Objections to High School Dress Code for Young Women Miss a Crucial Point

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Indignation is running high as a result of a Florida high school yearbook being digitally adjusted by those in charge to make the photos of 80 female students comply with its dress code.  The root problem is not the fact that dress codes for females are more detailed, therefore “unfair,” than those for males as the article concluded.  The mistake on the part of school administrators was not enforcing the dress code prior to the photos being taken.  Once they missed their responsibility on that point, any changes should have been approved by each family impacted.  The end doesn’t justify the means.

Granted, “The high school’s website says all student pictures in the yearbook ‘may be digitally adjusted’ if they don’t conform to the school district’s code of conduct.”1   However, they should have anticipated that this was a vociferous crisis just waiting to happen.  Anyone who has paid attention to the last few decades should expect an uprising even though a policy is officially stated.  Acknowledgement of authority and modesty  is considered old-fashioned in many places.

THE  REAL  PROBLEM

One parent misses the problem altogether with:  “I think it sends the message that our girls should be ashamed of their growing bodies, and I think that’s a horrible message to send out to these young girls that are going through these changes.”

It’s not about being ashamed of anything.  Rather, it’s about not “being in your face about it.”  If a woman believes she’s attractive, the knowledge of her good fortune should be sufficient for her.  Reminding the outside world of her sexiness does either of two things, and both aren’t good.  It causes envy in other women and lust in men.  (By using the word “lust” this writer risks being labeled as hopelessly out-of-date.  So be it.)  But what the promoters of more revealing clothing forget is that women and men respond differently to the human form.  Everyone seems to want moral perfection of everyone else, but few understand the reality that all of us have the responsibility to encourage virtue in our fellow human beings by our words and actions. (Yes, the Left is intent on a genderless humanity, but natural differences remain despite their attempts at social re-engineering.)

NO,  IT’S  NOT  “UNFAIR”

The school’s dress code has seven bullet points for girls compared to three for boys.  “Some parents and students call the policy sexist for its wording and enforcement.  More than 80% of infractions over the past three years have been issued to female students, according to data provided by district officials.”

Without becoming graphic, a review of the human body and its effects on human sexual interactions makes it clear that it’s not unfair.  In addition to the aforementioned differences between men and women and how they process sexual stimuli, the female form provides many more opportunities for getting attention.  Unless we revert to the unfortunate practice of codpieces2  for men, women naturally have more “zones of focus” than men do.  Society’s chances at a less immoral environment do not increase from the dismissal of nature, but from a cooperative strategy to promote virtue in everyone.  How we dress is part of that.    

CONTRADICTION

It’s a good bet that those parents who are ignorant of the virtue of modesty are among the first to want the elimination of class standing in cumulative grades because it makes some feel inferior.  Well, a young woman who is more physically developed can have that same impact on her “less fortunate” classmates, especially if she dresses more provocatively.  Class standing has the justification that students will enter a world where their achievements vs. the competition will have to stand on their own.   Sexual attributes, by themselves, should not be the way to success … although we do have examples of some politicians and others in the limelight using this route.

Imagine if we “geeks” paraded through class hallways and office settings with our academic and professional achievements plastered on our clothing.  It would be a definite indication of a severe lack of confidence.  It portrays a similar amount of insecurity when we dress in order to advertise our physical attributes as if we have nothing else to offer.

TRUE  HUMILITY

True humility is not shown by the rejection of compliments.   Rather, it’s accepting our true worth in a way which gives gratitude for our blessings without making others feel insulted or inferior, especially regarding those attributes we cannot change.  How we dress will be a reflection of our insecurity if we have a need to flaunt it, hoping to tease or cause envy.  If we believe ourselves to be attractive, that knowledge by itself  should be sufficient if we are healthy emotionally.     

1 – From “’They’ve made these girls feel humiliated’: Parents voice anger over female students’ altered yearbook photos at Florida high school,” by Sheldon Gardner, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/05/23/florida-female-students-yearbook-photos-bartram-trail-high-school/5237009001/, updated 5/24/2021.

2 – “When the fourteenth-century fashion for very short doublets emerged, the codpiece was invented to cover up the gap at the top of those hose.   If you believe ‘the Parson’ in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, it was a much-needed innovation.  He disliked the short doublets of his day because ‘Alas! Some of them show the very boss of their penis and the horrible pushed-out testicles that look like the malady of hernia’.

“Originally just a triangle of cloth, the codpiece became more substantial and more decorative as time went on, until its decline in the late sixteenth century.

Codpieces also functioned a useful little purse for storing precious items like coins, or jewels, and tradition claims this as the origin of the expression ‘a man’s family jewels.’”

From “A little article on the history of the codpiece…” by Lucy Worsley, https://lucyworsley.com/a-little-article-on-the-history-of-the-codpiece/

What Happens When All of The Stimulus Money is Spent?

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The shutdown in March, 2020 began with panic buying of many items, more than just paper products.  Then the slowdown ensued with full petroleum tanks being the poster child of increasing job losses across entire economies.

This was followed by politically popular, but fiscally unwise barrages of “stimulus payments” to much of the citizenry (plus many pork barrel projects which sneaked in somehow).  Now we see all areas of manufacturing scrambling to find raw materials from lumber to metals as well as the transportation to move these.

Unrestrained “printing of money” lowers a currency’s value and sparks inflation. Giving away cash fuels demand without an immediate increase in supply…. which sparks inflation. The goods and services sectors will eventually catch up to demand, as long as those still motivated to work despite increased unemployment benefits are able to make up the difference.  This may occur — just in time for “stimulus money” to run out.

Then what?  With higher prices simultaneous with many checking accounts going dry (and worse, credit card debt and interest rates rising) and spending power reduced, could this be our 21st century version of the 1929 Crash?

OK, chances are most “developed” nations will face the same problem.  Thus, if everyone’s currency is being devalued, then that part of the economic impact will be softened because the value of money is relative. High prices throughout the world may lead to more zeroes on prices, but no country will have an advantage.  However, it WILL devastate those on fixed incomes but, seeing that they aren’t the voting majority, who cares?………..!

But what to do with extra inventories because the “just in time” business strategy was discarded as a response to a very real, but very temporary surge in demand?  The challenge will be this:  We must find a way to avoid the specter of surplus inventory at inflationary prices while not also having the necessary solvent citizenry being able to purchase it.

Just like COVID-19 and its historically rapid development of vaccines, we are plunging economically headlong into a foggy area. Essentially, we are pioneering.

It’s like the hurry-up two-minute offense in football.  If it works in an emergency, then why not operate that way all of the time?  Maybe there’s a reason for it.  Maybe we simply don’t know.  Let’s pause and think this through before we become another chapter in future economic books when our descendants will repeat the flawed observation: “but it’s different this time.”

“Nobody Ever Invented a Polite Word for a Killing Yet”

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… thus said Thelma Ritter as nurse Stella to James Stewart playing the role of world-travelling news photographer L. B. Jefferies in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 movie, “Rear Window.”

It’s not because human beings haven’t tried to make various forms of murder seem righteous.  Today, we have Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, Mercy Killing, Ethnic Cleansing, Reproductive Rights/ Choice, Termination of a Pregnancy and Capital Punishment.

It would ultimately be a lot easier on our consciences, and the dignity of our language, if we would simply stop killing each other except in self-defense.

Improper Use of “Adopt,” “Herd Immunity” and “Animal Rights” Debases Human Life

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Language is constantly evolving unless it is attached as Latin is to a collapsed society like the Roman Empire.  New technology is a logical driving force for new words or expanded meanings.  Other influences such as social jargon can be fun, but do not always improve communication.  When it leads to the misuse of language, more serious unintended negative consequences can result.

Such is the case with the popular renditions of “adopt,” “herd immunity” and “animal rights.” While well-intentioned to show compassion in two of these cases, they produce the subconscious belief that animal life is equivalent to human life.  Here are the problems with current misuse of these terms .

ADOPT

Adoption is a legal term to denote when at least one adult assumes responsibility for a minor who is not his biological child.  The responsibility makes the adopting person the acting parent of the minor with all of the legal rights and responsibilities associated with it.

Now we often hear of “adopting” pets.  This puts the animal on the same level as a child. While an individual can volunteer the admirable humane act of caring for a “homeless” animal throughout its life, the human can never be “parent” to the animal.  

They could be a “parent’ only if the animal could be a suitable partner for another human being later.  However, “none of the animals could be man’s partner.”

Another problem of equating children with animals is: “God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image.  Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing.  They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure.” Children cannot be substituted for animals.

Finally, it is good to treat animals humanely, but not on the same level as children.  “It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly.  It is likely unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery.  One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.” 3

HERD IMMUNITY

This one should be reserved for animals, otherwise it undercuts the dignity of human life.  There are numerous words to describe groups of people such as a club, organization, crowd, etc. “Herd” is only for certain animals.  A more appropriate term for attaining the critical mass regarding protecting humans from disease would be “crowd immunity.”

ANIMAL RIGHTS

This term has cleverly slipped into everyday use because it appears, at first, to be the pinnacle of humane awareness. This well-meaning attempt at compassion makes a crucial mistake by ignoring the key distinction between animals and humans, who are created in the image and likeness of God with animals who are not.

Only humans have rights because with rights come duties automatically.  As Pope St. John XXIII wrote:

“Any well-regulated and productive association of men in society demands the acceptance of one fundamental principle: that each individual man is truly a person. His is a nature, that is, endowed with intelligence and free will.  As such he has rights and duties, which together flow as a direct consequence from his nature.  These rights and duties are universal and inviolable, and therefore altogether inalienable.” 4

“Once this is admitted, it follows that in human society one man’s natural right gives rise to a corresponding duty in other men; the duty, that is, of recognizing and respecting that right. Every basic human right draws its authoritative force from the natural law, which confers it and attaches to it its respective duty. Hence, to claim one’s rights and ignore one’s duties, or only half fulfill them, is like building a house with one hand and tearing it down with the other.”  5

Animals do not have duties, including the duty to respect the rights of others. They are incapable of doing this.  If animals are said to have rights, then we have would this contradiction:

“The animal rights movement is irrational because if animals had rights, the only species that would be required to honor those rights would be people.  Animals would not have an obligation to honor each other’s rights because they don’t understand the concept.  Nor do they have the obligation to honor our rights, because they don’t have the capacity to understand the concept.  Animals cannot be rights-bearing beings because they are not duties-bearing beings.  They’re amoral.”  6

Lest it sound as though we should be insensitive to animals: 

Animals [emphasis retained] are God’s creatures.  He surrounds them with his providential care.  By their mere existence they bless him and give him glory.  Thus men owe them kindness.  We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.” 7

Animals are an important part of God’s creation, and we must live in an ordered way with them, exercising a responsible stewardship of the gift that they really are. Even those animals used for legitimate purposes ought to be treated humanely with reasonable housing, care, food, companionship and pain control if needed.”  8

1 – From paragraph 371 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November 2013

2 – Ibid., from paragraph 2417.

3 – Ibid., from paragraph 2418.

4 – Paragraph 9 of the encyclical “Pacem in Terris,” by Pope St. John XXIII on April, 11, 1963.

http://www.vatican.va/content/john-xxiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_j-xxiii_enc_11041963_pacem.html

5 – Ibid., paragraph 30.

6 – “Animal Rights: A Primer,”  by Jeffrey Mirus, Ph.D., https://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/animal-rights-primer/ , 5/11/2010.

7 From paragraph 2416 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November 2013

8 – “’Animal Rights” vs. Human Rights,” by Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk, https://www.catholiceducation.org/en/science/ethical-issues/animal-rights-vs-human-rights.html, 10/1/2006.

Fraudulent Vote Counts and Baseball’s Stats in the Steroid Era: We May Never Know the True Results

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For more than a decade beginning sometime before the baseball lockout of 1994, many players were taking improper steroid supplements. Some offensive statistics were undoubtedly inflated, notably home runs. This presents very real problems. For example, how many of those players now in the upper echelons of home run totals really deserve to be there? How many of their new records are real? We will never know.

At least one report came from this year’s election night that some ballots arrived to the vote counting center after that battleground state’s 7PM cutoff. These late ballots, according to a witness, were mixed with those which had arrived on time. Another worker claimed to have been told to back-date the arrival time of some ballots. Even in the absence of these reports and others, the probability of vote contamination cannot be dismissed given the multiple instances of Republican observers being denied access to monitor the mail-in vote counting process in contentious states, especially in the city of Philadelphia.

Baseball allowed the steroid problem to sneak up on them and then were irresponsible for ignoring it for so long, especially after the lockout – when interest in baseball dropped and MLB needed to get the fans back. Baseball careers cannot be replayed, but that doesn’t mean the fans must recognize the validity of some of the sport’s top home run hitters, respect their statistical achievements, or recognize their possible enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. Names like (Barry, definitely not Bobby) Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, and others should have a cloud over them indefinitely.

The pandemic’s arrival could not have been prevented.  However, as in the case of baseball, more could have been done by those in charge of this election to prevent serious doubt of its results.  Even the the Supreme Court added to the problem with its 4-4 vote before the election allowed the state of Pennsylvania’s procedures to be played out without change resulting in a quagmire of legal chaos in the presidential vote counting. 2

Unlike baseball, the media had a hand in not properly reporting improper benefits received by Joe Biden’s family (and possibly him) during the Obama Administration.  Our country is too big for a re-vote to be practical and in time for January’s swearing in ceremonies… Just as in baseball, that doesn’t mean all of the voting citizenry will believe the results.  The name of Biden is also assigned its cloud indefinitely.

1https://www.gloucestercitynews.net/clearysnotebook/2020/11/video-project-veritas-interviews-michigan-postal-employee-regarding-back-dating-ballots.html, 11/5/2020.

2 – “Supreme Court Allows Longer Deadlines for Absentee Ballots in Pennsylvania and North Carolina,” by Adam Liptak, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/28/us/supreme-court-pennsylvania-north-carolina-absentee-ballots.html, 10/28/2020.

How Trump’s Education Policy is More Catholic Than “Catholic” Biden’s

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Black economic and sociology experts repeatedly tell us that there are two root causes of the plight of minority communities. One is substandard education which keeps the poor trapped in ignorance and the poverty which goes with it, and the other is the absence of fathers in so many minority families which leads to irresponsibility and then to crime. This article addresses the problem with education and that charter schools outperform public schools to warrant support for charters.

Charter Schools Succeed, But Biden and Democrats Oppose, Trump Supports

Thomas Sowell’s family moved to Harlem when he was very young. He is grateful for the good education he received there in the 1930’ and ‘40’s. Unfortunately, that was not the case for many years in that community afterward, until charter schools made their appearance there and elsewhere.

Jason Riley points out that in Sowell’s book published on the author’s 90th birthday this year, “Charter Schools and their Enemies,” there are several cases of inner-city charter schools outperforming some of the wealthiest and whitest suburban school districts in the country. Quoting Sowell: “The educational success of these charter schools undermines theories of genetic determinism, claims of cultural bias in the tests, assertions that racial ‘integration’ is necessary for blacks to reach educational parity and presumptions that income differences are among the ‘root causes’ of educational differences. This last claim has been used for decades to absolve traditional public schools of any responsibility for educational failures in low-income minority communities.” 1

The success of charter schools is well-documented 2,3, but Democratic politicians from New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio to presidential candidate Joe Biden have vowed to eliminate them. The mayor said this at the 2019 National Educational Association assembly: “Get away from charter schools. No federal funding for charter schools.” 3 Former Vice President Joe Biden: “[charter schools] are very misguided reforms… No privately-funded charter school will receive a penny of federal money. None.” 4

Meanwhile, President Trump supports the concept of charter schools with: “Frankly, school choice is the civil rights statement of the year, of the decade, and probably beyond, because all children have to have access to quality education. A child’s zip code in America should never determine their future, and that’s what was happening. So we’re very, very strong on school choice.” 5

What Does This Have to do with Catholicism?

“… Parents are the principal and first educators of their children. . . . As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them [emphasis retained] which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise.” 6

This is not to say that public authorities must promote Christian schools. The reference to parental convictions can range from wanting a safe educational setting with challenging academics to not wanting the misnamed “age appropriate sex education” including gender topics in the first grade. A good education is necessary to break the bonds of poverty, regardless of race or ethnicity. Charter schools provide a workable way to achieve this at lower cost 7, however, not all charter teachers earn less. 8

Given the big picture, why does Joe Biden, who went to Catholic schools, not want school choice which helps the poor? Maybe he skipped school and spent that day in his basement.

1 – “Thomas Sowell Has been Right From the Start,” by Jason Riley, WSJ Opinion, 7/21/2020.

2 – “A new study of eight major cities—Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, New York, San Antonio and Washington—by researchers at the University of Arkansas has concluded that charter schools are not only producing superior academic results but doing so far more efficiently than the traditional school system.

“The public charter school sectors in all eight of these U.S. cities are more cost-effective and deliver a higher return-on-investment than their respective traditional public school sectors,” wrote the authors [education scholars Jay Greene and Frederick Hess]. “In these important urban environments, there is a clear productivity advantage for public charter schools.” From “Jason Riley: Progressives Threaten to Destroy School Reform,” https://blackcommunitynews.com/jason-riley-progressives-threaten-to-destroy-school-reform/, 4/8/2019.

