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This room is for the discussion of current events,cultural issues and politics especially in relation to Catholic values.

Saint Thomas More was martyred during the Protestant Reformation for standing firm in the Faith and not recognizing the King of England as the Supreme Head of the Church.
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Jan 5th 2014 new
(quote) James-17080 said: Hi Patrick and Paul,

Good morning :-)

At least 3 people on Fox News, the source of information for all too many CM, really does not like what Francis is saying:

http://mediamatters.org/video/2013/12/03/foxs-varney-attacks-pope-francis-comments-on-in/197108

Those of us who live in the real world know that just because three knuckleheads of Fox say something, that does not make it true. But these guys are not entirely clueless. They know that the faith people have in the current economic system is shaky at best. For the Pope to come along and attack that system is a real threat. They have this binary way of thinking whereby "if you are not with us, you are against us". This is a textbook case of a false dichotomy.

If you're curious about the Pope's socialist leanings, perhaps you should contact Rush Limbaugh. But before you do, read this:

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/12/15/pope-francis-rebukes-marxist-attack-from-rush-l/197273

You write "among socialists there are elites". Bill Maher, on his show Real Time With Bill Maher, talked about this. Paraphrasing, he said "When I'm ill, I want to go to an elite doctor. For education, I want to go to an elite university. If I need surgery, I want an elite surgeon. But amongst conservatives, "elite" is b∙a∙d. So unless you're a dirt farmer from Kansas, you're with the terrorists".

Yes, I suppose there are elitists on the left who practice the maxim "do as I say and not as I do". Do you believe that practice is limited to socialists who are elitists? If you do, keep in mind Rush Limbaugh's drug addiction and problems with the law. The only reason the case was not prosecuted is that Limbaugh paid out $35,000. Now that is elite treatment.

What "wasteful programs" do you suggest cutting?

James ☺
Elite treatment ? Chappaquiddick.
Jan 5th 2014 new
(quote) Travis-390186 said: A Priest in my parish once quoted a Brazilian Bishop as saying "When I distribute food to the poor in Brazil, I am called a saint. When I ask why there are poor people in Brazil, I am called a communist."

Pope Francis is not socialist, as socialism is defined by Karl Marx. He is socialist as defined by Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and other Unbridled Capitalism aficionados. If Pope Francis is socialist then so was Pope Leo XIII, and before you agree with that, read Leo XIII's encyclical Rerum Novarum, where he tears both socialism and unbridled capitalism to shreds.

If one cannot distinguish where the line is between socialism and social justice (the former red sand, the other gold sand), then it is wise not to go too close to the red sand, hence the pro-capitalism stances of JPII, and Benedict XVI. But, if you can distinguish where the line is, as Leo XIII could, and Francis can, then you should go as far to the left as you can without crossing the line.
Brilliant! You're a genius. Says it all. thumbsup
Jan 5th 2014 new
(quote) James-17080 said: Hi Patrick and Paul,

Good morning :-)

At least 3 people on Fox News, the source of information for all too many CM, really does not like what Francis is saying:

http://mediamatters.org/video/2013/12/03/foxs-varney-attacks-pope-francis-comments-on-in/197108

Those of us who live in the real world know that just because three knuckleheads of Fox say something, that does not make it true. But these guys are not entirely clueless. They know that the faith people have in the current economic system is shaky at best. For the Pope to come along and attack that system is a real threat. They have this binary way of thinking whereby "if you are not with us, you are against us". This is a textbook case of a false dichotomy.

If you're curious about the Pope's socialist leanings, perhaps you should contact Rush Limbaugh. But before you do, read this:

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/12/15/pope-francis-rebukes-marxist-attack-from-rush-l/197273

You write "among socialists there are elites". Bill Maher, on his show Real Time With Bill Maher, talked about this. Paraphrasing, he said "When I'm ill, I want to go to an elite doctor. For education, I want to go to an elite university. If I need surgery, I want an elite surgeon. But amongst conservatives, "elite" is b∙a∙d. So unless you're a dirt farmer from Kansas, you're with the terrorists".

