While President Barack Obama was lecturing China's President Hu Jintao about human rights Wednesday, prosecutors in Philadelphia announced they had charged an abortion doctor with eight counts of murder in the deaths of one woman and seven babies. The infants were born alive and then killed with scissors, prosecutors said.
Some eternal verities have outlived their usefulness. Okay that's a contradiction, which I cheerfully acknowledge. To be more accurate, some things that seem eternally true never were, and that becomes clear over time. One such truth is that, whatever one thinks about the wisdom of either starting or entering a war, once that decision is made the patriot's duty is to "support the troops," which is translated by the hawks to mean, of course, to support the mission. We must support what the troops are doing. Or, if we can't do that, we certainly have the duty to exercise the one provision of the Bill of Rights — other than the right to keep and bear arms — that Bill "of Wrongs" O'Reilly of Fox News fame reveres and insists on: your right to remain silent. Otherwise you are undermining the war effort, giving aid and comfort to the enemy and thereby committing sedition and possibly treason.
Old war hawks never die, they just beat new war drums. Columnist David Broder, New Dealer emeritus at the Washington Post, believes he has discovered the elixir for our stubbornly stagnant economy, one that has the potential to make Barack Obama "one of the most successful presidents in history." And, oh yes, it will be good for the country, too. Heck, it worked for FDR, didn't it?
For those who follow politics, in the hope that our politics leads somewhere, today is Election eve, the day before we get to choose between misfortune and catastrophe, each represented by one of our two major parties. But for many Christians in America and other parts of the world, November 1 of every year is All Saints Day, a time to remember and honor holy men and women for the remarkable contributions they made to the Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth before finding its glory in the hereafter.
Often the most enjoyable humor is the unintended kind, as in the oft-quoted Yogi Berra line about an overly popular restaurant: "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded." Or when Archie Bunker said of live theater, "The age of entertainment is over! Today we got television."
Sometimes it's amazing to observe what is and is not controversial these days. Except in a few rare instances where parents organize to protest it, teaching children in public schools that homosexual (i.e. "gay") sexual activity is as normal and acceptable as heterosexual (or "straight") behavior is not controversial. But when a public figure, especially a candidate for election, dare's to say otherwise, the expressions of outrage might lead you to believe he is in favor of turning the school science curriculum over to the Flat Earth Society.
Sometimes, a person will go so far to defend himself from a claim that he is, let us say, a vegetarian, that he will leave people with the impression that he is a closet cannibal. That may explain, to some extent, why Senator John F. Kennedy's speech before the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on September 12, 1960 left some devout Catholics feeling that Kennedy was less a Catholic than a borderline apostate. Yet the speech helped persuade many Protestant Americans, both lay and clergy, that it was safe to elect, for the first time in American history, a Roman Catholic as President of the United States.
The whine still flows at the New York Times, where the death of the republic is being observed over the carcass of federal campaign finance laws that restricted independent campaign expenditure ads (those "sham issue ads" that the good gray Times regards with utter disdain) from hitting the airwaves within 60 days of a primary or 90 days of a general election — in other words, when the electorate is paying attention.
I recently had lunch with a friend of mine who is a devout believer in American exceptionalism and the moral duty we have as Americans to police the universe, or at least that part of it that we can clearly identify as vital to our national security. I brought up the name of Ramsey Clark, a former attorney general whom Richard Nixon condemned as a conscientious objector in the "war on crime." Clark later went to Hanoi and pulled a Jane Fonda, broadcasting to our troops over Radio Hanoi, calling on American forces to lay down their arms and stop killing Vietnamese and standing in the way of the people's progress toward the worker's paradise.
We have had “soccer moms,” “hockey moms,” “waitress moms,” and other designations for women voters candidates like to target. Now Sarah Palin, who was pleased to tell the world two years ago that hockey moms are pit bulls with lipstick, has come up with a new category of politically aroused female voters who are tough, determined, and won't go away.