Friday, September 6, 2013

CONCLAVE SECRETS REVEALED

Colbert, a practicing Catholic, on this show with Cardinal Dolan is humorously respectful. I think Cardinal Dolan knew this would be the case and did not fear being on such a show. Overall, this isn't a bad forum for a cardinal to promote Jesus Christ in 2013. But as I watched this with my avant-garde traditionalism, I wondered if this show, as it is would have been shown to a 1950's audience, what the reaction would be. Times have changed and Cardinal Dolan knows it. Perhaps 1950's formalism and dignity has its place and could return one day, but let's face it, we are a shorts and tee shirt generation, wearing flip flops to formal events :

The Colbert Report
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The Colbert Report
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Tied into this, we see where Pope Francis has in six short months, revived the world's interest in the papacy within and beyond Catholicism. Perhaps gold and ermine doesn't speak to the world and Pope Francis knows this? A pope wearing a tiara and carried high on a chair with surfs below him, doesn't speak to the jeans, tee shirt and flip flop crowd.

The mainstream media is listening to this pope and reporting on his involvement and the Church's involvement in the discussion concerning Syria and his call to a peaceful solution and fasting and prayer for this purpose.

A liturgy spoken in a language that no one else speaks, with the priest facing the wall rather than the jeans, tee shirt and flip flop crowd, doesn't cut it today.

And now Pope Francis, realizing that he's not just an obscure cardinal from Argentina anymore, is placing the papacy and the Vatican back on the world stage of respectability as it concerns pursuing world peace.

Maybe at this juncture in salvation history, the Church needs to be more pedestrian and less aloof; with the proletariat rather than above; kind rather than judgmental; merciful rather than condemning; encouraging rather than anathematizing? In other words, the Church needs to be Christ like as the pope does the following three things:

Celebrates the Liturgy as prescribed

calls for obedience to the Pope and bishops in union with him (Magisterium)

promotes Marian devotions and other devotions for the grassroots

warns of the influence of the very real devil

calls the world fast and pray

The Holy Father Francis is reviving the Vatican's role on the world stage of politics too, without being political!

45 comments:

Gene said...

We are slobs. I cannot abide Colbert.

Anonymous said...

I cannot abide phony pseudo intellectuals.

Marc said...

So do you just lock yourself in a room all day, Anonymous? You should certainly avoid the internet... Especially blogs where anyone can comment!

And, are you an actual intellectual yourself...?

Carol H. said...

I cannot abide homogenized anons.

Anonymous said...

No and no.

Anonymous said...

Carol H....what the H is a homogenized anon?

Marc said...

Anonymous, you don't have to prove you're not an intellectual, we take you at your word.

http://bit.ly/15BqIzc

:-)

Jon said...

"With the proletariat?'

You mean like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7LDwroTaGk#t=312

What nonsense.

"Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account."

Hardly the MSM "listening" to you.

Henry said...

Marc, are your suggestions addressed to some particular anonymous person, or to any anonymous person who doesn't think enough of his own opinions to even sign his own name (or part thereof, or at least a stable pseudonym) to it?

In any event, my question to you is ... Why take take an anonymous comment seriously enough to even respond to it? I myself have no interest whatsoever in unidentified (and therefore worthless) opinions and comments.

Gene said...

Anonymous, "Phony pseudo-intellectual" is redundant.
Come back when you've studied more.

John Nolan said...

Dolan might be doctrinally sound but liturgically he is dire - he comes across as a grandstanding self-advertising buffoon.

The secular media has long lost interest in Pope Francis. Ask most people in the street who the pope is and they won't know.

rcg said...

Y'all, the 'pseudo' part is demonstrably wrong. It a'int worth the reply.

OTOH, I like Dolan's personality, but he sort of believes his own press.

Anonymous said...

There have been discussions here about the fact that many...most of the bloggers use a fake name or part of a name...real or unreal, who knows. And it has been argued that the discussions, the ideas entered here are independent and separate from the personal identities of the writers. (No, I'm not going to quote chapter and verse where this was said.) If everybody here will publish his or her full name, mailing address, & email address, I'll do the same. Until then, if it might make any of you feel better, just think of me as "Carlos Danger". (Gene...I think you wrote the book on redundant.) Adios...until next time...I'll be under the couch.

Marc said...

Henry, they were targeted at this morning's Anonymous, but I suppose they apply equally to all anonymi!

