Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Americans United for Separation of Church and State Proposal

Americans United for Separation of Church and State should be given a city of "refuge" where they can make all their own laws and see how long they last.

One of the requirements we must insist upon is that no law that they impose on themselves can have any seminal reference or origin in religion. Thus, killing will be allowed freely in such an Americans United for Separation of Church and State city, because "Thou Shall Not Kill" has its origins in religion. Also, thievery, adultery, envy, immorality of all kinds, telling lies, etc. will all be legalized. Why? Because they must remove all artifacts of religious morality from their society.

My prediction is that they will kill themselves within a year or die of disease.

Oh, yes. Neither can these cities of "refuge" take advantage of any advancements in science, because the scientific method came out of the assumptions of religion that the universe is orderly and predictable via a benevolent mechanism to favor human life. That is the basis of the scientific method.  Science's foundation is in religious faith that the universe is orderly and kind.

Then, with AU (and other such groups) out of the way by their own choice, we can introduce God back into public life and begin once again to embrace what is Good, True, and Beautiful—all of which has it's source in our Creator.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gun Control vs. Abortion Control

Search "gun control" and "abortion" on-line and you'll be "treated" with a host of posts and challenging questions about why liberals support gun control (because guns kills dozens in horrific massacres like Sandy Hook), but are all for abortion (which kills millions of boys and girls whose whole life is before them).  If you think logically and humbly about this, the offensive folks from Westboro Baptist may be on to something. But then the Catholic Church has been onto this for some time... like centuries. Here are some quotes from Pope Benedict XVI's World Day of Peace Message for 2013 delivered December 14, 2012.
Peacemakers are those who love, defend and promote life in its fullness.
The path to the attainment of the common good and to peace is above all that of respect for human life in all its many aspects, beginning with its conception, through its development and up to its natural end. True peacemakers, then, are those who love, defend and promote human life in all its dimensions, personal, communitarian and transcendent. Life in its fullness is the height of peace. Anyone who loves peace cannot tolerate attacks and crimes against life.
Those who insufficiently value human life and, in consequence, support among other things the liberalization of abortion, perhaps do not realize that in this way they are proposing the pursuit of a false peace. The flight from responsibility, which degrades human persons, and even more so the killing of a defenseless and innocent being, will never be able to produce happiness or peace. Indeed how could one claim to bring about peace, the integral development of peoples or even the protection of the environment without defending the life of those who are weakest, beginning with the unborn. Every offense against life, especially at its beginning, inevitably causes irreparable damage to development, peace and the environment. Neither is it just to introduce surreptitiously into legislation false rights or freedoms which, on the basis of a reductive and relativistic view of human beings and the clever use of ambiguous expressions aimed at promoting a supposed right to abortion and euthanasia, pose a threat to the fundamental right to life.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Wisdom From Above" Gets a Proofing - Thanks, Mary!

Mary Lyle Proof "Wisdom From Above"
While EWTN reviews Wisdom From Above for its theology, we're busy back in S.E. Michigan going through technical reviews and proofing the 13 Episodes, and writing the Study Guide. Next step is to make the 100+ little fixes. We should be done with everything but the fixes before Christmas. My thanks to Mary (Freeman) Lyle who has volunteered her time to come and sit at my computer to proof all the on-screen text, and then take the Study Guide on her Christmas break and proof it as well. She's been showing up at 7 AM on Saturdays (!!!! Yes, I fix her omelets and ham). She's good. I've watched these episodes a dozen times already, and she finds multiple typos in every lesson. When Mary was in college she interned at my production company years ago. Then after a stint of teaching in CA she moved back to MI and lived with us for 3 years renting a room, while she substitute taught, and looked for a full time job. Then she met Randy Lyle, got married, and moved out. They adopted two great kids from Russia, and live near by so now and then between her teaching assignments she finds time to help me run conferences, and proof stuff. Many, many thanks, Mary. God bless you!

Friday, December 14, 2012

School Killings - Where is God?

Where is God?

No one should be surprised by events like today's horror at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The country's pubic school system has been telling God, faith, and the moral values promoted by religion (particularly Catholicism) that they have no place in public education. So, guess what?

Why are we surprised that children kill their parents and other children? It must be okay, since we have legalized the killing of children in the womb. In so doing we have told children they are not important.  They are raised without religious faith, moral values, nor an understanding of eternal consequences. We have told God to get lost. So he has, leaving us wandering. Now, we are lost.
Evil steps in.
Romans 1: 18-29

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools...

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. 

Expect more of this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Superman Trailer - Christ Myth Revisited

There have been many mythical references to Superman (the comic book hero of my childhood) with Jesus Christ.  (I'm here using "myth" in the Tolkien sense that myths are stories that tell us something important and true about reality. Myths are designed not to be true in an explicit sense, but to be true in a moral and psychological sense.)

Watch the trailer for the new Superman movie MAN OF STEEL to come out this next summer. The lines that stick out which relates to Christ are toward the end. See if you catch the mythic sense of Superman as it applies to Christ.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Virtue of Perseverance - John Milton

Milton Dictates Lost Paradise
Today, the birthday of John Milton (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674), Garrison Keillor posted what's indented below, on his blog, The Writer's Almanac. What captured my imagination was the underlined portion, which reminds me that I have not yet faced a true test of perseverance, although I think it my strongest virtue. If you've never held a copy of Paradise Lost in your hand, I'll tell you that it's over 10,000 lines of free verse and approximately 96,000 words white Paradise Regained is much, much shorter. That is sheer hard labor with a word processor, but of course Milton had but a quil in the hands of a friend or daughter.
Today is the birthday of John Milton... Though he wanted to be a poet, he spent most of his life working as a political pamphleteer, calling for freedom to divorce and freedom of the press. He wrote, among other things, "Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye." He also spoke out against the king during England's civil war, which was fine as long as the king was deposed and Oliver Cromwell was leading the Commonwealth. But eventually, the monarchy was restored and Milton, who by this time had severe glaucoma, became a public enemy. His pamphlets were burned, and people said God had smote him with blindness for his treason against the Crown.

Newly unemployed, Milton returned to poetry. He composed the verses in his head, reciting them over and over until he found someone — friends, family, or hired help — who could write them down. And in this way, he wrote an English epic poem in blank verse: Paradise Lost (1667), which was originally called Adam Unparadised. It's about the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, and their fall from the earthly paradise of the Garden of Eden. Milton published a sequel four years later; it's called Paradise Regained (1671), and it's about the temptation of Christ.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Why Atheists Hate Christmas

I've said this before, but Doug Giles has said it better. Below are excerpts to his post The Real Root of Atheists' Anti-Christmas Rage.  The link takes you to the full article.
Why do some atheists embarrass themselves year after year trying to eradicate Christmas from American culture? Why do they make themselves societal hemorrhoids during this hallowed season?

