Several years ago my wife and I took a trip to Las Vegas. Fortunately our money was the only thing we left in Vegas…mostly for food and inexpensive lodging. I lost less than $2 on the slots.
One of the most memorable moments was attending the performance of Johnny Carson at Caesar’s Palace on the strip. I remember one routine about after three days of non-stop Vegas living of walking, drinking, gambling etc, the said tourist was last seen sucking a yucca plant in the desert.
I wonder how many people remember that before the Tonight Show, Carson was the host of the grammatically-challenged TV show, Who Do You Trust?
I used to watch him…I think Ed McMahon was even with him then, after school once or twice a week. He had the comedic knack even then.
We could use a reality show like that today. What constitutes human trust and just what kind of people do they trust?
In the old America, people used to trust their priests as a first resort. In the last decade the priesthood has taken some very hard shots across its bow.
Now we look to Washington for all our needs and desires.
I recently heard a dynamic priest describe idolatry as what people placed their trust in.
If his definition is accurate, that would mean that millions of Americans idolize their government when it is God they should be putting their faith in.
I think that means millions have made government their lord and provider.
Businessmen have been demonized in the press and by the White House with great frequency…dating back to at least Teddy Roosevelt with his trust-busting.
His cousin Franklin even outdid him twenty years later as he blamed the nation’s ills on the so-called malefactors of wealth.
I wont go into all the usual arguments about cost, debt and long-range subservience of another 1/6 of the economy to the federal government.
Most thinking Americans are aware of the potential for disaster to the country that this abomination of ObamaCare can wreak on the country.
As for abortion, though I think the euthanasia aspects of this health care fraud are far superior, let me say how disappointing but not totally surprising the last-minute defection of Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak was a great disappointment.
Kathleen Gilbert in an article for LifeNews.com said she was baffled by Stupak vote last Sunday. Not only did he put ObamaCare over the 216 top, he had the temerity to oppose a last-ditch effort to insert his own abortion-funding ban in the reconciliation “fix” package for the Senate health care bill.
Thanks to the cowardly Michigan lion, the House subsequently struck down Rep. Dave Camp’s (R-Mich.) attempt to pass Stupak’s language 232-199.
In a statement that must stand as one of the greatest falsehoods in legislative history, Stupak uttered that This motion does not promote life, but It is the Democrats who have stood up for the principle of no public funding for abortions.
Stupak alleges that Obama’s promise of an executive order ensures that the sanctity of life will be protected.
With a delicious sense of Biblical imagery, one pro-life leaders calls the executive order a transparent fig leaf.
Representative Stupak is either a liar both to himself and the country or seriously delusional.
He is akin to the battered football player who breaks down the sidelines and within five yards of the goal line punts the ball into the stands and signals a touchdown for his team. That’s the real question, which team was he really playing for?
An Executive order can not “repeal” or supercede a law and like it or not, once President Obama affixed his John Hancock with 20 pens, I might add, the bill was law.
This only proves that the term pro-life Democrat is an oxymoron. It proves that this party is still the party of the culture of death.
It is the devilish engine that drives its left-wing agenda and now it has targeted the nursing home in addition to the womb for its victims. Like Stupak the Party has shown ist true color and they are the black and white of the Jolly Obama
Now that universal health care is close to being a full-fledged reality, I am seriously tempted to ask the question: Why do so many people seem to place their faith in their politicians?
I cannot understand why so many people, even in my Catholic Church, still trust our current president, given his propensity for mendacity with his broken campaign promises on transparency, taxation, and job creation?
Have they not seen the Peanuts cartoon? I am talking about the one where Lucy Van Pelt offers to hold the football so Charlie Brown can kick the ball.
Without fail every time he lets her she pulls the ball back and he falls flat on his face.
Like a good liberal Lucy promises to help Charlie but the devil inside her can’t resist each and every time.
And like the poor sad sack he is he continues to believe that this time she is telling him the truth.
Have we become a nation of Charlie Browns? Why are we so trusting of our politicians?
Why do so many people who despise businessmen and priests and maybe even the medical professor, fall down in the prone position in front of so many politicians who promise to take care of them and satisfy their needs?
