“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

News Media Bias: By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them

Here's an easy Saturday morning post. I found a website that features a database that compiles contributions to political causes by individuals, companies, celebrities, etc.

First, click here to see how the self-proclaimed, "objective" news industry people working for the New York Times choose to contribute to their causes. Counting Giuliani as a moderate Republican, or moderate Democrat for that matter, there is only one Republican donation in the seamlessly non ending list. This should not surprise anyone. Please click on the link, it will leave a lasting impression on you.

Now, let's use the site's database feature to see how those in the news reporting and journalistic industry support their causes. If you click here, you will see that only 13% of their donations support Republicans. Only 13%. This probably would be far less if you would segregate the Conservative causes from this number.

So this is why many of these ultra-liberal newspapers are currently facing their demise while Conservative news outlets are thriving. The heart, and population, of America is still center-right. Those controlling the newspapers, and their content, haven't figured this out yet, or chose not to care in favor of promoting their own liberal agendas. Sic Semper Tyrannis!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bishop Joseph Martino: "A Shepherd Who Protects His Flock..."

How can I not post an op-ed piece written by a politician praising a local bishop for his unwavering commitment to the Catholic Faith? Rick Santorum applauds Scranton's Bishop Joseph Martino in the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday:

"That's why Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino got so much national attention last fall. Martino, formerly the auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia, made the welcome decision to publicly bar then Sen. Joe Biden and other abortion advocates from receiving Communion in the Scranton Diocese. Then, after the November election, he admonished his brother bishops for their reluctance to deal with the issue faithfully.

Last month, Martino took on the most influential family in his diocese, the Caseys. He excoriated Sen. Bob Casey, who claims to be pro-life, for voting to give taxpayer dollars to overseas organizations that perform abortions. He warned that Casey was "formally cooperating with evil."

Martino was not done. Two weeks ago, the Philadelphia native and St. Joseph's Prep graduate issued a strong statement of disapproval to a local, nominally Catholic college, Misericordia University, that had scheduled a speech on campus by someone advocating same-sex marriage. "The faithful of the Diocese of Scranton should be in no doubt," Martino said, "that Misericordia University in this instance is seriously failing in maintaining its Catholic identity."

Then, last week, Martino took on some more of the biggest guns in the diocese: the Irish clubs that organize the largest public Catholic event of the year, the St. Patrick's Day festivities. Through a letter from his Irish auxiliary bishop, Martino warned that if any of these groups went ahead with plans that in any way honor politicians who are not pro-life, he would close the cathedral where Mass is usually held prior to the parade, as well as other diocesan churches. He said he would not countenance anything that created confusion about the teachings of the church.

The reason for the letter: Scranton's St. Patrick's Day parade last year featured Hillary Clinton.

Many of his brother bishops will look at Martino as they do at other uncompromising defenders of the faith, worrying about the world's reaction. As a Philly guy, though, his excellency knows something about being booed. He also knows his job and calling: to be the good shepherd who faithfully leads and protects his flock from those who would lead them astray.

Yes, scores of people are reportedly protesting and threatening to leave the church. In the end, however, people leaving the church because of a bishop who enforces its teachings are a blessing compared with the alternative: people leaving because bishops and their priests don't teach, much less enforce, those teachings."

Kudos to Bishop Martino for his Faithful leadership and Santorum for bringing it to our attention in this column.

Te Deum laudamus reported yesterday that a second letter penned yesterday by Bishop Martino went to Bob Casey about him not being aligned with his Church's teaching:

"It is also imperative that there be utter clarity when it comes to the teaching of the Church on matters that pertain to the taking of innocent life and the special responsibilities that fall to you, Senator, as a lawmaker to oppose abortion and other clear evils."

