Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brick by brick

The Holy Father continues to make exceptional appointments in the Curia. On December 9th Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera (in Spain, sometimes called the "Little Ratzinger") took the helm as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

In an interview this last Sunday granted to Spanish daily La Razón, Cardinal Llovera had this to say:

[La Razón:] Nevertheless, Benedict XVI has reiterated in some instances the propriety of receiving communion kneeling and in the mouth. Is it something important, or is it a mere matter of form?

[Cañizares:] - No, it is not just a matter of form. What does it mean to receive communion in the mouth? What does it mean to kneel before the Most Holy Sacrament? What dies it mean to kneel during the consecration at Mass? It means adoration, it means recognizing the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist; it means respect and an attitude of faith of a man who prostrates before God because he knows that everything comes from Him, and we feel speechless, dumbfounded, before the wondrousness, his goodness, and his mercy. That is why it is not the same to place the hand, and to receive communion in any fashion, than doing it in a respectful way; it is not the same to receive communion kneeling or standing up, because all these signs indicate a profound meaning. What we have to grasp is that profound attitude of the man who prostrates himself before God, and that is what the Pope wants.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Something else Obama and the Christ Child have in common

The One also has his own holiday.
MARION, Ala. — A small central Alabama county whose mainly black residents gave Barack Obama more than 70 percent of the vote on Election Day has created an annual holiday in honor of the president-elect.

The Perry County Commission voted 4 to 1 to observe the second Monday in November as "The Barack Obama Day." County offices will close and its roughly 40 workers will get a paid holiday.

The sponsoring commissioner, Albert Turner Jr., said the holiday is meant to highlight the Democratic president-elect's victory as a way to give people faith that difficult goals can be achieved.

The AP also interviewed the racist commissioner who voted against the measure.
"I'm a Democrat, but just in these financial times, it's not using the county's money wisely," Harrison told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I have a dream

I have a dream that one day we will live in a nation where presidents are elected not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Entertaining...and true

H/T to Andrew St.Hilaire

Obama video gems

Michelle Obama in 2004

Opposing government confiscation of income is "selfish"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

49 million reasons to vote against Obama

(Warning: Very graphic video. Not for the faint of heart.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama family tree

I figured that, as a good American, I ought to familiarize myself with our soon-to-be First Family: the Obamas.

"Aunt Zeituni and Uncle Omar are the children of Mr Obama’s grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama, by his third wife – the woman Mr Obama calls “Granny” because she raised his father. Mr Obama’s father, Barack Sr, was Onyango Obama’s son by his second wife, Akumu. That makes Zeituni and Omar a half-sister and half-brother of Mr Obama’s father, or Mr Obama’s half-aunt and half-uncle."

Come again?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

making some-things new

This time last year our church had a capital campaign to raise funds for a renovation project. Unlike many Catholic parish undertakings these days, ours is not a wreckovation but a real restoration of beauty. The estimated cost was somewhere near $2 million and included much needed repairs (new heating system, roof work, etc.) as well as much appreciated aesthetics.

Rather than going straight into debt, our pastor had the good sense to raise the cash before hand. All costs were raised or pledged by parishoners at Star of the Sea before the first paint brush came out.

Here are some before and during/after pictures.

Before (sorry about how dark it is!):

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Some things to note:

* marble columns (they aren't solid marble, but who would know any different?)
* Holy Spirit artwork
* the parking lot look to the back wall of the sanctuary is gone
* the sanctuary/altar has been raised (can't really tell looking at the first picture)
* the side altars will have their statues mounted against a white background
* the arches in the church look more natural (wood vs. the black covering you can't make out in the first photo)
* tile covering the sanctuary instead of carpet (again, not visible in these pictures)

There are other improvements, but these are some of my favorite.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Stand up, Chuck, lemme see you!

We couldn't have asked Obama for a better VP pick. (Chuck is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.) Can you imagine what the media coverage would have been like if this had been George Bush?

Friday, August 29, 2008

fundamental beliefs

"That's the promise of America -- the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper" -Barack Obama, acceptance speech, 8/28/08

Which reminds me. How is Georgie doing these days, Barry?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Live and Learn

I was walking past the mental hospital the other day,and all the patients were shouting ,'13....13....13'

The fence was too high to see over, but I saw a little gap in the planks and looked through to see what was going on.

Some idiot poked me in the eye with a stick.

Then -- they all started shouting '14....14....14'...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dogs not able to bark

An article in New Jersey's The Times is aptly titled, 'U.S. bishops: Vote your conscience.' (This is a riveting news headline as the bishops are known for their incessant urging of Catholics to not vote in accord with their conscience.)

But I say the headline is befitting (most of) our American bishops because it conveys all at once the jejune, almost meaningless platitudes routinely dressed up and fed to the faithful as "spiritual guidance." As an aside, I should mention that from a purely human standpoint, I can not see how salvation is possible for those Catholics who have the misfortune of being guided by these men alone. I have hope that all will be saved; but that is only because my hope is not limited to the natural. I hope, too, that Fr. Amorth was right in his belief that ignorance is the eighth sacrament and the eighth saves more than all the others together.

