Roman Calendar

Random Greco-Roman Image

Monday, September 29, 2008

ON Israel I agree with Palin's statements 100%

On Sun, Sep 28, 2008 at 1:25 PM, R K MUNRO wrote:

Couric: You recently said three times that you would never, quote, "second guess" Israel if that country decided to attack Iran. Why not?

Palin: We shouldn't second guess Israel's security efforts because we cannot ever afford to send a message that we would allow a second Holocaust, for one. Israel has got to have the opportunity and the ability to protect itself. They are our closest ally in the Mideast. We need them. They need us. And we shouldn't second guess their efforts.

Couric: You don't think the United States is within its rights to express its position to Israel? And if that means second-guessing or discussing an option?

Palin: No, abso … we need to express our rights and our concerns and …

Couric: But you said never second guess them.

Palin: We don't have to second-guess what their efforts would be if they believe … that it is in their country and their allies, including us, all of our best interests to fight against a regime, especially Iran, who would seek to wipe them off the face of the earth. It is obvious to me who the good guys are in this one and who the bad guys are. The bad guys are the ones who say Israel is a stinking corpse and should be wiped off the face of the earth. That's not a good guy who is saying that. Now, one who would seek to protect the good guys in this, the leaders of Israel and her friends, her allies, including the United States, in my world, those are the good guys.

"Fabius Maximus claims this attitude betrays a "dangerous lack of understanding";

NOTE: Palin is well-known to display a full sized Israeli flag in her Governor's office

MUNRO: I agree with Palin's statements 100% that Israel has a right to self defense and WE CANNOT SECOND GUESS the efforts of an ally in the front line against Islamic Fascism. To me Israel is the Ypres Salient. In the front to survive you have to make split second decisions. For such life or death situations Israel must be its own master. Of course we should express our concerns. But it not up to us if Israel wants to have an invulnerable nuclear submarine fleet (at last reading they had five –two in the Indian Ocean and two in the Mediterranean and one to travel around Africa in reserve as a relief. I presume they travel via Gibraltar.)

What Palin shows to me is a courageous world view that there is such a thing as the free world and there is evil in the world, real evil. You may not agree with this worldview and perhaps you think it means nothing if Israel is wiped off the map, a small vital democracy and educational and technical and commercial center and an ally is annihilated and half the world's Jewry is exterminated. If we have learned anything from 1938 we should know appeasing aggressors will never work. Perhaps you don't agree with me or Palin. Fine. But Palin's view is very valid and held my millions of thoughtful and informed Americans.

Personally, I am relieved that Palin is not a wimp appeasing Europacifist screaming for disarmament. This world is a dangerous place. Iran is a rogue nation. If they threaten Israel's EXISTENCE or threaten the USA at home then they should have a bayonet to the throat. The US Marines can establish a perimeter to defend and keep open the straits of Hormuz and we can start planting roadside bombs within Iran. An attack on Iran by Israeli air forces seems, under the circumstances, inevitable.

If Palin acts like an airhead and says obliviously ignorant and stupid things like "FDR went on TV in 1929 to solve the Great Depression" (this is what the wise and experienced Joe Biden said) I will be the first to point out her mistake. But having a point of view , having strong convictions do not disqualify one for high office. I would say rather it is a prerequisite. Ronald Reagan –who read Hayek , Russell Kirk, Harry Jaffa and Paul Johnson- was also ridiculed for not having been an Ivy league man quoting all the Keynesian economics and left of center sociologists , psychologists and historians. But like Reagan or not the man had a strong foundation and a strong conviction of HIS WORLD VIEW which was arguably right at least some of the time. Reagan achieved many things –he established the petroleum reserve for example – and on balance was the most effective Republican president since Eisenhower and before that TR.

I don't expect Palin to be a god or my savior or my redeemer VP. I expect her to be a honest representative of the people and a defender and advocate of good values. I expect her to be a loyal lieutenant of Mac and to learn even more to prepare for greater responsibilities. I see in her great potential. I would agree with anyone that she is not ready to be PRESIDENT now, this very minute, certainly not as ready as she could be. BUT SHE IS NOT RUNNING FOR THE TOP SLOT. She is VP. And she is at least as experienced as Obama. And in my book she is intellectually better trained and sharper. Obama is a creature of the Big Liberal Elite and I disagree without almost everything he represents and stands for. And I do not believe he is seasoned enough to be president.

From what I can see most Palin attacks and dismissals are ideologically motivated. I see little evidence to take them seriously. Palin power will be around for a long time.




I don't understand the commotion regarding Palin's remarks, this is just like Santayana again...Those who fail to remember history are condemned to repeat it.

In 83' the man you cited, Reagan caused Earth shaking outrage by the MSM because he had the temerity to catagorize the Soviet tyranny as the "Evil Empire"....simplifying an issue to its core and throwing away all semblance of moral relativity.

This is what Couric and company represent....If we only talk to the Mullahs, if we only try to understand Al Qaeda, if we just reach to Castro, etc, etc.

No, Palin is right, the American people stand with the great state of Israel...her defense is paramount, she is on the front line of the battle against Islamo Fascism

We have very few true allies in this world, in my opinion....when all is said and done it would be the UK and Israel....

Great response.


Saturday, September 27, 2008



1716 The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus' preaching….The Beatitudes fulfill the promises by ordering them no longer merely to the possession of a territory, but to the Kingdom of heaven.
1723 The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement - however beneficial it may be - such as science, technology, and art, or indeed in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love:
All bow down before wealth. Wealth is that to which the multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They measure happiness by wealth; and by wealth they measure respectability. . . . It is a homage resulting from a profound faith . . . that with wealth he may do all things. Wealth is one idol of the day and notoriety is a second. . . . Notoriety, or the making of a noise in the world - it may be called "newspaper fame" - has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of veneration. CARDINAL NEWMAN.
1724 The Decalogue (Ten Commandments), the Sermon on the Mount, and the apostolic catechesis describe for us the paths that lead to the Kingdom of heaven.
POOR in Spirit …I recognize my need for God. My relationship with God depends on His Grace.

MOURN….I feel the pain that sin, including my own, causes. I can let others know I am hurting without embarrassment. I can weep like Jesus did.

MEEK… I don’t have to be the strong one who is always in control. I can be tender and gentle. I have given my life over to God and I don’t always have to triumph. But with my strong faith, I can endure the evils and disappointments of this world.

SPIRITUAL HUNGER..I want to know God and his will more than anything –including my own pleasure, status or success. Righteousness is JUSTICE.

MERCIFUL I can share the feelings of those who are hurting, lonely or distressed and walk alongside them in their pain. God has given me sensitivity for the suffering of others and a compassion to help them.

PURE IN HEART I a completely honest with God and others. I don’t have to put on a false front or pretend to be something I am not. My life is marked with openness and integrity. My conscience is clear. I know the difference between right and wrong.

PEACEMAKER I work hard to keep channels of communication open with others. Rather than let anger and conflict to fester, I deal with them constructively. I help those around me work out their differences without hurting one another. I do my best not to insult or taunt others so as to preserve peace and friendship among all men and between God and man.

PERSECUTION I know for whom and what I am living. And for this I am willing to suffer and if need be stand alone for what is right. I can take criticism without reacting defensively or feeling self-pity. Even if I am repaid with ingratitude and scorn a new blessing will be mine: the Kingdom of God.
Sustained by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we tread them, step by step, by everyday acts. By the working of the Word of Christ, we slowly bear fruit in the Church to the glory of God.

The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus' preaching. They take up the promises made to the chosen people since Abraham.

The Beatitudes fulfill the promises by ordering them no longer merely to the possession of a territory, but to the Kingdom of heaven:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward is great in heaven.


The Latin:
Beáti páuperes spíritu : quóniam ipsórum est regnum cælórum.
Beáti mites : quóniam ipsi possidébunt terram.
Beáti qui lugent : quóniam ipsi consolabúntur.
Beáti qui esúriunt et sítiunt justítiam: quóniam ipsi saturabúntur.
Beáti misericórdes : quóniam ipsi misericórdiam consequéntur.
Beáti mundo corde : quóniam ipsi Deum vidébunt.
Beáti pacífici : quóniam fílii Dei vocabúntur.
Beáti qui persecutiónem patiúntur propter justítiam : quóniam ipsórum est regnum cælórum.
Beáti estis cum maledíxerint vobis, et persecúti vos fúerint, et díxerint omne malum advérsum vos mentiéntes, propter me: gaudéte, et exsultáte, quóniam merces vestra copiósa est in cælis.

