Sense from Seattle

Common sense thoughts on life and current affairs by a Seattle area sexagenarian, drawing on personal experience, years of learning as a counselor to thousands of families and an innate passion for informed knowledge, to uniquely express sensible, thoughtful, honest and independent views.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Illegal Immigration

My maternal grandparents were part of the "wretched refuse" welcomed by the Statue of Liberty, having come here from Italy a few years before World War I.. After they divorced, he became a naturalized citizen in the 1930s. Grandma was illiterate, and though she lived here over 80 years and to one month shy of her 102nd birthday, she never became a citizen.

Research on my paternal ancestors, about whom I knew nothing, showed they came to America from Germany, Switzerland, France and Denmark over the course of many years, from before the Revolutionary War to the 1879 arrival of my German Grandfather, who was naturalized in 1885.

Next month my family will welcome a new immigrant as my son Anthony brings his Thai wife, Pat, to America. Immigration as a share of American population growth has been rising steadily since World War II, reaching 37% in 2002, but it has slowed since 9/11. Anthony and Pat have complied with all the requirements for her to enter America legally, which is the same way all our previous family members came, as far as I know.

Historically, the vast majority of immigrants begin life in their new country as cheap labor, or as unpaid labor in the case of the more than 10 million kidnaped slaves from Africa. Immigration has traditionally been encouraged by business interests and other promoters of economic growth and is still seen by economists as essential for growth of the American economy.

Hispanics have made up about one-third of legal immigrants during the late 1900s. Poor living conditions, proximity to the US and ease of access through Mexico make immigration from Latin America, both legal and illegal, very appealing. Immigrant friendly communities and employers welcome these new arrivals with few questions asked. False papers can be readily purchased if necessary and eager employers will not challenge their authenticity, as CBS recently showed on 60 Minutes II.

Traditional opposition to immigration has come from xenophobes and low level workers fearing job loss. Politicians have played both sides of the issue and the resulting laws and enforcement have vacillated throughout our history, with 20th Century policy being built on quotas largely racial in nature. Vigilante groups have been organized to patrol borders for illegal immigrants. Unconstitutional voter measures have been passed to target illegal aliens. But the vigilantes are hopelessly outnumbered and the Courts have properly upheld Constitutional rights.

The Hispanic immigration tide continues with no sign of ebbing. Adequate border enforcement to stop Hispanics is not something for which taxpayers are willing to pay. Individuals who contribute significant money to politicians are not likely to make stopping illegal Hispanic immigration a top issue. Business interests and farmers who make political contributions do not want the tide stemmed. Hispanics vote in large enough numbers to far outweigh vigilante voters, and their voting patterns are close enough to those of non-Hispanic voters to avoid identifying them predominantly with either political party.

How do you tell a legal from an illegal? Not by anything other than paperwork. In fact, if quotas and processing costs were eliminated, these people could all be legal. Why don’t we let them in? There are proposals for a limited amnesty and for more temporary worker permits. Our low birth rate has caused concerns for the future of Social Security. More legal Hispanic immigrants might assure young Sense readers of an old age with a decent Social Security income. Efforts to deport long time illegal residents and taint their descendants are ridiculously wasteful and on dubious legal ground.

The flood has occurred and continues. Fingers in the dike cannot stop it. We need to consider and adopt a national policy on Hispanic immigration, with components of amnesty, temporary permits and increased quotas, and if that is still not enough to stop the flood of illegal Hispanic immigrants, then we need to spend the money for adequate border enforcement. This is what we need to do, but I do not think it is very high on the agenda of the American people, so I think we will see the status quo continue for several more years.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The New Pope

My prediction about the new Pope being an older caretaker was correct, as was the statement the Italians no longer have a lock on the job. But I still thought hey might choose an Italian. I suppose the main significance of choosing another non-Italian is to show the lock really is gone. A much more significant development will come when they choose a non-white non-European.

Pope Benedict will make no changes, except to allow the Cardinals to secretly discuss whether the Church should be taken in any new direction by the next Pope. If revitalizing the Church is to be a priority, selecting a Latin American Hispanic Pope who truly advocates for social and political justice for the poor of the Third World would be a great way to do it.

