Category Archives: Clintons

A simple question for those who think Judge Kavanaugh is a Cad

 

I realize one mustn’t expect reason from anyone who thinks it’s OK to murder a baby, but I’d love one of those who insist that Brett Kavanaugh is “guilty” to answer a simple question. In the words of your hero, Hillary Clinton, regarding her murder by negligence of six Americans, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Let’s ignore:
1) Christine Blasey Ford’s previous call for people to file false rape allegations against every SCOTUS nominee till Merrick Garland was nominated.
2) Her obvious both personal and political biases against Judge Kavanaugh
3) 6 FBI background checks and previous Senate confirmations when she didn’t come forward
4) The vagueness of her memory.
5) The testimony of all her alleged witnesses that it never happened.
6) The testimony of the men who claimed yesterday that they were the ones Ford misidentified as Kavanaugh (which claims incidentally Sen. Graham rejected).
Let’s say it happened: two teenagers were illegally intoxicated at a “party,” in the early 80s, after the so-called Sexual Revolution when you liberals insisted everyone could have whatever sex they wanted without consequences, in a situation where it is assumed people will fornicate–two of the four (the other two being “drugs” and “rock & roll”) those of us with principles have always avoided such “parties.”
Both teenagers were under 18. In the state of Maryland, the age of consent is 14 so long as there’s not a 5 year age difference (just looked that up), so it would not have been statutory rape. So one drunken teenager allegedly groped another drunken teenager, tied her up, and tried to get her to have sex but then *did not actually rape her*. If the alleged assailant actually broke a law, whether “Just” the drunkenness or some definition of assault, and had been arrested for it at the time, it would have been stricken from his record because he was under 18.
Even if *all* of these accusers are telling the truth, and every one of them has significant holes, no evidence or reliable witnesses, and all are claiming some level of being complicit in the alleged crimes, the behaviors in question are quite sadly very common for people of their age and generation, behaviors that you otherwise condemn Christians for saying are sinful.
After the “high school and college” “party years” end, he goes on to live a life that passes 6 FBI background checks, has a wife and two daughters, is regarded as an upstanding citizen, and has a list of women who either dated him or who have worked with him who insist he was a perfect gentleman, never groped or harassed them, etc.
Does improvement of previous bad or criminal behavior not “count”? I thought liberals believed in rehabilitation.

Detraction: What it is and isn’t

I read an article about a celebrity who’s Catholic who had a personal conversion experience a few years ago and has been taking his faith more seriously.  I can be vague because it seems in recent years we’ve been happily seeing quite a few celebrities who are either converts or “reverts” to Catholicism.  And, as a celebrity, this person has a “past,” and I think such behavior is taken for granted among celebrities.

Meanwhile, some people seem to be relishing in allegations by various women that they had adulterous relationships with the current President at a time be professes to have really “found Jesus” and that were as “consensual” as a relationship with a married billionaire can be, so really no worse, sadly, than many presidents and at least not as bad as some presidents who’ve been accused of rape.  Thus, it seems appropriate to talk a bit about detraction.

There is a big difference between the “Known Sinner” coming back from the parabolic Pig Sty, and the “Righteous” who speak in hypocrisy.  So the reaction when a “Known Sinner” repents should be one of “Hey, good for you! Keep it up!”  If a person is going around saying, “I’m a good Catholic” and then sleeping around or doing drugs or gossiping or whatever, then perhaps it would be “objectively good reason” to point out their hypocrisy, but otherwise, to poi

Detraction: it’s a sin that, on the one hand, is far too common and we all fall into very easily, with or without the Internet.  On the other hand, it’s a sin people with a few thin lines.  According to the Catechism, one is guilty

“of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them” (CCC 2247).

An ambiguity in our day lies in the fact that there’s so much detraction and calumny in the media that most of us know very quickly about things, so for the average person, the secondary principle is often moot, though that’s one very good reason to avoid the “news.”

Then there’s the question of an objectively valid reason, which has two sides: if the goal is purely to destroy someone’s reputation, then it’s definitely sinful, and that is one of the problems with elected versus hereditary or appointed governance: our system is supposed to based upon deciding which candidate one believes shares ones values and is of the best character. That, contrary to what many think, is the point of the Electoral College: we’re supposed to meet our electors personally and get to know them at literal “political parties,” and the electors are supposed to personally know the presidential candidates.  Still, “I’m the best man for the job” often degrades to “I’m the lesser of two evils,” as it has from pretty much the beginning of the US:


I have always believed that character counts in an election, and I have always believed that people should vote for the candidate on their ballot who best reflects their views (I usually draw the line, literally, at “write ins,” unless it’s a local election with only one name).

The tensions of the last election strained and in some cases ended many relationships for me, like everyone else–and ironically for me it was mostly other conservatives because, even to the last minute, I could not bring myself to vote for Donald Trump.  I voted for Castle.  Had I been in another state, I might have voted for a different third party candidate, but as far as I’m concerned, one candidate was a Northern liberal who supported gay marriage and socialized medicine, and the other was Hillary Clinton.  One candidate was a rich, white racist and warmonger, and the other was Donald Trump.

I’m immensely relieved Clinton is not president, and until he and the GOP failed to merely defund Planned Parenthood, much less actually do anything for Personhood, I’d have said they were doing a fairly decent job, and I’m considering voting for him next time.

The cry of Republicans today, like that of Democrats in the early 1990s, is, “We’re electing a president, not a pastor.”  I believe character matters because a politician should be trustworthy.  If I’m electing someone based upon my convictions, I want to know that person shares my convictions.  In theory, at least, we want someone who’s relatively honest, able to keep a vow, emotionally stable, etc.

And it should definitely matter if someone in office is accused of an actual felony–the reason “high crimes and misdemeanors” is worded like that is to say that “character counts.”  The Founding Fathers intended for impeachment to be applied more generously than it has been, to put the Office above the Officeholder.

So it would not, then, be detraction to point out the sins of a public official–if it were, John the Baptist and most of the other Prophets would be guilty.  Indeed, Leviticus tells us that the entire people bear the guilt of the sins of their leaders.

Still, we knew Donald Trump was an adulterer before he was elected.  He was not, as far as I’m aware, accused of any crimes, and he has not been accused of adultery or sexual harassment that allegedly occurred recently.  Yet some people continue to harp on allegations made by different women to a degree that I would argue constitutes detraction, since their goal is mainly to impugn his character more than to discuss his qualifications to be president.

Indeed, the most potentially criminal allegations against Trump have been made, via that infamous recording, by Trump himself, and he has publicly admitted to and acknowledged his past sins about as honestly as a public figure can do without fleeing to a monastery afterwards.  It arguably help him.  I know it was the main reason I considered changing my vote.

Now, getting back to the main topic, one thing I have always struggled with is the Church’s insistence on avoiding scandal by not discussing past sins.  In her Life, St. Teresa of Avila talks about a habitual sin she struggled with.  She says it came from reading fairy tales and adventure stories.  She says it was something that made her a very bad nun and caused her father to almost disown her at one point, but that she never did anything to dishonor her family.  She says it’s a sin many people struggle with, and she wished she was permitted to be open about it because it could help others who struggle with the same sin.  And yet people always say, “Oh, it was just scrupulosity.”  Now, Therese of Lisieux was definitely scrupulous, but I think Mother was being as honest as she could about an actual bad habit.

When Mary and I did our Engaged Encounter, one of the couples leading the retreat were as we expected to be in a few years–and pretty much were.  They were a vibrant young Northern Virginia, JP2-era, Catholic couple who met on a cruise, spend 2 weeks together, got engaged the first time they saw each other after the cruise, and got married as soon as they’d gone through their 6 months.

The other couple were middle-aged, and they had a palpable tension between them.  I could sense from the start that something major had happened in their relationship–not just the comfort of years but an actual rift that they’d had and healed from.  Throughout their various talks, they eventually said that they’d had a serious rift they’d had to heal from and eventually that the husband had committed adultery.  And it became a profound story of forgiveness and healing.

If a couple were standing there, talking about marriage and *not* admitting to such problems, that would be hypocrisy.  Saying, “I sinned, and Jesus forgave me, and my [wife/parents/kids/friends/whomever] forgave me for sinning against them” is not hypocrisy and should not be considered scandal–it’s testimony.

 

 

“Doesn’t She Look Tired”: Evita, Doctor Who and the power of Words

On the new Doctor Who, there was a character called “Harriet Jones,” known for her running joke, introducing herself as “Harriet Jones, Minister of Parliament,” etc., which is usually answered with, “Yes, I/we know who you are.”  In the first appearance of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, he thwarts an alien invasion with minimal violence and convinces the would-be invaders to leave, but Harriet, now “Harriet Jones, Prime Minister,” has been working on a secret weapon to defend earth and wants to prove earth can defend itself without the Doctor.  In spite of the treaty he just negotiated, she destroys the fleeing ship with her weapon, after the Doctor threatens her by saying that he’s powerful enough to take her down with six words.  After she defies him and fires the weapon, destroying the fleeing aliens, he leans in the ear of her closest advisor and asks, “Don’t you think she looks tired?”

