Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A brilliant idea from John H on Autism Blogger

It wouldn't let me respond in the thread or make a new post for some reason- gave me a 406 shtml error, whatever that is. But I don't want to lose this potential business idea.

Brilliance. Sheer brilliance.

John H:"Please make time for yourself it will be hard, even if its just time in another room or in the car. You can give 99% of your day to your family if you want but take that 1% and make it yours....No one is alone here."

I've been advocating a cheaper version of snoezelen therapy for the autistics- but it now occurs to me that this is good for the caregivers and parents *also*.

What a wonderful idea- and I bet I could put together a package deal from my knowledge of home automation to "Make it so". It even fits in with something I ran into on a post of the blog of the woman who wrote the old "Clear Blue Water" comic strip (now a web comic that hasn't been updated in months) of what her lower functioning son is suddenly doing.

How about a "meltdown timeout room kit" that includes:
1. Multicolor remote control LED lightbulb
2. DVD/CD player (the kind with a built-in screen)
3. heater/air conditioner
4. Nannycam with night vision and portable wireless monitor

I bet I could put that all together for less than $300. Possibly less than $200. The basic idea- give the autistic child an environment where he can be *alone* and can *control his surroundings*. Give the caregiver-parent peace of mind in keeping the child under surveillance *while taking a much needed break for themselves*.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Have we reached the bottom of the slippery slope yet?

Apparently, in Virginia, a child is not considered to be born or to be a separate life until the umbilical cord is cut, thus making this murder nothing more than a legal third trimester abortion there.

And pro-choicers tell me that infanticide isn't part of a woman's right to choose.

I actually see two bottoms to this slippery slope. The first is cases like this, but the second is eugenics- the use of abortion to eliminate undesirable traits, as so many parents on this website did. But that second may not quite be the bottom yet- the bottom for the eugenics fork will be in the new healthcare plan, where the government's "exchange" plans will be quite happy to let a medicare mother have a $600 abortion, but will balk at the $4000 birth.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Is H1N1 Vaccine Moral?

There is a rumor floating around pro-life groups that the H1N1 vaccine is developed from aborted fetal tissue. I decided to look into this myself, as I was unaware that any vaccine was developed from aborted fetuses.

What I found surprised me- a good number of vaccines, including those required by law of school age children in Oregon, come from fetal tissue.

The Vatican, though, long ago responded to this issue, with the result being that in most cases, it's more immoral to avoid vaccination than it is to use these vaccines. However, it is the responsibility of all to know where vaccines come from, and if possible, use an alternative vaccine.

The H1N1 vaccine is not developed with human fetal tissue however- it uses chicken eggs instead, which is part of the huge problem I blogged about previously.

As such, don't stop to not vaccinate for H1N1 for moral reasons. DO, however, educate yourself on this topic, and lobby for alternatives to become available (there are alternatives already available for everything except Rubella, Hepatitis-A, and Chickenpox; and the Japanese have developed alternatives for Rubella and Hep-A that are not available in the United States as of yet).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

America without the Middle Class

Elizabeth Warren at the Huffington Post today describes, in no uncertain terms, just how quickly the middle class is disappearing from America- and how quickly our economy is beginning to look like that of Mexico.

I charge that this is no accident- but the willful sin of the investor class in an attempted coup of the government of the United States. A coup- may I mention, that is succeeding. And it's not just the US- Irish governmental employees are being asked to take 4%-20% pay cuts, as the masters become slaves. And we've all become slaves of the big banks.

I'm going to repeat what I think is the only reasonable way out: Repeal Article I Section 10 of the US Constitution, and let state governments issue currency, make their own trade treaties that fit *local* employment concerns, and separate themselves as much as possible from the big power banks in New York.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why the Muwahiddun Sect of Islam is dangerous.

There is a real reformation going on in Islam- one that is only tangential to "post communist" global politics and we're not even the primary enemy by any stretch of the imagination.

Most of you have probably never heard of the Muwahiddun sub sect of Islam. Their enemies call them Wahhabis, after the primary preacher of their sect, but the name they prefer translates more as "Unitarian", after the primary theology they assert. Oddly enough, I consider them a dangerous sect for the same reason I consider Unitarian Christians a dangerous sect, because of their anarchy. In fact, the only real differences I can see is which books they consider scripture and of course the violence of the pillar of Jihad (Unitarian Christians, in the United States, have a tendency to be deistic agnostics in comparison, because they lack this tradition of jihad).

Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab was a contemporary of our own Thomas Jefferson, in theology as well as politics. He's the Islamic version of Thomas Jefferson as well. Thomas Jefferson was a Deist who considered the church to have corrupted the Bible (he even wrote The Jefferson Bible, a cut and paste job from several Bibles, that attempted to remove the religion from the philosophy of Christ) who considered God to be directly reachable- and within Islam, so did Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab. The problem is, he took this to extremes- and what he did, started what I am calling the Islamic Reformation.

99% of the so-called terrorism, is Islamic-on-Islamic violence as they start (well, only about 200 years in now- but look how long the Reformation in Christianity took to stop being violent) to fight their reformation. It's only very recently that this violence has turned against invaders, only in the last century or so.

The cause of the violence is similar to the heresy of Fr. Feeney in the American Roman Catholic Church, that Outside the Church There Is No Salvation (Extra Ecclesiam, Nullas Salus)- but far narrower in it's fundamentalism. The central theological concept is Tawhid- the uniqueness of God as the ONLY Lord of man. Not even secular civil governments are allowed in between God and Man, not even scholars in the mosque are between Allah and the individual's interpretation of what Allah wants for his life. And of course, the standard Sunni theology of There is no God But Allah, and Mohammed is His Prophet.

The result of this, when combined with the Five Pillars of Islam and certain verses of the Koran taken out of context, is an extreme form of anarchy where the duty of Jihad becomes supreme, violent, and individualistic. And the enemy is anybody who doesn't agree with that individual- including OTHER al Qaida members.

Looking back at what the Five Solas did to Christianity, it is easy to extrapolate what is happening today in the Muwahiddun community due to the removal of any sort of ecclesiastical authority.

And that, in short, is why I'm conflicted about the so-called War on Terror. It's clear that the Muwahiddun present a danger to themselves and others. It is equally clear that we can't fight them without losing our own soul. Their pure anarchy without a state and willingness to attack those we'd see as civilians puts them completely outside of both Augustinian and modern just war theory from a Christian standpoint, or even the historical state-based form of Jihad declared by a secular ruler from traditional Islam.

I just know that Afghanistan, as the place empires have gone to die since the Macedonians got really tired of war there, turned around, and went home, is probably the wrong place to do battle against them, if one can do battle against a loose group of people all believing different things at all.

And I wonder, 200 years into this Reformation, if some day al Qaida will be the name on every little house-mosque with less than 6 members worldwide.

Bankers are doing God's Work charging usury?

Lloyd Blankfein, head of Goldman Sachs, claims that Bankers are doing God's Work, because banks help corporations grow large, and large companies employ large numbers of people.

Apparently he's never heard of the theory of economy of scale, which the Capitalists keep hitting me over the head with whenever I mention G.K. Chesterton's idea that the only thing wrong with Capitalism is that there are too few capitalists. Supposedly, the whole world would come crashing down from a lack of labor, if we merely had 100% employment by producing goods as close to the end user as possible in a distributive fashion. The reason for this is economy of scale- that you can produce more goods with less work and less waste by centralizing that work into huge factories.

Which means, that Lloyd is wrong- the fewer bigger companies in a given industry, the fewer people are employed by that industry overall. Give an oligarchy of say, three car companies producing 99% of the cars on the road, and a very small portion of the population, maybe even only one city, gets to have people employed in making cars. Give a monopoly, it's even less. But if instead you have a million artisan bakers, in every neighborhood, then there are lots more people involved in the baking industry- because it is inefficient.

Banking helps companies pile up huge sums of money to become MORE efficient, not less- and that puts human beings out of work.

Anybody know how I can e-mail Lloyd personally to hit him over the head with a 4x4 cluebat?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Abortion Part II: the other half of the sin

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 - 1971)

I've been accused of letting my economics lead my pro-life tendencies to abandon certain abortions as not being evil. Instead, I see it as being more about the things I can change, vs the things I can't.

As individuals, we can't do much about abortion being legal. We can't do anything at all about rape, incest, or weird medical conditions.

We CAN do something charitable about the young mother faced with an unexpected child. We CAN do something about the young family already working three minimum wage jobs with a new mouth to feed. We CAN do something about women's clinics in poor areas of the country that don't have ultrasound machines. We CAN do something about making sure every woman has a right to pre-natal health care. We CAN do something about teaching our children that sex is the prayer for more children- and that you shouldn't pray for what you don't want. We CAN do something about helping the disabled. We CAN teach our children that the disabled are people too, put here on this Earth for a reason. We CAN encourage the young family facing a child with birth defects that we will be there for them as a community.

