Monthly Archives: July 2017

The hell with hell, wrote Pope Francis

Not in so many words, but what are we to make of this, from his apostolic exhortation In March of last year, Amoris Laetitia?

No one can be condemned for ever, be-
cause that is not the logic of the Gospel!

I had a column several decades past in National Catholic Reporter in which I (satirically) said Vatican Council 2 must have abolished mortal sin, because everyone was going to communion at mass, whereas before the council many held back, not having gone to confession.

I mentioned it to a Jesuit friend a few months ago, assuming he knew I was attempting satire, and he erupted in a responding email message, among other things saying he “could go to hell” himself.

It was a stunning reply in view of his clearly upright, indeed distinguished long life as a Jesuit, but he was deadly serious.

As for what Francis said about it as quoted above, it is unsurprisingly among “key doctrinal errors” from Amoris, cited by Matthew McCusker, Deputy International Director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, speaking at the Rome Life Forum on 6 May 2016. The above statement follows this from the same document, “The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone forever.”.

McCusker found it:

very difficult to make sense of these statements, because . . . it is precisely in the gospels that Our Lord Himself speaks many times about the possibility of men and women being condemned forever as a result of sin; “depart from me you cursed into the everlasting fire” he represents himself as saying on the day of judgment, “and these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.” (Mt 25:41, 46).

And, the Church, while always desiring and working for the conversion of sinners, nonetheless will refuse the sacraments indefinitely to those who fail to repent of grave sin.

It’s confusing, to say the least. Indeed four cardinals sent “dubia” (doubts) about this and other parts of Amoris to Francis, asking to meet with him — in the spirit of Paul “withstanding Peter to his face” in the matter of enforcing Jewish dietary and other laws on Gentile Christians — but Francis has not met with them and has not responded to their questions.

Lo the poor Democrat, wond’rin’, wond’rin’, wond’rin’ . . .

I’ll take this for a lede ‘graph, trusting you will too:

On climate change, Democrats believe they know to the 10th decimal place that Earth is on the brink of an apocalypse. But by their own admission this week, they don’t have a clue about which way the wind is blowing with the American voter.

Not for lack of trying, mind you . . .

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in Berryville, Va., July 24.

Why did we lose, why did we ever lose????

News Alert: The $90 billion man

And now he is the ruler — not of the queen’s nigh-vee — but of the Amazon Washington Post!

Just over two decades ago, Jeff Bezos started selling books online from his garage. Today, the Amazon CEO is the richest person on Earth.

Bezos’ net worth topped $90 billion on Thursday, allowing the Amazon founder and CEO to narrowly dethrone Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as the richest person in the world, according to Forbes and Bloomberg.

If Amazon stock holds steady through trading Thursday, Bezos will officially bump Gates, who has been No. 1 since 2013, from the the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

You too can be a Bezos, thanks to at least partially unfettered CAPITALISM!

Hard times coming for higher learning

Academics are bringing it on themselves, argues an academic.

As an academic, I am increasingly convinced that a mass defunding of public higher education is coming to an unprecedented degree and at an unprecedented scale. People enjoy telling me that this has already occurred — that state support of our public universities has already declined precipitously. But things can always get worse, much worse.

And given the endless controversies on college campuses in which conservative speakers get shut out and conservative students feel silenced, the public relations work is being done for the enemies of public education by those within the institutions themselves.

Who’s to blame for the fact that so few Republicans see the value in universities? The conservative media must accept some responsibility for encouraging its audiences to doubt expertise; so must those in the mainstream media who amplify every leftist kerfuffle on campus and make it seem as though trigger warnings are now at the center of college life.

But academics are at fault, too, because we’ve pushed mainstream conservatism out of our institutions. Sociologists Neil Gross and Solon Simmons have found that about half of professors identify as liberal, versus only 14% who identify as Republican. (At the time of their study, in 2006, only a fifth of American adults described themselves as liberal.)

Etc. etc. Thoughtful piece. Read on . . .

Trump: “What the hell is going on in Chicago?” Emanuel: Whatever it is, it’s “not about being tough.”