...they hate God and love their sin, and bringing up Jesus in December is not the way they wanted to finish off the year. Indeed, Christ really rains on their parade … and they love their parade.

Christmas, (is)... about mankind’s sin problem and what God did to remedy it by sending His Son.

The core cause that necessitated Jesus’ incarnation was our jacked up carnality. Yep, Hambone, it was our sin. There, I said it. Sin. Yours, mine and ours.

Transgression was the reason for the season.

This is not good news to some, though. Indeed, many atheists are up front about it and don’t want to leave their wantonness. As Jesus Himself said, they prefer darkness to light and don’t like to be reminded of their personal accountability for their sin—and thus their need for salvation—and therefore we should not expect them to be stoked about Jesus’ birthday party.
This brings to mind Romans 1:24-32 and the political situation in the U.S. right now where so many people (even Catholics and other Christians) voted for a party that endorses the murder of millions of babies every year, gay marriage, and a frontal attack on religious liberty, moral obedience to God, even to the point of not wanting even the mention of God in their platform. But most people thought all of that was okay, for a variety of other reasons. Romans 1 reminds us of the consequences:
Therefore God has handed them over to the impurity through the lust of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies....and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. ....They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
And the consequences will be felt by all. Some will continue to blame Bush, and never see the wickedness that has brought condemnation to our nation.  We will be judged. Especially those Christians that know better but voted for such wickedness, pretending they were voting for the poor. Right! Food stamps are always better than a paycheck.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Little Girl and the Atheist

This is one of those old saws, a joke that is, told in a variety of situations. The first time I heard it was from Dr. Thomas Stevenin, the late motivational speaker I had hired for a couple Harley Davidson conferences. The way Tom told the story it was an old farmer standing in for the Little Girl and a Wall Street Hedge Fund salesman standing in for the atheist.

Here's the story, and then a comment about why this is a apropos illustration.

(Thanks to my friend Joe Greco for sending this along, although I see it's all over the web on a hundred other blogs.)

An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, “Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.”
The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, “What would you want to talk about?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” said the atheist. “How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?” as he smiled smugly.
“OK,” she said. “Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?”
The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea.”
To which the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death, when you don’t know shit?”
And then she went back to reading her book.

This is so apropos becasue atheism claims to KNOW for a fact that there is no God. But an atheist knowledge of the universe is miniscule compared to all human knowledge, and all that humans know about the universe is miniscule to reality. The little girl knows that atheism is for idiots... that's not name calling, that's what they are.

Indeed, a child shall lead them... if they care to be led.

A letter from Hobby Lobby stores CEO

Obamacare’s abortion-causing drugs
The following letter was emailed to Cal Catholic on November 28. The lawsuit can be read about here.

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God’s word. From there,Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that’s what we’ve tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

So, Hobby Lobby and my family are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American and no American business should have to make.

The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.

Since you will not see this covered in any of the liberal media, pass this on to all your contacts.

David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Legacy in India Missions

Trudy (Williams) Nelson in Hyderabad, India with conference attendees and their children. 
I've written before about my connection with India and missions. My grandmother was a Christian missionary there from 1907-1943, and my mom and aunt were born there. In recent years my eldest daughter, Trudy, has returned numerous times on short term mission efforts. Two weeks ago she led a group of five other women there to teach, pray, and encourage hundreds of Dalit women who are Christian leaders in their own villages. She brought back picture and movies and posted them HERE ON SHUTTERFLY. We're very proud of her. She has my drive and my wife's compassion. A great combination. She's wearing a red and gold sari I bought her mother when I visited India in 1981.

Friday, November 16, 2012

TWINKIE GREED: Richard (Whipped Cream) Trumka

I have a "Catholic" friend who claims our economic downturn is the result of corporate greed. He's convinced that anyone who's rich is evil, runs a company, and employes people, or has a business model that "makes money", is repressing the poor. Of course, he's richer than most of his poor friends that he's vowed to protect. And he's convinced that "Obama as the plan" that will save the poor.

I hope he's watching the unemployment stats, the stock market crash, and the rise in food stamps. I wonder how many more years my friend will be able to blame Bush? That's the problem, never take personal responsibility. Blame someone else. Put down  the other guy, it'll make you feel better, but not make you any better.

Never mind that under every "big government" example in history, the more government gets involved in people's lives (with a few exceptions) the poor get poorer. Why? Because government removes the incentive for free enterprise that is the ONLY wealth creation mechanism every known.

Never mind that is it he rich that employ the poor. But of course, according to the Democrats, it's those that employ the poor are also repressing the poor. How? By not giving to their employes the profits that the investors risked to make the company successful. A job with a living wage is repression. That's what we're hearing these days.

It's the typical socialist rant (which you can find on YouTube easily enough) ... that what made the rich rich was the sweat and labor of the workers. Never mind that there had to be capital to beging with before a factory could be built, and raw materials purchased, and shipped, and processed, or that the land had to be bought before that, and taxes and regulations had to be followed, and paid for, and contracts negotiated and premiums paid... and let's not forget the patents that had to be either purchased, and defended. Or before that the design invented (which took decades of labor by the owner). Never mind all that... it was the workers that stuffed the twinkies with whipped cream... and therefore it's the workers who have the rights to all the owner's wealth.

In most cases of Corporate America the "owners" are the Jack and Jill's of Middle American who invest their money, 401K, IRA, and savings accounts in mutual funds. So,  when  people like Rich (Whipped Cream) Trumka blame crony capitalism, he's talk about his pension plan. Idiot!

Hostess Brands have been losing millions for years. The  unions know this because the AFL-CIO had access to the books over the last years of acrimonious negotiations. The unions claim that hostess was mismanaged, and the workers are now taking the hit.

And in attempts to rescue Hostess and bring it out of bankruptcy the Bain Capital type companies gave it millions of dollars and try to straighten out its affairs, and pay its workers, to avoid closing. According to today's article on and the, those investment firms that risked much to save Hostess included: Ripplewood Holdings that made a $130 million investment, and later two hedge funds, Silver Point Capital and Monarch Alternative Capital. These companies tried to keep Hostess alive. But now they are going to lose most of their investment, most likely. And  who is to blame for this? According to AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka, it's the greedy capitalists, not the greedy bakers. Huh! Here's what he said today:
What’s happening with Hostess Brands is a microcosm of what’s wrong with America, as Bain-style Wall Street vultures make themselves rich by making America poor. Crony capitalism and consistently poor management drove Hostess into the ground, but its workers are paying the price. ... These workers, who consistently make great products Americans love and have offered multiple concessions, want their company to succeed... they have bravely taken a stand against the corporate race-to-the-bottom. And now they are their communities are suffering the tragedy of a needless layoff. this is wrong. It has to stop. It's wrecking America.
“These workers, who consistently make great products Americans love and have offered multiple concessions, want their company to succeed,” Trumka said in the statement. “They have bravely taken a stand against the corporate race-to-the-bottom. And now they and their communities are suffering the tragedy of a needless layoff. This is wrong. It has to stop. It’s wrecking America.”

