LCWR: No “dialogue” about discussion about sexual abuse by nuns…

Tuesday, August 7, AD 2012


The day after The Motley Monk posted “Cracking Down on the LCWR: Is Orthodoxy the Only Problem?” at The American Catholic, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, (SNAP) staged a protest outside of the meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in St. Louis.




According to Steve Theisen of Iowa SNAP who was sexually victimized by a nun as a child:

The scandal of child molesting nuns takes a backseat to abuse by priests, remaining dangerously in the shadows.  More and more, we’re hearing from men and women who were molested, as young kids and vulnerable adults, by nuns across the country. Yet nun officials have done little to determine just how widespread such crimes and cover ups are or take effective steps to stop them in the future.


Isn’t that exactly what the leaders of the LCWR have been saying about the bishops?

According to SNAP’s Director, David Clohessy, LCWR has not responded to SNAP’s repeated prodding to let childhood sexual victims speak at the nun’s conference,  to actively reach out to victims of nun abuse, and to post the names, photos and whereabouts of proven, admitted, and credibly accused child molesting nuns on church websites.  Clohessy writes:

It’s ironic that the LCWR makes the same excuses for inaction now what bishops used 20 years ago.  They make essentially bureaucratic claims like “our structure doesn’t permit us to do more” and their meetings are not “the best venue” to address these issues. It’s very disheartening.


As The Motley Monk also noted, there’s also not much the main stream media is reporting about the issue of clergy sex crimes and cover ups by nuns.  According to SNAP’s Outreach Director, Barbara Dorris:

It’s stunning, really, to see nuns moving more timidly and slowly on child sex crimes and cover ups than bishops.   Abuse by nuns is certainly more common than anyone suspects, and inaction by nuns’ groups contributes to this secrecy.



To read The Motley Monk’s post “Cracking Down on the LCWR: Is Orthodoxy the Only Problem?,” click on the following link:

To read David Clohessy’s post, click on the following link:

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18 Responses to LCWR: No “dialogue” about discussion about sexual abuse by nuns…

  • Weren’t we assured that if women had leadership roles in the Church, stonewalling on sexual abuse would never happen? How could Enlightened Opinion have been so wrong?

  • SNAP…..who can take them seriously after the debacle in Missouri…….I believe SNAP has an agenda but it is not to help abuse victims. What they are all about is money and bringing down the Church. Anyone who sympathizes with SNAP should read the following about David Clohessy:

    If the nuns are guilty of child abuse they should be punished but SNAP lacks the credibiity to even raise the question.

  • The mainstream narrative is going to have a problem with this. The “mean nun with a ruler” and “the innocent nun picked on by the Vatican” don’t mesh. In a pinch, I suppose they could make the old nun in a habit the abuser, and turn the younger (at the time) LCWR nun into a modernist hero, but that might be too complicated. The narrative likes two word sentences. Priests bad. Pope bad. Nuns…mixed? human? Nah.

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  • Let the LCWR, SNAP, and the media all wrestle in the mud over this. They’ll
    only end up covered in dirt and looking ridiculous. To me, none of the three
    parties have much credibility.

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  • I may be wrong but could the abuse by nuns have a homosexual component to it just as the priest scandal did!

  • Now that professional victim David Clohessy is running out of deceased priests to keep his organization in business, he is now extending his mission to go after senior citizen nuns. That should keep him and his bottom feeding lawyer friends busy for years to come.

  • At one point, I was party to a conversation with a large number of geeky males.
    More than half had been molested as young teens by female teachers. (no, they didn’t phrase it that way. Does our culture allow it?)

    NONE had been molested by male anythings, although a few mentioned having rebuffed male predators.

    Yet, somehow, being raped by a 30 year old woman is not as bad as being raped by a 30 year old man. Heck, being assaulted by a 20 year old woman is not as bad as being INSULTED by a 20 year old man, even in the Navy. (Sorry, still bitter. I couldn’t even get anybody to get the open lesbians to turn off the loud metal music after hours, let alone respond to what would’ve been assault from a male. And no, I wasn’t strong enough to push up to anyone who might have done something.)

    It’s sad. Ironic, and sad. A lot of ironic things are sad.

  • Foxfier,

    There’s never any excuse for someone homosexual or not to try to force someone to engage in a sex act, unfortunately it is not uncommon. I went into the Navy a few weeks after my 18th birthday. I was assigned to a destroyer escort that was being refitted in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. It was scheduled to go on a 6 month Med cruise as soon as the refit was done.

    I no more than arrived on the boat when a homosexual cabal, made up of senior enlisted men, tried to force me into their group through intimidation. Luckily I had prior experience dealing with unwanted homosexual advances and recognized what was going on so I went to a senior officer and explained that unless something was done I would go AWOL before the boat left for the Med. About three weeks later 5 or 6 guys were taken off the boat in handcuffs as a result of somekind of undercover investigation. Apparently they had a long history of abusing young new sailors. As I was growing up I had several other run-ins with aggressive homosexuals/ephebophiles but new enough to and was big enough to get away from them.

    Since my military service I have met many homosexuals. While I completely disagree with their lifestyle I became friends with a number of them. They are great, caring people and not sexual predators. I made sure they know exactly how I feel about homosexuality.

    One thing for sure… can’t let these experiences dominate you life….time to move on.

  • Robart:

    Great, insightful post. That is exactly what this group is doing. This time I think they will have a hard time since the LCWR and member groups act very independently of the Vatican and they ain’t got no $$$$$$$$$$$$. Before this is done I think we will see David Clohessy brought up on criminal charges.

  • No domination of my life here– just disgusted and angry at how something if done by a man is jail-worthy, but if done by a woman it’s laughed off; lesbian only came into it with me being a target. As I pointed out, the guys had been raped by women and it was supposed to be laughed off.
    That’s wrong, and disgusting.

    Good on you breaking up the rape ring.

  • Foxfier,

    Who’s laughing anything off. Sexual injustices have been with us since the beginning of time. If you are supporting SNAP’s effort to attack the LCWR and nuns I want incontrovertable evidence not more of SNAP developed witnesses.

  • Reading the comments, The Motley Monk would note that David Clohessy isn’t the issue.

    The issue is what the LCWR leadership has done and continues to do in order to avoid addressing the issue of pedophile/ephebophile nuns.

    Checkered as his motives may be, Clohessy has attempted to get some transparency concerning this issue with LCWR for years. Talk all the LCWR leadership wants about how the bishops completely failed in terms of moral leadership concerning pedophile/ephebophile priests, they seem to have little or no interest in holding themselves to the same exacting standard.

    The Motley Monk would also note that it is no less morally repugnant for a heterosexual female to prey upon a young heterosexual male or a heterosexual male to prey upon a young heterosexual female than if a homosexual female or male does the same to a young person who is heterosexual or homosexual. Both violate another person’s human dignity solely for the purpose of fulfilling one’s sexual desires. That’s what makes both equally morally repugnant.

    It is interesting to note, however, that people differentiate between the two, making the former less reprehensible, perhaps thinking one “natural” and the other “unnatural.”

  • Mike M –
    It doesn’t matter that people have been raped since time began when noticing that folks getting raped has a chasm between responses based on the sex of the assailant.

    Since I didn’t say anything about the credibility of SNAP, I’m not sure why you’re acting like I used them as evidence. I am pointing out that the lack of response is a culture wide sickness.

  • I’m only suggesting that SNAP produce more than heresay evidence to make their case.

  • To be clear, alleged victim testimony may or may not be reliable, but it is not hearsay.

  • MIke Petrik, The word heresay was a bad choice on my part but I think the accusers have need to be vetted…..SNAP’s past of bringing for accusations from people with ‘recovered memories’ or seriously bad backgrounds make one suspicious.

Guadalcanal: America Turns the Tide

Tuesday, August 7, AD 2012

Before Guadalcanal the enemy advanced at his pleasure. After Guadalcanal, he retreated at ours.

Admiral William “Bull” Halsey

Seventy years ago Marines of the First Division, The Old Breed, launched the first offensive of America in World War II, by landing on Guadalcanal and seized the Japanese air strip, named Henderson Field by the Marines.  This set off a huge six month campaign, where US forces, often outnumbered on land, sea and in the air, fought and defeated the Imperial Army and Navy.

Once the Marines seized Henderson, the Japanese commenced a cycle of shipping troops by sea to Guadalcanal, called by Marines the Tokyo Express, to take it back.  The Imperial Navy, waged battle after battle with the US Navy to cut the supply line of the Marines. In the skies above Guadalcanal the Japanese sent wave after wave of fighters and bombers to establish air supremacy and to make Henderson unusable through bombing.

The Japanese were unable to establish air supremacy due to the “Cactus Air Force”, Cactus being the Allied code name for Guadalcanal, heavily outnumbered Marine aviators, who, operating under the most primitive conditions imaginable, successfully contested Japanese control of the air, and, eventually, with American carrier based air, established American air supremacy above Guadalcanal.

The US Navy, in seven large battles against its Japanese counterpart, eventually established naval supremacy in the seas around Guadalcanal.  The battles were hammer and tongs affairs, with some of the most desperate naval fighting in the entire War.

The Marines on Guadalcanal learned many useful lessons in fighting and beating the Japanese:

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One Response to Guadalcanal: America Turns the Tide

A Priest Born on Flag Day

Monday, August 6, AD 2012

One of the most highly decorated chaplains of World War II, Father Elmer W. Heindl used to joke that his decorations were simply due to him being in the wrong place at the right time.  Born on June 14, 1910 in Rochester, New York, the oldest of six children, Heindl decided at an early age that he was meant to be a priest and was ordained on June 6, 1936.  He said that being born on Flag Day indicated to him that during his life he would do something to honor the Stars and Stripes.

In March of 1942 he joined the Army as a chaplain.  Assigned to the 2nd Battalion of th 148th infantry attached to the 37th Division, he served on Guadalcanal, New Georgia and in the Philippines.  He quickly gained a reputation for utter fearlessness under fire, giving the last Rites, tending the wounded and rescuing wounded under fire.    In regard to the Last Rites, Father Heindl noted that he did not have time to check dog tags to see if a dying soldier was a Catholic.  “Every situation was an instant decision.  You didn’t have time to check his dog tag to see whether he was Catholic or not. I’d say, in Latin, ‘If you’re able and willing to receive this sacrament, I give it to you.’ And then leave it up to the Lord.”

He earned a Bronze Star on New Georgia when on July  19 and July 23 he conducted burial services, although in constant danger from Japanese sniper fire.  The citation noted that his cheerful demeanor and courage inspired the troops who encountered him.

During the liberation of the Philippines, Captain Heindl participated in the bitter fighting in Manila.  He earned a Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest award in the United States Army for valor, during the fighting at Bilibid prison to liberate American and Filipino POWs who had been through horrors at the hands of their Japanese captors that I truly hope the readers of this post would find literally unimaginable.  Here is the Distinguished Service Cross citation:

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8 Responses to A Priest Born on Flag Day

  • “The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Chaplain) Elmer W. Heindl, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Chaplain with Company E, 2d Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 6, 8 and 11 February 1945, in the Philippine Islands.”

    “Miraculously, Father Heindl came out of the War without a scratch. In honor of this miracle, he received an honorary Purple Heart.”

    Chaplain Elmer W. Heindl would not be allowed to minister in the new atheism. The new atheism has rescinded the Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 and the Order of the Purple Heart for Catholic Chaplains. The new atheism has rescinded the FREEDOM OF RELIGION for Catholics, as though becoming a Catholic Priest and Chaplain removed their citizenship.
    I am heartened by Chaplain Elmer W. Heindl’s selfless courage. I woud only hope under similar circumstances I could do the same. I would also hope that under similar circumstances, America would continue to acknowledge valor and genius to every person so entitled.

  • I must say I was quite moved by the beauty of the actions described in the DSC citation. To give of one’s self so fully for their neighbor is something truly inspired by the Holy Spirit.

  • It reminds me AS of a commercial I saw in the sixties with a young nun tending a leper. The voice over says, “Sister, I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars.” The nun looks up, smiles, and says, “Neither would I!”.

  • If I correctly understand this administration’s new directives for military chaplains,
    the likes of the good Fr. Heindl wouldn’t be welcome unless he was willing to toe
    the line concerning blessing same-sex weddings and endorsing homosexuals in
    the military. I believe our government views men like Fr. Heindl as “haters”.

    Today, he wouldn’t be decorated, he’d probably be asked to resign.

  • Too true Clinton. One of many reasons to make certain that Obama is looking for new employment come next January.

  • Alphatron Shinyskullus says:
    “I must say I was quite moved by the beauty of the actions described in the DSC citation. To give of one’s self so fully for their neighbor is something truly inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

    The true beauty of Father Elmer Heindl’s face is captivating.

  • Beautifully done. Thank you. It reminds me of what I was taught in a Catholic military school, now closed, “Pro Deo, Pro Patria”, though I doubt that I would have the courage and equanimity he demonstrated.
    By the way, what do you think about President Obama being invited by Cardinal Dolan to keynote the Al Smith Dinner in October along with Mitt Romney? Will this give him cover with Catholics who traditionallay vote Democratic and help re-elect him?

  • It is an old tradition to invite the President and his Challenger in a Presidential election year. Let us see what Cardinal Dolan says at the dinner. This might be one for the record books!

Hello Again, TAC

Monday, August 6, AD 2012

It has been a while since I’ve posted here, due to personal issues and professional obligations. Just wanted to drop in and say that I’ll be back. Some topics that have been on my mind, and that will be the topic of future posts include:


* The intensification of the battle between proponents of traditional marriage and “marriage equality”, and how we can turn the tide in our favor.

* The upcoming presidential election and to what extent I can cheer for Mitt Romney.

* The more general conflict between tradition/hierarchy on the one hand and radicalism/egalitarianism on the other

* Fred Phelps and the Westboro outfit (my fascination with the entire phenomenon)

Stay tuned 🙂

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2 Responses to Hello Again, TAC

  • Thanks for the post. I was just wondering about this last week.
    Looking forward to reading more.

