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The Fifth Column

Orthodox Catholic commentary on current events.

Updated: 2017-11-20T09:43:15.132-06:00


Double Standards: The Church and Science


"Within the next week, two doctors cleared Geoghan for parish duty, according to an archdiocesan chronology that is in court files. It reads: “12/11/84 Dr. [Robert] Mullins - Father Geoghan `fully recovered.’ . . . 12/14/84 Dr. [John H.] Brennan: “no psychiatric contraindications or restrictions to his work as a parish priest.”

But, of course, NO ONE blames the medical profession for being wrong. Instead, everyone tells the Church, "You should NOT have followed SETTLED SCIENCE!"

And the science of the time WAS settled - according to the medical professionals then, they could cure it. They were experts, after all.

So, when the Church questions science, She's wrong, and when the Church accepts science She is wrong. Nice double standard you got there.

Usury and Capitalism (short version)


"Usury", in its simplest meaning, means "to charge for the use of a thing."  But Aquinas points out that the ACTUAL definition of usury is "to sell that which does not exist", i.e., to commit what we would now call "fraud."

In a subsistence-level society, money is functionally identical to consumption. In a surplus-goods society, money is NOT functionally identical to consumption.

Thus, as the monasteries were able to produce local areas of surplus goods, the function of money changed and the definition changed with it.

See Aquinas' commentary here as he explains why you can charge for the use of some things (e.g., you can rent a house), but not for the use of other things (you can't rent food).

Money was originally understood to be very much like food, but over time, the medievals began to realize that surplus food made it possible to think of money more like a house. It was this change in the understanding and use of money which allows one to "build a house of gold", i.e., accumulate capital.

I have a longer gloss here on his commentary which may (or may not) help to understand what he meant.

So, both capitalism and the industrial revolution are the result of Christian philosophy. The Catholic willingness to understand that the definition of money could change, and the affect this change had on the definition of usury was central to the development of capitalism. The Catholic development of experimental science was built off the high regard Catholics have always had for manual labor, and central to the industrial revolution.

Islam never understood the change in the definition of  "money" from the 600s through the 1500 years that followed. Christians, on the other hand, realized that the definition being used in their Scriptures was fundamentally different than how the word was being used even by the end of the first millennium. Thus, you see Aquinas drawing very fine distinctions in the Summa Theologica about what does and does not constitute usury.

Precisely because the definition of "money" changed, the definition of what it meant to "charge interest" also changed, and Aquinas recognized those changes. Usury is still a sin to this day, but Christians don't use the 600s AD broad-based definition still used today by Muslim banks, which inhibits capital formation in Muslim countries.

Instead, Christians recognized the elements of the underlying economy, distinguished them, and pointed out that many uses of this new "money" paradigm didn't actually violate any spiritual principles that had been put in peril under the old definitions.

The change then was almost as profound as the move from gold-based to fiat-based to crypto. Christians recognized, tracked and leveraged these changes without violating the spirit of the Faith. Muslims still haven't figured out that anything is different.

SJWs and the Duty to Defend


The state legitimately defends its citizens against foreign invaders.

The biggest killers in time of war, e.g., invading armies, is not the military action itself, but the disease, malnutrition and exposure to the elements that these invading armies inflict upon the citizens.

So, arguably, when defending its citizens against an invading army the state is not primarily tasked with defending its citizens against a bloodless coup, but against agents that inflict disease, malnutrition and exposure on its citizens.

But, if THAT is true, then the state's duty to defend its citizens should also involve defending its citizens against those deleterious effects regardless of whether an army is invading.

Which means the state has a duty to make sure its citizens are at least somewhat protected against those three things under all circumstances. This means the state has the duty to conduct, say, nation-wide vaccination campaigns to wipe out smallpox and polio, mandate campaigns against vitamin-deficiency and malnutrition (which contribute to disease spread in addition to being threats in their own right).

You see where this is going.

IF we admit, as the Constitution does, that the state has a duty to protect its citizens, THEN arguments about the nation's duty to commit acts of social justice are really just variations on an argument over  where the "defense" line is drawn.

"Green Energy" Kills Black Children


Al Gore, Barack Obama and Elon Musk support killing black children for personal gain.
Follow the bouncing ball:
  1. "Green energy", i.e., energy from wind and solar, is unreliable.
  2. Because it is unreliable (the sun doesn't always shine, the wind doesn't always blow), any electricity it generates that is not instantly transmitted and used must be stored. 
  3. The only way to store that electricity is to put it into a battery.
  4. The most efficient batteries use cobalt.
  5. Half the world's supply of cobalt is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  6. The companies in the DRC use small children to mine the cobalt.
  7. Because there is virtually no safety equipment, the children die.

SO, anyone who supports green energy tacitly supports killing small black children to make their money and/or their political point.

Now, Tesla (Elon Musk) has publicly and specifically said he refuses to source cobalt from the DRC.  Oddly enough, it seems Elon Musk is a liar.
"Human rights charity Amnesty International also investigated cobalt mining in the DRC and says that none of the 16 electric vehicle manufacturers they identified have conducted due diligence to the standard defined by the Responsible Cobalt Initiative."
Even if he does eventually succeed in not using DRC cobalt directly (which is highly unlikely, given world cobalt demand), his use of all the other cobalt supplies in the world will drive up the price of DRC cobalt so that DRC's child-mining operations become even MORE profitable than they are now. Supply and demand, and Elon still ends up contributing to the deaths of small black children.

