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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cardinal Burke's New Adventures As A Jackass

So, now Cardinal Burke claims he never said the Pope was a heretic.

That's alright, Cardinal - the people you deliberately stirred up are saying that is really what you meant.

So, it looks like your language has been pretty damned imprecise. Maybe someone should issue a formal correction to you, eh?

As for his statement about the pope and heresy, let's just say better theologians than Cardinal Burke have already dismissed his opinion as ridiculous.

UPDATE:
Wow - looks like I'm precisely in line with Pope Francis.
This makes me very happy.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

All Dogs Go To Hell

If dogs can go to heaven, then dogs can go to hell as well.
So, maybe all dogs go to hell.

Which would actually be much more logical, since:

  1. all of creation is fallen,
  2. thus dogs are fallen
  3. Heaven is only attainable through sacramental grace.
  4. Dogs are not baptized
  5. Therefore, dogs don't receive sacramental grace,
  6. Thus, if dogs have souls, their souls must be fallen (along with the rest of creation), they have no baptism to save them, and thus no means to be healed of their fallen state.

CONCLUSION: All dogs go to hell.

QED.

Either accept that conclusion or stop pretending pets are persons. Pets don't have immortal souls - they die, they are done. They disappear. Period. End of story.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Problem of Intent

The bishops of Buenos Aires have issued a teaching on how to deal with chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia. Pope Francis has lauded their summary, saying "There is no other interpretation." 
Many people have read what the bishops of Buenos Aires have said about Amoris Laetitia, found fault with it, and - based on Pope Francis' acquiescence with the bishops' writing - concluded that Pope Francis is teaching error. If we take into account the inexplicable hatred some people have for Pope Francis, this reading is understandable, but not supportable. 

It is possible for two groups of people to read and write exactly the same words, yet have completely different understandings of the meanings of those words.

I know this from personal experience, and therein lies a tale.

My undergraduate degree was in computer science. One of my courses was on database structures, one class of which was devoted to the structure of something called the "b-tree." Now, the instructor spent quite some amount of class time explaining the structure of the b-tree and providing code examples for how to implement it. As he spoke, I built in my mind a model of what it should look like and how to traverse it. When the mid-term exam rolled around, the instructor asked us, in one of the questions, to write a paragraph describe how to traverse a b-tree. I dutifully wrote my understanding out.

On receiving the exams back the next week, I was pleased to see I had gotten full credit for my b-tree answer. But, as the professor reviewed the answers to the exam, his discussion of b-tree traversal was radically different than mine. Impossibly different. I couldn't figure it out. What he was describing didn't match my understanding at all. But he had given me full credit. Why had he given me full credit?

I read my answer over and over, and suddenly it hit me. My description of b-tree traversal had been so imprecise that, depending on whether or not you assumed I had the correct model in mind, it could be read either as a completely correct or a completely incorrect traversal of the b-tree. I nearly laughed out loud. I didn't, of course. I didn't want the instructor to notice me just then. 


Now, make no mistake, my mental model was completely wrong. But my instructor inadvertently gave me the Christian charity of the doubt, he assumed the model in my head matched the model in his head, and so he read my answer in a hermeneutic of continuity with his own, thus giving me full marks when I actually deserved none at all. 

Think on that a moment - he and I both read the same answer, we both affirmed the answer was true, we might each have said about these very same words that "there is no other interpretation." Yet, my instructor's understanding was correct, and mine was thoroughly wrong. 

There have been many negative articles that pretend to "summarize" the Argentinian bishop's teachings. Are those summaries accurately depicting what the bishops have in mind? I don't know. I suspect not. But let us assume the negative summaries are accurate. 

The Pope has said that he agrees with the Argentinian bishops. Does Pope Francis really agree with the bishops, or does he merely "agree" with them in the same way that my instructor thought I agreed with him? Again, I don't know. What I do know from personal experience is this: it is possible for the bishops and the Pope to agree on exactly the same paragraph and its wording, yet the bishops might be thoroughly wrong, while the Pope is, at the same time, entirely correct.

There are a number of instances where Popes have made, or agreed with, statements that they may have intended in one way, but which could be, and subsequently were, read by either the people or the Magisterium in another. So, e
ven if the worst happens to be true, even if the bishops are wrong and the Pope has affirmed their wrong understanding, does that mean the Chair of Peter has failed? Not at all. Amoris Laetitia did not explicitly say anything that violated the Faith. Even if what the bishops wrote is wrong, even if Pope Francis thoroughly agreed with the erroneous bishops when he said "there is no other interpretation," his statement is his view as a private theologian. As a private theologian, he could easily be wrong about whether or not there is another interpretation. That is, even if we grant error on the part of the Argentine bishops and the Pope, a Magisterial document could easily overrule his off-the-cuff remark concerning how to read the Argentinian bishops' document.

You may agree with all that I have written, but reply that the Pope has no right to make pronouncements that are not precise. That argument is completely insupportable. As the eminent historian Father Phillip Hughes points out, the Nicene Creed, the very first Creed produced by the very first major council of the Church, contained the word "homoousion". "Homoousion" was so imprecise, so constantly associated with heresy, that its inclusion in the Creed arguably forced the the Church to hold four subsequent ecumenical councils just to hammer out exactly what that vague and vaguely heretical word meant. The presence of that word, "homoousion", in the Nicene creed actually caused the Coptic Church to schism off rather than sign off on any Creed containing such infamous phrasing. 

The examples could easily be multiplied. Popes and councils have a long history of imprecise wording. They think it is precise when they write it or say it, but then some wag in the corner comes up with an interpretation they hadn't considered, and it's back to the drawing board we go! 

The Church is made of people. Anyone who writes for a living knows that it is nearly impossible to phrase things precisely and accurately the first time around. Such precision takes constant re-writes, discussions, and more re-writes. Even if, by some miracle, a writer does get it correct the first time through, the phrasing may be so original that the readers simply don't "get" it, they don't see how the writer possibly made the leap from A to W. So, a bunch of supporting documents, examples, footnotes, have to be added to help the reader make the connection the first time through.

Most of the negative drum-beating about Amoris Laetitia is nonsense fomented by people who simply don't like Pope Francis. They are determined to find fault where there is no fault. It is ridiculous.

Have some faith in the Pope, have some faith in the Church. This dust-up is regrettable, but not at all new. It is not the end of the world, not even close. This, too, shall pass. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Voting Conundrum

Voting is like homeopathy. The idea is, my vote is critically important, even though we both know that it will be swamped by the votes of the city, county and state in which I live. Nobody wins an election by one vote at the national level. No one does so at the state level, and it is pretty darned rare even at the county or city level.

But, let's ignore facts and pretend my vote really, really matters.

