YES! Cardinal Muller, head of CDF: “Episcopal Conference….not linked to any specific teaching authority” March 27, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
Dang straight. Good, clear catechesis from the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Muller:
The claim that a Bishop’s Conference was “not a branch of Rome”, “gives me the cue to remind you that the dioceses are not branches of the Secretariat of the Episcopal Conference or [branches of] the diocese, whose bishop President of the Bishops’ Conference is.” This was Gerhard Müller Cardinal, Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine and the Faith, for the Catholic French magazine, Famille Chrétienne. He had been previously asked what he thought of a statement “where a German bishop had stated that the Bishops’ Conference, which he was presiding, was no “branch of Rome,” he was referring to remarks by Reinhard Cardinal Marx, President of the German Bishops’ Conference. Müller explained further: “A Bishops’ Conference is not a Particular Council, [it is] a lot less than an Ecumenical Council. The President of the Episcopal Conference is no more than a technical presenter, there is no special teaching authority linked with this title. “The attitude that a Bishops’ Conference is not a branch of Rome,” brings with it the danger to revive a certain polarization between the local Churches and the Universal Church which had come rest in the First and the Second Vatican Councils. The Church is not the sum of national churches whose presidents would choose a boss on a universal level.” [Very true. One of the reason I deplore the modern national episcopal conferences, among many, is that they frequently present views masquerading as doctrinal decisions or “rulings” that are nothing of the sort. Episcopal conferences are great novelties and their only “authority,” to the extent they have any, flows from the voluntary and unanimous judgment of the individual ordinaries who constitute them. They also represent a great temptation to use groupthink to exert pressure on individual bishops either to accept the dominant, often erroneous point of view, or to inhibit faithful prelates like Burke from speaking out on issues when they are ordinary. The USCCB leadership has been furious with Burke in the past, when he was still in the US, for violating their silent, secretive rule not to deny Communion to pro-abort or other heretical katholyc politicians. As I see it, national conferences have become self-interested bureaucracies staffed largely with left-leaning (or full-on revolutionary) apparatchiks who often undermine the Church’s Doctrine and Her mission to save souls in pursuit of a broader left-wing agenda. Harsh, but how many scandals at CRS, Catholic Charities, CCHD, etc., do we have to see? And those are just the tip of the iceberg]
On the question of whether some teaching or disciplinary decisions about marriage and the family could be delegated to the Bishops’ Conferences, the Prefect of the CDF replied: “This is an absolutely anti-Catholic idea that does not respect the catholicity of the Church. Bishops’ Conferences have authority in certain topics, but they possess no magisterium against the magisterium without a pope and without communion with all the bishops.” [Nice slap down of Cardinal Marx]
“The Church is not a philanthropic organization. It is not enough if we say that we respect the views of all and wish good for all,” Müller explained further. Indeed it is not too difficult to fall into the trap of presenting the gospel as a therapeutic agent, but this does not correspond to the requirements of Jesus. “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and receive all manner of slander because of me, said Jesus. The first Apostles, the Church Fathers, the great bishops of the Church had so often to sail against the wind. Why should this be any different for us?
Thanks to Tancred for the translation. He is not entirely ideal, certainly, but Cardinal Muller has been fighting quite vociferously against the German-Kasperite gambit to radically undermine the entire moral edifice of the Church. It has been sad to see his efforts dismissed by some other prelates, with statements like “of course he would say that, he’s the guardian of Doctrine, that’s his job,” as if that somehow reduces the import of his statements! In fact, it highlights their importance even more, but the German conference (save a few notable exceptions) is so far around the bend on this matter nothing short of a miracle will pull them back.
Is our muslim president siding with Boko Haram in Nigeria? March 27, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, rank stupidity, scandals, self-serving, shocking, sickness, Society.
I’m sure I’ll attract the ire of at least one paid agent of Obama’s perpetual campaign organization OFA, but the allegations below are absolutely devastating, and so revealing. I’m sorry, what else does this guy have to do before people will accept that he is either a practicing muslim, or has the most sympathetic view possible?
Lots of claims below. Most of which are highly disturbing:
Between July 2013 and June 2014 alone, an estimated 7,000 people died in incidents related to the insurgency. Boko Haram – which means “Western education is forbidden” – recently pledged allegiance to ISIS.……
…..Clearly, a more serious response than #BringBackOurGirls was needed to combat the growing menace – but the United States all but abandoned their African ally. Not only did the Obama Regime refused to sell Nigeria the arms it needed to fight Boko Haram, it blocked other Western allies from helping them, too.
Back in January, the Jerusalem Post reported that Obama refused to allow “the resale of US-made military helicopters by Israel to the Nigerian government for its fight against Boko Haram last summer.”
Via James Simpson of AIM:
The administration also denied Nigeria intelligence on Boko Haram from drones operating in the area. While Boko Haram was kidnapping school girls, the U.S. cut petroleum purchases from Nigeria to zero, plunging the nation’s economy into turmoil and raising concerns about its ability to fund its battle against the terrorists. Nigeria responded by cancelling a military training agreement between the two countries.
What do you suppose was behind the Obama Regime’s abject refusal to help this ally fight these terrorists?
Would you believe that there’s a presidential election coming up in Nigeria, and Obama’s favored Muslim candidate is in a tight race against the Christian President Goodluck Jonathan?
