Whose your daddy?

Father Henry:  The Father was a fatherPerhaps it was coincidence, or perhaps it was some producer’s idea of a witty joke.  Just moments after airing a report on members of Congress being pressured by the Catholic Church, among others, to oppose abortion rights within the health-care reform bill, Thursday’s AC360 aired a report about a wayward father in the Midwest. Evidently, the Father was a wayward soul when he was not in the pulpit preaching, and in the worst possible circumstances the Catholic Church could imagine, the Father was a father.

More than an isolated incident, it appears to be an ongoing theme in the life of Father Henry Willenborg.  In fact, he is now under suspension from the Catholic Church for allegations statutory rape that allegedly occurred 22 years ago – while the Father was having an affair with Pat Bond, a parishioner who left her husband and three children to cohabitate in her Father’s house.

Most importantly about this whole issue, it is coming to light only because the son who had been fathered by Willenborg is now suffering from terminal brain cancer.  The mother has come forth about her affair with Willenborg, saying she is free to do so, despite having signed a confidentiality agreement, because, she says, the Catholic church has invalidated that agreement by failing to provide adequate financial support.

Since her revelation, the Catholic church has stepped up in its support, but one cannot help believe she is not correct when she says the Church cannot wait for her son to die so they can be removed from the whole sordid affair.

As for Father Henry.  Well, he is somewhere in hiding as he awaits the latest charges against him.  From all accounts, he was a great priest except for one minor problem.  He could not get past the celibacy requirements.  His on-again, off-again affair with Bond, which produced a child and ended her troubled marriage, came to an end when he was caught having an affair with a married woman.  A great priest – if he could have only dealt with that one small “catch.”

As a result, then Catholic Church is mired in a scandal that shows it to be hypocritical and immoral in its behavior.  Rather than forcing fFather Henry to leave the clergy and face responsibility for his errant conduct, the Church sought to make a deal.  For 22 years, it thought it had gotten away with it.  Now, with no statute of limitations to protect the Church, it has been exposed.

But life has gone on, and the Catholic Church is pressuring for abortion opposition to be included in the health-care reforms.  The message is clear:  have the children, but what you do with them afterward is your problem. – George Curcio

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Obama uses real but willing pawns in Afghanistan chess game

Barack Obama is faced with some serious issues about the war in Afghanistan, and it is reported that he is unhappy with the four options that have been prepared and presented to him by those within the administration, as reported on Wednesday’s AC360.   The options range from sending 40,000 more American troops at a maximum  to a minimum of sending 20,000 more in a supplemental effort to what is already there.  Interestingly, though, all focus on maintaining and continuing an American presence in Afghanistan as we continue to shift the focus from Iraq.

As is usually the case, the military side is campaigning for a larger force and military campaign while the ambassadorial side is lobbying for less open warfare.  Not only is there fighting being waged in Afghanistan, but now there is open fighting being waged within the Obama administration’s top levels.

Obama has been in office nearly a year now, but our presence in Afghanistan is still waiting to be altered.  Obama has awaited presentation from his staff, which has responded with four alternatives, none of which is to his liking.  Thus, he has sent them back to the drawing board, and the waiting starts anew.

The present situation clashes greatly with what Obama declared when he was running for the presidency.  In July of 2008, Obama traveled to Afghanistan and called for a troop buildup within the country.  Unfortunately, his desire was more aimed at criticizing George W. Bush’s handling of Iraq, whether appropriately or not, and using Afghanistan as an alternative focus to do just that.  Obama was successful in his goal, but he is now backtracking on his words.

Lost in the quandary about what to do is the American public’s opinion on how Afghanistan should be handled.  It is an issue that was not addressed in our handling of Iraq and is now not being addressed in our actions towards Afghanistan.  Despite what our leaders believe, it is the people who fight the war, and they should have a say in whether they want it to continue.

Until now, Americans who choose not to be touched by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan largely are not.  The armed services are all volunteer, and largely manned by gung-ho personnel who choose to be where they are.  As a result, many Americans have been untouched by the ravages of war and they do not really feel the effects of what is happening overseas.

The first action Obama should take is to reinstate the draft for age-eligible Americans, with no exception other than physical shortcomings that obviously preclude service.  Americans should then be drafted and forced into action, so they feel the true effects of war and a public debate should then ensue over whether we should continue our presence overseas.  Until then, this is nothing more than a chess game in which Obama is using real yet willing pawns. – George Curcio

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Book Review 2: Michael Curtis’ “The Great Political Theories Vol. 1 and 2”

Michael Curtis is a distinguished Political Science professor in Rutgers University. He also taught in various well-known institutions such as Yale and Cornell University. So far, he has written fifteen books on political philosophies and theories, comparative politics, and others concerning affairs in the Middle East. Among his most celebrated works are his two volumes on The Great Political Theories that is now being used by many students as reference in their study of Political Science.