One of the reasons Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice were a successful team was their contrasts: ALW was always a believer to some extent; Rice was an agnostic, and so on. Rice developed an admiration for Eva Peron in the early ’70s and wanted to write a musical about her. ALW resisted for several years, till he saw her story as a modern tragedy of the cost of fame.  While Lloyd-Webber has never been a lyricist, he usually collaborates on the “book” (play) of his shows, and on the basic idea behind a song.

So with Evita, who was known as the “Rainbow of Argentina,” he thought about Judy Garland.  He had attended one of her final concerts when he was younger, and he reflected on how pathetic she was–how she could barely sing, how broken she looked, and how people were literally throwing money on the stage.

Lloyd Webber worked in an “Over the Rainbow” theme to Evita (he’d later acquire the rights to Wizard of Oz and turn it into a sung through musical with his own new songs added to the classic movie tunes.   In “Eva Beware of the City,” she says, “Birds fly out of here, so why, o why the h— can’t I?”   In the song “Rainbow Tour,” Eva’s visit to France end when “She suddenly seemed to lose interest; she looked tired.”

It only takes a few words to destroy someone’s reputation.

“Three Felonies a Day,” Clintons and Irish Travelers

In 2009, an attorney named Harvey Silverglate published a book called Three Felonies a Day that became a kind of a meme or urban legend, that seems sensationalist but is really based on simple facts.  He used to have a website that summarizes his book, but I can’t find it.  First, most federal law does not include the condition of “criminal intent.
The FBI recently said that Hillary Clinton should *not* be prosecuted for “gross negligence” in exposing classified information because she didn’t know any better, yet a Naval servicement is charged with a felony for taking six photos of the inside of a submarine (and potentially going to jail when crewmembers of the same ship did the same and received internal disciplinary actions).

Second, federal law is so pervasive.  One of Silverglate’s examples is the “Honest Services” clause of the mail-and-wire fraud statute, which is so vaguely worded that anyone who calls in sick to go shopping or see a show is guilty of a felony.  Speaking of which, technically using an alias online is wire fraud.
Ever download or record something copyrighted without paying?  Pass off someone else’s work as your own?  How many times does the average person break copyright law?
What about EPA regulations?
Almost anyone involved in education has done something that violates FERPA.  Almost anyone involved in healthcare has violated HIPAA or ACA.
Then there are the stories Silverglate tells us people wandering onto federal property, not realizing it, since there’s so much of it, and being charged with traspassing or theft.

Personally, I think Silverglate’s *three* felonies a day is optimistic.

Another issue Silverglate doesn’t touch on, at least in that context, is the “witch hunt” scenario.  The New England “witch” scare that led to the Salem Trials started with a book by one of the Mathers about “witchcraft” (Catholicism) among Irish and Caribbean slaves.  Now, some “witches” were selling what we’d now call recreational drugs like marijuana and “magic mushrooms.”  Sometimes, they or other witches were the forerunners of Planned Parenthood (the only convicted witch in Virginia history was convicted of selling abortifacients and contraceptives, and pardoned centuries after her execution by Tim Kaine).  Some were practicing voodoo and other pagan religions, but whatever their reasons for being accused, those who were “guity” admitted it, and took deals by “naming names.”  The women they named were mostly innocent, but since they *were* innocent and knew nothing of “witchcraft,” they were prosecuted.

The same happens today with many federal cases, particularly the “War on Drugs”: a criminal keeps his family in the dark about his activities.  When he and his wife or roommate or whomever are arrested, he takes the deal and names his wife or roommate or whomever as knowing about it.  The innocent and ignorant person goes to jail.

And because these laws are so vaguely worded, and so expansive, anyone can be prosecuted for any reason if the government wants to.  Joe Schmoe gets fired or sent to jail for checking his work email at home, but Hillary Clinton is running for president?

Meanwhile, there’s a local story about the indictment of 20 “Irish Travelers” on 45 fraud charges.  I had first heard of Irish Travelers through their popular culture representation, and, being inclined to support an underdog, have had a hard time discerning whether the allegations are accurate.  If you’ve ever heard of “red Irish” versus “black Irish” (a rivalry once depicted on 30 Rock between fictional Jack Donaghy and non fictional Conan O’Brien), or “lact curtain Irish” or “Shanty Irish,” that’s the Travelers.  Whether they’re related to “real gypsies” is disputed.

As disdained as the Irish are in general, the Travelers in Ireland are disdained by the other Irish, as well.  Around here, I find that when non-Catholics hear I’m Catholic, they think I’m a Traveler.  When other Catholics around the state hear I’m from North Augusta, they think “Traveler.”  Ironically, Travelers drive much nicer vehicles than we do, generally dress and style their hair “expensively” (even if the follow out-of-date fashions).

On All Saints’ Day about 5 years ago, we had to drive upstate overnight because my wife had an event there for work, and one of our kids had a medical appointment.  When we went to get dinner after arriving in Greenville, we realized we’d left our only card at the McDonald’s we stopped at for lunch.  We called to cancel it, but it was too late to go to the bank in person for a withdrawl.  Finding myself, in the middle of a real life occurrence of a cliche scam, I took the kids to Mass then asked for help.  The parish business manager was the usher, and he got the pastor, who gave us the $60 I requested.  That covered a hotel room (how many parents have saved on hotel rooms by undercounting their kids?) and some vending machine food.  In the morning, I *did* go to the bank and get the cash, then came back to the church to give back the $60.

The business manager said, “Thanks for restoring my faith in humanity. Keep the money and do something special for your kids.”  He mentioned the Irish Travelers in North Augusta (I guess he thought we were Travelers), and recommended their church as a beautiful place to visit, as it had rescued the stained glass windows from an old church in Philadelphia.

It took us a while to actually visit, because we were worried about their reputation for being clandestine, reclusive, etc.  While they have a reputation for wearing fancy clothes and hairdos, and the women *do* have 60s and 80s style hair, for daily Mass and devotional services, at least, they dress pretty much like my wife and I do (hence the common impression of people, especially when I’m wearing the jacket they gave me–more on that later).  They usually wear religious t-shirts or hoodies.

Their liturgical music is Haugen-Haas, and the most orthodox publications in their vestibule are the diocesan newspaper and Catholic Worker. Otherwise, it’s the “Fishwrap,” US Catholic or Commonweal–I forget which.

OTOH Their parish has Adoration, various Novenas, Rosaries, Legion of Mary and a few other groups.  They have an outdoor shrine to the Infant of Prague.

We don’t know if the first daily Mass we went to there was something special, or they just always have a meal, but contrary to reputation, they invited us to join them after Mass for a very nice little buffet in the vestibule.  The “lace curtain” part of their reputation is of course a penchant for enjoying fancy food, fancy houses and fancy cars that makes this Carmelite rather uncomfortable.

We went that once for daily Mass in the evening.  Then in the Lent before my surgery, we went for daily Mass and Stations on Friday.  That was when I noticed the women wearing the religious hoodies and asked about them.  They offered to give me one next week, for free.  We asked for mutual prayers.  We came almost every Friday that Lent for Stations, and after a few weeks, they gave me a very nice St. Michael hoodie that I still have but sometimes feel embarrased to wear.  Once, last winter, we passed a group of men at Wal-Mart who saw my hoodie and said, “He’s not one of us.  Wonder where he got that?”

We’ve been once or twice since for Mass, and I went to Adoration a few months ago.

Seeing all the women praying in church, with their 60s style hair, with very few men there, made me feel  like I was in a mafia movie: the women in church, praying for the men who were out commiting crimes for a living (if reputation was deserved, and the truth is probably somewhere in between.

What I don’t understand, though, is how the fraud the Irish Travelers commit to get their fancy belongings is any different than the fraud committed by Hillary Clinton or anyone else who’s rich.  It’s not envy to point out that it’s extremely difficult to become extremely wealthy without commiting some sort of crime or sin.

Most of the articles focus on misrepresenting income to get Food Stamps and Medicaid, and I see comments online from African Americans–a community also stigmatized as being full of criminals and committing the same kinds of crimes–rejoicing.  It is horrible how we, as liberals put it, “Other” everyone.  It’s always “those people,” and the accusations against “those people” usually apply to “us,” so long as we’re the “good guys.”  Every villain is the hero of his own story, after all.

