Respect for the human person proceeds by way of respect for the principle that "everyone should look upon his neighbor (without any exception) as 'another self,' above all bearing in mind his life and the means necessary for living it with dignity."
Catechism of the Catholic Church (#1931)
Not a "random act of kindness," but a deliberately willed act of charity:
Tackling the issue of pornography and its use head on, the nation’s Catholic bishops have published a document "Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography."
In the document, the bishops reiterate the Church’s teaching about pornography which many may know (the Church views pornography and its use as a mortal sin) but don’t know why the Church teaches this.
The use of pornography:
So, in a nutshell, the Church teaches: All pornography and its use involves a disordered view of the person, regarding another person as a “thing” to be used for one’s gratification rather than a “human being” to be loved.
Many who use pornography agree that the human body should be treated with respect and should not be manipulated for selfish purposes. However, the power of lust that the use of pornography strengthens has the unfortunate consequence of weakening the mind’s power to appreciate the truth of the Church’s teaching and, thus, to rule the body’s desires.
Pornography and this vicious cycle is nothing new. St. Augustine wrote about it 1600+ years back in Book X of The Confessions. Tracing the power of memory and the images it contains, he writes:
Yet in my memory, of which I have spoken at length, sexual images survive, because they were imprinted there by former habit. While I am awake they suggest themselves feebly enough, but in dreams with power to arouse me not only to pleasurable sensations but even to consent, to something closely akin to the act they represent. So strongly does the illusory image in my mind affect my body that these unreal figments influence me in sleep in a way that the reality could never do while I am awake. (X:10:41b)
St. Augustine examined those memories and found something possessing the power to heal. He wrote:
What shall I do, then, O my God, my true life. I will pass beyond this faculty of mine called memory, I will pass beyond it and continue resolutely toward you, O lovely Light. What are you saying to me? See, I am climbing through my mind to you who abide high above me; I will pass beyond even this faculty of mine which is called memory in my longing to touch you from the side when you can be touched, and cleave to you in the way in which holding fast to you is possible...I will therefore pass beyond memory and try to touch him who has marked me out from the four-footed beasts and made me wiser than the birds in the sky; yes, I will pass beyond even my memory that I may find you...where? (X:26b)
Today, pornography represents a major pastoral challenge because even though many users know that pornography is evil and rightly feel guilty for using it, they are resistant to admit their need to “convert” from pornography and to the truth the Church teaches about the person. But, as St. Augustine reminds his readers, that’s only a first step because the memory needs to be countinuously purified to weaken its dependence upon lust.
For those who have used pornography and want to convert to the truth, the bishops remind these persons that cultivating chastity will present “a lifelong task and a daily choice.” They write:
If you fall, get up again, go to the Lord in confession and seek his mercy in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, and start anew.
God has created each human being in His divine image and likeness to embody love of God and neighbor in every aspect of one’s life. This “vocation to love” is realized not in abusing the human body for selfish pleasure but in marriage and family life as well as in celibacy or virginity (e.g., priestly celibacy, consecrated life, or dedicated single life) for the sake of God’s Kingdom.
Finally, the bishops address spouses who suffer because their spouse uses pornography. They also address parents, reminding them of their divine obligation to educate their children in sexuality, love, and chastity as well as to remain ever vigilant about technology and its use in the home.
For Catholics, in general, and for Catholic males, in particular, this statement is a “must read.”
Let the discussion begin…
To read the bishops’ statement, click on the following link:
Thanksgiving was great this year and The Motley Monk downed way too many calories...which led him to wonder about obesity and to conduct a little research concerning the topic.
Between 2011 and 2012 (the latest aggregate national data available):
More recent state data (released September 2015) indicate that the rates of obesity:
According to a report published by the Trust for America's Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic disease and increased healthcare costs in the United States. Current estimates indicate that these costs range between $147B to ~$210B annually. Obesity also correlates with increased job absenteeism and lower productivity while at work, the former costing approximately $4.3B annually and the latter costing employers $506/worker/year.
The Motley Monk has been and continues to be highly critical of "Let's Move!", First Lady Michelle Obama's effort to federalize the "war on obesity" by directing taxpayer $$$s to the public schools through the U.S. Departments of Education, Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration, among other federal agencies (the "Food Police"). The goal is for the feds to dictate to parents how to feed their children and, if parents don't get with the program, the feds will feed those children what the feds want them to eat and ban from store shelves what the feds don't want them to eat. In the end, none of those efforts will prove to be efficacious because they do not address the source of the so-called "obesity epidemic," namely, the lack of adequate parenting. Those programs only provide "cover" for it.
