Sunday, September 27, 2015

Francis in America

Pope Francis at the 9/11 Memorial
I kept my television tuned to EWTN for most of Pope Francis' visit to America, so I'm pretty much "poped-out." Overall I give the Holy Father high marks for his visit. His ministry to the very young children, the disabled and handicapped, the bereft families of 9/11, and the Philadelphia prisoners were all very moving and powerful to watch. His use of a regular commercial jet aircraft and a little Fiat to ferry him about were perfect examples of "walking the talk" from which most world leaders could take critical lessons.

Of great significance--largely ignored by Old Media--was the pope's unscheduled stop to see the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington DC. This religious order of nuns, who provide nursing care to the elderly sick, just happens to be suing the Obama Administration over the mandatory provision of birth control in the Affordable Care Act. Their case is pending at the US Supreme Court. For a pope who is known for non-judgmental stands and statements, Francis certainly seems to be choosing up sides here.

Less impressive to me was his recurring theme of climate change. Now, I'm no biblical scholar, but I don't recall Our Lord talking much about the weather. There is, however, a gospel story of Jesus zapping an unproductive fig tree into instantaneous firewood. It doesn't seem to me that Christ was an environmental purist. So the pope lost me a bit in all the politically correct climatology lectures.

I also think Francis was a bit timid on the abortion issue. There were a few mentions of protecting life "at all stages of development." But that's not going to ring bells with the fringe that believes life begins when the baby leaves the hospital. Perhaps all that baby-kissing-and-blessing Francis went out of his way to do is a subtle way of communicating the sacredness of life. I can only hope abortion rights fanatics will pause long enough to connect those precious dots.

As far as his chummy visit with the brutal leaders of Cuba goes, I don't know what the papal agenda was there. But the Cuban people sure seemed happy to see him, so I'll give Pope Francis a pass on that. After all, who am I to judge?

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Science of a Good Read

It's been awhile since I've mentioned one of my favorite conservatives, Mark Steyn. But with Pope Francis about to descend upon the country with his politically correct embrace of "climate change," this seems a good time to give a shout-out to Mark's newest book, "A Disgrace to the Profession."

If you've ever enjoyed a Mark Steyn volume before, you know you can anticipate a witty, articulate, well-researched skewering of global warming/climate change/environmental ideology. Mark has no patience either for the popular talking points on this subject or, as the title clearly proclaims, for the "scientists" who have suppressed objectivity in favor of political correctness.

Pope Francis, bless him, has left-wing leanings that move him directly into the path of climate change evangelism. To stay grounded in firm if unpopular reality, I recommend an eye-opening read of "A Disgrace to the Profession."

Friday, September 11, 2015

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Secrets and Lies

Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive.

~ Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808)

Is there a single voter left who has been paying attention to Hillary Clinton's past six months who does not think she is full of baloney?

I mean, really. For months on end, she insisted she did nothing wrong. We heard words like "aboveboard" and "transparent." She was adamant that she had been oh-so-careful with the information. A few days ago, when it became apparent that his ugly mess just won't go away, she was sorry that the voters were too stupid to understand the situation. When that disingenuous insult was received like the proverbial lead balloon it is, finally, at last, she's sorry she make "a mistake." Maybe we're finally getting somewhere?

Look, I've held jobs with defense contractors. Even minor worker bees like myself were conditioned to understand the sensitivity of the data we were handling. I had to get a security clearance to work on government proposals. The documents were printed, copied, and handled in a secure room called a SCIF (pronounced "skiff"'), a government acronym for "Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility." No employee without a security clearance could enter the SCIF. When we used the SCIF photocopier, we were trained to run ten blank pages after each print job to erase any images that might remain in the inner workings of the machinery. This awareness of confidentiality was drilled into all employees and became second nature, a way of protecting the documents and the information we worked and were entrusted with.

But somehow, this vital and basic message eluded the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. She has put on a good show that she simply doesn't understand that, by reason of her being the nation's highest ranking diplomat, every single piece of communication in her world is, by definition, classified. If it's on the Secretary of State's computer, it's a secret. Anyone who's worked in a SCIF knows that.

Big surprise to Hillary? I don't think so. I think Mrs. Clinton is a lot of things, but stupid is not one of them. She knew she was violating procedure, possibly even endangering the country's national security--but she did it anyway for her own selfish political reasons. In addition to the hundreds of questions I have seen written about her "personal" email and her "private" server, I have never seen a commentator ask--why was the Secretary of State using her government computer in a "personal" and "private" manner? That's a very quick and easy way for a defense contractor worker bee to get fired.

So if the top diplomat in the country has no trouble playing fast and loose with our country's secret and sensitive information, should she become president? That's what the government seems to be asking, at last. But don't wait for the investigation to drag itself out. Ask any defense contractor worker bee with a security clearance that question, and you'll most likely hear a discouraging word for Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton screwed up badly, continues to lie about it, and will eventually have to pay an uncomfortable price--possibly including a forfeit of her obsession to be president. I'm sorry if that's confusing to her.