Yes, I suppose there are elitists on the left who practice the maxim "do as I say and not as I do". Do you believe that practice is limited to socialists who are elitists? If you do, keep in mind Rush Limbaugh's drug addiction and problems with the law. The only reason the case was not prosecuted is that Limbaugh paid out $35,000. Now that is elite treatment.

What "wasteful programs" do you suggest cutting?

James ☺
Hi James,

How, precisely, does the "real world " differ from Fox News ?

I can certainly agree that most people have lost confidence in the current five year disaster of an economic plan.

Did I miss an ex cathedra papal pronouncement prohibiting participation in capitalism ?

Socialists, Pope Francis, Fox, etc. all have free speech and free will. What exactly is wrong with having a choice of info sources ?

The Maher quote demonstrates that he believes there is an elite, and that he wants to be associated with it. Even interpreted as sarcasm, his last sentence again shows elitism, and false dichotomy.

We can toss around ad hominem and faulty logic, etc. all day. What is wrong with free speech and different opinions ?
Jan 5th 2014 new
(quote) Paul-866591 said: First off a program to cut Federal Payrolls by 10% a year for the next 3 years would make a wonderful start. Then require all future pay raises for civil servents to be strictly on a merit bases and not automatic pay raises if they did not screw up royally. and managed to just stay on the job for another year. In fact, just freezing all pay for Federal workers until the pay in the private sector for similar jobs catches up. And by pay rate I mean including all bennies. Cut out all cost of living increases which is just a way of solidifying inflation.

Then we can save a lot by walking away from the nonsense "alternative energy' subsidies.Knock out the "carbon credit" program.

Restore sanity in some other "energy" related programs like getting rid of the good ole light bulb and force people to use the far more dangerous to the environment fluorescent bulbs. Oh yes the silly electric cars that may save us from the horrors of all those smog inducing chemicals but cost more money for battery replacement as well as providing a future source of even more dangerous ground water pollution garbage.

A few billion can be saved if we stop all the nonsense spending on "man-made" global warming projects. The lessons that are there from the computer millennium problem are there to be learned. Billions in Federal and private money wasted on complete silliness.

Getting the Feds out of education and health care will save even more billions both in tax money and unnecessary private spending generated thereby. At the same time we could actually see real improvement in both education and health care.

Oh a mere few millions could be saved by requiring Presidents to pay for their own and family vacations. And when I saw pay their own I mean including all costs.

That's just a beginning.

BY the way, I am not saying elitists don't exist in any other political or economic system. I was merely trying to show that the basis that was being used to brand Francis a socialist just don't prove what was stated to be the case.

A person is not a socialist because they are concerned for the poor or because they eschew privileges for themselves. Nor is someone a socialist just because they say that the basic necessities of life should be available to all. Nor is one a socialist for saying a rich man should do more for the poor.


Hi Paul,

Many good points.

I had felt back in '09 that if all the elites, politicians, and those in " power " or " authority " had presented all the facts, most people would have supported 5 % cuts if they were across the board. We would now at least be within reach of a balanced budget.

The point of cuts, IMHO, is to save the remainder of a free system before the debts drown us all.

Just me, I think the blue model is dead. The question becomes the method of a peaceful transition to a new model. The point someone mentioned about tacking in the wind is good. Survival and stability may mean some adjustments by everyone. We will have to evaluate the policies of the " will not negotiate " folks in light of our common survival.

Very good last para.
Jan 5th 2014 new
(quote) James-17080 said: Hi Paul et alia,

You wish to cut payrolls by about 27% by 2017. How would you do it? Who would you cut? You do understand that you would be putting roughly 73,500 people out of work, right?

