For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12


"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Do I Blame iPhone Or AT&T?

Got an iPhone?  I do.  Having trouble with it in the past year with interrupted service and dropped calls?  Me too.  Seems lots have been complaining.  Is it any better at Verizon?  Read part of the article below and follow the link for the rest of it.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Consumer outrage about AT&T's 3G service for iPhones is boiling over, but the dropped calls and spotty service reflect a greater lack of foresight in the wireless industry.

Analysts say AT&T's problems would have happened on any network that carried Apple's (AAPL, Fortune 500) iPhone because of the overwhelming amount of data downloaded by iPhone users. Over the past three years, AT&T's data traffic increased 5,000% because of the iPhone.
"The challenges that AT&T has are being faced by a lot of operators around the world: Very rapidly growing usage coupled with dense populations," said Daniel Hays, wireless expert and partner at consultancy PRTM. "Would it have been different on Verizon? Probably not."

AT&T accurately states that it has the nation's fastest 3G network but it "probably bit off more than it could chew," said Doug Helmreich, program director at consultancy CFI Group. "Now some of their customers are paying the price."

(Click HERE for the original article)

(h/t:  Lucianne)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christ Is Born This Day! (The Reason For The Season)

Although I do not usually gravitate toward paintings of Jesus with blonde hair and blue eyes, there is something about La Vierge Au Lys by William Bouguereau that draws me in and captivates my imagination.

Bouguereau's depiction of Mary holding Jesus (Pieta) after being lowered from the cross (same Mary, same outfit, only looking older) inspired Mel Gibson to search for an actress with the same intense look to play Mary in The Passion.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all!

Below is an excerpt from A Christmas Sermon by St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.):

“Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man.  Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.

You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have been lost if he had not hastened ‘to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come.

Let us then joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festive day on which he who is the great and eternal day came from the great and endless day of eternity into our own short day of time.

He has become our justice, our sanctification, our redemption, so that, as it is written: Let him who glories glory in the Lord.

Truth, then, has arisen from the earth: Christ who said, I am the Truth, was born of the Virgin. And justice looked down from heaven: because believing in this new-born child, man is justified not by himself but by God.

Truth has arisen from the earth: because the Word was made flesh. And justice looked down from heaven: because every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Truth has arisen from the earth: flesh from Mary. And justice looked down from heaven: for man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.

Justified by faith, let us be at peace with God: for justice and peace have embraced one another. Through our Lord Jesus Christ: for Truth has arisen from the earth. Through whom we have access to that grace in which we stand, and our boast is in our hope of God’s glory. He does not say: “of our glory”, but of God’s glory: for justice has not come out of us but has looked down from heaven. Therefore he who glories, let him glory, not in himself, but in the Lord.

For this reason, when our Lord was born of the Virgin, the message of the angelic voices was: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to men of good will.

For how could there be peace on earth unless Truth has arisen from the earth, that is, unless Christ were born of our flesh? And he is our peace who made the two into one: that we might be men of good will, sweetly linked by the bond of unity.

Let us then rejoice in this grace, so that our glorying may bear witness to our good conscience by which we glory, not in ourselves, but in the Lord. That is why Scripture says: He is my glory, the one who lifts up my head. For what greater grace could God have made to dawn on us than to make his only Son become the son of man, so that a son of man might in his turn become son of God?

Ask if this were merited; ask for its reason, for its justification, and see whether you will find any other answer but sheer grace."




Saturday, December 19, 2009

Senator Nelson "Throws (The Unborn) Under The Bus"

Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) has betrayed the unborn as well as 61% of our nation (61% are against this bill) by becoming the magical 60th vote in favor of Obamacare, after previously claiming he would vote against it.  It is clear that Democrats are easily bought and paid for by TARP funds, as Nelson joins the ranks of others like Landrieu.

Read the details HERE.  I wish I had time to go into all the gruesome details...  but I have a snow storm to drive through.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Senator Casey, We're Calling You Out!



Catholic Vote Action has released this ad today in the state of Pennsylvania to pressure our so-called, pro-life Democrat Senator, Bob Casey, into voting his alleged conscience and not support a health care bill that funds abortion.

Aside from NE Senator Ben Nelson, is there really such a thing as a pro-life Democrat?  NV Senator Harry Reid, a Democrat, has always run as a pro-lifer.  But by now his constituents must realize that he is not what he claims to be, and NV polls reflect that.  Senator Casey, up for re-election in '12 in PA would be wise to follow Reid's re-election bid in '10 closely.

The ad attack against Senator Casey is two-pronged, as can be seen by this other ad presented by the Susan B. Anthony List, showing a then and now comparison between strong pro-life positions taken by Governor Robert Casey Sr. and the potential sell-out-of-the-unborn by his Senator son, Robert Jr..

I discovered both of these ads on Jill Stanek's blog, along with a link to a personal letter by the head of the Susan B. Anthony List to Senator Casey.  Go to her blog and find the link for the letter by clicking HERE.



Senator Casey is claiming that faith leaders are supporting his alternative amendment to the latest health care bill fiasco (after the Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment failed), and cites the Catholic Health Association as one of its supporters.  It should be noted that as of this posting, Sr. Carol Keehan of the CHA has not seen the text of Casey's amendment, but only his outline of it.  In spite of this she claims to be confident that his amendment will insure no abortion funding.  Not so, says Senator Ben Nelson and other pro-life groups, including the USCCB who said the language will not stop funding for abortions.  Read the full story by clicking HERE.