And for the 800,000 children a year killed in the United States- we SHOULD. (CDC reports that this has actually been decreasing- so maybe charitable efforts are working).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stop Loss

I recently made a bad comment which I then deleted off of a soldier's facebook page serving in Afghanistan. I agree that it was a bad comment. I agree that I shouldn't have done it. But it's a topic that we civilians need to get better educated on soon.

Right now, the US Military is beginning to look a lot like organized crime- the only way out is to leave horribly wounded or dead. Stop loss means that a 4 year commitment made in the wake of 9-11-2001 could easily mean that against your will you're still in the military in 2009, and on your fourth, fifth, or even sixth deployment. That is NOT what I consider to be a volunteer military anymore, although I'll admit it's drafting from those who choose to serve, it's still enforced servitude for bad pay and a horrible return on investment considering the risk includes the ultimate sacrifice.

I support the idea that one of the duties of government is the common defense. I understand that in Afghanistan, we have the danger of a certain minority sect regaining a foothold and then attacking us again, just as they did in 2001. I understand that the Islamic Reformation is taking a very dangerous turn- just as the Christian Reformation did in the 1500s and 1600s.

But isn't there a better way than just sending the same people over there again and again, breaking our contract with them through stop loss, until they die, are wounded physically and mentally, until we've used them up just like corporate America uses up human resources? How about the old idea of a no-man's land between radical Islam and the rest of the world- and enforce it like it was a jail instead, with NO CONTACT AT ALL between the Islamic world and the rest of us? Isn't that better than sacrificing yet another American life to this mess?

Monday, November 16, 2009

On abortion- some intrinsic evils are worse with other sins

Some have recently, due to my positions on charity and Health Care, accused me of "compromising with evil" on abortion.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I agree with the Roman Catholic Church that abortion is *always and everywhere* an intrinsic evil, and nothing can change that.

But there are levels to evil. The number of people affected is one. Who is to blame is another.

For abortion due to incest or rape- the full blame MUST fall on the man committing incest or rape. Any abortion the woman has to go through to maintain sanity, health, or avoid suicide, is his fault, and his fault alone.

For abortion to save the life of the mother- this is triage. And while being forced into the choice is evil, ethical doctors in emergency room or battlefield conditions are often forced to make this very choice- there are TWO patients here, and if you do nothing, both will die. I don't even call this truly abortion- the ethical doctor in this case *MUST* do a cesarean birth, and if the child fails to survive, well, it isn't entirely his fault. Ectopic pregnancy is the classic case of this, but it doesn't make the abortion any less evil, just less fault.

Having said that- abortions paid for by state health care systems, abortions that are solely for the "future economic conditions of the mother" (including teenage pregnancy), or worse yet are forced upon the woman by the father or grandfather of the child, are the shame of all of America, and all of us who earn a profit from capitalism and avoiding our duty to the poor and hopeless, are to some extent guilty of this great evil.

In a different economic system, every woman would have access to an ultrasound machine *and* the data it gives, before making the decision for abortion. Every woman would *be guaranteed* food, clothing, shelter, pre- and post-natal care for the first 5 years of a child's life (America currently only guarantees food). This is the shame of abortion. It's not only an intrinsic evil, it's a failure of charity, a failure to give the poor their due. It's a failure of subsidiarity at the lowest level where it would do the most good- the family. And it is those souls; the ones abandoned by parents and grandparents, and to some extent abandoned by the very system that sucks up the resources they would have used into bank accounts in New York City on Wall Street, that I mourn the most.

A million children a year are aborted in the United States, less than 2% of those are for the first two reasons above. The other 98% were abandoned, not just by their parents, but by all of us. That's why I support the Stupak Amendment. That's why I'd like to see WIC expanded to cover clothing, shelter, pre- and post-natal medical care. But most of all, it's an explanation as to why I don't think just making abortion illegal will work (much as I'd like to see that also)- because in doing that, we turn our back on these other great sins that are as much of a cause of abortion in this country as Planned Parenthood's genocide of the poor itself.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Catholic Tech

This is a good one. From the land that long before Christianity brought us the Robotic Zeus and the very rarely used automatic doors on the Temple of Mars, the Swine Flu has inspired a new, very Catholic, invention: The automatic touch-free Holy Water Dispenser.

Final thoughts on John Allen Mohammed

You know, the DC Sniper dude, that Virgina just killed for his monumental stupidity. Yes, that's right, I said stupidity.

It has now been revealed that he had several other victims nationwide- victims he was not prosecuted for and now will never be prosecuted for. At the time, it was obvious that even three jurisdictions side-by-side were creating a massive clusterfuck of the investigation; imagine what would have happened if say, he had modified an SUV with a Thule car top carrier for his sniper platform, pulling a trailer, and had limited himself to one six-round set of potshots per state per month, usually at skyscrapers from the backwoods of some state or national park, always leaving the state directly afterwards.

We'd still be *looking* for him today if he had done that. There's even a half a chance that the FBI wouldn't be called in yet. But no, he had to be stupid- an old car with a huge hole in the trunk, once he got across the country to the Washington DC area he stayed there, taking pot shots at small targets from less than a mile away. He was an idiot, and the State of Virginia executed a massive mental defective.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Subsidiarity-denying the poor their due?

Deal Hudson has actually apologized for writing off the influences of pro-life Democratic Members of Congress, while praising the Stupak-Pitts Amendment. Unfortunately his followers there aren't pleased, for after all, he's often argued that this topic does not belong with the federal government at all, that under the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, the free market is a better place for health care.

I disagree with Deal that subsidiarity means the free market, but I will concede that he has a point. Not because, as the Reaganites tell us, the federal government is incompetent. But rather because human bodies do respond to climate, and different climates need different health care.

I believe the current proposal handles this by putting the exchanges in the hands of the states, with "public option lite": the public option only available after the free market has proven itself inadequate to cover the 90% target. BTW, this means that the current proposals from the Senate and the House are *NOT* universal health care, they're 90% health care. But that's a far cry from the 73% health care coverage we have now, so I believe it's worth doing.

So here's my question for all you theologians out there: Is the value of subsidiarity so important that you that you're willing to let the poor go without a health insurance system to support it? KNOWING full well that the next pandemic (and pandemics almost always start among the poor) or bio-terrorism attack (since this entire debate has shown an area of weakness that the terrorists would be stupid NOT to take advantage of) could well end up hitting you, due to lack of health care for your neighbor? And better yet, what would Christ (or more to the point, his character in the parable of the Good Samaritan) say about this debate over subsidiarity, while people are dying?

Now on to my second point. I've often been told by the non-Catholic free market people that subsidiarity is a ridiculous idea, that economy of scale means centralization and collectivism will always beat out subsidiarity for profitability. If you read the comments at the above link, you'll find one libertarian who actually disagrees with that view- claims that charity given personally has lower overhead than charity given in a group.

But beyond all that- by claiming a Universal God and Universal Message and Universal Right and Wrong, isn't the biggest break of subsidiarity the Roman Catholic Church herself? Would those of you who think of subsidiarity as an *absolute* value, then agree with the congregationalist Protestants that church theology should come from below rather than above?

Oh, and just to throw some fun into it, here are the Billionaires for Wealthcare, a little know counter protest to the 9-12 protest, with "Save the Status Quo", along with MSNBC's great commentary on the counter protest.

Because that's the option at this point: save the status quo.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The key problem- no food processing left in Oregon

Or at least, so says Sharon Thornberry of the Oregon Food Bank. She brought up things I didn't know about our free market system: like the small town of Fields near Steens Mountain in Southeastern Oregon, where the local grocer is often worse stocked than the food bank because he has to make a 400 mile round trip to get groceries for his store. Nobody will deliver anything to him, he has to go to Bend or Idaho to get food. Umatila County is the same way- plenty of beef, but not a single slaughterhouse, so getting ground beef for the grocery store or the food bank is very expensive.

This gives me two things: One, when I start my roundtable at St. Clare's for Knights of Columbus, one of the first charity acts I'm going to propose is to use the money from our recruiting breakfast to buy/build window box gardens for St. Vincent De Paul's food banks at St. Clare's and St. Anthony's, to be given away to anybody who has a source of water and a south facing window or balcony or small lawn. Second, a whole new argument for distributism in Oregon; we're an agricultural state and we can't feed the poor because we can't get the food processed where the poor work to raise our food? I've seen it myself with my family's grass fed organic beef- no mobile slaughter left in the Willamette Valley either, and the slaughterhouses are few and are shutting down in favor of plants in third world countries (how they get the beef THERE I'll never know) like Brazil, which have fewer environmental controls.

