Monthly Archives: September 2013

Obama admin once welcomed this guy Morsi?

About Morsi of Egypt, by Robert R. Reilly:

. . . “freedom” means being “governed by Islamic principles to be implemented in the constitution.” That means sharia.

Either [you accept] the Zionists and everything they want, or else it is war. This is what these occupiers of the land of Palestine know—these blood-suckers, who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs…. We must confront this Zionist entity…. We want a country for the Palestinians on the entire land of Palestine, on the basis of [Palestinian] citizenship. All the talk about a two-state solution and about peace is nothing but an illusion.

“We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews.” Morsi added that Egyptian children “must feed on hatred; hatred must continue…. The hatred must go on for God and as a form of worshiping him.”

In review of Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, by Andrew C. McCarthy (Claremont Review of Books, Summer, 2013)

Morsi is quoted in interview or public statements to his constituents, both in 2010.

Deborah Graham, a Don Harmon protege, approves TIF money for pusher after he gives her money

Oak Park Newspapers

Ald. Deborah Graham, former state rep for part of Oak Park was snookered by phony TIF grant applicant?

Officials knew the Convenience For You store was coming — in fact, the city gave it $105,000 in tax increment financing grants.

Ald. Deborah Graham, 29th, then pushed through a special ordinance lifting the moratorium, saying she wanted to help an African-American businesswoman with stellar credentials.

Actually, the new liquor store was bankrolled and launched by convicted drug dealer Frederick “Juicy” Sims, who has been tied to the Vice Lords street gang, a Tribune investigation found.

And what do you know? After the drug salesman gave her money!

Six months before Graham lifted the moratorium on new licenses and cleared the way for its opening, the store sent her a political contribution, records show.

She told the Tribune the money had no impact on her decision, and she said she was not…

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When Paul Corrected Peter

The issue is joined:

Laity and clergy should reject, respectfully, the liberalism of Pope Francis

Fr. Barron on Vatican II at St. Procopius Abbey

Much of “Gaudium et Spes,” the 1965 Vatican II document about the church in the modern world, painted too rosy a view of fallen human nature, said future pope Joseph Ratzinger, who had been a council “peritus,” or expert. It was also “too French,” said Ratzinger, meaning it had too much of the Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin’s human-divine partnership in creation and salvation, once rejected, later endorsed, including by Ratzinger as Benedict XVI.

The document, “joy and hope” in its Englished title, was “far too optimistic,” said the Jesuit Karl Rahner, another peritus, adding that some Lutheran pessimism would have helped. Indeed, the Lutheran theologian Karl Barth found it “overly optimistic” and “out of tune with the New Testament understanding of the world,” says Robert Royal, not cited by Barron, in the Claremont Review of Books.

Rev. Robert Barron, St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein) seminary rector and host-creator of “Catholicism” on PBS, was at the podium Sept. 24 at St. Procopius Abbey, Lisle, before an enthusiastic 500-plus people.

The document at hand, one of four “constitutions” issued by the council, is the only “pastoral” one — not “dogmatic,” Barron said, and therefore something in which there is “room for criticism.” It also “has the marks of” being written by committee, which is a “weakness.”

And at 35,000 words it’s long. So were the other 15 documents. Put all writings from ecumenical (worldwide) councils (all bishops invited) on a shelf, and two-fifths of that shelf would be what came out of Vatican II, he said. Most of it is also “spherical” (globular? touching all bases?) and “ruminative” (thoughtful? meditative?). A sort of essay, in other words, though not one to curl up with of a cold, winter night.

Its prologue, nonetheless, beginning

The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ,

is “beautiful,” providing “a patristic moment” in a council where the early church fathers, such as Origen (c.185c.254) and St. Augustine (354-430), loomed large with their full-service overview of the mystery of Christ and the church.

As for the rampant optimism cited by Ratzinger and Rahner, vs. Chardin’s uber-embracing of the mundane as near-synomymous with spiritual-supernatural pursuits, Barron did his own capsule analysis of original sin and the discontents it loosed upon the world.

