Apparently my article on the progressive media’s coverage of Bishop Morlino last week stung the conscience of the editor of the Platteville Journal, Steve Prestegard.
I got the following 2 messages from him on facebook:
You know, before you lump me in with all the other liberal media, maybe you should find exactly who I am. Try out www.steveprestegard.com for starters.
And I wrote this: www.swnews4u.com/section/1/article/24863/
(First, an aside-You also wrote THE BISHOP AND ME.)
The hyper-sensitivity you demonstrate to my criticism suggests an emotional involvement in this issue that is not characteristic of most journalists.
This professional conflict was apparently already obvious to you, judging from your published comments admitting that you are “someone in the media being a participant in the story.”
Your decision to cover the story at all reflected a lack of perspective and a willingness to give exaggerated coverage to dissidents in the Catholic Church- the same accusation I leveled at Chris Rickert of the WiSJ.
Forgive me for pointing out that you seem to be a dissident who may even have left the Catholic Church, too? Do you have an axe to grind here?
So it was not professional of you to follow the Bishop, to use your status as a journalist to give a platform to several dissidents who clearly attended the Bishop’s talk with intent to disrupt it, carrying signs and humming, who were clearly not there to listen to what the Bishop had to say.
When the media make bad judgments that fail to represent my Church justly, I call them out on it.
You may have noticed one of the headings on my blog- “Don’t diss my Church.”
I was surprised to see your displeasure with my post, in which I primarily called out Chris Rickert. I made only oblique reference to your involvement, and did not use your name.
Considering your coverage of the event in the Platteville Journal, you actually deserve the same calling out that Chris Rickert received. But in that post I was addressing a recurring problem the WiSJ exhibits in their imbalanced coverage of the Catholic Church.
Your coverage was not balanced either, and you over-analyzed what you thought the Bishop should or should not have done in the face of a confrontational audience. You came across as a disgruntled Catholic trying to use his job to spread rancor.
If you think that my calling you out is inconsistent with who you are, ask yourself whether your actions in this particular matter were consistent with who you claim to be (journalist/libertarian–conservative/Christian husband, father, Eagle Scout and aficionado of obscure rock music, according to your website.) . You did not behave toward Bishop Morlino as I would expect a Christian or an Eagle Scout to behave. Judging from the facebook message you sent me, your conscience does seem to be smarting.
I suggest you read my blog post on the Platteville issue for a more balanced perspective on who is actually responsible for the closing of the Platteville school that you apparently value- it is not the Bishop of Madison who is responsible for closing that school.
Your disgruntled attitude toward the old Platteville issues, your willingness to participate in the news event you were covering, the emotional nature of your reporting, and your volunteering of your Catholic background in the Platteville Journal article all indicate that you are a disgruntled Catholic or ex-Catholic. In either case, you have no business airing your gripes publicly and mis-using your position as editor of a Wisconsin paper.
You tried to resurrect an old defunct issue, you did not do your homework on both sides of the question, you got involved personally in the event you were covering, and you dissed my Church.
So when you behave just like the progressive media, don’t be surprised when people associate you with the progressive media.
If you ask me, you owe the Bishop of Madison an apology for the sloppy hatchet job you tried to do on him.
The next time 7 or 8 supportive Catholics decide to attend a talk by Bishop Morlino, doubt whether you will come running, camera in hand, to cover the event, as you did for 7 or 8 obnoxious and rude dissidents.
Please try reporting on some real Catholic news.
And in Platteville, try reporting on the majority of Catholics, who support the wonderful priests who have been assigned there, instead of criticising their sacrificial service to the parish.
The fact that Wisconsin’s State Journal would more appropriately be named the Wisconsin Progressive Journal is not news to many.
But a recent headline in the Wisconsin State Journal calling for prayer, for first amendment rights and for Jesus, is truly worth noticing. Chris Rickert provided us last week with such an invocation with this headline:
Nice Job, Chris Rickert- diss Jesus, diss Christians, diss the Catholic Church and Madison’s Bishop, while pontificating on free speech and simultaneously denying free speech in WiSJ discussion forums to those who are not progressives.
Why was this Catholic blocked from discussion in the WiSJ?
I cannot speak to what motivated the WiSJ to block me last week.
I can only describe the discussion in which I participated, and leave you to draw your own conclusions.
During November so far, the Wi SJ, was again, somewhat clumsily, mis-portraying the Catholic Church. WiSJ failed to report the news on Nov 17 that Pope Francis reiterated the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman-
“Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity. That is why I stressed in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium that the contribution of marriage to society is ‘indispensable’; that it ‘transcends the feelings and momentary needs of the couple’ (n. 66). And that is why I am grateful to you for your Colloquium’s emphasis on the benefits that marriage can provide to children, the spouses themselves, and to society.”
He continues, “May this colloquium be an inspiration to all who seek to support and strengthen the union of man and woman in marriage as a unique, natural, fundamental and beautiful good for persons, families, communities, and whole societies.”
In the present media-generated atmosphere of questioning Pope Francis’ “real” position on various Church teachings, this support of traditional marriage was an important story. Unfortunately Pope Francis’ statements did not fall in with the media’s storyline, which tries to portray the new Pope as supportive of the progressive agenda, despite his repeated assurances that he is a faithful son of the Church.
So this important statement of the Pope’s position on marriage, which would represent real news on religion, of interest to the majority of Wisconsin, was ignored by the WiSJ.
