There is a lot to be said for this piece by Stacy McCain titled #LashEquality: @CoverGirl Promotes Transgender Agenda in Commercials. Its discussion of history, references to scripture, celebration of his ancient ancestors (Being of Sicilian ancestry from a family that lived next to a volcano (Mt. Etna) I can go back to the mid 1800’s but before that is a mystery, particularly since everyone from the vikings to the Spanish to the arabs conquered Sicily during the course of history) and his defense of normalcy which everyone seems to be terrified to articulating.

But there are two things in this piece that need highlighting and a clarification added to complete the picture being offered by him.

The first the opinion of the greatest generation of the rebellion of their children most of whom still foolishly think they were and are smarter then their parents who conquered two of the finest militaries in history yet had the Christian character, to with the entire world at their feet, not to enslave it

the “Greatest Generation” knew what price had been paid for our freedom. The troops who came home from that war then fathered the “Baby Boom.” When their children reached adolescence, however, many rebelled against America’s patriotic and religious heritage, and by the time I started high school in 1973, the so-called “Sexual Revolution” had been raging for nearly a decade. Grown-ups strongly disapproved of the whole “hippie” youth culture. Our parents and teachers, our coaches and preachers were in unanimous agreement about the need to suppress this social upheaval that had erupted, the cause of which they believed to be either (a) Communism or (b) Satan, insofar as Communism and Satan weren’t the same thing.

It is my opinion that my generation, the baby boomers are the worst generation in the history of this country and possibly the world and that we as a generation for the good of humanity can’t die off fast enough and take our self centered narcissism, self defined virtue and complete ignorance of the wisdom and experience of our parents and the giants who came before them with us.

Secondly it’s worth highlighting Stacy’s statement concerning his own youthful rebellion (emphasis mine)

In high school, I was just a teenager who wanted to be a cool dude, and among my hoodlum buddies, being a cool dude meant getting high and growing your hair long, because that’s what all the cool chicks were into. So I was as far-out as I could possibly get away with, and I got away with a lot more than I ever got caught with. Could I blame all this on “peer pressure”? Maybe, except that I was an active agent of evil, rather than a passive participant. My extensive adolescent experience in the ways of sin — and all the consequences of evil that I witnessed with my own eyes in the ensuing years — left me quite cynical toward the kind of enthusiasm James Charles expresses about the “amazing progressions with gay rights, gender inclusivity and self-expression.”

I can not emphasize the importance of this paragraph because it does two critical things.

  • It acknowledges acts of evil done and witnessed by him
  • Rather than making an excuse for said evil, he takes responsibility for it.

One could call it a great example of the Penitential Rite of the Catholic church

I confess to almighty God
And to you, my brothers and sisters,
That I have greatly sinned
In my thoughts and in my words,
In what I have done and in what I have
Failed to do,
Through my fault, through my fault,
Through my most grievous fault;
Therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
All the Angels and Saints,
And you, my brothers and sisters,
To pray for me to the Lord our God.

That self awareness is a gift from God that should be treasured by him and mimicked by others whenever possible.

Now having highlighted these two bits let’s turn to the part that needs clarification.

Stacy quotes one of his favorite passages from Deuteronomy 30.  As I am quoting Stacy’s piece I’ll stick with his protestant translation here rather than the one on the Vatican site I would normally use

See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live . .

He follows up with these two paragraphs near the end of his piece:

There are still quite a few Americans who believe in the Lord whose anger is kindled against those who turn away from him, and we have already tolerated enough “gender inclusivity and self-expression” that it’s a wonder God has not already destroyed us for this “amazing progression.”

America has had enough. Our ancestors did not establish this nation with the expectation that their descendants would squander their precious inheritance of God’s blessing. The men who died fighting to gain a foothold on that beach at Normandy did not give their lives so that America could sink into decadence, insanity and perversion.

And here lies the part that needs clarification here.  Stacy gives a lot of quotes from that good Old Testament but is missing some key ones from a slightly newer one.  Like Matthew

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house,  many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.

Matthew 9:9-13

And Mark

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 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.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.

Mark 10:23-27

And Luke

“Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”  But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

Luke 19:2-10

And John

Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.”

John 8:3-11

Christianity is a religion of forgiveness and redemption and every single soul from James Charles to Bob Iger to  Stacy to mine and yours is of value to God.  That same merciful God who sacrificed his son for the forgiveness of sins will give each soul a lifetime to repent of their sins and be forgiven.  As Christ said to St Faustina:

Write: before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. 

Diary of St. Faustina

Stacy expresses surprise that God has not already destroyed us, But did not the Knights of Columbus offer a novena before the election for the country asking for God’s blessing and mercy that was prayed in churches all over the country?  Do not contemplative sisters and brothers pray unceasingly for the country the world and for the intentions of individuals?  Do not individuals like myself offer daily rosaries for the country asking since February for Justice Scalia and since April for Mother Angelica to join in these prayers for our land?  And do not relatives friends of those who have been deceived by the world and the culture pray continually for their salvation?  After all do you think it was just blind luck that Stacy himself, turned away from the admittedly evil path he once pursued?  And are not others even now evangelizing those who have fallen away?

The bottom line is there have been many times when the power of evil, and error and sin have seemed insurmountable, yet the faithful still exist, and thrive and the Holy Spirit still calls those who have rejected him.

“If you’re there, you have to help me.”

Those are the words that poet Sally Read said to an icon of Jesus in 2010. Read, a British poet and atheist, had stopped into a church in Santa Marinella, Italy. She felt burdened. Her young daughter was having health issues. Her husband Fabio was enduring some stress at work.

“There was this incredible experience where this presence almost came down, and my tears just stopped, just dried,” Read tells CNSNews.com. “I felt almost physically carried up. It was as if someone walked into the room. I knew this person. I knew that I was a Christian.”

