The Gospel Truth

A Lyre in the White House

May 27, 2010
6 Comments

There has been a lot of talk about the oil spill off the Louisiana coast.

Many of President Obama’s critics are calling this Obama’s Katrina, a reference to the hurricane that swept through the state five years ago that left over a 1000 dead and hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

I am not certain that this man-made disaster is comparable to the act of God that wreaked so much destruction.

I also think George Bush had little if any responsibility for the Katrina destruction and his alleged failure to act…or in the pleading liberal heart–just do something!

President Bush tried to go through the protocols that govern any interaction between states and federal government.  He was legally bound by the 1988 Stafford Act, which says that in natural disasters on-shore states are in charge, not Washington.

Liberals don’t seem to understand the rule of law. They only understand the rule that says they can bend or even break the law to get done what they want…which is not necessarily consistent with solving problems but only enhancing their own powers.

In the case of Katrina, President Bush had to wait for Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans and then Governor Kathleen Blanco to request federal assistance, including the notorious federal agency, FEMA.

Neither Nagin nor Blanco had the courage to act.  They both broke out their lyres and started playing the blues.

Bush waited until it was obvious that they were clueless of what to do.

For this he has continued to be blamed as a do-nothing president.

Speaking of a do-nothing president in times of national disaster and constitutional responsibility, that epithet can easily be applied to the musician in the White House.

While America’s borders crumble in a sea of illegal immigrants, gun trafficking and drug running, he sits calmly and without emotion in the government palace and serenely plays his lyre, doing his best impression of the Emperor Nero.

Isn’t it ironic that first as a candidate and now as a president who seems duty-bound to interfere with every act of our lives from our doctors, what we eat, whom we associate with and whether we have jobs, where we bank..ad infinitum, cannot do anything to protect the American people.

Those important matters are his expressed duties in the U. S. Constitution, which used to mean the rule of law as well as our body of liberties.

It is now a bundle of big government loopholes that exist merely for the disposition of the Obama White House.

The people of Arizona, especially on their border with Mexico are terrified.  Guns, drugs, and illegals violate their space every day.  What has Obama done?  Nada!

Phoenix is second in the hemisphere in kidnappings as bands of thieves and murderers violate our borders and steal our citizens and then hold them for ransom.  What does Obama do–nothing!

Oh, I am sure left-wingers will point out that he sent 1200 troops to the border..but only to stop the drugs and guns.  How are they going to do that?

Are they going to ask for the people climbing over the fence or running through the dessert: Show me your papers and then look for weapons?

Does he even know or care?

And just what has he done to alleviate or even manage this oil crisis?  A fat zero!

What he did do was to politicize this disaster as he has politicized everything that happens in this country.

Years ago author R. Emmett Tyrrell coined the neologism, Kultursmog, which he defined as the pollution of our culture by politics, almost exclusively Liberal politics.

In his Thursday news conference, the president ended by quoting an anecdote from that morning where his younger daughter knocked on the bathroom door while he was shaving and asked him Daddy did YOU fill the hole yet!

He has already postured himself to take credit for this disaster when BP’s technology finally solves the problems associated with their mess.  He wants the credit without any of the blame.

Since the deadly explosion nearly six weeks ago, he has made a concerted effort to distance himself from the issue, going to fund-raisers, and concerning himself with items of national importance like the Don’t ask! Don’t Tell military policy.

Meanwhile unemployment figures increase and the border remains a leaking sieve.

But Obama has had plenty of blame to lay on British Petroleum.  It’s all their fault and yet he expects to get all of the credit when the hole is finally filled.

When that finally happens, a true analysis will show that Obama did little to help..if anything and plenty to hinder the control of the oil.

According to Rush Limbaugh’s radio program on Thursday, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal asked the government for a simple permit to create a buffer zone off-shore that would help mitigate the spill’s destruction of his coastline.  He petitioned  the government and is still waiting for an answer.

This is the height of the president’s personal arrogance.  He is attempting to make the oil slick about him and his leadership.

