Subject: Amazing 11-year-old girl!!! YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS YOUNG LADY.....
The social and political drama that played out across Eastern Europe in the decade before the fall of the Berlin Wall had a profound spiritual dimension. From the time of John Paul II's visit to his Polish homeland in 1979 to November 9, 1989, what historians have called a "revolution of conscience" occurred that led to the collapse of communism with little loss of life the combined result of President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's policies of peace through strength and the Pope's relentless messages of spiritual courage to the captive nations of Eastern Europe.
In the summer of 1979, John Paul II spoke in Warsaw's Victory Square and reminded his countrymen that it was "not possible to understand the history of the Polish nation without Christ." Soviet communism had held sway for most of the 20th century not merely by virtue of military prowess and the will to power of a totalitarian state, but because of its willingness to make demands on the inner life of human beings it was, in essence, a church without God. As the American Catholic writer Archbishop Fulton Sheen had expressed it:
"[Communism] . . . is a complete philosophy of life, what the Germans call a Weltanschauung, an integral comprehension of the world, different from all other secular systems in that it seeks not only to dominate the periphery of life but to control man's inner life as well. Communism has a theory and a practice; it wishes to be not only a state but a church judging the consciences of men; it is a doctrine of salvation and as such claims the whole man, body and soul, and in this sense is totalitarian."...
...On November 5, 1989, just days before the event whose 20th anniversary is celebrated today, some 500,000 East Germans marched peacefully to the Alexanderplatz waving placards calling for free elections and an end to one-party rule. On that same day, the East German government announced that citizens with proper identification would be allowed to emigrate to the West through Czechoslovakia; more than 50,000 promptly did so.
Another contemporary commentator called those days of bloodless change a "revolution from below." As a populist uprising, it certainly was; but the source of that populism, fortified by historic figures like Reagan, John Paul II, and Thatcher, made it also a "revolution from above" a triumph of spiritual power over the tyranny of fearful men.
There's an interesting subtext here that goes beyond a simple government data dump. Cash for Clunkers is one of the
That's why we see the White House blog going toe-to-toe with the automotive website Edmunds.com, not traditionally considered a worthy sparring partner of the President of the United States. Think of it as a "broken window theory" approach to the new media environment. And that's why we see the Secretary of the Treasury himself high-fiving the White House blog for challenging Edmunds' analysis of the utility of the clunkers program. "A big 'Thank you' to the White House blog team for a witty and perceptive account of Cash for Clunkers' real contribution to our economic recovery," blogged Ray LaHood.
Someone intimately familiar with the White House's thinking on its approach to the new media environment explained why the Obama Administration is pursuing such a tactic. Part of what makes the Internet valuable to the Obama operation, the thinking goes, is that suddenly the White House isn't quite so utterly dependent on the traditional press' interpretation of what the White House is up to on a day-to-day basis. Administration officials aren't so limited to giving a reporter a quote or delivering an answer at a press conference and then seeing what the mainstream media makes of it. That's appealing to an Obama White House that, like many White Houses, is skeptical of just how good the press' intentions are. The web doesn't just offer the benefit of spin. The Internet's environment of abundance and direct connection to its audience means that the White House can not only put out information into the new media ecosystem, back it with heaps of background materials, and then attach to it its own meaning of that data.....