Reagan and FDR

Saturday, February 6, AD 2010

Happy birthday Gipper!  Reagan and I share the same birthday.  My beloved bride has the same birthday as FDR, January 30.  My daughter’s birthday is February 9.  This time of year is a good time for cake at the McClarey household!

It will come as little surprise to faithful readers of this blog, that I consider Ronald Reagan to be one of the great American presidents.  My views on him are sent forth in this recent thread.  He restored our prosperity and brought the Cold War to a successful conclusion.  His radiant optimism was a tonic for the nation’s shaken morale.  He deserves to be on Mount Rushmore if there were room.

It will perhaps stun faithful readers of this blog to learn that I have similar feelings for Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Although I believe much of the New Deal was counterproductive and completely wrong-headed, FDR understood that raising the nation’s morale was absolutely critical.  His sunny ebullient optimism, and his ringing phrase, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” were just what the nation needed.  His fireside chats, which Reagan emulated in his Saturday radio chats, were a brilliant stroke which helped forge a personal bond between FDR and much of the nation.  (Although not my Republican shoemaker grandfather who remained impervious to the charms of FDR to his dying day!)  During the war his leadership was masterful and greatly aided the US in winning in 3 and a half years a global conflict.  Prosperity was restored to the US on his watch, although it was due to the War and not the New Deal.

Reagan was a supporter of FDR.  He used to say he didn’t leave his party, his party left him.  Looking at Reagan side by side with FDR, it is hard not to believe that Reagan learned many valuable leadership lessons from FDR.

Reagan and FDR  were both ardent patriots with a deep love for this nation.  Their optimism was based on their belief that the US could overcome its present difficulties and go forward to a brighter future.  I find this personally appealing.  Optimism and courage are necessary both in our lives here on Earth and in our spiritual lives.  I have always agreed with Saint Francis, “Let gloom and despair be among the Devil and his disciples.”

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9 Responses to Reagan and FDR

  • Happy Birthday to you and Ronaldus Magnus!

    It would be quite interesting to hear your thoughts in another post on how FDR was the right man at the right time for WWII. I had always thought that America would have been better off if FDR had never been born (based on the epic failure of his economic policies which 70 years later continue to be a moral/financial plague on this nation).

  • Try as I might I can’t gather up the admiration for FDR the way I can for RWR. Leaving aside his economic mistakes, his complete misunderstanding of Stalin had truly horrible consequences. Stalin rolled him.

    That said, I agree that it is important that a leader display confidence and grace under fire, and both Reagan and Roosevelt did that.

  • As a practical matter Mike there was absolutely nothing that FDR could have done regarding Soviet control over Eastern Europe after World War II short of igniting World War III. FDR and Churchill merely recognized a fait accompli. Whether they recognized it or not, the Red Army wasn’t going to move from East Germany, Poland, Rumania, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria unless they were driven from it. I think precious few Americans would have been willing to pay the price to accomplish this. Truman was much harder edged than FDR regarding Stalin, but he never considered the type of war to drive the Soviets back into the Soviet Union that Patton supported. Other than Patton I can think of no high ranking American civilian or military who thought such a war would be a good idea.

  • Don,
    I don’t disagree that FDR had limited options. But the fact remains that the record is clear that he trusted Stalin — he really did! His statements at the time (including private statements to advisors) reveal an appalling naivety that greatly disturbed those with better judgment including Churchill. And Truman was a slow learner himself. After the famous iron curtain speech Truman was so angry at Churchill he called Stalin to apologize. Finally, while we may have had limited options regarding the eastern Europe the forced (and that is a mild word for it) return of thousands of Russian prisoners to the USSR against their will was an inexcusable moral lapse on the part of FDR. It was one of the saddest episodes in US history.

  • “He restored our prosperity and brought the Cold War to a successful conclusion. His radiant optimism was a tonic for the nation’s shaken morale.”

    As a retired military who served almost my entire career during the cold war, I would have completely agreed with these statements – back then.

    21 years later I don’t think they completely stand the test of time. Let me break it down:

    1. On “restoring prosperity” – he may have restored temporary (immediate) effects from the “Carter Malaise”, but the long term effects of Reaganomics of deficit spending and deregulation started us on the glide path of crushing debt we are in today.

    http://tinyurl.com/yht234h

    The other reality is it was the brutal austerity by Paul Volker and the Fed that stopped the rampant inflation. Reagan was his cheerleader, but he had no say in that decision as the Fed acts independently of the government.

    2. Regarding the “Cold War” – again he a a PART in this but there were two other factors that played a much bigger role, the first being Pope John Paul II, the second was that with or without Reagan, the Soviet economy would have collapsed (in fact already had) because it was always destined to collapse. Reagan just happened to be in the chair when the music stopped.

    To his credit he had to work within the confines of the system as it was in his time, and I do believe that he knew that the unbridled capitalism he unleashed would have to be reigned in at some point as evidenced by this speech:

    Ronald Reagan’s Speech on Project Economic Justice

    3. Regarding his optimism, There I’ll agree. At times I wanted to jump off a tall building after listening to “Jimmah” and his constant whining and droning, and Reagan could deliver a speech like no other in my lifetime – I think that was his biggest contribution, getting people to believe in themselves and America again.

  • In regard to Stalin Mike, FDR was already sending cables to Stalin in March of 1945 accusing him of breaking his Yalta commitments over Poland, Germany, prisoners of war and other issues. The Grim Reaper prevented us from knowing how FDR would have dealt with Stalin post war, but I assume he would have followed a similar path to that taken by Truman. The forced repatriation of Soviets who were captured by the Western allies while serving the Nazis is something that should not have been agreed to at Yalta and not something carried out in 1946, long after FDR’s death. I would note however, that not all of the Soviets so repratriated were innocent victims. More than a few had commited atrocities while serving with the Nazis, including cossacks who served in the Waffen SS. They however should have been tried in the West rather than turned over to the Soviets. I would note that Britain and the US did refuse to turn over to the Soviets displaced persons from lands annexed by the Soviet Union during World War II, including the Baltic States, Eastern Poland, Western Ukraine and West Byelorussia. A good article on the subject of the forced repatriations is linked below.

    http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=25050

  • Jim, in regard to Reagan I respectfully disagree. He supported the anti-inflationary policies of Volker at a high political cost. These policies led to the recession of 81-82 which cost the Republicans quite a few seats in Congress. Reagan had the nerve to stay the course and reappointed Volker in 83. The deregulation movement initiated by Reagan was also very important in starting a wave of prosperity that went on for two decades. The deficit spending was a huge problem that Reagan failed to address, but the return to prosperity, at the time, was more important than balancing the books, which Congress was simply not going to do in any case. We always have to remember with Reagan that he never had a GOP house, and for his last two years he faced a Congress completely controlled by the Democrats.

    In regard to the Soviet Union, their economy had been collapsing since 1917, by Western standards. The Soviets nonetheless maintained their empire. The Reagan military build up, and especially his bringing the Pershing missles to Europe and his much derided Star Wars proposal, convinced enough Soviet leaders that they simply could no longer keep up with the US and they needed to bring the Cold War to an end. John Paul II and his support for Solidarity in Poland was of course very important, but it was Reagan and his build up that came at precisely the right time to topple the Soviet Union. A good article on the subject is linked below.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2102081/

  • I can’t imagine anyone who could have done a better job executing that war – from marshaling resources to putting the best people in the right roles. The world owes thanks to FDR for that. On the flip side, FDR deserves the world’s scorn for the sellout of Eastern Europe. Millions and millions of people suffered or were murdered because of that. Look how many subsequent wars were waged because the USSR was empowered. Shameful. I get the pragmatism of assisting the USSR and allying ourselves with them for the objective of defeating Hitler, but one would think that considering Stalin was just as bad or worse and just as guilty for the starting that war that aid would be limited to such a degree as to keep the USSR in the game and no more. I can’t help but to think that it all may have turned out differently if FDR wasn’t such a statist to begin with.

  • Must disagree, RL. Via-a-vis the post-war situation in Eastern Europe, I think Mr. McClarey is correct, for the most part. There is one qualification, and that concerns the situation in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Competitive and passably fair elections were held in these countries (in November 1945 and February 1946, respectively) and the means the local Communists used to seize power involved industrial actions and the staffing of the government departments over which they were given control in the coalition ministries of the immediate post-war period. One might at least give some thought to counter-factual scenarios in which effectively implemented clandestine operations might have disrupted certain of their activities and given elements of the civil society enough power to resist that the Soviets might have accepted a Finland solution for one or the other.

    The situation that FDR inherited in 1933 was far more dire than that which Mr. Reagan inherited in 1981, so I think an analogy between the two is of limited utility. Between the last quarter of 1929 and the first quarter of 1933, the country had seen a fall in real domestic product of nearly 30%; forty percent of the banks in the United States had failed, and depositors could only get their money back in time-consuming bankruptcy proceedings; equities had lost 85% of their nominal value; the body of business corporations were posting a collective loss; fully half the homeowners with mortgages (a proportionately smaller group then) were delinquent on their payments; and a quarter of the formal-sector work force was unemployed. The principal policy problem that Mr. Reagan faced was currency erosion; the year-over-year decline in domestic product from 1979 to 1980 was 0.2%.

    I do not know how much of the prosperity of the last three decades I would attribute to Mr. Reagan’s policy preferences. That aside, there is the question of how prosperous this era has been in relation to cross-sectional or historical means. If I am not mistaken, the last thirty years have seen a mean growth of domestic product per capita of 1.4% per annum. The United States is about at the technological frontier, so it does not reap the benefits of economic dynamism from the application of technologies developed elsewhere (as does South Korea); it has also grown faster than western Europe (since 1980) and Japan (since 1990). Still, it has grown more slowly than it did during the period running from 1929 to 1980, when mean annual improvements in real income per capita were on the order of 2.0%. It is difficult to tease out the sources of spatial and temporal variation in economic dynamism.

    Deregulation is a good thing when it acts to bust up state-administered cartels and dispose of price controls; it is also a good thing when there are other policy instruments which are as effective or more effective toward certain ends than command-and-control regulation. It is a good thing when regulations have collected like barnacles and lead to perverse results. It was also not exclusive to the Reagan Administration. The deregulation of the transportation sector was an initiative of the previous administration, and Mr. Carter did his best (against Congressional opposition) to sell decontrol of oil prices. However, deregulation of the financial sector and the evolution of the culture of financial institutions has led to four separate crises over the last thirty years. It has not been a successful enterprise.

    One should point out that the country began running deficits on the current account of the balance of payments in 1981/82 and was a net debtor by the end of 1984. If one looks at Federal Reserve figures, one can see a secular increase in the propensity of households to make use of debt over that time. These are aspects of the Reagan legacy as well, though to be sure, it is difficult to imagine the U.S. Congress consenting to the consumption taxes necessary to stanch the accumulation of household debt (or, in fact, doing anything at all other than feeding their favored client groups).

    Did you catch Henry Paulson on PBS the other night? Noting that a year after a hideous banking crisis Congress had still not crafted legislation to create an institutional architecture for rapidly winding-down firms in the capital markets like Lehman Brothers, he said he had to conclude they do nothing unless a crisis forces it. Mr. Carter, Mr. Reagan, and everyone after them have had to confront the same problem: Congress is rotten.

One Response to Salve Regina

The Many Scandals of the USCCB

Saturday, February 6, AD 2010

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is a recent invention that grew out of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.  Some Catholics confuse the USCCB as a teaching authority and mistaken it for a parallel magisterium.

Nowhere in Sacred Scripture and Tradition do we have an instance for this man made invention.  We have one teaching authority and that is the Magisterium.

So why have the USCCB?  Well, to support the various ministries of bishops.  And of course you need the laity to support the many functions that the USCCB does.

Which brings us to our current scandal.  Like anything else the USCCB is susceptible to error.  Which in this case is that many bishops and the majority of the laity that work inside the USCCB are partial or are openly members of the Democratic Party that has various liberal platforms  which cooperatives in evil such as abortion and the legalization of homosexual license.

The issue is that this creates a conflict of interest.  When a member, in this instance a high executive such as John Carr, in the USCCB also holds a board membership with a group that supports abortion, confusion and scandal is created.

And this isn’t just one isolated case.  There is the Catholic Campaign for Human Development that provides funds to anti-marriage and pro-abortion organizations.  The bishops response is to arrogantly deny any scandal whatsoever.

This of course creates more scandal.

At this moment the bishops have refused to deal with infestation that the USCCB has, hoping that the scandal and uproar will quietly subside just as the controversy over Harry Forbes glowing movie reviews of anti-Catholic movies.

Well, enough is enough.  The chickens have come home to roost.

More and more Catholics will continue to shine the light on the decrepit state of the USCCB until the someone does something to resolve the matter.

Ora pro nobis!

Where is our Cardinal Spellman!

To help and keep the USCCB honest, please visit and support Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, the American Life League and Reform CCHD Now Coalition.

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11 Responses to The Many Scandals of the USCCB

  • I’m reluctant to derive conclusions re the USCCB. Most of the accusations invite questions concerning the level of cooperation with evil that are not easy to address wtih confidence. It is possible for Catholics to support and fund good works through morally imperfect organizations. A can fund the good works of B without necessarily supporting the evil works of B. The devil is in the details. The problem I have is that over many years of observing the USCCB I have come away with the disturbing impression that while it may check the boxes necessary to appear to avoid a material cooperation with evil, its staff and infrastructure are actually pretty indifferent to abortion and certain other issues and subordinate any ambivilence they might have on these matters to their embrace of liberal policy preferences.

  • “It is possible for Catholics to support and fund good works through morally imperfect organizations.”

    The way things look these days, I think I’d rather just do them on my own.

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  • Tito, if you haven’t already read the canon law regarding the episcopal conferences, here it is:

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P1L.HTM

    It would also be helpful to read Pope Paul VI’s motu proprio Ecclesiae Sanctae, starting with paragraph 41:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/motu_proprio/documents/hf_p-vi_motu-proprio_19660806_ecclesiae-sanctae_en.html

    Tito, it’s my opinion that you ought to consult with your spiritual director before continuing this ongoing series on the USCCB. If you are wrong in your assertions, then this is slander, and a grave sin. And everything that I have read leads me to believe that you are indeed wrong. May God lead us to the truth in charity.

    God bless,
    Nate

  • My God, Mr. Voris essentially called the USCCB a Satanic entity, even while using Pope Paul VI to prove his point. Apparently he’s unaware that it was Pope Paul VI who ordered the Church to form the episcopal conferences following Vatican II.

    Pope John Paul II wrote an Apostolic letter on the Episcopal Conferences, and made it clear that the Bishops’ Conferences had the duty to teach:

    “The joint exercise of the episcopal ministry also involves the teaching office. The Code of Canon Law establishes the fundamental norm in this regard: “Although they do not enjoy infallible teaching authority, the Bishops in communion with the head and members of the college, whether as individuals or gathered in Conferences of Bishops or in particular councils, are authentic teachers and instructors of the faith for the faithful entrusted to their care; the faithful must adhere to the authentic teaching of their own Bishops with a sense of religious respect (religioso animi obsequio)”.”

    Mr. Voris is right in a certain respect, in that the Conferences do not have authority per se. Yet the USCCB does have authority insofar as it is an instrument of the Apostolic Successors!

    Mr. Voris trots out all kinds of issues that the USCCB supposedly teaches against – abortion, contraception, and homosexuality. Is he speaking of the same USCCB? No document of the Bishops has ever supported these things.

    I said it before, when the first attacks came – this isn’t just about a few funding issues. This is about a deeply ingrained hatred for the teachings of our Bishops, especially on issues related to money, power, and violence.

