29 November 2012

Babies on Death Row

Courtesy of UK's national health system.  Coming soon to the US?

Story at the UK Daily Mail online.  Warning:  it's the Mail-- the sidebar is always somewhat racy.

An Early Appellate Victory for Missouri Catholic Businessman in the Fight against the HHS Contraception Mandate

From CNS:

Federal Court Temporarily Blocks HHS Contraception Mandate for Private Business Owner


(CNSNews.com) - The first private business owner to sue the Obama administration over its contraception mandate has won a small victory in the larger battle to preserve his religious liberty:

A federal appeals court panel on Wednesday temporarily blocked the Obamacare mandate from taking effect against the Missouri business owner, pending the the outcome of the appeals process.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit granted a motion for a preliminary injunction filed on behalf of Frank O'Brien and O'Brien Industrial Holdings of St. Louis, which runs the Christy family of companies.

O'Brien, a Roman Catholic, says his religious beliefs guide the operation of his business, which employs 87 people. On its website, the holding company says its mission "is to make our labor a pleasing offering to the Lord while enriching our families and society." The holding company operates Christy Catalytics, Christy Industrial Services, Christy Minerals Company, and the Christy Refractories Company.

“By granting our motion, the appeals court blocks the implementation of the HHS mandate and clears the way for our lawsuit to continue – a significant victory for our client,” said Francis Manion, Senior Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, which sued on O'Brien's behalf.

"The order sends a message that the religious beliefs of employers must be respected by the government. We have argued from the beginning that employers like Frank O'Brien must be able to operate their business in a manner consistent with their moral values, not the values of the government. We look forward to this case moving forward and securing the constitutional rights of our client.”

The temporary injunction issued Wednesday is the first decision from an appeals court in the litigation challenging the Health and Human Services mandate, which requires employers to purchase health insurance for their employees that includes coverage for contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.

In October, a federal district court judge granted the Obama Administration's motion to dismiss O'Brien's lawsuit. The ACLJ immediately filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, leading to the temporary order issued on Wednesday.

Until O'Brien filed his lawsuit, only religious organizations or institutions had challenged the mandate.

In addition to the O’Brien case, the ACLJ has filed two other direct challenges to the HHS mandate and it has filed amicus briefs backing other challenges in more than a dozen pending cases.

28 November 2012

CRPD Update and Urgent Action Items

From ParentalRights.org:

Yesterday the U.S. Senate voted 61-36 to take up discussion of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). For a full discussion of this treaty and its dangers, visit our CRPD page here.

We expected the treaty to be taken up, as it was. We also had reason to expect that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) would file for cloture at 5:00 p.m. That would likely put an end time on the discussion leading to an actual vote on treaty ratification as early as this weekend.

Thanks, I believe, to the efforts of concerned and active Americans just like you, the cloture filing was pushed back, then ultimately failed to take place yesterday at all. If we are correct in our assessment, this is very good news; we believe it signals that Senator Reid does not yet have the votes he needs to pass this treaty, as he had expected to!

This is exciting news, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Here is what we must do now if we are to reach victory over this treaty and preserve parental rights for all Americans, including those whose children have special needs:

Urgent Action Items

1. Thank the 36 Senators who voted against taking up the CRPD at this time. This is a very gracious way of encouraging them to stand strong and not back off of their position. Harry Reid and his colleagues will be trying hard to pull a few of these Senators away. We must persuade them not to bend.

Please find the list here and call or email their offices expressing your thanks for their courageous stand for American self-government and parental rights.

2. Call you Senators (again?) and urge them to vote “No” on CRPD. Proponents of the treaty are calling as well; our voice must be louder.

Find a script you can use here. You might also email them or call their district office in addition to their D.C. office.

The following senators are especially important targets. Please be sure they hear from you right away:

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX): 202-224-5922
Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN): 202-224-4944
Sen. Dean Heller (NV): 202-224-6244
Sen. Mike Johanns (NE): 202-224-4224
Sen. Jerry Moran (KS): 202-224-6521
Sen. Thad Cochran (MS): 202-224-5054
Sen. Joe Manchin (WV): 202-224-3954

3. Spread the word. Whether you pass this email along, speak out against #CRPD on Twitter, or post a comment on your Facebook page (or join the discussion on ours), please get the word out to as many concerned Americans as you can.

