By Scott Kaufman
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The Los Angeles Times has published an exhaustive account — based on over 23,000 pages of internal documents from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles — of the former Archbishop of Los Angeles’s complicity in the Catholic Church’s child abuse scandal.
The article documents Roger Mahony’s involvement at all levels of the attempted cover-up of priests who molested children, beginning with the day in December 1986 when Father Michael Baker confessed to Mahony that he had molested two boys.
According to Mahony in a video deposition, his initial reason for not reporting Baker to the police was that “you only call the police when you’ve victims that you can talk to,” because “the suspected child abuse form” contains “a big section about each victim and the victim’s parent, so you, obviously, if you can’t fill out the form, you can’t send it in.”
Instead of reporting Baker to the police, he had him sent to a church-run clinic in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, where they “treat pedophilia.” When abusers were sent to therapists outside the church, Mahony and his aides selected ones they knew would not report the abuse to authorities.
Once the archdiocese was made aware of abuse allegations, Detective Dale Barraclough of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Sexually Exploited Child unit told the Times, “we knew that the suspect, 99% sure, that he was going to be out of the country or out of state.”
From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/12/06-8
Two days ago, the New York Times published an opinion piece by Bjorn Lomborg titled, “The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels.” He began: “There’s a lot of hand-wringing about our warming planet, but billions of people face a more immediate problem: They are desperately poor, and many cook and heat their homes using open fires or leaky stoves that burn dirty fuels like wood, dung, crop waste and coal.” He reported: “About 3.5 million of them die prematurely each year as a result of breathing the polluted air inside their homes.”
Lomborg’s remedy for both global poverty and the cookstove fatalities: “Let’s face it. What those living in energy poverty need are reliable, low-cost fossil fuels, at least until we can make a global transition to a greener energy future.”
Lomborg cited no published source to support his claim that “cheap fossil fuels,” including coal, are the solution. Nor did he explain how building a massive fossil fuel infrastructure throughout sub-Saharan Africa, a focus of his piece, is at all consistent with a “transition to a greener energy future.” For one thing, there wouldn’t be any “green” future in Africa or anywhere else. And Lomborg’s fossil fuel advocacy isn’t supported by the published sources on these topics.
For example, a 2011 World Health Organization reportendorses “improved biomass cookstove designs that can substantially reduce indoor air pollution, as well as biogas stoves that very efficiently burn methane produced by sewage and animal waste as a clean household fuel.” The WHO report said nothing about fossil fuels.
Furthermore, in a 2011 resolution, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. The resolution’s chief concern was “that over three billion people in developing countries rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating, [and] that one and a half billion people are without electricity.” While advocating “modern energy services for all,” the resolution issued no express preference for fossil fuels, and emphasized “the sustainability of energy sources … for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including … the protection of the global climate.”
Continue reading at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/12/06-8
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
December 4, 2013
President Obama on Tuesday bemoaned growing income inequality and declining economic opportunity, sounding the populist economic themes that he has invoked at critical moments in his presidency.
“There’s a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain: that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead,” Obama said at an event hosted by the left-leaning Center for American Progress at an arts and education center in Southeast Washington.
Obama invoked his and wife Michelle’s humble beginnings and the economic activism of past presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt in making the case that the country needs to do more to shrink the wage gap and ensure that children born to poverty have a chance to climb the economic ladder.
On issues such as the minimum wage, immigration, education, health care and jobs, Obama said the choices the nation’s political leaders make will have impact years down the road.
Thursday, Dec 5, 2013
I am very late to the Third Way-trashing party, but that’s a story in itself. I didn’t need to weigh in; progressives erupted in immediate backlash at the group’s latest attack on “economic populism.”
By now everyone knows that the pro-Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party attacked Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York’s Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, arguing that their “economic populism” was a “dead end” outside of the midnight-blue communards of Massachusetts and New York City.
Not only was Third Way’s argument immediately and widely debunked – Salon’s Elias Isquith did it very well here – but its domination by Wall Street became an issue in itself, thanks to folks at Daily Kos and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Warren herself responded by asking Wall Street CEOs to voluntarily disclose their think tank funding – without mentioning Third Way by name – suggesting it amounted to “little more than another form of corporate lobbying.”
