...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

January 26, 2006

Benedict's First Encyclical

An excellent short post on Pope Benedict's Deus Caritas Est is over at Hugo's. I wholeheartedly agree with the Pope, and Hugo's, thoughts on the separation of charity and proselytization. Although I recognize that for much of my church's history, that separation was blurred at best. I do think it's most effective, especially on a personal level, to proclaim the Gospel more by example and less by argument.

Posted by annika, Jan. 26, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: Faith


Word :)

Posted by: Scof on Jan. 27, 2006

On the other hand, I once worked at an inner city mission for the homeless, They gave out good food and preached during the eveng meal. There were at least a few people who turned away from alcohol because of a religous experience.

Posted by: Kyle N on Jan. 27, 2006

"There were at least a few people who turned away from alcohol because of a religous experience."

Our current president being one of them....

Posted by: reagan80 on Jan. 27, 2006

Yes Ray,

He'd been an abusive, angry, lying sack of shit who also drank too much. Too bad religion only got him to give up one bad habit.

Posted by: Strawman on Jan. 29, 2006

"He'd (sic) been an abusive, angry, lying sack of shit who also drank too much. Too bad religion only got him to give up one bad habit."

Shit straw, sounds more like you... do you drink too much?

Posted by: Casca on Jan. 29, 2006

Hey StrawDude,

Do you get your material from Howard Dean, Paul Begala, or James Carville---visionary thinkers all. The ad hominem attacks only demonstrates the extent to which "W" has kicked the shit out of you guys. Here is an idea for Democrats: Come up with one new idea...just one. I won't hold my breath, though. The Dems idea of a policy debate is to run around saying "Bush lied, Bush lied." You fucking idiots haven't had a new idea since FDR tried to destroy our country with his brand of socialism. (Well, that is when he wasn't throwing non-white people in internment camps. Funny, how your heroes above don't have much to say about that action in a time of war, but are torn up about monitoring the calls of terroists.)

Anyway, the Left's disdain for religion is one (of many) reason you people lose election after election. So, go put on your Che Guevara T-Shirt and attend a Hugo Chavez rally. You'll feel right at home amongst people who idolize murderers and God-haters.

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 30, 2006

A link to two people who don't think much of God, the Pope, or Bush. (Strawman's peeps.)


Posted by: Blu on Jan. 30, 2006

Hey Blu,

What do you think of god? I'm Curious.

You like the guy? Think he/she is doing a good job caring for his best works? DO ya think he has a plan?

BTW, the Japanese internment was a terrible crime against Americans and I don't know anybody who thinks differently. Nor do I think any historians on the left have given FDR a free ride about it. It is, however, a bit late for those on the left to protest it. But W is a lying sack of shit and history will record him as such.

How quickly you forget that he lost the first election and won the second by the smallest margin of a second term winner. This to you is kicking the shit outof something? That a majority of this nation currently feels he has bungled Iraq and is not trustworthy or competent. Wait 'till the midterms and you'll watch his party run away from him.

Posted by: Strawman on Jan. 30, 2006

He lost the first election? Really? Weird, I thought he won the electoral college vote, which is how we elect Presidents in this country. Yep, I'm pretty sure he won---despite widespread Democrat voter fraud.

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 30, 2006


Really? I didn't notice the W was president. My point was that more Americans wanted Al Gore to be president than wanted W. I do know that the electoral college is the method we use, none the less, it has been and continues to be a myth purpertrated by the Right that the country is in some RW slide. IT is not. The right to choose is supported by nearly 60%, the presidents popularity is less than 40%, the perception that he is an incompetent boob is shared by more than 50%, his lies about the need for SS over hall were rejected for what they were,distortions, his wish to have creationism taught as "just another point of view" was crushed with predjudice, his lie that "nobody could have imagined the levee's breaching" is clear to all who are not dead, his fear mongering about how if illegal wire taps had been in use prior to 911, it could have been stopped, utter nonsence, just a caculated lie to manipulate public opinion among the freightened sheep who make up a large part of this country. Why did Chainey pound away befor the invasion on the idea that there was a Saddam-Al Quieda connection regardless of there being NO supporting evidence? You think he had info he wouldn't share or he had an invasion agenda? The NYT call Bush a liar at least 5 times in Sunday's editorial and has refuted every stupid baseless argument the WH puts out about the need and legality of domestic spying: the lives it saves or could have saved, pure bullshit.

Blu, you are living a dream which is rapidly becoming a god infested , facist neightmare. W has the FEAR card and nothing more and you quake in your boots watching your constitutional protections go down the sewer.

Posted by: Strawman on Jan. 31, 2006

The links between Sadaam and Al Quieda are well-docuemnted. He trained them in his country for years. Get over it. Read Stephen Hayes and stop listening to left-wingers with two-digit IQs.