Several decades back, St. Pope John Paul II called for the development of a "culture of life" that would confront and overcome the "culture of death." Part of a culture of life, it seems to The Motley Monk, is a virtuous "culture of health" whose members would confront and overcome a great vice currently evidencing itself in the United States, namely, obesity that leads to preventable chronic disease that, in turn, leads to premature death. Unless people are challenged to convert from the culture of death to the culture of health and to see the culture of death for what it is, as the data attest, all of those federal programs will prove to be useless and another waste of taxpayer $$$s.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the 2015 The State of Obesity report, click on the following link:
"Consciousness raising": How those who worship at the altar of environmentalism would invest for retirement...
One of the basic rules of investing is “fundamentals not feelings.” Yes, every here and there investing in a gut-level “feeling” may make a decent return. But, for the long haul, disciplined investing based upon a sound strategy, sound principles, and buying on the dips is what makes for some very big returns.
But, an interpretive bulletin proposed by the Obama administration's Department of Labor (DOL) would change all of that by outlining new fiduciary rules for brokers. The rules cleverly politicize investment choices by encouraging pension fund managers to weigh environmental, social, and governance factors when selecting investment choices.
Yes, it’s true. When “all matters are equal,” the new rules would require brokers to weight environmental, social, and governance concerns greater than economic return.
In a Wall Street Journal article, Andy Kessler notes:
Environmental, social, and governance issues may have a direct relationship to the economic value of the plan’s investment. In these instances, such issues are not merely collateral considerations or tie-breakers, but rather are proper components of the fiduciary’s primary analysis of the economic merits of competing investment choices.
Among others, “vice” equities that would be weighted less include oil and tobacco stocks which historically have outperformed the S&P500. Yet, these investments have provided the kinds of yields that have enabled many middle-income, public service wage earners—whose pensions are overseen fund managers—to secure a comfortable retirement for their clients.
But, under the DOL’s proposed fiduciary rules, fund managers can be sued for selecting a “vice” stock—one yielding long-term growth and dividends—and not investing in a “green” stock—remember Solyndra—all other matters being equal.
Those who worship at the altar of environmentalism may rejoice at what they believe to be the DOL’s “enlightened” approach to weighting investment policy. After all, many of them believe the weight of the dangers associated with the legalized smoking of marijuana is zero when compared to the evils of smoking cigarettes or investing in marijuana producers. This despite the fact that those who worship at the altar of environmentalism would have the federal goverment outlaw big tobacco because of its hazards to both the environment and public health.
Furthermore, the folks those who worship at the altar of environmentalism are going to hurt the most aren’t those belonging to the so-called 1%. Nope...not at all. Those who will be most hurt will be the middle-class, public service wage earners. Their pension funds already have an accumulated deficit of $111B in Illinois and $236B in California.
That’s what The Motley Monk calls “enlightened” Democratic Party governance... based entirely upon “feelings not fundamentals.”
Let the discussion begin...
To read the DOL's proposed rules, click on the following link:
To read Andy Kessler's article in the Wall Street Journal, click on the following link:
With deer hunting season upon us, an important question needs to be asked:
If a hunter shoots a buck, but only has a doe tag, can that hunter claim the buck wasn't really a buck?
Will the game warden will buy the hunter's argument?
After all, society and the Supreme Court already have.
Let the discussion begin...
* "Tip of the Hat" to Q Mama and K Quispe for the heads up!
A Thanksgiving factoid care of The Motley Monk: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates one in six Americans (~48M) get ill from a foodborne illness annually. Overall, ~128k are hospitalized and ~3k die from the effects of food poisoning, namely, doubled-over cramping, vomiting and. bloody diarrhea.
Much of that illness and death is a result of poor culinary sanitation in home kitchens across the fruited plain on Thanksgiving.
So, The Motley Monk offers some tips for a healthy Thanksgiving this year:
Being a purist in this regard, The Motley Monk suggests buttering the turkey and rubbing in some spices, like salt, pepper, thyme, sage, and rosemary. Then, stuff the turkey with dressing (or not, as one might prefer).