St. Augustine’s Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount is very interesting.
3. What, then, does He say? Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. We read in Scripture concerning the striving after temporal things, All is vanity and presumption of spirit; but presumption of spirit means audacity and pride: usually also the proud are said to have great spirits; and rightly, inasmuch as the wind also is called spirit. And hence it is written, Fire, hail, snow, ice, spirit of tempest. But, indeed, who does not know that the proud are spoken of as puffed up, as if swelled out with wind? And hence also that expression of the apostle, Knowledge puffs up, but charity edifies. And the poor in spirit are rightly understood here, as meaning the humble and God-fearing, i.e. those who have not the spirit which puffs up. Nor ought blessedness to begin at any other point whatever, if indeed it is to attain unto the highest wisdom; but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; for, on the other hand also, pride is entitled the beginning of all sin. Let the proud, therefore, seek after and love the kingdoms of the earth; but blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4. Blessed are the meek, for they shall by inheritance possess the earth: that earth, I suppose, of which it is said in the Psalm, You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. For it signifies a certain firmness and stability of the perpetual inheritance, where the soul, by means of a good disposition, rests, as it were, in its own place, just as the body rests on the earth, and is nourished from it with its own food, as the body from the earth. This is the very rest and life of the saints. Then, the meek are those who yield to acts of wickedness, and do not resist evil, but overcome evil with good. Let those, then, who are not meek quarrel and fight for earthly and temporal things; but blessed are the meek, for they shall by inheritance possess the earth, from which they cannot be driven out.
5. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Mourning is sorrow arising from the loss of things held dear; but those who are converted to God lose those things which they were accustomed to embrace as dear in this world: for they do not rejoice in those things in which they formerly rejoiced; and until the love of eternal things be in them, they are wounded by some measure of grief. Therefore they will be comforted by the Holy Spirit, who on this account chiefly is called the Paraclete, i.e. the Comforter, in order that, while losing the temporal joy, they may enjoy to the full that which is eternal.
6. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Now He calls those parties, lovers of a true and indestructible good. They will therefore be filled with that food of which the Lord Himself says, My meat is to do the will of my Father, which is righteousness; and with that water, of which whosoever drinks, as he also says, it shall be in him a well of water, springing up into everlasting life.
7. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. He says that they are blessed who relieve the miserable, for it is paid back to them in such a way that they are freed from misery.
8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. How foolish, therefore, are those who seek God with these outward eyes, since He is seen with the heart! as it is written elsewhere, And in singleness of heart seek Him. For that is a pure heart which is a single heart: and just as this light cannot be seen, except with pure eyes; so neither is God seen, unless that is pure by which He can be seen.
9. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. It is the perfection of peace, where nothing offers opposition; and the children of God are peacemakers, because nothing resists God, and surely children ought to have the likeness of their father. Now, they are peacemakers in themselves who, by bringing in order all the motions of their soul, and subjecting them to reason— i.e. to the mind and spirit— and by having their carnal lusts thoroughly subdued, become a kingdom of God: in which all things are so arranged, that that which is chief and pre-eminent in man rules without resistance over the other elements, which are common to us with the beasts; and that very element which is pre-eminent in man, i.e. mind and reason, is brought under subjection to something better still, which is the truth itself, the only-begotten Son of God. For a man is not able to rule over things which are inferior, unless he subjects himself to what is superior. And this is the peace which is given on earth to men of goodwill; this the life of the fully developed and perfect wise man. From a kingdom of this sort brought to a condition of thorough peace and order, the prince of this world is cast out, who rules where there is perversity and disorder. When this peace has been inwardly established and confirmed, whatever persecutions he who has been cast out shall stir up from without, he only increases the glory which is according to God; being unable to shake anything in that edifice, but by the failure of his machinations making it to be known with how great strength it has been built from within outwardly. Hence there follows: Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What is love; or rather what are the the loves we need for happiness?

How can so many millions of us believe that love is the best thing in the world, and yet there be so little emphasis in our popular culture on what love is, as distinct from finding someone to love and to be loved by? John Lennon was quick to say “All you need is love” but he did not explain what love was. Was it just sex? Popular songs sometimes take a stab at it, but are better at phrasing questions than providing answers: “What is this thing called love?”, “Is this love?”, “I want to know what love is”, “How will I know when it’s love?” See Mathew 22:39; I Cor 13:4-7; Mathew 22:35-40, Luke 6:37, Luke 6:27) John 13-33) What is love? C.S. Lewis embarks on a personal and insightful exploration of affection, friendship, romance, and Agape Love or Charity. A wonderful book to read on this subject is C. S. Lewis The Four Loves (1960)
1) Affection (storge, στοργη) is fondness through familiarity, friendship with acquaintances , parental affection for children. Storge or storgic love is the instinctive affection most animals especially mammals have for their young.. Over time this can grow into a deeper friendship. But my Spanish wife often speaks of the importance of CONVIVIENCIA –there is no word for this in English either- which means “getting along with others; living together”. We might call it ‘socialization” but the Spanish word implies respect and affection. In other words, in is not likely you will develop a strong relationship with a cousin you see once a year at Thanksgiving. On the other hand if you go on retreats or camping trips or ball games with your friends and relatives on a regular basis you will develop a fondness, friendship and trust. In my experience “storgic” love fades quickly but the deep broad love of true friendship and true love encompassing the four loves last a lifetime and beyond. Truly love conquers all, including time.

2) Friendship, comradeship, platonic love.(philia, φιλια) is a strong bond existing between people who share a common interest or activity. Words used for this kind of love are DEVOTION, LOYALTY. It is used in the Bible for love but not as often as “agape/caritas” love. This is a strong feeling that people who serve together on the same ship or regiment develop. Many soldiers and Marines say for example that their closest relationships were with their fellow comrades, particularly if they experienced combat together. Teachers working on a faculty over many years develop this kind of friendship and so do people who share musical passions, hobbies or intellectual friendships. We do not want to be excessive in our self-love but neither should we hate ourselves. We should try to understand ourselves and our fellows. We should forgive small faults and cherish the good, especially of generous and loyal friends.

3) Eros (έρως) is romantic passionate love; physical love, a desire for sexual intimacy. Love in the sense of 'being in love'. Infatuation is what we call a relationship which is based mostly on EROS or sexual attraction. The impulsions of love are often compared with the pull of magnetism. Of course, EROS by itself can know adolescent love, adult love and illicit love (merely sex) but the highest and most satisfying loves are conjugal and familial not merely erotic. We must distinguish between true love and the murk of mere sexual lust.

4) (agapē, αγαπη) is selfless altruistic love ; an unconditional love directed to others; divine love or Christian love; “God is love”. Conjugal love at its best begins with the first love and perhaps the third love but is sustained by the second and the fourth which is the greatest love of all. This is usually translated in the New Testament as CHARITY (Caritas). UBI CARITAS DEUS IBI EST. “Where love is there is God also.” Human love is a thing of the spirit as well of the body. This perfect love is more than fallen human nature can come by and sustain without God’s love and grace. Only then do we participate in God’s love for Himself and His creatures –loving God with our hearts and souls entire and our fellows as ourselves. These are the essential precepts of the truest and deepest and an everlasting love.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

THE LAST HARRAH looking back at a great film by JOHN FORD based on the O'Connor novel

• SPENCER TRACY IN “THE LAST HURRAH” –a story of American politics

• With a splendid cast of supporting actors some of whom are among the most famous of the 20th century such as Basel Rathbone (Robin Hood), Jeffery Hunter (The Searchers), Donald Crisp How Green was my Valley, John Caradine (The Grapes of Wrath)
• Edwin O'Connor, The Last Hurrah (Boston, 1956)
ISBN 0316626597 (Paperback edition)

• He wrote another fine book the Edge of Sadness (1961) about an aging priest.

