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Putting Words in His Mouth

Obama's PR crew, at it again. School monitor. Langworth strikes back. Plus more.

4.16.09

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NO NEED TO TALK WHEN MSM WILL DO IT FOR YOU
Re: Peter Hannaford's When Silence was Golden for Obama:

Silence in Obama's case is indeed golden! After dithering and watching his numbers show renewed signs of declining, Obama finally allowed the right thing to happen. However, the media will undoubtedly rise to the opportunity occasioned by this good thing and present it as an argument for more socialism. After all, Obama has now "proved" himself and so we can now go full steam to the socialist utopia, right? Of course we can!
-- Douglas Skinner

Alexandria, Virginia

Obama's silence about pirates holding the captain was not a strategy in my view. Obama actually had no remedy to offer. His silence was due to his fear of failure. He didn't want to be the new Jimmy Carter.

When we analyze what was done we learn that the "pirates" were teenage and that no one had yet been killed in any attack, however the media have become silent: no profiles, no second guessing, no real inquiry. Obama owns the Media.
-- George Hall
Marietta, Georgia

CARD CHECK
Re: Matthew Vadum's Thoughtcrime Redux:

It could have been worse than what this memo states. Homeland Security could have been unionized.
-- Mike Geer
Irvine, California


AND PUT A STRAIN ON LIPTON
Re: Peter Ferrara's The Tea Party Revolution:

It would be great if the TEA party became a viable political party with the Founding Documents (Declaration, Constitution, Bill) as the basis of their party by laws.

The new party would draw from both Dumbocrats and Redumblicans and would recreate the Founders' Vision.
-- Eddie


AN INQUISITION
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's A Blessing for Catholics:

I need not belabor here, as I have done in these pages previously, that the American Catholic Church's hierarchy bears the weighty responsiblity for most of the self-generated problems that have, within four decades, brought the U.S. Catholic Church to a state where the number of its religious vocations has plummeted, knowledge of what constitutes the dogma and teachings of the Catholic Church is woefully inadequate among its believers, as well as resulting in bankrupting several diocese because of the actions of homosexual priests (emphasis mine). Enter front stage the invitation by the head of the "premiere" Catholic university to President Obama to give the commencement address, as well as receive an honorary law degree.

Lisa Fabrizio's explanation of these phenomena touches on the multiple sources of the problems, but the real question that must be raised is this: would the appalling situation regarding the woefully inadequate state of most Catholics about church doctrine, the numbers of (self-described) Catholics who share Obama's views on abortion and homosexual marriage have been any different if Obama had not been invited? Would the solons in charge of the formerly Catholic universities run by the Society of Jesus -- aka the Jesuits -- changed a whit had no invitation been afforded President Obama? In short, what Obama's invitation does is shine the spotlight on the real issue here: why is all of this 0- from the decline of the Church's standing, to the invitation of the most pro-abortion president, by a priest, no less, taking place? I suspect that Signorina Fabrizio really knows the answer, for she gives it away in her opening remarks:

"Proceeding from, though not limited to, the willful misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Council by some in the clergy, thousands upon thousands left the Church; older members who could not withstand the confusion, and the younger ones who could not perceive an enduring faith amid the calamitous changes."

Unless or until the results of that disastrous Council known as Vatican II are replaced with those enforced tenets and doctrines that made the Catholic Church...the Catholic Church... Father Jenkins and his colleagues will  continue to insist that inviting pro-abortion officials or advocates is a proper and necessary function of his university, in the "Spirit of Vatican II," whatever that is. This, despite his own knowledge that, in so doing, the invited guest's beliefs radically contradict -- Speaker Pelosi to the contrary -- every core belief about the sanctity of life that the Catholic Church has held since nearly its inception. To Rev. Jenkins and his like-minded "progressive" colleagues, the Catholic Church began in 1965. To test that theory, the following may interest you:

In the week leading up to Easter, I queried a number of Novus Ordo (post 1965) Catholic parishioners if they or their church would hold a service for Tenebrae. All of the responses were the same: What's that? But one weekly parishioner went a step further: not only did he not know what a "Tenebrae service" was, but he doubted that his local parish priest did either.
-- Vincent Chiarello
Reston, Virginia

REPUTATION IS EVERYTHING
Re: Frank Schell's Let's Not Forget the Accountants:

Perhaps, as (if I understood him correctly) the Wall Street Journal’s Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. wrote, we ought to deregulate the accounting industry and do away with the FASB altogether.

If that were done the market would price a company's stock commensurate with the reputation of it's accounting firm. Accounting firms would then develop reputations in the same manner that law firms currently do.