But I digress. Rather than state the painfully obvious, a good shepherd would do well to instruct his faithful to inform their conscience. A Catholic who votes in accordance with his malformed conscience does his countrymen, his Church, and his God no service. And a bishop who encourages us to vote our conscience, at the same time keeping silent about how to form a Catholic conscience will have much (...many?) to answer for.

The recently appointed prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Archbishop Raymond Burke, warned of as much during his homily on March 31 of this year for the newly ordained Bishop James Vann Johnston. He quoted St. Gregory the Great whose admonition was inspired by a reading of the prophet Isaiah and the Parable of the Good Shepherd:

"The ruler should be discreet in keeping silence and profitable in speech, lest he utter what should be kept secret, or keep secret what should be uttered. For just as incautious speech leads men into error, so, too, unseasonable silence leaves in error those who might have been instructed. Often, indeed, incautious rulers, being afraid of losing human favor, fear to speak freely of what is right, and, in the words of the truth, do not exercise the zeal of shepherds caring for the flock, but serve the role of mercenaries; for when the wolf appears, they flee and hide themselves in silence. Wherefore, the Lord reproves them through the prophet, saying: They are all dumb dogs, not able to bark."

If there was ever a time in our political history when ecclesial dogs should be barking, it is now. The Supreme Court which legalized abortion on demand for all fifty states in 1973 by a vote of 7-2 is today evenly divided on the issue (4-4) with one justice -- Kennedy -- who can't make up his mind. The average age of the four justices who favor baby-killing is 75. David Souter, the youngest of the bunch, turns 69 in September, while John Paul Stevens celebrated his 88th last April. On the pro-life side, the Chief Justice is 53, Alito is 58, Clarence Thomas is 60, and Scalia is 72.

Whoever is elected president this November will, by all estimations, have the chance to appoint at least one new Supreme Court justice and perhaps as many as three. Those to be replaced will most likely be of the pro-abortion persuasion. This means the Court has the potential to swing pro-life for the first time in 35 years, overturning the disaster that was Roe, and drastically slowing the killing (a national genocide with a body count somewhere near 47 million...and climbing).

One would think this alone would be cause for bishops everywhere to rally Catholics to the polls and turn the corner on this blemish -- one arguably worse than slavery -- in our nation's history. We have the Republican John McCain who, for all his faults, has a pro-life track record and promises to appoint justices in the mold of Alito and Roberts. And we have one Barack Obama who has made it thus far on promises of hope and change; but not with respect to abortion. With a President Obama there will be no change on the issue of abortion, there will be no hope for unwanted, unborn babies. For when it comes to killing in the womb, he's two enthusiastic thumbs up. And when it comes to a bill ensuring medical care to babies who slipped past the abortionist's knife and into this world, the most he can muster is a senate vote of 'present.' We can be sure each of his appointments to the highest court in the land (as well as our lower courts) will be staunch defenders of a woman's 'right to choose.'

It is almost as though God has set before us life and death, the blessing and the curse. One would think it enough to inspire our bishops to instruct Catholics everywhere to "Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him." (Dt 30:19-20)

This, it seems, is too much to ask. From yesterday's news article:

"This is the most prickly point," said the Rev. Ronald J. Cioffi, director of the Office of Social Concerns for the Diocese of Trenton. "You may vote for a person who is pro-choice if you feel you have a moral reason to support the candidate for his stand on other issues."

Yes, this is true -- but it is only permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons. There are few things in this world proportionate to/worse than killing babies, and there are no Hitlers to vote against in 2008, so I'm having not a little trouble with Fr. Cioffi's moral theology and instruction.

Cioffi presented an outline of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' document "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" at a meeting of about 30 staff members at the diocese's Pastoral Center yesterday.

"It's hard to find a candidate who supports all of the church's teaching," Bishop John M. Smith admitted to his staff at the meeting.

"It's a difficult time to decide how we're voting, especially this year," Smith said.

No, not such a difficult decision at all Your Excellency. Admittedly, since Senator Brownback dropped out, it has been hard to find a candidate who supports all of the Church's teaching. Perhaps the blame can go out to the bishops who failed to educate their flocks while he was still in the race. But that's water under the bridge and there are now two men left standing. For a Catholic, the choice could not be any easier.

"For those who want to be told what to do -- this document does not tell them," said Rayanne Bennett, chief communications officer for the diocese.

No doubt there were riots in New Jersey when this hit the news stands from all those Catholics who want to be told what to do.

"The reason this is important is no candidate this year and few candidates historically have perfectly lined up with Catholic social teaching," she said.

For instance, conservatives who oppose abortion often support the death penalty, Bennett said. The Catholic Church opposes both.

Wrong. Someone should hand Rayanne a copy of then-Cardinal Ratzinger's memo to the American bishops back in 2004. (Surely Bishop Smith still has his copy laying around somewhere...)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia." -Cardinal Ratzinger, as Prefect of the CDF

"Catholics who vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain because of his anti-abortion record also are voting for a candidate who supports the war in Iraq -- a war Pope Benedict XVI clearly has opposed.

