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.

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“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

 

Suspended NFL Players Aren’t Having Games “Stolen” From Them

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The Left’s “no consequences” expectation of life has led to another false implication of wrong treatment, this time a sportswriter commenting on the Cincinnati Bengals’ Adam Jones suspension for one game as the result of an arrest in January.

“This is also the first [Bengals] player of any consequence to see games stolen[emphasis added] from football since Cedric Benson had a three-game suspension reduced to one upon appeal for misdemeanor assault cases in 2011.”1

Jones was arrested for an incident at the Millenium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati.  Police charged him with “misdemeanor assault, disorderly conduct, obstructing official business and felony harassment with a bodily substance.”  The original felony charge, harassment with a bodily substance because he spit on a nurse,3 was dismissed by Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters, but the misdemeanors were deferred to the county’s municipal courtwhere he later entered a guilty plea.4

The agreement between the NFL and the players has moral clauses in its standard player contracts.

“Par. 2: EMPLOYMENT AND SERVICES. Club employs Player as a skilled football player. Player accepts such employment. He agrees to give his best efforts and loyalty to the Club, and to conduct himself on and off the field with appropriate recognition of the fact that the success of professional football depends largely on public respect for and approval of those associated with the game.”

” Par. 15: INTEGRITY OF GAME. Player recognizes the detriment to the League and professional football that would result from impairment of public confidence in the…integrity and good character of NFL players. Player therefore acknowledges his awareness that if he…is guilty of any other form of conduct reasonably judged by the League Commissioner to be detrimental to the League or professional football, the Commissioner will have the right, but only after giving Player the opportunity for a hearing at which he may be represented by counsel of his choice, to fine Player in a reasonable amount; to suspend Player for a period certain or indefinitely; and/or to terminate this contract.”5

“Stolen” is the past participle of “to steal” which is “to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, especially secretly or by force.”6

If Adam Jones signs a contract just like every other player in the NFL, damages the “public respect for and approval of those associated with the game,” and is suspended as provided by paragraph 15 of the contract—how is that stealing a game from him?

 

 1 – “Jones suspended one game by NFL,” by Paul Dehner Jr., Kentucky Enquirer, 7/22/2017.

2 – “Prosecutor:  Felony charge dismissed against Bengals’ Adam Jones,” by Amanda Kelley, http://www.wlwt.com/article/prosecutor-felony-charge-dismissed-against-adam-jones/9167558, 3/22/2017.

3 – “Video:  Adam Jones tells cop ‘I hope you die’,” by Kevin Grasha, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/23/video-adam-jones-tells-cop-hope-you-die/96969964/, 1/24/2017.

4 – “Bengals’ Adam Jones suspended by NFL for first game of 2017 season,” by Will Brinson, https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/bengals-adam-jones-suspended-by-nfl-for-first-game-of-2017-season/, 7/21/2017.

5 – “Current Ethical Issues In Sports Law,” Marquette University School of Law, by Scott A. Andresen (Andresen and Associates, P.C.), https://law.marquette.edu/assets/sports-law/pdf/Andresen.pdf, 7/9/2015.

6 – http://www.dictionary.com/browse/stolen

How a Citizen Should Deal With Injustice

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“I am a citizen of this country — and that is no little honor.”

So said the actor Frank Morgan (1890-1949) in the 1943 movie, “A Stranger in Town.”  He played the part of a Supreme Court justice who was on hunting vacation near a small town where no one knew him and he became aware of the corrupt political machine which controlled the townspeople.

Without revealing his identity or elevated position of responsibility in the justice system, he set out to help those who were trying to right things.  Near the end, he gave his reasons for becoming involved even though it wasn’t where he lived.  The quote was only a small part of his reply and summarized his civic philosophy.

If we truly appreciate what our citizenship means, we will fulfill our duties by targeting  with what needs to be corrected directly.  We won’t waste energy on mere public displays of how offended we feel, but apply our efforts to acquiring the means to accomplish necessary changes.  The focus is on the injustice, not us.

This another case where we must learn from those who have gone before us.

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