Friday, October 31, 2008


One of my shelves in one of my office bookcases collapsed because of two broken dowels in the front ends of the shelf. The collapsed shelf contained various post-Vatican II volumes. As fortune would have it, the shelf below it contained one singular, tall and substantial hardback volume that broke the fall of the shelf above it, supporting it and preventing it from spilling all of its books on the floor -- a worn volume published in 1935 in Spain entitled, as irony would have it: Missale Romanum.

This election's great divide: the culture of death

There is no ambiguity, no wiggle-room, no room for further 'nuance' on this one issue in this election. Arieh Ordronneau is right:
"Life is the most important issue this election season, nothing (not taxes, not economy, not the debate over the justness of the Iraq War, etc.) can outweigh the value of an innocent human soul."
And here's proof: "Just Tell Us The Truth..." (YouTube).

[Hat tip to Arieh Ordronneau]

"Redistribution of Wealth 101"

"A Jesuit friend forwarded to me a 'best of anti-Obama stuff' e-mail. (Yes, a Jesuit who is not voting for Obama and is, in fact, forwarding Obama jokes. Never stop believing in miracles.)
Yesterday on my way to lunch at Doe's, I passed one of the homeless guys in that area, with a sign that read "Vote Obama, I need the money."

Once in Doe's, my waiter had on a "Obama 08" tee shirt.

When the bill came, I decided not to tip the waiter and explained to him while he had given me exceptional service, that his tee shirt made me feel he obviously believes in Senator Obama's plan to redistribute the wealth. I told him I was going to redistribute his tip to someone that I deemed more in need -- the homeless guy outside. He stood there in disbelief and angrily stormed away.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $3 and told him to thank the waiter inside, as I had decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy looked at me in disbelief but seemed grateful.

As I got in my car, I realized this rather unscientific redistribution experiment had left the homeless guy quite happy for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn.

Well, I guess this redistribution of wealth is going to take a while to catch on, with those doing the work.
"I think I'll let my oldest kids pick their favorite charities at Christmas, and I'll redistribute their gifts accordingly."

[Hat tip: "Some Have Hats" (October 28, 2008)]

"Eleventh Hour Election Alert"

"This is Bishop Rene H. Gracida, reminding all Catholics that they must vote in this election with an informed conscience. A Catholic cannot be said to have voted in this election with a good conscience if they have voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is a pro-abortion candidate."
Bishop Rene H. Gracida, Emeritus of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, made this statement recently on radio -- a statement exposited in a half hour video just produced by Fr. John Corapi (whom Bishop Graciada ordained initially as a Deacon).

Here is the video, "Eleventh Hour Election Alert" (YouTube).

Laws to be struck down by an elected President Obama

  • the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding for abortions;
  • the federal law banning partial birth abortions, which was finally upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2007;
  • the "Mexico City Policy," which has barred the use of federal taxpayers' money to pay for abortions in other countries;
  • laws in 44 states that preserve a parental role when children under 18 seek abortions;
  • laws in 40 states that restrict late-term abortions;
  • laws in 46 states that protect the right of conscience for individual health care providers;
  • laws in 27 states that protect the right of conscience for institutions;
  • laws in 38 states that ban partial birth abortions;
  • laws in 33 states that require counseling before having an abortion;
  • and laws in 16 states that provide for ultrasounds before an abortion.
While the goal of overturning Roe may seem unrealistically distant, the resistance against the culture of death since 1973 has not been without its victories. The foregoing list constitutes a modest list of those victories.

As Carl A. Anderson, head of the Knights of Colombus, recently stated, however:
All of these restrictions on abortion - all of the progress we've made over the past 35 years in trying to limit and reduce abortions in the United States - would be invalidated with the stroke of a pen if the next Congress passes, and the next president signs, the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA).

Before you cast your vote on Tuesday, please take the time and effort necessary to learn whether candidates for whom you might vote favor or oppose FOCA.

The House sponsors of FOCA are listed here.

The Senate sponsors of FOCA are listed here.

Obviously, if a candidate in your area is not listed among the sponsors, you may have to ask his or her campaign for their position on FOCA.

We have gathered much additional information about the Freedom of Choice Act, including links to material from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and on life issues generally on a special Knights of Columbus web page:

Remember, all that we've done together since Roe to save the lives of the unborn is at stake. Please pass on this message to your pro-life friends.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama supports Kenyan radical Odinga at foreign political ralley at US taxpayer expense?

"The video that could cost Obama the election" (Canada Free Press, October 24, 2008):

The link to this video was sent to me by a Catholic priest. I checked it out with, and found nothing that directly contradicts the data and claims set forth in this video, including the appearance of Obama at the political ralley of Raila Odinga, Kenya's notorious revolutionary President, who came to power amidst flagrant voting irregularities and a post-election crisis resulting in the deaths of 1,500 people and displacement of 600,000 more (Wikipedia). In fact,, although denying the Odinga's claim that Obama's father is his maternal uncle, admits "the Obama campaign acknowledged that Senator Obama spoke to Raila Odinga by telephone 'for about five minutes' in January 2009" and that "he also made a public appearance with Odinga during a trip to Kenya in 2006," although it denied that he made any financial contribution to Odinga's campaign.

The first part of the video is somewhat confusing, unless you are acquinted with recent Kenyan political developments. Watch the video through to the end, however, where the point becomes damningly clear. Have you seen a word about this in the US mainstream media? I haven't. Is it true? Do you think anyone cares?

[Hat tip to D.J.]

Vol. I of Ratzinger's collected works is all about liturgy

Sandro Magister, "In the 'Opera Omnia' of Ratzinger the Theologian, the Overture Is All about the Liturgy" (www.chiesa, October 29, 2008):
And Benedict XVI explains why, in the preface to the volume that he wanted to have published first. He recalls that this is how Vatican Council II began, too. By giving God first place. And about the direction to face in prayer, he writes...
Tantalizing, isn't it? Magister reports:
Last week, when the first volume of the "Opera Omnia" of Joseph Ratzinger was presented at the Vatican, one question naturally arose: why is it that the first volume printed, of the sixteen planned, is focused on the liturgy?

To answer this question, it is enough to read the preface that Benedict XVI wrote for the opening of the volume. There, the pope writes that the selection of the theme to begin with was entirely his own. And he explains why. In passages that are highly interesting, and sometimes surprising.
Indeed. In his Preface, the former Cardinal Ratzinger himself writes:
Unfortunately, almost all of the reviews of this have been directed at a single chapter: "The altar and the direction of liturgical prayer." Readers of these reviews must have received the impression that the entire work dealt only with the orientation of the celebration, and that its contents could be reduced to the desire to reintroduce the celebration of the Mass "with [the priest's] back turned to the people." In consideration of this misrepresentation, I thought for a moment about eliminating the chapter (just nine pages out of two hundred) in order to bring the discussion back to the real issue that interested me, and continues to interest me, in the book. It would have been much easier to do this because in the meantime, two excellent works had been published in which the question of the orientation of prayer in the Church during the first millennium is clarified in a persuasive manner. I think first of all of the important, brief book by Uwe Michael Lang "Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer" (Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2004), and in a special way of the tremendous contribution by Stefan Heid, "Atteggiamento ed orientamento della preghiera nella prima epoca cristiana [Attitude and orientation of prayer in the early Christian era]" (in "Rivista d’Archeologia Cristiana" 72, 2006), in which the sources and bibliography on this question have been extensively illustrated and updated.

The result is entirely clear: the idea that the priest and people should look at each other in prayer emerged only in modern Christianity, and is completely foreign to ancient Christianity. Priest and people certainly do not pray to each other, but to the same Lord. So in prayer, they look in the same direction: either toward the East as the cosmic symbol of the Lord who is to come, or, where this is not possible, toward an image of Christ in the apse, toward a cross, or simply toward the sky, as the Lord did in his priestly prayer the evening before his Passion (John 17:1). Fortunately, the proposal that I made at the end of the chapter in question in my book is making headway: not to proceed with new transformations, but simply to place the cross at the center of the altar, so that both priest and faithful can look at it, in order to allow themselves to be drawn toward the Lord to whom all are praying together.
Of course, as far as Ratzinger is concerned, this is really only a sidenote to the main focus of his liturgical work, yet a very important note, and one which, even if it functions as a presupposition, is fundamental to his thought, and, in his view, to liturgy itself.

