Thursday, October 31, 2013

The IRS Scandal is Getting Much Less Coverage than it Deserves

For our Republic to survive, governmental agencies like the IRS--especially the IRS--must be strictly non-partisan. The political hamstringing of groups opposed to the Democratic Party by the IRS is a far greater scandal than the NSA's spying.  But you would not know that from the mainstream media, which, like the IRS is acting as an arm of the Democratic Party, and consequently has given little coverage to the scandal. But the alternative media is covering the story. For instance, the TaxProf blog, run by Professor Paul Caron of the Pepperdine University School of Law, has daily updates.

This is from the Washington Examiner:

IRS' Lois Lerner Gave Confidential Tea Party Tax Info to FEC, Violating Law

"The Internal Revenue Service shared highly confidential tax information of several Tea Party groups in the IRS scandal with the Federal Election Commission, a clear violation of federal law, according to newly obtained emails.

The public watchdog group Judicial Watch told Secrets Thursday that it was former scandal boss Lois Lerner who shared the information on groups including the American Future Fund and the American Issues Project.

The emails obtained by Judicial Watch show that the IRS, which was considering the tax status of the groups, gave the FEC the tax returns of the groups, including income, expenditures and staff pay. The emails also revealed the exact working of the prying political questions the IRS wanted the groups to reveal, such as their goals and the requests for brochures and ads...."

And let's not forget that an IRS agent leaked the confidential donor list of the National Orgainzation for Marriage during the 2012 election to NOM's opponents, the misnamed "Human Rights Campaign." Eliana Johnson writes in yesterday's National Review:

"In testimony before Congress, NOM chairman John Eastman accused the IRS of publicizing the list 'to facilitate the intimidation of donors.' He talks of a “campaign of harassment and intimidation” against the organization’s financial backers that has included boycotts of their business, physical assault, and the vandalizing of private property.

Now, he tells me, 'A number of donors are concerned about their names being disclosed.' He said in his testimony that the harassment 'has now pervaded across the nation every time our donor list is disclosed to the point that our donors tell us ‘We are fearful of giving money to you to help support the cause that we believe in because our businesses and our family are at risk.’”

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Obamacare Begins, But Disaster has Only Begun

Even the mass media, who are nothing more than shills for the Democratic Party, are being forced to report the truth. This is from NBC, but the news is just about everywhere of course:

Obama Admin. knew millions could not keep their health insurance

By Lisa Myers and Hannah Rappleye
NBC News

"President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a ‘cancellation’ letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience ‘sticker shock.’”...

This is just the beginning. Higher prices and less choice (which go together) are here. Those, in addition to lower quality and the much-derided "death panels" are coming unless Obamacare is repealed. A hallmark of socialism: it is offered as giving everybody everything. As Pogo the Possum said "All is equal. All is starvin'." Obamacare was offered as giving everybody insurance. The reality is people are losing their insurance. It's just the beginning.

The American people were, and are, against Obamacare. They are wiser than their "representatives" who, as in any corrupt government, will take care of themselves.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Some Clarity on the Common Good: Bishop McElroy and Archbishop Chaput

