The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Burn In Hell?

I am amused how many American conservative Catholics are now ignoring the official teachings of the church on the environment.

It is, I suppose, lucky for them that official teachings now define hell as “the absence of God’s love.”

But it’s good to know that they actually do believe that one can pick and choose teachings.  Given that this is the case, can we now just ignore them every time they talk about abortion or birth control?

I’ll have more on the Pope’s encyclical soon, most likely.


Push Is Coming to Shove with Greece


The American $10 Bill


  1. Today, for the first time, I ran across the term Cafeteria Catholicism. Apt, that.

  2. David Lentini

    Ian, while I understand and agree that many conservative Catholics are mistaken about the scientific case for global warming and particularly anthropogenic global warming, the Church has no “official teachings” on the subject. The Pope has expressed his concerns and elaborated on the scientific evidence in his encyclical. But Papal encyclicals are not infallible teachings, which can only apply to questions or faith or morals.

    In other words, the Pope’s encyclical is his opinion and nothing more. Sure, it’s a very important opinion, and must be considered by all&emdash;especially Catholics&emdash;very seriously. But it’s not an “official teaching” in any moral or doctrinal sense.

  3. guest

    Catholics anymore just believe whatever they want to believe, and it’s been that way for at least 20 or 30 years. I was raised in that religion and went to a catholic high school. I had several discussions with Catholics in Texas about what the church actually teaches. They were shocked and wouldn’t believe me. Then they started telling me about what christianity *really* was, meaning what it meant to them. Basically Catholics stay with their church out of family or ethnic tradition, and chose their beliefs a la carte. Some are even a lot like fundy protestants. As much as I thought the Catholic stuff was strange and incomprehensible growing up (stuff that freaks out or outrages protestants), I did not know anyone who took any of it seriously and just went thru the motions at mass, whereas the protestants got all freaky emotional and crying and speaking in tongues. Bleagh.
    Protestants either chose a church based on the preacher (those are the scary, icky ones), or they do like catholics and pick a protestant church (the mainline ones are pretty interchangeable, at least for most of the members) that is nearby and then chose what to believe separately.

  4. subgenius

    o come on, you are surprised by this shit? They haven’t been following any of the major themes in the conservative christian movement for decades…GS “doing God’s work”, invasions of foreign lands, no social or health care to speak of? Makes you wonder if the dumbshits ever actually READ their bible…

  5. The bible has only one part of the teachings of Catholicism.

  6. The utter cluelessness of Pope Francis is breathtaking. He is a man whose carbon footprint is ENORMOUS. It is probably bigger than all but (maybe) a thousand people on earth. Does he outline a plan for how he’s going to reduce his own “sins” against the planet? (Are you kidding?)

    The Catholic Church has thousands of extremely energy-wasting buildings that are used but a few hours per week. Does our Pope suggest how his institution can address this problem? (Nope!)

    The biggest problem facing the planet is a population explosion that has left us with over 7.2 BILLION people—all who would join the western middle classes in a heartbeat and the energy consumption that requires. And what does our Pope have to say about population control? (Crickets!) In fact, the Catholic position of population control is so backwards, it makes their positions on pedophilia look positively enlightened by comparison.

    People keep telling me that Jesuits are these freaking geniuses. If this Pope is any indication, Jesuits are drooling morons.

  7. Ian Welsh

    The Pope’s position on population control is bad, but most of the rest of what he says is good. Do you know how much food goes to waste in America? Do you get his point that a few industrialized countries, per capita, contribute far more to the problem? Do you understand that we massively overproduce what is needed, some people live lives of huge waste, while others don’t have enough, and that overproduction is a huge contributor to the problem?

    “you haven’t done enough yourself, so shut up about a problem that is likely to kill billions” is not a persuasive counter. I get that you despise Catholics and the Pope (please don’t pretend otherwise), but that the Pope has immeasurably improved on the prior implicit Catholic position is clear and it is sane, possible and useful to point out that while some is counterproductive (birth control), his overall position is a vast improvement.

  8. Trust me on this, I am just as hard on all the leisure class clowns who want to lecture us on the nature of climate change but refuse to admit that the problem is bigger than something that can be solved by finger-pointing. Yes there is a ton of waste. Anyone connected with the Vatican is already an expert on conspicuous waste. It’s what they do! However, it is also true that the vast majority of CO2 produced on this planet comes from activities that are necessary to sustaining life (heat homes, growing, harvesting and transporting food, etc.)

    There’s a Bible verse about casting out the beam in ones own eye to see clearly enough to cast out the mote in the neighbor’s eye. If someone is going to claim to be an expert on Christianity, it would be wise to know the basics.

    Pope Francis IS a huge improvement over the vast majority of his predecessors. That does not mean he is qualified to speak on how to reorganize a global society designed to run on fire.

  9. Lisa

    We GLBTI people, especially trans ones, watch these groups very carefully since they hate us totally and are one of our biggest and most threatening enemies. Simply put they want to eradicate us (the official position of the Catholic Church on trans people for example) .

    Trans people, more than other GLBTI group are the single most hated of all, particularly transwomen (transmen get a little bit more of a pass). The pope not long ago compared us to nuclear weapons. Where some churches (Southern Baptist, Catholic, etc) accept that LG people exist, but must never act on their desires, trans people do not exist as far as they are concerned.

    Brynn Tannehill is a superb trans communicator and has written on this phenomena in the US. For example (this is a must read):

    “How The Nonreligious ‘Nones’ Are Driving LGBT Equality in the U.S.
    A deep look inside a recent Pew Research survey hints at a link between antigay attitudes and declining religiosity. ”

    She makes the basic point of the difference between churches ‘official’ positions and what they support on the ground, their type of membership and what they will believe in (people always have and always will ‘cherry pick’):

    “This observation is factually correct, but it misses the bigger picture. Conservative faiths are holding steady while moderate progressive ones are shrinking, but Pew’s research indicates that it’s actually conservative faiths that are making all of Christianity toxic to moderate and progressive Millennials.

