Monday, September 30, 2013

Democrats Lazy as Their Govt Shutdown Nears

Face it.  The Democrat politicos want this government shutdown.  And if there is a shutdown, it will be their doing.

Why can I be so dogmatic?  For one thing, the Democrat Senate’s work schedule – or lack thereof.  Whereas, the Republican House worked this past weekend and voted through a reasonable compromise on Obamacare, the Senate was absent . . . and doesn’t reconvene until 2pm today.

And Obama?  He played golf, of course

Monday, September 23, 2013

This is what happens when you ask too many questions in Obamerica.

A Maryland dog-and-pony show, complete with disallowed and edited questions (Only written pre-screened questions were allowed.), pushing the CORE curriculum was more than one concerned father could take sitting down.  So he rose up and dared to ask a real question.

Or perhaps I should say he tried to ask a question.  For he was repeatedly interrupted by the liberal fascists in charge and forcibly taken out of the meeting by a thug brown shirt policeman.  Watch for yourself:

As if that is not bad enough, because he did not properly kiss the brown shirt’s feet, he is charged with 2nd degree assault on a police officer, a charge which comes with a possible 10 years in prison.

So this is what happens if you ask too many questions in Obamerica.

How long are we going to take this from Obama and his allies and thugs?  How long?  Are we Americans or sheep?

Pope Francis Clarifies His Abortion Stance

As a helpful commenter alerted me, the day after his controversial interview became public (and the day I last posted), Pope Francis wisely clarified his stance on abortion:

“Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world,” he said.

Pope Francis condemned the “throwaway culture” abortion promotes, saying, “Our response to this mentality is a ‘yes’ to life, decisive and without hesitation. ‘The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are precious, but this one is fundamental –- the condition for all the others’”.

I could speculate that he saw (or was made to see) that his earlier comments apparently deemphasizing the abortion issue were a step too far.  But I’ll just say I’m glad to see his clarification. . . . And if my concern that he might be a liberal ends up being unfounded, I’ll be glad to see that, too.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Is Francis a Liberal Pope?

Once again, Pope Francis has made liberalizing noises.  And once again, conservative Roman Catholics, who understandably want their pope to be robustly orthodox, are coming out and saying he was misinterpreted and taken out of context; the press is spinning; what he really meant is etc.

I love my conservative Roman Catholic brethren.  But I am at the point where I think they are engaging in wishful thinking.  It is time to face up to the possibility that, in Pope Francis, the church has had a liberal Pope foisted upon it.

His views on the church’s opposition to abortion are close to a last straw for me.  Fromthe Wall Street Journal (where they may be a pay wall):

"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," said the 76-year-old pontiff, who came to power in March after the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict. "This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that.

"The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time," he said. "We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards."

His comments could signal dissatisfaction with the strong stance some church leaders have taken on the highly charged social issues. For instance, in an interview last week with a local Catholic newspaper, Rhode Island Bishop Thomas J. Tobin said that he was "a little bit disappointed in Pope Francis that he hasn't, at least that I'm aware of, said much about unborn children, about abortion, and many people have noticed that."

So to be balanced, the church should defend the unborn less?  The church should protest the slaughter of the innocents less?  Pope Francis should indeed be “reprimanded” for his lack of balance on abortion.  For a Pope to speak this way is distressing.

There is also this:

Francis also pointedly says, "I have never been a right-winger."

Sorry, but that sounds like a liberal to me.  Do orthodox speak about other orthodox publicly in this manner?

Now Francis hasn’t said anything heretical.  And I do not claim to know that he is a liberal pope.  But I am convinced it is past time for catholics in and outside the Roman church to face up to the possibility and stop making wishful excuses for him.

By the way, bad liturgy and bad theology go together.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis

First, I hope I have not alarmed my readers.  I’m alive and in good health.  But I took a trip to St. Louis to watch an excellent chess tournament featuring none other than Magnus Carlsen.  (And kudos to the St. Louis Chess Club for putting it on very well!)  And I just did not have the time and energy to blog during my trip.

But I did walk over to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis nearby, having no idea what I was getting into.  I tend to turn my traditionalist nose up at modern architecture and so did not have high expectations.

Was I wrong!

The cathedral is just under 100 years old (and is about to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2014), but is an impressive jewel.  The Romanesque exterior is imposing and well proportioned, marred only by a rather silly statue in the garden.  But the massive Byzantine interior is what blew away my low expections.  Its glows with what is claimed to be the world’s largest collection of mosaics in one building.  Even in dim light (which is how I viewed it) the interior is luminous and awesome.