We hear about the Travelers getting paid to do work at people’s houses, doing a bad job, and then leaving.  I’ve experienced a lot of workers like that over the years, from licensed repairment to MDs.  If a doctor charges me $500 to tell me I’m being a hypochondriac and doesn’t even run a test, I still have to pay him, then he goes and uses my money to make the payment on his BMW.  If an Irish traveler charges me $500 to paint my house, does a cheap job that washes off in the next rainfall, and disappears, I’m out $500 that he uses to make a payment on his BMW.

I’ve read articles about previous raids and investigations that turned up nothing but some unaccounted for cash.  That actually sounded suspicious to me, like they *were* hiding something, but still, it strikes me as a witch hunt.  And as Hillary Clinton races to the White House on the backs of deleted emails, compromised National Security, dead ambassadors, dead friends, dead witnesses, dead lawyers, dead soldiers and dead babies, it seems hypocritical now for the government to prosecute anyone for any reason.

On Riots, Racism, and Standardized Testing: All you need is Love, and that means Christ

Our nation is in turmoil.  Everything distopian novelists and “crazy conspiracy theorists” have written about seems to be coming true.  Early in the Obama administration, for example, people said he’d create a national crisis to declare Martial Law and establish a dictatorship.  Well, the tensions are arising, and Obama  established aprogram under everyone’s noses to begin nationalizing local police forces.  Major cities keep erupting in race riots.  The Supreme Court is likely to overturn every state law on marriage and establish yet another fictious constitutional “Right.” Some people are being driven out of business for expressing thir Christian beliefs while other businesses are denying Christians their services.   Hillary Clinton says if (and when) she’s “elected” President, she wants to force all religions to accept abortion.

All of it just shows society’ need for Christ.   

Attempts to “fix” broken schools with more money and more legislative interference for 50-60 years have only made things worse.  All we have is a “race to nowhere” with high stakes standardized tests that demonstrate nothing about real learning, line the pockets of educational conglomerates, and cause students to burn out, or worse, from the stress.  When I was in elementary school, the teachers would say, discussing the differences between the US and Communist countries, taht Communists made students take tests that determined their entire lives.  When I was a young adult, a teacher friend went through a few years where a faculty member had a heart attack or stroke during standardized testing, because it was so stressful.  

We can’t fix something unless we know why it’s broken, and what’s broken is a lack of transcendent values.   
If the reason people riot is lack of advantage, or discrimination by police, what is served by looting or burning small businesses and charities?  One of the reasons the July 1832 revolt that Hugo immortalized failed was that most of “the people” were mad at the students for stealing their stuff.  But, at least they knew whom they were revolting against (a just, Catholic king who was popular for giving he people more rights than the “Republic” or Napoleon) and why (they believed that secular government could and should end poverty). I saw a meme pointing out how people riot over sports games, and implying that race riots at least have a point.  The way I see it, it’s equally meaningless: unbridled anger, expressed in random violence.  If revolution is ever effective or just–and the Church has always been wary of revolution, even in the case of the Cristeros–it needs to be focused on the right enemy.  

I often refer to Catechism 676, the passage that tells us to beware of any movement that claims to try and solve all the world’s problems through  secular means because that is the “spirit of Antichrist.”  This was the reason the Church condemned Freemasonry.  It’s what Pope Benedict XVI expounded on in _Caritas in Veritate_, saying taht charity must be from love and truth, both of which are personfied in Christ, and that since the Church is the arbiter of Christ’s teachings and the Natural Law, economic justice cannot be divorced from the Church.

Prayer, fasting and forgiveness are the only solutions to these crises.  The more we abandon Christ as a society, the worse thigns will get.  If as 1 Samuel warns us, we choose a “King” over God, the warnings Samuel gave to the Israelites will continue to be proven. 

What is a “Real Journalist”?

This past weekend, I was watching Part 2 of _Karol: the Man Who Became Pope_ on EWTN (one of my FB friends pointed out that the whole miniseries is on YouTube). The previous week, part 1 was on, dealing with his life under the Nazis and ending with Poland’s “liberation,” was on, and I thought, “This is what’s coming.” Watching Part 2, I thought, “This is what the US already has”:
1) The government spying on the Church (we know they were doing it at least as early as Clinton, and that the current regime has gone so far as to bug the Papal conclave)
2) The government talking about “the will of the People,” and then responding to complaints that they’re *not* doing the “will of the People” with “The people don’t know what’s good for them; we do.”
3) Independent journalists being silenced and “disappeared.”
This also raised one of those “Why do we think anything’s different now?” issues. For the past 10 years or so, a debate has raged about whether the “new media” constitute “journalists.” Earlier this year, Senator Dianne Feinstein (Communist from California) proposed an amendment to the superfluous “Media Shield Law” (a law which basically says that journalists fall under First Amendment protection, which just shows how Washington fails to understand the Constitution) which identifies a “journalist” as one who “draws a salary” and specifically limits the First Amendment rights of bloggers and other “new media” types.
Blogging, Tweeting, Podcasting and so forth may make it easier to generate an audience (my dad is fond of bragging that I have an “international blog”, which had my nurses at the hospital thinking I was some kind of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist or something), but “independent journalism” is nothing new. Indeed, it wasn’t too long ago, in the scope of human history, that *all* journalism was “independent.” After the invention of the typewriter, anyone who had the wherewithal could produce a “newspaper” or “magazine” or “newsletter.” The personal computer and printer made production quality and distribution cheaper and easier.
Twenty years ago, when I was in college (wow!), one of my professors used to speak of growing up in New York City in the early 20th Century, when his family subscribed to at least 6 different newspapers (and there were many more available). They represented a range of political ideologies, and it was just understood, “This was the conservative paper, this was the liberal paper, etc.” The consolidation of media to a few conglomerates (even locally–here in the Augusta, GA, area, the “local” channels mostly operate out of one building, through some kind of legal agreement that skirts the FCC’s rules) has led to this notion of “unbiased” journalism that really just means “liberal bias,” “corporate/government control.” FOX News (which, in this household, is considered just another example of liberal anti-Catholic TV news) is challenged by the Obama regime for it’s “bias” (meaning that FOX reporters are the only ones doing their jobs right now–the bright spot that CBS recently reported on Benghazi was dashed when the reporter recanted), and commonly referred to as “Faux News” by liberals.
It’s always been the “independent journalists” who have forced reform. This country was founded by “independent journalists” like Benjamin Franklin and James Madison. The First Amendment exists precisely to protect the speech of those who don’t “collect a salary” to promote propaganda for those in power. The fact that a “Media Shield Act” even exists is absurd.

Religion is more than just something to do on Sunday

“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.” –G.K. Chesterton


Football season is beginning. It always strikes me that people who are afraid to talk of “politics and religion” for fear of offending friends or relatives will get into absolute feuds over football. Meanwhile, they treat politics and religion the way they treat sports: a form of recreation; merely something to do on the weekends.
The other thing that football has in common with politics and religion is that people generally seem to choose their religious and political affiliations the way they pick their football teams: as a form of patriotism, or because of their families (either to show loyalty or spite their families), or because of their friends. Thus, just as they support the Steelers, or the Redskins, or the Browns, or the Panthers because of where they happen to live, people tend to simply accept (or reject) their family’s religion or political party without necessarily thinking of *why* they support it.
Thus, people will speak of “religion,” as a concept, in ways that can be quite baffling. On the one hand, you have people who insist that they’re Catholic, even though they reject the Church’s teachings from transubstantiation to the evil of contraception to the very Incarnation itself, because “it’s too hard to leave the Church,” like She is some kind of blood cult or something. They’re attached (rightly) to the nostalgia evoked by the liturgy (particularly the infamous Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Easter liturgies), and they attribute the devotion of other Catholics to a kind of extreme nostalgia (hence the “People who want the Traditional Latin Mass are just old people who don’t like change” argument).
On the other hand, you have people who say, “I’m spiritual, but not religious,” meaning that they’re not affiliated with a particular denomination or worship service. “Religion” has come to be defined according to the Masonic view as something subservient to “society” or “culture” (which is the main reason the 18th Century popes condemned the Masonic Lodges). The “church” or synagogue, temple or mosque is treated as something like a Lodge: a place to meet every week, have some fun, engage in organized charities, and host major life events like weddings and funerals. The Sacraments become similar “life events”–Baptism (or “Christening”) becomes a ceremony to recognize a birth, and so the same young parents who were offended at the notion in pre-Cana counseling that they should live as Catholics become offended at the notion they must promise to actually raise their children Catholic. They participate in First Communion and Confirmation (aka “graduation from CCD”) for the same reasons. It’s really very sad.
Thus, both the nominal Catholic and the “spiritual” non-Catholic are baffled by the notion that any religion should claim to be superior or to actually teach the Truth about Divine and Human Nature. Theology is seen as arbitrary and superstitious. Ironically, though, the claim that all religions are equal and that people should have “freedom of worship” means that “religion” should not be extended into “public life.” It’s just something to do for an hour a week, and not to actually effect one’s life beyond some base common denominator of being a “decent person” or a “good citizen.” Any religion that claims to do *more* that that is immediately suspect for violating the commonly accepted definition of “religion” that the Masons have taught us for nearly 300 years.
So the Left has fought for legalization of so-called “same sex marriage,” insisting they only want “equal rights,” and that no one should feel threatened by it. Christians warned that it would lead to persecution of those who didn’t want to participate. Others insisted and continue to insist that it was about “marriage equality” and that opponents were “homophobic.” Yet, now that the Supreme Court has essentially legalized it nationwide by throwing out the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the California Proposition 8, a court has ruled that Christian photographers cannot refuse to photograph gay weddings, a Christian bakery has closed due to “LGBT” threats and protests, a millionaire “gay” couple has sued a church in the UK for not performing their “wedding,” and Ugandan homosexuals have sued a Christian evangelist for “crimes against humanity.” Yet, like Nancy Pelosi’s infamous comment on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), “conservative” Catholic literary critic Joseph Bottum argues that we have to allow gay marriage to happen to see if it might do some good.
The LGBTQ lobby is powerful, as the UK case illustrates, precisely because it’s rich, but also because of “well meaning” Christians who think it’s about “fairness,” and others who don’t think that “religion” shouldn’t intrude on the “public sphere.” It’s the same reasoning behind the HHS contraception mandate: the alleged “right” to violate Natural Law supersedes the right of employers to chose not to engage in material cooperation. Indeed, the notion of “material cooperation” goes over most people’s heads or is used in the opposite of its intent.

