Father John Jenkins Pro-Life Baby Steps

Saturday, September 19, AD 2009

Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., released a message to the University of Notre Dame family outlining two pro-life initiatives to recompense for the scandal of awarding President Obama an honorary degree.

1.  Father Jenkins plans to attend the March for Life Anniversary of Roe v. Wade event in Washington D.C.

2.  Establish a Task Force on Supporting the Choice for Life.

These two initiatives are a good first start in adhering to the teachings of the Catholic Church established by Jesus Himself.

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6 Responses to Father John Jenkins Pro-Life Baby Steps

Deliver Us!

Saturday, September 19, AD 2009

Something for the weekend.  You know that you are living in an odd cultural period when the best musicals are animated!  Deliver us from the Prince of Egypt

God is always with us in all of our travails, perhaps never more so than when He appears to us to be completely absent.  When our spirit is lowest and we give way to despair, I suspect that God is never closer to us than at those times.  As Isaiah noted so long ago,  “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.”

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When Unions Go Bad

Friday, September 18, AD 2009

Occasionally unions are a good tool for righting genuine injustices in the working world, but often they later become organizations focused on their own self-perpetuation. Because all union members pay the same dues, this self perpetuation often takes the form of protecting bad workers from the consequences of their actions. The good workers, after all, will almost certainly be treated well by their employers anyway, so the only service the union can provide when there are no real injustices to fight is to take care of workers who are incompetant or just don’t care — allowing them to do the minimum and still get annual raises rather than pink slips.

According to this recent article from the New Yorker, hardly a conservative publication, the New York City teachers union has clearly reached that point and then some.

In a windowless room in a shabby office building at Seventh Avenue and Twenty-eighth Street, in Manhattan, a poster is taped to a wall, whose message could easily be the mission statement for a day-care center: “Children are fragile. Handle with care.” It’s a June morning, and there are fifteen people in the room, four of them fast asleep, their heads lying on a card table. Three are playing a board game. Most of the others stand around chatting. Two are arguing over one of the folding chairs. But there are no children here. The inhabitants are all New York City schoolteachers who have been sent to what is officially called a Temporary Reassignment Center but which everyone calls the Rubber Room.

These fifteen teachers, along with about six hundred others, in six larger Rubber Rooms in the city’s five boroughs, have been accused of misconduct, such as hitting or molesting a student, or, in some cases, of incompetence, in a system that rarely calls anyone incompetent.

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17 Responses to When Unions Go Bad

  • Darwin,

    With regards to this,

    “The good workers, after all, will almost certainly be treated well by their employers anyway…”

    I wouldn’t necessarily assume that. Good workers can and have been mistreated – especially by the corporate criminals that have raided their pension funds. Lifetimes of work have gone up in smoke.

    That being said, I do agree with you on the general corruption of unions. They are stalwart guardians of the status quo, and they have always been hostile to cooperatives and distributism in general – that is, to ideas and programs that abolish “the working class” and make the unions completely useless.

  • You might as well call the post “When People Go Bad.” Corporations have no automatic step up on virtue where human associations are concerned. Perhaps the best one can hope for is a series of checks and balances: unions strong enough to counter the excesses of employers, or perhaps even better, employers including workers on boards of directors and embracing a more democratic ideal in the management of companies. Otherwise the Henry Ford ideal of USSR-style big business will hold sway.

  • It’s certainly true that employers (whether corporations or public entities such as the NY City public school districts, as in this case) do not have any guarantee of virtue. However, except in situations where employers end up treating _all_ employees badly (the which are situations which tend to fuel union creation and strength), it’s actively in their interest to treat good employees well. All you have to assume to predict that is that employers are selfish — and I don’t think anyone would disagree that’s a fairly reasonable assumption. Good employees help employers accomplish their goals and make money, so they’ll usually treat them pretty well, if only out of selfishness.

    However, unions have somewhat more perverse incentives, in a situation in which people are not all being treated badly. If the good employees are being treated pretty well and rewarded for good performance, then the only way for the union to prove itself useful is by protecting the bad workers and making sure they continue to stay employed and get raises despite poor performance.

    This, in turn, puts more burden on the good workers.

    I think to a great extent this can be mitigated by not allowing closed shops in which all employees are forced to join the union.

  • I don’t think unions have more perverse incentives at all. Sadly, some employers do have goals in mind–personal goals that exist at odds with those of the company and employees. I’m thinking of one example of Jeffrey Loria running the Montreal MLB team into the ground, hoping for a sale to a US market or a buyout from other owners. More recently, we see executives of AIG, Enron, and other names of ill-repute running companies into the ground, taking personal profits, and thriving in a general scenario of lawlessness–literally.

    As for the problem of unions, if employees had a seat at the table in which company policies were decided and set, that might mitigate the need for unions to a degree. But the notion that business owners and executives will naturally have the best interests of employees at heart is, frankly, naive. Some bosses are incompetent or corrupt. And the best do thrive thanks to good employees. I think one has to be either pro-union or pro-democracy. The alternative is to be pro-fascism.

  • Sadly, some employers do have goals in mind–personal goals that exist at odds with those of the company and employees. I’m thinking of one example of Jeffrey Loria running the Montreal MLB team into the ground, hoping for a sale to a US market or a buyout from other owners. More recently, we see executives of AIG, Enron, and other names of ill-repute running companies into the ground, taking personal profits, and thriving in a general scenario of lawlessness–literally.

    It’s telling that one has to pick out rare, though high profile, exceptions to make this point. Most businesses are not in the middle of destroying themselves in the misguided hope of either gaining illegal personal profits or selling themselves off to another company. And even in most situations where a company is trying to be bought out, keeping the good employees motivated with good pay and benefits remains a priority. Generally, it’s only businesses in the middle of failing which turn to treating even their good employees badly — and obviously, companies are highly motivated not to fail.

    As for the problem of unions, if employees had a seat at the table in which company policies were decided and set, that might mitigate the need for unions to a degree.

    I guess I just don’t see how this one is very compelling. Certainly, I have opinions about lots of things my company is doing, both in regards to direction and to HR. But honestly, I would have no more input if I along with all 40,000 other employees got to elect a couple representatives to go and pretend to have our best interests at heart. My real means of exercising democracy is deciding whether or not to go look for a job elsewhere.

    I mean, really, we all get to vote for our congressmen, state reps, and city councilmen, but to what extent can we really say that those levels of government always do what we want?

    But the notion that business owners and executives will naturally have the best interests of employees at heart is, frankly, naive. Some bosses are incompetent or corrupt. And the best do thrive thanks to good employees.

    See, that’s the whole point — employers don’t have to have employees best interests at heart. If they act totally selfishly, they will end up working hard to retain good employees. Because without good employees, they can’t run their companies. Their interest serves us better than their good intentions — if they even have good intentions.

    I’ve had a lot of managers over the years (three in the last six months, actually — it’s re-org season) but I’ve never had one, in a good or bad company, who didn’t recognize the importance of trying to retain good employees by treating them well. Some are really bad at telling who is actually a good employee. Some are really annoying or abrasive to work with. But none who don’t recognize the need to reward good employees. I’m sure there are some out there, but through survival of the fittest, there won’t be many.

    The big exception to this is when there’s a huge glut of employees available, and they can all be treated interchangeably. This is when self interest will direct employers to treat all employees badly — and in such circumstances many do. That’s when unions have a legitimate purpose. But without that labor glut, they turn to perverse incentives to justify their existence and things get bad very quickly.

  • There are already a lot of checks and balances inherent in a functioning market economy. As Darwin mentions, the most powerful “vote” an employee has is to vote with his feet — and walk out the door if necessary. Obviously there are labor market conditions that can make such a move impractical for an employee, such as monopsony labor markets, but these are generally an exception rather than the rule.

  • “It’s telling that one has to pick out rare, though high profile, exceptions to make this point. Most businesses are not in the middle of destroying themselves in the misguided hope of either gaining illegal personal profits or selling themselves off to another company.”

    And yet haven’t you done the same in making your point against unions?

    The point is that businesses do indeed destroy themselves by any number of human, fallible means. Behaving to maximize the profit margin isn’t a perfect game. As for a low-profile but everyday occurrence, ask your local banks how many local mortgages they hold.

    As for the my-company-love-it-or-leave-it approach, I’d prefer to stay and change things for the better, even if it meant a boss was sent packing or was reassigned to do good elsewhere.

  • I’m sorry, with due respect to my friend Darwin, I must disagree that the ability to leave one’s job is somehow a democratic check on corporate authority.

    This may be the case if one is a valued commodity which is not easily replaced; how often is this actually the case with the average worker in the typical job? Like it or not, one of the defining features of modern capitalism is undifferentiated, homogeneous labor. This is especially true as the education and expertise required for a job decreases. There will always be people looking for work, but there won’t always be decent employers who pay a family wage – even Adam Smith knew the advantage was to the capitalist and not the worker.

    This is why Catholic social teaching has always emphasized and encouraged more widespread ownership; because it is really only through ownership that one acquires a say in the administration of things, and only through ownership that one is regarded as more than a repository of labor power.

    Again, with due respect my friend Darwin, I think sometimes you tend to generalize your personal experience. From everything I hear, you seem to be an educated, skilled, and valued worker, a professional or semi-professional. That puts you in a somewhat better bargaining position than the average undifferentiated worker.

    Personally, I think free labor is something that ought to be confined to the professional classes, who will always possess greater bargaining power, while a more secure and stable system rooted in ownership is in place for less skilled workers, who will most likely never possess it. The only problem with this is global competition – any company that can, will go to the third world to take advantage of economic and political conditions that make the pool of available workers desperate and servile.

    So the great challenge is how to make dignified labor competitive with desperate labor.

  • As for a low-profile but everyday occurrence, ask your local banks how many local mortgages they hold.

    Roughly 25% of the outstanding residential mortgage debt is held on the books of banks, savings & loan associations, and credit unions. Most loans have been sold off (often quite quickly) to secondary mortgage brokers (of which the most prominent are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). Mortgages on commercial real estate do tend to be held and serviced by banks, but such mortgages amount to only about 20% of outstanding mortgage debt.