"If you vote for someone who supports the war, be actively involved in trying to change his mind," Bennett said of the bishops' stand.

She really needs to read the memo. But more to the point, since we were not born yesterday and are well aware that Miss Bennett will be casting her vote for Obama in November, does that mean she will also "be actively involved in trying to change his mind" with regard to his far more problematic stance on abortion?

I'm not going to hold my breath.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Holy Toledo!

Dottie Zimmerman of Toledo, OH, and former Ursuline nun has a gift. For the last five years she's been 'channeling' Padre Pio, who she hears from almost daily.

Last month, Mrs. Zimmerman channeled the saint during a meeting of the Toledo Lightworkers Co-op, a group of people who explore alternative spirituality.

"He'll make these pithy little comments. He has a wonderful sense of humor," she said. "One of the things that he insists is that we breathe deeply and we laugh - love, laugh, and breathe are his three words."

Oh, we're laughing, Dottie.

Apparently it took a word of encouragement from her adopted daughter, K.C., and her younger brother (and ex-Jesuit priest), Jim Uhl to start listening to the voices she once thought were only imaginary.

"In this dream I kept seeing a Merlin character," she said. "… So he [Mr. Uhl] said if he's reoccurring that much, there's some energy there that we need to look into, and he gave me a couple exercises where in fact I would start asking Merlin what he meant or why this happened in the dream. … And I would write answers, and it's like the answers would just come automatically. … Well, pretty soon I couldn't write fast enough, they were just going in the computer, and then one day he just says to me, 'You know, I am not Merlin. I am Padre Pio.'•"

Then why the funny hat?

"I revered this man. I put him on a pedestal - a big pedestal," she said. "So one day I said to him, 'How come me? You are one of my favorite saints, why are you talking to me?' He said, 'Well, because you have the gift. You have something that you have to do with it. You have this gift but you weren't accepting it. The angels kept telling you but you wouldn't listen, so we sent in the big guns.'•"
(emphases mine)

The reason I highlight some of Dottie's message is to contrast it with authentic visions approved by the Church. Take, for instance, this communication between Our Blessed Lord and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque:

The saint begins by asking, "But, oh Lord, why dost though address Thyself to so miserable a creature, to so poor a sinner, that by her unworthiness she is calculated to hinder the accomplishment of Thy design, when Thou hast so many generous souls to execute Thy desires?"

He answers, "Dost thou not know that I make use of the weakest subjects to confound the strong? That it is generally in the most insignificant and the poor in spirit that I manifest my power, in order that they may attribute nothing to themselves?"

She accuses herself of being a miserable creature (remember now, this is a saintly nun living in a convent) and He confirms her accusation explaining that it is necessary lest anything be attributed to herself.

...but Dottie (a used-to-be-nun), Heaven tells us, "has the gift."

This whole story from Toledo would be amusing if only Mrs. Zimmerman were a used-to-be-catechist.

She is an award winning teacher of religion at a Catholic school.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where's Waldo?

I've already sent out the email, so this would be the follow-up blog post to my fifteen minutes of Traditional-Catholic fame. My use of the word 'fame' is something of a stretch of course. Nowhere is my name to be found, and even my face remains hidden.

But I was nothing shy of ecstatic to stumble across a photo of Yours Truly on Fr. Z's popular blog, What Does The Prayer Really Say? I'm joined in the picture by a few hundred fellow Catholics who share an appreciation for the Mass of 1962, and my torso from behind is about all you can make out. But there I am just as sure as you're sitting here now.

Among other things, you may be wondering what an obscure Catholic from Seattle is doing at a Latin Mass in Knoxville. I'm glad you asked. My work had sent me for five weeks of training to Oak Ridge, TN, a town just outside of Knoxville. When Saturday rolled around I naturally began the hunt for an orthodox parish in the area. That Saturday happened to be Holy Saturday, and I knew my first choice was a bad one when kneeling in silent prayer moments before Sunday morning Mass the pastor came bustling down the aisle shouting "He is risen!! Be glad! He is risen!"

Needless to say I was back on the prowl for a good parish come Divine Mercy Sunday.

And I found it.

St. John Neumann was still celebrating Mass in their 1970-something excuse for a church. But what they lacked in architecture they made up for in liturgy and worship. I was impressed. All the more so when I learned they were in the process of selling the building to the Presbyterians and building a real church at another location.

Anyhow, it seems St. John Neumann was supportive and encouraging celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass on a regular basis (in another chapel some few miles away), and was going to do so with their own parish to mark completion of the new church which happened to coincide with the five-week stint I had in Tennessee. Sort of.

As you can read in Father's post, there were some delays in the construction. But the scheduling of the Latin Mass had been done months in advance and could not be postponed. So another church had to be used -- the beautiful Holy Ghost Catholic Church.

To get an feel for what it was like, you really should read the post at WDTPRS.

