Saturday, February 18, 2006


OK, we haven't talked about this here.
He already said it was the worst day of his life. And he proved he was human by making a mistake.

I think there was an editorial that said it best: wars are happening, mudslides are taking the lives of thousands, countries are building nuclear weapons, and what does the media focus on?

Our media. Unbiased. Impartial. Focused on being neutral. Uh-huh. Yeah.

The only difference between Cheney and every other human on this planet is that most of us do dumb stuff and there is no reporter on our tail to let the whole world know about it.

I could tell you stories about the stuff I've done....but I better not say. Someday, I may want to run for alderman, and that kind of stuff would get public, and then where would I be?


  1. You mean like GKC? Conveniently, since he was a journalist, he was able to report on his own transgressions, which certainly would save time. Here is a sample (don't be drinking something, now):

    "The other day I was nearly arrested by two excited policemen in a wood in Yorkshire. I was on a holiday, and was engaged in that rich and intricate mass of pleasures, duties, and discoveries which for the keeping off of the profane, we disguise by the exoteric name of Nothing. At the moment in question I was throwing a big Swedish knife at a tree, practising (alas, without success) that useful trick of knife-throwing by which men murder each other in Stevenson's romances.
    Suddenly the forest was full of two policemen..."

    [See Tremendous Trifles 138 et seq.]

    Hee hee hee.

  2. Ah, I can never get enough nothing to do...but, like Chesterton, it has occasionally gotten me into trouble.

    I think it's far better to confess our own sins than to let the media break the seal of the sin to the needing-to-know-everything public.

    So, that is one criticism of Cheney. he should have made a statement, rather than hope it would all go away. But, like a human again, you always hope things will just blow over...wash forgotten...etc. And this, too, will be forgotten. Its not like he's going up for election or anything, the guy is looking forward, I'm sure to retiring. And hunting without secret service men. Or, maybe he'll give up hunting now. I hear fishing is a little safer....

  3. Dr. Thursday, thank you for making my entire week.

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  5. (Sorry for the posting problems; had to reformat)

    Actually, the ending of the essay you cited is supremely ironic, seeing as we're talking about Cheney and a shooting:

    "In this case we must be logical and exact; for we have to keep watch upon ourselves. The power of wealth, and that power at its vilest, is increasing in the modern world. A very good and just people, without this temptation, might not need, perhaps, to make clear rules and systems to guard themselves against the power of our great financiers. But that is because a very just people would have shot them long ago, from mere native good feeling."

    It's like prophecy!

  6. This brings up a corollary topic -- when did we move from simple disagreement to hatred? And this hatred is of the foaming-at-the-mouth variety -- my take is it is mostly on the part of liberals, but that's because your right is my left...

    I have even had friendships disintegrate in the last year or so because the friend is liberal and couldn't forgive me for voting for GWB.

    I agree with Mrs. Brown, but also think that something fundamental has changed in attitudes in my lifetime, and, besides the excitement I feel for actually having noticed it, it intrigues me.


  7. I don't understand why the media feels compelled to color the facts with their opinions. It's like watching 'pro' wrestling...

    Confess that I have little-to-no patience with liberals, which is why I decided (after years of being registered with the Right-to-Life party & voting pro-life always)... to join the dem party & make my best attempt to weaken their agenda of death. My rationale is, if everyone who sincerely dislikes what that party stands for became a democrat, their agenda would essentially have to vaporize- (well, in THEORY anyway)...

    Anybody have a better idea?

  8. Both of our major parties support our "culture of death" in their own ways and, just before the 2004 election, I grew weary of having to choose between life issues. I believe that every vote counts and submit that all that go to the polls are providing their own personal testimony to the importance of their single vote.

