Cardinal George on “Chicago Values”

Tuesday, July 31, AD 2012

Francis Cardinal George of the Archdiocese of Chicago is alleged to have predicted that for upholding the teachings of Christ he will die in his bed, his successor will die in a prison cell, and his successor will be executed in a public square in Chicago.  Therefore, I am unsurprised that he has written an open letter exploring the “Chicago Values” cited by Mayor Emanuel when he decided to attack the free speech rights of Chick-Fil-A:

 

 

 

Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago.  I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval.  Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city?  Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it?  I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”

The value in question is espousal of “gender-free marriage.”  Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry; and espousing the understanding of marriage that has prevailed among all peoples throughout human history is now, supposedly, outside the American consensus.  Are Americans so exceptional that we are free to define “marriage” (or other institutions we did not invent) at will?  What are we re-defining?

It might be good to put aside any religious teaching and any state laws and start from scratch, from nature itself, when talking about marriage.  Marriage existed before Christ called together his first disciples two thousand years ago and well before the United States of America was formed two hundred and thirty six years ago.  Neither Church nor state invented marriage, and neither can change its nature.

Marriage exists because human nature comes in two complementary sexes: male and female.  The sexual union of a man and woman is called the marital act because the two become physically one in a way that is impossible between two men or two women.  Whatever a homosexual union might be or represent, it is not physically marital.  Gender is inextricably bound up with physical sexual identity; and “gender-free marriage” is a contradiction in terms, like a square circle.

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21 Responses to Cardinal George on “Chicago Values”

  • Thank you for this post, Donald.

  • A square circle has been proven to be imposible and the best analogy for gay-marriage. I appreciate the way you described the situation in Chicago about the government approving a man’s value system. Will it come to the government forcing individuals to have sex change operations to realize its value-system?

  • I didn’t know the Cardinal had it in him. I just wish this had been his demeanor for the last 20 years. Apparently he has concluded his flock is under attack and he will not cede moral high ground to a bunch of corrupt, secular, depraved politicians who lack any moral standing whatsoever.

  • Darn, that was well-said. I pray the Cardinal’s prophesy about his successors my be wrong, but I fear he is all too prescient. Thanks for posting.

  • That quote from Cardinal George is very ominous. What was the context and are there any links?

  • He said it after civil unions passed in Illinois in 2010. I have been unable to find a direct link to the statement, but I will keep looking.

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  • Marriage is primordial and, in the happy phrase of Lord Stowell in Dalrymple v Dalrymple, it is the parent, not the child of civil society.

    The state has a legitimate interest in marriage and it is important to note what precisely that is. Mandatory civil marriage originated in France on 9th November 1791 and was a product of the same Revolution that had just turned 10 million tenant farmers into heritable proprietors. This was no coincidence.

    The Code of 1804 contained no formal definition of marriage, but jurists have always found a functional definition in the provision that “The child conceived or born in marriage has the husband for father,” which mirrors the doctrine of the Roman jurist, Paulus, “.pater vero is est, quem nuptiae demonstrant.” (Marriage points out the father) [Dig. 2, 4, 5; 1].

    This was the opinion of the four most authoritative commentators on the Civil Code, Demolombe (1804–1887), Guillouard (1845-1925). Gaudemet (1908-2001) and Carbonnier (1908–2003), covering the period from the introduction of mandatory civil marriage down to our own day and long before the question of same-sex marriage was agitated. In 1998, a colloquium of 154 Professors of Civil Law, including such luminaries as Philippe Malaurie, Alain Sériaux, and Catherine Labrusse-Riou unanimously endorsed this interpretation of the Civil Code. This led to the introduction of civil unions (PACS) for same-sex and opposite-sex couples in the following year.

    No one will deny that the state has a clear interest in the filiation of children being clear, certain and incontestable. It is central to its concern for the upbringing and welfare of the child, for protecting rights and enforcing obligations between family members and to the orderly succession to property. To date, no better, simpler, less intrusive means than marriage have been found for ensuring, as far as possible, that the legal, biological and social realities of paternity coincide. And that is no small thing.

    It is significant that, in a country so committed to the principle of laïcité as France, no one has suggested that the opinion of the jurists, or of the courts which have endorsed it, is either the result of religious convictions or an attempt to import them into their interpretation of the Code.

  • The “martyrdom” quote has also been attributed to Abp. Charles Chaput. I also have attempted to pin down an exact time and place where Cardinal George said this and haven’t yet been able to find one. My guess — and it’s only a guess — is that whatever its origin, it’s been attributed to Cardinal George so many times that he’s embraced it and doesn’t bother denying that he said it, since it does express his beliefs about the direction religious freedom issues seem to be going in the U.S.

