Friday, August 28, 2009
Therefore, I'd like to point your attention to No Question Left Behind, a blog written by teens to answer questions by other teens on matters relating to living the Catholic faith. They discuss Church teaching, Scripture, practical decisions, and teen issues all with an eye towards helping others towards a full life in Christ. Check 'em out and see for yourself.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Response to the Washington Post
Homeschoolers Say No to Mandatory State Testing
Director of Media Relations
In the process of renegotiating the terms of a parenting plan for the girl, the guardian ad litem involved in the case concluded, according to the court order, that the girl “appeared to reflect her mother’s rigidity on questions of faith” and that the girl’s interests “would be best served by exposure to a public school setting” and “different points of view at a time when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief...in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.”
I wonder, if, as Subvet asks, what would have happened if she had been raised as an atheist? Would she have been sent to a Catholic school? Or if she had been raised by Muslims, would the judge have ordered her to a synagogue school?
Of course not.
Now, I don't know this girl and neither do you. Maybe she has a devout, even orthodox, faith in Christ. Maybe she thinks that anyone who rolls the toilet paper off the top instead of the bottom is predestined for hell. But that's not the point here. Obviously, her education was not an issue, as the judge clearly admits that she is “well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising, and intellectually at or superior to grade level”. What the judge found in need of correcting was that the girl has firmly held beliefs not in conformity to the amorphous, relativist, secular mindset that pervades our culture. The problem is not that the girl has religious beliefs; the problem is that she takes those beliefs seriously.
See, people in our culture are very tolerant of those who have different beliefs, as long as no one holds those beliefs to be actually true. Beliefs are permissible if they are not actually beliefs. Nice fables, fine. Vague moral compass, OK. But the moment that someone acts like beliefs and actions have real consequences in a metaphysical way, then they must be isolated and corrected.
It's like the parents that send their kids to Catholic school so they will have some religious upbringing, but fail to attend Mass. These are the people who send their kids to learn all about the faith that's not real enough or important enough to put into practice. But that's OK, right? I mean, as long as you're a good person, God's not going to reject you.
I'm not advocating any witch-hunts of non-believers, if that's what my tone suggests. But my frustration lies greatest with an attitude toward that faith that renders it "cute" or "curious". The danger of a pluralistic society is not that there are people who believe differently who might challenge my beliefs. It's that a pluralistic society demands that I have no belief at all.
Johnson maneuvered every step of the way getting this bill through Congress, and one of the things he did — and this is a little dicey in today's climate — was suppress the costs. So this young kid gets elected from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, in 1962, and Johnson is explaining to him [over the phone] how you get a health bill through. And what he tells him is don't let them get the costs projected too far out because it will scare other people:"A health program yesterday runs $300 million, but the fools had to go to projecting it down the road five or six years, and when you project it the first year, it runs $900 million. Now I don't know whether I would approve $900 million second year or not. I might approve 450 or 500. But the first thing Dick Russell comes running in saying, 'My God, you've got a billion-dollar program for next year on health, therefore I'm against any of it now.' Do you follow me?"
We believe, after looking at the evidence, my co-author [David Blumenthal] and I, that if the true cost of Medicare had been known — if Johnson hadn't basically hidden them — the program would never have passed. America's second-most beloved program would never have happened, if we had had genuine cost estimates.
Ya got that? One of the most "beloved" entitlement programs in American history, which is headed into insolvency only passed because Johnson hid the actual cost of the program. And a host on NPR offers this as advice to President Obama in order to pass health care reform. You see, what Mr. Monroe calls "dicey" is known better by a different word: "deceit."
But do you get the bigger implication here? Medicare is the second-most beloved program in America and it would have gotten derailed if people had been scared off by the cost of it. And all of you fear-mongers trying to derail this health care reform just don't know what's best for you like we do. If only you'd shut up and let us pass this without your opposition, you'd get another giant entitlement program that everyone will love twenty or thirty years from now.
Except that there's this nagging fact about Medicare: it's going to be bankrupt because the money was mismanaged and the original cost was incorrectly predicted. But there's no reason to think that will happen in this case, is there?
Monday, August 24, 2009
(Note the vice-grip she has on two hands at once!)
By the way, the clapper on that bell is still attached. And it is LOUD.
(And in case you're wondering, yeah, we came home with about fifty pounds of rocks.)
Friday, August 21, 2009
When you want to sell snake oil to the American public, and someone in the crowd, whose vocation is to give witness to the truth, points out that it's snake oil, don't accuse him of lying, especially when that person is citing the documents that proves he's right.
Did I mention that I've always liked Cardinal Rigali?
Ave Maria Home is an independent, non-profit, Catholic lay organization that is dedicated to providing residential care for pregnant women in Southeastern Connecticut. We emphasize a respect for life, recognizing the unique dignity and potential of each individual. We are affiliated with Good Counsel Homes of New York. Our goal is to maintain the highest level of assistance to pregnant women. We uphold the same principles of Good Counsel Homes and operate in the same manner.