Read more:
 Well, Rich, it may be mismanagement wrecked Hostess, it's hard to tell, but actually it's the capitalists, including the original investors and management...and lately the hedge funds and restructuring companies... that tried to save it. And yes, cutting salaries and benefits may have been part of the mismanagement. Management can give workers too puffy of a package, that that can suck up what might have been a rainy day fund for economic downturns. It might also be that Hostess Brands products have just run their course in the history of America as we move to healthier lifestyles. Rich, are you overweight? When was the last time you had one too many twinkies or Hostess cupcakes? I know I loved them as a kid, but I haven't had one for years because I know they're bad for me. So, if people like me are not buying the product, is that the fault of crony capitalists? Is that the fault of management for not forcing fatty foods on the public? Hey, blame Michelle Obama, she's on an anti-fat campagin. But don't blame capitalisits. It's the capitalists that started Hostess, employed all those tens of thousands for decades, and even, in the end, tried to keep it alive.

You're wrong, and you're nuts. Stop lying, get some smarts, we might like the unions better if the leadership weren't such greedy jerks like you. Yes, I know, fewer members means less of a salary or bonus, right, Rich?

It was the capitalists, the Bain-style companies, that did just the opposite of what Trumka claims. Such companies have saved a great many companies, brands, and jobs. Never mind that it was the millions that Romney and others made that put thousands back to work. Romney's millions NEVER sat idle. They were always reinvested, even when they're "sitting" in the bank.... for the bank is investing their customer's holdings in order to make money, and those investments employ people. Rich (TWINKIE GREED) Trumka is as greedy than anyone. He wants more, and it seems his primary job is to incite greed in his union workers and never take personal responsibility. I really  would like to know if Rich's mismanagement claim is tied to his demand for salary and benefits of his workers in the past. Mismanagement = paying workers more than the company can afford and giving into unions that bully.

The only poor workers are those that are too greedy for their owner's tastes. What ever happened to the dignity of work? The bakers at Hostess brands were not poor. But they will be now, because the greed they gave into will make them poor. Divine Justice? Perhaps.

This is the thinking that causes tyrants to nationalize industries, believing that the motivation and inspiration for running a company is mechanical and it will happen regardless of the innovation, insight, determination, and entrreprenural spirit to keep a compnay running against all odds. But no government offical, or Rich Whipped-Cream Trumka,  is going to put in the 14-18 hour days, 6-7 days a week, to keep a company going. And so it will fail. Totally fail. And the country will have to put up a fence to keep the producers, and the upstarts like me from running away.

It's happened in every socialized experiment in history. And the Democrats and the so-called progressives, like my "Catholic" friend, are not just ill advised, but greedy, ignorant of history, and uneducated in the ways of Natural Law, the human spirit. And they sin because they are envious of those that work, produce, and create jobs, and their attitudes create poverty... simply by ignoring what is true, good, and beautiful.

Hell awaits such folk... Catholic or not.

Ronald Reagan's Tribute to God and Country

Friday, November 9, 2012

Being Poor is Not a Virtue - It's Trends Evil

Where in the Bible or in Catholic doctrine does it say that being poor is a virtue?

Is there nobility in being poor?

Are individuals, families, neighborhoods, or cities better off if they are poor?

What advantage is there to being poor?

And yet the Catholic Church elevates the value of being poor, by assuming that poverty is inevitable and perhaps the goal attained.  The Church cares for the poor, like the government does. They GIVE stuff to people. That is caring, but it's not a real good example of caring.

A PREFERENCE FOR THE POOR must include a process, a path, and an education to accumulating wealth and self-sufficiency. Otherwise, IMHO, this "preference for the poor" is a bunch of crap. It is hypocrisy. It's self-perpetuating. It's evil. Gravely evil.

I acknowledge that some individuals are destined to be always poor. There are people that are not capable for any number of reasons of earning a living, keeping a job, or even getting out of bed without falling. I know that. But I'm not talking about such dear souls that exist so that we can learn to help those TRULY in need.

Instead, I'm talking about the otherwise capable, who need to be working at least 6 hours a day volunteering at ANYWHERE good, for the sake of raising their own dignity and improving their lives, and their community. Or, I'm talking about people that should take ANY job, even if it is boring or "beneath their dignity." Work, any work done well, creates personal dignity.

And there are those, in these camps that do feel victimized by society and so they are unmotivated to do anything but find ways to take from the producers, whom them feel owe them.

There is also such hate for those that are rich, that some poor avoid doing things that would help them out of poverty, because they don't want to be like the rich. Stupid thinking leads to a stupid life.

Over generalizations?


I've seen it up close and personal.

It's abhorrent, evil and destructive. 

If you hate poverty, start doing what the rich do. What do the rich do? 

The rich study the lives of immigrants that came to the U.S. with no money, and today are millionaires.

The rich have gleamed and practice those virtues of character that differentiate the poor from the rich and follow them.  Ben Franklin and his book of virtues comes to mind.

The rich have fostered in themselves values such as these:

1. Foster a personal value that accumulating money is good.  Don't love it. But without it you're poor. (See No. 4)
I know of people who claim to be champions of the poor, who avoid money like it was a plague. My conclusion is that they don't want to be seen by their poor friends as being like the rich, because that would destroy friendships. What a stupid idea. The Bible reminds us that the rich have friends, whereas the poor don't. 
2. Study the work habits and traits, not the hobbies, of the rich and replicate those work traits in your life.
I visited a subway restaurant one time in Detroit. It had just changed owners. It was busy, a long line. The staff was short handed. And what was the owner doing? He was making a sandwich for himself, disturbing the work flow, and then he left. Any smart store owner, seeing the line of customers, would have been working to help the customers, not himself. This was also the man who had parked illegally, blocking customer's direct to the shop from the parking lot.
3. Work 12-14 hours a day at improving your education, skills and earning potential. Do not stop at 8 or 10.