    Famous people or public figures often have quotes attributed to them that they never said, whether it’s Abraham Lincoln’s alleged “Ten Cannots” (“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift….”) or Chuck Colson’s “I would run over my grandmother to elect Nixon” or George Carlin’s “Hurricane Rules.”

  • …but for our increasingly fragile “civil union” as citizens

    These are fighting words. I doubt that the Rahms will take heed. Either by accident or design, the US has come to a position where the Right has to put aside all the pointless courtesies, and fight the Left tooth and nail or stand in danger of becoming strangers in their own land.

  • Archbishop Chaput has denied saying it Elaine. The quote has aroused my suspicion now since I can find nothing on the internet citing the statement directly from anything written or said by Cardinal George. I hope someone asks Cardinal George about the statement so we can clear this up. I have modified the post to say that he is alleged to have made this prediction.

  • So much talk on Gay marriage and the push to make it culturally acceptable and respectable but many seem to accept unmarried heterosexual unions. So many couples shacked up, living together and bearing children with little concern about the long time welfare of the child. Which type of union is more sinful in the eyes of God? Which lifestyle will have the greatest negative impact on our culture. What will life be like in America 50 years from now? I’m afraid to guess.

  • Indeed, Ivan, for the Left has dropped all pretense; where before was metaphor, dissemblance and clever rhetoric, now stand naked hostility and unadulterated arrogance.

    They started this, and one or the other side will soon perceive itself painted into a corner. Then it’s a-gonna get ugly.

  • RPM, those are valid concerns, and I certainly don’t see anyone here condoning either situation. As for which is more sinful in God’s eyes, only He knows for sure – for us, it is clear both are gravely sinful (both are in the mortal sin category, but whether it earns the 4th or 5th circle of hell, I’d just rather avoid either).

    As for impact on society, one strikes at the fundamental structure of marriage, the complementarity of the sexes, and the unified purposes of the marital act; the other likely involves a larger absolute number of individuals, and if not altering the fundamental structure, at a minumum undermines the important pillar of stability that marriage (ideally) provides. Neither is good.

  • Please give Cardinal George a call and thank him for his leadership as Christ’s chosen shepherd: 312-751-8200.

  • RPM

    From the public’s perspective, the two cases are very different.

    As the British philosopher, Bertrand Russell observed, “But for children, there would be no need of any institution concerned with sex. It is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution.” That is why the state uses the institution of marriage to make the paternity of children clear, certain and incontestable. Were this not its primary legal function, it is difficult to see why the law should facilitate marriage in extremis. What other purpose does a death-bed marriage serve?

    By the same token, same-sex couples whom nature had not made potentially fertile, are irrelevant to the institution of marriage. This is different legal treatment, because their situation is not analogous.

    As the legislator has no authority in the other world, whatever may be the lot of its subjects in the life to come, that is not its business, provided they are good citizens in this one.

    The question is not one of morals, but of civil status: (1) mandatory civil marriage, makes the institution a pillar of the secular Republic, standing clear of the religious sacrament (2) The institution of republican marriage is inconceivable, absent the idea of filiation, enshrined, not in Church dogma, but in the Civil Code and (3) the sex difference is central to filiation.

  • The nearest Chick-filet-a is 25 miles away from me, in Racine. And since the price of gas has skyrocketed to over $4.00 a gallon in Wisconsin (a pipeline to Chicago has broken and is leaking in central Wisconsin), I don’t think it would be prudent to make a 50 mile round trip to buy a chicken sandwich:-) But I certainly will, when gas prices go down a bit.

    I remember saying, at Gerard N.’s old blog *sigh*, that gay marriage was not a terribly important issue to me. Well, congrats to the gay bigots who have finally succeeded in making me an active oppoment to their agenda. Does anyone think it will stop with Chick-filet-a? No, I can easily see gays holding “kiss-ins” outside of our parishes on Sunday mornings, because Todd and Brad really, really want to have a Catholic marriage service, but those mean old “homophobes” are standing in their way. The harassment will never, ever end unless we make a stand now.

  • The fascinating aspect of this Donna is the rapidity of all this. Two decades ago only the lunatic fringe of the gay rights movement was even talking about gay marriage. Now the Democrats are enshrining gay marriage in their platform and denouncing as dangerous bigots anyone who believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. I await with anticipation what next “right” will become a cause celebre on the Left, and an excuse for what too many Leftists seem to live for: an opportunity to engage in campaigns of organized hate against those who do not follow them in ideological lock step.