Oh, and if you haven't yet found me...I'm on the left, about five rows from the back wearing a white, long sleeve dress shirt.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


There's a rather interesting and insightful interview that you really should see. In 1957 Mike Wallace sat down with Margaret Sanger. What an amazing thing to look back more than half a century later and see the train wreck before it happened.

Overpopulation, divorce, 'free-love', birth control, homosexuality, moral relativism, new ageism, abortion...and, of course, the Roman Catholic Church. Sanger has thoughts on them all.

It was the Catholic Church yesterday. It is the Catholic Church today. It will always be the Catholic Church which does not get along well with the world.

H/T: John White

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


You might be wondering what could possibly infuriate Jesse Jackson so about a man who (a) has dark pigment and (b) is a radical left liberal. Well, that would have to be Obama's urging of black church-goers to choose reading books over playing video games and telling young students to stick with school and forget about a career as a rap star or professional basketball player.

All of which is heresy for the Reverend Jesse Jackson. (Say, what church does the Reverend preach at on Sundays anyway?)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Give this man a red hat!

Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, NY is one of the few bishops in America willing to stand up against a culture which calls evil good and good evil.

Bishop Murphy, writing in the Long Island Catholic says, in part:

[O]ur new governor [David A. Paterson] has decided to circumvent the legislature, the courts and any testing of the will of the people. He has decided by an administrative decree that unions of persons of the same sex which are recognized as “marriage” in another state would be recognized and honored as such here in New York. This is just plain wrong.

Put aside the questionable action of a sitting governor subverting the democratic process of discussion, debate and vote. Put aside the lack of reference to the constitution of the State of New York. Put aside the lack of consultation with the State Senate and Assembly. Put aside the total circumvention of any listening to the will of the people. All these are serious deficiencies that render the governor’s action unseemly and indefensible in a democratic society. The fact is what the truth is: this is wrong and no amount of trying to appeal to “fair play” or “equality” or “putting all relationships on the same footing” can make this right.

His Excellency has joined ranks (in my book) with fellow bishops Chaput (Denver), Burke (St. Louis), Vasa (Baker, OR), Bruskewitz (Lincoln, NE), Sheridan (Colorado Springs), Finn (Kansas City) and a select few others who are not afraid to speak the truth in love and who bend to Christ rather than popular opinion.

By way of contrast, 'disappointing and weak' would have to be my take on Cardinal Mahony's response to the recent California Supreme Court ruling.

I say, take Mahony's red had and give it to Murphy.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Catholic Charities

This just in.

Federal authorities are investigating the actions of a Catholic charity in Richmond [Virginia] which helped a 16-year-old Guatemalan girl to receive an abortion in January, in possible violation of Virginia law.
The unnamed girl, who already had one child, had been fitted with a contraceptive device provided by CCR two months earlier, the letter said. CCR members signed the consent form necessary for a minor to have an abortion and had someone drive her to and from the abortion clinic.

Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, with Bishops John C. Wester and Michael P. Driscoll, wrote a letter to bishops nationwide detailing decisions that preceded the Jan. 18 abortion.

It is illegal in Virginia for a social worker to sign a parental consent form for an abortion. The state's notification law stipulates that at least one parent, grandparent or adult sibling must give consent.

The girl, whose parents are missing, was a ward of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

HHS provides $7.6 million a year in contracts with the USCCB for foster care of immigrant children. The bishops group subcontracts services through agencies like Commonwealth Catholic Charities.
"Some members of the MRS staff were not sufficiently aware of church teaching and [USCCB] policy regarding these matters to take stronger and more appropriate actions," Bishops DiLorenzo, Wester and Driscoll said in a letter to their peers.

"This incident is a most regrettable stain on the record of excellence in the work both of MRS and of Catholic Charities," they said.

CCR is a member of Catholic Charities USA, a social service network serving 8 million people.

Imagine that. The staff members who forged a signature on a parental consent form required for minors in Virginia to obtain an abortion "were not sufficiently aware of church [small c] teaching and policy."

As one reader points out, "'Catholic' Charities has not been a Catholic organization for some time now. In my own diocese, the professional do-gooders align with the Democratic party platform, with the occasional nod to Catholic teaching only when a particularly stubborn Catholic layperson threatens to expose them as the blatant secularists that they are."

I have always been reluctant to give to Catholic Charities USA. I'm always reluctant to give to Catholic Relief Services. And I'm always reluctant to give to my own Archdiocese.

Perhaps now you can see why.

No thanks. I'll continue sending my tithe to the local parish (Catholic in more than name only) and to organizations with a deep love for the Catholic faith like EWTN, Catholic Answers and the Legionaries of Christ.

At least that way I can rest assured I'm not helping some girl obtain contraceptives or procure an abortion.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Letter of Recommendation

Last November, while on the campaign trail for Democratic hopeful Barack Obama, Laurence Tribe called Obama the "best student I ever had." Not bad coming from a one-time potential Supreme Court nominee and professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School.

But wait a minute. I thought that honor had already been awarded to someone else?
Kathleen Marie Sullivan (born August 20, 1955), one of America's leading scholars in constitutional law, is a professor at the Stanford Law School and currently practices appellate litigation at Quinn Emanuel Urquart Oliver & Hedges, LLP, a law firm in California.