From 2:15 until almost 7:00 yesterday, the Senate focused on nothing but this treaty. Yet the only part of the whole thing that made the news is the fact that Bob Dole is in the hospital. The media will not cover this. We have to cover it ourselves, letting our friends know that instead of avoiding the fiscal cliff their senators have been trying to take parental rights away from parents of children with disabilities.

Thank you for standing strong and making your voices heard. Now we need to turn up the volume.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research


"What is political correctness if not the application of communist dictatorship to the mind rather than to the means of production?"




I decided to post a link to this column by Nicholas Farrell at Takimag for this line alone. A brilliant insight, indeed.

The piece concerns the absurdity of the modern DWI law, with a side order of the venality of the "rehabilitation" racket in the criminal justice systems of the West. Farrell shrewdly calls it for what it is-- reeducation.

The communists were defeated abroad (we are told), yet within the host states of the West they have won. Yes, they have won by sucking the lifeblood of freedom out of their hosts. They now dominate Boards of Education, City Councils, universities, social programs, Congresses and White Houses.

I can just imagine General Washington crossing the Delaware, undoubtedly praying that maybe one day the new nation he hoped to deliver would be able to spy on its citizens, arbitrarily arrest and imprison them, and kill 4,000 babies every day-- all in the noble mission to ensure that two men would be able to commit sodomy and call it marriage.

Two Sweeps Over the Limit


27 November 2012

No, Sharon, No!


Traditional Latin Mass Televised on EWTN Tonight, 6 pm (CST)

From a reader:

I thought you might be interested that [November 27] His Excellency David O'Connell of Trenton will celebrate a Solemn Pontifical Mass which will be broadcast on EWTN, 6pm St. Louis time. The 2nd Master of Ceremonies is a graduate of St. Louis Priory School and a regular attendee at the Oratory of Ss. Gregory and Augustine. 
 
Local boy makes good. :-)

Um, Because?



Psst... No one actually dies in this video.

"If we must be outcasts for the Lord, then outcasts we will be.": The end of Christian society in America




The Remnant has yet again published a very insightful commentary on the election's aftermath-- this time covering larger societal trends. Like the last one, I beg your indulgence because this deserves to be read in its entirety:

____________________

The Tipping Point

By Christopher A. Gawley

As a veteran of the American culture war for many years, I have watched many election returns that left me disappointed. Paradoxically, the 2012 presidential election was one in which the challenger – a Mormon neo-conservative – was someone for whom I had serious misgivings. That said, the reelection of Barack Obama – and the many other defeats for the pro-life and pro-marriage movements – hit me like a punch to the gut. It is not as if I expected the American populace to become virtuous overnight, but all the same I was shell shocked.

Three things in particular made this election different in kind from our gradual cultural and religious downward slide: (1) the war for the soul of our nation has been lost; (2) faithful Christians will now become an object of public scorn among the elite, the Hollywood types, and the media; and (3) the de facto schism of the Am-Church has come out into the open.

When our history is written, 2012 will be seen as the beginning of the end of Christian society in America. It will be seen as the beginning of the new totalitarian age. I am reminded of one of the first scenes of the original Star Wars movie in which Peter Cushing's character, Governor Tarkin, triumphantly pronounces that, "[t]he last vestiges of the old republic have been swept away."

There were other dates: 1865 (which saw the centralizing powers of the Federal Government under the guise of the Civil War Amendments); 1932 (the beginning of American socialism in the New Deal and end of the American gold standard); 1973 (when the Supreme Court allowed the unfettered destruction of American babies in utero). There things were more or less foreordained by the founding documents themselves, which of course, were creatures of Enlightenment.

While Traditional Catholics are generally no fans of the American political system – standing in stark contrast to the Vatican II apologists who laud the American system as divinely ordained – we should be able to acknowledge that what made it generally better than virtually any contemporary alternative was its spiritual and practical impotence. Stated differently, while the American Constitutional model did not posit the Truth – it nonetheless left those privy to the Truth alone.

But that day is now passing.