  • Rockport Pilot, Rockport Texas
    Friday, August 3, 2012Dear Editor;

    Since there are many businesses whose primary reason for existence is to spread hate, in addition to Chick-Fil-A, and since there are many executives who espouse bigoted traditional values and hate-driven biblical values, would not the actions of all good pure people – which includes, by definition, all Democrats – in avoiding these businesses be greatly facilitated if: 1. Christian businesses be required to display a Star Of Bethlehem sign in their businesses – and this could be a federal regulation whose implementation involves multiple government agencies, e.g. EPA, Health And Human Services, Department of Education, Homeland Security, and of course the Center for Disease Control; and 2. Christian executives be required to wear a Star Of Bethlehem over their hearts or have one tattooed on their forearms? And, to further the purity of Democrats and all others who are free of hate, why not have all Christians who go out in public be required to wear a Star Of Bethlehem over their hearts or have it tattooed on their foreheads? Of course a crucifix would do instead of the star.

    Am I remembering correctly something like this once happened? Was it in Europe? Wasn’t there some kind of conflict about this? How did the pure people do that time?

    Guy McClung

  • Truth Mr. McClung:

    When will our self-proclaimed moral superiors stage a kiss-in in Saudi Arabia or in a Nation of Islam meeting?

    Western oil purchases made Saudi Arabia super-wealthy.

    They cannot pull such publicity stunts because they don’t allow (Nicht Keystone pipeline; “not in my back yard”; save the snail darter; save Mother Erda!) energy independence.

    So it goes. Most of USA oil to make gasoline is imported from foreign cartels, e.g., OPEC, composed of countries that are tyrannies that execute gays.

  • Everyone must be tired of reading this but I must post it again, simply because it says what it says: one fake husband or one fake wife equals one fake marriage. The truth of the matter is that homosexual behavior does not pass the reality test necessary for admission into the culture. The fact that the homosexual agenda will not allow the issue to be put on the ballot is a very good indication of the level of indoctrination, physical coersion and the dirty politics involved. Whe I say dirty politics, I mean the denial of the human being’s immortal soul, unalienable civil rights, unauthorized use of the language and the strangling of FREEDOM by the perjury that is a fake marriage.

Of Chicken Sandwiches, Free Speech and Cheap Politicians

Thursday, July 26, AD 2012

The people who run the fast food chain Chick-fil-A are serious Christians.  They close their 1,608 restaurants on Sundays even though they lose a huge amount of revenue doing so.  The President of Chick-fil-A has spoken out against gay marriage.  As a result Democrat politicians, who have as much understanding of freedom of speech as they do morality, have decided to punish a legal business.

First up was Thomas Menino, mayor of Boston, who sent an unintentionally hilarious letter to the president of the company.  This Boston Herald editorial noted the humor:

But which part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand? A business owner’s political or religious beliefs should not be a test for the worthiness of his or her application for a business license.

Chick-fil-A must follow all state and city laws. If the restaurant chain denied service to gay patrons or refused to hire gay employees, Menino’s outrage would be fitting. And the company should be held to its statement that it strives to “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation, or gender.” But beyond the fact that Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays, the religious beliefs of the company’s top executive don’t appear to control its operations.

The situation was different when Northeastern University blocked a proposed Chick-fil-A amid student protests. In that case, a private institution made its own decision not to bring the company in as a vendor. But using the power of government to freeze the company out of a city sends a disturbing message to all businesses. If the mayor of a conservative town tried to keep out gay-friendly Starbucks or Apple, it would be an outrage.

Ironically, Menino is citing the specific location along the Freedom Trail as a reason to block Chick-fil-A. A city in which business owners must pass a political litmus test is the antithesis of what the Freedom Trail represents. History will render judgment on the views of Chick-fil-A executives. City Hall doesn’t have to.

Next up was Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Chief of Staff of President Obama.  Ben Shapiro at Breitbart gives us the details:

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12 Responses to Of Chicken Sandwiches, Free Speech and Cheap Politicians

  • I hardly need any further encouragement to consume Chik-fil-a, but this only makes me crave the original w/ a side of waffle fries even more. It would be interesting for CFA to take them to the courts on this. Even if they lost, it would then set a precedent for banning liberal supporting businesses like Starbucks.

  • I am kind of wondering what Richard J. Daley, who was a daily communicant, would make of using municipal regulations to harrass people opposed (incidental to their business) to disfiguring matrimonial law or promoting sodomy.

    Remember when emblematic liberals were nice guys like George McGovern and Allard Loewenstein?

    Pieter Viereck nailed it: the notable problem with the liberal is his grandson.

