Saturday, June 21, 2008

Points to Ponder:

DO NOT yield to every impulse and suggestion but consider things carefully and patiently in the light of God's will. For very often, sad to say, we are so weak that we believe and speak evil of others rather than good. Perfect men, however, do not readily believe every talebearer, because they know that human frailty is prone to evil and is likely to appear in speech.

Not to act rashly or to cling obstinately to one's opinion, not to believe everything people say or to spread abroad the gossip one has heard, is great wisdom. [Thomas a Kempis]

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Points to Ponder:
(On Various Subjects From Tim Russert)

The primary responsibility of the media is accountability of government, whether it's about lying under oath, which upset Democrats, or the mismanagement of responding to a hurricane, which happens to upset Republicans. [On Government]

Shouldn't the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of New Orleans bear some responsibility? [On the Katrina Mess]

Whatever the criticisms and the after-action report may be about what was right and what was wrong looking back, what would be a horrible tragedy would be to distract ourselves from avoiding further problems because we're spending time talking about problems that have already occurred. [On the Iraq War]

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On the Passing of Tim Russert:

This is a subject I have intended to comment on for a while...

Journalist Revitalized Washington Talk Shows (The Washington Post)

I was not a junkie of the show but I did watch Tim Russert on Meet the Press though nowhere near as much as I should have. And while I have noted before on many occasions{1} my contempt of journalism and the mainstream media in general{2}, none of those statements applied to Tim Russert who (agree with him or not) was someone who did journalism the old fashioned way. The tributes to Russert are from people across the political spectrum and not without reason: he was (to quote Rush Limbaugh) "the closest thing to an objective journalist at any of the networks, totally honest."

Rest in peace Mr. Russert and may God comfort your family in their time of grieving.

Notes:

{1} Of particular not is this thread when discussing the subject of Deep Throat:

On the Subject of "Deep Throat", the Correlative Ramifications Thereof, Etc. (circa June 1, 2005)

{2} See the thread in footnote one. I have particularly in mind this excerpt which while applying to the lions share of journalists in no way whatsoever applied to Tim Russert:

The depravity to which the journalistic profession has fallen since the days of Watergate can be to some extent pinned on Woodward and Bernstein...not as much them personally as what they ushered in in the aftermath of the Nixon resignation.[...] The journalistic profession has become one where you "make it" by finding someone whose reputation you can destroy. Ethics are often not a factor, indeed morals and ethics often get the screw from journalists who are trying to "make it" and then (for those who "make it") the same tactics are utilized to try and stay "on top." The same is the case with the legal profession and the political profession: oftentimes those who "make it" do so by screwing other people. So the parallel to prostitution is an apt one. The only difference of course is that prostitutes are somewhat honest about it. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa June 1, 2005)]

{3} [Lord] remember Tim Russert. In baptism he died with Christ: may he also share his resurrection, when Christ will raise our mortal bodies and make them like his own in glory. [Eucharistic Prayer III: From The Roman Missal under Masses for the Dead]

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Points to Ponder:

Hear much, leave to one side that which is doubtful, and speak with due caution concerning the remainder. See much, leave to one side that of which the meaning is not clear, and act carefully with regard to the rest. [Confucious]

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

U.S. Senate report cites intelligence flaws in lead up to Iraq war

Just a snippet before I comment...

WASHINGTON: President George W. Bush and his aides built a public case for war against Iraq by exaggerating available intelligence and ignoring disagreements among spy agencies over Iraq's weapons programs and Saddam Hussein's links to Al Qaeda, according to a Senate report long delayed by partisan squabbling.

The report accuses Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other top officials of repeatedly overstating the Iraqi threat in the months before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, and playing on American fears in emotional aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Okay now, here it goes folks.

To start with, I covered the revisionism on these matters four years ago in two postings prior to the 2004 election. Here they are for those who may be new to this reading audience since that time:

"Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain" Dept. --On Democrat Lies and WMD's (circa August 4, 2004)

"Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain" Dept. --On Democrat Lies and WMD's Revisited (circa August 5, 2004)

And to supplement those reminders, consider this text from the very same Senator Jay Rockefeller delivered on the floor of the US Senate on October 10, 2002. A small snippet seems appropriate to remind readers who have forgotten so here goes...

We cannot know for certain that Saddam will use the weapons of mass destruction he currently possesses, or that he will use them against us. But we do know Saddam has the capability. Rebuilding that capability has been a higher priority for Saddam than the welfare of his own people -- and he has ill-will toward America.

I am forced to conclude, on all the evidence, that Saddam poses a significant risk.