With the sound defeat of pro-life and pro-marriage efforts across the board, even the very basic elements that make a civilized society possible (life, family and marriage) have been defeated. And these losses cannot be overcome in future elections for two reasons: First, what Governor Romney said about the culture of dependency of 47% of the American people and therefore their collectively hostility to the message of limited government and personal responsibility was politically toxic but nonetheless accurate. Plato's critique of democracy was prophetic: a larger and larger proportion of people feed at the trough of government largess and use their expanding numbers to enhance their lifestyles at the expense of others. Their values and self-respect diminish accordingly. We have reached a tipping point, and the party in power will, in demagogic fashion, continue to nurture their dependency in decadent symbiosis.

Second, the Republican Party is a "white" party and the demographics do not favor a majority "white" party attaining a majority status ever again. It is unfortunate indeed that Hispanic Catholics or Black Baptists will not vote for the politicians who advocate life and marriage, but identity politics have trumped all other considerations.

What amazes me is that it was only a dozen years ago when sodomy was criminally punishable; now "relationships" based in sodomy are deemed to be on par with a woman and a man—a mother and father—joined together in holy matrimony.

It was only forty years ago when back-alley abortionists were imprisoned for killing babies in the womb. But now these murderers are celebrated as heroes of civil rights, freedom riders. What Larry Flynt was imprisoned for thirty years ago is now available on cable television in millions of homes – with stuff one-thousand times more debauched, on demand, at virtually in every hotel in this country.

This conflict between the forces of good and forces of evil has been going on for years but what distinguishes 2012 from the past is that the forces of evil – at least in a secular and political sense – have triumphed. This country will never outlaw abortion again and will raise homosexual liaisons to the status of "marriage" in the whole of American society.

We have seen the last obscenity prosecution. Most children will be born out of wedlock. Fewer and fewer heterosexuals will bother with marriage and simply shack up. The few children left to be adopted will be apportioned among homosexuals and childless heterosexual married couples. God forgive us.

The loss of culture war means that the victors will – in true totalitarian fashion – refuse to tolerate dissenters. This ideological purification will be multifaceted but the flashpoint will be homosexuality. An economic persecution will follow for those who merely speak the truth regarding homosexuality – facilitated by modern reeducation camps (i.e., mandatory diversity training for the employed and the student). The days are coming to an end when an essay such as this one will be tolerated. There will be a parental persecution: homeschooling, the last vestige of defiance of a secular education monopoly, will come under assault. The rights of parents – the very bonds between mother and father and child – will be redefined within a generation. The state will become co-parent and ‘protector’ of children from their own parents. Dissemination of religious ideas that contravene the prevailing ideology will be outlawed.

Gross exaggerations? Please! Forty-five years ago contraception was illegal in some states and restricted to married couples in other states. Today, even Catholic institutions are mandated to pay for it because it is, according to our leader, a great social good.

In the face of these assaults, the first line of resistance should be the Church. But herein lies the problem: the fifth column within the Church agrees with many of these changes. They see the takeover of economic activity in a socialist frenzy as the logical working out of our Lord's social ministry. They see the acceptance of homosexuality as an outgrowth of Christian compassion. They dodge criminalizing abortion on the grounds of religious pluralism. And yet, even still, the Society of Saint Pius X is harassed around the world as "schismatic" for clinging tenaciously to what was taught from time immemorial in the face of modernist assault. The cowardly modern bishops, on the other hand, have allowed their flocks to be devoured by wolves.

What we need now more than ever is an uncompromising voice in the Church: we need Bishops who will proclaim the whole Gospel – not engage in mind-numbing dialogue with those who persist in error. We need Bishops who will proclaim the truth that outside of the Roman Catholic Church there is no hope and no salvation. We need Bishops who excommunicate public officials who perpetuate the "legal" murder of the innocents in the womb.

If there were any clearer proof of the utter failure of Vatican II's "openness" to the world, it is the complete collapse of Catholicism in the United States. How can any serious Catholic celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the catalyst of our own demise? It makes as much sense as the people of Dresden celebrating their firebombing as a public works project.

The day of reckoning is coming for a Church that provides its flock with a flaccid liturgy and watered-down gospel of sentimental claptrap. Two generations have been lost thus far: the results are clear – a majority of Catholics voted for a President who was willing to force Catholic institutions to pay for birth control. We have come a long way from the days when Catholics would listen to their bishops. Two millennia of Catholic authority was destroyed in two generations: unbelievable.