Born in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, Sullivan was the dean of Stanford Law School from 1999 to 2004. She was a professor of law at Harvard Law School from 1984 to 1993. She graduated from Cornell University in 1976, graduated as a Marshall Scholar from Oxford in 1978 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1981, where her mentor Laurence Tribe called her "the most extraordinary student I had ever had."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Quote of the day

In response to the Church of England's approval of artificial birth control, Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical "Casti Connubii" on December 31, 1930, stating

"Since, therefore, openly departing from the uninterrupted Christian tradition some recently have judged it possible solemnly to declare another doctrine regarding this question, the Catholic Church, to whom God has entrusted the defense of the integrity and purity of morals, standing erect in the midst of the moral ruin which surrounds her, in order that she may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such away that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Papal Mass

..In other news, we managed to put together an embarassing and downright shameful liturgy at our nation's capital for our Holy Father today. If you had the good fortune to miss it, let me bring you up to speed.

With music a la Marty Haugen's 'Mass of Creation,' worship and conscious participation in the Sacred Mysteries was made that much more difficult. There was a misplaced and awkward sort of bounce to the organ music(I suppose we should be grateful an organ was used at all), and of course everything was sung in minor keys.

Then there was the first reading. In Spanish, naturally. After all, this is the United States of Mexico.

The Spanish reading was done by a lay woman, and she was followed by another woman who cantored a particularly painful rendition of the Responsorial Psalm. And it was a third lay woman who read for us the second reading.

Pure happenstance, you see. Three for three; what were the odds?

I half expected to see a nun in plain clothes come up to read the Gospel.

I'm sure whoever orchestrated this shindig is quite pleased and felt they did a marvelous job. But it really is time we do us all a favor and let them go, so we can recover a true Spirit of the Liturgy.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Three kinds of people

There are really only three kinds of people in this world. The haves. The have-nots. And the haven't-paid-for-what-we-haves.

I'm a fellow Dave Ramsey-ite. You gotta find this guy on your radio; he's great.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

Alter Christus

It is difficult to imagine the full extent of public scandal caused by a priest who, speaking in the name of Christ himself, guides and instructs the flock away from Church teaching.

Saint Faustina experienced some of this betrayal felt by Our Lord.

Thursday, Nocturnal Adoration.

When I came for adoration, an inner recollection took hold of me immediately, and I saw the Lord Jesus tied to a pillar, stripped of His clothes, and the scourging began immediately. I saw four men who took it in turns at striking the Lord with scourges. My heart almost stopped at the sight of these tortures...Oh, how dreadful was Jesus' moral suffering during the scourging!

Then Jesus said to me, "Look and see the human race in its present condition." In an instant, I saw horrible things: the executioners left Jesus, and other people started scourging Him; they seized the scourges and struck the Lord mercilessly. These were priests, religious men and women, and high dignitaries of the Church, which surprised me greatly...Seeing this, my heart fell as if into a mortal agony.

Enter Fr. Michael Pfleger, Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago, ardent defender of Reverend Jeremiah 'God damn America' Wright and longtime vocal (not to mention financial) supporter of pro-abortion presidential hopeful, Barack Obama.

The Rev. Wright knows he always has a home (and a place of honor) in Saint Sabrina's.

Anyone have Cardinal George's email?

This can't be good

Muslims more numerous than Catholics

...boil it all down and we have liberal clergy, The Pill, and stupid, lay Catholics to thank. In that order.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Do you ever feel like an outsider?

On penumbras

In 1965 the Supreme Court discovered a right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution. The case, Griswold v. Connecticut, was brought by none other than our friends at Planned Parenthood (Estelle Griswold was the executive director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut), disputing a state law which prohibited the sale of contraceptives.

Two Justices, Hugo Black and Potter Stewart, filed dissents. Justice Black argued that the right to privacy is to be found nowhere in the Constitution. Furthermore, he criticized the interpretations of the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to which his fellow Justices adhered. Justice Stewart famously called the Connecticut statute "an uncommonly silly law", but argued that it was nevertheless constitutional.

Fast foward to 1973.

Roe v. Wade was decided (ironically, again 7-2, but with several new justices -- including Rehnquist -- on the bench) on the premise that a woman's right to abort her unborn child was a private decision between her and her doctor. The abortion decision appealed again to the 8 year old Constitutional right to privacy, claiming that Justice Douglas' infamous (and crystal clear) line in Griswold, "specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance" applied not only to the sale of contraceptives but, golly gee, to the killing of unborn human beings as well!

This modern craze of legislating from the bench necessarily follows when one has adopted the belief that the Constitution is a "living" document. That it must be adapted to the times, and that unelected judges are the ones best fit to do the adapting.

By way of contrast, listen to the thoughts of James Madison:

James Madison wrote on March 12, 1833:

"It is but too common to read the expressions of a remote period thro' the modern meaning of them, & to omit guards agst misconstruction not anticipated. A few words with a prophetic gift, might have prevented much error in the glosses on those proceedings. The remark is equally applicable to the Constitution itself."

