Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day on the Boston Commons

To properly commemorate Memorial Day, five hundred volunteers placed 37,000 flags on the Boston Common to mark every Massachusetts citizen killed in war since the American Revolution.  

This sea of flags is a stirring sight.  But numbers alone does not tell the full story.  Historians may see battle casualties in the American Revolutionary war to be light, but considered in proportions, those who gave their lives for self rule would have been 2.1 million in contemporary scales.  Of course much of this sacrifice came from Massachusetts, the cradle of the Revolution, which started with the "Shot Heard 'Round the World"  at Lexington and Concord. 

George Washington on Peace

George Washington

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pope Francis on Mid East Peace

While traveling to Manger Square, Pope Francis deviated from his tightly scheduled itinerary, he spontaneously halted the motorcade to pray for several minutes at the wall that divides Israel from the Palestinian territory.

{Pope Francis praying  at the Bethlehem Wall, West Bank}

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Alec Baldwin Vents About NYC

Alec Baldwin was upset the other day after being arrested for bicycling the wrong way on Fifth Avenue near Union Square.  Since the star of 30 Rock was not carrying ID and the cops did not fall for the "Do you know who I am?" routine, NYPD procedure mandated that he was taken to the police station.  Baldwin lived up to his mercurial reputation, so he was cited both for a traffic violation and a charge of disorderly contact.

When Baldwin was released, he took to Twitter to vent.  It is dubious if his social activism will have the popular appeal of #BringBackOurGirls.

A Taiwanese animation studio prepared a tongue-in-cheek concept video chronicling Baldwin's bicycle adventure.

One wonders if Baldwin's bilious blurtations were just an emotional cathartic, if this was a deeper critique of the Nanny State wrought by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the current progressive  Mayor Bill DeBlasio, or if Baldwin has finally concluded that big brother government onerously impinges on individual liberty.

Wei Wu Wei on Truth

Wei Wu Wei Terence Gray

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Feminists Pols Primed to Use #BringBackOurGirls As Partisan Cudgel

Eleven Democrat Senators jumped on the hashtag diplomacy bandwagon by posing for a #BringBackOurGirls publicity photo.  To follow up, all twenty female Senators signed a letter to President Obama deploring the abduction of 300 Nigerian schoolgirls.  In addition, this letter  urged that the Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad, more widely known as Boko Haram (loosely translated "Western education is sinful"), and offshoot group Ansaru to be considered al Qaeda associates and thereby be put on the terror watch list. Senator Amy Klobachar (D-MN) sought to expand awareness to include human trafficking both domestically and internationally. 

This sense of the Senate is interesting as it comes at a time Democrat vehemently claim that the Republicans are on a partisan witchhunt regarding the House Benghazi Select Committee.  Moreover, as prospective Presidential candidates for the 2016 run, these women are strangely silent about former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's decision to keep Boko Haram off the terror watch list during her tenure at Foggy Bottom.  

Realpolitck critics contend that this social media campaign is just an exercise in self-esteem which will have little sway on the barbarians in the wild of Nigeria.  Rush Limbaugh suggested that the hashtag campaign was a cheaper way of advertising that "you care" instead of investing in a cause ribbon  or organizing a benefit concert.

Unlike the 2012 campaign smear, the Boku Haram abductions exemplify a real "War on Women".  Yet if one does not  throw accolades to the Twitter campaigns are condemned as being "out of touch" and not savvy about how digital soft power can work.  Almost inevitably, skeptics of the efficacy of hashtag diplomacy will be cast as the villains. 

Sandra Fluke, the former Georgetown University Law student whose claim to fame was by offering Congressional testimony that she could not afford her own contraception to bolster  Obamacare's Contraception Mandate, she could not afford contraception, now is a Democrat running for California State Senate seat 26.  A satirical site carried  outrageous opinions concerning sexual oppression in America and elsewhere.

Fortunately, Fluke's attributed observations were a spoof.  But considering Fluke's "Two Futures" speech at the 2012 Democrat National Convention, such rhetoric is not beyond the pale. 
 Some celebutards vow if elections do not go their way that they'll leave the country.  Alas, few have followed up on their promises.. If they were true, Fluke's bold statements have made her a candidate for 4P draft status in the War on Terror.

However, progressive news media are poised to use this atrocity as a cudgel for finding favor for their pet causes.  MSNBC's Chris Matthews mocked the the GOP for their sudden concern about Africa.  Of course, Matthews forgot about how widely praised President George W. Bush had been for efforts in Africa during his two terms. Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC wondered aloud if a mostly male administration would have acted sooner if the abductees weren't girls.

It seems that the #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign might have an altruistic origin, but it is showy issue identification which can be refashioned into a cudgel against domestic political "enemies".

{ Editor's Note 5/15 Piece corrected regarding Sandra Fluke}

Henry Ford on Obstacles

Henry Ford

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thad Cochran on Earmarks

In an interview with National Public Radio, six term US Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) audaciously asserted that earmarks had been given a bad name.

