Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Bless me lord, for I can relate

There are articles I enjoy, articles I really like and then there are those that hit home. Eric Scheske hits home in Blessed Be the Lower Middle Class.

I think it's a blessed state.
Which isn't a stretch. Jesus, after all, blessed the poor.
I had always interpreted the blessing to mean that the poor will do well in the next world, like disease-infected Lazarus in Abraham's bosom.But in this era when mass society is affluent society, I'm beginning to think it applies to this world, right now. "Blessed are the poor, for you won't worry about the fashionableness of your car. Blessed are the poor, for you will not think about the difference between Pellegrino and Eddie Bauer waters. Blessed are the poor, for you won't know when your clothes are out of style. Blessed are the poor, for you won't find yourself dissatisfied when the dozen coffee choices don't include mild Starbucks."
I'm beginning to think that the lower middle class in America might have it the best: Blessed are the lower middle class in America, for you have enough to live comfortably but not enough to consume yourself with the comforts.

It kinda reminds me of when the simple mind of a 4 year old is trying to figure out where it fits in. Knowing we aren't like "the poors" that don't have much of anything, and we aren't rich cuz he has to share often with his 5 brothers; he simply says, "we aren't rich but we aren't poor either, right dad?"

And after a blessed and peaceful Christmas, yes, it is a blessed state.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

One for the road

Papal ceremonies must set liturgical standards, Pope says

Until after Christmas

I will be away from high speed internet and so in the many words of some wise anonymous writer,

To all sensitive, tolerant and easily offended friends and colleagues:
"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes
for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress,
non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice
holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious
persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with
respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of
others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions
at all. We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling
and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally
accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the
calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society
have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily
greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western
Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical
ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee. By
accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting
is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable
with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by
the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or
himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable
at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform
as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of
one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting,
whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this
wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher."

For everyone else of common sense:
Here's wishing all of You a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sensibility from the black robes?

Court whacks civil-liberties group, OKs Ten Commandments display

A U.S. appeals court today upheld the decision of a lower court in allowing the inclusion of the Ten Commandments in a courthouse display, hammering the American Civil Liberties Union and declaring, "The First Amendment does not demand a wall of

With the defense by American Center for Law and Justice , the Appeals Court ruled the ACLU is wrong about the "separation of church and state" and Judge Suhrheinrich wrote: "[the ACLU]does not embody the reasonable person."

In fact it wasn't until 1940 when the slogan "separation of church and state" became what it means today.
Now look at the First Amendment:
"Congress …" – we know what that is.
"… shall make no law …" Well now, I'll bet you thought you knew what that means. You thought it meant Congress shall make no law. But what you didn't know was that in 1940, in the Supreme Court case of Cantwell v. Connecticut, the justices decided – citing a mysterious legal principle called "incorporation" – that the First Amendment applied not just to Congress, but to state governments too. So now the federal government could force the states to follow its dictates in regards to prohibiting the "establishment" or prohibiting the "free exercise" of religion. This is obviously something the original 13 states would have rejected outright, given that half of them had state "establishments" of religion.
"…respecting an establishment of religion …" For 150 years an "establishment of religion" in the context of the First Amendment meant that a national church, a particular denomination, wouldn't be supported and imposed on the states by the federal government. But with the decline of Christianity in the U.S. and, indeed, increasing hostility toward it, the meaning of "establishment of religion" has been radically changed

What it the first amendment meant to the early Americans
* In 1777, with the Revolutionary War threatening the flow of Bibles from England, Congress approved the purchase of 20,000 Bibles from Holland to give to the states.

* No fewer than six of the 13 original states had official, state-supported churches – "establishments of religion"! I'll bet you didn't know that. In fact, these states – Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and South Carolina – refused to ratify the new national Constitution unless it included a prohibition of federal meddling with their existing state "establishments of religion."
Still other states required those seeking elected office to be Christians.
* The Continental Congress routinely designated days of "fasting and prayer" and other religious observances, appointed government-funded chaplains, and appropriated money to pay for Christian missionaries to convert the Indians.

In other words, the original American government under the Constitution would have driven the American Civil Liberties Union stark, raving mad

tip to DFO at Huckleberries Online

Monday, December 19, 2005

Something we already knew, but now it is scientific

Media Bias Is Real, Finds UCLA Political Scientist

It may sound redundant to say the Media is Biased in America, but this study actually is very interesting. Most stunningly, they didn't get a grant to study this.

The researchers took numerous steps to safeguard against bias — or the appearance of same — in the work, which took close to three years to complete. They went to great lengths to ensure that as many research assistants supported Democratic candidate Al Gore in the 2000 election as supported President George Bush. They also sought no outside funding, a rarity in scholarly research.
"No matter the results, we feared our findings would've been suspect if we'd received support from any group that could be perceived as right- or left-leaning, so we consciously decided to fund this project only with our own salaries and research funds that our own universities provided," Groseclose said.

The topping is this, the radical extreme right-wing radical Fox news had the ONLY media outlet that was right of the AVERAGE VOTER.
Only Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume" and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.

Of course this study probably violated the "separation of church and state" amendment of the constitution, so feel free to disregard this biased article and keep holding dear to the "facts" presented by the media.

tip to Kathy at Relapsed Catholic

Oh the censorship

America to publish apology on offensive ad for Virgin Mary statue covered with a condom

Oh the horrors of the Vatican oppressive hierarchy. This censorship must stop.

Umm, no matter if they didn't know it was a condom, how do the editors of the magazine think a "delicate veil of latex" over a statue of a saint would be a good idea?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Vanish Inquisition

I like the Jester's title for the quiet cleansing that the Church is going through. Finally the dissenters are getting up the courage to be honest and recognize they aren't Catholic. Of course as the Jester points out, they are never honest about the teachings of the Church, but rather setup a straw man to knock down. But if they have already left the teachings in their heart, they may as well leave the premises also.

Here's to hoping

That they defeat this bill. I am for security, but governments always want to take freedoms to "guarantee security." That isn't a good trade off. There are many securities I can provide for my family if I have the freedom to do so. The government shouldn't intrude on those freedoms in the name of security.

Glad we have a decent senator in Larry Craig. "Folks, when we're dealing with civil liberties, you don't compromise them,"

Again, I support our military and the federal government's duty to protect us from terrorism. But if they don't seem interested in protecting our border, I question their commitment to the fight.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Something I need to look more into

This article seems legit, I just have trouble believing a company could allow something so blatant.

Costco Fires Catholic Who Denied Knights of Columbus Hall for Lesbian "Marriage"
The Knight in charge of renting the KC hall who had to cancel the arangment when they found out the "wedding" was for a lesbian couple, has been fired. It also looks like a setup.

David Hauser told in an exclusive interview that Tracey Smith, one of the lesbians involved in the human rights complaint against the Knights, was also a co-worker of his at Costco. Hauser related that Smith and many of the management at the Port Coquitlam warehouse were openly homosexual. He related that for months before Smith and her same-sex partner approached his wife for the hall rental, these same individuals had been asking him about his involvement with the hall, and knew that he was in charge of bookings.
"In retrospect, they picked a time when they knew I would be at work to call my wife Sandra, who shows the hall when I am unavailable," Hauser said. He is convinced the entire fiasco was orchestrated before the event.
On a dead end street, a small sign and sharing the lot with the Catholic church and school did not keep them from claiming that they did not realize the hall was affiliated with the Catholic Church, or that they found the hall when they just "happened to be driving around and saw the sign."

Still alot to sort through. Apparently Costco demoted the manager that fired Hauser. But he still doesn't have a job and is having trouble getting another one because of the firing. I am sure there is more to come.

tip to Mark Shea

Forgive me if I digress

Mark Shea's recent article on Catholic Exchange about Apostate U has brought me to thinking about charity. End of year financial charity should be effective and worthwhile in my opinion.

Rich Leonardi at Ten Reasons gives some great thoughts why he isn't donating to his alma mater. In the comments, one shares how to make sure the offenders know why you aren't donating to their coffers. And the comment adds that we can do the same for the local bishop's appeal.

That is where I struggle. I considered making a statement in my donation last year. But I held off on the advise of a mentor and friend I trust. His advise was that he donates to the appeal because we are to support our bishop.

True, he is a bishop, an heir of the Apostles. The programs I disapproved of where not heretical or a source for latae sentencia excommunication, but rather poor catechetical programs.

So, my dilemma is this. We are to be good stewards of our money and financial charity. But should we give our bishop's our humble obedience (supplemented by excessive prayer) or should we assume to educate him of our displeasure of his socialistic leanings?

I am siding on the excessive prayer and humble obedience, but I struggle with it. As I grow in faith, I find more reason to avoid criticizing bishops and priests. Prayer seems to be much more effective.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Depends on the definition of "safe"

Dawn Eden catches a Planned Parenthood chapter breaking the law and proud of it. PPGG has a story that an 11 year old girl came to the clinic after she was raped and PP made sure it is confidential. They even break their own code as this girl was 11.

If you are age 12 or older, we will not tell your parents that you came to Planned Parenthood and you do not need your parents' permission to visit us.

Yeah, and these are the people who claim to "care" about girls. Sounds like they are protecting rapists and in general making it easy for men to use and abuse women and little girls.

tip to the Jester

Monday, December 12, 2005

There goes the ID theory

The war over Christmas Carols gets some humor.

Before backing down and permitting a full Nativity scene, a public library in Memphis agreed to allow the scene, but only if the baby Jesus, Joseph, Mary and the wise men were removed This left a shepherd boy and some farm animals. Next year the library will accept a Nativity scene only if it consists of:
a) A shepherd boy and some chickens
b) A shepherd boy and some ferrets
c) A shepherd boy explaining that the head librarian in Memphis thinks with a brain that may or may not be the result of Intelligent Design.


Whoever thought this crackpot idea won't likely get a promotion anytime soon. Show some serious lack of brains in the Washington State Dems. According to the WND, they pulled their item after the heat got turned up.

Thanks to DFO for the tip.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Local newspaper blog had a great ACLU Alert System.

Ultimate Catholic Intercessor Challenge

To honor the patron saint of the day, I am introducing the Ultimate Catholic Intercessor Challenge. Patterned after the Ultimate Fighting Challenge, each saint of the day will take on a challenger. Typically this will be the champion from the previous UCIC. The winner will be determined by the intercessory power exhibited and will continue on to the next challenge.

In the far corner we introduce today's saint, St. Juan Diego. A poor Indian farmer from Mexico, his example of humility, especially in dealing with the doubtful bishop makes him the patron of the lay apostolate.

In the near corner we have (without a previous champion, I chose my patron) St. Joseph.

And now to the challenge. In an inspiration from SJD and his tilma twist, it is cold and wintry here and the cabin fever has set in at home, I think I will pick up some roses for the mother of my children on the way home. And as the patron of the lay apostolate, he is an inspiration of humility and charity towards the hierarchy for all bloggers.

In a return salvo, big Joe drops to his knees and reminds this blogger that as patron of workers, it is time to get back to work.

Game, set, match, St. Joseph is the victor. Talk about no holds barred.

see ya next time.

Ground zero of the culture war

Boston is in the news again as the frontlines in the war on life. "Plan exempts Catholic hospitals from offering morning-after pills."

The new law in Massachusetts that allows "pharmacists distribute the abortifacient [morning after pill] without a prescription." But Gov. Mitt Romney "is set to grant an exemption for Catholic and other privately run hospitals from this regulation on religious and moral grounds."

Romney has been fighting the culture of death lately, but some speculate that it is merely posturing for upcoming political reasons. But I will take whatever small victory we can get in the war.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

There is no war

No, there is no war on Christmas. Just as there is no war on Christ (christ for you in the netherlands.) The bigots of the netherlands and belgium have decided that religions or the word Christ don't need to be capitalized.

Remember, But the atheist says he was tolerant; And the atheist is an honourable man.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


The Curt Jester has developed the WikiCatechism,Theology your way. Something that was long overdue and should alleviate much stress for the nominally Catholic. Or the "almost Catholics" as my father-in-law refers to them as.

A different look at the war on Christmas

Steve, over at the Fifth Column, has an interesting look at where the war on Christmas started. I haven't researched all his claims to verify them, so take them with that warning. He starts with a look at how Martin Luther first attacked the Holy Day of All Hallowed's Eve and progresses to where Christmas is one of the few Holy Days left.

Catholics complained when Protestants stripped the Mass out of Christmas. Now Protestants complain that atheists will strip Christmas out of the calendar.
Or as I would put it, they took the Mass out of Christmas, how can they now complain about removing the other half of the word Christmas.

Liturgical music

Pope Benedict has encouraged new reflections on liturgical music.

Amen to that. I am not musically inclined, but I know bane when I hear it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

If only this would get half the time

If only this address from Pope Benedict would get a fraction of the press that the Instruction on Homosexual Priests got.

"Truly, children are the greatest wealth and most appreciated good of the family,"

You sure wouldn't gather this from the attitude of the birth control companies, where serious injury or possible death is a preferred option rather than a slight risk of pregnancy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Need to get some home improvement stuff tonight

I guess Lowe's is listening. According to the WND, Lowes has dropped the "Holiday tree" and brought back the "Christmas tree" as the war for Christmas rages.

Thanks to DFO for the tip

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Happy WHAT?

This blew my mind.

I receive the standard junk mail requests for donations from many sources, but this one stuck out before I threw it out. The culprit was the Maryknoll organization. A nice envelope adorned with the Madonna and Christ Child.

But to the left was the greeting
Happy Holidays.

Better not offend anyone, lest they not donate to us.

In the same breath

I often wonder on the hypocricy and why the media loves this so much. But then I remember those who are not with Christ are against Him.

The MSM has had a field day publishing the rants of former priests who were either, a.) not truly called to be priests, or b.) failed to live up to their calling. These former priests rail against the Church and point out her flaws with a viciousness that reminds me of someone who is so wrong, they are trying to convince themselves of the lies also.

In article 1, Kinkel asks

What's wrong with being a gay priest? If you're celibate, as the Catholic Church already requires you to be, then what's the difference if you're gay or straight at heart?
What is wrong? His logic first of all. Celibacy means forgoing marriage. Homosexuals do that by choice, the real issue is chastity. And if they are chaste and not militantly "pro-gay" then the document on seminary formation does not restrict them from the priesthood. But if you proclaim yourself "gay" you are essentially saying you are proud of your sin and unrepentent. Sinful pride and unrepentence should be exclude one from the seminary also.

In article 2, Steir goes a step further. And this is my main beef. If someone wants to change an organization from within, here is a tip. Put down the shotgun and listen. They claim they want to help solve the priest shortage and think the Vatican should consider married priests, then in the same breath throw out the standard dissident line about women priests.

It is so easy to ignore a person when they keep beating on a wall that is sealed and shut. Women priests are impossible in the Church and Rome has made that clear. If you want to be taken seriously, PLEASE leave the dead horse at home.

More on Archbishop O'Malley's letter

Here is an excellent synopsis on Lifesite regarding the Archbishops letter. The bottom line, so elequently put is

Concluding his letter, the Archbishop answered a common objection made by those with homosexual tendencies. "Sometimes we are told: 'If you do not accept my behavior, you do not love me.' In reality we must communicate the exact opposite: 'Because we love you, we cannot accept your behavior,'" he said.

Here is a link to the actual letter.


As I mentioned in the prior article, as a son of Adam, I am thankful for any method of ridding my soul of the stain of sin. Think of it as "Pay now rather than pay later."

Purgatory is sort of like the pain of paying off credit cards after the holiday. We spend beyond our means and have to purge our accounts of that misdeed. Sin is usually just the corruption of something good. Overeating, sexual fantasies, drunkenness... are just extremes or perversions of enjoying good food, appreciating beauty and the gift of marital union, and enjoying good spirits in moderation.

By our fallen nature we often spend beyond our limit, buy into false ideas, indulge our temptations. So how do we avoid the overdrafts and backdrafts of eternal debtors prison? We tend to rely on a CC, or Church Card. Most CCs are limited in scope to denouncing your debt, and pretending it never happened. Some CCs actually try to change the spending habits of their members. In the Catholic Church Card, CCC, we have the total package. I call it...

The MASTER'S Card.
The MASTER'S Card has many unique offerings.

  • "Indulgence Option" Also known as the "Prepay Plan" for those interested paying off debts in small doses. Not to be confuse with indulging temptations, the "Indulgence Option" is granted on special occasions (Jubilees, Annual Recourse* and Bearer Certificates**) to those in need of debt relief. This is no longer a popular option because of Luther's 95 misreadings of terms. It isn't that Christ hasn't saved us, it is because we continue to overspend even after the plan is initiated at baptism.
  • "Complete Payoff Plan", aka the Martyrs option, is an immediate complete forgiveness of debts through the shedding of blood. Not a popular option in the Western world, it is still in full use by those members in China and under Islamic rule.
  • "Debt Counseling" offered at most parishes on Saturday's from 3:30 to 4:45 pm. This is a completely unique option not offered by any other CCs. If properly understood, all members interested in the Eternal Saving Account would sign up for this option. Regretfully most do not know the power of this offer or think they can live without it.
  • "Sunday Money" offers those low on dough a chance to receive free Bread of Life. This Bread offered for the life of the world is available at a Mass near you. This option is best used after signing up for regular "Debt Counseling."

Moral bankruptcy leads to eternal damnation, for everything else unconfessed, there is The MASTER'S Card.

*The Year of the Eucharist offer has just expired. Please watch for the next Annual Recourse offer.
**Only available for honoring the Bearer of the Christ Child.

Note to the Good Curt Jester, this is a separate offer, independent of any perceived similarities to your Vatican City State Credit Card Offer. This offer stands alone as a result of the recent Plenary Indulgence Offer.

    Sinners take note

    Sinners (and there is an I in sinner) take note, Pope Benedict has granted a plenary indulgence for the upcoming feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.

    the decree continues, “the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, when he renders public homage of praise to Mary Immaculate, has the heartfelt desire that the entire Church should join with him, so that all the faithful, united in the name of the common Mother, become ever stronger in the faith, adhere with greater devotion to Christ, and love their brothers with more fervent charity.”
    As a son of Adam, I am thankful for any method (granted by the Bride of Christ) of ridding my soul of the stain of sin.

    The tolerable genocide


    Who would have thought that a genocide could become worse? But after
    two years of heartbreaking slaughter, rape and mayhem, the situation
    in Darfur is now spiraling downward.

    More villages are again being attacked and burned -- over the last
    week thatch-roof huts have been burning near the town of Gereida and
    far to the northwest near Jebel Mun.

    Aid workers have been stripped, beaten and robbed. A few more attacks
    on aid workers, and agencies may pull out -- leaving the hapless
    people of Darfur with no buffer between themselves and the butchers.

    The international community has delegated security to the African
    Union, but its 7,000 troops can't even defend themselves, let alone
    protect civilians. One group of 18 peacekeepers was kidnapped last
    month, and then 20 soldiers sent to rescue them were kidnapped as
    well; four other soldiers and two contractors were killed in a
    separate incident.

    What will happen if the situation continues to deteriorate sharply and
    aid groups pull out? The U.N. has estimated that the death toll could
    then rise to 100,000 a month.

    The turmoil has also infected neighboring Chad, which is inhabited by
    some of the same tribes as Sudan. Diplomats and U.N. officials are
    increasingly worried that Chad could tumble back into its own horrific
    civil war as well.

    This downward spiral has happened because for more than two years, the
    international community has treated this as a tolerable genocide. In
    my next column, my last from Darfur, I'll outline the steps we need to
    take. But the essential starting point is outrage: a recognition that
    countering genocide must be a global priority.

