Thursday, December 31, 2009
Thoughts While Shaving: Its the Other Roesernot Me Rich Samuels Leaving WTTW-TV Karl Roves Divorce Ron Paul the Nutcase.
The Other Roeser.
To those who think I was the Roeser who mentioned that hard rumors (whatever that is) are circulating that a certain political candidate is gay, let me aver that its the other Roeser who said it: Jack, of Barrington. Not me of Park Ridge. We often get confused but we shouldnt. Jack is the multi-millionaire engineer of proven genius; Im the Quaker Oats retiree of modest worth who cannot for the life of me learn how to run the video tape on my recorder.
Hes the lean, wiry skipper who, when 80, captained the yacht which won the famed Mackinac race; Im the portly, double-chinned one who hasnt been in a rowboat in 40 years. He has made his views known candidly on the rumor; I made mine known yesterday on this blog by describing the dangers of politicians before such revelation being importuned with blackmail using the cases of Alexander Hamilton and Henry Hyde as reference points.
Jacks of Luxembourg extractionin fact, he has pointed out to me, there is a town named Roeser in Luxembourg, population 661; Im half German (whence the surname and half Irish, mothers name Cleary) and there are no towns named Roeser in Germany nor Cleary in Ireland. His people lived on Chicagos north side; my peopleboth German and Irish-- lived on Chicagos north side.
We are not related but our lives have taken on an eerie similarity on several fronts without us knowing each other until the mid-1980s.. At one time he lived in Park Ridge (now he lives in Barrington); I have lived in Park Ridge for 45 years. He went to Mary, Seat of Wisdom parish; I did once, too before we moved to the other end of town where we go to St. Paul of the Cross (but St. John Cantius in Chicagos West Town on Sundays).
Now get this: he has a son Tom; I have a son Tom. He has a daughter, Jeanne Marie; I have a daughter Jeanne Marie. These names were bestowed by both of us on our progeny without us knowing or consulting with one anotheramazing coincidences. But there are dissimilarities. His son Tom is CEO of the company Jack founded, Otto Engineering in Carpentersville; I am CEO of the smallest company extant with one employeeme. My son Tom is a government executive and a brilliant painter of exquisite realism whose masterly works can be seen on this blog under RoeserArt in the adjoining column.
A big dissimilarity: Jacks son, Tom, was lauded extensively in The New York Times for leading a company that has distinguished itself for being an exemplary good community citizen. Neither I nor my son Tom have been praised by The New York Times for anythingalthough I have the highest hopes that he as artist will one day tower high over any accomplishment I have achieved.
Now Im sure youre clear on the uncanny similarities as well as widespread dissimilarities of both of us.
For many years, Rich Samuels has been one of the brightest lights on WTTW-TV. As special correspondent for Chicago Tonight, he has supplied mature and insightful reportorial analysis and commentary. In addition to his superb journalistic skills, Rich, 68, is a multifarious genius, gracefully burdened with over-modesty. He is a summa-cum-laude graduate of Yale, has a Ph.D in Italian renaissance and brings to his work a deeply intelligent bearing and depth that gives `TTW what class it has.
Richs contract isnt being renewed because of an economy crunch at the station. Lord, I could enumerate a galaxy of people in front of and behind the cameras who should be let go instead of Rich starting with its obscenely overpaid boss, Dan Schmidt; its anchor Phil Ponce; its political editor Carol Marin who has two other jobs where she purveys the same-old, same-old thoughtless liberalism; Elizabeth Brackett, congenitally unable to manage the inevitable panel of three liberals and one conservative without short-sheeting the conservative and winding up with Chicago Tonights executive producer Mary Field who has yet to apprehend a conservative thought.
Not that Rich is a conservative; he probably isnt. It just pains me to see quality dissed where mediocrity is so shamelessly nurtured.
Obama and Spock: Together at Last.
Barack Obama, the man with the Mr. Spock-like outer-world detachment where Americas national survival is concerned as distinct from the passion he shows when his race is involved (as with the black Harvard professor who had trouble getting in his house and was apprehended by a white cop) this self-same Obama took three days to muster up the energy to get out of the golf cart and speak to the nation on the matter of Northwest Airlines Flight 253. A consummate left-wing radical who learned nothing thus far from his presidential experience and forgets nothing of his 3rd world-style hands-off non-patriotism, he is resolutely going to treat Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab as an alleged lawbreaker rather than the war criminal who came dangerously close to blowing up an airliner filled with 310 innocent people.
Which means that Obama is going ahead with plans to have Mutallab who is neither a U.S. citizen nor a permanent or temporary resident of this country tried in a civilian system who will have all the constitutional and statutory provisions afforded criminal suspects including Miranda warnings, the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent. It certifies that you can forget ditzy Janet (our system has worked er, no it hasnt) Napolitano as a mortal danger to our security and concentrate on Obama himself as the weakest link in the chain leading to our survival that we could possibly imagine.
Napolitano has shown that she is learning from her experience; this guy about whom the electorate took a hugely ill-considered flyer on election day is uneducable.
There are far more similarities between Obama and Spock than the jug-ears of both. Spock born in 2230, in the city of Shikahr on the planet Vulcan is only slightly less involved in the problems of earth than is Obama who believes America is no more exceptional than other nations and Christianity is not relevant here. Thus Obama will mindlessly plod on with his plan to empty Guantamo notwithstanding all evidence to the contrary that it is a terrible idea.
To be fair, George W. Bush yielded to importunings from the Left and made a stupid statement that Gitmo should be emptied which cunning parrot Dick Durbin (aka The Dick) uses to defend his Chief. But Bush could learn from experience as youve done a heckuva job, Brownie shows since Brownie was gone a few weeks after Katrina.
Not so Obama-Spock who learns nothing and forgets everything not applicable to the Left.
Karl Roves Divorce.
One need not be a rumor-monger concerning Karl Roves announcement that he is getting a divorce from his 2nd wife to whom he was married for 24 years. Especially that circuitous statement from him that he desires the utmost privacy. This from Dana Parino, the ex-press secretary to George W. Bush who is handling the story as a p.r. person for the Roves.
Yeah, sure. That means there is a tootsie lurking in the wings and Rove will soon be sashaying down the aisle with one who undoubtedly will be at least two decades younger. How much you wanna bet?
Ron Pauls Whacky Foreign Policy.
Whenever I get close to appreciating some of Rep. Ron Pauls statements on the economy, he goes on television looking like the whacky nutcase he is and looks like: a lanky amateur theorist who belongs haranguing the denizens of a barber shop on Saturday mornings...not just matching the Left but exceeding the Left in blaming this country for causing terrorist Farouk Abdul Mutallab to attempt to blow up the airliner why? Because U.S. military forces bombed Yemen and assisted the joint Saudi-Yemeni forces earlier this month.
Its really what Pat Buchanan has been saying. Pat has more charm but both are in my estimation un-hinged. Buchanan wrote a book on history that blamed Churchill as a war criminal and portrayed Hitler as just another far-reaching adventurer a war hero of World War I who was justified in his attempts because of the unfairness of Versailles. Ive changed my mind about Paul. Im reading his book on the Fed .and he makes some good points but no one that seriously unbalanced should be considered as a responsible source.
Both Paul and Buchanan dont understand that jealousy animates terrorism: jealousy of our economic power and envy. The myth that somehow if we could ditch Israel and pull back to our shores the imbroglio would be dropped by the terrorists is absurd. First of all, if you think Obama is pro-Israel or that Carter was, youve got another think coming.
I think Ill junk that book by Paul on the Fed. Anyone that frenetic and lopsided in foreign policy has got to be nuts on the economy as well.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Rumors in the Bars.
Some years ago I wrote a fragment of a still unfinished autobiography that will one day be issued to my survivors if I ever get around to finishing it dealing with rumors in the bars.
Forty-five years ago I was preparing to move from Minnesota to Illinois to take up a new job at The Quaker Oats Company. I was leaving the post of communications director of the Minnesota GOP and was, frankly, delighted to leave because the year was 1964the Goldwater yearand Minnesota was in the icy grip of the Democratic Farmer Labor party with Hubert H. Humphrey, Gene McCarthy and a host of Democratic congressmen vying for attention. The polls showed nothing but disaster for the party that I was working for and the prospect of taking a berth in the private sector before the deluge hit which would wipe us all out was very attractive.
As one of my last acts for the Minnesota party, I met with a Washington-based GOP national consultant who would instruct us on how to defeat McCarthy. McCarthy was seeking his second term and while our candidate was very good and very rich so that he could pay his bills his chance of defeating McCarthy was equal to a draft of warm air melting the ice floes in the frozen Mississippi in January. And so I asked: whats the name of this great consultant who would educate us Minnesota rubes in that task?
I was told his name but it meant nothing to me. But, I was assured, he would have invaluable strategic ideas on how to defeat McCarthy and besides, he was a guy we wouldnt have to pay because his fee was paid by the RNC. Well, I thought, itll be interesting as my last official act to meet with this guy and see what new ideas he would have to make Gene McCarthy whose favorable rating stood at 87% in Minnesota a one-termer.
He arrived in the early morning at my office a lanky individual of indeterminate age, wearing a black alpaca coat a tall, mournfully-faced man with deep-set fathomless eyes set far back in sockets ringed with dark circleseyes that gave the impression they had witnessed the commission of every sin mankind is heir to and some which it is not. He asked to use the desk outside my office to prepare, he said, a proposed campaign budget which could defeat McCarthy. He started scribbling at 10 a.m. and by noon he came in my office, slumped in a chair and gave the paper to me.
The list encompassed sums for radio, television, printed brochures, bumper stickers, billboards and campaign buttons not much different from our own. But my eye stopped at a line item that said:
Rumors in the bars,..$15,000.
I said: what is this? He said: Its time for lunch. Rather than explain it, Ill show you.
On the first floor of the building in St. Paul where our campaign office was located was a small bar which usually was crowded at the lunch hour a bar filled with salesmen trying to catch a sandwich and a beer before resuming the days exactitudes blue-collar working people salesgirls from the shops down the street. Mostly Irish Catholic Democrats since St. Paul was that kind of town (still is).
