Paglia on Trump: and Fiorina, Oh My

Donald Trump, Jon Stewart (Credit: AP/Richard Drew/Jacquelyn Martin)

In her recent Salon interview, Camille Paglia said this about Donald Trump, and the campaign in general so far:

So far this year, I’m happy with what Trump has done, because he’s totally blown up the media!  All of a sudden, “BOOM!”  That lack of caution and shooting from the hip. He’s not a president, of course. He’s not remotely a president. He has no political skills of any kind. He’s simply an American citizen who is creating his own bully pulpit.  He speaks in the great populist way, in the slangy vernacular.  He takes hits like a comedian–and  to me he’s more of a comedian than Jon Stewart is!  Like claiming John McCain isn’t a war hero, because his kind of war hero doesn’t get captured–that’s hilarious! That’s like something crass that Lenny Bruce might have said!  It’s so startling and entertaining.

It’s as if the stars have suddenly shifted–because we’re getting a mix-up in the other party too, as in that recent disruption of the NetRoots convention, with all that raw emotion and chaos in the air.  To me, it feels very 1960s.  These sudden disruptions, as when the Yippies would appear to do a stunt–like when they invaded Wall Street and threw dollar bills down on the stock exchange and did pig-calls!  I’m enjoying this, but it’s throwing both campaigns off. None of the candidates on either side know how to respond to this kind of wild spontaneity, because we haven’t seen it in so long.

Politics has always been performance art.  So we’ll see who the candidates are who can think on their feet.  That’s certainly how I succeeded in the early 1990s.  Before that, the campus thought police could easily disrupt visiting speakers who came with a prepared speech to read.  But they couldn’t disrupt me, because I had studied comedy and did improv!  The great comedians knew how to deal with hecklers in the audience.  I loved to counterattack!  Protestors were helpless when the audiences laughed.

From Salon, and yes, I going to have more to say about this interview later.

Basically, I agree with her on this (and some other things), she tends to be one of the most satisfying writers around, and this is no exception. Why? Because she thinks!

Trump is doing necessary work, in helping to blow the cover off the Democratic Party and its alliance (or perhaps tryst is a better word) with the old media. But Trump would not be a viable president, even if he got elected, not to mention the fact that he’s been (arguably) a conservative for about five minutes. People change, and most of us have, but usually fairly slowly, and over time. Trump is for Trump, and that’s his entire program. He spent most of his life supporting Democrats, especially the Clintons and is an exemplar of what a crony-capitalist, working through mob connected, corrupt unions can do. That history is not going to save the country.

Now, the other day, Carly Fiorina gave a speech at the Reagan Library. She’s an impressive lady. It’s much too soon to be deciding (for me, at least) on a candidate. but her blend of resume, experience, not excluding foreign affairs, and leadership, and a willingness to talk straight, is very appealing. It’s also low-key and pretty much devoid of histrionics while invoking both Reagan and Thatcher. I particularly like the way she handles questions here.

So, enjoy, and I’d be interested in what you think, as well.

 

Hope, and Prayer

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As I said in my last post, I do not feel competent to offer solace to the other victims in this scandal: the women who have been cheated, by themselves, and by pressure tactics from having their children. They too pay a heavy price. While I don’t have any personal experience of this, my dearest friend, Jessica does, and in this post from February 2014 she recounts her experience. Neo

Thomas Merton wrote that ‘Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those who do not want mercy, never seek it.’ One of the things which puzzles me is how those who do not know of God know they need him and come to him. I have been privileged to share in a remarkable example of how this question is answered by God.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine had a knock on the door of the vicarage where he lives. It was a young woman. She was pregnant and did not want to be. She could not get an immediate appointment with a doctor or a medical social worker, or even the counsellor she was seeing at the abortion clinic; she’d heard that you didn’t need an appointment to see a vicar – so there she was. She’d never been to church and admitted she didn’t know what ‘it was all about’, but she needed an ear. My friend listened to her for about an hour. He did not try to influence her against her will, but to discern that will. She was clearly confused and in some desperation.  After the hour, she left, thanking him.

We heard nothing more until Friday evening, when she telephoned to say she was going to have an abortion the next day; she asked if he would come to see her on Sunday. He asked if he could bring a friend – me, as he felt a woman might help in the situation; she said that would be fine.