And would you further believe that a political consulting group founded by Obama confidante David Axelrod is assisting that candidate - Retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari - who hails from Muslim-dominated northern Nigeria from whence Boko Haram was spawned?
Thanks to the lack of cooperation and assistance from the United States, the Jonathan government has been failing miserably at beating back the terrorist scourge, with the president looking weak and ineffectual. [Now there may be some valid reasons to be careful in arming the Nigerian government, such as concern over corruption and fears the weapons may simply fall into the hands of the muslims through some treachery. However, there are certainly loyal Christian/Catholic militias that could be supported. There is more below that bears on all this.]
….According to an anti-Buhari Nigerian blogger writing in the Western Post:
In the last year, Nigeria sought aid from the White House for many initiatives, including the fight against Boko Haram.
The Obama administration refused to do anything but pay lip service to Nigeria’s requests. However, it used public and private channels to internationally magnify every failure Nigeria’s government experienced.
In the last year, since the involvement of Axelrod’s firm, relations between the two nations have significantly deteriorated, with the US refusing to sell arms to Nigeria, a significant reduction in the purchase of Nigeria’s oil, and the cancellation of a military training agreement between Nigeria and the USA. [The oil could be due to the growth of fracking, now under threat due to the Saudi’s flooding the market. But cancelling regular training that is always ongoing between the US and various relatively friendly governments, and even more, denying intelligence to the Nigerian government of Boko Haram activities, including feeds from UAVs and satellites, indicates something more than just concern over arms diversions. To me it clearly shows an agenda at work, an attempt to deeply meddle in the interior affairs of a relatively friendly government, and to show favoritism to the muslim candidate]
In turn, the Buhari-led Nigerian opposition used the U.S. government’s position as validation for their claim that the Nigerian government was a failure. [And so I have to wonder how many claims we’ve heard of terrible corruption and incompetence we’ve heard of the Nigerian government are really true, or whether this is all just White House/leftist media spin to insure Obama gets the outcome he wants, a muslim government in a majority-Christian (and mostly Catholic) nation?]
To top it off, Simpson reports that Secretary of State John Kerry “made a mockery of the administration’s pretext by hinting in January meetings with both Jonathan and Buhari that the Obama administration might allow weapon sales after the election.”
If the U.S. was so concerned about human rights violations, how could a mere election change that? Given the perception that Buhari has Obama’s implicit support, this sends an unmistakable message.
The administration also rationalized its decision to cut purchases of Nigerian oil by claiming that output from domestic oil fracking has reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil. But that begs the question: why have U.S. oil imports from other nations increased at the same time? Nigeria was formerly among America’s top five oil supplying countries, and America its largest customer. Nigeria relies on oil revenues for 70 percent of its budget. America’s decision to look elsewhere has been catastrophic for Nigeria’s economy. [Hmmm…….not entirely sure about that. There is a tendency to want to purchase from Western Hemisphere sources. Usually the top five include Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. Still, even without the oil allegation, these are extremely damning revelations for Obama]
After turning to Russia and China to obtain arms, Nigeria was able to fight aggressively and on the offensive against Boko Haram.
At least 13,000 civilians dead in Nigeria since 2009 and the US looks the other way because Obama wants to put a progressive Muslim in power.
This article discusses this further Obama scandal in detail. It is amazing the degree to which we are kept in the dark by the leftist Obama-apologist media. Enormous scandals of huge international significance are consigned to the memory hole in order to protect Obama and serve his agenda. If this story is even only true in part, it should be an incredible scandal. Not that we need another one with this stuttering cluster@$%! of a malignant muslim traitor.
If this Republic fails, or has already, the “watchdog” media bears an enormous share of the blame, and perhaps should be considered as the formal, direct cause. People have elected amoral monsters like Obama because the media carefully sells a completely false image. Then again, maybe 50%+1 of people no longer even care about such things. It’s very tempting to just stand back and watch the collapse.
And the saddest thing is, almost certainly well over half the bishops and priests of this country voted for this guy twice and are still totally on board with him! As always, for the progressive, leftism is the real religion and anything else is just a sidelight.
Ewoks are real! March 27, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, huh?, non squitur, sickness, Society, Uncategorized.
To me, it looks like a jackrabbit cross-bred with a koala bear, but my kids thought it looks like an Ewok. Yes, it was at that moment that I realized George Lucas had completely lost his touch, and he never got it back. Funny thing is, little kids tend to like the prequels better. But of course, they’re little kids. I will probably go see the JJ Abrams sequels rolling out late this year, but I don’t hold out much hope. I thought he ruined Star Trek. And I hate CGI. It has always looked fake to me, and it ages horribly. Give me detailed models and slit scan techniques any day. No one can possibly improve on Kubrick!
Apparently it’s called “lli pika.” It supposedly lives in the mountains of western China/Tibet. Looks tasty.
I agree with a commenter’s idea that on the specific matter of helping end division among faithful Catholics, coordination with like-minded individuals is one of the first steps to take. Consider it done.
But on the broader matter of opposing the ongoing decline in the culture, boycotting corporations and especially charities that support egregiously amoral activities like anything related to Planned Barrenhood, sodo-marriage, and the like, is another relatively easy step to take. No, you don’t have to send a letter, and you certainly don’t have to avoid every company and charity on the list (available here, from Life Decisions International), but you could choose to stop shopping at this place or that to make a statement. For instance, even though I find Home Depot generally has superior product selection, because of their ardent support for sodo-marriage, I no longer shop there, but at Lowe’s. The point is not to make your life a nightmare of narrow choices and constant moral conundrums, the point is to to what you can.
