Liberals' Establishment of Religion
One of the reasons liberals are so hostile to public expressions of Christianity is because it threatens the monopoly that the religion of liberalism enjoys in the public square. The late Ted Kennedy was more than a leading senator, to liberal supporters. He was a secular saint. His appeal was essentially religious. He made it fairly explicit in his famous concession speech to the Democratic National Convention that re-nominated President Jimmy Carter. Kennedy reduced thousands of liberal delegates to tears with this emotional peroration:
May it be said of our Party in 1980 that we found our faith again.
And may it be said of us, both in dark passages and in bright days, in the words of Tennyson that my brothers quoted and loved, and that have special meaning for me now:
"I am a part of all that I have met
[Tho] much is taken, much abides
That which we are, we are --
One equal temper of heroic hearts
Strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end.
For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.
Not for Ted Kennedy the cool rationalism of his party’s founder, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson had famously said “if I had to go to Heaven in a political party, I would not go at all.” For Ted Kennedy and for those weeping delegates, the Democratic Party holds that place that used to be reserved for church and church alone. It’s no wonder that those teary believers—more than 90 percent of whom tell researchers they never go to church—end their search for the meaning of life in political activism.
Analyze Kennedy’s Epistle to the Gentiles and you will see that the concern, the work, the cause, the hope, the dream that is the subject of his panegyric is government. Government giveth and Government taketh away. The only Government worthy of that capital G is one that provides health, education, and welfare. All Americans are invited into the Democratic Church. Only the heretical conservatives are excluded.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was at the Kennedy School at Harvard last week. Liberals go to Harvard the way Muslims go to Mecca. Pelosi was basking in liberal approval for having been the first Speaker to deliver on the promise of universal health care. She established her bona fides early in her sermon. “For thirty years I’ve been an advocate of single payer,” she said. Single payer is liberal speak for socialized medicine, run entirely by the state, paid for by the state. But we have to make some tactical compromises, she said. Well, there may have to be a few little detours on the road to the Heavenly Liberal City.
“We all have our theology in politics,” she said to murmurs of approval from her audience. When Gov. George W. Bush said in a Republican debate in 2000 that Jesus Christ was his favorite political philosopher, liberals were aghast. But when Nancy Pelosi speaks of “theology,” we must assume she uses the word the way Webster defines it: “the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially : the study of God and of God's relation to the world.”
For Pelosi, God commands universal health care without a restriction on funding abortion. And God apparently also commands the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. Pelosi invoked the patron saint of San Francisco. She recited the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. It was probably the first time in history that that gentle saint was dragged in to bless the slaughter of innocents and the abolition of matrimony.
Predictably, there were no ACLU protests. And no atheizers ran to MSNBC to deplore her breaching the Wall of Separation between Church and State.
Pelosi was perfectly free not only to preach her religious ideas, but to impose jail time and fines on those who dissent. In the Gospel According to Nancy, the liberal Preacher of the House promises to bring the liberal Heaven to Earth. Is it any wonder growing numbers of Americans think it’s a living hell?
Conning the conservatives
Growing up, I always thought Jesus' admonition in the Book of Matthew, "The poor you will always have with you," wasn't meant to be taken literally as a directive to ignore the poor, but that's exactly what a prominent Roman Catholic charity believes.
As this Sunday's "second collection" approaches, most Catholics planning to donate to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development probably think their money will be used to help the poor by funding soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Well, the joke's on them. CCHD has never provided direct relief to the poor. That's not its purpose.
It is an extreme left-wing political organization created to feed and foster radical groups like ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). Most Catholics are blissfully unaware of its true mission, though it says right on its Web site that it aims to support "organized groups of white and minority poor to develop economic strength and political power."
Long mocked as the "Catholic Campaign to Help Democrats," CCHD is the charitable arm of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since its creation in 1969 - the year before ACORN was founded - CCHD says it has given more than $290 million to fund what it calls more than 8,000 "low-income-led, community-based projects that strengthen families, create jobs, build affordable housing, fight crime, and improve schools and neighborhoods." Some say the grand total is closer to $450 million.
Both ACORN and CCHD were inspired by radical agitator Saul Alinsky, the Marxist Machiavelli who dedicated his activism opus, "Rules for Radicals," to Lucifer, whom he called "the first radical." The late Mr. Alinsky developed the concept of "community organizing" in order to mobilize poor neighborhoods to make demands, long and loud, on public officials and the private sector.
