Conservatives…The Pope Is With You!


During last Sunday’s First Day show on WSGW, I cited this write-up from University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole detailing how, despite everything being said, the Pope is a traditional conservative pontiff:

Pope Francis opposes contraception, including the homely condom, as well as abortion and same-sex marriage. If he has asked who he is to judge gays, he was doing so as an individual, not as a church administrator. The stance of the church he leads is that homosexuality is a sin and gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry. (Jorge) Bergoglio has called adoption within gay marriage wrong and criticized the leftist Kirchner governments of Argentia as “demagoguery, totalitarianism, corruption and efforts to secure unlimited power.” [- sorry, this passage was garbled by omission of some phrases in the original publication and corrected 9/25 -ed.]

He opposes ending the practice of celibacy for priests. He is committed to patriarchy and opposes progressive nuns’ demand for recognizing them as autonomous actors in the church. To get an American politician with these views you’d have to go to Rick Santorum.

Well, many on the Left are outraged over the news that Francis met with cultural conservative heroine Kim Davis during his Washington, D.C. visit last week. Davis, of course, is the county clerk from Kentucky who chose to champion discrimination by refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. The Supreme Court last summer decided the Constitution protected the civil rights of gay people to marry.

According to her lawyers, Davis and Pope Francis had quite the meeting:

Mat Staver, Davis’s attorney and the founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, told The Post that Davis and her husband, Joe, met privately with Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington last Thursday afternoon. The meeting was brief, lasting less than 15 minutes, Staver said.

The pair chatted about bravery, then hugged and exchanged promises of prayer, according to the Liberty Counsel.

“He held out his hand and she clasped his hands and held them,” said Staver, who did not attend the meeting between Davis and the pope.

Davis, Staver said, told Francis “she would pray for him. She asked the pope to pray for her, and he said he would pray. He said to ‘stay strong.’”

The pope “spoke in English the entire time,” Staver said. A Liberty Counsel news release said Francis thanked Davis for her “courage.”

Liberals were outraged:

It doesn’t surprise me that Pope Francis would give his support to someone like Kim Davis because he and Davis are on the same wavelength. That’s what I tried to argue last week. The Pope is conservative because Catholic Church doctrine is socially conservative!

As for his economic criticisms, Professor Cole is correct in saying the pope isn’t advocating major governmental programs to aid the poor. On the contrary, Pope Francis is advocating for old-fashioned philanthropy.

His conservative philosophy is prevalent even with his environmental concerns. The pope sees human beings acting as stewards of the environment. That’s a very conservative edict, according to Cole.

In conclusion, I will submit that if Pope Francis truly cared about the poor, he would try to change his Church’s stance against contraception. The less unintended pregnancies, the less poor children needing help. But that’s apparently a liberal philosophy.

Instead of shaming him, conservatives should be lauding him.

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Industry-Wide Cheating Will Continue Unless Someone Pays

Volkswagen Environment CarsThe Volkswagen clean diesel scandal gives more ammunition to those calling on stiffer governmental oversight on industries to protect the environment.

The German automaker used computer software to hide the fact that its cars were violating pollution standards by pumping nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere. Some 11 million VW cars worldwide sent nitrogen oxide some “15-35 times above” the EPA limit! VW’s cheating could have led to somewhere around 5-27 premature deaths in the U.S.

When I hear arguments how “regressive” government regulations prevent businesses from being successful, please remember this:

Beyond emissions, the industry has long been contemptuous of regulation. Henry Ford II called airbags “a lot of baloney,” and executives have bristled at rules requiring higher mileage per gallon. Robert A. Lutz, the former General Motors vice chairman and Chrysler president, often said the rules were like “trying to cure obesity by requiring clothing manufacturers to make smaller sizes.”

The universe of automotive scandals has been a broad and often tragic one, including Ford’s 1978 recalls of 1.5 million Pintos after evidence emerged that its gas tanks were prone to catch fire during impacts. The Chrysler Corporation was indicted in 1987 on charges of disconnecting the odometers of 60,000 cars used by executives and then selling them as new. The Ford-Firestone scandal that started in the late 1990s was linked to 271 deaths. And more than 23 million cars have been recalled by 11 automakers over airbags made by Takata that could violently rupture in an accident.