As a way of helping, find below some of the major corporations and charities that are tied to grave immorality. First, the corporations:
Bank of America
Johnson and Johnson
Levis (one of the worst. I used to love Levi jeans but won’t have anything to do with them anymore)
Nike (another bad one)
Polo Ralph Lauren
Southwest Airlines (gives lots to Komen and Planned Barrenhood)
American Automobile Association
American Association of University Women (particularly egregious)
American Cancer Society
Boys and Girls Clubs
Council of Churches
Glaucoma Research Foundation
Human Rights Watch
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
League of Women Voters
March of Dimes
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Childhood Cancer Foundation
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
National Osteoporosis Foundation
National Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
Ronald McDonald House
Save the Children
Susan G. Komen
YWCA (neither are remotely Christian anymore)
More and more, as we also see in the Church, corporations and charities form a densely tangled web in which charities donate to each other, and corporations cross-pollinate their “charity” as well, and the whole thing becomes an impenetrable fog. It’s gotten to the point that the vast majority of charities wind up giving some money to Planned Barrenhood, either directly or through another agency like Komen. Other evil charities like the Human Rights Campaign similarly receive funds from a wide variety of other charities.
The above is not meant to beat you down. Take it for what you will. If it’s helpful to you, please, by all means, use the info above. There are many more less well known companies and charities also on the banned list at FightPlannedParenthood, but bear in mind, that’s only a partial list, because it only addresses those entities that fund PP. Others not on the list above fund many other evils (which is why I added Home Depot, they do not fund Planned Parenthood, directly, but they are big fans of sodomy, especially in San Fran and their Atlanta HQ). To me, it’s important to try to limit my business with the especially bad actors as much as possible, but I’m probably not going to change banks over the matter. But I won’t drink Starbucks, for about 200 reasons. As I said, whatever works best for you.
Hope the above helps!
So many people who come into the Church, or even those who have been raised in it but develop a particular fire of devotion, often feel that there is something missing. Something big, but undefinable. They often find that the Church whose beliefs they read about in a good catechism or that they see in old pictures is not the Church they experience on a daily basis. Something very significant has changed.
I think that sense of absence, of loss, is conveyed very well in a recent post at the Ignatius Press website, as relayed by Pertinacious Papist. It’s a lament for a Church that no longer seems to quite exist, and for a past, we are told over and over again, we can never return to. I found it quite moving. Perhaps you will, as well:
Eamon Duffy’s The Stripping of the Altars forced professional historians and casual readers alike to revise assessments of the Catholic religion in England in the years immediately preceding the Reformation:
If medieval religion was decadent, unpopular, or exhausted, the success of the Reformation hardly requires explanation. If, on the contrary, it was vigorous, adaptable, widely understood, and popular, then we have much yet to discover about the processes and the pace of reform.
In the almost six hundred pages following this observation, Duffy develops support for this thesis: that the Reformation in England was more of a revolution against a popular, widely-revered institution than an effort to reform something rife with problems and corruption. He can only build his case by reference to contemporary written accounts and a study of Church artistic works that somehow managed to survive state-sponsored efforts to obliterate the past. [And many of us feel that what happened in the mid-20th century was another revolution against the Church, from within]
The Tudor and Puritan road he guides his readers down is littered with burnt books, defaced statues, destroyed altar screens, and melted down church vessels. Destroy the artistic creations and traditions of an age, and when the last person who remembers it dies, a world dies also. This is where the road ends.
In our own time, those of us old enough to remember the Catholic Church as it was prior to Vatican II are also living with an obliterated past on a road marked ‘Dead End’. Inevitably, as the days move along, we are a vanishing breed on an all but forgotten journey. [Not forgotten. Some of us who were not even alive then are striving to remember and keep that Church alive]
These days much is made of the Catholicity of celebrated writers Chesterton, Tolkien, and Waugh. The latter two lived long enough to experience firsthand changes wrought by Vatican II, and both railed against them. (Details are at hand in the Ignatius Press edition of A Bitter Trial.) Tolkien and Waugh would never again feel at home in the Church. G. K.’s childhood memory of successful businessmen, bankers, and shop clerks falling to their knees as Cardinal Manning passed by along Kensington High Street seems to come from a world other than this one. G. K.’s old nemesis, George Bernard Shaw, might think the Church has become a bit more palatable, but what would G. K. himself think? Given his sense of humor, he might have somehow managed whereas Belloc—had he lived to see the day—would have blown a fuse.
Tolkien is said to have been dismayed by the exiling of Latin to what would become in our time a liturgical antique shop. Pope Francis the other day spoke approvingly of the vernacular replacing it. Pope Francis knows more languages than I do, but Tolkien, who understood Old English well enough to translate Beowulf, was irate. At times I myself am not even sure what to make of the English version, let alone the German or the Polish, which I do not grasp at all. From the current Psalm translations, O Lord, deliver us!
Complaints in this vein are now seen as coming from the make-believe world of annoying and tiresome fuddy-duddies. It has not taken long to obliterate a world where liturgical Latin could flourish. And there is no going back, except in memory. Eamon Duffy understands this. The last sentence of The Stripping of the Altars sounds a mournful note. [See my final comments below. I am not quite as hopeless as this, but I do fear the Church cannot go home again, and even a “restored” Faith of the future will be in many significant ways different from that of the past.]
