Hollywood Awards Accused Child Abuser and Elmo Actor With Three Emmys; Media Sees No Problem

Michael Jackson : Kevin Clash, Elmo : Roman Polanski

Kevin Clash (with Elmo) joins the Hollywood abuse club with Michael Jackson and Roman Polanski

How do the cultural elites in Hollywood deal with a successful actor after he has been accused by at least four different men of child sex abuse? Not screaming headlines, of course. Instead, it rewards him with three Emmy Awards.

Kevin Clash struck it big in Hollywood by developing the personality and voice of the popular Sesame Street character Elmo. Yet after a number of men came forward late last November to accuse him of abusing them as boys, he resigned from the hit children's show, thus joining a growing list of Hollywood celebrities accused of sex abuse with scant media disapprobation.

Roman Polanski: 'It wasn't rape-rape'

Clash is not the first Hollywood star to be celebrated by media elites even after being accused of child sex crimes.

In March of 1977, Los Angeles law enforcement arrested famed director Roman Polanski for the savage rape of a 13-year-old girl that happened at the home of his famous friend, Jack Nicholson. Court records indicate that after Polanski plied the underage girl with alcohol and drugs, he then forcibly performed oral sex, intercourse, and sodomy.

Polanski never denied the crimes. In fact, he told an interviewer a short time later, in 1979, "If I had killed somebody, it wouldn't have had so much appeal to the press, you see? But f—ing, you see, and the young girls. Judges want to f— young girls. Juries want to f— young girls. Everyone wants to f— young girls!"

Yet through it all, Polanski, the admitted child rapist, continued to have a successful and celebrated filmmaking career, with Hollywood ultimately bestowing its highest honor, an Oscar award, for Best Director for his work on The Pianist (2002).

It seems that child sex abuse can be good for one's career in Hollywood.

And, shockingly, several high-profile media figures have actually jumped to Polanski's defense. Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Debra Winger were reportedly among the list of over 100 Hollywood figures who demanded Polanski's release. On a CNN interview, Tom O'Neill, senior editor of the celebrity magazine In Touch Weekly, cried, "It's mind boggling why they're still pursuing this … It just seems that the prosecutors in Los Angeles won't let go these many years later."

On the nationally syndicated television show The View, co-host Whoopi Goldberg downplayed Polanski's rape of a 13-year-old girl. "It wasn't rape-rape," she claimed. "We're (the United States) a different kind of society. We see things differently. The world sees 13 year olds and 14 year olds – in the rest of Europe, they are seen, often times [as adults]."

And Tom Shales, television critic for the Washington Post, opined, "[I]t may sound like a hollow defense, but in Hollywood I am not sure a 13-year-old is really a 13-year-old."

The 'King of Pop' vs. a Catholic bishop

Bishop Juan Arzube : Los Angeles

NOT the "King of Pop":
The late Bishop Juan Arzube

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson, possibly the most successful musical artist of all time, was accused multiple times of child sex abuse. In 1993, Jackson paid a whopping $15.3 million to quietly settle an abuse claim.

In a 2003 television interview, Jackson even openly admitted that he slept with underage boys and actually defended his practice. "It's what the whole world should do," claimed Jackson.

Yet when Jackson died a few years later, and newspapers mourned the loss of the musical legend, the Los Angeles Times, for one, blared a humongous, fawning headline that the "King of Pop" had passed, with his criminal troubles merely meriting secondary attention.

Contrast the treatment by the Los Angeles Times to the death of Jackson with the death of a popular L.A. cleric, Bishop Juan Arzube, who passed away less than a year before Jackson. Arzube was the target of a single accusation during 2003, the year that California lifted the statute of limitations in order for accusers to file money-seeking lawsuits against the Catholic Church.

Arzube vehemently denied the decades-old allegation, but that did not stop the Times from devoting nearly 30 percent of his obituary to the stale accusation against him and stamping the word "ACCUSED" below the photograph accompanying it. (See for yourself and read about this episode.)

Meanwhile, unlike Bishop Arzube, charges of abuse against Jackson continue to this day, even after his death.

'The number one problem in Hollywood' you will almost never read about

In August 2011, Hollywood child star Corey Feldman flatly declared during an interview on ABC:

"I can tell you that the No. 1 problem in Hollywood was and is and always will be pedophilia. That's the biggest problem for children in this industry … It's the big secret."

The mainstream media's reaction to Feldman's remark, however, was almost undetectable. In fact, the Los Angeles Times, a newspaper right in the backyard of Hollywood, never even reported on Feldman's remark. Instead, the paper buried it in a little-noticed blog item a few months later.

Yet mainstream media outlets like the Los Angeles Times continue to hyperventilate over abuse committed decades ago by Catholic priests. In fact, just yesterday, the Times published a splashy, front-page, 2,100-word piece about a priest who was arrested for abuse some 32 years ago.

And surely you would never find a famous media figure defending a Catholic priest accused of sex abuse with defenses like "A 13-year-old is not really a 13-year-old" or "It wasn't rape-rape."

And so the double standard continues.


  1. Delphin says:

    Remind me, again, exactly who are the intolerent [left] haters?


    Perps name says it all-

  2. Delphin says:

    Actually, what I have noticed is that Publion absolutely nuke's the haters/bigots contribution every time, and is generous enough to provide the commenter a thoughtful response that reflects RATIONALE, with FACTS, EVIDENCE, HISTORY, LOGIC and WITNESS for the position proffered.

    Some people communicate in erratic "sound bites" and colloquialisms; others actually have linear and sequential thought processes that require the precise construct of words, sentences and paragraphs, and never the twain shall meet.

    • jim robertson says:

      Hey how do you "nuke' something "everytime"?

      I would think one nuke should do it.

      But I know who you write for and the end you seek. And I'll bet the majority of visitors to this site don't need to guess why you two both demonize and repel by anger and boredom any normal dialog. You've both done it from the start.

      I would like the readers here to think: Possibly I may be wrong about God but I ain't wrong about such obvious and consistant repulsive behavior on your part. Adults don't behave the way you two do. They just don't. So consider yourself outed. You fool no one.

      And of course the Editorial board of the N.Y. Times got it wrong abour laughing boy Dolan, millions for lawyers pennies for victims. Oh yea you believers are so morally superior. Ha!

    • amazinggrace says:

      Publion, without a doubt is a superb and gifted writer.  However, when out and about in

      life, simply stating "we like and trust our parish priests" has been more than 99% of

      the public has done in my experience.  In other words, when it comes right down to

      being supportive of our parish priests: A term paper is not required!

  3. Publion says:

    Now comes commenter Ecker at 650Pm today.


    Apparently Ecker – or the tinfoil hat or the voices or the Wig that informs him – has decided the following: there is a directly proportional relationship between “the truth” that I am told and the length of my comments.


    Which actually doesn’t work as stated. Does Ecker mean to say that the stronger the truth, the longer the comments? That would be the only way to maintain a coherent dynamic that renders his comment intelligible (we’ll leave 'accurate' out of it for now). Otherwise Ecker has basically said that he keeps telling the same quantum and quality of “the truth” and my comments – for whatever reason not related to any variables in that “truth” – just keep getting longer and longer.  Which – who can be surprised? – puts us into a stalled conceptual loop that gets us nowhere but rather keeps spinning matters around and around.


    Of course what we are actually hearing here is the age-old complaint of the cafeteria and the bumper-sticker bunch: there’s too much stuff to read and I don’t like what you’re saying anyway. The Abuseniks have a nice simple (simplistic, even) Script: they want it followed and they want to be acknowledged for their handiwork. Anything that somehow interferes with the sugary rush of accomplishment and approval that they have come to expect is simply ‘baaaad’ – as any kid might complain when the supersized soda is taken away and replaced with a nice big glass of fresh orange-juice.


    As I have said, Ecker has presented precisely zero “facts” in support of the claim that “its not over”. (Nor – for those who keep track – has he responded with the marvelous solution to the credibility issue: how distinguish between a) genuine and b) otherwise-classifiable claims and allegations?) Does he care to quote from his own material just what “facts” he has indeed ‘proven’ in support of his position? I can find none and have taken a substantial amount of space and words in recent comments to demonstrate that.


    If, according to Abusenik dogma, the Church has been in the pedophile-priest-conspiracy-racket business for 2000 years, then how much time would an organization need to change? Just what sort of time-line is the time-lord Ecker working on here? How long is too long – in whatever cartoon schematic he has devised for himself?


    But, of course, in the Church and the Catholic Abuse Matter we have seen some powerful changes – whose effects have clearly revealed themselves in reliable assessment measures – in just the past decade or so.


    And the AOM document-dump goes back at least as far if not further in time than the LA dump: 80 years. So how does Ecker claim that material so many decades old is an accurate indicator of the current Church and the current state of the issue?


    So that’s what I would “tell” you, commenter Ecker – in response to your direct question to me.


    And that’s what I also ask you directly.


    And then – again declaiming ex Wigedra – the self-appointed time-lord now pronounces (in the sure certainty of infallibility, no doubt) that “time is up” (excessive formatting omitted).


    Nor do we have any “facts” supporting the (delusional?) insistence that “the catholic church continues to bury itself”.


    And – wearing the Wig of Infallibility now also bespangled with The Teeth of Power – Ecker then declaims that he “will make sure” that “those who feel the church is now warm and fuzzy are told the truth”. Will he indeed? His material demonstrates no competence – perhaps not even familiarity-with or predisposition-toward – “truth” or “facts”.


    And where did “warm and fuzzy” enter into the deliberations here? The Church has taken serious, and by all extant indicators effective, measures in both abuse prevention and fiscal management. There is nothing “warm and fuzzy” about anything in all of this, which is a term more suitable to teddy-bears and stuffed toys.


    But that – I think – is indicative of the level at which – Wigs and all – certain Abuseniks work; the time-loop into which they are trying to enmesh the Church and the Catholic Abuse Matter is somehow connected to some personal time-loop enmeshment. We are seeing the psycho-drama (molten and negatively-valenced across a broad spectrum) that is – and perhaps always has been – at the core of the Catholic Abuse Matter.


    Ecker concludes with the stunningly revealing bit that while he “hope[s] that [he is] wrong” yet – waittttt for ittttt! – “your church is nothing more than a cancer that is in remission”.


    First, there is nothing in Ecker’s material here or on the Big Trial site that supports any assessment, or self-claim, that Ecker hopes in any way that he is wrong about his fancied vision of the parlous condition and nature of the Catholic Church.


    Second, having worked up the bit earlier in this same comment of his that the Church is not changing or has not changed, he now claims that the Church as “a cancer” is merely “in remission” – which in medical usage indicates some substantial improvement. And thus he admits what he started out claiming was my gross ignorance or disregard of the facts and realities involved in the Catholic Abuse Matter as it currently stands.


    Wigs may look nice, to certain types, but they cannot impart any deep gifts to the interior workings of the heads upon which they are perched. Is that news?

  4. jim robertson says:

    May I suggest at this juncture (Thank you Broadway Danny Rose) that people skip reading Pub and Delph? One is a wig maker and the other a dig maker. Who both "dehumanize" their self created "opposition".

    Dennis Ecker and Learned Counsel since you are both victims let's organize with each other and connect through email. Telling the truth here is both furtive and futile IMHO, Delphin and Pub are professional obfuscators and are, like Canute, attempting to hold back the sea.

    Every day around the world and particularlly in Rome we see these royalists with their pants down. The monsignor with the $7,000,000 art collection in his humble 7500 sg. ft apartment running millions of Euro's of Vatican laundered money.

    All the good done by decent priests, if their is any good done, Is demeaned by the Church's rulers by the hour.

    Notice Pope Francis the Talking Mule, he "humbly" is fast tracking two former popes, John23 and JPII to sainthood. One for the left wing one for the right wing. Using the dead to attempt control of the living; sans the usual number of "miracles" required. What a circus of charletons. Clowns in gowns.

