Tiller the Killer, a/k/a George Tiller, the foremost practitioner in this country of the disguised infanticide known as late term abortion, goes on trial today. The attorneys for Tiller the Killer have attempted every legal maneuver known to man to stop this trial, but to no avail.
While we’re discussing classical music and objective beauty, it is perhaps time to address the phenomenon of the “babe violinist”. No, I’m not talking about some kind of Vanessa Mae type with an electric violin and a wet t-shirt. I’m talking about women with real God-given gifts, musical and otherwise.
My own personal favorite is Hilary Hahn, here playing Franz Schubert’s Der Erlkonig:
This is a perfect show-off piece, which allows you to hear just how good Ms. Hahn is. Her albums with Vaughn Williams’ The Lark Ascending and her various Bach performances are all worth hearing.
During Lent I usually do some special reading. One year it was a selection of Saint Augustine’s sermons, another year it was a massive biography of Cardinal Newman, and one exhausting year it was to read the multi-volume History of the Church of Christ. This year I am re-reading and reading various volumes by Joseph Pearce.
The title of this post is probably the first and last time I will use that phrase.
Something for the weekend. Gustav Holst’s Jupiter, the bringer of jollity, my favorite part of The Planets. Some things become so popular that we tend to take them for granted. I am afraid that is what has happened to some degree with The Planets. It is a magnificent piece of music and places Holst in the top ten list of composers of all time in my estimation.
Daniel Larison on why conservatives have been critical of Michael Steele, but defended Sarah Palin:
Steele does not have the benefit of a verbose, mistake-prone counterpart to distract us [like Palin did with Biden], but even if he did the reaction to Steele would have been nothing like the response to Palin. In other words, Steele’s blunders on substance are treated as badly damaging and activists insist that they require immediate correction, while Palin’s blunders were spun as imaginatively and desperately as any politician’s answers have ever been spun. This is a bigger problem than pushing unprepared leaders into the spotlight–it is a clear preference for one kind of style, namely the combative pseudo-populist act, over whatever style Steele has at the expense of any consideration of the merits of what these leaders say. The takeaway is that Steele is being ripped apart for making statements that are not terribly different from Palin’s campaign statements on the very same issues, and somehow she is still considered a rising star by the very activists who are ripping Steele.
Fertilizing embryos? You know, I never thought much of the intelligence of ex-President Clinton, although I stood in awe of his political skills, but I did think, based upon his colorful history, that he had the facts of life down pat. For his future reference, and the edification of anyone who agrees with him about fertilizing embryos, this video might be helpful. The fellow not correcting Clinton? Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the nominee of President Obama for Surgeon General until Gupta abruptly withdrew his name from consideration.
Update: Father Z is all over this story.
Salvete AC readers!
Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:
1. The Catholic Newman University College Chapel in Birmingham, England is celebrating the birth of Mohammad. Yes, that Mohammad who formalized Islam and spread it throughout the Arabian peninsula by forced conversions of Jews, Christians, and pagans. What is even more outrageous is that Archbishop Nichols where this chapel is located is supporting this 100%. And he’s considered orthodox. You know what I think about these types of bishops.
For the article click here.
2. Speaking of England rumors are that an announcement will be made today that the next primate of England and Wales, ie, Archbishop of Westminster, will be Bishop Bernard Longley.
For the article click here.
Outgoing Archbishop of New York Cardinal Egan demonstrates why he is a complete failure in raising the number of vocations in his archdiocese. In comments made to a radio program in Albany two days ago Cardinal Egan [may have] insinuated that because priests aren’t allowed to marry was the cause of his inability to raise the number of vocations. Cardinal Egan openly admitted it was his “greatest” failure in bringing in more seminarians.
[I am using the Cardinal’s own words in describing the issue of raising the number of vocations]
It is rare that a swashbuckling movie can also be a suitable Lenten meditation, but Prince of Foxes (1949) accomplishes this difficult feat. A magnificent portrayal of Renaissance Italy at the time of Cesare Borgia, the film is also a compelling indictment of treachery, deceit and the lust for power. The realpolitik of Machiavelli is matched against the True Faith of Christ, and found wanting.