Misleading gas mileage claims have disturbed regulators and consumers who find that cars often use more gas than promised on the window sticker. Last year, the Korean automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors paid $300 million in a settlement with the Justice Department and the E.P.A. for overstating the mileage of 1.2 million vehicles. Ford also cut the mileage rating of one of its hybrid electric vehicles in 2013 after complaints, and the E.P.A. has imposed stiffer fines for overstating mileage claims.

No matter the offense, penalties have often been fleeting. Executives are not jailed; fines are manageable.

A lonely bank robber who steals a $1000 will go to jail for years.

What happens to corporate execs who are found cheating, or participating in a cover-up?


That’s not to say there aren’t instances of government overreach. Certainly, there are such instances. This is not one of those cases. The environment and public health suffered due to VW’s actions.

Libertarian writer Shikha Dalmia correctly points-out that VW’s cheating did help the environment in some ways, in that VW’s diesel engines helped reduce greenhouse gasses by increasing fuel economy standards 30 times better than gas engines.

Dalmia says VW’s now former CEO Martin Winterkorn could’ve tried making trade-off deals with lawmakers, so that the auto company didn’t have to feel the need to cheat. But it chose to cheat, and it lost.

Actually, greed lost.

As much as Dalmia and her ilk want to blame the EPA for poor VW, the above passage shows it’s not the first time a car maker chose to cheat the rules rather than find solutions. That’s not to say the EPA isn’t to blame for being too lax on auto makers through the years, as Bloomberg News reports.

Still, I doubt one individual associated with VW will face criminal prosecution for their blatant disregard of the law, and public health.

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None Of Your Business

Family Work

Emily Bingham from Ann Arbor, MI, recently posted this Facebook rant, complaining about people who needle women and their procreative plans. Here’s a part of it:

Hey everyone!!! Now that I got your attention with this RANDOM ULTRASOUND PHOTO I grabbed from a Google image search, this is just a friendly P.S.A. that people’s reproductive and procreative plans and decisions are none of your business. NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Before you ask the young married couple that has been together for seemingly forever when they are finally gonna start a family … before you ask the parents of an only-child toddler when a Little Brother or Little Sister will be in the works … before you ask a single 30-something if/when s/he plans on having children because, you know, clock’s ticking … just stop. Please stop. You don’t know who is struggling with infertility or grieving a miscarriage or dealing with health issues. You don’t know who is having relationship problems or is under a lot of stress or the timing just isn’t right. You don’t know who is on the fence about having kids or having more kids. You don’t know who has decided it’s not for them right now, or not for them ever. You don’t know how your seemingly innocent question might cause someone grief, pain, stress or frustration. Sure, for some people those questions may not cause any fraught feelings — but I can tell you, from my own experiences and hearing about many friends’ experiences — it more than likely does.

Her rant has caused a ripple in social media land, and has gained coverage from the mainstream press.

I have only one slight disagreement with Emily: this phenomena isn’t strictly for women. No, men can get these same questions, too. “When are you guys going to have children?” “Why don’t you have children?”

I introduced myself to a neighbor a few weeks ago. After some small talk, I was asked where my children attended school. I responded that we didn’t have children, except for our dogs and cat. The person reacted–and I’m not kidding, here–with a grimace! I expect people to grimace if I told them I had a terminal illness, or that I lock my wife away in the basement freezer at night, or that I’m a liberal. I never expected a person to grimace over the fact that I don’t have kids!

It’s against the societal norm, I understand, but why is a person’s decision to be childless frowned upon in our society? I don’t begrudge my fellow man and woman for wanting/having children. Please, procreate to your heart’s desire! But don’t treat me like I’m less of a man for not having a kid because that will only cause me to…grimace right back!

On the contrary, treat me less of a man for asking my wife to catch a bat in the middle of the night while I’m hiding under the covers.

That’s fair game!

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Pat’s Perfect NFL Picks 2015–Week 3

Listen to my Week 3 edition of “Pat’s Perfect NFL Picks” from today’s First Day show on WSGW. The print version is below.


It’s time for the most exciting three minutes in Sunday news-talk radio across this great land. That’s right, it’s time for another installment of “Pat’s Perfect NFL Picks” on WSGW’s First Day.

After a stumble out-of-the blocks in Week One, I rebounded with a respectable effort in Week Two.