In the October 21 issue of America magazine, our good Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy had an article called A Church for the Poor. His Excellency, did not, in my opinion, sufficiently explain why abortion stands apart from other lesser, although critically important, issues. That's not to say he does not unequivocally and completely condemn it.
The meat of the problem with His Excellency's article seems to me to be in this paragraph:
"It is crucial to fully recognize the nature of intrinsic evil and its relationship to the common good. In recent years, however, some arguments have been broadly advanced in Catholic political conversation proposing that issues pertaining to intrinsically evil acts automatically have priority in the public order over all other issues of grave evil, like poverty, war, unjust immigration laws and the lack of restorative justice in the criminal justice system. This has the effect of labeling these other crucial issues of Catholic social teaching “optional” in the minds of many Catholics."
Let's break that down.
His Excellency's first sentence: "It is crucial to fully recognize the nature of intrinsic evil and its relationship to the common good" is of course correct. But there is no definition of or elaboration on that relationship in the article, despite the fact that Bishop McElroy calls it "crucial."
The second sentence reads: "In recent years, however, some arguments have been broadly advanced in Catholic political conversation proposing that issues pertaining to intrinsically evil acts automatically have priority in the public order over all other issues of grave evil, like poverty, war, unjust immigration laws and the lack of restorative justice in the criminal justice system." As will be shown, arguments that "intrinsically evil acts"--particularly abortion--do "automatically have priority in the public order" are correct. Read in the light of his next sentence, it is clear Bishop McElroy does not agree with the "arguments broadly advanced" he describes.  But it is still his failure to define what constitutes the "crucial" relationship "of intrinsic evil"--again, particularly abortion--"to the common good" which prevents any light being shed on whether the "arguments broadly advanced" are correct or incorrect. 
In the third sentence, His Excellency writes "This has the effect of labeling these other crucial issues of Catholic social teaching 'optional' in the minds of many Catholics." Nowhere in the article does he offer any evidence for this claim. He simply says it, then moves on. But more importantly, once again, His Excellency does not address whether the "arguments broadly advanced" are correct or not (that would require his defining of what constitutes the "crucial"  relationship "of intrinsic evil and its relationship to the common good"). His concern here is what effect such arguments will have on those who hear them. 
In a fortunate example of synchronicity, a good corrective is at hand. In his weekly message of October 18, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, quoting from the 15 year-old pastoral letter of the U.S. Bishops called Living the Gospel of Life, crisply clarifies the issue. He (or they) gives a definition of the "crucial"  relationship "of intrinsic evil and its relationship to the common good":
"Exactly 15 years ago this fall, America’s bishops issued a pastoral letter called Living the Gospel of Life. Even today, with the passage of time, this remains no ordinary Church text. I believed then, and I believe now, that it’s the best document ever issued by the U.S. bishops on the priorities of Catholic engagement in our nation’s public life. In writing it, the bishops sought to apply Pope John Paul II’s great encyclical Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”) to the American situation. The heart of their statement, paragraph No. 23, stresses that:

'Opposition to abortion and euthanasia does not excuse indifference to those who suffer from poverty, violence and injustice. Any politics of human life must work to resist the violence of war and the scandal of capital punishment. Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing, and health care. Therefore, Catholics should eagerly involve themselves as advocates for the weak and marginalized in all these areas. Catholic public officials are obliged to address each of these issues as they seek to build consistent policies which promote respect for the human person at all stages of life.

'But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life. Indeed, the failure to protect and defend life in its most vulnerable stages renders suspect any claims to the ‘rightness’ of positions in other matters affecting the poorest and least powerful of the human community. If we understand the human person as the ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’ — the living house of God — then these latter issues fall logically into place as the crossbeams and walls of that house. All direct attacks on innocent human life, such as abortion and euthanasia, strike at the house’s foundation. These directly and immediately violate the human person’s most fundamental right — the right to life. Neglect of these issues is the equivalent of building our house on sand. Such attacks cannot help but lull the social conscience in ways ultimately destructive of other human rights.'

This is why the right to life is not merely one among many urgent issues, but rather the foundational one. It provides the cornerstone for a whole architecture of human dignity."
Emphasis added. That's exactly right. An illustrative echo can be found in the unalienable rights of the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. All are valuable, but there is a hierarchy in reality in what those words describe. You can't have liberty unless you already have life. And you can't pursue happiness unless you already have life + liberty. That's the crucial and full recognition "of the nature of intrinsic evil and its relationship to the common good" which Bishop McElroy talks about but does not define.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

California's Poverty Rate Highest in Nation

The Party of Death holds every statewide office and has supermajorities in both the Assembly and Senate. So why are they not helping the poor?

Aaron Sankin writes in the Huffington Post:

California Poverty Rate Highest In Nation Based On New Census Department Figures

California has a poverty rate of 23.5 percent, the highest of any state in the country, according to figures released this week by the United States Census Bureau.