    LGBT rights aren’t the only social issue where conservative theology drives younger moderates and progressives away. As prominent atheist blogger Hemant Mehta noted at CNN, those conservative faiths are “antigay, anti-women, anti-science, anti-sex-education and anti-doubt (/b>, to name a few of the most common criticisms.” ”

    Given that the remaining membership of US churches is going to be increasingly conservative and that people like that tend to have a ‘belief cluster’ (anti-science, anti-LGBTI, etc) then the probability of them signing up to greater environmentalism is ZERO……

  10. Lisa

    Some snippets from the above linked article on the US Catholic church, bearing in mind that LGBTI beliefs will be highly correlated to environmental one:

    “The Catholic Church’s shift on LGBT people is less like a pronouncement, and more like reading the tea leaves, guessing at what the words and actions of Pope Francis really mean.”

    “Or is the Catholic Church drawing a line in the sand, just last month calling same-sex marriage a “threat to the family?” What about when transgender rights are described as a threat to humanity akin to nuclear weapons?”

    “The Pew survey shows the American Catholic Church’s numbers are in almost as steep a decline as mainline Protestants. Reactions to the trends detailed in the survey vary greatly across church leaders and devout members.”

    “Meanwhile, more conservative Catholic commentators like Anne Hendershott, a professor of sociology and director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville, take more of a “good riddance” approach to the exit of LGBT people and their allies from the Church.”

    “Hendershott perceives the exodus of the church’s socially progressive members as strengthening the institution by making it more homogenous.”

    So the Pope can huff and puff all he wants (tea leaf like) but the facts on the ground in the US is that the remaining Catholics will be anti-science, anti-environment, anti-LGBTI and so on….. The future for them on the ground is to become more conservative over time.

  11. Spinoza

    What makes the reaction truly odd is that Francis’ teachings on Creation are little different than his predecessors. Lest we forgot, Benedict was nicknamed the Green Pope. As a matter of fact even Francis’ pronouncements on poverty and the inherent sinfulness of capitalism is in the long tradition of Catholic social teaching. When I was a Catholic it amused me to no end to point conservatives to Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum, which explicitly defends the rights of workers to organize unions. Pope Francis has done nothing new. He is a good example of the opening chapters of Ecclesiastes!

    Something else bothers the right wing and the traditionalists. If I had to hazard a guess it would be Francis’ evident dislike of the monarchical trappings of his office, his openness to churchmen like Cardinals Kaspar and Marx, and, speaking of the name Marx, he has also stopped the vatican’s longtime hesitancy towards exploring liberation theology. I mean, hell, there are even rumors pope Francis will canonize Oscar Romero!

    Still, this is mostly style rather than substance. Though, in the Catholic Church at least, style often IS substance.

  12. Lisa

    Spinoza: Oh yes, but the facts on the round are that those churches are dying, with the remaining membership beng very conservative, therefore these organisations will overall become more conservative.

    Look at other countries where de-religioning has already happened, those surviving churches tend to be extremely conservative, though because of their low numbers have less and less political impact.

    The US is belatedly following this trend, but it will go through a phase where the churches lose membership and become more conservative, but are still large enough to have a political impact. A dangerous time for women, LBGTI people, taste for war, targetted minorities (like Muslims) and the environment.

    This pattern worked its way through Australia (for example) during the 60s to the early 2000s. Even a late as the 90s, despite collapsed membership, the conservative religious people still had a very disproportionate impact on politics.

    This is fading rapidly of course because their membership is now too small to have any real impact and what is left is so conservative that they are largely laughing stocks.
    However, not even here has their influence totally gone away as this example shows:

    “We’re increasingly concerned that these public attacks on trans kids by Peter Abetz, brother of conservative Federal Senator Eric Abetz, may be the first salvo in an ideologically driven campaign to demonize Transgender children in pursuit of political advantage, similar to that which has been running in the USA for a few years now.”

    “Abetz has asserted that parents or other significant adults in (Transgender) children’s lives supporting these children or he dishonesty put’s it,‘reinforcing feelings that might otherwise disappear naturally’ would be “a huge disservice” ”

    For the rest:

    This also shows the ruthlessness of these people that they are quite happy to target some of the most vulnerable children around to push their agenda. There is a desperation about them now that means they will use ANY tactic to push their agendas.

    By and large peope like this will have a ‘belief cluster’ that is overall conservative: anti-women, anti-science (evolution, global warming, etc), anti LGBTI (especially anti-trans), anti-union, pro-big business, anti-environment and so on.

  13. Lisa

    On the Pope’s encyclical this will be a common reply amongst its (increasingly dominant) conservatives:

    ““The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science,” said Catholic GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum earlier this month. “We probably are better off leaving science to the scientists, and focusing on what we’re really good at, which is theology and morality.””

  14. Lisa

    People on the US ‘left’ tend not to ‘watch’ the Christian churchs all that much, except maybe to redicule them and their conservative positions, basically, exept on certain political positions. They don’t affect normal day to day life much for straight, white cis people.

    We in the LGBTI community, especially trans people, watch them like a hawk because there is a war between us and they are constantly trying (like bathroom laws) to attack us. For us it is a life and death struggle, again particularly for trans people.

    In this anti-trans ‘war’ they are allied with old school feminists (called TERFs like Germain Greer), some parts of the gay and lesban communities including activists (mostly older), cis conservatives (including the non religious ones), various parts of the older psychiatric (and related) ‘experts’ (particularly in sexology, for example trans ‘reperative’ therapy was only stopped in CAMH this year…… ).

    Overall they are united in ending us, denying that we exist and that the ‘correct treatments’ (some would argue forceable) will ‘cure us’. Hence the ‘war’ over transgender children at the moment. Those children are a ‘inconvenient fact’ to their narritive whcih is that we are: misguided gay men, misguided lesbians, sexual deviant ‘straight males’, which if only treated properly (or locked up) would eliminate trans people totally.

    Now what lesson should cis, straight ‘left’ people take from this? The religious conservatives WILL make tactical allances with others (even those they hate) to push their aims. After all their defeats to date on women, sex and gender they are getting more clever and some serious money is flowing into various organisations. Who would imagine ‘old guard’ feminists and religious extremists agreeing on anything, but they do and tacitly support each other.

    The same applies to climate change (and many other environmental issues), where they have become quite effective mouthpieces for the various interests. As I said this is a dangerous time in the US, where these shrinking, but becoming more extreme, religious organisations still are large enough to have considerable political clout. Behind the scenes they have worked out many common political positions as well, despite dogma differences.

    Take the example of how they have worked to achieve diminishing reproductive rights for women in many US States. They have blindsided the US feminists quite cleverly, who split between cis-straight & wealthy (who don’t care), trans obsessed ‘old guard’, a fragmented and not fully in power yet ‘new guard’ (etc) have dropped the ball on this, hence the religious conservatives are slowly winning that war.

