Monday, March 25, 2024

Dear Bishop Douglas Deshotel: Excommunicate me too!

A few days ago, Bishop Douglas Deshotel, prelate of the Lafayette Diocese, excommunicated Scott Peyton, a former Catholic deacon whose son was sexually molested by a Catholic priest. The priest, Father Michael Guidry, pleaded guilty to molesting the boy and is now in prison.

Excommunication is an extraordinarily harsh punishment to impose on an errant Catholic, especially an anguished Catholic whose son was sexually abused by a Catholic priest. What did Mr. Peyton do to deserve Bishop Deshotel’s wrath?

It seems Peyton angered the bishop by writing a letter that expressed his disillusionment over his son’s molestation and the way the Catholic Church handled it.

After “deep reflection,” Peyton wrote, he had decided to “leave the Catholic Church and the diaconate.” He also wrote that he was distressed by years of reports about sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

“The magnitude of these revelations,” Peyton wrote, “has deeply shaken my faith and trust in the institution to which I have dedicated a significant portion of my life.”

Peyton stressed that his decision to resign from the diaconate and leave the Church was not a rejection of his Christian faith. “Instead, it reflects a conscientious objection to the way the Church has handled cases of sexual abuse and a desire to distance myself from an institution that, currently, falls short of the values it professes.”

I think Bishop Deshotel miscalculated. If every Catholic whose faith was shaken by the Church’s sexual abuse scandals deserves excommunication, then millions of people are going to be kicked out of the Catholic Church.

I confess that my Catholic faith has been deeply shaken by hundreds of reports of child rape—rape that was covered up by dozens of bishops on the advice of their lawyers. So, Bishop Deshotel, I invite you to excommunicate me too.

Scott and Letitia Peyton 
Photo credit: The Advocate

Sunday, March 24, 2024

A long history of child molestation by priests in Lafayette Diocese. Maybe some bishops should go to jail

In 2016, I wrote a letter to Bishop Deshotel,  reporting that I had been treated rudely by Monsignor Richard Mouton in the confession booth. After asking several shocking sexual questions, Monsignor Mouton refused to confess me because I was divorced.

I delivered the letter to Bishop Douglas Deshotel on September 14, 2016. It is now 2024, and I have yet to receive Bishop Deshotel's response. 

I learned later that Monsignor Mouton was one of the priests in the Lafayette Diocese who figured in the sexual abuse scandal involving Father Gilbert Gauthe, who was eventually convicted of sexually abusing children. In 1984, the Lafayette Diocese settled claims by nine child victims for more than $4 million.

Father Gauthe's hellish behavior, which included anal intercourse and oral sex with children, first became public in 1983. However, it came to light in the course of litigation that Monsignor Mouton had received reports from parents in 1976 that Father Gauthe had kissed two boys.

Monsignor Mouton was the pastor of the Catholic church in Abbeville then, and the preditory Father Gauthe was the assistant pastor. According to reporter Jason Berry, who wrote a book about the Gauthe tragedy, Monsignor Mouton responded to news of Gauthe's misbehavior by "ordering [Gauthe] to move to an upstairs bedroom in the rectory."

Seven years later, Gauthe's sexual predation became public knowledge, and the parents of some of the victims contacted a lawyer.

 Monsignor Mouton, apparently hoping to quiet things down, invited Roy Robichaux, father of three of Gauthe's victims, to come to the rectory for a little chat. Robichaux told Monsignor Mouton that he was notifying other parents whose children might also have been victimized by Gauthe.

According to reporter Berry's account, Monsignor did not approve. "Should anyone get hurt, Mouton admonished, the guilt would rest on Roy [Robichaux] for making it public."

Monsignor Mouton also said something that profoundly shocked Mr. Robichaux: "Think how Gauthe's mother would feel."

Robichaux responded as any good Cajun father would under the circumstances. "How in the fuck do you think the mothers of these kids feel?"