As for Gore and Obama always nattering about "green energy", both seem (as you do), oblivious to the fact that "green energy" REQUIRES battery backup for off-peak power, and those batteries currently REQUIRE cobalt, which is mined by small black children who are worked to incapacity and death.
"Cobalt is up 150% in the last year, but it's likely to see far higher prices due to a severe deficit. According to Macquarie Research, the deficit for the next year will be 885 tonnes. In 2019, that number rises to 3,205, and by 2020, we are looking at a 5,340 tonne supply shortage!"
So, Gore, Obama, and Musk are deliberately blind to the fact that they are essentially advocating the death of small black children. "Green energy" can't avoid killing small black kids until it can avoid using the DRC's cobalt. It can't avoid using the DRC's cobalt until new cobalt-free battery technology comes on-line. That battery technology is not projected to come on-line for years, if ever.

Is Technology Pro-Worker?


Technology gives EVERYONE a better life, 
but EVERYONE has fewer jobs available, 
and HALF the population has dramatically fewer jobs available.
Tech improves everyone's life. 
Tech destroys old jobs. 
Tech creates new jobs.
Tech creates fewer jobs than it destroys, so there is a net loss of jobs, but a net increase in living standards for everyone. Tech takes the low-hanging job fruit, so it automates the simplest jobs, leaving only complex jobs and, when it creates jobs, creating relatively complex jobs.
In 1800, everyone from age 5 to dead worked 12 hours a day, six days a week.
In the intervening two centuries, we have eliminated jobs for:
• essentially everyone under 18, 
• most people over age 65, 
• anyone going to college (30% of the working population), 
• reduced the number of workdays to five, 
• reduced the number of work hours to 40 
• Obamacare tries to reduce that number to 30.
By the standards of 1800, everyone today job shares. 
So, tech brings very much increased standards of living, greatly reduces the number of jobs, and right-shifts the jobs it DOES create to the right-hand of the bell-curve. While 50% of the general population by definition always has an IQ below 100, the jobs tech creates tends to be best-suited for those in the 100+ IQ curve.
Janitors and 40-year old fast food workers generally cannot retrain as IT network administrators.
So, EVERYONE gets a better life, 
EVERYONE has fewer jobs available 
HALF the population has dramatically fewer jobs available.
Is that pro-worker? 
Depends on how you define it. What happens is fewer to no jobs, but higher standard of living. If that fits your definition of "pro-worker", then it is. Otherwise, it isn't.

Pope Francis and the Death Penalty


Pope Francis recently announced that capital punishment “is in itself contrary to the Gospel.”Traditional Catholics, whose failure to understand the Gospel is legendary, began caterwauling precisely on schedule.So, let's review the basics of moral theology again.Sigh.We can inflict a natural evil (e.g., the pain of surgery) if we have legitimate hope that a natural good will result that is greater than the natural evil. However, we cannot inflict a moral evil at all.Thus, we cannot take a human life (commit murder via euthanasia or abortion), even if this would restore a natural good (e.g., financial well-being to the family, health of the mother). We cannot torture another person, even if we have legitimate reason to hope that the tortured person will give up information that will prevent a great physical catastrophe. John Paul II pointed out that, given the current cultural climate, there were virtually no circumstances under which capital punishment was legitimate. Pope Francis merely stands with JP II.Christ came to give life, and that abundantly.He didn't come to take it.In that sense, capital punishment has always been against the Gospel. And, it is worth keeping in mind that the Church has never, herself, imposed the death penalty. At most, she handed heretics over to the secular authority. Sometimes, the secular authority chose to execute the heretic, reasoning that anyone who was willing to rebel against God would have few cavils about rebelling against a human monarch. Other secular authorities (I'm looking at you, monarchs and princes who protected the likes of Jan Hus, Martin Luther and John Wycliffe) decided they liked what the heretic had to say and either left him alone, or actually supported him. But the death penalty was always and only a secular affair, never a sentence imposed by the Church.Actually, the "change" in the teaching on the death penalty is virtually identical to the "change" in the teaching on usury or the Church's stance on slavery. Sure, usury is intrinsically evil, but the definition of money changed, so the phrase "interest on a loan" no longer means what it meant in the 12th century. Thus, when we say "charging interest on a loan is a mortal sin", the phrase doesn't mean now what it meant in the year 1000 AD.Similarly, the Church permitted enslavement in the subsistence-level society of the Middle Ages, precisely because a subsistence-level society cannot afford to have many people in jail. A subsistence-level society requires that every able-bodied person work, so that the entire community does not starve. Useless moouths in jail couldn't be sustained. Prisoners either had to be killed, put to work or banished (which was equivalent to a death sentence). In justice, slavery was the only decent way to treat someone who offended against society. But, by the late 20th-century, we no longer have a subsistence-level society. We can afford to house legions of prisoners (and we do). The word "slavery" no longer means what it did. Thus, Pope John Paul II uses Veritatis Splendor #80 to pronounce "slavery... intrinsically evil."In the same way, the circumstances which made the death penalty legitimate for state actors in the 12th century simply no longer obtain in the 21st. We aren't a subsistence-level society anymore, we have many more means to contain violence now than we did in the 12th century, so the reasons of self-defense which the state could use in the year 1000 simply don't exist anymore. The death penalty can no longer be legitimately referred to as a kind of self defense.If the Church has permitted the death penalty, She has permitted it in the same way that Aquinas and Augustine were willing to permit prostitution, and the same way God Himself permitted divorce - not because it is a legitimate right, but because they were dealing with stiff-necked people."Stiff-necked people" ... That would be us.By grumbling against Christ's m[...]

