George A. Sprecace M.D.,
J.D., F.A.C.P. and Allergy Associates of New
RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section. It will
quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in
this rapid-fire world of ours. Of course, as in military
a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed
by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction. Charge that to
"the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or
campaign must maintain to be effective. But the mission will
be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick",
by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.
That's all I promise.
to return to the current Rapid Response list
FRIDAY, October 31, 2008
Folks, is this what you want from a Democratically controlled
government? If you do not act to prevent it, you are complicit in it
and in its effects. GS
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
US Headed Beyond Roe. Vs. Wade, Prelate Warns
Bill Could Make Abortion an Entitlement
ST. PAUL, Minnesota, OCT. 30, 2008 (Zenit.org).- When U.S.
Congress debates the Freedom of Choice Act in January, it will be
considering going even beyond the Supreme Court decision legalizing
abortion, says a Minnesota prelate.
Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis affirmed this in a
Wednesday article in the Catholic Spirit newspaper.
"If enacted, this would become the first time in our nation's history
that abortion is established as an 'entitlement,'" the archbishop
"This, in effect, would move our country beyond even the Supreme
Court's decision of Roe v. Wade.
"It would also do away with a large number of existing state laws on
abortion, substantially impede the ability of states to regulate
abortion, and override nearly 40 years of jurisprudential experience
on the subject of abortion.
"Legal experts say it would likely invalidate informed consent laws,
parental notification laws, laws promoting maternal health -- if they
result in an increased cost for abortions, abortion clinic regulations
-- even those designed to make abortion safer for women, laws
prohibiting a particular abortion procedure -- such as partial-birth
abortion, and laws requiring that abortions only be performed by a
The Minnesota prelate said it "is hard to imagine a more radical piece
of pro-abortion legislation. FOCA would have a devastatingly
destructive impact on the government's ability to regulate abortion."
Archbishop Nienstedt urged the faithful to contact Congressional
representatives and tell them to vote against the bill.
"In effect, FOCA would certainly be a boon to the abortion industry
with the government forced to condone and promote such procedures,"
the archbishop concluded.
"Now is the time to reduce, not increase, the incidence of abortion.
Now is the time to work for the defeat of the Freedom of Choice Act."
THURSDAY, October 29 through 30, 2008
Some random thoughts about the election.
Obama. What you see is NOT WHAT YOU GET! But he is the
of ultra-liberal Democrats: Articulate, Arrogant, Asinine, in the mold
of Barney Frank and the "Reverend" Sharpton.
Today's Republicans. Just Asinine. People like Rush
still saying that, while esentially holding their noses, they "must
save the country from Obama and then save the country" from the
inclinations of John McCain. What a ringing endorsement, from McCain's
"supporters". If Conservatives don't come out enthusiastically
force, McCain loses...and it will be their fault. It has been
that, on another occasion, in the 1948 election, Truman won because
between one and two million of Dewey's Conservatives - then so sure of
his win, did not bother to vote. WAKE UP, YOU JERKS.
And what is this "Hope" that Obama is huckstering? His is a
born out of fear: fear of the outside world; fear of competition; fear
of the future; even fear of fellow Americans who do not buy into his
socialist philosophies. It is not the hope offered by John McCain
Sarah Palin: hope born of confidence in Americans' ability to deal with
the future, with the entire world, with stiff competition, with
whatever the future brings. Without accusing anyone of being
un-American, which message is more American and more hopeful?
And remember: the Truth is never "negative". What is negative is
lying, misrepresenting and ridiculeing. And who's doing
following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday
am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it
does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful
lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.. I don't feel
threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they
are: Christmas trees.
doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me.
I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in
a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it It shows that we are
all brothers and sisters
this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a
manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in
Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine
with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think
Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I
think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed
around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that
America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't
find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my
maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we
should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we
understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too.
But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these
celebrities came from and where the America we knew went
light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a
little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's
not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson
asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding
Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful
response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this,
just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our
schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.
And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed
out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His
protection if we demand He leave us alone?'
light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.
I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was
murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want
prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you
better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt
not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.
And we said OK.
Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they
misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we
might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock's son committed suicide).
We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And
we said OK.
we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they
don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill
strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think
about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it
has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'
how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the
world's going to hell Funny how we believe what the newspapers
say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send
'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start
sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely
through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the
school and workplace.
you laughing yet?
how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your
address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they
will think of you for sending it.
how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than
what God thinks of us. Pass it on if you think it has merit.
If not then just discard it... no one will know you did.
But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and
complain about what bad shape the world is in.
Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,
MONDAY, October 27, 2008
Talk about "scary"...and I don't mean in fifty years! Let
us pray. GS
THIS IS AN INTERESTING
ANALYSIS OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN EUROPE. IN THE LAST PARAGRAPHS, THE
WRITER MENTIONS THAT SOME 'BACKLASH, IN THE FORM OF NEW POLITICAL
PARTIES ARE FORMING TO CHALLENGE THE ISLAMIZATION OF EUROPPE. I THINK
THAT SOCIALIST EUROPE HAS LET THIS GO TOO FAR AND THEY WILL BE UNABLE
TO STOP WHAT IS HAPPENEING.
HERE IN THE
USA WITH SOCIALISM AND LIBRALISM READY TO LEAP FORWARD SO VERY FAST, WE
WILL BE IN A SIMILAR POSITION SOON. THE DIFFERENCE IS GEOGRAPHY WHERE
IT IS HARDER FOR THE ISLAMISTS TO COME HERE IN MASS.
America...as the last
"In a generation or two, the
US will ask itself: who lost Europe ?"
is the speech of Geert
Wilders, chairman Party for Freedom, the Netherlands,
at the Four Seasons, New York , introducing an Alliance of Patriots and
announcing the Facing Jihad Conference in Jerusalem.
speech was sponsored by the Hudson Institute on September 25.
Thank you very much for
inviting me. Great to be at the Four Seasons. I come from a country
that has one season only: a rainy season that starts January 1st and
ends December 31st. When we have three sunny days in a row, the
government declares a national emergency. So Four Seasons, that's new
It's great to be in New York
. When I see the skyscrapers and office buildings, I think of what Ayn
Rand said: "The sky over New York and the will of man made visible." Of
course. Without the Dutch you would have been nowhere, still figuring
out how to buy this island from the Indians. But we are glad we did it
for you. And, frankly, you did a far better job than we possibly could
I come to America with a
mission. All is not well in the old world. There is a tremendous danger
looming, and it is very difficult to be optimistic. We
might be in the final stages of the Islamization of Europe.
