Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Conciliar Church and the Kennedy Funeral

By: Dr. J. P. Hubert

Subsequent to the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, many Traditional Catholic commentators have opined about the unsightly scene in Boston’s Mission Church where Cardinal Archbishop Sean O’Malley officiated at the late Senator’s funeral Mass. Others complained about the highly visible presence of retired Cardinal Theodore Mc Carrick of Washington D. C. who led the grave-side ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. The obvious question was; would their presence not be taken as Catholic Church approval of the Senator’s many anti-Catholic views. MORE...

Democracy is Dead ... Lobbyists Rule America

by Paul B. Farrell

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. -- Democracy dead? Lobbyists ruling America? Lobbyists the new "Unseen Hand" of capitalism? Sadly yes.

And here's why: Ask any neuroeconomist, behavioral-finance quant, investment psychologist or other practitioner of the mysterious "science of irrationality" and they'll tell you that Americans have two self-sabotaging mental biases that killed democracy from within: "Denial" and "Magical Thinking" make us easy targets. Our brains are being manipulated by clandestine forces beyond our control. We can't see them or resist.

Yet we refuse to believe in this new Orwellian America. We prefer the world of magic, myth and illusion.

Yes, folks, democracy is dead. Oh, the illusion will be kept alive in our history books, in the rhetoric of politicians, in the manipulated minds of America's 95 million Main Street investors. The propaganda machine works. Like a child's fairy tale, democracy has been deeply imbedded in our brains for decades; we prefer believing old, familiar stories. They comfort us, even when no longer true. The real democracy, what so many fought and died for since 1776, is dead.

Lobbyists now run America, own America, rule America. Forget the 537 politicians you thought we elected to the White House, Senate and Congress to run America for us. No, they're mere puppets, pawns for the "Happy Conspiracy," an oligopoly, plutocracy, cabal, monopoly all-in-one -- a private club of America's richest few on Wall Street, in Washington and in Corporate America.

Voters and elections are irrelevant. Lobbyists decide what's in the best interests of this elite club. The usual suspects? Try the Forbes 400.

Last year Michael Barone wrote a "Defense of Lobbyists" in U.S. News & World Report: "Lobbying is as American as apple pie, going back to the colonies." How naïve, how in denial.

He obviously missed reading Bob Kaiser's brilliant 25-part series in the Washington Post a couple years earlier, on "how lobbying became Washington's biggest business." Turns out that modern lobbying actually began in the mid-1970s with the innovative "earmarked appropriations, federal funds directed by Congress to private institutions when no federal agency had proposed spending the money."

Kaiser expanded the series to: "So Damn Much Money: The Triumph of Lobbying and the Corrosion of American Government." In just three decades, Washington has earmarked hundreds of billions thanks to lobbyists peddling influence bribes to buy Washington votes.

After all, the cost of a Senate race has exploded from $437,000 to $7.9 million. So lobbyists shovel millions to friendly senators, like Connecticut Democrat Christopher Dodd and Alabama Republican Richard Shelby.

Lobbyists love spending your tax dollars

In another example of lobbyists stealing taxpayer dollars Kaiser tells how "last fall the House of Representatives set off a sudden collapse of the stock market by voting against the first version of the bailout legislation that had been hurriedly written to try to stabilize American banks and other financial institutions." Lobbyists then "scrambled to change the legislation in ways that would win support for it from a majority of Congressmen."

How? Simple: Within just days they manipulated Congress to throw in more taxpayer cash. "Sweeteners" included excise-tax rebates for Puerto Rican rum. tax breaks for stock-car-track owners, tax breaks for Hollywood movies made in the USA and lots more. So "days after rejecting the $750 billion bailout, the House approved it."

Why so easy? There's a huge, highly paid army of mercenary lobbyists in Washington. Registered lobbyists may be 42,000 versus a mere 537 elected officials. American University political scientist James Thurber says there are actually 261,000 members of the "influence-lobbying complex" running your government. Many are former congressmen, senators and staffers. Others are ad hoc mercenaries, like the 350 hired by the GOP just to kill health-care reforms at a cost over a million bucks a day.

Another example: Former Senate leader Tom Daschle is not registered, yet has emerged as a key go-between for Obama and health-care insurers, a perfect example of how Obama's $9 trillion programs have fueled an explosion of influence peddlers. Daschle told the New York Times he sees no conflicts, although he's highly paid by insurers. He calls himself a neutral "resource."

This anti-democracy trend was recently exposed in a BusinessWeek piece, "Don't Call Them Lobbyists," where we see this industry rebranding itself as cooperators, as "special policy advisors," "crisis managers" and "strategic planners." Reminds us of that fairy tale about a "wolf in sheep's clothing" guarding the hen house.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans will never hear about all the day-to-day shenanigans: The buying, selling and bartering of sweeteners, earmarks, votes and senatorial seats. Most of the behind-the-scenes deals never cross the radar of Middle America.

