Monday, August 31, 2009

Personal Asides: The Prematurely Orange-Haired Lefty …Obama’s Deservedly Short Honeymoon…The Hispanic Lag Behind Whites.


Comparing Fawell to Rove.

When you get right down to it, there is nobody in Chicago journalism more disgusting than the one-woman monopoly (Sun-Times, WTTW-TV, Channel 5) Carol Marin, the prematurely orange-haired far-Left creature who is back from vacation having slurred the National Rifle Association with a false charge.

Yesterday her Sun-Times column discussed her WTTW-TV interview with Scott Fawell, the convicted aide to the jailed ex-Gov. George Ryan—and she described Fawell, who spent three years in jail having been convicted for racketeering and mail-fraud charges, as Ryan’s Karl Rove. She could have said Obama’s Rahm Emanuel but she didn’t. She is literally so twisted Left she can’t lay straight in bed.

How long are we to suffer with this dirty tricks-playing, thumb-in-the-eye far-Left-wing parody of a journalist? The fact that part of her pay at `TTW is done with taxpayers’ money is disgusting. Or “viewers like you” as the promotion goes…which I hope does not include anyone of intelligence who reads this.

Down for the Count.

I’ve never seen a shorter presidential honeymoon enjoyed by…nor an administration which has bollixed things up more than… Barack Obama’s. Which means that unless he can turn things around pronto, Obama will not just be a one-term president but an utter one-term failure like Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter.

His health care initiative has terrified not just conservatives but elderly of all political views who fear their care will be rationed and given to new recipients. And having heard of scary Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm’s brother, they worry that the aged…as for example someone 80-plus who needs a hip replacement…will be disqualified before a federal health panel rather than a 22-year-old HIV positive felonious slack-jawed gang banger with a drug problem.

Obama has been contradicted in his estimate of the health care cost by the Democratic-controlled House Budget office. Last week his budget people admitted their March prediction of deficits 10 years out was off by almost $3 trillion. Nor has the administration in response along with its liberal media Enablers been astute: demonizing angry people showing up at the Town Halls as Nazis. (Here in this state, pantingly liberal U. S. Senator Catholic pro-abort Dick Durbin has said he does not want to contaminate his reading of the electorate by holding Town Halls.)

Exactly fifteen years ago, Bill Clinton was in generally the same position, stuck with a disastrous health care bill. Clinton, an opportunist but not a liberal ideologue, smoothly switched gears, turned to the right and changed the subject. Advocating deregulation and welfare reform along with the Defense of Marriage Act, addressing the 1996 State of the Union with the statement “the era of Big Government is over,” he saved his presidency. Can Obama do this?

Nope. Strangely for a man who advocated “hope and change,” change from this disastrous posture is not in him. His press secretary said as much the other day that people can abandon all hope that he’ll switch: that he is prepared to spend only one term in the White House, sticking it out to the last if his wishes are not fulfilled. Obama’s views are as old as Marx’s. Assuming all wealth is distributed by the government rather than through individual creativity and ingenuity, he sees economic life as a violent struggle of each against all for one’s “fair share.” Believing that capitalists have seized too much of the nation’s resources, he advocates programs of retribution (excessive regulation) and redistribution (“spreading the wealth around,” as he told Joe the Plumber). His is a zero-sum economy, which has always been and will continue to be the chief cause of poverty.

None is so blind as he who will not see. Nothing is more deleterious to the poor than redirecting resources from entrepreneurs who know how to enlarge them to government which knows only how to spend politically. But Obama is a creature of the Left—as are most of the mainstream media. If government were the superior investors, the USSR would have built prosperity rather than catastrophe. What Obama believes shorn of its veneer is in a deep and all-encompassing Marxism that is hostile to the wealth-producing sector of the country. This is slowly dawning on the electorate—in many places but not the big name university faculty lounges including those with Catholic names.

Add to this, cap and trade, huge deficits, the overseas excursions by Obama where he apologizes for America’s past presidents and the congressional lions who wanted two multi-billion aircraft of their own for junkets…a 1,000-page “stimulus bill” nobody has read in full including, by his own admission, the president…the wailing that illegal aliens can’t scrape together $300 a month to pay for health care when it’s common knowledge they send that amount back to relatives in Tijuana…the whining that mid-20s youth are not covered when we know the average kid prefers an I-pod, Blackberry and nights out to saving his cash each month for health insurance?

Change is coming via the ballot box but the question is: will there be enough time? Any other president caught in a bind like this would concentrate on the debt, would freeze spending at, say, 2% per annum. Barack Obama is not the man to do this. A Third World creature by inclination if not by birth, he has surrounded himself with two prime Mayor Daley prodigies, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel.

Axelrod is neck-deep in conflict of interest, his old firm paying him his final settlement in large part from business generated from his present political job. Emanuel is the guy who first suggested that the $787 billion “stimulus” fund be given to Nancy Pelosi for her to decorate with as many superfluous spending programs as she desires; moreover he is the one who suggested Obama not design a health care bill but allow the Congress to craft one by itself: hence even the president can’t compute what it would cost.

They encourage Obama on with his class warfare, deriding those who make over $150,000. His anti-rich crusade is all the more ironic for his life-style, including the places he vacations in—the people who join him in festing while he lives at resorts costing $15,000 a day.

Punishing Those Who Protect the U. S.

As if the fiscal wreck of the United States is not enough, with ample proof to show that tough action against captured terrorists here served up a veritable rolodex of names enabling us to prevent future attacks on our shores, we find…astoundingly…that the Obama administration is determined to wreak vengeance on the very agency that protects us: the CIA. And this is one of the most curious spectacles in American history.

Every other president, good and bad, has exerted the power to control his administration. Not Obama. He has said publicly that he wishes the country to look forward, not backward, and not punish men in past administrations on spurious charges of “torturing” captured terrorists. He is the man who was elected: Barack Obama. But now we get his Attorney General, Eric Holder, whom no one elected who is ready to go ahead contrary to Obama’s supposed wishes to examine and punish those who participated in water-boarding of some of the CIA’s high value detainees.

What is the reason for this duplicity—the spectacle of a president who says we will not punish CIA experts and an attorney general who says we will? It is a high-level game of Good Cop/Bad Cop taken from the style of the Daley administration here in Chicago. Obama wants full well to prosecute and persecute those who prevented recurrence of terrorism for one reason alone. Why?

The same animus that propelled Captain Ahab in Herman Melville’s great novel of 1851 and which has become an American classic, Moby Dick. Ahab was a sea captain who was injured in an earlier encounter with an old, large sperm whale known to all whalers as “Moby Dick.” In a tussle with it, it turned over Ahab’s boat as he poised with a harpoon and caught in the undertow, Ahab lost a leg. Now, perched on a peg leg, Ahab told his crew he was out for revenge against the whale—snow white, with mottled hump.

It is clear to most people in Washington who the reincarnation of Moby Dick is that spurs Obama’s obsession. It is Dick Cheney, the vice president who pushed the CIA to use its maximum resources to extract enough information to prevent further attacks on our shores. So while Obama adroitly protects himself by saying he would prefer to live in the present than the past, he says his attorney general should be “fully independent” from the White House.

Thus he has full faith in Holder to make the decision on whether to reopen the cases with an eye toward possible criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution will mean to the CIA, FBI and entire national security apparatus that in the future no one who values his reputation will do more than cursory lip-service to apprehend or interrogate terrorist prisoners. The Obama administration has ruled that from now on terrorists will be interrogated by FBI personnel, unschooled in the knack of getting them to talk as has been CIA experts. The media don’t care and so most of America doesn’t know this.

Does Obama have any recognition of the danger he is putting this country in by pursuing such an irresponsible course? Of course. His own CIA Director, Leon Panetta, has resorted to a shouting match and has threatened to resign. It doesn’t concern Obama. He is…as I have said many times earlier…essentially a Third Worlder, aloof from any of the climactic struggles that embraced the U. S. against fascism and terror.

Do Axelrod and Emanuel have any recognition?

They are Jewish and should understand from the days of the Holocaust the danger of Rahm’s brother Dr. Ezekiel fooling around with plans that set subtle but nonetheless precedent-setting priorities on the value of human life, putting a mark of Cain on those who are elderly or, as Ezekiel has said, “demented.” Why don’t they understand? Because they are not conspicuously religious Jews—but concerned with power and the wish to reelect their man, no matter what it takes.

Thus my view is that the good news is that America is at last…and maybe for all time…being awakened to the challenge of radical liberalism, truly called in its current state, a mental disorder. That’s the good news. The question is: do we have time? Time to elect a Congress in 2010 that can strengthen the opposition to this radical liberalism? Time to elect a new president in 2012 who will drastically change this course? I think there is. But the danger is great: particularly with our national security with which Obama is tinkering via Attorney General Holder and our economic strength—a condition that despite an administration projection of deficits that was off by nearly $3 trillion, he wants to superimpose a massive health care program atop it.

In short, until we can act, now’s the time to pray. And hard.

The Hispanic Lag.

A prevailing myth circulating here and in the country says that the millions of immigrant Hispanics—legal and illegal-- will follow the same trend as the Irish, Italians and Poles: their children and grandchildren will go on an upward trajectory with at minimum three generations to convert just-off-the boat entry-level greenhorns into cosmopolitan Americans.

But, unfortunately, that’s not so according to latest population studies as reported by Jason Richwine, a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “If we were to discover that, say, Slovenian Americans did not assimilate over several generations there would be little cause for alarm,” Richwine writes in The National Review. “There are simply too few…to change our society in a meaningful way. Hispanics, on the other hand, have risen from 4% to 15% of the American population since 1970.” And the Census Bureau predicts roughly 30% of the nation will be Hispanic by 2050.

Why aren’t more Hispanics developing a solid middle class as did other ethnic groups? Hard to figure at first. Children of Hispanic immigrants are much better educated than their parents; yet three-plus generations later, making allowances for some exceptions, their average earning power is on par with the second generation with about the same earning power as the second (definitely not like other immigrant groups) and well below whites. And there’s stalled non-improvement between the second and third generation of Hispanics. What gives?

