Monthly Archives: July 2009

Prayer for Married Couples from the Book of Tobit

“Blessed are you, O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever. Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever. You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended. You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself.’ Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age. . . .  Amen, amen.” (Tobit 8:5-8)

My solution to fixing the economy

If government really wanted to help people, rather than taking over new industries, it could help the poor and improve the economy by using the industry it already controls: education.

My proposal would be that any degree leading to certain necessary career functions should be free.  Namely, anything you can get with an associate’s degree (e.g., nursing, computer repair, electrical, plumbing, contracting, carpentry, automotive), teaching, or any medical degree. 

First, by saving the people in these careers from exorbitant student loan bills, we can cut out a major incentive for the fees they charge us for their necessary services.

Secondly, this would give an incentive for more people to pursue these careers.  The more people out there doing these jobs, the less they will cost.  Better yet, people will study these things to learn how to do them themselves.

Why I do not support “universal health care” at the federal level

1.  It goes against the Social Justice Encyclicals.  “WHAT?”  you ask?  “That’s impossible!”  But it does: one of the most consistent teachings of the Popes, found also in Chestertonian Distributism, is that workers should have an “ownership” of their labor, that those who do the work should have the ultimate say in the business.  Ask public school teachers if they have a sense of ownership in their labor.

2.  It goes against subsidiarity, as well as the Tenth Amendment.  It’s none of the federal government’s business.  It’s a state or local matter.

3.  “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”: socialized medicine is just another way for the federal government to increase its power.  Like every new bureaucracy, it will add more political appointments for politicians to reward people with.  More tax money for them to play with.   Again, has the US Department of Education done anything to improve education in the 30 years it’s existed?  And when Reagan came to power, promising to abolish it, did he?  No.  He realized it represented new power for him to push his personal agendas with.

4.  Does anyone *really* think the Democrats will let it pass without including abortion?  And is anyone bothering to say they won’t support it if it funds contraception?

5.  We already have socialized medicine.  It’s called Medicaid, and it stinks.  But just about anyone who really needs healthcare will qualify for it.

6.  Rationing, eugenics and euthanasia: as Oregon, the UK, Canada, the Netherlands and other places that have socialized medicine have demonstrated, it comes with great cost to those who have serious health conditions, genetic disorders and severe disabilities.  We’ve already seen how Obama’s original HHS appointee, Tom Daschle, supports a national committee to establish standards for denying care to those who are most seriously ill.

7.  Vaccines and embryonic stem cell research, or even natural child birth: socialized medicine will take away our freedom of choice in our own medical care.  We will have less freedom to conscientiously object to any procedures we disagree with .  As it is, federal standards are often cited by doctors who refuse to let patients conscientiously object.

8.  Every person I’ve talked to who has actually lived in a country with socialized medicine, even those who say they are supporters of it, will admit that there are huge waiting lists for what we now consider basic tests like MRIs and CT Scans, as well as for seeing specialists and definitely having major surgery. 

All they need to do is make it easier for those who need it to qualify for Medicaid, and give tax credits for private health insurance.

St. Teresa of Avila on Suffering

“For in order to serve the Lord Himself, one should desire to suffer here below and live with the Lord’s affliction” (Way of Perfection, Ch. 19, para. 12).

The 2012 Campaign Begins: And Obama is vulnerable.

A recent Rasmussen Poll says that, if the 2012 election were held today, Obama would tie Mitt Romney and only slightly beat out Sarah Palin if either one won the Republican nomination.

Again: Obama’s popularity is a myth. It’s just that he has a devoted following–of only about 26% of the voting population.

Why do I see so many articles from the UK on Marfan syndrome fundraisers?

It seems that most of the Marfan syndrome related news that pops up on my news search is from the UK. So many articles about people in the UK dying from Marfan syndrome because they didn’t get the proper diagnosis or treatment. Articles about people raising money to save the lives of people with Marfan syndrome. . . . .

Socialized medicine is great, isn’t it?

Taking the Junior Marf to Charleston

Not much posting today, except for what may have been posted earlier.

It’s storming tonight, and I’ve got to go to bed early to take Allie to an eye appointment in Charleston.

She had her year follow up to her surgery in June, and they weren’t able to measure her eyes.  Her right eye is still so weak she couldn’t hold it still for the one method, and then she wouldn’t hold her head still for the other method.  My mom said, “If I give you five bucks, will you do it?”
She said, “Not for 300 bucks!”

The Feast of Mary, Mother of Divine Grace

Today on the Carmelite Calendar is the Feast of Mary, Mother of Divine Grace.  Why we have another Marian feast a week after Our Lady of Mt. Carmel beats me.  Same reason we have the feast of the other Spiritual Founder, St. Elijah, less than a week apart, too, I guess.

Anyway, since Mary is Mary Grace, we’ve always figured this is kind of her “official” feast day of her full name.

It’s also a feast for all you homeschoolers out there who use the Mother of Divine Grace Academy.

“They hate her, they really really hate her”

Please understand: if you don’t want to vote for Sarah Palin if she runs  for office again, fine.  But I think that anyone concerned about family values/subsidiarity/the pro-life movement should see significance in the way the media, the Democrats and the Republican leadership passionately hate this woman

Candidates rarely come back after losing an election for President *or* Vice President: Kemp, anyone?  Quayle?  Kerry?  Mondale? Ferraro?  Dukakis?  Bentsen?  

McCain and Palin *lost*, yet the media still kept hounding her. 
15 “ethics inquiries” cleared of all charges, over a half million dollars in personal legal bills and millions of dollars in taxpayer and party money spent to clear those frivolous charges, and *not one* proved even grounded.

An accusation does not guilt make.  Obama won’t even provide the documentation required to get a driver’s license, much less be president, and those of us demanding that he produce it are called fanatics and conspiracy crackpots.

Meanwhile, this woman who, at worst, is no more corrupt than every other politician in the known world is maliciously calumniated.   Funny that a woman whose husband resigned from a lucrative job at BP so she wouldn’t be accused of having a conflict of interest as governor, a woman who increased taxes on Big Oil in Alaska, cut government perks, ticked off numerous lobbies and ousted all sorts of corrupt state and local officials in her career, is being labelled “corrupt.”

So, between the malicious “ethics inquiries,” combined with personal attacks on her children, Palin resigned.  Resigned to protect her children.  Resigned to end the frivolous ethics inquiries that were interfering with state business (hey–whatever you think of the various investigations of Slick Willie, did Bill Clinton ever offer to resign?)   Resigned so she could start raising money to pay her legal debts and start fighting the cultural battle against these people freed from the constraints and dignities of political office.

Now what?

Do they sit back and declare victory?  Do they rest satisifed?

Nope.

Now, even though she’s resigned, they’ve filed an ethics complaint against her because of the independent fund started to pay off her debts!!!!!

In his report, Daniel said his interpretation of the ethics act is consistent with common sense.

An ordinary citizen facing legal charges is not likely to be able to generate donations to a legal defense fund, he wrote. “In contrast, Governor Palin is able to generate donations because of the fact that she is a public official and a public figure. Were it not for the fact that she is governor and a national political figure, it is unlikely that many citizens would donate money to her legal defense fund.”

Yeah, but she wouldn’t have suffered these attacks if she were an “ordinary person,” either.

If Obama were Bush

Patrick Madrid has posted a forward listing the varoius blunders of Komrade Barack Obama during his mere five months as president, noting that any one of those would have been national headlines if Bush had done them.  Some of the highlights:

1.  I didn’t realize Obama *installed* a teleprompter in the Press Room. I thought the teleprompter thing was a bit exaggerated, taking for granted that they all spoke from teleprompters.

2.  They take him to task for giving Queen Elizabeth an IPod of his speeches–tacky, but isn’t that the same as the Pope giving Obama copies of his encyclicals?

3.  Obama kept saying, “Cinco de Cuatro” when he was in Mexico on Cuatro de Mayo (fourth of May).

4.  Burned 9000 gallons of jet fuel to plant one tree on earth day

5.  Referred to the “Austrian” language

6.  Doubling the national debt, and planning to double it again in 10 years

7.  Failed ot send aid to flood victims in the Midwest, where the tally of dead and homeless outnumbers New Orleans after Katrina.

The strange case of Bayard Rustin

Not many people know about Bayard Rustin.  We just learned of him recently.  He was a major figure in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and a major figure in several other leftist movements.

Initially a Communist, because the Communists supported desegregation, Rustin switched to being  a socialist when the USSR told the Communist Party USA to drop civil rights in favor of an anti-war stance during World War II.

This, in and of itself, is an example of how communists and socialists are really the same thing under different names, just arguing over particulars.

Rustin was an open homosexual and was arrested for sodomy on at least one occasion.

He later helped Martin Luther King, Jr., organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 

Rustin helped organize the March on Washington, and Strom Thurmond decried him as a “Communist, draft-dodger and homosexual,” releasing a photograph of Rustin talking to King while King was in the bathtub–certainly a situation of indecency.

Then, guess what?

In the early 1970s, this upstanding citizen, who was not even a Catholic, and was, if any sort of Christian, a Quaker, served as a member of the board of directors of none other than the University of Notre Dame.

Oh, and he died in 1987 of a perforated appendix.  I wonder how that happened?

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., arrested

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., was arrested last week for breaking into his own home.  I’ve watched several of Gates’ documentaries, and they’re very good, although he comes off as a jerky American when dealing with people from other countries.

While I’m happy to see any liberal professor, regardless of race, going to prison justly, what happened to Gates last week deserves some consideration.

Gates was returning from a trip out of the country, and found his front door stuck.  So he tried to force the door open, while his companion went around the back.  He lives on campus at Harvard.

A neighbor saw “two black men with backpacks” trying to force their way into the home and called the cops.

When the police arrived, Gates was on the phone with the property manager.  He showed them various forms of ID and had the property manager on the phone to vouch for him.  But the police arrested him, anyway, for being “disorderly”!

Doesn’t a person have a right to be disorderly in his own home when it is being invaded by the Gestapo?

Anyone concerned about civil liberties, our growing Police State or human dignity should be concerned about this. 

Yes, race was a major factor, but so was the fact that most police are a) stupid, barely educated louts and b) bullies.  That’s the main reason people become cops: so they can bully.

When Gianna was a baby, Mary got accosted by our crazy neighbor on her way home from morning Mass.  He stood in front of our house, jumping up and down, screaming at her and threatening her.  We called the cops.  The officer who arrived said it wasn’t a crime to block entrance to our home or to verbally threaten her.

Then he jumped and started going for his gun!

“I just saw something move upstairs!  You said you were the only people in this house!”
“That’s the dog,” I sighed.

Then there were the cops who pulled me over in TN last Christmas for turning around in an empty parking lot at midnight because I was lost in the fog.  Even when I *asked* them for help because I was lost, they said, “We’ve had a lot of robberies here, and we have to be safe.”  They searched me, searched my van, scrutinized my belongings, and held me without cause for 40 minutes while they checked my name in their computers.

Having given the anti-police side of the story, here is the police report (cop doesn’t know the meaning of the word “behalf”, but that’s another matter).

As I said above, Gates comes off as quite a jerk in his videos, shouting over people, calling native Africans “brother” and getting looks in reaction like, “What a weirdo!”, being rude to Muslims and Christians who didn’t want him filming inside their holy sites, etc.

So, there is another side to this story: the one where Gates is shouting over the officer, demanding his name, then shouting over him while he gave his name.  He says Gates immediately started shouting “racist” as soon as he showed up.

I can appreciate Gates’ anger, but he definitely took it over the top–if the police report is accurate.

What I don’t get is: didn’t the neighbor recognize him?

Commonweal Respects Jimmy Carter more than Pope Benedict XVI

That’s the real story in this piece about how former mediocre president Jimmy Carter has severed his ties with the Southern Baptist Convention (apparently for the second time) over complaints about the SBC’s “treatement” of women and gays, and the liberal commentors on Commonweal’s blog agree with each other that the Catholic Church is also guilty of such sins against “equality.”

The question is: who sets the standard? 

As I’ve noted before, C. S. Lewis said the challenge of the modern Christian was dealing with subjectivism.  The traditional approach of Christian missionaries was to appeal to the sense of guilt people already had, and the sense of the supernatural they already had, and to show that a) Jesus was the reality, and b) Jesus offers forgiveness.

Lewis said we need a new approach to evangelization to deal with those who don’t believe in the supernatural and don’t believe they need to be saved from their sins.

Now, postmodernism offers a whole other problem: an inverted natural law.  The situatoin is more like Chesterton’s dictum that tolerance is the virtue of the man with no convictions.  The New Natural Law inverts secondary principles of the old Natural Law to the judgement of the greater ones: so Equality, and Tolerance, and “Dignity” (but a fales dignity) are the standards by which even religions are to be judged.

But where do those standards come from?

Liberals like Carter and the Commonweal staff and readership take these principles for granted: but how do they justify those principles?

How swine flu is being used to push communion in the hand

Catholic Cartoon Blog reports that some countries are requiring Communion in the hand as a way of allegedly preventing infection by swine flu.

This is how the destroyers of the Faith work. They seize on any opportunity to make it work towards their ends.

First, communion in the hand was introduced. Then, after the horses were out of the barn, it was approved.

Then, when Tradition begins to push back, they mandate standing as the “norm” to receive communion. Was there really some need to mandate standing? Other than spite?

Will communion in the hand be mandated soon, based on some backdoor “need”? Naturally, they’d say “Well, we understand those who like to receive on the tongue, but due to (insert excuse here), we need to have everyone receive in the hand.

Disclosing a disability to a potential employer

Here’s an interesting piece pondering when disabled people should disclose their disabilities to potential or new employers.

Here’s what I know from experience: when I’ve gone to interviews on foot, I haven’t gotten the job.  Every job I’ve gotten, I’ve gone to the interview in a wheelchair.  Interviewers have even said, “That explains the holes in your resume.”  When they look at my resume and think, “Able bodied, ” they see “holes.”  When they look at my resume and think, “Disabled,” they see, “Look what he’s achieved!”

That said, it’s quite interesting to see that it’s illegal for employers to ask if you need any accomodations on the job application, as I have filled out applications that asked that very question.

Catholic Key Blog asks: “Why welcome a child doomed soon to die?”

Now, the author’s point in this fantastic post is how his mind was changed by seeing a couple welcome such a child.

And I give the fellow credit for saying that his concern would be having to watch his wife endure pregnancy and childbirth only to see the child die.  That’s better than, “I can’t bear to watch the child suffer.”

But the basic question I always ask of this mentality is:
Aren’t all children destined to die?
How do you know your child won’t be born with the umbilical cord tied around his or her neck?
How do you know your child won’t get a disease and die in the first months of life, or die in a tragic accident?

We are all born into this world to die.  It’s as simple as that.  Whether it’s sooner or later, every child born in the womb is born to die.

This is NFP Awareness Week

July 19-July 25 is NFP awarness week (July 25 being the anniversary of Humanae Vitae). 
What a great time to share the Church’s teachings with those you know!

“Country Club Republicans”?

Apparently, Ron Paul has called Sarah Palin a “Country Club Republican,” saying that her lack of overt criticism of globalism implies support thereof.   Yet Palin herself endorsed Ron Paul in the primary.  And I don’t see how there is much need for infighting at this level of the conservative movement.

I like this part, though:

On reflection, it is the country club Republicans who have been most critical of Sarah Palin. That would be the Peggy Noonans, the David Frums and the Colin Powells of the GOP’s Vichy wing.

Who really cares about “social justice”?

As with the theme I’ve been on the past day or so, one of the red flags that always strikes me about liberal Catholics is that it’s a lot easier to demand that other pepole’s money be taxed, or to call for non-violent overthrow of dictatorships in some other country, than to deal with the people *right there.*

Those Catholics who are most vocal about “social justice” will look on the disabled and sick in their own parish and scoff. The nun who made a big deal about Oxfam and Habitat for Humanity who would mock the man with Down’s syndrome who attended daily Mass. . . .

You may hear a priest preach against the “rich” or against the Republicans.

You may hear a priest preach for something called “stewardship,” which usually amounts to giving money to the latest building fund.

But do you ever hear a priest preach about the demand that all Christians embrace the counsel of poverty? Do you hear a priest preach about the need for self sacrifice or the need to *personally* give to the poor?

Not at the normal Novus Ordo parish. Oh, I know one priest I’ve heard say those things: Fr. James Haley, and he was silenced.

Now, go to a traditionalist parish, and it’s quite another matter.

At a traditional Latin Mass, you’ll hear a sermon on some point of doctrine (even the touchy ones), or on some point of morality (even the touchy ones), or on self-sacrifice, or on caring for those less fortunate. You aren’t likely to hear a liberal exegesis of how Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes by getting people to share. You aren’t likely to hear a priest expressing hope for the death of the Pope. You aren’t likely to hear a thinly veiled Democratic stump speech. You aren’t likely to hear a New Age self-help pep talk.

So, on July 12, we were in attendance at the Latin Mass at St. Martin’s in Louisville, KY, and the gospel of the week was the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.

The priest said how this reading has been discussed ad nauseum, and usually with one of the same basic approaches, and he was going to offer something different.

The new approach was the question of what it was like for those who *brought* the loaves and fishes Jesus used. They were the “smart ones,” the “pragmatic ones,” who brought their food in anticipation of needing it, and here Jesus was asking them to share it with those who didn’t. How they must have burned inside with resentment–or did they?

He then proceeded to talk about the need to share what we have with others, to give of ourselves till it hurts, etc.

Feast of St. Elijah the Prophet

Today is the feast of St. Elijah the Prophet, who, along with Our Lady, is considered one of the spiritual founders of the Carmelites, since the community of monks who had been at Carmel since before the Crusades but for an indeterminate length, claimed that they were following the example of Elijah, and of Elisha who based his guild of prophets from Carmel.  The historical boast of the Carmelites, of course, was that they actually *were* the direct descendants of Elisha’s guild prophets.

Anyway, Elijah’s one of the coolest figures of the Bible, and it’s great he gets a Mystery of the Rosary thanks to JPII.  I especially like the part about slaying the 300 prophets of Ba’al.