I would argue that much the same was true of the farmer, the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick-maker of my time. You did not have to be a Jesuit to know what was going on in an age when—by the way—not everyone at Sunday Mass trooped forward to receive communion. (Barely a majority did.) Share that fact with someone today, and mention fasting from midnight; the smell of tuna fish sandwiches for breakfast in your classroom after ‘First Friday’ Masses, etc.
With respect to the past, we are all ‘cafeteria Catholics’. [Interesting, and disturbing point. I fear he is right. Even as Catholics striving to be faithful, it is very difficult to reformulate the Catholic existence of the past into our own lives in this present time, so cut off, even if only by 50 years!, from a Church that no longer exists]]
Tell someone you fondly remember Pope Pius XII from an age when pontiffs were not expected to smile like beauty queens. Attempt to explain why he is your favorite pope. Mention the Marian Year while you are at it. Describe his serious, ascetic demeanor. As likely as not, your listener will bring up the Nazis.
To adapt a line from the novelist L. P. Hartley, “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”
The one thing I will add, the one bit of disagreement I have with the notion of irreparable loss, is the fact that that past is still available in little pockets, here and there. I feel the author must not have access to the TLM, or even more, a traditional community. But I do recognize that even these pockets are unable to recreate in full that glorious past. People try, we hopefully all try, but we have to recognize that we are isolated geographically, historically, and culturally from the full vibrancy of the Church that was. Experiences vary from location to location and community to community, but being as isolated as we are, there are surely gaps. For one thing, we are at best islands in a hostile culture and, even more, a frequently hostile Church. We no longer have the whole Catholic culture surrounding us, as it used to be, though never very fully in this country. Unable to draw on past experience, what we are able to create is necessarily limited, though I pray not stunted and deformed. That is the greatest tragedy of the collapse of Christendom and the Church’s voluntary retreat from her historic role……something that was centuries in the making can be lost literally overnight, and it will take literally centuries to build it back up again……..if it can be. I fear you cannot go home again, and even if the Church does regain some semblance of her historic and God-given role, it will be necessarily be quite different from the Church that was. That may not necessarily be a bad thing, but, then again, it could. It all depends on who ultimately wins the struggle for the Church, and how complete their victory is.
Phil Robertson of the Duck Dynasty TV series has landed in hot water again after making comments offensive to the dominant leftist orthodoxy. I’m not particular fan of Robertson’s and I’ve never seen the show he’s on, but I do think the media’s reaction is very telling. While I find Robertson’s comments rather crude (but, hey, look at the dude), I think they are actually a cogent criticism of the moral relativism inherent in today’s atheist sexular pagan orthodoxy. See if you agree, below are Robinson’s comments:
I’ll make a bet with you. Two guys break into an atheist’s home. He has a little atheist wife and two little atheist daughters. Two guys break into his home and tie him up in a chair and gag him. And then they take his two daughters in front of him and rape both of them and then shoot them and they take his wife and then decapitate her head off in front of him. And they can look at him and say, ‘Isn’t it great that I don’t have to worry about being judged? Isn’t it great that there’s nothing wrong with this? There’s no right or wrong, now is it dude?’
Then you take a sharp knife and take his manhood and hold it in front of him and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be something if this [sic] was something wrong with this? But you’re the one who says there is no God, there’s no right, there’s no wrong, so we’re just having fun. We’re sick in the head, have a nice day.’
If it happened to them, they probably would say, ‘Something about this just ain’t right.’
Now many in the media, including a right-wing secular atheist blogger I like somewhat, Ace of Spades, are portraying this as a hideous revenge fantasy, wherein all of Robertson’s anti-Christian boogeymen get their comeuppance. I don’t think that’s it at all. I think Robertson is arguing, in a ghastly way (possibly intended to make a point), that when a culture abandons any external moral reference in the form of an absolute source of truth (in the case of Christendom, the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Faith that created Christendom/Western culture in the first place), there are no limits to the depravity to which it will sink. Robertson is saying the atheist really has no morality left to appeal to in the horrifying hypothetical he posited, since they have very successfully destroyed the Christian God as the source of morality for our culture, at least insofar as the elites are concerned. In fact, Robertson makes the evil that inevitably results when a culture detaches itself from a transcendent source of Truth very clear in a follow-up comment:
I gave you four ideologies in the last one hundred years, I see a pattern. You say, ‘why do they do what they do, why is there always murder?’ You know what the scary thing is? The fifth ideology right in behind all of this bunch of stuff we’re dealing with now, has its roots in the United States of America? You know how many they’ve killed? You say, ‘who are they?’ People call them left-wing loons, Bill O’Reilly calls them, political correct crowd, orthodox liberal opinion. You say, ‘what are they famous for?’ They’ve killed 63 million of their own children. 63 million. More than Hitler, more than Stalin. We’re slaughtering ourselves. You say, ‘who is behind it?’ Their father is, he was a murderer, from the beginning, they are slaves to sin, they are controlled by the Evil One. Duh.
