Saturday 19th August 2017

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Even If You’re Not Charlie Gard… Look How Government Likes Having Its Hand At Your Throat

July 16, 2017 Featured Today No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

What a nice surprise. Walking home from Mass on my birthday morning in June, I found a package left at my front door by one of the major private delivery services. Gotta be a birthday present. Not at all. The house number on the address label was exactly right. But the street name was three streets south of mine, for a very different man.
No surprise gift for me, but a problem easily solved. I took the package to the stranger. No forms to fill out or judges’ approval needed to correct the misdelivery. It’s when power over the solution is removed from our hands, and fixing the problem doesn’t really matter to another individual or authority, that one aches.
Most of the time the Postal Service routinely does most of its deliveries correctly to me. When a problem arises, though, this independent agency of the federal government can show the same disregard as any other government stone-face. This is no longer the dutiful carrier you see making the rounds in the heat and cold. It’s distant forces and buck-passing indifference.
Something to keep in mind as we’re urged to let government take complete control of our medical care. That can portend the kind of needless crisis thrust before our attention by President Trump and Pope Francis in the United Kingdom, as that government’s National Health Service decided little Charlie Gard was better off dead, despite the desperate pleas of his parents.
If government medicine was just the nurse giving us aspirin on time, it might work as well as routine letter delivery. But because it’s more complex, and morally fraught, it’s putting your hospital bed on quicksand.
The U.S. Postal Service doesn’t screen and withhold your mail if you read material that disagrees with the ruling political party. But Barack Obama showed that if he got his way, medical bureaucrats who toed his line would force their twisted morals on you, and you’d either knuckle under or pay crippling fines.
Not at all to place my postal problems on a par with the medical distress of Charlie Gard and his parents. This is just to reinforce the reminder that when you have little or no option, government can revel in your defeat.
On May 25 I sent an important business communication as certified mail, with a return receipt attached. According to the USPS online tracker, on May 30 the letter was out for delivery from the branch in New York City to the recipient at 9:34 a.m., and that was the last time it was accounted for. It just, as it were, dropped off the face of the Earth.
You pay about 15 times the normal postage for the careful tracking that certified mail promises, and the verification that it was delivered. If the Postal Service defaults on the deal, prepare for the possibility of a lot more buck passing than $7.29 worth.
After futilely continuing to hope the letter would be delivered, I filed a complaint online with the Postal Service. I received a confirmation June 9 from associate supervisor William Smith Jr. saying, “After we review and investigate the information you have provided, we will contact you and work with you until the case is resolved.”
On June 12 Smith followed up to regret my inconvenience, and told me to call customer-service manager Jeff Fernandez if the item hadn’t been delivered. Smith’s note officiously said, “Your case has been investigated and a solution has been provided to you.” No, it hadn’t. Smith just told me to contact someone else.
Smith provided three different phone numbers for Fernandez.
It turned out the business I had mailed to wasn’t helpful for weeks, either, about whether it would or could confirm receiving my letter. I do know my postal return receipt never came back to me.
Finally, on June 30 I called one of the three numbers for Fernandez. No person answered but I was able to leave a voice mail. I also called the other two phone numbers but they only continued ringing until I hung up.
I called for Fernandez again on July 7, but only got a voice mail again. I left a message pointing out my June 30 call hadn’t been responded to. I also phoned those other two numbers again that Smith gave for Fernandez. This time after they rang repeatedly, a recording said a person wasn’t answering, and to try again later. Fernandez continued not to reply.
If this was a life-or-death letter, I wouldn’t want one of those United Kingdom judges deciding if I should suffocate under government oppression.
Although Smith’s June 12 email didn’t want me to contact him again, what the heck. I’m supposed to let him buck-pass this off into eternity?
I sent Smith an individual email July 10 that I would be mentioning this experience in a newspaper article. Said I: “Not only has the Postal Service still been unable to determine what became of a certified letter it charged me for on May 25; I cannot even find a resolution through the postal channels I have been instructed to follow.”
As I write on July 11, still no contact to me.
Does Nurse Ratched, the character famed for demonstrating the corrupting power of bureaucracies in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, mess with the Postal Service, too?
You think this is unique?
Earlier this year I received an unsolicited religious mailer hoping for a donation. A small crucifix once had been visible through a window in the envelope sleeve, but the envelope had been illegally opened and the Corpus and crossbar were broken off and missing, leaving a scar on the remaining wood. The crucifix’s INRI and vertical post were still in the sleeve when I received delivery.
Their material worth probably was only a few cents. But what kind of weirdo wants a little metal Corpus? For devil worship? Is this any kind of pattern?
I took the mailer to my postal branch, but the manager refused to take a report, citing some kind of conflict of interest with her workers, and instructing me to fill out a report online. And, no, she didn’t want to receive the opened mailer as evidence.
Might there have been fingerprints or something else useful for investigation? The Postal Service wasn’t curious.
The response to my online report was misrepresentation and hand-washing — though not to compare with Pontius Pilate — and once again the useless disclaimer, “Your case has been investigated and a solution has been provided to you.” No, the Postal Service had no answer, but, like words from some U.K. judge, whatever is said is supposed to count somehow, darn it.
The Postal Service has the responsibility to move billions of items of mail, regularly or irregularly. You’re just one of hundreds of millions of customers, and if there’s a problem, you’re reminded of how inconsequential you are. May U.S. medicine never descend to the level of a government anti-health monopoly!

