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

Suddenly, Democrats are Worried About People Losing Their Lives?

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In response to the recently released Senate version of Obamacare replacement, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said:

“These cuts are blood money,” Warren said on the Senate floor. “People will die.”  More specifically, Warren added that “Senate Republicans are paying for tax cuts for the wealthy with American lives.” 1

She was a member of the Congress which implemented Obamacare – the plan which increased premiums to unfathomable heights (married couple with no children at home in Ohio with moderate coverage and high deductibles pays $1,700 per month).  The plan has absurd requirements causing insurers to leave many counties and states, thus decreasing competition (and we know what that does to prices).  This is the plan which Rep. Nancy Pelosi famously said that we would have to pass it in order to learn what’s in it, and we have regretted the result.

Sen. Warren is all up in arms about the proposed health plan which might force Congress to move public health insurance assistance from the backs of average Americans to a sensible federal plan where the burden is distributed fairly.  (This does not mean going to socialized medicine, the “single payer” program which Obamacare had in mind after it deliberately destroyed our private insurance system, a goal well on its way to realization.)

All of this outrage from a member of the party which promotes the killing of babies (59 million victims since Roe v. Wade)2   and a disciple of President Obama who, as a senator, would not vote against the horrific practice of late term abortion.

We can’t take her or the rest of the hypocritical Democrats seriously.

 

1 – “Elizabeth Warren on McConnell Bill: ‘These Cuts are Blood Money… People Will Die,’” by Tony Lee, http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/22/elizabeth-warren-blood-money-people-will-die/

2http://www.christianliferesources.com/article/u-s-abortion-statistics-by-year-1973-current-1042

It’s Unfortunate that Many “Universities” are Digressing to “Particularities”

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Universities have been in existence for many centuries, although a precise starting date is not known.

“It was, after all, in the High Middle Ages that the university came into existence… The precise origins of the very first universities are lost in obscurity, though the picture becomes ever clearer as we move into the thirteenth century.  We cannot give exact dates for the appearance of universities at Paris and Bologna, Oxford and Cambridge, since they evolved over a period of time…”1

The original purpose of the university is “the creation of prepared minds.” True, over the last century, we have seen much commercialization of higher education in the form of investment into research for the business and manufacturing worlds.  In addition, the idea that colleges are to prepare students for more lucrative employment has somehow become the majority opinion.

All of that aside, an inherent mission of the university remains that it is to be an arena where a multitude of ideas can discussed and debated.  The concept comes from “the Latin words universitas and universitatis (which) are generally thought of as the source of the word university.

These words are derived from universus universeum / universa, meaning universe or universal.”3

 The intrinsic purpose of the university was maintained in the 1960’s despite near anarchy occurring on some campuses when “progressive” ideas ranging from the validity of the Viet Nam War to sexual mores to questioning our form of government aggressively demanded to be heard.  While many opposed the progressives, it was appropriate that these differences of opinion were allowed to be debated.

Now, after seven centuries of purposeful existence, the “university” is threatened with extinction.  Since the 1960’s, a majority of U.S. universities have adopted the “progressive” social and political philosophies.  However, in this new climate they have abandoned the fundamental purpose of the university by not allowing “conservatives” to speak on many campuses.  Excuses for limiting the exchange of ideas include charges of not representing the university’s core values4 and false accusations of “hate speech” compelling the universities to say they cannot guarantee safety of the speaker or audience because of the expectation of violent protests.

These institutions of higher learning are abdicating their responsibility to “create prepared minds” via civilized discussion of opposing thoughts.  They are ceasing to be universal in the testing of ideas.

An antonym for universal is “particular”.Consequently, institutions that “disinvited” conservative speakers last year such as Princeton University and American University should henceforth be known as Princeton Particularity and American Particularity.5

 

1 – “The Catholic Church and the Creation of the University,” by Thomas E. Woods Jr., http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/education/catholic-contributions/the-catholic-church-and-the-creation-of-the-university.html, 2005.

2 – “The Purpose of Higher Education:  To Create Prepared Minds, “ by Andres Fortino, https://evolllution.com/opinions/the-purpose-of-higher-education-to-create-prepared-minds/, 6/26/2012.

3http://english-ingles.com/en/etymology-of-university/

4 – “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.

5http://englishthesaurus.net/antonym/universal

“America First” is a Smart Negotiation Tool, Not Selfish or an Isolationist Policy

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Strange, that liberals condone the killing of the most innocent human beings and the legitimizing of same-sex “marriage”, but freak out when President Trump says:  “America First.”

Three quick points:

A) Trump’s putting our nation’s interests first is what all nations’ leaders should do. Trump’s first responsibility is to the U.S., not Germany, Russia or Iran.  In the same way, Angela Merkel is primarily responsible to the German people, not to the E.U., China or Syria.

B) Secondly, “America First” is not a descendant of Hitler’s metastasized version of nationalism. That has already been addressed in https://cartaremi.wordpress.com/2017/01/20/trumps-patriotism-is-nothing-like-hitlers-concept-of-nationalism/.

C) Finally, “America First” is simply a solid negotiation strategy — something we haven’t seen from the Oval Office in quite a few years. Disagree?  Then check out the infamous Obama-Kerry deal with Iran.

Whom  Should  We  Trust  to  Represent  Us  With  Other  Nations?

When one is negotiating, the wise individual begins with a position which allows some losses through compromise without losing key “wants.”

It’s no different from selling a house or a car.  One doesn’t open with his “must have” price, but begins above that mark so that he has room to negotiate downward and maintain his “must have” price in the end.

