Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blagojevich, Ryan ...and Thompson: above the will of the people?

Blagojevich news 'certainly isn't helpful' for Ryan: Chicago Sun-Times

Why has former governor Jim Thompson worked so hard to enable the convicted felon George Ryan to serve only a small part of his justly deserved prison sentence? Thompson's efforts to spring Ryan early are solidly opposed by an angry public, who more than ever are demanding that those who abuse public office pay a heavy price for their crimes.

Politics in Illinois has become a public gang-rape of the state by criminal career politicians. One of the public's few weapons of deterrence is the aggressive prosecution and severe punishment of official misconduct. We Illinoisans need the FBI and Justice Department to continue working hard to clean the rot from our state and city governments. Let us do what's necessary to rid Illinois of its reputation as a state governed by graft.

And we need former elected officials like "Big Jim" Thompson to stop interfering with the course of justice and working to thwart the will of the people.

Open letter to James R. Thompson, former governor of Illinois

Dear Mr. Thompson,

Your efforts (and those of Senator Durbin and Governor Blagojevich) to obtain an early release from prison for George Ryan are in direct opposition to the good of the state of Illinois and the will of its people. They reinforce Illinois' reputation as a state governed by corrupt politicians.

I recognize that Mr. Ryan, even in prison, has a right to legal representation, and he is entitled to hope for and ask for clemency. However, justice does not demand or even suggest that it be granted or supported by any citizen. Clemency in his case would not be clemency but indulgence, privilege, and injustice.

Official misconduct should be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law. Or do You disagree?

The campaign to release George Ryan is badly misguided, and I encourage You to abandon it, for the good of the state You once served in an official capacity.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

George Ryan clemency -is the fix already in?

Push is on for George Ryan clemency - Chicago Breaking News

One opinion: George Ryan has lots of dirt on various Illinois officials and other movers and shakers -Repubs and Dems alike. Perhaps he has put the word out that he'll keep mum provided his pardon comes through by the end of Bush's term. If he doesn't get sprung, expect him to start making embarrassing leaking sounds from prison... until something is done to rectify the situation.

At some point during his trial, perhaps George Ryan calculated that he would not avoid conviction and prison. It's likely that Ryan has information that could badly damage the careers of certain powerful individuals, and consequently they regard him as a dangerous, unexploded munition which has not been defused. But to spill his guts prematurely would risk squandering his poker chips, and he would go to prison with his best political capital wasted. In this case his best shot at a Get Out Of Jail Early card was to take his incriminating memories to prison and use them to pressure his cohorts to win a pardon or commutation of sentence. Now in the presidential pardon season, George must be pulling out all the stops to get his friends to prove their loyalty with results. We can assume that George wants to be home by Christmas. If he's not, I wouldn't be surprised that ugly revelations will soon begin to appear which implicate state officials, contractors, and other other hangers-on in Illinois' network of ne'er-do-wells. But perhaps a commutation already is on the way, and we won't be treated to the display of fireworks.

I'd like to know who's really pressuring Senator Durbin to be the new public spearhead of the sordid cause to release Ryan.

For some very interesting insights on this topic check out Thomas Roeser's article, "But What Will The Democrats Do About Patrick Fitzgerald?", in the November 13 issue of The Wanderer. Its account of Big Jim Thompson's role in defending George Ryan is most interesting.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Congress just can't spend it fast enough

Pelosi's Auto-Rescue Plan Sets Up Clash With Bush Politics

Congress: Leave GM alone. Leave the insurance companies alone. Leave the investment firms alone.

Stop squandering public money on Your favorite businesses.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bishops pledge to fight Obama on abortion -

Bishops pledge to fight Obama on abortion -

To the Roman Catholic Bishops of the United States:

Is it not time to publicly excommunicate elected officials at the highest levels of government who claim to be Catholic yet publicly support elective abortion?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Should the next Pope be black?

Black Pope could follow Barack Obama's election, says US archbishop -Times Online

Dear Archbishop Wilton Gregory,

I don't know whether Your comments quoted in the above article were misrepresented, but You were quoted as saying that the election of Barack Obama was "a great step forward for humanity and a sign that in the United States the problem of racial discrimination has been overcome".