• Frank Skeffington (SPENCER TRACY) is the INCUMBENT mayor of an unnamed city as well as a former governor of the state. He is usually called by the honorific title "Governor." He is a widower and he does not have a close relationship with his son who is a party animal. He represents the Irish Catholic Democratic party machine politicians who dominated big city politics in Boston , New York and Chicago from the 1870’s until the 1960’sSkeffington, is 72 and has been giving signs that he might consider retiring from public life at the end of his current term, surprises many by announcing what he had always intended to do It is commonly believed that the character of Skeffington is based on the person of historical James Michael Curley(1874–1958).
• The Irish-born Cardinal is a (DONALD CRISP) in the Roman Catholic Church; he grew up with Frank in the inner city slums. Hebelieves that Skeffington has disgraced his religion, his fellow Irish-Americans, and his office.

SKEFFINGTON’S PEOPLE (his inner circle)
1)Sam Weinberg, one of Skeffington's advisers, is Jewish and a shrewd political observer; he is wary about Skeffington's chances for re-election. Until recently most Jewish voters were associated with the Democratic party due to their immigrant background and anti-Semitism of some “country club “ Republicans.
2) John Gorman,another of Skeffington’s advisers, is a senior ward boss and a master politician; he is torn between his faith in Skeffington and his cold-eyed political realism.
3) Ditto Boland is an ardent supporter of Skeffington. Like many of Skeffington's acolytes, he does his best to mimic his hero's dress, manner of speaking, and personality. He has so few views of his own that he has won the nickname "Ditto" from Skeffington, a nickname that he accepts with pride because his hero has conferred it on him. Nobody remembers his real first name any longer, and even he seems not to use it.
4) HIS NEPHEW: Adam Caulfield (JEFFREY HUNTER) ( is Frank Skeffington Senior's nephew and a cartoonist for a local newspaper, where he draws a comic strip that he created, "Little Simp." He is 33 years old. He genuinely loves his uncle event though his young wife Maeve Caulfield and her father Roger Sugrue, does not. Maeve is a very Irish Gaelic name. Many of the characters are Irish Catholics.
5) HIS SON: Frank Skeffington Jr. is the son of the mayor, Frank Skeffington senior. He is a disappointment to his father, as he has no ambition and seems only to be interested in dancing and socializing.

• Norman Cass, Sr. (BASEL RATHBONE) An old Yankee, presumably of the Republican party who supports Skeffington’s opponent out of a spirit of revenge, envy and hatred.
• Norman Cass, Jr (his silly son; a weak pathetic figure.
• Amos Force (John Caradine) Amos Force another venerable Yankee, that is WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) is the publisher of the leading newspaper in the city; for an array of reasons -- personal, political, bigotry, and family -- Force loathes Skeffington and is committed to seeing him lose his latest campaign for re-election as Mayor.
• His OPPONENT Kevin McCluskey, Skeffington's designated political opponent, a young and handsome veteran of World War II with virtually no political experience. He is probably based on future president John F. Kennedy, who succeeded Curley as congressman from Boston's 11th district in 1946.

NOTES: The is a faithful adaptation of the book which despite its setting in the 1950’s, seems to evoke an early era such as the 1930’s or 1940’s. For example, there is no evidence of Puerto Rican emigration (very heavy in the 1950’s) and there are virtually no black characters (very typical of many movies of the 1950’s). There are ethnic immigrant characters –Jewish and Italian- but once again the ethnic patterns mirror 1920-1950 America. So even when the movie was made (1958) this part of the movie was dated. On the other hand JOHN FORD was a master movie-maker and he makes FRANK SKEFFINGTON and his circle come alive. He updates the book by anticipating the impact of TELEVISION ON American politics. Today we have the internet and cable television so in a way THE LAST HURRAH is a historical document of an era that is gone. But on the other hand politics is politics. It is getting PEOPLE to listen to you, to like you and above all TO VOTE FOR YOU. To win you need MONEY, YOU NEED SUPPORTERS and YOU NEED the machinery of a POLITICAL PARTY. The first quality any politician has to have is not being handsome, not being wise but GETTING VOTES. RICHARD K. MUNRO September 19, 2008

QUESTIONS The Last Hurrah
1) Frank Skeffington is the incumbent mayor . What does that mean?
2) How do Frank and his cronies APPEAL TO THE ELECTORATE?
3) Why is Mr. Boland have the nickname of “Ditto”?
4) Frank Skeffington is the main character but most of the story is told from the view point of which character?
5) The main body of the novel gives a detailed and insightful view of urban American politics, tracking Skeffington and his nephew Adam through rounds of campaign appearances and events. Describe some of the main events of the campaign:
6) Is Frank the main character viewed sympathetically?
7) Some political campaigns have been marred with corruption, intimidation and violence. There is great rivalry between the parties but they all seem to play by the rules or the SOCIAL CONTRACT. Nonetheless, there are some political “dirty tricks”, What Name some of the “dirty tricks” the politicians use to influence the election.
8) Are there any similarities between this campaign and the 2008 presidential campaign?
9) If Barrack Obama were to see this movie (he probably has) what do you think would be one of his reactions?
10) What is the result of the election? What happens to Frank?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New York Times mostly hate Palin -Probably a good sign


Respectfully, please post this letter/analysis of yours on your blog, it would be a great service to America. It is so utterly incisive and cogent...clearly framing the historical significance of Gov Palin and her relation to the greater brush of history!!!

Great job, buddy... CARLOS

On Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 2:40 AM, Richard Munro wrote:

Most NYT letters are anti-Palin (any surprise??? But they do at least have some sympathetic letters but the result is very skewed .. NYT readers will not swing Penn., VA or Ohio. MUNRO

I love the Big Liberal arrogance of this letter:

Quote: The fact that conservatives are so enthusiastic about the possibility of Ms. Palin's becoming the leader of this country is telling. It indicates that, in their quest for power, they would knowingly install a complete incompetent in charge of our government. They are, as usual, pandering to the least sophisticated Americans to achieve their goals. END QUOTE

MUNRO: I have no quest for power; only honest government for America. If Sarah Palin is a COMPLETE INCOMPETENT then what is Obama a person with almost no experience in the market place and as an executive and with the slightest resume of any presidential candidate IN HISTORY.

Obama is plain and simple a creation of the Affirmative Action Quota mentality of the Democratic party. If there had been winner take all primaries as in the Republican party, Hillary would have won the nomination. Fortunately for America the Democratic party does not have a multiplier for there votes. I am sure they would like to. They would like to multiple McCain=Palin votes by .5 and Obama –Biden votes by 1.8. A similar multiplier gave OBAMA MORE DELEGATES THAN HILLARY in Texas EVEN THOUGH SHE OUT POLLED HIM by many thousand of votes. The best evidence of the rigged Democratic system was the fact that African-Americans were 24% of their delegates. This is far in excessive of their percentage of the population.

White males, Roman Catholics, veterans, Evangelical Christians, Hispanics, Native Americans (including the RC Bishop of Denver!!!) were all underrepresented. FACT: the Democrats have not won a majority of White male votes since 1964. In other words this election will be won by any slight shift in the women's vote or the married women's vote. Mac seems to be doing just fine. I though Palin was an idiotic choice???? So far Mac looks like a genius and Obama looks like a man of weak judgment. JFK picked LBJ …he was smarter…he wasn't so inexperienced…he was ruthless…he wanted to win….Obama's poor judgment and vanity will do him in eventually, in my humble opinion….

I support Sarah Palin because I think she is a truly populist Republican as opposed to a Country Club/Wall Street Republican (or Beltway insider Democrat).

I support Sarah Palin because she is a refreshing change from all the Yale lawyers thrust upon us year after year as if they were God's gift to humanity.

If Sarah Palin were on the ticket I would vote for her over every president of the 20th century except Ike, FDR and TR. I believe her candidacy is historic. I believe her career portends a remarkable career which has only begun. I am not the only one who says we may in fact be witnessing the dawn of the Age of Palin.

I have always told my students I expected two things in my lifetime a woman president and a woman Pope (why not?) and people are excited because Sarah Palin is a perfect choice to be groomed as a future president. Not now; in four years time or more. The torch has passed to a new generation that is for sure.

