Artist Niki Johnson of Shorewood, Wisconsin, has crafted a portrait she entitled "Eggs Benedict." Measuring ~7’ X 5’ and viewable from the front and the back, Johnson's choice of artistic medium? 17k non-lubricated condoms inter-stuffed and folded to create the necessary tonal range to depict Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

So impressed were leaders of the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) that they purchased the portrait. It will be displayed this fall once renovations to the MAM are completed.
Picture
"Eggs Benedict" property of the Milwaukee Art Museum
Johnson decided to make the “latex mosaic” after Pope Benedict's 2009 visit to Africa during which he said that condoms would not resolve but would increase the AIDS epidemic. In a WITI-TV interview, Johnson said:

     I was just dumbfounded. I mean, I couldn't make any sense of
     that statement. And so I figured I needed to do something.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted MAM’s Board of Trustees’ President, Don Layden, as stating:

     This was never intended to be derisive, mocking or disrespectful
     of the pope. It was to have a conversation about AIDS and AIDS
     education. And my hope is when the piece appears in the
     museum that will be the focus of the discussion.

There’s that word word again...“intend”...as in “intent” or “intention.” That is, it was nobody’s intent to offend Catholics or anyone else, for that matter.

Intend…intent…intention…

Translation: “If it wasn’t my intention to offend, then the offense taken can’t be attributed to me.”

So, if that conditional statement is true and if Pope Emeritus Benedict didn’t intend to offend either Ms. Johnson or Mr. Layden, then they shouldn’t attribute to him any offense they took from the Pope's statement. After all, fair is fair.

More importantly: What happens when the truth offends? After all, as Edward Green--a self-professed liberal who work in the fields of global HIV/AIDS and family planning for the Harvard School of Public Health--noted in a Washington Post op-ed concerning Pope Benedict's statement: "Yet, in truth, current empirical evidence supports him."


Let the discussion begin...




To read the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, click on the following link:
http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/milwaukee-art-museums-embrace-of-condom-portrait-of-pope-draws-disgust-b99527618z1-310570591.html

To read Edward Green's op-ed in the Washington Post, click on the following link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/27/AR2009032702825.html
 
 
Over at Fr. Z's blog, super priest-blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf has posted his "Litany for the Conversion of Internet thugs" (version 2.0) which he advertizes as "for private use only, when truly irritated, and when the alternative is foul language":
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Lest internet thugs be eternally tormented by all the fiends of hell, convert them, O Lord.
Lest they pass eternity in utter despair, convert them, O Lord.
Lest they come to be damned for the harm they cause, convert them, O Lord.
Lest they roast forever in the deepest cinders of hell, convert them, O Lord.
Lest they suffer the unceasing pain of loss, convert them, O Lord.

Lest devils endlessly increase their physical agony, convert them, O Lord.
Lest devils twist their bowels and boil their blood in hell, convert them, O Lord.
Lest devils use them as toys and tools, convert them, O Lord.
Lest devils forever gnaw upon their skulls, convert them, O Lord.

Lest the innocent be harmed by the sins of thugs, convert them, O Lord.
Lest the innocent yield to thugs in weakness, convert them, O Lord.
Lest the innocent be drawn into thuggish traps, convert them, O Lord.

From faceless Facebook admin drones, spare us O Lord.
From tweeting Twitter idiots, spare us O Lord.
From loony Wikipedia liars, spare us O Lord.
From from heart-hardened spammers, spare us O Lord.
From liberal nut-case smear-blogging hacks, spare us O Lord.
From thread-dominating combox trolls, spare us, O Lord.
From sophomoric drive-by commentators, spare us, O Lord.

From server memory resource difficulties, spare us O Lord.
From rss feed problems, spare us O Lord.
From DOS attacks, spare us O Lord.
From power outages and surges, spare us O Lord.
From viruses, trojan horses, and all manner of snares, Lord save us.
From wasting our time, Lord save us.
From our own stupidity, Lord save us.

St. Michael, defend us.
St. Gabriel, defend us.
Holy Guardian Angels, defend us.
St. Isidore of Seville, defend us.
St. Francis de Sales, defend us.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, defend us.
All ye angels and saints….. GRRRRR.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord,
Lamb of God who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Christ, Jesus who died for our sins.
R. Please return, and return swiftly.

Let us pray.