Most voters are destined to live in denial, trapped in mind-numbing illusions replaying over and over as they sit passively, dazed. Or they angrily feed their macho delusions of power at town-hall meetings, carrying AK-47s, convinced that grandma will be sacrificed by one of Obama's death panels. Either way, they aimlessly drift, unaware of how lobbyists rule America, how lobbyists help the "Happy Conspiracy" rob them blind.

Sinking sensation ... democracy is rigged

Still, we feel it. As Frank Rich put it in the New York Times:

"What disturbs Americans of all ideological persuasions is the fear that almost everything, not just government, is fixed or manipulated by some powerful hidden hand." This pervasive public "mood isn't just about the banks, Public Enemy No. 1. What the Great Recession has crystallized is a larger syndrome that Obama tapped into during the campaign. It's the sinking sensation that the American game is rigged, that, as the president typically put it a month after his inauguration, the system is in hock to 'the interests of powerful lobbyists or the wealthiest few' who have 'run Washington far too long.' He promised to smite them."

He can't. Why? Because like the rest of us, he's controlled by the new "Lobbyists Nation of America." Obama's now inside this "Happy Conspiracy," working with lobbyists like Daschle, all aggressively competing for their slice of a $9 trillion pie for rich clients ... as taxpayers sail the good ship "American Titanic Deficits" into a huge iceberg, dead ahead.

Stop kidding yourself. Wake up, you're in denial, in fantasy world, dreaming of a new "American Democracy." Wrong, you no longer live in a democracy. Lobbyists run Washington. They even have their own greed-driven operating rules guiding members working inside "Washington's biggest business."

Here are some of the principles in the Manifesto of this new "Lobbyist Nation of America." This is real behavioral economics in action:

Manifesto: 'Lobbyists Nation of America' 16 Principles

1. Lobbyists destined to fill a void left by democracy's failings. Voters are irrational, cannot be trusted to act without guidance from lobbyists.
2. Lobbyists are the new behavioral nudgers guiding America. Forget behavioral scientists, special interest lobbyists will do the real nudging.
3. Lobbyists must nudge voters to elect "friendly" politicians. Lobbyists must invest millions to elect officials favorable to special interests.
4. Lobbyists are the new "unseen hand" of American Capitalism. Capitalism's new "unseen hand" is the enlightened deals of 261,000 lobbyists
5. Lobbyists will guide economic recovery for special interests. Congress, the president and regulators all have a price, find it and pay it.
6. Lobbyists protect special interests using taxpayer money. The wealthy will have ready access to the assets and credits of the Treasury.
7. Lobbyists amass extra capital anticipating a new meltdown. Plan ahead for the next recession by stockpiling benefits for your clients.
8. Lobbyists hire new blood directly from inside government. The contacts of senators and congressmen are worth millions to clients.
9. Lobbyists reward politicians, treat them like co-lobbyists. Everyone in Washington wants to get rich off big government, help them
10. Lobbyists must defeat programs unfavorable to clients. Programs that weaken the power of the rich must be aggressively defeated.
11. Lobbyist clients' interests come before public interest. Principles of fiduciary duty mean clients take precedence over public needs.
12. Lobbyists must defeat or gut financial literacy programs. Intelligent, informed investors undercut special interests; Kill the CFPA.
13. Lobbyists give traders access to commercial bank assets. Investment banks switched to get access to deposits for high-risk trading.
14. Lobbyists never help mortgagees and credit-card holders. Helping failing homeowners and card holders means less for bank insiders.
15. Lobbyists want cap-and-trade derivatives for a new bull market. America needs a new bubble, new bull -- global warming trades will do trick.
16. Lobbyists must reward the rich, eliminate the "death tax." Eliminating inheritance taxes assures continuity of wealthy gene po

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Death of Senator Kennedy: What Meaning for Catholics?

By: Dr. J. P. Hubert

The recent death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and its aftermath have been very instructive, especially for the world’s Roman Catholics, many of whom have become extremely confused by the response of several high-ranking U.S. prelates.[1] In the interest of fairness and complete candor, it is necessary to state clearly that Senator Kennedy was simultaneously a notorious and public denier of the Traditional Roman Catholic faith[2] and yet a defender at the same time of some of the Church’s most important teachings in the areas of Social Justice and Christian Charity.

In the days surrounding his demise, celebratory wake at the J. F. K Library and the funeral Mass at Boston’s Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, (known as the Mission Church) nothing but laudatory comments were heard from friends, relatives, colleagues and the elite media. This is to be expected in that it is generally thought to be in extremely poor taste to criticize the dead, especially if the person in question has been a member in good standing of the elite secular regime as is the case with Senator Kennedy.

