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Table of Contents

The Catholic Church’s Leadership has Several Problems to Address -
Modern Man needs a Mooring Beyond the Reach of Human Reason -
The Political Side of Islam Looks Like Communist Russia -
A Reporter Gives a Peek into Islamic Extremism
There is a great divide between and among different groups in America. .....
Why it is so hard to “drain the swamp”?
Those with costly Medical Conditions need a new Specialized Medical delivery System -

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The Catholic Church’s Leadership has Several Problems to Address -


(1) - Cardinal Sarah, the Vatican’s Prefect of Divine Worship, has spoken forcefully about the need to insert more majesty and mystery into the Mass so that Catholics gain a deeper sense of its sacrificial nature. He notes that young adult Catholics increasingly do not believe in the Real Presence. Accordingly there has been a decline in Sunday attendance by younger Catholics.

(2) - The writer Christopher Manion has noted that the American Bishops have countered the drop off in participation by native born young Catholics with aggressive support for illegal immigrants particularly for those from Catholic countries, such as Mexico. Bishops have even aligned themselves with socially liberal, “pro abortion” Democrats who also wished to provide amnesty to these illegal immigrants. Today the majority of young adults who regularly attend Sunday Mass are Hispanics.

(3) - Manion further notes that the priest abuse scandal has drained the coffers of the church and caused many practicing Catholics to cut back on their regular contributions. Accordingly the Church now depends more heavily on government money to keep many of its charities funded.

(4) - Prof Anthony Esolen of Providence College have noted that the full Catholic message a) about the sacrificial nature of the Mass, b) about the doctrine of Real Presence, and 3) about the full meaning of Christ’s Passion and death are lost because of the modern non-realistic art used. This is particularly true of the unrealistic Crucifixes and the abstract renderings of the fourteen stations. He also bemoans the vague, overly generalized, and imprecise lyrics in modern hymns. These fail to covey doctrinal precision and fail to evoke deep emotion in the hearer.

(Note: For more information see these three links: 1) an article on Cardinal Sarah published by The Wanderer explains the crisis that Cardinal Sarah has identified , 2) an article by Christopher Mannion in the Lew Rockwell .com explains the current predicament of America's bishops , and 3) an article by Prof. Anthony Esolen’s published in the Wall Street Journal sets out the decline of art and music in modern American churchs .

The Church is currently in a downward spiral particularly in Europe, the Middle East, and North America. Of course, Jesus promised the Church would exist until the end of time. However, the Church could become a mere shadow of its current size particularly in the areas where it first matured. Corrective action needs to be taken.

Pope Francis could drive some of these changes, but he seems focused on other issues (e.g. promoting Muslim immigration into Europe, curbing global warming, accepting people in “irregular relationships” to Holy Communion). He evidently is not opposed to more traditional approaches to the liturgy; after all he has issued various approvals for the priests of the conservative Society of Pius X to dispense the sacraments. However, he also permits more liberal bishops to insist on liturgicial standardization and to oppose moves by parish priests to insert more mystery, majesty, and respect for Christ into their Eucharistic celebrations............... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 4/28/2017)


Modern Man needs a Mooring Beyond the Reach of Human Reason -

(Opening Note: This essay was inspired by Whitaker Chambers' autobiography which is entitled Witness.

This book recounts Chambers' journey from his dysfunctional family on Long Island, NY to Columbia University. From college he went into the Communist Party were he began by working as a writer/editor for the Daily Worker. He was eventually made a cell leader in Washington DC during the later '30s. His cell contained half a dozen high level government officials including Alger Hiss a top official in the State Dept.

This book (like St. Augustine's Confessions) tells the tale of a troubled man's departure from immoral behavior and eventually deciding to become an active Christian. After leaving the Communist Party Chambers went into hiding at a small place he secretly owned in an Amish area of rural Maryland. The Amish befriended him and helped him find Christianity.

Once he was sure the Communist Party was no long attempting to assinate him for leaving the party. He became a writer/editor for TIME magazine.

Finally Chambers recounts his involvement with the Congressional Committees investigating Communist espionage in DC after WWII and even later to the famous Hiss trial which sent Alger Hiss to jail and total disgrace for lying to Congress.

It is good to remember that Alger Hiss was the State Department official that accompanied FDR to the Yalta Conference and helped convince him that Stalin's army should get sole occupational control over Eastern Europe following WWII. Recall this included Poland, Hungry, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, among others. This decision ushered in the Cold War which lasted another fifty years.)