Almighty and merciful God, who according to Thy ineffable plan hast called us into existence to do Thy will amid the vicissitudes and contagion of this world grant, we beseech Thee, both protection for Thy servants who use the tools of this digital age and confusion for evil-doers who abuse their neighbors and Thy gifts.

Through Christ our Lord.   Amen.

While Fr. Z may have produced this litany with no small amount of "tongue in cheek" that may otherwise cause him to rant, anyone who posts to the Internet is sure to realize that his is a prayerful response to a very real phenomenon. Namely, some commentors believe they possess the unadulterated right to vent their spleen in a comment using the most uncivil language possible. In their opinion, no one has the right to express an opinion that's contrary to theirs, especially when that contrarian opinion is supported by thoughtful analysis and fact.

When The Motley Monk receives comments of this nature, he's reminded of what Jesus said to his disciples:

     "An evil spirit of this kind," He answered, "can only be driven out by
     prayer and fasting." (Mark 9:29, Weymouth New Testament translation) 

Just because an individual may express an opinion contrary to the Magisterium of Popular Opinion that's supported by thoughtful analysis and fact doesn't endow those who disagree with a personal "right" to respond in an uncivil manner.

Those who do so certainly deserve prayer. But,The Motley Monk isn't quite sure about that fasting part!


Let the discussion begin...




To read Fr. Z's post, click on the following link:
http://wdtprs.com/blog/fr-z%E2%80%99s-litany-for-the-conversion-of-internet-thugs-2-0/

 
 
The political Left's desire to have a female's visage printed on the front of U.S. currency has its defender in The Motley Monk. Yes, it would be good to have a female's visage placed on the front of U.S. currency. There should be no argument here. The relevant question is "Whose visage?"

Let's lay down one principle in this argument: The female visage selected should have, at a minumum, the kind of historical/cultural stature accorded those males whose visages are currently placed on the front of U.S. curency.

In its clamoring to "get 'r done," the political Left once again has failed to do its homework and gather the relevant facts. And, they embarrass themselves as they celebrate the U.S. Treasury Department's decision to remove Alexander Hamilton's visage from the $10 bill.

Care of John Mauldin over at "Thoughts from the Frontline":

     In Defense of Alexander Hamilton

     Just a quick note on the plan to remove Alexander Hamilton
     from our currency. I am despondent, if not outraged, over this
     decision. Hamilton was arguably one of the most important of
     our founding fathers. He wrote almost two thirds of The
     Federalist Papers, which were the basis for our Constitution.
     He was instrumental in the achievement George Washington's
     most important policies and in establishing a sound system for
     our government. He would have been president if he had not
     been killed in a duel. (I was in a museum last year here in New
     York that is part of the JP Morgan Chase collection and that has
     the actual pistols used in the duel.)

     To choose to remove Jackson and leave Grant (who at one
     time owned slaves and who ran one of the most corrupt
     administrations in American history) or the populist Jackson
     (who was an avowed slave owner) is simply staggering.
     Granted, Hamilton is not a favorite among the liberal left, but
     to now denigrate his importance in favor of the other gentlemen
     mentioned above is an affront. Not that they were not also great
     Americans, but they simply weren’t in Hamilton’s league. This
     is the crassest of politics. I should note that even Ben Bernanke
     agrees with me, as well as many others who would not normally
     align with my views. I don’t know if this move can be changed,
     but it should be.

Yet once again, those on the political Left have shown their hand. Instead of doing some careful investigation, they ran with whatever they could as fast as they could to advance their cause. They're so eager to achieve victory in this battle that they're willing to keep male visages of highly questionable characters on other bills, all fueled by their lust to put a female visage...on a $10 bill.

Until he read Mauldin, The Motley Monk thought the political Left had erred in selling the nation's females out for a $10 bill. Why not the $50 or $100 bill? Thank goodness John Mauldin did his homework.


Let the discussion begin...




To read John Mauldin's "Thoughts from the Frontline," click on the following link:
http://ggc-mauldin-images.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/pdf/150627_TFTF.pdf

 
 
Over at his canon law blog, Dr. Ed Peters (a civil and canon lawyer), has posted a thoughtful and sensitive assessment concerning Friday's U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell et al. v. Hodges. Dr. Peters writes:
Catholic doctrine and discipline can never, ever, recognize as married two persons of the same sex, and any Catholic who regards "same-sex marriage" as marriage is, beyond question, "opposed to the doctrine for the Church" (Canon 750 § 2). I am sorry so many Catholics apparently think otherwise and I recognize that many who think that Church teaching on marriage can and should change, do so in good faith. But they are still wrong and their error leads them, among other things, to underestimate how non-negotiable is the Church's opposition to the recognition of same-sex unions as marriage.