Politicians are already considering how to tighten gun control laws as people respond with shock and horror to a school shooting spree which took the lives of 15 victims and the 18-year-old shooter in a small town today in Germany. The problem is, Germany already has some of the tightest gun laws in Europe, a continent of tight gun laws.
In 2002, in the wake of a school shooting which killed 17 plus the shooter, Germany went so far as to require a permit for airsoft guns and starter pistols. Under current German laws, someone must have a gun license for each gun he purchases, and licenses expire and must be renewed at least every three years. To get a license, you must a 18 for an airgun or .22, and 21 for larger calibers. Applicants are subjected to a criminal and psychological background check and must demonstrate ability and safety knowledge.
Obama’s pledges to reform schools and stand up to teacher’s unions are sounding pretty hollow. Via MOJ:
In the spending bill that President Obama will sign today, the D.C. voucher program will be effectively killed, as Democratic leaders in the House had desired. A proposed amendment in the Senate to strip this measure from the bill was defeated on a vote of 39-58 (you can check here to see how your Senators voted on school choice for the disadvantaged in Washington, D.C.). This is not an auspicious beginning for educational reform and opportunity in the new administration.
According to a recent study, the percentage of Americans who profess no religion has been increasing over the last 20 years:
The Catholic population of the United States has shifted away from the Northeast and towards the Southwest, while secularity continues to grow in strength in all regions of the country, according to a new study by the Program on Public Values at Trinity College. “The decline of Catholicism in the Northeast is nothing short of stunning,” said Barry Kosmin, a principal investigator for the American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS). “Thanks to immigration and natural increase among Latinos, California now has a higher proportion of Catholics than New England.”
In broad terms, ARIS 2008 found a consolidation and strengthening of shifts signaled in the 2001 survey. The percentage of Americans claiming no religion, which jumped from 8.2 in 1990 to 14.2 in 2001, has now increased to 15 percent. Given the estimated growth of the American adult population since the last census from 207 million to 228 million, that reflects an additional 4.7 million “Nones.” Northern New England has now taken over from the Pacific Northwest as the least religious section of the country, with Vermont, at 34 percent “Nones,” leading all other states by a full 9 points.
Salvete AC readers!
Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:
1. There are massive leaks all over the Catholic blogosphere concerning a Papal Letter in regards to the SSPX. Pope Benedict XVI will release a statement expressing his disenchantment of the reaction among Catholics over the lifting of the excommunications of SSPX. His Holiness also explains that he will connect the Ecclesia Dei commission to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He also states clearly that the Church is not frozen in 1962, so the SSPX will need to embrace Vatican II. In addition Vatican II also “brings with it the the whole doctrinal history of the Church”, ie, the Church didn’t end at Vatican II either.
For the story click here.
2. The Pope’s trip to Israel will entail a visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque otherwise known as the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. That’ll be interesting.
Lieutenant j.g. Aloysius Schmitt had just finished morning mass aboard the USS Oklahoma. Acting chaplain of the Okie, a Sunday meant a busy day for him, a relaxed day for almost everyone else on board the ship. Since they were in port and the country was at peace a Sunday was a day of rest. Besides, the port was a tropical paradise. Life was good for the crew of the Okie.
Since the blog has, of late, become the site of intense discussions on the quality of rock versus classical music, I think it’s important that I as a classical music partisan take a music appreciation moment and recognize that while rock may in some ways be a limited genre compared to classical music, it is none the less capable of evoking deep and powerful human emotions, and many rock musicians are in fact very talented and deeply influenced by the classical masters:
Ulysses S. Grant VI, the great-great-grandson of Ulysses S. Grant, stumbled across these pics in the family photo album.
The 6’4″ figure is alleged to be Abraham Lincoln himself.
Ulysses S. Grant VI, had seen the picture before, but didn’t examine it closely until late January. A tall figure in the distance caught his eye, although the man’s facial features are obscured….
Grant carefully removed it and was shocked to see the handwritten inscription on the back: “Lincoln in front of the White House.” Grant believes his great-grandfather, Jesse Grant, the general’s youngest son, wrote the inscription.
[Photography expert Keya] Morgan recalled the well-documented story of Warren’s trip to Washington to photograph Lincoln after his second inauguration in March 1865. Lincoln was killed in April, so the photo could be the last one taken of him.