    If one ignores P and D and their diversionary attempts against the real victims who post here, one may win against this 2000 year old life-mare.

    As Hamlet says, "One may smile and smile and be a villain".

    [edited by moderator]

  5. dennis ecker says:

    Publion, you are set in your ways.

    But, again I say your church is in remission because parishioners, not all, are the cancerous cells that will let history to repeat itself, because you and others like you want to just forget about what has happened.

    Your words that you speak are only that. Actions truly speak louder than words, and what has been released to the public from Milwaukee shows that. Your blessed church has done the same thing as other diocese have done, and like Philadelphia and others across the country they have been caught. NOT BY THAT ARCHDIOCESE COMING FORWARD ON THEIR OWN, but because people are tired. They want to see abusers put away for as long as possible and any individual that protects or moves an abuser will face the same punishment and they do not care if that person is wearing a collar or not.

    So, please keep rambling on. But until you can tell me you have done something to prevent the past, the present and sad future from ever happening again you sound like a very sad individual waiting for the Lord above to call you.

  6. Publion says:

    Now  comes JR at 1053PM on the 5th  - so much for this episode of the farewell-tour. Or maybe he was just kidding or exaggerating or is just misunderstood.


    Merely as point of relevance: if I read Delphin correctly, there is a fresh ‘nuking’ required for every new instance; thus each ‘nuke’ would indeed have its own target. Thus – simply in terms of the logic in JR’s use of the analogy in his comment – there is indeed only the single nuke for each target.


    But things have to be repeated because – as I have been saying for quite a while here – the Abusenik modus operandi is simply to toss up a steaming bumper-sticker pile and then just forget about that thread of discourse and start all over again and de novo with a fresh and different pile next time around. (In the military this would bear close similarity to the ‘fire and forget’ type of weaponry.)


    And this is especially true if one has actually put up some material that i) questions and confounds their scripts and bumper-stickers and/or ii) requires them to actually think-through what they have asserted with such insistent brassiness.


    Thus – and truly marvelously – JR reveals even more (I always find him to be most valuable when he doesn’t even realize what he is revealing): it is the fault of his interlocutors that no progress is made in discussion because it is the fault of his interlocutors that he is derailed by “anger and boredom” as a result of looking-at (or reading … perhaps, even, maybe) their material. He is victimized – doncha see? – by people who get him mad and bore him. Shame on those who think ill of it.


    And clearly his interlocutors are guilty in the first place for putting up material that would ‘anger’ and ‘bore’ so astute and incisive and virtuously truthy a person as JR. What sort of “demonizing” monstrosities must they be – these interlocutors – to so discombobulate such a truthy and committed paragon of constructive and sustained discourse, deliberation, and accurate analysis?


    That’s what makes such interlocutors so “repulsive” to JR – who, of course – in any normal circumstances would be the very incarnation of sweet and sharp and sure reason.


    See how that works?


    And we are then lectured by the Wig of Discerning Maturity: “Adults don’t behave the way you two do”. And, whether to reassure himself or lard on an extra dollop of this queasy frosting he adds immediately: “They just don’t.” (If you repeat it, that makes it even more true – doncha see? And this maxim could even be more fully demonstrated if you repeat something with exaggerated formatting or – but of course – expletives.)


    We are thus lectured in the characteristics of discerning and mature adulthood by JR, expounding on his implied diagnosis that we are not “real adults”. (Readers are helpfully reminded that this diagnosing gambit will not be well-received in reverse; JR doesn’t like to be diagnosed in terms from that universe-that-shall-not-be-named, often referred-to colloquially as the psychological and/or the psychiatric.)


    What an amusing thought (and doesn’t JR comment here for ‘amusement’?): I am not a “real adult”. Perhaps I am a 6 year-old (or a particularly precocious infant like Stewie from Family Guy), putting aside my baw-baw to retreat to the secret library-lab hidden behind the crib in my nursery, and pursuing a fake ‘identity’ on the internet masquerading as an adult with the ability to think and assess the world around me.


    If this scenario were accurate, then JR has found me out … but still can’t manage to do better than to be reduced to anger and boredom by my material. Wouldn’t that be a pretty fragile ‘adulthood’ – that it could be so thoroughly and vividly derailed by a six year-old? Perhaps some enterprising fry-fly, for lack of any more substantive material to put up, might want to declare – ex Wigedra of course – that henceforth I shall be called ‘Stewie’.


    But it's OK if that becomes the case. I understand. We all do now.

  7. Delphin says:

    Ah, let's redefine the language from Truth, Facts, Honesty, Evidence… and Witness to "…boredom and anger…".  The Truth does hurt [for some].

    And, imagine citing the editorial board of the NYSlimes, for anything. They've been so thoroughly discredited (eg. endorsing BHO) that the National Enquirer is more likely to rate higher on integrity.

    Other than that, nothing much worth responding to since the commenter contributes nothing more than the usual baseless mid-slinging, as duly noted by just some of those "visitors" and "readers",  Josie, Grace and KenW.


  8. Delphin says:

    If only those "clowns in gowns" were sexually cavorting and gyrating with each other and inanimate objects and animals atop a rainbow-colored float, as is the case in any Gay Pride parade in any city, USA -  could we then be lectured, by the likes of Danny-boy Savage (pig incarnate) about "love, tolerance, equality and acceptance".

    I wonder when cross-dressing became the object of acceptable ridicule by the left? Perhaps this recent phenomenon could be best explained by Alec Baldwin, another darling of theirs?

    And, what any of "it" has to do with deviant homosexuals abusing minors, everywhere, and the corrupt media cover-up of that fact while they hype the Church's relatively negligible minor abuse matter, we'll never know (well, we do know, Nothing).

    As we've suspected all along, and as has been proven with every word written (and likely uttered) by these frauds, their feigned outrage over Church-related problems is just another outlet for hatred of the Church, and Catholics. This hatred is as old as the Church -nothing new to see here, move along.

    • jim robertson says:

      The difference between a gay pride parade and the Vatican is one is hypocritical and the other is not.

      So A for honesty, my drag queen brothers. You are absolutely honest compared to Rome. Honesty ever hear of that Frick and Frac?

      Why am I talking to stooges?

      Self hatred is the very core of Catholic thought. Your world is ending. And better sooner than later. Look around you at mass and remember the good old days. They are gone. Never to return again. The tides gone out only the very evil and the very frightened are left.


  9. Publion says:

    We recall – some of us, anyway – that the New York Times was gung-ho for the Iraq invasion and the existence of WMD.  For quite some time I have felt that the paper was not really clear on the concept of truth and of facts, let alone admitting its role in enabling and supporting catastrophic mistakes. And – as so often happens, through some interesting dynamics  – it has attracted cheerleaders who are equally unclear on certain essential concepts. Be that as it may.


    Commenter Ecker comes at 1220 today.


    What “ways” am I “set in”? I keep asking questions in light of assertions and claims that some people keep making. To describe that as merely being “set in [my] ways” is grossly insufficient; there is a discipline to pursuing  rationally demonstrable truth and I do my best to hew to that discipline.


    Even though it includes running into all sorts of material from persons who don’t put up their assertions, claims and allegations to be questioned, but rather merely to be accepted without question. Nor are they amused when questions are aimed, thus, in the wrong direction. They already have the truth – doncha see? – and all we are here to do is to accept it and stampede on cue like useful cattle in an old Western.


    Catholic parishioners – now – are the true culprits and the “cancerous cells”. But not to take that personally, because “not all” of them … just the ones pointed out and classified ex-Wigedra by the self-declared Victim-Wigs. (With all respect to Rembrandt, I can’t help but imagine his The Syndics – all of those high and mighty Dutch burghers gathered for a group portrait: picture, if you will, a group shot of certain assorted self-proclaimed ‘victims’, sitting in that pose, but in place of the lace collars of the era, each crowned by the most favorite Wig in their respective collections – or perhaps several Wigs simultaneously, perched one atop the other like an over-frosted layer cake. Perhaps if they were to all convene (I had formed the impression that they were already communicating privately with each other, exchanging the contents of 3×5 cards) they might sit for a group portrait.)


    Wearing the Wig of Future-Telling, Ecker informs us that the afore-mentioned “cancerous-cell” parishioners “will let history to repeat itself” [sic].


    And that will be because I and others like me “want to just forget about what has happened”. Where, I ask, in all of my material have I ever made such a suggestion?


    Rather, to bring commenter Ecker back to reality here, my point is not to try and “forget what has happened”; my point has always been to try to find out what has actually happened.  And it is precisely here that the Victim-Wigs must and do deploy every bit in their bag to try and prevent that.


    It is They of the Wig(s) that are set in their ways: by the very nature of the Game they are playing, they must ensure that nobody else starts looking at allegations and assertions and claims; rather, they will control that history (real or otherwise) and the rest of us can simply stampede on cue and dance to their tune.  And so preventing the examination of their allegations is so utterly and absolutely vital a precondition for the Game, and To Keep The Ball Rolling, that they wind up being set in their ways as if set in concrete.

    “Your words that you speak are only that.” Meaning what? That they are only words? What else do we have to examine all this if not concepts and the words that express them?


    And then – building on the old ‘actions speak louder than words’ bumper-sticker – Ecker again simply reasserts what I have already called into question. But just what does the AOM document dump tell us? But rather than put forth his own analysis of the AOM reports (I haven’t seen copies of any actual documents) that would respond to my analysis, he simply tosses up another handful from the previous pile and makes the assertion that “what has been released to the public from Milwaukee shows that”. I say again – to a readership who has now been provided with the actual news report – that Ecker’s referenced article reporting on the AOM cache-dump reveals nothing. If he disagrees, let him show us in an analysis here just which bits demonstrate and justify just which conclusions he makes. (My bet: he won’t, because he can’t; his whole Game is based on innuendo and suspicion; he isn’t looking for analysis, he’s looking for agreement and acceptance and that’s all.)


    And – marvelously – Ecker gives us this gem: none of the documents that have come out have come out “by that archdiocese coming forward on their own” (exaggerated formatting omitted). The Stampede outcome here would be – as Ecker tries to herd us along – to jump to the conclusion that the documents were hidden for a nefarious purpose. But from what we saw of the AOLA document dump (and the actual documents we saw) and from the bits mentioned in Ecker’s own recommended article on the AOM dump, there was no smoking-gun, no definite proof, and none of the material supported the Abusenik Cartoons.


    Leading therefore to the perfectly plausible explanation that the reason these documents were not eagerly (and at great expense) compiled and released was that there was nothing in the documents that would wind up supporting the Abusenik Cartoons anyway.  The AOLA dump has already faded away; but now we are being assured that the AOM dump will do the trick for the Abuseniks (the AOLA fizzle being conveniently forgotten).


    On top of the fact that the further back you go in time, the more complex it is to distinguish between what was the standard social approach to a problem then, and what is the standard approach to the problem now.


    Which then leads to the thought that the reason so many dogs didn’t bark in the wayway-back was because not that many dogs saw that much to bark about. Were there individual cases where things were not handled well in a particular (now-historical) era decades ago? I would say yes, indeed. Were there enough cases to justify the dark vision that the Church has been primarily running an Abuse-Mill for centuries or millennia? I would say that the only way such a vision could be credited would be if media helped stampede everybody into simply accepting whatever claim and story and allegation came up to the cash window from the long-ago.


    Bringing us right back to square one here, with Ecker’s efforts to keep this whole Matter “set” in his ways, which means set like concrete in looking back for a period of almost a century. Is there any similar mass of fresh and current allegations? There is not – just the opposite. Does Ecker care to deal with that? Ecker does not.


    Even if Ecker and JR and whoever else were to get together, how would even they actually know who among them was a genuine victim and who was otherwise-classifiable? They would not be able to actually know. They could share check stubs, or press clippings of the trial, or even pass around copies of their sworn statements made to their attorney – but none of that goes to establishing, even among themselves, what actually and truly happened to whom by whom. When you actually clear away the dust of the Stampede and look for a minute, they can’t even legitimately vouch for each other’s stories and claims.