Political notes from a lawyer

1. Zbigniew Brzezinski is an Obama foreign policy adviser:
This is the same man who wrote in Between Two Ages ‘Marxism represents a further vital, and creative stage in the maturing of man’s universal vision. Marxism is simultaneously a victory of the external, active man over the inner, passive man, and a victory of reason over belief...’
2. Obama says he wants a Civilian National Security Force:
... as has every socialist and/or totalitarian in recent memory... SA anyone, Cambodian guards, Mao, Stalin ...
3. This will give you some insight into the real power behind Obama, George Soros:

4. Insight into Obama's tax "cuts" from the Wall Street Journal:

5. Obama's membership in the New Party, a political party established by the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA):

6. On Black Nationalism, click on the RealPlayer & go to 4:20 or so to hear Obama's own words:
Here are some more quotes on Black Nationalism from his own book:
7. Of course, this is his "mentor" and his pastor for 20 years:

Of course, Obama didn't know this about his "mentor", which means he is either a liar or stupid (after 20 years).
8. Obama saying that sex ed should be taught in Kindergarten:

[Hat tip to A.D., Esq.]

Most-Viewed Election Video on YouTube

"Most-Viewed Election Video on YouTube: Iraq Veteran Supporting McCain" (BBC News, October 30, 2008).

A Dose of Reality on ObamaCare

While the health care debate has largely focused on whom the candidates' plans will fund, more Americans need to understand exactly what they would fund. In a recent exchange with Senator Obama's spokesman, the group RH Reality Check posted the campaign's answers to a health care questionnaire on its website. The discussion begins with Obama's assertion, 'Reproductive health care is an essential service -- just like mental health care... And private insurers that want to participate [in the Obama plan] will have to treat reproductive health care in the same way.' According to these excerpts, Obama's plan would treat abortion as a basic health care mandate for both taxpayers and private health insurers to subsidize.

REALITY CHECK: Does Senator Obama support adolescents' access to confidential family planning and reproductive health services, without having to seek permission from their parents?

OBAMA CAMPAIGN: Yes. As the father of two daughters... Obama wants to be sure that there is access to a trained health care provider that can provide needed services or help them make good decisions.

REALITY CHECK: Does Sen. Obama... think adolescents should be able to access emergency contraception over the counter?

OBAMA CAMPAIGN: ...[H]e does believe that teenagers should be able to access EC over the counter. As noted above, he supports the right of adolescents to seek confidential family planning services.

REALITY CHECK: Does Sen. Obama support the Hyde Amendment [which bans federal funding of abortion]?

OBAMA CAMPAIGN: Obama does not support the Hyde Amendment.

REALITY CHECK: Does Sen. Obama support the continued federal funding for crisis pregnancy centers [which do not promote abortions]?

Andrea Lynch, "Sen. Barack Obama's RH Issues Questionnaire"

[Hat tip to Prof. E.E.]

Obama's strange contributors

Take this:
"A survey of the Obama donor base returns 8,794 donations from individuals who gave their state as “NA.” They included donors from Bangalore, India; London; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Lagos, Nigeria; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia."
Or this:
"Typical is Victor A. of Lagos, Nigeria, who gave $500 to the campaign in May. In the FEC database, his address is listed as Ikoyi, NA. But a closer look at the actual itemized receipts filed by the campaign shows that he declared his address as 9e Awori Street Dolphin Estate, Lagos, Nigeria.

"Another 2,372 donors gave their state of residence as 'ZZ,' with cities including Moscow, Barcelona, Beirut, London, Lausanne, Singapore, Hagatna, Gunma-Ken, Buelach, Shanghai, Geneva, Prague, Aichi-Gun, Kiev, Hong Kong, and others.

"Take the case of Jo Jacquet, who gave $23,065 to Obama in 23 separate contributions last month....

"'Jo Jacquet' made all of her contributions on two days, alternating between $5 and $2,300 charges to a credit card.

"On all of the donations, she gave her employer as 'DFDFGDFG,' and her profession as 'DFGDFGDFGHFGH.'"
Bizarre. And none of this happend to catch the eye, supposedly, of the Obama campaign finance team? See Kenneth R. Timmerman, "Ex-CIA Expert: Obama Took Millions in Illegal Foreign Donations" (, October 29, 2008).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tables turned on a very uncomfortable Biden

Team Obama, which has been enjoying no-brainer questions from an overly-supportive press, got to taste what it's like to be Palin on Thursday, when WFTV-Channel 9's Barbara West conducted a satellite interview with Sen. Joe Biden. Hal Boedeker, of the Orlando Sentinel, said that a friend told him it's "some of the best entertainment he's seen recently."

Here's the interview: One on one with Biden (Video).

According to Boedeker's summary:
West wondered about Sen. Barack Obama's comment, to Joe the Plumber, about spreading the wealth. She quoted Karl Marx and asked how Obama isn't being a Marxist with the "spreading the wealth" comment.

"Are you joking?" said Biden, who is Obama's running mate. "No," West said.

West later asked Biden about his comments that Obama could be tested early on as president. She wondered if the Delaware senator was saying America's days as the world's leading power were over.

"I don't know who's writing your questions," Biden shot back.

Biden so disliked West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate's wife.

"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.
[Hat tip to Drudge Report]

Saturday, October 25, 2008

1999 NY Times article leaves key Dems caught red-handed

Steven A. Holmes, "Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending" (New York Times, September 30, 1999). All the usual suspects are there, including President Clinton, pushing expanded subprime lending, complete with an eerie warning from Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute that "... the government will have to step up and bail them out ...." Read it an weep. It deserves derisive laughter, but it hurts too much to laugh. Look who's going to have to pay.

[Hat tip to C. Binder-Scapone]

More from Laura

Laura Ingram (October 23, 2008):
AUDACITY WATCH: Forget measuring the Oval Office drapes, Sen. Obama is way beyond that. After meeting with his team of "national-security advisers," Obama yesterday gave a press conference where he played make-believe president. With a phalanx of Washington foreign-policy insiders behind him, Obama discussed plans for the post-election transition period. In Chicago, construction on a massive stage at Grant Park is underway for an Obama election night victory speech. This would be the first election-night speech from a candidate since Bubba's in '96. Speaker Pelosi, for her part, said it's "100 percent [certain] Obama is going to win," while Senator Schumer says Obama's electoral tally will top 300. Even God is doing his part. Obama told a northern Virginia crowd yesterday that he felt a "righteous wind at our backs." (When can we expect the left's attacks on Obama for harboring the same messianic complex they accuse President Bush of having?)

But Obama's cockiness comes at its own peril. Americans don't take well to being discounted, and that's exactly what an overconfident Democratic Party is doing.

PUNISHING PALIN: You know she must be doing something right. Since Sen. McCain asked her to be his VP -- thus surprising every confident "expert" prediction in Washington -- Gov. Palin has received every criticism the media talking heads' little brains can muster. Dan Henninger's piece today (which takes sly digs at the elitism of his WSJ colleague, Peggy Noonan) offers a sampling of the invective: "Republican blow-up doll," "idiot," "Christian Stepford wife," "Jesus freak," "Caribou Barbie," "a dope," "a fatal cancer to the Republican Party," "liar," "a national disgrace," and "her pretense that she is a woman." And let's not forget the latest "scandal" -- some new clothes!

Pennsylvania is case-in-point. Despite assuring voters Palin is a lying idiot anti-woman baby-moose killer, GOP enthusiasm is soaring. And this comes from no less a source than Democratic Governor Ed Rendell, who fired off two warnings to the Obama camp that the state was in danger of slipping away. According to the far-left Daily Kos website, Obama internal Keystone State polling shows just a two-point differential. Seems the less Palin cares about media attacks against her, the better she does, and the angrier the media becomes. Process, repeat.

