Bernie Sanders Is Ron Paul For Lefties

You’re going to have to excuse me if I pass up a trip on the Bernie Sanders Is Our New Trvth Telling Prophet Bandwagon. Bernie Sanders is Leftie Ron Paul: a nutty uncle who sometimes blurts out a piece of common sense, such as this:

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…but most of the time sounds about one step away from a contrail conspiracy theorist. He’s just another tedious class warrior. If I want Crazy Truth Teller, I’ll take the original, not his mirror image.

And if he knew jackall about economics, he wouldn’t call himself a socialist. “Left-wing Economics” is one of those oxymoron things.

Game Con Threatens to Leave Indiana Over Conscience Protection Bill

The latest moral preening about Indiana’s conscience protection bill comes from the Gen Con gaming convention, which is threatening to move to another state. To satisfy gamers, Indiana must choose to crush religious freedom so gay couples don’t need to pick the next caterer in the phone book.

“Legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy, and will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years,” said Adrian Swartout, owner and CEO of Gen Con LLC, in a letter sent to Pence just hours after lawmakers sent the measure to his desk.

“Gen Con proudly welcomes a diverse attendee base, made up of different ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds,” she wrote. “We are happy to provide an environment that welcomes all, and the wide-ranging diversity of our attendees has become a key element to the success and growth of our convention.”

Wow, that bill must be some kind of horrible Nuremberg Laws for gays. Let’s see what fresh hell it would create:

Prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental entity can demonstrate that the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest.

Can you imagine the nightmare reality such protections would unleash? People might actually need to … choose another caterer. It’s like Selma all over again.

Hey, remember when gay marriage wasn’t going to have any effect at all on people with deeply held religious convictions? Yeah, that was a lie, and we all knew it was. Christian bakers or caterers who decline to serve a gay wedding (not a gay person, mind you: a gay wedding) in violation of their beliefs must be stripped of their business and sent to re-education camps.

Of course, GenCon has a contract that locks it into the state till 2020, so this is just a lot of noise from people cuing their moral superiority.

Let’s Choose Not To Be Manipulated

Marshall-McluhandisIn the modern media ecosystem, the stories come faster than the mind has time to process. We find ourselves crouching into offensive or defensive postures, falling back on tribal catchphrases, and reacting too fast, too soon, and always with too much outrage.

I don’t have to go further than the last couple days to show how we, as Catholics (and I include myself), are all too ready to be drawn into the outrage cycle that stifles thought.

Round One: Dolce and Gabanna

Crass millionaire homosexual rape enthusiasts say something appealing about the role of traditional marriage and parenthood. I’d never heard of them before, but although they were right about the superiority of the traditional family and the problems with IVF, they were incredibly offensive in referring to other human beings as “synthetic.” Just because they gave Elton John the vapors doesn’t mean they’re our new besties, and starting petitions to support them is just silly.

Who’s to say the whole dumb thing wasn’t some orchestrated campaign by Elton John and the designers to grab some ink?

Round Two: Net Neutrality

This round is more specific to me, but amid some reasonable agreement and dissent, the comboxes for my article in the National Catholic Register featured a number of people repeating catchphrases right from the GOP playbook, few of which actually addressed what I’d said or the reality of net neutrality.

When you find comments about the FCC rules having anything to do with rates or government control of content, you know someone is repeating something they came across on social media, TV news, or talk radio. (The rules, which I don’t support in their present form, don’t say anything about rates or government suppression of content.) No consumer will ever benefit from letting monopolies do as they like with internet services and speed. That so many react with Pavlovian responses rather than careful consideration is just another indication of the death of nuance.

Round Three: San Francisco Cathedral’s Homeless Problem

KCBS reported that St. Mary’s Cathedral has a system that soaks the entryways with water to drive away the homeless. Of course, this is outrageous and needs to stop. No Church of Christ should ever treat the homeless in such a reprehensible way. Even worse was the terrible witness of those on social media defending the action as necessary because of those people. [UPDATE: The response of the Diocese.]

But stories don’t happen in a vacuum. The water system is not new. So why are we hearing about it now?

That should be obvious: powerful and wealthy forces are arrayed against Archbishop Cordileone‘s attempt to require Catholic teachers to be faithful to the teaching of the Church. I tweeted the reporter to ask why this story and why now, and if he replies I’ll post his answer, but it pushes credibility to the breaking point to assume the timing of this story has nothing to do with the Archbishop’s current fight.