We took adjoining seats at the bar and he said he would buy me a drink and a sandwich. As my pay was meager, I was glad to know that he would pick up the tab instead of me so I ordered a tuna and cheese sandwich and a Hamms beer. He ordered a roast beef sandwich and a Hamms.
As the bartender came over and asked what wed have, he gave him our order and waited for a brief lull in the sprinkling of conversations at the bar. Then when there was a gap in the noise level, he turned to me and with a voice that was not loud but clearly audible a voice different from his usual tone of conversation said:
Imagine. Cut down in the prime of life! That it should happen to McCarthy! Gawd, this man is married and has four kids! A great senator, too.
Then he sipped his Hamms noisily, thirstily.
I was surprised momentarily by the distinctive rise of his voice but still indistinct of meaning as to what he meant so I said: What? Who? What do you mean?
This, as it turned out, was exactly what he wanted. He didnt answer, seemingly lost in thought. I decided he hadnt heard me so I asked again:
Whos cut down in the prime of life?
He said: Well, Ill tell you
I noticed that the din of conversation had ebbed somewhat and that the bartender, making our sandwiches, buttering our bread with his back to us, was continually buttering, buttering, buttering, while evidently listening.
Leukemia, he said in his sepulchral voice, the disease of the blood that starts in the bone marrow. It hits young and old. And its even more insidious when it strikes a man like Gene McCarthy in the prime of life. One day hes vigorous as he was a few weeks ago and then--
He snapped his fingers with a crack that caused the bartender to look up from buttering our bread which he had continued to luxuriously spread over and over again as he listened.
gone. Gone. Here hes doing so well in the Senate, representing us in St. Paul. Lord, I remember when he first ran for the House. Bright, dark-haired, a genuine Catholic layman. An intellectual. Dont you remember when he placed Adlai Stevenson in nomination. What did he say to the Democrats? `Dont turn your back on this man meaning Stevenson. Little did he know that his own days were
He drank his beer noisily.
The bartender brought our sandwiches to the bar. He looked at my consultant friend intently as he said:
You want coffee with that?
The consultant said yes, wed have two coffees.
Coffee, my consultant friend said to me in that same whinny of a voice that cut through the blur of other conversations. Yeah. Two coffees!
It used to be said that coffee makes you edgy. I guess nothing can make me more nervous than I am with Gene in this condition. Can you beat this let me tell you what I have to do.
The murmurs of the crowd toned down.
I have to break the news to his mother that McCarthys got untreatable leukemia. His mother is 85 years old. He cant bear to tell her so I have to. He told his wife and kids already but theres something about telling your mother than youre going to pre-decease her. Imagine, she had Gene McCarthy as a young woman, saw him grow up, come to St. Paul, become a congressman, become a United States Senator see before him the entire vista of what could easily be a national career including the presidency and then to find out that within months possibly weeks aw I cant finish this anymore. I believe Ill have another Hamms if you please.
Pardon me, said the bartender. I couldnt help overhearing. Is that Gene McCarthy youre talking about?
He never acknowledged this per se.
Cut down in the prime of life, he said. Have you seen him recently? Have you noticed his pallor? White face, unnaturally white. Thats how leukemia of the bone marrow is. Hits you
Snapped his fingers again loudly. The bartender winced.
Hits you like that!
Why, a fellow across the way at a table said, how old is Gene? Something like 50?
Worse than that, said the consultant. Forty-two. Get this :
The entire bar was listening.
He studied for the priesthood at 22. Then he decided to drop it and go on to the vocation of teaching. Taught for a few years at St. Thomas here and ran for the House. Got elected at 32. Twenty-two, thirty-two. Now at 42 hes all washed up.
He swung on his stool. By now the crowd was listening raptly.
Leukemia is irreversible! Pale face, leads to colds. He was down with a cold last week. Not much of one but leads to worse. Remember? He couldnt speak to the St. Paul Trade Assembly and had to reschedule.
I remember, said a guy. He spoke to us the next week but he looked like hell.
Likely he felt like hell too, said the consultant. But a good man as he is will never admit hes down. Dont figure hell ask for your sympathy. Hell deny it first and keep on going going going until
SNAP of his fingers.
By the time we finished the sandwiches and beer the bar was buzzing about the variability, the unfairness, the unpredictability, the savage unfairness of human life.
When we got outside, he took me aside and said,
Now listen: Thats what I would like to have happen. You have seven field men working in individual sections of the state. $15,000 should do it. Each one makes it a practice to go into at least one bar in cities and small towns and do it like this. Thats of course only one variant of the overall media strategy.
I left town the next week for Chicago. When I was in this town for about a month I picked up a paper and read that Sen. Eugene McCarthy was denying he was mortally ill. And I could imagine my consultant friend smiling sadly understandably saying thats the kind of man old Gene ishow courageous it must be to face up to the fact that one day--
I told McCarthy whom I later grew to know well that I was a bystander to the birth of that rumor. Ive been fighting that story of leukemia for 40 years, he said just before he died at age of 89. I grappled with it when I ran in New Hampshire in `68 and on and on.
Rumors in the bars and otherwise have always played roles in American politics. Mamie Eisenhower was an inconsolable drunk, remember? (She had inner ear difficulties). Jack Kennedy was a womanizer, remember? (That one was right). Barry Goldwater in 1964 was maintaining ties to remnants of the Nazis in Germany. (Wrongo: that was the love-pat bestowed by Daniel Schorr, now a venerated senior news analyst for NPR). Eisenhower had a girlfriend as general in France. (Right. Kay Summersby who wrote as an old lady that he was so afflicted by guilt that he was impotent with her).
The other day in this state there was a rumor about a prominent politician that rose to the surface. Well, its always better when a rumor is put out in the open where the sunlight and fresh air can get to it rather than keeping it floating around just under the surface like rumors in the bars. When they are just below the level of the surface is where rumors can do their worst. And what is that?
If there is a smidgeon of truth to the rumor especially about moral turpitude its better to have it out rather than have it skulking around in the background where it can be used as a threat of blackmail. Alexander Hamilton allowed himself to be cowed in a blackmail attempt by Maria Reynolds and her accomplice husband. Only when they demanded that Hamilton as treasury secretary jiggle with monetary policy did he refuse and announce his transgressions himself.
Media properly react to rumors such as the one that circulated the other day with anger for those who disseminate same. In most cases, media become very self-righteous and identify it with the political Right. But thats because media, more biased than even they realize, dont remember that blackmail very nearly ruined our infant countrys monetary policy until Hamilton reneged. Then there was the case of attempted and successful blackmail anent Bill Clinton.
In case media forget, let me remind them. Clinton was under investigation by the House Judiciary Committee for impeachment for lying under oath to a federal grand jurymeaning perjury and obstruction of justice.
As the House Judiciary committee was considering the nature of impeachment, a contact was made to the late Chairman Henry J. Hyde by a wily source with bad breath who drew his face close to Hydes and said that unless Hyde used his chairmanship to derail the charge, heHydewould face disclosure of a sexual affair Hyde had 40 years earlier while a member of the Illinois legislature and that disclosure in public would be embarrassing to Hyde, his children and grandchildren (by then Jeanne Hyde, his wife, had died).
Hyde considered the import of the blackmail and what it would do to his career and resolved to go through with the impeachment. Sure enough, disclosure was made on Slate and then in a pornographic magazine Hustler and was taken up by the joyous people who glory in the appellation of the designation liberal. David Letterman and others. (Letterman expressing sarcasm over a 40 year affairthats a laugh). So Clinton was in fact impeached because Hyde rejected the blackmail.
In the Senate, the emissary with bad breath had better luck. A key Republican senator backed down because of fear that what he may have done as a cheerleader in college would be set out before the world. And it would have.
So the moral of this story involves four parts.
First, rumors about moral failures of candidates are the woof and stuff of politics no matter how much everybody is aghast. In fact often those who are aghast are the ones who love the spreading of them. And media whose stock in trade are rumors salacious and otherwise should get off their high horse and stop being so shocked shocked shocked at the real world of political intrigue.
Second, the exposure of such rumors are salutary no matter since they can either be acknowledged or deniedwhich is a good.
Third, dont get the idea as much of self-righteous media do that rumors of moral derelictions are purveyed solely by conservatives against liberals. This goes to the heart of the unalloyed truth that liberals are not Gods purest. Far from it. The skulking liberal emissary with the bad breath who sought to blackmail Hyde is still operating at the highest level where he has operatives doing it for him and at his direction.
Fourth, hypocrisy, the drawing up of a hypocrite in a Puritanical posture of self-rectitude is often performed by those who behind the scenes are purveying scandalous truths and untruths of their enemies themselves. Not for nothing did the late Alan Drury write his classic Advise and Consent about a blackmail attempt against a promising young U. S. senator.
And thats all there is to that tune.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
It Took 3 Full Days.
The first job of government everything else being secondary is to provide for the security and protection of the American people.
When George W. Bush was informed about the attacks on the Twin Towers on 9/11/01 he was reading aloud with a second grade class at Emma E. Booker elementary school in Sarasota, Florida having arrived at 9:04 a.m. and left at 9:12 as part of a program to heighten awareness of education. He was severely criticized later because, having been informed of the attack by Andrew Card, his chief of staff, he looked startled and returned his attention to the kids, saying they read so well they were equal to sixth graders, this before he left after several minutes and took on the active role of commander-in-chief.
Photos taken at the time show he was stunned and that he continued his reading for several minutes clearly turning over in his mind all the ramifications: were the two attacks terrorist-related or a horrible coincidence? Anyhow the angry Left took advantage of the interim to maintain two contradictory things: (1) he was dumb and unable to react with alacrity; and (2) he was traitorous, well aware of the attacks earlier, having had some insidious connection with them as a plotter of them with the CIA.