The Church (and for that matter our nation) will have great need of Catholics who understand and accept the teaching of Christ and his Church on marriage if the damage done by the Supreme Court today is ever to be repaired. Appreciating the infallible character of this teaching on marriage is the first step.

As for whether we succeed in righting this wrong, that’s not our concern. The question we will be asked at Judgment will be, Did we try?
Many so-called "progressives" will find fault with Dr. Peters' assessment, among them many Roman Catholics whose interest lies in "reforming" the Church. They dismiss this teaching of the Church for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is they believe its character is everything but infallible.

The more virulent among the detractors profess themselves to be focused upon the critical importance of "care," "love," and "justice" for all Americans. But their caustic denunciations of those who believe in the sanctity and/or traditional definition of marriage based upon Scripture and Church teaching betrays a more malign intent, one appearing to be that of abridging freedom of religion.

If that assessment is correct, that's a political battle yet to unfold.


In the interim, it would be good if those making such denunciations held themselves to the same standard to which the Church holds its members with regard to those persons for whom the detractors have battled for "equal rights under the law":

     2358 They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and
     sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard
     should be avoided.


Let the discussion begin...




To read Dr. Peters' blog, click on the followingl ink:
https://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/

To read Dr. Peters' post, click on the following link:
https://canonlawblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/two-thoughts-re-the-supreme-court-decision-on-same-sex-marriage/

To read the U.S. Supreme Court's majority opinion in Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, click on the following link:
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf

To read the Catechism of the Catholic Church's contents about the sixth commandment, click on the following link:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

 
 
While many of The Motley Monk's friends have been popping champagne corks and clinking the champagne flutes to celebrate their "victory" with this week's U.S. Supreme Court decision in King et al. v. Burwell, here's what they may really be toasting: Higher taxes.

Data reported by the American Action Forum indicate that between 2013 and 2014:
  • spending on physician and clinical services declined by ~1%, despite an increase in physician prices (suggesting a net decrease in the utilization of physician services); and,
  • spending on hospital services increased <1% even though the growth in hospital prices decreased ~1% (suggesting more individuals are using ER's for primary care).

To wit:
  • in California, Medicaid expansion demonstrated a direct correlation in increased visits to the ER; and,
  • new-patient visits to primary care providers accounted for only 22.9% of all primary care visits in 2014, an increase of only 0.3% from 2013.

Taken in aggregate, what do those data indicate?
  • One of Obamacare's primary goals of was to expand access to affordable healthcare. To pay for the subsidies that would facilitate expanding healthcare insurance coverage, many recipients of federal funds (e.g., hospitals and MDs) were forced to accept payment reductions. Hospitals were cut $260B over 10 years.
  • A large portion of the newly-insured were utilizing the ER at higher rates than both the uninsured and the commercially insured. The assumption that fewer individuals would be going to the ER to receive primary care by increasing insurance coverage to millions has demonstrated itself to be patently false.

With 5 years of experience, Obamacare has demonstrated that it has failed to fulfill two of its promises: It has not reduced the cost of providing healthcare care or to provide individuals access to affordable care. Instead, individuals continue to delay treatment or seek primary care in the ER, both of which have increased the cost of providing healthcare to these individuals.

With what outcome? The King et al. v. Burwell decision now allows the federal goverment's exchange to provide healthcare insurance in those states that have not established exchanges or whose exchanges have gone or are going bankrupt, thus putting into place a single-payer system. Those rising costs--Obamacare has not bent the "cost curve" down--will be spread across the nation and not borne by the states where those costs are highest. This "spreading the wealth around a bit" will translate into even higher and higher taxes across the nation for the 48% of those who pay the taxes.


Given what "hope and change" really means--spreading the costs of healthcare around to all of the nation's taxpayers--hopefully that's why The Motley Monk's friends are clinking their champagne flutes. After all, they're the ones who will be footing the bill.


Let the discussion begin...




To read the report by the American Action Forum, click on the following link:
"Obamacare Failed to Address ER Overcrowding."