Completely lost in reactions to the story is the great work of both the Diocese and the Archbishop for the homeless.

Someone with deep pockets is paying a high-powered media attack dog to go after the diocese. This is how the mediatainment ecosystem manipulates opinion and manufactures consent.

We should expect more of the same, and we should be prepared to react as sensible media consumers. Every story hides a hundred unasked questions.

And we certainly shouldn’t collaborate with it.

Outrage is a sweet drug. It provides a powerful emotional jolt to people on all parts of the social/political spectrum and allows us to set down markers for our own beliefs. I don’t exempt myself from this at all. I do it too.

But sometimes the outrage machine rolls right over us.

Fashion designers make a pleasing noise and we instantly jump into their camp, forgetting the whole rape thing and the crass consumerism of their overpriced garbage.

Our political tribe says one thing or the other about net neutrality, and rather than conceding that both sides have points that are both right and wrong, we start spouting tribal talking points, instantly shoving a complex debate to the extremes.

A story exposes something our side is doing wrong, and in reacting to it (correctly, in my view) we fail to ask just why this story, why now, and what part does it play in someone else’s agenda?

Media is two things: business and propaganda. Only incidentally does it inform or entertain. In modern news, the medium–how a story is reported and consumed, by whom, when, and why–are as important as the facts, because they shape the story in ways we do not perceive.

Nothing requires us to react. Nothing mandates that we jump to attention and wait for a treat every time the Ruling Class (the media and political elite) ring the bell. We can opt out. We can choose not to be manipulated.

Ralph Nader Understands Conservatism Better Than Most “Conservatives”

It’s come to this. A rich strain of conservative thought, and the powerful currents of Distributism coursing through it, is explored intelligently by a man most so-called conservatives (aka, Republicans) would dismiss as a commie wignut. Ralph Nader talks about the middle way between big government and big business, using one of the more important texts to emerge from the Southern agrarian movement. Who Owns America? A New Declaration of Independence is a collection of essays edited by Allen Tate and Herbert Agar that was a follow-up to the Southern agrarian manifesto I’ll Take My Stand.

Take it away, Ralph Nader:

In this mix, there was espoused a political economy for grassroots America that neither Wall Street nor the socialists nor the New Dealers would find acceptable. It came largely out of the agrarian South, casting a baleful eye on both Wall Street and Washington, D.C. To these decentralists, the concentrated power of bigness would produce its plutocratic injustices whether regulated through the centralization of political authority in Washington or left to its own cyclical failures. They were quite aware of both the corporate state fast maturing in Italy and Nazi Germany and the Marxists in the Soviet Union constructing another form of concentrated power with an ideology favoring centralized bigness in the state economy. They warned that either approach would produce unrestrained plutocracy and oligarchy.

Nor did they believe that a federal government with sufficient political authority to modestly tame the plutocracy and what they called “monopoly capitalism” could work because its struggle would end either in surrender or with the replacing of one set of autocrats with another. As Shapiro wrote in the foreword, “while the plutocrats wanted to shift control over property to themselves, the Marxists wanted to shift this control to government bureaucrats. Liberty would be sacrificed in either case. Only the restoration of the widespread ownership of property, Tate said, could ‘create a decent society in terms of American history.’”

And this:

What the decentralists were pushing for was the supremacy of individual property rights that “secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” over the property rights of incorporated entities possessing a “legal-social structure of privilege and concentration completely alien” to the agrarians’ notions of a democratic society.

In this regard, they drew their public’s attention to the early corporate chartering laws, administered by state legislatures in the early 1800s with “the greatest caution and limitation,” reflecting the charterers’ view of the supremacy of property “in the hands of private individuals.”

Rapid industrialism and the increase in the power of financial institutions led to the changing of these laws and the revising of some state constitutions to authorize more automatic chartering by state agencies, leading the agrarians to lament the lost opportunity, for they had been pressing for the creation of chartered cooperatives that would do the same work of amassing capital and other services without the distorting greed and concentrated power of corporations.

I have no illusions that any kind of Distributism will ever find a place in American polity unless the Republic collapses. Since that appears to be happening in slow-motion right now, there may a future in which the citizens of this country need too look to new models of social, political, and economic organization. Those of us who call ourselves Distributists need to keep that flame lit not because we have any illusions about its widespread practicality under the current Demopublican Ruling Class, but to explore it, expand it, and keep it alive in the cultural memory for a time when it may be needed.

