I just got a phone call that REALLY offended me as a single mom. The Caller ID says the call is from “INVALID FROM DC” at 202-599-4793. After this experience and a little Googling, I’m suspicious that the call is from a liberal activist group pretending to be “Conservative Majority Fund” with the intention of causing women to be offended and with the added possibility of doing a little fundraising. Either that or “Conservative Majority Fund” is hiring incompetent people.
First, the other day I received a call from “Sam Horton” at 202-644-9035. I was unable to get to the phone in time to answer the phone and no message was left on the machine.
Today, I received the “INVALID FROM DC” call, and this is how the conversation went. Mind you, I have been divorced for several years and my husband was never politically active.
Caller: “Hi, I am (name here) from Conservative Majority Fund. May I speak to Mr. Graas, please?”
Me: “There is no ‘Mr. Graas’ here. I am Lisa Graas.”
Caller: “Okay, but can I just speak with Mr. Graas, please?”
Me: “I am a single mom. I am Lisa Graas. There is no Mr. Graas here.”
Caller: “Okay, Ma’am, then I’ll just update the record. Thank you.”
He hung up.
It would be natural for me to assume that “Conservative Majority Fund” is not interested in speaking to anyone but males. Of course, most women would find this offensive. Maybe even “all women” would find this offensive. Married women, even, would be annoyed to get a call from someone asking for the husband and being unwilling to speak to the wife.
Thanks to Google, I found that I am not the only woman who has received a call like this and was offended by it. Read “Reach Out and Touch Someone,” an article about a woman offended by a call she received from “Sam Horton.” Her experience was rather different from mine, but it was the same introduction.
I rarely answer the phone unless I recognize the number or name. And any call from area code 202 (Washington, DC) is suspect.
So when “Sam Horton” appeared on caller ID with by a 202 prefix, I started to ignore.
“Oh, I’m sorry.” She sounded sincere, so I stayed with her.
She wanted me to listen to a recording, one so shocking, so shockingly shocking, she knew I’d be as shocked as she was when she heard this shocking shocker. Nothing shocks me anymore.
Political tricks are nothing new. They’ve been around as long as politics has been around. I thought that I should let you know about this one, though, since I personally experienced it. I think that anyone who puts a great deal of energy into putting women through something like this may be more guilty of hating women than the average person is. It seemed deliberate enough to me to transcend incompetence and reach into the area of “intentional,” hence my suspicion that this is actually a liberal group pretending to be conservative to offend women and fleece some people in the process.
At Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch writes about the importance of our social connections during times of great need, such as natural disasters. He uses the attitudes of young “social media types” in San Diego and those of older business owners in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to demonstrate what attitudes are necessary for people to be able to pull together during times of local crisis.
It’s worth noting that Cedar Rapids was also home of one of the worst natural disasters in the past century. Surprised? I mean you heard about Katrina and Sandy, but Cedar Rapids?
In the summer of 2008 the entire Upper Mississippi River Basin flooded and inundated ten square miles of Cedar Rapids, including the entire downtown of this community of about 100,000.
You didn’t hear much about this event. You also didn’t hear much about how they recovered. Neighbors helped neighbors, businesses adopted businesses, they said grace and they mucked out.
It’s kind of a Midwestern thing, just roll up your sleeves and get back to doin. It’s also kind of a true small business thing.
So here’s the point I’m trying to make.
We all need each other.
We need social media’s enthusiastic curiosity and rush to embrace all things seemingly new. And, we need sturdy things that we can lean on when we’re unsure.
We need to help each other learn and grow and fall down and get up again.
I relate to this because, as with the disaster in Cedar Rapids, the country also did not get to hear as much about the Nashville flood nor the ice storm here in Kentucky as they heard about Hurricane Katrina. Folks in Cedar Rapids, Nashville and Kentucky pulled together and got through it…and they did so with less advance warning of disaster than the people of New Orleans had (at least three days) during Hurricane Katrina.
We all need each other. It’s good for everyone to remember that so that if you are in need, you will reach out for help from someone, and so that those who are being asked for help will respond in kind.
It seems clear to me today that Mark Shea, in his consistent defense of the “gay” identity, and in now calling Rick Santorum a “bloodthirsty warmonger” and “torture fan,” has decided that it is not okay to judge thoughts and ideas for being bad or good (as I do in saying it’s not okay to ID as “gay”), but it is okay to judge someone’s heart to be evil, as Mark does in calling Rick a “bloodthirsty warmonger” and “torture fan.”
It breaks my heart, truly, to see someone get something so important precisely backwards.
To be “bloodthirsty” and a “warmonger” implies intent so evil that one has turned from God altogether. To be “bloodthirsty” is to lust after murder and violence. It is mind-boggling to me that anyone could think that of my friend Rick Santorum, a faithful Catholic father of seven, including little Bella, whose life clearly reflects Humanae Vitae.
I’m sure that if people were to “come out” as “bloodthirsters,” we could expect Mark to say it’s perfectly OKAY for people to lust for violence, provided that they don’t personally actually kill anyone. This, despite knowing what it takes to be a saint, not lukewarm and not believing that we can be fully redeemed and healed. Rick understands redemption, and that God is interested in where our hearts are on defending the innocent. He is the opposite of “bloodthirsty” and happily carries the arrows around in his back for his pro-life convictions which are truly Catholic.