Regaled as the last remaining member of the true liberal left the so-called “Lion of the Senate”, Mr. Kennedy was celebrated for his tremendously prolific contribution to key Congressional legislation over his 47 year career and his laudable personal concern for and interest in the plight of minorities, immigrant communities, the poor and disabled in the United States. There is no question that Senator Kennedy advocated forcefully for the “least of those among us” especially in the areas of publicly financed health care for all Americans, public education and equal public access for persons with disabilities etc. The question however is--were these initiatives truly based on Roman Catholic teaching in the areas of Social Justice and Christian Charity or were they the logical outgrowth of liberal political policies which Senator Kennedy embraced throughout his career?

While Christian Charity and Social Justice are important parts of Traditional Roman Catholicism in practice, they do not make up the entire body of relevant Catholic teaching where issues of public policy are concerned. There exists an entire corpus of Traditional Catholic teaching which is applicable to issues of public policy specifically the moral responsibility of any legitimate government to uphold the Natural (moral) Law and to further the “common good.” On careful analysis, Senator Kennedy’s actions in the areas of Christian Charity and Social Justice seem to have been less relevant to his religious commitments then they were to his leadership of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.

That his motivation was primarily political can be recognized in virtue of the fact that he was absolutely notorious in his rejection of Roman Catholic teaching in the areas of the sanctity of human life, the sanctity of (heterosexual) marriage, his support for abortion on demand including public financing of abortion and the particularly heinous partial birth abortion procedure, embryonic stem cell research, destructive human embryonic cloning for biomedical research, gay “rights” specifically same sex “marriage” and the codification in law of the “right” to engage in sodomy etc. All of these firmly held public policy positions were the very antithesis of a proper interpretation of the Natural Law and Traditional Roman Catholic teaching. The fact that Senator Kennedy despite claiming to be a Catholic in good standing could embrace these anti-Catholic views establishes beyond reasonable doubt to this writer that his fundamental underlying loyalty/predisposition was to political party and not to his self-professed religion.

Certainly, there was no one who so effectively championed the causes of the liberal left the way Senator Kennedy did. This was undoubtedly enhanced by his being highly motivated, and very likable and engaging on a personal level. For these attributes he should be celebrated by all true liberals. Many political moderates as well will also find much of Senator Kennedy’s legislative accomplishments to their liking such as the need in justice to provide a living wage and the necessity of providing frequent increases in the “cost of living” especially in benefit of the working poor.

On occasion even some conservatives could find themselves in agreement with the senator on issues such as the “no child left behind” legislation which he championed with former President George W. Bush and his life-long insistence that the United States should avoid wars of aggression[3]—a position which meant that he was virtually a “dove” throughout his entire career on the issue of war. Without doubt, this was an area where his secular political leanings coincided with the teachings of the Catholic Church with respect to the Just War Doctrine. However, since he rejected so much of Traditional Roman Catholic teaching, it is safe to say his consistent anti-war advocacy was also a function of his liberal political views rather than a foundational commitment to the Roman Catholic deposit of the faith.

The fact that Senator Kennedy appeared in some respects to be a good and faithful Traditional Catholic was extremely difficult to harmonize with his very forceful and public advocacy for positions which were contradictory of and antithetical to the faith. This no doubt bothered many Catholics and served as a way for non-Catholics to effectively ridicule the faith.[4] From the perspective of what is deducible on the basis of the public record, it is necessary to conclude that Senator Kennedy was not committed in any serious way to Traditional Catholicism—the faith of his mother Rose who he indicated was such an inspiration for him and his siblings. In the interest of upholding the dignity and reputation of Traditional Catholicism this is something which must simply be admitted lest it serve as the occasion of further scandal. This seemingly harsh judgment has nothing to do with the very public moral shortcomings of the Senator which assuming proper contrition, repentance and penance in combination with a public recanting of his un-Catholic views on social policy would have served as a magnificent testimony to the truth and power of the Catholic faith.

Unfortunately, we are left to wonder whether Senator Kennedy ever came to regret his tremendous influence and tireless work on behalf of so much evil and whether he confessed it sincerely in sacramental confession prior to his death—as seems to have been implied by the U.S. Catholic hierarchy—we can only hope and pray that he did. Rather however than serving as an occasion of clarification for the faithful, his death and burial have managed to further muddy the waters for serious Catholics who endeavor to understand the requirements of their faith and to live by them completely and consistently.

For a different view, see THIS...