Yet the Wisconsin State Journal found the time and the space in the last few weeks for FIVE articles on Catholicism, all of which provided a platform and lent credibility to minority dissidents who oppose Catholic teaching:
As described above, the WiSJ omitted a major story on Pope Francis and marriage, but focused 5 news items on individuals and minority dissidents who want to change the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Either WiSJ’s journalists do not understand the subject they are writing about, or they are misrepresenting the Catholic Church in the WiSJ intentionally. Neither alternative is very flattering.
I was in the process of pointing these things out in discussion forums at the WiSJ when my posts were suddenly blocked.
Professionalism (and any notion of free speech or of tolerance) had completely been abandoned by the Wisconsin State Journal.
Thus the invocation of the First Amendment by WiSJ’s Chris Rickert in his Nov 23rd article was particularly ironic in the light of WiSJ’s own blocking of my freedom of speech last week.
Progressives seem to advocate freedom of speech selectively- freedom of speech for progressives only- for dissidents, for minorities, and for rabble-rousing local media who seek to stir up controversy, as they tried to do at the Platteville talk.
However, progressives deny First Amendment rights to Bishop Morlino, actively hindering his ability to speak to his flock. They also deny faithful Catholics like me, who support Catholic teaching, the right to be heard.
Now, several days later, my participation in WiSJ discussion has been unblocked- due to what reason, I am not certain.
Perhaps the WiSJ suddenly had, to borrow Chris Rickert’s phrase, a “Let’s Respect the First Amendment Moment.”
More likely, they realized that word could get out if they manipulate their discussion forums.
When will the Wisconsin State Journal start publishing the truth about my Church, the Catholic Church?
Unfortunately, progressives don’t seem to speak or publish truth.
Their Alinsky tactics encourage “lack of transparency” (i.e. lies) to fool the “stupid people” of America into voting for the progressive left.
They specialize in attacking those who oppose them, those who represent reason and morality, with lies and misrepresentations.
Their opponents include, among other good people, the Catholic Church.
I’m not holding my breath to see the WiSJ publish the truth about the Catholic Church.
So- We just survived another election.
The first question debated in the news was “was it a Republican wave?”
And from Democrats, a melancholy “what does this mean?”
Many were also surprised not to see too much jubilation in the “right wing media.”
Looking at the figures above, the Democrats got wiped out. Yes, it was definitely a Republican Wave. And that’s without final reports, which could only increase the size of the walloping Democrats recieved.
Why were the Democrats wiped out?
Why don’t conservatives seem overjoyed?
Here are some headlines that may indicate what voters were thinking:
The above headlines indicate that the People of the United States are giving President Obama (and our entire government) a Mandate- a mandate to:
Why were so many surprised by these results?
Here are some facts bout Americans:
Twice as many Americans consider themselves conservative as liberal.
90% of Americans believe in God.
82% of us pray and believe that God answers our prayers.
70% of parents and 60% of teens support abstinence before marriage.
Close to half of Americans have guns in their homes.
Clearly, Americans tend to be conservative, religious, prayerful, committed to family and to morality, and committed to the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution.
So, in hindsight, Obama’s attempts to force a radical agenda on the US were naive, condescending and foolish.
Obama’s attempts to steer less educated Americans with his Alinsky tactics only insults our citizens; people are still intelligent, logical and moral without formal education. In fact, the less educated sometime have the most common sense. (President Obama seems to be the converse of that- no lack of education, but terrific deficiency of common sense. )
The Alinsky formula of lying, dividing, bribing and manipulating a population only works until the subjects realize the name of the game.
Lying to pass legislation, offering baubles such as cell phones and birth control pills to purchase votes, and inventing the existence of “wars” and victims so that the administration could pretend to come to their rescue with executive orders, are all tricks that insult the intelligence of the Americans the Obama administration has tried to manipulate.
Obama ought to have known that Americans would wake up at some point and would revolt against his progressive agenda.
Americans are a trusting, forbearant and tolerant bunch, but they are not fools.
Sadly, President Obama and his cohorts do not seem to have gotten the memo.
President Obama is defiant, and is still vowing to achieve his two most unpopular goals, ObamaCare and amnesty, by Executive Order.
Nancy Pelosi is trying to claim that the Democrat wipe-out was due to voter suppression (!!!).
Many conservatives have feared that the Republican establishment may not respond to the message being sent by the electorate in this election, and might focus on trivial accomplishments in non-contentious areas, possibly driving a conservative split in 2016 which would enable the election of a Democrat clone of President Obama (like Hillary Clinton).
This is why many conservative are not overjoyed at the election results.
They fear that the moderate RINOS (Republicans In Name Only), the establishment of the Republican Party, people like John Boehner and Reince Priebus, will take this election as a mandate supporting them and their ever left-leaning agenda.
But there is some hope that the Republican party may respond to the demands of the people, as they should do in this democratic republic.
They may be prepared to undertake the repeal of ObamaCare.
On other issues, conservatives in the party will have to battle for the soul of the Republican Party.
Gear up, pray hard, get politically involved, and fight this historic battle of the next two years.
The reclaiming of America!
It depends on you and on me.
Time for the democratic return of morality to government.
Despite the fact that this blog was originally established for the purpose of discussing and defending traditional ethics and morality in our modern culture, we keep digressing into politics.
This may be fitting, since what is politics, after all, if not the interaction of human beings on an organized group level; an interaction that certainly ought to be subject to the same rules of morality and decency that apply to individual human interactions?
And since what goes around comes around applies to our personal lives, guess what? What goes around comes around applies to politics as well. (The expression means that bad things you do come back to bite you later, and the good things you do come back to reward you later.)
Readers seem to know this, and as elections approach, they keep returning to those old articles here which discuss political philosophy, which explore the crucial interconnection between morality and the State (i.e., interconnection between Church and State).