This not only is a clear and present danger to the future of Europe
itself, it is a threat to America and the sheer survival of the West.
The danger I see looming is the scenario of America as the last man
United States as the last bastion of Western civilization, facing an
Islamic Europe. In a generation or two, the
US will ask itself: who lost Europe ? Patriots from around Europe risk
their lives every day to prevent precisely this scenario form becoming
My short lecture consists of
First I will describe the
situation on the ground in Europe . Then, I will say a few things about
Islam. Thirdly, if you are still here, I will talk a little bit about
the movie you just saw. To close I will tell you about a meeting in
The Europe you know is
changing. You have probably seen the landmarks. The Eiffel Tower and
Trafalgar Square and Rome 's ancient buildings and maybe the canals of
Amsterdam . They are still there. And they still look very much the
same as they did a hundred years ago.
But in all of these cities,
sometimes a few blocks away from your tourist destination, there is
another world, a world very few visitors see - and one that does not
appear in your tourist guidebook. It
is the world of the parallel society created by Muslim mass-migration.
All throughout Europe a new reality is rising:entire
Muslim neighbourhoods where very few indigenous people reside or are
even seen. And if they are, they might
regret it. This goes for the police as well. It's the world of head
scarves, where women walk around in figureless tents, with baby
strollers and a group of children. Their husbands, or slaveholders if
you prefer, walk three steps ahead. With mosques on many street corner.
The shops have signs you and I cannot read. You will be hard-pressed to
find any economic activity. These are Muslim
ghettos controlled by religious fanatics. These areMuslim
neighbourhoods, and they are mushrooming in every city across Europe.
These are the building-blocks for territorial control of increasingly
larger portions of Europe , street by street, neighbourhood by
neighbourhood, city by city.
There are now thousands of
mosques throughout Europe . With larger congregations than there are in
churches. And in every European city there areplans
to build super-mosques that will dwarf every church in the region. Clearly,
the signal is: we rule.
Many European cities are
already one-quarter Muslim: just take Amsterdam , Marseille and Malmo
in Sweden . In many
cities the majority of
the under-18 population is Muslim. Paris
is now surrounded by a ring of Muslim neighbourhoods.Mohammed is
the most popular name among boys in many cities. In some
elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned,
because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an
insult to Muslims. Many state
schools in Belgium and Denmark only serve halal food to all pupils. In
once-tolerant Amsterdam gays are beaten up
almost exclusively by Muslims.
Non-Muslim women routinely hear "%@*!#, %@*!#". Satellite dishes are
not pointed to local TV stations, but to stations in the country of
origin. In Franceschool
teachers are advised to avoid authors deemed offensive to Muslims,
including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin
. The history of
the Holocaust can in many cases no longer be taught because
of Muslim sensitivity. In England
sharia courts are now
officially part of the British legal system. Many neighbourhoods in
France are no-go areas for women w ithout head scarves. Last week a man
almost died after being beaten up by Muslims in Brussels , because he
was drinking during the Ramadan. Jews are fleeing France in record
numbers, on the run for the worst wave of anti-Semitism since World War
II. French is now commonly spoken on the streets of Tel Aviv and
Netanya , Israel . I could go on forever with stories like this.
Stories about Islamization.
A total of fifty-four
million Muslims now live in Europe. San Diego
University recently calculated that a staggering 25 percent of the
population in Europe will be Muslim just 12 years from now. Bernhard
Lewis has predicted a Muslim majority by the end of this century.
Now these are just numbers.
And the numbers would not be threatening if the Muslim-immigrants had a
strong desire to assimilate.
But there are few signs of that. The Pew
Research Center reported that half
of French Muslims see their loyalty to Islam as greater than their
loyalty to France. One-third
of French Muslims do not object to suicide attacks. The
British Centre for Social Cohesion reported that one-third
of British Muslim students are in favour of a worldwide caliphate. A
Dutch study reported that half
of Dutch Muslims admit they "understand" the 9/11 attacks.
Muslims demand what they call
'respect'. And this is how we give them respect. Our elites are willing
to give in. To give up. In my own country we have gone from calls by
one cabinet member to turn Muslim holidays into official state
holidays, to statements by another cabinet member, that Islam is part
of Dutch culture, to an affirmation by the Christian-Democratic
attorney general that he is willing to accept sharia in the Netherlands
if there is a Muslim majority. We have cabinet members with passports
from Morocco and Turkey .
Muslim demands are supported by
unlawful behaviour, ranging from petty crimes and random violence,
for example against ambulance workers and bus drivers, to small-scale
riots. Paris has seen its uprising in the low-income suburbs, the
banlieus. Some prefer to see these as isolated incidents, but I call it
a Muslim intifada. I call the perpetrators "settlers". Because that is
what they are. They
do not come to integrate into our societies,
to integrate our society into their Dar-al-Islam.
Therefore, they are settlers.
Much of this street violence
I mentioned is directed exclusively against non-Muslims, forcing many
native people to leave their neighbourhoods, their cities, their
Politicians shy away from
taking a stand against this creeping
sharia. They believe in the
equality of all cultures. Moreover, on a mundane level, Muslims
are now a swing vote not to be ignored.
Our many problems with Islam
cannot be explained by poverty, repression or the European colonial
past, as the Left claims. Nor does it have anything to do with
Palestinians or American troops in Iraq . The
problem is Islam itself.
Allow me to give you a brief
Islam 101. The first thing you need to know about Islam is the
importance of the book of the Quran. The Quran is Allah's personal
word, revealed by an angel to Mohammed, the prophet. This is where the
trouble starts. Every word
in the Quran is Allah's word and therefore not open to discussion or
interpretation. It is valid for every Muslim and for all times.
Therefore, there is no such a thing as moderate Islam. Sure, there are
a lot of moderate Muslims. But a moderate Islam is non-existent.
The Quran calls for hatred,
violence, submission, murder, and terrorism. The Quran calls for
Muslims to kill non-Muslims, to terrorize non-Muslims and to fulfil
their duty to wage war: violent
jihad. Jihad is a duty for every Muslim, Islam is to rule the world -
by the sword. The Quran
is clearly anti-Semitic, describing Jews as monkeys
The second thing you need to
know is the importance
of Mohammed the
prophet. His behaviour is an example to all Muslims and cannot
be criticized.Now, if Mohammed had been a
man of peace, let us say like Ghandi and Mother Theresa wrapped in one,
there would be no problem. But Mohammed
was a warlord, a mass murderer, a pedophile, and had
several marriages - at the same time. Islamic tradition tells us how he
fought in battles, how he had his enemies murdered and even had
prisoners of war executed. Mohammed himself slaughtered the Jewish
tribe of Banu Qurayza. He advised on matters of slavery, but never
advised to liberate slaves. Islam has no other
morality than the advancement of Islam.