  • Nate

    I tried to tell Tito that he needs to look into the charges instead of just repeating them; this is pure gossip-mongering.

  • Nate and Henry,

    I take your opinions and charges very seriously.

    I was careful to point out the conflicts of interest in this post.

    For Nate, I believe what you are saying and accusing me of is very sensationalistic itself.

    I’d like to know where were you when the pedophilia scandal broke out?

    Did you attack the abused children for coming out against priests and bishops?

    Again, the USCCB is not a teaching authority.

    You say This is about a deeply ingrained hatred for the teachings of our Bishops, especially on issues related to money, power, and violence

    If you bothered to read my post I did not accuse ANY bishop. I accused John Carr, Harry Forbes, and the USCCB as an entity.

    It’s interesting that you mention “power”.

    You seem to defend the USCCB much more vigorously than anything else here at TAC.

    Maybe you have made the USCCB your idol since it funds so many left-wing organizations that promotes anti-Catholic teachings.

    Maybe you need to take the log out of your eye before you make wild and inaccurate accusations.

    The links you provided do not vest ANY authority whatsoever in these bishops conferences.

    Moreover they give a detailed outline on how to hold meetings.

    Meetings!

    Not issue dogma, decide on discipline, nor invent any new teachings.

    Your opinion in the end is absolutely and unequivocally incorrect.

  • Tito, you might be right, and I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before, and I’ll be wrong again. I defend the USCCB because I see it as an indirect attack on the authority of our bishops.

    The USCCB is not per se an authority. Yet when the bishops speak together, through the USCCB, they do not lose their authority as bishops. I believe that it is incorrect to claim that the bishops lose their authority when they speak together. Moreover, the Church documents I linked to (and quoted) say that the Episcopal Conferences have authority when they teach on faith or morals. I’ll quote JPII again, with my own emphasis at the end:

    ““The joint exercise of the episcopal ministry also involves the teaching office. The Code of Canon Law establishes the fundamental norm in this regard: “Although they do not enjoy infallible teaching authority, the Bishops in communion with the head and members of the college, whether as individuals or gathered in Conferences of Bishops or in particular councils, are authentic teachers and instructors of the faith for the faithful entrusted to their care; the faithful must adhere to the authentic teaching of their own Bishops with a sense of religious respect (religioso animi obsequio)”.”

    If this is sensationalistic, then it is not due to me, but to the heart and mind of our late Pope. The Episcopal Conferences derive their authority from the Bishops who teach through it. This is Canon Law, and I’ve quoted and linked to it. Mr. Voris disagrees, but his S.T.B. doesn’t make him right. If anything, he makes him more culpable for spreading misinformation.

  • Nate,

    It isn’t sensationalistic.

    I appreciate your comments and you make some valid points.

    This would be a good idea for another (new) posting some time in the future.

    Thanks for engaging in this debate, your comments are truly valued by me and many of the readers of this site.

  • Thank you for the gracious response, Tito! We’re both Catholic, and we both want to defend the faith. God grant that we can figure out a way to do that together. Peace, Nate.

  • We’re both Catholic indeed, the least we can do is be an example of charitable dialogue, even if we disagree!

    😀

Is Bishop Howard Hubbard Cooperating In Evil

Friday, February 5, AD 2010

Formal cooperation in another’s evil act (that is, undertaking to help expressly another to perform an act known to be evil) is itself evil. Davis, Moral and Pastoral Theology (1938), I: 341-342. There are no exceptions to this rule; no supervening circumstances can ever render formal cooperation in evil good.

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21 Responses to Is Bishop Howard Hubbard Cooperating In Evil

  • I really don’t think Peters’ argument is sufficient to conclude that there has been formal cooperation. I’ve addressed this further on my blog.

  • On the other hand, I agree with Dr. peters ananlysis.

  • Here I think you’re correct — this is a foolish and disgraceful thing for a diocese to get itself involved in.

  • Hubbard is big with the homosexual agenda and with recruiting homosexuals for the priesthood.

  • The secular church has been enjoying political power and we should be very wary of the social programs that have been initiated by this bishop. Many of our local politicians got their political careers launched through Catholic charities and some of them with openly homosexual agendas. Remember the Henchmen that were sent out to the critics of howard hubbard, Jessie Jackson, and Al Sharpton all in the name of the Lord. I remember how Catholic charities paid Mary Jo White millions to defend Howard Hubbard. She was in charge of overseeing over 800 N.Y.S. lawyers. These social programs were placed here by Catholic Charities. All on taxpayers money. Oh and by the way, when the government gives up money, any talk of religion is forbidden. Shame on Catholic Charities and the government that supports it.

  • I can take any implied threat as what is to come and you know how easy it is to turn perfectly normal children into drug addicts. All I am saying is that there are ways to get children on drugs and howard knows this. He also knows that without God we are helpless. I take the distribution of needles as an implied threat that will be carried out. prepare for a generation of children on hard drugs. anything for his agenda. Hey Howard why be a coward show us the nightmare you have already imposed on your critics and drop the phoney show. You aint no govenor and you aint no rock star but I know how jealous you are of your betters. Wanna have a public talk with me? Ill make the people hear by the power of God. signed rose above the agony in albany.

  • For all you critics opposed to needle exchange, how do you expect heretics to support themselves if they close his beloved hope house and all the stupid programs he started by stealing money from the true church? How can he continue when he depends on mental health and other government funds because he has sifted all the good will he can out of all of your communities. He works for the government now. No need for any true faith. He can not allow your children to know the truth and the only flock he has consist of homosexual drug users and he wants to allow this for your chidren. Separation of church and state is his biggest fear. He is not interested in the advancement of normal children. The Pope should be arrested for not defrocking Howard J. Hubbard. Respond!!!!! I should sue this man and many catholic families should do the same. he is a shepard but not a good one but he has placed many in positions of political power and I want to be there for his meeting with the Lord.

  • I read Paul’s argument. The gist of it seems to be that material cooperation is avoided by the acceptance of an old needle in exchange for the new one, the theory being that one could prudentially conclude that such an exchange reduces a health risk while otherwise not increasing the risk that the evil of drug abuse would occur. Next he will tell us that it is morally acceptable to pay for a hospital abortion as long as one can prudentially conclude that the mother would otherwise have a more dangerous so-called back alley abortion, since a health risk is averted presumably without increasing the risk of the evil of abortion.

  • Mike Petrik: “I read Paul’s argument. The gist of it seems to be that material cooperation is avoided by the acceptance of an old needle in exchange for the new one, the theory being that one could prudentially conclude that such an exchange reduces a health risk while otherwise not increasing the risk that the evil of drug abuse would occur.

    Right. The prudential discernment lies in deciding whether or not the drug-taker is encouraged in drug-taking by the exchange of needles. It might be so, but not necessarily so (and Edward Peters’ argument relied on the flawed assumption that it necessarily furthered drug-taking.)

    Mike Petrik: “Next he will tell us that it is morally acceptable to pay for a hospital abortion as long as one can prudentially conclude that the mother would otherwise have a more dangerous so-called back alley abortion, since a health risk is averted presumably without increasing the risk of the evil of abortion.

    I won’t tell you that, because it’s plainly wrong. One cannot directly participate in an abortion (which is what choosing to pay for it is) for any reason whatsoever. Abortion is an intrinsic evil (something known with certainty to be evil), whereas the physical exchange of needles isn’t.

  • Paul, I’m afraid I disagree with your application of the analogy. The abortion is the analog to the drug abuse. The provision of the needle is the analog to the provision of money, neither one of which is an intrinsic evil. In each case the provider must reasonably assume that the recipient will use what he has been given to commit an evil act. Also in each case one can assume that the evil act would be committed anyway, which is what invites the donor’s rationalization that he causes no harm. In neither case does that last assumption and its attendant rationalization rescue the provider from his material cooperation problem.

  • Mike Petrik: “The provision of the needle…

    No. In a needle exchange there is no provision of a needle (in the usual sense of the word “provision”). The drug addict already has a needle, ready to be used. What’s being provided is a removal of dirt and potential infection. (The moral situation would be equivalent if what was provided was a service to clean the addicts’ own needles.)

    Mike Petrik: “The provision of the needle is the analog to the provision of money, neither one of which is an intrinsic evil.

    If the money is intended to enable the abortion to take place, then that means there is a direct share in the evil of the abortion — so it’s something known to be wrong, regardless of any reasons for the abortion.

    The same is not true for the cleaning of a needle.

    In one case:
    – someone is paying for an abortion, SO THAT the abortion can take place.

    In the other case:
    – someone is cleaning a needle, SO THAT the addict won’t become ill from it.

    The intentions are dramatically different. In the first case, there is a direct share in an intrinsic evil. In the second, there is the intention to help the addict.

    (The prudential decision is then whether providing the needle encourages the addict to keep taking drugs. It might be so, but not necessarily so.)

  • Paul, volunteering to clean the needle of a drug abuser so that it may be used to abuse drugs more safely is no different than volunteering to clean the surgical instruments of an abortion provider so that they may be used to perform an abortion more safely. Either way, a cooperation with evil problem is present.
    This problem may or may not be formal cooperation depending on the intention of the cooperator, but it certainly is material cooperation. Your better argument is that while it is material cooperation, it is mediate rather than immediate and is furthermore contingent, in which case it can be morally justified with sufficient reason. I encourage you to explore that because the reasoning in your blog is deficient.

  • Paul,
    Furthermore, I do not think Catholic moral teaching reduces “sufficient reason” to an ordinary prudential calculus.

  • In the case of needle exchange there are three distinct ways in which material cooperation with evil might take be taking place:

    (1) In the exchange of the physical needle itself.
    (2) In the absence of dirt and infection in the exchanged needle.
    (3) In increasing the likelihood that the drug addict uses the clean needle, rather than his own.

    I reject (1) as a material cooperation because — provided the exchanged needle is equivalent — there is not the slightest change in the physical properties of the needle itself.

    I reject (2) because the absence of dirt and infection — in itself — does nothing to accomplish the act of drug-taking, which can take place entirely independently of the cleanliness or otherwise. The cleanliness of the needle is, in itself, irrelevant to the accomplishment of drug-taking. (And thus, because it is irrelevant, it cannot comprise a material cooperation).

    In relation to (3), there are three ways in which the likelihood of drug-taking is changed. Either (a) it makes no difference at all (e.g. because the addict is hopelessly addicted). Or (b) it makes the drug-taking less likely to occur (e.g. because the drug-addict is so impressed with the care taken over him that he reevaluates his life). Or (c) the drug addict becomes more likely to take the drug (e.g. because there is one less dangerous obstacle in the way).

    Distinguishing between (a), (b), and (c) is necessarily a matter of prudence, and opinions might differ.

    So, I see no material cooperation in (1) or (2), and no necessary material cooperation in (3).

  • Paul, the cooperation need not increase the likelyhood of the evil act to still be cooperation, just as in my abortion example which you ignore and which your reasoning would permit. The cooperation is the provision of the needle, and that is true even if one recasts the provision as simply the cleaning of the needle. The fact that properties don’t change is not relevant to material cooperation just as is the fact that the abortionist’s instruments properties don’t change. As I said, your better argument is that the material cooperation is mediate and contingent and therefore can be morally justified, but to say that there is no material cooperation simply misunderstands the concept. The following is from Fr. Hardon, but there are many more meaty explanations available. http://www.catholicreference.net/index.cfm?id=34788

  • Mike Petrik: “The cooperation is the provision of the needle, and that is true even if one recasts the provision as simply the cleaning of the needle. The fact that properties don’t change is not relevant to material cooperation…

    You assert this, but with insufficient argument for me to understand why you say that. For material cooperation to occur, the cooperation has to be actually specified.

    If I have a dollar bill, and you have a dollar bill, and we exchange these dollar bills, what will you be able to buy after the exchange that you could not buy before? Nothing whatsoever. The exchange does nothing to help you accomplish any act, and so (by itself) it cannot possibly be an act of cooperation. Now it might be that the exchange somehow alters your thinking — and if I can anticipate that, then on that basis there might well be some kind of cooperation.

    As far as I can tell, you disagree with something about the argument in the preceding paragraph. But I don’t know what.

  • Will you please explain to me what any of this has to do with church business or don’t any of you know?

  • This is inside Church politics so to speak.

    Are you familiar with Canon Law?

  • I am aware of theology and I woulld like to know why you think you can ignor it. Jesus instructed us completely on these matters. he said a thing or two about luring little ones into sinful behavior and giving out condoms to unmarried children and needles to drug adicts could well lure them into sinful lifesyles that could cause them to live horrilble lives. But they should not despair because Jesus will come after the ones that are teaching them that its O.K. today. Hey when do you think the church will be able to openly disuss race in this country? I seem to remember lots of children sent out by drug dealing nasty pimps. Could this have been a form of racism or do ya think those nasty drug dealing pimps were loving those children? Again what is your argument? Should we just go along with this abuse of power and let these agendas continue to slaughter the spirits and bodies of children? Save lives without honor? The church is supposed to be a sanctuary and we will get that back for the the sake of all Gods children. I think this Bishop needs to get out of the political business and get back to the job he was suppose to do, such as the true teaching of the one true faith. Its ok for children to hold these nasty homos and drug dealers accoutable for the crimes. And its ok for parents to say homosexuals have no business near children. Do you know that children have a right not to agree with the homosexual agenda? Why should it be force upon them in schools.

  • Hey guys, long time lurker here so thought I would finally post. I’m a little shy because I’m a girl and it seems there are mostly guys here but I wanted to know why it seems you guys don’t have lives. Are the guys with very high post counts really better posters than the ones with less?

  • hey Lisa, some people are seeking everlasting life. I children are expected to keep up the perverted lifestyles of the people making obsene moral judgments then the children are going to need to be self medicating and hubbard is right. Need to get a decent life for the sake of the children.

Politics The Illinois Way

Friday, February 5, AD 2010

Illinois politics has always had a rather corrupt and colorful flavor about it.  Sort of Louisiana with bad winters.  Two examples:

1.    Alexi Giannoulias is the Democrat nominee for Obama’s old senate seat.  As the bare knuckles Republican ad above indicates, Giannoulias has been alleged to have substantial mob ties due to Broadway Bank , a Bank owned by the Giannoulias family and which made substantial loans to Chicago crime figures.  A comprehensive look at Mr. Giannoulias is here.

2.    Scott Lee Cohen, a wealthy Chicago pawnbroker, won the Democrat nomination for  Lieutenant  Governor on Tuesday.  Immediately after he won, it came out that in 2005 he was arrested for allegedly holding a knife to the throat of a former girl-friend, a woman who was once convicted of prostitution.   The woman failed to show up at a subsequent hearing, and the charge was dropped.  One might ask why none of his opponents brought this scandal up prior to the voters going to the polls.  I have no answer.  Governor Quinn, the Democrat nominee for Governor, has stated that Cohen must step down.  Cohen has indicated that he has no intention of stepping down.

Ah, the Land of Lincoln.  We may be the most misgoverned state in the Union, but I do believe we get good entertainment value from our politicians!

Update I: From my co-blogger, and fellow Illinoisan, Elaine:

The Cohen debacle is literally getting worse by the minute.

Not only do we have the domestic battery charge from ‘05 — which he did actually admit to in an interview nearly a YEAR ago — his divorce papers and other documents have been made public, and they allege 1) steroid abuse and ‘roid rages against his wife and kids, 2) attempts to rape his wife, 3) harassing messages written in lipstick on his (now ex) wife’s mirror, 4) failure to pay child support for his four kids while he was spending $2 million or so on running for lite guv, 5) numerous lawsuits against him, including his OWN BROTHER suing him for $200K (haven’t found out what for yet).

