Syte Reitz

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world…….

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Setting the Record Straight II-
CNN Criticizes ‘Lavish’ Archbishop Residences

or

CNN Versus the Catholic Church

-dedicated to Saint John Paul II, whose first feast day as a Catholic Saint is celebrated today!

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Sociology 101

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Status Symbols

Like it or not, status and the symbols associated with status play crucial roles in society.

  • Wealth in the form of cars, houses and fine clothing  elicits respect in a commercial society.
  • Battle scars, medals and rank elicit respect in a military society.
  • Publications in erudite journals reflect status in an academic 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 Respect

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.

  • A gold watch might be given to a faithful employee upon retirement.
  • A bouquet of roses is be given to a sweetheart or to a mother.

    19Pope06-533

    Pope Benedict celebrated Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City

  • Magnificent buildings are constructed for societal institutions–
    the World Trade Center was a symbol of America’s flourishing economy,
    the monuments of Washington, D.C. reflect our respect for government,
    European Cathedrals testify to Christian Europe’s devotion to God and to Faith,
    and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City reflects the reverence New York Catholics had for their Faith in 1858 when it was built.

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.

CNN Attacks Catholic Symbols of Respect

Archbishop's Residence adjacent to St. Patrick's Cathedral Think Pope Benedict stayed here?

Archbishop’s Residence adjacent to St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Could Pope Benedict have stayed here?

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.

Cardinal Dolan’s Living Quarters

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CNN would like Cardinal Dolan demoted to less impressive living quarters

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!

Why is CNN Attacking the Catholic Church, Anyway?

Slide1Why is CNN attacking the Church?

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.

So Where Does Ted Turner Live?

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.Slide1

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.

Why Would Mr. Lavish Criticize Archbishops’ Residences Which Are So Much Humbler Than His Own?Slide1

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.

Ted Turner’s Revision of the Ten Commandments

Slide1Richard Branson, business magnate and friend of Ted Turner, describes Ted Turner’s philosophy like this:

“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.

Ted Turner Talks Summarizing Why CNN Criticizes the Residences of Catholic Archbishops

  • Ted Turmer, founder and owner of CNN, hates the 10 Commandments and hates the Catholic Church.
  • Ted Turner has even suggested replacing the 10 Commandments with 11 Initiatives of his own.
  • Ted Turner clearly resents the teachings and the moral authority of the Catholic Church and of her Archbishops, and would like to replace religious authorities with the United Nations, where he himself has status.
  • This is why Ted Turner routinely attacks the symbols of respect which the world awards to the Catholic Church.
  • Ted would like to be less biased in his bellicose attacks toward religion, but Catholicism is his favorite target due to the size of it’s membership, high degree of organization ( hence attacking Archbishops) and global influence.ROSARY IS 'FAVORITE PRAYER' OF POPE JOHN PAUL II

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Saint John Paul II, Pray for us!

 

The Rosary, Saint John Paul’s favorite prayer:

Free downloadable mobile PDF – How to Pray the Rosary.

 

 

 

A Visit to the Chazen…

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I visited the Chazen Museum of Art this afternoon.
And what did I see?

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The Abortion Clinic 2
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ABORTION HURTS WOMEN

People who care help women avoid abortion.
WOMEN WHO WANT TO AVOID ABORTION IN MADISON, WI, CAN CONTACT THE WOMEN’S CARE CENTER
Outside of Madison, see Women’s Care Center.

Abortion and Homosexuality –So What Did the Pope Actually Say?

or

When Two Jesuits Talk

 

assissi Today, October 4th, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Francis of Assissi. Our Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit, made a bold gesture of love in adopting the name of St. Francis, patron of the Franciscans. St. Francis is commonly pictured with animals.  He was renowned for his love, not only of animals, but more importantly, of all human beings.  St. Francis lived his love to the extreme of adopting poverty himself.  This discussion of Pope Francis’ controversial America Magazine interview is dedicated to this unbelievable Pope on his feast day.
St Francis of Assisi (1181 – 1226)
(from Universalis)
Francis was the son of a prosperous cloth merchant in Assisi. When his father objected to having his goods sold without his
consent to pay for the restoration of a church, the bishop commanded Francis to repay the money. He did. He also renounced his father and gave back everything he had ever been given, even his garments.
He began a life of perfect evangelical poverty, living by begging and even then only accepting the worst food that people had to give. He preached to all the love of God and the love of the created world; because, having renounced everything, he celebrated everything he received, or saw, or heard, as a gift.
A rich man sold everything and joined him in living next to a leper colony; a canon from a neighbouring church gave up his position and joined them also. They looked into the Gospel and saw the story of the rich young man whom Jesus told to sell everything; they saw Jesus telling his disciples to take nothing with them on their journey; they saw Jesus saying that his followers must also carry his cross.
And on that basis they founded an order. Francis went to Rome himself and persuaded the Pope to sanction it, though it must have seemed at once impractical and subversive, to set
papa-francescothousands of holy men wandering penniless round the towns and villages of Europe.
Because Francis was wearing an old brown garment
begged from a peasant, tied round the middle with string, that became the Franciscan habit. Ten years later 5,000 men were wearing it; a hundred years later Dante was buried in it because it was more glorious than cloth of gold.
There is too much to say about Francis to fit here. He tried to convert the Muslims, or at least to attain martyrdom in doing so. He started the practice of setting up a crib in church to celebrate the Nativity.
Francis died in 1226, having started a revolution. The Franciscans endure to this day.

 

Is the Pope Reversing the Catholic Church’s Ban on Abortion and Homosexual Marriage?

e2c2477d41Recently there has been a media stir reflecting some confusion on Pope Francis’ position on abortion and on homosexuality, based on an interview he recently gave to America magazine.

Some in the media implied that the Pope is directing the Church not  to concern herself with the issues of abortion and homosexuality.
ABC went so far as to say that Pope Francis wants the Church to shake off “small-minded” rules on abortion and homosexuality.
Bloomberg claimed “Pope Says Church Should Stop Obsessing Over Gays, Abortion.”
Reuters reported somewhat more correctly that the Pope is asking for a change in tone.

Apparent Contradictions

And yet, the same Pope Francis, in the same America magazine interview in question, in the same paragraph, two sentences later, stated “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church,” thus confirming his loyalty to Catholic Church teaching.Slide1

Also, the same Pope Francis just excommunicated a dissident priest in Australia the same month, who advocated gay marriage and female priests.

A Pope who just excommunicated someone for their stance on gay marriage is not likely to announce any changes in Church teaching on gay marriage, as liberal media seems to hope. Excommunication by the Vatican is very rare; there have only been 5 since the year 2000, and this is the first one under Pope Francis.

So, What’s the Story?

So is the Pope for abortion and gay marriage, or against?
Is the Church changing age-old teachings, is the Pope a radical progressive, or is the media botching their reporting?
Short answer: the media is botching  their reporting.
Longer answer? Keep reading.

Ignorance, Wishful Thinking or Deceitful Intent?

times square billboards1So the media is botching their reporting, yet again.
Out-of-context quotes from Pope Francis have gone viral a number of times already this year, and it’s hard to guess what the media is thinking by reporting so sloppily.

It’s difficult to determine whether the liberal media’s unprofessional reporting is due to ignorance of religion, to wishful progressive thinking, or to a deceitful intent to recruit more Catholics into the progressive political agenda, by leading them to think that the Pope approves progressive thought.