(Biretta Tip: Brian Saint-Paul of The Inside Blog)
Lawlor and McDonald, the two anti-Catholic bigots behind a bill to tell the Catholic Church how to operate in Connecticut, have tucked their tails between their legs, cancelled the hearing on their bill, and their hate note to the Catholic Church, disguised as a bill, is dead for this legislative session. Massive publicitity worked the trick, and endless outraged calls, e-mails and faxes to the legislators. Kudos to State Senator John McKinney (Republican, Fairfield) who called 24 hours ago for the hearing on this bill to be cancelled and announced that every Republican in the state senate was against this bill, and that the bill was blatantly unconstitutional. I am sure the bigots will be back, but so will those of us who oppose them. A good day in Connecticut.
Update: Hmmm. The bigots were apparently in alliance with members of Voice of the Faithless. Surprise!
Salvete AC readers!
Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:
1. There seems to be a growing counter-movement in U.S. politics aligning itself against the Catholic Church. We see it happening in Connecticut where state legislatures want to control Church property. We also see it in the higher echelons of government where President Obama are using Catholic pawns such as Douglas Kmiec and Kathleen Sebelius. It isn’t being orchestrated by anyone, but the common theme seems to be to neutralize the effectiveness of the Church. Dave Hartline of the Catholic Report wrote an excellent column tieing all these loose ends together and explaining the consequences of this growing counter-movement.
For Dave Hartline’s columnn click on counter-movement above or here.
2. Speaking of Connecticut, Archbishop Charles Chaput has this to say concerning SB 1098 that would remove the bishops authority over each parish:
“legislative coercion directed against the Catholic community in one state has implications for Catholics in every other state. If bigots in one state succeed in coercive laws like SB 1098, bigots in other states will try the same.”
The bigots Archbishop Chaput is referring to are Senator Andrew McDonald and Representative Mike Lawlor, who are both homosexual activists that opposed the local Church’s efforts to defend marriage between a man and a woman.
For the article click on SB 1098 above or here.
In a future time, free of the moral chaos in which we are currently engulfed, people will look back in horror at our age of abortion and wonder why so many people supported it or did nothing to stop it. In that age groups like Priests for Life will be hailed as the champions of innocent life in a time period when the destruction of innocent children in the womb was celebrated as a “right”. Here is a video on Priests for Life. God grant them success.
President Obama has signed an executive order lifting restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, as he promised in his campaign speeches. For anyone who doesn’t see this as yet one more blow in a long string of anti-life policies, consider the chilling words at the end of the article that people are using to justify the research:
“This was already life that was going to be destroyed… The choice is throw them away or use them for research.”
I wonder how long it would take before we use such arguments on, say, criminals sentenced to life in prison (or who are on death row, even). Or the elderly. Or the sick. Or the mentally deficient. Or…
Anti-Catholic bigots are busily at work in the Connecticut state legislature. Raised Bill 1098 would effectively place any corporation connected with the Roman Catholic Church in Connecticut under lay control. The sponsors of the bill, Representative Mike Lawlor, ironically a law professor, and State Senator Andrew J. McDonald, a lawyer, generously allow the local bishop or archbishop to serve on such a board of directors but without a vote.
Here’s a question. If, when you were a teenager, your parents had taken you aside and explained that sex before marriage is wrong, sinful, against the Catholic faith, carries the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, and might end in a pregnancy, but if you intend to do so, please protect yourself, what would your interpretation of that lecture be? Let’s keep in mind that the intent behind this discussion is not to focus on the contraceptive aspect, but the (limited) protection that some contraceptives (namely condoms) afford against sexually transmitted diseases.
My wife had the fortune of having this lecture and, being the obedient child she was, she understood that to mean, “Okay, no sex before marriage. No problem.” Listening to her explain this, though, I realized that as a teenager, I would have interpreted the lecture much differently. Maybe because I’m male, or because I was already fascinated by sex, I would have translated the lecture into saying, “We disapprove, but it’s okay to have sex as long as you use a condom.”