Is it because we have gradually replaced our faith in God with a faith in man…a faith in those who will promise us the most for the least amount of effort?
Have we all fallen for the con, as illustrated in David Mamet’s absorbing movie A House of Games?
Are we now a nation of adolescents who accept the gratuitous pleasures of 24/7 sports programing, American Idol and all the Romanesque trivialities that distract us from the flames around us?
Is America not burning while President Obama fiddles around?
The New York Times has already let the proverbial cat out of the bag. Writer David Leonhardt opined that The bill President Obama signed on Tuesday is the biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.
In other words Obama is brings us back to the days of Jimmy Carter with one of the largest redistribution scams since FDR.
As for myself, I plan never to get sick in the future because I don’t want to need what I wont be able to get. That sounds more like Yogi than Aristotle.
I am a historian, not a prophet.
But I will say the last hope for stopping this health care canard, if that is even possible, will land on the doorstep of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the pivotal swing vote that might become the most important man in America in the next few years. You can take that to the bank.
Our current president is playing by FDR’s rulebook. He goes from pillar to post to demonize the insurance companies, bankers, Wall Street—anyone who has the money that he lusts after as a means to further aggrandize his power.
In all honesty, not all wealth is legitimate. Just look at many of our political leaders–the very one who promote the confiscation of the wealth of prominent and successful Americans–they are the same ones who have grown fat off the American landscape.
This raises the question: is all this hate speech and demagoguery against the very people who drive the American economy and whose success represents the largesse on which millions of Americans feed a good thing?
Does it not create in the lower classes, the poor of this country–many of whom look as if they have not missed a meal, many of whom have cell phones and seem to have enough money for entertainment–a sense of entitlement that they think the private property of the wealthy somehow belongs to them?
Isn’t that what a socialist agenda breeds?
Does their poverty thanks to government’s prompting and encouragement create feelings of hate, envy and sloth? Are not these still capital sins in the Catholic Church?
What does all this government pandering do to their ability to see the face of God? Or is that now unimportant?
Could one not make the argument that pushing for a preferential option for the poor, as well as calling health care, food, water, transportation, employment a right–does much more harm than good for the downtrodden?
What happens to their incentive to better themselves…to rise from their meager circumstances into something better?
Is that what social justice really means? Is this what the deacon meant? Do the poor deserve jobs because they are poor? Do they deserve food because they don’t have any? Do they deserve health care because they can’t afford it?
I think our government has deliberately confused rights with our needs. Sure millions of people need lots of things. Does that mean government has to provide these things to them with someone’s else’s money?
Government is also confusing rights with responsibility. People, even the poor, have a responsibility to provide for themselves. They need to stay in school—we still have free schools.
Government has made forced charity a right that gives little benefit to the recipient and absolutely no benefit to the giver.
If you stay in school, you would have the marketable skills where someone would want to pay good money to employ you.
The poor need to work, even at menial jobs as young people, so they can get a start. They need to confine their sexual activity to the marriage bed. And then they need to stay married.
Government needs to stop its punitive taxation which drives millions of Americans jobs to India, the Far East and anywhere taxation is more favorable. Government literally bites the hands that feeds us.
The poor need to monitor their sexual habits better. They need practice chastity or celibacy to avoid pre-marital pregnancy, which forces girls to drop out of school or young couples to rush into an early wedding.
Yet don’t fall for the canard that abortion will prevent this. No it will not alleviate poverty as some writers contend.
It will only lead to promiscuity and more pregnancies and maybe even serious health consequences that will further deepen the confines of poverty.
Promiscuity equals pregnancy! That’s how Planned Parenthood stays in business by repeat victims.
And maybe the most important proposal is to stay away from your government. The United States government loves poor people so much that they want everyone to become poor.
I remember hearing Alan Keyes during one of his religious/political addresses bemoan what government has done to his people.
If only more people had listened to him, he might have beaten Barack Obama during the 2004 Senatorial campaign that landed us in much of this mess.
Keyes made the point that the black family had been better off during slavery.