The only answer for the rural people in the article though, is for some smart enterprising butcher to move to Eastern Oregon specifically to process local food for local sale. Seems to me that is hunting country also; and the same butcher could probably make as much off of local kills of deer and elk as beef. If capitalism was allowed to work the way it should, anyway, instead of being gobbled up into collectivism and corporatism.

Health Care: Hypocrites meet idiots

yep, one of my famous "A pox on both their houses" posts.

On the front page of the Oregonian today, I see a very interesting article about abortion coverage in the new healthcare plan (unfortunately, they seem not to have put "Abortion covered widely by insurance", an article from the McClatchy newspaper service written by James Oliphant, on the web). In there I find some very interesting ideas:

1. From an alternate article on the subject: "What the amendment, offered by Democrat Bart Stupak, really does is bars the use of federal subsidies to fund abortions. It bans the proposed new government health insurance plan from covering abortions in all but the most extreme cases (rape, incest and when a mother's life is threatened). And news reports say that policies purchased with federal subsidies from private insurers will have the same restrictions. Women could purchase an abortion insurance rider if they felt they needed the coverage (or pay out of pocket for an abortion)."
2. This amendment only covers plans in the new "Health insurance Exchange".
3. Many private health care plans, currently cover abortion.

So, to the Republican Catholics who read this, I say, if you currently have employer sponsored health care that is using YOUR premiums to cover abortions, what exactly is the moral difference between that and a government using YOUR taxes to cover abortions? The main difference I can see is choice- are you willing to cancel your employer-sponsored health insurance on this principle?

And to the pro-choicers who are all up in rage about this: Nobody who has abortion coverage now, will see it dropped because of this amendment, and you're an idiot if you think it is going to be. The rider will be available to any prochoicer who thinks ahead- not that many of them do since they've utterly failed to make the connection between *having sex, as a prayer to the gods for fertility* and *having children* to begin with. Not that it is any great loss to you *DINKs* to pay $400 for a night of sex in comparison to us *breeders* who spend the next 18 years paying an average of $700/month for the same act, and no insurance covers parenthood.

Bunch of hypocrites and idiots who want to keep me, specifically, from getting new legislation that would allow me into the insurance market to begin with.

Friday, October 30, 2009

H1N1- how distributism can help vaccine production

60 Minutes this Sunday will be reporting on how the CDC has put all it's eggs in one basket, so to speak with H1N1 vaccine production centralized in one small town in Pennsylvania. They knew that production was going to be a problem as early as August 25th, and in fact only ordered 40 million vaccinations for a country of 300 million people.

Why the heck are we counting on ONE small factory in PA to produce enough vaccine for the entire nation? Especially after the first batch came out slow?

There should be a flu vaccine factory in every state in the union- this would reduce shipping cost (flu vaccines need to be refrigerated) AND enable us to ramp up production from 0 to 300 million in a month to keep up with new mutations and pandemics, which are only going to get worse now that Tamiflu is common.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Are Reagan Catholics really Marxists in disguise?

I just had to respond to this Inside Catholic Blog Posting on boomer Catholics. She's absolutely right, as far as it goes. But look at this description of the atheist Marxist agenda:

Communism spreads its errors into new societies with a three-phase movement. First, its covert agents use anti-government and anti-Church propaganda to spread social discontent in the targeted nation or population. The agents aim to promote anti-government revolution, either violent or non-violent, which makes possible their ultimate goal: the complete communist takeover of governmental power.

Does that sound like the modern left to you? It doesn't to me. It sounds like the very Reganites who hide behind small government propaganda (anti-government propaganda) and a disordered form of subsidarity known as individualism (anti-Church propaganda, at least for the traditional church teaching of the communion of saints and the idea we're all in this TOGETHER, not separately- subsidarity must be balanced with solidarity), and in the separation of taxes from services received, promote anti-government revolution.

And before you think I'm leaning on the GOP too much- along comes the New Democrats under Obama and Clinton to finish the revolution by decreeing Wall Street to be party members and all the rest of us to be pond scum, unworthy of their great bailouts and horribly unjust trade progroms.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Well, been kicked off another blog

This time, Inside Catholic, for apparently some people thinking I post too much, dominate the conversation (well, I do, I sharpened my online debating skills long ago in the great Usenet flame wars- is it my problem many people fail to keep up with me?), but get this, the biggest complaint they had against me was how often I quoted from Papal encyclicals and the Magisterium.

For a blog called Inside Catholic, I find that *slightly* ironic.

Friday, October 16, 2009

And another month later: Distributionism and Subsidarity in Taxation

I guess I'm running out of truly crazy ideas that fit. In reality, I've been posting more on other people's blogs.

One of those is Inside Catholic- a spinoff of Crisis Magazine, it's a place to discuss politics and economics and religion from a Catholic point of view. Recently, this post on the Flat Sales Tax got me thinking: what would a truly distributionist American economic system look like?

Well, as I've written before, the first thing we'd need to do is repeal Article I, Section 10 of the US Constitution. Allow states to create and manage local economic systems. This would grant a new level of freedom to individuals and government, and create a big headache for big business! But it would certainly be distributism.

But then, how would we fund the Common Defense and promotion of the General Welfare? Here's my thought- we do it the same way we currently apportion the government. We take the current federal budget, and divide it by the number of House of Representative Congressional Districts. Each state, then, is given the right to figure out the taxes to fill this bill. The neat part? No more IRS, just like the flat taxers want- but more populous states get higher tax bills, and smaller, less populous states get lower tax bills, in proportion to their population.

I am assuming that eventually, there will be evolutionary change and economic winners and losers in any distributionist experiment; states that balance their taxes, trade, and money supply the most successfully will draw population to them, states that fail to balance the money supply, taxes, and trade successfully will lose population. This way, the federal government gets to share in the wealth of the success of distributionism.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The American Economy- Worse than Iraq under Hussien?

An interesting comparison I just ran across-Iraqi Refugees call the American Dream, a "Bad Dream". Threatened at home by death threats on the door, they came to America in search of security, only to be threatened in America by eviction notices on the door. And in this economy, when even Americans are going, on average, 56 weeks without work, how is an Iraqi Immigrant, who may have worked as a translator for our troops, injured in the line of duty, going to find work or even medical insurance?

When our economy and our health care system is worse than that under Saddam Hussien, you know we're in trouble!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Been about a month

But it's been the busiest month of my life. FIVE weekends away from home.

So I just this week returned to Economic Populist, and got myself into trouble right away for insisting on the Classical Economics definition of wealth with respect to day trading:

Note that right after chastising ME for being outside of economic Theory, Robert Oak posts a comment titled "Adam Smith was wrong"- well, if you're just going to change economic theory on a whim, you can't expect everybody else to keep up.

This led to me pulling an instapopulist on this story as well:

Which admittedly came from a slashdot post, from that well known Conspiracy Theorist and Georgia Farmer, Zogger:

Which Robert Oak objected to because I used the term Gross World Product interchangibly with Global Gross Domestic Product.

I still would like to know what the difference between global (all human communities) and the world (all human communities) is. But that's just my autism talking. I have a feeling I'll be banned again soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Is pro-homosexuality anti-child?

Or better yet, is it a component of being pro-homosexual to believe in the overpopulation myth to the point of being for the extinction of the human race?

Tony Jones asked the difficult question theologically, about what was sinful about a homosexual, MONOGAMOUS relationship. The answer I finally reached is this: That under John Paul II's theology of the body, sex for recreation alone will always be inferior to sex for procreation and unification. And to remove either procreation (sex in a couple that is naturally infertile) or unification (sex in a couple that is either not married or intends to get divorced) also degrades the concept irreparably.

So therefore, I have to ask the question- what is the ultimate purpose of homosexuality in a society? And I can only think of ONE purpose- to end that society with a degraded form of sexuality that is neither procreative nor unitive.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The other half of the argument, censored

The other half of the argument I would have presented here if not for censorship on EP is that for the past 20 years, abortion has been the *only* cause of the demographic problem in the United States, in that if we merely do what it takes to provide compensation for motherhood to lower the abortion rate by half for 20 years, the demographic problem will *disappear* completely.

That to me is economics and math, not morality- but there's a ban on EP for talking about anti-choice economics.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Real Paleoconservatives don't like free markets

I had a reply to this but it either wasn't "fact based" enough or not economics enough. Or I messed up trying to post it. At any rate, it better belongs here than on EP anyway:

Americans are weird creatures. Our liberals like progress, our conservatives like freedom. Between the two, we have no real liberals (who prefer status quo utopias that attempt to maximize freedom) or real conservatives (who prefer status quo utopias that attempt to maximize order).

Our conservatives crave freedom more than order; and so support the chaos of the free market and think that getting the Chinese to float the Yuan will magically erase the trade deficit; where real conservatives would probably either ban Chinese trade outright or use a public corporation charter to limit imports from China to be equal to exports to China.