Time will tell if my nose for Palin's talents were correct. As a teacher I meet talent in the most unexpected places. And I can tell you very few of my students were star athletes AND avid readers AND deeply moral, religious persons. A person like this, quite frankly, has a special sensibility. I sense quite frankly a certain genius behind the pretty forty-something face perched on a Hollywood figure. The liberals are horrified of course because they think all religious conservatives must be plain, ugly Nazi cows.

Palin's real appeal is to the old American verities of God , Duty and Country of American self-reliance and American individualism – I see in her the influence of Lincoln, TR, Truman. I have mentioned before that Palin could be a flash in the pan like William Jennings Bryan but I don't think so because I think Palin is wiser and cannier than Bryan. I have never met her myself but have written to people who have met her in Iraq/Kuwait (Yes she visited Kuwait and visited a border post in Iraq). The Army , Navy, Marines and Guardsmen were absolutely smitten by her and her personal story. Marines like a good looking woman but are in AWE of one who shoots as well as a Marine Sharpshooter! In awe. Who is this gal???? Where did she come from????

If they could have stormed the Palatine and pronounced her Empress of Rome they would have done it. Do not discount the Palin charm and charisma. She has it in abundance.

What is most impressive to people who know her and her family is that theirs is a family of teachers and readers and leaders in their local town and church communities. Palin was most known as a young girl for being a shy, modest, chaste, serious nearsighted bookworm. Somewhere along the way she found great courage –perhaps in the hunt with her father. But anyone who thinks Sarah Palin is an unread country bumpkin will be surprised. A traditionalist yes but a pragmatic traditionalist.

And the Palin phenomenon continues to grow. People like her and trust her. The people that is. Not public (big liberal) establishment intellectuals. And I will say it again…Palin herself CANNOT LOSE THIS ELECTION. It is not really hers to win. If it is close, people will say she did it. And she will be a governor and a Republican frontrunner with great name recognition. If Mac wins people will say she did it. Once again her career seems to be similar to TR especially (a favorite of McCain). In fact, one wag joked that she WAS TR (reincarnated). I don't believe in reincarnation myself but I do believe in guardian angels. If TR is a guardian angel he is with Palin. So is Molly Pitcher. So is Sergeant York. So in Annie Oakley. And who knows who else???

Of COURSE, liberals think ALL religious conservatives and ALL conservatives in general are incompetent.

I don't consider myself to be a less sophisticated American. I studied Palin's bio and decided six months ago was the most remarkable woman Governor in America Democrat or Republican.

(Richard K. Munro)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Abortion Question, Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin

For some people abortion is settled Federal law. For liberal Americans like Mr. Obama and his NARAL allies and contributors, the people who make a fuss about ‘reproductive rights’ are “dangerous”, “deranged fanatics” or “right-wing nut-jobs”. Are they? Or is this another example of left wing hyperbole? For the Left, “reproductive rights” are a cherished civil right as dear as suffrage or laws against child labor or school segregation. But for the Right, or social conservatives like Sarah Palin, abortion is a moral affront, a human rights issue. It should be clear to everyone now –some 35 years after Roe v. Wade- that the struggle against the judicial ukase that is the Roe case has not diminished, quite the contrary. Will 2008 be a turning point for the Roe ascendancy (which after all was only a 5-4 decision)? Will the rise of Sarah Palin on the coattails of John McCain (or vice-versa!) have an impact on this cause célèbre? Can there be articles of peace over the issue of abortion?

In televised interview in August 2008, California minister Rick Warren asked the presidential candidates when human rights should be granted. McCain answered, "At the moment of conception." Obama , appearing unwilling to be candid before the camera, said that the question "is above my pay grade." Presidents don't write abortion laws of course and neither do governors or vice presidents. But governors and vice presidents can become presidents.

And presidents DO appoint Supreme Court judges, with the advice and consent of the Senate, and eventually Supreme Court judges might overturn past decisions. It is almost impossible to override a Supreme Court decision with a Constitutional amendment. (though it has happened: see the Dred Scott case). Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain’s choice for Republican VP has come under withering attacks from the Left, particularly “pro-choice” Democrats because they see great danger that their ascendancy on this issue may be challenged if McCain-Palin make it to the White House. The election of Obama-Biden on the other hand would assure Ruth Bader Ginsberg that if she should retire she would be placed by an equally left-liberal Supreme Court Judge. Sarah Palin has said she is ‘pro-life’ and this choice is not acceptable at all to the left for a whole host of reasons. One reason is many Ivy League lawyers see their federal judgeships going away. But the other reason is it would be a humiliating defeat for the liberal elite.

We can see the strong emotions surrounding the abortion controversy when South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler made a vicious and totally gratuitous ad hominem attack on Gov. Palin. Ms. Fowler by asserting that the Republican vice presidential candidate’s “primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.” I think this was not only an ignorant and bigoted remark –Palin is arguably more experienced than Mr. Obama- but it was very condescending and one Democrats will come to regret. I can’t help but thinking that we might have had a “Rum, Romanism and Rebellion moment” in this campaign. (In case you don’t remember Blaine lost New York State by only 600 votes and the presidential election by one state in 1884 and this one gaffe was considered responsible). Recently it seems the Democrats are the deranged ones, making gaffes almost daily. My gut feeling is Mrs. Palin and the never say die Old Navy Pilot Old Mac, will have the last laugh. They who laugh last, laugh best.


There are at least three states have measures on their November ballots that could test the abortion issue further in the courts during the next several years. California has yet another parental notification measure on the ballot but I think, as a Californian, it will probably lose again. This is a very socially liberal state once overall though I know the San Joaquin Valley is a conservative pro-life stronghold. But one never knows about these things. Popular opinion ebbs and flows and spectacular events can change the political mood overnight. Prop 8 (the marriage amendment) is energizing voters who are rightly outraged at judicial overreach. Californians already voted for Prop 22 in defense of traditional marriage but this was ignored in favor of a 4-3 court vote. South Dakota, voters will decide whether to restrict abortions except in the case of rape, incest or threat to the woman's health. That is John McCain’s stand, essentially. In theory, Palin is more hard-line but I am sure she would be happy to endorse this law FOR STATES that want it (as opposed to states that DON’T WANT IT.) Colorado also has a measure on the ballot defining human life as beginning at conception, though it should be obvious that such a law would not make any difference one way of another. The South Dakota law is much more likely to be the historic law that might lead to a Roe challenge

The Left says –though they obfuscate with euphemisms like ‘reproductive rights’ and the “right to choose”- that abortion on demand is the cornerstone for Women’s Rights and so is as essential and sacred as the right to vote or the right to go to school or the right to accommodation. To them the issue was decided long ago. It is all about freedom and privacy. They won (never mind how) in 1973 and they can’t understand why this silly issue keeps raising its ugly human head.

That is the essence of the disagreement: for some the fetus counts for nothing; the rest of us are haunted by a feeling this is wrong. One cannot dismiss the tears and anguish of millions who think they are witnessing the greatest slaughter since Hitler’s holocaust. I can’t help but think the tears and prayers of Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin are authentic. I know the tears and prayers in my local community are authentic. I know my prayers and tears for the Silent Ones who now number forty million or more are authentic.

Surely the fetus must count for something –but even I will admit a fetus by tradition and common law has NEVER counted as much as a live baby or an adult human being.

This is why comparing abortion on demand to slavery or the holocaust –though powerful- are analogies which don’t quite fit. It is, perhaps, a case of right-wing hyperbole. But perhaps, it is not.

But surely, I say, we KNOW, everyone KNOWS, the fetus DOES count for something.

If it didn’t we wouldn’t have ANY restrictions whatsoever.

To return to the slavery analogy, Lincoln pointed out that even the strongest advocates of slavery KNEW a black slave WAS a human being and not a dog or mere property BECAUSE slave states had laws against the unlawful killing of slaves.
It is only my personal opinion but I think we, as Americans, ought to worry that a society which has so little regard for the value of a single fetus –which is arguably human life or potential human life.

A society which callously embraces abortion on demand as just another convenient form of birth control is a society that some day may accept the legal killing of comatose children and adults whose lives are –to use a Nazi phrase lebensunwerten Lebens (“not worth living).” A society that may accede to the “mercy killing” of the severely psychotic or the developmentally disabled. It is a society that will kill fetuses because the gender is wrong or the hair color or race of the fetus is not to the mother’s liking. People interested in human rights should be aware of The German book of the 1920’s (and propaganda film of the 1930’s with this title) Die Freigabe der Vernichtung lebensunwerten Lebens: Ihr Mass und Ihre Form (Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Living. Its Extent and Form).