Self-contradictory Evolutionists


"One of the best-known segregation distorters is the so-called t gene in mice. When a mouse has two t genes it either dies young or is sterile, t is therefore said to be 'lethal' in the homozygous state. If a male mouse has only one t gene it will be a normal, healthy mouse except in one remarkable respect. If you examine such a male's sperms you will find that up to 95 per cent of them contain the t gene, only 5 per cent the normal allele. This is obviously a gross distortion of the 50 per cent ratio that we expect. Whenever, in a wild population, a t allele happens to arise by mutation, it immediately spreads like a brash fire. How could it not, when it has such a huge unfair - advantage in the meiotic lottery? It spreads so fast that, pretty soon, large numbers of individuals in the population inherit the t gene in double dose (that is, from both their - parents). These individuals die or are sterile, and before long the whole local population is likely to be driven extinct. There is some evidence that wild populations of mice have, in the past, gone extinct through epidemics of t genes."
The quote above, taken from Richard Dawkin's book, The Selfish Gene (p. 236), should be combined with Dawkin's theory of memes, described on p. 192:
Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation. If a scientist hears, or reads about, a good idea, he passes it on to his colleagues and students. He mentions it in his articles and his lectures. If the idea catches on, it can be said to propagate itself, spreading from brain to brain. As my colleague N. K. Humphrey neatly summed up an earlier draft of this chapter:’. .. memes should be regarded as living structures, not just metaphorically but technically.* When you plant a fertile meme in my mind you literally parasitize my brain, turning it into a vehicle for the meme's propagation in just the way that a virus may parasitize the genetic mechanism of a host cell. And this isn't just a way of talking — the meme for, say, "belief in life after death" is actually realized physically, millions of times over, as a structure in the nervous systems of individual men the world over.' 
When these two ideas are combined, we see the idea that contraception is a "good" thing is simply a meme which burns through the human population in much the same way that a t gene burns through a mouse population. Both the meme and the gene drive the afflicted population towards extinction.

Thus, it is a commonplace that evolutionists who claim to promote evolution, show by their lack of child-rearing that they don't actually believe in evolution:

This is the great lesson of the movie Idiocracy.
The idiots portrayed in the movie weren't the ones who had children.
The biggest idiots in the movie were the ones who did not.

Why Corporations Back Wealth Redistribution


"It was never a program for improved medical coverage. It was a program for redistributing wealth by force from the healthy to the sick. "This lament about Obamacare from a website that celebrates the free market is deeply ironic. No one on the website realizes that government does not distort the free market, rather, government is a legitimate market actor whose purpose is to enforce the wishes of the corporations that engage in free market activity. The sentence above summarizes why corporations write laws requiring wealth redistribution AND why corporations pay legislators to pass and enforce legislation that redistributes wealth. When it comes to the health care industry, the principle is quite, quite simple:Sick people spend health care dollars on themselves.Healthy people do not.If medical corporations want to tap into the wealth healthy people have, that wealth must first be redistributed to the only people who would spend it on health products, i.e., sick people.But what is true for medical corporations is true for EVERY corporation. Corporations need to get at hidden wealth in order to keep growing. So, it is in every corporation's interest to encourage wealth redistribution from the rich to the poor. Warren Buffett is unlikely to spend $2 billion dollars in 24 hours. But, take that $2 billion, divvy it up among a half million relatively poor people, and all that money will be spent on corporate products in a single day with hours to spare.Corporate owners want to grow their stash of cash. The corporations they run need to tap all locked up cash stashes. So, the corporate owners want laws that touch other people's stash, but not their own. And this is the kind of law they direct their lobbyists to write, get passed and have enforced. That means the wealth redistribution will always happen among the 99%.This is the purpose of government in a free market: to grow corporate owners' cash piles while stripping money from everyone else. Welcome to the free market.Real free market capitalists point out that natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, seem to increase GDP, but actually don't. The money that goes into rebuilding is, in a sense, wasted. Instead of using that money on new ideas, new products, new processes, it has to be plowed into rebuilding existing infrastructure. That's why most economists consider natural disasters a drain on the economy, and not a boon: we have to pay for the same window twice, once when we put it in, and again when the storm breaks it.From the corporate point of view, ending subsidies is identical to enduring a hurricane. The end of subsidies for insurance companies is good for you and me, the little guys who get paid to replace the broken window, but it's bad business for the businesses that were getting the subsidies. They just lost revenue stream.Now they will have to buy a whole new raft of legislators to get that revenue back. The hurricane has struck their coast. The money the corporations have to spend on re-buying all those legislators and all that legislation is, from their point of view, wasted. It is money that could have been spent elsewhere. Now the corps are going to have to re-buy what had once been a settled stream of revenue. This is very destructive, from the corporate point of view.We cry for them. [...]

Why College Students Hate America


Elite colleges train their students to be corporate and government executives. Corporations write the laws and pay the legislators to pass and enforce the laws. Government is an extension of business.

International corporations cannot afford nationalism.
It cuts into their profits.

So, colleges, which are bought and paid for by corporate America, train the future leaders of business and government to deprecate nationalism and patriotism. Corporate capitalism can't afford those value sets.

Plato and Aristotle taught the importance of ethics for the sustenance of the city-state, developing one's personal virtues in order to support the state.

Christianity taught the importance of morality for the Kingdom of God, developing one's personal virtues in order to better reflect the image of God in one's own person.

Today, corporations teach corporate values. This includes being "open-minded", being tolerant, being ignorant of history, culture and art. Cultural diversity is prized because it decreases solidarity and reduces political involvement while increasing spending. Hedonism is encouraged, responsibility discouraged. Our colleges teach this because they, like government, are a wholly-owned subsidiary of corporate America.

Just follow the money, folks.

On the Error of John Cardinal Newman


Blessed John Cardinal Newman outlined his belief in an active laity as follows:
“I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold, and what they do not, who know their creed so well, that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it.”
Given that literally half (50%) of the population has an IQ below 100, it is also literally impossible for the laity to ever achieve such a lofty vision. Newman, of all people, should have understood that to different people are given different gifts, and that not all gifts are intellectual.

The beauty and strength of the Catholic Faith does not lie in how intelligent it is (though it is intelligent), nor how defensible it is (though it is eminently defensible).

Rather, the beauty and strength of the Catholic Faith rests only and completely in the fact that through it, any man breathing can be saved.

The rest is, as they say, gravy.