If it is good for Islam, it is good. If it is bad for Islam, it is bad.
There is no gray area or other side.
Quran as Allah's own word and
Mohammed as the perfect man are the two most important facets of Islam.
Let no one fool you about Islam being a religion. Sure, it has a god,
and a here-after, and 72 virgins. But in its
essence Islam is a political ideology. It
is a system that lays down detailed rules for society and the life of
every person. Islam wants to dictate every aspect of life. Islam means
'submission'. Islam is not compatible with freedom and democracy,
because what it strives for is sharia. If you want to compare Islam to
anything, compare it to communism
or national-socialism, these are all totalitarian ideologies.
This is what you need to know
about Islam, in order to understand what is going on in Europe . For
millions of Muslims the Quran and the live of Mohammed are not 14
centuries old, but are an everyday reality, an ideal, that guide every
aspect of their lives. Now you know why Winston Churchill called Islam
"the most retrograde force in the world", and why he compared Mein
Kampf to the Quran.
Which brings me to my movie, Fitna.
I am a lawmaker, and not a
movie maker. But I felt I had the moral duty to educate about Islam.
The duty to make clear that the Quran stands at the heart of what
some people call terrorism but is in reality jihad.
I wanted to show that the problems of Islam are at the core of Islam,
and do not belong to its fringes.
Now, from the day the plan
for my movie was made public, it caused quite a stir, in the
Netherlands and throughout Europe . First, there was a political storm,
with government leaders, across the continent in sheer panic. The
Netherlands was put under a heightened terror alert, because of
possible attacks or a revolt by our Muslim population. The Dutch branch
of the Islamic organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir declared that the
Netherlands was due for an attack. Internationally, there was a series
of incidents. The Taliban threatened to organize additional attacks
against Dutch troops in Afghanistan , and a website linked to Al Qaeda
published the message that I ought to be killed, while various muftis
in the Middle East stated that I would be responsible for all the
bloodshed after the screening of the movie. In Afghanistan and Pakistan
the Dutch flag was burned on several occasions. Dolls representing me
were also burned. The Indonesian President announced that I will never
be admitted into Indonesia again, while the UN Secretary General and
the European Union issued cowardly statements in the same vein as those
made by the Dutch Government. I could go on and on. It was an absolute
disgrace, a sell-out.
A plethora of legal troubles
also followed, and have not ended yet. Currently the state of Jordan is
litigating against me. Only last week there were renewed security
agency reports about a heightened terror alert for the Netherlands
because of Fitna.
Now, I would like to say a
few things about Israel . Because, very soon, we will get together in
its capital. The best
way for a politician in Europe to lose votes is to say something
positive about Israel. The public has
wholeheartedly accepted the Palestinian narrative, and sees Israel as
the aggressor. I, however, will continue to speak up for Israel . I see
defending Israel as a matter of principle. I have lived in this country
and visited it dozens of times. I support Israel . First, because it is
the Jewish homeland after two thousand years of exile up to and
including Auschwitz, second because it is a democracy, and third
because Israel is our first line of defense.
Samuel Huntington writes it
so aptly: "Islam has bloody borders". Israel is located precisely on
that border. This tiny country is situated on the fault line of jihad,
frustrating Islam's territorial advance. Israel is facing the front
lines of jihad, like Kashmir, Kosovo, the Philippines , Southern
Thailand, Darfur in Sudan , Lebanon , and Aceh in Indonesia . Israel is
simply in the way. The same way West-Berlin was during the Cold War.
The war against Israel is not
a war against Israel . It is a war against the West. It is jihad.
Israel is simply receiving the blows that are meant for all of us. If
there would have been no Israel , Islamic imperialism would have found
other venues to release its energy and its desire for conquest. Thanks
to Israeli parents who send their children to the army and lay awake at
night, parents in Europe and America can sleep well and dream, unaware
of the dangers looming.
Many in Europe argue in favor
of abandoning Israel in order to address the grievances of our Muslim
minorities. But if Israel were, God forbid, to go down, it would not
bring any solace to the West. It would not mean our Muslim minorities
would all of a sudden change their behavior,
and accept our values. On the contrary, the
end of Israel would give enormous encouragement to the forces of Islam. They
would, and rightly so, see the demise of Israel as proof that the West
is weak, and doomed. The end of Israel would not mean the end of our
problems with Islam, but only the beginning. It would mean the start of
the final battle for world domination. If they can get Israel , they
can get everything. Therefore, it is not that the West has a stake in
Israel . It is Israel .
It is very difficult to be an
optimist in the face of the growing Islamization of Europe. All the
tides are against us. On all fronts we are losing. Demographicallythe
momentum is with Islam. Muslim
even a source of pride within ruling liberal parties. Academia, the
arts, the media, trade unions, the churches, the business world, the
entire political establishment have all converted to thesuicidal
theory of multiculturalism. So-called journalists
volunteer to label any and all critics of Islamization as a 'right-wing
extremists' or 'racists'. The entire establishment
has sided with our enemy. Leftists,
liberals and Christian-Democrats are now all
in bed with Islam.
This is the most painful
thing to see: the betrayal by our elites. At this moment in Europe 's
history, our elites are supposed to lead us. To stand up for centuries
of civilization. To defend our heritage. To honour our eternal
Judeo-Christian values that made Europe what it is today. But there are
very few signs of hope to be seen at the governmental level. Sarkozy,
Merkel, Brown, Berlusconi; in private, they probably know how grave the
situation is. But when the little red light goes on, they stare into
the camera and tell us that Islam is a religion of peace, and we should
all try to get along nicely and sing Kumbaya. They willingly
participate in, what President Reagan so aptly called: "the betrayal of
our past, the squandering of our freedom."
If there is hope in Europe ,
it comes from the people, not from the elites. Change can only come
from a grass-roots level. It has to come from the citizens themselves.
Yet these patriots will have to take on the entire political, legal and
Over the past years there
have been some small, but encouraging, signs of a rebirth of the
original European spirit. Maybe the elites turn their backs on freedom,
the public does not. In my country, the Netherlands, 60
percent of the population now sees the mass immigration of Muslims as
the number one policy mistake since World War II. And another
60 percent sees Islam as the biggest threat to our national identity.
I don't think the public opinion in Holland is very different from
other European countries.