    Unless we posit some sort of magical-mystery Victim-radar (Vikdar?) that enables those of the Mysteries to unerringly and unfailingly and with total comprehensive clarity suddenly perceive that they are indeed in the presence of genuine others of their kind. But if you are willing to accept the existence of that, then I can’t see where you can go making fun of people who believe in theological and religious mysteries. Is not the whole Abusenik Project in some fundamental way merely another version of belief, rather than of scientifically demonstrable proof? Why else have the politicians gone to so much trouble to water-down the traditional evidentiary laws and standards? Because if the legal system insisted (as it traditionally has and as it conceptually must) on rational and demonstrable evidence, then the Abusenik Stampede would never have gotten off the ground in the first place.


    What “people are tired of” – I would say – is the Stampede. And when they actually start to realize just how they were cast as dumb cattle for the Stampede scenes in this whole Thing, they are not simply going to be tired; some of them are going to be very mad. Another reason why the Abuseniks and all their aiders and abettors and all those who have made piles of cash off this Thing absolutely must remain ‘set in their ways’ and Keep The Ball Rolling. Just the same way as that long-ago apparatchik on the Central Committee in Lenin’s day asked ominously: But what will happen when the people find out what we’ve really done?


    Then, having completed his stab at factuality and fortune-telling, Ecker changes to the Cafeteria Wig and refers to my “rambling on”.


    And then quickly changes Wigs again and heads for the high-ground. But – alas – incoherently. I am not involved – as apparently Ecker is when wearing the Wig of Glorious Purpose – in doing “something to prevent the past, the present and the sad future from ever happening again”.  (If you stop for a minute and think about that, then how, pray, does one go about preventing the past, the present, and the future from ever happening again? But it sounds nice and it goes with the Wig.)


    Do all the extant and current studies of hugely reduced allegations not indicate that remedial steps have been effective and that the Catholic Church now has the most stringent anti-abuse (however defined) policies of any corporate entity in the country (including the government and the military)?  Just what, then, does Ecker envision himself trying to do here that hasn’t already been done and isn’t already being done? (Hint: Ecker, with others, is heavily invested in Keeping The Ball Rolling for reasons that have little if anything to do with the actual historical realities … ).


    Ecker then does another on-stage change and now assumes the Wig of Concerned and Prayerful Sadness, although – as so often with him – deeply bespangled with the Teeth of Sly Nastiness: I am “a very sad individual” and then a bit about “the Lord above” and my upcoming death. Charming. And that is a bit that flags some rather remarkable if not also disturbing sub-surface currents. And so Spiritual, doncha think?


    What we have seen here is somebody who is very “set in [his] ways” and must – for reasons interior and external – Keep The Ball Rolling, no matter what has to be exaggerated, what has to be ignored, what has to be twisted in order to do so. Some readers may consider that sad; I consider it disturbing and meretricious.


    But it’s his right to put up what he wants. And it certainly seems useful to our purposes here: we can see, as if in a surgical procedure, the dark beating heart and mind of the Abusenik Stampede.                                               

  10. Delphin says:

    There is such an easy solution to the problem that the antiCatholic bigots and haters can implement to cure their disease: stay out of our Church, and her matters.


    Blame your parents for exposing you to such evils as children [were they abusers and enablers, too?].

    Blame yourselves, if true victims, for not informing your parents of the crime(s) committed against you, as you should have done (required) as young adults (anything near puberty is old enough to know right from wrong), and pray for forgiveness because you, too, were complicit, along with any others, in enabling deviant homosexuals to continue their crimes.

    You come to this site, not to convert, but to seek forgiveness;

              -forgiveness for not doing what you needed to do to stop the crimes decades ago,

             -forgiveness for your parents, who should have known their children were at risk and being physicaly injured (rape leaves physical, emotional, mental and psychological evidence),

            -forgiveness for abandoning God when you need[ed] Him most,

            -forgiveness for proselytising hate for God and for man,

            -and forgiveness for your unjust war against the Catholic Church.

    As faithful Catholics, we forgive you for your trespass against us, but you need to seek God's forgiveness for your trespass against His house and His priests.

    You, and ONLY you, ever had the power to stop the abuse, with the help of God, and by choosing good over evil. You chose evil all along, with your silence when you were required to speak, and now with your speech of hate designed ONLY to divert from the sins of your past.

    • dennis ecker says:


      We may have unable to stop the abuse we suffered as children. However as an adult I will do my best to prevent it from ever happening again to another child, and I will make sure your church be held liable for the crimes they have committed.

      If I do it alone or with the help of Mr. Robertson and others we will make sure what has happened is never forgotten so it NEVER repeats itself.

      I suggest though don't stand in my way, Mr. Robertson's way or others like us, because unlike you and publion who only put words on a comment site we have a goal and our actions are speaking so much louder than your words.

    • jim robertson says:

      D I Blame you. Not for then but for now. [edited by moderator]

      I simply want you to know I never hated the Church before I met you and P.

      But thanks to you I now loathe it. 

      You know,eventually, as more and more and more crimes and coverups are revealed, you become more and more absurd and useless.

  11. Delphin says:

    I am sure the Church would be happy to help these guys out with their model of a successful program to virtually eliminate the problem of unchecked deviant homosexuals preying on minors-


    Thank you, Ms. Brown. At least there is [potentially] one courageous and honest journalist out there.

  12. Delphin says:

    TMR Victim-claimants ACTIONS are nothing but idealogical cliches wrapped up in hate and bigotry. If you were "Men" of Action, you would be "on the streets" doing the dirty work of actively addressing abuse of ALL victims where they are (they ain't in the Church, anymore, geniuses) and not uselessly and hatefully haunting a site dedicated to tracking a corrupt and biased antiCatholic media. What Good do your contributions, such that they are, do for the victims of ongoing abuse?

    [edited by moderator] Where is your NGO/charity, what did you do with your Church-booty (any of you) besides enrich yourselves, and what have you done, as pertains to Action, to change anything for the better for victims?

    My Church admitted its wrongs, compensated victims and non-victims (and their rat-eyed attorneys) in the billions (to date) and developed a fool-proof (for the "fools" themselves) monitoring and reporting system to address their problem, Actively and Effectively. That is called Action. My Church did more to address, and fix the minor abuse problem caused by deviant homosexuals than any other entity in the world. I gladly support them wherever they are, in all their works and acts of charity- because they ACT.

    Remind me, again, what have you fools done to "fix" anything for other victims (you know, the kind that were actually victimized)? This is your great "civil rights"  moment in history- to use your own victimization experience to change the cruel world for victims of sexual abuse everywhere (boys, girls, women, men), you have the bullhorn, and what have you done?



    • jim robertson says:

      Hun huh Princess We don't have the "bullhorns".

      SNAP, which is the Church you so love, has the "bull horns". [edited by moderator]

  13. Publion says:

    We are advised by commenter Ecker at 250PM that he and others claiming to be similarly-experienced were unable to stop the abuse (however defined) that they suffered as children. Nobody without Vikdar is going to be able to gratuitously accept that assumption about having been abused; for all we know, we are all simply a captive audience to some psycho-drama playing out in the mind of the commenter. (Question: Does Vikdar work on the internet or does it require actually being aimed at somebody physically present and within actual range of the equipment?)

    The Wig of Authority – a rather regular accessory for this commenter – is deployed forthrightly: he “will make sure” that the Church “be held liable for the crimes they have committed” (presuming, of course, that we can identify and demonstrably establish the specific crimes … or would that be thinking-too-much?).

    And further along that queasy line: he and others like him “will make sure what has happened is never forgotten so it never repeats itself” (exaggerated formatting omitted). That presumes not only a) that a lot of such crimes actually happened, but also b) that by simply ‘reminding’ people one can ensure rather totally that no such crime (presuming some crime here for the purposes of the present discussion) will then ever be committed again.

    But if these hypothetical abusers are genuine pedophilic abusers in the clinical sense, then will they be deterred merely by ‘reminding’ people? Is Ecker familiar with the formal parameters of the clinical diagnosis and the dynamics involved?

    And what power on earth can ever guarantee “NEVER” (exaggerated formatting not omitted)? What sort of megalomaniac posturing is this?

    And then – as if to hammer home the alarms thus raised by his immediately previous statements – Ecker goes on to warn ominously: “I suggest though [:] [D]on’t stand in my way, Mr. Robertson’s way or others like us” … What sort of whacky Wild West animated cartoon movie does this commenter think he’s the hero of? Are we to imagine that we are all cast as the leering banditti in Ecker & Company’s cartoon remake of The Magnificent Seven? (Hint: I think the answer to this question is: Yes, absolutely.)

    And then – the Teeth of Nastiness in the double-layered Wig of Victimized Authority chattering like cheap castanets – Ecker actually expands that thought: he and others of his ilk are not like myself and others in the readership “who only put words on a comment site”. Because “unlike” such types, Ecker and the rest of The Magnificent Wigs “have a goal and our actions are speaking so much louder than our words”.

    First, he presumes that there is not much use or value in “words” (a rather predictable self-justifying philosophical position for ketchup-splattered fry-flies who don’t really like working with words (although “words” sure “been bery bery good” to some of them, haven’t they?).

    Second, he infers that he and others of The Magnificent Wigs are currently involved not in useless wordiness but rather in “actions”. And that those “actions” are “speaking so much louder than our words” (translation: forget the fact that our comments here don’t make much sense; our actions are really burning up the road!). And what “actions” might those be, pray?

    And what does Ecker define as an action that is successfully having an effect? Could he unpack that “louder” and give anybody an idea of just what these un-described actions are accomplishing? Are intended to accomplish?

    Here’s what I think: Ecker and Company (does he by his own fiat incorporate unto himself any and every Alinskyite media-event that anybody tries to pull off anywhere in the country, whether they have ever heard of him or not?) aren’t doing much more than commenting (take a look at the BigTrial site as well as the TMR site), but a) those comments are ‘just words’ and b) they aren’t really very good at making sense by using words, so they will now claim that they are part of a mystical body of media-event perp-performers, and all of them plan to keep busy just making sure that the “sad future” doesn’t repeat itself, no never – not ever. And this will keep them in their psychic comfort zone until the Catholic Church collapses in a heap or Time ends – whichever comes first.

    Meanwhile the rest of us have been warned and put on notice: The Wigboys are back and there’s gonna be trubble, heads will roll, and exaggerated formatting will make the internet run gray with extra pixels.

    Don’t let the Wig fool you; it’s really a Napoleon hat – and if you realize that, then you are well along in figuring how to handle yourself in the presence of this time-lord universe-master of the New Order.

  14. Delphin says:

    When the so-called victims are not blaming the Church, the world, or their mommies for their ills (failed lives), they are blaming their idealogical, philosophical and religious opposition on TMR (…or whatever other sites they haunt).

    When will they grow up and blame themselves for any of their problems?

    Hot flash for you, boys, there is no mo' "NOW" when it comes to minor abuse in the Church.

    Let it go, it's all over, fellas. The Good Times are over.

    Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

    • jim robertson says:

      Well now I know how old you are. Jimmy Durante references? Younger than springtime. But literally stealing my lines. [edited by moderator]

  15. jim robertson says:

    Princess, it's neutral juries who've blamed the Church not just victims. Oh that's right all juries are wrong unless they agree with your pov. [edited by moderator]

  16. jim robertson says:

    What low fakery you offer. In a world of high definition your fake myths like Dracula can not stand the light of day.

    Remember the first sin was eating from the tree of knowledge, one can't go back. Though people like you try in order, it seems, to control others into your brand of "happiness".

    What's that need about? Are you angry about how you've been controlled and are instead of having empathy you've chosen to identify with the oppressor? Why? For a little pat on the head?

  17. jim robertson says:

    Or is your own personal brand of heaven to be richer than other peoples? You're going to "get more " when you die than everybody else?

