October 31, 2010

Clermont County (OH) Commissioner’s Race: Kasich Denounces Croswell Trick

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 5:45 pm

ArchieWilson1010

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Note: This is the fifth in a series of posts by Rose chronicling why endorsed GOP candidate Archie Wilson should be the choice of Clermont County’s voters in the contest for County Commissioner. Previous posts are here, here, here, and here.

The series has also raised important and troubling questions about how property tax dollars are being allocated in the county — and perhaps many other Ohio counties.

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Yesterday, October 30th, Clermont County voters received a mailer from Scott Croswell, inferring that he was endorsed by John Kasich for Commissioner.

Not so fast, said Kasich, who obviously doesn’t appreciate the Halloween trick on on him or on voters, as his campaign released the following statement today:

KasichReCroswell103110

It turns out that’s not the only “trick” Croswell has played.  The following article is printed in full with permission:

The Incumbent Claims…
October 22nd, 2010
By Tim Rudd, Clermont County Republican Party Chairperson

“Never let the facts get in the way of a good story” could be the motto of the campaign being run by incumbent commissioner Scott Croswell running as an Independent for re-election.

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The Final Columbus Dispatch Poll

First, the numbers (article; graphic):

  • Kasich-Strickland-Other — 49-47-4
  • Portman-Fisher-Other — 56-40-4
  • DeWine-Cordray-Other — 44-50-6
  • Yost-Pepper-Other — 47-46-6
  • Husted-O’Shaughnessy-Other — 52-42-6
  • Mandel-Boyce-Other — 51-42-7

The two Ohio Supreme Court races show Republican routs.

Quick comments:

If past form holds — that is, if the Dispatch poll differs from actual results by as much as it did in 2006, when the average Democratic margin was overstated by more than 12% in the six races above — it’s totally over, and Republicans will run the table.

My Clue of the Day that the Dispatch hasn’t figured out how to get representative sensible conservative response: Rasmussen has Portman up by 24, compared to the Dispatch’s 16.

Memo to ORPINO (the Ohio Republican Party In Name Only): Please note that Mike DeWine is from all appearances by far the weakest link on the ticket.

Exit questions:

  • Has the Dispatch found a way to identify conservative voters it clearly missed four years ago (and has also missed on other occasions)?
  • Will the Dispatch’s corrections still not be enough because of higher voter intensity on the GOP side this year?

The answer, as someone infamous has said: “That’s what elections are for.”

Clermont County (OH) Commissioner’s Race – The Tea Party Weighs In

Filed under: Activism,General,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 10:43 am

ArchieWilson1010

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Note: This is the fourth in a series of posts by Rose chronicling why endorsed GOP candidate Archie Wilson should be the choice of Clermont County’s voters in the contest for County Commissioner. Previous posts are here, here, and here.

The series has also raised important and troubling questions about how property tax dollars are being allocated in the county — and perhaps many other Ohio counties.

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Clermont County Tea Party skipper Ted Stevenot has weighed in on the Clermont County Commissioner’s race (used with permission; bolds are mine):
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Caught on Voicemail: Alaska TV Station’s Reporters Planning Smear of Joe Miller

The audio and transcript are at BigGovernment.com.

Here’s the story, as relayed by Big Gov’s Publius (HT Dan Riehl):

… (A) voice mail message was inadvertently left on the cell phone of Joe Miller campaign spokesperson Randy DeSoto.

The voices are believed to be those of the news director for CBS Anchorage affiliate KTVA, along with assignment editor Nick McDermott, and other reporters, openly discussing creating, if not fabricating, two stories about Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Joe Miller.

… The call failed to disconnect properly. It was later authenticated by McDermott, who sent a text to Randy DeSoto stating, “Damn iPhone… I left you a long message. I thought I hung up. Sorry.”

I think McDermott means, “Sorry I got caught.”

This isn’t bias; it’s direct activist opposition.

