Cute E-mail in Circulation…

Cute E-mail in Circulation… September 19, 2008

This one gets to the heart of the phony culture war that certain people with nothing better to offer are desperately trying to stoke– I talked about it before, as did Michael. Anyway, think of this less a criticism of Palin herself than of us who wish to raise her as a banner in this ridiculous “war”:

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you’re “exotic, different.”
* Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers,  a quintessential American story.

* If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you’re a maverick.

* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you’re well grounded.

* If you spend 3 years as a community organizer, become  the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate’s Health and Human Services committee,  spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving  on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran’s Affairs committees, you don’t have any real leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl,  4 years on the city  council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000  people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000  people, then you’re qualified to become the country’s second  highest ranking executive.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position  in a law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values don’t represent America’s.
* If you’re husband is nicknamed “First Dude”,  with one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to  vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated  the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.


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  • If you’ve been running for president since the day you took office because you’re (kind of) black and the Republicans ran an odd bird against you and you’re rarely in the Senate…

    If you join an uber-African ‘church’ run by a former Muslim because you never got over Daddy ditching you…

    If you throw your ‘spiritual mentor’ & granny under the bus when it’s suitable…

    If infanticide is a smaller problem than absolutist abortion laws…

    If you mention ‘my Muslim faith’ on tv…

    I’m sorry if I am lacking the appropriate respect for the ‘elite’.

  • I forgot – if you can’t go anywhere without your teleprompter and sound like a fool without it…

  • S.B.

    Cute, but mostly composed of strawmen or inaccuracies, e.g.:

    If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values don’t represent America’s.

    That’s pretty far removed from an accurate description of Michelle Obama’s career.

  • TeutonicTim

    If you’re a PRESIDENTIAL candidate, and people feel it is necessary to prove your worth by comparing you to the VICE PRESIDENTIAL candidate on the other side, you are awesome.

  • Tom

    I like Gerald A. Naus’ response to this email, which – Im delighted to say – has not made its way to my “Inbox” yet.

  • David Nickol

    The e-mail isn’t at all clever. None of the comparisons come close enough to make them really funny. I wouldn’t bother forwarding it to anyone. And Gerald A. Naus’s response doesn’t even aim at being clever. It’s just vitriol.

  • jonathanjones02

    Yet another thread that could be brought up by someone the next time a “Republicath” is accused of hack partisan cheerleading.

  • phosphorious

    “Yet another thread that could be brought up by someone the next time a “Republicath” is accused of hack partisan cheerleading.”

    And these comments could be brought up the next time someone talks about “humorless liberals”.

    Isn’t the point of this exercise to suggest that “normality” is mostly a matter of how people are described? Anybody can be made to look weird if described a certain way.

  • Isn’t the point of this exercise to suggest that “normality” is mostly a matter of how people are described? Anybody can be made to look weird if described a certain way.”

    Precisely. I do not consider Palin “ordinary and normal” and nor do I care.

  • JohnH

    “phony culture war”?

    Have you read any of the apoplectic liberal screeds on such places by the Huffington Post? If anybody is stoking the hell out of this, it ain’t the right so much as folks on the left like Maher, Bernhard, Morford and countless other people unable to contain their particularly ugly rage.

    It’s enough to make me want to vote McCain.

  • little gal

    “Yet another thread that could be brought up by someone the next time a “Republicath” is accused of hack partisan cheerleading.”

    I asked MM if he is involved with the Obama campaign and he never answered the question…this Catholic website has become an advertising vehicle for his candidate. IMO this really presents an ethical dilemma for the website.

  • Mark Shea

    Ah! So it’s because you don’t *care* that you have now written two posts fretting over and denying the obvious abnormality of many Palin critics and even sinking so low as to attribute racism to people who don’t immediately sign off on the “Let’s make Retard Jokes and offer $25,000 to Bristol to abort her kid” tactics of such freaks. After all, everybody knows that it’s normal (and, of course, not racist) to suggest that Palin should be gang raped by a bunch of black guys, as Sandra Bernhard did. Who could possibly find that freakishly abnormal? Right. I forgot how cool and rational you are when you are doing your Beyondist thing, MM.

  • Rita Nye

    G.A. Naus has it all together. Morning’s Minion, your grammar is atrocious!

  • Kepp digging, Mark. You know well what I am talking about here and it’s not the “they hate us for our babies” lark you are so keen on pedding. It’s because you, among others, have taken it upon yourself to declare that Palin is somehow “normal and ordinary” and that her critics are therefore the enemies of the “normal and ordinary”.

    To me, Palin is far from “ordinary and normal”. She represents a particular white urban culture, a culture on the wane given demographic shifts, and a culture that Michael claims is a false creation to begin with. Suffice it to say that we differ on what constitutes “ordinary and normal”– and there’s nothing wrong with that– and yet that does not stop you proclaiming your view from the rooftops, namely that there is in itself something inherently virtuous about this culture, and that Palin is to be lauded for no other reason that she hails from it. This, my friend, is utter rubbish.