4. SAVE MONEY, don't spend it.
I know a stock broker who was born in abject poverty. As a teenager he lived in a very bad, crime ridden urban community. As a teen he worked several odd jobs, and started buying stock. He says his first stock was McDonald's because he liked their food. He became, in that small way, AN OWNER of McDonald's. He was frugal. He also purchased OLD, USED cars. And today he's a rich stock broker that spends 50% of his time volunteering to help the less fortunate. BUT he could not be helping the poor today, if he can not worked hard, saved his money, and learned to be a good stock trader.
5. OWN things of value, not because they simple look cool or will impress your friends.  
See above example. There are numerous commercials that tell you to buy things because you'll impress your friends with your success. If you buy into this concept you'll be poor in no time. 
6. Be the last person off the treadmill, and the first one on the next morning.
This advice comes from Will Smith one of the smartest and hardest working producers and actors in Hollywood. I've been with Will and confirm that this is exactly what he does. While other producers will hire story consultants and writers like me, and visit us for an hour or so during a several day long story conference effort, Will will be the first one there in the morning, and not leave until everyone else is in bed, 14 hours later. Will is extremely talented. But without the hard work, he'd not be rich. Oh, and here's a secret that in telling you I'm probably violating my confidentiality agreement -- but it makes the point well: In his home's movie theater, there are TWO treadmills. Work, baby work. Harder than anyone else.
7. READ THE BEST INSPIRING BOOKS on how to be self-sufficient. Here's a short list. They are not contrary to Catholic teaching, although you'll not find a bishops Rescript in the front. HA! I've read all these and many more. And while we're not rich by some standards, we aren't poor.
RICH DAD POOR DAD:  What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money - That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! (Richard Kiyosaki)



TIME MANAGEMENT (Richard Winwood)

TOP PERFORMANCE: How to Develop Excellent in Yourself and Others (Zig Ziglar)


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Are You a Catholic Hypocrite?

 The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

Healing The Blind Man by Edy Legrand.
I'm a Catholic convert. That means I came into the Roman Catholic Church voluntarily as an adult rather than being born in the Church. I came into the Church during the the Easter Vigil, 1998, shortly after receiving my Ph.D. which was a significant component and part of the process of my embracing Catholicism. My doctoral research that led to my dissertation involved the study and formalization of informal logic, or fallacy logic. The dissertation has nothing to do with theology or Christian doctrine. But there were unintended consequences. The 3+ years of research and writing revealed to me the inconsistency of Protestant theology and gave me historical names and theories of reason and faith that surprisingly and suddenly marginalized the rubrics (and some central doctrines) of Protestantism. It's not my intent to go into those here, as I've discussed them other places, most notably in my 26 biographical posts on logic at Trying to Fly With One Wing.

 You Can't Promote Evil Doers and Be Catholic

One of the things I learned is that you can't really call yourself Catholic when you disagree with the teachings and declared positions of the Church. When you disagree with the Church's stance on teachings, doctrine, or public policy you in effect become a "protester" — the root concept behind Protestantism. I once had a pastor-priest (now retired, thankfully) that supported (quietly but clearly) the ordination of women and homosexual marriage, and publicly railed in homilies on the lack of charitable giving by the United States to those in need overseas. He refused to be corrected that the U.S. gave more to humanitarian efforts than the next ten national combined, and that in times of crises U.S. private giving always topped the government's contributions. On the grave moral issues he kept is opinions quiet in the pulpit, but privately he'd make his opinion known. We left that parish. He was a Protestant and he should not have been a Catholic priest. He was a Catholic Hypocrite.

This Election (November 6, 2012)

This election brings to the forefront (to those that want to truthfully engage themselves with the Church) the issue of voting with a well-formed conscience for candidates that support issues with grave moral consequences. My wife and I have met and communicated with both Catholic laypeople and Catholic ordained leaders, who seem to believe they can be authentically Catholic and ignore or even despise what the Church teaches about our responsibilities as Catholic in society. These people, even the ordained, are Catholic Hypocrites.

A downloadable mp3 audio message from the Michigan Catholic Conference on Faithful Citizenship begins this way:
As Catholics we have the responsibility to vote with a well-formed conscience. On Tuesday November 6, Michigan Catholics will vote for politicians and issues that will shape the moral fiber of our state and country. ... Legislators write laws that impact our families and the common good. etc. ...defending human life and religious liberty are critical.
There are numerous efforts by the Church, in print,  in homilies and public forums that clearly inform consciences that there are some issues that are more important than others, just as all sins ARE NOT the same in weight and consequence. Some are gravely morally evil, and others are minor in nature.

Three Grave Moral Evils

Among the three gravely moral evils that the Church tells us must guide our voting are:
a. Protection of life, from conception to natural death. (abortion)
b. The sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman (homosexual "marriage")
c. Repressing religious liberties (regulations that force the Church to sin)
Those three issues are not negotiable or debatable in their intrinsic evil. The current Democrat platform and this administration's support of abortion, gay marriage, and their active infringement on religious liberties by requiring Church institutions to violate their moral conscience with respect to "life" issues are gravely and intrinsically evil. The Republican platform protects life, marriage and religious liberties. What is not considered gravely evil, or even wrong, are the policies of the Republican party to care for the poor through an emphasis on personal responsibility while keeping in place various safety nets for the destitute. Yet, some Catholic leaders and laypersons ignore the grave evils promoted by the Democratic platform and hide behind a pretense that Republicans repress the poor and minorities, as if being rich was the greater evil.

Laissez-faire Capitalism is Good for the Poor

In other posts I've deconstructed this fallacious notion that the rich are bad and hurt the poor. It is the rich that pay for the welfare state through taxes (90% of the tax base is paid by the rich), it is the rich that support benevolent institutions charities and Churches, it is the rich that create jobs.  And it is the rich that see it as their personal responsibility to be generous not the governments.  Indeed, if more of the capable poor were to form their conscious to think like the rich, they'd cease to be poor.  I've written elsewhere on the Rich vs. the Poor. I also recommend the writings of Ayn Rand, particularly Atlas Shrugged to further proof that Laissez-faire capitalism does more for the poor than any government every can.

Do Good and Avoid Evil

In the PDF link at the top of this post, and here (The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship) under the heading DOING GOOD AND AVOIDING EVIL you'll find this:
As Catholics we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a
single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position
on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal
abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify
a candidate from receiving support.
Your Choice: Fight Evil or Be Tolerant of Evil

If you are a Catholic, especially one that has heard this message in sermons, or been exposed to the bulletin insert linked above, and particularly if you are a priest or deacon, if you vote for candidates whose platforms endorse abortion, gay marriage, or the restriction of religious liberties by forcing sinful acts on religious institutions and individuals... you are a hypocrite. There will be consequences in this life and the next for all of our actions that are contrary to Natural Law, Biblical teachings, and particularly if you refuse to form your conscience in according with what is good, true, and beautiful.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I'm Thinking I'll Go On Strike

Pam and I watched Atlas Shrugged Part 1 last night on Netflix and then I stayed up and watched the bio doc on Ayn Rand's life, AYN RAND & THE PROPHECY OF ATLAS SHRUGGED. The trailer of which is linked here:

The documentary is worth watching and explains the dangers of the tendencies of our government, regardless of the party, to move toward socialism, principally because of our Christian foundations surrounding "guilt" and what we are taught about sacrifice to help the less fortunate. What is amazing is that she, an immigrant from Communist Russia in 1926, saw the U.S. Government going in the same direction as Communism and wrote three novels about the dangers. It seems a classic case of right intention, wrong consequence, or doing the wrong thing for the right reason.