This is really a deep and stinging criticism. I am impressed with Robertson’s depth – he has correctly diagnosed that the cultural detachment from Christian truth has led, inexorably, to the deaths of 63 million babies in this country alone, and a billion and a half across the world. Abortion only became legal in countries as they abandoned Christianity. Thus, it first became legal in the Soviet Union, then in northern Europe, then most of western Europe, then North America, and today the front is Central and South America. In every case, abortion did not become legalized until the governing elites had deliberately abandoned their Christian heritage, and also, decisively veered toward the left of the political-cultural spectrum. I think Robertson has elicited such a vehement reaction, because he has drawn back the veil that shows the secret, hidden evils leftism must not just permit, but encourage, in order to satisfy its ever increasing appetite for power and control.
The great bargain leftism demands of its subjects is this: you give us total control over every other aspect of life, and we’ll give you totally unchecked sexual hedonism. But since such hedonism invariably results in a number of evils: abortion, destruction of the family, children tortured by divorce, etc….all those things have to be kept carefully swept under the rug. Leftism cannot stand to have the veil lifted. And thus, the reaction, which has been even more ferocious than in his comments from last year.
I’ve got to say, having read a number of comments from Mr. Robertson, while he’s rough as a cobb, his beliefs are probably more Catholic than a great majority of those who bear that sacred name today. He does spout some evangelical nonsense, it is true, but on the moral issues, he is practically Catholic. And, as I said before, I am impressed with his depth. He may look like a backwoods cracker hick, but he’s actually a deep-thinking and quite intelligent man.
The interesting thing to me, is that our media has grown so shallow and insular they are incapable of seeing the broader moral argument being made here. Not a single mainstream secular media source covering this story has managed to escape their leftist bubble and give these statements even a reasonable hearing. Now, of course, they have a powerful motivation (their own commitment to the leftist cause) to do just that, but I think even more, they are so cut off from Christianity, it is so alien and hostile to them, they are not even capable of imagining these comments in a positive light. And that likelihood should give us pause as Catholics, and move us to recognize that we are truly strangers in a strange land, visitors in our own homes. There can be no reconciliation with elements both so hostile towards, and uncomprehending of, everything we hold dear.
Which only points up what an utter fallacy the entire notion of aggiornamento has always been. But that’s probably meat for another post.
Claims that the US suffers from a terrible shortage of scientists and engineers are utter garbage March 25, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, disaster, disconcerting, non squitur, rank stupidity, scandals, self-serving, silliness, Society, technology.
I have worked in telecommunications for almost 19 years. Where I work is still kind of sorta called “the telecom corridor.” 15 years ago, that moniker made sense, as over 80,000 jobs directly or indirectly related to telecom existed in the Richardson/Plano area at that time. But today, that number is down to about 7,000 – that’s right, over 90% of the telecommunications jobs have been lost in the past 15 years. I know many, many former engineers who are now working jobs that pay pennies on the dollar compared to their former salaries. Tens of thousands either moved away or simply never worked in engineering again.
Where did all these jobs go? Some simply disappeared forever, when giants like Nortel and MCI simply ceased to exist. But many others were transferred overseas, where replacements are paid 25-35% of their American counterparts, and with no expensive benefits. The fact that many companies have had very unhappy experiences, including poor design, bad quality, lack of communication, corporate theft on a massive scale (esp. in China), and higher than expected expenses has not prevented many from continuing in their commitment to off-shoring jobs. Even more, many other positions have been given to foreigners living in the United States under the H-1B visa program, making similarly low salaries.
Telecom is hardly alone. Other towns and other industries have seen similar implosions. The US continues to hemorrhage manufacturing and the associated engineering positions. Long-term, this is gravely wounding the US economy, as “services” only go so far, and true wealth is really generated by manufacturing and trade (one reason why the US has run such long term deficits).
When I saw that high-tech industry leaders were once again, then, pushing for more H-1B visas, I was rather nonplussed. But what really gets my gourd is the lie routinely told by these executives, who were once engineers themselves before they became such high flyers. The lie is a lie of omission. You’ve heard the phrase, but you rarely hear it finished. The lie is this: “the US has a great shortage of scientists and engineers.” The real statement is: “the US has a great shortage of scientists and engineers willing to work at the wages we would like to pay them, 18-45k per year.”
Anyway, here’s the latest corporate propaganda from hyper-rich billionaires, who just totes swearz they can’t make a dime without bringing in more cheap foreign labor, who will then take the talents and skills (and perhaps corporate IP or even classified materials) back to their home country:
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, believes passionately that the United States needs more skilled foreign workers. He has long advocated increasing the number of so-called H-1B visas, which allow those workers to come to the U.S. for several years and, in many cases, work for lower wages than current employees. Schmidt is frustrated that Congress hasn’t done as he and other tech moguls want.
“In the long list of stupid policies of the U.S. government, I think our attitude toward immigration has got to be near the top,” Schmidt said during an appearance this week at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “Everyone actually agrees that there should be more H-1B visas in order to create more tech, more science, more analytical jobs. Everyone agrees, in both parties.” [You mean, everyone agrees, among the hyper-rich corporate titans. I doubt even many of your own employees agree, Mr. Schmidt.]