Your standard liberal-lefties will use the same tired old refrain: white racism, substandard schools, labor market discrimination, housing segregation. But all these things were present in abundance as other immigrants progressed upward. One symptom comes from the Pew Hispanic Center Survey (2002) which shows a high total—46%--identify not as American but as Hispanic and Latino, showing an “apartness” and resistance to joining a unifying national culture. This prompts conservatives to argue that government-sponsored multiculturalism and politicized groups ala La Raza, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and the Hispanic Lobbyists Association spur apartness.

In this town we have a Latino demagogue equal to the Rev. Jesse Jackson with the blacks: Democratic Cong. Luis Gutierrez, born in Puerto Rico, a Catholic pro-abort, endowed with an in-your-face style, who is the boss of the Hispanic-majority district created in 1992 and chairman of the House Hispanic Caucus, author of a bill to allow illegal immigrants who have been in the U. S. six years to apply for “conditional non-immigrant status.” He says, “we are tired of going to church on Sunday and seeing that the person who sat next to us during Mass the week before has disappeared—which was saluted by the lefty editorial boards in town. (Earlier, Gutierrez called himself a Protestant so it would be instructive to ask him what Mass he goes to).

Gutierrez stirs up a feeling of bitterness and apartness not just in his congressional district which is just west of the Loop where the Chicago river splits into North and South branches penetrating the old neighborhoods where new arrivals, fresh off the boat, first got their start in Chicago. Now these neighborhoods are arrival ports again: on the South Side is the city’s Mexican community; on the South Side are many Puerto Ricans. In the 1990s the city’s Hispanic population increased from 545,000 to 754,000, the largest Latino concentration north of Texas and Florida and between the two coasts…just slightly less than the 1.1 million blacks. The city’s population is just 30% Hispanic which with a number of Spanish-speaking radio stations has become a major political force.

The bitterness is particularly true of Mexicans. Mexicans three generations out earn a significantly lower income than white Americans. Richwine argues that a major step should be taken to improve the quality of immigration flow: Canada assigns points to those seeking to immigrate. Holding a graduate degree gets five times as many points as holding a high school diploma. Good old egalitarian United States doesn’t do that. “While it is important that spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens be allowed to immigrate, our present policy extends well beyond the nuclear family. U. S. citizens can sponsor their parents and children with them and their adult brothers and sisters who may also bring their own spouses and children with them.” So far so good.

But these new green-card holders can then acquire citizenship and bring in their own extended families—continuing the cycle. “This is `chain migration’ and it causes the number of unskilled immigrants in the U. S. to increase swiftly.” This is one reason why “the grandchildren of today’s Hispanic immigrants will lag far behind the grandchildren of today’s white natives.”

As one who a few years ago spent lots of my free time teaching Latino kids and adults the rudiments of English at The Port, a fine Catholic social service agency and Erie Neighborhood House, an equally good non-sectarian settlement house (established in 1870 in the settlement house tradition similar to Hull House launched by Chicago Nobel peace prize-winner Jane Addams), I have a theory of my own.

Non-family structure has begun to paralyze the Hispanic community almost on a par with the blacks. While marriage and family is promoted at The Port, it is unmentioned at Erie and largely ignored at Catholic Charities which worries that by expressing moral views it may lose its valued federal subsidies… and certainly is not preached from the Catholic pulpit to any degree. The reason again is timidity and political correctness: It is believed that to stress the need for marriage instead of the usual federal goodies is to insult the Hispanic community.

Fear and the usual litany of liberal correctness stem from this Chicago archdiocese which often behaves as indeed it is: an unofficial wholly owned subsidiary of the liberal Democratic party and which, when challenged, lapses into the habit of parsing-parsing-parsing instead of embracing change.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Personal Aside: Holder’s Search and Destroy Mission Against the CIA While Obama Smirks in the Wings.


I may well have been the first to say this…but I will say it again: my concern is that for the first time in U.S. history we have elected a president who is not a patriot.

The sly, deceptive strategy that will, if allowed to continue, undermine the CIA and unhorse it from its hitherto successful protection of the United States against terrorism is really something to behold. It bears all the slick earmarks of David Axelrod. President Obama is shown on television saying that he wishes there be no probe of the past—that he would prefer to look forward. Then his Attorney General Eric Holder says that he will probe the CIA anyhow—followed by Obama’s shrug and declaration that he would not interfere.
Worry about the deficit, the piling on top of a 9 trillion dollar debt further huge expenditures of Obama’s health care if you will—but this attempt to wreck the CIA smacks of a flippant disregard for U. S. safety by one who embodies Third World attitudes…someone slick and in league with the fawning mainstream media which take at face value whatever it is he wants.

The signs are clear showing the immediate danger to our safety from terrorists. Many CIA officials are stunned by Holder’s decision to launch a probe…by a selective declassification of documents that describe the acts at issue…the CIA’s decision not to rebut a 2004 CIA inspector general report that criticizes the agency regarding interrogations, the decision to have future interrogations undertaken not by the CIA but the FBI under close supervision of the White House.
The weakening of the CIA which is pleasurable to the Left shows that at bottom the interest of the Obama administration appears to be the steady weakening of our defenses. This stealth act lays bare the responsibility of the president whose first job is to protect the peace and liberty of the people of the United States. My question is: Do we have an Attorney General gone berserk here—or do we have one whose actions are sanctioned entirely by the president? The nearest historical allusion would have to be the search-and-destroy action of Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer during World War I while Woodrow Wilson looked the other way—a search-and-destroy effort that triggered a reign of terror against political dissidents to Wilson. The current Eric Holder action has all the appearances of a search-and-destroy action against our own defenses,..with a purposeful intent to render us weak to our enemies and powerless to apprehend terrorists.
If tragedy happens because of the weakening of our defenses, let everyone know: it is impeachable. The Congress must halt this reckless search-and-destroy before it succeeds in laying us naked to our enemies. The time is fast ending when we can give Barack Obama credit for good intentions. My guess is that he does not have good intentions in mind for the United States. Therefore it is time for the Republicans in Congress to move—do whatever they can—to interrupt this search-and-destroy.
I have already said that I do not believe Barack Obama is a patriot. Whether he is on our side or not is undetermined. But before tragedy happens, we must call on members of Congress of both parties that take action to halt this Holder wrecking crew. He has earlier called us a nation of cowards.

We must prove to him that we are not. And the first thing to do is to interfere with what appears to be a calculated, alien attempt to destroy our safety.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Personal Aside: The Liberal Establishment Tries to Dignify Ted Kennedy to Match His Brothers—But It’s a Lost Cause.


The liberal establishment…rooted in the Ivy Leagues and confirmed in the mass media…are trying to give Ted Kennedy a send-off that will make him imperishable in history as it supposes his brothers will continue to be, with headlines like “The Last Lion” and “A Torch Extinguished”—but it’s a lost cause in the long sweep, with John, Robert and with Ted. Sooner or later America will understand what has been published often by courageous journalists but not digested by the foppish lefty romantics: that the entire Kennedy dynasty from Old Joe to the mediocrities in this current generation is fabricated out of a desire to create a bogus royal family to justify liberaldom and statism while ignoring generations of womanizing, alcoholism, debauchery, cynicism and decadence, nothing less.

I’ll give the liberals that the family will indeed be long remembered in history…but when the gloss wears off, it will be recalled by disillusioned Americans as not unlike the Catholic Borgias, the Valencian-Italian noble family prominent during the Renaissance…Cesare, Lucrezia, Giovanni and Juan Castellar.., remembered today for corruption including adultery, simony, theft, rape incest and murder by poison (of the litter one indeed become a saint, Francis: to whom I nominate the late long suffering Rose who had to put up with her husband’s and boys’ wicked follies).

One of the Borgias was elected Pope, Rodrigo, an outrageous conniver and pervert who became Alexander VI, about whom the late Robert Novak mused that the Catholic church must indeed be divine to have survived evil personages among which Rodrigo was principal. (Indeed it must be as well as to survive a litany of spineless prelates today who got their miters by murmuring lefty sentiments in a post-Vatican II era of modernistic nihilism, notably Roger the Lodger, L. A.’s Cardinal Mahony whose prattling praise of Teddy you heard yesterday and whose commissioning of a hugely over-priced cathedral where he occupies the central throne was designed to hide his shameless under-the-rug dealings with pedophiles in his diocese).

It’s notable that the séances on TV about Ted ignored his criminal guilt in allowing an innocent girl to die in his mother’s car turned upside down in a pond where it landed due to his frivolous debauchery while he cringed from bringing the accident to the attention of the police in order to save his political career—a signal event of callousness unrivaled in U. S. political history.

The story of the so-called Kennedy Dynasty starts with Old Joe [1888-1969] who gained a fortune through stock market, commodity investing, real estate acquisition and wanton bootlegging which involved importation of alcohol into the U. S. during prohibition after he and James Roosevelt, FDR’s son, traveled to Scotland to buy distribution rights for Scotch whiskey. The stock brokerage business gave him expertise in dealing with the unregulated market of the day which under today’s rubric would convict him to insider trading and market manipulation. He made millions in the Libby-Owens-Ford stock pool, an arrangement that allowed Kennedy and his colleagues to use scarcity of LOF stock to drive up the value of his holdings and utilizing inside information and lack of public knowledge to reward himself.

This and his political dexterity with FDR to enable his company to become exclusive American agent for Gordon’s Gin and Dewar’s Scotch in 1933 before prohibition ended and led him to invest in the Hollywood film industry, garnering huge profits from merging several acquisitions into Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO) Studios made him one of the richest men in the world. His work in Hollywood gave him extensive experience on the casting couch where he became a heavy-breathing bespectacled billionaire middle-aged predator to any starlet who took to his fancy—while at the same time he gave huge sums to the Boston archdiocese, corrupting it, importuning it to turn a blind eye to his scandalous behavior and enabling him to cavort as a leading Catholic layman. But he mainly settled down with an inamorata, Gloria Swanson to whom he became business manager…once traveling to Europe on an ocean liner with Swanson ensconced in one suite and Kennedy and his wife in another…the deal being that Kennedy could make rapid nocturnal visits to be with Swanson.

Lecherous Old Joe instructed his sons to the ways of the adulterous world and was responsible for all of them living lives of scandal and debauchery while buying off favors from a conniving and subservient clergy. He was not that way with his daughters allowing Rose, his patient and un-canonized saint of a wife, to instruct them in chastity. He wanted much for his sons, especially the presidency.

