Feast of St. Erasmus*
Note: Fr. Ernie has been called back to moderate a discussion in Eternal Life between Aquinas the Angelic Doctor, Augustine, Terullian and the Dutch humanist Erasmus on “How Consecrated Life is a Tangible Seal of the Trinity.” He has promised to return but since time does not exist in Eternal Life when is anybody’s guess.
A week barely goes by without Barack Obama further securing his hold on the title I gave him some months ago—decidedly the worst president of the United States compared to the 43 who preceded him in the 221 year history of the office.
Fortunately, he has botched his politics so badly he has increased chances of his defeat in 2012—something I look forward to: if the country can survive until then.
Last week he further clinched being the worst and the most politically inept with four baldly partisan acts masquerading as diplomacy which would not have been attempted by any previous U. S. president because of retribution from the electorate.
First he brought the president of Mexico. Filipe Calderon, to Washington to blast the state of Arizona for passing an act designed to keep Mexican illegals from flooding Arizona with 500,000 uninvited guests who have made that state second in the world for murders and kidnapping. This says more about the Mexican illegals than it does us. All the while Calderone spoke, Obama nodded vigorously like a $1.35 bobble-head you can buy at WalMart.
…Following which Obama’s Squid operatives scheduled a joint meeting of Congress so Calderon could assail Arizona again…which got a standing ovation from Obama’s liberal Democratic lackeys. But by week’s end he was so harmed in public opinion on immigration—with Arizona’s illegal floodtide having swelled 500,000 and up 6% since last October-- that he had to settle for a short-range p. r. device of sending a few thousand federal troops to the border there: a temporary make-do at best since once the troops leave, the problem will erupt again.
Third he gave Calderon license to lecture us further on our domestic affairs, urging us to pass a severely restrictive…almost unconstitutional…ban on all assault rifles…a rude and egregiously undiplomatic violation of common civility between two nations.
Fourth, Obama sent a top immigration pol to come to Chicago, home of The Squid, to announce that the administration just might not enforce the Arizona law at all—even though it squares in every significant part with federal law designed to protect the borders of the United States from infestation and invasion by illegals. John Morton, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) said, “I don’t think the Arizona law or laws like it are the solution”—ignoring the issue of the federal executive’s obligation to enforce all laws, including states’ which are constitutional. Nor does the view of a lowly assistant secretary that a law isn’t constitutional cut any ice until the Supreme Court rules, which is unlikely.
And Morton’s boss, Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano, agreed saying that ICE is not obligated to process illegal immigrants referred to them by Arizona authorities—a view that is certainly a vast departure from the tradition that requires enforcement of all constitutional measures. Obama has threatened that his Justice Department will challenge the Arizona legislation’s constitutionality. But this will be very difficult since the Arizona law follows in almost every particular federal case law on immigration. The Arizona law bars racial profiling and stipulates that only in case of a person being stopped for another offense would he/she be asked for identification papers which squares with federal law.
All this is part of a campaign strategy to ingratiate Obama and the Dems with Hispanic voters—especially illegals who thanks to Squid control of the election process here vote in droves. But of course it flies in the face of heavy public opinion supporting the Arizona law and the country generally. What is Obama thinking of to go so contrary to public opinion with his job approval falling into the basement? The answer: he believes his charisma which he showed in 2008 will carry him through in 2012.
Obama’s “charisma” didn’t help him in the special elections for governor in Virginia, New Jersey and the senatorial in Massachusetts. Nor in his supposed home state of Hawaii where last week voters elected the first Republican congressman to represent them in 20 years. Besides, Opinion Dynamics polling shows 65% of all U. S. voters think the states should have the right to make their own immigration laws…52% believe their own states should pass laws identical to Arizona’s…76% think immigration laws aren’t strict enough including 56% of midwestern voters believe this…83% are shocked to discover that Attorney General Eric Holder hadn’t read the law…and 73% of all Republicans and 51% of all Democrats urge stricter border enforcement that we have now.
But ignoring preponderant public opinion is only one of Obama’s failings.
Essentially, let it be said that Obama is the first president who, in the words of John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the UN, is “post-American.” Meaning he is not a patriot.