The de facto schism among our cowardly bishops and many priests will lead to a situation much like that of the French Revolution when there were two kinds of priests – one state-approved and one an outlaw; one apostate, and one Catholic. Already we see signs of this. Canadian pastors are being prosecuted for hate crimes merely for paraphrasing the biblical admonition against homosexuality. History is repeating itself. All of this happened in Mexico only eighty years ago; it happened in Eastern Europe sixty years ago, and it is happening in Western Europe now.

Already in our own "Christian" families division has set in—moral and religious differences that now make even shared holidays impossible. The decision to have a lot of children is seen as irresponsible, even by grandparents sometimes. The decision to homeschool is viewed as bizarre, by neighbors, friends and even family members. Religiosity is seen as sanctimonious. Conservative social views are troubling and regarded as bigoted.

But there are precedents for it all. If we must be outcasts for the Lord, then outcasts we will be. Like our forefathers in similar periods of history, we will raise up Christian warriors who will face challenges that most of us would never have believed possible. We rally behind those priests and religious who speak the Truth – and we must resist.

The silver lining in any great persecution is that the gray areas all disappear. It will be easy to tell the enemies from the friends of God. We will know them and we will not be alone.

So we pray, and we vow not to give up the fight for the unborn, for children, for old people, for the disabled. We continue doing the best we can every day to build up Christian relationships that will provide the support and succor to see us through. We band together in prayer and faith – to think our Christian friends as extended family. We will build whole communities of economically sufficient traditional Catholics. We will rediscover our connection to the land and take up the plough again.

There is much to be done – but hope and faith will see us through.

80th Anniversary of the Premiere of the Greatest Film of All Time





26 November 2012

Welcome to the Silly Season






You did not misread your calendar. This is November. Christmas is a month away. Hey, Advent doesn't even begin until next week.

I would like to say that my neighbors waited until after Thanksgiving to put up their 'holiday' lights. But I can't. As I have written before, I enjoy the experience from an ironical perspective very much. Unlike in the past, last year at Advent my lovely wife Sharon (in a doomed but laudable attempt to make us slightly less weird to our neighbors) came up with the idea of putting up purple Advent lights. The kids like it, but to me it makes our home look like a haunted house. At a neighbor's housewarming party earlier this year, the display was much remarked-upon. But hey, one neighbor did say their kids understood the Advent theme. Sweet progress.

Yesterday, our neighborhood association held its annual Christmas Tree Lighting in the local park. The event is fun for the children, with carriage rides, Fredbird, hot chocolate, and even an appearance by that beloved, elfin man of wonders, Mayor Francis Slay.

Oh, and Santa, too.

Now, to show just how oblivious I am, I assumed this event was always held on the first Sunday of Advent. But no, my lovely wife Sharon assures me, it is always the Sunday after Thanksgiving, come you-know-what or high water. You can understand my forgetfulness, as I have only lived in this neighborhood for ten years. At least it is still called a Christmas tree lighting.

And I even write this post in a place filled with poinsettias, the sound of the Salvation Army sectarian bells ringing in my ears.
So, dear Catholics, still in November, still waiting for the waiting period of Advent to begin, still "bitter" and "clinging" to your outdated ways, I wish you a very happy week of Silly Season.

Maybe cyber shopping is a good retail-approved "Carnivale" before heeding the words of St. Paul this Sunday, in Romans 13:11-14:

And that, knowing the season, that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is passed And the day is at hand. Let us, therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ: and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences.

__________
The above frame is from the comic strip, The Duplex, by Glenn McCoy

21 November 2012

Cool New "Magnificat"-Type Companion to the Traditional Mass

I saw this on the excellent Badger Catholic blog.  If you have ever read the publication Magnificat (for the novus ordo), you will get a sense of the beauty and format of Laudamus Te, a new companion missal-ette and devotional for the Traditional Mass.  The website is here, and a sample of the Advent edition is here.

Happy Thanksgivings

from Lew Rockwell:

Long before the British Pilgrims held their Thanksgiving in Massachusetts, a Thanksgiving Mass was held in St. Augustine, Florida, on September 8, 1565, by the Spanish. There was also a Thanksgiving Mass in San Elizario, Texas, and a British Thanksgiving service in Charles City County, Virginia,  pre-Pilgrim. So why are these, and so many others, non-events? Because having taken place in the South, they had to be erased by Lincoln, who wanted to pretend that America started in New England, and tied his Thanksgiving to his war of aggression.

Also Thankful for...