Up to that point Read, now 46, had been an atheist. “I was brought up an atheist,” Read notes in her just-published memoir, “Night’s Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story.” “At ten I could tell you that religion was the opiate of the masses; it was [driven] into me to never kneel before anyone or anything…As a young woman I could quote Christopher Hitchens and enough of the Bible to scoff at.”

As Pope Francis has said God never tires of forgiving us and as long as that potential is there the work of salvation will continue and we can and must aid it by our prayers.

Because even with this clarification Stacy point stands as evidenced by Christ words to Sister Faustina that followed his remark about the door of mercy.

He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice…

I pray to God that I and others will acquire and retain the wisdom to choose the door of mercy in our lifetimes.

One of the arguments that Stacy McCain makes which constantly upsets people is that one of the best ways to prevent “date rape” or unwanted sexual advances is to avoid campus parties, frat or otherwise, that involve drinking and drugs.

It’s worth noting that this booze/drugs culture was exacerbated by the classic Movie Animal House, which became a classic, and celebrated the toga party culture and contained this memorable scene:

(warning brief nudity and language)

In the scene above the young lady ends up untouched but the actress Sarah Holcolb who played the party wasn’t as lucky.

She was young, younger than the rest of us. We were a fast crowd. Drugs were everywhere. She fell into what, for lack of a better term, you would have to call bad company. And got [bleeped] up on drugs. Coke, primarily, if memory serves,” Miller says. “[She] wound up in some home for [bleeped]-up young girls . . . wound up sort-of erased from life. I don’t know what became of her. Sad story.”

at the blog Derailed the author tells of a chance meeting with her after she missed a train and ends his post as follows:

It wasn’t till a few days ago, when I read the above story in “The New York Post”, that I decided her problems were public knowledge and I’d share this story.

Before writing today I googled her name and found this entry on the ACME animal house trivia website:

Sarah Holcomb’s (Clorette DePasto) four-year film career ended with Caddyshack in 1980. She reportedly turned to alcohol and drugs and slowly lost touch with reality as she suffered from schizophrenia. The 2004 film Stateside is reportedly about her descent through alcohol, drugs, sexual abuse and finally mental illness. I am told she is now living a quiet, obscure life far from the madness of Hollywood under an assumed name and does not wish to be found.

Sad. Very Sad.

and THAT my dear friends is the difference between the Animal House version of what that lifestyle gets you and the real thing.

Young Men on campus should think twice about hitting parties heavy on drink & drugs hoping to score as the colleges lack of due process can turn questionable consent, even if it affirmatively given later, into being marked for life, and Ms. Holcomb’s mistakes boldly illustrate the old saying is remains true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

No matter how much feminists might hate him for saying so RS McCain is right. The best way to avoid being a victim, either of actual assault or of the guilt which comes from bad judgment is to avoid the settings where such assaults or lapses of judgment are likely.

Yesterday Hillary Clinton appeared before congress and there was one thing that came out that really caught Bill Kristol’s eye:

This tweet reveals Mr. Kristol is still living in a Judeo Christian culture. There are two reasons why this revelation, serious by the standards of truth vs falsehood, will not matter here.

1. The Mainstream media like any good totalitarian organization is all about wiping the past. The same MSM that attacked Romney rather than the administration after Cairo & Benghazi will judge Hillary not on anything she says but on her deportment. She will be made the “victim” of Benghazi because unless Michelle Obama suddenly jumps into the race she is, in their mind, the presumptive Democrat nominee & must be protected at all costs.

2. The Democrat Party has abandoned judeo christian standards of truth & ethical standards as a prerequisite for nomination. If actual dead americans and successful attacks on an US mission did not stop democrats from voting for Barack Obama a simple thing like lying to the American people to help facilitate that election isn’t going to bother them.

So a much as Bill Kristol considers this revelation is a “Wow” it won’t stop the media from protecting her, surrogates from defending and democrats from voting for her.

There are few statements that disgust me more than this, but that disgust is because it’s true.

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The future belongs to those who show up

Mark Steyn

Stacy McCain has written a lot about various feminists from Amanda Marcotte to Mary Daley and the negative effects they have on society but during the election of 2024 all of those kids are going to be eligible to vote and Amanda Marcotte will be shouting alone.

You can’t fight a culture war without soldiers and while one can rant and rave in an attempt to co-opt the next generation in the end that’s less effective than actually producing it.

Or put simply Stacy McCain 6 Amanda Marcotte 0

Update: This Tweet from Stacy McCain makes me feel even better

You might have noticed lately a rush to remove the Confederate Flag from public & private spaces on the grounds that Charleston Shooter Dylann Roof was shown in photo waving the Confederate flag.

The argument is removing of the Confederate flag from any place of honor becomes a simple matter of honoring those murdered at a Charleston Bible study by a man who visibly waved it.

Well one of those who vocally supported said removal Mr. DeRay McKesson was at a protest in Charleston lately.   WISTV covered it:

Images of a flag burning incident at Marion Square in downtown Charleston over the weekend has ignited controversy across social media platforms.

DeRay McKesson, a civil rights activist with WeTheProtesters.org, posted photos and video on his Twitter page Sunday showing a group of people in Marion Square burning the American and Confederate flags.

WeTheProtesters lists McKesson as a member of its planning team, and the Founder and Co-Editor of the Ferguson Protester Newsletter.

and Mr. McKesson put out some tweets from it

I found that photo fascinating because apparently not only does Mr. McKesson’s group seems to not only have the same opinion of the US flag as Mr. Roof

dylann-roof-spitting-american-flag-640x479

But they apparently believe in directly mimicking his actions:

dylan-roof-website-photo-flag-burning (1)So I have a question for all of those on TV that have been self righteously telling us that because Young Mr. Roof waved the Confederate flag that flag must go, Gone with the Wind must go, and even games about the civil war must all go to honor those he murdered.