The charges were, of course, ridiculous. In all, it was a very short time spent in ruminating about the domestic and international implications of such an attack. Rather than being transfixed and paralyzed with indecision after the attack, he undertook such decisiveness that he has been criticized by the Left ever since. In fact in short order, he launched two attacks on what he deduced were source-spots of al Qaeda, Afghanistan a month later (October, 2001) and Iraq which he concluded had weapons of mass destruction (in March, 2003). He has been sorely criticized by the Left and others for this although, dismissing the inability to find WMD, the nations preeminent scholar of the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, said that for the first time the forces of Middle East terrorism had been struck back after an attack Lewis adding that, apart from the weapons-of-mass-destruction issue, the fanatics never succeeded with attacks on America again.
Contrast this with the attitude of the Obama administration concerning the abortive attempt to destroy an airliner on Christmas Dayan attempt that has been acknowledged by al Qaeda as part of its plan.
It took three full days for the president of the United States, Barack Obama, to address this issue with the American people. During that time, his secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano who had made a point of dropping the word terrorist, substituting for it the words man caused disaster because we want to rid ourselves of the politics of fear, succeeded in mucking up the situation very well saying first that the failed attack proved the system is working (despite the fact that the terrorist entered the airliner without difficulty and it took passengers on the plane to subdue him) and then when the ridiculousness of her statement was evident, had to walk back the statement saying that it is evident the system failed and that it needed tightening.
I should say it does. There have been more terror incidents (12 in number) including foiled plots on U.S. soil in 2009 than in any other year since 2001. The system failed in at least two waysfailing to revoke a visa that the 23-year-old terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (not alleged terrorist as Obama says with lawyerly condescension) that he had obtained in June despite a later warning given to the Nigerian consul from Abdulmutallabs father that he was a danger to public safety and not adding his name to a no-fly list instead of allowing it to sit on a lesser watch list.
Yesterday from his vacation in Hawaii, three days after the attack, Obama finally addressed it. And even then his statement was highly unsatisfactory. Maddeningly, he described it twice as an attempted terrorist attack when in fact it was not attempted but a terrorist attack period. Maddeningly also, in his statement he said Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body, sitting off a fire. Allegedly. Suppose the attack was successful: would Obama describe it as an alleged attack that was allegedly successful to the extent that the passengers and crew were all allegedly killed by the alleged terrorist?
This nicey-nice stuff from a malignly stupid president who is failing in his first mission beyond all others, so concerned about changing our economy into a European system that he ignores his major duty.
The language and the fact that Abdulmutallab was indicted on criminal charges means one thing: the Obama administration reacts as it always had against the Nigerian as a law enforcement issue, meaning that Abdulmutallab will have all the benefits of U. S. law despite the fact that he is not a U. S. citizen, including, presumably, Miranda. Thats the same thing that will happen to the five 9/11 terrorist plotters including Khalid Sheikh Mohammad who will be tried in a civilian court, decided by Obama and his attorney general, Eric Holder.
In contrast to this is the record of what happened when a German submarine landed 8 Nazi saboteurs on a Long Island beach on June 17, 1942. They were tried in a military tribunal, found guilty and were executed within three months. The president who ordered this was Franklin D. Roosevelt who understood his first duty well. Unlike this alleged 3rd world refugee who has been educated beyond his intelligence.
If we are lucky, we will survive this madness that envelopes not just Obama but has transformed what was once an acceptable political ideology into a faux secular religion not a substitute for religion but a religion in its own right which differs from others in that it is completely uneducable when confronted by truth or any factual basis. It is not just Obama, it is The New York Times, major media, sweet little Katie Couric, and the spawn of Ivy League universities that cling to man is infinitely perfectible by those who will transform the kingdom of heaven to this earth.
Atheists and agnostics all, they see themselves as gods and in that capacity ignore reason. In a very real sense they are like the ancient Church father Tertullian who remained loyal to a concept even though is conflicted with Divine Revelation as well as reason. For that sin of misguided non-profundity, Tertullian was deprived of canonization but his words are identical with the views of American liberals: credible est, quia ineptum est (it is believable precisely because it is ridiculous) and certum est, quia impossibile (it is certain because it is impossible).
The credo of liberalism in this juncture can be stated though he slay me, still will I believe in him plodding dumbly to apply Marques of Queensbury Rules to terrorist combatants, believing along with the misguided radicals of the Enlightenment, that sweet beneficence will convert all.
It is clear by now that this nation has had its belly full of Obama and far-Left liberalism. But whether our time will run out before this courtly evader of morbid Leftwing fixity succeeds in destroying this greatest country in the world is the question the answer I to which I, at age 81, am not sanguine.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Murky, Quirky, Jerky.
If youre a pretend conservative but dont make a fuss about it and are often unfathomable as is David Brooks, you can fit a small niche at The New York Times where the word gets passed that youre deep as in Deep with a capital D.
What do I mean by Deep with a capital D? To get anywhere in a U.S.s liberal society, you praise a Communist system. Brooks knows how the game is played. On the eve of Obamas trip to China, he wrote a serenade to China. America once had the drive that China has now, he wrote on Nov. 17 in The Times. Its not much different than what Walter Duranty of The Times wrote generations ago about the USSRs dynamism. Except much later we learned that Duranty who won a Pulitzer for his saccharine views of Russia, was in the Reds employ. I cant and wont say that about Brooks. Or that hes just a google-eyed idealist. Hes just an opportunist who knows what sells to The Times and PBSs lefty bosses.
Listen to Brooks:
The Chinese, though members of a famously old civilization, seem to possess some of the vigor that once defined the U.S. The Chinese are now an astonishingly optimistic people The Cultural Revolution seems to have produced among the Chinese the same sort of manic drive that the pioneer and immigrant experiences produced among the Americans.
Ah, they were so astonishingly optimistic about their future, these Chinese, that they let their leaders block their access to the American president. He spoke at a town-hall-style meeting in Shanghai, but Chinese censors blocked his comments online and only one local television station was allowed to air them. And the town-hall meeting was a tightly scripted affair. The Reds refused to allow Obama to speak directly to their people. His meeting with President Hu Jintao was his only chance to address the people directly.
Result: the trip which didnt produce substantive agreements didnt give the U.S. president a symbolic victory either. China blocks its citizens from using Twitter and Facebook. Wrote Isaac Mao in Britains Guardian: China can block Twitterand President Obamas remarksin the short term but the Bejing government will learn that containing the Chinese blogosphere isnt as easy as locking up dissidents.
Good old squishy Brooks never commented about the stonewalling given Obama in China (although Obama did). Its not popular to ridicule Red tyrants in The Times. Brooks can do it because in his past theres been a flavor of conservatism. Thats what The Times and PBS likes. And, hey, hes Deep. Deep-deep-deep.
His Romance with Obama.
You have to be Strange Deep if you do a column for The Times. Bill Kristol didnt last because hes not Strange. Being Deep-Strange from the University of Chicago and being Jewish without sticky about Israel got Brooks a permanent gig not just with liberaldoms newspaper of record but on taxpayer-paid PBS TV with Mark Shields (Shields being the hack Massachusetts Dem who went to Notre Dame, goofed up the Ed Muskie presidential campaign and the Sarge Shriver vice presidential campaign until he finally won one with the Kevin White Boston mayoralty, no big deal). Then with one major victory under his belt in a storied solid Democratic city, he cashiered all and became voila!...a news analyst).
Brooks conservatism is so silent the paper had to go ahead and hired another token, Ross Douthat, allowing Brooks to grovel in Red China- and Obama-worship consistent with the remainder of the paper. Still, he and Shields appear supposedly as pro-and-con on Jim Lehrers News Hour (you know, the guy whos referred to at the shows end by that heavy New Yawk male Brooklyn accent similar to Chuck Schumers as Jim Lah-rah).
Pro and con they arent. Shields, up there now at 72, is of the Massachusetts political generation that holds that Irishness is the glue that binds his Democratic fealty on one hand and his Catholicity on the other. He prays by putting these two hands together, the Irish-Democrat hand foremost. He says hes pro-life but doesnt allow it to disturb his politics. He comes from the same cocoon as the Kennedy Irish Democrats and the Daley-Madigan-Hynes people here.
A true con, he has a gift for making naïf Lah-rah believe hes an insider as he assured all that while the polls say Obamas fading, just wait for the future when ObamaCare is fully accepted. And what does the supposed conservative Brooks say?
Lah-rah leans forward eagerly to hear.
Now Brooks strains with hemorrhoidal concern striving to separate himself from Shields but in the end fails, talking murky, which leaves Shields the top-dog always. Brooks bleats that, you know, Obama is truly Intellectual. All the while Jim Lah-rah (whose from Kansas by the way where hes forgotten they roll their rs ) enjoys himself hugely because both men offer what public television form a consensus: Come let us adore him (the him being Obama).
Well as one comic of decades ago used to say Ex-cuse ME! David Brooks is often unfathomable, not because hes congenitally so since when he wrote for The Daily Standard he was crisp but as a makeover since The Times and Lah-rah hired him, hes switched to downright thoughtful appearing skittering around to please his liberal audiences where he strives to be pleasing to the Left as a Nice Man of Deep Thought.
In doing so, he has fawned over Obamas thought processes because the Messiah once referred to Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr offhandedly which thrilled Lah-rah because Niebuhr is a good name to drop at a Manhattan East cocktail party (so long as you dont mention God). But in the name of appearing oh so different from his conservative colleagues, is how Brooks writesmurky, quirky, jerkily-- and when you consider his stuff fairly, not just wrongheaded but as a con. Con not meaning conservative but Con for confidence man.
Now lets switch from to another column. Lets pick oh .the one he wrote for Dec. 4 in The Times. Its not particularly notable, just one I fished out of the basket.
Brooks vs. the Facts.
Heres the exegesis.
BROOKS: Many Democrats are nostalgic for Barack Obamas 2008 presidential campaignfor the passion, the clarity, the bliss-to-be-alive fervor But, of course, the Obama campaign, like all presidential campaigns, was built on a series of fictions.
ME: No kidding. Im shocked shocked!
BROOKS: The first fiction is that government is a contest between truth and error.
ME: Comon, Deep Liberal Man. Youre wrong. If it is anything, government IS most certainly and indisputably contest between truth and error. Take in my own long lifetime. Hoover adopted liberal means to supposedly cure the Depressionheavy federal spending. Error. He adopted tax hikes in the middle of an era of joblessness. Error. Roosevelt just compounded the Hoover errors. The Depression was not ended except by the advent of World War II. Errors-errors.
