Wednesday, March 31, 2010

John Cory is Angry. Waah !

There is a petition making the rounds among the Left; this petition was originally an essay for - written by John Cory - entitled I Am Angry. Evidently, the readers of were so impressed by this piece of drivel that there was a demand to transform it into a petition for other angry progressives to sign and have forwarded to an unspecified entity in DC.

The essay is filled with cliches, half-truths and leftist paranoia. Addressing everything Cory gets wrong in his rant would be a Herculien task. The essay is nearly 800 words long and while Hercules may have been up to cleaning the King Augeas' stables, there is far too much crap in this essay for me to comment on every turd dropped by Mr.Cory. I'll do what I can.

In his 2nd sentence, Cory writes,
"I'm tired of pundits and know-nothing media gasbags." and then, immediately becomes a pundit and a know-nothing media gasbag.

He goes on,
"I'm tired of snarky 'inside politics' programming." and then proceeds to write the "snarkiest", hate filled tripe I've come across in quite a long time.

He's angry with the "activist conservative Supreme Court". I suppose it's OK when we have an activist Liberal Supreme Court. He's angry with "A Supreme Court that says money is free speech and corporations are persons except when real people try to hold them accountable for their greed and poisonous ways." In the Progressive's world, "live nude girls" and porn are examples of free speech but corporations paying for political ads isn't. He seems blissfully unaware that the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech was meant to apply to political speech above all else.
The courts don't protect real people who "try to hold them [corporations] accountable for their greed and poisonous ways" ? Our courts are overwhelmed by the lawsuits filed against corporations by real people looking to make a fast buck. The words "lawsuit" "McDonald's" "hot coffee" immediately come to mind.

Mr. Cory doesn't approve of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). FISA was introduced by Ted Kennedy in 1977 and signed into law by Jimmy Carter in 1978. "The act was created to provide Judicial and congressional oversight of the government's covert surveillance activities of foreign entities and individuals in the United States, while maintaining the secrecy needed to protect national security."(source)

He's unhappy about our two wars. He doesn't mention that Noble Peace prize winner, Barack Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan. I guess Progressives only protest wars started by Republicans. Where are the angry protesters storming the White House over Obama's increased use of Predator drones in the Afghan war?

Concerning the Tea Parties, Cory writes,
"When some Tea Party crank says, 'I want my country back,' I respond, 'No madam, you want your country backward.' " He must have thought this was clever. He uses the "country backwards" line more than once. This reminds me of the uproar from the Left over General Petraeus .....calling him General BetrayUs. All they had was a pun. They seem to think a play on words trumps substance.

Mr. Cory writes,
"They champion superstition over science because it entrenches ignorance and bigotry and captures the easily frightened." The Progressives are hardly champions of science. The Left has attempted to stifle any argument which calls into question man-made global warming. Skepticism is good .....unless it contradicts a Liberal's pre-conceived notion. The Left also conveniently ignores the scientific evidence that a human fetus is a human being. They have no qualms over abortion on demand. They push for embryonic stem cell research which destroys human embryos. Experiments involving embryonic stem cells have never brought about any cure or medical treatment - while adult stem cells have.

He goes on,
"Republicans preach the gospel of fear because fear is darkness and darkness covers their theft of civil liberties and Constitutional principles."
Fear is darkness? The Left preaches fear of the "evil corporations" as well as fear and hatred of the "rich". Progressives long for "equality" but their methods for reaching equality would impoverish the "haves" without enriching the "have-nots". If anything, we should be fearful of the Big Government proposed by the Democrats. As has been said, "Any government large enough to give you everything you want is large enough to take away everything you have."

Of course, what would a Progressive rant be without accusing the Republicans of wanting government to "put its hands inside a woman's body." ? The Left would have us believe that the "anti-choicers", as they call the pro-lifers, are simply men who want to keep all women "barefoot and pregnant". The pro-life stance does not come from any desire to restrict a woman's freedom. As Feminists for Life rightly point out, "Women deserve better than abortion". The pro-life point of view comes from our desire to protect all human beings. Mr. Cory believes that "Empathy, compassion and equality are not pejoratives.They are American values proven again and again throughout our history." That is, unless the empathy, compassion and equality is for the unborn.

