The liberal stormy petrels are going to cry "foul," claiming that conservatives are rewriting history (something that liberals have done very well since the 1960s). But, it's true: Franklin Delano Roosevelt campaigned as an economic conservative in 1932, according to the President of the Foundation for Economic Education, Lawrence W. Reed.

Returing to Roosevelt's tenure as Governor of the State of New York, Reed found Roosevelt stating as late as 1930 that Washington, DC, in the 1920s had involved too much "regulation and legislation by 'master minds'" (aka, "The Wizards of Smart"). Roosevelt added:

     Were it possible to find 'master minds' so unselfish, so willing to decide
     unhesitatingly against their own personal interests or private prejudices,
     men almost godlike in their ability to hold the scales of justice with an
     even hand, such a government might be to the interests of the country;
     but there are none such on our political horizon, and we cannot expect
     a complete reversal of all the teachings of history.

In 1932, Roosevelt  continued to express these sentiments while campaigning for President. According to Reed, during the campaign Roosevelt:
  • called for reducing federal spending by 25% and balancing the nation's budget;
  • wanted to reduce the role of the federal government in agriculture; and,
  • criticized President Herbert Hoover for increasing federal spending, raising federal taxes, and increasing tariffs on imports.

Roosevelt's running mate in 1932, John Nance Gardner, went so far as to claim that Hoover--the conservative Republican candidate--was "leading America down the road to socialism."


Now, isn't that all very interesting?

Yet, Roosevelt's rhetoric was nothing more than a chameleon-like charade. Once he took office in January, 1933, FDR proceeded to raise taxes, increase spending, and undertook what became the largest experiment in central planning in the history of the United States. Of course, as history teaches, Roosevelt aimed all of these efforts of centralizing the federal goverment at "raising the nation out of the Great Depression."

Really?

Reed cites UCLA economists Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian who argue that FDR's policies actually had the effect of extending the length of the Great Depression an additional 7 years.

Now, who is it that has engaged in revisionist history?


Let the discussion begin...




To read Lawrence W. Reed's article, click on the following link:
"Cliches of Progressivism No. 32: FDR Was Elected in 1932 on a Progressive Platform to Plan the Economy."

 
 
Imagine being called on the carpet for offering the following advice to prevent sexual assault and rape to a bunch of undergraduate coeds:
  • “By limiting your own consumption of alcohol, and encouraging your friends to do the same. Socrates included wine at his Symposium, but he did not get drunk.
  • “You can be thoughtful about the dramatic and often negative psychological effects that sexual activity without commitment can have. Virtue in the area of sexuality is its own reward, and has been held in high esteem in Western Culture for millennia because those who are virtuous are happier as well as healthier.  No one’s culture or character or understanding is improved by casual sex, and the physical and psychological risks to both genders are profound.

Yes, it’s true. The President of Eckerd College, Donald Eastman, emailed that very advice to Eckerd students last Sunday. It’s something a father should tell his teenage daughter. It’s also something an older brother ought to tell his sister. This advice has everything to do about avoiding what are called “proximate occasions of sin.”

However, Eastman’s thoughts were soon being construed by people both on and off campus to suggst that Eastman is blaming women for males who commit sexual assault and rape.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, one Twitter post stated:

     To Donald Eastman of Eckerd College. Women have the right to become
     intoxicated and not be assaulted. Its a crime.

TrueWomen possess the liberty to become intoxicated and not be assaulted. Whether or not it is a “right” may be pushing matters a bit. Lawyers might disagree.

TrueIt is a crime for a male to commit sexual assault and rape. There are statutes defining both as crimes and imposing penalties upon perpetrators found guilty of either criminal offense. Under no condition does a male possess the right to commit sexual assault and rape, irrespective of gender assaulted or raped.

Yet, the simple fact is that women who exercise their liberty to become intoxicated (assuming they are over the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages), that free exercise of liberty may carry with it unforeseen consequences that would otherwise not happen if women limited the exercise of that liberty. Thats the “proximate occasion of sin” part or, as the Boy Scouts are taught, “be prepared.” 

Others voiced anger concerning one implication of Eastman’s advice, namely, that women are responsible for preventing sexual assault and rape.
  • A 19-year-old sophomore, Marlene Heyning, said: “I’m pretty pissed off. That’s a pretty insensitive thing to say. Instead of teaching people that it's wrong to have casual sex and drink alcohol, how about teaching them that having sex with someone who says ‘no’ is not okay?”
  • An 18-year-old sophomore, Katie Wheeler said, “I don’t think casual sex is in any way related to sexual assault; the problem is people breaking boundaries and not learning respect from a young age.”
  • A 22-year-old senior, Adrien Krajnik, believes that Eastman’s letter was well-intentioned. Krajnik added: “However, it’s also very clear he doesn’t understand the problem, nor does he understand his students very well, which is a little scary,"adding, “the word ‘disgust’ has been thrown around.”