3 – In addition to the DeBlasio quote the article included: “as The Post reported in July, “all 467 eighth-grade students in the Success Academy network of charter schools took the [state Algebra exam] this academic year, and 99% passed with a minimum rank of 3, or a score of 65.” A full 56% achieved the top score of 5…
“Yes, 82% eighth-graders from DOE schools passed the algebra exam with 3 or better — but only a third of all DOE eighth-graders even took the exam, because most of them hadn’t even taken algebra yet.” From “De Blasio want to snuff out charter schools — the bright light of NYC Schools,” the New York Post editorial board, https://nypost.com/2019/09/07/de-blasio-wants-to-snuff-out-charter-schools-the-bright-light-of-nyc-schools/, 9/7/2019.

4 – “Joe Biden and teachers’ union share same feelings on charter schools,” by Catrin Wigfall, https://www.americanexperiment.org/2020/09/joe-biden-and-teachers-union-share-same-feelings-on-charter-schools/, 9/21/2020.

5 – “Trump: School Choice Is The Civil Rights Statement Of The Year,” by Wesley Whistle, https://www.forbes.com/sites/wesleywhistle/2020/06/16/trump-school-choice-is-the-civil-rights-statement-of-the-year/?sh=5ac60e0e3f46, 6/16/2020.

6 – Excerpt from paragraph 1653 and the entire paragraph 2229 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November, 2013.

7 – “Per-pupil funding in charter and traditional public schools,” by Jessie McBirney, https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/commentary/pupil-funding-charter-and-traditional-public-schools, 12/5/2018.

8 – “Public vs. Charter Teacher Salaries,” Perennial Resources International, https://www.perennialresources.com/salary-forecasts/public-vs-charter-teacher-salaries/

The Party of Abortion Will “Restore the Soul of America”?

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Joe Biden has often commented that we are “in a battle for the soul of this nation.” 1 However, the former Vice President should know that, if he’s a Catholic, his position on abortion is not conducive to the salvation of anyone’s soul. 2

Killing another human except in self-defense is a serious wrong. The killing of unborn babies is not self-defense. Participating in any form of murder endangers one’s soul, it does not “restore it.” The Democratic Party may tout abortion as a “reproductive right,” but their misuse of the word “right” does not make it part of our unchangeable inalienable rights. Their position also ignores abortion’s serious effects on those who continue with their lives after the killing 3 as well as the possible all-important eternal ramifications.

Those who arbitrarily decide to end a life endanger their souls to varying degrees (see footnote 4).  They are elevating their will over that of the Creator, who is the Author of Life and, therefore, the only owner of life. By doing so, those who murder are essentially assigning themselves ownership in that victimized human. The more familiar word for ownership of a human is slavery — something the Left claims to be fighting the moral descendants of.

In reality, Biden and the Democrats cannot restore our nation’s soul by promoting and funding baby-killing, but they can endanger their own souls.

1 – “Biden accepts nomination with pledge to ‘restore soul of America’,” by Demetri Sevastopulo, https://www.ft.com/content/e6c5ea3a-3010-4cb8-991b-b2236cf87035, 8/21/2020.

2 – “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law. . . [The Church] makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society. . . The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation [emphasis retained]… ‘The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law…’” Excerpts from Paragraphs 2271, 2272 and 2273 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November 2013.

3 – “While the evidence is mounting that induced abortion carries serious and significant emotional harm for some women, how abortion affects men remains largely a story unexamined and untold…. For men who know of their fatherhood and its demise, the feelings can burn intensely. In the only book on abortion and men, Shostak describes male abortion pain as the loss of fatherhood and a ‘wound you cannot see or feel, but it exists’ (A. Shostak, Abortion & Men: Lessons, Losses & Love, N.Y.: Praeger, 1984)…. Research evidence now suggests that following the loss of their unborn child some men may in fact grieve more than the mother.” From “The Effects of Abortion on Men: its Emotional, Psychological and Relational Impact,” by Vincent M. Rue and Cynthia Tellefsen, https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=8089, 2020.

4 – “Unintentional ignorance (emphasis retained) can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man [note: classical style, meaning “every person”]. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.” Paragraph 1860 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November 2013.

Biden’s Family Profits From His Political Connections, Trump Takes No Salary

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Donald Trump is the third President to not accept a salary joining Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy. “But Trump benefits from having some dignitaries stay at one of his hotels” some will say. Sure, and most former presidents gain from the proceeds of their memoirs and speaking engagements. Shall we prohibit that, too?
But that would also be a problem for Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden: “As recently as 2009, his net worth was less than $30,000, though in recent years he has made millions from book sales and speaking fees.” 1

“In 2017, Joe Biden told a Vanity Fair writer that he sometimes wished that one of his children had gotten rich in order to provide for him in his old age. Biden and his wife, Jill, have set about providing for themselves, earning more than $15 million in the two years following the end of his vice presidency in early 2017.” 1

Biden’s Son, Hunter

Case #1: “In December 2013, Hunter Biden’s small financial advisory firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners was part of a coveted $1.5 billion private equity deal involving a subsidiary of the Bank of China, Bohai Industrial Investment Fund Management Co. and one of China’s largest asset managers, Harvest Fund Management Co. The companies relied on Chinese state-owned venture capital to raise the funds.

“The joint-investment fund was called Bohai Harvest RST. The RST stood for Rosemont Seneca Partners and Thornton Group LLC. Rosemont Seneca was headed by Hunter Biden and Devon Archer and affiliated with Rosemont Capital, a private-equity firm co-founded by Christopher Heinz, the stepson of former Secretary of State John Kerry.

“The deal was significant. The Wall Street Journal described it as ‘one of the biggest Sino-foreign collaborations in private equity.’ … According to [Peter]Schweizer [author and president of the Government Accountability Institute], there are few reasons to explain why Biden’s small consultancy was selected by the Chinese government-affiliated firms. [emphasis added] He claims that Rosemont Seneca Partners finalized the deal shortly after Hunter Biden accompanied his father on a trip to Beijing.”

“. . . “”We know he was not being paid for his expertise and we know that they [Bohai Harvest RST] made some very curious investments,” Schweizer added.

“One investment was into Face++, a facial recognition software provider that raised eyebrows as human rights groups claim it is being used to prop up China’s surveillance state. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, Face++ software is allegedly being used in the Chinese government’s crackdown on ethnic minorities.” [emphasis added]2

Case #2: “Vice President Biden traveled to Ukraine in April 2014, shortly after Russia annexed Crimea. He was working to secure a billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund to help the country that had just experienced a popular overthrow of its government and was informally at war with Russia.

“Before his trip, the vice president met with Hunter Biden’s business partner Devon Archer at the White House, according to records Schweizer found in his investigation. Shortly after Biden returned from Kiev, there was a public announcement that Archer had been asked to join the board of Burisma [a Ukrainian energy firm]. Three weeks later, Hunter Biden was invited to join the company as well.

“According to financial documents, Hunted Biden was paid $3.1 million dollars by the Ukrainian over an 18-month period. Biden’s former New York-based law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, was reportedly paid $283,000 for providing legal services to Burisma in 2014.

“. . . By the time Biden joined the board, Burisma’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, had fled Ukraine. His businesses, including Burisma, were under investigation by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Victor Shokin, until Vice President Joe Biden reportedly threatened the new Ukrainian president to fire him in 2016.

“According to Biden’s own account, he told President Petro Poroshenko that he would withdraw a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee unless he fired Shokin “If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled in a January 2018 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Well, son of a b—-, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.” 2

His Brother, James

“… the two large men escorted the fund’s [Paradigm Global Advisors] president out of the firm’s midtown Manhattan office, and James Biden laid out his vision for the fund’s future. ‘Don’t worry about investors,” he said, according to the executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of retaliation. ‘We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden.’”

“At the time, the senator was just months away from both assuming the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and launching his second presidential bid. According to the executive, James Biden made it clear he viewed the fund as a way to take money from foreigners who could not legally give money to his older brother or his campaign account. ‘We’ve got investors lined up in a line of 747s filled with cash ready to invest in this company,’ the executive remembers James Biden saying.

“At this, the executive recalled, Beau Biden, who was then running for attorney general of Delaware, turned bright red. He told his uncle, ‘This can never leave this room, and if you ever say it again, I will have nothing to do with this.’

“A spokesman for James and Hunter Biden said no such episode ever occurred. Beau Biden died in 2015, at 46.

“But the recollection of an effort to cash in on Joe’s political ties is consistent with other accounts by other former executives at the fund.” 1

An Unanswered Question for Voters

“Starting Jan. 25, 2016, Burisma began sending regular payments for Biden to his Washington law firm, Owasco PC (Owasco). Owasco was incorporated on Jan. 19, 2006, lists an agent address in Washington, and lists its executing officer and governor as Robert Hunter Biden. Payments from Burisma to Owasco continued throughout most of 2016 and ceased eight days after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8, 2016 presidential election. [emphasis added] Between Jan. 25, 2016, and Nov. 16, 2016, Burisma sent nine wires totaling $752,054.99 to Owasco with each of the nine transactions listing ‘Owasco, PC/Robert Biden’ as the recipient. Of the nine, two payments were for $83,333.33, five were for $83,333 one was for $84,992.33, and one was for $83,731.291 … Biden continued to serve on Burisma’s board of directors until April 2019.”

“. . . The Biden campaign issued a statement before the report was released accusing Senator [Ron] Johnson [R-WI] of pushing ‘a long-disproven hardcore right-wing conspiracy theory’ and trying ‘to subsidize a foreign attack against the sovereignty of our elections with taxpayer dollars,’ referring to the foreign sources that Johnson and [Sen. Charles] Grassley’s [R-IA] report cited. However, the Biden campaign has not has not yet addressed the numerous allegations contained in the report that are based on non-partisan financial records called Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) issued by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). 3

Is this like the question regarding the Biden/ Harris plan to pack the Court? We “don’t deserve to know.”

1 – “Biden Inc.,” by Ben Schreckinger, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/08/02/joe-biden-investigation-hunter-brother-hedge-fund-money-2020-campaign-227407, 8/2/2019.
2 – “Will foreign money dominate 2020? Author explains Biden’s family ties to China, Ukraine,” by Leandra Bernstein, https://wjla.com/news/nation-world/will-foreign-money-dominate-2020-author-explains-bidens-family-ties-to-china-ukraine, 6/7/2019.
3 – “Senate exposes a rogues’ gallery of shady foreign associates behind lucrative deals,” by Seamus Bruner, https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/senate-exposes-rogues-gallery-shady-foreign-associates, 9/25/2020.

Education: Another Reason Why Catholics Cannot Justify Voting for the Democratic Ticket in 2020

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Exhibit “A”:  “The fruitfulness of conjugal love extends to the fruits of the moral, spiritual, and supernatural life that parents hand on to their children by education.  Parents are the principal and first educators of their children. [emphasis added] . . . .  The state has a responsibility for its citizens’ well-being.  In this capacity it is legitimate for it to intervene to orient the demography of the population.  This can be done by means of objective and respectful information, but certainly not by authoritarian, coercive measures.  The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children. [emphasis added]  In this area, it is not authorized to employ means contrary to the moral law.” 1

Exhibit “B”:  “The educational achievement of white youngsters is nothing to write home about, but that achieved by blacks is nothing less than disgraceful.  Let’s look at a recent example of an educational outcome all too common.  In 2016, in 13 of Baltimore’s 39 high schools, not a single student scored proficient on the state’s mathematics exam…  Baltimore is by no means unique. It’s a small part of the ongoing education disaster for black students across the nation.  Baltimore schools are not underfunded.  Of the nation’s 100 largest school systems, Baltimore schools rank third in spending per pupil…  What’s the NAACP response to educational fraud? At a 2016 meeting, the NAACP’s board of directors ratified a resolution that called for a moratorium on charter schools.” 2

Exhibit “C”:  “It is successful charter schools that are the real threat to the traditional unionized public schools.  No charter school network examined here has been more successful educationally than the Success Academy charter schools in Harlem, Bedford-Stuyvesant, the South Bronx and other low-income minority neighborhoods in New York City—and none has been more often or more bitterly attacked in words and deeds.” 3

Exhibit “D”:  “The point is, if I’m President, Betsy DeVos’ whole notion from charter schools to this are GONE.” 4

Exhibit “E”:  “In a bold move for her 2020 bid for the White House, Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California rolled out a federal education proposal that would ‘invest’ in teacher pay across the country. What the plan lacks in details, it makes up for with broad federal overreach into public school operations at a time when teachers, principals, and parents desperately need less bureaucracy rather than more. News coverage has focused on the incredible cost of the plan at $315 billion and its implications for the presidential ambitions of Harris … An ally of public unions, which invested heavily in Harris in her rise in California politics, her new proposal seeks to bolster her alliance with big labor… 5

DISCUSSION

  • Catholic parents are not only the “first educators of their children,” but the state educates children at the pleasure of and with the approval of the parents – not the reverse.
  • Charter schools tend to produce better results over public schools even when the students are chosen by lottery as in New York City. 6 The article also admits that: “Parents have to nominate their children for a spot, and there is presumably some difference between the parents who bother and the parents who don’t, but the charter schools are not able to cherry-pick the best students and thereby pad out their performance numbers.”  (This also shows how a culture of parental involvement assists in their children’s advancement to adulthood.)
  • “Education has been and is a way out of poverty, especially for minority students.”7
  • If a President Biden is successful with eliminating charter schools, public schools will have no competition. Human nature being what It is, public schools will again have no motivation to improve.  They will have a captive clientele!
  • Increasing teachers’ salaries would be a good gesture by a President Harris, rather, a Vice President Harris. However, it would not address the root causes of expensive and unnecessary overhead, deteriorating discipline in schools and constant pushing Common Core along with  early age sex education.

CONCLUSION

The Democratic platform contains many aspects which are unacceptable to the Catholic voter who knows what it means to be “Catholic.”  Education is just one of several deal killers.  This party does not recognize the parents’ right to determine how their children are taught.  The resolution of the case, Parker v. Hurley (2008), provides an example of the absurdity which encourages the Democrats to act as they do:

“Joey has a more significant claim, both because he was required to sit through a classroom reading of King and King and because that book affirmatively endorses homosexuality and gay marriage.  It is a fair inference that the reading of King and King was precisely intended to influence the listening children toward tolerance of gay marriage.  That was the point of why that book was chosen and used.  Even assuming there is a continuum along which an intent to influence could become an attempt to indoctrinate, however, this case is firmly on the influence-toward-tolerance end.  There is no evidence of systemic indoctrination.  There is no allegation that Joey was asked to affirm gay marriage.   Requiring a student to read a particular book is generally not coercive of free exercise rights.” 8

As economists and socialists such as Thomas Sowell, Walter E. Williams and Shelby Steele stress, the two biggest reasons for minority poverty are: an education system which does not look after the best interests of the Black student 9 and a welfare state which discourages personal development and responsibility. 10

Therefore, why would a practicing Catholic vote for the Democratic Party whose platform takes away one of the two means by which minorities can elevate themselves from poverty?

1 – Excerpts from paragraphs 1653 and 2372 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November 2013.

2 – “Walter Williams: ‘How long will black people accept the educational destruction of black youngsters?’”, https://yellowhammernews.com/walter-williams-long-will-black-people-accept-educational-destruction-black-youngsters/, 2019

3 – “Charter Schools and Their Enemies, by Thomas Sowell, Basic Books, 2020.

4 – Quote of Joe Biden’s on MSNBC, 5/27/2020.

5 – “Kamala Harris goes too far in her plan to improve public education, by Hermeet Dhillon, https://thehill.com/opinion/education/437613-kamala-harris-goes-too-far-in-her-plan-to-improve-public-education, 4/5/2019.

6 – “The Collapsing Case Against Charter Schools,” by Kevin D. Williamson, https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2020/07/27/the-collapsing-case-against-charter-schools/, 7/9/2020.

7 – “Education as Pathway Out of Poverty,” by Maria “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, PhD, https://www.idra.org/resource-center/education-as-pathway-out-of-poverty/, January 2013.

8 – Parker v. Hurley, United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit, https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-1st-circuit/1387902.html, decided 1/31/2008.

9 – “No group in American society has been more betrayed by American education over the past thirty-five years than black American young people.  It is now clear that the primary device for treating their academic weakness has been to grant them a license to academic mediocrity.”  From “Educating Black Students,” by Shelby Steele, a chapter in “Education in the Twenty-First Century, Hoover Institution Press, 2002, chapter can be found at https://media.hoover.org/sites/default/files/documents/0817928928_93.pdf

10 – “The welfare state has led to remarkably similar trends among the white underclass in England over the same period.

“Just read ‘Life at the Bottom,’ by Theodore Dalrymple, a British physician who worked in a hospital in a white slum neighborhood.

“You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large.

“Non-judgmental subsidies of counterproductive lifestyles are treating people as if they were livestock, to be fed and tended by others in a welfare state — and yet expecting them to develop as human beings have developed when facing the challenges of life themselves.

“One key fact that keeps getting ignored is that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits every year since 1994. Behavior matters and facts matter, more than the prevailing social visions or political empires built on those visions.” From “Blame the welfare state, not racism, for poor blacks’ problems: Thomas Sowell, https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2015/05/poor_blacks_looking_for_someon.html, posted 5/17/2015 and updated 1/5/2019.