And by Wednesday evening centrist Pennsylvania Rep. Alison Schwartz, a Third Way co-chair who’s running for governor next year, had disavowed the group’s attempted takedown of her party’s populist wing, calling it “outrageous.” (Update: Thursday afternoon another co-chair, Rep. Joe Crowley, joined Schwartz.)
Oh, and meanwhile, President Obama gave his best economic speech yet, calling income inequality “the defining challenge of our time.”
Is something going on here? I’d say yes. Wall Street’s domination of the Democratic Party is facing a genuine and sustained fight, and that’s a good thing for Democrats and the country.
Remember, it was only last year that Third Way made big news warning that ol’ devil economic populism would be a dead-end for Obama. No, it was worse than that: Third Way said its polling showed that Obama’s message of “fairness” was a loser; voters preferred to hear about “opportunity.” Fairness, people. They came out against a “fairness” message as too radical. Liberals debunked the poll, but Third Way got a big endorsement from the New York Times columnist Bill Keller, who used the group’s faulty data to warn Obama that he was turning off independents by being “a plutocrat-bashing firebrand” and pushing “Robin Hood” politics like the Buffett Rule.
In fact, as I argued back then, during Obama’s first term his political fortunes improved when he strengthened his message of economic populism, and plummeted the more he preached about bipartisan deficit-cutting and “shared sacrifice” as defined by plutocrats. If Third Way and Bill Keller were right, we’d be debating President Mitt Romney’s new tax cuts for the wealthy right now.
The always incisive Natalie Reed has an new blog.
I have added a link to her new blog to my blog roll and I recommend ya’ll check her new blog out.
By ALAN FEUER
Published: November 28, 2013
On a recent Friday evening, Eduardo Shoy left work at 6 p.m. Mr. Shoy, a deliveryman for KFC and Pizza Hut, was coming off an eight-hour shift of driving three-cheese pies and crispy chicken fingers, in an automotive blur, to private homes and businesses in central Queens.
Now it was the weekend and he was headed home. He parked his car in the little alley lot behind his house and, passing through the door, he kicked his shoes off, donned a pair of slippers and prepared a mug of tea. He sat down with his television set and ate the box of chicken he had brought back from the restaurant. Within an hour, remote control beside him, still dressed in his uniform, he had drifted off to sleep.
If Mr. Shoy were differently employed, he might have remained that way till morning. But as a fast-food worker paid the minimum wage — $7.25 an hour in New York — he didn’t have the luxury. At 10 p.m., he was up again and back in his car, this time driving to his second job, as a forklift operator at Kennedy International Airport, where he makes $13 an hour. Having worked all day, he was about to work all night: from 11 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. At 3 that afternoon, he would return to his deliveries at the restaurant. Then, at 11, he would once again drive to the airport.
Altogether, on the weekend before Thanksgiving, Mr. Shoy would sleep for 13 hours and work for 44. “Tired?” he asked, sounding puzzled by the question. “I’m too busy to be tired.”
THERE ARE 55,000 fast-food workers in New York — more than the entire population of Harrisburg, Pa. — and most, like Mr. Shoy, are struggling to stitch together a living in an industry where the median wage is $8.90 an hour. Last year, fast-food workers in Manhattan earned average pay of $19,000 — or about the cost of Mr. Shoy’s Honda. In Brooklyn, it was $15,500; on Staten Island, less.
Since 2000, the number of fast-food jobs in New York City has increased by more than 50 percent — 10 times as fast as in any other type of private job. But the conspicuous increase has not received the attention given, say, to the city’s high-tech industry, nor has it lessened the financial insecurities of this growing work force.
By Lynn Stuart Parramore
December 2, 2013
Global elites are getting a bit antsy these days.
A new study by the World Economic Forum based on a survey of 1,592 leaders from academia, business, government, and the non-profit world suggests that all is not cheery at the top. It seems that elites believe that the second biggest problem facing Planet Earth in 2014 is widening income disparities (unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is their top worry). When it comes to economic issues, elites and ordinary folks are often at odds, but according to a recent Pew survey, they converge on identifying the gap between rich and poor as a major flaw in the system.
