Russell and Duenes

Archive for February 2009

Butchery of conscience

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Just read about President Obama’s move to prevent healthcare workers from opting out of performing abortions and other procedures they deem unconscionable . All indications are that Mr. Obama is rather intent on carrying through with his abortion extremism, and it won’t matter which religious organizations try to stand their ground. Frankly, we Christians have a large share in the blame. I’ve no doubt that God is still redemptively at work, but it may be that he will have to destroy those organizations who have prostituted themselves to the government feedbag. What we need to do is tell the government what we think of her murderous ways, bid her “so-long,” and trust God’s providential hand to give us the resources for the true “life” alternative.



Written by Michael Duenes

February 28, 2009 at 12:11 am

Posted in Bioethics, Duenes

Dubois Redux

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Yesterday my associate pointed out W.E.B. Dubois’ assertion of the “growing custom to narrow control, concentrate power, disregard and disfranchise the public…without consulting the wisdom of mankind.” Which points up a germane piece of that collective wisdom from G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy,

If we wish to pull down the prosperous oppressor we cannot do it with the new doctrine of human perfectibility; we can do it with the old doctrine of Original Sin. If we want to uproot inherent cruelties or lift up lost populations we cannot do it with the scientific theory that matter precedes mind; we can do it with the supernatural theory that mind precedes matter. If we wish specially to awaken people to social vigilance and tireless pursuit of practise, we cannot help it much by insisting on the Immanent God and the Inner Light: for these are at best reasons for contentment; we can help it much by insisting on the transcendent God and the flying and escaping gleam; for that means divine discontent. If we wish particularly to assert the idea of a generous balance against that of a dreadful autocracy we shall instinctively be Trinitarian rather than Unitarian. If we desire European civilization to be a raid and a rescue, we shall insist rather that souls are in real peril than that their peril is ultimately unreal. And if we wish to exalt the outcast and the crucified, we shall rather wish to think that a veritable God was crucified, rather than a mere sage or hero. Above all, if we wish to protect the poor we shall be in favour of fixed rules and clear dogmas. The rules of a club are occasionally in favour of the poor member. The drift of a club is always in favour of the rich one. [Emphasis mine]

To put the dogma in plain terms: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”


Written by Michael Duenes

February 27, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Posted in Duenes, Economics, Theology

for your perusal

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On Deficit ReductionIn his address to Congress, President Obama articulated his desire to reduce the spiraling U.S. deficit. Investor’s Business Daily provides a helpful analysis.

Selling Eggs to Pay for CollegeTony Castro in the CSUN News: “In an economy that has been figuratively exacting a pound of flesh from many, Melanie Burnett has been literally selling a part of herself to help pay her way through college…”

Screening for Down’s SyndromeWashington Post: “A handful of biotech companies are racing to market a new generation of tests for Down syndrome, a development that promises a safer way to spot the most common genetic cause of mental retardation early in pregnancy even as it weaves a thicket of moral, medical, political and regulatory concerns…”

Apes on the LooseDavid Warren offers a final eulogy after the tragic death of Travis, the Ape-Man.

Written by Michael Duenes

February 26, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Posted in Duenes, Reflections

the wisdom of w.e.b. dubois

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W.E.B. Dubois is one of America’s great intellects. I began reading Dubois my freshman year in college and he spoke to me in ways that most writers have not. Though his ideas about the American “color-line” are critical to a comprehensive view on race in the U.S., I have been even more swayed by his conceptual insights into the interworkings of government and his distain of centralized power in the hands of the elite.

Dubois famously said of our government and society that “it is the growing custom to narrow control, concentrate power, disregard and disfranchise the public; and assuming that certain powers by divine right of money-raising or by sheer assumption, have the power to do as they think best without consulting the wisdom of mankind.” Is this not what we have experienced? George W. Bush continued the legacy of the President’s before him, namely to narrow control of the government, concentrate the power of policy in the hands of a few, disregard and disfranchise the public. President Obama is propelling us futher into this same, dangerous folly. Centralizing our banking system and placing control of our economic recovery in the hands of a few is what worked us into this economic avalanche. The banking industry has been unrestrained to do as it deems necessary to aid and mend the monetary woes Americans are locked into. So what does the banking industry do: it is hoarding money like Imelda Marcos hoarded shoes. Without any concern for the millions of families and businesses that need loans right now, banks feel they have the power to do as they think best without consulting the wisdom of mankind. Dubois saw this as a “growing custom.”

I hear reverberations of this from my blog associate, I hear it at my workplace, I hear it on the news, I hear it most everywhere- I hear that we must make people the shareholders in recovery and we must make those who have scammed and corrupted our country accountable for their part in this economic rape of America. If we do not then we will become accustom to our new role as mutes and suckers. Mutes and suckers who have no confidence in our government, in our economic marketplace and who, by and large, will have no money or nationalistic dignity either. There needs to be a voice from the people. Not from a few, but the “wisdom of mankind.”


Written by Michael Duenes

February 26, 2009 at 1:29 am

Posted in Economics, History, Russell

Feeding the beast

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President Obama said last night, “This time, C.E.O.’s won’t be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks or buy fancy drapes or disappear on a private jet. Those days are over.” To which I say, if we didn’t give them the bailout money in the first place, they wouldn’t have it to blow on drapes and jets. Maureen Dowd who, in several of her recent columns, has rightly taken to showing the greed of the Wall Streeters and bankers, has wrongly suggested that the solution is to nationalize the banks. How many times do we have to say it? The government is run by people, yes, people; people made of the same morally corrupt stuff that the bankers are made of, that we’re all made of. The bureaucrats are not going to come riding into town to preserve the same Constitution they’ve been riding roughshod over for the last few decades. The same lust for money and power that are bleeding out of the bank haunchos will show up when the Feds take over. Count on it!


Written by Michael Duenes

February 25, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Posted in Duenes, Economics