    Let this sink in: people oppose Palin because they think she is supremely unqualified for the office she seeks, because she is not very intelligent, because she cannot veer for ten seconds from her pre-approved script, because she has no real policies on anything, and because she seems to lie about practically everything. Deal with it. Or you could just keep digging up the extremists in your attempt to perpetuate the latest incarnation of American dualism: the phony and substanceless culture war.

  • jh

    MM
    I must say your attacks on Palin are a tad beneath you. I know we disagree but this is just silly.

    What culture does she represent? Maybe she represents herself and a culture of reform.

    Attack her ideas don’t attack her as a person. You are better than that mm

  • JH: as I keep saying, the culture stuff is a total distraction. It is a wilfull distraction designed to keep attention away from her policies and judgment. What is my problem with her? In a nutsell, I see George Bush in a dress: somebody totally out of their depth and yet stubborn and unyielding, intellectually not very curious, with a penchant for secrecy and a tendency to make things personal. Sorry, but haven’t we seen this before? After 8 years, are people relaly being fooled again? That, in essence, explains where I am coming from.

  • jonathanjones02

    MM: Given your frequent harping of McCain for running a dishonest campaign, I look forward to the denunciation of Obama’s Limbaugh ads, which are not only dishonest and race-baiting, but also completely absurd in the linking of the two figures given the mutual criticism over the years.

    And when I see Obama, I see a man out of his depth (certainly away from the teleprompter), but more worrisome, a politician more radical than even NARAL – no candidate has been and will be a bigger friend to the abortion lobby, which already has the Democratic Party wholesale in its pocket. And after the codification of “abortion rights” into law – Obama’s highest stated priority – then what? At least he’s a “dove”……unless it comes to Pakistan……

    We can play this game all day long. But Catholics should not cheerlead for political candidates. We should be pressuring them to respect the fundamental dignity of the human person.

  • phosphorious

    I must say your attacks on Palin are a tad beneath you. I know we disagree but this is just silly.

    How does this post represent an “attack” on Palin?

    Palin’s supporters have claimed that she represents “normaility”. . . and by implication, that her critics are “freakish enemies of the normal” (to coin a phrase!).

    MM simply shows how, according to some standards, she is not “normal” at all. . . and in fact the claim of normality is simply a cynical attempt to divide the nation (into “norms” and “freaks” presumably).

    Are there despicable “libs”? Yes. Is liberalism therefore freakish.

    Not unless you are a dismal partisan hack, happily in the bag to the GOP.

  • The adoration of college degrees at the expense of those who don’t need one for their profession is both silly and funny for a ‘liberal’. I’d argue that a commercial fisherman is far more important than a philosophy graduate. The former feeds you, the latter annoys you.

  • phosphorious

    . . . the latter annoys you.

    By pointing out inconsistencies in your positions, no? By questioning received wisdom, and analyzing arguments, no?

    Or has modern conservatism contrived a way to live by bread alone?

  • Or has modern conservatism contrived a way to live by bread alone?

    Heh!

  • little gal

    Tom Roeser’s column may clarify the issue of ordinary:

    “Personal Aside: What We Have Here May Lead to a Repudiation of the Establishment…Leading to a More Conservative U. S. in the Long-Run.

    Let this octogenarian tell you:

    Ever since prosperity hit the U. S., following the up-cycle in the Kennedy years, the so-called Establishment of the United States has drifted…first slowly, then more fiercely…culturally liberal. This would have had a greater effect on the nation’s politics than exists today but for the foolish tax and regulative policies of the Democrats. The Reagan years came and went without much change in the culture. No better exemplar of the dichotomy was Nancy Reagan who has always been pro-abort but kept her mouth shut during her husband’s tenure. With Barbara Bush the same and indeed Laura Bush the same. The result has been that the establishment consensus…and indeed political conservatism… of today is far-far less conservative than that of the past.

    At one time it could be said…roughly from the end of World War I to 1960…that the leading cultural indicators-big business, Main street business, mainstream churches, the arts, foundations, the universities…were generally resistant to change for frivolity’s sake, believing when it is not necessary to change, it is necessary NOT to change. In the 1950s when I was working in Minnesota as a journalist, staffer for the Republican party, staffer for two congressmen and a governor, it could be said that the establishment of that state…big business, Main street, mainstream churches, the arts, the universities…may have been more Democratic party oriented than I would like but which was still supportive of convention, sexual and otherwise. The same when I moved to Illinois, served as an officer of a giant corporation and involved myself in Republican politics as a volunteer. Charles Percy was the first to break the code to trendy liberalism.

    The Unmooring of Convention.

    With prosperity of the Sixties, liberalism…including attempts to unmoor convention…became the ideology of the privileged largely through the affluent knowledge sector-emphasis on research rather than mechanical production with expansion of university fellowships, foundation grants to supposedly cure poverty and think tanks, all resulting in sale of knowledge rather than manufactured products… with banks, insurance companies and stock brokerage houses becoming more “knowledge-oriented” through computers and rudimentary information systems. Dollars flowed and as with the age-old stories in the Bible and elsewhere, laxity and comfort followed…often accompanied by a sickening effeminacy of males.