Some man have an impossible belief that man’s mind can establish a world order free of war, economic disruptions, uncontrolled change, huge disparity in wealth, etc. Such ideas are always to be accomplished without reference to God.

Movements to impose near total control of human activity have popped up regularly, but particularly in the last century. Hitler thought he could design a perfect society called the Third Reich. Stalin thought he could design a perfect society in the Soviet Socialist Republic. FDR created many new government programs along with regulations to begin creating a "perfect" American society. Obama thought he could point America toward perfection with his executive orders. What are the common elements? Lack of reference to God and a belief that life is perfectible through expert driven, government compelled human activity.

However, all must recall the famous sayings ..... God’s ways are not man’s ways .... God has a plan that it is not for man to know. God is interested in human fulfilment within the limits of the natural law and the simple command to love God and your fellow man..

God has the hope that each individual will accept grace and then using his free will find fulfillment and eventually come to heaven. If government organizes and compels the bulk of human activity, God has less latitude to create situations in which an individual can respond for good, or ill, using his free will. With massive government control consider the areas of life that might fall outside the domain of each man’s free choice: the education of children, determining how he will speak to or relate to his fellow man, the choosing of an occupation or a home, perhaps even the choosing of a spouse, etc.

Chambers, in his autobiography Witness, addressed these questions. As he was assessing his position as a Communist spymaster. He wonders: Are all ideas of equal value? Does society need an over-arching framework for relating things one to another? Can a society without a core framework of truthful values be anything but a undifferentiated mass or mess? These questions led Chambers to belief in God and to Christianity.

Ultimately Chambers decided that Man without a sense of the divine, without a feeling for the Majesty and Mystery of God, becomes a Monster ..... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 6/4/2017)


The Political Side of Islam Looks Like Communist Russia - ..... (Author’s Note: While reading Whitaker Chamber's book Witness, the similarities between the Communist Party and the political side of Islam, called sharia, became more and more apparent.) .

This essay is an attempt to point out certain comparisons between the application of sharia under an Islamic regimen and the application of communist principles under the Leninists and Stalinists. To be fair to the Communists, they always taught the highly unsavory activities they engaged in would only be needed during the transitional phase from Capitalism to the universal acceptance of worldwide Communism. On the other hand, Islam does not envision an end of its unsavory practices as these are needed to enforce Islamic ideas of the good on society till the end of time.

Type of "Unsavory Behavior"... .

Lying ... .


Physically Harm Another... .


Consequence of Quiting ....

Treatment of other beliefs or Religions or....



Judicial System's teatment of non-believers .... .



Respect for Children .... .


Attitude toward non-believers


Under Shiria..... .

Lying encouraged to promote Islam ....

Female Genital Mutalation (FGM) and wife beating, cut off hands of thieves ....

Kill those who leave Islam after age 12....

Discriminatory tax (jizya) aimed at non-believers and limit college admission to only Muslims ....

Non-Muslims are convicted of blasphmey for speaking simple truths (eg telling Muslims they can vote for a non-Muslim) ....

FGM is practiced on 70% of young girls in many Muslim countries ...

Being God's chosen called to bring world peace through universal submission to Islam

Under Communism ....

Alger Hiss lies to protect Communist cell in DC ......

No quams about killing ....


Kidnapped, jailed or killed those who left party .....

Churches turned into museums and discriminate against non-party members .....


Rigged Court system and lack of open process ....


Indoctrination of youth without parental permission ....


Felt need called to save all men from explotive capitalists

Perhaps a word on a couple of these categories is appropriate because these tendanies are popping up in modern American "secular humanist" circles: lying to others, not accepting "the other" as equals, authorizing discrimination against “the other”, eliminating “the other’s” freedom, lack of protection of children, establishing consequences for leaving the fold, etc. Problems are cropping up in western countries where “politically correct - secular humanists” are coming to the fore and are demanding restrictions on “the other” similar to, but not yet as strong as, the restrictions found under sharia or communism.


1) Lying to others is found in Islam as terrorists are protected by fellow travelers who won’t speak truthfully to investigators about planned or completed terrorist events. It is represented in the Communist system where operatives, like Alger Hiss, lied to investigators, Congressional committees, in legal proceedings even though he was a trained lawyer, an officer of the court. It is represented by today’s “politically correct - secular humanists” who propagate fake news to friends.

2) Accepting “the other” as an equal is difficult for Muslims under sharia because the Koran specifically calls for discrimination against non-Muslims, for instance, in Malaysia non-Muslims may not enter college. Under Communism the more desirable occupations were only open to those who had rejected religion and joined the party. Today “political correct - secular humanist” believers openly discriminate against traditionalists in hiring and promotion decisions in America’s newsrooms and universities.

3) Injuring those who depart from orthodoxy is manifested under sharia by killing those who stray. Under communism those who strayed could be killed or imprisoned in Siberia. Today “political correct - secular humanist” silence those who stray from the liberal orthodoxy by damaging buildings where they plan to speak and/or rioting outside so interested attendees will turn away.

It is obvious that these "unsavory" tendencies found in Islam and Communism have not progressed very far in the "politically correct - securlar humanist" world of the modern west but worrisome tendancies are showing. ...... - (prepared by Hugh Murray on 6/4/2017

............ (prepared by Hugh Murray on 3/7/2017)

A Reporter Gives a Peek into Islamic Extremism-

An intrepid reporter named Graeme Wood has written a book called The Way of the Strangers, Encounters with the Islamic State. He created this book by traveling the world chatting with Islamic extremists.......

His travels and conversations were wide ranging and caused him to come up with several interesting observations which he shared during an interview carried on C-SPAN. ....... Here are items of particular interest: ......

1) Muslims who migrate toward ISIS feel an emotional emptiness inside. The only way they can fill this void is to act to try to fulfill the Muslim goal to bring all people to peace through submission to Islam in other words to have all people live under an Islamic government. This leads these Muslims to commit terrorist acts to restore the old Bagdad Caliphate (called the Abbasid Caliphate) which fell in 1258 AD. (As an aside, other terrorists wish to restore the even older Damascus Caliphate (called the Umayyad Caliphate) which fell in 750 AD; al-Baghdadi, who currently leads ISIS, falls into this latter category.)

2) Western leaders particularly those who are Muslim or lean toward Islam, like Obama, want to take the word Islam away from ISIS and other terrorists. This is an attempt to de-legitimize the terrorist in his own mind and, of course, in the minds of their terrified citizens.

3) Muslims inclined to become terrorists are accepted by ISIS. These recruits are given technical training on the tools of terror (e.g. how to build a bomb, how to drive a car in such a way as to kill the most people, etc.) but ISIS will also give the recruits training in conservative Islamic thought so they fully understand why terror is appropriate behavior to further the Islamic cause. (ISIS will accept nearly any Muslim and then work on their need for reformation and/or correction of any modernized or deviant thought. )

4) Terrorist recruits generally possess a glorified version of life under the Caliphate which makes the recruited terrorists believe that all will be well once the Caliphate is restored and given control over their home country. (Converts to ISIS have nearly all brought a feeling that the Caliphate will provide all the desirable things they lacked in their home country.) ....

As a interesting historical note, Egypt was the place where ISIS germinated from an idea to a functioning organization. This occurred during the time, following Mubarack’s overthrow (in 2010) when a member of the Muslim Brotherhood ran the Egyptian government. During this time the Egyptian state security agency stopped suppressing radical Islamic groups. ........... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 6/28/2017


There is a great divide between and among different groups in America. ..... -

There are people who are liberal on social issues but traditional on economic issues, here think of the George H W Bush style Republicans. ......

There are people who are liberal on both social issues and economic issues, here think of Bernie Sanders’ followers. .......

There are those who are conservative on both, here think of Pat Buchanan’s supporters. ......

And of course there are those who are conservative on social issues but more liberal on economic issues, here think of a church leader like Cardinal Dolan of NYC. .....

These different types of people exist in every community in America. Not always in the same proportions. For instance, in California there might be more Bernie Sanders type thinkers than Buchanan type thinkers and in Nebraska the percentages might be reversed. Nevertheless these different groups live in the same country and share, more or less, a common culture. So what to do? ......

Perhaps there should be a national movement to create a thousands of informal committees composed of three people from each of the four different types of people. These committees composed of a dozen persons each would meet 36 times to discuss key questions such as: ....

1) What percentage of Government Control over the economy should be exercised via taxation

2) What percentage of Government Control over the economy should be exercised via regulation.

3) Scope of activity allowed to state government versus the scope allowed to and local government versus scope allowed to the Federal government.

4) Should morality be taught in School, if so which system .... Judeo-Christian .... Secular Humanist ..... a mixture as proposed by student’s parents .... ?

