Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Goodnight, Capitalism.

Well, it's happened. The government has decided that it has the constitutional ability to control the earnings of private employees of private businesses based on the governments idea of what is fair and what goals a worker should meet. Sounds nice and utopian.

Introducing the Pay for Performance Act of 2009.


(a) Prohibition on Executive Compensation Not Based on Performance Standards- Section 111 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (12 U.S.C. 5221) is amended by redesignating subsections (e) through (h) as subsections (f) through (g), and inserting after subsection (d) the following:

‘(e) Prohibition on Executive Compensation Not Based on Performance Standards-

‘(1) PROHIBITION- No financial institution that has received or receives a capital investment under this title, or with respect to the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Montage Corporation, or a Federal home loan bank, under the amendments made by section 1117 of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, may, while that capital investment remains outstanding, make a compensation payment to any executive or employee under any pre-existing compensation arrangement, or enter into a new compensation payment arrangement, if such compensation payment or compensation payment arrangement--

    ‘(A) provides for compensation that is unreasonable or excessive, as defined in standards established by the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (2); or

    ‘(B) includes any bonus, retention payment, or other supplemental payment that is not directly based on performance-based measures set forth in standards established by the Secretary in accordance with paragraph (2).

So the obvious question is, who precisely gets to decide how much money is too much and what performance is satisfactory and which is not? That would be the secretary. Who's that? The tax cheat Timothy Geithner.

So if you run a corporation that is "too big to fail" and the government decides it needs to save you from yourself, Tim Geithner, who may have zero experience with your particular business, can tell you how to run it, how much you pay your employees to do it, and how much money you're allowed to make from it. The best part is it's retroactive. It overwrites any previous agreement, practically forcing companies to violate contracts with special payment arrangements. And nowhere is it limited only to the "Wallstreet elite" that everyone loves to hate.

This only applies to businesses that have received TARP money. For now.

But if the government can snap its fingers and decide to invade a business and dictate how its run and how much money it can make and spend, what is there constitutionally to keep them out of every inch of the private sector for any reason they decide is "dire" enough?

It only one small step for the government to decide you're too big to fail and by force "saves you from yourself."

May God comfort the souls of those who gave their lives to protect the people from the tyranny of government.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Brick By Brick

I'm pleased to say that my mother's parish is now starting to implement latin into the liturgy. So far they have the sanctus and the agnus dei, in addition to the greek kyria which they have been using for many years now.

There is still a way to go, and many seemed lost during all of it (even though it was taked straight out of the hymnal), little by little it is quite easy to adapt and enjoy a fuller Catholic identity. One needs not stop there, but also the gloria, pater noster, and even teh credo can be added as well, according to the wishes of the Holy Father that the people know how to say the common prayers in latin.

I know that to many this is just a very small grassroots victory, if anything at all. But I grew up at this parish, I've seen all of its developments as well as detriments. This is a good step and although small, we must start somewhere.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Vatican II Infallible?

I believe that VII has the authority of the ordinary Magisterium, but chose not to invoke the authority of the extraordinary. This is why:

First we have a statement from Paul VI froma general audience. The original is on Vatican.va but unfortunately I can't read italian, so I must rely on a translation:

"In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statements of dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium which must be accepted with docility according to the mind of the Council concerning the nature and aims of each document" (Paul VI, General Audience of 12 January 1966).

This tells me that VII chose not to teach form the extraordinary Magisterium but from the ordinary, which requires docility and assent to its authority but is not required belief for salvation like a dogma is. This is not to say that it couldn't have taught from the extraordinary Magisterium, it most surely could have. But For reasons known to pope Paul VI they didn't.

Then there is this statement from that clarification on "subsistit" that I found interesting:

First Question: Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?

Response: The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine, rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it.

This was exactly what John XXIII said at the beginning of the Council1. Paul VI affirmed it2 and commented in the act of promulgating the Constitution Lumen gentium: "There is no better comment to make than to say that this promulgation really changes nothing of the traditional doctrine. What Christ willed, we also will. What was, still is. What the Church has taught down through the centuries, we also teach. In simple terms that which was assumed, is now explicit; that which was uncertain, is now clarified; that which was meditated upon, discussed and sometimes argued over, is now put together in one clear formulation"3. The Bishops repeatedly expressed and fulfilled this intention4.

This sounds to me like the purpose of the council was to treat pre-existing decrees that had already been made. I think this may be why they refrained from any new dogmas because the purpose was to treat already-existing ones. Basically renewed argumentation and reasoning behind the existing decrees.

And I also read this on Newadvent:

What teaching is infallible?

A word or two under this head, summarizing what has been already explained in this and in other articles will suffice.

As regards matter, only doctrines of faith and morals, and facts so intimately connected with these as to require infallible determination, fall under the scope of infallible ecclesiastical teaching. These doctrines or facts need not necessarily be revealed; it is enough if the revealed deposit cannot be adequately and effectively guarded and explained, unless they are infallibly determined.