    This I call the “Post-Industrial Revolution,” every bit as formidable as the Industrial Revolution. Old style conservative bastions turned culturally liberal, then politically so: Back Bay, Boston; the East Side of Manhattan; Scarsdale, New York; Shaker Heights, Ohio; suburban San Francisco; Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka and Lake Forest in Cook and Lake with “enlightened” attitudes about abortion, gay rights, entertainment. Marijuana, capital punishment and pornography.

    Churches including my own Catholic one followed suit toward “toleration.” One perfumed-fingered Italianate cardinal devised a rationale to winnow down the issue of abortion to one-in-three for which he was praised by Democrats grateful for his service…his funeral serenaded by the Gay Men’s chorus whose voices conducted him to what could be imagined a sacrilegious oblivion. Another perfumed-fingered cardinal has hidden from his fellows a document written by Ratzinger that counseled clerics to deny the Eucharist to pro-abort Catholic pols…and has gotten away with it sans rebuke from Rome. Annulments for bad marriage choices were granted wholesale in my church, making it strange to reflect that had Thomas More lived today, he who opposed Henry VIII’s divorces so he lost his head on the scaffold, might have easily avoided the confrontation with the axe if an annulment for Henry were provided via the local bishop to Rome-as, certainly has been done for Ted Kennedy and John Kerry et al where contributions to archdioceses from generous families did the trick.

    In all these things involving the unmooring of convention, prosperity leading to laxity changed the establishment greatly. I would not be truthful if I did not say that I played a minor role withal in furtherance of liberalism as a mental disorder. I was the one who certified active government-led discrimination in winning congressional approval for 8(a) involving affirmative action in behalf of minority firms when white firms bargaining in good faith were turned aside…done to enable my own Republican party to benefit from a bargaining for black votes. Of this I freely confess-(and have confessed more formally, believe me). At the same time the standards for candidates for the presidency disintegrated.

    Where once the defender of conservatism was Robert Taft, a distinguished son of a president and outstanding legalist, we gravitated to others of lesser stature. His successor as conservative leader was Barry Goldwater whose fame rested on a best-selling book ghosted by another-a book to which he scarcely devoted sufficient time to riffle its pages. Ronald Reagan was a political natural…and I spent a number of hours with him prior to his election one-on-one…but in no sense was he a thinker or legislative craftsman as was Taft nor did he pretend to be.

    Compared to the days when the Senate thrilled to hardy heroes-Taft, the sage Eugene Milliken of Colorado, Harry Byrd of Virginia, Richard Russell, the young Hubert Humphrey, William Proxmire of Wisconsin, Tom Connally of Texas-the denizens of that body seem pallid indeed, not much more than plaster people cosmeticized by handlers. Indeed even when I sat in the gallery during lunch break from the House, I saw LBJ running the Senate out of his back pocket with feats of miraculous parliamentary, Everett Dirksen his sometime ally and sometime rival trying to confound him with purple prose, Humphrey, the studious Paul Douglas…all are replaced by plastic men and women with p.r. talking points emblematic of Chuck Schumer. Indeed, the only one in recent times who was worthy to sit in those chambers has voluntarily left because his own party’s state chairman declined to back him since she was busily engaged in selling him out-Peter Fitzgerald. The state chairman became the Republican nominee for governor and enlightened us all with low rent remarks about her own proclivity to flatulence on the road.

    Barack Obama is, to all who know him (and I was first to interview him on my radio program) a testament to this political decadence. He may be smart but no one can determine this since he matriculated from the Harvard I knew earlier as a Kennedy Fellow in 1977-an institution geared to affirmative action stemming from white guilt. That he was president of the “Harvard Law Review” has little meaning because Harvard has been so embroiled in the affirmative action device. It is common knowledge among employers when they seek to fulfill their employment quota with so-called Harvard lawyers, often they have to direct paralegals to translate briefs into English. Obama is better than that, has manufactured an attitude of cool…but how good is he?

    What IS known is that he has not come forth during his law school days or since with any intellectual premise of the law. The course he taught at the University of Chicago was a sham as none other than Antonin Scalia has implied-Poverty and the Law, or some variant. His career in the law has been slight, pushed upward by those who recognized his wish to be elected and to say or do anything to achieve that end. His community organizer status was inconsequential; his community didn’t show any change from his work. His state senate career was un-auspicious. One can be forgiven if he concludes that Obama is an affirmative action candidate whose intellect is as paper-thin as his resume.

    Prosperity and the seduction of the establishment to a vapid liberalism has seen the decline of our polity as reflected by Obama. It was caused by an avalanche of money garnered to those who shape market ideas and information to which the news media itself have become pivotal…those who largely have neglected the Judeo-Christian verities and have turned to other gods including mere celebrity. Prosperity made the knowledge elite of the Sixties produce for our country an era of ferment. One can easily demonstrate the debasement of public taste by art-but we don’t have to go to the art galleries to demonstrate.