Stefon?

A Remembrance of Bravery and Fidelity, and an Example to Future Generations

At seven o'clock in the morning of that day of horror in Toledo, [Commander of the Nationalist forces defending the Alcázar, Colonel Jose] Moscardó's 24-year-old son Luis was picked up for questioning by a militia patrol who did not know who he was.  In Toledo as in many other cities of republican Spain, a committee of militant Socialists and anarchists had been set up to question persons suspected of disloyalty to the Republic.  These committees were universally called "checas," the Spanish spelling of the name Lenin had given to the first Soviet secret police, CHEKAs.  The head of Toledo's checa was a lawyer named Candido Cabello.  He knew Luis Moscardó by sight.  The moment he saw him, he decided to use him to bring about the surrender of the Alcázar.  He picked up the telephone and called the boy's father.  It was ten o'clock.

After identifying himself, Cabello said, "You are responsible for all the crimes and everything else that is happening in Toledo.  I give you ten minutes to surrender the Alcázar.  If you don't, I'll shoot your son Luis who is standing here beside me."

Moscardó's face did not betray his feeling.  "I believe you," he said.

"And so that you can see it's true," Cabello continued, "he will speak to you."

Luis was then given the phone.  "Papa!" he cried.

"What is happening, my boy?"

"Nothing," Luis answered.  "They say they are going to shoot me if the Alcázar does not surrender.  But don't worry about me."

"If it is true," replied Moscardó, "commend your soul to God, shout 'Viva España!' and die like a hero.  Good-bye, my son, a kiss."

"Good-bye, Father, a very big kiss."

When Cabello was on the phone again, Moscardó said, "You might as well forget the period of grace you gave me.  The Alcázar will never surrender!"

In the Diputación, Cabello slammed down the receiver violently and cursed briefly.  Then he said to the militiamen around him, "Since his father wants it, do whatever you please with him."  Luis Moscardó was led out.

In the Alcázar, Colonel Moscardó stood for some moments in stony silence, his staff too stunned even to condole him.  Without a word to anyone, he walked into his sleeping quarters in the next room and quietly shut the door.

-- from The Last Crusade: Spain: 1936, by Warren Carroll

[Luis was shot one month later.  The defendants of the Alcázar held out in the face of overwhelming numbers, and one month after the murder of Luis, nationalist forces liberated the fortress.]



20 November 2012

19 November 2012

For Readers in the Diocese of Jefferson City

There is an ongoing effort to secure from Bishop Gaydos a Diocesan-approved Traditional Latin Mass location. The website, with contact information, is here.



Gaudete Benefit Gala at the Oratory on December 15






The Second Annual Gaudete Benefit Gala supports the sacred music program at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. Having attended the evening last year, I can attest that it is a fun and extremely entertaining night, featuring the fine scholas, choirs and orchestra at the Oratory, under the excellent leadership of Mr. Nick Botkins.

Hurry and order tickets to this night of excellent food, drink, fun, and music at the Oratory, because tickets are going fast.

The gala takes place on Saturday, December 15, 2012. Cocktail hour begins at 6 pm. Dinner and entertainment follows. Free valet parking. There is also a silent auction. The event is black tie optional. General admission tickets still remain, $45 per person. Tickets may be purchased after Sunday Masses or by calling the rectory at 314-771-3100. No tickets will be sold after December 9th, so don't delay.

Please come and enjoy this elegant evening to benefit a most worthy cause.


Icons and Eastern Catholicism in St. Louis




The St. Louis Review had three nice articles on Friday covering the Byzantine apostolate, the Divine Liturgy, iconography, and the work of an icon-producing, Traditional Latin Mass-attending, local Catholic woman.

Stories are here, here, and here.



15 November 2012

Meatless Friday Thursday: Saving the GOP




The title of the post obviously begs the question of whether this would be a desirable thing. However, indulge me. I know people who, in the face of what ought to be the last stand of the "hold-your-nose-and-vote-for-the-lesser-of-two-evils-no-matter-how-little-less-this-loser-really-is" strategy, instead call for the GOP to go even further in hiding, sublimating or even abandoning any pretense to the principles of social conservatism, and principled and limited foreign policy. All this is designed to get "our" candidate to win, ostensibly to gain a mintutely-lower tax rate. In the end, if a candidate from one party and a candidate from another have, practically speaking, nearly identical political agendas, who really cares? I say no thank you-- the time for pretends is over. The truth must set us free.