Like a previous post [A Question for Progressives.] a link to this post will be sent to known Progressives for response. I doubt there will be any. Liberals are afraid of reading anything that conflicts with their limited world-view. This post will go unread by the Liberals who claim to believe in Freedom of Speech while doing everything in their power to stifle it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

No Answer.

Last Thursday, I issued a challenge to an old friend. I wanted to interview him ..... or one of his fellow "Progressives"..... concerning the issue of abortion. Sadly, I have yet to receive any response - either positive or negative - from him. There's certainly been enough time. When no answer came Friday or Saturday, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, thinking he may have been too busy over the weekend to reply.

Now, Monday has arrived without an answer, so I'm assuming that no answer will ever come.

It's impossible to give an explanation for his refusal to discuss this. I can't be certain in this case, but I believe far too many who refer to themselves as Liberals or Progressives do so from some sort of automatic reflex. Far too many people refuse to face the issue of abortion and call themselves "pro-choice"; as long as someone else is making that choice, they can close their eyes to the horrors.

These former hippies, who grew up in the late 60's & early 70's, have closed their minds to the abortion question. They have become the close-minded old fogeys they railed against so long ago. Thankfully, the younger generation is not so closed-minded. The majority of Americans today identify themselves as "pro-life".

There's always hope that the day will come when those growing up today will undo the damage done by the, now aging, "flower children."

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Question for Progressives.

A Catholic blog that I follow, huh, religiously [] has posted a piece on Kathleen Parker's top notch article nailing Bart Stupak for his "dropping the baby" regarding Federal monies being used to pay for abortions in Obama's health care bill. I can't improve on anything Ms. Parker has to say about Stupak.

Now, Washington Post columnist, E.J. Dionne has come to Stupak's defense. Dionne writes,
"The most vociferous critics of the anti-abortion movement think of it as an exclusively right-wing cause."
That would include me, I suppose.

Dionne goes on to say,
"It [the pro-life movement] includes a large number of pro-life progressives who strongly support government programs to lift up the poor and assist a beleaguered middle class."
I'm afraid I'll have to challenge Dionne on that. I know a few "progressives" (also known as "liberals") and I can't name one who is seriously pro-life. Every progressive I know is unashamedly pro-choice ...(read pro-abortion).

This is a good opportunity for me to issue my own challenge to the progressives I know. I've been thinking about doing this for quite some time and now I believe the time has come. I'll be sending a link to this post to a liberal I know. I'd like to invite him - or someone he might know - to allow me to interview him (or his surrogate) via email, regarding the issue of abortion. I want to publish the interview on this blog. I promise to protect that person's identity. No mad, crazed anti-abortion looney will find you and attack you. Of course, I can't guarantee that folks leaving comments on the blog won't hurt your feelings. (Does Obamacare cover hurt feelings and damaged egos?).

So, Liberals, that's the challenge. I'm willing to discuss other ground rules for the interview. Is it a deal?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The 13th Day.

When I was a child, our family had, in our home, three pieces of religious "art" given to us - I believe - by my paternal grandmother. These three pieces consisted of a large copy of the Last Supper and two paintings laminated (for lack of a better word) onto cedar; one was a portrait of Christ, the other an idealized portrait of the three children of Fatima with the Blessed Mother.

The Last Supper portrait, which hung in our dining room, now hangs in my sister's home. The portrait of Jesus laminated on cedar, which we kept in the living room, has disappeared. The Fatima portrait, which - mostly - hung in the bedroom I shared with one of my brothers, now hangs in my home.

I suppose growing up with the picture of the miracle of Fatima in my bedroom has had some influence on me. I have a connection with that particular miracle more than, say, the miracles at Lourdes or La Salette. As a matter of fact, I was in the process of reading Sister Lucia's memoirs when I learned of her death in February, 2005.

Naturally, when I learned of the release of a new film on the miracle at Fatima - The 13th Day - I knew I wanted to purchase a copy. I wrote of how it came about that I only recently ordered the DVD in an earlier post [Every Little Bit Helps.]. I promised in that post to write a review of the film after it arrived. The DVD arrived yesterday and I watched it last night after work.