    Their hit list has become more focussed now: (1) trans, (2) rest of the GLBTI, (3) women’s reproductive rights. They will lose the marriage equality (ME) war but will fight back with more attacks on women’s reproductive rights and trans people. Politically it is a smart move, the gay and lesbian activists will relax a bit after some more ME wins and have a history of throwing trans people to the wall when it suits them. Targetting poorer cis, straight women means they drop below the feminists ‘radar’ who are distracted at the moment.

    So the Pope? Meaningless on the what is happening on the ground at the moment.

  15. Spinoza


    Your analysis is spot on. I agree wholeheartedly. I was merely pointing out how similar Francis is to his predecessors. It would appear that many, many westerners want to get warm and fuzzy about the Church despite the real lack of substantive change. Sure, the pope is more “pastoral”, to use catholic parlance, but that’s it really.

    You’re right about the lack of attention paid to the Church as well as all churches. This is dangerous. The Catholic Church is an institution with terrifying power in the world today. I can’t imagine how it is for those most clearly in their scope such as trans folks like yourself.

    A brief aside, my Catholic boss has a daughter in transition MTF. She came out to me years ago, long before she told her mother. Since I’m known at work as “the liberal” we haven’t been scheduled for the same shifts. I have always wondered if my views and quiet encouragement of her transition had anything to do with it. My boss’s daughter has more courage than nearly anyone I know. It’s still pretty conservative where we’re at. Active klan groups, tea party factions, more churches than anything else. I wish you, Lisa, good fortune.

  16. Lisa

    Do you have a blog?

  17. Lisa

    Stirling Newberry: Not as yet, though I do post a lot of stuff on facebook.

    You can friend me if you want: just search Lisa Toinen Mullin.

  18. Lisa

    They can’t help themselves, transgender people, number #1 target. In this ‘important’ environmental encyclical he cannot avoid making a kick at us.

    “Pope Francis appears to have condemned transgender people in his environmental encyclical published on Thursday (18 June).

    Environmentalists praised the papal letter, entitled Laudato Si (Praise Be), but one passage in the 184-page document seems to say that transgender peope should their God-given bodies and not manipulate them at will.”

    “‘Whereas thinking that we enjoy absolute power over our own bodies turns, often subtly, into thinking that we enjoy absolute power over creation.’

    ‘Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology.’

    The pope then echoed comments he made earlier this week about the ‘complimentary’ differences between men and women.”

    ‘Environmentalists ‘ many of who would also throw us all under a bus…like the transphobic ‘deep green’ group, will dutifully clap their hands…..

    So political reality here, make meaningless environmental statements, give a kick towards transgender people….. Guess what will be picked up and acted on by the conservative Catholic elites who know how to read the ‘code’?
    After all in Feb this year:
    “Pope Francis compares trans people to nuclear weapons
    Head of the Catholic Church claims those who transition are opposing ‘God’s order of creation”.

    Clever politics, as you would expect, neutralise some potential GLBTI, especially trans, supporters while putting the boot in. Bit like a magician, always watch the other hand that is not moving.

    They can then by ‘building bridges’ ensure that when they go for trans people full on those will all hold back from supporting us ‘because’ the Catholic Church might put its ‘considerable’ money and power where its mouth is over the environment or climate change (hint: it won’t, ever).

    They are getting politically cleverer, learning how to fragment the ‘left’, ‘progressive’ even the GL and feminist movements.

  19. “The biggest problem facing the planet is a population explosion that has left us with over 7.2 BILLION people”

    As a stand alone cause this hardly represents our “biggest problem”. We have the capability of feeding and providing for all 7.2 million people but capitalist free markets make it difficult to distribute the food abundance that exists. They also oppose methods that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels that are causing a warming climate creating rising sea levels that will impact nearly half of those 7.2 million living on coast and river shores

    And to suggest that the Pope is responsible for large populations for the church’s position on abortion ignores the fact that the greatest population growth has occurred in the non-Chrsitian parts of the world like China and India.

    The “growing population” meme is a climate denier talking point that attempts to mask the continued use of carbon-based fuels as the real problem to the planet’s biggest problem

  20. DMC

    Think what you will of the Church generally or this Pope specifically, you have to admit this encyclical is forcing a lot of Catholic reactionaries into the position of being “holier than the Pope”. The Op-Ed pages are filling up rapidly with “Oh why can’t the Holy Father stick to REALLY IMPORTANT issues like gays and abortion, instead of something that just effects the entire future of human life on this planet!”

  21. Linda Amick

    In the US “everybodies” opinion is as good as anybody else’s opinion. The missing ingredient in Americans today is SELF REFLECTION and SELF MODULATION. Americans are a bunch of 5 years old and are
    digressing everyday.

  22. atcooper

    In the historical sense, there may be nothing new about this pope, but in most living people’s memory, he is something wholly new. I’ve been constantly impressed with this one. Finally did some reading on him after the news yesterday, and found out he was Argentinian. South American? No wonder, I thought. He’s got a bit of the anti-colonialist about him, and that is good.

  23. S Brennan


    South Americans can be as colonial as anyone, what sets him apart is, he’s held menial jobs…and my favorite, he was a nightclub bouncer…not a job for cowards.

    REF: “found out he was Argentinian. South American? No wonder, I thought. He’s got a bit of the anti-colonialist about him”

  24. Peter

    Larry, the capitalist free-market is why we have 7.2 billion people today and it depends on population/consumption growth to guarantee its profits. The famines we see are mostly political/war events that have little to do with the production of crops or even economics.

    All of this growth, population, economic and the Green Revolution, has depended on an endless supply of relatively cheap energy but we are beginning to see the limits of this planet’s ability to supply this limited resource and the effects of its unlimited use, AGW.

    Yes the world can feed the 9 billion people we will soon have, actually it’s mostly feed the animals we eat and even China is moving to that diet, but how much more ecological destruction will be required for that goal to be reached and can we survive that degradation of the planet?

    We are already degrading the natural systems that much of life depends on and our industrial civilization has no real technical answers to these existential challenges.

    Industrial Civilization must be dismantled and the human population must be reduced dramatically if both the world and humanity are to survive in any type of natural wholesome environment.