BROOKS: In reality, government is usually a contest between competing, unequal truths.
ME: Thats so much Deep hogwash, Introspective Liberal Man. Foreign-defense policy doesnt run on competing, unequal truths. The record is clear and uncompetitive: when you deal with your adversaries firmly, they respect you. When you try to placate your adversaries they defecate all over you.
Take the administrations that tried to placate during the Cold War: the early days of Truman in the China civil war where he send Marshall to encourage Chiang to welcome Mao into a coalition government the days of Carter where he said at Notre Dame that previous administrations have been obsessed with Communismdeclaring that he wouldnt be as such...only to change his tune when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and when the Iranian militants took over the U.S. embassy and held 70 Americans for 410 days while Carter dithered. Competing, unequal truths my eye. Thats the relativist in you where there are seemingly no absolutes: the liberal scourge which is why youre column-ing for The Times and on Jim Lah-rah.
Domestically, after the dot-com crash and 9/11, the economy entered a recession. To provide a soft landing, Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan made the wrong move nothing about competing, unequal truths. He took the federal funds rate down to 1%, the lowest it had been since the 1950sand held it there for a full year. Then he began moving the rate back up so as to contain inflation. His easy money policy fueled the housing boom. There were no competing truths therejust right and wrong. The Community Reinvestment Act which pressured banks to ok mortgages for unqualified borrowers wasnt a Act to meet competing truths. It was wrong. That led to the housing bust.
BROOKS: The second fiction was that to support a policy is to make it happen. In fact, in government, power is exercised through other people. It is only by coaxing, prodding and compromise that presidents actually get anything done.
ME: Not even remotely true, oh Liberal Intellectual One. FDR went off the gold standard in a decision made in 15 minuteswham! Another wrong decision not done by coaxing or persuading but by monolithic decision-making by wrong-headed Democrats and Republicans. Coaxing, prodding and compromise my eye. By that yardstick, Obama got ObamaCare through by coaxing. Baloney. He had Rahm rent the Congress, lock stock and barrel.
Now get this romantic view of Obama, much like Durantys view of Russia, Herbert Matthews of Castros Cuba.
BROOKS: The Obama White House revolves around a culture of debate. He leads long, analytic discussions which bring competing arguments to the fore. He sometimes seems to preside over the arguments like a judge settling a lawsuit. His policies are often a balance, as he tries to accommodate different points of view. He doesnt generally issue edicts. In matters foreign and domestic he seems to spend a lot of time coaxing people along. His governing style, in short, is biased toward complexity.
ME: Yeah, Ive noticed that culture of debate in the Obama White House revolving around ObamaCare. How do we know how does Brooks know he leads long, analytic discussions which bring competing arguments to the fore? In the campaign, we were told the process would be so transparent as to be aired on C-SPAN where we could witness the long, analytic discussions. What a laugh! Harry Reid held the ObamaCare bill to his chest up until the end. In fact we still dont know completely what the Senate passed. I knew at the time when Obama said it, it was all b.s. Evidently Brooks swallows what the press office has been feeding him.
Foreign policy? When did we hear a debate about pulling missiles out of eastern Europe? Did he share this with the American people? Or did he and I missed it? Was it held and we missed it? When did we have a debate about whether or not to spend $100 billion a year which the Messiah to help developing nations counteract supposed global warming? Did we miss that?
BROOKS: This style [complexity] has never been more evident than in his decision to expand the war in Afghanistan.
ME: Which by never using the word victory, he is complex. Howd you like to have a kid sent over there by a commander-in-chief to whom victory is an unspoken word? My-my, how complex.
BROOKS: Obamas emotional temperature cooled to just above freezing. He spoke [on his decision to raise the troop level by 30,000] in the manner of an unwilling volunteer, balancing the arguments within his administration by leading the country deeper in while pointing the way out.
ME: This is the war he declared all during the campaign was the important one as distinct from Iraq. The war whose management he gave to a general who recommended troop increase 90 days while he dithered.
BROOKS: The advantage of the Obama governing style is that his argument-based organization is a learning organization. Amid the torrent of memos and evidence and dispute, the Obama administration is able to adjust and respond more quickly than, say, the Bush administration ever did.
ME: Pardon while I barf. Ninety days sitting on a recommendation from McCrystal and Petraeus before acting. The decision to try terrorists in a federal court with all the constitutional protections given to citizens when they are not citizens a decision made, it is said, by the U.S. Attorney General although it is uniquely a presidential decision. Obama had almost a full year in office to decide that one which he booted to the AGand resulted in a bad decision.
BROOKS: Most war presidents cast themselves as heroes on a white charger, believing that no one heeds an uncertain trumpet. Obama, on the other hand, cloaked himself in what you might call Niebuhrian modesty. His decision to expand the war is the most morally consequential one of his presidency so far.
ME: Modesty? As when he declared in his victory speech in St. Paul on June 2, 2008 that the oceans rise will slow and the planet will begin to heal. As in Harry, I have a gift which he told Reid. And can that stuff about Theologian Niebuhr will you, Brooks? I learned more about Niebuhr from Fr. Ernie than you ever learned from reading his pop fan, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
What might interest you even as a largely unobservant Jew is that early in his career as a minister, Niebuhr advocated Christians aggressively converting all Jews. That was when he was a member of the Socialist Party under Norman Thomas and tried to arrange a union between the socialists and the communists and certain Jews were standing in the way. The way to understand Niebuhr who did his undergrad studies at Elmhurst College in our Chicagoland suburb, by the way, is to realize that he is the forerunner of the liberal malaise of national guilt.
The Kennedy court historian Schlesinger explained it well (Schlesinger notes that theologian Niebuhr instilled guilt that has been ever since a key in the makeup of what I call decadent, apologize-for-America non-patriotism which fits Obama to a Tor make it an S for socialist) and Brooks an Innocent, gullible bad reporter: not like Duranty and Matthews who were on the take but much dumber. When he dies he should be placed standing up in a cubicle of alcohol at Harvard Medical School as the truest specimen of Dumb Liberalicus.
This is what Niebuhr really wasnot described by any conservative but by a liberal of Brooks mienSchlesinger:
Niebuhr was a critic of national innocence. After all, Schlesinger writes, whites coming to these shores were reared in the Calvinist doctrine of sinful humanity and they killed red men, enslaved black men and later on imported yellow men for peon labornot much of a background for national innocence.
Thats the essence of Obama liberalism and Brooks gullibility where the president has gone throughout the world apologizing for the country which he has denied is exceptional and for Christianity which he has alleged is inoperative here.
And thats why you like Niebuhr and Obama so much, Brooks. Obama suckles from Niebuhrs teat and you suckle from Obamas, Pinch Sulzbergers and PBS. By prattling Niebuhr you got and can keep your job at The New York Times and can share the anchor desk with Mark Shields and Jim Lah-rah.
My only recommendation is that when you read or see Brooks, remember hes not just a chumpbut an opportunistic one who holds his twin jobs by massaging his patrons.
By the way, let me know if you agree or disagree by writing me at email@example.com.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Thoughts While Shaving: Chicago Archdiocesan Ties to The Squid And Ms. Field Says No Republican Debate for Us.
O My O Me O Lago!
A recent story on the blog chicagocatholicnews.com a very interesting albeit left-of-theological-center publication shows what all of us lifelong Chicagoans knowthat a good percentage of priests are Democrats and indeed are registered as such, having voted in the 2008 Illinois Democratic primaryin fact of 50 priests that the blog identified, more than half voted Democratic. That was a crucial primary for liberals part of the Super Tuesday formulation on Feb. 5. Of the pack, two candidates who were identified as basically Illinoisans were running: Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton, a transplanted New Yorker with a good many supporters here.
But in the contest, Obama was determined to be the more liberal of the two. He was the more critical of American foreign policy, was for pulling out of Iraq quickly. On social issues including the one issue that has been paramount to Catholic theologyabortionObama had by far the more pro-abort record. He not only favored partial birth abortion and embryonic stem cell but twice in his role as a state legislative chairman of Judiciary, killed the born alive bill which deprived an infant born live from a botched abortion of nutrition and comfort, allowing the infant to die without health care.
The fact that both the major Democratic presidential candidates, Obama and Clinton, were and are extremists on the issue of life meant nothing, apparently to the group of Catholic priests who took the Democratic ballot. In fact there wasnt a pro-life candidate running for president on the Democratic side. Those who took the Democratic ballot were 90-year-old retired Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Lyne, a former rector of Holy Name Cathedral and Jimmy Lago, the layman Chancellor, who is number 3 in the administration of the archdiocese.
Lagos choice of the Democratic ballot is unsurprising since he has had a long history of involvement with liberal causes including having marched with Caesar Chavez. In referring to him as Jimmy Im not being overly-familiar. His name is not James but he was christened Jimmy just as his brother is not Timothy but was christened Timmy. Sort of cozy sounding, isnt it? Jimmy Lago has been a careerist in the archdiocesan bureaucracy: having served as number 2 at Catholic Charities where funds are distributed to community organizations and having been the official lobbyist for the Church in Springfield with the legislature.
Another fairly high-ranking priest of the archdiocese who took the Democratic ballot is unsurprising: Rev. Raymond Baumart, SJ, the former president of Loyola University of Chicago whose memorable rejoinder to Catholics who criticized the pagan, largely pro-abort emphasis of the Campaign for Human Development nationally at a speech delivered by Terrance Scanlon to the City Club of Chicago, was get a life! The eminent Ph.D in business ethics from Northwestern obviously didnt and may not now appreciate the delicious irony of that comment. Father Baumart carries the distinction of being a top adviser to Francis Cardinal George.
Still another Democratic primary voter who could not but help vote for a pro-abort presidential candidate since there were no pro-lifers running for the post in that party is retired Auxiliary Bishop John Gorman, D.D., the DD standing for doctor of divinity. He is a former professor of clinical psychology and has been noted as a popular lecturer at retreats and to people contemplating marriage. He is noted for driving away pro-life leafleteers who venture onto the public sidewalks outside churches in campaign times, because he publicly worries oh how he worries about a possible rupture in the separation of church and statenot worried evidently about the constitutional right of free speech or of people to peaceably assemble. They evidently dont stress the rights of citizen pro-lifers under the Constitution at Loyola where he matriculated and taught.