Cardinal Newman cannot want what cannot be. What he describes cannot be, for not all have the particular gifts that he holds up for admiration in the passage above. Rather, as Aquinas points out, the greatest grace lies in the uneducated peasant who can do none of the things Newman outlines, yet remains in the Faith because he cannot, in his bones, do anything but cling to the Truth which shines forth in his very being. It is not only the heavens that tell the glory of God. His glory shines forth in the simple and achingly beautiful existence of every human being. Human existence alone gives an account of the Faith, perhaps incomplete, certainly somewhat inchoate, but ultimately compelling nonetheless.

And that is the only laity Cardinal Newman, or any other ordained man, will ever truly have.
It is enough.

Why Same-Sex Marriage is Nonsense


What is the etymology of the word marriage?

Marriage, and the related word "matrimony" derives from the Old French word matremoine, which appears around 1300 CE and ultimately derives from Latin mātrimōnium, which combines two concepts: mater meaning "mother" and the suffix -monium signifying "action, state, or condition".

In ancient Rome, a man who entered into this state with a woman was, by that act, promising to confer upon her the title of "mater" or mother, especially a mother who bears children who can inherit. Children who can inherit property are said to have "legitimate" rights to property, in contrast to "bastards", who are defined as children without even theoretical rights to inherit property. If a legitimate heir died, the family property would go to a cousin or other near relative, but could not be given to a bastard child, if only because the man had not conferred legal status to inherit upon the mother he conceived with or her children conceived by her.

The state of matrimony was a legal state that concerned children's rights of inheritance. Love had no necessary standing in that legal relationship. While many other meanings have been added to the word "matrimony" over the millennia, this basic meaning is still retained, and is still foundational.

So, to put it simply, matrimony/marriage is the gift of legitimate children bestowed by a man upon a woman. By impregnating her within a legally binding agreement, the man confers upon the woman the title "mother" and confers upon their children the right to property.

Once this is understood, it is easy to see why "same-sex marriage" is a nonsense phrase.

A Second Amendment Problem


As regular readers of this blog know, I have no issue with private citizens owning weapons. Both the Second Amendment and the body of the Constitution itself, by dint of the Letters of Marque, arguably allow private citizens to own any weapon they can lay their hands on, up to and including nuclear weapons.So, if you want to carry guns to go hunting, for self defense, or just because you really, really like guns, I have no issue with that. The problem arises with the people who insist that they have the right to own guns in order to protect themselves from the government. That particular reading of the Constitution is essentially impossible to make.The first problem in such a reading resides in the Constitutional text itself: both the "Letters of Marque" in Article 1, and the "well-ordered militia" of the Second Amendment imply that citizens may own weapons in order to defend their local group/community or the country at large. There is no hint in the Constitution that widespread gun ownership by citizens should be allowed in order to facilitate the government's overthrow.The reason is quite obvious: if that meaning were contained within the Constitution, then every patriotic American should always be fully prepared to shoot Americans in the head. Specifically, we have the right to shoot American politicians, American soldiers and American police officers in the head. But the Constitution says no such thing: indeed, Article I, Section 8 specifically says the militia exists to put down insurrection, not to start one. Now, you might argue that any government official who violates the letter or the spirit of the Constitution is himself engaged in insurrection. But who gets to determine how that works?If this reading were accurate, then we should see quite a bit of commentary from the Founding Fathers encouraging the killing of American politicians, law officers and soldiers. And, while we see lovely sentiments about the Tree of Liberty being refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots, the Founding Fathers were silent about the specifics of when and how that was supposed to happen.In fact, George Washington himself seems to have been something of a hypocrite on the point. After all, when private citizens treated American whiskey taxation as an illegal government intrusion into their lives, President Washington refused to advocate that these poor, overtaxed Americans go out and kill American government forces and officials. Instead, Washington personally led an army of American soldiers into the hill country to put down the "Whiskey Rebellion". This was the first (and last) time an American President led American troops into battle, and he did it against American citizens, no less.Now, notice what Washington did not do. He did not, he never, argued that American citizens should be disarmed. But, neither did he expect American citizens to shoot him out of his saddle for trampling their rights. Nor did they. They melted away before Washington and his army ever encountered the armed opposition.But therein lies the nub of the real problem with the popular revolutionary reading of the Second Amendment. Many today argue: "If government officials are violating their own oaths to uphold the Constitution, then shoot them. They won't be 'American soldiers' then, they will be just another gang of thugs. The first and foremost duty both of American government and American military is to uphold, preserve and protect the Constitution of the U.S. Consequently, an American soldier who refuses to do so or who accepts orders contrary to the Constitution ceases being an American soldier at that point and becomes a war criminal."If that theory is correct, if the armed Americans opposing Washington's whiskey tax were correct[...]

We Already Have UBI


Many people say a Universal Basic Income would destroy the fabric of the nation, turn people away from jobs that increase their self-esteem, yada, yada, yada.
I have three words in reply: "Wooster and Jeeves." 
If I were the child of a wealthy man, and inherited his income, I would have my basic income supplied by my inherited wealth. No one would argue with my lack of employment.
Would I be a better or worse man for it?
Well, that's up to me, right?
Whether we like it or not, every person alive today has inherited a vast sum of wealth, the accumulated knowledge of generations, all of it employed so as to make our lives easier. I don't know how my HVAC works, how my food is grown and harvested, how antibiotics are manufactured, but I benefit from all of it. We live on this inherited largesse every day, just as Bertie Wooster survived on his inherited income and the wisdom of his gentleman's gentleman, the illustrious Jeeves.
We just call it A/C, antibiotics and grocery stores.
Now, we are being told that further UBI will destroy us.
A larger non sequitor would be hard to imagine.