2020 Election: Are We Willing to Exchange Innocent Lives for Subsidized Health Insurance?

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Health care has been an important issue in many presidential campaigns.  Sometimes it even includes contradictory programs such as taxpayer supported pre-natal care as well as taxpayer supported killing of babies!

In our current Trump vs. Bidenharris [not a typo] contest we are presented with another stark moral dilemma: are we willing to sacrifice the lives of the unborn in a trade for pre-existing health insurance coverage which is subsidized by tax dollars and by continued exorbitant premiums and high deductibles for those who do not benefit?

To be clear, coverage for pre-existing health conditions is an important issue.  It is also a difficult issue to make fair.  Being unable to obtain health insurance for pre-existing conditions can be devastating, especially when some health issues are simply a matter of the luck of the genetic draw.  Unfortunately, some candidates create a 3-part opportunistic scenario where “the end justifies the means” is deemed necessary in order to remedy this.

This takes us back to Trump vs. Bidenharris.  The President wants to modify the (Un)Affordable Health Care Act because it is severely unfair to many.  Under the current Obama plan, those with pre-existing health and economic conditions are covered and assisted.  No decent person would reject that, EXCEPT the means by which it is currently being accomplished.  Part of the additional expense is covered by tax revenue.  The efficiency and the constitutionality of this process is debatable and should be discussed in order to be sure it’s appropriate. 

The other parts of this Act, which Bidenharris supports and promises to expand, are not appropriate.  While President Obama promised his program would provide so many benefits to all Americans, it did not (and he knew so before it passed through Congress 1).  One was cost.  This writer and his wife know firsthand the combined premium increases and decreased coverage caused by this Act.  Not only did premiums rise tremendously, but in one year, none of the three hospital networks in our part of Ohio were covered and during the next only one of the three (and the least desirable of the three) was included….. for very high premiums and mountainous deductibles. 

The second part of this health care “deal” (a favorite word of the older half of the 2020 Democratic ticket) is taxpayer money used to kill the unborn through Planned Parenthood and other organizations.  Without addressing all of the moral objections, let us bring up one scientific fact: the unborn child is, without a doubt, a separate human as made evident by his/her unique set of chromosomes.  To eliminate this life because of the myriad of rationalizations is frighteningly in line with Hitler’s philosophy of human life — someone whom Democratic supporter Antifa claims to be against!

Improvements in social issues such as health insurance and its effects can be accomplished through non-governmental charitable organizations, already in existence, which assist the less fortunate with money and physical necessities along with well-considered federal and state programs which are fair and constitutional (aspects not normally scrutinized by politicians when they are pleading for votes).  There’s no need for a political party to hold its citizenry hostage by declaring that health insurance coverage cannot be improved without also having to accept the use of taxpayer money for killing the unborn and robbing innocent taxpayers through increased premiums, made worse with reduced coverage.   

   1 – “Obamacare architect discussed misleading public in 4th newly uncovered video, by Jake Tapper, CNN Politics, https://www.cnn.com/2014/11/13/politics/tapper-gruber/index.html, 11/13/2014.      

Who’s Really Impacted by Much Higher Corporate Taxes?

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This is definitely not to suggest that there should be no corporate taxes.  Corporations benefit from publicly funded structures and institutions just as individuals can.  Taxes can be a legally and morally legitimate cost of doing business.  Rather, this is to remind us how the burden of this tax is typically distributed… something a certain political party prefers to ignore when seeking votes from a populace not familiar with economics and world history.

Taxes are as inevitable as our mortality.  They are also not intrinsically good or evil.  With carefully made decisions, no one is targeted unfairly and much good can be accomplished.

The Left offers “solutions” to societal problems which increasingly follow a socialist plan. One of their favorites is to raise taxes significantly on corporations.  So how does this program travel through reality?

Corporate taxes eventually impact money available for salaries and wages, prices to customers and payments to stockholders.  If the prices they charge remain constant, higher taxes will likely reduce compensation potential to employees and stockholders who are within the corporate “family.”  It may also cause them to put pressure on suppliers to lower their prices to them — who must then decide whether to cut back their stakeholder compensation or raise prices to their customers. (Stakeholders are essentially employees, without which a corporation cannot function, and stockholders whose interest in the corporation affects its ability to raise funds for improvements.)   

If any of these managements does not want to reduce these monetary outlays, it must raise prices which affect customers who may be outside the corporate family.  Either way, employees and/or consumers will pay for significant corporate tax increases —- in addition to their own personal tax bills!

Of course, the proponents of socialism have another solution handy for this problem they created: an all-powerful state which will make all decisions regarding the means of production and compensation. This has failed miserably in the former Iron Curtain countries, China before it permitted some vestiges of capitalism, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Venezuela.  More proof that we need to know both economics and history.

The Left Has More in Common With Hitler than It Realizes

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For starters, both take it upon themselves to decide who deserves to live.  Hitler eliminated Jews and anyone with disabilities he did not want propagating.1  Margaret Sanger, founder of what is now Planned Parenthood, also wanted to remove those unwanted by the elite.2  Now the Left continues her legacy by facilitating the killing of “unwanted” babies as well as assisted suicide for those who are terminally ill or who feel depressed.

Hitler established a Ministry of Propaganda which censured and deleted opinions opposed to the chancellor.3  President Trump may berate news services in an “unpresidential” manner.  He does not, however, ban opposing views as most college campuses do4, 5   nor does he delete material contrary to his position as does the left -controlled social media.

President Trump does not believe in a master race6 as Hitler did — or in a leftist elite which steers the masses as proponents of socialism must inevitably charge toward.

Antifa doth protest too much, me thinks.

1 – “On July 14, 1933, the Nazi government instituted the ‘Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases.’ This law, one of the first steps taken by the Nazis toward their goal of creating an Aryan “master race,” called for the sterilization of all persons who suffered from diseases considered hereditary, such as mental illness, learning disabilities, physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism. With the law’s passage the Third Reich also stepped up its propaganda against people with disabilities, regularly labeling them ‘life unworthy of life’ or ‘useless eaters’ and highlighting their burden upon society.”  From “People With Disabilities,” https://www.ushmm.org/collections/bibliography/people-with-disabilities

2 – “Sanger’s eugenics creed is clearly stated in her speech ‘My Way to Peace’ (1932). The centerpiece of the program is vigorous state use of compulsory sterilization and segregation.  The first class of persons targeted for sterilization is made up of people with mental or physical disability. ‘The first step would be to control the intake and output on morons, mental defectives, epileptics.’  A much larger class of undesirables would be forced to choose either sterilization or placement in state work camps.  ‘The second step would be to take an inventory of the second group, such as illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends; classify them in special departments under government medical protection and segregate them on farms and open spaces.’ Those segregated in these camps could return to mainstream society if they underwent sterilization and demonstrated good behavior.  Sanger estimates that 15 million to 20 million Americans would be targeted in this regime of forced sterilization and concentration camps.  In Sanger, the humanitarian dream of a world without poverty and illness has deteriorated into a coercive world where the poor, the disabled and the addicted simply disappear.

2 – “Sanger’s eugenics creed is clearly stated in her speech ‘My Way to Peace’ (1932). The centerpiece of the program is vigorous state use of compulsory sterilization and segregation. The first class of persons targeted for sterilization is made up of people with mental or physical disability. ‘The first step would be to control the intake and output on morons, mental defectives, epileptics.’ A much larger class of undesirables would be forced to choose either sterilization or placement in state work camps. ‘The second step would be to take an inventory of the second group, such as illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, dope-fiends; classify them in special departments under government medical protection and segregate them on farms and open spaces.’ Those segregated in these camps could return to mainstream society if they underwent sterilization and demonstrated good behavior. Sanger estimates that 15 million to 20 million Americans would be targeted in this regime of forced sterilization and concentration camps. In Sanger, the humanitarian dream of a world without poverty and illness has deteriorated into a coercive world where the poor, the disabled and the addicted simply disappear.
“…’The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.’ In her autobiography she proudly recounts her address to the women of the Ku Klux Klan in Silver Lake, N.J., in 1926.”
From “Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist. Why are we still celebrating her?” by John J. Conley, S.J., https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2017/11/27/margaret-sanger-was-eugenicist-why-are-we-still-celebrating-her, 11/27/2017.

3 – “Shortly after Adolf Hitler rose to power in 1933, he established the Ministry of Propaganda with the goal that this agency would control all forms of mass communication in Germany.[18] At its peak of influence, the Ministry employed 1,500 employees spanning 17 departments.[19] Censorship policy was produced and implemented by the Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. As such, Goebbels oversaw the publication of all media that was to be widely distributed — literature, music, newspapers, and public events.[20] Any material that threatened the reputation of Hitler’s government or spoke ill of the regime was immediately censored and retracted.[21] Additionally, books that were already in circulation and written by Jewish authors were collected and burned.[22] Nazi bureaucrats saw their work and information control as necessary. It was, in their minds their duty to protect the German public from the harms of ‘undesirable books’.[23]

The control of information among young people was especially vital to the German government. On May 10, 1933, shortly after the Nazis rose to power, the government burned one-third of the total library holdings in Germany.[24] As soldiers burned at least 25,000 books in the center of Berlin, Goebbels spoke of the evils of literature and encouraged massive crowds to say ‘No to decadence and moral corruption!’.[25] This event began a widespread effort to illustrate government control and align public opinion with party ideology.

The aim of censorship under the Nazi regime was simple: to reinforce Nazi power and to suppress opposing viewpoints and information.[26]   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Germany

4 – For example:  “Dis-invited: 4 Conservatives Not Welcome To Speak On College Campuses,” by Arissa D (Future Female Leaders cabinet member and a student at Yale University, http://futurefemaleleader.com/disinvited-conservatives-not-welcome/, 4/16/2017.

5 – “https://cartaremi.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/its-unfortunate-that-many-universities-are-digressing-to-particularities/

6 –“3,100 inmates to be released as Trump administration implements criminal justice reform,´ by Matt Zapotosky, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/3100-inmates-to-be-released-as-trump-administration-implements-criminal-justice-reform/2019/07/19/7ed0daf6-a9a4-11e9-a3a6-ab670962db05_story.html, 7/19/2019.

I Didn’t Know Plastic Bags Can Jump Into Rivers for a Swim

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The Democrats have been condoning and promoting various intrinsic evils for a long time. To convince us of their moral authority, they try to prove how enlightened they are by putting effort into more mundane issues of less eternal impact.  

One such Cause du Jour is the elimination of one-time use plastic bags.  This writer agrees that in some cases, this can be the wasting of a non-renewable resource.  “In some cases” is the key.  Plastic bags provide a cleaner and safer means to transport frozen or wet items than renewables like paper bags.  To protect the environment and not waste these items made from a non-renewable resource (petroleum), many stores provide opportunities for recycling their bags.  Customers can either make the small effort to take them to collection sites within the stores, or decide not to bother and put them in the trash.  Either way, it’s impossible for plastic bags to mysteriously leap into our streets, parks or waterways as is implied by those who wish to ban the bags completely.

Like with most social issues, the Party of Controlling the Masses ignores the behavioral cause behind the problem and pushes for a ban which punishes responsible users.  Instead of an all-out effort to improve recycling and reuse opportunities, they implore their minion Big Brother to ban all plastic bags at checkout lanes in stores because that’s the only way to stop these items from ending up as litter in our communities and waterways.

In conclusion, this writer will join the “ban the bag” team only if he witnesses his collection of plastic bags for recycling open the front door and walk to the street for a nap or dash to a nearby stream and dive in looking for the nearest river or ocean to pollute.

Mayor de Blasio’s Inconsistent Concern for Human Life: “People will die because of it, which goes against everyone’s values”

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So said New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio in response to the April 28 funeral of an Orthodox Jewish rabbi in Brooklyn (who died at 73 from COVID-19) which drew thousands of mourners.  The concern, of course, arose from violation of the statewide ban on large gatherings issued on March 20 by Governor Andrew Cuomo because of the pandemic.

The mayor’s irritation was exacerbated by the need to send some of the city’s police to break up the gathering which also put them at risk for infection.  De Blasio commented at a press conference, “It was a large gathering, again, tragically thousands of people.  The amount of danger created by that kind of gathering is inestimable.  People will die because of it, which goes against everyone’s values.” 1

New York City has had 12,774 lives claimed by COVID-19 as of April 29. 2  New York City had 54,394 abortions in 2017, or four times as many. 3  Why as he never seen this as offending “everyone’s values?” The inconsistent regard for human life by many of our elected leaders and fellow citizens explains a lot of our nation’s on-going failed approaches to difficulties.

1 – “Orthodox Jewish funeral that drew thousands was ‘absolutely unacceptable,’ NYC mayor says,” by Noah Higgins-Dunn and Marty Steinberg, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/29/orthodox-jewish-funeral-that-drew-thousands-was-absolutely-unacceptable-nyc-mayor-says.html, 4/29/2020.

2https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-data.page

3 – “Abortion Reporting: New York City (2017),” by Tessa Longbons, Charlotte Lozier Institute, https://lozierinstitute.org/abortion-reporting-new-york-city-2017/

The Annunciation: Three Observations and Encouragement from Fr. Andrew Gronotte, LC

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On Wednesday (March 25), the Church had its annual celebration of the Annunciation.  That was when the Archangel Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary, informed her of God’s choice for her to be the mother of His Son and her total acceptance.  This date of March 25 was established for Mary to have conceived Jesus as it is exactly nine months before Christmas.  The history of this date in connection with December 25 and earlier associated designations with “New Year’s Day” plus additional history can be found in the footnote reference. 1

In his homily on the live televised Mass, Fr. Andrew Gronotte mentioned three reasons why Mary is considered great and their applications in our lives:

  1. First, “because God chose her.  Not necessarily that she had any merits of her own,” although he acknowledged that she was obviously a wonderful lady, “but what made her special was that God chose her.”  He went on to explain that Mary is not the only person as having a role to play in His creation because God “chooses each one of you, each one of us, to fulfill a certain part of mission, a certain part of God’s plan in the world.”  He went on to say that while we may not have an angel sent to inform us what purpose God has for us, we do have moments when we “hear” God’s voice directing us through grace.
  2. Another example of Mary’s greatness is that she “changed her plan for God’s .  And the fact that Mary was able to change, to trust completely in God’s plan and knew that (it was) the best plan for her… even though she thought her plan was to be a virgin her whole life and not to have any children, and be consecrated to God.  She continued living that way, but she lived it as a mother.And she was able to trust and to know that the best way for her to be happy was under God’s plan.”
  3. How else was Mary great?  “She persevered.  She made it through the Cross.  She did it completely, the mystery which was handed to her at the Annunciation…  She didn’t know the Cross was coming today when the angel came to her, but she accepted it every day of her life.  It wasn’t just today… and tomorrow was something else.  It’s a great witness for us.  It’s probably the greatest grace we could ever receive is to persevere until death like Mary did.”

Fr. Andrew also reminded us of the similarity of Mary’s receiving the angel at home and our current coronavirus situation, where we are in a sense, exiled to our homes.  In this setting we, too, may receive a message from God and it may require a change in plans as Mary experienced.   We can see ourselves in that moment like Mary was: accepting and persevering in God’s plan even though it might be very different from our own.

He added that the Annunciation was the first time Christ came into a person.  Mary could not as yet receive Him in the Eucharist (which was not established until the Last Supper).  Mary must have felt joy when Christ came into her as we do when receiving the Eucharist.  However, while many of us are not able to receive this ultimate sacrament temporarily, we can still ask Him to enter us with the request of the spiritual communion prayer.  This will strengthen us to bring Christ into the world by living in His grace and His love.

1 – “Why March 25, the Annunciation, Was Once New Year’s Day,” by Joseph Pronechen, https://www.ncregister.com/blog/joseph-pronechen/why-march-25-the-annunciation-was-once-celebrated-as-new-years-day

2 – “The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man.  In fact, Christ’s birth ‘did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.’  [from Lumen gentium 57]  And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the ‘Ever-virgin.’ [Cf. LG 52]”   Paragraph 499 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, second edition, 25th printing, November, 2013.

“No Children” at a Wedding Reception Reflects Modern Misunderstanding of What Marriage Is

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Stated simply, marriage is more than legalized sex.  Its two-fold purpose is to unify the couple so that they become “one flesh” AND that they are open to children. 1 The couple, regardless of age, should not attempt to thwart the possibility of having children through non-natural means. 2

That this is commonly ignored is not surprising given that most non-Catholic Christian churches began approving of contraception as far back as 1930.  With the denial of this intrinsic aspect of marriage, it provides a clear path to a number of violations of the commandment against adultery from fornication 3 (unmarried persons) to infidelity 4 (married)  to same-sex “marriage.” 5

The decreasing patience for having and raising children or even being with them in a social setting has led to this astonishing request for their absence at a celebration which, by its definition, involves the acknowledgement and appreciation of the gift of children.  Barring children from a marriage reception is a contradiction.

1 – “Unity, indissolubility, and openness to fertility are essential to marriage…”  Excerpt from paragraph 1664 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November 2013.

2 – “The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood.  Legitimate intentions on the part of the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).”   Excerpt from paragraph 2399, Ibid.

