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Showing posts from September, 2019

Either Donald Trump has never read the Constitution or he just doesn't care

Leaving aside questions about his personal stability and lack of a moral compass as exhibited pretty much throughout his entire adult life, probably the most disturbing thing about Donald John Trump is his lack of commitment to- or apparently even knowledge of- the basics of the American system or the values and beliefs on which it's based.

To put it bluntly, it seems patent that the President of the United States has either never read the Constitution he swore at his inauguration to "preserve, protect, and defend," or doesn't take it seriously.

We're all familiar with his promise during the campaign to pay the legal expenses of supporters who beat up demonstrators exercising their First Amendment rights at his rallies. I simply cannot understand how his repeated suggestions throughout his thankfully brief political career that there should be laws against "intentionally misleading" news stories haven't been a red flag to anyone with the rudimentary…

It had to happen sooner or later

You don't nominate and elect a president who for decades has manifestly lacked a moral compass and who has been caught repeatedly throughout his career breaking the law and cutting ethical corners without a substantial risk that he's not only going to continue to do it but eventually get caught sooner rather than later.

When he lacks personal judgment and filters, is incredibly ill-informed in almost every aspect of his job, and is not politically savvy, all the salesmanship and cunning in self-promotion in the world isn't going to save him.

I feel guilty about this, frankly, but while am not completely happy about saying "I told you so" about Donald Trump, I'm petty enough to feel at least a little satisfaction. Yes, it's outweighed by my wish that the Republican President was named Rubio or Bush or Romney or even Cruz, although I wouldn't be absolutely delighted with that last option, and my regret that Donald Trump has done the long-term damage to …

Maybe I was right after all.

Like most people, I never thought that a habitual and well-known con-man and crook, an admitted and unrepentant serial sexual harasser, an erratic conspiracy theorist with no filters apt to say or do almost anything, a habitual and quite accomplished liar, a man whose narcissism was so obvious that even William F. Buckley openly used that word in describing him, an inarticulate blowhard whose public statements were often incomprehensible and nearly always so fraught with clear and obvious misstatements of fact that it was difficult to take anything he said seriously, a man with the emotional maturity of an eighth-grader whose ignorance of economics, international politics, history, and the Constitution were not only obvious but so profound as to be more apt to inspire laughter than thought among any marginally informed citizen, a businessman so inept that investing his inheritance in the stock market would have made him far wealthier today than has his career as an unethical real-est…

Elegy for a wasted baseball season

Like most Cub fans, I am disgusted. The 2016 World Champions have turned out not to be a dynasty after all.  They have played ever since that magical night in Cleveland like nothing more than a good team. Not even a very good team.

Cinderella's slipper has turned out to be not only a croc but a crock. In 2017, at least we lost in the NLCS. But last year, when we should have run away with the division, instead we tied with Milwaukee for first- and then lost the one-game playoff.

We should have run away with it again this year. After Theo Epstein's frustrated rant following the Cubs' elimination by the Brewers last year and his pointed comments about the number of games we could easily have won if we had just wanted to a little more, and how it would only have taken one to have won the division outright, I was comforted.  Surely, I thought, the Cubs would do what was needed to fix so many things that were so obviously broken. But the Ricketts family pled poverty (in fairnes…

Playing church

Fr. Paul Mankowski, the Jesuit priest who wrote this anguished article- with which I, a Missouri Synod Lutheran, empathize deeply- calls his piece "Playing Church." More on that title later.

 It centers around a gay man in Seattle named Robert Fuller who, it is said, was terminally ill and chose  to "marry" his partner and then do away with himself in a televised (!) series of mock-liturgical rituals following a Mass in which, unbelievably, members of the congregation (including a group of little girls receiving their First Communion) blessed him in contemplation of his commission of a mortal sin which would send him unshriven into eternity. Thank God, it appears that the priest was not involved, though one wonders at the fact that he allowed the travesty to take place.

The 2003 Joseph Fiennes movie Luther, which included Peter Ustinov's final role, as Elector Fredrick the Wise, had its flaws. Among them was the fact that Fiennes might have better been cast as…

The Democrats' abortion fanaticism

I've cited the Gallup organization's annual polls on the subject of abortion many times before. They're an invaluable resource in this age of partisan echo-chambers and non-stop spin. They tell us in some detail not only how Americans as a nation see abortion now, but how they have seen it every year since Roe v. Wade was first handed down.

If you look at those numbers for any length of time, two things will jump out at you.  The first is that ever since Roe was first handed down, large majorities of Americans have thought that abortion laws should be stricter than they are. At first glance, this might seem to conflict with the equally stable majorities supporting Roe and opposing its reversal. But Roe does allow some leeway to the state legislatures in the second and especially the third trimesters, and in any case, the vast majority of Americans (thank God!) are not lawyers. For most of us, Roe v. Wade is less a detailed legal decision than a symbol for the legality of …

You heard it wrong, religious left. It's not EISEGESIS that saves.

Three interesting items recently over at the Real Clear Religion aggregator.

One is by John Gallagher, writing at LGBTQ Nation. Interestingly, it's labeled "Bias Watch."

"The religious right." it announces, "is really happy about the study saying there is no single ‘gay gene.’"


To start off with, of course, we have that tired old boogyman "the religious right," as if politically active conservative Christians were a monolithic entity, whose unease with any aspect of homosexuality is based on the ignorant and doltish assumption that sexual preference is a matter of voluntary choice and is, therefore, something that people can be trained or educated or "treated" out of. It clearly serves the purposes of those seeking to stigmatize conservative sexual attitudes by caricaturing those who hold them as mouth-breathing ignoramuses who have no idea what they're talking about, all the more since it reinforces the socially leftist …

Why I just can't support Joe Walsh

It is said that someone once offered Babe Ruth asparagus at a fancy dinner party. He declined it but did so politely.

"No, thank you," he is reported to have said. "I never eat asparagus. It makes my urine smell funny."

Well, he meant well. And Joe Walsh means well, too. Walsh built his political personna out of pretty much the same cloth Donald Trump cut his from. Now, he's apologizing for his past bad manners, and racism, and slander, and conspiracy-mongering, and irresponsible rhetoric. He is opposing Mr. Trump for next year's Republican nomination as a more honest and less erratic version of Mr. Trump himself.

Honesty and good manners and some measure of stability are certainly good things and an improvement on what we are currently getting from the man in the White House.  But they just aren't enough.

I just can't support Joe Walsh. A more civilized and honest and stable version of Donald Trump just isn't good enough.

I've read the arg…