“Pope slams conservative ‘fanatics’ who make doctrine an ‘ideology.’” When I saw this headline recently, I found myself wondering what Pope Francis meant to convey by the word “fanatic.” The Latin roots of the word referred to people caught up in a frenzy of religious fervor while worshipping in the temple of their god. That meaning still has something to do with the curtailed version of the word “fan”, as it brings to mind enraptured teenagers at a concert for their favorite pop idol: moving to the beat of the music, and mouthing lyrics as religiously as ancient worshippers sung the canticles of praise to their idols. Of course, this week it also brings to mind religious enthusiasts of a different sort, like the jihadist suicide bomber who murdered just such concert goers after pop idol Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester.
Alan Keyes | All Articles
- Subscribe to RSS
For a long while Alan Keyes has been involved in government, politics and citizen activism. He did service in government as a Foreign Service Officer, and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Economic and Social Council, and later served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs. He has been involved in politics, twice as a candidate for the United States Senate, and also as a participant in the GOP primaries for President of the United States. He is Christian, Catholic, Pro-life and pro-liberty. He is sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and dedicated to preserving the the republican form of government it establishes. He upholds and seeks to reinvigorate the now beleaguered sovereignty of the American people, and to restore respect for the principles set forth in the American Declaration of Independence. In light of those principles, he believes that the top priority of our political life is to restore respect for the existence and authority of the Creator, God and on the basis of that respect rebuild the moral conscience and character without which the American people cannot hope to preserve their liberty.
Yesterday I published an article that focused, among other things, on the significance of the fact that, according to Article V of the U.S. Constitution, it takes fewer states (a lower supermajority) to propose changes in the U.S. Constitution than it does actually to change it. More often than not people note the difference without bothering to think about what it means. Simply put, it suggests an intent to make it easier to propose Constitutional changes than to make them. Obviously, so-called “originalists” (people who profess to interpret the Constitution’s provisions in light of their original purpose or intent) should take this difference seriously.
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth King Duncan reports the execution of the traitorous Thane of Cawdor with words that epitomize the meaning of the phrase “a backhanded compliment”:
This week I read a Walter Williams column in which he questions the assumption that it’s necessarily a bad thing for the United States to spend more buying imported goods and services from any given this country than we make from exporting goods and services to that country. This is called a “current account deficit,” and as Professor Williams points out, China is a well-known case in point. He goes on to explain that focusing exclusively on this account can be misleading, because it doesn’t reflect money the United States receives from “direct foreign investment, such as the purchase or construction of machinery, buildings or whole manufacturing plants” or “portfolio investment, such as purchases of stocks and bonds.”
Yesterday Donald Trump warned his Twitter followers: “Don’ let the fake media tell you that I have changed my position on the WALL. It will get built and help stop drugs, human trafficking etc.”
This week I read a well-intentioned article in support of President Trump’s decision to launch a punitive missile attack against Syria for “using chemical weapons against his own people….” Its author, Siena Hoefling, dismissed Senator Rand Paul’s complaint that the punitive attack was “an unconstitutional rush to war.” She noted that “like his colleagues, the senator made no demand that the House of Representatives impeach the president because “A president who uses executive and military power in the name of innocent human life has a morally defensible cause.”
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Vol. 1, Chapter XII)
According to one recent report “a top U.S. official warned Tuesday that ‘the clock has run out’ on decades of diplomatic efforts to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs….” He also reportedly said that “It is now urgent, because we feel that the clock is very, very quickly running out.” That nuance of difference leaves a little running room for further diplomacy. But, as the report notes, the warning it conveys lines up with the fact that “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said the threat that country [North Korea] poses is ‘imminent.’ During a trip to Asia he said Washington is out of ‘strategic patience’ and that ‘all options are on the table’—a phrase typically understood to refer to military action.”
In the aftermath of the GOP’s failed attempt to overhaul Obamacare, it appears that the man who literally ‘wrote the book’ on deal-making failed to make a deal. The headline of one article I read portrayed it as “the biggest broken promise in political history.” Be that as it may, the predictable spectacle of excuses and mutual recrimination is not lacking. President Trump wagged his twitter finger at the Republican House Freedom Caucus. He also struck an almost professorial pose, speaking like an academic observer—detached, above the fray:
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; … shall be the Supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. (U.S. Constitution Article VI)
Government officials who work with highly classified materials are subject to serious punishment if, by intention or negligence, they reveal the information they have acquired in the course of their work, especially if and when it compromises the sensitive sources and methods used to acquire it. I find myself thinking about the implications of this fact every time I read a news report dealing with U.S. government agencies entrusted with for developing such information for use by government decision makers responsible for national security affairs.
People who take Christ seriously as their example for living doubtless look to him for guidance as they prepare themselves to meet the most important challenges of their lives. At the beginning of some great endeavor they refresh their remembrance of how Christ behaved at the beginning of the work by which he fulfilled God’s will for the salvation of humanity.
[This article continues reflections begun earlier this week in an article at barbwire.com]
From Israel National News comes the following report:
Federalism is a cornerstone of our constitutional system. Every violation of state sovereignty by Federal officials is not merely a transgression of one unit of government against another; it is an assault on the liberties of individual Americans. (2016 GOP Platform)
Like Mitt Romney and other politicians seeking support from the GOP’s conservative constituency, candidate Donald Trump touted his switch from favoring so-called “abortion rights”. President Trump’s nomination of a replacement for Justice Scalia may prove to be an important fact in evidence for the sincerity of Mr. Trump’s change of heart. Neil Gorsuch authored a book pondering the possible premises for a jurisprudence dealing with assisted suicide. As one reviewer describes it:
President Trump has reinstituted the policy intended to make sure the US government does not provide international organizations and agencies with funds to subsidize abortions. This reverses the worldwide promotion of abortion that was a centerpiece of Barack Obama’s foreign policy. This is a step welcomed by Americans who support the God-endowed unalienable right to life. It ought to be welcomed by all Americans who want to see American government conducted on a basis that reflects the founding principles that inspired so many of our people, in every generation, to fight for the standard of right and justice those principles uphold. It sends a signal to the world that the American people have not abandoned the heritage that inspired people around the world—both those who came to build a way of life that respected that standard; and those around the world who were inspired to demand respect for it wherever they lived.
People living In the United States and other so-called Western countries, are living with what may be the death throes of the brief but eventful “democratic” age. That age began in earnest when the United States was still growing in the womb. The events precipitated by the successful terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001 may, in effect, denote its end—though this remains to be seen. If it is true, the electoral competitions that still formally implement the democratic idea, in the United States and elsewhere, are now the death throes of the age, the precipitating events whereby the irresistible tyranny of history works to dispel the brief delusion that, as Alexander Hamilton wrote, “societies of men are really capable… of establishing good government from reflection and choice, ….”