Now it looks like Senator Reid is shifting his focus toward pressuring ME Senator Olympia Snowe.  Read that HERE.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rosa Acuna Project Exposes Planned Parenthood's "Abortion-First Mentality"



Lila Rose has created some very indicting undercover videos of various Planned Parenthood locations around the country showing several statutory rape cover-ups by complicit PP staff members.  Now, starting with Planned Parenthood of Appleton, WI, Lila Rose has put together the Rosa Acuna Project, which documents Planned Parenthood's manipulative counseling and medical lies told in order to convince women in need that killing their unborn babies is their best option.  See below:

EVIDENCE OF COUNSELING ABUSE AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD CONTINUES TO SURFACE IN UNDERCOVER STUDENT VIDEO

Contact: Lila Rose, media@liveaction.org , (323)454-3304

Appleton, December 9 -- New undercover footage from an Appleton, WI Planned Parenthood abortion clinic shows clinic staff, including the abortion doctor, lying to two young women about fetal development and encouraging the one who is pregnant to obtain an abortion because "women die having babies."

In the undercover video, when the two women ask a Planned Parenthood counselor if the pregnant woman's 10-week-old unborn child has a heartbeat, the counselor emphasizes "heart tones," and answers, "Heart beat is when the fetus is active in the uterus--can survive--which is about seventeen or eighteen weeks." On the contrary, embryologists agree that the heartbeat begins around 3 weeks. Wisconsin informed consent law requires that women receive medically accurate information before undergoing an abortion.
(Read more by clicking -->HERE)
 

Slow Down, Take A Breath....It's Advent



How easily we get caught up in Stressmas and lose track of the real meaning of the Christmas Season we call Advent.  Nothing should matter more than the birth of the Christ Child at Christmas.  All other traditions and celebrations, however important, are secondary.


(H/T:  Brutally Honest)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Linkfest

Well, it's that time of year again....  The time when I'm so busy with life's trials and tribulations, I don't have time to research anything good to post.  So I resort to a linkfest.  It's not the only reason, of course.  I owe a few people who also happen to be doing some excellent work out there in the blogosphere for the links they have given me.  Here are some excellent blogs and the great work they are doing:

Professor Donald Douglas of American Power, located in our nation's former ally, California (I hope that like France, they return to our side someday), is a beacon of freedom there.  Click HERE for the first installment of his field work at a local Tea Party resulting in a wonderful collection of pictures of the event.  Click HERE for the second installment.  The professor's blog has become a major driving force for freedom after its creation less than 2 years ago.

When something happens in New York City that is worth viewing, look no further than Urban Infidel for her magnificent photo essays.  Yesterday she bore the nasty weather to report first-hand the protest in Foley Square of the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 9-11 Terror Trial that any other president, in his right mind, would conduct as a military tribunal at Gitmo.  Click HERE for her posting of the events.

Chicago Ray has found yet another example of a fractional minority of Muslims having a Christmas tree (dubbed Holiday Tree) removed because it was deemed "too religious" for these narrow-minded sociopaths.  Click HERE for the story.

T. Paine at Saving Common Sense brings to light the quest of Lt. Col. Allen West for a Congressional seat in Florida's 22nd district.  Lt. Col. West is an African-American, decorated war hero and champions the Constitution.  In other words he is what Mr. Paine refers to as "a breath of fresh air."  Click HERE for the full story.

And Lisa Graas has written a book review on Sarah Palin's Going Rogue, well worth reading.  Click HERE for that.

PS.  I just had to include a recent posting by R.S. McCain (The Other McCain) in which he calls Episcopalian the "gay religion," and that it has "more lesbians than the LPGA and more gay men than the first five rows of a Bette Midler concert."  Click HERE for his post to find out why.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Week

Here's a little something that appeared in our church bulletin recently that I wanted to share with you...

The Bear and the Atheist
An Atheist was walking through the woods, admiring the "accidents" that evolution had created.  "What majestic trees!  What powerful rivers"  What beautiful animals!" he said to himself.
As he was walking along side the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him.  Turning to look, he saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge toward him.  He ran away as fast as he could up the path.
He looked over his shoulder and saw the grizzly was closing.  Somehow he ran even faster, so scared that tears came to his eyes.  He looked again, and the bear was even closer.  His heart was pounding, and he tried to run faster.  He tripped and fell to the ground.  He rolled over to pick himself up, but the bear was right over him, reaching for him with its left paw and raising its right paw to strike him.
At that instant the atheist cried, "Oh my God!"
Time stopped.  The bear froze.  The forest was silent.  Even the river stopped moving.
As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky, "You deny my existence for all these years, teach others that I don't exist, and even credit creation to a cosmic accident.  Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament?  Am I to count you as a believer?"
The atheist looked directly into the light and said, "I would feel like a hypocrite to become a Christian after all these years, but perhaps you could make the bear a Christian."
"Very well," said the voice.
The light went out.  The river ran.  The sounds of the forest resumed.  Then the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed its head, and spoke:  "Lord, for this food which I am about to receive, I am truly thankful."

---Source unknown; submitted by David Holdaway, Scotland.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CCHD Collecting This Sunday ---Give Them A No-Thank-You Coupon Instead!



There isn't much time left to get the word out, but in the couple of days remaining we should all do what we can.  I am talking about the 2nd collection that will happen at this Sunday's Catholic Mass and Feast For Christ The King in many parishes across the country.  Though not in ours (we stopped collecting for this years ago), but in many other parishes, the Catholic Campaign For Human Development will be rattling the tin cup for some deserving charities.  And if it were limited to the deserving ones I would most certainly donate.  But the CCHD also funds Communist Groups, pro-abortion organizations, pro-gay marriage groups, and many others whose positions fly in the face of Catholic teaching and values.  It is time to put a stop to this!  It is time to REFORM the CCHD.  No more money until they clean up their act!