 
 
WARNING: Don't read any further if: a) reading another side of an argument isn't worth your time because your mind is already made up; b) the data confirm that humanoids are largely responsible for the degradation of the biosphere; c) carbon dioxide is evil; d) you believe Pope Francis is above politics; and e) the Supreme Court got it exactly right in King et al., v. Burwell.

If you're willing to cut beyond ideology, consider other points of view, and have read thus far, that's great! As Socrates famously noted, most of what people believe is fact actually is a "wrong opinion tied down." People don't like having their wrong opinions exposed. Some retalliate with all sorts of name calling, insulting comments, and even offering a cup of hemlock. But, examining other points of view critically is crucial, as they may just tie down right opinion.

Consider the posting over at TheFederalist.com written by the arts, culture, religion blogger for First Things, Maureen Mullarkey. In this particular post, Mullarkey offers a critic's clear-eyed analysis of Pope Francis' recent encyclical, Laudato si, asking "Where Did Pope Francis' Exquisite Rant Come From?"

That's quite a title...one that's sure to offend some ideologues! Having read thus far, they've decided that they should have heeded the WARNING above. They've clicked away from The Motley Monk thinking "What a bunch of Mullarkey!" Not quite the liberal thinkers they believe themselves to be. Worse yet, they launch a clever, play-on-words ad hominem attack without having even considered the facts. Who's to be lamented more: An ideologue or someone articulating a wrong idea tied down?

Mullarkey's thesis is that Pope Francis has diverted the gospel into a series of ill-supported political pronouncements. Here's one snippet:

     Propelled by the cult of feeling and Golden Age nostalgia--
     enshrined in the myth of indigenous peoples as peaceable
     ecologists—that elusive something picked up a tincture of
     Teilhardian gnosticism as it grew. It bursts on us now as
     “Laudato Si,” a malignant jumble of dubious science, policy
     prescriptions, doomsday rhetoric, and what students of
     Wordsworthian poetics call, in Keats’ derisive phrase, “the
     egotistical sublime.”

     The document’s catalogue of distortions and factual errors are
     those of the climate-change establishment swallowed whole.
     There is no scientific consensus on man-made global warming,
     no consensus on the role of human activity in any of the
     environmental phenomena cited.

Read the rest here where Mullarkey offers readers her "Short List of What’s Wrong with 'Laudato Si'."

More significant in The Motley Monk's opinion is Mullarkey's conclusion:

     Intellectual and moral confusion of such magnitude is a
     judgment on the ecclesial culture that produced it and the
     popular culture that consents to it.

While Mullarkey has marshalled facts to support her conclusion, there's something more troubling that's going on with today's Zeitgeist. Both cultures about which Mularkey writes don't believe that words have meaning. Instead, they base their arguments upon the false premise--a wrong opinion tied down--that words are mere social constructs and whose meanings are both time-bound and multiple. What's important is not what's stated or written--what the one speaking or writing actually intends. No, what's absolutely crucial is how those who are hearing or reading those words feel about and interpret them today.

In short, there is no truth, just words uttered or written at some previous moment in time, all possessing a multiciplity of meanings.

For example, when Jesus said "Whoever would divorce his wife, except in the case of fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery. And whoever marries her who has been divorced commits adultery." This teaching--the truth, as in "right opinion tied down"--prohibiting divorce seems pretty clear. Unless, of course, Jesus was misinformed and needs to be understood differently, given post-enlightenment critical analysis which reveals that his was a "wrong opinion tied down." If that's true, like most human beings, even Jesus didn't get it correct all of the time. Oh well, some much for Jesus being the Son of God, "the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

Then, too, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States issued  a majority opinion yesterday in King et al., v. Burwell. In that opinion, John Roberts noted that the word "state" as it was used in the contested statuted could mean either "the federal goverment" or the 50 "state" governments. To understand congressional intent, he opined, requires stepping back and reading the word as it's situated "in the larger context of the law." If that's true, any law and even the U.S. Constitution can be construed to mean just about anything. After all, what's being contested are time-bound words that have multiple meanings and need to be judged using today's standards.

What interests The Motley Monk is what the commentatoriate class on cable television has yet to opine about concerning Roberts' opinion: It turns Civics 101 completely on its head or, as Associate Justice Antonin Scalia opined in his dissent, "somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed...."