The last novel was Atlas Shrugged that came out in 1957. At that time, of course, the U.S. was in a period of prosperity and no one would believe her. In the last few years, however, I guess the book has been extremely popular... like the rise in gun purchases. Will the U.S. be the first nation in human history that pulls itself back from the brink of destruction? Time will tell.

This trailer from the documentary is a good summary of her philosophy and of the book. One problem that gave her fits in 1957 when Atlas Shrugged was released is her use of the word "selfishness." Being a Russian immigrant her use is an equivocation with how contemporary Christians typically define the word. Thus, her philosophy and her concept of "the virtue of selfishness" can appear to offend Christians until they understand that Rand is talking about the love of self and the Christian concept of dignity, not the sinful nature of demeaning others for self aggrandizement.  Her philosophy, also called Objectivism, can be defined as a way to perceive Natural Law, and therefore it is a foundational way to understand Christian philosophy without using Christian jargon. Here are a couple lines for the Wikipedia article:
Rand characterized Objectivism as "a philosophy for living on earth," grounded in reality, and aimed at defining human nature and the nature of the world in which we live.

 My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.)
I commend the trailer that links above, and the book Atlas Shrugged. I read it once in high school but didn't understand it until recent years. I've repurchased and will read again.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Riches and Wealth for the Common Good

"The Church's History is Full of Examples of Rich People Who Used their Possessions in an Evangelical Way"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 14, 2012 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Sunday before and after praying the midday Angelus in St. Peter's Square.
* * *
Dear brothers and sisters!

Wealth is the principal topic of this Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 10:17-30). Jesus teaches that it is very difficult for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God, but not impossible; in fact, God can conquer the heart of a person who has many possessions and move him to solidarity and sharing with the needy, with the poor, to enter into the logic of the gift. This is how wealth presents itself in the life of Jesus Christ, who – as the Apostle Paul writes – “rich though he was, he became poor for us so that we might become rich though his poverty” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

As often happens in the Gospels, everything begins from an encounter. In this case Jesus’ meeting with a man who “had many possessions” (Mark 10:22). He was a person who from his youth had faithfully observed the commandments of God’s Law, but he had not yet found true happiness; this is why he asks Jesus what he must do to “inherit eternal life” (10:17). On the one hand, like everyone else, he is after life in its fullness. On the other hand, being used to depending on his wealth, he thinks that he might be able to “buy” eternal life in some way, perhaps by observing some special commandment. Jesus welcomes the profound desire that is in him and, the evangelist notes, casts a gaze full of love upon him, God’s own gaze (cf. 10:21). But Jesus also understands what the man’s weakness is: it is precisely his attachment to his many possessions, and this is why he invites him to give everything to the poor, so that his treasure – and thus his heart – will no longer be on earth but in heave, and adds: “Come! Follow me!” (10:22). That man, instead of accepting Jesus’ invitation, goes away sad (10:23) since he is unable to give up his wealth, which can never give him happiness and eternal life.

It is at this point that Jesus offers his teaching to the disciples, and to us today: "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" (10:23). The disciples are puzzled, and even more so when Jesus adds: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." But seeing that the disciples are astonished he says: "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.

All things are possible for God" (10:24-27). St. Clement comments on the episode in this way: “The story teaches the rich that they must not neglect their salvation as if they were already condemned. They need not throw their wealth into the sea or condemn it as insidious and hostile to life, but they must learn how to use their wealth and obtain life” (“What rich person will be saved?” 27, 1-2). The Church’s history is full of examples of rich people who used their possessions in an evangelical way, achieving sanctity. We need only think of St. Francis, St. Elizabeth or St. Charles Borromeo. May the Virgin Mary, Seat of Wisdom, help us to welcome Jesus’ invitation with joy so that we might enter into the fullness of life.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Republican vs. Democrat: Preference for the Poor

Alright, Preference for the Poor. Let that be a goal.

If you have a Preference for the Poor, then here are some ways to politically help the poor.

A. ISSUE: Abortion.

R: Against killing babies, the poorest of the poor.
D. Willing to kill babies, both in the womb and out, if you consider O's voting record in the IL State senate.

Preference for the Poor: Republicans.

B. ISSUE: Homosexual "marriage" and "rights"

R. Against, because it tears at the fabric of the family and society and creates insecurities, disease, dysfunction and consequent poverty and unemployment as society crumbles around its presence.
D. Willing to allow homosexuality regardless of the social consequence.

Preference for the Poor: Republicans.

C. ISSUE: Widespread Sub-Prime Home Mortgages

R. Against, because our economic system cannot sustain easily the collapse of sub-prime mortgage payments without government bail out of the investment banks on Wall Street. The collapse would create a dire need for the poor who are kicked out of their homes. The Republicans repeatedly tried to regulate the mortgage insurance business so the collapse would not occur, but the D's beat them back -- and what the R's predicted happened. There is greed on Wall Street, but that isn't what caused the recession.

D. Even in the midst of the financial crisis D's Maxine Waters and Barney Frank, and every other Dem except the Blue Dogs, supported the sub-prime fiasco.

Preference for the Poor: Republicans (for personal responsibility)

D. ISSUE: Jobs

R. Generate jobs by lowering taxes and lowering unnecessary regulations to encourage investment in new products that have a multiplying effect on wealth creation and consequently more jobs from earnings that are invested. This gives more opportunity for the poor to (a) get a job, (b) start a business, (c) benefit from the higher tax revenue created by the greater flow of money in the economy. It is a natural law that lower tax rates create higher tax revenue by virtue of the increased cash flow in the economy. Surpluses are the norm in such states.

D. Government hires people to give them jobs. But, job creation is limited to taxes available or money that can be borrowed (the deficit). There is no possibility for multiplying jobs through product development, sales, innovation and creating new markets. The poor cannot grow in government jobs without the government growing. Jobs are limited.

Preference for the Poor: Republicans who want to help the poor by giving them the opportunity to create individual wealth.

E. ISSUE: The 1%

R: Stop corruption but let the marketplace generate wealth for any individual. It is the 1% (actually the top 20%) that pay nearly all Federal Taxes, and thus it is the rich that support welfare, food stamps, aid the poor, etc. etc. It is the 1% that give away their money to charities, and that build universities, and hospitals, and grant money to thousands of non-profit benevolent agencies that support the poor. When the government takes the 1%'s money, there will be less to help the poor through the government tax rolls because the rich will not be capable of earning as much.