1984 Came 30 Years Later. Welcome to the Brave New World.

I remember reading a couple commentators back in the 90s who suggested that Huxley was the most correct of the authors of early and mid-20th century dystopias, in terms of how our society had lost its moral center and become completely hedonistic, but now in terms of other aspects, Bradbury and Orwell look to have been right. Indeed, we seem to be increasingly speeding to the USA depicted by Ray Bradbury in _Fahrenheit 451_. I never read _1984_, but here is a website that compares Orwell’s predictions to our time (and many of them overlap with Bradbury’s). Some of the things Bradbury and Orwell got right:
1) Becoming a military state by convincing the populace it needs to fear THE ENEMY (“Terrorists”)
2) Planes flying overhead
3) A populace benumbed by wall-sized TVs
4) Reading becoming more and more rare, books abridged, etc. Bradbury predicted that mass censorship would not come top-down but bottom-up with the people demanding they be saved from the “burden” of reading. ”

Since we both read the novel in 2010, my wife has often commented on the very name of “Kindle” as suggestive of book burning. In theory the digitization of text should be a good thing. Every new technology seems to provide another way for increasing human knowledge. In Disney’s “Carousel of Progress,” the 1940s family talks of how wonderful TV will be for providing everyone a chance to watch the opera and study Latin. We all know how that turned out. Look at Christan Classics Ethereal Library or one of the various Great Books sites. In theory, you can fit a ton of information in pure TXT format into what is today a relatively small amount of space. Supposedly, the entire print collection of the Library of Congress would take up about 10 TB (about $500 worth of hard drives), but even in the 90s, a reasonable “Great Books” collection could fit on a CD in TXT or even PDF format. In theory, a person could fit a complete and quality education onto a single smart phone and carry it for life. So, in theory, digitalization of text should be preserving culture, but not if people aren’t reading it. Listen to ads for Kindle and Nook: the “e-readers” now advertise all the different fun things you can use them for *besides* reading.

“Where orthodoxy becomes optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed.” —Neuhaus’ Law

In “Lilies that Fester,” C. S. Lewis argues that when education becomes a means to a job, and government pays for it, then government becomes a means of brainwashing by the business managers and the government.

So, in the past 20 years, paleoconservatives/traditionalists have been pushed out of the education discussion in this country (and turned to homeschooling), while a conspiracy of liberal and neoconservative forces have promoted “common core standards of learning” in almost all states (then Gov. Bill Clinton was one of the first to jump on that bandwagon along with George HW Bush and Bill Bennett). The standards movement has proven to amount to exactly what C. S. Lewis warned about: especially because it’s not so much about what students are expected to *know* as what they are expected *not* to know. For in order to *teach* the “expected standards,” teachers must *not* teach other things. When I was growing up, you never could finish everything in the textbook in one year, and the teacher picked what you learned. This provided what one of my college professors described as one of the most important elements of an education, “to learn from as many lunatics as you can.” The teacher’s personality and interests are *supposed* to influence the education.

Not anymore.

Now, the teacher is told *exactly* what to teach, and all that material *must* be covered, and they provide far more material than can realistically be covered and learend in one year just so they can avoid teachers talking about what they *don’t* want. And it’s very clear, if one reads the high school standards of any given state, how the standards reflect political agendas for either party. For example, in South Carolina, students are NOT supposed to learn about official persecution of Catholics in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Now, they’re getting to where over 75% of “required reading” in high school English will be nonfiction.

This besides the abandonment of text, is one of Bradbury’s concerns: gradually, fiction itself is becoming forbidden in our culture. I’ve argued this for a few years regarding “reality TV.” Even though “reality TV” itself is often rigged, if not outright scripted, it provides simplistic entertainment while avoiding intellectual or imaginative stimulation. Best to have people numbing their minds to the shouting matches on CNN, MSNBC or FOX, and feeling “informed,” when they’re actually being brainwashed. If not, then watch _The Real World_ or _Jersey Shore_ or whatever the latest “hit reality show” is. And if people *insist* on entertaining themselves with fiction then make sure it’s obscene comedy, titillating sex, or abject violence, with as little plot as possible–and then make them *think* they’re “intelligent” for enjoying listening to someone spewing profanities.
Bradbury missed the violent video games, but he rightly imagined the “interactive” entertainment that makes people think they’re involved when they’re being brainwashed. He also predicted people having multiple abortions and multiple divorces.

A commenter in my article about _Les Miserables_ insisted that the movie should be banned for its “graphic” depictions of sexual activity. I first noted how the depictions are graphic in a slightly different way, but questioned how they are any worse than a lot of what’s on TV these days. I also noted how, while the scenes are meant to show the disgusting nature of prostitution–they’re not to titillate or to glorify but to make people see the disgusting, repulsive nature of prostitution. He said he failed to see the distinction. I suggested he read Flannery O’Connor but noted how he probably would be opposed to her, as well. He said that comment was rude. I asked if graphic depictions of homosexual rape are better than graphic depictions of prostitution. I’m wondering if he’ll respond.

O’Connor holds that the closer fiction is to real life experience, the more it must lead us to God. Of course, as some of us argue, real life experience can have many meanings. I read a joke on FB today: “I’ve noticed how shows that describe themselves as containing ‘adult situations’ rarely show people doing chores, going to work or paying bills.” Kevin O’Brien over at Theater of the Word is often using Hallmark movies as an example of bad film making. I’m often protesting when he says that. Certainly Hallmark Hall of Fame is a bit more quality than Hallmark Channel Original movies, though I enjoy both. And Hallmark Channel Original movies, I admit, are a nice kind of low-thought entertainment which Flannery O’Connor might herself criticize for being overly “nice” in a distorted way. However, in their own way they serve as a more authentic representation of human life than most of what Hollywood produces or certainly a lot of “reality” TV.

So, anyway, now the “standards of learning” are being used to NOT teach kids Homer or Shakespeare or O’Connor or Orwell or Hawthorne or Austen. Russell Kirk said, “deprive a boy of Homer, and he will turn to Mickey Spillaine or Ian Fleming, or worse.” Well, even Ian Fleming and Mickey Spillaine will soon be proscribed.

For over 100 years, people from across the disciplines and ideological spectra have seen something on the horizen in Western civilization, given each generation’s decreasing morality and increasing construction of technological terrors (to paraphrase Emperor Palpatine). Yet while Ray Bradbury said to prepare for it by reading and memorizing, while the mystics have said to prepare for it by turning our hearts to God in prayer and fasting, so many of those who actually pay attention are preparing by stockpiling food and guns.

Better start memorizing, folks.

