Deborah Gyapong: August 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Obamacare is one-size fits all medical coercion

This Wall St. Journal piece examines some of the thinking behind how Obamacare will be run.  Scary.


Anyhow, their big idea is the very old idea of price controls that are "binding on all payers and providers," much as post-RomneyCare Massachusetts is already doing. When that strategy fails as it always has, and the public denies further tax increases, the Orszag payment board will then start to ration or prohibit access to medical resources that it decides aren't worth the expense.
These political choices will be unpopular and even deadly, which is why Mr. Orszag worked so hard to insulate his payment board from oversight or accountability. Congress can only reject the board's decisions if it substitutes something else that reduces costs by as much. More amazing still, only a minority of the board can be "directly involved" in the provision of health care.

This latter provision is supposed to prevent the alleged conflicts of interest that come from knowing something about how health care is provided in the real world. What it reveals instead is that this board isn't about medical quality at all. It is purely a balance-sheet exercise to make sure that the Orszag-Obama agenda of top-down health care can't be undone by something as crude as democratic consent.
And they claim that Paul Ryan's proposal is "radical"?

***
What the debate over Mr. Ryan's reform is revealing is that the real health-care choice, and the real choice this November, is about the role of government. The Orszags of the world ultimately have what President Obama would call an "ideological" preference for coercion over individual choice. They want to impose the unilateral decisions of the state over those of millions of Americans.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ouch! Carl Anderson on the Party of Death

He didn't call it that, but my goodness, what a column over at The Corner, where he predicts Americans will remember that Obama lost the presidency because of his extremist stand on abortion.  Here's an excerpt, with my emphases:


Come November, those entering voting booths from coast to coast are unlikely to be concerned by the poorly worded comments of a Senate candidate in Missouri. What they are likely to remember is that the president has embraced the most radical abortion position possible — one out of step with nearly nine in ten Americans.

The strident, pro-abortion face of the Democratic party that the nation will see during its upcoming convention also will underscore why it is that a real accommodation with the Catholic Church on the unpopular HHS mandate has not been reached and why one will be unlikely in the future.

Four years ago, candidate Obama was able to build a winning coalition that included Catholics and Evangelicals because he toned down the abortion rhetoric. Despite his own extreme voting record on the subject, he and his surrogates succeeded in muting his abortion stance in reaching out to Catholic and Evangelical voters.

He reached out to people like Pastor Rick Warren, who later said the prayer at the president’s inauguration. Now Reverend Warren says he will go to jail rather than comply with the HHS mandate.

He can hardly be alone in his disillusionment.

What must those voters who believed the president’s rhetoric in the last election think now? And what will they think in November?

It is clear that the president’s winning coalition of 2008 is fractured, and it is unlikely to be resurrected by appealing to 12 percent of the population. The Obama-Biden campaign’s new abortion strategy admits that the coalition is gone as far as many Catholics are concerned.
No president has won in recent years without a majority of the Catholic vote — a group that makes up a quarter of our country’s electorate. As of this week, many Catholics may be thinking that we have a president who has now firmly declared himself against life and liberty, while many voters already blamed him for the economic damper on their pursuit of happiness.
When the history of this election is written, it may well be that the decisions his campaign made this week, were decisive — in losing his reelection.
 Carl Anderson is CEO of the Knights of Columbus and the author, most recently, of Beyond a House Divided.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why do Republicans keep doing this to themselves?

Todd Akin. Todd Akin.  Rape comments. Blah Blah. He should resign.  Where do I see most commentary about Todd Akin?  On conservative blogs that say he should step aside or Republicans will lose their chance of gaining control of the Senate.   The Corner at National Review, I mean you!