D. Higher regulation, creates higher cost, creates finanical burdens for employers, institutions, and increases taxes... ultimately making healthcare more expensive and less accessible to the poor.

Preference: Republicans in the long run, although it looks like if we can borrow from the Chinese indefinitely, the D get the nod.

E. ISSUE: The Gap between Rich and Poor

R: Allows it because even though the gap may increase, the poor have jobs and aren't as poor as before. Poverty is NOT defined by how big the gap is, but how well the lower class can afford necessities of life.

D. Wants to minimize the Gap between rich and poor. But rather than helping the poor create wealth, they penalize the rich for their success, which just demotivates the rich and then less people are employed, and there is less tax for helping the truly poor.

Preference: Republicans in the long run, although it looks like if we can borrow from the Chinese indefinitely, the D get the nod.

E. ISSUE: Distribution (Solidarity) & Charitable Giving

The public perception is that D give more to the poor. But just the opposite is actually true. One study showed that Utah (red) averages 10.2%, where Vermont (blue) gives 2.5% to charity.

R: R's prefer to give to the poor through personal giving. It's more efficient, and it avoids graft. Republicans see more value in creating work and jobs than giving to charity, and it can be argued that creating jobs is far more important to the poor than handouts.

D. Prefer to give to the poor through government (using other people's money). They personally give far less than Republicans.

Preference: Republicans. The Dems are hypocrites at this.

F. ISSUE: Personal dignity

R: Republicans believe that work creates dignity more than wealth. That is probably why R are richer than D. If you want to be rich and create personal wealth, embrace R philosophy.

D. Believe that having money creates dignity and so they prefer welfare. And this is why D are poorer than R. If you want to be poor, embrace D philosophy.

Preference for the poor: Republicans.

How the Poor Can Become Rich

Subtitle A: What do the Rich know that the Poor don't?

Subtitle B: Secrets of the Rich that the Poor Could Use

The following lift from a website suggests to me that the rich have a secret which isn't really a secret, onto which the poor need to latch if they want to not be poor.


==== quote ==== 

The results [of several studies] conclude that lower income Americans vote in favor of their economic position (favoring Democrats).  With increases in income, voters can afford to follow social issues. 

The 2008 vote by income graph examines how income varies between rich and poor states.
Mississippi is one of the poorest states in the Union, Connecticut is consistently one of the wealthiest and Ohio falls in between.  Likewise, Mississippi is Republican stronghold, Connecticut is even more Democratic and Ohio is a toss-up.
The lower income level within the three states votes consistently in favor of the Democrats.  As income rises its clear which states follow conservative social ideologies.

 === end quote ===

The "secrets" may be these:

A. If you want to be rich, live by the philosophy (worldview) of the Republicans (see below). If you want to be poor, live by a Democrat philosophy. 

B. The Rich may read more, taking in a variety of input and make voting decisions based on what's the best way to create personal wealth; e.g. the candidate's understanding of how the economy works, proposed tax structure, proposed regulation structure. The Poor may read less, take in less input, and make voting decisions based on reasons other than personal wealth; e.g. on the color of a candidate's skin, political party affiliation, or promises to boost fiscal support to the poor. 

C. Regardless of what is vocally espoused, the self-made wealth generally lives by fiscally conservative capitalistic fiscal principles. I know a man who verbally claims to be a progressive social Democrat, that is, he favors socialism in terms of taxing the rich and giving it to the poor. But the man and his family guide their personal finances after a conservative capitalistic Republican philosophy, and he is easily in the top 10% income bracket among Americans.

Political Definitions can be subtle and confusing. Here's how I'll generally classify differences. I will probably not be consistent about one thing— the difference between a person's spoken political philosophy and the person's actions. That is, what a person says they believe and how they actually live are meant to be equivalent in the table below.

METRICConservative Capitalist 
(Trends Republican)
Allows for unrestricted growth of personal wealth generation.
Social Progressive 
(Trends Democrat)
Allows for restricted growth of personal wealth generation. 
Responsibility (Subsidiarity)Takes Personal Responsibility for Well Being. Blames self when things go wrong. Pushes subsidiarity down to individual.Looks to government, agencies, parents, organizations, hierarchy to take primary responsibility for well-being. Blames others when things go wrong. Pushes subsidiarity up to larger and more powerful social-political structures.
Laws (see also Govt. Regulation)Believes in a Natural Law with absolute cause and effects that never changes regardless of laws.

Believes that the goal of man made laws is to be fair to all people, that legislation is limited in itself to bring out that fairness. Believes, therefore, in adjudication for unintended circumstances.

Believers in Political Law cause and effects that can change by human law.

Believes that the goal of man made laws to to be fair to all, and that much can be legislated to be fair to all.

Believes in the homogeneous of humanity (everyone is the same and needs to be treated the same.)
Government RegulationBelieves in limited government regulation and broad judiciary judgement, but not in "legislation from the bench."

Believes in a heterogeneous humanity (everyone is different and needs to be treated differently).

Believes in strong government regulation and narrow judiciary judgement, and would allow "legislation from the bench."

Believes in a homogeneous humanity (everyone is the same and needs to be treated the same).
OrderBelieves in a Natural Order, and the scientific method. If a pattern of behavior or structure observed, there is a natural law behind it that can be discovered but not fundamentally changed.Believes in a Political Order. If a pattern of behavior or structure is observed, it can be changed by social interventions.
Human SolidarityBelieves in the solidarity of all humans, and that individuals and not bureaucratic institutions (e.g. faith based, and volunteer) should oversee distribution of earth's resources. Believes in the solidarity of all humans, and that government should play a controlling role in the distribution of earth's resources.
Religious LibertyBelieves in absolute freedom of religious expression and practice, as long as individual human rights are not forcefully violated.

Unrestricted freedom of conscience.
Believes in limited freedom of religious expression and practice; one person's religion should cannot be allowed offend another person's feelings.

Limits freedom of conscience.
TaxesBelieves in low taxes to generate economy and high revenue for governments.Believes in high taxes to generate revenue for government, even through economy is restricted in the process.
CharityBelieves in giving to charity out of individual's pocket. Believes in giving to charity out of government's pocket.
EconomyBelieves in free market capitalism.Believes in politically controlled socialism. (In reality, the ruling class in socialism practices capitalism, using the people as currency.)
The PoorBelieves there are two classes of the poor: those capable of working and those incapable of working.

Believes in helping the destitute with cradle to grave care, but those able to work, must work or not receive care.
Believes the poor are poor becasue they were represeed by the rich.

Believes in helping all  poor with welfare support, and that those capable of working can't find a job because there are none to their liking.
The RichBelieves that the best way to help the poor is to create jobs and the dignity that comes from work.