On top of all that, his major endorsers and campaign contributors included…. wait for it… Planned Parenthood and Personal PAC (a PAC known for endorsing only the most radical pro-aborts it can find). Even some liberals are shaking their heads at the irony of an allegedly “pro woman” PAC donating to the campaign of a domestic abuser and deadbeat dad!

Illinois politics, better than any novel!

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20 Responses to Politics The Illinois Way

  • The Cohen debacle is literally getting worse by the minute.

    Not only do we have the domestic battery charge from ’05 — which he did actually admit to in an interview nearly a YEAR ago — his divorce papers and other documents have been made public, and they allege 1) steroid abuse and ‘roid rages against his wife and kids, 2) attempts to rape his wife, 3) harassing messages written in lipstick on his (now ex) wife’s mirror, 4) failure to pay child support for his four kids while he was spending $2 million or so on running for lite guv, 5) numerous lawsuits against him, including his OWN BROTHER suing him for $200K (haven’t found out what for yet).

    On top of all that, his major endorsers and campaign contributors included…. wait for it… Planned Parenthood and Personal PAC (a PAC known for endorsing only the most radical pro-aborts it can find). Even some liberals are shaking their heads at the irony of an allegedly “pro woman” PAC donating to the campaign of a domestic abuser and deadbeat dad!

  • “One might ask why none of his opponents brought this scandal up prior to the voters going to the polls.”

    1. They didn’t think he would win — although anyone in the state who wasn’t blind and deaf could see that he had the best funded and organized campaign, the most yard signs, mailers, etc.

    2. Some of the more conspiracy minded Illinois political junkies think it’s all part of a plot by all-powerful House Speaker Mike Madigan to insure that a Republican gets elected governor AND gets saddled with all the blame for the difficult fiscal and other decisions that MUST be made in the next four years, thereby clearing the way for his daughter, AG Lisa Madigan, to run for governor four years from now.

    If that’s the case, methinks that may not be quite going according to “plan” either, since the currently presumptive GOP nominee, Bill Brady, is (mirabile dictu!) an unquestionably conservative downstate legislator, who was almost completly ignored in the Chicago media market, and not expected to win. Most people’s bets were on the more “moderate” Kirk Dillard or cash-loaded Andy McKenna.

    I may be getting way ahead of myself here but (continuing the comparisons to Louisiana) I think if anyone has the potential to be the Bobby Jindal of Illinois, it’s Brady.

  • Elaine, I truly think that people who do not live in the Sucker State have no idea how truly bizarre Illinois politics can get! This may give them an inkling!

  • To borrow Franz Werfel’s famous quote about Lourdes, for a much more profane subject… for those who live in Illinois, no explanation is necessary; for those who don’t, no explanation is possible.

    The only thing more amusing than trying to figure out Illinois politics, is watching national pundits and talking heads try to figure it out. Of course they are seeing everything through (Scott) Brown-colored glasses right now.

    I do have a couple of cosmetic quibbles with the Alexi G. You Tube clip: Chicagoans call it “The Outfit,” not “The Mob”, and the narrator’s accent sounds more Noo Yawk than Chicaguh to me. (SNL made the same mistake in their Blago sketches last year.) But it’s pretty good otherwise.

  • …and the narrator’s accent sounds more Noo Yawk than Chicaguh to me.

    I probably wouldn’t have picked up it without you mentioning it, Elaine, but now I can’t listen to it without thinking how silly it sounds in the context of Chicago.

    As to Chicago politics, it’s not hard for us outsiders to understand just how corrupt it is. Sure, some seemingly innocuous things may actually be loaded with negative implications that only locals would get, but it’s enough for us to just know it exists. After all, it’s not like the politics of my hometown of Detroit isn’t rotten too. My complaint with Chicago is actually with those who came before you. I can’t figure out why the dead always vote for the most corrupt politicians, you’d think they would have a better judge of character!

  • Yes isn’t it interesting and now the GANG is running the country..Where is Elliot Ness when we need hin.as the old saying goes there is a sucker born every minute and several million were taken in by the Pied Piper last Novenber and followed like good little lennings to the cliff..and the spending goes on and on til finaly the presses break and lend lease wwill be back only this time it will be from other counries to bail us out and the GANG will return Chicago fat happy laughing all the way with our momey in their pockets…LOL

  • I don’t know. I think Louisiana, California, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, and DC can all make good cases for “most bizarre local politics.”

    I’d like to nominate my state of NY. With names like Rudy Giuliani, Vito Fossella, and Joey Bruno you know there’ll be trouble. Forgetting colorful characters like Nelson Rockefeller, just in the last 10 years we had:

    1. The daughter of JFK, who secretly campaigned for appointment to the Senate seat vacated by a carpetbagging former first lady only to be rejected by a blind governor who admitted to having an affair and who only became governor because his predecessor was caught hiring a prostitute.

    2. A mayor who liked to dress in drag, had a messy divorce while in office, then became the Republican frontrunner for president. This mayor was replaced by the 17th richest man in the world, who switched parties while in office, increased his own term limits, and set the record for most spent on an election campaign anywhere, ever!

    3. A police commissioner who withdrew his nomination to head Homeland Security after it was revealed that he hired illegal immigrants. He was then convicted of ethics violations. Now he’s awaiting sentencing for tax fraud.

    4. A conservative Republican US congressman who had a secret second family in Virginia. When he decided not run for reelection, the GOP nominated a guy who’s estranged son decided to run against him. The father died before the election and the seat was won by a Democrat for the first time in 30 years.

    5. A state comptroller who plead guilty to defrauding the government and who spent $800,000 to get an incumbent state assemblyman to step aside for his son.

    6. Two Democratic state senators who switched parties, giving the Republicans a majority. One then redefected leaving 31 Republicans and 31 Democrats. The lieutenant governor then becomes the tie-breaker but because the governor resigned, we had no LG. The president of the senate, a Republican on trial for corruption (he’s since been convicted and is now awaiting sentencing), becomes acting LG when the governor is out of state, so the governor refused to leave the state. Both parties claimed the senate leadership. We literally had two senates in the same room going about business as usual as if the other party didn’t exist. Senators yelling over each other. The governor appointed a new LG but the state AG said that was unconstitutional. The crisis ended when the other defector redefected to the Democrats in exchange for the majority leader seat.

    7. State Assembly members over 65 who collect salaries and pensions at the same time. They “retire” on New Year’s Eve then get sworn in as freshmen the next day.

    8. A lesbian city council speaker and the nation’s only pagan politician.

  • restrainedradical, I must stand up for Illinois! Illinois has had three governors go to prison and one I think who will eventually land there. Unless a state can boast at least three governors in the pen I don’t think it is even in the running.

  • You know what they say:

    Illinois- “Where Our Governors Make Our License Plates”

  • Elaine K.,

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it was Saint Thomas Aquinas who said the alleged quote from Franz Werfel.

  • I’ll have to look that up Tito. Thanks for the tip.

    If the truth be told, I’m sure bizarre politics exist, or can exist, anywhere, since we live in a fallen world; but the odds of such increase exponentially the more people there are — hence, big city “machines” like Chicago, New York, et al. generate the most spectacular and frequent examples.

    Still, even God’s Chosen People themselves, and Holy Mother Church, have had leaders that were nothing to brag about (Kings Ahaz and Manasseh, the Borgia Popes) and who make Blago, Spitzer, Sanford, et al. look like rank amateurs in the corruption department.

  • Regarding dead people “voting”, G.K. Chesterton once wrote that:

    “Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.”

    Of course, GKC didn’t have Chicago politics in mind when he wrote that 🙂

  • My best friend used to live in Chicago. When he and his wife bought their first house, they went to vote for the first time. The two guys they bought the house from had already voted! In fact, they voted in every election as long as my friends lived there.

    Now my friend is the mayor of our city in Oregon. He’s been to some National League of Cities meetings where he’s met the alderman from the area where he used to live. He told the guy, “Hey, I voted for you!”

  • Ah yes, Chicago politics, where our president learned his craft via the democratic machine. My favorite was counting the number of city alderman who got indicted. Isn’t it over 100?

  • Update II: Cohen is now said to be seeking a “dignified” way out of his situation — according to some reports, he is willing to resign from the Democratic ticket but only under certain conditions which haven’t yet been made public.

    Meanwhile, his ex-girlfriend apparently has hired none other than Gloria Allred (noted celebrity/feminist wacko attorney) as her lawyer, and issued a statement through Allred that Cohen “is not fit to hold any public office.” Allred’s other clients include the family of Nicole Brown Simpson and one of Tiger Woods’ alleged mistresses.

    Well, I think the “dignified” way out is pretty much shot at this point.

  • Update III: As if Gloria Allred didn’t have enough on her plate, she’s also in the news right now for her claims that Tim Tebow’s mother is lying about the circumstances of his birth (because she allegedly would never have been told to have an abortion when abortion is supposed to be illegal in the Phillippines.)

    To top it all off, in 2003, Allred stated in a TV interview concerning the Scott and Laci Peterson murder case that “there are two individuals that are dead there, Laci and Connor (her unborn child).”

    http://www.lifenews.com/nat5943.html

  • Update IV: He quit.

    http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/02/speaker-madigan-met-with-cohen-urged-him-to-quit.html

    “Scott Lee Cohen, the pawnbroker whose surprise victory in last week’s Democratic lieutenant governor primary was followed by scandalous revelations about him, quit the race tonight at the urging of party leaders.

    “Cohen made the tearful announcement at the Hop Haus tavern on the Far North Side.

    “For the good of the people of the state of Illinois and for the Democratic party, I will resign,” an emotional Cohen told a crowd of supporters and reporters.

    “I hope and I pray, with all my heart, that I didn’t hurt the people that I love so much,” Cohen said, choking up. “All I ever wanted to do was to run for office and to help the people, not to cause chaos,” he said, clutching his 11-year-old son, Jacob.”

    ****

    If he didn’t want to “hurt the people (he) love(s) so much,” he should have thought of that sooner… like about 5 years ago… but I digress.

    The Illinois Democratic Central Committee will choose a replacement candidate sometime in the next month; that person will replace Cohen as Gov. Quinn’s “running mate” for the general election.

  • That was a lot quicker than I thought it would be Elaine. I wonder what type of pressure they put on the pawnbroker. After dropping two million dollars of his own money on the race, I’m surprised he goes so tamely.

  • Well, perhaps all the pressure he needed was Mike Madigan telling him that there was no bleeping way he would ever take office.

    If Cohen had stayed on the ticket, Quinn would probably have done what Adlai Stevenson III did in 1986 when he got saddled with a LaRouchie running mate in a similar primary election debacle: form a “new” political party with slated candidates and try to convince Democrats to vote for that party instead of the actual Democrats. It didn’t work for Stevenson and probably wouldn’t have worked this time either.

    Speaking of Lyndon LaRouche, I assumed he was either dead by now or safely residing in the “Where Are They Now File,” but apparently, he’s still alive and kicking at age 87. He served 5 years in prison for mail fraud and conspiracy in the early 90s. At one point he had televangelist Jim Bakker as his cellmate; Bakker later said of LaRouche that “to describe him as a little paranoid is like saying the Titanic had a little leak.”

  • Jim Bakker and Lyndon LaRouche cellmates! There is a great comedy masterpiece waiting to be made about that.

Sweatshop Economics Must Not Continue

Thursday, February 4, AD 2010

I don’t believe any good Catholic would say they are happy with the situation of so many sweatshops operating in China et al.  The problem is what to do (or not do) about it.  I am giving my students a research project premised on a single sentence- “How can I avoid buying sweatshop products?”.  We are simultaneously studying the good Pope Benedict XVI’s “Caritas In Veritate”- specifically paragraphs #21, 22, 25, 27, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 44, 48, 49, 51, 60, 63, 64, 65, 75, and 76. You can follow along at home!

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49 Responses to Sweatshop Economics Must Not Continue

  • No doubt the conditions in so-called sweatshops are often horrible. You won’t improve the lot of anyone in the developing world, however, buy declining to buy products produced in sweatshops, or by trying to get them shut down. Jobs with low pay and poor conditions exist because the people who work there don’t have any better options, and you generally don’t help a person by taking away his best option, however awful in an absolute sense.

    In my post yesterday, I noted that global poverty and inequality has declined significantly over recent decades. It’s not clear that that would have happened absent sweatshops, a fact that should be borne in mind.

  • Assuming free choice is involved, Blackladder is correct. In other words, there is an important difference between sweatshop labor resulting from laborers selecting the best of unattractive options versus laborers who have no other legal option because they are slaves, and slave labor does exist in some parts of the world. Historical economists who have studied the sweatshops of newly industrialized Great Britain now pretty much all agree that as bad as those environments were they actually provided the workers with a superior standard of living than their other options, which were often simple starvation. Widespread starvation has been a normal condition throughout world history until very recently. Hobbes was wrong in many things, but his description of life as nasty, brutish, and short was spot on correct for most people throughout the world well into the 20th century. Many things have contributed to economic progress, but probably the most important are free markets protected by the rule of law. I certainly agree that there can be necessary and appropriate regulation of markets, but many well-intended regulations advanced by social reformers have produced adverse unintended consequences that dwarf the social affliction they were designed to remedy.
    The botton line is that not buying goods from companies that employ workers in sweatshop conditions may help wealthier workers in developed nations and may even make one feel good, but it probably hurts those who are already the most vulnerable.

  • Your overall aim here is clearly good, and I think people are certainly right to want to see conditions in third world factories get better. Two things that might be worth keeping in mind:

    1) Often in an effort to “keep from buying from sweatshops” people simply avoid all products made in third world countries. They assume that if a shirt was made in Indonesia, it must have been made under inhuman conditions. In most cases, however, they have no way of knowing, so what they end of doing is simply punishing Indonesians in general, rather punishing bad factories and buying from good ones. (On the flip side, such movements are seldom wide-spread enough to have any real effect, so I suppose one could argue that their attempt to boycott the third world isn’t hurting anyone that much.)

    2) The video if factually incorrect that globalization has lowered wages in poor countries overall. It may be correct that wages have fallen in Mexico since NAFTA, but Mexico was manufacturing products for the US long before then. Since the early ’90s, Mexico has in turn seen low end manufacturing jobs move farther south to Nicaragua, Hunduras, Colombia, etc. and across the Pacific to China, Indonesia and Vietnam. (Further, Mexico is actually a market for goods made in Asia and elsewhere; it’s not just in the US that cheap shirts made in China are being sold, but in Mexico too.) Overall wages have increased, not decreased in globalization. The problem is just that they are often increasing from very, very low levels.

  • I can only accept the “sweatshop” concept if there was a clear line of progress leading from a peoples acceptance of harsh, low paying work into middle-class opportunities for themselves and most definitely their children. This seems to be the way it worked here in the U.S. as workers used their political and other freedoms to advance collectively- drawing upon unions and other political tools including muckraking journalism. Of course, success brings a new set of challenges/temptations, and we didn’t find the right calibration of corporate and labor powers in our own system.

    But without these type of freedoms in repressive nations, and with corporations using their power advantage to say – hey if you unionize, if you start collective bargaining power plays- we just leave you an empty factory and move to where the workers can just suck on it coutesy of the police state apparatus. If this is the current situation- and the proof of this for me is how everyone ended up in China- the land of one-child limits and no religious freedom- not so easy for muckraking journalists to just poke around either to provide a true narrative of the average Chinese life. I have many reasons to be suspicious of an American economy so warmly connected to the biggest and meanest psuedo-Communist dictatorship around. Can’t be good

  • I can only accept the “sweatshop” concept if there was a clear line of progress leading from a peoples acceptance of harsh, low paying work into middle-class opportunities for themselves and most definitely their children.