  • I have been off for awhile also. Does anyone know anything about the Dolan invitation to BO for the Al Smith dinner? Or is this old news. I went to the mountains and literally could not get anything to work! as in tech. It was great though. I was able to get to Mass and Holy Hour everyday!!!. Pretty sad when you have to go a thousand miles and 10,000 feet up to find daily confessions heard, Mass, and daily Holy Hour.

Fare Forward

Sunday, August 5, AD 2012

There is an outstanding new publication hitting the press by the name of Fare Forward: A Christian Review of Ideas.  The Editor-in-Chief is named Peter Blair.  While at Dartmouth, Blair ran the campus publication Apologia.  Now that he is a graduate, this is his attempt at furthering the mission of Apologia and taking it national in Fare Forward.  From the website, the publication describes itself:

Fare Forward is a quarterly Christian review of ideas and cultural commentary for young adults launched in the summer of 2012. As undergraduates, the editors of the journal all worked on The Dartmouth Apologia, a journal of Christian thought at Dartmouth College. The success of the Apologia and like-minded Christian journals on college campuses across the country, as well as the sociological research on our generation, inspired the editors to create this journal. Our writers and readers are drawn from the ranks of what sociologists have begun to call “emerging adults”: young people who have graduated from college and begun to enter the work force but who are still facing a period of transition and uncertainty. We aim to provide emerging adults with a space to engage with a thoughtful Christian worldview that provides a framework for integrating faith, reason, service and vocation, and to put this worldview in dialogue with the intellectual and cultural trends influencing our national discussions.

The name ‘Fare Forward’ is taken from “The Dry Salvages”, the third quartet of T.S. Eliot’s masterpiece, Four Quartets. “The Dry Salvages” is a reflection on time, eternity, and humanity’s place in between. We chose our name to reflect this awareness of the transhistorical, incarnational nature of human experience and to affirm our commitment to acknowledging both the richness of Christian tradition and our faith’s vital creativity.

Give Fare Forward a solid look, and consider a subscription during this inaugural year.  While I am committed (for obvious reasons) to electronic media, I am also a fan of keeping printed publications as an integral part of our intellectual culture.

The website can be found here  Subscriptions can be order here.

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Cracking down on the LCWR : Is orthodoxy the only problem?

Sunday, August 5, AD 2012


The Vatican’s so-called “crackdown” on the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) for doctrinal heterodoxy generated a bit of press on the part of the American Catholic left.

If leftist media reports are to be believed, LCRW leaders were “stunned” and their ire has been raised by the crackdown.  Rome is “bullying” those selfless, consecrated women whose lives of humble charity in imitation of Jesus endeared  them to many Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  After all, LCRW leaders only seek “honest, respectful dialogue towards peacemaking and reconciliation.”


Now that the initial fallout has settled a bit, The Motley Monk detects what may be a new twist surfacing in the narrative.  This slightly revised version raises the specter that conservative  American cardinals living in Rome were pivotal in what The Motley Monk previously called a “hostile takeover” of the LCWR.

That “conservative” American cardinals engineered this shocking maneuver, according to the American Catholic left, is bad enough.

But, compounding evil upon evil—yes, in the eyes of many on the American Catholic left, conservative Catholicism is an intrinsic evil that’s intent upon destroying the authentic reform of the Church envisaged at Vatican II—the Catholic left’s media has reported that one of the key players in the LCWR’s hostile takeover was none other than Cardinal Bernard Law.  He’s the former Archbishop of Boston.

If previous media reports are to be believed, Law’s cover up of priestly pedophilia and ephebophilia in Boston required the Vatican to usher him out of the United States and ensconce him safely in the Vatican.  Doing so under the Vatican’s protective cover of “diplomatic immunity” would ensure that a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church wouldn’t be indicted on U.S. soil.


Cardinal Bernard Law kisses the papal ring
on Wednesday June 7, 2006


According to Robert Mickens in The Tablet, Cardinal Law was “the person in Rome most forcefully supporting” the LCWR investigation that began in 2009 and ended in 2011, with the hostile takeover being announced in April 2012.   Minkens reports one American cleric calling Cardinal Law the “prime instigator” of the investigation.

It has been alleged that Law’s cohort included the former Archbishop of St. Louis, Cardinal  Raymond Burke, as well as Cardinal James Stafford, the former Archbishop of Denver who worked in the  Roman Curia since 1996.  Then, too, another American, the former Archbishop of San Francisco, Cardinal William Levada, conducted the actual investigation.

Is the “crackdown,” as it’s being suggested, “pay back” for the grief the LCWR has caused the American hierarchy for the past several decades?

The Motley Monk thinks maybe not.

With the leftist media linking the hostile takeover of the LCWR to the pedophilia and ephebophophilia scandal, The Motley Monk wonders whether operatives of the American Catholic left and their media outlets are attempting to distract attention away from what’s a very important question that’s not being asked, at least in public: What was the LCWR’s role, if any, in a glossing over—if not a coverup—of pedophilia and ephebophilia on the part of Catholic women religious?

Check out how Sr. Joan D. Chittister, OSB, the 1976 LCWR President,  avoids the question (begin at 9:05)



Promoting the narrative that the women religious were 100% “pure as the driven snow” as they set about effecting greater “peace with justice” in the post-Vatican II era, the media’s sole focus became the alleged machinations of evil clergymen who engaged in an unconscionable covering up of the pedophilia and ephebophilia scandals.  There’d be little reason to suspect that women religious—and especially the LCWR—would ever engage in similar heinous behavior.

Perhaps CNN’s Christiane Amanpour didn’t do her homework.

Doctrinal heterodoxy may not be all that’s problematic with the LCWR.  It may very well be that the “Nuns [are] on the Run from the Truth,” as Frances Kissling observed three years ago and as a Daily Kos article has detailed.  There’s also a long list of allegations posted at

Just ask the folks at the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) about how the LCWR treated them when they started asking questions.



To read The Motley Monk’s post at The American Catholic, click on the following link:

To read about Robert Micken’s report, click on the following link:

To read Frances Kissling’s article in, click on the following link:

To read the Daily Kos article, click on the following link:

To read the National Catholic Reporter article about SNAP’s experience with the LCWR, click on the following link:

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5 Responses to Cracking down on the LCWR : Is orthodoxy the only problem?

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  • Motley Monk’s first posted photo is validation for the adage: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

    These addled, aged sisters have cast aside the Truth, handed down to us in unbroken succession from the day the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, and embraced the libertine, liberal lie, aka agenda.

    PS: The lying, liberal so-called journalists will ignore the real nun news. Tomorrow and the next day, in Connecticut, when the order of nuns formed under Cardinal O’Connor to promote LIFE will bestow first vows on five novices and perpetual vows on one new Sister of Life. Cardinal Dolan will celebrate the Mass.

    One person with God is a majority.

  • T. Shaw says:

    “One person with God is a majority.”

    A majority of One. The Seamless Garment refers to the tunic Jesus Christ wore all His life. Legend has it that the Blessed Virgin made the Seamless Garment and it grew with Jesus as He needed it to grow. The Seamless Garment was the Crucified Christ’s tunic that was cast lots over by the soldiers as was prophecied in the Old Testament. Too precious to tear into pieces, the garment was lotteried. Our Lady made the garment, herself, and it represents the Catholic Church, the unbroken Apostolic Succession, the infallible truth, the One, Holy, Catholic Church of Jesus Christ, Who died to preserve it and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

    A woman cannot deny the will of God and belong to the Seamless Garment. If God wanted a woman to be priest, God would have created her a man. If God wanted the newly begotten to not have life, God would not have created him, and given him His Name: “I AM”. God would not have given him existence and an innocent, immortal soul, or endowed him with the unalienable right to life. If God had wanted the unborn to be aborted, God would not have begotten His only Son in the womb of a woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
    The Seamless Garment is the soul of man in its original innocence, virginity and the essence of God in man, sanctifying grace. Some are still casting lots for it.

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Anti-Masonic Party

Sunday, August 5, AD 2012

One of the most peculiar periods in American political history is the rise and fall of the Anti-Masonic Party.  In 1826, William Morgan, who lived in Batavia, New York, decided to write a tell-all book about the Masons after he was denied admission to the local lodge.  Some members of the Batavia lodge ran an advertisement denouncing Morgan.  Various Masons claimed that Morgan owed them money.  Someone attempted to set fire to the newspaper offices of David Miller who had agreed to help publish Morgan’s planned book exposing the Masons.  Morgan was jailed for debt.  On September 11, 1826 he was freed from jail when his debts were paid by a man who claimed to be a friend of Morgan.  The two men went by carriage to Fort Niagara, the carriage arriving there the next day.  Morgan was never seen again.  Suspicion was immediate that Morgan had been killed by Masons drowning him in the Niagara River.  Three Masons served jail terms for kidnapping him.  No prosecution was ever attempted for the murder of Morgan.

This caused a huge stink in New York, with popular opinion believing that Masonic officials had literally gotten away with murder.  Thurlow Weed was the driving force in transforming this anti-Mason sentiment into the anti-Masonic political party.  Churches throughout New York state denounced the Masons.  In the 1828 election it became the main opposition party to the Democrats in New York and broadened its appeal by supporting internal improvements and a high protective tariff.  The movement quickly spread to other states, becoming powerful in Pennsylvania and Vermont, electing governors in both states.  In 1832 it held the first national political convention and nominated William Wirt, a former United States Attorney General for President.  In 1836 the party did not nominate any candidate for President, but most anti-Masons support William Henry Harrison, who ran well in Northern states thus setting himself up for a successful run in 1840.

By 1838 the party was largely a part of the new Whig anti-Democrat party, with the anti-Masonic party relegated to being one of the curios of American political history.

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5 Responses to Anti-Masonic Party

  • Coincidentally, the British in 1830’s India suppressed a murder/theft cult called “thugee.” Hollywood picked it up in at least two movies: “Gunga Din” and one of the Indiana Jones serials.

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  • I agree, this was a very peculiar American revolt against a old ideology, but even more interesting was the ingeniousness Liberal revolt against the Americo-Liberian Masonic establishment in Liberal in the 1980’s – I covered the subject in a recent book I wrote on Freemasonry.

  • I promise I’m not picking, but I’m confused. If Morgan was never seen again, how does he have a grave with a statue atop in Batavia? Can anybody clear this up?

  • The grave is an empty one, rather like the graves that many parents in World War 2 had stateside for sons killed in the War who were buried overseas, or buried at sea.

    “At the southwest corner of the cemetery is a 37-foot (11 m) granite pillar with a statue of William Morgan atop it. A four-part inscription on all sides praises Morgan for his heroism in attempting to expose the secrets of Freemasonry and explains how the monument was funded with donations from Canada and 26 U.S. states and terrirories. Morgan is actually not buried there; he disappeared in 1824.”

Plaisir d’amour

Saturday, August 4, AD 2012

Something for the weekend.  Plaisir d’amour, “The Pleasure of Love”.  Written in 1780 by Jean Paul Egide Martini, it was orchestrally arranged by Hector Berlioz.  The haunting melody has always been a favorite of mine.

Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment.

 chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.

  J’ai tout quitté pour l’ingrate Sylvie.

 Elle me quitte et prend un autre amant.

  Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment.

 chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.

  Tant que cette eau coulera doucement

 vers ce ruisseau qui borde la prairie,

  Je t’aimerai me répétait Sylvie.

 L’eau coule encore. Elle a changé pourtant.

  Plaisir d’amour ne dure qu’un moment.

 chagrin d’amour dure toute la vie.

The pleasure of love lasts only a moment

 The pain of love lasts a lifetime.

  I gave up everything for ungrateful Sylvia,

 She is leaving me for another lover.

  The pleasure of love lasts only a moment,

 The pain of love lasts a lifetime.

  “As long as this water will run gently

 Towards this brook which borders the meadow,

  I will love you”, Sylvia told me repeatedly.

 The water still runs, but she has changed.

  The pleasure of love lasts only a moment,

 The pain of love lasts a lifetime.

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5 Responses to Plaisir d’amour

  • This is a very pleasant song but, in the 70s it became second only to Kumbaya at the Novus Masses – of course, with semi religious lyrics.
    I cannot hear it now without thinking of those awful guitars and mod nuns crooning in a dirge.

  • The original melody is haunting, but alas, the original lyrics are not. They come across a little whiney, as if he had nothing to do with the break-up. It’s all Sylvie. Actually, the lyrics Elvis sang were more reflective of true, not momentary, “love.” That’s probably why it was his #1 love song and the song he ended his concerts with.

  • Elvis has no regrets. Elvis accepts his humanity in falling in love. The other version hautingly is sung by a woman magnificently, but nonetheless better by man. “The pleasure of love lasts only a moment, The pain of love lasts a lifetime.

  • Had I not pressed the wrong key I might have added: Dante and Beatice

  • Thank you, Mr McLarey. I prefer Elvis’ version, too. It always spoke to me, it was so very haunting. The French version does sound whiny. Oh well, thanks again,

John Keegan: Requiescat in Pace

Friday, August 3, AD 2012

“Now tell us what ’twas all about,

“Young Peterkin, he cries;

And little Wilhelmine looks up

With wonder-waiting eyes;

“Now tell us all about the war,

And what they fought each other for.”

“It was the English,” Kaspar cried,

“Who put the French to rout;

But what they fought each other for

I could not well make out;

But everybody said,” quoth he,

“That ’twas a famous victory.”

Robert Southey, The Battle of Blenheim

One of my favorite military historians died today, John Keegan.  A Brit, Keegan wrote with skill about the history of war, and never forgot the human element, as he demonstrated in his magisterial The Face of  Battle, which looked at conflict through the ages from the point of view of the common soldiers at the sharp end of the spear.

He firmly believed that different nations viewed military history from different perspectives depending upon how they had fared in their recent wars:


It is really only in the English-speaking countries, whose land campaigns, with the exception of those of the American Civil War, have all been waged outside the national territory, that military history has been able to acquire the status of a humane study with a wide, general readership among informed minds. The reasons for that are obvious; our defeats have never threatened our national survival, our wars in consequence have never deeply divided our countries (Vietnam may — but probably will not — prove a lasting exception) and we have never therefore demanded scapegoats or Titans. In that vein, it is significant that the only cult general in the English-speaking world — Robert E Lee — was the paladin of its only component community ever to suffer military catastrophe, the Confederacy.