Schismatics Teach the Pope


Differences in admonitions directed towards Pope John XXII (1333) vs Pope Francis (2017) Pope John XXII (1333) Pope Francis (2017) Teaching being debated Not formally defined (a question concerning the Beatific Vision) Formally defined (the status of married persons) In reference to what papal statements? A few private sermons made both before and after the papal coronation An apostolic exhortation Public Papal statement regarding the controversy Pope said theologians were free to disagree with him, as the teaching was not formally defined None Theologians summoned to meet by? King Philip VI of France No one Under whose direction did the group meet? Dominican patriarch of Jerusalem No one  Who created the document? 29 doctors of theology of the University of Paris consisting of 10 secular masters (including 7 regent masters), and 19 religious orders masters (including 9 regent masters). No one of particular note or unusual standing In whose presence did the theologians meet? Kings, bishops and priests No one of particular note or unusual standing Document contained? Profession of faith No profession of faith What did the theologians ask the Pope for? Apostolic sanction to their decision Nothing. They don’t ask for apostolic sanction of their assertions. In fact, quite the opposite: they claim to teach the Pope. [...]

Corporations as Government


CLAIM:Here's how you discover the true beliefs of minimum wage supporters.1. They claim that a forced $15 wage does no harm to the economy and that it is "fair".2. They inherently know that a forced $100 wage would indeed harm the economy and would be unfair.So...they know that a forced $15 wage is inherently unfair and would harm the economy as well--however slight--but they're willing to lie about their beliefs because getting what they want (a forced $15 wage) is more important than revealing the truth.−COUNTER-CLAIMThe choice is between living off the proceeds of your own labor, or living off the proceeds of someone else's labor.Man is nature, and nature will always follow the path of least resistance.So long as THE LAW allows people to sustain their lives at the expense of another person's long as THE LAW makes plunder less dangerous and less difficult than labor, plunder will be continued.Observe, however, that this is the original purpose and intent of THE make plunder more difficult and more dangerous than labor.Steve Kellmeyer  "The choice is between living off the proceeds of your own labor, or living off the proceeds of someone else's labor."Every capitalist chooses to live off the proceeds of someone else's labor. If I run a business employing a thousand people, then I have captured their labor and marketed the products of their labor to someone else.That is the central key to capitalism. The value of a man's labor is not just what he produces, it is what he produces PLUS the marketing necessary to make other people aware of, and desirous of purchasing, what he produces. People who run companies understand that. Employees, by definition, either don't understand that, or cannot accomplish the necessary marketing (or they would be self-employed).So, EVERY successful businessman is, by your definition, a "plunderer". A successful CEO understands that government is, when properly used, merely an extension of his own marketing efforts, an enforcer of his own successful corporate policies.Government is a multi-purpose corporate tool that every corporation can access. Any corporation that manages to mold government regulation to his own advantage will succeed. Any that allows his competitor to mold government will fail. Now, some government regulations are good for corporations across the board, but the best government regulation - from my corporate perspective - is the regulation that benefits ONLY my firm and actively harms everyone else's. Writing such regulations and paying legislators to pass them into law is the hallmark of the superlative CEO.Corporate lobbyists write the laws.Corporations pay legislators to enact the laws they have written.Corporations pay legislators to enforce the laws they have written.The government is merely a group of independent contractors who work for whichever corporation paid them last or most. Government is not tyranny any more or less than Apple or IBM is tyranny.We vote for corporations by buying their products. Corporations then use our votes (dollars) to gain market share. Some of it they spend on making new products, some of it they spend on buying laws favorable to themselves from the independent contractors we call "government." Success in either area gains market share, i.e., more votes (dollars).Anyone who doesn't manage to buy a favorable law complains about "tyranny." In fact, they simply lost in the marketplace to a market actor whose market skills were superior to their own.Government is as legitimate a market actor as any other business.Government does not "distort" the free market. It is part of the free market. It is a natural consequence of free market cor[...]

Dallas ISD Learns to Spell PC


Dallas ISD has decided to study up on whether the names of several schools in the district should have their names changed, in order to avoid honoring racists. Their list can be found here. Oddly enough, they left a few names off the list. Please email the DISD and let them know they can do better.Specifically, if the DISD wants to change school names, they should start here:César Chávez Learning CenterOliver Wendell Holmes Middle School and Classical AcademyFranklin D. Roosevelt High SchoolWoodrow Wilson High SchoolCésar ChávezCésar Chávez  hated illegal immigrants:"In the mid 1970s, he conducted the “Illegals Campaign” to identify and report illegal workers, “an effort he deemed second in importance only to the boycott” (of produce from non-unionized farms), according to Pawel. She quotes a memo from Chavez that said, “If we can get the illegals out of California, we will win the strike overnight.” The Illegals Campaign didn’t just report illegals to the (unresponsive) federal authorities. Cesar sent his cousin, ex-con Manuel Chavez, down to the border to set up a “wet line” (as in “wetbacks”) to do the job the Border Patrol wasn’t being allowed to do. Unlike the Minutemen of a few years ago, who arrived at the border with no more than lawn chairs and binoculars, the United Farm Workers patrols were willing to use direct methods when persuasion failed. Housed in a series of tents along the Arizona border, the crews in the wet line sometimes beat up illegals, the “cesarchavistas” employing violence even more widely on the Mexican side of the border to prevent crossings."Oliver Wendell HolmesAnd let us not forget Oliver Wendell Holmes. Holmes was a staunch advocate of the kind of eugenics later practiced by Nazi Germany."Eugenics was his only political cause and was obviously is in line with his Darwinism. Holmes’ eugenic views were in fact more extreme than those of other eugenics enthusiasts of his time. Others talked about sterilizing “imbeciles” while Holmes advocated executing unfit babies.""Holmes had no regard for civil rights or civil liberties. See, e.g., his majority opinion in Buck v. Bell (upholding coercive sterilizaton, which he clearly thought was not only constitutional but a good idea), his dissent in Meyer v. Nebraska (arguing that states should be allowed to ban the teaching of foreign languages), his (unpublished) dissent in Buchanan v. Warley (arguing that banning blacks from buying houses in white neighborhoods is a reasonable regulation of property and should be upheld). A sign of the times is Alschuer's very critical biography, Law Without Values. An even more significant sign of the times is that if I'm remembering correctly, this book received a very positive front page review in the New York Times."Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927)Majority Opinion: Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.Vote: 8 to 1 (Justice Pierce Butler Dissenting)In 1927, the “eugenics” movement was gaining ground, and not just in Germany. When the State of Virginia engaged the mighty force of the U.S. Supreme Court to prevent Carrie Buck, 18, from ever bearing children again, the venerable Civil War veteran Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. obliged. The court ruled that it was not  unconstitutional for a state to determine that it, the unwilling adult victim and presumably her yet-to-be-born children, would be better off if she were forcibly sterilized.Holmes observed that Buck was “feeble minded,” as was her mother and her daughter. Though later investigation proved that not to be entirely true, Holmes relied on the trumped-up record to pontificate[...]