  • The insanity of all of this is really hard for me to grasp. How can someone speak out of both sides of thier mouths and continue to get a pass? Free Speech means eactly what? Agree with me or else! Venerable Sheen said that (paraphrase here) tolorance of people is absolutely paramount but tolorane of principles can not be accepted. I can look up the exact quote but the point is clear. It seems that the dynamic shift they want is a shift that they think is “progressive” but in reality it is regressive. Welcome back to the age of paganism that rules..

  • Chick-Fil-A’s website has a location finder. I discovered one not that far from my apartment. It’s a little out of the way, but I’ll give them a try.

  • I live close to two Chik-fil-a stores. The food is excellent, the staff is very friendly and it is always clean. It is a really nice place to eat.

    It is really quite frightening what is going on. The complete hypocrisy would be amusing if it wasn’t so scary. Watching all of this happen makes me feel like I am in a bad dream, saying to myself “this can’t be happening” and hoping I wake up.

  • Perhaps Emanuel is more broadminded than I thought. He is enthusiastic for one religious group in Chicago that is opposed to gay marriage:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/07/26/important-update-on-chicago-values-non-inclusive-chick-fil-a-out/

  • I think that this is one (of 10,000) example of liberal fascism.

    Drudge has these bylines: “Godfather Rejects CHICK-FIL-A: ‘Not Chicago Values’”… and “RAHM WELCOMES FARRAKAHN.” Caput in ano est.

    Christainity banned in Windy City. Nation of Islam is established Chicago official religion. Spucatum tauri.

  • Chik-fil cannot attain to the first-grade of the “Chicago way” for the ballerina, unless the duty managers went around stabbing patrons with wishbones while screaming “You’re dead!!”. True mastery of the “Chicago way” though will come only by emulating Emmanuel senior, one time scourge of the transportation and hotel industries in Palestine.

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  • I am thoroughly disgusted with the homosexual activists in this country. Who died and left them kings?

  • As a fellow Chicagoan (and a lover of food-things chicken) I have to laugh at Rahm.

    It’s pretty great that whenever someone disagrees with their agenda (or grab at votes) they are called discriminatory, mean-spirited or whatever. I guess the only true tolerance for them is apathy or agreement with them. Very nice.

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3 Responses to Open Thread Thursday – Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste

  • The Japanese have been on this same road for 20 years. I think it’s a depression that we’re in. It’s spin to call it a recession and to continually announce the “recession” is over now, … no now, … no now, … no really, “this” time it’s over, ….

    -Paw, Doomer in Chief
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/brierpatch/

  • The geniuses (former weathermen; clueless college profs; and retired bomb throwers) in the WH; among congressional dems (Fwank, Reid, Pelosi, Dodd in power since January 2007); and in the liberal/social justice elites are having their sway.

    Fasten your seat belts . . .

    Tax, regulate, mandate, take from the evil rich, unfund and mandate, cap and tax, kill jobs, murder opportunity, give to the saintly poor, sink everyone to an equal level of dependency and desperation.

    Here’s the plan: destroy the evil, racist, unjust capitalist system.

    They can always blame Bush.

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Comedians Poking Fun At Rahm Emanuel

Sunday, October 3, AD 2010

On October 1 President Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, announced that he will be leaving his position to a possible campaign run for Mayor of Chicago.

Rahm Emanuel is known as a feisty politician with an amiable personality.  He has also been known to be fond of four letter words.

The following is Saturday Night Live’s spoof of the White House announcement of said event:

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Obama Seems Unable to Face Up to Americas Problems

Monday, March 8, AD 2010

Simon Heffer of London’s Daily Telegraph wrote this timely piece on President Obama’s inability to govern America.  Here are some snippets [emphases mine]:

It is a universal political truth that administrations do not begin to fragment when things are going well: it only happens when they go badly, and those who think they know better begin to attack those who manifestly do not. The descent of Barack Obama’s regime, characterised now by factionalism in the Democratic Party and talk of his being set to emulate Jimmy Carter as a one-term president [We can only hope], has been swift and precipitate. It was just 16 months ago that weeping men and women celebrated his victory over John McCain in the American presidential election. If they weep now, a year and six weeks into his rule, it is for different reasons.

“Obama’s big problem,” a senior Democrat told me, “is that four times as many people watch Fox News as watch CNN.” The Fox network is a remarkable cultural phenomenon which almost shocks those of us from a country where a technical rule of impartiality is applied in the broadcast media [Like the BBC is a bastion of impartiality my left foot]. With little rest, it pours out rage 24 hours a day: its message is of the construction of the socialist state, the hijacking of America by “progressives” who now dominate institutions, the indoctrination of children, the undermining of religion and the expropriation of public money for these nefarious projects. The public loves it, and it is manifestly stirring up political activism against Mr Obama, and also against those in the Republican Party who are not deemed conservatives. However, it is arguable whether the now-reorganising Right is half as effective in its assault on the President as some of Mr Obama’s own party are.

