Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Politics of American Wars

As he so often does, Victor Davis Hanson in the above article navigates well the waters of geopolitical issues with a careful eye towards learning from history.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Points to Ponder:

An atavistic longing after the life of the noble savage is the main source of the collectivist tradition. [Frederich Hayak]

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Briefly on the Karl Rove Situation:

The following is a response to an email that your host received this morning from one of his frequent dialogue partners.{1} Their words will be in shale font.

For the life of me I still don't see the problem here. Maybe you guys can help me out.

In the interest of disclosure, this email was sent to a number of recipients not only your host.

1.) Media believes Bush and co engage in a smear campaign against Joe Wilson for his report which supposedly "debunks" Bush's claims in the SOTU address. (For some reason, the fact that Bush says "British intelligence" instead of our own causes no problem.)

Correct.

2.) Media demands an investigation into things.

Correct.

3.) As a result, An independent investigator is introduced into the issue to figure out what everyone knew, and when they knew it.

This is true. And considering those points for a moment, we should also consider that President Bush handled the whole situation so much better than his predecessor handled certain...well...situations during the previous administration.{2}

4.) Prosecutor discovers journalists know (as part of what everyone knew) and demands the information.

Yes.

5.) now all of a sudden the media doesn't like the special prosecutor they called for. They wanted someone who was going to pull no punches. Be careful what you wish for liberals.

Since when have the vast majority of self-styled "progressivists" concerned themselves with consistency??? Special prosecutors are only to be called with Republican adminstrations and on irrelevant issues, not with Democrat adminstrations where there can be much more serious issues: ones actually warranting the use of a special prosecutor.{3}

6.) If rove was really trying to "out" someone, he's simply got lucky. He didn't solicit the information, and only raised the issue when asked about whether or not Joe Wilson really did get sent by Cheney. In essence, he was saying "he wasn't sent by the veep, rather his wife who works at the agency on wmd issues"

Correct.{4}

7.) How is this seeking to deliberately out a covert op as a covert op?

Good question. The answer of course is simple: it is not.

He nowhere mentions she had done covert work, and he revealed her as working for the suits doing wmd work. That's not covert!

True. And your interpretation is countenanced by drafters of the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Here are those qualifications:

[T]he agent must truly be covert. Her status as undercover must be classified, and she must have been assigned to duty outside the United States currently or in the past five years. This requirement does not mean jetting to Berlin or Taipei for a week's work. It means permanent assignment in a foreign country. Since Plame had been living in Washington for some time when the July 2003 column was published, and was working at a desk job in Langley (a no-no for a person with a need for cover), there is a serious legal question as to whether she qualifies as "covert." [Victoria Toensing and Bruce W. Sanford: Excerpt from The Plame Game: Was This a Crime? a Washington Post article (circa January 12, 2005)]

Not that certain disingenuous ideologues who are out to slam the Bush administration at all costs will care about such things of course.

8.) In conclusion we have a media that got excactly what it wanted (though the law of unitended consequences struck), and we have a partisan hack family who attempted to use their influence to derail Bush, and who were proven to be liars by the 9/11 commission.

Correct on all three points. (Your batting average on this is impressive.)

What do we do as a result?

Well, we should drop this non-issue and focus on important matters instead. But as that would be the logical approach to take, this writer predicts that it will be the approach not taken by the MSM as a whole.

Of course, fire Rove, that makes sense.

Your humble blog host is admittedly rather ambivalent about Karl Rove as a rule.{5} Nonetheless, this is such a non-issue that it is ludicrous to suggest that Rove should be fired for it. This whole situation seems to Us to be a case of trying to cover up for yet another failed (and incompetent) seditionist stooge. Observe:

Joe Wilson hadn't told the truth about what he'd discovered in Africa, how he'd discovered it, what he'd told the CIA about it, or even why he was sent on the mission. The media and the Kerry campaign promptly abandoned him, though the former never did give as much prominence to his debunking as they did to his original accusations. But if anyone can remember another public figure so entirely and thoroughly discredited, let us know. [From Karl Rove, Whistleblower a Wall Street Journal editorial (circa July 13, 2005)]

Those who wonder why We at Rerum Novarum so loathe the MSM, the underlined example explains a lot of it in a nutshell. (Not to mention that "journalism" and "ethics" have become antonymous terms of course.)

