mituns: (freiheit)
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

-Martin Niemöller


Back in the days of the Third Reich, there was a saying that went such Halts Maul - sonst kommst nach Dachau. Basically, it translates to "Shut your mouth, otherwise you'll be going to Dachau". Now, one of the theories that floats around about why Germans didn't speak up to defend the Jews is because they simply didn't know what was happening. Now, this isn't to say that every German knew the extent of the extermination camps, but with sayings like this, it's obvious that people had a general sense of terrible things going on, and that people would be silent in the hope that this wouldn't happen to them. All in all, that reaction is very human; after all, who wants to do things to attract persecution? However, the price of this silence was the lives of millions of other people, not only Jews, but anybody who did have the courage to oppose the regime. The Nazi government knew that they could use this type of fear to control people, and they implemented policies such as Sippenhaft which was the policy of not only punishing someone who spoke out against them, but punishing family members as well. For most people, this was too much to deal with, because even if they were willing to go to prison or die themselves, most were not willing to put their families and associates in such danger.

In hearing about the scandals breaking out dealing with the IRS, dealing with hassling conservatives group applying for non-profit status, illegally getting health care records, the government getting AP phone records, the EPA selectively waiving fees for "friendly" groups, etc., a lot of people are celebrating that maybe the country is waking up to the corruption of this current US government.

Call me a cynic, but hearing about these scandals break all together strikes me as highly suspicious. I believe that there is a high probability that these scandals "broke" on purpose, in order to further cow people from participating in resistance to the government. The revelations that the story breaking was scriped and that the woman in charge of the IRS at the time this was happening got a promotion to the Obamacare division of the IRS only serves to strenghten my view. I believe that this is being used as a warning to the American people to let them know the kind of things the government is capable of to destroy the voices of opposition.

Short of a complete replacement of the entire government or a complete dismantling of the IRS, EPA, etc, I don't believe that anything substantial is going to change. As many people contemplate the risks of not complying with Obamacare (for instance) knowing that these institutions still exist and still operate is a huge consideration. Who's to say that a family that won't support Obamacare wouldn't have their kids taken away for neglect? An audit pales in comparison. Who's willing to risk that?

Furthermore, for those who believe that there is some recourse in due process, there may be. But like in the case of these conservative groups, how many of them just gave up rather than have to deal with this? If one's kids are taken, and if one regains custody it's a measure of years before that happens, is that really justice? Many of Obama's nominees for various positions have rightfully been challenged for being overly partisan or incompetant or malicious. This is not an accident; it's a clear message to let people know that if they stand in the way of the agenda, they will be dealt with accordingly. That Obama seems to stay aloof from all of this is also no accident. After all, as Solzhenitsyn wrote, upon hearing of Stalin's death, there were people weeping in sorrow, because even after all they had been through, they could not believe that Stalin himself - as hero of "the people" could possibly have anything to do with such atrocities.
mituns: (Default)
In traditional Christianity, the body itself is not to be worshipped, but is to be respected being made in the "image and likeness of God" and as the container, so to speak, of the soul. Furthermore, at Christ's second coming, there is to be a physical resurrection of the dead. For these reasons, the body, even after death, is to be cared for with respect and the reason for burial rather than cremation.

In 2009, a scandal broke out as it was discovered that in the Burr Oak cemetery, plots were being resold, headstones were being relocated, and bodies were being dumped to random parts of the cemetery. As part of the effort to rectify this mess (to the extent possible), the director of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese's Executive Director of Cemeteries was put in charge of this task, and ultimately, the Catholic cemeteries buried bodies in their own cemeteries, in plots that they donated.

Three years later, we are now embroiled in another scandal involving the dead in Chicago. Apparently, the Cook County morgue was overcrowded to the point of being completely unsanitary, with many more bodies than could be accommodated . Sometimes, there have been reasons for delays, but a lot of it boils down to plain incompetence.

Again, in the city's hour of need, the Catholic Church has offered to them free burial plots. This isn't some slick marketing ploy, or a political move on the part of the Roman Catholic Church. This is plainly in keeping with the Church's mission, that every life is of value and deserves some dignity even in death. However, this time the city is not so quick to accept.

I can only think of one reason that the city is not working with the Catholic Church, and that is that it boils down to politics. In the last few weeks, the Catholic Church has made a stand against the Obama administration's diktat of mandatory contraception coverage by all employers. Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, not only is President Obama's former chief of staff, but has a brother, Ezekiel, who is the Head of the Department of Bioethics at The Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health. The Obama Administration has made it clear that it is hostile to the Church, and as such, it would be very hard for someone this close to President Obama to publicly accept help from such a source.

Some of the people whose bodies at the morgue remain unidentified. Some seem to hav no family. Others can't afford the costs of burying their dead. However, reverting to the "logic" of the contraception fight, it would be terrible for these poor souls to be buried in a Catholic cemetery because undoubtedly not all of these people were Catholic, and as such, a tragedy if they weren't offered free birth control!

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