For the privileged majority of our world, land warfare during the last hundred and fifty years — the period which coincides with the emergence of modern historical scholarship — has been in the last resort a spectator activity. Hence our demand for, and pleasure in, well-written and intelligent commentary. Hence too our limited conception of military-historical controversy… It does not comprehend questions about whether or not, by better military judgment, we might still govern ourselves from our national capital — as it does for the Germans; whether or not we might have avoided four years of foreign occupation — as it does for the French; whether or not we might have saved the lives of 20 millions of our fellow countrymen — as it does for the Russians. Had we to face questions like that, were military history not for us a success story, our military historiography would doubtless bear all the marks of circumscription, over-technicality, bombast, personal vilification, narrow xenophobia and inelegant style which, separately or in combination, disfigure — to our eyes — the work of French, German and Russian writers.

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6 Responses to John Keegan: Requiescat in Pace

  • I find Maj-Gen J F C Fuller one of the most stimulating military historians.

    Liddell Hart is also well worth reading

  • I loved the Keegan’s book The Penguin Book of War: Great Military Writings. Keegan taught me what is war. After that, I managed to publish about terrorism.
    I will buy the book you mentioned: The Face of Battle

    He was really great. Requiescat in Pace.

    May God give peace for his family.

    Pedro Erik

  • The Penguin Book and other Keegan’s book (The History of Warfare) can provide a very good idea of “all about the war”

  • I have always been a history buff;especially military history. My critique of books on History is always viewed from my experiences as a platoon leader in Vietnam and Cambodia. Thucydides was a soldier and described the dirt and grime of warfare with realistic perceptions. John Keegan unfortunately was medically unable to serve in the military.This probably led to his interest in military history and his appointment to Sandhurst. British historians always seem to have a bias when writing history involving their own nation which is probably the only way they can survive academically there; John Keegan maybe less so. I have writen my own book about my experiences before during and after Vietnam;more so for my children and posterity than any profit. As A Catholic I will pray for the soul of John Keegan, as I do for the near one hundred men who lost their lives in my infantry company in Vietnam and Cambodia during combat there
    Stephen J. Candela M.D. F.A,A.O.S.

  • “British historians always seem to have a bias when writing history involving their own nation which is probably the only way they can survive academically there”. I’m not sure what you mean by this. There is a tradition of individualism in English historical writing which can be off-putting to Americans. Undergraduates are encouraged to write essays which develop a strong argument which then serves as a springboard for discussion, rather than ‘objective’ minor dissertations with copious footnotes. Military historians are not afraid to be revisionist, even iconoclastic when it comes to myth-busting. In the 1960s John Terraine set about demolishing a whole raft of myths regarding the 1914-18 War which had become ingrained in the public imagination since the 1930s and which owed not a little to the skewed interpretation of Liddell Hart and others. Terraine may have overstated his case but a later generation of Great War historians has largely agreed with him. Sadly the myths persist.

    For the Second War, Correlli Barnett debunked the Montgomery myth and then turned his attention to the interwar and postwar periods. His masterly and devastating analysis of government failings has upset politicians of the Left (for his criticism of the post-war Welfare State) and the Right (for his ridiculing of the idea that Britain could sustain a world-power role in the post-war era). Yes, he’s controversial, polemical even, but that’s not the same as being biased.

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Jerkiness Cometh Before a Fall

Friday, August 3, AD 2012

Note to uber jerks everywhere:  it probably isn’t a great idea to make a YouTube video of one of your nastier bits of jerkiness.  Case in point, Adam M. Smith, former CFO of Vante, an Arizona medical manufacturing firm, was quite upset at Chick-Fil-A over gay marriage and decided that it would be a good idea to protest by berating the young lady attempting to take his order at a Chick-Fil-A.  He was obviously proud of his extreme bravery at giving a hard time to a young fast food worker because he filmed it and posted it on YouTube.  Surprisingly, at least I am sure it was a surprise to Mr. Smith, most people who viewed the YouTube video thought he was being a cowardly jerk.  Smith took down the video, but by that time bloggers had latched hold of the story and had downloaded the video.  Now Mr. Smith will have plenty of time to act like a jerk to other  people and post the results on YouTube as he is without employment.  From the CEO of Vante:

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40 Responses to Jerkiness Cometh Before a Fall

  • In this video the man protesting Chick-Fil-A did not yell and scream. Is this the same video? Am I missing something? True, he is a jerk for embarrassing this young lady with his pro-sodomy support, but then again, pro-sodomists are jerks.

  • True Paul, and I have altered the post to reflect that. It might be a reflection of Midwestern Central Illinois Nice, but I interpreted that confrontation as being the equivalent of yelling and a verbal slap in the face. It always rouses my ire to see people take out grudges against low level people in an organization who have no control over policy, and a man berating a woman, especially a woman just trying to do her job, makes me see red.

  • So- a CFO thinks he’s brave because he is rude to a poor woman making minimum wage at a fast food restaurant? Hey, mister, why don’t you go into the nearest Middle Eastern restaurant and berate the owners (who most likely have a much harsher view of gays than Mr. Cathy does)? I’d just love to see a video of that.

    This jerk gloated over wasting a couple of pennies of CFA’s money by ordering only a cup of water. That’s more than offset by the gas (and time) he wasted idling away in the drive through. Apart from his rudeness, I wouldn’t want a CFO with such poor financial sense.

  • There is one (that’s it) CFA in NYC. It’s in Greenwich Village: NYC’s gay Gomorrah.

    I imagine it’s like feeding time at the zoo when our moral superiors come in to vent.

  • Smith got in drive-thru to get free water so he wouldn’t have to invest in CFA. Smith’s act was purposefully mean/nasty. CFA employee was respectful and a hero! Kudos for her. For Smith: what goes around, comes around!

  • What you don’t see in the video is the line of cars that wrapped around the building twice while this jerk was giving his spiel (to someone who had NOTHING to do with what he was protesting) and getting his free water. I would have poured his free water on his head.

  • The thing is this behavior has got to be pretty deep into the way this guy typically behaves.
    Who doesn’t get mad at what they perceive to be some kind of injustice? But who then thinks the best way to direct that anger is to call out and mock some poor minion struggling to make a living?

  • From the video: “They give money to hate groups. Just because someone wants to kiss another guy.”

    Talk about a lie of omission! As I mentioned before, it’s typical progressivist Good Cop/Bad Cop. Good Cop: “Homosexuality does not affect you in any way.” Bad Cop: “We will make sure that no safe space exists for anyone believing in traditional marriage to live in peace.”

  • he did take the water though.

  • That young lady was an excellent model of Christian charity. I admire her ability
    to stay calm and professional. The way things seem to be going in our society,
    it’s possible that any of us may find ourselves likewise confronted by another Adam
    M. Smith. If I were put on the spot, I hope I would hold myself as well as she did.

  • I went to Chick-Fil-A last Saturday. I don’t know what it’s usually like, but the drive-through line circled around the building.

    You know, I’m surprised that I hadn’t read anything about the Support Chick-Fil-A Day two days ago. That’s the kind of thing that I would expect this site to feature.

  • “That’s the kind of thing that I would expect this site to feature.”

    Pinky, we are merely a gaggle of unpaid volunteers. I post frequently, as my work in the law mines allow, but we will never be able to cover everything relevant even to the big issues of the moment.

  • Stunned by the verbal assault and battery the woman held her own, and courageously kept the dignity of the establishment and herself. I read where Obama had called the victim “stupid”. A public establishment is property for the peaceful exchange of commerce. The abuser ought to be brought up on charges of tresspassing and disturbing the peace for his abuse. Thirty days of public service to repair the damages to society . If Obama consented to the abuse by victim bashing, Obama ought to be made to help the criminal. Let them pick up after themselves, this is not occupy wall street. “No shirt, no shoes, no soul, no service.”

  • I fell in love with Chick-Fil-A when I saw that they were closed on Sundays (their workers were given a day of rest in the LORD). They were also giving free breakfast Thursday mornings. In the Jewish tradition, all cooking was done the day before the Sabbath. All was prepared for the LORD. The Sabbath was a day of feast and rest and rest and feast.
    If Vante rehires Smith, I want to know.

  • “Those outnumber the hairs of my head
    who hate me without cause.
    Too many for my strength
    are they who wrongfully are my enemies.
    Must I restore what I did not steal?” Psalm 69

    I have spent part of my hs and college days serving the public in a fast food establishment. Tough work, if you can get it. Was it worth it for this man to lose his job? Let him decide how thirsty he is for truth. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

  • I really want to hire that woman for our company. What a composed and steadfast individual.

  • This morning, I heard on the radio that “gay activists are planning a ‘kiss-in’ at CFAs around the country.”

    For about 5 seconds I was all “That’s just wrong! We have to rally and . . .” which was as far as I got before another, more stable and powerful voice said “Let ’em. It will not go well for them at all.”

    So, I hope they do. The incredible backlash will be an excellent example of the “enough rope” theory in action.

    “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

  • Mary – “I read where Obama had called the victim “stupid”.”


  • It needs to be said again: “A public establishment is property for the peaceful exchange of commerce. The abuser ought to be brought up on charges of tresspassing and disturbing the peace for his abuse.” This will go for every individual in the “kiss in for gay marriage” Get ready with your “disturbing the peace and tresspassing” complaints.

  • Pinky: Credibility in the dustbin. Just another commentator’s musings, but have you noticed that “They shall stand up to be condemned.”?

  • the whole thing is so sad. commentators on fox and other channels have likewise embarrassed themselves, not so flagrantly, and they don’t seem to know it–but revealing the depth of ther misdirected anger.

  • ATTN: Mary De Voe:

    Earlier in a post at Creative Minority Report, I posted the below comment which was a joke referring to the Police/Henry Louis Gates/Beer Summit incident in 2009. I do not believe Obama actually commented on the Adam Smith/Classy Chik-Fil-A employee incident. I noticed you’ve been sort of referring to this as if it happened and I just wanted to set the record straight. Sorry for the confusion.

    “I think I just heard that Obama has responded to the video. He said “the young lady acted stupidly”, but he is going to host a Peach Shake Summit with the two of them.”

  • It hurts, but…
    I saw this earlier on Father Z’s site, shook my head, wished I’d been the window girl (who treated the idiot with 2 things he might want to check in Webster’s; dignity and respect) but didn’t pass it along cause it’s what we expect from people unaware they’re in a forest as all they see are trees.
    Then I read a story on New Advent ( that demonstrated how myopic and banal you can become when you can’t understand the principal of absolute truths. Best of all, it had a happy ending as the author is a reporter, apparently posted his thoughts on the companies site and had been led to the wood shed for proper punishment.
    Now I HAD to pass both on lest any of my friends miss the good news! Tied it to American Catholic, as I am always pushing it as something that must be read. That’s when I saw the update announcing the idiot had gotten his just desserts… if I could physically still do a jig, Riverdance would have had a new star! Then the back of my brain whispered, “Damn! Now I have to write Vante a note saying he shouldn’t be fired”. By the time it reached my frontal lobe, I realized I had quietly slipped to the 4th level of hell ~
    The guy’s a jerk. He’s mean, wrong, very probably 18 bricks short of a load and should be tongue lashed by his mama for being a bully and forgetting common courtesy. BUT, he shouldn’t be fired unless we want to start scratching out words from the same 1st Amendment we’re demanding be upheld.
    Two last things ~ although I’ve been reading American Catholic for a long time, I’ve never posted before so if I’ve been too wordy or broken a rule, I apologize. Finally, I have no trek with Facebook or Twitter, so, if “the jerk” in some way identifies his employer on either site, thereby leaving Vante open to the possibility of being considered complicit with his actions, I will be thrilled to be wrong and delighted I won’t have to send Vante a note.

  • Chris-2-4 Thank you for your immediate notation as I have attributed the saying to your musings as intercepted by PINKY. I do appreciate the clarity with which our blogs are kept.

    Barb: Being fired for indiscretions such as verbal assault and battery, false accusations of hatred, trespassing on property zoned for peaceable business accomodation, and anti-social behavior; let those who love Smith have him. Please know that if there had been a man behind the counter, Smith would have feigned and fainted. This is a first class sexual harrassment lawsuit using Mr. Dan Cathy as a scape goat.

  • Barb,
    Nice first post. Just a couple of points:
    First, the jerk was not fired for his views, but for behaving like a jerk and therefore embarrassing his employer.
    Second, the First Amendment protects a person’s speech from government reprisal; not employer reprisal. In fact, it is doubtful that a law preventing an employer from firing someone for a political reason would survive First Amendment scrutiny.

  • What a jerk. The employee really kept her cool. She needs a raise just for that.

  • @David, No kidding. She handled it very well, better than I would have. Me, “Excuse me sir. I am here to take your order, not your opinion. Now… would you like fries with your water?”

  • “Thread-jack Alert”

    Isn’t it very cool to see that little ol’ NZ with only 4.5mil. population is currently 12th. on the Olympic medal table, while our brother Aussies are 19th. 🙂

    I’ll gloat while I’m able, because you can be assured that the Aussies will come roaring back, if only to beat us. 🙂

  • Actually, this comment is on the appropriate topic too, don’t you think? 😉

  • Actually, on viewing the video again, I noticed how the young woman took the wind out of his sales. When the jerk drove up to the window, he clearly wanted to make her angry. He was hoping for a dramatic confrontation he could capture on video so he could say “See! Look what ‘haters’ these people are!” But the polite, harried young woman is so obviously NOT a hater that he had to shift gears. He then tried to make her feel guilty (‘how can you sleep at night?”) because he realized things were not going according to plan. (And he was still stupid enough to post the thing on YouTube, because he just couldn’t resist showing the world that he was nobly standing up for gay rights. )

    I agree that her self control was admirable. I would have lost my temper in her situation – and handed the jerk “a win.”

  • Go Kiwi’s!!!

    I was a few days in Canada. Their Olympic coverage is heart-warming.

    Go Maple Leafs!

    Back to topic, fast-food employees often get the “treatment” from irate customers, liberals, and other specimens of human flotsam.

    This idiot, as are all liberals, is too stupid to get it. Liberals’ stupidity is forgivable. The evil is not.

