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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Two Very Different Bush Presidencies

Having served in the administrations of both Presidents Bush, I can assure you that those two administrations could not be more different. Many see the former as a failed presidency because it was rejected after one term. However, on most issues it was guided by solid conservative principle. Many of its most senior appointees were held over from the Reagan administration, and one had confidence that seasoned professionals were in charge. They were, for the most part, ladies and gentlemen who loved America, respected the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, made sacrifices to serve, had a spirit of servant leadership, class, good manners and human decency. In the campaign of 1992, when many of us wished the President would tell the American people what he knew about the personal life of Bill Clinton, a sense of gentlemanly decorum prevented him from doing so.

In the vicious and coordinated attacks on Scott McClellan, we see the stark contrast between the father and the son and their two administrations. In the most senior positions of this administration is a cabal of arrogant and ruthless Texans whose highest value is power. They are not "movement conservatives," as so many in the senior Bush administration had been. They simply use conservative rhetoric to "secure the base." Those of us who actually believed the rhetoric and believed that this White House cares about such things as parental rights and school choice, were quickly disabused of any such notions.

In this Bush White House, the Constitution, law and civility take a back seat to the need to attain and wield power. McClellan's claims that there is a 24/7 campaign mode is absolutely correct. Even the Secretary's Regional Representatives in the U. S. Department of Education were told in 2003 that all of their activities, information gathering and weekly reports were to be done for the benefit of the 2004 presidential campaign.

The question is asked as to why McClellan did not speak up and raise his concerns with more senior White House staff in policy meetings; but this administration is not one that values independent thought. McClellan surely knew that to question in any way would raise questions about his loyalty, put him outside the circle, and on a plane back to Texas.

The bitter experience of this failed administration should be a reminder to conservatives that settling for the lesser of two evils yields evil. If this Administration, which gave lip service to conservative ideals, has presided over the largest growth in government and government spending since the Great Society, has run roughshod over civil liberties, has disregarded the Constitution, the division of federal power and states' rights, and has made preemptive global warfare our foreign policy, what should we expect from a Republican candidate who doesn't even bother to speak as a conservative?

Perhaps, as Pat Buchanan suggests in the following column, the good news is President Bush just doesn't matter any more.

Is Bush Becoming Irrelevant?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

After losing both houses of Congress in the 1994 election, Bill Clinton expostulated: The president of the United States is not irrelevant!

On learning his trusted aide from Texas Scott McClellan has denounced as an “unnecessary war” the same Iraq war McClellan defended from the White House podium, George Bush must feel as Clinton did.

The synchronized savagery of the attacks on McClellan as turncoat suggests he drew blood. For what he has done is offer confirmation to the president’s war critics, from within the White House inner circle, that Bush’s motive in going to war was not a clear and present danger of attack by Iraq with weapons of mass destruction, but to advance a Bush crusade to impose democracy on the Middle East.

Neoconservative ideology, not U.S. national interests, McClellan is saying, motivated Bush to launch one of the longest and most divisive wars in U.S. history.

When loyalists defect and seek to profit from that defection, it is usually a sign of a failing presidency. And, indeed, events suggest that history is passing Bush by.

Despite the administration’s designation of Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, and of Syria and Iran as state sponsors of terror with whom we do not negotiate, America’s clients are ignoring America.

Israel has ignored Bush’s demand that it stop building and expanding settlements on a West Bank that is to be the heartland of a Palestinian state. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been secretly negotiating with Syria for the return of the Golan Heights in exchange for peace.

When America refused to play honest broker between Jerusalem and Damascus, Turkey, at Israel’s request, stepped into the role.

The pro-American Lebanese government of Prime Minister Siniora has negotiated a truce and power-sharing arrangement with Hezbollah, giving that militant Shiite movement and party veto power in the Beirut government. Egypt is negotiating with Hamas for a truce in the Israeli-Gaza war and to effect the exchange of a captured Israeli solider held by Hamas for Hamas fighters held in Israel.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, designated a terrorist organization by the Senate, helped to arrange the ceasefire between government forces and the Mahdi Army in Basra and Sadr City. While the United States has used the roughest of language to denounce Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president has been received as an honored guest by the Iraqi government we support and by the Ayatollah Sistani, who has yet to meet a high-ranking American.

When Bush went to the Middle East to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Israel as the Zionist he has become, he was criticized by a Palestinian leader who survives on U.S. aid. When he went to Riyadh to plead for an increase in the flow of oil, he got a token concession from the king.

In Pakistan, the new government has been negotiating a truce with the radicalized frontier provinces, which would leave the Taliban with a privileged sanctuary from which to prepare their annual offensives to overthrow the government in Kabul and expel the Americans, as their fathers expelled the Russians.

As Russia and China move closer together to oppose U.S. missile defenses and the U.S. presence, military and economic, in the Caucasus and Central Asia, Latin America seems to be going its own leftward way. The halcyon days of the Alliance for Progress are long gone.

The world seems to be waiting for Bush to depart and for the next American president. For the foreign policy differences between John McCain and Barack Obama are as real and stark as they have been since the Reagan-Carter election of 1980, or the Nixon-McGovern election of 1972.

Looking back on the years since 9-11, it is hard to give the Bush foreign policy passing grades. We pushed NATO eastward and alienated Russia. We have 140,000 Army and Marine Corps troops tied down in Iraq in a war now in its sixth year, from which our NATO allies have all extricated themselves. We have another war going in Afghanistan, where the situation is as grave as it has been since we went in.