Patriotic parties that oppose
jihad are growing, against all odds. My own
party debuted two years ago, with five percent of the vote. Now it
stands at ten percent in the polls. The same is true of all
smililary-minded parties in Europe . They are fighting the liberal
establishment, and are gaining footholds on the political arena, one
voter at the time.
Now, for the first time,
these patriotic parties will come together and exchange experiences. It
may be the start of something big. Something that might change the map
of Europe for decades to come. It might also be Europe 's last chance.
This December a conference will
take place in Jerusalem. Thanks to Professor Aryeh
Eldad, a member of Knesset, we will be able to watch Fitna in the
Knesset building and discuss the jihad. We are organizing this event in
Israel to emphasize the fact that we are all in the same boat together,
and that Israel is part of our common heritage. Those attending will be
a select audience. No racist organizations will be allowed. And we will
only admit parties that are solidly democratic.
This conference will be the
start of an Alliance
of European patriots. This Alliance will serve as
the backbone for all organizations and political parties that oppose
jihad and Islamization. For this Alliance I seek your support.
This endeavor may be crucial
to America and to the West. America may hold fast to the dream that,
thanks to its location, it is safe from jihad and shaira. But seven
years ago to the day, there was still smoke rising from ground zero,
following the attacks that forever shattered that dream. Yet there is a
danger even greater danger than terrorist attacks, the scenario
of America as the last man standing. The lights
may go out in Europe faster than you can imagine. An
Islamic Europe means a Europe without freedom and democracy, an
economic wasteland, an intellectual nightmare, and a loss of military
might for America - as its allies will turn into enemies, enemies with
atomic bombs. With an Islamic Europe, it would be up to America alone
to preserve the heritage of Rome , Athens and Jerusalem .
Dear friends, liberty is the
most precious of gifts. My generation never had to fight for this
freedom, it was offered to us on a silver platter, by people who fought
for it with their lives. All throughout Europe American cemeteries
remind us of the young boys who never made it home, and whose memory we
cherish. My generation does not own this freedom; we are merely its
custodians. We can only hand over this hard
won liberty to Europe 's children in the same state in which it was
offered to us. We cannot strike a deal with mullahs and imams. Future
generations would never forgive us. We cannot squander our liberties.
We simply do not have the right to do so.
This is not the first time
our civilization is under threat. We have seen dangers before. We have
been betrayed by our elites before. They have sided with our enemies
before. And yet, then, freedom prevailed.
These are not times in which
to take lessons from appeasement, capitulation, giving away, giving up
or giving in. These are not times in which to draw lessons from
Mr. Chamberlain. These are times calling us to draw lessons from Mr.
Churchill and the words he spoke in 1942:
"Never give in, never, never,
never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in
except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force;
never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy".
SUNDAY, October 26, 2008
The world seen from Rome
Bishops Decry Falsifying of Church Teaching
Voters on Guard Against Faulty Information
D.C., OCT. 24, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Both opposing evil and doing good are
moral requirements in the abortion issue, and the "Catholic approach"
does not allow for choosing just one or the other, clarified two U.S.
Justin Rigali of Philadelphia and Bishop William Murphy of Rockville
Centre, New York, respectively the chair of the episcopal conference's
Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the chair of the Committee on
Domestic Justice and Human Development, clarified Church teaching on
fighting abortion in a Tuesday statement.
there seem to be efforts and voter education materials designed to
persuade Catholics that they need only choose one approach: either
opposing evil or doing good. This is not an authentically Catholic
approach," the prelates affirmed.
clarified: "Some argue that we should not focus on policies that
provide help for pregnant women, but just focus on the essential task
of establishing legal protections for children in the womb. Others
argue that providing life affirming support for pregnant women should
be our only focus and this should take the place of efforts to
establish legal protections for unborn children. We want to be clear
that neither argument is consistent with Catholic teaching. Our faith
requires us to oppose abortion on demand and to provide help to mothers
facing challenging pregnancies."
Roe vs. Wade
Rigali and Bishop Murphy noted that some have recently encouraged the
Church to abandon efforts to overturn the 1973 decision legalizing
say we should accept Roe as a permanent fixture of constitutional law,
stop trying to restore recognition for the unborn child's human rights,
and confine our public advocacy to efforts to 'reduce abortions'
through improved economic and social support for women and families,"
the bishops recounted.
though the Catholic community is "second to no one in providing and
advocating for support for women and families facing problems during
pregnancy," these efforts "are not an adequate or complete response to
the injustice of Roe v. Wade for several important reasons," Cardinal
Rigali and Bishop Murphy wrote.
explained: "First, the Court's decision in Roe denied an entire class
of innocent human beings the most fundamental human right, the right to
life. In fact, the act of killing these fellow human beings was
transformed from a crime into a 'right,' turning the structure of human
rights on its head. 
the many challenges to the Court's error since 1973 have borne fruit,
leading to significant modifications of Roe. 
Roe itself enormously increased the annual number of abortions in our
society. The law is a teacher, and Roe taught many women, physicians
and others that abortion is an acceptable answer to a wide range of
problems. By the same token, even the limited pro-life laws allowed by
the Court since Roe have been shown to reduce abortions substantially,
leading to a steady decline in the abortion rate since 1980."
bishops again reiterated that passage of a current proposal in
Congress, the "Freedom of Choice Act" could cause the loss of all this
support for pregnant women so they choose to have their babies is a
necessary but not sufficient response to abortion," the prelates
repeated. "Similarly, reversal of Roe is a necessary but not sufficient
condition for restoring an order of justice in our society's treatment
of defenseless human life. This act by itself would not automatically
grant legal protection to the unborn.
would remove an enormous obstacle to such protection, so the people of
the United States and their elected representatives in every state
could engage in a genuine discussion of how to save unborn children and
their mothers from the tragedy of abortion.
approaches to opposing abortion are essential. By protecting the
child's life to the maximum degree possible, improving life-affirming
support for pregnant women, and changing the attitudes and prejudices
imposed on many women to make them see abortion as an acceptable or
necessary solution, we will truly help build a culture of life."
budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt
should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be
tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands
should be curtailed lest Rome become
bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on
Cicero - 55 BC
THURSDAY and FRIDAY, October 23
and 24, 2008
following 'speech' was written recently by an ordinary Maine-iac (a
resident of the People's Republic of Maine). While satirical
in nature, all satire must have a basis in fact to be effective. This
is an excellent piece by a person who does not write for a living.
speech George W. Bush might give:
I start these things out by saying 'My Fellow Americans.' Not doing it
this time.If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more than
half of you are anymore. I
do know something terrible has happened, and that you're really not
fellow Americans any longer.
cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a
lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution
or something, let me assure you: There's been no breaking of laws or
impeachable offenses in this office.
reason I'm quitting is simple. I'm fed up with you people. I'm fed up because you
have no understanding of what's really going on in the world. Or of
what's going on in this once-great nation of ours. And the majority of
you are too damned lazy to do your homework and figure it out.
start local. You've been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the
all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too damn
stupid to realize that gas
prices are high because there's increased demand in other parts of the
world, and because
a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and
beachfront property than your economic security.