  • T. Shaw, I think that’s one of the nicest things you have said here at TAC: “Liberals’ stupidity is forgiveable. The evil is not.” Usually you’re an undiplomatic malcontent like me, telling the bald truth just like a skunk off gassing at Sunday morning Mass! 😉

  • PWP: It ain’t undiplomatic or uncharitable if it’s true. Here I paraphrase the famed, American philosopher, Bear Bryant (or Cassius Clay). He was referring to bragging.

    PS: The Bombers just beat the Mariner 6 – 3: complete game CC.

    Spiritual Works of Mercy:

    Admonish the sinner.

    Counsel the doubtful.

    Instruct the ignorant.

    Pray for the living and the dead (including sinners. “Those most in need of Christ’s Mercy.”)

    Plus, at the moment, Mac isn’t moderating me.

  • Oh, I agree, T. Shaw. You wrote the truth!

  • Pingback: Chick-fil-A Bigotry Christophobia Homophobia Intolerance | Big ?ulpit
  • <– Adam Smith's apology (he seems very open here).

  • He should have made it a straight up apology without the commentary on CFA.

    But, to comment on his comments, I have noticed the same sex supporters trying to re-shape the argument away from Dan Cathy’s comments to where CFA or the Cathys donate there money. If they are so outraged by this, then where were they before Dan Cathy’s comments? CFA being a Christian business is certainly nothing new. I believe the homosexual crowd were being used by the scandal pimps, getting them worked up about a company that seems so out of place in a decadent liberal world they want.

  • I feel really proud of the drive-through counter lady … She kept her cool … I would’ve lost my patience had it been me, but she kept it together … I hope CFA promoted her to deputy manager, or something …. 🙂

Guilty, Guilty, Guilty!

Thursday, August 2, AD 2012


One of my least favorite trial dramas is Twelve Angry Men (1957).  As a defense attorney with thirty years experience I find it hilarious as Henry Fonda convinces his fellow jurors that the Defendant is not really guilty.  Why do I find it hilarious?  It is such a stacked deck!  Just like a Socratic “Dialogue” the argument is tailored to make the case for the Defendant, and no contrary arguments are allowed to stand as Fonda steamrolls all opposition and saves the day for truth, justice and the American way! Or did he?  Mike D’Angelo at AV Club has a brilliant analysis of why Fonda and his fellow jurors likely let a murderer off the hook:

Here’s what has to be true in order for The Kid to be innocent of the murder:

  • He coincidentally yelled “I’m gonna kill you!” at his father a few hours before someone else killed him. How many times in your life have you screamed that at your own father? Is it a regular thing?


  • The elderly man down the hall, as suggested by Juror No. 9 (Joseph Sweeney), didn’t actually see The Kid, but claimed he had, or perhaps convinced himself he had, out of a desire to feel important.


  • The woman across the street saw only a blur without her glasses, yet positively identified The Kid, again, either deliberately lying or confabulating.


  • The Kid really did go to the movies, but was so upset by the death of his father and his arrest that all memory of what he saw vanished from his head. (Let’s say you go see Magic Mike tomorrow, then come home to find a parent murdered. However traumatized you are, do you consider it credible that you would be able to offer no description whatsoever of the movie? Not even “male strippers”?)


  • Somebody else killed The Kid’s father, for reasons completely unknown, but left behind no trace of his presence whatsoever.


  • The actual murderer coincidentally used the same knife that The Kid owns.


  • The Kid coincidentally happened to lose his knife within hours of his father being stabbed to death with an identical knife.

The last one alone convicts him, frankly. That’s a million-to-one shot, conservatively. In the movie, Fonda dramatically produces a duplicate switchblade that he’d bought in The Kid’s neighborhood (which, by the way, would get him disqualified if the judge learned about it, as jurors aren’t allowed to conduct their own private investigations during a trial), by way of demonstrating that it’s hardly unique. But come on. I don’t own a switchblade, but I do own a wallet, which I think I bought at Target or Ross or some similar chain—I’m sure there are thousands of other guys walking around with the same wallet. But the odds that one of those people will happen to kill my father are minute, to put it mildly. And the odds that I’ll also happen to lose my wallet the same day that a stranger leaves his own, identical wallet behind at the scene of my father’s murder (emptied of all identification, I guess, for this analogy to work; cut me some slack, you get the idea) are essentially zero. Coincidences that wild do happen—there’s a recorded case of two brothers who were killed a year apart on the same street, each at age 17, each while riding the same bike, each run over by the same cab driver, carrying the same passenger—but they don’t happen frequently enough for us to seriously consider them as exculpatory evidence. If something that insanely freakish implicates you, you’re just screwed, really.

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21 Responses to Guilty, Guilty, Guilty!

  • You may have heard of Sir Patrick Hastings. He was one of the greatest lawyers in Britain in the twentieth century, and especially famous as a cross-examiner. In his memoirs, he tells the following story: Once, a client came to him and started by saying, you are not going to believe a word I say. And he proceeded to tell a tale of misfortune and villainy (by his former business partner and plaintiff in the case) so incredible that Hastings, indeed, could not believe it. But he went to court and did his best for his client anyway. And so it happened that, cross-questioning the plaintiff, he noticed a tiny, tiny contradiction. He became interested. He started hammering at it. Bit by bit the truth was forced out of the unwilling plaintiff. Hastings’ unbelievable client had told him the exact truth.

  • Donald R McClarey wrote

    “although there is, and should be, a vast difference between actual guilt, and what the State has to prove at trial to obtain a conviction”

    My favourite example of this is a case we had here in Scotland, namely Creasey v Creasey [1931 S.C. 9.]

    This was, in fact, a civil action. Mr Creasey raised an action for divorce against his wife, on the grounds of her adultery with a co-defender, against whom he concluded for expenses. At that time, the criminal standard of proof obtained in consistorial cases, proof beyond reasonable doubt and on corroborated evidence.

    At the proof, the evidence led against the defender consisted of certain extra-judicial admissions, corroborated by evidence of clandestine association. On this, the Lord Ordinary found that the defender had committed adultery with the co-defender. However, there was no evidence that the co-defender had authorised or adopted the defender’s admissions: as against him, they were mere hearsay. Moreover, the evidence of clandestine association was uncorroborated and, in any event, insufficient, on its own, to prove adultery. Accordingly, the Lord Ordinary could not be satisfied that the co-defender had committed adultery with the defender and he assoilzied him from the action and decerned for his expenses against the pursuer.

    On appeal, the Inner House adhered.

  • I had a similar case Fabio. Unfortunately in that case the Judge accepted the testimony of the witness who perjured himself. The case did not involve serious consequences for my client, but it rankled. Years later I represented the witness in another matter and he told me that he had lied. Although there was nothing that could be done about it at that late date, I did advise the Judge off the record, not mentioning the names of the parties. He said that he truly wished that along with a black robe they gave new judges mind reading ability or the charism of peering into the souls of men!

  • Another reason I stay away from legal dramas, whther TV or film. It’s just so unrealistic how often key evidence falls into place, the right witness shows up at thelast second, not to mention the total shenanigans that lawyers get away with in court that in the real court would land you in the clink before you could say hearsay. Besides, after dealing with the law world all day, the last thing I want to do is come home and watch it on TV.

    I’ve often wondered if medical professionals/law enforcement feel the same way about medical /law enforcement dramas.

  • c matt: Regarding realism, my husband is a fireman, and he won’t even watch movies on that subject because they are so unrealistic. “Backdraft”, to firefighters, is best viewed as a comedy, not a drama.

    I think it’s interesting that Henry Fonda appeared in Angry Men AND Grapes of Wrath–another “drama” that purported to tell a “larger truth about the system,” but which was just propaganda.

    Which makes it not at all surprising that Jane’s political views were so far left.

  • Seeing this film again many years after its release, it struck me as another sanctimonious and pretentious Henry Fonda performance. Sadly, it is used in many schools to teach “justice’. We are close to the point where it is hard to find someone guilty because of either obfuscation (the OJ defense) or pleading mitigating circumstances. This doesn’t even cover instances where prosecutors drop the case deciding that the evidence, though overwhelming, is not sufficient to gain a conviction. I saw this on my stint on the State medical board. It was demonstrated most outrageously in the Black Panther case. It also doesn’t cover where the adjudication of the obviously guilty is inexplicably delayed and drops off the radar as in the Fort Hood case.
    One legal drama that I cover in my book Christians in the Movies: A Century of Saints and Sinners is the profane , violent, and manipulative “Primal Fear” which makes a travesty of the legal system and trashes the Catholic Church to boot.

  • “it struck me as another sanctimonious and pretentious Henry Fonda performance. ”

    Fonda did tend to lean towards those roles, especially as he got older. Two of my favorite Henry Fonda films were from his early career, Young Mr. Lincoln and Drums Along the Mohawk.

  • My favorite movie (sadly NOT included in the recent “greatest movies” list) is Once Upon a Time in the West, the only time I know of that Fonda played a bad guy.

    As for 12 Angry Men — where was The Kid’s defense counsel? He should have made all the points Fonda did.

    To D’Angelo, I’d say, why ruin a perfectly good movie? Besides, a lot of Fonda’s points are valid. We can throw out the neighbor and the guy down the hall and especially the woman across the street. Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable but juries put more stock in them than almost any other evidence.
    No alibi? No naming the movie? Meh, bad but not enough to convict.
    The knife. When I was a kid we all had jackknives or folding Buck knives. So if switchblades we standard gear in The Kids neighborhood, not conclusive.

    Of course, nowadays the DA might offer The Kid life with possibility of parole (or even manslaughter) if he’d plead — unless he could offer “truthful testimony” wink, wink against somebody else he wants to nail.
    Maybe you can explain how offering something of value (a shorter sentence or no sentence at all) =/= subornation.

  • I have not seen the above movie. So, herewith are my thoughts on it: “beyond a reasonable doubt”. God knows who committed the murder. The murderer knows who committed the murder. Before I go any further, let me say that crimes of passion are not considered capital one murder, deserving the death penalty. Passion is the wrong word as hatred, jealousy, anger, and the like is not a passion but a vice and addiction to the vice precludes aforethought. Capital one homicide consist in planning, (afore thought), plotting and executing the crime in cold blood. Everything else may be murder I or II or even manslaughter. Two witnesses establish a judicial fact. A preponderance of credible evidence is only admissible in a civil trial, where one’s life is not in the balance. Nevermind that the witness had eyeglass marks on her nose, the fact that the witness needed eyeglasses was an indictment of her ability to see and witness. There were no witnesses to the deed and also in the Simpson trial, and two witnesses are required to indict a capital one murderer to the death penalty. “beyond a reasonable doubt” was not established. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is not established in the capital one death penalty of 54 million unborn constitutional posterity.

  • Juries are quite unfathomable. I recall a case once, where a jeweller was accused of resetting a large number of items of jewellery, part of the proceeds of a number of thefts.

    After some three hours of deliberation, the jury announced a verdict (by a majority) of guilty of resetting “some of the items libelled” Naturally, the judge asked them to specify which items. It then transpired that five of them thought he had resetted the proceeds of one theft, four that he had restted the proceeds of another and so on. There was no single item on which eight of the fifteen were agreed that he had resetted it, but at least eight of them thought he had resetted at least one of them. That is how they had arrived at their majority.

    After more directions and a further hour’s deliberation, they ended up acquitting him.

  • Opps Murder I is capital punisment

  • “Maybe you can explain how offering something of value (a shorter sentence or no sentence at all) =/= subornation.”

    Because they are almost always guilty as sin. They are merely admitting a crime they have in fact committed. No judge will accept a plea bargain if the Defendant continues to assert his innocence, and I have seen plea bargains rejected because the Defendant makes an assertion of his innocence at the last moment. ( And no, in the case I recall the Defendant was not in fact innocent of the offense, his assertion to the contrary notwithstanding.)

    Some Defendants are innocent. I recently convinced the State’s Attorney in my county to nolle prosse a prosecution against a client who I established was not guilty of the offense charged. However such a case is rare enough that each one stands out among the hundreds of criminal defenses I have been involved in.

  • Basic law question for you, Don, from somebody who has never talked with a lawyer except at parish men’s club meetings: Does nolle prosse invoke double jeopardy?

  • Mary de Voe

    The maxim of the Civil Law is “Testis unus testis nullus” – One witness is no witness.

    So, if a man confesses to theft, that is not sufficient to convict; but if he says where he hid the goods and they are found there, then the confession and the finding are two independent sources of evidence and that makes a sufficient proof, even if only one witness hears the confession and only one finds the goods.

    I remember, before we had divorce by consent, we had “hotel cases,” where husband would spend the night in an hotel with a “woman to the pursuer unknown.” The chambermaid would testify that she brought the guilty pair their early morning tea. She would be shown a photo of the defender and would identify him as the man. The wife (who always wore deep mourning, with a hat and gloves), would then stand up and lift her veil and the witness would swear she was not the woman. She would then be corroborated by the receptionist, who had signed them in. He would produce the register and he, too, would be shown the defender’s photo, testifying that this was the man and the wife was not the woman. It was still thought prudent to produce the cheque, with which the husband had paid for the room. The marriage, by the by, was deemed sufficiently proved by the wife’s oath and her production of her marriage lines.

    For some reason, Gleneagles – a five star hotel in Perthshire, with an excellent golf course, was the preferred locus for these little pantomimes. I remember four such cases calling in a morning at the Court of Session and the same receptionist was a witness in three of them. I wonder if they had an arrangement with the listing office to have the cases heard together in batches, to avoid disrupting their staff schedule.

  • “Because they are almost always guilty as sin. They are merely admitting a crime they have in fact committed. No judge will accept a plea bargain if the Defendant continues to assert his innocence”

    I don’t doubt it.
    I was referring to defendants who get shorter sentences in return for testimony against others.

  • “I was referring to defendants who get shorter sentences in return for testimony against others.”

    Ah, the classic Jail House Snitch. I, and many of my brethren and sistren of the defense bar, do tend to think that often involves perjury. There have been prosecutions of prosecutors when they have clearly crossed the line but probably not enough. I like one local judge who will tell juries that they may believe a Jail House Snitch if they wish, but that invariably those individuals have a strong motivation to testify favorably for the prosecution and that jurors should consider that when determining the credence to give their testimony.