Such discussions are not commonly available in the public arena in the present political atmosphere, which is so often controlled by fear of political bullies like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and their ilk, who attempt to eradicate all mention of right and wrong from the public forum. These bullies who attack religion are effectively advocating the absence of all morality from government, from law, and from public life.
So after a hiatus following the ethically dubious 2012 Presidential election in which Barack Obama purchased votes by bribery with Obama-phones and other lollipops, and in which conservatives tossed the vote by staying home in disgust, this blogger returns again to discussion of politics, of coming elections, and of election strategies for Elections 2016.
So now two years have passed, and we have experienced some of the consequences of the 2012 election. We have experienced more of Obama’s administration, ObamaCare failures, VA scandals, IRS scandals, implosion of Iraq, border crises, and numerous other debacles. Establishment Republicans have experienced 4 million registered Republicans staying home from the polls, and losing the election.
During all of which, Nero fiddled as Rome burned.
Political puzzle pieces have been falling into place.
We need to redefine how we approach politics.
So now it’s time to end the hiatus and time to address the future.
Back into politics!
First observation on returning to politics in 2014: confusion reigns.
Democrats are suffering from the deluge of scandals befalling President Obama as the fruits of his erroneous policies and his lies mature. Today, 58% of Americans, including 30% of Democrats, say that the Obama administration is incompetent at managing the government. Now, even New York Times correspondents are saying that the Obama administration’s ebola response is another example of Obama not running a competent government. Liberals have begun to acknowledge Obama’s incompetence.
Republicans are suffering from highly disfunctional infighting, seemingly incapable of choosing between continuing moral compromise with the opposition, and their fear of unpopularity if they choose responsible conservative policy.
Support is at an all-time low for both parties, and nobody seems to know how to attract the independent voters from the middle.
Only 24% of American voters identify as Republicans, 31% as Democrats, and a whopping 43% identify as Independents.
This bears repeating: a whopping 43% of Americans identify as Independents!
There are way more independents than Democrats.
There are way more independents than Republicans.
THE LEADING POLITICAL FACTION IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY IS INDEPENDENT.
What does it mean to be Independent?
Being Independent means that nobody tells these voters what to think; they think for themselves, and they owe allegiance to neither party.
If Independents could only agree on a candidate, there would be a landslide election and an Independent victory!
How can the two major parties recruit from the 43% of uncommitted electorate in the middle?
With more lollipops and promises?
With an offer of responsible tough government appealing to those who have suffered enough in this economy?
Will a third party succeed in stealing the election?
Is the time ripe, with broadening disgust with both major parties, for the introduction of a third party?
Looking at history, the founding of the present Republican party occurred under similar conditions, and resulted in the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency.
The Whigs seemed incapable of coping with national crisis over slavery, so the Republican Party was established (in Wisconsin!) with the primary goal of opposing slavery. (Yes, contrary to what today’s progressives want you to think, the Republican Party was the first to oppose slavery!) The Whigs lost power, and Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, was elected.
So there is historical precedent for the birth of a third party; provided the nation is sufficiently disgusted with the two existing parties.
Are we sufficiently disgusted with the two existing parties today?
Can a third party rise to the occasion in present divided times and succeed in election 2016?
Or would a third party simply divide the conservative vote and hand victory to Democrats?
The Buckley Rule
Some conservatives advocate nominating a moderate candidate with whom one does not agree (compromising one’s values), as Republicans did in nominating Mitt Romney in 2012, in order to capture the votes of moderate independents, rather than nominating a strong responsible conservative who would capture the conservative independent vote and who is more likely to salvage our nation, as Scott Walker recently salvaged a damaged Wisconsin.
This philosophy, nominating the most conservative person who “can win,” has been called the Buckley Rule, after Bill Buckley, who advocated this approach in 1967.
The problem with this principle is that it assumes that we know who can or cannot win, an quite frankly, we don’t know. Mitt Romney’s failure to be elected was a prime example of this. An additional problem with this philosophy is that when conservatives continually sell out and compromise, it allows government to drift permanently towards the left, abandoning important conservative values and allowing the passage of laws which make it impossible to recover conservative ground.
Apparently 4 million Republicans rebelled against the Buckley Rule in November on 2012, and more are likely to follow in 2014 and 2016.
Many who rebel against business as usual in the Republican Party (i.e. rebel against continual and unending compromise) advocate instead voting for the most conservative candidate in the primary and risking losing the moderate vote. This has recently been called the Limbaugh Rule –”in an election year when voters are fed up with liberalism, vote for the most conservative Republican in the primary.”
This is a variation of the Tea Party philosophy, and a variation of my philosophy, which is ALWAYS, not just in an election year when voters are fed up with liberalism, vote for the most conservative candidate in the primary who will uphold traditional Judeo-Christian values, pro-life topping the list, followed by fiscal responsibility.
This approach encourages voting for Tea Party candidates at Republican primaries, hoping to steer the Republican Party establishment in a more conservative direction. This approach appeals to more voters as they become fed up with liberalism and its consequences, and may work in 2016, provided the Republican Establishment does not use it’s power to force through the Buckley Rule (which the “Establishment” apparently favors) over the heads of increasingly conservative American voters. This is what the Republican Establishment did in 2012 to nominate Mitt Romney, by hook or by crook. And it got them exactly nowhere.
The Limbaugh rule says stick to your principles, especially in 2014/2016, when voters are fed up with liberalism.
Third Party Option
Some are considering the creation of a third party. In this case, there is the danger that this would split the conservative vote, handing victory to the Democrats.