The only other geographic region with an equivalent poverty rate is the District of Columbia, with 23.2 percent. The second most poverty-stricken state was Florida, at 19.5 percent.

The recognition of California's shockingly high poverty rate comes as a part of a shift in the way the Census Bureau measures its data. When the government began examining poverty back in the early 1960s, the line for determining who fell underneath the threshold was determined solely by looking at food costs.

In the decades since, there's been increasing criticism this benchmark, as it doesn't take into account tax rates and assistance programs such as food stamps, child care expenses and medical costs. In examining its most recent data, the Census Bureau considered these previously ignored factors, deemed the "supplemental poverty measure."

These new metrics have yielded quite different results than in past years. Under the traditional definition of poverty, for example, California's rate is 16.3 percent.

"We're seeing a very slow recovery [nationally], with increases in poverty among workers due to more new jobs which are low-wage," University of Wisconsin-Madison economist Timothy Smeeding told the Associated Press. "As a whole, the safety net is holding many people up, while
California is struggling more because it's relatively harder there to qualify for food stamps and other benefits."

The Golden State's jump between the supplemental and conventional measures was the largest swing of any state, and the Sacramento Bee attributes it to California's
high cost of living...."

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SF Seminarian Credits Fr. Malloy as "Particular Inspiration"

God bless our seminarians! This is from an article in the October 18 issue of Catholic San Francisco, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of San Francisco:

Grandmother’s great devotion helped instill priestly vocation

OUR SEMINARIANS: The paper will carry occasional articles by and about the 16 men who are in formation for the priesthood for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. This week’s article is by St. Patrick’s Seminary & University seminarian Alvin Yu.

"I was born and raised in San Francisco. My home parish is Sts. Peter and Paul Church, where I also went to elementary school. I attended Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory and did my undergraduate studies at San Francisco State University. After finishing college, I entered Saint Patrick’s Seminary & University, where I am currently in my second year of theological studies studying for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Reflecting on my journey toward entering the seminary and studying for the priesthood, I did not have a Damascus moment where God dramatically and unexpectedly called me to become a priest. Instead, my journey was one where God has gradually fostered my vocation through the different people and circumstances in my life...."

Later in the article the young man writes:

"The late Salesian Father John Malloy was of particular inspiration for me. As a high school freshman unfamiliar with the church’s moral teachings and growing up in an increasingly secular culture that saw the mayor at the time (Gavin Newsom) first issue same-sex marriage licenses, it was Father Malloy’s work in the area of defending life and traditional marriage that provided me a moral compass as to how to live a solid Christian life. And I was drawn to Father Malloy’s message precisely because it was not a message of hate or condemnation, but one of love as he never lacked charity and humility."

Read the whole thing. Mr. Yu is wise beyond his years, and his reflections show the importance of a family praying together. It will do your heart good. Father Malloy is certainly smiling from heaven!

"Walk for India's Missing Girls" this Saturday in SF

The fourth annual Global Walk for India's Missing Girls, which takes place in 25 cities in five countries around the world will be held this Saturday. The San Francisco Walk begins at 11:30AM at City Hall and proceeds to the Ferry Building.

From today's California Catholic Daily:

Most dangerous words in the world: ‘It’s a girl’
Global walk for India’s missing girls this Saturday

The slaughter of unborn and baby girls throughout the third world is receiving greater attention, reaching the level of the United States Congress, the European Parliament, and the United Nations. But concrete actions to outlaw the practice are thwarted because they cannot but conflict with a “woman’s right to choose.”

Sex-selective abortion is no longer confined to the third world. It is now a reality in more advanced countries. On April 17, 2012, in the article Gendercide is Here, CalCatholic documented the practice right here in California:

“Continuing a trend identified for prior years, several California counties had abnormally low female-to-male birth ratios among Asians in 2010, a development that was associated with the proliferation of keepsake ultrasound centers that offer gender-determination services…For several years, Lin has been examining birth-gender ratios (female births per 1,000 male births) to investigate if commercial access to 4D keepsake ultrasound studies could be facilitating gender-specific abortion among Asians in California.