Then, Te Deum laudamus, shows that the Diocese of Scranton issued a statement yesterday that those who publicly support abortion and euthanasia are unworthy and should not present themselves for Communion and ministers should not distribute to them:

Therefore, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph F. Martino, Bishop of Scranton, reminds all ministers of Holy Communion, ordinary and extraordinary, that:

To administer the Sacred Body and Blood of the Lord is a serious duty which they have received from the Church, and no one having accepted this responsibility has the right to ignore the Church’s law in this regard;

Those whose unworthiness to receive Holy Communion is known publicly to the Church must be refused Holy Communion in order to prevent sacrilege and to prevent the Catholic in question from committing further grave sin through unworthy reception.

The time is coming when a Catholic politician is going to be refused Communion for all the world to see. It is coming sooner than we all think.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Joe Biden: Suddenly A Witness for His Faith?

“Remember [Joe] that you are dust and unto dust you will return.”

Vice President Biden showed up for the announcement of Gary Locke as the nominee for (third-times-a-charm) Secretary of Commerce yesterday with ashes on his forehead, bearing witness to his Catholic Faith and reminding us all that we are assured, one day, to be face to face and judged by Our Creator.

Joe Biden has earned a rating of Zero from the National Right to Life voting committee over the past two years enforcing that he has never stood up for helpless human life in the womb, and prefers not to be a witness for his Faith in this respect.

Ashes, his chosen method of witness, are passively simple to get, require no effort, and could gain him support with 'Catholic' Democratics; while saving babies would be extremely confrontational and could lead to great personal loss for him in his Democratic Party. Somewhere in Colorado there is an Archbishop having an aneurysm at the hypocrisy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Insight on Archbishop Timothy Dolan

Here is a very telling Op-ed piece written by Archbishop Dolan last September. The piece is to answer a column by writer Brian Smith saying that the two bishops who publicly corrected Nancy Pelosi were "meddling" in state affairs. I think there are some very telling points to this piece.

First, Dolan is a very serious student of U.S. history, not only Church history which he has a degree in. I believe he will reference historic events frequently during his tenure.

He also gently corrects people with a soft demeanor. He does not take the black and white approach of an Archbishop Chaput, which this blogger prefers. I believe Chaputs strategy is more vital these days because the truth is so buried in our society, and a gentle approach does not always sink in to an A.D.D. society. In a past article, Dolan said he was unsure of the issue on refusing Communion to pro-abortion politicians.

He also frames the abortion issue as a civil rights issue first, and a Church teaching second. He might do this to neutralize the argument that being pro-life "is a religious belief."

"But church tradition is equally clear that bishops are the authentic teachers of the faith. So, when prominent Catholics publicly misrepresent timeless Church doctrine - as Biden and Pelosi regrettably did (to say nothing of erring in biology!) - a bishop has the duty to clarify. Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop William E. Lori were thus hardly acting as politicians, "telling people how to vote," but as teachers.

Even more significantly, when all is said and done, abortion is hardly a religious issue at all. Women and men of every religion, or none at all, express grave reservations about our abortion-on-demand culture, insisting that it is not a theological matter but a civil rights one."

Monday, February 23, 2009

We Have An Archbishop! It's Official; Archbishop Timothy Dolan to Replace Cardinal Egan in New York

The Vatican has confirmed Archbishop Timothy Dolan will be New York's new Archbishop.

Here is one of Archbishop's Dolan's hometown newspapers on his appointment with a really good summary on the Archbishop.

Whispers in the Loggia is reporting that Dolan is on route to NYC and will make an appearance at the 8AM Mass at St. Patrick's along side the retiring Cardinal. This will be followed by a press conference at 11AM.

We offer Archbishop Dolan our prayers as he accepts this very influential position in the Roman Catholic Church within our country.

As a side note, here is a description of Archbishop Dolan's Coat of Arms. I usually take note of these because it is how a prelate defines himself. The coat strongly incorporates his heritage and his many stops along the way (St. Louis and Milwaukee) and the motto is "Lord, to whom shall we go?". This crest defines someone with a strong appreciation of history and where he came from, but also defines someone with a singular future focus that is always reflected upon; that Christ is the one true Savior. The motto phrase he chose also underscores the Primacy of Peter/Rome.