In this context, I offer you this article by Paul Gottfried setting forth a Five-Point Plan for saving the GOP. Tongue planted firmly in cheek, it speaks the truth.

After the recent electoral debacle, Republican journalists and neocon news pundits have been discussing the roads to recovery for their battered party. One path that I’m sure will never be taken is trying to win back the libertarian and/or traditionalist right, both of which Romney managed to [irritate]. The evangelical inhabitants of central and northern Pennsylvania, many of whom considered the Republican candidate a low-octane Bam [he means Obama] surrounded by foreign-policy nuts, stayed away from the polls this year. Moreover, many votes that went to Ron Paul in the primaries may have propelled Romney over the finish line in many of the states he lost, including such heavily blue states as Connecticut and Massachusetts. Although not all these voters abstained from casting ballots, it seems Paul supporters contributed significantly to a depressed GOP turnout in many places. In any case it was the Dems, not the Reps, who managed to energize their base.

But the Republicans prefer another narrative to the more obvious one. They bewail their inadequacies in not being able to win minorities’ affection. FOX News and the GOP press have been turning out suggestions about how the GOP could attract more blacks, Hispanics, and single women, all groups that went decisively to Bam. Among the losers’ modest proposals have been to grant amnesty to illegals, pay for birth-control pills, and treat abortion as a “private judgment.”

“It may also be wise if white men were hidden from view whenever Republicans hold a televised meeting.”
In a notable televised outburst of guilt, Mike Huckabee, in his Baptist clerical mode, expressed shame about his party’s failure to make blacks and Hispanics appreciate its candidates. This was attributed to a deep moral failing on the part of white (predominantly Protestant) Republicans. Given this group’s emotional need to enjoy the esteem of those who now reject them, I offer my own Five-Point Plan. I took the key term from Mitt’s presidential campaign. The spirit of moderation drives my suggestions—the very spirit that Romney never quite convinced minorities and single women that he radiated.


Read more...


As an alternative-- never to be tried-- may I urge you to read Ron Paul's Farewell Address to the US Congress? It is simply brilliant, and intellectually and morally refreshing. A free society depends on a virtuous people.

Though it is quite long-- longer than even my average post-- it is well worth reading. A taste:

Achieving Liberty

Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.

Two choices are available.

A government designed to protect liberty – a natural right – as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.

A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously – though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: "power corrupts."
Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.

Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.

The results are not good. As our liberties have been eroded our wealth has been consumed. The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system. It’s amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world -wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.

The Financial Crisis Is a Moral Crisis

Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it’s, in reality, a moral crisis. It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.

Ultimately, the people have to decide which form of government they want; option #1 or option #2. There is no other choice. Claiming there is a choice of a "little" tyranny is like describing pregnancy as a "touch of pregnancy." It is a myth to believe that a mixture of free markets and government central economic planning is a worthy compromise. What we see today is a result of that type of thinking. And the results speak for themselves.


Read the full speech here.





14 November 2012

"That Wasn't Part of the Deal, Blackheart!": the U.S. Bishops and Obamacare




The above quote comes from a Simpsons episode where Bart wins an elephant in a radio contest. As you can imagine, the animal causes a ton of destruction and the family can't afford to care for it. So Homer tries to sell it to an ivory dealer named Blackheart. Bart, trying to save his elephant (Stampy), takes off with him. The following dialogue occurs:

Lisa: Bart's gone! I bet it's because of that horrible ivory dealer, Dad!

Homer: He took Bart too? That wasn't part of our deal Blackheart! That wasn't part!


Thus Homer feels the pain of unintended consequences, and hilarity ensues.

Now consider the political activism in favor of big government generally, and for socialized medicine particularly, in light of the conscience-violating, anti-life mandates of Obamacare. The bishops unfortunately were all for this monstrosity, with the understanding that abortion would not be funded and that contraception coverage would not be forced on them. When their deal with the democrats led to their sell-out, they finally took action to resist it, and to rally the faithful. The ever-dwindling number of the faithful did respond, but to no avail.

So, we have Obamacare, with no election or court decision to stop it. And the mandate remains. The complicity of leftist "Catholics", nuns and politicians is known. Yet also the bumbling or design of modernist bishops has to be noted.