Depending on how stubborn the Republican Establishment (John Boehner, Reince Priebus and other RINOS, Republicans in Name Only) prove to be in the time between now and November 2016, this might sadly become an attractive option for more and more Americans.
Amendment of the Constitution via Article V
Finally some, like Mark Levin, are so fed up with American politics on both sides of the aisle that they are considering extreme measures like amending the Constitution through Article V of the US Constitution, so that U.S. citizens could override their Senate and their Congress, which have ceased representing them (details at The Liberty Amendments).
This approach would involve returning to much more fundamental founding values and very limited federal government.
With four factions advocating four different approaches, the solution to this conservative dilemma is not obvious.
The above four approaches are mutually exclusive, and getting conservatives to agree on one approach would pose quite the obstacle.
Many conservatives favor the second option (Limbaugh Rule) right now. Stick to your principles an nominate the most conservative candidate in the primaries.
But as discontent with Washington continues to grow, it becomes more and more likely that some Americans may abandon business as usual and may opt for the more startling last two options- third party or even overriding Washington DC via Article V.
One thing is certain- the 4 million disgusted registered Republicans who stayed home in November of 2012 are not likely to change their minds and get back on board with John Boehner and the Buckley Rule.
It is much more likely that an additional 4 million will join the first 4 million in boycotting the Republican establishment’s cowardly and ever-compromising path towards defeat. Yet staying home OR voting for a third party can hand the election to Democrats, even if they do not have majority support.
much disagreement among conservatives over which of the above four approaches should be followed in 2016.
There will be even more anxiety over whether the guaranteed lack of unity will defeat us, handing victory to progressives.
But an examination of history, an examination of the forces that determine the fate of nations and of elections, reveals that perhaps we need not worry.
There is a simple and practical approach that may reassure those so very worried about the future.
Hint: it involves simply sticking to your principles and not selling out.
-The approach the Almighty might suggest if anybody bothered to ask Him.
What determines history?
What determines the fate of a nation or the fate of an election?
It may surprise some to hear that the determinants of history, the elements that identify or determine the nature of events or that fix their outcome, are not usually voters, nor are they politicians.
Many historians acknowledge that much of history is determined not by careful planning and strategy, but by fluke events called Black Swans.
Black Swan theory is taught at universities, and Black Swan theory was discussed by the New York Times in connection with the 9/11 Commission, which sought “to provide a ‘full and complete accounting’ of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and recommendations as to how to prevent such attacks in the future.”
Black Swan theory is not a joke; it’s a sobering and probable reality.
So when we talk about the 2016 election, it is wise to consider whether a Black Swan event will be the determinant of the election, and to ask whether it is possible for us or for our politicians to influence that Black Swan event.
How do we define a Black Swan?
The Cambridge Japanese Journal of Political Science refers to these unpredictable big events that shape human history, or Black Swans (emphasis mine):
The nonlinear dynamical process of self-organized criticality provides a new ‘theory of history’ that explains a number of unresolved anomalies: Why are the really big events in human history usually unpredictable? Why is it impossible to anticipate sudden political, economic, and social changes? Why do distributions of historical data almost always contain a few extreme events that seem to have had a different cause from all the rest? Why do so many of our ‘lessons of history’ fail to predict important future events? As people, organizations, and nations become increasingly sensitive to each other’s behavior, trivial occurrences sometimes propagate into sudden changes. Such events are unpredictable because in the self-organized criticality environment that characterizes human history, the magnitude of a cause often is unrelated to the magnitude of its effect.
Nassim Taleb is a Black Swan specialist. He is a scientist, essayist, businessman, mathematical trader and scientist-philosopher who studies the epistemology of randomness and the multidisciplinary problems of uncertainty and knowledge, particularly in the large-impact hard-to-predict rare events called “Black Swans”.
Taleb seeks to create a “platform for a new scientific-minded public intellectual dealing with social and historical events — in replacement to the ‘fooled by randomness’ historian and the babbling journalistic public intellectual.”
In his book Learning to Expect the Unexpected, Taleb defines the Black Swan like this:
A black swan is an outlier, an event that lies beyond the realm of normal expectations. Most people expect all swans to be white because that’s what their experience tells them; a black swan is by definition a surprise. Nevertheless, people tend to concoct explanations for them after the fact, which makes them appear more predictable, and less random, than they are. Our minds are designed to retain, for efficient storage, past information that fits into a compressed narrative. This distortion, called the hindsight bias, prevents us from adequately learning from the past.
“Much of what happens in history”, he notes, “comes from ‘Black Swan dynamics’, very large, sudden, and totally unpredictable ‘outliers’, while much of what we usually talk about is almost pure noise. Our track record in predicting those events is dismal; yet by some mechanism called the hindsight bias we think that we understand them. We have a bad habit of finding ‘laws’ in history (by fitting stories to events and detecting false patterns); we are drivers looking through the rear view mirror while convinced we are looking ahead.”
So when it comes to elections, whether they be 2014, 2016, or any other election, it would be wise to remind ourselves that Black Swans are often determinants of the outcome.
That’s why nobody can predict election results.
By definition, a Black Swan is an unexpected and surprising historical event that plays a giant role in altering the course of history, yet could not have been predicted, and is not pre-planned by politicians or governments.
There are many examples of Black Swan events in history, recent and ancient.
Remember the definition: nobody saw it coming, nobody could have seen it coming, it could not be planned for.
Some examples of Black Swan events:
Aside: The Bible is a valuable source of political instruction for those who realize the wisdom contained in it.
The above examples of Black Swan events occurred against all odds, were so unlikely that they could not previously be imagined, and they changed the course of human history dramatically.
