PopeWatch: Journalist Terrorism

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The Pope in a curious address to a group of Italian journalists compared journalism based upon “gossip or rumors” to terrorism.

Speaking to a gathering of Italian journalists Thursday, Pope Francis argued that journalism that peddles gossip or rumors is “terrorism.”

Francis, in his address to National Council Order of Journalists, reminded the audience that he has often likened gossip to terrorism — “how it is possible to kill someone with tongue” — and said, “This applies to individual people — in the family or at work — but even more so to journalists because their voice can reach everyone, and this is a very powerful weapon.”

“Journalism must always respect the dignity of the person,” he continued. “Journalism cannot be a weapon for the destruction of people or even populations. Nor must it fuel fears in relation to changes or phenomena such as forced migration due to hunger or war.”

The Pope described the type of journalism he would like to see:

“I hope that increasingly and everywhere journalism may be a tool for construction, a factor of the common good and for the acceleration of processes of reconciliation; that it may be able to resist the temptation to foment confrontation, with a language that stokes the flames of division, instead of favoring a culture of encounter,” Francis said.

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Fall the Wonderful

 

I heartily concur with Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts celebration of our current season:

 

Anyone who has followed my blog for more than a year or so knows one thing for sure: I love the Fall.  I enjoy Spring and there’s still enough kid in me to enjoy Winter, especially leading up to Christmas.  Summer is my hibernation time.  But Fall?  It’s to me what Spring is supposed to be to most people.

Today is a day off.  The boys are off of school, owing to a local holiday that can only happen in small town America.  And with it, I have the day off as well.  Don’t know what we’ll do today.  Maybe nothing, though I always hate to let a day go by without something to do.   I often start reading The Lord of the Rings in September, but thought this year I’d try something different.  This year I’m going to read through the Appendices.  Truth be told, I’ve glanced at them over the years, but never read through them.  As for the other fun parts of Fall, those are just beginning.

Here are some links to previous posts over the years in which I muse over, in my own amateurish way, just why I love this season.   Enjoy.  TTFN Continue reading

September 23, 1779: John Paul Jones Begins to Fight

The future naval officers, who live within these walls, will find in the career of the man whose life we this day celebrate, not merely a subject for admiration and respect, but an object lesson to be taken into their innermost hearts. . . . Every officer . . . should feel in each fiber of his being an eager desire to emulate the energy, the professional capacity, the indomitable determination and dauntless scorn of death which marked John Paul Jones above all his fellows.

Theodore Roosevelt on John Paul Jones, Speech at Annapolis- April 24, 1906

The traditions of daring, courage and professional skill that have ever been the hallmark of our Navy were first established in the lopsided fight our seamen waged during the Revolution. No single engagement more typifies this than the battle in which Captain John Paul Jones, sailing in a manifestly inferior ship, USS BonHomme Richard, defeated HMS Serapis on September 23, 1779.  Here is the report of Jones on this memorable sea fight: Continue reading

Godzilla v. Bambi

 

 

Philosopher Doctor Ed Feser takes on Mark Shea on the death penalty in the biggest mismatch since Godzilla tangled with Bambi:

 

As Pope St. John XXIII once wrote:

 

The Catholic Church, of course, leaves many questions open to the discussion of theologians.  She does this to the extent that matters are not absolutely certain…

 

[T]he common saying, expressed in various ways and attributed to various authors, must be recalled with approval: in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.  (Ad Petri Cathedram 71-72)

 

What Catholic could disagree with that?

 

Well, Mark Shea, apparently.  For no sooner does he acknowledge the truth of what Joe and I wrote than he proceeds bitterly to denounce Catholics who have the effrontery actually to exercise the right the Church herself has recognized to hold differing opinions on the topic of capital punishment.  After acknowledging the truth of our basic claim, he writes: “So what?” – as if Joe and I were addressing some question no one is asking.  This is followed by a string of remarks like these:

 

When it comes to taking human life, the right wing culture of death asks “When do we get to kill?”

 

The Church, in contrast, asks, “When do we have to kill?”

 

The death penalty supporter looks for loopholes and ways to enlarge them so that he gets to kill somebody.  The Magisterium urges us to look for ways to avoid killing unless driven to do so by absolute necessity…

 

The term for that is “prolife”. You know, from conception to natural death. It’s what we are supposed to actually mean when we say “All Lives Matter”. Even criminal ones.

 

So it comes back to this: If you stop wasting your time and energy fighting the guidance of the Church, searching for loopholes allowing you to kill some of those All Lives that supposedly Matter to you, you find that you have lots more time and energy for defending the unborn that you say are your core non-negotiable. Why not do that instead of battling three popes and all the bishops in the world in a struggle to keep the US on a list with every Islamic despotism from Saudi Arabia to Iran, as well as Communist China and North Korea? Why the “prolife” zeal to kill?

 

Be more prolife, not less…

 

“I want to kill the maximum number of people I can get away with killing” is, on the face of it, a hard sell as comporting with the clear and obvious teaching of the Church and perhaps there are other issues in our culture of death that might use our time and energy more fruitfully, particularly when the immediate result of such an argument is to spawn a fresh batch of comments from priests scandalously declaring the pope a heretic, wacked out conspiracy theorists calling the pope “evil beyond comprehension“, and false prophets forecasting that “Antipope Francis” will approve abortion.  This is the atmosphere of the warriors of the right wing culture of death.  It does not need more oxygen.

 

End quote. 

 

Well.  What on earth is all that about?  And what does it have to do with what Joe and I wrote? 

 

Let’s consider the various charges Shea makes.  As to the “So what?”,  Joe and I are by no means merely reiterating something everyone already agrees with.  On the contrary, there is an entire school of thought with tremendous influence in orthodox Catholic circles – the “new natural law theory” of Germain Grisez, John Finnis, Robert P. George, and many others – that takes the position that capital punishment is always and intrinsically immoral and that the Church can and ought to reverse her ancient teaching to the contrary.  Many other Catholics, including some bishops, routinely denounce capital punishment in terms that are so extreme that they give the false impression that the death penalty is by its very nature no less a violation of the fifth commandment than abortion or other forms of murder are.

 

In our article we cited cases in which even Pope Francis himself has made such extreme statements.  We also suggested that the pope’s remarks should be interpreted as rhetorical flourishes, but the fact remains that they certainly appear on a natural reading to be claiming that capital punishment is intrinsically wrong – a claim which would reverse the teaching of scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and every previous pope who has addressed the topic.

 

Since Shea agrees that the Church cannot make such a change, to be consistent he would also have to admit that the more extreme rhetoric from the pope and some bishops and other Catholics is misleading and regrettable.  He should also agree that “new natural lawyers” and others who hold that the Church should completely reverse past teaching on capital punishment are taking a position that cannot be reconciled with orthodoxy. 

 

The late Cardinal Dulles, among the most eminent of contemporary Catholic theologians, has (in remarks quoted in our article) gone so far as to say that a reversal of traditional teaching on capital punishment would threaten to undermine the very credibility of the Magisterium in general.  Our primary motivation in writing our book was to show that the Church has not in fact reversed past teaching on this subject, and thereby to defend the credibility of the Magisterium.  Accordingly, Shea’s charge that Joe and I are in the business of “fighting the guidance of the Church” is unjust and offensive.  So too is Shea’s casually lumping us in with those who characterize Pope Francis as a “heretic” and “antipope.”  In fact we explicitly said that we do not believe that the pope wishes to reverse past teaching, and we proposed reading his statements in a way consistent with the tradition.

 

As to Shea’s other remarks, it is simply outrageous – to be frank, it seems as clear an instance as there could be of what moral theologians would classify as an instance of calumny – to suggest that Joe and I are really just “look[ing] for loopholes and ways to enlarge them so that [we get] to kill somebody,” that we “want to kill the maximum number of people [we] can get away with killing,” that we have a “zeal to kill,” etc.  There is absolutely nothing in what we wrote that justifies such bizarre and inflammatory accusations. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Causes of War

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Well, the ecumenical farce at Assisi II has ended:

 

Pope Francis and leaders of other world religions said “No to War!” on Tuesday, vowing to oppose terrorism in God’s name and appealing to politicians to listen to “the anguished cry of so many innocents”.

Francis flew by helicopter to the central Italian hilltop city that was home to St. Francis, the 13th century saint revered by many religions as a patron of peace and nature and a defender of the poor.

The head of the Roman Catholic Church closed a three-day meeting where about 500 representatives of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism and other faiths discussed how their members could better promote peace and reconciliation.

Francis, who delivered two addresses and shared meals with the leaders, said indifference to suffering had become “a new and deeply sad paganism” that caused some to turn away from war victims and refugees with the same ease as changing a television channel.

Near the end of the gathering, members of each religion prayed in a separate locations and then joined each other in a square outside the famous pink stone basilica where St. Francis is buried.

Prayers were said for the victims of war, including in Syria and Afghanistan, and for the refugees fleeing the conflicts. A woman refugee from Aleppo now living in Italy told the pope at final gathering “my heart is in tatters”.

“Only peace is holy, and not war,” the Argentine-born pontiff said.

ABUSE OF RELIGION

Francis, leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, prayed in the basilica with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, spiritual leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, and Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of up to 300 million Orthodox Christians around the globe.

In a final appeal that key representatives signed and gave to children from around the world, they vowed “to oppose every form of violence and abuse of religion which seeks to justify war and terrorism.”

“No to war! May the anguished cry of the many innocents not go unheeded. Let us urge leaders of nations to defuse the causes of war: the lust for power and money, the greed of arms’ dealers, personal interests and vendettas for past wrongs,” the appeal said. Continue reading

Bear Growls: Green Acres World

 

 

I can’t tell you how many hours I wasted as a child watching the sitcom Green Acres.  Even in retrospect the show still strikes me as one of the funniest series broadcast by a national network (CBS).  I loved the patriotic, and usually conservative, speeches by Oliver Wendell Douglas, the successful lawyer who, with his wife Lisa, portrayed by Eva Gabor, has traded the life of a New York City attorney to be an unsuccessful farmer in the Hooterville countryside.  Eddie Arnold played Douglas to perfection as the straight man to all the zanies around him.  Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear believes we now live in a Green Acres’ world:

The Bear knows that Green Acres was coded by time travelers to tell us, here in the blighted 21st century, everything we need to know.

Oliver Douglas is a New York lawyer who fulfills a life-long dream to leave the big city and become a farmer. He drags his socialite wife Lisa to the bucolic setting of Hooterville, and they try to make a go of it. Ironically, it is the ditzy, game, unflappable Lisa who fits in, not the lawyer turned farmer, Oliver. Oliver has a romanticized idea of farming, and often breaks into little speeches about “the little green shoots,” which no one wants to hear.

You see, everyone in Hooterville is one wheel short of a tractor.

The county extension agent can’t finish a sentence without contradicting himself. An old couple treat a pig as a child. Twin carpenters can’t even hang a door. (No matter how many appearances the carpenters make, the house is in the same incomplete state at the end of the series as at the beginning.)  The Douglases have to climb a pole to use the phone; connecting the last forty feet to the ramshackle farmhouse a seeming impossibility. A peddler always happens to show up with his dubious and overpriced wares just when Oliver happens to need something.

Oliver, the who who  wanted to come here, after all, spends his days in exasperation at the incompetence and sheer weirdness that only he seems to notice. Although Lisa misses her glamorous life in New York City, she fits right in with her gowns and signature marabou trimmed robe.

Hooterville is sort of a first-rate third-world country. It has everything we take for granted, except not quite. The loopy inhabitants have all found their niches and are happy. All except Oliver. The only sane man in a mad world.

The Bear bets you get this. He bets you are Oliver. He bets that you look around and are amazed at the insanity that has engulfed the West. Weirdest of all, you seem to be the only person that notices.

Is the Bear right? When a Muslim shouting Allahu Akbar rampages through Sam Drucker’s general store and kills Uncle Joe, the sheriff solemnly announces he is “searching for motives.” Continue reading

PopeWatch: Regensburg

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At his blog Chiesa Sandro Magister cites a comment of the Pope Emeritus on the Regensburg Address, now a decade in the past:

 

 

One last observation concerning the address on Islam by Benedict XVI in Regensburg, an address that effectively cannot be imagined as coming from the mouth of Pope Bergoglio.

Asked if he had struck by accident upon that citation of the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaiologos which, extrapolated from the address, unleashed the violent reactions of many Muslims, Ratzinger responds:

“I had read this dialogue of Palaiologos because I was interested in the dialogue between Christianity and Islam. So it was not an accident. It was truly a matter of a dialogue. The emperor at that time was already a vassal of the Muslims, and yet he had the freedom to say things one could no longer say today. So I simply found it interesting to bring the discussion to bear upon this conversation of five hundred years ago.”

Well said: “The freedom to say things one could no longer say today.” Continue reading

Of Black Swans and Worthless Elites

black-swan

 

 

Faithful readers of this blog know that I am fascinated by Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s 2007 book The Black Swan.  In this book Taleb took a look at the impact of events in history for which our prior experiences give us no inkling, Black Swan events.  Taleb states three requirements for a Black Swan Event:

First, it is an outlier, as it lies outside the realm of regular expectations, because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility. Second, it carries an extreme ‘impact’. Third, in spite of its outlier status, human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.

I think Donald Trump is a Black Swan event in American political history, but he is also a part of a growing global revolt  against a fairly worthless class of governing elites.  Taleb has a look at this in a recent post:

What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligenzia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them. With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers (or Montaigne and such filtered classical knowledge) with a better track record than these policymaking goons.

Indeed one can see that these academico-bureaucrats who feel entitled to run our lives aren’t even rigorous, whether in medical statistics or policymaking. They cant tell science from scientism — in fact in their eyes scientism looks more scientific than real science. (For instance it is trivial to show the following: much of what the Cass-Sunstein-Richard Thaler types — those who want to “nudge” us into some behavior — much of what they would classify as “rational” or “irrational” (or some such categories indicating deviation from a desired or prescribed protocol) comes from their misunderstanding of probability theory and cosmetic use of first-order models.) They are also prone to mistake the ensemble for the linear aggregation of its components as we saw in the chapter extending the minority rule.


The Intellectual Yet Idiot is a production of modernity hence has been accelerating since the mid twentieth century, to reach its local supremum today, along with the broad category of people without skin-in-the-game who have been invading many walks of life. Why? Simply, in most countries, the government’s role is between five and ten times what it was a century ago (expressed in percentage of GDP). The IYI seems ubiquitous in our lives but is still a small minority and is rarely seen outside specialized outlets, think tanks, the media, and universities — most people have proper jobs and there are not many openings for the IYI.

Beware the semi-erudite who thinks he is an erudite. He fails to naturally detect sophistry.

The IYI pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited. He thinks people should act according to their best interests and he knows their interests, particularly if they are “red necks” or English non-crisp-vowel class who voted for Brexit. When plebeians do something that makes sense to them, but not to him, the IYI uses the term “uneducated”. What we generally call participation in the political process, he calls by two distinct designations: “democracy” when it fits the IYI, and “populism” when the plebeians dare voting in a way that contradicts his preferences. While rich people believe in one tax dollar one vote, more humanistic ones in one man one vote, Monsanto in one lobbyist one vote, the IYI believes in one Ivy League degree one-vote, with some equivalence for foreign elite schools and PhDs as these are needed in the club.

Continue reading

Tim Kaine’s Guardian Angel Quits

 

 

At The American Catholic we are dedicated to giving you up to date news on the election campaign.  Thus we have this report from Acts of the Apostasy:

(AoftheANews) NEW YORK – The guardian angel for Democrat Vice-Presidential candidate Tim Kaine told AoftheA News that he is quitting the Clinton campaign, and has announced his endorsement of Donald Trump.

“I’ve had it with him. Completely had it,” the angelic messenger said, relentlessly puffing on a Marlboro. “I haven’t slept in days. He’s driving me nuts. His comments on so-called same-sex marriage over the weekend were the final straw. He really thinks the Church will someday change its position. Sure, he was taught by Jesuits, but he oughtta know better.”

The bedraggled, unshaven divine host of heaven went on. “I probably should have done this when Hillary selected him, but I had hope, you know? Turns out I was just fooling myself.”

He explained that his endorsement of Trump was merely an attempt to get Kaine’s attention. “I’m hoping it’s a wake-up call,” he said, pouring himself a glass of Jack Daniels. “Shock him a bit. Once he hears I want to ‘make America great again’, he’ll come to his senses. Maybe. I’m so beyond frustrated.” Continue reading

PopeWatch: True Faith

 

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa speculates on how great a disaster Assisi II will be:

 

 

ROME, September 18, 2016 – The memorable encounter in Assisi, thirty years ago, between John Paul II and men of all religions (see photo) was perhaps the only moment of disagreement between the holy Polish pope and his absolutely trusted chief of doctrine at the time, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who didn’t even go.

Ratzinger himself recalls this in his book-length interview published in recent days: “He knew,” he says, “that I was following a different approach.”

But now that Pope Francis, the successor to both, is preparing to replicate that event in Assisi on September 20, the contrast is reemerging even stronger than before.

A dialogue among the religions on an equal footing – Ratzinger has in fact warned even after his resignation of the papacy – would be “lethal for the Christian faith.” Because every religion “would be reduced to an interchangeable symbol” of a God assumed to be equal for all:

> “Renunciation of the truth is lethal for the faith”

Naturally Jorge Mario Bergoglio does not identify with this kind of egalitarian dialogue, nor has he ever thought that the Catholic Church should give up preaching the Gospel to every creature.

