New Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput says he isn’t likely to change his mind about creating a window to allow some past victims of sexual abuse by priests to file lawsuits after the statute of limitations in their cases has expired.I realize this isn’t exactly “man bites dog” stuff, but it’s important to get Chaput (pronounced “shay-poo,” I think) on the record here. And this sounds a little like that stunt he pulled when he was the Denver Archbishop here – namely, supporting the extension of the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of minors for civil lawsuits, but only if it included public schools (and I was not able to find any evidence of clerical abuse in public schools in that archdiocese; by adding the public schools, though, it would sink the extension since the teachers’ union would protest…I would argue that Chaput knew that would happen).
Chaput, in a discussion Thursday with the Inquirer Editorial Board, said statutes of limitations exist for sound legal reasons, and that exceptions should not be made just to allow litigation against the Catholic Church.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…
The rise of government surveillance is a troublesome legacy of the September 11 attacks. Today, video cameras are visible everywhere in public places, recording people’s every move. But what about spying that can’t be spotted?Also, here is more in the annals of this country’s disintegration into a police state regardless of which political party is in charge (looks like this new “rule” says that federal agencies can lie about FOIA requests…doesn’t exactly sound “hopey changey” to me). And for more, here is an entire listing of related stories from the New York Times.
Ten years after 9/11, new questions are being raised about what the US government is secretly doing on the internet and through satellites, using the Patriot Act and other national security law as justification.
Two American senators with access to top-secret intelligence raised the alarm in May, suggesting that the invasion of law-abiding Americans’ privacy was being carried out clandestinely - and that people would be shocked if they knew the extent.
“I want to deliver a warning this afternoon,” Senator Ron Wyden said on May 26 during a Senate debate. “When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry.”
Exactly what activities US agencies are carrying out remains unclear. Senator Wyden and Senator Mark Udall - also on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence - have been unable to elaborate on their accusations because of official secrecy law.
However, observers surmise that ordinary people may be caught up in an electronic dragnet searching for terrorists. Civil liberties advocates suggest that intelligence and law-enforcement agencies may be reading and cataloguing people’s e-mails in databases, as well as tracking their mobile phone locations.
I’m glad the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd touched on this as a reason for protest in their first official statement here, quite rightly pointing out that our governmental/industrial complex has “sold our privacy as a commodity.”
Funny, Jack Bogle doesn't look like any of the members of Occupy Wall Street we've been seeing on television.Bogle basically invented mutual fund investing in index funds, claiming that index funds would outperform actively managed funds over time (the success of his company is a testimony to his strategy). He was also a rebel in the sense that the success or failure of Vanguard (more the former than the latter) was based on the performance of its mutual funds (he was fired from Wellington Management for trying to implement this kind of a business model – again, he was proved to be right). So basically, he has always been a bit of a rebel, as well as a visionary; to me, it’s not a bit surprising that he “gets” the Occupy movement.
I can't picture the legendary founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group, clad in Brooks Brothers suit, adjacent to City Hall, or as one of the 50 who were arrested in Atlanta, not to mention those being sprayed with tear gas in Oakland. But that doesn't mean the Main Line patrician and capitalist icon is lacking in sympathy for some of their grievances. Bogle believes attention must be paid to their complaints.
While the messages coming from Occupy Wall Street often seem to lack cohesion, one mantra has been that the new economy so eloquently described by Bogle has created unprecedented income disparity. A report out Tuesday from the Congressional Budget Office detailed how, in the last three decades, "the share of after-tax household income for the top 1 percent of the population more than doubled, climbing to 17 percent in 2007 from nearly 8 percent in 1979."
So is Occupy Wall Street channeling Jack Bogle (who has analogized our financial economy to the childhood game of Rock, Paper, Scissors)? I e-mailed and asked him.
He replied, "I like the idea of the idealism, frustration, and even anger that the Occupy Wall Street movement represents. These (mostly) young citizens can see what their elders (mostly) cannot - that the financial system is responsible for much of the havoc wreaked on our economy, with the penalties paid not by the Wall Street (and Greenwich) financiers and executives who led and participated in the abuse, but by the taxpayers of our nation. That our savers, as a result, are earning close to zero on their hard-earned savings is just one more example of this economic drain and profound unfairness.
