Friday, February 28, 2014

When Social Media Bites Back: Three Epic Fails

Social media is all the rage today. Every young person I know has at least two or three different accounts on various social networking websites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. So it's no wonder that sometimes things get publicized that probably should have been given second thought before hitting the post, send, or share button. Several examples of this phenomenon jumped off the news pages today.

First was a Yahoo story about a young woman whose antics cost her father $80,000. Apparently college student Dana Snay revealed a little too much about her father's personal business on a social media website. Papa Snay recently celebrated a victory in an age discrimination suit against his former employer. The settlement agreement contained a confidentiality clause, which means that the parties are not allowed to share the details of the settlement with anyone.

So, you can probably guess that daughter Dana spilled the beans and posted a taunting message on her Facebook page: “Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.” Obviously, the only way Baby Girl Snay could know the results of the settlement is if her parents told her. It would normally not have been a big deal, but when the breach of confidentiality in the form of a snarky Facebook message was brought to the attention of the judge who approved the settlement, he rescinded the approval and ordered Papa Snay to pay back the settlement. Wow! A judge with ... guts! Ms Snay probably swallowed the tongue that she stuck out in obnoxious Miley-Cyrus-fashion on her Facebook page. And she won't be visiting Europe this summer either.

The second questionable activity in the news was that of a grown woman who probably also thought she was being cute with her response to a young job-seeking woman. Kelly Blazek, a marketing recruiter in Cleveland who runs an online job bank, was contacted on social media website LinkedIn by a 26 year-old college graduate who asked Blazek for contact information for some rather prominent higher-ups in her job field. Blazek wrote a scathing response that ended up backfiring on her. Here is what Blazek wrote.

Blazek's response was picked up by news media and it has "gone viral" as they say. Now the so-called professional is issuing apology after apology, as it has been revealed that this is not the first person to whom she has been obnoxious. Indeed, at the rate she is going, Ms. Blazek may need help finding a new job herself soon. She might want to get away to Europe this summer.

Perhaps Ms. Blazek should be introduced to Ms. Snay, a young lady who actually could use a humility lesson.

Finally, the third use of social media that has become the butt of numerous jokes is a 62-second video produced by the Let's Move program that Michelle Obama pushes on the youth of our country. Check out the You Tube video below.

You need only go to the You Tube page where this is posted and read the comments to see how many people are upset that our tax dollars are being spent to produce such a ridiculous public service announcement. Is any child honestly going to see that video and say, "Wow! That's inspiring me to move! I'm gonna go jog around my house wearing my Sunday best clothes, just like these two rugged leaders of the free world!"

Needless to say, America needs this video about as much as I need another hole in my head. To quote my father, in his infinite wisdom and humility.

Maybe these two goofballs could also use a humility lesson from Ms. Blazek. And they'd better not quit their day jobs either because there's no future in acting for either of them.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Part Two: Secrets of the Vatican and Pope Francis

I just finished watching the PBS program Frontline: Secrets of the Vatican that I wrote about in my earlier posting today. I honestly do not think I can stand up at this very moment. My legs are weak, my stomach is churning, and I feel a tightness in my chest. I cried, literally, on two occasions as I watched this expose.

This is such an important video that have embed it here for those who are not inclined to go through the process of searching the PBS website for it. Please, watch it. It is 84 minutes long, so block out the time, hopefully uninterrupted, to absorb the magnitude of what is being presented here. (I cannot tell if the entire video is included here, but the link is below the screen so you should be able to access the rest in case it does not all embed here.)

When you have finished, I urge you to comment below. Did you have a similar reaction? Are you angry? Saddened? Confused? It presents topics for discussion that Catholics all over the world need to have.


PBS' Secrets of the Vatican: Exposing the Dark Underbelly

[CORRECTION: This program actually aired last night (2/25/14), so I missed the broadcast. My apologies for the error. But, I discovered that the recorded program is available on PBS' Frontline website. I accessed it at, although I am not sure this link is accessible in all viewing areas. I had to choose a PBS affiliate station based upon my location. Hopefully you can access it also. You may have to sign in to watch it.]