As is well known, after his oldest son Joe, Jr. was lost in World War II, Old Joe took the spindly, often ill John and manufactured him into a politician…although John would have preferred to be a journalist. When Old Joe got the ambassadorship to Britain (a disastrous appointment by FDR given Kennedy’s Irish-distilled hatred of the English), he pushed, prodded and kicked John to travel the continent…which John did in a convertible loaded with his friends. Then Old Joe alienated everyone in Britain by saying that it didn’t have the will to win the war with Hitler…and likely the U. S. wouldn’t have the guts, either—so he was recalled. John went to Harvard and wrote his senior thesis on the Munich debacle between Neville Chamberlain and Hitler. But Old Joe wasn’t about to let it serve as an ordinary thesis. He paid his old pal Arthur Krock, the renowned Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, to add a lot of flourishes and research. Unsurprisingly, John graduated magna cum laude and Old Joe had his kid’s ghost-written thesis published as a book, “Why England Slept.”

More Later on the Kennedy Dynastic Fraud.

I’ll continue this exposition on the dynastic Kennedy fraud some other time. Now as a parting salute to Randy Old Ted, I’ll relate my own dealing with him—in 1977 when I had been spectacularly unsuccessful landing a Kennedy fellowship at Harvard’s Kennedy Institute of Politics. I was 47 and a veep of Quaker Oats and wanted to get the fellowship which would be the first time a business lobbyist ever got a fellowship in that prestigious institute. Having come off a stint as a liberal with the Commerce Department, I thought I could sew up the appointment by getting several liberal sponsors: so I got Newton Minow, JFK’s old FCC chairman; UN ambassador Andrew Young, about whom I produced a film documentary on his congressional race which was financed by Quaker and aired on NBC; then Rep. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) It wasn’t enough.

Disgusted, I visited with the assistant executive director of the Kennedy Institute of Politics who was Doris Kearns Goodwin, a Ph.D who was preparing her first book of reminiscences during his close internship with Lyndon Johnson. I had tried twice before to get a fellowship and she signaled that I was about to be turned down a third time. I asked her why. She said the Institute was not about to name as a fellow a corporate lobbyist. I asked why not in the name of God? Corporate lobbyists have been prevalent in U. S. politics since the nation’s founding. But she didn’t have much of an answer, being a lefty herself who was deeply suspicious of corporate lobbyists who were Republican.

“Look,” she said, tiring of my importuning. “The final say-so comes from the Senator [Sen. Ted Kennedy]. If you want to, you can see him when he stops in here next Wednesday but don’t think necessarily that’ll get you in.”

I flew back to Cambridge Tuesday night, got a room and met Kennedy at about 10 a.m. Wednesday. He was unimpressed until I told him that while I was waiting to join Quaker as an executive, I was set up to travel with Sen. Everett Dirksen on his listening tour throughout Illinois in 1964. Kennedy perked up his ears because Dirksen was a good friend of JFK when both were in the Senate and helped John Kennedy inestimably after Kennedy got to the White House.

I wish I could say that my depth and breadth of government got me the fellowship but it didn’t. It was a by-chance mention of one of Dirksen’s prime scatological expostulations. I told Teddy that Dirksen used to refer to people he thought were stupid…including Victor Smith the then GOP state chairman… as being “dumb as dogshit.” I said I had never before imagined how dog excrement could be used to explain one’s lack of intellectual acuity but nevertheless it seemed illustrative.

Ted Kennedy exploded with laughter and laughed so hard I thought he would never stop. He then said:

“You know—both my brothers used that expression and I always wondered where they got it! It must have been from Old Ev! I’ll be damned.”

He wiped the tears of laughter from his eyes and said, “Okay, you’re in. Tell Doris you’re in. That story did it.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Personal Aside: The Dick—Let’s Get Him to Defend Holder’s CIA Probe!


[Note: This column neglected to credit Blithe Spirit, the blog written by a good friend, Jim Bowman, for the details concerning Rep. Danny Davis who held a Town Hall at Malcolm X College the other day. The quotes Davis made are from Bowman’s story. I regret the omission.]

The Senate’s majority whip, the pantingly liberal Dick Durbin…aka The Dick (who in this column will carry the same appellation as Donald Trump’s The Donald)…has been out of the line of fire recently—which suits him just fine. The last time he expressed himself was to rule out his participation at Town Hall meetings because the Nazis (i.e. those who oppose Obama’s health initiative were in control. He escaped editorial criticism on that stand. The papers like The Dick because in fair liberal weather he is always available for a close-up. In fact, the papers have really surrendered their so-called objectivity on him. They cover for him regularly and don’t chase him for a quote when they know it would not serve his career well to expostulate.

Now The Dick is either on vacation or back in his Washington sancto sanctorum…but it would be good to hear what he has to say about the anomaly that is occurring on the CIA front. Leon Panetta has reportedly tossed a bitch-kitty of a tantrum and has threatened to resign: no word of that in the current papers and no comment from The Dick. Barack Obama has taken a most unusual step…probably the most elusive one in the history of the presidency. He has actually said that he prefers not to rustle up sleeping dogs on the CIA water-boarding issue because it might interfere with future anti-terrorism efforts…but--. But he has allowed his attorney general to do what he wishes, and if “Eric the Red” Holder wants to probe the CIA it’s entirely up to him!

Brother, those who said Calvin Coolidge was a weak president ought to reflect on this one. Obama is the man elected president but he will not raise a finger to direct his attorney general. It’s a classic Good Cop/Bad Cop strategy: and of course the local media are letting him get away with it. It would be fun to see how The Dick defends this, how The Dick sanctions steps that may well jeopardize the security of the United States. But of course as The Dick has ruled out Town Halls, no one from the media will bother him and get him on the record. That’s so lovely: how thoughtful of this lip-synch Chicago media!

The Dick is thus off the hook and is free from speculation on one of the most tempestuous issues facing the country—just because he has decided to shut down his public appearances. And the complaisant Chicago media allow him to do it. So thoughtful! But even though he has made himself unavailable for questioning, where are the media now? Carol Marin who could be counted upon to weep circa `60s tears for the poor, rights-deprived terrorists who were captured trying to blow our heads off, is on vacation until the heat blows over following her bombastic and egregious false charge that the NRA has throttled the Center for Disease Control from releasing the free flow of information on kid shootings.

Where is Mike Flannery, the fawning Channel 2 CBS-TV serf who wrote Obama in a commercial supplement distributed by The New York Times with its Chicago edition the manner of the Good Thief: “Lord, remember me when you get to Your kingdom”? Where is Clarence Page on this issue--the man hired by The Tribune to tell us how it feels to be a black man? Or Dawn Turner Trice hired by The Tribune to tell us how it feels to be a black woman? Oh, and the world’s greatest libertarian, Steve Chapman, should be able to write a column about how free we really are from governmental usurpation now that the vindictive old Bush curtailment of captured terrorists will be changed. But not a word from him either.

Nor a musing from Eric Zorn or his steady heartthrob, Mary Schm--. Mary Schm--. Aw forget it.

Over at the Sun-Times, we have heard zilch on this issue from the man hired by earlier editors to act like an obnoxious Brooklyn street peddler/ hustler who never fails to remind us he’s a liberal Jew in favor of civil liberties for those who want to kill us (and who hates Catholic thought) Neal Steinberg…or the aging kid who’s long in the tooth but who still writes as an immature one: Richard Roeper. Can’t Mary Mitchell dredge up a racial protest against whitey on this one? Over at the immaculate heart of liberaldom, WTTW-TV, can’t the Cardboard Cutout Phil Ponce run a panel, stacked leftward as it would be by Dan Schmidt? Can’t Nurse Ratched aka Elizabeth Brackett be brought in to grill a lone supporter of anti-terrorism?

All’s quiet out there because the liberals know this is an issue that will kill Obama-dom. Let there be another attack and he won’t have to worry about running for a second term: he’ll be liable for impeachment and justifiably so given his Pontius Pilate-like acquiescence of Holder’s prosecutions on those who defend us.

But most of all…more than any of the above…I want to hear from The Dick on this issue. Oh if only he would show up.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Personal Asides: Obama Doesn’t Want Probe of CIA But Lets Holder Do It…State Sen. Matt Murphy’s Pro-Abort Vote.


Obama the Good Cop.

Barack Obama was quoted a few months ago as the statesman who wanted to negate probes of alleged CIA torture under George Bush because, as he cogently said for the cameras, he didn’t want to dwell on the past and jeopardize intelligence officers by chilling them into passivity which would jeopardize American safety in prevention of another terrorist attack.

That sounded good but now it’s clear Obama wants to do two things: (1) change the national conversation from the failing health care debate and (2) stir up the Left wing grassroots into a Moby Dick-like search for the elusive white whale who purportedly got the CIA not to be so gentlemanly…Dick Cheney.

The strategy behind this is as dubious as the one which led Obama to pile on universal health care atop a huge stimulus package and curious cap and trade energy bill—making him seem outrageously flippant in spending public money. Besides, who elected Eric Holder, the AG, to do anything when the president who is supposed to direct policy has publicly taken the opposite tack? But that is the way things are moving in the age of Axelrod and Emanuel.

Consequently, Holder has decided to name a political, not a career, Justice prosecutor to launch a full-scale criminal investigation despite the fact that career Justice prosecutors from the Eastern District of Virginia (where the CIA is located) looked over the bulky files and ruled all but one were un-prosecutorial. The decision reportedly caused CIA Director Leon Panetta to toss a tantrum and threaten to quit. Panetta yesterday told CIA employees that the agency had continually sought legal advice from Justice and received “multiple written assurances that its methods were lawful. TheCIA has a strong record in terms of following legal guidance and informing the Department of Justice of potentially illegal conduct.”

Holder’s initiating the probe carries great potential danger for the American public. It threatens to chill into meaninglessness any firm attempt by the CIA to obtain information. Who in the CIA will run interrogations when a precedent is set that could prosecute him? Thus the danger is that CIA officials will, to spare their hides, merely read a list of questions to terrorists and let them fudge…which could be catastrophic for American security.