Then, roast the turkey but never, ever less than 325⁰. The turkey is done when a thermometer—stuck into the thickest part of the breast meat—registers 165⁰. Remove the turkey from the oven and tent it with aluminum foil. The turkey will continue to cook to about 172⁰-175⁰ which is perfect for juicy, moist turkey meat.
Okay, now it’s time to carve the turkey.
The folks over at popsugar.com offer some excellent lessons for practice. "Practice makes perfect" as long as the practice is correct.
Then, some tips following the feast:
Follow these tips and have a very healthy and happy Thanksgiving!
The spiritual works of mercy are charitable actions by which people come to the aid of neighbors in the spiritual need. The spiritual works of mercy seek to alleviate human misery, a sign of human frailty and need for salvation as a consequence of original sin. Everyone is obliged to perform the spiritual works of mercy, according to one's ability and the need of one's neighbor.
The fourth spiritual work of mercy is "to comfort the sorrowful." Consider this example:
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The following post appeared on The Motley Monk’s Facebook page the other day:
It’s not a new post. In fact, the idea behind it is at least 2 decades old. Namely, it is possible to become a “Master” of Education in just 1 year! Lots of institutions make this promise, not just those with online programs by the way.
Let’s consider this post (and trend) carefully for a moment.
First: What’s a profession?
A profession isn’t comprised of a single individual or a group of like-minded individuals, each independently identifying what constitutes professional practice. Instead, a profession arises when any trade or occupation—like teaching—is transformed through “the development of formal qualifications based upon education, apprenticeship, and examinations, the emergence of regulatory bodies with powers to admit and discipline members, and some degree of monopoly rights” (Bullock & Trombley, 1999: 689).
Armed with that definition, what “profession” advertises that it can churn out “professionals” who are able to empower others within 1 year? Would anyone seek the professional services provided by an MD, lawyer, or engineer whose training consisted of 1 year’s worth of “advanced knowledge, skills, and training”?
Second: What constitutes “professional practice”?
The answer goes back at least 2300 years to Aristotle. In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle noted that what today is called a profession’s “practice” (or “knowledge of the practice”) is a mixture of two types of learning: theory (that “advanced knowledge”) and skills (that “training”). In one’s practice, as a professional brings theory and skills to bear, that individual must deliberate about what’s necessary and appropriate given the situation in which one finds oneself with its idiosyncratic circumstances. After all, not all patients, clients, terrain, or students are exactly the same.
To do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, to the right person (or group), and for the right reason is not only difficult, Aristotle noted, but laudable. Why? Mastery of a profession is the result of “advanced knowledge, skills, and training,” yes, but—it must not be overlooked—that have been tested, honed, and refined into expertise over years of practice.
Which individual would seem most likely to graduate as a "Master of Education" and able to “empower others through teaching”?
That’s a rhetorical question because the answer is obvious. For example, take Detroit or any other of the nation’s urban centers where these “Masters” practice their craft. 90%+ of public school eighth graders are not proficient in math and reading.
Here’s the dirty little secret:
Yet, study after study indicates that students are not learning more and, in some places, are learning less than was the case 50 years ago.
In the end, students aren’t learning and taxpayers are paying more for Master’s degree programs that promise to “empower others through teaching.”
Who’s the fool in this narrative?
Let the discussion begin…
To read about the miserable education young people are receiving in Detroit, click on the following link:
Perhaps a glimpse into an accident free future...
Only one potential problem: An EMP would render the vehicle--like most of this generation's computerized vehicles--useless.
It may well be that an EMP will ante-date the reality of self-driving vehicles en masse.
Let the discussion begin...
With the Christmas holidays quickly approaching, perhaps it’s time for Catholics to turn the time they will be spending in the marketplace by making the conscious choice to exercise greater stewardship this year by becoming “faith-driven consumers.”
How’s one to do that? Engage in the marketplace by coming together with 41M other Americans who spend $2T+ annually to buy and sell brands that positively impact the nation’s culture by honoring Catholic values.
A “missionary in the marketplace” is a light to the nation by consulting the Faith Equality Index (FEI) which scores 330+ major brands on a 100-point scale and provides the information that’s needed to actuate Catholic values when making decisions about purchases made in the marketplace. FEI is available on the Apple and Android platforms to empower faith-driven consumers to participate in the #ChristmasBUYcott campaign and channel $30B in spending toward the most faith-compatible brands.