Then this happens:


So, you are from Texas and you voted for an elector, but the elector won't do what you want.

I live in Texas, I didn't vote at all, but I got an elector who will do precisely what I want.

Wow - it's almost like our votes don't matter.

How crazy is that?

And it's not like this is new. Think of the politician who promises to vote "the will of the people." It is childishly easy to keep the promise. Hundreds of thousands of people will vote for him, all of them holding diverse opinions on any particular issue. The politician need only vote for whatever he personally wants, and he has thereby voted "the will of the people."

If his personal opinion happens to match the majority of voters, he is following the mandate of the people. If his personal opinion happens to be opposed by the majority, and championed only by some small minority, then he is defending the needs of the minority against oppression.

See how that works?

No politician can be a liar on this score. As I wrote elsewhere,
So, when I vote, I don't vote in order THAT someone may win. Rather, I vote in order to express the idea that this person is someone I know well enough and I trust well enough to act correctly while they are in office (whether they get that office or not). My vote is a statement about how much I trust another person, a statement that asserts the office-seeker's values are close enough to my own that I have good reason to believe he will serve others well while in office.
It is only in THAT sense that my vote is a moral act. My vote is a short-hand letter of reference. I don't look at the office-seeker and say "Well, he's not as bad as the others, and someone has to do the job, so I suppose he will have to do." Rather, I look at the office seeker on his own, without reference to the other office-seekers. Based on the assessment I make of this seeker alone, I determine if I know him well enough and trust him well enough to endow him with the power of the office.
This is the important part: If none of the office seekers are trustworthy enough, then none of them get my vote.
If voting is a moral act, then my vote is my personal moral statement.That is all it is - it can be no more.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Making Sense of Catholic Marriage

Recently, "traditionalist" Catholics have been whining about their own ignorance of the Catholic Faith, specifically, they have complained that Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia demonstrates a superior understanding of the Catholic Faith than their own. Now, they have phrased their whining differently, because they don't understand the Faith, but this is what it boils down to.

The bishops of Buenos Aires have issued a teaching on how to deal with chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia. Pope Francis has lauded their summary, saying "There is no other interpretation." Let's look at what the Argentine bishops said.
“When the concrete circumstances of a couple make it feasible, especially when both are Christians with a journey of faith, one may propose that they commit to living in continence.” Amoris Laetitia “does not ignore the difficulties of this option (cf. note 329) and leaves open the possibility of receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation when one fails in this intention” (cf. note 364). 
This is nothing new. Living "as brother and sister", that is, living as a married couple but without engaging in sex certainly does not bar either member of the couple from the sacraments. It never has. Sex outside of marriage is a sin, but if two people are not having sex outside of marriage, that is, if they are "living in continence", they are fine. They can receive the Eucharist.

Even if they occasionally fail, that is no new thing. How many of us go to confession, confess a sin, fully intend to never repeat it again, then find ourselves in the confessional the next month, confessing EXACTLY the same sin again? What matters at the moment of confession and absolution is intent at the moment of confession and absolution. As long as we have proper intent, we are absolved of our sin and able to receive the Eucharist. Even if we fail a few hours later, for the few hours that our resolve held, we can receive. The situation the Argentine bishops described above is EXACTLY the same as the situation any sin puts us in.

But the bishops did not stop there. They added this in the next paragraph:
“In other more complex circumstances, and when it is not possible to obtain a declaration of nullity,” the document continues, “the aforementioned option may not, in fact, be viable. Nonetheless, it is equally possible to undertake a journey of discernment.” And “if one arrives at the recognition that, in a concrete case, there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), particularly when a person judges that he would fall into a subsequent fault by damaging the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitia opens up the possibility of access to the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (cf. notes 336 and 351). These in turn disposes the person to continue maturing and growing with the strength of grace. 
This paragraph does not say that all couples who have gotten civil marriage without benefit of annulment have the right to the Eucharist. What AL points out is something that already applies to other sins: "there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability." 

Case 1

Again, this is not a new concept. We don't become new people overnight - it takes time to change habits. Priests are required to recognize this reality in the confessional. Lay Catholics are required to recognize this in real life. 

For instance, getting drunk is a mortal sin, but if the sinner is addicted to alcohol, then that diminishes the sinner's culpability. What is purely sinful for me, who has no addiction to alcohol, no habit of imbibing when life gets me down, might not be as sinful for you, who has developed this habit. Your habit has enslaved you to commit this sin in a way that my life has not enslaved me. It will be easier for me to avoid this sin in the future than it will be for you. You have less culpability, less responsibility, because you have lost ingrained habits of control in this regard. Any sin can become a habit in this way, any habitual sin reduces culpability. This is true of every sin, even the sin of sex outside of marriage.

Combine this with the fact above concerning intent, and we have the possibility of a civilly remarried couple who intend to live from this point forward as brother and sister. They receive Eucharist after confession, perhaps even receiving Eucharist outside of Mass, and then fail in their intentions just hours or days later. Perhaps this is something they struggle with over the course of months or years, with the time elapsed between sinful episodes slowly expanding, sometimes contracting, as they constantly work on this area with the help of Confession and Eucharist.

Remember, civil re-marriage is not a canonical crime, it does not incur the penalty of excommunication. As the Diocese of Madison points out:
Are those who divorce and civilly remarry excommunicated?
No. Excommunication is a specific canonical penalty imposed as a consequence for certain very serious canonical crimes. Neither seeking a divorce nor attempting remarriage are currently punishable by excommunication, nor are they even classified as canonical crimes. This is not necessarily to say that divorce and civil remarriage are not immoral or sinful, or that they have no effect on one's relationship with the Church. In general, divorce introduces disorder into the family and society, bringing grave harm to the deserted spouse and to children traumatized by the separation of their parents (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 2386). Therefore, depending on the circumstances, divorce can be gravely immoral. And attempting remarriage while already validly married in always seriously sinful.
In the case of the couple above, with whom the priest is assiduously working, no law of the Church is broken, no reality is ignored. Pope Francis points out that there is nothing wrong with working with a couple in this way.

Before we go further, we should recall Pope Benedict famously stated that the use of condoms in extramarital sex might constitute a first step towards morality. Now that Pope Benedict has cleared the way for such discussions, Pope Francis and the Argentine bishops use "the Benedictine condom principle" to point towards a similar application within marriage itself - the protection of the children.

Remember two things: (1) One of the three goods of marriage (procreation, union of the spouses and remedy for concupiscence) is the conception and raising of children (both are part of procreation), (2) According to Pope Benedict, the use of condoms is evil in itself, but may indicate a willingness to consider the good of another. If that is the case, Benedict considers the use of condoms a first step towards morality.

So, Francis just takes Benedict's condom principle and applies it to marriage (Pope Benedict himself said the condom principle applied even in heterosexual acts). According to the "Benedictine" principle, the sexually active couple who view their own sexual union as necessary to their life together, may see their life together as pre-eminently important for the children (a good). That is, they recognize the children from one or both first marriages need to have both a mother and a father present in the house. The couple want the children to have both mother and father. The couple has taken civil (natural) vows of fidelity to each other, but recognize that they themselves have a tendency to stray. So, they have sex in order to reduce/remove their tendency to stray (quiet concupiscence), in order to maintain their union and in order to help make sure the little ones have a home. They are showing concern for innocent little ones.

Again, according to Pope Benedict, this concern for fidelity to each other for the sake of the children would constitute the first step towards morality to the priest who tries to guide them towards the good of preparing themselves for sacramental marriage. Their willingness to work to stay together, even though it involves sex that is not licit, is undertaken for the good of others, innocent children. According to "the Benedictine condom principle", this willingness to recognize personal weaknesses and the needs of the children has to be taken into consideration by the priest as he works with them to move towards a situation that does not do violation to the sacrament of marriage.

So, anyone who defended Pope Benedict's remarks on condoms (Ignatius Press, I'm looking at you), should likewise be defending Pope Francis' and the bishops of Buenos Aires on Amoris LaetitiaPope Francis is merely following in Pope Benedict's footsteps. 

Case 2

But we can take it even further. There is a fact about marriage tribunals which all priests and bishops (should) already know: the declaration of a marriage tribunal is a disciplinary, not a doctrinal, statement:
Are tribunal judgments infallible?
The marriage nullity process serves precisely to allow for and encourage the discovery of truth regarding the juridic status of the marriage under review. In other words, the process is designed to arrive at the truth as to whether a valid and indissoluble matrimonial bond arose between the two parties at the moment of consent. Even though the judicial decisions of an ecclesiastical tribunal are certainly trustworthy, they are not infallible. (emphasis added) In theory, the judges could err in two ways: 1) they could incorrectly declare a valid marriage to be invalid, or 2) they could incorrectly declare an invalid marriage to be valid. Neither error is a good thing, but the former is much worse, since the judges would essentially be doing what the Lord prohibited, separating what God has joined. For this reason, the Church's law is designed to ensure that any doubts about the validity of a marriage are resolved in favor of the marriage bond, means that marriages are presumed valid until proven otherwise.
Marriage tribunals can be wrong. As I have pointed out before, those who are not sinning have a right to the sacraments. If those innocent of mortal sin are denied access to the sacraments, the priests who deny them access have sinned against them. What do we do if the marriage tribunal has erroneously closed off access to the sacraments of Marriage and the Eucharist?

Remember, marriage tribunals do not just draw their power from canon law, but also from the power of the local bishop. That is, marriage cases can, at least in theory, be decided directly by the local bishop without the use of a marriage tribunal. Now, this almost never happens, but in theory, it could. This possibility of circumventing current procedures lies within AL as well - the possibility that it is time for the Church to find a better disciplinary method than a marriage tribunal for assessing the sacramental bond of marriage.

Time to Change Discipline?
Changing the disciplinary method for a sacrament has precedent. For the first thousand years of the Church, a man learned how to be a priest by following a real priest around. That was originally the function of an altar server - he was the priest's apprentice. Unfortunately, the process was only as good as the priests in the process. Every priest trained his own replacement via an apprenticeship. Since half of any group is sub-average, this apprenticeship process guaranteed half of all new priests would receive sub-average training. That wasn't good.

Although the apprenticeship method stank to high heaven and no one really liked it, for over a thousand years, no one knew how to fix it. The priest formation process stayed broken until technological change, specifically, the invention of the printing press and the resulting hundred-fold drop in book prices, allowed the Council of Trent to develop an alternate solution: the seminary. With the new seminary training system, the old apprenticeship was abolished. After Trent, all priests had to attend a seminary, a training school, where only the best priests of the diocese were allowed to serve as instructors. Now everyone got the best instruction that the diocese had to offer. Some dioceses were better than others, but that was the best anyone could do. That solution has held for the last 500 years.

The marriage tribunal is similarly an invention of the Church, meant to handle marriage questions in a more systematic and professional way. But nobody really likes the system. By reminding bishops that they have a certain amount of latitude in dealing with marriage questions, Pope Francis may be opening the door to start a discussion about how to move forward from the current marriage tribunal system to something more efficacious and certain.

I have no idea what that would look like, and AL gives only the barest hint that something like this is open for discussion. But, we should consider the possibility that it is time the Church came up with a "seminary-like" solution for marriage questions. It may well be time to abolish marriage tribunals and implement a new process that is better than the tribunal solution we currently have, better at administering and clarifying the ancient understanding of the sacrament of marriage. If that is where Pope Francis would like to go, he has the support of most of the Church.



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Why Cardinal Burke Plays the Jackass

"It is asked whether, following the affirmations of Amoris Laetitia (300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the sacrament of penance and thus to admit to holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person more uxorio without fulfilling the conditions provided for by Familiaris Consortio, 84, and subsequently reaffirmed by Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, 34, and Sacramentum Caritatis, 29. Can the expression “in certain cases” found in Note 351 (305) of the exhortation Amoris Laetitia be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live more uxorio?"
YES OR NO Steve Kellmeyer
That is the question that was recently posed to me by someone who tired of how I have characterized Cardinal Burke's malice.

When I replied:
Why would my answer, one way or the other, make a difference to anyone?
The answer came back just as I thought it would:
Because to answer yes is to profess heresy and approve of blasphemous communions, which is a sacrilege.
Yes. Just so. Which is why I replied:
Exactly. You claim to be Catholic, so you can answer this question as well, and as authoritatively, as I.
IF someone has DEFINITELY committed an act of adultery without repenting, then no, they can't receive Eucharist. 
BUT....
The individual declaration of whether or not a marriage is valid is a judicial, i.e., disciplinary declaration. It is not doctrinal. That means it is not an infallible declaration. Marriage tribunals can be, and probably are, frequently in error in their judgements about a marriage's validity.
Anyone who is NOT in a state of mortal sin has a RIGHT to the Eucharist. Given that marriage tribunals can be wrong (in either direction), we cannot have absolute certainty that any particular marriage situation actually IS adulterous. If a priest denies Eucharist to someone who actually has a RIGHT to Eucharist, because they actually aren't in an adulterous situation (even though someone else thinks they are), then the priest has sinned against them. 
Thus, while the theoretical answer is clear, the practical answer in any particular situation, is anything BUT clear.
This is why the four bishops' question is STUPID.
The four bishops know full well both parts of this answer, and they know the Pope knows both parts of this answer, but the bishops have phrased it so as to only stress the theoretical answer, when knowledge is certain. In practice, we never actually have that certainty. The Pope's commentary to date has stressed the practical problem - how do we handle this situation with the couple sitting in chairs in front of us, when we don't actually know what state their situation is in and we CANNOT, even in principle, actually ever really know? 
But the cardinals' question is not about the practical, it is about the theoretical. The question, as posed, is a crap question. The bishops are trying to make the faithful THINK the Pope cannot be trusted (else why ask the question at all?). 
In short, the bishops asked the Pope that question for the same reason YOU asked ME the question:
  • you wanted a "gotcha!" moment, 
  • you wanted to make me look stupid, 
  • you wanted other people to doubt that I knew the TRUE Catholic Faith,
  • you didn't want an answer, you wanted a damned fight,
  • you wanted a fight in which YOU looked good, so your opposite looked bad.
Now, posed to me who has no authority, the question is just your attempt at annoying me, since I have no authority to undermine. But posed to the Pope, that question comes straight from the pit of hell. 
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why some priests are talking about the need to strip Cardinal Burke of his "cardinal" title. They argue Burke is no longer worthy of it. This would be an extreme move, and - in traditionalist circles - it would make a martyr of a man who is not worthy of that title either. I'm not sure it would be a smart thing to do. But it surely would be a JUST thing to do.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cardinal Burke's Double Standard

How many people remember the time Pope Benedict said it was alright for a man to use a condom?
The Pope says in the first part of the answer that "[the use of] a condom can be... a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility."
Of course you don't remember that!
After all, Pope Benedict legitimized the use of the TLM! We aren't going to attack anything Benedict says before or after that, because if we did, it might make Benedict look loony tunes, and it might cast doubt on whether he was right to legitimize the TLM!

Take example A: Cardinal Raymond Burke.
Where was the famous Cardinal Burke in questioning Pope Benedict?

Oh, that's right .... he was SILENT AS THE FREAKING GRAVE.

Why?

Well, because Benedict legitimized the TLM
AND
Pope Benedict gave Cardinal Burke cushy perqs that made Burke look Really Important (TM).
So, Pope Benedict's insanity was considered FINE by all the Right People (TM).

But, if Burke was silent in regards to Benedict, why is he forcing a public question on Pope Francis?
Why is a "traditionalist" bishop recommending that bishops can invent brand new procedures for dealing with popes? As Ross Douthat notes, that is exactly what Cardinal Burke proposes

Meanwhile one of those four dubia authors, the combative traditionalist, Cardinal Raymond Burke, gave an interview suggesting that papal silence might require a “formal act of correction” from the cardinals — something without obvious precedent in Catholic history.

A "traditionalist" that wants new procedures put in place to circumscribe papal authority - Martin Luther, call your office! And tell them you are Burke's buddy! Because you are. Now.

Again, why is Cardinal Burke doing this?
Well, Burke attacks Pope Francis because Francis took Burke's perqs away.

Cardinal Burke is no Padre Pio, Padre Pio being a man who quietly accepted subordination for ten years, because he understood the value of obedience. Instead, Burke is acting like a whining brat, and the traditionalists (mostly Trump voters) are eating it up! Because "whiny brat" = TLM devotee = Trump voter.

Like calls to like across the deep.

Legal Murder and other Perqs of Being a Twin

If a woman can abort a child who shares half her DNA because "woman's body, woman's choice", then how far can the principle be extended?

Certainly, we know that a person can opt to have a portion of their body chopped off.  As ABC News reports, some people want to be amputees. On what basis can we judge them for wanting that? Person's body, person's choice. If a woman can tear up something with half her DNA, certainly she can tear apart something that is completely her own DNA.

By the same token, one of a pair of Siamese twins should have the right to kill the other one in the pair, if s/he so chooses. Again, same DNA, person's body, person's choice. Now, in this particular case, the judges decided to kill one child so the other would have a better life, but there is no reason, in principle, that one of the twins could not have elected to have the other one killed.

And if it can be done for Siamese twins, then why not for those who are separated? The have the same DNA - in that sense, they are the same body.

In abortion, we kill an independent life with half the DNA of her mother simply because of geographic location and personal convenience.

As court cases have shown, in the case of amputation, because it is our body, our DNA, we can get rid of a tissue, organ or limb that has all of our DNA,

And, as court cases have shown, in the case of Siamese twins, we can clearly kill someone who has all of our DNA.


So, in the case of normal twins, we are still just killing someone who happens to have our DNA. As long as the reason involves personal convenience, on what grounds can anyone oppose such a killing? Woman's body, woman's choice, after all.

No one could argue against it unless they were themselves twins - you don't have the right to argue against it. And even if you were and you did, that would just show you had been brain-washed by the patriarchal society of singles, who don't understand the special problems, the special discriminations, suffered by twins. How dare you interfere with the survivor's personal growth?

Sure, it was a hard decision to kill of my genetically identical brother/sister, but it had to be done or I would never reach my full capacity as an independent person. Certainly, anyone who supports legal abortion can see the logic of that.

Stop being so narrow-minded, forcing your bigoted Christian principles on survivors of twin births. It's really none of your business. If you don't like killing twins, don't kill your twin. But don't interfere with those who do need to attain personal fulfillment. It's a simple principle, really. Why can't you Neanderthals understand?






Sunday, November 27, 2016

Are DAPL Protests a Hoax?

CNN provides evidence that they are:
The Standing Rock Sioux call this reservation home, and many are not on the frontlines of this months-long, and at times violent, protest. With no end in sight, what does it mean to them? And are they even united in their support?
The answer to that last question: Not even close.. 
Fool Bear has had it with the protesters. He says that more than two years ago, when members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe could have attended hearings to make their concerns known, they didn't care. Now, suddenly, the crowds are out of control, and he fears it's just a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt. 
Go down to the camps, he says, and you won't see many Standing Rock Sioux....
Ten miles west of the protests, a man who doesn't want to be named, for fear of retribution, admits he looks forward to the pipeline. It'll mean fewer trucks barreling down these rural highways and fewer trains flying down the tracks.  
The Daily Beast points out that this looks like a classic manipulation:
Anti-DAPL activists say they don’t want the DAPL built here. But in reality, they don’t want it built anywhere. Their real goals are combating fossil fuel development, moving America toward renewables, and mitigating global climate change. (At present, oil, gas, and coal comprise 81 percent of American energy consumption. Renewables comprise 5 percent.)  
And that’s why they love to hate pipelines. The much-debated and for-now-denied Keystone XL, which would transport crude oil from Canadian tar sands to American ports, is perhaps the most infamous. But there are many others, including the Spectra Algonquin AIM pipeline being built across the Northeast, attracting protests in Boston and New York, where the route now runs 105 feet from an aging nuclear power plant.
Local ranchers are so fed up with violent protesters illegally occupying ranchland that they are actually selling their ranchland to DAPL:
Apparently land owner David Meyer is fed up with it. 
“It’s a beautiful ranch, but I just wanted out,” he told the folks at KXNews
Meyer is a local, private citizen. I can’t imagine how difficult his situation has been with these on-going protests. Last month the Bismarck Tribune reported “damage to an ATV, stolen tools and windows busted out of equipment” at a quonset on Meyer’s land, though the paper said there is no “hard evidence” linking the damage to protesters. 
Hard to imagine that’s a coincidence, though.
Few people have heard why the firemen deployed water cannons, because few news sources are describing the violence deployed by the protesters against the small contingent of small-town police trying to contain the situation.
It seemed the peaceful protesters as you might call them who were there stayed back out of the range of the water. You could see the line form back away from that water so that they wouldn’t come forward any more,” the deputy said. “I would call them more peaceful protesters. The agitators, many of them stayed out there in the water and continued to harass, continued to try and push forward, continue to try and cut chains, cut wire, and come at us.” 
Many critics of the law enforcement response have suggested that officers were aggressive toward the protesters, but when I asked the deputy if law enforcement ever advanced from the roadblock toward the protesters he said “absolutely not.” 
“The majority of the people I see out there were white people,” the deputy told me. 
“None of us wanted to move forward,” he continued. “None of us wanted to do that. We just held our line. We have to hold our line, because if those people get through those people who are trying to hurt us, what are they going to do to the good people of the state who aren’t trained to defend themselves?”
“We held that line,” he added. “We told them ‘go back to your camp, but don’t come out here and attack us’.”
We know a lot about the DAPL. Most of it is in contradiction to what people think is going on.
To start, the pipeline’s path, which has been set for two years, does not enter the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation. The portion being protested is on private property and does not run on previously undisturbed land. It follows a pre-existing energy corridor in which electricity transmission lines and the Northern Border natural gas pipeline already lay.
The protests might also give the false impression that Native American tribes had no input to the project. The public record shows that they did. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held 389 meetings with 55 tribes to discuss the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe met with the corps nearly a dozen times to discuss archaeological issues and to help finalize the pipeline’s route 
No one has shown that any sensitive tribal land is being jeopardized by the pipeline. Nor is there reason to fear that the pipeline would compromise the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water supply. The Missouri River in North Dakota already is traversed by eight pipelines that safely transport energy products every day.  And the tribe’s water intake is scheduled to be moved later this year to a spot roughly 70 miles from the Dakota Access Pipeline’s river crossing.
sheriff visited the site, and says the MSM is lying. According to the New York Post, the protesters are anything but peaceful. This looks a lot like the Sioux Tribes are being used as pawns in a much bigger game.
Are they?
And, if they are, which side should we be on?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Cardinal Burke's Breakup

With his latest statement, wherein he insists that Christians and Jews don't worship the same God, it's pretty clear that Cardinal Burke is no longer fully in his right mind. When a cardinal starts contradicting Aquinas, the councils of the Church and the Pope, he is in trouble.

If you want to say Islam denies Christ and therefore doesn't worship the same God, then we ALSO must conclude that Jews don't worship the same God. Muslims at least consider Him a prophet, Jews consider Him a deluded heretic, so there's even less justification for saying Jews worship the same God.

But, since Jesus said "salvation is from the Jews", that conclusion creates theological problems that cannot be resolved.

God is All-Just, All-Merciful
Jesus and Mary are sinless.
Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary.
Jesus is judge on the Last Day.
These are all Muslim beliefs.

Islam is just another Protestant heresy. Islam uses an essentially Eastern approach to understanding God, but without the Catholic leaven of sacraments and liturgy, Islam makes mistakes just as heinous as the Western Protestant approach. Indeed, viewed in this light, the rise of Islam could easily be seen as the Eastern Catholic version of the Protestant Reformation.

When I taught RCIA, I used to point out that people who only understood addition and subtraction are not denying math, they are merely ignorant of the higher forms of math. When it came to theology, the pagans know the four basic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), but not much else. The Muslims understand algebra, but have no grasp beyond that. The Jews, the Chosen People, understand geometry. Non-Catholic Christians can get through most of trigonometry without too much trouble. And non-Catholic liturgical Christians, such as the Eastern Orthodox or the Coptics, even manage single-variable calculus. But if you want to understand the whole width and breadth and height of the subject, only the Catholic Faith will do.

Now, none of these groups are totally wrong. It's just that only one group has a really thorough, comprehensive understanding. Our job is not to deride them for what they do not know, but rather to teach them. Cardinal Burke has, for whatever reason, lost sight of how it all works.

UPDATE:

This interesting analysis from Ross Douthat points out the problem:
"Cardinal Raymond Burke, gave an interview suggesting that papal silence might require a “formal act of correction” from the cardinals — something without obvious precedent in Catholic history."
That sounds exactly like the New Age lefties after VC II (and I include Lefebvre in that list of New Age Lefties), inventing new "precedents" in order to accommodate their personal schisms and heresies. That single sentence from Douthat really tells you all you need to know about the "traditionalist" Cardinal Raymond Burke.

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Meditation on Superheroes

Everyone knows the superheroes: The Hulk, the Flash, the Green Arrow, Captain America, Ironman. They are physically imposing, doing impossible leaps, stunts and lifts in order to save the world. But their supporting sidekicks are often-times just as much super-hero characters, even though their feats are never considered as such.


Consider someone like Felicity Smoak in Green Arrow, Cisco/Ramon in the first season of The Flash, or Q from the James Bond series. All are portrayed as computer hackers and tech geeks who provide the cute weapons that assist superhero's in achieving their goals, but none are considered superheroes in their own right. While the audience greedily devours Captain America's every turn, twist and somersault, Q's magic is accepted as just a notch above common-place.

Why?
It reflects a couple of strains in human philosophy and current culture.

Familiarity breeds respect

We are each familiar with the difficulty of performing physical feats of strength and dexterity. All of us have, at some time, wished we were a little stronger, a little more dexterous. We know that if were had been, we would have been able to move that refrigerator, lift that box, we would have avoided dropping that bottle.

We can imagine what would have happened if we has imply had those physical skills. We can tell ourselves that we could have those skills if only we went to the gym a little more often, did a little more physical training.But, we have jobs to do, kids to take care of, chores to finish. Those have to get done. We could have been better, but we had lives to live, so we aren't quite there. Physical feats may be out of our reach, but they seem somehow vaguely attainable.


Intellectual feats are not in the same league. When faced with a difficult intellectual problem, we do not generally assume we could solve it if only we had studied a little more. The math problem is not unsolveable because we didn't study. It is unsolvable because I could never solve that problem, no matter how much I studied. Maybe George could solve it, but George is fundamentally different than me. George was born with an intellect I can never envision myself having, even theoretically. I literally cannot imagine what it would be like to be that smart, because I can't see where George's limitations are. His limits are not visible, the possibilities he embodies cannot be envisioned.

So, when Felicity breaks AES encryption, writes a new AI program and infects it with a virus she just wrote from scratch during the commercial break, we don't have any way of comprehending what she has done. Because we have no experience with the problem, we don't appreciate the superhero quality of the solution. Instead, we assume that if someone can type at a keyboard, they can do anything: instantly recognize the interface, instantly plum the depths of the database or the computer network and quickly find the answers they need.

We understand which physical skills take a lifetime to master, but we have only a hazy idea of what intellectual skill sets take a lifetime to master, we do not know what skills are impossible for anyone to master. Our movie hero geeks solve in minutes, intellectual problems that normally take years to work through, problems that often don't have any known resolution at all. While audiences visually devour the intricacies of a complex fight scene, we give them only the most superficial depiction of the intellectual turns, twists and somersaults required to resolve an intricate intellectual problem. Even if the writers could figure out and tell us what that impossible logic was, they would have to assume the audience would not be able to follow the reasoning.

Because we understand physics on a visceral level, we respect those who can perform physical feats that we cannot perform ourselves. But, because, by definition, we do not understand intellectual problems we have not solved ourselves, we do not really understand when an intellectual feat has been performed in front of us. We may appreciate THAT it is difficult to make a trans-dimensional waffen-guffer, but we really cannot understand HOW difficult it is to make such a marvelous device.

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

And why would we? The Red Queen may have believed up to six impossible things before breakfast, but technology seems to routinely accomplish seven impossible things before lunch. The "experts", those magicians in their white lab coats in some coastal research lab, put supercomputers in our pockets, travel machines in our garages, elixirs of life in our pill bottles.

During the course of our day, we don't expect anyone to lift a car and crumple it like tissue paper. But we do expect our cars to get one hundred miles per gallon and our white coats to cure our cancer. And if the experts don't give us what we expect, then we begin to suspect. We suspect they actually know how, but they are just hiding the solution in order to line their own pockets. They've done six impossible things before, why can't they do the seventh? They are experts, after all.




Felicity Smoak and her colleagues are superheroes whose accomplishments will never be fully appreciated because their accomplishments are both far too common and far too difficult to understand. Arthur C. Clarke once famously remarked that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. As technology wraps around us like a blanket, as it becomes increasingly impossible to understand that tech without years of study, we increasingly inhabit a magical world.

Uneducated savages believe in magic. Paradoxically, because of our vastly increased knowledge, we have increasingly become savages. The average modern person understands the technology he inhabits at about the same level the average primitive understands the forest he inhabits.  We know where to go for water, food, we know how to travel between geographic areas, but if anything goes wrong, we are at just as much a loss on how to fix it. We are Grodd the Ape in an Ironman suit.

This imbalance between physical and intellectual feats can never be resolved. By definition, we do not appreciate the difficulty of problems we don't understand. We never really will. So, Felicity Smoak will never really be seen as a superhero because we will never really have the capacity to see her as one. Superheroes are self-evident. With Felicity, Cisco, Q and their colleagues, we have to think about it.

Even the intellectual superheroes recognize the problem. Superheroes have secret lairs, but their feats are visible and obvious to everyone. Intellectual feats never are. So, Felicity yearned to do the feats of physical bravery that everyone around her did. She was happy to finally be shot and thus have a war wound to boast about. But, Green Arrow never yearned to learn how to code.

A Ray of Hope


But, perhaps the picture painted here is too bleak. We all know our physical response to the universe matters, but we also know our intellectual and spiritual responses matter more. The superhero may be brought low by green kryptonite, but he remains a superhero because he is indomitably bound to do what is right. The supervillain may crush the same cars, but he does it in service of the wrong.



And even the good guys have a hierarchy. We all know some superheroes are better than others. Why? Well, precisely because some hold more firmly to the good. Thus, while Captain America, Ironman and the Hulk are all superheroes, we know Cap' will hold us to standards the others don't.

Even the superheroes know it. That's why they went to war with each other. Half of them knew they weren't good enough to make the choices that had to be made, they didn't trust that they grasped the good well enough. Superheroes all, but some of them didn't think they could live up to Cap's standards. They wanted someone else to make the call, someone else to take the burden from them, because they feared, strong as they were, that they would drop it.

Even the superheroes know, ultimately, it isn't their physical strength or their intellectual abilities that makes any of them even a hero, much less a superhero. It is their degree of dedication to do the good, their iron will to be good, THAT is what makes them great. That is why we recognize them as great.

That is something we all understand.
And that, at least, is a comfort.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Electoral College In A Nutshell

Why do we even have a Congress?
Why do we even vote for representatives or senators?
What's the point?
It's not like the person who gets elected to Congress actually does what we WANT.

Nobody questions electing Congress, but lots of people question the electoral college, even though the way they operate is EXACTLY THE SAME.

You vote for somebody in the hopes they vote the way you want.
Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

In neither case does it matter what the majority want.
The electoral college is just a single-purpose, special Congress.
Any argument you bring against having the electoral college works equally well against having a Congress.

Meh.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Terrible, Awful, Preposterous Anti-Trump "Riots"

You know, it strikes me that both pro- and anti-Trump forces are wussy crybabies.

Sure, the anti-Trumpkins are crybabies who can't seem to accept that they lose. But the pro-Trumpkin forces are hardly any better.

Most of what is happening barely constitutes a riot. A few random flags and tennis shoes get burned, a couple of people collect some bruises from angry protesters, someone publicly defecates on a sidewalk (an action that doesn't even raise an eyebrow in New Delhi or Mumbai) and suddenly we have a "riot"? Seriously?

No one is burning cars, very few stores are getting looted, almost no one is getting shot. Yes, I know five people were shot at one Seattle protest and are in critical condition. But, seriously, that's all you got?  This hasn't yet even risen to the level of a busy weekend in the south-side of Chicago, much less some kind of national conflagration.

But to hear the Trumpkins tell it, the world is shaken to its core, the very pillars of heaven are cracking and it is all the fault of .... well, pick your favorite Trumpkin enemy.

They like to blame Obama for not speaking out. But seriously, why bother? We all know Obama is incompetent. Blaming Obama is like slapping an infant - what is the point?

Others blame George Soros. Alright, even if Soros is behind the protests, so what? Soros is Trump's friend. Soros gave Trump an emergency loan so Trump could complete Trump Towers. Soros and Trump spend Christmas Eve together. You will never hear Trump say a bad word about George Soros. In fact, quite the opposite. Trump has already publicly said,
Oh, forget Soros, leave him alone, he’s got enough problems... “He [the protestor] goes, ‘What about Soros!’” Trump continued. “Let’s talk about somebody else.”
So, Trumpkins should really just back off this line of inquiry. The Donald doesn't like it when you go after his friends. Soros, the Clintons, the Obamas - they are all part of the same oligarchy, all part of the same circle of friends who watch out for their own and each others' kids. Trump ran the Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment conglomerate for years. Donald knows how to stage a fake fight between two good friends. The wrestling match is over, Donald got the gold belt. While the fans fight out in the parking lot, Donald and his friends are deciding how to divvy up the gate.

Yes, anti-Trumpkins are whiners.
But so are Trumpkins.

If you aren't watching the show, then you are the show.
I need more popcorn.





Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trump's Wonderful Pro-Life Start

As soon as Donald Trump won last night, he deleted his website's pro-life link.

Google cache shows what it USED to look like:


But as of this morning, it's all gone.

I've been told he removed it so as not to rub his victory in other people's faces.
Because Trump never does that. Trump never gloats. Never. And then I recalled that this made sense - I mean, remember how well he treated Rubio and Cruz when he beat them in the primaries?  He was so gracious and generous, just like he was to Hillary.

Remember that?
No?
You don't?
You don't remember that?
How odd.
Because I remem... I.... uh.... I.... let's move on.

I've been told that there was never a pro-life statement on Trump's website.
Obviously, there was, because it is in Google cache. But it is interesting that people who voted for him because "Trump is pro-life" would today insist that he never actually had a pro-life statement on his web page, so he is not guilty of removing it. Because he was pro-life, but never mentioned it on his website. Which is why we voted for him. Because pro-life.

This statement from them puzzles me.

I've been told that he's strongly pro-life and will appoint pro-life SCOTUS judges and pro-life circuit court judges and he would defund Planned Parenthood and there would be unicorns and rainbows and....

And that's why he scrubbed all pro-life information from his website the instant he won.
Because that's what strong pro-lifers do, you know.
All of them.
They do that.
Really.
They do.

They scrub all that pro-life stuff off if they are really pro-life.
Like Trump is.
Which is why we voted for him.
Because Trump is pro-life.
And SCOTUS.
...and..... stuff....

I've been told that it was scrubbed because he's shutting down his campaign website.
Which makes sense. Why keep campaign promises up where people can see them? Especially the people who are now finding out you are President-Elect, and they want to know where you stand on various issues, so now they go to your campaign website to find out?

Sure, all the OTHER position descriptions are still on the website and the website itself is still up, it's just the pro-life links that are gone, scrubbed, wiped from the face of the web (except for Google cache.... can't get at Google cache.... dammit..... no matter how hard we try...). And something had to go first, because we don't want people going to the campaign site with all the campaign promises... so.... obviously.... delete the pro-life link first.

Now, sure, an IT person who wants to shut down a website just removes all the pages and puts a placeholder up, maybe saying "Thanks for your support, our campaign site is now down as the President-elect prepares to take office!" Or s/he re-assigns the DNS to send you to 404 Not Found. Nobody, absolutely NOBODY dismantles a site page by single page, link by single link. Unless you're pro-life, of course. If you are pro-life, you delete your website one  one slow page at a time, one slow link at a time. And you start with the pro-life links.

Because that's what strongly pro-life people do.
Of course.

I wouldn't want to start some kind of negative conspiracy theory based on simple facts like this.
That would be un-Christian.

Because Trump is pro-life.

Now, I must admit something. I've been accused of being a conspiracy theorist who has no credibility. And it's true. I am. After all, I actually didn't believe Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch when they said they discussed their grandchildren all alone on that plane on the tarmac. I thought they were conspiring to prevent Hillary from being indicted.

I also didn't believe Hillary when she said she only deleted emails with her yoga routines and her daughter's wedding plans. I thought she and her aides were conspiring to destroy evidence of criminal activity.

And I didn't believe FBI director Comey when he said Hillary could not be prosecuted. I believe to this day that he is conspiring to prevent her indictment and trial for federal crimes.

So, it's clear, I'm a nut. Trying to connect facts about rich and powerful people who are pursuing additional money and power by pursuing government office - that's pure conspiracy theory.  Laying this out about the Clintons is ok and understandable, but Donald Trump is clearly way above that kind of activity, he's got such a sterling personality. No one disputes that. He would never pull a con on anyone. It is pure nuts to say otherwise.. This whole post is way, way out there and you shouldn't listen to ME about it.

Nope.
Don't do that.
Wouldn't be prudent.

UPDATE: 
I have been told that this post is in error - Trump actually wiped this page out this past May. So, now I am being attacked for wrongly casting aspersions on Trump's pro-life credentials because he actually expunged all pro-life material over six months ago, and therefore is clear of the charge of having expunged it only today.

What a resounding defense.
I honestly can't think of a single thing to say in response.
They have me cold on that one.

A second rebuttal is that there remains some prolife material, namely here and here. True enough. If you happen to know the links AHEAD OF TIME, you can put them in the URL space on your web browser and get to them. But if you are browsing Trump's site, you have to go to page 42 and page 92 of his media release list, respectively, in order to find them. And those are the sum total of the pro-life links his supporters can find.

So, that's a pretty prominent display, and I am clearly wrong to say it is anything else.
I mean, who wouldn't scroll through 40 pages of stuff to get to the pro-life stuff?

It's out there, as front-and-center as can be, for anyone interested in knowing Donald's stance on abortion. Again, what the hell was I thinking to say otherwise? Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

The last rebuttal came from Eric Scheidler, who argued as follows:



And, again, I have no response to Eric's dizzying logic.

Since politician's never post their pro-life credentials to their website, and Trump is not a politician, but is instead a political outsider who doesn't play by the rules, of course he isn't going to post this information to his website either.

Because pro-life.
And not your typical political insider.
So, he does things differently.
Except here, where it's exactly the same.
So we can trust him to do the right thing.
Like all the other politicians.
Of which he isn't one. He's an outsider.
And stuff.





Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Trump's Long Con

Well, this was a fascinating evening. Trump actually pulled off the same con he has used hundreds of times before, but this time he did it with the whole nation watching. That is masterful.

As I've pointed out tirelessly, Trump is a con man. At some point during this process, he decided to steal the deal and cut out the middle-man, or woman, in this case. Again, as I've pointed out before, Trump and Bill pulled the original "Loretta Lynch" way back in the spring of last year. Numerous news sources testify that Trump called Bill Clinton just before Trump decided to enter the race "against" Hillary. This was common knowledge. And I'm sure Donald and Bill just talked about their grandchildren. And stuff.

