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A Rare Pope: With a Sense of Humor Print E-mail
by Andrea Monda    Mon, Apr 16, 2012, 11:46 AM

On April 16, 2012, Benedict XVI turns 85. And three days later he marks the sixth anniversary of his pontificate. A writer sketches a profile of him. It's a surprising one.


"The profound joy of the heart
is also the true precondition for 'humor';
and so 'humor,'
under a certain aspect,
is an indicator,
a barometer of faith."

(Benedict XVI)

*

I have not made a careful check, but I am willing to bet that if one were to analyze word frequency in the texts of Benedict XVI, the word used most often would be "joy."

Let's begin with one of his many affirmations of the importance, for the Christian, of joy, and try to apply it to this pope who just after his election presented himself as a "humble laborer in the vineyard of the Lord." It is a passage taken from the book-interview "Light of the World," and, placed almost at the very beginning, sounds categorical:

"That Christianity gives joy and breadth is also a thread that runs through my whole life. Ultimately someone who is always only in opposition could probably not endure life at all."

First point: joy and reason are connected. And the connection is found in this strange religion that "expands the horizon." As Gilbert K. Chesterton wrote of his conversion, "becoming a Catholic broadens the mind," and further on, "becoming Catholic does not mean leaving off thinking, it means learning how to think."

Second point, a surprising one: we were perhaps accustomed to the idea of a revolutionary pope, of a pope "against," and yet the denial comes immediately, because one cannot live "always only in opposition."

Obviously the contrast is only apparent. Further on in the same passage, in fact, the pope clarifies: "But at the same time the fact was ever-present, albeit in varying doses, that the Gospel stands in opposition to powerful constellations. . . . Enduring hostility and offering resistance are therefore part of it - a resistance, however, that serves to bring to light what is positive."

A resistance, then, that means abandoning all resignation, complaint, or resentment, and walking in a patient and tenacious search for "what is positive," for that goodness which is hidden in the furrows of human history. This is the courage of Benedict, the courage of joy:

"Simple, genuine joy has become more rare. Joy is today in a certain way more and more freighted with moral and ideological baggage. [...] The world does not become better if it is deprived of joy, the world needs persons who discover the good, who are capable of feeling joy because of it and in this way also receive the prompting and the courage to do good. [...] We need that original trust which ultimately only faith can give. That, in the end, the world is good, that God exists and is good. From this stems also the courage of joy, which becomes in turn a responsibility, so that others may also rejoice and receive the glad tidings."

Joy and humility advance or retreat in lockstep. Chesterton captured this well in his brief but dense 1901 essay on humility:

"The new philosophy of self-esteem and self-assertion declares that humility is a vice. [...] It follows with the precision of clockwork every one of the great joys of life. No one, for example, was ever in love without indulging in a positive debauch of humility. [...] If humility has been discredited as a virtue at the present day, it is not wholly irrelevant to remark that this discredit has arisen at the same time as a great collapse of joy in current literature and philosophy. [...] When we are genuinely happy, we think we are unworthy of happiness. But when we are demanding a divine emancipation we seem to be perfectly certain that we are unworthy of anything."

Joy and humility, then. The two stand or fall together. But one piece of the puzzle is still missing, which however is very much present in the man and pope from Bavaria: humor.

For Benedict XVI, joy and humor are closely intertwined. As he writes at the conclusion of his essay on dogmatic theology "The God of Jesus Christ":

"One of the fundamental rules for the discernment of spirits could therefore be the following: where joy is lacking, where humor dies, there the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, is not present either. And vice versa: joy is a sign of grace. The one who is profoundly serene, who has suffered without losing joy, that one is not far from the God of the Gospel, from the Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of eternal joy."

Jacques Maritain once said that a society that loses its sense of humor is preparing its own funeral.

Humor as a conduit for joy; the "sense of humor" as an entertaining (in the soundest sense of the term) way of living life, starting from the fundamental point: the essence of Christianity is joy. In the words of Chesterton, a master of humor, "joy is the gigantic secret of the Christian." As Benedict XVI writes in "The Salt of the Earth":

"Faith gives joy. When God is not there, the world becomes desolate, and everything becomes boring, and everything is completely unsatisfactory. . . . To that extent it can be said that the basic element of Christianity is joy. Joy not in the sense of cheap fun, which can conceal desperation in the background."