What’s clear is that the schemes elites have supported, from austerity policies to financial predation, are driving inequality to such extreme levels that everybody is now talking about it. The Pope is talking about it. Robert Reich made a movie about it. All over the world, people having been protesting and rioting in rolling demonstrations about it. An ugly resurgence of fascist elements in Europe is capitalizing on it. Even folks like Larry Summers, who promoted policies that stoke inequality, are publicly lamenting it.
The global elites are sittting on piles of obscene wealth, but they also have two big problems:
The global situation is crazy and probably unstable, and the 0.01 percent knows it. The question is, what are they prepared to do about it?
McDonald’s is really having trouble with the first rule of holes. Facing bad publicity over an employee helpline telling workers to apply for government assistance and an employee tips website offering budget advice like selling belongings on eBay, McDonald’s has just kept digging. The fast food chain added a holiday tipping guide to that website, only to remove it after CNBC described the content:
The tipping guide from etiquette maven Emily Post on McDonald’s website lists several high-ticket suggestions for givers during the holiday season, including “a gift from your family (or one week’s pay), plus a small gift from your child” for an au pair, “one day’s pay” for a housekeeper and “cost of one cleaning” for a pool cleaner.The site also lists suggestions for dog walkers, massage therapists and personal fitness trainers.
McDonald’s workers are a lot more likely to be coming at this from the other side of the equation, working second jobs cleaning pools, doing child care, or cleaning houses and hoping for tips themselves rather than trying to figure out how much to give. It’s really starting to seem like McDonald’s upper management needs Emily Post to give them advice on how much to tip their drug dealers—I don’t know what they’re smoking, but it must be powerful stuff if they think their minimum wage or barely above workers have massage therapists and pool cleaners.
Jason Mark, Earth Island Journal
Sunday, Dec 8, 2013
Michael Pollan’s garden lives up to expectations. There is, naturally, a vegetable patch. He’s got a couple of well-loved stalks of lacinato kale, a few unruly tomato plants piled above a clump of basil. The borders are eco-stylish for the microclimate of Berkeley, California: a mix of native grasses and drought-tolerant succulents, blue on purple. One corner is dedicated to cooking equipment – there’s a gas grill and a wood smoker, too. The yard resembles Pollan’s own prose. It says a lot in a small amount of space.
Our interview took place in early autumn. The wisteria vine climbing the front of the house had gone to seed, and every once in a while the long, brown pods snapped open with a crack. “They don’t just fall, they explode,” Pollan warned, joking, “they could hurt somebody.” A small, black, feral cat nosed about the BBQ gear. Pollan said he had tried to domesticate it, but that it has resisted his advances.
The feral cat seemed, in classic Pollan form, a tidy, little symbol for something bigger – in this case a symbol for the predictably strange relationship between humans and the natural world, which has been an enduring theme of Pollan’s 25-year career. Pollan is best known as a food journalist. But his primary interest is something deeper: the question of how to balance our civilization’s drive for control with nature’s insistence on wildness. Pollan’s first book, the precocious Second Nature, was a profound meditation on humans’ place in the world, disguised as a book about rose care and lawn maintenance. He followed that with the often-hilarious The Botany of Desire and the blockbuster The Omnivore’s Dilemma. This consistently provocative and entertaining body of work has earned Pollan huge praise, including a place on Time’s list of the most influential people on the planet.
Having established himself as an authority on food and agriculture, Pollan now has to navigate the challenges of being both a journalist and an advocate. He’s managed to do this, he says, through a commitment to always being fair, especially to those with whom he disagrees. “To sympathize – that’s part of the job of the journalist,” he says.
It’s a value, come to think of it, that one often learns in the garden.
— Jason Mark
Continue reading at: http://www.salon.com/2013/12/08/michael_pollan_partner/
From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/noah-greenwald/death-of-yellowstones-mos_b_4385132.html
The alpha female of Yellowstone’s Lamar Canyon pack may have been the most famous wolf in the world. Endlessly photographed and admired by thousands of visitors to the national park, this matriarch of Yellowstone — often known by her number, 832F — made the cover of American Scientist and was discussed at length in the pages of the New York Times.