Let me say I am not saying that Obama or anyone else is a Nazi. I am just saying one cannot dismiss the slippery slope argument. The tyranny of Nazi Germany did not start with WWII or the Holocaust. It started with hundreds of thousands of “mercy killings” who were usually claimed to have died of natural causes. Before they were murdered the disabled often signed a series of post cards telling their loved ones what a wonderful time they were having. I have seen the cards. The Nazis were great liars as well as great killers.

We who stand for the protection of human life –and I have finally come around to consider myself at least as pro-life as John McCain if not Mrs. Palin- are very concerned about this bloody slippery slope, this road to horrors not yet imagined, such as the cannibalism of Soylent Green. It is well-known that in China today –as in Nazi Germany- human body parts are playthings of the state and pig feed is mixed with human protein often from aborted female fetuses. If we care about human rights, we should care about such things and see to it that they never happen.

(see also Henry Harrison’s 1966 novel MAKE ROOM, MAKE ROOM)

The fundamental issue at play, as I see it, is what value we Americans place on one human life. If Americans accept abortion on demand as just another medical procedure or just a ‘reproductive right’ like any other form of birth control what are we doing?

We are saying, that in some circumstances, human life (or potential human life) may be legally terminated perhaps just because the mother feels like it or it is inconvenient at the moment. Americans all believe in rights, such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If pressed almost all Americans would say that life is the supreme value. The natural law I am expressing is not a sectarian Catholic or Christian, belief only. The Hippocratic oath sworn by doctors is to “DO NO HARM” be they men and woman of faith or not. Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Christians and even secular humanists believe in the intrinsic value of human life. There is no getting around it. The right to abortion on demand is not merely a private issue any more than ritual Santería animal sacrifice, cock fights, euthanasia or infanticide are entirely private issues. The private domain is strong in a free society and the right to privacy is strong but it is not absolute.

Everyone reasonable would agree to that.

A wonderful book is Garraty’s QUARRELS THAT HAVE SHAPED THE CONSTITUTION (ed. John Garraty Harper and Row 1987). It is an anthology of short articles on famous Supreme Court cases. The last article in the book is “THE ABORTION CASE” by Rosalind Rosenburg. It is the single best article on the Roe v. Wade case I have ever read. Another splendid book on Supreme Court decisions in general is John J. Patrick’s The Supreme Court of the United States (Oxford, 2001). I attended a seminar presented by Dr. Patrick at San Diego University July 30, 2002 and we had a splendid lunch together talking about Constitutional issues such as the Roe case and it was he who recommended the Garraty anthology as well as Sarah Weddington’s Question of Choice and Laurence Tribe’s book Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes. In these books and the Rosenberg article we find the facts and background of the case. We learn that public reaction to the Roe case was muted because LBJ died the same day (January 22, 1973). We learn something about Norma McCorvey who for many years was the anonymous “Roe”. We learn that McCorvey (“Roe”) lied (or her attorneys Weddington and Coffee though they deny this) about the circumstances’ of Roe’s pregnancy claiming falsely that “Roe” was gang raped by three men, one White, one Black and one of Mexican descent! The purpose of this fiction was to appeal to the moral outrage as well as racism of the Texas jury. We also learn that McCorvey claimed to be raped to gain exemption from Texas’s strong anti-abortion laws. I urge everyone to read Rosenberg’s article. It made a strong impression on me and not because it takes sides on the issue. Rosenberg, I think, favors the pro-choice side. But she is honest enough to recognize that there is a moral and legal conundrum here. As Rosalind Rosenberg has written:

“The debate concerns the most basic problem of our political system: how to resolve the tension inherent in our Constitution between a respect for majority rule and a commitment to individual liberty. Whenever the Court attempts to mediate between a claim of liberty denied (such as that made by Jane Roe) and a conflicting public interest (such as Texas’s desire to protect potential life). The Court poses a threat to majority rule and risks losing the popular respect on which its power ultimately rests. Whenever it abjures that mediating function, however, it risks sacrificing the individual liberty without democracy cannot survive. “
Now let’s get back to Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is American democracy in action. Her entire career is one of populism, honesty and moral integrity, arising from the people. She is not a typical, slick lawyer politician financed by corporations and special interests. Part of the enormous appeal of Sarah Palin is that she is just another American woman who holds heartland values.

And in the Heartland –unlike in the halls of Planned Parenthood , NARAL and Yale Law school- Roe v. Wade has never been embraced or accepted. Newsflash to Boston, New York and San Francisco.

It never will be. However the Left tried to bury the issue and cloak it with euphemisms, abortion remains a cause célèbre in places like Sioux City, Iowa, Bakersfield, California and Wasilla , Alaska.

There is solid evidence that the majority of the American people –and supermajorities in the Red State heartland- repudiate the UNQUALIFIED RIGHT to an abortion established by Roe V Wade.

There would be widespread support of a moderate, restrictive public policy that rejects abortion on demand BUT ALLOWS IT (remember the “legal but rare” slogan?) in cases of rape, incest, a threat to the life and health of the mother or grave fetal deformity. This is why the South Dakota proposition (John McCain’s position essentially) has a chance to pass. If America were to embrace this policy –which represents a compromise and is not an absolutist position, 90-95% of all abortions performed today would not be allowed.

But the Left would never hear of his and I admit many of my friends on the Right – perhaps including Sarah Palin- would refuse to make any concession at all as well. Which I think is a mistake. Politics, as George Will once wrote, is all about settling for the ‘half-loaf’ and incremental reforms and changes. Mind you I respect Mrs. Palin’s view very much and it is the view of many of my pro-life friends and family.

I am not in this later category because I accept the reality that abortion will not go away even if Roe is overturned.

I peacefully coexist with many things I think that are wrong for me as a Catholic –a serious Catholic-but a person of a different faith of lifestyle may feel differently.

I accept artificial birth control (chemical and barrier contraception) as a fact of modern life just like the machine gun or the atomic bomb other instruments of our modern culture of death.

I accept divorce as a legal fact and a necessity because the people believe in divorce and many do not believe as I do that marriage is a sacrament.

I accept Civil Unions for Gays and Lesbians and can peacefully coexist with something I don’t care for but oppose à outrance changing the definition of marriage.

Yes, I personally disapprove of pre-martial sex, adultery, cursing, incivility, truancy and conscientious objection to military service. These are not things I would do habitually myself but I do not condemn people who do engage in these activities. Who am I to know the circumstances of their education and private lives? If I were living in a certain environment perhaps I would talk to swearing like a sailor to get along or perhaps I would be an ardent pacifist. In any case I agree with the pacifist that peace is better than war. But unlike the pacifist I think there is a peace that can only come after a just war. (This is my opinion of WWII, the Afghanistan war and the Iraq War).

But I do not condemn anybody who does not believe as I do because for one thing, many people are not Catholics or former Marines or members of the NRA. I don’t expect non-Catholics or females –even my wife- to share my beliefs nor do I support the coercion of the state to enforce uniformity in these matters. And outside of my home and my classroom I am very tolerant of people private choices, private religion, private non-religion and private lifestyles. I believe in living and let live.

I DO EXPECT, however, my parish priest and church leaders to uphold church teaching and I DO EXPECT practicing Catholics to support and embrace Church teachings. If they do not –like Nancy Pelosi- that is their right but it is not their right to prevaricate and say their personal heresy and apostasy is just all right and yes to use Ms. Pelosi’s words that she is an “ardent Catholic”.

I am sorry that is like Fidel or Raul Castro saying he is an “ardent Democrat” and can’t wait to have another rigged election. This is why Joe Biden, John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi give scandal as so-called “Catholic” leaders. I dislike Obama’s view but at least he doesn’t pretend to be a ‘born-again Christian’ or an “ardent Catholic.”

What do the American people think? I think most Americans can peacefully coexist as I do with the right to abortion under some conditions.
The real problem is the government financing of abortion, the profits made by abortion doctors, proposals to experiment with the cells and body parts of fetuses, and the unqualified right to an abortion on demand established by Roe even for minors (without the knowledge and permission of parents).