1. Retired Theodore Cardinal Mc Carrick of Washington D.C. who officiated at the graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston, Sean O’Malley who presided at the funeral Mass at the Mission Church through their very presence served to legitimate Senator Kennedy’s aberrant and decidedly anti-Traditional Catholic views on highly visible moral issues which have been truly infamous and a source of great scandal for the faithful.
2. His advocacy of abortion “rights”, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning for biomedical research, and same sex marriage laws etc. placed him clearly outside the Traditional Roman Catholic Church’s teaching. As far as the public record is concerned, he never repudiated the above policy positions. If he did so privately in sacramental confession prior to his death--something we are led to believe happened based on the statements of his private Priest and Cardinal O'Malley that he obtained salvation--it is particularly tragic for faithful Catholics who would have been so positively influenced by a public recantation.
3. Paleoconservatives such as Patrick J. Buchanan largely reject foreign wars of aggression even though Neoconservatives largely favor them. Neoconservatism however is an aberration. It is not really conservative in any meaningful sense and shares a lineage with Marxism.
4. Those who otherwise might have accepted the principled Catholic position were left to conclude that since someone as prominent in public life as Senator Kennedy did not subscribe to Catholic Church teaching on these issues, the church was not credible or it would have reprimanded him publicly.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ted Kennedy funeral a "scandal"

Catholic Action League calls funeral a "scandal"

Updated: Monday, 31 Aug 2009, 7:19 AM EDT
Published : Saturday, 29 Aug 2009, 6:39 PM EDT

BOSTON (FOX25, myfoxboston) - A leading conservative Catholic lobbying group says Sen. Edward Kennedy's funeral Mass is evidence of corruption in the U.S. church, and called Kennedy "one of America's most notorious opponents of Catholic morality."

C. J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, said the funeral "a tragic example of the Church's willingness to surrender to the culture."

Doyle noted Kennedy supported abortion and gay rights -- both in opposition to church teachings. Doyle's organization lobbies on political and social issues.

President Barack Obama eulogized Kennedy at the funeral Saturday at the Mission Church in Boston, one of city's the most historic shrines. Cardinal Sean O'Malley led the final prayer.

Kennedy once said his Catholic faith was the greatest gift his mother ever gave to his family.

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts Released this Statement:

"The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts today decried the scandal which occurred this morning at Boston's most historic Catholic shrine --- the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, known as Mission Church --- where a Mass of Christian Burial was used to "celebrate the life" of one of America's most notorious opponents of Catholic morality, the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Senator Kennedy fought for more than three decades to keep the killing of pre-born children legal and unrestricted in the United States."

Surgical abortion has claimed more than fifty-one million human lives since 1973. The Catholic religion defines abortion as an "abominable crime".

President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy, in which he alluded to Kennedy's support for gay rights. One of the Prayers of the Faithful was a petition to end divisions "between gays and straights".

Ecclesial participants included Rev. Raymond Collins, Rector of the Basilica; Rev. Mark Hession, Kennedy's parish priest from Our Lady of Victories Church in Centerville on Cape Cod; Rev. J. Donald Monan, Chancellor of Boston College; and Sean Cardinal O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, who thanked President Obama for his words and his presence. Both the homilist, Fr. Hession, and Cardinal O'Malley suggested that the late senator had found eternal salvation.

The Catholic Action League called the event "a tragic example of the Church's willingness to surrender to the culture, and serve Caesar rather than Christ".

Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle stated: "Senator Kennedy supported legal abortion, partial-birth abortion, the public funding of Medicaid abortions, embryonic stem cell research, birth control, federal family planning programs, and so-called emergency contraception. He defended Roe v. Wade, endorsed the proposed Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), and opposed both the Human Life Amendment and the Hyde Amendment. Kennedy maintained a 100% rating from both NARAL and Planned Parenthood. In 1993, he received the Kenneth Edelin Award from Planned Parenthood, and in 2000 received the Champions of Choice Award from NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts at the hands of the same Dr. Kenneth Edelin, the infamous abortionist."

"During his 1994 reelection campaign, Kennedy said 'I wear as a badge of honor my opposition to the anti-choicers'. His successful obstruction of the nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 effectively prevented the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Beyond his specific positions on human life issues, Senator Kennedy, along with the late Congressman Robert Drinan, provided the cover and the example for two generations of Catholic politicians to defect from Church teaching on the sanctity of innocent human life."

"No rational person can reasonably be expected to take seriously Catholic opposition to abortion when a champion of the Culture of Death, who repeatedly betrayed the Faith of his baptism, is lauded and extolled by priests and prelates in a Marian basilica. This morning's spectacle is evidence of the corruption which pervades the Catholic Church in the United States. The right to life will never be recognized by secular society if it is not first vindicated and consistently upheld within the institutions of the Church itself."