James K. Polk, President of the United States, had a problem. The year was 1846 and the US was at war with Mexico, a Catholic nation. A large fraction of the American army was Catholic, usually fairly recent Irish immigrants. Mexican propaganda portrayed the war as a wicked onlslaught by Protestants against a Catholic people and appealed to Catholics in the US army to desert to them, promising them land and a position in the Mexican army. Some troops took them up on their offer, with deserters eventually forming the San Patricios Battalion and fighting for Mexico during the war. To stem such desertions, Polk wanted to appoint Catholic chaplains to the US Army. Although Catholic chaplains had served informally in prior American wars, none had served officially in that capacity. To remedy that, Polk had a quiet private meeting with Archbishop John Hughes of New York. While Dagger John suspected Polk’s political motivations, he agreed to recommend two priests to serve as chaplains: Father Anthony Rey, vice-president of Georgetown and a Jesuit, and Father John McElroy, also a Jesuit, who went on to found Boston College and who will be the subject of a future post.
Ok, so I liked their latest album as much as anybody else — but what is it that causes U2’s fans to indulge in such theological embellishment? — Consider America magazine’s Tom Beaudoin:
Mad Men is an American Movie Classics (AMC) television drama series is set in the early 1960s at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency on New York City’s Madison Avenue. The show centers on Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm), a high-level advertising executive, and the people in his life in and out of the office. It also depicts the changing social mores of 1960s America. Mad Men has received wide critical acclaim, particularly for its historical authenticity and visual style. Mad Men is the advertising term for people in the industry that work on Madison Avenue, ie, Madison Avenue Men shortened to Mad Men.
You’ve done so much to advance the Culture of Death.
(Biretta Tip: St. John’s Valdosta Blog)
Something for the weekend. I have always loved the Internationale, while detesting almost everything about the old Soviet Union (the government, not the people who suffered under it), Marxism in all its meretricious manifestations and all Communist states. The video above is filled with the type of agit\prop scenes that bored to tears Soviet citizens for generations. My love for the Internationale extends only to the tune and not to the lyrics which I find banal beyond belief. Good tune-hideous nightmarish movement, that had succeeded in killing a bit under 150,000,000 human beings as of 2006.
Salvete AC readers!
Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:
1. Unlike many bishops in America, Coadjutor Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati prayed the Rosary with other protesters outside an abortion mill on Wednesday, March 4. Archbishop Schnurr will replace Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk upon his retirement. Among the protesters came this comment referring to Archbishop Schnurr’s presence:
“It’s tremendous,” Ferraro said of Schnurr’s presence. “He’s the head of the flock. It certainly affirms (the church leadership’s) commitment.”
For the link click on Archbishop Schnurr’s name above or here.
Updated: Archbishop Pilarczk actively leads Rosary prayer vigils in front of abortion mills as well!
2. Doctors who performed and directly assisted in the abortion of twins to a nine year old rape/incest victim have been declared excommunicated by Archbishop Jose Sobrinho of the Archdiocese of Olinda e Recife in Brazil. The nine year old girl was not excommunicated for many reasons, most likely due to her age. Where are these bishops in America? Probably hiding behind the USCCB Faithful Citizenship document thus failing to lead their flocks.
Dr. Ed Peters volunteered his sentiments on this case, “as for the perpetrator of the rape, there isn’t a mine shaft deep enough on this earth for him.”
For the link click on excommunicated above or here.
My wife subscribes to the local Catholic homeschooler email list, and although I don’t usually dip into the innumerable messages that pour in (most of them more lifestyle and education focused, so far as I can tell) I occasionally read a thread that catches my eye.
This week there’s been much discussion of an Envoy magazine article about how a mother took her twelve-year-old in for a check up and was shocked and angered when the doctor asked if he could speak to the girl privately for a few minutes, and during the course of that asked the girl if she was sexually active and if she needed a prescription for birth control. The moms on the list exchanged similar stories, and were indignant not only that birth control was offered but that their teenagers were routinely asked if they did drugs, had sex, etc. Why, everyone wanted to know, would any reasonable doctor ask to speak to a teenager alone about these topics? Surely a mother should always know everything there is to know about these topics.
Needless to say, I’m not crazy about the idea of my three daughters being offered birth control and quizzed about their experiences when they become teenagers.
Hmmm. David Brooks and Christopher Buckley, both of whom supported Obama last year are now having second thoughts. The indispensable Iowahawk supplies the laugh track these two geniuses require.
Update I: Brooks has now had third thoughts. Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. The value of the support of weather-vanes like Buckley and Brooks is summed up by the comment of Winston Churchill on hearing that Italy had declared war on the Allies: “Seems only fair. We had them last time.”