Mark takes issue with Rick saying it’s a “wonderful” thing for agents to kill Iranian scientists who are working to manufacture a nuclear weapon with which they will commit a second Holocaust. Rick believes it is “wonderful” to stop a second Holocaust. In order to do that, we have to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Rick Santorum believes that there is no way to stop Iran from committing a second Holocaust if they obtain a nuclear weapon. You may disagree with that LOGISTICAL assessment, but it is what his position is based on. Rick believes this is truly a prudent choice because it is necessary to stop a second Holocaust. A prudential decision to prevent millions from being murdered by a regime religiously obsessed with doing just that is not “bloodthirsty warmongering.” It’s the position the vast majority of Catholics (rightly) held when America dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan after the Battle of Okinawa:
The Battle of Okinawa is distinguished among battles, yet often unrecognized when referring to the great battles of the Second World War. Over 250,000 people lost their lives. Approximately 150,000 Okinawans, about a third of the population, perished. At the battle’s end, somewhere between a third and half of all surviving civilians were wounded. No battle during the Second World War, except Stalingrad, had as massive a loss of civilian life. The stakes were high. The Japanese, determined to fight to the last man, almost achieved their objective, but in defeat 100,000 Japanese combatants died rather than surrender. In the end, fewer than 10,000 of General Mitsuri Ushijimas’s Thirty-Second Army were taken prisoner.
United States loss of life was staggering as well. The United States Navy sustained the largest loss of ships in its history with thirty-six lost and 368 damaged. The Navy also sustained the largest loss of life in a single battle with almost 5,000 killed and an equal number wounded. At Okinawa, the United States Tenth Army would incur its greatest losses in any campaign against the Japanese. The Tenth Army, which initially was made up of 183,000 army, navy, and marine personnel. During those eighty-two days, the Tenth Army would lose 7,613 men and over 30,000 men would be evacuated from the front lines for a minimum of a week due to wounds. Moreover, the largest numbers of U.S. combat fatigue cases ever recorded would occur on Okinawa.
Read the whole thing because there is much more. Sometimes it is prudential to do things that normally we would not do, like dropping nukes on Japan. You may disagree with it, but many Catholics knew it had to be in World War II, and many Catholics today understand that it is not “bloodthirst” that prompts it, but the opposite: a desire to stop war.
Rick Santorum is a good man. He may be right about this or he may be wrong about it…but he is in no way a “bloodthirsty warmonger,” and neither were those who bombed Japan. Certainly, there are those who would compare Israel to Japan. If so, I can’t judge their hearts. I can argue that they are wrong, but it, too, is a matter of prudential judgment.
As for “torture fan,” I have had a discussion with Mark Shea about this before. He refuses to believe anything but that Rick Santorum loves to “torture” people because he is supportive of the interrogation methods used to capture terrorists, including those behind the attack on America in September, 2011. Again, Mark is wrong — dead wrong — about Rick Santorum being a “torture fan.” Again, it’s a matter of prudential judgment.
Let me share with you an article about these interrogation methods that would be in keeping with Rick Santorum’s understanding of the methods Mark calls “torture.” You decide if this is “torture” or just interrogation that is only used to PREVENT countless deaths.
[Former CIA spokesman Bill] Harlow, the opening speaker in the spring series focused on “America’s Role in the World,” said it is an “annoying myth” that no good came of intelligence gathered through EITs.
“Do the math,” he said, noting that there have been no mass casualty attacks on U.S. soil for a decade.
Harlow added that depictions of the techniques in movies such as Zero Dark Thirty go far beyond those actually used by the CIA, which he described as “fairly mild” and designed to scare rather than harm detainees.
The techniques, which he said are “harsh, but not torture,” can include grabbing a detainee by the collar, putting one’s hands on the sides of a detainee’s face and shouting, and carefully prescribed slaps, the latter only if permission is granted in writing.
They also include waterboarding, which Harlow said was used with just three detainees, adding that it is part of U.S. military survival training.
EITs, for which Department of Justice approval was sought and received, were a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., which Harlow said was the “worst day in CIA history.”
Whether or not you agree that the above is reality, it is the understanding that Rick Santorum has and which he makes his decision on. I would take strong issue with anyone who believes the above is anything even remotely like being a “torture fan.” As with the decision on Iran, it is a prudential judgment. Prudential judgment doesn’t mean that it is automatically the right thing to do. It simply means that two holy people, even two saints, can possibly come down on different sides of the issue.
You have no business judging anyone’s heart. Disagree if you like. Say he’s wrong. Explain why! Do it all day every day, if you like. But how dare you claim, Mark, that Rick is a “bloodthirsty warmonger” and a “torture fan.” That is never going to fly with me. Ever. I know better.
I guess you could call this closing ranks. Touche’.
My dear Rick-Santorum-loving friend @peaceischrist retweets a tweet from @TheAnchoress of a blog post by Simcha Fisher sticking up for my personal friend Dawn Eden, a Jewish convert to Catholicism who is calling out the anti-Semitism found in some (some, not all) traditionalist Catholics.