Black Swans can be either good or bad.
To qualify as a Black Swan, an event simply has to lie beyond the realm of normal expectations.
The Christianization of Europe was good.
The terror attacks of 9/11 were bad.
Both were Black Swan events.
Black Swan events can occur not only in politics and in global events, but in our personal lives as well. One unexpected event frequently steers the subsequent course of a person’s entire lifetime.
By human reason, no.
By definition we cannot expect and prepare for the unexpected.
However, in a nation like ours, in which 80% of citizens believe in God, 80% of citizens pray daily and believe that God answers their prayers, in a nation whose government has been founded on the inalienable rights given to man by God, in a nation structured after Christian morality, it is not unreasonable to bring into this discussion the interaction between God and History, and the interconnection between Church and State.
And this changes the picture dramatically.
In fact, when we acknowledge the interconnection between God and the world, Black Swan events become more easily understood as the intervention of God and of Satan in human affairs.
This view does not refuse to discuss the battle between of Good and Evil battle in our world. In times of history like the present one, while ISIS mercilessly terrorizes Europe without intervention, events becomes less mystifying when viewed in their proper light.
Does this mean that we are helpless pawns at the mercy of warring supernatural forces of Good and Evil, much like the ancient Greeks who believed they were subject to the capricious whims of their warring and jealous gods?
Unlike the ancient Greeks, we have the ability to steer supernatural events indirectly through our personal choices of good and evil and through our prayers. We have a direct line to God via saintly lives and prayer, through which we can access the most powerful forces in the universe. This is the power God has given to human beings. A power, incidentally, resented tremendously by Satan.
Unfortunately, some of us also choose to have a direct line to Satan. The Enemy is unleashed and empowered whenever we shun God’s directives and defy God, particularly when we try to be little gods ourselves.
And so, through moral choices and through prayer, we humans do have great influence on the war between Good and Evil.
Why do you think that Pope Francis’s reaction to the crisis in Syria was to call for global Adoration?
The holy man kwows how to fight spiritual warfare.
Satan always baits us with promises and with lies, but ultimately he delivers misery to all human beings, particularly to those who fell for his ploys. But God limits Satan’s power, and teaches us how to chain the Evil one, by following the guidelines left to us first by the Ten Commandments, and then by Jesus Christ.
And so the mysterious struggles of Good and Evil are played out in our world, while many of us are unaware that victory is really within our grasp and that we have much more power over world events than we realize.
The solution is simple;
The formula for victory is simple- vote for the wisest and most moral candidate, whether you are voting in elections or in primaries, and forget about arguments on capturing independents in the middle by making moral compromises.
Follow the Limbaugh rule, not only when voters are fed up with liberalism, but ALL the time.
It worked for Abe Lincoln, it worked for Ronald Reagan, and it worked for Saint John Paul II in the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Most of America (Independents) needs to reclaim a political party and make it our own.
Both existing parties have failed us abysmally.
Democrats have completely sold out Christian values by promoting abortion and redefining marriage.
In 2014, Independents should go to the polls and vote for Republicans, because they oppose abortion (killing over a million citizens each year), and represent fiscal responsibility as well.
Perhaps the Republican party might be willing to shift to the right.
In 2016, if the Republican establishment resists a shift to conservative values and if the field is littered with numerous conservative candidates who split the vote up as they did in 2012, conservatives should not fear a brokered convention in which many conservatives are pared down to a few with numerous rounds of ballots.
We should not let the Republican establishment force the Buckley Rule, as they did in 2012, forcing the nomination of Mitt Romney against the majority of their party, who supported conservatives.
A message to the Republican establishment: don’t sell out your base and your ethics in some misguided attempt to capture some Independent votes from the middle.
Most Independents want a shift towards conservatism, reality and responsible behavior.
In 2016, if the Republican establishment tries to force liberalism and the “Buckley rule” as they have in the past, we move to a third, more moral and more conservative party.
Independents think, they admire justice, and they rally behind upstanding candidates.
Independents come in riding on black swans.
Most historians separate history and philosophy/theology into distinct and separate compartments, and only rarely do they acknowledge that human beliefs exert a powerful influence on human behavior and on human history.
It is even more rare for an historian to acknowledge that those humans actions which stem from religious belief (such as prayer or such as heroic action) can actually be effective in dealing with a global or political problem.
The political correctness of today does not permit the inclusion of God, moral choices, or prayer in any analysis.
But those who take their heads out of the sand and realize that this nation was founded on Christian principles and that this is still a nation of God-fearing and freedom-loving people in both parties, will realize that this nation’s history has been and will continue to be be steered by ethics, by prayer, and by God.
Unless the minority, the radical progressives who want to eradicate any mention of God from our lives and from our history, are allowed to intimidate the rest of us into inaction and into silence.
The reading of history cannot be partial and biased to exclude the fact that this nations was shaped by Christians, still consists of Christians, and that it’s history has been guided and protected by a very good God.
The role of the supernatural must be acknowledged, if Truth is to be known.
The secularization of human history neglects to consider man’s strongest motivations, denies his noble struggle between the Truth and the Father of Lies, and dismisses his most powerful ally – the Almighty.
Col 2:8 See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ.
The interconnection suggested here between Church and State is not the top-down dictation of moral values by Executive Order that is being attempted by President Obama, dictating what newly invented progressive morality the citizens of the United States must follow. Nor is it a government-imposed State Religion imposed from above.
The interconnection is a democratic one.
When it comes to refining the relationship between government and religion, or between Church and State, the key is for ethical values to flow from the bottom up, not from the top down.