So what of Benedict’s Nazi background? As a youth, he was compelled to serve, which he says he did reluctantly. He did not do anything to speak out against the Nazis or show any particular interest in who was being hurt by their atrocities. The Church was his main interest and the overwhelming focus of his attention, even back then. After the War, he does not seem to have made any particular record of criticizing the Nazis, nor does he seem to have made any effort to distance himself from what the Nazis did, except that he has continuously embraced the Church as the upholder of the truth and therefore as the opponent of falsehoods like Nazism. In all this, Benedict is not much different from most Germans of his generation, except he obviously has a much deeper attachment to his Church. Here is an article on his Nazi background from

As an American, my problem with the new Pope is his belief that the Church should directly involve itself with how American Catholic officeholders perform the duties of their office. In the last American Presidential election, he told American Bishops that communion should be withheld from Catholic politicians, like John Kerry, who do not oppose abortion as part of the exercise of their public office. To be personally opposed to abortion is not good enough. The office holder must also use the public office to oppose abortion. Under our American Constitution, we draw a line between our government and churches, and we expect our public officeholders to answer to the citizens who put them in office, not to the leaders of a church to which the officeholder belongs.

Some would argue that abortion in America today is like the Holocaust under the Nazis and the Church is as right to oppose American abortion policy as it was to oppose the Holocaust. Others would argue that Church opposition to abortion today seems stronger than it was to the Holocaust at that time. The Church has a right to lobby for its position and to tell its members what is right and wrong under Church doctrine, but it should have no right in America to tell a Church member who happens to be a public officeholder, how to exercise that office. If the Church wants to have an American Inquisition on abortion, then it should inquire of all communicants, not just public officeholders, and it should make the decision to deny communion based on personal belief, not on the exercise of public office.

Two Questions for Readers: Popes and Presidents

Here are two questions for reader feedback.

1. Who do you think will come first, a non-white American President or a non-white Pope?

2. A woman Pope, if ever to be, could be another millennium away, but who do you think will come first, a non-white American President or a woman American President, or do you think it might be a tie, with someone like Condoleeza?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Revisions for Sense

Sense from Seattle has now been published for over six months and is due for some revisions. Thanks to input from a few readers, I have just made some changes and am considering making others. The changes are listed below, in no particular order. Reader comment on any items on the list is encouraged and welcome, as is any other idea regarding this blog.

1. The topical index was taking up primary space, so it has been moved elsewhere and can be accessed from the link at the bottom of the monthly Archives list.

2. The search box at the top of the page now works for searches specifically of Sense from Seattle.

3. The list of recent comment postings has been dropped. Comments, if any, are usually made on a posting in the first few days and that is about as far back as most readers go to look for comments.

4. The length of each posting should usually be limited. If I have a lot to say on a topic, it could be broken down into parts for separate postings.

5. Multiple postings on one day should be avoided unless they are quite short. Postings should be made with more regularity, rather than in batches with many days between.

6. A light piece once a week or so might be appreciated.

7. More links can be included in postings to make a more interactive reader experience and open new vistas.

8. Include some pictures and graphics.

9. Mention books currently being read.

10. Encourage more comments and feedback, possibly including a weekly Question to Readers. Please consider this posting as this week’s Question - What do you think of these changes?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Don't Bury Mr. Sense Yet

Reiko sent me a chain e-mail letter which I have copied below. Maybe you have seen it, or one like it, as several are circulating. This chain letter is part of the neo-conservative propaganda campaign to condition Americans into accepting the neo-con right wing view of how America should be. The tactic is to associate their position with common sense and reason, as opposed to the unreasonable views of the other side. The methodology is to use a supposedly cynically humorous chain letter to only vaguely identify, without labeling as political, the neo-con general principles, while choosing specifically identified absurdities to contrast with their point of view.