But Mouton continued to downplay what happened to Robichaux's three children. "The boys were young, Mouton said gently. They would bounce back and get over these things."
Later, Mouton telephoned Robichaux and offered to hear the three children's confessions. Robichaux reportedly said no. "My sons do not need confession! They did nothing wrong."

Priests have sexually abused children in the Lafayette Diocese for almost half a century. In 2019, Father Michael Guidry pleaded guilty to molesting the teenage son of Scott Peyton, a Catholic deacon. Guidry went to prison, and the Diocese issued a three-sentence apology.
Earlier this month, Bishop Douglas Deshotel excommunicated Mr. Peyton, the victim's father! Why? Apparently, because Mr. Peyton admitted that the sexual abuse of his son by a priest had shaken his faith.
Sexual abuse of children by priests in Lafayette Diocese has gone on too long. Maybe it's time to start putting some bishops in jail.

Father Gilbert Gauthe, convicted of sexual abuse in 1985


Jason Berry. Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children. New York; Doubleday, 1992.

Jason Berry. The Tragedy of Gilbert Gauthe (Part 1)Times of Acadiana, May 23, 1985.

Mary Gail Frawley O'Dea. Perversion of Power: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2007.
Steven Marcantel. Former deacon excommunicated from church. The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, March 24, 2024.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Wages are up, grocery prices are going down, and inflation is under control! Paul Krugman slings Joe Biden's bullshit

 President Biden issued a statement a few days ago assuring us that the economy is robust and we're all getting richer. Here is what he said:

Inflation is down two-thirds from its peak, and annual core inflation is the lowest since May 2021. Wages are rising faster than prices over the last year and since the pandemic. Prices for key household purchases like gas, milk, eggs, and appliances are lower than a year ago. Inflation is down, while unemployment has remained below 4% for the longest stretch in more than 50 years.

In short, Americans have become wealthier since Joe Biden took office. Unfortunately, many Americans are so fuckin’ dumb that they don't realize how prosperous they are.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, chief spear carrier for the progressive left, asked why Americans are so down on the economy. Why are they ignoring "fancy statistics" showing that "America is doing pretty well"?

Krugman thinks many Americans have been duped by "the false narrative that the economy is doing badly."

I hate to break it to you, Paul, but that's bullshit. You may not know this, but millions of Americans living on fixed incomes in flyover country do their own grocery shopping. I'm one of those people. Every time I go to the grocery store, I am shocked by the price of food and paper goods.

Property and auto insurance costs have also spiraled upward, rising 26% over last year. Homeowner's insurance costs have risen, too—by 11%.

Krugman urges Democrats to argue that Biden inherited a damaged economy "and led us through the aftermath to a much better place."

I think that's bad advice. If the Democrats want to win this year's presidential election, they need to fall back on the political tactics that have worked so well in the past: race-baiting, ballot harvesting, and frivolous litigation.


Paul Krugman: Slinging Joe Biden's bullshit
Photo credit: Leigh Advisory

Saturday, March 16, 2024

You Too, Brutus? Senator Chuck Schumer Stabs Israel in the Back

You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.

Winston Churchill to Neville Chamberlain

If Western civilization has any eternal moral commitment, it is support for the Jewish state. The United Nations recognized Israel as an independent nation in 1948, and nothing has occurred since then to cancel the world's obligation to protect the nation of Israel and to fight anti-Semitism wherever it appears. The Holocaust is a debt that will never be repaid.

Now, Senator Chuck Schumer, a Jewish American politician, has tossed that moral obligation aside even as Israel fights for its life against Hamas and its genocidal sponsor, Iran. Senator Schumer has called on Israelis to replace Prime Minister Netanyahu, calling him an obstacle to peace. This gratuitous intervention in Israel’s domestic affairs undermines the Jewish state in its existential struggle against terrorism in Gaza.

Senator Chuck Schumer is a geriatric political hack, hellbent on killing young Russians in Eastern Europe while backing away from Israel, our nation's closest ally. Who benefits from Chuck Schumer’s betrayal? Hamas benefits: a genocidal organization with a nihilistic ethos worthy of Nazi Germany.