Nobody wants a specific government-imposed religion. But people clearly do want a code of morality and ethics on which most reasonable citizens can agree.
Instead of eliminating morality altogether from public life, and instead of government (King Obama) dictating his own brand of morality, citizens need to vote their personal religious moral beliefs into law.
The Constitution provides the mechanism by which this fundamentally Christian nation, still identifying itself as 80% Christian, can choose representatives in government who reflect their ethical beliefs.
When the interconnection between Church and State is implemented, not from the top down, but from the grass roots up,
when we all pray and go to the polls and vote for what is right and what is moral, our nation will heal and will get back on the right track.
David will slay Goliath, and Red Sea will part.
That power is in our hands.
We can marshal powerful forces into play that could never be predicted or imagined on a human level alone.
We can steer the Black Swans- provided we don’t throw away the reins.
-dedicated to Saint John Paul II, whose first feast day as a Catholic Saint is celebrated today!
Like it or not, status and the symbols associated with status play crucial roles in society.
Status and symbols of status stand for our achievements and testify to the credentials we have acquired. They are often earned and are often very meaningful.
Symbols of status are not only earned, but are also given as signs of respect to those whom we revere and to whom we are grateful.
So in effect, lavish symbols do not reflect decadence in the person holding the symbol, but often reflect the respect that society has awarded to the authority represented, or to the person representing that authority.
This brings us to a recent CNN article which upbraided several Catholic Archbishops for the lavishness of their residences, implying that the Archbishops were decadent individuals because of where they lived.
First on the list to be criticized by CNN was the residence of the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Dolan, the previous President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)– the top authority of the Catholic Church in the United States. This is the man who represented the Catholic Church in America as he challenged President Obama over the Contraceptive and Abortion Mandate that was added to ObamaCare in 2012.
Apparently CNN would like to see this Archbishop/Cardinal/President of the USCCB demoted to less impressive living quarters. CNN complains that Cardinal Dolan shares the rectory pictured above with 3 other priests. This is the rectory that housed Archbishop Fulton Sheen in the 1950′s, New York’s Archishop who’s sermons routinely drew 6,000 people to St. Patrick’s and whose television appearances competed with Milton Berle and Frank Sinatra. On Good Friday, his sermons were broadcast outdoors to the thousands standing outside St. Patrick’s. Cardinal Dolan today has comparable national and international visibility, meets routinely with political figures and celebrities, and has to plan the visits of religious leaders, including Pope Francis.
CNN would like Cardinal Dolan to run these operations from residence humbler than the rectory pictured above.
If we listened to CNN and tried to demote Cardinal Dolan from his residence adjacent to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, what should be done with that residence, which was built by Catholics for the Archbishop in 1858, and is now a national historic landmark?
Shall we demolish it and put up a tent?
That won’t work, the value of Manhattan real estate is so high that the value of the lone tent could be criticized as lavish!
Shall we make the Cardinal live in the suburbs in Queens, schlepping through the subways to get to his Cathedral each morning?
CNN might like that; less time for the Archbishop to celebrate Mass, teach morality and train/ordain priests!
If we did banish the Cardinal’s living quarters to humbler suburbs, what is to be done with the land that had housed his demolished rectory residence?
Open a soup kitchen? That won’t work- not many homeless on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, across the street from Rockefeller Center.
Perhaps we should adopt the ex-mayor of Madison, Wisconsin’s suggestion, who proposed replacing Madison’s Catholic Cathedral with a shopping mall and parking ramp when it was destroyed by arson.
A Saks Fifth Avenue branch might be the New York City equivalent?
CNN might like that!
Because Ted Turner is the founder and owner of CNN.
Ted Turner hates the Catholic Church, openly opposes the Ten Commandments (he makes particular mention of the commanment relating to adultery), makes a habit of mocking religious people, and has openly mocked Pope John Paul II, who is now a saint. Today, October 22, 2014, the Catholic Church celebrates the first feast day of Saint John Paul II.
The following passage is from CNN’s tribute to Turner which was published on the occasion of his 75th birthday:
“He revised the Ten Commandments, which he considered outdated, coming up instead with his Eleven Voluntary Initiatives, which he printed on cards small enough to carry in a wallet. He tossed out the commandments that struck him as outdated — a host of the “thou shalt nots,” particularly the one banning adultery. “People have had a lot of fun breaking that one. I know I did.”
(Ted Turner is)… a man who has been married and divorced three times and keeps four girlfriends in a “loose” weekly rotation, believes people are meant to find a lifetime soul mate. He thinks he still has time to find his.”
Aside from being passionately anti-Catholic, Ted Turner is also one of the world’s richest men, and one of the most overtly anti-Catholic promoters of eugenic population control.
So it comes as little surprise that Ted Turner likes to attack the Catholic Church.
One might think, based on CNN’s criticism ofArchbishops’ residences, and based on Ted Turner’s self-description as “environmentalist and pioneer in sustainability,” that Ted Turner might occupy modest living quarters.
But no, he does not.
The man who attacks the residences of Catholic Archbishops as being “lavish” has more than 20 “major” residences himself. His residences are routinely featured in architectural magazines.
Ted Turner is the second largest individual landholder in North America, and brags on his website that he owns over 2 million acres of personal and ranch land.
Ted Turner is a billionaire worth more than 2 billion dollars.
Ted Turner is about as lavish as a human being can get. Mr. Lavish personified, in fact.
So when it comes to CNN criticism of Archbishops and their residences, it becomes pretty clear that CNN is just making feeble attempts to demote the Catholic Church and to reduce the moral sway the Church holds in the world.