I know the people involved and they are trying to start this much-needed project with great faith in God and love for the unborn and their mothers. Their site is still under construction, so please visit often and offer any help you can!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
40 Minutes for Health Reform: National Faith Community Call to Action with special guest President Obama Wednesday, August 19, an estimated 140,000 people of faith gathered on a historic national conference call with President Barack Obama and the American faith community.
COMMIT TO DO YOUR PART DURING 40 DAYS FOR HEALTH REFORM
Over the next 40 days, people of faith are leading a national campaign for health care reform. While members of Congress are in their home districts, we’ll be holding hundreds of prayer vigils and in-district events. We’ll sign petitions, write our representatives, organize a nationwide conference call for people of faith, and air a national TV ad –all to say the faith community supports health care reform.
What I noticed was absent was any discussion on why the particular kind of health care reform that the White House and Democratic members of Congress are proposing is the right plan. There are no citations as to why the health care plan doesn't actually cover abortion, doesn't actually lead to more rationing of care, doesn't actually lead to more government control. No explanations necessary, I s'pose. God is Obama's partner in this, folks. Are you going to go against God?
And what of the 40 Days? Prayer vigils, letter writing campaigns, petitions... I wonder where they got that idea from? It doesn't explain the significance on their site, but I suspect I know the source.
AmP points out another place where the White House has no problems emulating the work of others for his own purposes while being deceptively silent on the issue of abortion.
Who was receiving the emails?
How many staff had access to them?
What was the protocol for sifting which emails should be addressed?
Was personal information expunged? (Correspondence with the White House is to be retained in the Archives unaltered)
What was the plan for addressing "misconceptions"?
Would the authors of such "misconceptions" be contacted directly or would the issues be referred to by administration staff on weekend talk shows, for instance?
Some people got letters from David Axelrod to clear up misconceptions. I outed myself and have received diddly squat for a response. What gives?
Maybe Mr. Gibbs will clarify all that for us. Here's to holding my breath.
From the White House Press Briefing, August 18th:
Q Was “Flag” at whitehouse.gov a good idea?
MR. GIBBS: Yes, still is.
Q Why remove it?
MR. GIBBS: It was consolidated on “Reality Check.” If people see or hear misinformation or have questions or concerns about some rumor that they’re hearing on , there’s a mechanism to get the truth.
QSo it’s just been put together, it’s not really gone?
MR. GIBBS: Consolidated from two platforms into one.
That's right! If you'd like to point out the persistent myths your neighbors are continuing to pass along, just visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/contact. Oh, the White House kindly asks you to refrain from including other people's personal information without their permission. (Sounds to me like the AG or White House counsel took someone out to the woodshed for the heap of trouble the White House can get in for collecting and retaining information regarding their political adversaries' use of their First Amendment rights.)
If that seem inconclusive, then consider the Capps Amendment to the bill, passed in The Committee on Energy and Commerce on July 30th, two weeks before Ms. Yolen’s letter. It not only states that private plans in the Health Exchange must have at least one plan that covers abortion but that the public option shall provide coverage for abortions. This amendment can be read here: http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1721:energy-and-commerce-markup-on-hr-3200-the-americas-affordable-health-choices-act-of-2009&catid=141:full-committee&Itemid=85
If this health care legislation were to pass in its current form, it would mean that taxpayer dollars would be used to kill babies in the womb. This is not a myth, it is a fact, and no amount of repetition by the White House and Planned Parenthood can change that.
No, I have not been in some sort of accident and am now in traction and must type with my chin, but it has been an incredibly busy summer: two trips out of state (one of them out of the country) lots of overtime at work, packing, repairing and moving junk out to put our home on the market, birthdays, phantom car repairs, reading training manuals, and of course, goofing with my boys and baby girl.
So if anybody out there was thinking, "Hey that Mike guy just up and disappeared! The re-education squad must have picked him up already," be at peace. (Besides, they haven't finished constructing all the camps yet.)
I'll try to post pictures and some of my thoughts about my own travels this summer as well as some angry comments and amateurish analysis of the health care reform over the next few posts. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.
And I, for one, am still reading the instruction manual on how to navigate the new site, so bear with us all as we settle in to our new digs.
Check it out! (And thanks to RobK and Jason for putting it all together! But why are there two screws left over?)
Friday, August 7, 2009
I am writing to let you know that I am a fishy American. I do not accept the party line that you expect Americans to believe on the issues of health care reform. I am deeply concerned about a socialist future, as well as end-of-life health care rationing and taxpayer-funded abortions. I reject this plan and will continue to voice my concerns to you, my senators and representative in Congress, and my family and friends.
To make it easier for you to track the use of my First Amendment right, please feel free to read on my blog:
A concerned citizen.