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Obamaville Shanty Towns: Tent Cities Sprouting Up Across America

Monday, December 14, AD 2009

As the recession continue to take its toll on our fellow Americans, rendering more and more of them homeless, tent cities have begun sprouting up across this great country.  It would not be fair to blame President Obama for the predicament that our nation is in, but President Obama has done nothing to help the situation.

President Obama’s ‘stimulus package’ only rewarded government contractors with more spending.  It is also correct to point out that former President George W. Bush’s ‘stimulus package’ did nothing more than President Obama’s spending bill.

Small businesses and the private sector in general got almost zero benefit for either porkulus spending bills.  Though this recession is typical of a business cycle, there are some things that can be done to alleviate the stress the economy is undergoing and maybe expedite the expiration of the current recession.  President Obama has done neither.

So it is fitting and fair to label the tent cities that are sprouting across America as Obamavilles.

(Note: In case the above YouTube video is taken down by the Blueshirts, you can see the entire story and video here.)

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23 Responses to Obamaville Shanty Towns: Tent Cities Sprouting Up Across America

  • Perhaps this can be the campaign song for Team Obama in 2012:

  • I would like to know what you think Obama could have done differently over the past year.

    There’s so much misunderstanding over the role of fiscal policy during this recession. It was precisely the huge expansion in the public deficit that counteracted the collapse in private demand, preventing huge negative growth rates, and equally dire employment numbers. Think of it this way: we went from a deficit of 2 percent of GDP in the balance between private income and spending shifted from to a surplus of over 6 per cent – in increase in private savings by 8 percent of GDP. What do you think would have happened without the fiscal crutch?

    It’s fustrating how few people get this point. I listened last night to John King lecture Larry Summers on how government debt is exploding at the very time when households are tighening the belt. Honestly, I thought this fallacy went out with Herbert Hoover! Here’s the issue: the vast majority of the increase in debt during this recession was because of the recession (lower taxes etc). In the jargon, it comes from automatic stabilizers. You work against the stabilizers, you make the recession worse. Moxt experts quite rightly felt that the depth of the collapse in private demand justified going even further than automatic stabilizers – hence the stimulus. The standing “crowding out argument” does not work in an environment when interest rates are near zero and nobody is lending (the case of a liquidity trap).

    Anyway, have a look at this post I did on what governments did right, and 4 key fallacies surrounding this recession.

  • MM,

    he vast majority of the increase in debt during this recession was because of the recession (lower taxes etc)

    Don’t you think if there was less federal government bureaucracy and programs, instead of raising taxes, that we wouldn’t have gotten to this point?

  • MM:

    Moxt experts quite rightly felt that the depth of the collapse in private demand justified going even further than automatic stabilizers – hence the stimulus.

    Except as the author rightly pointed out that the stimulus didn’t do ANYTHING. Most of the money in the Obama stimulus has yet to be spent.

    I supported TARP under the idea that despite that it would be mishandled, the banks needed shoring up. But make no mistake, there was a ton of corruption in TARP and even more under Obama’s stimulus.

  • Think of it this way: we went from a deficit of 2 percent of GDP in the balance between private income and spending shifted from to a surplus of over 6 per cent – in increase in private savings by 8 percent of GDP. What do you think would have happened without the fiscal crutch?

    My guess is that if Congress hadn’t passed a stimulus the Fed would have engaged in more quantitative easing, and we’d be pretty much where we are now. I don’t think Obama is to blame for our current troubles, but the things he’s done haven’t been particularly helpful either.

  • It also would have been nice if they had used tax cuts, or focused a higher percentage of the spending in 2009 and 2010, rather than just handing out money to every Democratic Congressperson’s favorite pork project.

  • Tito – I don’t get your point. The recession was caused by greed in the financial sector. Government softened the blow …. dramatically. And by that I mean monetary, fiscal, and financial sector policy.

  • I reckon living in a tent in Colorado in mid winter won’t be too much fun.

  • MM,

    This is a normal business cycle. Recessions occur every 5-7 years.

    To blame anyone is like throwing darts at a dartboard.

    I was just touching on the debt. Meaning that if we had less wasteful federal programs to defund the debt would be a bit more manageable.

  • John: I take your second point, but not the first. Multiplers are much larger on the expenditure than tax side. And I never got the whole “pork” thing — that’s the whole point of stimulus. Of course, it would be nice to get some socially worthwhile investments going (greening buildings, trains etc) but that’s not really the point of stimulus. The whole “pork” fetish is really an argument for good times – when you are supposed to be building your reserves to use them in times like this.