I do not believe the American people would ever support a Constitutional amendment restricting abortion in virtually all cases.

But I do believe most Americans believe in parental consent (no abortions for minors without the consent of parents or guardians) and most Americans would allow the right of abortion in the cases of incest, rape, or if the mother’s life were in danger.

I think many Americans, if not the majority, would support the right to abortion in the case of a grave fetal deformity (such as Down’s syndrome). I personally do not agree with this choice but I can peacefully coexist with people who make that choice if society agrees to allow that choice.

But how many American’s believe that a healthy baby can be aborted just because of its gender, race or physical characteristics? Americans would have doubts about that, I feel certain.

I do not deny I applauded the Palin’s decision not to abort little Trig. I personally will never forget the image of little Piper tenderly and innocently caressing Trig at the Republican convention. How sad it would have been for there to have been an empty chair! Life and love are better than nothingness. We all have met someone who has Down’s syndrome. They have a whole range of symptoms. Here is a moral question to consider. If 80% of Down syndrome babies are aborted, how many of THOSE might be able to lead a normal productive life? 5% 10% 3%? Even it were as low as 1 % it would have to give pause to anyone who has a deep respect for human rights and for life. And I have met so many loving and happy Down syndrome children. Their joy for life, despite their disability, seems to be sending a message to all of us, that life itself is a precious, special gift of God.

But there is no question that I thinking may be impossible to develop a final moral consensus regarding the issue of abortion. Part of the issue, surely, has to do with separation of Church and state and the privacy rights of women and men (be they single and married) as well as married couples. I don’t think there will ever be a satisfactory resolution over the value and right to life for the fetus.
Nonetheless, in my view we have to move past the view that the fetus COUNTS FOR NOTHING, NOTHING AT ALL and –to be fair- that its value is as great as that of a one day old baby or an adult.

As painful as that compromise would be for me it is one I could live with. If we were to make such an article of peace it would be have to be based upon the fact that human life is a rare, magical and special thing and the realization that life itself is not the only value. There are values such as privacy, liberty and justice, for example. Many liberals feel “reproductive rights” are a social justice issue. I respect that. I am not a woman. Ultimately my wife and children will have to make their own choices. I just hope and pray they make good choices and moral choices. There is no question that a great many Americans today consider abortion to be a morally justified act. Though I find myself more and more indentifying with the pro-life view and abandoning the pro-choice views I have held most of my adult life (albeit in a conflicted and precarious fashion). I can respect people who believe that abortion is, for them, a civil right and a morally justifiable act IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES AND FOR SOME PEOPLE according to the lights of their belief.
I am not in favor of killing myself but I was trained to kill in the Armed Forces and I would not have hesitated to kill in defense of my country or my company. I am not a pacifist and I believe that a society has a right to defend itself. I believe there is such a thing as a just cause and a just war. Therefore, I believe that killing (as opposed to murder) is morally justified under some circumstances. I did not shed a tear at the hanging of Saddam Hussein and my mother , a very tender woman, did not shed a tear at the news of the death of Adolph Hitler, the destruction of another Nazi u-boat or the assassination of Heydrich, his ruthless lieutenant. Some people need killing. Sometimes killing or execution is necessary for the safety and common good of all.

My mother was a devout loving Christian but she was not strongly “pro-life”. As a nurse she remembered the time of illegal abortion mills. So she was pro-choice though not ardently all of her life. I think it fair to see she would have liked to have seen an America were abortions were legal but rare. I respect that view. It was the view my mother held.

I know many of my pro-life friends often let slip the word “murder” when they talk about abortion and sometimes call doctors “murderers”. I never have used language like this myself because under the law of our land as it stands neither the mother who asks for an abortion under the parameters of Roe or the doctor who performs one are murders under our law. We, as Americans, must respect the law and the Constitution.

(See for example the Dr. Tiller case, a doctor infamous –called an abortion profiteer by some- for his late term abortions: )
QUOTE: But jurors wrote that as the current law has been written — and interpreted by the Kansas Supreme Court — late-term abortions will continue for many circumstances that as a matter of common interpretation do not meet the definition.
“Unless, and until the state Legislature is willing to amend the present statutes and provide clearer and more definitive guidelines regarding ’substantial and irreversible impairment,’ or impose new or additional statutory limitations on the ability of a woman to obtain an abortion of a viable fetus, we doubt that any investigation into the practices and procedures of Dr. Tiller and the Women’s Health Care Services will yield an outcome that will provide any basis for indictment,” the grand jury wrote.

But even NARAL has to admit –if they are honest- that a killing happens in such instances. A legal killing or a morally justified killing under the law, not an actionable murder (as in the case of Dr. Tiller) but a killing none the less.
The NARAL and Planned Parenthood crowd –strong supporters of Barrack Obama-clearly are very annoyed at John McCain and especially Sarah Palin because after all isn’t she a woman? Shouldn’t she show solidarity with womankind?

Gov. Palin would laugh at this suggestion, I think, because when it comes to this issue Mrs. Palin knows no gender, nor race, no nationality. For Mrs. Palin abortion is and always will be a moral tragedy and the sanctity of human life will always be the supreme value. I admit that this might seem incomprehensible to some people just as prohibiting a glass of sherry on a Saturday night seems incomprehensible to me.

But I can’t help but thinking that Palin and McCain have the high moral ground here. For years I have hesitated to call myself pro-life as I straddled the fence and appeased pro-choice NARAListas. The more I pray and the more I think about the rights and wrongs I pray that I will pass on to my children and grandchildren an America where abortion may be legal in some circumstances but rare. I hope to bequeath to them an American were abortion -though not family planning- is discouraged. I hope to bequeath to them an America were abortion and human body parts are not a multimillion dollar business in all fifty states for abortion profiteers like Dr. Tiller. Who could be proud to be associated with people like that? That is the essential issue. What kind of people do we want to be? A country of Tillers or Palins? McCain has made his choice: he wants America to be more like Palin. Obama has made it clear “he don’t care” (a la Stephen Douglas). If we do not find some common ground between the pro-life absolutists and the ‘reproduction rights” absolutists, the long run effect could be a gradual weakening of the bonds of humanity that most reasonable people believe are essential for a decent, free society. Whatever America chooses in 2008, or future days, we have to respect the election results and Supreme Court decisions or oppose them or protest them in a legal, reasonable fashion. That is something Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden, Mr. Romney, Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin would all agree on.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Electoral Map favors Mac and Palin...why????


ESTIMATED (September 12 2008) McCain-Palin vs Obama-Biden

HISTORICAL (2004) Bush-Chaney vs. Kerry-Edwards

First time this year 270 for Mac and less for Obama 268 but it is close….many states will be decided by 1 or 2%....WOMAN’S VOTE WILL BE DECISIVE….MacCain is leading in many key categories thanks to SARAH PALIN.

Iowa of course went for Bush in 2004….the west and rural areas of the state (Souix City) are strongly pro-life. This state is not a sure thing for Obama anymore than Ohio is. Some countries in Iowa and Ohio voted 90% for Bush. Bush gained more Black votes in Ohio as a percentage than in any other state; he won 400,000 Black Votes (mostly evangelical conservative middle class and rural African Americans). He won that state by 100,000 votes. Don’t discount the family vote, the pro-life vote the values voters. I know Red State America; I live in the Western most fringe of the Bible belt (a Republican stronghold in the increasingly Left Coast California.

Democrats take Wisconsin and Michigan for granted but both states are tending Republican due to the loss of population in inner cities.

2000 WISCONSIN 48% BUSH 2004 49% BUSH

2000 Michigan 46% Bush 2004 48% Bush

2000 Pennsylvania 46% Bush 2004 49% Bush

2000 Ohio 50% Bush 2004 51% BUSH

20000 Virginia 53% Bush 2004 54% BUSH

2000 Indiana 57% Bush 2004 60 % Bush


1) a declining African-American population as a percentage of the population; African Americans are very important in Democratic primaries (24% of all Delegates this year) but are a shrinking portion of the electorate.