So what am I missin here guys?

You are missing nothing actually. Good job!!!

Notes:

{1} It has been a while since anything was posted where their name was revealed; ergo the note will be left anonymous unless they notify Us otherwise.

{2} If his wife is a classified status employee of the CIA, and if it was someone from the administration that "outted" her – this is a criminal offense. Suffice it to say that this administration will leave scorched earth behind whoever did it. Thus, it is tremendous to see how seriously President Bush is taking this. All documents frozen, all e-mails saved, total cooperation with the investigators and an aggressive probe underway to ferret out the truth. A president that respects the Justice Department instead of having it cover up for him is a refreshing change in D.C. [Kevin McCullough: Excerpt from Ten Reasons to Disbelieve Joe Wilson (circa October 3, 2003)]

{3} For those who think this writer is referring to the Lewinsky situation, nothing could be further from the truth.

{4} Media chants aside, there's no evidence that Mr. Rove broke any laws in telling reporters that Ms. Plame may have played a role in her husband's selection for a 2002 mission to investigate reports that Iraq was seeking uranium ore in Niger. To be prosecuted under the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act, Mr. Rove would had to have deliberately and maliciously exposed Ms. Plame knowing that she was an undercover agent and using information he'd obtained in an official capacity. But it appears Mr. Rove didn't even know Ms. Plame's name and had only heard about her work at Langley from other journalists.

On the "no underlying crime" point, moreover, no less than the New York Times and Washington Post now agree. [From Karl Rove, Whistleblower a Wall Street Journal editorial (circa July 13, 2005)]

As anyone not living in a cave knows, neither the Times nor the Post have any love loss for Karl Rove. Ergo, that should suffice to settle the matter for all except the willfully blind and profoundly disingenuous marxists of the "anybody but Bush" crowd.

{5} And on occasion We have even expressed the position that Karl Rove should be canned:

Bush should dump Karl Rove like a bad habit. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa January 11, 2004)]

And everytime the amnesty for illegals idea comes up (of which Karl Rove is a supporter), the present writer has a repeat of the above thought on the matter of his involvement in policy. Nonetheless, calls for him being "pink slipped" or similar sentiments by those who are simply out to get President Bush by any means they can are irresponsible and deserving of rebuke.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Guest Editorial on Colleges and Their Lack of Faculty Diversity:
(By Tim Tull)

This post contains material sent to me by an old but very good friend who reads Rerum Novarum and particularly liked what I wrote in the recent points to ponder installment on the many masks of marxism. Now normally, I post an accompanying email address with guest editorials so that the author can receive email from those who have comments or criticisms about what they have to say if readers are so inclined. However, (i) Tim has returned to school and is in a rather rapid pace to get his degrees in advanced engineering -basically he is on pace to complete a seven year program in five)- and (ii) he and I -who have known one another since the fifth grade- have barely had time to respond to each others emails in recent months. For those reasons, I am not about to put more on his crowded plate than he already has and will receive any emails sent on this text at my addresses above.

I will however let him know of them and if any of them are worth responding to should he feel inclined to do that. It is interesting that Tim never seemed to run into the kind of stuff he talks about in this editorial many years ago when he and I were in college -whereas I ran into plenty of it myself.{1} But then again, maybe it is simply much worse where he is at now than it was up here in Washington at the time. Anyway, without further ado, here is the text of a paper he wrote last semester for the California College Republicans.

########

A New York Times article reports that Democrats outnumber Republicans 30 to 1 in college anthropology departments and 7 to 1 in humanities classes. A study of voter registration shows a 9 to 1 Democrat tilt of professors at Berkeley and Stanford (J. Tierney). For perspective, white born-again/evangelical church goers vote Republican less than 2 to 1."

Colleges are so out-of-touch with American society that their lack of intellectual diversity is often shocking to those who have not been to a modern college and frustrating to some of us inside the system. The bizarre politics of college even leads to punishment or violence toward those of nonconforming views.