    On the tax point, Krugman just referenced some cutting edge new research suggesting that tax cuts are a really bad idea in liquidity type situations – http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/a-new-paradox/

  • Tito,

    No, this was not a normal business cycle. It was the buggest global slowdown since the Great Depression. The fact that a meltdown was avoided comes from policymakers learning the lessons of the Great Depression (see the chart in my post).

    On your second point, it certainly makes sense to run prudent fiscal policy in good times to store up reserves for the lean years. And the debt profile today would not look so scary if we had gone into this in good shape. But we did not – the major fiscal loosenings of the last administration were not paid for – Iraq war, tax cuts for the wealthy, medicare part D expanion. Each of these added more to the debt than any single Obama initiative, and they didn’t even pretend to pay for them.

    The key fiscal challenge is that taxes are too low for teh level of desired spending. And if you disagree, you need to be willing to cut military spending or medicare – nothing else is going to cut it.

  • Blackadder, that’s possibly right, but (i) QE doesn’t come without cost; (ii) its success has been limited – again, it comes back to the fact that monetary policy has limited value in a liquidity trap.

  • MM,

    I agree with you that taxes are too low for the level of desired spending.

    Which to me means that we need to cut more federal programs.

    We have never had an income tax at all in this country, with a couple of exceptions, until the current income tax I believe was finally imposed in 1913.

    There is nothing that warrants to take people’s hard earned money.

  • Tito,

    Much as it might hurt to admit it, MM is right here. This wasn’t an ordinary business cycle.

  • Tito:

    (1) But what programs? As I said, you can’t do this without touching the military and medicare.

    (2) Your last sentence is not fully aligned with developments in Catholic social teaching, and reflects more a laissez-faire liberalism. Remember Pope John XXII: “the economic prosperity of a nation is not so much its total assets in terms of wealth and property, as the equitable division and distribution of this wealth” (Mater Et Magistra, 1961). Powerful stuff, that!!

  • MM,

    There’s room for disagreement on taxing hard working Americans and redistributing to the proletariat in Catholic Social Teaching.

    Pope John XXIII’s teaching is not set in stone nor is it mandatory.

    And by wealth he didn’t mean taxes, he meant equitable distribution, ie, opportunities to capital, resources, etc. Not take from workers and redistribute to the proletariat.

    BA,

    I’m not debating whether it’s ordinary or extraordinary (if I gave that impression, I didn’t mean to). But the fact remains it’s a business cycle that the socialist leaning Democratic Party is exploiting to further control our lives.

  • But what programs? As I said, you can’t do this without touching the military and medicare.

    Means testing Medicare and Social Security would be a start.

  • Multiplers are much larger on the expenditure than tax side.

    You will get quite an argument from some macroeconomists on that assertion.

    I would like to know what you think Obama [ie the Administation and Congress] could have done differently over the past year.

    1. Undertake a special audit of Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo / Wachovia, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and GE Capital [?] to determine their authentic book value.

    2. Erect a fund of about $300 bn to compensate defined benefit pension funds and purchase preferred stock in insurance companies as needed, as these entities are abnormally invested in bank bonds.

    3. Prepare articles of incorporation for the successors of each of the foregoing. Each should have at least two successors – an ongoing business concern and a holding company which owns certain assets (illiquid securities, delinquent loans, and swaps & derivative). Citi, Bank of America and JP Morgan might have three successors: the dead asset holding company, their deposits-and-loans business, and their capital markets business.

    4. Recapitalize the aforementioned banks and investment firms through swapping debt (bonds, securitized receivables, l/t loans, &c) for equity in the successor corporations. If any one corporation retains a positive book value, it should be divided between its erstwhile creditors and equity holders; otherwise, the former bondholders, &c. get the whole enchilada.

    5. Call in all outstanding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debt and replace it with common stock. If necessary, agree antecedently to exchange the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds held by sovereign wealth funds abroad with U.S. Treasury debt.

    6. Suspend collection of federal payroll taxes. Phase them back in per the performance of the macroeconomy.

    7. Transfer responsibility for unemployment compensation to the federal government.

    8. Institute reductions in pay and benefits for all federal employees. Compensation would be cut each quarter in step with the decline in domestic product per capita.

    9. Remove all conditions on intergovernmental transfers from the federal government to state and local governments bar one: they have to cut the compensation of all public employees in their purview in step with the decline in per capita income in the country at large.