“Your Claim Is Denied”

As it happens, back in 2011 I was able to provide a dramatic illustration in these pages of the jarring difference between private business and government. That was on the front page of the June 9, 2011, Wanderer, headlined, “When TSA Doctors The Results, Can Obamacare Be Very Far Behind?”
Some small items had been stolen from my suitcase in December 2010 between the time I checked it at the San Diego airport counter and picked it up from the carousel at the Phoenix airport. I promptly reported the crime on the phone to both the TSA and U.S. Airways, then filled out their respective paperwork.
I estimated the loss at between $16 and $17. Within a couple of weeks, privately owned U.S. Airways mailed me a check for the higher amount, $17. The government TSA took more than four months and sent me an accusatory-sounding notice in May that — surprise, surprise — absolved itself of any blame.
The government sounded like it would have liked to put me on trial!
“Your claim is denied,” huffed the TSA. Huh, my claim that my bag was stolen from is denied? Despite all the invasive security cameras at airports, the government still had no idea who stuck their hand into my bag?
I’d reported that security had failed somewhere between check-in and pickup. But all that TSA cared about was ducking blame.
Moreover — and this was especially laughable — TSA added: “After careful evaluation of all the evidence, we have determined that there are no legally sustainable grounds upon which a finding of liability can be based on the part of TSA.”
As a matter of fact, a few days after the theft, a couple of Christmas cards in an envelope from a monastery that had been in my suitcase were mailed back to me, as if the thief was too ashamed to have kept this part of the haul. Might there have been fingerprints?
I notified both the airline and TSA by phone and mail of the mysterious return of the cards. Of course, TSA never asked to examine them before proclaiming it had carefully evaluated “all the evidence.”
The airline quickly wanted to make things right with an offended customer. Big Government was all legalese and blame-shifting, taking months to sneer at me for daring to bother it.
Makes me think back to the 1970s, when I was a writer for Arizona’s largest daily newspaper. Without my household making any complaint about home water service, the City of Phoenix one day monkeyed in the yard with the system, claiming the water pressure was too low.
Actually it had been fine, but after city workers finished their hijinks, the pipes served a mixture of water, sand, and muck. And newly lowered pressure.
It took three days to get this corrected. After suggesting that we should hire a plumber to fix Phoenix’s misdeeds, the water department got worried and got to work only after being informed that I wrote for the daily newspaper.
No wonder bumbling government prefers having power and making people defenseless. Pray for all the Charlie Gards of the world, even those who don’t need mechanical ventilators to live.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Calls for prayer amid ‘abhorrent’ violence in Charlottesville

Washington D.C., Aug 12, 2017 / 03:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The head of the U.S. bishops conference called for prayers after one person was killed and over a dozen injured during a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. “The abhorrent…Continue Reading

Knights of Columbus ‘modernize’ Fourth Degree uniforms

St. Louis, Mo., Aug 3, 2017 / 02:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The classic ceremonial hats and capes of Fourth Degree members of the Knights of Columbus that you may have seen at Mass or at parish events will now be…Continue Reading

Priest stabbed during Mass at Mexico City cathedral dies in hospital

Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 3, 2017 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Father José Miguel Machorro, who was stabbed in the neck and torso mid-May at the conclusion of Mass at the cathedral of Mexico City, died while at hospital on…Continue Reading