You actually read the NY Times editorials? The specific editorial referenced was a fucking joke---one of the worse pieces of crap ever written by that piece of shit paper. (Maybe, Jason Blair wrote it.) They couldn't even cite relevant case law to support their argument. On the other hand, the President can easily make his case for based on several pre-FISA cases and a post-FISA case. Now, do you think the idiots at the NY Times, (who have NO constitutional scholars on their editorial board,) bothered to check the case law? Of course not. The NY Times is a Left-wing rag that is becoming less relevant each and every day. Check their circulation #s over the past decade.

Anyway, the difference between you and me (and the Right and Left generally) is the use of facts rather than just the spewing of BS. So, here is the case law (courtesy of John Hinderaker) that supports Bush and that proves you and the NY Times incorrect...as usual.

United States v. Clay, 430 F.2d 165 (5th Cir. 1970), in which the court held that federal statutes prohibiting wiretapping do not "[forbid] the President, or his representative, from ordering wiretap surveillance to obtain foreign intelligence in the national interest." Does the Times mention Clay? Of course not.

United States v. Butenko, 494 F.2d 593 (3rd Cir. 1974), where the court held that no judicial warrant was necessary where "surveillances ... were 'conducted and maintained solely for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence information.'” Times doesn't mention it.

United States v. Truong, 629 F.2d 908 (4th Cir. 1980), where the court sustained the federal government's position, which it summarized as follows:

"In the area of foreign intelligence, the government contends, the President may authorize surveillance without seeking a judicial warrant because of his constitutional prerogatives in the area of foreign affairs."

The court explained why the President has the inherent constitutional authority to order warrantless electronic surveillance:

"For several reasons, the needs of the executive are so compelling in the area of foreign intelligence, unlike the area of domestic security, that a uniform warrant requirement would, following [United States v. United States District Court, 407 U.S. 297 (1972)], “unduly frustrate” the President in carrying out his foreign affairs responsibilities. First of all, attempts to counter foreign threats to the national security require the utmost stealth, speed and secrecy. A warrant requirement would add a procedural hurdle that would reduce the flexibility of executive foreign intelligence activities, in some cases delay executive response to foreign intelligence threats, and increase the chance of leaks regarding sensitive executive operations."

If the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals was right, then the New York Times is wrong. So, surely the Times must have some persuasive rebuttal to the Truong decision in support of its technical legal argument? No. The Times never refers to Truong.

United States v. Duggan, 743 F.2d 59 (2nd Cir. 1984), was a terrorism case in which the court, among other rulings, upheld the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The court wrote:

"Prior to the enactment of FISA, virtually every court that had addressed the issue had concluded that the President had the inherent power to conduct warrantless electronic surveillance to collect foreign intelligence information, and that such surveillances constituted an exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment."

A damning summary. Surely the Times has a rejoinder to the court's statement that the universal weight of authority is against the paper's position? Nope.

Those cases are pre-FISA, of course, and the Times says that FISA is the statute the administration "violated." So maybe the Times would argue that the pre-FISA cases don't apply. Such a claim would be unpersuasive on its face, since Congress cannot by statute or otherwise strip the executive branch of its constitutional powers. But there is, in fact, a post-FISA case that specifically addresses the question whether the passage of that statute could have changed the pre-existing principle that the President has constitutional power to order warrantless surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. Since that case is directly on point, surely the Times discussed it. Right? Wrong. The Times never mentions In re: Sealed Case No. 02-001, decided in 2002 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, the very court which is responsible for interpreting and applying FISA.

It's not hard to figure out why the Times editorialists pretend that Sealed Case No 02-001 doesn't exist. It conclusively refutes their legal position:

The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. ... We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power.
So the only federal appellate court that has ruled on the issue says that the New York Times is wrong about the law. The Times, ostrich-like, pretends that the federal courts don't exist.

So, Strawman, as usual, I bury your bullshit with facts. You really are gonna have to bring your game up a level.

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 31, 2006


I am not a lawyer and rely on the interpretation of others who are so I cannot argue the decisions and interpretations that you would like to call facts.

I do, however, read and have heard many lawyers,(the latest was Reagans soliciter general) say you are wrong and that the warrantless taps, post FISA are illegal. If it were as cut and dry as you say it is there would not be such an uproar. A bi-partisian one at that.

Listening to the pin head last night I realized that the whole wire tap issue is a smoke screen. They really don't think the intel is that valuable nor do they believe they would have done better connectiong the dots pre-911. Rather what they are doing is defining the election strategy. They realize that the Dems are going to have to answer the question " ....so senator, in other words, if an operative is talk'in to Al Kida overseas you don't want to know what he's say'in?"