In my US History class, our textbook The American Promise is essentially a history of radical labor unions, extreme liberal or socialist politics, and the wrongs America committed against virtually everyone. It is deceitful to present the text as a comprehensive American history. The authors lavish praise on Communists as “progressive activists” who’s causes were “rooted in constitutional rights and religious conviction” and a group that simply “championed racial justice”, “led the fight against racism”, was the “most dedicated and fearless champion of the union cause”, that America lagged behind the Soviets in “science, education, economic growth” and American communists simply refused to “conform to mainstream beliefs” (Roark et al. 848-849, 966-970, 990). Never once is Stalin’s policy of fear and mass murder against his own people ever mentioned.

In my cultural anthropology class, the class spends the first two weeks describing the wrongs of ethnocentrism and how other cultures are neither better nor worse, they just do things differently. Once this fuzzy moral daze has been established, we learn both in text Introducing Cultural Anthropology and in lecture how homosexual child molestation is a path for young boys to achieve adulthood in some cultures or a tool by which field anthropologists build rapport with cultures they study (Lenkeit 204). In our other class text, Dead End Kids: Gang Girls and the Boys They Know by Mark Fleisher, the author tries to encourage a gang member to have one of the more violent gang hit men go after someone he dislikes and expresses a desire for his thug friends to kill social workers he disapproves of (96, 167). Other times he’s busy giving cigarettes to nine-year-olds or not reporting horrendous abuse of very young children he sees so he can pretend to be a superior minded impartial observer (36, 94). Could you guess that this author is a college professor? In teaching religion, our teacher discusses twenty or so religions very impartially until getting to Christianity where we only learn of it that the Nazis reigned under the banner of Christianity and scientology is a branch of Christianity. For extra credit, we could attend an event with UC Santa Cruz Professor Angela Davis who once graced the cover of the prestigious FBI’s most wanted list [and] also ran as the V.P. on the Communist Party ticket.

In the “Chicano History” class I attended I was told by our instructor the “conservative view” is that Mexicans are “maggots”. In the class reading of Alfredo Mirande’s Gringo Justice, we learn that Chicano gangs are a “necessary and vital” part of the Chicano culture and that the culture would perish in their absence (213). Outlining a possible solution for the Chicano community, the author proudly presents a 7-point model that credits Marxism (221). And here’s the good part – this class fulfills the college American History requirement.

One Cabrillo College English 2 class requires reading Communist propagandist Howard Zinn’s book People’s History of the United States. Zinn got his start in politics the day he was beaten by police while marching in a Communist Party rally in New York. When asked in an interview for clarification on describing himself politically, Zinn’s reply is, “Look at Alexander Berkman’s pamphlet, ‘Communist Anarchism’” (Perspectives of Anarchist Theory Vol.7 – No.1) Zinn personally traveled to Cuba where Castro warmly received him to perform pro-Communist plays in a country where any speech critical to the government means imprisonment. RateMyProfessor.com has a long list of students almost exclusively saying how the entire English 2 class consists of being fed radical views or having to regurgitate the opinions of the class lest they be punished in their grade.

It turns out that faculty and students alike are routinely punished for failing to conform to the college political agenda. Increasingly, colleges like UC Santa Cruz are imposing oxymoronic “free speech zones” where a tiny part of the campus is designated for “free speech” only after permission has been granted from faculty. Other colleges like West Virginia University also have “speech codes” where they attempt to eliminate “gender specific” language. Another trend is the multicultural loyalty oath such as Monterey Peninsula College’s requirement that instructors swear that all “course topics are treated to develop a knowledge and understanding of race, class and gender issues.” And if you tried getting into a Palestinian Studies class at Berkeley shortly after 9/11 you would have found yourself reading the course description that “conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other sections”. Cal Poly’s solution for non-conforming conservatives was to threaten expulsion to a student who attempted to post a flier advertising a College Republican event (Malcolm A. Kline from Accuracy in Academia).