The man has not shown an ounce of leadership in anything and why should that surprise anyone?  Has he ever done anything where executive skills where necessary?

Has he ever run a business–a campaign maybe but a business where he would have learned how the real world works?

Actor and I think conservative Kevin Costner, I just learned has an invention that he hopes will solve the problem.  He owns the patents on some sort of centrifuge that can speed up the absorption of the oil before it reaches the shore.

To date he has put $24 million of his own money into this project and is currently testing with BP.  Government can never match private enterprise in fixing problems.

But the rub is that before they can implement it, they must get the consent of the Federal government.

Think that is going to happen in our Kultursmog?  Let’s see a conservative inventor, a Republican governor, a big oil company?  Sounds like a lot of bad people.  The president cannot let them solve the problem.  It might cost him some popularity.

No, I think he will hunker down in the While House and strum a few tunes on his lyre while New Orleans slides off the face of the earth.

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If Only Roe…

May 21, 2010
7 Comments

I have loved going to the movies since I was 11 years old.

I would go to the show on a Saturday afternoon for a double feature with Alan Ladd, Randolph Scott or John Wayne.  Despite the decline in Hollywood’s moral standards, I still love to go to the show because films say so much about how our culture has evolved.

Films with serious subjects about life, moral choices and the inner struggle for God especially interest me. I particularly like movies that deal with Catholic issues, such as family, marital fidelity and abortion.

Each film is like a double feature for me.

I see not only what other moviegoers see but I also see a film from the perspective of my Catholic faith.

Hollywood has surprised me with its recent production of several pro-life films, such as Juno and Bella where women in unwanted pregnancies have selflessly decided to adopt their babies to friends instead of aborting their unborn children.

I recently saw Michael Caine’s latest movie, Harry Brown.  It is a bloody vigilante movie that reminded me more of a geriatric version of Charles Bronson’s old Death Wish movies, done with a cockney accent.

I was never crazy about Caine’s many, many roles when he was younger.  Alfie was a rouge and none of his war films did anything for me.

His most powerful role was in the film, Cider House Rules, where he played a sympathetic doctor with an addiction to ether, who performed illegal abortions during WWII.

Tobey Maguire was his young aid, who had strict reservations against what Caine was doing.

But after being enticed by one of Caine’s “patients” and his compassion for one of his fellow workers whose father had impregnated her, his reservations magically disappear and his transformation becomes complete and he follows in Caine’s footsteps.

The movie’s happy ending showed me how far we have come from those of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.

Another, more recent movie left me with the same feeling.

After seeing a similar movie a couple years ago, I had an epiphany about something that has baffled me for years.

Former Archbishop of St. Louis, now Cardinal Justin Rigali used to punctuate many of his pro-life homilies with the statement Life will be victorious.

While his invocation summoned images of Saint Louis IX, urging his crusaders to follow him into battle, his words also had an enigmatic quality that left me shaking my head in bewilderment.

This all changed with my viewing of Revolutionary Road.  The film depicts the disturbing story of a disintegrating suburban family in the 1950s.

To me it was the cinematic equivalent of Betty Friedan’s 1963 bestseller, The Feminine Mystique, which convinced millions of suburban housewives that their lives were meaningless.

April Wheeler is portrayed as a distraught and restless wife whose life seemed empty and hopeless. Her husband Frank, a thoroughly weak but buoyantly optimistic man, was still searching for his professional niche in life.

The couple had two children that were nothing more than blond appendages to their dismal lives.

To fill their marital void they spontaneously agreed to shed the conformity of oppressive suburbia and flee to the idyllic streets of Paris.

The plot becomes more complicated when Frank gets a promotion at his computer company that put him on the verge of a professional windfall and April gets pregnant.

To “solve” her problem she purchases a kit from the local pharmacy.  When Frank has second thoughts about their cultural change, and the end of their new baby, April is devastated.

A final solution appears to her in the frantic and unsettling words of a mentally ill man who tells her the sordid truth about their marriage.  Like the Fool in King Lear, he mocks the facade of their conflicted marriage from the depths of his madness.