We face real threats in the world. Don't give me this 'blood for oil'
thing. If I were
trading blood for oil I would've already seized Iraq 's oil fields and let
the rest of the country go to hell.
don't give me this 'Bush Lied...People Died' crap either. If I were the
liar you morons take me for, I could've easily had chemical weapons
planted in Iraq so they could be
'discovered.' In stead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence
me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods,
same as me. Let me
also remind you that regime change in Iraq was official US policy before I came
into office. Some guy named 'Clinton' established that policy. Bet you didn't know
that , did you?
some of you morons want to be led by a junior senator with no
understanding of foreign policy or economics, and this nitwit says we
should attack Pakistan,
a nuclear ally. And then he wants to go to Iran and make peace with a
terrorist who says he's going to destroy us. While he's doing that,
he wants to give Iraq to al Qaeda, Afghanistan to the Taliban, Israel
to the Palestinians, and your
money to the IRS so the government can give welfare to illegal aliens,
who he will make into citizens, so they can vote to re-elect him. He
also thinks it's okay for Iran to have nuclear
weapons, and we should stop our foreign aid to Israel . Did you sleep through
idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the
cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models
squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the
Communists wanted to survive, j ust as we do. We were simply able to
out spend and out-tech them.
not the case this time. The
soldiers of our new enemy don't care if they survive. In fact, they
want to die. That'd be fine, as long as they weren't also committed to
taking as many of you with them as they can. But they are. They want to kill
you, and the bastards are all over the globe.
You should be grateful that they haven't gotten any more of us here in
the United States since September
11. But you're not. ; ; That's because you've got no idea
how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement, and
homeland security people have worked to make sure of that. When this
whole mess started, I
warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight. I'm
disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight
amounts to a single season of 'Survivor.'
you've grown impatient. You're incapable of seeing things through the
long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars
should last a few months, a few years, tops.
matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy. Every
time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a
cut-and-run Democrat's political campaign, well, dang it, you might
just as well FedEx a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the
In this day and age, it's easy enough to find the truth. It's all over
the Internet . It just isn't on the pages of the New York Times, USA Today, or on NBC News.
But even if it were, I doubt you'd be any smarter. Most of you
would rather watch American Idol or Dancing with Stars.
I could say more about your expectations that the government will
always be there to bail you out, even
if you're too stupid to leave a city that's below sea level and has a
could say more about your insane belief that government, not your own
wallet, is where the money comes from. But I've come to the
conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads.
So I quit. I'm going back to Crawford. I've got an energy-efficient
house down there (Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be
fully self-sufficient for years. No one ever heard of Crawford before I
got elected, and as soon as I'm done here pretty much no one will ever
hear of it again. Maybe I'll be lucky enou gh to die of old age before
the last pillars of America fall.
and by the way, Cheney's quitting too. That means Pelosi is
your new President. You
asked for it. Watch
what she does carefully, because I still have a glimmer of hope that
there are just enough of you remaining who are smart enough to turn
this thing around in 2008.
So that's i t. God bless what's left of America .
Some of you know what I mean. The rest of you, kiss off.
PS - You might want to start learning
Farsi, and buy a Koran
SUNDAY through WEDNESDAY, October 19 through 22, 2008
ANY LINGERING QUESTIONS? GS
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
Voting Pro-Abortion Called Cooperating in Evil
Texas Bishops Resolve Doubts for Faithful Citizens
DALLAS, Texas, OCT. 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Voting for a pro-abortion
when there is an alternative option is to cooperate in evil, and
morally impermissible, clarified two Texas bishops.
In a message made available to the faithful during this Respect Life
bishops Kevin Farrell of Dallas and Kevin Vann of Fort Worth seek to
"dispel any confusion or misunderstanding that may be present among you
concerning the teaching contained in" the U.S. bishops document on
"'Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship' clearly teaches
that not all issues have the same moral equivalence," the bishops
explained. "Some issues involve 'intrinsic evils'; that is, they
can never under any circumstance or condition be morally justified.
among these intrinsic evils are legalized abortion, the promotion of
unions and 'marriages,' repression of religious liberty, as well as
public policies permitting euthanasia, racial discrimination or
human embryonic stem cell research."
Thus, bishops Farrell and Vann stated, "we cannot make more clear the
seriousness of the overriding issue of abortion -- while not the 'only
issue'-- it is the defining moral issue, not only today, but of the
years.  This electoral cycle affords us an opportunity to promote the
of life in our nation.
"As Catholics we are morally obligated to pray, to act and to vote to
abolish the evil of abortion in America, limiting it as much as we can
is finally abolished."
The prelates acknowledged that there are a number of important issues
must consider "such as immigration reform, health care, the economy and
solvency, care and concern for the poor, and the war on terror."
"As Catholics we must be concerned about these issues and work to see
just solutions are brought about," they wrote. "There are many
possible solutions to these issues and there can be reasonable debate
Catholics on how to best approach and solve them. These are matters of
"But," the prelates emphasized, "let us be clear: Issues of
prudential judgment are not morally equivalent to issues involving
evils. No matter how right a given candidate is on any of these issues,
not outweigh a candidate's unacceptable position in favor of an
evil such as abortion or the protection of 'abortion rights.'"
Salvation at stake
The Texas bishops, citing the U.S. episcopal conference document,
question of if it is "permissible for a Catholic to vote for a candidate
who supports an intrinsic evil -- even when the voter does not agree
candidate's position on that evil."
They said there are only two conditions when voting for a pro-abortion
candidate is permissible: "A. If both candidates running for office
abortion or 'abortion rights,' a Catholic would be forced to then look
at the other important issues and through their vote try to limit the
"B. If another intrinsic evil outweighs the evil of abortion. While this
is sound moral reasoning, there are no 'truly grave moral' or
'proportionate' reasons, singularly or combined, that could outweigh the
millions of innocent human lives that are directly killed by legal
"To vote for a candidate who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or
'abortion rights' when there is a morally acceptable alternative would
be to cooperate in the evil -- and, therefore, morally impermissible."
The bishops concluded affirming that the decisions made on such
moral issues "may affect each individual's salvation."