By now, everyone knows about the ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado, Ward Churchill who elaborated in a recent speech that he could “not think of a better penalty” for the victims of 9/11 while praising the bravery of the hijackers. Ward Churchill also traveled to Libya in 1983 to meet communist leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Violence and hate are predictable results of college professors demonizing and stereotyping groups they can’t understand or relate to. Last year in Colorado, a college student wearing his College Republican shirt was kicked by one of the college instructors for his choice of fashion. Recently, College Republicans at the University of Washington had their booth destroyed and were assaulted by a mob of students. At San Francisco State University last November, a mob physically assaulted the California College Republicans and destroyed the club’s table. The University ignored any wrongdoing on the part of the mob and instead expelled one member of the College Republicans for an accused racial slur during the incident until it was proven that she was not present at the event (L. Kaplan). On a petition to remove the club from campus, one can also find faculty signatures.

Thankfully, groups like the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education are offering legal help for students with no other recourse. Legislation is being introduced in some states to protect conservatives from persecution for expressing their views. I am skeptical of any legislation relating to speech but it does indicate the seriousness of the issue.

Doesn’t it make sense that the most radically liberal institution in the nation would have the most “diverse” population amongst its employees? Interestingly, a study shows that nationwide 87% of US college professors are white and 77% male. So where else would you find a more idealized multicultural representation? Just look at George W. Bush’s cabinet and judicial nominees.

########


Note:

{1} Of course in Tim's defense, he was not one to rock the boat as much in those days unlike yours truly. I must say though that it is nice to see him taking on his teachers and the administration that subsidizes marxist drivel this time around -even though it will probably cost him a bit on the grade point average (if it has not already).

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

"Updating Rerum Novarum" Dept.

The following update is properly seen as a completion of what was started in early June with the addition of various weblogs to the side margin of this humble weblog. Without further ado, let Us get to it with the new additions by category:

Some of My Writings and Reviews

The above title is a slight revision of what was utilized prior to this update.

Weblog Special Reports, Commemorations, Retrospectives, Miscellaneous Stuff, Etc.

Revisiting Rerum Novarum Policy Viz. Emails [>>>]

A Brief Revisiting of the Comments Box Subject [>>>]

Briefly on Comments Boxes Again (With Jonathan Prejean) [>>>]

Responding to the Blogosphere Book Meme [>>>]

On the Problems with Live Debate Formats As a Rule [>>>]


My Political/Social Musings

On Political/Social Subjects in General

On the Subject of "Deep Throat", the Correlative Ramifications Thereof, Etc. [>>>]

"Return of the Stupid Party" Dept. [>>>]


On the US Constitution, the Fundamental Rights of Man, Etc.

The above title is a slight revision of what was utilized prior to this update.

Weighing in on Sen. Trent Lott's Comments [>>>]

In light of Senator Dick Durban getting off scott free rather than being forced to either resign from the Senate or being (at the very least) stripped of any ranking position in the Senate, it seemed appropriate to go into the archives at Rerum Novarum and add in this update what your host wrote in December of 2002 on Senator Trent Lott.

The aforementioned inclusion will hopefully illustrate a bit clearer a common (and blatant) double standard present in the media whereby those so-called "progressivists" who make far more egregious statements in official capacity (such as Sen. Durban's comments made on the floor of the US Senate) get off scott free and those who are called "conservatives" who make much more benign statements in an unofficial capacity (such as Sen. Lott's comments at Strom Thurmond's birthday party in late 2002) who do not.

"The Framers Know Best" Dept. (On the US Government and Why It Is Not a Democracy) [>>>]

The above thread was posted on April 16, 2005 and was passed over in the last update. In light of the upcoming judicial battles, it seems appropriate to include it at this time.