To April his words are, not the ravings of a lunatic, but the painful truth that no sane person would dare say.  It is at that moment the audience realizes that April had only one viable option.

On the last morning of her life, acting like a submissive Stepford wife, marinated in robotic pleasantness, she calmly plans to end her mortal existence and that of her unborn child by suction bulb.

With fatal resignation cowering in her eyes before their picture window, her life ebbing away from her, I could almost hear the feminist chorus in the audience echo in unison, If only Roe…

It was at this exact moment I knew exactly what the Archbishop had meant. Jesus’ death and Resurrection had conquered death.  But for the Wheelers, there was no god except pleasure and success.

With the exception of a few mindless blasphemies they never gave God a second thought.  Without recognition of Him and His victory over death the only choice April had was the grave.

I just wonder how many people shape their opinions of such important issue by what they see in the movies?

Hollywood has always had the power to influence what Rush calls minds of mush which probably applies to millions of the American people.

But despair is not one of our choices.

In recognizing this Catholics should have confidence in life’s eventual triumph over the forces of death and despair that populate our culture, attack our families and seduce our children.

I know that both Cardinal Rigali still implores his Philadelphia flock about the victory of life over April’s culture of death and that St. Louisans still exhort Life’s Final Victory.  Now I know what they mean.


Too Big To Fail Part II

May 14, 2010
2 Comments

Most people will agree that if they make more money they should have to pay my fair share. Well that’s essentially right and Steve Forbes called that a flat tax.

If one man makes $10,000 and his tax rate is my 10%, his tax is…$1000.  Good so far?

If my wealthy man makes $200,000, then his tax would be $20,000.  That means he makes 20x what the worker makes and he pays 20x that in taxes.  Seems fair and reasonable?

That’s not what we have today.  We haven’t had that since the 16th Amendment was passed in 1913.

For a definition of the Progressive Income tax, which I will use what I used  in class when I was teaching: by definition, the more you make, the higher the percentage they will take.

Most people misunderstand that and believe that it is the more one makes, the more one pays–that’s also true of the flat tax but this is far more sinister.

According to this tax the first individual will still pay his $1000 but the executive will pay $74,000 based on his progressive rate of 37%.   Now he is paying 74x what the worker is.

So under the two same examples, where the richer man who makes 20x the poorer man, now pays 74x what he pays.  Does that sound like he is paying HIS fair share.

Not if you listen to our tax-hungry president.

Like the plant in the Little Shop of Horrors, he needs more and more and more… money to fund his utopian schemes of massive self-destruction.

In 2011 when the Bush tax cuts expire, the rates will all go up.  Forget about that campaign promise.

Obama wants to raise this same fellow in my example to 43%, including Pelosi’s surtax.

And they keep eliminating our deductions.

On top of that they are talking about a Value Added Tax, (VAT) another misnomer because value is actually subtracted–call it a VST.

Now in Europe it can go as high as 20-30%.  I don’t know if they have local sales tax over there but if they do I don’t see why or how anyone buys anything.

If you were to buy a care at $20,000 and they put a 20% VAT on in addition to say a 10% sales tax that makes the car now cost $26,000.

So for our president to say we should thank him for lowering the boom on workers and employers is probably the most disingenuous statement this president has said so far.

And while I am on taxes, let me say within the ObamaCare Bill, there are all sorts of additional taxes, levies, fines etc that will discourage people from hiring any additional workers.

I believe it will institutionalize a 10-12% unemployment rate for many years to come.

That will just put a greater burden on those who actually work in this country.

How can Americans pay for all the spending this president who had the audacity (his favorite word) to complain about George Bush’s financial profligacy, has incurred?

Oh they have a plan.  They can simply print more money.

Of course the Chinese wont like this.  They will demand a higher interest rate, making the deficits even larger.

Remember supply and demand?  Well if the money supply goes way up, the vale of that money goes way down.

We call that INFLATION!