"Interpretive jiggery-pokery," Scalia called it. After all, when statutorial law is ambiguous, the Supreme Court isn't constitutionally charged with rewriting it. No, the Supreme Court must strike that statute down and refer the matter back to Congress for rewriting. Why? That power is constitutionally delegated to the Congress unless the phrase "delegation of powers" doesn't mean according powers to different branches of the federal government.

But then, Scalia's opinion must be a bunch of malarkey because words don't mean anything in a culture where "Intellectual and moral confusion of such magnitude is a judgment on the [educational] culture that produced it and the popular culture that consents to it."

For those of the political left or independents who have read thus far, you needn't agree. But, intellectual honesty does require being open minded enough to consider another point of view in its entirety. Namely, words have meaning in their original context. What's important is that the nation's educational system has been teaching the contrary for almost two generations.

"Interpretive jiggery-pokery" to subvert what words mean doesn't make for a more perfect union. Sort of like "It all depends upon what the word 'is' means."


Let the discussion begin...




To read Maureen Mullarkey's post, click on the following link:
http://thefederalist.com/2015/06/24/where-did-pope-franciss-extravagant-rant-come-from/

To follow Maureen Mullarkey's excellent weblog over at First Things, click on the following link:
http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/mullarkey

 
 
Anyone who has had a colonoscopy knows the drill.

Go into the cubicle. Take everything off. Don the surgical gown. Get on the cart. The MD comes for a 1-minute visit. Orderlies wheel the cart to the OR. The anesthesiologist puts some happy juice into the blood. Within what seems the flash of an instant, the MD shows up in the cubicle with some pictures to describe what has been found. Then, it's all over as a volunteer driver takes the patient home.

Whew! Thank goodness that's done!

But, what if the patient was to press the record button on his smartphone to be sure to capture any instructions his doctor would give him after the procedure?

That's what "D.B." did on April 18, 2013.

According to the Washington Post, DB was shocked on his way home when he replayed the recording. Not only had the surgical team had mocked and insulted DB as soon as he drifted off to sleep but discussed avoiding DB after the colonoscopy, instructed an assistant to lie to him, and placed a false diagnosis on DB's chart.

Dr. Soloman Shah, the gastroenterologist who performed DB's colonoscopy, made some insulting remarks and did not discourage the anesthesiologist, Tiffany M. Ingham, from her comments or conduct, which included writing a false diagnosis on DB's chart.

DB sued Shah and Ingham for being "verbally brutalized" as well as the anxiety, embarrassment, and loss of sleep for several months that ensued upon listening to the recording. The jury awarded DB $100k for defamation ($50k each for their comments), $200k for medical malpractice, and $200k in punitive damages.

What MDs did was offensive and stupid. But, even more outrageous was the expert testimony at of the former President of the Academy of Anesthesiology, Kathryn E. McGoldrick at the trial:

     These types of conversations, are not only offensive but frankly
     stupid, because we can never be certain that our patients are
     asleep and wouldn't have recall.

"...we can never be certain that are patients are asleep"?

Now, that's really offensive and frankly stupid.


Let the discussion begin...




To read the Washington Post article, click on the following link:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/anesthesiologist-trashes-sedated-patient-jury-orders-her-to-pay-500000/2015/06/23/cae05c00-18f3-11e5-ab92-c75ae6ab94b5_story.html

 
 
A couple of weeks back, National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition” host Scott Simon interviewed Corey Brooks—pastor of Chicago’s New Beginnings Church, located on the city's South Side otherwise known as "Fr. Pfleger's stomping grounds."
Simon was interested in understanding why Pastor Brooks wants Republican presidential candidates to speak to his congregation. A Republican in a Democratic stronghold, Brooks said:

     Well for far too long, Democrats have taken advantage of our community
     and just always felt as if we're just going to be there for them without
     having to do the things that are necessary in our community.

     The Republican Party has overlooked this, simply because they thought

     that—out of tradition and out of culture—that that we’re going to continue
     to just vote the same way all the time, but that is definitely not true.

     And if the Republican Party would be so kind to reach out, I’m sure that

     they will find a group of people who are interested in their policies and
     their practices.

Skeptical, Simon—a pure-bred, unabashed liberal—inquired of Brooks whether Republicans had “policies that would interest you more?” The pastor replied:

     Absolutely. I think school choice is a big thing, and I think, educationally,

     that African-American children should have the same privilege that all
     other children that come from well-to-do families have, and that is they
     should be able to go to any school that is a good school, and they should
     not be regulated to poor-performing schools in their community just
     because they live in a certain ZIP code or certain area code.