Since Mr. Roof’s mass murder suddenly made any association with the Confederate Flag beyond the pale of respectability should we not also consider the group We the Protesters and Mr. McKesson also beyond the pale since they not only copied the exact actions of this mass murder but did so proudly and in public just outside the building where one of the victims was lying in state?

Because their actions suggest this observation from Sweetness & light is exactly correct:

Well, we know that Dylann Roof would have approved of the burning of the American flag. (Since he did so himself.) But that’s probably just one of the many similarities he shares with Mr. Mckesson.

I’d love to see the media members who have given Mr. McKesson credibility answer that question and have all those who have expressed support for his group answer this question but I suspect that will not happen anywhere this side of the 2nd coming.

Update: It goes without saying that those actions are protected by the first amendment the question isn’t if said actions should be illegal, it’s if said actions mean the group should be embraced by the media and the left.

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If one can change the definition of marriage that has stood for thousands of years by a popular vote then there is no rational basis to deny a form of marriage that has been continually recognized by nations of the world and at least one of the worlds major religions for over a millennium.

DaTechGuy 6-25-11

I’m old enough to remember when activists insisted that Gay Marriage was completely different than polygamy and they certainly wouldn’t support it:

Recently, I went undercover posing as a same-sex marriage activist and asked prominent sodomite activists and Democrats the following question:

“If the purpose of marriage is to confer dignity upon individuals who love each other, then what about polygamous couples who love each other? They should be able to marry too, don’t you think?”

Shockingly, the homosexual activists and Democrats all answered, “Yes!”

Frankly it didn’t shock me at all, nor does it shock me that with a national election coming up that such items can only be seen on hidden camera.

Go here to see the video for yourself and remember that our friends who are now closing business who don’t service gay marriage once told us that civil unions had nothing to do with gay marriage and furthermore that Gay Marriage would not affect anyone who didn’t believe in it.

Those who said it were liars, those who believed them were suckers, it only remains to discover if they still are.

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Continuing our look at some of the things in from Laudato Si ‘s 246 paragraphs that the media is avoiding big time.  (Part one is here and part 2 here).  As before each paragraph will begin with what the Pope was saying and end with what I think the media was thinking in the editorial room when they decided to skip that bit.  (all emphasis mine)

Francis speaks of a cultural component of the problem of the environment.

162. Our difficulty in taking up this challenge seriously has much to do with an ethical and cultural decline which has accompanied the deterioration of the environment. Men and women of our postmodern world run the risk of rampant individualism, and many problems of society are connected with today’s self-centred culture of instant gratification. We see this in the crisis of family and social ties and the difficulties of recognizing the other. Parents can be prone to impulsive and wasteful consumption, which then affects their children who find it increasingly difficult to acquire a home of their own and build a family. Furthermore, our inability to think seriously about future generations is linked to our inability to broaden the scope of our present interests and to give consideration to those who remain excluded from development. Let us not only keep the poor of the future in mind, but also today’s poor, whose life on this earth is brief and who cannot keep on waiting. Hence, “in addition to a fairer sense of intergenerational solidarity there is also an urgent moral need for a renewed sense of intragenerational solidarity”.[125]

MSM:  I don’t know these are all values we’ve been pushing and the focus on the “crisis of the family” it’s another GOP talking point.  Not to mention all that talk about future generations it invokes that whole “family values”  business.  We aren’t reporting on this to advance conservatism are we?    

Francis on “carbon Credits”

171. The strategy of buying and selling “carbon credits” can lead to a new form of speculation which would not help reduce the emission of polluting gases worldwide. This system seems to provide a quick and easy solution under the guise of a certain commitment to the environment, but in no way does it allow for the radical change which present circumstances require. Rather, it may simply become a ploy which permits maintaining the excessive consumption of some countries and sectors.

MSM:  If there’s one thing we aren’t going to touch it’s an attack on carbon credits.  This is something we’ve advanced as a positive good for decades.   We can’t be talking them down.

Francis talks about the basics of decision making:

185. In any discussion about a proposed venture, a number of questions need to be asked in order to discern whether or not it will contribute to genuine integral development. What will it accomplish? Why? Where? When? How? For whom? What are the risks? What are the costs? Who will pay those costs and how? In this discernment, some questions must have higher priority. For example, we know that water is a scarce and indispensable resource and a fundamental right which conditions the exercise of other human rights. This indisputable fact overrides any other assessment of environmental impact on a region.

MSM:   Hmm this looks good but I don’t know.  A lot of times these answers aren’t really in our favor.  Do we really want the discussion to turn toward facts vs emotion?

Francis talks about bringing all viewpoints to the table:

188. There are certain environmental issues where it is not easy to achieve a broad consensus. Here I would state once more that the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics. But I am concerned to encourage an honest and open debate so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good.

MSM:   That’s a trap to get the “deniers” to the table.  If these guys start making their case who can tell what will happen?    nest and open debate means e mm this looks good but I don’t know.  A lot of times these answers aren’t really in our favor.  Do we really want the discussion to turn toward facts vs emotion?

Francis on the economic bubbles:

189. Politics must not be subject to the economy, nor should the economy be subject to the dictates of an efficiency-driven paradigm of technocracy. Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life. Saving banks at any cost, making the public pay the price, foregoing a firm commitment to reviewing and reforming the entire system, only reaffirms the absolute power of a financial system, a power which has no future and will only give rise to new crises after a slow, costly and only apparent recovery. The financial crisis of 2007-08 provided an opportunity to develop a new economy, more attentive to ethical principles, and new ways of regulating speculative financial practices and virtual wealth. But the response to the crisis did not include rethinking the outdated criteria which continue to rule the world. Production is not always rational, and is usually tied to economic variables which assign to products a value that does not necessarily correspond to their real worth. This frequently leads to an overproduction of some commodities, with unnecessary impact on the environment and with negative results on regional economies.[133] The financial bubble also tends to be a productive bubble. The problem of the real economy is not confronted with vigour, yet it is the real economy which makes diversification and improvement in production possible, helps companies to function well, and enables small and medium businesses to develop and create employment.