It is likewise reassuring that the coat has a reference to the Immaculate Conception.

"It bothers me if any politician, Catholic or not, is for abortion. Because in my mind, we're talking about a civil right, we're not talking about a matter of Catholic Church discipline. We can't allow the noble pro-life cause to be reduced to a denominational issue." - a 2004 AB Dolan interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Archbishop of New York: Cardinal Egan to Archbishop Dolan?

An 80 year tradition has the Holy Father taking a Lenten retreat usually within the first week of Lent.

Here is last year's notice:

"Continuing an 80-year-old papal tradition, Pope Benedict XVI is canceling regular audiences and clearing his calendar to make a weeklong Lenten retreat. The spiritual exercises not only shut down the normal business of his pontificate, but also place the pope in the unusual position of doing all the listening and none of the talking."

This year's retreat is scheduled from March 1st through the 7th.

I do not believe the Holy Father will be making any announcement on the Archbishop of New York appointment during this time. It is not business as usual, the normal business is "shut down." In addition, I do not believe he will make the announcement from Ash Wednesday, February 25th, to March 1st, as it is might prove too distracting for beginning of the Lenten season. This would also be considered a celebratory announcement, which would be in conflict with the traditional Lenten theme.

So we are left with early next week, or after March 8th. Early next week would make sense as the Catholic Church in America would have heighten exposure going into Ash Wednesday, and the Vatican probably wants to clear it work load before shutting down for a week.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Barack Obama: Rhetoric is Not Experience

As the old adage goes, "There is no substitute for experience." No substitute, as Barack Obama is finding out.

To elaborate on my point, the previous five U.S. Presidents all came to Washington with executive experience. Four were governors of states, and one – G H.W. Bush -- headed the vast C.I.A. This executive experience greatly aided these men in their understanding of financial budgets, personnel issues, personal relationships, how to achieve political goals, and most importantly learn from the fall out that would happen if they didn’t think three steps ahead of everyone else. These positions were a hands-on training ground for the Presidency.

In addition, the average age of the previous 5 Presidents when they took office was 58 years old. Barack Obama took the office when he 48 years old. So along with all the previous Presidents having executive experience at the time they took office, they also each averaged an extra decade of real world experience as an adult before assuming the Oval Office. Think of how much 10 years of experience means to an adult life.

So why do I bring all this up? Through his first 30 days - not the first 100 days of his new administration which everyone benchmarks - Obama’s inexperience and mistakes have been overwhelming.

First, before day one of the Presidency, he let the most extreme ideologue in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, author and completely hi-jack the stimulus bill that would bare his name to the point where most Americans did not support the bill at the end. Why would any executive not personally attend to such a critical task of writing a vital stimulus bill that would mark his Presidency? Because he did not have the experience to come up with one by himself. He did not author legislation in the Illinois state house nor U.S. Senate because he was too busy running for President from day one. Can you imagine if Obama came up with a bill for a relatively moderate $100 Billion package that truly created jobs and stabilized our banking systems? He would have been unstoppable. Instead he watched Nancy Pelosi drench it up with billions of dollars of pork and handouts to her friends on the backs of taxpayers. She then unleashed it on Capitol Hill, Obama not being able to stop her nor get the genie back into the bottle.

Then, when meeting with Republicans in the White House to try to get support for his, I mean Pelosi's bill, Obama acknowledged that the Democrats went too far on the bill. In essence what he did amounted to throwing his most adamant supporters under the bus to look good to the opposition party. Reagan used to have a 'commandment', "Thou shall not criticize a fellow Republican," to prevent this exact occurrence from happening. Reagan had eight decades of experience before he took the helm of this country, and probably learned this lesson many decades back.