  • “Does nolle prosse invoke double jeopardy?”

    No, it is merely a statement to the court that the prosecutor has decided not to move forward with a prosecution at this time and wishes to dismiss it. No jeopardy attaches.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    The maxim of the Civil Law is “Testis unus testis nullus” – One witness is no witness.
    Thank you Michael Paterson-Seymour. My knowledge of the law comes from Moses in Sacred Scripture. Jesus too, had much to say about Justice.

  • Mary de Voe

    There is a fascinating work, the Collatio legum mosaicarum et romanarum [Comparison of the Mosaic and Roman laws] written some time between 294 and 313 AD, at Rome, almost certainly by a Jewish author.

    It draws out the similarities between the two codes, not only in their general principles, but in detail.

    There is really only one area in which the author stresses the superiority of the Mosaic law – God has not only given the poor the power to gather grapes in the vineyards and to glean in the fields and to take away whole sheaves but has also granted to every passer-by without distinction the freedom to enter as often as he likes the vineyard of another person and to eat as many grapes as he wants, in spite of the owner of the vineyard. This “preference for the poor” has led some scholars, such as Girard and Raabello to suggest Christian authorship, or, perhaps, interpolation.

  • “If you ever have an opportunity, sit in on a criminal jury trial.”

    I’ve done that twice, both in the course of journalistic duties. One was a murder trial involving a man who had stabbed his ex girlfriend to death during an argument; the other involved a local public official accused of embezzling public funds (via credit card) to patronize a local gambling boat. Both cases ended with guilty verdicts; the murderer got 45 years in prison with no parole and the official got 30 months probation. Neither case was anywhere near as dramatic as what you see on TV or in the movies; they were just depressing, really.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour says:

    There is a fascinating work, the collatio legum mosaicarum et romanarum [Comparison of the Mosaic and Roman laws] written some time between 294 and 313 AD, at Rome, almost certainly by a Jewish author.

    This sounds very interesting and I will try to find the work. I am also fascinated by the comparison of the prophet Isaiah and our U.S. Constitution, sometimes using different words and saying the same thing. Most fascinating. Thank you for your kindness, Michael Paterson-Seymour.

Great Depression II

Thursday, August 2, AD 2012

Al Lewis at MarketWatch uses the D word to describe the perpetual lousy economy we have been living through the past four years:

There is nothing more depressing than hearing about a new recession when you haven’t fully recovered from the last one. I take heart in suspecting that in a still-distant future, historians will look back with clarity and call this whole rotten period a depression.

The precise definition of a depression, of course, remains as debatable as anything else in the field of economics. By some definitions, it is a long-term slump in economic activity, often characterized by unusually high unemployment, a banking crisis, a sovereign-debt crisis, surprising bankruptcies and other horrible symptoms we can find in the headlines almost every day.

It is easy to avoid seeing all of these events as constituting a depression if you somehow have kept your livelihood intact all this time. But it’s important to remember that not everyone has to stand in a bread line during a depression.

Nearly one out of seven Americans receives food stamps, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s more than 44 million people. If they all stood in a line and someone photographed them using black-and-white film, they easily could be mistaken for people from the 1930s. Instead, they go to a grocery store and spend their credits like money. There isn’t even a social stigma to make them stand out as any more glum or destitute than anybody else.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that America’s poverty rate likely has hit levels not seen since the 1960s. Surveying several economists and academicians, the wire service predicted the official poverty rate would come in as high as 15.7% when the Census Bureau releases it in September. That would wipe out all the gains of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

Poverty is another word for joblessness, and our economy hasn’t been generating enough decent-paying jobs for many years. Globalization, technology, outsourcing, immigration and the schemes of financiers have taken their toll. No one is certain when jobs will come back, and many of the jobs that remain don’t pay anywhere near what, say, your average failing CEO gets paid.

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48 Responses to Great Depression II

  • In the interests of precision, real domestic product in 1933 was 27% lower than it had been in 1929. By contrast, the rate at which goods and services were being produced in this country declined by 5% over the period running from the 2d quarter of 2008 to the 2d quarter of 2009. It has seen slow growth since. The dimensions are just entirely different.

    The difficulties we face are sclerosis in the labor market, inhibition on the part of entrepreneurs generated by the tremendous public sector deficit, and an incipient disaster when the bond market cuts the government off at the bar. Obama has no plan to address any of this because he is all about striking public poses and actually developing and publicizing plans would offend various Democratic Party client groups, would offend the holders of various and sundry ideological shticks, and render him vulnerable to public attacks of the opposition. The trouble is, it is not at all clear that the opposition has any concerns other than public relations either.

  • I think Paul Ryan’s budget Art would indicate a will among Republicans to at least start addressing the real issues confronting us, and not to simply continue writing hot checks until we can no longer do so. In regard to Great Depression II, I think our situation long term is more precarious than Great Depression I. In Great Depression I the fundamentals of the economy were always sound and FDR was correct that fear, a collapse of public confidence, was the primary culprit in regard to getting the economy up and running with investors willing to take risks again. Our present situation will require the much harder task of basically weaning a large part of the population off government dependence, a task that I suspect will be as pleasant nationally as the individual travails of a heroin addict going cold turkey.

  • Donald: More reason for the “depression ” is that Obama takes and takes and takes. Make Obama return the stimulus packages and the economy will correct itself. It is the economy as raided, abused and cheated by Obama. The word I wanted to use is not publicly admissible. Make Obama give us back what he stole. Every bill passed by Congress is a blank check for the government and a bottomless pit for the people. For this reason alone, Affordable Healthcare must be overturned.

    Czar Nicholas II was replaced because he saw his people starving in the byways and did nothing. Obama is not so stupid. Obama feeds the people with out taxdollars and steals the credit for it, demanding adulation for handing over our money to the hungry and the greedy, the not so hungry. WE can do this ourselves without having to worship at the feet of a mortal, fallible, inhuman being.

  • I have problems with this sort of designation because I don’t know what the Great Depression felt like. I look around today and I see food stamps and closed businesses and iPhones. I know that there was some prosperity in the 1930’s, and that there’s a sense of despair now, but I just don’t know if they’re comparable.

    I remember the 1970’s, and it seemed worse then. Unemployment and inflation. You could argue that the main consequence of inflation was devaluation of property, and that the housing market collapse in recent years has had a similar effect. We also had gas shortages though. When you can’t drive your car even though you’re willing to pay the market price for gasoline, that’s a different level of economic failure.

    OK, I’ve got a thought – it doesn’t feel as bad as the 1930’s or the 1970’s because you don’t see people chipping in for each other. I’m thinking of hitchhikers, panhandlers, et cetera. Is that because things haven’t gotten so bad, or because our selfishness and fear of others are worse than they used to be, or because government does a more effective job of keeping the equivalent of charitable acts invisible? I don’t know.

  • Pinky: “OK , I’ve got a thought – it doesn’t feel as bad as the 1930?s or the 1970?s because you don’t see people chipping in for each other. I’m thinking of hitchhikers, panhandlers, et cetera. Is that because things haven’t gotten so bad, or because our selfishness and fear of others are worse than they used to be, or because government does a more effective job of keeping the equivalent of charitable acts invisible? I don’t know.”
    Wihtout God and the Ten Commandments, some people applaud and enjoy the violence of crime wrecked on their neighbors. It has become unreal. The victim is dead and so, who cares, maybe God cares. Justice and peace have been banned from the public square. In Poland, a hitchhiker was given a green booklet, which the person who gave him a ride signed, and the govenment paid for the ride. In America, one would never be seen again until one’s body was found, after all, if the victim hadn’t been born he could not have been murdered. It was all the victim’s mother’s fault for not aborting him and now, that he has caused all this trouble for the police, let us forget about him as though he had never existed. God is watching. God is counting. Let us have public recourse to God in our culture and all else will right itself.

  • In regard to Great Depression II, I think our situation long term is more precarious than Great Depression I. In Great Depression I the fundamentals of the economy were always sound and FDR was correct that fear, a collapse of public confidence, was the primary culprit in regard to getting the economy up and running with investors willing to take risks again.

    No clue to what you are referring when you say ‘sound’. Again, there had been a catastrophic decline in output over the previous 3.5 years when Roosevelt took office. The only economic contractions of comparable dimensions that have been seen in recent decades occurred in war torn states, or during the tremendous dislocations which attended the dismantling of some of the command economies in Eastern Europe, or in Argentina during 1999-2004. It is true that the public sector balance sheet was in much better shape during the Depression. However, the labor market was suffering a tremendous sclerosis.

    The last time I checked, Mr. Ryan’s plan (is it updated?) reflected the Republican Party’s collective addlement about tax rates, hence incorporated decades worth of federal deficits.

    It is not so much “federal dependency”, per se. The programs most injurious to the social ethic of the slums are the ones with modest dimensions or ones most easily repealed or replaced. The problem you have is the wretched structure of financing medical care, which has promoted escalating allocations of available resources (public and private) and dead weight loss through a hopeless gordian knot of cross subsidies. What does the Democratic Party do? Pass legislation to make matters even worse.

  • “No clue to what you are referring when you say ‘sound’.”

    The factories and our resources were all intact Art, and we had a work force that was more productive than any of our competitors. The US was the dominant industrial power on the planet before and after the Great Depression. It was all a crisis of confidence and not fundamental problems with our system. My theory has always been that the New Deal retarded our recovery from the Great Depression, although I give FDR high marks for restoring national morale which was of help in the recovery, even if almost all of his economic policies were wrongheaded. Now we have an economy where the public sector rests like a boulder on a private economy struggling to bear up under the weight.

    “The last time I checked, Mr. Ryan’s plan (is it updated?) reflected the Republican Party’s collective addlement about tax rates”

    The solution Art is not to raise taxes but rather to slash spending to the bone. That solution is coming whether we opt for it or not, but it will be far less catastrophic if we implement it, rather than having a de facto National Bankruptcy occur in the public sector.

  • Don, I tend to agree. The question should never be why does a recession occur; it’s why does an economy ever work in the first place. That’s why Adam Smith was interested in the wealth of nations. Wealth is an abnormality.

    An economic crisis is caused when too many people look down and realize they’re walking on a tightrope. (The modern anti-capitalist would say that they look down and realize that they’re walking on air, Wile E. Coyote style.) The utter absurdity is that one guy can put up a factory making ball bearings, and convince people to show up and run machines if he gives them pieces of paper. And how did he put up the factory? He promised someone else pieces of paper. And what’s he going to do with the ball bearings? He thinks someone else will take them in exchange for pieces of paper. Ridiculous. Getting people to buy into the whole game is tough. An economic recovery takes place when you re-convince people to play.

    There was one area where the American capacity to produce dropped during the 1930’s, and that was agriculture.

  • What ended the Great Depression was the Second World War

  • What ended the Great Depression was the Second World War

    No. Military conscription and ramping up war production flushed out the plaque in the labor market here. Per capita income had by 1941 returned to pre-lapsarian levels in the United States, and then some. Recovery of income levels was earlier in Britain and on the eve of the 2d World War the British labor market was in about the same shape it had been in 1929 (bad shape but not bad shape induced by the financial crises). I would have to re-check the stats, but if I recall correctly, the country that never recovered (saw a loss in production levels not later recouped) was France. France was also very committed to a gold-standard.

  • Donald wrote: “The factories and our resources were all intact Art, and we had a work force that was more productive than any of our competitors. The US was the dominant industrial power on the planet before and after the Great Depression.”

    I don’t know hardly anything about economics except to balance my checkbook. However, working in the nuclear energy industry, I find what Donald is implying about the current American infrastructure to be correct. For example, we have no great foundries capable of manufacturing the large Reactor Pressure Vessels, Steam Generators, and Pressurizers that building a nuclear power plant requires. Japan and Spain provide such vessels. Even much of the instrumentation and controls is designed and manufactured overseas (e.g., Hitachi, Siemens, etc.). And Westinghouse, once the premiere US nuclear energy company, is now owned by Toshiba. And the expertise to do these nuclear things now lies with the Red Chinese (who intend on building 30 new nuclear reactors over the next couple of decades) and the French (whose nation is 70% + electrified via nuclear energy). Jeff Immelt, GE’s CEO and Barack Hussein Obama’s appointed Jobs Czar, recently said that nuclear is simply too hard to do. That’s an amazing statement for the head of a company which invented the Boiling Water Reactor. Well, if you’re a Democrat enamoured with a love of goddess Gaia and green energy, black death, with the corresponding hatred against self-responsibility and self-accountability, then of course it is too hard to do.

    Prediction: no nukes – more reliance on fossil energy – more price spikes and customer cost expenditures – more depression. Cheap, clean energy with a capacity factor of 90+ % is absolutely vital for a prospering economy, and that is exactly what Barack Hussein Obama opposes.

    BTW, Obama’s new appointment to the US NRC chairmanship (which the Senate confirmed) to replace woman-hater Gregory Jackzo (such an embarrassment to the Administration) is Allison MacFarlane, herself a geologist with ZERO nuclear experience (but she did work against the Yucca Mountain used fuel repository which endeared her to Harry Reid), and her husband is an anthropologist who studies anti-nuclear activism. Both of course are Democrats. Need I say more?

    Vote for Romney!

  • Ah, it is like Groundhog day.

    For a concatenation of reasons, the ratio of federal income tax collections to domestic product fell from 14% a dozen years ago to about 7.5% in recent years. That is the single most salient vector which has as its resultant federal borrowing to the tune of 9% of domestic product. Of course there are other causes.

    I had this exchange with a retired political scientist named Richard Reeb some time ago, which went something like this.

    1. You cannot welsh on federal debt service. Country go blooey.
    2. Benefits to the elderly have to be amended fairly gradually. The old tend to be somewhat impecunious anyway and have a limited capacity to adjust to abrupt changes in circumstances.
    3. With these parameters in mind, you would have to cut all other federal spending by about 2/3 if you want to close the defict absent an increase in income taxes. Federal borrowing accounts for about 40% of the current revenue stream.

    The retired political science professor says ‘cut away’. We still had troops in Iraq at the time (not to mention the chaps at your local VA).

