Friday, May 13, 2005



Dr. Theresa Ghilarducci
Originally uploaded by greatwhitebear70.
Dr. Teresa Ghilarducci was asked to speak at a forum on Social Security issues at the local Unitarian Church last Monday. She is certainly well qualified to do so. An associate professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame, she is considered one of the nations leading experts on social insurance and pensions (see brief resume below). Apparently, she is not overly impressed with George W. Bush's plan to reform Social Security. This has drawn the ire of local Republican officials.

Just hours before Dr. Ghilarducci's scheduled appearance at the First Unitarian Church of South Bend, Rev. Lisa Doege, the church's pastor, received a phone call from an official of the Indiana Republican Party. She was informed that the professors appearance might be deemed partisan, and that her church's tax exempt status might be in jeopardy. According to Rev. Doege, "It shook me a little". She informed the church board of the call. To their credit, and hers, the event went on as scheduled.

Luke Messner, executive director of the Indiana Republican Party, denies the intent of the call, apparently made at the behest of St. Joseph Co. Republican Chairman Chris Faulkner, was to intimidate the church or Rev. Doege. When questioned about the incident, Rev. Doege responded, "they called for a reason and maybe that reason was to cut off free speech,"

For anyone with questions as to Dr. Ghilarduci's quafications to speak to the subject, here's a brief resume:
Associate Professor of Economics

Director, Higgins Labor Research Center

Former Member of the Board of Trustees: Indiana Public Employees Retirement Fund

Former Advisory Board Member, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

Fellow, National Academy of Social Insurance

Mark's note: I recently was mildly chastised for my "loose" use of the term fascist. A prominent part of the modus operandi of fascist movements is the intimidation of those with dissenting views. This week alone we have seen Dr. James Dobson (the Grand Ayatollah of the Christian Right) attempting to intimidate moderate Republicans on the issue of judicial appointments and the Senate filibuster rules, a church expel members for being *gasp* Democrats, and the attempted intimidation of a church whose crime was to bring a leading expert on Social Security to give a talk. The Dominion Movement of the Christian right is CLEARLY a fascist movement. Their continued takeover of the Republican Party can only blow an ill wind across the face of American democracy.

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