Here’s a portion of the transcript:

FEMALE REPORTER: That’s up to you because you have the experience but that’s what I would do…I’d wait until you see who shows up because that indicates we already know something…

[Laughter]

[INAUDIBLE]

FEMALE REPORTER: Child molesters…

MALE REPORTER: Oh yes…Joe Miller’s…uh…get a list of people/campaign workers which one’s the molester

[INAUDIBLE]

FEMALE VOICE: You know that of all the people that will show up tonight, at least one of them will be a registered sex offender.

[Laughter]

The rest of the recorded conversation involves finding (creating?) an incident similar to one involving a Rand Paul campaigner and a MoveOn.org protester in Kentucky “so we can put out a twitter/facebook alert.”

There’s no word as to whether any similar conversations discussing possible “gotchas” relating to the campaigns of Lisa Murkowski or Scott McAdams were held (/sarcasm).

Riehl juxtaposes the KTVA reporters’ conspiracy discussions with the station’s report on “dozens (who) filled the University Of Alaska Anchorage’s quad Saturday” (must be a pretty small “quad”) to “calling on their fellow voters to restore civil discourse.” You can’t make this stuff up.

You also can’t make up this piece of utter incoherence also found at the report:

The Anchorage Rally to Restore Sanity was not supposed to be about political lines, however, the event appeared to be mostly attended by Democrats.

About 100 potential voters toting sing supporting US Senate candidate Scott McAdams and showing messages like, “Think outside the Fox News Extreme Media,” filled the campus.

UAA student Alex Maslow co-sponsored the rally, along with the UAA College Democrats and the UAA Political Science Association.

It wasn’t supposed to be along political lines, but it had Democrat-supporting signs and Democrat sponsorship. Do these people even read their own copy?

Instapundit asks: “Has the press changed, or is it just easier to get caught now?”

Well, let’s see. Here’s something big from the 1960s that didn’t get caught:

(in) the 1960s, there was the complete silence by then (Newsweek) Washington Bureau Chief Ben Bradlee on the discovery that his own sister-in-law, Mary Meyer, had left behind after her murder a diary detailing an affair with Bradlee friend, the then-late President John F. Kennedy. The story emerged in the National Enquirer (where else? Not Newsweek) in the 1970s, with Bradlee finally ‘fessing up that the story was true, he had read the diary, it was destroyed, and he had no intention of ever publishing the story — and was indeed angry that the Enquirer had unearthed it.

Here’s something big from 2004 that did get caught partially when it occurred and completely thereafter, via Bernard Goldberg in 2009:

Until now, the controversy over the Rather/Mapes story has centered almost entirely on one issue: the legitimacy of the documents – a very important issue, indeed. But it turns out that there was another very important issue, one that goes to the very heart of what the story was about – and one that has gone virtually unnoticed. This is it: Mary Mapes knew before she put the story on the air that George W. Bush, the alleged slacker, had in fact volunteered to go to Vietnam.

To answer Reynolds’s question: It’s easier to get caught. What we still don’t know is how much or how little of it is actually getting caught.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Newspaper Circ Drops Another 5%; WSJ Is Sole Meaningful Gainer

newspaper_X_225This past week, we learned that it was another year, another dive for newspaper circulations: 5% for dailies, and 4.5% on Sundays, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. That’s not as bad as some past declines, but it’s still going the wrong way.

As usual, they’ll blame the Internet, and reject the possibility that persistent, pervasive bias and blind adherence to politically correct reporting priorities have anything to do with the results. But as I’ve similarly asked before, how does one explain away the fact that the only daily paper in the nation’s top 25 that has shown consistent gains during the past several years is the (usually) fair and balanced Wall Street Journal?

Bloomberg Businessweek has an Associated Press-compiled list of the results at the top 25 daily papers for the six months that ended on September 30 compared to the same six-month period in 2009, as well as their Sunday editions where applicable.