  25. CVS

    All these comments about “theology” and “understanding Christianity are” beside the point.

    Everything you need to know can be found in the words of Jesus himself. Starting with the parable of the Sheep and the Goats: “when you rejected the worthless, the hopeless, the wretched nobodies – who are my brothers – you rejected Me”.

    Also the parables of Lazarus and Dives, The Rich Fool, The Rich Young Ruler, etc. In fact all.

    I ‘am sure Francis would agree. In fact he has spoken in favor of “anticlericalism” in one of his sermons from Santa Marta.

  26. Lisa

    DMC : “Think what you will of the Church generally or this Pope specifically, you have to admit this encyclical is forcing a lot of Catholic reactionaries into the position of being “holier than the Pope”. “The Op-Ed pages are filling up rapidly with “Oh why can’t the Holy Father stick to REALLY IMPORTANT issues like gays and abortion, “.

    We in GLBTI movements are smarter about the Catholic (and other) churches, as I said we watch them like a hawk. We have seen PR campaigns like this over and over again about so many issues, with no tangible results ever appearing. The only ones they stick by, by actual actions on the ground, are their anti-women, anti-GLBTI, etc lines.

    But, parsing what he said, there were two main messages, one to the ‘rubes’ about environment, etc, the other to the ‘insiders’ about transgender people. You have to ask the simple question, why, in such a waited for major environmental statement is there an anti-trans message slipped in? Why not do the main message, completely focussed on that, then at another time bang on about LGBTI and women as usual?

    Because he was (again) setting the priorities to the ‘insiders’. Basicially ‘ignore all that PR puffery for the rubes, this is what we really care about’.

    He knows full well that the Catholic elites in (eg) the US, ever more conservative, will do nothing about envirnmental issues (except a bit of PR now and then). They are too linked into the main US elites and power system for that. But he is giving them permission to go after transgender people full on. Bruised after the marriage equality fight which they have just about lost, they are setting the new battleground.

    Pretty much the same logic in other countries, especially western ones, as well.

    Lets be realistic here, when, ever, has the Catholic church establishment not sided with reactonary power elites…anywhere?

    If he was just another average politician people would be far more skeptical about all this.

    Fortunately, after all our conflicts, we in the LGBTI community are that skeptical…..

    The clearest example of how they really think and act is their reaction to the Australian Royal Commission into child abuse. While Catholics were not the only perpetrators by any means (think other churches, Salvation Army and so on), they have been at the forefront of denial and defending themselves (and fighting against compensation to the many victims), right all the way up to the top. So forget the PR nonsense, how do they really act?

  27. Monster from the Id

    Peter: “…the human population must be reduced dramatically…”

    I’m not volunteering to jump out of the lifeboat, Peter.

    Who gets shoved out?

  28. Peter

    Id, I’ve put some thought into this question and have decided that to be fair and equitable there is only one way to proceed. A lifetime carbon emission allotment will need to be instituted and once a person exceeds that allotment they are no longer allowed to degrade the planet and will be offered options for how they wish to exit this plane. The ruling elites and their minions will be the first to go under this plan and then the leisure class will soon follow along with the consumer class in much of the West.

    Those who are left will be the frugal and often poor people of the world who already know how to live on less, produce what they need and not depend on industrial civilization.

    This plan won’t work with the Capitalists in control because they are sure to devise a Cap and Trade scheme where they would buy emission/life rights from the poor to continue their wasteful, destructive ways.

  29. Lisa

    Just in case you think I am being paranoic, Denny Burk of the Southern Baptists picked up the correct message real fast (an insider getting the message):

    “Bottom line: The Pope says that we cannot choose our nature. We recognize what God made us to be, either male or female. This implies that attempts to “cancel out sexual difference” through surgical mutilations go against nature and are immoral. Male and female bodies reveal something sacred and immutable about God’s intention for us. Our gender identity, therefore, is not infinitely malleable as the queer theorists and transgender propagandists would have us believe.”

    The Southern Baptists 10th June Convention passed these anti transgender resolutions (as well as the usual swipe at marriage equality…of course):

    RESOLVED, That we condemn efforts to alter one’s bodily identity (e.g., cross-sex hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery) to bring it into line with one’s perceived gender identity; and be if further
    RESOLVED, That we continue to oppose steadfastly all efforts by any court or state legislature to validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy (Isa. 5:20); and be it further
    RESOLVED, That we commit ourselves to pray for and support legislative and legal efforts to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and other legislation like it that would give gender identity the same legal protections as sex and race; and be it further
    RESOLVED, That we oppose all efforts by media and entertainment outlets and public schools to mainstream transgender identity in the eyes of our children; and be it further
    …etc, etc.

    “Southern Baptists concede gay victory, contemplate attacking transsexualism ”

    And for some real hate, just to give you the picture:

    Lessons Learned
    This is something the ‘progressives’, losing at every turn, could copy from the only groups that have made any progress over the last 20 years. Watch your enemies like a hawk, learn to parse what they say (the Southern Baptists are easy, the Catholic church not so easy), pounce on them at every turn, let them away wth nothing.
    Manage the media on this and get your message out quickly, preferably before they do.

    Do you know that for just about every trans ‘hate’ group site (religious, TERF, etc) there are trans people monitoring them. Other GLBTI people do the same.

    The progressives (or left or whatever) lost the media wars in the 70s and 80s…… Dropped the ball, lost focus, underestimated their enemies, thought they could ‘deal’ and ‘compromise’ with them, fragmented, many sold out and so on. So they lost and continue to lose.

    The GLBTI community learned the hard way that your enemies never let up, you cannot compromise with them they hate you and always will do, ‘fair weather’ friends (especially politicians) come and go and require endless pressure to keep them on track, otherwise they will stab you in the back (like the entire Democratic party), you have to keep on track all the time, watch carefully for internal traitors and ‘sell outs’ and police them hard, think the ‘long game’, talk to the general community and humanise stories……

    I’ve watched left parties and various groups (environmental, human rights, unions, etc) be subverted, sell out and/or have rings ran around them by the conservatives over the last 30 years or so. If (eg) the labour movement had been half as good as the GLBTI activists have been then the whole economic position would be very different right now.

  30. Peter,

    have you considered that a lot of political/war events that causes famine is often the result of corporate special interests. Tell those third world nations who have bargained away a lot of their rights and their resources to the international money cartel like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund who push neoliberal economic policies.