At first I was thinking, yeah, the guy should resign.  But then I saw this article by Jack Cashill, and it made me wonder why Republicans always shoot their own side when Democrats act up, instead of going on the offensive.  Perhaps there are some strategic reasons why Republicans might not want to attack Bill Clinton, who might be their secret weapon of Obama destruction in the 2012 presidential race, and he remains popular.  However the left remains silent about real rape, real sexual abuse and a real misogynist war on women coming from its quarters but pounces on any Republican gaffe as if Akin was responsible for actual rape instead of failing to see that "rape is rape,"  Whoopie Goldberg notwithstanding.  As Sherman Frederick writes:


But before we leave this Republican's step into the Twilight Zone of American politics, let's re-visit a similar comment from a Democrat.
Commenting on the movie-director Roman Polanski, "The View" commentator Whoopi Goldberg defended Polanski's rape of a minor.
She said: "I know it wasn't rape-rape. It was something else but I don't believe it was rape-rape. He went to jail and when they let him out he was like 'You know what this guy's going to give me a hundred years in jail I'm not staying, so that's why he left.'"
Whoopi also said, "Would I want my 14-year-old daughter having sex? Not necessarily."
Not necessarily? What kind of mom answer "not necessarily" to that question?


Here's Cashill:


As far as I know, Bill Clinton, unlike U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin, has never misspoken on the subject of rape. In fact, he is somewhat of an authority on the subject.
Clinton knows just what a woman who has been raped should do. As he told Juanita Broaddrick in that Little Rock hotel room some years back, “You better get some ice on that.”

Broaddrick was not alone in being sexually abused by Clinton. Indeed, in the Ken Starr investigation, Broaddrick emerged as “Jane Doe No. 5.”

Broaddrick was likely not unique in being raped by Clinton either. In his book, “Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter’s Story,” Michael Isikoff relates how Clinton, then Arkansas governor, had sex with former Miss America Elizabeth Ward Gracen.

“It was rough sex,” Isikoff writes, “Clinton got so carried away that he bit her lip, Gracen later told friends. But it was consensual.”

Isikoff missed the lip-biting connection. He also failed to acknowledge that at least one of Gracen’s friends, Judy Stokes, had told the Paula Jones legal team that the sex was not consensual at all.



Arrrrgggghhh!   Republicans, take your cue from from the Obama eats dog meme that finally pushed back against the weeks of Democrat attacks on Romney's carrying the family dog in a crate atop their car. 

Stop the friendly fire.  Stop letting stuff like this be the agenda for news cycle upon news cycle.  It's deeper than the economy, stupid!  It's character, stupid.  Without virtue and character the economy and government are sunk.

Sadly, it may be too late to walk this one back but if Akin remains the candidate then Republicans should ensure he wins anyway, despite being tone deaf to those undecided voters everyone is tiptoeing around to attract. 


UPDATE:  and while we're at it, how about instead of going on the defensive when a pro-life position that respects the humanity the unborn child from conception is attacked when rape and incest are used as the weapons, how about pointing out President Obama's abortion extremism.  He not only supports partial birth abortion, he voted to allow the infanticide of infants born alive as the result of a botched abortion.  How's them apples?  Talk about extreme.    

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New film about Obama advertised on Drudge

At the top of the popular Drudge Report there's an ad for a new documentary about Obama entitled Dreams of My Real Father that makes the case that his real father was not the Kenyan Obama but a Marxist named Frank Marshall Davis.  The birthers are apparently quite upset. And the director has complained about receiving no mainstream news coverage at all.

Well, I would like to see this film.   If Michael Moore can make polemical films about George W. Bush, why not this?



Here's part of a Q&A with the director Joel Gilbert from the film's website, with my emphases, indicating I had noticed this too, or read about these things from other sources that I consider reliable:


How did you come to investigate President Obama's life history?
I have a background in Middle East and Islamic studies and in 2010 wrote and directed a film called Atomic Jihad: Ahmadinejad's Coming War and Obama's Politics of Defeat. While reviewing video of over 200 Obama speeches for that film, I noticed an odd pattern. When speaking of issues relating to the rich and the poor, Obama became very excited, speaking rapidly and louder, always in a higher pitch. On other subjects, he was quite calm. Why would Obama have an inner passion for class struggle? From my knowledge of his background, exclusive prep school, Ivy Leagues, Harvard Law - it didn't seem to fit. I then read his autobiography, Dreams from My Father, and noticed numerous references to Obama seeking out Marxist professors and friends, emulating Malcolm X, attending socialist conferences, and organizing. It was a life journey in socialism! Plus, of his visits to Communist Frank Marshall Davis' house with his grandfather, Obama wrote, "it was as if I were witnessing some complicated, unspoken transaction between the two men."
I decided to investigate Frank Marshall Davis. His close physical resemblance to Obama was shocking, while Obama little resembled the Kenyan Obama. How could this be? Next, I unearthed two film archives of Frank Marshall Davis, one from 1973, the other from 1987, as well as Davis' photo collection. I then acquired 500 copies of the Honolulu Record, the Communist run newspaper where Davis wrote a weekly political column for eight years. I also obtained seven indecent photos of Ann Dunham, Obama's mother, taken at Frank Marshall Davis' house, suggesting an intimate connection between Dunham and Davis. I concluded that to understand Obama’s plans for America, the question was "Who is the real father?"
How does your "Dreams" film compare to Obama's autobiography?
My "Dreams" provides the first cohesive understanding of Obama's deep rooted life journey in socialism. It includes Obama's indoctrination in Marxism by Frank Marshall Davis, his college years, his job as "organizer," his involvement with Project Vote and the subprime mortgage crisis, the Ayers family, Alinsky and Reverend Wright, all the way to his campaigns and Presidency. Dreams from My Real Father is an alternate theory to Barack Obama's autobiography. The film narrative is based on both new and existing factual pillars, then presents reasoned logic, re-creations of probable events, and speculation for a complete story. Some dialogue is taken directly from Davis and Obama's writings, while some is approximated to bridge known facts. Viewers must judge the story for themselves. I believe they will agree that my "Dreams" is closer to reality than Obama's account, which more resembles a fairy tale.
What new revelations are in Dreams from My Real Father?
First, I make the case that Barack Obama's real father was Communist Frank Marshall Davis. Next, the relationship between Davis and Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, is illustrated with seven indecent photographs of Dunham, some including other women, taken at Frank Marshall Davis' house in Honolulu. I was not happy to include these racy photos in the film, but found it necessary to substantiate the intimate relationship between them. Those photos ended up in a men's mail order catalog of nude women, likely sold to them by Davis. I placed black bars on parts of the photos to be respectful.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I love it when Mark Steyn links to my blog

I had an unexplained massive upsurge in traffic to my blog the past few days.  And, it is thanks to Mark Steyn writing over at The Corner.


A few months ago, on the Hugh Hewitt show, I was asked to respond to President Obama’s remarks to the National Prayer Breakfast, at which he said that he believed in “living by the principle that we are our brother’s keeper.” And I reprised a bit from my book, After America (out next month in paperback!):

In a TV infomercial a few days before his election, Obama declared that his “fundamental belief” was that “I am my brother’s keeper”.

Hmm. Back in Kenya, his brother lives in a shack on 12 bucks a year. If Barack is his brother’s keeper, why can’t he shove a sawbuck and a couple singles in an envelope and double the guy’s income? Ah, well: When Barack Obama claims that “I am my brother’s keeper”, what he means is that the government should be his brother’s keeper.

Dinesh D’Souza met Barack’s brother, George Obama, earlier this year for his new documentary. A couple of days ago he got a call from him:

He was a bit flustered, and soon informed me that his young son was sick with a chest condition.  He pleaded with me to send him $1,000 to cover the medical bills.  Since George was at the hospital I asked him to let me speak to a nurse, and she confirmed that George’s son was indeed ill.  So I agreed to send George the money through Western Union.  He was profusely grateful.  But before I hung up I asked George, “Why are you coming to me?”  He said, “I have no one else to ask.”  Then he said something that astounded me, “Dinesh, you are like a brother to me.”

In fact, as D’Souza points out, George’s actual brother is “a multimillionaire and the most powerful man in the world” who talks repeatedly about our obligation to be our brother’s keeper:

Yet he has not contributed a penny to help his own brother. And evidently George does not believe, even in times of emergency, that he can turn to his brother in the White House for help.
So much for spreading the wealth around.

Go on over and read the rest and see if you can spot the link that sent thousands over here to my humble little blog.  Thanks, Mark!  