This was nothing new for Madison. Here's a similar quote from June 25, 1824:

"I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. And if that be not the guide in expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its powers. If the meaning of the text be sought in the changeable meaning of the words composing it, it is evident that the shape and attributes of the government must partake of the changes to which the words and phrases of all living languages are constantly subject. What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense!"

And March 10, 1826:

"In the exposition of laws, and even of Constitutions, how many important errors, may be produced by mere innovations in the use of words and phrases if not controllable by a recurrence to the original, and authentic meaning attached to them."

Surely the Founding Fathers meant to include a right to privacy in the Constitution ('twas a memory lapse is all).

And just as surely they thought abortion fit the bill.


[Hat Tip:]

Friday, February 15, 2008

Because she was wanted

The difference between a wanted baby and an unwanted baby:

CANTON, Ohio — A former police officer who tearfully told jurors he accidentally killed his pregnant lover was convicted Friday of murdering her and their unborn child.

Bobby Cutts Jr. could face the death penalty. He had claimed he accidentally killed Jessie Davis by putting an elbow to her throat, then panicked.

Cutts, 30, was convicted of aggravated murder in the death of the nearly full-term female fetus, which carries the possible death penalty. Jurors will return later this month to weigh a sentencing recommendation.

Make sense, class? It's murder when you kill a wanted baby. But it's a woman's constitutional right to kill her unwanted baby. The answer to the difficult question of whether or not killing an unborn child is right or wrong is really quite simple. Only one thing matters:

Did you want this baby or not?

GOP Primary

A president who's not a politician. That's what it sounds like he would be to me anyway. The more I hear from him, the more I like him.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Mac

A statistic that would not help me sleep any better, if I were him:

One in five Louisiana Republican voters identified themselves as “moderates” and they went for McCain 55 percent to 30 percent for Huckabee. Those GOP voters who say they attend church at least once a week picked Huckabee by double digits, compared to those who attend occasionally giving a double-digit advantage to McCain.


Fantastic interview

Sorry I don't have the embedded code, but you really should watch this great interview with Mike Huckabee on CNN after his big win in Kansas.

Katrina factor

Question: How does your experience with a hurricane in Louisiana affect your proclivity to elect a senator from Illinois over a senator from New York, or vice-versa?

CNN explains:
The more likely a Louisiana Democratic presidential primary voter was to have been affected by Hurricane Katrina, the more likely they were to support Democrat Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton.

Among the 15 percent of voters who had been affected by the storm and said they had yet to recover, Obama had a 58 to 39 percent edge over Clinton. The 28 percent of voters who had been affected, but had since recovered, supported Obama by a slightly smaller margin, 54 to 43 percent. And the 55 percent who had not been affected at all by Hurricane Katrina supported Obama by the narrowest margin, 51 to 48 percent.


Following a brief consultation with Reason, methinks this has little or nothing to do with severe weather. Methinks it has more to do with one's skin pigment. Admittedly, it sounds more intelligent, proper -- almost scientific -- if we make the correlation in terms of your experiences with bad weather.

It's just that such a correlation makes absolutely no sense either.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Roe ought to be overturned today

Here's why.

In Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court said this:

"Texas urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer." (ROE v. WADE, 410 U.S. 113, Section IX, B, paragraph 2; emphasis mine)

In other words, the Court made a conscious decision to side-step the entire question of whether or not abortion kills a baby. (It clearly does.)

The Court said it had no idea as to an answer, and then adjudicated the fetus could be killed...because it wasn't sure if it was a person or not.

This is bad law.

Either the fetus is a person or not. For the sake of argument, let's assume the fetus is a person. In this case, the 1973 decision of the Supreme Court just sanctioned manslaughter, for then abortion is killing an innocent person not knowing and intending the full, deliberate extent of murder.

It is like driving over a man-shaped overcoat in the street, which may be a drunk or may only be an old coat. It is like shooting at a sudden movement in a bush which may be your hunting companion or may be only a pheasant. It is like fumigating an apartment building with a highly toxic chemical not knowing whether everyone is safely evacuated. If the victim is a person, you have committed manslaughter.

Now let us assume the fetus is not in fact a person. Well then, the Supreme Court's decision sanctions criminal negligence as in the above three cases if there happened to be no one in the coat, the bush, or the building, but the driver, the hunter, or the fumigator did not know that, and nevertheless drove, shot or fumigated. Such negligence is instinctively and universally condemned by all reasonable individuals and societies as personally immoral and socially criminal.

We do not argue politely over whether such behavior is right or wrong. We wholeheartedly condemn it, even when we do not know whether there is a person there, because the killer did not know that a person was not there.

It only follows then for Roe to be wholeheartedly and unanimously condemned because the decision explicitly acknowledges that the judiciary does not know whether a person is there -- at the end of the abortionist's instruments -- or not. With this acknowledgment the Court sanctions either manslaughter or criminal negligence; there can be no third option.

Therefore, Roe ought to be overturned today.