Here are some of the more noteworthy entries, absences, and some additional observations, based on this year’s results and background knowledge accumulated during the past five years.

The Wall Street Journal and the Dallas Morning News are the only papers showing an increase in daily circulation (up 1.8% to 2,061,042, and up 0.2% to 264,459, respectively). The Journal, which had slightly trailed USA Today until 18 months ago, now has a lead of 230,000 over Gannett’s flagship paper, which experienced a 3.7% decline.

On Sundays, only two papers showed improvement: The Minneapolis Star Tribune (up 5.7% to 504,616) and the St. Petersburg Times (up 1.9% to 377,235). According to a report at twincities.com, the Star Trib’s Sunday increase “reflects the launch a year ago of its “Early Sunday” single-copy edition, which replaced its Saturday single-copy edition.” The Star Trib’s daily circ fell 2.3% to 297,478 in the past year.

Fully one-third of the 24 list members presenting year-over-year comparables had daily circ declines of 8% or more: The LA Times (-8.7%), Houston Chronicle (-10.5%), Newsday of Long Island (-11.8%), Denver Post (-9.1%), Chicago Sun-Times (-9.0%), Detroit Free Press (-9%), San Francisco Chronicle (-11.2%), and the Star-Ledger of Newark (-9.3%).

Of the 22 papers reporting year-over-year Sunday circ results, seven showed declines of 7% or more: The LA Times (-8.4%), Washington Post (-7%), Newsday (-9.2%), Cleveland Plain Dealer (-10.8%), Detroit Free Press (-11.8%), San Diego Union Tribune (-7.4%), and the San Francisco Chronicle (-7.9%).

Special awards for long-term underachievement go to the following papers:

  • The LA Times — Circ is down by over one-third since March 2005, when it was over 900,000.
  • The San Fran Chronicle — The nation’s eleventh-largest daily in March 2005, it is now Number 24, and its circ has dropped 52% during that time.
  • The New York Times — The Times held reasonably steady through March 2009, especially compared to other papers, by moving even further to the left after the U.S. invaded Iraq and then going completely into the tank for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential candidacy. But in the eighteen months since, daily circulation (876,138) has fallen over 15%. During that period, the Times has lost more daily print circulation than any other paper in the nation.

Two non-presences in the top 25, both of which tack far more to the left than their potential audiences, continue to be noteworthy.

The first is the Atlanta Journal Constitution. It dropped out of the top 25 a year ago, and has stayed out. This year, its circ dropped by 14% to below 200,000 — by a lot, to 181,504. That may not even keep it in the top 35 nationwide, let alone the Top 25. One example: The St. Paul Pioneer Press, which covers only part of the sixteenth-largest metro area in the USA, came in with higher daily circulation than the AJC. Atlanta is the country’s ninth-largest metro area.

The second is the Boston Globe, serving the nation’s 10th-largest metro area. Only 2-1/2 years ago, it had the 14th-largest daily circulation. It dropped out of the Top 25 six months ago. Its latest result: Down 15.6% to 222,683. The paper’s lipstick-on-a-pig headline: “Circulation declines slow at the Globe.” A group whose makeup is unclear and whose agenda bears watching, the 2100 Trust, announced its intent to buy the Globe from its parent company, the New York Times, on October 20.

Excluding the Wall Street Journal, circulation at the nation’s top two dozen papers has dropped over 28% in the past 5-1/2 years — and we’re supposed to believe that it’s all due to technology? If bias weren’t a signfiicant problem, we would expect that the same players who dominated print media for decades would be dominant forces in Internet-based news — but to a large extent, they’re not.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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BizzyBlog Addendum: In case their availability disappears down the road, the actual Top 25 list is after the jump (if you’re on the home page). The percentage changes reflect comparisons with the same six-month span last year.
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Latest Pajamas Media Column (‘A Coming Government Shutdown?’) Is Up

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:22 am

ObamaShuttingDownIt’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Tuesday morning (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

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Related (to the longer-term problems noted in the column): There’s an interesting update of the Social Security situation based on info from the Congressional Budget Office.

Remember how Social Security’s immediate cash-flow situation, which has been slightly negative during much of the past 18 months, was going to take a breather and go positive during the next few years? Not any more (original graphic is here; HT commenter dscott):

SocSecDeficit_largexls

The ultimate Ponzi scheme is unravelling. This is one more seriously negative effect of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy — the effects of which, regardless of the election outcome on Tuesday, will continue haunting us to an extent through at least the third quarter of next year.

Positivity: Former President Bush’s memoir will highlight influence of Pope John Paul II

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:36 am

From Washington (bold is mine):

Oct 30, 2010 / 07:21 am

An early preview of President George W. Bush’s forthcoming memoir “Decision Points,” has revealed that the book will discuss the former president’s relationship with Pope John Paul II—especially the Pope’s influence on his decision to restrict embryonic stem cell research.

The Pontiff and president met publicly in 2001, 2002 and 2004, for discussions that displayed both profound agreements and serious differences between the two men.

On October 28, 2010, the Drudge Report posted exclusive details from the president’s memoir (available November 9). Their first look at “Decision Points” mentioned that the Pope’s vision of a “culture of life” helped the president understand the dignity of embryonic human lives, even as proponents of embryonic research urged him to consider the possible benefits.

During their first meeting, in July of 2001, Pope John Paul II reminded the president that “a free and virtuous society, which America aspires to be, must reject practices that devalue and violate human life at any stage from conception to natural death.”

“Through a vibrant culture of life,” the Holy Father told Bush on that occasion, “America can show the world the path to a truly humane future, in which man remains the master, not the product, of his technology.”

According to the Drudge Report preview, President Bush was strongly moved by the Pope’s cultural vision, as well as his personal witness. John Paul II had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for up to a decade at the time of the meeting. But he opposed research into any possible treatment that would have involved the destruction of embryonic lives.

The Pope’s words and witness that summer led the president to make a decision protecting embryonic life in crucial ways. On August 9, 2001, President Bush announced that federal money would not fund research involving any further destruction of embryos for research purposes. The ban remained in place throughout his administration.

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 30, 2010

‘Makes My Morning’ Poll of the Day

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:59 am

Item: Bill Clinton, Kendrick Meeks, and Charlie Crist get into figurative he-said, she-saids over Meeks dropping out of Florida’s U.S. Senate race.

Latest Rasmussen poll, carried at RealClearPolitics: It doesn’t matter. Marco Rubio now outpolls Crist and Meeks combined, at 50 vs. 30 + 16:

RCPwithRasmussenOnRubio

Booyah!

Clermont County (OH) Commissioner’s Race – Archie Wilson Takes on Elitist Incumbent

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 10:43 am

ArchieWilson1010

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Note: This is the third in a series of posts by Rose chronicling why endorsed GOP candidate Archie Wilson should be the choice of Clermont County’s voters in the contest for County Commissioner. Previous posts are here and here.

The series also raises important and troubling questions about how property tax dollars are being allocated in Clermont County — and perhaps many other Ohio counties.

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When Bill Whittle made this short video on [Republican] elitism, including examples of crybaby party-switching when the voters reject them, he was thinking of people like R. Scott Croswell III.

The following is posted in full, with permission:

Some People Just Don’t Like to Follow the Rules
By Tim Rudd
Clermont County Republican Party Chairperson
October 15th, 2010

You know, some people just don’t like to follow the rules.

One of the strengths of our great nation has been a two party system with an active and spirited debate between them. The two party system uses primaries respectively to settle disputes within their own party before taking on the loyal opposition in November.

What happens when a potential candidate fears losing a primary to a candidate who has greater appeal to the base of the party? Well, they do what Charlie Crist did in Florida and Scott Croswell, the incumbent county commissioner, did here. You bolt the party and declare yourself an Independent.