    [edited by moderator]

  18. LearnedCounsel says:

    OK, the flight school analogy. I fear that I may never, that no one may ever hear the end of the flight school analogy not being addressed.

    The essence of the flight school analogy is .  .  . anal! Just kidding. No, the essence of the flight school analogy is the tried and tired argument that without god, there is only moral relativism. No god equals no grounding. God makes the rules. God gave us the rules through Jesus and in the New Testament. No god means no rules or at least no authority for rules. And we have to have rules to live successfully. Say it all together now, "You cannot fly a fixed-wing aircraft backwards!" Physics, more of god's rules. Sorry, the rules or laws of Physics whether you believe in god or not, whether you are catholic or not.

    If you would like to take it easy and not work out ethics for yourself by all means resort to god and the one book he ever gave us. Or, you know, inspried by the holy spirit. By the way, the muslims and the mormons have basically the same claim (that there is a god and that he gave us a book) and they each just happen to have a different book. Oh, and the Jews too but they (some of them anyway) are sticking with the 1.0 release  .  .  . I mean, revelation.

    There are so many religions and versions of them. What are the chances that you are with the right one? Well, that is your problem, not mine. I choose none. So too with the flight school analogy. I do not accept publicly publion’s premise that god did it. That he is behind it all, the grounding. So that kind of ruin’s the analogy for me and anyone who is not a theist.

    Having said this, two Hitchens quotes come to mind. (1) "Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did." Just look at all the splintering of the so called christian faith into catholic, eastern orthodox, oriental orthodox, anglican, and protestant. And these major groups breakdown into many smaller subgroups, especially in protestantism. (2)"Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it." I agree with Hitchens. Humans are mammals that have evolved to have moral and ethical thoughts. That is it. No god in the system.

  19. Publion says:

    The AOM document cache has – according to an AP report – actually revealed some interesting bits.


    The then-Archbishop of the AOM, now-Cardinal Dolan, “faced increasing pressure as archbishop in Milwaukee to cut costs by defrocking problem priests and [faced] pushback from his staff when he hesitated, according to newly released records”.

    What we see here is not the usual Cartoon vision of a criminally-complicit organization highly and rigidly organized around the process of ‘cover-up’. Here, a) the archdiocesan staff wants to get rid of ‘problem priests’ (although there is no distinction made here between priests who are a problem because they have demonstrably offended and priests who are a problem because they have been allegated-against). And b) the Archbishop doesn’t have the authority to “defrock” a priest. But c) the staff realizes that if nothing else, these priests – whether actually guilty or not – constitute a financial vulnerability to the AOM and want to cut costs and potential losses somehow.

    “Clergy sex abuse victims have harshly criticized Dolan for payments made to at least seven abusive priests who were forced out of the church; they view the money as bonuses given to criminals”.

    But d) there is – as usual – no distinction made between allegators and genuinely demonstrated victims. And e) there is again no distinction between an allegedly abusive priest and a proven-abusive priest. And f) there is no clarity here as to whether the priests 1) were removed from ministry (which is within the Archbishop’s authority) and priests who 2) were laicized (the technical canonical term for the popular term ‘defrocked’ – and only Rome has the authority to impose this sanction).

    In fact, there is g) no mention of when (within the 80 year span covered by the document-release) the alleged actions actually took place.

    And h) we note the standard Abusenik insistence that any money sent to the priests in question constituted nothing more than “bonuses given to criminals”. If the priests were not demonstrably proven to have committed the allegations than they are not characterizable as “criminals” (and the AP – by merely quoting the Abusenik position rather than making any assessment of its own – neatly avoids the legal complications here).

    And if the AOM kept paying them or contributing the usual amounts to their support for living expenses and insurance (health and dental, etc.) while the allegations were being examined, then this is the same type of situation as a corporate or public employee who is put on ‘paid administrative leave pending investigation’. There is nothing of “bonus” about it. But “bonus” makes it all sound so much more slimey and suspicious – which is always what the Playbook will try to go-for.

    Then things get even more curious: “The archdiocese has said that it long provided money to men leaving the priesthood as a means of helping them transition into new lives; most were not accused of wrong-doing” (italics mine). So i) it might well have seemed to Dolan that if priests were being forced out of ministry or urged to request laicization voluntarily (which greatly facilitates the process in Rome), then some payment was required – especially if the allegations were not demonstrably proven.

    Other documents, this piece then goes on to say, “show that others in the archdiocese were pushing to get rid of the priests as a way to ensure that money was focused on caring for victims and [for] church operations”.  So j) the Archbishop faced pressure from both pro-‘victim’ and pro-AOM operations types, both of which groups wanted to see these (allegated-against or demonstrably-proven-abusive) priests removed somehow as quickly as possible, in order to use AOM funds for other purposes.

    It reminds me of damaged aircraft in the later years of the Pacific War simply being pushed or bulldozed over the side of the flight deck into the sea; or excess but perfectly functional helos coming out of Saigon at the end of April, 1975 and simply being sent over the side because there was no place to store them.

    We see here the pressures generated by the Stampede and the Anderson strategy: any still-living priest against whom an allegation was lodged instantly became a ‘liability’ precisely at the moment when he would most need the support of his Ordinary (at least until substantive investigation established the actual credibility of the allegation). Dolan was not caving-in to those pressures, which satisfied neither the victimists nor the bean-counters.

    The AP opines that “Dolan probably saw the payments as a cost-effective way to speed up the priests’ departure”. So k) even when Dolan decides to take the most cost-effective (and least time-consuming) route by using the carrot of financial payment to get a priest to voluntarily waive his canonical rights to a contested-laicization process, the Abuseniks prefer to characterize it as a “bonus”. And yet, if Dolan were to go the other route and request numerous laicizations – contested though they would be – and thus tie up AOM funds and staff and resources and energies in a necessarily time-consuming process, he would then be criticized for not taking steps quickly enough. The Playbook here simply demands that the Church be made to look evil no matter what it does; that’s how this Game is played.

    I imagine that if Dolan or any Ordinary had a magic wand and could simply make the accused priests dissolve in a puff of smoke, he would then be accused of ‘cover-up’ because he removed the priests from the possibility of any further investigation (even though – of course – the Playbook isn’t really looking for real ‘investigation’; it’s simply seeking more piñatas to whack somehow).

    Even more vaguely, this short AP piece then goes on to say that “the data was made public as part of a deal between the archdiocese and the victims suing it for fraud”. And here we again see l) the failure to distinguish between allegators and demonstrably genuine victims.

    And we see m) a scintillating hint that somehow there is a (current?) lawsuit that is based on charges of “fraud”. Readers of Michael D’Antonio’s book may recall the discussion of legal strategizing that involved using this ‘fraud’ route as a way of opening up the possibility of ‘punitive’ as well as actual damage-payments, which opens up the payoff possibilities astronomically for everyone (plaintiffs and attorneys) involved. But the AP report does not follow up here.

    In its final paragraph, the AP notes that it was in 2003 (a decade ago now) that the AOM offered “deals … to six priests accused of sexual abuse to get them to voluntarily leave the priesthood” (italics mine). And thus n) we see again the derangements flowing from the pressure of Stampede: the AOM pushes to have accused priests waive their right to canonical due-process simply to get them ‘off the flight deck’, as it were.

    To an accused or allegated-against priest, now facing a career-ending and potentially life-wrecking challenge that – under the deforming pressures of the general Stampede – has almost no good outcomes no matter how it is resolved, the offer of at least enough money to retain private counsel and keep a roof over one’s head must have been a desperately attractive option. But – of course – to accept the offer meant erasing the last chance to salvage something.

    This is all easily handled by the Abusenik Playbook: if we simply presume the total truthiness of the allegations, then we can all console ourselves with the thought that the accused-priest was absolutely guilty and deserved whatever catastrophes befell him. Thus – in the faux-Frenchified phrasing of Inspector Clouseau – “the case is sol-ved” and the Game can roll on to the whack-the-pinata phase without further distraction. See how simple it is?

    Lastly, I would note that no matter how informative all of this AOM document-dump-derived material is, it still reveals nothing that would support the general Abusenik Cartoon that the various Ordinaries and their staffs were busily ‘covering-up’.

    And indeed, we instead wind up with an even heavier load of doubt as to the guilt of numerous accused priests whose cases were never allowed to receive a full airing. But it was a hellishly clever strategy:  in a time of Stampede many accused might very rationally presume that there would be no real expectation of due-process anyway, so why not try to simply get out of this runaway-train’s path and give up any hope of pursuing further defense?

    Now we shall probably never really know the extent of guilt (or – slyly to the advantage of the Stampede) the extent of false allegations. But the Playbook has evolved a dogma to cover this truly disturbing and dangerous possibility: simply claim as a matter of faith and belief that very few allegations are or ever were false, a belief itself based on a presumed belief as to the truthiness of allegators. This reduces everything to nothing more than a house of mirrors, with one doubtful image justifying itself through another doubtful image. A lethal carnival midway indeed.

  20. Delphin says:

    No, you don't know "how old I am", and I am not your "princess".

    I can quote Thomas Jefferson and Jesus, but, it doesn't make me a contemporary of theirs.

    Stop personalizing the dialogue, it isn't about me, but, you did make it about YOU when you claimed "victimhood" and then also claimed to possess gnostic abilities regarding the FACTS of the Church abuse matter. If you and your other loosey-goosey victim-claimants here didn't want the focus on "YOU", you should have restricted your debate points to the FACTS.

    After all, since there has been NO EVIDENCE to corroborate the "he said, he said" charges, all any of us really have is your CREDIBILITY and your WORD to assess guilt.

    • jim robertson says:

       There are the letters admitting guilt by both the Cardinal and the head of the Marianist order plus the settlement.

      But those little FACTS mean zippo to you just like the reality of no god no Original Sin; no heaven and no hell.. Absolutely no proof for any of your firmly believed fantasies.

      Shouldn't your own hypocricy, demanding more proof from others than you require for yourselves, be obvious to even your limited abilities to reason?


  21. Publion says:

    While I was composing my immediately prior comment, there came Learned-Counsel, for whom it has taken all this time to get a handle on his thoughts as to just why he himself doesn’t think much of my Flight-School Analogy. One would have thought he already had done the thinking before he made his objection, but apparently not.

    Donning the Wig of Exasperated Patience perched upon the Wig of Bemused Innocence, he doth “fear that I may never, that no one may ever hear the end of the flight school analogy not being addressed”. Alas indeed. It was a simple request for him to explain a comment he himself had chosen to make – yet he seems now both bemused and bethump’t that he has been asked to explain the thinking behind his comment. It must have been a very indulgent Philosophy Department at Harvard indeed – invertebrate, even.

    First, a joke: “anal” – perhaps derived from “analogy” … see, because there’s “anal” in “analogy”. Thus the initial move is from the Peter-Griffin Family Guy school of philosophy. (Was that cartoon character on the faculty of Harvard’s Philosophy Department when L-C allegedly attended classes there? Who – in this Colonel-Klink world of today – could say No for certain?)

    Then he gets down to his best stuff.

    And repeats what we had already discussed: that “without god, there is only moral relativism” – which he dismisses as merely “the tried and tired argument”.

    Spiced up with the marvelously adolescent plaint that if we go with the Flight-School Analogy (hereinafter: FSA) then “God makes the rules … [and] no god means no rules or at least no authority for rules … And we have to have rules to live successfully”.

    Then – after a juvenile re-phrasing of my point about not-being able to fly a fixed-wing aircraft backwards – he doesn’t actually explain how that point does or does not connect to his own position. Followed by an incoherent bit in the two sentences from “Physics” to “catholic or not”.

    To rely on God or Flight-School would be “to take it easy and not work out ethics for yourself”. Thus, apparently, you are lazy if you let God do your figuring for you. Whereas, apparently, if you do your own figuring-out of your personal ethics, then you are doing the really heroic and savvy heavy-lifting in life and in philosophy.