5) Do we accept a legal integration as our goal or should we work for full assimilation (e.g. inter-marriage, etc.)

.6) Should gov’t policy on immigration and trade be concerned about the effect on American jobs?

7) America’s role in the world? Just humanitarian, or more ... what about nation building .... what about military aid .... what about blockades?

8) Should America have a political system where the final say always goes to the courts? Should the political branches have a way to check the courts as Teddy Roosevelt urged?

9) Should America allow groups to have parallel political or judicial legal systems inside America, such as sharia law? Should they be physically separated as Indian tribes are separated? 10) Are talented people really so important that special immigration rules should exist for such people?

11) How rigorously should church and state be separated. See 4 above

12) Should the constitution be re-written from scratch or should we just continue to have the Supreme Court do a gradual re-write bit by bit, decision by decision. ....

Two questions occur. How might such groups be constituted? What do the committee members do with any special insights that grow out of these members. ......

Existing “not for profits” such as PTO’s, churches, and YMCA’s could be recruited to organize groups. The people would agree to meet monthly or weekly for 36 meetings. .....

Members would be encouraged to send letters to their local paper (with copies to their Congressman) of any special insights that came out of the meetings. ........... (prepared by Hugh Murray on 6/28/2017

Why it is so hard to “drain the swamp”? .....

The government bureaucrats Trump is trying to fire (or at least reign in) are educated, verbal, concentrated in one location, well connected to other influential people, and understand the political system. Think of what Trump is up against. .....

Now consider all the jobs lost at the 60,000 mfg plants that were relocated to China and Mexico. These millions of workers are/were less well educated, not very verbal, dispersed across the country, not well connected, and do/did not understand how to influence the system that was injuring them. At least not until long after the damage was done. Think of what Trump is up against as he tries to restore at least some of these jobs. He will have to engage the entrenched powers in the political and financial world that have benefitted from moving these jobs offshore. .....

Finally consider all the business interests that will be injured financially if Mexican illegals are no longer available to work for reduced wages in difficult environments and/or remote location. Just think, these businessmen will have to go into the inner cities of America and offer inducements to the under-employed that will induce them to take difficult jobs in remote places. Trump is likely to incur the displeasure of these business people if their Mexican workers are sent home. .....

Trump has taken on the most powerful groups in America. He probably can’t win. His causes are good. He is to be applauded. But ordinary people have never succeeded against the combined resistance of so many of those at the top of society. They may get something that appears to be a success, but over time their victory will prove to be ephemeral. .....

Trump will probably leave the presidency a broken, disillusioned man. Hopefully he does not suffer a stroke or major illness from the stress; but with such an effort against impossible odds, illness is always possible. ......

All we can offer Trump is our prayers and support for the lesser politicians who offer him real support............ (prepared by Hugh Murray on 6/28/2017

Those with costly Medical Conditions need a new Specialized Medical delivery System - .....

When a person blows through a lifetime limit of his insurance policy, the gov’t should offer him a specialized institutional setting where he/she can receive care. .....

These facilities should be supported by the gov’t and have both in patients and long term residential facilities nearby. They should have these residential facilities for those with a proven inability to control their behavior as required by their condition. (e.g. a diabetic that can’t stop eating sweets, a heroin user who repeatedly overdoses, etc.). .....

Additionally an ethics board should be created to determine which high cost treatments would be available for those in this gov’t program. This board would be composed mostly of medical ethicists from America’s top religions. This would allow for a reasonable trade off to be implemented between morality and costs. (For instance, in Catholic moral theology basic care including food and water can not be withdrawn but there is no requirement that extraordinary means be used.) .....

The gov’t would have to be allowed the power to compel patients to stay in the residential facilities if their past behavior shows an inability to behave properly if left on their own. This requirement would require changes to the judicial decisions that freed thousands of mentally ill patients from confinement. A Constitutional Amendment might be required. ......

The advantage of this approach is it takes the very highest cost patients out of insurance pool and allows the insurance premiums for everyone else to drop into manageable ranges. It is estimated that 3% of Americans are responsible for over fifty percent of medical expense. If the low cost 97% could buy their insurance in the private market, they could get back to having the doctor of their choice and the plan of their choice which is what Obama said he was striving for............ (prepared by Hugh Murray on 6/28/2017


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This page hopes to bring a common sense, old fashioned view to today's news. The comments displayed on this page were prepared by Hugh V. Murray, who can be reached at hvm@aol.com