Those who chose the Republican ballot which indicates that they voted for a pro-life candidate for president (since the only pro-abort candidate, Rudy Giuliani, had retired from the fray by that time) were Auxiliary Bishops Thomas Paprocki and Joseph Perry, both distinguished in their wholehearted support for protection of innocent unborn human life.
By the way, the official archdiocesan spokesperson, Cathleen Dolan, is reported as having contributed $250 to the campaign of Mayor Richard M. Daley, the head of The Squid and a pro-abort and supporter of gay marriage but who stresses his Irishness in a flurry of waggling, crimson-jowled ungrammatical indignation. The blog got her name from the official records of contributions in Cook county but Ms. Dolan, whose spouse was a longtime Circuit Judge, Francis Dolan, followed the general line that has been de rigeur for years of denial that she gave Daley any money notwithstanding what the records say. Her appointment as official spokesperson had been lovingly hailed by Chancellor Lago in a news release.
Cardinal George, you will be interested to know, doesnt vote in primaries so his electoral choices are protected via the secret ballot. By way of poking fun at the editor of chicagocatholicnews.com, it could be mentioned that he has interpreted the Cardinals criticism of ObamaCare for greasing the way to abortion with public money as evidence of his partisan Republican affiliation rather than the issue at hand for which the Cardinal should be praised.
No Soup (Republican Debate) for You!
As said here earlier, Ms. Mary Field (and I apologize for calling her Fields the other day), the executive producer of WTTW-TVs Chicago Tonight has in her delicately manicured soft little hands the power to decide what issues the public will view on the partially taxpayer-paid show and who will figuratively represent points of view (I almost wrote contrary points of view but Pravda Mary, major domo of state-run broadcasting, is not contrarymeaning she frowns on conservative expressions being fully expostulated on her show which propagates unalloyed liberalism. Anyhow she has ordered that while the Democratic candidates for president of the Cook county board have appeared on her show nor your show, hers there will be no chance whatsoever that Republican candidates will debate there.
The Republican list has two interesting candidatesRoger Keats who is a longtime former state senator and a young conservative challenger, Chicago Police Lieutenant John Garridobut you will not see them on Ms. Marys public television station because she feels the less you know about them the better and all the more important that you believe there is only one party, The Squid, offering choices of which there are no conservatives whatever.
The de-facto head of WTTW-TV is one Dan Schmidt but he has abdicated command of the content of Chicago Tonight to Ms. Field who decides what it is he will be told. And dont try to contact either one of them because Ms. Mary doesnt respond and Schmidt has been told not to respond. The only way to get their attention is to pursue a heavy funding boycott with the stipulation that the only day it will let up is when the two of them are let go.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Personal Aside: The Tricky Reid Language in the Health Care Bill Certifies the Feds Will Pay for Abortion. Thank a So-Called Pro-Lifer for That.
Reid, Nelson, Many Dems Will Pay Through the Nose.
Political sleight of hand is usually so deft that voters dont see it until legislation is passed and signed. The Senate version of health care is clumsy, shows lawmakers taking federal bribes for their votes and two so-called pro-life Senators Ben Nelson (Nebraska) and Robert Casey (Pennsylvania) caught flat-footed in lies.
Never in U.S. history has a piece of legislation that is so widely disfavored by the electorate--as shown by poll after poll--been rammed down the throat of the country which guarantees the architects of this treachery will pay in 2010 and beyond. After posturing repeatedly that he was going to stand heroically like King Leonidas of Sparta at Thermopylae Pass in 480 B. C. where the gallant Leonidas and the coalition of Greek forces, outnumbered, were cut down almost to a man by the invading Persians, allegedly pro-life Sen. Nelson did more than cave. He sold out for a deal crafted by Reid with help from Chicago trickster Rahm Emanuel that has the feds paying for all new Medicaid enrollees in his state indefinitely: beginning cost estimated at over $100 million as well as a cushy deal giving an exemption to Nebraskas non-profit insurance companies (Nelson is an old insurance executive and was at one time commissioner of insurance in Nebraska). And the very-very small chip off the old block, Sen. Bob Casey, the son of the brilliant late Gov. Bob Casey, is caught trying to defend the deal.
By laying down his arms and surrendering in return for goodies, Nelson became the 60th senator to signify that he would vote to end cloture and advance the gargantuan legislation that few have even read.
Nelsons surrender for a bribe is analogous to the prospect of King Leonidas getting a nod from Persian King Darius and retiring to a life of ill-gotten luxury secured by a bribe to forsake his country, allowing the Greek freedom fighters to be defeated. The betrayal in question was Nelsons acquiescence to ditch the impeccable Hyde amendment language, replaced by a provision similar to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) run by the Office of Personnel Management with a sleazy deal where if a woman wants an abortion there is an exchange of paperwork and the OPM will contract with health insurance companies which will supply insurance that can cover abortion at taxpayer expense with a great flurry of negotiations.
(From the dawn of the Reagan years through George H.W. Bushs and until Bill Clintons term began, 19083 to 1993, thanks to Hyde and others, federal employees were prohibited from choosing a health care plan that covered abortion. But with the advent of Bumptious Bill, the first adolescent to become president, a Democratic congress reversed course and allowed federal employees to choose among health care plans that cover abortion. By 1994, 178 FEHB plans (of a total of 345) cover abortions. The next year with a Republican congress, the ban on abortions for federal employees was reinstated. Then, of course, with the election of the Grand Messiah, soon to become the most virulently pro-abortion president in history, the liberal anti-lifers won reinstatement of abortion).
To show you that the truth means nothing in words uttered by her lying, foully duplicitous mouth, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said the provision creates a firm wall to prevent use of federal money for abortions. Rooted in firm denial to the end, Boxer refused to admit that the Reid dealoffered by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), a pro-abort Catholic--allows the federal government to subsidize private insurance with the end result of paying for abortions. The subsidy would be created by a convoluted bookkeeping scheme that while it boggles the mind still gets to the point of paying for abortionssimilar to the Capps-Waxman bill that even the pro-abort Democratic House had turned down. Under the deal all enrollees in an abortion-covering plan will make a separate payment into an account that will through labyrinthine means allow the feds to pay for the procedure.
In an attempt to wipe his hands clean from the blood of innocents caused by his traitorous defection, Nelson blurted out that he was led to make the deal by pro-life Republican Nebraska Governor David Heineman who was very concerned that the new Medicaid enrollees would unbalance the states budget. Heineman then contradicted Nelson by saying that by no means did he authorize Nelson to cut such a deal. Both are engaged in semantics since Nebraskans are 58% against the federal health care program and both politicians are scared stiff that theyll pay the price at the ballot box (Nelson is up in 2012, the presidential year; Heineman in 2010). I said that this is something that has to be fixed, said Heineman. I didnt participate in the way it was fixed.
Singed badly in taking the heat all alone, Nelson fired off a letter to Heineman saying that hes willing to withdraw the provision on Nebraskas Medicaid if it is your desire. Thats where Heineman should have said ok, do it! but he waffledscared to take the heat from people who want his state to get the federal aid. But it spurred lawmakers from other states to complain hey. Why should my state have to take the mandate and Nebraska gets away with it? One hope is that this would lead to a flurry of lawmakers trying to get their states exempted which means that in the White House, the wily old paymaster, Emanuel, may have to throw up his hands and turn them down either that or run the cash register repeatedly to buy everybody off spurring the old hymn to take on a new meaning:
Come, O Come, Emanuel!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Personal Asides: If I Were a Conspiracy Theorist The New York Times Magazine Story of Robbie George
If I Were Conspiracy-Minded
Lets set the stage. If Illinois Democrats have proved one thing, it is that while they cannot govern, they can elect.
They control both Houses of the legislature, they own the governorship and all the other constitutional offices. By the very nature of things state and national liberalism being what it has become since 1966: a secular humanist substitute for religious orthodoxy the Democrats control the state media. Almost all the state columnists are Democrats; state broadcast TV is Democrat. The most powerful political organization in the nation is The Squid in which most media types are witting cooperators.
The Democratic governor is in a fight with the Democratic comptroller who is challenging him. The Democratic comptroller refused to sign off on paying social service bills, so bitter is their contention. The Democratic Speaker has little to do with either. He fought with the last Democratic governor, cooperated with his impeachmentnot that it wasnt deserved. He stands aside in the fiscal problems of the state, unwilling to allow his Democratic majority to spare the state for fear he will lose his majority. A man who has testified that he would willingly take Blago as governor rather than to endure a Republican. Thats the kind of broad-based leadership we have with this laconic boss who sees no further than his own nose and his own majority.
Not much media time or space is devoted to that ugly prospect. It is as if the Democrats internecine warfare is not happening.
Very few of the liberal reporters or commentators even make mention of the Dems clan warfare, the inability of the majority party to govern. But no matter: Even with Illinois being a blue state, the odds are that the Republicans can if they nominate an effective candidate can pick up the governorship.
Suddenly ah so suddenly the media are filled with stories extolling the anomaly of Jim Ryan. You know what? He heads the pack of Republican challengers! What do you think of that? Talk about a Comeback Kid! Wow!
And tucked away for future reporting the facts that the former attorney general, age 63, who has apologized for the faulty prosecutions as DuPage states attorney of Rolando Cruz and Alex Hernandez in the Jeanine Nicarico case who has been very friendly, receiving gigantic contributions from one who is now a convicted criminal and was featured in sensational corruption charges....saddled with a name that is identical to a convicted Republican governor this same Jim Ryan is leading the polls for governortopping incumbent Pat Quinn 46 to 39 and only slightly behind Dan Hynes 40 to 42. The answer is clear. At this stage Christmas no one is focusing on the Illinois elections notwithstanding that the primary is coming up in February.