The Bush democracy crusade was put on the shelf after producing election triumphs for Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. And the Bush Doctrine of preventive war, after Iraq, appears to be headed there, as well.

America remains the first economic and military power on earth. But after seven years of Bush, we no longer inspire the awe or hopes we once did. We are no longer the world hegemonic power of the neocons’ depiction. And the reason is that Bush embraced their utopian ideology of democratic empire and listened to their siren’s call to be the Churchill of his age.

Of Bush, it may be said he was a far better politician and candidate than his father, but as a statesman and world leader, he could not carry the old man’s loafers.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Conservative Movement's Grandest Lady -- Congratulations, Dr. Schlafly!

From the Daily News-Record

Honoring Mrs. Schlafly
Boorish Students Ruin Ceremony

It's a funny thing about free speech. As Americans, we are obliged to honor the concept embedded in our Bill of Rights. And it's well that we should — and not only in the breach, or when the "speech" in question pleases our sensitivities. It is with this in mind that we dare to comment on a form of expression that dishonored longtime conservative advocate Phyllis Schlafly at a solemn ceremony last week in St. Louis.

Much to its credit, Washington University decided to bestow an honorary doctorate in humane letters to Mrs. Schlafly, who already holds two degrees from the school. Segments of the faculty and student body urged university officials to rescind the degree. They declined, again much to their credit. As Margaret Bush Wilson, a retired civil rights attorney who volunteered to introduce Mrs. Schlafly, said, "It is Phyllis Schlafly's persona — not her politics or views — which is being recognized here today." Hear, hear.

Still, when the time came to award the degree, a number of students, their families, and, disgracefully, faculty — already wearing white armbands in protest — turned their backs on Mrs. Schlafly. Three faculty members even walked off the stage.

Here's our point: Given our tradition of free speech, these people were well within their rights to make such a demonstration. But, likewise, we are well within ours to describe it as rude, boorish, and totally lacking in class and good taste. We are similarly entitled to note the arrant hypocrisy of certain members of an academic community that spouts its commitment to "tolerance" and "diversity." Apparently such virtues are to be lavished only on folks who espouse the same opinions and world-view. Some "diversity."

By the way, the 83-year-old Mrs. Schlafly refused to be flummoxed. Of her degree, she said, "It's the highest honor a university can give to anyone." And, in a barb aimed directly at her student detractors, she added, "I'm not sure they're mature enough to graduate."

And, as we see it, that would go for those faculty members — adults acting sophomorically — as well.

New Testaments Torched in Israel

With all of President Bush's talk about bringing democracy, freedom and tolerance to all the peoples of the world, it is important to remember that Israel, one of the largest recipients of US aid over the past half century and one of this country's closest allies, persecutes Christians, has presided over a diaspora of Christians who lived in Palestine since the time of Christ, and imprisons Christian missionaries for simply giving away Bibles and religious tracts. The following story from CNN is a reminder that President Bush might want to begin his "democracy crusade" with those nations over which we should have some influence.

By Mark Bixler

(CNN) -- Police in Israel are investigating the burning of hundreds of New Testaments in a city near Tel Aviv, an incident that has alarmed advocates of religious freedom.

Investigators plan to review photographs and footage showing "a fairly large" number of New Testaments being torched this month in the city of Or-Yehuda, a police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, said Wednesday.

News accounts in Israel have quoted Uzi Aharon, the deputy mayor of Or-Yehuda, as saying he organized students who burned several hundred copies of the New Testament. The deputy mayor gave interviews to Israeli radio and television stations after word of the incident surfaced about two weeks ago.

Soon he was talking with Russian, Italian and French television stations, "explaining to their highly offended audiences back home how he had not meant for the Bibles to be burned, and trying to undo the damage caused by the news (and photographs) of Jews burning New Testaments," The Jerusalem Post reported.

Aharon told CNN on Wednesday that he collected New Testaments and other "Messianic propaganda" that had been handed out in the city but that he did not plan or organize a burning. Instead, he said, three teenagers set fire to a pile of New Testaments while he was not present. Once he learned what was going on, he said, he stopped the burning.

The episode has worried defenders of Israel's minority population of Messianic Jews, who consider themselves Jewish but believe in the divinity of Jesus, as do Christians. It also has concerned evangelical Christians in North America, Europe and Asia, who visit Israel by the hundreds of thousands.

Messianic Jews in Israel, told CNN he plans to file a formal complaint Thursday with the national police at the request of the United Christian Council in Israel, an umbrella organization for a few dozen Christian organizations outside Israel.

"I hope the people who are responsible for breaking the law will be indicted and prosecuted," he said.

About 200 New Testaments were burned, Aharon said, but he saved another 200.

His goal was to stop attempts to distribute Christian literature in the city, he said.

Myers, however, said he doubts that Messianic Jewish missionaries distributed the New Testaments. He said it's not clear how the volumes found their way into homes in Or-Yehuda.

The deputy mayor told CNN he respects the New Testament and would not do what has been done to the Jews in the past -- a reference to Nazi burning of Jewish and other books in the 1930s, and other occasions when Jewish texts, including sacred ones, were burned.

Myers said his complaint will ask the authorities to investigate possible violations of two Israeli laws. One forbids the destruction or desecration of any religious icon or item that a group holds sacred. Another bans people from speaking publicly in a way that offends or humiliates a certain religion.

Both laws are meant to prevent people from inciting religious violence, he said.