    It is really a poor idea to be innumerate and insoucient about all this.

  • That’s an interesting point Michael. Exactly how and why? Military involvement now is seen as a Cost not a fuel for the economy. and will be budgeted less money. WWII involved our total economy, and of course world trade, defense contractors. I’ve got lots of questions.
    Could some of the factors be that the populace had been formed by the depression, was gaining on it, and had a sense of unity and mutual support by the time the war ended that was much more than isolationism but was the will to be a team and to improve our circumstances.
    I’m afraid any chance for a sense of unity in this country now is terribly fractured and more so every day

  • You could not raise taxes sufficient Art to possibly pay the debt obligations we have now. If Obama had his wish and the Bush tax cuts expired on those earning over 250k a year, the resultant taxes would be 85 billion more in taxes a year. With the current federal budget, 85 billion is a rounding error. Of course all this leaves aside the impact of hiking taxes on the economy. Slashing spending to the bone Art is the only option for digging us out of our fiscal hole.

  • The last time I checked, the ratio of federal expenditure to domestic product was about 0.24. That is higher than it ought to be and excising the dreck in the federal budget could take it down to 0.21. “Higher than it needs to be” is something different than “unprecedented” or “irreperable”. Payroll taxes collections currently amount to 6% of domestic product, corporate profits taxes about 1%, and miscellaneous taxes 0.5%. Again, collecting as much as 14% of domestic product in federal income taxes was accomplished fairly recently.

    We can check the technical literature. I am not sure there is a large difference in the macroeconomic effects of spending cuts or tax increases per se. Some sorts are more efficient than others, of course. Both have contractionary effects over a circumscribed time period. IIRC, our most recent efforts at stimulus suggest a short term multiplier of 0.6 for efforts to goose the economy, as some economist predicted when the stimulus was under consideration. That suggests several years of economic stagnation as fiscal consolidation is being effected.

  • McClarey wrote, “Many mistakenly view Obama as a radical.”

    Suppose that a U.S. President was basically raised as a communist and now sticks it to us like a fascist. Should he be considered a radical?

    Thomas Sowell composed the following article.

    The following website is not a so-called “birther” site, Donald.

  • Suppose that a U.S. President was basically raised as a communist

    By his maternal grandmother (vp of a local bank), his maternal grandfather (furniture salesman turned insurance agent), or his step-father (engineer employed by the state oil company of Indonesia – a subsidiary of the Indonesian military)? He met his father once over a period of several weeks in 1971. One’s mother generally is a weak influence on one’s view of public life and the President has been passably clear he thought his own addle-pated.

  • Art Deco,

    You didn’t check out the links in my post, did you? Not surprising…
    You didn’t read the Sowell article, did you? Exactly…

    Was BHO at all associated with Frank Davis Marshall, Art?
    Would you say that the Weather Underground was/is a marxist, revolutionary group?

    Art, here’s a link to another article that you won’t peruse:

    And two more:

  • The one job Obama had was editing a financial newsletter. Look it up. He referred to it, in a letter to his mother, as working for the enemy.

    In 2009, he and the ministry of troof promised that if Congress gave him $800 billion to stimulate, the unemployment rate would fall to 5.4%. If his heavy-majority Dem Congress didn’t, he said it would be 6%. Obama got the dough: the unemployment rate has been above 8% (even with adjustable statistics) for 41 consecutive months.

    Liberal dolts (I repeat myself again): that means we the people are worse with the stimulation.

    Obama’s policies were intended to harm the evil, unjust private sector. It’s working. Give him four more years and it’s finito.

    Look at what the Obama regime did, not what the ministry of troof said.

  • Dr. Sowell says nothing about his upbringing and the other link is to a speculative work apparently contending that Barack Obama, Sr. falsely claimed paternity of Ann Dunham’s child (even though he was already married to someone else and had been acquainted with Ann Dunham for all of 5 months as of February 1961). It belongs in the same dumpster with Birch Society publications and most Kennedy assassination literature.

    Frank Marshall Davis was in Stanley Dunham’s circle of friends. Strange as it may seem, there are people in this world whose politics do not infuse there every waking moment. The notion that the President was ‘basically raised as a Communist’ because a quondam party member was a friend of his grandfather is preposterous.

  • Art Deco,


    Did BHO not refer to a “fundamental (to the roots) transformation” of the U.S.?

    I wrote, “Suppose that a U.S. President was raised as a communist…” It’s a supposition, a proposition that I think should be considered.

    You did not answer my question about the Weather Underground.

    Did you read the American Thinker articles? Before you tune out completely, I ask you kindly to read the following from a solid Catholic priest.

    Basically, Father Hardon’s contention is that Marxism is alive and well in the U.S. Marxism involvies cutting roots and replanting.

    And another on the modern link between contraception and socialism:

  • Edward R R your links are quite an education for me. thanks

  • anzlyne,

    I owe my education to Christ Jesus and his Church.

    Are you Christian?

    I’m still wondering what McClarey thinks.
    He wrote, “Many mistakenly view Obama as a radical.”

    I hypothesized: “Suppose that a U.S. President was basically raised as a communist and now sticks it to us like a fascist.”

    Again, should he be considered a radical?

    With that question still in the air, I must state that without a radicalized populace, BHO would not have been elected…

  • “I’m still wondering what McClarey thinks.”

    That Obama was raised in a hard left environment, but I doubt if he has strong ideological views of his own. He simply accepts unthinkingly those views that are dominant in his own party. He is a complete reactionary and the farthest thing from a radical. Viewing him as some sort of driven ideologue is to give the man far too much credit and to misunderstand him.

  • OK!

    Mr. McClarey,

    What do you think about this article?

    Also, do you think his views on sexual morality are simply reactionary, sir?

  • Yes, because they are taken as gospel among the liberal circles in which he has spent his entire life. He is not some rabid revolutionary, but rather a dyed in the wool unimaginative reactionary, and that is one of the keys to defeating him. He does not respond well to the unexpected and the new.

  • I looked at the American Thinker pieces, but they’re junk.

    Obama has been in office for three years and change, ample time to see what he brings to the table: nothing. Take all the vectors which operate in the Democratic Party as a matter of course, calculate the resultant, and that’s what you get with this Administration.

    Unlike Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan, Obama manifests very little evidence of sustained reflection on either the political order or matters religious. Unlike Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, or George W. Bush, he has not shown much inclination for reading histories. He lacks the history of real accomplishment outside electoral politics that Eisenhower and Bush the Elder had.

    Richard J. Daley was Mayor of Chicago for 21 years; he never wrote his memoirs. James Thompson was Governor of Illinois for 14 years; he has never written his memoirs. Charles Percy had a handsome career in business of 28 years duration followed by 18 years in Congress; he never wrote his memoirs. Barack Obama was a working member of Congress for two years and change. He was on the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School for 12 years. His curriculum vitae is bereft of law review articles. It does, however, have a pair of memoirs. The man doesn’t wanna run nuttin’ but his mouth. His politics are as superficial as everything else about him.

  • “The man doesn’t wanna run nuttin’ but his mouth. His politics are as superficial as everything else about him.”

    I think you may have hit the nail on the head there. Another common assumption about Obama that, I believe, gets overplayed in some conservative circles is that he is a “Chicago Machine” politician determined to impose corrupt Windy City style government everywhere. Well, if he were a true Machine politician, he wouldn’t have bothered running for POTUS. True Machine politicans regard state or federal office as a mere stepping stone to the ultimate prize of becoming alderman or mayor, where they get to be much bigger fish in a smaller pond. Rahm Emmanuel fits the mold of a Machine politician; Obama doesn’t.

  • I am a Christian. I hope there is enough evidence in my life to convict me!
    I think that is what you and Don McC and Art D are talking about– what the evidence tells us about who B. Obama is. By our fruits we are known– not by who we hang out with, the sins or virtues of our parents etc- but the fruits of our own lives. We are seeing fruit evidence already. He may not be personally strong, but surrounded and influenced by many strong ones who seem him as a likely carrier for their ideas…or he may be very strong and wily… I don’t really know.
    But I do not see evidence of increasing peace patience goodness love, joy, forbearance, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
    As you know that list is from Paul’s letter to Galatians . Right before Paul lists those fruits he lists some other works:
    immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions,
    occasions of envy,* drinking bouts, orgies, and the like.

  • I think that President Obama is a machine politician in style. He doesn’t like to or expect to be challenged. Favors are given out on the basis of loyalty. There is no opposition party worth considering. The top man can use any lever of power he wants to.

    It also means that he’s more loyal than Bill Clinton ever was. Clinton betrayed every one of his constituencies (except for the abortion lobby) at one point or another. I look at Obama’s loyalty to Holder and I see a machine politician. Reverent Wright is a different case. Wright didn’t play the role he was supposed to. He talked when the candidate didn’t want him to. That’s a punishable offense.

    Ideologically, I think that in most cases if you scratch a liberal, you find more liberal underneath. Conservatives claim that you’ll find a socialist underneath. And maybe a lot of liberals were influenced by socialism in their youth, but life experiences tend to moderate us from our more ideological youths. I don’t think that Obama has ever moderated his beliefs. Scratch him, and there’s a hardcore socialist underneath. Or, I think D’Souza has argued that there’s an anti-colonialist underneath. Someone who wants to see the First World’s role diminish, wants to see the rich lose and the poor gain.

  • I dunno, Pinky. Andrew Greeley and others have identified clubhouse politics as reliable avenues of political participation for wage-earners and as operating in ways which reflected the priorities of working people (at least in a particular era). Greeley also said: “Mayor Daley didn’t need house intellectuals”, or pretty boys, or polished and articulate people. Mayor Daley himself was known for an extraordinary head for people: “he met you once, he remember you forever”, said one of his precinct captains. For all the crookery of Chicago politics, there was an intense decency about the man manifest in certain spheres (vis-a-vis his wife, for example). Obama keeps his nose clean up to a point. I doubt other people register much with him.

    Obama, like Gary Hart and Michael Dukakis, seems a manifestation of the sensibility and priorities of the professional-managerial bourgeoisie in American politics, to the point where Hillary Clinton was appealing with some success to the more vernacular wing of the Democratic electorate. Except, of course, that Hart’s background was thoroughly working-class, small town, and hard-shell protestant; what was so odd about him is how little of that you could see or hear when he spoke. Still, it was a world he knew. It is hard to imagine someone farther away in spirit from Chicago ward politics than Obama (except Dukakis, who was at least a capable wonk).

  • “It is hard to imagine someone farther away in spirit from Chicago ward politics than Obama”

    Bingo. Classic/traditional ward politics (whether in Chicago, NYC, Boston, or any major city) was and is intensely local and personal. It demanded a lot of tedious social activity, like going to wakes, church suppers, parades, etc., where you could get to know literally every potential voter in your ward. While favors are, as Pinky said, given out on the basis of loyalty, the flip side is that the politician also had to show loyalty to his constituents, and work to earn their vote. If he didn’t, sooner or later the party sachems would notice and he’d find himself displaced by a rival. Policy wonks with grandiose aspirations about making history and changing the world generally don’t have the patience for this stuff.

    “For all the crookery of Chicago politics, there was an intense decency about the man (the senior Mayor Daley) manifest in certain spheres”

    He was, I understand, a daily communicant throughout his life. Mike Royko’s “Boss” points out that during his years as a state legislator he was unusual in that he shied away from “the many pleasures of (session life in) Springfield,” such as getting drunk every night, playing high-stakes poker with lobbyists, and shacking up with secretaries. Instead, he faithfully went to Mass every morning, did his work, called his wife every night, and went for walks with two of his best friends (one of whom later became a bitter political rival). He was equally straight-arrow in his personal life while mayor. With that in mind, I’m amazed there wasn’t any seismic activity reported near Holy Sepulchre Cemetery the day Rahm Emmanuel made his infamous “Chicago values” remark.

  • Mayor Daley I deserves credit for leading a blameless personal life. However, if there was any art of political corruption he failed to master, it wasn’t from lack of effort on his part.

  • Art,

    Did you check out the American Spectator article?

  • Donald,

    Was BHO simply a reactionary when it came to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act?

  • Valerie Jarrett’s one-time-father-in-law knew a friend of Stanley Dunham’s and they had in their social circle another family that had some vaguely-stated association with David Axelrod. Six degrees of separation.

    When Barack Obama was acquainted with Frank Marshall Davis, the latter was running a wholesale paper business. Vernon Jarrett was a prominent opinion journalist in Chicago for a quarter century. He was, per Joseph Epstein, a standard issue black particularist, whatever he may have done with his time ‘ere age 30; he also was notable for having no time for Jesse Jackson.

    The business about David Axelrod is lifted from Discover the Networks. Again, Discover the Networks does not say much definite about the association between Axelrod and David Canter. Axelrod was a newspaper reporter for the Chicago Tribune and then set up shop as a Democratic Party campaign hack for hire. On the basis of his observable behavior, there is no reason to believe he is anything but what he appears to be. He was born in 1955. By the time he would have been involved in any kind of political activity, the Communist Party was a remnant organization of no importance. The Students for a Democratic Society and allied organizations had proved evanescent. Axelrod would have been too young to have had much to do with them. There was a segment of portside opinion journalism that favored the other side during the later years of the Cold War. If he had ever worked for any of these publications (Village Voice, Mother Jones, The Nation, Radical America, &c), it would be on Discover the Networks. It is not.

    All of these people are observable and known quantities. There is no there there.

    As for the antecedent generation, the following is notable. The Communist Party had 100,000 members in 1947. It had about 16,000 in 1972. Even if it acquired not a single new recruit in those 25 years, there you have 84,000 quondam members. During the interval between 1947 and the midpoint of Barack Obama’s residence with his grandparents, it is a reasonable guess about 40% of people living in 1947 had died. That leaves you with roughly 50,000 one-time members ca 1975, or roughly 150 in metropolitan Honolulu and 10x that number in and around Chicago. They had jobs and friends like everyone else.

  • Good point Edward R R .. he is not just a do nothing. He HAS taken action and is responsible for the deaths of (how many???!!!) I think we can recognize his stripes.
    I am not sure why some are reluctant to call him radical. We have to take him really seriously for what he claims to be and for what he shows himself to be. It is a mistake to underestimate his commitment to what he espouses.