If you want to know more, click HERE and HERE for the details.  And click HERE for the coupon to drop in the plate or basket at Mass in lieu of cash, check, or money order to send the CCHD a message.  And by the way, watch the video above if you haven't already.  It is shocking, to say the least.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Law & Order ---The Abortion Episode (entire show)



A few years ago I almost completely gave up on network TV.  It seemed that every time I watched any of the shows that at one time or another interested me in the past, my sensiblities were being offended by their mono-slant to the left.  There was no room for debate.  All Christians or even priests were hypocrites at best and pedophiles or murderers at worst, and anyone on the political right was a crack-pot.

But last month an episode of Law & Order drew the ire and spite of pro-abortionists who weren't comfortable with an uncharacteristically even-handed approach that could only hurt their cause.  So even though it's a month late, I've decided to post the entire episode of that program here in case, like me, you missed it the first time.  Just click on the "close to play" button first to make the annoying ad vanish from your sight.  Then enjoy the show.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Obama Has Long Pattern of Indifference To Plight Of Others



I have seen a few postings online (like this one), and have heard a few radio talk show hosts touch on the oddness of Obama's press conference regarding the mass shooting at Ft. Hood a few days ago.  When President Obama is supposed to make a statement about the shootings, which should be top priority at that point to reassure the public that things are under control, he puts it down the list of topics to cover after laughingly giving a shout-out to a medal winner in the audience, etc...The general consensus is that Obama doesn't seem to care about the plight of others.  Each blogger or radio talk show host relating their outrage over Obama's insensativity also mentioned either the people rebelling in Iran and how Obama ignores them while they're being slaughtered, or our soldiers being hung out to dry in Afghanistan while Obama hems and haws on whether to send more troops to the rescue or pull them all out.  These are very good examples.  But after giving it some thought, I came up with several more:

  1. Turning 9-11 Anniversary from a day of infamy on which we were attacked by terrorists into a National Day of Service, thereby watering down the true meaning of the day and doing disservice to the memory of those murdered in the attack.  Is that not an insensative slap-in-the-face to the friends and relatives of those who perished?  Is that not an offense to New York City, the great city who was attacked?  Is that not an insult to every American who cried that day or felt fear?
  2. Although it seemed mildly bothersome at the time, Obama's visit to Ground Zero with Senator John McCain was quite revealing.  When laying roses at the exact site of one of the towers Senator McCain bent down, and with much care, gently laid his rose among the other items of remembrance put by others.  But Obama, while standing erect, tossed his rose on the pile like a piece of garbage on a heap.  He served to reminded one of a self-absorbed, aloof teenager being ordered by his parents to show respect he did not feel.
  3. Cap and Trade.  President Obama's environmental plans are at best draconian and at worst economically suicidal.  He has been quoted as saying that he will intentionally bankrupt the coal industry to "save the planet," thereby throwing hundreds of thousands of middle class people out of work.
  4. And worst of all--- The Born Alive Infants Protection Act was first proposed and passed by the Illinois State Legislators when Barack Obama was merely a state senator.  It was proposed because of a new type of abortion called the Induced Labor Abortion which caused babies to be delivered prematurely, after which they were either strangled outside the womb or left out on a table to die from suffocation  (those born prematurely cannot breathe on their own).  On the IL Senate floor, Obama was the only one to speak out against the bill banning this procedure.  When it came up for a vote he voted "present" thereby voting NO.  The You Tube video below showing then nurse Jill Stanek being interviewed by Bill O'Reilly fills in the details of the horrific procedure.  When a similar bill came before the US Senate, it was passed by a 98-0 vote.  Only the most cold-hearted could find a way to vote against this bill, and Obama is that cold-hearted.



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Archbishop Dolan Takes Issue With Catholic-Bashing, New York Times

In response to a Catholic-bashing column by Maureen Dowd which appeared in late October in the New York Times, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan issued a slightly shorter version of his rebuttal seen below which the Times rejected. Like President Obama and other leftists, the Old Gray Lady cannot handle constructive criticism.

Here is the full article by Archbishop Dolan:


FOUL BALL!
By Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York

 



October is the month we relish the highpoint of our national pastime, especially when one of our own New York teams is in the World Series!




Sadly, America has another national pastime, this one not pleasant at all: anti-catholicism.
        
It is not hyperbole to call prejudice against the Catholic Church a national pastime. Scholars such as Arthur Schlesinger Sr. referred to it as “the deepest bias in the history of the American people,” while John Higham described it as “the most luxuriant, tenacious tradition of paranoiac agitation in American history.” “The anti-semitism of the left,” is how Paul Viereck reads it, and Professor Philip Jenkins sub-titles his book on the topic “the last acceptable prejudice.”
        
If you want recent evidence of this unfairness against the Catholic Church, look no further than a few of these following examples of occurrences over the last couple weeks:


  • On October 14, in the pages of the New York Times, reporter Paul Vitello exposed the sad extent of child sexual abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community. According to the article, there were forty cases of such abuse in this tiny community last year alone. Yet the Times did not demand what it has called for incessantly when addressing the same kind of abuse by a tiny minority of priests: release of names of abusers, rollback of statute of limitations, external investigations, release of all records, and total transparency. Instead, an attorney is quoted urging law enforcement officials to recognize “religious sensitivities,” and no criticism was offered of the DA’s office for allowing Orthodox rabbis to settle these cases “internally.” Given the Catholic Church’s own recent horrible experience, I am hardly in any position to criticize our Orthodox Jewish neighbors, and have no wish to do so . . . but I can criticize this kind of “selective outrage.”
Of course, this selective outrage probably should not surprise us at all, as we have seen many other examples of the phenomenon in recent years when it comes to the issue of sexual abuse. To cite but two: In 2004, Professor Carol Shakeshaft documented the wide-spread problem of sexual abuse of minors in our nation’s public schools (the study can be found here). In 2007, the Associated Press issued a series of investigative reports that also showed the numerous examples of sexual abuse by educators against public school students. Both the Shakeshaft study and the AP reports were essentially ignored, as papers such as the New York Times only seem to have priests in their crosshairs.
  • On October 16, Laurie Goodstein of the Times offered a front page, above-the-fold story on the sad episode of a Franciscan priest who had fathered a child. Even taking into account that the relationship with the mother was consensual and between two adults, and that the Franciscans have attempted to deal justly with the errant priest’s responsibilities to his son, this action is still sinful, scandalous, and indefensible. However, one still has to wonder why a quarter-century old story of a sin by a priest is now suddenly more pressing and newsworthy than the war in Afghanistan, health care, and starvation–genocide in Sudan. No other cleric from religions other than Catholic ever seems to merit such attention.
  • Five days later, October 21, the Times gave its major headline to the decision by the Vatican to welcome Anglicans who had requested union with Rome. Fair enough. Unfair, though, was the article’s observation that the Holy See lured and bid for the Anglicans. Of course, the reality is simply that for years thousands of Anglicans have been asking Rome to be accepted into the Catholic Church with a special sensitivity for their own tradition. As Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican’s chief ecumenist, observed, “We are not fishing in the Anglican pond.” Not enough for the Times; for them, this was another case of the conniving Vatican luring and bidding unsuspecting, good people, greedily capitalizing on the current internal tensions in Anglicanism.
  • Finally, the most combustible example of all came Sunday with an intemperate and scurrilous piece by Maureen Dowd on the opinion pages of the Times. In a diatribe that rightly never would have passed muster with the editors had it so criticized an Islamic, Jewish, or African-American religious issue, she digs deep into the nativist handbook to use every anti-Catholic caricature possible, from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, condoms, obsession with sex, pedophile priests, and oppression of women, all the while slashing Pope Benedict XVI for his shoes, his forced conscription -- along with every other German teenage boy -- into the German army, his outreach to former Catholics, and his recent welcome to Anglicans.
True enough, the matter that triggered her spasm -- the current visitation of women religious by Vatican representatives -- is well-worth discussing, and hardly exempt from legitimate questioning. But her prejudice, while maybe appropriate for the Know-Nothing newspaper of the 1850’s, the Menace, has no place in a major publication today.
I do not mean to suggest that anti-catholicism is confined to the pages New York Times. Unfortunately, abundant examples can be found in many different venues. I will not even begin to try and list the many cases of anti-catholicism in the so-called entertainment media, as they are so prevalent they sometimes seem almost routine and obligatory. Elsewhere, last week, Representative Patrick Kennedy made some incredibly inaccurate and uncalled-for remarks concerning the Catholic bishops, as mentioned in this blog on Monday.   Also, the New York State Legislature has levied a special payroll tax to help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority fund its deficit. This legislation calls for the public schools to be reimbursed the cost of the tax; Catholic schools, and other private schools, will not receive the reimbursement, costing each of the schools thousands – in some cases tens of thousands – of dollars, money that the parents and schools can hardly afford. (Nor can the archdiocese, which already underwrites the schools by $30 million annually.) Is it not an issue of basic fairness for ALL school-children and their parents to be treated equally?


The Catholic Church is not above criticism. We Catholics do a fair amount of it ourselves. We welcome and expect it. All we ask is that such critique be fair, rational, and accurate, what we would expect for anybody. The suspicion and bias against the Church is a national pastime that should be “rained out” for good.


I guess my own background in American history should caution me not to hold my breath.


Then again, yesterday was the Feast of Saint Jude, the patron saint of impossible causes.

(h/t: Lisa Graas)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The 13th Day



This looks like it could be the most inspiring movie since Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ.  It is called The 13th Day and is about the times Our Lady Of Fatima appeared to three children in apparitions .

The video above is merely the trailer of the film.  Unless you live in a large metro area you probably won't get to see it in a theater.  But there is always video...and Amazon.com, and I have no doubt it will be available to purchase by Easter or maybe Pentecost.

(h/t:  my RCIA director Patty as well as Joyful Catholics)

UPDATE: Now available on DVD


Aquinas and More Catholic Goods - For all your Catholic needs

The 13th Day

13th Day



2,000 Babies Saved From Abortion!


40 Days For Life has confirmed 2,000 mothers, who went to abortion clinics to terminate their pregnancies,  turned around and left with unborn children intact due to the efforts of over 200,000 people who cared.  And what did these people do?  Did they shout insults at the mothers?  No.  Did they attempt to physically restrain the women from entering the abortuary?  No.  They simply stood outside of the clinics en mass and prayed.  Most were adults standing silent vigil.  Some were children singing.  The efforts nationwide (and in a few other countries) paid off.


Read about it at LifeSiteNews.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Respect Life Month!

Not enough people in this country realize that October, already half over, is Respect Life Month.  And if you search your church bulletins you might find some interesting activities going on, such as the odd vigil outside an abortion clinic, for example.  It would be good to join in on the right side of the spiritual war and against the war waged by Planned Parenthood on the unborn by attending any of these you can. 

I missed the one conducted by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades in York, PA on October 2nd because I was on the road.  But he was there along with the Knights of Columbus and 200+ faithful who proceeded from the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church to the local Planned Parenthood abortuary.  Together they prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary for the unfortunate pre-borns, who will never have the joys of drawing their first breaths and whose lives are ended without so much as a whimper.