Our liberals prefer progress- and thus are often for change regardless of who the change hurts, merely for the sake of change and trying out something new.

Between the two- a middle class whose very lives depend on having a status quo that stays the same instead of a roller coaster ride of a gambling business cycle, gets squished every time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

20% profit?

Under what absolutely insane form of economics is 20% profit taking sustainable? All the clues were in these two videos from more than a year ago....

Monday, July 20, 2009

Homophobia=Fear of Rape

I'm sure many people will disagree with what I write in this blog, that's OK, it's your right to disagree, and I'm not going to censor anything. But my grandmother taught me to read Ann Landers- and when her daughter Amy took over the column, I started reading that too. Today's first letter completely missed the real worry- and mislabeled it as simple discrimination or homophobia. I give Amy and the University only 1/2 point though.

Would you put a female lesbian in a dorm room with a straight 18 year old human male? Would you put a female heterosexual in a dorm room with a straight 18 year old human male?

No, because in both those scenarios, the chance of rape is actually quite high. It might not happen still, but being forced to enjoy one another's company long periods will cause at least the fear of rape in the female. Either that or it will turn into a romance.

So why would a straight male, roomed with a homosexual male, feel any different than the females in the above two scenarios? And if he doesn't want a "Bromance", what's he supposed to do?

Considering this led me to realize my own homophobia, is indeed a fear of rape. And possibly my gluttony is a subconscious reaction to my homophobia. But both are valid fears- and need to be addressed if GLBT people want to end discrimination.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A glaring example of Moral Relativity

Once again I've been wrongly accused by Robert Oak of evangelizing on his blog, this time, oddly enough for Monsanto and the Catholic Church, in a posting where the studies quoted went against both (the WTO/OECD and FAO studies both recommended *against* genetically modified foods for development of these lands, and despite the near-agreement with the Catholic Church on overpopulation being a religious myth, the recommendation isn't so much charity and food for the poor (Classic Catholic response) as it is tractors and infrastructure and small farms for the poor (modern sustainable response).

But even more interestingly is the claim that my last post, which pointed out the bigotry and prejudice clouding RO's judgement and that NEITHER of the studies quoted came from either Monsanto or the Catholic Church was labeled a "flame post" and deleted- despite his own last post being rather a flame rant itself.

THAT is moral relativism for you- when you preach tolerance but practice intolerance and censorship.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

American Rights and Unconditional Love

I'm beginning to wonder if God's love is truly unconditional, for all of us. And how incredibly stupid it would be if it was- for in modern America at least, one cannot sin if one is loved unconditionally. Unconditional love erases sin.

I prefer a loving father to that- and as a father, my love is NOT unconditional. My child experiences discipline from me at times, when necessary, and thus, my love is not unconditional. But I'd suggest that the discipline of conditional love is closer to the Greek of Agape, than the uncritical, unconditional love of modern America, where, to paraphrase Pope Benedict XVI in his latest encyclical, we have rights but no duty- and thus, have reduced right to mere license.

Far too often, we go beyond forgiving sin, to encouraging sin, in modern America- and eventually, we all pay the price of that, economically and spiritually.

After a couple of comments on facebook, I realized that this might actually be a translation problem from the Greek- that perhaps a better translation of Agape is unENDing love, not unconditional love. Which makes me wonder what else we've mistranslated in modern American English- for instance the French concept of Liberty, what would it be without the duties of Patriotism? Sure might look a lot like what the libertarian party stands for- every man his own island.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The History of Caritas in Veritate

Had to repost here just in case it goes away elsewhere:

And now, the seven Papal documents, so far, on economics, so that you can get a feeling of the history of the Doctrine of Distributism:
Rerum Novarum from Pope Leo XIII

Quadragesimo Anno from Pope Pius XI

Mater et Magistra from Pope John XXIII

Populum Progresso from Pope Paul VI

Centesimus Annus from Pope John Paul II

Sollicitudo Rei Socialis from Pope John Paul II

Caritas In Veritate by Pope Benedict XVI

People think that Catholic doctrine never changes- but it's dogma that doesn't change, doctrine changes ever so slowly because of the concern for human error. The Doctrine of Distributism is as solid as any other form of economics I can think of, but unlike communism, which requires total subservience to the state, and capitalism, which requires total subservience to self, distributism is duty to protect other people's rights and justice to fulfill other people's needs. And in return- other people have a duty to protect YOUR rights and fulfill YOUR needs. Interdependence, rather than independence.

And that ethic I think is really worth thinking about.

Just had to respond

But this is a bigger philosophical argument than should exist on the other blog, so I'm putting it here: religion may not be economics, in fact, most of it certainly is not, but economics is always religion.

What do I mean by that? There are no hard set-in-stone laws in economics like physics- everything comes with assumptions. Those who believe in a given set of assumptions, such as "free trade is always good for both cultures engaged in it", or "socially beneficial risk is worth taking and should be encouraged", have a tendency to have a blind spot to other sets of values and other ways of thinking. In this way, much of economics is not only religion, but IRRATIONAL religion, as defined by Pope Benedict XVI in that speech that made the Islamics so angry. It's the difference between Thomas Aquinas and Bob Jones University- deep thought vs shallow adherence to theories even when those theories are wrong and do much damage.

We'd be better off with the rational religion of Pope Benedict XVI's Caritas in Veritate- than selfish clinging to a set of theories that enriches one group while impoverishing another.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Charity In Truth

Benedict XVI has put out a new encyclical, now available on the Vatican Website. It's an update of the four documents I've linked to previously in this blog as being my basis for economic ethics; and what an update it is. Still doesn't address my basic quibble on illegal immigration, but it does offer a solution in chapter 5 that is more acceptable than the mere "right to migrate for work", for it now includes a "duty to become a productive citizen of the new country".

However, it's chapters 3 and 4 I'd draw your attention to; for here, Pope Benedict XVI actually treads what is new ground for Americans- man's duty to each other limiting rights, and man's duty to protect the environment for the good of the poor and future generations. This is something we don't hear often enough from the pulpit, and I'd certainly like to hear it more often.

For it is these two "new ideas to America" that we have lost in the last 150 years, and that have caused our current meltdown. By concentrating only on our individual rights, and not our duty to our community and others, we've become unbalanced. Because of this, we've built up a trade deficit and level of personal debt that has destroyed this "last of the superpowers" (don't believe that lie- China is following close behind, ready to take over the power vacuum), and we've destroyed our environment to the point that MIT is announcing that global warming will be 4x to 9x worse than anything previously imagined.

It's time to stop thinking of ourselves. Forget independence, it's time for solidarity and subsidarity, if the human race is to survive at all.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The fruits of the Spirit Of Protestant Rebellion

Protestants will tell you that Martin Luther was a Holy Man- doing the work of God when he came up with the five Solas and removed books from the Bible. But they also say you can judge a doctrine by the fruits that come from that doctrine.

I charge that the Followers of Christ Church in Oregon City is an example of the fruits of the doctrines of "Bible Only" and "the priesthood of all believers" in spades. Not so much a united denomination as a collection of Protestant Biblical Family Traditions, their Bibles don't have the deuterocanonicals in them. They have no set theology, yet they are extremely conservative and strict. They have no minister since their founder died in 1969, they have no bishops or priests to keep them away from heresy. They are, in short, the dream of Martin Luther and John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli- a priesthood of all believers, no hierarchical control whatsoever. They are in short, a fine test of the Five Solas, for they are alone in their beliefs.

Let us first start with the orthodox Catholic Christian view on "Faith Healing":
Sirach 38:1-15 is the defining scripture on the topic
Hold the physician in honor, for he is essential to you,
and God it was who established his profession.
From God the doctor has his wisdom,
and the king provides for his sustenance.
His knowledge makes the doctor distinguished,
and gives him access to those in authority.
God makes the earth yield healing herbs
which the prudent man will not neglect;
was not the water sweetened by a twig
that men might learn his power?
He endows men with the knowledge
to glory in his mighty works,
through which the doctor eases pain
and the druggist prepares his medicines;
thus God's creative work continues without cease
in its efficacy on the surface of the earth.

My son, when you are ill, delay not,
but pray to God who will heal you:
flee wickedness; let your hands be just,
cleanse your heart of every sin;
offer your sweet-smelling oblation and petition,
a rich offering according to your means.
Then give the doctor his place
lest he leave; for you need him too.
There are times that give him an advantage,
and he too beseeches God
that his diagnosis may be correct
and his treatment bring about a cure.
He who is a sinner toward his Maker
will be defiant toward the doctor.

So what is the fruit of the spirit of these Five Solas in this matter? It isn't utopia. It certainly isn't what I'd call Holy. It is instead defiance against medical practitioners. As Carl and Raylene Worthington Testified and the Oregonian reported:

Carl and Raylene Worthington told detectives that they never considered calling a doctor, even as their 15-month-old daughter deteriorated and died.

"I don't believe in them," Carl Worthington said of doctors. "I believe in faith healing."

Raylene Worthington said that her religious beliefs do not encompass medical care and that she would not have done anything different for her - daughter, who died at home of pneumonia, a blood infection and other complications.

And if that wasn't enough- we're treated to a graphic description of the last few hours of little Ava Worthington's life:

Ava came down with what appeared to be a cold or the flu on a Tuesday. By Saturday, her breathing became labored and the family turned to its traditional faith-healing rituals, praying, fasting, anointing the body with oil, administering diluted wine and laying on of hands.

By Sunday, Carl Worthington said he thought there was "a possibility" his daughter was so sick she could die. Then, after a final session of laying on of hands at about 5 p.m., "she perked up," he said. She grabbed her bottle and "took some food."

"She was peaceful; she was rested," Worthington said.

Two hours later Ava was dead.

The interviewers, Detectives Michelle Finn and James Rhodes of the Clackamas County Sheriff Office's child-abuse unit, asked pointed questions, and Carl Worthington provided details about his, his family's and his church's beliefs and practices.

He said no one in his immediate family has ever been to a doctor or used prescription or over-the-counter medicine. "It's not something we believe in."

The detectives also asked about the growth on Ava's neck, which swelled during the last days of her life. Prosecutors allege the lump -- a benign cystic hygroma -- impeded her breathing.

The soft lump became more noticeable two months before Ava died and started to get "tight" the day before her death, according to the Worthingtons.

Brent Worthington said he had ultimate responsibility for Ava's care. "I'm the head of the house; it falls to me. The wife follows the husband."

He said he confers with his wife but did not consult with anyone else about treating Ava's illness. Raylene Worthington did not dispute the decision to rely on spiritual healing, he said.

Asked if she would have taken Ava to a doctor if she knew her child was dying, Raylene Worthington said, "I don't know."

Carl Worthington said that forgoing medical treatment is probably difficult for outsiders to understand. For him, medical treatment "is not a question. It's not even thought."

THIS is the spirit that Protestants must take a hard look at. This is the spirit of rebellion- against Christ, against the Catholic Church, against Life itself. "He who is a sinner toward his Maker will be defiant toward the doctor." wrote Jesus son of Sirach a hundred years before Christ. I charge that in Protestant rebellion, such people have become blasphemous of the Holy Spirit, for as Carl Worthington said- for him medical treatment is not a question, it's not even a thought.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Three theologies collide- in the death of a child

One of the things the Catholic Church has preserved that some Protestant denominations have not, is the whole of scripture. Without the additional books, we have one denomination right here in Portland that fell into a rather deadly error which caused the death of a child; an error that would not have been if they had preserved either Holy Apostolic Tradition or the the Whole of Scripture (first letter to the editor in that last link).

I remember 10 years ago making EXACTLY the same point as Father Cole in a call in to a radio show on the topic (this is NOT the first child or adult this small denomination in Clackamas County)- and being laughed off the air for insisting that perhaps Catholics have a more complete view of Christianity than these trendy denominations.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

On what I think is wrong with the GOP and the Democrats

Shawn at Rerum-Novarum, a blog titled with my favorite economic system of all time, is rather more conservative than I am. But I think he made a misstep in this post where he wrote:
To start with, there is a general philosophy which can rightfully be called "conservative" and it revolves around the concept of freedom.
. To me, neither conservative nor liberal is linked to freedom- libertarianism, the worship of individual liberty, holds that place. Liberal is also about freedom and liberty- but restricts it, as the original Rerum Novarum would have us do, through governmental means, to the protection of the citizenry (Paragraphs 47-52).

But the root of Conservative is different- to conserve. I suggest instead of conserving freedom, that the proper role of conservative government is to conserve good- encourage that which is good, discourage that which is evil. This moves the example of the ultimate conservative from Ronald Reagan, governor of California in the 1970s, to a different Republican governor in the 1970s- Tom McCall of Oregon, who expanded the state parks program, gave us the bottle bill (a slight tax on beverages to encourage people to recycle), and the bike path program.

The GOP could learn a lot from the example of true CONSERVatives at this point in time- especially on the protection of the family unit. Likewise, the Democrats, if they are going to survive, need to turn away from evil for the sake of profit like abortion; and come back to the Liberal idea of freedom for the sake of good alone.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Political Version of Celilo Falls, to me

I miss a world without political correctness. Partially because as a grown up mostly white (some Native American) male with Asperger’s syndrome who grew up in the whitest of white bread states, I will *NEVER* understand PC or be good at it. I try. But I will offend. No matter what my beliefs are, eventually they will change from liberal to conservative- without me changing a single thing. No matter what I feel or what group I’m associated with, I will eventually be either a victim or a bigot- because under political correctness, there are no other choices.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why I'm pro-life

Because feminists like this mother would like to exterminate a "disability" that just might be the next step in human evolution: autism.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why I'm so different on economics.

Robert Oak of Economic Populist often gets on my back for what he calls "Economic Fiction".

I think I finally realized what he means by that. He means anything outside of the axioms of economics taught by Keynes, Roosevelt, and Smith- the axioms and theories that classic economics is built on.

I don't hold to those as the founding documents for my economics. Instead as a good Catholic should- as ANY good Catholic should- my economics is built on Rerum Novarum from Pope Leo XIII, Quadragesimo Anno from Pope Pius XI, Mater et Magistra from Pope John XXIII, and of course John Paul The Great's Centesimus Annus.

In these, work is held as a holy good in and of itself; the product of work destined for charity to oneself, one's family, and one's community. Private property is acknowledged, but limited to doing good rather than the freedom to do evil. The power of the corporation in capitalism and the power of the state in communism or socialism is restrained to a duty to provide for the material good of the individual, every individual, not just profits and power for the few.

Efficiency, beyond that which is necessary to make sure that every human being on the planet has food, clothing, shelter, clean water, and medical care, is simply NOT a concern in the economics preached by the Popes. That each man has the dignity to work to provide food, clothing, shelter, clean water, and medical care for his family, is the overriding concern.

Note also that class warfare, is considered a huge negative- the rich and the poor are to toil together in the common sacred duty to provide for the community.

This isn't communism- and it isn't capitalism. It's a third way, known as distributism. And I would hold that it is equal in reality to the other two ways- Catholic communities all over the world have been practicing this third way for many centuries before Pope Leo XIII was born, and the system is so sustainable that I have no doubt that long after the last revolutionary communist is in his grave and the last capitalist bankster has stolen his last penny of usury from some poor widow, there will be distributist communities still in existence.

In the middle ages and dark ages, such communities existed without any outside official government or economic system to depend on. They are extremely robust. I would encourage any survivalist following my blog to read these documents, and consider what a world we could have, made up of small communities following these axioms, values, and principles.

Value Added Tax WTO treason

A very good article on the main thing that is wrong with the WTO and a major cause of current US Stagflation. It's much nicer than I would have been, for instance:

The failure to properly classify VAT rebate schemes as an unfair subsidy within the context of the GATT has proven to be a monumental error on the part of U.S. trade negotiators.

No, the failure to properly classify VAT rebate schemes as a subsidy within the context of the GATT is TREASON on the part of US trade negotiators and should be punished as such.

Based on this, I propose two potential solutions more in keeping with the progressive nature of the United States:

1. An ITYT- Intermodal Transfer Yard Tax. This would be an indirect volume/mile tax on all shipping that goes through an intermodal transfer yard. It'd be much like a national sales tax, but *local* products shipped *locally* would be exempt. It would cover *both* imports and exports equally, but create jobs in the United States by creating taxation on goods shipped more than a few miles.

2. When the WTO challenge comes, use it politically to unilaterally pull out of the GATT, NAFTA, and GATS treaties entirely, and hold all WTO representatives that are within US territory as either traitors or foreign agents, and try them under the espionage laws currently on the books.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sola Scriptura and the Priesthood of All Believers

Two heretical doctrines, at least from a Catholic Standpoint. Yet 500,000 modern Protestants stick to them like glue.

There's been a ton of problems with the arrogant belief that God speaks directly to a given individual- this is cult-land after all- without a touchstone of *rational* thought.

And worse yet, Islam is beginning to imitate the same mistake, in Bin Laden's Wahabbist doctrine of Sola Jihad- the requirement of any believer to commit himself to violence when justice is threatened.

They say you can see a false teaching by it's fruits- and certainly, the fruits of the spirit of the Reformation have been anything other than a Holy Spirit. I contend that absent of a strong hierarchy and strong tradition, a religion that relies *ONLY* on a priesthood of believers is like a science that has no peer reviewed journals- it can only produce biased bunk.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Case for an Early Hierarchy

Last week, and this coming week and the next week (depending on if you're on the Julian or Gregorian Calendar), the Catholic Church as a whole celebrates Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday, 40 and 50 days after Easter. What many people don't understand is this is the celebration of the official start of the Hierarchy- the point at which Jesus stopped reappearing to convince people he was alive, and ten days later, when he sent His Holy Spirit to transform 11 Aramaic and Jewish fishermen, tax collectors, and other relative outcasts into the first set of Christian preachers the world ever saw.

And these weren't your ordinary preachers- internal to the Bible we only have one book about them, the Acts of the Apostles, and in there you've got plenty of miracles, from speaking in tongues to healing the sick to raising the dead. External to the Bible, we have the legends of the Eastern and Western Catholic Churches about how the Patriarchs (starting with James in Jerusalem and John in Antioch and Peter in Rome) got started, as well as horrific tales like what happened to the guy they chose to replace Judas and be their 12th (stoned to death) or what happened to Philip when he tried to evangelize some of the more primitive tribes in Africa (food for cannibals).

But these 12 (counting Stephen, after he was ordained by the others, complete with laying on of hands) were the start of something big. Over 1.5 billion Catholics, when you count the Eastern Rite churches along with the 1.1 billion in the Latin Rite, are believers in this world today- 75% of the Christians in this world follow one of the Patriarchs who can trace their lineage back to the Apostles WITHOUT excommunication.

So when the emergence folks say they want to get rid of Sola Scriptura, and the mistakes of so many different interpretations of the Bible- why not return to one of the Catholic Churches- the folks who experienced Pentecost directly, proceeded to edit their writings into the Scripture you say means so much- and STILL EXIST TODAY!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A billion Catholics can't all be wrong

Yet that is *exactly* what the emergence movement says to me. They've finally got rid of Sola Scriptura, they're realizing that they've thrown out the baby with the bathwater in the Reformation to begin with, they realize that schism is evil.

But they don't seem to realize that the Kingdom of God is a Kingdom, or that the Community of Saints exists.

Sure, we've got three districts in the Kingdom- the Church Militant, the Church Suffering, and the Church Triumphant. And the Vicar in Rome only has leadership over the Church Militant. Our once and future King is with the Church Triumphant.

I think, what it comes down to, is fear. Fear of the hierarchy, fear of tyranny, fear of losing their freedom in submission to Christ. I don't know how to get past that fear. Anybody have any ideas?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Nationally U6 hits 15.8%

The April Seasonally Adjusted numbers are in and the only good news is that NEW unemployment is slowing down. U6 for Oregon is pushing 20%- Great Depression numbers, except during the great depression we weren't releasing U3 instead of U6 in a blatant attempt to lie with statistics.

But remember folks, PROSPERITY IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER. The question being, Which Corner? So for your entertainment, a few depression era music videos:

And finally for comparison, one modern one:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Slow and Steady, Makes Right

John Paul the Great used to say "I'd rather be right and the leader of only a church of 1000, than wrong and the leader of a billion."

One of the big reasons I'm still Catholic is because that isn't just a saying- there's a real system behind it.

Long before anybody ever imagined the scientific method, we had the Councilar method. Unlike some other more modern Christian sects, for Catholics (both Orthodox and Latin) Doctrine Develops. Dogma is set in stone, but doctrine develops, and discipline (which the Councilar method also affects) is temporary. Theology is in fact logical, despite what some atheists will want to tell you.

But one big difference between the Councilar method and more modern theologies and philosophies; it's slow. So slow in fact that it took more than 1200 years for one theological theory (the Immaculate Conception of Mary) to move from first being written down, to being believed by the whole church, to being preached from the See of Peter as being infallible.

The theologians of Catholicism are nothing if not complete in their tasks.

600 years to come up with an Apology to Galileo for our side of the argument.

But when I see such theological mistakes as the American Shakers denying the existence of human sexuality or the rush of emergence theology to embrace homosexuality, or scientific mistakes such as Thalidomide and the nuclear bomb, I have to wonder if speed in human development isn't a mistake in and of itself. How much better it is when change happens slowly enough so that those who remember the old way are long dead before the new way fully takes hold!

Speed and impatience kill. The reason why the scientific method is faster, is because it enables the scientist to disregard huge swaths of data that the theological council must consider. But by ignoring the moral and philosophical implications of their work, quite often science gets it wrong. One way I think science is getting it wrong in the United States under the Obama Administration is the fight over stem cell research- because the fight had been going the other way under the Bush Administration, embryonic stem cell research is being funded at the expense of adult stem cell research- despite the fact that embryonic research has yet to find a single cure, but we can hardly go more than three months without hearing about a new cure from Adult Stem Cell research. It's clear which one should get more funding based on past performance, yet we do the reverse because it is trendy and quick rather than making the harder moral decision.

Monday, May 4, 2009

There ain't no opportunity left in America

First, we'll see how well I can cut and paste a chart here:

President Jobs Created Tax IDs issued Population Growth Total percentage
George HW Bush 2,500,000 1,802,000 12,500,000 34%
George W. Bush 3,000,000 5,875,000 22,000,000 40%
Gerald Ford 1,800,000 2,434,000 5,100,000 83%
John F. Kenedy 3,600,000 3,256,000 8,200,000 84%
Dwight Eisenhower 3,500,000 15,987,000 23,300,000 84%
Richard Nixon 9,400,000 3,689,000 12,300,000 106%
Bill Clinton 23,100,000 3,756,000 25,200,000 107%
Lyndon Johnson 11,900,000 400,000 11,300,000 109%
Ronald Reagan 16,000,000 4,216,000 17,300,000 117%
Jimmy Carter 10,500,000 1,374,000 9,800,000 121%

Ok, slightly messed up. I wonder if I'll do better in creating a chart in any other editor. At any rate- as you can see from this chart, aside from Bill Clinton's years, we've got a very bad growth rate- and Bill Clinton's 107% really wasn't enough to make up for Bush I's 40%.

There were some surprises there- the amazing number of new businesses being created in the 1950s for example, despite 95% tax rates (probably on GI bill education & V.A. loans, I'd suspect). The death toll lowering the tax rate took on new business creation during the Kennedy/Johnson Administrations.

But other than that, it shows what a horrible job the GOP has done lately....

New Autistic thing I figured out

I've spent the last 25 years or so with homophobia and a fear of gender segregated team sports, because I've been mislabeling idiot jocks as homosexuals (due to certain behaviors common in my high school when it came to team razing and initiation ceremonies).

So first, to all homosexuals out there who aren't predatory and don't bother the people around you, I'm sorry for misjudging you. For all of the jocks I misjudged- you might want to look at some of those team rituals with a critical eye towards how they might look to the kid you're bullying just because he's weird. And finally, to all parents of autistic kids- you might want to have a talk with them about stereotypes and how being bullied has affected the way they see the world.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Four questions that demand answers

This came from an argument for same sex marriage found here.

In it he brings up four very good questions that many Protestants don't understand about Catholic human sexuality. After I answer his four questions, I'm going to throw in a fifth that most people don't understand, and then I'll wrap up with a why at the end.

1. Why should sex by an infertile couple be considered "open to procreation" when sex with a spermicide isn't?

This is the Abraham and Sarah answer- Sarah was considered infertile when she has Isaac, the start of the whole Judaeo-Christian world. Sex by an infertile couple is considered open to procreation because miracles of this form have been known to happen throughout human history. I'd point out though that while medical science now can duplicate this miracle- it's still only RCC-approved if GOD does it, not MAN.

2. Is Natural Family Planning considered acceptable only because it is less reliable?

No, and in fact, modern NFP is more reliable not less than many competing forms of birth control. Rather, the ideal form of human sexuality for the Roman Catholic Church is to follow St. Paul- and not do it at all (several times in his letters Paul recommends celebacy over marriage, only reluctantly allowing it to "prevent worse sin" and when it becomes clear that Christ's return isn't going to be tomorrow). NFP shows solidarity with celebacy because it is based on abstinence (more on this in question 5 below).

3. (If condoms were less reliable, would they be acceptable?)

Nope, because the problem with condoms isn't their reliability, but rather man's attempt to thwart the will of God in procreation. Remember, the ONLY reason Catholics are allowed sex at all is for procreative purposes, and while this does include the unitive aspect of sex (keeping the parents together in marriage at least long enough to raise the kids), it doesn't include specifically denying God's will.

4. Is there really anything "open to procreation" about a couple who know they are infertile because of physical deformities, age, medical conditions, previous surgery, or any other reason?

Back to Abraham and Sarah, and the answer is YES. Except in certain "previous surgery" cases that is, where the purpose of the surgery was infertility (for the same reason cosmetic or any other elective surgery is also considered ethically questionable by the church).

and then a question brought up here:
5. If homosexuality is bad because it's not open to procreation, why isn't celebacy?

I think I've skipped a logical point here that caused this question to be asked, and that's my fault. Holiness in the Roman Catholic Church is all about denial of self, and submission to God's will- I think that's why some in the 1960s and 1970s explored Zen Buddhism as well. The Church's teaching on human sexuality includes two levels of holiness, and two levels of sin:
1. Celebacy. The ultimate denial of one's sexual orientation, by simply not having any. Denial of self for the will of God.
2. Marriage & NFP. Denial of oneself for the continuation of the species, which is ordained by God in the Book of Genesis.
3. Monogamous but outside of Marriage or Using Birth Control, or these modern extended families built out of serial monogamy, aka divorce- I kind of get the feeling this is considered a Venal Sin, not Mortal. I'd put monogamous homosexual couples in this group- denying the procreative aspect of sex, but as welcome as any other sinner in the church.
4. True depravity- that 1% of fetishists and the like that makes the rest of us gag, whose sexual practices and addictions are so far outside the norm that even the most tolerant of us says, we can't support that.

Burn in hell for all eternity? Just being homosexual and monogamous won't make you do that. Jesus loves you too much to allow that to happen.

And I need to say a word about divorce. If your marriage is sacramental- that is you take seriously your vows and you try your best to place Christ at the center of your marriage and you're a good level 2 heterosexual Catholic as listed above, it doesn't matter where your lusts lead you- you've chosen your path, and NO other options should be available to you. Commitment, not love, is at the center of a good Catholic marriage- because love may come and go, but you've made a commitment to yourself and your God to stick with this family NO MATTER WHAT.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Forget Same Sex Marriage- Civil Unions are needed

I got a challenge to place this on my blog instead, as it expands beyond the idea of gay-vs-straight to the outright attack on 1950s middle class America by the upper class going on in economics right now.

In the 1950s, The United States experienced the greatest expansion of the middle class the world has ever seen. Despite the fact of the recession/stagflation of the 1970s, this peaked into a middle class that was greater than 50% of the population by the late 1970s.

Reagan started reversing this, by cutting the tax rates on the richest 5%. From the 1950s when a single individual could work 40 hours a week and provide for a family of four to six kids, in 2009 we are finding that both parents working can't even provide for a family of 2.1 kids.

With the coming depression, this is resulting in some new definitions of what is a family, and what is a household. Homelessness, multi-generational households, friends-with-benefits, couch surfing, and dare I say even polygamy, is all becoming more common as joblessness and foreclosure force more people into considering wider options for covering the basics of food, clothing, shelter, sanitation and health care.

To that end, I propose this: I'm still not ready to move marriage beyond one man one woman, but I am ready to say, it's time for the State to exit the marriage business and enter the civil union business, for the widest possible idea of what is a civil union. We have database techniques that can list any number of partners on a contract now (we're not limited to the old non-expandable forms) and it's obvious that we need to expand the definition of what is a family, if only for economic purposes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Job Growth of Presidents compared with Population Growth

Is America really the "Land of Opportunity" preached about in the third world? Or, over the last 50 years, has our job growth been so slow, so anemic, in comparison to population growth, that we can no longer claim to be offering opportunity to our citizens, let alone new immigrants?

I've seen a couple of obvious partisan attacks on Bush the Younger- and he certainly deserves to be attacked, with only a 13.6% of the new workers in this country finding new jobs for them to move into- but I wanted the bigger picture, and that link above at least gave me a chart to play with. I'm placing it here until I can flesh this out into a post fit for my blog at Economic Populist.

I'll be putting these numbers into a spreadsheet and graphing them when I get time, but as you can see, America has definitely failed over the last couple of decades to add enough new jobs to exceed population growth, which means everybody claiming that America needs immigrants to fill jobs is lying.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

OK, the economy is now invading my dreams

And the nightmare of a response is- fraud will happen until draconian punishment is applied to stop it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Morality is impossible without Religious Devotion To Duty

John Kavenaugh wrote this intriguing article for that left-wing Catholic magazine America. In it, he states that the real problem with moral relativism is that you end up demanding that Other people follow rules that you won't follow yourself- and that the Philosopher Kant argues against this, while arguing for freedom.

I find this fascinating, because I myself have a basic philosophical problem with freedom: Political and Religious Freedom contains the Freedom to Do Good, but it also contains the Freedom to Do Evil.

Immanuel Kant counters this with the idea that if you're going to hold to a principle, you should hold it yourself as a religious duty to the greater good. After all, what good is having a rule if you won't follow it yourself?

This, to me, is the core of morality- to do what is right in the service of the greater good. It's also the core of just about every major religion on the planet, save Protestantism, which has the concept of being saved by Faith Alone (despite the Biblical pronouncement against this in the book of James- which claims we are saved NOT by faith alone, but by good works).

September 2008 taught us that free markets, in the absence of strict ethics and moral code, will fail- that freedom contains the freedom to do evil. Only by adhering to a duty to do good, can we overcome this.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Challenge to Classical Liberalists

Classical liberalism is NOT what we think of in America as liberal- rather it's the economic idea that freedom and the free market is self correcting, and government intervention is not needed.

The problem I find, reading the works of Mises and his fellows who commit mathematical dishonesty in support of free markets, is this: Freedom is a knife that cuts both ways, the freedom to do good, and the freedom to do evil. Quite often, under a "free market", due to a lack of information, doing evil pays quite well- especially when committing fraud.

So well, in fact, that in September 2008, we discovered that fraud in the banking, stock market, and insurance industries (basically, the financial sector) had attracted huge amounts of well-paid talent. Thanks to some well timed deregulation over the past 30 years or so, that talent found fraud to be a much easier way to get richer than everybody else than actually producing anything worthwhile.

So here's the challenge- I will put forth a pair of linked theories, and you prove to me that they are wrong:

1. Ethical Behavior is inversely proportional to Executive Compensation in any given institution.
2. That without draconian governmental interference in the market to make sure everybody has equal information and fraud doesn't pay (as in, life sentences and executions), any half-hearted attempt to prevent fraud will merely be met with more pay from investors who don't understand that they are being defrauded, to cover the increased risk.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Lack of Repect for Age and History

I'm emerged in three basic discussions right now:
1. Economic- this very old former FDR Administration economist tells us exactly how bad off we really are, restoring confidence is key, and the lack of confidence was due to the ignorance of historic perspective.
2. Religions- the Emergent Church & postmodernism is busy reinventing the wheel again, this time on Orthodoxy.
3. Government in general- I take a smaller is better approach, not just in terms of libertarian small government, but actually smaller regional government. We may never have Cascadia as separatists like myself have dreamed of since the novel Ecotopia came out, but we need to start looking at self-sufficient regions as a new economic and governmental model.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Following the Moral Compas

Supreme Knight, Carl Anderson, wrote in this month's Columbia Magazine that a major portion of the failure of the financial industry was the personal sin of greed. I have no doubt that this is true.

But I think, in examining the causes, we haven't gone far enough. The financial industry, as it grew beyond the 6% of GDP in 1965 to the 16% it is today, started paying higher compensation to executives. I'm going to make a radical suggestion: Once the first three levels of Maslow needs have been met, all compensation above that amount only attracts those greedy enough to want and need such a high level of compensation. And just as Jesse James robbed banks because "that's where the money is", today's banksters (unethical executives attracted to the financial industry by high compensation) are in the financial industry precisely because "That's where the money is".

If we truly want to bring back ethics and the public good, we really need to reduce the difference in compensation between the lowest janitor and the highest CEO. Yes, justice dictates that these amounts be different. But in 1965, the average CEO made 44 times what the janitor did. In 2009, he makes 4000 times what the janitor does. I think we can preserve motivation while reducing compensation.

Homosexual Doctors Can't Do Math

Either that or they've got a very different meaning of the word Normal than I do.

I just had a homosexual arguing in an emergent Christian blog for same sex marriage tell me both:

First, homosexuality has now been considered a normal, non-deviant form of human sexual orientation for over 35 years by the American medical profession, longer, far longer in Europe


Third, sexuality is both immutable and the ratio of gay to straight is somewhere between 3 - 10%, depending on who is making up the numbers. If that 3-10% of us who don't reproduce are really that big a survival threat, then I suggest it is only because you haven't been doing your duty and making babies.

Now last time I checked, anything that was practiced outside of the 1st sigma of any given population in statistics was considered "abnormal", while anything inside first sigma was considered "normal". Does anybody believe, even the most radical numbers, that something that is only done by 10% of the population is not outside 1st sigma? And thus, wouldn't it be an ABnormal, deviant form of human sexual orientation? Why is it my autism (1:150 children are autistic) is considered deviant and abnormal when gays are normal?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Does Christ need more Brides in his Harem?

