Thursday, August 21, 2014

Obama's New Golf War? (sic)

While the parents of murdered photojournalist James Foley were meeting the press, President Obama took five minutes away from his current vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts to comment on the brutal beheading. Within ten minutes of Mr. Obama's brief statement, the so called "Preezy of the United Steezy"   was back on the golf course, yukking it up with golf partner former hoops star Alonzo  Mourning. 

President Obama's photo op was not generally well received even in the liberal Lamestream Media. Some journalists criticized Mr. Obama's informality, speaking on such a serious subject without wearing a tie.  Another complaint was President Obama referring to the slain American as "Jim", as if the President had personally known the deceased hostage.  The vacuousness of the comments did not satisfy the hunger in the public to do something.  To that end, there were governmental leaks about a failed hostage rescue by American armed forces.  What seemed to be most damaging was the optic about Mr. Obama shifting from being Mourner in Chief to golfing with Alonzo Mourning so quickly after the event.  

On MSNBC's "The Morning Joe", host Joe Scarborough offered an alternative take on what the New York Daily News dubbed "Bama's Golf War".

Well, isn't that special?  Here's a pro tip for Joe Scarborough -- resist Potomac Fever.  As late as March, 2014, Scarborough, the former four term Republican (?) Congressman from the Florida panhandle (FL-1st), had been publicly toying with a Presidential run.  You have no real path to the Oval Office and you will never be able to make $99,000 a week other than doing something like your faux conservative schtick on "The Morning Joke".

Pro arguendo, if President Obama is intentionally projecting an image of being a cold customer to intimidate ISIS, it is worth considering the results of this "strategerie".

In attempt to be charitable, one hopes that this is not a concerted strategy from Obama's Oval Office (or putting green), but is a manifestation of a Celebrity-in-Chief who is just playing through-- same as it ever was.

Rick Perry on Facing Adversity Fighting the Criminalizing of Politics

Mug shot of Tom Delay (2005)
Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) was indicted by federal grand jury in Travis County, Texas on two counts of abuse of power.  In 2013, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested for DWI with a blood alcohol level of .239 (thrice the legal limit).  Governor Perry refused to fund the Travis County D.A.'s office with $7.5 million of state funds as Mr. Perry cited a loss of confidence in the office while Lehmberg was still in office.  For publicly acting under the authority of his office as Governor, Mr. Perry potentially faces 99 years in prison.  Despite this potential outcome, Governor Perry insists that he would do it again.

Governor Perry submitted to a mug shot at the Travis County courthouse which could be mistaken for a glamour pose.  Perry followed the mirthful mien of former House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX 22nd) who took a smiling mugshot when another Travis County grand jury indicted him on political charges (N.B.- Delay's conviction on trumped up campaign finance charges was overturned on appeal as there was not sufficient legal evidence for conviction).  Alas, Governor Perry did not seem to listen to "the Exterminator" Tom Delay's warnings about the Travis County D.A.'s office, as Ms. Lehmberg is in the same mold as her predecessor Ronnie Earle.

These are not the only prominent instances of the Travis County D.A. playing politics through malicious indictments.  After Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) won a special election with 67% of the vote to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Lloyd Benson (D-TX) in 1993, Travis County D.A. Ronnie Earle concocted charges of Hutchison allegedly abusing power as State Treasurer for ordering records destroyed.  Indubitably, this was meant to tarnish Hutichson's re-election bid in 1994.  But minutes after the trial got underway, the case was thrown out and the judge directed a "Not Guilty" verdict.  As former Senator Hutchison reflected at the time: "The only crime I committed was doing a great job as state treasurer and winning an election by a landslide."

Those with political aspiration should be concerned about brushes with the law, as adverse headlines can tarnish hold held political dreams.  That might explain Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's addled obsession with the optics of being held overnight on DWI charges. But such uses of criminal charges ought to be constrained to real wrongdoing, not made up malfeasance such as using the authority of one's office to follow what an official believes is the will of the people.  Lehmberg's repeated requests to "Call Greg" (Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton) and her reminding law enforcement officers that she is the District Attorney smacks more of abuse of power than does defunding the Travis County D.A.'s office.

Progressive political players, like the George Soros funded Think Progress, have launched Battlefield Texas to try to to turn the Lone Star State blue. It is a pity that partisans in elective office seem intent to speed up the process by using their powers for transparent political purposes. 

In this constitutional Republic, we remain a nation of laws not of men.  Governor Perry acquiescing to a mug shot shows that the Governor still believes in the ultimate fairness process.  However,  do not let Rick Perry's happy face fool you, as he will vigorously fight what he believes is an unrighteous political prosecution.

William J.H. Boetcker on Character

 William JH Boetcker

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Un"-Orthodox Attack on Ukrainian Uniates By Russian Orthodox Patriarch

But before you take the Russian Orthodox's philippic as gospel, there are a few things to consider. The Uniates are Eastern rite Catholics (whose worship is quite similar to the Orthodox except they are loyal to the Pope) is only the majority in three Western Ukrainian Oblasts.  Of the 75% of Ukrainians who believe in God, just over 5% are "Greek Catholics".   

Patriarch Kirill referred to the Euromaidan (which he called the Kiev Maidan), in which he alleges that the some of the Uniate demonstrators denounced from the dais Orthodox and called for the eradication of Orthodoxy in Ukraine.  Really?  The Euromaidan hosted HOURLY ecumenical prayers for the several months that protesters made their stand at the Maidan in the freezing cold.  It seems rather implausible that an extreme minority faith working in an ecumenical environment for positive change would agitate for eradicating Orthodoxy from Ukraine.  This sounds more like Russian Intelligence Disinformation which preys upon long standing schisms of Christianity rather than the facts on the ground in the Donboss.

To rebut Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kiril's charges, the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church released an official statement which reads in part:

 The Ukrainain Greek-Catholic Church has appealed throughout all the months of the  violent  uprisings for searching ways of peacefully regulating this.  Simultaneously, it does not contradict the right and obligation of Ukrainian citizens to protect their freedom and independence.  Together with representatives of other Churches and religious organizations, UGCC is making concrete efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims-residents of the Eastern regions of Ukraine, regardless of their nationality or religious affiliation. We categorically condemn any violence towards the peaceful residents of Ukraine, especially its clergy, regardless of the fact to which confession, religious or ethnic group they may belong.  Once again, we remind all of the appeal of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations for an immediate end of the violence and the surrender of arms by all illegally armed contingents, whose evil deeds have taken the lives of hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers, law enforcement personnel, and civilians, including women and children.
 Attempts to claim that during the Anti-Terrorist  Operation (ATO) the Orthodox faithful of the Moscow Patriarchate are the only ones who suffer, is a dangerous intention to set off the whole  Ukrainian society against one confession.  Intolerable is the evil attempt to label the realization of the natural right of the Ukrainian people for freedom and independence of their country, into the inter-confessional area, which provokes new tensions and new sadness in Ukrainian society – this time in the activities of inter-confessional relations.  Today Ukraine needs from its church men not a provocation of violence, but a construction of peace.
Ukrainian armed forces  are not structured according to confessions.  Therefore, in the area of ATO activities, there are chaplains of various confessions.  
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire occurred in the 5th Century A.D., Eastern Christendom was ecclesiastically governed by autocelaphous bishops (where a head bishop does not report to higher ecclesial authority) in regions.  Unfortunately, autocelaphaly can caesaropapism (combining the power of  secular government with the religious power, or making it superior to the spiritual authority of the Church).

It is shameful that at a time when Christians in the Middle East (Copts, Orthodox and Catholic) are being martyred by organized Islamist jihadists, that Christian leaders are jockeying for supremacy in ways which parallel secular Russian Federation expansionism.