Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Adventures in Hiking

Over this past weekend Kevin and I had the opportunity to visit my Mom and Dad in Western Maryland.  I had an absolutely terrific time and was so, so very happy to get to see them since I hadn't been able to see them since Fall of 2010.  One of our long time family friends was visiting also so that was great to see her too.  Both days Kevin and I went hiking with her.  It was both fun and exhilarating.  Needless to say neither Kevin or I had hiked that far in some time.  Here are some pictures from our hike at New Germany State Park in MD.  The first day we ended up walking around 3 miles.  Boy were we hot and a wee bit tired by the end.

This is a pic of the beginning of the trail

Here is a picture of a stream along our route

The second day we hiked to Cascade Falls with my Dad, our friend, and her kiddos. This was a little bit of an adventure since the hiking trail wasn't marked as clearly as it could have been due to the winter weather wear and tear on the signage.  We followed a trail or what we thought was a trail. Then we ended up back on the road. After following the road for a little bit we then found a sign that said Cascade Falls this way, this led us to yet another trail but since the trail wasn't marked very well we ended up running into some rather large size rocks so I began thinking to myself this cannot possibly be the correct way.  Needless to say we had walked a little bit too far and missed the turnoff.  Thankfully we weren't that far off the beaten path.  Here are some pictures from our second hike to Cascade Falls in MD.

The stairs were blocked off for safety concerns but since we were determined to take advantage of the waterfall all of us were very careful in our descent to the bottom.  

We had a great time!! I look forward to hiking again soon. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Keepers of the Peace

Remembering all those brave men and women who have lost their lives serving and protecting our country.
Wishing everyone a Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Why Do Progressives Want to Reduce Humans to Shapeshifting Animalia?

While working in the great outdoors sometimes I get to listen to the radio and one day this past week I heard that Redwood Heights Elementary School in Oakland, California had decided to teach kids about gender diversity.  Gender diversity? What?!? There are two genders - male and female.  This is truly appalling!! God did not create us in his image to have us distort his vision of us. Kids have enough confusion and chaos in their lives as it is and they do not need any more confusion brought into their lives with this gender diversity crap being forced down their throats.  This is not about acceptance.  If people truly were promoting acceptance then they wouldn't be trying to get the person to change their gender.  Accepting the person means nurturing who they are and being supportive of that person during their struggles and not trying to get that person to turn themself into some type of shapeshifting animalia just because they may be unhappy for some reason or another.

Why is it that some people want to have certain parts of their body chopped off or body parts added to their bodies in order to be accepted by both themselves and others?  Let's see here... Dogs and cats both get neutered and spaded in order to keep down both the cat and dog populations.  Now, humans want to purposely chop off their penis or add a penis to change their appearances because they are depressed and having psycological issues.  These gay propagandists want people to change their shape, the shape of their body and for what reason?  How exactly is changing the shape of your body from your natural body to a different, unatural body going to solve a person's psychological issues?  Having your penis chopped off is mutilating one's self.  In addition, having a penis added to your body is not normal and having to take hormonal drugs just to keep you the "new me" is absurd.  Altering your body, the one that God has given you, goes against the natural order.  Just because a girl may play with cars or a boy may play with barbies doesn't mean that they are gay.  Kids are very creative and like to explore the surroundings around them and this doesn't mean that they are unhappy with the body that they were born with.  As a child I remember experimenting with various types of toys, in fact I was a tomboy in many respects while growing up but just because I didn't act that girly didn't mean that I wanted to end being a girl, change genders, or that I was gay.  Why are humans being reduced to shapeshifting animalia?

From NBC:
On Monday and Tuesday, students of every grade were taught what the school called age-appropriate lessons about gender differences. Some lessons included all-girl geckos, a transgender clownfish, and boy snakes who act "girly" reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
"That's a lot of variation in nature," Gender Spectrum trainer, Joel Baum, told the students. "Evolution comes up with some pretty funny ways for animals to reproduce."
Principal Sara Stone said the lesson on gender differences was part of a larger effort to control bullying in the school, something parents supported last year.
However, after the lessons began, several parents felt discussion in the classroom was too much.
The Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative organization, said teaching children that there may be more than two genders, "does not represent the values of the majority of families in Oakland,"
The $1,500 cost of training was funded by a grant from the California Teachers Association.

I found this additional information via Blue Collar Philosophy.