    Let’s just look at late night TV. In the 1950s Jack Parr matched wits not just with actor guests but with thinkers and leading purveyors of thought like Marshall McLuhan. His successor on “Tonight” was Johnny Carson an original and brilliant comic whose invention of the “Mighty Carson Art Players” ranked with the finest comedic examples of the American stage. HIS successor, the under-slung flap-jawed Massachusetts motorcyclist fancier Jay Leno by no means a witty commentator, just a flack for his writers who seems to try to titillate with scatalogy the loose-limbed African American guitar player purportedly representing Everyman, slouching in the band. And HIS successor will be Conan O’Brien who is a throwback to frat house sophomorics.

    Post-Industrialism caused by such prosperity has seen this country decline in many ways. Johnson’s War on Poverty (sic) was one; his lack of nerve on Vietnam another. Reagan’s retreat from Lebanon when terrorists struck another. George H. W. Bush’s failure to pursue the Iraq War to the legitimate end another. Clinton’s mishandling of Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae leading to the cynical drive to encourage people who do not know how to save to buy houses another. The despicable Republican-prompted ala good ol’ Denny Hastert avalanche of spending in its congresses another. Now the markets are righting themselves from decades of excess. The pain will be much more painful to this country than an enema but may have the same effect-driving out the drivel…along with some good…to set this country right again. A chastened, sharply shriveled Establishment may react in time to understand that the far wiser choice for the presidency is John McCain…or it may not.

    But anything that rebukes the present system of the Establishment will be beneficial-a system where sociologists have replaced carpenters, p. r. gurus truck drivers, analysts those who work with their hands, computer programs wheelwrights. Let the purgatorial fires burn but in the end it will be better for the United States of America which is too young to die because of decadence and depravity brought on by licentious and often unearned wealth. “

  • bill bannon

    MM
    Why pick out Palin for being outside her depth when both lead candidates may be exactly there…outside their depth…. whether its Obama in the June AIPAC speech mistakenly taking the position of the extreme right in Israel for an undivided Jerusalem….or whether its McCain not knowing whether he likes regulating business or not regulating business this week.
    Peggy Noonan in today’s Wall Street Journal stated that she keeps asking supporters of both sides whether they think either McCain or Obama are capable of dealing with events like this mortgage meltdown….and she is receiving no yes’s from either group of supporters. Thank God we had Paulson from Goldman Sachs and Bernanke this week because Bush too did not have a clue as to what to do. We are stuck…. with some of the best people being elsewhere in other fields or as appointees like Paulson within government….. since now both present candidates are lying their arse off in campaign ads and many educated people do not want to lie like a bad used car salesman in order to attain the presidency so they don’t aim precisely at that office….but the process includes such lying now given the place of media and we had Obama this week going down to McCain’s level and then under McCain’s level in the Spanish ad which did not even note that Limbaugh also never said the quoted words as being his words but rather said them sardonically as the words of the Mexican president in a fictional theoretical incident….(they were quoted as Limbaugh’s view of Mexican people).
    Short term Media like ads must be taken out of the process or the process will draw those inclined to lying because they have found that lying ads work.

  • little gal, how about posting links to articles rather than the entire text of the article?

  • little gal

    Jawohl, Michael:

    I can repost with a link if you would like…

  • “By pointing out inconsistencies in your positions, no? By questioning received wisdom, and analyzing arguments, no?”

    Nah, rather by wanting to be loved and also worshiped as it behooves the ‘elite’. I only minored in philosophy which is why I’ve escaped eurosnootery and Obamania. I’m far from being a conservative, mind you. I am far more ‘liberal’ than good Catholics. The one consistency I exhibit is a dislike for intrusive government.

    Self-styled friends of humanity who insist that they please know their place and show reverence to such ‘elites’ as themselves, insisting that they know far better what to do with their money. Such kants should go foucault themselves 😛 Nietzsche! Gesundheit. (I do love old Fritz)

  • little gal – For future reference, do consider that posting entire articles in comment boxes might not be good etiquette.

    I’m far from being a conservative, mind you.

    Gerald, you’re just really confused I think.

  • phosphorious

    Gerald, you’re just really confused I think.

    This is not confusion. This is a stratagem. Very few conservative admit to being conservative these days. They are all free-thinking, maverick independents who play by their own rules and call no man master.

    And who will vote republican no matter what.

    They have convinced themselves that after eight years of virtually total republican control. . . and a devastating terrorist attack, and two poorly fought wars. . . the mavericky thing to do is vote republican.

  • jonathanjones02

    BTW: while we await the condemnation of Obama by those who accuse McCain of playing dirty for the completely out of line Limbaugh ads, which were guilt by association when a) there was no association b) the supposed “content” is completely and totally made up from thin air, it appears that the other side is going to go after Obama’s actual associations:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/09/19/attack-by-association-viewed-as-fair-game-by-mccain-camp/

  • “Gerald, you’re just really confused I think.”