Our parties are organized into Central Committees by requirement of the Ohio Revised Code.

They are comprised of your friends and neighbors that you elect during primary elections.

The Clermont County Republican Central Committee, as comprised at the time of our endorsement meeting, had less than 20% of its members who were related to or worked for any county elected official.

Yet, when the incumbent lost the vote, he immediately tried to cast doubt by concocting tales of undue political influence by a handful of elected officials.

Bolting a party when it is at your convenience is symptomatic of someone not following the rules.

Another strength of our nation is the free market. Government can have a limited part in ensuring and aiding such a system. It generally is limited to providing the necessary infrastructure, and providing enough civil and criminal law for order but always being conscious of not over-regulating or over taxing. Any role beyond that dislocates and distorts any free market – any at arm-length transaction.

When the incumbent decided to promote economic development by spending over 8 million taxpayer’s dollars on real estate, while claiming to be a fiscal conservative, and effectively picking the developer through the private corporations he voted to create, he went far beyond the limited role that government should play in a free market economy. Picking winners and losers is not the function of government at any level.

Government works best when their transactions are open and transparent.

If, however, you are already interfering in the private market and don’t quite want to be totally open and transparent you would probably create a few private corporations, not subject to public records check or audit by the State Auditor, as the incumbent’s actions have accomplished.

Also, why are the transactions of the local Transportation Improvement District, or TID, not run through the County Auditor’s books where they would be open and transparent?

Claiming to be a fiscal conservative and for open and transparent government while doing the opposite, well, is not following the rules.

It is time to elect someone who understands the need for rules. Archie Wilson will bring openness and transparency back to county government. Archie Wilson, a three term Batavia Township Trustee and a self made, independent conservative businessman, will bring a set of core conservative values honed by hard work and faith. Join me, vote Archie Wilson.

Indeed.

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Additional Posts:
- Oct. 28 — Archie Wilson vs. Incumbent’s Special Interests
- Oct. 29 — Archie Wilson Stands Up to Cronyism
- Oct. 31 — The Tea Party Weighs In
- Oct. 31 — Kasich Denounces Croswell Trick
- Nov. 1 — The Croswell-Kasich Mailer (Pics and County GOP Chairman’s Reax)

AP’s Woodward Commits His Own Gaffes While Chronicling 2010 Campaign Gaffes

AP_logoPer MerriamWebster.com – Gaffe: 1) a social or diplomatic blunder; 2) a noticeable mistake.

The Associated Press’s Calvin Woodward has had a few shining analytical moments during the first two years of the Obama administration (examples here and here).

The AP reporter’s dispatch on “gaffes and gotchas” Friday morning, which attempted to communicate a sense of bemusement tinged with condescension, both aimed mostly at first-time candidates, is not one of them, and contained its own gaffes:

Memo to novice political candidates: Know thy Constitution. Don’t tell Hispanics they look Asian. Pay special attention to what you say when you are in front of cameras. Which you almost always are. Expect your chitchat to go viral.

… This is the year of the neophyte in politics. Anti-incumbent sentiment in general and the tea party in particular have brought fresh faces forward, many wet behind the ears in the brutalities of a modern campaign.

The result: a rash of impolitic politics – gaffes, raw rhetoric, unsettling theories – followed by gotchas, recycled mercilessly by opponent’s campaign ads, cable TV and the blogs. [1]

In Delaware, Christine O’Donnell got tangled in the First Amendment, appearing unaware it separates religion and government. [2] The Second Amendment caused grief for fellow Republican Sharron Angle in Nevada, who entertained the notion of “Second Amendment remedies” – that would be a call to arms [3] – if government isn’t brought to heel.

