Chile’s Pinochet placed under house arrest

Chile’s Pinochet placed under house arrest – CNN.com

Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was put under house arrest on Monday for crimes including torture, murder and kidnapping in the years that followed his 1973 coup, a judge said.

“Augusto Pinochet … has been arrested as a danger to society given the grave charges against him. But due to his age, he is 90, he has been granted house arrest,” said Judge Alejandro Solis, who ordered the detention.

I’ve never taken the time to study the details of the charges against Pinochet, but this is a mistake. First, there’s the obvious point of how much of a danger can this powerless 90 year possibly be?

But more importantly, as I understand it one of the terms in the agreement that was reached for Pinochet to step down was that he would not face prosecution. If other dictators see us violating promises like this, it makes it that much harder for us to obtain their resignations in the future.

I have little doubt that Pinochet deserves jail and more, but for the sake of those who currently do or will live under dictatorial rule, we should leave him alone and let justice be served after his death. The world’s an imperfect place and sometimes justice can’t be served in this world in order to protect others. This is one of those times.

Quote-a-palooza

“The time has come that Christians must vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them… Christians have been exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time has come when they must act differently… God will bless or curse this nation, according to the course Christians take.” —Charles Finney

“Part of the devolution of marriage to minority status is the fault of the media. Look at who they feature on magazine covers, tabloid TV and awards shows: the cohabiting without benefit of clergy, same-sex ‘couples,’ fornicating couples who flaunt their ‘lifestyles’ and dare anyone to tell them to stop. The STDs that come from these ‘lifestyles’ are not the fault of those who engage in the sort of behavior that puts them at risk. Rather, Republicans are to blame for spending too little on ‘cures’ so the promiscuous can continue practicing their ‘lifestyles’ without fear of disease. TV commercials for drugs that treat genital herpes now run close to erectile dysfunction ads without irony.” —Cal Thomas

“No one seriously thinks 400 or 500 million Americans will lead to mass starvation. By ‘unsustainable,’ they mean that we might encroach ever so slightly onto the West Nile mosquito’s traditional breeding grounds in northern Maine. Which is sad if you think this or that insect is more important than the developed world’s most critically endangered species: people. If you have a more scrupulous care for language, you’ll note that population-wise it’s low birth rates that are ‘unsustainable’: Spain, Germany, Italy and most other European peoples literally cannot sustain themselves—which is why, in one of the fastest demographic transformations in human history, their continent is becoming Muslim. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to cross the Atlantic to see the consequences of a loss of human capital: The Burlington Free Press would be better occupied worrying less about the 300 millionth American and more about the ever emptier schoolhouses up and down the Green Mountain State. I used to joke that Vermont was America’s leading Canadian province, but in fact it’s worse than that: demographically, it’s an honorary member of the European Union. The reality is that in a Western world ever more wizened and barren the 300 millionth American is the most basic example of American exceptionalism. Happy birthday, kid, and here’s to many more.” —Mark Steyn

“As of this writing 2,802 young Americans have been killed during three and a half years of war in Iraq. That’s roughly the same number killed at Iwo Jima during the first three and a half days of fighting against the Japanese. Every life lost was precious and every loss grievous to those who loved them. Unfortunately, our media intends to use every one of those killed to make their point. It’s a lesson they learned in Vietnam. On Feb. 27, 1968, after a month of brutal fighting and daily images of U.S. casualties on American television, Walter Cronkite, then the host of the CBS Evening News, proclaimed that the Tet Offensive had proven to him that the Vietnam War was no longer winnable… It didn’t matter that Tet had been a decisive victory for the United States and South Vietnam. Today’s potentates of the press are trying to deliver the same message: that Iraq, like Vietnam, is un-winnable. One television network has gone so far as to broadcast images of U.S. troops being killed by terrorists—making Iraq the first war where Americans get their news from the enemy. The war in Vietnam wasn’t lost during ‘Tet 68’ no matter what Cronkite said. Rather, it was lost in the pages of America’s newspapers, on our televisions, our college campuses—and eventually in the corridors of power in Washington. We need to pray that this war isn’t lost the same way.” —Oliver North