I've been doing a lot of talking, thanks to a cousin, and also an old girlfriend, about theology as of late- I'm being pulled back in to that fascinating topic for me, the life cycle of sects in religion and why schisms happen. It's a fascinating topic for me because it's also largely a mystery to me.

What I still don't get, as an outsider looking in- Why does Christ need more Brides in his Harem? Ever since the Reformation (and despite being Roman Catholic, I do recognize that Martin Luther fulfilled a valid need- I'm very much a child of Vatican II) we've been splitting apart the Church, the Bride of Christ, into thousands, nay, tens of thousands independent bickering brides over the slightest differences in theology.

The challenge I'd present to the emergent movement from the liturgical side of the Church, the very people who defined Orthodoxy to begin with, is why split away? Why form new churches? What the heck was so wrong with the way of the Apostles anyway, from the Didache and the Early Church Fathers and the Bible, that you have to run out and form something new? What is so wrong with Orthodoxy that you must run away from it, be exclusionary against it, and create anew that which was already created for you to be nourished by and learn from?

We already have a Pope (and he's in Rome, not Montana, as some on the entirely opposite side of the debate would claim), so why do we need more?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The big difference: Theology and Science

NO, this isn't going to be yet another screed on evolution. In fact, in my religion, evolution is an accepted fact, it's the theory of random quantum mechanics that isn't accepted.

Still, though, Theology and Science do look at things in one very different way: Dogmas vs Axioms. Axioms in science can actually be disproven- just like any other theory or law or idea. Whole schools of scientific thought have, in the past, had their axioms disproven and they've had to either change or go extinct because of it. Not so with theology- in theology, Dogma is sacred. In Roman Catholic Terms it's the "Deposit of Faith" upon which all else is built. Everything else in theology is explaining the Dogma to new generations- there is never anything added or taken away.

In this way, I charge that the so-called soft sciences of Psychology and Economics are not really sciences at all- but rather theologies. Their dogmas, even when apparently destroyed by an aberrant personality or an economic collapse, are held to be inviolate. Thus, we get Freudian psychologists who explain everything in terms of sexual development; and Milton Friedman economists who claim that cutting taxes is the right thing to do even when consolidation of wealth is destroying the market.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Too Big To Succeed

The problem with the United States, IS the United States. We have, thanks to Article I Section 10 of the Constitution, an economy that is Too Big to Succeed, when we really need to have 50 economies that are too small to fail.

By preventing individual states from forming their own economy, from coining their own money, from protecting their own industry with tariffs and armies, most states end up physically owned by outsiders- mortgages held by interstate banks, international corporations owned thousands of acres of land, mining and energy companies being given sweetheart deals in Washington to tear down our mountains and dig up our natural resources, and for what? So that we can be taxed and pay usury until we're all in poverty?

The federalist experiment has failed. The Too Big To Succeed financial industry has killed it. Time to try something new.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Harem of Jesus Christ

This note on my facebook page led to a discussion with a non-Catholic relative in which I came up with an interesting allegory.

If, as we Catholics are taught, the Church is the "Bride of Christ", then has schism produced, in effect, a Harem of Christ? And just what does Jesus think of his 30,000 Bickering Brides, all of whom can't seem to stand each other's presence?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Subhuman Monser Evolution

As any real evolutionist or genetic scientist can tell you, it only takes one generation for a new mutation to show up. Encourage that new mutation to survive, reward it economically, and the next generation will have more. Seven or eight generations in, and that mutation may just threaten the rest of the population.

We've got such a mutation today in the United States- the transnational capitalist. A subspecies of homosapiens that is born without conscience or virtue. There is nothing good to say about the transnational capitalist- he'll sell his own relatives for a $.01 increase in share price. He'll let people die rather than see his assets fall in value.

I say it's time to exile these monsters- let some other country deal with them and the carriers that are their totally unproductive family.

Proposed Amendment 28

Section 1. That the following language be stricken as unworkable from the US Constitution, Article I, Section 10: "No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress."

Section 2. And be replaced with "All States, for the protection of their citizens, may reject any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation, May reject Letters of Marque and Reprisal, issued by Congress. All States may coin local money, emit bills of credit, create local tender for payment of local debt, and pass Bills of Attainer.

All States, for protection of their local industry, may lay imports, duties, and tariffs, as long as the net produce of such is remitted to the Treasury of the United States. Only State Legislatures shall have control over such laws."

Monday, March 23, 2009

On the localization of the economy

I've heard it recently argued against localization that the Constitution of the United States reserves the right to coin money and make treaties. Turns out that is only partially right, but in the next few days, I'm going to be writing a proposed Amendment to modify Article I, Section 8 to read, in it's first line, Congress and the State Legislatures, and to strike Section 9 entirely.

The reason for this? USA, inc., like AIG and many of the large banks now taking TARP funds, has become Too Big to Succeed. And what do we do in this country when a monopoly becomes too big to succeed? The same thing we did with AT&T- Regionalize it.

The grand experiment of free trade between states has failed. It's time to replace it with something that makes more sense.

Friday, March 20, 2009

If you haven't done it yet

Here's my advice from my admittedly autistic/catholic viewpoint and obsessive thinking on the state of the economy in the United States and the world. Just a few line items that need to be done *THIS YEAR* if you want to survive this mess:

1. Change Banks- IF your bank has been bought out, takes TARP money, and has it's management in a different city or state than you are, it's time to look local, pull your deposits out, and change banks. I'm about 20% done with my research for doing this myself, and in the mean time, I'm trying to keep my balances as LOW as possible, based on the idea that if the FDIC has overreached, accounts with balances under $10,000 are likely to be protected even if the United States defaults on it's debt. But you're still better off if your bank management is in the same local police jurisdiction as you are.
2. Plant a garden- preferably a permaculture garden using self-seeding or perennial native plants. I've started my list, which can be found on the Survivalist's Resource News Daily board, of course, this list is for the Tualatin Valley in Oregon, your mileage may vary.
3. Follow the Mormon idea of 2 year's worth of stored canned or dried food. This one should be obvious.
4. Rain Barrels, and the largest hot water heater you can afford. Ideally, take the number of people in your family, and multiply by 730, this should be the amount of water storage, in gallons, that you have available at home. With rationing, that's 2 years worth, without, five or six months.
5. Finally, you've got about 3 months to buy those durables before the rising prices on production side hit retail. Don't forget such fun items as an RV capable of sleeping your whole family (just in case you need to bug out, and for camping/hunting/gathering vacations), electric vehicles (including those little $300 scooters), and DC generator/motor based items that you can get good use out of now.

A little preparedness now, will get you through the wild ride the next 10 years is going to be. After which I hope we have a much more local, much more self-sufficient economy- not just in the United States, but everywhere.

Mexico Gives Oregon a Gift

Here in Oregon, over the last several years, we've been seeing increasing food insecurity, hunger, and malnutrition (albeit an odd form, because fat as a foodstuff is cheap on a calorie/dollar basis- but vitamin B is incredibly expensive for a state with a large microbrewery industry).

Along comes Mexico with their Protectionism. And immediately, the free traitors at The Oregonian and nationally decry the tariffs placed on agricultural goods.

Does anybody else see a MAJOR opportunity here for the food bank to buy up, at cost, food to replenish the shelves hit hard by increased usage of food banks and soup kitchens nationwide?

Thank you Mexico, for your protectionism. Maybe now we can finally get started on actually feeding our own people before we send food overseas.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bigotry against the Brilliant

This article is a great example of what I call Bigotry Against the Brilliant. Mistakes were made on both sides in the management of Josh in this article- he's clearly got some mental problem on the AC spectrum, including both delusions of grandeur and inadequacy, or else he wouldn't write code the way he does.

But instead of dealing with him in an appropriate way- limiting his involvement on projects to black box classes with well defined inputs and outputs- they first "relied on him as a crutch" to turn out code at the highly impressive rate incompetent managers like, THEN turned around and punished him for "not being a team player". They took his inability to document as a positive, then turned around and used it as a negative instead of, gasp, giving him a project manager who can do their job of pre-documenting the requirements.

And then they just let this brilliant programmer be insulted by a new manager and "disappear"- causing thousands of hours of code rewrite by less brilliant minds.

NOBODY in this "Quirky Developer story" treated Josh like a human being. And what they probably don't realize is that the whole situation was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act- which requires reasonable accommodation for such disabilities.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Shutting Detroit Down

The middle class needs to rescue the rich? Not according to this American, John Rich. In the real world they're Shutting Detroit Down, but in New York they're living it up.

I completely agree. The place that needs deflation the most is New York City, not a farm auctioning off land to survive.

Well, that didn't last long

Just got thrown off of Economic Populist for pointing out the sad truth that Ponzi Schemes are Profitable, which I would have thought was obvious....
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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
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