  • Seeing what has happened to both the public sector and the auto industry, suggest a goal of policy might be to dissolve the existing body of trade and industrial unions in favor of producer co-operatives and company unions whose elections would be supervised by local boards, much as elections to school boards are. Fiorello LaGuardia was during his lifetime very dubious about collective bargaining in the public sector, and he turned out to be right.

  • I might suggest that the appropriate function for unions would be the settlement of workplace disputes, the provision of channels of information flow from the bottom to the top of an institutional hierarchy (the University of Rochester was during the time I worked there an employer badly in need of this), and as a means of negotiating burden sharing among owners, managers and workers during economic crises. Unions are often quite piss-poor at this last, and are often so in response to the opinions of membership. It is poor social policy to make use of tools of collective bargaining to raise wages, as this acts to redistribute income from unorgainized workers to organized workers and reduce overall levels of unemployment. If you are concerned about income distribution, a restructuring of the tax code would be a preferred policy measure.

  • More recently, we see executives of AIG, Enron

    A manufacturer of my acquaintance described AIG as “a great company destroyed by five guys in London”. My local buddy in the insurance business explained that the disaster was the work of its Financial Products Unit, a small office geographically segregated from the rest of the company and doing work poorly understood by the insurance men running the company. They were writing credit default swaps on mortgage backed securities; the supervisor of the unit, Joseph Cassano, had only a dim awareness of the composition of the mortgage pools from which the securities they were insuring derived and the unit warehoused the risk rather than hedging as other buyers and sellers of credit default swaps do. AIG was brought down by incompetence and inattention on the part of a small but key group of employees, not by self-dealing.

  • Two quick points:

    – While I’m dubious of the overall value of collective bargaining in regards to wages (I think it too often only serves to lock out those not already in a unionized job) I’m not necessarily trying to attack unions for truly unskilled and interchangeable workers in this post. My big beef with with cases such as the NY Teachers (or the California Public Employees union my father was forced to join — and always hated) which is representing people who are college educated, skilled workers who are (in the cases cited in the article) actually making more than I am. I find the idea of teachers making six figure incomes needing a closed union shop pretty laughable. And as described, I think at that point the union will often seek to justify its existence primarily by protecting the incompetent. While the article shows an extreme example of this, that was my father’s number one complain with his union. On various occasions the union kept his department from firing or disciplining: a custodian who was widely known to be stealing college property, a department secretary who refused to learn how to use a computer and most of whose work thus ended up being done for free by my dad, an admin who didn’t show up for work half the time, etc.

    – While I’ll readily admit my thinking on these topics is heavily shaded by my experiences, I will say in my defense that although these days I definitely work in a professional type role, I started out ten years ago making within a couple dollars of minimum wage and put in time in retail ($5/hr), call centers ($8/hr) and basic admin/shipping/warehouse work ($14/hr) — all of which I’d argue are pretty working class ways to spend your time. And so when I say that employers naturally try to retain good workers, I’m thinking not only of the marketers I work with now, but also of good retail people in the bookstore and good phone bank callers and good order takers, warehouse guys, fork-lift drivers and delivery drivers. Now obviously, there’s a realistic limit to how much extra consideration being a good worker will get you in these lines of work — just as there is in regards to union agitation — because there’s a limit to how much these jobs are worth. But I have seen employers at those levels go to moderately decent lengths to keep good people at those levels, which adds to my impression that this is a pretty universal phenomenon.

  • While we’re on the confessional track, I’ll add that I have an abiding lack of trust of authority, especially leaders who recognize no accountability. In my own hourly-wage experiences in high school and college I saw bosses value employees, but I also saw employers view them and their ideas as threatening.

    I don’t see how fallible and sinful human beings can escape the temptation for destructive self-interest. I certainly don’t see employers as possessing any inherent moral superiority in regard to good behavior.

    Rather than come down with or against unions or corporations or management in general, maybe it’s better to just say that good behavior is good, bad behavior is bad, and we should work to eradicate the latter and encourage the former in all systems.

  • Some are really bad at telling who is actually a good employee.

    Meet my department head.

  • Since all people are sinners, all organizations made up of people are subject to corruption and abuse of power. This applies equally to employers and unions.

    However, this does not mean that the basic right of workers to organize should be denied or withdrawn because SOME unions abuse their power, any more than parental rights should be denied or withdrawn from everyone because some parents are abusive.

    Actually I am not a big fan of most unions. I’ve never belonged to one and honestly hope I never have to.

    My least favorite union right now is SEIU, which was a big supporter of our (ahem) esteemed ex-governor Blago; in fact the wiretaps record Blago raising the possibility of SEIU giving him a job as part of a quid pro quo for the Obama Senate seat appointment. Personally I think they are just as crooked as the Teamsters under Jimmy Hoffa if not more so. Anyone they endorse would automatically lose my vote — if they even HAD my vote in the first place, that is.

  • I have been on a local school board, dealing with the unions. My wife is a member of the teachers’ union in another school district.

    I have seen the senior members of the union, who are well represented on the negotiating team, pad things in the contract for the senior teachers at the expense of the junior teachers, even threatening to strike if we balanced things a bit more between the senior and junior teaching staff.

    I have seen the teachers union over and over talk a so-so game about “the kids,” but when there was a conflict, they always yelled for the teachers and the heck with the students. I’m thinking, for example, of arguments about the size of salaries and benefits, in a time of fixed income, so class size is the only other variable that will make income equal outgo.

    I had a teacher’s union rep tell me “the only reason high school sports exists is so new teachers can get paid extra for coaching. When they’ve saved up the down payment on a house, it’s time for someone else to have the job.” EVERYTHING’S about us!

    I’ve seen principals demand time clock punching behavior from their teachers (e.g. you may not leave one minute early, even if you are going to put in two hours tonight at home, off the clock), “I have the power over you and don’t you forget it” type behavior that is completely out of date in the private sector. The result is an institutional hardening of the arteries, as petty grievances get bargained into union contracts with a one size fits all answer.

    I’ve seen repeated “please pass the trash” behavior by principals, who can’t fire incompetent teachers or even teachers where there is misbehavior that isn’t quite bad enough to get them jailed. Instead, they wait until there is a school with an opening and a principal who is retiring. Then the bad teacher is transferred to a new assignment in that building. The old principal doesn’t care, she’s retiring and the new principal isn’t in place yet.

    Union leadership work, the last refuge of a poor teacher.

    But the worst part of the system is the flow of money from the teachers’ union dues into the pockets of politicians as campaign contributions, so the politicians will give the inmates the keys to the asylum. Those who have the gold make the rules.

House to Acorn: Drop Dead

Friday, September 18, AD 2009



The House has voted to cut off all federal funds for Acorn.  The vote was 345-75.  Here is a list of the 75 House members who want to continue to shovel your tax dollars to Acorn.  Everyone of the 75 is a Democrat.

In other Acorn news,  the Obama campaign website has been scrubbing away references to Acorn down the old Orwell memory hole.

You know that Acorn is toast when even the Lying Worthless Political Hack, a/k/a Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, is calling for an investigation of Acorn.  The day before yesterday she wasn’t even aware that the Senate had voted to cut off funding for Acorn.

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13 Responses to House to Acorn: Drop Dead

  • Donald,
    One congressman argued this legislation was unconstitutional because it’s a bill of attainder, which Congress is prohibited from passing. What is your opinion on that?

  • Zak,

    it’s not a finding of guilt or a punishment for a crime. It’s cutting of taxpayer funding of their programs, to which they are not “entitled”.

  • ACORN prepares to retaliate against Dems
    ACORN Considers Ending Voter Registration Work
    Troubled community-organizing group Acorn announced Thursday it was considering quitting its voter-registration work amid growing outrage over its activities, a move that could hurt Democrats at the polls.

  • Matt,
    I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer, but I was looking at U.S. vs. Lovett (referred by wikipedia), and there the Supreme Court said that Congress couldn’t prohibit the paying of salaries of government employees because they were Communists. It ruled (http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0328_0303_ZS.html):

    Legislative acts, no matter what their form, that apply either to named individuals or to easily ascertainable members of a group in such a way as to inflict punishment on them without a judicial trial, are bills of attainder prohibited by the Constitution. Cummins v. Missouri, 4 Wall. 277; Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. 333. P. 315.

    (c) The fact that the punishment is inflicted through the instrumentality of an Act specifically cutting off the pay of certain named individuals found by Congress to be guilty of disloyalty make it no less effective than if it had been done by an Act which designated the conduct as criminal. P. 316.

    It seems like establishes a pretty close precedent.

  • Although one could argue, as you are, that paying a salary is something to which one is entitled, while government procurement is not, so it is different. But what if Congress prohibited Boeing from any aerospace procurement contracts? Would that be a bill of attainder?

  • I don’t see how, since those people where “entitled” to their paychecks. Nobody is entitled to have the federal government grant them funding for a project.

  • what if Congress prohibited Boeing from any aerospace procurement contracts? Would that be a bill of attainder

    I don’t think it would be technically a bill of attainder, but it could be challenged for other causes if the action wasn’t justifiable.

  • Zak, my opinion is that it was a manifestly silly statement by the Congresscritter. Matt’s statement is absolutely correct, and it has been well litigated that Congress, as controller of the purse, can cut off funding to any organization at any time.

  • I don’t know. It’s an interesting question, and I’m glad to have learned a little more about our founding document on Constitution Day! Thanks

  • Oh. I hadn’t seen your comment, Donald. I guess it makes sense that there has been plenty of litigation on this issue in the past. Thanks

  • Donald has nailed it. Silly reference to bill of attainder. Not a chance.

  • One other interesting thing – are you familiar with Cummings v. Missouri, another case on Bills of Attainder? “Cummings, a Catholic Priest, was convicted for teaching and preaching as a minister without taking the oath [of loyalty].” (from Black’s Decision in Lovett. It struck me as interesting that there does not appear to be a first amendment consideration (probably because it was a state law, and there was no incorporation doctrine at the time – actually the decision predates the 14th amendment).