Let’s review.

I said the Bills would beat New England. Well, Tom Brady had something to say about that. However, I did tell you that … And I told you the Detroit Lions would suffer another frustrating loss on the road against the Minnesota Vikings, and the Lions didn’t let me down.

So, a 2-1 record, combined with the 1-2 Week One record, gives me a 3-3 overall record. I’m back at the .500. As John Lennon said, “It’s just like starting over.” Let’s go for an undefeated week.

Here are my Week 3 picks!

The AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bungles visit an 0-2 Baltimore Ravens this afternoon. The Ravens were picked by baltimoreravensmany to win the division, but have suffered back-to-back road losses. The Bungles earned an impressive home win against the San Diego Chargers last week to start the year 2-0. Cincy has one of the best wide receivers in the game in A.J. Greene, but now they have another weapon at tight end with former Notre Damer, Tyler Eifert. Look for the Bungles to use Eifert to exploit an exploitable Ravens defense. Look, the Bungles should win this game, but I just don’t feel like the Ravens will lie down and die.

Give me the Ravens OVER the Bungles–27-24!

The Atlanta Falcons are on the road to battle a Tony Romo-less Dallas Cowboys. The Boys lost their quarterback to falconsinjury last week, and will be without him for at least two months. The Boys have already lost their best wide receiver. That means Dallas is putting its hopes on backup QB Brandon Weedon to get the job done. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Weedon won’t get the job done against the Falcons. Even though the Falcons might be without starting running back Devonta Freeman, they still have Matt Ryan throwing to Julio Jones. That’s the ballgame.

Give me the Falcons OVER the Cowboys–28-10!

And finally, your beleaguered Detroit Lions return to the friendly confines of Ford Field to face the Denver Broncos broncosin Sunday Night Football. The supposed deadly Lions offense has been downright offensive! The Lions defense without linebacker DeAndre Levy (and recently departed Ndamukong Suh) hasn’t been able to put-up much of a defense! The Lions desperately need a win, but they’re facing an undefeated Broncos team quarterbacked by Peyton Manning. If this were a playoff game, I’d give the Lions a fighting chance. But it’s a regular season game, and whenever you give Manning more than seven days to study an opponent, it’s hard to pick against him.

Give me the Broncos OVER the Lions–31-21

And that’s the Week Three edition of “Pat’s Perfect NFL Picks” on WSGW’s First Day!

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Is There A “War On Cops?” Not Really.


I nearly posted this information last week, but due to my blog crashing, I couldn’t.

Due to all of the cell phone footage showing black men being killed by police during the past year, many Americans were forced to face an ugly reality: That some police officers do bad things.

The deaths of Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Walter Scott, Samuel DuBose, and Tamir Rice (whose death was captured on surveillance video), have led to prosecutors to either bring indictments, or at the very least, investigate police practices.

These deaths spawned the Black Lives Matter movement to give a voice to those who believe they aren’t being heard.

The movement has produced numerous demonstrations and rallies, calling for reforms in both police activities and the mass incarceration system we have in this country.

Predictably, a backlash occurred against BLM as news of recent police officer deaths ran across the news wires.

Once America learned of the death of Texas Deputy Darren H. Goforth, who was gunned-down while fueling his patrol car near Houston, BLM opponents jumped on the news to discredit the movement. They even tried to connect Goforth’s murderer to BLM due to a 30-second-or-so stupid chant at BLM rally in Minnesota that occurred after the shooting!

If it wasn’t Bill O’Reilly calling BLM a hate group, or Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke blaming President Obama for Goforth’s death (for some reason), Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway from Georgia went further, writing this recent scathing statement against BLM:

Law enforcement officers are being dehumanized. Those inciting riots and committing murders are simply criminals and do not represent the majority of Americans. They are domestic terrorists with an agenda. Their message is that police lives don’t matter, which sure sounds like a hate group to me. Anyone willing to kill a cop is capable of killing anyone. No one is safe. It should be concerning to every law abiding citizen that respect for the badge and for those who wear one is diminishing because respect for the law is the structure of a civilized society.