I am no expert on mosaics.  But I wonder how they found artisans to do such excellent work.  Most of it is does not have the cloying quality of modern church art, but seems to have been transported from the past.  I marveled at the excellence.  And the three domes, the massive proportions, and the luminous mosaics (particularly in dim light) inspired awe as cathedral architecture should.

A good collection of photos may be found here (although I can take issue with how they are photoshopped).  And here are two of my photos which I hope capture some of the atmosphere of the place.

Obviously, I do recommend a visit for those who happen to be in St. Louis.  I did not attend a service so I cannot venture an opinion on the worship there, but it seems to have a good reputation in that regard as well.  And seeing the 14th Century choir book in the basement museum is worth the modest charge.  (There is no charge to enter the cathedral, which is open most of the day for touring on most weekdays.)

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The (Brilliant) Rand Paul Amendment

Rand Paul really gets it.  He is offering a short and sweet amendment to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee resolution on Syria.  And it brilliantly cuts right to the heart of the matter, in part by quoting . . . Obama.

The amendment quotes from a response Obama gave the Boston Globe back in 2007 as a Senator, in which Obama said that “the President does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

Paul’s amendment then provides constitutional backing for Obama’s statement—and finally declares that “it is the sense of Congress that if this authorization fails to pass Congress, the President would be in violation of the Constitution if he were to use military force against the Government of Syria."

Puleeease let there be a vote on this!  1. It’s right.  2. Those who are o.k. with Obama as dictator will have to come out and vote accordingly.

And, yes, 3. Congress throwing Obama’s words at Obama would be delicious!

You can see the amendment for yourself here.

Rand Paul Gets It

Yesterday morning I noted that Obama has left the door wide open to attacking Syria even without Congressional authorization.  Yesterday afternoon, I was heartened to see Rand Paul has noticed as well, and he gave Secretary of State Kerry not a little heat about it:

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): Madison was very explicit, when he wrote the Federalist papers, he wrote that history supposes, or the constitution supposes what history demonstrates is that the executive is the branch most likely to go to war and therefore the constitution vested that power in the Congress. It is explicit throughout all of Madison's writings. This power is a Congressional power and it is not an executive power. They didn't say big war, small war. They didn't say boots on the ground, not boots on the ground. They said declare war.

Ask the people on the ships launching the missiles if they are involved in war or not.

If we do not say that the constitution applies, if we do not say explicitly that we will abide by this vote, you're making a joke of us. You're making us into theater. We play constitutional theater for the president. If this is real, you will abide by the verdict of Congress. You're probably going to win. Just say it is real and let's have a real debate in this country and not a meaningless debate that in the end you lose and say, 'oh well, we had the authority anyway, we're going to go ahead and go to war anyway.'

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Downfall XI: Will Obama Attack Syria Without Congress?

I should start by saying the above is not a stale headline.  Yes, Obama has said he will seek Congressional authorization for an attack on Syria. 

But what most are not noticing is that he has not said (and in a press conference just now seemed to take pains not to say) is that if Congress says “No” then he will not attack.  Moreover, both NBC and Fox are reporting that Obama intends to attack Syria whether Congress approves it or not.  Donald Sensing concludes that this is, therefore, not speculation but comes from that White House itself.  And he wonders “how members of Congress of either party feel now that they've learned their votes on the matter are not actually relevant to the President.”

Sensing is on top of this as few are.  And I agree with him that there is the possibility of a serious Constitutional crisis over Syria if Obama goes full dictator and bombs Syria even if Congress refuses authorization.

And polls indicate strong majorities of the public oppose an attack on Syria, especially if it is not authorized by Congress.  This could be one act of tyranny he won’t get away with.

Such an event would wake up more that Obama likes to play the dictator with utter contempt of Congress and of Consent of the Governed.  It would greatly lessen tolerance of his tyrannical tendencies in Congress and even in the snooze media.  It would even weaken his base, much of which is profoundly anti-war and opposes strikes on Syria.  I think there would be the very real possibility that national anger would be such that impeachment in the House might be hard to stop and conviction in the Senate a possibility if still a remote one.

In short, if you think anger over Obama is bad now . . .

But note that I did put a question mark in the headline.  I doubt he is foolish enough to defy Congress by attacking Syria without authorization.

But then I have overestimated Obama before.  And, frankly, I’ve overestimated America as well.