We Owe an Apology to Richard Nixon

Watched James Taylor’s _One Man Band_ concert the other night. It was pretty entertaining up until he started talking about Richard Nixon, at which point I hit the FF. For 40 years, Democrats have been defining themselves by hatred of Nixon, and it was because of Nixon that the media broke their longstanding tradition of complete deference to the president. For 40 years, Watergate has defined American politics.
And what was Watergate? A scandal about a cover-up of a break-in that was intended to cover up the fact that Nixon had an “enemies’ list” and was using the CIA to spy on US citizens. Nixon got blamed for the genocide that happened because he got us out of Vietnam, *and* he gets blamed for Vietnam itself, which John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson got us into (consider how one of the proofs John Kerry has lied about his Vietnam record is that he’s attributed to Nixon decisions that were LBJ’s).
The media, and whichever party has not had the presidency at the time, has tried to make various scandals into the “next Watergate.” So there was “Irangate,” or “Iran Contra,” a scandal involving the Reagan Administration supposedly trading arms to terrorists for the release of hostages. Then there were the very scandals of the Clinton Administration, which involved an awful lot of mysterious deaths surrounding corrupt business deals, though most national attention was given to Clinton’s sexual escapades to distract from the real scandals.
Then there’s George W. Bush. Demonocrats supposedly hate Bush for getting us involved in the Vietnam-esque conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan (and, admittedly the Neocon Dubya is the first Republican to get us invovled in such a quagmire, where the military actions authorized by his father and Ronald Reagan were efficient and ended when the “mission was accomplished”).
Bush gets blamed, rightly, for spying on US citizens, expanding the powers of the president, getting us into two wars, and giving massive bail outs to huge corporations (bail outs that Congressional Democrats pushed for).
So, now we have Barack Obama.
Obama’s done everything that Bush, Nixon, Reagan and Clinton did (except maybe the sexual stuff), and worse.
We have more wars, entered into with no justification.
We have unmanned drone strikes.
We have “Fast and Furious,” a scandal about outright giving guns to drug lords and terrorists, guns that were in turn used to kill US agents, without the benefit of trading them for hostages.
We have Obama’s cover-up of the administration’s inaction regarding the Benghazi embassy attacks.
We know that Obama not only has an “Enemies List” but has established various online initiatives asking his loyal followers to turn in their neighbors who oppose the president’s policies.
We have an administration that now says it’s OK for the government to unilaterily assassinate not only foreign nationals but US citizens if it deems them threats, with “Attorney General” Eric Holder saying that their determination someone is a threat is sufficient for “due process.” We have Congress almost unanimously approving a law allowing indefinite detention of US citizens. And Nixon was in trouble just for spying on US citizens.
Oh, and Bush’s Patriot Act makes law what Nixon did.

Yet for Obama, the media have amazingly returned to the old tradition that had them covering up the flaws–whether cosmetic (FDR’s wheelchair) or genuine (JFK’s adultery and drug addiction) of former presidents. Will anyone in the mainstream media finally pick up on Benghazi? Will a contemporary Woodward and Bernstein have the courage to bring down this wannabe tyrant? Will the scandals of Obama cast the shadow on the Democratic Party that Nixon’s scandals have cast on the GOP?

Ruth Graham famously said that if God doesn’t do something to certain US cities, He owes an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah. Well, if Barack Obama is not impeached, the American people owe an apology to Richard Nixon.

Can we please NOT feed into the other side’s characterization of us?

OK, I have had it.

Yes, satire, polemic, sound bites, etc., are part of rhetorical debate and discourse. Yes, the reason our country is so ideologically divided is that we’re facing such crucial issues that people have disparate views on. I don’t understand how anyone can deny the humanity of an unborn child or the right of a disabled person to live. I also don’t understand how anyone who supports those rights can deny that the vulnerable need some help from society to live, and part of that includes some level of government assistance. Yet at the same time, I don’t understand how people can stick their heads in the ground about the fact that our government is already bankrupt, and this spend-spend-spend with no budget cuts or tax increases mentality will only lead to self-destruction (personally, I think officially adopting state capitalism is the only way to really get out of the mess we’re in). I understand that people are still afraid from 9/11, but I also don’t understand why people who profess to be devout Catholics can refuse to honestly interpret the Church’s teachings on Just War. I don’t understand why people who claim to be pro-life can fail to recognize that Blessed John Paul II, John Cardinal O’Connor and even Fr. Frank Pavone have all taught that war and the death penalty are just as much pro-life issues as abortion. At the same time, I can’t fathom how people refuse to recognize that the vast numbers of children killed by abortion compared to those other issues, and the fact that the Church teaches the state sometimes has to use them out of extreme necessity, mean that abortion should be our top issue in terms of voting. OK, I get why our country is so hotly divided.

I also think Barack Obama is a monster. His position on Born Alive Protection, that letting babies who survive abortions starve to death is “necessary to protect the right to abortion,” an issue which even NARAL won’t take a position on, which Alan Keyes pushed in the 2004 Illinois Senate election, ought to be enough to discredit him. I think the damage he’s done to our economy is offensive, and the fact that his supporters think that trillions of dollars in corporate welfare is equivalent to FDR’s New Deal shows how ignorant most of his supporters are. I’m a “birther” in that I don’t think Obama is eligible, whether or not he was born in Hawaii, because of his Indonesian joint citizenship, and his possible criminal activity. I certainly think he has nothing to hide, as he has refused to release, and instead suppressed, records which most presidential candidates have shown to the public. I think he should be impeached for his unconstitutional invasion of Libya, for his other gross violations of the Constitution, and now for his own lawyer’s admission that the “Long form birth certificate” published by the White House in April 2011 was actually a forgery meant to deceive the American people.

(Now, for those who say, “Throw Bush in jail,” I have a response coming later; stay tuned).

I am sick to death of the claim that those of us who oppose Obama do so only because we’re racists, and the ensuing debates that end up making Obama’s critics look racist in their attempts to save themselves from accusations of a “thought crime” and the effort to prove a negative.

All of that said, could we please stick to the issues and avoid making that impression? People tend to ignore the extremes of political argument that come from people they agree with. I have argued with people on the Left who insist that political discourse has only become so nasty under Obama, and that the Right is only nasty, and when I point out the 8 years of “Kill Bush” and attempts at obscene references to the president’s last name, etc., they have no idea what I’m talking about. People who never listen to Rush Limbaugh insist that he’s a hate-spewing demagogue. Then they happily listen to Jon Stewart and Bill Maher and other “comedians’ who do nothing but rip on the Catholic Church, rip on conservatives, etc.

So we keep excusing the ever-volatile rhetoric because in our eyes the other side does it worse.

But conservatives should be better. If we’re sincerely about promoting Christian values and human dignity and the Right to Life, then we need to reflect those values. Most of my political arguments with liberals the past few years have involved me fighting to prove I’m not a racist.

Then I look on my Facebook wall, and I see posts from my conservative “friends” (quotation marks referring to the Facebook term, not questioning the friendship of the individuals in question) that make me cringe: “Tar and Feather”; “Arrest Him” (again, used for Bush, took, but the pictures are the key); pictures showing either Barack or Michelle Obama with expressions on their faces that harken to anti-African American stereotypes. Then there’s the occasional outright racist reference, like the bumper sticker that plays on the N-word (in a manner that doesn’t even make sense). I saw a headline about how “Facebook censors conservative sites” that a few of my friends forwarded, apparently without reading the article. The article was actually about Facebook censoring *racist* sites, and the comments were things like, “I’m not a racist. I just believe white people are superior.” What the heck? How can anyone call themselves Christian and believe these things?

I wish to God that Alan Keyes had been the first African American president. I know one of the major reasons he wasn’t was that there is a great deal of active and latent racism among my political bedfellows–he was arbitrarily shut out of debates, for example. When Keyes and his supporters were protesting a debate he was shut out of in Atlanta, the police came and put him in cuffs, and then drove him to an African American slum and dropped him off.

I realize race is an issue, even though I think it’s stupid that people make such a big deal about it on both sides. Why should the color of one’s skin matter any more than the color of one’s hair? Oh, that’s right. In some parts of Europe, you might as well be black as have red hair (in fact, these days, red heads get treated worse than “racial minorities). African Americans argue amongst themselves about the merits of being “light” or “dark.” It’s absurd.

We intentionally put our daughters in an inner city Catholic school with a predominantly African American population partly because the school and parish are relatively orthodox/conservative/traditional, but also because we wanted them to be exposed to people of different races. While there are white children in their classes, our daughters’ closest friends are all of other “races.” Our son goes to a racially public school and in spite of his autism and severe aversion to socialization of any kind, his classmates adore him, and he seems to like them as best as he’s capable. We recently went to a birthday party for one of his classmates. We were only one of two white families at the party. It was clearly not a “we’re inviting everyone in the class” party. I think most of the guests were relatives, and it was a joint party for two sisters, so the guest list per sister was correspondingly reduced. The mother told us that, when they were doing the invitations, her daughter said, “We *have* to invite Josef!”

On the adult level, our friends are very diverse. We have friends who are white, black, Hispanic, Oriental and Arab. We don’t care about race. We *do* care that a person is Catholic and pro-life. I have a brother in law who says his standard for friends is, “Are you Catholic, are you pro-life, and do you like _The Simpsons_?” For Mary and me, it’s something similar. We dislike Kerry, Gore, and Clinton, and some of our own relatives as much as we dislike Obama, because we believe being “pro-choice” is a reprehensible position equivalent to being pro-Holocaust or pro-terrorism, but just because he happens to have darker skin tone than they do, people say we’re “racist”. It’s absurd.

