Friday, July 23, 2004

President Bush just gave a fantastic speech to the Urban League in Detroit.  The end was my favorite part:

  Ours is a solid record of accomplishment. And that's why I've come to talk about compassionate conservatism and what I envision for the future. I'm here for another reason. I'm here to ask for your vote. (Applause.)

No, I know, I know, I know. The Republican party has got a lot of work to do. I understand that. (Laughter and applause.)

You didn't need to nod your head that hard, Jesse. (Laughter.)

Do you remember a guy named Charlie Gaines? Somebody gave me a quote he said, which I think kind of describes the environment we're in today. I think he's a friend of Jesse's. He said, "Blacks are gagging on the donkey but not yet ready to swallow the elephant." (Laughter and applause.)

Now that was said a while ago. (Laughter.) I believe you've got to earn the vote and seek it. I think you've got to go to people and say, this is my heart, this is what I believe, and I'd like your help. And as I do, I'm going to ask African American voters to consider some questions.

Does the Democrat party take African American voters for granted? (Applause.) It's a fair question. I know plenty of politicians assume they have your vote. But do they earn it and do they deserve it? (Applause.) Is it a good thing for the African American community to be represented mainly by one political party? That's a legitimate question. (Applause.) How is it possible to gain political leverage if the party is never forced to compete? (Applause.) Have the traditional solutions of the Democrat party truly served the African American community?

That's what I hope people ask when they go to the community centers and places, as we all should do our duty and vote. People need to be asking these very serious questions.

Does blocking the faith-based initiative help neighborhoods where the only social service provider could be a church? Does the status quo in education really, really help the children of this country? (Applause.)
Does class warfare -- has class warfare or higher taxes ever created decent jobs in the inner city? Are you satisfied with the same answers on crime, excuses for drugs and blindness to the problem of the family? (Applause.)

Those are legitimate questions that I hope people ask as this election approaches. I'd like to hear those questions debated on talk radio, I'd like it debated in community centers, in the coffee shops. It's worthy of this country for this debate to go forward and these questions to be asked and answered.
I'm here to say that there is an alternative this year. There is an alternative that has had a record that is easy to see. If you dream of starting a small business and building a nest egg and passing something of value to your children, take a look at my agenda. If you believe schools should meet high standards instead of making excuses, take a look at my agenda. If you believe the institutions of marriage and family are worth defending and need defending today, take a look at my agenda. (Applause.)

If you believe in building a culture of life in America, take a look at my agenda. If you believe in a tireless fight against crime and drugs, take a look at this agenda. If you believe that our men and women in uniform should be respected and supported 100 percent of the time, take a look at my agenda. (Applause.)
If you're struggling to get into the middle class and you feel like you're paying plenty of taxes, take a look at my agenda. (Applause.)

If you're a small business owner who is trying to expand your job base and are worried about excessive lawsuits, increasing taxes and over-regulation, take a look at this agenda. (Applause.)
And finally, if you believe in the power of faith and compassion to defeat violence and despair and hopelessness, I hope you take a look at where I stand. (Applause.)

You see, I believe in my heart that the Republican party, the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, is not complete without the perspective and support and contribution of African Americans. (Applause.)
And I believe in my heart that the policies and actions of this administration, policies that empower individuals and help communities, that lift up free enterprise and respect and honor the family, those policies are good for the nation as a whole. That's what I believe. And I'm here to thank you for giving me a chance to come and express those beliefs.

I'm proud to be with an organization that does so good, so much good for the American people. I'm honored that your Chairman would extend an invitation to me. Thanks for coming, and may God bless you and may God continue to bless the country. (Applause.)

That section I bolded up there, about the Republican Party not being complete without the perspective, support and contribution of African Americans was wonderful... and so true.  If, like in 2000, over 90% of Blacks turn their backs on President Bush, it will be not the Republican's loss, but everyone's.

RCIA Complaint 

The next chapter we're to read for RCIA in "This is our Faith" by Michael Francis Pennock is Chapter 3, "Jesus:  Lord and Messiah. "  The first twelve chapters of this book are using the Catechism to explicate  the Nicine Creed.  I know, since I've lived long enough to understand myself and others to some extent, that excitement comes and goes... but I'm not excited about my RCIA classes.  There is very little back and forth discussion, the class if very small (either 2 or 3 students along with sponsors) and it occurs to me that the class is rather feminine.  We open, generally, by singing a hymn a capella (1.  I'm not familiar with Catholic hymns, 2. I don't read music and 3. I'm not a good singer).  We sit in a small circle, too close to each other, and talk intimately, softly, about our personal beliefs and pasts.  Perhaps it will get better in the Fall when weekly classes begin and we have a rotation of instructors (including our priest).

It is so much more exciting for me to rip through books like this on my own, make my own connections, map my own route.  What did old time sailors call it when the winds stopped blowing?  Oh yeah... the doldrums.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

If you remember, a while back some Republican staffers on the Judicial committee discovered that a computer server used by both Democrats and Republicans was wide open and allowed everyone to read everyone elses' memos.  When the Republicans saw what Ted Kennedy was doing (he was delaying a vote on a judge so that judge wouldn't affect the outcome of a civil rights case... which is way beyond jury tampering, it's judge tampering) and that the Democrat members of the Intelligence Committee were pre-scheduling no-votes (without hearing evidence) to have the most impact against Bush's re-election,  someone blew the whistle to the press.  Amazingly, to me, the press mostly focused on the Republicans reading the Democrat memos and not on Kennedy's case tampering and the dangerous games being played by the Democrat members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Now we find that Sandy Berger, the immediate past National Security Advisor, is caught removing and destroying ultra-top-secret documents.   And even though it is a big story, just like the memos were a big story, the spin is already moving to "who told the press" rather than "look what he did."  Isn't it funny that the press already knows who spilled the beans, because the beans were spilled to them; but they pretend to not know because that's somehow better journalism?  It has been repeated elsewhere already and often, but if the press would just ask themselves, "How would I write this story if it was Condi Rice and not Sandy Berger?" their stories would be more fair.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I was listening to NPR this morning and there was a story about Halliburton being investigated for over charging for work in Iraq.  At the end of the story, the announcer said, "Halliburton was once run by Vice President Dick Cheney."  Why was this information added?  When Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburon in 1999, he deferred his salary to be paid in fixed installments of about $162,000  over five years from the point of his retirement.  These payments are fixed and don't go up or down based on Halliburton's performance.  In fact, Cheney purchased an insurance policy that will kick in and pay him that money even if Halliburton goes bankrupt.  So there is absolutely no reason to mention Dick Cheney in a story about Halliburton over charges.  It would be as if Senator Edwards' name was thrown out every time a story about a large settlement in a trial came down.  "The plaintiff's were awarded twelve million dollars for the nerve damage suffered by their daughter when the doctor saved her life.  The doctor, unable to afford his malpractice insurance increases, has decided to enter research.   John Edwards was once a trial lawyer." 
Throwing Cheney into the mix every time Halliburton is mentioned in a bad light (and Halliburton, which is a company America should be extremely proud of, is always mentioned in a bad light) is the same as throwing Terese Heinz Kerry's name out there everytime John Kerry wins support from some group to which Terese's Heinz Foundation gives money (and her foundation gives money to nearly all the groups who support him). 
It's just like the Catholic Church being continually smeared with the sex scandal but never credited with the good that occurs in Catholics lives.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Michael Dubruiel is looking for input on how you feel about Mass at your church... for a book.

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