The burning controversy has unfolded against the backdrop of other instances that Myers cited as examples of discrimination against Messianic Jews in Israel.

About two months ago, the teenage son of a Messianic pastor was severely injured when a package delivered to his home exploded, Myers said. In addition, several rabbis urged students to boycott further participation in a Bible competition after they learned that one winner -- a high-school student in Israel -- was a Messianic Jew, he said.

Groups such as the Anti-Defamation League have sharply criticized the burning of New Testaments.

"We condemn this heinous act as a violation of the basic Jewish principles and values," said Rabbi Eric J. Greenburg, director of interfaith policy for the Anti-Defamation League. "It is essential that we respect the sacred texts of other faiths. The Jewish people can never forget the tragic burning of sacred Jewish volumes at many points in history."

"While there may be legitimate concerns of proselytizing, these matters must be addressed through the proper legal channels," Greenburg said in a statement. "It is unacceptable and not legitimate to burn someone else's sacred texts."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thomas Sowell on "Mascot Politics"

Thomas Sowell has written a superbly insightful column, "Mascot Politics," about the hypocrisy of liberals and the injustice of their "affirmative action" schemes. In addition to the examples Sowell cites, contrasting the everyday brotherhood, fair play and humanity of many conservatives with liberals "who use blacks as mascots," he might have also mentioned the late Charlton Heston, a conservative who quietly participated in the civil rights marches of the 1960's.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

We Remember

From Tradition, Family and Property
By Norman Fulkerson

On September 29, 2006, Ramadi, Iraq was considered the most dangerous city on planet earth for American servicemen. Michael Monsoor was there in the midst of it all. He was a member of the elite branch of the Navy called SEALS, which stands for SEa, Air and Land. On that day, he was on a rooftop over-watch in the most contested part of the city called the Ma’laab district. Positioned near the only exit, with an MK 48 machine gun in hand, he was providing security for two SEAL snipers who lay in prone positions on either side of him. Moments later a fragmentation grenade bounced off his chest and landed on the ground...

Becoming a Navy SEAL

Although nothing can adequately prepare one for such a circumstance, Michael Monsoor seemed to be living a life which pointed to it. He was an adventuresome boy growing up in Southern California. His father George and older brother Jim had both been proud Marines. His boyhood dream of being a SEAL began to be realized when, at 20 years of age, he joined the Navy.

In the first phase of training, he broke his heel. Exhibiting the selflessness which would become his trademark, he continued to run with a pain so excruciating he nearly passed out. Unable to continue, he was forced to ring the bell indicating that a trainee had quit the program. He was medically rolled back and sent to Italy for a year where he spent the majority of his off time doing physical training. His mother, Sally, when visiting him, said he hardly ever stopped running.

He then reentered a grueling SEAL program where only 23% pass, graduated at the top in the class of 2005 and was assigned to Delta Platoon. In April 2006 he was sent to Iraq on his first tour of duty.

From here we almost lose our breath as we follow the rapid upward trajectory his life would take.

Rescued from the Jaws of Death

As a heavy-weapons machine gunner, his position while patrolling the streets of Ramadi with Delta Company was right behind the point man. The responsibility for protecting the rest of the unit fell squarely on his shoulders. It was an appropriate position for a Catholic young man named after the warrior angel, Saint Michael.

He was also a SEAL communicator which required him to carry a rucksack full of communications equipment in addition to his MK 48 machine gun full of ammunition. He carried the extra 100 lbs, without complaint, in temperatures as high as 130 degrees.

In May of 2006, during his first month in Iraq, his unit came under fire during counter-terrorist operations. Heavy enemy automatic weapons fire resulted in a wounded SEAL who was left exposed to enemy fire. Michael threw caution to the wind and ran directly into the line of fire to help the injured soldier. As gun fire chewed up the asphalt around him, Michael snatched the wounded soldier from the jaws of death with one arm, returned enemy fire with the other and then dragged him to safety.

He then maintained suppressive fire while the wounded SEAL received tactical casualty treatment. After loading his wounded teammate onto an evacuation vehicle, he returned to the battle. This act of heroism earned him a Silver Star and a reputation for putting others first.

Some months later the injured soldier had a dream of the incident where the Michael who rescued him had wings. He later had an artist make a reproduction of the image in his dream depicting Michael Monsoor in dress blues with a loaded MK 48 Machine gun and silvery wings. As a tribute to Saint Michael the Archangel, who he felt was there with them, he included the short exorcism which invokes the warrior angel to “be our protection against wickedness.”

Streets Paved with Fire

Such protection was sorely needed especially considering that 75% of the missions involving Michael’s platoon came under attack. Thirty five escalated into heated firefights taking place in “streets that were paved with fire.”

During eleven of those missions Michael’s leadership, guidance and decisive action were key in saving the lives of many of his men. For his heroism he was awarded the Bronze Star. The citation accompanying the medal describes how he “exposed himself to heavy enemy fire while shielding his teammates with suppressive fire. He aggressively stabilized each chaotic situation with focused determination and uncanny tactical awareness. Each time [terrorists] assaulted his team with small arms fire or rocket propelled grenades, he quickly assessed the situation, determined the best course of action to counter the enemy assaults, and implemented his plan to gain the best tactical advantage.”

In the midst of such violent action, Michael Monsoor displayed what Secretary of the Navy, Donald Winter described as a “cool headedness under fire” and “when hostility broke out, he proved he was a SEAL you wanted on your team.”