The Eric Schmidt pleading for more foreign workers is the same Eric Schmidt who boasts of turning away thousands upon thousands of job seekers who apply for a few prized positions at Google. For example, at an appearance in Cleveland last October to promote his book, How Google Works, Schmidt explained that his company receives at least 1,000 applications for every job opening. “The good news is that we have computers to do the initial vetting,” Schmidt explained, according to an account in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Other tech leaders join Schmidt in calling for more foreign workers. Some companies are actually lobbying for more H-1Bs and laying off American staff at the same time. For example, last year Microsoft announced the layoff of 18,000 people at the very moment it was pushing Congress for more guest worker visas.
Given all that, there’s not quite the unanimous agreement on the need for more foreign workers that Schmidt claims. At a hearing this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a number of experts testified that the H-1B program, so sought-after by CEOs, is being abused to harm American workers. [Duh]
Ron Hira, a Howard University professor and author of the book Outsourcing America, told the story of Southern California Edison, which recently got rid of 500 IT employees and replaced them with a smaller force of lower-paid workers brought in from overseas through the H-1B program. The original employees were making an average of about $110,000 a year, Hira testified; the replacements were brought to Southern California Edison by outsourcing firms that pay an average of between $65,000 and $75,000.
“To add insult to injury,” Hira said, “SCE forced its American workers to train their H-1B replacements as a condition of receiving their severance packages.” [That’s very common. It did not apply to me as a mechanical engineer, but most of the hardware and software engineers at Cisco had to train their Indian replacements when we got laid off at the end of 2005. Cisco is now of course basically a footnote in the telecom industry, after spending over $10 billion trying to buy their way to a position of dominance. CEO John Chambers has, of course, kept his job throughout.]
Hira testified that such situations are not unusual. And on the larger issue of whether there is, as many tech executives claim, a critical shortage of labor in what are called the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — another professor, Hal Salzman of Rutgers, testified that the shortage simply does not exist.
“The U.S. supply of top-performing graduates is large and far exceeds the hiring needs of the STEM industries, with only one of every two STEM graduates finding a STEM job,” Salzman testified. “The guest worker supply is very large [and] it is highly concentrated in the IT industry, leading to both stagnant wages and job insecurity.” [Yep. I saved this for now. I personally know a good number of young engineering and science graduates who have either not been able to find a job in their field at all, have had to take lower-paid positions they are overqualified for, or have to work as contract and not direct-hire, that is, with no benefits. Heck, 21 years ago I had a heckuva time finding a job out of college and it took two and half years of working really crappy, low-paid jobs before I finally built up enough experience to land a good one.]
The hearing also featured Jay Palmer, a former Infosys project manager who blew the whistle on a case in which the big outsourcing firm paid $34 million in fines for worker visa violations. “I watched this on a daily basis,” Palmer told the Judiciary Committee. “I sat in the offices in meetings with companies that displaced American workers only because the Americans who had been there 15 or 20 years were being paid too much money.”
That’s the main thing. CEOs getting paid $50 million per year really object to workers vital to the corporation’s success making $120k a year. All those darn “high priced” employees keep them from getting their next $20 million bonus. Can’t have that. So out they go.
Yes I’m being surprisingly populist, but I’ve also been one of a tiny handful able to remain in telecom lo these many years, but only by remaining at a company where the threat (and enactment of) layoffs has been constant for the past 7 years. We’re about to have another one. Meanwhile, we staff up in India, even though we often have to completely redo Indian projects, so problematic are they.
Look, I get that corporations have to make a profit and sometimes times are rough. But I also know that my own $1 billion a year company is being bled white by AT&T and Verizon, and each of those companies, supposedly so broke they cannot possibly pay us even what our equipment costs, somehow managed to find enough dimes and nickels in their corporate couch cushions to make $14 and $20 billion, respectively, in profit last year. That was 10% and 15%, respectively, on overall sales. Not too bad. And I am not exaggerating that they have worked such a duopoly that they are refusing to pay even cost for most equipment, and not just from us, but from all major equipment providers, including Alcatel Lucent and Ciena. Almost all major telecom equipment providers are in a state of decline if not collapse, and that will only leave the door open, eventually, to a critical national security-related industry to be dominated by foreign concerns. Yet, AT&T and Verizon just keep maintaining they simply don’t have enough money to pay any more than they do for the equipment vital to their industrial infrastructure.
I really do not advise young people to get into design engineering today. Some kinds of engineering are likely to have a bright future: civil, environmental, for two, along with anything government related. Heck, working for the government is probably the best thing a young person looking for a well-paid career with fringe benefits and long term stability can do. But most disciplines, and especially design, are going to be in continual decline. I think I will be very lucky to continue full time employment into my mid-50s. I can see the handwriting on the wall, and the steadily diminishing opportunities.
Sorry for the segue into non sequitur personal matters.
I’m certain virtually every reader has by now heard about or read the latest claims of the geriatric Italian militant atheist Eugenio Scalfari, reporting in the Italian daily La Repubblica ~10 days ago the results of a recent interview he conducted with the Pope. As per his normal habit, Scalfari took no notes and used no recording device, so his reconstruction of events is based totally on memory. Bear in mind, this man is 90 years old, and he has a severe ax to grind as a militant atheist.
Having said that, his reported comments have not been rebutted or rationalized in any way by the Vatican. They have been allowed to stand as is, causing untold scandal and confusion. As reported by Rorate and other sites, Scalfari reports the Pope as saying this:
What about those with no faith? The answer is that if one has loved others at least as much as himself, (possibly a little more than self) the Father will welcome him. Faith is of help but that is not the element of the one who judges – it’s life itself. Sin and repentance are part of life [and include]: remorse, a sense of guilt, a desire for redemption and the abandonment of egoism.