Still the media increasingly is playing this serenade: Jim Ryan heads the pack Jim Ryan heads the pack. Tucked away for future recycling and always the power of the media themselves to recycle with great diligence and irrefutable annotationbecause the stories will be true-- any time they wish Jim Ryan and Stuart Levine Jim Ryan and his faulty prosecution of two Hispanics Jim Ryan, the grim, unsmiling Irishman Jim Ryan who very shortly before he announced his candidacy advocated an income tax hike (which he now rejects) Jim Ryan who as state attorney general supported gay rights (an issue which is bound to split off social conservatives Jim Ryan with about one-half scintilla of personal charm Jim Ryan whose latter years have been consumed with fighting non-Hodgkins, having been hit with it three times: large scale lymphoma cancer. There, Ive said it.
Are these things unfair for me to bring up? No: they are all undisputed facts covered time and again by media in the pastand ready to be uncorked again after he is nominated, if he will be. And if you wish to test the efficacy of this, watch the reaction to this article the likely outrage.
It will likely be: How unfair of you to bring these things up especially his health! (Thats what they said about Paul Tsongas when he ran for president, remember?) And if you dont think its coincidence that Jim Ryan is being subtly pushed by The Squid and its handmaidens, the media well, you have a lot to learn. If I were a conspiratorialist Id say the one chance The Squid and its media friends have is to nominate Jim Ryan.
Blister me if you wish. Its okay. Frankly at this stage of my life as an octogenarian, it is of very little concern what the media say about me.
But mark this well:
If that is the reaction from the media, you will have your proof that indeed a concerted attempt is being made by The Squid and its allies to push Jim Ryan to the Republican nominationafter which to uncork a devastating barrage of guess what?...the unassailable truth about himwhich when digested as election draws near will likely keep the governorship and its perks in the hands of the Democrats for another four years.
The strategy if it exists is a brilliant one: worthy of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
All About Robbie George.
Who is Robbie George? Read The New York Times magazine last Sunday and youll find out. He is a Princeton professor who with the death of Rev. Richard John Neuhaus has become a consultant to a number of conservative Catholic bishops. Dr. Robert P. George, that is who is a Thomist who those conservative bishops have found to possess the talent for phrasing their arguments in thoughtful, academic language. No, Cardinal George is not among them. Hes busily constructing his own theory of parsing which alleges Catholicism is hobbled by conservatives on one hand and liberals on the other contrasted with whichguess whathe, the equivocator of bothoccupies the Golden Mean.
But I digress. The interesting thing about Robert George is that he is unassailably right on theology-philosophy but guess what? His uniqueness is due to the fact that he almost alone espouses the essence of Aquinas which has been forsaken by most Catholic intellectuals. You remember my disquisitions about Fr. Ernie? Fr. Ernies theology, philosophy is reborn in Robbie George. Encouraging isnt it. But also discouraging.
Its a shame that the logic that has permeated Catholic theology since the 13th, that greatest of all centuries for philosophy and theology, has been so ignored since the mid-20th that Robbie George is the only one the bishops can find.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Thoughts While Shaving: Whats the Rush on JPII Canonization?...Ben Nelsons Quick Conversion to ObamaCare Obama Crafts the Oslo Speech.
John Paul II.
Ive been a longtime fan of Pope John Paul II more so that many other popes whose prelature I accept in the Catholic Church but do you mind my asking a simple question: Whats the rush?
Hurrying to canonize him before the normal five-year period for consideration looks a bit contrived. Having died in 2005, hes not going anywhere, is he? As the Catholic Church invented what is now regarded as politics, is there a significance to JPIIs advance being tied to Pius XIIs? In other words, could it be that since Pius canonization is unpopular with the Jews because of a foolish piece of fiction, a play, The Deputy and an historically illiterate book, Hitlers Pope, that have no basis in reality, a two-fer has been structured? Does tying Pius to a very popular, charismatic figure, would solve the problem?
What bothers me somewhat is this: I hope it doesnt generate the tradition that one pope should initiate canonization of a predecessor. I yield to no one in my fealty to (a) the papacy and (b) the warmth and genuine generosity of John Paul II but I ask again: whats the rush?
Can you help me understand this? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben Nelsons Conversion.
The cynical way Barack Obama hustled Ben Nelson for 30 pieces of silver and the 60th vote for the cause of federalizing a sixth of the economy will be his and Nelsons Waterloo. The deal involved the state of Nebraska wherein Obama promised to have the U.S. government cover Nebraskas estimated $45 million share of Medicaid coverage over a decade. For this payoff a crass, Chicago Way style of paying for votes on the barrelhead Obama, the purported idealistic Messiah got his way with a program that will submerge the quality of medical care in this country, lead to single payer and likely rationing. So one can say to Sen. Nelson what St. Thomas More said to Sir Richard Rich in paraphrase: All this for paying the Medicaid bill for NEBRASKA?
Obamas Crafts the Oslo Speech.
With popularity numbers falling down around his ankles and with late night satirists making fun of his winning the Nobel after only a few months in office Obama had had his two most important operatives concentrate on what he would say in Oslo. He called in his closest operatives from The Squid-- his ace media strategist, David Axelrod and his ace opportunist, Rahm Emanuel.
Axelrod whom I have known for 30 years is not a speech-writer per se but an image-maker. Emanuel Ive known for 20 years and is not a speech-writer either but a back alley operator with as many reservations for niceties as Mack the Knife. Emanuel came up with the idea Obama ought to backtrack from his earlier peace at any price stance and come up with a reaffirmation of the old Just War theory that has permeated Catholic theology since Aquinas. Axelrod agreed and decided that he would supervise its preparation. Emanuel recommended that the most recent convert to The Squid write that part. Who would that be? Doug Kmiec.
Kmiec, born in Chicago and whose relatives toiled in the bowels of the old Richard J. Daley Squid, is the former conservative Justice Department appointee who, miffed at not getting a high judgeship, turned against the Republicans and endorsed Obama, one of highpoints (for the Dems) of the 2008 campaign for which he was given ambassador to Malta.
Kmiec contributed one short exposition of the Just War to the Nobel draft. But the grunt rhetorician for the black president, a white Catholic, Jon Faureau, age 27, a graduate of Holy Cross (the White House director of speechwriting) did the rhetoric. Faureau, a bachelor, got drunk with his buddies a few months ago and was photographed dancing with a cardboard cut-out of Hillary Clinton. Minor flap. Clinton got very mad. Now Faureau has orders to be a devotee of Niebuhr by which I mean Reinhold [1892-1971], the Protestant theologian whom Emanuel, a Jew, has been publicizing as Obamas favorite theologian. To the starry-eyed New York Times columnist, David Brooks who touts a history degree from the University of Chicago and loves to put on that hes deep himself, Obama gushed reciting stuff Axelrod had prepared: Niebuhr! I love him! Hes one of my favorite philosophers!
What do you see in Niebuhr? asked Brooks. Oh, trilled Obama in his best Harvard faculty lounge style, I take away the compelling idea that theres serious evil in the world and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things. But we shouldnt use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away the sense we have to make these efforts, knowing they are hard and not swinging from naïve idealism to bitter realism. This is what Brooks recounted in his column in The New York Times. No different than what Sister Bonita OSF told me at Saint Juliana grade school in 1937 but Niebuhr who went to Elmhurst College in suburban DuPage later convinced the Yale faculty lounge lizards that he was on to something.
Later Axelrod tried to give Obama an intellectuals gloss he read part of Niebuhr at Emanuels suggestion but not as deep as Emanuel, when he got to Original Sin late one night, fittingly fell asleep. Nevertheless he merchandised Niebuhr and Obama in the campaign and prettied up Obama as deep. Deep with a capital D. Very Deep. In a fallen world, power is necessary. Big time stuff. But nothing that a Squid alderman hasnt learned and in spades.
Bartender Axelrod Concocts a Mixture.
After the kid Faureau began the draft it went to Emanuel and Axelrod. Axelrod, poured a heady double shot of Niebuhr in it and, Squid-style, gave the theologian no credit. Axelrod was the bartender who ginned up the final draft call it draught of the Oslo speech. He contrived to add a little of this and a little of that. Start off with a hefty dose of Niebuhr without attribution. Then, insert a slight touch of pride-in-country to the Lefty draft, shake it vigorously for 30 seconds, add ice and pronounce that American voters should like it, it being immaterial to Axelrod what the Norwegians thought. (Indeed in a beautiful sample of poetic justice, Obama gave the upward raised index finger of scorn to the Norwegians but more of that later).
When Faureau got the draft back he tried to add more guilt-ridden liberal stuff about American preoccupation with power but Axelrod drained it off. Moreover now he added a touch just a slight touch of old fashioned America Exceptionalism. Emanuel agreed with Axelrod, Faureau was unhappy but the job was done.
There was so much Niebuhr in it without attribution it worried Faureau. The way Axelrod, a former Tribune political reporter paraphrased Niebuhr was rather sloppy. The original Niebuhr: Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime. Obama at Oslo: We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. The original Niebuhr: We take and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization. We must exercise our power. Obama at Oslo: I face the world as it is and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people!
The central part of the speech was this, an echo of every Cold War president from Truman to George W. Bush (excluding, of course, Jimmy Carter who thought Americans were too fixated on opposing Russian Communism---until, of course the Russians invaded Afghanistan). Obama talked about the core struggle of human nature between good and evil. Pure Bush the Younger declaring that war is both folly and necessary when our liberties are threatened.
Clever bartending but I say this: The speech was a failure because none of themAxelrod, Emanuel, Faureau or Obama dont understand what won the Cold War for America.
Obama said, for example, we won the Cold War by the architecture of peace. Thats not Niebuhr. That phrase is from the kid writer Faureau which passed by Axelrod and Emanuel but the imagery is faulty. How does architecture win a war? The only way architecture can foment any action is to cause, lets say, a wall to fall downwhich is by being lousy architecture.
Obama labored on. Two things, he said, won the Cold War. The Marshall Plan and the United Nations. Wha-a-a?
The Marshall Plan and UN Won the Cold War?