Abortionist praised by Pope speaks at Catholic church, pro-life protesters kicked out

BIELLA, Italy, July 28, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Despite vocal opposition, a notorious Italian abortionist was allowed to speak at a Catholic parish on Wednesday, while pro-life critics were locked out, silenced or kicked out. Despite her abortion advocacy, Emma Bonino was praised by Pope Francis in…Continue Reading

Gard family announces that Charlie has died

London, England, Jul 28, 2017 / 11:51 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A spokesperson for the parents of terminally ill British infant Charlie Gard has reported that their “beautiful little boy” has died. He had been taken into hospice care on July…Continue Reading

John McCain Burns Mitch McConnell Sides with Democrats

In a move that’s no surprise to anyone, John McCain voted against the embarrassingly named “Skinny Repeal”, voted against his party (or is it his party?) and voted to keep Obamacare going as is. Smarter people than me say that…Continue Reading

Catholic men’s conference in crosshairs of left-wing activists

Christine Niles, a Vietnamese immigrant who helps run a parachurch organization in Michigan that promotes Roman Catholic teaching, expected to spend this week preparing theological materials and getting ready for the group’s annual conference for men. Instead, Niles, who is…Continue Reading

Bishops to Trump: Don’t abandon young people to deportation

Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Undocumented young people brought to the U.S. by their parents contribute to American society and deserve continued protections from the Trump administration, said the U.S. Catholic bishops this week. “These…Continue Reading

Facing outrage – Facebook unblocks Catholic pages

Dozens of Catholic Facebook pages have been blocked, according to several Catholic news organizations. UPDATE: Facebook has unblocked more than 20 Catholic-interest pages – blaming the issue on a technical glitch. “All Pages have now been restored,” a Facebook spokesperson…Continue Reading

Bishops stress hospitality for Camino de Santiago hosts

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jul 14, 2017 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Spain and France have published a new letter emphasizing the importance of hospitality for people who host pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, offering guidelines…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah wants ‘liturgical reconciliation’ between old and new forms of Mass

Sarah says phrase ‘reform of the reform’ should no longer be used but wants ordinary version of Mass to be more like the extraordinary form The Cardinal leading the Vatican’s divine worship office has called for a truce in the…Continue Reading

Video game store promotes graphic animated porn to 35 million child users

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2017 (NCOSE) – A mainstream online video game store, with an estimated 35 million users under the age of 18, is facilitating gamified sexual coercion and animated pornography featuring genitalia, ejaculation, to users of all ages. This…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Today . . .

Cardinal Sarah: ‘We are called today to witness, which means martyrdom’

August 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — This evening, we offer the sacrifice of the Mass for the repose of the souls of all of the volunteers of the Puy-du-Fou who have died since the beginnings of this beautiful work, 40 years ago. Every night, all of you who are gathered here, awaken the memory of this place through your work. The castle of the Puy-du-Fou, with its hurting ruins, abandoned by man, seems to rise like a cry…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood CEO Claims President Trump Has “Both Barrels Aimed at Women” on Abortion

The CEO of America’s largest abortion business slammed President Donald Trump again this week for his pro-life policies. Cecile Richards, who makes nearly $1 million a year running the “non-profit” Planned Parenthood, claimed Trump is out to get women because he supports cutting off taxpayer funding to abortion groups. “The actions we’re seeing and what we’ve seen out of this administration from day one have had both barrels aimed at women,” Richards told Politico.

Australian bishops oppose forcing priests to reveal details of confession

Vatican City, Aug 14, 2017 / 07:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Australia have indicated that they will resist the Royal Commission’s proposal that priests be legally obligated to disclose details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional, facing criminal charges if they don’t. “Confession in the Catholic Church is a spiritual encounter with God through the priest,” Archbishop Denis J Hart of Melbourne said in an Aug. 14 statement.