MSM:   That one’s iffy too.  President Obama supported the bailouts as did a lot of our guys.  Hitting the banks is nice but it sounds a lot like something the tea party might say.  And that whole “human life” stuff is pretty republican too.  Better skip it.   

Francis on when governments are responsible:

197. What is needed is a politics which is far-sighted and capable of a new, integral and interdisciplinary approach to handling the different aspects of the crisis. Often, politics itself is responsible for the disrepute in which it is held, on account of corruption and the failure to enact sound public policies. If in a given region the state does not carry out its responsibilities, some business groups can come forward in the guise of benefactors, wield real power, and consider themselves exempt from certain rules, to the point of tolerating different forms of organized crime, human trafficking, the drug trade and violence, all of which become very difficult to eradicate. If politics shows itself incapable of breaking such a perverse logic, and remains caught up in inconsequential discussions, we will continue to avoid facing the major problems of humanity. A strategy for real change calls for rethinking processes in their entirety, for it is not enough to include a few superficial ecological considerations while failing to question the logic which underlies present-day culture. A healthy politics needs to be able to take up this challenge.

MSM:   Nah, at first glance it looks good but it’s got “Chicago” , “Baltimore” and “Oakland” written all over it.

Francis on Science & Religion:

199. It cannot be maintained that empirical science provides a complete explanation of life, the interplay of all creatures and the whole of reality. This would be to breach the limits imposed by its own methodology. If we reason only within the confines of the latter, little room would be left for aesthetic sensibility, poetry, or even reason’s ability to grasp the ultimate meaning and purpose of things.[141] I would add that “religious classics can prove meaningful in every age; they have an enduring power to open new horizons… Is it reasonable and enlightened to dismiss certain writings simply because they arose in the context of religious belief?”[142] It would be quite simplistic to think that ethical principles present themselves purely in the abstract, detached from any context. Nor does the fact that they may be couched in religious language detract from their value in public debate. The ethical principles capable of being apprehended by reason can always reappear in different guise and find expression in a variety of languages, including religious language.

MSM:   Just what we don’t need, long discussions about the value of religion discussed in the public square.   That paragraph’s outta here.

Francis On Ecological Education:

213. Ecological education can take place in a variety of settings: at school, in families, in the media, in catechesis and elsewhere. Good education plants seeds when we are young, and these continue to bear fruit throughout life. Here, though, I would stress the great importance of the family, which is “the place in which life – the gift of God – can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life”.[149] In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. In the family we receive an integral education, which enables us to grow harmoniously in personal maturity. In the family we learn to ask without demanding, to say “thank you” as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressivity and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings.

MSM:   Geezes there it is again “family” “culture of life” what is this a document about the environment or a Santorum for President rally? 

Francis on the environment & sin:

218. In calling to mind the figure of Saint Francis of Assisi, we come to realize that a healthy relationship with creation is one dimension of overall personal conversion, which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults and failures, and leads to heartfelt repentance and desire to change. The Australian bishops spoke of the importance of such conversion for achieving reconciliation with creation: “To achieve such reconciliation, we must examine our lives and acknowledge the ways in which we have harmed God’s creation through our actions and our failure to act. We need to experience a conversion, or change of heart”.[153]

MSM:   We can’t be talking about sin, all of that’ relative and besides if we start talking about sin who knows where the conversation is going to go? 

Francis on values, sobriety & the environment:

224. Sobriety and humility were not favourably regarded in the last century. And yet, when there is a general breakdown in the exercise of a certain virtue in personal and social life, it ends up causing a number of imbalances, including environmental ones. That is why it is no longer enough to speak only of the integrity of ecosystems. We have to dare to speak of the integrity of human life, of the need to promote and unify all the great values. Once we lose our humility, and become enthralled with the possibility of limitless mastery over everything, we inevitably end up harming society and the environment. It is not easy to promote this kind of healthy humility or happy sobriety when we consider ourselves autonomous, when we exclude God from our lives or replace him with our own ego, and think that our subjective feelings can define what is right and what is wrong.

MSM:   The subjective definition of right and wrong and the “great values” is exactly what we’ve been trying to combat.  We certainly can’t use this as a basis for an environmental argument.

Francis on appreciated the environment as God’s gift

227. One expression of this attitude is when we stop and give thanks to God before and after meals. I ask all believers to return to this beautiful and meaningful custom. That moment of blessing, however brief, reminds us of our dependence on God for life; it strengthens our feeling of gratitude for the gifts of creation; it acknowledges those who by their labours provide us with these goods; and it reaffirms our solidarity with those in greatest need.

MSM:  Is saying grace at meal going to do our argument any good, I don’t think so.   Who wrote this a GOP operative? 

Francis on Culture:

 

229. We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it. We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty. It is time to acknowledge that light-hearted superficiality has done us no good. When the foundations of social life are corroded, what ensues are battles over conflicting interests, new forms of violence and brutality, and obstacles to the growth of a genuine culture of care for the environment.

MSM:  Nah it’s too close to a GOP talking point.  Ann Coulter could have said that.

