Friday, December 15, 2006

Liberalism is a Sin

Few things get me off (angry) as much as hearing this. In fact, recently, I saw this on a t-shirt - as a quote, supposedly, from Leo-13. First, doing a Google search does not reveal Leo and probably does not reveal any Catholic clergy. I haven't done more than just a cursory search. But I wanted to read the writings of Leo-13 long before I saw this "quote".

Now when reading Immortalie Dei and Libertas there is obviously an encyclical or some writing or understanding between these two. I think it may be St.Augustine's _City_of_God_. And while I still have to read them both several times, as well as City of God, I've come to some understanding.

First, many of those espousing that "Liberalism is a Sin" are either conservative or arch-conservative. And for them, including supporting anti-abortion, including being harsh upon the poor and needy - they all view it as "being Godly" or "being godly".

What they don't realize (and what they probably choose to remain ignorant of) is that Leo wrote during the late nineteenth century. People who claim to be as high and lofty as these should consider that what "Liberal" meant one- or two-hundred years ago is not what we mean by "Liberal" today.

In Libertas, Leo is very clear. It is in the same voice that Satan, through Liberalism, tells God "I will not serve". That is not what modern Liberals mean at all by "Liberalism".

Unfortunately those arch-conservative do not recognize Modertism as being a legitiamate way. Perhaps they consider it "Liberal Lite".

But what they fail to realize is that what Leo meant by "Liberal" is not what they mean by "Liberal". So the quote from Leo or whoever is entirely out of context and *wrong*.

take care,


Division of Iraq

Before Bush-43 invaded Iraq I knew of the potential religious differences there - because I knew that Iran was Shia, Arabia was Sunni, and Iraq was mixed. At the time I related the Sunni Shia split to the Catholic Protestant split (but didn't realize how wrong I was or how different it was). Shortly after the invasion I realized Iraq could split into three parts .

When Ayatollah Sistani was "making peace" I related him to a thirteenth century cardinal. This isn't far from accurate because Islam did most of its growth in the 700's. It's not terribly surprising that the thirty years war, between Catholics and Protestants, occured during the 1300's. Or that the hundred years war (Joan of Arc) occured shortly after.

Now the U.S. is casually threatening to pull out of Iraq. On this I take W almost entirely at his word. He'll start pulling after the 2008 presidential election and not one day before. At the same time, while Iran is back Iraqi Shiites, Arabia has voiced support for Iraqi Sunnis.

And it was shortly after W invaded that I saw Iraq could split into three countries. I likewise said that Basra / East Iraq will be allied with Iran and the Anbar / West Iraq will be allied with Arabia. But that the allian between Anbar and Arabia was more of self-defense rather than out of friendship.

I half-way view the situation as to what happened to Judea and Samaria durings their last centuries - where Egypt was south of Judea and Assyria and Babylon were north and east of Samaria.

The big trouble in Iraq is Baghdad. Baghdad is divided between a Shites and Sunnis. And a person from western Baghdad cannnot go into eastern Baghdad without needing fairly high security.

I've already spoken in favor of breaking Iraq apart. And if, with the downfall of Iraq, if Baghdad falls as well, so be it. I'm neither in favor of the dissolution of Baghdad nor opposed to it. But Baghdad is central to the troubles in Iraq right now. I think and I hope that there will be two cities - East Baghdad and West Baghdad - or whatever names the Arabs choose to give the cities.

take care,


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Three Estates

As I'm reading through Immortale Dei, currently, I'm constanted driven back to something historical.

In June 1789 was Bastille Day. Louis-16 and Marie Antoinette were killed in 1792. Napoleon-1 arose in 1798-99 and was defeated (finally) in 1814. Louis-16's son, Louis, was not king, only the Dauphane (crowned prince). But is still celebrated as Louis-17. Hence, Louis-16's brother claimed rulership of France in the 1790's although he never actually ruled until the eighteen teens.

Following Louis-18 were Charles-10 and Louis-Phillipe. And then Napolean-3, because Napoleon's son, presumably Napoleon-2, was killed, ruled until 1870 - when he was unceremoniously dethroned by Bismarck and the Kaiser.