  • “Was BHO simply a reactionary when it came to the Born Alive Infant Protection Act?”

    Sadly yes. By the time he started his political career the Democrat party was the pro-abort party and Obama simply follows unthinkingly the path of his party. Obama did not invent any of this. He is not an innovator or a radical.

  • “Valerie Jarrett’s one-time-father-in-law knew a friend of Stanley Dunham’s and they had in their social circle another family that had some vaguely-stated association with David Axelrod. Six degrees of separation.”

    If you’re really into connecting the dots that much, then I must be one of the most dangerous radicals on earth. I work for an agency of the Illinois General Assembly, of which Obama was once a member. That means I have only 2 or 3 degrees of separation from EVERYONE Obama knows, from David Axelrod to Bill Ayers to Tony Rezko. Better not tell The American Spectator!

  • Donald,

    The Born Alive Infant Protection Act was passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate in 2002. Being against that Act was apparently not as you say “the path of his party” at the time.

    NARAL expressed neutrality on the bill, sir.


    Please understand that the American Spectator is on your side, if you are against the current administration.


    The American Thinker is not a rag as you apparently believe. Again, if you are against the current administration, I suggest reading further on that website.

  • I have read it. The quality is mixed and, re the President, some of their writers are obsessed with the inconsequential (e.g. how long a time BO Sr. cohabited with Ann Dunham and the characteristics of their social life, to the point of calling Gov. Abercrombie a liar because he has offered memories inconsistent with a thesis of Jack Cashill, &c.).

  • I am familiar with the American Spectator, which I look at in hard copy. It is not a bad publication, but it is not comprehensively reliable in its editorial judgment.

  • Elaine Krewer and Donald R. McClarey

    Mayor Daley may well have been a man of great personal piety, but that is not always incompatible with a pragmatic approach to politics. Père Joseph du Tremblay was not only an austere religious, but wrote one of the treasures of French spirituality, his «
    Introduction à la vie spirituelle par une facile méthode d’oraison, » is still in print; it is a remarkable adaptation of St Ignatius Loyaola’s Spiritual Exercises to the Franciscan tradition – Père Joseph was a Capuchin Friar. He was also Cardinal Richelieu’s most trusted confidante and diplomatic agent, hence his nickname of l’Eminence grise [Grey Eminence] Richelieu, too, was personally devout and a reforming bishop; he introduced the Tridentine reforms for priestly formation into his diocese of Luçon, the first French bishop to do so.

    Alas, both men were sometimes betrayed into using methods to achieve their political goals that were less than edifying.

  • So far as I can see Mr Obama has made no original contribution to the political thinking of the Left. Moreover, he appears uninfluenced by more recent developments, especially on the International Left – One thinks of people like Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, Eric Hazan or the comité invisible.

    This may well be, because what Europeans consider the Radical Left, Americans would regard as the lunatic fringe.

  • “The Born Alive Infant Protection Act was passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate in 2002. Being against that Act was apparently not as you say “the path of his party” at the time.”

    Yeah, of course Naral was neutral on that piece of legislation because it contained this provision:

    `(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being `born alive’ as defined in this section.’.

    Pro-aborts tend to be neutral when a piece of legislation cannot impact their sacred right of abortion.

  • “Keynes” is subverted by today’s credentialed, academic economists, liberals, and so-called journalists.

    The man was a clear thinker and highly correct in his advocacy of short-term, government deficits to raise falling aggregate demand . . .

    In about 50 words Keynes, would tell us why $5 trillions in deficit spending; Obamacare; Dodd-Frank; stealing from mortgagees and GM bondholders; vetoing energy independence; etc. have not resolved Great Depression II.

    He curtly had “pegged” Marx, Obama and his ilk.

    “Marxian Socialism must always remain a portent to the historians of Opinion — how a doctrine so illogical and so dull can have exercised so powerful and enduring an influence over the minds of men, and, through them, the events of history.” – John Maynard Keynes

    “. . . an obsolete textbook which I know not only to be scientifically erroneous but without interest or application to the modern world . . .” – John Maynard Keynes on Karl Marx’s “Das Kapital”

    “I can be influenced by what seems to me to be justice and good sense; but the class war will find me on the side of the educated bourgeoisie.” – John Maynard Keynes

    Now, I am a “Keynesian.”

  • Here’s a sample of articles from American Thinker that more or less correspond to the perspective of The American Catholic:

    Articles: Obama the Lawbreaker versus the Catholic Church
    Feb 22, 2012 … Catholic bishops and the Church’s other clerical and even lay leaders have let this issue devolve into a debate about the right to use ……/obama_the_lawbreaker_versus_the_catholic_ church.html

    Articles: Obama’s Catholic Church Gambit: Lessons from American …
    Feb 16, 2012 … Morris speculates that the Obama HHS mandate on contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients is a fight with the Catholic Church that Team ……/obamas_catholic_church_gambit_lessons_from _american_communists.html

    Articles: Why is the Catholic Church Surprised?
    Feb 19, 2012 … Why is the Catholic Church Surprised? By Trevor Thomas. In the months prior to the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, then candidate Barack ……/why_is_the_catholic_church_surprised.html

    Blog: War on the Catholic Church
    May 13, 2012 … War on the Catholic Church. Keith Riler. We know contraception’s cheap and plentiful availability makes President Obama’s HHS policy a ……/war_on_the_catholic_church.html

    Articles: The ObamaCare Mandate: Are Catholic Martyrs Not Far Off?
    May 27, 2012 … Those unfamiliar with Catholic theology don’t understand why Church officials can’t be more flexible when it comes to ObamaCare and the ……/the_obamacare_mandate_are_catholic_martyrs _not_far_off.html

    Articles: Obama’s War against Catholics
    Feb 8, 2012 … The Catholic Church, with its dogma, magisterial authority, and two-thousand- year-old tradition, is the most visible and significant source of ……/obamas_war_against_catholics.html

    Archived-Articles: The Catholic Church and the Left
    Feb 20, 2011 … Whatever one may think of its theology and ecclesiology, the cold heart fact of the matter is that the Catholic Church is not just one more ……/the_catholic_church_and_the_le.html

    Articles: ‘Pro-Choice’ Obama Forces Religious Institutions to Pay for …
    Jan 25, 2012 … Reaction from the Catholic Church, its bishops, several Catholic universities, and many other Catholic leaders has been swift and categorical.…/pro-choice_obama_forces_religious_ institutions_to_pay_for_abortion_drugs.html

    Articles: Whom the Gods Would Destroy
    Feb 12, 2012 … I’m referring, of course, to the Catholic Church. Now, I don’t mean that the Archangel Gabriel will appear out of the East to scourge the ……/whom_the_gods_would_destroy.html

    Archived-Articles: Catholic Church and Health Care Reform
    Aug 16, 2009 … The Catholic Church’s opposition to euthanasia (an act just as evil as abortion) is clearly stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2277: ……/catholic_church_and_health_car.html

President Obama Shows Us How

Thursday, August 2, AD 2012

A few observations:

1.  This bozo wouldn’t recognize the dignity to which his office is entitled unless said dignity offered to make a sizable campaign contribution.

2.  Just how dumb do they think the average Obama contributor is if they think it is necessary to demonstrate how to make a campaign contribution?

3.  They must be lacking in the mass contributions category this go round.

4.  What might have been considered cute in 2008 by his followers might rub some of them the wrong way in 2012, especially those who have been out of work for a while, and living in mom’s basement.

5.  This society is rapidly becoming a badly written Saturday Night Live routine.

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14 Responses to President Obama Shows Us How

  • #5 is depressingly true.

  • Underneath Obama’s face is the leprosy of death.

  • “Leprosy of death”? Too colorful. Obama is simply a somewhat bright guy who, through luck more than anything else, rode a wave of dissatisfaction with the Bush administration to the White House. He is a fairly unimaginative pol who believes in the enconomic nostrums of his Party, which, unfortunately for the nation, are complete cock and bull. Obama is no arch-fiend or a grand villain, but rather an incompetent liberal dime-a-dozen politician from Chicago who, in more sane times, would never have arisen beyond the State Senate of Illinois.

  • #5. Reality imitating art. No wonder Hollywood loves him so much. They wrote the script.

  • In my view Mary De Voe and Don McC are both right in their characterizations-
    A bright guy, a true believer in the left way without being aware of the death that lurks there– in an eating away fashion that could be likemed to leprosy

  • Thanks Anzlyne, I could not say all the nice things, the excuses, for Obama, Donald has. Obama’s total unappreciation for the human being, Obama’s contempt for America, our flag, and our Constitution, Obama’s lack of spine to stand up to Planned Parenthood and for what is right and free, Obama is to me another picture of Dorian Grey. I am waiting for the people to see Obama for who he really is or maybe for who he really isn’t. Everything after this will an ad hominem.

    Donald McC. I have reread your analysis of Obama’s situation and you are most probaby correct, however your use of the term “arch fiend” seems to address Obama’s contempt for his constituents. Obama is comfortable with taking us to totalitarianism.

  • “Obama is no arch-fiend or a grand villain, but rather an incompetent liberal dime-a-dozen politician from Chicago who, in more sane times, would never have arisen beyond the State Senate of Illinois.” That is what they said about Napoleon. Remember Napoleon forced the Church to crown him emperor.

  • Please Mary. I am quite familiar with Napoleon. I have read dozens of books on his campaigns. Obama is no Napoleon.

  • How about Santa Anna? (He called himself Napoleon of the West)

  • He is a rip off artist and so is the Democratic Party for the most part, connections with Acorn, Chicago and it notorious corrupt political sphere, etc all spell that out. The draining of our country’s coffers and our pockets is never ending. I really don’t think they will be happy until they do have it all in some way (including ownership of our homes, businesses, etc). They are so good at making it look so innocent!

  • He’s like the “three-card montie” scam artists that used to steal working stiffs’ money on street corners before NYC was saved by Mayor Giulliani and Commissioner Bratton.

    I fear many voters are sufficiently desperate and despicable to re-elect the con artist in chief.

    Abandon all hope . . .

  • T. Shaw,

    The lines at Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday say that your pessimism and mine are unfounded.

A seamless garment: The Vatican, the LCWR, and U.S. Catholic higher education…

Wednesday, August 1, AD 2012


In a speech delivered in June 2012 to the Catholic bishops of the United States gathered in Atlanta, the Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, called this a “difficult time.”  He then said:

The Church must speak with one voice.  We all know that the fundamental tactic of the enemy is to show a church divided.

This can be viewed, he said, “providentially, as an invitation to the entire Church in the United States, especially among her consecrated religious and in her educational institutions, to take on an attitude of deep communion with the local bishop.”


Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
Papal Nuncio to the United States


In that one very diplomatically worded statement, Archbishop Viganò put his finger directly on the raw nerve The Motley Monk believes has been stretched, if not perforated and maybe even torn—a schism in the U.S. Catholic Church—since the close of the Second Vatican Council.

What’s that nerve?

It’s the stretching of the meaning of the term “Catholic“—as in “Roman Catholic“—through the incessant questioning of its doctrinal and moral teaching that has as its primary objective to berate fundamental tenets of the Christian faith.  That questioning has gone to the point that many religious women and men as well as many Catholic institutions of higher education no longer uphold Church teaching—are not united with the bishops—but instead thrive on “questioning” both Church teaching and its pastors—all under the disguise of “teaching Theology” (without a mandatum, of course).

Most recently, this nerve has been tested yet once again by the instruction issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding the Leadership Conference of Religious Women (LCWR).

Discussing the instruction, the LCWR’s President, Sister Pat Farrell, told a New York Times reporter that the Vatican seems to regard “questioning” as “defiance,” while the sisters see it as a form of “faithfulness.”  Sr. Farrell said:

We have a differing perspective on obedience.  Our understanding is that we need to continue to respond to the signs of the times, and the new questions and issues that arise in the complexities of modern life are not something we see as a threat.

Let’s be honest: That’s code language for the Marxian materialist dialectic—identify the thesis, promote the antithesis, and develop a “consensus” in the form of a new synthesis that gradually “transforms” the “old” into the “new.”


The Marxian materialistic dialectic


To wit: “defiance vs. faithfulness,” emerging in a new “consensus” of openness to the modern world as taught by Vatican II.  Such “questioning,” it is asserted, should present absolutely no threat, except to those old and tired Vatican ideologues who are grasping onto their failed ideological thesis that the modern world resoundingly rejects.

Get with the program!

That’s why Sr. Farrell equates the LCWR’s “questioning“—which, by the way, The Motley Monk happens to believe is a very good thing when it’s actually questioning not filibustering or badgering—with the need to use materialist ideologies (the antithesis) to judge the validity of Church teaching (the thesis) for the modern world.

Is this a Faustian pact?

The Motley Monk would note, there’s a vast gulf demarcating “belief seeking understanding” (“I believe in the virgin birth and am questioning what I believe in order to understand better what it really means in the modern world”) from “understanding seeking belief” (“I question the virgin birth and will not believe in it until I have sufficient proof using my standard for determining the truth of the matter”).  The former reveals a sincere questioner—a person of faith—while the latter reveals a petulant ideologue—a closed-minded bigot.

Or, more pointedly, about the issues of concern to the LCWR:

  • “I believe that God has ordained complementary roles for women and men, with the priesthood reserved to men and I am questioning that tenet in order to understand better what that means in the modern world” vs. “I question the Church teaching about an all-male priesthood and will not change my mind until I judge that teaching’s validity using my standard of judgment.”
  • “I believe that God has endowed nature with a law that governs all of nature and violating that law is immoral and I am questioning that tenet in order to understand better what that means about the use of artificial forms of birth control in the modern world” vs. “I question the Church’s teaching about the use of artificial forms of birth control and will not change my mind until I judge that teaching’s validity using my standard of judgment.”
  • “I believe that God has ordained marriage to be a sacred union between one male and one female for the purpose of begetting families and I am questioning that tenet in order to understand better what that means about homosexuals who want to attempt marriage in the modern world” vs. “I question the Church teaching about marriage, am open to homosexual marriage, and will not change my mind until I judge that teaching’s validity using my standard of judgment.”