If the world turns its back on God, the pope-theologian and former prefect of the Holy Office tells us, it is not condemned to falsehood, to blasphemy, and not even to heresy, but to boredom. There comes to mind the quip of Clive S. Lewis from before he converted from atheism to Christianity: "Christians are wrong, but all the rest are bores."

_____________


(s. m.) The page presented above is taken from the last chapter of the author's recently published book on Benedict XVI:

Andrea Monda, "Benedetta umiltà. Le virtù semplici di Joseph Ratzinger", Lindau, Torino, 2012, pp. 192, euro 14.00.


In sketching the pope's profile, Monda decisively places two of his virtues at center stage, humility "and its most delectable fruit," humor:

"They are two words that find in 'humus,' earth, a common etymological root. The one who is 'earth earth,' who does not become arrogant, is at the same time humble and endowed with humor, because he realizes that there is a world greater than his own ego, and beyond this world, Someone even greater. Humility and humor are the secret of life, above all for a Catholic, and they are two traits that place in the highest ranks the man Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI, no less than his work."

Andrea Monda is a graduate of the Pontifical Gregorian University. He teaches high school religion in Rome. He writes for various newspapers and periodicals. He is the author of volumes dedicated to Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

__________


English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.

 

Originally appeared in www.chiesa.expressonline.it

 

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What it Takes Print E-mail
by Wes Riddle    Mon, Apr 16, 2012, 11:42 AM

Sometimes in our day-to-day rush and familiar surroundings and cultural norms, we forget how truly amazing America is.  Folks, who have been away for some time, almost universally feel the need to get back.  They need to “recharge,” in a sense.  You know something’s special here, if you consider that millions want to come.  Millions more look to America from their homes for guidance, assistance or example. 

Ignorant people in the world think we’re soft, because they see the plenty and don’t understand what it has taken—and what it takes—to have what we have.  They don’t understand the discipline we live each day, in terms of balancing hard work and family relations, and service to our country and to God.  They don’t understand our striving to be the best we can be, and I mean in every single capacity God has granted us: mental, physical, spiritual, social and emotional.  We strive to be “whole” persons, and we strive to be good.  We also strive to win, because we’re good.  That’s actually pretty unique in this world of ours.

Our own countrymen often overlook the value we subconsciously place on “freedom”—the freedom to do things, to go places, to have fun, to start new enterprises.  We also generally place emphasis on personal responsibility, on self-reliance, on dignity and yes, even on clean living.  It’s horse sense really: you reap what you sow.  The Taliban and Al Qaeda certainly learned that.  But they didn’t have any American horses.  They didn’t know Middle America—or New York, for that matter.  They sure as “H” didn’t know a Texan or they would have known we’d kick their rear end.  They thought Americans were weak and cowardly materialists, but I suppose it’s easy to mistake the love of freedom for lack of virtue, or the love of peace for cowardice.

It’s a shame our attackers didn’t read our history (it’s a shame a lot of us don’t), because then they’d realize what it takes to be American.  What it takes, in addition to good education and tons of elbow grease, is one or more wars practically every generation.  Now did we really think that the twenty-first century was going to be any different, perhaps more peaceful because of the victory “the greatest generation” won in World War II?  Believe it or not, that’s a sentiment made by the famous historian Stephen Ambrose, just two days before the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon!  I guess the Cold War, Korea, Viet Nam, and the Gulf War were just chopped liver.  Anyway, I am very grateful for the World War II generation, certainly the greatest of the twentieth century.  But don’t think their accomplishment means we’ve got less to do, because it doesn’t.

The principal of Somerville College, Oxford, said to his new arrivals in 1944 that all beginnings are hopeful.  So the new century/new millennium probably invited optimism, and optimism is not all bad—indeed, it’s essential.  But as one of the great Free World leaders during the Cold War—Margaret Thatcher—said, “My generation remembers that we had such faith after World War I that there could never be another world war, we let our defenses down.”  Do you see a pattern?  Again and again, we prove what it takes.  The measure in blood, however, depends on our preparedness at the time. 

Out of 150 countries in the world, only 72 are free.  I’d say the odds are we’re in for a few more challenges.  History and prudence dictate that we be prepared.  Again, Thatcher has the right advice for Americans:

 

 

                        We must keep our defenses up and we must have equipment

                        Of the very latest technology.  This is absolutely vital….