    What other way is there to be ? I did try certainty, ie Catholicism, but it simply wasn’t maintainable on oh so many levels. Beware of those with a theory of everything.

    We’re just mammals on a tiny planet in a vast universe.

  • little gal

    “little gal – For future reference, do consider that posting entire articles in comment boxes might not be good etiquette”

    ????????????????????????????????

  • little gal

    jonathanjones02:

    What makes the most sense to me the more I hear and read during this election is the folks who are praying a 54 day novena: ”

    For an outcome of the November election which is pleasing to Almighty God, and which best serves the eternal and temporal interests of all of His children.”

  • Rob

    -eight years of virtually total republican control-

    Haven’t the Democrats been in control of Congress for a while? Isn’t Congress the one truly in control of the country, the branch to which our Constitution devotes greater space and authority than the executive? If Republiucans have been in control, it is only because Democrats allowed it.

  • phosphorious

    “Haven’t the Democrats been in control of Congress for a while? Isn’t Congress the one truly in control of the country, the branch to which our Constitution devotes greater space and authority than the executive? If Republiucans have been in control, it is only because Democrats allowed it.”

    Mitt Romney couldn’t have said it better: Liberals are responsible for everything that is wrong. A republican president backed by a republican congress for six years, is powerless to stop them.

    Are you, by any chance, a maverick?

  • HA

    Beware of those with a theory of everything.

    If you’re referring to Catholicism here, then it’s probably time to shift to topics where you can at least seriouosly pretend you have a clue. It’s like you’re not even trying anymore.

  • ann

    Everyone seems to forget the education Sarah Palin receive from her family. It appears her parents are of the generation who seemed to know that the wider culture in most of America has deteriorated to the point that it is in conflict with the perennial wisdom of the ages.

    They moved to a place where that is not as much the norm, where some of those timeless values can seep into a person’a psyche and inform their decision making and their principles.

    It seems to me that many of the bloggers on this forum are clueless about the perennial and of the differences between the two world views.

    Yes, Sarah is lacking in experience, but remember Jimmy Carter? How about Ronald Reagan,? Talk about small college and governorship as qualification.

    Take it from one who has experiences with all types of people, the Ivy League education is not to be admired. It is a brainwashing right out of the perennial into group think, not an education.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Ann,

    Is Sarah’s recently testifying to the power of prayer of a witch hunter who chased a poor woman out of her own village, in fear of her life, the perennial values that Palin received from her parents?

    I think not.

  • ann

    Mark, reference a link please.

  • ann

    Mark, by the way, don’t equate the historical with the perennial.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Ann,

    I could have given you a Times UK link, but I thought you’d discredit it as un-American. Please lhit the link to this only if you do not proudly celebrate a Salem, MA ancestry:

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Palin_credits_electoral_success_to_witchhunter_0917.html

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Ann,

    As a past Ivy League attendee, I must say that you are hilariou.

  • little gal

    I know exactly what Ann is referring to…these candidates and whom they appeal to point to two different American cultures. I suspect that many factors determine which one we subscribe to: age (i.e.,gen x vs. WW IIers); education (ivy league vs. utilitarian university education);ethnicity & how long one’s family has been in the country; level of technology use (IMO-this is the single most important factor that influences which group we fall into culturally);faith (those who regularly attend religious services and who state that their faith plays a role in their everyday life) etc.

    I suspect that Sarah Palin reminds us of what we once collectively were culturally and gives us hope that we can be this way again…

  • ann

    I went to the link and it is not my type of religion, but we are, after all, tolerant about that type of thing huh? For me, the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church is my choice. But, the spirit moves when, where and how It will and there is truth and virtue sprinkled throughout the world of all religions. I would think that you would have learned that type of tolerance at whichever Ivy League institution you attended. If Sarah has not figured out the problems in that preacher, how is that so much worse than Obama not figuring out the Reverend Wright?

    As a past Ivy League attendee, could you please articulate what it was you learned at that institution which you believe makes an attendee more qualified to serve as president?

  • “If you’re referring to Catholicism”
    Oh, Catholicism isn’t the only organization in the theory-of-everything business. I really only judge religions by the possible threat they pose to me. Islam: way up there, Catholicism: not in this century, Unitarian Universalist: harmless, although they might burn a question mark on my lawn if upset.

    Palin’s certainly part of a rather intense religious manifestation, but at least hers doesn’t hate whitey 😛 Apparently, McCain switched from Episcopalian to Baptist, a rather unfortunate change. But, I think he’s not all that religious to begin with, so that’s re-assuring. This certainly is the only Western country, unless one counts Poland, where religion matters in politics. Even a holy roller like Tony Blair went by “We don’t do God”.

  • Knuckle Dragger

    *If you lovingly allow your Down’s Syndrome child to live, you are a wacko Christian.

    *If you vote 4 times to not allow basic medical care to a baby that survives an abortion attempt, you are a champion of women’s rights.

  • Q: Do you know what the difference between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama is?

    A: One is nothing more than an elegant, attractive… should I say sexy piece of eye candy.