    If indeed every single vote counts, why should I see our elections as a choice of the “lesser of two evils" because I am uncomfortable with both major party candidates? A truly wasted vote is the one not cast. Not far behind in my opinion is a vote cast reluctantly or cast as a vote against someone else. To that end I submit to you a position statement from Joe Schriner, Independent candidate for President in 2000, 2004, and 2008:

    I am running for president as an average concerned parent, who, for one, doesn't want to leave my children a "Culture of Death." My "consistent pro-life" ethic stands against all forms of premature death caused by abortion, poverty, crime, pollution... And I put my regular life on hold the past 15 years to travel the country looking for models to change all this.

    I found them.

    Here is a link to his website:

    Yes, I know he won't win. Yet I truly believe that my votes for Joe Schriner mean and perhaps signify more than just another vote for a candidate I am uncomfortable with. What's more, my conscience is clear as I cast my ballot; I have never felt better leaving the voting booth.

    I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Joe and his family recently. I was honored to introduce him to GK Chesterton. He is indeed a Chesterton distributist running for President.

    Vote your conscience; it is the way true democracy was meant to be. If we settle for mediocrity by choosing between the lesser of two evils, we will be left with what I consider the ultimate tragedy of democracy: the government we deserve.

    “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” - John Quincy Adams

  9. Surely you mean stupid rather than dumb.

  10. For a Catholic, it is getting increasinly hard to identify with either party: you have the Evil Party on one hand (militantly pro-abortion; pro-sexual perversion; treasonous foreign policy, etc.) and the Stupid Party (lip service to pro-life voters; favor gay rights too, just not as ferverently; foreign policy=whatever Israel wants; etc.).

    In short, to be a believing Catholic in this country is to be, more an more, politically homeless.

    What we need is a Radical Party, "radical" in its true, original meaning, of getting to the roots of things (i.e., it is the opposite of extremism). Joe Schriner would be a Radical Party member.

  11. Tom--while I see your point, I still have trouble with this issue. I have no trouble voting, and no trouble voicing my political opinions just trouble on how the political system works now and how to get things done within such a system as we have.

    I think life issues are so important that at the moment, they trump other issues. The reason is that if this country can't respect the most innocent, then all the other issues are meaningless to even discuss. If we treat people as objects of use then we won't have any respect for the underclass, any respect for creation, any respect for economics as if people mattered and the like. It's only common sense, eh?

    So, while I have that foundation, I look for the best way to get the political system changed. Sure, hearts need to be changed but so do the laws. I think it is arguable that if there were many out there who voted for Joe wherein they didn't vote for Bush this past election, there is a good chance we would now have a Supreme Court MORE in favor of Roe v. Wade. While voting for Bush may mean more of the same in most political areas, I think that the supreme court now with the two new judges has a much better chance of beginning to turns the laws around. So at least this good came out of the election of '04.

    So which is the correct way? Do you vote so your conscience is 100% clear or do you vote to have a fighting chance to get something done, or undone in this case? It is a tough choice.

  12. Third party -- I debate this inside my own skull from time to time. Historically, they've not done well. Libertarians have been around for a bit, and attract only the intellectually marginalized. Whatever that Texan tried to do just plain didn't work, and it drew votes away from mainly one party, so it couldn't be said to be a legitimate third alternative.

    I like Chesterton's position -- the only people possibly worth electing are those that don't want the job or feel they couldn't do it for reasons of modesty.

    I also support the idea that issues of life are in the top tier of concern. However, lip-service is all we get-- most Repubs I know are only interested in the vote of the pro-lifer, and not in actually advancing any pro-life legislation.

    Eventually, I think, we'll have to flee that party, perhaps finally teaching them (too late) about how integrity dovetails with philosophy. At that point, we will require the Radical party suggested above, if we don't need it now.

  13. I think the "foaming-at-the-mouth" partisanship in this country is the result of the culture war we've been fighting for years. The democrats have been almost completely subsumed by the "Culture of Death", and the republicans have been distracted by big business and money-grubbing (in my opinion). I've lately been questioning my pro-life votes for the repub.'s. Have they really pushed the sanctity of life issue forward? Or have they done just enough talking about it to get themselves elected?

    It seems to me that those of us who support the inherent goodness of life (of whom GKC is almost a patron saint) have no one to seriously champion us!

    I'd love to see a 3rd party (or 4th & 5th party) arise just to break our political gridlock up, and let some statesmen in the game rather than just politicians.

    "It is terrible to contemplete how few politicians are hanged." -GKC, The Cleveland Press, 3/1/21

  14. Yes, I did have a clear conscience after voting for Joe in 2004 and felt that my vote made much more of a statement than one for Bush or Kerry ever could. Yet, phrasing it that way gives it something of a selfish wash-my-hands-or-the-matter air; I hope and pray that my support and involvement in Joe’s campaign means much more than that.

    Joe, his family, and his campaign are about delivering a message, not political ambition. I think his message is one we need to hear. There are so many life issues. While the holocaust of abortion is one of them, environmental stewardship is another as are social justice issues and poverty, particularly in the third world. We focus our foreign policy on oil, maintaining our way of life, and preventing another terrorist attack when several 9-11’s happen in the third world every day due to starvation. Shouldn’t our political debates be addressing these issues? Shouldn’t our largess and tremendous resources as a nation be focused on this battle?

    Our policies and actions should uphold the dignity of life, not blindly preserve our way of life in the name of progress. I understand the tough choice of trying to deal with these issues within our current system, but isn’t our system the way it is because we feel we cannot step outside it? Isn’t this the same argument that Chesterton tries to refute as he touts distributism to those who say it is impossible?

    “But when we in turn ask why our ideal is impossible or why the evil in indestructible, they answer in effect, ‘Because you cannot persuade people to want it destroyed.’ Possibly; but, on their own showing, they cannot blame us because we try. They cannot say that people do not hate plutocracy enough to kill it; and then blame us for asking them to look at it enough to hate it. If they will not attack it until they hate it, then we are dong the most practical thing we can do, in showing it to be hateful. A moral movement must begin somewhere; but I do most positively postulate that there must be a moral movement.” (Outline of Sanity, IHS, 2001: p175-6)

    I submit that Joe Schriner’s campaign is a good place to start.

  15. Our policies and actions should uphold the dignity of life, not blindly preserve our way of life in the name of progress. I understand the tough choice of trying to deal with these issues within our current system, but isn’t our system the way it is because we feel we cannot step outside it? Isn’t this the same argument that Chesterton tries to refute as he touts distributism to those who say it is impossible?

    Yes! This is exactly what is grinding inside my head! And maybe this is the way to go, because as JPII says in the Evangelium Vitae, "It is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not…accept and experience ... the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection." (97) And this comes down to how we treat others as made in His image and likeness.

    But, doesn't Chesterton somewhere say something in Outline about working within the system? Maybe not--maybe it was Belloc--or maybe I am just dreaming it up.

    One thing is for certain, these moral movements start small, and grow from there--a process which I think is already in the works. One would think the odds faced by the early Church impossible too, yet in 1000 years they accomplished a remarkable feat. Who says we can't do it again, eh?

    Thanks for your comments, Tom. It is helping me grapple with this issue.

  16. Belloc? Not bloody likely. He was all for cutting off heads when heads had to roll, and not in the figurative sense. The reason I voted for Bush was simple: the country is at war, and the Democrats are and have been the party of cowardice since the 1950s.
    I frankly think the Constitution has become, at least in its typical interpretation, a fetish with which to justify oppression (Roe v. Wade and the religious expression bans both presume to have a constitutional basis). I think this society needs to be pulled down, and something else erected in its place--probably a strong Monarchy. But I think it needs to happen in peacetime. We are not as strong as the Revolutionary French, who fought a war on four fronts and won, while changing their government every other month.

  17. I am sure to not get the quote exactly correct, but:

    "One party brings us pity without truth. The other party's truth is pitiless."

    This is one of the first GKC quotes I stumbled across and I am still astounded at Chesterton's enduring prophecy.

    I agree that our society needs to be refocused, but I don't think it will happen until we are collectively courageous enough to step outside our current system that pursues self - indulgence. Chesterton's model for embracing distributism is a microcosm of embracing the Faith.


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