2) All these states have a strong Evangelical Protestant and a large Catholic population. As everybody knows serious Catholics (like myself) have been abandoning the Democratic party in great numbers beginning in 1972. (Everyone in my family WITHOUT EXCEPTION voted for Humphrey, Johnson and Kennedy) Republicans make pro-family pro-life conservatives welcome in a way Democrats do not.

3) These states all have (like Alaska) a high percentage of veterans and volunteers for military service. Military personnel and veterans are much more likely to vote Republican because the Democratic party is no longer seen as a strong nationalist or patriotic party. Republicans make veterans welcome in a way Democrats do not.

4) The Democratic party has not won a majority of WHITE MALE VOTERS since…..1964,,,,,that is an amazing fact…in EVERY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION SINCE 1964 the percentage of WHITE MALES who vote Democratic HAS DECLINED. At present the polls show more than 50% of White women favor McCain. More than 60% of married couples favor McCain. These numbers must be worrisome for the Obama and CO. American is not a one party state like Cook County (Chicago).

OBAMA has never faced a competitive race IN HIS ENTIRE (brief career). He will find out that the USA is not a one party state like Cook Country.

Republicans and Independents ARE the majority of the country. The race will be decided by women and Independents. It will be close. But for the first time we can say McCain is slightly favored. There will be no landslide for Obama that is for sure.

No the question is? Will his campaign melt down entirely?

One last observation. The Quebquois party came close to voting for independence in Canada just a few years ago. They got 49% of the vote. Since then their support is eroding year by year. Why?

Immigrants to Canada have no interest in seceding from the Canadian confederation. And French Canadians have become European in their birthrates. So they have peaked as a political power. 90% of new immigrants to Quebec want to remain in the Confederation. DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY. We are witnessing the same Roe effect in the USA as well. Obama might wish when it all is over that HE had had five children and had not been such a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood and abortions. God favors the Big Batallions.

Richard K. Munro

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Literary Genres

Listening to oratory these last couple weeks (the greatest speech and most historical had to be Sarah Palin's convention speech, I continued my notes on literary genres.

By Richard K. Munro, MA

“The history of literature is best pursued in terms of the emergence, development, and transformation of genres or literary “kinds.” A literary genre is quite simply a way of categorizing a literary composition. Genre means “type” or ‘class.” In literature or music is a category of artistic composition. In music we could speak of Beethoven’s symphonies or string quartets. We could speak of Bach’s cantatas, concertos or solo keyboard music. In painting there are also genres for different historical periods such as impressionist or romantic. But we are concerned here with literary genres and devices only. A literary genre is quite simply a way of categorizing a literary composition. Literary genres are models of structure and theme that offer the author an outline or guide for the creation of his or her literary work. The boundaries of genres are ambiguous, however and overlap to some degree
Literary genres can be determined by content, literary technique, tone or length. For example in NON-FICTION one could have a short letter, a newspaper column (800 words) , a longer article or essay in a magazine (2000 to 4000 words) or a complete book on a particular subject (at least 100 or 200 pages). NON-FICTION includes history, biography, oratory, In FICTION one begins with short fables or folk tales –perhaps one paragraph or a few pages, to short stories, to dramas (one act, two act three act or more), to novellas (short novels, to novels (usually 200 pages or more sometimes in several parts. So one common division of the genres is into FICTION and NON-FICTION.


Autobiography--The story of a person's life, written by him or herself; often in the form of diaries, journals, or letters.

Biography--As Dryden defined it in 1683, "the history of particular men's lives"; the story of a person's life according to another person who writes it.

Drama--Aristotle termed it "imitated human action"; once wrongly thought to have evolved from the Greeks' religious ceremonials, it can simply be thought of as a story creatively constructed and acted out on a stage.

Essay--A moderately brief prose piece of writing that focuses upon a particular topic; the examination by the author of a specific subject, usually in an opinionated manner.

Novel--Any extended fictional prose narrative; generally this type of writing has several characters and a distinct plot.

Poem--A piece of writing characterized by its compact, powerful, concrete language; it usually presents truth, emotion, or beauty through rhythmic and orderly arrangement.

Short story--A relatively brief fictional narrative written in prose form; generally it ranges in length from 500 words all the way up to 20,000 words (a long short story).

We can divide writing into POETRY and PROSE; the earliest poems were oral hymns, ballads and praise poems; the earliest prose was GNOMIC WISDOM (proverbs; aphorisms). The Bible has all the genres. It has poetry, semi-fictional allegories, history (most of the kings and rulers in the Bible are historic), plus works of revelation. It is not for me to say that these are entirely fictitious or entirely true!

for praise ,satire, entertainment or delight
for praise ,satire, entertainment or delight
(Poetry) Lyrical, Epic, Dramatic
Limericks are short humorous ridiculous poems. Songs and ballads are a form of poetry.

Myths/ and Legends , folk tales (originally oral)
Dramas (Plays) : all dramas were originally POETRY; some still are
Movie scripts are derived from this ancient Greek genre; sub genres include
Novels: many subgenres
Mysteries, historical novels, science fiction, romance, realistic, satiric, humorous
Short stories: many subgenres which of course would include funny stories and jokes. The best novels and dramas often have comic relief or comic elements.
Oratory can be fictional or use
Quotations from poetry or the Bible.
Some novels are psychological
Satiric dictionaries exist

NON-FICTION (didactic; to teach to disseminate knowledge)

HISTORY/ inscriptions were an early form of ‘official history” or propaganda
Text books for didactic purposes, SCIENCE , MATHEMATICS, MEDICINE LAW
Oratory / Sermons
Aristotle identified three types of civic rhetoric (see below)

The Greeks began literary criticism and many literary terms are Greek, some are Latin, a few more are French and, occasionally English such as the term FLASHBACK. Traditionally, the classical Romans and Greeks divided literary genres into three (or four categories)

 Lyrical (Aristotle) poetry
 Epic (Aristotle) poetry
 Dramatic (Aristotle) originally poetry
 Didactic (Greco-Roman humanist Renaissance term)

E|xtended commentary on the genres.

The main purpose is praise of character or beauty, delight or entertainment. The earliest literature is oral and was composed of songs, poetry myths and fables most of which were written in rhythmical and metrical form so as to be better remembered. Aesop’s fables are a famous example
POETRY is the emotional and evocative interpretations of life, love, and nature through beautiful language (usually metrical, symbolic and figurative.

Lyrical poetry is one of the most ancient forms or oral or written literature. It is short and polished often with a strict metrical form and a rhyme scheme. A song is a form of lyrical poetry. Some famous lyrical poets are Pindar, Sappho, Horace, Coleridge, Jorge Manrique, anonymous Romances of France and Spain, Bécquer, Quevedo, García Lorca, Donne, Shakespeare (sonnets), Pope, Robert Frost, T.S. Elliot, Keats, Shelly Wordsworth, Burns, Schiller, Goethe, Tennyson, Byron, Kipling, Yeats. Whitman
Epic poetry ( also called Epic Poems) is the fountainhead of Western Literature the story of a hero struggling against challenges and the human condition. Epics are long narrative poems. The most famous and most highly regarded epics are:
The Iliad (Homer)
The Odyssey (Homer)
The Aeneid (Vergil)
Other great national epics are Dante’s Divne Comedy
Beowulf (Anonymous) and
Poem of the Cid (Anonymous)
Martin Fierro (Hernandez)
John Brown’s Body (Benet)
Drama was originally in poetry though today most modern dramas are prose. Usually performed on the stage with actors who perform the dialogue and action.
Drama originated with the Greeks, Sophocles, Aeschylus , Euripides, Aristophanes are still ranked among the greatest. . Shakespeare, Calderon de La Barca, Moliere, Racine, Shaw, Tirso de Molina, Schiller, García Lorca are some of the really great playrights of Western literature. Drama is divided into TRAGEDY and COMEDY
Short Stories (FICTION)A relatively brief fictional narrative written in prose form; generally it ranges in length from 500 words all the way up to 20,000 words. Hemingway, Borges, Joyce, Alarcón. Poe, Chekhov, Guy de Maupassant, Saki, Stephen Crane, Stephen Vincent Benet are really outstanding examples of the art of the concise fictional story.
Novel—(FICTION( Any extended fictional prose narrative; generally this type of writing has several characters and a distinct plot. A short novel is called a novella.
Most famous novels: Cervante’s Don Quixote Dicken’s David Copperfield and Tale of Two Cities Tolstoy, War and Peace , Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe Joseph Conrad , NOSTROMO, Lord Jim Flaubert (Madam Bovary)
Novels have many sub-genres:
Historical fiction, Romance novels (Walter Scott)
Adventures, thrillers and mystery novels (Ken Follett)
Fantasy and science fiction Ray Bradbury, Stephen Vicent Benet, H. G. Wells
Spy novels and political novels Ian Fleming
Political satire. Jonathan Swift, George Orwell