    I think this is precisely what we have been seeing over the last few decades. Here, for example, is a description of the effect of a Nike factory in Vietnam:

    Ten years ago, when Nike was established in Vietnam, the workers had to walk to the factories, often for many miles. After three years on Nike wages, they could afford bicycles. Another three years later, they could afford scooters, so they all take the scooters to work (and if you go there, beware; they haven´t really decided on which side of the road to drive). Today, the first workers can afford to buy a car.

    Since 1990, when the Vietnamese communists began to liberalise the economy, exports of coffee, rice, clothes and footwear have surged, the economy has doubled, and poverty has been halved. Nike and Coca-Cola triumphed where American bombs failed. They have made Vietnam capitalist.

    I asked the young Nike worker Tsi-Chi what her hopes were for her son´s future. A generation ago, she would have had to put him to work on the farm from an early age. But Tsi-Chi told me she wants to give him a good education, so that he can become a doctor. That´s one of the most impressive developments since Vietnam´s economy was opened up. In ten years 2.2 million children have gone from child labour to education. It would be extremely interesting to hear an antiglobalist explain to Tsi-Chi why it is important for Westerners to boycott Nike, so that she loses her job, and has to go back into farming, and has to send her son to work.

  • Without some big regulatory change- which seems to be the Magisterium’s intent behind calling repeatedly for a global economy that has a just juridical framework- I still think we can make strides by doing business through the global Catholic Church via CRS and diocesan/parish contacts operating fair trade cooperative relationships bypassing the big box network on as many individual products as possible. Just like I would prefer a Catholic non-profit health insurance option to a completely Government-only one. There is a Catholic difference to every field- from education, to medicine and pharmaceuticals (think birth control, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia), to economics/business – this Pope is very clear about warning us away from any single ideological view or overeliance on technical solutions that ignore the humanity involved at every turn of every economic transaction. Check out the Pope’s call for a new synthesis of Christian humanism applied to the development of economies that include holistic considerations that interrelate- he would also include ecological and promotion of healthy families at the core. Working in sweatshops for 12 hour shifts over 6 or 7 days certainly isn’t suitable for someone in a Catholic family- we can’t leave people with this option or nothing at all- it ain’t right folks- gotta come up with something better than apologetics for shopping Walmart- reminds me of the old argument against ending slavery- the slaves would be worse off and the economy would be destroyed- well no one says we can create a perfect world, but we are charged with creating civilizations of love- I don’t see a sweatshop standing in that kind of civilization so I’m not going to accept rationalizations- doesn’t fit into my understanding of our Catholic social doctrine

  • Working in sweatshops for 12 hour shifts over 6 or 7 days certainly isn’t suitable for someone in a Catholic family- we can’t leave people with this option or nothing at al

    I’m all for giving people better options (and if people did have better options than working at sweatshops there would be no sweatshops – you wouldn’t need a law for that). Trying to shut down sweatshops, though, isn’t giving people a better option. It’s taking an option away, and in particular it’s taking away an option that people judge to be better than the available alternatives.

    reminds me of the old argument against ending slavery- the slaves would be worse off and the economy would be destroyed

    It seems to me that the main problem with this argument was that it was false. Abolishing slavery didn’t destroy the economy and ex-slaves were better off than they were before. That’s not the case for sweatshops.

  • I would recommend a book titled “The Vocation of Business: Social Justice in the Marketplace” by John Medialle, a professor at Univ of Dallas.

    I have read it four times and I’m still unpacking it.

    http://tinyurl.com/yeljrdz

    He writes that until you have equity, you will never have equilibrium. Labor must come before capital and that is one of the main tenets of Catholic Social Teaching. The bottom line to ending sweatshops is worker ownership of the means of production, which is the main tenant of Distributism as advanced by GK Chesterton and Hellaire Belloc.

  • I’m interested in the NIke factory in Vietnam example- I wonder how it worked that the workers went from destitution to being able to afford cars- did that happen while no positive changes took place at work- like a healthy increase in wages, better working conditions and so forth which would actually take the factory out of the sweatshop category? Is this typical? Does the Vietnamese government do a better job of protecting their people who work for foreign companies than the Chinese? I had thought that the whole reason for going to these kind of countries was the fact that the government would be on the side of the companies to help keep the workers in line so they wouldn’t press for higher wages and more investment in safe working environments? I wouldn’t submit that every factory in every poor country is necessarily a sweatshop, but it would seem that the purpose of locating half a world away from a pure business profit motive is the cheap labor- and the promise that that cheap labor would remain so- otherwise why not stay in the U.S. and save on a lot headaches and travel expenses?

    The trick for me would be to follow the American way and see a shift to domestic markets in every nation so that you don’t have a system where most production in the world is geared for sale in relatively few countries- like American consumers should not be the main source of income for the third world workers to fight over for perpetuity. Has the open trade system had enough time to bring about a better system- fitting in with the CAtholic social teaching theme of the universal destination of goods/resources?

    I think that having international bodies like the WTO representing the interests of multinational corporations needs a strong element of human rights protectors- so that workers are competing with their basic rights as humans and workers respected by all participating trading partners- this would seem fair and necessary given our fallen nature and the fact that the love of money is the root of many evils- or so says the Bible.

  • I had thought that the whole reason for going to these kind of countries was the fact that the government would be on the side of the companies to help keep the workers in line so they wouldn’t press for higher wages and more investment in safe working environments?

    The point of going to developing countries is that labor is cheaper. Labor is cheaper, however, not because the government will come in and bust heads if people demand higher wages, but because the average wages in the countries are so low. Wages in multinational owned factories may be low by American standards, but they can be several times the prevailing wage for other sources of employment.

  • The modern term is “developing country,” not “third world.”

    reminds me of the old argument against ending slavery- the slaves would be worse off and the economy would be destroyed

    If the slaves would be worse off, there would’ve been no problem with giving them the choice to be free. If they thought they’d be worse off, they’d volunteer to be enslaved. I’m all for ensuring that factory workers overseas have choices. Closing sweatshops restrict the freedom to choice though.

    American consumers should not be the main source of income for the third world workers to fight over for perpetuity.

    Why not? If Latin American farmers were limited to domestic markets and not of the millions of Starbucks customers in the US, those farmers would not be able to afford to send their kids to school.

  • I had thought that the whole reason for going to these kind of countries was the fact that the government would be on the side of the companies to help keep the workers in line so they wouldn’t press for higher wages and more investment in safe working environments? I wouldn’t submit that every factory in every poor country is necessarily a sweatshop, but it would seem that the purpose of locating half a world away from a pure business profit motive is the cheap labor- and the promise that that cheap labor would remain so- otherwise why not stay in the U.S. and save on a lot headaches and travel expenses?

    I work fairly directly with the operations group which deals with our Chinese manufacturers are work, so I can explain some of the details here. (This is dealing with consumer electronics, so we’re talking pretty advanced factories, not sweatshops, but the logistics are similar.)

    One thing many people don’t realize is how incredibly cheap it is to ship things to the US from China, so long as you have the six weeks to send it across in bulk via cargo ship. For instance, when we bring in a container load (about 2,500) of laptop computers by sea, all packed up in their retail packaging ready to go onto a store shelf, the shipping cost from Shanghai to the distribution center in the US is about $5/laptop.

    With shipping so cheap, even a very small difference in the cost of manufacturing becomes worth while — especially because the profits made by each company along the supply chain are often very small.

    Most of the factories that make product for US companies in China are not actually owned by the US company — they’re owned by a local company which makes products to order, which the US company then buys. The US companies do this because it saves them start-up costs, and the difficulties of dealing with local government. (In many developing nations, local government basically runs of bribes and shakedown schemes — such as claiming the deed to your factory is forged and threatening to confiscate if you don’t buy a new one — and US companies typically don’t want to deal with it for legal reasons.)

    These locally owned factories will compete for business with each other, and manufacture for multiple US brands. So the HP, Sony, Dell and Toshiba laptops you see in Best Buy may actually have been made in the same factory. The different factories also compete with each other for labor. Building a high quality factory takes a lot of capital, but turning the capital into a good return requires a high output with few mistakes. More experienced workers tend to make product faster and with fewer mistakes — so if a new factory wants to get up to speed quickly their best approach is to poach workers from another factory with an offer of higher wages. All of the factories end up hiring and training new workers as well, but it helps to have a certain critical mass of experienced workers to provide on-the-line training and such. So wages do tend to rise over time through competition between the manufacturers.

    Expansion out into new areas can provide a way to keep wages from rising too high, but this again runs into the problem of inexperienced workers being less productive. And once you have a lot of experienced workers, it becomes tempting for a competitor to build a factory and poach some of that expertise. If you’re the first factory into a new are, you get lower wages for a while, but then others move in and they creep up.

    The more established areas move into more high value types of factories — and there’s also a value to being near to rail lines and ports, so businesses can’t chase endlessly into the wilderness in search of lower labor costs, because they start to incur other costs that make up for it.

    Why do businesses bother sourcing in the developing world when wages are rising? Well, businesses are very willing to be temporary — and there’s not necessarily a huge investment for them when most of the factories are locally owned. Also, as those developing markets see their wages rise, they become customers as well as sources of labor. For instance: most cell phones are currently manufactured in China. But it’s not just a source of cheap labor. There are more than twice as many cell phone users in China as in the US.

  • The modern term is “developing country,” not “third world.”

    Exactly right. That term is quite Modern. It should be done away with.

  • While I can appreciate the intent of this post, Blackadder and others have done a great job explaining how among a continuum of choices sweatshops may not represent the least desirable choice given the circumstances.

    I would like to add that from our perspective, as Americans living in 2010 with possibly the most posh existence the world has ever known, this appears downright inhumane and barbaric. And on many levels it is. But poverty and prosperity are relative, in large measure.

    The sad reality is, from a perspective of solidarity, the most Catholic thing you can do is to continue to patronize goods from such third-world nations and simultaneously pray for the transformation of the culture from within.

    For further reading on wealth and poverty:

    http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=726

  • I laud the effort to ensure that workers, all over the world, are allowed to work in safe, clean, and humane conditions. IT will certainly not increase the cost of my XXL/X-Tall sweatshirt to reduce a shift in a factory to 8 hours, or to make the minimum work age 18 instead of 13.

    But we risk much, I think, when applying US standards of living as a measure of the humanity/inhumanity of a particular living/working condition, and the justice of any particular wage.

    Start in the US. I can live very well in Jonesboro, AR on a salary of $45,000/year; I can at least rent a house, pay my bills, and basically take care of my needs and the needs of a young family. Take that same $45,000 to New York City, and I am at or below subsistence level; I cannot drive, I cannot buy a lot, and I am much poorer than when I left home in AR.

    Same applies in Memphis, TN vs. Jonesboro; rents are lower in Jonesboro, and I can live better there than I can in Memphis.

    Now stretch it across the Pacific. In many countries, $45,000 would make me a rich man, or at least move me well into the upper middle class. This is why, I would think, remittances are so helpful to families in developing countries; the available capital moves the family into a different economic stratum.

    SO, while the work of organizations such as these is important in correcting the abuses that inevitably occur when people are involved (cuz we’re a greedy bunch when left to ourselves, sometimes), it doesn’t make sense to decry every instance of people being paid $0.47/hr as an egregious offense against humanity. How does making that $0.47/hr materially affect the living standard of that family? If that $0.47/hr were not available to that worker in Swaziland, what would their alternative be, and how would their standard of living change?

    It also doesn’t pass the smell test that standards of living would be forced *downward* by the arrival of a manufacturer supplying, say, Wal-Mart. Were people conscripted by force into the factory, and removed from better-paying positions in much nicer factories in order to slave for the Waltons? Doubtful. SO what’s the real story?

    As well-intentioned as I think folks like this start, I wonder if their agenda isn’t much more driven by a hatred of anything “corporate”. The factories they depict shuttered and empty didn’t get that way because an evil corporation decided to screw over a town and its citizens; they got that way because the manufacturer was forced, by competition, to decide between competition and extinction. Some of those companies *died*; they didn’t move to China. Once they died, though, Chinese manufacturers were able to make the case that they could offer similar quality for much less. Once China’s standard of living (and wages) started to rise, manufacturers looked for even lower-cost areas to move into; thus, Swaziland, Haiti and Bangladesh start to benefit from the rise in the standard of living in China (which, I would bet, imports a lot more Bangladeshi clothing than we do).

    I agree with P.Diddy’s closing comment, with one caveat: We *should* continue to purchase goods from developing countries, but in addition to *praying* for the transformation of the culture from within, we have to be willing to *work* for that same transformation, by holding businesses accountable for knowing the conditions under which their inventories are produced.

  • Thinking about this, I’d make two additional points:

    1) One of the major differences here, I think, is between different views of history. In a more progressive view of history, the primary reason that we no longer see the worst conditions of the Industrial Revolution in the US is the work of unions and the work of journalists exposing repressive corporate practices to public outrage. Now, I think those were in fact very minor factors, and that the primary reason we no longer see those conditions and those levels of pay is because companies simply can’t get workers to work that way any more as a result of economic development and competition for labor. These different views will lead to different conclusions as to what we should do now.

    2) The solution from a more economistic point of view is not necessarily just “do nothing”. US Companies choose which contract firms in developing countries to work with based on a number of factors, and if they do refuse to deal with firms which behave in inhuman ways (forcing female workers to take birth control; unsafe working conditions; etc.) they will drive local firms to improve conditions overall. There will probably continue to be much worse firms doing work for the local market, but if US firms use their purchasing power to drive incremental improvements (not the kind of “have US working conditions and pay or give the jobs back to US union workers” that domestic interests have in mind, but insisting on working with the better factories in the region) that will help drive conditions upwards faster. It will also tend to benefit not just the workers, but the products and the companies that make them in the long term.

  • The modern term is “developing country,” not “third world.”

    Exactly right. That term is quite Modern. It should be done away with.

    While we’re at it, let’s revive “negro,” “oriental,” and “groovy.”

  • You have forgotten “white trash” and “Honky” as long as you want to visit the old labels/terms.

    Dynamite article! Makes a person think about the choices that we make each day and the affect it has on the rest of the world and our local economy.

    I never shop at Walmart and haven’t for years. I would rather purchase meat from our local meat market and drugs from our small town Drug Store, etc. and Fresh produce from the farmer’s market or visit the growers themselves.

    “The Jungle” was largely responsible for changes in the meat industry. However, recently the changes in that industry are for the negative with most labor from Mexico or Latn America– and conditions (and pay) regressing –as well as safety for workers and eaters of said meat.

  • While we’re at it, let’s revive “negro,” “oriental,” and “groovy.”

    Far out.

  • I agree that having a global minimum wage would be a tough sell given all the factors that go into determining local living standards- but having all corporations participating in global trade being charged with legal responsibilities for basic human rights and decency which allow traditional families to take root and potentially flourish – for economic security is only one factor in determining that. That should be the goal- just like the video showed with dog and cat fur items being banned, so too, could member nations in trade pacts make certain contractual obligations legally binding without going overboard with insensible regulations and running into the reverse problem of giving too much power over to union bosses for example.

    The fact remains that Pope Benedict is directly calling for a “new humanistic synthesis” in the wake of the current global economic crisis. “The current crisis obliges us to re-plan our journey, to set ourselves new rules and to discover new forms of commitment, to build on positive experiences and to reject negative ones. The crisis thus becomes an opportunity for discernment, in which to shape a new vision for the future.” #21 Caritas..

    This is what I am trying to do- scrap what hasn’t worked and try to retain some of the positives, but recognizing that there isn’t a pure ideological solution out there- which is why I’m attracted to more solidarity/subsidiarity economic relationships spring up between Catholics who happen to live in the developed/developing sectors of the global society. There is also an ecological concern which the Pope brings up that must be brought into the discussion at some point as well- I was thinking of that when it was brought up at how cheap it is to ship goods around the world- and I have read that the cargo ships use pretty poor quality fuel and are big polluters of the oceans- one doesn’t have to embrace the all-encompassing theory of man-created Climate Change to be aware of our stewardship duties in the “Care for God’s Creation” and how that affects humanity as well.

  • Re third world: Well, admittedly third world is an imperfect descriptor in that it really refers to unaligned nations during the Cold War. Back in the day economists used to refer to undeveloped countries or UDCs, but PC precursers soon claimed that the term was too harsh and demanded that it term be abandoned in favor of lesser developed countries (or LCDs), which proved to be understood as demeaning, which is why we now have developing countries — a term that makes no sense at all since all countries are developing in different ways and at different paces. But these days “feelings” trumps truth all the time. It is kind of funny in a pathetic sort of way.

  • “Wal-Mart has such a strong command over the retail market that it alone affects the wages of many workers and the fate of many factories around the world. In a recent series the LA Times described how Wal-Mart’s demands dictate lower wages, harder work, and longer hours, while eliminating jobs in factories from Honduras to China. No longer is this humongous corporation putting only America’s factories out of business, it has now turned to pitting factories in countries around the world against each other in an impossible race to the bottom.

    Wal-Mart was removed from KLD & Co.’s Domini 400 Social Index because of what it called ‘sweatshop conditions’ at its overseas vendors’ factories. KLD, which provides social research for institutional investors, said Wal-Mart hasn’t done enough to ensure that its vendors meet ‘adequate labor and human rights standards,’ according to a statement distributed by PR Newswire. KLD also cited charges that the company hasn’t been forthright about its involvement with a Chinese handbag manufacturer alleged to have subjected workers to 90-hour weeks, exceptionally low wages, and prison-like conditions. The Domini 400 is a benchmark index for measuring the effect of social screening on financial performance. (1/03)

    Some of the abuses in foreign factories that produce goods for Wal-Mart include:

    * Forced overtime

    * Locked bathrooms

    * Starvation wages

    * Pregnancy tests

    * Denial of access to health care

    * Workers fired and blacklisted if they try to defend their rights

    The National Labor Committee reported in September 1999 that the Kathie Lee clothing label (made for Wal-Mart by Caribbean Apparel, Santa Ana, El Salvador) conducted sweatshop conditions of forced overtime. Workers hours were Monday to Friday from 6:50 a.m. to 6:10 p.m., and Saturday from 6:50 a.m. to 5:40 p.m. There are occasional shifts to 9:40 p.m. It is common for the cutting and packing departments to work 20-hour shifts from 6:50 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. Anyone unable or refusing to work the overtime hours will be suspended and fined, and upon repeat “offenses” they will be fired. This factory is in an American Free Trade Zone. (http://www.nlcnet.org/KATHLEE/elsalvinfo.html)”

    From Voice of American Workers trade article.

  • The modern term is “developing country,” not “third world.”

    Exactly right. That term is quite Modern. It should be done away with.

    While we’re at it, let’s revive “negro,” “oriental,” and “groovy.”

    The term “third world” has been used over the years by peoples from these countries, sometimes prefaced by the word “so-called.” Other terms used today among global social movements are “Two-Thirds World” and “Global South.”

    But the term “developing world” was rejected long, long ago.

  • Other terms used today among global social movements are “Two-Thirds World” and “Global South.”

    But the term “developing world” was rejected long, long ago.

    Rejected by whom, exactly?

    There is a certain silliness to trying to use a single term to cover countries as distant from each other and diverse as India, Honduras, Vietnam and Kenya. I’ve heard some writers differentiate between the “developing world” and the countries in the “bottom billion” where development seems to have “stuck”.

    But I’m not clear that there’s some sort of clearing house of “approved terminology for people who care” in charge of sorting out whether “developing world” is an acceptable term or not.

  • Well, admittedly third world is an imperfect descriptor in that it really refers to unaligned nations during the Cold War. Back in the day economists used to refer to undeveloped countries or UDCs, but PC precursers soon claimed that the term was too harsh and demanded that it term be abandoned in favor of lesser developed countries (or LCDs), which proved to be understood as demeaning, which is why we now have developing countries — a term that makes no sense at all since all countries are developing in different ways and at different paces. But these days “feelings” trumps truth all the time.

    Hard to call China “undeveloped.” “Lesser developed” sounds awkward. Pre-Tsvangirai Zimbabwe wasn’t “developing.” At any rate, I’ll use whatever the most commonly accepted term at the moment happens to be. I use “pro-life” and “pro-choice” instead of “anti-abortion” and “pro-abortion.” I use “illegal immigrants” instead of “undocumented immigrants.” “African-American” or “black” instead of “negro.” And “developing” instead of “third world.”

    I’ve noticed that “OECD” and “non-OECD” is getting popular. They don’t roll off the tongue well but they are more precise terms so that’s good.

  • Rejected by whom, exactly?

    By global social justice movements, as I said.

    “Developing world,” “bottom billion,” etc. are terms that assume the values and commitments of capitalist modernity. Continue to use them if those are your values and commitments.

  • There is a certain silliness to trying to use a single term to cover countries as distant from each other and diverse as India, Honduras, Vietnam and Kenya.

    Use of terms like “Global South” and “Two-Thirds World” are precisely NOT meant to “cover” the diversities of these countries, but as an expression of solidarity of the oppressed peoples of these countries. The terms do not unite the countries, but unite particular classes among the countries.

  • From THE CATHOLIC NEWS;

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Conversion to Christ gives people the strength to break the bonds of selfishness and work for justice in the world, Pope Benedict XVI said in his message for Lent 2010.

    “The Christian is moved to contribute to creating just societies where all receive what is necessary to live according to the dignity proper to the human person and where justice is enlivened by love,” the pope said in the message released Feb. 4 at the Vatican.”

  • I believe the discussion of terminology is a rabbit trail. I’m just sayin’.

    To return, I hope, to the main point of the article and prior discussion, though, it seems to me that there exists a basic divide in ways of looking at corporations vs. small businesses. And not-coincidentally, there seems to exist a certain almost snobbery about not doing business with the Wal-marts of the world. Having, as I do, four children (and now regretting that I don’t have more, as I stand on the threshold of my 50’s) gives me a slightly different perspective on the place of Wal-Mart in my local economy.

    I would *love* to be able to buy meat at my local butcher shop, and to patronize local farmers all the time. I would love to be able to buy only clothes manufactured in the United States. Unfortunately, I cannot raise a family of six and do that; it costs too much! And since my diet is varied, and I like lettuce in January, I have to buy it from somewhere warm enough to *produce* lettuce in January. And since I don’t want a slaughterhouse in my neighborhood, I have to have meat trucked in from Arkansas and Mississippi, where the animal farms are. As much as I would like to be able to feed and clothe my family from the local economy, I cannot!

    Simplistically, I blame the union movement for these developments; the reason I can’t buy a pair of shoes made in the US is that I cannot afford to pay the added costs loaded onto the shoes by the provision of generous union benefits, and shortened shifts. I have had to wait an extra month for a suit I ordered (at 6’9″, I have to have them made (in the US)), because the factory was negotiating a contract dispute with their **union**.

    See, long ago, unions stopped being about making working conditions humane and pay dignified, and started to be about how much they could negotiate being paid for how little work. Unions, IMHO, have become the proletariat mirror of the “evil corporations”, in that they jockey to see how *little* work can be done for the dollars spent. And so the manufacturers of my clothes and other goods move overseas in order to escape the burden, and millions of jobs disappear.

    So as nice as it would be to localize everything, it isn’t practical. And as nice as it would be to impose US wages and working conditions on every country around the world, it wouldn’t be fair to guys like me, who are trying to feed and clothe the next generation, to impose those costs in a feel-good attempt at one man’s view of “social justice”. We should, as Catholics, be about *improving everyone’s lot*, not about making everyone equally miserable. And we should be about raising everyone’s standard of living by providing opportunities for people, not by redistributing wealth and just handing it over to folks. We create far more problems in that way than we solve (see the welfare system in the US from the mid-sixties till the mid nineties for an example; nothing did more to destroy the Black community than that!)

    We *can* help our brtothers and sisters in need! But it would be wrong to take from others by force of law in order to do it!

  • The complete story is found at the link below:

    http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1000486.htm

  • There are many Catholics who have not intellectually reconciled themselves with the fact that we live in a fallen world. This manifests itself in a worldview which effectively seeks to make everyone equally miserable, ala, socialism.

    Among a number of excellent points Chip discusses is the fact that the Wal-marts of the world actually do more to help the poor of the world than the snobs who won’t shop there.

  • Chip,

    In this small town of 4000, our merchants do very well at competing with Walmart. We intentionally support them and the quality and care they provide. I do not think that makes us snobs, do you really?

    We are lucky to still have small town meat markets in the upper Midwest. The owner is more selective and responsible for the meats he chooses. Ground meats especially!

    It is far superior to the products processed through the meat-packing facilities. Also, the workers do not join unions as much in the meat-packing facilities for obvious reason. (Being many illegals, etc.) The wages are half of the wage paid for the same job in 1970. The conditions much worse. Speed-ups and injuries with knives, etc., See the Postville, Iowa story recently in the news. (And that was a Kosher plant.)

    The book, THE JUNGLE, helped change working conditions for the (largely immigrants) meat-packing workers NOT because Americans gave a whit about the conditions of the workers but because Americans did not want to eat sausage that might have a worker or rat ground up in it. (As brought out by the book.)

    I basically feel the same is true with products today; dog food kills my beloved Fluffy and I don’t want those Chinese products….most people don’t care about those workers but let Fluffy get sick and I care. That is my sense of Americans and myself included. I am trying to change. It isn’t easy!!!

    I do not live in California and need to purchase veggies too, but go to other grocery stores. (Just not Walmart.)

  • Snobbery might be a bit harsh, but it is a choice you consciously exercise. And you and others in town obviously hav ethe means to exercise that choice; if you did not, all the good intentions in the world would not keep you out of Wal-mart if you had to feed your family.

    It’s akin to neighborhood choice, I suppose. If I can afford a $450,000 house in Collierville, TN, why would I choose to move to my neighborhood in Bartlett, with average home prices in the low $200’s? And if I can afford to live *there*, why would I move to Raleigh, where the same house costs only $130,000? I make any of these choices because I have the means to make them. If I could afford to drive an Escalade instead of this 10-year-old Expedition, you bet I would be driving one; can’t right now, though, since I have tuition to pay and groceries to buy for all these little girls who still live at my house.

    If your townsfolk did not have the means to buy higher-quality, higher-priced meat from your local butcher, he would have two choices: Either lower his quality, thereby enabling a lower price, or to accept less profit on the items he sells. If the margin is low enough, he then goes out of business. If it works well for y’all, great!

    But who shops at Wal-mart in your town? I would guess it’s NOT the insensitive rich folks who just don’t care about the social justice implications of enabling a behemoth bad corporate actor like Walmart; I am betting it’s the folks who can’t afford to shop at your local butcher shop and other small retailers, but who would like a consistent quality of meats, vegetable, and other staples of life. We could kill off Walmart tomorrow; where would that leave the thousands employed by Wal-mart, and where would it leave the poorer folks to shop? I don’t know, but I bet they wouldn’t be buying the same quality meats you’re able to procure from your guy. (BTW, how much does a pound of ground chuck cost from your guy?)

    So…I apologize for the snobbery accusation. But it still sounds a bit “Let-them-eat-cake”-ish…

  • Chip,
    The small retailers, meat market, lumber yard, etc…were here long before Walmart. We hope to keep them in business. The prices are competetive. The people are friendly. No snobbery here as no one here is rich. Our Van is 1998 and just had a new engine in it. We do have some nice bike trails and not much traffic so that is an alternative in good weather. (Not now…we live 2 states north of you in Jonesboro.)
    The rich folks live in new sub-divisions far away from
    this old town along the Mississippi. And it costs to drive across the river to Walmart–30 minutes away. They surely do not miss our patronage as the parking lot is always full.

    We have worked for Walmart- in our family -in the past and used the 10% discount the employees are given.

    Is it snobbery to want to keep an old small town way of life and support our business’? We all struggle to find the best way to survive, small town America too.

  • “Labor is cheaper, however, not because the government will come in and bust heads if people demand higher wages”

    Well, sometimes that does happen. It’s not the least of the reasons why places like China are popular to do business.

  • And todays price for quality ground beef is 2.69. I am sure box stores have 80% ground much cheaper. Some of us need low-fat…me in particular. Not enough bike riding lately. Have a good day!

  • Well, sometimes that does happen. It’s not the least of the reasons why places like China are popular to do business.

    I have heard nasty stories about such things. I’m not sure it done by or the behest of the government though. Sounds to me like that at some foreign companies there is a general lack of regard for the workers’ dignity that is aggravated by the fact that they are managed by petty tyrants.

    That said, I’m not so sure that sort of a work environment is something Western corporations are looking for or appreciating. The draw to China for example is, as stated above, being able to reduce labor costs to stay competitive PLUS by providing jobs there that will produce expendable income for the workers, there will be a huge market of new consumers that can afford to buy the products they are making. Maybe that thinking it reeks of “anything for a buck”, but the reality is the existence of a great many lives are benefited or at least have the opportunity to be benefited.

  • If the quality is up to par, I’d rather buy from poorer foreigners than relatively richer locals. I think Catholic Social Teaching demands it.

  • We “poorer folks” shop at our local $ollar Store-8 blocks away. I did not know The Waltons needed our money so badly. I guess we should take pity on them? Who doesn’t sell imported products these days? And jobs are supported at by shopping at other stores too.

    Seriously, how do you resolve the conflict of a government like China (still Communist last I checked) that has a one-child policy and supports abortion? Did they change that?

    I understand that people need jobs everywhere and buying from China supports people there and supports an emerging middle class. That would be true in other developing countries that are not so repressive wouldn’t it?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-child_policy

  • I guess I would ask, first, Duke…how will NOT buying from companies that manufacture in China help to change China’s one-child policy? What will change oppressive regimes like that faster than anything is giving more people in those countries the economic means to decide that the government should not be making those kinds of decisions for them!

    The people working in factories in China making…well, some of everything are not the Chinese government. And they don’t *make* policy, they *live under* it. China’s changes over the last 30 years have come, not because people decried the status quo from outside China, but because exposure to Western democracy and economic prosperity stirred a desire in the hearts of Chinese folks to have something *different*.

    And to address your earlier question, Duke, of *course* it’s OK to preserve your town;s way of life, and to support the merchants who enable it. I wouldn’t drive 30 minutes through the country to Wal-mart either, if I had the option of using the gas money instead to pay just a little more, and shopping 5 minutes away. Again, though, your town’s economy allows for that (and is actually a strong counter-argument to the “evil Wal-mart kills small businesses” mantra). $2.69 ain’t bad for a pound of chuck; I think we are paying just a little less than that, but then, Memphis is the transportation hub of the known universe or something.

    And again, apologies for the “snobbery” comment; that was too strong. Parochialism might describe it better; it’s just that the conditions under which you live (rare, by percentage of population, I bet) are not the conditions under which most people live. And if I wanted to patronize meat boutiques in Memphis similar to your small-town merchants, I would get hammered. Those types of stores here cater to the hormone-free, organic, grass-fed crowd who feel they must buy products like that, and who make the economic decision to do so. I can’t afford to eat like that, unfortunately, at least, not until the 9-year-old is out of college…

  • Have any of you read the book “A Year Without Made in China” by Sara Bongiorni? I have been meaning to because the premise sounds interesting. Bongiorni, her husband and their two young kids attempted to go an entire year without buying ANYTHING made in China… and it proved to be a lot more difficult than they thought. From what I gather, they were pretty solidly middle-class financially, definitely not poor, yet even they found it next to impossible to avoid ‘made in China.’ For lower income people, I imagine it is impossible.

    Again, it’s another reflection of the fact that we live in a fallen world, and though we do the best we can to promote good and avoid evil, we will never achieve absolute, total non-cooperation with evil in this life.

  • Boycott American products! The US slaughters innocent Iraqis and Afghans, aids Israel in the slaughter of Palestinians, tortures and kills prisoners, isn’t democratic (see 2000 presidential election), pollutes like it owns the world, doesn’t provide its people with basic health care, and gives handouts to its wealthy bankers while its ethnic minorities are placed in slums where they don’t even receive a proper education. And remember, when you buy American, you’re paying for some American women’s abortion or a float at one of America’s many gay pride parades.

  • Chip,
    I understand the conditions in China. It makes me feel very conflicted, frankly.

    I’ll have to tell my family I’m going down to the meat “boutique” ..classier than what we call it. Meat markets -as we call them here- cater to deer hunters and farmers. No one cares about the organic, hormone free etc stuff around here too much. Organic chickens here are called free range and only means raised the way grandma used to. (Free to peck and scratch the way God intended.)

    Who knows what it will be like in another decade? Maybe the $ollar Store will again be a 5 & 10 cent Store like in the 1960’s. Cheaper products and competition going the way it is.

    Elaine,
    It would be a challenge to buy products from everywhere but China. I would rather WATCH someone else do that on a Reality Show and learn from them. Sounds like an interesting book to read. Maybe the library will have it. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • I think your students (and anyone else interested in the sweatshop issue) might enjoy checking out http://www.teamsweat.org. Team Sweat is an international coalition that I founded to fight against Nike’s sweatshop abuses.

    I am a Catholic activist and former professional athlete and I have been fighting for 12 years on the front lines in solidarity (a key theme in Catholic Social Teaching) with the factory workers that produce for Nike.

    How did I get involved in this work? It all started as a research paper for a grad class I was taking while pursuing my masters degree in theology. The paper was titled:

    “Nike and Catholic Social Teaching: A Challenge to the Christian Mission at St. John’s University.”

    If you’re interested in reading it, drop me a line at [email protected].

    Peace, Jim Keady

  • Wow. The famous Jim Keady chimes in, albeit with a sales pitch.

  • I just checked out Jim Keady’s stuff- he’s the real deal folks- he has walked the walk, made real-life sacrifices, put in the time and mileage to find out the truth- and he’s Catholic- I’m going to pick this guy’s brain and heart to find out more- to take more responsibility for this issue of sweatshop labor- I want to take this thing far and beyond the normative ideological pissing contest- that means finding sources that have ground level information that is trustworthy. People who give up lucrative careers because something smells rotten in Greece- these type of guys grab my attention. I would recommend that the defenders of sweatshop economics take a look at Jim Keady’s stuff as well because this debate ain’t goin’ away just yet!

  • Blackladder claimed that “global poverty and inequality has declined significantly over recent decades,” a misleading statement based on using GDP to measure standard of living.

    More money flowing into an economy does not always translate to better living— in many “developping” countries, there are growing gaps between the rich and poor, and an unhealthy dependency on bigger economies (and corporations) for jobs and products (such as the US.) Self-sustainability, more options and consumer choice ease away poverty— not more money. The increase in money is often artificial, as any sweatshop laborer in LA will tell you (most of the money goes on increasing rent and product-prices, which remain high in developping areas due to lack of competition.)

    In short, boycotting sweatshops directly might not work, but reducing our reliance on them does. Otherwise, we are feeding into a global dependency.

USCCB Scandal Deepens, U.S. Bishops Remain Silent

Thursday, February 4, AD 2010

[Update at the bottom of this post]

The scandal that has engulfed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) shows no sign in abating.

Today we learn even more incriminating facts that continue to tarnish the image of the USCCB.

In the latest RealCatholicTV.com program Michael Voris explains the deep entanglement of Democratic Party and anti-Catholic operatives that hold high positions within the USCCB.

Continue reading...

67 Responses to USCCB Scandal Deepens, U.S. Bishops Remain Silent

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  • All this sounds like the attitude of the bishops about the sex scandals. “Don’t confirm; don’t deny. Maybe it will all go away”.

    The road to hell is indeed paved with the skulls of bishops.

  • Well, it will only make them look even worse.

    With the new media, ie, blogs, twitter, facebook, etc, the news of their lack of action will spread like wildfire.

    It’ll be interesting to see how much tap-dancing will occur and who will do the tap-dancing.

  • I guess I’m a little perplexed as to how this is in some sense a current or deepening “scandal”. It doesn’t take much dealing with most diocese with large national Catholic organizations (with the exception of some of the newer, more orthodox ones) or with the USCCB to find that a lot of their employees are left leaning politically and progressive leaning in regards to theology and liturgy. If anything, this was more pronounced 10-20 years ago than it is now.

    I think it’s generally been bad for the Church, and we’re suffered as a result, but if anything it’s a bad scene we’re gradually coming out of (it takes a long time to turn over employment) rather than a new breaking scandal of some sort.

  • It’s probably perception more than anything.

    Many of us maybe never bothered to think much, if anything, about the USCCB.

    Then when they got a bit higher visibility when they actively involved themselves with ObamaCare more Catholics took notice.

    Over time as Catholics began to look into the USCCB, what you may call something that has been there for awhile, to us is scandalous.

    So there it is.

    You probably were fortunate enough to be raised a solid Catholic as a child, then progressed to a fine Catholic university immersing yourself even more in Catholic culture. All the while you were already aware of the problems with the USCCB since age 7.

    Me, and many others like me, returned to our faith through various forms. So many of us are behind the loop, so to speak, of the many warts and issues involved in the Catholic Church in America.

    So when many of use “reverts” or “converts” find scandalous information such as an openly professed lesbian or a woman priest advocate working in high profile positions in the USCCB, we are scandalized by this.

    So those are the perceptions.

    The attitude of “well it’s always been there and besides it was worse 10-20 years ago” is understandable.

    But to me and many others its scandalous. 😐

  • Except the problem is: this report is filled with lies, misrepresentation, and logical fallacies. It does no one any good to be scandal mongers and gossipers using false information — though it seems it is all for politics (which is why Voris acting like an authority also suggests, falsely, anyone who said a Catholic could vote for Obama was wrong).

    Want to see the kind of error? Well, it is simple: Mary Kay Henry was NOT given a position by the USCCB. She was brought into talks with people representing different labor groups, and represented one such labor group. In other words, it would be like someone condemning Pope Benedict for his dialogue with Islam and saying “there is something wrong with the Vatican, it is promoting Islam.”

  • Henry K.,

    You made a lot of accusations but you haven’t offered any evidence to back any of it up.

    I respect your knowledge in your fields of study, but where is the evidence of what you propose?

  • Tito

    Voris makes all kinds of accusations and claims, and you never ask him to back it up; you just upload and attack. You never look to the sources yourself. But you want source? Ok.

    http://vox-nova.com/2010/01/29/virtual-polemical-videos-not-real-catholic-tv/

    Go to that thread. Read the post. See the logical fallacies being exposed. Then read the commentary thread. In it you will see this linked: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/usccb_clarifies_involvement_with_controversial_expert/

    And what it says is clear:

    Washington D.C., Dec 7, 2009 / 05:44 pm (CNA).- On Monday, Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, media director for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops spoke with CNA, clarifying the role of Service Employees Union executive and gay rights activist Mary Kay Henry with the bishops’ conference.

    Sr. Walsh noted that in the past, Mary Kay Henry was chosen by the unions to take part in a dialogue with the USCCB but left in 2006.

    She was not appointed by the bishops, Sr. Walsh explained.

    So there you go, an example of distortion going on. Sure, she talked with the USCCB representing unions. Jesus, and the Catholic Church, has always had dialogue with people in such roles before; will anyone condemn Pope St Gregory the Great for meeting with Atilla the Hun? Using the loopy logic in this video, Pope St Gregory the Great was promoting Atilla’s rampage!

  • Henry K.,

    Good catch on the CNA article.

    I’ll send that link over to Mr. Voris so he can avoid making that mistake.

    (my article didn’t make that connection)

    And for your VN posting, very interesting reading.

    I’m not up to speed in many of the subjects you touch upon, but I’ll be rereading it again. Every little bit helps!

  • As I mentioned in the thread about the CCHD, the underlying theme behind these criticisms is a deep hostility toward not only the USCCB, but the bishops themselves. In this thread, we have read: “The road to hell is indeed paved with the skulls of bishops.” Tito has said that he has been scandalized – i.e., tempted to lose faith.

    Henry is right – these accusations fall apart upon further research. Catholics are being told to doubt the authenticity of the bishops’ teaching and governing office. Moreover, we are being told to question their very sincerity and faith. This is the scandal we should be afraid of.

  • When Bishops have dialogue with lesbians and gays and other members of the legions of hell, liberal Catholics say it’s a scandal to criticize the Bishops.

    When Bishops take false Catholics like Representative Patrick Kennedy on the carpet for open apostasy, liberal Catholics say it’s a scandal the Bishops are using the Communion Rail politically.

    No, folks, the best liberal is the repentent liberal, and failing that, a defeated, muzzled and emasculated liberal. The only dialogue we should have with them is this: “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

    P.S., I’ll trust Michael Voris before I’ll trust any liberal Democrat.

  • PS, Mary Kay Henry should re-read what 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 states (NIV):

    Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    So why are we having dialogue with the wicked? Jesus didn’t have dialogue with them. He preached the Gospel of repentance to them. We ought to do the same.

  • Jesus didn’t have dialogue with the wicked? The Jews certainly thought he did — he was dining with sinners, indeed, drunkards; he was hanging out with the Samaritans; and he said nothing about the abuse of Roman society upon the Jews, yet affirming the faith of a non-Jewish Centurion (are you going to say he was without sin)?

    And that’s just the start of the matter.

  • Mary Ann Walsh did not participate in a women’s “ordination” ceremony. After one such event, the participants marched to where the bishops were meeting. When they didn’t go away, she appeared, met with them, received their rose bouquet, and they left. It’s the kind of thing a media relations person does.

    And her statement that a person could vote for Obama (not that they should – I certainly didn’t) matched up pretty well with an interpretation of Faithful Citizenship that many orthodox bishops accept. Of course, when you’re part of the neo-Donatist movement that thinks Cardinal George and Archbishop Wuerhl are closet leftists, none of this will satisfy you.

  • Zak,

    I caught it right before you posted your comment.

    I corrected my post to reflect this fact.

  • Henry,
    I agree with the points you’re making – one factual issue: it was Leo the Great, not Gregory the Great, who met with Atilla.

  • I agree with both Paul P. and Henry K.

    Whether it was dialogue or preaching, Jesus certainly spent time with sinners, but not to reaffirm their sinfulness but to show them the light.

  • Zak

    Oops — you are right (though I know this, I often do this same mistake when typing, for some reason — I have a few other lapses where my fingers go into automatic writing mode — an interesting phenomena and I expect many of us have examples of this)

  • Another example of what is going on: Voris says people in the hallways are found supporting Obama’s policies. Ok.

    The question is: which policies? All of them? Some of them? A couple of them? But yet by saying it in this way, it’s easy to create a false picture, and that is exactly the kind of strategy which is done for propaganda not for the exploration of truth.

  • Well hopefully they’re not supporting this:

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/60893

  • I think ultimately though one needs to see that the USCCB is a political organization in addition to a religious organization. That’s fine as long as people realize it is and that it will have the problems of any organization that is political. I think Henry has pointed out such problems with some pro-life organizations.

  • Well I’m pretty sure that the USCCB is not a political organization in any legal, tax or regulatory sense of the term. But any tax exempt group is permitted (within certain constraints) to work to advance their charitable agenda via supporting and opposing relevant legislation, though not supporting or opposing political candidates. The USCCB has a reputation for generally supporting the liberal approaches to addressing Catholic concerns. To the extent this is true, it is not especially scandalous, but it may be imprudent. My guess is that the policy preferences expressed by the USCCB are more representative of its staffers than the bishops, and that neither the bishops nor the staffers are especially gifted at public policy, but probably think they are.

  • I think John Carr is one of the most thoughtful Catholics in America–and certainly one of the best spokesmen for Catholic social teaching. And I find it more than a little dismaying that a group of self-anointed REAL CATHOLICS are spending so much energy trying to undermine the work of the bishops of this country. This is not just unhelpful; it’s diabolical.

  • Mike,

    There is political and there is political. I think Henry points out some of the foibles of pro-life conservative organizations that are tax exempt also.

    I don’t think the USCCB generally supports liberal approaches I think it pretty much always does. Again understanding the experts that advise the body may give understanding to why they do.

  • Ron Ch.,

    Thoughtful as in promoting that more innocent children be killed?

    Yeah, and THAT’S not diabolical.

  • Phillip,
    I have not read Henry’s expose on the foibles of “pro-life conservative” organizations, but if the problem is that they are willing to support candidates who are imperfect on life issues in order to prevent the election of candidates who are abortion enthusiasts, ok, but I don’t see that as a foible. On the other hand, if they are favoring pro-choice candidates over pro-life candidates because they former are otherwise considered more conservative than the latter, then that would be worse than a foible — and I’d really appreciate knowing more about it.

  • Tito, what you are doing here is slanderous–to a good man and to the bishops whom he serves as a spokesperson. Do you happen to KNOW John Carr? Have you ever heard him talk about abortion? Do you suppose his work for peace/justice . . . and the work of our bishops through the USCCB to uplift the poor . . . has nothing at all to do with fostering respect for human life? For that matter, do you recognize any connection whatsoever between poverty/racism and abortion, or do you think it is purely coincidental that poor minority women patronize the killing clinics at such a disproportionate rate?

    Sorry, fella, John Carr is a REAL Catholic, not some Pharisee with video blog, a big mouth, and way too much time on his hands.

  • Ron Ch.,

    I’m not sure what blog you are reading, but I have never said anything such about John Carr.

    Joe H. posted a video that stated John Carr has been with an organization that promotes abortion for decades. I don’t see how you got your conclusions from this, so I’ll just chalk it up to your liberal-tainted glasses getting the better of your imagination.

    Get a hold of yourself brother.

  • Some other concerns about the CCC that I’m sure can be disproved:

    http://www.catholicadvocate.com/?tag=john-carr

  • Phillip and Ron Ch.,

    The evidence is devastating concerning the cooperation in evil that John Carr has led and been involved in.

  • American Catholic began as a healthy alternative to the consistently left-leaning Vox Nova. It seems to be reinventing itself in the spirit of the old Wanderer. That is a terrible shame, and shame on anyone here–and in the holier-than-God “orthodox” blogosphere–who casts aspersion on a man who has faithfully served the Church in the United States and its bishops for many years.

  • No, what this post is doing is highlighting a story. If any of the facts are mistaken Ron tell us precisely what facts are wrong. The USCCB has a history of allowing its staffers to associate the USCCB with some pretty unsavory groups that promote positions directly contrary to Church teaching. The USCCB needs to address this story directly and not simply play a game of hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil.

  • Donald, a lot of the ‘facts’ have been debunked, and one glaring piece of slander removed (the picture of Sister Mary Ann Walsh). The more you dig into this, the more you see that a mountain is being made out of a molehill.

  • That sounds intereting. I can’t believe it. gochristian shoes

  • I have to say, I don’t find this video or the accusations very substantial. Everyone is entitled to their polemics, of course, and so I can see why some anti-Democrat Catholics enjoy this type of stuff. But, as Mike Petrik says above, some members of the USCCB preferring policies favored by the Democratic party to advance the common good “is not especially scandalous, but it may be imprudent.”

    Also, on a personal note, I’m shocked, shocked that anyone could write an article suggesting it was possible for Catholics to vote for Obama. That Sister Mary Ann Walsh must be way out there.

    To be clear, I think legitimate criticisms can be made of the USCCB. But these types of videos blend and muddle legitimate concerns with partisan attacks in a way that I think is unhelpful. The problem with the Vortex, as I see it, is that it isolates and absolutizes one of many possible approaches to serving the common good, and regards any other approach as illegitimate. It seems to me that it instrumentalizes the Faith in the service of a conservative political polemic, and in the process does a disservice to the Faith and to the USCCB.

  • The USCCB needs to address this story directly and not simply play a game of hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil.

    I don’t really see what you’re talking about. These accusations are pretty small beer in the grand scheme of things, and, as Darwin notes, there is nothing new in there. In the 1980’s, sure, the USCCB was basically co-opted by Democratic partisans. But the Vortex is basically the mirror image of it from the right; they are not raising any new questions. Most of these issues have already been addressed, are matters for prudential judgment where reasonable people can differ, and/or are inaccurate to begin with.

  • I’ll spell it our for you John Henry. They should explain why they were shoveling money into an organization that one of their staffers served as the head of. Can they even spell “conflict of interest”? Rather than attacking the people who are bringing this to light they should be ramping up their own investigation. They might also wish to explain why Carr omitted noting his involvement with the CCC from his USCCB bio. They might also explain why Tom Chabolla, associate director of CCHD programs until 2008, and who worked under Carr, took Carr’s place on the CCC board after Carr left, during a time period when the CCC became involved in pro-abortion advocacy, and whether Chabolla and Carr maintained contacts about the CCC. Chabolla since leaving the CCHD is now assistant to the President of the Service Employees International Union. Finally, perhaps they can explain why, when this all came to light, the first reaction from the CCHD was to scrub their website of all mention of ties with the CCC. This story is not going away.

  • Don,

    I get conflict of interest issue; and I get that the CCHD has had very poor oversight. I think the CCHD should be either scrapped or completely overhauled, and I’m in favor of more transparency. But I don’t think the video covers these issues very well.

    My issue is that I think the Vortex (and, really, couldn’t they find a better name?) is advancing a partisan agenda, rather than simply voicing legitimate concerns about conflict of interest or the funding of groups whose values conflict with those of the Church. For instance, the video keeps repeating the word ‘Democrat’ or ‘Democractic’ as if it’s an epithet. And some of the charges in the video are just ridiculous (implying that making the case that Catholics could have voted for Obama should disqualify someone from working for the USCCB?). In other words, as I said above, the video “blends and muddles legitimate concerns with partisan attacks in a way that I think is unhelpful.”

  • Clearly many improvements or even an overhaul of the program needs to take place. Attacking the structures of sin is a laudable activity with a positive goal. However, the problem with many (most?) secular groups that appear to be doing that sort of work is that they’re almost always trying to exchange one structure of sin for another. They are typically shells for particular political parties or have too closely aligned themselves to party interests.

    Therein lies part of the danger for third party benefactors like the USCCB. It’s one thing to work with a secular org for a shared interest even though they may not share all interests, it’s another to thing to support that org directly. What happens is that you run the real risk of becoming an integral part of a structure of sin.

    All that said, I think those ads are poorly done in substance. They smack of overblown righteous indignation, take many intellectual shortcuts, argue by assertion, use charged words that are usually quite subjective, makes unwarranted assumptions, etc. Frankly, I can’t see any difference in what is being done here than what some authentic Catholic anti-american-calvinist crusaders do. The only difference is what side of the fence their sitting on.

  • I’m not touching this story with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole. Regardless of the accuracy or inaccuracy of the reporting (and I have my doubts), the blatant guilt-by-association-and-innuendo style of the reporting left me feeling dirty after watching.

    “… I’m shocked, shocked that anyone could write an article suggesting that it was possible for Catholics to vote for Obama. That Sister Mary Ann Walsh must be way out there.”

    Yeah, tell me about it. I must be a stark-raving lefty.

  • Rick,

    Right. There are problems on both sides of the fence. There are pro-life pharisees. There are also social justice pharisees.

    Just hard to recognize one’s own as such sometimes.

  • Great comments and insights.

    About the overhaul of the CCHD – they have two overall programs, one focusing on political activity, the other focusing on business activity. The business grants are amazing – helping poor people build skills and worker-owned businesses. The political grants are a lot more tricky – often involving people with liberal mindsets – and I agree that it needs to be overhauled.

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  • Henry K, for your insights on what the Bishops knew and didn’t know, you are probably right. For your history on St. Gregory the Great meeting Atilla the Hun, you are at least a century off. It was St. Leo the Great in 451 who met with Atilla, thus delaying the destruction of Rome by 25 years……historical footnote worth noting….

  • Nate W., John Henry, Ron Ch., Jay Anderson, et al,

    You guys are building straw men arguments by attacking the messenger.

    By shining the light on the problem, you guys go ahead and savage the reputation of those doing the reporting and you all should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Granted that Mr. Voris *may* have gone over the top in some of his analysis, especially the innuendos to being a “Democrat”, but the basic story is this, the USCCB has been dealing with anti-catholic organizations for years. Just because they’ve done it in the past, doesn’t allow them a free pass, such as John Henry’s comment, ‘small potatoes’.

    If the USCCB wants to be taken more seriously they need to get their ‘allegedly’ devout Catholics like John Carr OUT of pro-abortion organizations and place Catholics without, as Jay says, a ‘conflict of interest’.

    Thank you for your comments, I’m learning a lot on how to report such news.

  • Dennis

    Yes, that was established above about Gregory/Leo. Often my fingers will mix them up when typing — but the point behind it still stands. Thankfully, I know I’m not impeccable nor infallible!

  • Tito, the guys you reference have no reason to be ashamed of themselves, anymore than does anyone who notes that other journalists & commentators occasionally make generalizations and inaccurate statements.

  • Chris,

    There is no evidence of inaccuracy.

    If Nate could name what was inaccurate instead of making things up I can see your point.

    On the rest, I understand what you’re saying.

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  • The liberal agenda and left-leaning “Catholics” is one reason, among others, that I dropped out of RCIA and chose not to convert to the RCC. The USCCB is only one of the problems. Out-of-control renegade priests can feel real comfy in many a parish in these United States.

    Face it, the liberals are an energetic, visible force within the Roman Catholic Church and they are not going away. They have become a cancer that is multiplying at an exponential rate. Michael Voris can’t stop it. EWTN can’t stop it. AveMaria Radio can’t stop it. Just look at the mess out in California, with all pro-gay, pro-choice bishops. They’re quite happy, comfy, and content behind encased in their ivory towers. And the disease has spread eastward to parishes in the Midwest, Florida, and the Northeast.

    Where’s all this “unity” that I was told existed in the “one, holy, Catholic, Apostolic” Church? It ain’t there! The current RCC barely resembles the RCC of 100 yrs. ago. So continue to have your “CHURCH” but don’t call it “holy” or “Catholic” or “Apostolic.” Those who have eyes to see will see. Those who wish to continue living in “LaLa Land” will continue to wear blinders.

  • The liberal agenda and left-leaning “Catholics” is one reason, among others, that I dropped out of RCIA and chose not to convert to the RCC. The USCCB is only one of the problems. Out-of-control renegade priests along with their progressive laity can feel real comfy in many a parish in these United States.

    Face it, the liberals are an energetic, visible force within the Roman Catholic Church and they are not going away. They have become a cancer that is multiplying at an exponential rate. Michael Voris can’t stop it. EWTN can’t stop it. AveMaria Radio can’t stop it. Just look at the mess out in California, with all pro-gay, pro-choice bishops. They’re quite happy, comfy, and content encased in their ivory towers. And the disease has spread eastward to parishes in the Midwest, Florida, and the Northeast.

    Where’s all this “unity” that I was told existed in the “one, holy, Catholic, Apostolic” Church? It ain’t there! The current RCC barely resembles the RCC of 100 yrs. ago. So continue to have your “CHURCH” but don’t call it “holy” or “Catholic” or “Apostolic.” Those who have eyes to see will see. Those who wish to continue living in “LaLa Land” will continue to wear blinders.

  • Darlene

    So basically, you are telling me you are still a Protestant, and the reason why you didn’t convert is because you are a Protestant? Big deal.

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  • Henry,

    No, I am not a Protestant. It’s easy to assume things in a forum like this where face-to-face, in person dialogue is absent.

    Protestant evangelicalism has many problems, one of which is that they (for the most part) ignore the creeds and councils of the first millenia.

    So, I came to the conclusion that Protestantism is a schism from a schism and will continue to split and divide. Sola Scriptura is not a unifying force within Protestantism, but a disunifying force. Hope that clarifies things.

    As far as my emphatic, blunt post, I understand that it will offend Roman Catholics. Offending was not my intent. With that said, the priest with whom I had counsel was very kind, long-suffering, and understanding. Even taking into consideration my original comments, I do not judge the salvation of individual Catholics. That is God’s business.

    If I have sinned in being so bold, forgive me.

  • The USCCB website says that Mary Kay Henry was appointed to a USCCB subcommittee and the USCCB accepted the subcommittee’s findings. Why would the USCCB look to anti-Catholic “experts” like Mary Kay Henry for advice in developing policy?

    Answer: For the same reason they invited Father Thomas Reese and Diana Hayes to speak at their conference last week-end.

    Jesus had something to say about this: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

  • Michael Voris is certainly human, and on rare occasions he may get his facts wrong, but taken as a whole, there is a mountain of evidence against the USCCB. A favorite liberal trick is to suggest that one flaw in the evidence damns all the evidence. I’m not fooled.

  • Nothing has been said here. Absolutely nothing.

    All of you are defending nothing and have nothing concrete to say about anything.

    The fact is you can not vote for a man who kills babies, I’d like to see you explain that when you come face to face with your creator. Can’t do it.

    The fact is, you can not give money to death programs from unsuspecting pew sitters – its illegal as well as totally against what Jesus commanded of us.

    Who cares who supports John Carr? It’s irrelevant? If the man has put any support into anti-God programs he is out.

    The Jews (many) did it wrong and so are the Catholics (many). You don’t reject the sacraments because the gatekeepers are corrupt. God said to St. Teresa of Avila “I put myself in the hands of thy enemies for your sake!” If you reject the commandments and the working of the Holy Spirit in the Church through those sacraments – then you hold man up as God.

    Don’t give money if you don’t know where the money is going. Put your money in areas you know are deserving of it. Don’t vote for the slaughter of innocence. Don’t keep quite when a priest is an idiot or a Bishop is a nutcase. Fight – and stop trying to defend your need for comfort.

    Newsflash the Church has the enemies within. Fight it – get them out – run them out of town but stop trying to give yourself an excuse to take a nap.

  • My dealings with the USCCB and the two of the organizations it sponsors and funds leads me to believe this organization is more a socialist political group than people working to live up to the Gospels. Obama and far too many of the Democrats in office are sociast with a socialist agenda. I fear that some of the Bishops may have been sucked into the false notion that socialism serves the needs of the poor. SOcialism brings the entire society down to the level of the laziest. Socialism depleats to will and ability of the society to provide for all.

  • WayneK,

    It is quite apparent in Europe today. France is turning into an economic basket case with gov’t unions striking each day preventing Sarkozy from instituting well needed reforms.

    It’s a slow creep towards totalitarianism.

  • MIchael Voris and Simon J. Rafe practice censorship of
    anyone who does not accept their messages on face value. That leads me to believe they are fake critics
    seeking to marginalize rather than serve any issue.

  • I believe they love their faith and don’t like it when bishops fail in their duty to feed their sheep.

    Instead they hide behind man-made bureaucracies hoping that difficult issues that don’t adhere to their Democratic Party Catholic leanings would just go away.

  • Archbishoip Raymond Burke was well known for “speaking out”. In an article for Time online, Amy Sullivan (Priests Spar Over What it Means to Be Catholic) alludes to the fact of his removal by the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference. In particular, the article states that because of a “calming down” of the anti-abortion rhetoric, the president was elected. In fact, I can tell you that here in St. Louis, the archbishop who replaced Burke (Carlson) silenced the Latin rite Church (St. Francis De Sales) from speaking out against abortion from the pulpit.

  • D Paul,
    That surprises me greatly. I wonder whether the “silencing” actually referred to exhortations on who to vote for or not vote for, which is a violation of federal tax law. Under federal tax law churches and other 501(c)(3) organizations may receive contributions on a tax deductible basis only if they refrain from political or partisan behavior. Within much more relaxed constraints they normally can engage in legislative or policy behavior. Telling a congregation that it is important to vote for candidates who are opposed to abortion is fine (even if somewhat simplistic from a Catholic perspective), but a minister may not tell his congregation to vote for X or against Y, at least without losing the right to receive contributions on a tax deductible basis. I’d be very surprised if AB Carlson told the priest at SFdS that he could not speak out against abortion from the pulpit. If true, that really would be quite scandalous, and shocking given that AB Carlson is among the bishops who criticized ND for awarding pro-abort Obama an honorary degree.

Daycare and Foreign Travel!

Thursday, February 4, AD 2010

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  Well, I must say that after being involved in some child custody cases during my career in which I have reached the conclusion that the poor kids would be better raised by wolves than either of their parents, nothing shocks me in regard to the ability of some parents to always put the interest of their kids dead last.

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3 Responses to Daycare and Foreign Travel!

Res et Explicatio for AD 2-4-2010

Thursday, February 4, AD 2010

[Update at the bottom of this post]

Salvete TAC readers!

Here are my Top Picks in the Internet from the world of the Catholic Church and secular culture:

1. The USCCB scandal continues as the U.S. bishops continue to issue denials of wrongdoings.

Mary Ann of Les Femmes blog asks why does the USCCB continue to cooperate with evil.

An interesting twist to this story is how the Boston Globe and New York Times covered the homosexual pedophile abuse scandal in the Church quite vigorously yet not one peep when the USCCB is caught red-handed with direct links to anti-Catholic organizations.

2. A great discussion about the origins of the phrase, “The Dunce Cap“, provided for a clarification by Friar Roderic.  He provided a video that explains the steady progression as a Protestant insult, ie, to call Catholic dunces for being aggressive in their Catholic beliefs, to the more secularized version which has turned it into a catch phrase for idiocy.

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USCCB and John Carr In Denial

Wednesday, February 3, AD 2010

After the breaking news that showed direct links between John Carr, a top executive of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, with pro-abortion groups dating back 30 years, John Carr has denied any wrong doing.

Below watch the full eight minutes for the most current update of this USCCB scandal on RealCatholicTV.com‘s Daily Catholic News Roundup and The VortexVic Faust and Michael Voris will report how both the USCCB and the pro-abortion group scrubbed their websites simultaneously to hide any connection they had with each other plus much more.

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10 Responses to USCCB and John Carr In Denial

  • Msgr. George Kelly pointed out decades ago that the weakness of the Church in the U.S. is a weakness of the bishops – their refusal to be active bishops who actually bishop. They have allowed their dioceses to be run by their bureaucracies. They are afraid of the orders of nuns and priests and of college presidents [who seem envious of the bishops].

    Now the chickens have come home to roost. The inability of the bishops to face up – and immediately – to complaints of sexual abuse has cost dearly in financial terms. But the cost has been worse in spiritual terms. How can we trust our bishops who seem spineless? Consider the refusal of Bishop Morin even to countenance that he may be wrong in his support of the CCHD and the CCC. There is said to be a crisis of vocation to the priesthood. But who would want to submit to orders from the cowardly?

  • Not to mention Harry Forbes continuing to give glowing movie reviews to anti-Catholic films under the USCCB banner:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/feb/08020111.html

    He’s still there:

    http://www.usccb.org/comm/source/background051608.shtml#forbes

    Sad.

  • I think we have to be cautious to lay the blame solely on the bishops. I suspect that some of them are complicit; however, many are simply saddled with other functions and are failing only to supervise petty bureaucrats. Also, many have displayed poor judgment but they aren’t infallible and neither are we. When a mistake is made, it needs to be corrected – not hidden. I wouldn’t want to be a bishop who willfully allowed this when all our sins are made known to all. Ouch!

    I state this because I get the feeling that many people perceive any criticism of the USCCB as an attack on the bishops. The USCCB is a Behemoth that is often not run by the bishops. In my opinion this is why the USCCB is useless. Apparently it is also corrupt. Attacking the USCCB is not an attack on bishops, it is an attack on a collective body that seems to have a life of its own.

    I also notice Carr stated that he did not know about an organization that promoted abortion AND homosexuality. Why didn’t he say OR? Could it be that different organizations promoted abortion and homosexuality? That would make his statement true. Unless it is the same organization that promotes both evils – then he wasn’t lying. He was misleading and sly like a serpent. I pray that this man isn’t a Sodomite – for the sake of his soul.

    Thanks for keeping us posted Tito – this is a big deal. The light exposes evil. Keep shining it.

    I smell more smoke.

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  • AK,

    Absolutely right.

    It is the USCCB as a whole that is the issue, not individual bishops.

    But the spotlight will be placed on bishops that are directly linked to the CCHD and CCC that continue to mendaciously defend this cooperation with evil.

  • Will there be any expose on the people who keep pushing big business insurance, and the insurance promotion of abortion for the sake of money?

  • Yes, one hopes so. Such is the nature of the human species. Business, govet. and Bishops error.

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  • Thanks for keeping us posted Tito – this is a big deal. The light exposes evil. Keep shining it.

    I smell more smoke.

    So John Carr is now an “unfaithful Catholic” using the cover of social justice to subvert the Church so beloved of REAL Catholics like Michael Voris, S.T.B.???? Hey, guys, that’s not smoke you’re smelling.

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Res et Explicatio for AD 2-3-2010

Wednesday, February 3, AD 2010

Salvete TAC readers!

Here are my Top Picks in the Internet from the world of the Catholic Church and secular culture:

1. On ABC’s “This Week” this past Sunday Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post accused Glenn Beck of “inciting the American people” to commit violence against Obama by talking about “people being slaughtered.”

Here is Glenn Beck’s response from last night:

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7 Responses to Res et Explicatio for AD 2-3-2010

  • Safari and Chrome are superior to Firefox in page loading speed and web standards compliance. Firefox uses the least memory but the #1 reason I stick with it is because of the extensions. All this competition is producing rapidly improving browsers.

  • “Here is a neat story of how a kitty cat at a nursing home in Rhode Island curls up to patients just before they are about to die.”

    Oscar, The Cat of Doom!

  • RR,

    I agree. Competition makes everyone better. And if they don’t get better they wither and die!

  • I have found Google Chrome to be the superior browser, at least on my home computer. I don’t do much except browse the internet, and it is super fast. I have two problems with it, though they might be unique to my circumstance. For one, last I checked it still wasn’t syncing with PayPal to enable me to print out shipping labels (I have some ebay business), and for whatever reason whenever I attempt to write out blog posts all but the first paragraph disappears when I attempt to publish.

    I do like Safari as well, and Firefox works great on my work computer but for some reason is slow as heck at home.

  • Thanks for the post about Glenn Beck and for your pro-life stand.

  • Paul,

    Some of the online and evening classes I’m taking requires that I use Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox to access my assignments.

    Ironically they never configured their secure sites for Google Chrome, but Chrome works infinitely better than IE and Firefox!

    Go figure.

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Bishop Sheen on Fatima

Wednesday, February 3, AD 2010

The things that you find on the internet!  Bishop Sheen gives a brilliant exposition of the miracle of Fatima.

Bishop Sheen believed that our Lady of Fatima would lead to the conversion of Islam.  Here are his thoughts on that subject:

Moslemism is the only great post-Christian religion of the world. Because it had its origin in the seventh century under Mohammed, it was possible to unite within it some elements of Christianity and of Judaism.

Moslemism takes the doctrine of the unity of God, His Majesty, and His Creative Power, and uses it as a basis for the repudiation of Christ, the Son of God.

Misunderstanding the notion of the Trinity, Mohammed made Christ a prophet only.

The Catholic Church throughout Northern Africa was virtually destroyed by Moslem power and at the present time (circa 1950), the Moslems are beginning to rise again.

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6 Responses to Bishop Sheen on Fatima

  • Wow – this is a totally new perspective on Christian-Muslim relations. This means that “dialogue” should really focus on Mary. Are there any follow ups on this line of thinking, on groups that took it up in their missionary efforts, even Orthodox groups perhaps?

  • Very interesting. Thanks for posting this.

  • Thanks for this Don.

    Fulton Sheen was definitely a powerful and dramatic orator. I knew of him when I studied with the Redemptorists back in ’58 and ’59 testing a vocation, and knew a little of his assertion concerning the conversion of Islam. But that’s the first time I have seen these videos, and the first time I have read the full text of his talk on Fatima.

    Excellent stuff.

  • Abp. Sheen said this more than 50 years ago. He noted the growth of anti-Christian sentiment and predicted it would increase. That is happening. But there are also reports of Muslims converting, making great sacrifices and facing death as a result.
    When Fulton J. Sheen is canonized, perhaps an additional title could be placed after his name, “Prophet”.

  • Thank you JJO2 and Don. Bishop Sheen had a great gift of communicating in simple direct terms complicated truth. I think this show on Fatima was one of his best efforts.

  • Dear writer and all

    I would like to point out that those whom submit to God’s will are called Muslims and their religion is called Islam. Not moslems, moslemism or Mohammedism, Muslims do not worship Mohammed (Peace be upon him) nor do we believe he is the founder of Islam. The name Islam and Muslims is what God calls us in the Quran, it is not a religion named after a man.

    And regarding why muslims believe Jesus (peace be upon him) is a prophet, and not Son of God or God, is answered in the following link.

    Prophet Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be upon them) in the Holy Quran and Previous Scriptures
    http://theradiantlight.blogspot.com/

    Other useful websites

    Islam
    http://www.islamreligion.com/

    Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him)
    http://www.rasoulallah.net/

    By a German diplomat
    http://teachislam.com/dmdocuments/Muhammad_Aman_Hobohm_Islams_Answer_to_Racial_Problem.pdf

    I hope this provides a better understanding.

    It says in your scripture “blessed are the peacemakers” I hope Jews, Christians and Muslims co-exist peacefuly.

Teen Abortion Rates — Fact vs. Spin

Tuesday, February 2, AD 2010

There was much tut-tutting last week when data came out from the Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood — but despite its pedigree the most comprehensive source of data on issues relating to abortion most of the time) showing that the pregnancy and abortion rates for teenagers had increased in 2006 for the first time in over a decade. This fit will with two stories which people had been itching to tell:

1) Those opposed to abstinence-based sex ed in schools have been eagerly waiting for some sort of data to support the claim that not pushing contraception in school was resulting in more teen pregnancy and abortion. (The previous, much trumpeted, round in this debate ony really succeeded in proving that abstinence-based sex ed was no more effective than contraception-based.)

2) A small subset of progressive pro-lifers have been very eager to find a way to claim that Bush’s policies increased abortion, while progressive policies (even combined with pro-choice policies) would decrease abortions. Indeed, some have already attempted to make this claim, though the data on which they attemped to base the argument turned out to be incorrect.

So what are we really seeing with this latest data?

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One Response to Teen Abortion Rates — Fact vs. Spin

5 Responses to Its Groundhog Day!

21 Responses to Public Health Care for Thee, But Not for Me

  • How’s that “free” health care working out for you canucks… eh?

  • Tito,
    He is going to have to pay for this surgery, which we all know is scandalous given that it is a human right. In Canada, it would be free! Now, it is true that he might be dead before it is available, but at least he would be entitled to full coverage and treated equally with other Canadians, which is only a matter of human dignity. In the US some people might not have the resources to access such surgery, and yet we allow the privileged rich to benefit from a quality of care not available to others. Justice requires equality! Human beings must be accorded equal treatment, except for congress critters who are more human than others and therefore more equal.

  • Mike,

    So the Canadian system works just fine just as long as they don’t die waiting for it?

  • Mike, you have a wit as dry as the Sahara! Bravo!

  • Call me late to the party.

    Being naive has its drawbacks, but at least I can laugh at myself!

  • Tito,
    That is where you and I differ. And I try never to laugh at myself — that would be piling on. 😉
    Cheers,
    Mike

  • http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/waitlist/cardiac.html

    Facts about wait time for Canaddian cardiac patients are shown on link above for anyone interested in the facts.

  • Anon,

    Just read those “facts” and it states that half of the patients are taken immediately.

    That means that other half wait. Not to mention it doesn’t state the number that die waiting.

    The average waiting times is just under five weeks.

    Nope, just like the premier of Newfoundland, I’ll take American health care ANY DAY OF THE WEEK (without waiting) over the Canuckian Peoples Republic of Northern New England.

  • I guess the Newfie Premier is coming to the US for his surgery just because he likes to travel, eh Anonymous?

  • “Dr. Robert Roberts, University of Ottawa Heart Institute president, told CTV News Channel’s Power Play that there are no wait times for cardiac surgery in Canada.
    “Canada . . . gives superb (cardiac) care,” he said. “Our statistics for complications in surgery are comprisable to the very best in the U.S.”

  • Anon,

    No wait times yet the link you posted show’s a wait time average of just under five (5) weeks.

    Like Donald said, so why is it that the Premier of Newfoundland decides to pay out of pocket for surgery in the U.S.?

    Facts normally stumpy liberals and their socialist comrades so I can understand your befuddlement.

    And if you’re going to post at least post your name.

  • Why does my posting make you so angry? So..O.K. I am a Lutheran and do tend to be more liberal than most conservative Lutherans here in the Midwest..but such anger for posting a couple of dueling Canadian facts is a bit reactive. Well..I’m off to see what the Baptists blogs are like.
    Just call me
    The Duke of Dubuque

  • Anon,

    Angry?

    By repeating what your link says makes us “angry”?

  • No one is angry with you Anonymous. You simply refused to attempt to explain why the Newfie premier is coming to the US for heart surgery if everything is hunky dory with cardiac surgery in public care in Canada.

  • Apparently the procedure that the good Premier is needing here in the United States isn’t available in Canada… anywhere!

    When you take away the incentive to advance medical technology you get atrophy in the system.

    Hence why many Canadians cross the border for many medical procedures and prescriptions.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/editorials/oh_no_canada_lRaE7XngBCNxVFz6y7fnuL

    Enjoy!

  • http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/759116–u-s-bloggers-weigh-in-on-danny-williams-surgery

    Just adding this article to the mix. It is fun to read the comment section.
    Good Day!

    Duke

  • Uninsured U.S. heart patients do not receive heart transplants but are 25% of donors for them according to this ABC News article.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=1514702

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  • “You simply refused to attempt to explain why the Newfie premier is coming to the US for heart surgery if everything is hunky dory with cardiac surgery in public care in Canada.”

    Note, not needed, wanted. Does you insurance cover surgery you want but do not need?

    He did need surgery, and he could have gotten surgery, but the particular technique he wanted leaves a smaller scar. That he could not get in his province, and most Canadian doctors do not recommend it.

    “No wait times yet the link you posted show’s a wait time average of just under five (5) weeks.”

    It shows an *average* of just under 5 weeks for *hospitals*. Several doctors have wait times of less than a week, yet one has a wait time of 11 weeks? Why would anyone wait 11 weeks when he could have the surgery in less than one week? Could it be people wait longer for the best doctor?

    Are all doctors in the US the best doctor? Are all the children above average?

    Some hospitals have a nearly 5 week wait, one less than 2 weeks. Funny that the hospital with the longer wait has the doctors with the longer wait time. Maybe they are just the best?

    Ah, and the median wait is 3.3 weeks, not 5.

  • “He did need surgery, and he could have gotten surgery, but the particular technique he wanted leaves a smaller scar. That he could not get in his province, and most Canadian doctors do not recommend it.”

    Actually Williams said that his doctors recommended that he have the surgery outside of the province. He also made this statement that indicates that wait times for treatment was a factor “I would’ve been criticized if I had stayed in Canada and had been perceived as jumping a line or a wait list .… I accept that. That’s public life,” he said.”

    As for wait times, here is a list from the provincial government of Ontario regarding wait times for various types of surgery.

    http://www.health.gov.on.ca/transformation/wait_times/providers/wt_pro_mn.html

Lila Rose and the Abortion Escort

Tuesday, February 2, AD 2010

Hattip to Cassy Fiano at Hot Air.  This will come as old news to pro-lifers who attempt to spread the pro-life message at abortion clinics, but abortion clinic employees, volunteers and escorts are usually intensely abusive of pro-lifers, sometimes resorting to physical violence.  These incidents are usually ignored by the media, most of which is completely in the tank for the pro-abort cause.

On December 18, 2009, Lila Rose, the intrepid pro-life activist I have written about here and here, was with 20 students and 3 adults to pray at an abortion clinic in San Jose, California.

According to a police report filed at the scene, supported by several witnesses, the following interaction took place between Miss Rose and the uniformed Planned Parenthood escort:

Rose, from the public sidewalk: “Sir, are you familiar with the abortion procedure?”

Escort approaches Rose rapidly from Planned Parenthood parking lot, says, “You idiot. You’ve caused so much trouble. You piece of crap.”

Rose offers to show Escort a picture: “Can I show you a picture of what it really does to a baby?”

The Escort strikes Miss Rose’s hand, knocking literature and Bible to the ground. Rose steps further back on sidewalk, Escort steps towards Rose.

Escort, visibly shaking, says, “It’s a woman’s choice!”

Rose says, “What about the baby’s choice?”

Escort says, “It’s not a baby!” Escort turns around and walks away.Police were called and interviewed the victim and several witnesses. Rose sustained no injuries from the attack. Charges of assault and battery are pending. There have been no apologies.

Live Action maintains a strong commitment to non-violent public discourse. We expect Planned Parenthood will respond to their escort’s attack by publicly disavowing the use of violence.

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5 Responses to Lila Rose and the Abortion Escort

Pro-Lifers Invade the Pro-Abortion City of San Francisco

Tuesday, February 2, AD 2010

Recently the City of San Francisco got to experience a peaceful and powerful Pro-Life march on January 23.  In what is being billed as the largest gathering of Pro-Lifers in San Francisco ever, an estimated 40,000 volunteers from all ages, cultures, and nations descended on what is known to be the most egregious community of new Carthaginians in the country.

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6 Responses to Pro-Lifers Invade the Pro-Abortion City of San Francisco