Understands that all the money they earn is reinvested or spent, which stimulates the economy and crates secondary jobs. 
Believes that the rich only care for themselves  and do nothing to help the poor.

Believes that the rich should be taxed to redistribute their ill-gotten gains to the less fortunate.
CharityBelieves in their individual responsibility of giving to charity (which includes the poor). 

Believes in their government's responsibility of giving to charity (and helping the poor.) 

Believes in using OPM (Other People's Money) to help the unfortunate and fund programs.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Republican Preference for the Poor

Vote for the Poor by Voting Republican.

A Catholic friend of mine claims he is Democrat because the Democratic Party (DP) has demonstrated its Preference for the Poor (PFT Poor), where the Republican Party (RP) has demonstrated its Preference for the Rich.

For my friend, the political need to show a PFT Poor evidently trumps the immoral issues of Abortion and Homosexual Rights that the DP has enshrined in its platform, and which the RP has explicitly rejected.  For some Catholics a PFT Poor is a secondary concern to abortion and homosexual issues, but for my friend it is the poor that need protection.

Care for the Poor

I cannot disagree with him about the need to show a preference for caring for the poor.

But, while the DP mantra claims it cares for the the poor, the physical actions of the two parties, indicates to me that the RP is the clear winner when it comes to actually living out a PFT Poor.

Let me make my initial case for how the Republicans have a Preference for the Poor by referencing pages from the RP 2012 Platform. I stopped after 14 pages, there's too much, at least in the Republican philosophy, that provides a positive, pro-active agenda that will lift society's fiscal and moral fabric. And perhaps that is my best reason for voting for the poor by voting Republican.

Here are preliminary notes... I only examined the first 14 pages of 63.

The Party of Equal Opportunity (page i)

The RP has a preference for the poor by embracing a philosophy that allows any U.S. citizen to pursuit their dreams. GOP, in his platform, stands for the Great Opportunity Party. The RP believes in equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.

The DP and particularly the Obama Administration (OA), have articulated their desires for equal outcomes, through the redistribution of wealth regardless of merit, effort, or investment. This belittles the recipient and robs them of the self-worth and the dignity that can only be achieved through productive work.

The Party of Providence (page i-ii)

The RP has a preference for the poor by embracing Providence's Natural Law (God) to govern a people rightly. If under God's rules the poor should be cared for, then the RP has placed itself there.  From the Preamble throughout the platform, God's principles of order and right are the guiding light. The RP Platform quotes George Washington's inaugural address:
The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.
Prosperity (page 3)

The RP has a PFT Poor by adopting a philosophy that focuses on the solution and enemy of poverty — prosperity. The RP claims that the poor can be prosperous through "self-discipline, word, savings, and personal investment." For me the RP is the glass is half-full party.

The RP has a PFT poor by wanting to restore opportunity and prosperity of American citizens by freeing people to use their "God-given talents, combined with hard work, self-reliance, ethical conduct and the opportunity, to achieve great things for themselves and the greater community."

This is in contrast to the OA's policies that under the guise of showing a PFT Poor, "expand entitlements and guarantees, create new public programs, and provide bailouts," and in the process create a "culture of dependency, bloated government, and massive debt," which to  me DO NOT show a preference for the poor, but a marginalizing of the poor.

The RP shows its PFT Poor by believing in the "economics of inclusion, enabling everyone to have a chance to own, invest, build and prosper."

The RP shows its PFT Poor by favoring the lowering of taxes and reduced regulation that promotes substantial economic growth, business formation and job creation, and at the same time increases government tax revenue (from the more robust economy) which allows for the financing of a safety net for the abject poor.  Heavy taxation, reduces job creation, tax revenue, and hurts the poor through fewer jobs and less government money for carrying for the indigent.

The RP shows its PFT Poor by pursuit of free market policies that boost employment, create job growth and economic prosperity for all.

Small Business,  Entrepreneurship and the Tax Code (page 2)

The RP shows a PFT Poor by encouraging small business growth which creates the vast majority of jobs, patents, and U.S. exporters. But small businesses are the least likely to afford the bureaucracy of regulation and complex tax codes. By reforming the complexity of the tax code and the implementation of necessary regulations, small business can thrive and hire more of the unemployed.

Tax Relief (page 2 & 3)

The RP reveals its PFT Poor by articulating that proper role of taxation should be to "fund services that are essential and authorized by the Constitution such as national defense and THE CARE OF THOSE WHO CANNOT CARE FOR THEMSELVES.

American Global Competitiveness (page 2)

 The RP shows its PFT Poor (in the U.S.) by wanting to reduce the world's highest corporate tax rate (which double taxes stock holders) so that more corporate earnings come to and and stay in the United States in order to foster jobs. As it is, jobs go over seas because the taxes of earnings here is so high compared to other countries.

(BTW: When "jobs are shipped over seas" we're helping the poor wherever those jobs go. That was precisely one of my three motivations for printing WHAT CATHOLICS REALLY BELIEVE in the orient. The other two was that the cost was 1/3 of what it would have cost to print here and thus made the book a financial loss, and the third was that I hopped that some of the books would be smuggled out of the plant in the predominately pagan city where it was printed, bound, and shipped.)

Audit the Fed and Reestablish a Metallic Basis for U.S. Currency (page 4)

The RP policies show its PFT Poor by desiring to control inflation (a hidden tax on all citizens), and
 stabilize the value of the U.S. dollar by increasing the Federal Reserve's transparency and returning the U.S. dollar to a gold or silver standard. This would stop practices such as the OA and the Federal Reserve from trying to "stimulate" the economy by printing more money, borrowing from China, and devaluing the money the poor have in their pockets.

Expanding Opportunities for Homeownership (page 4-5)

The RP shows its PFT Poor by opening up the opportunity for all citizens, especially the poor, a "decent place to live, a safe place to raise kids, and a welcoming place to retire."  Under Democrat control congress, the Dodd-Frank Act was passed that, in an attempt to help the poor, actually strangled the investment of money in the housing industry, making the housing market flatter. It requires that regulators create 243 rules, conduct 67 studies, and issue 22 periodic reports. The burden of regulation, enforcement and reporting burden "disproportionately harms small and community banks, ...reduces jobs in the construction industry" and hinders citizens from investing in real estate. The RP wants to replace the Dodd-Frank Act with legislation that is based on competition, not regulation, free enterprise, not bureaucracy, and a return to a housing industry that promotes personal responsibility on the part of the borrowers.

Rebuilding Homeownership (page 5)

The RP shows its PFT Poor by downsizing the FHA, which under the OA crowds out competition of the private sector and faces the risk of a bail-out to keep it solvent. (Bureaucracy of government is never efficient as the private sector.) The FHA must be limited to "helping first-time homebuyers and low- and moderate-income borrowers."