Why did Schumer betray Israel? I believe he did it to placate Arab American voters in Michigan, a state the Democrats must carry if they hope to reelect Joe Biden, a demented crook, to a second term as president.

In 1938, Neville Chamberlain, Great Britain’s prime minister, betrayed Czechoslovakia when he tossed that beleaguered nation to the Nazis in a futile attempt to avoid war with Germany. It was a cowardly and despicable act. As Winston Churchill said at the time, “You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.”

Senator Schumer’s call for a change of government in Israel is at least as despicable as Chamberlain’s behavior on the eve of the Second World War. And Schumer didn’t even betray Israel to avoid war. I believe he did it to cozy up to Arab voters in Michigan. After all, it's an election year.


Buchenwald survivors arrive in Haifa


Friday, March 15, 2024

Reality bites: Governor Kathy Hochul sends National Guard to NYC subways

As President Harry Truman observed, "It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it's a depression when you lose yours."

Similarly, subway crime was not a problem for New York Governor Kathy Hochul until recently. After all, New York’s media and political elites don’t ride the subways, and they have private security when they travel.

However, crime became a problem for Governor Hochul after a train conductor was the victim of a knife-slashing attack in Brooklyn. NYC transit workers stopped work soon after the slashing to file safety complaints, “causing severe disruptions in subway service.”

Suddenly, it’s time to deploy the National Guard in the New York City subways.

You might think New Yorkers would applaud Governor Hochul’s decision to provide more security for subway riders, but not everyone approved. As the New York Times reported, “transit experts” expressed concern that “extra vigilance in the subways” might “make riders more fearful rather than reassured.”

For example, Danny Pearlstein, a spokesman for a transit advocacy group, deplored Governor Hochul’s action. “Deploying troops to the subway will unfortunately increase the perception of crime,” Pearlman said.

Donna Lieberman, an executive with the New York Civil Liberties Union, was also critical. “Calling out the National Guard in response to a small number of admittedly serious incidents is . . . off the charts.”

A few days ago, Ginia Bellafante, a New York Times columnist, wrote a column suggesting that violence on the subways is a mental health problem, not a crime problem. She found a North Carolina psychiatrist who opined that putting troops in the subway might make a mentally ill person more dangerous to the public rather than less. Bellafante also cited an anthropologist who said that New York City should provide “more homelessness services and more mental health services” rather than send the National Guard to patrol the transit system.

I applaud Governor Hochul’s resolute decision to place National Guard troops in the NYC subways. Critics do not offer any helpful solutions to urban crime by framing the problem as a mental health issue. As the Governor acknowledged, people want to feel safe when they ride the subway. And most people feel safer when they see a cop or a soldier at the subway station, not a psychiatrist, anthropologist, or social worker.

Photo credit: New York Daily News

Friday, March 8, 2024

Joe Biden Needs to Switch to Decaf

 If you watched President Biden's State of the Union message and the post-speech commentary, you may be confused. Some pundits described Biden's speech as “fiery, direct [and] sensible,” while critics called it "an hour-long, mumbling rant.”

As it turns out, the White House prepared two versions of President Biden's speech. One version was for people watching MSNBC, and the other was for Fox viewers. I saw both versions and confess that Biden's state-of-the-union message left me with questions.

First, why does our government provide Israel with weapons, ammunition, and technical support to help it destroy the Hamas infrastructure in Gaza while promising to improve Gaza's infrastructure with a new port? Whose side are we on?

Second, why does the United States keep sending high-tech weapons and ammunition to Ukraine now that it is clear that the Russians have defeated the Ukrainians? Does Biden see some value in killing young Russians and Ukrainians and turning millions of Ukrainians into refugees? I don't get it.

 Finally, Biden didn't convince me that the Republicans caused the crisis at our nation's southern border. No sane observer believes Biden has done a good job stopping illegal immigration. No one believes Biden is doing his best to halt the flow of fentanyl into the United States.