… Senate candidates Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, and Mark Kirk, Republican of Illinois, exaggerated their military records. [4]

… The experienced Harry Reid, Senate majority leader and Angle’s Nevada opponent, cast himself as a savior of epic proportions, remarking that “but for me, we’d be in a worldwide depression.” [5]

… Still, the success of scores of tea party favorites in Republican primaries gave rise to a phalanx of eager achievers unaccustomed to the hothouse; hence, more rough edges. A pizzeria owner, rancher, doctors, war veterans and a pilot are among them. [6]

One of the most prominent of the tea party picks, though, is Joe Miller, a lawyer, former judge and Yale grad who’s taken a series of rookie missteps.

Miller, a Republican Senate hopeful from Alaska, criticized federal unemployment, health care and farm aid only to acknowledge his family has benefited from those subsidies in the past. [7] And he’s been saddled by the disclosure that as a borough attorney in 2008, he admitted to lying about improperly using government computers and was disciplined. [8]

Before delving into the specifics above, it should be noted that Woodward failed to mention that Christine O’Donnell’s Democratic opponent Chris Coons couldn’t correctly name even one of the five freedoms (speech, religion, assembly, petition, press) in the First Amendment. Coons could only incorrectly identify “separation of church and state.”

Now to the details:

[1] — For a rash of “gaffes (start here and go backwards), raw rhetoric,” and “unsettling theories,” see Barack Obama for President, 2008.

[2] — The press won’t let their made-up “gaffe” on Christine O’Donnell and the First Amendment go, will they? Ms. O’Donnell challenged her opponent Mike Coons as to whether separation of church and state is in the Constitution. All the crowd laughter and press ridicule that occurred then and is still occurring won’t change the fact that it isn’t. Woodward’s “clever” rephrase — ” appearing unaware it separates religion and government” — is an attempt to keep the remnants of that smear alive without actually repeating it.

[3] — “The Second Amendment solutions” audio with Lars Larson is here. The quote involved is: “I hope that’s not where we’re going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out. “How does Woodward know that this “entertains” a “call to (take up) arms”? Of course, he doesn’t. When I hear “Second Amendment solutions,” I think of so many people who have told me that they have felt the need to arm themselves and learn how to use a gun in case civil order breaks down. God forbid if that should ever happen, but if it does, it will largely be because Congress spends the next few years, as Angle said, “going the way it is” and destroying the country’s economic and legal foundations.

[4] — The AP reporter committed his own gaffe with Blumenthal’s first name, referring to him as “Mark” (as seen here in this Google search; it was corrected in his 11:56 a.m. update). It is Richard, or Dick. As to specifics, Mark Kirk corrected a written item in 2005 which erroneously stated he had served “in” Iraq instead of “during” Iraq while he was also serving as a stateside congressman. The Kirk campaign also mischaracterized and has since corrected a Navy intelligence award as an individual honor instead of as one for his unit. If there is a record of Mark Kirk telling an audience that he served “in” Iraq, it hasn’t surfaced. Dick Blumenthal himself, by his own admission “on a few occasions,” has falsely told audiences that he served “in” Vietnam, not “during” Vietnam. Blumenthal himself has also spoke of “when we returned” from Vietnam, obviously implying that he was among those who was there in the first place. He wasn’t. Tricky Dick’s lies stretch in time at least from 2003 to 2008. Woodward’s attempt to make Kirk’s and Blumenthal’s service misstatements equivalent is disgraceful.

[5] — Harry Reid’s “but for me, we’d be in a worldwide depression” statement doesn’t fit the definition of “gaffe” above. What it represents is “the height of arrogance and self-aggrandizement.”

[6] — Heaven forbid that people with real-life experiences run for office. We’ve been so well-served by career politicians (/sarcasm). And Cal, ol’ buddy ‘ol pal, how could you, in essence, write that military veterans are “unaccustomed to the hot house”? Just an FYI: Every post-World War II president until Bill Clinton served in the military (Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41), and there was a time when voters considered such service an indispensable qualification to be considered for the presidency.