We will continue. His proposed selection for Secretary of Commerce, Republican Senator Judd Gregg, embarrassed Obama by stepping down after Obama publicly named him to the slot as a show of Obama's bipartisan support. This blindsided creaming arose from Obama not making sure Gregg was on board with his own policies before naming him. Because of these unvetted conflicting philosophies, Gregg turned down the position. This was a great embarrassment for Obama and led to a Wile E. Coyote backfiring moment on his theme that he was bipartisan as Gregg's actions revealed he could not work with Obama. I ask, how can you ever offer someone a cabinet position without making sure they are completely aligned with your thinking so they can carry out your goals for the country. This happened because Obama has never had to interview and hire any executives in his life other than campaign managers. Woefully inexperienced. Gregg rounded off a long list of cabinet appointments that were complete disasters: Bill Richardson, Nancy Killefer, Tom Daschel, Timothy Geitner, etc...

Right now, he is on his third try for a Commerce Secretary appointment. It is similar to the drummers in the comedy film Spinal Tap who have to keep being replaced in the band because they keep dying in humorous ways.

Finally, last week Obama warned bank executives not take business weekends in Las Vegas. It sounded like a good, populist statement to rally the troops until the Mayor of Las Vegas demanded an apology from Obama for hurting his tourist industry by making Vegas sound like it is always a fiscally irresponsible trip. Take Obama's statement in the light that Vegas, and Nevada, has been one of hardest hit regions by the recession and is severely struggling in tourism right now. The casinos are hemorrhaging employees, many of whom voted for Obama. Obama could have said, "No business weekends at plush resorts," which is very unspecific and would have had no backlash. Again, complete inexperience at best, incompetence at worst.

So with everything I am seeing, and reading, I am one of the very few people who will come out and plainly say on this date that the Obama Presidency will not end well. It is more than a gut feel, or partisan bias, it is looking at the razor-thin resume and lack of experience of the man who now lives on Pennsylvania Avenue and whom will be asked to solve our country's very complicated problems. This inexperience, coupled with an $800,000,000,000 pork-ridden stimulus bill anchored around his neck, will assure 2012 is not a good year for Obama.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Archbishop of New York: Cardinal Egan to Archbishop Dolan?

Since I have had so many visitors on the Archbishop Timothy Dolan rumor, here is the Vatican web page that will announce which shepherd will lead that very important Archdiocese.

Check this page early each AM, by clicking the current day's link, then checking the "Other Pontifical Acts" section where they announce all appointments.

Best of VCR: Why do Catholics Pray to the Blessed Mother Mary?

Many non-Catholic Christians have such difficulty in understanding and accepting why Catholics pray to our Blessed Mother instead of going directly with our needs to Christ.

To facilitate some understanding and shed some insight to non-Catholics, I would like to reference a passage in scripture, specifically the Wedding Feast of Cana.

I always felt if Catholics were asked to rank the 10 most important Scriptural Events (ex: Resurrection, Incarnation, Crucifixion, Beatitudes, Transfiguration, Passion, etc…), this event would most likely be left off their list. It would not be left off mine. This sacred text has so many different levels of importance and reflection. It is the official starting point of Christ’s public ministry. The passage also has strong contemporary and spiritual value in the fact that Christ chose a wedding as the place of his first recorded miracle when considering the tremendous hostility that the sacrament of marriage faces today in our society. With all of this being stated, most importantly it also shows us the way to present a petition to Christ that can not be refused.

As the sacred scripture tells us, the Blessed Mother asked her Son to help with a wine shortage that the embarrassed wedding hosts were experiencing by performing a miracle. Christ replied:

"Woman, what have I to do with thee? My hour is not yet come." (John 2:4)

It is two small sentences… but it tells us everything of the Blessed Mother’s relationship with Christ.

