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Monday, February 12, 2007

He's Got My Vote

"Wasted": that's the assessment of ex-cocaine user Barack Obama on the lives of soldiers killed in Iraq.

The former Muslim now insists that he regrets having made the remarks about US soldiers who died fighting world-wide terrorism.

Obama, who vociferously supports crushing the heads of infants as they are being born, instead wanted to discuss "how we want to put an end to the nasty slash-and-burn, trivialized politics of the last couple of decades."

Now that some of his old financial supporters have fallen out of favor, he also wants to discuss "how we want to reduce the influence of money in politics... how we want to come up with common-sense and practical solutions instead of being driven by ideology".

But the black man who supports gay marriage and opposes school vouchers, even though the majority of the black community oppose gay marriage and support school vouchers, insists "it isn't about me."

The evidence bears him out. After the statute of limitations expired, Barack Obama described in his autobiography Dreams From My Father(s) how he readily engaged in marijuana use and underage drinking, but he never did smack, i.e. heroin. After the book's publication, fellow Harvard Law School graduate and Democrat Attorney General Tom Miller of Iowa called Obama the smartest person to attend the institution in the past 25 years.

Among the members of the audience who applauded the rookie senator's latest address were Miss USA and Donald Trump.

As Senator Joseph Biden observed, Barack Obama is "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

Given the decaying looks of the former cheerleader Hillary Rodham, Barack Obama is the Democrat Party's best hope for President.

A Compendium of Problems

It's been several months since the Compendium to the Catholic Church was released, and to date, there have been no corrections to several egregious errors in the text.

The major problem:

#57 - Jesus Christ who died and rose in order to vanquish that moral evil, human sin, which is at the root of all other evils.

Human sin is at the root of ALL OTHER evils?
Human sin caused the fall of Satan and his angels?
That seems very unlikely.
If human sin did not cause the fall of Satan and his angels, then it could not be at the root of all other evils.

In fact, #57 is specifically contradicted by #75 which says When tempted by the devil, the first man and woman allowed trust in their Creator to die in their hearts.

Certainly this phrasing needs to be corrected, right?

Other problems

The Compendium uses the phrase "original holiness and justice" but never bothers to define the terms.

It uses the phrase "human soul" but never points out that the soul is comprised of the intellect and the will, thus the discussion of Jesus two wills #91 is a bolt from the blue.

It mentions Jesus human intellect in #90, but never uses the phrase divine intellect, or explicitly says that He possessed it, although it does admirably state he knew fully the eternal plans which he had come to reveal.

#134 failed to mention that the Lord's Second Coming depends on the conversion of the whole Hebrew people to the Faith, that is, it summarizes CCC #675-677 but carefully omits any reference to #674. Oddly enough, Compendium #215 does the same thing. If you mention the Second Coming twice, wouldn't at least one summary mention this rather important detail? It's almost as if someone systematically removed the portions of the CCC he didn't like.

#168 "Who belongs to the Catholic Church? All human beings in various ways belong to or are ordered to the Catholic unity of the people of God." Compare this summary of CCC #836-838 to the original and the Compendium's distinction between those who are baptized and those who are called to be baptized is shown up as the palest of shadows. This is especially disturbing given how emphatically this same distinction is emphasized in the original CCC articles. As #168 is worded, an uncareful reader might conclude that everyone is Catholic.

#259 fails to mention that parents help children grow in Baptismal grace, although it is at pains to point out that godparents and the ecclesial community do this.

#506 says we must give special attention to those species which are in danger of extinction as part of respect for the goods of others. The CCC makes absolutely no mention of this "special attention."

#507 completely changes the emphasis of CCC #2416-2418. The CCC specifically warns us not to accord to animals the level of respect due only to persons. The Compendium article spends all its words warning against inflicting excessive pain in animal experiments. True, one might argue these are differences in emphasis, not meaning, but the difference in emphasis is exceedingly great, nonetheless.

Finally, according to the index, the Compendium makes no mention of homosexuality, fornication, pornography, sex. It shows that abortion appears one time, adultery thrice, and has a section on birth control but no cross-reference for contraception. Celibacy is mentioned twice, chastity in two sections. Given the challenges faced by the Church in the 21st century, this seems an unusual set of omissions.

It is also interesting to see how many Catholic bloggers over the last several months have praised the Compendium without, apparently, having read it and compared it to the original.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

No Pain, No Gain.

Teen sex and drug use leads to depression. That’s a fact established by several studies, most recently one out of UNC-Chapel Hill based on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. They found that the more sex and/or drug use young girls engaged in, the more likely they were to become depressed. Young men showed similar responses to these activities. Nearly one-third of American teens suffer from depression.

Combine this with another fact: the savings rate of American citizens has dropped to a 74 year low. Only four years in American history has seen a negative savings rate, two of them being 2005 and 2006, the other two being 1933 and 1934. Only 1933 had a savings rate worse than last year. We are spending more than we are making. The Baby Boomers are retiring and they have, in total, less and less money to retire on.

Now, consider a third fact: life-changing events cause people to shop. Advertisers are well aware of this. As Dr. Joseph Pilotta, vice president of Big Research, points out:

[Life events like marriage, divorce, having a baby, etc.] are disruptions in principle. These are transitional moments. You stabilize transitional events by trying to anchor yourself with things that make you secure. In our world, you concretely rearrange your life so you can see the change. For some empty-nesters, the only way they can manage that change is to move literally into another house to stabilize that transitional effect. We have a consumptive way of operating when it comes to these transitions, but they help stabilize our environment…

The funny part is that in getting married and getting divorced, four of the five items being purchased were the same. When getting married, we found the No. 1 thing that people looked for was furniture, which is not unexpected. Second was a vacation. Third was a computer, then TV, then home appliances. The computer is the new fixture with everybody. Anchoring the household now is essentially TV and computer, as opposed to TV being the centralizing feature. There was always a media that anchored the house and now we have two anchors. The computer was higher on the list than TV…

Getting married and getting divorced involved the same top four purchases. The only difference was number five: in marriage it was home appliances, and in divorce it was a digital camera. There was an interesting affinity between children starting college and retiring. The first four in order were vacation, computer, furniture, home improvement. It only varied on the fifth item, which was a new car when children started college and home appliances for retirement.”

From an economic perspective, all that a national economy needs to create a solid GDP is churn. If the citizens are in constant turmoil, constant life-changing events, they will buy stuff. If they are depressed, they will buy more.

So, from a standpoint of pure economics, from a standpoint of “how much money can Mr. Capitalist make today”, we don’t want stable marriages. People in a stable marriage save more money than single or divorced people. If they save their money, Mr. Capitalist can't get to it.

No, we want people who go through two, three, four or five marriages. We want people who are fornicating drug-users, we want people to have abortions, get raped, see their lives destroyed, re-built and destroyed again. Every time their life changes, our sales go up.

If you have ever wondered why any corporation would fund Planned Parenthood, throw money into no-fault divorce or create the kind of culture that we live in today, the answer is simple. Your pain is their gain. It really is that simple.