Given Mr. Obama's radical and energetic promotion of abortion and complete disregard for the lives of the defenseless unborn, the suggestion that his election nonetheless is "a great step forward for humanity" frankly is disgusting and unworthy of any Catholic, much less a bishop. I am deeply troubled that You could obscure the situation with such unfortunate remarks.

On a secondary point, You are quoted as stating, "My own election as head of the US Bishops Conference was an important signal. In 2001 the American bishops elected someone they respected regardless of his race, and the same thing could happen with the election of a Pope." Eminence, either You were elected head of the bishops' conference because You were respected regardless of Your race, or You were elected in part because of Your race. Were there equally qualified white or asian bishops who were passed over because their skin color was not preferred? If skin color counts so much that bishops are guided by it, is this really the sort of "message" You think the Church should endorse and society should embrace?

There's a name for that message and philosophy: it's called "racism". It should have no place in society, and certainly not in the Church.

In a truly just society, skin color is not considered a job qualification, and it neither disqualifies nor favors candidates for office. In a society which rejects racism leaders are selected because of their accomplishments, capabilities, vision, and character: not the color of their skin. When our Church and nation finally become "color blind", then we will be sending a message truly worth celebrating.

If Your remarks have been misrepresented by the TimesOnline article, You may wish to consider publishing a clarification. If however they reflect Your mind on the matter, then I respectfully but firmly voice my disapproval.

Best regards,

John Robin

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The media's continuing saga of victimization California Gay Couples `Suffering' as Foes Exult in Wedding Ban.


To: Joseph Galante, Reporter for Bloomberg


The title of Your article, "California Gay Couples `Suffering' as Foes Exult in Wedding Ban" betrays the article's bias, presenting homosexual couples as victims gleefully oppressed by a tyrannical majority.

A more objective and balanced headline would read simply, "California voters reject legal redefinition of marriage". The reality is that a faction of homosexual activists have repeatedly attempted to impose on the public an unpopular redefinition of marriage and family, and this effort has been rejected by a majority through the democratic process. That this has happened in California, widely perceived as a socially liberal state, is extremely significant.

I would have been very interested to read a factual account of this development and the factors leading to this outcome. Instead, what I found in the Bloomberg article was more of the saga of victimization so prevalent in the "mainstream media".

There is an intense and growing public contempt toward the mainstream media, and people are turning increasingly to other sources in search of real news and objective analysis. I submit to You that primarily this is because people are sick of leftist political activism being dressed up and sold as news coverage. Unfortunately Your article is an example of the sort of activism that is driving away readers.

I wish You all the best in Your efforts to get editorial approval on more fair and objective articles in the future.

John Robin.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Socialists wreck nations... are You ready?

Shame, Cubed by Bill Whittle on National Review Online

Obama has clearly spelled out what he believes. He just doesn't talk about it on the campaign trail.

Just a week before the election, some of the Obama's paper trail is starting to get attention. But is it too late to matter?

Obama - buying the presidency with untraceable donations

Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations

...and the money pours in.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

FoxNews names names in subprime mortgage scandal

See how these individuals were involved:

Congressman Barney Frank (D-MS)
Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Treasury Secretary John Snow
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan

Monday, October 20, 2008

Breitbart caught misrepresenting the facts

Archbishop criticizes Obama, Catholic allies

"While Chaput has won praise from traditionalist Catholics for stressing opposition to abortion as a foundational voting issue, voices on the Catholic left have sought to apply church teachings to war, poverty, the environment and other issues."

Where is the factual, impartial coverage?? This statement suggests that Archbishop Chaput's position excludes consideration of any issue other than abortion, which is a misrepresentation of Chaput's (and the Church's) position. The Church teaches that all these issues are important, but they are NOT all equally important. There is a hierarchy of issues and rights, and some are more foundational that others. Some are so important -such as those regarding the deliberate taking of human life- that they take precedence over secondary issues.

Is protection of the spotted owl really as important as protecting human beings from being deliberately exterminated? Both are important, but they are not equally important.

For example, it is because of this hierarchy of rights that our right to own private property does not include the right to make other persons our property as slaves. Individuals have an absolute right not to be treated as property. Such foundational rights set limits to secondary rights. These foundational rights deserve primary attention when we elect individuals to public office. Do they recognize and respect these certain, inalienable rights? If not, how can they be trusted to respect or defend any rights at all, and on what basis?

