But there's more to the Cyber Czar's position than just working to keep our nation safe. Some believe that this new position within the administration, which is not subject to congressional oversight, may have more insidious plans. Conspiracies abound as to how deep the Cyber Czar will pry into citizens' personal computers, email accounts, and Internet activity. The combination of zero oversight with nearly unfettered powers has overactive imaginations in overdrive, and more than likely, these ideas will in the long term be proven groundless.
However, there is one area where such thoughts will become reality. An anonymous source close to the administration has revealed details of a new program to AoftheA, tentatively titled "Total Blogger Syncretism". Within the administration, it's sometimes referred to as "Kmiec's Revenge".
Here's the details of "Total BS": Working in conjunction with the Faith-Based Outreach Office, the Cyber Czar will review, coordinate and oversee the syncretization of Catholic blogs in order to provide the public with a balanced presentation of Catholic ideas, teaching and opinions. In doing so, there is hope that common ground can be achieved, and the heated rhetoric can be cooled down.
A spokesman for the FBOO, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told AoftheA that this will be done with compassion and discretion. "There's no disputing that a rift exists on the Internet between so-called 'Orthodox Catholics' and so-called 'Cafeteria Catholics'. This program will seek to reduce the rancor and eliminate the unbalance out there."
When asked what he meant by 'eliminate the unbalance', he answered, "The president wants to share the wealth. Let's face it - there are some prominent Catholic blogs out there that get more hits a day than some news shows on MSNBC get viewers. At the same time, there are many progressive Catholic blogs, ones that provide a valuable service to the public by presenting a different opinion and point of view, that just don't get any visitors. It's our goal to help redress that inequality."
The Total BS program will identify Catholic blogs with high-volume traffic and seek to match them with other progressive Catholic blogs struggling to attract visits. To make that happen, html code will be rewritten so that accessing one or the other blog will direct the user to a split screen showing both blogs. AoftheA has learned of some of the pairings:
- Fr Z's "What Does The Prayer Really Say" will be combined with Fr Ray Grosswirth's blog "Towards A Progressive Catholic Church", renamed as "What I Want The Prayer To Really Say".
- Dawn Eden's "The Dawn Patrol" will be combined with "Enlightened Catholicism", renamed as "Dawn of Enlightenment".
- The Archbold brothers' "Creative Minority Report" will be combined with Call to Actions' "Young Adult Catholics", renamed as "Creative Catholics Reporting On Young Minority Adults".
"We believe that this is what the American Catholic wants," said a law professor from Pepperdine who worked hard to get Obama elected by
When it was pointed out that this program seems to infringe on bloggers' First Amendment rights, the law professor responded, "Hey, everyone will still have the right to blog how they want. They just won't be allowed to do the fisking, the photo-shopping, the hateful bigoted extremist name-calling, crazy satirical parodies, one-sided apologetics, frequent use of Latin, or talk about their large families. Beyond that, there are no restrictions. What we'll see will be civil discourse and peaceful dialogue. Which is what Catholicism is all about."
The question remains, though, is this what the progressive bloggers want? Are they really concerned about hits, visits and traffic? AoftheA tried to ask several of them, but was repeatedly told to stop being so judgmental in calling them progressive.
Calls to Fr Z, the Dawn Patrol and the Archbolds were not returned. There are unconfirmed reports they are planning to outsource their blogs to off-shore sites to avoid the program's domestic reach and maintain their autonomy.
Not having a Cyber Czar makes it difficult to pinpoint when Total BS will be launched. Neither the Faith-Based Outreach Office nor the administration could provide a firm date, stating that they hope to have this in place as soon as possible.
"You heard the President's speech at Notre Dame," the Pepperdine law professor said. "He wants common ground and dialogue - and by God, we're going to give it to him whether the bloggers want it or not."
Editor's Note: Links to the progressive blogs does not indicate my endorsement. I only show the links as proof that they exist - I wouldn't recommend reading them any more than I would recommend someone disemboweling themselves.