What is surprising is that so many fear our nation’s negotiation future in the hands of President Trump who wrote, “The Art of the Deal.”  In it, he said:

“I don’t hold it against people that they have opposed me.”1

“My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after. Sometimes I settle for less than I sought, but in most cases I still end up with what I want.”

He’s determined and sticks to the issues without allowing personalities to sidetrack him.

And yet, many felt more comfortable with his predecessor who wrote these two quotes from “Dreams of My Father” and other statements.

“Churches won’t work with you, though, just out of the goodness of their hearts.  They’ll talk a good game-a sermon on Sunday, maybe, or a special offering for the homeless.  But if push comes to show, they won’t really move unless you can show them how it’ll help them pay their heating bill.”3

“I had given her a reassuring smile and patted her hand and told her not to worry, I wouldn’t do anything stupid.  It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned:  People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves.”4

“Because what we are confident about is that when people look and see that they can get high-quality, affordable health care for less than their cell phone bill, they’re going to sign up.” [Good thing our phone bills aren’t that high or we’d all need subsidies.]

“During his presidential campaign and subsequent battle over a health care law, Mr. Obama quieted crowds with the story of his mother’s fight with her insurer over whether her cancer was a pre-existing condition that disqualified her from coverage…. But in “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” author Janny Scott quotes from correspondence from the president’s mother to assert that the 1995 dispute concerned a Cigna disability insurance policy and that her actual health insurer had apparently reimbursed most of her medical expenses without argument.” 6

Conclusion

Obama had difficulty being honest with issues confined to our homeland – no wonder he did a poor job abroad.  Trump, on the other hand, vows to look out for the needs of our entire nation.  From his style, neither our allies nor our adversaries will have to decipher what he’s up to.  In this way, we will have a chance at reasonable international agreements.  Obama won the presidency in 2008 on a promise of change.  Little did his fooled supporters realize that the beneficial change he spoke of was still eight years away!

 

1http://www.bankrate.com/finance/politics/clues-to-trump-presidency-from-the-art-of-the-deal-4.aspx

2 – “A paragraph from ‘The Art of the Deal’ gives insight about a Trump administration,” by Jacob Pramuk, http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/01/a-paragraph-from-the-art-of-the-deal-gives-insight-about-a-trump-administration.html, 12/1/2016.

3 – “Dreams from My Father Quotes,” https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/86032-dreams-from-my-father?page=2

4 – “Dreams from My Father Quotes,” https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/86032-dreams-from-my-father?page=3

5 – “Top 10 Quotes From Bill Clinton and President Obama Chat At CGI,” by Dan Munro, http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2013/09/27/top-10-quotes-from-bill-clinton-and-president-obama-chat-at-cgi/#f7e13213860f, 9/27/2013.

6 – “Book Challenges Obama on Mother’s Deathbed Fight,” by Kevin Sack, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/us/politics/14mother.html, 7/13/2011.

Trump’s Patriotism is Nothing Like Hitler’s Concept of Nationalism

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The Left, which justifies baby-killing and the legitimization of disordered behaviors, continues to wring its hands over President Trump’s vision of “America First.” They relentlessly scream a warning that our new President is promoting Hitler’s nationalism which led to millions of deaths worldwide.

Once again, they are showing their lack of knowledge of history — an unfortunate product of the “progressive’s” educational strategy.  But how did Hitler really feel about nationalism/ patriotism?

In Hitler’s conception of the Nation, the Ethnie is the German Volk: ‘the emotive force of which is inadequately conveyed by translation as ‘culture’, ‘force’ or ‘race’.’ The core of the volk was the Aryan nuclei that represented the pure breed of the German people… The word is repeated throughout “Mein Kampf” and his early speeches, it is the core of his nationalist discourse especially within his book “Mein Kampf”, where his view is of a rigid closed ethnic nation formed around an ethnic core, in order to unite the nation against internal and external threats.”1

In Trumps inaugural speech today, he said:

“And through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.  When you open your mind to patriotism, there is — no –room – for — prejudice.”

That’s not Hitler.  Get an education, liberals.  (Fortunately for you, your chances of that will be better with this administration’s promotion of school choice — something Democratic leadership opposes vehemently.)

 

 

1 – “Adolf Hitler’s Account of the ‘Nation’ and ‘Nationalism’,” by John Cai Benjamin Weaver, http://www.e-ir.info/2011/05/16/adolf-hitlers-account-of-the-%E2%80%98nation%E2%80%99-and-%E2%80%98nationalism%E2%80%99/, 5/16/2011.

The Ill-Advised Blending of the Sexes, including Gender-Neutral Names

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For a number of years, an increasing disdain for the wonderful differences between men and women has led to a number of inventions ranging from unisex clothing to gender-neutral names (which have increased by 60% in the last ten years1).  In most cases, the blurring of the sexes is not a conscious challenge to God’s wisdom in creating two genders. It is, nevertheless, surprising in that celebrating the differences between men and women has been has been the healthy norm historically.

Why  Not  One  Blended  Gender?

But society’s changes seem to be asking this:  “Why not move toward making ourselves androgynous2 beings instead of having the two genders?

A Jewish insight understands a need for two genders:  “The answer is that in order to maximize giving, the recipient must be different from the giver.  If the two are identical, giving can occur, but it is limited.  One would give based on his or her own needs, since the receiver would have the exact same needs.  To truly be a giver, the person must take into account what the receiver needs and not only what the giver wants.  By giving to someone with different needs, a person is trained to think and give on terms other than his or her own.”3

Summarized from a Christian source:  “’Being man’ or ‘being woman’ is a reality which is good and willed by God.”4

Trends  Making  it  More  Difficult  to  Distinguish  Between  Male  and  Female

Thus, there seems to be no reason to oppose the manifestation of two distinct genders unless one has an agenda.  Unfortunately, they exist.