On the other hand, Herbert Agar, was more hopeful of a radical return to roots:

If the American people, Agar believed, “ever decide they want something, they will not be headed off by anyone so readily frightened as our robber rabbits…. The important question from our point of view is not whether we can overcome the opposition of Big Business, but whether we can convince the plain man in America that our program is what he wants.”

Exit quote, from Agar:

“No country can be reformed by the people who hate it. The haters can supply useful criticism. But only those who have affection for the national ideal can persuade a people to reform.”

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Obama and the Robot

Japan’s obsession with robots is going to doom us all. This is how Skynet begins, with a friendly game of robot soccer.

Drudge and some conservative sites are trying to make much of the fact that Obama bowed to the robot, but the robot bowed to him in greeting, so it seems like a reasonable response. Who knows if the robot had been programmed with mad ninja skills to attack anyone who failed to treat it with respect?

Have I said lately how much I dislike robots?

The Congressional Stenographer and the Holy Spirit UPDATED

When I first heard that a congressional stenographer had grabbed a microphone and started ranting about Masonic conspiracies on the floor of the House, I assumed she’d had some sort of mental break. That’s always a safe guess when people deviate from the script in public, and it wasn’t helped by the lack of clear audio in the video clip that circulated on the internet.

She may well have had some kind of break, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, and trusting the media to report factually and objectively is, quite obviously, foolish. It’s always best to wait for some primary sources before drawing conclusions.

This is, as near as I can tell, an accurate report on what Dianne Reidy said on the House floor:

He will not be mocked! This is not one Nation under God. It never was. The greatest deception here is this is not one Nation under God! It never was. Had it been, it would not have been! The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons! You cannot serve two masters! You cannot serve two masters! Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ.

I know! Crazytalk! Get the men in the white coats!

Dianne Reidy and family

Honestly, is there anything in that paragraph that says, “nuts” to you? Anything at all? Because I got nothing here.

Like Reidy, I’m a bit … cautious about the idea that America’s founding enjoyed some kind of divine sanction.

Even if it did, what of it? The one nation in history that surely enjoyed the favor of God was Israel, and the Old Testament is one long story about the Israelites wandering off in search of strange gods while the One God yanks her leash to bring her back in line.

As for the Freemasons, Reidy isn’t the only one troubled by the involvement of a secretive organisation with occult trappings being present at the founding, and shaping the destiny of the nation to such a degree that their esoteric symbolism still marks our money and monuments. There’s a reason Catholics and Freemasons don’t mix.

And quoting Jesus (Matthew 6:24) via Lincoln? Wacko-time!

Even the strange “Had it been, it would not have been!” may not just be a verbal stumble. The phrasing recalls Job 10:19 “I should have been as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave.”

The only part that’s strange is the time and place in which she said it, and she has a striking explanation:

For the past 2 and ½ weeks, the Holy Spirit has been waking me up in the middle of the night and preparing me (through my reluctance and doubt) to deliver a message in the House Chamber. That is what I did.

The Daily Beast spoke to her husband, who is a minister:

…she would later tell him there was no question in her mind that it was indeed the Holy Spirit rousing her night after night, even before the shutdown and the looming default.

“Waking several times a night feeling that God’s just been pressing on her to open a Bible and get into his word,” Dan Reidy says. “Reading a Bible is not foreign to us, but getting up in the middle of the night definitely is. It’s just not a part of our life.”

The circumstances were so unusual as to make a command from on high seem all the more real to her.

“If that’s not’s God’s spirit…” Dan says.

He goes on, “What she was finding out was that God was impressing on her heart that He had a message He wanted her to share with the House of Representatives.”

She kept resisting the command only to be woken up by it yet again.

“The reason it took four weeks was because of her reluctance and her doubt,” the husband says. “She didn’t want to do it.”

She continued to resist even as the shutdown made Congress look all the more woefully in need of divine guidance.

“This whole mess has just kind of sickened her to the whole process,” her husband says. “The alliances between people who aren’t really allies. The finger-pointing on the dais, [then] the arms around each other… Where are the people being served in this whole deal?”

He recalls, “She was just like, ‘Gosh, this is not what it’s about.’”