What about this group, Gender Spectrum? Here is what it has to say about gender variance:
Gender variance is when a person’s preferences and self-expression fall outside commonly understood gender norms. Gender variance is a normal part of human expression, documented across cultures and recorded history. Non-binary gender diversity exists throughout the world, documented by countless historians and anthropologists. Examples of individuals living comfortably outside of typical male/female identities are found in every region of the globe. The calabai, and calalai of Indonesia, two-spirit Native Americans, and the hijra of India all represent more complex understandings of gender than the simplistic model seen in the west.
Further, what might be considered gender variant in one period of history may become gender normative in another. One need only examine trends related to men wearing earrings or women sporting tattoos to quickly see the malleability of social expectations about gender. Even the seemingly intractable “pink is for girls, blue is for boys” notions are relatively new. While there is some debate about the reasons why they reversed, what is well documented is that until the 1950s, pink was seen as a more decided and stronger color, and thus more suitable for a boy, while blue, viewed more delicate and dainty, was commonly worn by girls.
More from the Mercury article:
On Monday morning, children in Cynthia Bagby’s kindergarten class discussed whether there were, in fact, “girl colors” and “boy colors.” Some giggled when Joel Baum, the trainer from Gender Spectrum, read “My Princess Boy,” a nonfiction children’s book by Cheryl Kilodavis about her son who liked to wear dresses and a tiara.
“That’s a funny boy!” one boy said.
You remember “Princess Boy“?

This assault on the innocence of our youth is truly sad and extremely disturbing. No person should be promoting gender confusion, especially not on our vulnerable children.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu Addresses AIPAC, Interview With Hannity

Here is Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech at AIPAC

Here is Prime Minister Netanyau's interview with Sean Hannity

H/T The Sean Hannity Show 

Opus from American Perspective has the entire speech that Prime Minister Netanyahu gave in front of Congress.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

EAGLE FREEDOM LINKS -- 5-24-11 - Brian Setzer/Stray Cats


American Perspective -- Kathy Ireland Speaks Out to Defund Planned Parenthood-Rule 5

Atlas Shrugs -- Muslim North Attacks Southern Sudan, Burning and Looting in Abyei

A Conservative Teacher -- Barack Obama Returns to George W Bush's Foreign Policy? 

A Patriotic Rottweiler -- Herman Cain on C-Span Road to the White House 2012

A Western Heart -- Leftists are Now the Establishment

Adrienne's Corner -- Sunday: Devoted to All Things Israel 

Allied Liberty News -- Nixa MO Family Could Face Millions in Fines from USDA for Selling Rabbits without a License 

Always On Watch -- What Obama Believes? 

Amusing Bunni's Musings -- Breitbart: Conservatives Need to Regain Control of the Narrative

Barking Spider -- Climate Change: The Green Political Agenda

BBCW -- Joplin Tornado: It Doesn't Even Look Real

Beer, Bicycles, and the VRWC -- Israel

Beers With Demo -- Indiana State Supreme Court 4th Amendment Ruling Follow-Up

Blowing San #1 -- Regarding the John Jay Report

Bluegrass Pundit -- Sarah Palin Schools Obama on Israel

Bread Upon the Waters -- Farther Along - Brad Paisley

Can We Keep Our Republic? -- Drone Aircraft

Catholic Once Again -- Pope Blesses Astronauts

Christians Against Leftist Heresy -- More Presbyterian Sins and the Fall of Presbyterian Church USA

Commentarama -- 2012 Contenders: Recent Winners and Losers 

Common Cents -- Video: And the 2011 Celebrity Apprentice Winner is: 

Conservative Hideout 2.0 -- Evidence is Mounting that Obamacare is All Sorts of Corrupt? 

Conservative Perspective -- Priceless - Bibi Netanyahu and Barry Soetoro in their Early Twenties

Creative Minority Report -- Shouldn't MTV be Pro-Life? 

Deacon For Life -- Gospel of Life Today is Out

DeanO -- Today's Political Cartoon 

Don't Tread On Us (formerly Trestin Meacham) -- Charity Challenge 

Eye Of Polyphemus -- Kate Perry

Faith of the Fathers -- Missal Moment #3 - The Centurion 

Generational Dysfunction -- The Honor Flight

Global Domination Through Applied Inactivity -- More TSA-Related Crap 

Greg Mankiw's Blog -- Strong Dollar = Strong Economy?

Hack Wilson -- Gender Role Swappage in America 

HolyCoast.com -- Obama's New Truth Ministry

Innominatus -- Field Guide to Hippie Identification

It Don't Make Sense - It's Called Karma, Stupid

Jo-Joe Politico --Handling Radical Islam - Andrew Klavan on the Culture

Just a Conservative Girl -- Cain Follows Up on Misstep With Hannity 

Just An Artist -- Kitty VS. Fly 

Left Coast Rebel -- "An Attack on Pakistan is an Attack on China"

Let The Truth Be Known -- A Moment With Our Father Part II - Struggling with Fertility - Artificial Insemination 

 Legal Insurrection -- Netanyahu at AIPAC 

Liberty At Stake -- Stuck on Keynesian Stupid 

Lisa Graas -- Why are Some Catholics Supporting Ron Paul?