This clandestine and subversive operation is consistent with the Karl Rove long range plan to undermine the confidence of the American people in the use of our own governmental agencies to enact and enforce the regulations that are necessary in a free market society. This chain letter is designed to be read by people who would not be interested in reading a clearly political letter and who are susceptible to being unaware of the disguised political propaganda in what they are reading and further circulating.

I have added my comments in the course of the letter to help uncover and partially address the political propaganda. Since my Blog is part of the true "Sense" family, I take particular umbrage at the attempt to prematurely bury Common Sense. In the spirit of fighting fire with fire, I think I will work on an obituary for Mr. Conservative.

Obituary for Mr. Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common Sense.

Mr. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. [Lays the groundwork to equate bureaucracy with government, and red tape with needless regulations incompetently administered. The fact is that bureaucracy also exists in large private organizations, governmental regulations are part of the rule of law and there are some incompetent people working both in the government and the private sector.]

He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn't always fair. [Lays the groundwork for the claim that individual responsibility is preferable to government regulation. If a person gets caught in the rain (e.g. the over 40,000,000 Americans without health insurance), or doesn’t get up early enough to get the worm (e.g. the millions who lost jobs to outsourcing because they did not sooner become corporate executives), or expects to be treated fairly (e.g. innocent victims of corporate wrongdoing seeking compensation in the courts), they should not expect the government to "rescue" them by enabling health insurance coverage, addressing outsourcing or providing a fair court forum.]

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge). [Neo-cons like to contrast the supposed simplicity of unregulated free markets with the complexity of governmental regulation, as an appeal to the innate desire of people to live a simpler life. The fact is, it is the inherent complexities of the free market that make attempts to regulate its excesses equally complex. True conservatives do stand for sound fiscal policies, but neo-cons do not, as shown by our current record deficit. Neo-cons believe in cutting taxes overwhelmingly for the rich, while at the same time using government to enable accumulation of even greater wealth by those whose taxes have been cut. As Dick Cheney has famously been quoted, they believe "deficits don’t matter". The adult parenting reference is intended to align "family values" with the neo-cons and to imply that anyone who is not a neo-con is not for such values . This short chain letter sentence, which on first reading sounds so innocently sensible, in fact turns out to be a shrewd combination of three neo-con lies.]

His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. [Now some supposedly specific examples of why government regulation does not work. Apocryphal, fabricated or embellished stories of "regulation gone wild" are reduced to a trio of ridiculous absurdities. Go to the silliest end of the spectrum, so people won’t associate regulation with protecting students from pre-teen predators, teenage dope pushers and physically abusive teachers.]

Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. [Abortion is a neo-con "hot button" issue. Noticeably absent from this letter is the homophobic button. Without regard to whether or not the story is true, in this example the neo-cons seem to want a regulation requiring the school to inform the parents - I doubt they would be satisfied to let the school administrators exercise their own individual responsibility in deciding how to handle the situation.]

Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. [The Ten Commandments is a sort of hot button issue also, but notice how they avoid the fact the current controversies involving the Commandments are ones where government legislative regulation has been used to impose the Commandments and then the government courts have found the imposition unconstitutional. Hot button issues for neo-cons are ones on which they actually want the government to impose itself against individual rights. I am not quite sure what they mean by churches becoming businesses - they were passing collection plates long before America was even a gleam in the eyes of the Founding Fathers. As for treatment of criminals, the over 44 million Americans without medical insurance might envy the fact that incarcerated people get health care at government expense - but somehow I don’t think the neo-cons are saying they would like the government to provide health insurance to uninsured victims.]

Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge settlement. [And now the mother of all absurdities! The fact is McDonald’s coffee was being served at ridiculously hot temperatures. There is no telling how many other people and their children were burned by it through the years, until one woman and her lawyer finally decided to send McDonald’s the kind of message they understand best - a "fiscally sound" one - turn the damn coffee down or you may end up having to pay compensation to all the people you are burning. McDonald’s got the message, turned the pot down and we are all safer because of it.]

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner. [Again, association of the neo-con viewpoint with the virtuous, and relegation of the unworthy to step-family status (an unintended slam at step-families as not as valuable?). The naming of the step-children is a little weak. Whiner is apparently someone who, instead of exercising personal responsibility, whines to the government to do it for him, but what’s wrong with Mr. Rights? I guess it is his first name - Our Rights are sacred for all Americans, but "My" maybe implies some selfish entitlement mentality.]

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on; if not, join the majority and do nothing. [Chain letters end with a threat to those who will not pass it on. The threat here is that inaction will bury us all with Mr. Sense, under the dirt of needless and senseless government regulation.]

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Socially Responsible Investing

While on the treadmill some mornings, I flip through the cable news channels, which include a couple financial networks like CNBC. These shows are loaded with "expert" commentators hosting interviews with other "experts" in order to help us in the audience learn more about the markets and how to invest our money. Everything is about income, profits, revenue and any other term intended to bring joy to the ears of capitalists.

Rarely is any mention made of Socially Responsible Investing, integrating personal values and societal concerns with investment decisions, though there have been mutual funds following that philosophy for over twenty years. Today on CNBC I caught two "experts" disparaging the entire SRI movement. One implied SRI funds were hypocrites because they held stock in companies like Enron which were found to have cooked the books. Both men agreed, since the goal of investing is to make the most money possible, SRI investing makes no sense. As anecdotal evidence they reported on recent gains made by "vice" funds which "sinvest" [their idea of a clever pun] specifically in companies involved with sectors typically shunned by SRI funds, such as weapons, alcohol and gambling.

Let me quickly dismiss the hypocrisy charge. To invest in a company which appeared to meet socially responsible criteria, but then turned out to have cooked its books is not hypocrisy - it is victimization. Once the book cooking allegation has been made and is under investigation, the decision of when and how an SRI fund should sell the stock is made differently from other funds, which might try to dump the stock off on some unknowledgeable buyer. An SRI fund would be expected, once the decision is made to sell the stock, to only sell to a knowledgeable buyer, even if that meant realizing less money. But I doubt many SRI funds, except possibly some which held a portfolio indexed to include many large funds otherwise meeting the SRI criteria, had invested in busineses like Enron, whose business model itself raised some practical qustions about whether it was a sound investment.

As for the goal of investing, while it may be true that the financial channels operate on the premise everyone wants to make the most money possible on their investments, the problem is that the financial channels don't seem to ever talk to people from the mass of American investors. People want to make money, but they also want to avoid risk, so trade offs have to be made in deciding on investments. Real investors also have personal financial experiences and preferences that they want to take into account in making their decisions. And many investors are in fact motivated to be socially responsible in making their investments.

An investor driven solely by the desire to make the most money possible will be disappointed if investment was not made in the #1 top paying fund. Since there can only be one #1, most greed driven investors are disappointed. SRI funds typically perform well compared to their non-SRI peers, sometimes better and sometimes worse, but usually somewhere around the middle. Since greed is not the motivation, SRI investors do not have the same disappointment level as greedy investors and usually come out about the same. SRI investors, regardless of fund performance, take comfort in the fact they are not knowingly supporting companies they consider socially irresponsible. SRI funds are usually proactive also in such matters as submitting socially responsible shareholder resolutions and loaning money market funds for community development projects.

Socially Reponsible Investing is definitely something to consider if you have not already done so. For intorductory information, you can look at:

Pillars of Freedom

Republican Senator George Allen of Virginia is being touted by some as a possible Presidential candidate for 2008. One of his hallmarks is his "Four Pillars of Freedom" talk in which he numbers the pillars as Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Expression, Private Ownership of Property and the Rule of Law under a system of justice.

I caught a little of one of Allen's speeches on C-Span and heard him amplify on the meaning of the Rule of Law pillar, referring to such law as "God given". If that is the case, then it seems to me his Freedom structure may have a construction flaw, with a conflict between the first and fourth pillars.

If America's laws are God given, then whose God is the donor and who verifies the law being enacted truly came from God? What about people who do not believe in God, do they forfeit the right to participate in the process? The sacred document against which all laws in America are measured is the U. S. Constitution, which does not include any mention of God [the "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights" language is in the Declaration of Independence, which is not the law of the land as we are reminded by the Library of Congress].