It can arise from a resignation as a result of society’s faults:  “Strange as it sounds, this simply states what religious rhetoric assumes; that the men form the legitimate body of the community, while women are allowed to participate only when they assimilate themselves to men.”5

In some cases, it springs from a dislike of marriage as the Communism has:  “The Party did all it could to push women into industry.  The bourgeois family as a social unit was to be made obsolete .”6

It can simply come from a clothes designer who has no concern for the ultimate well-being of those who are unsure of their “gender identity” but profits from it under the guise of a desire to prevent the stifling of artistic imagination.7

“This book will train you to think … like a guy.  Because dating has always been a guy’s world, until now.”8

Or it can originate from a trend with no logical purpose:  “Gender neutral makeup is on the rise. Brands like Enter Pronoun are leading the unisex cosmetics category with their selection of concealers, bronzers and eye liners.9

Reasons  Given  for  Blurring  Gender  Distinction

“…masculine names are often associated with success, for instance, which might explain why parents historically chose androgynous names for girls.”10

“Additionally, a study from Clemson University showed that women with more traditionally male names made more successful lawyers and judges than women with more feminine names.”11

“SE Hinton (Susan Eloise), DC Fontana (Dorothy Catherine), PN Elrod (Patricia Nead) and KA Applegate, to name but a few, have all ditched their first names to improve their chances of success in genres dominated by male writers.”12

“You see, I’ve learned that you can’t land a man by reading all those female-empowerment books or women’s magazines.  In fact, you have to avoid those all together.  The way to land a guy is to think, act, and react … like a guy.
“Have you ever seen a man get all goo-goo gaga over a baby in a grocery store line? No!… Have you ever been three dates into a relationship and had a guy tell you his real desire in life is to quit his job and be a stay at home dad? Absolutely not!”8

“Because I felt that being a woman was an obstacle, I wanted to become gender-neutral.  It became my way of tricking the system.” 13

“Millennials are an open-minded and accepting group, and they don’t want their children to feel pressured to conform to stereotypes that might be restrictive.”1

Some  Unintended,  But  Very  Real  Negative  Consequences

To reiterate, most who have joined the gender-neutral parade aren’t intending to challenge the natural complementary design of men and women.  However, the absence of bad intentions cannot insulate us against the inevitable consequences of attempting to redefine the inherent natures of the genders.

Dating:

Psychologist  Dr. John Gray, first renowned for his book, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus,” wrote follow ups including the book, “Mars and Venus on a Date.”  In this one, he included the developing practice that many men and women reverse roles in dating.  These men are under the false impression that women should be pleasing them instead of the other way around.

As he wrote:  “A man hungers for the opportunity to make a woman happy.  Her happiness is his happiness… In relating to her, whatever will make her happiest makes him happy.  If he detects that her mission is to please him, he will also focus on how she can please him… If she wants to pursue him, he will happily sit back and passively receive what she wants to give… Whenever a woman pursues a man more than he is pursuing her, he will pursue her less.  Why should he risk failure when she is happy to pursue him?  Automatically, he will relax more and become more passive about the relationship.  Instead of thinking what she may want, he begins thinking more about what he wants.  This turnaround is very confusing for a woman because her assertive approach is successful in the working world but backfires on a date. “14

Negative effects of a “non-traditional” family environment:

An environment which teaches sexual norms different from Natural Law accelerates the incidences of disordered behavior.  Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. noted this a couple of years ago on EWTN radio. Homosexuals comprise about 2.5% of the U.S. population.  However, children of same-sex parents have a 25% rate of homosexuality.  Thus, environment can be a much more powerful force than genetics.

With the increased popularity of gender-neutral concepts, should we be surprised that we also have an increase in gender-confused individuals?

Exacerbating the situation are those who deny the human track record that most adolescents will outgrow these feelings on their own or with moderate intervention.15  Sadly, states and cities have passed ordinances prohibiting any counseling for those experiencing disordered emotions.16, 17

 Children’s names:

Ironically, there’s a comical side to the unintended consequences of gender-neutral trends when it comes to naming children.  It has been the tradition for a multitude of generations to name children with names from recent ancestors, saints or names which had special meaning.

The current trend encourages applying traditional boys’ names to girl children — which have meanings the parents probably would have avoided had they done some research. Examples:

Addison (son of Addy), Campbell (crooked mouth), Carson (son of Carr), Drew (manly), Finley (fair-haired warrior) 18

Dana (from Denmark or fertility goddess), Madison (son of Matthew or possibly son of “Maddy” [Maud]) 19

Bailey (bailiff), Cameron (crooked nose), Dylan (great tide, Welsh god Dylan was son of Arianrhod), Emerson (son of Emery), Kelly (warrior woman), Logan (little hollow), Mackenzie ([Gaelic] son of Coinneach), McKenna ([Gaelic] son of Cionaodh), Monroe (from the mouth of the Roe), Remy (oarsman), Ryan (little king), Whitney (white island) 20

Charlie (free man), Paige (page to a lord) 21

Andi (brave, manly), Hayley (from the hay meadow), Parker (forest ranger), Quincy (born fifth), Torey (from the craggy hills) 22

Kennedy (helmeted chief) 23  

Brinley (hill or mound, from the Welsh “Bryn”), Bristol (place at the bridge), Harlow (dweller in a rocky hill area), Sloan (little raider) 24

CONCLUSION

Without a doubt, men have historically had disproportionate advantages over women in some aspects of life. However, the only effective way to remedy this is through a better awareness of the dignity of ALL humans.  Attacking the problem of disrespect solely with a treatment of the superficial aspects of life has only created new problems.