[H/T: Peter Kreeft]

Saturday, February 2, 2008

More Global Warming

It's being felt by all of us. The debate is over. Our Earth is warming up as a result of human activity. More specifically: it's 'cause of Americans. But it is most definitely happening and the effects of this global heat wave can be seen everywhere you turn.

For instance, this week's headline:

Worst China Snow Storms in 50 Years Strand Five Million

China has deployed the biggest number of troops in ten years to aid five million people stranded in the worst winter storms to hit the country in more than half a century.

Nearly half a million soldiers have been mobilised to help migrant workers whose movements have been paralysed by severe snow and plunging temperatures.


At least 17 of China's 31 provinces and major cities have experienced blackouts, affecting 30 million people, and more than five million have seen their water supplies reduced or cut off.

So now you finally understand why Al Gore's book was such a hot item, why he received the Nobel Peace Prize, and why our government needs to continue to spend billions of your tax dollars to fight this crisis now upon us.

On the conceptus

[Another ongoing debate from Facebook.]

"While a brain dead human on life support certainly has the biological characteristics of life, it does not have the societal characteristics of life that we value and choose to protect." -Brad

Only because the condition of the brain dead patient is one of irreversability. Hence the wording in the UDDA:

an individual who has sustained either (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem, is dead.

The lack of brain function in the earliest weeks of a developing new human being is a condition which is quite plainly *not* irreversabile. Therefore, the criteria of the UDDA not being met renders the state of the fetus indisputable. Namely, "not dead".

"to state that a human life exists simply because the genetic coding that will form that human life's traits is present doesn't make sense, as potentiality does not equate to actuality." -Brad

You must have missed these three paragraphs in which she carefully explains the notions of act and potency, and how the conceptus is an active, natural potentiality -- as distinct from a passive, specific potentiality (i.e. my potential to be president of the United States). Here it is again, Brad:

The rich philosophical notions of act and potency carry distinctions adequate for describing the developing life of a human being. The description of the present reality at any developmental stage in the life of an individual human being must convey the fact neither of nothing nor of completed being. The conceptus exists as a present reality -- in act -- with potentialities directed toward a particular perfection -- the goal established by the genotype. The conceptus is a human being in act. Within that being resides the active natural potentiality to become a more fully developed human being. Explication of this complex potentiality requires attendance to the notions of potentiality that are active/passive, natural/specific, and remote/proximate. In active potency, the being goes from not acting to acting and is also the agent of the action. For example, the human being may develop or move, by its intrinsic agency from being not conscious to being conscious. In passive potency, a human being has the capacity to receive a modification but the agency of the modification is an external agent. For example, a potential president may actually become president by the agency of the voters. The president received the office (a passive reception) from an extrinsic agency. The present reality of the conceptus in relation to the adult human being is not that of passive potentiality which requires extrinsic agency for actualization. In the act that is the conceptus there resides the active potentiality to become a more fully developed human being.

There are two distinct factors that make up the notion of active potentiality. One is constitution or nature and the other is tendency. Constitution is the underlying manifold which determines the direction of the tendency. It is that which tendency by its dispositive thrust urges to completion. Tendency is the drive to action. The conceptus is, by its constitution, determined as a human being and is, by tendency, determined to become -- in a fashion prefixed by its constitution -- rather than not. Since the tendency of the conceptus in regard to fuller human development proceeds in a completely determined manner and since it cannot become something other than what the constitution determines it to be and since it cannot of itself not become, it may be said that the potentiality of the fetus for more fully developed human life is an active potency.

Active potentialities are designated either natural or specific. In the accomplishment of an active specific potency, such as the choice of a specific food to satisfy hunger, the agent has a degree of freedom in the actualization of the potency. The agent may specify the manner in which to actualize the potency. Active natural potencies, such as the formation of the cerebral cortex, are accomplished in a completely determined manner. The agent is not free to choose whether or not to actualize the potency. Tendency determines that the potentiality will be actualized. In addition the agent is not free to specify the manner in which to actualize the potency. For the actualization of an active natural potency nothing is needed on the side of the agent beyond its constitution and the tendency to realize the constitution. Factors external to the agent may bring about its destruction and hence inhibit the actualization but the agent itself cannot inhibit the actualization.

"We do not value the active potential of our cells due to their genetic coding; we value our ability to think, to experience, to be aware of our surroundings. Mere human cells with genetic coding can't do this. Mere cells with genetic coding don't contain our societal view of human life." -Brad

One must be truly bent on justifying first trimester abortions (what could be the motivation, I wonder?) to submit that a human embryo is not a human life, and that its intentional destruction does not amount to homicide.

Thirty years ago, such a position might have been forgivable. But today? With the advancement of ultra-sound technology, the science of embryology, and the pictures of early term abortions this is not a topic of discussion up for debate.

There can be no excuse. It is only the usurpation of conscience via an overriding act of the will in the face of such overwhelming evidence which points to a growing human being in the womb and declares: he is not alive!

Tapped Out Nation by Patrick J. Buchanan

Pat was right yesterday. Pat is right today. And his predictions for tomorrow, sadly, are not rainbows and lollipops.

It was to be the year of change, of new ideas, a new politics.

Yet, as of today, it appears the Republican Party will be led into the future by a Beltway favorite of the media and Washington insider who has spent the last quarter of a century on Capitol Hill.

And the Democratic Party appears about to build a bridge to the past by nominating the spouse of the last Democratic president who has herself been a Washington insider for almost 20 years.

With two-thirds of the nation saying the country is on the wrong course, the two parties are offering candidates both of whom played major roles in setting that course. And neither probable nominee has advanced ideas to deal with the crises America faces, nor even shown any great awareness that the country is in crisis.

The first crisis is fiscal, with the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid costs about to break the bank as the baby boomers reach early retirement. Add the other entitlement programs, defense and interest on the debt, and this consumes perhaps 90 percent of the budget.

No one is proposing cuts in any major component of the budget. Indeed, Mrs. Clinton is promising universal health care and McCain is promising an expansion of the military. Both favor a stimulus package of roughly $150 billion. As our savings rate is about zero, where are we going to borrow the money for all this?

A second crisis is financial. With the economy in danger of seizing up, the Fed has cut interest rates from 4.25 percent to 3 percent in two weeks. This has sent the dollar plunging again. A sinking dollar means surging prices for oil and all those foreign manufactures to which we are now addicted.

As the dollars pour out, nations have started to spend their dollar hoards to buy up this country at the fire-sale prices being offered in the global marketplace.

A third crisis is strategic. With an army of half a million and a Marine Corps a third that size, we are ending our fifth year of war in Iraq and entering the seventh year in Afghanistan. With the Taliban and al-Qaida now re-established and threatening Pakistan, what will it require in blood and treasure to prevent a strategic disaster there?

Mrs. Clinton is committed to a withdrawal from Iraq, but McCain says we will stay 100 years if necessary and warns, "There's going to be other wars." But wars against whom? Iran? Pakistan? Russia? North Korea? With the U.S. military stretched to the breaking point, and the quality of army recruits falling, who will fight these wars?

Then there is the immigration crisis. It is estimated that there are 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the United States today, with many hundreds of thousands being added each year.

McCain and Hillary both voted for the amnesty bill, neither is committed to sending back the illegals, and both give only grudging support to the idea of a border fence. How do they propose stopping the scores or hundreds of millions from Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East from breaking into the United States in coming decades? Does anyone see in either Clinton or McCain the resolve to deal with what Americans are coming to believe is a crisis of national identity and national survival?

Then there is the crisis of the American middle class.

As economist Robert Reich writes, the real wages of working men have not risen in 30 years. Families maintained their standard of living three ways. Wives went to work. The men began to work longer hours than in almost any other developed nation. The family's equity in its home was then borrowed to sustain consumption.

Now, with the middle class tapped out, the home equity used up or declining, and mortgage, auto and credit card debt turning rotten, the U.S. government is going abroad to borrow 1 percent of GDP to hand out in checks in May to get consumers buying again to prevent a recession.

What kind of long-term solution is this?

How can a government as deep in debt as this one, going deeper every day, with the Social Security-Medicare crisis looming, continue to borrow to fight wars, finance foreign aid and defend nations that refuse to make the sacrifices to defend themselves?

America today faces both a fiscal crisis and a currency crisis.

Our dependence on foreign loans, foreign oil and foreign manufacturers is unprecedented.
We are being invaded from the south and seemingly lack the moral fiber to defend our home and throw out the intruders.

We have neither the men nor the weapons to honor all the treaty commitments and war guarantees we have given out to nations all over the world -- and McCain plans to add several more.

Yet, we are consumed with the issue of whether Bill Clinton, by comparing Barack Obama to Jesse Jackson, was playing "the race card."

We are an unserious people in a serious time.

You can read his regular column here.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why didn't I think of that?

Smart Cup

Day Clock

Modern Ladder

Banana Holder

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Modern Day Beatitudes

"Blessed are the pop stars, 'cause they are like, man, so cool."

You may have taken notice that this particular beatitude is conspicuously missing from the text of Saint Matthew's gospel. It was not without reason Our Blessed Lord left it out. For gaining worldwide stardom results -- almost without exception -- in misery, not happiness.

Just ask Britney Spears.

Her stunning beauty and her voice catapult her into the world of entertainment:

A few short years (and tens of millions of dollars) later:


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Eight days too late

AUBURN, Calif., Jan. 22 (UPI) -- A woman suspected of drowning her 8-day-old daughter was under suicide watch Tuesday in a California jail.

Kristina Fuelling was arrested after the baby's death on Sunday. She allegedly drowned the infant in a bathroom sink at her home in Granite Bay in the early morning and then told her husband what she had done, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Firefighters who rushed to the house were unable to revive the baby, named Faith Evelyn.

The mother was held in the Placer County Jail.
According to U.S. law, the only mistake Ms. Fuelling made was her decision to kill baby Faith Evelyn eight days too late. Had she done it on the 12th instead of the 20th, well, you would have been the one behind bars for trying to stop her.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008