I posted about her on my own site and asked people to join me in prayer for her. Most of those commenting did so, although there was one poster who thought we ought to be telling her what a dreadful sinner she was, although, since she knew not the Lord, it is hard to know what she would have made of that. We went, wanting to be there to extend compassion to her, and to do whatever the Lord wanted.

When we went into her small flat, it was clear that she was depressed – it was like a huge cloud over her. She told us that she had been counselled about all the medical things, and the side-effects, but she had never felt so empty and so ‘wrong’. She cried, and it was hard to know what to do, so I held her hands. I asked if she’d mind if we said a prayer, and through her tears she said she didn’t really mind, though couldn’t see it would help. The three of us held hands and I asked God to have mercy on the three sinners in the room, and to grant His grace to the dead child. The room filled with light. We all felt the same thing. She gasped. We sat in silence, holding hands for as long as was needed.

As he light faded, I asked her how she felt. She said: “As though God has spoken to me saying that I should go and sin no more,” I asked if she knew where those words came from, and she laughed and said “I’ve just told you, God told me.” I said I knew, I had heard them too, but did she know they had been said before? She asked what I was talking about, so I told her about the woman taken in adultery. She got very serious: “But I thought you Christians would condemn such a slut – and one like me, but you haven’t, and God loves me.” We all cried.

God, alone, can comfort the child who will never be born, but whatever anyone says, I believe that child is with God. But the would-be mother, a soul so lost she did not even know she was lost, had come to know God’s mercy.

Out of the stuff of tragedy a new hope was born. We cannot know what He has in store for her, or for us – but we can trust and love and show the compassion He shows to us. Is there anything more to Christianity at bottom?

I’ll add a bit here, the woman that Jess talks about here is now engaged to that vicar (then, now a priest) and from what I hear they are very happy. After hearing God’s word, she instantly became a pillar of the church, and still is. So while he and Jess lost the child, mostly because of a lack of time, I think, she and Fr A. saved the mother. But this is an extraordinary story, in that she stumbled across a very good priest, and a very supportive woman to help her. That happens rarely. How many of the women who go through this trauma (for that is what it is) are damaged, some beyond earthly repair? Many, I warrant.

I know a bit about that black pit of despair that she was in. I’ve been there a couple of times, and without help, I doubt I would be here, because I was very close to suicide, and from what Jess has told me, not all of it published, I don’t think this woman would have lived a week, without their caring, prayer, and God’s intervention.

So recoil in horror at this unfolding story, that’s appropriate, but remember this, as well. In this case, God himself quoted Christ to the woman taken in adultery, “Go, and sin no more”. That’s not letting anybody off the hook, that is what Christ taught us to do. They will likely pay a higher price than we could imagine, or impose. So, let us go and do likewise.

As for the people running abortion mills, like Planned Parenthood, well I doubt God is amused.

My comment at the time this article appeared was this:

Thus only those sinners belong in the kingdom of Christ who recognize their sin, feel it, and then catch hold of the Word of Christ spoken here: “Neither do I condemn you.”—Martin Luther, Treasury of Daily Prayer, p. 1235.

Neo

Planned Parenthood: The Third Video

Archbishop Cranmer Tweeted this recently

Well, we hope they don’t anyway. But the thing is; if they never see or hear about the story, does it exist really?

The third (of apparently twelve) video of Planned Parenthood selling baby parts is out. More about that in a bit.

But to his Grace’s point, the videos are not being covered by the media. Sean Davis at The Federalist explains:

According to Politico, Planned Parenthood hired Democratic megafirm SKDKnickerbocker to handle its public relations effort surrounding the widening organ trafficking scandal. In a series of undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress, multiple top Planned Parenthood executives are captured haggling over the prices of aborted baby body parts and discussing ways to maximize money earned through the harvesting and sale of human organs.

Unsurprisingly, preventing coverage of the videos is apparently key to Planned Parenthood’s survival strategy:

Planned Parenthood has hired high-profile Washington public relations firm SKDKnickerbocker as it scrambles to deal with the ongoing scandal and release of a third undercover video Tuesday showing a clinic’s staff handling fetal tissue after an abortion. The group circulated a memo to reporters and producers late Monday that discouraged them from airing the undercover videos, arguing that they were obtained under false identification and violated patient privacy.