Anyway, I was just having some fun with this one.


I do have a point of contention with Gene, though. The phase "phony pseudo-intellectual," as punctuated by Anonymous, actually means "intellectual" since "phony," in this instance, is modifying "pseudo." I think it means essentially an intellectual posing as a pseudo-intellectual.

The correct punctuation, assuming I am correct about Anonymous's intention, would have been "phony, pseudo-intellectual."

This glaring error in punctuation is what led me to deduce that our Anonymous poster is, as it admits, not an intellectual itself. This fact raises the further question how Anonymous can presume to judge the intellectual qualifications of others - a point I was attempting to make in Socratic form.

Lewis K. said...

Isn't the tenor of this post contrary to the recent ones glorifying the TLM? I thought we are taken up, raised to the Heavenly Banquet,rather than claw and struggle to lower the Divine down to the human level.

Marc said...

I like how, in this post, you say the Pope does three things. Then, you list five things. And only two of those five are things the Pope has actually done!

Classic!

Anonymous said...

The Pope told me to stir things up a bit. I had no idea it would be so easy...and so much fun to cause you phonies AND pseudo intellectuals to get your knickers in a twist. Adios again.....Carlos

Marc said...

What did you stir up there, Carlos? And what is your purpose in attempting to cause conflict?

"Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord."

Gene said...

Anonymous, who would not be "phony" in your book?

Anonymous 2 said...

John Nolan: Never mind the Pope. Ask about the Vice-President or basic questions about the Constitution!:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1368482/How-ignorant-Americans-An-alarming-number-U-S-citizens-dont-know-basic-facts-country.html

Gene said...

I doubt very seriously that Obama could pass a HS level American history test.

Anonymous 2 said...

Actually, Gene, I suspect that he could. He taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School and one cannot really teach that subject without knowing quite a bit of American history I think.

Gene said...

Obama was an affirmative action token law student/law professor. His wife thought Abraham Lincoln signed the Declaration of Independence. He has had more gaffes than George Bush ever did and the press just lets them slide. Nobody remembers him teaching anything, and his classmates at Columbia said he hardly showed up for class.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

The actual facts seem a little different. What you say seems to be half accurate at best.

On Obama’s Harvard admission, see:
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/09/21/Found-Obama-s-LSAT-Score

On Obama’s track record teaching at Chicago, see:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/30/us/politics/30law.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I have been unable to find anything on Michelle Obama and Abraham Lincoln. Are you sure you are not getting your Michel(l)es confused (as in Bachmann)? =)

The “gaffes” point seems highly speculative. Have you got an actual comparative tally for Bush and Obama? Also, what does one actually mean by “gaffe”?


Gene said...

Obama does not know American history. He went to school in Indonesia for much of his youth. He hates white America, and American history, the productive and meaningful parts of being Caucasian in origin.
Instead of defending this pretender, this affirmative action hack, why do you not work to defeat him...or maybe you would vote for him again.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

I am afraid you have misunderstood the intent of my comment. It was not about "defending Obama". It was about correcting what seemed to me to be some factual inaccuracies about the President’s biography. I would have done the same whoever the President was and from whichever party. In other words, I was not trying to be political. I do know something about law schools, however.

If you read the links I gave, the first link (to Joel Pollak on Breitbart – you should be pleased; hardly a great Obama supporter) suggests that that there may be some truth to the claims about Obama’s performance as an undergraduate student and possibly, but not necessarily, the affirmative admissions point. However, Obama apparently excelled as a student once admitted.

And the second link (to a lengthy NYT piece) suggests that there does not seem to be much truth to the claim that “nobody remembers him teaching anything” – on the contrary, students and faculty remember very well it seems and thought highly of him as a teacher. But you should definitely be interested in_what_he was teaching his students (he was quite liberal at a rather conservative -- as in “Law and Economics” -- law school).

No, I wouldn’t vote for Obama again – he can’t run again =) Seriously, I don’t want to go over old ground here too much but, since you did ask, I had what I considered good reasons for voting for Obama as a prudential judgment in accordance with the USCCB guidelines and I would probably do it again if I had it to do over.

First, there are several prudential factors relevant to the abortion issue that, in my judgment, permitted a vote for Obama consistent with opposition to abortion, as I explained at length in those exchanges.

Second, consider the alternative. I voted for Bush the first time and was totally duped (“humble foreign policy, my _____”). I really believe that, had Romney been President, we would have invaded Syria a long time ago. If you recall, that is what the gung-ho neo-con crowd (who also surrounded Romney it seems) wanted to do after invading Iraq, until they discovered Iraq wasn’t the “cakewalk” they thought it would be (“oops, better wait on Syria, got our hands a bit full right now”) because, to use Colin Powell’s expression, while they were very, very good at "breaking" Iraq, they were lousy at “owning” it! And now these same clowns have the unmitigated gall to criticize Obama over Syria! Thankfully, it seems that you cannot fool most of the people most of the time over this nonsense any longer.

Third, Romney’s (and most Republicans’) fanatical Norquistian opposition to any federal income tax increase, even a modest one, was just dumb policy and dumb arithmetic in my view, as events proved (they were going to go up anyway automatically).

So, when I see a Republican candidate for President who does not insult my intelligence, or perhaps more accurately, who does not insult my intelligence way more than the Democrat candidate, I will certainly think about voting Republican again. Until then, I will remain open to voting Democrat provided this does not violate Catholic conscientious guidelines for voting.


Marc said...

Anonymous 2, I respect your opinion and, I especially respect your thought process and your ability to articulate that process.

Now, let's not focus on voting for Obama in the past because, as you said, he can't run again. Let's talk about the future:

I am far from a Republican, as you could likely discern from my career choice and pacifist beliefs. So, I sympathize with what I think is your conclusion that Catholics are necessarily choosing between two evils in American politics. I don't know how we are to resolve that conflict, honestly. But, when it comes to the intrinsic evil of abortion and Obama's stance on the same, we have to oppose that even if it means voting for someone Republican.

I gave a talk to the Young Adult Group once where my premise was this: as young people, for the most part, we detest voting Republican. There is an inherent conflict between the modern Republican party and the spirit of youth (of course, the same is true of the Democrats, but they have won the day in terms of claiming the intellectual high-ground at the present). But, we young people are so disenfranchised as Catholics that we have little choice. Since politicians are always pandering for our votes, we need to demand a candidate that fully represents our pro-life stance.

What is a pro-life stance? Anti-abortion, anti-capital punishment, anti-war, pro-health care, anti-poverty. No one represents this view. Yet, this is clearly our calling as Catholics and as followers of Christ. And not only are we to be "anti" this or "pro" that, we should be both "anti-abortion" and "pro-life" meaning we should recognize there are two sides to this coin. We need consistency, which neither party really brings.

Having said all that, let me make one point about Obama. I am convinced in my cynicism that both parties are basically the same, but each is only open about certain aspects of its agenda. Democrats are just as pro-war as the Republicans (and we see that clearly this week). Republicans are just as pro-abortion as Democrats (Republicans just want it hidden from view). So, from this perspective, yes, a vote for Obama was the same as a vote for Romney. Would there really be less abortions in America today if Romney had been elected? No, I don't think anyone could argue that with a straight face.

I don't know the answer to these problems. Perhaps we can agree, however, that we know a portion of the cause: the two-party system has created a false dichotomy in American politics -- it has created a false sense of choice. This is the real problem that needs to be fixed or else none of our other problems will ever be addressed because it is not expedient for either party to do so. They are content swapping power back and forth amongst themselves.

Gene said...

Anon2, I consider anyone who voted for Obama an enemy of the country, the Constitution, and the Church.
This means you. Cancel the personal meeting. ( I also question their common sense.)

Marc, How is pro-health care our calling as "followers of Christ?" Lawyer me that, please.

Anonymous 2 said...

Wow, Marc. That is a terrific post! I think I agree with everything you say, except possibly with your implication (if I understood correctly) that Catholics had to vote for Romney to oppose the intrinsic evil of abortion. As I mentioned, I tried to think carefully through all the relevant considerations and concluded that voting for Obama would very likely not lead to an increase in abortions – and, of course, it was no part of my intent to support abortion when I cast my vote, just as the Bishops’ Guidelines require.

Of course, I fully accepted, and still do, that someone else might come out differently on the prudential judgment of these considerations and also that they could legitimately make abortion the overriding issue. As I see it, however, the biggest problem with the position that opposition to abortion means one_has_to vote Republicans is that it allows the Republican Party to hijack the Catholic vote – they can do anything else they want so long as they continue to say they oppose abortion (whatever they might actually believe, as you wisely observe, although the Bishops also identified the candidates’ credibility as another prudential consideration, as I recall).

Hey, let’s form a Catholic party (there are precedents)!!! And let’s try to get together when you are in town and we are both free.


Anonymous 2 said...

Gene: I simply cannot understand you. You knew perfectly well that I was open to voting for Obama after taking all relevant considerations into account, and that I had likely ended up doing so (please see your previous post), and yet you were happy to meet. (BTW I voted for him based on my conservative principles.) Now, you change your mind. Are you always this fickle?

Contrast the decent way in which Marc handles himself!

BTW I am still happy to meet. Indeed, I look forward to it. At the end of the day, my friend, we are “dust to dust and ashes to ashes,” and need to be concerned with what comes afterwards (I bet they don’t have political parties in Heaven but I imagine there is constant political campaigning in some corner of Hell). We would all do well to remember that.

Gene said...

I did indeed make note of your willingness to vote for Obama, but had hoped that your better sense might have prevailed.
I really do not see where there is any point of my talking with anyone who voted for Obama unless we can keep it to the weather.
You do not seem to understand...I consider conservatives and traditionalists in this country to be under literal attack by Leftists. Whites are under attack by Blacks (do you read the paper) because race-baiters turned a justified self-defense shooting into a race issue. Even the law is for sale. Most Blacks hate us and many say so openly. Race relations in this country have never been worse, and Obama and his administration have fomented this. So, anyone who voted fro Obama, for ANY reason, I consider a potential, if not active, enemy of my country, my faith, my heritage, and my children and grandchildren. Trying to justify voting for Obama by citing the USCCB is like citing the dog for justification for killing a cat!
So, in my opinion, anyone...especially an educated person...a lawyer no less...who voted for Obama knowingly denigrates the Constitution, the Founding, and the Faith...not to mention just plain bad judgement. There is one consolation, however, albeit only one possible one of many possible outcomes...when radicals and Leftists finally take over a country and actually rule it, the academics and intellectuals that originally supported them are usually the first ones they kill. Think about it next time you vote. No, I have no intention of meeting with you or any other admitted Obama voters.

Marc said...

Gene, I think you assume that when I say "pro-health care" I am necessarily advocating for some sort of socialized health care system. I don't think that's the only option, and I don't claim to know the answer.

What I do know is that our Blessed Lord told us that when we take care of the sick, the infirm, the poor, and the imprisoned, we take care of him. So, I don't think it's really an option for us. The manner in which it is carried out is left open to debate. Of course, Holy Mother Church has given us the guiding principles of solidarity (the basis of recognizing the need to provide health care) and subsidiarity (the model by which that provision is to be carried out).

As for the temporal, political aspect of the health care debate, I don't think we're any better or worse off leaving health care in the hands of the government instead of health insurance companies. Neither has the ill person's best interest at heart.

Having identified the problem, I'm not competent to offer a solution, though. I can offer some experiential thoughts, though. My grandmother served in the Women's Army Corps during WWII. She is getting to the point where she has to survey her options for care for the future. She found out that she can go to a very nice veterans' facility where she will get excellent care. Now, she "earned" this care by her service (she also taps into my late grandfather's benefits since he was in the Air Force). I don't understand why everyone can't receive this same level of care...

Anonymous 2, I don't know that there was a moral imperative to vote for Romney. I think if one argued for that, it would be incredibly short-sighted. I think there may have been a moral imperative to vote against Obama, so for my part, I did so even though it meant voting, ugh, Republican. That's not really my point, though, and I don't think it should be the discussion. Here's why:

It is my opinion that we remain in the same mess year after year, election after election, because people don't think about this stuff between election cycles. As the presidential election approaches, you'll hear priests and bishops talk about how we need to think about this issue or that issue, focusing on preference for one candidate over another, always in a veiled way.

Perhaps if priests and bishops spent the intervening four years getting people riled up about the system that forces these meaningless choices upon us, something might change. Waiting until the eleventh hour and then acting like the world is going to end if a Democrat gets elected doesn't fix the underlying issues.

By the way, I think that a large problem with "Catholic politics" is the antagonism between the current mode of getting into the Republicans' pockets juxtaposed with formerly being in the Democrats' pockets. I don't think those of us who make up the Church should be so myopic. Perhaps if we telegraphed a little less which way we were going to go, forcing candidates to earn our votes, we might fare a little better in finding a candidate who actually represents our views.

Gene said...

Marc, Jesus' command to care for the sick and poor was addressed to individuals. I see no way in which it can be commandeered by political factions to argue for any brand of health care, particularly one that forces abortion on the public. Everyone has bought the propaganda that the health care system in this country was broken. I and my wife have worked in and around health care all our lives and do not see the evidence for this. No system will be perfect, but the one we had was pretty damned good. It was abused by minorities who showed up with three or four kids with snotty noses, drunks, and druggies looking for fixes because if they showed up they had to be seen by law. This clogged the ER's and made them refuges for trash and thugs. Then, there was the host of welfare patients who camped out in doctors' offices for free care. Many physicians have begun refusing to see medicaide patients and I do not blame them.
The very idea that druggies, whores, and welfare frauds should receive the same level of health care as responsible, productive citizens is repugnant to me, anyway. That is all Obamacare is designed for, anyway...egalitarian health care...pulling responsible, productive citizens down to the same low level as the rabble. It is a part of a systematic effort to destroy the Republic...and the Catholic bishops want to be the chaplains for the fraud. I hope it is de-funded and all Obammy's constituents go to DC and camp out screaming and rioting for health care. I'll buy the popcorn...

Flavius Hesychius said...

Mark, many of the people my age who are politically minded throw their hands up in frustration when it's election time due to the either-or choice presented to them.

On top of this, the only time one sees any names other than those of Republicans or Democrats is on election day. Because most aren't willing to vote for someone about whom they know nothing, we're reduced to what amounts to voting for the one with the best tie color, or nicest hair, or even best Oprah appearance.

Marc said...

Gene, I don't disagree with anything you've said in your latest comment. But, since we have an obligation to care for the infirm, it seems me have an obligation to search for a way to carry that out...

It's not Obamacare. I also don't think it's huge insurance companies. So, what is it? We can't do it individually because we aren't all doctors and nurses. So... What's the solution?

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc: I do not have the concrete solution but I do know how to get to it. As I have said several times before, what is required is wise decision-making by public spirited legislators. Nowadays that is a very tall order, given the know nothings, ideologues, and “bought” political hacks who seem to predominate in Washington nowadays.

So, here are the necessary ingredients:

(1) Wise and virtuous political leaders

(2) Who resist the influence of “true believer” ideology and money in politics, and instead

(3) Have the humility to learn as much about the problem and possible solutions in light of the experience of other countries.

But then, Don Quixote is one of my heroes! On the other hand, without these ingredients, forget about a good solution for health care or indeed anything else for that matter.

Anonymous 2 said...

I will pray for you, Gene. In fact, I already do.

Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. Gene, I hope you will do the same for me.

Gene said...

Now, Anon 2 is going to pray for me. That is fine, but "I'm going to pray for you" is commonly used as a dismissive by self-righteous Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists. It is a way of implying 1) that the person being prayed for is hopelessly in need of it and, therefore wrong, and 2) the person praying is magnanimous and righteous enough to condescend to pray for this poor wretch. It is a form of passive-aggressive behavior.
I am reminded of the feud that Mayor Ronnie Thompson and Governor Lester Maddox had back in the late 60's/early 70's. Thompson was accusing Maddox of high-handed behavior in dealing with a local issue and referred to Maddox as a "little Napolean." Maddox responded by saying (on TV news for everyone to see), "Ronnie Thompson is a sick man. I'm gonna' pray for him." Ah, the charm of Southern politics...LOL!

Gene said...

Marc, I do not know the answer and I am not sure there is one. Life is not necessarily fair and there is a natural selection at many levels. There are simply going to be those who, partly from bad choices and partly by accident of birth, do not receive the best health care or even optimum health care. That is no reason to destroy what was the best health care delivery system in the world.
There is such a hypocrisy about all this, anyway. It is so clearly egalitarian and leveling in concept and so aimed at the more productive and successful middle-class as to be nothing more than a social engineering tool.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene: Just stop after “that is fine” in the first line, pay attention to my P.S. comment, and we’re good.

What is your basis for saying that the U.S. had the “best health care delivery system in the world” (I assume you mean before “Obamacare”)? Perhaps you are right, but do you really know that you are?

You may not yourself be someone who would say this, but one of the most irksome phrases I hear is “the U.S. is the greatest country in the world” or the “best place in the world.” It is especially irksome when uttered by those who have never been outside the United States or who otherwise have virtually no knowledge of other countries. First, you have to choose what it is we are supposed to be “the greatest” or “the best”_in_and then you have to decide how to measure different countries comparatively in that regard. When you do this, you do indeed find that the U.S. is the “greatest” or the “best” in some things but not in others. Refusal to do this and nevertheless still to utter this phrase combines incredible ignorance with incredible arrogance. Worse, it is unpatriotic because it almost willfully denies any desire to improve and to learn from other countries mistakes and successes.

Marc said...

I agree, Gene. The neo-liberal methodology of bringing about equality by simply reducing everyone to the same low level is problematic. I think we need to ask the fundamental question whether political systems exist to bring about equality or to provide services to the "less equal."

At any rate, they should at the very least stay out of the way of those who seek to provide care, as in Church run hospitals. I think they are a large part of the solution as they run on the subsidiarity model.

Gene said...

I agree that the Church-run hospitals is a good model and would be a viable alternative did not the government feel compelled to try to control them. If you want to f... something up, let the government get involved.
It is interesting to me that, of all the well-known charitable organizations, the Catholic Church and the Masons outstrip all of them in terms of money raised and care given to the poor and misfortunate. The Church and the Masons are also about the only two that have not become inefficient and politically compromised.

Gene said...

Anon 2, I agree that to say "America is the greatest country in the world" is trite and simplistic. It is the stuff of jaded political speeches and HS commencement talks.
However, there is nothing wrong with patriotism and loyalty to an ideal...even a tarnished one. We (I) grew up with a spirit of loyalty and enthusiasm which taught that you should believe that your team is the best, your school is the best, and your country is the best. Even as many Americans have become more cynical and/or realistic about America's failures, there remains that vestigial loyalty and patriotism that makes one thrill to the military color guard, the National Anthem, and Souza marches. There is nothing wrong with this...in fact, when the Thing in the White House refused to place his hand on his heart during the pledge and his wife muttered (during a flag ceremony) "all that for a damned flag," I wish someone had stepped up and slapped them silly. Many of us, when young and un-compromised by the cynicism of politics and media, fought for "our country." In battle, you are fighting to survive and help your buddies, but when asked in a time of quiet why you are fighting, most would state that they were fighting for some patriotic ideal or duty. So, sure, I think my country is the greatest...as in, "I want it to be, even though I understand that it has fallen far short."
The American Constitutional Republic was founded as a somewhat unique political experiment. The Founding was a close run thing, and a slip back into the anarchy of the Articles of Confederation was long a real danger. The form of government, the ideal, represented by that Founding is worth restoring. That is why I detest what is happening now and view supporters of this fakir, this charlatan, as veritable enemies.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

I have only just seen your latest post.

I agree in the value of a healthy patriotism and appreciate the expressions of it you mention. I also have a great appreciation for the American Experiment and for the Constitution although I consider that they have been seriously warped by those on both the Left and the Right.

It is the unhealthy variants or pseudo patriotisms that cause me concern. For example, our political leaders’ obsession with wearing little American Flag lapel pins is juvenile and an insult to one’s intelligence in my view. I doubt very much that it is an expression of patriotism in most cases, but rather done in a cynical attempt to score points over those who don’t wear them and to manipulate the gullible electorate (they are politicians after all!). Similarly, a myopic and ostrich like refusal to face facts and realities about various matters because “we’re number 1” is unpatriotic in effect if not intent. A true friend and lover will not hesitate to work for the true good of a friend, even when that means expressing hard truths to that friend or beloved.

I see “enemies” of the great American Experiment and the Constitution as much in the Republican Party as in the Democratic Party, and my vote for Obama was as much an attempt at “damage control” as anything. It was the result of long and considered reflection not only about what he would be able to do that needed doing (prudent tax increases and immigration reform really are needed, Gene) but also about what his supporters would not be able to do and what the Republicans would not be able to do, if he were re-elected, in light of the likely configuration of checks and balances (I still think my calculations about those checks and balances were correct BTW). Of course, my vote meant nothing in Georgia but I felt the patriotic duty to vote my best judgment anyway.