“The first problem,” Bolton said in a speech here last week, “is that he doesn’t care about national security” [italics mine]. “It is not where his attention is focused. The second problem is that he doesn’t see threats to the U.S. overseas.” That is obvious: for someone purportedly well educated, he is a dunce in foreign and national security affairs. During the campaign he said repeatedly—until corrected—that “Iran is a tiny country.”
A far more serious problem than his just being uneducated is this: He believes that America is in irreversible decline. In this he sounds like Pat Buchanan. Not only that, but unlike Buchanan he gives the unmistakable impression that he thinks it’s a good thing, since its dominance can be supplanted by a global world government. Beyond that, he and his Squid intimates including Hillary Clinton, are ineducable. They believe that in the past America has been impaired by its refusal to negotiate.
Not so. If anything, Reagan was adroit at negotiating with the then failing USSR in that in card-player parlance he knew “when to hold `em, when to fold `em.” But history means nothing to Obama or The Squid. By stressing negotiation but which in reality means capitulation, Obama has failed miserably on Iran, North Korea, the Middle East and elsewhere.
A definite clue to the role of Obama the “post-American president” is his cavalier dismissal of the United States as an exceptional country. John Winthrop of Massachusetts Bay started the view which has carried through 43 presidents that this country is exceptional. When asked about his view on this subject on one of his trips where he was apologizing for this country, Obama said yes, America is exceptional—“but to the Greeks Greece is exceptional, to the Brits Great Britain is exceptional.”
That shocking statement pleases only one category of voter: 98% of the blacks, 65% of the Hispanics and the denizens in the Harvard faculty lounge, the editorial boards of major mainstream newspapers, the editors at nearly bankrupt Time and Newsweek and the producers at NBC, CBS and ABC. Thus convinced that we are unexceptional leads to the contention that we should be managed by a global government—which is high on Obama’s personal agenda for what he hopes will be his second term. For he wishes to be remembered not just as president but as the visionary architect who designed global government as a reality—in other words, the leading figure of the world.
Meanwhile Back at the Chicago Squid…
…the ineptitude that gave the country Obama, has continued---and worsened—apace. The lowpoint last week was Mayor Richard M. Daley continuing on his campaign of blaming inanimate objects—guns—for the untold human carnage that has wrecked city neighborhoods. Daley has set in motion a program to pay $75 for guns turned in…the thought being that fewer guns on the street, the less chance of random murders.
Last week Daley called a news conference where he appeared in front of a pile of guns which were turned in. The interesting thing is that even to the eye of the non-conversant, the guns appeared old, rickety and most of them unable to be fired. Which means that those who turned them in, pocketed the $75 and probably used to money to buy up-to-date guns.
He called the news conference following the tragic shooting of a young African American policeman, age 30, who was in front of his home in middle-class black Chatham on the South Side.
The policeman was just back from two tours of duty in Iraq where he survived handily without being killed or wounded. He spent his free time at home organizing his neighborhood to clean up a park which has been used as a meeting place for drug dealers and what we call “gang-bangers”—members of violent gangs who because of chaotic households where fathers are absent, reach out to lawless elements as a kind of substitute for family order…bred by illegitimacy and chaos that the churches avoid talking about. Their oracular black pastors plus one white—Fr. Michael Pfleger--pound the pulpits and shout about secular things feel it is smarter to be still about sexual morality since to instruct about marriage might possibly be seen as an insult to the black community and direly lighten their collection plates.
While he was inspecting his new motorcycle, the policeman was confronted by two gang members on foot and two in an idling car. The two on foot insisted on taking possession of the vehicle. The young Iraq war veteran announced he was a law enforcement officer but to no avail. He fired, wounding one, and the people in the car fired an automatic rifle killing the young officer. Meanwhile the officer’s father, a retired policeman, fired at the group killing one. The other two sped away but were later apprehended where they face the death penalty.
To Daley the lesson is that more…always more…guns should be confiscated. But a whole independent body of studies show that concealed carry laws…where citizens who are trained in firearms and are registered to carry them so they can protect themselves when the need arises…have cut down crime significantly in the 48 states where they have been enacted. This means nothing to Daley principally because The Squid liberal credo supports gun confiscation. Daley used to be for capital punishment when he was Cook county states attorney but now to please the Squid claque he opposes it. Rudy Giuliani told me two years ago that for all his mistakes as mayor of New York he was popular because he supported the police. Not so Daley. He caves in to the ACLU whenever the police are questioned on civil liberties grounds. These are the accommodations he has made to get elected with the approbation of the Left—something his father never did.