“In 2010, (Dr. G. Sharat Lin) presented research at the AIUM meeting that hinted at a relationship between keepsake ultrasound and birth-gender ratios in the state….Lin found that Asian ethnic groups in the county who were known to have a traditional gender preference for boys had clearly lower female-to-male birth ratios than those Asian ethnic groups who did not have a preference…. Statewide, Asians have had the lowest birth-gender ratio (considered to be less than 930 female births per 1,000 male births) among ethnic groups in California from 1995 to 2010...."

Read the whole thing, and for more information, visit and click the Take Action link.

Counterfeit Marriage Requires Counterfeit Reality

We've said it before.

On October 15, the great Matthew J. Franck, at Public Discourse, continues to explore the irrationality that is the inevitable result of calling black white, up down, and same-sex unions marriage:

Same-Sex Marriage Makes Liberal Judges Irrational

"A New Jersey judge’s contorted and nonsensical decision that the state is responsible for the federal government’s failure to recognize same-sex marriage highlights the irrationality that permeates the campaign for “marriage equality.”

One of the most striking features of the campaign for same-sex marriage has been the prominence of its assault on reasoning itself. The logical relations of legal categories with one another, as those categories represent persons, their interactions, and their rights and duties, are at the heart of all legal decision-making and ideally inform legislative and administrative policymaking as well. But the impulse to redefine marriage so that it is no longer understood as the conjugal union of a man and a woman has been consistently heedless of logic and the rational relations of legal categories.

Begin with the steadfast refusal of same-sex marriage advocates even to define what “marriage” is now supposed to mean....

 Rather than say what marriage is—which anyone can see is an absolute prerequisite to saying whether “equality” demands its availability to partners never before thought capable of marrying—these advocates simply shout “marriage equality” ever more loudly, point to an array of “government benefits” linked to marital status, and make their desire for the thing substitute for an argument about what the thing is that they want."

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Momentum at San Francisco Rosary Rally!

Saturday's SF Rosary was great, especially because of the new level of commitment shown by the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Here's an excerpt from our story published Monday in California Catholic Daily, but be sure to read the whole thing, which describes some the new initiatives.

New wrinkles, bright future for SF Rosary rally
Faithful pray, feed poor

By Gibbons Cooney

"On Saturday October 12, San Francisco Catholics celebrated the third annual SF Rosary rally. The rally began with the annual Hispanic Day Mass at a packed St. Mary’s Cathedral. Mass was celebrated by San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. After Mass the faithful, led by a bier with a statue of Our Lady, followed immediately by the Knights of Columbus and the archbishop, processed the one mile to United Nations Plaza. The San Francisco police department had blocked off one lane of busy Van Ness Avenue, and the faithful filled the lane as well as the sidewalk. An attendee told CalCatholic that the procession was about two city blocks long and ten people abreast. The procession was accompanied by a sound truck leading the people in the Joyful Mysteries (in Spanish) as well as in hymns. Volunteers were passing out bottles of water to anyone who was thirsty. The crowd at that point was still mostly Hispanic—coming from the Mass– and our source told us that it was filled with people of all ages and had lots of babies in strollers. At around noon the procession entered the plaza...."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Governor Brown Vetoes SB 131: "Open-ended and Unfair"

From the Press-Enterprise:

"In a lengthy veto message that cited Roman law and included a detailed history of California’s rules on sex-abuse litigation, Brown complained that the legislation applied only to private institutions, such as the Catholic Church, and not schools and other government entities....

'What (SB 131) does do is go back to the only group, i.e. private institutions, that have already been subjected to the unusual ‘one year revival period’ and makes them, and them alone, subject to suit indefinitely,' Brown wrote in his veto message.

'This extraordinary extension of the statute of limitations, which legislators chose not to apply to public institutions, is simply too open-ended and unfair,' added Brown, who studied to become a Catholic priest as a young man."