In fact, "Gentleman Thad" bragged about how his thirty six years of seniority and membership on the Senate Agriculture and Appropriations Committee could be applied to direct how tax dollars are spent. 

Cochran's concern about who controls the spending of tax dollars seems less constitutionally connected and more ego driven.  According to Breitbart's Big Government, Cochran has more buildings named after him in Mississippi than any current lawmaker has in his state or district.


And to think that Cochran has not been able to earmark any vanity plates since Speaker John Boehner (R-OH 8th) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) banished budgeting earmarks after the 2010 elections. Wonder where Cochran stands against Robert Byrd's naming legacy in the Mountaineer State? 

The 76 year old Senior Senator from Mississippi is engage in a contested Republican primary against Tea Party favorite State Senator Chris McDaniel (R-42nd-Ellisville). Despite some hopeful polling at the beginning of April, Cochran still seems to have a solid lead.  But Mississippi voters will finally decide during the June 2nd primary.  

Winston Churchill on Truth

Winston Churchill Truth

Monday, May 12, 2014

Dinesh D'Souza on Marxists

It should be noted that President Barack Obama was on the faculty of the University of Chicago from 1992-2004 as an adjunct lecturer on Constitutional Law.   Perhaps if D'Souza was thinking of our President with his maxim about American Marxists.

One might wonder why the Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (1971) was taught in a US Constitutional Law course and what Saul Alinsky has to do with the Constitution.  

D'Souza's first film 2016: Obama's America  (2012) is a documentary which postulates that Barack Obama's weltanschauung was shaped by his early influences.  Obama chose to identify with his father's anti-colonial urge to reshape the world, particularly hyperpowers like the (former) British Empire.  Obama's early radical progressive influences are epitomized in candidate Obama's exuberant exclamation of "fundamentally transforming America in 2008 and by how he governs as President.   

The film cost $2.5 million  to produce and grossed over $33 million at the Box Office, which was the second highest grossing political documentary ever.   

Just prior to Independence Day weekend, D'Souza will release the film America which will be another political film which will take on the progressive critique that America was founded upon plunder and theft and debunk it.  As D'Souza divulged at CPAC 2014: "If he [Mr. Obama] was upset about that film, wait 'til he sees the new one. 

Thomas Jefferson on Freedom

Thomas Jefferson Freedom

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mark Steyn on POTUS Potential

Columnist to the World Mark Steyn has been scathing to the lack of personal involvement which Barack Obama has contributed to his successes, including victories during his Presidency.  Steyn recently critiqued the White House involvement in the Twitter campaign against the Boko Haram jihadist terrorists who abducted 276 Nigerian schoolgirls to sell them into sexual slavery. 

Steyn likens social media promotion of #BringBackOurGirls  to political impotency and suggests #BringBackOurBalls.  

Of course will all of the cuts to military readiness applied by sequestration, green energy initiatives et cetera, Twitter campaigns may be the best the Obama Administration can do. But surely there is a way to blame it on Bush.  Or maybe now the bete noir are the Koch Brothers.

Further Reflections on the Special Role of Mothers

Few pangs of pain compare with childbirth. Carol Burnett tried to explain labor pains to blissfully ignorant men by suggesting that they pull their lower lip over their forehead. 

 But rather than ruminate over what is anatomically impossible, a couple of Dutch guys had this pangs of life electronically stimulated. (Nota bene-- Use the Close Caption button in the video to get an English translation of the guys feeling  their pain).

Those sacrifices do not stop at childbirth, but that only marks the beginning.   As Kevin Durant focused his 2014 NBA MVP acceptance speech to express thanks for all of his mother's sacrifices to help him achieve.  Durant called Mama Durant "the real MVP."

As St. Therese of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church pointed out: "The loving masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother." Billy Graham took great solace that his mother was always praying for him.

While the Evangelist Extraordinaire may not have a Marian devotion, Catholic scholars such as Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. Edward Sri and Steve Ray note that Mary as the Queen Mother and Queen of Heaven would have some special sway in the Kingdom. So we have our heavenly mother who also looks out for her spiritual children.

 So on this day that we take the time to reflect on the blessings of our mothers, I am thankful that my maternal unit bared my pain, as it was a manifestation of the heavenly love on Earth.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Jon Huntsman on Leadership

It's a good thing for Huntsman that his family fortune gives him deep pockets politically. But based on Huntsman's glowing recommendation of his former Foggy Bottom boss Hillary Rodham Clinton, it seems that Huntsman will be competing with former Governor Charlie Crist  (R-I-D) for the bottom half of the ticket.

Woody Allen on Cheating

Woody Allen college metaphysics

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lee Goodman on Journalism

 Lee Goodman is the Republican Chairman of the Federal Elections Commission thru December 2014.  Goodman's assessment reveal how elements within the Federal government are positioning itself to stifle dissent.

 After the IRS crackdown on the Tea Party and the trial balloon to send government monitors to all newsrooms to report on coverage of minorities, these draconian warning seem quite merited.