    The other kills her own food.

  • phosphorious

    “Palin’s certainly part of a rather intense religious manifestation, but at least hers doesn’t hate whitey 😛 Apparently, McCain switched from Episcopalian to Baptist, a rather unfortunate change. But, I think he’s not all that religious to begin with, so that’s re-assuring. This certainly is the only Western country, unless one counts Poland, where religion matters in politics. Even a holy roller like Tony Blair went by “We don’t do God”.

    Apparently there are two kinds of conservatives: those who support Palin because of her strong religious beliefs and moral certitude, and those who support Palin in spite of her strong religious beliefs and moral certitude.

    Which is a roundabout way of saying there’s just one kind of conservative.

  • jonathanjones02

    In line with my prior comments, here’s another bit of (recently released) dishonesty:
    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/scaring_seniors.html

  • HA

    Oh, Catholicism isn’t the only organization in the theory-of-everything business. I really only judge religions by the possible threat they pose to me…

    OK. Dropping non sequitirs right and left in order to change the subject — I think I see where this is going. It might have worked, too, were it less obvious. I’ll just take it as an implicit admission that the “theory of everything” crack was meaningless hyperbole that we would have done well to simply ignore. I.e., like much of the rest of your me-first drivel. That being the case, do get back to us in a couple of centuries and let us know how the what’s-in-it-for-us attitude works out for you and yours, especially for your wisecracking little spawn who spend their free time oh-so-cleverly sneering on your own failure to get with the times, in lieu of making any real contribution. And please be sure to take lots of pictures of all the pretty cathedrals you build along the way.

  • HA

    Very few conservative admit to being conservative these days.

    Let us know when they become as evasive about such admissions as liberals are.

  • david
  • Wow, david. That’s brilliant. You must be very proud of yourself.

  • ann

    Mark D.

    As a past Ivy League attendee, could you please articulate what it was you learned at that institution which you believe makes an attendee more qualified to serve as president?

  • As a past Ivy League attendee, could you please articulate what it was you learned at that institution which you believe makes an attendee more qualified to serve as president?

    ann, since you’re the one with the problem, could you please articulate the source of your suspicion toward Ivy League school graduates, and why they are automatically “elitists” who have been deformed with a “fake” education? Is it the usual Catholic anti-intellectualism, or does it come from somewhere else? Did you do a semester at Harvard and were turned off by it?

  • ann

    Michael, if you will answer the question I posed to Mark, about what constitutes more qualification to serve as President I would appreciate it. You seem to be sympathetic toward his view.

    In answer to your question about my “suspicion” toward Ivy League grads, I am not that, but I am skeptical of the quality of their education. That is not to say there are not some good things, but in general the zeitgeist there is one of “we are in the whitest of ivory towers, this institution has a curriculum that is progressive and superior and if I take it in and regurgitate it back and get good grades, I will be educated.

    How do I know that? I literally have friends who have gone the Andover etc. Yale path and /or Harvard and/or Princeton. I know them well. I have also literally been heavily involved with a family member who has recently attended an Ivy League school and with whom I have had many all night conversations about school and the classes.

    Frankly, a lot of what worries me is not so much the foregoing, but what they don’t usually learn at these institutions. That would be an essay, but as I have discussed this issue with people I mentioned, many of them agree IF one can demonstrate what it is they have missed.

    How do I know what it is they have missed? I won’t give you a bio, but I am secularly educated, if there is such a term. I did attend Catholic schools as a kid many years ago and rebelled. I have now studied the Faith extensively and find it locgically compelling. I have two graduate degrees and am a voracious reader with the time to engage in it. I have been able to take subjects and obsess about them from all sides of the issue, until I have a pretty good overview of whatever it is.

    I have also worked and lived many, many years with all types of peoples, of all ethnic, educational and economic backgrounds. I have been humbled over the years to get to know them and what they have to offer those of us who pursue the intellectual life. The farmers and the construction workers and the dishwashers often possess a world view that is full of the common sense the perennial philosophy recommends to us. Again, what that is could be an essay.

    Enough, I guess. I really believe that Obama could not say the things he does unless he has taken as his own, not only what he learned at Harvard, but also is ignorant of what he does not know.

  • Michael, if you will answer the question I posed to Mark, about what constitutes more qualification to serve as President I would appreciate it. You seem to be sympathetic toward his view.

    I cannot answer the question you asked Mark, because I did not attend an Ivy League school. Nor can I say whether I am sympathetic toward the view that you believe Mark has. I’m not sure you both agree on what Mark’s view is.

    I don’t believe having an Ivy League education will make one a “better” president. I don’t even think you and I could agree on what it would even mean to be a “good” or “better” president.

    I believe that solidarity with the poor will make one a better human being, no matter what job one has, whether it’s president or priest or community organizer or teacher, etc. That has little to do with the school one goes to, but the value of education shouldn’t be belittled. Education is a liberating gift. I do believe, though, that there are different types of education. And the danger of elitism is real. But so is the danger of being suspicious of people who have an education and glorifying “real” political candidates such as Bush and Palin who are simply dopes and who have no business being in positions of authority over people’s lives.