Note: A high FEI score isn’t an endorsement of a brand, just an indication of the degree to which the brand adheres to Christian values. FEI’s four categories of criteria specify important values:
When a score reflects greater faith friendliness of one brand over another within the same category, it’s time for Catholics to make an informed decision about how they will spend the hard-earned dollars God has entrusted to them. This is how to be a missionary in the marketplace.
Choices matter and, like all Christians, God calls Catholics to be good stewards of their time, talent, and treasure. FEI provides the opportunity for Catholics to direct their treasure in the marketplace to those brands that support the culture of life.
Which brands rise to the top and which ones have the most work to do to earn business from Catholics? Check out the FEI to discover which brands align most and least with Catholic values. Also discover how each brand stacks up against its competitors in 25 important categories.
When it comes to good stewardship, every choice matters. The Motley Monk recommends using the FEI to make more informed decisions as faith-driven consumers this Christmas season. Also, share it with family and friends!
Let the discussion begin…
To learn more about being a faith-driven consumer and missionary in the marketplace, click on the following link:
This video offers a wonderful lesson in authentic civic engagement.
Wonderful as this project is--and it is wonderful--how much more powerful would it be if it were a lesson in faith engagement.
As St. Paul wrote to the Colossians:
That's why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ's mighty power that works within me. (1:29)
Social work is a wonderful profession within a civil society. Serving others because they are children of God is a wonderful personal vocation within the Kingdom of God.
In many ways, that link--profession and personal vocation--is broken today. All of the talents one possesses have been breathed into people by the Creator for a divine purpose, that is, to build the Kingdom of God.
As Pope Francis tweeted earlier this year:
"A credible witness to truth and to the values of the Gospel is urgently needed."
A study of working adults adds to the body of data indicating that, three years into Obamacare, the cost of healthcare is not only rising but also becoming increasingly unaffordable.
To measure healthcare costs, the Commonwealth Fund study utilized a three-option menu:
The study's findings of all privately insured adults:
More importantly--after all, Obamacare is supposed to provide quality patient healthcare for the poor--are the study's findings concerning low-income, privately insured adults:
The "take away"? Three years into the era of Obamacare, many working-class Americans avoid seeking healthcare when they're sick because their health insurance costs are too high.
Consider what's happening in Springfield, MA:
Unfortunately, too many gullible folks believed the promises touted from the rostrums to pass Obamacare. Today, those folks are having to deal with the reality they helped to create. And this is only the third year!
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for October 2015 confirms that healthcare prices are rising faster than the prices for all other goods and services. Overall CPI increased 0.2% for the month and also 0.2%, year-on-year. But, healthcare prices increased 0.7% for the month and 3.0%, year-on-year. The fastest growing price? Hospitalization at 5.3%.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Commonwealth Fund study, click on teh following link:
Fr. Miscamble is silenced: An authentic Catholic education isn't available at the University of Notre Dame...
From the beginning, The Motley Monk feared that it was likely only a matter of time before the powers that be at the University of Notre Dame (UND) and the Congregation of the Holy Cross (CSC) aimed the 16-inch Howitzers of intolerance directly at the Reverend Wilson D. Miscamble, CSC.
As The Motley Monk posted on November 10, hope was on the horizon. Fr. Miscamble had actually done something to assist UND students to be able to select courses that would maximize their opportunity to receive an authentic Catholic education at UND.
What was that? Fr. Miscamble spearheaded the effort to create NDCatholic.com, a website that identifies faculty and describes courses aimed at advancing students in their quest for a distinctively Catholic education at UND.
One week later, all of that hope dissipated very quickly and surreptitiously behind a cone of silence.
According to a post by the Sycamore Trust--a UND alumni/ae group dedicated to making UND a place where young men and women can be inspired through teachers steeped in the riches of the Catholic intellectual tradition--Fr. Miscamble can longer be involved with NDCatholic.com:
Nevertheless, two days after the inauguration of the website Father sent us this message: "I regret that I can say only that I am required to end my involvement with the NDCatholic site and am not at liberty to say why."
Reading further along in the post, here's what transpired:
Well, it doesn't take a neurosurgeon the likes of Dr. Ben Carson to figure out what transpired within the cone of silence:
Most likely, here's how those events unfolded within that cone of silence:
Not wanting Fr. Miscamble to be a "voice crying out in the desert," what those UND administrators and CSC superiors did was to take a page from the Dominican playbook--remember they ran the Inquisition to rout the heretics--and silenced a loyal CSC priest-professor who cared deeply about the vitality of the Catholic intellectual tradition at UND.
