Syte Reitz

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

Browsing Posts in Politics

Progressive Media Pontificates on Right to Free Speech While Trampling It

and

WiSJ Disses the Catholic Church, Yet Again

 

Wisconsin State Journal Publishes a Call to Prayer?

Slide1The 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:

Praying that Bishop has a First Amendment Come-to-Jesus Moment

The Irony

Yes, it’s pretty clear that this call to prayer by Chris Rickert is not genuine and represents an attempt at sarcasm. The headline also represents a number of ironies worth mentioning:
Slide1

  • Disrespectful use of the name of Jesus constitutes blasphemy, insulting not only the God who is a bit more powerful than Chris Rickert, but also the 80% of Americans and Wisconsinites who believe in Him.  Nice job, WiSJ, alienate your  audience from the outset!
  • The headline calls for the protection of First Amendment rights, of free speech.  Coming from progressives, who aggressively silence all who disagree with them with name-calling and accusations of hate speech, and who try to ban the mention of Christianity from any public forum, this is amusing.
  • The timing of the headline is also highly ironic.  Chris Rickert calls for freedom of speech immediately after  the Wisconsin State Journal withheld freedom of speech from this conservative Catholic, by blocking me from discussion forums in which I was pointing out the slanted reporting of the WiSJ on the Catholic Church.

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.

Blind Eye Towards Real Catholic News

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.

blindeyeDuring 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.

Publishing Dissident Ripples Instead

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:
Slide1

  • In Letter to Pope, Progressive Catholics List Grievances with Madison Diocese – Nov 10, by Doug Erickson- the WiSJ featured 96 LGBT and Call to Action members (96 out of diocese of 270,000, or 0.03 of 1% of Catholics in the Diocese of Madison) because they wrote a dissident letter to the Pope. It should be noted that numerous faithful  Catholic groups and individuals who support of Catholic teaching routinely write letters to the Pope, letters which are never featured in the WiSJ.
  • Stubborn Bishop Morlino Causes Divisiveness- Nov 13, by John Murphy – WiSJ published a letter in which one man calls out Bishop Morlino for being stubborn and divisive (for Bishop’s failure to promote John Murphy’s vision of Catholicism and for the Bishop’s adherence to Church teaching).
  • Catholic Church is big Enough for All of Us – Nov 14, by Jeanne Burger, WiSJ published a letter in which one dissident, member of the heretical Call to Action and supporter of (non-Catholic) Holy Wisdom Monastery, challenged the Church to include her heretical doctrines because the Church should be “big enough” (to include error?).
  • Bishop Robert Morlino Halts Speech, Changes Venue after Tangle with Reporter – Nov 21, by Doug Erickson, in which the WiSJ covered the handful of  non-students who came to stir up controversy during Bishop Morlino’s invited talk to UW Platteville Catholic students. The dissidents brought a media photographer, signs, and hummed their favorite controversial hymn, clearly trying to stir up controversy, which the Bishop avoided by moving the talk to a privately owned location. The WiSJ colluded with the Platteville Journal by publicizing this and giving a Wisconsin-wide platform to 7 or 8 Catholic dissidents.  Meanwhile, these publications routinely fail to report on pro-life activities in Madison which are attended by hundreds and even thousands of Catholics and Christians.
  • Praying that Bishop Has a First Amendment Come-to-Jesus Moment – Nov 23, by Chris Rickert, in which WiSJ’s Chris Rickert calls out Bishop Morlino for not having welcomed the Platteville dissidents with their Platteville media supporter in the UW Platteville confrontation that Bishop Morlino managed to defuse and avoid.  Rickert’s headline, claiming to pray that the Catholic Bishop of Madison would have a “Come -to-Jesus Moment” and demanding that the Bishop welcome those who came to disrupt his talk because of the First Amendment, speaks for itself as far as maturity is concerned.

warning-doesntunderstand-500x2721As 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.

Invoking the First Amendment While Trashing It

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.

Slide1Wi SJ seems to operate via the progressive motto: Freedom of speech for me, but not for you!
Hate speech labels for all who disagree with the progressive agenda.

Now I’m Unblocked…

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.

Publishing Truth

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.
holding-my-breathThey 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.

 

Related Articles:

  1. Setting the Record Straight I
  2. Setting the Record Straight II
  3. Wisconsin State Journal Reports on Bishop Morlino’s Ten Year Anniversary in Madison
  4. Catholic Belief Now Defined by Media and Sociologists?
  5. Grading Wisconsin State Journal Report on Bishop Morlino’s 10 Year Anniversary in Madison
  6. Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal Are Up to Their Old Tricks or Catholic Bashing in Wisconsin
  7. Diocese of Madison Prohibits Field Trips to Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery – or – Progressive Guide to Attacking Catholics

Election 2014- What Just Happened?

or

Battle for the Soul of America

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.”

The Results:

____________________________________________________________________________ 2014 Results ____________________________________________________________________________ Slide1

_____________________________________________________________________.

____________________________________________________________________________

. Clearly a LandslideSlide2

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.

. Two Big Questions

Why were the Democrats wiped out?

and

Why don’t conservatives seem overjoyed?

. **

What Were the Voters Thinking?

Here are some headlines that may indicate what voters were thinking:

Answer: The Voters Were Thinking Conservativelost-traditional-values

The above headlines indicate that the People of the United States are giving President Obama (and our entire government) a Mandate- a mandate to:

  • protect the family
  • respect faith & conscience
  • repeal ObamaCare
  • represent women properly
  • stop trying to purchase women’s votes with  free offers of birth control (apparently this doesn’t even work in California)
  • respect the rights of Americans guaranteed to us by the Constitution
  • remember who’s boss in the United States

Should Not Be a Surprise

Why were so many surprised by these results?

imagesHere 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.

What Was Obama Thinking?

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. )aaa6_164

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.

Slide1What is Obama Thinking Now?

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 (!!!).

The War is On- in the GOP, and in the Nation

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. Slide1
On other issues, conservatives in the party will have to battle for the soul of the Republican Party.

In actual fact, this is going to be the Battle for the Soul of America.

Gear Up, America!

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.

 

Related Posts:

Elections 2016 or Taming the Black Swan or Selling Out vs Sticking to Principles

The Missing Link – Redefining How We Approach Politics

Pope Francis Takes On Obama

Political Puzzle Pieces Falling into Place

Enjoying the Progress? Join the Prayer

Global Adoration- Say What?

Elections 2016 (and 2014)

or

Taming the Black Swan

or

Selling Out vs Sticking to Principles

 

Back to Politics

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.

Who's in Charge?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.Church and State  (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 Demand Political Philosophy

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.

Why the Hiatus?

Slide1The results of the 2012 Presidential election made clear several important facts, which required some time to resolve:

  • The people had spoken, and the Obama administration now had four more years to deliver on its campaign promises.  The United States is, after all, a democracy.  The fair loser steps aside gracefully and lets the wheels of democracy turn.
  • Those people who were foolish enough to vote for Obama needed to experience more Obama consequences, to experience a rise in personal misery index, before they could be persuaded to vote for someone more responsible who does not promise lollipops and who does not lie.  And 2013/14 certainly provided ample rise in personal misery index generated by government; now even Democrats are calling Obama incompetent and are distancing themselves from him before the 2014 elections.  Meanwhile, we conservatives take an imposed rest and simply watch the inevitable  and painful implosion. We don’t enjoy it any more than parents enjoy watching their teens making painful mistakes.
    What goes around comes around. But it takes time.  We all hurt, we all suffer, but nothing can be done to circumvent some suffering in this life.
  • The Republican establishment, which was foolish enough to cheat in order to change Republican convention rules so they could nominate their favorite Compromise Candidate, Mitt Romney, needed to figure out that there is a limit to the degree of compromise their conservative supporters will tolerate before they rebel.  There was great surprise and shock in November 2012, when 4 million registered Republicans failed to come to the polls, handing the election to Barack Obama.

Jumping into PoliticsSo 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!

Confusion Reigns

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 governmentLiberals 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.

000
Slide2

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!

Potential Strategies

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?
Slide1

Birth of the Republican 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.

640px-Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863The 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 Republican Split Today

The Buckley Rule

Slide1Some 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.

The Limbaugh RuleSlide1

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

tea_party_logoThe Republican split today appears to be so serious that many serious conservatives are considering abandoning the Republican party altogether.

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.

OLiberty-Amendments-230

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.

The Conservative Dilemma

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.

  • Those favoring the Buckley Rule would nominate someone like Mitt Romney or Chris Christie again.
  • Those favoring the Limbaugh Rule would nominate someone like Scott Walker or Ben Carson.
  • Those favoring the Third Party Option would replace the Republican Party by a group like the Tea Party.
  • Article V supporters, if successful, would provide an opportunity for radical change and decentralization of government, returning much power to the states and reducing the power of the federal government.

Slide2The first option (Buckley Rule) has already been tried and failed in Election 2012.

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.

So What’s a Conservative to Do in 2014/2016 ?

There will be much discussion, much angst, andSlide3

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.

The Determinants of History

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.Slide1

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.

 

What IS a Black Swan?

How do we define a Black Swan?

JJPThe 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.”

Slide1

(Nassim Saleb feels morally bound as a professional philosopher and historian to acknowledge that history is driven by Black Swan events.)

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.

Role of the Black Swan in History

remembering-9-11-attacksHistorians and economists both acknowledge the role of Black Swans in human history.

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:

Biblical examples of Black Swan events:holy-cross-justice-icon-of-the-resurrection

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- Good or Bad?

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.

Taming the Black Swan

Once one accepts the existence and powerful role of Black Swan events in human history, the next logical question becomes- can we possibly prepare for these events and/or influence these events?
Slide1

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.

Back to Who Is In Charge?

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?Slide1

No!
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

or

Taming the Black SwanAmerica Prays

The solution is simple;

  • Stay close to God through prayer
  • Trust God with patience
  • Play by God’s rules, even in the face of impossible odds (God does the rest)

Simple formula for Elections

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.Slide1

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.

ballotpedia2-630x286Do your homework; use a neutral source like BALLOTPEDIA.

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.Slide1

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.

Reporting History

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.God Bless America

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.

Interconnection Between Church and State

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.

An Optimistic Future

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.

 

Related Posts:

The Missing Link – Redefining How We Approach Politics

Pope Francis Takes On Obama

Political Puzzle Pieces Falling into Place

Enjoying the Progress? Join the Prayer

Global Adoration- Say What?

 

 

 

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

Slide1

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

Slide3

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.

 

 

 

Setting The Record Straight

PART I

or

Is Doug Erickson a George Soros Henchman?

Slide1It seems that the liberal media takes every opportunity to misrepresent and malign Catholicism. A person can grow weary trying to keep up with setting the record straight, but here we go again…

Don’t Diss My Church!

Below is another recent misrepresentation/false accusation leveled by media at my Church.

Madison’s Wisconsin State Journal, Gays and Baptism

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.

IMG_1095The Catholic Church Postion

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.

GLN_Holy_Name_protest_2011

Gay Protests at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago

Same-Sex Parents and Godparents

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.

Gay Attitude Towards 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.

Wisconsin State Journal is Surprised

Slide1

Typical Wisconsin State Journal article trashing Catholicism

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.

Wisconsin State Journal Promotes Fringe Radicals

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. Slide1

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.

Grasping At Straws

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.

20,000 Signatures

Were the 20,000 signatures from Madison?Slide1
No.
Were 20,000 signatures from Catholics?
No.
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.

Slide3

Doug Erickson
George Soros Henchman or Wisconsin State Journal Religion Reporter?

Funded by WHOM?

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.

Destructive Versus Constructive GroupsSlide1

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.

George Soros

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.

Slide1

Soros Biography by Dr. Joy Tiz

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.

Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal

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.

 

Gay Marriage:

Activist Judge Logic Versus Monsignor Logic

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Gay Marriage in the United States

Slide2

GOVERNMENT BY … THE PEOPLE?… BY EXECUTIVE ORDER?… BY PROGRESSIVE PROCLAMATION?

The Obama administration has been promoting the gay agenda for some time now, including the 2011 White House announcement of it’s intention not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  DOMA is a federal law that allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under laws of other states.

By refusing to defend DOMA, the White House fails to defend and enforce the law of the United States, taking upon itself the authority to override laws which have been passed by Congress, to override laws which represent the people of the United States.

In fact, lawsuits are in progress against President Obama over his abuse of executive authority, particularly abuse of executive orders.

Gay Marriage in Wisconsin

Similar things are happening in Wisconsin.

In November of 2006, 59% of the voters in Wisconsin approved an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage or any substantially similar legal status.  The people of Wisconsin had spoken, and gay marriage was banned in Wisconsin.

On June 6, 2014,  Federal Judge Barbara Crabb single-handedly annulled the will of the people.  She ruled  that Wisconsin’s  ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.

Aside: To complicate things, her ruling did not remove the ban; it simply declared the ban unconstitutional.  When hopeful county clerks in Madison began issuing marriage licenses to hopeful same-sex couples, Judge Crabb had to restate the fact that  she had not issued an injunction allowing marriage licenses to be issued. Gay marriage was still “on hold” in Wisconsin.

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Background on this Judge

Judge Crabb was appointed by Democrat President Jimmy Carter in 1979, and “unexpectedly” took on Senior Status  in 2009 with President Obama’s approval.  Her stated intent for switching to Senior Status was to continue her work for the court while opening up a position for another federal judge.Slide1
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Information sources Judgepedia and Wikipedia reveal that the  transition was a surprising one:
…………………….
BEFORE the switch: Judge Crabb made no noteworthy judicial rulings during her 30 year tenure as Federal Judge from 1979 to 2009.  Not one ruling was important enough to be noted by Judgepedia or Wikipedia.
ooo
AFTER the switch: She has made four extremely controversial, progressive, headline-making rulings in four years:

Judge’s Unexpected Maneuver

Judge Crabb’s surprising transition to controversial and obviously “progressive” rulings invites speculation.

Do Judge Crabb’s recent progressive rulings reflect an impartial legal judgement?
Her rulings seem to reflect instead a prejudice that has little to do with logic or the law.
Is Judge Crabb’s prejudice philosophical? Religious? Personal?

Slide2

Tipping the Scales

Could the Judge have been conscripted by a progressive organization such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation, in whose favor she has ruled more than once, and which represents only 1 per thousand atheists and one per 30,000 Americans?

oooo
Could it be that the Obama Administration recruited her to help with its progressive agenda, including President Obama’s efforts to promote the gay agenda?

ooo
What’s in it for Judge Crabb?
Why would a Judge suddenly make time for progressive controversial rulings?
Is anybody paying her, or rewarding her by some alternate means?

Regardless of her motivation, Judge Crabb started her progressive campaign with the most controversial ruling– eliminating for the first time the requirement that Judges behave impartially.
This set the stage for the chaotic rulings that followed.

What Is A Judge If Not Impartial?

A judge is a person who has the power to make decisions on cases brought before a court of law.
It is assumed that a judge rules fairly, impartially, and consistently with the rule of law.
The Wisconsin Judicial Commission’s code of judicial conduct spelled that out.
But Judge Crabb took it upon herself to reverse this requirement of a judge to be impartial.

Queen of Hearts

THE QUEEN OF HEARTS
from Alice in Wonderland

Such a decree, eliminating the requirement of impartiality for Judges, invalidates the purpose of the entire court system, and plunges society into a free-for-all-power-grab in which anyone who can bribe one judge wins.

The idea that one Judge could single-handedly make such a fundamental change in the functioning of American government is most disturbing.

The suggestion that a Judge who supports Planned Parenthood and Pro-Abortion political candidates publicly and financially could make impartial decisions on abortion as Judge is naive and unprofessional.

People who cannot limit their personal political activity in deference to the position of public trust that they hold as Judges are, by definition, not sufficiently impartial to hold the position of a Judge.

More Prejudiced Judgements (Progressive Proclamations)

Having set the stage with her first decision, having declared her right to rule without impartiality by Progressive Proclamation, Judge Crabb then went to town with subsequent prejudiced progressive proclamations, culminating now with her attempt to reverse Wisconsin’s same sex marriage ban.

Judge Crabb’s behavior since 2009 is reminiscent of the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland), the ultimate parody of impulsive and irresponsible authority.

article-2084800-0F678EA500000578-382_634x519

Obama’s 2009 Alice in Wonderland Party

Ironically, President Obama held a lavish Alice in Wonderland-themed Halloween Party at the White House in 2009, in the midst of a national recession, a party he kept secret for over two years, knowing that it would be bad PR.

Little did the nation know that the upside-down world of Alice in Wonderland, in which logic and even the laws of gravity are often reversed, would soon be the norm coming out of the White House and it’s progressive appointees.  (See also Embarrassing Women.)

The Judge’s Logic

Judge Crabb outlined the logic behind her reversal of the gay marriage ban:

  • The Judge first emphasized that the right of homosexuals to enter into a marriage contract is not related to religious teaching, to the morality of such unions, or to the ability of gay partners to maintain a marriage relationship or to raise children.
  • Then the Judge stated that the right of homosexuals to marry is related to liberty and equality, two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution.

The precise text of Judge Crabb’s justification:

This case is not about whether marriages between same-sex couples are consistent or inconsistent with the teachings of a particular religion, whether such marriages are moral or immoral or whether they are something that should be encouraged or discouraged.  It is not even about whether the plaintiffs in this case are as capable as opposite-sex couples of maintaining a committed and loving relationship or raising a family together.  Quite simply, this case is about liberty and equality the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution.

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The Fault in the Judge’s Logic

Slide1Judge Crabb’s logic is faulty.
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Her first point above argues that the right of homosexuals to enter a marriage contract is not related to their ability to fulfill that contract.
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Yet ALL legal contracts are not only related to the person’s ability to fulfill the contract, but are dependent upon the person’s ability to fulfill the contract:

  • Underage people cannot drive.
  • People with poor eyesight cannot be airplane pilots.
  • People without necessary qualifications cannot teach, cannot design bridges, practice at hospitals, or become police officers.

The Judge’s second point, that the right to marry is related to liberty and equality also fails the logic test.

ALL citizens in the United States are allowed to marry, to marry a person of the opposite sex, in the manner that marriage has been defined by, globally by all cultures for millennia.

The question here is whether a court has the right to redefine marriage, and what the legal consequences of such a redefinition could be.
Judge Crabb seems to have missed this fact, as she does not discuss the right of the court to redefine marriage, nor the legal implications of such a redefinition in her ruling.

Aside: the legal ramifications of the redefinition of marriage would, in fact,  redefine our entire society- see Bishop Morlino in Redefining Marriage Has Domino Effect on Family , Matt Barber in  Marriage Equality = Marriage Extinction, and What’s Wrong With Gay Marriage (my previous blog post).

Monsignor LogicmsgrHolmes photo

It did not surprise me when I found a much better, more logical analysis of the legality of gay marriage in my Catholic Parish’s Sunday bulletin.  The article was not written by a lawyer, nor by a judge, but by a Catholic priest, a Monsignor.

The answer came from my favorite Monsignor, the Pastor and Rector of  my parish, Madison’s Cathedral Parish- Monsignor Kevin Holmes.
Monsignor Holmes was born in Janesville, WI,  holds graduate degrees in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and studied for the priesthood a the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.

Monsignor Holmes addressed the two most pertinent questions:

  • Why Does the State Involve Itself with Regulating Marriage
    and
  • Why Don’t Gays Have the Necessary Qualifications for Marriage?

Here is Monsignor Holmes’ very logical analysis of  why there are legitimate reasons to restrict marriage to persons of opposite sex:
(from the Cathedral Parish Sunday bulletin, June 15, 2014)

 

From The Monsignor:

Slide1Dear Friends in Christ:
I feel compelled today to return to the topic of marriage, and the recent decision of Judge Crabb that Wisconsin lacks a “legitimate reason” to restrict marriage to persons of opposite sex.
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I could say much about that in theological terms, citing the plan of the Creator. Those are important points to make, but here I want to restrict my argument to one based on reason – the kind of argument that a civil court can and ought to recognize.
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What “legitimate reason” could the State have for defining marriage as a heterosexual relationship? There is an important prior question: Why does the State take an interest in marriage at all? Marriage confers recognition and certain benefits on adult persons who choose to enter a permanent and exclusive intimate relationship with each other. Why should the State take an interest in that?
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On what basis should the State of Wisconsin prefer stable, long-term sexual relationships over multiple episodic sexual encounters? Why should the State “legislate morality” in this way? Doesn’t the State recognition of marriage deny “equal protection” (as to taxation, for example) to the sexually promiscuous? In the contemporary climate, it could plausibly be argued that all laws about marriage are unconstitutional for discriminating against those who are averse to commitment . . . unless the State has a “legitimate interest” in preferring stable sexual relationships.
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Does the State have any rational basis for that preference? Sure it does: the fact that the sexual relationship between a man and woman can produce children. The State has an objective, non-sectarian interest in promoting a new generation of healthy and virtuous citizens, as well as an interest in having children supported as to their basic needs (food, shelter) by those who are rightly responsible for them. For this reason, the State has a legitimate reason for encouraging heterosexual couples to remain in a permanent union, and it rightly recognizes and privileges marriage, which is that relationship.
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For the same reason, the State formerly had laws to protect the stability of marriage. There were laws against adultery. And in a case of marital infidelity, only the innocent party could obtain a divorce. A couple of generations ago, our demand for sexual license led the State to abdicate any responsibility to protect the stability of marriage, and now we have “no-fault divorce,” unfailingly granted at the request of either party with no justification required. I think a very good case can be made that the State’s refusal to protect the stability of marriage has been very detrimental to the culture. And if the State forgets even what marriage is, it will be far worse.
Msgr. Kevin D. Holmes

So There We Have It-
Monsignor Logic Versus Activist Judge Logic.

Sorry, Judge Crabb- Monsignor Wins!

 

Embarrassing Women

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Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Ginsberg

Much as I am usually very happy to be a woman, and much as I generally like most people, both women and men, the three female Justices of the the Supreme Court have made me very embarrassed to be a woman this week.

Margaret_Thatcher_01

The Right Honourable
The Baroness Thatcher
LG OM PC FRS
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
1979-1990
NOT an embarrasing woman

 

The whole point of women’s lib during the 1960/70′s when I grew up was to illustrate that women can be as intelligent, accomplished, and logical as men were reputed to be.  Margaret Thatcher was one example of such a competent woman.

What Have Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Ginsberg Done?

This week the three American women Supreme Court Justices, who supposedly represent America’s intellectual cream of the crop, have embarrassed all of us with their nonsensical and unprofessional behavior.

They have joined other progressive politicians in a publicly supporting a political agenda, demanding that everyone in America  pay for their birth control.

The three Justices have issued a searing dissent over a new contraceptive case (Wheaton College v. Burwell), in which they position themselves in opposition to the rest of the Supreme Court (comprised of men), thus implying that the Supreme Court does not treat women fairly and that these three ladies women represent the “oppressed” women of the United States.  Such an implication is unprofessional hogwash, unsuitable to a Supreme Court Justice, and to a woman.

Why is This SO Embarrassing?

Why is this SO embarrassing?
This is SO embarrassing because the 3 Justices have been inaccurate, biased, illogical and misleading in several ways:so-embarrassed-56718,1366x768,56718

  • These 3 progressive Justices do NOT represent all women.  50% or more of women are conservative, pro-life and pro-religion.  At least half of all women in the United States oppose the progressive political agenda, so the 3 Justices have no valid claim on representing women.  When the claim to represent women, their claims are inaccurate.
  • These 3 biased Justices misrepresent justice, since they are siding against religious freedom, against the First Amendment, and against the 80% of Americans who are religious. A biased Judge is not a competent Judge and should be impeached.
  • These 3 Justices are illogical, since they are prioritizing a cheap non-essential such as birth control ($15 to $50 per month) over essentials such as food, shelter and clothing ($1,300+ per month) , essential needs which are not provided free of charge to American citizens.  Don’t the 3 Justices realize that all American citizens are obliged to work to provide their own essential needs, unless they are physically or psychologically impaired?
    Are the Justice trying to imply that all women are physically or psychologically impaired?
    Or that nobody is obliged to work?
    How can individuals incapable of logic to this degree serve on the  Supreme Court?Slide1
  • The 3 Justices insult all women, implying that women are not capable of responsible sexual behavior without help from the government. Women who are capable of responsible behavior in every other sphere of life, in professional life, in care of children, in sitting on the Supreme Court, are not capable of managing their sexual activity without help from the government? The Justices are painting quite the unflattering and primitive picture of the American woman today- irresponsible, promiscuous, and helpless in managing her own life.
  • The 3 Justices seem to be confused on the definition of a right, if they do not realize that the Constitution cannot guarantee any rights to material needs without specifying whose duty it is to pay for this “right.”
    How can one able citizen be required to pay for the needs of another able citizen?
    Which citizens must pay for how many other citizens?
    How can anything be decided by a Supreme Court that does not understand the difference between rights and needs?

Such irrational behavior on the part of the 3 female Justices is an embarrassment to us all, but particularly to women.
Instead of being a credit to women as Margaret Thatcher was, they have promoted the old terrible stereotype- the illogical, unreasonable, demanding, nagging woman.
Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ruth Ginsberg have let all women down.

 Pubic Reaction

Not surprising, then, to see this pubic reaction to the 3 Justice’s published dissent:

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MSNBC, the First Lady, and the Gas Engine

or
Why Progressives are Regressives and Conservatives Make the Progress

Guess WhatTrying to Get a Balanced Picture of the News

So, in my usual scanning of diverse news sources to get a balanced view of the news, I looked at the MSNBC headlines, and guess what I found?

Two headlines which begged to be linked together:

Why Would the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) Be Linked to a Gas Engine?

FLOTUS begs linkage to a gas engine because she promotes the school lunch programs in which students are widely known to throw away lunches and try to abandon the lunch programs altogether, while the MSNBC’s Gas Engine article below the FLOTUS headline claims the engine can be fueled by, among other things, discarded school lunches!

Feeding Sandwiches to an EngineSlide1

The scientist and the conservative in me had to kick in, and I had to investigate the possibility and the cost- effectiveness of feeding an engine with school lunches.
Long story short, and sparing you the details and calculations (contact me if you want them), it boils down to this-

Let’s acknowledge that sandwiches and gasoline, being hydrocarbon-derived, do actually have a similar energy density, or energy available per pound of each material.
So, if you could put discarded sandwiches into your gas tank and burned them efficiently, that might provide some energy.
Points for progressive ideas.

But you can’t put a sandwich directly into your gas tank and burn it efficiently.  Conservatives are needed to do the thinking!
Reality must be addressed.

What does it take to burn a sandwich in your gas tank?

In order to use school lunches in the GE engine described in the MSNBC (GE-sponsored) article (and yes, GE ads are now masquerading as top headlines at MSNBC), there are several steps involved:

  • The sandwich has to be industrially fermented by microorganisms to produce methane (a gas with 72 times higher global warming potential than CO2; oops, big progressive no-no! This would beg the question whether sandwich fermentors had to pay a flatulence tax. ).  The factory doing the fermenting also uses power and equipment which requires power to be manufactured and to run.Slide1
  • The methane then has to be burned in a GE engine, an engine that also requires power and natural resources to manufacture.

So, yes, your discarded school lunches could be used to run a gas engine.

What is the Cost of this Discarded Sandwich Fuel?

Initial cost: the average school lunch, about $3 per pound, already costs 7x higher than the cost of gasoline (43 cents per pound).
Next, we need to account for the intermediate costs involved in industrial processing to convert to methane and transport it to the power plant.  A generous estimate might be 10-15% efficient.  So, the use of discarded school lunches to fuel engines will cost at least 70 times more than using gasoline.

How would you like to pay for school lunch gasoline at $280 per gallon?  BTW, we taxpayers also had to pay for the discarded school lunch.

An Alternative Approach

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Sage Kokjohn, Rolf Reitz, Reed Hanson, inventors of RCCI

My husband Rolf Reitz  is a scientist and a conservative.
He has spent his entire career, together with other dedicated scientists, developing a process called RCCI, which is causing quite the stir in the automotive industry today.

RCCI increases the efficiency of the internal combustion engine by about 30% while reducing pollutant emissions at the same time.   The reduced emissions reduce the cost of engines dramatically, because expensive exhaust after-treatment is no longer needed.

If implemented in our entire fleet overnight, the RCCI process would eliminate United States need for import of Persian oil.  The United States would practically be self reliant in our energy needs.

Incidentally, the RCCI process is also compatible with numerous alternative fuels, which may be developed in the future.  It can even be compatible with the methane produced from Michelle Obama’s discarded school lunches.

The Difference Between a Progressive and a Conservative

Our progressive First Lady and progressive MSNBC have many good intentions and creative dreams.  Unfortunately, most of them, like this one, are completely unrealistic.  Also unfortunately, the First Lady and MSNBC pressure others to pay for their ideas, and to do the work.

The First Lady’s husband, our President, is about to use his Executive Order privileges to dictate a mandatory 20% reduction in carbon emissions from coal-fired electric plants.   This reduction is deemed totally unnecessary by thousands of scientists, who reject catastrophic global warming claims, believing them not to be supported by science.  This reduction would also represent a regression for the United States economy and for our energy supply.Slide1
Progressives falsely claim that 97% of scientists support global warming theories, when in actual fact alarmists are in the minority,and 60% of meteorologists (weather experts) see no potential threat.

So progressives dream, ignore facts and demand the impossible.  They insist on trying to achieve their goals without supporting, reasoned analysis.
Often their idealistic dreams boomerang, come back as nightmares, and implode their wishful plans.  That’s what’s been happening to President Obama recently.
His initial 2008 success, his popularity, and everything associated with him, including ObamaCare, have been failing and imploding, despite all the hopes, dreams and good intentions he had at the start.

Progressives turn out to be regressives, making no progress and dragging the entire nation with them into tragic regression instead, both economic and moral.

What Would a Conservative Do? 

A conservative also abhors waste, but instead of indulging in fruitless wishful thinking, spends the time analyzing the problem.  That is how sustainable solutions are reached.

This is what can happen when conservatives roll up their sleeves and get to work, rather than looking to the government for solutions.  They provide the government with solutions, rather than asking government for handouts.

The Tables Are Turned

Today, Progressives make no progress.  They cause regression instead, so let’s call them Regressives.
Conservatives should be called Progressive; they make progress by taking charge and by solving problems.

Time for Conservatives to Take Charge!
There are some elections coming! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Do With a Man Called Putin?

Putin’s Chilling Antics

Putin’s recent military incursions into the Ukraine, exhibiting as they do a terrifying similarity to Hitler’s invasion of Poland prior to World War II, have put the entire Western World on edge.

President Obama seems at times at a loss of what to do (despite the fact that he has more flexibility after the election), and Putin seems to be running circles around everyone with his deceptions.

5317b12ab9704.preview-620What is a nation to do?
What is the United States to do?
What is NATO and the European Union (EU) to do?
How do we avoid provoking World War III, yet help and defend the hundreds of Ukrainians who are dying for freedom right now?
How far will Putin dare to go?
What does Putin want?

When In Doubt

When in doubt, ask an expert.
Ask someone who has been there, who has done that.
In this case, ask Lithuania.

Slide1Lithuania

Lithuania might be a small nation, but it has a record of strength, determination and success that is matched by few.
Lithuania was the first nation to revolt against Soviet control in 1991, when the dissolution of the Soviet Union began.
Since then, Lithuania has grown it’s economy, prospered, joined the European Union, joined NATO, has headed the European Union, and is adopting the Euro in 2015.

Lithuania is the mouse that roared, the David that slew Goliath.  Or Mighty Mouse!

Lithuania-Russia

This amazing success was recently recognized in The Economist, and was recognized by President Obama as well.

Got Putin’s Number

Lithuania knows well the ex-Soviet giant which enslaved her for 50 years, and under whose shadow Lithuania has managed to achieve the remarkable prosperity described above.

The long-feared risk that Russia could use energy as a political weapon has encouraged20140503_gdc831 Lithuania to come up with  energy alternatives. Lithuania has long been preparing for tactics from Putin such as those being used in the Ukraine today.

Not only has Lithuania allied herself with Western nations politically and economically, but by 2015, Lithuania will also have the potential for complete energy independence from Russia, which supplies the bulk of Europe’s energy needs.

So Lithuania not only has Putin’s number, but Lithuania knows how to anticipate Putin’s thinking and how to strategize in self-defense.

Comrade Putin

Vladimir_Putin_-_2006Vladimir Putin was an intelligence officer for the KGB prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Later, he became head of the Federal Security, an arm of the former KGB.
When the Soviet Union was dismantled in 1991, it is doubtful that Vladimir Putin was instantly transformed from master of KGB espionage (political, economic, military-strategic and disinformation-based) into magnanimous defender of truth, liberty and freedom.

Lithuania knows the tactics Putin is familiar with, understands the psychology of the KGB, and has demonstrated a success record in defeating the giant out of whose shadow Lithuania has emerged.
Lithuania has not only emerged from the shadow successfully herself, but works to offer the same opportunities to other nations.  Upon joining the UN Security Council, to the dismay of Moscow, Lithuania embarked on discussing the Ukraine.
Lithuania has courage.

Lithuanian Ambassador in Madison

Lithuania’s ambassador to the United States, Žygimantas Pavilionis,  just visited Madison last week, to honor the 25th anniversary of Madison’s Sister City relationship with Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital.  Madison was the first city to form Sister City ties with Vilnius.  Madison did this during Lithuania’s struggle for independence, one year before Lithuania declared independence from Soviet domination in 1991. So Madison is a very special friend to Lithuania.

Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis

Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis

Ambassador Žygimantas Pavilionis gave a seminar at UW, and was guest of honor at a Madison-Vilnius Sister Cities banquet at the Madison Club, which we were fortunate to attend. Ambassador Pavilionis was interviewed by Mary Jo Ola at Channel 3000 News:

Ambassador Pavilionis calls Putin’s actions in the Ukraine “the convulsions of the KGB in the Kremlin” which are destined to fail because the “corrupted KGB regime is afraid of it’s own people… it is afraid the same revolution will happen in the Kremlin… Being occupied by Soviets for 50 years, we (Lithuanians) know that it doesn’t work.  If the people go to the streets, if fear is disappearing, that’s the end (for Soviets). … Putin is making a strategic mistake.”

Sanctions? – Ambassador Pavilionis does not think that sanctions will be enough.  We will have to support Ukrainians by military means, because unfortunately, Russians will go to the line we draw.  But at the same time, we  also have to be strategic, we have to say whether the EU will accept the Ukraine as a member state, whether NATO will be enlarged to the east, and if we don’t have that strategic clarity, those autocracies or corrupted powers, they will just be moving forward.  We have to stop them.

 

LT_tank010-e1357604832350

Soviet tank crushing peaceful Lithuanian demonstrators, 1991

Ambassador Paviolionis has been involved in the government and development of Lithuania since the freedom-fighting days, when Soviet tanks crushed Lithuanian freedom demonstrators under their tracks.  He is a fan of Ronald Regan and of Saint John Paul the Great, who together facilitated the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Lithuanian Ambassador in Washington

Ambassador Pavilionis lives in Washington, D.C., in the second oldest embassy building in Washington, which has housed a Lithuanian ambassador and flown a Lithuanian flag  for 90 years.  The embassy was maintained and the Lithuanian flag was flown, at times without funds and without heat,  throughout the 50 year Soviet occupation of Lithuania.  The United States and the Holy See were the only two places in the world who completely recognized Lithuania during the Soviet occupation.

This Lithuanian embassy is 2.5 miles, or 9 minutes away from the White House.  So when it comes to consulting on what to do with Putin, where should President Obama go?

Lessons on Putin-Handling

Lithuania is the mouse that roared, the David that slew Goliath, even better, the Putin-whisperer.
So what do we do about Putin?
Consult Lithuania.
It takes a Lithuanian to stand up to Putin.

Syte Reitz encounters Vlad Putin in London at Madame Tussaud's

Syte Reitz encounters Vlad Putin in London at Madame Tussauds

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Above All, Pray!

2-jpII_04 - 1993

St. John Paul the Great Praying at Lithuania’s Hill of Crosses, 1993

 Apsaugok, Aukščiausias, tą mylimą šalį,
Kur mūsų sodybos, kur bočių kapai!
Juk tėviška Tavo malonė daug gali!
Mes Tavo per amžius suvargę vaikai.
-Maironis

 

 Small show of solidarity :600 American Troops sent to Lithuania:

We were privileged to meet and speak with Ambassador Pavilionis:

IMG_3278

Tom Reitz, Syte Reitz, Zygimantas Pavilionis, Rolf Reitz
Madison Club, Madison, WI

Education in Lithuania:

Business in Lithuania:

 

Slide1

Seriously, That Was Obama’s Response!

Above is Obama’s verbatim response to receiving a copy of Evangelii Gaudium, a 240 page Apostolic Exhortation written by Pope Francis.
And what did Obama give to Pope Francis in exchange for this moral challenge?
Carrot seeds.

Carrot Seeds?

Yes, probably Michelle’s carrot seeds.
Presumably President Obama thought that carrot seeds from the new White House garden established by Michelle would serve as a suitable memento of this historic visit.
Ironically, the carrot seeds came in a box which represented the very religious freedom that President Obama is in the process of trampling.
The box was made from the timbers from the Basilica of the Assumption, the first Cathedral built in the United States, built in tribute to religious freedom.
President Obama is currently fighting 91 religious liberty lawsuits.
One can only speculate on President Obama’s intent in giving Pope Francis a box made from Basilica of the Assumption timbers.
We hope he was not thumbing his nose at Pope Francis, as he did to President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Cardinal Dolan when he summoned the Cardinal to the White House and lied blatantly to him in the early days of ObamaCare.

Details of the Historic Meeting between Francis and Obama

Barbara Boland of CNS News summarized the Pope’s meeting with President Obama perceptively in an article entitled Obama Gives Pope Vegetable Seeds, Francis Gives Obama Writings on Morality:

CNS on Obama & the Pope

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Obama Gives Pope Vegetable Seeds, Francis Gives Obama Writings on Morality

 

The text:

President Obama met with Pope Francis for the first time this morning, and the two leaders exchanged gifts – Obama gave Francis fruit and vegetable seeds, and the Pope gave Obama a copy of Evangelii Gaudium.
At the beginning of their meeting, before the gift exchange, President Obama sat down at Francis’ desk and said, “It is a great honor. I’m a great admirer. Thank you so much for receiving me.”
Obama gave Francis a symbolic gift of seeds from the White House fruit and vegetable garden.
“These I think are carrots,” Obama said as held a seed pouch. “Each one has a different seed in it. The box is made from timber from the first cathedral to open in the United States in Baltimore.”

The seeds came in a custom engraved chest, made with wood from the United States’ first cathedral, Baltimore’s Basilica of the Assumption. That basilica was designed as a tribute to religious freedom and was built by Bishop John Carroll and Benjamin Latrobe, the architect of the U.S. Capitol.

“If you have a chance to come to the White House, we can show you our garden, as well,” Obama added.
“The Pope, responding in Spanish, said “Como no?” (For Sure!)” AP reported.
The Pope’s gift to Obama were two commemorative medals and a red leather-bound copy of Evaneglii Gaudium, which Pope Francis frequently gifts to heads of state. Francis wrote the exhortation last year, and it contains strong condemnations of abortion as well as asking the faithful to care for the poor.

From the AP:“You know, I will probably read this in the Oval Office when I am deeply frustrated and I am sure that it will give me strength and calm me down,” Obama said.
The pope responded in English, “I hope.”

According to the Vatican Information Service, Obama and Pope Francis discussed issues as “religious freedom, life and consciences objection” – hot topics in light of the current Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius Supreme Court case deciding whether government can compel business owners to act in violation of their religious beliefs:

In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between Church and State, the Parties discussed questions of particular relevance for the Church, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform. Finally, the Parties stated their common commitment to the eradication of human trafficking throughout the world.

 What’s Next for the Pope?

Pope Francis will be hearing confessions in St. Peter’s Basilica tomorrow, as part of his global “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative, which encourages all dioceses to have at least one parish open all day and night tomorrow, March 28th, so that anyone can go to Confession.

Watch out world, we all know what happens each time this Pope initiates a global spiritual  initiative!
See:

Slide1What’s Next for President Obama?

President Obama will be touring the Colloseum, the place where countless Christians were fed to lions.
The ultimate irony, since Cardinal Burke, the Vatican’s Chief Justice, recently declared that Obama’s policies are “Progressively More Hostile Toward Christian Civilization.”

 

 

 

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