One Eckerd College alumnus set up an online petition to urge Eastman to rethink his views, stating in a letter explaining his petition:

     To begin, I disagree with your assessment of casual sex. All genders
     have a right to understand their bodies and the bodies of others, and
     casual sex or experimentation is a great way to learn, so long as the
     participants are willing and enthusiastic. While there are some risks
     involved, I believe that the students of this College are capable of making
     the right decisions, especially if given the proper education of those risks.
     It is also important to note that sexual assault and rape are not about sex,
     but rather they are about power and control….

     I believe that laying the blame solely at the feet of the two issues you
     mentioned is an injustice to the victims, and will not solve the problem.
     Instead of laying the blame where you have, we should think more about
     the impact of objectification and disrespect, and the perpetuation of these
     attitudes in our “Western Culture.” We have all been raised by a society
     that is dominated by male preference. Though not all rapists are men,
     the vast majority are, and the lack of respect toward other genders is a
     primary factor in sexual assault.

Reflecting upon the negative fallout generated by his email, Eastman told the Tampa Bay Times he was "trying to say that we would have a healthier and less dangerous campus if people drank less and took their sexual relations more seriously." He characterized the negative responses as “kind of don’t tell us this is the fault of the victim, don’t blame sexual assault on alcohol, don’t blame sexual assault on casual sex. But so far, they haven’t told me what you really ought to blame it on.” Asked whether he believes that “not taking sexual relations seriously enough leads to assaults,” Eastman replied, “I think maybe that’s right. I think that could be right.”

All of this blowback comes as administrators of the nation’s institutions of higher education are having to deal more intense scrutiny concerning how they handle allegations of sexual assault and rape. While research indicates that female students’ drinking and sexual assault positively correlate with increased sexual assault and rape, the problem is that sensible advice for women is misconstrued to suggest that women make themselves victims.

Reminding women not to drink in excess and allow themselves to increase their vulnerability to sexual assault and rape is evidence-based, sound advice as well as common sense.  That doesn’t direct the focus away from the perpetrators of evil. It’s wisdom that women can use to ensure their safety.

Far from being a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal who seeks to shift the blame for sexual assault and rape away from the perpetrators, President Eastman is exercising his in loco parentis rights by reminding Eckert College students to stay away from any “proximate occasion of sin” that has the potential to end in sexual assault and/or rape.

Kudos to President Eastman!


Let the discussion begin…




To read the Tampa Bay Times article, click on the following link:
http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/college/eckerd-president-blames-sexual-assault-on-excess-drinking-casual-sex/2207793

 
 
The Boston Globe has reported that the American Jesuit who Pope Francis named as the Vatican’s sex crimes prosecutor last September, the Reverend Robert Geisinger, SJ, failed to report an abusive priest to law enforcement before the now-jailed and defrocked man committed additional acts of sexual abuse.

According to legal documents including internal church records produced as part of lawsuits brought by victims, Fr. Geisinger--who served in the second highest leadership role of the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s as well as associate chancellor of the Chicago Archdiocese and as a presiding judge on the Archdiocese's metropolitan tribunal--knew as early as 1995 about abuse complaints dating back to the 1960s against the then-Reverend Donald McGuire, SJ. As late as 2002, Geisinger advised church officials concerning how to discipline Fr. McGuire.

A former spiritual adviser to Mother Theresa who once commanded a worldwide following as a gifted teacher and philosopher, McGuire is now 84 years old and serving a 25-year sentence in federal prison. In 2013, Jesuit officials agreed to pay $19.6M to settle a lawsuit by 6 men who alleged that McGuire abused them. The men, ranging in age from their 20s to 40s, said they were molested between 1975 and the early 2000s.

Responding to the Boston Globe story, Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, SJ, said in a statement that his fellow Jesuit has a “solid and proven record in child protection dating back nearly two decades.” Lombardi also said that Geisinger, while serving in his leadership role, “voiced concerns” about McGuire’s conduct and was the canon lawyer who prepared the case that led to McGuire’s dismissal from the clerical state.

Despite the allegations, Geisinger apparently won't be removed. According to Lombardi:

     The Holy See fully expects Father Geisinger to continue to do an
     excellent job as Promoter of Justice, based on his prosecution record,
     his commitment to justice, and his concern for victims.

Ditto with Fr. Geisinger’s predecessor as chief sex crimes prosecutor, the Most Reverend Charles Scicluna. The bishop told the Associated Press (AP) that Geisinger’s previous work in the church as procurator general in Rome for the Jesuits was excellent. “He is a fine canonist dedicated to serving as a very strong promoter of justice,” Scicluna said.

The Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, David Clohessy, disagrees. He released a statement Sunday urging Pope Francis to rescind the appointment of Geisinger as sex crimes prosecutor. AP quotes Clohesy as asking:

     Why on earth would Francis pick a priest with a problematic track
     record on abuse in the U.S. to deal with abuse worldwide? Why choose
     one who so clearly and repeatedly refused to call the law or tell the truth
     about a notorious, now-imprisoned serial predator?

Other bloggers wonder whether there's a conspiracy in all of this, likening Fr. Geisberg's appointment to a "Game of Jesuit Thrones."

Whatever.

Following the much-publicized kerfuffle at the recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family, Pope Francis may be experiencing yet another headache.


Let the discussion begin...




To read the Boston Globe article, click on the following link:

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/11/22/vatican-new-top-prosecutor-
abusive-priests-implicated-past-failure-stop-notorious-abuser-donald-
mcguire/gPaBPJUdvuTy5PSTl1j5sM/story.html

To read the AP article reprinted in the Chicago Sun-Times, click on the following link:
http://chicagosuntimes.com/news/top-vatican-sex-crimes-prosecutor-failed-to-

report-abusive-chicago-area-priest-report/#.VHM1wHH3OaY.email
 
 
The Motley Monk has posted a commentary over at The American Catholic titled "Some stirrings of discontent in U.S. higher education..."

In that post, The Motley Monk discusses how some Catholics have been “mad as hell” about the direction U.S. Catholic higher education has taken. Yet, they have remained silent for whatever reason, just like many of Howard Beale’s viewers in the movie "Network." Those Catholics may now be at the point they’re “not going to take this anymore.”




Check it out...



To access The Motley Monk's post at The American Catholic, click on the following link:
http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/11/23/some-stirrings-of-discontent-in-u-s-catholic-higher-education/
 
 
Listening to President Obama speak the other night about the need for compassion toward "undocumented" immigrants, one's heart might have been tempted to outpace one's mind. And that's exactly what the President wanted by neglecting to tell the folks about the costs associated with his call for greater national compassion for the "undocumented."

Consider the following data, care of a Heritage Foundation report, about which the President did not speak to the folks. In 2010:
  • The average American household received $31.5k+ in government benefits and services (such as Social Security, unemployment insurance, means-tested welfare programs, public education and local services like police protection). Note: That's the average American household, as not every household experienced a net gain in government benefits.
  • The average American household headed by a college-educated person paid $54k+ in taxes while receiving ~$24.9k in government benefits. These are the "tax providers."
  • The average American household headed by a person without a high school diploma paid ~$11.5k in taxes while receiving $46.5k+ in government benefits. These are the "tax consumers."

The average immigrant tends to be a tax consumer, as 50% of illegal immigrant households are headed by adults how have not earned a high school diploma. Only 25% have earned a high school diploma. So, now consider this:
  • In 2010, the average illegal immigrant household received $24.7k+ in government benefits, paying $10k+ in taxes, a benefit of $14k+/household.
  • Illegal immigrants also receive the benefits of government services (like fire and police protection) and their children receive public education.
  • Children of illegal immigrants born in the United States are eligible for the full spread of government welfare benefits, including Social Security and Medicare.

So here's what President Obama's "compassionate" solution of amnesty really means: Qualifying undocumented immigrants will enter the welfare system and further drain the U.S. Treasury of $$$s it does not have. To wit:
  • The average illegal immigrant is 34 years old. Amnesty means this individual will receive government benefits for 50 years. While some amnesty proposals restrict benefit access for the first 13 years after amnesty, that limitation would have little impact on long-term costs to the government.
  • Over the course of a lifetime, 11.5M illegal immigrants who are estimated to be granted amnesty would receive $9.4T in government benefits, paying only $3.1T in taxes.

When compassion outpaces the mind, beware. That's exactly what President Obama wants...compassion in the name of social justice that ultimately makes more people dependent on the government dole at the expense of the "tax providers." And expands the Democrat Party's voter base while the U.S. Treasury goes bankrupt.


Let the discussion begin...




To read the Heritage Foundation report, click on the following link:
"Ten-Step Checklist for Revitalizing America's Immigration System: How the Administration Can Fulfill Its Responsibilities."

 
 
 
 
It’s a great “take away line” that challenges civic orthodoxy:

     It’s fine to be ignorant, misinformed, or irrational about politics, so long
     as you don’t impose your political preferences upon others using the
     coercive power of government.

In short, citizens who are politically incompetent should not vote.