All of this looks like its designed to thrill the Left which has not been so thrilled with the way health care and other liberal initiatives has been coming off the rails.

Matt Murphy’s Cynical “Pro-Life” Status.

State Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) is running as a strong social conservative for governor of Illinois—but in the company of a few other so-called “pro-lifers” he cast a vote for pro-abort Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lagrange) as Republican leader heedless of the fact that by doing so he was consigning important life issues to the dustbin since Radogno is a wholly owned subsidiary of Terry Cosgrove’s Personal PAC. The pro-life opponent to Radogno was Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) whose anti-abortion credentials are unquestioned. Joining Murphy in voting for Radogno was State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington)…although Brady who speaks eloquently about pro-life did a sneak trick by voting for Radogno after it was clear she was winning.

Murphy at least was up front about his vote that dissed pro-lifers and turned custody of the once proudly solid pro-life Senate Republican caucus to an extremist liberal Republican up to her hips in political debt to a lobby that espouses partial birth abortion and indeed abortion until the day of birth and even beyond—depriving suffering infants born as result of botched abortions to receive nutrition or comfort in their last agonizing hours.

If this is the pragmatism required for a so-called “pro-lifer” to broaden his appeal to the Left, conservative Republicans should be aware of it—in the case of Brady, certainly whose flexibility belies his wide-eyed appearing idealism but also concerning Murphy, a Catholic who touts his pro-life credentials but who hob-nobs with Radogno who has made a mockery of her religion in touting the skull and crossbones flag of death to the unborn and very recently born.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Personal Asides: Amateur Night at The Tribune…Danny Davis at Malcolm X…Senior Catholic Prelate Gives Left-Wing Lesson in U. S. History Then Censors His Words.


Amateur Night.

I never thought much of The Tribune’s Rick Pearson for political news analysis although I have had…until now…some grudging respect for Ray Long. Yesterday the two collaborated on a Trib story that showed their total ignorance of political reality in the Republican party…which verifies my conclusion that these guys are visceral Democrats…Pearson particularly… and so are much more interested in that party than the GOP.

“Illinois GOP chief steals spotlight at Republicans’ day at the fair” the headline reads with subhead: “Andy McKenna stuns party with announcement he’s stepping down.” The story begins:

“On a day when Illinois Republicans got a chance to show voters they’re ready to capitalize on the scandal of former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, their message was stepped on by an unexpected leadership upheaval that underscored a chronic lack of cohesion.”

I would surmise that this take was Pearson’s who has no aptitude for a job that involves perspicacity and insight. Actually (a) the denouement of Andy McKenna has been expected for some time. Anyone who followed the GOP knows that he has been in trouble for many-many months because he has been attempting to use the state chairman’s job as a springboard to elective statewide office. Only a clone from the doltish Trib editorial board office like Pearson would have failed to realize this. In fact, the one thing that has united conservatives and liberal Republicans has been the driving wish and expectation that McKenna would leave. Which means (b) the decision of McKenna to step down followed by a smooth transition to Pat Brady does not show in the slightest way either “upheaval” or “lack of cohesion.” Getting rid of an inept chairman is the first step to bigger things in 2010. But don’t expect Pearson to grasp it.

Danny Davis at Malcolm X.

If the Democratic party really wants to move from Todd Stroger to disaster, it will nominate the basso profundo-voiced Danny Davis for president of the Cook county board. Aside from being the laziest human being considered for the post, you have here the most intellectually vapid. With a soft chuckle that is meant to indicate he knows more than he does, Davis is not just an extreme liberal but an incoherent one…the kind who were he to be in the driver’s seat of an automobile would continue running it until the gas runs out since there is no cogitation there: none whatsoever and then blame whitey for the lack of fuel.

Here is what our great senior statesman…who reminds you of James Bassett in Disney’s 1946 “Song of the South”… said at Malcolm X College the other day at his town hall love-in before a typically bouncing, cheering, “amen!” shouting group of taxpayer recipient-wannabe’s.

Brushing aside the financial difficulties, Davis said “No matter the cost, quality health care should be provided for every citizen. Every time I hear the cost is tough much, I am reminded of Frederick Douglass and what he said about abolition of slavery. There’s always a reason not to do what’s right. Opponents of abolition depreciate agitation and”…get this… “want the ocean without the roar of its mighty waters. But one thing is for sure. You won’t get all you pay for but you will pay for everything you get. No price is too high for quality health care” he said shucking off consideration of possible U. S. bankruptcy.

Senior U. S. Catholic Prelate.

A senior U. S. Catholic prelate…preening as a so-called intellectual of the Church…answered a question from a mid-western audience the other day and came forth with a three-phased scenario about the development of the United States—proving that he has been indoctrinated with the same Marxist faculty lounge prejudice that has replaced any vestige of patriotism in the intelligentsia. Earlier he had given the meeting organizers an okay for reproduction of his remarks but after he left the rostrum he pivoted and turned thumbs-down, wisely feeling that his views so clearly echo those of Barack Obama that he would only face trouble for it…and justifiably so since his words betray a naïve sophistry about U. S. history.

Those who were there tell me he said there have been really three phases of growth in this country: slavery…mercantilism where property is confiscated…and militarism.

About slavery he should know that nearly every society in the history of the world has had in its lineage slavery in one form or another. In the West since civilization’s founding slavery was regarded as normal and unremarkable. But what IS remarkable about Western Europe and America is that it abolished it. Seventy-five percent of white southern families did not own slaves; not all blacks in the South were slaves. Ten percent of blacks in the Upper South were free and made their living as laborers and free tradesmen Less than 2 percent of blacks in the Deep South wer3 free but they tended to be rich and owned slaves themselves. What the senior prelate doesn’t know is that the Vatican newspaper editorialized on behalf of the South and its right to own slaves.

However it is one thing to sound smug about it when you demean the very nation you adhere to.

About mercantilism, it was never an economic creed of the United States for the simple reason that Adam Smith’s capitalism dominated the nation from the start, mercantilism flourishing only until 1750—26 years before the Declaration.

About militarism, he should have been taught…but wasn’t, poor guy…that no other nation used its military might more idealistically and without recourse to plunder than the United States. I suppose by militarism he means Iraq where we went after a country high on the terrorism list. None other than Bernard Lewis, the foremost expert on the Middle East, has pronounced that our involvement in the Iraq War marked the first time this nation struck back at the source of world disruption—and credits our being free of other terrorist strikes is due to our Iraq involvement.

But you can’t imagine the senior prelate accepting that. One thing is sure, however: when you ascertain that 54% of the Catholic vote went to Barack Obama, having heard this guy you know why. Yes, it is possible to be educated beyond one’s intelligence.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Personal Asides: Dick Durbin and Melissa Bean Skip Town Halls… “Fundamental Option”—the Theological Heresy that Led (and Still Leads) Many Astray.

Courageous Dick.

If Donald Trump is called “The Donald,” Dick Durbin should assuredly be called “The Dick.”

He’s the symbol of pantingly opportunistic unprincipled politics: Dickie Durbin who can hardly get his legs into his pants early enough in the morning to see how he can advance his career. He is seen everywhere on the tube in Illinois. But one place he won’t be spotted: running a Town Hall during this summer’s congressional recess where lawmakers are supposed to go to the people to get their views. For he may be a fast-running Sammy Glick but Dick Durbin isn’t nuts. He knows voters are on the rise with anger against all phases…not just health care…of the Obama debacle—and Dickie Boy doesn’t want to be caught in the crossfire. So he begs off by saying that the far-right nuts are behind it and he would prefer to discuss government programs with more civility i.e. with handpicked small audiences he himself selects.

Of course the supine media here gives him a pass. No mention editorially of his decision. Following his example is Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D) of the 8th district who has followed the Democratic voting line 88% of the time. Given 100% approval for her voting by NARAL, she is also a member of the Blue Dogs, the supposedly conservative group of Dems in the House. It’s no surprise that Melissa is taking a vacation from hearing out her constituents. When I had her on my radio show, she vetoed talking about a third of the issues on the table and…the first time ever that I’ve seen…insisted that a staffer sit next to her at the studio table with a heavily annotated book of answers from the House Democratic Campaign Committee which, as she stumbled around for an answer he furiously thumbed through, to find the right page to shove under her nose to respond.

She got reelected only because we fielded a substandard candidate named Steve Greenberg to oppose her. Such was the case with Durbin last time although for his first reelection we served up Jim Durkin but didn’t give him any money.

Now, when the fortunes of Democrats are tumbling, is the time to find a really top-rated candidate against Melissa Bean and…in the long-range…to identify an outstanding candidate to run against panting Durbin. In a Senate that had two giants…Everett Dirksen and Paul Douglas…to have Illinois represented by The Dick and Roland (aka The Tombstone) Burris is a pitiful sight.

The “Fundamental Option” Heresy.

Those who wonder how a supposed Catholic can go through life supporting abortion have ignored the logical answer: it’s a misapplication of a theological doctrine called “the Fundamental Option.” It sprouted in the 1940s at the university I attended…Saint John’s of Collegeville, Minnesota. The first day of school we were separated into two groups for theology: the first group composed of the supposedly bright-brights were directed to study theology under Fr. Godfrey Diekmann OSB who was the campus’ leading theological light…and the dumber ones (into which I thankfully was included) were sent to study theology under Fr. Ernest Kilzer OSB of the traditionalist school. That lucky break for me made all the difference. A good number of those who matriculated under Godfrey became relativist Catholics…as Godfrey himself proved to be—signing a dissent to Humanae Vitae and becoming an implacable enemy of John Paul II.

Godfrey gave them lessons in misapplication of the Fundamental Option while Ernie gave us the Fundamental Option straight. Here’s what the F-O is all about. Fundamental Option is a theory of morals that says each person gradually develops a basic orientation in his life of being either for or against God—the difference being this: You are for God if you’re life is fundamentally devoted to the service of others and against God if your life is essentially devoted to self-love and self-service. So far so good. It was reflected in Augustine’s theory that the human race is ultimately composed of two cities: the City of God and the City of Man (whose members love themselves even to the contempt of God).