“Sometimes it seems [the news media] are less interested in legitimate news than they are in proving their knowledge and wisdom is superior to ours. The most frustrating thing is when I have the facts to prove them wrong but cannot reveal those facts without endangering security or wrecking some plan we’re engaged in.” —Ronald Reagan

“According to the new ‘ABC News’ poll on health care, Americans are eager to have the government force employers to provide heath insurance: ‘Nearly eight in 10 favor a federal requirement that all employers offer insurance to their full-time workers.’ Why?! Do our employers pay for our food, clothing, or shelter? If they did, why would that be good? Having my health care tied to my boss invites him to snoop into my private health issues, and if I change jobs, I lose coverage. Employer-paid health insurance isn’t free. It just means we get insurance instead of higher salaries. I’d rather have the cash and buy my own insurance… But people think it’s something for nothing… Insurance invites waste. That’s a reason health care costs so much, and is often so consumer-unfriendly. In the few areas where there are free markets in health care—such as cosmetic medicine and LASIK eye surgery—customer service is great, and prices continue to drop… But many people still want a free lunch: ‘consumer-driven care looks less popular if it’s accompanied by the risk of higher out-of-pocket expenses.’ Somehow people seem to believe ‘insured’ means free.” —John Stossel

“How did the Republicans manage to bring themselves to this dire condition, just two years after winning both Houses of Congress, the White House, and most of the state governorships? It wasn’t easy—and it wasn’t new. It was the same thing that caused the first President Bush to lose his bid for re-election in 1992, after having had sky-high approval ratings in 1991. It was betraying the trust of supporters. Back then it was the betrayal of the ‘No new taxes’ pledge. More recently, it was the even worse betrayal of trying to legislate amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, combined with insulting our intelligence by saying that it was not amnesty. Add to this the Republicans’ runaway spending and the fact that the war in Iraq has been going badly, and you have all the ingredients of a political debacle.” —Thomas Sowell

The Void Has Begun

Congratulations to the Cardinals on winning thw World Series. I was rooting for the Tigers, however, but at least the Mets and Yankees didn’t even make the Series.

Now, life has no meaning until February 14th when pitchers and catchers start reporting to spring training. How shall I fill the time?

Saints Misbehavin’

Even the holiest men and women were not always thus.

Interesting article on the push to canonize Jacques Fesch, a Frechman who was executed for murdering a policeman during an armed robbery where he also pistolwhipped a shopkeeper. In addition, he had previously been a serial adulterer who fathered and abandoned a child outside marriage and divorced his wife.

On death row though, he experienced a deep and sincere conversion to Catholicism and repented for his sins. Cardinal Jean Marie Lustiger, retired archbishop of France is pushing for his canonization.

The article linked above provides details of other saints who weren’t always so saintly:

Consider St. Callixtus of Rome, who died in 222: He was an embezzler, a brawler, a twice convicted felon. Yet Callixtus was touched by grace, repented, became a priest, was elected pope and died a martyr.

Indeed, the Catholic calendar is full of notorious men and women who turned their lives around and became saints. St. Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614) was an Italian mercenary soldier, a cardsharp and con man. For six years St. Margaret of Cortona (1247-1297) lived as a Tuscan nobleman’s mistress. St. Moses the Ethiopian (c. 330-405) led a gang of cutthroats in the Egyptian desert. In 217 in Rome, St. Hippolytus set himself up as the first antipope. And St. Pelagia was the porn queen of fifth-century Antioch; her contemporary, St. John Chrysostom, recalled that “nothing was more vile than she was, when she was on the stage.”

Ths doesn’t include Satin Augustine, one of the greatest saints of theologians, who also fathered a child outside marriage.

This is an example of how we understand and live the doctrine of forgiveness. With God, all is forgivable. There is no sin God can’t forgive; we’re never beyond hope. The fact that some of those people listed above not only returned to the faith, but made it to Heaven and are close enough to God that they were acknowledged as saints is a great example of that.

No matter what you’ve done, it’s never too late to return to God and get His forgiveness. He wants to give it to you; ask Him for it.