I have a suggestion. Let us get out of Afghanistan. And let us stop being the world's policeman. We can't do it. Sometimes you have to fold and cut your losses to protect yourself. I'm not saying we should become appeasers or give in to creepy dictators like Kim Jong Un. But we can't engage in another Iraq, and Osama is dead. Let us get out.

Maybe pay for Congressmen should be on a merit basis. Considering that Congress's approval rating is 9%, lower than the Communist Party(!!) in some polls, this might be a good idea.

Saving energy is a good idea, The big energy hog in my home is my computer. I got rid of the tungsten bulbs, and replaced them with the fluorescent ones, and saved money. I don't know enough about electric cars to comment on them.

Despite the chilly winter, GW is real. I have books dating back to 1954, saying the planet is warming. And the computer millennium problem was quite real, and could have caused a mess if not fixed. Why so? Data bases and programs were originally designed to handle dates in a mmddyy format. Back in the early days of computing, space on hard drives was at a premium, and systems analysts had to make do (this is when a "large" hard drive had a capacity of 10 megabytes, and was as large as a refrigerator.) Time passed on, until someone in the 1980s noticed that the year 2000 was less than 20 years away, and billions of lines of code had been written, with dates still programmed as mmddyy. On the last day of 1999, 12/31/99 would become 01/01/00. Centenarians would find themselves newborn, sort sequences would be wrong (commercial computers spend most of their time sorting), and so on. It had to be fixed.

You want the Feds out of health care? As a 77 year old man, do you really not take advantage of Medicare? You collect Social Security, right?

I agree with your last paragraph.

James ☺
Hi James,

If the U S stops being the World's policeman, who will step up ? Given the world market, do you think current supply /quality /prices for consumer goods could be maintained without free world trade access to the Malacca Strait, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, Suez Canal, Gulf of Aden, Gibraltar Strait, and others ?
Jan 5th 2014 new
(quote) Bernie-645443 said: Hi Paul,

Many good points.

I had felt back in '09 that if all the elites, politicians, and those in " power " or " authority " had presented all the facts, most people would have supported 5 % cuts if they were across the board. We would now at least be within reach of a balanced budget.

The point of cuts, IMHO, is to save the remainder of a free system before the debts drown us all.

Just me, I think the blue model is dead. The question becomes the method of a peaceful transition to a new model. The point someone mentioned about tacking in the wind is good. Survival and stability may mean some adjustments by everyone. We will have to evaluate the policies of the " will not negotiate " folks in light of our common survival.

Very good last para.
The modern person is taught to believe there is only capitalism, which concentrates the levers of productions to few hands, and socialism that leaves it in the hand of the government.

Fr. Heinrich Pesch, SJ, proposed and taught on economic issues from the teachings of the Church, and his Magnum Opus, A Teaching Guide for Economics (in German: Lehrbuch der Nationalskonomie) is a five volume, 3969 page guide to the solidarist alternative. Unlike thinks like Marx or John Maynard Keynes, Fr. Pesch taught that the Church has a right to speak on economic issues because economics is situated in the field of ethics and the Church is the ultimate arbiter on morality. As John Paul II made clear in Sollicitude Rei Socialis, the Church's social doctrine 'belongs to the field, not of ideology, but of theology, and particularly of moral theology."

According to the late Dr. Rupert J. Ederer (1923-2013), notes that the Lehrbuch is the largest single economics text ever written, and provides an extended systematic presentation of economics as a science as St. Thomas Aquinas did of theology.

www.amazon.com


Jan 5th 2014 new
(quote) Steven-706921 said: The modern person is taught to believe there is only capitalism, which concentrates the levers of productions to few hands, and socialism that leaves it in the hand of the government.