    Then a snarky bit about Mormonism and Judaism each having its own Book, so – clearly, it seems to him – there must be many different ethical options and there cannot be one Source of ethics (so, doncha see, it’s really an open field and anything goes for any particular person to figure out his/her own personal ethics … for the moment anyway).

    But both of those Books (to use the term a bit figuratively here) are also grounded in a Beyond. That’s where they get their authority; that’s where they get the ‘oomph’ which creates not ethical preferences, but ethical obligations. (And don’t the kiddies just hate that concept of ‘obligations’?)

    Then the publically-anonymous ‘Learned Counsel’ (ex-‘Boston Survivor’) tells us that he chooses not to believe in any god, since there are so many gods and ethical systems on offer – and (he feels) what’s wrong with that?

    In other words, for L-C it all boils down to the fact that there is no God so there isn’t any possibility of a God-Grounded ethics and thus he prefers his own preferences. And shame on those who think ill of it.

    And he concludes with more quotes from the congenitally adolescent Hitchens … about God and religion. And Hitchens’s analysis basically boils down to the fact that since there are so many ‘religions’ and so many ‘gods’ then there can’t really be just One, or maybe any at all … and so the whole ethical question is subsumed in this (somewhat cursory) analysis of religion and theology and ‘gods’: many religions means many gods means many ethics and who’s to say for sure and so L-C (and Hitchens) will do what they feel is best for them. And shame on those who think ill of it.

    Thus L-C’s Harvard-trained philosophical statement of his ethical position.

    But he has missed the key point in my FSA: it’s primarily a matter of the aircraft itself; there are rules that spring from the nature of the aircraft itself, and not from the whims of any external force or Force.

    Thus when I say that one cannot fly a fixed-wing aircraft in reverse I am speaking not of some Rule imposed by the whim of the FAA or the particular corporate airline for whom one works as a pilot; I am not appealing to any such externally-imposed Rule (we all know how the kiddies don’t like being imposed-upon).

    Rather, I am speaking about the nature of the aircraft itself: it won’t work if you try to fly it that way. Your options and preferences are limited by the nature of the machine you are piloting.

    Which instantly brings the discussion (or should bring it, in a philosophical assessment) to the Question: is there or is there not a common human-nature that by its very essence imposes certain parameters upon any human trying to live life by piloting a human self (and its human nature) through the crowded skies of human history?

    And if we examine humans and the ethical systems they have devised (the examples of Jewish and Mormon and Catholic ethics all flow from the Judeo-Christian Vision) we can get a clear sense that there are certain basic characteristic elements that consistently show up: one should try to do Good rather than Evil; one should not inflict gratuitous harm on others; one should not dissipate oneself purely in the this-worldly but rather should strive to develop beyond one’s own purely personal concerns and be concerned for others (in some way).

    These are not rules imposed upon humans externally; they appear in various ethical systems developed by humans regardless of whether those humans are devotees of the Judeo-Christian God or not. In their basic forms they predate Christianity and Judaism – although they were given profound enhancement in the Judeo-Christian Vision.

    Thus what the Flight-School (in my usage, the Church) is doing is not simply imposing upon student-pilots an arbitrary set of rules thought up by a bunch of frumpy grown-ups. Rather it is trying to teach the student-pilots the essential nature of the aircraft they are going to be operating in the crowded skies.

    Aspiring pilots who simply prefer to ‘not take the easy way’ by going to Flight-School, but instead (and, in their vision, heroically) coming up with their own preferred operating practices defined by whatever they feel they’d like to adopt … are thus going to run into complications both in operating their own aircraft and then in operating up in the crowded skies. Thus you wind up with individual “moral relativism”.

    And if on top of that, they are flying in skies crowded with large numbers of other pilots who also neither a) understand the operating characteristics and parameters of their own craft nor b) the operating plans and preferences of all those other pilots up there … then you wind up with a lethal and probably fatal confusion indeed. Thus you wind up with group “moral relativism”.

    Here is the first fatal problem for L-C: if there is a common human nature and essence, then to simply rely on one’s own feelings and one’s own limited abilities to comprehend the full complexity and nature of the human ethical challenge is pretty much guaranteed to lead to a substantially and fundamentally insufficient capacity to pilot the human aircraft. One’s personal individual knowledge and experience is hardly sufficient to provide all the necessary knowledge (that’s why you have to go to flight-school and get certified and licensed if you want to fly an aircraft). And if you figure you can just make it up or learn as you go along, the probability of crashing on your own or crashing into somebody else up there before you get it all worked-out (if you ever do) is pretty high.

    So the first problem goes to the very nature of the human ‘aircraft’: does it or does it not have a ‘nature’ and ‘essence’? If it does … then what flows from that? If it doesn’t … then what flows from that? What is L-C’s position in regard to the existence of a common human nature? If there is one, what are its operating parameters? If he thinks there is not a common human nature, then let him say so and explain what observations support his conclusion.

    Hitchens’s assessment suffers from two core simplistic flaws: a) it presumes that ethical systems are merely impositions externally made on the individual by ‘religion’ (and by extension, God); and b) it presumes a grossly insufficient grasp of the various levels of ethical requirements and principles.

    In regard to (a): ethics flow from the nature of the human being as a species, not merely from some Marxy-type power-play of hegemony and oppression imposed by adults or authority figures on everybody else (or like grown-ups imposing their stodgy will arbitrarily on fun-and-freedom-loving kids). Thus all human beings, since they are all flying the same type of aircraft in essence, have to conform themselves to what is basically their own human nature and essence. They have to do this in order to respect their own nature and essence and they have to do this in order to respect all other humans’ nature and essence – which they all share in common.

    In regard to (b): Consider air travel. There is a first level of authority – residing in the individual airlines – that can say what style and color the crew uniforms and plane-interiors will be and what the logo for the airline will be. The airlines can change these if they wish. There is a second level of authority – residing in the FAA – that says what minimum distance must be maintained between aircraft in flight and what altitude and routes aircraft flying – say – east will fly, and what altitude and routes aircraft flying west will fly. No airline and no pilot can disregard those regulations; the government through the FAA can impose such changes. But then there is a third level of authority that stems simply from the nature of fixed-wing aircraft in flight: no airline and no pilot can fly the aircraft in reverse because the aircraft will simply not stay up in the air. And neither the corporate offices nor the pilots nor even the FAA can change that reality. There are certain laws of aerodynamics (or “Physics”) that humans don’t have the power to change even if they as individuals or as corporations or as governments might want to change them.

    The Hitchens approach – embraced by L-C – simply presumes a simple single source ‘authority’ for ethical strictures, and says No to any other source for that authority except the free-thinking individual and his/her preferences.

    Thus in noting the variety of religions and some levels of various ethical systems, Hitchens uses the variety of logos and interior upholstery patterns and colors of uniforms among – to use the terms of my analogy – the various ‘corporate airlines’ to then claim that therefore there are no legitimately authoritative rules at all, and it’s all totally and clearly up to the individual pilot and whatever s/he feels is the way s/he would like to do things.

    And the second fatal problem for L-C is this: even if you were – per impossibile – to figure the whole thing out correctly all on your own, then i) since it is your own preference, how can you or anybody else be sure that what you feel is your set of ethical preferences today is going to be your ethical preference tomorrow or next week or next year? You wind up becoming morally relativistic even toward your own self.

    And ii) how can you be sure that all the other pilots have come up with the same preferences that you have? And will stick to those preferences? You wind up with a sky-full of pilots who are morally relativistic towards themselves and all other pilots. This leads to a happy-face version of Hobbes: a human existence full of selfs that are un-guided, under-guided, and/or concerned only and ultimately for themselves.

    And thus the third fatal problem for L-C: how can you impose a set of ethical preferences (thereby turning a preference into an obligation) on yourself or anybody else? And if there can be no obligation, then how can you reliably sure what other persons are going to be doing and how they will be acting in regard to you?

    And even if you admit that there is a common human nature, then how can you be sure others will ‘prefer’ it the way you define it? And if you don’t even admit that there is a common human nature and essence, then you are even deeper in the hole here.

    And then: if you do manage to envision a common ‘obligation’ arising from somewhere, then upon what strength will you be able to ensure general human faithfulness and loyalty to that conceptual obligation even under stressful – perhaps life-threateningly stressful – challenges and situations?

    The assertion concocted to deal with all of these profound challenges is that “human decency precedes religion”. In other words, that humans are and were somehow already reliably  ‘decent’, long before ‘religion’ and its ‘gods’ came alone to capitalize on that (mysteriously-sourced) decency.

    That is not at all evident from the historical record – quite the opposite. By the time the Greeks tried working on an ethics derived from human reason alone, human civilizations had already amassed a record of ethics intertwined with some authority from the Beyond, expressed in their particular religious vision. Confucius approached the problem by developing an ethics of family and ancestor and tradition … but I doubt Hitchens or L-C would care to go that route (correct me, please, if I am wrong in this). Nor did Confucius’ vision extend beyond a respect for one’s own family and ancestors and traditions and certainly didn’t envision the entire human species.

    And again, the assertion concocted to further support Hitchens’s (and others’) desired conclusion is that human beings are merely “mammals that have evolved to have moral and ethical thoughts”. That is far too huge a leap to be sufficiently and reliably bridged by the mere deployment of the concept of ‘evolution’. There is a not merely a quantitative or stage-dependent development that built upon prior developments; we are looking at a profound qualitative difference here, between the human species and all the rest.

    And look what this Hitchens-type approach winds up doing to somehow get rid of religion and the Beyond and God: it willingly yields and reduces the essential human reality to being merely a slightly (if curiously) more advanced form of the other fauna on the planet. In trying to get rid of the Beyond, this Hitchens-type approach willingly dismisses and reduces humanity to essentially and merely a different form of terrestrial fauna.

    This is liberation?

    And this further suggests that there is some sort of connection – apparently not evident to Hitchens and others – between humans and some Beyond. Such that you can’t reduce one without reducing the other.

    Of course, the comeback to that is that the connection is based in pathetic human illusions and delusions – perhaps arising out of fear or some species-wide megalomania that fancies itself in the Presence of some Beyond (let alone being the object of that Beyond’s benevolent attention).

    That assertion requires at least as much conjecture as anything human religious thought can be accused of coming up with. And it runs even more against the grain of what humanity’s own history has demonstrated consistently from the beginning.

    It may serve as a nice psychological sop to certain Hitchens-type folk to imagine that they are actually the cutting-edge of a vast and liberating discovery that bids fair to change the very course and nature of human history and human existence. But I would say that it resembles nothing so much as a kid figuring s/he doesn’t have to waste time learning how to fly an aircraft and can just take a flying leap off a tall building and get from Point A to Point B whenever s/he likes, and to complete that journey without incident.

    I don’t think that is going to work out well at all.

  22. LearnedCounsel says:

    I am responding now, not because it took me all night and this morning to formulate a response but because I now have the chance and the inclination. Publicly Publion always makes it out like however long I take to do something that must be how long it takes me to do that. I admit that I do like this critical teasing. So I guess I am putting on the wig of complaining but I am also wearing the wig of kind-of-enjoying. The hot ironies!

    "But he has missed the key point in my FSA: it’s primarily a matter of the aircraft itself; there are rules that spring from the nature of the aircraft itself, and not from the whims of any external force or Force.

    Thus when I say that one cannot fly a fixed-wing aircraft in reverse I am speaking not of some Rule imposed by the whim of the FAA or the particular corporate airline for whom one works as a pilot; I am not appealing to any such externally-imposed Rule (we all know how the kiddies don’t like being imposed-upon).

    Rather, I am speaking about the nature of the aircraft itself: it won’t work if you try to fly it that way. Your options and preferences are limited by the nature of the machine you are piloting.

    Which instantly brings the discussion (or should bring it, in a philosophical assessment) to the Question: is there or is there not a common human-nature that by its very essence imposes certain parameters upon any human trying to live life by piloting a human self (and its human nature) through the crowded skies of human history?"