Points to Ponder --On Legal Plunder and How to Identify It (Claude Frederic Bastiat) [>>>]

"The Framers Know Best" Dept. (On "Advise and Consent") [>>>]

"The Stupid Party Strikes Back" Dept. [>>>]

Points to Ponder --On the Perversion of Law Via Socialist Thievery (Claude Frederic Bastiat) [>>>]

Miscellaneous Notes and Notifications (On Eminent Domain and Other Bits) [>>>]

On the Upcoming Supreme Court Retirements/Nominations [>>>]


On Political Election Topics

The 2006 Election and How Republicans Can Avoid History Repeating Itself [>>>]


On the Recent War and War in General

On the Iraq War, Potential Future Wars, and the Probable Positions of the Popes Thereof [>>>]

More on the Iraq War, the Syria Hypothesis, and the Duelfer Report [>>>]

On Pseudo-"Peacemakers", Lawful Plunder, and Possible Remedies [>>>]

On the War and Those Who Try to Hide From Their Past [>>>]


On Particular Philosophical/Ethical Subjects

On the Argumentation Fallacy of Provincialism --An Audio Post [>>>]

On Proper and Improper Approaches to Argumentation [>>>]

Points to Ponder --On Geopolitical "Alliances" and Moral/Ethical Distinctions [>>>]

On the Subjects of Foundational Presuppositions and Authentic Dialogue [>>>]

On Actual "Obsessions", "Angsts", and "Tormented Consciences" (Parts I-III) [>>>]

Though the person being addressed in the last of the above-included threads is a pseudo-"progressivist", that thread was classified in this section because they have a serious problem with ethics. Should that change in the future, the aforementioned thread may be reclassified to the "progressivist" category or relegated to the archives of this weblog.{1}

Of or Pertaining to 'Progressivist' Philosophies (Falsely So-Called)

On Bolton and Benedict and an Interesting Incongruity in the Positions of So-Called "Progressivists" --An Audio Post [>>>]

Guest Editorial Outlining A Long Overdue Indictment of Stephen Hand (Written by Greg Mockeridge) [>>>]

A Commentary on Greg's Guest Editorial [>>>]

Some Thread Updates and Additional Notations on the Stephen Hand Saga [>>>]

Responding to a Rationally Challenged Catholic So-Called "Progressivist" [>>>]

Societal Defense vs. Revenge (A Clarification Post) [>>>]

Points to Ponder --On the Many Masks of Modern Marxism [>>>]

More on Marxists, Their Many Masks and Other Theories [>>>]

My Theological Musings

On the Mystery of the Church

More on Church Models [>>>]

Church Authority Topics

On the Subjects of Papal Authority and Church History [>>>]

On Other Controverted Subjects

Miscellaneous Morning Notes on the Conclave and the Selection of a New Pope --An Audio Post [>>>]

An About Face From John Allen on the New Pope [>>>]

Recommended* Catholic Websites

The Crossroads Initiative Site (Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio) [>>>]

Longtime readers of this weblog are aware that it is Our opinion that the best primer article on ressourcement methodology in cyberspace was written by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio. The above link is to his website and there are many good resources (including informative essays) there.

Recommended* Articles on Various Subjects

Recommended* Socio-Political Articles on Various Subjects

Private Initiative, Entrepreneurship, and Business in the Teachings of Pius XII (Anthony G. Percy) [>>>]

Though the mention of a pope may give the impression that this link belongs in the theological section, the subject matter clearly belongs in that crossroads spot between faith and reason. For that reason -and since the Catholic Church is often misperceived in its pre-John Paul II days as being opposed to commerce and private enterprise- it seems appropriate to include the material at the link above here to dispel that myth in part.{2}

Dems Find No Vote Fraud in Ohio [>>>]

New York Times v. Janice Rogers Brown (Nat Hentoff) [>>>]

The One War, The Real War (Fr. James V. Schall, SJ) [>>>]

Why does the New York Times Insist on Calling Jihadists "Insurgents"? (Christopher Hitchens) [>>>]

Are Liberals Begging For It? (Ronald Wieck) [>>>]

Revealed: How An Abortion Puts the Next Baby At Risk (Michael Day) [>>>]

"Little Eichmanns" and "Digital Brownshirts" (Victor Davis Hanson) [>>>]

President Mbeki's Brother: Only the Private Sector Will Make Africa Rich (Alex Singleton) [>>>]

Raising the Marginal Cost of Tyranny (Perry de Havilland) [>>>]

A Tale of Two Tax Cuts (Justin Lee Jones) [>>>]