I have included much of Bishop Rhoades' homily for the occasion found in Catholic Witness:

"The idea that every human being has an innate, inalienable and sacred dignity is not accepted by pro-choice activists.  The pro-choice arguments for abortion are based on a very dangerous and erroneous assumption that human rights are not inherent in the person but are assigned to the person by society.  I don't know if many pro-choice advocates actually philosophically consider their position.  Where do human rights come from?  Where does the right to life originate?  They are given by God, not by society.  Society and government have no right to deny these fundamental rights of the human person.  They are inherent in human beings as human beings.  They are not based on the person's race or color, on the person's age or health, or on the person's location within or outside the womb....

...Our teaching has always been and always will be a great yes to human life.  We support research and medical science which serves human life, which overcomes or corrects pathologies.  But we reject whatever involves the intentional destruction of human beings or which uses means that contradict the dignity of the human person.  Why such respect for human dignity?  Because each human being carries in an indelible way his or her own dignity and value.  It is not something given by society or by legislators.  It is innate.  This is what pro-choice advocates reject or ignore.  As followers of Christ, we also believe that at every stage of his or her existence, the human person, created in the image and likeness of God, also reflects the face of his only-begotten son.  We believe that God's love for every one of us, including our brothers and sisters in the womb, is boundless.  In the words of Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II, 'human life is always a good, for it is a manifestation of God in the world, a sign of his presence, a trace of his glory.'"

(Picture borrowed from Catholic Witness.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recovering Economy? Or Panic Bloom Before Wilt?


This was so good (scary) I had to share it with everyone.  It's from The Daily Grind produced by ALG and delivered to my email address often.  How to get delivered to you will be at the end of this post.

The Panic Bloom

By Bill Wilson

"The Americans are enjoying the present at the cost of selling off ever larger chunks of their future.  Arguably, the imminent economic crisis is the most thoroughly predicted one in recent history.  Rather than refuting the crisis, the current US economic boom merely heralds it.  Biologists have observed similar phenomena in plants contaminated by toxins.  Before they wither, they produce one last batch of healthy shoots---to the point that they can hardly be distinguished from healthy plants.  Some speak of a panic bloom" ----Gabor Steingart, America and the Dollar Illusion, October, 2006

The US could well be in the midst of a panic bloom.  As noted by Gabor Steingart in 2006---brilliantly foretelling of the global economic crisis to come---right before a plant is about to die, it produces "one last batch of healthy shoots."  These, he writes, "can hardly be distinguished from healthy plants."  And so it is with the US economic recovery that, some misguided analysts conclude, is now fully underway.

Writes Brian Wesbury in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, "Since March 9, when investors realized mark-to-market accounting rules would be corrected, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 51%, the S&P 500 is up 58% and the Nasdaq is up 69%.  The NYSE Financial Stock Index is up 137% and bond market risk spreads have narrowed considerably, suggesting that investors are confident the crisis has ended.  By nearly every measure, the economy is tracing out a V-shaped recovery."

But is this really a healthy recovery?  Or is it simply that "one last batch of healthy shoots" before the final collapse comes?  Time will tell---but certain signs are far more ominous than optimistic.

Gold persists at over $1,000 an ounce, on its way to $1,100, warning of inflation and higher interest rates to come as a direct result of record-setting levels of government spending, borrowing, and printing.  Unemployment remains high, with U-6 measured at 17% in September.  And over 358,000 homes were in the foreclosure process as of August, 2009.

Most troubling of all is the compounding problem of the US national debt, now at nearly $12 trillion, that promises to be an increasingly heavy drag on the economy.  The overall liabilities of the entire nation---private debt + government debt--- is an eye-popping $57 trillion.  As Steingart writes, "The Americans are enjoying the present at the cost of selling off ever larger chunks of their future."

How could this happen?  In sum:  Follow the easy money.

Because of few constraints on borrowing in the US both by individuals and by the nation, the quickest means to raise capital these days is to borrow it.  For example, outstanding mortgage debt rose from $3.805 trillion in 1990 to $14.568 trillion in 2007---a 383% increase.  The national debt itself rose from $3.23 trillion to $9 trillion, a 278% jump.

The money supply behaved predictably as a result, rising from $1.787 trillion to %5.268 trillion over the same period, according to the Ludwig Von Mises Institute.  And prices followed:  gold rose from $386.20 an ounce to $695.39, a 180% increase, and oil rose from $23.19 a barrel to $64.20, a 277% increase.

Predictably, the unsustainable debt binge flooded markets with liquidity, resulting in bubble after bubble:  tech, housing, oil and commodities, and then treasuries.

Now once again, hedgers against inflation are warning that another bubble is about to pop.  Even the normally dispassionate editorial board of the Wall Street Journal is concerned:

"For a time in the wake of the panic, the dollar benefited from a flight to the relative safety of US Treasuries and other dollar assets...  In a storm, the dollar was thought to be less risky than other investments.  But as this overall global risk aversion has ebbed, the risk calculus has turned and the dollar itself has become more dangerous to hold than nondollar investments."

Why is this so?  The Federal Reserve has been flooding the entire world with dollars.  It has more than doubled the money supply since the crisis began in 2007.  It has kept the federal funds rate---the rate at which banks borrow from the Fed---at an historic zero % rate.  This is far beyond normal monetary easing, thought to consist of modest levels of inflation and lower-than-normal interest rates.  This is outright monetary devaluation.

The motive, of course can only be to emerge from the US debt problem---in the most dangerous and deleterious way possible.  In short, the Fed plans on inflating the debt away.  And this has left holders of dollars and of US debt the world over on the verge of a panic.  The only question left is:  Who will be the first to dump their dollars before the devaluation fully ensues?

When the dollar run begins days, weeks, months, or even years from now---not if, but when---what geopolitical changes will it leave in its wake?  As Steingart noted, long before the panic of 2008 ensued, "One morning many dollar-owners will wake up and look at the facts about the US economy without rose-colored glasses---just as private investors woke up one day and took an unflinching look at the New Economy, only to see companies whose market value couldn't be justified by even the most dramatic of profit increases."

