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Under the Fedora: Saints and Sinners

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On Morning Joe Monday I was treated to yet another day of people praising members of the GOP who are willing to attack the party and being told how far to the right Republicans have gone.

Somehow they never note how far left democrats now are.  Katrina Vanden Heuvel would never have been considered a mainline guest on a show just a decade ago, now she is on regularly.  You never saw people citing the Nation or Mother Jones, now they are treated as mainstream left.

And what ever happened to the DLC that Joe cited when he brought up Bill Clinton?  Gone with the wind.

You would think by now I’d be used to this, I hope to God I never am.

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Speaking of our 42nd president Bill Clinton has been picked as Father of the Year.  Less than 15 years ago that would have been a one liner in a SNL sketch, now it’s reality.  I wonder, has there ever been a father of the year whose reputation is such that no mother would trust her daughter with him?

As the 10th doctor once said:  “The World is very strange.”

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If, like me, you are a Doctor Who fan you will want to keep an eye on BBC America.  For the 50th anniversary of the show they will broadcast a special on each of the 11 doctors followed by an episode of Doctor Who from that era.  They will be starting with William Hartnell, the 1st Doctor (or as he was called then: The Doctor).  I think today he is often forgotten but if he doesn’t pull it off, the Doctor with no background, no real history and the total lack of special effects there is no show today.

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Last week’s DaTechGuy on DaRadio really caught a lot of people off guard.

Our first guest was Dr. Paul Byrne, he talked about the difference between so called “brain death” and “true death” stating that we are literally cutting brain injured people open alive for their organs for profit.

The reaction from people to his show has been shock.  They have never been told the other side of this story and that it’s coming from somebody who is one of the pioneers of neonatal care and a former head of the Catholic Medical association makes it even harder to take.

In our second hour we had Mike Hummell a member of the Hostess Bakers union who rejected the contract offer that led to the closing of Hostess.  He presented a case for rejecting the union contract that seemed pretty reasonable to me.

What really surprised him though was his treatment, he wrote to me afterwards that he expected to be “ambush” interview and had his defenses up for a sneak attack that never came.

I think it’s pretty sad that we’ve reach a point where people expect to be insulted or mistreated in a discussion.

Our treatment of him won some praise at the Daily Kos site.  I’ve got to say I certainly never thought I’d be typing that, then again I suspect Mike didn’t expect to be saying it either.

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A group of British Bishops talking about Gay Marriage said bluntly that it is going to lead to a new era of Catholic persecution on the island as the Catholic Church.   If anyone in England doubts this, see how many children the Catholic Church places for adoption in Massachusetts these days.

People forget that England has a long history of anti-Catholicism dating back to the church’s unwillingness to allow Henry VIII to discard wives at will.  In some ways Catholics are still 2nd class citizens in the UK.  It is no coincidence that Tony Blair didn’t convert until he was out of office.  The Catholic Church’s ,

The age of easy Christianity for the west is about to end.  We are going to be pushed by the secular left, the anti-Catholic right and radical Islam.  Keeping the faith is going to come with costs.  Outside of the western world it the costs can be fatal.  It’s going to be really bad for my sons.

People say it’s not fair, but then I remember this biblical passage:

“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me also hates my Father. John 15:18-23

And I remember that no matter how unfair it might be, if you are a Christian in general or a Catholic in particular, you would know it’s part of the job description.

 

It’s still on Guns all the time on MSNBC and Morning Joe.   It’s a great distraction from the economy.  On Wednesday they were really upset at this NRA ad

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bKw7ZsQgtc&w=560&h=315]

I understand why they are so pissed:

The Democrats won an election by pushing the class warfare line, the 1% line, the idea that Mitt Romney was an elite that didn’t care about you and your families.  It was a sell that worked with low information voters.

Now you have the same message being played by the NRA to the same voters.  It’s the class warfare argument, the 1%, the argument that the President and the rich Washington elites don’t care about your families as long as their own kids are safe.

The left hates this argument; they just used it and know it works.

The most interesting argument I’ve heard on the subject comes from Ann Althouse:

It occurred to me, after the Sandy Hook murders, that blaming guns is a secular substitute for blaming the devil. People find it too challenging to figure out why a human being would do this terrible thing and they latch on to the idea that the gun made it happen.

The post starts with the question:  Don’t I have the right to die?  I think that’s one of the most stupid question ever, you have a destiny to die, it’s just a question of when.

 

A big fuss was made about Jodie Foster’s “coming out speech” for myself the thing that struck me was that she is my age and has been working in the business since she was 43.  I have a vivid memory of her in the last season of Daniel Boone as the a ragamuffin girl taken in by Jimmy Dean’s Josh Character.  If the series had lasted another year she might have become a regular on the show.  She was pretty good even back then.

Hollywood is a nasty environment and a lot of people particularly as the standards of “acceptable” behavior moved closer to the behavior that many in the entertainment industry indulged with relish outside of the eyes of the public paid the price for living in it.

That Jodie Foster has managed to be anything resembling sane with a lifetime of such an environment is an achievement greater than any accolade that the film industry can give her for her work.

That people decide to give additional credence to people from this environment never ceases to amaze me

 

Finally Football.  I’m a baseball guy but the footballs playoffs have been very exciting.  The Seattle Atlanta game was incredible, although the pats make it look easy it was still a great game.  Baltimore vs Denver was classic, (Baltimore scares me more than any other team) but the greatest irony is in Denver.

Last year Tim Tebow led Denver to their division title and a playoff win before losing in the 2nd round.  One year and 11 million dollars later Payton Manning got Denver a 1st round bye, but didn’t get the Broncos any farther than Tebow did.  Meanwhile the Jets who absolutely refused to start Tebow even as Sanchez tanked and the 3rd string QB when down managed to go 6-10.

I’m a pats fan so Payton Manning and the Jets are both rivals so I naturally don’t mind them going down but I’d be a liar if I said that the treatment of Tebow by the Jets and Denver didn’t make both of those results sweeter.

I’ll put it on my confession list for this month…

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Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There

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The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.

These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by 

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… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.

Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of  rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry

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In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.

To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.

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But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.

But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…

CONTINUE READING HERE:

The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.

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Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:

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Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:

The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.

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Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.

Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!

I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.

After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.

The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.

But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.

Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.

In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.

Your most humble and obedient,

Friedrich Trump

… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.

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