I have a vague recollection of having seen the 1952 movie starring Gilbert Roland; anyone expecting The 13th Day to be a similar "Hollywood" version of the events at Fatima will be sadly disappointed. There is something oddly disconcerting about this new film.....I can't quite put my finger on why. The film is shot mostly in Black and White with limited use of color. The events in the film are an accurate account as given by Sister Lucia, but I felt an uneasiness watching these events on film - an uneasiness that I didn't have reading of the same events in Lucia's memoirs.

Don't get me wrong. I believe the film is worth seeing. However, I'm sure that not everyone will think so. Maybe it's just me, but the unending tension in the film can be a bit overwhelming. I know from Lucia's memoirs that her life was difficult during the time of the apparitions, particularly when she and her cousins were kidnapped by government officials and that comes across in the film. This is not, by any means, a "feel good movie".

This may not have been the movie I wanted to see but, it's very possible that it's the movie I needed to see.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Psalm 109

A few months ago, I received an email from someone I know to be no fan of President Obama asking we that we "Pray for Obama" - referencing Psalm 109:8 - "May his days be few; may another take his office."

When I read this, I immediately went to the USCCB website to find the entire 109 psalm online. After reading the psalm, it was clear to me that the person who came up with this email had little or no understanding of the Bible. He,or she, had taken a line out of context in an attempt to be funny or clever in his criticism of Obama. Using the 109th psalm in regards to the President actually has the opposite meaning to that which the email-er had in mind.

A footnote to the psalm shows that:
"[Psalm 109] A lament notable for the length and vehemence of its prayer against evildoers (Psalm 109:6-20); the cry to God (Psalm 109:1) and the complaint (Psalm 109:22-25) are brief in comparison. The psalmist is apparently the victim of a slander campaign, potentially devastating in a society where reputation and honor are paramount. In the emotional perspective of the psalm, there are only two types of people: the wicked and their poor victims. The psalmist is a poor victim (Psalm 108:22, 31) and by that fact a friend of God and enemy of the wicked. The psalmist seeks vindication not on the basis of personal virtue but because of God's promise to protect the poor."

Although no one can accuse me of being a fan of Barack Obama, I saw the use of this psalm as an improper use of scripture.

I had forgotten about this email until I read a link posted by an atheist I know on his Facebook wall. Christian Jihadists Call for Obama's Assassination.
In the article linked to, blogger Jerry Bowles quotes the lines immediately following 109:8 - ["May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.May his children be wandering beggars;may they be driven from their ruined homes."] and claims that this proves that the folks wearing T-shirts with the reference printed on it, are the "American version of the Taliban" who are, in his view, calling for Obama's assassination.

Bowles misses the point. If, by using, psalm 109:8, we can conclude those wearing the T-shirts also believe psalm 109:9-10, then we'd have to conclude that they also believe those portions which would show Obama as a victim of lies and slander. As I said earlier, using 109:8 in this way is to take the line out of context in an attempt to be funny or clever in criticism of Obama. In his ignorance, Bowles blows things out of proportion. He's certainly not the first atheist to do that.

Bowles ends his article this way;
"These are the same people who scream about how Islam is a religion of violence and Christianity is a religion of peace. If there is a hell, you hypocrites are going to burn in it." (I've cleaned it up a bit).

Does Christianity truly resemble Islam when it comes to violence?

Read these 3 stories:
Pakistani Christian couple refuses to convert: husband is burnt alive, wife raped by police -

Pakistani Christian burned alive to prevent reporting a rape -

Lahore: 12-year-old Christian domestic worker killed by Muslim employer-
then give me examples of Christians treating Muslims in the same manner.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Let's Hope I'm Wrong.

It seems that despite polls showing that Americans are opposed to Obamacare, Congress seems determined to give us their version of health care come Hell or high water.
I'm afraid that we will regret this fiasco when it is finally realized. I hope I am wrong. It would be great if this were to accomplish the wondrous things some of it's proponents claim.
I hope I'm wrong. I hope this doesn't really destroy the health care that we now have. The opponents believe this will bankrupt our nation ....I agree but, I hope I'm wrong.