He said that the black family had been better off during the Great Depression? (I doubt that the black family will do well in our next Depression if the president has his way.)
Lyndon Johnson declared his infamous War of Poverty, which I submit was more a war on poor people.
The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield told a joke that captured the sense of Johnson’s WOPP. Saying that he ran into a beggar on the street…so I threw a hand grenade at him!
Johnson basically destroyed the black family as an identifiable social unit.
Welfare checks replaced the man of the family because to collect the woman could not be living her husband.
That was 1965 and not too long after the black illegitimacy rate climbed to around 25%. Now I think it is about 75%. That’s what I guess the progressives would call progress.
The white community has not been far behind, now at over 25%, as our school engineers have done everything they can to destroy the traditional family.
And what does illegitimacy have to do with poverty? It’s just one of its causes–the more illegitimacy, the more poor people we will have.
Americans used to hate the dole, the old word for welfare, because it slapped at their dignity and their pride. It came with a stigma, saying that a man had failed to support his wife and children. No responsible husband and father wanted to accept something for nothing.
Now it is a badge of honor, a right of entitlement.
What happened? FDR prolonged the Depression by his wasteful economic policies so that the acceptance of government assistance was the only way to survive.
Liberal historians perpetuated his myth for generations until people finally realized that he had done nothing for 10 years but tread the same stagnant water.
Thank goodness for Pearl Harbor or it would still be going on!
Now the dole is institutionalized to the tune that even our largest companies, apparently too big to fail, get in line so that government can bail them out and save their bonuses.
I advise everyone to read Peter Schweizer’s new book, Architects of Ruin: How Big Government Liberals Wrecked the Global Economy–and How They Will Do It Again if No One Stops Them
So maybe I am not too far off base when I say that social justice as it is practiced today by some of our religions and most importantly our federal government is not justice at all. It is as 19th century economist, Frederic Bastiat called organized plunder.
As such it is a grievous violation of the 7th Commandment of the Catholic Church, which says Thou Shall Not Steal. If you or I took something from someone else we would justly go to jail. But when government does it, it is someone else’s right to our largesse.
To confiscate the earnings, investments and wealth of successful Americans and give it to a class of entitled people whose government-induced lack of incentive has made them perpetual wards of the state is a crime against the universal freedom that our Constitution guarantees, as well as a dehumanization of the very people government and the churches pretend to serve.
Look for my Sunday letter in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Catholic annulments.
Just what is happening to our culture? I was in a bookstore line recently and I heard a rat-tat-tah from somewhere in the store. My first thought was that it was a little boy “playing war” or something like that.
My first thought was that I hope the culture police did not arrest him. Some little kid had recently been suspended from school for pointing his finger at another child. I guess the teacher and principal thought that if his finger had been loaded they would have another Columbine on their hands.
Then there is a recent incident at the University of Missouri where a pair of adolescent students played a harmless prank on the Black Culture Center by scattering a number of cotton balls in front of the building.
The inhabitants were shocked that anyone would have the effrontery to do something so terrible given the country systemically racist past.
Cotton balls? Not bombs or chains or even a the perfunctory burning cross! They were cotton balls, like the ones women use to clean off their make-up.
Of course I get the historical context but cotton balls? That’s like scattering potato peels in front of the Irish Culture Center. Oh, wait I don’t think any college has an Irish Culture Center? Well if they did I wonder if the Irish would be as “offended.”
The two moronic students and I say that not because of their collective IQ but because they must have spent the last 30 years in a cave.
They are dumb because they did not realize how powerful that blacks, feminists and homosexuals have become in our society. I’ll bet they are “sophomores.”
These groups have virtually stopped any sort of criticism, satire or even serious questioning because of their seasoned ability to hide behind the shibboleth of racism, male chauvinism and homophobia.
The whole issue would be risible if that had been the end of it. No, the administration had to suspend the students and the district attorney is considering bringing the full weight of hate crime legislation on their dumb heads. The Germans have a great word for them—Dummkopf!
What did hate have to do with this incident? Stupidity, childishness…boys being boys…but hate? I seriously doubt that.