Free Market = Anything Goes


Let us all stop pretending that the government somehow stifles the free market.The government is a legitimate actor in the free market, its existence and actions in no way hinder the market. By the very definition of "free market", any actor can set any rules it wants, and any method of enforcing those rules is legitimate because "free market."We vote for politicians at the ballot box, we vote for corporations at the cash register, we clearly like having both as market players. Both ARE market players. The market is perfectly free.The government coerces us with laws and prisons, Amazon coerces with prices and products. Stick versus carrot, and the two are interchangeable. Someone who is homeless may commit a crime in order to secure three hots and a cot in prison. Prison is, under this circumstance, not a punishment but an enticement, a government handout. Similarly, someone who wants a product but can't afford it views the lack of that product as a punishment. The unaffordable Amazon product becomes a stick to beat others with, "If you can't afford to buy/rent a dwelling and you live on the streets, then you are scum and we will shun you. Welcome to prison." Substitute any product for "dwelling" and you get the same result. Your inability to possess whatever the current "socially acceptable" fashion item may be, whether house, iPhone or Air Jordans, becomes an excuse to socially relegate you to irrelevance.Government, Amazon, Facebook, Google - is there really any difference between them?Sure, the government has soldiers and cops, but the corporations feed the soldier-cops, clothe them and arm them, governments and corporations lobby each other for money and perqs, and the top executives in both are absolutely interchangeable cogs, as the frequent migration between government and private office shows. Corporate lobbyists write the laws that the legislators pass. The government's job is to implement corporate policies.Just as different departments within the same company may compete for company resources, so different corporations within the same country/continent compete for resources under government control. The corporate drones always complain about their department heads being idiots - articles about the government somehow being an illegitimate market actor because it is "stupid" sound no different.I don't see why anyone considers government nefarious and corporations nifty.The only difference between the two is the spelling.The revolving door between them is fully operational.IF this is a democracy AND government does nothing but rob us, THEN it is because we as a nation WANT that product. We like being robbed.The fact that you, as an individual, don't particularly like being robbed is really your problem, not the market's problem, nor does your dislike of that product provide any demonstration that the government is not a legitimate market actor.Federal law is written by corporations.What part of that sentence is hard to understand?As soon as you admit that federal law is written by corporations, you admit that government is a creature of the very corporations you claim make up the free market. Which means government is as much a joint corporate product as an Echo Dot, all the parts manufactured by different companies, but the whole melded together and sold as a product to the American public.Government is part and parcel of the free market, government waste and insanity is the foundation of the free market. It is simply the central, necessary actor that free market corporations created and maintained so as to keep their own business models going. Complaints ab[...]

America's Eugenicist Presidents


Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909):I agree with you if you mean, as I suppose you do, that society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind. It is really extraordinary that our people refuse to apply to human beings such elementary knowledge as every successful farmer is obliged to apply to his own stock breeding. Any group of farmers who permitted their best stock not to breed, and let all the increase come from the worst stock, would be treated as fit inmates for an asylum. Yet we fail to understand that such conduct is rational compared to the conduct of a nation which permits unlimited breeding from the worst stocks, physically and morally, while it encourages or connives at the cold selfishness or the twisted sentimentality as a result of which the men and women ought to marry, and if married have large families, remain celebates or have no children or only one or two. Some day we will realize that the prime duty the inescapable duty of the good citizen of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world; and that we have no business to permit the perpetuation of citizens of the wrong type.William Howard Taft (1909-1913): From 1924-1927 a legal test case, Buck vs. Bell, was fought all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Despite the presence on the bench of such humane jurists as William Howard Taft and Louis Brandeis, the court voted 8:1 in favour of forced sterilization of a young Virginia girl, Carrie Buck, whose only crime had been to have an illegitimate child. Only one judge, a Roman Catholic, voted against. William Howard Taft was the Chief Justice of the court.Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921): In 1911, he approved "AN ACT to authorize and provide for the sterilization of feeble-minded (including idiots, imbeciles and morons), epileptics, rapists, certain criminals and other defectives”. He was also an avowed racist. He passed legislation to make interracial marriage a felony in Washington D.C., and, as president of Princeton University, he discouraged blacks from applying. “The whole temper and tradition of the place are such that no Negro has ever applied for admission," he said of the university, "and it seems unlikely that the question will ever assume practical form."Warren G. Harding (1921-1923): American president Warren G. Harding publicly praised eugenicist Lothrop Stoddard’s book, The Rising Tide of Color, at a public speech on 26 October 1922Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929): President Calvin Coolidge stated: "America must be kept American. Biological laws show . . . that Nordics deteriorate when mixed with other races."Herbert Hoover (1929-1933): attended 2nd International Congress of Eugenics hosted by the American Museum of Natural History in New York in the fall of 1921."Give dysgenic groups [people with 'bad genes'] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization.“  - Margaret Sanger, April 1932 Birth Control Review.FDR (1933-1945): “Subjects to do with breeding and race seem, indeed, to have held a certain fascination for the president…. Roosevelt felt it in order to talk, jokingly, of dealing with Puerto Rico’s excessive birth rate by employing, in his own words, ‘the methods which Hitler used effectively’ [to make them] sterile.” His Vice President, Henry Agard Wallace, said, “if we could practice eugenics on people. We could turn out a beautiful golden race.” In order to keep low-life enlisted men from breeding, FDR introduced condoms to the military as Assistant Secretary of the Navy.Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 sent 120,000 Japanese Ame[...]

