle Blago frontally, refusing to encourage a primary opponent to him. And now to see them benefit as the so-called reformers of the system touted as such by the supine Illinois press is disgraceful. That photo of Pat Quinn gripping the olive-skinned Lisa by her slender shoulders and she unable to manage even an unconvincing smile shows the frozen-visaged die-hard view of her stepfather.
If one were to carry this further, it would mean that Madigan will oppose his step-daughter running against Pat Quinn lest a dreaded Republican win in the general . But here Madigan, Sr., ruled by one example that occurred in 1976, may not be able to call all the shots. The one who does want Lisa to run in 2010 is her natural motherShirley. If shes only normal, shes like to have a depth that exceeds her husbands shanty Irish Democratic chauvinism circa 1896 which would come to the fore if she only thought about issues for a short time as a human being.
2. Notre Dames New Law School Dean.
Notre Dame has hired a new law dean and to no ones surprise he had maxed out to Barack Obama in the last campaign. Again letters will flow to the hapless Fr. John Jenkins but it is imperative for people to understand that Jenkins and all modern university presidents are mere ornaments with little if any say in how the universities are run. Jenkins job is to assuage the contributors, massage the alumni, go after the bucks from potential donors. The university runs on liberal auto-pilot.
All this began at the infamous Land `o Lakes Conference of Catholic educators in 1967 led by then Notre Dame President Fr. Theodore Hesburgh who said that Catholic education should be severed from control by the Church in the spirit of so-called free inquirybut which did several things that decimated Catholic education starting the ball rolling to giving faculties hiring control which means that the religious orders had no say anymore in the theology or philosophy departments ridding the boards of trustees of people who had religious convictions, getting them replaced by ignorant George Babbitt-like fat cats and secular pols launching the drive toward all colleges seeking prestige which means the embracing and hiring of sometimes bitterly anti-Catholic professors. Hesburgh did the job so thoroughly that conceivably there is no way to change the scope of the universities. Good job, Father Ted.
Hesburgh is now blind and deaf at the age of 92. He is not and never was great a relativist and political player glowing in his role as a liberal celebrity. He has a lot of reflecting to do on a lifetime that replete with academic honors did more harm to the concept of Catholic education than anything Henry VIII achieved by raking the coals for dissenting believers of the Catholic faith at Oxford or Cambridge. What Notre Dame is now what DePaul and Loyola, Georgetown and the others are now is a legacy to him.
3. The Conscience Clause.
Just as the FOCA bill died a good death in the state House and repealing the conscience clause with it, the issue is front and center nationally. For one thing, President Obama has not decided officially as of yet to repeal the conscience clause. And what is it? It is the same clause that was contained in the Illinois statute but is a proposed federal regulation which would force physicians and care providers from exercising the option to use their conscience on issues of human reproduction i.e. abortion.
Yes, there are laws on the books that date back to the 1970s which cover doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who do not want to participate in abortions although to be sure, a federal regulation is always looked upon as the superseding one. The Left is hotly for rescinding it; the Right is for retaining it. But as Charles Krauthammer has suggested, suppose a pill was developed that reversed homosexuality. There would be pharmacists who could say I refuse to prescribe it because it is a chosen way of life, not a disease. The Left would be for the conscience clause in that case and the Right against it. Abortion is still the most toxic issue in the United States.