 

MSM  And we’re not even going to bother with paragraphs 236 and beyond.  It’s all Eucharist, “Thus, the Eucharist is also a source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation.” (236)  the sabbath  On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world. (237) The Trinity:  Consequently, “when we contemplate with wonder the universe in all its grandeur and beauty, we must praise the whole Trinity”.[169] (238) God  Creatures tend towards God, and in turn it is proper to every living being to tend towards other things, so that throughout the universe we can find any number of constant and secretly interwoven relationships.[171] (239)  Mary  Just as her pierced heart mourned the death of Jesus, so now she grieves for the sufferings of the crucified poor and for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power.  (241) and Joseph He too can teach us how to show care; he can inspire us to work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us.  It’s all about worshiping God, we can’t risk getting perfectly good secular environmentalists reading this stuff and starting to think of this in terms of religion, and particularly not Christianity.  After all that last thing we want this document to be is a lesson in Christianity.

If you are shocked that none of these messages were mentioned by the MSM, you just aren’t paying attention.

Continuing our look at some of the things in from Laudato Si ‘s 246 paragraphs that the media is avoiding big time.  (Part one is here).  Each paragraph will begin with what the Pope was saying and end with what I think the media was thinking in the editorial room when they decided to skip that bit.  (all emphasis mine)

Francis talked about the Dignity of Humanity:

90. This is not to put all living beings on the same level nor to deprive human beings of their unique worth and the tremendous responsibility it entails. Nor does it imply a divinization of the earth which would prevent us from working on it and protecting it in its fragility. Such notions would end up creating new imbalances which would deflect us from the reality which challenges us.[68]At times we see an obsession with denying any pre-eminence to the human person; more zeal is shown in protecting other species than in defending the dignity which all human beings share in equal measure. Certainly, we should be concerned lest other living beings be treated irresponsibly. But we should be particularly indignant at the enormous inequalities in our midst, whereby we continue to tolerate some considering themselves more worthy than others. We fail to see that some are mired in desperate and degrading poverty, with no way out, while others have not the faintest idea of what to do with their possessions, vainly showing off their supposed superiority and leaving behind them so much waste which, if it were the case everywhere, would destroy the planet. In practice, we continue to tolerate that some consider themselves more human than others, as if they had been born with greater rights.

MSM:  Eh we like the inequality stuff but the idea of man’s pre-eminence doesn’t really work for a lot of our readers, we’ll skip it.

Francis on Jesus and creation:

96. Jesus took up the biblical faith in God the Creator, emphasizing a fundamental truth: God is Father (cf. Mt 11:25). In talking with his disciples, Jesus would invite them to recognize the paternal relationship God has with all his creatures. With moving tenderness he would remind them that each one of them is important in God’s eyes: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God” (Lk 12:6). “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (Mt 6:26).

MSM:  Too religious, too paternalistic.  Too absolute.  Can’t Francis talk about this without bringing in all that “Jesus” stuff?  

 

Francis on the beauty that Technology has produced:

103. Technoscience, when well directed, can produce important means of improving the quality of human life, from useful domestic appliances to great transportation systems, bridges, buildings and public spaces. It can also produce art and enable men and women immersed in the material world to “leap” into the world of beauty. Who can deny the beauty of an aircraft or a skyscraper? Valuable works of art and music now make use of new technologies. So, in the beauty intended by the one who uses new technical instruments and in the contemplation of such beauty, a quantum leap occurs, resulting in a fulfilment which is uniquely human.

MSM:  I don’t know complementing bridges and building and transportation systems is iffy enough but that business of the “beauty of an aircraft or a skyscraper” will have the Sierra Club cancel their ads en masse.

 

Pope Francis on despair:

113. There is also the fact that people no longer seem to believe in a happy future; they no longer have blind trust in a better tomorrow based on the present state of the world and our technical abilities. There is a growing awareness that scientific and technological progress cannot be equated with the progress of humanity and history, a growing sense that the way to a better future lies elsewhere. This is not to reject the possibilities which technology continues to offer us. But humanity has changed profoundly, and the accumulation of constant novelties exalts a superficiality which pulls us in one direction. It becomes difficult to pause and recover depth in life. If architecture reflects the spirit of an age, our megastructures and drab apartment blocks express the spirit of globalized technology, where a constant flood of new products coexists with a tedious monotony. Let us refuse to resign ourselves to this, and continue to wonder about the purpose and meaning of everything. Otherwise we would simply legitimate the present situation and need new forms of escapism to help us endure the emptiness.

MSM:  We can’t talk about this, our entire living depends on being a platform to see stuff people don’t really need.  What would our advertisers say if we talked about stuff bringing emptiness?

Francis on the value of man:

117. Neglecting to monitor the harm done to nature and the environmental impact of our decisions is only the most striking sign of a disregard for the message contained in the structures of nature itself. When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected. Once the human being declares independence from reality and behaves with absolute dominion, the very foundations of our life begin to crumble, for “instead of carrying out his role as a cooperator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature”.[95]

MSM:  You lost us at “embryo”.

Francis on the dignity of life:

120. Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.[97]

MSM:  Abortion incompatible with ecology?  That’s blasphemy!

Francis on Relativism:

123. The culture of relativism is the same disorder which drives one person to take advantage of another, to treat others as mere objects, imposing forced labour on them or enslaving them to pay their debts. The same kind of thinking leads to the sexual exploitation of children and abandonment of the elderly who no longer serve our interests. It is also the mindset of those who say: Let us allow the invisible forces of the market to regulate the economy, and consider their impact on society and nature as collateral damage. In the absence of objective truths or sound principles other than the satisfaction of our own desires and immediate needs, what limits can be placed on human trafficking, organized crime, the drug trade, commerce in blood diamonds and the fur of endangered species? Is it not the same relativistic logic which justifies buying the organs of the poor for resale or use in experimentation, or eliminating children because they are not what their parents wanted? This same “use and throw away” logic generates so much waste, because of the disordered desire to consume more than what is really necessary. We should not think that political efforts or the force of law will be sufficient to prevent actions which affect the environment because, when the culture itself is corrupt and objective truth and universally valid principles are no longer upheld, then laws can only be seen as arbitrary impositions or obstacles to be avoided.