As to the organ of authority by which such doctrines or facts are determined, three possible organs exist. One of these, the magisterium ordinarium, is liable to be somewhat indefinite in its pronouncements and, as a consequence, practically ineffective as an organ. The other two, however, are adequately efficient organs, and when they definitively decide any question of faith or morals that may arise, no believer who pays due attention to Christ's promises can consistently refuse to assent with absolute and irrevocable certainty to their teaching.

But before being bound to give such an assent, the believer has a right to be certain that the teaching in question is definitive (since only definitive teaching is infallible); and the means by which the definitive intention, whether of a council or of the pope, may be recognized have been stated above. It need only be added here that not everything in a conciliar or papal pronouncement, in which some doctrine is defined, is to be treated as definitive and infallible. For example, in the lengthy Bull of Pius IX defining the Immaculate Conception the strictly definitive and infallible portion is comprised in a sentence or two; and the same is true in many cases in regard to conciliar decisions. The merely argumentative and justificatory statements embodied in definitive judgments, however true and authoritative they may be, are not covered by the guarantee of infallibility which attaches to the strictly definitive sentences -- unless, indeed, their infallibility has been previously or subsequently established by an independent decision.

But as we heard earlier, VII did not and chose not to make any of those "definitive sentences". An independent decision was made not to invoke the charism of infallibility but a decision not to. What have left is argumentation and reasoning treating pre-existing decrees. The decrees may be infallible, but the reasoning and argumentation are not. But decrees were not part of the council.

So in conclusion, it is clear to me at least that the documents of VII do not enjoy the charism of infallibility. (Because it was decided not to be invoked, and the charism does not extend to argumentation and reasoning behind a teaching) So in a strict sense it is possible, but unlikely, for them to contain blatant error. But there is no guarantee that teachings will be in the most precise language, either. (Which of course opens the door to playing fast and loose with meanings to, say, support a liberal agenda maybe?)

I look at it this way: as far as clarity is concerned with teaching, the Church doesn't promise us a banquet all the time, only that we will not starve. Sometimes the clarity is great sometimes it could be better. But it can never be outright wrong.

Does that make sense? What do you think?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wow, I thought it was a CATHOLIC health provider...

My wife and I are enrolled in AHCCCS health care. Basically state-healthcare. Trust me, if I could afford a policy I'd jump at it. I'd rather have a mammogram than to deal with the Department of Economic Security every six months. And yes, I pay my taxes. Keep in mind that we just had our third daughter in August.

This is from the "About Us" page on the mercy care website:

Southwest Catholic Health Network (SCHN) was established in 1985 as a not-for-profit managed care corporation sponsored by Catholic Healthcare West and Carondelet Health Network. SCHN, doing business as Mercy Care Plan, has managed health care for people in Arizona for more than 20 years, including those with special needs.

That said, we got a letter in the mail from Mercy Care, the allegedly Catholic plan available through AHCCCS. This notice reads as follows:

Dear Mercy Care Plan Member:

As a member of Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), you may get family planning services at no cost to you. Talk to your doctor to find out what services are best for you. A list of services is attached.

The attachment reads:

Unprotected Sex is Dangerous!

Did you know that birth control is provided to AHCCCS member at no cost?

- If you are having sex, using birth control may keep you from getting pregnant.

- Using condoms and spermicidal foams, jellies or creams may help prevent some diseases that you can get by having sex.

- Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

It also lists:

AHCCCS also provides the following family planning services:

-Natural Family Planning

- Birth control pills

- The morning after pill

- Depo-Provera


- Cervical rings

- Spermicidal foams, jellies and creams

- Diaphrams

- Sterilization

- Testing for sexually transmitted diseases

I guess this 'Catholic' organization really wants us having more children don't they? Mortal sin be damned.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Joys of Labeling

On a particular Catholic forum I was discussing how it is wrong to call Bp. Williamson a holocaust denier when he did no such thing. Of course everyone there was. The topic shifted around and I mentioned that I thought it was wrong how the Jews of today exploit their victim status for political gain and how that craps on the memories of the Jews, gypsies, Catholics, and soviets that suffered and died. The accusation of anti-semitism followed quickly soon after, and I said that Williamson doesn't owe an apology for disagreement the same as Geert Wilders or Salman Rushdie don't owe apologies to muslims for disagreeing either.

I received and "infraction" on this forum for insulting, vulgar, and possible anti-semitic language because I failed to capitalize the word"Jew". You heard me right. Nevermind that I didn't capitalize "gypsies" or "muslims," it was only an insult in reference to "jews." I was accused of anti-semitism by the moderators.

So watch that shift-key folks! There's no telling when the NAACP, NOW, HRC, or the ADL gestapo is gonna come for you with their tissue-paper-feelings and pitchforks.