Fr. Heinrich Pesch, SJ, proposed and taught on economic issues from the teachings of the Church, and his Magnum Opus, A Teaching Guide for Economics (in German: Lehrbuch der Nationalskonomie) is a five volume, 3969 page guide to the solidarist alternative. Unlike thinks like Marx or John Maynard Keynes, Fr. Pesch taught that the Church has a right to speak on economic issues because economics is situated in the field of ethics and the Church is the ultimate arbiter on morality. As John Paul II made clear in Sollicitude Rei Socialis, the Church's social doctrine 'belongs to the field, not of ideology, but of theology, and particularly of moral theology."

According to the late Dr. Rupert J. Ederer (1923-2013), notes that the Lehrbuch is the largest single economics text ever written, and provides an extended systematic presentation of economics as a science as St. Thomas Aquinas did of theology.

http://www.amazon.com/Heinrich-Pesch-Solidarist-Economics-Nationalskonomie/dp/0761812466/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1388967505&sr=8-2&keywords=Pesch%2C+Heinrich


BTW, it was Pesch that coined the term "capitalism" and defined it, according to Ederer. From the "From the Mail" article on Ederer in the January 2, 2014 edition of "The Wanderer."
"Marx never used the word capitalism," wrote Ederer, "It was not yet the time for isms. He (Marx) employed the terms capital, capitalists, and capitalistic. Pesch, on the other hand, gave a definition of it (capitalism) that was both concise and precise. In his fourth volume we find, 'in general; capitalism is the dominion over the national economy by the acquisitive interests of those who own capital.'

Jan 5th 2014 new
(quote) Bernie-645443 said: Hi James,

If the U S stops being the World's policeman, who will step up ? Given the world market, do you think current supply /quality /prices for consumer goods could be maintained without free world trade access to the Malacca Strait, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, Suez Canal, Gulf of Aden, Gibraltar Strait, and others ?
If some of the world descends into chaos if we pull out of those countries, so be it. Our presence hasn't helped much anyway. Those countries can step up and protect themselves. US taxpayers support over 234 golf courses on military bases here and abroad. Plenty of fat to be cut at the Pentagon without jeopardizing the security of our country. Perhaps it's time we start listening to a man named Francis instead of the war profiteers.
Jan 5th 2014 new
(quote) Peter-449116 said: If some of the world descends into chaos if we pull out of those countries, so be it. Our presence hasn't helped much anyway. Those countries can step up and protect themselves. US taxpayers support over 234 golf courses on military bases here and abroad. Plenty of fat to be cut at the Pentagon without jeopardizing the security of our country. Perhaps it's time we start listening to a man named Francis instead of the war profiteers.
Hi Peter,

I was't referring directly to pulling out of overseas bases, ( though there are some interesting hints that some Asian countries want us to INCREASE our presence now ) , but to the principle of free trade. Are the Malayans able to protect their waters ? The Spanish ? The Somalis ? The last time world trade tanked, we got a dozen year depression and a world war.

I agree on the golf courses.

Part of the problem is that for five years those of the military infrastructure have been anathema to the WH planners.
Jan 6th 2014 new
(quote) James-17080 said: Hi Paul et alia,

You wish to cut payrolls by about 27% by 2017. How would you do it? Who would you cut? You do understand that you would be putting roughly 73,500 people out of work, right?

I have a suggestion. Let us get out of Afghanistan. And let us stop being the world's policeman. We can't do it. Sometimes you have to fold and cut your losses to protect yourself. I'm not saying we should become appeasers or give in to creepy dictators like Kim Jong Un. But we can't engage in another Iraq, and Osama is dead. Let us get out.

Maybe pay for Congressmen should be on a merit basis. Considering that Congress's approval rating is 9%, lower than the Communist Party(!!) in some polls, this might be a good idea.

Saving energy is a good idea, The big energy hog in my home is my computer. I got rid of the tungsten bulbs, and replaced them with the fluorescent ones, and saved money. I don't know enough about electric cars to comment on them.