So writes Georgetown professor of ethics Professor Brennan in his 2012 book The Ethics of Voting.

Brennan would have political incompetent stay at home on Election Day, presumably enjoying whatever amuses them rather than exercise their franchise. Why? When political incompetents become politically active, Brennan writes, they “try to make the world better and vote with the best intentions.” However, political incompetents do not base their decisions upon sound evidence for what creates sound national policy or promotes the common good. Instead, political incompetents vote for what’s in their self-interest, thus sullying the democratic process with their uninformed, irrational, or immoral votes that lead to the formulation of terrible national policy.

It sounds all so very contradictory to what’s supposed to be taught in the nation’s civics classes. Yet, Brennan asks, is it not true that activists, pundits, celebrities, and the like “are blameworthy for voting, as they all too often lack sufficient evidence to justify the policies they advocate”? It is also not also true, Brennan asks, that when political incompetents do vote “they pollute democracy with their votes and make it more likely that we will have to suffer from bad governance”?

Brennen’s “Folk Theory of Voting Ethics” argues that voters “owe it to others and themselves to be adequately rational, unbiased, just, and informed about their political beliefs.” But, insofar as Brennen is concerned, because many of the people who do vote are well-intentioned but politically incompetent, they have an ethical obligation to the more politically competent voters not to vote.

Alluring as Brennen’s theory may sound to liberals and conservatives alike—because both would exclude the other from voting in that they view one another as politically incompetent—the trouble is that in the United States, every qualifying citizen—whether politically competent or not—has the absolute right to vote. Suggesting that the United States would be better off if the politically incompetent did not exercise their franchise—whether those include liberal or conservative activists, pundits, celebrities, and the like—is not just unorthodox but unconstitutional. It’s the reasoning of an ideologue not a democrat.

While the idea is appealing theoretically, disenfranchising the “folks”—as politically ignorant as they may be—places democracy in peril.


Let the discussion begin...

 
 
The Executive Producer of "Touched By An Angel," Martha Williamson, has a new movie, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered For Christmas" that debuts this Sunday evening, November 23 (9 p.m. ET/PT, 8 p.m. CT) on the Hallmark Channel's Movies & Mysteries.

This is a "don't miss" movie in that it asks probing questions and finds joyful answers reflecting the miracle of Christmas. The movie reminds The Motley Monk of those classic Christmas movies like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street." At the movie's end, viewers will rejoice in the true meaning of Christmas.

The plot follows Oliver, a modern day gentleman who possesses Old World values. Oliver and his team of postal workers transform themselves into an untraditional team of postal detectives--the "POstables"--and continuously surprise viewers as well as make them laugh as they work to solve mysteries--even the mysteries of life--behind some undeliverable letters. Their missions take them out of the office and into an unpredictable world where redirected missives and packages change lives, solve crimes, reunite old loves, and change futures by arriving late but somehow always at the right time.

Trust The Motley Monk on this one! Don't miss "Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas"! It's a great way to enter into the Season of Advent which begins on November 30.


Let the discussion begin...
 
 
Courtesy of Second City...
 
 
The Motley Monk is a fan of all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles, although they handle somewhat differently the first time out in the snow and, to a lesser degree, on ice. For the driver, it takes a little time and experience to adjust.

That said, it seems that AWD is catching on with luxury car drivers. According to the folks over at 24/7 Wall St.com, Volkswagen's Audi division discovered its rivals BMW and Mercedes moving into the field with AWD versions of many of their vehicles and decided it was time to equal the competition.

Now entering the fray is Jaguar. Although it has already released AWD vehicles, its most recent introducation is its flagship ultra-high-end XF-Type sports coupe. It's a beautiful vehicle.
Picture
What's wrong wtih this picture?
Unfortunately, Jaguar’s U.S. sales are barely pathetic--its sales barely an asterisk in the U.S. luxury market--declining 8.1% in the 2014 January to October period. Only 12,837 vehicles were sold. 

If the XF is to become viable among its competitors, The Motley Monk offers some free advice: Hire a new advertising agency!


Take a very close look at the advertisement.

That's one beautiful vehicle. However, who in their right mind would drive a luxury automobile like the Jaguar XF through a raging torrent of a river thinking that they'd even make it to those three inches of sand? Just because the vehicle is AWD?

They just backed the XF into where it's positioned in the advertisement!

Maybe those who can afford an XF think that way. If so, that explains the pathetic number of Jaguar XF's sold.


Let the discussion begin...




To read the 24/7 Wall St.com article, click on the following link:
http://247wallst.com/autos/2014/11/19/jaguar-launches-new-car-to-challenge-audi-and-mercedes/?utm_source=247WallStDailyNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content

=NOV192014A&utm_campaign=DailyNewsletter