Update II: Buckley says he would still vote for Obama. The money quote: “Maybe I’m obtuse.”
This has already been making the rounds, but the weekend is almost here, and I thought it would be an opportunity to focus more on the culture part of AC. Per Brett McCracken, here is a partial list of the common traits of Christian hipsters:
Things they don’t like:
Christian hipsters don’t like megachurches, altar calls, and door-to-door evangelism. They don’t really like John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart or youth pastors who talk too much about Braveheart. In general, they tend not to like Mel Gibson and have come to really dislike The Passion for being overly bloody and maybe a little sadistic. They don’t like people like Pat Robertson, who on The 700 Club famously said that America should “take Hugo Chavez out”; and they don’t particularly like The 700 Club either, except to make fun of it. They don’t like evangelical leaders who get too involved in politics, such as James Dobson or Jerry Falwell, who once said of terrorists that America should “blow them all away in the name of the Lord.” They don’t like TBN, PAX, or Joel Osteen. They do have a wry fondness for Benny Hinn, however.
Salvete AC readers!
Here we have today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:
1. I discovered today that Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas was the only obstacle that would have prevented the nomination of Pro-Abortion Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be nominated for Secretary of Health and Human Services. President Barack Obama did not want to nominate Governor Sebelius without the support of Senator Brownback. President Obama made a personal phone call to Senator Brownback last week to ensure his support, which would have pre-empted any problems with Governor Sebelius nomination in the Senate. So Senator Brownback had the opportunity to strike a blow for the Pro-Life movement, but instead succumbed to worldly praise of his president. Senator Brownback you have advanced Satan’s agenda of the increase in the murder of innocent children, shame on you!
Here is the link:
2. Late last night His Excellency Most Reverend Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City was quoted by the archdiocesan blog, The Catholic Key Blog, that he is “concerned personally” for Pro-Abortion Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. He has also said that “she is a very bright and gifted leader“. Archbishop Naumann has called her nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services “particularly troubling”. He further goes on explaining the problems associated with her public stance by quoting the great film A Man for All Season, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul, but for Wales?”.
Here is the link: http://catholickey.blogspot.com/2009/03/archbishop-naumanns-column-on-sebelius.html
Hattip to A Catholic Mom in Hawaii. Here is a fascinating article which ran in the Washington Times on January 25, 2009, about Deirdre Byrne, who is a Sister of the Little Workers of the Sacred Heart, she has not yet taken her final vows, an Army surgeon with the rank of Colonel, and a Doctor for the poor. The article is fantastic, although the author incorrectly reported Colonel Dede’s rank as Captain rather than Colonel, and any summary by me would not do it justice. Read it if you want to be inspired to do good.
It seems in recent week that an ever-increasing focus has fallen on Rush Limbaugh and his radio show. Not only have the usual suspects worked themselves into a frenzy over him, but we’ve even had President Obama command Congressional Republicans to ignore him. And the White House has yet to let up on speaking against him. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has even taken a few stabs at Limbaugh. Even more amazingly, Republican Chairman Michael Steele has voiced disapproval of Limbaugh’s talks.
Salvete AC readers!
Due to popular acclamation I’m returning back to using Latin in my column title (mostly). I think I’ve settled on a format so thanks for bearing with me. I’ve wanted to do this type of column for a while and I believe I found the right balance, now if I can only be consistent in my posting. So here we have today’s Top Seven Picks in the Catholic world:
1. Catholic News Agency has reported that a coalition of American Catholics calling themselves Catholic Advocate led by Deal W. Hudson have created a website opposing President Barack Obama’s choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services, pro-abortion Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas. The website is called www.catholicsagainstsebelius.org. Governor Kathleen Sebelius is a dissident Catholic notorious for her direct and explicit support of abortionist George Tiller “the Killer”, whose known for executing late term abortions of innocent children. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City has met and counseled Governor Kathleen Sebelius on several occasions on her pro-abortion stance and has asked her to refrain from receiving Holy Communion. However Governor Kathleen Sebelius has refused to obey and has openly opposed the good archbishop on these points. Here is the link: http://www.catholicsagainstsebelius.org/
2. Kevin Knight (of New Advent) somehow found a little blurb buried in a long article that Newt Gingrich will soon convert to the Catholic faith as reported by the New York Times (7th paragraph on page 7 of the article ‘Newt. Again.’).