Take the case of the “unfairness” that women are at greater risk of “difficulties” (i.e. pregnancy) because of sex.

The secular humanistic solution was not to increase the cooperation between men and women and a mutual understanding of the reproductive cycle in order to be prudently open to life.25  Rather, it decided to develop chemical and mechanical means to block conception so that women could be more like men in their approach to on-demand sex.

The result?  As Pope Paul VI predicted in his encyclical Humanae Vitae almost fifty years ago:

“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.” 26

In addition, we see birth control leading to increase in some female cancers and a decrease in some.27  Want to gamble?

Lastly, the significant decrease of commitment on the part of men toward women has resulted in many more of babies being born out of wedlock — creating the dysfunctional families which devastate society far more than guns can.

The lesson is that re-engineering the natural world is not going to achieve social and economic fairness with the sexes.   Rather, we need to use our supposed superior intelligence to solve the root problems directly with honest communication and leave the natural order of things to the Creator.

 

 

 1 – “Unisex baby names are nothing new, but they are officially the hottest trend of 2016.

“To prove this, Nameberry combed through U.S. Social Security data and found that gender-neutral monikers have increased by 88 per cent in the past 30 years — in the past decade alone, unisex names have risen by 60 per cent.”  From “Baby Names 2016: The Most Popular Unisex Names Revealed,” by Isabelle Khoo, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/08/22/unisex-baby-names-2016_n_11652540.html, 8/22/2016.

2 – “1. Biology Having both female and male characteristics; hermaphroditic.

  1. Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior.

(From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/androgynous

3 – “Men & Women:  Jewish View of Gender Differences,” by Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, http://www.aish.com/ci/w/48955181.html

4 – From paragraph 369 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.

5 – A quote from Elaine Pagels in her book “The Gnostic Gospels,” (1979; New York: Vintage Books, 1989) as listed in “The Da Vinci Hoax, by Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 2004.

6 – Quote of Bella Dodd (1904-1969) who was an “open [Communist] Party leader taken from page 44 of “Takedown,” or how the left has sabotaged family and marriage, by Paul Kengor Ph.D., WND Books; Washington, D.C., 2015.

7 – “I’ve never personally designed anything with the intention of catering only to those who self-identify within a set gender binary.  But as a handmade designer who still sells on Etsy, I’ve noticed there’s no option for posting a skirt or dress or even a body chain that isn’t gendered.  Checking that box makes me feel as though I am imposing limits on my designs and those who want to wear them, which I definitely don’t support. “  From “7 Gender Non Conformist & Gender Neutral Clothing Brands To Support Right Now,” by Alysse Dalessandro, https://www.bustle.com/articles/100668-7-gender-non-conformist-gender-neutral-clothing-brands-to-support-right-now, 8/31/2015.

8 – “Dating game: Women should act more like men,” From an interview with Giuliana DePandi, http://www.today.com/health/dating-game-women-should-act-more-men-wbna14450869, 8/21/2006.

9 – “Does ‘Dressing Like a Man’ Lead to Greater Success?,” by Anna Akbari, https://www.dailyworth.com/posts/3021-rethinking-gender-and-fashion-in-the-workplace/2, 10/16/2014.

10 – “What’s In a Name?,” by Sam Kean, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/magazine/28wwln-idealab-t.html, 10/28/2007.

11 – “6 Ways to Pick a Baby Name That Will Make Your Child A success,” by Gabrielle Karol, https://www.learnvest.com/2012/06/6-ways-to-pick-a-baby-name-that-will-make-your-child-a-success/, 6/15/2012.

12 – “Why are female authors still writing under gender-neutral initials?,” http://www.irishexaminer.com/examviral/real-life/why-are-female-authors-still-writing-under-gender-neutral-initials-317458.html, 3/10/2015.

13 – Quote from Heloise Letissier in the 10/17/2016 issue of Time magazine.

14 – Excerpts from pages 43, 178 and 254 of “Mars and Venus on a Date,” by John Gray, PhD, HarperCollins Publishers; New York, NY, 1997.

15 – “Gender identity disorder generally begin [sic] to manifest between the ages of two and four, in which a child displays a preference for the clothing and typical activities of the opposite sex and also prefer playmates of the opposite sex… Most children outgrow gender identity disorder with time and the influence of their parents and peers. Adolescents with gender identity disorder are prone to low self-esteem, social isolation, and distress, and are especially vulnerable to depression and suicide… Both male and female transsexuals may elect to alter their primary and secondary sexual characteristics by undergoing surgery to make their genitals as much like those of the opposite sex as possible… The operation itself is accompanied by hormone treatments that aid in acquiring the secondary sex characteristics of the desired sex. While a number of individuals have gone on to lead happy, productive lives following sex-change operations, others fail to make the transition and continue to suffer from gender identity disorder.”  From “Gender Identity Disorder,” http://psychology.jrank.org/pages/274/Gender-Identity-Disorder.html

16 – [New Jersey]  “A person who is licensed to provide professional counseling under Title 45 of the Revised Statutes, including, but not limited to, a psychiatrist, licensed practicing psychologist, certified social worker, licensed clinical social worker, licensed social worker, licensed marriage and family therapist, certified psychoanalyst, or a person who performs counseling as part of the person’s professional training for any of these professions, shall not engage in sexual orientation change efforts with a person under 18 years of age.”  “New Jersey bans conversion therapy,” by Cristan Williams, http://transadvocate.com/new-jersey-bans-trans-conversion-therapy_n_10039.htm. 8/21/2013

17 – “Today, the Cincinnati City Council became the first city to ban the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy. The historic ordinance imposes a $200 a day fine on anyone practicing conversion therapy on LGBTQ youth.”  “Cincinnati Becomes First City to Ban Conversion Therapy,” by Hayley Miller, http://www.hrc.org/blog/cincinnati-becomes-first-city-to-ban-conversion-therapy, 12/9/2015.

18 – http://www.babynamewizard.com/baby-name/girl/

19 – https://en.wikipedia.org

20 – http://www.behindthename.com,

21 – http://nameberry.com

22 – http://www.sheknows.com/baby-names/name/

23 – http://www.babycenter.com/baby-names-kennedy-5415.htm

24 – http://www.ohbabynames.com

25 – “With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time.”

From Section 10 of Humanae Vitae, given by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968.

26 – From Section 17, Ibid.

27 – “Birth Control & Cancer: Which Methods Raise, Lower Risk,” by Kelli Miller, http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/features/birth-control-cancer-which-methods-raise-lower-risk, 1/21/2016.

Cincinnati Metro Buses: Raise Inadequate Fares Before Asking to Increase City Earnings Tax

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Using reasoning that would make any Democrat proud,  the headline for the November 17, 2016 issue of The Kentucky Enquirer  read “Region’s Transit Agency Longingly Eyes Tax Levy.”  Cincinnati’s bus system has a “$109.1 million budget (which) came with a cry for help from the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority (SORTA), which cast its 2017 budget as a stripped-down, stop-gap effort that illustrates the need for a tax hike on next year’s ballot.”1  

The stop-gap budget to address next year’s projected shortfall of $1.3 million included the deferring of capital expenses for a bus fleet which has sixty-three vehicles past their 12-year useful life.

The article described SORTA’s plight coming as a result of “changes in where people live and work.”  Ridership has dropped along with fare revenue.  Therefore, they are suggesting that something must be done with the city’s earning tax even though that is where about half of the system’s revenue comes from?

Just a moment.  Only one-third of the budget comes from fares.  While the article did not mention it, it’s safe to assume that advertising provides the rest of SORTA’s revenue.

So, why is the city’s earning tax providing more for more of the transit budget than fares do?  Perhaps we could start with the fact that fares haven’t been raised in seven years!

But, could it be that fares are exorbitant?   Below is a chart of fares from SORTA’s site:

– $1.75 Within City of Cincinnati (Zone 1)
– $2.65 Hamilton County, outside City limits, plus Rt. 23X (Zone 2)
– $3.00 Harrison, Ohio (52X)
– $3.50 Butler County (Zone 4)
– $3.75 Clermont County (Rts. 28, 29X, 82X)
– $4.25 Warren County (Zone 5, Rts. 71X, 71)
– $0.50 cents Rt. 85 Riverfront parking shuttle
– $0.85 when using a TANK [Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky] monthly pass or transfer (boarding at Government Square only)

The answer is a resounding “no” to the possibility of exorbitant fares, especially in view of the 2016 IRS allowance for mileage is 54 cents for business mile, 19 cents for medical or moving purposes and 14 cents when deducting in the service of charitable organizations. For example, the distance between Cincinnati and Harrison is approximately twenty-three miles.2  At 54 cents per mile, a fare of $12.42 would be a break-even proposition for riders.

Raising fares would be a very reasonable starting point.  SORTA should curb its “longing look” at the unfair solution of a tax increase until it raises fares some to put more of the responsibilty on those who actually use the system.

 

1 – From the previously mentioned article by Jeremy Fugleberg.

2https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=distance+between+Cincinnati+and+Harrison%2C+Ohio

Coping With Election Losses: Most Conservatives Turn to God and Prayer, Many Liberals Turn to the Streets

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This presidential campaign season was clearly the most unusual our nation has ever seen.  But its uniqueness did not end when the election was over.  After a stunning defeat, liberals went to the streets to demonstrate, often not peacefully, when the younger ones weren’t looking for “safe places” to hide in universities because a Democrat would not be in office for the first time since they were in grade school.

Please don’t be misled.  Tuesday, November 5, 2012 was one of the top five disappointing days of my now eleven presidential elections.  Persons of faith knew that the infamous “phone and pen” would bring more attacks on all freedoms, especially religious.  So, what did we do?  We turned to the one who is ultimately in charge, despite all human attempts to destroy His plans.  We continued our prayers to God and promised to redouble our efforts to try to live in His will, regardless of the outcomes in our lifetimes.

However when they suffer defeat, many liberals feel an especially strong leaning toward despair as their hope is in man, as the data in the footnote shows.1   Man is not the ultimate power in determining his destiny.  Many may disdain religious faith and Natural Law as being crutches for the weak by saying, “And it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…”2 or attempting to justify same-sex “marriage” as being modern justice in place of timeless values.

It not only doesn’t work, but it does not bring the peace needed to deal with stinging adversity and achieve constructive change.  Thus, we have the violent demonstrations against Trump’s election.   So, who are the real hate mongers?

1 – “In a poll about American’s attitudes toward religious freedom, Republicans, and especially conservatives, are standout churchgoers. For Republicans, 46 percent said they “regularly attend,” Democrats 23 percent. Just a quarter of Republicans, 24 percent, never attend or refused to answer the question compared to 46 percent of Democrats.”

“And when separated by ideology, only 18 percent of liberals said they regularly attend church and 62 percent said they never go. For conservatives, 41 percent regularly attend and 34 percent never go.”

While the article adds, “But among the nation, belief in God remains high, even among those unaffiliated with any church,” the true priorities are displayed by actions, not just lip service.

From “Church poll:  Just 18% of liberals regularly attend, 62% never,” by Paul Bedard, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/church-poll-just-18-of-liberals-regularly-attend-62-never/article/2569673, 8/6/2015.

2 – “Obama : ‘They cling to guns or religion,’” http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2008/april/obama-they-cling-to-guns-or-religion.html, 4/13/2008.

Liberals Should Be in Favor of Sanctuary Cities for the Innocent Unborn

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The mayors of two sanctuary cities, Chicago and San Francisco, have spoken recently about continuing to defy federal law when Trump takes office.

Rahm Emanuel of Chicago: “Now, administrations may change, but our values and principles as it relates to inclusion does not.” and Ed Lee of San Francisco: “Being a sanctuary city, for me, is the DNA of San Francisco.”1,2

Granted, it becomes a matter of compassion and practicality to even consider trying to deport all “illegals.”  HOWEVER, these cities create an indefensible morality of their own when they also fail to detain undocumenteds with criminal records:

“In a recent column published in the Omaha World-Herald, Michelle Root called on the Nebraska legislature to bar sanctuary city policies that allowed a drunk illegal alien driver to kill her 21-year old daughter, Sarah, on January 31.
Prosecutors reported that the 19-year-old was charged with motor vehicular homicide, but was released on just a $5,000 bond – and then quickly disappeared.”3

And it’s not a recent phenomenon (12 years ago):

“In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should a cop arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is he who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law.
The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement mirrors bans in immigrant-saturated cities around the country, from New York and Chicago to San Diego, Austin, and Houston. These ‘sanctuary policies’ generally prohibit city employees, including the cops, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.”4

—  With all of this “compassion” in opposition to federal laws which protect the innocent, the next natural step would be for these rogue cities to stop the killing of unborn babies who have not broken any laws!… You’re right.  No chance of that in this upside-down culture.

 
1 – “Mayor says Chicago will ‘always be a sanctuary city’ in face of deportation threats,” by http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/15/mayor-says-chicago-will-always-be-sanctuary-city-in-face-deportation-threats.html, 11/15/2016.

2 – “Mayor Lee: SF will remain sanctuary city despite Trump presidency,” by Michael Barba, http://www.sfexaminer.com/mayor-lee-sf-will-remain-sanctuary-city-despite-trump-presidency/, 11/10/2016.

3 – “Illegal aliens in sanctuary cities getting away with murder,” by Chad Groening, http://www.onenewsnow.com/national-security/2016/11/10/illegal-aliens-in-sanctuary-cities-getting-away-with-murder, 11/10/2016.4 – “The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave,” http://www.city-journal.org/html/illegal-alien-crime-wave-12492.html, winter 2004.

4 – “The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave,” http://www.city-journal.org/html/illegal-alien-crime-wave-12492.html, winter 2004.

If You Are Opposed to the Electoral College, Then You Must Also be Against Having the Senate

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Hillary Clinton’s supporters are pushing for the abolition of the electoral college after she became the fourth candidate to win the popular vote, but lose the electoral college.  (The other elections were in 1876, 1888 and 2000.1 ) They say it would be justice for a democracy.

First of all, the United States is not a pure democracy where all eligible voters would vote personally on all legislative matters.  We are a constitutional republic.  We elect people to represent us in the decisions at the federal, state and local levels.

Our founding fathers created an ingenious legislature consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives.  Why two sections of Congress?  Because they understood the need to respect each state and they didn’t want the largest states dominating the smallest ones. They wanted to limit the impact of inevitable factions within our nation.  Consequently, for a law to be enacted it must pass both houses:  one which is based on population (House) and one which gives each state two representatives regardless of its population (Senate).  When the states agreed to be connected into one nation, it was with the understanding that their autonomy would not disappear — something the Democrats who push for bigger and bigger federal government seem to have forgotten.

If the electoral college were to be abolished, presidential elections would be relegated to “ten pockets of population” as Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, described today on Fox News.  It would make those areas all-important and render the rest of the nation irrelevant when it came to campaigning.  Without the electoral college, we would have had twenty states deciding for the other thirty in this election.  Our founding fathers had a wise idea.

 

1 – “Presidents Winning Without Popular Vote,”  http://www.factcheck.org/2008/03/presidents-winning-without-popular-vote/

2 – “By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.

There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.

It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease.  Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires.  But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

The second expedient is as impracticable as the first would be unwise.  As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed.  As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves.  The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests.  The protection of these faculties is the first object of government.  From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.”

Part of Federalist paper #10, http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1786-1800/the-federalist-papers/the-federalist-10.php

According to Progressives I am Racist, “Backward” and “Deplorable” Because, as a Catholic, I …

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  1.  Am pro-life and know that all lives matter :“Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense… (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… These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do represent a concession made by society and the state…” 1Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia: ““Black lives matter because all lives matter — beginning with the poor and marginalized, but including the men and women of all races who put their lives on the line to protect the whole community.”2

  2. Want immigration policies which join compassion and common sense:

    “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…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.” 3“Family‐based Immigration Reform:  It currently takes years for family members to be reunited through the family‐based legal immigration system. This leads to family breakdown and, in some cases, illegal immigration. Changes in family‐based immigration should be made to increase the number of family visas available and reduce family reunification waiting times.”4Pope Benedict XVI:  “Every state has the right to regulate migration and to enact policies dictated by the general requirements of the common good, albeit always in safeguarding respect for the dignity of each human person.”5

     

  3. Understand that marriage did not come from the state; therefore, cannot be defined by the state:

    “The parties to a marriage covenant are a baptized man and woman , free to contract marriage, who freely express their consent…”“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 natural law… Under no circumstances can they be approved… The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible.  This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.  They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity… Homosexual persons are called to chastity…”6
  4. Believe that the government should only do for us what we cannot do for ourselves:

    “Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative.  The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which ‘a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order… The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism.  It sets limits for state intervention.”7“In effect, the federal government has underwritten massive irresponsibility on the part of low-income fathers. They don’t need to act responsibly because the federal government has woven together a massive financial assistance system for single mothers with kids. The result is that multiple generations of low-income Americans have now grown up in neighborhoods almost entirely bereft of a responsible male presence… In fact, spending on these programs has exploded over the past three decades. Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution recently testified that spending on the ten largest federal programs for the poor increased from $126 billion in 1980 to $626 billion in 2011. That’s a $500 billion jump in spending, in real terms (after controlling for inflation). The idea that the entirety of this massive run-up in outlays is off-limits and should not be subject to budgetary scrutiny defies common sense.”8

  5. Know that freedom of religion does not mean that the practice of faith is to be held hostage inside church walls:

    “This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits…”
    “Furthermore, society has the right to defend itself against possible abuses committed on the pretext of freedom of religion. It is the special duty of government to provide this protection. However, government is not to act in an arbitrary fashion or in an unfair spirit of partisanship. Its action is to be controlled by juridical norms which are in conformity with the objective moral order…”
    “Religious communities also have the right not to be hindered in their public teaching and witness to their faith, whether by the spoken or by the written word…”9


Bishop Fulton J. Sheen: “If by ‘interference in politics’ is meant the interference by the clergy in the political realm of the State, the Church is unalterably opposed to it, for the Church teaches that the State is supreme in the temporal order.  But when politics ceases to be politics and begins to be a religion, when it claims supremacy over the soul of man, when it reduces him to a grape for the sake of the wine of Moloch, when it denied both the freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, when it competes with religion on its own ground, the immortal soul that is destined for God, then religion protests.  And when it does, its protest is not against politics but against a counter religion that is anti-religious.”10

6.  Understand that contraceptives, in vitro fertilization and human cloning are contrary to the dignity of human life because they relegate human reproduction to mere animal breeding: 

Contraception
“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).11

“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… The right and lawful ordering of birth demands, first of all, that spouses fully recognize and value the true blessings of family life and that they acquire complete mastery over themselves and their emotions.  For if with the aid of reason and of free will they are to control their natural drives, there can be no doubt at all of the need for self-denial.  Only then will the expression of love, essential to married life, conform to right order. This is especially clear in the practice of periodic continence.  Self-discipline of this kind is a shining witness to the chastity of husband and wife and, far from being a hindrance to their love of one another, transforms it by giving it a more truly human character.”12

In Vitro Fertilization

“It is quite legitimate, indeed praiseworthy, to try to find ways to overcome infertility. The problem causes great pain and anguish for many married couples.  Since children are a wonderful gift of marriage, it is a good thing to try to overcome the obstacles which prevent children from being conceived and born… But the Bible tells us there are limits to acceptable methods for conceiving a child.  Recall the story of Noah’s unmarried daughters who tried to get their father drunk so that they might have children by him! Obviously not any means can be used to achieve pregnancy… Obviously, IVF eliminates the marriage act as the means of achieving pregnancy, instead of helping it achieve this natural end.  The new life is not engendered through an act of love between husband and wife, but by a laboratory procedure performed by doctors or technicians.  Husband and wife are merely sources for the “raw materials” of egg and sperm, which are later manipulated by a technician to cause the sperm to fertilize the egg.  Not infrequently, “donor” eggs or sperm are used.  This means that the genetic father or mother of the child could well be someone from outside the marriage. .. But even if the egg and sperm come from husband and wife, serious moral problems arise.  Invariably several embryos are brought into existence; only those which show the greatest promise of growing to term are implanted in the womb.  The others are simply discarded or used for experiments.  This is a terrible offense against human life.  While a little baby may ultimately be born because of this procedure, other lives are usually snuffed out in the process… Never are they to be used as a means to an end, not even to satisfy the deepest wishes of an infertile couple.  Husbands and wives “make love,” they do not “make babies.” They give expression to their love for one another, and a child may or may not be engendered by that act of love.  The marital act is not a manufacturing process, and children are not products.”13

Cloning

“There are a number of reasons why someone would try to engender a new human life through cloning. None would be morally legitimate.  For example, a couple may want to use a cell from a dying child to clone another baby as a way of perpetuating the life of the first child.  Obviously, this would not be a continuation of the dying child, but the bringing into being of a new child.  The dying child would become the “progenitor” of a new life without having agreed to it; the new child would not be treated as a unique individual with his or her own identity, but as an extension of another person.

A man or woman might also want to have a baby without getting married or involving a parent of the opposite sex.  Some homosexual people have said that cloning would be a perfect way to have children, because they would not have to marry someone of the opposite sex.  This would be terribly unfair to the child, depriving him or her of a natural father and mother… Most disturbing of all, some researchers want to use cloning to create human beings solely for experimentation and destruction.  They propose to supply genetically matched tissues for treating various diseases by making human embryos from patients’ body cells, then dissecting these developing embryos for their “spare parts.”13

7.  The first responsibility of educating children goes to the parents.  The parents allow the state to educate their children, not vice versa. Therefore, education policies should be made at the state and local level, not federal:

“Parents are the principal and first educators of their children… ‘The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.’… Parents should teach their children to subordinate the ‘material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones.’… The state may not legitimately usurp the initiative of the spouses, who have the primary responsibility for the procreation and education of their children.” 14


“In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, neither the state nor any larger society should substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and intermediary bodies.”15

“Government, in consequence, must acknowledge the right of parents to make a genuinely free choice of schools and of other means of education, and the use of this freedom of choice is not to be made a reason for imposing unjust burdens on parents, whether directly or indirectly. Besides, the right of parents are violated, if their children are forced to attend lessons or instructions which are not in agreement with their religious beliefs, or if a single system of education, from which all religious formation is excluded, is imposed upon all.”16

 — Given this, the problem is not with Catholicism, but with the group more accurately called “regressive.”