Not everyone saw President Biden's speech as unhinged and mendacious. Leftist Democrats in the House chamber cheered Biden on like hysterical schoolgirls screaming at an Elvis concert.

At the end of the evening, I came away with just one firm conclusion. President Biden needs to switch the decaf. As for Biden's adoring congressional fans, I encourage them to have "fun, fun, fun ‘til daddy takes the T bird away."  And we all know who Daddy is.

Biden's State of Union speech. Senator Elizabeth Warren pictured at the center of the photo.

Credit: Tampa Bay Times

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

There’s something about Donald Trump that pisses me off

Maybe you’ve heard this joke. A modern-day Job is beset by a torrent of calamities.

The bank forecloses on Job's home. Lightning strikes his barn and burns it down. His business fails and declares bankruptcy. His doctor diagnoses him with stage 4 cancer. Job's wife leaves him, and his children refuse to speak to him.

Job asks God, “What did I do to deserve all this suffering? Why have you sent me so much misfortune?”

"I don’t know, Job,” God replies. “there’s something about you that just pisses me off.”

That’s the way I feel about Donald Trump. There’s something about him that pisses me off. I was appalled by his behavior during one of the 2016 Republican presidential debates. He made fun of Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Mark Rubio. Neither man deserved to be mocked or ridiculed on national television. I lost respect for Donald Trump during that debate, and he’s never won it back.

Trump comes across as a bully. He never learned to comport himself with the dignity befitting an American president. He labeled Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with a demeaning nickname. He mimicked President Biden in a speech before the National Rifle Association. How can I respect a man who behaves that way?

Recently, Trump insinuated that he would have no objection if Russia invaded any NATO country that wasn’t paying its fair share of NATO's defense costs. He was joking, of course, but Trump gave his legions of enemies an opening to attack him. Why can't he restrain his baser instincts when speaking in public?

The Democratic presidential candidate should win easily against Donald Trump, a spectacularly flawed candidate. But what have the Democrats done? They gave the nation Joe Biden in 2020, and they’re backing him again this year. Biden has dementia, which seems to grow worse with each passing week. He refuses to protect our southern border and deceitfully claims it is the Republicans, not him, who keep the border from being secure.

 There is good evidence that Biden and his family have sold their political influence to countries hostile to the United States. If that much evidence had been amassed against Donald Trump, he would’ve been impeached and perhaps imprisoned.

I am deeply discouraged by this year‘s presidential campaign. Neither Trump nor Biden deserves my vote.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights: The Supreme Court Stops Legal Efforts to Keep Trump Off the Presidential Ballot

The US Supreme Court released its opinion today, striking down the Colorado Supreme Court's ruling that Donald Trump is ineligible to run for President because he participated in an insurrection. Lawsuits had been filed in more than 30 states, and plaintiffs argued that Trump was not eligible to run for reelection under Section 3 of the of the US Constitution's 14th Amendment. Most state courts rejected this argument, but Trump was kicked off the ballot in Colorado, Illinois, and Maine.

Thankfully, the Supreme Court's opinion was unanimous. Whether conservative or liberal, all nine justices concluded that the states do not have the authority to remove Trump from the ballot,

To borrow a line from Freddie Fender, all this litigation was wasted days and wasted nights. How much time, money, and energy were squandered on legal tactics to defeat Trump in the courtroom rather than the ballot box? Wouldn't the Democrats have been better off to have focused their efforts on finding a strong candidate to compete against Trump for the presidency? Now, the Democrats are stuck with Joe Biden, even though most voters believe he is too old to run for reelection.

Nikki Haley made a valiant effort to defeat Trump in the Republican primaries, but Trump has beaten her decisively in almost every primary. Haley won the Republican primary race in the District of Columbia, but only 2000 people voted in that election, which took place in a town overwhelmingly full of registered Democrats.

Some commentators believe the Democrats will persuade Joe Biden to withdraw his candidacy for reelection and substitute someone to take Biden's place before the Democratic Convention this summer—perhaps Gavin Newsom, possibly Michelle Obama. If that's the plan, the Dems need to announce their substitution soon because the election is less than ten months away.