Maggie's Notebook -- Israel's Pre-1967 War borders: What they mean - The Reality 

Mind Numbed Robot -- College Student Responds To "Defining American" - Unwittingly Provides Proof of Generational Training

Motivation Truth -- Governor Palin's Goal: Oust Our "Temporary Leader" 

Musings of a Vast Right-Winger -- Former Dem Rep Mckinney Trashes US Political System, Praises Iran on Iranian TV

My Daily Trek -- Obama Destroys Alliance With Israel

Nikon Sniper -- Navigating the Slot Canyons 

NoOneofAnyImport -- Sunday Music Serendipity 

No Sheeple's Here -- The Scolding of America's Child Emperor 

Nonsensible Shoes -- Victoria Day

Obama Cartoons -- To Drill or Not to Drill!!!

Orthometer -- Is To Art, As Hippies Are to People

Pathetically Incorrect -- Vindication 

Patriot's Corner -- Virginia's Caroline Greys Civil War Flag Renewed and on Display 

Pedaling Fast & Trying To Keep Up -- Look What Hatched!

Political Realities -- Israel - President Obama's Waterloo?

Proof Positive -- Barack Obama and All That Blarney

Pundit & Pundette -- Feel-good Story 

QUICKWIT -- Contractor Can't Account for &9.8 million in Project to Aid Iraqi Farmers 

Randy's Roundtable -- How To Grow Your Congregation 

Rational Nation USA -- Delusion Runs Deep Among Democrats 

Reaganite Republican -- Reaganite's Sunday Funnies 

Right Klik -- Thank You, Mrs. Mitch Daniels 

Right Wing Extreme -- A Needed Change in EPA Motives - A Guest Article 

Robbing America -- Funding and Expanding Poverty 

Saber Point -- "Stray Cat Strut" With String Bass 

Self Evident Truths -- The Agenda Project: America The Beautiful Spreading Lies About Medicare Cuts

Sentry Journal -- Friday Ramblings: Our System is Not Broken; However Something else is

Solid Rock or Sinking Sand -- Harold Camping - False Prophet 

STOP MARXISM -- 3 South Florida Residents, including Imam from Margate, Arrested in Taliban Case

The Black Sphere -- How Obama Will Legalize 20M Mexicans fast 

The Blog -- Cool Photo 

The Born Again Americans -- Recycle Sunday, "You Had To Be There" 

The Catholic Knight -- For The Tornado Victims in Joplin, MO

The Camp of The Saints -- Herman Cain: The First 48 

The Conservative Lady -- Pakistan Weapons - Grade Nuclear Reactor on Fast Track 

The Country Thinker -- How the Debt Ceiling Proves There are No Social Security or Medicare Trust Funds

The Daley Gator -- Tax Cheats Among Recipients of Obama Stimulus Money

The Humble Libertarian -- 10 Reasons Ron Paul Can Win in 2012

The Last Tradition -- New York Bans Smoking in Public Outdoor Places 

The Libertarian Patriot -- Together We Can Stop Patriot Act Extension 

The Malcontent -- Netanyahu Urges U.S. Return to 1845 Borders

The Observatorium -- You Thought the Cafeteria Cams Were Bad?

The Oracular Opinion -- GOP Contenders Need Awesomeness Like Obama!

The Other McCain -- Never Burn a Source 

Theblogprof -- Video: The Osama Bin Laden Burial at Sea

They Say/We Say -- Teachers Unions Political Donations at a Glance

TOTUS: Freedom of Choice 

Ubi Petrus, Ibi Ecclesia -- Dignity and Duties of the Priest, St. Alphonsus Liguori 

Warning Signs -- There is NO Palestine

What Does The Prayer Really Say? -- Catholic Church Destroyed by Tornado in Joplin, MO

Wolf Files: 12 % Pure Hope -- The Case For Voter ID: Can Dems Win Elections Without Cheating?

Woman Honor Thyself -- Congressman Allen West on the Two State "Solution" 

Woodsterman - It's Armed Forces Day! 

Zilla of the Resistance -- This is What They Believe 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monster Tornado in Joplin, MO: The Devastation and Destruction

Here is a first person video of the tornado.  I couldn't even imagine going through something like this.

