News behind the news. This picture is me (white spot) standing on the bridge connecting European and North American tectonic plates. It is located in the Reykjanes area of Iceland. By-the-way, this is a color picture.
Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line about the upcoming visit to America by the Pope. President Obama will be welcoming the Pope and has made some interesting choices as to who his guests for the occasion will be. These guests include transgender activists, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, and a nun who criticizes church policies on abortion and euthanasia. I would consider the current Pope someone who leans to the liberal side of things, but this is definitely not a tactful move on the part of President Obama.
What struck us as we read about this small controversy is the contrast between the administration’s apparent decision to risk a bit of rudeness in the case of the pope and its overwhelming deference to foreign dictators when similar issues arise. When Secretary of State John F. Kerrytraveled to Havana to reopen the U.S. Embassy recently, he painstakingly excluded from the guest list any democrat, dissident or member of civil society who might offend the Castro brothers.
And when Chinese PresidentXi Jinpingcomes to the White House next week, shortly after the pope leaves town, it’s a safe bet that he won’t have to risk being photographed with anyone of whom he disapproves. Chen Guangcheng, the courageous blind lawyer, for example, lives nearby in exile, but he probably won’t be at the state dinner. Neither will Falun Gong activists, democracy advocates or anyone else who might, well, give offense.
That is truly sad. You would think that basic manners would prevent this sort of behavior. We really need to think about the character of the people we elect to the Presidency. I truly think this is a character issue. A religious leader certain deserves at least as much respect as a ruthless dictator.
The move-out mandate comes as Chen plans a trip to Taiwan later this month, and grapples with worries that members of his family in China are being beaten and denied urgent medical care by authorities.
NYU’s extension of its out-by-June-30 eviction notice comes on heels of an exclusive Post report that the university, which is building a new Shanghai campus, was ousting Chen under pressure from China.
There are two aspects of this story–NYU is under pressure by the Communist Party of China to evict Chen, but there is another part of the story. Does anyone honestly think that if America was not so deeply in debt to China, that China would be exerting this pressure? Our government has been severely weakened by the debt caused by runaway spending. We need to stop overspending and rebuild our image around the world.
ABC News is reporting that Chen Guangcheng, the blind Chinese dissident who recently escaped to the American embassy in China, is on a plane headed to the United States with his immediate family. There are concerns for those family members left behind in China, but his immediate family is with him.
The article reports on one of the events that took place during the three weeks it has taken for Chen to get permission to leave the country:
As they waited, Chen continued to speak to the press. He voiced his outrage that his nephew, Chen Kegui, had been arrested and charged with attempted homicide.
Chen says he was acting in self-defense after local authorities attacked his house following Chen’s escape. Chen said he had been in regular contact with US.. officials, and he praised their efforts to help him. But he also expressed frustration that the process was taking so long.
I am glad that Chen and his family are being brought to safety. I hope the relatives left behind will be safe.