                        I believe the first duty of any government is to protect the lives

                        of its citizens…. And we do that by having the latest technology

                        in the United States.  My friends, you’re citizens of a wonderful

                        country.  You’ve built the greatest country in the world in terms of

                        establishing the rule of law, defending the freedoms of others, and

                        building a most prosperous future for your people.  If those who do

                        have liberty would be guided by your example, what a much

                        better world it would be.  In the meantime …[you] must continue

                        to keep up [your] reputation.

 

________________________

Wesley Allen Riddle is a retired military officer with degrees and honors from West Point and Oxford.  Widely published in the academic and opinion press, he serves as State Director of the Republican freedom Coalition (RFC) and is currently running for U. S. Congress (TX-District 25 in the Republican Primary.  He is also author of two books, Horse Sense for the New Millennium (2011), and The Nexus of Faith and Freedom (2012).  Both books are available on-line at http://www.wesriddle,net/ and from fine bookstores everywhere.  Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

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The Higher Education Money Pit Print E-mail
by Martin Hutchinson    Wed, Apr 11, 2012, 10:09 PM

The common assumption among policymakers is that, in order to maintain its higher living standards against emerging markets competition, the United States must invest more in higher education. To achieve this, the government has instituted a massive student loan guarantee program, with over $1 trillion outstanding and an average of $25,000 in debt for every graduating student with debt. Yet millions of students continue to graduate with degrees that have no obvious real-world benefits. There’s a disconnect here, and it is beginning to appear that the current U.S. obsession with higher education is misguided.

The traditional idea of higher education was to train the literate for the Church, whether Catholic, Episcopalian or other Protestant. However a hundred years ago, for the elite on both sides of the Atlantic, a very different approach had been devised. This was best illustrated in Evelyn Waugh’s immortal “Brideshead Revisited” in which the protagonist Lord Sebastian Flyte wanders round Oxford with a teddy bear, drinking champagne, eating quail’s eggs and occasionally throwing up onto other students’ carpets. Americans will scoff at this depiction, but really the Harvard of Theodore Roosevelt was not very different, except in that it involved the occasional life-threatening game of football.

Flyte’s Oxford was not intended to train him for real life, it was intended as a highly enjoyable 3- or 4- year holiday before real life intruded. For the middle classes whose fathers were not Marquesses – a majority at Oxford even in Flyte’s time; there are only 34 Marquesses – the system applied a gloss of social polish and connections that was useful in later life, but did not impart more than a modicum of knowledge. Certainly the education provided was not expected to involve a huge amount of work, or to be useful in a subsequent career.

This changed after 1945 in the United States and from around 1960 in Britain, as a higher percentage of the population experienced a college education (in the United States often financed by the post-World War II “G.I. Bill” and in Britain essentially free, with only a modest means-tested contribution, under the 1944 Education Act). The increased access of the masses to college education produced a greater competitiveness at the top colleges, so that when I went to Cambridge in 1968-71 access was more competitive and more work was expected from students than had been the case thirty years earlier.

Even then however access to top colleges was less competitive than it is today. While I was expected to have a reasonable mastery of Latin in the entrance examination there were no probing “essays” in the application, and my interview at Trinity College consisted of a most enjoyable discussion about the career of the cricketer Jack Hobbs. (I aced it by remembering that he amassed 197 first-class centuries not 198, with the two scored on the unofficial India tour of 1925-26 not counting. Presumably as I was to study Mathematics such statistical precision was thought valuable!)

Currently, not only are almost all students expected to get a college degree, but those of superior abilities are expected to carry on for a Masters’ degree, a PhD, or two Masters’ degrees, with the second being in business, law or journalism, according to the student’s future activity. The excessive credentialism of the U.S. system was exemplified at a medical conference I attended recently, where the attendees were surprised how many Chinese doctors were prepared to engage in primary medicine, but then explained patronizingly that many Chinese doctors had only an undergraduate degree. It occurred to me at that point that U.S. medical costs could be sharply reduced and quality improved if primary physicians, the principal point of contact with most patients, could be qualified in four years instead of ten.

Similarly from the 1890s, the American Bar Association began to press states to require that lawyers attend not only an undergraduate program but a three-year law school in order to pass the state bar exam; currently all states but California, Vermont, Virginia and Washington require this. As with doctors, the cost of legal services could be drastically reduced by eliminating this requirement of no less than seven years of college study to enter what is in most cases a fairly intellectually undemanding profession.

The rising tide of credentialism may however have peaked for two reasons: the excessive cost of college education and its diminishing quality. First, there is considerable evidence that finance availability is pushing up college costs. As college funding has become more readily available, it has reduced the financial pressure on colleges, since few of their students are today paying their way from part-time jobs and parent cash flow. Huge endowments in the Ivy League, which allow those elite colleges to provide full scholarships for students, focus the competition between colleges ever more closely on league table “prestige” rather than costs.

Within the colleges themselves the ranks of college administrators have exploded (as is also the case in the medical profession, equally insulated from market forces). So have their earnings – according to the New York Times, in the decade between the 1999-2000 and 2009-10 college years, the average college president’s pay at the 50 wealthiest universities increased by 75%, to $876,792, while their average professorial pay increased by only 14%, to $179,970. (Average college tuition costs increased by 65% and consumer prices by 31% during that decade.) That’s precisely the opposite of what you’d want to happen if you were concerned about college productivity and cost.

For the very brightest students, or those from really good schools, the appeal of the Ivy League may remain overwhelming. The knowledge that only four years’ moderate attention to politically correct drivel will get you a piece of paper that more or less guarantees you a six-figure salary thereafter is for most rational kids a very good reason to attend an Ivy League college and major in one of the softer arts or social sciences subjects.

For those of a mathematical, scientific or technological bent, however, the Ivy League is much less attractive; you will have to work much harder, and when you graduate you will be subjected to competition from innumerable Third World students on H1B visas, making the average salary for even Ivy League science graduates far below those available in law or medicine. What’s more, most undergraduate courses in science are now so far from the technological cutting edge that the student will have to waste several more years in a Masters program before arriving at a point where he is actually useful to potential employers.

For these science-oriented students, or for others of high intelligence with an independent bent, the Internet has opened a new opportunity. Many college courses are now available online, either for free or for a small fraction of the $5,000 they would cost as part of private college major. For example, I recently came across the 24 video lectures comprising the Yale course on Game Theory, a relatively new area of economics I wish I understood properly.

For students with initiative this brings the possibility of obtaining a college education through internet courses, perhaps at a higher level than that of second-tier colleges and certainly at a far lower cost. This would enable them to avoid the rigidity of many college degree programs, which include requirements for all kinds of irrelevant basic level courses taught by teaching assistants in classes of 300. Students who don’t like to waste their time will thus welcome the opportunity to obtain an education consisting only of courses that are directly useful, plus some sidelines that are intellectually fascinating or culturally enriching.

As has been well advertized, the internet billionaire Peter Thiel has been encouraging this trend, providing $100,000 fellowships to students who drop out of college and start a small business. That doesn’t necessarily provide the students concerned with an education, and it raises the question of what they will do for a living if their start-ups don’t work, as inevitably many won’t if recession intervenes. However the website uncollege.org, run by Thiel Fellow Dale Stephens, provides resources to those wishing to educate themselves, without necessarily becoming tech entrepreneurs. Of course many such educations will be incomplete, leaving the students concerned culturally deprived, but a conventional degree in computer science or sociology isn’t what our parents would have called a proper education, either!

Students who self-educate will find it difficult to get jobs in large companies or the federal government, which will remain wedded to possession of the right pieces of paper. For many students with low self-confidence, this may be a decisive factor; even if they cannot get into Yale, the degree from a second-tier college will give them much greater job security than if they had self-educated. However students with high levels of ability and self-confidence will take their chances; there are enough small companies and entrepreneurial opportunities around that securing a steady desk job with GE or the federal government may not seem all that attractive.

The current credentialism model faces another problem: the credentials go out of date. With longer lifespans and inadequate social security systems, this is an increasingly serious defect. For liberal arts majors, the need to re-train may not be extreme. However for majors in any technical subject, including many of the social sciences and business, educations obtained 30 or even 40 years ago may have become utterly useless. Moreover even large companies have considerably shorter lifespans than in past generations and their demise generates involuntary workforce churn. Thus many will find themselves needing to retrain at the age of 45 or 50 in order to enter a different field, or simply in order to make themselves competitive again in their own field. 4-year degrees or even 2-year Masters programs will be impossibly expensive for such people, who generally will have families and mortgages to support. Again, the availability of self-education over the Internet will offer them new possibilities, far more convenient than overpriced executive education programs.

From the above, the market share of conventional four year colleges is likely to go into sharp decline in the years ahead. Provided policymakers have the sense to stop subsidizing student loans with state guarantees and special provisions to survive bankruptcy, the banks will become much less willing to encourage the young and feckless to over-extend themselves in this way. Students will once again exert pressure on colleges to reduce their fees, and will choose cheaper state schools and programs that allow them to work their way through college.

The principal losers from this change will be academic administrators. Colleges that employ a full staff of diversity officers and pay their presidents $1 million will find the free market blowing a very cold wind indeed. Meanwhile students’ educational experiences beyond high school will become far more diverse, and in some cases very much better suited to the lives they choose to lead. The for-profit education sector, currently rightly despised as low-quality, will extend itself to offer higher-quality packages at costs far below those of conventional non-profit colleges.

It can’t happen too soon. Like any other overstuffed, over-subsidized bureaucracy, America’s colleges have got it coming!

 (Originally appeared in The Bear's Lair.)

Martin Hutchinson is the author of "Great Conservatives" (Academica Press, 2005)—details can be found on the Web site www.greatconservatives.com—and co-author with Professor Kevin Dowd of “Alchemists of Loss” (Wiley – 2010). Both now available on Amazon.com, “Great Conservatives” only in a Kindle edition, “Alchemists of Loss” in both Kindle and print editions.

 

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President Obama, Time for a Refresher Course on Constitutional Law Print E-mail
by John Browning    Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 08:21 AM

At a March 30, 2007, campaign fundraiser, then-candidate Barack Obama stated “I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president, I actually respect the Constitution.”  Like much of what President Obama has told the American people, that statement has turned out to be false, as illustrated by the controversy last week over the president’s April 2 comments about the U.S. Supreme Court and their forthcoming decision about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”).  Vigorously (or desperately?) defending the crown jewel in his domestic agenda, President Obama said “I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.  And I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint.”

 

Seriously, Mr. President?  The Supreme Court (or, as he’s referred to them, “an unelected group of people”) doesn’t have the authority to strike down acts of Congress that violate the Constitution?  For a supposed former “constitutional law professor,” these statements betray a shocking level of ignorance about the concept of judicial review and the 1803 case, Marbury v. Madison, that enshrined it in American jurisprudence.  Marbury made it the hallmark of the judicial branch of government that it has the power to invalidate laws passed by the legislative branch that are unconstitutional, since the U.S. Constitution is supreme and “all laws repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”  This is precisely why federal judges are given lifetime appointments that make them—in theory—immune to political and popular pressure, and thus able to steadfastly apply the Constitution and the law.

 

President Obama should know this, but after his recent comments, I’m inclined to seek proof that he actually graduated from Harvard Law School, much less served as a “constitutional law professor.”  You see, it’s not just that a law professor should know this; every lawyer knows it, and every law student reads the Marbury case early on.  In fact, a number of landmark Supreme Court decisions are mandatory for Texas 6th–8th graders to know; Marbury is one of them.  The State Bar of Texas, under an initiative from President Bob Black, has even produced a short documentary and other materials about Marbury v. Madison and its significance for educators in Texas to use as part of their social studies curriculum.  In other words, to satisfy the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills) standards, Texas eighth graders have to know more than the president knows about Marbury and judicial review.

 

The president’s comments had a ripple effect.  During oral argument last week before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in a separate challenge to Obamacare (Physician Hospitals of America v. Sebelius), senior Judge Jerry Smith asked the Department of Justice lawyer arguing the case, Dana Kaersvang, if the president’s statement reflects the official position of the U.S. government.  While Kaersvang agreed that the judiciary could strike down an unconstitutional law, Judge Smith wanted it in writing.  He ordered the DOJ to file a 3 page, single-spaced letter by April 5 giving the federal government’s position on the court’s authority of judicial review.  And as requested, Attorney General Eric Holder filed the letter.  It stated in part that “The longstanding, historical position of the United States regarding judicial review of the constitutionality of federal legislation has not changed and was accurately stated by counsel for the government at oral argument in this case a few days ago.”

 

The reaction by members of the liberal media, to both the furor over President Obama’s comments as well as the Fifth Circuit’s order prompted by them, was predictably slanted and even hypocritical.  Harvard Law School professor, constitutional law scholar, and Obama mentor Laurence Tribe penned a scathing editorial for CNN.com entitled “The 5th Circuit Court’s Insult to Obama,” in which he claimed that the president “has nothing but respect for judicial authority” and called Judge Jerry Smith’s order “a shocking departure from the norms of judicial behavior.”  CNN legal analyst and writer Jeffrey Toobin declared the order to be a “judicial hissy fit,” “a disgrace,” and “an embarrassment to the federal judiciary.”  And David Dow of Newsweek wrote an article calling for the impeachment of those Supreme Court justices who might overturn the Affordable Care Act.