Charter of Secularism proposed for Quebec violates religious freedom says expert


From my story published today in the Catholic Register  
OTTAWA - A religious freedom expert warns the Parti Quebecois leader's proposed Charter of Secularism should the PQ win Quebec's provincial election Sept. 4 would violate the Charter and push many religious believers out of public service.
"Religions in Quebec have rights and one of these rights is not to be forced out of the public sphere by the beliefs of atheism and agnosticism dominating the public," said Iain Benson, a constitutional lawyer and international religious freedom expert.
Benson said he was "startled" by PQ Leader Pauline Marois' proposed Charter of Secularism that would prohibit government employees from wearing religious symbols such as hijabs, kirpans (ceremonial daggers required by baptized Sikhs), turbans and kippahs (or yarmulke, the skullcap worn by Jewish men). It would allow the wearing of an unobtrusive crucifix. Marois' Charter later clarified the crucifix in the National Assembly could also remain because it is part of Quebec's heritage, explaining moves towards ensuring state neutrality do not mean Quebeckers have to deny who they are.
"It would mean that only those who do not have an orthodox traditional view of their religious tradition could work in a public sphere setting while maintaining their beliefs about religious garb and that doesn't seem fair," Benson said. "We just need to get over the secularist prejudice that only religious people believe things. Everyone is a believer and not wearing religious symbols is an indication what one does not believe as much as wearing them indicates what one does."
Marois is not alone in her support for the crucifix or other Christian symbols as a nod to Quebec's past. Other leaders also chimed in to support it, including Liberal Leader and Premier Jean Charest.
******
More at the link above

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Home alone in the White House?

Niall Ferguson on why Obama has got to go.  This is a terrifying paragraph:


According to Ron Suskind’s book Confidence Men, Summers told Orszag over dinner in May 2009: “You know, Peter, we’re really home alone ... I mean it. We’re home alone. There’s no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes [of indecisiveness on key economic issues].” On issue after issue, according to Suskind, Summers overruled the president. “You can’t just march in and make that argument and then have him make a decision,” Summers told Orszag, “because he doesn’t know what he’s deciding.” (I have heard similar things said off the record by key participants in the president’s interminable “seminar” on Afghanistan policy.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Puts "above my paygrade" in new perspective

Wow.  Over at the Corner Stephen P. White looks at that famous question from Rick Warren to President Obama, something missed in the focus on then presidential-candidate Obama's answer:


Four years ago yesterday, on August 16, 2008, then-senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain joined Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., for the “Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency.”

The most memorable moment of the evening, by far, came when Pastor Warren asked Senator Obama about his views on human life.

Coming only a few days after his notorious remarks about bitter midwesterners clinging to their guns and religion, Obama’s now infamous response was but one in a long line of comments and gestures that have come to exemplify that galling blend of condescension and nonchalance that, for many, define this president.

Yet the flippancy of Obama’s response — that answers to such questions are, “above my pay grade” — overshadowed a very important and revealing aspect of his answer. Or rather, lost in the controversy about the tone of Obama’s response was the question that was actually asked.

Everyone seems to remember Warren’s question as “When does human life begin?” This is probably because that is the question Obama (flippantly) answered. But that wasn’t the question. What Pastor Warren did ask was a much more direct question, a question much less easily obfuscated by the supposed vagaries of science or theology: “At what point does a baby get human rights?”

Taken at face value, that’s not even a question about abortion — unless there’s some reason to assume a “baby” is unborn. As Warren asked it, the question was not a matter of science or religion. It was (and is) a question about the legal and moral status of certain acknowledged members of the human community.
In other words, it is a fundamentally political question and points directly to thefundamental political question: Who is, and who is not, a member of the community? No serious politician, still less a president, can be indifferent to such a question.