"So long as we have a First Amendment that guarantees the right of the people peaceably to assemble, their right to protest the inequities in our economic and financial system sends an important message to Wall Street: 'Attention must be paid!' In a world increasingly dominated by Goliaths, all those Davids together will make a difference."
And if you’re not bowled over by that, I give you this from David Zurawik…
I have had my disagreements with Keith Olbermann the last few years, but I have been watching in admiration lately as night after night he's covered the Occupy protest movement like no one else in the media.So let me get this straight – on the same day, Smerky indirectly compliments the “Occupy” protests with some reasonable perspective from John Bogle, and “Z on TV” compliments Keith Olbermann concerning the movement also?
I am surprised that he has not received more praise for getting to this major story before anyone else and understanding the massive sociology of it better than anyone yet.
Olbermann understands that Occupy Wall Street is an eruption of the pain millions of Americans are feeling. He sees it as the sign that it is of something deeply disturbing that has happened to the quality of American life and our ability to believe in the future any more.
And that is especially and heartbreakingly true for young adults who have paid their dues and gone to college only to discover there are no jobs for them. Those college students and young adults who were dancing in the streets on election night in 2008 after seeing TV coverage of Barack Obama in Grant Park are some of the same people sitting in tents in the cold and rain in American cities tonight. And no one in the media speaks to them and is telling their story like Keith Olbermann.
Olbermann has been telling their story every night while cable channels like CNN have been sending smug, superficial anchor-hosts like Erin Burnett down to the Occupy Wall Street encampment to ridicule those who are protesting. And they are doing it in empty-headed, right-wing, 1960's, pot-and-bongo-drum stereotype-think worthy of Spiro Agnew -- or Pat Buchanon (sp).
Color me shocked (and kudos to both pundits – nice to not have to dump on them for a change).
But of course, since we’re talking about the “Occupy” protests, you can always depend on Fix Noise to bring the wingnuttia (here)...
Tea Party groups across the nation are accusing local and state governments of a double standard – charging them fees to hold rallies in public parks, while allowing Occupy protesters to set up camp for free.In response, please allow me to point out that police violence has occurred against “Occupy” protests in New York City, Oakland, Arizona, Illinois, and even Australia (Mother Jones put together a complete list to date here – so far, 2,000 have been injured, including Iraq War vet Scott Olsen from Oakland, who suffered a fractured skull and brain swelling after he was allegedly hit in the head by a police projectile, as noted here).
“I find it extremely frustrating and upsetting,” said Colleen Owens, a spokesperson for the Richmond Tea Party. “It is definitely a slap in the face.”
Owens is demanding a refund of about $10,000 from the city of Richmond, claiming her group was charged for rallies at Kanawha Plaza but the Occupy protesters have not been charged.
“We’ve had to pay for the police, the sanitation, we had to pay for emergency personnel, and we event had to buy a $1 million liability policy,” Owens told Fox News.
She said it was unfair that the protesters have been allowed to essentially break the law by setting up camp in the city park.
“We’re trying to show this is unfair and biased treatment by the mayor and the city council,” she said. “Either force the occupiers to follow the law that’s on the books or evict them.”
And what if the city doesn’t administer the law equally?
“If they are not going to apply the law equally, then they should refund our money,” she said. “They’ve been camped out there for almost two weeks and they have not paid one dime. They are not being held accountable to follow the law, yet we were expected to follow the law.”
Memo to the Teahadists: if and when I see anything even remotely like this kind of commitment from you characters on behalf of income inequality (I can dream, can’t I?), I’ll be one of the first people to compliment you on it.
Otherwise, stop your sniveling and whining over registration fees (or whatever) and shut your respective pie holes.
Also, here is a letter on behalf of Gene Dolnick and Linda Palsky of the Pennsbury School Board, both running for re-election against Steve Kosmorsky and Chris Cridge, respectively (both minions of the dreaded Simon Campbell). And what would a recap of Bucks County politics be without more questionable dealings from Repug commissioner Charley (“I Have A Semi-Open Mind”) Martin (here – in response, click here to read about Dem commissioner candidates Diane Marseglia, Det Ansinn, and the rest of the slate from our party).
We need to get out and vote in support of all of these worthy Dems (or independents) on November 8th, people. We can’t turn back the Repug tide on the national level unless we manage to do it on the local level first.