Breitbart... misrepresenting facts -whether through carelessness or premeditation- is not journalism, it's manipulation.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Quasi-socialist compares domestic socialist to foreign socialists

McCain compares Obama to European socialists - Yahoo! News
"Republican presidential candidate John McCain compared Barack Obama to socialist leaders in Europe on Saturday, saying his rival wants to raise taxes on the wealthy to give money to the poor."

This is very true, and one of the points that Mr. McCain needs to hammer energetically until the election, if he is to have a chance of winning. But it's a tough case for him to make, because his own policies are badly polluted with plans to "spread the wealth".

For example: his mortgage buy-out plan, and his health-care plan.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Warren Buffet: a good time to invest in stocks

Op-Ed Contributor - Buy American. I Am. -
Warren Buffet: "I can’t predict the short-term movements of the stock market. I haven’t the faintest idea as to whether stocks will be higher or lower a month — or a year — from now. What is likely, however, is that the market will move higher, perhaps substantially so, well before either sentiment or the economy turns up. So if you wait for the robins, spring will be over."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Obama caught on video: he intends to redistribute YOUR earnings


In response to a plumber who asked whether Barack Obama's policies would raise his taxes, Obama replied they would.

He continued, "It's not that I want to punish your success. I want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance for success, too... My attitude is that if the economy's good for folks from the bottom up, it's gonna be good for everybody. I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

Monday, October 13, 2008

What kind of man is Barack Hussein Obama?

Personal Aside: The 3 Questions that Could Decide the Election—and No They’re Not Issue Hairsplitting.

Excerpt from Tom Roeser's blog posting of 10/9/2008:

  • What sort of man is it who four straight times…as chairman of Senate Judiciary… killed the “Born Alive” bill in the Illinois Senate…thus depriving babies born alive from botched abortions to receive nutrition and medical care?

    Answer: A craven, rudderless opportunistic trimmer with no fixed principles who has always placed his own opportunistic career advancement ahead of anything else including human life.

  • What sort of man is it who sits in a church for 20 years while his pastor…his good friend…god damns the United States of America? And who then throws his pastor under the bus when it gets hot?

    Answer: The same. A craven, rudderless, opportunistic trimmer with no fixed principles who has always placed his own career ahead of anything else including his once firm friends whom he later saw as impediments to his political career which he placed ahead of any other factor.

  • What sort of man is it who buddies with an undisguised, unrepentant terrorist (who never apologized for bombing the Pentagon) and who used this association in the early days to advance himself by gaining a foundation chairmanship and other benefits-throwing Billy Ayres under the bus when it became advantageous…Axelrod, the Artful Dodger, declaring that Obama never knew of Ayres’ connection because Obama was 3 years old when Ayres bombed the Pentagon?

    Answer: A craven, rudderless, opportunistic trimmer with no fixed principles who has always placed his political career ahead of anything else including his once firm friends whom he later saw as impediments to his political career which he placed ahead of any other factor-including love of country.

...End of excerpt.

No man who would repeatedly deny protection to babies who survive "unsuccessful" abortions can be trusted with presidential power: the power to enforce or disregard law, to appoint justices, to wage war, to formulate public policy. Such power should only ever go to a person who understands the highest purpose of government is to protect the inalienable rights of every human person at every stage of life... even those with no vote and no money.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Believe the anger, John

Anger Is Crowd's Overarching Emotion at McCain Rally

"...McCain advisers dismissed the crowd's angry tone as an exception and not representative of most of the campaign's events."

Senator McCain, You should heed that anger and dismiss those advisers who downplay it. Anger and a desire for justice are profound and widespread, and are focused especially upon those in the Congress and executive branch who brought about this economic collapse. I don't think this flash of anger is a fleeting thing that can or should be glossed over. It signals something of greater significance, something that will not dissipate without being addressed.