Shock & Awe, Civilian Casualties and Questionable Statistics (Christopher Blosser) [>>>]

The Democrats Sign Up With the Anti-Semites (Richard Baehr) [>>>]

Keep the Pressure on Your Senators to Nix a Gonzales Nomination (Steve Dillard) [>>>]

The Caricature and Reality of George Bush (Victor Davis Hanson) [>>>]

Our Strange War - Looking Ahead, Our Options (Victor Davis Hanson) [>>>]

The Global Shift: The World Will Soon Better Appreciate the United States (Victor Davis Hanson) [>>>]

Confiscating Property (Walter E. Williams) [>>>]

Dependency on Government (Walter E. Williams) [>>>]

75 Years Old (Thomas Sowell) [>>>]

Recommended* Religious/Theological Articles on Various Subjects

Martin Luther: Hitler's Spiritual Ancestor (Peter F. Wiener) [>>>]

The Catholic Luther: A Critical Reappraisal (David C Steinmetz) [>>>]

For those who find it odd that We would include two seemingly polar opposite links on Martin Luther, the reason is because it is Our belief that the truth of the man is somewhere between the two. The latter would deal more with the man from a subjective standpoint whereas the former touches on an objective assessment of his philosophy carried out to its logical (and frightening) conclusion. The moral of this story is simple: good intentions (giving Fr. Luther the benefit of the doubt here) do not necessarily add up to good results. Indeed, oftentimes they do not as the sordid history of marxism (and the efforts of many of that outlook who presumably have good intentions) well attest to.

The Inconvenient Conscience (Cardinal George Pell) [>>>]

Can Philosophy Be Christian? (Cardinal Avery Dulles SJ) [>>>]

Shawn's Eastern Catholic Corner Approved* Links

Allatae Sunt Encyclical Letter on the Observance of Oriental Rites (Pope Benedict XIV) [>>>]

General Magisterial Texts

Quadragesimo Anno Encyclical Letter on the Reconstruction of the Social Order (Pope Pius XI) [>>>]

Ad Petri Cathedram Encyclical Letter on Truth, Unity and Peace, in a Spirit of Charity (Pope John XXIII) [>>>]

And finally, for the lawyers in the audience who enjoy technical promulgating language:

Each and everything outlined above is hereby added, reclassified, abrogated, obrogated, or derogated in perpetuity all things to the contrary notwithstanding.

Notes:

{1} Perhaps around a fourth of all the posts to this weblog have been included in various updates over the duration of this weblog's existence. For that reason, it is not necessarily a detriment to a post to be reclassified in this fashion.

This decision can be made for several possible reasons, one of which is a later post either enunciating the same points a bit better or in a more appropriate context (thus making it somewhat redundant by using them both). Another reason is that a particular post does not have anything but a transient nature to it and therefore does not seem appropriate to retain in the side margin of links beyond a certain point. And finally, there is the possibility of a particular post simply reaching the point of not measuring up to the standards of the webmaster. The latter scenario is admittedly very rare; however it bears noting in the interest of disclosure because it has happened before. (In those cases, the post is removed from the side margin and simply left in the archives.)

Essentially, what is included in any update is what We believe to be the more important posts at various times and circumstances as well as the most important articles, essays from others, etc; however that judgment can certainly change. And hopefully what is noted above clarifies these matters so that there is no potential misunderstandings.

{2} Included in this weblog update is Pope Pius XI's Encyclical Letter Quadragesimo Anno to further assist in that endeavour.

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Miscellaneous Threads Worth Reviewing:

Rather than simply post these threads in an upcoming weblog update, it seems appropriate to post them here with a bit of commentary attached.

Private Initiative, Entrepreneurship, and Business in the Teachings of Pius XII (Anthony G. Percy)

Most people who have followed the development of Catholic social teaching cannot help but notice that there has been expressed ever since Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical Letter Rerum Novarum a profound appreciation (and affirmation) by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church of the nature and ends of private initiative, the role of entrepreneurship, and business in general. And Catholics who are attuned to the Church's social teaching tradition are also aware of Pope Pius XI's Encyclical Letter Quadregisimo Anno written to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Rerum Novarum and adapt some of its principles to the changing economics landscape of that time period.{1} Beyond that, discussions along these lines usually move onto the pontificate of Pope John XXIII and his two social encyclicals Mater et Magistra (which sought to do for John XXXIII's time what Pius XI's encyclical did for his time) and particularly Pacem et Terris. And of course, the documents of the Second Vatican Council (particularly the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes get their share of the spotlight too.