I have concluded that my blog title of "Informed Catholic Voter" encompasses more than merely the political realm of voting for candidates or issue in the civil arena. In reality, Catholics also vote with their feet: either we go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days or we choose not to go. The reason for either choice is personal and private. No one can make us reveal why we do or do not go to Mass. Perhaps we do not even fully know the answer to that question ourselves. For some of us, going to Mass is simply a pattern of behavior, while not going can be blamed on what the media identifies as hypocrisy among the Church's leadership.

A new documentary being aired tonight (February 26, 2014) on PBS promises to bring more controversy for the Catholic Church. The following video is a snippet from the broadcast, and it sets the stage for what the program "Inside the Vatican: Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will focus on.

I am not a big fan of PBS. They do indeed tend to lean toward the liberal side of politics and affairs. But I am anxious to see this documentary and how it will address the issues facing Pope Francis. I know better than most that this program will not be popular with many devout and/or lifelong Catholics. None of us wants to imagine that there is an ugly underbelly to the Church's central authority -- the Vatican. But I can attest to the fact that it exists. Before I went to study canon law over a dozen years ago, I saw the Church through rose-colored glasses. I knew that there were a few bad apples out there, but all in all I thought that were the exception. Sadly, however, over the last twelve years, I have come to believe that bad apples are the norm in the hierarchy.

Lest my conservative Catholic friends and family think I am being overly dramatic or unfaithful to the hierarchy, let me just say this. There is a reason that Pope Benedict resigned. I honestly think that the weight of what he was trying to do -- clean up the corruption inside the Vatican and other reaches of the Church -- was too burdensome for him. We may never know what his reasons were -- at least not in our lifetimes. But I don't buy for a second that he was just tired or wanted to get back to intellectual pondering. I think the evil was too great. And I think that Francis has begun to feel  the weight of this culture of corruption already.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner. You can find some great products on Amazon's website to help you celebrate!

NPR Story on Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

I found this story this morning and wanted to share it with you. I have embedded the audio player below, but if it does not work, go to the story using the link at the beginning of the first sentence of this posting.

Prioress of the Abbey, Mother Cecilia, makes a comment at the start of the interview that I am sure Jesus is asking again today: "My people, what have you done to me? Why have you abandoned me?"


The album at left is from the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of Apostles.
The other two are from other groups of nuns.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Senator Elbert Guillory and Abortion

Today one of the top stories in the news was the startling fact that in New York City in 2012 the number of abortions of black babies surpassed the number of live births of black babies. What a tragedy. Why can the black community not see the horrific culture of death they have fallen for in recent years.

So tonight when I watched the video below that was sent to me by a friend, it really drove the point home for me. If you have not heard Senator Elbert Guillory from Louisiana explain why he switched from the Democrat party to the Republican party a few years ago, this video should rock you.

Senator Guillory hits the nail on the head. Our liberal society has made abortion mainstream by constantly screaming that conservatives want to take the "right to choose" away from you. It reminds me of the way you trick a child into doing something they don't want to do. Remember how Tom Sawyer tricked others into whitewashing his fence for him? If you tell someone they cannot do something or that someone is trying to take away their right to do it, then they are in defense mode and will fight to be able to do that thing, even if it kills them. So using this tactic--fear of deprivation--liberals have tricked their own supporters into killing their own babies by telling them its their right and that conservatives want to deprive them of it.

It is only with God's help that we will ever recover from the depravity that the liberal leaders have led us into over the last 5 decades. We have to pray, and pray hard, for more Senators like Elbert Guillory to be elected this Fall in the midterm elections. Men and women who can fluently and passionately articulate the conservative platforms and convince the poor and minorities of this country that their path to prosperity is through conservatism and not "me-centered" liberalism.