It’s All Done with Mirrors

THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS
WAS AN EXERCISE IN POLITICAL MAGIC

MirrorI’ve never much cared for the State of the Union Address. It’s a pointless dog-and-pony show that’s far off the mark of what the founders intended when they required the President to make a yearly report to Congress.

I’ve also never liked the idea of an opposition-party reply. SOTU is the President’s event (all those dogs and ponies notwithstanding). I think it’s unseemly that a spokesman for the out-of-power faction gets to leer earnestly into the TV camera and say, “Liar, liar, pants on fire!” — which is basically what they always say, regardless of which party makes the SOTU reply.

Far better if they just stood up and called the President a liar to his face. Like the Brits do, yelling back and forth across that big table on the floor of Parliament (of course it all sounds very gentlemanly when it’s done in a proper, upper-class English accent).

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The Religion Question

NOT GOING TO PARIS IS AN ODD CHOICE
THAT STIRS UP SOME OLD SUSPICIONS

Whenever people speculate that President Obama is a secret Muslim my response has always been…

I don’t think he’s a Muslim. I think he’s a nominal Christian who is philosophically committed to secular leftist ideology but has a sentimental attachment to Muslim culture because of his childhood in Indonesia.

Daily News CoverWhat we know of Obama’s personal history, including his youthful experiences, his education, his political connections, and his involvement in progressive groups and causes, would seem to support my assessment.

Yet, from the beginning of his administration the President has shown an affinity, not just with Muslim feelings and attitudes, but with Islamist organizations and goals. This has continued to stoke suspicions about his deepest sympathies.

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“Je suis Charlie!”

EVEN IF IT’S OFFENSIVE OR MISUNDERSTOOD
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IS ESSENTIAL

Je Suis CharlieFreedom of expression has taken some painful hits over the past few weeks.

We had the cyber attack on Sony Pictures, intended to prevent release of a satirical movie about Korean dictator Kim Jung Un. And now we’ve had an actual, murderous attack on the French humor magazine, Charlie Hebdo, intended to avenge satirical portrayals of Muhammad.

While these incidents represent much different levels of ferocity, they both reflect attempts to impose totalitarian ideologies — in the first case, an ego-driven materialist despotism, and in the second, an extremist vision of Islamic theocracy — on societies that have long traditions of fostering individual autonomy and creative spontaneity.

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Under Construction

AFTER NEARLY TWO YEARS
IT’S TIME FOR A FACELIFT

Under Construction

Please forgive me if you’ve been receiving notifications about new posts.

My blog is undergoing a redesign, new features are being added, and a lot of miscellaneous polishing is going on.

Notices of new posts may have been triggered inadvertently.  If so, I’m sorry for the false alarms.

I’ll let you know when the facelift is complete and new material is up. Meanwhile, please pardon our construction dust, enjoy the remainder of your Christmas/Epiphany season, and concentrate on getting a good start on those New Years resolutions.

God bless…

Bill Kassel