That was a bit over the top for Simon, who asked:

     What about employment, because I think a lot of Democratic candidates--

     including, certainly, the ones who’ve run for office there in Chicago--
     would argue that they have dedicated a lot of federal, state and city
     money to the interests of African-Americans in the South Side?

Yes. The Democrats have poured billions of dollars into the nation’s inner cities, including Chicago. But, Simon wasn’t prepared for Brooks four-word response:

     Show us some jobs.

To which Brooks added:

     They’re going to say they pumped in a lot of money to the South Side

     of Chicago and I’m going to say, you pumped in a lot of money, but
     show us some jobs.

     We need economic empowerment, and we need to have tax incentives

     and tax breaks for corporations that decide to come to places like the
     South Side of Chicago and hire individuals on the South Side of Chicago,
     and we need to have those areas built up and the only way we’re going
     to be—get them built up, is that we have to create a way for an economic
     base to be put in place.

With that tactic not producing the expected results, Simon asked Brooks whether his congregation was merely “indulging” him or were actually receptive to hearing the GOP’s message? Brooks answered:

     I think—not just my congregation—but people in the city of Chicago

     are being more receptive. I was talking to a lady at Starbucks, and she
     was saying, “Pastor, thank you, because all my life I’ve voted Democrat,
     and I’ve always thought that we should vote different ways and just
     never spoke out.”

     And she was saying that she’s going to have—start having that type

     of conversation with her family about voting differently and this lady is
     tied to a Democratic political figure in the city of Chicago.

     So I think it’s a matter of showing people the various views and then

     letting them decide for themselves.

Want to hear more? Here's the entire interview:
Amen, Pastor Brooks!

In 1964, the out-of-wedlock birth rate among Blacks was 24%. Today, it's ~70%. This isn't due to a lack of funding programs to amelioate poverty in the nation's inner cities but funding that enriched Democratic pols for the past 5 decades. "Crony socialism," it's called.

Social programs are not the solution to poverty. Intact families where biological fathers are present, good schools with demonstrably good teachers, and churches whose pastors teach sound morality--like Pastor Corey Brooks--provide the solution. These empower human beings.

As Baroness Margaret Thatcher famously observed:

     The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other
     people's money.


Let the discussion begin...
 
 
This kind of stuff should make taxpayers' blood boil.

According to the Competitive Enterprise Institute's "Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State," here's what each household in the United States paid in 2014 for the "cost of regulation": ~$15k (or ~29% of an average family budget of $51.1k). That's more than the average family spends annually on healthcare, food, and transportation...all going to feed an ever-expanding, unelected federal government bureaucracy whose members are keenly intent on regulating more and more aspects of life in these United States of America.

Why the high cost? In short: Lost economic productivity and higher prices. In 2014, federal regulations cost American consumers and businesses an estimated $1.88T (or 50%+ of total federal government spending).

Some factoids form the report:
  • If U.S. federal regulations were a nation, "The United States of Regulation" would be the world's 10th largest economy...sandwiched behind Russia (#9) and ahead of India (#11).
  • In 2014, Congress passed 224 new laws. But, federal agencies issued 3,554 new regulations (or an average of 16 new regulations for each law).
  • Compliance costs in 2014 exceeded what the Internal Revenue Service collected in individual and corporate income taxes by $160B+.

Given these facts, one would think there'd be a taxpayers' rebellion.


Yet, despite these facts, taxpayers don't seem to care much that they're paying mightily to be hyper-regulated by unelected federal bureaucrats. They're consuming an increasing share of U.S. taxpayers' hard-earned $$$s simply to tell them how to live their lives like middle class people living somewhere between Russia and India.


Let the discussion begin...




To read the Competitive Enterprise Institute's report, click on the following link:
"Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State"
 
 
Courtesy of Second City, The Motley Monk was treated to the other side of the story concerning the most immediate threat to the security interests of the United States: Climate change.

In this video, members of the Egyptian cable t.v. commentatorship class opine what they think about President Obama's address to the 2015 graduating class of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
While the retired general clearly enjoys pounding on his bully pulpit, one can't help but laugh out loud about the comparison the fellow on the right-hand side makes between his 8-year-old daughter and POTUS.


Let the discussion begin...