[7] — Here we go again. It’s the extension of the pathetic press meme that used to be: “You’re not allowed to complain about government programs if you’ve ever received any kind of benefit of subsidy.” Woodward extends it to “anyone in your family.” What’s next, “anyone in your neighborhood”?

[8] — Miller’s “offense” was taking an online survey on a government computer during work hours. Oh, the humanity.

This post didn’t even get to the predominantly Democratic mega-gaffes Woodward ignored, including but certainly not limited to those involving Coons (noted earlier), Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, Michigan Congressman John Dingell, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, and crybaby GOP Senate primary loser and write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski.

Despite the occasional references to experienced politicians, Woodward’s piece comes across to this reader as an offensive and distasteful “how dare these plebes rise up and assert themselves” riff. Very weak, Cal. Very weak.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Positivity: St. Alonso Rodriguez, seeker of God in humble work, remembered today

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 am

From Catholic News Agency:

Oct 24, 2010 / 05:16 am

On October 30, two days before the major feast of All Saints, the Catholic Church will honor a man whose humble occupation gave the world only glimpses of his extraordinary holiness. During his lifetime, Brother Alonso Rodriguez never became a priest, published a book, or advanced professionally. But writings discovered after his death revealed a true mystic, who attended to a rich spiritual life while he worked as a doorkeeper and porter.

Born in Spain during 1532, Alonso married at 26 and worked as a cloth merchant, coming to religious life only through a string of crushing tragedies. His wife and two of their children died by the time he was 31, and his turn toward a life of prayer and penance could not prevent the subsequent death of his third and last remaining child– nor the discouraging failure of his business.

Without his wife and children, and having few prospects due to his lack of a higher education, the Spanish layman turned his thoughts to religious life. Even there, however, he faced difficulties. In his early years, Alonso had met one of the first Jesuits, Bl. Peter Faber; and with his old life in ruins, he developed an interest in joining the recently established Society of Jesus.

Alonso’s lack of education prevented him from pursuing their course of priestly ordination, and he failed to acquire a diploma from the College of Barcelona despite attending for two years. The Jesuit Fathers in Valencia said he was unfit to join. But Alonso’s years of prayer had not been in vain: they were answered when a provincial of the society, sensing his dedication, admitted him as a lay-brother.

In modern times, Jesuit Brothers work in a wide range of fields, with few limitations apart from their lack of priestly ordination. During the 16th and 17th centuries, however, the lay-brothers of the Society of Jesus were known as “temporal coadjutors,” and assisted the priests of the order by performing its more routine duties such as cooking, construction and farming.

The Jesuits sent Rodriguez to the college of Montesión on the island of Majorca, to work as a porter and door-keeper.

… students began to seek him out, realizing that their doorkeeper was a man of unusual wisdom and faith. His Jesuit superiors started to take notice as well, and asked him to begin a private record of his life and thoughts. Rodriguez struck up a notable friendship with one young man, Peter Claver, and advised him to volunteer for the South American missions. Following his advice, St. Peter Claver eventually catechized, baptized and spoke out for the rights of 300,000 slaves in South America.

When Brother Alonso died in 1617, his superiors examined the written records he had left behind describing his spiritual life. What they found was the life of a saint and mystic. His approach was simple: Christ was appearing in every person who appeared at the door; the task was to encounter God in any task.

… Brother Alonso Rodriguez was declared a saint in 1887. He is buried on the same island of Majorca where he answered the door and carried bags for five decades.

Go here for the full story.

October 29, 2010

Bill Whittle on Natural Law

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:21 pm

The U.S. was founded on natural law, and it is what makes America exceptional:

The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights all take a natural law approach to human liberty. The rights enumerated pre-exist, and the government can’t be allowed to taken them away.

Recall that our president has referred to our Constitution as an enumeration of “negative rights.” Those who have a proper understanding of natural law know that he could not be more wrong.