But following the 1789 rebellion / revolution Louis-16 called a meeting of the three estates - the royal, the religious, and the commoners. The third estate, the commoners, became the assembly. But when the religious arrived for the meeting of the three estates all the cardinals, bishops, heads of orders, and others who were "somebody" in the Church of France showed up.

take care,


Fifth Worst President in the U.S.

On the December 11-17 issue the Washington Post - Weekly listed W as the fifth worst president in American history - several were, supposedly, worse than Bush-43 - namely Buchanan, Johnson, Nixon, and Madison.

Perhaps its not surprising that all five had similar personality traits. First, Nixon was only, supposedly, the third worst. Johnson was actually a "higher ranked" president - when segregation and prejudice were virtues instead of flaws. Now, because he was biased against Afro-Americans and civil rights, his ratings have fallen.

Buchanan was president during the Confederacy Secession - Lincoln was still President-Elect. Being president while the nation divided into two - there isn't much worse that a presdent can do.

Johnson, the second worst president, was Lincoln's (democrat) vice-president. And he likewise inherited the early part of the reconstruction. But that's when the President and Vice-President were usually of different parties. It was the twelveth ammendment to the constitution that specified that a candidate must specify that they are running for either President or Vice-President.

Except that Bush-43 has been mostly oblivious to the desires of the citizens and has tried to "work around" and "get around" Congress. Yes, Congress was limiting the president's power, but Congress is supposed to limit the president's power as well.

When we address the president we simply call him "Mr. President". We don't call him "Your Highness" or "Your Majesty". Why, because the President is not a King.

take care,


Wednesday, December 13, 2006


There's one thing that is obvious - getting marred in the Catholic Church is not like getting married outiside the Church. Why? If two Catholics should marry each other then to get divoced they need an annulment. Whereas if a Catholic and non-Catholic should marry (or two non-Catholics) then no annulment is needed - what does the Church have to do in their relationship?

To myself, this is obviously a hold-over from when the Church was a government and, in some cases, was the government. And still, before 1500, most countries were willing to recognized the supremacy of the Catholic Church. So they did not do marriages, except where one or both of the parties were non-Catholic. Because that was the right and privedledge of the Church - to whom all countries held (questionable) allegiace.

In Immortale Dei Leo-13 said that all people have two government - civil and ecclesiastical. And some / many of what he said were throw-backs to Pius-9 or earlier. Hence, part of what he said was how the Church would deal with non-religous states - obviously, in Leo's mind, the Church would rule in religious matters while the State would rule in Civil matters.

But there has been many changes since the nineteenth century. In 1910 the House of Lords surrendered their right to veto laws that that the House of Commons might pass. And 1792 France Leo 16 was beheaded and Louis-Phillipe stepped down before 1850 although Napoleon wasn't captured until 1870. Kaiser Wilhelm argueably ruled Germany and the Habsburgs Austria until the end of the First World War. Now America, as well as most of Europe, and democracy as its form of government instead of a monarchy. Yes, Queen Elizabeth still rules Britain and the entire British Empire, but most of the rights of leadership has been given to either the British Prime Minister or the head of the state of the "colony".

The Church, not claiming more land area other than Vactican City apparently agrees the civil / political power is better given to "the people" and not held by a monarch, bishop, archbishop, Cardinal, or the Pope.

take care,


National Catholic Reporter

Wow, I never thought I get a publication that had three articles worth writing on. Then the 12/15 issue of National Catholic Reporter came out.

First was the Los Angeles lawsuit. Its a shame, a damn shame, that situations have arisen causing this to happen. Unfortunately the $60 million dollars is for just 8% of the potential plaintiffs. The Los Angeles archdiocese better get ready to pay another $700,000,000.

Page 11 initiated discussion on celibacy. Although a central issue to many, the Bible says that Elders (Bishops) and Deacons must have wives. On one side I'm agreeing with the Bible. On the other I'm agreeing with the Church.

When I was in RCIA I commented on celibacy to my co-worker. Now Orthodox priests can marry, well, not quite. Married men may become Orthodox priests - but once an othodox priest, a man may not marry. And Jesuits need not take the vow of poverty - they take the vow of obedience instead. So what do you think of a married, rich priest? He didn't answer.