 

Yet even Laurence Tribe admitted that President Obama “obviously misspoke” in his comments about the Supreme Court, and Jeffrey Toobin is so lacking in actual practice experience that he doesn’t realize that a federal court is well within its right to require a party to give its understanding of the court’s jurisdiction.  Perhaps Toobin doesn’t appreciate that courts exist to protect our rights when politicians trample on them—including a president claiming powers forbidden to him by the Constitution.  And as for David Dow, he couldn’t even get his facts straight.  He gave the example of Thomas Jefferson’s efforts to impeach Supreme Court Justice “Salmon Chase” in 1805; Samuel Chase was actually the justice who was impeached, while Salmon Chase was a member of Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet who was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1864.  And apparently, Dow believes that judicial activism is okay as long as it’s in line with his liberal ideology.  He wrote a book entitled America’s Prophets: How Judicial Activism Made America Great.

 

For me, the most concerning aspect isn’t the reaction by left-thinking critics.  It’s the ignorance or the willingness to lie—take your pick—displayed by President Obama.  First, let’s settle this whole “I was a constitutional law professor” debate.  Barack Obama was never a professor at the University of Chicago School of Law.  From 1992 to 1996, he was a “lecturer,” and 1996 to 2004 a “senior lecturer;” he was never even an adjunct professor.  He never taught a constitutional law course—instead, he taught an election law course, a seminar on “race theory,” and a course dealing with equal protection rights, in which Marbury v. Madison likely never came up.  Next, President Obama referred to the health care law as having been passed by “a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”  Despite a huge Democratic majority at the time, Obamacare barely passed by a 219–212 margin.  That’s not only not a strong majority, it’s barely a plurality.  And then there’s Obama’s confusion over judicial activism.  Judicial activism isn’t when judges strike down an existing law.  It’s when judges permit their personal views, and not the Constitution, to guide their decisions or invent new “rights” where none previously existed.  Obama can’t have it both ways.  His own Justice Department is arguing that courts should strike down voter ID laws as unconstitutional, and he’d be the first to invoke the power of judicial review if a state were to ban abortions.  Arguing here that a Court that would dare invalidate his precious Affordable Care Act must be the “unprecedented” work of “activist” judges is absurd and represents a direct attack on the independence of the judiciary.  And Obama’s claim that the Supreme Court hasn’t invalidated any statutes that are “economic” and relate to “commerce” since the New Deal era is incorrect.  The list is too long to give here, but let’s just say that some recent examples of laws relating to “commerce” that have been struck down include parts of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; the Trademark Remedy Clarification Act; the 1998 Harbor Maintenance Tax Act; the Transfer Act (which authorized transferring operating control of certain airports away from the Department of Transportation); and many, many others.

 

Presidents like Andrew Jackson and FDR publicly clashed with the Supreme Court, but only President Obama has chosen to level his attacks before the Court has even ruled.  Whether you call it heavy-handed bullying in an attempt to influence the judiciary or a shocking ignorance about the fundamental concept of judicial review, it’s equally disturbing.  For a former “constitutional law professor” to make such statements is like hearing a science professor argue that the world is flat or that the sun revolves around the earth.

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My Grandsons Could Look Like Jorge (George) Zimmerman Print E-mail
by James Reza    Fri, Apr 6, 2012, 08:45 AM

President Obama’s comments on the shooting of a black teenager, Trayvon Martin:  “But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin.  If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.  And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.” Folks, that is a bald face lie! Trayvon’s parents are both black, whereas President Obama has a white mother and black father!  So how could President Obama have the audacity to utter those race-baiting comments?

For your information, Jorge (George) Zimmerman is half white and half Hispanic as are my grandsons who are also half white and half Hispanic.  However, the liberal mainstream media has tried hard not to reveal that.  Blacks, particularly Rev. (?) Jessie Jackson and Rev. (?) Al Sharpton have focused more on Mr. Zimmerman’s whiteness to stoke the fires of racism. Without black and white incidents like this, these two race-baiting opportunists would have to go find a real job.