    Yes. Let me be the first to rush to this common ground. I agree. There is a common, in the sense of typical or usual or normal, human nature. (There are also plenty of people on the spectrum of defect and extremes, like psychopaths and sociopaths, etc.) The rules spring from the nature of the human beings themselves. And we just want to flourish.

    Normal, typical, well developed people have an innate sense of right and of wrong and of empathy and of human solidarity and many other emotional and intellectual things. We creatures have evolved to have these things and to perceive them to he the highest and best traits in the animal world. We as a species have flourished all over the world, more so than others. Through communication, learning, thought and experience we can increase our sensitivity to and awareness of right and wrong; expand our empathy and strengthen our solidarity with other humans or, in fact, other creatures.

    "Man with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest living creature, with his god-like intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system- with all these exalted powers- Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." – Charles Darwin It would not be a bad thing if, among other things, humans had bigger brains and smaller adrenaline glands. Thus, despite all of these excellent capabilities for living well together, we also have an innate capacity for anger, jealousy, violence, and tribalism.  We bear the stamp of our lowly origin. If flight school means education that enhances our ability to navigate and do less harm to others, then I am all for it.

    You say at the end of what I sampled, "Your options and preferences are limited by the nature of the machine you are piloting." True. Equipment is key. You get what get when you are born and you do not do anything to deserve it. You also cannot do much if anything about it. You can build on what you have but you cannot build much beyond the frame with which you were born. For example, some men can exercise and build an Adonis-like physique. Others can exercise so that they are very strong and fit but will still have a relatively slender appearance.

    I mean something deterministic like this when I say that you are your brain. The brain you get does your thinking and your processing and your deciding. You cannot be any smarter than you were born to be. Also, thoughts just pop into your head so that you become aware of them. But you do not consciously originate the thoughts. I am staring to make an argument against free will now and I do not mean to go too far from where we started. I will just jump to my conclusion then that we do not have free will, just the appearance of it. Much the same way that humans/the world are/is not intelligently designed but do/does have the appearance of it.

    To reiterate then, no god, no soul, no free will, no religion for me, please. Flight school is OK, as long as it is a secular school with no supernatural/divine instruction and no bible or new testament as required reading.

  23. dennis ecker says:

    I think the statement below holds so true for the Roman Catholic Church.

    "The further backward you look, the further forward you can see."

                                                                                   Winston Churchill

    I along with many others see a very bleak future.

                                                                                   Dennis Ecker

    • KenW says:

      Churchill was wrong. Mindsets like your own have the naive public looking for pedophelia where it is not, while unaware or apathetic of where pedophelia is. That is my biggest problem with mindsets like yours. I believe….rather….I KNOW that mindest is extremely dangerous. That mindset is also offensive to the legions of abuse victims outside of Catholic circles. 

  24. Publion says:

    Learned-Counsel comes up with a response – but “not because it took me all night and this morning to formulate a response but because I now have the chance and inclination”. Of course – and the rather lengthy delay in coming up with the prior response, then, was merely that he had neither the “chance” nor the “inclination” for quite a while. Sure.

    I think L-C misses a key point: I am not “critically teasing” him. I am personally convinced that he is not what he claims to be at all and that his material demonstrates nothing to controvert that conclusion.  When I take the time with him it is neither to show off nor to convert/convince him but simply to use whatever is useful in the material he throws up in the service of highlighting this or that bit for readers.

    We are then treated to a spate of mimicking my own usages without making any useful input at all.

    Then four paragraphs of quotation from my own comment. Apparently he is not familiar with the concept of commenting-on rather than simply copying; nor competent in being able to extract the gravamen of concepts from a text and accurately re-state it for his purposes.

    And after all that, what does he say?

    He agrees that there is a common human … something: “There is a common, in the sense of typical or usual or normal, human nature. (There are also plenty of people on the spectrum of defect and extremes, like psychopaths and sociopaths, etc.) The rules spring from the nature of the human beings themselves. And we just want to flourish”.

    But is he saying that humans have a constitutive human nature, common to all humans? Or is he simply saying that there is a “typical” or “usual” or “normal” spectrum along which we observe certain similar behaviors?

    It appears that he agrees when he then says that “the rules spring from the nature of the human beings themselves”.

    In fact, he then goes and defines the apparent core of human nature: “we just want to flourish”. So a) he apparently has agreed to the existence of a common human nature. But then b) he reduces it to – in a marvelous bit of juvenilia – a desire (“we all just want to flourish”).

    But now L-C has painted himself into this corner: we all want to ‘flourish’; but in order to define ‘flourish’ we have to know things like What is the human being designed for and In what does ‘flourishing’ then consist? How do you define the content of ‘flourishing’? Or does he want to head down the Sartre slope: the essence of the human is to be free which means having the freedom to have freedom and being free enough to choose to be free … ?

    For that matter, if he hasn’t answered the questions at the core of this Question, then how does he or anybody know (let alone have the authority) to classify some persons as having “defects” and “extremes”? How does he have the knowledge or authority to classify persons as perhaps being “psychopaths and sociopaths”? If we don’t know the core and the core purpose, how do we identify the defects and extremes?

    He simply defines it all his way: An “innate sense of right and wrong” is simply presumed to be something that “normal, typical, well-developed” people “have” – it’s just part of the wallpaper and you shouldn’t bother asking how it got there. We humans just sort of “evolved” them – well, actually he gives us a two-fer here: we not only a) evolved the having of them, but also b) evolved the ability for self-aware self-perception that enables us to see that we have them.

    Once again we see a stupendously deep reliance on “evolution” here: it is now – and unquestionably – to be accepted as the source of both an innate sense of goodness and of the capacity for moral self-awareness. And yet the profound – almost abyssal – difference between the non-human fauna and the human being is so qualitatively different from or beyond the merely mammalian as to require very substantial and very detailed demonstration of how all this just ‘evolved’, and it is hardly sufficient to leave all of this profoundly abyssal developmental gap to conjecture and assertion, no matter how wittily or snarkily expressed.

    He is “all for it” if Flight School helps us to “navigate and do less harm to others” … And to himself as well? How does he then mesh his apparent embrace of personal-autonomy and human-flourishing with the strictures placed on the individual pilot from any of the three levels of authority, but especially from the third level (i.e. emanating from the nature of the aircraft and the fundamental and essential laws of “Physics” themselves)?

    Does he actually realize what is he saying here?

    We as a species “have flourished all over the world”. Have we? In all dimensions of human existence and human-being? Or just in those aspects that are materially obvious? What is the definition of ‘flourishing’ – especially if one hasn’t established what the core nature and purpose of the human being is?

    And where does the human “innate capacity for anger, jealousy, violence, and tribalism” come from? Is he claiming that we started off sunk in this mire, and then simply ‘evolved’ beyond it? And are all the other fauna still, then, mired in “anger, jealousy, violence and tribalism” because they haven’t ‘evolved’ as much as humans have? If all the lower fauna are thus so profoundly and vitally flawed, then on what grounds do we worry about keeping them around?

    Or is there some magical tipping point where animals can’t be held morally responsible for their gross flaws? But where is that point? When was it reached by humans? How do we find it, identify it, explain it? Whence the ‘moral’ dimension that humans have and the flawed-fauna do not?

    Are we also thus to presume that the morally flawed fauna are not flourishing and haven’t flourished? Why- then again – keep them around?

    The Hitchens-evolution-personal autonomy-flourishing theory raises an awful lot more questions than answers. Can it answer those questions?

    Neatly, L-C tries to make a case for the determinism of the ‘aircraft’ by using merely physical examples: some people can’t ever attain “an Adonis-like physique” just because of their bad luck at birth. But the realm of human nature and character are not so physically-limited: can one develop one’s character and improve one’s basic functioning patterns? Can one rise beyond one’s ‘background’ or ‘birthground’? It would seem so.

    This won’t help L-C who is trying to work toward a profound determinism: there is no such thing as character; you are what you are and will always be that not only physically but in all other respects.

    And this determinism would only intensify if ‘we are our brain’ and nothing more. Is there no non-material dimension to the human-being and the human-self at all? There can’t be if you are going to rely utterly on material-based ‘evolution’ as the only developmental dynamic in history. (And yet too: just how much ‘development’ are we seeing here? We have ‘evolved’ into … determinism? This is somehow Progress?)

    And L-C concludes by yet again changing his position: Flight-School is OK as long as there is no god and religion and so on and so forth. But if there isn’t, then what is there that makes the human self and the human being so remarkable. And how to rationally and coherently explain it? Surely not by the mantra-like dependence on the bumper-sticker of ‘evolution’. Look where it gets us here.

    L-C ends up being a kid who isn’t going to eat vegetables. And if it is demonstrated that his anti-vegetable rationale is largely and substantially insufficient then he will simply fold his arms, sit there with his mouth closed, and not eat vegetables whether he can rationally explain it or not.

    Fair enough. Maybe you can get a degree for it at Harvard.

  25. Delphin says:

    Nary a Catholic in sight-




    Hope they consult with the Catholic Church for an effective way to crush the deviants-

  26. Delphin says:

    Perhaps the newly-formed Churchill fans (because we can pretty sure they hated everything else about the man before today) should look way back to paganism, when children and minors (and women) were nothing more than expendable tools for the sexual and murderous deviancy that prevailed prior to Christianity.

    How far back shall we look? Perhaps to the atheist Communists and Nazi's, where, in one generation, millions slowly perished in "camps", when not lucky enough to be outright slaughtered (including Christian religious)?

    I can't seem to stop looking back, as I drive into the "stupidity" wall I've constructed from my "logic".

    • jim robertson says:

      Princess you don't have to look as far back as pagan times, Catholics owned men, women and children right here in the good old USA.  Less than 150 or so years ago. Now that's morality.

    • jim robertson says:

      What "newly formed Churchill fans"? I'm the only one who dislikes Churchill here as far as I know.

      That's the lapse of logic we count on from you and you never fail to deliver.

      Dennis Ecker believes in God.

      L.C. and I don't. Try and remember that.

  27. LearnedCounsel says:

    In publicly publion's last post, he makes most of his comments with a "could-he-really" tone. Funny though, the answer is a resounding Yes every time. Evolution delivers it all. Nothing separates us from the animals. There is nothing extra in humans. I am a materialist. I am also a determinist – there is no Fate though, just brains making thoughts that we do not control. There is nothing that makes human beings "remarkable." I assume this was another of your disbelieving slightly sarcastic questions, though you did not mark it with a "?."

    Just like people cannot change their bodies much beyond the frame that they have from birth, they also cannot change their character much. Recall the saying, "That which I would not do, I do and that which I would do, I do not." It is expressive of the human condition, no control. You only react to conditions. Free will is an illusion. You sound silly for not hearing the irony in saying that we have free will because the boss gave it to us.

    Call yourself a plant if you wish. I think that you are much more than that. You are an African ape like me. And we will both die and return to the matter from which we came. And you and I will have all of the consciousness that we had before we were born. None.When the party is over, it is lights out. Too bad. This life is so much more precious when you know that it is all you will ever have. Now, eat your vegetables and enjoy. The boss insists.

    • jim robertson says:

      Beautifully said, L.C.

    • dennis ecker says:

      Yes Jim, I still believe that there is a God, although my belief in him has been tested many times.

      The point I do want to make here is though I surmise that princess, publion and josie also believe in God, I think if they truly had their way I would be casted out as a heathen or sinner and sent straight to hell because I do not believe or think the way they do. Similar to the way they have treated you because you choose to live your life your way.

      Thank You for showing me respect in my belief, something I would not receive from the other three who call themselves christians.


  28. Delphin says:

    I must agree with the 7:54 pro-evolution post, with one caveat; liberals/atheists apparently did evolve and conservatives/believers were the creation of a glorious and loving God.

    Totally works for me.

  29. Publion says:

    Well, we are now advised that L-C is a “materialist” and “also a determinist”. Glad to see that’s on the table. But it’s his preference; he hasn’t really been able to answer many of the questions that flow from the position he prefers; it remains a preference, not a philosophically-explained position.

    My purpose was to draw out as much philosophical material as I could in this exchange, for the sake of the readership. It’s certainly not my intention to ‘convert’ L-C, either philosophically or theologically. He can prefer to his heart’s content (which, presuming his claimed educational background, seems to satisfy the basic requirements of the Harvard Philosophy Department.

    But now that he has come to it outright and admits his thorough-going materialism and determinism, then that does account for my “could-he-really” bits: I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt that he was not given to that preference, and that by asking the (many) questions I did it meant jog a philosophically-trained mind into further exertions. But that is not to be and that’s as may be.

    St. Paul, however, is dragooned into this: the evil he wishes to avoid he does, and the good he wishes to do he does not. However Paul then goes on – at rather great length – to see what he can make of this confounding tendency in being-human. And thus comes to realize that with grace and the willpower to sustain an openness to grace then there’s a lot you can do with yourself in terms of growing-toward your better or more ideal or Echt or Christ-like self. On the purely neurological level, this is most likely connected to the brain’s ability to actually develop new pathways at any age in life; but to sustain that effort to work-toward God one also has to act-in and cooperate-with that Beyond as its energies interact with the willing human self (or soul, if you wish). It’s amazing what a relationship can achieve, especially a relationship with the Beyond and with grace.

    “No control” in “the human condition”? How then hold people responsible for their actions? Are they not then merely fauna that have no control over their thoughts, their actions, or themselves? In such a world, only the brute police-coercive power of Leviathan can impose any sort of order at all – what sort of polity will result from that? Surely not a democratic one, nor one committed to limited-government … why limit a government Leviathan that is the only source of ‘control’? Perhaps there were no political philosophy courses required at Harvard. Perhaps the (claimed) law-school had no faculty who could connect the dots. Whatever the case, clearly L-C hasn’t done any of that work on his own. Or if he has connected those dots, the results haven’t impressed him as worthy of concern. I could recommend trying some trial work as a defense counsel – but that type of work, apparently, doesn’t fall within the purview of the type of attorney L-C also claims to be.

    Life need not at all be considered “precious” when “it is all you have”. Many respond to that thought with a nihilistic shapelessness. Whence this happy-face presumption that if life is all there is then human beings will automatically become even more cheeribly attached to it? Why and how presume that materialism and determinism leads to the happy-face rather than to Hobbes?

    And not only for this and that particular individual, but for whole societies and cultures and peoples. What happens when entire collectivities are brought to the edge of such an abyss? Nor is life now or in any hypothetical materialist-determinist future characterizable as a “party”; that’s sort of the collegiate bong-session consolation that doesn’t have the chops to face either the challenges of the high glare of noon or the dark of the deep-night.

    Anyhoo, it’s L-C’s preference and he’s welcome to it. It is not my preference, and in his material here he has convinced me neither a) of its capacity to explain itself and all of the problems it has assumed as a philosophical option nor b) of his own ability to explain philosophically how he has come to embrace it and what value it holds for human-beings trying to conduct a life. It can deconstruct, but it can’t construct – relying instead on vague mantra-like presumptions to plaster over the holes in its thought. And to hold together as a bridge over the abysses of human existence it offers no grounds for confidence at all.

    Perhaps his embrace is not at core philosophical in the first place. Again, that goes beyond any concerns here.

  30. dennis ecker says:


    My mindset is only dangerous to you because I and many survivors represent alot of things in your world, and one of those things you think is dangerous is CHANGE.

    Now to quote another famous saying and I believe is true, is that you and your church "Have done nothing but awoken a sleeping giant." and the fact that the catholic church has turned many into victims we have fought back without any help from your church and turned ourselves into survivors, and that HAS been noticed by others of abuse by speaking out.

    • josie says:



      Ignorance is a danger-idle threats are too. I have already reported to various parties to watch out for the threats that seem to permeate your comments from time to time, maybe depending on the amount of agitation you are experiencing. 


      As far as so-called victims speaking out–. Huh? All I read is the same 'ol stuff from the same 'ol so called victims on tired blogs that noone reads. People have so moved on -I am out and about and involved with a lot of activities in all areas of life. You are just stuck in nothing.


      I think it would be great if you tried to better educate yourself (even with some basic English) in a lot of areas that may enhance your life somewhat.  

    • KenW says:

      Dennis, you are not only wrong, you are twisting my words and intent and you are lying. It is obvious that you have not been in a Catholic parish and experienced the dynamic for yourself for a very long time. 

      Your mindset is not dangerous to me personally, and it is not dangerous to the Catholic Church. Your mindset IS dangerous to current society and her children as whole, because it diverts attention away from where pedophelia currently is, and towards where pedophelia currently is not. Your rhetoric in this very comments section proves this. At the top of this page are 2 -proven- pedophiles, living and breathing and still among us, and you have not said one word about either of them! I can give you scores more, if you care (you don't). 

      The devil LOVES diversion,[edited by moderator]

  31. LearnedCounsel says:

    publicly publion, you fail to acknowledge a key point and so let make it here. When one thinks as I do or anywhere near like i do, religious thinking like your paragraph beginning "St. Paul .  .   ." just makes no sense. Talk of the "Beyond" and grace is babble. You are reading fiction and then applying made-up things in real life. Thus, many of your wonderings are just that, wonderings, and many of your questions are not worth answering. Fortify and sooth yourself with your imagination-based philosophy and so called theology, if you like.

    Life is precious.  I would think that this would go without explanation, especially to a catholic. But maybe this is news to publicly publion. Proper catholics are supposed to be pro-life. Certainly, this must be at least in part be because life IS precious, even the life of an unborn child. (btw "unborn child," a real concept in my opinion) Alas, perhaps, the pro-life movement has not yet reached publicly publion's geography. Or maybe he is not pro-life and maybe he doubts that life is precious. He may want me to firm up his doubts about the preciousness and value of life. Sure, he may figure, "if the godless can think that life is precious, then L-C must have encountered some really persuasive arguments." "L-C should state these persuasive arguments to me that I may know them! And if he cannot or will not then I will assume that he knows nothing about anything. I will taunt him that he is not learned at all," publicly publion perhaps bellows in the warm glow of his monitor.

     Life is precious because I enjoy it and I appreciate that so many people do not get the chance to enjoy it or not for very long. You and yours can look gleefully past this life to the end of this veil of tears and to the glorious next world that awaits only the virtuous believers.

    " .  .  .  in his material here he has convinced me neither a) of its capacity to explain itself and all of the problems it has assumed as a philosophical option nor b) of his own ability to explain philosophically how he has come to embrace it and what value it holds for human-beings trying to conduct a life."

    I know this sounds a bit cras but what do you care? Oh, at the end, you acknowledge, "That goes beyond any concerns here."  Then, why write such things? Perhaps, my preferred philosophical outlook holds no value for human-beings. So what? I am not selling anything. No value proposition needed. I sometimes do not go beyond using labels to describe my thinking, e.g. materialist. If you know what I mean, great. If you do not know, then, well, you do not. I cannot be bothered. Go look it up. Do you own study. I am commenting.

    You have set yourself up as the educator here, writing for the benefit of everyone else. You claim to be producing scholarly work. I, however, see your work as apologetics and propaganda. Your fans love it. No problem. Keep it up. At least your bias, though extreme, is no secret.  You can throw around terms like "Beyond" and grace and the fans are right there with you. No explanation needed. You can talk about catholic theology like it is a fact. None of them will question you or even ask you to explain. Certainly, I will not ask. Enjoy.

  32. Delphin says:

    Condescension is so effective- DO use that tone in both the courtroom and the classroom, it'll get you far (as in "away"). Other than that, you should forcefully plant it where the sun probably does shine all too frequently.

    It is so clear to TMR posters that Publion ate your lunch. At times, though, as a faithful Christian observers, it has been hard to watch the relentless pummeling. There is a valuable lesson in there for you and other liberals, though – respect your intellectual and moral superiors.

    Clearly neither philosophy nor law are your strong suits, perhaps you should consider another handle (and certainly, perhaps another occupation?), one that fits better, such as, AtheistBigot, LegalWannabee or PhiloNot?

    Trying not to actually laugh out loud……

  33. Publion says:

    At 834AM commenter Ecker now assumes not only a Wig but a uniform (or costume, at least): revealing a sudden and unfamiliar familiarity with the history of World War 2 – or at least a 3×5 card from somewhere and somebody – Ecker now casts himself as the American leadership after Pearl Harbor as he (partially) quotes Admiral Yamamoto’s (alleged) ominous reflection after discovering that a) the attack on Pearl took place before the formal declaration of war was delivered to the US government and b) the American carriers were not in port during the attack and were thus undamaged and loose somewhere in the Pacific: “I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant” (in the 2001 movie  Pearl Harbor)  or “I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve” (in the 1970 movie Tora! Tora! Tora!).

    The screenwriter from the 2001 film admitted he adapted it from script of the 1970 movie, and the screenwriter of the 1970 movie said he sort of made up what he thought Yamamoto would have felt, even if he didn’t actually say it.

    Ecker has now created a vision in which he stars as the entire American leadership (perhaps graciously sharing that top-hero-billing with ‘all victims’ – genuine and/or otherwise) and the Church is cast as the nasty and sleazy Imperial Japanese government and the Imperial Japanese Navy. Woe betide the nasties now – Admiral of the Full Wig Ecker will soon take the fleet to sea. Perhaps the Pope is Emperor Hirohito and … you see where this sort of thing can go.

    Neatly though, it may finally mean something close to a highly-accomplished military career for JR, who will no doubt be assigned to the command of one of the great carriers as Wig-Captain of the First Class.

    All hands to Wig Stations and break-out the reserve popcorn supply.

  34. Delphin says:

    "Democrats, Liberals, Atheists, statutory rapers/abusers, paroled serial rapists and You, Perfect Together"  in LA, Land of Arses-


  35. Delphin says:

    "Now to quote another famous saying and I believe is true…"Have done nothing but awoken a sleeping giant." and the fact… has turned many into victims we have fought back without any help…and turned ourselves into survivors, and that HAS been noticed by others of abuse by speaking out"

    Ditto, as pertains to the persecuted Church.

    • jim robertson says:

      What "persecuted Church"?

      Being held accountable for criminal actions is not a persecution.


  36. Publion says:

    Learned-Counsel (who is no more “public” about his identity than I am – and perhaps for good reason) reports now that he has just (at this late date?)  isolated a “key point” that I “have failed to make”: I talk of the ‘Beyond’ and of ‘grace’ and that – to him – “is just babble”.  And “fiction”.

    Well, I would look at it this way: explaining the dynamics of radio-communications to disappointed cargo-cult natives in order to help them understand why their deeply-invested efforts to talk into coconuts attached to vines aren’t bringing the great silver birds and the big canoes … would seem like “babble” to them, surely. But is that essentially a problem for the laws of radio-communication or for the aforementioned disappointed natives?

    L-C has spoken about his preferred universe of discourse, limited as it is – to use my terminology – to the Monoplane of Materialism and Determinism and to the merely this-worldly Plane of Existence (PoE).

    In the spirit of philosophical exchange and examination, I have tried to a) demonstrate some of the rather substantial problems which his approach doesn’t seem able to deal-with effectively while b) pointing out (without trying to get ‘preachy’) that the Multiplanar Vision (of, in this case, the Roman Catholic version of the Christian approach) can handle and has handled those vital Questions far more effectively.

    There is no way for him to demonstrate conclusively that the Gospel or the New Testament material is “fiction”.  Even Pascal realized that and figured the wisest thing a human could do when confronted with the challenge of belief in the Beyond is to bet on it. Nor – having read his various takes on how ‘evolution’ somehow and mysteriously but unquestionably and indubitably has been responsible for whatever  progress humanity has achieved – can we avoid the thought that ‘evolution’ requires as much belief and even more conjecture than religious-faith. Everything he has given us here requires as much if not more “imagination” (with no coherent rational analysis accompanying it) than the comprehensive system of Catholic philosophy (buttressed rationally by theological insight) that he seems to think is the real fantasy parading around on the field here.

    Thus it certainly seems to me that his insistent but apparently philosophically inexplicable death-grip on ‘evolution’ (and secularist Monoplane determinism and materialism) seems far more of an effort to hold a teddy-bear tight to make the boo-boos and boo-hoos  go away.

    The question isn’t whether life is precious. The question is Why is life “precious” to a materialist or a determinist? On what basis would a determinist and materialist coherently ground that assertion?  Or has L-C simply tried some happy-face version of Thomas Jefferson’s gambit: to see if he can get the (Monoplane) bennies of the Christian Vision without having to go for all Multiplane stuff (i.e. the Beyond, the supernatural, the workings of grace through sacraments, the sacramentality of Creation and of human-existence itself)? This is like saying that all these Ford automobiles ‘evolved’ and that there never was a Henry Ford and you don’t need any ‘Fordist’ approach for these nice thingies to keep coming and keep working. Or – again – like saying that you can fly an aircraft any way you want to and that you don’t need no stinkin’ laws-of-aerodynamics classes to do it successfully.

    So … No, you can’t just presume “without explanation” that “life is precious”. The whole idea of philosophical inquiry is precisely not to leave presumptions unexamined. Especially when you are trying to use that presumption to dismiss without further ado a major world-shaping philosophical system that has been a profound fundament of Western civilization for millennia. And if you want to dispute that claim, then be prepared to deal with historical fact as well as rationally coherent analysis and thinking.

    In a world with no real freedom (how does a materialist and a determinist also manage to feel ‘free’ – without violating the coherence of his/her position?) then it is equally rational for a person to lose all interest in life since it offers no real opportunity to develop or to achieve.  In fact, given the role of the human emotional need for Meaning, then the embrace of materialism and determinism abyssally limits the possibilities for any genuine freedom whatsoever. Unless – as I said – one goes Sartre’s route and simply embraces a content-less and shapeless ‘freedom’ and figures to build and sustain a human life and a society, culture and civilization on such a vaporous and empty mental construct.

    Dragooning the “pro-life” bit won’t work at all here. Catholics are “pro-life” and believe life is indeed precious, and they can explain why: because they are made in the Image of God who sustains them with His grace and remains faithful to them even when they so frequently fail the responsibilities and gifts latent in that Image. Whereas L-C has no explanation for why life is or should be precious; and – as I said – for a materialist and a determinist, such an decision to opt for life’s preciousness  can be nothing more than a preference – because it is not a rational consequence of that materialist and determinist philosophy. I didn’t say I was not pro-life; I pointed out that L-C’s assertion that life should simply be presumed to be precious despite the materialism and determinism and evolutionary complications could not be guaranteed – or even expected – to generally and reliably result in the conclusion that life is precious.

    So his pro-life paragraph dissolves into irrelevance here. Had he not noticed that difficulty when he was thinking-through his comment before composing it?

    And I would say that “the godless” (or individuals here and there among that group) may personally prefer to believe that life is precious, but they can’t explain why that would be or should precious. Nor can they explain why anyone should hold tightly to that belief when things get tough. Nor can they explain why persons who don’t prefer to believe that life is precious should be considered ‘wrong’ or not-normal. “The godless” here -  those who have locked themselves and seek to lock everyone else into the Monoplane – have nothing but their preferences from a pick-and-choose Rube-Goldberg vision of life and the world, which they cannot explain and can only assert as a preference which cannot be questioned.

    And then consider their consequent that’s-my-story-and-I’m-sticking-to-it stance and their take-it-or-leave it stance to be some form of bold and creative and forthright and heroic Stance in the face of fuddy-duddy Shape and Order imposed merely on the whims of those who are less imaginative and adventurous and creative and those who are mediocre and those who are nothing but oppressively manipulative and hegemonic. This manages to be both elitist and adolescently dismissive and delusional simultaneously.

    I am inferring from the quality of L-C’s material – the thinking and coherence and sufficiency (or lack of the foregoing) evinced through that material – that he doesn’t have the philosophical chops one would legitimately expect from having Majored in the subject at an elite university. Ditto the law-school material. Whether L-C “knows nothing about anything” is not a global surmise that I have ever made.

    Thus the bit about ‘bellowing into my monitor’ also dissolves into irrelevance. Again.

    If life is only precious because (and for as long as?) one can “enjoy it” – then we are dealing with a childish vision that will not be able to stand the challenges posed by human-existence. Adulthood requires sterner stuff and you don’t need to be a practicing Catholic to realize that. Persons heading into life with nothing but ‘enjoyment’ as their guide are going to wind up greatly disappointed or deranged (in order to keep up some sense – any sense – of enjoyment).

    And if they ever get into a position where others rely on them for training into the living of a human life, then it can easily be seen how things are not going to work out well all around.

    L-C may not be “selling anything” but he is claiming something – and doing so in such a way as to demean or undermine the beliefs of others on the basis of what he insists on sharing about what he believes (which theoretically justifies his dismissal of the Catholic and generally Multiplanar belief vision). His embraced and preferred position seemed to offer a fine opportunity to engage the general thinking behind it, for the benefit of other readers. Since most of what L-C says is floating around out in the secularist Monoplane – he himself relies rather heavily on quotations from some of the paragons of that position – then it seemed to be a useful thing to do.

    And where have I ever claimed to be “producing scholarly work” here? Or is L-C, like some other commenter on this site, suddenly addressing phantasms hovering in the air near his keyboard while tap-tap-tapping out a comment to me?

    I had not set myself up as a teacher. I had figured to engage a philosophically-trained individual – with the added heft of a law-school education and the professional chops of a practicing attorney – and through whatever would come from such an exchange, to offer the readership some useful material for further thought.

    That I found myself dealing with a mentality that more resembled a high-school student in a cafeteria or a cargo-cult native was not something I planned. In fact I had been assured at the outset that I would be dealing with a rather different level of competence entirely.  But it turns out that I was deliberately misinformed: as the rest of L-C’s comment demonstrates rather well on its own.

  37. jim robertson says:

    Pub is always leaving the conversation in his huff mobile. Huff, he goes: "I expected better".

  38. Publion says:

    In regard to JR’s latest: it’s something not so far from persecution if the “criminal actions” have not been proved and yet the government presses ahead continually. We recall the Reich’s prosecution of an entire community of brothers in Bavaria on charges of sexual deviance. The pretext: the brothers ran a hospital for seriously ill and disabled children; they had to wash the patients; the Reich claimed that each time any brother washed a patient, it was a case of deviant sexual abuse. The Bavarian public didn’t buy it and Hitler’s government quietly dropped the matter.

    In regard to JR’s bit concerning my most recent comment to Learned-Counsel: where is it evident that I left the conversation “in a huff”? Was there exaggerated formatting? Were there expletives? Did I insist that I was never coming back because my interlocutor was “immoral”? Now that would be leaving “in a huff” and JR has done all of those things.

    Where is it even evident that I was “leaving” the conversation?

  39. LearnedCounsel says:

    "For the benefit of other readers," should be publicly puerile publion's ("3p" hereinafter) slogan because he has stated over and over again that he magnanimously writes for this purpose. He assumes that his words and his analysis improve the other readers. He does not write to express himself or to voice his opinion. He does not write to argue and to criticize. He writes for your benefit because if he writes it, you benefit. And you need his help, by the way, that is the necessary implication. If you did not, then surely you would not benefit. Sounds like holding yourself up as an educator to me.

    Indeed, some, like Brutus Delphinius, do need help and have become rooting, cheering fans of the unsolicited aid of 3p. When CCD writes an aside to say what a gift 3p is and suggest to him that he should be a college professor (memba' that one) he does nothing to discourage this over-the-top water-carrying praise. Did he ask for it? No. But he does nothing to stop it. It is the same sort of thing with Brutus Delphinius. 3p does not usually write the imbecilic, sordid sorts of things that Brutus Delphinius writes but he does not do anything to distance himself from these awful things either. In fact, 3p often aligns himself with certain bits of things that Brutus Delphinius writes. If this is denied, I will go back and grab the examples of 3p supporting Brutues Delphinius' statements.

    Switching gears but still on the same last post. Pascal's Wager? Or you would say Pascal's Gambit? Immoral. What sort of god would accept someone hedging a bet? This bit is very weak on your part but it is what I have come to expect from you once I get through the sometimes blinding recitation of back story about who is what character in an old war movie. Somewhere in another part of town, Brutus Delphinius is reading 3p's previous comment and cheering with a mouthful of meat sandwich, "Go, publion, Pascal, yea! Eat his lunch!" Hey, that is your fan not mine and you have written nothing to distance yourself from him.

    On the theme of tired and tried, you bring up the how do you get a Ford truck without a Henry Ford. You bore me, baby, and you show that you really have not done much work around a position like mine. This Ford analogy that you bring up is, you say, the flight school in another form but it does seem slightly different to me beyond the swap of planes for cars. Be that as it may, both analogies are the Watchmaker Analogy in form. Basically, the argument states that design implies a designer. The analogy is really common in the so called Argument from Design or Teleological Argument, where it has been called on to support arguments for the existence of god and for the smuggled-through-customs intelligent design, fka creationism.

    The most famous statement of the teleological argument using the watchmaker analogy was given by William Paley in his 1802 book Natural Theology. So that is pretty new. Slightly more recently, Richard Dawkins referred to the analogy in his 1987 book The Blind Watchmaker: Why Evidence Reveals a Universe without Design giving his explanation of evolution. Dawkins says, "Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker." The basic idea of The Blind Watchmaker is that we do not need to postulate a designer in order to understand life, or anything else in the universe. Things in nature maybe "apparently purposeful" but that is it. They are not purposeful. Why do cows exist? I will give you a hint: It is not to praise god with their cow-ness. They have no purpose. That they exist is good enough. Planes, cars, watches, computers are intelligently designed and do have purposes. Animals, plants, people do not have a purpose. We were not on earth in the past and we may not be in the future. We are not necessary.

    Near the end of the 3p comment we get, "L-C may not be “selling anything” but he is claiming something – and doing so in such a way as to demean or undermine the beliefs of others on the basis of what he insists on sharing about what he believes .  .  ." Hurt feelings? You are claiming that I am hurting people's feelings? Now, who sounds childish? “Waaaah! Stop saying that there is no supernatural dimension. Sniff. You can't prove that!” True. And you cannot prove that it does exist.

    Finally with regard, then, to all of 3p's "questions" about evolution, they are all argument from personal incredulity. “How can that be? Seems crazy to think that  . . . is possible?” All those questions show is that you do not know. It does not follow that I need to explain. It also does not follow that there really is a mystery there. You just do not know. That is all. And the only people who think that those are winning points by you are other people who do not know, the fellowship of the willfully ignorant.



  40. Delphin says:

    The only "imbicillic and sordid" writings appearing on this site, lately, have been from the imposter LearnedCounsel (grad asst, maybe?) attempting to razzle-dazzle the adults with his newly-acquired "brilliance". You struggle with the material that is obviously familiar (quite well-worn) in both language and concept (not "new sneakers" as in your case) to Publion. Know your place, please. Publion doesn't need a cheerleader anymore than do your cohorts (you all know who they/you are), who regularly embarass themselves with their outrageous emotional outbursts, threats and dishonesty.

    What, actually, have you brought to the debate, besides your humoungous, self-engrandizing Ego?

    Nothing. Yawn

    Your namecalling bears no sting, has no more weight or effect than a toddler calling an adult a "poopy-head". But, in a pinch, upon realization that you've lost the debate (and a lot of "face"- even if it is anonymous), it's all you have left. It is the Left's last trump card-

    Sticks and Stones, baby.


  41. TheMediaReport.com says:

    Thank you for your comments, everyone.

    We are closing this thread.


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