Put less elegantly, UND's administrators and CSC superiors lowered the 16-inch Howitzers of intolerance and aimed directly at Fr. Miscamble, offering him what's otherwise euphemistically called the "deal of a lifetime."
So, what's this mean for UND?
Forget Catholic and even catholic as in "universal." Silencing Fr. Miscamble indicates there is no First Amendment right to free speech or association. It also indicates there is no academic freedom to pursue the truth freely and in an unfettered way...wherever the facts may lead.
At UND, it's pretty clear that diversity and inclusion mean "Just shut up, Father...or else!"
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Sycamore Trust post, click on the following link:
To visit the NDCatholic.com website, click on the following link:
C, E-flat, and G go into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry, but we don't serve minors." So E-flat leaves, and C and G have an open fifth between them.
After a few drinks, the fifth is diminished, and G is out flat.
F comes in and tries to augment the situation, but is not sharp enough. D comes in and heads for the bathroom, saying, "Excuse me; I'll just be a second." Then A comes in, but the bartender is not convinced that this relative of C is not a minor.
Then the bartender notices B-flat hiding at the end of the bar and says, "Get out! You're the seventh minor I've found in this bar tonight." E-flat comes back the next night in a three-piece suit with nicely shined shoes. The bartender says, "You're looking sharp tonight. Come on in, this could be a major development."
Sure enough, E-flat soon takes off his suit and everything else, and is au natural. Eventually C sobers up and realizes in horror that he's under a rest. C is brought to trial, found guilty of contributing to the diminution of a minor, and is sentenced to 10 years of D.S. without Coda at an upscale correctional facility.
Time to call in the Chief of Staff!
Those who worship at the altar of environmentalism would have people across the globe believe that global warming is the top threat to global security...to the point that it’s the cause of Islamic radicalism and the surge in political refugees and immigration.
Those who worship at the altar of environmentalism adhere this view despite the findings of a 2013 research study conducted by a Nobel Peace Prize-winning panel of scientists, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The panel found the rise of global temperatures appeared to have slowed between 1998 and 2012—dubbed the global warming “hiatus,” meaning “the worst is yet to come”--when compared to the period between 1951 and 2012.
IPCC’s findings proved to be a boon to the so-called “climate deniers” who seized upon the study’s results to support their argument that global warming, if it’s happening at all, isn’t due to human activity. Bovine flatulence, maybe. But, not human activity.
In an effort to rebut those findings, those who worship at the altar of environmentalism may have entered into a secret alliance with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A recent NOAA study—published in the June 2015 issue of Science—refutes the so-called “hiatus,” asserting “the central estimate for the rate of warming during the first 15 years of the 21st century is at least as great as the last half of the 20th century.”
How so? NOAA’s study corrected for factors that weren’t unaccounted for in the IPCC report. NOAA’s study also incorporated 2013 and 2014 data.
NOAA’s conclusion? The rate of global warming in the last 15 years has been as fast or faster than between 1951 and 2012.
Okay. That’s all to be expected when a group of ideologues don’t like new findings that contradict their basic premise. So, they change the unit of measure, add new data, find what they’re looking for calling it “proof,” and call previous studies faulty.
For those who worship at the altar of environmentalism, that’s what’s called “global warming science.” Even Pope Francis drank the Kool Aid.
But, thankfully, this story doesn’t end there, as it all too frequently does. The focus of the narrative now has turned to Capitol Hill where U.S. Representative Lamar Smith R-TX—Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (CSST)—recently subpoenaed 7 years of all internal communications related to NOAA’s climate research. According to the Christian Science Monitor, whistleblowers informed CSST that the NOAA study “was rushed to publication despite the concerns and objections of a number of NOAA scientists.”
For Smith, this allegation challenges NOAA’s “scientific integrity process” and in an email to the Christian Science Monitor wrote:
It appears NOAA altered data to get politically correct results and now refuses to reveal how those decisions were made.
The stormy petrels are out in full force attacking Smith.
Critics call him a climate “denier.”
CSST’s ranking Democrat, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson accused Smith of going on a “fishing expedition,” “adopting the discrediting tactics of fossil fuel industry-funded climate change-denier groups,” and instigating “a constitutional conflict with an inquiry that seems more designed to harass climate scientists than to further any legitimate legislative purpose.”