Thoughts on Charlottesville


The Nazis learned eugenics from American and England.

The Nuremberg laws were modeled on US law.

Every president from Teddy Roosevelt forward (with the sole exceptions of Reagan and GW Bush) advocated for eugenics policies of some sort.

The Nazi eugenic policy won in WW II because it wasn't their policy.
It was ours.

So, when people say the marchers in Charlottesville don't represent America, they are damned liars. If you support and/or use contraception or abortion, which are essentially eugenic tools, then you are a eugenicist. You differ only in degree from the Charlottesville marchers not in kind.

And, in that sense, Charlottesville is a fight between the national socialists and the international socialists, it is a family fight between close relatives, brothers under the skin, ideological twins who differ only in details. Both sides want eugenics, both sides want the other side physically wiped out.

That's America.

US War Heroes Speak


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A St. Francis Quote


"Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words."

The argument is that St. Francis never said this. Maybe he didn't say it precisely this way, but the sentiment is surely Franciscan.

Here's what St. Francis or the Franciscan Order has said in this regard:
“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” 
“...As for me, I desire this privilege from the Lord, that never may I have any privilege from man, except to do reverence to all, and to convert the world by obedience to the Holy Rule rather by example than by word.” one another, as the Lord says: "This is My commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you." And let them show their love by the works they do for each other, according as the Apostle says: "let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth."  
No brother should preach contrary to the form and regulations of the holy Church nor unless he has been permitted by his minister … All the Friars … should preach by their deeds.  ~Francis of Assisi, Rule of 1221, Rule 11
..."Yes, the true servant unceasingly rebukes the wicked, but he does it most of all by his conduct, but the truth that shines in his words, by the light of his example, by all the radiance of his life." (1989) The Road to Assisi, Sabatier, edited by Sweeney, pg 143.

Why I Am Not A Libertarian


As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.Consequently, we defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.The above quote demonstrates why libertarianism can never be something a Christian can embrace. Libertarianism ignores reality. It pretends that all men are equally capable. It is literally insane. Even a cursory glance at the world demonstrates that all men are not created equal in physical ability. Some are smarter, stronger, faster, whatever, than others are. In fact, this is so obvious that every culture in history has reacted to this fact by instituting slavery: enslaving the weaker, stupider, slower, etc. members of the culture.Christianity was weird because it considered all men equal. It did not assert physical equality - that's stupid. It asserted instead, spiritual equality. We are all equal before God because we are each made in God's image and likeness. We all have an equal shot at salvation. Because we are in God's image, we all have equal rights before God. But even Christianity never asserted that all men are physically equal because, again, that assertion is obviously stupid. Christianity is about embracing reality, it is not about rejecting reality.The recognition that all men are NOT created equal in ability is what justifies the state. We may all be created equal in rights, but that is pretty much where our equality ends. Draw the line wherever you want, but it must be drawn. Roughly half the population has an IQ below 100 and/or has physical disabilities serious enough to require assistance (e.g., extreme youth, age, disease, etc.). The needs of the physically weak and intellectually stupid are real needs. They really need food, housing, health care, etc.Now, it is absolutely the case that the upper half (or third or quarter or quintile) in any population has no real, substantial use for government. As one's capabilities increase, one's need for government is correspondingly reduced. But, similarly, as one's capabilities decrease, one's need for a "nanny state" increases. A five-year old cannot be left to his own devices. S/he must frequently be forced to eat vegetables, brush teeth and go to bed. So, (roughly) half the population needs a big government, while the other half needs a small government. These two needs cannot be reconciled.The most capable half are often tempted to ignore the lower half. Should we even have to listen to the weak and stupid? Well, if we are willing to ask a five-year old what he likes (and what parent doesn't give a child the opportunity to at least make his wishes known), then we should be willing to entertain the pleas of the less capable. That is, the lower half has a right to participate in democracy. And, since all men have equal rights, the lower half even have a right to overrule the upper half. If the upper half are not taking into account the needs of the[...]