    10. Legislate a pre-packaged bankruptcy for General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler which would feature compensation cuts of at least a third for the workforce and legatees in return for equity shares in proportion to losses. The bondholders might get preferred stock. In lieu of making use of TARP funding, have the Federal Reserve provide a bridge loan by purchasing their commercial paper.

    11. Cut the minimum wage to $4.60 an hour.

    12. Institution a mortgage modification program along the lines suggested by Martin Feldstein (with NO means testing): those whose mortgages are held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or banks held by the FDIC might apply for a reduction in the principal equal to the fall (since they purchased the home) in the OFHEO price index for their area; in return, their chattels could be attached and their wages garnished if they defaulted.

    13. Institution of comprehensive tax reform as part of medium term planning for a return to fiscal balance: the elimination of deductions and exemptions, the gradual replacement of the payroll tax with enhanced income levies, the gradual institution of a component which taxes an index of one’s personal consumption, and a an enhanced per-dependent credit.

    14. Introduction legislation to erect a revised financial architecture some features of which might be as follows:

    a. Divestiture of subsidiaries which hold deposits domiciled abroad;

    b. Prohibitions on the ownership of financial firms by non-financial firms, or (for more than a temporary period) of non-financial firms by financial firms.

    c. Separation of deposits-and-loans banking from securities underwriting, proprietary trading (in securities, futures, options, &c.), ‘prime brokerage’, and private equity.

    d. Separation of securities underwriting from all activities other than corporate lending.

    e. Separation of proprietary trading from all other activities.

    f. Separation of prime brokerage from all other activities.

    g. Separation of private equity from all other activities.

    h. The separation of mutual funds from retail brokerage, trust companies, and treasury services firms.

    g. The separation of mid-market, corporate, and governmental lending from mortgage, farm, consumer, and small business lending. The former would be lodged in national banks which take deposits only from governments and incorporated entities; the latter would be lodged in banks which could take deposits from anyone but would constrained to operate within geographic catchments.

    h. Erection of an exchange for trading in swaps and derivatives.

    i. Prohibition of credit default swaps and insurance on securities.

    j. Prohibition on the use of credit to purchase securities other than initial public offerings; limit the ratio of margin loans in individual portfolios to one quarter of total assets; limit the permissible leverage of hedge funds accordingly;

    k. Erection an agency similar to the FDIC to act as a receiver of bankrupt securities firms and roll them up as rapidly as possible.

    l. Prohibition on the securitization of receivables.

    m. Turning Fannie and Freddie into self-liquidating entities.

    15. Postponement of action on medical insurance UNTIL THE BLOODY BANKS ARE REPAIRED.

  • Means testing Medicare and Social Security would be a start.

    Bleh.

  • socialist leaning Democratic Party

    Hillarious!!

  • Morning’s Minion writes Monday, December 14, 2009 A.D.

    “preventing huge negative growth rates”

    I have read this phrase in several places. I have not succeeded in understanding what is “a negative growth rate”. Is it shrinking?

    [I make the point chiefly to illustrate that much discussion about matters economic has similar fine-sounding nonsensical phrases].

Obama Ditches Youth Indoctrination Program

Wednesday, September 2, AD 2009

Obama Youth Organization

[Updates at the bottom of this article as of 9-3-2009 AD at 4:39am]

In what is a growing sign that President Obama is showing more signs of incompetence, the White House withdrew the requirement that school children write a paper supporting President Obama and his socialistic policies.  This was going to be a requirement after viewing an indoctrination video showing President Obama pushing his plan for socialism to school children nationwide.

President Obama’s plan to inspire the nation’s schoolchildren with a video address next week erupted into controversy Wednesday, forcing the White House to pull out its eraser and rewrite a government recommendation that teachers nationwide assign students a paper on how to “help the president.”

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15 Responses to Obama Ditches Youth Indoctrination Program

  • thus confirming my understanding that the public school system is really the “government school system”. If you don’t agree with everything the government stands for, why would you send your kids to them for instruction????

  • I know, it was not addressed to you personally, but to the general population.

  • It is, to me, more than merely the text that went along with the speech, it is the very act of speaking directly to students.

    Kids take their cue on social and political issues from their parents and an address to students that becomes something close to mandatory (since it it is during the school day) is inappropriate. Even as it stands now, the White House is demanding that students sit and pay attention to President Obama for a speech on why they should listen to and pay attention to elected leaders.

    When did we reach the point of holding elected leaders up as the bastion of truth and right in schools that forbid the use of sacred texts by students in their reports?

    And, what of the students whose parents insist on an “opt out?”