With a gorgeous gray coat and fearless spirit, she was a true rock star from the wolf world. Sadly, a year ago this Friday, 832F crossed the invisible boundary of the national park, entering Wyoming, and was gunned down by a hunter.
Wolf hunting is legal now in Wyoming and several other states because politicians in Congress — not the scientists in charge of wolf recovery — stripped away Endangered Species Act protections in five states in 2011. Now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to take away protections for nearly all wolves across the rest of the lower 48.
If this plan goes through, scores of wolves around the country will suffer the same tragic fate as Yellowstone’s most famous wolf.
The result, after 40 years of working to return wolves to the American landscape, will be that these beautiful animals are left to eke out a living on just a few slivers of land — and never far from guns that kill and antiquated attitudes that see wolves as vermin to be exterminated.
The deaths of wolves like 832F are also a loss to science. She was one of a few that wore a $4,000 radio collar outfitted to track her movements by satellite — and one of a growing number of collar-wearers to have been shot after wandering outside of Yellowstone. Doug Smith, the park’s well-respected wolf biologist, bemoaned the death of such wolves earlier this year, stating the “loss of collared wolves is where the rubber meets the road — it hurts us the most.”
Yellowstone’s wolves — reintroduced in the mid-1990s — have been tracked for years and are among the world’s most studied canines. Because of them we know much more about how these intelligent animals form familial bonds, much like ourselves, and play an outsized role in shaping ecosystems.
by Sally Kohn
Dec 03, 2013
The idea that rational thinking should govern political decision making in America dates back to our very founding. “Facts are stubborn things,” John Adams said, “and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
Oh, John Adams, where are you when we need you? Facts have been buried in a political era in which partisan ideology overrides reason. And while the Republican Party has embraced fact-free governance as its personal brand, Democrats are not entirely innocent either.
Take the case of “austerity politics.” Persistent, despite the facts. There is now conclusive evidence, both practical and theoretical, of the complete failure of austerity politics.
First was the United Kingdom, the practical test case for austerity. In 2010, faced with a recession similar to those gripping most other industrialized nations, Britain’s conservative government instituted a series of austerity measures to dramatically cut spending and taxes. Parts of the U.K. government were slashed by upwards of 30 percent.
The result? Utter and unquestionable failure. The deficit remained high while the country suffered through a double-dip recession. Austerity shaved 6 percent from the country’s GDP over the last three years. Major credit agencies downgraded Britain’s AAA rating for the first time in generations. The Fitch ratings agency blamed weak growth performance, “partly due to … public sector deleveraging.”
In other words: austerity. The International Monetary Fund has been pressuring the United Kingdom to back off austerity for its own good and the good of the global economy—which is funny because it was the International Monetary Fund that pressed for austerity measures in the first place.
Saturday, Nov 30, 2013
Inequality may be the greatest economic challenge of our generation. Yet despite extensive academic debate, there is still no consensus as to its causes. Earlier this year, Tyler Cowen sparked a debate on the subject with his book “Average is Over,” in which he argues that inequality is driven by new developments in technology that give some workers who can capably use the technology a wage premium over those who can’t. Future innovations in technology, he argues, will contribute to hyper-meritocracy and further inequality.
His argument echoes the conventional wisdom in economics, formulated by Lawrence Katz and Claudia Goldin, that skill-biased technological change can explain most of the increase in inequality. The premise is that technological developments have favored college-educated workers over unskilled labor, thereby increasing inequality. Since it was formulated, SBTC has drawn criticism. A 2002 paper by David Card first drew attention to potential holes in the explanation: a short period of stabilization in wage inequality in the 1990s during a technological boom and the failure to explain wage gaps between men and women as well as blacks and whites. A 2012 paper by Daron Acemoglu and David Autor noted other failures in the theory, namely that it could not explain the divergence in incomes that had occurred among skilled workers and why the real median wages could decline during a period of increasing productivity.
Now, Lawrence Mishel, Heidi Shierholz and John Schmitt have released a new study that questions SBTC as an explanation for increasing wage inequality. Mishel et al. argue that “job polarization,” the premise that more jobs have been created in low-wage sectors and high-wage sectors, thus driving wage inequality, doesn’t actually explain the problem. On the one hand, high-wage occupations have not significantly expanded their share of the workforce since 2000. On the other, low-wage jobs have not increased as a total share of employment since 1979.