 The people in this video huddled in the back of the store until the glass got sucked out , then they ran into the walk in storage fridge. 

Here is a video of the trail of destruction after the monster tornado in Joplin.

Here is another video of the destruction left after the MASSIVE tornado

According to Reuters at least 116 lives were lost due to the tornado. And to make matters worse Joplin has a thunderstorm on the way which will slow down the recovery. It is the deadliest tornado since 1947.  Could you imagine waking up to find out that half of your town disappeared? This is so shocking!! This is so sad. My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives, their loved ones who are mourning their loss, and the survivors of the monster tornado.

From USA Today here is a list of ways that you can help the victims of the tornado:

First up, the Red Cross encourages people to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let loved ones know they are safe by visiting http://www.redcross.org/ or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). From a smartphone, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwelland click on the "List Yourself as Safe and Well" or "Search for Friends and Family" link.
- The Community Foundation of Kansas City has created two funds to pool donations, which you can make donations to online - the Joplin Missouri Disaster Relief Fund and the Reading Kansas Disaster Relief Fund. Community Foundation staff will perform the due diligence to ensure that grants from both funds are awarded to organizations addressing the immediate needs of the victims of the tornadoes, such as providing food, shelter and medical care/supplies. If you would like to donate with your credit card, please call 816-842-7444.
- Convoy of Hope's disaster response team has been in contact with emergency management officials to determine how best they can assist with responding to the disaster. The first truckload of essential supplies such as water, snacks and ready-to-eat meals was transported this morning to the Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. More supplies will be following as Convoy of Hope works with local emergency officials to determine what locations and products will best serve the response. Those wanting to help can make a secure online donation at www.convoyofhope.org or can make a $10 text donation by texting the word, CONVOY to 50555. Standard message and date rates apply.
- The Salvation Army is providing emergency relief services to survivors and first responders of the Joplin tornado. The Army has mobilized four feeding units in impacted areas of the city and are offering food and beverages. The organization is also providing relief services in other impacted cities that were hit by tornadoes over the weekend, including: Minneapolis; Reading, Kan.; and Grove and Ketchum, Okla. There are four ways to help:
  • Text the word "Joplin" to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
  • By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY – Joplin Tornado Relief
  • On-line at: www.donate.salvationarmyusa.org
  • By mail: Send your check to:
    Joplin Tornado Relief
    The Salvation Army
    3637 Broadway
    Kansas City, MO 64111
- Red Cross emergency response vehicles are already responding in Missouri, helping to transport supplies to the shelter. Those who want to help people affected by disasters can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS; people can also text the word "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
- World Vision's disaster response director arrived in Joplin today. The organization raised its tornado response appeal to $5 million to meet additional needs in Missouri and Minnesota. To support these relief efforts, text TORNADO to 20222.
- From Feeding America, here is a link to a list of food agencies that are helping the hungry in this tornado-striken region.
For additional information and resources to help those effected by the Joplin tornado, visit Facebook.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nutty News

First off I have to let you know that my links aren't going to be done til' Tuesday, partially because I wasn't feeling well for a few days due to my having an infection in my system (sorta womanly related).  I know that endometriosis can compromise your immune system so that may have played a part in my getting an infection.

As I looked trough the news on the internet the news was soooo sad that I couldn't help but laugh at all the craziness in the news.  I shook my head in disbelief at some of the news.  First, we have a newborn baby who survived after being thrown down a trash chute. The surviving part is great! A miracle! But WTH?  The mother threw her baby son down the trash chute, as if her child was considered garbage.  The decline in morality and ethics in our country ticks me off so bad.  Some people are just not meant to be mothers.  Thank goodness a maintenance supervisor found the baby.  Then we have a crazy woman who threatened Dairy Queen employees with a grenade.  O.K. she was homeless and the grenade was not real but the employees thought that it was real.  That must have been scary.  She was obviously at least a little cuckoo and needs help. Or she could have done this stunt for food and shelter?  I wonder what each of us would resort to if we were homeless?

Then in Lithuania we have a priest who was set on fire by a man during Mass. What is this world coming to?  Trying to burn a priest while he was celebrating Mass.  That is outrageous!!  And there's more.... There was a woman in Louisville, KY who drew a sword while she was in the middle of an argument at Pizza Hut.

In England a doctor talked to his patient about Jesus and suggested that his patient might find solace in Christianity.  The doctor has been threatened with a warning by his professional body for discussing Jesus with a patient.  I don't know what the guidelines are in the U.K. but his being reprimanded is absurd since the doctor carried out a thorough and lengthy consultation.  My doctor and I talk about Jesus and prayer so I don't find this as crossing the line.  Plus, they talked over other avenues of help as well. More on the story here.  