Oratory(Rhetoric) the art of public speaking. The purpose of oratory is to effect the mind of the listener, please, praise, arouse, convince, persuade or inform an audience. Orators will sometimes quote from other genres such as poetry. Famous orators or public speakers: Cicero, Jesus of Nazareth, Pitt, Burke, . Lincoln, Churchill, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy. Barrack Obama is an excellent orator.
A sermon or homily is a form of oratory.
Aristotle also identifies three different types or genres of civic rhetoric:
1) forensic (also known as judicial, was concerned with determining truth or falsity of events that took place in the past, issues of guilt),
2) deliberative (also known as political, was concerned with determining whether or not particular actions should or should not be taken in the future),
3) epideictic (also known as ceremonial, was concerned with praise and blame, values, right and wrong, demonstrating beauty and skill in the present)

NON-FICTION includes history, biography, essays, journalism, text books.

All genres will have some literary devices in common but the genres should be studied and analyzed separately.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

SARAH Palin, well done; Truly a star is born....

Can anyone doubt it now, that a STAR IS BORN?
Can anyone doubt, that greatness still dwells in America.
Can anyone doubt that Cincinnatus has returned in
the form of a new Cornelia?

“Servant of God, well done, well has thou fought
The better fight who singly has maintained
Against revolted multitude the cause’
Of truth, in word mightier than they in arms… MILTON PARADISE LOST I, 29

Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye,
In every gesture dignity and love…

So absolute she seems
And in herself complete, so well to know
Her own that what she wills to do or say
Seems wisest, virtuousest , discreetest, best..

With a smile that glowed
Celestial rosy, red, love’s proper hue. (MILTON, PARADISE LOST )


“SARAH be not afraid of greatness: some women are born great, some achieve greatness ,
and some have greatness thrust upon them.” (adapted from Shakespeare)

Oh, Sarah, o Sarah, long have I prayed
For this day days when truly a star was born!

There is joy and blessing in being a willing instrument of God.
(this you know you learned in the Auld Book)

O Sarah! O Sarah may God bless you with health and length of life!

There you stood, fearless like the Sarah of Bible fame!’
And like the wife of Abraham thou we see in you yet, a woman wise with years
And like Sarah, wife of Abraham, wise and beautiful!

,Like Deborah of Bible fame
who saw the spirit of patriotism crushed out of her nation,
You rise up like a prophetess -a Gideon- a warrior- to rouse the people up with a warning cry!
“Rise Americans, rise! For we have come to lead you!
For America’s freedom we will fight or die! “

Like Deborah your fame will spread far and wide.!
You will become like “a mother in Israel” (Judg. 4:6; 5:7)
and “the children of Israel” and America and free peoples of the world
will come to you “ for judgment”.

This I can see in a glass darkly
Of things to come, of safety and prosperity and freedom for all.

And mercy for the weak and prayers for the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen
Fighting under our colors in far-off lands,
Not for glory, not for conquest but for the cause of peace and freedom.

Greater love, truly, has no man, than the man willing to lay down his life for his friends and countryman.
Greater lover has no woman than to say goodbye to her nephew and eldest son
And shed a tear as they march forth to meet the foe
And bravely fight, and bravely sweat,
and bravely stand watch
And bravely guard us while we sleep,
Where do we find such heroes?
Where do we find such mothers?
Great is the heart and soul of America.
Great are her sons and daughters
But greatest of all ARE her MOTHERS LIKE SARAH PALIN!

So , like Sarah of Bible fame, the wife of Abraham I see thee yet a woman of beauty,
But ‘tis not thy beauty that moves my heart,
“tis not thy smile or wink that moves my breast.
No ‘tis thy brave heart, thy BEAU GEST,
Not for glory, nor for fame,
Nor for riches, nor honor’s flame,
Not for vengeance, not for pride,
Not for sport not for hides.

Not for yourselves alone, not for me –though I love you both,
Our great and our bold and our free land.
Heroes’ blood, sweat and tears
Bid us hold our ancient glory,
As Americans, FOREVER FREE,
As Americans in suit or dungaree,
As Americans together in “ONE NATION, UNDER GOD

And then there is MAC, John McCain.
What is the test of leadership?
The true test of leadership is leadership itself
and you have shown it!

God expects leaders among His people to lead and lead vigorously.
Because He knows this is a world of freedom.
Because He knows this is a world of free choice ,
Because He knows this is a world of hard decisions,
Because He knows on this earth God’s work must truly be our own.
Because He knows and kens that genuine need.
He teaches us that a people lacking understanding will come to ruin.
He teaches us “in necessary things UNITY, in doubtful things LIBERTY
And in all things CHARITY.”

Yes, that indispensible need for free peoples
To be lead by leaders of trust, integrity, honor, wisdom and virtue.
Can anyone doubt that JOHN MCCAIN is such a man?
Can anyone doubt MCCAIN and PALN CAN?
YES THEY CAN!!!! Yes they can!
The people know it and the people shout it
McCain and Palin are great!
All the way in ’08!
I hear them in every state and county
Quiet and loud, loud and solemn:
Let us hope and let us pray,
MAC and PALIN all the way!!!!

RICHARD K. MUNRO (American teacher)

John McCain is a proven leader. Leaders of course are nothing without followers and it is our job as Americans to willingly offer ourselves to our leaders.

No other pair in America today could inspire such confidence as the ticket of Senator JOHN McCAIN for PRESIDENT AND Governor SARAH PALIN FOR VICE PRESIDENT .

(Richard K. Munro) September 4, 2008.

AMERICA IS BEAUTIFUL INDEED…only in America could a school teacher’s daughter and the wife of a steelworker could rise to be the most popular governor in America and then rise to be America’s first woman vice-president. Who can doubt it now- I never have- that Sarah Palin has a great future in the Republican party but more important who can doubt that a STAR IS BORN? Who can doubt that history is being made? Who can doubt that Mac have proven his good judgment. Who can doubt that this formidable woman, this outstanding public servant who has as she said , “the heart of a servant” will not serve America well?



O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

-The lyrics to this beautiful song to America were written by Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929)

Monday, September 1, 2008


In necessariss unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.

in doubtful things liberty,
in all things CHARITY.


RICHARD K. MUNRO has left a new comment on the post "Media Updates....":

So Bristol Palin, 17, is pregant.
I am reasonably sure Mrs. Palin did not do it neither did her husband. Pre-martical sex is almost a way of life today and with or without birth control (often used very ineffectively by teens who do not have the discpline to use it properly)
teenage pregnancies will happen to the best of people and the best of families.

That having been said, Mrs. Palin is not personally responsible for her daughter's bad decision but Mrs. Palin's decision to accept her daughter and welcome the child into her family squares with my values and Mrs. Palin's values. Next people are going to say -ah, Palin is NOT as young and as trim as she was when she was 33 or 42 AH HA!!! But these are just desperate ad hominem attacks.

Many a wise author besides myself such as Bill Kristol in the NYT has called McCain's choice brillant. Time will tell. There can be no question it has shaken up the race and in favor of Mac and Palin.

That is the reality. How Mrs. Palin will hold up under Democratic mudslinging and attacks is anyone's guess but I think a woman who can hunt caribou, has experience as commercial fisherwoman, can hunt moose and when necessary shoot a grizzly and combat corrupt Pols BOTH DEMOCRAT AND REPULICAN will handle herself well.

McCain's thinking is this: some of the best soldiers and officers are those who received BATTLEFIELD COMMISSIONS. Look at Palin's rise as a kind of BATTLEFIELD COMMISSION.

That is strategic thinking AND it is really very DEMOCRATIC. Why are the Democrats so against DEMOCRACY?