Updated: For a quick and eas(ier) read of the NY Times article go to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf’s blog here: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2009/03/fmr-speaker-gingrich-to-become-catholic/
3. When I click on my browser to go to InsideCatholic.com their web page takes quite a long time to download relative to any other Catholic website or blog that I surf. I don’t know if it’s all the links or dense code, but my best guess is that their Content Management System that they ar using, Joomla, may be the cause of the slowdown. The second longest page in the Catholic web to download is Damian Thompson’s Holy Smoke, but you place the blame of the downloading delay to his employer London’s Daily Telegraph (which is the best english language newspaper in the world in my humble opinion).
As Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit notes here, since the passage of the Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009, erroneously referred to as the Stimulus Bill, the Dow has lost over 1400 points. Since the election of President Obama, the Dow has lost over 2700 points as detailed here. However, in the midst of the greatest Bear market in a generation, our President has financial advice for us: Buy stocks!
Just a note that Amy Welborn has moved to a new blog:
I should probably give a prize to those who have been reading my blogs since 2001 – you certainly deserve it.
Yes, that’s “blogs.” In Between Naps, Open Book, Charlotte Was Both and now, in selling out to both The Man and the requirement, resolutely ignored before, to name a spiritually-oriented blog with a Latin phrase, I give you Via Media.
Here’s the story.
Pay her a visit.
Salvete AC readers!
OK, I junked the whole Latin title since I figured it wasn’t coming across that well as to what I wanted to do with this bit. So now I’m calling this particular column ‘News & Notes’ (for now). Here is today’s Top Seven picks in the Catholic world:
1. A great new blog by Pat McNamara about Catholic history titled appropriately enough, McNamara’s Blog. I’ve been thinking of starting something like this for the past three years, but never got around to it. I’m happy to say that McNamara’s Blog has great short stories on famous and little known figures in Catholicism as well as stories on non-Catholics and how they interacted and viewed our beautiful Catholic faith. Here is the link to McNamara’s Blog: http://irishcatholichumanist.blogspot.com/
Poor Andrew Johnson! You know that a President is obscure when a film made 67 years ago, when the average American knew far more American history than the average American does today, has a trailer with a quiz about the presidential subject of the film. This is a shame. Andrew Johnson was a fascinating man and led a fascinating life.
According to an email update just out from Bill May of Catholics For The Common Good (not to be confused with “Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good”), the California State Senate passed on Monday resolution SR7, a non-binding resolution calling on the State Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8, the amendment to the state constitution which passed back in November, defining marriage in California as between a man and a woman.
Anti-Prop 8 Resolution Passed the California Senate Today
Referring to the sovereign power of the voters as “mob rule”, San Francisco Senator Mark Leno asked the State Senate to adopt SR7, a resolution calling on the California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8. The measure, that has no force of law, passed 18-14 this afternoon (Monday, March 2).
A similar measure, HR 5, is on the Assembly floor and could come to a vote at any time. Please call your Assembly member and ask him or her to vote “NO”. Details can be found here: http://www.ccgaction.org/family/protectionofmarriage/CA/resaction09-02-17#action.
Perhaps our lawyers can enlighten me, but it seems to me that should the State Supreme Court follow the legislature’s request and overturn the amendment, then the democratic process would have fundamentally broken down.
When looking at the economic crater which is the US auto industry, liberals have a tendency to blame “big business” while conservatives tend to blame the UAW’s stranglehold on the big three. Both are right to an extent. Detroit’s current straights are the result of bad strategic decisions, bad design, bad regulation and the immense financial drag of pension and health benefit promises made to its workers back in the 60s and 70s when the US auto industry reigned supreme in the world, and promising future payouts seemed no object. In this last regard, the unions had quite a hand in planting the seeds of their own fall. And although they’re striven to be more flexible in recent years, union work rules still provide major obstacles to change in union plants.
There was an interesting post about this from Michael Barone (referencing Mickey Kaus) on one of the US News magazine blogs.
