Monthly Archives: October 2008

Ayers’s 1974 book, proudly unrepentant

Bill Ayers, Bernardin Dohrn, and their Weather Underground comrades wrote and published Prairie Fire in 1974.  It’s their manifesto, now very hard to get.  Abebooks had one copy a few hours ago, at $199!  Just now I looked, and it’s been sold.  The blogger at Zombietime got a copy and quotes from it liberally, summarizing:

Ayers and the Weather Underground enumerated dozens of different grievances as the rationales for their bombings — their overarching goal being to inspire a violent mass uprising against the United States government in order to establish a communist “dictatorship of the proletariat,” in Ayers’ own words.

They wanted to overthrow the government violently.  He became Obama’s ally in distributing Annenberg wealth to radical causes.

In this book, Ayers and friends list their crimes proudly.  Ayers

may have escaped conviction due to a legal technicality (the prosecutors failed to get a warrant during some of their surveillance of the Weather Underground), but this in no way means that Ayers was factually innocent of the crimes. As has been widely reported, after the case against him was dropped, Ayers decribed himself as “guilty as hell, free as a bird.”

But Mayordaley II dismisses it all.  Obama knows better.  He has denied more than a passing acquaintance with Ayers and Dohrn, at first lying, then admitting a little — at all times given a pass by MainStream Media such as Georgie Anne Geyer, who once bearded Castro in his den, or at least once she was out of it, but seems now to have lost her curve ball.

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Later: Prairie Fire is available in .pdf at Little Green Footballs, but the site is unreachable at this point, 11 pm CDT Saturday.  Keep trying. 

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Rebutting lawyers

Much ado about me in the Wednesday Journal, to which I respond, in part:

First of all, will the two lawyers who attacked me this week calm down? One’s a civil rights lawyer, the other works for my bank. You’d think on either count they’d be a little less hard on a private citizen.

Hard? Count the ways. I dish out falsehoods, inflammatory innuendo, poison, McCain’s propaganda, says one. And I’m sarcastic and, gulp, dishonest. My column was appalling, says the other. I am superficially more coherent and articulate than another writer, from whom she says pathetic splutterings emanate. In my column I delivered a sneak attack. I violate journalistic ethics.

Quite a column.

That would be my words of wisdom a week ago about the Big O. as Alinsky and FDR heir, among other things, Alinsky for his ends-justify-means doctrine and FDR for his (liberal) fascism. 

There’s more more more of my response if you’re interested.  And if you’re not, like the panhandler who strikes out with you says, God bless you and have a nice day.

How dare she? Part 2

Yesterday the Florida TV interviewer annoying Biden with tough questions and the campaign’s cancelling the wife’s interview and cutting off further appearances at this (Orlando) station.  Today more:

Obama’s Florida spokeswoman, Adrianne Marsh, also released a statement claiming the interview was “combative and woefully uninformed about simple facts.”

“There’s nothing wrong with tough questions, but reporters have the very important job of sharing the truth with the public – not misleading the American people with false information,” Marsh said.

Ah yes, and we the party will decide what’s true.  TV interviewers, butt out.

“Senator Biden handled the interview well. However, the anchor was completely unprofessional.”

Kelly McBride, a faculty member at the Poynter Institute – a resource group for journalists in Florida, which owns The Saint Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly, told CNSNews.com that the interview was “a classic case of partisan journalism.”

Au contraire, it was classic hard-hitting, as I said, the way all candidates should be interviewed.

“I think it’s absolutely horrible journalism,” McBride said. “It’s an example of a loaded question where she is presuming the answer. She has no intention of exploring for the audience the positions of the candidate. It’s clearly partisan.”

Nope, and what prevented Biden from saying that, Ms. McBride?  Her Poynter Institute is a mainstream media lapdog anyhow, with a trade publication whose ambit is entirely determined by the trade’s dominant conventional wisdom, incapable of radical critique.  Do you expect The Hatter’s Journal to question hats?

The interviewer, Barbara West, had McCain at her disposal a few days later.

West’s interview with Biden on Thursday prompted McCain, who interviewed with her on Monday, to interrupt at the beginning of the segment and warn her not to be too tough on him.
 
“Now don’t say anything mean or I am going to be angry,” said McCain.
 
West opened the interview by asking McCain if he thought his running mate, Sarah Palin, was distancing herself from him because she thought their ticket would lose the election in November.
 
“Is that indicative that she believes her campaign is not going to win and she is positioning herself for the future?” asked West. 

See what I mean?  West’s clients are the public, not the candidate.

The McGuire story, cont’d.

No, I have not been on planet Mars, just very busy, and yes, Rev. Donald McGuire, ex-SJ, was convicted and sentenced in federal court in Chicago.

Chicago, IL (AHN) – Donald McGuire, a defrocked Catholic priest belonging to the Jesuit order, was convicted by a federal court on Friday for taking a boy on religious retreats to have sex with him.

The jury found the 78-year-old former priest guilty after three hours of deliberations. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer read the verdict including his 30-year prison term while McGuire sat in his wheelchair.

If I hadn’t read it in the paper, I would have known something was up, from the huge uptick in views of this blog, including 75 hits in the last two days at this post, about him as a retreat-giver.