That last sentence, which implies some warm relationship between Jerry Brown and the Catholic Church is ludicrous. Yeah, Governor Brown is such a big friend to the Church.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

“It’s very exciting for us: We see everything collapsing around us, and the Church is emerging.”

John Burger has an excellent article at Aleteia, with observations from many people in the Archdiocese, (our headline quote from the story is by Walk for Life West Coast co-founder Dolores Meehan) on the first year of San Francisco's great new Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Little Light for Christians in Pakistan

Heaven knows they need it. A group of Pakistani Muslims and Christians joined together in a human chain Sunday around St, Anthony's Church in Lahore. The action of solidarity was in response to the horrific bombing two weeks ago at All Saints Church in Peshawar, in which 100 people were killed.

May this action encourage others like it throughout the world.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

h/y Mark Shea.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Charming (and Serious) Comments on Marriage from the Holy Father

LifeSiteNews reports on Pope Francis's talk with young people in Assisi, where he made clear what marriage is and what it is not, (which, you'll notice, has not received the breathless press coverage accorded to some of his other conversations). His Holiness also stressed the great adventure of family life:

'Pope Francis urged youth today to have the 'courage' to get married and have children despite a culture that emphasizes “individual rights' over family.

The pope made the remarks in Assisi during an energetic question and answer session with a number of young people.

'Don't be afraid of taking definitive steps, like that of marriage,' the pope told the crowds assembled in the square outside the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, according to CNS.

The pope pointed out that marriage is a 'real vocation, just like priesthood and religious life are. Two Christians who marry each other have recognized in their love story the Lord's call, the vocation to form one flesh, one life from the two, male and female.' 

The pope told the story of a woman who told him she had a son who was in his 30s who had a girlfriend, but wouldn’t get married.
'I told her, 'Ma'am, stop ironing his shirts,'' the pope said to laughter.

'It takes courage to start a family,' he said, adding that the world will put obstacles in the way of those who want to do so, by 'privileging individual rights rather than the family.'

He criticized the culture of divorce, saying: 'You know that marriage is for a lifetime? 'Yes, we love each other, but we'll stay together as long as love lasts. When it's over, we go our separate ways.' That is selfishness.'

The pope also shared a reflection on his own parents and previous generations, saying that while they faced significant economic hardships and war, they knew with 'certainty that the Lord was with them, that their family was blessed by God with the sacrament of matrimony and that their mission of bringing children into the world and raising them also was blessed.'

The pope urged couples never to end the day angry. 'Argue as much as you like, even if the plates fly that is fine, but never end the day without making peace,' he said jokingly."

House Tells Obama Administration: Let Military Chaplains Practice the Faith!

It's good news from The Hill, via Catholic Vote, but is is outrageous that it is necessary:

"Furloughed chaplains should be able to give prayer services on a volunteer basis, according to a House vote on Saturday.

Furloughed chaplains should be able to give prayer services on a volunteer basis, according to a House vote on Saturday.

The House resolution approved in a 400-1 vote argues the Obama administration should allow contract chaplains who have been furloughed to continue offering prayer services on a volunteer basis.

Right now, chaplains who do so could be charged with trespassing or arrested because of the government shutdown.

The only "no" vote came from Rep. Bill Enyart (D-Ill.).

The resolution, from Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), is a response to an op-ed from John Schlageter, general counsel at the Archdiocese for the Military Services. On Thursday, Schlageter claimed that it would be illegal for contract chaplains to minister on base if they have been furloughed, and could face arrest if they ignore that.

Republicans were outraged at this possibility, and quickly developed the resolution on Friday in response.

"The First Amendment rights of our military do not sunset with the lack of appropriations or even a shutdown," said Rep. John Fleming (R-La.)."

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Study: "Children living with gay and lesbian families in 2006 were about 65 % as likely to graduate compared to children living in opposite sex marriage families."