They find that changes in the occupation structure do not affect the wage structure, so if technology causes a shift from manufacturing to retail, this doesn’t necessarily entail a shift in the wage structure. They find that inequality is increasing within occupations, not between occupations as the SBTC narrative would predict. The SBTC narrative relies on the idea of an “education premium,” i.e., people with higher education reap the benefits of technological progress. But Mishel et al. find that wage inequality has grown strongly since the mid-’90s while the education wage premium grew little. Wages for college graduates have flattened over the last 10 years, even among science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and business occupations.
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/06/world/africa/nelson-mandela_obit.html?ref=obituaries&_r=0
By BILL KELLER
Published: December 5, 2013
Nelson Mandela, who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as his country’s first black president, becoming an international emblem of dignity and forbearance, died Thursday night. He was 95.
The South African president, Jacob Zuma, announced Mr. Mandela’s death.
Mr. Mandela had long said he wanted a quiet exit, but the time he spent in a Pretoria hospital this summer was a clamor of quarreling family, hungry news media, spotlight-seeking politicians and a national outpouring of affection and loss. The vigil eclipsed a visit by President Obama, who paid homage to Mr. Mandela but decided not to intrude on the privacy of a dying man he considered his hero.
Mr. Mandela ultimately died at home at 8:50 p.m. local time, and he will be buried according to his wishes in the village of Qunu, where he grew up. The exhumed remains of three of his children were reinterred there in early July under a court order, resolving a family squabble that had played out in the news media.
Mr. Mandela’s quest for freedom took him from the court of tribal royalty to the liberation underground to a prison rock quarry to the presidential suite of Africa’s richest country. And then, when his first term of office was up, unlike so many of the successful revolutionaries he regarded as kindred spirits, he declined a second term and cheerfully handed over power to an elected successor, the country still gnawed by crime, poverty, corruption and disease but a democracy, respected in the world and remarkably at peace.
The question most often asked about Mr. Mandela was how, after whites had systematically humiliated his people, tortured and murdered many of his friends, and cast him into prison for 27 years, he could be so evidently free of spite.
The government he formed when he finally won the chance was an improbable fusion of races and beliefs, including many of his former oppressors. When he became president, he invited one of his white wardens to the inauguration. Mr. Mandela overcame a personal mistrust bordering on loathing to share both power and a Nobel Peace Prize with the white president who preceded him, F. W. de Klerk.
And as president, from 1994 to 1999, he devoted much energy to moderating the bitterness of his black electorate and to reassuring whites with fears of vengeance.
The explanation for his absence of rancor, at least in part, is that Mr. Mandela was that rarity among revolutionaries and moral dissidents: a capable statesman, comfortable with compromise and impatient with the doctrinaire.
When the question was put to Mr. Mandela in an interview for this obituary in 2007 — after such barbarous torment, how do you keep hatred in check? — his answer was almost dismissive: Hating clouds the mind. It gets in the way of strategy. Leaders cannot afford to hate.
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/opinion/the-charity-swindle.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
By KEN STERN
Published: November 25, 2013
WASHINGTON — BY all outward indications, the U.S. Navy Veterans Association was a leader in the charitable community. Founded in 2002 to provide support to Navy veterans in need, the charity recorded astonishing financial success. In its first eight years, it raised around $100 million in charitable contributions, almost all of it through a direct marketing campaign. The organization, headed by Jack L. Nimitz, boasted of 41 state chapters and some 66,000 members.
This would be a great story of charitable success, except for the fact that virtually everything about the association turned out to be false: no state chapters, no members, no leader with the name redolent of naval history. Instead, there was one guy: a man calling himself Bobby Thompson who worked from a duplex across the street from the Cuesta-Rey cigar factory in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa.
But the money raised was real enough, generated by a series of for-profit telemarketers. The victims, by and large, were unsuspecting small-money donors who received urgent solicitations asking for support for needy naval veterans. Most of the money raised stayed with the fund-raisers, though plenty apparently dripped through to Mr. Thompson and a succession of Republican lawmakers who received generous contributions from the association’s political arm. But little ever made it to the intended beneficiaries. In 2010, the scheme was unwound by two reporters for what is now The Tampa Bay Times, but not before Mr. Thompson had fled the state of Florida.