    Although the proponents of neoliberalism extol the virtues of free markets, free trade, private enterprise and consumer choice, the effects of neoliberal policies is quite the opposite. In fact, these policies typically result in very protectionist markets dominated by a few trans-national corporations. Many sectors of the economy – ranging from food processing and distribution to the corporate media to aviation – are oligopolies and can be characterized as highly centralized command economies that are only a shade more competitive than the economy of the former Soviet Union. A major theme of neoliberal policies is deregulation and the removal of government interference in the economy. SOURCE

  31. Monster from the Id

    I would find Peter’s idea scary, except for one thing.

    I happen to live in a country which boasts such a formidable war machine that its chance (and so my chance) of being subjected to such a scheme is even less than my chance of winning the big prize in the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. 😛

  32. Peter

    Id, my ‘Modest Proposal’ is the least frightening future scenario possible. If our civilization continues on its present course the future is much more bleak because the uncontrolled collapse of our industrial civilization is unavoidable.

    We have already seen a few Banksters nearly bring the world economy to its knees and only massive intervention by the money printers stopped a domino effect cascade throughout the whole system and we are still in and may never leave the Great Recession caused by these MOTUs.

    We have already seen out national emergency response, FEMA collapse and freeze when faced with the natural or possibly unnatural disaster in New Orleans. This disaster is probably the best example of what we face in the future. The people will be left to their own devices to survive, die or get shot trying by others who revert to barbarism to maintain their privileged position while the wealthy immediately had mercenary forces in place to protect their interests.

    If you believe the myth that the US Military is here to protect you from the ‘Other’ you may be surprised when you learn that they view you, I and most of the population as the ‘Other’.

  33. Monster from the Id

    (1) I doubt your doomsday scenario.

    (2) I’d rather take my chances with the merely mercenary devils I know than fanatical devils (like, maybe, you) whom I don’t know.

    As we’ve exchanged before, if my only two choices (I remain uncertain that these are the only two) are to be ruled by buccaneers or to be ruled by stern, burning-eyed fanatics of the Jacobin or Communist or religious fundamentalist type, then ARRR, matey, I be preferrin’ the pirates, by Neptune!

  34. Peter

    I’m certainly not surprised that Monsters of a certain class would ally themselves with mercenary devils to protect their exceptional existence. The problem with mercenaries is that you may not be wealthy enough to maintain their allegiance and may end up with the rest of the Others.

  35. Monster from the Id

    The buccaneers may throw me overboard, Peter.

    But if your kind take over, I know I’ll be declared surplus and sent to the Soylent Green plant.

    Now, is there an afterlife, where I will be rewarded for “virtuously” ending my mortal existence prematurely?

    If yes, can you prove it?

    If no, then why should I practice your definition of virtue?

  36. Monster from the Id

    Oh, and that’s only me, Peter.

    You’ll need to convince a majority of the seven billion or so humans to accept premature death so that a chosen few may live, to achieve your scenario.

    Since a majority must die to achieve your scenario, you’ve got The Mother Of All Sales Jobs ahead of you. :mrgreen:

  37. Monster from the Id

    (Sorry, Ian, I keep having afterthoughts.)

    Technological civilization must survive, because even if we could fix all the damage we’ve done to the planet tomorrow–even in a pristinely natural condition, Earth won’t be habitable forever. Neither will the Sun, and it will become too hot well before it enters red giant phase.

    So, for the species to survive, we need to get breeding populations of humans (and the other life forms we need with us) established elsewhere in the solar system, burrowing into existing worlds and/or building entirely artificial habitats. Then, we need to do the same thing outside of the solar system–maybe mobile habitats, collecting interstellar hydrogen for fusion to power the whole thing, tapping gas giants where possible.

    We won’t be able to do that if we’re all living as hunter-gatherers or neo-medieval peasants.

  38. Peter

    At least you admit that you are part of the problem and not part of the solution to our dilemma. Trying to join the buccaneers seems to show that you support an unfair and inequitable solution that reinforces the belief that you are entitled to a place on the boat even though your lifestyle and consumption are sinking the boat for everyone.

    Virtue in my alternate reality would be to live frugally and enjoy a long life because of that virtue while you seem to support waste and gluttony excused by your position in society and the thugs you can hire to protect that exceptional position.

    Those who believe in your ideals are firmly in control today so you need not be too frightened about ‘my kind’ taking power and limiting your right to a long overconsuming wasteful life.

  39. NoSpaceForYou

    Let’s get this straight, colonizing space is not going to happen, at least not in a Star Trek way with giant star ships. It is a pipe dream. The nearest star is Proxima Centauri, and it is 4.2 light years away. You really think we’re going to build a spaceship that can even remotely approach the speed of light? I doubt it. There isn’t any material known to man that can handle the sort of heat that high speed space travel will require. Even if we could manage to go 1/10 the speed of light, it would take us 420 years to get Proxima Centauri, and we don’t even know if there is a habitable planet there.

    99.9% of all species that has ever existed has gone extinct. We are eventually going to be extinct, and human beings need to accept that.

    Or maybe we’ll develop sophisticated technology and travel through wormholes wearing Back 2 The Future Nikes and the human race will be SAVED!

  40. S Brennan


    You clearly do not not know of..or understand the most important finding of the Apollo program. I’d explain; but honestly, it appears, to be beyond your comprehension.

    Exploitative man seeks to “discover” resources…he has always been a parasitic organism.

    Inventive man seeks to “create” resources.

    This may change as we get to understand viruses better, but at this point, only man can interbreed with his parasitic counterpart.

  41. Rowan

    @S Brennan,
    I have no idea what your comment means. At the moment I am under the impression that you foresee the evolution of “inventive man” who will create his own raw resources – but I can’t be sure that is indeed what you meant. If it is, it seems to break the laws of thermodynamics…

    Perhaps if you elucidated on your opinions on the Apollo program’s “most important finding”? You have predecided that NoSpace isn’t able to comprehend you – does that also apply to the rest of us? Are we all too dense to understand your wisdom?

  42. Monster from the Id

    Peter, like all doomsayers, assumes no further scientific and technical progress, despite the past few steady centuries of such progress.

    The solar energy production and storage (for nights and cloudy days) technology already exists, if I’m not mistaken. The true problem is how to break the stranglehold of the fossil fuel companies and the power companies on the political process. I freely admit I do not know how to do that. If that can be done, though, the other problems can be solved. Ultimately, it’s all a matter of sufficiently cheap energy.