And then think about the fact that Obama voted to allow the infanticide of babies born alive as the result of a botched abortion.  Chilling.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Canada's Crossroads walkers in Ottawa Aug.11

I was a joy to meet some of these young people and interview them.  Here's a link to my story in the Catholic Register and an excerpt:


OTTAWA - Twelve Crossroads walkers who hiked through Canada for the past three months wearing "Pro-Life" t-shirts ended their trek in Canada's capital convinced public opinion is turning against abortion.
"We have such a great country," said Patrick Wilson, 21, the leader of the Canadian Crossroads group that ended its cross-country trek Aug. 11. "We had a lot of positive support. I think the tide's turning."
"There was so much encouragement in the most unexpected places," said Lindsay Richey, 20, of Armstrong, B.C. "People that we expected would be angry or aggressive ended up being pro-life."
Richey said at one point a man driving his car past them on the highway turned around to come alongside them again to tell us "how proud he was to see people of his generation standing up for pro-life."
"It inspired him and made him happy," she said.
And in Winnipeg, a man driving a souped-up sports car pulled up near the group at a stoplight and asked Wilson what the group was doing. "Why are you pro-life and not pro-choice?" he asked.
"He looked like a complete dude," Wilson said. "I just liked his car."
But then the man stunned him by saying, "I'm adopted and if it wasn't for people like you I wouldn't be there today."



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Cardinal Dolan on that Obama invitation

I think Cardinal Dolan gives a good explanation here of why he invited President Obama to the charity dinner.  I know many folks who are deeply troubled by this invitation, and I understand the concern about the great photo ops potentially available for the Obama campaign to exploit.   But I am praying that Cardinal Dolan will be able to turn this event into grace-filled teaching moments for the watching media and the country as a whole.

Here's part of what the cardinal has to say, the rest is at the his blog:


The Al Smith Dinner has never been without controversy, since, as Carl Anderson reminded us, politics can inspire disdain and negativity as well as patriotism andcivility.

This year is surely no exception: I am receiving stacks of mail protesting the invitation to President Obama (and by the way, even some objecting to the invitation to Governor Romney).

The objections are somewhat heightened this year, since the Catholic community in the United States has rightly expressed vigorous criticism of the President’s support of the abortion license, and his approval of mandates which radically intruded upon Freedom of Religion. We bishops, including yours truly, have been unrelenting in our opposition to these issues, and will continue to be.

So, my correspondents ask, how can you justify inviting the President? Let me try to explain.
For one, an invitation to the Al Smith Dinner is not an award, or the provision of a platform to expound views at odds with the Church. It is an occasion of conversation; it is personal, not partisan.

Two, the purpose of the Al Smith Dinner is to show both our country and our Church at their best: people of faith gathered in an evening of friendship, civility, and patriotism, to help those in need, not to endorse either candidate. Those who started the dinner sixty-seven years ago believed that you can accomplish a lot more by inviting folks of different political loyalties to an uplifting evening, rather than in closing the door to them.

Three, the teaching of the Church, so radiant in the Second Vatican Council, is that the posture of the Church towards culture, society, and government is that ofengagement and dialogue. In other words, it’s better to invite than to ignore, more effective to talk together than to yell from a distance, more productive to open a door than to shut one. Our recent popes have been examples of this principle, receiving dozens of leaders with whom on some points they have serious disagreements. Thus did our present Holy Father graciously receive our current President of the United States.  And, in the current climate, we bishops have maintained that we are open to dialogue with the administration to try and resolve our differences.  What message would I send if I refused to meet with the President?

Finally, an invitation to the Al Smith Dinner in no way indicates a slackening in our vigorous promotion of values we Catholic bishops believe to be at the heart of both gospel and American values, particularly the defense of human dignity, fragile life, and religious freedom. In fact, one could make the case that anyone attending the dinner, even the two candidates, would, by the vibrant solidarity of the evening, be reminded that America is at her finest when people, free to exercise their religion, assemble on behalf of poor women and their babies, born and unborn, in a spirit of civility and respect.
Some have told me the invitation is a scandal. That charge weighs on me, as it would on any person of faith, but especially a pastor, who longs to give good example, never bad. So, I apologize if I have given such scandal. I suppose it’s a case of prudential judgment: would I give more scandal by inviting the two candidates, or by not inviting them?