OBAMA'S MINISTRY OF TRUTH: Should Obama win in November, thanks and credit will be in order to his 1984-inspired alteration of the historical record. In only the last few months, we've seen the following: When it was revealed in the "Fight the Smears" section of his website that he was lying about his involvement with ACORN (minimizing an actually long-established partnership), his site quietly scrubbed the falsehoods; when a blogger noticed that Michael Klonsky, an unashamed communist education "reformer" happened to be blogging on Obama's site, any hint of his existence was expunged; after Rev. Wright became a household name for his desire to send America to Hell, Obama's site suddenly stopped boasting of his involvement in the campaign; when a video of young California kids appeared singing Obama's glories in a style reminiscent of North Korea, that too was wiped from the e-book of history.

With such a cavalier approach to information control, what exactly we know about Obama -- really and truly -- is harder to discern every day.

RIDDLE OF THE DAY: What do the following names have in common: Bernadine Dohrn, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Michael Klonsky, Rashid Khalidi and Franklin Marshall Davis?

Give up?

Barack Obama!
[Hat tip to C. Binder-Scapone]

MEF flourishing in Diocese of Raleigh, NC

Sid Cundiff reports
1. Effective Friday, October 17, 2008, Bishop Burbidge has appointed Father Paul Parkerson, pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Dunn, NC, to the position of Bishop's Delegate for the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy in the Extraordinary Form for the Diocese of Raleigh. The words "Sacred Liturgy" were used, so Father Parkerson has the honor of oversight of all the Sacraments celebrated in the older form and not just the Mass.

2. The Mass in Dunn on Sunday, Oct 25, at 12 noon, will be a Missa Cantata in the Extraordinary Form for the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Sovereign King.

3. On Saturday, Nov. 1, at 10am, also in Dunn, NC, there will be a Mass in the Extraordinary Form for the Feast of All Saints.

4. On Sunday, Nov. 2, there will be a Missa Cantata at Sacred Heart Cathedral - at 4:30 p.m., with Father Parkerson as the celebrant. Note, though, that in the Traditional calendar, All Soul's Day does not occur on a Sunday when Nov. 2 falls on said day, and is thusly, transferred to Monday. So - the Mass at the Cathedral on Nov. 2 will be that of the resumed 4th Sunday after Epiphany.

5. Dr. Patricia Warren has assembled a Raleigh Diocesan Schola Cantorum which will be available to provide proper Gregorian music for Masses in either form, provided that the Bishop Burbidge grants his final approval of the proposal made to him. They will be known as the Schola Vox Clara.

There will be a MEF every Sunday at 6pm in Rocky Mount, NC. The address:

Our Lady of Perpetual Help
328 Hammond Street,
Sundays 6 pm
Saturdays 8 am
Phone (252) 972-0452
(Fr Tim Meares)
[Hat tip to S.C.]

Why I can't vote for Obama..... by Huntley Brown

Why I Can't Vote For Obama

By Huntley Brown

[See:, October 15, 2008]

Dear Friends,

A few months ago I was asked for my perspective on Obama, I sent out an email with a few points. With the election just around the corner I decided to complete my perspective. Those of you on my e-list have seen some of this before but it's worth repeating...

First I must say whoever wins the election will have my prayer support. Obama needs to be commended for his accomplishments but I need to explain why I will not be voting for him.

Many of my friends process their identity through their blackness. I process my identity through Christ. Being a Christian (a Christ follower) means He leads I follow. I can't dictate the terms He does because He is the leader.

I can't vote black because I am black; I have to vote Christian because that's who I am. Christian first, black second. Neither should anyone from the other ethnic groups vote because of ethnicity. 200 years from now I won't be asked if I was black or white. I will be asked if I knew Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior.

In an election there are many issues to consider but when a society gets abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning to name a few, wrong economic concerns will soon not matter.

We need to follow Martin Luther King's words, don't judge someone by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I don't know Obama so all I can go off is his voting record. His voting record earned him the title of the most liberal senator in the US Senate in 2007.

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007 (01/31/2008) To beat Ted Kennedy and Hilary Clinton as the most liberal senator, takes some doing. Obama accomplished this feat in 2 short years. I wonder what would happen to America if he had four years to work with.

There is a reason Planned Parenthood gives him a 100 % rating.There is a reason the homosexual community supports him.There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Hamas etc. love him. There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal judges to the Supreme Court. There is a reason he voted against the infanticide bill.There is a reason he voted No on the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. There is a reason he voted No on banning partial birth abortion. There is a reason he voted No on confirming Justices Roberts and Alito. These two judges are conservatives and they have since overturned partial birth abortion. The same practice Obama wanted to continue.

Let's take a look at the practice he wanted to continue -- The 5 Step Partial Birth Abortion procedures:
A. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby's leg with forceps. (Remember this is a live baby).

B. The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.

C. The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head.

D. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.

E. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is insserted. The child's brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse. The dead baby is then removed.
God help him. There is a reason Obama opposed the parental notification law.

Think about this: You can't give a kid an aspirin without parental notification but that same kid can have an abortion without parental notification. This is insane.

There is a reason he went to Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years.

Obama tells us he has good judgment but he sat under Jeremiah Wright teaching for 20 years. Now he is condemning Wright's sermons. I wonder why now?

Obama said Jeremiah Wright led him to the Lord and discipled him. A disciple is one in training. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 - 20 'Go and make disciples of all nations.' This means reproduce yourself. Teach people to think like you, walk like you; talk like you believe what you believe etc. The question I have is what did Jeremiah Wright teach him?

Would you support a White President who went to a church which has tenets that said they have a ...
1. Commitment to the White Community

2. Commitment to the White Family

3. Adherence to the White Work Ethic

4. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the White Community.

5. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting White Institutions

6. Pledge allegiance to all White leadership who espouse and embrace the White Value System

7. Personal commitment to embracement of the White Value System.
Would you support a President who went to a church like that?

Just change the word from white to black and you have the tenets of Obama's former church. If President Bush was a member of a church like this, he would be called a racist. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton would have been marching outside.

This kind of church is a racist church. Obama did not wake up after 20 years and just discovered he went to a racist church. The church can't be about race. Jesus did not come for any particular race. He came for the whole world.

A church can't have a value system based on race. The churches value system has to be based on biblical mandate. It does not matter if it's a white church or a black church it's still wrong. Anyone from either race that attends a church like this would never get my vote.

Obama's former Pastor Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of liberal theologian James Cone, author of the 1970 book A Black Theology of Liberation. Cone once wrote: 'Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him.

Cone is the man Obama's mentor looks up to. Does Obama believe this?
So what does all this mean for the nation?

In the past when the Lord brought someone with the beliefs of Obama to lead a nation it meant one thing - judgment.

Read 1 Samuel 8 when Israel asked for a king. First God says in 1 Samuel 1:9 'Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.'

Then God says
1 Samuel 1:18 "When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day." 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles." 21 When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The LORD answered, "Listen to them and give them a king."
Here is what we know for sure. God is not schizophrenic. He would not tell one person to vote for Obama and one to vote for McCain. As the scripture says, a city divided against itself cannot stand, so obviously many people are not hearing from God.

Maybe I am the one not hearing but I know God does not change and Obama contradicts many things I read in scripture, so I doubt it.

For all my friends who are voting for Obama can you really look God in the face and say; Father based on your word, I am voting for Obama even though I know he will continue the genocidal practice of partial birth abortion. He might have to nominate three or four Supreme Court justices, and I am sure he will be nominating liberal judges who will be making laws that are against you. I also know he will continue to push for homosexual rights, even though you destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this. I know I can look the other way because of the economy.

I could not see Jesus agreeing with many of Obama's positions. Finally I have two questions for all my liberal friends.

Since we know someone's value system has to be placed on the nation,
1. Whose value system should be placed on the nation?

2. Who should determine that this is the right value system for the nation?
Huntley Brown
[Huntley Brown is a concert pianist whose versatile repertoire includes classical, jazz, gospel, reggae. Hat tip to J.S.]

What's wrong with 'gay marriage'?