Now it is true that Pope Paul VI wrote a bit on these matters (in the Encyclical Letter Populorum Progressio and an Apostolic Letter titled Octogesima Adviens). However, the latter two did not receive the same consideration as the earlier documents (or the later encyclicals of Pope John Paul II) for reasons too numerous to go into here.

All in all though, most people reasonably familiar with the above sources would assert that Pope John Paul II has been the most favourable of all the popes for (to quote my earlier words) profound appreciation (and affirmation) by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church of the nature and ends of private initiative, the role of entrepreneurship, and business in general.{2} However, Anthony Percy has asserted that this assessment may well be incorrect and that (possibly) the most pro-private enterprise of the popes may well have been Pope Pius XII.

Now I have long recognized both publicly{3} as well as privately{4} that Pius XII set the stage for a lot of what came after him from papal teaching on not a few significant points to even having a significant influence on the Second Vatican Council itself.{5} But I never stopped to consider that perhaps Pope Pius XII's approach to commerce and the free market economy may well be comparable to that of Pope John Paul II's in its positive assessment (within limits of course). Anyway, the above thread provides some interesting material for musing on. Moving on, we have the following article from Christopher Hitchens.

The Anticipated Attack - Don't Blame Iraq For the Bombings (Christopher Hitchens)

I have long thought of Christopher Hitchens as the left's version of Patrick Buchanan: a streaky shooter who is hit and miss but when they hit, it is right down Main Street. The above article is an example of the latter.

Next we have a trilogy of articles from National Review Online's Victor Davis Hanson -someone who is an evident believer in the dictum of Santayana about being familiar with historu:

The Caricature and Reality of George Bush (Victor Davis Hanson)

The above article is an excellent example of the inability of various ideologues of the so-called "progressivist" and pseudo-"peacemaking" contingent to see the wider picture. I have been critical of President Bush a lot -if anything less than I should have been- but on the subject of the war on terror, he has done very well on the whole. Meanwhile the seditionists who seek to undermine this war in the name of a false "peace"{6} continue to underestimate the intelligence and the vision of President Bush on these matters but that is no surprise really. After all, they did the same thing with President Reagan. And as with the latter, history will vindicate the president and expose his critics as a bunch of shallow fools on the wrong side of history. Moving on, we have these two articles:

Our Strange War - Looking Ahead, Our Options (Victor Davis Hanson)

The Global Shift: The World Will Soon Better Appreciate the United States (Victor Davis Hanson)

One is on the uniqueness of the war we are currently involved in and the other is on the uniqueness of the United States historically. Both of them are worth reading and reflecting upon. Moving on, we have two threads from probably my favourite social commentator Walter E. Williams:

Confiscating Property (Walter E. Williams)

As readers of this humble weblog are aware, I have been so livid over the eminent domain abomination of desolation ruling that I cannot write on it at the present time...well that and time constraints. Nonetheless, Dr. Williams' treatment of this issue is quite good both in content as well as economy of prose.{7} And readers can consider it an accurate summation of my own view on these matters until the time that I actually do get around to writing on that subject myself. But before moving onto the next thread, I do want to comment briefly on the eminent domain issue and point out certain advocates for various so-called "rights" who are as silent about this situation as...well...I probably should not use the analogy I was about to use.

Nonetheless, I am wondering why those who claim to be "more 'compassionate' than thou" are seemingly out to lunch on this issue -particularly since those who would suffer under this ruling are with the greatest likelihood those who own their own homes who cannot afford good attorneys. But then again, it does not surprise me that so many of the so-called "progressivists" are out to lunch on this matter since confiscation of private property and the abolition of actual rights in place of pseudo-"rights" fits like a glove their overall weltanschauung.{8} And speaking of the so-called "progressivist" weltanschauung, that brings us to the next thread in this post by Dr. Williams:

Dependency on Government (Walter E. Williams)

Those who wonder why people such as myself are (and always have been) so unforgiving to the so-called "social justice" advocates need only consider what Dr. Williams notes in the article above.