Why does this country tolerate the people who push for hate crime legislation? All real crimes–not cotton balls on the sidewalk—are hate crimes. Anyone that would steal, rape, murder has an indifference to other human beings that is very close to hate.
Why do we try to make some crimes worse than others? That’s not justice–that’s politics trying to protect various constituencies in return for their contributions and their votes.
I think something is rotten in Missouri and it’s not our cotton.
This is just symptomatic of the battle to control the culture from within..changing it into something that would be a distortion of our Constitution, history and Western Civilization.
On a similar note, there is a truism that says that those who control the language control the culture. It is no secret that I have been involved in the pro-life movement for a long time.
Last night at a meeting for the committee chairmen and women for the St. Louis Archdiocese, I noticed on a laptop presentation that their official website has changed the definition of our mission.
It used to say that we worked for the protection of human life from conception to natural death. It now reads that the mission is from inception through natural death.
Now I thought that my eagle eye had caught a typo but after bringing to one of the officials’ attention I was informed that it was indeed what was intended.
What does that mean? My dictionary says that it is an act, process or instance of being. There is no mention of reproduction, sex or anything to do with procreation. Inception sounds more like an idea or even an organization like a fan or stamp club.
This morning I checked my latest Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, published in 2004. It reads that conception is the process of getting pregnant, fertilization, OR implantation OR both. Tha’s interesting.
For a reputable dictionary this sounds like a very vague or inexact definition. Which is it fertilization or implantation? It can’t be both.
So I checked my “old” MW’s dictionary, published in 1994 that defined the same word as fertilization of a zygote when the sperm joins the egg. This sounds like an elementary scientific definition that concurs with my own understanding of the term.
The importance of the differences is more than verbal precision or semantics. Many pro-abortionists want to emphaize the beginning of life at implantation instead of the historical and scientifically correct fertilization.
This would also turn most birth control pills, which are now a misnomer because they are actually abortifacients that prevent a fertilized ovum, a nascent human being, from implanting in the womb where he/she can naturally develop, into abortion pills.
Of course I doubt this would help Planned Parenthood where 100% of their victims have already been implanted by the times their mothers realize that the have a baby aboard.
While using the word inception does not change the mission itself, it does cloud the understanding a bit.
My first impulse would be to go back to the original definition of our mission and drop the word inception, which does more to cloud the waters than illustrate anything. Don’t let the abortion crowd destroy another good word as they have done with choice!
A viable solution for this verbal confusion would be to re-write the mission statement (again) and have it read to defend life from fertilization to natural death. Lets see them change the definition of this scientific term.
(Personally I would also add the word innocent in the beginning but nobody asked for my opinion.)
So this small change is another salvo in the culture war and the insidious attempt by the left and Planned Parenthood to rewrite science and history for their personal and ideological gain.
This raises the obvious questions of when did this happen and more importantly HOW did this happen?
I know it is just a promotional statement, but there is something about Fox News’ slogan Fair and Balanced that frosts my pancakes. Maybe it is the fact that it implies that equal time will be given to both sides–both sides of what?
Bill O’Reilly is probably the most blatant illustrator of their “F&B” rule. Consequently, I can agree with him about half the time. He reminds me why I have always had a problem with referees in the 100s of games I have watched.
O’Reilly’s approach to seeking the truth guarantees that he will be wrong 50% of the time.
O’Reilly prides himself on being fair and open-minded. Well I think his mind is so open that the truth flies right through it most of the time. G. K. Chesterton says that the mind must clamp down on somethings or it becomes nothing more than an empty vessel.
I think if O’Reilly had gone to a Jesuit school, like his father, (Holy Cross) instead of Marist College, where he admitted that education was not his main interest, his thinking would have a more definitive substance to it and would not be distracted by form and style. This way he could seriously focus on his content.
His “no spin zone” to me is nothing more than a “dead zone” where ideas go to die because of his conformity to the liberal conventions that permeate his medium.
And to think I just missed having him as a student at Chaminade High School, another Marianist school, which is in Mineola, NY. I had one inglorious year there from 1967-1968. O’Reilly had graduated that previous June.
I figured that out from the yearbook picture that appeared in his recent best-seller, A Bold Piece of Meat, or whatever it is called.
I read the book when it first came out and his Catholic background was a lot different then mine. Well, I guess the background was essentially the same with the habited nuns and their strict discipline–rulers and thin spelling books as weapons but his reaction to their stern demeanor was far more rebellious than mine.
He seemed to always be in trouble and if wasn’t for one of his classmates, he confessed in the book he would have been the worst student in his class.
The one thing that distinguished him in his school years I guess was his height.
I stood next to him at a fund-raiser a few years ago while he was waiting to address the crowd and he just towered over me. He must be about 10 feet tall! I will say that he is an intimidating figure…when he is standing.
His thinking is just dripping with what Pope Benedict XVI has called the dictatorship of relativity. O’Reilly is admitting that there is basically no right and wrong…just opinions, preferences and different observations.
I interviewed him for 15 minutes on my version of The Right Stuff on WGNU and made sure that did most of the talking. That part wasn’t really too hard.
The only issue I challenged him on was abortion. I would not go so far as to say that O’Reilly is pro-choice but the issue does not burn in the recesses of his soul as it does with many of my fellow Catholics.
I don’t think he really cares anything about it nor does he understand what it is all about and why so many of his fellow Catholics are patently distressed by it.
And for Bill to call himself a Cultural Warrior as another of his book titles suggests is absurd. To him the culture war consists naming movie and music trivia from the 1950s.
Catholics like O’Reilly are why we are losing the battle for the culture. He just doesn’t get it.
In fact I think he is wishy-washy on it or what Margaret Thacher used to say about George H. W. Bush, “gone wobbly” on the issue.
I think his analysis of the issue in his book could have been written by Harry Blackmun who wrote the majority decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973.
When I was on WGNU radio a number of callers that disagreed with me said that they had their opinions and I had mine. Well I hated to tell them but in most cases their opinions were not based on any fact, real thinking or had any resemblance to reality.
Quite simply, their opinions were WRONG. Not all opinions are equal.
Everyone has the right to hold opinions but no one has to give them an equal place ast the banquet of ideas.
One of our other hosts had about 10 minutes to kill before it was my turn. When he saw me waiting in the “Chipped Green Room” he motioned for me to join him for the remainder of his time.
Well Steve was one of our many resident liberals. A congenial guy with a strong liberal background–an MS in social work.
He made the same mistake that many of my listeners by saying how we had our different biases. I had to stop him and say that my only “bias” was for the truth.
It goes without saying that he never invited me to join his program again.
Most partisan debates today are unlike the ones that dominated my father’s generation when there could be an “honest” difference of opinion.
Today’s battles are more ideological than mere disagreement on zoning laws, drilling rights and bond issues for real estate development.
Virtually all of these had little or nothing to do with morality, right and wrong or the culture war.
These struggles today don’t allow for the “other side.” There are no two sides to abortion, euthanasia, or a blatant take-over of the health care system. I don’t care what the self-appointed custodians of our popular culture like Bill O’Reilly think or say.
Some issues only have a right side and a wrong side. Take slavery and the Holocaust for example. Both were a violation of every civilized code of honor, ethics and morality.
I don’t see or hear anyone arguing about being “fair and balanced” on these subjects.
Basically all of the issues I have cited emanate from a perverse world view that has been developed and promulgated by the likes of Machiavelli, Marx, Gramsci, Lenin, Castro and more recently Saul Alinsky.
The latter dedicated his book, Rules for Radicals to Lucifer, the world’s first revolutionary.
I don’t think we should consider Lucifer’s arguments or those of his acolytes as part of our national debates.
All of these ideologues have perpetuated a way of thinking that is the antithesis of 1000 years of western civilization. Their target institutions include capitalism or private property, the traditional family and the Christian religion.
It is time people realized that our whole way of life is under attack and that being “fair and balanced” is just a formulae for appeasement, capitalization and pure surrender.
So while I can’t seem to get enough of Fox, not everything they say or believe resonates with my way of thinking. My only passion is for the Logos, the truth of our short sojourn on this vale of tears. Everything else is just window-dressing.