The fear card. If you oppose wirtapping you are willing to let American's be killed.

This is the only hope thay have for winning. All the real issues are in a shambles for the RW. Iraq is a debacle, the tax cuts have only benefitted the wealthy, real wages for Americans are dropping, economic growth is slow, spending is at an all time high, the diaster response and relief are deeply troubled plagued by incompetence at the top and the surplus they inherited has turned into the largest debt ever.

Fear is their only card. So you may parse the legality but it is meaningless. They couldn't and still can't find there way out of a gunny sack. What did Condiliar say the other day in response to the Hammas win? "Yes, Bob, we were quite surprised by that and I am goning to find out why we didn't have have a clue" (paraphrase) She has never had a clue, never will, she is in way over her head.

Posted by: Strawman on Feb. 1, 2006

There are opinions and then there are facts. The court is the final arbitor of law. The appellate courts, as demonstrated by the relevant case law, have decided---REPEATEDLY---that the President has the authority. So, end of discussion. Now, people may be uncomfortable with the facts, but they are arguing their personal sentiments not the law.

BTW, C. Rice is by far the smartest and most intellectual Sec of State this country has ever had. Her recent work with N. Korea was universally applauded as brilliant. And her work with Israel and its barbaric neighbor has also been lauded as very effective and even-handed---as compared to Clinton's courting of those Palestinian fascists. Compare her to the idiot windbag of a woman Clinton installed for purely affirmative action reasons. It was Albright's (and Clinton's) mess that Rice cleaned up in N. Korea. Indeed, it is Clinton's mess world-wide that Bush has had to deal with since taking office. Their "head in the sand" foreign policy directly led to 9-11 and to a myriad of other problems in the world. Lucky for him that a stock-market fueled by imaginary internet profits allowed that idiot/serial adulterer to duck out just in time to avoid the blame for disaster with wich he left us.

Posted by: Blu on Feb. 1, 2006

Oh, and economic growth has been very, very good. Do you even look at the numbers? On top of that, inflation has been low despite high energy prices. What world do you live in? Clinton handed us a recession, which TAX CUTS got us out of. Do you even understand basic macro-economics? And, yes, you are right there was a surplus---but then, as I said, Clinton gave us a recession and then his incompetence gave us 9/11. Surplus gone. Besides, the surplus was an illusion. Clinton got his "surplus" by gutting our military. This has been yet another area that Bush has had to salvage. Prior to Bush, our troops didn't have sufficient equipment for normal training. Do you ever wonder why 90% of the military despises Clinton and the Left?

Seriously, debating with you can be very annoying because you don't seem to have knowledge about fundamental concepts of law, economics, and political philosophy. Do you just make stuff up? Perhaps, you just mimick the Left-wingers you trust. I'm not certain. Regardless, do your homework or get your ass to graduate school. Or maybe just read a book.

Opinions are nice but facts are better.

Posted by: Blu on Feb. 1, 2006

"C. Rice is by far the smartest and most intellectual Sec of State this country has ever had."

Well, I don't know. I seem to remember a guy by the name of Thomas Jefferson.

I'm not trying to pick on you Blu. You know I luv you. Rock on.

Posted by: annika on Feb. 2, 2006

I'm not a Thomas Jefferson fan. Spent A LOT OF TIME in graduate school and since reading Jefferson and reading about him. He was (admittedly) brilliant, arrogant, radical, and hypocritical. I much prefer Adams and Hamilton (in terms of Founding Dudes). His support of the French Revolution and his weak reasons for supporting it ought to be enough to turn the stomach of any conservative.

I know that it is tough to argue against the (main) writer of the Declaration and a Founder, but I don't think that he was even close to being the brightest of the Founders. He was, however,(second only to Franklin) an excellent self-promoter.

With regard to the Rice comment, I admittedly failed to think beyond the past several decades. So, hey, pick away. I can take it. Remember, I've spent many, many years debating academic/political crap. I can take it.

Posted by: Blu on Feb. 2, 2006

Alright, Blu, if you don't like our first Secretary of State, how about these:

John Marshall, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, William Seward, William Jennings Bryan, Charles Evans Hughes, Gen. George C. Marshall, John Foster Dulles, Dean Acheson, Henry Kissinger.

I am a big fan of Condi, but that's a pretty tough list to be at the top of.

Posted by: annika on Feb. 3, 2006

Man, Annika you do like the old white guys. (Must be a history major;) I think that I like Madison the most of that group though he wasn't considered terribly effective. Kissinger might be the smartest of the bunch. But we all know his baggage. You are right---our country has has the benefit of some very smart men (and women.)

Posted by: Blu on Feb. 3, 2006