Call it the elephant in the room.

Ryan McMaken has this to say at Lew Rockwell's blog, and though some of the language is a little too harsh, the logic of it is sound:

Thank the U.S. Bishops for Obamacare

Apocryphally attributed to Thomas Jefferson, the observation that "a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away" is nevertheless true, and should be framed on the wall of every American bishop. The bishops, who have been adamantly opposing the Obamacare mandates which violate Catholic religious freedom, have nevertheless pushed for socialized medicine for decades. They even supported Obamacare itself, provided it was the right Obamacare.

Now, after decades of feeding the beast of socialism, which has now turned on them, who can be surprised? Apparently, a bunch of bishops who seem to have about the same level of knowledge about government and political power as my seventh-grade civics teacher. These are people who have for years been telling us that government should have free rein to control and regulate every aspect of our lives, as long as it meets the demands of "social justice" which for most of these bishops doesn't mean charity, but simply socialism with a little God thrown on top. Few organizations have done more than the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to pave the way for Obamacare. They made that bed, but now all of us have to lie in it.

And the same old song and dance still hasn't ended. At their meeting this week, the bishops were attempting to do the same old thing they've been doing for decades: Agitating for a bigger and more authoritarian government:

"The bishops also complained that the document overlooked issues of tax fairness, budget cuts to the safety net, the economic plight of the middle class, regulation of the financial sector, and greed and criminality in the lending industry."

Yes, clearly what these bishops should be doing is opining on matters of the financial sector and tax fairness.

Here's a modest proposal, how about the Bishops actually preach the Gospel? I know that's just crazy talk, but if you're an American Catholic like me, you know that it's been literally decades since many Catholics have actually heard any orthodox Catholicism from the pulpit. Forming good priests who preach well requires some actual work on the part of the bishops, however, and it's hard to do that sort of thing when you're too busy having junkets where you're debating the finer points of your personal opinions about sales taxes.

It's notable the the most sane voices at the conference were the younger bishops who aren't still living in a fantasy land in which it's always 1972 and we're still tinkering our way to utopia:

Yet in a sign of the growing generational and ideological split among the bishops, some of the younger and more conservative bishops wanted to kill the statement because they believe the hierarchy should largely restrict their statements to matters of faith. They also view traditional Catholic social teaching with suspicion, and say the church should emphasize private charity rather than government action to cure social ills.

“I think the best thing we can do is to scrap the document and go home and find some tangible and practical ways to help the poor,” said Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, R.I., who dismissed the document as irrelevant.

Maybe if the bishops overall took Tobin's advice, went home and actually did their jobs, and encouraged the faithful to engage in real charity, we might actually all be better off.

The biological solution will soon solve the problem of the older bishops, but we'll have a huge mess to clean up after they're gone. Their legacy is huge government, the destruction of religious freedom, and a Catholic population so rudderless that 50 percent of them voted for Obama, a man who murders toddlers with drones, is militantly pro-abortion, and who has basically declared war on faithful Catholics. Obama should send a thank you note to the bishops for helping make it all possible.

13 November 2012

High Tech Timman






I'm not.
Or am I?



Nope.


Bob Dylan's Not in Town?




Not a problem. The next best thing is.


Li'l Help?

Blogger has suddenly caused my blog to show only one post on my homepage. All posts are there-- you can click he older posts link to read them. But I can't fix the issue and contacting blogger for help is harder than getting into Fort Knox.

The settings are correctly set to 'show10 posts'. So, I tried that. And I don't know a thing about code.

So, dear readers, any help? Post in the combox, and thanks.

This will trigger my long-mused transfer to Wordpress if I can't solve this.



12 November 2012

Joseph Pearce to Speak in St. Louis on Evelyn Waugh and the Liturgy

 
Well-known Catholic Author and Speaker Joseph Pearce will be speaking at the Oratory of SS. Gregory and Augustine on December 9, 2012 on the following topic:

The Death and Resurrection of the Mass: Evelyn Waugh and the Liturgical Madness Revisited

The presentation begins at 7 pm, with drinks and hors d' oeuvres following.  This event is held to mark the Fifth Anniversary of the Oratory.

Location:  Kevin Kline Theater at the St. Louis Priory School, 500 South Mason Road, St. Louis, MO 63141.  For more information, please call 314-439-0151.