    I also notice Peter still hasn’t said why anyone (not just me) should practice his definition of virtue, when it would almost certainly lead to the premature deaths of most of us.

    Muhammad was smart enough to promise his prospective martyrs a Bodacious Bordello In The Sky. Peter promises bupkis.

    As for NoSoupForYou–er, NoSpaceForYou–I have completed 52 solar orbits, so indeed I do not expect us to get very far into space in my lifetime.

    However, I expect there were “NoAirForYou” people back in the 17th Century who said humans would never develop aircraft, either. 😛

  43. Rowan

    Projecting future trends from only recent data can give false impressions. For example, the Roman civilisation was much more advanced than those that followed – there was a dislocation in “progress”.

    As to development of renewable energy, the problem is not “the stranglehold of fossil fuel companies”, it is that the required renewable energy buildout will use a heck of a lot of resources. The following is for wind turbines, but similar constraints exist for solar power as well.

    Ultimately, it is all about cheap energy. Shame we humans just burned off virtually all of the concentrated, easy-to-access fossil fuel in one big orgy of consumption without much (any) thought of what was to come after.

  44. @S Bre

    You are not the teacher in the class.

  45. Peter

    Rowan. progress in our civilization may mean a better life for many but its dependence on limited sources of energy and resources and the waste, overconsumption , exploitation and growth that is built into the system is also its doom.

    The problem with the technocratic myth that renewables or any other scientific miracle will save us is made evident when you look at the projected growth in demand for energy, 35% in the next 35 years in the US alone. We could use fossil energy to build a more benign system but with the projected growth all the solar, wind and any other renewal energy we devise will only service that growth and the base demand will still depend on huge fossil energy consumption.

    No one in any position of power is even talking about actually dramatically reducing our energy gluttony or growth and some people still remember what was said about Jimmy Carter when he broached this taboo subject.

  46. DMC

    What will break the strangle hold of fossil fuels is sheer economic necessity. When electricity really is “too cheap to meter” who’s going to want coal or even oil. One may object that non fossil-fueled heavier than air flight is scarecly more more than conjectural at this stage but that can change. Once the price of renewables drops below the production cost of coal THAT’S IT for coal as a fuel. Oil and gas will hang on a bit longer for the obvious reasons but the handwriting is on the wall.

    Lisa: I don’t think anyone here agreed to counsel you on your persecution anxiety. If you need to vent somewhere, ask first. Especially if you feel compelled to don the cloak of “we in the GLTBI community”. Otherwise it stars to seem a bit concern-trolly.

  47. Monster from the Id

    Who says atmospheric flight has to be heavier-than-air? Could not modern fabrics and plentiful helium make dirigible airships work?

  48. @Peter

    Actually, the rich have been talk. It’s the poor that are not. (See the agreement for phase out much of oil – by 2100.)

  49. S Brennan


    Helium is a limited resource, centered in TX. H, on the other hand, is limitless.

  50. subgenius

    …backing Peter on this one.

    If you do not have a wide-ranging technical background, anything you think about this subject is almost certainly wrong/magical thinking.

    Resources are REQUIRED to extract, process, deliver, and utilize resources. No free lunch. Modern materials require orders of magnitude more effort in most or all the above.

    We are unlikely to see a rollout of “alternative” energy sources comparable to current “conventional” sources – witness the ever-degrading standards of the existing networks…we can’t afford to even keep the existing, never mind replace the entire system with a new one built with more exotic technologies.

  51. S Brennan

    Stirling I couldn’t teach this class if I wanted to:

    “There isn’t any material known to man that can handle the sort of heat that high speed space travel will require.”

    I’d be giggling like a school girl.

  52. Monster from the Id

    Well, shozbot. I did not know that helium supplies were shrinking so rapidly.

    Hydrogen is an excellent lifting gas, but it does have one serious drawback.

    Can you say Hindenburg, boys and girls? I knew ya could! 😮


    Meanwhile, the Penitence Caucus seems to acquire more members every time I check back here.

    I thought I was gloomy, but Peter, Rowan, NoSpace, and Subgenius make me look like Pollyanna. 😛

  53. Monster from the Id

    Oh, about that heat in space business–unless one is close to the Sun or another star, how is heat going to be a problem in space, with no air to cause friction?

  54. S Brennan

    MFTI, Hindenburg most likely ignited from it’s aluminumized skin catching fire…the Hydrogen was a secondary cause. Aluminum is an ingredient in solid rocket fuel. Now excuse me while I adjust the carburetor on my Ford Pinto, it’s been smelling like gas lately.

  55. V. Arnold

    Oh, about that heat in space business–unless one is close to the Sun or another star, how is heat going to be a problem in space, with no air to cause friction?

    Somebody? Please; I haven’t the patience to deal with that level of ignorance…


    as one can see, their is still controversy about what set off the fire.

  57. Monster from the Id

    I cheerfully admit I did not major in one of the natural sciences.

    What am I missing?

  58. V. Arnold

    What am I missing?

    That you are an ignorant sot? Not worthy of respectful reply’s…

  59. Peter

    DMC, I was hoping your statement ‘ Too cheap to meter’ was snark but that technocrat myth is still driving the ignorant false hope of something for nothing or at least a scientific/industrial justification for our gluttony without paying any real social price.

    The raw materials for this conversion, copper, aluminum and rare earths will come from new massive exploitation of Third World countries so we can feel smug about our Green infrastructure and light carbon footprint.

  60. Monster from the Id

    VA, of course I am ignorant. Every human being is ignorant, merely on different subjects. 🙂

    As for being a sot, balderdash! I don’t drink ethanolic beverages of any sort, nor do I use other recreational drugs. 😆


    The exploitation of what used to be called “Third World” countries is real, but is that not the fault of oligarchic economic and political systems, rather than the inherent nature of technology? Could not a global social democracy (no easy feat to achieve, of course) maintain a sustainable high-tech world?

    In any event, Peter’s going to have a hard time selling his penitential approach, since it would require a majority of human beings now living to accept premature death, and the survivors to live like medieval peasants, at best.

  61. S Brennan

    Peter, the majority of copper and aluminum parts come from recycled material…the stuff’s expensive. As for “rare earths” they are not rare, they’d be more properly labeled “common earths”, the problem with them is they are “contaminated” with Thorium which must be separated and discarded safely.