3 – “… Carnal union is morally legitimate only when a definitive community of life between a man and a woman has been established.  Human love does not tolerate ‘trial marriages.’ It demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.”  Excerpt from paragraph 2391, Ibid.

4 – “Adultery refers to marital infidelity… Christ condemns even adultery of mere desire.  The sixth commandment and the New Testament forbid adultery absolutely.”  Excerpt from paragraph 2380, Ibid.

5 – “… Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’  They are contrary to the natural law.  They close the sexual act to the gift of life.  They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complimentarity.  Under no circumstances can they be approved.”  Excerpt from paragraph 2357, Ibid.

Pelosi’s Ripping up Speech Was Childish, But Her Misrepresentations of Church Teaching is Serious

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In years past, younger adults could look toward the older generation for guidance on how to behave in difficult situations. Often, the younger’s desire to bring fire and brimstone on some adversary would be tempered by a more mature act of statesmanship by elders.

In recent times, that guidance has been receding. This was very evident with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ripping of President Trump’s State of the Union speech in clear view of everyone while sitting behind him in the Capitol.  She was at wit’s end due to her serious political differences with the President.  Nevertheless, her actions show a deficiency in being able to refute his positions and it encourages Millenials and others to show public disagreement in ways which have always been viewed as immature.

Still, Pelosi’s major source of disgrace is not the way she has handled the impeachment proceedings or her behavior the other night. Her biggest claim to infamy is the way she, as a self-proclaimed Catholic, has consistently misrepresented major Church teachings in her public life.  It may seem archaic to some that the correct name for this is “scandal,” but it fits the definition perfectly. These are actions which can others to wrongdoing because if a well-known “Catholic” disagrees with the Church, then it must be OK.   1

What are two of these essential beliefs that a Catholic must hold, but which she acts as though she’s exempt?

  1. The dignity of human life from conception to natural death. 2,3,4

In addition to her approval of this form of murder, she had the audacity to claim in an interview that the Church doesn’t know when human life begins. 5  She blatantly lies to make her position seen plausible.  There’s also a Commandment about bearing false witness.

2. Belief in the legitimization of same-sex “marriage.” 6,7

Rejecting Natural Law and the Ten Commandments in favor of a flawed court decision 8 and for political expediency puts her eternal life in danger. We can never say with certainty that someone will go to hell for certain beliefs or actions because we cannot judge a person’s culpability as God can. We can say with certainty that particular serious misdeeds could lead to eternal problems in the afterlife.  Let’s close with the hope that Nancy Pelosi can “see the light” before it’s too late.

(Granted, the names of Biden, Cuomo, Kane, Ocasio-Cortez, etc. also come to mind in these areas, but that’s for another time.)

1 – “Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil.  The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter.  He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death… Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized.  It prompted our Lord to utter this curse” ‘Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.’”  Excerpts from paragraphs 2284 and 2285 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November, 2013.

2 – “The Vatican says the pope lectured Pelosi about abortion and assisted suicide. Pelosi says they talked about poverty and global warming — and she showed him pictures of her grandchildren.

“His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death,” the Holy See said in a statement.”  “Pope raises abortion at meeting with Pelosi,”  https://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/18/pope.pelosi/

3 – “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.  From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life…” Excerpt from paragraph 2270, Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November, 2013.

4 – “Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick or dying persons.  It is morally unacceptable….”  Ibid., excerpt from paragraph 2277.

5 – “And so I don’t think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins.  As I say, the Catholic Church for centuries has been discussing this.”  From “Bishops say Rep. Pelosi misrepresented abortion teaching in TV interview,” Catholic Review, 1/19/2012, https://www.archbalt.org/bishops-say-rep-pelosi-misrepresented-abortion-teaching-in-tv-interview/

6 – “Four years ago, our nation and the lives of all LGBTQ Americans were transformed when the Supreme Court ruled unequivocally in Obergefell v. Hodges that marriage equality was the right of everyone.  This decision was about equal justice, but also about the right to live with dignity and pride, regardless of who you are or whom you love.
 
“Since that momentous day, we have been blessed by the countless LGBTQ couples and families whose love and devotion have enrich our communities and honored our nation’s highest ideals…”  Pelosi press release, 6/26/2019, https://pelosi.house.gov/news/press-releases/pelosi-statement-on-4th-anniversary-of-supreme-court-marriage-equality-ruling

7 – “Being male or female affects a person at every level of his or her existence: genetically, biologically, emotionally, psychologically, and socially. Sexual difference makes it possible for two human persons to fully unite… Loving as a human person means loving as a man or as a woman. Our bodies direct us toward the other sex because we can never be the other sex. Only a man and a woman can truly unite and become ‘one flesh’…”   Excerpts from items #2 and  #3 in “Frequently Asked Questions About the Defense of Marriage,” http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/frequently-asked-questions-on-defense-of-marriage.cfm#m7

8 – Obergefell v Hodges (2015) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obergefell_v._Hodges

Why the Pro-Choice Argument That “It’s My Body” is False

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Many proponents of abortion argue that it’s their right to kill the unborn because the baby is dependent on the mother and, most of all, “it’s my body.”

First, there is the obvious, ignored reality that the baby has his/her own unique genetic composition making it a distinctly separate person.

Second, despite the fact that many believe in God, they forget that we do not “own” our bodies. The Creator, who is the author of life, does.  We are merely stewards of the life He has given us. 1 Otherwise, there would be no moral problem with committing suicide or assisting someone in this act. 2, 3

Maybe this example will help.  A parent allows a child to make use of a family car provided he pays for the gas, insurance and make routine repairs when he becomes the primary user of the vehicle. The parent retains ownership of the car.

However, since the child does not own the car, he may not sell it or even paint it without permission.  Even allowing someone else to use it must be in accord with the owner’s wishes.

The same is true of our bodies.  We are entrusted to the life given to us.  We are responsible to maintain it and use it for good purposes, but we do not own it and can never own it.  Sure, we have free will because we are not robots.  However, unlike the minor in the example of the car who can one day become an adult similar to his parents and own the car, we never “grow up” to be similar to God and, therefore, own our bodies.

Despite the absence of ownership, there will be consequences for both the minor using the car incorrectly and for us if we live our lives immorally.  If the minor breaks traffic laws or has an accident, he will be responsible for penalties even though he doesn’t own the vehicle. The same is true for our actions if they run afoul of Natural Law, or the Ten Commandments for Judeo-Christian adherents.  There will be consequences which we will be responsible for in this life and possibly the next.

As we can never be on the same level as God while the child can advance to the same level as his adult parents, we can never own our lives the way the child can own the car someday. We never have the right to kill ourselves or anyone entrusted to us for care by the Creator. Killing the unborn may be rationalized because of a Supreme Court error in judgment (Roe v Wade), but it cannot be justified in the court of a well-formed conscience.

1 – “Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him.  It is God who remains the sovereign Master of Life.  We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls.  We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us.  It is not ours to dispose of.”  Paragraph 2280 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November 2013.

2 – “Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life.  It is gravely contrary to the just love of self… Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.”  Excerpt from paragraph 2281, Ibid.

3 – “…Voluntary cooperation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.  Grave psychological disturbances, anguish or grave fear of hardship, suffering or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.”  Excerpt from paragraph 2282, Ibid.

Catholic “Mass” is Not Written With a Small “M”

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It became obvious that the timeless concept of respect was taking a hit in the 1960’s when some of my friends began referring to those in our parents’ generations by their first names instead of by Mr. or Mrs. in conversations among us children.  Now, we are witnessing adults being addressed by their first names in direct conversations with the younger generation.

When we treat an older generation with the presumption that we are peers— it subtly diminishes respect for one’s elders.  Listening to passing conversations in a mall or even church settings proves this.  Even in restaurants, patrons who are forty or more years older than the server are being addressed as “you guys.”

(There is some hope when we hear the way newly elected baseball Hall of Famer Derek Jeter addresses former Yankee manager and now MLB executive Joe Torre who is 34 years his senior — old enough to be Derek’s father.  See the quote in the footnote below.) 1

In recent years, mainstream media has been occasionally forgetting to capitalize “President” when referring to the U.S. chief executive and not using the last name.  While not serious, it is worth noting.

The small “p” for President is minor.  However, what isn’t minor is using a small “m” when referring to the highest form of Christian prayer, the Mass.  This is understandable when non-Catholics make this mistake, but there is a growing occurrence of this among Catholics.  In some cases, they may simply not know.  Nevertheless, just like with the informal addresses to older generation, it subtly diminishes the importance of the Mass in people’s minds.  We are already seeing reduced weekly Sunday attendance, so this is not going to help.  

We must rekindle a spirit of gratitude to God by expressing this at Mass and when we refer to it.  After all, that is when we receive His ultimate gift of the body, soul and divinity of His Son in the Eucharist, which also means “thanksgiving.” 2

1 – “Derek respected the game, the fans, his teammates and his opponents,” said Joe Torre, who managed Jeter’s first dozen full big league seasons. “His character, determination and confidence are a wonderful reflection of how he was raised by his parents. It was a true privilege to watch Derek and to be his manager for 12 years. To this day, he still calls me ‘Mr. Torre.’ Today, it is a pleasure to say, ‘Welcome to the Hall, Mr. Jeter!’ You did it with class and grace.” Mlb.com, 1/21/2020.

2 – “… Eucharist means first of all ‘thanksgiving.’”  From paragraph 1360 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November, 2013.

Cincinnati City Manager’s Inflation for Paving Streets Appears Greatly Exaggerated

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The city of Cincinnati is becoming more aware of infrastructure needs which have been neglected for many years as admitted by City Councilman Greg Landsman who said, “Our lack of investment in infrastructure is catching up with us.” 1  As expected, concerns for how to fund these needs are increasing.  City Manager Patrick Duhaney seemed to be preparing residents, and perhaps those who work there, for another new request for funds when he described the problem of rising costs.  In the same Enquirer article, he said that it cost the city $150,000 to pave one lane mile five years ago.  According to him, material costs and wage increases have doubled the current price tag to $300,000.

Double in five years?  14.8% compounded annually? Is that reasonable?

Average  U.S.  Inflation

Mention “inflation” and one will receive varying levels of anxiety depending on the person’s age and understanding of history.  Since 1900, the U.S. has averaged 2.89% annual inflation through the end of 2019. This shows how fortunate we have been recently as the historical average was quoted as 3.2% in an economics class in the 1970’s.

Even counting the last two years of Reagan’s first term when we were still recovering from the Carter inflation hit, we’ve experienced only 16 years out of the last 38 with inflation above 2.89%, including just two out of the last thirteen.

So where is this doubling in five years coming from?  Perhaps road construction costs have their own inflation history separate from other categories. 

Recent  Inflation  Rates  for  Construction  Projects

The state of Minnesota did a benchmarking study, published in February 2018, which included Ohio as one of the states analyzed.  From 2004-2016, the highway construction cost index for Ohio was approximately 1.79.  Costs that rise 79% over twelve years are increasing very close to 5.0% on an annual rate. 3

Even at an annual rate of 7% (appreciably higher than the 2004-2016 span), the new price per one lane mile in Cincinnati would be $210,000, NOT $300,000.

To those who live and work in Cincinnati, look out for the city manager’s next curve ball.

1 – “City’s retaining walls desperate for repairs, but there’s no money,” by Hannah K. Sparling, Cincinnati Enquirer, 12/30/2019.

2 – CPI Inflation Calculator, https://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1900?amount=13 – From the graph on page 34 of “Highway Construction Costs and Cost Inflation Study,” https://www.dot.state.mn.us/govrel/reports/2018/2018-hwy-const-costs-and-cost-inflation-study.pdf

3 – From the graph on page 34 of “Highway Construction Costs and Cost Inflation Study,” https://www.dot.state.mn.us/govrel/reports/2018/2018-hwy-const-costs-and-cost-inflation-study.pdf

Early Bird May Catch a Worm, but the Night Owl Gets the Mouse!

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We tend to be either morning people (“larks”) or night people (“owls).  Morning people accomplish more in the first part of the day, often after admiring a sunrise.  Night people get more done in the afternoon, admire a sunset, then either achieve more or enjoy the evening while the day people turn in early in anticipation of the next sunrise.

In the early days of our nation (and pre-electric lights), the morning people had a natural advantage as well as a prominent spokesman on their side.  Candle and gas lights allowed only minimal achievement after dark.  In addition, people believed Benjamin Franklin’s anecdotal saying: “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”  In earlier human times, having a blend of each in a community helped because: “’Sleep shifts’ would have shortened the window of time where everyone was asleep and the group was most vulnerable to potential threats. Anthropologists call this the sentinel theory.”  1 

With the invention of electric lights, working at night became more practical and night people had more opportunities to blossom.  With increasing need for people to work 3-11 and 11-7 shifts at night, one would think that night people would be appreciated. But the seemingly natural rivalry continues, even within many families.

Fortunately, psychological research has come to be the peacemaker.  Brain activity differences at various times of the day indicate larks and owls have different peaks of attentiveness, etc.  It also appears that owls are essentially fighting jet lag daily by fitting into school/work schedules which favor larks.   Perceived advantages owned by larks may cause some owls to attempt modifying their internal clock.  According to a study, we should work with who we are in this aspect and not risks problems trying to be who we aren’t. 3

But all is not lost, fellow owls!  Other studies of the two groups show owls may have an edge in intelligence… as long as they can avoid tendencies to risky behavior. 

Here’s an interesting comparative summary:

Most Alert: Larks/Owls: Noon/ 6 P.M.
Most productive: Late morning/Late morning, and late evening
Most active: Around 2:30 P.M./Around 5:30 P.M.
Best mood: Between 9 A.M. and 4 P.M./Steady rise from about 8 AM -10 PM
Temperature highest: Around 3:30 P.M./Around 8 P.M.
Age: Most persons over age 60/Most college students and 20-somethings
Bedtime: Go to bed 2 hours earlier than owls; fall asleep faster/More variable bedtimes; stay up later on weekends and holidays
Wake time: Awaken at desired time/Awaken about same time as larks on workdays, 1-2 hours later on days off
Use of alarm clock: Don’t need it/Need multiple alarms
Temperature lowest: Around 3:30 A.M./Around 6 A.M.
Quality of sleep: Lifelong, sleep more soundly; wake up more refreshed, usually 3.4 hours after temperature minimum, daily low point on body clock/Lifelong: get less sleep; wake up sleepier, usually 2.5 hours after temperature minimum
Nap: Rarely take more and longer naps/ fall asleep more easily in daytime
Mid-sleep time: Around 3:30 A.M./Around 6 A.M.
Favorite exercise time: Morning/Evening
Peak heart rate: Around 11 A.M./Around 6 P.M.
Lowest heart rate: Around 3 A.M./Around 7 A.M.
Mood: Mood declines slightly over day/Mood rises substantially over day
Morning behavior: Chatty/Bearish
Evening behavior: Out of steam/Full of energy
Meal times: Eat breakfast 1-2 hours earlier than owls/Often skip breakfast; eat other meals at same times as larks on work days, 90 minutes later on days off
Favorite meal: Breakfast/Dinner
Daily caffeine use: Cups/Pots
Shift work adaptability: Work best on day shifts/Work best on evening shifts; tolerate night and rotating shift work better
Travel: More jet lag/Adapt faster to time zone changes, particularly going west
Peak melatonin secretion: About 3:30 A.M./About 5:30 A.M.  5

The key is to figure out who we are at any stage in life (because it can change) and structure our lives as much as possible to bring out the best in ourselves!

1 – “Are People really ‘Morning Larks’ or ‘Night Owls,?’” by Kayt Sukel, https://www.brainfacts.org/thinking-sensing-and-behaving/sleep/2019/are-people-really-morning-larks-or-night-owls-101419, 10/14/2019.

2 – “Brain function of night owls and larks differ, study suggests,” https://www.bbc.com/news/health-47238070, February 15, 2019.

3 – “The Larks vs The Owl: Don’t Mess With Mother Nature,” by Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/200912/the-lark-vs-the-owl-don-t-mess-mother-nature, 12/16/2009.

4 – “Chronotypes and Intelligence:  The Owl vs The Lark,” https://www.chronobiology.com/chronotypes-and-intelligence-the-owl-vs-the-lark/

5 – “Are You a Lark or an Owl,” by Janet Kinosian, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/larks-vs-owls-who-is-the_b_457811, updated 11/17/2011.

To Leave the Church or to Stay is Really This Choice: Modern Judases vs the Eucharist

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The Catholic Church is going through a period of cleansing not seen since “Reformation” times.  Serious sins by priests against members who trusted them have damaged many severely and understandably shaken the faith of many.

Unfortunately, looking back on Christian history, there have been troubling misdeeds since the beginning.  The seemingly on-going reasons to doubt the Church’s legitimacy were described in this way by the recently canonized St. John Henry Newman (1801-1890):

“The whole course of Christianity… is but one series of troubles and disorders… The Church is ever ailing… Religion seems ever expiring, schisms dominant, the light of truth dim, its adherents scattered.  The cause of Christ is ever in its last agony. 1

Of course, this does not reduce the discouragement for those striving to pass on the truths of the faith.  A good example by the Catholic can sometimes be more convincing than words to the non-Catholic, but the truth should ultimately stand on its own merit.  Otherwise, the Church would never have gotten off the ground on Pentecost if the betrayal of one of its first bishops-in-training (Judas) carried more weight than the reality of the Good News.