Despite the chilly winter, GW is real. I have books dating back to 1954, saying the planet is warming. And the computer millennium problem was quite real, and could have caused a mess if not fixed. Why so? Data bases and programs were originally designed to handle dates in a mmddyy format. Back in the early days of computing, space on hard drives was at a premium, and systems analysts had to make do (this is when a "large" hard drive had a capacity of 10 megabytes, and was as large as a refrigerator.) Time passed on, until someone in the 1980s noticed that the year 2000 was less than 20 years away, and billions of lines of code had been written, with dates still programmed as mmddyy. On the last day of 1999, 12/31/99 would become 01/01/00. Centenarians would find themselves newborn, sort sequences would be wrong (commercial computers spend most of their time sorting), and so on. It had to be fixed.

You want the Feds out of health care? As a 77 year old man, do you really not take advantage of Medicare? You collect Social Security, right?

I agree with your last paragraph.

James ☺
Yep, 73,500 less Federal employees sounds like a good start. If I were made king tomorrow, the first thing I would do is eliminate and immediately terminate the Department of Education and everyone of its employees.

Your idea of putting Congressional pay on a merit basis is one of the best I have heard. Just think of how many payroll free years the taxpayers would have enjoyed in the 77 1/2 years I have been on earth. along with merit based Congressional pay, would be to immediately cut their staffs by one half.

I don't have a problem withus stopping to be the world's policemen. I would go a step further, anytime we were called on to assist some other nation with our unmatched military force, aside from a new Hitler situation, the country we help should be required to repay us for our efforts. And if we are called on by the UN, then the UN would repay our costs witholut the use of any money we put in to support the UN.

It would probably save all of us a lot of money as well as the State and city of New York, if we quit the UN and kicked them out of the Country.

Replacing incandescent lamps with fluorescent ones is ecological nonsense. The flourescents are more dangerous and deleterious to the environment. Any savings in energy costs are more than offset by the costs of safe disposal. At least, if you happen to drop and break an incandescent bulb, you don't have to have a Hazmet team come in to decontaminate your house.

Interestingly enough, I ran some very simple tests on my own computer in 1998. The State Agency that controlled Financial Planners was all over us to spend $$$$ to avoid the problem or face serious sanctions from the state. I set my computers date to 12/31/1999 and 5 minutes to midnight. sure enough when the computers clock hit midnight some January 1, 1900 cmaeup. So I reset the date to January 1, 2000 again at 5 minutes to midnight. At midnight, the computer clock set the date to January 2, 2001. I continued the tests several more times and the computer never missed a beat and always registered the correct date. it was a very old 286 computer, so it had the problem built in.

So the "fix" even for major computer systems, was simple and di not require the waste of billions of dollars to repair. It other words, it was just another nonsense scare that made some consultants a lot of money doing nothing that a simple computer operator could fix at midnight of January 1, 2000

Global warming is in the same category. Science has shown that the temperatures in the 1300's was warmer than they are today. As recently as the 1930's, average temperatures were warmer than they are today. And the data that the the bogey man shouters use shows that temperatures stopped rising 15 years ago.

The simple historical facts are that the the earth has been warming in fits and starts since the last ice age ended and will continue to do so, in fits and starts, until the next ice age begins. After whichj it will continue to cool, in fits and starts, until the next warming period begins. and that cycle will continue until the end of time.

Sure I use SS and medicare. Why shouldn't I, my pay check was nicked for years, and I am just getting my own money back. And as far as medicare is concerned, after age 65 you can't buy a health policy that does not take into account medicare. In other words, unless you are rich enough to not need insurance, you have no choice in the matter.

By the way, carefully investing what little was left over after all the taxes and the necessary living expenses, which amounted to less than was confiscated from me, if it were all invested in income producing paper,,even at today's low rates, would pay me roughly 3 times what SS pays. It is still invested mainly for growth and still pays me only $6,000 less than SS. The income stream, not Capital gains, is growing at a faster rate than SS payments and should easily surpass SS payments within 5 years, if I manage to live that long.
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