Freedom of Religion does not mean, as people like Allen often say, "freedom to worship", It means freedom to wosrhip, or not to worship, but most importantly it means freedom from the government imposing any religious beliefs on us. To the extent a U.S. Senator, in voting to enact legislation, believes the legislation comes from God and uses that as a basis for the vote, I say that is constitutionally improper. If the Senator assures us the basis for voting is in fact secular, even though the Senator believes the vote is consistent with the personal religious belief of the Senator, then I say keep your religious beliefs to yourself and don't undermine the Freedom of Religion pillar by referring to Senate enactments as God given law

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Greenspan the Magnificent

In some ways, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan reminds me of a phoney psychic. He makes cryptic remarks of a generalized nature about the economy and people act as if he is a guru expressing some profound wisdom. Notching the interest rate down in 1/4 % increments over a few years and now starting to slowly notch it up does not seem to me to be rocket science or to have actually had any significant effect on the economy. Those who think Greenspan has kept our economy from being worse than it is probably also think the Department of Homeland Security has kept another 9/11 from happening.

Analysts and Congress act as if they understand what Greenspan pronounces and then go ahead and say and do whatever they want without regard. Business people don't pay heed to Greenspan, but they do pay attention to their customer base and work force, two groups they can more clearly understand. Indicators such as consumer confidence and the unemployment rate mean more than anything Greenspan says.

The price of oil and gas in America is at an all time high. So what does the guru have to say about that? "We must remember that the same price signals that are so critical for balancing energy supply and demand in the short run also signal profit opportunities for long-term supply expansion", he says. What the hell does that mean? Analysts interpret it to mean let the market handle it rather than have the government do anything. The law of supply and demand is supposed to take care of it Oil suppliers and consumers will work it out. By my analysis, the remark is pure supply side economics - oil companies will look for more oil to sell at these gouging prices.

According to this free market economy approach, higher prices will create more incentive for suppliers to explore for more oil and to do research and development "that will unlock new approaches to energy production and use that we can now only scarcely envision", in Greenspan's words. The Saudis have no need to explore - they are sitting on the mother of all oil fields right now. US oil companies are using the price gouging to secure rights to drill in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, which will add a little trickle about 10 years down the line - so if Greenspan is right, maybe at that time gas will go down a nickel a gallon, if the oil monopoly wants to make it look good for a little while. Hey Al - when the supply in the world is limited and in control of an oligarchy of monopolists, they have no reason to lower the price, and if they do find new reserves, they will just try to encourage demand to increase. I can see the ad now: "Huge new oil fields found in ANWR! Plenty enough to justify buying that Hummer and heading up to see the last of this vanishing wilderness!"

As far as research & development go, the Saudis and oil oligarchists have done nothing to come up with alternatives to oil. They have no reason to kill their golden goose. American taxpayers have subsidized the oil industry throughout its history, including the most recent version - authorizing them to drill for oil in ANWR. Oil buys politicians who prevent using taxpayer money to meaningfully subsidize other companies who want to develop alternative energy sources.

American autos consume 1 out of every 9 barrels of oil produced in the world. Will higher prices result in reduced demand or a move to more fuel efficient autos? Public transportation and car pooling are used only by those who have no choice or are public spirited. The roads are full of cars driven by a single occupant that will only reduce demand if forced to by a stronger external force than increases in gas prices. In the first gas crisis in the 1970's, my brother and I debated what the effect of increasing gas prices would be on American auto usage. Most Americans were driving big US built gas guzzlers getting maybe 10 or 12 mpg. As I recall gas then was maybe 50 cents a gallon, and my brother said if it got up to $2.00 someday, the market would take care of it and people would start driving little foreign cars. Well, he was right in that gas is $2.00 per gallon and people are drivng little foreign cars, but he was wrong about the reason. Cars got more fuel efficient as a byproduct of meeting environmental protection requirements.