Michael Novak, "Defining Marriage Down" (The Catholic Thing, October 21, 2008):
A question posed by Bill O’Reilly has been nagging at me for a couple of weeks: “What is wrong with gay marriage?” None of his on-air guests had given him reasons...."
Read the rest of Novak's fine analysis (linked above).

[Hat tip to E.E.]

Friday, October 24, 2008

Roman synod: who's misinterpreting whom here?

Here -- in Collin Hansen's "Rome's Battle for the Bible" (Christianity Today, October 20, 2008) -- you have Evangelicals interpreting National Catholic Distorter's John Allen, who in turn is interpreting Dei Verbum as it is interpreted in the Instrumentum Laboris of the Synod! "Synod of Bishops revisits inerrancy compromise reached at Vatican II," says the sub-title of the article.
"The dogma of inerrancy was limited to the area of saving truths," said Gregg Allison, associate professor of Christian theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Matters related to history and science fell outside the purview of inerrancy. "This significantly reduced biblical problems raised by Roman Catholic scholars, but it also went against the church's historical view of Scripture's truthfulness."
Well, this is certainly how the Dei Verbum clause has often been read, but the case against such a reading has also been made by Catholics more in line with Catholic Tradition. One such criticism has shown that much depends on where one places the comma in the vernacular translation of the Latin, which has no comma in the contested clause. Too bad Dei Verbum, a product of compromise between liberal and conservative factions in the Council, wasn't clearer about the matter, instead of effectively deferring it to be dealt with yet another day.

Data shows Obama at odds with 80% of Americans on this issue

"Survey: Significant Abortion Restrictions Favored by Those Self-described 'Pro-Choice'" (CNA, October 17, 2008):
Washington DC, Oct 17, 2008 (CNA).- A new poll sponsored by the Knights of Columbus shows only limited support for permissive abortion laws among all Americans and among Catholics specifically. Even those who label themselves as pro-choice often favor more restrictions on abortion than are currently allowed under Roe v. Wade, the poll finds.

The poll asked survey respondents to state which of six statements came closest to describing their opinion of abortion and to describe themselves as either “pro-life” or “pro-choice.”

About 50 percent of survey respondents described themselves as “pro-choice,” while 44 percent considered themselves to be “pro-life.”

A plurality of about 32 percent of respondents said that abortion should only be allowed in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. Close to 24 percent held that abortion should be legal only in the first three months of pregnancy, while 15 percent said abortion should be allowed only to save the life of the mother and 13 percent agreed that abortion should never be permitted under any circumstance.

Eight percent said that abortion should be allowed only during the first six months of pregnancy, while only another eight percent said that abortion should be available to a woman any time during her entire pregnancy.

Only 15 percent of self-described “pro-choice” respondents favored unrestricted abortion throughout a pregnancy. About 43 percent of pro-choice respondents said abortion should be restricted to the first trimester and 23 percent would restrict abortion only to cases of rape, incest, or where the mother’s life was in danger.

Among Catholics specifically, 48 percent overall described themselves as pro-life, with 59 percent of practicing Catholics and 29 percent of non-practicing Catholics doing so. Close to 47 percent of Catholics described themselves as pro-choice, with 36 percent of practicing Catholics and 65 percent of non-practicing Catholics claiming the label.

Nearly 90 percent of Catholics wanted to restrict abortion to no more than the first trimester of pregnancy, while 72 percent either would limit legalized abortion to cases of rape or incest and to save the life of the mother, would permit it only to save the life of the mother, or do not believe abortion should ever be permitted.

About 35 percent of Catholics said abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. This included 37 percent of practicing Catholics and 30 percent of non-practicing Catholics.

The next largest Catholic cohort, 26 percent, said abortion should be allowed in the first three months of a pregnancy, with 20 percent of practicing Catholics and 36 percent of non-practicing Catholics supporting this position.

Seventeen percent of Catholics said abortion should never be permitted, a position supported by 21 percent of practicing Catholics and 11 percent of non-practicing Catholics.

Six percent of Catholics supported unrestricted abortion throughout pregnancy, including five percent of practicing Catholics and eight percent of non-practicing ones. Another five percent of all Catholics favored legalized abortion only during the first six months of pregnancy, with three percent of practicing Catholics and nine percent of non-practicing Catholics taking such a stand.

The survey, whose results were reported in the document “Moral Issues and Catholic Values,” was conducted for the Knights of Columbus by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion between September 24 and October 3, 2008. Surveying 1,733 Americans among whom 813 were Catholics, it claims a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent for all Americans and 3.5 percent for Catholics specifically.

Full details of the poll results can be found at
[Hat tip to C.G.-Z.]

When may 'pro-lifers' vote for 'pro-choice' candidates?

This is a question that has dogged many in this election. Here's a very good answer: Gerard V. Bradley's "When is it Acceptable for a ''Pro-Life'' Voter to Vote for a ''Pro-Choice'' Candidate?" (Witherspoon Institute, October 21, 2008). Bradley argues that the Golden Rule should serve as a guide to those weighing a vote for "pro-choice" politicians:

Recent debates have centered on the question of when an otherwise "pro-life" voter is morally justified in voting for a "pro-choice" candidate. The question amounts to asking when is it fair--that is, just--to vote for a "pro-choice" candidate. The answer depends on applying the Golden Rule.

Let me explain. The "pro-life" position consists, basically, of these two propositions. First, that people begin at conception, so that to kill anyone from conception onwards is to kill a human person. Second, that it is wrong--morally wrong--to intentionally kill any innocent person. Neither proposition is about religious faith. No one needs religious faith to see and to say that both of these propositions are true. You can figure out when people begin, for example, by reflecting philosophically on scientific facts about human reproduction and development. And you can figure out that killing is wrong by reflecting upon the basic principles of justice-the natural law-which, at least according to Saint Paul, is inscribed upon your heart. Or you can consult almost any secular or religious moral code, or almost any society's civil law-including our own.

It won't do to say that one is "pro-life" because one views abortion with profound misgivings, or because one regrets that so many abortions occur and that the law should work to make it more rare, or because abortion is, in some sense, wrong and evil. Abortion is all these things. But abortion is much more than all these things. In an abortion someone who has the same right not to be killed that everyone else has, is killed. So abortion isn't just an unfortunate event, but it is morally wrong because it deprives a human person of his right to life-and thus we need to enact laws that protect the right to life for all people. This is the "pro-life" position I have in mind in asking under what circumstances is the "pro-life" voter morally justified in voting for a "pro-choice" candidate.

What about the "pro-choice" position? Is it really the case that someone who is "personally" "pro-life" could coherently be politically "pro-choice"? Is it really the same thing as being "pro-abortion"? Well, it is true that a "pro-choice" candidate for public office may never advise any particular women to have an abortion. The "pro-choice" candidate may even find abortion extremely distasteful and, perhaps, abhorrent. But the surgical procedure we call abortion is not the only subject matter of the "pro-choice" position. "Pro-choice" is also, and it is necessarily, a position about what public policies and laws we should have about abortion--specifically, whether abortion should be something women are free to choose, or not. "Pro-choice" is one answer to that policy inquiry. It is the answer that the legal protections which protect most of us from being killed should not protect all of us from being killed. Some people--the unborn--are to be exposed to deadly violence without legal aid or redress. And, so, just as ante-bellum Americans who refused to own slaves were nonetheless correctly called "pro-slavery"--because they affirmed the legal right of others to do so--Americans who today affirm the legal right of a women to have an abortion could correctly be called "pro-abortion," even if they judge abortion an option unworthy of their own choice.

This is the "pro-choice" position I have in mind in seeking to answer the question previously posed. This "pro-choice" position amounts to a grave injustice, one which "pro-choice" candidates necessarily embrace, support, and choose; it is precisely what being "pro-choice," at a minimum, actually means. Anyone who votes for a "pro-choice" candidate becomes morally responsible for this grave injustice. The "pro-life" voter who votes for a "pro-choice" candidate materially--that is, in fact and as a matter of foreseeable effect--cooperates in sustaining this country's radically defective legal structure about abortion. Take the case of presidential elections. Voting for a "pro-choice" candidate helps him to win the presidency, and helping him to win the presidency is, perforce, to help him make his declared "pro-choice" policies a reality (or, to the extent such policies are in place, to help him to block efforts to repeal them). The "pro-life" voter who votes for a "pro-choice" candidate knowingly declines to do what he or she can do to legally protect the unborn from being killed-namely, to vote for a "pro-life" candidate (if one is running).

