Quote of the day

Alexander Cockburn wrote:

Never trust a president who claims he reads himself to sleep with the help of Marcus Aurelius. That was Bill Clinton, who claimed this thundering imperial bore never strayed far from his hand.

Most certainly view with profound suspicion a president who professes to be guided in his conduct in grave moral matters by Augustine and Aquinas, two very different characters. Just as civilization would have profited if the rope lowering St Paul to the ground from that tower in Damascus had broken fifty feet up, a death in the cradle for Augustine would have spared humanity much horror from his poisonous doctrines on original sin and other matters.

Aquinas was a different matter. A jovial fellow, among other things he loved fresh herring, and when he was dying he asked for some. At this point a fishing boat in the Mediterranean hauled an unprecedented netful of herring and the unexpected catch was slated for a while as the second miracle required for Thomas’ canonization.

The excellent, astounding New York Times story by Jo Becker and Scot Shane published on May 29 and vigorously discussed on this site by Ralph Nader, says that Obama decided to take personal control of the White House’s secret and unconstitutional death list after reading Augustine and Aquinas. “A student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, he believes that he should take moral responsibility for such actions. And he knows that bad strikes can tarnish America’s image and derail diplomacy.” Notice how the paragraph devolves rapidly from moral duty to pr.

Barack Obama is a system politician, a functional elite devoted to the institutions he serves, and, for such a person, public reality cannot be real if it were to remain untouched by image management work. Style points – e.g. appearing morally concerned – count for much more than morally guided action. Thus butchering innocents has mattered little in the War on Terror. Their blood is but a stage upon which America’s righteous elite display their gifts. It is not wholly ironic that Obama relies upon the Church fathers for inspiration. The Church has long been committed to putting on a good show.

It is a shame that there is no Hell.