"As Catholics, we must treat our political choices with appropriate
gravity," they wrote, "and in doing so, realize our continuing and
unavoidable obligation to be a voice for the voiceless unborn, whose
by legal abortion is the preeminent intrinsic evil of our day."
The world seen from Rome
Chaput Says He's No Kmiec
Defense of Life as Top Church Priority
Colorado, OCT. 17, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Charles Chaput says
legal scholar Douglas Kmiec "couldn't be more mistaken"
comparing his own moral reasoning regarding the 2008 presidential
of the archbishop.
Chaput said this tonight at a dinner sponsored by ENDOW (Educating
the Nature and Dignity of Women). The talk, which he said reflects his
as a private citizen, is titled "Little Murders."The prelate
at length of Douglas Kmiec's book "Can a Catholic Support Him?
the Big Question about Barack Obama," in which the Pepperdine law
argues why Catholics should cast their vote in November's
election for Senator Barack Obama.
publicly endorsed the Democratic candidate earlier this year, stating in
article for Slate that Obama is a "natural" for Catholic voters.
Chaput noted that his own book, "Render Unto Caesar," was
cited by Kmiec in his defense of Obama: "In fact, he suggests that
reasoning and mine are 'not far distant on the moral inquiry necessary
the election of 2008.'"
he either misunderstands or misuses my words, and he
be more mistaken," said the archbishop.
believe that Senator Obama, whatever his other talents, is the most
'abortion-rights' presidential candidate of either major party
the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in 1973," he added. "Despite
[...] Kmiec suggests, the party platform Senator Obama runs on this
only aggressively 'pro-choice;' it has also removed any suggestion
killing an unborn child might be a regrettable thing."
prelate affirmed that the platform of the Democratic Party that emerged
its national convention in August "is clearly anti-life."
argues that there are defensible motives to support Senator
continued Archbishop Chaput. "Speaking for myself, I do not
any proportionate reason that could outweigh more than 40 million unborn
killed by abortion and the many millions of women deeply wounded by the
and regret abortion creates."
prelate continued: "To suggest -- as some Catholics do -- that Senator
is this year's 'real' pro-life candidate requires a peculiar
of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse.
portray the 2008 Democratic Party presidential ticket as the preferred
option is to subvert what the word 'pro-life'
Chaput said he thought Kmiec's endorsement of Obama has
a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of
social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and
an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of
within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn."
truth is that for some Catholics, the abortion issue has never been a
cause," said the Denver prelate. "It's embarrassing.
not the kind of social justice they like to talk about. It interferes
their natural political alliances.
because the homicides involved in abortion are 'little
-- the kind of private, legally protected murders that kill
unseen lives -- it's easy to look the other way."
archbishop called it "wrong and often dishonest [...] to neutralize
witness of bishops and the pro-life movement by offering a
alternative to the Church's priority on sanctity of life
I suggest throughout 'Render Unto Caesar,' it's important
Catholics to be people of faith who pursue politics to achieve justice;
of politics who use and misuse faith to achieve power," he said.
Chaput lamented that for 35 years he's watched the pro-abortion
fight tooth-and-nail against the pro-life movement: "Apparently they
in their convictions more than some of us Catholics believe in ours. And
think that's an indictment of an entire generation of American Catholic
prelate continued by affirming that being pro-life is much deeper than
to overturn Roe v. Wade, or being a "single issue" voter:
cornerstone of Catholic social teaching is protecting human life from
to natural death. [...] Every other human right depends on the right
added: "So I think that people who claim that the abortion struggle is
as a matter of law, or that supporting an outspoken defender of
abortion is somehow 'pro-life,' are not just wrong; they're
the witness of every person who continues the work of defending the
I hope they know how to explain that, because someday they'll be
FRIDAY, October 16 and 17, 2008
Obama and McCain trade wisecracks,
By John Whitesides and Jeff Mason John Whitesides And Jeff Mason
– Thu Oct 16,
10:24 pm ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Democrat Barack
Obama and Republican
John McCain shared the same stage and microphone again on
Thursday, but this time they traded wisecracks instead of campaign
One night after battling in their final
debate, the rivals in the White
House race donned white ties for a more genial political
tradition -- a New York dinner that has attracted presidential
candidates in every election but two since 1945.
McCain told the glittering Manhattan
crowd at the annual Al Smith dinner, a fundraiser for area Catholic
charities named after the four-term former New York
governor, that he had an announcement -- he had dismissed all of
his campaign advisers.
"All of their positions will now be held
by a man named Joe the plumber," McCain said, citing the Ohio small
business owner who McCain made an overnight sensation in Wednesday's
The Arizona senator also poked fun at his
reference to Obama as "that one" in an earlier debate.
"He doesn't mind at all. In fact he even
has a pet name for me: George
Bush," McCain said.
McCain saluted Sen. Hillary
Clinton of New York, Obama's bitter rival in the Democratic
primary whose level of enthusiasm for Obama's campaign for the
November 4 election has been a subject of great media fascination.
"I can't shake the feeling that some
people here are pulling for me," McCain said. "I'm delighted to see you
here tonight Hillary."
When Obama took the microphone, he said
he needed to correct some misconceptions since McCain had been asking
"Who is Barack Obama?"
"I was not born in a manger," he said,
adding the name Barack, given by his Kenyan father, was Swahili for
"that one." He also had an explanation for his middle name, Hussein.
"I got my middle name from somebody who
didn't think I would ever run for president," he said.
Obama listed his greatest strength as
humility and his greatest weakness: "I'm a little too awesome."
Without naming her, he also made
reference to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate. She has been
touted by Republicans for her foreign policy expertise because of
Alaska's proximity to Russia.
Obama noted the dinner was held at the
"I'm told from the doorstep you can see
all the way to The Russian
Tea Room," he said.
The only times presidential candidates did not speak at
the Al Smith dinner were 1996, when President Bill Clinton was not invited
after he vetoed a late-term abortion ban, and 2004, when sponsors cited
the divisive nature of the campaign and skipped the invitations.
Both candidates closed with warm words
for each other, with Obama praising McCain's service to country in the
Navy and as a Vietnam prisoner of war.
McCain noted Obama's history-making bid
to be the first black U.S. president.
"I won't wish my opponent luck but I do
wish him well," McCain said.
WEDNESDAY, October 10 through 15, 2008
Here's a "Rapid Response" immediately following tonight's
last Presidential debate.
- A good debate, the best of the series...and the best moderated.
