Friday, July 30, 2004

President Bush gave a speech today in Springfield, Missouri. He addressed a lot of what John Kerry and company said about him at their convention... click on the link to read it, but I liked this section:

For all Americans, these years in our history will always stand apart. There are quiet times in the life of a nation when little is expected of its leaders. This isn't one of those times.

None of us will ever forget that week when one era ended and another one began. September the 14th, 2001, I stood in the ruins of the twin towers. It's a day that I will never forget.

I remember the workers in hard hats yelling at me, "Whatever it takes." I remember a fireman or a policeman — I can't remember which one — looking me in the eyes and saying, "Do not let me down."

And as those folks did that day, and like many other Americans, we took it personally. I took it personally.
I have a responsibility that goes on. I wake up every morning thinking about how to better protect our country. I will never relent in defending America, whatever it takes.

I know this is an RCIA blog, but during these summer months, when we're only covering a chapter, or sometimes half a chapter every two weeks, I will sometimes write about what interests me... and right now, it's the Democrat Convention.

I didn't know, until John Kerry's speech last night, that he had spent time in Berlin when he was growing up.  In fact, he said he accidentally rode his bike into East Germany, behind the Iron Curtan, and his dad grounded him.  I wanted him, at that point in his speech, to honor Ronald Reagan and "Tear down this wall."  Perhaps the Democrats in the room and across the nation would have trounced him, but wouldn't that have been a grand thing to do?  Wouldn't honoring Ronald Reagan's fight against Communism have been the perfect thing to bring over some of those undecideds he was trying to get last night?  Wouldn't reaching across the aisle to a much-loved Republican leader have been just perfect?

But, he didn't.  Instead he twisted President Bush's neck as much as he could.  Kerry doesn't "wear his religion on his sleeve" like Bush.   Kerry won't let religious morals interfere with scientific research like Bush.  (President Clinton made the use of federal money for the destruction of embryos for stem cell research illegal, but allowed federal money for research on stem cells that were created with private money. )  Don't you sometimes wonder, what good are religious morals if they aren't used publically, if they're only applied privately? 

Update:  Actions and Words by Arnold King

Thursday, July 29, 2004

John Kerry's speech was much, much worse than anyone elses'. After asking President Bush, personally, to take the high road along with him, Kerry said of Bush,
Really, really tired rhetoric. Neither Clinton nor Obama, neither Edwards nor Dean, neither Hillary nor Elizabeth went this sour, this lowbrow, this negative and pessimistic. What happened to that sage father from the drive in the car who told his daughter to look out the window at the amazing country she lived in?

Oh well, time for bed.

The Falling Man 

I found this article, What if he's right?   by  Tom Junod, captivating... the final part below:

In a nation that loves fairy tales, the president seemed so damned eager to cry wolf that we decided he was just trying to keep us scared and that maybe he was just as big a villain as the wolf he insisted on telling us about. That's the whole point of the story, isn't it? The boy cries wolf for his own ends, and after a while people stop believing in the reality of the threat.

I know how this story ends, because I've told it many times myself. I've told it so many times, in fact, that I'm always surprised when the wolf turns out to be real, and shows up hungry at the door.

Update:  And Tom Junod also wrote another rather amazing article for Esquire, called The Falling Man.  Here are a couple of sections, if you have some time, read the whole thing.

Each jumper, no matter how many there were, brought fresh horror, elicited shock, tested the spirit, struck a lasting blow. Those tumbling through the air remained, by all accounts, eerily silent; those on the ground screamed. It was the sight of the jumpers that prompted Rudy Giuliani to say to his police commissioner, "We're in uncharted waters now." It was the sight of the jumpers that prompted a woman to wail, "God! Save their souls! They're jumping! Oh, please God! Save their souls!"

and later in the article:

 Maybe he didn't jump at all, because no one can jump into the arms of God.
Oh, no. You have to fall.

Barack Obama

Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America — there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

Bill Clinton:

Americans long to be united. After 9/11, we all just wanted to be one nation. Not a single American on September the 12th, 2001, cared who won the next presidential election.  All we wanted to do was to be one country, strong in the fight against terror, helping to heal those who were wounded and the families of those who lost their loved ones, reaching out to the rest of the world so we could meet these new challenges and go on with our democratic way of life.

They (Republicans) need a divided America.

John Edwards:

The truth is, we still live in two different Americas: one for people who have lived the American Dream and don't have to worry, and another for most Americans who work hard and still struggle to make ends meet.

We can build one America where we no longer have two health care systems. One for people who get the best health care money can buy and then one for everybody else.

We shouldn't have two public school systems in this country: one for the most affluent communities, and one for everybody else.

We shouldn't have two different economies in America: one for people who are set for life, their kids and grandkids will be just fine, and then one for most Americans who live paycheck to paycheck.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Watching the convention. After Edwards' speech, Black Eyed Peas came out and sang "Let's get it Started" -- of course no one could understand the words, but here they are. If you don't want to follow the link, just realize the phrase, "Let's get retarded" repeats quite a lot. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

I imagine there will be endless version of this, but ...

When Jane Fonda sought someone who could lend credence to the image of American Soldiers as war criminals, John Kerry said, “Send me!”

When teachers in failing schools wanted to prevent African American parents sending their children to better schools, John Kerry said, “Send me!”

When the ACLU sought senators to bring down the Defense of Marriage act, John Kerry said, “Send me!”

When liberals, afraid of limits to abortion, sought senators who would vote against rights for Unborn victims of violence, the Lacy Petersen law, John Kerry said, “Send me!”

When abortionists wanted a Senator to stand up for Partial Birth Abortion, John Kerry said, “Send me!”

Update: When Bill Clinton was on trial before the Senate after being impeached, he sought the vote of Senators who didn't care that he had lied to the nation... John Kerry said, "Send me."

We completed Chapter 2 last night in RCIA instead of moving on to Chapter 3.  We discussed St. Thomas Aquinas and how he described the characteristics of God.

I haven't seen Al Gore's or Jimmy Carter's speeches from last night, but I did watch Bill Clinton's.  Really, really a great speech.  The way he framed the speech around John Kerry's swift boat duty, the imagery of the next president being the commander of a boat, guiding the country, the "send me" theme.  If the speech had been all that, I would have no problem, but it wasn't all that.   ex-Pres Clinton also spend quite a bit of his speech comparing and contrasting Democrat solutions with Republican solutions by putting a soft, glowing light on Democrat ideas and horrible, unChristian spin on Republicans.  An example is below, but read the speech for many more.

 We Americans must choose for President one of two strong men who both love our country, but who have very different worldviews: Democrats favor shared responsibility, shared opportunity, and more global cooperation. Republicans favor concentrated wealth and power, leaving people to fend for themselves and more unilateral action. I think we’re right for two reasons: First, America works better when all people have a chance to live their dreams.  Second, we live in an interdependent world in which we can’t kill, jail, or occupy all our potential adversaries, so we have to both fight terror and build a world with more partners and fewer terrorists.  We tried it their way for twelve years, our way for eight, and then their way for four more. 

If we notice Clinton shaping the truth to make Republicans out to be people who seek to enrich the rich, go it alone in the war against terror and leave the poor and weak to fend for themselves, then must he not also be shaping the truth about his praise for John Kerry?  If President Clinton says that I, as a Republican, desire poor children to go without their food and education, which I know is a lie, what am I to believe about his statements about John Kerry's character?  If President Clinton says that I, as a Republican, desire veterans to be without healthcare, what am I to believe about his statements about John Edwards?  Just how much affect do statements of support for someone have when they are sprinkled among lies about others.   Am I supposed to ignore what actually happened in the lead up to war with Iraq and thus also ignore John Kerry's Senate votes?  Are we to forget Clinton's rhetoric about regime change and WMD's in Iraq when HE was president? Are we to forget John Kerry and John Edward's conflicting positions on Iraq when Howard Dean was just a gleam in Michael Moore's eye?  Are we to forget Saddam's attacks on our planes while we enforced the no-fly zone?  Post 9/11 are we to assume that a Democrat president would have let Saddam continue to flount the U.N. and the peace agreements and continue to fire at our airmen?   Oh, all the arguments are tiresome. 

Anyway, that was my take.

Monday, July 26, 2004

RCIA tonight, right during the best speeches at the DNC convention.  Carter, Gore, Clinton.  The buzz is that the Kerry campaign is asking everyone to stop attacking Bush as a liar, as a betrayer of the people, as a stupid idiot.  Why, because it's apparent to everyone that though this rallies the base, it turns off those who yet have open minds. 

Why, though.... why does such rhetoric rally the Democrat base?  When Al Gore says that George W. Bush promised us humility but brought us humilation in the eyes of the world, when Democrats in Congress formally request the United Nations to monitor the U.S. Elections so that 2004 can't be stolen like 2000, when members of Congress attend the premier of Michael Moore's F9/11 and pretend to believe the utter falsehoods on the screen... when John Kerry says he doesn't have to see the movie because he's lived it (implying that he's suffered through four years of President Bush's lies and war mongering and cheating)... the chant of betrayal, lies, hatred and evil against Bush are repeated by Howard Dean, actors and musicians, the NAACP and many more of those on the Left of the political spectrum.

There is an implied emptiness being filled by rhetoric such as this, this is why such rhetoric falls so poorly on the ears of the undecided who do not have the same emptiness.   The challenge for the Democrats at their convention is that almost everyone on the floor wants to hear that hatred, want to join in the bashing, want that emptiness inside of them filled... but doing so will turn off the rest of the nation.

On Sunday, our priest said there is a pit of emptiness inside every human being.  He said it is the desire to be close to God.  He said we can fill that pit with our lust or with money or with hate or any number of other types of desires, but it can only be completely filled when we are one with God.   Can those thousands of delegates on the floor of the convention control their passion to fill that emptiness?  When speech after speech avoids the very thing they looked forward most to hearing, can they remain happy and excited?  Or will they begin chanting, seeking to fill that emptiness on their own.

We'll see.

Update:  Gore to re-write speech

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