Pardon those of us familiar with history if we view Sen. Rockefeller's attempts to run from his past statements and whitewash the past noxious to say the least. But enough on that for now.

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Calumny in the Blogosphere

Hats off to Fr. Orsi for covering a subject of no small importance which we at Rerum Novarum have written on often over the years. The only problem with his treatment is that he does not mention that anonymous bloggers who do not sign their names to their work are not the only culprits of what he outlines but there are also (i) those who do sign their names, (ii) those who sign their names and are in their own spheres people of influence, and (iii) those who enable the latter sorts while criticizing others for the same failings that their "chosen allies" possess.

In short, it does not deal with the double standards so prevalent in apologetics today or mention the names of certain enablers of those who act as Fr. Orsi outlines (such as Karl Keating) or those who act as Fr. Orsi does who sign their names to their own work (such as Mark Shea or Dale Vree).

But those criticisms aside, it is a good piece and hopefully can be a spark to get the fire going on getting these egregious and long-neglected problems in apologetics on the way towards correction. Maybe then, many who used to affiliate themselves with such endeavours would not remain embarrassed to anymore. Hope springs eternal on the latter in my mind anyway.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Miscellaneous Threads Worth Noting:

There will be more in the coming days but as today is the birthday of someone celebrated by the left as a "freedom fighter", it seems appropriate to touch on that as well as another ideological ally of sorts. First the "birthday boy" though...

Should Che be an icon? No

Here is a small taste to whet the appetite:

Since the Soviet Union was too soft for his tastes, there were only two countries that Che found truly admirable: Maoist China and Kim Il Sung's North Korea. He bragged that there was "not a single discrepancy" between Mao's world view and his own. As Che was happily fawning over Mao in the flesh in Beijing, in the surrounding countryside there was an epidemic of mothers cutting off the flesh from their inner thighs to feed it to their starving children. The programme that caused this biting hunger – the mass collectivisation of the farms – represented "true socialist morality", Che said. The dictator killed 70 million people in the end, cheered on by his guerrilla friend at every stage.

The so-called "Cultural Revolution" in China was an unmitigated disaster and provided one of a long list of case studies in why marxism cannot work.{1} Considering the number of fawning mindless sychophants who "celebrate" the life of Che Guevara, a bit of a reminder of the Che of reality (as opposed to leftist fantasy) seems in order and the above thread contains a good synopsis of why no one truly concerned about people could in any way "celebrate" such a man any more than they could "celebrate" the "humanitarian spirit" of Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, or Adolph Hitler. And in the same company as Che and the aforementioned murderers, let us look at a modern ideological brother of their's; namely one Robert Mugabe...

Now the opposition takes up arms in Zimbabwe

Just a taste...

Since Mr Mugabe – the only president Zimbabwe has ever known – was pushed into second place by Morgan Tsvangirai in the first-round ballot of the presidential election, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says more than 60 supporters have been murdered and thousands more threatened in a well-oiled operation to rig the second round of voting.

This is the sort of thing you get with the Mugabe's and Chavez's of the world: no different than what you got with the Mao's and the Che's of the world. Yet those who lionize the Che's, Mao's, Pol Pot's, Stalin's, and Castro's of the world also play various forms of the "Bush is Hitler" card and the notion that Bush is somehow a worse leader than their idols. Here is the difference between the two in a nutshell folks:

In the case of the present president as well as virtually any of his predecessors{2}, you could within reason and the lions share of circumstances protest their governance and not have to worry about being thrown in jail or worse. But with the Che's and the Castro's and the Mao's and the Chavez's of the world, that opposition gets you jailed or worse.

And that is the bottom line folks as to why while I can respect those in conscience who do not agree with me politically in many respects{3} that I cannot say the same for those who involve themselves in the hypocritical double standards of defending modern marxists regardless of the masks under which they choose to parade under today. It is a foundation of morality as well as basic logic and ethics to not make of others standards that you ignore or excuse in others. I have written on this matter many times before in a variety of mediums and may revisit this theme again in the coming weeks. However, for now that is all I plan to say on it.

Notes:

{1} Those who are similarly fawning over Sen. Barack Obama as someone who will supposedly bring "change" should consider what sort of "change" he is talking about because he is promising nothing new whatsoever.

{2} Emphasis on the words "virtually all" and no, I do not have Clinton in mind as one who was not.

{3} The issue here is not and never has been whether or not they agree with me -indeed if they act charitably and ethically then there is no problem whatsoever. [Excerpt from an Email Correspondence (circa June 10, 2008)]

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