Regardless of whether Biden or a substitute is the Democratic nominee for the November election, I think Donald Trump will win. A majority of Americans are alarmed about our nation's open border, and voters are frightened by the prospect of a cognitively diminished president running the country for four more years.

Democrats may rely on ballot harvesting to defeat Trump at the ballot box, but that ploy won’t work this year. As the old saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice; shame on me.

Colorado ruling overturned by U.S. Supreme Court

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Pickled pig lips cost $22 a jar: Bidenomics and the inflated cost of food

I'm shocked by food prices every time I go to the grocery store. Coffee is $11 a pound at my grocery store, two pounds of bacon cost $20, and a loaf of bread sells for five or six bucks. A jar of pickled pig lips costs $22!

President Trump says food costs have gone up 40,  50%, and even 60% under Bidenomics. The Biden administration and the mainstream media say that's nonsense. However, most experts agree that food prices have increased by about 25% over the last four years.

Food prices are insignificant for the wealthy, but food makes up 31% of a low-income family's budget. For people living on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, the rising cost of food causes real suffering.

I grew up in a family clawing its way into the middle class. My mother tried to keep our food costs down by buying foods that were cheap. I ate a lot of baloney as a kid, a lot of Velveeta cheese, a lot of Spam, and beef liver. Our refrigerator never held real butter or cheddar cheese. Those foods were too expensive.

As my parents became more prosperous, our diet changed. We stopped eating Spam and ate more beef. I discovered cheddar cheese.

Biden's spinmasters say inflation is under control, and the New York Times agrees. 
But America’s poor know better. When pickled pig lips cost $22 a jar, that's a sign that food prices are out of control.

Economists say inflation is a time when the rich steal from the poor. This is such a time. The restaurants are packed with wealthy people eating steaks while folks living off their Social Security checks struggle to buy food. 

Friday, March 1, 2024

The G7 will rebuild Ukraine and make Russia pay for it?

Remember when Donald Trump boasted that he would build a wall on the nation's southern border and make Mexico pay for it. No one believed him when he said it, but we elected him president anyway. Mr. Trump built part of a border wall, but Mexico didn't pay a dime.

The G7 leaders are making a similar boast about the war in Ukraine. In a statement issued in late February, the G7 reaffirmed the West's unwavering commitment to supporting Ukraine in its struggle to defeat the Russians.

As video images show, the war has wrecked many of Ukraine's cities and infrastructure. The G7 estimates the cost of rebuilding Ukraine to be about half a trillion dollars.

Who will pay for the damages? The G7 says Russia will pay. "It is not right." The G7 said, "for Russia to decide if or when it will pay for the damages it has caused in Ukraine . . . Russia should not be able to indefinitely delay payment it owes."

That's just bullshit. No one believes the Western powers can shake down Russia for half a trillion dollars. Even if it were possible, forcing Russia to pay a bill of that size would destroy the Russian economy. Who wants that?

Apparently, the G7 leaders don't know what happened when the Western allies forced Germany to pay war reparations at the end of the First World War. Germany tried to pay what the Allies said it owed, but its efforts helped trigger hyperinflation that wiped out Germany's middle class. German bitterness about the Allies' reparation demands helped set the stage for Hitler's rise and World War II.

Ukraine's war with Russia is a needless catastrophe. Americans are being lied to about the conflict. Neither the Russians nor the Ukrainians are telling the truth about their casualties, which are likely much higher than the figure of half a million that the press reported last August.

Americans are also being lied to about how the war is going. Ukraine is losing this war, and President Zelenskiy's vow to take back Crimea is almost clinically delusional.

This war needs to end now while Ukraine can still get reasonable terms. The United States needs to stop pouring money down the rat hole of Ukraine's corrupt government. Suppose this war goes on for another year or two. In that case, it will seriously damage the American economy--not to mention the possibility that the Ukraine debacle plunges the U.S. into war with Russia.