Since the Last Supper, the Church has been given the mission of continuing to bring the body, soul and divinity of Christ in the Eucharist as the holy food for our journey to heaven.  To eliminate confusion as to who accomplishes this consecration miracle, here are the words of St. John Chrysostom (c. AD 347-409):

“ It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but [H]e who was crucified for us, Christ [H]imself.  The priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God’s.  This is my body, [H]e says.  This word transforms the things offered.”   2

The greatest sacrament is available only through the Catholic Church.  Our choice is: do we stay with the Church as the Apostles did, or do we leave to receive less elsewhere?

1 – Excerpt from a quote of St. John Newman as published in “Letter to a Suffering Church,” by Bishop Robert Barron, Word on Fire, Park Ridge, IL, 2019.

2 – From Paragraph 1375 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November, 2013.

Iranians with Nuclear Arms May Be Less Rational Than Communists Were/ Are

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In retrospect, facing a Communist power with nuclear capability was/is somewhat less threatening than a Muslim country with the same weapons. While the U.S.S.R. and its successors don’t have a great respect for human life, at least they had some concern for their possible “ultimate” self-destruction in the back of their minds because belief in an afterlife is not common among them.

Muslims, on the other hand, focus on the ultimate goal of spreading Islam.   It is not about their personal glory or welfare in this life and certainly not agreeable to forming alliances with Jews or Christians. 1, 2  Therefore, the possibility of a nuclear conflagration doesn’t intimidate them because they expect glory in Paradise should they die in a conflict. 3

This is definitely not to suggest that we cater to their demands as in a previous agreement, including anything which essentially turns Israel over to them.  Rather, we citizens need to be aware of our opponents’ mindset as we evaluate our government’s attempt to deal with this international threat. 

1 – “The association with violence and warfare is more explicit a bit later in chapter [sura] 9, when the people are chastised for not fighting and are warned of the consequences if they continue to refuse to engage the enemy: ‘Oh believers, when you are told, “Go forth and fight in God’s way,” why are you weighed down to the ground?  Do you prefer the life of the world over the hereafter?  The pleasure of the life of the world is little compared to the hereafter.  If you do not go forth and fight, God will severely punish you and replace you with others.”  From chapter 5, page 171 of Introducing the Qur’an for Today’s Reader, by John Kaltner, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2011.

2 – “The negative assessment of them is summarized in 5:51: ‘Oh believers, do not take the Jews or Christians as allies.  They are allies of one another.  Anyone who takes them as allies is one of them.’”  Ibid., chapter 4, page 147.

3 – “…And those who are slain in Allah’s cause, their works shall not go wrong; He will guide them and set right their mind; and will make them enter into Paradise which He has told them of…” Excerpt from Sura 47:5-9 from The Koran: The Holy Book of Islam with Introduction and Notes, translated by E. H. Palmer, Watkins Publishing, London, first published in 1900, reprinted in 2008.

Reminder: Christmas BUYING Season is Over, But Not the Christmas SEASON Itself

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Retail stores continue to start the Christmas buying season earlier and earlier.  It used to begin with “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving.  Stores began opening before their typical 8:00 AM start time.  When I was in retail, that meant a 6:00 AM opening.  Then stores started to ramp up the competition by starting at 3:00 or midnight or even on Thanksgiving Day itself!  Now we have “Black Friday” sales popping up well before Thanksgiving.  Christmas music begins being heard in stores not long after All Saints Day (Nov. 1) and Halloween candy is still causing indigestion.

Fortunately for the buying public, retail establishments can’t extend the buying season past Christmas Eve.  That day is going to be December 24 regardless of whatever other religious practices Congress may think it can redefine.

The problem with the extended Christmas buying season is that can make us so emotionally drained by December 25, some are tempted to remove lights, ornaments and other reminders of the “reason for the season” the day after.

However, the Christmas SEASON is just beginning.  The Sunday commemorating the Baptism of Our Lord is the last day of the Christmas season in the Catholic Church’s Roman rite.  That will be January 12 in 2020.  Ordinary time begins the next day. 1,2  …. Then, we can look forward to Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) and Ash Wednesday (Feb. 26) which is the beginning of Lent — on this date we’ll likely be prematurely subjected to Easter candy on store shelves.

1 – Taken from the monthly quiz on the St. Thomas More Church (Withamsville, OH) faith formation web site published in early January, 2018 at sttmformation.org

2 – This question from the monthly quiz included information found in the 1/6/2017 article by Gretchen Filz in https://www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/does-christmas-end-on-epiphany/

Governments Trust Us to Gamble on Sports, But NOT to Secure Our Retirements

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If Andy Rooney were still with us, he might have said this:

“Here’s one thing I don’t understand.  State governments are pushing legalized sports gambling where we all know the ultimate odds are in favor of the gambling houses.  Yet, Big Brother does not want to entrust us with investing as little as one-half of our Social Security funds even though the odds are greatly in our favor that our money is safer in our control than in theirs.

“Why is that?  Could it be that they are jealous that Las Vegas is a better game than our federal government?  We lose money to the city of bright lights and seem to like it.  When the feds take our money, we fuss and scream.  (pause)  Maybe our elected officials in Washington D.C.  have a point.  After all, from the looks of the election results of the last few decades, we’ve been consistently snookered by the “House”…  and the Senate, for a long time.  Maybe we should stick to gambling and let Big Brother lose our money.  He’s better at it anyway.”

No, Capitalism and Racism Were Not “Birthed During the Same Period… And Grown Together”

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The Left has found a new way to argue a point when the facts contradict them.  We have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claiming that the Electoral College is racist.  Wrong, but this can be discussed at another time.  Now we hear from the writer Ibram X. Kendi that “you can’t separate capitalism from racism, that they were birthed during the same period in the same area and have grown together, damaged together and will one day die together.” 1

While false declarations like these are ridiculous, they are disturbingly effective. We have seen many feel shamed because of an inaccurate charge of “racist.” 

Racism/ Slavery

Origins of racism, who knows?  It has probably existed in some form since the earliest days of humans.  We do know the ancient Greeks and Romans held views which are deserving of being called racist.      

For example, from the Greeks:
“Without slaves to do the labor, Aristotle argued, enlightened men would lack the time and energy to pursue virtue and wisdom.  He also drew upon Plato’s biological claims — slavery is justified because slaves are more akin to dumb brutes than to free men: ‘From the hour of their birth, some are marked out for subjection, others for rule.’” 2

From the Romans:   
“The Romans understood water power but could see no reason to exploit it, because there was no shortage of slaves to do needed tasks.” 2

Capitalism

But capitalism, on the other hand, began much later during the (mislabeled) “Dark Ages” and racism did not contribute to its growth.  From a non-Catholic historian:

“In fact, capitalism was a very Catholic invention: it first appeared in the great Catholic monastic estates, way back in the ninth century… Because of the immense increases in agricultural productivity that resulted from such significant innovations, such as the switch to horses [note: from oxen], the heavy moldboard plow, and the three-field system, the monastic estates were no longer limited to mere subsistence agriculture.  Instead, they began to specialize in particular crops or products and to sell these at a profit, allowing them to purchase their other needs, which led them to initiate a cash economy.” 3    

Where  Do  We  Go  From  Here?

From a Black American economics professor:
“The bottom line is that when leftists have no other winning argument, they falsely accuse others of racism.  Republicans cower at the charge and often give the leftists what they want.  Black Americans who are octogenarians, or nearly so, need to explain what true racism is, not to correct white liberals but to inform young black people.” 4
Mr. Kendi should learn from Professor Williams.

1 – Lily Rothman interview with Ibram X. Kendi in Time, 8/19/2019.

2 – “The Victory of Reason (How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism and Western Success),” by Rodney Stark, Random House Trade Paperbacks, New York, 2006.

3 – “Bearing False Witness,” by Rodney Stark, Templeton Press; West Conshohocken, PA, 2016.

4 – “Being a racist these days is pretty easy,” by Walter E. Williams, Cincinnati Enquirer, 8/4/2019.

Upside-Down U.S. – Parents Can Kill a Child, But in Some States May Not Decide About Vaccinations

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Our nation is truly confused.  In all states, parents may have an unborn baby killed by “terminating a pregnancy” and, in a growing number of states, may elect to have the child from a failed abortion murdered or be left to die in some way.  However, in four states, these same parents are not permitted to decline vaccinations for their children for religious or philosophical reasons.More states and cities are considering similar legislation.

The same Time article gives an example of the diminishing respect for human life: “92% [is] the minimum vaccination required for ‘herd immunity’ against measles, mumps and rubella.”

That sums it nicely.  The prevailing view of societal engineers is that we are viewed as being on the same level as cattle – a usable, living resource to be managed (as described in a previous CartaRemi post2),  Yet, many of these world re-inventors believe animals have rights in the same way that humans used to. 

Perhaps the much-discussed Earth’s magnetic poles shift has already occurred and took human logic with it.

1 – “The Vaccine Battlegrounds,” Jeffrey Kluger, Time magazine, 6/24/2019.

2https://cartaremi.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/human-resources-took-the-person-out-of-personnel/

“Human Resources” Took the “Person” Out of “Personnel”

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Euphemisms can be either more polite versions of a word or a way to camouflage a bad deal. “Human Resources” fits the latter.

The term Human Resources was advertised as being a more respectful way of calling an organization’s department which dealt with employee issues and concerns. Ironically, it does the opposite. By eliminating “personnel” (which contains the word “person”) and referring to employees as a “resource,” it relegated workers to the same status as those inanimate materials used by a business to produce goods and services. A Freudian slip?

“Human Resources” surfaced in the 1980’s and it coincided with employers’ very real need to rein in the escalating cost of health insurance benefits. Many employers tried to soften the blow of greater paycheck deductions for health insurance premiums primarily with non-dollar benefits elsewhere. True, psychologists are correct in their conclusions that workers respond to more than just financial incentives. However, in many cases, the pendulum swung the other way and financial carrots at the end of a stick shrank noticeably. Thus, “Personnel” became “Human Resources,” employees became “team members” while net income in real dollars has remained flat for over forty years. 1,2

The business world isn’t the only one using clever words to put people in their demoted place. The federal government’s philosophy behind the “Common Core” educational scheme was that people are to be prepared to fit their assigned positions as cogs in the economic machine, not to learn to think objectively.

With all of this, why are employers and politicians so surprised when individuals seem to lack the loyalty they feel is due to them? Unlike many of the roads in the Capitol, respect is a two-way street.

While the name change of Personnel Departments is not the cause of increased worker disloyalty, Human Resources’ unflattering tone means it ought to be discarded if employees are to feel valued again.

1

2 – This is not to say that a federal minimum wage of $15/ hour is sensible either. The cost of living varies greatly from East Coast to Middle America and the South, to the West Coast. Thus, imposing the same minimum wage in lower cost of living states like Florida and Mississippi will cause more pain through loss of jobs than the few who might endure to receive the higher wage.

To Mason High: Competing for Academic Honors is a Preparation for the Real World

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Mason High School, north of Cincinnati, has eliminated the practice of recognizing class valedictorians and salutatorians.  It was done “in an effort to improve students’ mental wellness” and ”it would help curb the competitive culture at the school and permit students to focus on other things.” 1   

Competition is good for mental wellness just as exercise is good for the body.  In the same manner that excessive exercise does harm to the body, extreme competition is bad for a person’s psyche.  Moderation is the key to every beneficial activity.  The practice of recognizing academic achievement should not be dropped because some take it to an extreme.  Learning how to prioritize might as well begin when one in school.

 Competition is Essential

 “Life without competition is life without progress; a static society where the cream does not rise to the top because there would be no goals and no desire to march to the different drum beat and take something farther than it’s ever been taken before.”  2

What about the “dangers” of receiving awards? 

“But after the award?  The post-triumph realization that you are now everyone’s target until next year’s award ceremony, and, naturally, the paranoia of realizing that everyone else is questioning why you, of all people, received the award.

“Some will say it to your face, others behind your back.  The award itself does little to quench self-doubt.  If anything, you might begin to question yourself more now that you hold the award everyone else claims they deserve.”  

Welcome to the real world!  Whoever allows his actions to be ruled by the opinions of other suffers from vanity.  The earlier in life we learn to deal with this, the better off we’ll be.

“Life  Isn’t  Fair”

Eliminating academic awards will not shield the young adults from the difficulties of the world later.  “Life isn’t fair, but it’s unfair to everybody.”

After the school years, everyone will encounter many whose main motivation in life is obtaining human acclaim.  Such individuals are willing to do anything, sometimes not always legal or ethical, to receive it.  The problem is not with the recognition itself, but with the individual’s malformed focus on the transient things of this life instead of the eternal. 

Removing  Legitimate  Incentives  Does  More  Harm  Than  Good

Mason High’s decision to eliminate having a valedictorian and salutatorian is right out of the socialist’s handbook.  Instead of working to improve the overall human condition by helping to raise everyone’s capabilities through fair competition, the goal is to create a “feel good” semi-parity by reducing the fruits of achievement.  This inevitably leads to the stagnation and decline of a society.

History shows repeatedly that this doesn’t work:  the “classless” societies which produced the widespread poverty of the former Soviet-bloc countries and  China, the decline of Argentina and, most recently, the crash of Venezuela.  Does Mason High have any non-revisionist history classes to teach this? 

Two  Ways  to  Thwart  “Easy Rides” to  Academic  Awards

The school claims that some students take easier classes in order to enhance their grade point averages unfairly.  This can be remedied by limiting the number of “filler classes” which may be taken for academic recognition and/or by applying a system of weighted degrees of difficulty which would make some high grades worth more than others when used to calculate class standing.  Fair competition in academics benefits all in the long run.

1 – “Ohio high school removes valedictorian, salutatorian, honors in effort to better students’ mental wellness,” by Kathleen Joyce, 5/11/2019, https://www.foxnews.com/us/ohio-high-school-removes-valedictorian-salutatorian

2 – “Life Without Competition is Life Without Progress,” by Charlie Daniels, 4/10/2014, https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/charlie-daniels/life-without-competition-life-without-progress

3 – “Grade Wars: Academic competition has turned high school classrooms into boxing rings,” by Megan Lunny, 5/1/8/2017, https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/366330fc-34cb-11e7-8b75-8bbc4b841277.html

There are Some Good Reasons to Limit or Ban Styrofoam and Plastic Bags, But Water Pollution Isn’t One

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Banning or restricting the use of styrofoam for fast food packaging has three reasons to consider it. Styrofoam is produced from a non-renewable resource (petroleum), it takes nearly forever to break down and few places are able to recycle it. Paper and paperboard, from a renewable resource, can sometimes be a substitute for these synthetic items as they can be made more water and oil resistant to handle damp and greasy items.

However, the water pollution attributed styrofoam blames the material when the problem is really human behavior. If a material cannot be recycled, it ought to be disposed of properly. There’s no valid excuse for styrofoam to end up in waterways! It does not have an inherent tendency to gravitate to water on its own. This pollution issue can be changed through education and encouragement. It requires a little effort, but like many other social and environmental problems, changing attitudes regarding responsibility is not always welcomed in our “convenience” society.

The grocery store plastic bag issue is a little more complicated. True, the plastic is made from a non-renewable resource which doesn’t like to break down. However, plastic bags have an advantage over paper when it comes to carrying wet or oily objects for an extended time as well as its ability to stretch. The paper can be made more water and oil resistant by the use of chemical additives in the papermaking process, but the manufacture of these additives may have objectionable aspects to some people. While paper can have good tensile and resistance to bursting, its ability to stretch trails that of plastic bags

The problem of plastic bag and styrofoam disposal can be solved with more opportunities to recycle (already established in many grocery chains for the plastic bags) and an inclination to discard properly when recycling is not available. Once again, it requires effort in changing behaviors.

“Disposable” isn’t intrinsically evil. A recycling frame of mind cures a lot of ills. In the absence of responsible use and disposal of these synthetic materials, we’ll have more draconian directives from Big Brother.

Wearing Seat Belts is Common Sense, Law Promoting Them Isn’t

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Our society needs to take an adult-to-adult approach when encouraging grown-ups to make good decisions.  The philosophy ought to be: “As an adult, we respect your option to take risks, but you will be responsible for the consequences.”  This is better than: “Do as Mommy and Daddy Government tell you or we’ll punish you if you try to take chances because we will take any measure to ensure nothing bad happens to our federal children.”

How is this related to seat belts?  To be clear, wearing seat belts is a MUST for anyone at any age on a car, truck, SUV, etc.  Not to do so is extremely foolish.

However, it is not the law’s responsibility to try to prevent consequences by punishing the risk itself, provided the individual would impact only himself and no one else.  (The exception is for those under the age of 18 where the responsible adult should not allow a minor to endanger himself.  In that case, drivers must be held accountable that all minor passengers are wearing seat belts.)

Currently, many states provide for a secondary ticket to be issued to an adult not wearing his seat belt.  This means that the lack of a seat belt cannot be the reason for initiating the traffic stop, but can be cited if it’s in conjunction with a different violation.

The mature strategy would be to recognize that adults are free to make decisions with varying degrees of risk.  Instead of ticketing the taking of the risk, allow the consequence of not wearing a seat belt to occur. The penalty would be that health and life insurance payouts are severely reduced or even declared void if not wearing a seat belt led to avoidable injury or death.  (Speeding or DUI does not meet the criterion for a secondary offense because there is always a dangerous and unpredictable risk to passengers or others who may encounter the vehicle.)