  • I’m quite sure there are numerous provisions attached to the receipt of government grants (well, there should be). I don’t think it would be hard to argue that the actions of Acorn violated one or many of those provisions. Also, years ago I looked at the 501c3 provisions and they’re pretty restrictive. Acorn could easily lose it’s tax status, which if done, *may* preclude them receiving much of their other grant monies. I’m not a lawyer – I just know they’re really good at making things complex. 😉

Lying Worthless Political Hack Fears Violence in the Debate Over ObamaCare

Friday, September 18, AD 2009

The Lying Worthless Political Hack, a/k/a Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, not content to call opponents of ObamaCare Nazis,  has now raised the spectre of political violence:

“I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw … I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco,” Pelosi said, choking up and with tears forming in her eyes. “This kind of rhetoric is just, is really frightening and it created a climate in which we, violence took place and … I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made.”

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36 Responses to Lying Worthless Political Hack Fears Violence in the Debate Over ObamaCare

  • And her concerns during the Bush years were where? When protesters wouldn’t even let the man take a vacation without picketing at the end of his driveway. When members of her party advocated every measure of obstruction, and hurled every sort of vile epitaph at Bush. Where was her concern?

    Lying Worthless Political Hack is too polite a title for this mouthpiece of Satan.

  • She’s desperate. With 48 congressional Democrats (8 more than their majority) coming from districts that voted for both Bush and McCain, Mrs. Pelosi knows that in all likelihood her gavel will be handed over to Mr. Boehner in 2010.

  • Templar:
    Mouthpiece of Satan – good one. I’m stealing that.

  • This name-calling does grave disservice to the church in that you identify this blog as Catholic. I am not convinced by your argument that Pelosi is liar, but even is she were, there is a way–a Catholic way–of calling attention to the truth that avoids the ad hominem. Not to mention that there is a way–a Catholic way–of calling another Catholic to conversion. And yes, Nancy Pelosi, is a Catholic. And no, you or I, until such time one of us is named to the bishop of the diocese in which she lives–you or I do not have the authority to determine that she is not a Catholic. Mouthpiece of Satan–the name-calling gets more ugly and unbefitting of followers of Jesus.

  • Harold, you seem much more concerned about the fact that I accurately refer to the Lying Worthless Political Hack as a Lying Worthless Political Hack than you do about the misdeeds of the Lying Worthless Political Hack, which includes being one of the champions of abortion in Congress. I think your priorities are upside down.

  • As to name-calling not befitting followers of Jesus, actually Our Lord was quite fond of calling a spade a spade as any member of the “Generation of Vipers” could attest.

  • Speaker Pelosi – a Catholic, as Harold reminds us – is calumniating her political opponents as Nazis and fomenters of violence, and is doing so on a much bigger stage than what Don has here at American Catholic; but it is Don who is a big ‘ol meanie for calling her out on it.

    Nice set of priorities you have there, Harold.

  • Okay, so let’s retract the mouthpeice of Satan wording, if that makes everyone feel better. The fact remains that Speaker Pelosi is trying to short-change public discourse and short-cut our Freedom of Speech just because she feels its violent. As the article points out, the only real violence came from those for Obama Care and she publicly called everyone who opposed this plan Nazis.

    Nice work for a communion-receiving Catholic. We need to pray for her – she seems to be quite a mess these days.

  • There is a Catholic description of Pelosi: a fountain from which all fecal matter springs.

    If you folks truly believe Pelosi’s program of vicious Pro-abort initiatives is actually ‘Catholic’, then you don’t know exactly what that word actually means!

  • Harold says, “The name-calling does grave disservice to the church in that you identify this blog as Catholic.”

    This is one of the underlying reasons why we should eject the entire corpus of Pauline writings from the New Testament.

    Who can trust somebody with a foul mouth as his who himself did curse at people?

    1 O stupid Galatians!
    3 Are you so stupid? (Galatians 3:1,3)


    Obviously, this “name-calling does grave disservice to the church”.

  • St. Paul was a self-proclaimed sinner. We imitate their holiness, not their sins.

    Our Lord tells us, “You have heard hard it said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven…for if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you only salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (cf. Matthew 5:43-48)

    Just a week ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who was pro-choice. She has now rethought her position and is going to attend the Texas Right to Life Gala (on my invitation) and seek to learn more about the pro-life movement. Even despite her originally very “radical” positions, I did not take liberty to insult her. And this is no testament of self-proclaimed holiness. I am in front of St. Paul as the foremost of all sinners.

    But, what does it gain us to return evil for evil? What do we gain morally? And how does it make us any more like Our Lord and perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect?

    It seems to become very petty and childish. At the end of the day, when you call Speaker Pelosi a “Worthless Political Hack” there is not one unborn child saved from that comment nor is there any amount of justice restored or reconciliation between divided sinners brought about. It just reaffirms much of what is wrong with our society.

    We all do it. We are all guilty. But this is no way establishes justification.

  • And yes, Christine. Let us pray for her. I’m not sure how going through a litany of Pelosi’s sins — except but to establish correctly a false sort of thinking that we admonish other Catholics not to follow — really will solve anything but to reaffirm our only self-righteousness. I’m not accusing anyone of being sanctimonious. It is very subtle. And before we are so sure that we can correct judge Nancy Pelosi to be “worthless” and a “hack,” it wouldn’t hurt to do an examination of conscience. We’re all just as guilty and we all have sins too many in number to account for on the Day of Judgment.

    Division is the game of the Devil.

  • Charity does not consist in not being bluntly honest to those wielding power. In her public capacity I fear my description is not blunt enough. Of course I addressed these points in the comboxes in the first post in which I referred to the Worthless Political Hack after she was denied a photo-op by the Pope.


    Pelosi is a born and bred Catholic. She does not have the benefit of a rank ignorance of the Truth that actually causes me to have some sympathy for Mr. Obama, believe it or not. She was educated at Catholic schools and her family long prided itself on its Catholicism. In spite of that, throughout her career she has been at war with the Church in regard to abortion, escr, euthanasia and other issues.

    She has deliberately mistated Catholic teaching in defense of her positions:


    If I were to be completely honest in my assessment of Ms. Pelosi, my statements would be considerably stronger than Lying Worthless Political Hack.

  • “Just a week ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who was pro-choice. She has now rethought her position and is going to attend the Texas Right to Life Gala (on my invitation) and seek to learn more about the pro-life movement.”

    That is wonderful news, Eric.

    You have done a great thing!

  • God working through you Eric, and I completely agree with Joe!

  • Sure, I’ll pray for this hack.

    And pass the ammunition.

  • Really?

    Lord, have mercy on us.

  • Career and Special Interests Politicians, Sebelius, Mikulski, Pelosi, Biden, all I’m sure raised Catholic.

    They sell their soul a bit to do this, you know, I’m not against the individual personally but their stances on the issues.

  • What is really sad is that whenever someone tries to disagree with the current bills based on facts ( I have read them ) they are called racist or anti gay in this case. Each of us can voice our opinion civility, but this pseudo Catholic uses her rhetoric as a political tool to enhance her position instead of defending her stance with facts and this is what makes her a disgrace to her position.

  • Harold, you are my kind of Catholic. As I have tried to explain to other commenters before, this blog is actually the Republican American Catholic,
    very often, the Catholic part goes out the window if it doesnt line up with the Republican part.

  • Any Catholic who isn’t horrified by the abortion advocacy of the Lying Worthless Political Hack is a Catholic who needs to read this section of the Catechism:

    “2270 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.(71)

    Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. (72)

    My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth .(73)

    2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

    You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish .(74)

    God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.(75)

    2272 Formal co-operation in an abortion constitutes a grave offence. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. ‘A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae’ (76) ‘by the very commission of the offence’, (77) and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law . (78) The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she 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.

    2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:
    ‘The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.'(79)

    ‘The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.’ (80)”

  • The title of the article is unnecessarily offensive. From this distance (the Caribbean)the language used on Fox News, and reports in other media,all seem to point to a desire for violence to get rid of Obama. The fears of the Speaker are shared by many – don’t blame her. She may not be a “good Catholic” and the U.S. may not be a good country for leagalizing abortion (which the Constitution clearly supports)But do try to be civil while working hard to persuade both Catholics NOT to avail themselves of the legislation (after all it is permissive not mandatory)and the wider population that abortion is murder by another name. It is very sad to admit ther’s some truth in the statement, made long ago by a European, that the “U.S. moved from primitive to modern without passing through a period of civilization”. Please do not confuse a strong conservative Catholicism with either religious fundamentalism or downright incivility. These attitudes only turn people off our pro-life cause, which we SHALL win, because it is the truth about the human person NOT because we maligned our enemies. J-P II’s Peace Message a few years ago on Ro. 12:14-21..”do not let evil defeat you, but conquer evil with goodness”.

  • “and the U.S. may not be a good country for leagalizing abortion (which the Constitution clearly supports)”

    You say tomatoe, I say tomato, right?? You will not slide this aberration by. Only per legislating from the judicial bench, does this lie fly. Without wasting time on such a cruel view: The Constitution protects life and extends rights to all living, so therefore a pre-born should have rights.

    Cheers for the Tories in England who brought out how Ted Kennedy supported horrid partial birth abortion in discussing whether he should receive Knighthood. This horridly offends most of the English, late term abortions who have a very liberal policy already. But figures, with the liberals, the constitution protects it. Pathetic.

  • I discussed in a prior post, that the debate is often couched in such terms of which I often do not approve of between what the Left and the Right says, it gets to be a vicious circle and I tend to shy away from saying such things, often. At times, unfortunately, it seems to be saying the truth as well.

    To another subject and adding on to my last post, great to see LA Lett’s word on this, I guess Slaves were 3/4 of a human being as well under the constitution.

  • “She may not be a “good Catholic” and the U.S. may not be a good country for leagalizing abortion (which the Constitution clearly supports)”

    From the dissent of Justice White in Roe:

    “With all due respect, I dissent. I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers [410 U.S. 222] and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally dissentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.”

  • Tip of the Hat Donald, it is better to light a candle!

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One Response to Acorn San Diego: O'Keefe and Giles Strike Again!

  • I actually wonder how much of this is actually from the organization itself, and how much is from the liberal mindset? It seems like a really bad case of non-judgementalism on behalf of the employees. From the ‘consent is the criteria for the good’ angle, the people they are dealing with are consenting adults whose illegal activities will be ‘victimless’. The smuggling girls across the border – that seems a little hard to believe.