MSM:  C’mon Francis you were doing so well with forced labor, blood diamonds and fur and you have to go and spoil the whole point by bringing up the elderly , relativism and objective truths.  Don’t you know that euthanasia is a blessing and we all know that what’s true for some isn’t for others?

Francis on the Dignity of Work:

128. We were created with a vocation to work. The goal should not be that technological progress increasingly replace human work, for this would be detrimental to humanity. Work is a necessity, part of the meaning of life on this earth, a path to growth, human development and personal fulfilment. Helping the poor financially must always be a provisional solution in the face of pressing needs. The broader objective should always be to allow them a dignified life through work. Yet the orientation of the economy has favoured a kind of technological progress in which the costs of production are reduced by laying off workers and replacing them with machines. This is yet another way in which we can end up working against ourselves. The loss of jobs also has a negative impact on the economy “through the progressive erosion of social capital: the network of relationships of trust, dependability, and respect for rules, all of which are indispensable for any form of civil coexistence”.[104] In other words, “human costs always include economic costs, and economic dysfunctions always involve human costs”.[105] To stop investing in people, in order to gain greater short-term financial gain, is bad business for society.

MSM:  Francis you did it again!  We were ready to dive into the bit about evil corporations but you have to spoil it by emphasizing work and suggesting aid for the poor should be provisional toward a goal of work.  That’s practically a GOP talking point! 

Francis on Genetic Modification and history:

133. It is difficult to make a general judgement about genetic modification (GM), whether vegetable or animal, medical or agricultural, since these vary greatly among themselves and call for specific considerations. The risks involved are not always due to the techniques used, but rather to their improper or excessive application. Genetic mutations, in fact, have often been, and continue to be, caused by nature itself. Nor are mutations caused by human intervention a modern phenomenon. The domestication of animals, the crossbreeding of species and other older and universally accepted practices can be mentioned as examples. We need but recall that scientific developments in GM cereals began with the observation of natural bacteria which spontaneously modified plant genomes. In nature, however, this process is slow and cannot be compared to the fast pace induced by contemporary technological advances, even when the latter build upon several centuries of scientific progress.

MSM:  Hey Francis enough with the history lessons.  Do you know how much time and effort we have invested in the whole Frankenfood meme?  Rejected! 

Francis on experimentation with human embryos:

136. On the other hand, it is troubling that, when some ecological movements defend the integrity of the environment, rightly demanding that certain limits be imposed on scientific research, they sometimes fail to apply those same principles to human life. There is a tendency to justify transgressing all boundaries when experimentation is carried out on living human embryos. We forget that the inalienable worth of a human being transcends his or her degree of development. In the same way, when technology disregards the great ethical principles, it ends up considering any practice whatsoever as licit. As we have seen in this chapter, a technology severed from ethics will not easily be able to limit its own power.

MSM:  Embryos, Embryos Embryos, Hey Francis I thought you had a scientific background.  Don’t you know a clump of cells when you see one?   Rejected! 

Francis On Human ecology:

155. Human ecology also implies another profound reality: the relationship between human life and the moral law, which is inscribed in our nature and is necessary for the creation of a more dignified environment. Pope Benedict XVI spoke of an “ecology of man”, based on the fact that “man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will”.[120] It is enough to recognize that our body itself establishes us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings. The acceptance of our bodies as God’s gift is vital for welcoming and accepting the entire world as a gift from the Father and our common home, whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation. Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different. In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment. It is not a healthy attitude which would seek “to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it”.[121]

MSM:  Are you kidding me, the whole Transgender Movement and to some degree the gay rights movement depends on exactly the opposite of this?  

I guess that’s enough for part 2.  Tune in Tomorrow for part 3

 

Earlier today I talked about what I thought the biggest news from Laudato Si is.  Now I’d like to look at several passages that jumped out at me while I read it.

If you just go by the MSM reports one might think this was the confirmation of all the liberal dreams of the left and the fears of the right concerning the holy father, the media has been falling over itself to complement the pope and push this encyclical.

However anyone who has read the document might notice that there are a lot of things here that our leftist media friends would rather we just skip.

So lets take a look at some of the things in its 246 paragraphs that the media  you might not have heard.  Each paragraph will begin with what the Pope was saying and end with what I think the media was thinking in the editorial room when they decided to skip it. (all emphasis mine)

Pope Francis on urbanization:

45. In some places, rural and urban alike, the privatization of certain spaces has restricted people’s access to places of particular beauty. In others, “ecological” neighbourhoods have been created which are closed to outsiders in order to ensure an artificial tranquillity. Frequently, we find beautiful and carefully manicured green spaces in so-called “safer” areas of cities, but not in the more hidden areas where the disposable of society live.

MSM:  Yeah Francis is talking about the 2nd World Urban areas he was intimately familiar with in South America but this is something that could be easily applied to the same cultural elites like us that are pushing this document.   Besides most of our cities are run by Democrats. We’ll skip it.

Pope Francis on the social decline that has come from Technology and the ignoring the wisdom of centuries:

47. Furthermore, when media and the digital world become omnipresent, their influence can stop people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously. In this context, the great sages of the past run the risk of going unheard amid the noise and distractions of an information overload. Efforts need to be made to help these media become sources of new cultural progress for humanity and not a threat to our deepest riches. True wisdom, as the fruit of self-examination, dialogue and generous encounter between persons, is not acquired by a mere accumulation of data which eventually leads to overload and confusion, a sort of mental pollution. Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature. Today’s media do enable us to communicate and to share our knowledge and affections. Yet at times they also shield us from direct contact with the pain, the fears and the joys of others and the complexity of their personal experiences. For this reason, we should be concerned that, alongside the exciting possibilities offered by these media, a deep and melancholic dissatisfaction with interpersonal relations, or a harmful sense of isolation, can also arise.