From June 2010, Mr. Thompson was on the run, the search for him hamstrung by the fact that no one had any real idea of who he was. Finally, on April 30, 2012, federal marshals tracked him down in Portland, Ore., finding him with a card to a storage unit containing $981,650 in cash and almost two dozen fake identity cards.
Earlier this month in Ohio, where the charity’s registration documents had been filed, the man arrested as Bobby Thompson was convicted on 23 felony counts, including fraud, theft and money laundering. Authorities have identified him as John Donald Cody, a former Army intelligence officer and Harvard Law graduate. Given its sensational facts, the case has drawn more attention than your average matter in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. But the story is worth paying attention to for a more important reason, if we want to prevent more Bobby Thompsons in our future.
The most outrageous aspect of the case is that much of what Mr. Cody did was probably legal, or at least not specifically illegal. The principal beneficiaries were always the association’s for-profit fund-raisers. During the trial, one of them, Thomas Berkenbush of Community Support Inc., testified, apparently without fear of legal repercussions, that his company had kept 90 percent of the donations as a fund-raising charge.
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/opinion/the-charity-swindle.html?ref=opinion&_r=0
By CJ Werleman
November 26, 2013
Elections have consequences. The Senate Democrats’ detonation of the “nuclear option” has dramatically raised the stakes for secular progressives in 2014, because if there are two issues that juice the Christian Right the most, it’s women’s reproductive rights and judicial activism. On the latter, the Religious Right senses a once-in-a-decade opportunity to impose its radical worldview on America.
Last week, the Senate voted 52-48 to eliminate the ability of the minority party in the Senate to filibuster executive branch nominees and any judgeship below the Supreme Court by changing the requirements for passage to a simple majority vote. It was a historic move made because there was no other alternative, given the GOP’s unprecedented abuse of the filibuster. In the history of the United States, 168 presidential nominees have been filibustered. Half occurred under all presidents from Washington through to Bush. Remarkably, the other half has taken place under just one president: Obama.
Why such aggressive judicial obstructionism by the GOP?
Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. writes, “This era’s conservatives will use any means at their disposal to win control of the courts. Their goal is to do all they can to limit Congress’s ability to enact social reforms.”
The Christian Right, which is the GOP’s most reliable and agitated voting bloc, is obsessed with the courts, and the Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit is the nation’s second most important judicial body, which is why Republicans “gave the game away when all but a few of them opposed Obama’s three most recent appointments.”
Now that Democrats were forced into limiting the filibuster, the Christian Right has its incentive to mobilize for 2014. A simple majority control of the Senate gives it an opportunity to pack the courts with judges straight out of the Justice Scalia mold, who once said that separation of church and state would come under scrutiny under a Supreme Court with a Scalia majority. If the Christian Right sweeps Republicans to control the Senate in next year’s midterms, the anti-secularists will take a big step forward toward their stated ideological goals.
By Travis Gettys
Monday, December 2, 2013
A tea party activist suggested the United States may be conquered by foreign armies because abortion and Islam were permitted.
Brooke McGowan, who was introduced as a representative of the Tea Party News Network, told the Reclaim America rally on Nov. 19 that the U.S. faced judgment for its religious tolerance.
“In this nation we have turned away from the God of the Bible and we’ve told him he’s simply not welcome here,” McGowan said. “We have welcomed pluralism, atheism, secular humanism, Wicca and even Islam.”
She said the nation’s downfall began 50 years ago, when public school-sponsored prayer was limited and continued 10 years later when abortion was legalized.
“We sacrificed 55 million children in 40 years to the god of convenience and self-importance,” McGowan said. “The tune of 55 million. That’s our children, that’s our people; that’s Americans. Fifth-five million Americans have been tossed into the fire, the Dumpster and the toilet.”
She grew nostalgic for the weeks immediately following the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, when she noticed a lot of religious and patriotic messages in Pensacola, Florida, where she lived at the time.
“Everywhere you looked, every marquee, every sign in the yard, every flag, the signs would say, ‘God bless America’ or ‘God bless our land,’” McGowan said.