Despite the efforts of CNN and the liberal media, the Catholic Church and the Ten Commandments continue to command respect and are widely acknowledged for the moral authority they rightfully represent.
No matter how many plush residences Ted Turner builds for himself, no matter how many millions of acres and billions of dollars he owns, and no matter how many times he suggest that Catholic Archbishops should move into hovels or tents, Ted Turner will never command the respect, nor be acknowledged as the moral authority that he so clearly envies in the Archbishops of the Catholic Church.
“I wrote recently about staying with Ted Turner for a few days at his stunning estate in Florida. Was struck by his incredible wit and passion for life, and we got talking about his philosophy for living life to the full.
“The rules/commandments we live by were written some two thousand years ago. Rules shouldn’t be written in stone. They should be updated with time. Here are Ted Turners 11 voluntary initiatives:”
|Ted Turner’s Voluntary Initiatives||(Syte’s) Translation of Initiative|
|1. I promise to care for planet earth and all living things thereon, especially my fellow human beings.||1. My definition of “caring” will include eliminating all unwanted human beings by abortion or by euthanasia.|
|2. I promise to treat all persons everywhere with dignity, respect and friendliness.||2. I am SO naive that I even plan to treat ISIS with friendliness. I am sure that my friendliness will dissuade them from beheading my fellow Americans and journalists.|
|3. I promise to have no more than one or two children.||3. I will kill all the rest of my children, eitner as embryos with contraception, or as fetuses with abortion. But actually, no! Too late for me. I already have five children. These rules are actually only for other people, not for me.|
|4. I promise to use my best efforts to help save what is left of our natural world in its undisturbed state and to restore degraded areas.||4. As the second largest landowner in the nation, I will keep most of those undisturbed areas for myself.|
|5. I promise to use as little of our non-renewable resources as possible.||5. Please don’t ask me how operating more than 20 principal residences for one person fits into using as few resources as possible.|
|6. I promise to minimize my use of toxic chemicals, pesticides and other poisons and to encourage others to do the same.||6. Fortunately, surrounded by millions of acres, nobody will see what I am doing to get rid of the scorpions and other pests on my numerous ranches which are featured in Architectural Digest.|
|7. I promise to contribute to those less fortunate, to help them become self-sufficient and enjoy the benefits of a decent life including clean air, and water, adequate food, health care, housing, education and individual rights.||7. My biggest charity is the United Nations Foundation, to which I gave $1Billion. As Chairman of the Board of this Foundation, I am donating to something I head and control myself. In essence, I am my own favorite charity. My UN foundation furthers “empowering women and girls,” a buzz phrase for global abortion. I don’t give a hoot about the rights of unborn human beings.|
|8. I reject the use of force, in particular military force, and I support United Nations arbitration of international disputes.||8. I will repel ISIS with my niceness and my friendliness in place of force. And the whole world will have to listen to the United Nations Foundation, in which I am conveniently at the helm. In essence, international disputes should be solved by rich and powerful people like me.|
|9. I support doing everything we can to reduce the dangers from nuclear biological or chemical weapons and ultimately the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction.||9. By disarming America I will let the bad guys of the world be the only ones with weapons of mass destruction. Isn’t that a brilliant idea? Then I will ask ISIS nicely not to use their weapons of mass destruction on me. Islamic ISIS is really likely to approve of me and my promiscuous lifestyle.|
|10. I support the United Nations and its efforts to improve the conditions of the planet.||10. As chairman of the board of the United Nations Foundation, I will get to define what is an improvement for the planet and what is not. I’m not power-hungry; I just want to rule the planet!|
|11. I support clean renewable energy, and a rapid move to eliminate carbon emissions.||11. Since carbon emissions are directly proportional to degree of civilization, this means I advocate reducing prosperity and power in today’s leading nations. And who should have power instead? Why me, of course, through the United Nations.|
Below is another recent misrepresentation/false accusation leveled by media at my Church.
Not too unexpectedly, Madison’s Wisconsin State Journal has again been trying to make an issue out of standard Catholic Church teaching and policy. The latest issue raised by reporter Doug Erickson is infant baptism for same-sex couples.
For all infant baptisms, the Catholic Church requires that parents and godparents promise to raise the child in conformity with the Catholic faith. That’s why godparents cannot be atheists, for example.
Not a very shocking suggestion, considering the pointlessness of initiating a person into an organization whose principles that person does not plan to uphold. In the case of the infant, the adult sponsors are making the promise and following up on that promise for the child.
It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that a same-sex couple might not be inclined to follow up on such baptismal promises to stay faithful to the Catholic Church, considering the fact that Catholic Church teaching does not permit gay marriage, nor acknowledge the sexually active gay lifestyle as a morally or medically healthy one.
It follows that the Catholic Church would have some guidelines on how to handle requests for baptism from same-sex couples– to determine whether these are bona fide requests for sacramental baptism, or progressive in-your-face challenges similar to those frequently exhibited by the gay community toward the Catholic Church.
Here is a three minute example of how Madison, Wisconsin’s gay community has mistreated the Catholic Bishop of Madison in the past:
Given the treatment the Catholic Church gets from the gay community of Madison (above video), it comes as no surprise that the Diocese of Madison has to plan on how to follow age-old baptism requirements, to confirm the good intentions of gay couples who present a child for baptism. The Church wishes to ensure that the parents and godparents intend to fulfill their promises to raise the child in conformity with the Catholic faith, and that they are not simply interested in using the Catholic Church for free media coverage, as has been done in the past.
No surprise to most of us that the Church follows Catholic teaching, but apparently a surprise to Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal, and an opportunity for Catholic-bashing for their “progressive” readers who tolerate only their own views.