The Devil Went Down To GOSH


Many American Catholics are complaining that the overweening authoritarian English government, with its murderous euthanasia and anti-life attitude, has murdered Charlie Gard. They say that it should be the parents' right to pursue the treatment they think best, no matter how slim the likelihood of success. In short, many American Catholics are lying to themselves in order to justify their simplistic take on a complicated situation.Let us assume Charlie Gard had an eminently treatable disease that could be solved with a simple blood transfusion. With the transfusion, Charlie lives. Without it, he dies. And what if Charlie's parents didn't want treatment? They were Jehovah's Witnesses who refuse blood transfusions because they think it is Biblical to do so.  Should the parents have the right to "treat" their child with prayer instead of transfusions? Should the government step aside and let the child die because Charlie's parents are nuts?What if Charlie's parents were medievalists who decided that their child should be treated by purging him - inducing vomiting, diarrhea, and leaching blood from his body - because the medieval ways were best. Are you up for defending that? Parents should have the final say, right?  Government should propose, but never dispose?Because if your argument is that parents should have the final say in the treatment of a child, then any parent who tries exorcism to treat epilepsy cannot be gainsaid. Any parent who tries to drive out the demon of diabetes with beatings is someone American Catholics must defend. Anyone who trepanned their child's skull in order to heal his schizophrenia is simply pursuing the treatment they think best, as is their right.If you are not able to defend THOSE parents, if you think those treatments are indefensible, then you admit the government should sometimes take over because the parents - however well-intentioned they may be - are insane.And, once you admit that parents can sometimes be crazy, you admit that what constitutes "a slim hope" or "a chance of a better life" is not necessarily as clear-cut as you would like.Doctors had shared the parents’ hopes when Hirano said he had new evidence that Charlie might benefit from NBT, but had learned with “surprise and disappointment” last week that he had neither looked at the child’s brain scans nor read the medical notes, or even other expert opinions or the judgement of the court.The hospital was also shocked to learn from Hirano that he “retains a financial interest in some of the NBT compounds he proposed prescribing for Charlie,” something that in the U.S. would barely raise an eyebrow, but in the UK is seen as a serious conflict of interest.Isn't this just a little off-putting? What kind of doctor issues a medical opinion before he has studied anything concerning the patient he claims he wants to treat? Everyone is always concerned about Big Pharma - what about Hirano's financial ties? Keep in mind that this is an extremely rare condition. If the doctor had a possible treatment, he would have a hard time rustling up subjects. There isn't an animal equivalent, so he can't even run tests on mice, rabbits, apes. He needs human subjects with the condition, and there are hardly any at all.So, along comes another instance of this very rare disease, you finally have someone you can test and write grant proposals over and... wouldn't you be awfully, awfully tempted to make claims about the efficacy of your tre[...]

Aquinas on When You Can Steal


Summa Theologiae
Second Part of the Second Part
Question 66

Article 7. Whether it is lawful to steal through stress of need?

I answer that, Things which are of human right cannot derogate from natural right or Divine right. Now according to the natural order established by Divine Providence, inferior things are ordained for the purpose of succoring man's needs by their means. Wherefore the division and appropriation of things which are based on human law, do not preclude the fact that man's needs have to be remedied by means of these very things. Hence whatever certain people have in superabundance is due, by natural law, to the purpose of succoring the poor. For this reason Ambrose [Loc. cit., Article 2, Objection 3] says, and his words are embodied in the Decretals (Dist. xlvii, can. Sicut ii): "It is the hungry man's bread that you withhold, the naked man's cloak that you store away, the money that you bury in the earth is the price of the poor man's ransom and freedom."

Since, however, there are many who are in need, while it is impossible for all to be succored by means of the same thing, each one is entrusted with the stewardship of his own things, so that out of them he may come to the aid of those who are in need. Nevertheless, if the need be so manifest and urgent, that it is evident that the present need must be remedied by whatever means be at hand (for instance when a person is in some imminent danger, and there is no other possible remedy), then it is lawful for a man to succor his own need by means of another's property, by taking it either openly or secretly: nor is this properly speaking theft or robbery.

Reply to Objection 1. This decretal considers cases where there is no urgent need.

Reply to Objection 2. It is not theft, properly speaking, to take secretly and use another's property in a case of extreme need: because that which he takes for the support of his life becomes his own property by reason of that need.

Reply to Objection 3. In a case of a like need a man may also take secretly another's property in order to succor his neighbor in need.



When was the last time it happened? Perhaps you were eating lunch with a friend at work, returning home from a movie, or discussing the ways of the world with a next-door neighbor when a sudden chill entered the conversation. Abortion. The word had been spoken. And the realization hit - your partner in conversation was not pro-life. What may have been a pleasant talk suddenly became strained as the supporter of legal abortion hit you with the hard questions - rape, incest, young mothers, fetal deformities - the list is not long, but your answers didn't seem to be either. You have a tough time putting together a response that makes sense to you, much less to your new opponent. Why is this so difficult? How do you answer those questions? It is difficult because the pro-abortion camps tend to carry hidden assumptions into the conversation - assumptions which the pro-life person often unwittingly accepts. Let's examine a few of the questions and see if we can discover what hidden assumption is contained within each.  1) You don't have the right to force your opinions on others.  The person making this statement fails to consider that the statement is, itself, an opinion. Demonstrate this by asking your friend,  "Do you really believe that no one has the right to force their own value system on someone else?" Your friend will answer, "Yes." "And you think that I clearly don't accept that idea?" "Of course not - if you did, you wouldn't be trying to make me live my life according to your value system." "So, you want to force your values, which I clearly don't subscribe to, onto me? You want to force me to accept the idea that no one should be forced to accept other people's ideas? If you really believe what you say, then you should remain silent when I assert pro-life views, in order to avoid forcing your values onto me." The hidden assumption here is now obvious - the abortion supporter assumes that his expression of support for abortion is value-neutral while your opposition is morally offensive.  In fact, society regularly forces views on people. The whole system of law is built around it. Rapists, murderers, thieves - none of them prescribe to society’s value system, yet we force our values onto them via prison and execution. Unless your friend is an anarchist, it is unlikely that he really has any opposition to forcing values onto others - he just doesn’t like to have it happen to him.2) I don't personally agree with abortion but I don't have the right to force my morals on others. This variation of the first statement assumes that abortion holds a special place apart from the realm of normal human action."Let's say your neighbor brought home her newborn from the hospital this morning, and this afternoon you saw her in the back yard crushing the child's skull with a rock. Would you force your morals on her by calling the police?""That's different - that's against the law.""The law is the morality of society. We pass laws against what we don't like (prostitution, drug use, etc.) and in favor of what we do like. She obviously doesn't agree with the law's morality. Yet the whole point of the law is to force some people to do things they don't want to do, or stop doing things they do want to do. If you don't call the police, you are not forcing your morals on her, but by her very action she is forcing her morals on you. She is killing someone, which violates[...]