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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Saturday, January 31, 2009
 
Overheard Conversations Dept.

Locale: Post Office

They need to give more back. I mean charities and taxes. They are keeping us poor.

I only agree that some rich ought to think more about charitable giving. It seems that some rich only think about that when they know it will be revealed as part of running for office or getting appointed to a public office.

I am a charitable giver because God expects it of me. It's all God's money in the first place.

Where I disgree but I don't take offense is that the person I overhead (perhaps not -- she was quite loud and proclaiming it to the public) is that a rich person making another dollar is taking a dollar out of a poor person's pocket.

The size of the economic pie is not fixed, and it grows with something called capital.

What is capital?

Capital is money (you knew that already...) being used to make more money. The other uses of money are consumption (i.e. what you put in your mouth -- goods and services for which you are the end user), taxes, and gifts.

Over and over again on talk radio, I hear (a) examples of basic economic illiteracy and (b) knowledgeable people complaining as I am now that without many more Americans understanding the difference between consumption and capital, we capitalists are doomed.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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The New York Times also explains how Wall Street bonuses work
NYT: Getting Theirs Cuts Both Ways on Wall Street

If you’ve never worked on Wall Street, it is hard to wrap your head around the idea that a company that lost nearly $19 billion in a single year, as Citigroup did in 2008, could still pay its employees billions in bonuses. It is probably even harder to believe that some of those employees grumble about it.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Heroic Work by French Catholic priest
AP: Priest uncovering beginnings of Final Solution

KIEV, Ukraine – The Holocaust has a landscape engraved in the mind's eye: barbed-wire fences, gas chambers, furnaces.

Less known is the "Holocaust by Bullets," in which over 2 million Jews were gunned down in towns and villages across Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Their part in the Nazis' Final Solution has been under-researched, their bodies left unidentified in unmarked mass graves.

"Shoah," French filmmaker Claude Lanzmann's documentary, stands as the 20th century's epic visual record of the Holocaust. Now another Frenchman, a Catholic priest named Patrick Desbois, is filling in a different part of the picture.

Most perpetrators and victims are facing a higher form justice now. This story is an interesting contrast to the more widely publicized remarks of Bp Williamson blogged earlier.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:53 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Friday, January 30, 2009
 
Wall Street Bonuses

Wall Street bonuses are not greed and it reflects Obama's ignorance of the capitalist system to call them so. It reflects in part a failure of the advocates of capitalism to reinforce the bedrock concepts of meritocracy and pay for performance. This is nothing new on Wall Street.

Money began to be set aside for bonuses paid in December 2008 and January 2009 starting in December 2007 a full 12 months ago. Money is being set aside now for bonuses to be paid in 2010.

They reflect the uncertainty of the year to come -- will it be profitable, unprofitable, or wipe out the firm? Bonuses are paid in any highly competitive industry. Is the very idea of variable pay being attacked here as "greed"?

The variability of bonuses reflects three factors: the overall economy -- the growth/contraction of capital, the profit or loss of the firm, and finally the individuals contribution to that enterprise. Poorly run Wall Street firms were shut down or merged in sort a shotgun marriage. Market forces are at work here.

Bonuses are also a legacy of days 30 and 40 years ago when there was a mix of partners and non-partner employees, the partners were paid out their annual profits and since many employees could not be made partners they were compensated at the same time.

Finally, the taxes paid by these employees are also expected by local and state governments. Taxes are withheld from them. They are part of the economic fabric of New York City and State. You have the unusual situation of the Attorney General of New York State Andrew Cuomo saying the bonuses should NOT be paid and the New York State Comptroller begging for the taxes that will be paid on those bonuses.

Bonuses in themselves are not greed but Wall Street's version of incentive pay. Greed comes into the picture when they are excessive for the results obtained by that employee at any level.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:07 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wednesday, January 28, 2009
 
My feedback to Fox News

If you ever mention Amy Fisher -- immediately follow it with this fact: she was originally charged with the attempted murder of Mary Jo Buttafuco and took a plea deal for assault. She does not deserve any free publicity. She pointed a gun at the head of a human being and pulled the trigger. It is a miracle her victim did not die.
34-year-old Fisher is making a porno.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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The Three Stooges

The Three Stooges are eternally part of the culture for people - especially kids - living in the New York Area in the 60's and 70's as the episodes filled up time on afternoon TV where there was really no programming. It took the Stooges out of obscurity and made them forever famous (but not wealthy or recognized when they were alive.)

YouTube has the fictionalized biography of the Three Stooges from Moe's viewpoint (not available on DVD/VHS) See also IMDB

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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My email to Rush Limbaugh

I support you Rush, citizen of the United States, against the President of the United States. He has singled you out rather than naming a Republican in elective office.

If words matter, I ask you to challenge Obama to a debate -- a real debate. Just the two of you and 2 cameras. Coin toss to go first. Then 15 mins./15/14/14/1/1 and it's done, and then repeat it as often as he opens up his mouth to complain about you. Of course he will not accept, but I think it is important to challenge him.

If he breaks a 220 year precedent and names a private citizen as his political target, then let him break precedent again and debate you.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:31 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, January 26, 2009
 
100 feet away from the New York Times building, they treat these New Yorkers like people from Mars

It's always fascinating to read how fascinated the New York Times reporters are with expressions of religious faith. Here's the latest quaint dispatch from the Times on those Catholics.

New York Times: Bishops’ Reinstatement a Relief for Some Catholics

A Roman Catholic Mass was held Sunday in Midtown Manhattan that seemed to be from another time. The women covered their heads with delicate lace veils and the priest said the Mass in Latin with his back to the congregation.

Their missals, or booklets, were dated 1962, the year that the Second Vatican Council began ushering modernization and openness into the Catholic Church, changes that the worshipers at Sunday’s Mass reject.

Recommended Reading

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:23 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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News Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina) Evangelical worship attracts Hispanic Catholics
Behind its bland, warehouse-like exterior, Comunidad Cristiana Hosanna on Sunday morning is a feast for the senses.

Little girls in white robes and sequined headbands twirl as guitar, keyboard and timbales pound out salsa, merengue and American pop rhythms at rock-concert decibels. The crowd sings along with the robed chorus: "Levanto mis manos" -- "I raise my hands."

The trappings of the religion that dominates the Latin American culture in which these worshippers were raised -- the Roman Catholic rosaries and golden chalices -- give way to shouts and tambourines at this Pentecostal church in Southeast Raleigh. Congregants shake their hips and throw their heads back in praise for more than two hours.

There's quite a bit of this happening everywhere. Fortunately in my area, there are several Spanish speaking bishops, priests, deacons, and lay pastoral staff.

I problem I see but, not being a Spanish-speaker, am unable to contribute to the solution is the lack of formation in Latino immigrants. They are drawn not only by tradition but by community.

I wish I could say "faith" more than "tradition" but from my discussion with my Latino neighbors they really were never given the basics of the faith and anyone approaching them with Christian faith at their level is likely to "win" a convert, who may be a regular Mass-goer.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Saving New York's Catholic high schools by making them independent?
Newsday: 10 NY Catholic high schools to be independent

NEW YORK - Ten Catholic high schools in New York City and Westchester will become independently operating schools run by local boards of directors.

OK, I don't know the real reason for this. However, I don't think it is designed to break the power of the unions which represent the teachers at these schools.

As "independent", of course, there is no commitment to maintaining a Catholic identity and a Catholic character to the schools.

These schools were built with the donations of hundreds of thousands of Catholics in the pews over a century. Now they are to be "gifted" to lay local boards of directors.

Let's look at this in 10 years and see if these schools remain "Catholic" in any sense.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Sunday, January 25, 2009

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NY Post, Charles Hurt: PREZ ZINGS GOP FOE IN A $TIMULATING TALK
(Obama to Congressional Republicans) "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,"
If by "get things done" you mean giving Democrats a permanent electoral majority and transforming private enterprise into socialism, then count us out. I like private property and limited government.

The Democrats in control of the government will drive this country into a deeper recession with all this wasteful government spending. The fewer Republicans who sign on the better. When this whole thing blows up, let's have clarity who is responsible for it.

Also Byron York, National Review Online

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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More on SSPX:

Catholic Culture: Vatican Lifts Decree of Excommunication of SSPX Bishops

In a letter to SSPX members announcing the decree, Bishop Fellay described the Pope's decision to lift the excommunications as "unilateral, benevolent, and courageous."
Bishop Fellay has used the code word "unilateral" which will be interpreted as "we didn't retreat an inch, they surrendered unconditionally." Furthermore, the Vatican appears to have conceded the original 1988 excommunications were its own error and this error is being reversed now.

SSPX views and Vatican views on Dignitatis Humanae and Nostra Aetate remain irreconcilable.

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posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com