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The political realm is a very interesting area to study. However, being a beginner to the science of politics can get a bit frustrating as one tries to understand its twists and turns. There are several theories and philosophies that have already intertwined with each other, which make it hard to truly grasp and fully understand everything all at once. One theory always leads to or contrasts another.

But, that does not mean that studying politics should necessarily be difficult. As the old saying goes, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” And, in the study of political science, there is definitely a way to get through it without too much headache.

What better way to familiarize oneself to politics is through studying its beginnings and its evolution? The Great Political Theories covers just that as it brings its readers through the history of politics, how it evolved, and its attempt to go with the needs of the time. The two volumes spans through how the Greeks understood politics, to Thomas Hobbes, to Immanuel Kant, to Karl Marx, and to other more modern political theorists.

The best thing about the two volumes is that both are written in a manner that the reader seems to be reading a story. It does not feel uninteresting nor dragging as one is taken through time where political philosophies were born. Furthermore, Michael Curtis adds bits of interesting facts about authors and their time, which makes it a rather light for readers yet still full of details.

More than the facts, what makes Michael Curtis’ The Great Political Theories a recommended book by many is that it gives its readers an idea as to how to act as a citizen and as a group. He was able to show the actions of people from the past and all the consequences; then challenges readers to further develop the theories we have now.

As one of the students who were fortunate enough to have been introduced to these two volumes in Political Science class, I can honestly say that The Great Political Theories have really helped me in my study of politics and made me appreciate it even more.

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November 11, 2009

Carrie Prejean on Larry King, “Young women can learn from my mistakes.”  This was after she refused to take a phone call because of a deal that Larry King supposedly had with her “publicist.”  Poor Larry King.  He kept stretching for good questions, but Carrie kept shooting out lame answers, but at least she looked good doing it.

Breaking News – Suzanne Malveaux

intro

intro

President Obama rejects all current proposals on Afghanistan.  He’s simply not satisfied with them.  He wants a plan that transfers authority back to the Afghan government.  The problem could with Karzei, who is not acting like a good political partner.  Lastly, the President wants a plan with an inbuilt exit strategy.  Troop increases are not off the table, but specifics are necessary.

The US ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, is arguing against those increases.

OH NO IT FINALLY HAPPENED.  BERGENGERGEN IS ALIVE!!!!

gergenbergen

gergenbergen

They spoke very briefly about the troop level increases.  I was too taken aback by the sheer  power of the BergenGergen.

Inside the Massacre

Sgt. Kimberly Munley, who ended the Fort Hood massacre, spoke to Oprah today.  Saanjay Gupta interviewed a few more shooting victims.  One guy described bullet holes in the back of a friend’s head.  Then he fell silent.

woundedvet

woundedvet

Spc. Logan Burnette, the first speaker, said that Hasan said Allahu Akbar before opening fire.  Burnette is expected to make a full recovery, but with a good deal of rehab.

360 Bulletin – Erica Hill

Alleged Blackwater pribes.  The company may have paid for image protection

Dow up to 10,291!

Lou Dobbs is leaving CNN.  THANK HEAVENS!

Homegrown hate – Up Close – Nic Robertson

This seems like the same clip from last night, but in a different country.  Now it’s a group in London whose plan is to turn Buckingham Palace into a mosque.  Anjem Choudary, leader of Islam4UK, listed off all of the things that would be banned.  Whew.

islam

islam

Roberston said that the tactics employed in the UK and Europe are bound to end up on America’s shores.  They’re using the Internet to recruit new, young Muslims for terrorist training.

Peter Bergen was back on to discuss this phenomenon.  He called these groups Al Qaeda support groups.  Bergen said that current radical Islamists might have been memebers of the Weather Underground in a former  life.  I’d argue that religious terror is a great deal different from political terror.

Keeping Them Honest – Randi Kaye

Steven Burton is a bank employee who has been pretending to be a marine.  He’s going to confess to the crime tomorrow.  The crime is the unauthorized wearing of military medals.  He had a purple heart, a bronze star, and a navy cross, ALL AT ONCE.  These cases are called “Stolen Valor” cases.

stolenvalor

stolenvalor

Randi Kaye said that Burton might have stolen valor in order to get better parking spaces or preferential treatment at a VA hospital.

Raw Politics

Sarah Palin, who loves Facebook, said that she had a good chat with Oprah today.  Seriously, are we going to have to listen to this nonsense for the next 3 years.  If she gets elected President, I’m going rogue.  Seventy-one percent of Americans find Palin unfit for the Presidency.

palin

palin

Two young authors, Shushannah Walshe and Scott Conroy, have written a book about Sarah Palin.  Shushannah said that she resigned because she couldn’t take the daily grind of state politics.  It makes a presidential bid unlikely.

360 Bulletin – Erica Hill

Follow: US Airlines pilot who was pulled off the plane for being drunk is sued

AIG  Chief claims poverty

Roadside Rockslide in Tennessee

The Shot

Whoa, it’s deja vu.  Carrie Prejean almost walking out on Larry King is tonight’s shot.

And the aftermath

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What if you hear God but it really isn’t His voice???

Radical Muslimreport aired during Tuesday’s AC360 focused on radical Muslims who are preaching hatred outside a non-participatory mosque in New York City, much to the dismay of the Imam there.  They are openly contemptuous of the United States and its people, and they say it stems ultimately from what they are being told in the Koran, which is to “terrorize” non-believers.  In other words, they are doing it because Alllah, their interpretation of God, is telling them to do so.

The report was labelled as a focus on “hate speech,” but, ironically, the Muslims who are voicing the hate do not see it in the same way.  They see themselves as messengers of Allah, or their God, bringing His views further into the world.  Americans, naturally, as a whole are aghast, with the rising levels of anger and disgust rising with further movement along the right side of the political spectrum.  That seems rather ironic, because in many ways the speech of the radical Muslims directly mirrors that of conservative Christians in America.

For years, conservative Christians have pushed the belief that they have heard God, and it is He who is imposing their views, through them, into the lives of everyone else, including and perhaps especially non-believers.  Ironically, it is partly this attitude that has fostered backlash towards America from others in the world, such as the radical Muslims.

What’s missing from the conservative Christians’ views is recognition that there is a New Testament as well as an Old, perhaps mirroring the typical liberal Christian behavior that there is no Old Testament at all.  The shortcoming on each side is to realize that there are actually two books to the Bible, and they both deserve equal attention.  Yes, there is sin in the world, but it is to be forgiven.  Yes, it is to be forgiven, but not encouraged.

It is a difficult tightrope to walk, that between forgiveness and responsibility.  The Christian Right long ago abandoned any fidelity to the concept of continuing to walk it and jumped off, whereas the Christian Left seems more to have slipped, but still ends up not walking the line.

In its defense, which is not a sterling one, those on the Left, for the most part, practice a “Live and let live” philosophy that does not seek to intrude upon anyone’s lifestyle.  The Christian Right, however, can do no such thing, for they are convinced they have heard the truth from God, and that it is their mission to spread His word, and impose their beliefs, whether others want to hear it or not.

Much like the radical Muslims that the Christian Right says we must fight and obliterate.  It begs the question, “What if you think you hear God talking to you but it isn’t really Him?” – George Curcio

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November 10, 2009

 

AC Intro

AC Intro

Motives for Murder – Drew Griffin

The first family was in Fort Hood today for the memorial service.  About the killer, Obama said that no faith justifies murderous acts.

 

Obama

Obama

 

 

The question is whether or not this is an individual act of violence or a jihadist terror attack.  According to a federal source, most terrorists hide their religion to try to blend in with their environment.  Pat Brown, a criminologist, likened him to a mass murderer.

In his classes, Hasan (the shooter) argued against the United States and was found to possess a Powerpoint presentation with jihadist inklings.

Griffin commented on the thorough investigation.  People are digging through dumpsters to find any shred of evidence.

Upclose – Drew Griffin

 

Griffin and Hasan

Griffin and Hasan

 

 

Radical Islam in the United States in New York City.

Outside of a mosque in New York, a radical sect called the Brothers of Revolution Muslim (or something like that) is trying to recruit people for terrorist activities.  The leader of the group said that the Quran requires that Muslims terrorize non-Muslims.  He quibbled over the definition of terrorism. Younes Abdu

llah Mohammed, this leader, was born and raised in America, lives in New York, and hates America with a passion.

Drew Griffin spoke with Yousef Al Khattab, a member of Brotherhood Muslim, said that he loves Osama bin Laden with a passion.  He also says he would love to see Israel wiped off of the face of the planet.

Digging Deeper – Jeffrey Toobin and Peter Bergen

 

Bergen

Bergen

 

 

Toobin began by talking about the line between free speech and inciting violence.  AC brought up the fact that the Brotherhood Muslim is being watched intensely by the FBI and local police.  Toobin talked about how the Justice Department is now in the buisiness of preventing crime.

“Leaders of terrorist group have a track record of not carrying out suicide attacks.”  Another wonderful statement of the obvious, but even Bergen isn’t perfect.

Yowzers, that was a short digging  deeper.

360 Bulletin – Erica Hill

Clinton presses lawmakers trying to get health care passed before next year

Nowak, the ex-astronaut, makes a plea deal

Michael Jackson’s mom drops her court case re: Michael’s will

Facebook hacked

AC’s already plugging tonight’s shot.  Yikes.

DC Sniper Executed

 

AC

AC

 

 

John Muhammad was executed at 9:11 EST.  His killing spree lasted 3 weeks back in the autumn of 2002.

For those who don’t remember, this guy drove around Washington D.C. in an old car randomly killing ordinary citizens.

OMG.  AC on AC.

Jeanne Meserve spoke about her interview with Muhammad.  Muhammad apparently tried to intimidate her with random bits of knowledge.  She called it intellectual bullying.  The one thing that he refused to talk about in the interview was the murder.

The Shot

I missed most of it.  A drunk woman fell in front of a train and the train stopped.  Nothing like Wesley Autrey, however.

AC Follow – Randi Kaye

So sick or Randi Kaye.  So sick of Carrie Prejean.  Prejean has a book out now.  Prejean dropped a suit against the Miss America pageant due to the “coming out” of her sex tape.  In the book, Prejean wrote about how mainstrream pornography has become.  “Outer beauty can only get you so far in life.”

 

Kayejean

Kayejean

 

 

Lisa Bloom came on to talk about it!  What does a legal analyst have to do with Carrie Prejean.  AC only asked her about the allure of Prejean.  Lisa Bloom, socialite!!  The question now is whether or not Prejean’s privacy was violated.  Be careful before you track down Prejean’s tape, she was only 17 at the time.

360 Bulletin – Erica Hill

United Airlines pilot pulled from a plane for being drunk on duty

A Florida judge finds against two teens arrested for burning another boy

The Letterman extortion plot begins to unravel!

Madoff’s personal belongings are being auctioned off on Saturday, including an $87k watch

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The simple truth is sometimes too hard to handle

Nidal Malik HasanFor some reason, it is just difficult for Americans to take anything anymore at face value.  Perhaps it has something to do with the society’s preoccupation with spinning, putting a public relations front on everything, regardless of what the truth may be.  The truth, it seems, is no longer valued in American society.  Rather than letting the facts determine the outcomes, we have become more determined to let predetermined outcomes be supported by selective facts that make our case.

It happens at every level of society.  Gay republicans publicly decry the gay lifestyle while living it privately.  Anything to sell themselves to voters who are looking for what they are offering.  The candidate is not measured by how often he fits the bill.  Instead, he is measured by how he pretends to fit the bill.

It is not indigenous only to Republicans.  Democrats, for example, pushed public busing of students while sending their children to private schools.  More recent examples likely exist if thought were applied to finding them, but that is not the point, only an illustration.

The point is that nothing is what it seems anymore, even when it is very simple.  Instead, we build elaborate theories and construct involved explanations as we seek to fit the facts to what we WANT to believe in any particular case.

Such is going on right now with the case of Nidal Malik Hasan, who “snapped” last week and went on a shooting rampage as a result of his mental conflicts over the war in Iraq, to which he was soon to be deployed on the American side against Muslins he felt were his spiritual brethren.  The simple fact seems rather obvious if one chooses to accept it.  Hasan succumbed mentally to pressures and conflicts he felt were alive inside his head.  The man snapped, drawing irrational solutions to what many may think were irrational conflicts.  To him, however, they were real.

Americans, however, cannot accept the fact that he simply went nuts.  Instead, we have spent day after day seeking to build some sort of bridge between Hasan and the Muslims we are fighting in Iraq, thinking there is more to the story than what it is:  an irrational gunman seeing his solution in random shootings of what were, i reality, innocent victims.  Perhaps in his reality they were still innocent victims and he did not care.

Instead of accepting Hasan for what he is, the American people and their government have been seeking to make him into the next Fidel Castro, leading a well-formed revolution from the mountains.  Perhaps, in his mind, that is what Hasan hoped to be.  The simple truth is that, in reality, he was just a lone gunman whom cracked under the pressure.

His actions were inexcusable, but so is the American obsession with building him it into more than he was.  – George Curcio

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