Monday, February 2, 2009

EWTN Update:

EWTN Picks Up the Ball NBC Dropped in Refusing to Air Pro-life Commercial During Super Bowl

Irondale, AL (EWTN) – See the pro-life commercial NBC refused to air during the Super Bowl on EWTN Global Catholic Network this Sunday Feb. 1, beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET and continuing through midnight ET.

The commercial, sponsored by Fidelis and catholicvote.com, centers around the theme: “Life: Imagine the Potential.” It will begin airing during “Faith Bowl II,” an annual Family Theatre made-for-television special, which analyzes the role that the Catholic/Christian Faith plays in professional and collegiate sports. This year, Major League Baseball’s Mark Loretta of the Los Angeles Dodgers will guest along with former professional soccer player Antonio Soave.

The commercials will continue throughout EWTN’s Sunday evening lineup, including the shows with popular series Hosts Father Benedict Groeschel and Father John Corapi, and will conclude at midnight ET.

EWTN also aired this powerful commercial several times during its extensive coverage of the March for Life; an event which has been boycotted by virtually every mainstream media outlet in the country, despite the fact that every year it is Washington, D.C.’s largest march.

The commercial can also be viewed on EWTN’s pro-life webpage, www.ewtn.com/prolife, after 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, and, of course, on www.catholicvote.com.

What follows are the words that flash across the screen over a picture of an ultrasound during the must-see pro-life commercial: “This child’s future is a broken home, he will be abandoned by his father, his single mother will struggle to raise him, despite the hardships he will endure, this child will become the 1st African-American president. Life, imagine the potential.”

EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 28th year, is available in over 148 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website www.ewtn.com and publishing arm, EWTN, is the largest religious media network in the world.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fairweather Intellectual Honesty

No doubt you have heard about Bp. Williamson's recent remarks regarding the holocaust. No doubt you have seen headlines on the newssites, forums, and blogs like:

Holocaust denier bishop gagged

Bishops apologise for holocaust denier

SSPX superior to holocaust denier: Shut up!

Have any of you seen the video in which he made these remarks? Here it is, please watch the whole thing. It's only five minutes.

Did you notice any disparity between the headlines and his remarks? Any at all?

Nowhere in his statement did he deny the holocaust happened. He criticizes the figures and methods, but never here did he deny that it happened. Of course, bloggers and news scum will have you think different.

This is sending a real message to the people: "If you don't believe history as we tell it then you must be a denier."

Do I agree with Williamson about there only being a few hundred thousand dead, or that gas chambers were never used? No, there were probably many more than that. Even if he was right, does that make it any less horrible? But does he not have a right to dispute popularly held statistics? It seems not when it comes to the holocaust. I may not agree with him but calling for his head merely because he dares question popular belief is rediculous.

If this were any other issue his remarks would just pass away. But because his remarks call into question what people assume to be true and what is worn as a badge of victimhood nowadays, he's some kind of monster.

Don't get me wrong, it was a terrible tragedy that by any means necessary, saving collaboration with like evil, should be kept from happening ever again. But ask yourself, how often do you hear about the Catholics and gypsies that died as well in the holocaust? It wasn't until highschool that I heard that the nazis killed people other than jews. If you read the wiki article on the holocaust, there's a debate whether the term "holocaust" should refer to the nazi extermination of undesireables or just the extermination of the jews. I have a huge problem with this reasoning. What about the others? Do they not deserve to be victims because they are not jews?

Never will a child grow up not hearing about the jews' suffering at the hands of the nazis but it's rare for them to hear that anyone else suffered. Many, many non-jews suffered and died to them as well. No one cries for them. If the jews earned the right to wear the badge of victimhood then so did everyone else who was targetted. They were not the only ones who suffered.

I'm not trying to downplay the jews plight in the terrible period of history. I'm trying to emphasize the suffering of those who go unremembered, constantly overshadowed by the media's exaltation of the jews' plight. But by the media's standards, I too, am a holocaust denier because I dare criticize their version of it.

The jews are still God's people, and history has inflicted many punishments upon them because of that fact. But all loss of life to evil is to be mourned; jew, Catholic, gypsie, whatever. The difference between me and the media is that my mourning isn't drawn down religious lines, nor is it used to rally the people under my banner to yet again exploit an opportunity to let the Church have it, no matter how many half-truths I must use to do it.

Take another look at those headlines and ask yourself if that's true, or if they're just to draw readers, playing on emotion to win people to their side, exalting and exploiting at the same time the suffering the holocaust inflicted. Is it okay to lie about someone when they disagree with us? No one holds the media responsible for their lies. But in a single day their lies can destroy someone, never to be redeemed publicly again. (I give you the many false accusations of rape and molestation) Lies are printed on the front page whereas retractions and corrections are in tiny print in the back. But by then it's too late.