    Unless a mass movement for an alternative to attending the indoctrination exists, the few students whose parents ask for that consideration are almost assuredly going to be targeted by other students and by their union teachers as non-conformist and troublemakers. Didn’t the Supreme Court already speak to this when it held that students could not be compelled to render the Pledge of Allegiance and that school prayer could not be done in public schools precisely because forcing students to risk alienation by not participating was unconstitutional?

    What makes this different?

  • Can you all be this clueless about something as simple as school?

    No school or teacher is required to show this.

    No student is required by the president to do any paper or homework of any kind.

    Have any of you actually taught in a public school or did you learn your biases at home?

    I have been in both private, public and home school situations and have taught in ALL THREE and you only prove your ignorance.

    There are a thousand reasons to home school, but there is no way that public schools are indoctrinating any kids in any meaningful way. It is hard enough to get them to sit in a chair for 30 minutes.

    This kind of post should have no place in a Catholic Blog.

    Oh and by the way, the hilarious stupidity of the person who chose that photo is that kids who are indoctrinated in that way are done so with religious leader support and not public education!

    Oh and by the way, there was no Hezbollah until Israel screwed up their justified invasion of Lebanon and Reagan left when the marine barracks was bombed. Decades of ignoring Lebanon created the above photo, not Obama.

  • Talk about ignorant. If you don’t know that public schools are foisting a great deal upon children that is contrary to their parent’s beliefs then its you who is clueless.

  • MacGregor,

    You dwell in relativism.

    All religions are not the same.

    That is why many of us have a difficult time taking you seriously about almost anything.

  • Michael,

    Do you practice your Catholic faith?

  • MacGregor,

    so you’re saying that unless I participated in the indoctrination of children into the secular liberal worldview, I can not recognize that it’s occurring? It is no secret what the liberals are doing, we just have to listen to them.

  • and have taught in ALL THREE

    Well, that just about seals the decision to home school.

  • Pingback: ‘Education’, or, ‘Escaping The Handbasket?’ « Truth Before Dishonor
  • “Have any of you actually taught in a public school or did you learn your biases at home?”

    Perhaps you should be asking… “How many of you were taught in public school and know the drill inside and out from personal experience?”

    As in… how many of us homeschoolers and/or objectors to the Liberals using our public schools as their personal indoctrination centers **know what we are talking about because we were educated in public schools ourselves**? And we’re not amused? And we’re not going to follow along like mindless Sheeple and force our kids to endure the same?

    And… we can see right through Obama’s happy-clappy smokescreen from 100 miles away.

    Ever think of THAT before you threw out the “bias” card?

    Furthermore, this topic **does** belong on a Catholic blog because the Liberal ideology goes contrary to the Law of God.

    So please, put that in your pipe and smoke it well.

  • Pingback: Overreacting, The Left Needs To Wake Up To Reality « The American Catholic

Hmmm

Friday, December 12, AD 2008

blagojevich-emanued

It is usually a bad sign when a President’s Chief of Staff is ducking questions.  To all those outside the Land of Lincoln, welcome to Chicago politics 101!

Update I: I think Emanuel may be an ex-chief of staff even before he becomes chief of staff if this story pans out.

Update II:   More detail as to the contacts between Blagojevich and Emanuel as to the Senate seat.

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5 Responses to Hmmm

  • That news link seems inactive, there’s no story.

  • Joy unspeakable from this end. The whole Chi-Town affair gets ever messier. Was Rahm the now legendary Advisor B monitored by the Feds? Just as Jesse Jackson Jr. was Candidate Number 5? Hope and Change mired in the cesspool that is Illinois politics? I know not if God is Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. I do understand that He has a humongous sense of humor. Now Colin Powell urging the GOP to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh- aka Living Symbol for Conservative Movement. How hilarious. When I hear him, I hear the D.C. Mafia. Such like David Rodham Gergen, Margaret Carlson, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, David Broder, Name Another Insider. Insidious as the Chicago Mafia. Ha ha to them all.

  • Of course, in respect to the charity due to all human beings, while we can speculate on “might”, we should wait on further information before making judgments. We’ve seen too many cases tried in the media already, with the right as guilty as the left in a number of cases (though I personally believe the left has tried people in the media far more often). I think it is still premature to muse loudly about the possible connection between Rahm and Adviser B, and that we should all calmly wait until more becomes known.

  • I’m with Ryan on this one. Reserving judgment until more facts become available…

  • Yep – I’m for reserving judgment as well, but boy this does not look good – even if Obama and team come out clean.

    Kind of reminds me of Rudy at the RNC saying Obama “immersed himself in Chicago machine politics.” It unfortunately does make you wonder how much Obama immersed himself in those.

    I’m not an Obama supporter in the least, but I hope he and his staff do come out clean. This is the last thing we need as a country right now.