The study, published in the peer-reviewed The Review of Economics of the Household, is by Professor Douglas W. Allen of Simon Fraser University in Canada. Professor Fraser. From the abstract:

"Almost all studies of same-sex parenting have concluded there is “no difference” in a range of outcome measures for children who live in a household with same-sex parents compared to children living with married opposite-sex parents. Recently, some work based on the US census has suggested otherwise, but those studies have considerable drawbacks. Here, a 20 % sample of the 2006 Canada census is used to identify self-reported children living with same-sex parents, and to examine the association of household type with children’s high school graduation rates. This large random sample allows for control of parental marital status, distinguishes between gay and lesbian families, and is large enough to evaluate differences in gender between parents and children. Children living with gay and lesbian families in 2006 were about 65 % as likely to graduate compared to children living in opposite sex marriage families. Daughters of same-sex parents do considerably worse than sons."

In 2012, at the time Professor Mark Regerus study was released, Professor Allen made some observation about the studies of same-sex led households.You can read those here.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Obama Regime Threatens to Arrest Catholic Priests for Celebrating Mass

From Fox News:

The U.S. military has furloughed as many as 50 Catholic chaplains due to the partial suspension of government services, banning them from celebrating weekend Mass. At least one chaplain was told that if he engaged in any ministry activity, he would be subjected to disciplinary action.

“In very practical terms it means Sunday Mass won’t be offered,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services told me. “If someone has a baptism scheduled, it won’t be celebrated.”

The Archdiocese for the Military Services tells me the military installations impacted are served by non-active-duty priests who were hired as government contractors. As a result of a shortage of active duty Catholic chaplains, the government hires contract priests.

Broglio said some military bases have forbidden the contract priests from volunteering to celebrate Mass without pay.

“They were told they cannot function because those are contracted services and since there’s no funding they can’t do it – even if they volunteer,” he said....

Broglio said some military bases have forbidden the contract priests from volunteering to celebrate Mass without pay.

“They were told they cannot function because those are contracted services and since there’s no funding they can’t do it – even if they volunteer,” he said.

How any Catholic can vote Democratic any more is inconceivable.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Phony Government Shutdown: Extortion for Obamacare

The Obama administration is closing YOUR parks, YOUR country, even if it costs YOU money.

From Bryan Peterson. Emphasis added.

Breaking: White House Ordering Hundreds of Privately Run, Praivately Funded Parks to Close
"Warren Meyer of Phoenix, AZ, is owner and president of
Recreation Resource Management, Inc. RRM employs about 400-500 camp workers and managers across about a dozen states. It is one of a handful of companies that have been managing national parks and campgrounds as tenants for years, through previous government shutdowns including the last one in 1995-1996. Those previous shutdowns never closed any of the parks managed in this way, but the current shutdown threatens closure.

The campgrounds are self-sufficient and receive no federal funding. No government employees staff or manage the parks. The management companies PAY the National Park Service out of the funds they generate from operating the thousands of campgrounds. So the reason for the shutdown is puzzling to Meyer.

Today, he sent a
letter to both of his senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, asking for help to keep his parks open.

“My company, based in North Phoenix, operates nearly over 100 US Forest Service campgrounds and day use areas under concession contract. Yesterday, as in all past government shutdowns, the Department of Agriculture and US Forest Service confirmed we would stay open during the government shutdown. This makes total sense, since our operations are self-sufficient (we are fully funded by user fees at the gate), we get no federal funds, we employ no government workers on these sites, and we actually pay rent into the Treasury.”

Notice that last part. The parks not only do not cost the taxpayers any money, they pay funds into the Treasury out of the fees park users pay. Shutting them down will cost the taxpayers money.

How much? Meyer told the Tatler that his parks generate hundreds of thousands of dollars per week. Multiply that across his competitors and the Treasury could lose a few million dollars, in what is essentially free money to the government, over the course of the shutdown.

Which, as Meyer points out, is unnecessary, as these management companies are not revenue losers, but revenue generators for the Treasury...."