And the question now is:  Have we finally reached that dreaded day?  In a mad rush to save itself through a panic bloom, has the US economy sprouted one last batch of healthy shoots right before the dollar---and thus the economy---wilts, wobbles and completely keels over?  Only time will tell, but as Steingart observes, the outlook isn't brilliant.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Did Obama Drag His Feet On Afghanistan To Win Nobel Prize?

Frankly I didn't know he was nominated.  And why should he be?  Only 12 days into his administration and the Nobel people nominate him because he "intends to" save the world from imperialist America?  

I was surprised....and then not so surprised.  After all, didn't they just give it to Al Gore?  And before him wasn't Arafat the honored recipient?  At least Jimmy Carter did things that qualified him to be nominated (not so sure if he deserved it, though), so how honorable can the prize be when you look at the list of recent winners?

Even so I try to make an effort to make some kind of sense of the situation.  I speculate about what connection this strange event might have with other strange events ---like why Obama was dragging his feet on making decisions about whether or not to send more troops to win the good war.  You would think by now he would have looked at the situation there in Afghanistan and decided that eight years was too many and pull our troops out,...OR send 200,000 troops over there and finish the job quickly.  But instead, he sits and fiddles while Rome burns....while our troops continue to die in combat.  

So did Obama intentionally drag his feet on sending troops to Afghanistan in order to insure winning the Nobel Peace Prize?  Does this sound like an unfair question?  Is it any worse than the nasty assumptions the LEFT made about the intentions of President Bush?  Perhaps the Nobel Committee would have rebuked Obama had he escalated the Afghan conflict...  And we can't have that!

The Joint Chiefs and Gen. Petraeus agree with Obama's own hand-picked Gen. McChrystal on the urgency of sending 40,000 more troops to do the job and beat the Taliban.  But Obama hesitates.  Got a better explanation?

Read about the nominees that were passed over by clicking HERE.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Introducing... Catholic Vote Action!



This is the first video from CatholicVoteAction.org, an independent offshoot of CatholicVote.org, but able to lobby Congress directly with 100% of its resources to express the values and views of common sense Catholics like your's truly.  Don't yah just love community organizing?

The video above is a spoof on the Government, and in response to Will Ferrell's Hollywood spoof against insurance companies.  Well, why not?  And it's funny.  Check it out.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Domestic Distraction Becomes International Embarrassment: Obama Loses Olympic Bid

Incredibly, President and Mrs. Obama (along with Her Majesty, Oprah) could not convince the Olympic Committee that Chicago is the Bethlehem of America where the Messiah was born... Okay, that was cruel. Let's try that again...

The Olympic Committee, too smart to buy into the usual Obama barrage of his self-inflated ego (his story, or Michelle's father's Multiple Sclerosis story), failed to be convinced that Chicago was their kind of town for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. 

Past presidents, including Jimmy Carter surprisingly, were all too smart to make the trip to Copenhagen or wherever to lobby for the US to host the games, because without a guaranteed pick it's a break-even or lose situation --break even if we get it and lose if we don't. And when the leader of a country, and I don't care which country, spends months trashing his own country's reputation on one apology tour after another, he/she won't have much credibility when it comes time to sell the notion of how wonderful we are and deserving to play host to the Olympics.

Another reason Obama blew it is that anyone can see what direction the US is headed with its $12 Trillion debt and the likelihood of it doubling. Where will the US be 7 years from now in 2016? Likely bankrupt at the current pace. Who wants to have an Olympics in a ghost town of a dust-bowl nation? Even though Brazil is much poorer (GNP) than we are, they are growing in the right direction and will be even more powerful economically by 2016. Spain will probably still be coasting along like it has since Barcelona, but at least not bankrupt.

What I cannot understand is why Obama didn't push the fact that in Chicago the home team almost always loses. That would be great for the other countries competing against us, and one would think, a positive message for each Committeeman to take back to his/her homeland. It would have been a slam-dunk, IMHO. He could've made the presentation wearing a Cub's hat to drive the message home.

The networks were shocked. The people of Chicago waiting for the news in Daley Plaza were stunned like little ducklings smacked on the head. They wandered about aimlessly twitching their heads, asking "how could this happen?" With the exception of Team Jordan, all Chicago teams take their fans to the brink of victory and then collapse in defeat. It's usually the law of nature in Chicago, so it should have come as no surprise to them. But they continue to hope for change in their own naive kind of way....

Can you tell I'm enjoying this a little bit?

Read other stories about this in Michelle Malkin, Chicago Ray, and Jill Stanek.

Picture above from Newsday.com.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Child Sexual Abuse Downplayed By Media And Left Wing

Child sexual abuse is in the news yet again, along with some surprising reactions to it.  Two stories come to mind, the new Safe Schools Czar and Roman Polanski.  First the former:

I don't remember the name of the first Czar to be appointed by President George H. W. Bush (the first to appoint one) but he was the Drug Czar and the only one for a time.  I recall hearing some congressmen voice concern over someone being appointed without congressional vetting, hearing, or consent.  It seemed a bit of an overreaction a the time (being that there was only one), but they were reassured by the president that he wouldn't start appointing them willy-nilly.

Enter President Obama...  There are simply too many Czars to keep track of.  But this latest flap is going down over a man, Kevin Jennings, who was recently appointed as the Safe School Czar  and who had a history of illegal drug use.  There was in immediate attempt to justify such a history as to make it appear to be an experience from which much useful wisdom had been acquired, even though he has yet to proclaim his behavior as wrong, stupid, or dangerous.

