Archive for March, 2005

Easter

Sunday, March 27th, 2005

The other day, Hugh Hewitt quoted part of one of my favorite passages from C.S. Lewis’ Weight of Glory, and today I thought back to the appropriateness of the preceding sentences.

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you may talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and corruption such as you now meet if at all only in a nightmare.

All day long we are in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in light of these overwhelming possibilities it is with awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics.

Meditating on that last clause, in light of pieces by Wrechard and Andrew Sullivan brings me back to a position of self-examination. Do I put my political agenda before the divine agenda C.S. Lewis illuminated? While not laying aside my responsibilities in the City of Man, what do my words and actions effect in the City of God?

The Court is not the Law

Friday, March 25th, 2005

The founder of judicial review was overruled by the first president who represented the people against the elites. Andrew Jackson, in an evil cause, is reputed to have said [Chief Justice] “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.” Jackson’s actions certainly embodied those words. But the legislature and presidency have for so long found the judiciary a convenient excuse for avoiding hard constitutional issues, or for getting what elite supporters want while deflecting and damping popular anger, that the president is truly bound by tradition. I welcome Hugh Hewitt’s identification of the elite leaders of the mob crying “kill her!” as espousingvirulent anti-religious bigotry. However, I reject the quiescence that flows from the assertion that we are a nation of laws even as Hugh argues that one branch of government is flauting law. The robed cadre uses the unexamined, uncontroverted language of law to assert a lawless elite agenda. They must be curbed by reassertion of constitutional authority in the other branches.

If the Congress may check the President with a supermajority vote, then let them do the same with judges decisions, to include decisions not to decide.

And let the President speak for the presumption of life against the robed, MSM and academic elites whose notion of compassion is death.

Ribbons and Bands 2

Thursday, March 24th, 2005

Prompted by a response to my postings on ribbons and bracelets, I looked up MIA/POW bracelets. There appear to be at least two sources. The originals were made during the Vietnam War and there is a web site with their history and a page to link up families of the missing with people who have their service member’s bracelet.

The National League of POW/MIA Families is mostly identified by their black and white flag and logo, but they list an official vender with stainless steel bracelets.

LAX travel

Sunday, March 20th, 2005

Walked into the terminal got my boarding pass walked out to join the security screening line, joining streams of people kicked out of the terminal. Some threat triggered the usual bureacratic insanity under false colors of security diligence and caution.
In sleep deficit all weekend and then boarding a plane behind a sick child coughing over her mother’s shoulder. “Cover your mouth, dear” her mother says patiently. I head as far back in the petri dish cabin as possible . . . only to have some wide body drop into the seat in front of me — the seat back sagging and hitting me in the knee. The stew is begging for people to please put their smaller bags under the seats.

Mixed Messages

Sunday, March 13th, 2005

There are a number of instances of conflict between the content programming and the advertising programmed on social conservative talk radio. A fair amount of the discrepancy arises from filling time with public service people’s socialist announcements. A second source is the near or actual flim-flam moneymaking and health potions business — appealing to the individualist and people who distrust authority. Finally, there are the political pitches that represent themselves as conservative when they are radical.

I look briefly at one of the third cases in this posting. There is still a John Bircher billboard northbound between Tucson and Phoenix. They have perennially pitched “Get the UN out of the US and US out of the UN.” More recently, they have been on board with a coalition of convenience, comprised of nativists and radical leftists. The radical left and right are so far apart in political space that they nearly touch as political space folds back on itself.

StoptheFTAA.org, being pitched on conservative talk stations as a sovereignty and anti-corruption campaign, is a John Bircher front, while googling the slogan “Stop the FTAA” turns up the AFL-CIO, the Communist Party of America, and a solid slate of anti-globalization (i.e. anti-capitalism rather than socialism expansion) organizations.

The New American, the John Birch Society’s publication, features stoptheftaa.org on their web front page, but this affiliation is never revealed in the radio ads. Go to StopTheFTAA.org, skipping past two layers of entrance screens, and you will find full throated isolationism, conspiracy theory, and the John Birch Society affiliation in very small print at the bottom of the page.

The promises of greater prosperity are merely the bait for the internationalist FTAA trap. And it is rotten bait at that since the resulting socialist regulatory bureaucracy would continue the process that is destroying the American middle class. It would also undermine any opportunity for the peoples of Latin America to increase their standards of living.

Not that John Birchers care for the peoples south of our border, but the throwaway sentence dresses up the preceding sentences that include code often understood to mean “the Jews.”

From the Left, we find StopFTAA.org. A group calling itself The Save Our Civil Liberties Campaign /em runs this. Their claim:

Our Civil Liberties Campaign (www.saveourcivilliberties.org) is a national and international campaign initiated by local and national global justice, labor, anti-war, animal welfare, environmental and community groups and networks to respond to the violations of our civil liberties and human rights in Miami. The campaign is a unifying framework to increase cooperation and weave together the many groups and individuals working to save and expand our human rights and civil liberties.

This campaign pursues goals of demilitarizing police and our communities and of decriminalizing dissent–ending the violation of basic democratic rights-free speech, the right to assemble and the right to organize. Communities of color and immigrants live daily with police violence, which is becoming even more brutal and expanding even further in order to promote and secure corporate globalization.

The AFL-CIO pitches Stop FTAA—It’s the Wrong Choice and asserts:

If approved, the FTAA would eliminate tariffs from 34 countries with a population of more than 800 million and accelerate the staggering job loss and environmental damage experienced under 10 years of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Citizens Trade Campaign, a front for labor unions, has the tag line “working together for social and economic justice in trade policy” and has a headline claiming “MIAMI VICTORY DESPITE POLICE ABUSES.” Note the similarity tone of this union site to the far left Save Our Civil Liberties Campaign.

The Sierra Club makes the Google search with a page titled “Stop the FTAA - Responsible Trade.” They claim:

It could expose more of our health and environmental laws to attack as trade barriers encourage destructive mining and logging in some of our hemisphere’s most precious wild areas. Global trade rules have already been used to undermine protections for wildlife, food safety, and the environment.

When conservatives and supporters of the President’s vision of the future are either silent (can’t criticize the bill-payers) or echo some of these phases without a great deal of explicit qualifying and educating of their listeners, the political dialog skews to the fringes and makes governing and reasonable policy-making more difficult. I suggest a bit more care in selection of advertising and a bit more license to argue with advertising in the context of radio shows and affiliated blogs.