Life is a journey whose inevitable consequences are found throughout nature and the universe.  The law’s role is not as a replacement parent to dictate our actions.  Instead, natural consequences should be allowed to exert their influence.

A Great Injustice of Obamacare — Which Democrats Don’t Talk About

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What do you think of this scenario?

A couple is retired, but not old enough to receive Medicare.  They cannot purchase health insurance from local commercial companies because these companies are only permitted by law to sell to employers.

Therefore, the couple must purchase insurance through “the marketplace” set up by the (Un)Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA).  They are living off their retirement savings, but they do not qualify for the federal subsidy.

Through this misfortune, their annual premiums have ranged between $16,000-$21,000  — and in only one year was one of their local metropolitan hospital systems considered “in network” …. but it was not the hospital system or doctors they have gone to for many years.

Our previous President invented this intentionally misleading insurance legislation with the help of Jonathan Gruber.1  Based on the recent sudden move by liberals to promote “Medicare for All,” Obamacare was clearly to serve as the transition to this renamed version of socialized medicine.

Returning to the AHCA, President Obama promised us this new coverage would save us money and that we “could keep our doctors.”

Many benefiting from this Act have protested publicly that it would be unfair if their insurance “were taken away from them” should the Act be revoked.  How can they justify what the AHCA is doing to the couple who’s paying for virtually no coverage while being charged $16,000-$21,000 per year?

To make it more frustrating, numerous personal acquaintances of theirs are surprised because they believed the propaganda that “Obamacare would cover everything.”  It proves Dinesh D’Souza’s comment that “… in America, big lies are easy to sell if you belong to a political movement that dominates media, Hollywood, the world of comedy and entertainment and — academia.  These are the biggest megaphones of our culture, and so, you can promulgate big lies because they just reverberate from one of your megaphones to another.  Even if you in the third row knew this was all false, you’d never be able to contradict it because you don’t have a big enough megaphone to be able to shout into the noise out there.”2

The final question:  Why isn’t President Obama held accountable by the American public for this theft? (Before the Left accuses the retired couple of selfishness and insensitivity toward the less fortunate, they already donate much time and money to charitable causes annually, regardless of whether they will clear the increased standard deduction when filing federal income tax.)

1 – “Thanks to Jonathan Gruber for revealing Obamacare deception,” by Marc A. Thiessen,  11/17/2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/marc-thiessen-thanks-to-jonathan-gruber-for-revealing-obamacare-deception/2014/11/17/356514b2-6e72-11e4-893f-86bd390a3340_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.51bba3b2ad89

2https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvIScYooOos

Will France, Land of the “No-Go Zones,”(1) Be Truthful About the Probable Cause Behind the Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral?

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In the April 5, 2019 issue of the Messenger (the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Covington, KY), or ten days before the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral, we read:

“Vandals and arsonists have targeted French churches in a wave of attacks that has lasted nearly two months.  More than 10 churches have been hit since the beginning of February with some set on fire while others were severely desecrated or damaged.  St. Sulpice, the second largest church in Paris, after Notre Dame Cathedral, had the large wooden door on its southern transept set ablaze March 17.  Investigators confirmed March 18 that the fire was started deliberately according to the website of the Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, an independent organization founded with the help of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences.  In early February, the church of Notre-Dame-des-Enfants in Nimes, near the Spanish border, intruders drew a cross on a wall with excrement then stuck consecrated hosts to it.  The tabernacle was broken and other consecrated hosts were destroyed, prompting Bishop Robert Wattebled of Nimes to issue a statement Feb. 8 to say that the desecration was so severe that the church building could not be used until penitential rites of purification had been carried out.”

Then, we have the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15.  A few days later, there was a story that the cause was an electrical short circuit DESPITE:

“A French judicial police official said investigators brought in to work out the cause of the inferno made the claims — despite them not having been given access to the church yet for safety reasons. The official, who spoke anonymously about the ongoing investigation, said the monument is still being consolidated with wooden planks to support some fragile parts of the walls.  Only after it is fully made safe will investigators will be allowed a closer look in order to accurately determine the cause of the fire….”

The article continues with: “Did you get that?‘  Investigators brought in to determine the cause of the tragic blaze have not yet been given access to the burned-out cathedral. Nevertheless they are already announcing the results of their investigation.  Even as the embers were still glowing on the day of the fire, French prosecutors were ruling out arson. On what evidence were they able to make that judgment?”3

The article noted that no electricity or flammable materials had been allowed near the roof and that restoration on the roof had not started at the time of the fire.  “A French expert familiar with the restoration effort was quoted as saying, ‘…This 13th century timber frame was extremely protected… I think we will eventually learn that this was arson.’”3

This article also quoted a Breitbart report from March 20: “Reports indicate that 80 percent of the desecration of places of worship in France concerns Christian churches and in the year 2018 this meant the profanation of an average of two Christian churches per day in France, even though these actions rarely make the headlines. In 2018, the Ministry of the Interior recorded 541 anti-Semitic acts, 100 anti-Muslim acts, and 1063 anti-Christian acts.”3

With this background, what are the odds that we will be told the truth?  We don’t deserve a French version of the Warren Report.4




1  –  “’Aren’t there places in Paris where people are afraid to go?’ Mayor Hidalgo responded, ‘In Paris, there are no zones where you can’t go for a walk. The situation described by Fox News does not exist. What Fox News presented is a lie.’

“Well, not exactly, Mayor Hidalgo. In fact a recently updated report from Daniel Pipes’2 Middle East Forum actually lists 751 Zones Urbaines Sensibles (ZUS). And by my count, nine of the Zones Urbaines Sensibles are in the outer arrondissements of Paris—one each in the 10th, 11th, 17th, 19th; two in the 20th; and three in the 18th. The Middle East Forum website mentions Muslim racism towards the infidels that is never mentioned along with muggings murders and rioting. Just right for ‘a walk’?”

From  “751 ‘No-Go’ Zones in France,” by Richard C. Young, originally posted 2/24/2015, https://www.richardcyoung.com/essential-news/751-go-zones-france/

2 – Pipes’ knowledge and sense of fairness is summarized: “Four months before the September 11, 2001 attacks, Pipes and Emerson wrote in The Wall Street Journal that al Qaeda was ‘planning new attacks on the U.S.’and that Iranian operative ‘helped arrange advanced … training for al Qaeda personnel in Lebanon where they learned, for example, how to destroy large buildings.’

“Pipes wrote in 2007, ‘It’s a mistake to blame Islam, a religion 14 centuries old, for the evil that should be ascribed to militant Islam, a totalitarian ideology less than a century old. Militant Islam is the problem, but moderate Islam is the solution.’  Pipes described moderate Muslims as ‘a very small movement’ in comparison to ‘the Islamist onslaught’ and said that the U.S. government ‘should give priority to locating, meeting with, funding, forwarding, empowering, and celebrating’ them.”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Pipes

3 – “What Really Caused the Notre Dame Cathedral Fire?,” by Frank Hawkins, 4/20/2019, https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/04/what_really_caused_the_notre_dame_cathedral_fire.html

4 – For those of you born after 1955, the Warren Report was the official declaration that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole shooter in the assassination of President Kennedy despite a lot of physics and many unresolved questions.

Don’t Blame Trump’s Tax Plan for Fewer People Giving, It’s Selfishness

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It has been obvious since the election of November 2016 that even when President Trump does something that his detractors should like, he’ll still be criticized for it.1  The latest “bearing false witness” making the rounds concerns his new tax plan which raised the standard deduction for everyone.  In other words, we taxpayers benefit from a lower taxable income without having to prove greater medical expenses or charitable donations along with other deductible items.

So what are most charities seeing?  Fewer people are donating.  Granted, overall giving increased slightly last year (1.6%), but it was only because the large donors gave more.  Meanwhile, a greater drop was seen in the number of smaller gifts from those who didn’t need to itemize because of the change in the standard deduction.  This is causing concern among many organizations serving the needy as there is considerable uncertainty as to how this will play out over the coming years.2

Given the healthier state of the economy, this decrease in the number of smaller donations says that the average U.S. citizen generally gives if he sees some sort of refund in taxes.  The funny thing is: charitable donations are a tax deduction, not a tax credit. In other words, the typical taxpayer receives between ten to twenty-five cents back for every dollar donated to a qualified cause, not a straight dollar-for-dollar return.

The truly generous person budgets his charitable donations.  They’re not something which occurs if money is left over.

A final reminder:  the season of Lent with its encouragement to focus on prayer, almsgiving and fasting, is almost over.  However, all of these purifying actions, including almsgiving, should continue throughout the year and not just because there’s a tax incentive waiting for us.

1 –  “Trump’s compromise immigration deal is a good one but Dems will do anything to deprive him of a win,” by Kayleigh McEnany, 1/19/2019, https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/trumps-compromise-immigration-deal-is-a-good-one-but-dems-will-do-anything-to-deprive-him-of-a-win

2 – “Revenue from gifts of at least $1,000 increased by 2.6 percent, but revenue from gifts under $250 dropped by 4.4 percent and revenue from gifts of $250 to $999 dropped by 4 percent, according to the report. The report also found that the total number of donors declined by 4.5 percent in 2018.”

 “Charitable giving up, number of donors down, in first year under Trump’s tax law, by Naomi Jagoda, 2/25/2019, https://thehill.com/policy/finance/431495-charitable-giving-up-number-of-donors-down-in-first-year-under-trumps-tax-law

“Earliest Americans” Corrects Illogic of “Native Americans,” While Maintaining Respect

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Let’s be clear from the beginning, it was Christopher Columbus’ error that he believed he had found a shortcut to India which resulted in the erroneous label being applied to the people he “discovered.” This incorrect name, “American Indian,” survived for centuries.

Unfortunately, the first attempt at creating a more accurate and respectful name produced another problem. “Native American” applies to anyone born in the Americas and at any time. (That’s right, it includes everyone born in central and South America as well…. but that can be debated at another time.)

Instead, by calling the initial inhabitants of North America “Earliest Americans” we bring essential logic to the process.

(It’s true that relatively few blog ideas are “first timers.” This mention of a revised term may have already been suggested by other(s). In that case, this author sends his support to their proposal.)

If Baby Killers are “Abortion Providers,” Then Stalin and Hitler Were “Population Adjusters?”

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Euphemisms, when used properly, convey a civilized description of something distasteful without attempting to mislead the receiver into believing the subject is acceptable.

For example, while eating a meal, we could respond to the question why a fellow diner left the table was that he “went to the restroom.” There would be nothing incorrect in using the technically accurate “urinate,” but the euphemistic phrase is used out of respect for the appetite of diners within earshot.

Then, there is a euphemism which begins to cross the line into deception: “ethnic cleansing.” This is the forcible expulsion, and sometimes murdering, of people with a different ethnicity from an area to give the offending group a majority. It would be safe to assume that the newscasters using this term do not approve of this process. Still, use of the word “cleansing” does not evoke anything remotely resembling disapproval.

Now we find the ultimate misuse of a euphemism: “abortion provider.” Abortion by itself stands for a heinous action which is abhorrent to anyone who understands the dignity of human life. Yet, to some, it seems as natural as brushing one’s teeth. But to add “provider” to the person who mortally uses chemicals to “end a pregnancy” (there’s another detestable euphemism) or applies torturous dismemberment to the unborn baby, is completely uncivilized.

Even a person who sells addictive materials is called a “drug dealer.” That individual is not given the dignified title of “drug provider.” At least the term “dealer” gives the profession a less-than-respectable tone.

Adding “provider” to abortionist’s label is an amazing attempt to link this form of murder to the honorable designation of “health care provider.” True, many are fond of putting abortion under the umbrella of “women’s health.” Sadly, there’s no concern for the baby’s health when he/she is destroyed.

“MAGA” is Not Pro-Racism But is Against Those With a Destructive Agenda

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With presidential slogans like “Patriotism, Protection and Prosperity” (McKinley win in 1896), “Return to Normalcy” (Harding win in 1920), “Peace and Prosperity” (Eisenhower win in 1956), “He’s Making Us Proud Again” (Ford loss in 1976 defeated by Carter’s “Not Just Peanuts” that year), “America Needs a Change” (Mondale loss in 1984), “Prosperity for America’s Families” (Gore loss in 2000), and “Let America be America Again” (Kerry loss in 2004)1 being promoted without anyone being outraged, how does Trump’s “Make America Great Again” cause such disturbances?

The problem is that the U.S. is, as President Trump said in the 2016 campaign, no longer as great as it used to be and it has little to do with racial battles as we have had them strewn throughout most of our country’s history unfortunately. 

How can a nation call itself great when 60 million babies have been killed legally in the last 46 years under a Supreme Court decision on the totally unrelated issue of “privacy”?  President Trump started us back on the path to decency with his early executive order stopping the use of U.S. taxpayers’ funds for abortions elsewhere.  Changing the acceptance of this inhumane practice stateside will be more difficult.

A great nation doesn’t allow its military decline to the point where the Administration says “we lead from behind” or “draws a red line in Syria” then implements no consequences when it’s crossed.

How can a nation call itself great when it re-elects a president who lied about his State Department’s incompetence which led to the torture and murder of four embassy staff in Benghazi in order to stave off a challenge by his opponent in the close 2012 election? 

A great nation doesn’t abdicate its responsibility for assisting infirmed veterans or dismiss IRS harassment of those who disagree with the Administration as having “not a smidge of evidence” when the opposite was obvious.

A hallmark of a great nation doesn’t include forcing doomed and mislabeled “affordable health care” on its population with the lie that “you can keep your doctors and insurance” when neither is true and was known by its architects from the beginning.  Compounding the pain of this falsehood is the net result that demagogues in Congress now say “Medicare for All” is the only solution as insurance company losses increase and many retired couples too young for Medicare are paying $15,000-$20,000 annually for far less coverage than for those they are now subsidizing at their expense.  Socialized medicine is never the answer to those familiar with world history. 2

Let’s not forget education.  The parents are the primary educators of their children and have the right to decide how they are educated.A great nation does not erode parental rights with increasing arrogance as we borrow from the philosophy of the former Soviet Union.4,5

This is just a tip of the iceberg about to hit the U.S.S. America.  Could it be that MAGA is being disparaged because it dared to criticize a Democrat president who is also a member of a minority?  If Trump had adopted Democrat  Kerry’s “Let America be America Again” would members of his staff be assaulted in public? 

Probably, because Trump and his followers believe in the dignity of human life and a respect for the Ten Commandments and Natural Law.  Those values are opposed to the socialist and global government crowd.  Read Marx & Engels, Fourier & Owen, Sanger, Alinsky, Soros and new UK laws on “hate speech” and it becomes ominously clear. 6,4,7,8,9,10

1https://www.presidentsusa.net/campaignslogans.html

2 – “There seems to be a myth that all medical care, procedures and drugs are free under a socialized system. Although Britons do have affordable access to primary-care doctors, and everyone in the UK is covered through high taxes, they are subjected to extensive waiting periods for specialists, surgeries and hospitalization. The fact is that in the West, as the ability of physicians to provide services becomes stretched, many patients die waiting for treatment….

“The [Romanian] system was ‘first come, first served.’  Everyone received a number and waited, as at a food counter, to see a medical professional.  Sitting on the floor was forbidden; sometimes we would be forced to stand for an entire day – occasionally until nightfall – before being examined by an overworked doctor, who supplemented his “egalitarian” income with monetary or material bribes from patients seeking quicker access and better care.  After performing a perfunctory examination, the doctor would give us a prescription and send us away.  The trouble was that the pharmacy in the nearby shopping complex had as little stock on its shelves as every other store in the country.  The pharmacist, who had no ingredients with which to prepare the antibiotic the doctor had prescribed, would simply shrug, and continue to earn his state income for doing nothing.

“When my mother and I would return home empty-handed, my father would go out to find the medication on the black market, paying at least ten times the official price to obtain it.  In spite of the harsh sentences presented to sellers and buyers on the black market, many were willing to take the risk — and extremely grateful.  It was the only way to fill the prescription, which was supposed to be free in the communist ‘paradise’….

“…American millennials, a majority of whom seem to believe in ideological social experiments that may have failed broadly elsewhere, have no clue about the literal and figurative bitter pill that people living under socialist and communist regimes are forced to swallow — not only where health care is concerned.

“Rather than rejecting the basic free-market principles of the US economy — as a 2016 Harvard University survey found that most do — these young Americans would do well to ask themselves why it is that so many people from countries with socialized medicine flock to the United States for treatment.”
From “Socialized Medicine: A Dose of Reality,” by Ileana Johnson, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12102/socialized-medicine, 3/31/2018.

3 – “… ‘The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.’  The right and the duty of parents to educate their children are primordial and inalienable…. “The state may not legitimately usurp the initiatives of the spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children…”  Taken from paragraphs 2221 and 2372 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November 2013.

4 – “This thinking on education would dominate communist societies.  One Soviet official, writing in the 1980’s, would state emphatically that under communism, the ‘school becomes literally a home.’