The Golden Rule

Then under what circumstances is it morally permissible to vote for a "pro-choice" candidate, particularly one who promises not just to uphold the abortion license, but even to expand our unjust structure by introducing government funding of abortion and by removing some brakes upon abortion, such as parental notice laws?

To answer this question we have to consider the matter from the perspective of those who suffer the foreseeable harm resulting from the perpetration of "pro-choice" policies--the unborn who are killed. Then we have to apply the great moral principle we call the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Golden Rule makes us walk in the others' shoes, makes us count the stranger and his or her well-being just as one welcomes the benefits and avoid the harms of what one does when the beneficiary or victim is oneself or someone near and dear. The Golden Rule pushes back particularly hard against our tendency to discount the harms we visit upon those we do not know--those who cannot object, those who cannot offer effective resistance. The Golden Rule steers us to the morally right choice despite the fact that, though we may believe everyone is equal, we do not treat them that way. The Golden Rule leads us to be fair to everyone whose lives and fortunes are foreseeably affected by our actions-as justice requires.

This question about the fairness of lethal side-effects is in the news almost every day now. Not because of abortion, but because of U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost every day there is news of an American air attack or ground operation which results in a substantial number of non-combatants' deaths, or there is news about a post-mortem analysis of an earlier deadly attack. (Some days there are both.) The basic scenario and the recurring moral question are always along these lines: suppose that there is a wedding feast in Northwest Pakistan. Among the 100 guests are two high level Al-Qaeda operatives. The military reality is that any attack intended to kill those two puts everyone present at grave risk of being killed. Would it be morally right to launch the airstrike, thus endangering 98 innocents to get two who are not?

I do not know for sure whether, all things considered, the strike should be ordered. I do know, however, that any right answer to the question must go through the Golden Rule, precisely so that we do not unfairly off-load fatal effects upon people who are not like us. Precisely to avoid that form of unjust partiality towards ourselves and those like us, we must ask: would we order the airstrike if the feast were in Zurich? Or in Dublin? Or if the feast were taking place in South Bend, Indiana (or your home town)? If the answer to any of these questions is "no" then it is pretty clear that, if we nonetheless order the strike in Pakistan, we would not be acting in accordance with the truth that every innocent has an equal right not be killed. We would not be acting in accord with the Golden Rule.

We need to apply the Golden Rule in a very similar way to the question: when is it morally right to vote for a "pro-choice" candidate. I propose to do so by testing the three best arguments that "pro-life" voters voting for "pro-choice" candidates have made to justify their decision.

Argument 1: "Attack the Root Cause of Abortion"

This argument proposes to leave the unjust legal structure about abortion in place until some distant future time when, it is hoped, abortions will be so rare that prohibiting them will make sense. This argument proposes to now seek a reduction in the number of abortions performed annually, from the present 1.2 million to some lower number. The argument proposes to accomplish the reduction by attacking what are said to be abortion's "root causes," mainly, a widespread lack of proper health care and income supports. These proposals include better pre-natal maternal care, better pediatric care, and more income supplements for the poor. The moral question is whether this proposal is fair to the unborn? And that entails applying the Golden Rule.

To do that we must take a different example of the same basic proposal, an example which substitutes a different set of people called upon to pay the price of doing nothing to legally restrict a certain class of deadly assaults. Take the example of domestic violence. Suppose that approximately 1.2 million American women are killed each year by domestic violence. Suppose further that a Presidential candidate said the following: "Friends, I think we must stop wasting resources prosecuting domestic violence. Let us get the law out of the picture. Maybe someday we could arrest men who kill women at home. But that day is not today, for anyone can see that arrests and convictions have not slowed the rate of domestic violence very much at all. Besides, we are talking about private family matters where people make hard choices. Let us instead join together and attack the root causes of domestic violence, causes which have to do with ignorance and poverty. I propose therefore to give angry men jobs and money to attend anger management classes. And I think we should start teaching all of America' children early on that every man and woman deserves to be treated well."

Anyone who refuses to vote for this candidate but who would vote for a "pro-choice" candidate is, at least presumptively, guilty of failure to apply the Golden Rule.

Argument 2: "He's Better on Other Issues"

Some people who describe themselves as "pro-life" support "pro-choice" candidates without placing any faith in the reduce-the incidence-of-abortion idea. These people instead maintain that the "pro-choice" politician's positions on other issues, such as the environment, taxes, education, are so far superior to those of a "pro-life" alternative, that voting for the "pro-choice" politician--notwithstanding the harm his abortion policies would do--is the right thing. These people often say that the virtues of his other positions supply a "proportionate" reason for voting for a "pro-choice" candidate.

The question which these people must ask themselves is this: Would they vote for a "pro-choice" candidate on the strength of his preference for more government-provided health care than his rival proposes in his comparable plan, if doing so exposed their children to mortal danger? Suppose the candidate's commitment to a policy of "choice" referred, not to so many tiny and invisible people, but instead to hundreds of thousands of immigrants, or to the same number of prisoners or mentally handicapped or physically infirm people. Would they still support that candidate, even if his policies on energy, taxes, and employment were superior to his rival's?

A vote for a candidate who favors "pro-choice" policies on abortion by someone who does not answer the preceding questions "yes" does not, I think, satisfy the Golden Rule.

Argument 3: "Women's Equality"

"For two decades of economic and social developments people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail. The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their control of their reproductive lives."

This cluster of assertions by three members of the Supreme Court in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision tracks quite closely a very widespread conviction cited in support of "pro-choice" candidates. The central claim is that laws guaranteeing "choice" about abortion are instrumentally indispensable to women's equality. Now, I do not think for a moment that the claim is true. But for this analysis I shall grant the claim, and then apply the Golden Rule to test the justice of the position articulated.

There is no need to imagine cognate claims, to which we must hypothetically apply the Golden Rule. History and current affairs supply countless examples of societies where some of its members have obtained equality for themselves by exploiting others of its members. Sometimes the numerator (those who gain) is larger than the denominator (those who suffer). Sometimes it is the other way around. In either event the basic moral question is the same. And there is little mystery about what just about everyone would say in response.

So, was it just for Spanish colonizers in the sixteenth century to obtain the satisfactions of life in Central America--where the price was paid in blood by immiserated Amerindians? Was it fair for English men and women three centuries later to enjoy the fruits of pastoral life--brought to them on the backs of dead Irishmen? A century-and-a-half ago the Supreme Court "facilitated"-indeed, helped to preserve-the equality of all white people. But does anyone today defend Dred Scott as a moral beacon?

If the answer to these questions is "no," then one who takes the Golden Rule to be a principle of justice cannot vote for a "pro-choice" candidate on the strength of what the Casey Court proclaimed. And if the voter tempted to vote "pro-choice" refuses to apply the Golden Rule--as I have done here--than he is refusing to seek and to do justice.

Gerard V. Bradley is Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame Law School and a Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute, where he is the Director of the Center on Religion and the Constitution. Professor Bradley sits on the editorial board of Public Discourse.
[Hat tip to Prof. E.E.]

Double standards & the affirmative action candidate

"Sickening Irony" (Wide Awakes, October 19, 2008) writes:
If Barack Obama applied for a job with the FBI or the Secret Service, he would be disqualified because of his past association with William Ayers, a known terrorist. And yet, he is heading for the highest office in the land.

If Obama is elected President he would not pass the security screening to be his own body guard!

And the greatest irony is that a majority of the people in this country don’t even seem to care.
Think any Obama supporters lose sleep over this? Of course not. The Obama vote is an affirmative action vote. The national syndicated networks have made it very clear that standards to which a conservative Republican evangelical like Palin and her running-mate, McCain, are held, simply do not apply to Obama. They regard him as their pet affirmative action candidate.

By contrast, look at what conservative black leaders are saying about the election in "How should black Christians choose the next president?" (Freedoms Journal Magazine, YouTube, via Wide Awake, October 19, 2008).

Goodbye to Postum

Taashi Rowe/ANN, "Goodbye to Postum" (Adventist News Network, January 17, 2008):
"Kraft Foods, the makers of coffee alternative Postum, recently announced they will no longer make the once popular beverage.

"The drink had a small but loyal following among some Seventh-day Adventists who believe that caffeine negatively affects health and some members of the Church of Latter day Saints who don't drink hot caffeinated beverages. Kraft Foods spokeswoman Laurie Guzzinati said the company stopped making Postum last fall because the demand for it was so low that manufacturing it no longer made sense.

"Postum was created in 1895 by C.W. Post who stumbled upon the recipe while he was a patient at Adventist-owned Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, United States.

"Contrary to rumors, Post was not an Adventist, said James Nix, director of the estate for Ellen White, an Adventist Church co-founder."

"... Postum, which normally sold for US$3.50 per jar, can still be found on the online auction site Ebay where one seller is offering three jars for US$70."
Sorry to see it go. Yeah, yeah ... I know. If you're a coffee drinker, the stuff tastes like dirty dish water. But if you stop drinking coffee and become acclimated to it, it can be quite good. Despite the association with the fanatically anti-Catholic Seventh Day Adventists, I liked this stuff, which became a staple coffee alternative for me when I discovered that caffeine is a migraine trigger for me. What I wanted was a savory (non-sweet) roasted grain beveridge that didn't contain caffeine and was reasonably low in calories and carbs. Postum served well. I'll give Pero a try, but I'm skeptical. Any suggestions? [Yes, I do know something about the malted grain beveridge called 'beer'.]

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Barack rehearses inaugural speech, as Michelle picks White House decor

As Team Obama sets the stage for an election night victory party, where they plan to lavish the balance of their enormous campaign funds, "The One" is already planning what to order from the White House kitchen for his first presidential dinner, and what to include in his first state of the union homily:Meanwhile, peace-loving anti-gun Obama supporters have taken the moral high ground against the NRA and other rifle-totin' McCain supporters and his trigger-happin running-mate, Palin:Meanwhile, the press, which McCain has said we all know "is really an independent, civic-minded and non-partisan group ... like ACORN," has been the subject of a nonpartisan study:

Democrat columnist slams media dishonesty

Remember the author of Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card? He's a Mormon, like Mitt Romney, but we won't hold that against him. He's also a Democrat, like Obama, but we won't hold that against him either. Above all, he's a thoughtful and independent-minded, clear-headed thinker. This is reflected in his fiction. But it's also evident in his newspaper columns. I first heard him speak at Lenoir-Rhyne University several years ago. Already then, he was laying into the northeastern elitest media establishment with such blistering criticisms that a coterie of indignant liberals walked out in protest. Card parts company with the political lemmings in his party who look to the media mind-molders to tell them how to think. And right when Zogby has found Obama’s lead widening among Catholics due to the rise in number of Catholic lemmings who think Obama will help their 401Ks, Orson Scott Card comes out with this no-holds-barred attack on the media that has been spinning that fantasy (Meridian, October 23, 2008):
Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

By Orson Scott Card

Editor's note: Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism.

An open letter to the local daily paper — almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

As Thomas Sowell points out in a essay entitled "Do Facts Matter?" (] ): "Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury."

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

What? It's not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?

Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.

And after Freddie Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.

If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.

But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign — because that campaign had sought his advice — you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.

You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.

If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.

There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension — so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie — that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad — even bad weather — on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth — even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means . That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time — and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter — while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles.

That's where you are right now.

It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.

If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe — and vote as if — President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats — including Barack Obama — and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans — then you are not journalists by any standard.

You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a news paper in our city.

This article first appeared in The Rhinoceros Times of Greensboro, North Carolina, and is used here by permission.

For the good ol' boys ...

Reinforcing the caricature and those comfortable Yankee prejudices:
Bubba: "Let's go bite some Yankees."

Spot, the dog: "I'll bring the beer."
Redneck Anthem - The BBQ Song (More Boortz)

[Hat tip to J.S.]

The human pig cometh

Last November we posted a report, "From the bioethical front ..." (Musings, November 8, 2008), detailing not only a eugenic proposal to kill disabled human babies, but a plan to create human-cow embryos, a scenario more recently comented on by an article in the Weekly Standard, "The Pig-Man Cometh."

Now the British House of Commons has actually done the nasty deed: "Commons approves embryology Bill" (The Press Association, October 22, 2008):
Controversial new legislation allowing scientists to conduct experiments using hybrid human-animal embryos has been approved by the House of Commons despite a small rebellion by Labour backbenchers.

The staunchly Catholic former minister Ruth Kelly [See "A woman with balls ..."], who quit the Government earlier this month, was one of 16 Labour MPs who voted against the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

... Conservative MP Nadine Dorries warned that loopholes in the legislation would allow scientists to attempt to create a "humanzee" - a hybrid between a human and a chimpanzee.

Recalling Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's 1920s efforts to create "the ultimate soldier" by cross-breeding men and apes, she warned: "Of all the experimental possibilities debated in the course of this Bill, surely none is quite so utterly repulsive as the possibility of seeking to inseminate animals with human sperm."

San Francisco weighs decriminalizing prostitution

Oh, goodie! Now the most liberal city in America can make prostitution respectable, as in Amsterdam, where husbands drop off bright-eyed wives in the red light district, kissing them a goodbye and wishing them a good day at work. In the AP article linked above, Evelyn Nieves reported Tuesday (October 21, 2008):
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In this live-and-let-live town, where medical marijuana clubs do business next to grocery stores and an annual fair celebrates sadomasochism, prostitutes could soon walk the streets without fear of arrest.

San Francisco would become the first major U.S. city to decriminalize prostitution if voters next month approve Proposition K — a measure that forbids local authorities from investigating, arresting or prosecuting anyone for selling sex.
If only all those folks in the 'red' states of the American hinterland could learn to be as respectful of marginal people as these self-congratulatory citizens of this bastion of civility who have the decency also of promoting the queering of Frisco marriage laws (Proposition 8), as well as the candidacy of that most urbane embodiment of Enlightened liberal tolerance, "The One," whose long-awaited reign of blessed hope will bring well-earned respectability also to victims of intemperance still groaning under repressive state and federal limitations on baby-killing, restrictions that suggest something less than full-and-equal respectability for Moloch worship and child-sacrifice as a means of back up contraception. Maranatha, Obama! Hail City of shining light, Babylon by the Bay!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Spectacular photos of planet earth!

Kinda puts things in perspective ... Check it out and click through the slide show. It's called: "Blue Beauty."

[Hat tip to C. Binder-Scapone]

"Never before ..."

Laura Ingram (October 20, 2008):
Congratulations, Team Obama, we've still got two-plus weeks until Election Day and you're already destroying jobs. After last week's now-notorious encounter with Joe the Plumber, Obama's media foot soldiers were dispatched with a simple mission: destroy Joe. On Sunday's Fox and Friends, Joe announced their success; his business has been shut down.

Thanks to the intrepid reporting of journalists who've obviously lost all sense of perspective, it turns out Joe has been fixing Ohioans' plumbing without a government-issued license. Talk about irony. Joe came under fire for humiliating Obama by noting his tax plans interfere with Joe's American Dream. He wanted to buy his plumbing company and expand it, but higher taxes on small businesses threaten to turn that dream into a nightmare. The left, in other words, used Big Government to silence Joe Citizen for speaking ill of Big Government.

In turn, Americans have offered financial support to Joe - offers he's politely declined.

Americans have taken to Joe for his willingness to go where the media refuses - that is, for actually speaking truth to power. Nothing's more infuriating than reporters allowing themselves to be used by politicians, yet that's exactly what's being done on a daily basis at CBS, NBC, CNN, etc. Joe got the opportunity to tell Obama directly that his tax plans - which penalize hard work while claiming to further America's best interests - were an insult to his intelligence.

Meanwhile, conservative websites are left to do the real reporting on Obama. NewsMax's Ken Timmerman reports that as much as $63 million of Obama's $150 million September haul may originate from illegal foreign donations. (Conveniently, the campaign refuses to release the names of more than 80% of its 2.5 million contributors.) Obama's tax returns also indicate that in 2000 and 2002, he violated Illinois state law by accepting speaking fees while serving as a state senator.

The press is supposed to hold politicians accountable on behalf of the people. Yet while Obama collects millions in dubious donations and ACORN registers phantom voters in battleground states by the thousands, today's media is doing the Democrats' heavy lifting with its slash-and-smear campaign against people like Joe.

Never before in our history has the media establishment been so derelict in its responsibilities, so one-sided in its coverage, that today it is nothing more than a cheerleader for the Obama campaign. Never with so much at stake for America's security and our way of life, has the media worked with such single-minded zealousness to elect a dilettante with so little experience and such faulty judgment.

Is the type of bullying and intimidation that Joe's endured what Americans can expect from an Obama administration in response to serious criticism? Will the media closest to the people - talk radio and the blogosphere - be the next targets?

May God help us.
[Hat tip to C. Binder-Scapone]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pope to Synod: beware of dangers in biblical interpretation

Sandro Magister: "Interpretations are proposed that deny the real presence of God in history" (www.chiesa, October 14, 2008): "The complete transcript of the popes address to the synod of bishops on 'The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church,' on the morning of Tuesday, October 14, 2008" -- an important address, if not a warning shot across the bow of Catholic biblical scholarship too taken by the hermeneutical traditions of Protestant Liberalism.

Why, I hardly knew Bill Ayers ... (Hilarious)

"Just Some Guy from the Neighborhood?" (Weekly Standard Blog, 10/2008).

Weigel on responsibilities of Catholic politicians

George Weigel, "'Sectarian' issues? Not quite" (Catholic Education Resource Center, via USA Today, October 13, 2008). Summarizes Weigel: "In the hope of answering the questions and clarifying the confusions, I offer the following "small catechism" on the responsibilities of the Catholic politician."

[Hat tip to Doug & Karen Miller]

Wanna know why Sen. Obama only voted "present" so often?

"Uncle Jay Explains the News - July 2, 2007" (YouTube) [Hilarious!!!]

[Hat tip to C.B.]

Character assassination of Joe the Plumber

Here, in part, is the account given by "The War on Joe the Plumber" (American Catholic, October 20, 2008) of what has happened to Joe Wurzelbacher since he asked a question of Senator Obama on October 11, 2008 that proved potentially damaging to his campaign:
1. He has had his divorce records disclosed to the public by the press.

2. Left-wing blogs have published his home address and that of his ex-wife.

3. Snuff films fantasizing about the violent death of Joe the Plumber have been posted by Obama supporters on YouTube.

4. The City of Toledo has notified him that he cannot work without a license, which will certainly come as news to the legions of plumbers without licenses who work for plumbers who are licensed.

5. The fact that he has a personal property tax lien against him in the vast sum of $1,182.98, and a judgment lien in the amount of $1,261, has been revealed by the press.

6. Documents relating to his work history have been published in the press.

7. His party affiliations and voting history have been disclosed by the press.

8. The press has charted where he has lived over the years.

9. The tax history of the business which employs him has been published by the press.

10. Left wing blogs have falsely claimed that Wurzelbacher is a relative of Charles Keating of the Keating Five scandal.

11. The press has reported that his driver’s license was suspended in May of 2000 when he lived in Arizona for non-payment of civil traffic fines.

The list could go on for considerable length but suffice it to say that Mr. Wurzelbacher has received more searching media analysis in three days than Senator Obama has received from most of the mainstream press since he announced his candidacy for President.
[Hat tip to American Catholic via C.B.]

A woman with balls, and a man without any

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Impailin' Palin? Impailed by Palin?

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been taking a beating from the drive by media, not to mention late night television. I had to admire her sporting attitude on SNL last night. Most of the trendy-lefty mockeries I've seen or heard are sheer circumstantial ad hominems, many of them articulated in faux jocularities too vile to bear repeating. What, even Peggie Noonan, whose writing I usually admire, came out with an article sounding like she's taken some of the toxic venom of the professional left-wing opinion shapers, in "Palin's Failin'" (The Huffington Post, October 19, 2008).

It was a refreshing bit of fresh air, then, to have a reader call my attention to what one magazine has been saying about Gov. Palin overseas -- in England of all places. In searching for the article via Google, I first turned up this very upbeat bio just after her nomination by Sen. McCain: "Why John McCain's beauty queen running mate has a grizzly bear on her office wall" (London Daily Mail, August 31, 2008). This article contains a lot about her family and childhood background that is particularly winsome, especially from an interview with her mother.

The more interesting from a political point-of-view, however, is "A pistol-packin' Looby Loo: the Left's worst nightmare" (London Daily Mail, September 4, 2008). The article may be dated in some respects, but not in others -- especially amidst the mounting barrage of slanderous attacks on Gov. Palin. In fact, it may be more timely now than when it was written:
At the very least, McCain has got a wonderful sense of mischief - a quality sadly lacking in most politicians. The way the Left, both here and in America , are contorting themselves is a joy to behold. Sarah Palin is every Guardianista's worst nightmare.

It's reminiscent of how they used to patronize Mrs. Thatcher 30 years ago. What did this small-town girl know about anything? How could any woman expect to run a country and raise a family? What does she know about foreign affairs? Of course, they weren't saying that a woman couldn't be Prime Minister, you understand. Just not this woman. Shirley Williams would have been fine, but this ghastly, lower middle- class Snobby Roberts woman from Grantham, of all places - AAARGH!

It's been hilarious watching the sisterhood tie themselves in knots over Sarah Palin.
They've been in full Glenda Slagg mode - dontcha just hate her, dontcha just love her?

... What they are doing is what they usually do when confronted with something which offends their world view - character assassination. Every 'liberal' newspaper and TV network has sent hatchet men north to Alaska to dig for the dirt beneath the tundra.
What they discovered is that 80 per cent of Alaskans think she's doing a great job.

A supermarket tabloid is claiming she had an affair, which she denies. Apart from that, the worst the scandal-hounds have come up with is that Palin, as governor, put pressure on a police chief to fire her former brother-in-law. Given that said brother-in-law had beaten up her sister and threatened to kill her father, I'd say that far from abusing her office, she showed considerable restraint....

... When Palin talks about shattering the glass ceiling, the sisters are supposed to cheer - except most of them suspect her idea of shattering a glass ceiling would be with a both barrels blast from a 12-bore.

She epitomizes the 'God and guns' mentality at which Barak Obama and his supporters sneer. They use 'small town' as a pejorative term. That's not how Middle America sees it.

John Mellenkamp wrote his hit song Small Town as an ironic take on Hicksville, USA . He even performed it at an Obama rally earlier this year.

Back at you: Democrats say Sarah lacks the experience for the top job - but neither do Obama or Biden.

But that hasn't stopped Middle Americans adopting it as an anthem. Mellenkamp must be just as horrified as Springsteen was when Ronald Reagan purloined his anti-war Born In The USA as a campaign song.

It's not that the Americans don't do irony, as European 'sophisticates' always maintain. It's just that sometimes, my dear, they don't give a damn. A good song is a good song - and to hell with the message.

Most Americans were born and raised in a small town. Her values are their values. John Mellenkamp wrote his hit song Small Town as an ironic take on Hicksville, USA . He even performed it at an Obama rally earlier this year.

Back at you: Democrats say Sarah lacks the experience for the top job - but neither do Obama or Biden. But that hasn't stopped Middle Americans adopting it as an anthem. Mellenkamp must be just as horrified as Springsteen was when Ronald Reagan purloined his anti-war Born In The USA as a campaign song.