MSM: Social Decline?  We’re in the “enlightened age”.  We all know that all those “sages” were a bunch of racist, sexist, homophobic idiots who have something to teach us that’s worth remembering.  Why they didn’t even believe in Gay Marriage!  We can’t talk about this.

Pope Francis on those aloof to reality:

49. It needs to be said that, generally speaking, there is little in the way of clear awareness of problems which especially affect the excluded. Yet they are the majority of the planet’s population, billions of people. These days, they are mentioned in international political and economic discussions, but one often has the impression that their problems are brought up as an afterthought, a question which gets added almost out of duty or in a tangential way, if not treated merely as collateral damage. Indeed, when all is said and done, they frequently remain at the bottom of the pile. This is due partly to the fact that many professionals, opinion makers, communications media and centres of power, being located in affluent urban areas, are far removed from the poor, with little direct contact with their problems. They live and reason from the comfortable position of a high level of development and a quality of life well beyond the reach of the majority of the world’s population. This lack of physical contact and encounter, encouraged at times by the disintegration of our cities, can lead to a numbing of conscience and to tendentious analyses which neglect parts of reality. At times this attitude exists side by side with a “green” rhetoric. Today, however, we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

MSM:  This kinda hits too close to home.  Just because we are here in our cities eating at the best restaurants and drinking the finest booze doesn’t mean we don’t give damn about actual people.  Better skip it in case people draw that conclusion.

Francis on cultural pressure from the Developing world

50. Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate. At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of “reproductive health”. Yet “while it is true that an unequal distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and a sustainable use of the environment, it must nonetheless be recognized that demographic growth is fully compatible with an integral and shared development”.[28] To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues. It is an attempt to legitimize the present model of distribution, where a minority believes that it has the right to consume in a way which can never be universalized, since the planet could not even contain the waste products of such consumption. Besides, we know that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded, and “whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor”.[29] Still, attention needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, on both national and global levels, since a rise in consumption would lead to complex regional situations, as a result of the interplay between problems linked to environmental pollution, transport, waste treatment, loss of resources and quality of life.

MSM: Hey “reproductive health” is the cornerstone of our belief system.  Well we certainly CAN’T critique policies pushed by democrats that require this wise agenda on cultures in return for aid and anyways it’s for their own good!

Francis on progress that’s been achieved:

58. In some countries, there are positive examples of environmental improvement: rivers, polluted for decades, have been cleaned up; native woodlands have been restored; landscapes have been beautified thanks to environmental renewal projects; beautiful buildings have been erected; advances have been made in the production of non-polluting energy and in the improvement of public transportation. These achievements do not solve global problems, but they do show that men and women are still capable of intervening positively. For all our limitations, gestures of generosity, solidarity and care cannot but well up within us, since we were made for love.

MSM: Eh I dunno I guess we could point to the environmental movement for that success but if we talk about success, it might take away from the urgency of the problem.  We’ll leave that alone.

Francis one environmental extremism:

60. Finally, we need to acknowledge that different approaches and lines of thought have emerged regarding this situation and its possible solutions. At one extreme, we find those who doggedly uphold the myth of progress and tell us that ecological problems will solve themselves simply with the application of new technology and without any need for ethical considerations or deep change. At the other extreme are those who view men and women and all their interventions as no more than a threat, jeopardizing the global ecosystem, and consequently the presence of human beings on the planet should be reduced and all forms of intervention prohibited. Viable future scenarios will have to be generated between these extremes, since there is no one path to a solution. This makes a variety of proposals possible, all capable of entering into dialogue with a view to developing comprehensive solutions.

MSM:  Nah that’s a non starter, one of Francis’ extremes are the tech guys of the left and the other is  the base of the Democrat party.  That’s gone.

Francis on renewal:

71. Although “the wickedness of man was great in the earth” (Gen 6:5) and the Lord “was sorry that he had made man on the earth” (Gen 6:6), nonetheless, through Noah, who remained innocent and just, God decided to open a path of salvation. In this way he gave humanity the chance of a new beginning. All it takes is one good person to restore hope! The biblical tradition clearly shows that this renewal entails recovering and respecting the rhythms inscribed in nature by the hand of the Creator. We see this, for example, in the law of the Sabbath. On the seventh day, God rested from all his work. He commanded Israel to set aside each seventh day as a day of rest, a Sabbath, (cf. Gen 2:2-3; Ex 16:23; 20:10). Similarly, every seven years, a sabbatical year was set aside for Israel, a complete rest for the land (cf. Lev 25:1-4), when sowing was forbidden and one reaped only what was necessary to live on and to feed one’s household (cf. Lev 25:4-6). Finally, after seven weeks of years, which is to say forty-nine years, the Jubilee was celebrated as a year of general forgiveness and “liberty throughout the land for all its inhabitants” (cf. Lev25:10). This law came about as an attempt to ensure balance and fairness in their relationships with others and with the land on which they lived and worked. At the same time, it was an acknowledgment that the gift of the earth with its fruits belongs to everyone. Those who tilled and kept the land were obliged to share its fruits, especially with the poor, with widows, orphans and foreigners in their midst: “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field to its very border, neither shall you gather the gleanings after the harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner” (Lev 19:9-10).

MSM:  I like the poor and sharing stuff but you’ve got that whole Sabbath day stuff with it.  People will immediately think Chick-Fil-A and anyways there are too many quotes from Leviticus and we all know what THAT book says about homosexuality.