But far more interesting than speculating on media motivation is to ask what did the Pope actually say, and what is he trying to tell Catholics and the world?

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What did the Pope actually say?
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When Two Jesuits Talk

The Pope is a Jesuit, America is a Jesuit magazine, and the interviewer, Antonio Spadaro, is a Jesuit with an impressive Jesuit resume.Pope-with-Fr.-Spodara

Jesuits are not feebleminded.  In fact, Jesuits are renowned for their scholarly talent.
When two Jesuits talk, not everybody can follow.

When two Jesuits talk, the discussion is rarely short.
The conversation in question here, the interview between these two Jesuits  was 12,000 words long.
If we typed that up as a college paper, it would be 50 pages long.

In the age of tweets and texting, that’s TMI (too much information) for most people.
We need an interpreter, and the one-liner produced by the mainstream media might not be very representative of what the Pope was really trying to say.

When two Jesuits talk, the discussion is always quite intellectual.  In addition to using theological references, biblical references, Latin phrases and Italian phrases, Jesuits also use references to the classics, to music, to literature, to history, and to numerous other things that leave most of us in the dust.

about-beethoven

Beethoven

Pope Francis’ 50-page interview included references to Puccini, Alessandro Manzoni, Caravaggio, Chagall, Mozart, Beethoven, Prometheus, Bach, Wagner, La Scala, Knappertsbusch, Fellini, Anna Mabnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Cervantes, and El Cid, in addition to his theological and biblical references, and references to saints.

I’ll be up front and admit that I had to do some googling on more than a couple of those!

Bottom Line, When Two Jesuits Talk

When two Jesuits talk,

i.e. when Antonio Spadaro (Editor of the influential Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica)  interviews Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis),Slide1

we are not on the View with Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, and Barbara Walters. Whoopi might give a brilliant performance in  Sister Act, but in real life, she’s no Jesuit.

When two Jesuits talk, the conversation will be deep, it will be significant, it might take the rest of us some ploughing to get through it, but what we unearth will be worth the effort.

Recommendation

So my recommendation would be to read Pope Francis’ interview in it’s entirety.  Pope Francis is inspired, and he’s delightful.  I enjoyed the experience.  The interview can be found at America Magazine.

ppmorlino

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison

Failing that, if you’re looking for some Cliff notes and an interpreter, where better to get that than from Jesuit #3, Madison’s Bishop Robert Morlino?

Bishop Morlino’s synopsis and observations on the Pope’s interview can be found at the Catholic Herald’s Bishop’s Column, September 26th, 2013.  Bishop Morlino’s got it down to under 2,000 words, or about a 7 page term paper.  Bishop Morlino is always a good read. And he’s very good at bringing it to our level.

Finally, if you want the perspective of one in-the-pew-Catholic like me, read on at your own (spiritual) peril.  It will probably be way longer than Bishop Morlino’s version, and way less accurate.  But here we go… thoughts from the pew…

The Controversial Paragraph

The media had to dig through half of Pope Francis’ 12,000 word interview, or through about 25 pages, before they could find one sentence that could be morphed by media into being “controversial,” albeit out of context. Here is the relevant paragraph (highlighting mine):

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

Slide1

Note that the first highlighted item is the primary one reported by the media, while the second one, asserting that Church teaching has not changed and that Pope Francis is faithful to that unchanged teaching, was ignored by the media.

Rather then focusing on this out-of-context media implication that Pope Francis may be open to changing fundamental Catholic Church teaching, which is clearly disproved by the second highlighted sentence and by the recent excommunication, I’d like to focus instead on the title of the Pope’s interview, and on three points that leaped out at me when I read the interview document.  These items illustrate very clearly and succinctly the message the Pope was trying to send us.

The Title

heartThe title of the Interview, approved by Pope Francis, was A Big Heart Open to God.

O.K., the Pope is saying we must have a big heart.  A big heart means love, self-explanatory.  No small hearts in the Church, please. We do everything with love.

The Pope is also saying that we must be Open to God.  What does that mean, to be open to God?  Well, we should be listening and seeking what God wants of us, as opposed to demanding what we want from God.  We should not ordering God, not ranting against God. Open to God means obedience to Christ’s teachings, obedience to the Church.  Our hearts should be open, waiting to be filled.

A Big Heart Open To God.
In six words, the Pope has managed to teach lovingly to both extremes in his unruly Church.  Disciplinarian dogmatists are reminded to have a big heart.  No Pharisees, please.  And liberal progressives are reminded to listen to God, to obey God.  No rebellion against Christ’s Church.

Pope Francis, the good parent, has spoken kindly and gently to his unruly bickering children, calling for unity, and reminding us in six words what we have to do.

 

 The First Question

The first question asked of the Pope was “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?”

Of all possible answers, Pope Francis chose “I am a sinner.”

Not “I am the grand high exalted holy ruler of 1 billion people.”
Not “I am a holy man.”
Not “I am a priest.”
Not “I am a Jesuit.”
Not “I am an Argentinian.” or “I am an Argentinian-Italian.”
Not “I am the son of Mario and Regina Bergoglio.”

No, instead the Pope said “I am a sinner.”Slide1

This Jesuit was not faking humility.  His words were carefully chosen, not to be about him, but to teach us.
The good gentle shepherd is reminding us “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)    By calling himself a sinner, he is reminding us not to throw stones at each other.

Pope Francis is telling us to treat sinners with mercy, because we are all sinners.
He is teaching gently by example, by announcing that he too is a sinner.
We must all remember that we are sinners, if we want to attract anyone to the Truth.
There is no room in the Catholic Church for holier-than-thou condemnation.
We must start with compassion, and not with condemnation.

In the interview, Pope Francis identifies his own calling with the calling of St. Matthew, the tax collector.  Our Pope says “ I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.”  Pope Francis wants to reach out lovingly to other sinners, and he wants us to do the same.

What Does It Mean for a Jesuit to be Bishop of Rome?

Early in the interview, Pope Francis was also asked “What does it mean for a Jesuit to be Bishop of Rome?”

Blessed John XXIII

Blessed Pope John XXIII

The Pope’s answer, quoting Pope John XXIII’s philosophy and motto, jumped out at me as illustrating his loving and nurturing approach to exercising authority, and as illustrating what he is asking of us:

The Pope said See everything; turn a blind eye to much; correct a little.

Again, our Pope, like a good shepherd, guides gently and slowly, rather than overwhelming us with condemnation and criticism.  He asks us to extend the same courtesy to each other.

The Pope also emphasized the importance of prioritizing discernment (discernment always done in the presence of the Lord).  This means that time and prayer are the most appropriate means for approaching problems, and we must be wary of impulses and hasty decisions.

This is how Pope Francis sees the role of a Jesuit in the Chair of Peter.

The Church as  a Field Hospital

The Pope gives us a third window into his philosophy in this interview, in his comparison of the Church with a field hospital:21nnkfm

I see clearly, that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds…. And you have to start from the ground up.

It’s pretty clear that the Pope is not advocating or approving high cholesterol, but he recognizes that wounds have to be prioritized over cholesterol concerns.  He’s telling us to examine what we prioritize when we look at each other.  Do we turn a blind eye to much, identify the biggest wounds, and tend to those, before launching into overwhelming criticism?

We are not likely to get our culture on board with giving up abortion and homosexual marriage by condemning them.  It is by offering the love and peace of Christ that we will attract them, and the rest will follow in due course.

Respect for others does dictate kindness and a gentle approach.  Which one of us would like to be approached first with recriminations about our sins?  Who are we to decide that the degree of evil in the sins of others (gay lifestyle, abortion) is greater than the degree of evil in our own sins (pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth?).

Take Home Message

We could go on, quoting from and discussing the Pope’s interview.  But then this article would become longer than the Pope’s interview, and you are much better served reading Pope Francis’ actual interview yourself.

Pope reaches outThe biggest take home message this Catholic found in reading the Pope’s interview was that when evangelizing, our Church needs to proceed with love, humility, and gentleness, and we need to prioritize humanity’s biggest wounds. We also need to work on obedience and on unity.

And what are humanity’s biggest wounds?
Our Pope, discerning carefully in the presence of the Lord, will help us to identify those.
He’s been remarkable so far, flooding the world with his love, and including all of humanity in his flock.
His outreach to atheists is symbolic of his profound love for all of humanity.

A Club of 1 Billion

The Catholic Church is a global club of of 1 billion people.

Like any other large group, including large nations, we have our  conservatives and we have our liberals.  Some liberals and conservatives make good points.  Others take a good thing too far.Shepherd

The person in charge of 1 billion people, in this case the Pope, should be a unifier, an educator and a leader, not a divider.  He should not start with criticism, blame and attack.  A good leader observes, waits, and corrects a little at a time; he breaks up job assignments into small manageable parcels.
This is what Pope Francis is doing, and his approach should not be taken to mean that he approves sin or that he has changed Catholic Church teaching.

The Pope has given us our marching orders in the gentlest manner: time for authoritarians to tone it down and to lead with love, and time for rebels to prioritize the will of God over their own will.

What Jesuits Do

What do Jesuits Do?

Jesuit PopeJesuits were founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, and are noted for their educational, missionary, and charitable works.

Then we should not be surprised when Pope Francis, a Jesuit, wants to teach, to teach the faith, and to teach the faith with love.

Pope Francis’s interview illustrates that he is a deep thinker, a compassionate shepherd, and a well-educated intellectual.
He’s made a great start in less than one year, with discernment, with humility, and with love.

The Best is Yet to Come

Few of us are qualified to judge a Pope.
Those of us who think we are probably have an issue with pride.
So when the Pope says something that surprises us, we need to examine what he said with an open heart, and have the humility to admit that his correction may be deserved.

In my judgement, this Pope is remarkable.  As were the previous ones in my lifetime.

Pope Francis’ Global Adoration effort and his day of prayer and fasting for Syria are among his first official actions.
With these actions, the Pope illustrated to us the importance of bringing faith into life, and into public life.
Pope Francis demonstrated the urgency of interconnection between Church and State.  Interconnection not from the top down, but from the bottom up.  The State does not dictate the faith of the citizens, but the citizens must use their faith and their God-given conscience and must stand up for what is right.

The results global prayer and fasting combined with interconnection between Church and State are just beginning to roll in.  The best is yet to come.

Not Just for Catholics

This is not just for Catholics.  Everyone should get on board.
This Pope is reaching out to all of humanity, including atheists.
He seems to be getting a very positive response to his call.

Summing Up

Pope Francis’ interview can be summed up pretty simply-

  • Drop the finger-wagging, get out the smiles, treat people with respect, pray hard, pray globally, and correct just a little at a time.
  • Remember, respect includes not calling people out publicly for their sins, at least not as the first resort.
  • We attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.
  • Sin is still sin, what’s wrong is still wrong, but let’s not forget the beam in our own eye when pointing out the splinter in someone else’s eye.

Does that mean that we give up the struggle to eliminate abortion or to preserve marriage?
No.
But those are not our opening efforts, before we break out mercy and love.
We don’t lead with those items while evangelizing.

 

Appendix:  More VIRAL QUOTES from Pope Francis:

From the Washington Post: Pope Francis’ Viral Quotes on Wealth, Abortion, Atheists, War and Gay Catholics. 

We can never serve God and money at the same time. It is not possible: either one or the other. This is not Communism. It is the true Gospel!
Pope Francis poses for a photo after meeting with young people in downtown Cagliari, Italy, on Sept. 22, 2013. He spoke of the ‘idol’ of money during a trip to the region, one of the poorest areas in Italy.
Pope with Italian Youth2
Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world. . . . They must not be thrown away!
Francis spoke about abortion on Sept. 20, the day after the publication of an interview in which he said that abortion, gay marriage and contraception should not become “obsessions” for faithful Catholics.
 Kisses baby
We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible, Pope Francis said in an interview that appeared in Jesuit publications around the world on Sept. 19, 2013. “I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear, and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. Speaking
If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? Francis remarked to reporters aboard the papal flight on its way back from Brazil on July 29, 2013.
Pope Francis reached out to gays during the news conference on the plane, saying he wouldn’t judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging conversation as he returned from his first foreign trip.
Slide1
War is madness. It is the suicide of humanity. It is an act of faith in money, which for the powerful of the Earth is more important than the human being.
Pope Francis celebrates a worldwide Eucharistic adoration ceremony after his comments on war at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on June 2, 2013.
Global Adoration
Eternity “will not be boring,” Francis declared May 31, 2013. Later that day, nuns held up candles during a ceremony led by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.  Slide1
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone. ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! Pope Francis said during Mass on May 22, 2013.
In the photo, Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with young people in September 2013 in Cagliari, Italy.
Speech in Italy
If the investments in the banks fall slightly . . . [it is] a tragedy . . . what can be done? But if people die of hunger, if they have nothing to eat, if they have poor health, it does not matter! This is our crisis today!
Pope Francis speaks after meeting with the faithful of ecclesial movements on the occasion of a Pentecost vigil in St. Peter’s Square on May 18, 2013.
Pope Francis reaches for babies

 

 

 

What in the World Happened to Us?

200px-Duck_Dynasty_Promo.

TV star Phil Robertson is a successful businessman whose family owned company makes duck calls and other products for duck hunters. The Robertson men, Phil, his brother and his three sons, are known for their long beards.  They also star in the  reality TV show Duck Dynasty, the most-watched nonfiction cable telecast in history.

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Here’s what Phil has to say about abortion:

 

What in the World Happened to Us?

More on Abortion:
Abortion- A Much Bigger Deal Than You Think!

 

 

 

President Obama on Children- ‘Our First Task’

President Obama on protecting our children from violence:

“They had their entire lives ahead of them; birthdays, graduations, weddings (wipes away a tear), kids of their own…
This is our first task – caring for our children.  If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right.
That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.
And by that measure, can we honesty say that we are doing enough, to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?
I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is NO.”

See 2-minute video:

If protecting our children from violence is “Our First Task,” why is Obama not going after the primary causes of child death?

Some Child Death Statistics:

Annual child deaths, U.S.: 10,000
Leading causes of death: Accidents & unintentional injuries: 3,200

Deaths by Motor vehicle accident: 1418
Deaths from assault: 1,000
Deaths from accidental drowning: 726

Deaths from injury by firearms: 380
Deaths by suicide: 274
Deaths by firearms, intentional: 219

Is intentional death by firearms the best place for President Obama to focus if he wants to protect children?
Shouldn’t the focus be accidents, or motor vehicles, or drowning, or suicide?
Why is President Obama focusing on one of the smallest dangers and the least of possibilities?
See graph for comparison:

ChildDeath

 

 

Now, let’s add a bit more data: children’s lives lost by abortion:

Annual child death by abortion: 1.2 million

See what the graph looks like now:

Child Death Abortion Included

President Obama is actually promoting the leading cause of child death in the United States, abortion, which outnumbers the sum of all other child deaths by a factor of more than one hundred!

Abortion kills 120 times more children than all other causes of death combined, and abortion kills 5,500 times more children than intentional firearms do.

 

Obama Should Listen to the Children coming to Washington on January 25th, 2013, for the March for Life -

  -An event ignored annually by the mainstream media, despite attendance by 500,000 Americans who travel to Washington to protest Roe v. Wade each year.

Listen to the 500,000 opposing abortion, Mr. President!
Not your politically hand-picked four:

obama_use_children_executive_order_guns
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Other tyrants who have used children as props(from Infowars.com) :Slide1

 

 

 

Madison Commemorates the 40th Dolorous Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

January 12th, 2013

Fr. John Sasse leads the Rosary

The 4oth anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in the United States was commemorated today in Madison, WI, with the prayer of 15 decades of the Holy Rosary on the State Street steps of the Wisconsin Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin.

The event was sponsored by Pro-Life Wisconsin, Vigil For Life Madison, and the Diocese of Madison.
Father John Sasse led the prayers, and mentioned the progress our prayer has made in winning Americans over  to the defense of life.
Despite the ‘flu epidemic, the cold and the wind, scores of people braved the elements for this event to pray together.
Faithful Catholics knelt and stood with rosaries in hand on the Capitol steps.

Hecklers arrived, too, shouting rudely and trying unsuccessfully to disrupt our prayer.  Two were led off in hand-cuffs by police.

No media coverage was apparent. Madison’s media, like much of the secular media, neglects to cover events which reflect the spiritual life of Americans.

Click images or arrows below to advance slideshow:

  • Praying the Rosary on the State Street Steps

    Praying the Rosary on the State Street Steps

    of the Wisconsin State Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin

  • Fr. John Sasse leads the Holy Rosary

    Fr. John Sasse leads the Holy Rosary

  • A beautiful but blustery day.

    A beautiful but blustery day.

  • Everyone bundled up.

    Everyone bundled up.

  • Heads bowed.

    Heads bowed.

  • Holding the Crucifix

    Holding the Crucifix

    Bette Wiessharr of Vigil for Life Madison bravely holds the Crucifix for an hour in the frigid wind. The crucifix was damaged by wind at the start of the Rosary Rally.

  • Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

    Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

  • Praying for our government and for our nation.

    Praying for our government and for our nation.

  • Pray the Rosary to end abortion.

    Pray the Rosary to end abortion.

  • Peggy Hamill of Pro-Life Wisconsin

    Peggy Hamill of Pro-Life Wisconsin

  • Thank you, Jeanne Breunig!

    Thank you, Jeanne Breunig!

  • Father John Sasse leads 15 decades.

    Father John Sasse leads 15 decades.

  • Angry heckler led away in handcuffs.

    Angry heckler led away in handcuffs.

  • Police escort heckler away.

    Police escort heckler away.

  • The Rosary continues...

    The Rosary continues...

  • True Feminism

    True Feminism

  • Police escort another handcuffed heckler away.

    Police escort another handcuffed heckler away.

  • Praying in the cold!

    Praying in the cold!

  • On our knees...

    On our knees...

  • A whole group of rude hecklers walk by.

    A whole group of rude hecklers walk by.

  • Kurt Jacobson of Knights of Columbus holds the flag.

    Kurt Jacobson of Knights of Columbus holds the flag.

  • Prayers at the Capitol for our nation and it\'s future citizens.

    Prayers at the Capitol for our nation and it's future citizens.

  • Roe v Wade 40th Dolorous Anniversary

    Roe v Wade 40th Dolorous Anniversary

 

Roe v. Wade Turns 40

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Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion,
was issued on January 22, 1973.

This January 22, 2013, will commemorate
the 40th anniversary of that Supreme Court decision.

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To date, 55 million infants have been aborted in the United States, and are missing from our ranks as a nation.
55 million of us were not born, were not baptized, did not graduate, did not marry, did not have children, and did not contribute to the world in all areas, including philosophy, science, art, and religion.
At least one out of 6 Americans is missing.  If these children, who would now be 40, also had children, as many as one quarter of all Americans could be missing by now.

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One person who escaped abortion very narrowly, yet lived to contribute mind-boggling contributions to our society’s present capabilities, was Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple.  What would our world be now, without Steve Jobs?

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President Obama is another example of a person who might have been aborted, if Roe v. Wade had been legal at the time he was born.  As the black child of a single mother,  his chances of being aborted would have been extremely high. 77% of African-American pregnancies are aborted right now, a black child is 5 times as likely to be aborted as a white child.
Numerous potential Presidents may have been aborted in these past forty years.

Abortion is one of the biggest killers of history, and abortion is a much bigger deal than most people think.

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A Striking Coincidence

President Barack Hussein Obama,
the most radically pro-abortion President in United States history,
will be re-inaugurated on January 21, 2013,
the eve of the 40th anniversary,
of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

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The Significance of the number 40 for Christians

The number 40 is a very meaningful number in Judeo Christian history.

  • During the Old Testament great flood, rain fell for forty nights and forty days, during which all living beings on earth perished, except those on Noah’s ark.
  • Spies explored the land of Israel for forty days (Numbers 13).
  • The Old Testament Exodus from Egypt lasted 40 years, with the Jewish people wandering the Sinai desert. This period of years represents the time it takes for a new generation to arise.
  • Moses’ life is divided into 40 year segments in the Old Testament.
  • Eli, Saul, David, and Solomon, Jewish leaders and kings of the Old Testament, ruled for forty years.
  • Goliath challenged the Israelites twice a day for forty days before David defeated him.
  • Moses spend three consecutive periods of forty days and forty nights on Mount Sinai.
  • 40 lashes is one of the punishments meted out by the Sanhedrin.
  • Christ fasted and prayed in the desert for 40 days prior to His Temptation, Ministry, Passion, Death and Resurrection.
  • Forty days was the period from the Resurrection of Jesus to His Ascension into Heaven.
  • Lent consists of the forty days preceding Easter.

Madison Will Commemorate 40 Years with Prayer

Madison will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 12, 2013, by praying the rosary on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol. This event is sponsored by Pro-Life Wisconsin, Vigil for Life Madison, and the Diocese of Madison.
Details can be found in the flyer pictured below and the PDF flyer here.

January 12th, 2013
11AM at the State Street Steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol
Madison’s Capitol Square
Put It on Your Calendar
Come and Join Us!

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……

Bishops Who Deserve the Purple Heart

or

Proud To Be a Catholic!

The Purple Heart is a medal awarded to soldiers for being wounded or killed while fighting an enemy of the United States.

I’ve already seen several Catholic Bishops this week, courageous spiritual warriors who have risked all in defending the values encoded in the Constitution of the United States – the defense of life, liberty and property.  The wounds they suffer may not be physical, but courageous Catholic Bishops suffer death threats, and many other forms of abuse.
I am sure there will be more reports of courageous Bishops before November 6th.  Send me reports, and I will add them to this list.

Bishop #1

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison, WI

Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, WI – for a courageous election homily delivered on October 28th, 2012, entitled Lord, I Want to See.
Audio at Madison Cathedral Parish website.

Transcript below at end of this article.

Bishop Morlino spoke about the November 6th election, on Benghazi, on gay marriage, on cafeteria Catholics, on abortion, on the Wisconsin State Journal, on the media, on a candidate who promotes abortion without restraint and at no cost:

As a result of this election, our country could become more and more inhuman in it’s soul, and the consequences of that, foreseen and unseen, would be catastrophic.”

“This is the most important election in my lifetime, the essence of what it is to be human is what’s at stake.  That’s far more important than the economy.  Because if humanity is under attack, nothing can go right with the economy. 

Bishop #2

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois:

Your vote will affect the eternal salvation of your own soul.Breitbart.com

Bishop #3

Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa- will be publishing the following ad in newspapers all across Iowa (click picture to enlarge):

 

(thanks to Tom Reitz for this info on facebook)

Bishop #4

Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin: Voting Democrat Puts Soul in Jeopardy

Bishop #5

Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs, Colorado:  Biden Should Not Receive Communion

When I started on this article, I had 3 Catholic Bishops.
Now I have 5.

More and More and More!!! … …

I thought I was finished with this article…  Breitbart.com informs us that many Catholic Bishops are beginning to unite publicly against the Democratic Pary’s championing of abortion.
Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia Pennsylvania  is included, #6

Breitbart writes:

The forces for life are beginning to wake up.

Hey, wait…
Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois# 7

 

Yippee!

Please note: that this was the MORMON
Tabernacle Choir. :o

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Transcript of Bishop Morlino’s Election Homily on October 28th:

Lord, I want to see. 

Bishop Robert Morlino’s Sunday Homily, October 28, 2012

Based on the Gospel reading, Mark 10:46-52

Bartimaeus was not born blind, like the man in the gospel according to John, whom we always recall one of the later Sundays during Lent.   Bartimaeus was not born blind.  He had his sight for many years, and then lost it.   So he knew what he did not have.  And on top of it, he was reduced to begging by his blindness and disability, so that he was without human dignity.

Bartimaeus is sitting there in his misery, and along comes Jesus.  And Bartimaeus can’t control himself, because all of a sudden, hope invades his misery, and he cries out to Jesus.  Jesus says “Bring him over here.  What do you want from me?”  Bartimaeus is s plainspoken man.  “Lord, I want to see.”  He receives his sight, and what does he do? Go back to his former life? No.  With his new sight, he immediately follows Jesus.   

That’s what our New Evangelization during the Year of Faith is all about.  So many once had their sight, but have become blind.  The problem is, they don’t know enough to say, “I want to see.”  And somehow, we are to be the instruments of the hope of Jesus Christ that moves them to say that.  But we have a major problem in our country and in our society, with people, including many Catholics, who simply do not want to see.

There is an article in the State Journal today, and you can almost conclude from that that it’s unreliable, but it is, by a sociologist, about Vatican II.  And Vatican II brought life to lay people.  Vatican II took lay people seriously.  All of that is right. 

How did Vatican II take lay people seriously?  Vatican II pointed out that lay people don’t simply obey the Church any more.  They’re adult.  They’re too adult for that. So what Vatican II said is the lay people are obligated to find out what the Church teaches, and then make up their own mind about it.  Find out what the Church teaches, and then say yes or no.  In other words, this sociologist, whose observations are included in the State Journal article, believes that what Vatican II did for the Church is make possible “cafeteria Catholicism.”  Vatican II pushed “cafeteria Catholicism.  O, you have to find out what the Church teaches, but then you decide whether you have to follow it or not. 

If one is called to be Catholic, one follows what the Church teaches.  That is the correct understanding of conscience.  And if one really cannot follow what the Church teaches, then one’s conscience requires that one leave the Church.   But one’s conscience does not require that one make up one’s own personal religion from A to Z, finding out the Church’s teaching, and then saying, “Well that’s O.K., that’s O.K., that’s O.K.; over here, I don’t like this, I will cast my line-item veto, on what the Church teaches.

Cafeteria Catholics were not always blind, but now they are, and they don’t want to see.  And the reason they don’t want to see is that there are people around telling them the whole point of Vatican II was to create cafeteria Catholicism.  How could that ever be true? 

There are many Catholics who happen to be Democrats, who don’t want to see.  There are many Catholics who happen to be Republicans, who don’t want to see. 

What is there to see?

A candidate who promotes abortion without restraint and at no cost.
Promotes
abortion.   And on top of it, it’s free.

Promotes artificial contraception.   And it’s free.

Sometimes I think to myself, “It would make sense that someone would not worry about the effects of colossal death on future generations if their policy discourages future generations. 
If abortion is promoted, free, if artificial contraception is promoted, free, who are going to people future generations?  The birth rate goes down, down, down, down, down.  And so you worry less about handing on a debt to future generations because there might not be any, if we just abortion and artificial birth control ourselves as a culture and a society into oblivion. 

This is very serious business.  And yet there are many who call themselves Catholics who don’t want to see. 

Written in our very human nature, in the language of our body, by the Creator, is that marriage means one husband, one wife, one lifetime, with openness to children.  Every human being has the right to marry the person he chooses, or she chooses, of the opposite sex.  No one’s right to marry a person of the opposite sex is threatened.  But there is no right to redefine marriage as same-sex marriage. 

To redefine marriage is to attack the essence of being human.  “God made them human, male and female.” And He made them for marriage.  He gave their bodies a nuptial meaning.   That’s who we are as human.  We are male and female.  If that doesn’t matter, then humanity as it was created starts to ebb away.  And now we have people who want to play some kind of  a game that is deadly to humanity, that says, “Well, let the child be born, and after some years, let him or her decide whether he wants to be he or she.” 

Instead of being what God created me to be, I become what I think I am.  God is no longer in charge, what I think is in charge.  I don’t want to see. 

Many Catholics, unfortunately, are caught up in that. 
And if someone does not want to see, there’s no hope for healing.  Because they don’t know that they need to be healed, obviously. 
And look at the press and the television, the mass media. We’re getting an overdose of it every day.  “I don’t want to see what happened in Libya, in Benghazi.  I don’t want to see it—at least until the election is over. Then, maybe. ”

Bartimaeus’ salvation turned out to be in those four words,, “I want to see.”  Our country, and our culture, including many Catholics, proclaim, “I don’t want to see.”  

That’s the challenge of the New Evangelization.  And that’s the challenge that awaits our country that we have to face, ready or not, on November the 6th, and I’m terribly afraid that we’re not ready to face it.  Because an electorate that doesn’t want to see, including Catholics,  cannot elect wisely. 

You and I have to be instruments of waking people up out of their blindness.  They’re blind, and they think it’s fine.  At least for right now.  That blindness could lead our country more and more in the direction of inhumanity.   As a result of this election, our country could become more and more and more inhuman – in it’s soul – and the consequences of that foreseen and unseen would be catastrophic.  This is the most important election in my lifetime, the essence of what it is to be human is what’s at stake.  That’s far more important than the economy.  Because if humanity is under attack, nothing can go right with the economy.

We have to pray hard, and we have to speak up, in the next nine or ten days, to our friends, our neighbors, our fellow family members who don’t want to see.  If the can discover that in not wanting to see there is no hope, there is no joy, maybe they would repent, by God’s grace.  And so above all, we have to pray for them, pray for our country, pray for those who do not want to see.   That they will decide in the favor of hope, and for the long-term future of our country they will choose life, rather than death, for humanity. 

Praised be Jesus Christ. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Debates:
Getting Past the Theatrics;
Going Right to the Substance

or

It’s Not Fixed

(Addendum below)

First, a Short Word On the Theatrics

The performances so far have been most entertaining.


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Romney mopped the floor with Obama in the first presidential debate; even the liberal press agreed.  Chris Matthews, not too pleased with Obama’s performance, had an epic meltdown, live, on MSNBC.

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During the vice presidential debate last week, Biden put on a performance that elicited speculations on dementia  and drunkenness, as well as a three-minute roast by the usually very liberal Saturday Night Live.

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No comedy act, however, topped the actual video of the Vice President’s performance:

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Poised for more mayhem in the second presidential debate last night, I was somewhat relieved to find that a certain degree of sanity was restored.

President Obama no longer looked like a deer in the headlights, and with the exception of one Drudge Report photo, he did not nervously leer, make faces at his opponent or the cameras (much), as Biden had done last week.

Well, Romney isn’t looking; let me just give him a quick evil eye…

 

 

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But now back to the substance!

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Cuttting Through the Folly

More important than laughing or wondering at the performances, is to cut through the folly, and to analyze the substance.

And the substance consists of two major components in this election: policy and reliability.

Policy -  how do the candidates and their party propose to solve our biggest problems today?

Reliability- will the candidates and their parties actually do what they say they will do, or are the candidates liars?

Policy – What Do Voters Say America Needs?

Yesterday’s MSNBC leading headline read:  What readers want answered at the presidential debate: Gas prices, Social Security, jobs.

Translation: Economy is the primary problem facing our nation and concerning our voters today.

Aside: Some Americans, myself included, believe that abortion is the primary problem/issue facing our nation.  That economy is actually dependent upon abortion. That a nation that kills its own children cannot prosper.  That no amount of economic prosperity can justify the killing of 54 million human beings.  That economic prosperity will not be bestowed on a nation that defies God’s fundamental commandments.  But, although correct, that is not the dominating mainstream thought, and is a subject for a future blog article. 


Back to Economy, the primary problem readers wanted answered at last night’s presidential debate.

Obama-Biden Economic Policy 

The Obama-Biden team proposes to solve economic problems by raising taxes on the rich, in contrast to Ryan and Romney’s plans to solve economic problems by cutting spending, and cutting taxes, in order to create jobs, which would generate an expanding economy, resulting in increased government revenue.

Biden’s statement one week before the October 11th debate outlined and clarified the Obama-Biden position on the economy:
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Biden clearly stated their intention to let the trillion dollar “Bush” tax cuts expire, effectively raising $1 Trillion worth of taxes.   The tax cuts would only be extended for all households earning less than $250,000 per year, so those households would have no effective tax hike.  The $1 Trillion tax would be paid only by people earning $250,000 or more per year.

The Slogan is catchy:
$1 Trillion Tax Hike for Top Earners

Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it?
We get Scrooge McDuck to fork over all the extra money we want to spend.
But is that possible?
Will it produce enough money to cover Obama’s spending?
How much will we be taking from the “rich guys”?

How will the “rich guys” respond to this maneuver?
Let’s look at some details.

Also, look at Thou Shalt Not Kill They Neighbor’s Cow 

Reality Check- Simple Arithmetic

We want to take $1 Trillion from the rich, the top 1.5 %, those who earn over $250,000 per year.
Let’s see how much we have to take from each one, and what that will do to them.

First of all, Biden misled us with his $1 Trillion claim, since his proposal is to raise $1 Trillion of taxes over 4 years, not over 1 year.

So we are trying to take an extra $0.25 Trillion per year from the “rich guys.”

That won’t dent Obama’s annual $1.3 Trillion deficit much, but let’s continue with the analysis, because it leads to a surprising place.

For data on how many rich guys there are, and how much money they have, we looked at the Tax Foundation’s Data Tables.  They don’t list Obama-Biden’s top 1.5%ers who earn $250,000 per year or more, but they do list the 1%ers, who earn $340,000 per year or more.  Close enough for our purposes.  The two sets of numbers are not likely to differ too much.

The top 1% group has a combined Adjusted Gross Income of $1.3 Trillion, of which they already pay 24%, or $0.3 Trillion in tax per year.  In order to raise another 0.25 Trillion from this group as Biden proposes, they would have to be taxed an additional 19%, almost a doubling of their Federal tax bill.  Their federal tax would go up from 24% to 43%.

Jaguar XF ($82,000)

So, the small businessman or doctor who now earns $340,000 per year already pays $82,000 in Federal income tax per year.  Yes, that’s right, each small businessman or doctor first gives the federal government the equivalent of a Jaguar XF every year.  Add Social Security, Medicare, and State and Local tax deductions, and rich guy’s annual take-home pay becomes about $227,000.  Now he has given Uncle Sam about $113,000 per year; a Mercedes SL55AMG every year. (This car can do 155 mph.)  On top of this now, the Obama-Biden proposal would raise these people’s federal taxes an additional 19% and would mean an additional $65,000 in taxes for that household.  This would bring down their take-home income to $162,000.  The total given over to the government would be $178,000 per year; like buying the government an Aston Martin DB9 Volante every year.  This household is left with 48% take-home pay of $162,000 per year, after they started with $340,000.

Aston Martin DB9 Volante ($178,000)

This also changes the proportion of taxes that the 1%ers pay.  Right now, as a group, they pay 37% of all federal income taxes.  Yes, the 1% pays 37% of our bills.  The new Obama-Biden proposal would change this to the 1%ers paying 66% of all of America’s federal taxes.  WOW!

Doubling a Household’s Federal Income Tax

How many Americans in any income bracket can afford to have their federal taxes doubled and to have their take-home pay reduced to 48%?

Most people earning upwards of $250,000 don’t work 9-to-5 for a boss.  Not too many bosses are that generous with salaries. Many of these “rich guys” own a small business and are working long hours.  Evenings and weekends.  Others are medical doctors, who are running an office and are paying off medical school loans.  Whether they are businesses or doctors, they will have to come up with the extra $65,000 Obama and Biden want somewhere.  Guess where that will be?  They will hire less help at the business or office, and they will cancel any plans of expansion.  Their actions will eliminate jobs, and will stifle the economy.  The people working under them will lose their jobs.

Biden and Obama’s proposal to hike up taxes by failing to extend expiring tax cuts is often termed Taxmageddon.  This plan could push the U.S. back into a recession, and the Taxmageddon expiration date is fast approaching – January 1, 2013, in two months.  

Summarizing the Obama-Biden Economic Policy:

Here’s a summary of Obama-Biden’s economic plans :

  • Obama/Biden will double taxes on the “rich guys” with Taxmageddon.  The 1%ers who now already pay 37% of the nation’s federal tax bill will get to pay 66% of the nation’s tax bill.
    Another recession? Who cares?
  • This maneuver will only reduce the deficit by 0.25 Trillion per year (19%)? Who cares?
  • The national debt, now $16 Trillion, will continue to grow at the rate of $1 Trillion per year? Who cares?  Not Obama/Biden.
  • Small businesses, which provide 65% of the jobs in America will be punished, and will be forced to lay off people? Who cares?
  • Despite the ballooning deficit, Obama-Biden will continue spending.
  • Whenever Romney proposes spending cuts, Obama-Biden will ridicule the solution most households (or nations) in serious debt ought to use – they will ridicule spending cuts.

  • Obama-Biden will particularly ridicule cutting government funds to Big Bird.  No matter that Big Bird is a one-percenter with an annual income of over $50 million per year, about four times higher that what Mitt Romney makes.   Yet Big Bird still gets federal subsidies through PBS, and Obama-Biden don’t want to see those cut.  Who cares?

 

  • Biden-Obama will also ridicule Romney’s plans to cut Planned Parenthood funding.  Planned Parenthood continues to make money, despite its status as a nonprofit organization.  Planned Parenthood is now a $1 Billion Group which makes a profit from it’s primary income generator, abortion, and which still receives 46% of it’s budget from tax money.
    51% of Planned Parenthood’s revenue comes from abortions.
    Two thirds of America opposes federal funding of abortion.  But who cares?  Obama likes abortion, and he loves Planned Parenthood.  Why not subsidize more 1%ers, as long as they are Obama’s friends?

Big Bird and Planned Parenthood were 1%ers.
Solyndra and  a series of over 20 green energy companies which received $4 Billion in federal grants? All 1%ers.
But they are Obama’s friends, so that’s O.K.
Anyone who supports Obama with donations or in the media is Obama’s friend. He will help them all become 1%ers.  And they don’t need to worry about taxation, Obama will make sure his friends obtain or retain tax-exempt status no matter how rich they are, like Big Bird and Planned Parenthood.

Reliability and Honesty

That leads us to reliability and honesty, the second major component of importance in this election.
What good are promised policies, if they are never implemented?
What good are debates, if lies are used in the arguments?

The last two debates, Biden’s and last night Obama’s, were fraught with lies.
Not  only Biden and Obama lied, but moderator Crowley lied and manipulated last night.

Biden’s Debate Lies

Biden was called out on his VP debate lies by lots of people during the past week. 
These include:
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Breitbart.com:

The National Review Online accused Biden of intellectual dishonesty, and the White House Dossier called Biden a new Batman’s Joker nemesis: The Liar.  Apparently Joe Biden has a history of law-school and campaign-trail dishonesty.

During the Vice Presidential debate, Joe Biden lied about religious freedom, about Libya, about Medicare, lied about his own voting record for the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war, lied about the Iranian nuclear program, lied about Ryan cutting embassy security budget, lied about his previous debate with Sarah Palin, and lied about the details of the Bush tax cuts.  See the above links for details.

Obama’s Debate Lies (and Shocking Gaffe)

Top Ten Lies of the Second Presidential Debate -

Obama lied about tax cuts made by himself, about Romney’s statements in interviews, about Romney’s immigration views, about mammograms provided by Planned Parenthood, about tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, about oil and gas production on federal lands, about women’s salary discrepancies, about Romney’s intentions toward auto manufacturers, and about his own misrepresentation of the Benghazi attacks as demonstrations against an anti-Islamic video.

Gaffe: Obama claimed that low gas prices cratered our economy and will crater it again if Romney is elected and gets gas prices down.
Yes, you read that right: President Obama seems to believe that low gas prices kill the economy. It’s not Obama’s economic policies that have damaged our economy, it’s the low gas prices that he inherited from Bush that have damaged our economy.  And if you elect Romney, he will lower the gas prices again, and he will thus damage the economy again.
How did that come out of the mouth of the President of the United States?

Candy Crowley’s Debate Lies and Biased Manipulations  

Debate moderator Candy Crowley interrupted Romney when he accused President Obama of not acknowledging that the Benghazi attacks were acts of terror the day after the Benghazi attacks.  She was wrong, admitted she was wrong after the debate, and it turns out that she had been in perfect command of these facts almost 3 weeks ago, but conveniently forgot the facts when jumping to silence Romney during the debate.  She saved Obama with a false fact-check:

While moderating Tuesday’s debate, Crowley forgot the timeline and facts she commanded two weeks earlier, and she inexplicably took President Obama’s side when Obama and Romney were arguing about whether Obama referred to the Libya attacks as acts of terror on the day after. – Breitbart.com 

There has even been a sugggestion that Candy Crowley may have acted in collusion with Obama in this interchange;  the probability that Candy Crowley would have the text of the President’s Rose Garden speech handy and opened to the correct line on such short notice has been questioned.

Candy Crowley also interrupted Romney 28 times during the debate, contrasted with interrupting Obama 9 times, chose 2/3 of the questions to be favorable to Obama, and let Obama have the last word 8 out of 11 times.  She also allowed, for the third debate in a row, the Obama/Biden ticket more debate time than the Romney/Ticket received.
Not too surprising for a biased reporter who had just called Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan the “death wish ticket.”

Summarizing the Debates:

Policy

On Policy, Obama-Biden propose to continue the bulk of their present spending.  The taxation of the “rich” which they propose will generate inadequate revenue to staunch the fiscal bleed, and will risk a second, larger recession.

Romney-Ryan propose the repeal of ObamaCare and tax cuts to spur the growth of business; when business grows, government tax income grows without increasing taxation.

History has shown repeatedly that reduction of tax rates generates more prosperity, so that a larger chunk of the tax burden is taken on by rich people when you lower rich people’s taxes, because their businesses start to flourish.  They not only transact more business, and give the government more taxes, but they also create more jobs.  This phenomenon was observed three times in the 20th century, in the 1920’s, and under Presidents JFK in the 1960’s and Reagan in the 1980’s;  more tax revenue went back to the federal government each time the taxes were lowered.

The explanation for this seemingly contradictory phenomenon is that rich people reinvest more in their businesses, expand, generate more jobs, keep their businesses in the US, and thus generate a more thriving, larger economy when you lower taxes on the rich.  Taking a smaller percentage from a larger number of rich guys give you more money in the end.

This is why nations do not overtax the rich.  Overtax the rich, and they either go away or they close their companies and the nation loses jobs.

Here’s a listing of nations, and how much they tax their wealthiest 10% (for us, that would be those households earning above $80,000 per year): from No Country Leans on Upper-Income Households as Much as the U.S., 2011

 

Who Taxes the Rich the Most? Share of Taxes Paid by the Richest 10%
Switzerland 21%
Sweden 27%
France 28%
Japan 29%
Germany 31%
Canada 36%
Australia 37%
United Kingdom 39%
Italy 42%
United States 45%

Apparently, United States top earners already pay a larger share of taxes than any other industrialized nation. America’s top 10% earners pay 45% of the nation’s tax bill.  President Obama apparently wants to hike up the amount that our top earners will pay to something on the order of 66%.

Any logical person must either challenge President Obama’s grasp of fundamental economics and arithmetic, or must challenge his dedication to his sworn duty to protect this nation as President of the United States.  This has been suggested by some; 2016: The Movie points out the compatibility of President Obama’s actions during the past four years with an anti-colonialist philosophy that seeks to level the global playing field and to take away America’s economic advantage.  But either way, one cannot rationally, based on economy, vote for Obama on Novemer 6th.

So take your pick: would you prefer that your job depends on “rich” people like  small businesses or doctors hiring you and paying a competitive rate for your work, or would you rather have the government take the “rich” people’s money, squander much of it on creating 1%er jobs for previous campaign donors, and dole the rest out to you through meager welfare checks, which expire and no longer regard you as unemployed after 26 weeks, as Obama is doing now?

Reliance on our rich people for jobs = democracy.

Reliance on the government for jobs = communism.

Reliability and Trust

Neither Obama, nor Biden have given America any reason to believe anything they promise.  Few of their 2008 campaign promises have been fulfilled, and their debates are laced with lies and fallacious attacks on Romney/Ryan, rather than a focus on a serious plan for repairing the economy.

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Sorry fellas, the Taxing the Rich slogan won’t work.  We just disproved it with arithmetic, and Obama has disproved it in practice during the last four years.   The Taxing the Rich slogan will only get you votes from those who don’t know their arithmetic, and who are bitter, envious, and who want to bite the hand that feeds them.

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Results Not Too Surprising

In the light of all that has been discussed, it is not surprising that as the debates progress, Romney is beginning to beat Obama in the polls.

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And speaking of polls, and speaking as a person who has hung up the telephone on at least 40 pollsters during the last few months, and who as a conservative, in  Clint Eastwood’s words, “plays it closer to the vest,” and as someone who has previously blogged about the disparity between poll results and election results, particularly in the Walker Recall Re-Election, I would not be surprised if President Obama is ousted by a landslide less than 3 weeks from now, by a much larger margin than any poll ever shows.  Conservatives often refrain from participating in polls.

How sadly right Clint Eastwood was about the empty chair!
“When someone does not do their job, we have to let them go.”

Addendum:

Confirming my suspicions, later today, two pieces of news came out:

Bottom Line: It’s Not Fixed

President Clinton, during a campaign event in Ohio today,  acknowledged that the economy is not fixed:

Governor Romney’s argument is “We’re not fixed, so fire him, and put me in.”  It is true, we’re not fixed.  When President Obama looked into the eyes of that man, who said, in the debate, “I had so much hope four years ago, and I don’t now,” I though he was going to cry.  Because he knows that it’s not fixed. – Bill Clinton

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The Economy: It’s Not Fixed

Let’s fix it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Akin and the Media’s Double Standard:

Todd Akin

(Post Script added below on 8-24-12)

-Double Standard on criticizing  conservatives but not liberals
-Double Standard on defining “choice” as only one choice
-Double Standard on defining women’s rights and women’s opinions

What a double standard exercised by the mainstream press!

Criticising Conservatives But Not Liberals

Yet Rep. Todd Akin, not even a medical expert, is being attacked for believing that the violent nature of rape might prevent conception, a concept suggested by medical doctors online! Duh, maybe the stress of a rape might affect the outcome; after all, stress is one of the leading causes of infertility in 2012.  People, including members of his own party, are demanding that Akin drop out of the Missouri Senate race as a result of stating this medical opinion.

Liberals are just looking for any dirty tactic to knock out contenders for Senate seats. Why don’t they clean up their own act first?  And why are Republicans so quick to join in and go on the defensive?

True Pro-Choice

True choice would let a woman be rewarded equally for choosing life.  If the government doesn’t contribute towards raising children, why should it contribute towards destroying them?

Women’s Rights and Women’s Votes

The squeaky wheel minority who just doesn't get the point.

Liberals might also stop claiming women’s votes and fabricating the non-existant “War on Women.”  It is unwarranted to imply that Democrats represent women’s interests better than Republicans do. Actually, conservatism outweighs liberalism in both genders – Gallup poll. More than half of all women are conservatives, yet the liberals lie, and claim to represent their interests.  Liberals claim that conservatives, the group favored by both women and men, is declaring a war on women.  How can anybody take them seriously?

Moreover, 2/3 of America (including women) opposes federal funding of abortion, yet liberals ignore that.

Republicans should focus on how liberals LIE, and how they are ANTIi-democracy and ANTI-choice, rather than rushing to cooperate with liberals in picking off conservatives one by one for errors that they make.

What Women Want- Media and Liberals Have it Wrong

Most women love and want their babies, and don’t appreciate the suggestion that their baby is a burden which should be painfully dismembered and discarded. 64% of women who have abortions were coerced, pressured by others into abortion.  Abortion is the unfair choice.

Liberals brag about providing free $7 birth control pills through ObamaCare mandates, but do nothing to strengthen the family, or to help women keep their babies, which is the BEST way to raise good future citizens. Providing pills thorugh ObamaCare is simply a cheap trick for buying votes, which insults women by presuming their ignorance.

The REAL War on Women

Obama mandating what's good for women

The REAL War on Women is being waged by the Obama Administration and it is waged on a woman’s intelligence.  Obama offers to buy women’s votes, an intellectual prostitution of sorts, and implies that women are so stupid that they will get on board : “You are so stupid that I can purchase your vote for $7 worth of birth control pills per month, and you will not notice that you still have to pay for your own aspirin, food, rent, and everything else.  For $84 per year, I get your vote, and you foolishly believe that I have your bests interests at heart.”

Republicans Should Spend Less Time Reacting to Democrat (Alinsky) Attacks, and Spend More Time Attacking the Dissolute and Illogical Morality  and Bad Policies of the Obama Adminsitration

Post Script:

Republicans Abandoning their Wounded

Today (8-24-12) a CNS News article by Patrick J. Buchanan, A Grand Old Party in Panic, discusses “the great failing of American conservatives is they do not retrieve their wounded.” Apparently, the Family Research Council also came to the defense of Todd Akin.

In addition to the above CNS speculations on whether the GOP is dumping their wounded because they are nervous about the popularity of their social and moral positions, I will suggest that recent in-fighting in the Republican Party may also influence the willingness of some “moderate” Republicans to discard their more staunchly conservative colleagues.  See The Presumptive Nominee, or The Secret Insurrection.

Medical Malpractice

Yesterday (8-23-12) a FOX opinion, written by psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow, blasted Todd Akin, putting words in his mouth, or rather, attributing thoughts to him, and then proceeded to psychoanalyze him in a most unflattering and unjustified way.  Dr. Ablow actually  suggested that Todd Akin believes that “women consciously or unconsciously wanted to be fertilized by the men they are identifying as their rapists.”

Ablow’s analysis was based on projection and supposition, and not on what Todd Akin had actually said.
Dr. Ablow should lose his medical license over such unprofessional meddling in politics if he does not publish an apology and a retraction.

In actual fact, Todd Akins’ reasoning may have been quite simple:  stress is well known to be one of the major causes of infertility.  Rape clearly produces a phenomenal level of stress.  An online doctor at Christian Life Resources claims that rape rarely produces pregnancy, and analyzes the scientific reasons why this might be true. Whether this analysis is correct or not, Todd Akin cannot be blamed for believing it, or some similar scientific analysis.  Maybe the level of stress and terror in a rape could prevent conception; nobody has the data to indicate either way.

A Double Standard in Defining Rape

Finally, Todd Akin’s use of the word “legitimate” rape distinguishes the rape from a statutory rape, in which, for example, a 17-year-old woman could have willingly participated, yet is legally labeled a rape. Our culture cannot simultaneously allow Planned Parenthood to hand out condoms to 12-year-olds with instructions on their use, then lynch any man who slept with a 17-year-old. What about her 18-year-old boyfriend who has been sleeping with her for 5 years, but now he is 18 and she is 17, and suddenly it’s statutory rape? What about casual college “hook-ups,” in which the 17-year-old freshman (freshwoman) lies about her age?

The term “legitimate” rape also distinguishes rapes from false accusations, which are a possibility in the real world.

This is the United States of America, and no woman should have the power to destroy the career and life of any man of her choice by simply accusing him of rape.
If men are guilty until proven innocent, our democracy and our Constitution are a farce.
Women are not guilty until proven innocent, at least not yet.

 

 

 

 

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