But fighting that image is not helped by conservatives who consciously or unconsciously use racist language or images. I’m sick of it. You want to show Obama disrespect because he supports killing babies or he supports bankrupting our country? Fine. Then make sure your satires and images and sound bites reflect those reasons. Otherwise, when it comes to personal attacks, why can’t we as conservatives set a higher standard then stooping to the level of Jeneane Garofalo and Al Franken?

Why This Paleocon Solidly Supports Rick Santorum

Let me start this very clearly: anyone reading this blog should realize I’m a solid paleoconservative, and I’ve been very critical of both neoconservatism as a philosophy and Rick Santorum insofar as he exemplifies it. That said, with all things put together, I have decided that Santorum is not only the best candidate among the standing Republicans but the only possible candidate to face the crisis our country is in.

Will he win? Well, polls are indicating he’s the only Republican who has a chance of beating Obama, and it’s really a question of whether he has a chance of beating Romney. At this point, since I’ve argued for years that a repeat of 1860 is the only way to end abortion, I’m counting on the GOP to split at the convention the way the Democrats did in 1860. In a three way race between Obama, Romney and Santorum (or Paul, but he hasn’t got a shot at this point), I’m sure Santorum would be the spoiler the way Lincoln was in 1860, because Santorum appeals to the same voters Lincoln did, and they’re still roughly the same percentage of the population.

A. Constistently Pro-Life?

Again, I disagree strongly with some of Santorum’s foreign policy positions. I agree with those who say that his positions on “enhanced interrogation,” assassination of civilians, and foreign interventionism belie his pro-life convictions and do not reflect a consistent pro-life philosophy. However, I always recognize, with the Church, that there is a hierarchy to pro-life issues.

1. Abortion and contraception are absolutes. I’ve always argued that given the choice between two anti-abortion candidates, the next issue to consider is contraception, and Santorum is better than the other candidates on that. Indeed, my otherwise favorite Ron Paul and his non-Catholic supporters have specifically criticized Santorum’s position on contraception. This was why, literally at the last minute, I decided to vote for Rick in the SC primary.

2. War is not an absolute, as then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in his infamous “secret letter” to Cardinal McCarrick. Since the state has the right to wage war when necessary, and since the judgement of whether a war is just or unjust is prudential, even though I disagree with Santorum’s positions on war-related issues, he seems to be exercising his prudential judgement and taking Church teaching, as he understands it, into consideration.

3. Santorum has shown himself willing to adjust his own beliefs to the Church’s teachings, more than any other politician I’ve seen. Since being voted out of office, from what I’ve heard from him on EWTN, he seems to have repented of his support of Specter, for example. If any politician is willing to change to be more in accord with the Church, he’s it. So I pray he’ll alter his foreign policy views as time goes on.

4. While I disagree with his views, again, I think he’s sincere in them. I’ve always pointed to Pat Buchanan as the ideal Catholic paleocon and the late Bob Casey, Sr., as the ideal Catholic liberal–both argue sincerely from their Catholic principles to their political conclusions. I happen to agree more with Buchanan, but respect Casey’s reasoning. I say the same thing about Santorum: I respect his reasoning, even though I disagree with some of his conclusions and his view on the function of government.

B. Paleocon versus Neocon view of Government

As a paleocon, I’d prefer small-government solutions to problems. I’d rather we outlaw abortion the Ron Paul way than by passing yet another federal law.

However, I have to recognize the signs of the times. If Ron Paul had done better so far, it would be one thing, but he’s hardly gotten any votes at all. Paleoconservatism is a dying position. In Canada, neither dominant coalition is officially pro-life anymore, and the “Religious Right” is suffering as a minority. That will happen in the US if Romney gets the GOP nomination. Rush Limbaugh said last year how the GOP leadership wants to the Christians to shut up about abortion. For the most part, paleocons and neocons agree about issues; we just disagree about the best way to tackle them. Even though I disagree with Santorum about *how* to tackle them, I also acknowledge that, at this point, his methods may be the only way to win on certain issues. Having seen Buchanan, Dornan, Keyes and now Paul get rejected time and again, I have to admit that paleoconservatism is a losing viewpoint, and if we don’t find a way of working with the neocons, we face the fate of not just paleocons but all pro-lifers in Canada.

C. Catholicism

Right before I went to the polls in the South Carolina primary, I went across the border to a pro-life rally in Augusta for the Anniversary of _Roe v. Wade_. It was sponsored by the interfaith “Alleliua” community. It was raining, and crowded, so I sat in my van and listened to some of the talks. I heard some speaker–don’t know if he was Catholic or Protestant–saying how we’re all “flavors of the same Christianity,” and that the Magisterium of the Catholic Church is subordinate to the Bible. Heresy trumps abortion, and I high-tailed it out of there. Then I went to the polls, and thought how I could not stomach voting for a non-Catholic when I had two acceptable Catholic candidates to choose from. Then I thought about the fact that Paul’s people were criticizing Santorum’s position on contraception, and voted for him.

That same weekend, this stuff about the HHS mandate came out. We are faced with a true culture war, where everything is pointed against the Catholic Church. Even ex-Catholic Glenn Beck, who was criticized here and elsewhere for seeming to tell Catholics to leave their Church a few years ago when he told people to leave any churches that talk of social justice, is praising the Church for taking a stand, and saying that the Obama administration is at war with the Catholic Church. Glenn Beck and the Limbaugh brothers have recently been speaking out in support of the Catholic Church, Rick Santorum, Pope Benedict XVI and Timothy Cardinal Dolan, saying how they’re taking a firm stand against Obama and for Christian values.

We’re at a watershed moment in our culture, and the Church Herself is under attack. I have no doubt that Romney, if elected, will just continue the work that Bush and Obama have started. The only one who can stem this tide against the Church in America is Rick Santorum.

D. Santorum shows signs of being the next “Reagan.”

It was under Ronald Reagan that Pat Buchanan coined the term “Paleocon” to distinguish from the former liberals who had joined the GOP over abortion and other social issues. Reagan breaking his promises to shut down the then relatively new EPA and Department of Education in favor of using them to promote a conservative agenda was one of the tell-tale signs of the so-called “neo-conservatism.”

The last GOP primary to last this long was 1976, when Reagan won 10 states against Ford. Obviously, Ford lost the election to Carter, but Reagan won four years later. If Santorum *doesn’t* win this nomination, he’s a shoe-in for 2016 (assuming there *is* a 2016 to look forward to). If the delegates are tied or close to it going into the Convention, we may see what I’ve been predicting: a party split where the GOP divides along its social conservative and economic conservative lines the way the Whigs did in the 1850s and the Democrats did in 1860. If Obama and Romney split the secularists, and Santorum wins the religious voters, Santorum could win.

E. Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony “Swing Vote” Kennedy

Those three are now the longest-serving members of the Supreme Court, if not the oldest. At least one of them is most likely to die, retire or get sick in the next 5 years. If Obama has a chance to nominate another justice, it will most likely be to replace a conservative or moderate. We’re not only dealing with overturning Roe v. Wade now, but “gay marriage” in numerous states, as well as Obamacare (which may hopefully be overturned in a few weeks), and several other unconstitutional laws passed under Obama (and Bush).

In 8 Years, George W. Bush nominated 2 justices to replace a couple “moderate” Republican justices. Obama’s replaced a liberal with a liberal. If he can replace a moderate or a solid conservative with a liberal, then liberals will have the majority on the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future, and if any of these issues make it to the Court, they can solidify them into so-called “settled law.”

If Romney gets in, he’ll most likely appoint “moderate Republicans” who can go either way.

Only with Santorum do we have a chance of appointing conservative jutices and getting the solid conservative majority we need to get this country back on the right track.

That’s why paleocons need to hold their noses and vote for Rick.

Anyway you cut it, the “Birthers” Win: Obama is ineligible.

Dr. Alan Keyes explains it this way:

Except we find a rational explanation for his conduct, Obama’s actions must appear to be the result of some irrational and defensive pride, some insanely arrogant sense that the oath, duties, and lawful obligations of his position do not apply to him, as they have to the others who have occupied the office he claims. But we are in fairness forbidden to suspect Obama’s moral sanity unless we also question the rationality of the politicians, judges, and media personalities who joined in the campaign of lies, ridicule, and derision intended to quell public insistence that due respect be shown for requirements plainly stated in the Constitution. In addition to demeaning the status and responsibilities of American citizenship, some of these people went so far as to suggest that the Constitution can be amended de facto by simple majority vote in a general election, casting aside the procedures for amendment the Constitution establishes.

In other words, our argument has been that *anyone* who is running for president should be required to provide proof of being a natural born citizen, simply because Article 2, Section 1 of the United States Constitution requires it. Obama’s supporters, and some Republicans, think this concept is ridiculous, which shows their contempt for the Constitution.