“Better tell that mayor to get tough,” Trump had said.

To which our doughty mayor, no, no, no, no:

. . .  fighting violence [is] “not about being tough but being smart and strategic.”

And it’s working! Why can’t Trump see that?

Besides, programs are in place:

Emanuel said he is working to create jobs, expand after school programs and curtail access to guns as part of a comprehensive strategy that includes an increasing reliance on high-tech crime fighting tools, like the Shotspotter program that uses high-powered microphones to detect gunshots.

Fine, for the last named, which is crime-fighting. The others are social services. Why always the preference  for social service?

Source: Rahm To Trump: Smarts, Not Strength Needed To Stop Chicago Violence

FreedomFest 2017: Guerilla video producer James O’Keefe Moderates Saul Alinsky Panel 

Brought here thanks to Steve Bartin’s News Alert.

FreedomFest 2017: O’Keefe Moderates Saul Alinsky Panel FULL

Includes head of Alinsky foundation and David Alinsky, Saul’s son. Dinesh d’Sousa supplying a probably counter argument, James O’Keefe moderating.

Have only just set it up for viewing. Looks good.

Instapundit » Blog Archive » NONPARTISAN PROFESSIONALISM IS A MYTH. . . .

Big mistake here, using an add-on that gives strange results. Sorry.

A Georgetown University law professor recently declared on social media that “all white people are racist” and “all men are sexist.”

Thereby pretty much destroying the concepts.


Candidate Kennedy in the 40th Ward, 7/20/17

Appearing at the invite of my favorite alderman, Pat O’Connor, at North Side Prep on Kedzie Avenue on a warm Thursday night, Chris Kennedy kicked off with some personal history, including his being the 8th of the eleven offspring of Bobby and Ethel Kennedy. No small point to make, of course. It’s a magic name, after all.

He also recalled working at the Board of Trade as a young man in the ’80s , having decided not to work with his older brother Joe — no fun to work with, he implied cheerfully — in his “non-profit oil company.” Have any of the Kennedys gone in for profit-making? Since their paternal grandfather, I mean.

At the Board he witnessed “raw capitalism” in broad daylight. The worst kind. And was there when the show came tumbling down, or stumbled, when a wire-wearing FBI poseur captured incriminating conversations and got some traders sent to jail.

Later, Chris K. and his wife formed a non-profit of their own that undersold grocery stores in a good cause, selling at cut rates to poor people, going regularly to 120 churches and community organizations, where people “left behind” were helped — while, he noted, retaining their dignity and willingness to look him in the eye when talking to him.

His major points included:

  • Ed funding:  He said 87% of  high school graduates are “not college ready,” using a number I could not find in the 2015 Chi Trib stat “Most Illinois high schools leave grads unprepared for college,” where the operable figure is 24.9 percent who scored high enough on ACT subjects to be considered college-ready. His point remains, of course, though he might want to change the number.
  • Schools, said CK, are “underfunded.” Which if there’s a more reliable Democrat meme, I’d like to know. In any case, he had a segue into how schools are funded, by local property tax and not “in Springfield.” Which led to the most interesting point of the hour-long session, namely . . .
  • Well-paid lawyers including state reps and senators who obtain tax breaks for wealthy owners, making money out of the property tax about which they have influence. It’s “dirty money,” he said. “There should be a ban on [such] outside income that conflicts” with legislative duties. Mike Madigan (and Ed Burke and Joe Berrios) come immediately to mind. “No elected official has spoken out” on this conflict issue, Kennedy continued. “No one is standing up to Madigan.”

He had already floated this keep-pols-out-of-tax-appeal-work position, in May, without naming anyone while calling the system rigged and likening it to ‘extortion.'” This time, before a smaller crowd (50 or so in the N. Side Prep auditorium, vs. 300 in May), he named The Name. We’ll see how that turns out.