As extraordinary as all of this is, it was merely a prelude to the defining moment of his life in the rooftop over-watch.

“Path of Honor”

When the grenade landed in front of him, Michael Monsoor knew that the length of the fuse would not allow him to toss it out. He also knew that he was two short weeks away from returning home to family and friends. Plans were already made for him to see his younger brother play in a football game for North Dakota’s Minot State University.

With the only exit door at his back, a live grenade at his feet and two Navy Seals in front of him he was faced with the hardest decision of his life. It was one of those rare moments when life passes before your eyes. Having already endured so many hardships and numerous brushes with death no one would have faulted him had he chosen a path to safety.

“He chose a different path,” said Mr. Winter, “a path of honor.” On numerous occasions, Michael Monsoor stared death in the face in his heroic defense of others. Once again he and death would meet and once again he put others first. With unflinching selflessness he gave his life so that others might live. In so doing, he saved the lives of three Navy SEALS and eight Iraqi soldiers.

One of the survivors described how “Mikey” looked death in the face that day and said, “You cannot take my brothers, I will go in their stead.”

“He never took his eye off the grenade, his only movement was down and toward it," said a 28-year-old lieutenant who lived to tell the story. “He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs' lives.”

Another eyewitness described Michael’s countenance, as “completely calm, showing no fear only resolve.”

It could easily be said of him what Gen. Pericles said in his funeral oration for the warriors of ancient Athens, “He passed away from the scene, not of his fear, but of his glory.”

Feast of St. Michael the Archangel

Michael Monsoor was immediately evacuated to a battalion aid station. Fr. Paul Anthony Halladay, his platoon chaplain, was with Michael as he passed away approximately 30 minutes later.

It was an appropriate end for a Catholic soldier who, according to many reports, was a practicing Catholic. His fellow soldiers told how he frequently attended mass “with devotion” before his operations.

Patricia Monsoor, his aunt and godmother, said he “went to confession frequently” and “other soldiers who were not practicing would sometimes follow [him to mass] because of his good example.”

When he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, a tearful President Bush reminded the audience that the day Michael Monsoor died was the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel.

An emotional Donald Winter quoted a passage from scripture already remembered by so many to describe Michael Monsoor. “Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

“When it came down to laying down his life for his friends, his faith allowed him to [do so] without a moment's hesitation,” said Father Halladay.

“I Have Given Everything”

The most moving tribute to Petty Officer Michael Monsoor was that given by Lt. Commander John Willink during an evening ceremony at the Navy Memorial honoring the fallen hero.

He described in detail a photo of Michael released shortly after his death. The picture shows Michael walking at the head of his platoon, through the war-torn streets of Ramadi. They are shrouded in a greenish yellow mist used to mask their movements from the enemy. In spite of the chaos and danger which surrounds them, Michael is calm, almost smiling.

“As I look at this picture,” Lt. Willink said, “I hear a voice in a humble but confident tone.”

He then finishes his speech with the words he imagines Michael saying to him. They are words which I feel Michael Monsoor is saying to every American who appreciates the unbelievable sacrifice he made in a faraway land. Far from his family and the country he loved.

“I am Michael Monsoor…

“I am patrolling the streets of Ramadi… My eyes sting from the sweat, my gun and gear are heavy but these things do not bother me. There is no comfort here but this is the life I have chosen and there is no place I would rather be…and I am ready.

“I am Michael Monsoor… I miss my family. I want to hold my nieces and nephews again. I want to make them smile and laugh but I am far from home. Instead I smile at the Iraqi children when we pass them by. When we encounter Iraqi families I treat them with respect and dignity. I know the importance of family because there is nothing more important to me, than my family…

“I am Michael Monsoor, I love my country, my fellow SEALS and the men fighting along side us… I have lived life to its fullest. I have not looked back. I leave nothing but love and I have no regrets.

“I am Michael Monsoor… and I have given everything…For you!”

Friday, May 23, 2008

Report: Obama Mentored By Communist Party Figure

Frank Marshall Davis

By Jerome R. Corsi

Investigations Show Ties to Radicals Who Shaped Him, Helped Launch His Political Career

Barack Obama had extensive ties with extreme anti-American elements, including agents of the Moscow-controlled Communist Party USA, in Hawaii and Chicago, according to two new reports released yesterday in Washington, D.C., by two experienced internal security investigators.

Investigative journalist Cliff Kincaid and Herbert Romerstein, a former investigator with the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities, presented evidence Obama was mentored, while attending high school in Hawaii, by Frank Marshall Davis, an African-American poet and journalist who was also a CPUSA member.

The authors, in a separate report, document Obama's ties to radicals in Chicago who helped launch his career.

In a paper entitled "Communism in Hawaii and the Obama Connection," the authors document that in 1948, Davis decided to move from Chicago to Honolulu at the suggestion of what they describe as two "secret CPUSA members," actor Paul Robeson and Harry Bridges, the head of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen Union, or ILWU.

In Chicago, Davis had worked for the Chicago Star newspaper; in Honolulu, he was hired as a reporter for the Honolulu Record, both identified by Kincaid and Romerstein as "communist front newspapers."

In his autobiography, "Dreams from My Father," Obama discusses the influence a mentor identified in the book only as "Frank" had on his intellectual development.

Obama described Frank as a drinking companion of his grandfather, who had boasted of his association with African-American authors Richard Wright and Langston Hughes during the time Frank was a journalist in Chicago.