Those who have had the fortune of meeting Pope Francis, know that egoism is the most dangerous enemy of our species. Animals are egoistic because they are prey to their own instincts, the main one being their own survival. On the other hand, man is moved also by conviviality and so feels love for others, and for the survival of the species to which he belongs. If egoism overpowers and suffocates his love for others, it darkens the divine spark within him and he is self-condemned.
What happens to that lifeless soul? Will it be punished? How?
Francis’ answer is very clear: there is no punishment, but the annihilation of that soul. All the others will participate in the bliss of living in the presence of the Father. The annihilated souls will not be part of that banquet; with the death of the body their journey is ended and this is the basis for the missionary work in the Church: to save the lost souls. And this is also the reason why Francis is a Jesuit to the core.
What to make of this? That Scalfari is communicating the grossest errors and condemned heresies should be obvious. What to make of the fact that the Vatican has, to date, made no correction or explanation?
As for the errors, Dallas-based theology Professor Christopher Malloy shares the following (Malloy is what you could call a Thomist):
First, “If one has loved others at least as much as himself… the Father will welcome him.” Well the statement is totally ambiguous. The condition of salvation is to die in grace. No one who dies without sanctifying grace in his soul is saved. Period. This grace entails, as its proper effect, a habitual orientation to love God out of charity for his own sake, and in consequence to love the self and the neighbor in God. Now, love is always oriented to a good……. In short, loving my neighbor “more” than myself or “at least as much” does not identify the proper condition of salvation. In fact, outstanding doctors of theology state that I have a duty to love myself more than my neighbor. That is right, more. They say the order of love is as follows: Love God first of all, your own soul next, your neighbor’s soul next, your neighbor’s body next, and your own body last. That would be the proper order of a loving mother for her children. And why self love in terms of spiritual goods first? Because I do not will my neighbor to have a good unless I appreciate, love, that good too. Moreover, unless I love God and love my loving God, I would not consider it a value to will for my neighbor. Hence, good love of neighbor requires good love of self. In sum, Unless I love my neighbor in God, and because of God, I cannot get into heaven.
Second, charity cannot exist without faith. So, if I am not a believer, I cannot have the charity I need to have be saved. I must be converted to the one true God in faith in order to have charity so as to please him. Heb 11. [I would describe this, in my clumsy, amateur way, as the difference between natural love and supernatural love flowing from Grace. Sure those with no faith in Jesus Christ can love, but their love is a natural love and not connected to sanctifying Grace. Their love also has the propensity to be highly disordered and prurient, because it does not flow from a love of God]
……Fourth, “There is no punishment but only annihilation”. This is heresy. Everyone who dies without sanctifying grace goes straight to hell. And the soul cannot be punished in hell if it doesn’t exist. Whoever says the opposite states heresy. [Dang skippy. I pray Scalfari completely butchered what the Pope said in that regard. Otherwise, it would make the Pope’s many references to satan and demons farcical.]
Scalfari is leading people away from the truth of Catholic faith. It is lamentable that he carries on like this without being rebuked.
I saved a bit there at the link. Go check it out.
I, for one, am thrilled to find a blog from a traditional Thomist and co-parishioner who is a formally trained theologian. That’ll be going in the blogroll.
If you want still another take, check out Pat Archbold’s column here.
Pope Francis named Juan Barros as Bishop of the Diocese of Osorno in Chile earlier this year. Just this past weekend was the consecration Mass. There has been scandal attached to this man for years, with repeated and well-documented claims he covered up years of sexual abuse of three men, one of whom currently resides in the United States. At the consecration Mass, it is reported that hundreds of protesters disrupted the proceedings:
Despite protests that ended with three people arrested, as well as a campaign asking the Vatican to revisit the decision, a Chilean bishop mentored by the country’s most notorious sex abuser priest took possession of his new diocese on Saturday.
The appointment by Pope Francis has led many observers to question the pontiff’s commitment to tackling the scandals of clerical sex abuse and hold those who stood by accountable for their inaction.
An estimated 4,000 people dressed in black as a sign of mourning gathered in front of the cathedral of the diocese of Osorno, Chile, to demand that Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, former military chaplain, not take possession.
A video of the event posted online shows the crowd throwing objects at the prelate, pushing him, and trying to stop him from entering St. Mathew’s Cathedral, despite strong security measures……
…….Requesting to remain unnamed because he has ties with the diocese, the person said that while Barros was celebrating the Mass, many kept screaming “Pedophile!” and “Get out!” The situation escalated to the point that the celebration had to be cut short, skipping the homily, Communion, and other parts of the liturgy.[Wow. So was it valid? That’s so totally unfortunate]
[The root of the protests]……Since Barros’s appointment was announced last January, it has been criticized by elements of the local community because of ties Barros had with the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a priest the Vatican condemned in 2011 to a life of “solitude and prayer” after being found guilty of sexually abusing several devoted followers during the 1980s and the 1990s.
Three of Karadima’s victims, Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton, and José Andrés Murillo, have accused four Chilean prelates, including Barros, of covering up for Karadima and of being present while he abused them.
I am far from clear that the protesters are necessarily faithful Catholics. They may be, in part, but they may also be secular opponents of the Church seeking to stir up mess.