CCHD gives generously to the Industrial Areas Foundation, which Mr. Alinsky himself founded, and to similar leftist groups including the Gamaliel Foundation, People Improving Communities Through Organizing (PICO), and Direct Action and Research Training Institute (DART).
Over the years, some Catholics have called out CCHD for its Marxist radicalism. Former Treasury Secretary William E. Simon, a Catholic layman, complained in the late 1980s that CCHD was a "funding mechanism for radical left-wing political activism in the United States, rather than for traditional types of charities." Catholic writer Paul Likoudis observed that CCHD could be considered "a political mechanism bonding the American Church to the welfare state."
But President Obama is a big believer in CCHD. In 1985-88 he ran the Developing Communities Project from an office in Chicago's Holy Rosary Church. The project was part of the Gamaliel network. "I got my start as a community organizer working with mostly Catholic parishes on the South Side of Chicago that were struggling because the steel plants had closed," Mr. Obama told Catholic Digest. CCHD "helped fund the project, and so very early on, my career was intertwined with the belief in social justice that is so strong in the church." Mr. Obama has said he "tried to apply the precepts of compassion and care for the vulnerable that are so central to Catholic teachings to my work [such as in] making health care a right for all Americans."
CCHD only cut off ACORN, whose ties to Mr. Obama have been exhaustively documented, as a grant recipient a year ago under intense pressure. It must have been excruciating for CCHD to disown ACORN, its own flesh and blood in the class struggle, in November 2008 after critics raised concerns that some of parishioners' money might have been used for illegal partisan activities.
After years of complaints by conservative Catholics, CCHD finally gave ACORN the heave-ho after channeling $7.3 million in churchgoers' money to the group over the last decade. The bishops acted only after Catholics outraged by reports of legal and ethical improprieties involving ACORN let their views be known.
Bishop Roger Morin announced at the time that ACORN would no longer receive grants "because of serious concerns about financial accountability, organizational performance and political partisanship." A nearly $1 million embezzlement within ACORN, first revealed in the summer of 2008, and its subsequent cover-up by ACORN officials, had been the last straw. At the time, Bishop Morin said CCHD and the Bishops Conference had hired forensic accountants "to help determine if any CCHD money was taken or misused." A forensic audit has been completed, but its findings have not been disclosed.
CCHD director Ralph McCloud admitted some of the funds that CCHD "contributed to ACORN in the past undoubtedly were used for voter registration drives." Most, perhaps all, of the voter drives ACORN conducted were "in support of politicians who support abortion-on-demand and other policies that most Catholics oppose," notes conservative Catholic activist Richard Viguerie. Both CCHD and ACORN have yet to be held to account.
Obama's attorney general does not know even basic law
Mr. Holder the Attorney General was being cross-examined by Senator Graham of the Judiciary Committee, who posed a simple question: “If we captured bin Laden tomorrow, would he be entitled to Miranda warnings at the moment of capture?”
The answer is so simple that even a 1L could get it (Of course, we have no time to say the whole phrase “first-year law student” in Law School, so we call them "1L").
The person in custody is entitled to a Miranda Warning at the moment of custody. Custody is defined as the moment when the party either is or feels he is not free to leave, because he is being detained by an officer of the law acting under the color of legal authority. The defendant must be informed of his Miranda Rights before any questioning, and must be reminded of them periodically, otherwise his testimony (including any evidence springing from his testimony) cannot be admitted as evidence in court.
Got it? The question is “When do Miranda Rights attach?” The answer is: “At the moment of custody.”
Holder flubbed the question. His answer was, “Again I'm not -- that all depends. I mean, the notion that we –“ Wrong. Even the Asparagus Mascot of the William and Mary law school could tell you that. Even I, who graduated lower in class ranking than the Asparagus, Pocahontas and Tribe Guy put together, could tell you that.
Mr. Graham again provided the correct answer: “Well, it does not depend. If you're going to prosecute anybody in civilian court, our law is clear that the moment custodial interrogation occurs the defendant, the criminal defendant, is entitled to a lawyer and to be informed of their right to remain silent.”
So why could Mr. Holder, the Attorney General — a title that implies he wears a bicorn hat and waves a gold sword, commanding whole legions and battalions of Attorney Majors, Attorney Captains, and Paralegal Paratroopers — why could the Attorney General not answer a question any 1L could have aced?