We have been told that there’s no “long form” birth certificate, or that Hawai’i doesn’t release them, or that the “short form” “certification of live birth” previously released *was* his birth certificate. We’ve been told these various claims over the past 3 years and that they all somehow refute the “birthers.” Dr. Keyes points out the very obvious fact that the release of this alleged birth certificate on Wednesday proves, if nothing else, that Obama and his supporters have been lying!!

On Wednesday this week, after refusing the simple request for several years; after expending several million dollars in lawyer’s fees to battle anyone who dared pursue it; after vindictively engineering the court-martial and imprisonment of an honorable soldier who stood by his sworn oath to defend the Constitution of the United States — Barack Obama finally gave in and released what purports to be a copy of his full and complete birth certificate.

This constitutes incontrovertible proof that he, his media claque (including snopes.com, etc.), and the gullible or cowardly politicians (Democrat and Republican alike) who repeatedly claimed that he had already done so, were lying. The people they derided and ridiculed as “birthers” were telling the truth. The Certification of Live Birth published on the Internet, which these liars repeatedly referred to as his birth certificate, was an abridged certification that omitted the vital information needed to verify that he was born on U.S. soil, and could therefore claim, jus soli, to be a citizen at birth.

Meanwhile, the document released has itself been scrutinized for inconsistencies to other published “long form” birth certificates from Hawai’i. It has actually made converts *to* the “birther” movement of people who looked at it and said, “This doesn’t look right.” People are saying, “I wasn’t a birther until I saw this document.”

The Obama document is printed on a modern kind of watermarked paper that was not used in 1961. Some argue that it’s a photocopy printed on modern paper. Fine; that makes sense–except that it doesn’t have the telltale signs of a photocopy.

The document has been compared to some published long form birth certificates, particularly those of twins born on August 5, 1961. Critics have pointed to some alleged indiscrepancies, such as differences in how the date is written, which could easily be explained away.

However, the biggest of all is that Obama was born on August 4, 1961, but the file number on the alleged birth certificate says “10641,” while the twins born the day *after* him have file numbers 10637 and 10638. He was born before they were, and his birth was allegedly registered before they were, yet the document is numbered later.

The document has, of course, been scrutinized, and self-proclaimed experts have said the typeface is different on different parts of it.

The White House released the document in PDF format, and many have pointed out that it opens into layers in Adobe Illustrator. Some have argued that any document opened in Illustrator will open into layers. Another very basic argument that’s been raised is that the text has little white areas around it–areas that would not have occurred on an original typed document but would have occurred on a scan. Liberals claim that this is a result of OCR and can be seen on any scanned document. I’ve never seen it.

The following video is by a graphic artist who exposes the “layers” and inconsistencies in the document in Illustrator:

Perhaps the most noteworthy thing he says, which anyone who’s done any document scanning or art scanning can attest to, is that ink does not scan as solid color. If you scan a signature, it will come in as grayscale. If you zoom a scanned drawing or signature, you will not see black lines. You will see lots of pixels in different shades of gray and black. On the other hand, if you sign a document *in* Acrobat or Illustrator or a pain program, you will get a solid black line. Indeed, I often use Acrobat for legal documents, and I’m sometimes told that the recipient cannot accept it because it’s obvious the document is signed on the computer–even if I’ve signed it with a digital pen.

The guy in the above video shows how some of the signatures on the alleged birth certificate, particularly that of Obama’s mother, were done by computer! You can see the difference between signed-in-pen letters and signed-on-computer letters.

Here’s part 2, in which he responds to some of the critics:

It *does* strike me as a possible explanation for the whole sudden Trump-is-a-conservative thing: did Trump suddenly declare his conservatism and try to get instant credit just to raise a stink and “force” Obama to release this obviously forged “birth certificate” to make conservatives look bad?

In a _Hardball_ debate the other day (in which Pat Buchanan admittedly does a disservice to “birthers” by sounding a bit racist), Chris Matthews expresses his view that it’s completely unnecessary for a President to provide credentials for his job, and claims that he didn’t need any credentials to get his own job!!

The problem with your reasoning, Mr. Matthews, is the Constitution doesn’t require a journalist to be a natural born citizen!!!

What’s really insulting about the _Hardball_ debate, which included Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign manager Terry McAuliffe, besides just about everything, is that McAuliffe is sitting there all smug about “birthers” when it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign that first raised Obama’s birth certificate as a legal issue!!

Every time some idiot liberal tells me that “birthers are racists,” I say, “Well, I guess Hillary Clinton and her supporters are racists.” Then you have the point that Alan Keyes was the *first* to raise the issue. I guess he’s a racist, too.

Chris Matthews has accused Obama’s opponents of being “Crackers on the Right,” yet said after Obama’s 2010 State of the Union Address, “I forgot he was black tonight.” Really, Chris? Do you think about it that much?

When I look at Barack Obama, my first thought is not, “He’s a black man” (my thought is, “There’s a horrible monster who supports legalized abortion”) but that’s apparently the first thing Chris Matthews thinks: so who’s *really* a racist, Mr. Matthews???

No, we doubt Obama’s eligibility because he’s done so much to suppress evidence of it. We doubt Obama’s eligibility because he hates America. He says our Constitution is “flawed.” His wife says she hates America. His father was not only a foreign national, but served in a foreign government. The purpose of Clause 5 of the Article 2, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, as I’ve said many times, is to prevent having a president with dual allegiance. Barack Hussein Obama II shows more interest in foreign powers and the UN (evinced by his going to war with Libya solely because the UN wanted him to) than he does in US sovereignty, as evinced by the fact that, as no less a liberal than Garry Trudeau pointed out, he was “the first US presidential candidate to campaign for president in Europe.”

Obama was raised for a good part of his childhood in Indonesia. As many have argued, this should alone invalidate him. He was adopted by an Indonesian and went by “Barry Soetoro” for much of his life.

Further, the Founding Fathers got the term “Natural Born Citizen” from the 1758 treatise known as the “Law of Nations,” which declares that a person’s “natural born citizenship” is the country of his father’s citizenship, period.

One of the reasons Obama’s supporters claim “birthers” are racists is because John McCain was born in Panama. First, McCain made no secret of that, and sought a Congressional resolution declaring him a natural born citizen. However, McCain’s parents were both US Citizens. McCain being born of US citizens on foreign soil is far more eligible for the presidency than Obama, born to a foreign father, than raised in another country by a foreign stepfather.

In any case, as I’ve also said many times, why doesn’t the “penumbral shadow” of the Constitution fall on Article 2, Section 1?

I’m sick and tired of being told that no one can object to Obama’s positions without being a racist.

I’m sick and tired of the very people who spent 8 years saying George W. Bush was illegitimate because Al Gore won the “popular vote” (again showing their complete disdain for our Constitution) now saying that it’s unAmerican to question the authority of a legitimately elected president. I’m sick of the people who complain about Bush being a “rich white guy” saying that Obama’s critics, who hardly ever mention his race, are racists.

To wit, I agree that Buchanan sounds rather racist in insisting that we want Obama’s records because of “affirmative action.” No. We want Obama’s records because most presidential candidates show these records. We’ve heard for 10+ years that George W. Bush is “stupid,” even though he proved by publishing his college transcripts that he’s actually smarter than Al Gore. We have heard for 3+ years that Barack Obama is this brilliant guy, even though the Teleprompter President can’t go off-card for 20 seconds without hemming and hawing. The guy thinks we have 57 states.

Chris Matthews tells us that Obama is “obviously” smart because “he shows it every day.” HOW?? “I read his book,” says Matthews. Yeah, so?

When being interviewed off-the-cuff by a reporter who isn’t a sell-out, Obama gets mad. When he was signing his first set of executive orders in January 2009, Obama admitted that he hadn’t read them. With the media all gathered there in the Oval Office, Obama had a lawyer standing there, to tell him what each Executive Order he signed said. He consulted the lawyer before signing them. Rush Limbaugh played the clips on his show and said, “I’ll tell you what: George W. Bush never did anything like this. You know why? Because if he had, we’d still be seeing it replayed on CNN today.”

“I have visited 57 states”:

The brilliant orator who, Chris Matthews tells us, proves every day how smart he is:

Without a teleprompter:

Obama’s funniest bloopers:

In a Memorial Day speech, he referred to a relative who fought at Auschwitz, implying that a relative was either a Nazi or Soviet soldier (he meant Dachau), but we’re talking about the prepared text here: that’s a big difference from going off the teleprompter. The same goes for a speech in the above video where he claims that the March on Selma (1965) was the inspiration for his parents’ marriage (he was born in 1961)! The guy is either completely stupid or thinks his supporters are–and they most definitely are.