    I think that with education and a heart in solidarity with the poor, it’s likely that the thought of being president (or vice president) of the united states would not cross one’s mind. I’m suspicious of anyone who feels “called” to that line of “work,” as Bush and Palin have both said of themselves.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Ann,

    For one, I prefer people–apparently unlike yourself–who are intolerant of witch-hunting.

  • ann

    Mark, nowhere did I say I tolerated witch hunting. I said I tolerated Sarah Palin’s thanks to a preacher whose theology she may or may not agree with. I don’t agree with that theology as you must already know.

    It amazes me that that is all you have to say.

    For a third time: Other than that, what is it about an Ivy League education that makes on more eligible to be president than does an out in the boonies’ college degree?

  • ann

    Mike, I am glad that you agree that an Ivy League education will not make one a better president.

    Solidarity does not mean that one must have an exclusive preference for the poor. It only means they take preference, but we must be in solidarity with all for the universal common good. To exclude anyone is unjust.
    That means all of us.

    No one has been willing to discuss my contention that Ivy League schools teach a narrow curriculum, leaving out much of the historical wisdom of our past.

  • Mike

    Obama will be a significantly better president than McCain, although that’s not a very high bar. Palin is a disgrace, as is anyone who supports her. Vote for Obama or not, but if you vote for McCain you hate both America and humanity. You also hate your children, whom you are consigning to hell on earth.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    ann,

    There is no such thing as a univocal Ivy Leauue education, so I do not know how to answer your question.

    My institution during my second and third year as an undergraduate, Penn, for example, had the Wharton School of Business,which produced some of the most morally wanting and despicable people I know. Portfolio manipulators (moderrn day robber barons) and the like.

    On the other hand, its College of Arts and Sciences has cultivated some wonderful, morally upright minds throughout illustrious history.

    But on the whole, these schoools tend not the churn out only or mostly war mongerers, such as John McCain, or anti-intellectuals, such as Sarah Palin (George Bush and Dick Cheney aside).

    BTW, I transferred and evntually got my bachelor’sdegree from the Catholic college amidst the University of Toronto.

  • little gal

    I see that for purposes of his argument that Michael has paired Gov. Palin with President Bush. I don’t think that the comparison is apt. Bush had an Ivy league education, Palin didn’t. Ann’s point centered on the Ivy League issue.

    I seem to recall that Harvard for example has been in the process of revising it’s core undergrad cirriculum so the perception of deficits is not surprising.

    There are many personal qualities and skills that one would want in a president or vp. And rather than specify solidarity with the poor, I would name the quality of empathy. Intelligence, experience and Ivy League schooling are not requirements for empathy.

    I have not heard either Sen. McCain nor Gov. Palin say that they were ‘called’ to the positions that they are now running for. But, I have read information that Sen. Obama has been very focussed for many years on the objective of becoming President.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Little gal is peddling resentment again:

    “Barack Obama is, to all who know him (and I was first to interview him on my radio program) a testament to this political decadence. He may be smart but no one can determine this since he matriculated from the Harvard I knew earlier as a Kennedy Fellow in 1977-an institution geared to affirmative action stemming from white guilt. That he was president of the “Harvard Law Review” has little meaning because Harvard has been so embroiled in the affirmative action device.”

    Young lady, did you receive the Eucharist today with all of this hardness and spite in your heart?

  • ann

    Mark, you should say you’re sorry for calling me a supporter of witch hunting. 🙂

    You are sort of making my point for me. I really believe that the modern educational complex robs us all of so much. An education that is historically accurate and integrated with philosophical truths just ain’t our there (that there’s Palin talk).

    We have to search for that, somewhat on our own.

    Actually, in my opinion Palin is inexperienced and undereducated, but she has good instrincts and that common sense arising out of the perennial I have referred to earlier. She is a beacon of hope in a way, the narrowly educated Obama and the intellectually dumb McCain are not.

    And by the way, I know that there is a lot I don’t know. I also know there are some things we can know. I also know that true conservatism means holding on to the good from the past and making only those changes which do not oppose that good.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Ann,

    You said:

    I went to the link and it is not my type of religion, but we are, after all, tolerant about that type of thing huh? For me, the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church is my choice. But, the spirit moves when, where and how it will …

    Why should I thus apologize? I only took you for your word.

    And what is “the perennial”? Tanning beds? Stonewalling legitimate investigations? Exploiting one’s children for political gain?

  • ann

    Mark, to be precise, I was referring to the tolerance of their religion. We do not know what Palin thinks about witch hunting. We cannot impose guilt by association when we do not know whether Palin ever knew about his position on witches.

    On the other hand, we do know that Obama was not with Wright at a service where Wright was a visitor as was Palin, but rather was a twenty year member of Wright’s church, a church where hatred of America and Black liberation theology was promoted. Liberation theology, as you know, is not the type of thought that should be promoted in a Christian church. And you know the reasons why, so don’t act like you don’t..