“This is also what Charles Fourier and Robert Owen desired.  They wanted public schools and communal enclaves to replace the father and mother as the primary educators and shapers of society’s children.  (This, of course, would be forcibly done in brute fashion in certain Asian communist experiments, such as China and Cambodia, where it produced unprecedentedly deadly results.)  Weikart noted: ‘Owen’s continual emphasis on the role of education in shaping and individual’s character and outlook lent urgency to his appeal for the abolition of the family, since only by removing children from their supposedly irrational and deleterious influence of parents could he hope to alter society.’”  .”  From page 24 of “Takedown,” by Paul Kengor PhD, WND Books, Washington D.C., 2015.

5 – “Or consider the state of New York, which apparently has determined that, while homeschooling is clearly not against the law, it is also not to be tolerated. Mother Kiarre Harris decided in December 2016 to remove her two children from Buffalo’s failing schools.  Per state law, she filed all of the required paperwork with Buffalo City Hall and told the school she was beginning to homeschool the youngsters.  A few weeks later, Child Protective Services and the police showed up to take her kids. When she wouldn’t reveal where the children were, she was arrested and jailed on obstruction charges, while her children were located and taken to foster care.

“Home School Legal Defense Association recently filed suit against New York for routinely doing this very thing: charging ‘truancy’ and taking children away from parents who have fulfilled all of the statutory requirements to teach their children at home.  New York law permits parents to choose this educational alternative, but the state’s message is clear: if you make that choice, we will fabricate a reason to take your child.”  From “Special Report: The State of Parental Rights in America, 2017,”  https://parentalrights.org/sopra17/#education, 2/20/2017.

6 – “As [Richard] Weikart puts it, Marx and Engels believed that the abolition of private property and the integration of socialism would bring in their wake an inevitable dissolution of the family.  It was as if communism would come first and the disappearance, or ‘abolition,’ of the family would follow in due course.  Weikart contrasts this with Charles Fourier and Robert Owen, who saw abolition of the family as a precursor to their utopian vision ‘as part and parcel of their socialists proposals to ameliorate society.’…. Even if Marx and Engels thought that marriage and family would ‘wither away’ in their utopia, this was something that pleased them.  They wanted this withering away, this vanishing.  It was an outcome they welcomed with great enthusiasm.  They intended to promote the outcome.”  From pages 22 and 23 of “Takedown,” by Paul Kengor PhD, WND Books, Washington D.C., 2015.

7 – “The object of civilization is to obtain the highest and most splendid culture of which humanity is capable.  But such attainment is unthinkable if we continue to breed form the present race stock that yields us our largest amount of progeny.  Some method must be devised to eliminate the degenerate and the defective; for these act constantly to impede progress and ever increasingly drag down the human race.  This is especially the case in the nations which have reached the highest degree of civilization, for it is just in these nations that the degenerate and defective are enabled to produce the largest number of progeny.”  From “A Better Race Through Birth Control,” by Margaret Sanger, Nov. 1923, https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sanger/webedition/app/documents/show.php?sangerDoc=306638.xml

8 – “The fourth rule [of tactics] is: Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.

“The fourth rule carries within it the fifth rule: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.  It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule.  Also, it infuriates the opposition , who then react to your advantage….

“The twelfth rule: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.  You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying ‘You’re right — we don’t know what to do about this issue.  Now you tell us.’

“The thirteenth rule: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” 
From pages 128 and 130 of “Rules For Radicals,” by Saul Alinsky, Vintage Books (a division of Random House), New York, copyright 1971, October 1989 edition.

9 – “The Soros-globalist agenda here is simple and fairly transparent. In essence, Soros and various European governments are tired of pastors from the Georgian Orthodox Church warning their flocks about the dangers of surrendering their sovereignty and right to self-government to the increasingly radical EU super-state. And so, they are using Soros money and taxpayer funds to “train” the pastors in how to love the EU and promote it to their trusting congregations….

“In the real world, of course, the EU has become infamous for showering taxpayer funds on the radical abortion lobby, programs to sexualize young children with pornographic “sex education,” and pro-homosexual groups, even those linked to the promotion of pedophilia. The EU and its kangaroo “courts” have also been usurping ever broader powers over practically everything, including the family. In fact, the EU has even ordered national governments to criminalize free speech and conscript journalists into the war on traditional marriage and family values — under threat of prison in some places.

“In addition to Soros, much of the propaganda for Georgian priests is financed by EU governments that are rabidly opposed to traditional marriage and even go so far as to imprison people for expressing the biblical view that homosexual acts are a sin….

“Like the situation in Ukraine, where Soros was also a key player, globalists are trying to deceive the people of Georgia into a false choice — the notion that they must either surrender their nation to the authoritarian EU regime, or to Vladimir Putin’s supposedly similarly autocratic, sovereignty-shredding “integration” scheme known as the Eurasian Union. In short, heads, Georgia loses; tails, globalists win. But it is a false choice. The people of Georgia could simply retain their sovereignty and avoid entangling alliances with either super-state.” 
From “Soros Co-opting Churches To Push New World Order,” by Alex Newman of the New American, 4/5/2016, http://orthochristian.com/92200.html

10 – “To “defeat” terrorist organizations, [UK Prime Minister David] Cameron told the assembled UN member regimes — at least some of which sponsor terrorism, according to Western governments — their ‘ideology’ must be defeated in ‘all its forms.’ As examples of ideas in the global terror war’s crosshairs, the embattled U.K. leader pointed to theories about the 9/11 and 7/7 London terror attacks that do not conform to the widely questioned official government narratives. Religious prophecies Cameron called ‘nonsense’ should also be disallowed, he told his counterparts at the UN….

“In the United Kingdom, though, as The New American has documented, the war on speech and ideas the government disapproves of already extends well beyond self-styled Muslim terrorists and violent criminals. Among others in the crosshairs: Christians who quote the Bible, pro-life activists, and even people who question or reject imploding anthropogenic ‘global-warming’ theories. In recent years, for instance, U.K. authorities have prosecuted thousands of British subjects merely for what they say online, using vague laws purporting to criminalize ‘insulting’ or ‘offensive’ comments.

In late 2012, an atheist who ripped up a Koran was prosecuted for ‘causing religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress, by demonstrating hostility based on membership of a particular religious group.’ Before that, a 20-year-old Muslim was prosecuted and convicted for saying on Facebook that British troops should “die and go to hell” for their actions in Afghanistan. Numerous Christian street preachers have been jailed for describing homosexual activity as sinful. One man, the leader of the Liberty GB Party, was arrested for ‘hate speech’ after quoting Winston Churchill, facing a potential two-year prison sentence. 

“Even a harmless octogenarian, Edward Atkinson, has been relentlessly persecuted for his peaceful pro-life activism on behalf of unborn children, going to jail on multiple occasions merely for sending information to abortionists. ‘I was trying to tell her about the abortion holocaust, all the murdered babies, but she couldn’t face the truth apparently, so she went to the police and got me arrested,’ the soft-spoken pensioner told The New American in an interview after one of his arrests for sending images of aborted children to a hospital.  ‘We’re living in a country where all the laws have been inverted.’” 
From “UK Launches War on ‘Non-Violent’ Extremism, Seeking UN Help,” by Alex Newman, The New American, 10/3/2014,  https://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/19245-u-k-launches-war-on-non-violent-extremism-seeking-un-help

Today’s “Progressive” U.S. is No Holier Than the Confederate States It Claims to Surpass

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Sure, we have reason to be pleased that the #MeToo movement is making progress toward the elimination of the sexual oppression which has been so ingrained in business and other areas of life.  And if we are able to remove the racism found in different degrees in all races, this would be wonderful, too.

But, how can we feel superior to the Confederate States of America?  Certainly, upholding slavery as they did, was a serious evil because it’s contrary to divine law.1 The fact that it reappeared in Europe twice after it had been banned through efforts of the Church in the so-called Dark Ages2 shows how pernicious this abhorrent practice has been throughout history (including by some northwest American Indian tribes before Columbus’ arrival3). 

We can eliminate vestiges of the Confederacy all we want, but it won’t cleanse us of the moral responsibility of our own great evil:  Abortion.

To rationalize its practice is a grievous affront to the same divine law which requires us to condemn slavery.  The dignity of all human life must be upheld.  Besides being something no one can own, it cannot be taken except in self defense.4   As we remove those statues which are believed to legitimize slavery, we must also remove those images from public squares and museums which remind us of those who support infanticide and other unjustified killings.  Margaret Sanger and Presidents Clinton and Obama come to mind immediately.  And it’s a disgrace to elect any person to Congress, especially those claiming to be “Catholic,” who professes support for “reproductive rights.”

Perhaps they’re trying to disprove the movie quote:  “Nobody ever invented a polite word for a killing yet.”5  In doesn’t matter, those  with well-formed consciences will see through it.

Let’s purify our present before we try to decontaminate ourselves of past generations’ wrongs.

1 – “As the ninth century dawned, Bishop Agobard of Lyon thundered:  ‘All men are brothers, all invoke one same Father, God: the slave and the master, the poor and the rich man, the ignorant and the learned, the weak and the strong…. None has been raised above the other …. There is no… slave or free but in all things and always there is only Christ.’q  Soon, no one ‘doubted that slavery in itself was against divine law.’b” Taken from Pierre Bonnassie (“From Slavery to Feudalism  in South-Western Europe, Cambridge University Press, 1991, 54) and Marc Bloch (“Slavery and Serfdom in the Middle Ages, University of California Press, 1975, 11) in “Bearing False Witness,” by Rodney Stark, Templeton Press, 2016, page 82.  

2 – “But the very first time slavery was eliminated anywhere in the world was not during the Renaissance or the Enlightenment.  It was during the Dark Ages.  And it was accomplished by clever Church leaders who first extended the sacraments to all slaves, reserving only ordination into the priesthood.  Initially, the implications of Christianization of slaves went unnoticed, but soon the clergy began to argue that no true Christian (or Jew) should be enslaved.  Since slaves were Christians, priests began to urge owners to free their slaves as an ‘infinitely commendable act’ that helped ensure their own salvation.”  Ibid.

3 – Ibid. page 81.

4 – “Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality.  Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life.  Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow…. Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others.  The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.  For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.”  From paragraphs 2264 and 2265 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty=fifth printing, November 2013.

5 – By Thelma Ritter’s character of Nurse Stella in the 1954 movie “Rear Window,” directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by John Michael Hayes based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1942 shirt story, “It Had to Be Murder.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rear_Window

Kill the Electoral College, Then the Senate….. and It Will Kill the Union

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For the many who are not aware, the U.S. is not a democracy, but a constitutional republic. And that’s a good thing for two reasons:

  1. In a democracy, all voting age citizens would vote on every bill being considered.1  Imagine getting 235+ million to vote on any issue when we haven’t had even a 60% turnout for a presidential election since 19682 (when there was a third party candidate).
  2. Democracies do not have lengthy life spans:  “Remember Democracy never lasts long.  It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.  There was never a Democracy Yet, that did not commit suicide.” – John Adams3

The move to eliminate the Electoral College and go to a majority vote in presidential elections would take away a key safeguard promised to the smallest states at the forming of our nation.  In order to convince the smaller states to join a union, the few bigger states promised they would not always have their way at the expense of the smaller states by overwhelming them. Thus, the Senate was created.  With this arrangement, bills passing the House whose membership is based on population would also have to pass the Senate where each state has equal status with two members. Taking away the Electoral College and, by logical progression the Senate, reduces governance to a numbers game to the advantage of the large states with no need for collaboration with the smaller states.

“The Electoral College method of choosing the president and vice president guarantees that each state, whether large or small in area or population, has some voice in selecting the nation’s leaders.  Were we to choose the president and vice president under a popular vote, the outcome of presidential races would always be decided by a few highly populated states.  We would no longer be a government ‘of the people’; instead, our government would be put in power by and accountable to the leaders and citizens of a few highly populated states.”3

In other words, Liberals, imposing your simplistic view of government makes it desirable for the financially prudent and God-fearing states (primarily in the Midwest and South) to leave the Union. See the data below.4,5

1 – “It is, that in a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents.  A democracy will be confined to a small spot.  A republic may be extended over a large region.”  From The Federalist No. 14, written by James Madison and published on 11/30/1787.  “The Federalist with Letters of ‘Brutus,’” edited by Terrence Ball, Cambridge University Press, 2003.

2https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout_in_the_United_States_presidential_elections

3 – “Debate over Electoral College continues,” by Walter E. Williams, The Cincinnati Enquirer,” 10/21/2018.

4

4“State Fiscal Rankings,” by Eileen Norcross and Olivia Gonzalez

https://www.mercatus.org/system/files/norcross-fiscal-rankings-map-mercatus-v1.pdf

Note how a majority of poor fiscal rankings belong to states where liberal philosophies have dominated for decades.  West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana have had struggling economies for reasons other than political inclinations.

5

“Church Attendance By State: How Does Your State Stack Up?.” By Andrew Conrad, https://blog.capterra.com/church-attendance-by-state-how-does-your-state-stack-up/, published 5/24/2017

4

CCC Paragraph #2241 Would Solve Immigration Problems

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“The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

“Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.” 1

We often make situations more complicated than they need to be. Immigration is an unfortunate example of this.

With constant tropical storms of political agendas swirling around us, it’s easy to forget that immigration is a two-way street.  Better off nations have a moral obligation to do what they can to help those non-citizens in need, without surrendering the right to protect their sovereignty.  Those desiring a new country may certainly seek help, provided they abide by the laws and respect the customs of their prospective new home.

Protecting a nation’s sovereignty does not include having procedures which delay non-criminals from entering in a timely manner. 2  This hurts both immigrant and receiving country.

On the other hand, not opposing caravans of immigrants which attempt to sidestep reasonable border policies is neither fair to existing citizens nor wise for everyone in the long run. 3  The infamous “catch and release” policy at U.S. borders encourages illegal border crossing. 4  Finally, giving the vote to non-citizens, who have not committed themselves to this country, even “only” for school board issues, is illogical. 5  Given human nature, more nonsensical privileges will follow.

Applying the wisdom of paragraph 2241 would get us back on track.

1 – Paragraph 2241 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November 2013.

2 – “Waiting in line: Why legal immigration can take decades, by Zach Quinn, 11/28/2016, https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/2016/11/28/waiting-turn-long-line-legal-immigration//

3 – “The Caravan Expose the Democrats, by Michael Brendan Dougherty, 10/26/2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/migrant-caravan-democrats-border-enforcement-immigration-debate/

4 – “Illegal immigrant families exploit ‘catch and release’ loopholes , surge over borders at record levels, by Stephen Dinan, 9/12/2018, https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/sep/12/illegal-immigration-soars-families-spot-holes/

5 – “San Francisco To Allow Noncitizens To Vote For School Board, 10/23/2018, https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/10/23/san-francisco-noncitizens-vote-school-board/

#MeToo is Sadly Not A Surprise, Pope Paul VI Warned Us 50 Years Ago

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”Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards.  Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law.  Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” 1

“It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching.  There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication.  But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a “sign of contradiction.” (22)  She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical.

“Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter.  It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man.”3

These are excerpts from Pope Paul VI’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae (Latin for “Of Human Life”), issued in 1968.  (It should be noted that the writing style unfamiliar to many is a result of having a translation from a Latin text.  The Romance languages, especially those in a classical style, are different from modern, informal American English.) This was written at the dawn of the “free love” era.  Secular news media and even some clergy and bishops felt that his message was flawed or at least doomed to being disregarded by those claiming to be Catholic.

Despite the opposition to his message, this pope’s steadfast courage to be truthful has been vindicated.  Recent revelations of countless inappropriate sexual advances and impositions of men toward women in the workplace and other relationships over the last few decades make it clear: the promise of “safe sex” through use of condoms and chemical means of birth control have reduced the dignity of women to become mere sex objects.

Men are demonstrating decreased moral responsibility in caring for the children they cause to be conceived.  U.S. births to all unmarried women were just 5% in 1960, and had risen to 40% across all demographics in 2016 (29% for non-Hispanic whites, 53% for Hispanics and 70% for non-Hispanic blacks). 4

True, some of the increase is due to government policies which indirectly discourage marriage and also the popular belief among some that women don’t need a husband to have a child, only a “sperm donor.” 5

Nevertheless, the consequences have been obvious.  We would be wise to heed the words of Pope Paul VI.  He may have died forty years ago, but his understanding of human nature is timeless.

1 – Excerpt from section II, topic  17 of Pope Paul’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, dated July 25, 1968. https://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html

2 – Referred to Luke 2:34 (“and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted…’”) Taken from The Catholic Study Bible, third edition, containing The New American Bible, revised edition, Oxford University Press, 2015.

3 – Excerpt from section II, topic  18 of Pope Paul’s encyclical, Humanae Vitae, dated July 25, 1968. https://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html

4 – “Trend in births to unmarried women,”  https://www.childtrends.org/indicators/births-to-unmarried-women, 9/24/2018.

5 – “Why Women Don’t Need Husbands, by a Husband,” by Tom Burns, https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-women-dont-need-husbands-written-by-a-husband-hesaid/, 11/26/2013.

Another Slick (and false) Journalistic Jab at the President

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The first paragraph of an article went like this:

“While President Donald Trump works to build a wall on the country’s southern border, Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he wants to break down barriers for legal immigrants.” 1

Hmm, the logical conclusion of this sentence because it begins with “while” is that Kasich is doing the something contrary to what the President is attempting.

