Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Joke

A man goes to his doctor and says "Doctor, I have been experiencing terrible memory loss. I can't remember things from one day to the next. I think it's getting worse!"

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Children's Rights

I'm starting a new category, "opposites" for posts like this. I think my first was actually "The Uniform", which I posted back in July.

Violating Children's rights

Not violating Children's rights

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Joke

Mary and Joe are going out for the evening. The last thing they do is put their cat out.

The taxi arrives, and as the couple walk out of the house, the cat scoots back in. Joe returns inside to chase it out.

Mary, not wanting it known that the house would be empty, explains to the taxi driver, "My husband is just going upstairs to say goodbye to my mother."

Several minutes later, an exhausted Joe arrives and climbs back into the taxi saying, "Sorry I took so long, the stupid idiot was hiding under the bed and I had to poke her with a coat hanger several times before I could get her to come out!"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

HHS analogies part 2

This is a continuation of my earlier post, HHS analogies part 1. In this series I am refuting arguments supporting the HHS mandate via a set of analogies (hence the name).

A common argument in support of the HHS mandate is "the mandate helps poor women who need health care." There are numerous fallacies here. First off, abortion, sterilization and contraception are not health care. Secondly, they are completely elective - nobody needs contraception to live. In fact, to the extent that any aspect of these is actual health care, they are already covered by insurance, and not considered immoral. For instance, use of the birth control pill to control hormonal conditions is not immoral, and is covered by insurance.

But let's compare this to something which is unarguably necessary for life - food. Does anybody feel that contraception is more important to life than food? No? I didn't think so. So what is the Obama administration's position on access to food versus access to contraception?

Well, if you are below a certain income level you can apply for food stamps. Here's a summary of some of the requirements for receiving food stamps (this link has the full list).
Gross income limits are established by the federal government and adjusted annually.
A family may have liquid resources (cash, checking accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.) of up to $2,000.

If eligible, the amount of benefits received is determined by household size and adjusted gross income after deductions.

The SNAP Employment and Training program requires those applicants who are able to register for work and cooperate in seeking and keeping employment.

All SNAP recipients must report anytime their monthly gross income is over the maximum allowed for their household size.

All SNAP recipients are also required to complete a recertification (review) process once every 12 months.
In terms of what you get:
You can buy foods such as plants and seeds that will be used to grow food for the family to eat. You can also buy dairy products, meats, vegetables and fruits, and cereals and breads. Foods that are not allowed include hot foods already made, foods that are eaten in-store, medicines and vitamins, any paper goods, pet foods, cigarettes and alcohol. If you pay sales tax on an item, chances are that item is not an allowed food item. 
So, there are very strict limits on who can get free food. You have to be at or near the poverty level, have little to no money or assets, be actively seeking work, and the government monitors your income and other aspects of your life monthly and yearly. Only certain basic foods can be purchased. Fast food, restaurant food, etc. are not allowed.

In other words, in only the hardest cases can people get food stamps, and they will only provide basic nourishment. In fact, the current federal rules will be cutting the amount of food stamps starting January 1. This in a nation where one in six people are experiencing "food insecurity" (are in danger of not getting enough food to stay alive).

Now consider abortion, sterilization and contraceptives. Under Obamacare's HHS mandate they are totally free, in unlimited amounts, to everybody, regardless of income. And not just cheap contraception like condoms, everything up to and including the most expensive stuff is all free. Rather than making millionaires pay for a poor homeless person's contraception, middle class citizens are paying for millionaires' contraception.

If the administration was really concerned about the nutritional of citizens to the same extent it cares about putting money in the coffers of big pharma and big abortion, it would make all foods completely free for everybody. Homeless people could eat lobster and caviar on the public dime every night. Or conversely, it would only provide basic contraception coverage to the poorest of the poor, and the rest of the country would have to pay for theirs.

So in other words, the HHS mandate is not about "helping" the poor.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Joke

While cleaning the attic of his new house, Joe found an old stub for some shoes the previous owner had left at the repair shop 20 years ago. He looked in the phone book and found, remarkably, that the shop was still in business, He decided it would be interesting to go to the shop and see if the shoes were still there.