The traditionalist blog [Rorate Caeli] had repeated a vicious smear against Pope Francis by Argentinean blogger, Marcelo Gonzalez, who called Francis a “sworn enemy of the Traditional Mass.” Unfortunately, the claim was quickly given wide circulation by Inside the Vatican‘s Robert Moynihan, who labeled our new Holy Father “hostile” toward the Traditional Mass.
When Father Z and others found evidence that the claim was in fact a bald-faced lie, Rorate Caeli responded with a string of defensive posts, while Moynihan issued a non-apology, saying he reprinted Gonzalez’s claims because he thought the reporter “reliable.”
And who is this “reliable” reporter?
Being that I am a Jewish convert to Catholicism who attends Mass in the Extraordinary Form (the traditional Latin Mass), and am all too familiar with the antisemitism that Father Angelo Mary Geiger calls the “soft white underbelly of the Rad Trad movement,” I had a bad feeling about Gonzalez. Pope Francis was known in Buenos Aires as a friend to the Jewish community, even co-writing a book with a leading rabbi of the city, and I sadly wouldn’t put it past certain trads to harbor special resentment for him on that account. So, on a hunch, I looked to see what (if anything) Gonzalez had to say about Jews and the Holocaust.
I’d just like to say that I support Dawn, that I LOVE JEWS (especially my Jewish mother, our Blessed Mother), and that I support Israel. Dawn has a family member in the IDF. (I found this out long after I learned what the Israel-Palestinian conflict is really about by looking at a map…and considering that Palestinians elected a terrorist organization, HAMAS, to govern them.) I am praying for him and all in the IDF. Call me a hater if you like. I don’t care what you think. I love Jews. That is all.
Young America’s Foundation has released this statement in regard to the Grosse Pointe Public School System’s decision to allow Senator Rick Santorum to speak at Grosse Pointe South High School:
HERNDON, VA – After pressure from students, parents, and local community leaders, the Grosse Pointe Public School System has decided to reverse their decision and allow Senator Rick Santorum to speak to the students of Grosse Pointe South High School.
“We are pleased that the school district has reversed their decision. Senator Santorum is a two-term United States Senator, someone who ran for President of the United States, and remains a driving force in the public policy realm. It would be a great disservice to the students to keep them from hearing him,” Young America’s Foundation Vice President Patrick X. Coyle said.
The event will take place as scheduled on April 24.
It appears that Father Z is getting criticism on a level that merits a blog post, so I thought I should write a note of support for him, not because he helped raise $2300 to fix our heat when it went out recently, but because he deserves to be respected in all that he is doing on his blog…even the stuff you disagree with.
But my adversaries – liberals and conservatives – are trying to paint me as a Francis-bashing rad-trad, and therefore to take me down.
I want you readers to know that this is going on – not because I am concerned about myself - but because the position that I have taken over the past few weeks is highly nuanced and, therefore, should not be misrepresented, wittingly or unwittingly, as that of an extremist.
I don’t get (at all) why anyone would characterize Father Z as being anything other than exceedingly nuanced…and intentionally so.
For the record, I have no idea who he is referring to in his post, and it doesn’t really matter to me who it is. His explanation of himself is accurate, though. Take that for what it’s worth.
We should all be praying for our priests, including (and maybe especially?) Father Z. Father Z is, well, a father. If you treat him with less respect than you would a family member, you’re doing it wrong.
When I was five years old, I had five older brothers who were aged 11, 12, 14, 16, and 16 (twins). That environment had a big impact on me. Arguing and disagreement are okay. Hating is never okay. We fought a lot…but we all deeply loved each other, just the same, and we all knew it.
Thanks, Father Z. God bless you…and thanks so much again for helping us in our time of need.
Rand Paul, at traditionally black Howard University, said:
I have never waivered in my support for civil rights or the civil rights act.
He then immediately said this:
The dispute, if there is one, has always been about how much of the remedy should come under federal or state or private purview.
“The dispute, if there is one?”
There is no dispute about “the Civil Rights Act.” You either support it or you don’t, and Rand Paul did not, during his Senate campaign. It is the main reason I refused to vote for him. In that race, I voted write-in instead. There is nothing that could have made me push that ballot button for Rand Paul after hearing his views on the Civil Rights Act. Nothing.
The Republican Party is going to fall….hard…if it allows Rand Paul to shape policy and speak for the party. He is not a Republican. He is a libertarian. Not only that, he tells lies…frequently…and not even little “white lies” (oops, did I say that?), but really BIG WHOPPERS, like this one. If the Republican Party hopes to succeed on a national level, they will stop honoring Rand Paul.
As for my fellow Kentuckians, yes, I’m still mad at you for voting for him instead of for Trey Grayson. I hear Trey is very supportive of social conservatives at Harvard. I’m grateful he is in a good place where he can do some good, but we needed him in the Senate.
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I am just a teeny, tiny, broken Passionist who loves Jesus very much. Please take what I say here with a grain of salt. I mess up a lot. -- Lisa Graas
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