All we can do is vote against the Democrats in November. Maybe we can turn this around. I'm not optimistic. I hope I'm wrong.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Life During the Obama Recession.

As I mentioned in Sunday's post [Every Little Bit Helps.] the Obama Recession has forced many of us to tighten our belts. I'm able to work - thank God - . We have enough for the basic necessities but certain luxury items have to wait.
This past October, when it came time to pay the web host for my Dumaguete web site I couldn't come up with the money. I could manage to maintain the domain name but hosting it was too expensive.

Fortunately, thanks to a windfall, I was able to sign up with another host yesterday for a lot less than what the previous host was billing me. So now it's just a question of getting all my files uploaded onto the new host. I'll be chronicling that process on another blog -

Monday, March 15, 2010

Every Little Bit Helps.

President Ronald Reagan is reported to to have said, in response to a question regarding the difference between a depression and a recession, that "A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours".

If that's the case, then, for me at least, this is the "Obama recession" rather than the "Obama depression". Sure, I still have a job - thank God - but the work is slow. I'd say it hasn't been this bad since Jimmy Carter was in the White House.

Like countless others, it is difficult just getting the money for the things we truly need. We have a roof over our heads, we aren't starving but often times we do without luxuries. I have quite a wish list on of books, CDs and DVDs I'd like.

We've recently come upon a bit of extra money that allows me to buy a little gift for myself. I've wanted to buy a copy of The 13th Day since I first watched the trailer but money has been tight.

The website promoting the movie says the DVD can be purchased from either Ignatius Press or I went to the Ignatius Press website and was just a click away from ordering a copy ($22.45 plus tax). I stopped when I saw the $6 shipping charge. has free shipping with orders $25 or more ..... even if the book cost $25 the free shipping would make it worthwhile ordering from Amazon rather than Ignatius. As it turned out the price is only $18.49. Still, I could order something else from my wish list to bump the total to just over the $25.

So, in addition to the 13th Day DVD, I ordered a copy of Stravinsky conducting the Columbia Symphony Orchestra performing the complete Firebird (and portions of Fireworks). The free shipping and the lower price allowed me to get both for a dollar less than the DVD alone would have cost from Ignatius Press. Not a great deal of money, but in today's world, any little bit helps. The Stravinsky CD is effectively, free.

The order is due to arrive Thursday so expect a review of the movie next weekend.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Appointment with Immigration.

My wife, Cathy has just recently applied for US citizenship. It was a little over a month ago that we mailed the application along with all the pertinent documentation and, of course, the application fee. Yikes! It's not cheap.

Yesterday, she had an appointment at one of the immigration offices in Atlanta for biometrics. This is the 4th time she been fingerprinted since she arrived almost six years ago. We were at this particular office about three years ago and things have really changed. Three years ago, the place was packed with immigrants and immigration officers. Now, the place was nearly deserted. I was expecting to have an hour long wait for her but the process this time was amazingly fast. We suspect that it's because the fees for green cards and citizenship increased substantially not long ago .....I'm sure most are finding the fees too high.

We're waiting now for a letter from USCIS telling her when her next appointment will be. Unless there is some unforeseeable snag, the next time she goes to immigration it will be her last. She only needs the final interview and test. She's been studying the civics and history booklet provided by the USCIS and I'm confidant that she'll pass the test when the time comes.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shoving Contest.

Washington Post opinion writer, Richard Cohen is not on my list of favorite persons. There doesn't seem to be much that he and I can agree upon.
I last wrote about him in December when he wrote a piece comparing the ban on "same-sex marriage" to the earlier ban on inter-racial marriage. [ see It's the Biology, Stupid. ]

In today's column - When 'reconciliation' equals leadership - he argues that Obama should pull out all stops to get his health care bill passed......even if it requires 'reconciliation' to accomplish it. Cohen admits that polls show Obama's plan to be completely out of favor with the American public. Cohen writes, however; "This is what now passes for a compelling argument against the bill. It is, instead, almost entirely beside the point."

In Cohen's world, Obama's health care plan is desperately needed in this country even though the majority of Americans can't see a benefit. Cohen doesn't come right out and say that the average Joe is too stupid to understand, but he may as well have.