    …now we could use Thorium as a clean, safe, nuclear fuel…but anti-nuclear “activists”, [who receive the majority of their funds from coal & oil interests], prefer to have Thorium spread evenly as a thin film over the earth, [along with mercury], through the burning of coal and bunker oil in ships. [16 ships pollute as much as all the world’s cars combined..yes, hard to believe, but true]

    Which brings me back to where I start, the problems aren’t physical, they are social-economic-political in nature…hell, solving the earth’s problems in a manner that leads to a widespread increase in prosperity isn’t even mildly difficult…once you get past the politics of it all.

  62. subgenius

    Actually just over 30% of aluminum comes from recycling.

    Rare earths are rare in concentration. Not absolute amounts – they are ~as abundant as copper, but are dispersed – making mining massively more expensive.

  63. Peter

    I don’t know how to respond to this BS except to say you are FOS. Rare earths is not a description but a classification and there is no clean way to operate the industrial processes used to separate them from the radioactives such as thorium and uranium that they are combined with in nature. China controls almost all production of these elements and the pollution created is massive including acid ponds and mountains of dangerous tailings. This is why new mining in North America has been resisted but the increasing demand will probably allow the designation of new Economic/National Security Sacrifice Zones so ‘ Progress’ can continue.

    Thorium is not a clean fuel, it will produce radioactive waste and fissile material besides the upstream pollution and contamination from mining and processing. To convert to its use would require a whole new nuclear industrial structure along with breeder reactors, thorium is not fissile, and breeders have never been shown to be reliable or practical.

    Aluminum cans and some scrap is recycled to feed current needs but the new requirements for building wind and solar energy production will have to come from new mining and it will not be recycled for 30 to 50 years. Copper is a metal of another color and most of the recycling comes from theft and stripping of buildings in Rust belt cities. I read a report about the stripping of the copper roof from an occupied skyscraper in Detroit in broad daylight.

    Your Pollyannaish mindless or ignorant comment is a telling example of why we are in the Sixth Great Extinction and how toxic the worship of technology is to humanity and Mother Earth.

  64. S Brennan

    Aluminum beverage cans are once again the most recycled beverage packaging type in the United States with an industry recycling rate of 66.7 percent in 2013, according to new data released by the Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). This marks the third consecutive year the rate has held above 65 percent, compared to an average rate of 54 percent reported during the previous decade. Click here to view the full report. – See more at:

  65. S Brennan

    In recent years well over half the copper consumed in the United States has been derived from recycled scrap, and this percentage has grown somewhat over the last two decades. About 55% of this scrap in recent years has been “new” scrap, such as turnings from screw-machined rod, and 45% has been “old” scrap, such as used electrical cable or auto radiators.

  66. S Brennan

    a close relationship between thorium and rare earths; they often come together. In fact, monazite, was first mined to produce thorium and rather than rare earths. In the 19th century, thorium was used to make gas mantles. Later, with the development of technology that required rare earths to function, monazite started to be mined for elements other than thorium. Meanwhile, monazite itself is a by-product. It is separates easily, through gravity and at almost no cost, in the mining of titanium or zirconium, such that the monazite can be said to be produced practically free of charge. The United States was the leading supplier of monazite – which was in the main source of rare earths – in the first decades of the rare earths industry (the post WW2 period). Brazil was also an important supplier and China, ironically, tried to become a world supplier but failed to meet Western standards and “so they weren’t able to pursue it.” How ironic! However, in the 1980’s, international classification changes concerning thorium changed the way the market saw monazite.

    The International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) placed monazite in the category of source material. After representing the major source for the world’s rare earth supply, nobody wanted to deal with monazite any longer, wondering what to do with the residual thorium. The interesting aspect is that monazite was itself an almost zero cost by-product. And this is where and when China sneaks past the ‘Western” standards to begin its rare earths market dominance. China stepped in and took advantage, deciding that it would dominate the rare earth industry, which was understood to be critically important. Western companies that had mined monazite until that point, decided to abandon the industry. Mines were shut down simply for having thorium discharges in the tailings under pressure from environmental agencies and groups. Such is the context in which companies like Molycorp in the USA or Lynas Corp in Australia have put the West back into the contest for rare earth production; and what a costly contest it is proving to be, especially because neither one of these two companies has been able to produce even moderate quantities of the high-demand heavy rare earths (HREE) – this is very costly.

    The two companies alone have invested some USD 6 billion and the proverbial ‘market’ has not been kind. In order to avoid the ever longer catalogue of liabilities and risks, the markets have promoted low thorium content projects rather than high-value rare earth distributions.
    if the West is really going to compete, it will have to re-focus its efforts on developing low-cost byproduct resources. In many cases these have high thorium content and “In the United States alone, thorium-bearing rare earth phosphates and other thorium-bearing mineralization could easily meet 50% percent of world demand for rare earths.” The high HREE yield monazites are abundant. Now, mining operations worldwide are concerned with thorium content limits and across the United States and across the world take these valuable monazites and other thorium-bearing phosphate rare earths, which are often plowed back into the ground simply to ensure the mining company has not exceeded its threshold for thorium. So, the actual cause of the West’s reliance on China for heavy rare earths is the thorium content conundrum.

  67. S Brennan

    “If we were talking about a paper reactor I’d be more pessimistic but LFTR’s were subject to a major development program over a 25 year period at Oak Ridge National Laboratories with two highly successful test reactors”, explains Dr. David LeBlanc from the Physics Department in Canada’s Carleton University ( According to him, all major components, such as pumps and heat exchangers have already been designed.

    The first adopters of LFTRs will likely be those with the most pressing needs in certain markets;

    …India has rich reserves of thorium but little Uranium (U235) and limited oil and gas. “India is a prime example, with literally beaches of thorium sands.”

  68. subgenius

    A reality check on rare earth mining…

    US Rare Earths has ~22000 acres to stripmine if they get the permits. Because $$$ more important than all life.

  69. S Brennan

    From SG’s cited article:

    China began mining the minerals on a mass scale in the mid 1980s. Seven years ago, China began restricting and taxing its rare earths exports…countries have become less dependent on China’s rare earths supply since 2010, when export quotas caused global prices to spike. The US and Australia are developing their own, more environmentally friendly mines. Rare earths-dependent industries are learning to recycle.