So there’s a concerted effort from Planned Parenthood and it’s allies to “discourage[] [media outlets] from airing the undercover videos”? The deuce, you say? That would certainly go a long way towards explaining why so many left-leaning media outlets refused to cover the second video, which captured a senior Planned Parenthood executive noting that she needed a good deal on aborted baby organs because, “I want a Lamborghini.”

Continue reading Planned Parenthood Telling Reporters Not To Cover Videos.

And I’m starting to hear rumors that Planned Parenthood and its flacks are applying pressure to media outlets as well. It’s not documented well enough yet to quote, but I believe it is happening.

So there’s that. We apparently have the best press money (and influence) can buy. Not that anyone should be surprised by that.

OK, the video, after watching it a couple times, I decided to embed it. But I do urge you to think before you watch it. Like we are all saying:

CONTENT WARNING FOR DISTURBING IMAGES

It’s no joke, this is nightmare inducing stuff

Now most who read here know how I feel about abortion/infanticide, so you have a fairly good idea how I feel about this. But I will say this, most of our medical advances come from terrible circumstances such as war and pestilence. But those medical advances are a by-product, not a desired outcome of the cause. There is no question of the end justifying the means involved, it’s simply making an advance based on a horrific situation. Anything else opens us to being classed with Josef Mengele. And what I’m seeing here looks much like changing the reason for abortion from viability to marketability.

And that’s what I see here. It’s perhaps somewhat different than the NHS procedure, which apparently was (or is) to directly use the fetuses as fuel for the furnace, but not enough to matter. In either case, it is deriving a direct benefit from the death of an infant.

And we should always remember that we get more of the behavior that we subsidize.

Incidentally for those that think the Congress will fix this, there’s an unconfirmed rumor floating about that a close relative of one of the key aides to Speaker of the House Boehner is a principal of one of the firms purchasing this material. We’ll see as we go on.

In the meantime, we would do well to learn to rebuke malefactors such as these gracefully, As Newman teaches us:

To rebuke well is a gift which grows with the need of exercising it. Not that any one will gain it without an effort on his part; he must overcome false shame, timidity, and undue delicacy, and learn to be prompt and collected in withstanding evil; but after all, his mode of doing it will depend mainly on his general character. The more his habitual temper is formed after the law of Christ, the more discreet, unexceptionable, and graceful will be his censures, the more difficult to escape or to resist.

What I mean is this: cultivate in your general deportment a cheerful, honest, manly temper; and you will find fault well, because you will do so in a natural way. Aim at viewing all things in a plain and candid light, and at calling them by their right names. Be frank, do not keep your notions of right and wrong to yourselves, nor, on some conceit that the world is too bad to be taught the Truth, suffer it to sin in word or deed without rebuke.

From Rebuking sin — NEWMAN LECTURES

But my next post will be about the other victims in this, the mothers-to-be. because one doesn’t murder their own child without consequence. My dearest friend and editor, Jessica sadly had personal contact with this aspect, and she told us about it, and I’m going to share it with you again because as Mother Theresa said:

Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it kills the conscience of the mother. Abortion is profoundly anti-women. Three quarters of its victims are women: Half the babies and all the mothers.

Iran, Hubris, Appeasement, and Despotry

Jonathan S. Tobin had some thought on the Iran treaty, they’re good thoughts, well presented, so let’s look in on them.

Following through on its strategy of trying to make Congressional approval of the Iran nuclear deal irrelevant, the Obama administration pushed through a resolutionimplementing the agreement today at the United Nations Security Council. Both Congressional Republicans and Democrats attacked that move, but that did not deter the president and his foreign policy team from following through on their plan to make an end run around Congress. This arrogant slight to the legislative branch will add fuel to the fire of critics of the Iran pact as they push to shame Democrats into making good on their past promises to insist on an agreement that would, at the very least, live up to the administration’s past promises about inspections and transparency. Yet even in the face of this presidential chutzpah and staggering betrayal of principle, the odds still heavily favor his effort to get the necessary votes from his party to sustain this strategy. Thus, while those Democrats who view their campaign pledges about both the Iranian threat and the security of Israel as still binding should be focusing on the gaping holes in the agreement, they should also ponder the presidential hubris that is at the core of this effort to marginalize their Constitutional obligation to weigh in on the most important foreign treaty signed by the United States.