The Motley Monk doesn’t think such sticks and stones are going to break any of Representative Smith’s bones. As Smith seeks to understand better the full context of how NOAA makes decisions about so-called global “warming,” he’s likely to discover that the ideologues don’t want to be confused by the facts.
Let the discussion begin…
To read study published in Science, click on the following link:http://www.sciencemag.org/content/348/6242/1469.abstract
To read the article in the Christian Science Monitor, click on the following link:
The canvas is the beaches of San Francisco and the tool of choice is a rake:
In The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus addressed the absurdity of repeatedly doing something that ultimately will be destroyed and attempting to evade this absurdity through suicide, religion, and Marxism. Insofar as Camus was concerned, the only reasonable choice was to rebel. How? By accepting and living with the absurd, for "there is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn."
Amador offers a different, more positive response to the absurd.
The Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College in Burlington, VT, has issued its 2015 National Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools. The report paints a depressing picture:
In plain English: The financial hygiene of most high schoolers isn’t good. They’re note being taught to or learning how to pay bills, balance a checkbook, build good credit, and avoid debt, despite the fact they will be going into debt to finance college.
In the 5 states earning an A, students are required to take a semester-long course dedicated to personal finance. Of the states that failed, none requires a course in financial literacy of its high schoolers.
The Director of the Center for Financial Literacy and the report’s author, told Marketwatch that he's walked into high school classrooms where many students believe their chosen career will make them at least $100k/year. He noted:
You can see how people, based on that flawed analysis, think that they can afford $70,000, $80,000 or $90,000 in debt. What needs to be taught is more career exploration, more understanding about income.
Perhaps all of those required courses and units about environmentalism and sustainability are indoctrinating the nation’s high schoolers to believe that money grows on trees, that clear cutting forests threatens their financial well-being, and the federal government will always be there to cancel all of their debt.
Let the discussion begin…
To read the 2015 Financial Literacy Report, click on the following link:
To read athe Marketwatch.com article, click on the following link:
Plenty of research data suggest that marriage might not be good for one’s health. In fact, when one’s spouse becomes obese, the risk of becoming obese oneself increases…yes...by a factor of ~200%! And, of course, obesity correlates with increases in heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
Definitely not good news for spouses. Gotta keep that weight under control!
Moreover, a new study--conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University--adds to this body of knowledge, indicating that spouses tend to gain weight in tandem. The pattern seems to be that a “normal weight” spouse whose spouse moves from “normal weight” to “heavyweight”—that is, obese—is more likely to become a “heavyweight”!
The data, reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology, were gathered as part of a 25-year-long longitudinal study. An initial physical examination of 4k married couples started between 1987 and 1989. Three follow-up exams took place about every 3 years with a final, fifth exam taking place between 2011 and 2013.
When the study began, 23% of the males and 25% of the females were obese. But, 25 years later:
The “take away”?
Not that marriage will turn spouses into heavyweights, although that’s entirely feasible. And, not that similar changes in diet, physical activity, or other behaviors will impact obesity, although that’s entirely feasible, too. But, more likely, marriage causes spouses over time to mirror one another in terms of weight.
Or just perhaps...food generally wins (in ~75% of marriages) over a healthy lifestyle most of the time.
Or just maybe...marriage leads to premature death because it causes spouses to down too many calories! How could that be possible?
Given all of the data, The Motley Monk is left wondering if it’s now time to call in the Chief of the Food Police--the nation’s First Lady, Michelle Obama--to put an end to marriage! After all, it's dangerous to spousal health and longevity!
Speaking of being overweight, Donald Trump chimed in again last night in Worchester, MA:
Let the discussion begin...
To read the study, click on the following link:
There's nothing wrong with altruism which can evidence itself in selfless acts of kindness and programs like "Pay4Ward." Acts like these demonstrate the goodness that awaits being discovered in many humans.
Rafael Traveñio's efforts to embody the charity exemplified in the father he never knew but has only heard about is virtuous indeed. And, the world is all the better for Rafael.
But, those same kind acts--when performed in the name of Christ--are salvific, evidencing the two-edged sword of charity that blesses the giver and the recipient with God's love.
In Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," Portia spoke of charity using these words:
The quality of [charity] is not strained.