The problem, he argues, is not just the high level of benefits that the United Auto Workers has secured for its members but the work rules—some 5,000 pages of them—it has imposed on the automakers. As Kaus points out, unionism as established by the Wagner Act is inherently adversarial. The union once certified as bargaining agent has a duty not only to negotiate wages and fringe benefits but also to negotiate work rules and to represent workers in constant disputes about work procedures.
The plight of the Detroit Three auto companies raises the question of why people ever thought this was a good idea.
The answer to that question which he provides is interesting, and I think illustrative for those seeking a proper understanding of the dignity of work in its relationship to unionism and good business practices:
So here’s an argument against irreducible complexity. Take a family that works hard for a living, saves a large chunk of its earnings for old age, emergencies, sending kids through college, and so on. Then create (through some combination of amino acids and other proteins) an institute that offers insurance against disaster. The family, being prudent, realizes that the insurance, while it costs them a little more each month, could potentially save them thousands of dollars in the long run, and so it buys into the insurance company. Now introduce a mutation: the family decides that since disasters are covered, they can divert a little more money into luxuries. Repeat this process with a health care institute that helps cover the soaring prices of medication; a loan agency to cover college tuition (which is steadily outpacing what the normal family can afford); a loan agency to cover the cost of a business; a house; a car; anything at all with the swipe of a plastic card with a magnetic strip. With that final mutation, we now have a system in which the removal one component causes the whole organism to fail, and yet was built up by increments.
Nearly half a year after the great crash that marked our current recession as one of the worst in decades, we are still bleeding. Our economy continues to shed jobs; the stock market wavers, falls, stabilizes, wavers, and falls again; big businesses, like the insurance titan AIG, continue to need billions of dollars of bailout money just to survive; and the government continues to scramble to pass legislation that supposedly will fix all our problems, but in reality will simply make matters worse. The gigantic stimulus package was laughable (in more a mad, gibbering, hysterical laughter than a ha-ha laughter) in that hundreds of pet projects suddenly found funding, but precious little in the bill actually targeted economic stimulus, and much of the spending won’t happen immediately.
Salvete AC readers!
I’m still tinkering with the format of how I want to do this, mostly just the name of the post from here on out, so any more suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Today I just want to share the Seven Hot Topics/Links of the day:
1. I stumbled across the equivalent of the Catholic Netflix called Pius Media. I haven’t subscribed to it (yet), but it will look familiar to many Netflix users. Here is the link: http://piusmedia.com/
2. Looking for the nearest Catholic book & gift store in your area? Well there is a website that will do just that. It’s called Catholic Store Finder. So far it looks like it only conducts it searches in the United States. Here is the link: http://catholicstorefinder.com/
3. Regular Guy Paul, Just This Guy, You Know? is blogging over at Southern Appeal it seems.
4. I’ve touched on this before and I’ll go more in depth in a future posting, but for those serious Catholics that are looking to pursue their marriage vocation I would highly suggest Ave Maria Singles by Anthony Buono. It isn’t cheap, but it sure is a highly professional and well done website. Here is the link: http://avemariasingles.com/
5. For those ambitious bloggers and web designers that are looking to make their sites more ‘Catholic’, here is an interesting link called Catholic Desktops. It’s been recommended by Thomas Peters of American Papist so it has a level of approval. Here is the link: http://www.catholicdesktops.com/index.html
6. Finally figured out why my Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari browsers were unable to view video’s online. I needed to upgrade my Adobe Flash Player. Now I can watch BSG on Hulu without any issue!
7. Speaking of Apple Safari, they have their new Safari 4 out and it is very neat. The graphics have been smoothed out so you won’t get the ‘Mac’ feel on your PC, but their Top Sites feature is pretty snazzy. Check it out.
Hattip to Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia who has done yeoman work in keeping his eye on Sebelius. It is fitting that President Obama, the most pro-abort president in our nation’s history, has nominated for Secretary of Health and Human Services, the most pro-abort governor in our nation, Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius.
Joseph Verbis Lafleur was born into a large Cajun family in Ville Platte Louisiana on January 24, 1912. From early childhood his ambition was to be a priest. Entering Saint Joseph’s Minor Seminary in Saint Benedict, Louisiana he quickly became noted for his good humor, quick wit and athletic prowess. He also had a marked interest in French military history and would recite the last words of Marshal Michel Ney before his execution by the restored Bourbons after the Hundred Days: “Come see how a soldier dies in battle, but he dies not.”