First, the phrase "Woman" used by Jesus to address the Virgin Mother, was a title of respect. Christ did not use the term, "Mother" when addressing her as you would think he might, He elevated her beyond this relationship title (Mother) with an all encompassing title (Woman). It would be similar to calling Tiger Woods, "Golfer", or Michael Jordan "Basketball Player". It was her essence and her perfection.

Biblical scholars also would say this title of "Woman" reflects back to Eve in Genesis. The "Woman" that turned her back on God at the time of creation was now being replaced by a "Woman" who would never disobey or disappoint Him. The "New Eve."

Secondly, in this one line of scripture, Christ’s words validate that Mary had an intimacy with Christ and prior knowledge of His planned ministry. She was His close confidant. Christ is not saying, "Sorry Mom, I have to inform you now…it’s not My time yet to start My ministry yet." He takes the tone, "What does this have to do with Me, Mom… you know My plan... and you know it is not My time."

Catholics give Mary the title, "Co-Redemptress" because of the supporting role she played in Christ’s redemption of the world. She was there every step of the way. Mel Gibson has a very powerful scene in The Passion of the Christ, where, while being tortured, Christ locks eyes with His Mother from a distance and they rise to their feet together, she providing strength for Him to complete His mission. Now this is not based in Scripture, but it is reflective of the relationship they had. What is in Scripture was the support she gave her Son during His Passion. Archbishop Fulton Sheen said that when every human word is written and spoken, the saddest of words in human history will be, "There was no room at the inn." In this quote, I propose the saddest event of human history was the Crucifixion, a creation destroying their loving God, and this event could have even been more sorrowful if Christ had died alone by Himself up on Calvary. Like an unloved dog in an alleyway. Mary’s presence prevented this from happening. Our Lady of Perpetual Help (left) is a holy image of Our Blessed Mother that depicts Christ as a young boy having a premonition of His Passion and in fear running into the comfort of His mother’s arms. She served this same purpose though His Passion. She was the loving presence at the foot of the cross that served as a comforting focus point for Him in a sea of hatred and torture. We should never underestimate the eternal gratitude Christ must have towards His Mother.

Finally, getting back to the Wedding Feast scripture and the point of this post, after stating it is not His time to perform a miracle, Christ actually does grant the wish of his Beloved Mother. So there was a historical destiny that was planned out for His all-important ministry that should have taken its course, but a request from The Blessed Mother to Christ changed this historic destiny. It altered human history.

The Marian shrines throughout the world are littered with piles of crutches from people who had an inescapable human destiny of suffering and sickness that was altered by a request from the Virgin Mother on their behalf to Jesus. Christ could not refuse the request because of who was asking it from Him. It was the mother who caressed Him inutero for 9 months. The mother who smothered His face with kisses when He was a baby. The mother who held Him in the middle of the night when He had nightmares as a little boy. The mother who taught Him how to walk and to laugh. The mother who kissed His face as an adult. The mother whose presence was always just a few footsteps behind Him while He was carrying His cross and who sanctified His wake with her tears. The mother whose kind eyes looked up at Him hanging on the cross to meet His blood-dripping, swollen eyes looking down on her sharing in His suffering. The mother who must have given Him a non-ending embrace after the Resurrection for all they had been through together.

This is why Catholics ask the Blessed Mother to intercede for us. It is a realization that Christ would never refuse her anything she requests on our behalf and many times we are in desperate need to change what is our human destiny.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Round One: Chaput Condemns Obama

In my previous post, The Sleeping Giant Will Sleep No More!, I predicted that the Catholic Church in America has reached a crossroads this last election cycle, and will now be much more publicly forceful and vocal on the life issue.

With this understanding, I put my money, and my focus in the post, on Denver's Archbishop Charles Chaput in regard to shaking things up the most, specifically the Obama Administration, writing:

"Knowing the Archbishop, his vocal amplification of the Gospel of Life will not stop on Inauguration Day... He will be as much as a nemesis of Barack Obama as he was when the DNC were putting up those "Styrofoam pillars" in the Archbishop’s backyard [for the Democratic Convention]. Obama greatly underestimates Chaput’s conviction and the Archbishop’s not caring whether or not he is ever invited to a Heads of State dinner. ... Chaput will be Obama’s ongoing nemesis."

So less than one month after the inauguration of President Obama, here comes Chaput:

"A leading Catholic archbishop is calling a fraud President Barack Obama's claims that he will lead efforts to reduce abortions. During a trip to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver said merely wanting to reduce abortions as opposed to ending the practice entirely is not pro-life.

Chaput said Obama's recent move to send taxpayer dollars to other nations for pro-abortion groups to spend to promote and perform abortions violated his abortion reduction promise.

...“There's something a little odd about rhetoric that tells that we're the ‘divisive’ ones, and lectures adult citizens about what we should challenge, and when we should stop. In a democracy, we get to decide that for ourselves," he said.

“An issue that involves the life and death of unborn children and the subversion of entire traditional societies can't be ‘put behind us’ with an executive signature," Chaput added.

...“During the last U.S. election, we saw the emergence of so-called pro-life organizations that argued we should stop fighting the legal struggle over abortion. Instead we should join with ‘pro-choice’ supporters to seek ‘common ground,'" he explained.

“Their argument was simple: Why fight a losing battle on the legal, cultural and moral front since - according to them -- we haven't yet made serious progress in ending legalized abortion?" he continued. "Let's drop the ‘divisive’ political battle, they said, and instead let's all work together to tackle the economic and health issues that might eventually reduce abortions."

But Chaput said that argument wasn't acceptable for opponents of slavery, wasn't acceptable to opponents of racism and shouldn't be alright with pro-life advocates.

“Did Americans take a gradual, social-improvement road to ‘reducing’ racism? No. We passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” he said.

Nor have I ever heard anyone suggest that the best way to deal with murder, rape or domestic abuse is to improve the availability of health care and job training. We make rape illegal -- even though we know it will still sometimes tragically occur -- because rape is gravely evil. It's an act of violence, and the law should proscribe it," he said.

“Of course, we also have a duty to improve the social conditions that can breed domestic and sexual violence. But that doesn't change the need for the law," Chaput added. “Likewise, if we really believe that abortion is an intimate act of violence, then we can't aim at anything less than ending abortion."

What makes these statements so remarkable, is that Chaput names names. Obama specifically, and other "in-name-only" pro-life organizations -- which you will see if you read the full piece at the above link. He could care less about outside pressure on not being specific on his condemnations. He could care less if someone threatens him with his tax-exempt status in an attempt to silence him. He is going to be a such major headache for Obama. Chaput truly does not care what anyone thinks of him, much less Obama, or if he offends powerful people. He is going to speak the unfiltered Gospel, period.

Moreover, an interesting observation I had about Chaput is that he routinely wears just his normal, black priest clothing and roman collar out in public, absolutely no designation (the amaranth red color) that he has achieved the title of Archbishop. This tells me that he does not care for titles, and Obama is going to find out just how much he does not care for titles.

"And because the homicides involved in abortion are 'little murders' -- the kind of private, legally protected murders that kill conveniently unseen lives -- it’s easy to look the other way." - Archbishop Charles Chaput

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A New Shepherd for New York?

Paolo Rodari, a Vatican correspondent for the Italian daily newspaper, Il Riformista, has reported that Milwaukee's Archbishop Timothy Dolan has been selected to replace Cardinal Edward Egan to run the Archdiocese of New York. We will see how accurate Rodari is.

Friday, February 13, 2009

U.S. Enters European Union

Here is the most eye-opening quote on the stimulus bill yet, from Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“It’s anticipated, if all of these new spending items that we’re in the process of considering, go through, that government spending in this country as a percentage of gross domestic product in 2010 could well be just under 40 percent,” he said. “Just under 40 percent.”

Right now our government contributes around 20% to our Gross Domestic Product. GDP is the total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year. So everything that the U.S. manufacturers or services sold in a given year.

Here is the scary party of this quote. What McConnell is saying is that by 2010, 40 cents of every dollar that our country manufactures or sells will need to come from government funding - - and this funding depends on taxing the citizens for its cash flow. We already work until late April just to pay the taxes we owe now.

40% government-funded GDP is the level that Socialist, European countries are at. We must all be absolutely crazy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Grass Roots' Fleecing

To give you an idea of what is going on with President Obama’s and Nancy Pelosi's 'stimulus’ plan, let's look at just one component that has money earmarked to it, the resodding of our Capitol Mall down in Washington.

The Mall runs from Third Street near the Capitol to 14th Street near the Washington Monument, 4,261 feet by 615 feet. That's 2,620,515 total square feet.

Now, a 7 lb. bag of Scotts Pure Premium, High Traffic ( after all the Mall deserves the best and it is high traffic) covers 4,600 square feet and cost around $35.00 a bag. Buying them in a bulk rate would probably get you at least a 10% discount .

So, using the above area measurements, we will need 570 bags of grass seed to cover the Mall. 570 bags times $31.50 (-10%) equals $17,995. We can pay 5 guys $400 each to spread 110 bags of seed (paid very well for one day's work) and come up with a total price tag of $19,995.

This 'stimulus' plan has the same end goal of having grass in the Washington Mall. How much money does the 'stimulus' plan have earmarked for this project?: $21,000,000.00. That's twenty-one million dollars!

Please understand what is happening here. The tax and spend politicians and leeching lobbyists are grazing again and placing $21 Million worth of debt on the backs of our children and grandchildren. Everyone is making sure they get their windfall from this bill and are loading up their pockets with free, found money. What is most troubling is that this is just one measure in this pork-ridden bill.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What has happened to America? Part II

In an addendum to my "What has happened to America?" post, I can't help but to see the strong correlations between what has happened to America over the past 40 years, and Mahatma Ghandi's "Seven Deadly Sins". While reading each of these, reflect on the state of our country. You will find countless examples of each one:
  1. Wealth without Work
  2. Pleasure without Conscience
  3. Science without Humanity
  4. Knowledge without Character
  5. Politics without Principle
  6. Commerce without Morality
  7. Worship without Sacrifice

(On an unrelated note, many times I use Ghandi's "Science without Humanity" as an argument against embryonic stem cell research. It drives the Lib's nuts to have their beliefs corrected by Ghandi.)

The troubles of America are not specific to our history. Scottish historian Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1843) documented the sequence of the ascent and decline of past, great civilizations a few years before America was even established. Here are his stages with my citations alongside in parenthesis specifically reflecting on American History:

  1. From bondage to spiritual faith (The Mayflower voyage fleeing from religious persecution.);
  2. From spiritual faith to great courage (the American Revolution- country farmers taking on the greatest military strength in the world.);
  3. From courage to liberty (The signing of the Declaration of Independence and Constitutional Convention.);
  4. From liberty to abundance (The Industrial Revolution);
  5. From abundance to complacency (Post Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.);
  6. From complacency to apathy (Where we are now, not caring or feeling helpless about a trillion dollar bail-out.);
  7. From apathy to dependence (Our next 10 years with the Govt. owning our banks, businesses, health care and lives. Supplying our societal and individual survival with government handouts.);
  8. From dependence back into bondage. (Where our children and grandchildren will be paying for this obscene debt. Never being able to get ahead regardless of how hard they work.)

Tytler also furnishes us with this relative warning for our times:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years."

So as this pork-laden "stimulus" bill is passed this weekend, America will get exactly what it voted for. My hope is that this era will not be followed by a "dictatorship", but by a group of dynamic, young conservative leaders who will give America back to those who they are supposed to represent. Abraham Lincoln's pertinent words echo in my head , "We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth."

Friday, February 6, 2009

What has happened to America?

The Chinese have a very interesting proverb, that I have thought about repeatedly over the past few months, that states, "Wealth never lasts three generations."

As the saying goes, there is a shrewd "grandfather" who works extremely long hours and through his work ethic, determination and character reaches financial success; providing a comfortable life for his family, and more notably, his son, the "father".

The "father", who was raised in the comfort of luxuries, becomes accustomed to them and, more importantly, expects them as his absolute birthright. He does not appreciate the hard work nor the value of money it took to get to this lifestyle. He becomes a partying playboy, lazy and soft-willed, and abhors anything that takes any effort or is unpleasant/tedious to do. These tasks are not worth the premium he puts on his time or the status he puts on himself in society.

Because he did not attain anything he benefits from through his own coming of age in wisdom and establishing sound judgement and character, he then lacks these very tools that he needs to keep his lifestyle and fortune. Through recklessness, bad judgement and lack of character, the money runs out quicker than his lifespan. The "grandchild" starts back penniless at the stage where the grandfather started his voyage.

This is the best summary as to what has happened to America.

In the early nineteen hundreds, our "grandfathers" sweated and gave their complete efforts to build this county and provide good lives for their families. They were people of character, work ethic and Faith. They built tangible things from absolutely nothing and got their hands dirty asking for nothing more than what they legitimately earned. They risked everything, many times coming to a new county without a dime in their pocket coupled with a useless language on their tongue. Some gave the supreme sacrifice on a battlefield in a place they never heard of.

The second half of this century, our "fathers" discovered the good life through the hard work of their fathers. They hallucinated at Woodstock, raised Roe v. Wade as a inalienable freedom and did not have to concern themselves with responsibility (because their father’s fruits allowed them this very leisure). They belonged to the church of do what ever feels good where there were no pews and definitely no kneelers. They trumped everyone else’s right to freedom with their misconception that their own freedom and enjoyment was primary. There was no more important, nor Higher Authority, than themselves.

When comparing these different mentalities, we went from a country where young men lost their legs and lives storming the beaches at Normandy to liberate people they never met, to CEO’s destroying their subordinates’ lives by running companies into the ground while padding their own personal bank accounts as quickly as possible. By way of comparison to the Normandy reference, these subordinates were people whom they had personal relationships with as they looked into their eyes every morning wishing them a good morning; even knowing many of their families.

We went from a country that openly, boldly and publicly cited the Biblical verse, "We shall overcome," risking great bodily harm in the segregated South for core beliefs; leaving our country's fate in God’s hands to now a country that is afraid to wish each other a "Merry Christmas," denying our God completely in non-violent situations for fear of offending 10% of our population.

We went from a country that celebrated Veteran's Day with parades, and VE Day in churches - giving praise and thanks to the Almighty - to now celebrating a secular football game as a national holiday so we can shovel nachos down our throats.

We went from a mono-deistic society to a society that now considers man-made philosophies, like Scientology, a religion. We swapped a Creator for a celebrity lifestyle.

We went from a country that would tell our children the bedtime story of the grasshopper and the ants, to a country that needs immediate gratification, putting everything on credit cards, and expecting the government to take care of us in our old age.

Greed overtook thankfulness to God. Belonging to corporations usurped belonging to churches. Wall Street millions overtook Main Street caring. The search for pleasure eclipsed the recognition of responsibility.

We now look at ourselves starting over as the "grandchild", inheriting the fruits of our father’s selfish choices and a greatly diminished and struggling country. Our founding, bedrock principles that have served our country so well for two centuries are now only heard faintly in the distance.

We must go back to the blueprint provided to us by our "grandfathers" to build America once again into a great county. Rolling up our sleeves and working as if everything depended solely on us. Creating something from nothing. Supporting each other when we see hardships, strengthening our communities and churches and putting our individual concerns dead last. Putting our trust in the Almighty God and spending considerably more time on our knees.

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14