Daley’s Battle with the English Language.
While his South Side-raised father had trouble parsing the English language no one in high public office in America has violated the rules of communication more than the man oldsters still call “young Daley.” Yes, his father got his rhetorical comparison confused, as when he said “my enemies have crucified me; they’ve even criticized me!” and sputtered incorrectly “the police are there to maintain disorder” when obviously he meant “order.” But Richard M. Daley is a case apart. In fact, his terminology is so incoherent that it can be said for him truly English is a second language.
Moreover, psychologists might study his weird concern with removing his pants. Does that have to do with something unfortunate that happened in his childhood, or what?
Two examples from the record.
Once, when asked about the casual look in dress: “If somebody takes their tie off, I’m not going to take my tie off! If somebody takes his pants off, I’m not going to take my pants off!” Again, responding to whether he sufficiently supported a Democratic candidate for governor who ultimately lost: “I supported him! I raised money for him! What else do you want me to do—take my pants off?”
Moreover, last week there arose a fixation with a bodily orifice. At the news conference where he showed the press a pile of rusty, old-fashioned guns that have been turned in, a reporter asked how effective the gun ban has been since murder has gone through the roof.
Daley: “Oh, it’s been very effective!” Grabbing a rifle with bayonet (which may have been from World War I) and holding it up: “If I put this up your butt…ha-ha! You’ll soon find out how effective it is!.”
The reporter asked about the gun ban being effective—not the gun.
But Daley was on a tear: “If I put a round up your—ha ha!”
As he juggled the gun, the room was very, very quiet.
Daley: “This gun saved many lives. It could save your life!” –meaning evidently that getting that gun off the streets could save lives and maybe the reporter’s life.
Daley: “We save all these guns that the police department seizes. You know how many lives we’ve saved? You don’t realize it. First of all they’re taking these guns out of someone’s hands. They save their own life and they save someone else’s. You cannot count how many times this gun can be used. Thirty, 40 times in shooting people and discharging a weapon [sic]. I think it’s very important. Next will be hand grenades, right? [sic]. We’ll say that hand grenades are OK. I mean—how far can you go in regards to mass weapons? To me, any gun taken off saves thousands of lives in America [sic]. I don’t care what people call me [sic]! You have to thank the police officers for seizing all these weapons. We lead the country in seizing weapons. This is unbelievable!”
The most astute analyst of Richard M. Daley and The Squid is The Tribune’s ace columnist John Kass. Had he not been born a princeling, the son of a legendary mayor, he would probably be hustling for DUI law clients in the corridors of traffic court right now. Kass has the feeling he was spoiled by his parents, he being the oldest and invested with the name Richard and all. His siblings speak remarkably good English. Actually the average guy from the Bridgeport neighborhood doesn’t use images like pants removal, gun thrusts at buttocks.
To me, his excitability, the florid face, the sputtering are a defense mechanism when he realizes the futility of comparing him with his father. Old man Daley was a very effective mayor who literally saved Chicago from being turned into canyons of desolation like Detroit. He supported the cops—unlike his son who is fighting their union and has caved into civil libertarians screaming “police brutality.” . After the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. when the city seemed up for grabs with riots and burnings, Old Man Daley’s curt order to the police to shoot looters, first to maim and then to kill, reestablished a truce during those times no matter how he was criticized by the editorial boards most of whose members lived in the suburbs.
His son…who has capitulated to the left on abortion, gay rights, anti-capital punishment, anti-police…has not shown any of that courage. Instead he has courted the Left so that he has no major electoral opposition. Because in his heart he knows he’s sold out, it’s the reason for the tantrums—as a spoiled child would do to deflect blame.
St. Erasmus [circa AD 300]. This is not the Dutch humanist but the martyred bishop of Formulae in the Campagna sector of Italy. Nothing much is known about him but it is thought he was a Syrian bishop who fled the persecution of Diocletian to become a hermit on Mount Lebanon where he was discovered, beaten and rolled in pitch which was lighted afire. He survived, was cast into prison he was released by jailer’s mistake and made his way to Ilyricum and then Formiae where he died.