Romerstein, in addition to having served as investigator with the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities, served in the same capacity with the House Committee on Internal Security and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was the head of the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation for the U.S. Information Agency. Romerstein is also co-author of the influential book "The Venona Secrets: Exposing Soviet Espionage and America's Traitors," which included extensive documentation of the communist activities of Roosevelt administration staffer Alger Hiss.

Kincaid is the founder and president of America's Survival Inc., an independent watchdog group that monitors the U.N. and international terrorism. He is also editor of Accuracy in Media's AIM Report.

Are you a member of the Communist Party?

Kincaid and Romerstein quote Kathryn Takara of the University of Hawaii, who wrote a dissertation on the life of Frank Marshall Davis, confirming Davis was a significant influence on Obama when the senator attended Punahou prep school in Hawaii from 1975 to 1979.

A transcript of a 1956 hearing before the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee discovered by internal security affairs researcher and writer Max Friedman showed Davis took the Fifth Amendment when asked by the subcommittee if he was or had ever been a member of the Communist Party.

In the second report, "Communism in Chicago and the Obama Connection," Kincaid and Romerstein present evidence supporting their contention the SDS organization from which the Weather Underground organization and radicals Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn came, received financial contributions from the CPUSA, which in turn receive its funding from Moscow.

Obama's run for the Illinois state Senate was launched by a fundraiser organized at Ayers' and Dorhn's Chicago home by Alice Palmer. Palmer had named Obama to succeed her in the state Senate in 1995, when she decided to run for a U.S. congressional seat.

Nine years before Palmer picked Obama to be her successor, she was the only African-American journalist to travel to the Soviet Union to attend the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, according to an article Palmer wrote in the CPUSA newspaper, People's Daily World, June 19, 1986.

"There has been no explanation of why Ayers et al. played a role in launching Obama's political career," Kincaid wrote.

Kincaid and Romerstein present documentation that Tom Hayden, another major figure in the SDS, is today one of four principal initiators of the "Progressives for Obama" movement, which calls for ending the war in Iraq "as quickly as possible, not in five years."

According to Kincaid and Romerstein, U.S. Peace Council executive committee member Frank Chapman "blew the whistle on communist support for Obama's presidential bid and his real agenda" in a letter to the People's Weekly World after Obama's win in the Iowa Democratic Party caucuses.

"Obama's victory was more than a progressive move; it was a dialectical leap ushering in a qualitatively new era of struggle," Chapman wrote. "Marx once compared revolutionary struggle with the work of the mole, who sometimes burrows so far beneath the ground that he leaves no trace of his movement on the surface.

Kincaid and Romerstein wrote, "The clear implication of Chapman's letter is that Obama himself, or some of his Marxist supporters, are acting like moles in the political process. The suggestion is that something is being hidden from the public."

Can A Catholic Support the Treaty of Lisbon?

From The Irish Society for Christian Civilisation

I am a Catholic.

Can I approve of the Treaty of Lisbon?

The violation of non-negotiable principles raises a grave question of conscience for Irish Catholics in the face of this referendum.

A spectre is haunting Europe—it threatens you, the Christian future of your family, of Ireland, and of the Continent. It is a European Union without God and without moral principles.

The Treaty of Lisbon seeks to reform, for you and for all Irish Catholics, the fundamental values which govern the functioning of the European Union. These new values are in stark contrast to the non-negotiable principles given by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Pope insists that, in the construction of Europe, there are three areas in which the Church defends “non-negotiable principles”:
  • “the protection of life at every stage;

  • “the recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family;

  • “and the protection of the right of parents to educate their children”.
To be at peace with his conscience, when casting his vote in the referendum, a Catholic has to give absolute priority to these non-negotiable principles. The moral preservation of our children and the future prosperity of Catholic Ireland and of all Europe will depend on the level of respect that the E.U. shows towards these principles.

Catholics must reject the Treaty of Lisbon

Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice, and everything else shall be added on to you.” In contrast to the Divine commandment, if the Treaty of Lisbon is ratified by Irish Catholics:
  • The E.U. will ignore God and the Christian roots of Europe and will create a new European identity based on radical secularism and atheistic philosophies.
    We do not want our children to grow up in an Ireland without God!

  • The E.U. will impose a relativistic and evolving idea of human rights, contrary to Catholic moral teaching. We do not want the relativisation of the principles that we will pass on to our children and grandchildren!

  • The E.U. will considerably restrict the protection of human life and will facilitate abortion, euthanasia, and embryo experimentation. We do not want the mass
    murder of innocents being promoted throughout Europe!

  • The E.U. will destroy the family by dissociating it from marriage between one man and one woman. Our children have the right to live in a normal home, in accordance with Catholic principles!
  • The E.U. will impose excessive limits on the right of the parents to educate their children in accordance with their convictions. The freedom to pass on the Faith is a legacy that can never be challenged in Catholic Ireland!

  • The E.U. will recognise, for the first time in the history of international treaties, “sexual orientation” as a basis for non-discrimination, opening the way for homosexual marriage and adoption of children by homosexuals. If today promiscuity and immorality already invade our homes and ruin the education of our children, what will it be like when these kinds of practices are imposed on us?
Catholics: only by uniting our voices can we be saved from this tragedy and this chastisement

To prevent Ireland and all of Europe from distancing itself even further from the Kingdom of God, Irish Society for Christian Civilisation is campaigning for a rejection of the Treaty of Lisbon in the name of the Catholic non-negotiable principles.

