Short Hops - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Short Hops

NBC has signed a deal to farm out a two or three hour block of primetime programming to outside producers. Although this programming will primarily consist of “adventure documentaries” that require no staff writers, the New York Times claims that this “is not related to the current strike by Hollywood writers,” but is necessitated because TV networks “face a future of diminishing ratings and growing uncertainties.” Sometimes life is very good.

The deafening silence on the new breakthrough in stem cell research and the grudging acknowledgement that the Iraq surge is working can only mean one thing: President Bush’s dogged determination has paid off. Proving that, when they are convinced that they are in the right, leaders should lead, no matter the consequences.

Headlines all over the world blared, “The Pope ‘attacks‘ atheists!” There have been many attacks on our culture by those who espouse atheism, agnosticism or pure hatred of religion, but none of them are so devastating as that of denying truth. When they hear something they don’t like or disagree with, it is automatically labeled an “attack,” usually filled with “hypocrisy” and “hate.” The truth is, Pope Benedict’s encyclical, Spe Salvi, is a document of nearly 20,000 words, in which “atheism” is mentioned a total of three times, in the section that addresses Judgment. Amen.

The CNN debate-gate riled up many folks, but I can’t imagine why. After all, Democrats don’t only plant questions for Republicans, but also for themselves; just ask Hillary. But it wasn’t the planted questions — these could just as easily been on the lips of liberal media moderators — that made the debate a fiasco, but the whole juvenile “YouTube” theme. Still, the GOPers held their own in a clearly hostile environment; an example to the cowardly Democrats who won’t appear on FOX.

Have you seen that Ford Escape Hybrid commercial where a smug little girl is taught a “life lesson” by her equally smug father? Embarrassed that her dad drives a gas-guzzling, American-made SUV, she learns that it is indeed a hybrid. Maybe if she spent more time in school learning the “three Rs” instead of being brainwashed by greenies, she might have been able to read the word “HYBRID” plastered on the rear of the vehicle so that everyone can see what caring folks they are.

Now that the people of Venezuela have declined to accept the tender mercies of thug Hugo Chavez for life, can we expect Jimmy Carter to shoot on down there to rule the elections invalid? Still, it was instructive to watch a video of Chavez calmly accepting his narrow defeat. While he vowed to “continue in the battle to build socialism,” he added, “To those who voted against my proposal, I thank them and congratulate them. I ask all of you to go home, know how to handle your victory.” Would that the socialists in this country were so magnanimous.

Headline: “Celebs Snub Climate Plea.” It seems that the let-them-eat-cake crowd is at it again. According to the UK’s Sunday Mirror, “Thousands of the rich and famous were invited to pool their planes in an effort to cut carbon emissions. But so far just 78 out of 3,500 who either own or regularly use private planes have signed up. Prince Charles, climate campaigner Al Gore, Simon Cowell, Madonna and Kate Moss are among those who won’t be heeding the plea.”

I look forward to Mitt Romney’s upcoming “Kennedy moment,” where the former president declared — in a blueprint for many current Democratic Catholics — that he would act “in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictate.” In other words, will Romney also pledge to leave his faith outside the Oval Office

The passing of Henry Hyde reminds us that this does not have to be the case. He was a man of many convictions, but is best remembered for his defense of innocent life. Only a man publicly comfortable in his faith could declare:

I am not the least embarrassed to say that I believe one day each of us will be called upon to render an account for what we have done, and maybe more importantly, what we fail to do in our lifetime, and while I believe in a merciful God, I believe in a just God, and I would be terrified at the thought of having to explain at the final judgment why I stood unmoved while Herod’s slaughter of the innocents was being reenacted here in my own country.

In an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo in 2000, he was asked how he would like to be remembered by a child: “I would remind him of a passage in St. Luke, which says: When you have done everything you have been commanded, say ‘I am an unworthy servant. I have only done my duty.’ If I can say that I have done my duty, I will be very satisfied.”

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