Again, if it is “racism” that motivates people to post these videos of Obama quotes, then is it “racism” that motivates Democrats to make fun of gaffes by George W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin, etc??

UPDATE:
Ultimately, the real “distraction” is the kinds of arguments used by liberals. The college records aren’t important because of “affirmative action” or because of whether he’s “smart enough to be president. The college records are important because some people claim he studied on foreign student scholarships. Obama claimed joint citizenship with the US and Indonesia–which should be enough to say he’s not a “natural born citizen”–and the issue is whether he used his Indonesian citizenship after age 18.

As for the birth certificate, I think they took a legitimate copy of a legitimate document and forged it to make it look like an “original.”

Funding abortion is evil: Vote them out or you’re complicit

Obama is anti woman and anti-child; vote PRO-LIFE on Nov. 2

Save our babies from Death “Roe”


I’m the first person to say that it’s hypocritical for some pro-lifers to be actively in favor of the death penalty (i.e., former SC Attorney General Charlie Condon’s “electric couch” comment) or war. However, as hypocritical as some pro-lifers are for opposing abortion yet supporting liberal use of these worst-case alternatives, it is ABSOLUTELY hypocritical that people oppose the death penalty or war and NOT abortion.

Pro-abortionists are “Liars from Satan”

1. This is a baby:

This is not “a part of a woman’s body,”
not “a choice,”
not “a blob of tissue.”

The Democrats lie.
These people claim to support education, yet they want people to be grossly misinformed about abortion and numerous other issues.

Simply Put


I am pro-life.

Here’s how I prioritize my vote:

1. I oppose contraception–if I find that rare politician who does, he or she has my vote, hands down.
2. I oppose abortion, completely. I vote for the *MOST* anti-abortion candidate: I’ll vote for an “incrementalist” or “some exceptions candidate,” but I’m going to vote for the person who’s going to do the *most* to outlaw abortion. If it’s a choice between someone who’s anti-abortion but pro-ESCR and someone who’s anti-both, I’ll vote for the latter.
3. If the positions on abortion are relatively equal, and depending upon the office, I’ll consider the death penalty, torture and war. For example, I care far more about the death penalty if I’m voting for a judge or district attorney. I really don’t care about a district attorney’s position on war, but I care more about a presidential candidate’s position on war than his position on the death penalty.
4. If all of the above are equal, then I’m going to look at candidates’ positions on marriage, education, and parental rights. I supported Mike Huckabee in the 2008 primary because he calls for getting rid of “no fault” divorce and he supports laws that favor homeschooling.
5. After all these, if it gets down to nuances between candidates with similar views on all the above issues, I’ll look at their positions on “dignity of the human person” issues such as disability rights, welfare and the environment.

“What are you going to do about the Christians?”

Recently, Rush Limbaugh gave a very interesting speech in Philadelphia (h/t to Kathy Shaidle).

This speech is Limbaugh at his best. Other than some stupid comments about conservationism, he’s insightfl and funny.

Rush admits there’s little difference between party when you get to the highest ranks:

For these 23 years I’ve thought that a whole bunch of people were on our team who really aren’t, and it’s become crystal clear. And we talked about this piece that was in the American Spectator by Angelo Codevilla called “America’s Ruling Class,” which is just a brilliant, brilliant piece and it codified and it established exactly what’s going on in the country today. It’s not Republican versus Democrat. And by the way, this is not to say that there’s no difference between the two because there clearly is. But we’re in the midst here of a crossroads that I don’t think any of us have ever faced in the country. I was thinking back the other day in my review of the 23 years: Make fun of liberals, talk about the things that they do and their policies. But we never, ever really thought that they would succeed to the point that the country as founded would be threatened.

But it is now. It is. This bunch — the Obama administration, the regime — is a disaster. They have succeeded in a year and a half. If we conservatives ever get power back, if we would implement as much of our agenda in a year and a half as Obama has succeeded in implementing, we would be throwing parties! Nationalizing car companies. Nationalizing the healthcare business. Daily assaults on freedom. And what we’ve learned that’s shocking to us, is so many people on our side still don’t see that. They still see it as a traditional Republican versus Democrat. “We’ll share power here. We’ll get some judges this year; you get some judges next year,” and we’re in a crossroads now where that’s not the case. I was listening to Obama’s speech at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Awards Banquet.

Then he talks about Rockefeller Republicans:

I was in the Hamptons back in the early nineties. One of the few times I’ve been there. It was a dinner party at some famous people’s house you would know. And after the dinner party one of them came up to me, jabbed me in the chest and said, “What are you going to do about the Christians?” I said, “What do you mean what am I going to do about the Christians?” “Well, yeah, yeah, they listen to you. What are you going to do about it?” I said, “What are you talking about?” “Abortion, man, it’s killing the party. It’s going to kill the party. You’re going to have to tell these Christians –” “Why am I going to have to tell the Christians? Why don’t you?” And this guy actually said, “My wife won’t leave me alone. She’s bugging me about this. You’ve got to do something because they listen to you.”

So the people who are not with us are something that I’ve grown to despise, people concerned about what others think of them, people who try to be what they are based on what they think others want them to be. You know, we’ve all done that. We’ve all done that in high school. The problem is some people still haven’t gotten out of high school and still live in that clique world and they’re still concerned, and too many people on our side are still concerned about what those people, the left and the liberals and the people that run the show in Washington think of them. And they don’t want to be thought of as unreasonable or racist or sexist. So they’ll criticize us. And they’ll jump in Christine O’Donnell’s chili. They’re afraid of being associated with her because they hear what the liberals are saying and they don’t want to be laughed at like they’re laughing at Christine O’Donnell. So we have two challenges. We have to prevent a third party from forming because that’s going to elect Democrats from here to kingdom come.

Agree up to the last part. A solid third party movement will not give the country to the Democrats. A solid third party movement, like the GOP in 1860, will get the vote of the people and leave the other two parties to split the rich.

On Obama’s hatred of America, which, as I’m always saying, makes him in principle ineligible for the presidency, even if he’s legally a natural citizen:

People still don’t want to believe it. And I am as serious about this as I have ever been about anything. I have no doubt that for whatever reason — and we can go through the list of what it is that Obama doesn’t like about the country. I know he’s been educated, informed and raised to not like this country from his father who didn’t like colonialism. His grandfather was run out of Kenya, the Mau Mau revolution, the Great British revolution at the time and that’s why Obama got rid of the bust of Winston Churchill first thing in the Oval Office. He didn’t just put it in the basement. He sent it back to the British embassy. He has a genuine animus. It’s not an accident that when it comes time to give a gift, he picks 25 DVDs at random from Amazon and doesn’t even send the correct country codes so the Prime Minister can watch them.

He’s got an axe to grind with the country. He doesn’t like it. He has been raised that this country as founded was unjust and immoral and he is hell bent on a course to change it, to cause us to have to pay the price for this. Now, you say this — and you’ve heard me say it on the radio daily — and if you’re immersed in this stuff daily and if you’re honest, if you’re honest with yourself about what you see and what you read; you can’t conclude anything other than that. But a lot of people, even who voted for him who are not happy now, they just can’t get their arms around the fact that we’ve elected somebody who has that view of the country. Sadly a lot of people on what I call “our side” of the aisle, the so called conservative media intelligencia inside the Beltway, they just think that he’s misguided, wrong, doesn’t understand economics, and is a little like a doofus.

And he may be all of that, but he’s much more. He has a plan. He’s the architect of reforming this country in a way that we wouldn’t recognize it as founded. There’s no way — folks, there’s no way — anybody that has the ability to be honest with themselves can look at his economic policies after a year and a half of utter, from our perspective, failure. Job destruction. I mean, the unemployment rate continues to climb. People have stopped looking for work. It is a disaster out there — and nobody in their right mind, after a year and a half of this, would say we need more of it. People would say, “This isn’t working!” This is his fault. We’ve had a year and a half of debt that has accrued, in his year and a half, that is more than all the debt from George Washington to Ronald Reagan. Yet he blames George W. Bush for it and he blames us! He blames the American people. He says, “No, the days of the American people, the days of America leading the world economically are over.” The hell they are! They are not over.

Where are all the headlines about the 5 Muslims arrested for plotting to kill the Pope?

Where are the Facebook groups of Muslims saying, “We protest this”? Where are all the “interfaith” organizations issuing statements? Where are the statements from Obama and Clinton and the Vatican Interreligious Affairs office??

One looney threatens to burn some Korans in his front yard, and the whole world erupts in protest.

5 guys plot to kill the Pope? Big whoop!
And if those 5 guys were arrested for plotting to kill Barack “You don’t have any evidence this is really even my name” Obama, there would be uproar somewhere short of the uproar over the would-be Koran burner.

Abortion: Worse than 9/11


Abortion kills more Americans every day than died on 9/11/2001


Abortionists are the real terrorists