Francis on the supremacy of God:

75. A spirituality which forgets God as all-powerful and Creator is not acceptable. That is how we end up worshipping earthly powers, or ourselves usurping the place of God, even to the point of claiming an unlimited right to trample his creation underfoot. The best way to restore men and women to their rightful place, putting an end to their claim to absolute dominion over the earth, is to speak once more of the figure of a Father who creates and who alone owns the world. Otherwise, human beings will always try to impose their own laws and interests on reality.

MSM:  Are you kidding me?  A spirituality without God is exactly the point we’ve been pushing for years, and we certainly can’t talk about absolute realities.  Rejected!

Francis on the nature as valued by God as part of his creation:

88. The bishops of Brazil have pointed out that nature as a whole not only manifests God but is also a locus of his presence. The Spirit of life dwells in every living creature and calls us to enter into relationship with him.[65] Discovering this presence leads us to cultivate the “ecological virtues”.[66] This is not to forget that there is an infinite distance between God and the things of this world, which do not possess his fullness. Otherwise, we would not be doing the creatures themselves any good either, for we would be failing to acknowledge their right and proper place. We would end up unduly demanding of them something which they, in their smallness, cannot give us.

MSM:  Uh oh a lot of our fans equate nature as a God, we can’t quote him saying nature isn’t God.

That’s over 2000 words and we have barely gone through a 1/3 of the document.  There is a lot more to come.

 

 

Yesterday was VE Day an unofficial holiday when we remember those who risked their lives for the good of society fighting in Europe in WW 2.

Oddly that day made me think of National Teachers day which was May 5th.

To most this might seem odd.  National Teachers day would be a day to remember the best teachers we ever had like Mrs. Teresa Mahoney who I had for both 4th & 7th Grades way back in 1972 & 1976.  She introduced me to poetry from Arthur Guiterman’s Pershing at the Front which made me smile to Countee Cullen’s Incident which made me think.

However given the situation teachers find themselves in today the VE day comparison might be apt.  Exhibit A  the 2nd largest city in New England Worcester MA:

School safety liaison Rob Pezzella says schools and police have already implemented a measure officials announced last week by stationing officers at the district’s high schools. Additional measures could include metal detectors.

 The new security measures came in the wake of a series of weapons-related arrests at or near some of the high schools over the past few weeks.

What incidents?  Incidents like this.

Worcester Police arrested a 16-year-old student at Burncoat High School after they say a loaded handgun and ammunition was found in a container in his locker.

And this

Police on Wednesday arrested five Worcester Vocational Technical High School students after a witness reported seeing them with guns in a school parking lot.

At Worcester North High a vice principal was assaulted trying to break up a fight and some teachers are near the breaking point

What my colleagues and I experienced this week went well beyond any “disturbance” or “challenge” we’ve dealt with in the past. It did not happen without signs pointing to the inevitable eruption in our hallways. Control has been eroding for some time, and the reasons are many. North may be a brand new facility, but it brings with it all the baggage an urban high school carries: a high poverty rate, understaffing, children with intense mental health issues and a reluctance to hold students and families accountable for unacceptable behavior.

A full time officer is now on duty .  Counselor at Large Mike Gaffney put it this way

“Instead of a learning environment, the emphasis has been to keep children (often young adults), with no interest in an education, in the schools to show an increase in graduation rates. Instead of a safe environment, the emphasis has been to reduce detention, suspension, and expulsion actions for the purpose of showing an artificial reduction in disciplinary issues. Meanwhile, these disruptors with no interest in an education bully, attack, and assault teachers and other students. Our children should not be forsaken for a statistic.”

In fairness to Worcester this is neither a new nor a local problem only as the national results of search for “Teacher Assaulted” in Google or Yahoo will quickly demonstrate.  Nor is the focus on stats vs. teaching confined to Worcester as those who were willing to stray from the media narrative of the Trayvon Martin case could tell you:

Both of Trayvon’s suspensions during his junior year at Krop High involved crimes that could have led to his prosecution as a juvenile offender. However, Chief Charles Hurley of the Miami-Dade School Police Department (MDSPD) in 2010 had implemented a policy that reduced the number of criminal reports, manipulating statistics to create the appearance of a reduction in crime within the school system. Less than two weeks before Martin’s death, the school system commended Chief Hurley for “decreasing school-related juvenile delinquency by an impressive 60 percent for the last six months of 2011.” What was actually happening was that crimes were not being reported as crimes, but instead treated as disciplinary infractions.

Stats vs actual learning is at the heart of the Common Core debate as well, but that conversation is a week’s worth of pieces in itself.

As for Worcester, I’d like to say that these crisis has resulted in a renewed focus by the bureaucracy  not just on the protection of teachers and students but on the purpose of schools teaching mathematics,  science, history,  English & poetry, alas it seems the focus in Worcester remains on perception and gestures:

On Friday, Worcester photographer Troy B. Thompson visited the high school and invited all students to participate in his “No Evil Project,” which seeks to break down the stigmas of labels.

Along the same lines as Thompson’s community-wide project, which is currently being featured at the Denholm Building, students wrote out three labels they feel they represent and pledge an act of kindness.

I can’t imagine Mrs. Mahoney doing this.  Her generation was the generation of the Great Depression & the Second World War.  They knew what hardship, suffering and loss were and understood that there was a cost to everything worthwhile.   Rocking back on your chair (these were the days before one piece desks & chairs) would cost you a nickel for the Catholic Missionaries and those were the days when a rap across the knuckles with a ruler was not going to generate a call to DSS.

National Teachers day was once a simple day when we remembered our favorite teachers like Mrs. Mahoney who helped make us who they are, but will the day soon come when we think of National Teachers day as a remembrance to spare a thought for the modern teacher who faces an environment fraught with dangers & priorities for the good of society.

Just like VE day.  Except we’re not winning.

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