Of course, they didn't discuss diapers. Trump agreed to run as a Republican in order to split the Republican ticket and give Hillary the White House. In exchange, Bill promised to line Trump's pockets in the way Trump had always lined his pockets - by having someone (in this case, Hillary) shovel government largesse into Trump's bank accounts.

We have a lot of testimony, both from Trump's ex-campaign managers  and from Trump himself, that he was not interested in actually winning the Presidency. But apparently, he changed the focus of his "long con" confidence game at about the same time it became crystal clear that he had the Republican nomination wrapped up, a result no one expected. Once he saw that he actually might hold the nomination, his game changed. The Clintons, his partners in crime, simply became two more marks.

Now, this is not an unusual business practice, especially for Trump. Again, we have testimony from literally HUNDREDS of small businessmen. He takes their deals, takes their products, then doesn't pay them. As they slowly rot on the vine, waiting for money that never comes, they suddenly realize that he can stall them in court for years, drive them into bankruptcy, if they try to get the money he owes them. And if they don't get paid, they will only barely skirt the edge of bankruptcy, permanently damaging their business for decades to come.

As he has done with so many previous business partners, he screwed the Clintons, took their product, made it his own, and bought the election. For all we know, he made a heavy investment in IT hackers to assure his victory.

Now, his children continue to run his businesses, and he shovels government money into their pockets instead of waiting for Hillary. Apparently he figured he could do it more efficiently than Hillary. It was a beautiful con, masterfully executed. Paul Newman and Robert Redford should be proud.

And if any of you think his promises to you don't have expiration dates, well... one of the people in this clip is Trump and one of them is you. Guess which is which.


UPDATE:
As Bob points out in the comments, even Hillary admitted that the Clintons had chosen Trump as their favorite Republican candidate.  The Clintons poured millions into Trump's campaign.

So, the Trumpkins want to argue that Donald was too stupid to know this? Given that Donald was the one who called Bill only a few days before Donald opened his campaign? And, out of a field of 18 candidates, how is it that the Clintons were lucky enough to actually GET exactly the opponent they always wished they had? I mean, what are the odds?

The guy who ran the WWE, the organization who makes money by staging fake fights between friends, that turns out to be the guy that wins the Republican nomination and fights Hillary for the presidency? Amazing, isn't it? These guys should go to Vegas.

After Wikileaks, how many people can honestly say it is absurd to think Trump was part of a Clinton-Trump setup?

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Trump Did What He Set Out To Do

Donald Trump called Bill Clinton before Trump ran for the Republican nomination. He and Bill worked out how they would help Hillary into the White House. The Clintons and the Trumps have always had a simple deal: Trump gets Hillary into office, Hillary shovels government money Trump's way.

Trump was just supposed to split the Republican vote - he ended up actually getting the nomination. Gravy. Hillary didn't just rig the Democrat primary. Through the open primary process, she and Trump successfully rigged the Republican primary as well.  Trump, her surrogate, made sure the Republican primary process would continue to use open primaries for the 2020 nomination process, so she can do it again then.

Trump made his money through government subsidies and contracts. It's how he does business. The Clintons and the Trumps have always been friends, Ivanka and Chelsea are best friends and always have been.

The Clintons and the Trumps had to make it look close to bring in the rubes. So, when the numbers got too low for Trump, they pumped the numbers up a bit. But never too high. 

The rubes have to think they have a chance in 2016, so the process can be repeated. As anyone who makes movies knows, it is always harder to get an audience for the sequel. If you want a sequel, you have to prepare the ground, you have to put a cliff-hanger in the end of the first movie that allows a clean jump into the second. 


Trump can run again in 2020, pull the same stunts again, give Hillary a second term. The pieces are in place. The rubes are primed. They will blame the 2016 loss on the corrupt media, Hillary's perfidy, whatever or whoever they want to blame. As long as they don't blame Trump - and they won't - everything will work. Everything is set for 2020.

The pro-life movement has prostituted itself. Liberals always said pro-lifers care more about the unborn than the born. Donald doubled down on that by promising to kill born children. He promised that American troops would commit international war crimes. He promised he would force American soldiers to kill entire families. And we had the spectacle of incredibly stupid, badly formed "pro-life" priests, like Fr. Frank Pavone and Fr. Zuhlsdorf, endorse this abject madness. Trump brilliantly whipped up anti-Catholic sentiment while pretending to endorse Catholic principles. (UPDATE: Fr. Pavone actually desecrated an altar for a political stunt. He is quite, quite mad.)


Donald has also successfully linked pro-lifers to the idea that women who have abortions should be punished, jailed. Donald has successfully linked anti-homosexuals and pro-lifers to the KKK. In a nation that now has majority minority births, he has successfully linked Republicans with permanent racism.

Donald Trump ran a campaign that caricatured Republicans, only it apparently didn't caricature them, because Republicans turned out to be mostly fine with the caricature. The liberals were actually right about 21st-century Republicans. Who knew?

Donald, Hillary and Bill did what they set out to do. Hillary gets eight years in the White House. Donald gets paid. It's a win-win for everyone.




Monday, October 31, 2016

Catholics MUST Vote 3rd Party

The problem is, Hillary is a pro-abort, clearly supporting the murder of children in the womb.

But Donald Trump is ALSO pro-death, repeatedly saying he would order America's military to kill small children in order to intimidate terrorists.

So... there is no substantial difference between the two major party candidates. Catholics cannot vote for either one of them.

Gary Johnson is pro-abort, so you can't vote Libertarian.
Jill Stein is pro-abort, so the Green Party is likewise out.

That leaves parties like the Constitution Party.
Anyone who says this country is no longer Christian is absolutely correct.

Now, here is the greatest irony of all.

From the point of view of winning the election, it DOES NOT MATTER how you vote. As the video below demonstrates, the person who buys the best hackers will win the 2016 election. Trump is absolutely correct to say the election is rigged. Any IT guy could tell you the same thing. The irony is, if Trump wants to win, HE HAS to rig the election. Every candidate who wants to win HAS to cheat, every candidate who wants to win has to rig the election. There isn't any other way to win anymore.

Given that 5000 people have access to the election database (GEMS), it is virtually a guarantee that someone is going to rig it, regardless of what the others do. So now, EVERYONE has to rig their own election if they want a shot at winning it. This is Prisoner's Dilemma on steroids.

So, it doesn't matter how you vote in your precincts, what you print out, what idiocy your cell phone or video camera records. None of that matters, because the hackers will be changing the numbers in the GEM database to suit themselves.

What matters is, who is the last hacker to access the database?
That's all that matters now.

So, you might as well vote your conscience.
In terms of who gets elected, it doesn't matter: your vote is whatever the hackers say it is.
There's only one way to change this madness, and we will be lucky if it were implemented by 2020, which it won't be, because too many powerful people have a vested interest in not implementing a real solution.