Joe went down town, located the shop and handed the stub to the repair man. The man peered at the stub for a minute, then disappeared into the back of the store. A few minutes later he returned and said, "They'll be ready on Wednesday."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

HHS analogies, Part 1

I had a recent "discussion" with a friend about the HHS mandate, and in formulating my case I came up with some analogies that I feel might be helpful in explaining some aspect to people. So here goes. Comments welcome.

One objection I keep hearing is "your tax dollars already pay for abortion, this is no different." It is. First off, according to president Obama no tax dollars pay for abortions, so right of the bat you are calling your president a liar. But truth be told, he is a liar, because on day 1 of his presidency in 2009 he abolished the Mexico City Policy, which forbade US tax dollars funding abortions in foreign lands.

But paying for these things remotely via tax dollars is very different from paying for them directly, and I think an analogy can illustrate why.

Let's say I buy groceries at the local grocery store. Now, the owner of that store is a psychopath, and takes the money from the register after I leave, buys ammo, and goes on a shooting spree at a nearby school. I might feel shocked, but I am not morally nor legally responsible.

Now let's say instead, the grocery store owner tells me he needs money to buy ammo to go on a shooting spree, and I hand him a $20 saying "this one's on me." I will be doing time as an accessory to murder. The law is pretty clear on when I am responsible for the evil committed and when I am not.

And so no - paying taxes, even if some of that tax money will be used against my wishes to pay for abortions, is very different in terms of moral responsibility from specifically paying for abortion through the HHS mandate. There is a fundamental difference in the degree of cooperation with evil.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What this election means

I'm hoping someone will look back on this post in a few years and say "boy, what a pessimist!" That said, I have a few thoughts and reflections on the election. Several people have posted things along the line of "God is punishing the US" or "His will was done." I can't agree with either sentiment.

First off, I don't think God needs to punish us. Sin brings its own punishment. When you swing the hammer at your own thumb and it hurts, there's no need to look to God to have brought the punishment upon you. The voters have shown that entitlements are more important than the freedoms written in our Constitution. We (collectively) will get what we deserve. Yes, bad things will happen to good people, and good things will happen to bad people. Read Job for a good theological basis for it all. Or for something more upbeat, read Genesis 37-50, especially noting Genesis 50:19-21:
But Joseph replied to them: "Do not fear. Can I take the place of God? Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve this present end, the survival of many people. So now, do not fear. I will provide for you and for your children." By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.
So, if God will ultimately bring good out of the situation does that mean "His will was done?" No more than it was done to Joseph when his brothers plotted his murder. God does not wish us to do evil. Just because something happens doesn't mean God wills it, especially when the intentions of us sinners are involved.

These two phrases are used by some to justify anything they want to do (not that I think the people who posted this had this in mind, but in other situations I have seen this behavior). Abortion? Must be God's will, since it happens, therefore it is not evil. It's up to God to punish those who do such things. House burned down? He must be a sinner.

If we think of God as father, consider a similar situation with your own child. Little Johnny played with matches and burnt his finger. He blames you for it. Were you responsible? You might have been responsible if Johnny were 3 and you gave him the matches, but at some point you expect Johnny to take responsibility for his own mistakes.

So my reflection on the election is what the prophets have always said "Repent and turn to God." The death toll from this election will be in the tens of millions, but ultimately His will will be done. It is up to us to accept martyrdom, red or white. I know this doesn't sound very upbeat, but it is.

Mary, virgin most immaculate, patroness of the United States, pray for us.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Joke

It's election day tomorrow - get out and vote! To put you in the mood here's a joke.

Thinking that the President needed to show a more human side of himself before the election, his campaign chief advised him to visit an old age home. Walking into the room of an old man, with the cameras whirring, the President was surprised when the old man offered him some peanuts from a bowl on the table. “Thank you”, he said and began munching on a handful.

After being offered more peanuts for the 3rd time, the President asked “why don’t you have some yourself?”

“Oh, I can’t eat them” said the old man, “I don’t have any teeth.”

“So why do you keep a bowl of them in your room?” asked the President.

“Oh, I like to lick the chocolate off of them.”