A sleeping giant has awakened to find his house in shambles, plundered by pirates. He's not likely to be appeased by some token tax cuts while chaos reigns. His fury will drive him neither to rest nor relent until he halts the rape of the nation's wealth, prosecutes the pirates, and restores order to his home.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The cost of socialist policies

World finance chiefs heading for Washington for crunch talks

For years the federal carrot and stick program -mortgage lending guarantees coupled with the class-baiting dogma that minority home ownership was "disproportionately low"- pressured lenders to make loans that they otherwise would not have risked making.

Once this engine of capital redistribution was in place, it was ripe for exploitation.
Lenders milked it for quick profits. High-risk borrowers milked it for more expensive homes than they really could afford. Congressmen milked it for votes, campaign contributions, liberal credentials, and sometimes favors of an even less savory sort.

Numerous lenders permitted the irresponsible federal policy and opportunity for quick profits to override good judgment. They made millions of high risk loans to borrowers, and neither lenders nor borrowers seemed really to care whether the loans could or would be repaid.

Lenders weren't overly concerned about this, since federal loan guarantees meant that ultimately the lenders weren't gambling with their own money. The government saw to it that these these loans were purchased from the lenders, their true risk camouflaged, and the resulting toxic investments funneled back into the economic food chain. A time bomb was formed and its fuse lit by a combination of bad government policy, market forces, greed, recklessness, and even fraud on the part of government officials, lenders, and borrowers. The default rates on these loans was enormous, yet the engine roared ahead unchecked.

The socialist dogma used to justify such widespread, high-risk lending was that if some individuals can't afford to buy homes, then it is government's job to force others to subsidize the cost of providing them. Such heavy-handed meddling in the lending market meant that many bad borrowers would receive loans, and this diversion of capital meant that many good potential borrowers were denied loans, while others simply paid more for the loans they obtained.

Now the time bomb has exploded. Banks are collapsing, people are losing homes, and the radius of destruction expands. Predictably, congressmen blame their opposing parties. But let's not waste time blaming each other, they say: It's time to fix the problem! Yes, the federal government, rarely content to leave bad enough alone, has stepped in with another scheme: Let's reward the guilty and punish the innocent with yet another gigantic redistribution of capital, controlled by our new demigod, the Trillion Dollar Czar.

The show's far from over. John McCain, supposedly the more conservative of our two presidential candidates, now has suggested that the federal government should go further to "stabilize the housing market", buying up homeowners' failing mortgages and replacing them with new "manageable" loans, as decreed by some magical process to be administered by bloated bureaucrats inhabiting some new bloated bureaucracy. Undoubtedly these will include many of the same meddlers (and their disciples) who brought about this current crisis in the first place.

Yet history shows that government schemes to control or "stabilize" market prices of any commodity -including homes- almost always cause far more harm than good, and prove to be giant failures and destroyers of wealth due to their unintended negative consequences. (For an eye-opening explanation, see the classic "Economics in One Lesson", by Henry Hazlitt.)

This plan, if adopted, will be an unmitigated disaster on top of the current disaster which is already unfolding.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bishops upbraid Biden for his false and cowardly abortion statements

Bishops criticize Biden's abortion statements -My Way News

Recently some of our Catholic bishops have been speaking out more and more clearly, forcefully, and publicly in defense of human life. Well done! Keep it up! And let's keep praying that politicians who call themselves Catholic have the integrity to be guided by their sincere beliefs.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Professor Charo refuses to defend her position

straightdope: The ethics of accidential vs. deliberate abortion
No answer from Professor Charo, the noted expert in ethics, on the seemingly simple, Yes/No question of whether deliberate abortion is ethically equivalent to accidental, spontaneous abortion.

Yes, that's the same Professor Alta Robin Charo who, according to her online biography, "is a member of the boards of the Alan Guttmacher Institute and... the National Medical Advisory Committee of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America...".

I'm not on any prestigious boards like those, so of course I should know better than to dare have an opinion on such complicated ethical questions as whether the deliberate killing of a human being is morally equivalent to an unintended, accidental death.

But that won't stop me from stating the obvious. A person doesn't need to be a professor of ethics to understand that killing the defenseless is despicable. Denying the unborn access to the banquet table of human rights is evil. Dr. Charo benefits (richly) from the fruits of that table, but doesn't seem to think everyone else is entitled to such benefits.