    Your question about what is perennial is not worthy of you. I have explained it already and you should already know what that means from your teachers.

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    ann,

    I actually think liberation theology is more Christian and Catholic than alot of Americanism that infiltrates our Church.

  • David Nickol

    . . . but rather was a twenty year member of Wright’s church, a church where hatred of America and Black liberation theology was promoted. . . .

    ann,

    Hatred of America was promoted? Granted that Wright said some reprehensible things, but can they really be boiled down to “hatred of America” any more than the kinds of things preachers from the religious right say about America bringing 9/11 on itself, or hurricanes, or whatever?

    And right on this site we have comments from a priest who accuses America of the worst crime against humanity in the history of the world — the blood of 40 million babies killed by their own mothers.

    I guess it’s okay to go to extremes and criticize the United States for abortion, or gays and lesbians, or the ACLU. But if you criticize America harshly for racism and unjust wars, then you “hate America.”

    Which do you think really reflected the views of Falwell and Robertson? The following excerpts form their discussion of 9/11, or their statements backing away from what they said when people were outraged by it?

    JERRY FALWELL: . . . .[W]hat we saw on Tuesday [9/11], as terrible as it is, could be miniscule if, in fact, if in fact God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.

    PAT ROBERTSON: Jerry, that’s my feeling. I think we’ve just seen the antechamber to terror. We haven’t even begun to see what they can do to the major population.

    JERRY FALWELL: The ACLU’s got to take a lot of blame for this.

    PAT ROBERTSON: Well, yes.

    JERRY FALWELL: And, I know that I’ll hear from them for this. But, throwing God out successfully with the help of the federal court system, throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen’.

    PAT ROBERTSON: Well, I totally concur, and the problem is we have adopted that agenda at the highest levels of our government. And so we’re responsible as a free society for what the top people do. And, the top people, of course, is the court system.

    JERRY FALWELL: Amen. Pat, did you notice yesterday? The ACLU, and all the Christ-haters, the People For the American Way, NOW, etc. were totally disregarded by the Democrats and the Republicans in both houses of Congress as they went out on the steps and called out on to God in prayer and sang ‘God Bless America’ and said ‘let the ACLU be hanged’. In other words, when the nation is on its knees, the only normal and natural and spiritual thing to do is what we ought to be doing all the time- calling upon God.

    Note the inclusion of feminists in with all the other groups Falwell was condemning. It’s interesting that in seven short years the right has come to love feminists (or at least one feminist) and to be oh-so-sensitive to sexism!

  • Liberation theology, as you know, is not the type of thought that should be promoted in a Christian church.

    That’s funny, because Pope John Paul II said that liberation theology is “both useful and necessary,” and it is well known that liberation theology has influenced Catholic social thought in important ways.

  • little gal

    ‘little gal is peddling resentment again.’

    This from the guy who is a fully actualized twelve-year-old complete with the habit of name calling…I bet that if you were an altar boy that you stole & drank huge quantities of altar wine without a hint of remorse….

  • ann

    Michael, I believe JPII said that the Marxist thread in LT was to be rejected. Again, read what I said.

    One must find truth where it is, but one must not make it up.

  • Michael, I believe JPII said that the Marxist thread in LT was to be rejected. Again, read what I said.

    I DID read what you said. You didn’t say anything about “Marxism.” You said:

    Liberation theology, as you know, is not the type of thought that should be promoted in a Christian church.

    And that statement is wrong.

    YES, JPII and Ratzinger/Benedict have repeatedly said that the Church rejects “Marxism.” But liberation theology and Marxism are not synonymous.

    Nor did JPII and Ratzinger/Benedict reject every aspect of Marxism. JPII in fact used a lot of “Marxian” insights in his critique of capitalism in his encyclical Laborem Exercens. What they did was to reject the elements of Marxism that contradict the Catholic faith.

    Anyway, back to “what you said”: liberation theology, rather than being something that “should not be promoted in Christian churches” is, as John Paul II insisted, “both useful and necessary.”

  • Mark DeFrancisis

    Little Gal,

    Perhaps if you douse yourself with sugar or Splenda, you can turn your lemonness into lemonade.

  • david

    Michael I.

    My stupid comment above is about as brilliant as some of the comments in the Palin post above. I think it fits right in. I was thinking about sending you your ownspecial forces t-shirt. Still, I’m sorry, it is inappropriate and, well, pretty stupid.

    A question regarding liberation theology. Can its end be anything but violence? I realize that the violence would probably be perpetrated by the strong, not the oppressed, at least in proportion, but still?

  • I was thinking about sending you your ownspecial forces t-shirt. Still, I’m sorry, it is inappropriate and, well, pretty stupid.

    Apology accepted. I would also accept the gift of a t-shirt. Email me for my address if you want. I would probably wear a medium!

    A question regarding liberation theology. Can its end be anything but violence?

    I’m unsure about what is behind your question. No liberation theologians I know of are in favor of violence.