Another day of serving as a stenographer in an unholy mess would end with another night of being awakened by what she took to be the Holy Spirit. She kept resisting out of a sense of congressional sanctity that the representatives themselves were besmirching.

“That’s what my wife was battling, with this late-night wrestling with God,” the husband says.

There’s more, and you should read it all.

He says she is at peace now, and a psychiatrist released her after a 45 minute evaluation. If she had been some kind of gibbering lunatic, she would have been kept on a psych hold, particularly given the high profile and location of the incident.

In fact, her husband reports that she’s immensely relieved and doing just fine, although her future employment may well be in doubt.

So you tell me: crazy or inspired? I don’t mock people who claim to have experienced the presence of the Spirit, even unto getting very specific messages. I know that the discernment of spirits is a difficult thing, and she would have done well to confide in her husband, a friend, or a spiritual counselor before resorting to an outburst in the most public place, and at the most difficult time. The whole episode lent the reopening of the government an even more farcical tone, if that’s at all possible.

Certainly, religious mania can lead to this kind of bizarre behavior without the Holy Spirit’s prompting. She may have been acting out of depression and stress. Or maybe she was touched by the Spirit, and the time and place of her message was providential. Here I am writing about it, as are hundreds of others, and millions more may read what she said and wonder. It doesn’t sound like much of a message, but neither did, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”

How many saints and prophets would be labelled lunatics today? I’m not saying Dianne Reidy is a saint or a prophet, but neither should we assume she’s a lunatic.

UPDATED: Rep. Rebecca Hamilton responds: Was the House Stenographer a Modern-Day Jeremiah?:

I’ve witnessed the way that politicians use God to justify themselves. I seen up close how elected officials who campaigned and were elected on their faith in Jesus turn around and kick Him to the curb with what they actually do. I have also witnessed the unbelievable hubris of politicians who have convinced themselves that God is made in their image and everything they do is right because it is god (little g) ordained.

These men and women truly are mocking God.

And it is sickening.

To see up close the way they treat the Lord Jesus grieves you. It can send you home a wreck.

I know.

I’ve been there.

I have never been forced to participate in anything as ugly as what has been going on in Congress these past years. I’ve seen it in the small-time House of Representatives of the itty bitty State of Oklahoma. And it was all I could bear.

So, do I believe that the Holy Spirit may have called Mrs Reidy to stand up in the House of Representatives and dramatically announce “He will not be mocked” ???

Yes. I do.

Mark Shea also says nice things. His check is in the mail.

One final observation: I wrote this because the tone of the coverage has been universally derisive and mocking. Even if she is mentally ill, that’s an appalling way to respond to a person who may be in serious distress.

Code Pink can erupt into protest on the floor of the house and no one bats an eye. Our elected officials can lie and grandstand and backslap and lie some more and the media acts like that’s just how things are done.

But someone calls the nation to account, in the every seat of power, for its wicked behavior, and suddenly we’re in Cloud Cuckoo Land. We need to be better than that. Whether she’s sick or whether she’s speaking an essential truth, the response lacked humanity. And even if she is ill, that does not make her message meaningless.

HealthCare.gov In Three Images

So first my screen was all like…

And then it was all like…

BONUS typo in the error message!

And then I was all like…

Here’s something you should know: I.T. is not frigging rocket science. It’s no cakewalk to create a system for a nationwide program based on a law so complex no one who voted for it ever read it, but it’s something that can be done.

I saw Kathleen Sebelius comparing the site to Kayak.com, leaving out the key difference: Kayak works.

The problem is that the companies who have the skills to do the work and the companies who have the skills to navigate government bidding and contracting hurdles are not the same companies. The job goes to whatever political crony managed to manipulate the system more efficiently.

I imagine Mad PowerPoint Skillz, rather than programming expertise, had a lot to do with who landed the HealthCare.gov contract.

I assume the project was pieced out to various contractors, with poor communication and integration among the various players, all of it wrapped around a thick, neugoty center of government malfeasance and incompetence.

I read today that the site cost $634 million. Blizzard Software probably could have made three or four different World of Warcraft games, each integrating millions of users in a live, graphically rich, and dynamic online environment, for about about the same amount of money.  And that $634 million was well in excess of the $94 million it was supposed to cost.

There is no reason–none, zero, zip, zilch–that this system should not work. Improper load-testing is just not an excuse. All major website rollouts have load issues, and some have rocky rollouts. I’ve never seen any rollout, however, done this poorly.