And trying to publicly obscure such simple truths with sophistry -and declining to honestly defend one's position on such matters- is cowardly and worthy of public reproach.

Friday, August 29, 2008

All black people -including Barak Obama- should understand

Unborn baby, four months after conception
Black people were systematically enslaved and oppressed in the United States for hundreds of years. Their humanity was denied, their human rights trampled.

You'd think that with such a history, black people would be quick to denounce and combat other forms of oppression that, like slavery, deny both the humanity and basic rights of the vulnerable.

Why do so many white people tolerate legalized elective abortion? Despite slavery's history perhaps whites are still slow to recognize oppression, at least when the oppression is praised by some as a sacred right and enshrined by unjust law... just as slavery was enshrined and defended as a right.

But why do so many black people tolerate and even defend legalized elective abortion? Why don't they recognize it for what it is, and denounce it and all its defenders, both black and white?

That to me is a great mystery.

“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“A nation that kills its children is a nation without hope.” -Pope John Paul II

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The ethics of accidential vs. deliberate abortion

R. Alta Charo
Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics,
University of Wisconsin Law School

Dear Professor Charo,

Last week I invited You to clarify Your comments quoted in the recent USA Today article, Differences surface in McCain-Obama Christian forum

I didn’t receive a response from You, but perhaps my question was not clear enough to merit a response. I'll try to be clearer by cutting to the ethical crux of the matter:

Is it indeed Your position that deliberate, procured abortion is ethically equivalent to accidental, spontaneous abortion?

Because of Your expertise in the areas of bioethics and reproductive rights law, I'm very interested to learn Your perspective on this important question.

Thank You for Your consideration.

John Robin.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dr. Charo, do You believe a procured abortion is equivalent ethically to an accidental miscarriage?

Dear Professor Charo,

I am disappointed that Your response (of 18 August) was nothing more meaningful than a link to an article about Luc Bovens' Journal of Medical Ethics paper on the "rhythm method". The medical basis for his assertions is widely controverted, but that's beside the point. (

Any reasonable person can distinguish clear moral differences between these scenarios:

1) a couple intends to avoid conception, has sexual intercourse at a time they have scientifically but erroneously determined to be infertile. They conceive, but the child dies through unintentional miscarriage;

2) a couple deliberately conceives multiple children, and then deliberately targets some for implantation and others for extermination;

3) a scientist deliberately conceives multiple children, then subjects them to mutilating experiments, finally destroying them.

Your quotation in the USA Today article seems to imply that pro-lifers, in order to be "consistent", must oppose on ethical grounds anything that results in the death of human embryos, regardless of whether the deaths are unintended or deliberate. Is this really what You are implying? Would You please clarify?

Best regards,
John Robin.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Natural family planning NOT ethically equivalent to embryonic stem cell research

Re: Differences surface in McCain-Obama Christian forum

To: R. Alta Charo, professor of law and ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dear Professor Charo,

USA Today quoted You, "If (McCain) believes in human rights at the moment of conception, then he ought to be against embryonic stem cell research, IVF (in vitro fertilization) and even the so-called rhythm method."

If this quote is accurate, then it’s only two-thirds right. Certainly, the inalienable rights of a newly conceived human being ought to be protected, and embryonic stem cell research and IVF result in terrible violations of these rights.

However, the “rhythm method” and other forms of natural family planning involving periodic abstinence (such as the highly effective “Creighton Model”) involve acts of a much different sort, acts that do not result in injury or death to any human being. Couples who practice periodic abstinence exercise their reproductive powers in a responsible and loving way, without trying to manipulate, circumvent, or destroy either the nature of the sexual act or its natural consequences, namely conception and childbirth.

By contrast, IVF and embryonic stem cell research subject newly conceived human beings to manipulation and death by experimentation and selective extermination. Even if these activities are carried out for good motives, such as to further medical research or bring children to an infertile couple, they are ethically reprehensible because they involve the exploitation and killing of one class of human beings in order to obtain some benefit for another class of human beings.

It is no coincidence that couples who practice periodic abstinence as a means of regulating conception and childbirth tend to be strongly “pro-life”, believing that from the moment of conception, human beings have inalienable rights which must be protected by any just society. Those who hold such a position stand ethically on high ground.