The Wisconsin State Journal (WiSJ) has long exhibited a bias against conservatism and religion, by publishing numerous negative articles about Catholicism, by omitting positive coverage of mainstream religious events, and by favoring the small fringe radical groups who oppose mainstream religion.
In the WiSJ, petitions against the Catholic Church are publicized, arrests of Lutheran Bishops are featured prominently, biased articles are published to inflame parish conflicts, but no mention is ever made of hundreds of people joining in Corpus Christi processions around Madison’s Capitol, of thousands of people gathering in support of Pro-Life causes, of over a thousand signatures in support of Madison’s Bishop following WiSJ’s advertising the signatures of 24 dissidents, and no mention of a global rosary campaign originating in Madison through which almost 50,000 rosaries have been prayed for Bishop Morlino so far, and through which 325,000 rosaries have been prayed for bishops worldwide.
In contrast, fringe radicals get plenty of press from the Wisconsin State Journal. Announcements are made of Atheist Churches in the Planning, free promotion is given to two ex-Catholic nuns who successfully hijacked land, and are attempting to hijack congregations as well from the Catholic Church, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, (FFRF) which represents only one per thousand atheists, is promoted regularly, almost religiously.
The contrast between lives lived according to Christian belief and the intolerant destructive activities of groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation is striking, and was previously discussed in The Contrast.
Yet the Wisconsin State Journal favors and promotes the Freedom From Religion Foundation regularly. Somehow, Doug Erickson even managed to promote the FFRF CHRISTMAS sign this week, in the middle of August. Despite the fact that FFRF claims to be against public expressions of religion, they do advocate paganism themselves – publicly, at the Wisconsin State Capitol, including pagan references on their Christmas plaque.
And Doug Erickson of the Wisconsin State Journal wants to help.
So what makeshift excuse did the Wisconsin State Journal use this time for sensationalizing Catholic Church policy on infant baptism for same-sex couples?
Doug Erickson of the Wisconsin State Journal reported the collection of 20,000 signatures from people upset to hear the Diocese of Madison’s policies on infant baptism.
Signatures demanding an explanation of the baptism policy which has already been thoroughly explained.
Were the 20,000 signatures from Madison?
Were 20,000 signatures from Catholics?
Where were the 20,000 signatures from?
The 20,000 signatures came from a small fringe Christian organization, Faithful America, which is not Catholic, is not faithful to mainstream Christianity, is not large (310,000 national membership), and which specializes in opposing what they call the “Christian Right.”
Faithful America is a gay advocacy group funded by George Soros, which was responsible for trying to block comedian Bob Newhart from speaking at a Catholic summit because the 84-year-old actor supports traditional marriage.
Yes, “Faithful” America is funded by George Soros, who was also behind the Nuns-on-the-Bus campaign, another pathetic attempt to discredit the Catholic Church by publicizing and exaggerating the rebellion of two elderly nuns.
So now, Faithful America – George Soros’ progressive henchmen - are trying to challenge the Diocese of Madison’s not-very-surprising plan to protect the sacrament of Baptism from political manipulation in Madison.
And Doug Erickson wants to help.
Faithful America succeeded collecting the signatures of less than 7% of their own group, which in itself represents only 0.1 of 1% of American Christians.
Yet the Wisconsin State Journal gives them visibility.
Faithful America seems to be taking a page from the Freedom From Religion Foundation operations manual, critically prying into the business of far-away communities and attacking the beliefs of others, rather than orienting their efforts into constructive service to the community instead, as the groups they attack, such as the Catholic Church, do.
And the Wisconsin State Journal joins them, reporting on fringe disgruntled dissidents in preference to reporting on the good that the Churches of Madison, Wisconsin do.
Doug Erickson seems to devote himself to giving credibility to many fringe progressive groups in the Wisconsin Sate Journal, while failing to report on the power of my 2,000 year old religion, Catholicism, and what it accomplishes in Madison, in Wisconsin, and in the United States. The disproportionate and unprofessional nature of his reporting betrays his agenda- that of promoting fringe progressive thought.
More than one of the groups promoted by Doug Erickson receive funds from George Soros, a billionaire with the stated goal of transforming the world.
George Soros is an atheist who, in his own words, “grew up in a Jewish, anti-semitic home.” George Soros, as a teenager, helped to cart off the stolen possessions Jews after they were rounded up and transported to death camps. He claims that he has no personal regrets about his actions.
In one interview, George Soros portrayed himself as someone who shared numerous attributes with “God in the Old Testament”― “You know, like invisible. I was pretty invisible. Benevolent. I was pretty benevolent. All-seeing. I tried to be all-seeing.”
So the self-proclaimed invisible, benevolent and all-seeing George Soros, reputed to be a psychopath, goes about waging war on the Catholic Church, trying very hard to be subtle about it.
And Doug Erickson wants to help.
Whether Doug Erickson is familiar with these facts about George Soros, with Soros’ connection to Faithful America, or Soros’ connection to the other fringe groups Doug Erickson favors in his reporting, is not clear. It is also not clear whether he or the Wisconsin State Journal benefit in any additional, more direct way from their biased reporting, or from George Soros. But a good reporter would figure these things out before taking on this agenda.
We can say for sure that Erickson’s and the Wisconsin State Journal’s attacks on mainstream religion and on mainstream morality, no matter how clandestine or clever they think they are being, are quite transparent. The results of these attacks on Wisconsin’s values are reflected in the newspaper’s dwindling circulation.
If you liked the video, you might like the book: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
The book argues that our present culture undervalues introverts, and should make room for characters of all types, all of whom make significant contributions.
At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society.
In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.