How dare she?

Joe Biden got grilled by an Orlando TV anchor, and the campaign retaliated:

“This cancellation [of a Jill Biden interview] is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election,” wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

Lese majeste, I’d say.  Who does that anchor think she is?

Actually, hers was a textbook example of how all candidates should be interviewed all the time.  It’s here, by the way.

Stuck with the holy sacrifice

Have decided I’d make a terrible Protestant.  It’s that I can’t stand sermons and I don’t sing.  As for the latter, look, I’m the guy who, discovered by the St. Catherine of Siena choirmaster in the ‘40s to be the sour note that was ruining his rehearsal, was told to stop singing.  Our #1 son has perfect pitch, the Beye School music teacher told us many years ago, but I don’t.  Fellow Jesuit Tom Walsh in the early days of our training, hearing me sing something, played the note (singular) back on the piano. 

So I’m no Caruso.  As for sermons, well I am a recovering preacher — doing quite well, thank you, not a word for 40 years — and so make a bad audience in the best of liturgical seasons.  What’s more, I write and edit, and so find myself re-saying what I hear, bridling at neologism, redundancy, and inept metaphor, and believe me, it’s distracting.  It doesn’t help that I have a conviction, born largely of my newspaper days, that your mother has to be checked out when she says she loves you, that even out and out editorializing has to be argument-based.  “Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur,” (also here) as I reminded my favorite political opponent, John Kearney, the other day.

Now having heard more than a few Protestant sermons in my years, I might be brought back to the listener’s role.  They are generally better prepared than Catholics, in long and short run, and I have found myself sitting still for sermons in their churches.  Same might go for Jesuit preachers.  As my Loyola-Wilmette rector Mike English used to say, “Our mediocre sermons are better than their mediocre sermons,” referring to the nearby Holy Cross at Notre Dame for Boys.

Either way, I am of course committed to my Roman Catholicism, emphasis on Roman, the world-class religious organization that with all its faults I still love if not (always) cherish and obey.  And if mediocre preaching is one of the faults, another of its habits makes up for that, namely its Holy Sacrifice.  That’s the mass as understood in my youth, not as currently, a meal, with deemphasis of the grand and the mystical in favor of the homey and familiar.  Who needs it?  We get homey and familiar all the time, don’t we? 

That mass, celebrated “thoughout the world,” as the old Morning Offering has it, is quite the dramatic thing, when you get down to it.  There I am in a back pew, anonymous as I can make myself, part of a worldwide event.  Not bad for a pewsitter.

Depends what you watch, of course

All ye TV-viewers out there, hear this: It may not be such a wasteland after all.

Where has all the money (come from)?

Power Line reports how a reader at National Review Online “Corner” had his clearly phony $5 Obama donation accepted, but rejected by the McCain campaign. PL concludes: 

Everyone knows that Barack Obama has created the biggest money-machine of any politician in American history. But it is becoming increasingly evident that Obama’s money-machine is largely fraudulent and therefore criminal.

He speculates about media coverage:

One can imagine a world in which newspaper reporters think it’s a serious matter when a Presidential candidate tries to buy an election with illegal and fraudulent contributions. That, of course, is not the world that we live in. Have you seen Sarah Palin’s shoes?

I know.  Page one NYTimes stuff if I ever saw one.

Newsweek offers more on the fund-raising point.

Who wrote Dreams?

Literary mystery here:

Prior to 1990, when Barack Obama contracted to write Dreams From My Father, he had written very close to nothing. Then, five years later, this untested 33 year-old produced what Time Magazine has called — with a straight face — “the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.”

The public is asked to believe Obama wrote Dreams From My Father on his own, almost as though he were some sort of literary idiot savant. I do not buy this canard for a minute, not at all. Writing is as much a craft as, say, golf. To put this in perspective, imagine if a friend played a few rounds in the high 90s and then a few years later, without further practice, made the PGA Tour. It doesn’t happen.

And yet, given the biases of the literary establishment, no reviewer of note has so much as questioned Obama’s role in the writing, then or now. As the New York Times gushed, Obama was “that rare politician who can write . . . and write movingly and genuinely about himself.” These accolades matter all the more because Obama has built his political persona around his presumably superior intellect, Dreams being exhibit A.

The rest of it is here.  With yet more here, beginning,

Evidence continues to mount . . .

Throw the bums out of your living room

Power Line on promotion of high-risk mortgage lending as product of Democrat, not Republican, ideology and maneuvering, quoting a fellow calling for “each reporter and editor . . . insisting on telling the truth” in the matter:

But the mainstream media–which is to say, most reporters and editors who work for “mainstream” news organizations–have no honor and are not interested in truth. They are, as Card says, “the public relations machine of the Democratic Party.”

It’s time to accept that fact and move on. Our existing news organizations–the New York Times, the Associated Press, NBC, CNN, CBS, and so on–can’t be reformed, they can only be ignored.

It is time for conservatives, libertarians, moderates, and normal citizens who are interested in straightforward reporting of the news to build their own news organizations in competition with the corrupt ones that now exist.

Ignoring is the best policy, accompanied by journalistic entrepreneurship.

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