Having said that, Vox Cantoris has followed the reports more than I have and he is clear that this episcopal appointment is disgraceful, and quite contrary to the rhetoric we hear about being close to the sheep and all that:
Only days after stripping the disgraced pervert Cardinal, Keith O’Brien of his title and power and sending him to retire quietly in a £200,000 cottage, Pope Francis; amidst the outrage of the people of the Diocese of Osorno in Chile has permitted another bishop to take his Cathedra – a man implicated in the scandal of sodomy and perversion and the abuse of three men from the time they were boys. Is this to be considered another “who am I to judge” episode as with Msgr. Ricca appointed to a high position within the Vatican Bank? If so, then the definition of scandal has been forgotten along with a real understanding of mercy for those victimized by the evil and perverted pederasts who performed abominable acts upon young boys of teenaged years…….
…….Since this appointment was announced in January, Chileans have been outraged. Crux further reports that “The Archbishop of Concepción, Fernando Chomalí, met with the Pope a few weeks ago and warned him that the Barros appointment was causing consternation in Chile, not only in the community of Osorno, but throughout the country. Pope Francis admitted to knowing the suffering of the victims of Karadima and the damage to the Chilean church. However — despite everything — the Pope, through the Nuncio in Chile, Ivo Scapolo, reconfirmed Barros without considering the facts and warnings of so many people, including priests and bishops. With pain we see that the faithful will have to accept and deal with Pope Francis’ decision. A pain and fear we know too well.”
Yet, Pope Francis still proceeded in spite of the warning. This is a scandal to the people of Osorno; it is a scandal and an insult to the three victims assaulted by a homosexual pederast priest whilst the then Fr. Juan Barros, watched. [And, it is claimed, did nothing to stop it]
……The Pope must be accountable for this; not just to Almighty God, but to the smelly sheep in the periphery.
As I stated in an interview with “From Rome” – Let us not, as Catholics, give an exaggerated status to any pope along the lines of what our protestant friends think – an infallibility without respect for the Gospel, which he does not possess. The First Vatican Council defined it very clearly.
All the talk of mercy, thumbs up photographs and the washing of feet and the daily media spin from the manipulators in the Vatican Press Office won’t fix this. The Pope himself is responsible for this and there is no spinning out of it.
It is a disgrace to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church.
In their dictatorship of mercy and condemnation of the Law and those who try to live by it some appear to have forgotten who is in charge.
Sheesh, truly a mess. At the very least, the pronouncement sounds quite tone deaf. Surely there were other candidates for the position? Reading between the lines a bit, it seems the papal nuncio to Chile made this a hill he was willing to die on. He really insisted upon this appointment. I really have no idea why.
This Diocese, by the way, is tiny. It has 35 priests! Shoot, Clear Creek may have that many in a few years. I have seen some contradictory reports that the bishop was either opposed by over half the priests in the Diocese, or supported by them, but it seems clear there is division among the priests there, too.
I guess the broader question is……given the scandals that have so afflicted the Church with regard to perverse, abusive priests, and given that we know there are still many of these priests (perverse, possibly not abusers of children) in circulation……..should not the Vatican err decisively on the side of caution and insure that no priest with even a hint of this kind of scandal is ever promoted to the episcopate?
Do you think this appointment represents a backing away from Pope Benedict’s very strong, unyielding stand against priest sex abusers? It’s hard for me to discern at this point, it could be a one off anomaly, or I suppose this Barros could be innocent, but is not discretion the better part of valor? Was this really a necessary appointment to make, given the wound and scandal it is causing? Should we see more mass action of this kind by faithful Catholics to scandal in the Church?
I pray this is not a return to the really bad old days of episcopal appointments.
I’ve got to agree with most everything said in the video below. The only question it left me with was whether asking for our Church back is the right response, or is it simply to take it back, without “asking?” No, I’m not entirely sure what that means, either.
The video below came out on Saturday, but I didn’t get around to watching it until last night. So, to some it may have seemed that posts yesterday were just singing this same tune, but I was ignorant of the similarities in argument. Having said that, I’m very glad to see the similarity in opinion displayed below. I also feel the bit of exasperation with trying to appease all the different factions among faithful/orthodox/traditional Catholics, an impossible and frustrating task. You can’t do it, the only approach to take is a big tent, inviting in all people of good will who are willing to take part in the fight to restore the Faith. Excluding this group because they are not of my tribe or that person because, well, they aren’t on board with all my dogmatic prudential judgments…….as has been passionately argued in the comments of recent posts, good luck with that. I guess some folks would prefer their doctrinal purity to an improved shot at really aiding in the restoration of the Church:
You know, one thought that crosses my mind from time to time – I try to keep it out, but it likes to return – is whether some of these folks who seem to have a bit of addiction to rageohol and the excoriation of foreign tribes don’t really rather prefer the Remnant, whatever that means to them, to be small, and for there to be essentially no earthly chance to restore the Faith. I pray that’s never the case with anyone, but sometimes I see such closed mindedness it really seems hard to just explain as adherence to some ideological position. Then again, ideology is an incredibly powerful thing, as Pope Francis frequently reminds us.
Video is probably old for most folks so I won’t load it up with a bunch of commentary, other than to say it’s very, very good and I am gratified that there are very good, dedicated souls out there who seem to agree with my overarching point of view.
Yes, in other words, it’s all about yay me! But that’s what you come here for, no?