Great piece on President Obama and his chief advisor

Karin McQuillan over at American Thinker has a very interesting, lengthy piece about President Obama's relationship with Valerie Jarrett that I recommend be read in full.  Here is a taste to whet your appetite:


Every insider in Chicago told Klein the same thing: Jarrett has no qualifications to be the principal advisor to the president of the United States.  She doesn't understand how Washington works, how relations with Congress work, how the federal process works.  She doesn't understand how the economy works, how the military works, how national security works.  But she understands how Obama works.
The president turns to Valerie Jarrett for definitive advice on all these issues.  She has given him terrible advice over and over, and still he turns to her.   
Her true job is to make Obama feel proud of himself.  When Obama looks at Jarrett, he sees himself as whole and good and real.  He is no longer the fake black, the fatherless kid flailing around in a white world, tortured by the unfairness of it all.  She fills the emptiness at the core of his identity.  She admires and adores him.  Jarrett told New Yorker editor David Remnick that the president is "just too talented to do what ordinary people do."  And the icing on the cake -- she shares his left-wing politics that project unfairness out onto white America. 
Obama relies on Jarrett to create the White House bubble he likes to live in, where his narcissism is stroked and his desire to do the big, left-wing thing is encouraged.  Jarrett is the doorman.  She runs access to the president.  As Klein puts it, she guards him from meeting with "critics and complainers who might deflate his ego."  No one gets past Jarrett who has an incompatible point of view.


Read more here.

Story that reveals something of Mitt Romney's character

An excerpt of a most interesting piece by Karin McQuillan over at American Thinker:


An unusual personal story gives us insight into Mitt Romney.  It is 1996.  Mitt Romney is the head of Bain Capital in Boston.  One of his employees comes to him, utterly distraught.  His 14-year-old daughter snuck out of the house to go to a rave in New York and has been missing for three days.  One of her teen friends said he gave her ecstasy and that he last saw her partying under a bridge. 

Did Romney offer sympathy and hope?  Write a check for a private detective?  Wait for the government to solve it?  No -- he took responsibility.  He took action.  He shut down the firm and brought all the employees to New York.  For 48 hours, they scoured the streets, going everywhere, asking teenagers if they'd seen the missing girl.  Romney called on business associates to send more people to help until they numbered 200.  He printed 300,000 fliers and got Duane Reade, one of Bain's success stories, to put fliers in every shopper's bag in their 52 stores.  Romney set up a hotline.  A broken-off phone call was traced; the girl was discovered in the basement of a house in New Jersey and reunited with her family. 

"Mitt's done a lot of things that are nearly impossible, but for me the most important thing he's ever done was to help save my daughter," says the girl's father.

Hear Romney describe what happened in this YouTube video of a town hall meeting. 

I did what you all would do.  I was responsible for a business.  One day one of my partner's came...and said my daughter...is lost....I said,  "Let's close the company.  Let's all of us fly down to New York and try to find her."
The words are a bit awkward.  The story as he tells it will not move you to tears.  But when I tell the story to friends, I am so moved, I do get tears in my eyes.  Romney shows the missing girl's photo to a teenage girl on the street.  She says to him, "No, I haven't seen her, but you're not the first person who came up and asked if I'd seen her.  I wish my parents cared enough about me, to do something like this for me.""I did what all of you would do," Romney says.  Really?  It would never have occurred to me in a million years to respond to a friend's missing daughter by organizing everyone I knew and going to look for her myself. 
Wow.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/obama_and_romney_character_shows.html#ixzz23ZEhHBd2

Pictures from my vacation

Are up at Foolishness to the World here and here.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Really interesting story on Vatileaks


Dr. Roberto Tatarelli, a professor of psychiatry at Sapienza University of Rome, reported that Gabriele showed no signs of "clinically significant disturbances" that could explain his actions or cast doubt on his ability to understand what he was doing was wrong. But the doctor wrote that Gabriele had a "simple intelligence" and a "fragile personality with paranoid tendencies, covering up a deep personal insecurity and an unresolved need to enjoy the esteem and affection of others," according to the report by Piero Bonnet, the Vatican's investigating judge.


Summarizing what other witnesses told Vatican investigators, Bonnet said Gabriele was described as a believing and committed Catholic, able to carry out his job as a sort of papal valet "with the diligence and reserve it required."

One unnamed witness described him as "very pious, attending the holy Mass celebrated by the Holy Father daily, and he prayed often."