It's not that the Americans don't do irony, as European 'sophisticates' always maintain. It's just that sometimes, my dear, they don't give a damn. A good song is a good song - and to hell with the message. Most Americans were born and raised in a small town. Her values are their values.

The mantra from the Obama camp is that she lacks the experience to be VP. In truth, she has more executive experience than either Obama or his Neil Kinnock-impersonator sidekick mate Joe Biden, neither of whom has ever run anything.

But, wail the skeptics, what about foreign affairs? Admittedly, Palin has never slagged off her country at a mass rally in Berlin. But Alaska's next door to Russia. She's got more experience of dealing with Russians than anyone outside of corporate hospitality at Stamford Bridge.

Who is Putin more likely to be wary of - Barak 'we must negotiate with dictators' Obama, or Looby Loo packing heat?

To paraphrase the Duke of Wellington, I don't know what she does to the enemy, but she scares the life out of me.

... With all the hoop-la, it's easy to forget that she's running for Vice-President, not President. Not yet.

Sarah Palin: The next Margaret Thatcher? Time will tell...

That's what really frightens her condescending opponents. Not that we've a leg to stand on in Britain. We've got Harriet Harman a chewed fingernail away from the top job - and she's never shot a moose in her life.

Remember, they all laughed at Margaret Thatcher.

But ho, ho, ho, who had the last laugh?
[Hat tip to C.G.-Z.]

Of related interest
If you haven't really appreciated just how winsomely funny McCain can be, you owe it to yourself to check out his speech (along with Obama's who gets in some good lines of his own) at the recent Al Smith Dinner in NYC. "John McCain Rocks the House at the Alfred House Dinner" (YouTube). At least read the transcript: "McCain, Obama Bring Down House At Al Smith Dinner." You could almost remember the Gipper at times. Sen. Obama got in some good lines, too, especially the one about having once hung around with a crowd of worthless punks -- members of the U.S. Senate. He did seem to me like he looked a bit out of place, however, like a dressed-up school boy invited to address the Rotary Club after winning a spelling bee. But then, he was surrounded pretty much by the NYC geriatric set of aging Democrats -- and a septuagenarian Republican opponent.

Prayer and politics

A reader sends the following (which I've secured authorization to publish) about: (1) a decision about prayer in church, and (2) a thought about our political future. Judging it to be of general interest to our readers, I offer it for your consideration.

The decision is that I have returned to the proper way of folding hands during the Mass: palm on palm, thumbs crossed. This is the way I learned it in grade school. Half the faithful, even then, had sloughed off to a fingers intertwined and dangling at roughly groin level stance -- especially the men. But a couple weeks ago I watched the redoubtable Peter Leonard, stalwart altar boy at my Sunday mass at St Luke's Mission of Mercy (horribly NO in most respects, mercifully traditionalist in others), with his palms glued together, fingertips brushing his chin, and I wondered, what the hell excuse can I have not to do as much? So I have been imitating my 11 year old mentor ever since. It has not rubbed off on my 12 year old and eight year old wards as yet (resolute groin-protectors, both), but, aside from the fact that it is simply the right thing to do, I see two potential benefits:

(1) It is not a completely comfortable position to maintain while standing. A certain amount of attention and perseverance is required to maintain it. It is thus a tiny little occasion for redemptive suffering, and also helps keep the mind from wandering to things like Mrs Bielman's behind and the upcoming Bills game.

(2) It provides a clearly Catholic gesture of solidarity, the kind contemporary hey-look-at-me performance Catholics are so fond of. It thus obviates the need for faux-Catholic orans posturing, handholding, and other heterodox diddling.
The thought is that 2009 is going to be a hellish year no matter who the new president is. Many of us will be out of work. Old folks will be wondering where their money went. Mission doors will be straining to close behind the last butt inside.

Pro-lifers have made their beds with republicans, with results that can, charitably, be termed "mixed." The usual corruptions of power infest the republican party no less than the democrat, and prolifers have not been up front in facing that fact. The result now -- evident IMO since 2006 -- is that the grand pro-life scheme for packing the Supreme Court is about to unravel. I would guess that within a year of Obama's inauguration, Justice Stevens will put himself out to pasture, followed, very possibly, by the ailing Justice Ginsberg -- and it will be as if Roberts and Alito never existed.

The lives of American Catholics are about to start sucking real bad, and the leadership of The Man Without Qualities, flanked by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and a pleased-as-punch mainstream media, will likely make it worse. But that's what's going to happen -- and you can blame an awful lot of it on:

(1) the almost unbelievable corruption, venality and hypocrisy of the republican party, a party of corporate lap dogs, statutory rapists, and public restroom romeos

(2) the fecklessness of pro-life leaders in general, American Catholic bishops in particular

Yeh, yeh, I know, what about the democrats? Excellent point, which I myself have made on many occasions. But we've been blaming them for years, usually with great success, and are we better off as a result?
[Hat tip to the author]

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Howard Stern show quizzes Obama supporters in Harlem on candidate policies

This is just sad. Some people speculate that some Obama supporters support him strictly because he's black, and not because of his policies. So Howard Stern sent a team into Harlem to ask Obama supporters why they support him. Only, they took McCain's policies and pretended they were Obama's, asking questions like: "Do you support Obama because he's pro-life or because he thinks our troops should stay in Iraq and finish this war?" or "If Obama wins do you have any problem with Sarah Palin being Vice President?" Here's what they found: "Howard Stern show quizzes Obama supporters in Harlem on candidate policies" (Breibart.TV).

To be fair, such ignorance can surely be found among partisans of either party and any ethnicity. On the other hand, you can't fool all of the people all of the time:

It's about time!

"The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) suspended funding a nationwide community organizing group (ACORN) after it was disclosed June 2 that nearly $1 million had been embezzled." Dennis Sadowski, "CCHD ends funding to ACORN over financial irregularities" (Catholic News Service, October 16, 2008).

Was it a decade ago that Catholic World Report had a major exposé of the CCHD and the USCCB announced a tightening up of funding regulations for many of CCHD's pet socialist projects? Social Gospel redivuvus.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama not a natural born US citizen? Get real!

Have any of you heard this claim? Does anyone here know anything about it? I have checked, which addresses and refutes related rumors, but nothing in Snopes directly answers the specific allegations made in the video discussed below, even though Snopes mentions the Philadelphia lawyer involved.

My good friend, Edgar, a fellow-philosopher concerned with veritas, directed me to a website called "The Wide Awakes" that had the same material about Gov. Palin posted as I received recently in an independent email. I previously knew nothing about this website. It's obviously politically right-wing, and while I haven't had the time to explore it, I did watch one video it posted -- a video produced by Molotov Mitchell, representing Illuminati Pictures, which produced an earlier video I saw opposing Obama's pro-abortion position. (That anti-abortion video was one called to my attention by my good friend in North Carolina, Dr. Doug Miller, so this follow-up video on Sen. Obama aroused my curiosity.)

This subsequent video, entitled "The Obama October Surprise" (YouTube) featues a Philadelphia attorney, Philip J. Berg, former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania, a life-long Democrat and former candidate for Governor of PA, standing in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and talking about a federal law suit he is bringing against Sen. Barack Obama for failure to produce adequate records confirming that he is a natural born U.S. citizen, a Constitutional requirement for becoming President of the United States. In fact, Berg argues that even if Obama were a natural-born U.S. citizen, which he contests, he could only be at best a naturalized U.S. citizen after his purported adoption by his Indonesian step-father. In short, Berg insinuates a major cover-up. This is the first I've heard this allegation, but then I haven't spend much time digging into the personal details of Sen. Obama's past, primarily from lack of interest. One assumes that details such as these are ordinarily seen to well in advance of this stage of a political campaign.

I'm inclined to dismiss such allegations out-of-hand, especially during the heated tensions of an election year. I simply doubt their truth. There would seem to be too many improbabilities to make the case. On the other hand, even if it were true, I doubt whether it would be permitted to see the light of day at this stage. Imagine: if this were true, and if it surfaced as a national issue at this stage of the game, just days before the election, there would be rioting in the streets. There would be blood. They would call out the National Guard.