These hate groups are using the excuse that they have been mistreated by police to justify their actions. If someone feels they have been wronged by a law enforcement officer, there are clear avenues to pursue it through legal means. There is no justification for assaulting or murdering law enforcement officers. The officers who were most recently targeted and slaughtered never even knew their attackers. If news reports are accurate, there have been no known prior encounters between these killers and the officers they murdered. They were targeted simply because of the uniform they wore.

Sheriff Conway labels BLM as a “domestic terror” and a “hate” group, and ended his screed with the anti-BLM chant that “All Lives Matter.”

The media attention of recent police officer deaths has led many Americans to conclude there is a “war on cops.” According to Rasmussen, some 58% of America actually believe there is a war on cops.

People like Conway and Clarke believe BLM–and others calling for police reform–only wants to “weaken” the police institution. They blame BLM for Goforth’s murder, even though there’s no evidence Goforth’s killer ever belonged to BLM! His killer did have mental problems, which has been well documented.

BLM leader Shaun King responded to Conway and his supporters:

Police corruption is a very real thing. Hundreds of officers all across the nation are being investigated for police corruption of the worst kind as we speak. In the past month, thirty police officers have been arrested for domestic violence and, in fact, the rate of domestic violence is higher in police than any other profession in the nation – including the NFL.

Finally, Butch and many of his law enforcement colleagues are falsely promoting this notion that there is a war against police. This is a dangerous lie they are telling – when, in fact, fewer police officers have been killed during the Obama administration than any other two term administration in our lifetime and the deaths of police officers are on pace to be near record lows this year- so much that they are down 46% since Ronald Reagan was president and 87% from their all-time high.

I wanted to check on King’s numbers to see for myself if they were accurate.

Interestingly, The American Enterprise Institute (hardly a bastion of liberalism) released a study last week on police deaths in America. In that study, AEI reports the following:

According to data available from the “Officer Down Memorial Page” on the annual number of non-accidental, firearm-related police fatalities, 2015 is on track to be the safest year for law enforcement in the US since 1887 (except for a slightly safer year in 2013), more than 125 years ago (see top chart above). And adjusted for the country’s growing population, the years 2013 and 2015 will be the two safest years for police in US history (see bottom chart above), measured by the annual number of firearm-related police fatalities per 1 million people.

AEI even provided pictures:

Police Deaths

According to AEI, there’s been no other time in American history where it’s been safer to be a police officer!

Read the numbers for yourself, if you wish.

On top of that, but AEI researcher Mark Perry points-out how that while the number of officers has increased over the years, the number of officer deaths has decreased. For more discussion on that point, visit The Washington Post’s Radley Balco’s examination into the false “war on cops” narrative.

On another point, the violent crime spike in some cities can’t be easily cited as a “Ferguson effect.” Jesse Walker from the libertarian Reason publication wrote last month on how correlation doesn’t imply causation. Walker reminds everyone how crime rates in Ferguson were rising before Michael Brown’s death. Why? It’s anyone’s guess. Why did violent crime drop during the previous decade? It’s anyone’s guess.

The Post’s Balco argues how the “war on cops” narrative being driven by certain members of the media has negative results for everyone:

But there’s also a much more pernicious effect of exaggerating the threats faced by law enforcement. When cops are constantly told that they’re under constant fire, or that every interaction with a citizen could be their last, or that they’re fortunate each time they come home from the job in one piece, it’s absolute poison for police-community relations. That kind of reminder on a regular basis would put anyone on edge. We’re putting police officers in a perpetually combative mindset that psychologically isolates them from the communities they serve. Incessantly telling cops that they’re under fire can condition them to see the people with whom they interact not as citizens with rights, but as potential threats. That not only means more animosity, anger and confrontation, it can also be a barrier to building relationships with people in the community — the sorts of relationships that help police officers solve crimes and keep communities safe.

So before someone tries convincing you there’s a war on cops, show them the AEI study, or The Washington Post and The Guardian investigations into the matter.

An (Unintended) Fresh Start

While on my four-day weekend getaway with Dr. Heather, my blog crashed. Thankfully, the great IT folks at Digity were able to revive the blog. Unfortunately, due to server issues, everything I’ve written during the past year has been erased. It’s like it never happened. I’m sad about that because I posted some good interviews, even better rants, and the always famous First Day “Music Minute” playlists.

And now, it’s gone.

No time to wallow in my disappointment. We must push forward.

Yes, I’m going to backup my stuff somehow in the future.

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