Mr. Jenkins made that point in the wake of the collapse of one or the other of the Enron or WorldCom house of cards. His point was that accounting standards do not provide protection against fraud or other monkey business. If, on the other hand, accounting firms' source of revenue was dependent upon the reputation of their companies, various auditors' seals of approval would mean something and the market would price the company's stock accordingly.
-- Richmond Trotter

IN A MOMENT'S TIME
Re: Reid Collins's Columbine Plus:

Research has determined that from the Moment of Commitment (the point when a student pulls their weapon) to the Moment of Completion (when the last round is fired) is only 5 seconds. If it is the intent of a school district to react to this violence, they will do so over the wounded and/or slain bodies of students, teachers and administrators.

Educational institutions clearly want safe and secure schools. Administrators are perennially queried by parents about the safety of their schools. The commonplace answers, intended to reassure anxious parents, focus on the school resource officers and emergency procedures. While useful, these less than adequate efforts do not begin to provide a definitive answer to preventing school violence, nor do they make a school safe and secure.

Traditionally school districts have relied upon the mental health community or local police to keep schools safe, yet one of the key shortcomings has been the lack of a system that involves teachers, administrators, parents and students in the identification and communication process. Recently, colleges, universities and community colleges are forming Behavioral Intervention Teams with representatives from all these constituencies. Higher Education has changed their safety/security policies, procedures, or surveillance systems, yet K-12 have yet to incorporate Behavioral Intervention Teams. K-12 schools continue spending excessive amounts of money to put in place many of the physical security options. Sadly, they are reactionary only and do little to prevent aggression because they are designed exclusively to react to existing conflict, threat and violence.  These schools reflect a national blindspot, which prefers hardening targets through enhanced security versus preventing violence with efforts directed at aggressors.  Security gets all the focus and money, but this only makes us feel safe, rather than to actually make us safer.

Some law enforcement agencies use profiling as a means to identify an aggressor. According to the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education’s report on Targeted Violence in Schools, there is a significant difference between "profiling" and identifying and measuring emerging  aggression; "The use of profiles is not effective either for identifying students who may pose a risk for targeted violence at school or -- once a student has been identified -- for assessing the risk that a particular student may pose for school-based targeted violence."  It continues; "An inquiry should focus instead on a student’s behaviors and communications to determine if the student appears to be planning or preparing for an attack." We can and must assess objective, culturally neutral, identifiable criteria of emerging aggression. 

For a comprehensive look at the problem and its solution, go here.
-- John D. Byrnes
President, Center for Aggression Management

HIJACKED ARGUMENT
Re: Jeffrey Lord's Three Presidents and a Hijacking at Sea:

There is a slight ideological bias to the article and even more in some of the letters. Remember the problems with the Iran-Contra affair, which also involved hostages, though they weren't pirates in the seafaring sense? Also, Carter's policy of denying any concessions to the Iranian hotheads who took over the US embassy ultimately worked, though it took longer than most Americans had patience. Also, Reagan didn't win the Cold War alone. Every president going back to Truman supported the policy of containment and kept a variety of pressures on the Soviet Bloc.
-- David C. Nice

GETTIN' TO CHURCH
Re: Mark Tooley's The Last Methodist President:

Mark, thank you for this great article on President Bush. As a lifelong Methodist from a long line of Methodists (ancestors were organizing Methodist congregations as they came West in Ohio in the early 1800's and in Kansas in the 1850's), I am embarrassed and saddened that there was not a UMC in the DC area where President and Mrs. Bush felt welcome. I hope they were sent a copy of your article.
-- Glenda Gay
Denver, Colorado

CONFLATED ARGUMENTS
Re: Geoffrey Norman's letter (under "Newsflash: Politicians Dissemble") in Reader Mail's Might As Well Have Said It:

I did not say Mr. Norman was a "neo-isolationist." I said Churchill's alleged remark that America should have stayed out of World War I was "a favorite of neo-isolationists over the years." The point is not America's entry into World War I, on which reasonable people can disagree. The point is: get your quotes right!

A frustration for students of Churchill is the plethora of quotations ascribed to him which he never said, some of which he specifically denied -- like this one. Well, Mr. Norman prevaricates, if he didn't say it "he might as well have." There's no way to answer such obfuscation. If someone wants to believe the founder of the National Enquirer, despite profuse evidence to the contrary, there's nothing I can do to help.
-- Richard M. Langworth, CBE
http://richardlangworth.com
Editor, The Churchill Centre

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