In all my life I have never seen a man like Mr. Zimmerman pre tried and lied about by the news media and sentence to death as per the Black Panthers who are offering a $10,000 reward for his life without letting the rule of law follow its course and find out if indeed Mr. Zimmerman is guilty of 1st degree murder.  Folks, if Mr. Zimmerman is guilty of murdering Trayvon, I will be demanding he’d get the death sentence.  To me it doesn’t matter if he is brown, white, yellow or black!
 
What I find so hypocritical of race baiting blacks is that the U.S. Justice Department recently provided a breakdown of homicides by the race of both the victim and the offender.  Looking at the data since 2005, it was found that whites committed 48% of all murders and blacks committed 51.2% of all murders.  However, whites outnumber blacks in the population by a large number.  In fact, non-Hispanic whites are about 69% of the population and blacks are about 13%.  These statistics along, shows that blacks are 13% of the population, but commit 51.2% of the murders, indicate that blacks commit a seriously disproportionate number of murders among their own kind.  I now ask, “Where is the outrage of supposed black leaders like Jackson and Sharpton and the Black Panthers?”  What that tells me is that blacks don’t give a rats read end if they kill each other, just don’t let a white or half white Latino person do it!

Recently, I saw a hideous crime story on ID TV. The murder victim, Cherica Adams, was a beautiful young black 21-year-old lady.  Cherica’s big mistake was falling in love with Rae Carruth, a black NFL Carolina Panthers football player.  In time, Cherica got pregnant much to the displeasure of Carruth, who was already paying child support to a girl in California.  Facing the possibility of having to pay child support to Cherica who was 6-1/2 months pregnant, Carruth cooked up an evil murder plot with two black hoodlums, Mike Kennedy and Van Brett Watkins.  His evil plot was to invite Cherica to dinner with each driving to the restaurant in their car.  After dining, Carruth enticed Cherica to follow him to her apartment.  As Carruth drove to Cherica’s apartment he phone Kennedy and Watkins and told them what road he was on.  In a lonely spot on the road, Carruth stopped his car as Kennedy drove his car next to Cherica’s car where Watkins then shot her four times in the head and neck.  Carruth then sped away leaving Cherica mortally wounded in her car.  Barely able to use her cell phone Cherica dialed 911 asking for help while bleeding profusely from her wounds.  At the hospital Cherica’s baby was delivered but due to her losing so much blood doctors feared he would have severe brain damage, which he has to this very day.  Cherica, unable to talk, wrote of her horrible account and after her death, Carruth along with the shooter Watkins and the driver Kennedy all faced murder charges.  Sadly, Carruth was only sentenced to 18-24 years for conspiracy, shooting into an occupied vehicle and using an instrument to destroy an unborn child.  The driver, Mike Kennedy got 11 years and the shooter Van Brett Watkins got 40 years to life.  At his sentencing, Carruth showed no emotion for his actions.  Folks, how many of you heard of this horrible event, and where was the outrage of Black Americans on this hideous murder plot?  Oh, I forgot, it was a black killing another black.

By now some of your are asking, “James, you sure are coming down on blacks.”  No sir, just recently I applauded a death sentence handed to Mark Soliz a Hispanic here in Fort Worth.  This beast robbed and killed a young Hispanic deliveryman, Ruben Martinez, leaving a pregnant wife with a 6-year-old son.  After killing Mr. Martinez, Soliz tried to rob and shoot another man no more than 3 blocks from my house at Lowe’s.  Luckily, the intended victim got away.  Later, Soliz along with an accomplice, Jose “Joe” Ramos, drove to Johnson Country looking for a home to rob.  There they entered the home of Mrs. Nancy Weatherly, a 61-year-old grandmother.  After robbing Mrs. Weatherly, Soliz admitted shooting her as she knelt pleading for her life.

As predictable, during the trial, Soliz’s defense team presented evidence from Soliz’s friends and mother how he was abused and uncared for by his drug addicted and alcoholic mother. However, what made me so angry at this piece of human trash was when Soliz’s girl friend testified that he told her that Mrs. Weatherly prayed and begged for her life but that he shot her anyway. He then laughed about it she said.

Folks, I attended a fundraiser for Ruben Martinez shortly after his death at Billy Bob’s to help his widowed pregnant wife and child sponsored by his company.  I expected to see many Hispanics at the event, but to my surprise all I saw in great numbers were those evil and racist white people!

 

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