Greedy American autoists do not hesitate to buy gas guzzlers that qualify for exceptions to the EPA rules. They don't mind paying for these beasts, many of which also have excessive maintenance costs, nor do they mind adding to the pollution problem. Wiser Americans who gave Japanese autos a try when they beat Ameriocan automakers in complying with the EPA standards have not found much reason to stop buying Japanese. Economy, quality and dependability in one package is hard to beat. By taking government action to protect our air quality, we ended up with better cars all around. Credit for this goes to the environmentalists (the same people who opposed oil drilling in ANWR) not to the auto and oil industries. By the way, if you want to see how many gas guzzlers are actually on the roads you drive, don't waste your time looking for them in the HOV lane - those behemoths usually only carry one occupant.

Greenspan also has a related prophesy regarding the course of world politics. He said that the resolution of "current, major geopolitical uncertainties will materially affect oil prices in the years ahead." In other words, as governments of nations with oil reserves are overthrown, oil oligarchists will have better opportunities to get their hands on more oil to increase supply and expand profits from gouging.

I say it is time to make the American oil producers pay back the subsidies in the form of price controls and special taxes. If they do not want to explore on their own dime, without subsidies, then let the market react to any resulting shortage - either American drivers will reduce demand or they will pay whatever prices they have to for more oil from elsewhere. Give meaningful incentives to companies competing with oil to deliver energy and fuel by more desireable alternate means and give significant tax incentives to purchasers of energy efficient cars - tax breaks for Hybrids instead of Hummers.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Passing of the Pope

I let my subacription to Catholicism lapse a few years back, so the death of the Pope is not of direct personal interest to me. It is big news in general because he was the Pope longer than any one else except Peter and Pius IX, and he is the leader of a Church claiming over one billion members. As the most well travelled Pope and one with a heroic secular background, he has had phenomenal celebrity appeal. His strict conservative application of Church doctrine has, however, caused many Catholics not always to agree with him.

The process of selecting a new Pope will be interesting, because of the secrecy of the process and the uncertainty of the outcome. John Paul II appointed so many Cardinals outside of Italy, so the former Italian lock on the Papacy may now be broken. Because there is a significant undercurrent to liberalize on some issues, the Cardinals may decide to elect an older Italian caretaker Pope, just to get a sense of what direction to take down the line, and then choose a Pope for that direction after the caretaker is finished. Last time they did that, in 1958, John XXIII took everyone by surprise by calling the Second Vatican Council. I don't expect anything so spectacular this time around.

What I found quite interesting was how the Pope died, especially in conjunction with all the furor in the US over how Terry Schiavo was dying. The Pope chose not to go to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, but rather to die at home in his apartment. In making that choice, the Pope was foregoing more extraordinary medical means of extending his life. By his example, the Pope showed that it is not wrong to forego extraordinary medical measures in general. However, the Church position on the Schiavo case, per the Pope, was that it is always wrong to deny food and hydration to a dying person, because they are not medical measures. But is it wrong for a person to make the choice not to eat and drink any more if the person knows they are ready to die? Many people in fact make that decision and stop eating and drinking as their failing health plays out the last few days of their lives. And what about making such a decision in advance of even being ill, such as by the widely recommended advance directive to physicians? Apparently, Church ethicists are not in agreement on these matters.

When a person is unable to make the decision about food and hydration, due to unconsciousness or other incapacity, the Schiavo case showed how the law in the US is capable of handling the situation by determining what the person would have wanted. Terry had not put her wishes in a written legal directive, which meant the law had to decide the case based on family testimony. We were all reminded by the legal commentators that we should execute such a document so we don't become the next Schiavo case. Did the Pope have such a written directive? What would the Pope have wanted if he had gone into a persistent vegetative state? Would he have wanted to be kept alive for 15 years or more with a feeding tube, or would he have wanted the tube withdrawn? His medical directive, if he had one, could provide valuable example for Catholics world wide, but so far as I know, if there is such a directive, the Vatican is not making it public. We do, however, have the guidance of the final conscious medical decision made by the Pope - to not make a trip to the ICU.