The Crowd Size of the 9/12 Rally in Washington

Thursday, September 17, AD 2009


A controversy has blown up on the internet with claims that the 9/12 rally in Washington had about 60,000-90,000 people in attendance.  Charles Martin at Pajamas Media drives a stake through the heart of that claim here.

“Since I wrote that piece, though, we have two new sources of information. First, the ridership statistics from D.C. Metro became available after being delayed, apparently because of a fatal accident on the Metro tracks. The Heritage Foundation, using these figures, computed that Metrorail ridership was about 235,000 greater than the previous weekend. As they say, that in itself is more than three times the (unreliable and badly sourced) number reported in the legacy media.

Second, there is now a high-resolution photo from FreedomWorks, which you can see in the poster here.

His conclusions from all available evidence:

“What can we take away from this exercise? Here are the main points:

  • The estimate widely used in the legacy media is not from an authoritative source, and it isn’t even consistent with itself: “full back to 3rd Street” is around 250,000 by Park Sevice methods, not a quarter of that.
  • Many estimates, using different assumptions and different methods, arrived at numbers well into the hundreds of thousands.
  • This is clearly consistent with the panoramic photo that we can source reliably.
  • With everything above, and with several more estimates, I don’t think there is a plausible argument for any total attendance figure much less that 500,000 to 600,000. That is, nearly ten times the reported attendance.”
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One Response to The Crowd Size of the 9/12 Rally in Washington

Acorn on the Ropes

Thursday, September 17, AD 2009


1.  The second part of the San Bernardino Acorn expose of O’Keefe and Giles.  Go here to read the comments of Giles regarding her “girl talk” with the flakey Acorn employee.


2.  In the wake of the Acorn scandal exposed by the intrepid duo of O’Keefe and Giles, Acorn has announced that it is suspending advising new clients and is setting up an independent review board.  Hmmm, this is an amazing turnabout from the initial reaction of  Acorn to the videos  which was that the whole thing was a conspiracy against Acorn put together by Fox.  Of course the “independent review board” is stacked with cronies and supporters of Acorn, but at least Acorn is under such pressure that it has to pretend to be trying to reform itself.

3.  Governor Pawlenty of Minnesota has ordered a review and suspension of any state contracts with Acorn.

4.  Governor Schwarzenegger in California is calling for a full investigation of Acorn’s California activities.

5.  Meantime Acorn has joined the Reverend Wright, and many other groups and individuals under the Obama bus.  Obama had a somewhat different attitude regarding the organization just last year:

When Obama met with ACORN leaders in November, he reminded them of his history with ACORN and his beginnings in Illinois as a Project Vote organizer, a nonprofit focused on voter rights and education. Senator Obama said, “I come out of a grassroots organizing background. That’s what I did for three and half years before I went to law school. That’s the reason I moved to Chicago was to organize. So this is something that I know personally, the work you do, the importance of it. I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.”

6.  The Lying Worthless Political Hack, a/k/a Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, was asked about the Senate bill cutting off funding for Acorn, her response was as follows:  “I don’t even know what they passed,” Pelosi told The Post yesterday. “What did they do? They defunded it?”

7.  I have never liked Jon Stewart:  too liberal for my conservative tastes.  However, this clip of his show here where he lambastes the mainstream media for missing the Acorn story is a must see.  As he notes, he is a fake journalist and he feels terrible about being scooped on a story by a couple of kids.  He gets to the heart of the matter.  The corruption of Acorn has been apparent for years, but neither the media nor the politicians did anything until a very inventive “couple of kids” took the initiative to expose the corruption for all to see.  A media that ignores this type of story is a media that is worthless.  Politicians who tolerate this type of corruption and shovel taxpayer funds at a manifestly corrupt organization are worse than worthless.  What O’Keefe and Giles have demonstrated is that we do not have to put up with this state of affairs.  Look forward for more shoes to drop:    more videos are on the way.

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9 Responses to Acorn on the Ropes

  • Someone pointed out at NRO that all this is because of 2 brave people whose combined age is 45. If the media had done their jobs, this sort of citizen activism would be unnecessary.

  • No, I do not work for Acorn, I simply wish to share links to contribute to a fair and balanced discussion.


    Again, I do not ask you to agree with every words in the comments. I simply ask you to take a look at the charges of promoting lies and then respond. Thank you.

  • I love the way Jon Stewart says these two did the entire story for less than it costs CNN to shop-vac Wolf Blitzer’s beard or turn on their fancy hologram! 😉

  • Well, Brian, looks like they debunked the dead husband (and lucky for him!).

    As to the rest of it…?

    Moreover, to have a balanced discussion, it would be nice if you at least acknowledged the grotesque employee behavior that occurred at the other offices.

  • As Dale points out, please address the problems with the other sites. I know you provided links about thes also. Most of the comments on those links were “they broke the law” by taping. Maybe so. Still doesn’t absolve the wrongs that ACORN does.

    Also noted this banner on the link your provided above. Why is this using the “N” word?

    “Why Won’t The Media Address the Real Issue? ‘ACORN’ Is Wingnut Code for The ‘N’ Word.”

  • Why on Earth would the San Diego lady go along with this little “hoax” and play up the hooker angle? At best, she is incredibly stupid, and funding should be stopped for that alone.

  • What is most damning about these vids is that the workers take the requests completely in stride – as if they’ve given similiar advice many times.

    The thing I wonder about is that while just about any woman under the age of 40 can make herself look whorish just by applying makeup with a trowel and putting on some tacky clothes*, O’Keefe strikes me as the world’s least convincing “pimp.” (And not because he is white. He just doesn’t have a “street-smart” aura about him.) I’m surprised the ACORN workers bought it.

    *I remember the hookers on DC’s 14th Street before that area was cleaned up. I felt sorry for them. Virtually none of them looked liked Giles or Julia Roberts. Many of them looked ill – either obese or heroin-addict skinny -and like they were in a drug haze. What a wretched life.

  • O’Keefe and Giles are a pimp and a whore right out of a Disney cartoon. They are completely unconvincing. This makes the whole thing all the more delicious! The Acorn people are not only crooks, they are stupid crooks!

  • I suppose that I made yet another weak attempt at stirring discussion. I apologize. I have tried before and I may try again, but I admit that this time I made mistakes.

Dad and Daughter and Baseball

Wednesday, September 16, AD 2009

MLB lawyers were able to track down and depublish the YouTube video in order to protect the interests of their corporate masters.

No worries, I found another video link which shows the little dad and daughter moment.  Click here.

Saw this late last night and I wanted to share this with our American Catholic readers.

A very touching moment when the little girl throws away the baseball and gets startled by the gasp of the fans.  She quickly turns to daddy and he’s there to give his little girl a big hug of support that it’s alright.

Hope you all can view this before Major League Baseball lawyers take down the YouTube video.

Very nice.

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4 Responses to Dad and Daughter and Baseball

Rush Limbaugh, Race Baiter

Wednesday, September 16, AD 2009

I have to say, I try to keep my expectations for political personalities on the radio and television low. But this is pretty appalling:

It’s Obama’s America, is it not? Obama’s America, white kids getting beat up on school buses now. You put your kids on a school bus, you expect safety but in Obama’s America the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering, “Yay, right on, right on, right on, right on,” and, of course, everybody says the white kid deserved it, he was born a racist, he’s white. Newsweek magazine told us this. We know that white students are destroying civility on buses, white students destroying civility in classrooms all over America, white congressmen destroying civility in the House of Representatives.

Let me get this straight, according to Rush: 1) Obama approves or is responsible somehow for white kids getting beat up on school busses. 2) Obama approves or is responsible somehow for people cheering while white kids get beat up on school busses; 3) Obama approves or is responsible somehow for the idea that white kids are all racists and deserve to get beat up on school busses; and 4) Somehow there is a connection to be drawn here to Joe Wilson’s intemperate outburst during Obama’s speach the other night.

How do people listen to this stuff?

H/T: The American Scene

Update: Re-reading the transcript again, I still think Rush is race-baiting, although not in the sense my comments above suggest. I don’t think Rush was actually intending to make a direct comment on Obama, much less about busses and school children. Rather, he was engaging in a caricature of lefty  outrage over various political and racial issues (e.g. Jimmy Carter’s recent remarks) . I think this type of caricature is irresponsible and foments racial tensions, even if Rush’s intention was just to foment partisan outrage. Race is a highly charged issue with good reason given our country’s history, and the risks of misinterpretation are very high. Accordingly, I think it is irresponsible and, in some sense, race-baiting, to belittle these concerns and treat them as if they were trivial. While I don’t want to be humorless or disingenuous, I agree with Megan McArdle that 1) if so many missed it, it’s not a very good satire; 2) what Rush is actually doing is quite bad enough.

Also, for those interested, Michael Iafrate thinks that many of the commenters in this thread are racists. I have not allowed his comments to come through because I do not think they will lead to a productive discussion here, and I will delete any comments that respond to Michael’s accusation. If you would like to discuss these issues with Michael, he blogs at Vox Nova and Catholic Anarchy.

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65 Responses to Rush Limbaugh, Race Baiter

  • Thanks Don. Additionally, the link is embedded in the post on the word ‘this’.

  • Oops! Sorry John Henry, I didn’t notice. Perhaps Rush could have ex-President Carter on his show, since Carter appears to believe that the motivating factor regarding opposition to Obama is race.

    To its credit,the Obama administration wasted no time in denouncing the peanut farmer.


  • Race baiting? Maybe just learning from Jimmy Carter, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Walters….

    This may be race baiting, but it is unfortunately part of our culture.

  • I hope Mr. Limbaugh’s comments were sarcastic.

  • Given Mr. Limbaugh’s personality they may very well have been. Now its another thing for Jimmy Carter, Al Sharpton, Maxine Waters…

  • One of the mottoes of Rush is illustrating absurdity by being absurd. I find some of his comments objectionable, but I think most of it was a riff on the latest mantra of the left that opposition to Obama is racist.

  • I believe Rush was making a point, but I don’t listen to Rush so it’s difficult to analyze from a distance.

    I’m with Phillip and Donald on this, it’s probably sarcasm.