I think the president has set the stage for continuing the recession and maybe turning it into a full-fledged Depression.

And the world seems to be going along with him.  That’s real globalism–global self-destruction and it all begins with TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT.

Just look at Greece.  Why should anyone care about Greece and what happens to their government workers?

Nobody does…but they worry about what the Greek problem will do to Italy, Portugal, Spain, Ireland…England and you guessed it–America.

About a third of Europeans work for their governments.

Governments don’t produce anything.  They exist off the work and production of others who have to take the risks for failure–unless you are Government Sacks.

The only jobs Obama has saved or added have been government-related jobs.

Governments don’t produce anything, anyone would want to buy.  He wants more people to work for government and join a government union.

The world cannot continue to go on like this.  It is drowning in a Red Sea of debt.

This glitch in the financial markets this past week was just a warning, before-shock of the quake about to come.  As they say in California, the BIG ONE!

Unless world leaders can stand up to their municipal unions, like those in Greece, who would rather see their countries go to heck then give an inch, the world will fail.

What was that Anthony Newley song from the 1960’s, Stop the World I Want to Get Off?

You would think that someone as bright as Mr. Obama would understand this.  Surely he got more than C’s in Economics.

Then again MAYBE HE DOES!  And that’s the point!

Oh by the way, the originator of the Progressive tax system—-Karl, don’t call me Groucho Marx!  Makes you wonder why America’s leaders think this is the best system possible.


Too Big to Fail?

May 11, 2010
1 Comment

While that scary phrase too big to fail has become part of the national idiom, I want to give it a broader application.

It has usually referred to big US companies, mostly banks and brokerage houses.  Some, such as Lehman’s have been allowed to join the dinosaurs while most have received the bail-out, a nautical term that usually refers to sinking ships.

I want to raise a new question:

IS THE WORLD TOO BIG TO FAIL?

You think that’s a bit over the top?  My pessimism, which to me is really negative realism, have finally driven me over the edge?

Last year I had to stop listening to Glenn Beck because he was too apocalyptic.  Now my fear of the emerging spiralling collapse has rendered me absolutely Panglossian!

Debt has always troubled me.  I never have been in debt.  My family was never in debt.  The only debts we have are the recent credit card balances and we always pay them on time.

I don’t like to borrow money.  My father would lend money to relatives but he never borrowed anything, not even to buy our only home (I was two at the time.) with cash in 1945.

Maybe as a result Economics has always baffled me.

It is so complex a subject the economists don’t really understand it themselves.

Isn’t there an aphorism that says that if one laid all the economists end to end they would point in millions of different directions?

I did manage two “gentleman C’s in the subject as a freshman at Holy Cross.

I do remember three things that probably constituted my grades: 1) supply and demand b) guns and butter c) if you want less of something, tax it;

The first one refers to productivity.  If the consumers like a product and want more, the producers will make more.  Now everything is made in China or Vietnam and it doesn’t seem to help us here much here.

If something is scarce then it will rise in value based on the same principle.

Lyndon Johnson virtually destroyed the second principle with the Vietnam War.

With reference to guns and butter government revenue is a zero sum game.  If you spend more for buttery domestic goods, you can spend less for deadly guns; or vice versa.

Johnson said something to the effect  praise the Lord and pass the margarine!

As a result we got our first large deficits since WWII.

As for taxation, that’s the one I think I understand the most.  If you want more people to work, you lower their taxes and the taxes on their employers.

I think after a certain point–maybe 10% most people don’t like to pay taxes.  At higher rates people will not work as hard or do a lot of over-time.

Our tax system is very unfair as it is and it bodes to get worse.  According to the equal protection provision of the Constitution, which does not apply to Arizona, those who have to bear the lion share of taxation are being cheated.

That number of real taxpayers is dwindling as I write.  It stands at about 52% now.  When it goes under we will have a situation where more than half the population lives off the sweat of the other half.

That’s the formula for a tyranny that we have not seen since the colonial days.

The system we have now is called Progressive, named after the period in American history when the country first took the socialist path that it is now running down.

Glenn Beck has been the most proficient commentator in exposing this period, though he gets some of the details wrong.  TR was almost as bad as his cousin.

Progressivism is a misnomer. There was absolutely nothing about it that had anything to do with progress… except we progressively get into more and more debt!

LOOK FOR PART II-–The Progressive Income Tax that isn’t!


Back to Bataan

May 3, 2010
15 Comments

One of the most horrific events of the early war was the Bataan Death March in 1942.

After the American defeat on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philipines, the Japanese forced a 60-mile march of 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners that killed several thousand prisoners.

Those who were unable to keep up with the pace were summarily executed on the spot where they fell.

The Japanese attitude was comparable to that of the Nazis who eliminated all its useless eaters,who were a drain on the country’s limited physical and medical resources.

This pragmatic attitude of eliminating all those who waste government resources bodes poorly for America.

I believe that just as slavery was our most compelling social and moral issue of the 19th century and similarly with abortion in the 20th century, this country will see euthanasia as the most controversial issue in the 21st century.

The recent passage of ObamaCare with its provisions about end-of-life counseling all Americans, especially senior citizens, should give pause for real concern.

This is not to suggest that America has become a den of Nazis or Japanese fascists but only to point out that some of the seeds have been sown for what might arguably lead to an embedded system of passive euthanasia for the elderly and the infirmed.

Once that starts it will be only a matter of time when active euthanasia rules the medical profession.

This will be true because since the 2nd half of the previous century the U. S. has undergone a subtle transformation from being one nation under God to that of a polygotinous collection of rival special interests that relied more on secular principles than any religious guidance.

While religion had always supported traditional virtues, such as patriotism, fidelity, loyalty and honesty, our cultural leaders have relied on the secular virtues of tolerance, expediency, practical reasoning and compassion.

On a related note, since the 1930s the federal government has gradually increased its control over and responsibility for many of the quotidian functions that previously had been handled by state governments or individual self-reliance.

These new “rights” or entitlements have come with a sticker-shock price tag.   Profligate government spending has been more the rule than the exception.

But even that has its limitations. With the advent of a federal assumption of health care for over 300 million Americans, predicted expenditures are off the charts.

Add to this a startling doctor shortage.  The US has not kept pace with its expanding populations with incentivizing young people to become doctors.

If anything the legal profession has especially chased thousands upon thousands of qualified men and women from even considering medicine as a career choice.

When the ill effects of ObamaCare become apparent, it will chase thousands more from the roles, reducing our medicine to the level of the VA hospital system.

Government medicine will then be the only game in town and we will be …at last at their mercy.   Have you ever received compassion from the IRS?

It is at this stage that a reasoned pragmatism has to kick in so that government can fulfill its promises and avoid insolvency.

Since the elderly now account for 80% of our medical expenditures, logic dictates that their health care be restricted.

While there may not be any visible death panels, or any overt duty to die programs, there is a systemic incentive there for cutting costs by limiting treatment to those who need the most treatment.

To make matters worse, the environmental movement has employed its apocalyptic ruminations in order to condition Americans to accept a lifeboat mentality that sees mankind as the enemy of humanity.

Thanks to the bogus science of Rachel Carson’s A Silent Spring, they have effectively reduced the population of Africa with their outlawing of DDT, an innocuous pesticide that had virtually eliminated malaria and other insect-born diseases from the earth.

Now it’s back with a vengeance, killing millions each year.

They believe that a reduction in population will reduce man’s carbon footprint and thus avert the alleged disasters of  climate change.

This is at variance from the teachings of the Church that says all men are created in God’s image and likeness.  Government has borrowed more from George Orwell’s Animal Farm idea that held …but some were more equal.

This is not a conspiracy but a natural result, emanating from ideas that have replaced God with a religion of humanity.

It flows more from a morally indifferent expediency that reasons that American youth is the future and the elderly are part of the disposable past.

If we are not more vigilant the United States may experience something akin to Back to Bataan.


About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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