It doesn’t help that, according to this story, the system appears to be performing harakiri every time someone logs in:

 One possible cause of the problems is that hitting “apply” on HealthCare.gov causes 92 separate files, plug-ins and other mammoth swarms of data to stream between the user’s computer and the servers powering the government website, said Matthew Hancock, an independent expert in website design. He was able to track the files being requested through a feature in the Firefox browser.

Of the 92 he found, 56 were JavaScript files, including plug-ins that make it easier for code to work on multiple browsers (such as Microsoft Corp’s Internet Explorer and Google Inc’s Chrome) and let users upload files to HealthCare.gov.

It is not clear why the upload function was included.

“They set up the website in such a way that too many requests to the server arrived at the same time,” Hancock said.

He said because so much traffic was going back and forth between the users’ computers and the server hosting the government website, it was as if the system was attacking itself.

Yes, you read that correctly: the site is performing DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks on itself.

It’s almost like a performance art piece, emulating in code what this administration is doing to the country in reality: swamping us with endless amounts of meaningless actions that plague and fatigue us until we keel over dead.

“Check Your Privilege”: The Tournament!

“Check Your Privilege” is the modern rebranding of political correctness, which in turn was an aggressive rebranding of “consciousness raising,” and THAT was just plain old cultural Marxism. It’s the idea that society is inherently homogeneous, and therefore automatically represses those who are–to use the modern word–“others.”

Certain people, so the theory goes, accrue privilege simply by being. Their social status, gender, race, sexual habits, class, religion, and so on make them a de facto elite, who oppress the other by their mere existence.

We’re told to “check our privilege,” which is a shorthand way of saying, “Shut up, white boy, and let the transsexual black Muslim homeless dude tell you how things REALLY are.” Those who are perceived to be part of the mainstream are thus devalued, and the marginal uplifted.

Privilege allegedly affects all of our perceptions. Some of us don’t have to worry, say, about being pulled over for “driving while black,” or facing a higher likelihood of sexual assault because we’re women, or being told to move along because we’re wearing shabby clothing while sitting too long in park.

This freedom means some of us are rendered unable to comment on any issues because our privilege blinds us to their reality. It automatically eliminates our empathy, imagination, sense of fairness and the right, and moral codes. It colors everything we do, and is even more oppressive when we pretend not to have it.

Of course, if you mouth the right pieties and agree with the right social policies and political leaders, those blinders fly away on wings of angels, and you become one of The Enlightened.

It’s intellectually dishonest, logically inconsistent, and psychologically and sociologically incoherent.

That’s why I am, for the first time, linking to Gawker, a site I really detest. They have, however, done something ballsy and wonderful: A Privilege Tournament:

Privilege: so sweet to have. But even sweeter to not have. Privilege has its benefits, but the lack of privilege confers that sweet, sweet moral superiority. With that in mind, we have decided to determine who, exactly, has the least privilege of all.

These days, teary privilege confessionals pour forth from the lips of college students in equal proportion to the fiery critiques of our grossly unjust world that pour forth from the unprivileged masses. None of it, however, is very scientific. This is the privilege bracket. It is like an NCAA bracket, but without the privileged assumption that you know about sports, which are an inherently masculine-dominated, ability-privileged activity. Here, we will pit eight categories of non-privilege against one another, tournament-style. Each round, the least privileged will advance. At the end, only a single category of non-privilege will be left standing. Or, more likely, unable to stand.

It’s like a modern version of Queen for a Day, a game show in which women told stories of personal and financial ruin, with the most miserable winning … I dunno, a lifetime supply of Chinet.

Who will be the LEAST privileged? Muslims? Gays? Bulimics? Amputees? Prisoners? I can hardly wait to find out. And no one will be able to dispute the results because SCIENCE!

Ideologues can stand a lot of things, but mockery is not one of them. The “check your privilege” gibberish has dribbled out of the university over the past few years, along with other attempts at social manipulation like microaggressions and breaking human sexual experience into ever-multiplying identity groups.

With Gawker’s highly trafficked Privilege Brackets, the idea finally bottoms out and the absurdity is revealed.

Do I expect it “Check Your Privilege” to go away now? Of course not. Progressives don’t surrender their tools quite so easily, and the Priesthood of Academia will continue to preach their gospel of hate.