Both Godfrey and Ernie agreed thus far. Where it gets into heresy is involving mortal sin. While I never took a class from Godfrey, I knew many of my classmates were spinning out from his class with a relativistic view of mortal sin which is all too prevalent today in the theories of Richard McBrien of Notre Dame and, to a popular mode, those of Andrew Greeley. Those of you who are authenticist Catholics like me remember that to qualify for having committed a mortal sin there are three conditions: grievous matter…sufficient reflection…and full consent of the will.

In 1975…long after we graduated…the Vatican issued a formal declaration, “Persona Humana” in which certain theories involving the Fundamental Option were condemned. “There are those,” the document stated, “who go so far as to affirm that mortal sin, which causes separation from God, only exists in the formal refusal directly opposed to God’s call or in that selfishness which completely and deliberately closes itself to the love of neighbor. They say that it is only then that there comes into play the `fundamental option,’ that is to say, the decision which totally commits the person and which is necessary if mortal sin is to exist.” In other words, implicit in the theory is that there can be serious sins such as murder or adultery because the actions are gravely wrong—but which do not constitute mortal sin which produces loss of sanctifying grace because…why? Because for mortal sin to be committed one must subjectively reject God.

This new, lax version of mortal sin is a heresy, the Vatican determined, because it frees one from the onus of mortal sin by simply attesting that he is not rejecting God.

You can see now how that concept is a fundamental sop of conscience to those in Congress and the legislatures who support abortion rights. They can evade responsibility by merely saying they love God. Whereas authenticists believe that by straight-out actions, sin is committed that deprives the sinner of the friendship of God. This explains the detour taken by so many of my friends from the circa `40s and beyond who maintain they are good Catholics but support programs and candidates who work the opposite side of the street.

Small wonder, then, that so many of my Saint John’s colleagues came back to our rooms after sessions with Godfrey whistling and in an “up” mood. They felt they could do whatever they wanted…in morality and sexual promiscuity…confident that they still love God.

That teaching…even in its current heretical dimension…lies at the nub of the difference between your average National Catholic Reporter reader and adherent and the rest of us.

Personal Aside: Bob Novak—Brilliant and an Anomaly.


I first met Robert Novak when I was in deep trouble with the Nixon administration (where I was the newly-named assistant commerce secretary in charge of minority business development). None of my ideas (liberal then: you must remember that I was at the time an urban lefty liberal) were going through but I had sneaked through an historic one which has plagued the nation ever since—section 8(a) which guaranteed that government contracts go to a portion of minorities who qualified with the end-date of 10 years hah! I had in mind nothing less than a revolutionary…albeit private-public sector like Comsat…institution. Nobody in Nixonland was interested because Strom Thurmond, architect of the Southern Strategy, had warned the president that favoritism to blacks would destroy his compact to get Nixon reelected and Republicans solidified in the South.

I decided to go over the heads of the Nixon people and make my case to the nation via the country’s most widely-read newspaper column, Evans & Novak. Of the two men, Evans and Novak, I knew Evans better at the time since he had married into a wealthy Minnesota family with whom I had good connections…so I decided to leak the thing to Evans. Quite soon it was apparent that Evans was disinterested since his forte was to be foreign policy—so he referred me to Bob.

I knew Bob had deep Chicago connections, having been born and reared in Joliet, Ill. At that time people took Bob as the liberal half of the writing team (Evans, a country club patrician was not in the slightest interested in blacks). The minute I sat down with Novak we became fast friends because of his insuperable knowledge of the personalities and temperaments in the Congress with which I was dealing. We hit it off. Moreover, Bob developed a passionate interest in getting minorities off the dole and into the private sector even if it took federal monies to do it.

Together Bob and I crafted his column for Evans & Novak. You must remember that at the time there was no cable TV, no talk radio and all of Washington unfolded the Post every morning with an abiding desire to find out what Evans& Novak had discovered the night before. Bob Novak wrote it almost as if I had dictated it (come to think of it, I virtually HAD). The column rattled all the windows of the Nixon administration including those of the Oval Office It said that I had a plan that was better than anyone else’s to redeem Nixon’s Black Capitalism pledge and that I wasn’t getting a hearing. Moreover it contained a sly threat, concocted by me, that if I were to be removed from office the aspirations of the black community for reform would be dashed. The column gave the program…and me…greater visibility that I had had before and led me to form a compact with Jack Javits, the New York liberal Republican senator. The Nixons were in awe of Javits because he was the key to liberal New Yorkers gritting their teeth and supporting Nixon.

In the months that passed, the Nixon people…Haldeman and Ehrlichman et al…were paralyzed, not knowing what in the hell to do with me. Before the column, it was a sure thing that I would be transferred somewhere else but I had said I wasn’t interested. I wasn’t going to resign but that I would have to be fired right on the spot. Now the prospect of me being fired immediately was doused.

That was my introduction to Bob Novak. The crisis passed for me and I went back to Quaker Oats where I was made veep in charge of government relations…and thereafter started a long association of me leaking Chicago stuff and conferring with him on occasion—plus Quaker paying him (very well) to make speeches analyzing politics and public policy for our board. I signed up for his Evans & Novak forums which featured the two of them interrogating brilliantly key players in the `70s, `80s and `90s. Drinks, dinners usually followed—although Rowlie Evans usually had a more important Georgetown cocktail party and dinner to go to. Bob liked steak and we would do the town on occasion.

Analyzing Bob, I found that I had somehow blundered into friendship with an intellectual who took great effort to hide it…burying his love for ideas into his avocation for the University of Maryland basketball team, among other things. I found myself rather dismayed with Bob’s foreign policy. His pro-Palestinian views for one thing and his deep suspicion that a tie with Israel was the worst thing that could happen. Kate O’Bierne once described it to me…she later became his spiritual godmother when Bob embraced the Catholic Church…as being that of a self-loathing Jew—but I didn’t agree with her. Bob was the embodiment of what we call paleo-politics in the Republican party but he hid it well: a kind of retreat to Fortress America where we would not have to be bothered by alliances at all…not unlike that of Pat Buchanan. But this never matriculated in his writing: he was a reporter first and could spot weaknesses in the Republican party’s firmament as well as the Democrats’. I found him to be a devotee of Ronald Reagan—for his economic Supply Side policies rather than Reagan’s foreign policies. At one dinner with him, he was very critical to me of Reagan’s speech “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” He felt it was the kind of arrogance that this country should exhibit.

His marriage was rock-solid; his kindnesses were legendary. You simply must read his autobiography published a few years ago “Prince of Darkness.” His conversion to Catholicism was surely as idealistic as have been other legendary conversions: G. K. Chesterton, John Henry Newman. I was stunned that in so short a time, Bob developed an insight into Catholic teaching that was almost unexampled among Catholics I knew. The conversion started with a thunderbolt quite out of the blue. He had developed a talk on politics to a university group and was shaking hands with people who gathered to congratulate him and ask him questions. One of those was a young college girl who said quite unanticipated: “Mr. Novak, have you ever thought of what is going to happen to you when you die? In essence, have you given any thought to your spiritual life?”

The question rocked Novak as none other had. No one had expressed that concern for him in quite that way—not even his wife Geraldine. It must have been like Saul at Damascus for him, so involved in political thinking that he was overwhelmed. So being Bob Novak, he went straight to a brilliant source—that of Fr. C. J. McCloskey, a priest of Opus Dei who ran the Catholic Information Center in Washington and who was responsible for a number of conversions of Bob’s friends including the economist Lawrence Kudlow (like Bob an unobservant Jew). McCloskey gave Bob the book “Triumph,” a history of the Church by Harry Crocker who has made no effort whatsoever to whitewash. Bob’s reaction was typically Novak-ian. Any church that can survive the echelons of evil human beings who temporarily occupied positions of power in it must be divine. Then he read about the great saints—Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Francis—and was convinced. So while he called himself the Prince of Darkness he became for all of us the Prince of Enlightenment.

Once a Catholic, Bob resolved to be the very best one extant and I am convinced that just as the Church has not known of or appreciated some of its saints…having not canonized them officially…there are many out there who had led exemplary lives of great purity, spirituality and courage. Thus I am saying that in my estimation, Bob was an un-canonized saint with a spiritual depth I hope to cultivate myself one day…if God allows me the time. I went to Mass with him when he spoke at Legatus (a group of Catholic business execs) in Park Ridge and was impressed with his deep intonation of all the responses to the Mass celebrant…this only a matter of weeks following his conversion. So while the secular world celebrates him as a sterling reporter, I believe for the short time that I knew him following his conversion to death, he was truly an un-canonized saint…a saint all of us are called upon to be…with courage. In fact I can readily see him as one of the earliest Christians, marching to death to the lions with a song on their lips.

For the signal virtue that Bob had was courage: courage exhibited many times as a journalist. And in his last years, Bob had truly come home. I imagine that for him death was a beautiful thing—which it was meant to be for us. God love him, cherish him and see that he has everything a good journalist has in heaven. I know that since his death I have started praying to him. And believe that with Bob up there I may have found a truly spiritual conduit to which I can readily leak my supplications as I did my Illinois tips when he was the nation’s preeminent political journalist.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Personal Aside: Just Released Book, “The Israel Test,” is Fascinating, Setting a New Rationale for U. S.-Israel Tie.


Up to now a key rationale for conservative (not paleo- however) support for strengthened ties between U. S. and Israel has been (a) compassion for Israel as a justificatory nation because of the World War II holocaust where it deserves our charity…and (b) this particularly true with Christian evangelicals a biblical redemption of the linkage between the Old Covenant and New Covenant. But a newly released book I’m reading now has an entirely different rationale for the closest of ties between the U.S. and Israel. It is “The Israel Test” by George Gilder [Richard Vigilante Books: 2009]. As you know, I’ve been a faithful reader of all of Gilder’s books since he made the first case that broken homes are prime causes of urban poverty in “Men and Marriage.”

To me he is a kind of universal genius. He has spelled out brilliantly…more than most…the case for Supply Side economics that is better than anyone else has made—including Ronald Reagan—in “Wealth and Poverty.” He made a multi-million-dollar fortune, lost it and re-made it. Astoundingly, he wrote a book “Life After Television” in 1990 that predicted microchip tele-computers connected by fiber-optic cable that will make broadcast-model television obsolete: an advance that even today is in the distance but definitely on the way. His “Microcosm” discussed the microchip revolution, “Telecosm” about the future of fiber optics and “The Silicon Eye” concerning the Foveon X3 sensor, a digital camera imager chip. He believes in Intelligent Design and to further his views, helped found The Discovery Institute.