- John McCain got back his stride after the hesitancy of recent
- Barack Obama is no longer "Elmer Gantry on Prozak" or " an empty
suit" or "the Manchurian Candidate". He is articulate and
animated. His "suit" is filled with the heart and soul of an
ultra-liberal. He is recognizable as a believeable candidate of
the far left for President of the country...at least as regards
domestic policy. His credentials regarding foreign policy,
inslght and experience continue to leave much to be desired; but that
was not the topic of this debate.
- Both candidates raised legitimate questions, directly or by
inference, about the Presidential qualifications of their running
- Tomorrow's reportage of this debate should leave no doubt about
which elements of the media are "in the tank" for one or another of the
- In my opinion, McCain scored more debating points.
- In my opinion, John McCain's view of the world - as a
conservative who puts all issues to the test - is clearly more
appropriate to America's needs at this time than Obama's view - as a
domestic big government liberal, an economic protectionist and a
foreign policy neophyte.
- Finally, this campaign is far from over. In fact, the
greatest risk may turn out to be voter fraud and the breakdown of some
voting mechanisms, leading to another delay in outcome and another
fracture in Americans' confidence in that outcome. Witness the
news today out of Ohio, where a court-ordered review of new registrants
has already found 250,000 "voter" discrepancies. That
would produce the worse of outcomes for the premier
democracy in the world.
Nearly all of the commentators I have heard or read describe the second
Presidential debate as one or another
version of DULL. What was supposed to be a
lively interchange among the candidates and the audience was choked to
death by a set of forum rules that McCain should never have agreed
to. And Tom Brokaw, who could have made a difference, was unable
or unwilling to do so. Here's hoping John McCain overcomes his
over-compensation for Democratic charges that he is a loose
cannon. Describe the issues and tell the truth about both of
you. And telling the truth is never "going
- Pre-emptive self-defense is the only way that we
can survive in this dangerous world that considers the U.S. a
pinata. It is also the reason that we were not hit by another
devastating terrorist attack in the last 7 years...and counting.
- Based upon that principle and on the then-known facts and
"facts", the attack on Iraq was justified. It
is the handling of the aftermath that was stupid beyond words, thanks
to Rumsfeld...and to President Bush for not seeing it.
- We can call it what we will, but we must maintain a
strong presence in Iraq and in Afghanistan for the
next few decades,,,until moderate Muslims recapture their
Religion from the fundamentalist crazies. That will also likely
avoid Israel having to take matters into its own hands.
- We can try to work with our Allies. But
they are too often conflicted, imtimidated and duplicitous when it
comes to America. And forget the U.N.
- International trade and a world economy is not
right or wrong: it is inevitable, with or without us. We just
have to make it work better for us as a nation, and not let the
corporations do whatever they want. I have said for decades that
the U.S. should have a designated Board member on the Board of
Directors of every company that does international business...to
protect our national interests.
- Iran and North Korea, and all other despotic regimes
understand only one form of dialogue: that coming from overwhelming
strength and the will to use it. "Speak softly and carry a big
- Health Care delivery is such a torn mosaic
precisely because of the "system" that Obama wants to perpetuate and
worsen. McCain's approach, based upon health savings accounts,
self-rationing and a business model, with a necessary safety net for
the truly needy, is what has been needed since the late 1970's.
- There are many causes and many culprits regarding the current
business crisis...Democrats and Republicans,
Wall Street and Main Street, greed and stupidity and an overriding
sense of entitlement despite realities. Besides putting some of
the most egregious players in jail, this calls for bipartisan
action...which McCain is much more likely to pursue than the highly
partisan and liberal Obama.
- McCain is neither a lock-step Repiblican nor a
blind follower of this administration. "That's a good thing".
- Meanwhile: JUST WHO IS BARACK OBAMA? Do we really
know? Beyond Elmer Gantry on Prozak, are we seeing a Manchurian
- Our environment and our dependence on foreign -
and enemy - oil must be turned around. In the short term that
means more drilling here. In the longer run, it cannot be done
without nuclear energy on a grand scale. And depend on the
national and international oil industries to fight that all the way,
overtly and covertly.
- Well-thought-out social policies will always be
necessary in this caring nation. But must they always be liberal
- Finally, the media (the Fourth Estate) is
supposed to be the guardian of democracy through its collection,
distribution and analysls of tacts and information. A major
portion of America's media has prostituted itself and its mission
during recent election campaigns. Now, that's serious. Are
there no longer any statesmen in that field? Under these
circumstances, forget the thirty second soundbite. Cross-read and
cross-view at least three sources of information, if you want at least
a chance to be informed...instead of being indoctrinated.
WEDNESDAY, October 5 through 8, 2008
"Just the facts, Ma'am." GS
Biden Get It Wrong? You Betcha
October 06, 2008
you interview for a job, here is a hint: make sure you know what the
job is. Joe Biden failed that test last Thursday. He couldn’t even get
right what a vice president does, but the media didn’t notice.
The media is all over
itself about how smart and experienced Biden is. Political analyst
Charlie Cook is quoted in the Washington Post on
Saturday as saying “Biden is clearly so much more knowledgeable, by a
factor of about a million.” Saturday Night Live does a skit about Biden being smart, if slimy.
Meanwhile, Governor Sarah Palin is treated as being nothing more than a
Yet, take Biden’s statement from the debate on the
role of the vice president:
Vice President Cheney has
been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American
history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution
defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the
Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should
understand that. Everyone should understand that.
the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America
is to support the president of the United States of America, give that
president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president,
to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie
vote. The Constitution is explicit.
only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint
is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority
relative to the Congress. The idea he's part of the Legislative Branch
is a bizarre notion invented by Cheney to aggrandize the power of a
unitary executive, and look where it has gotten us. It has been very
One should be careful
when throwing around terms such as “most dangerous” and “bizarre.” But
Biden is confusing which part of the Constitution covers the Executive
Branch (it is Article II, not Article I). More importantly, the notion
that the vice president can preside over the Senate only when there is
a tie vote is simply wrong. Nor is it true that the only legislative
involvement the vice president has is to break tie votes. The vice
president is the president of the Senate, where he interprets the rules
and can only be overridden by a vote of 60 senators.
Early vice presidents
spent a lot of time in the Senate. Thomas Jefferson even spent his time
writing “A Manual of Parliamentary Practice: for
the Use of the Senate of the United States.” Modern vice presidents may
show up only when they think tie votes will occur, but that is their
This isn’t rocket
science. The Constitution on this point is very straightforward: “The Vice
President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but
shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.”