According to the late Pope, John Paul II, it is “the laity which by its particular vocation has the specific role of interpreting the history of the world in the light of Christ.”

If you consider it a matter of conscience to make heard the voice of Catholic Ireland in this debate, then you already are part of this campaign.

Click Here
to read the study: “9 reasons why a conscientious Catholic citizen should reject the Treaty of Lisbon.”

You will understand why this referendum is happening at this crucial time in our history, and why it is not right for a Catholic to abstain in this hour of need. Above all, you will be able to influence and direct others among your acquaintances, clarifying the issues for them to prevent them from voting for the Treaty of Lisbon through ignorance or because of media or peer pressure.

Participating in this campaign you will be doing your bit to alert our fellow Catholics so that, at the moment of casting their votes, they will remember what Jesus said: “He who is ashamed of Me and of My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes into His glory.” (Lk. 9:26)

For the honour and glory of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, say no to the Treaty of Lisbon and you will be saying yes to a Catholic Ireland and yes to a Christian Europe.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Heart of an Islamist

[The following is an excerpt from David Solway's new work-in-progress, Living in the Valley of Shmoon .]

The West, whether the European Lilliput or the American Brobdingnag, has not yet realized that Middle Eastern-style autocracies are categorically different from Western-style democracies. It does not appreciate the role of culture and history in forming the folkways, attitudes and presuppositions of a people. It has not understood that the Islamic world does not play by our rules and that it lives by an entirely different code of conduct from that which we have taken for granted for centuries—a code in which reciprocities, trade-offs, standard negotiating parameters and the dialectic of mutual advantage do not signify. We refuse to see that we are dealing with a culture that is fundamentally alien to ours and that does not accept the axioms, postulates and expectations of politically pragmatic discourse or the procedures of reasonable accommodation. It is a culture whose institutional basis has almost nothing in common with the civic armature of Western civilization that has allowed the latter, albeit at great cost and in far too desultory a fashion, to resist its own homegrown tyrannies.

In the 21st century the Leviathan that would swallow us rises from another sea than our own. Western Christendom and post-Christendom are based on a completely different “symbolic order”—Jacques Lacan’s term for the way symbols are used unconsciously by a culture—from that of the Islamic world, especially with respect to the concept of individual autonomy, the modalities of personal salvation, the idea of citizenship, the rule of established law and the binding force of international accords.

We must also bear in mind that the enemy holds a clear advantage in what Norman Podhoretz has called, after the Cold War, World War IV: the terrorist camarillas, unlike the Soviet Union during the Cold War, have few structural assets to protect and the rogue regimes which protect them rely on their control of the oil supply and their stockpiling of Western currency reserves for immunity from retaliation. When a set of cultural assumptions rooted in an alien scripture and a traditional worldview which repudiate what we have come to understand as social and political evolution is added to these factors, the task before us takes on dismaying and redoubtable proportions.

We really have little idea how foreign the Islamic mindset is to our way of thinking and feeling. For example, we regard a death in battle as a loss—the word “losses” is a common synonym for “casualties”; whereas in the Islamic view, as attested in both the Koran and the hadith, each “loss” in battle is no such thing but a translation into paradise, a picayune price to pay for the gift of immediate salvation and part of the “bargain” the believer has closed with Allah. What we see as losses, the Muslim sees as gains, the “supreme triumph” guaranteed by the Faith. “Allah has purchased of the faithful their lives and worldly goods and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for his cause, slay and be slain…Rejoice then in the bargain you have made” (Koran 9:111). Death is sought and celebrated. This has no point of contact with what we have hallowed as the dicta of reason. What we do everything in our power to evade, the enemy joyfully welcomes. What we suffer as a privation, the enemy cherishes as a promotion. What we regard as a curse, the enemy accepts as a benefaction. Try, as they say, to get your mind around that.

As Lee Harris argues in The Suicide of Reason, in a prolonged standoff the rule of law is no match for the rule of the jungle, the individualist “rational actor” cannot hope to triumph against the collectivist “tribal actor”—at least, not until he adapts his strategy to meet the challenge—and the “myth of reason” in which we have come to believe, if we are unable or unwilling to refocus our attitude to the world, will see to our defeat at the hands of those who do not recognize the “normal rules of engagement” and “cannot take a moral stance outside the perspective of [their] tribe.” And the crisis we are now facing does not allow for that species of adjournment we call diplomacy or the nepenthean illusion of “dialogue” with an interlocutor who does not abide by its formative assumptions. Time is running out. “The borderless challenge of emancipated warriors,” cautions French philosopher AndrĂ© Glucksmann, “allows us little leisure for procrastination” (City Journal, August 2007). If we are not careful, it may well be game, set, match.

What the situation cries out for today are deeply educated and farsighted statesmen of the stamp of Winston Churchill and David Ben-Gurion, or at the very least determined political leaders like Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Instead, our fate is in the hands of one-dimensional, small men and women without vision, knowledge of history or the courage to act, except insofar as they are prospecting for votes. It is not only, as Joe Klein contends in Politics Lost, that the political process has been trivialized by the burgeoning tribe of “marketing professionals, consultants, and pollsters who…have robbed public life of its romance and vigor,” but that the subjects of the “pollster-consultant industrial complex” are themselves devoid of moral and intellectual substance to begin with. This fact was recognized by Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who in a 1993 meeting in Philadelphia said: “When I speak with the American, I speak with someone who doesn’t know anything” (Steven Emerson Blog, March 25, 2008). Add to this sorry spectacle of political vapidness and acedia the editorial vaporizings of a philistine press and the parlous state of journalistic ethics, and we have, to put it mildly, a big problem. Yet it does not take a mantic expertise to discern the probable future should we continue to sit back, swallow the sedatives of standard political analysis and let events take their course. For it is not just that Jews are under threat in the new wave of antisemitism spreading throughout the world. It is the Western secular democracies as well, in which both Jews and non-Jews have, if only intermittently, enjoyed the benefits of peace, prosperity and common egalitarian values, that are in grave danger of subsidence.