The Other McCain takes note of Mitch Daniels not running for President.  I am thankful that Mitch isn't running.  Plus, he mentions that the momentum is with Herman Cain even though the pundits don't think he has a chance of winning the nomination.  Prove those eliticraps wrong Mr. Cain.  Then Stacy has the latest gossip on the host squabbles within Fox News which has pinned Hannity vs. Beck and O' Reilly.   Some men just have to resort to acting like teenage boys.  Teenage rivalry?  Come on boys... We don't need conflict amongst conservatives when we need to focus on one thing, and one thing only - making sure that Obama is NOT reelected to a second-term.  That would be really bad, a huge mistake.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Rule 5 - Purrrr....Catwomen

Today, I was remembered watching the old T.V. show called Batman so I decided to post all the women who have played Catwoman over the years in their Catwoman costumes. 

Here are the first two parts of the episode of Batman called That Darn Catwoman.  
You can find the rest of the parts of the episode here

More Rule 5....

The Camp of the Saints - Sunny Leone... 

American Perspective - Shapely leg contest

Randy's Rountable - Thursday Night Tart

The Daley Gator - Asian Beauties 

Israel Betrayed by Obama

Did Comrade Obama just fall off planet EscrewIsrale Kookdom?  Did Obama's alter ego reveal his anti-semitic or anti-Israel sympathies?  His suggestion that Israel ought to return to it's 1967 borders or for him to suggest that that is where the discussion ought to start is as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said "indefensible."  This is outrageous!! Obama ticks me off to no end.  The man may have been born in America but the man sure as heck doesn't understand American values one iota.  

His ties to both Communists and Muslims also shows that he has a skewed view of America.  Some people wonder why conservatives question Obama's loyalties to both America and our allies.  It is because Obama usually gives preferential treatment to other countries who are disloyal to America and how he and hos cronies have been trying to "transform" America into a secular humanistic, Communist, Muslim sympathizing fiefdom.  Both he and progressives have slowly been eating away at America's foundation, have been poisoning young minds, distorting history, and even have been eliminating very important parts of American history from the people.  Obama & Co are promoting a friggin perverse America, one that is not aligned with our Founding principles. 

He and others within his administration are power hungry to control our lives as evidenced by all the freedom-hating crap he has either signed into law (ex. Obamacare), by executive order or when he had the EPA do his dirty work since congress didn't pass into law his climate change bill he bypassed normal, reasonable channels just to get his way, like he is a wanna be dictator.  This most recent incident where he gave a big slap in the face to Israel is just one example of why we question whether Obama's knows what it means to be an American and whether he is supportive of our allies or not.  It is obvious that Obama's alter ego has chosen to box Israel in a corner demanding that they give up the ability to defend itself, has abandoned Israelis at a time when Israel could use our support but no instead Netanyahu is given the "special" treatment and gets stabbed in the back by Obama. Both Obama's father and stepfather were Muslims and in the early part of his life he was raised in a culture which primarily consisted of Muslims so in this latest "I don't give a crap about Israel speech" is evidence of his Muslim sympathies IMO.  Obama is clearly not a real American but in fact an imposter from EscrewIsrale Kookdom. 

Peter Roff says that Obama "has sold Israel down the river without even so much as a basket made of reeds."  Obama's speech will only embolden Israel's enemies.  Maybe Obama wants to escalate the violence in the Middle East and have it turn into a full blown war?  I don't know... his speech was so nonsensical one can only grasp at straws for reasons why he said what he said. 
Roff points out that "Israel is surrounded by enemies, especially Iran--whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly threatened its security in his speeches. Obama’s speech on the Middle East will only serve to encourage Ahmadinejad and his ilk; perhaps even provoking them to act rather than just talk." 
Bob of The Camp of the Saints has a great read called Leader of the free world vs. Leader of the me world and has a spot on quote from Bruce Hannify:

Since the 80s I’ve been saying, ‘They pass nationalized health care, it’s over.’
Last night comes a yet more obvious demonstration of our president’s willingness to betray Israel; to give her no choice but to surrender, or fight; and to precipitously bump the world toward war.
Once again, the same dread I’ve experienced just before the election; the first few months of his presidency, where he’s attacking Americans . . . . . and again and again and again.
Wouldn’t matter where he was born. He’s not an American. 

Please do visit Bob's site to see the rest of his post. 
Opus has Netanyahu's speech in case you missed it, which is seven minutes of coolness. 

Gene Simmons Lambasts President Obama's Israel Policy: "He Has No F-Ing Idea What The World Is Like"

WOW! Gene Simmons is on fire! I didn't realize that Simmons was born in Israel until I saw this on HotAir - (whose real name BTW is Chaim Witz born in Haifa, Israel).  He really lambasts Obama.  This is great!

SIMMONS: "For a president to be sitting in Washington D.C and saying go back to your '67 borders in Israel. How 'bout you live there and try to defend an indefensible border-9 miles wide....President Obama...he has no f-ing idea what the world is like because he doesn't have to live there."

Here's the video: 

H/T HotAirPundit 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Reading The Popes: John XXIII's Mater et Magistra On The Economy

On the issue of the economy today there are many people in America that fill the vacuum of the various political theories, across the political spectrum - we have those who are libertarian or leaning libertarian, socialists, communists, capitalists or free-market supporters, conservatives, liberals, and those that even fall somewhere in the middle of those political beliefs. Recently tensions have been running high between unions, businesses, and other citizens concerning the various clash of opinions on whether or not the unions are in fact a burden on both the State and its citizens, particularly with regards to how much tax is appropriate for a taxpayer to be required to pay to support the wage of a union member. In the Papal document Mater Et Magistra Pope John XXIII refers to Rerum Novarum a papal encyclical by Pope Leo XIII and says: 

" As is well-known, the outlook that prevailed on economic matters was for the most part a purely naturalistic one, which denied any correlation between economics and morality. Personal gain was considered the only valid motive for economic activity. In business the main operative principle was that of free and unrestricted competition. Interest on capital, prices--whether of goods or of services--profits and wages, were to be determined by the purely mechanical application of the laws of the market place. Every precaution was to be taken to prevent the civil authority from intervening in any way in economic matters. The status of trade unions varied in different countries. They were either forbidden, tolerated, or recognized as having private legal personality only."

Today are unions merely tolerated here in the U.S.? Or does their standard of pay either fall in line with or exceed that of similar private sector jobs? Does the U.S. citizen pay taxes (generally speaking, minus the exception of the most recent bailouts) towards what a private sector employee earns? No. But each of us does pay a tax which goes toward supporting the pensions, health benefits, and salaries of both public sector union members and other public sector employees. Are these public sector employees putting too much of a burden on the State and forcing the average citizen to pay excessive taxes? My answer is yes. The unions and other public sector jobs today have more of a responsibility to garner the citizens' approval as to whether their wages are too high or too low or are earning a decent wage or not. Today do we forbid the unions existence? Or the right to peacefully assemble? Do we have unions who are merely tolerated? No. No. No. I am not quite sure why there is a problem with unions only having private legal personality.

Today union members are far better off than many who hold compatible private sector jobs. The outcry from the public which demanded a decent living and decent working conditions that occurred during the late 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century were appropriate for that time when there were no laws in place to protect either the worker or a safe work environment but today there are laws in place protecting public unions wages and the conditions of the work environment so when people protest in the streets acting like irrational children, acting like they are being persecuted or mistreated in some way while demanding that they should be paid more and compensated with more benefits than employees who hold similar private sector jobs today is deceptive, absurd, unfounded and illegitimate. The way that some public sector union employees are forcing other citizens to contribute more money than they themselves do towards their own health insurance benefits which burdens both the State and the citizens at a time when our debt and deficits are at an all-time high in this country is unbelievable and unconscionable to me.

"It is furthermore the duty of the State to ensure that terms of employment are regulated in accordance with justice and equity, and to safeguard the human dignity of workers by making sure that they are not required to work in an environment which may prove harmful to their material and spiritual interests."

While nothing is ever foolproof from error I believe that this has largely been achieved in our country.

"They concern first of all the question of work, which must be regarded not merely as a commodity, but as a specifically human activity. In the majority of cases a man's work is his sole means of livelihood. Its remuneration, therefore, cannot be made to depend on the state of the market. It must be determined by the laws of justice and equity. Any other procedure would be a clear violation of justice, even supposing the contract of work to have been freely entered into by both parties.

"Secondly, private ownership of property, including that of productive goods, is a natural right which the State cannot suppress. But it naturally entails a social obligation as well. It is a right which must be exercised not only for one's own personal benefit but also for the benefit of others."

Is work becoming a rare commodity nowadays? There are more people than ever in our history reliant on the government for some type of benefit, whether it be welfare, food stamps or medicaid. Since Barack Obama took office in 2009 the number of recipients receiving food stamps has more than doubled and under Obama's budget for 2011 will increase spending on the welfare programs by 42% over President Bush's last year in office, with Obama's budget to spend $1.43 trillion on the medicare and medicaid programs. There is a difference between assisting someone in financial need and aiding their irresponsible lifestyles or behavior. This to me seems like Obama & Company are treating jobs for citizens as a commodity, while doing all the wrong things to spur growth and create jobs then saying it is a moral duty for the "rich" to pay even more taxes than the huge amount they already do to support his welfare state recipients. Obama and the rest of the progressives are making individuals and families dependent on the government which is in my opinion at least as bad, if not worse, than one's livelihood being dependent on the state of the market.

Pope John XXIII rightly points out that "it is advisable for the contract to be modified so that 'wage-earners and other employees participate in the ownership or the management, or in some way share in the profits.'"

This would be an example of where distributism comes into play. This is a third type of economic philosophy - Catholic Social Teaching - which was formulated by such thinkers as G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. I think instituting the principles of this philosophy in our society would help to alleviate many problems which crony capitalism has caused in our society today.

"According to distributism, the ownership of the means of production should be spread as widely as possible among the general populace, rather than being centralized under the control of the state (state socialism) or a few large businesses or wealthy private individuals (plutarchic capitalism). A summary of distributism is found in Chesterton's statement: 'Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists.'

"Essentially, distributism distinguishes itself by its distribution of property (not to be confused with redistribution of capital that would be carried out by most socialist plans of governance). While socialism allows no individuals to own productive property (it all being under state, community, or workers' control, with exceptions such as mutualism), distributism itself seeks to ensure that most people will become owners of productive property. As Belloc stated, the distributive state (that is, the state which has implemented distributism) contains "an agglomeration of families of varying wealth, but by far the greater number of owners of the means of production.'This broader distribution does not extend to all property, but only to productive property; that is, that property which produces wealth, namely, the things needed for man to survive. It includes land, tools, etc.'" - Wikipedia article on distributism

"Pope Pius XI further emphasized the fundamental opposition between Communism and Christianity, and made it clear that no Catholic could subscribe even to moderate Socialism. The reason is that Socialism is founded on a doctrine of human society which is bounded by time and takes no account of any objective other than that of material well-being. Since, therefore, it proposes a form of social organization which aims solely at production, it places too severe a restraint on human liberty, at the same time flouting the true notion of social authority."

I am in full agreement with both Pope John XXIII and Pope Pius XI on the matter of Socialism and Communism, that both political philosophies "places too severe a restraint on human liberty."

"Of special doctrinal and practical importance is his [that is, Pius XI's] affirmation that 'if the social and individual character of work be overlooked, it can be neither justly valued nor equitably recompensed.'In determining wages, therefore, justice demands that account be taken not only of the needs of the individual workers and their families, but also of the financial state of the business concern for which they work and of 'the economic welfare of the whole people.'

Unions today are not taking into account the needs of other workers and their families or the financial burden they have on businesses today. The Unions, union bosses, and many union members feel entitled to whatever amount of money and benefits regardless of how it affects anyone else.

" It should be stated at the outset that in the economic order first place must be given to the personal initiative of private citizens working either as individuals or in association with each other in various ways for the furtherance of common interests.
But--for reasons explained by Our predecessors--the civil power must also have a hand in the economy. It has to promote production in a way best calculated to achieve social progress and the well-being of all citizens."

Today, it would seem that in America the civil power has much more than a hand in economic affairs, but in fact have both hands, both feet, arms, and legs involved in our economy.

"And in this work of directing, stimulating, co-ordinating, supplying and integrating, its guiding principle must be the 'principle of subsidiary function' formulated by Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno, 'This is a fundamental principle of social philosophy, unshaken and unchangeable. . . Just as it is wrong to withdraw from the individual and commit to a community what private enterprise and industry can accomplish, so too it is an injustice, a grave evil and a disturbance of right order, for a larger and higher association to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and lower societies. Of its very nature the true aim of all social activity should be to help members of the social body, but never to destroy or absorb them.'"

The federal government has become a huge albatross held over the heads of Americans today. The social philosophy of subsidiarity is one method that needs to be applied in order to save our economy from collapse. The federal government is putting undue fiscal burdens on the states.

"But however extensive and far-reaching the influence of the State on the economy may be, it must never be exerted to the extent of depriving the individual citizen of his freedom of action. It must rather augment his freedom while effectively guaranteeing the protection of his essential personal rights. Among these is a man's right and duty to be primarily responsible for his own upkeep and that of his family. Hence every economic system must permit and facilitate the free development of productive activity."

The number of recipients receiving food stamps has more than doubled since Bush left office and now it is reported that 43.6 million Americans are now receiving food stamps today. President Obama has increased spending on welfare programs by 42 percent over President Bush's last year in office. The promoters of a welfare state or the welfare state mentality are not promoting the human dignity of the person and freedom of the person by allowing persons to be dependent on the State but in fact are doing the opposite by promoting this dependency mentality. Progressives are enabling the person to avoid fulfilling his "right and duty to be primarily responsible for his own upkeep and that of his family." This quite frankly is irresponsible on so many fronts.

"Experience has shown that where personal initiative is lacking, political tyranny ensues and, in addition, economic stagnation in the production of a wide range of consumer goods and of services of the material and spiritual order--those, namely, which are in a great measure dependent upon the exercise and stimulus of individual creative talent.

Political tyranny and the lack of personal initiative go hand in hand. If one is not going to be rewarded for one's initiative when that produces success or even penalized by the State why would someone continue on this path of displaying personal initiative?

"Where, on the other hand, the good offices of the State are lacking or deficient, incurable disorder ensues: in particular, the unscrupulous exploitation of the weak by the strong. For men of this stamp are always in evidence, and, like cockle among the wheat, thrive in every land."

In America I think we have a case of the weak being exploited by the State to further a tyrannical political agenda. But I am also of the opinion that there are those in corporate America who are in some ways exploiting the weak or those less fortunate.

"In a system of taxation based on justice and equity it is fundamental that the burdens be proportioned to the capacity of the people contributing."

"As it affects the less developed countries, the problem is stated thus: The resources of modern hygiene and medicine will very shortly bring about a notable decrease in the mortality rate, especially among infants, while the birth rate--which in such countries is unusually high--will tend to remain more or less constant, at least for a considerable period. The excess of births over deaths will therefore show a steep rise, whereas there will be no corresponding increase in the productive efficiency of the economy. Accordingly, the standard of living in these poorer countries cannot possibly improve. It must surely worsen, even to the point of extreme hardship. Hence there are those who hold the opinion that, in order to prevent a serious crisis from developing, the conception and birth of children should be secretly avoided, or, in any event, curbed in some way."

Was Pope John XXIII writing under divine inspiration? Today progressives are propagating that births should be avoided in third world countries to solve the problem of hunger and extreme hardship. It is amazing and sad that his predictions became a reality.

"Besides, the resources which God in His goodness and wisdom has implanted in Nature are well-nigh inexhaustible, and He has at the same time given man the intelligence to discover ways and means of exploiting these resources for his own advantage and his own livelihood. Hence, the real solution of the problem is not to be found in expedients which offend against the divinely established moral order and which attack human life at its very source, but in a renewed scientific and technical effort on man's part to deepen and extend his dominion over Nature. The progress of science and technology that has already been achieved opens up almost limitless horizons in this field."

"As for the problems which face the poorer nations in various parts of the world, We realize, of course, that these are very real. They are caused, more often than not, by a deficient economic and social organization, which does not offer living conditions proportionate to the increase in population. They are caused, also, by the lack of effective solidarity among such peoples."

"We must solemnly proclaim that human life is transmitted by means of the family, and the family is based upon a marriage which is one and indissoluble and, with respect to Christians, raised to the dignity of a sacrament. The transmission of human life is the result of a personal and conscious act, and, as such, is subject to the all-holy, inviolable and immutable laws of God, which no man may ignore or disobey. He is not therefore permitted to use certain ways and means which are allowable in the propagation of plant and animal life."

"Human life is sacred--all men must recognize that fact. From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God. Those who violate His laws not only offend the divine majesty and degrade themselves and humanity, they also sap the vitality of the political community of which they are members."







Here are some closing remarks from Pope John XXIII:

"It has been claimed that in an era of scientific and technical triumphs such as ours man can well afford to rely on his own powers, and construct a very good civilization without God. But the truth is that these very advances in science and technology frequently involve the whole human race in such difficulties as can only be solved in the light of a sincere faith in God, the Creator and Ruler of man and his world."

"We most earnestly beg all Our sons the world over, clergy and laity, to be deeply conscious of the dignity, the nobility, which is theirs through being grafted on to Christ as shoots on a vine: "I am the vine; you the branches." They are thus called to a share in His own divine life; and since they are united in mind and spirit with the divine Redeemer even when they are engaged in the affairs of the world, their work becomes a continuation of His work, penetrated with redemptive power. "He that abideth in men, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit."

"Thus is man's work exalted and ennobled--so highly exalted that it leads to his own personal perfection of soul, and helps to extend to others the fruits of Redemption, all over the world. It becomes a means whereby the Christian way of life can leaven this civilization in which we live and work--leaven it with the ferment of the Gospel."

Crossposted at Catholibertarian