But I do know that the idea has finally passed its sell-by date, and like hyphenated-Americans, it’s now just another thing to mock.

A Brief Rant on the Looming American Health Care Disaster

Salty language ahead. I decided to blog angry, which I rarely do. Sometimes anger is clarifying.

Writers, artists, musicians, etc are set to lose their health care under Obamacare changes.

Sweet sweet poetic justice.

As I get put through the wringer over changes this asshole and his asshole supporters forced on us (we just lost our pediatrician because of Obamacare changes), I’m glad to know that same class of elites who supported this obvious disaster will suffer along with me.

I wrote in detail about my thoughts on Obamacare back when sane people were opposing it and idiot idealists were shouting, “Nah, man! We gotta fix the system, or maybe just break it until we get single payer and are all equally miserable under a bloated and ineffective nationalized health system.” 

Small changes? Sensible reforms? Screw that!

Nah! They’re leftists! They never met a bullshit program or obviously futile effort  which they didn’t think they could make work with their Magic Positive Energy Thought Beams. The entire American left has taken up permanent residence in Equestria.

If you supported Obamacare because you thought “well something–anything!–needs to be done,” you’ve contributed to the destruction of American health care. Thanks for that! I think I read more of the bill than Nancy Pelosi (and certainly more than Obama) and I could tell it was a mess from step 1.

I’ve been in close personal contact with the health care system for months now, with different family members and different maladies, and everywhere I go, it’s a complete clusterfrak, from the cardiologists driven out of business because they couldn’t afford the mandatory healthcare records computer system which cost $250,000 (which, of course, won’t ever be tied directly to the NSA with all your medical records: they pinky swear!), to the bizarre and contradictory rules which no one understands.

It is all going to crash, which is why they keep (illegally) postponing the implementation date and (illegally) giving exemptions to political supporters and donors.

If you supported it, I’m pretty pissed off at you right now. You weren’t paying attention to the details. And any marginally intelligent person knows that is where you find the devil, not in the grandiose abstractions peddled by this Imperialist Amateur posing as president.

And now my kids are losing a fine doctor because no one can make the system work any more, and they’re just putting out fires the best they can. Doctors are going out of business. Costs are skyrocketing.

It’s like a wise man once said:

 

Government Grabs Church Land for Road Project


Not far from where I live, the Diocese of Camden (New Jersey) just lost 6 acres from one of their cemeteries in a government land grab under eminent domain, and for far less than the asking price or the assessment:

New Jersey invoked eminent domain to grab the land for a highway project, and offered the Catholic diocese in Camden $1.9 million, even though church officials say the 6-acre parcel is worth ten times that figure. The land, part of a cemetery but containing no graves, will go to an extensive road-widening project after the state’s Supreme Court declined to hear the church’s appeal. Diocese officials claim the state low-balled them.

“We are disappointed by the state’s approach,” Diocese of Camden spokesman Peter Feuerherd told FoxNews.com.

Church officials had asked for $19.4 million for the tract at New St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bellmawr, basing its estimate on the value of the land and the cost of relocating graves whose “tranquility” might be disturbed by the roadwork. But the state Department of Transportation used a 2007 appraisal of the land, even ignoring a subsequent valuation of $3.5 million, Feuerherd said.

Almost 40,000 people are buried there, and families are upset:

“This whole thing has been traumatic,” said Basil Albadri, a Haddon Township man whose wife, Roxann, died of breast cancer in 2008 and is interred in the cemetery’s 7,015-crypt mausoleum.

Just months after his wife passed away, Albadri, 51, received a letter inviting him to an NJDOT meeting in Bellmawr to discuss the interchange’s impact on the 50-acre cemetery. The letter was scant on details but floored the family, conjuring up images of second funerals.

“We were hysterical,” said Susan Czere, Albadri’s sister-in-law.

NJDOT’s proposed remedy would create an elevated flyover that would come within 20 feet of the mausoleum’s nearest corner, according to an attorney for the Camden Diocese, which operates the cemetery.

Although the idea of “eminent domain” has deep roots in English common law, it’s never been without controversy and it is routinely abused, particularly in the wake of the Supreme Court’s notorious Kelo decision. This is simply theft-by-government, and no free society should tolerate it. Respect for private property, respect for families, respect for the Church: all things lost in modern America.

And most of all, a civilization that doesn’t respect the dead is a civilization with no past, and thus no future.

Related: Tobit, And Tamerlan