As I implied, I would not have a problem with a married Father - there is Biblical precendant for this. But I know many would. A happily lapsed Catholic said she had a problem with taking communion from a Eucharistic Minister. Now she's attended mass fewer than two-dozen times in the past twenty years so whatever opininions she has bounce loudly off her own house I'm sure. But that's not to say that others won't have a problem with it.

Thirdly and finally, page 2a had an article or editorial "Faith Under Depression's Clouds". This strikes especially home with me - because while I'm not generally depressed, I do have depression tendencies. But I've found that most of the Depression comes from me "dwelling" on a problem - from me thinking about a problem too much or too often. Particularly from me thinking about solutions to a problem that can't readily be fixed. I've also talked with other and I find that quite a few people who "dwell" on their problems too much and more susceptable to depression.

There isn't a good solution except to stop thinking about "the problem" that is causing so much of my attention to be drawn towards it - hence, to distract myself. This is especially true if the problem can't be readily fixed - like if I'm having money problem or if / when my parents are / become sick. And then there really isn't much I can do, in these cases, except wait for another paycheck or help my parents get to the doctor or hospital.

take care,


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hillary in 2008


For starters, I'm personnally opposed to Hillary Clinton running for president in 20o8. I've nothing against her, but she made a promise to the New York voters to be their Senator for another six years - and New Yorker accepted her promise by re-electing her for another six years. I don't approve of her being Senator for eight years and then being president.

I mean, it looks bad. The last person to be New York Senator before being President and after a former White House post was Richard Nixon. Is Hillary trying to pull a Richard Nixon maneuver - it really looks like it.

Then, over the past half century we've had Republican Presidents almost sixty percent of the time (seven terms) and we've had Democrat presidents over fourty percent of the time (five terms). Right now we're just trading out years of W for years of Eisenhower.

In the short term we've had six years of W and will be getting two more. That's preceded by eight years of Clinton. I really think that America is going to elect another Republican president in 2008.

So then you're left with the Clinton / Obama scenario. If either of them with the Democratic nomination I think they are going to loose - and right now they are the four-hundred pound gorillas.

Likewise I think that if McCain runs for president he's a shoe-in for the Republican nomination. I'd vote for him. The only big question is whether or not he'll run - he's getting up-there in terms of age.

Being a moderate, I'd sooner vote for a Moderate or Liberal Republican rather than a Liberal Democrat.

take care,


Dubai Ports

Yesterday they announced that the ?six ports, who were briefly owned by Dubai Ports - World were sold - to AIG. I really thought they'd do something cheesy - like creating a Dubai Ports - America and then have DPW sell them to DPA. I'm glad they didn't.

I really don't know what W was thinking - sure, we can give an Arab company total access and complete security authority over ? six of our east coast ports. What was he thinking? Was he thinking?

And since 9/11/01 happened to happen during his presidency, he's really been "beating on the drum" of national security.

take care,


John Bolton

From a headline:
An unhappy President Bush said he regretfully accepted John Bolton's decision to leave his temporary job as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Like with most thing Bush-43 has done, I wasn't happy with the Bolton nomination. Like most of Bush-43 appointments - I don't have anything against John Bolton as ambassador. He seemed to do a fairly adequate job.

That John Bolton is stepping down with his "term of office" coming to a close is just a matter that he got a better and more secure job in the "soon" future.

I hold it against W that he couldn't find a less controversial U.N. appointment. I further hold it against him that he didn't try to find a less controversial appointment. I hold it against him even more that instead of trying to find an appointment which the formerlly Republican Senate would approve of, he resorted to an absantee apointment.

This shows a real weakness of character, in my opininion. And a real lack of willingness to compromise - and this from a President who, in 2000, campaigned on "being a uniter, not a divider". Oh well, 770 days until the next president is sworn in - that's just over twenty-five months.

On the other hand Kofi Annan is making way to step down from being secretary-general of the U.N. And Moon has already been elected as the incoming secretary-general. I wonder how thing will change, or if there will be a change, between an African and a Korean?

take care,