Cohen even goes so far as to compare the passage of Obamacare to Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The final three sentences of Cohen's rant sum up his anti-democratic views nicely;
"Lead and the people will -- or will not -- follow. Either way, ram the damn thing, Mr. President. Ram it!"

I say, do that, Mr. President and the American people will tell the Democrats to "shove it !" come the November elections.

And Mr. Cohen ...... you can shove it too !

Sunday, March 7, 2010

On Universal Healthcare.

In an earlier post [The Left Attacks Obama.] I commented on an article from written by Chris Hedges who argues that he and his fellow Leftists owe an apology to Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney for the ill treatment they received from Obama supporters. Hedges claims that Obama has proven himself to be another George W. Bush; Obama is not, he believes, a socialist.

At the end of the post, I wrote,
"Unfortunately, Hedges does not describe his vision of the ideal health care system for the U.S.. If, as he says, Obama is no Socialist and Socialism is what Hedges wants, I'm curious to see what the American Health Care System à la Socialism would look like."

Well, after a bit of web surfing, I found a number of socialist websites that define a socialist health care system quite well.

On their website, the the Socialist Party USA advocates "...a vision of, and program for, free and comprehensive health care for all ...." The Socialist Party USA demands universal coverage using salaried doctors and health care workers paid for, of course by "revenue derived from a steeply graduated income tax".

Likewise, want - not a public option - but single payer (government) guaranteed health care.

While advocating universal health care, the Socialist Central Committee has a quite different approach, believing that publicly funded health care should be paid for on the county level much like fire and police protection, education and libraries, and state courts.

The common thread that unites these groups is their insistence that universal health care can be paid for by taking money from the "rich".

The first hole I see in this Utopian scheme is the idea of "a steeply graduated income tax" - " heavily taxing the rich to help the poor" - whatever euphemism you care to use -. If we were to abandon capitalism for socialism, I'd have to ask "where would these rich people come from? " Without profit, wealth would vanish almost overnight.

" Salaried doctors and health care workers? " Although many doctors and nurses are caring people who truly want to help their fellow man, most would not do what they do if the money wasn't as good. High quality doctors and nurses are not going to work for low wages. Should a socialist, universal health care system take over, you can look forward to doctors retiring in droves.

Contrary to what socialists would have us believe ["What people in this country need is health care. It is their right as human beings. The only way to secure this right is to place the health care system in public hands–-to remove the profit-motive from the system."] removing the profit-motive from the system will destroy the system. People rightfully expect and demand to be properly compensated for their work. Health care workers are no different.

Anyone who seriously believes that socialism is the answer to our problems should take a few minutes and read this article by James V. Schall, S. J. Confessions of a Practicing 'Socialist'.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Swiss Referendum ......

In a post from last November [Swiss Vote to Ban Minarets.] I reported on a November 29 referendum in Switzerland concerning a Constitutional ban on new construction of minarets in that country. The ban won with 57.5 percent of the votes.
Almost immediately afterward, Human Rights Watch issued a statement saying that the ban "... violates the rights of observant Muslims to manifest their religion in public and reflects mounting anti-Muslim sentiment in Western Europe..." :

"A ban on minarets denies Muslims the right to manifest their religion and is discriminatory. The right to manifest one's religion in public, through worship, teaching, practice, and observance, is an integral part of the right to religious freedom, guaranteed by international human rights treaties, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the European Convention on Human Rights, both of which Switzerland has ratified. Both treaties also prohibit discrimination on the grounds of religion."

Certainly, there can be not logical reason to have a constitutional ban on minarets. While a minaret is no more necessary for Islamic worship than a church steeple is a requirement for Christians, the Swiss don't seem to see this for what it is ..... religious discrimination.

Now, in a referendum scheduled for Sunday, March 7 (2010) the Swiss will vote to decide on whether or not states should appoint special attorneys to represent animals in court.

In this topsy-turvy, Alice in Wonderland world that we live in, I would not be surprised if the Swiss vote yes on their upcoming referendum. The idea that a group of people would deny certain rights to their fellow man, while giving civil rights to animals, does not appear to be as far-fetched as it once might have been.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Left Attacks Obama.