The RP shows its PFT Poor by pursuing a policy by which,
the federal government has a role in housing by enforcing non-discrimination laws and assisting low income families and the elderly with safe and adequate shelter, especially through the use of housing vouchers. Homeownership is an important goal, but public policy must be balanced to reflect the needs of Americans who choose to rent. A comprehensive housing policy should address the demand for apartments and multi-family housing. Any assistance should be subject to stringent oversight to ensure that funds are spent wisely.
Right-to-Work Laws (page 7-8)

The RP shows its PFT Poor by seeking to stop the bullying tactics of big unions to restrict an individuals right t work and earn well-earned raises without the unions approval, based on merit and performance and not political loyalties.
Ultimately, we support the enactment of a National Right-to-Work law to promote worker freedom and to promote greater economic liberty. We will aggressively enforce the recent decision by the Supreme Court barring the use of union dues for political purposes without the consent of the worker.

Defense of Marriage (page 10)

The RP shows its PFT Poor by affirming the Defense of Marriage Act, that the Obama has decided not to enforce, thus breaking his inaugural oath. The integrity of a society around the concept of one man, one woman marriage, is the foundation of social justice, subsidiarity, and solidarity. Without it, the poor will get poorer as they are encouraged to leave the responsibilities of marriage behind.

Living Within Our Means (page 10)

The RP shows its PFT Poor by wanting to set the standard for all institutional spending by passing a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment (as 33 States of done), and thus preventing spending beyond our means, as every family should do. Poverty is often brought on by over spending, over borrowing, and then facing bankruptcies.

Federalism and Subsidiarity (page 10-11)

The RP shows its PFT Poor by embracing a Natural Law hierarchy of responsibilities enshrined in the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution, thus setting a role model for states, local governments, families and individuals. The Tenth Amendment states:
The powers not delegated to the
United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the
States respectively, or to the people.
Poverty, in many cases, is the result of turning subsidiarity on its head, and depending on others when the individual should depend on themselves or an authority closer in the authoritative hierarchy.

The Sanctity and Dignity of Human Life (page 13-14)

The RP shows its PFT Poor by defending life from conception to natural death. Unborn babies are perhaps the poorest of the poor. By rejecting abortion rights, the RP shows its greatest preference for the poor. At the other end of the timeline, assisted suicide also devalues the importance of life in its end stages and even when suffering is present. Those that suffer, regardless of financial status are emotionally and physically poor. Suffering, especially in a Catholic understanding of it, is redemptive when  put under the authority of Jesus Christ, and in light of His salvific suffering. Not only does the OA support abortion rights, but Obama has voted three times to legalize the withholding of life sustaining necessities to newborns from botched abortions. That's murder.

...and there are 50 more pages of this stuff.

You want to help the poor. Vote Republican.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What the Rich Do With Their Money -- Help the Poor and All Society

Over the past year I've been kept awake by the false claim by politicians, commentators, and pundits that society's ills have been perpetuated by the rich. From my perspective it is the rich that allows American society to function and prosper.

In fact, there are many Bible verses that assail the rich for their greed; although greed is not reserved for the rich if the millions of people that play the lottery is any indication. Also, things were different thousands of years ago when the Bible was written under harsh dictatorial rule where legal acquisition of land and wealth was considered a threat to the autocrat running the locality. I can't help but wonder if the same things would be written today about the rich in America. I doubt it, as I will attempt to show shortly.

American society can be subdivided society into three segments: The Rich, the Middle, and the Poor. You can decide where the dividing lines are between those groups, but suffice it to say that the Poor include both those with low incomes and low net worth, as well as those that have no income and no net worth. For the sake of the examples that follow, my Rich category includes those that have annual revenues above $100,000 to those that have net worth in the billions.  To some, $100,000 may not seem like a lot when taxes take 40%-60% of that money. But taxes herein play a role about what the rich do with their money that helps the poor.

And yes, there will be exceptions in all this, but generally here is what the rich do with their money that helps the poor. In no particular order, but numerated for the sake of the com box.

What the Rich Do with Their Money:
  1. The rich pay more than 90% of federal and state taxes, (see footnotes for references.) The poorest of the poor actually pay no taxes and, in fact, get checks from the government. Thus it is the rich that provide for  90% of all government services including federal and state construction and maintenance, defense, politician's salaries, welfare benefits, and those checks to the poorest that pay no taxes. To the extent that the rich are motivated to spend on investment opportunities, the resulting economic activity will be taxed. To the extend that regulations inhibit the Rich's ability to expand their enterprise and expenditures, their money will not be spent, but hidden in tax shelters thus depriving government and society of tax revenue. In every historical instance, lower taxes has always increased government tax revenue. And if the goal is for government to give money to the poor, then you want the government to encourage  the rich to earn more money. If you think it works another way, look to socialism and the tyranny of business that socialism requires. During the height of the cold war compare Western (capitalist) Germany, to Easter (socialistic) Germany; or the USSR to England—full color verses drab grays and blacks.
  2. The rich business owners that employ nearly 100% of the private U.S. labor force (including the Rich, the Middle and the Poor). (Remember the public work force is paid for with the taxes from the rich.)  Within the free enterprise system of America business owners are more than willing to pay salaries or remunerate contracts commensurate with experience, skill and education.  I have been the owner of several businesses that have hired dozens, and I've been in corporate management responsible for the hiring and firing of many more. The problem in hiring workers has always been finding qualified workers or workers who are honestly willing to work. I have always been willing to pay significantly more for quality workmanship well done. But my businesses would fail with poor workmanship or workers who failed to show up. In America, workers are free to improve their experience, skills, and education and shop for a job that pays more.
  3. The rich (through direct gifts or indirectly through non-profit organizations, religious, and the government) fund 100% of all grants to benevolent organizations that service society as a whole and the poor in particular.
  4. The rich are the source of the anchor gifts the build the wings of hospitals,  museums,  educational institutions and the salaries of specialty "chairs" at universities. The names on the side of buildings at such places are oftentimes the names of the rich that provided the keystone funds to get that building made or pay professor salaries. 
  5. The rich fund scholarships for the poor and those with merit to attend school. (And remember that all government dollars come from the rich who pay taxes. )
  6. The rich hire workers and companies to build, service and maintain their large and small physical assets (homes, businesses, boats) and recreational activities. In fact, every dollar the rich spend pays someone for work to be performed... and by the way, is taxed in the process.
  7. The money that the rich deposit in their banks, or stocks and bonds is all put to use by those receiving the money (whether a business or a trader) to fund other enterprises, all which require employment and expenditures and all which eventually generate taxes. 

(1) Wall Street Journal; U.S. Government Info; Wikipedia