Now we hear that as a young, gay(?!?) teacher he was confided to by a student who was a victim of forced homosexual sex by an adult pedophile.  But Mr. Jennings failed to make any attempt to protect the young boy from future sexual attacks.  He did not report it, nor did he try to stop it.  Read the full story at Michelle Malkin's blog.

President Obama's Czar appointees seem to be suffering from some perverted version of the Peter Principle.  Rather than being promoted to the level of their incompetence, they are promoted BECAUSE (or in spite of) it.  It brings to mind Chicago's Mayor Richard J. Daley (the first Daley and King Maker) and all the incompetent fools appointed by him to oversee various city services which continued to be colossal failures.  Mike Royko wrote an illuminating book about this several years ago called BOSS.  It's still a good read, and Royko's humor is still funny today.

Movie Director Roman Polanski was caught in Switzerland by American authorities for an incident that occurred  30 years ago in which he forced 13 year old Samantha Geimer to have anal sex after filling her with quaaludes and alcohol.  He has been dodging American authorities ever since, but now sits in jail having been convicted years ago after a guilty plea (then released, then told to return to jail, at which time he fled).
  
Ala from Blonde Sagacity brings to light three Puff Ho (Huffington Post) pieces defending Polanski in spite of his behavior.  And liberals are supposed to be pro-women???

Geimer wants the incident behind her and calls for Polanski's freedom.  The crime occurred 30 years ago.  BUT...  what  precedent would that set to let him go?  And what if he decides to attack another 13 year old?  He did it once before and no conversion of any kind has been documented.  So why not again?  Did he not have sex with a then-underage Nastasia Kinski, though voluntary?  It's still statutory rape.  As sorry as I am for Polanski's wife (Sharon Tate) being butchered by the Manson "family," I just don't think Polanski should be walking free. 

The Main Stream Media seems to have little outrage over either of these stories.  Yet it seems like just yesterday they were spitting mad over pedophile priests in the Catholic Church, calling for their heads and the heads of the Bishops above them.  I guess it depends on whose ox is gored.  Media bias?  Or media complicity?!?  You be the judge.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dominican Republic Amends Constitution To Ban Abortion --UN Officials Complain

As of last week, Article 30 of the Constitution of the Dominican Republic states "the right to life is inviolable from conception until death," thereby making this Central American country more civilized than our own, IMHO.  Or at least in that regard.  

The heads of a couple of UN agencies had been actively campaigning against such revisions, citing a regression in the advancement of women's rights, in spite of the official stance of neutrality by the UN on abortion.  Read the full story in LifeSiteNews.

Apparently some officials at the UN are more interested in promoting the killing of the unborn to advance the rights of women, instead of raising awareness of the mass subjugation and genital mutilation of women in most Muslim-led countries.  Or perhaps they know they can beat up on little Catholic countries with little or no consequence.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Obama Jugend Indoctrinated In NJ (And Elsewhere?)



B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington Township, NJ is the setting for this latest Obamanation, which can make one barf if one spends too much time thinking about it.  But we should make sure that as many people as possible spend at least a little time thinking about it and imagining the ramifications.  Read the whole story at Michelle Malkin's blog.  This is not Iran, Cuba, China, the old Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany.  For Freedom's sake, let us not allow our country to become any of those.

Of course this is not the first Obama indoctrination of children.  "Mmm mmm mmm Obama" is a mere extension of "Yes we can can can, yes we can can can..." from election season.  Remember THAT?  Someone included a creative comparison between music and archival footage which I have used here before...

(h/t: My friend Paul)





Saturday, September 12, 2009

2 Million Strong Turn Out For Taxpayer March On Washington DC

ABC News (see update below) and Michelle Malkin both estimate 2 million protesters turned out for the National March On Washington today, which was not only peaceful and orderly, but downright polite.  Of course some of the signs were not too polite, but that is to be expected when people feel betrayed by their government.  I was there and took well over 100 pictures.  Some of these will be posted here and most of the rest can be found at FLICKR <---click there!  All 138 photos have been added.  There were so many great signs from wonderfully creative folks, that I'm sorry I couldn't include them all on one post here.

The purpose of the March On DC was not to say we are against health care reform.  The vast majority are actually for it, just not socialized medicine.  No, the theme of today's protest in which the people attending outnumbered Obama's inauguration turnout was a cry against run-away government spending.  It was against arrogance, malfeasance, Marxism, despotism,  and a sycophantic media kowtowing to "the one."  

The liberal wing nuts with their war bongos and unwashed hordes could take a lesson from the 2 million who turned out today:  no pushing and shoving, no garbage left in the streets, no death threats for stepping on some guy's sneakers, and no emotional chants lacking logic or reasoning.  Everyone was wonderfully polite and  courteous to each other and even to the one dissenting voice whose sign I would include if not for its obscene nature.  No one punched them, scratched them, threw beer or soda upon them, or tripped them, even if they thought of doing so.  We conservatives and patriots are an orderly bunch, even during an uprising.  

Enjoy the pictures, and remember...if you click on them you can make them larger.



UPDATE: ABC news is now claiming they were misquoted and that the crowd was actually in the 10's of thousands. I was there. I have also been to the Rose Bowl (1984) that holds around 76,000. There were several Rose Bowls of people on The Mall yesterday. And 2 million seems like a rational number if you consider that many people left after a few hours while others were arriving late morning/early afternoon. My figure stands for the sum total for the day.  They were elbow to elbow back to 8th St. I know that because when I left to find a men's room (lines to port-o-potties on site were too long) that's how far it stretched. The Daily Mail agrees with Michelle Malkin and myself.