But some of his actions and words have effectively bolstered such tendencies, starting with his definition of proselytism as “solemn foolishness,” without ever saying how this is to be distinguished from genuine mission. There are no few missionaries on the frontiers, having spent a lifetime preaching and baptizing, who now feel betrayed in the name of a dialogue that makes almost any conversion useless.

Also with other Christians, Protestant and Orthodox, Francis moves at a different pace compared to his predecessors.

While for example Benedict XVI encouraged and facilitated the return to the Catholic Church of Anglicans in disagreement with the “liberal” pivot of their Church, Francis does not, he prefers that they keep to their own home, as revealed by two Anglican bishops who are his friends, Gregory Venables and Tony Palmer, whom he discouraged from becoming Catholic:

> Ecumenism Behind Closed Doors

But it has been above all a brief video from January of this year, released on a large scale in ten languages, that has most given the idea of a surrender to syncretism, to the equating of all the religions:

> “We are all children of God”

 

 
In it, Francis urges prayer together with men of every faith, for the love of peace. And along with him, in fact, appear a Buddhist, a Jew, a Muslim, with their respective symbols, all on equal terms. The pope says: “Many seek God and find God in different ways. In this broad spectrum of religions there is only one certainty for us: we are all children of God.”

Nice words, but in effect not in keeping with those of the New Testament and in particular of the Gospel of John, according to which all men are creatures of God, but the only ones who become his “children” are those who believe in Jesus Christ.

In Assisi, on September 20, Francis will again find himself beside Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, and still others. And it is likely that his speech will be more circumspect than in the video.

But there is an impact of the images that will be difficult to contain and rationalize. It is that which has been extolled by many since 1986 as the “spirit of Assisi,” a formula that Ratzinger always sought in vain to defuse, as cardinal and pope, so that it would be taken in a manner opposite to how so many understand it, meaning not in the “syncretistic” and “relativistic” sense: Continue reading

September 19: International Speak Like a Pirate Day

 

To all pirates I have but one thing to say:  amateurs.

Donald R. McClarey

 

 

 

 

Aye Maties, tis Speak Like a Pirate Day again!

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Pirate Gettysburg Address

 

 

 

Ar, it be about four score and seven years ago since our fathers made ye new nation, a liberty port for all hands from end to end, and dedicated t’ t’ truth that all swabs be created equal.

Now we be fightin’ a great ruckus, testin’ whether ye nation, or any nation so minted like it, can last through the long watch. We be met on a great boardin’ fight o’ that war. We have come t’ dedicate a spot o’ that field, as a final restin’ place for those who here swallowed the anchor forever that that nation might live. It be altogether fittin’ and proper that we be doin’ this.

But, truth be told, we can not set aside, we can not pray over, we can not hallow this ground. T’ brave swabs, livin’ and went t’ Davy Jones’ locker, who fit here, have blessed it, far over our poor power t’ add or swipe back. T’ world won’t writ what we say here, but it can never forget what those swabs did here. It be for us t’ livin’, rather, t’ be dedicated here t’  finishin’ t’ work which they who fit here have begun.   It be rather for us t’ be here dedicated t’ t’ great chore remainin’ before us—that from these honored swabs we take increased love t’ what they died for—that we here Bible swear that these shipmates shall not have went t’ Davy Jones’ locker for nothin’—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth o’ freedom—and that government o’ t’ crew, by t’ crew, for t’ crew, shall not perish from t’ seven seas. Continue reading

September 19, 1796: George Washington’s Farewell Address

Today is the 220th anniversary of the farewell address of George Washington being published throughout the United States as an open letter to the American people.  Fortunate indeed were we to have such a man as the Father of our nation.  Without him to lead us to victory in the Revolution there would be no United States of America today.  On re-reading his Farewell Address, I think some of the matters he touches upon are extremely relevant today:

1. ReligionOf all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

2.  Centralized Power–It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.

3.  Partisanship–There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

4.  Government Debt–As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

5.  Honesty as Policy-. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.

6.  Foreign Policy– If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

In retiring from the public scene Washington made this closing observation:  Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend.   An attitude of humility for us all to remember  when we contend in the Public Square.

Here is the entire text of the Farewell Address: Continue reading

PopeWatch: Completely Agree

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Oh would some power the gift give us, To see ourselves as others see us.
Robert Burns
The Pope told a group of newly appointed bishops something with which PopeWatch is in complete agreement:
“The world is tired of charming liars, and I might say, of ‘trendy’ priests or ‘trendy’ bishops. People can ‘smell’ it — the people of God have God’s nose. People can ‘smell’ it and they move away when they see narcissists, manipulators, defenders of their own causes, and bandits of vain crusades,”.

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