This is what all too many in the West, including its power-holders and influence-peddlers, refuse to understand. We are truly in a war, different from any war we have fought in the past, waged on many different fronts from fifth column infiltration to an expanding demographic to incendiary physical assault to “Dark Web” terror attacks on basic cyber infrastructures to the introduction of Shari’a Compliant Finance on the stock market, but a real war nevertheless that will persist well into the century. Let us not dissemble or extenuate. In its militant dimension it is a war that is once again approaching our shores—9/11 was only the opening salvo—and which will have real consequences in large numbers of casualties, civil disruption, cultural prostration and economic breakdown.

And it is a war that, in the long term, we may well lose if we do not awaken to the peril which confronts us. It is not by the pricking of our thumbs that some of us fear the imminence of a generations-long tumult but by a sober reading of the historical archive, the absorption of the relevant literature and an informed and common-sense alertness to the current scene. Those of us who are sounding the alarm will naturally be accused by the droves of sleepwalkers shuffling in the public domain of exaggeration and even of war-mongering in our turn. But when these contemporary R.I.P. Van Winkles are finally jarred awake by events, they will likely find themselves living and dying in a very different world from the one in which they fell asleep.

In his introduction to The Best American Essays (2002), entitled “To Open a Millennium,” Stephen J. Gould remarked that, as the 20th century began at the end of World War I, so the 21rst century dawned the day after September 11, 2001. This was the “fateful year” and the meaning of 9/11 was the substantive issue to be addressed. I venture to say he was correct. We are now challenged as never before as the 21st century unfolds toward the seismic event of civilizational conflict between a messianic world-faith and a secular world-view. There are no atoms of compatibility between two such global systems of culture and belief. Let us listen to the music before we have to face it. For the theme song of the Islamic adversary—we have the authority of Hamas chieftain Mahmoud Zahar on this—may be regarded as a modification of the famous Leonard Cohen lyric: first we take Jerusalem, then we take New York.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

RomneyCare: The New Big Dig

Conservatives were asked to believe that Mitt Romney had seen the light and (as of a week ago last Tuesday) is now one of us. He was also touted as an expert on the economy.

It turns out, however, that the "universal health care" plan implemented by this big government, liberal is bankrupting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Today's Wall Street Journal points out that the plan is hardly universal. Only an additional 350,000 have received coverage as a result of the plan. Yet over the next decade, budget overruns could total a catastrophic $4 billion. Let's hope that John McCain, who admits to knowing little about economics, doesn't turn to this "expert" for advice.

Michigan Homosexual Lobby Backs Jail, Lawsuits For Refusal to Recognize Homosexual "Marriage"

Gary Glenn
President of AFA-Michigan

Homosexual activist says business owners should be jailed, newspapers sued and "slapped publicly"

LOS ANGELES -- Michigan's largest homosexual activist group says once marriage is legally redefined to include homosexual couples, business owners and even news media outlets who refuse to recognize such marriages should be jailed or sued and "publicly slapped," a Jewish and openly bisexual columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News reported Monday.

Statements attributed in the column to homosexual lobbyist Sean Kosofsky, director of policy for the Detroit-based Triangle Foundation, were denounced Wednesday by American Family Association of Michigan President Gary Glenn, co-author of the Marriage Protection Amendment approved by voters in 2004 to constitutionally reaffirm the legal definition of marriage in Michigan as only between one man and one woman.

"The Triangle Foundation openly admits homosexual activists' intentions, once they gain sufficient political power, to impose their radical social agenda on America by brute force, trampling cherished American values such as religious freedom, freedom of speech, academic freedom, and even freedom of the press if it stands in their way," Glenn said.

Glenn pointed to comments by Kosofsky reported Monday by David Benkof, author of Gay Essentials: Facts for Your Queer Brain and founder of the Q Syndicate, a "gay"-press syndicate that provides columns and other material to a hundred homosexual newspapers.

Benkof, who strays from "gay" political orthodoxy by opposing the redefinition of marriage, wrote in a column published Monday by the Los Angeles Daily News that he had interviewed homosexual activists nationally about the legal implications of a California Supreme Court ruling last week declaring a constitutional "right" to so-called homosexual "marriage."

Benkof wrote: "What happens if a traditionally religious business owner wants to extend his 'marriage discount' only to couples married in his eyes? Sean Kosofsky of Michigan's largest gay-rights group, the Triangle Foundation, says, 'If you are a public accommodation and you are open to anyone on Main Street, that means you must be open to everyone on Main Street. If they don't do it, that's contempt and they will go to jail.' "

Benkof continued: "Michael Taylor-Judd, the president of the Legal Marriage Alliance of Washington state, said if a newspaper writes that a given same-sex marriage wasn't really a marriage, 'it is certainly in the realm of possibility for someone to bring a (libel) suit, and quite possibly to be successful.' Kosofsky agreed: 'I would be sympathetic to some damages. They need to be slapped publicly.' "

(See link to Benkof column below)

Glenn said the Triangle Foundation routinely justifies its hostility toward individuals and organizations who disagree with homosexual activists' political agenda, as well as Triangle's admitted plans to suppress their opponents' free speech rights, by demonizing those who support traditional one-man, one-woman marriage as promoters of "hate" and violence.

* The Triangle Foundation's web site currently features a news release charging that support for Michigan's Marriage Protection Amendment by Glenn and Catholic Cardinal Adam Maida of the Archdiocese of Detroit was a motivating factor in the alleged beating death of a homosexual senior citizen last year in Detroit. "It is appalling hypocrisy," the statement reads, "for (Glenn and Maida) to pretend that their venomous words and organizing have no connection to the plague of hate violence against gay people, including the murder of Mr. Anthos."

Triangle's claims were proven false when police reported they found no evidence of assault and
the Wayne County medical examiner's office concluded the man had died from natural causes after a fall resulting from arthritic paralysis.,2933,262308,00.html

* Kosofsky has for years publicly accused Glenn's organization of supporting murder, though only one news media outlet has ever published the allegation. "We personally believe that the AFA may support the murder of gay, lesbian and bisexual people," Kosofsky said, as reported in 2001 by State News, the student newspaper at Michigan State University.
And Kosofsky in a published column in 2005 called Cardinal Maida "recklessly wicked," accused him of "arrogance, bigotry and hypocrisy," and said the Catholic church's position in support of one-man, one-woman marriage "should be tossed in the trash."
Glenn also noted that when Kosofsky said news media outlets should be sued and "slapped publicly" if they report material to which homosexual activists object, one example may have been fresh on his mind. Last month, Kosofsky attacked WNEM-TV Channel 5, Saginaw, for its coverage of a pro-homosexual student protest in public schools. "WNEM has run one of the worst stories I have seen in recent years on Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender issues by using insensitive and inflammatory terms," Kosofsky wrote on his blog, Blog O' Queer.
Violations of religious freedom, free speech rights, academic freedom, and freedom of the press have become routine in countries and states that have already adopted so-called homosexual "marriage" or "hate crime" laws based on homosexual behavior, Glenn said.

* Swedish Pastor Ake Green in 2004 was sentenced to 30 days in jail for preaching a sermon in which he defined homosexual behavior as sinful and harmful to society.

* Baptist Press reported in 2005: "A Catholic bishop in Canada is under investigation by a government agency for condemning 'gay marriage'... The bishop, Fred Henry of Calgary, is being investigated by the Alberta Human Rights Commission for comments he made about homosexuality in both a letter to parishioners and a Calgary Sun newspaper column. Two homosexuals filed the complaints."

* The Irish Times reported in 2003: "Clergy and bishops who distribute the Vatican's latest publication describing homosexual activity as 'evil' could face prosecution under incitement to hatred legislation. ...Those convicted under the Act can face jail terms of up to six months."
* The London Daily Telegraph reported in 2006: "New Government proposals on equality could require clergy to bless homosexual 'weddings' or face prosecution, the Church of England said yesterday. It said the proposed regulations could undermine official teaching and require Christians to act against their religious convictions."

* Catholic Charities in Boston was forced by a state "sexual orientation" law to either process the adoption of children to homosexual couples, a direct violation of Vatican policy, or abandon their century-old adoption referral services altogether. They chose the latter.

* The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix newspaper was ordered by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal to pay three homosexual men $1,500 each after the newspaper agreed to run an ad that featured Bible verses critical of homosexual behavior. "As the Star-Phoenix lawyer said in his closing statement (before the Tribunal), 'A Human Rights ruling against the Star-Phoenix and Mr. Owens could limit freedom of speech in the media, in churches and in classrooms.'"

* A British couple were questioned by police on possible "hate crime" charges after they wrote a letter-to-the-editor of their local newspaper criticizing city officials for distributing brochures at city hall promoting homosexual behavior.

* The London Daily Telegraph reported last month: "A Christian couple who have taken in 28 children have been forced to give up being foster parents after they refused to promote homosexuality. Vincent Matherick, 65, and his 61-year-old wife Pauline were told by social services that they had to comply with legislation requiring them to treat homosexuality as equal to heterosexuality."

* A British Anglican bishop in February was fined for refusing to hire an openly homosexual man as a church youth minister.

* The London Daily Telegraph reported in 2003: "A bishop who angered homosexuals by suggesting they seek a psychiatric cure is to be investigated by police to see if his outspoken views amount to a criminal offence, it emerged yesterday."
* Eleven Christians in Philadelphia -- including two grandmothers in their 70's, one white and one African-American -- were arrested and charged with "ethnic intimidation" under Pennsylvania's "hate crimes" law when they tried to read Bible verses out loud during a homosexual street festival. They faced a cumulative 47 years in prison had they been convicted.

* A New Mexico Christian photographer was fined $6,600 for refusing on religious grounds to photograph a homosexual marriage-like "commitment" ceremony.
* Catholic bishops in Belgium and Spain were sued in 2004 by homosexual activist groups for making public statements in opposition to homosexual behavior and homosexual "marriage."
* Boston public school teachers were threatened with termination if they failed to portray so-called homosexual "marriage" in a positive light.

The full text of Benkof's column in the Los Angeles Daily News is here.