A bishop’s plea: Don’t forget victims of war and cholera in Yemen

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Aug 11, 2017 / 04:42 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A deadly cholera outbreak in Yemen could continue indefinitely without an end to the civil war, says a bishop in the region who has pleaded for the faithful to pray and for an end to arms sales to the parties. “As I believe in the power of prayer, I can only ask the faithful around the world, to keep in mind the…Continue Reading

President Donald Trump Cuts Planned Parenthood-Run Sex-Ed Programs, May Prepare for Abstinence Funding

President Donald Trump recently cut funding to a questionable teen pregnancy prevention program that has given millions of dollars to the abortion business Planned Parenthood. The Hill reports pro-abortion President Barack Obama created the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program in 2010 to teach vulnerable populations of students about preventing pregnancy. Participants in the program recently learned that their grant funding will end next year, two years sooner than expected, according to the report. Trump’s administration notified…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Dissonance, The New Normal

By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON Almost daily, the media report on instances of radical dissension in America. People are split on numerous political, social, and religious issues, show no inclination to compromise, and increasingly rely on obstruction to pursue their positions. The result is discord, confusion, outrage, greater polarization, and violence. In the absence of national…Continue Reading

Religion Is Not Simple

By JOHN YOUNG Some people claim that true religion is very simple, and that if we delve into difficult theological questions we will lose that simplicity. Jesus said we must become as little children if we are to enter God’s Kingdom; He didn’t say we must become theologians. Frank Sheed’s response to the claim that…Continue Reading

Rose Of Lima, A First For The Americas

By RAY CAVANAUGH The first saint born in the Americas, Rose of Lima practiced both charity and asceticism with extreme intensity until her death at age 31. She is now the patroness of South America, and churches across the world bear her name. This August 24 marks the 400th anniversary of her death. The future…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Wonder And Joy At The Great Goodness Of God

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, by Kevin Vost (Sophia Institute Press, Manchester, NH, 2016), 207 pp.; paperback, $18.95. Available from www.SophiaInstitute.com or 1-800-888-9344. While Christians live a moral life founded on the natural law, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the love of neighbor and the love of God, the imitation…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Retelling The Story Of Fatima

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Fatima, the First Hundred Years: The Complete Story from Visionaries to Saints, by Barry R. Pearlman (Angelico Press, 2017); 278 pages, $14.95 paperback. Available from Amazon.com. Fatima, the First Hundred Years: The Complete Story from Visionaries to Saints, is an updated version of the author’s previous work, Fatima: A Heart for…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Celebration Of The Sacrament Of Penance

By DON FIER The doctrine of indulgences, as we have seen over the past two weeks, is an important part of the life of the Church. Although the Catholic understanding of indulgences has been clouded by abuses, most notably in the 16th century when Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses, its roots go back to the beginning of the Church…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. You have expressed your disagreement in the past with the practice of omitting “hard sayings” from the Mass readings or giving the option of using the “shorter version” of a reading, which usually means leaving out a strong passage. I noticed that this happened with the Gospel for the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Is this what you had…Continue Reading

God’s Inscrutable And Unsearchable Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-First Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 22:19-23 Romans 11:33-36 Matt. 16:13-20 In the second reading today, St. Paul marvels at the depth of the riches, the wisdom, and the knowledge of God. He proclaims that God’s judgments are inscrutable and His ways are unsearchable. Of course, in our humanness, we often seem to…Continue Reading

Canon Lawyer… Notes Clergy Confusion About Preaching On Contraception, Related Issues

By DEXTER DUGGAN Part 1 PHOENIX — A member of the leadership team of the Diocese of Phoenix explored contraception and related issues in an interview with The Wanderer after he preached on the topics during July 22-23 weekend Masses at one of the large diocesan parishes, St. Thomas the Apostle, in a residential area of Phoenix. Fr. Chris Fraser,…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Marian Pilgrimage Leads To The Eucharistic Lord

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK I share with you this week the extraordinary journey I took to two places I have visited before, but which number among the very few that one can visit again and again without fear of exhausting their spiritual riches. Can you name a rock star who draws a crowd every night of the week without…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Karl Leisner

By CAROLE BRESLIN There was a priest, Blessed Karl Leisner, who heard his call to the priesthood during a Schoenstatt Retreat. The Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt is an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church, a Marian movement founded in Germany in 1914 by a Pallottine priest, Fr. Joseph Kentenich (1885-1968). Members of the Schoenstatt were formed for a renewal in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Alphonsa Of The Immaculate Conception

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many different churches that are in full communion with Rome. One of these is in India: the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in Kerala, India — once called the St. Thomas (the Apostle) Christians. From this tiny group of Catholics have come a growing number of holy men and women recognized by Rome. So far, there are…Continue Reading