Don Quixote on Life

Don Quixote Mob

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

John Kerry on the "Cross Currents of Modernity"

While  speaking at the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Secretary of State John F. Kerry remarked about the "cross-currents of modernity" in Africa.  Kerry made these "cross-current" comments in tandem with remarks calling for respecting the rights and liberties of individuals. 

It could be a veiled reference to the persecution of Ethiopian Christians as the Islamist group Kewarjah, repeatedly attacks Christians in Southwest Ethiopia.  Moreover, the government has sought to ban all religious messages and talks in public. 

However, the Secretary of State's summary of his talks neither seem to approve  of religious pluralism or respecting religious observance. This hardly reflect President Obama's recent robust public comments endorsing religious freedom.   Kerry's  even-handed approach to addressing religious liberty in Ethiopia dismisses religious creed as being relevant in the "cross-currents of modernity" and declines to address what religious fanatics are enforcing their interpretations of faith. 

Emiliano Zapata on Freedom

Zapata on Freedom

Monday, May 5, 2014

Reveling in the Revenge of the Fifth

The success of the Star Wars Day has been phenomenal since its inception in 2011. In fact several minor league baseball teams wear special Star Wars inspired uniforms to mark the ersatz holiday. One never knows where people can see Storm Troopers strutting about.

 Some people want to extend it from "May the Fourth Be With You" to "Revenge of the Fifth". Of course, this conflicts with Cinco de Mayo.  And this year Star Wars Day was the day before the "Run for the Roses" at Churchill Downs, which usually is associated with many mint juleps.

Thus it might be prudent to revel in Revenge of the Fifth by succumbing to the Dark Side.

Guinness Extra Stout is only 3.4% ABV and 210 calories a pint.  But if you quaff it in a 12 oz. portion, Guinness has fewer calories than orange juice. And it's quite popular all around the Empire (as well as the former British Empire). 

Benito Juarez on Governing

Benito Juarez

 Benito Juarez was the President of Mexico who resisted the French Occupation of Mexico, overthrew the Second Mexican Empire and restored the Constitutional Republic.

 The reason people celebrate Cinco de Mayo is the unlikely victory of Mexican troops over French forces in the battle of Puebla.  Many people north of the border confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Independence Day, which is actually commemorated on September 16th.

 For many Americans Cinco de Mayo is an excuse to party.  Nationally, it is now the third biggest bar night of the year. But considering the way we celebrate and the general ignorance about El Día de la Batalla de Puebla, maybe it's better to consider it the Revenge of the Fifth.

Star Wars Revenge of the Fifth parody

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Still Digesting President Obama's Easter Prayer Breakfast Remarks

President Obama's remarks for the 2014 Easter Prayer breakfast ranged from a somber recounting of a deadly attack on a Kansas Jewish Community Center, a summing up of the Christian Easter message, touting the President's meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican and POTUS' playful prayer.
Was President Obama's Prayer at the Easter Prayer Breakfast:
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Friday, May 2, 2014

A Bit About Whether Dr. Dobson Unduly Politicize the National Day of Prayer?

To commemorate the 62nd consecutive year of the National Day of Prayer, there certainly were different approaches.  Unlike his predecessor, President Barack Obama has not hosted an ecumenical service to commemorate the National Day of Prayer, the 44th President does issue proclamations each year.  Mr. Obama's 2014 proclamation paid lip service to the importance of respecting religious liberty, which struck many political observers as ironic considering the manner which the Obama Administration has rolled out the Contraception Mandate portion of Obamacare.

On the other hand, Dr. James Dobson chose to play the prophet who will tell truth to power.  Dr. Dobson was quite clear in labeling Mr. Obama as the "Abortion President".  Dobson detailed how President Obama gave the keynote speech at the 2013 Planned Parenthood convention to brag how an expanded "womens' health services" would be part of Obamacare. Dobson also noted that Planned Parenthood garners $250 million a year for "reproductive health".   

Dobson's group "Family Talk" recently won an injunction to block the Federal government from forcing it to impose the Contraception Mandate (which includes abortifacients).  Dobson tearfully proclaimed: So come and get me if you must, Mr. President.  I will not blow before your wicked regulation."  Dobson urged his audience to fight on as: “We can win. And keep prayer because that’s what really made a difference here.”

Dobson's directness did not settle well with Representative Janice Hahn (D-CA 44th), who wagged her finger at the speaker and said "This is inappropriate" as she walked of the event held in the Canon House Office Building.  Later Rep. Hahn, who co-chairs the weekly Congressional prayer breakfast claimed: "James Dobson hijacked the National Day of Prayer -- this nonpartisan, nonpolitical National Day of Prayer -- to promote his own distorted political agenda."


Dobson's pointed speech was not partisan in the sense of party politics or advocating specific legislation but he did detail real world challenges to living  a morally inspired life.  

There are thousands of National Day of Prayer events throughout the United States, but activities in the Federal City tend to dominate the spotlight.  So having issues that are uncomfortable or contentious can threaten the non-political comity of the National Day of Prayer.


The question is-- Did Dr. Dobson unduly politicize the National Day of Prayer?

Did Dr. Dobson unduly politicize the National Day of Prayer?
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