Finally, we come to the final thread in this "miscellaneous threads" series:

75 Years Old (Thomas Sowell)

The above link is from another columnist I enjoy reading Thomas Sowell. Essentially he looks back on the seventy-five years of his life at the many changes in America -an excellent retrospective piece. Oh and lest I forget...happy birthday Dr. Sowell. May you live to be a hundred :)

Notes:

{1} Among those who have shown in their outlooks an understanding and appreciation for the Catholic teaching in Rerum Novarum and Quadregisima Annos were former US presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan -particularly the latter whose economic policies were remarkably congruent in many respects with those encyclicals (particularly Pius XI's encyclical).

{2} However, it is interesting to note that Pius XI himself (not to mention John Paul II) said some things about private enterprise that many today who call themselves "progressivists" or who cloak themselves in the mantra of "social justice" would castigate if said by those they consider to be "neo-conservatives" today. But then again, that is where Santayana's dictum comes into play of course :)

{3} You omitted mention of John XXIII's social encyclical Pacem et Terris which (as you know) is heavily suffused with not only the thought of John XXIII but also Pius XII...Indeed I am of the view that Pacem et Terris would not have been possible without recourse to numerous allocutions and other magisterial pronouncements of Pope Pius XII. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa June 08, 2004)]

{4} As far as the social popes issue goes, I think you are unintentionally downplaying Pius XII a bit in saying that. About all he did not deal with in social issues was issuing any social encyclicals. Other than that, he had plenty of allocutions on social matters.

I have argued) that John XXIII's encyclical [Pacem et Terris] would never have existed if not for the social allocutions of Pius XII: easily the most referenced source in that encyclical...There are twenty-eight footnotes to Pius XII in that encyclical: most of them are radio allocutions but there are also two references to Summi Pontificatus and one to Sertum Laetitiae. Among the references includes several which are whole paragraphs of [Pius XII's] words from various sources. For that reason, it seems fitting to me to consider [Pacem et Terris] to be in a sense not only John XXIII's encyclical but also to some extent Pius XII's too. [I. Shawn McElhinney: Excerpt from a private email (circa February 7, 2005)]

{5} I cannot recall offhand where I have noted these things on my weblogs but it has been a frequent subject that I have returned to many times when discussing these issues with various dialogue partners. The long and short of it is this: no source is quoted more frequently in the documents of the Second Vatican Council than the magisterium of Pope Pius XII as reference points for particular teachings.

{6} I touched on this a bit in the following weblog threads of recent vintage:

More on Marxists, Their Many Masks and Other Theories (circa June 8, 2005)

Points to Ponder--On the Many Masks of Modern Marxism (circa June 3, 2005)

{7} I will be among the first to admit that economy of prose is not a strong suit of mine when it comes to writing.

{8} See footnote six.

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Motu Proprio of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI for the Approval and Publication of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

In only the second motu proprio issued by Pope Benedict XVI,{1} it is evident that the Holy Father will follow in the footsteps of his predecessor with promulgation of the shorter compendium catechism instituted by JP II in 2003 and which the current pontiff presided over the text thereof. For those of us who have long felt that the CCC- as wonderful a source as it is- would benefit from a condensed compendium text for easier assimilation into the populace, we will now have precisely what we were hoping to eventually see.

Note:

{1} And the third magisterial document if you could the apostolic letter of beatification of a few servants of God circa early May 2005.

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Points to Ponder:
(On the Pope from the Pope)

The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose thoughts and desires are law...On the contrary: the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word. He must not proclaim his own ideas, but rather constantly bind himself and the Church to obedience to God’s Word, in the face of every attempt to adapt it or water it down, and every form of opportunism." [Pope Benedict XVI: From a Sermon at St. John Lateran (as quoted in L’Osservatore Romano May 11, 2005]

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