To the opponents of the President:  The President is simply attempting to enforce the law regarding illegal immigration.  He is not opposed to legal immigration, only looking to change the parameters of legal immigration to make it more fair for the entire world population wishing to come here instead of a domino effect favoring those from a few nations (sometimes called “chain migration”). 2

The article adds to the implied criticism of the President’s view of immigration by publishing Kasich’s self-promoting:

“At a time when Americans are all worked up about immigration, I believe that immigration is a good thing.”

As the son of an immigrant, this author agrees that immigration can be a win-win situation.  However, opponents of Trump’s controlled immigration don’t seem to care if our “win” portion of the deal disappears.

 

1 – “Gov. Kasich to immigrants: Come work in Ohio,” by Jessie Balmert, USA Today Network and published in the Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/16/2018.

2 – “Trump Wants to Block Visas for Immigrants’ Extended Family Members Because National Security Will Be in Danger,” by Jessica Kwong, http://www.newsweek.com/trump-wants-block-visas-immigrants-extended-family-members-national-security-770948, 1/4/2018.

“Catholic” Notre Dame University Rationalizes About Contraceptives in Insurance Coverage

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Late last year,  the University of Notre Dame announced that its insurance plans for employees and participating students would be eligible to receive contraceptive drugs through a third-party administrator.  In light of this, university president  Father John Jenkins reiterated that Notre Dame still remained “unwavering in our fidelity to our Catholic mission.”  The reason for this action, he said, was that the school was respecting the other beliefs and practices of their Notre Dame community who made “conscientious decisions about the use of such drugs.”Without indicating which drugs were permitted, he claimed that no abortifacients would be provided.

Responsibility  for  Sins

If only it were as simple as Father Jenkins stated.  Paragraph 1868 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

“Sin is a personal act.  Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them [emphasis retained]:

  • by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
  • by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
  • by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
  • by protecting evil-doers.”2

The university’s position of having a third-party provide contraceptives under the provisions of its insurance plans runs afoul of two of these aspects.  The third applies in that the university had within its power to hinder the use of contraceptives.  Instead, it washed its hands a la Pontius Pilate and passed it off to a third-party provider.  Regarding the second point, while not openly approving the morality of contraceptive use, Notre Dame, by its actions gives tacit approval.  To find a similar example, this university would never give a third-party approval to provide for abortions on a limited basis just because some employees or students feel that rape or incest is a justifiable excuse for one.  —  Or would it?

 

Contraception  and  the  General  Role  of  the  Conscience

Paragraph 2399 of the Catechism addresses contraception with:

“The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood.  Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).”2

Father Jenkins acknowledged “conscientious decisions” made by some of their community regarding the use of these drugs.  Nevertheless, the various contraceptives have differing degrees of immorality regardless of the individual’s level of conscience formation.  Regarding consciences and how we should respond to them:

“While it is taught that a man may follow his conscience even if it be erroneous, this does not make the conclusions of an erroneous conscience true or worthy of respect… And even if their erroneous consciences may lessen their culpability, Jesus does not leave them free of any role in their deformed consciences.  Thus, He adds, ‘They will do these things because they have not known the Father or Me.’ (John 16:3)  So the Church’s response to an erroneous conscience should not be to affirm it or to pronounce it worthy of respect.  While we want to respect that some people are sincerely wrong and wish to treat them with dignity, we must continue to insist that those who have erroneous consciences are wrong.  We must teach both them and others what is true and why.”3

It’s appropriate that “Notre Dame” means Our Lady (Virgin Mary).  Because the traditional date of March 25 celebrating the Annunciation occurred during Holy Week this year, the U.S. bishops moved its 2018 commemoration to yesterday (April 9).  This annual solemnity reminds us that we Christians are grateful that Mary was totally open to life as God willed it.  May the University of Notre Dame do as its namesake by striving to promote openness to human life.

 

1 – “’Simple Contraceptives’ Added To Notre Dame Health Plan,” by Catholic News Agency as reported in the March 4, 2018 issue of National Catholic Register.

2 – The Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, twenty-fifth printing, November, 2013.

3 – “What Conscience Is and Is Not,” by Msgr. Charles Pope (dean and pastor in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.), same issue as in footnote #1.

Trump’s Tariffs Parallel Early Days of Necessary EPA Regulations

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President Trump’s tariffs on steel are bringing both joy and worry.  The joy comes from our steel mills which have been unfairly hurt by the flood of low-cost imports (often subsidized by foreign governments).  The worry comes from some manufacturers who will pay more for the raw materials they have been importing or pay the higher prices from U.S. sources.  Eventually, they will have to raise their selling prices or absorb the increase.

True, in the final analysis, some jobs may be lost by tariffs as some are being gained.  The new equilibrium will take time to shake out.  Regardless of the final tally, this will bring the total cost of the goods affected to be in line with what they should be which will allow market forces to allocate resources more efficiently.

What does this have in common with the early days of cost increases due to compliance with EPA regulations?

Prior to the EPA, industry and cities were essentially subsidized by the environment because they performed very little clean-up of process waste.   Consequently, products were actually under-priced and municipal costs for utilities were significantly understated because the cost of effluent was being “paid” by the environment.  The result:  dangerously worsening air and water quality.  The new regulations required treatment of air and water effluent.  Sure, prices went up, but the payoff was a healthier world and new jobs for environmental equipment and services.

Just as the environment was giving a de facto subsidy to production facilities and municipalities who weren’t required to properly dispose of waste products,  U.S. fabricators (and therefore, we the buying public) have been beneficiaries of artificially lower priced products made from cheaper imports.

The result:  loss of jobs nationally and some environmental degradation worldwide.  Granted, many U.S. steel manufacturing jobs have been lost because of increased productivity, not trade issues.1   (However, such as not been the case with all industries.  Since the early 1990’s many paper industry jobs have been lost to imports which were subsidized and/or the result of unsustainable forest practices by foreign mills.The article in the foot note was written about the impact in Maine.  However, for example, the Miami Valley in Ohio has lost most of its paper industry jobs in the last two decades for the same reasons.  If Trump had been president then….)

Very inexpensive imports do some damage to fellow U.S. workers.  We can either do something about it, or fret over possible retaliation by other nations.  In the end, our products will either be considered of higher value and overcome these retaliatory policies or they won’t.  A more level playing field is the ultimate aim.  If we fail to act, we will remain an economic hostage and freeze in our tracks as the Carter Administration did during the Iranian hostage situation.  Confronting physical or economic bullies can produce justice.

… Let’s remember there are environmental reasons for not patronizing China’s polluting industries.3

 

1 – “Most US manufacturing jobs lost to technology, not trade,” by Federica Cocco, 12/2/2016, https://www.ft.com/content/dec677c0-b7e6-11e6-ba85-95d1533d9a62

2 –“Where the Paper Industry Went, by Phoenix McLaughlin, 12/14/2015, http://mainemeetsworld.bangordailynews.com/2015/12/14/home/where-the-paper-industry-went/

3 – “Nearly 14,000 Companies in China Violate Pollution Rules,” by Edward Wong, 6/13/2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/world/asia/china-companies-air-pollution-paris-agreement.html

 

Why Are Egyptian Sarcophagi Not Worthy of the Same Respect Shown to Modern Era Graves?

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The longer one lives, ideas or questions which should have been obvious seem to pop up from nowhere and stun the thoughtful.

Recent example: since it’s disrespectful to disturb graves (outside of criminal investigations), why is it OK to open the sarcophagi(elaborate coffins) of Egyptian mummies?  Is there an arbitrary waiting period so that some day all existing cemeteries can be opened at will?

Or are the ancient civilizations considered somewhat “less than human”?  This is disturbingly similar to how some view “primitive” cultures or the unborn.

 

1 – a stone coffin, especially one bearing sculpture, inscriptions, etc., often displayed as a monument, http://www.dictionary.com/browse/sarcophagi

 

 

 

“… Are a Way to Show Off the Body and Be Provocative” — Is This a Sensible Goal of Fashion?

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A basic Google search for the meaning of “provocative” includes:
“arousing sexual desire or interest, especially deliberately”

The entire quote, which is the subject of this article, is as follows:

“Short shorts are a way to show off the body and be provocative, and everyone has a choice on how to show off their body, no matter their size.”1

Since women have been used by men at historic levels since the 1960’s 2,3 and recent disclosures about the decades of sexual abuse against women, is this a smart approach?  Giving the benefit of the doubt, are bodies being advertised in order to seek more than a short-term relationship like a lifelong mate?  OK, maybe not.

Are revealing clothes being worn to elicit jealousy from other women?  Honestly?… It couldn’t be that it’s being done to boost one’s self-image since a woman should already be familiar with her positive physical attributes every time she dresses.  Or is there some perverse wish in arousing the aforementioned sexual desire in men in order to exert some power over them?  No way!

Regardless of the motives, it’s ironic that the ill-advised quote comes from a magazine named “Women’s Health.”  How women dress should be given serious and responsible consideration as it does have an impact on our society.

 

1 – Gabrielle Porcaro, Women’s Health, as reported in the USA Today section of the Cincinnati Enquirer, by Maria Puente, 7/31/2017.

2 – “Cohabitation in the United States has increased by more than 1,500 percent in the past half century. In 1960, about 450,000 unmarried couples lived together. Now the number is more than 7.5 million.”  From “The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage,” by Meg Jay, The New York Times, 4/14/2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/opinion/sunday/the-downside-of-cohabiting-before-marriage.html

3 – Meanwhile, the U.S. population will not have increased 100% since 1960 until sometime in the next decade.  Taken from https://www.census.gov/newsroom/cspan/1940census/CSPAN_1940slides.pdf

Why Ordinary Agreements with North Korea are Destined to be Futile

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Open Doors1 noted that “Christians [in North Korea] try to hide their faith as far as possible to avoid arrest and being sent to a labor camp.”2  Given such a threatening environment for people of faith, we can conclude that attempting to solve the recent arms development problem with Kim Jong Un by negotiating routine treaties is not a high percentage strategy.  Why?  As Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) once said:

“Can we not see that if law is divorced from morality and religion, then treaties cease to be obligatory and begin to be mere arrangements, binding only so long as they are advantageous?  Rob international justice of its roots in morality and treaties are hypothetical, not categorical; convenient tools, not honorable obligations, while law becomes an attorney’s cloak woven from the flimsy fabric of legalistic phraseology artfully placed on the shoulders of arbitrary power.”3

Perhaps this is why Ronald Reagan used the Russian proverb “trust but verify”4 in his meetings with Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev on armaments in the 1980’s.It was essential in those discussions given the forty years of the Cold War.  It may be too optimistic with North Korea given their approach to life and religious rights.

 

1 – “Open Doors USA is a non-profit organization focused on serving persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through:  Bible & Gospel Development, Women and Children Advancement, and Christian Community Restoration.”  https://www.opendoorsusa.org/about-us/

2 – “North Korea’s War On Christianity: The Globe’s Number One Religious Persecutor,” by Doug Bandow, https://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2016/10/31/north-koreas-war-on-christianity-the-globes-number-one-religious-persecutor/#25c3033556e3, 10/31/2016.

3 – “The Quotable Fulton Sheen,” edited by George J. Marlin, Richard P. Rabatin, and John L. Swan.  Doubleday, New York, 1989.  Quote was taken from “The Divine Verdict,” New York: P. J. Kennedy and Sons, 1943.

4 – “doveryay, no proveryay” according to Google translate https://www.google.com/search?q=russian+to+english+dictionary&oq=russian+to+english&aqs=chrome.3.69i57j0l5.11111j1j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

5 – Including: “doveryai, no proveryai,” as found in http://www.usmedicine.com/editor-in-chief/doveryai-no-proveryai-trust-but-verify/, by Chester “Tip” Buckenmaier, July 2014.  His article focused on the problems with and approaches to fix the problems with VA hospitals.

Instead of Protesting for $15/hour Fast Food Jobs, Why Not Work in Construction?

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Here’s a dual problem which could be solved simultaneously.  For starters:

“A shrinking pool of homes for sale across the country and in the Cincinnati area is pushing up prices – exacerbating an already existing affordability gap for many buyers.”1

Then why aren’t more houses being built?

“’It’s just hard to find enough construction workers today to build more,’ [Issi] Romem [chief economist at Buildzoom] said. ‘The economy has lost a lot of young workers, and the construction industry is aging much faster than other industries.  There are far fewer construction workers available today than there were before the housing boom, which hurts the push to build more.’”1

Meanwhile, we see it frequently, and especially on the coasts, a demand for a $15 per hour minimum wage – even though costs of living vary greatly across the nation. Based on data for early this year, New York and California (where much of the noise emanates from) have the fourth and second highest cost of living for the fifty states.2  Therefore, it would be insane for a $15/ hour minimum wage to be forced upon the median state, South Dakota, where $11.03 per hour would accomplish the same as $15 in California.  Based on its lowest of all costs of living, only $9.38 would be needed in Mississippi.  How many jobs would be eliminated in that state if it was required to pay 60% more for the same work?

Back to the shortage of construction workers.  “Construction workers [in New York City] earn a median hourly wage of $18.68.  Hourly wages typically start from $10.93 and go up to $41.47.”  Also, due to the erratic nature of the work, average earnings for general construction workers was $35,750 in 2014. Carpenters earned about $10,000 more and iron and steel workers $17,000 more.3

Minimum wage for fast food workers in New York City was officially raised to $12.00 at the beginning of this year… a job not intended to be a career to support a family.  It will increase annually until it reaches $15.00 by the end of 2018.

Assuming fifty weeks of forty hours, the fast food worker would earn $30,000 starting in 2019 – if jobs aren’t eliminated because of the 25% increase over two years.

Maybe the construction workers will get a nice raise, too, buy maybe not.

This is not to say that fast food isn’t difficult at times, but compared to construction?
In the end, why work really hard in temperature extremes and be subject to erratic work schedules based on the weather for $35,750 as a general construction worker4 when big government says you should receive $30,000 for mostly indoor work?  (also possible as big government forces these businesses to offer 40-hour weeks someday)

Perhaps we’ve solved the mystery of why there’s a construction worker shortage.

 

1 – “Affordability Poses Homebuyer Challenge, by Randy Tucker, Kentucky Enquirer, 7/29/2017.

2https://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/, for Ohio readers of this blog, $10.20 per hour accomplishes the same as $15.00 in California (understanding, of course, it will be higher for the urban areas and lower for rural).

3https://www.sokanu.com/careers/construction-worker/salary/New%20York/

4https://labor.ny.gov/formsdocs/factsheets/pdfs/p716.pdf

Atheist is Suing Against “In God We Trust” on Currency — Perhaps We Simply Don’t Deserve to Use It

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A California atheist, Michael Newdow, will be in a federal court in Cincinnati arguing that the presence of the words “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 by infringing on his religious freedom.1,2  He’s ignoring the prominence of religious belief in our republic since its beginnings.  As George Washington said in his farewell address:

“Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports… Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?  And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.  Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”3

The courts will continue to ponder this thorny issue of how to allow expressions religious belief in our public lives without violating constitutional rights.

Putting that aside, a review of where our U.S. culture is headed strongly suggests that using the motto “In God We Trust” is giving ourselves more credit than we deserve.  Oh sure, we made slavery illegal in this country in the 19th century – a mere eight centuries after “both Saint Wulfstan and Saint Anselm successfully campaigned to remove the last vestiges of slavery in Christendom” 4 (unfortunately, it resurfaced later in more “enlightened” times).  And we started allowing women to vote in 1920, or twenty-seven years after New Zealand did the same and we were also later than ten other countries.5

But, we have had legalized murder of the unborn for 44 years resulting in about 59 million victims6 not counting the physical risks and emotional scars suffered by the mothers.And our latest creation, where we think  the state can redefine the institution of marriage (something not created by the state in he first place) and toss Natural Law out the window with same-sex “marriage.”

These are strange ways to prove we believe “In God We Trust.”

 

 

1 – “Does God have a place on money?, by Chris Graves, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/18/2017.

2https://www.congress.gov/bill/103rd-congress/house-bill/1308

3https://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/WashingtonFarewell.html

4 – “Bearing False Witness,” by Rodney Stark, Templeton Press; West Conshohocken, PA, 2016.

5 – “First 15 Countries To Grant Women’s Suffrage, http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/first-15-countries-to-grant-women-s-suffrage.html

6 – http://www.christianliferesources.com/article/u-s-abortion-statistics-by-year-1973-current-1042

7 – “In a series of 1,182 abortions which occurred under closely regulated hospital conditions, 27 percent of the patients acquired post-abortion infection lasting 3 days or longer… Researchers have reported that 3 to 5 percent of aborted women are left inadvertently sterile as a result of the operation’s latent morbidity… Other countries which have legalized abortion have seen the same dramatic increase in ectopic pregnancies…

“Within 8 weeks after their abortions, 55% expressed guilt, 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor… Thirty to fifty percent of aborted women report experiencing sexual dysfunctions, of both short and long duration, beginning immediately after their abortions. These problems may include one or more of the following: loss of pleasure from intercourse, increased pain, an aversion to sex and/or males in general, or the development of a promiscuous life-style.”  From The After Effects of Abortion,” http://www.abortionfacts.com/reardon/the-after-effects-of-abortion