What’s the likelihood of “metanoia” (a change of “mind”), that is, giving up the Marxist materialist ideology?

Pretty slim.

That’s the nerve Archbishop Viganò put his finger on when he addressed the nation’s bishops.  It’s the materialist, Marxist ideology that’s shaped how many of the nation’s religious women and men think.  It’s also shaped the culture of many of the nation’s institutions of Catholic higher education because it’s how many of those who administer and teach in those institutions think.

That in his role as Papal Nuncio, The Motley Monk understands why Archbishop Viganò delivered that address to the bishops.  Viganò was relating to the bishops—the pastors—what’s on the Pope’s mind

The problem is that the Archbishop’s message needs to be delivered directly to the pastors’ choirmasters and mistresses.

It would be quite interesting if Archbishop Viganò was to deliver the very same address to the heads of the Leadership Conference of Religious Women, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, and the presidents of the nation’s institutions of Catholic higher education.

His reference to “an attitude of deep communion with the local bishop” recalls The Motley Monk’s reading of the 1978 joint-directive from the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for Religious “Directive for mutual relations between bishops and religious in the Church.”  Chapters 2 and 3 offer a rich theological reflection upon the concept of ecclesial communion which differentiates the Roman Catholic Church from other churches and denominations, and in particular, Protestantism and Anglicanism.

Challenging the women and men religious as well as the presidents of the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges to read and reflect upon this model may inform them that they are not thinking with the Church.




To read the article in the New York Times, click on the following link:

To read the 1978 joint-directive from the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops and the Congregation for Religious “Directive for mutual relations between bishops and religious in the Church,” click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link:

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24 Responses to A seamless garment: The Vatican, the LCWR, and U.S. Catholic higher education…

  • Our understanding is that we need to continue to respond to the signs of the times, and the new questions and issues that arise in the complexities of modern life

    I suppose she has never heard the phrase “there is nothing new under the sun.” But that might require reading a certain collection of books she probably thinks passe.

    It all boils down to (as always) the following syllogism:

    1. I want to have sex with my girlfriend/boyfriend/SS partner/anyone, etc. etc.

    2. The Church says I can’t

    3. Therefore, the Church is wrong.

  • Good post, Montley Monk.

    C. Matt’s comment is 100% correct.

    What these people do not understand (or perhaps they do and reject it out of hubris) is that Jesus Christ came to establish a Monarchy with Him as King and Lord of all. He did NOT come to establish a Democracy. No one gets to vote in the Kingdom of God except God and His vote is final.

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  • Simply beautiful. Well done.

    Pride is indeed the first sin.

  • Thank you for putting into such eloquent words what I have felt hearing the LCWR use of “questioning” as a form of filibuster.

    I pray that when the LCWR comes to “dialogue,” they do so on how to return to the authentic teachings of our Church, because to lose one Catholic to such faulty logic is an unfortunate situation, indeed.

  • Perhaps, we should recall the words of St Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of the Blessed Apostle St John:-

    “Wherever the bishop appears, there let the people be; as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church” [Letter to the Smyrnaeans 8] and

    “Take care to do all things in harmony with God, with the bishop presiding in the place of God” [Letter to the Magnesians 2, 6:1]

    This was the teaching of the Apostolic Age

  • Actually, I think it’s Hegelian dialectic thingy. But Marxists use Hegel.

    (I only know this because Brust and Bull wrote a dialectic historical fantasy novel. Yes, they are just a tad on the left. Yes, it’s a very weird fantasy novel.)

  • For clarity’s sake: Dialectical materialism — that Man originates History through active consciousness — was originated by Moses Hess and developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engelsis. In short, dialectical materialism is a strand of Marxism, synthesizing Hegel’s dialectics.

  • I agree with the mention of the role of Marxism in this article, because I got just a couple of months ago a piece of mail from the Cardinal Mindzenty Foundation and they actually claim that Marxism was planned for this country as well as all over the world. They outlined how this would include the Family Private Property and Education. It seem to start in this Country at the beginning of the 20th Century. The use of the words”sexism” Homophobia, and Misogynist, are always being used. The more orthodox men and women would be labeled as “RIGID” which has a Marxist type implications and the blackballing. Somehow all of this seems to tie in with the term “political correctness” is actually just another word for what is called “cultural Communism” and the oppressed minorities like women, Homosexuals etc.-Class Warfare at its best and sadly it has even crept into our Church right after the Second Vatican Council.

  • This denial of our Creator in all the ways it is happening reminds me of a quote from a romantic comedy called ‘French Kiss’.

    “Fester, fester, fester; rot, rot, rot.” said the naive girl, Meg Ryan, to the thief and lier she’d like to see redeemed, Kevin Kline.

    The removal of the tenets of U.S. Constitution by our own government in the name of diversity, tolerance, etc. with fingerpointing, lewd hand gestures, and not sober speech by leaders akin to the finger pointing of Nikita Krushchev when he said to the United States, “We will bury you.”

  • I am not a psychiatrist, and I dare not post here my thoughts as I would probably be banned from the blog forever. So , let me say: the unholy spirit, anger against God turned against the Pope.

  • Is my comment still stuck in moderation, or did it get deleted? If so, how did it violate the comments policy? Mostly I was asking (sincere) questions.

  • Joannie,

    Just because because someone advocates political correctness or talks about sexism does not make them a Marxist. Marxism implies very specific beliefs about the progression of history, and almost none of the people who talk about the things you mentioned hold those beliefs.

    Look at it this way. The Catholic Church is one of the most organized institutions in history. Yet among Catholics, there’s a broad range of disagreements about things like tax policy or the social safety net. So if the Catholic Church is so organized, and yet there’s still all this disagreement and diversity, then how could Marxists be organized enough that they all have the same agenda? Conspiracy theories that large simply don’t make sense.

  • Blimey. There’s a difference between being disingenuous and a Marxist.

  • In fact, the modern revolutionary Left tends to be anti-Marxist and anarchist rather than socialist, following rather in the tradition of Bakunin, Proudhon and Sorel. Proudhon provided a summary of their position, when he wrote, “The economic idea of capitalism, the politics of government or of authority, and the theological idea of the Church are three identical ideas, linked in various ways. To attack one of them is equivalent to attacking all of them . . . What capital does to labour, and the State to liberty, the Church does to the spirit.”

    Unlike Marxists, they hold a “Voluntarist” view of history – it is not a question of helping the historical tendency or necessity to realize itself, but to “stop the train” of history. They accuse Marxists of re-introducing the “Big Other,” [le grand autre”]to use Lacan’s phrase, in the form of Historical Determinism. Hence their unbounded contempt for such typical Marxist arguments as “it is too early for the Socialist revolution, the working class is not yet mature” or “the majority of the population is not on our side, so the revolution would not really be democratic” ; for them, this search for a guarantee is simply fear of “the abyss of the act.”

    This is why they found the Paris banlieue riots of 2006 or the London riots of 2011 so inspiring: here was an assault that made no demands, a threat without a message that was the negation of politics.

    This is Hegel’s dialectic, rather than Marx’s travesty of it; not thesis-antithesis-synthesis, but abstract-negative-concrete, or immediate-mediate-concrete.

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  • Time to pull out my old copy of “Ungodly Rage” by Donna Steichen.

  • Reluctant Liberal says:
    Wednesday, August 1, 2012 A.D. at 5:34pm
    Just because because someone advocates political correctness or talks about sexism does not make them a Marxist. Marxism implies very specific beliefs about the progression of history, and almost none of the people who talk about the things you mentioned hold those beliefs.
    Look at it this way. The Catholic Church is one of the most organized institutions in history. Yet among Catholics, there’s a broad range of disagreements about things like tax policy or the social safety net. So if the Catholic Church is so organized, and yet there’s still all this disagreement and diversity, then how could Marxists be organized enough that they all have the same agenda? Conspiracy theories that large simply don’t make sense.

    In short, the Catholic Church tends to gather together the community for love, security and support. It is also the duty of the government constituted by the same citizens who are the community of the church to “secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves AND TO OUR POSTERITY: from the Preamble to our U.S. Constitution. It is the duty of the government and the state to protect and defend innocence as the standard of Justice and the virginity of ourselves and our constitutional posterity. This is constitution, community and church.
    That which tends to divide, separate and destroy TRUTH from virtue, from the many people, from the rights of the TRUTH AND THE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE is called the enemy, isolating individuals from their FREEDOM, to their destruction.
    The enemy’s name is LEGION.
    Tolerance and diversity only serve the TRUTH, WHEN THEY ARE PREDICATED ON JUSTICE. Petition to almighty God’s perfect Justice is the only way to freedom.
    Dissent for the sake of dissent is a tantrum against the TRUTH by the already vanquished. The tax code has already been met by the parishioners of the Catholic Church as citizens. Clergy and laity do not surrender their citizenship because they have chosen to surrender their lives to almighty God. Everything in the church: faith, TRUTH, fortunes, land, buildings, schools, and in the state: Justice, virtue, public lands, and waterways, and freedom itself is held in trust for our posterity. The heavy hand of hell has been laid on our constitutional posterity. God has been ostracized from the community.
    Virginity and virtue are the bane of communism at every turn. That is why abortion takes front and center in communism. Take heart, Jesus Christ has descended into hell and returned triumphant and in His hand He brought us.

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  • “The Church must speak with one voice. We all know that the fundamental tactic of the enemy is to show a church divided.” — Archbishop Vigano’

    Every time I hear this “Unity” crap from the clergy it makes me shudder. At the local level the priests always say this when they want everyone in the parish to get behind their personal agenda. ex. building plans, personnel plans, ministry focus, etc. I’ve never heard it used in reference to Church teaching. I assume the Archbishop means unity in the real and best sense of preaching the Truth all together. It’s sad that he has to tell the U.S. hierarchy to “get orthodox.”

  • “It’s sad that he (Archbishop Vigano) has to tell the U.S. hierarchy to “get orthodox.” The Archbishop can and ought to be accompanied by each and every lay person. You post here. Put the TRUTH in the parish priest’s ear.

  • First, I know nuns. I had IHM”‘s for grade school and high school, BVM’s for college, and I was a member of the Convent of the Sacred Heart until that order fell apart. I am, actually, a practicing Catholic in a parish where we have devoted priests and excellent liturgical music. My husband and I work hard to support the choir. Our children all went to Catholic schools, married Catholic, and are raising their children Catholic. Deo gratias! So these are my credentials. Now I must say that I am really fatigued by the LCWR ninnie nuns and the adulation of the press for these women of little brain. People who cannot see the gift of God in the person of Benedict XVI are blind to what is good, true and beautiful. Instead of that Marx Hubbard New Age mouthpiece, these nuns need to be re-evangelized. I would suggest a retreat based on Fr. Robert Barron’s sublime and excellent DVD CATHOLICISM. I would be glad to share the reflection questions I wrote for my parish for each episode free of charge. They should all listen to the CD that accompanies the DVD while they sit in silence in a real chapel in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. They would do well to look again at the saints and choose one to model themselves after in virtue and piety. They should re-state their vows and re-commit themselves to canonical religious life. This would be the basis for a tremendous renewal. They long ago abandoned the liturgy, substituted a free-wheeling kind of discernment for examination of conscience, and gave up meditative prayer on scripture and the solid theology of the Fathers of the Church. All this prattle about “dialogue”is a waste of time. They need to get busy re-building their faith. Then could really serve the poor something besides a dose of their own ego along with the soup. Give them good that lasts when they come for the food that perishes. How did these nuns get so lost? They need to let Jesus get into the boat with them once again.

The Dark Knight Rises: A Film for the Age of Obama

Wednesday, August 1, AD 2012

I saw the film The Dark Knight Rises with my family last week.  I thought it went on too long, some of the various plot threads were confusing and the film required too much suspension of disbelief, above and beyond what is usually required in a superhero film.  It will not make my top ten list of favorite films for the year.  However, what is stunning about the film is that it conveyed fundamentally conservative messages.  Andrew Klavan tells us how, and the usual spoiler alerts apply:

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7 Responses to The Dark Knight Rises: A Film for the Age of Obama

  • And the Democrats were going to use the criminal Bane as a play against Romney’s Bain. I do not think they are capable of seeing and understanding the truth, whether it be portrayed in entertainment fashion or given to them straight like medicine.

  • I finally saw the movie last night, and can definitely see the implicit conservative, or rather anti-radical message. And, fwiw, it would definitely make my top ten list (not that I’ll even see ten movies). It was certainly better than the Avengers.

  • I don’t think the Occupy movement is going to be happy with this movie. I don’t know the Nolans’ background, but they appear to be students of history. I was struck by the scene where the Stryver character is brought in front of the kangaroo court. His appeal to the arch villain Bane echos the appeal of Genrikh Yagoda to Stalin during his show trial. It’s nice to see that there are few people out there who know that history loves re-runs.

  • I almost cried at the Cops marching in force against a more armed force.

  • Also, they got all the characters right! And I lost count of the number of scenes that were DIRECTLY from comics.

  • So, I’m not quite sure the actual reviewer nor the original poster of this quite got the message. To believe this movie is inherently conservative or anti-radical is pretty absurd. The movie’s message can be seen as quite radical. In fact, quite radical to the nth degree. Wealthy Capitalists and vagabonds are seen as the destructive forces inside of Gotham CIty. The League of Shadow, the major organization in the movie, has sought to destroy Gotham from the first movie. Their leader blamed the cold, criminal, and apathetic wealthy alongside the lower blue collar criminals. The point was that crime was rampant in every sector of life in Gotham. What Dark Knight Rises, and its source material suggests, is that when compassion, heroism, and justice are absent from a society, it crumbles. Absolutely crumbles. In each movie of the trilogy, wealthy trample the poor, poor trample the wealthy, and the government uses lies and deception to improve their circumstances. In fact, the movie makes its attempt at throwing away both forms of life. This is echoed in the film’s final moments when “Robin” repeats that rules become shackles, to which he then is implied to take up the mantel of Batman. It’s a view of American society as a whole, not just against the Obama administration.

  • Problem: only rich crooks we see are working with Bane. Vs the normal criminals who are criminals, and the victims of his envy politics, who are rich to middle class.