It does my heart good to the Left attacking its own.

In a piece for [Ralph Nader Was Right About Barack Obama] Chris Hedges argues that his fellow Leftists owe an apology to not only Ralph Nader but Cynthia McKinney as well.

To Hedges, Obama is no Socialist;

"Obama lies as cravenly, if not as crudely, as George W. Bush. He promised us that the transfer of $12.8 trillion in taxpayer money to Wall Street would open up credit and lending to the average consumer. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), however, admitted last week that banks have reduced lending at the sharpest pace since 1942. As a senator, Obama promised he would filibuster amendments to the FISA Reform Act that retroactively made legal the wiretapping and monitoring of millions of American citizens without warrant; instead he supported passage of the loathsome legislation. He told us he would withdraw American troops from Iraq, close the detention facility at Guantánamo, end torture, restore civil liberties such as habeas corpus and create new jobs. None of this has happened."

Hedges, likewise, is no fan of Obama's health-care plan; he writes, of the President,
"He is shoving a health care bill down our throats that would give hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to the private health insurance industry in the form of subsidies, and force millions of uninsured Americans to buy insurers’ defective products."

Because the "timidity of the left exposes its cowardice, lack of a moral compass and mounting political impotence" Hedges maintains that it is time for the Left to abandon the Democratic Party in favor of alternative third-party candidates and grass-roots movements. We can only hope.

Perhaps one of the oddest parts of the article was Hedges' use of a quote from the 3,000-word suicide note left by Joe Stack, who flew a plane into an IRS office in Austin, Texas. Hedges uses this quote to advance the idea that the Right speaks with a language filled with passion while the Liberals "continue to speak in the bloodless language of issues and policies, and leave emotion and anger to the protofascists." Hedges wants us to believe that Joe Stack was a Right wing nutcase when he was, in fact, a Leftist. Hedges conveniently leaves out this quote from Stack's suicide manifesto;

"The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed."

Hardly the sentiments of a Right wing fanatic.

Unfortunately, Hedges does not describe his vision of the ideal health care system for the U.S.. If, as he says, Obama is no Socialist and Socialism is what Hedges wants, I'm curious to see what the American Health Care System à la Socialism would look like.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Health Care.

Saturday evening, my wife and I had dinner with an old friend of mine. He and I have known each other for decades, though, due to differing schedules - and the fact that we live in different cities - we haven't seen each other in about six years.

Over the years, he and I have changed our political views; we no longer see eye to eye on many issues. However, this has not damaged our friendship. True friends do not, necessarily, have to agree on every cultural or political issue. I have to contrast this with the situation I have with other Liberal friends. One, in particular, looks at me as if I have grown horns in addition to the third eye that is now centered on my forehead.

Of course, the opposite can also apply. I am no longer friends with a certain individual even though our political views are nearly identical. It's an issue of character, not politics.

This post isn't about friendship, but rather, it concerns one of the subjects my friend and I talked about after dinner. He is an Obama supporter. He rightly, sees our health care system as broken, but wrongly - in my opinion - sees Obama as having the solution.

One of the difficulties in discussing the "Obama plan" is that, frankly, Obama hasn't made it known what his plans for health care are in any clear and specific manner. He had laid the nuts and bolts at the steps of Congress and expected the Democrats to come forth with something he could support as his own. Obama's approach really should not have come as a surprise to any of us. Obama has had absolutely no experience in the medical field ..... other than being, like most of us, either a patient or family member of someone who has had medical problems. Never having had any experience in a position of leadership, when it gets down to buck passing, Obama has shown himself to be the polar opposite of Harry Truman.

Health care is expensive. Doctors, hospitals and insurance companies are all in it for the money. What else is new? Our current system may very well implode due to ever raising costs of health care, but do we want the federal government running the show? Would government involvement stop the hemorrhaging of the system or rip out the heart.

I don't have the answers. I don't know how we can improve the situation. I do know that it is impossible to show a program where federal government interference has made things better.

I know it's going to take more than Obama and his Democrat minions giving us a litany of sob stories of how people are hurting and how the government feels our pain.