Sin “interrupted the Edenizing of the world,” he said. This (Garden-of) Edenizing had various names down the centuries. For the 20th, at the council, it was Christianizing. As such, Vatican II was “a missionary council,” in Cardinal Francis George’s words, offered months earlier at the St. Procopius podium in a similar setting. Karl Barth, conspicuously anti-Catholic in years gone by, was deeply impressed, telling Pope Paul VI after its closing, “If the Spirit was moving anywhere in the world, it was moving at this council.”

Barth had his misgivings, however, as noted by Robert Royal, president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C:

. . . invited to be an observer at the Council but . . . prevented from attending by ill health, [Barth] remarked in its aftermath, “Is it so certain that dialogue with the world is to be placed ahead of proclamation to the world?” Historically, Christianity had often clashed with “the world.”

Which is the point Barron made: The church “transfigures the culture,” he said. (By its nature, that is, not, obviously, in everything done by its leaders and members.) The council’s message is not that the church is to be modernized, going with the signs of the times, said Barron, but that it is to “Christify” the world.

Human dignity, the document says, lies in having a conscience, an individual’s “most secret core and sanctuary, in the human “hunger for God.” Barron cited rock/rap lyrics, among them “Ain’t got no satisfaction,” to demonstrate human longing. Augustinian “restlessness” is there (“our heart is restless, until it repose in Thee”). Freedom comes from being tutored in discipline, which once attained, bestows the ability (freedom) to do good things.

“Do not construe God in a competitive manner,” Barron said. When He was asked who he was in the burning bush, “What did God say?” Barron put to his audience, a large portion of which roared back, “Who am!” Yes, said Barron, he said, “I am who am,” not to be compared, incomparable.

He was on a roll, for all his clerical suit and collar, standing in an enormously high-ceilinged monastery auditorium, delivering a Scripture sermon in (muted) revivalist mode.

The second part of Gaudium et Spes is a roadmap for John Paul II’s papacy. It includes this, that economic power belongs to the people, not to a few powerful individuals, and should be “widely spread throughout society” (Barron’s phrase). Same for political power.

Profit-making spreads wealth around, he said, by offering examples of how to do it and enticing others to do likewise. The document embodies or promotes the two fundamental principles of Catholic teaching — subsidiarity and solidarity.

He asked at the end whether Gaudium et Spes is to be considered a touchstone for the whole council and said no. It’s a pastoral document, he said again, which I take to be advice to pastors and other concerned Catholics — from a highly placed source, to be sure, not to be taken lightly but not written on stone tablets fresh from the mountain top.

Barron got a standing ovation, then took questions. Asked how to approach the young with an evangelist’s message, he urged against finger-wagging and recommended talking up the beauty of what’s peculiar to them in a cultural sense. Having said that, he delivered this about religion for the young: “Don’t dumb it down!” which got him strong applause. Neither offer “cheap grace,” he added, using the Lutheran Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s memorable phrase.

Vatican II, he added in response to another question, has been “largely unrealized,” urging those who want to capture its spirit to “read the Fathers,” including Newman — which sent this listener back to the Geoffrey Tillotson collection Newman: Prose and Poetry, out of Harvard Press.

He finished for the night to another standing ovation.

Giving Cruz His Due | National Review Online

He’s the man NYT loves to hate:

The editorial board of the New York Times has dismissed Ted Cruz as “the public face of the aimless and self-destructive Tea Party strategy to stop health-care reform.” In reality, his speech may have reignited intense opposition to a law many conservatives had fatalistically accepted as unstoppable [writes John Fund]. It’s too soon to know if Cruz’s speech will have a lasting impact, but the over-the-top criticism by some liberals has revealed just how worried they are about both Cruz’s potential and Obamacare’s future.