That arrogance was on display yesterday as Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows. Their blithe assurances about the deal make the U.S. safer could be dismissed as mere hyperbole but their insistence that there is “no such thing in arms control as anytime, anywhere,” inspections of nuclear sites is not only a lie. It is also a direct contradiction of their past pledges on the issue. Indeed, Moniz specifically said, “We expect to have anywhere, anytime access” to Iranian military sites in April during an interview with Bloomberg.Kerry has been navigating a similar zigzag course on a host of other issues regarding the deal including that about Tehran coming clean on past military nuclear research.

Continue reading Presidential Hubris and Arrogance Drive Appeasement of Iran.

I have no argument with anything he says here, but some extension may be in order.

I usually don’t refer to this mess as appeasement, and for a reason. Chamberlain was a good, decent, and honorable man. He sincerely believed perhaps that Munich would work, and he knew that Great Britain was not ready to fight the war. The analogy I use is that Britain at the time of Munich, was in much the same spot as the United States was at the time of the Argentia Bay meeting, just starting to spool up for the fight, and with a very divided population, just coming to grips with the fact that Hitler wasn’t the comic-opera figure that they had been making fun of since at least 1933.  See Charles Utley for the best explanation of the kerfluffle of the (6-year-old Queen’s Nazi Salute). Like him, my first thought was that quote from the blitz.

When she was advised by the Cabinet to send her children (Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Rose) to Canada to avoid the blitz she gave a straight forward answer: “The children won’t go without me, I won’t go without the King and the King will never leave.”

That tells you all you will ever need to know about the royal family.

Iran is a completely different case, the United States can eliminate Iran whenever we care to exert ourselves, I’m rather amazed we haven’t, given the provocation. There is simply no great power contest here as there was in 1938. This is a simple sell-out of American principles (at least since 1945), and the hubris of attempting to use the UN to override the Congress is simply a continuation of Wilson’s attempt to sell off American Sovereignty to anyone but America, combined with what has become traditional for this administration, a blatant disregard for American Constitutional law.

This administration has always and continuously followed those precepts, to denigrate America in the world, and to subvert the checks and balances that have served us so well. That the current Democratic Party has gone along with this is no surprise. It has been their policy since 1972. But the feckless, mendacious, acquiescence of the rest of Congress, to their own detriment, is hard to understand, and even harder to stomach.

We have about a year and a half of this despicable president left, and then, hopefully, a major rebuilding job, if, and only if, we get our heads out of sand (or other less pleasant places) and elect people who know what it means in the modern world to lead, to have principles, in other words, to be an American. If we don’t, America, and Western Civilization itself, are likely doomed by 2020, since Europe has surrendered, and the UK seems to have lost whatever principles it ever had. It’s hard to believe Cameron has the same job as Chamberlain, let alone Churchill, he’s such a mealy-mouth cretin. And in any case, as Nigel Farage said last Friday, the EU will bleed Briain dry supporting the ones who will not work in southern Europe. A sad end for a people who have been prosperous since King Alfred the Great established the very first nation-state.

And those are the stakes, for Congress right now, and for us as citizens in the next year. Is America to continue, dragging civilization along, or simply sink into the abyss with Rome and the others. It’s up to us to decide.

What is America?

It’s late and getting later.

Enjoy, but more to the point,

Learn and employ!

Trinity

70 tears ago yesterday, the world changed. When the world’s first atomic device was triggered in New Mexico. I note that this, the American atomic program is still the fastest to ever yield a result, even though it had to do all the theoretical work, as well. I have deep qualms about the fact that the Iranians will apparently be joining this exclusive club, so far we have kept this genie bottled up. But there is still plenty of time for J. Robert Oppenheimer’s prediction, and quote, to come true.

I am become Death,

The Destroyer of Worlds

from the Bhagavad Gita.


In a sadly related event, yesterday is also the anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the first landing of human beings on the moon, and their safe return.

Also, in 1960,  USS George Washington a modified Skipjack-class submarine successfully test fires the first ballistic missile while submerged.


97 years ago today, Czar Nicholas II and hs family were executed by the Bolsheviks.


And today, in 1054, three Roman legates break relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy.

Overall, probably not our best day, as human beings.

 

 

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