Let this writer, having lived as an adult through the Cold War remind Obama, Emanuel, Axelrod and Fareau: The Marshall Plan was sold here as a plan to stabilize western Europe from communism, yesbut also had an underlying ballast of economic self-interest for us: building the economies of ravaged Europe so they could be our trading partners. It ended up making us the undisputed masters of the world economy.
We even offered aid to the USSR and its captive nations which turned it down (a great mistake on our part to offer it; a greater one on their part to reject it).
Then to say that the United Nations helped win the Cold War is the utmost folly. There have been 140 wars waged in the world since the UN was founded in 1945 which resulted in the deaths of 20 million people. The big ones were the Korean War, ended under Eisenhower the Vietnam War which petered out with our defeat and the two Iraq wars along with the Afghanistan engagement that proceeds without the UNs mediation at all.
Tough U. S. Defenses Won the Cold War.
Well, then, what did win the Cold War for us? The one ingredient Obama never mentioned and which wasnt stirred up by Bartender Axelrod in the speech-content cocktail, understood by Emanuel. referred to by Faureau or grasped by Obama: military deterrence. Take a look. The Berlin Blockade (1945-46) was won by us airlifting supplies to the West Berliners, foiling the Russian effort to isolate West Berlin. The Korean War (1950-53) which ended when President Eisenhower, a 5-star general passed the word unofficially that he was ready to break the impasse by resorting to nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula and Chinese mainland.
The Berlin Crisis (1961) which resulted in the building of the Berlin Wall after which JFK increased military strength in the army from 873,000 to more than 1 million, doubled the draft rolls and pushed the Air Force numbers up by 28,000. The USSR backed down leading Kennedy to address the Berliners in June, 1963 by saying I am a Berliner but which was so mispronounced that it came out I am a doughnut. Then The Cuban Missile Crisis portrayed as an exhibition of American military strength (but which was actually a standoff since privately we agreed to pull missiles out of Turkey to accommodate Russian desires). We lost our only war in Vietnam (1959-76) where Lyndon Johnson lost his nerve and Richard Nixon following Watergate was impeded by the Democratic congress which cut off aid to South Vietnam causing the defeat.
After Jimmy Carters surrender of the Panama Canal came the Hostage Crisis (1979-81) in failing to act when 53 Americans were held hostage for 444 days during the early days of the Iranian Revolution, Ronald Reagan instilled a newborn pride of country. He met the USSR invasion of Afghanistan by stepping up defense expenditures, reviving the B-1 bomber Carter had cancelled and deploying Pershing missiles in West Germany as well as insisting on development of research on the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). American military expenditures convinced Gorbachev privately that the USSRs future was a lost cause. Reagan then countered with a brilliant plan for zeroing out all nuclear missiles which Gorbachev rejected; later under the administration of George H. W. Bush, the USSR collapsed.
Why dont Barack Obama and U. S. liberals understand this? It is because they have abandoned conventional liberalism for Leftism which is a substitute for religion. They have increasingly become like the early Church father Tertullian [A.D. 160-220] who was deprived of canonization because of hard-headedness which led to schism with the orthodox Church where his passionate resistance to facts shattered his effectiveness, he insisting on certum est, quia impossibile (it is certain because it is impossible) and credible est, quia ineptum est (it is believable because it is ridiculous).
Obama Stiffs His Nordic Idolators.
Now to the part I alluded to before how Obama stiffed his Norwegian
As the world knows, Obama won the Nobel Prize not because of what he did but because of the concerted support of five Norwegian leftists who were elected by the left-leaning Norwegian parliament. It all started going south or leftward 20 years ago when the Prize went not to Ronald Reagan who put such pressure on the Soviets that the totalitarian government tumbled, but on his adversary, Mikhail Gorbachev who struggled to keep his tyranny afloat, who was nevertheless praised by the committee for helping to bring the Cold War to an end. The 1994 Prize went to Yasir Arafat who never deviated from his yen to drive the Jews to the sea. In 2002 the Prize went to former president Jimmy Carter, a spectacularly inept presidentbut the Prize seemed to be a rebuke to George W. Bush. Three years later it went to former vice president Al Gore for his work in global warming. Since then the source of many of the statistics for the so-called world malaise has been discredited.
The prize to Obama was described by the Associated Press
as at least partly a slap at Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obamas predecessor for his largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Therefore it is, for this writer, delicious to savor the rudeness with which Obama scooped up the Prize. He (a) cut short his visit to Oslo, (b) neglected to dine with the Nobel committee which voted him the Prize, (c) skipped an Oslo news conference, (d) turned thumbs down on an Oslo state television interview, (e) rejected plans that called for a visit to an exhibition in his honor at Norways Peace Centre and the worst insult of all. Can you believe this? Obama refused to take lunch with the King of Norway, Harald V!
Here he was: Harald V, king of Norway, second cousin to Queen Elizabeth II, 63rd in line to the British throne, admiral of the Norwegian fleet (which came along with his kingship), nominal head of the official Church of Norway, Grand Master of the Order of St. Olaf, Recipient of the Royal Victorian Chain, Knight of the Garter and get this Prince of the Holy Roman Empire (which, as cynics like to say, is none of those things: holy, Roman or empire but which came to him through his old German heritage).
Consider the irony: This president whose lineage is so spotty his staff refuses to release his original birth certificate disses such superbly patrician, pristine king whose ancestors go back 1400 years! And are those Norwegian liberals phony! They who love to prattle about their wish to democratize and make egalitarian the world raised a furor some years back when Harald married of all things a commoner. But their inner snobbery came to the front when Obama formerly of Indonesia and lately of the Chicago South Side couldnt find time for their King.
I love it!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thoughts While Shaving: Did the Salahis Have an Earlier Connection with Obama? Just Asking The Coming Deluge for the Illinois Democratic Party The Hard Left Tone that Passes for Analysis on `TTW.
I know enough about e-mail rumors not to accept them at face value. But as I write this, I am looking at a photo of Sen. Barack Obama with a group of people who attended the so-called Rock the Vote held purportedly on June 9, 2005, six months after he was sworn in. Front and center are Tareq and Michaele Salahi. So they just happened to pop into an earlier picture with Obama: so what? But the photo appeared on the website of the American Task Force on Palestine, a radical front group which has ties in Chicago and whose tentacles extend to Saudi Wahhabists. Insiders tell me its the U.S. wing of Hamas. Maybe, maybe not but yesterday the Salahis disappeared from the website: scrubbed.
But I was looking at a shot with Obama where Tareq is on his left in what we used to call a Panama linen suit and at the right end of the photo is Michaele, bare shouldered and glitzy. The American Task Force on Palestines co-founder is Rashid Khalidi who purportedly helped finance Obamas Harvard tuition, the same guy who was instrumental in getting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia. Earlier he was a PLO spokesman, the same guy of whom Obama has said that Khalidi is someone who challenges my own biases.
Hmmm. Before the mainstream media dismiss this as just another rumor, remember that they did the same thing with ACORN and the global warming statistics which were altered by crooked scientists who wanted to push a liberal agenda rather than follow the facts.
The Coming Dem Deluge.
A good thing for the Illinois Democratic party that the mainstream media has a long history of obscuring details unfavorable to liberaldom, else the real truth about the political situation would be disseminated. But to anyone with a realistic sense of politics, the truth is getting out anyhow. The standoff between Gov. Quinn and Dan Hynes will be won by Quinn who is the weaker of the two candidates. If Hynes were to win the nomination, he at least would be a somewhat newer face. Not so Quinn who has in a relatively short time proved himself to be a queasy, uncertain, quirky executive of whom it is said that if you dont like his decision, just wait a minute because the change will be announced any time now.
The same old hard-nosed Mike Madigan who couldnt get along with Blagojevich (well, he had a good reason there because Blago was and is a nut) cant get along with Quinn either. Warring temperaments and inability to unify are the hallmarks of coming disaster. Then you have Bobblehead Durbin who were he to have ever entertained a liberal thought would suffer a cerebral hemorrhage.
Illinois is a microcosm of the nations Democratic party. Never in my 81-year-old lifetime have I seen a party resolutely pushing itself to disaster by force-feeding two massively unpopular programs on an electorate that doesnt want them. They are ObamaCare and Cap and Trade. Every successful liberal enactment to date in my memory has been supported by popular demand nationally i.e. civil rights. I was in Washington for the great breakthroughs on civil rights in the 1960s. There the heavy wish of the nation was to pass the legislation and only the recalcitrant South fought it.
Now all you have to do is look at the polls and you discover that the American people dont want ObamaCare, dont want the higher taxes that the goofy Al Gore-instilled Cap and Trade will instill. Still the obstinate doctrinaire radic-lib Obama is forcing the nation to swallow this medicine. And the Illinois Democratic leadership, far from dissociating itself from the Obama force-feed is going right along with it.
Its bound to cause the nation to regurgitate and when it does the Illinois Democratic party will be massively repudiated.
Lefty Bias on `TTW.
What passes for analysis is the weak tea stuff that Thom Serafin an ex-Democratic operative uses on the local Fox TV stationwhich is light years away from the Fox News Network. Serafin doesnt make the vaguest pretense of analysis just reports everything as an inconclusive horserace and the know-nothing local Fox anchors just nod away.
`TTWs Jolly Lefty Crew.
Then of course WTTW-TV constitutionally unable to stomach any conservative conclusion has Nurse Ratched playing her usual game which goes like this:
If a rare conservative guest says he/she wants to bring up something from the right, Nurse Ratched will say hold on to that thought; well be back to that in a minute. Then after nursing outdated cherished liberal beliefs, she turns to the conservative and says aside from the issue you brought up earlier, what do you thinkblah blah blah? The whole thing is orchestrated by Mary Fields, of course, who is so Left-Liberal she squeaks.
I would suggest that someone start building a campaign to withhold contributions to `TTW on the basis of its convulsively liberal bias. You can wretch over Ratched, Marin and Ponce if you wish but the real impetus for the Left is the lady whos never on cameraChicago Tonights strong leftward grip on its news rudder, Mary Fields. When she reads this her eyes will widen and shell say who, me? Little me? Yes, Little You, Fields. You pick the lefty guests and guide Nurse Ratched through her paces. Lets start a consumer boycott against `TTW which will last until and unless they go reasonably objective. Which means they get rid of Ms. Fields to start off with. Then Ponce and if they have to dig up Callaway okay. A dead Callaway is better than a live Ponce, live Ratched and live Marin any day. Moreover its about time the station ditches Laughing Boy Weisman with the prematurely orange hair for Chicago Week in Review.