  • Asked about electoral district “fair mapping,” he called it “a great objective,” since it’s a matter of: “voters choose representatives, representatives pick the voters.” As a result, elected officials “never lose the general and fear only the primaries,” in which left and right extremes challenge and move Democrats farther to the left and Republicans farther to the right, each fending off extremist challengers. He begged off, with notable candor: “I don’t know [enough] about it, will start reading up about it.”

Asked about the huge backlog of bills unpaid by the state: “All this is still manageable. We taxed goods, not services, when manufacturing dwarfed services. But services are now 70% of the economy. We should not raise the income tax but broaden it [expanding taxable parts of the economy]. It’s easy then” to solve money problems. Easy?

Tax on securities trades is “not a cure-all,” he said when another questioner raised that issue — of which Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park said a few years ago, it would drive the Options Exchange out of the state. Kennedy: “All have to feel a little pain. It’s unrealistic to expect no sacrifice.”

People leaving the state: “Out-migration happened because of Rauner’s weakening, destroying government.” Under Rauner “we are driving people away.” In any case, “young people no longer move to jobs, but jobs move to them.” Let us think about that.

As for some lesser points, Ronald Reagan started homelessness, he said. Reaganomics did it. Which is spelled out in this and other progressive outlets:

In his first year in office Reagan halved the budget for public housing and Section 8 to about $17.5 billion. And for the next few years he sought to eliminate federal housing assistance to the poor altogether.

However, neither Dems nor Republicans did anything about it, says a progressive writer, blaming the media.

Once the national and local media gave Reagan a pass for not addressing homelessness, a pattern was established of not holding federal politicians accountable. And when politicians are not held accountable for homelessness, they instead devote resources to the issues where the media is focusing.

If that seems too simple an explanation for three decades of homelessness, this is a problem that lacks a complex answer. Ending homelessness is not like finding a cure for cancer. From the 1949 National Affordable Housing Act to the early 1980’s the United States knew how to prevent homelessness. But when the federal government abandoned its responsibility, the predictable result occurred.

Complex problem calls for a complex answer, says this progressive writer.

The forgotten counties: Entire Illinois counties are “without a grocery store,” Kennedy said. People call 911 “and no one comes.” These people voted for Trump, who “spoke to them.” People whom Saturday Night Live made fun of.

As the TV detective asks the person of interest about a suspect, do these counties have names?

On Trump: “You can’t write a memo short enough so he will read it.” Good throwaway.

“He won’t listen to intelligence briefings.” A staple of Twitter commentary, mostly from pre-inauguration time.  Not so good a throwaway.

The state’s debt: Pension underfunding is the biggest problem. The state stopped paying into the funds under Rauner, having done so under Quinn. That started with Rauner too?

About Rauner: He’s not a Republican, but a libertarian, “using the GOP.” As such, he “does not believe in government.” Oh. Early in office, he “tried to privatize” government functions, in the process shrank government. It was “an attack on the poor,” who depend on those functions. But he learned he “can’t kill government, only wound it.” In this he succeeded, letting the bills pile up.

more more more later . . .

Later, from Oak Park Newspapers blog at Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest, where this item was also published, two comments:

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: July 25th, 2017 11:42 AM

Is Chris Kennedy opening up the Merchandise Mart as a homeless shelter at night or a warming or cooling shelter for the homeless? I am sure he is, we just havent heard he is. Does his non profit food service pay management (ie. friends of the family) for management services? If Reagan cut the federal program, budget and taxes, doesnt that mean that there was more money on the local taxing level to develop programs for the homeless at a local level? What did Robert Kennedy learn while working on the staff of Sen. Joe McCarthy for nine months? Maybe how to sanitize a suicide scene of an actress or how to quiet J. Edgar Hoover, who had files on just about everyone. I am sure he is a fine fellow. Especially now.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: July 24th, 2017 10:29 PM

How much pain does a Kennedy ever feel? None. They are so rich they can give everyone pain while they sit in their Merchandise Mart or get handed ambassadorships. We do not need any more of that.

Reuters takes down live feed on Spicer home after blowback

Newsies do get carried away.

It’s the newsroom atmosphere: all those think-alikes going for the headline. It’s natural.

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