(emphases in the above quotes were retained from the originals, not added)

1 – Excerpts from paragraphs 2272 and 2273 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.

2 – “USCCB president says violence calls for ‘moment of national reflection’,” by Catholic News Service, http://iobserve.org/2016/07/08/usccb-president-says-violence-calls-for-moment-of-national-reflection/. 7/8/2016.

3 – Excerpt from paragraph 2241, Ibid.

4 – “Catholic Church’s Position on Immigration Reform,” Migration and Refugees Services/ Office of Migration Policy and Public Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/immigration/churchteachingonimmigrationreform.cfm, August 2013.

5 – “Immigration:  A Principled Catholic Approach Avoids Emotionalism,” by Samuel Gregg, http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/immigration-a-principled-catholic-approach-avoids-emotionalism, 7/25/2014.

6 – Excerpts from paragraph 1625 and 2357-2359 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.

7 – Excerpts from paragraphs 1883 and 1885, Ibid.

8 – “Are Catholics required to support a continually expanding welfare state?,” by Carl E. Olson, http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/1341/are_catholics_required_to_support_a_continually_expanding_welfare_state.aspx, 5/11/2012.

9 – Excerpts from Sections 2, 4 and 7 of “Dignitatis Humanae” (Of Human Dignity) encyclical by Pope Paul VI, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651207_dignitatis-humanae_en.html, 12/7/1965.

10 – “The Quotable Fulton Sheen,” edited by George J. Marlin, Richard P. Rabatin and John L. Swan, Doubleday, New York, 1989.  Quote was found in “Characters of the Passion, New York.  P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1946.

11 – Paragraph 2399 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.

12 – From sections 17 and 21 of “Humanae Vitae” (Of Human Life) encyclical by Pope Paul VI, http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html, 7/25/1968.

13 – “Begotten Not Made:  A Catholic View of Reproductive Technology,” by John M. Haas, PhD, S.T.L., http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/reproductive-technology/begotten-not-made-a-catholic-view-of-reproductive-technology.cfm

14 – Excerpts from paragraphs 1653, 2221, 2223 and 2372 from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing, November 2013.

15 – Paragraphs 1894, Ibid.

16 – Excerpt from Section 5 of “Dignitatis Humanae” (Of Human Dignity) encyclical by Pope Paul VI, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651207_dignitatis-humanae_en.html, 12/7/1965.

 

 

Trump’s Victory: Tears and Fears from the Left?

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A news commentator mentioned yesterday that a college dormitory had contacted him and described how they were in tears when Trump’s win became evident.  He was also told that many experienced fear as a result of the Trump’s victory.

Tears of sadness are understandable when one’s candidate loses. People of faith shed their share after the previous two general elections.  However, the presence of fear is interesting.

Are they afraid that “sanctuary cities” will be eliminated, thus making all of our lives safer?  Or that undocumented foreigners will be deported if they commit a serious crime, as law specifies – as it should?

Perhaps they are concerned that the Hyde Amendment will be retained which will prevent taxpayers from being forced to pay for the murder of unborn babies?

Do they fear that existing laws which make it illegal for parents to get help for their children suffering from gender identity will be rescinded?  (No matter that psychologists say that a majority of these children outgrow of this. 1)

What about our borders?  Do the liberals fear policies which will make less likely that terrorists or drugs will enter the U.S.?

It could be that the plans to replace Obamacare are scary for those who want it to proceed to its natural goal of socialized medicine. 2

Or, maybe they are worried that Trump will fix the atrocious agreement we have with Iran. It’s OK to say that Catholics need to change their backward values 3, but we don’t want to offend any Islamic nations.  They would retaliate whereas we don’t have to worry about any Christian group because they are kept in their place in the U.S.4

Fear a Trump presidency?  You can get some help through the (Non-)Affordable Care Act.

 

 

1 – “Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, said that transgenderism is a ‘mental disorder’ that merits treatment, that sex change is ‘biologically impossible,’ and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder… he explained that transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a “disorder of ‘assumption’” – the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different than what nature assigned to them biologically… Dr. McHugh further noted studies from Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70%-80% “spontaneously lost those feelings.”
From “Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is ‘Mental Disorder;’ Sex Change ‘Biologically Impossible’,” by Michael W. Chapman, http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change, 6/2/2015.

2 – “Coloradans to vote on ‘single payer’ health insurance proposal,” by Joe St. George, http://kdvr.com/2016/08/05/colorado-to-vote-on-single-payer-health-insurance-proposal/, updated 8/5/2016.

3 – “Podesta… seems to say that Catholicism, especially in this conservative form, is nothing more than a set of misunderstood ancient beliefs that are mere window dressing for high society types on the Right to justify their ‘backwards’ views on marriage, the family, abortion, contraception, etc.”  By Nate Madden and Joe Koss, https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/10/hey-catholics-this-is-what-team-hillary-really-thinks-of-you

4 – “Hillary: ‘Deep-seated … religious beliefs’ have to be changed for abortion,” by Ed Morrissey, http://hotair.com/archives/2015/04/24/hillary-deep-seated-religious-beliefs-have-to-be-changed-for-abortion/, 4/24/2015.