The thing I like about Gilder is that he is no technocratic robot but has a deep belief in God and…moreover…is one of the first to advocate that the breakup of the nuclear family and the policies of demand-side economics…liberalism, generally…has led inexorably to poverty whereas retention of family stability and supply-side policies have led to wealth. With his latest book, he has ventured into foreign policy which a startlingly original conclusion.

Gist of “The Israel Test.”

During the past two decades, Israel has moved from a socialist economy to a capitalist one, which has transformed the Jewish state to a vibrant player in world economy. It has become a driving force in computer and telecommunications and is now moving in biotechnology. Armed with these facts, he postulates:

“The prime issue, then, is not a global war of civilizations between the West and Islam or a split between Arabs and Jews…The real issue is between the rule of law and the rule of leveler egalitarianism, between creative excellence and covetous `fairness,’ between admiration of achievement and envy and resentment of it…

“The test can be summarized by a few questions: What is your attitude toward people who excel you in the creation of wealth or in other accomplishment? Do you aspire to that excellence or do you seethe at it? Do you admire and celebrate exceptional achievement or do you impugn and seek to tear it down?”

The Palestinians, he maintains, epitomize the wrong side of these juxtapositions while Israel and America (at least until Obama and his crew took over the White House) the right side of the divide. He cites that Jews contributed to scientific progress in heavy disproportion to their numbers…mathematics, physics, game theory, information theory (i.e. John von Neumann) while Arab thought has as its roots strains of Marxist socialism and Nazism. (Remember Marx was an unbelieving Jew).

This is just an early flavor of the book. It has not been reviewed nationally as yet…and don’t expect that it will get good reviews. But do read it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Personal Aside: Thoughts While Shaving—How Much to Amputate a Foot?...How Media Differs in Treatment on Two Veep Nominees.



In last week’s Town Hall, President Obama said that if a family care physician works with his diabetic patient to lose weight, modify diet and sees that he takes his medications in a timely fashion, that physician won’t be reimbursed a pittance…but if that same diabetic ends up getting his foot amputated, it’ll be “$30,000, $40,000, $50,000 immediately and the surgeon is reimbursed.” Ergo we must make sure “we’re reimbursing the care that prevents the amputation—right? That will save us money.”

Not so fast, Obama. The AMA which supports his health care reform measure, says surgeons aren’t paid from $30,000 to $50,000 to amputate a diabetic’s foot. Medicare pays a surgeon on average $541 to $708 for one of two procedures involving foot amputation…which means that Obama is off in his estimate by a factor of at least 30. That’s on a par with his remark a couple of weeks ago about taking a kid’s tonsils out. A letter from the head of the Democratic-controlled Congressional Budget Office last week said that overall when you pour money into prevention, it increases…not decreases…the cost of medicine—i.e. a good thing to practice but don’t count on it saving money.”

With Media, It All Depends.

John Edwards who was Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004 and a front-runner for the party’s presidential nomination in 2008 will shortly confess that…in contradiction to what he has said previously…he is indeed the father of the baby born to his mistress. The story of his adultery was widely ignored by the mainstream media at the time. In fact CBS’s Bob Schieffer scoffed when the story was floated that there are always stories floating around about politicians’ behavior and that he would ignore it. The National Enquirer…of all publications…finally shamed the media to cover it since there was no way for the media to flee. Edwards withdrew from the race. By any other professional standard, a person so outwardly biased as Schieffer as to allow his judgment to become converted to Enabler, would be drummed out of his work. Schieffer who is guilty of great journalistic malpractice continues. The reason: he is a liberal and Edwards is a liberal—hence the story is not of that much significant interest to the liberal media.

Edwards went on to spew a flurry of lies. He said he conducted the affair when his wife’s cancer was in remission. We know now that the affair began when Elizabeth was not in remission…continued through remission and in fact through the period when she was pronounced in danger. Thus: he’s a chronic liar. We know that he denied paternity alleging that it could not be since he did not have sexual relations with his mistress at a time that would make possible her pregnancy. We know that he did the disgraceful act of importuning a staffer to take a hit for being the father. These two actions were out-and-out lies. And still the media determine that the story is yesterday’s news: based on the fact that the media agrees wholeheartedly with Edwards on the issues.

In contrast, Sarah Palin has had a distinctively honorable record and character in life. She was notified that she was carrying a Down Syndrome child and went through with the birth rather than get an abortion. But she has been Target One on the media and David Letterman’s hit list ever since. The logical reason: she is a conservative Republican and the media are liberal Democrat. No other way to explain it. That and as the psychiatrist-Pulitzer Prize-winner Charles Krauthammer says: the fact that she went through with the birth makes liberal feminist women angry out of inner guilt…since they would have short-circuited the baby’s birth and are inwardly guilty about it…so in rage this significant portion of the liberal Democratic constituency wishes to punish Palin for his act and the liberal media follow obediently.

We are at a time of great cultural decadence in this country to which the media have been a witting ally along with the “entertainment” industry. It will be of great interest to me to see…when Edward finally “confesses”…how much attention he will get from the misnamed “mainstream media.”

Monday, August 17, 2009

Personal Asides: Thoughts While Shaving—Hillary…Obama’s Boxed in with Afghanistan is Ironic Justice `Cause It’s His Own Doing.


The Downgrading of Hillary Clinton.

It’s now apparent to Hillary Clinton…as it was to me early (if I may say so)…that her becoming secretary of state was a blunder big-time. Last week showed the consequences and her exasperation with her being in a dead-end job with no upside. She thought taking the first-ranking cabinet job would add to her credentials for a future presidential run (future age means nothing to a presidential-seeking addict). Wrongo. It has diminished her credentials. Here at a very momentous time for foreign policy you have Obama giving speeches in major world capitals i.e. Cairo, Richard Holbrooke topmost on Afghanistan and Pakistan which are the source of our troubles in Asia. George Mitchell is in charge of the Middle East, David Patraeus running Afghanistan and Raymond Odierno running Iraq. And where is Hillary, the secretary of state?

She was supposed to become the female Metternich. And where does she end up? In the Congo! Very low on the priority of issues affecting the United States. But she’s there: dancing with the natives and hating it. Chasing around seven countries in Africa in eleven days. Very little consequent press. Sure, her ratings are higher than Obama’s now but that’s because she hasn’t done anything—and she knows it.

Not only that, who got Super-bowl press for getting the two journalists out of North Korea? Her husband. Then who went to Las Vegas to celebrate his birthday? Her husband! Will he be a Buddhist monk in that environment? To top it off, she’s at a public forum with the cameras on and a kid asks her what her husband thinks on a foreign policy issue. Can you blame her for blowing her top? A large part of it is her feminism. Who’s running things? Men! Including her husband (whose negotiation with North Korea was a disaster but who’s astute enough to know that by sending an ex-president to confer with the president of North Korea, he got a major concession for the paltry release of two women journalists who worked for that good-for-nothing Al Gore’s TV outfit).

She should have stayed in the Senate where she could have continued playing an important broker role…not getting too close to Obama who now is courting disaster but still once in a while rallying his aid. Obama’s going to go down and no one…not Hillary or anyone else…will survive having been a cabinet officer on his ship. Big mistake.

Obama’s Campaign Stunt Bites Him Now.

In the campaign, Obama called Iraq a mistake and was so intransigent about it that he resisted calling the Surge a success, even after other liberals grudgingly did so. That goes with that Koran-stricture that you never concede a thing to your enemy. But he had to show some resolve somewhere and none other than David Axelrod urged him to exert toughness on Afghanistan and say that in contrast to the Iraq debacle, Afghanistan is where we should hold firm. Sounded good in the 2008 campaign because it showed that he was in fact a hard-liner somewhere instead of just a wimp on everything.

But that decision has come back to bite him now that he is president. Why? Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U. S. commander, wants many more troops there than he has hinted at but has been throttled into silence. Now he’s preparing a report of the situation on the ground there which will tell Obama how many troops are going to be needed to achieve the victory Obama forecast in his speech last March. One of McChrystal’s advisers, Anthony Cortisman from Georgetown has said that we need between 15,000 and 45.000 more to add to the 21,000 additional that Obama has called for.

Obama’s dilemma: in 2008, he said Afghanistan was the good war and it is vital to U. S. interests for us to succeed there and if he’s not willing to escalate the number of troops his military people are calling for, it looks like he’s willing to lose there. He’s already fumbled by seeming to rule out “victory” in his words. Nothing like sending a kid of yours to fight for the U.S. in Afghanistan and have the commander-in-chief say victory is not an option.

And that’s what I thought while shaving this morning.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Personal Aside: Obama, Daley Share Radicalism, Don’t You Believe Otherwise… On Ghetto Non-Families, the Churches…Including My Own Catholic…Are Enablers.


Just because Barack Obama is a tall, angular, smooth-talking third-world denizen crypto-Marxist with a Harvard orientation and Mayor Richard M. Daley is a short, squat, jowly Irishman who speaks with accents of Bridgeport blue collar and goes to Mass every Sunday at Old Saint Pat’s, don’t go getting the idea that (a) they’re not united on every issue and that (b) Daley is a small chip off the old block who inwardly shares his Old Man’s innately conservative thinking. Answers: (a) they are and (b) he’s definitely isn’t.

While Obama’s Chicago orientation is Hyde Park, the fashionable once “politically independent” (meaning left-wing) neighborhood that houses the University of Chicago (whose longtime venerable alderman Leon Despres, an ultra-left supporter of Leon Trotsky tangled with Old Man Daley), Daley’s son…unlike his father…has no stomach for principle. “Young Daley,” age 67, long ago made peace with Hyde Park and every other leftwing group in the city and, in fact, is in bed with the most virulent anti-patriotic faction that has compiled a long record of disloyalty to our country.

Behind the scenes, he sponsored an unrepentant terrorist, Weatherman Bomber Billy Ayres, to become…here pause for laughter… “Distinguished Professor of Education and University Scholar” at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He did it despite Ayres’ statement to The New York Times on Sept. 11, 2001 no less that “I don’t regret setting bombs” at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol. “I feel we didn’t do enough.” That meant and means absolutely nothing to Daley to whom nothing is more important than his own reelections. When Ayres’ terrorist views came to light in the 2008 presidential campaign, Daley had his press office issue a statement in readable English that said: “I…know Bill Ayres. He worked with me in shaping our now nationally-recognized school reform program [sic]. He is a nationally-recognized professor of education [sic]…and a valued member of the Chicago community.”

Daley added: “I don’t condone what he did 40 years ago, but I remember that period well. It was a difficult time [sic] but those days are long over. I believe we have too many challenges in Chicago and our country to keep re-fighting 40-year-old battles.”

Ayres’ views on education are Marxist—not that this means a thing to Daley who places his own political well-being first and disregards everything else including his own church’s theology…although with his beamingly Irish wife, Maggie, who like him identifies with the-wearin’-of-the-green, strides to Communion every Sunday at the mother-church of the ultra-pragmatic Cook county Democratic party, Old Saint Pat’s.

Daley sold out long ago…dating from his state senate days…to all liberal and radical constituencies…but since being mayor has paid special attention to homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and trans-genders. Not only did he sponsor a tax-supported building to honor their peculiar “saints” but recently named a self-outed gay as CEO of Chicago public schools. Any objection by traditionalists to the appointment as being the wrong model for public school children, of course was dismissed and brushed aside by the liberal news media.

His new schools CEO is Ron Huberman who used to be Daley’s chief of staff, ran the CTA and has zilch…zilch…experience in teaching or education. Huberman succeeded Arne Duncan whose own credentials rest on his having served true educational reformer Paul Vallas as deputy chief of staff. After Vallas was fired by Daley for challenging the all-important teachers’ union, Duncan took the CEO job and swiftly surrendered to the teachers. He also made “more equal” the test scorings he said had discriminated against blacks, causing by this legerdemain the scores to rise, although they were rigged: for which he was applauded by Daley and the media.

(Duncan then was appointed secretary of education by Obama. He is a former Harvard basketball star who went from there to professional basketball playing in Australia after trying out for berths…and failing…with the Rhode Island Gulls ands New Jersey Jammers. His thesis at Harvard was entitled “The Values, Aspirations and Opportunities of the Chicago Urban Underclass.” In those years Duncan often spoke Black English, causing one college basketball head hunter who talked with him on the phone to assume he was black.

(There is very little doubt that Obama appointed Duncan to education’s highest post not just through the Daley connection but because for a decade Duncan has been available for pickup basketball games with Obama).

Back to Duncan’s successor, Huberman. Not long after he proudly outed himself as a homosexual following his appointment as schools CEO, he announced the birth of a child to him and his “partner,” Darren Delong. Their child was conceived through one partner’s or possible both partner’s sperm deposited in the body of a willing female “mother” who is unknown. Announcement of the birth thrilled the fluttery far-left Catholic Sun-Times political columnist Carol Marin to exclaim breathlessly:

“[Being gay] hasn’t been easy but it’s made more difficult now by an economic crisis that trumps virtually anything else. As a result, Illinois’ gay and lesbian citizens still do not possess the same rights as the rest of us.” Meaning Marin is plumping for special rights—same-sex marriage. “But there is always hope…And today that hope is wrapped in a blanket and watched over by two sleep-deprived fathers!”

After her column and the general huzza’ing by the lockstep media, there wasn’t much concern in Chicago circles about the school CEO being gay. But then came trouble. Huberman named whom he felt was just the right guy to motivate Chicago students to go back to school this fall. He is Jeremih (correct spelling) Felton who in the rock world known as Jeremih registered number 4 in the “Hot 100” recordings for youth with his recording of “Birthday Sex.” The recording is the braying of a horny young man who tells his girlfriend that the only thing he wants to give her for her birthday is to have sex with her. Some of the printable lyrics go:

“It’s your birthday so I know you want to ride out/ Even if we only go to my house/ Sip on weezy [a kid mixture of alcohol and uppers] as we sit on my couch.”

When asked about this decadent Pied Piper Huberman hired to encourage kids to go back to school, Daley justified this to the press which I republish in its entirety to show the garbled non-logical construction he relies on when caught in a bind:

“Jeremih is a graduate of many sons and all that. Today you have all types of artists and music and like anything else, you’re going tossing their songs and let them sing it. It’s freedom of speech and he’s just pursuing his careers [sic] and why not? He’s going to be a wunnerful engineer or whatever he ‘s going to do in life. He knows he’s going to do something and let him do it!”

Having delivered these immortal words, he huffed away while the press consulted with one another to try to fathom his statement’s sense. That’s what Daley does when cornered. You need a cryptographer to discover what he means…and even then you find he’s a giant squid which squirts ink that clouds the waves, allowing him to escape being pinned down.

Crime: Something Daley Can’t Talk Away.

On a single weekend last month (July), at least 35 people were shot…and in one night alone, seven in a single incident on the West Side. A few items from that historic weekend: Police were called to a shooting on the South Side’s Holman Boulevard (July 29) where seven were shot with six hospitalized in critical condition and one adult male in stable condition with a graze wound….a man was found shot inside a grocery store while customers routinely pulled items from the dairy case into their baskets…while six others were found shot within a half-block radius of the store.

Continuing: An hour later, three people—including a woman standing with her baby in a stroller waiting for the light to change—wee shot within a period of 20 minutes on the South and West Sides…in the South Shore neighborhood, a 22-year-old man was shot in the hand and suffered a minor head wound…the shooting was preceded by a carjacking when five suspects approached a victim and physically removed him from his car at gunpoint, then took him in their car to his residence where they stole his TV sets…then they drove him to a vacant lot where they beat and shot him as he tried to run away.

Then a 25-year-old woman was shot while talking to friends on the grounds of a gated housing development…three males wearing black hoods burst out of an Auto Zone store on the West Side and opened fire. A woman not a target of the shooting then felt a sharp sting in her lower right leg and discovered she was shot…in a pre-dawn hour a 22-year-old male walked into Loretto hospital with a gunshot wound in the ankle after having been shot in the Austin neighborhood, the victim of a shooting during a robbery…Later in the early morning hours, two males were shot as they sat on a porch in Little Village, by members of a rival gang who came by one foot…as the sun came up a man was hit by gunfire on South Wells when two other males began shooting. The victim was hit in the leg and taken in stable condition to Provident hospital.

As the weekend ended, a teenaged boy was shot and wounded as he walked in his South Side neighborhood…hit on the right side and is in good condition at Advocate Christ hospital…followed by a male who was snot and critically wounded not many blocks away, found sitting in his car where investigators found blood, but he said he was shot four doors down.

These reports gravely disturbed Daley because he saw in them a threat to his landing the Olympics for 2016 when he will be 74 years old. So what did he do? He authorized community marches led by his $300,000 a year body-builder police superintendent Jody Weis who looks like the Incredible Hulk. Weis and Daley along with ministers blamed the availability of guns but uttered no concern over the chaotic family dissolution that produces his carnage. Railing about the excess number of guns is very popular with the city’s ministries and the media.

The Silence of the Churches and My Own Catholic One.

One can readily understand Daley’s evasion of broken families as a pol: it would be taken by many as racist and an insult and the media would be all over him. But one cannot understand the silence of the churches…including my own Catholic one…which cowers from bringing up the subject of non-family chaos because it is politically unpopular (something the churches shouldn’t be concerned with).

So far as can be seen, there has not been any specific admonition or reference from the Catholic archdiocese on the need for marriage to build homes and bind them into a unit in the overwhelmingly minority neighborhoods. Chaotic puppy-dog couplings are winked at by the clergy—not only my Catholic ones but black evangelical churches in the ghettoes. While all can cover themselves by saying they inherently support marriage and legitimate family-building, no church leader has spoken out directly on this matter. The churches are tight-lipped on the issue of chaotic non-families, characterized by strange male visitors and resident females who welcome them, producing children who as soon as they can walk retreat to the streets to search out what passes for stability for them in the form of male-led gangs with militant father figure bosses.

Why the silence of the churches including my own Catholic? They do not want to appear to be “racist” by referring to the couplings. It is far easier and more palatable to the editorial boards and TV stations to rail against the proliferation of guns. A case in point happened with the pastor of Saint Sabina’s parish run by blond, charismatic, demagogue Fr. Michael Pfleger. He says whitey should be ashamed that he has allowed violence to come to the black community…not mentioning that it was really detonated by Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty which drove unmarried males out of welfare-recipient households.

Take a look at what Pfleger said recently as covered by Chicago’s CBS-TV after two teens wee shot outside Pfleger’s church. His “sermon” delivered before a cheering all-black congregation (many of whom are not Catholic) ran this way as covered by the station.

“If it was white children,” shouted Pfleger, “we’d have a revolution going on in America but because it’s black and brown children…” and here he lapsed into his favorite stunt, a white priest using black English: “ain’t nobody doin’ nothin’ `bout it!” That got a great hand and a chorus of shouts “right on!”

Later, Pfleger got more media attention by shouting dramatically that if someone has to be killed, let the gun-wielders come to his church and kill him instead of black children which drew stentorian applause in the church but was, of course, shameless political showboating. If only things were that easy. Pfleger and other members of the cloth are not known for advising any of their flocks to take on the arduous duties of marriage and children-raising…nor are any of the sing-song heroic couplet intoning charismatic black pastors who have one eye cocked for the TV cameras.

Pfleger is a wild card in the Catholic archdiocese which fears to force him to accept term limits that other pastors adhere to because it cowers that it will receive criticism from Pfleger’s congregation that idolizes him. And he has blackmailed the archdiocese to stay on, saying that if he were to be removed from Saint Sabina’s, he would leave Catholicism and set up his own ministry. That was enough to frighten the Catholic chancery. Of course the answer anyone of courage should make to Pfleger is to say: Go ahead! Leave!

Instead what does the Catholic archdiocese and what passes for an interfaith ministerial society talk about? The need for more marches to end violence, the need to end racism, the need to confiscate guns. These are the popular palliatives that satisfy editorial boards and leftwing newspaper columnists in this town, which don’t ruffle feathers of the blacks.

Thus cowardice should be affixed to the churches and my own Catholic archdiocese here. There should be a general city-wide project led by a ministerial coalition involving Catholic, Protestant and Jewish denominations. It should involve heavy black and Hispanic participation—but how to do it when the leading black civil rights protagonist is the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr….who has a weekly column in the groveling Sun-Times—and a good personal reason to evade the issue of family responsibility.

Great Role Model: Jesse Jackson, Sr.

Himself an illegitimate child, born Jesse Louis Burns in Greenville, S. C. to Helen Burns, a 16-year-old single mother, his father was Noah Jackson, a former professional boxer who was married to another woman when Jesse was born.

Two years after Jackson’s birth, his mother married Charles Henry Jackson who would not adopt Jesse for 14 years. Married and the father of five children, Rev. Jesse Jackson was…and still is…Chicago’s most prominent black spokesman. He was shown to have had an affair with a Rainbow-Push Coalition staffer, Karin Stanford, that resulted in the birth of a daughter, Ashley, in 1999. According to CNN, in August, 1999, the Rainbow-Push Coalition paid Stanford $15,000 in moving expenses and $21,000 in contracting work. In addition, she was promised an additional $40,000 against future contracting work—which was rescinded once the affair became public. Separate from the 1999 Rainbow-Push payments, Jackson pays $4,000 a month in child support for his daughter.

AWOL Archdiocese.

Be that as it may, there is no given reason why the Catholic archdiocese for one avoids exerting leadership on its own to alleviate the major source of instability in the ghettoes: chaotic non-family life. I am sure it can point to a few agencies here and there and some bureaucratic entities in Catholic Charities that purportedly cover the issue, but to use this as an excuse is to avoid the fact that the Archdiocese itself and its Cardinal Archbishop should make this issue a major priority.

Don’t buy the answer that the Catholic Church is doing anything substantive on that issue here…as an attempt will be made by its favorite device of parsing-parsing-parsing…but the Church is and has been AWOL on the issue out of hierarchal cowardice—nothing less.

The agenda for rank-and-file fed up Catholics should include these items: Speaking, teaching and conducting workshops on the sanctity of marriage to ghetto dwellers…getting the Feds out of Catholic Charities and Charities out of Fed control, with a reformation so that Catholic Charities teach and practice the spiritual as well as corporeal works of mercy with 100% private contributions. The dough the Feds put in should go to secular agencies.

Enough for now.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Personal Aside: Score One for Elizabeth Brackett in Behalf of Slanted Journalism! “We’ll Come Back to Vouchers!” and Never Does.

Elizabeth Brackett of WTTW is the aging duenna of liberal leaning TV journalism, having been a mainstay on Chicago’s public television station not long after she lost election as a reform candidate for 43rd ward Democratic committeeman in the `60s. Far less charming on camera than Carol Marin…no less liberal but with the strict enforcer custodian demeanor reminiscent of Nurse Ratched in 1962’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest,” she has graduated into a more major role on “Chicago Tonight” due to the neuter non-influence of “Chicago Tonight’s” cardboard cutout host, “tennis anyone?” vacuously beaming, eminently forgettable Phil Ponce.

Let it be said that Marin as interviewer is subtle and professional. Unlike her lefty columns she generates the television presence of sweet magnanimity. Tough-as-nails Brackett is far more rigid in her autocratic purveyance of liberal discipline more acceptable to WTTW’s current climate under manager Dan Schmidt who mandates haughty disregard of anything that does not smack of liberal orthodoxy.

While last night’s performance showed a rupture with the past seemingly violative of Schmidt’s canon that there be no conservative presence to sully one-sided panel “discussions” of public issues, Nurse Brackett took care that a Heartland Institute guest not get a word in that contracts `TTW’s liberal line on education funding: i.e. support for a property tax hike to give the Daley administration and teachers’ unions what they want. The panel was neatly stacked by Brackett and is always is on education. There was the obligatory member of Catalyst the leftwing shill for ever more expenditure of public money for the rathole that is Chicago education. To which was added the treasurer of the Chicago teachers’ union. The third panelist was a guest from Heartland.

At the outset when Brackett gesticulated one gnarled finger at Heartland and asked his solution, he began with fulsome support of vouchers. “We’ll come back to that,” snapped Brackett and went to Catalyst. After Catalyst and the Teachers’ Union dominated the discussion Brackett moved to Heartland and said, “with the exception of vouchers, what is your solution?” That way she got back to vouchers but instantly snuffed out the discussion. To the credit of Heartland, he went into vouchers anyway as Brackett wrinkled her nose…which is truly wrinkled on its own…in disgust.

And as the late canonized liberal saint Walter Cronkite would say from hisgrave, “that’s the way it is.” Meaning “that’s the way it is with slanted journalism—not reality.” When, oh when, is `TTW going to improve and go back to the era of Callaway’s true journalism? When the angel of either death or retirement flies away with a squawking Dan Schmidt, allowing his successor to give a deserved boot to Marin and Brackett.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Personal Aside: Can Hardly Wait for The Economist Subscription to End.


The Economist Subscription.

It’s been my observation that no matter how loony we get in cultural decadence, Britain usually tops us…and we move on to tie with it—and it runs ahead to be even more outrageous. Take rock music which we pioneered with Elvis Presley. No sooner had Presley become a success than Britain came out with a creature known as “Screaming Lord Sutch.” True, he never had a hit in either his country or ours…but he out-did us in outrageousness at the time. His early `60s singles were over the top. He was known for his horror-based stage shows.

A man generally recognized of possessing no talent, he was born David Edward Sutch on Nov. 10, 1940 but changed his artistic name to Screaming Lord Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow of course with no relationship to the peerage. Then he got interested in English politics and formed the “Official Monster Raving Loony” party, running for parliament numerous times. We finally caught up with our own raving loony, Rod Blagojevich but when we did Lord Sutch had been long dead—having died by his own hand on June 16, 1999.

I begin with this case because like everything else, Britain outdistances us in decadence and loony tune ideas (with which we catch up sooner than later, unfortunately). I have referred earlier to the weird case of The Economist magazine (which the London-based publication continues to call a newspaper). Once considered a conservative publication with a specialty in economics, it has slowly been turning left…endorsing not just abortion but gay marriage…which caused me to end the subscription. But unfortunately the subscription has much time to run out. Thus every month there is deposited on my door stoop another issue which could be called the printed version of Screaming Lord Sutch.

Here in this country, every so-called mainstream newspaper except The Wall Street Journal and a few others, have gone to the Left and have hewn to that side with abysmal tendencies. They have adopted what was long ago decided as first-rank editorial policy by The Economist—misstatement of history, improbable juxtaposition of views, adoption of easily written headlines: “Whither Indonesia?” And the blatantly obvious: “Guiding Peugeot-Citroen through the recession will be hard. Philipe Varin must get along with the owners.”

That’s a hot one. “Varin must get along with the owners.” Who in hell would allege that he must NOT get along with his company’s owners? “Iraq--Its commanders say they can run the show on their own. Really?” YES, REALLY, jerks! It warns with the truism: “Overconfidence among soldiers can be as dangerous as timidity.” No, damn it: this is NOT true. Timidity in every case is fatal for soldiers in war. It enabled George W. Bush to overrule everyone—Rumsfeld, Gates—everyone and plump for The Surge. Guts and overconfidence…in place of timidity…caused Eisenhower to look at his watch on 6 June, 1944, overrule his weather experts, look at the boiling channel and say crisply, “OK, we go!” Grant to tell Lincoln, “Mr. President, I don’t care what anyone says. I intend to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer” (it took much longer).

Just read a little history, guys for crying-out-loud!

Now consider this. We have a culture here in America that is grievously decadent. Not only full editorial support for abortion and gay marriage but we’re showing clips on TV news and in so-called situation comedies that couldn’t make it at the old Rialto theatre when it was a disreputable palace for dirty-mouthed comics and tired, blonde 60ish dancers in the `40s. Just when you think we have caught up with the nation that produced Screaming Lord Sutch, the “paper” known as The Economist comes out with a cover headline that says: “America’s Unjust Sex Laws.”

America’s unjust sex laws. It made me put on my latex gloves and turn the pages to the “leaders” or editorials to find out how unjust our sex laws are. You know what they are? Get this: “America’s sex offender laws are the strictest of any rich democracy [sic]. Convicted rapists and child-molesters are given long prison sentences. When released, they are put on sex offender registries. In most states this means that their names, photographs and addresses are published online, so that fearful parents can check whether a child-molester lives nearby. Under the Adam Walsh Act of 2006, another law named after a murdered child, all states will soon be obliged to make their sex offender registries public.”

Now says what would assuredly be the favorite mag of the late Screaming Lord Sutch, “it is unfair to impose harsh penalties for small offenses.” Understand that our screamingly unfair sex laws began 15 years ago when a pedophile (the Screaming Lord Economist spells it snootily “paedophile”enticed seven year old Megan Kanka into his home in New Jersey by offering to show her a puppy. He raped her, killed her and dumped her body in a nearby park. The murderer had twice before been convicted to sexually assaulting a child. Reason for the law: Had people known he was a sex offender, they could have set up defenses (or as The Economist would spell it “defences.”

That was the source, the origin, of these insultingly, humiliatingly discriminatory laws. Instead of publishing the names and faces, Screaming Lord Sutch magazine says “states should assess each person individually and include only real threats. Instead of posting everything on the Internet, names could be held by the police who would share them only with those, such as a school, who need to know.” Gee, how compassionate: just another thing for the police to do—run to the schools and share the names. Would this program have spared Megan Kanka—no. Adam Walsh? Of course not.

That loony-ness has spurred me to write The Economist and tell them to run, not walk, to their subscription bank and cut me off now. ..TODAY! THIS INSTANT! I want no more of this nutcake stuff from England. But of course compassion for child molesters will soon, inevitably, take root here as we catch up to the Screaming Lord Sutch move to the Left. Where will I see the first tender shoot of leaves telling me that The New York Times has rethought it’s position and is calling for more compassion for child molesters. Will it begin with The Times? No, they’re bottom feeders over there.

Probably with the Sun-Times and Neil Steinberg. After all, he was hired to provoke.