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Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Aquinas on Immigration

Like the Founding Fathers of the United States, Aquinas distinguished immigration from naturalization:
“For the Jews were offered three opportunities of peaceful relations with foreigners. First, when foreigners passed through their land as travelers. Secondly, when they came to dwell in their land as newcomers. And in both these respects the Law made kind provision in its precepts: for it is written (Exodus 22:21): ‘Thou shalt not molest a stranger [advenam]’; and again (Exodus 22:9): ‘Thou shalt not molest a stranger [peregrino].’”
That's immigration law. Anyone can immigrate in, and no one can be molested when they do. He's fine with open borders.

But, for naturalizing the immigrants (giving them the right to vote and hold office), he, as well as the founders of the US, recognized the standards would have to be higher.
“Thirdly, when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship. With regard to these a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1).”
So, yes, Aquinas was fine with open borders, but he insisted on tight naturalization controls.
“The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.”
This is absolutely identical to US policy for the first century of its existence: anyone can come in and make a life for themselves here, without needing any papers, passports, etc. But if you want to vote and hold office in this country, you are held to stringent naturalization requirements.

So, any conservative who insists on Original Intent (tm) has to be fine with open borders, because that was the Founders' original intent. And, the Founders' original intent was completely in conformance with Thomistic principles, so it's not like a Catholic has any real grounds to object.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Ending the Immigration "Crisis"

Most people don't think about it, but immigration is distinct from naturalization. This fact alone changes the whole debate. Remember, the United States Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787. Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the Constitution expressly gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. Pursuant to this power, Congress in 1790 passed the first naturalization law for the United States, the Naturalization Act of 1790.

However, while naturalization, the ability to vote and hold elected office, was tightly restricted for the first century of United States' history, immigration to this country was completely unrestricted. Absolutely anyone could move into the United States, start a new life, pay taxes, participate in military service and conduct business. The United States had an "open-borders" policy for the first century of its existence. Anyone could immigrate into the US and start a new life, but only those who went through the naturalization process, only those who became citizens, could vote or hold elective office.

This set of policies, in which open immigration was permitted, but naturalization was tightly controlled, persisted until the 1870's and 1880's. Darwin published his Origin of Species in 1859. For the next several decades, growing support for Darwinian eugenics eventually drove the US government to close the borders and adopt immigration laws. These new immigration laws were intended to end the open immigration policy which the Founding Fathers had permitted, in favor of preventing "racial taint" from immigrants who entered from undesirable countries.

Note well: the "racial taint" argument was made by the Progessivism movement, with eugenicist luminaries such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson leading the race-baiting charge against immigrants. While Christianity had used government policy to end slavery, Progressivists used government policy to impose Darwinian eugenics. Eugenics has been government policy every since. In fact, every president since, and including, Theodore Roosevelt - with the sole exceptions of GW Bush and Ronald Reagan - has supported eugenics.

So, by 1882, America had passed its first immigration law, the Chinese Exclusion Act. A series of additional immigration acts soon followed, as the United States tried desperately to show that whites were superior to all other races. When the policies were first imposed, "white" was defined rather differently. "White" and "Protestant" were considered essentially identical. Thus, immigrants from Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece, were considered "black" for purposes of immigration and segregation laws. Irish immigrants, being Catholic, were held to be human trash. By the early 1900s, both immigration and segregation laws were considered good Progressive policy, endorsed especially by Democrats and by Woodrow Wilson, who complemented the new immigration laws by introducing segregation at the federal level for the first time.

Even a passing acquaintance with US history demonstrates how our immigration laws built on Progressivism and Darwinian eugenics. It is one of the great ironies of history that so many modern "conservatives" are pushing the self-same Progressivist ideology that their Republican forbears fought over a century ago. If we are really interested in following the original intentions of the Founding Fathers, we would return to the "open borders" policy our Founding Fathers designed and intended for the country. From the perspective of the men who wrote the US Constitution, immigration was never a problem. Naturalization was their only concern.

The Founders knew what we refuse to recognize. Immigrants, both legal and illegal, actually make better-behaved citizens than America's current voting citizens do. Wherever illegal immigrants congregate in high numbers, crime rates fall.
To shed light on this contention, Governing conducted an analysis using recently released metro area population estimates from the Pew Research Center for “unauthorized immigrants” -- people who crossed the border illegally or overstayed visas. The analysis not only found no link with violent crime, but indicated concentrations of unauthorized immigrants were associated with marginally lower violent crime rates. A statistically significant negative correlation was also shown for property crimes. For every 1 percentage-point increase in the unauthorized immigrant share of a metro area’s population, average property crime rates dropped by 94 incidents per 100,000 residents.... 
It's these same places that tend to record relatively low crime rates. The 20 metro areas where unauthorized immigrants were most prevalent in the Governing analysis recorded, on average, property crime rates 10 percent lower and violent crime rates 8 percent lower than those of all other regions reviewed. El Paso and San Diego, both adjoining the Mexican border, post some of the lowest violent crime rates of any big American cities year after year, for example

The distinction between "legal" and "illegal" immigration is based on faulty eugenics theory.  Thus, conservatives should be fighting to implement the Founding Fathers' original vision: open borders for immigrants, but naturalization - the ability to vote and hold office - tightly restricted. In that way, we get the best of both worlds. We get the immigrants who were vibrant enough and motivated enough to come to this country, we reap the benefit of their entrepreneurial spirit, while giving them as much time as they need to decide whether or not they want to become full citizens of our republic. What could be better than that?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Contracepted Sex is Rape

Nonconsensual sex is rape. The attempt to have nonconsensual sex is attempted rape also known as sexual assault.

The biological, scientific definition of sex is the act which involves an exchange of gametes. Since the use of contraception is your affirmative statement that you do NOT want to exchange gametes, then any attempt to engage in "contracepted sex" is, by definition, an attempt at non-consensual sex. Non-consensual sex is rape. In fact, since contraception is the refusal to exchange gametes, and sex is the exchange of gametes, "contracepted sex" is pretty much a contradiction in terms.

You have affirmatively REFUSED permission for the exchange of gametes (i.e., sex), so by using contraception, you have actively REFUSED consent to sex. Any subsequent attempt after this clear and adamant refusal is therefore rape.

21st century Americans THINK sex is just about orgasms or pleasant feelings or whatever. But that's not what biological science tells us. Those things might be necessary (in the case of male orgasm) or a frequent concurrent event (in the case of female orgasm or other pleasant feelings), but the feelings are, biologically speaking, quite incidental to the biological act.

As Orwell points out, and Huxley demonstrates, once words become amorphous blobs, redefined without reference to their original meaning, the population so stricken loses the ability to even think certain thoughts. Huxley shows how even the words "father" and "mother", cut loose from their original meanings, can be successfully redefined into obscene curse words

Modern man's language skills have become so degraded by current word usage that most Americans will be unable to follow the logic of what I just wrote above. As a result, Americans are no longer able to engage in certain trains of thought. They literally have no words.

Pro-lifers Live Pro-Abort Stereotype

Pro-abort leftists often complain that pro-lifers only care about unborn children. According to them, pro-lifers don't give a damn about women or children after the baby is born. This is a complete lie. Unfortunately, pro-lifers handed pro-aborts a lot of ammunition over the last few weeks.

It is certainly the case that the Democrats invented and implemented the policy of separating children from their parents when families attempted to enter the US illegally. It is also certainly the case that President Trump took the Democrat policy and not only continued to implement it, but doubled down on it and massively increased it. Where Clinton and Obama separated thousands of families, Trump separated tens of thousands.

Far, far too many "pro-life" celebrities and groups came out in support of President Trump's stupidity. So, when pro-aborts point out that Trump is living their pro-life stereotype - the idea that pro-lifers don't care about women and children after the children are born - the pro-aborts are correct. Trump's insistence on following Clnton and Obama's family separation policies do EXACTLY live out the pro-abort stereotype of pro-lifers.

The irony is, of course, that Trump hides under the "pro-life" moniker while backing policies created by pro-aborts. Trump signed off on giving $500 million dollars to Planned Parenthood, but went to the trouble of walking back $65 million of it by also re-implementing the Mexico City policy. Do pro-lifers rightly call him out for handing a net of over $400 million to Planned Parenthood? Of course not! Instead, they ignore the half a billion and concentrate on the 15% reduction, pretending that they somehow won that round.

Pro-lifers should have been repudiating the Clinton-Obama-Trump border policy from day one. This family separation policy is a DEMOCRAT policy, and no pro-life Republican should ever have attempted to defend Trump's implementation of it. No pro-lifer should be cutting Trump any slack on the appropriations bill. But pro-lifers are so damned callow that they happily accept the crumbs our Democrat, President Trump, hands them and they all declare it a feast.

It is really not possible for a pro-lifer to support Trump, anymore than a pro-lifer could support Hillary, Bernie, or Obama. The fact that I have to write this essay to explain these facts demonstrates how bankrupt pro-lifers are right now.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Capitalism and the Free Market

Many people are under the false impression that "free market capitalism" is the only kind of capitalism there is. This is, of course, absurd.
"Capitalism is an economic system where private entities own the factors of production. The four factors are entrepreneurship, capital goods, natural resources, and labor. The owners of capital goods, natural resources, and entrepreneurship exercise control through companies." 
Capitalism is about the private accumulation of capital, and that's it. 
Supporters of capitalism insist that true capitalism requires small government, but that's not true. Consider how capitalism works. It is a given that if we have a truly free market, then some people will be more skilled at accumulating capital than others. Those more skilled people will accumulate more capital than the less skilled people. The more skilled people will soon discover that, in most cases, cooperation is more efficient at accumulating capital than competition is. The more skilled capitalists will find ways to cooperate with each other in order to increase their individual stashes. 
Thus, they will necessarily create a governing body, or series of governing bodies, to build their wealth. This is the point of creating everything from "industry standards" to cartels. These governing bodies cut down on competition and increase capital accumulation for the participants. Obviously, if there is an already existing governing body, the more skilled capitalists will co-opt it, because that "governing" body helps them cooperate efficiently. Besides, it is more efficient to take over an existing body than it is to re-invent the wheel, and capitalists are all about efficiency.
So, when I point out that capitalism necessarily co-opts government and increases its size, people deny this. They deny it despite the fact that we can see the revolving door between government and business in operation every day. This revolving door is a necessary consequence of capitalism at work - the successful capitalists use every means at their disposal to accumulate wealth, and one of those means is cycling their employees through government offices in order to control the rules and thereby increase their wealth.
Not only do people deny this perfectly obvious natural consequence, they then attempt to refute the big government point by saying big government is not conducive to capitalism because big government takes capital from people by force or threat of force via taxes. Well, sure it does. That's the point. But violence and the threat of force is not antithetical to capitalism. The point of capitalism is to accumulate capital. That's it. How you get the capital is a matter of indifference. 
This is the point people don't seem to get. They insist a free market is necessary to capitalism. That's simply false. A free market might be inherently capitalistic, but capitalism does not require a free market. While a free market is often the most efficient way to gather capital, it is not always the most efficient way to gather capital. Capitalism just cares about capital accumulation. How you get that capital is a matter of complete indifference. Just get it. 
There are endless examples of violence being an efficient way to gather capital. For instance, people forget that one of the reasons the US and the Soviets did so well economically after WW II, is that the winners STOLE virtually every industry that war-time Germany built. Now, obviously, the US did better economically than Soviet Russia, but Soviet Russia bought itself another four decades by being on the winning side, and that was due in no small part to successful use of violence. As part of WW II war reparations (yes, Germany had to pay WW II reparations), the Germans were forced to make in-kind payments to the US of $23 billion in 1945 dollars. This was paid in machinery and manufacturing plants. That's right. We got free machinery and manufacturing plants of leading German technology, factories dis-assembled in Germany, re-assembled in the US and used for decades by the US to increase our manufacturing capacity at Germany's expense (the Soviets did the same). Does anyone really want to argue this activity did NOT increase American capital accumulation? Seriously? War or peace, capitalism works fine, regardless. 
If an entrepreneur can find a way to get everyone to pay a portion of their income to him, then he accumulates capital, he is a successful capitalist. Whether the people WANT to hand over the money is completely irrelevant to the successful capitalist. Whether the threat or fact of violence is involved is also completely irrelevant. As Clausewitz rightly points out, war is just the continuation of politics by other means. The corollary is obvious: violence is just the continuation of capitalism by other means. This is why capitalists have no serious objection to war. It is also  why the US has been involved in nearly continuous conflict since pretty much its inception.
Now, is socialism any better where violence is concerned? No, obviously not - in fact, it is MORE violent. But, from a capitalist point of view, the problem with socialism isn't its violence as much as it is the fact that socialism just isn't very good at accumulating capital.
Socialism uses economic tools (whether those be violent or not) inefficiently. Efficient use of violence is perfectly in harmony with capitalism, and whoever uses the various economic tools available most efficiently (which is defined as, whoever accumulates capital most efficiently) is, by definition, a great capitalist. Sometimes violence, or its threat, is going to be the most efficient way to build capital, as the corporate use of government to gather funds via taxes clearly demonstrates.

So, capitalism breeds big government. Government, big or small, is a perfectly legitimate economic actor. A free market is not necessary to the accumulation of capital, so arguing that government taxes interferes with the free market may be true, but it has no bearing on the discussion. Insofar as big government efficiently accumulates capital, every good capitalist will want his or her corporation to be a line item in big government's budget so s/he always get a cut of the accumulated capital in the pot.

The free market may lead to capitalism, but efficient capitalism does not lead to, or even necessarily want, a free market. Anyone who insists on having both at the same time, by that fact, necessarily insists on HINDERING one method to accumulate capital. In that sense, "free market capitalism" is a contradiction in terms. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Three Questions

Some people are upset because Pope Francis reportedly told a homosexual "God made you like this and loves you like this". For those people who are upset, I have three questions for you:
  1. Did God make you?
  2. Do you suffer from the consequences of original sin?
  3. Does God love you, even though (2) is true?
If you can answer "yes" to all three of those things, then... how is this man different from me or you in that regard?

The MSM doesn't understand how this all works, so they draw the wrong conclusions. They incorrectly think that just because God loves the broken me, He doesn't want me to be healed. God loves me too much to want me to stay in this condition. He wants me to change. That is what the sacraments are for.

The MSM thinks Pope Francis is saying homosexuality is fine.
In fact, Pope Francis is reminding the man that the whole world is broken, and that we are part of that broken-ness. We all need to be healed.

That is the point of religion.
That is the point of Catholicism.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Silence of the CABs

Catholic-American bloggers are strange beasts. Many of them went absolutely bonkers about Alfie Evans. They were insanely set on an amazing set of ideas:

  • parental rights are absolutely absolute, 
  • the state has no right whatsoever to step between a child and his parents, 
  • parents have the right to take their child to any country in the world if those parents believe there is even the smallest chance of improving the child's life. 
  • Even if the travel puts the child at grave risk of death, SCREW IT! Those parents have the right to do it!
So, Father Longenecker, EWTN, National Catholic Register, Rod Dreher (alright, he isn't Catholic, but still)... all of these and many, many more went absolutely bonkers insisting on some or all of these points. Anyone who even quietly attempted to moderate a single one of the points above was immediately attacked as a pro-abort, socialistic Democrat anti-Catholic hate monger who wanted a nanny state to replace legitimate parental authority.

Well, Catholic-American bloggers are nothing if not consistent. When the news came out that President Donald Trump's MAGA government explicitly and emphatically
  1. denied that parental rights are absolutely absolute
  2. insisted the state has every right to step between the child and his parents, 
  3. reviled the idea that parents have the right to take their children to other countries
  4. and argued that the very trip itself was simply too dangerous for the child, so the government has the right to actively kidnap the child and keep the parents from ever seeing their own child again...
... well, of course the Catholic blogosphere exploded! Articles came out in, National Review, National Catholic Register and Reporter. EWTN's Raymond Arroyo castigated the president as an out-of-control socialist. Rod Dreher attacked Trump's assault on the family. Father Longenecker lamented the putrid anti-Catholic malfeasance flowing like an open latrine from the Oval Office.

Right? Right!?!

Wait... What.....???

What do you mean all of those CABs are silent as the grave?
But... but.... but... consistency!
Catholic values!
Parental RIGHTS!?!?!

What about parental rights?
I mean, even the British didn't take Alfie away from his parents. They just wouldn't let Alfie on a plane, lest he die... too dangerous, in the government's view. But even the British never denied the parents access to their own child.

Trump, on the other hand, is actually snatching the kids, separating the families, making sure the parents never see their own children again. And doing this not just to one child, but thousands of children, not just one set of parents, but thousands of parents, not just one family, but thousands of families. The regular snatching of children away from their parents is now an exercise of official American government policy.

Sooo.... what happened to all that noise about Catholic Family Values (tm)?
Where did those click-mongers disappear to?

Oh... that's right.

For "conservative" Catholic Americans, Catholic values are disposable horseshit compared to the value in protecting Trump's legacy. That's what American Catholic Bloggers think. That's how they treat the Trumpian nightmare versus Alfie's nightmare. Trump is kidnapping the children of a bunch of Catholic Mexicans, but screw our brothers and sisters in the Faith. We support TRUMP, dammit, not a bunch of sniveling brown-skinned Catholics!

People sometimes question why I never read anyone in Catholic media.
The blow-up over Alfie vs the silence over Trump... yeah, that's why.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Prostitutes and Liturgy

So, some people are getting all worked up about the Met Gala Catholic theme. Seems a lot of Hollywood types dressed up in Catholic liturgical garb and pranced around in it as if it were Halloween.

I will ignore the easy gasp of "cultural appropriation!" and stab a bit deeper.

Consider the Catholics who habitually host a seder meal during Holy Week. Do you honestly think that puts an indulgent smile on the face of any orthodox Jew? Why aren't Catholics equally outraged at Anglicans? The Anglicans have, for centuries, been doing the same thing Hollywood just did. Anglicans dress up in Catholic liturgical garments, pretend to have a valid Mass, put women in liturgical garb and call them bishops, Anglicans essentially ape Catholic sacraments and liturgy. For centuries, we Catholics have let the Anglicans slide, so it's hard to see why we should get worked up about Hollywood. After all, it isn't like Hollywood is holding a fake Mass or attempting to ordain women. As travesties go, this is pretty tame.

Besides, lots of people dress up like the Kardashians, get their hair done like Jacqueline Kennedy, or make themselves up to look like Taylor Swift. They do this because they like something about those people. Even the black-face minstrel shows were an homage to the musical talent in the American black community.  Heck, Barack Obama was essentially eight entire years of a white guy in black face playing to a minstrel show crowd, and nobody even noticed.

America does this kind of thing all the time. Sure, this time Catholics were the meme. Next week, it will be blacks or Indians or Jews. That's just how our elite rolls. They say they hate population X, they say population X is not relevant, it's old-fashioned, it's out of step, it's archaic, yada. Then they spend part of their lives trying to be X.

Reminds me of the prostitute who boarded a ship filled with men on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. She seduced every man on board, got to the holy city, saw a vision of Mary, converted, became a desert hermit and eventually a saint, Saint Mary of Egypt. True story.

And if she had been forbidden to board that ship filled with Catholic pilgrims, she might never have converted. Things don't always work out the way you think.

So, let 'em dress up.
But go long on tickets to a cave in the wilderness.
God has plans.