  • I don’t see it. Other parts of the transcript are clearly devoted to mocking people like Carter who claim that any criticism of the Obama administration is really about race.

    But that part of the transcript seems to be devoted to expressing a grievance. Maybe Rush is engaging in some sort of meta-level satire, arguing that if Republicans thought like Democrats, that rant is the type of crazy thing they would be saying….but I don’t think so.

  • I read Rod Dreher’s piece on this earlier in the day (why I can’t recall, I normally never read Dreher.)

    Certainly, it strikes me as a dumb thing to say — if only because conservatives have got to realize that they’re (often unfairly) under a microscope in regards to potential charges of racism right now.

    Clearly, it would be totally inaccurate to say this incident represented “Obama’s America” in the sense that Obama somehow wants black kids to beat up white kids on a school bus. I’m sure that if Obama had been there, he would have acted like any responsible adult by stepping in and stopping things.

    Reading the linked Limbaugh page (which to be honest is kind of hard — talk radio comes off as very stream of consciousness when written down) it sounds to me like he’s not so much trying to do that as evoke a feeling that this is the result of the constant labelling of vast sections of the US as racist. And after all, if they’re racists, maybe they need a good beating to get them in line.

    Now, I do think that the increasing tendency of leftists to label vast regions and demographic groups as all being evil, racist hicks is surely increasing the level of hatred and tension in our country. But I’ll agree it’s unfair to imply a direct causality between the left’s attempt to paint everyone who disagrees with them as a racist and a bunch of stupid high schoolers who decide to beat someone up in front of a video camera.

    So I don’t think Limbaugh’s remarks are accurate or warranted, but at the same time, I have to admit I have a time being nearly as troubled by them as Dreher is.

  • I was unsurprised to go to the link and see who wrote that post. Conor has a tendency to distort what guys like Levin and Limbaugh say to serve his own ends, and this is pretty much par for the course. I actually was listening at the time and, yes, this was Rush’s usual method of demonstrating the absurdity of race baiters like Carter and Jackson by being absurd himself.

  • I listened to the audio. Rush’s point was that in Obama’s America (i.e., the America that he is trying to create) whites are always to blame because they’re all racists. Rush says he wonders if Obama will come to the defense of the black students. His point is that Obama hates white people. [sarcasm] But nice to see so many people coming to Rush’s defense. [/sarcasm]

  • Relax only 1221 days left or sooner if the birth cert turns up.

  • John Henry,

    The following may help to put Limbaugh’s hyperbole into context – a battering of Newsweek and the race-card argument:



    I think this post and the comments indicate how effective (or not) he was in communicating.

  • So sarcasm it was, just as I thought.

  • Um, either way I’d argue it was ill-advised and inflammatory. His use of the Newsweek article was a complete distortion of the article; and all this talk about “Obama’s America” has no relation as far as I can see to kids on school busses. What possible good can come from this type of nonsense?

  • John Henry,

    Absolutely agree.

    It was sophomoric and unproductive.

  • Rush is working overtime, maybe he came up with a lemon in that speech which I did hear. Perhaps some sarcasm in there. I don’t always agree with what Rush said. I know today he was calling Jimmy Carter something like a National hemmorhoid and I’d find that more objectionable, I really do. Maybe some sort of put down is okay but that is a bit overboard especially when essentially, he is going after all of them, Teddy, Byrd, Obama, Frank, Carter and should do better than Letterman going after Palin, etc. That’s what he gets for doing a radio show 15/20 hours a week. If he’d stayed to a more “conservative” discourse, he might have done better.

    Still, with all public discourse, some of these things are part of a vicious circle. I read the Huffington Post quote on the murder of Poullion and yes, they were disrespectful. A lot of disrespect was shown to Kennedy really. These things feed on each other. Keep the conversation civil. Still, Rush probably sees and understands those in power are running roughshod over us and can we trust them? With what has been going on with Acorn, etc.?

  • Where is the condemnation of the beating that kid took?

    I found the video and I found it disgusting!

    I could see why Rush was upset, though his commentary was uncalled for.

  • Rush mentioned and does anyone remember this?? It is foggy in my mind but wasn’t their a bit of an event when Hillary ran versus Obama and former Pres. Bill Clinton, something went on where racism was mentioned, not sure if Bill Clinton was called racist or what but see, there was some sort of bruhaha with these people in the past. That was worth mentioning. Rush’s point being, something like well, even Bill C. was called a racist or something, it’s too late to look up the exact incident. Maybe Rush should do like Savage does, at least here and replay the same hour recording sometimes of course, that might not be popular with a show as big as his.

  • Rush makes good points to isolate a minute’s worth of dialog you know. He made other good points, that is why he is so good, he hits the nail on the head.

    Like how about what he said today, that the Illegal Alien (Hispanic type) lobby is now upset that the “coverage” of the bill was being taken out?? Some kinds of rumblings like that. Wilson said “you lie”, then the Democrats keep on saying death panel and illegal alien coverage is not in the bill. And now, this lobby is upset that the bill is being reworded so the Illegals can not get the health insurance through citizenship verification??

  • First of all, the attack on the bus was evil and while Rush has a point, he picked the wrong incident to make it. My take is that for centuries Blacks in America have been seething with (justifiable) anger. The election of a Black president is bound to unleash some pretty reprehensible and bizarre behavior (ie Rep B. Waters wanting to criminalize racism. Yikes!!)

  • The sad part of all this is any attack as shown on UTube like this regardless of race, gender, belief, etc is totally wrong and should be not be tolerated or accepted by anyone. Why we continue to use race when viewing wrongful acts or calling something racist is wrong and will never be right. They can not continue to be two standards.

  • Racism is a real problem but it is a more powerful political tool so it will be kept alive by a very tiny minority of actual racists and by a large majority of our elected idiots becuase it is politically expedient.

    In truth, racism is diabolical. It is a clear attack on unity. Racism used becuase of actual racism or just politics is a war tactic, divide and conquer. We should not stand for it. There is one standard for behavior and it has nothing to do with race even though all ten points of it were delivered by one of them Jews.

  • I actually appreciate your willingness to criticize Limbaugh.

  • Also, in relation to this particular incident in Belleville, Ill. I understand the police chief himself said it was NOT racially motivated, plus, other black youths on the bus tried to STOP the attack.

    This is a perfect example of why I can no longer stand to listen to Rush even though I used to listen to his show years ago. His “demonstrating absurdity by being absurd” shtick only goes so far.

  • There there are these published words of a prominent politician:

    “Should you refuse this defeat and lash out at your captors, they would have a name for that, too, a name that could cage you just as good. Paranoid. Militant. Violent. N—–.”

    “Any distinction between good and bad whites held negligible meaning.”

    And the same author on how Malcolm X’s autobiography “spoke” to him. One line in particular “stayed with me,” he says. “He spoke of a wish he’d once had, the wish that the white blood that ran through him, there by an act of violence, might somehow be expunged.”

  • Yeah, I mean, let me be clear: I don’t enjoy Rush and I don’t listen to him, because while I can kind of see a lot of the points he’s trying to make, I don’t think the daily grist mill of absurdity and argument is really all that good thing a listen to very often. (Certainly, not for me.) So it’s not so much that I’m saying Rush is right to have said what he did — it’s certainly not what I would say — it’s just that I think the “Rush says it’s Obama’s fault that black kids are beating up white kids and that’s incredibly wicked of him” take that Dreher and a couple other commentators had is off base.

    I’d rate Rush as having made a stupid exaggeration, but not a wicked accusation.

  • I will say that I do listen to him on occasion. I find him right on sometimes, over the top others and flat out wrong sometimes. I use my judgement to decide which case he falls into. Sort of like reading blogs.

    And so one judges politicians. The above quotes I post I would argue are not over the top hyperbole but flat out wrong racism.

  • I usually listen to Rush while I am driving to and from courthouses. Usually I agree with him, sometimes I do not. I often find him entertaining. I have always admired the steadfastness of his fight against abortion on his show. He is correct that one of the major motivating factors of RINOS (Republicans in Name Only) in the GOP is their support for abortion.

  • Aside from immigration, I often found myself agreeing with many of Rush’s positions, I just burned out on the political talk radio genre and approach — back when I had a 50 mile each way commute in California. I’ll grant that of the major talk show personalities, he’s probably one of the best ones. I much prefered him to Hannity or O’Reilly or Ingram. But after a while, I just couldn’t see a whole lot of point to talk radio — I guess around the same time I stopped watching news on TV. Too much air time to fill, and too much harping whatever the issue of that day is.

    I think what I like about blogging by comparison is that most bloggers don’t limit themselves to whatever the news of the day is. You get anything from political theory, to a profile of a historical event or person, to news headlines, to general life and commentary.

  • Someone mentioned Belleville Illinois as the scene of the fight, that must be a suburb of St. Louis, I don’t know but this is close to Rush’s backyard.

    But places like East St. Louis have horrendous crime rates. I myself would leave the conversation alone.

    He by the way, did have a black caller yesterday who was all upset by Obama’s acts, the unemployment rate and national debt. You know, if one has friends that are African Americans truly and supposedly, Rush’s sidekick is, the guy named Snerdley, it would be hard for me to go off on a tangent like he did. If the roles were reversed or involving other minorities, we would not want to have the same as well.

    So, yes, in a way, Rush does get in a mode of blame it all on Obama and the democrats. I guess he has such a stockpile of goodwill that for me, if this is a faux pas, it won’t mean much.

    The songs are good satire, I know in recent years, they have done take offs on “American Pie”, “The Weight” and others.

    I do believe in helping out the poor immigrant per the view of the Catholic Church. One also doesn’t want to kill the goose that layed the golden egg.

  • I don’t necessarily think he meant to blame it on Obama directly. By “Obama’s America”, I interpret him to mean in a society that would elect someone such as Obama – one that is according to Rush anti-white. Although the use of the possessive does make this interpretation somewhat probelmatic.

  • I agree with Fr. Charlie. Just half a century ago, there were water fountains for “colored only;” coloreds used the dirty, old escalators at the rear of buildings and entered buildings via back doors only, they sat only at the rear of the bus, there were “white only” movie theaters, public swimming pools, drive-in restaurants, churches, schools. It really was horrid. So why wouldn’t there be rage in some of the black population? The school bus incident in Belleville, Illinois was indeed labeled a racial attack initially. Only after the incident intensified in the news was it downgraded to “bullying.” This rage has been stoked by clever manipulators for greedy purposes for a long time and has erupted into chaos. Think ACORN.

  • Being oppressed is no reason to be ‘angry’. The persecuting Romans gave early Christians plenty of reasons to be ‘angry’, yet the Christians were recognized by how they loved not their anger.

    Most black people in America are Christian. That means, if they are true to their faith, they belong to Christ before they belong to a racial identity.

    Has America been institutionally racist in the past? Of course she has, who in their right mind would ignore that fact? Are some Americans racist today? Yes — and some of them are white too! But the country is NOT racist. We have corrected the errors of the past. We stand for liberty and justice for all.

    Rush is usually correct, but I wonder which one of us filling 4 hours of daily airtime won’t be caught saying something wrong, offensive or simply out of context? Hmm . . . I remember learning something about casting the first stone.

    We really need to get beyond this race thing. I am so sick of it being used as a fund raising, attention getting, dividing tactic. I also find this hair-trigger retort of racist as a terrible distraction and overshadowing of ACTUAL incidents of racism. Furthermore, what the heck does it matter the reason anyone is mistreated? Does it make a difference if one commits murder because the victim is of a different race, had some money, stepped on my toe, or whatever — isn’t the crime of murder the actual problem?

    Bullying is the same. If one is bullied because he’s white, or gay, or black, or small, or restrainedradical — what difference does it make? Bullying is the crime PERIOD.

    The commandment is DO NOT KILL and in light of Christ DO NOT BE ANGRY, etc.

    Let’s get off this race thing. It is a branch not the root. Racism is a symptom not the disease.

    Keep in mind that the only form of discrimination that is accepted publicly today is discrimination against Christians, especially Catholics — no matter what color or sex or national origin or age or handicap they have.

  • My last name is Slavic, Slavs were Slaves!

    I will make sure I maintain the rights to have grudges and gripes against everyone.

  • Moe,

    The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and conducted the Bataan Death March. We should be very angry with them. Perhaps it even justified the Bomb. Or maybe not.

  • Being part Cherokee I am still waiting for a formal apology from the US. That, and a mansion in Georgia, will allow me to lay down my ancestral grievances. 🙂

  • Ah! You are a Southerner.

  • My point, gentlemen, is that our tragic history of racial enmity is continuing to be stoked by manipulators over racial indignities that blacks endured and feel that they are continuing to endure. In enumerating the injustices we perpetrated on the colored, I was attempting to remind us, me included, of these injustices and to elicit a particle of empathy, but it is quite obvious that I failed. I’m part Cherokee too. If the government mandated that my employer hire a certain percentage of Cherokee Indians, perhaps, I too, would feel obligated to harbor rage and have the luxury of wallowing in the injustices that my ancestors endured in the Trail of Tears.

  • My empathy does not extend to saying rage for past offenses is justified. Particuarly if such rage results in further injustices.

  • But perhaps my empathy is limited by my being part Yaqui – the only Mexican Indian tribe not conquered by the Spanish. You Cherokees are too easy to beat it seems.

  • The Yaqui endured their share of injustice and brutality, also. I googled and read where 150 Yaqui were burned inside a church in 1868. Others were sold as slaves.

  • Yes. By Mexicans alas and not Spanish. As indians killed and enslaved other indians. So I should rage. Right?

  • “You Cherokees are too easy to beat it seems.”

    Depends upon the Cherokee. Stand Watie was the last Confederate general to surrender during the Civil War. Of course by that time my Cherokee ancestors had already become yankees in Illinois.

  • Where does this stop. Now Mrs Pelosi is equating the people who are against the health bills to those who were anti gay in 1970’s San Francisco that cause the murder of their Mayor. etal…I do not care what color, creed, status, etc. if one disagrees with another they have the right to free speech, but I agree they can use a civil tone. Here is another politician trying to evoke another response by her rhetoric and use her wiles for political gain. This so called pseudo Catholic is a disgrace.

  • Hey I’m part Cherokee too!

    Maybe we should change the name of the website to Cherokee Catholic!

  • Nah Tito, the “palefaces” among us would feel left out! 🙂

  • In the past few years dealing to the best of my recollection, Denmark apologized for an invasion by the Vikings against the UK.

    This was a famous raid, I believe it is one where some Monks were killed on Scottish territory I believe. That raid also happened around the year 1000.

    I mean, how far do we take things? And apologies, this is now way off of the topic of Rush. But so it goes.

  • Tom,
    Is it a perceived insufficiency of an apology, or political correctness that is a large part of the problem? A study at Northwestern University showed that whites will tend to avoid blacks out of fear and anxiety over appearing racist. The study concluded that political correctness was making things worse. There’s been two instances in the media where blacks have taken offense at the word, “niggardly”, when, in fact, it has no relationship to the other similar-sounding word. We can’t say “black hole” for fear of offending the sensitivities of some. It just goes on and on ad nauseum.

  • I know Moe, if one listened to Rush today, you’d think he folowed this conversation, Honestly though that sounds farfetched OR, he simply addressed this situation again.

    Belleville Illinois mentioned in it?? Yes.

    Called St. Louis his home?? It sounded like he did. Now, he worked for the Kansas City Royals from what I think I’ve heard, so I don’t know where Cape Girardeau is.

    Anyway, I thought he elaborated on it too much, not a big deal.

  • Let’s be perfectly clear. Rush’s intent and purpose as a bloviating bigot is to arouse the basest inclinations of the masses. His sweeping generalizations and ad hominum attacks on the president have racist undertones which he exploits at every opportunity.

    I was wondering if Rush was still on the drugs and therefore not responsible for his comments.

  • Harold, I guess your concern for civility does not entend to those who propound views you disagree with does it?

  • I find all of conflict or car-chase media objectionable as I do with MSM. Anyone that only listens to Rush or does not insist on hearing two points of views all the time are self-indoctrinating kool-aid drinkers. They are no better then those they complain about on the left or in MSM.

    I will never listen to others that will claim the other side is evil and we are not.

  • What is the difference between talk radio and a radical muslim cleric standing on a corner yelling and controlling the conversation? What would you tell a young Muslim boy attending a west Pakistan madras hearing rhetoric every day that the Great Satan is destroying all that is good in the world? Is this not what we are doing to ourselves in this country?

  • If the talk radio host is mocking and the imam is serious, a world of difference.

  • Harold: Let us be clear as well, in what you say, then in turn, the episode with the Cambridge police, going to Reverend Wright’s church, some Czar appointments, connections with Bill Ayers likewise would put the Democratic side very much in question as well as to regards to racism and other issues, wouldn’t it?? I’d like to see the side run by satire at the same time and then see if we’d be calling it that. This Maher fellow and his reporting on the Drudge Report recently?? And no matter how often I read the Drudge I did not see the exact banner headline or caption to a story that he was quoting from. It makes me wonder. Anyone?? Maher said Drudge used a short for “negatives” and that could be construed in a racist way.

  • Mark,

    I will never listen to others that will claim the other side is evil and we are not.

    so no side can be considered evil in your mind?

  • Respectfully and in fair-play, since this has been updated, I see now, there is a video calling into question as to whether what Obama said in 1995 is race-baiting. My computer has a slow download, so we can leave it to others, to question if this merits being called “race baiting” as well. It did not take long. I do see an angle but I’m not sure how strong it is.


    2 wrongs don’t make a right.

  • “so no side can be considered evil in your mind?”

    “Evil” is a very strong word. I reserve that for truly evil people. If people are claiming that one side is infected with a false conscience or evil and are going to “destroy” all that is good and then they claim that they are the true saviors of the world, then no I will not listen to them.

    Seen it to many times in history. Osama Bin Laden talks about the great satan and that he will save the world. Then we have the religious right that believes us seculars are destroying all that is good and that the religious right or Christian Nationalist will save this great country.

    I will not fall for such BS from the left or the right.

    When we start to fear the future as we do now we all grab hold of the strongest tree, the tree with the strongest roots, our faith and ethnicity. We then start to blame the problems of the world on “others” and herd up like animals.

    Does that sound all to familiar across the world and in this country?

  • “If the talk radio host is mocking and the imam is serious, a world of difference.”

    And you see “mocking” as a quality to be respected by anyone. I suppose an imam could tell everyone that he is an entertainer.

    I see no difference. I see two men that have anger and hate and they are speaking to individuals that are not interested in the opinions of others.

    Neither are interested in the truth, only their own egos. And those that solely listen to Rush or conservative or liberal media are no different then a young Muslim man that hangs on every world of the Imam and does not seak to broaden their knowledge of the world. I see no difference.

    This type of discourse does this country no good.

    I would rather be a positive force for change then a negative force for change. Being angry and negative only takes away from the moment and all the wonderful diversity that is to be found in this world. I live for the moment, I do not fear the future, nor look back as to many do. I do not have time for people like Rush, they are a waste of energy.

  • Mark Baird: What you don’t like is reflected in your own belief system, “the richness of diversity” vs. the Americanism of Rush, Secularism vs. Christianity, etc.

  • Actually mocking is a valid form of rhethoric. I have no proplem with it whatsoever especially when some are so easily using the racism card. That’s the real hate.

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Medical Bankruptcy in Canada

Wednesday, September 16, AD 2009

There’s been a lot of talk about how lack of sufficient health care is a major cause of bankruptcy in the US. Some of this is based on a couple of very bad studies, which essentially assumed that anyone who declared bankruptcy who had any outstanding medical bills at all must have done so because of medical costs, regardless of the relative size of their medical and other debts. But there’s also a legitimate aspect to this, though it doesn’t have to do with medical costs. Bankruptcy is often the result of some sort of unexpected circumstances (lost job, divorce, medical problems) which drastically increases expenses or lowers earnings. Obviously, if you come down with major medical problems, you may well end up earning less regardless of your medical bills, and this can cause bankruptcy.

Illustrating this is a recent study commissioned by the Canadian government investigating the high prevalence of bankrupty among older Canadians. (via Megan McArdle) The finding: medical problems is the number two cause of bankruptcy among Canadians aged 55-65, the group with the greatest propensity to declare bankruptcy. (see pages 18-19)

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2 Responses to Medical Bankruptcy in Canada

  • I have done hundreds of bankruptcies. Most of them had some medical debts on them, but usually they were a small portion of the total debt, the majority of which consisted of credit card debt. I’d say that in only about 3 percent of the cases I’ve handled was medical debt a major factor in the decision to declare bankruptcy.

  • Not knowing many people myself who declared bankruptcy, in the cases in which friends have, it was mostly to lines of credit and credit card debt.

    Not one was due to medical bills.

    Though this is an unscientific poll to say the least.

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History and the End of Schism

Wednesday, September 16, AD 2009

Pope Benedict and Patriarch Kirill

Rumors and rumors of rumors of an imminent end to over a thousand years of the Great Schism between Catholics and Orthodox have exploded over these past few days.  If these rumors are correct then not since the Ecumenical Council of Ferrara-Florence have these great Church’s been so close to unity.

In A.D. 1054 Catholic prelate Humbert and Orthodox prelate Michael Cærularius excommunicated each other.  This marks the beginning of the Great Schism between the Catholic and Orthodox Church’s.

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18 Responses to History and the End of Schism

  • Good post, balancing the hope with realism. One slight correction: Mount Athos contains a solid bloc of hardcore anti-Catholics, perhaps (probably?) even the majority of the monks there. But there are those loyal to the Ecumenical Patriarch who are there, too.

  • This has already been all over the blogosphere in Orthodox circles as well as Catholic – Archbishop Pezzi is clearly expressing naive optimism here. Archbishop Hilarion is indeed visiting Rome, but Pezzi made his announcement before Hilarion even set foot in the eternal city. The other question is what did Pezzi actually say in Italian; perhaps it is a mistranslation.

  • Alan,

    I read Irenaeus posting and my impression was it was all over the Orthodox blogosphere, not necessarily the Catholic blogosphere. Just wanting to be exact.

    I agree that Archbishop Pezzi was overly optimistic, but my thinking is that he’s basing it on previous dialogue with the Orthodox, not a prediction of the Hilarion-Kasper talks.


    I only threw in the “Mount Athos crowd” to represent the many Orthodox that are against any form of ecumenism Patriarch-and-Pope-be-damned.

  • “Just wanting to be exact since you want to make a pointless point.”

    The blog to which I linked is a Catholic/Orthodox blog.
    The story was also on NLM just yesterday. The “pointless point” judgment seems kind of harsh – not sure where that is coming from?? Maybe it didn’t come across in my comment, but my point was that most seem to be taking this with a grain of salt, and rightfully so.

  • Alan,

    I edited that out before you were able to reread it.

    No harm done.

    Posting isn’t the same as talking in person.

    I don’t read the NLM as much as I used to in the past, so I missed that one.

  • Teófilo over at Vivificat also has a good post on the subject from Monday with some interesting points.

  • LOL…

    I didn’t want to bash Archbishop Pezzi, so I tried to be diplomatic concerning his enthusiasm, but I do agree with Teofilo’s assessment on the archbishops exuberance!

  • Thank you for the link to Vivificat!

    With all due respect to Archbishop Pezzi, the expectations he has ignited need to be dowsed with a cold, wet showert of realism.

    In Christ,

  • Assuming this somehow goes through, would that mean RCs could fulfill Mass obligations by going to an Orthodox parish (will they still be called RC and Orthodox)? What would the post-schism Church look like?

  • c matt,

    I believe you already can fulfill your obligation to go to Mass in an Orthodox parish ONLY IF it is impossible to fulfill that obligation in a Roman Catholic Church (or those in communion–Byzantine, Ukrainian Catholic… ect.) Though, you can not partake in Communion.

  • Daniel,
    I believe you already can fulfill your obligation to go to Mass in an Orthodox parish ONLY IF it is impossible to fulfill that obligation in a Roman Catholic Church (or those in communion–Byzantine, Ukrainian Catholic… ect.)

    That’s correct and would change if they were in full communion, you’d be free to assist for any reason and even switch rituals formally (with permission) as is the case with th Uniates now.

    Though, you can not partake in Communion.

    the Catholic Church permits you to receive as long as you defer to the celebrant. As I understand it Orthodox are quite restrictive and will not allow it unless perhaps prior arrangements are made.

  • Matt is more or less right here. The Catholic Church is more permissive than the Orthodox (any Orthodox is welcome to take our communion, but told to follow the rules of their jurisdiction), and we are told, in various circumstances (not all) that we can take Orthodox communion (though most Orthodox will not give it to Catholics, some will). Then there are some, like the Armenian Orthodox and Catholic, who freely share communion.

  • I like the fact that we are able to partake in some sacraments with the Orthodox under certain conditions.

    Though the Orthodox in America are more receptive to this, do you see this attitude changing for the better in traditional Orthodox lands?

    I am aware of the amount of distrust that many Greeks and Russians share towards Catholics, is this changing as well?

    Just questions because of all of the ecumenical efforts we’ve done since Vatican II, it is the Orthodox that I see real progress in reuniting with more than any other ecclesiastical group (the Orthodox being the only other real Church).

  • Mr. Edwards and friends,

    In your article/commentary you said the following, which needs correction:

    “Outside of malefactors such as the Mount Athos crowd and the Orthodox resentment of the sacking of Constantinople, anything is possible.”

    Webster’s dictionary defines malefactor as:

    “one who does ill toward another”.

    It is unfortunate that such ignorance or malice exists among those roman catholics who respect the Orthodox Church and desire to be united to it. For, the Holy Mountain of Athos is THE ark of true Christian Spiritual Life in the Church, a bastion of true Christian spiritual practice and defender of the Truth of Revelation for over 1000 years. Her life and Saints are the heart of the Orthodox Church in the 2nd millenium. To say that the holy fathers of Athos are intent on doing ill to others or even to the desire for true unity in Christ is an affront to all who love Truth and to all Orthodox Christians. They have been and are today lights to every sincere practitioner of Christian love and without them and their agreement no true union can take place.

    Your ignorance is one of the many obstacles standing in the way of real progress toward unity in Christ. I hope that you will correct your error and take time to learn more about the Garden of the All-Holy Mother of God (as Athos is known).


    Panagiotis Dimitriadis

  • Panagiotis Dimitriadis,

    It is unfortunate that such ignorance or malice exists among those roman catholics who respect the Orthodox Church and desire to be united to it

    We desire the return of ALL Christians to the One Holy Catholic Church. We pray that the Orthodox chuches return in their integrity as particular churches.

    Your pride is one of the many obstacles standing in the way of real progress toward unity in Christ.

  • Panagiotis Dimitriadis,

    I noticed you referred to Catholic with the small “c”, but the Orthodox with the large “O”.

    You need to remove the speck in your own eye before commenting.

    By the way, the ARK is the Virgin Mary carrying Jesus to birth and I referred to the Mount Athos crowd, ie, those like yourself that hold ill-will towards Catholicism in general and unity in particular.

  • Regarding the Unity of The Holy Spirit and the Filioque: If we believe in the UNITY of God, The Father, The Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, of all that is, seen and unseen AND one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of The Father, God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten, not made, ONE IN BEING with The Father…THEN, in order to be a Trinity, The Holy Spirit, The Love Between The Father And The Son, must proceed from The Father AND The Son, to begin with.

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The Acorn Scandals Continue

Tuesday, September 15, AD 2009

O’Keefe and Giles take their pimp and prostitute masquerade to an Acorn office in San Bernadino California and are met with open arms!  Four Acorn offices across the nation have no problem with helping out a criminal enterprise involving underage prostitutes!  This has been a brilliant sting which has brought Acorn to its knees in just a few days.  Amazing, simply amazing!  Go here to read Hannah Giles’ comments on the science behind the Acorn sting. 

The mainstream media and this story?  Best summed up by ABC’s Charlie Gibson’s comment this morning on WLS in Chicago that he knew nothing about it.  If a story reflects poorly on Democrats, it might as well not exist for much of the mainstream media.  In the day of blogs and youtube, this type of partisan “ostrich journalism” is rapidly becoming extinct.  They will not be missed.


Update:  The New York City city council has suspended payments to Acorn and the Attorney General of New York has announced an investigation into pork barrel grants to Acorn. 

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7 Responses to The Acorn Scandals Continue

  • I don’t why I’m still surprised by Charles Gibson’s reaction. But I like the term you coined “ostrich journalism”.

    I think we should add that as our new tag to articles such as these.

  • Good idea Tito. I have added the “OJ” tag!

  • Ostrich journalism? I think not. The MSM is bravely covering Congress’s heroic effort to censure Joe Wilson.

  • “The mainstream media and this story? Best summed up by ABC’s Charlie Wilson’s comment this morning on WLS in Chicago that he knew nothing about it.”

    Charlie Wilson? or Gibson??

    Mini Rant:

    From ACORN to Unions to Planned Parenthood, I will say it seems to be so much about SPECIAL INTERESTS.

    Perhaps it is fair play to say Insurance Companies are behind some who oppose Health Care, I don’t know. That is why Tort Reform is needed.

    Now, Carter and the Democrats are trying an end run and bringing up race. Some oppose Obama based on race I would admit but not a significant percentage.

    But these matters with ACORN certainly bring to light the special interest nature of some Democrats. If as we have heard a long time ago, we did not have the most pro-abortion president ever, I might be more tolerant in other areas.

  • Tom, thank you for catching my error as to Mr. Gibson’s last name and I have corrected it in the post.

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Do you trust people who profit from you?

Tuesday, September 15, AD 2009

We’re often told that we shouldn’t trust people whose only interest is to make a profit from us. I ran into a brief piece by economist Russ Roberts which stands that conventional wisdom on its head in an interesting way.

The other day I had to get some important tax receipts to my accountant. He’s in St. Louis, it was getting close to April 15, and it was very important that the papers didn’t get lost. To give my accountant plenty of time, I wanted the papers to arrive the next morning.

So what did I do? My first choice was to get on a plane and deliver the letter myself. Too expensive. Too much time.

So I did the next best thing. I went down to the airport and found someone headed to St. Louis. I told her how important it was for my accountant to have my receipts by the next day. Fortunately, she seemed really nice. She said she’d be happy to help me out. I sealed up the envelope, and she promised not to open it after I left.

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7 Responses to Do you trust people who profit from you?

  • Can you say Fedex??

  • You could say this about all the Catholic apologists who make a profit from being Catholic.

  • That might be the dumbest thing I’ve read. He could have hired a taxi to private courier the thing for $500, but I bet he still would have felt more secure with FedEx for the simple reason that legal recourse against FedEx, a multinational corporation, is easier than legal recourse against an individual.

  • The legal recourse against FedEx?

  • MZ,

    Yes, the opening, which I quoted, is a bit cute, perhaps. But I think his overall point (you read the rest of the post via the link?) that whereas we would never think of going up to a stranger in an airport and asking her to carry valuable documents to another city and get them there the next morning, it works very well to go up to a stranger in a FedEx uniform and offer that person to achieve a very complex task for a small amount of money, is a sound one.

  • Remuneration is only possible in an environment of trust and accountability; otherwise you are a sucker for trusting someone you don’t otherwise know and you’d have no recourse. That doesn’t mean it won’t work out — but there is a significant chance it won’t and there is no legal recourse if it doesn’t. the profit-motive is simply a barometer for what we value. The Church has no fiscal profit motive, yet we tithe becuase without revenue we would not have a Church. Money is important and it is a very useful media for facilitating the trade of free individuals. It is the LOVE of money that is the problem. You know who doesn’t like money — Socialists. And that twisted ideology is evil, anti-Christian and diabolical.

    Moreover, I would NEVER accpet a package from someone I did not know, especially to take on an airplane. Can you imagine some terrorist duping you into carrying a bomb on board!!!!

    We may live in the remnants of a Christian civilization but we are a fallen race. This was a dumb move.

  • DarwinCatholic: What? And I thought only communists (pace JH) despise those who consort with the demons of Western Capitalism!

From Tiny Acorns Mighty Scandals Grow

Tuesday, September 15, AD 2009

Acorn, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is a left wing political action group with close ties to the Democrat party.  Since 1994 it has received over 53 million dollars in federal funds.  It has a long history of involvement in voter registration fraud.  Obama has a very long history of involvement with Acorn.  Acorn has acknowledged problems in voter registration fraud but has blamed a few “bad apples”.

Thanks to the intrepid James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, posing as a pimp and prostitute, we now know quite a bit more about advice that Acorn gives to those seeking assistance from them.  Hitting Acorn offices in Baltimore, Washington and Brooklyn, Acorn employees were only too happy to assist O’Keefe and Giles in setting up a fictitious house of prostitution involving underage prostitutes.  The advice of the Acorn worker in Baltimore that the girl prostitutes could be listed as dependents on the tax returns of O”Keefe and Giles is pure comedy gold!

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31 Responses to From Tiny Acorns Mighty Scandals Grow

  • Looks like Bob Casey is also one of the seven.

  • Am I remembering correctly that back around the election, conservative Catholics were being scolded for objecting to the bishops funnelling a million or so from the Catholic Campaign For Human Development into these folks?

  • Accusing left wing Catholics of defending Acorn? For shame Darwin!


  • Interesting; all that talk about breaking the cycle of poverty and structures of sin. Of course those are noble goals and I’d say a moral obligation. But as often the case it boils down to what one considers to be the cycle of poverty, the structure of sin, and the means of breaking it – and what one is willing to do, allow, or overlook to enact their cure. Clearly some will excuse any injustice, immorality, or counterproductive acts if it favors their political ideology.

    Here’s the prototype of the response:

    You so called conservatives, you’re really liberals in the true sense of the word. You’re not against human trafficking, the exploitation of minors and wome. You’re just imperialists who don’t want poor Latin American to have gainful employment!

  • It is truly amazing with all that smoke and indeed some fire these folks were going to play a role in the Census. And no one in the media seemed to care

  • funnelling a million or so from the Catholic Campaign For Human Development into these folks?

    they got a lot of money from there, which is cut-off now, but the money is going to birds of a feather anyway. Don’t give anything to these socialism pushers.

  • I agree with Matt. I used to give, but unfortunately no longer trust them to use the money wisely.

  • MIke I still urge people to give to the collection. THey just did to be asking the Bishops where it is going!!

    I think the very Orthodox Diocese of Kanasa City did this right

  • Oh, I apologize for the links leaking over onto the next column. I really had no idea that would happen.

  • Sort of off topic: Undercover work requires lying. Can Catholics be undercover officers?

  • Considering the number of brave priests over the centuries who have adopted false identities in order to spread the message of Christ in areas hostile to the Church, I do not believe there is a blanket condemnation of deceit in all circumstances. Here are some relevant passages from the Catechism:

    “2488 The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.

    2489 Charity and respect for the truth should dictate the response to every request for information or communication. The good and safety of others, respect for privacy, and the common good are sufficient reasons for being silent about what ought not be known or for making use of a discreet language. The duty to avoid scandal often commands strict discretion. No one is bound to reveal the truth to someone who does not have the right to know it.282

    2491 Professional secrets – for example, those of political office holders, soldiers, physicians, and lawyers – or confidential information given under the seal of secrecy must be kept, save in exceptional cases where keeping the secret is bound to cause very grave harm to the one who confided it, to the one who received it or to a third party, and where the very grave harm can be avoided only by divulging the truth. Even if not confided under the seal of secrecy, private information prejudicial to another is not to be divulged without a grave and proportionate reason.”

  • Don,

    I’m not so sure you can call it “deceit”; this has too much of a negative connotation attached to it that folks might mistake it as having malicious intent.

    Just like those brave priests you mentioned, I would not think theirs could even be considered such a case.

    They are not unlike those brave Catholics who essentially did the same when facilitating the escape of those Jews undergoing persecution during WWII.

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  • I agree with you e. There are times when it is very immoral to tell the truth.

  • “the filmmakers reportedly went to several ACORN offices, where their ploy was unsuccessful, before finding someone to fall for their scheme.”

    Sorry, Brian, but that statement does not equal “they found only one office that took their bait.” It merely implies that some ACORN offices of the total that were visited didn’t bite. (Why they didn’t immediately call the police is another question.) Unless you’ve got something more definitive stashed somewhere, I’d say the Newshounds appear to be the kind of hound who’ll yap at anything.

  • I will grant, however, that there appears to be a time stamp discrepancy on the film (Newshounds missed that, but a commenter remarked on it so it doesn’t alter my opinion of them.) The version Big Government has is edited and has no time stamp, but the camera pans briefly to a dry-erase calendar labeled “July ’09.” I’m looking for it on the vids above, but no dice yet.

  • They allegedly visited multiple branches of ACORN and found only one that took their bait.

    Given that they’ve already released videos from four different offices (each offering to help them with their prostitution ring) this seems unlikely.

  • There are times when it is very immoral to tell the truth.

    But isn’t it always immoral to lie? “I’m a pimp” is a lie, not a withholding of truth.

  • “But isn’t it always immoral to lie? “I’m a pimp” is a lie, not a withholding of truth.”

    Well, there go investigative journalism, detective work, and intel as career options for practicing Catholics.

  • restrainedradical: It’s 1942 and you’re hiding Anne Frank and her family in Amsterdam. An SS officer asks you if you know where any Jews are hidden. Do you say, “Well, since it’s always immoral to lie, officer, they’re in that building over there, right up those stairs.”

  • restrainedradical: It’s 1942 and you’re hiding Anne Frank and her family in Amsterdam. An SS officer asks you if you know where any Jews are hidden. Do you say, “Well, since it’s always immoral to lie, officer, they’re in that building over there, right up those stairs.”

    I’d hope that God gives me the strength to say to the officer, “none of your business.”

  • I covered this issue with my criticism of Lila Rose.

    What I decided, since there does not seem to be clear Church teaching on this, is that undercover work may be moral, but entrapment is not, because it is an attempt to lead people into sins they would not otherwise commit. As I see it, that is an offense against human dignity. We’re supposed to lead people away from sin in order to save them, not lead them into it in order to condemn them (that would be Satan’s mission).

    I’m not sure it is the case here, since the ACORN employees seem to have been ready with the relevant information, as if it were a thing they typically do. They didn’t have to be persuaded. The possibility was brought up and they immediately seized upon it. It suggests that they have done this sort of thing before.

  • I interpret Aquinas as saying that undercover work is a venial sin and entrapment is a mortal sin. But wouldn’t it be a mortal sin to accepts a job that requires constant venial sinning? Shouldn’t the Church ban Catholics from becoming undercover officers?

  • I’m not sure it is the case here, since the ACORN employees seem to have been ready with the relevant information, as if it were a thing they typically do. They didn’t have to be persuaded.

    Same thing with Rose and Planned Parenthood. That’s the whole point of Rose’s videos.

  • I wonder if I can respond to this without having every word I type “reinterpreted” to suit the needs of the moment.

    I didn’t see the ‘same thing’ in the videos where Lila Rose is trying to expose racism at Planned Parenthood.

    People never seem to understand or acknowledge a very simple thing: she did two different things. Exposing Planned Parenthood’s flouting of state laws was, I think, legitimate undercover work.

    Trying to make the case that Planned Parenthood is racist because one of its clinics took money that was supposed to be ear-marked for black abortions is entrapment, if not of a legal kind, of a moral kind. The people on the other end of the line had clearly never heard such a request before and were clearly not in the habit of doing that sort of thing.

    So, in one case, yes, it was the same. In the other case, no, it wasn’t.

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  • I’d hope that God gives me the strength to say to the officer, “none of your business.”

    Do you think that was an option in Nazi-occupied Europe? So you say that and the SS officer has you arrested and tortured and imprisoned. In the meantime, the Jews you have hidden are starving because you haven’t been able to bring them provisions and they can’t very well go out and get them themselves.

    So not only your life, but theirs is endangered. But gee, that’s fine, because you haven’t lied.

  • Under such circumstances I’d lie a million times if need be to save an innocent life and I do believe my guardian angel would be cheering me on.

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