    An excellent counter to Peter’s screed SG, thank you.

    Long story short, China stole the rare earth business by killing it’s people, then they stole the businesses that depend on rare earth, then they raised prices. The west sold the commies the rope by which they were hung…Lenin laughs, slaps his leg and says “they hate me, but I tried to warn the stupid a-holes”

  70. subgenius

    …well done demonstrating confirmation bias…

  71. S Brennan

    Great, when all fails by all means use ad hominem SG.

    BTW SG, “Confirmation bias, also called myside bias, is the tendency to search for, interpret, or recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses.”

    And since you searched for and provided the information that I used to discredit your point…your attempt at ad hominem falls lamely short.

  72. subgenius

    You are touting progress via tech and i provided a link showing how deplorable the environmental cost is…which you then tout as supporting your belief. Hence confirmation bias.

  73. S Brennan

    SG, read the whole article not just the “headline” when you post and you won’t be caught out…or were you depending on the fact that many here are too lazy to?

  74. subgenius

    Processing rare earths is a dirty business. Their ore is often laced with radioactive materials such as thorium, and separating the wheat from the chaff requires huge amounts of carcinogenic toxins – sulphates, ammonia and hydrochloric acid. Processing one ton of rare earths produces 2,000 tons of toxic waste; Baotou’s rare earths enterprises produce 10m tons of wastewater per year

    Wheres the comprehension fail?

    O wait…more…

    Most of the rare earths processed by Baotou are extracted in Bayan Obo, a mining district in the Gobi desert 120km north of the city. Its largest open-pit mine is 1,000 metres deep and spans 48 sq km; in satellite images by Nasa released in 2012, it appears as one of many massive black craters dwarfing a sprawl of apartment blocks directly to their south.

    In fact there is a single line about the west making “more environmentally sound mines…no definition of more sound…no basis to even build a judgement.

    Like I said, confirmation bias.


  75. subgenius

    O look another link…guess which perspective it backs???

  76. Peter

    SB’s comments are beginning to read like an investment prospectus from the WSJ. Perhaps he should visit Butte Montana, Tyrone NM or Bisbee AZ to gain some perspective on what the true costs of progress and profit are. A swim in the Puerco river downstream from the Church Rock uranium tailings spill and a talk with local Navajos about the benefits of nuke power might show that someone other than the consumer actually pays for our freedom to consume.

  77. ks


    Welcome to the discussion but, we’ve been around this block before so I have to warn you that few will address the core issue of the whole 5% population using 25% of the worlds resources over consumption thing. Nobody is going to give up anything. Of course not as we’re not really paying the bill…yet…though we are in a way but we will ignore it until the roof falls in. The TPTB know this which is why they’re using our military, economic and political power to enforce our standard of living and retard the growth of any rivals.

    Some will suggest we can replace it with/and “green” it over while others like our amateur enthusiast S. Brennan will offer scattershot technological macguffins that will solve it all not just for us but for everybody! A Tesla in every driveway, organic grass fed kobe steaks, Ipads, lawns, shopping malls and golf courses for everybody forever! And if all that fails and the walls are truly closing in, a few of us can take a desperate flight to Titan or something and hope for the best.

    Further warning, if you persist you are going to be called a naysayer who is fighting against the essential “can do” American spirit of FDR and JFK and whatnot. You wouldn’t want that would you!? For shame…..

  78. Monster from the Id

    Maybe we should legalize prostitution; then the members of the Penitence Caucus could just go hire some dominatrices to indulge their apparent passion to be punished. 😆

  79. ks


    And there it is courtesy of Monster/Morocco. Any call to stop buggering the rest of the world is treated as a desire to punish yourself.

  80. S Brennan

    S Brennan permalink
    June 22, 2015

    Earlier today

    “As for “rare earths” they are not rare, they’d be more properly labeled “common earths”, the problem with them is they are “contaminated” with Thorium which must be separated and discarded safely.

    …now we could use Thorium as a clean, safe, nuclear fuel…but anti-nuclear “activists”, [who receive the majority of their funds from coal & oil interests], prefer to have Thorium spread evenly as a thin film over the earth, [along with mercury], through the burning of coal and bunker oil in ships. [16 ships pollute as much as all the world’s cars combined..yes, hard to believe, but true]…

    So I already talked about your point and pointed to an article about it…your “science” match’s the idiot upthread who is “concerned” about frictional heating of a spaceship in a vacuum.

    An echo chamber of morons who…how shall I say..well…in the words of another blogger “disrupt, delay, deceive, discredit, promote distrust, dissuade, deter or denigrate/degrade intelligent conversation.

  81. DMC

    The whole “rare earths are the sticking point” agument is a red herring anyway. Not all photo-voltaic technologies depend on rare earths and not all renewables are photo-voltaic. Thorium reactor tecnnology that actually works has been around since the 1970’s and may well be worth looking into as a method to dispose of existing nuclear waste, which as potential enviromental problems go, dwarfs anything related to the processing of rare earths by a factor of 100. And if you don’t believe me, I’ve got some houses in Fukashima Prefecture I can let go cheap. Show me anything remotely comparable with rare earths.

  82. Peter

    Thanks for the warning, KS but my hide has toughened over the decades so these slings and arrows from the reactionaries and fabulists don’t have much effect in fact if you are being attacked you must be doing something that unsettles those who consider themselves exceptional and worthy of most of the pie.

    It’s also somewhat entertaining to watch some people contort and rend garments when confronted with the idea of actually paying for their excesses, see my Modest Proposal.

  83. Monster from the Id

    There’s that word “exceptional” again.

    What’s so “exceptional” about wanting to live as long and as comfortably as possible?

    I would think that was entirely typical behavior from the average member of the species Homo sapiens.

    Possibly not “sapiens” enough, of course.

  84. markfromireland

    @ David Lantini – really that is nonsense. Encylicals don’t have the authority of ex-cathedra pronouncement on faith and morals true. But particularly when they’re the product of a consultative process they represent far more than the Pope’s opinion. Are you really trying to pretend that Rerum Novarum and Humanae Vitae to give just two examples are, and I quote you directly, his opinion and nothing more and that they’re not an “official teaching” in any moral or doctrinal sense?


  85. subgenius

    Late breaking:

    molycorp files chapter 11 after shares fall 86% in a year. They’re restructuring $1.7 billion in debt.

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