Archive for July 7, 2009

Dan Riehl has managed to confirm our diagnosis of Andrew Sullivan and the existence of Bloggers Alzheimer’s aka Sullivan’s Syndrome.

“My own view is that the mainstream media was absurdly soft on her inconsistencies and lack of qualifications.

Sullivan seems trapped in some unfortunate reality in which he so has to demonize anyone he’s opposed to politically, it really does suggest serious emotional issues of some sort. Whatever Sullivan may have been at one point, people who still believe he’s even a semi-honest broker in touch with objective reality are just fooling themselves.

No one in their right mind could possibly conclude the above about the media coverage of Sarah Palin and claim to have a genuine appreciation for an objective political reality. And what’s even more sad is that the web editors of a once prestigious brand like The Atlantic allow it to go on.

The quote is via Mac’s mind. I would warn the operator of that blog since he is planning a weekly Sullivan Statement post of the risks of repeated exposure to Sullivan’s Syndrome:

No current treatment is known for Sullivan’s syndrome but readers are advised to avoid prolonged exposure to the subject as the syndrome can spread to the point where the infected person can become the trigger for the syndrome in others.

On the 4th of July I wrote this:

Over the next 15 months there are going to be many congressional candidates all over the country who will be looking for exposure and funds. Imagine if these candidates held A fund-raising dinner featuring the most famous former vice presidential candidate there has ever been. Picture the local/national media coverage, the large crowds and the money raised.

I called it the LBJ strategy since that’s one of the methods that Johnson used to build his power base on capital hill.

Roger Stone calls it the Nixon Plan:

Palin has the most valuable commodity a Presidential candidate can have – a base. Roughly 23% of Americans and 68% of Republicans have a favorable view of Palin. She alone has this kind of intense following. She alone can fill a large hall or small stadium anywhere in Republican Country…

Palin will also be more in demand as a dinner speaker, fundraiser and campaigner than any other Republican in 2011.

And now Governor Palin confirms it herself talking to Time:

In fact, my intention is to go out and to campaign for people who can effect change all across our nation. I can’t do that from the governor’s desk no matter how careful I were to be, because we’ve got lots of double standards hitting us. Other governors probably could travel around and campaign for others and speak candidly, using their First Amendment rights to express what they feel about a person, a candidate, a position. I get hit with ethics-violation charges if I do that.

Be afraid Liberals/Democrats; be very afraid. Oh sorry you already are or you wouldn’t have spent the last 8 months trying to destroy her.

Hotair also has video. And Doctor Zero in the Green Room points out something very important:

One of the crucial factors in McCain’s defeat was voter apathy. A huge number of Bush voters couldn’t be bothered to slog to the polls for him. If Sarah Palin climbs into the ring against Barack Obama in 2012, there won’t be many empty seats in the stadium. If she hits hard enough, I don’t think very many people will care that she has “Ex-Governor of Alaska” embroidered on her boxing trunks. Politics is all about possibilities, not certainties. Even those who feel skeptical about Palin’s chances after Friday afternoon must conclude, from the passionate reaction of the public, that an awful lot of people are very interested in voting for someone like Sarah Palin… and there is no one else like Sarah Palin.

I like his campaign slogan too.

The Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Caritas in veritate” (Love in truth) has now been released and I’m perusing it now. Any and all emphasis are in the original unless otherwise stated. Some highlights so far:

To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and to bear witness to it in life are therefore exacting and indispensable forms of charity.

The reference to Charity meaning throughout this letter love.

Truth needs to be sought, found and expressed within the “economy” of charity, but charity in its turn needs to be understood, confirmed and practised in the light of truth. In this way, not only do we do a service to charity enlightened by truth, but we also help give credibility to truth, demonstrating its persuasive and authenticating power in the practical setting of social living. This is a matter of no small account today, in a social and cultural context which relativizes truth, often paying little heed to it and showing increasing reluctance to acknowledge its existence.

3. Through this close link with truth, charity can be recognized as an authentic expression of humanity and as an element of fundamental importance in human relations, including those of a public nature. Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love. It falls prey to contingent subjective emotions and opinions, the word “love” is abused and distorted, to the point where it comes to mean the opposite. Truth frees charity from the constraints of an emotionalism that deprives it of relational and social content, and of a fideism that deprives it of human and universal breathing-space. In the truth, charity reflects the personal yet public dimension of faith in the God of the Bible, who is both Agápe and Lógos: Charity and Truth, Love and Word.

This is really heady stuff:

Truth, by enabling men and women to let go of their subjective opinions and impressions, allows them to move beyond cultural and historical limitations and to come together in the assessment of the value and substance of things.

A Christianity of charity without truth would be more or less interchangeable with a pool of good sentiments, helpful for social cohesion, but of little relevance. In other words, there would no longer be any real place for God in the world.

We all know what road is paved with Good intentions.

This is not a question of purely individual morality: Humanae Vitae indicates the strong links between life ethics and social ethics, ushering in a new area of magisterial teaching that has gradually been articulated in a series of documents, most recently John Paul II’s Encyclical Evangelium Vitae[28]. The Church forcefully maintains this link between life ethics and social ethics, fully aware that “a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized.

Testimony to Christ’s charity, through works of justice, peace and development, is part and parcel of evangelization, because Jesus Christ, who loves us, is concerned with the whole person.

Integral human development presupposes the responsible freedom of the individual and of peoples: no structure can guarantee this development over and above human responsibility.

In promoting development, the Christian faith does not rely on privilege or positions of power, nor even on the merits of Christians (even though these existed and continue to exist alongside their natural limitations)[44], but only on Christ, to whom every authentic vocation to integral human development must be directed. The Gospel is fundamental for development, because in the Gospel, Christ, “in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals humanity to itself”[45].

There is too much to go through now as I have an event to attend to day. I’ll leave it here and hit Chapter two later.

Update: Here is a gem from Chapter 2

I would like to remind everyone, especially governments engaged in boosting the world’s economic and social assets, that the primary capital to be safeguarded and valued is man, the human person in his or her integrity: “Man is the source, the focus and the aim of all economic and social life”

And another one that will upset a few people:

First, one may observe a cultural eclecticism that is often assumed uncritically: cultures are simply placed alongside one another and viewed as substantially equivalent and interchangeable. This easily yields to a relativism that does not serve true intercultural dialogue; on the social plane, cultural relativism has the effect that cultural groups coexist side by side, but remain separate, with no authentic dialogue and therefore with no true integration. Secondly, the opposite danger exists, that of cultural levelling and indiscriminate acceptance of types of conduct and life-styles. In this way one loses sight of the profound significance of the culture of different nations, of the traditions of the various peoples, by which the individual defines himself in relation to life’s fundamental questions[62]. What eclecticism and cultural levelling have in common is the separation of culture from human nature. Thus, cultures can no longer define themselves within a nature that transcends them[63], and man ends up being reduced to a mere cultural statistic. When this happens, humanity runs new risks of enslavement and manipulation.

Update 3: The American Papist has much more

Update 4: I can’t believe I forgot the link but was very busy that day.