Instead, it was Palin
who got it right. Besides correctly stating that the vice president
holds positions in both the executive and legislative branches, she
also noted that:
Of course, we know what a
vice president does. And that's not only to preside over the Senate and
[I] will take that position very seriously also. I'm thankful the
Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice
president if that vice president so chooses to exert it in working with
the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's
policies and making sure too that our president understands what our
But just as the vice
president’s job includes more than simply being ready to assume the
presidency if the president dies, the Constitution merely states what
the vice president’s minimum responsibilities are.
Compare the uproar over
Palin’s answer to Charlie Gibson about the “Bush Doctrine,” a doctrine
that Gibson clearly didn’t understand and for
which there apparently exist at least four different versions. Where is
the outrage over Biden not understanding what vice presidents do? For
Biden, his inability to correctly say what vice presidents do was
surely his “gotcha” moment.
Yet, this mistake during
the debate was hardly unique. Biden got a lot of things wrong in the
debate that are going unnoticed by the fact-check media. Take just a
-- Will McCain's health
care proposals raise taxes? Biden says that McCain’s proposal will cost
people money. The Tax Foundation finds that could easily be "roughly deficit-neutral over ten
-- Under an Obama
Administration the middle class will "pay no more than they did under
Ronald Reagan"? No, the tax rates will be similar to the higher rates under Clinton.
-- Did "we spend more
money in three weeks on combat in Iraq than we spent on the entirety of
the last seven years that we have been in Afghanistan building that
country"? No, one year’s worth of spending
in Iraq equaled five in Afghanistan.
-- France and the U.S.
"kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon"? No, and it wouldn't have made
much more sense if he had said "Syria" instead.
-- Is it really “simply
not true” that Obama said that he would meet with the leader of
countries such as Iran without preconditions? No, Obama said “I would.”
-- Did Obama warn
against letting Hamas participate in Palestinian legislative elections
in 2005? No.
-- Do “Iraqis have an
$80 billion surplus”? No. If oil prices had remained
high, it might have reached $50 billion by the end of this year.
-- Finally, an amusing
point as evidence that Biden is just one of the people he pointed to,
inviting anyone to have a beer with him at "Katie's Restaurant" in
Wilmington, Del. Unfortunately, people will have a
hard time taking him up on his offer, since the restaurant hasn't had
that name for probably 15 years.
who are trying to get an accurate count on whether the candidates are
telling the truth can’t rely on the media. FactCheck.org mentions only one
of these points, the size of the Iraqi surplus. The Washington Post
mentioned Biden’s misstatement on Hamas and Katie’s restaurant. AOL’s coverage of the errors in
the vice presidential debate was by far the worst, though that might
not be too surprising given that Tommy Christopher, who wrote their
news analysis, also blogs on the Obama Web site. None
of these checkers mentioned Biden's statements about the role of the
Compare this to the
attacks on Sarah Palin:
criticizes Palin for claiming that McCain’s health care tax credits
will be "budget neutral" – they argue
that the tax credit will be larger than the new taxes that the program
will impose. Fine, but if the people at FactCheck.org believe that is
true and that the Tax Foundation is wrong, Biden’s claim about
increased taxes is even more inaccurate. But FactCheck.org doesn't even
mention Biden’s statement from the debate.
-- From AOL's news analysis piece.
“Palin: Said that it is untrue that the U.S. is killing civilians in
Afghanistan. According to an analysis by the AP, however, the U.S. is
killing more civilians than insurgents are.”
What Palin actually said was: “Now, Barack Obama had
said that all we're doing in Afghanistan is air-raiding villages and
killing civilians.” Whether one believes the AP estimate or not, the
question is whether she was accurately characterizing Obama’s statement
of the job that our forces were doing. And Obama said, “We’ve got to get the job
done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just
air-raiding villages and killing civilians” (emphasis added).
-- FactCheck.org’s first
critique claims that Palin was wrong to claim that troop levels in Iraq
are down to their pre-surge levels. They are correct that after the
recently announced drawdown, 6,000 more troops will be in Iraq than
immediately before the surge. But why not mention that 84 percent of
the 38,000 troops in the surge are
home or are in the process of coming home?
The media seems to have
been covering for Biden for some time. While news stories still talk
about Dan Quayle’s spelling mistake 18 years later,
there has been almost no news coverage of Biden’s numerous wacky
statements. What if Quayle had said something similar to Biden’s recent
statement that, "When the stock market crashed,
Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about
the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what
happened.'" A neat trick given that Herbert Hoover was president in
1929 and no one was watching television.
It might not fit the
simple template for a 36-year veteran of the Senate to not understand
what vice presidents do (after all, eight vice presidents have served
with him), but Biden knew less about this than the political outsider,
Sarah Palin. Given that they are running to be vice president, why
didn’t that story dominate the news coverage after the debate?
SATURDAY, October 3 and 4, 2008
Governor Sarah Palin did a nice
job the other evening, presenting herself as a viable Vice Presidential
candidate...and also as a potential President. In fact, the
electorate has three viable Presidential candidates, excluding Barack
Obama. Although he is no longer an "empty suit", he
continues to remind me of Elmer Gantry (on Prozak). "The
Manchurian Candidate" also comes to mind in troublesome fashion.
His unbelieveable assertion that none of his chickens will have to be
taken out of some pots despite the on-going meltdown of our economy
also doesn't help. And then there is his "health care plan" and
his attacks on the reasonable McCain plan. Talk about a "great
leap backward" instead of "change". Much more on this subject has
been available for years on this web site under the Categories: Health
Law Topics, and Managed Care Information...and is even more relevant
THURSDAY, October 1 and 2, 2008
Now, why would Wall Street and its
governmental lackeys be wanting us to think that things
are so bad? GS
September 29 and 30, 2008
What a spectacle in Washington
and on Wall Street these days...culminating today in the greatest
demonstration by John Q Public of abiding distrust in
our political and business leaders. And well deserved on the part
of all of those participants, regardless of Party affiliation.
This is the result of at least a decade of inslder self-dealing with no
regard for the public interest. :It was not helped by the initial
arrogant three-page proposal of Secretary Paulson and President
Bush...literally a massive blank check to be drawn on the pockets of
every American, and with any oversight to be prohibited by law.
It was certainly not helped by the ham-handed comments by Speaker
Pelosi, just before the House vote was taken, blaming the Republicans
for the whole mess. It is fueled by a basic suspicion that
the "crisis" is being hyped by "the usual suspects" in order to
stampede a gigantic citizen bail-out of all the greedy and stupid
participants in this spectacle. And the greatest insult is
the recurring comment that this would not have happened in other than
an election year. As always, a cynical - and too often accurate-
reliance on the studied ignorance and apathy of that same John Q.
Public. Well, you finally got our attention - which is the only
way that a democracy can function. Will we remember that after
this "30 second sound-bite"?
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