 













See also American Power for his first-hand view of the tax protest in Los Angeles.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

ACORN's Culture Of Corruption: Giving Tax Advice To Pimp And Importer Of Underage Sex Slaves







A man and a woman walk into ACORN in Baltimore pretending to be a candidate for congress and prostitute respectively.  The prostitute claims she is to "work" to raise funds for the candidate (pimp), and that 13 girls from El Salvador are coming to live with them and also "work" for the candidate as prostitutes.  The girls yet to arrive are all around 15 years of age.  Where is Daryl Hannah when you need her?

The ACORN employee tells them how to re-classify the job of the prostitute for tax purposes, and to either claim the 15 year old girls smuggled in from Central America as dependents or to treat them as if they don't exist.

Well it's nice to see that ACORN is earning its several billion dollars in Federal Stimulus money by putting so many girls to work, though only one as a tax payer.  Honestly, while watching this video it reminded me of another organization that appears to support subjugation of young females by asking them to lie in order to hide illegal sexual activity.  Any guesses?  Try Planned Parenthood, another organization that loves and is loved by Obama.  See links to posts I've done on that sad story by clicking HERE, and follow the link trail.

ACORN is an organization that will advance the liberal agenda by any means necessary.  It has no morals, it has no code of ethics that it lives up to.  Nothing is off limits, and it is powerful.  It may have a large hand in taking the census if Obama gets his way, which he probably will.  And since the Democrats have such large majorities in the House and Senate, misbehavior by ACORN and organizations like them will be ignored...as it has been thus far

Will we be able to undo the damage wrought by Obama?  Only if conservatives regain control of the government.  With ACORN that possibility is shrinking.

Michelle Malkin has done several posts about ACORN's shenanigans.  Click HERE for the bunch.

(h/t's for this story:  Atlas Shrugs and American Power)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Obamacare: Ideal World vs. Real World



Although this is a bit lengthy, it is wonderfully illustrated with stick-men drawn humorously as two men offer their version of the classic liberal vs. conservative arguments, this time about public vs. private health insurance plans.  One could also call it the idealized-egghead-no-life-experience vs. real-world-common-sense-grow-up debate.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dragnet Duo Lectures Obama!



A great little snippet from Dragnet with Obama footage thrown in.  President Hussein gets the lecture he so desperately needs.


Isn't it a shame we have to go all the way back to the early 1970's for a Dragnet episode to find someone on a TV show espousing the virtues of freedom?  Is it any wonder that kids today don't understand?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Q: "Whose Gonna Pay For This?" A: "Mumble murmer mmmumbl...etc"



This is a few days old, but well worth watching.  A concerned citizen politely asks how the health care bill will be funded, and each Ohio politician mumbles something and then wanders off to speak to others...one after another.

Friday, September 4, 2009

7 Quick Takes (my first...and probably last)


  1. With all the bad economic news and stories about horrible Obama appointees in the headlines,  I've decided to get away from all that and partake in something called "7 Quick Takes..." that's hosted at Conversion Diary.  This involves blurting out 7 thoughts about things happening in your life, or something.  At least that's what everyone whose participating in it seems to do.  It kind of looks like a condensed phone call, like when you call a friend and cover about 7 topics before hanging up.  This was number one.  I hope the rest are better...


  2. For those of you who don't know, I drive a semi for a living.  It isn't pretty, but it pays the bills...for now.  Freight is moving very slowly these days (not enough loads available for the drivers waiting for them), and most of us over-the-road drivers are paid by the mile, not by the hour.  Well, everywhere I deliver I run into someone driving for the same company I drive for and hear the same stories:  "Four of us were waiting for loads and the guy paid the least per mile got the best one, even though he got empty last."  And everyone telling this story says he was one of those drivers.  I must have heard this 50 times in the past month.  Rumors fly when times get tough.


  3. I received separate emails today from writers Matt Kaufman and Peggy Noonan.  One of Matt's emails was about Peggy which he wrote himself.  Peggy's email was probably automated.  Okay, definitely automated.


  4. My blood pressure test comes up before the beginning of November and I must drop at least 20 lbs before then.  I always get nervous when a doctor or nurse takes a reading on me when my job is on the line.  It's always close.  It has to be below 140/90 or I get suspended until it comes down, lest I lose my job.  And what a time to be unemployed!  I have resorted to walking 30 minutes per day at a speed fast enough to exert myself, but slow enough to maintain a conversation.  I saw someone on PBS 18 years ago who said that was the best way to burn fat.  If you go so fast you're huffing and puffing, you're no longer burning fat, just sugar.  Then your sugar level goes down and you start craving sweets.  From October to December last year I lost 40 lbs doing this along with dieting.


  5. My cat, Buster, accompanies me on the road in the semi during the 4 to 6 weeks I'm out driving around the country.  My employer is trying to pressure myself and others to remove our pets from the trucks permanently by keeping us out of the newer models.  Since I live alone I and therefore cannot leave him at home, I will have to part company with Buster if my employer has their way.  Or I will keep Buster and quit my job.  Or I will keep him by getting fired.  This morning I earned a ticket from the Louisiana State Police putting me one step closer to the unemployment line.  Buster looked pleased.


  6. In trying to find foods lower in sodium and fat (for my blood pressure) I discovered a salsa with only 25 milligrams of sodium and zero fat per serving.  Most have 300+ mgs sodium.  It's made by Desert Pepper and is called Peach Mango Salsa.  I've been eating it for a year and am not tired of it yet.  Of course I need to watch the sugar content, too.


  7. Are we almost done?  Last one?  Okay...  I'm thinking of joining a Monastery.  Since becoming a Catholic last April I've felt a calling to a faith vocation of some sort, and after ruling out the priesthood for various reasons, I think it would be as a monk.  At least for a couple of years or so for a thorough spiritual clensing.  I don't know if I could handle the vow of poverty just yet...