The Church teaches that those same acts, when performed in the name of Christ:
...uphold and purify our human ability to love, and raise it to the supernatural perfection of divine love...[and]...give to the Christian the spiritual freedom of the children of God. He no longer stands before God as a slave, in servile fear, or as a mercenary looking for wages, but as a son responding to the love of him who "first loved us."
As St. Paul reminded the Corinthians:
If I . . . have not charity," says the Apostle, "I am nothing." Whatever my privilege, service, or even virtue, if I . . . have not charity, I gain nothing. (1 Cor 13:1-4)
For Christians, the imperative is to remeber to do all for love of God and neighbor.
Remember this promise?
In 2008, it was all about “Hope and Change” to liberate middle class folks from the shackles of capitalist oppression.
The promise: With Obamacare’s passage, health premiums for a family of four would decrease $2.5/year.
The reality: Once Obamacare was implemented, the promise ended up being the Washington Post’s “Biggest Pinocchio of 2013.”
Investors Business Daily is reporting that “since 2008, average family premiums have climbed a total of $4,865.” Furthermore, “Since 2006, the average annual increase for family plans at work has been 4.9%, down from around 10% a year from 1999-2005.”
To deflect attention away from this negative news, the White House spun the latter part of the story claiming the data demonstrate “slowing” growth in premiums, as in “the spending curve” to families is rising but more slowly.
But, that’s not down $2.5k/year. It’s up ~$4.87k/year.
Worse yet, the “slowing” trend began in 2006, 3 years before President Obama took the oath of office, 5 years before he signed Obamacare into law, and 7 years before Obamacare was implemented. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report:
And the continued trend of modest premium increases has been due largely to the shift in the employer market toward health savings account-type plans, which just happened to hit the market in 2005.
It ends up that much of what’s in the bill isn’t much of what was promised about the bill...now that taxpayers see what isn’t in it.
Let the discussion begin…
To read the Investors Business Daily articles, click on the following links:
To read the Kaiser Family Foundation report, click on the following link:
These feckless fudgewits who think the world stops when they close their eyes and only becomes real once they open them again. That kind of solipsism is part of the joy of being young, of course.
How many of these feckless fudgewits can define "solipsism"?
With the following two videos putting on full display much of what constitutes a "higher" education today, Brett Arends over at Marketwatch.com suggests a novel way to end the student debt crisis.
The first video: Keely Mullen, who is organizing for free public colleges, cancellation of all student debt, and $15/hour minimum wage for all campus employees. Unfortunately, it's like um Keely doesn't like um really know like what um she's talking about like um because it's like um all about the 1% absolutely.
Second: "My name is 'ConcernedStudent1950'," the recent free speech event at the University of Missouri. "Don't trespass on our free space." "You gotta get out of here, bro." Forget about the First Amendment, especially when it comes to free speech on college campuses.
This is where Arends proposal, "Break the College Oligopolies: Set the Students Free," comes into play.
How? By ending "the outrageous racket where the institution that awards degrees is also the institution that does the teaching." This proposal--aimed at the undergraduate liberal arts degree not other, more technical degrees requiring sophisticated laboratories and the like--would involve:
Each student decides how s/he will prepare for the tests:
The cost to the student for testing would be the minimal, namely, the cost to administer the tests.
Arends asks: "If you can pass the exams for a B.A., why isn’t that enough? Why should you also be forced to cut a check for $100,000 or $200,000 as well?"
Since 1971, the cost of tuition at the nation's public 4-year colleges has risen by a factor of 20, compared to average weekly earnings. One year’s tuition used to be the equvalent of ~120 hours' labor. Today it's ~480 hours' labor.
Why pay $40k/year for non-technical degrees that require sitting in college classrooms? Or, as Arends notes:
Yes, once upon a time a college was an entire experience. Campus life, the community of scholars, the whole nine yards.
Arends has put his finger on a raw nerve: The protection racket for people employed by the college-industrial complex who have figured out how to drive up the cost of tuition and be winners in life's lottery.
And, worse yet--when the college loan bubble bursts--how to hang the debt on the 48% of people who pay federal income taxes. Or, as Keely Mullen believes, "the 1% like um who we will like um always um have like among us and don't um also like forget that like President Obama is um going to give us um like free college."
"Break the college oligopolies. Set the students free."
Let the discussion begin...
To read Brett Arends article at Marketwatch.com, click on the following link:
Meanwhile: The intergenerational theft continues: