Monday, February 11, 2013

Random Thoughts on Papa Ben's Resignation

The most interesting take has been from Fr. George David Byers of Holy Souls Hermitage, who suggests that Joseph Ratzinger is taking on ever-more-ferocious spiritual combat and burdens. He discusses the need for greater solidarity with the Holy Father here. He has lots of other good stuff to say, and I recommend reading everything else he has to say about il Papa's resignation. He also has (cryptic) warnings for the next Pope.

I am going to miss Papa Ben. I am going to miss his gentle pastoral care for us, his brilliant scholarship, and his tireless work for Christian unity.

Like St. Pietro da Morrone before him, he pricked the conscience of the College of Cardinals immediately before his election, and like Pope Celestine V, he is resigning because he can tell that the demands of the Petrine Ministry are beyond the graces God now gives him. And I think that like St. Pietro da Morrone, he will be canonized as a saint. I saw the parallel from the very beginning of Papa Ben's papacy. Scott Hahn had more on that; I think Frank Weathers has some really cool expansions on what Hahn had to say. He quotes Hahn's facebook post in its entirety, without getting bogged down in the anti-Catholicism that overwhelmed Hahn's post.

Two bloggers have separately suggested that Papa Ben is motivated to resign in part because he wishes to prevent the Vatican bureaucracy from taking advantage of his infirmity to act against the Spirit as a sort of Papal Regent. I think such speculation smells of detraction, which is why I'm not linking to it. To all who fret, St. Padre Pio's advice to "Pray, hope, and don't worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer," is sound.

This election is going to be different. When's the last time that a conclave had warning that it would be convened? The politicking that no doubt has already started is going to be intense.

While I don't expect it, I think it would be totally awesome for either Cdl Dolan or Cdl Burke to get the See of Rome. Regardless of whom the College of Cardinals selects, the Holy Spirit is in charge and so I expect a saintly man. Where evil abounds, grace also, and evil has surely abounded in Christendom for well over a century now. Far too many have been slain for me to ever think otherwise.

addenda: Fr. Z of What Does the Prayer Really Say writes:

Obamacare: Bad law.

Ever since I first heard of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I've been saying that it is a very bad law. Everything about it, from its length (over 2000 pages), to the secrecy in which it was passed (nobody had been given time to actually read final version of the bill when it was passed), to the naked vote-buying that went on, to the artificial emergency-crisis atmosphere used to rush it through Congress, to the well-documented (but little-known) nature of the man who demanded it, indicated that it was a very bad law.

Nothing has happened that might suggest I was mistaken.

Indeed, many things great and small strongly suggest that I was right. At the small end is the HHS mandate. I don't mean to diminish its tyranny or its unconstitutionality, but I recognize that it doesn't really involve a whole lot of money or people (yet). On the other, we have the Energy and Commerce Committee's Obamacare Burden Tracker, which tallies up Congressional Budget Office estimates of hours spent on compliance with Obamacare. Their current estimate: 127,602,371 hours. To borrow from them:
What could be done in 127,602,371 hours?
  • Mount Rushmore, which took 14 years to build, could be constructed 1,040 times.
  • Halley’s comet, seen from Earth once every 76 years, could be spotted 191 times.
  • The Empire State building, which took 7 million hours to build, could be constructed 18 times.
Is 100% of the new regulatory burden wasted time? It's doubtful. But it is 100% cost, and I very much doubt it was factored into the original CBO estimate of how much the ACA would cost when it was being debated in Congress.  And 100% of that cost will come out of our pockets.  There is no such thing as a free lunch.

here's somebody who knows this stuff better than I do, taking it to pieces far better than I can. Salute to the Pittsford Perennialist.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

An HHS Mandate Simile

I have stolen this entirely from Frank Weathers of Why I Am Catholic.

As you may (or may not) be aware, proposed rules regarding access to pornographic services have been in the making for some time now. This letter to you is a notice that marks the next step in this process. As some religious organizations, and individual members of said religious institutions, had problems with accepting our prior rules on pornographic services, modifications have been adopted as noted in the following paragraphs.

The proposed rules would make two principal changes to the health services coverage rules to provide all citizens with pornographic services coverage without cost sharing, while taking into account religious objections to said pornographic services to members of eligible organizations, including eligible organizations that are religious institutions of higher education, that establish or maintain or arrange health coverage. First, the proposed rules would amend the criteria for the religious employer exemption to ensure that an otherwise exempt employer plan is not disqualified because the employer’s purposes extend beyond the inculcation of religious values or because the employer serves or hires people of different religious faiths.

Second, the proposed rules would establish accommodations for health services coverage established or maintained by eligible organizations, or arranged by eligible organizations that are religious institutions of higher education, with religious objections to pornographic services coverage. The proposed rules also propose related amendments to other rules, consistent with the proposed accommodations. The Departments intend to finalize all such proposed amendments before the end of the temporary enforcement safe harbor on August 1, 2013.

Pornographic services will be provided at no cost to you, automatically. You will not even have to search for it, except by consulting TV guides, and by using remote controls. If you currently have access to cable television, all adult pornographic pay-per-view channels will be unblocked and made available to you without cost sharing. Also, by simply having television reception (via cable, or via the airwaves), or internet access via iOS devices, our government, understanding how important this service is to our citizens health and well-being, is making sure that the benefits of pornographic services (understood as dignified, uplifting, and morally good for society) will be provided by your local broadcasters/ purveyors of media without cost sharing by no later than the implementation date of August 1, 2013.

You, as a consumer, personally do not have to do anything regarding this service, as it will automatically become available to you through every broadcast medium, with no cost sharing. Currently, free pornographic services require you to at least initiate a Google search, or even pay a fee for viewing pornographic content via your cable television provider, or a certified pornographic services provider. But no more. You do not have to decide if you would like pornographic services, as that decision has been made for you. Therefore, you do not have to “opt in” to gain access to these services available to you with no cost sharing.

Depending on the narrowness of the broadcast/cable/ISP markets in your area, however, the numbers of channels with pornographic services content will vary. We are requesting your comments during the next six months while we seek ways to partner effectively with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple TV, Yahoo!, Google,, to expand access to pornographic services so the benefits of streaming this important, healthy, content, in accordance with this mandate, without cost sharing, can begin by the deadline stated above without delay.
Here comes the kicker.
Did we mention you won’t have to pay for this service? As we feel that pornographic material is vital to the health and well-being of our citizens, parental controls on this programming will be disabled. Your children will not need to ask your permission to utilize pornographic services, as the benefits of utilizing pornography are self-evident to all. Of course, as your conscience dictates, you may decide to forgo the pornographic services provided by the proposed rules on your own.
The benevolent Uncle Sam wouldn’t want to violate your First Amendment rights, you see.
Furthermore, nothing in these proposed rules would preclude employers or others from expressing their opposition, if any, to the use of pornography; require anyone to use pornography; or require video entertainment providers to supply pornography if doing so is against their religious beliefs.
Here ends my outright theft from Frank Weathers.

I have to say, I like this way of explaining what the HHS mandate actually does to us far better than the bacon in a kosher deli argument.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blogrollin' on Executive Fiat Mass Murder

Was Bush's decision that his people could torture captives gravely evil and utterly inexcusable? You bet. Has Obama done even worse? You bet! (salute to The Anchoress, whose post here is worth reading.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Hot Air's story, which has the video, in case embedding doesn't work right.

Does this excuse Bush's use of torture? Nope. It just demonstrates that our Ruling Class has no respect for the rule of law, for morality, or for us, regardless of which side of the aisle they may call home. I have no solutions. I agree with Zippy when he says that national office elections are basically theater meant to reconcile us to being the subjects of the Ruling Class.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Blogrollin'...and TERRORISM!!

Well, it would appear that my government may well regard me as a terrorist. (Salute to the Pittsford Perennialist for the link.) I have strong political views, I dissent from the policies of the regime, and there are those who may find me intimidating. We've come a long way from the original usage of the word, which was the means the Revolutionary French government of the 18th century tried to intimidate its people into complete and utter submission.

Vive l'Eglise! Vive la Justice! Vive la Liberté!