Quote-a-palooza

“People unfit for freedom—who cannot do much with it—are hungry for power.” —Eric Hoffer

“The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice.” —Justice Hugo Black

“The chief cause of problems is solutions.” —Eric Sevareid

“Iraq is the excuse du jour for jihadists. But the important factor is that these are young men looking for an excuse. If you live your life calculating that it’s a mistake to do anything that might prompt murderers and savages to act like murderers and savages, you’ve basically decided to live under their thumb and surrender your civilization in the process.” —Jonah Goldberg

“If the State Department has a religion, it’s Palestinian statehood. On its altar, diplomats are eager to sacrifice the security of America’s only reliable Middle East ally and, ultimately, our own security as well.” —Don Feder

“Voters are still used to having the final word in an election. But that could change if the election next month degenerates into the decisions in voting booths quickly being fought over by often unelected judges and trial lawyers practicing scorched-earth tactics.” —John Fund

“Now it appears that voters are willing to turn over Congress to a party most of whose representatives voted against allowing the National Security Agency to surveil without a court order al-Qaida suspects when they place calls to persons in the United States and against allowing terrorist interrogations under rules supported by John McCain. We are weary, it seems, and ready to go back on holiday.” —Michael Barone “People in the good state of Missouri need photo identification to cash a check, board a plane or apply for food stamps. But the state Supreme Court has ruled that a photo ID requirement to vote is too great a burden on the elderly and the poor. Go figure. Public polls consistently show that an overwhelming majority of Americans—regardless of age, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status—favor voter ID laws. And nearly half of the nation’s states have passed them. Yet a string of recent court decisions has blocked their implementation in some places, thus siding with Democrats and liberal special interest groups who would rather turn a blind eye to voter fraud… Showing ID is an incidental cost of voting, like having to buy a postage stamp for an absentee ballot, or feed the parking meter when you go to the polling booth. Poll taxes, by contrast, required a person to pay a fee every time he voted and were adopted for racially discriminatory purposes.” —The Wall Street Journal

“It so happens that everything that is stupid is not unconstitutional.” —Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Quote-a-palooza

“People unfit for freedom—who cannot do much with it—are hungry for power.” —Eric Hoffer

“The public welfare demands that constitutional cases must be decided according to the terms of the Constitution itself, and not according to judges’ views of fairness, reasonableness, or justice.” —Justice Hugo Black

“The chief cause of problems is solutions.” —Eric Sevareid

“Iraq is the excuse du jour for jihadists. But the important factor is that these are young men looking for an excuse. If you live your life calculating that it’s a mistake to do anything that might prompt murderers and savages to act like murderers and savages, you’ve basically decided to live under their thumb and surrender your civilization in the process.” —Jonah Goldberg

“If the State Department has a religion, it’s Palestinian statehood. On its altar, diplomats are eager to sacrifice the security of America’s only reliable Middle East ally and, ultimately, our own security as well.” —Don Feder

“Voters are still used to having the final word in an election. But that could change if the election next month degenerates into the decisions in voting booths quickly being fought over by often unelected judges and trial lawyers practicing scorched-earth tactics.” —John Fund

“Now it appears that voters are willing to turn over Congress to a party most of whose representatives voted against allowing the National Security Agency to surveil without a court order al-Qaida suspects when they place calls to persons in the United States and against allowing terrorist interrogations under rules supported by John McCain. We are weary, it seems, and ready to go back on holiday.” —Michael Barone “People in the good state of Missouri need photo identification to cash a check, board a plane or apply for food stamps. But the state Supreme Court has ruled that a photo ID requirement to vote is too great a burden on the elderly and the poor. Go figure. Public polls consistently show that an overwhelming majority of Americans—regardless of age, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status—favor voter ID laws. And nearly half of the nation’s states have passed them. Yet a string of recent court decisions has blocked their implementation in some places, thus siding with Democrats and liberal special interest groups who would rather turn a blind eye to voter fraud… Showing ID is an incidental cost of voting, like having to buy a postage stamp for an absentee ballot, or feed the parking meter when you go to the polling booth. Poll taxes, by contrast, required a person to pay a fee every time he voted and were adopted for racially discriminatory purposes.” —The Wall Street Journal

“It so happens that everything that is stupid is not unconstitutional.” —Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia