Removed From Clerical State

Finally. As in irrevocably.


(ROME) – Pope Francis has removed Theodore E. McCarrick from the clerical state. The crimes which he has been found canonically guilty of are reprehensible and sickening. To wit:

“solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.”

“Solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession,” meaning he propositioned the most vulnerable for sex while they were there seeking forgiveness for their sins. This vomitous abuse of power is indeed Satanic – a perversion of a Sacrament of Healing into Sacrilege of Harm. I don’t throw the term “satanic” around lightly. Satan cannot create, he can only pervert those goods which already exist.

I am sick to my stomach thinking about it. Does the punishment fit the crime? I cannot speak to that. My nausea tells me no. But, we do have Luke 17:1-2, and Mark 9:42 –

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.

McCarrick shows no remorse – at this point I would be surprised and doubtful if he did. Habituated as he must certainly be to his abuse of power, he sees nothing wrong with his actions. Corruption. Thus are we perverted from good to evil.

I fear for his soul. My guess is one day he will plead for the millstone.

Meanwhile, the Bishop of Ft. Worth sends this letter, which I applaud:

Letter to the Faithful of the Diocese of Fort Worth Regarding the Laicization of Theodore E. McCarrick

February 16, 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am supportive and grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for his irrevocable decision to dismiss Theodore McCarrick from the clerical state after due process in accord with canon law in which he was found to be guilty of “solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.”

It is my hope and prayer that the laicization of Mr. McCarrick will assist in healing those who suffered from his acts of sexual abuse and misconduct. Justice entails that anyone who assisted him in these actions or covered them up also be held accountable.

We read in the Gospel of Luke that Jesus told His Apostles, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more,” (Luke 12:48). Ministry in the Church is a grace from God that carries with it sober responsibility. Ministry is not a right to be claimed by anyone as an entitlement; rather, it involves a covenantal trust begun through our Baptism as members of the Church established by Christ. This applies even more clearly to those men entrusted with the sacred responsibilities of the ordained ministries of deacon, priest, or bishop.

During my five years of serving as your bishop, I have always taken prompt action in removing priests, deacons, staff, and volunteers when credible allegations of sexual abuse against minors have been established.

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth and I have no tolerance for sexual abuse against minors, as well as against vulnerable adults by its clergy, staff, and volunteers, including me as bishop.

Please join me in continuing to pray for those who were harmed by Theodore McCarrick and for anyone else who has suffered the effects of sexual abuse perpetrated by others. I remain,

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Michael F. Olson, S.T.D.
Bishop of Fort Worth

And we need to pray for McCarrick. Hard as that is for me to say. We must try to snatch him from Satan’s jaws.

Of Farting Cows

Ah youth!


WASHINGTON DC – Two apparently unrelated things, then a tie-in:

First, when I was a lad I worked in a grocery store as a Perishable Manager (think bread & dairy) and was ofttimes tasked to make signs to support the ad of the week. We were always running our private label hamburger and hot dog buns 3 for $1 during spring. And the signs always looked something like this:

Yes, boring, but not my fault. There were creative constraints placed on me – I had to use the yellow sign paper, had to use the big black markers, etc. All quite tedious for an ebullient lad such as myself. For entertainment, I would make signs up and show them to the asst. manager, just to see the look on his face. Like this one:

Then I would wistfully tear them up and make the real ones.

Second, again as a lad, I studied a martial art. We worked out on concrete floors. “Concrete?!” you gasp. Yes. Why? Because, reality. If you fall wrong on concrete, it hurts. Gravity and concrete were our true teachers. Relentless, their admonitions never varied, never lapsed, never encouraged, never chastised. Simply, “You did it wrong.” or, “You did it right.” A mat would have shielded us from reality, would have skewed our world view, would have allowed us to think we were accomplished when we were not. There were no illusions. No false understandings. Simple inescapable reality. Truth, if you will.

The tie-in. AOC as she is often referred to has put out The Green New Deal.

I’m just going to post this link to the Green New Deal website. Click on the picture. There are four pillars to the “plan.”

  1. The Economic Bill of Rights
  2. A Green Transition
  3. Real Financial Reform
  4. A Functioning Democracy

But, I don’t care about all that. What I care about is something far more sinister. I found a copy of the original FAQ on AOC’s website, since removed.

It has this interesting comment:

Yes, we are calling for a full transition off fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases. Anyone who has read the resolution sees that we spell this out through a plan that calls for  eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from every sector of the economy. Simply banning fossil fuels immediately won’t build the new economy to replace it – this is the plan to build that new economy and spells out how to do it technically. We do this through a huge mobilization to create the renewable energy economy as fast as possible. We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero

“…get rid of farting cows…” I laughed. Out loud, even. It sounded like something I would have written on one of my signs. My guess is someone on her staff was bored, penned that as a lark, and they all had a good laugh.

And then I thought, “This must be fake news – or a deliberate parody.” I looked for the Onion or the Babylon Bee logos. Nope.

I decided to verify if what I was reading was what it reputed to be. I googled, “did original faq for green new deal really mention farting cows?

In my exhaustive 20 second search I determined this was not fake news.

And then I learned that the website had been over-hauled and a new FAQ – a more proper, shall we say acceptable FAQ, one with all the gravitas expected from a member of the House of Representatives, had taken its place. Her staff had been training on mats their entire career; gravity and concrete apprised them of their naiveté.

There comes those moments for all of us of a certain age. A moment when we recognize that something desirable and admirable if not at all practical has been lost. Perhaps it is when you take the training wheels off your kid’s bike. Perhaps it is when they go off to college. Some call that thing youth. Even when inevitable, or perhaps because it is inevitable, there is a wistful solemnity that accompanies standing witness to this loss of innocence. No more farting cows. AOC has taken her first step into the machine.

FB

State Of The Union

Building Burning Bridges


BY: Paddy Keykpaddykeyk4

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Washington DC, Feb 6 – Perhaps CNN had the most telling comment of the night:

“It was vintage Trump — in all its incongruity, unpredictability, exaggeration and occasional moments of surprising grace.” – Chris Cillizza

But, did we learn anything about the state of our Union? Or, even, did we learn anything at all? Well, learning is in the mind of the beholder, I suppose. Here is what I beheld.

The extremely partisan fact-checking has become its own self-parody. Some examples:

Apparently the “real” number is 31%. Yeah.

This was rightly savaged in social media, with comments such as “That’s like saying It’s 7:00 pm, and being corrected, ‘No it’s 6:58 pm.'” This comment was “fact-checked”, if you will, by another comment saying, “No, it’s more like saying it is 6:59:30, and then saying, ‘it’s not that close to 7:00.'”

NPR “Fact Checked” Trump’s statement regarding the number of women in Congress. His statement? There are more women in Congress than ever. What is the fact check? Well, let’s first identify what a “fact-check” is. According to the Cambridge Online Dictionary, to fact-check is:

to check that all the facts in a piece of writing, a news article, a speech, etc. are correct:

So, what is a fact?

something known to have happened or to exist:

Now that we have defined our terms, what was the fact that was checked by NPR? That the women in Congress are mostly Democrats. Which drew this factual response and related question:

I think that is a fair question.

Meanwhile, Trump said,

“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way.”

That’s a pretty naked attempt to call off the dogs, and was not convincing. And to no one’s surprise he banged the drum of the need for a border wall. Nothing new there.

Lastly, I continue to be amazed at the value placed on style over substance in this country. It’s all icing and no cake. So, an amazing amount of attention is being paid to how Pelosi clapped.

So what.

What is clear to me at this point is that both parties are acting like increasing the divide is a good plan.

Now, how does that work exactly? It makes me think of two people on either side of a bridge, setting fire to their end, and then running to the other side and pointing fingers at each other.

PK

Mr. Gorbachev, Put Up This Wall

Or – Political Posturing.

(Southern Border) – Once upon a time this country was identified with tearing down a wall. Anyone remember that? Well, let’s do remember that, and then let’s all recognize that we are comparing apples to oranges, and then, let’s consider a few things:

First – We have locks on our doors. Now, locked doors and windows won’t keep determined thieves out, but they will keep out the 16-border-wallopportunist. A wall is primarily a psychological barrier, and as one person put it to me years ago, “Locks keep out honest people.” But, we still lock our doors don’t we. Why? We want to be a harder target.
 
For people who say, “A wall won’t change anything,” come on, seriously? A barrier is a barrier. It will obstruct. And if you ask people in parts of the USA where a wall has been put up, “Did it help?” the answer is an unequivocal “Yes, yes it did.”
 
But, it just meant that people had to travel farther to get around the wall.
 
And of course, depending on the wall, some people just tunnel under it, or climb border wallover it.
 
Certainly, it makes things more difficult – this is not reasonably in doubt. Did it stem the tide? Yes and No.
 
Yes, because it made it harder, and probably more expensive, and so some people opted out.
 
No, because it likely simply redirected traffic. But if I lived in a border town, I would rather people came in through the desert than down Main Street.
 
The question isn’t whether a wall will work, the question is, what is the question? What are we really trying to do? As noted above, locked doors won’t keep out the determined, and a wall won’t keep out the desperate (or the well-financed.)
 
So, I think the problem is really about the question. What is the question that a wall is supposed to answer? Let’s ask a different question? Who gains from this border crisis/stagnation? Maybe not who you think.
 
Immigration is a political football being kicked around for votes. The only folks “winning” in this debate are the politicians. I think we are focusing on all the wrong things, and will never come up with viable solutions, and I don’t believe our elected officials care, because they get to have emotionally charged rallies that garner votes.
 
But all the speeches by all sides are well described by Macbeth:
 
“It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
But, oh aren’t we entertained. And distracted.
 
Immigration. I think we are doing it wrong. And I think all the posturing by all of our government is simply that – posturing for votes. So, what do I think the questions are, or at least should be?
 

Why do so many people want to come here? Largely because they are trying to feed themselves and their kids in relative safety. Were I in their shoes, I would try to come here.

 
Why do so many people believe immigrants are entitled to come here? And is this belief rational, supportable, or sustainable? I don’t think so.
 
If we really want to stem the tide – how do we make this country less attractive to immigrants?
 
I have some thoughts on that last question.
 
There was a viral meme that went out about all the benefits of being an illegal alien, and like most such memes exaggerated certain partial realities. According to FactCheck.org:
 
Driver’s Licenses.
Some states do indeed afford immigrants driving privileges regardless of their immigration status — but it’s far from a guarantee given to all immigrants living in the country illegally. As of May 2017, 12 states — plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico — have such laws, according to the National Immigration Law Center.
 
Right to Vote.
Federal law bars noncitizens from voting in federal elections. However, some municipalities — including several in Maryland — have allowed non-citizens to vote in local elections. In San Francisco, city voters approved a measure allowing some immigrants in the country illegally — those who are parents or guardians of school-age children — to vote in local school board elections there.
The point of the FactCheck.org post is that the meme was false to the claim that illegal aliens have ready access to government programs. However, please note that the FactCheck folks focused on whether or not there were laws in place to provide benefits.
 
It did not address the question of how many illegal immigrants access government programs regardless of legality. (Yes, people can access things they aren’t legally supposed to access. Like guns, drugs, sex workers, etc., etc.)
 
According to the Center For Immigrant Studies, not, I will note, an unbiased organization, up to 63% of non-citizen led households access government benefits. They site their sources in the linked article. How they are accessing these programs is not really explained. So, are they? Decide for yourself.
 
Remember walls are primarily psychological barriers – but once an illegal immigrant gets here, it is obviously much easier to live here than where they came from. That’s kind of a “Duh” statement, isn’t it. It is why they came here.
 
So, what kind of wall could we put up that would stem the tide?  Walls that would make living here less attractive. What kind of psychological barriers would make it necessary for them to assimilate rather than simply work here? We have, for I think all the right reasons, made living here pretty easy and attractive, regardless of immigrant status. So, you want to slow down illegal immigration? Then remove the things that make being here so wonderful.
 
What would that look like?
 
Good question. I have some ideas – they are not immediate and people will squawk – but I think it is a start:
  1. No more “Press 1 for English…” 
  2. No more printing of all government forms in other languages.
  3. No more bilingual education.

Why do I list those? Force assimilation. You want to be here? Then BE here. All in.

What else? Well, if that 63% of households figure is correct, why? Fix it. 

Then again, what about the humanity? Can we let these people suffer?

I quote from Deuteronomy 24:19:

When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.

And again from Leviticus 19:10:

You must not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the sojourner. I am the LORD your God

You will notice the explicit provision for the needy as commanded by God. And you will notice that God did not say, “And gather it up and hand deliver it to the poor and the widow and the sojourner.” No, they are supposed to work for what they get.

If people want to come here and work, let them come. Let them work. Pay the prevailing wage. But, we really don’t owe anything else outside emergency medical care.

For those of us that want to help, well, do so. But it is up to private citizens and churches to address these needs, not Government. Catholic Charities does a massive amount of work on behalf of immigrants regardless of status. Good for them.

The final question is, if we do this, what will politicians use to make us think they are working?

FB

 
 
 

 

 

Tax Frauds

Pay Attention Now or Pay Later

BY: Frater Bovious


(WASHINGTON, DC) – I haven’t read the tax proposal – I’ve read the headlines talking about making tuition wavers taxable as income. This sounds outrageous, right? Let’s look at it a moment, and then see why they might be making such a suggestion.

  • Students are helped with their college tuition with grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, tuition reimbursements and tuition remission.
  • How are these various products funded?
    • It seems that grants and scholarships are in fact monies given to students – and I guess funded by wealthy people and corporations – This I suppose is technically income.
    • Tuition reimbursements also seems like monies given to students, but, it is reimbursing money they already paid. It hardly seems correct to call that income, though technically, it was money that came in, so…
    • Tuition remission seems to be a variation of reimbursement. See above.
    • Tuition waivers appears to simply be a reduction in what a student has to pay.

It is simply a lie to call a tuition waiver income, and thereby taxable. We should not accept these lies from our elected officials.

N.b.  The government does not make any money. All the money it spends it gets from you and it gets from me. There is no other source of income that matters. When people talk about reducing taxes, that can only be done with a concomitant reduction in expenses. This is only possible one of two ways:

  1. A reduction in Government Expenditure
  2. Smoke and Mirrors

Meaning there is really only one way that this country can actually reduce taxes (Governmental Income), there has to be a reduction in Government Services (outgo).

All the rest is literally robbing Peter to pay Paul – that is the smoke and mirrors part. Take from tuition waivers in order to offset the loss of Government Income caused by reducing some other tax. There is no other way.

When are we going to get sick of being lied to, and hold our elected officials accountable? Rhetorical question. The answer appears to be “Never.” We are already bankrupt as a country, and hiding our heads in the sand.

Meanwhile, if you are unhappy with the idea of taxing tuition reimbursement whatever it’s form, there is something you can do. Call and/or write your elected officials. They actually do pay attention if they think enough voters are actually motivated to vote.

Here is how: Contact Your Elected Official

Tell them you are pissed off. Tell them you vote. Tell them you are smart enough to find out how to contact them, so you are smart enough to find out how they voted in this and other issues. (Because, you can find out.)

Tell them you are beginning to believe it is time to vote everyone out and start over. Remind them that the 2018 elections are less than a year away.

Random Thought: If someone isn’t working for you, should you be paying them?

 

Girl Scouts of America to Parents -Reminder: She Doesn’t Owe Anyone a Hug. Not Even at the Holidays.

Consent, it’s not just for adults anymore

BY: Frater Bovious


(New York City) – From the Girl Scouts we have this helpful tip:

Think of it this way, telling your child that she owes someone a hug either just because she hasn’t seen this person in a while or because they gave her a gift can set the stage for her questioning whether she “owes” another person any type of physical affection when they’ve bought her dinner or done something else seemingly nice for her later in life.

Can set the stage for questioning whether or not she “owes” another person…

Really?

I’d like to see the research supporting this opinion. There is none to be found on the website. My own uninformed impression is that our current culture has more to do with the pressures young women experience than asking them to hug grandma when she arrives.

So, let’s have a scientific poll!