No, Im not writing this because I want to be on. No more TV for me. Im fat, homely, not pretty and worn out. I held down the conservative chair for more than a decade during the golden Callaway years and thats enough. At my age I have this blog, The Chicago Daily Observer and a radio gig that more than keeps me busy. Besides Im writing a book of reminiscences.
What bothers me about `TTW more than other stations is that it exists partially at the sufferance of the taxpayers for which we see our own money churned back to us via the Lefty bias of prim, smug, ultra-self-assured Ms. Fields in whose delicate manicured hands manager Dan Schmidt is silly putty. So if you think my suggestion that there be a consumer boycott at pledge time, write me at email@example.com
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Thoughts While Shaving: The Democrats Dilemma. If Expensive Health Care Bill Passes, Theyll be Defeated. If it Doesnt, Theyll be Defeated.
I dont know what the tension is about whether or not a super-liberal health care bill will pass the Senate, be quickly tailored to fit the House, then pass the Conference committee and go to the president who will sign it. The president has indicated he will sign anything with health care on it thats approved by the Democrats. So whats the tension? The fact is that with the terribly low level of public support ObamaCare (and whatever passes will be called ObamaCare) the Democrats will get it in the neck. And if nothing passes, the Democrats will get it in the neck. But its very likely very likely that ObamaCare will pass.
Either way the Democrats are killing themselves. The public temper is ugly concerning them. Ive been around the block a couple of decades and its worse than anything Ive seen since the low-level days of Jimmy Carter. None other than Democratic pollster Pat Caddell said it best the other day to the Democrats: The people are out to get you! And why wouldnt they? Thanks to Obama and the liberals they will control a sixth of the economy. They are going to control the insurance industry with a mandate so individuals will have to will be compelled to purchase insurance. They try to weasel around it by saying its no different than owning a car: there you have to buy insurance. But there is no law you have to own a car! There will be in this case.
Why then am I sanguine? Because the Democrats are busily engaged in writing their own death warrant. What they have passed can be undone later. Its not irrevocable. They will have to answer for a lot of additional taxation. They finally perceived that Medicare cuts were disastrous for if the cuts they had originally specified would happen they will take the blame for cuts in service for the physicians who will leave their practice, for hospitals that will go under.
So at the last minute they decided not to go over the cliff. Big deal. Whatever way they go, theyre doomed in 2010. They can thank that courageous numb-nuts idealist Obama for their disaster. He will be remembered as the Herbert Hoover of the Democratic party. Unfortunately for race relations, it will be a certifiable aeon before they will ever be able to nominate another black for president and the sucking sound of retribution will provide a spitty kiss of death to most black candidates running statewide in any state except the heavily blue ones: including Illinois.
If they had elected a Colin Powell (not that I would vote for him since I disagree with him on social issues but find him acceptable on most everything else) but if they had elected a Colin Powellreasonable, centrist on most thing and solid on national securitythey could have survived this thing. But no, they had to listen to their most extreme faction the Daily Kos-like people and elected one who eschews commonsense economics and who disses Christianity and exceptionalism to-boot. What a disaster. It looks like the Democrats will be just about as popular as the party that nominated James M. Cox.
Looking at the TV news the other day, there was Jello-like Pat Quinn standing there extolling the jobs for Thomson and Sen. Bobble-head Durbin nodding-nodding-nodding in the background. All the Bobble-head had to offer was that George W. Bush supported closing down Gitmo as well. As if anything Bush said is acceptable to Bobblehead who had to crawl on his belly on the floor of the Senate chamber and cry his eyes out for having earlier compared GIs guarding prisoners at Guantanamo to Nazis. The best he can say is that George Bush wanted to close Gitmo. George Bush was my guy for a lot of reasons but not because he was omniscient about everything. Bobblehead had crucified him so often that Bush weakened about Gitmo. The fact is that its a perfectly good place to house terroristsand Bobblehead knows it. Were doing this so Obama can keep at least one campaign promise.
What Bobblehead doesnt say is this: The secretary of Homeland Security says these terrorists are not going to acquire residency but what assurance is there that one of those liberal federal judges appointed by Clinton or Carter will uphold this that that some of them wont be released into our streets? The ACLU is already gunning for that possibility. Look at what their director has said: The creation of a Gitmo North in Illinois is hardly a step forward. Shutting down Guantanamo will be nothing more than a symbolic gesture if we continue the lawless policies onshore.
There, what do you think of that? And where is the supine Tribune editorial board on that? What does it think about that? Paging Mr. Dold: call your office. Ask the business office if they will let you write about this, Mr. Dold!
Quinn is going down, a Republican U. S. senator will likely be elected (likely without my help). I have hopes that Ms. Melissa Bean will be shunted back to Illinois and limpid eyes Halvorson as well. Ah the joy, the savoryness of it!
I just hope I live to 2014 when lets see, how old will I be?...
eighty-seven well thats not impossible when Bobblehead is up for reelection. I think Ill get on the Nordic Trak now and work out so Ill be around. By then Illinois will have been fully sated with this hypocritical sellout. Already theyve forgotten about Sanctimonious Paul Simon. Bobblehead is wearing very thin. I tell you: things are going to be all right, starting in 2010.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Personal Aside: Lets Get This Straight on Papal Infallibility: It Doesnt Include Redistribution of Income or Environmental Science.
Pope Benedict XVI, a man of immense learning in philosophy and theology, has just been quoted as saying that rich nations must assume environmental duties, should shed their consumerism and embrace more sober lifestyles: this datelined Vatican City by Reuters.
Lets get this straight. We Catholics believe the Pope is infallible on matters of faith and morals but with this caveat: The doctrine of infallibility is a negative i.e. the Pope cannot err on faith and morals. Moreover infallibility does not mean impeccability. The Blessed Virgin, conceived without Original Sin, was and is impeccable but Popes are not. Peter, the first Pope, certainly was not nor was any of his successors.
Infallibility is also different than revelation. With revelation, God enlightens the human mind. Infallibility, in contrast, presupposes an already existing revelation needs to be preserved. Nor is infallibility the same as inspiration. Inspiration assumes God is the principle deliverer of the word. A good theologian as the late Fr. Ernie (Fr. Ernest Kilzer OSB) said truthfully that (a) in revelation God speaks His divine word; (b) in inspiration He projects it and (c) through papal infallibility on faith and morals He safeguards (prevents error disseminated).
What do we mean when we say the Pope is infallible on faith and morals? We mean that God who is absolutely infallible bestowed on His new people, the Church, a shared infallibility within three circumscribed limits. And what are they? First, as previously said, in matters of faith and morals. Second, when the whole people of God unhesitatingly hold a point of doctrine on these matters and third always dependent on what Ernie used to call the wise providence and anointing grace of the Holy Spirit who leads the Church, guards it from straying from the truth until the 2nd Coming.
All these things having been said, what weight does a view of a Pontiff on particular matters not specifically linked to faith and morals take on with faithful Catholics? We owe to give that view serious consideration but not more. The view of John Paul II that capital punishment is almost always wrong does not negate the right of the state to punish criminals with appropriate penalties not excluding in cases of extreme gravity, the death penalty not does it, frankly, command me to change my conscience which guides me by the light of human reason. I must say my views have become more tolerant because of the discovery of DNA and the wise counsel of the Pope: but Im still a capital punishment man.
It is my personal view that on economics this particular Pope does not fathom the beneficent nature of development of wealththat entrepreneurship is a gesture of generosity, a risk without a guarantee of return and that the Church has been delinquent in perceiving this. There is no doubt in my mind that Benedict reflects a Bismarckian view of the Big State versus appreciation of the value of entrepreneurism. But of course that does not invalidate the papacys role on faith and morals but does mean that injunctions about no nation or people can remain indifferent to problems such as climate change, pollution, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions, I take as advicenothing more.
The Pope is not an expert on the environment or environmental sciencethus it would be foolish, after consideration of his views, to accept views on science and other issues not specifically connected to faith and morals as anything approaching ex-cathedra (Latin for from the chair of Peter). In a sense his view on this could could I say be assumed to endorse goofy and unrealistic projects such as the one journalist Steve Huntley reported in yesterdays Sun-Times to-wit geothermal projects to extract energy from below the earths surface, using natural heat to provide carbon-emission-free energy could backfire with repercussions to humanity. Drilling into hot bedrock and circulating water through it to generate steam ended in producing an earthquake in Switzerland in 2006.
Having pointed this out, let me as one human vouchsafe my own opinion to the Pope as one human to another and to those on his staff who churn out statements on this and other non-relevant disquisitions. And that is this: You have more than enough to do to correct the propensity of man to sin without getting into the fringes of economic policy. As we have found out with Climate-gate, statistics and numbers can be juggled and inverted so as to advance a particular political position.
Further papal statements on the economy, world trade et al trigger pronouncements from ambitious but de-facto groups as the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) pontificating on things the mitered ones know very little about the economy globalization the negatives of capital punishment the positives of nuclear freeze. It is revelatory that very little is generated by the mitered ones on something they have great responsibility for: the safeguarding of morals in the priesthood and the training of young people in Catholic schools on the articles of the faith.
In summary, I dont know how many Catholics I speak for but please regard respectfully this from the back pews: I dont want to read further dispatches from Reuters telling us how the Pope or the USCCB feel about taxpayer-paid universal health care the Guantanamo detainees and whether they should go to Thomson, Illinois Keynesian principles of economics inflation deflation the Fed or the selection of winners of the Golden Globe. Thank you very much.
We Catholics look to the papacy for remonstrances on faith and morals without expansion into politics via embellishment from staffers lay or clerical who do not have Jesus Christs authorization to generate views on how the world should be steered, much less providing directions for the bark of Peter.
I will appreciate your views on these thoughts especially from Catholics. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org