But Carville the pragmatist, neither loving nor hating, shows respect:

Cruz “is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years,” Democratic strategist James Carville told ABC News in May. “He is going to be something to watch.”


Paul Krugman on Plutocracy

Inequality makes the rich richer? Money is power? No on both counts:

. . . crony capitalists “have a lot of money” not because of rising inequality but, rather, because government gives them special privileges. At root, inequality here is the result of actions by the agency so trusted by Mr. Krugman – the state – rather than the source of itself.

For the first erroneous nostrum, this for the second:

. . . only government brings power. While it’s true that people with lots of money are disproportionately able to use whatever government power exists, a government of few and strictly limited powers would be unable to grant special privileges even to the wealthiest of people.


The core problem, therefore, isn’t “money” or “the rich”; it is, instead, the existence of the expansive and vigorous government power that Mr. [Paul] Krugman famously, if illogically, believes is key to freedom, prosperity, and greater equality.

Mr. K. is thus cordially invited to put that in his pipe and smoke it.

A partial but big victory for traditional marriage in Illinois | The Barbershop: Dennis Byrne, Proprietor

One small step for marriage as we know it, one giant leap?

Daniel Henninger: Let ObamaCare Collapse –

I hope for this change.

As its Oct. 1 implementation date arrives, ObamaCare is the biggest bet that American liberalism has made in 80 years on its foundational beliefs. This thing called “ObamaCare” carries on its back all the justifications, hopes and dreams of the entitlement state. The chance is at hand to let its political underpinnings collapse, perhaps permanently.

A statement of how natural course can be on our side.

Pope Francis bashes the free market

Is our new pope losing it?

You would think so, looking at the above-linked list of stories. Note, however, what one of them has, about free-market capitalsm:

Since taking over as head of the Roman Catholic Church in March, Pope Francis has made several stark comments on world economic issues: He’s cited the pitfalls of capitalism, decried global income inequality and equated low-wage labor to a form of “slavery.”

He’s even described the financial corruption in the church he leads as a “spiritual sickness.”

Analysts say Pope Francis—leader of some 1.2 billion Catholics—is not necessarily calling for the demise of free market theory. Instead, he’s issuing a very strong warning to economic leaders over its future.

Etc. This CNBC piece is well constructed. But the problem remains: Pope F. shoots from the hip at times, and what came across as fresh air in his early dispensing with paraphernalia and folderol is beginning to look like erratic behavior, leading to headlines like:

* Can savage capitalism be humanized?

* A blunt Pope Francis targets free market economics (excerpted above)

* Unbridled capitalism has taught people that money is more important than anything else . . .

[Please. People didn’t know that already?]

* Is Jorge Bergoglio, The New Pope Francis, A Capitalist?

In any case, the looser he is with his condemnations, the more easily is he disregarded. Finger-wagging is bad in dealing with gays and abortionists but not with captains of industry? or lieutenants or sergeants? For whom he has thunderbolts?

Plus, he might compare wealth creation and distribution in free-market vs. socialistic economies before condemning one of them. Wild talk will get him nowhere in his evangelical enterprises.

How Vatican 2 competes with Jack Handey

Reading Vatican 2 on the church and the world, “Gaudium et Spes” (Joy and hope), before hearing Rev. Robert Barron on that document at St. Procopius Monastery, Lisle, I am reminded of Jack Handy, who wrote “Deep Thoughts” (1992), “Fuzzy Memories” (1996), and other memorable spoofs.

I mean, consider this from G&S:

“Our era needs wisdom more than bygone ages if the discoveries made by man are to be further humanised” (15).

“The future of humanity lies in the hands of those who are strong enough to provide coming generations with reasons for living and hoping” (31).

“The enormous progress of science and technology must be harmonised with a culture nourished by classical studies according to various traditions” (56).

“It remains each man’s duty to retain an understanding of the whole human person … a profound inquiry into the meaning of culture and science for the human person” (61).

What half-aware individual would contradict these deep thoughts?

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