Another quoted by Bonnet said that while Gabriele worked conscientiously, he did not take the initiative or find better ways to do his job, but "did what he was told."Msgr. Georg Ganswein, Pope Benedict's personal secretary, told investigators Gabriele needed to be "continually guided and directed" and "sometimes it was necessary to repeat things more than once."
 -snip-

Many of the documents speak of power struggles and financial corruption within the Vatican.
"From my position, I could observe the double papal function, that as head of the Church and head of the state (of Vatican City)," Gabriele told Bonnet. Particularly the way Vatican City was operating could be a "scandal for the faith," he said.

-snip-
He said that "seeing evil and corruption everywhere in the Church," he reached "a point of no return" and felt compelled to act.

"I was certain that a shock, even in the media, could be healthy in putting the Church back on the right track," Gabriele was quoted as saying.

He said he was fascinated by the world of intelligence, or spying, and believed that in some way, the Holy Spirit played that role in the Church, and he was the Holy Spirit's instrument.

Very interesting.  I think there are a lot of fragile personalities who see evil and corruption everywhere in the Church.  It takes a less fragile personality, I suppose, to see past the evil and corruption to the Treasure in earthen and cracked vessels.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Congressman Paul Ryan's speech

The whole speech is here. I especially love this part (my emphases):



We Americans look at one another’s success with pride, not resentment, because we know, as more Americans work hard, take risks, and succeed, more people will prosper, our communities will benefit, and individual lives will be improved and uplifted.

But America is more than just a place…it’s an idea.  It’s the only country founded on an idea.  Our rights come from nature and God, not government.  We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.

This idea is founded on the principles of liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination and government by consent of the governed.  

This idea is under assault.  So, we have a critical decision to make as a nation.
We are on an unsustainable path that is robbing America of our freedom and security. It doesn’t have to be this way.

The commitment Mitt Romney and I make to you is this:

We won’t duck the tough issues…we will lead!

We won’t blame others…we will take responsibility!

We won’t replace our founding principles…we will reapply them!

There are videos up here.


Check out my other blog

I have several posts up at Foolishness to the world, mostly relating to Anglo-Catholic issues.

For now I'm taking a hiatus from The Anglo-Catholic blog so expect this blog and Foolishness will be more active.

I'm back now from holidays and . . .

delighted by Gov. Mitt Romney's choice of  Congressman Paul Ryan as the candidate for Vice President.  Stanley Kurtz over at the Corner has this to say:


The combination of a slashing, class-warfare-based campaign by President Obama and now Mitt Romney’s selection of the boldly conservative Paul Ryan means that we face an epic presidential contest that will openly turn on fundamental philosophical differences between red and blue America. How did we get here, and what does it mean for our future? Above all, now that our internal battle is well-and-truly out in the electoral open, will 2012 decide whether red America or blue America wins for good?

First we need to understand that our political divisions are real and growing. They are rooted, not in top-down political rhetoric, but in profound and lasting social and cultural differences. For a while, analysts tended made light of our polarization, fruitlessly predicting year-after-year that our culture war (still raging) was just about to end. If anything, the culture wars have expanded now to include the whole of politics. It used to be that only arguments over gay marriage or abortion were stigmatized as moral abominations. Now even differences over health care reform and the deficit are super-charged with moral accusation.

Whichever way this election goes, these divisions will only deepen. Fundamentally, this is because what President Obama and the increasingly left-leaning coalition he leads actually want is impossibly far from what red America is willing to accept. Until very recently, this gulf has been hidden by Obama’s refusal to level with the American people about his goals. What the public still doesn’t understand, despite the president’s somewhat more open left-turn of late, is just how far left his second-term agenda aims to go. I’ve laid out some of it here, and Americans are simply not prepared for what is about to hit us should Obama win.

I am also glad that Ryan, who is Catholic, will have a chance now to publicly explain why conservative fiscal policies mesh with Catholic social teaching more so than statist and socialist policies.   George Weigel explains here:

Insisting that America needed a better approach to poverty than the Obama spend-a-thon (which, he argued, was accelerating a “debt crisis in which the poor would be hurt the first and the worst”), Ryan proposed that a new approach “should be based on the twin virtues ofsolidarity and subsidiarity — virtues that, when taken together, revitalize civil society instead of displacing it.”

May there be a real debate in this election.