Mr. Graham also asked, “Can you give me a case in United States history where a enemy combatant caught on a battlefield was tried in civilian court?” A standard question. Every law professor at some point asks every law student to cite the precedent to support his case.
Mr. Holder’s answer: I don’t know. I’d have to look at that. I think that, you know, the determination I’ve made --
Mr. Graham: “I’ll answer it for you. The answer is no.”
I’d have to look at that? You mean you did not read the textbook, the outline, or the CrimLaw 101 Nutshell book? Don't have your notes ready, do you? Here I must quote what any prof from my school would have said. These are the words of crusty old Professor Kingsfield from THE PAPER CHASE. “Mister Holder, here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer.”
I should also mention that Senator Graham served in the Judge Advocate General’s office – the JAG corps. GO NAVY!
More here. Background here.
Some Lutherans still respect the Bible: "Conservative members of America's largest Lutheran denomination announced that they are splitting from the Chicago-based Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, making it the second mainline Protestant church to undergo a major schism over the issue of homosexuality and related matters of biblical authority. The U.S. Episcopal Church has experienced a similar split, with whole dioceses attempting to leave, new Anglican churches formed and a series of property fights in the years since the 2003 consecration of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. On Wednesday, an 11-member steering committee of Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Renewal), meeting in New Brighton, Minn., said it cannot remain inside the 4.7-million-member ELCA after the denomination agreed at its August churchwide assembly in Minneapolis to ordain partnered gay clergy. That decision, CORE said in a statement, created "a biblical and theological crisis throughout the ELCA and conflict in local congregations. "We are not leaving the ELCA. The ELCA has left us," said Ryan Schwarz"
Army to keep media from covering Palin at Fort Bragg: "Army officials plan to prevent media from covering Sarah Palin’s appearance at Fort Bragg on Monday, saying they fear the event will turn into political grandstanding against President Obama, the Associated Press reports. Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum tells the AP that Army officials had decided to keep media away from Palin’s book promotion at the North Carolina base. Other members of the public would be permitted to attend.”
Want job growth? Cut taxes: "Unemployment continues to rise, and it is painfully clear that the so-called stimulus bill Congress passed earlier this year has failed. In fact, President Obama has called for a summit on jobs next month and Democrats in Congress are scrambling to hurry through yet another massive spending bill under the guise of job creation. Apparently, they think the stimulus bill didn’t spend enough money.”
New CO politics in Israel: "Driving through the West Bank recently, I picked up two hitchhikers. Both wore the long, thick sidelocks and extra-large skullcaps that have become the mark of young men on the religious right, especially among settlers. Since they were what Israelis call army age (what Americans would call college age), the conversation turned to military service. Despite Israel’s universal draft, the hitchhiker in the back seat said he didn’t intend to serve. The Israel Defense Forces, he argued, hurts Jews — a point he presumed was obvious from the ‘uprooting’ of settlements in Gaza four years ago and the occasional dismantling of tiny, illegal settlement outposts in the West Bank more recently. Besides that, he said, the IDF ‘doesn’t want to kill Arabs because it wants to look nice in the world.’ He didn’t want to die because commanders were too concerned with Arabs’ lives.” [Using the army against settlers is insane. That is police work. It undermines support for the entire IDF]
Palin Derangement Syndrome: When it’s time for a long, long rest: "[Andrew] Sullivan’s continuing, unrelenting obsession with Palin is bizarre in the extreme. I would also suggest to The Atlantic that they do no good service for Sullivan or themselves by allowing this to continue. Episodes of this kind are the sort of thing one might encounter in a textbook on psychology, one with a heavy emphasis on aberrant behaviors. It is not behavior one expects or hopes to find in a mainstream publication; I say that even as someone with a notably low opinion of the content of all such publications. Still, to hope for certain limits would not seem to be beyond the bounds of reasonable expectations.”
Choking the Blue Dogs: "The political collars continue to tighten around Blue Dogs and other Democrats representing Republican-leaning congressional districts. Recent election results in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as a bevy of new polls, all suggest these vulnerable lawmakers face an increasingly hostile environment entering the 2010 election year. At-risk Democrats are experimenting with different voting strategies to achieve political survival. Some support the White House, calculating that cozying up to the president and liberal interests groups will yield electoral dividends. Others are distancing themselves from a president rapidly losing altitude with swing voters. Time will tell which strategy works better. Yet a return to normal voting patterns — after GOP under performance in 2006 and 2008 in some of these districts — could swamp many Democrats next year, no matter how they posture themselves in Washington.”
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)