    It's true that a few hundred thousand deaths in Darfur -- a good guess
    of the toll so far -- might not amount to much in a world where two
    million a year die of malaria. But there is something special about
    genocide. When humans deliberately wipe out others because of their
    tribe or skin color, when babies succumb not to diarrhea but to
    bayonets and bonfires, that is not just one more tragedy. It is a
    monstrosity that demands a response from other humans. We demean our
    own humanity, and that of the victims, when we avert our eyes.

    Already, large swaths of Darfur are so unsafe that they are ''no go''
    areas for humanitarian organizations -- meaning that we don't know
    what horrors are occurring in those areas. But we have some clues.

    There are widespread reports that the janjaweed, the government-backed
    Arab marauders who have been slaughtering members of several African
    tribes, sometimes find it convenient not to kill or expel every last
    African but to leave a few alive to grow vegetables and run markets.
    So they let some live in exchange for protection money or slave labor.

    One Western aid worker in Darfur told me that she had visited an area
    controlled by janjaweed. In public, everyone insisted -- meekly and
    fearfully -- that everything was fine.

    Then she spoke privately to two sisters, both of the Fur tribe. They
    said that the local Fur were being enslaved by the janjaweed, forced
    to work in the fields and even to pay protection money every month
    just to be allowed to live. The two sisters said that they were forced
    to cook for the janjaweed troops and to accept being raped by them.

    Finally, they said, their terrified father had summoned the courage to
    beg the janjaweed commander to let his daughters go. That's when the
    commander beheaded the father in front of his daughters.

    ''They told me they just wanted to die,'' the aid worker remembered in
    frustration. ''They're living like slaves, in complete and utter fear.
    And we can't do anything about it.''

    That aid worker has found her own voice, by starting a blog called
    ''Sleepless in Sudan'' in which she describes what she sees around
    her. It sears at, without the
    self-censorship that aid groups routinely accept as the price for
    being permitted to save lives in Darfur.

    Our leaders still haven't found their voices, though. Congress has
    even facilitated the genocide by lately cutting all funds for the
    African Union peacekeepers in Darfur; we urgently need to persuade
    Congress to restore that money.

    So what will it take? Will President Bush and other leaders discover
    some backbone if the killing spreads to Chad and the death toll
    reaches 500,000? One million? God forbid, two million?

    How much genocide is too much?

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Three for Monday

    The Curt Jester steps up with the true meaning of Advent.

    Amy Welborn links to "What they defend".

    And Archbishop O'Malley of Boston steps up to the plate, and delivers another hit.

    Okay that was four links, but it was three subjects.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    Officially leaked

    The long awaited Instruction concerning the criteria of vocational discernment regarding persons with homosexual tendencies has been leaked. For such a highly sought after document and being from the Vatican, it is very short and easily read. Perhaps the Vatican has learned to speak a bit slower and clearer for those hard of hearing.

    Here is the main point in my opinion:

    The desire alone to become a priest is not sufficient and there is no right to receive Ordination. It is the duty of the Church... to discern the qualification of he who wishes to enter the seminary,

    The Church has the duty to oversee her priests' formation. And as the document clearly states, homosexual acts are gravely sinful and homosexual tendencies are disordered.

    Notice there is no condemnation of the sinner. Just pure Catholic teaching on sin and its results.

    Monday, November 21, 2005

    It would probably almost pass

    Andy at High School Conservative has a great parody of those opposing Prop 73 in California.

    Thanks to the tip from Katelyn Sills of Stand Up and Speak Out. This is Ms. Sills that was expelled from Loretto high school for standing up for the Catholic faith.

    More reason for optimism for our future.

    Why does this look familiar

    A humorous look at the Divine and the not-so-divine Liturgy

    Never again, again?

    The latest from the Coalition for Darfur published in the NY Times.
    20 November 2005
    The New York Times

    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company. All Rights Reserved.

    TAMA, Sudan -- So who killed 2-year-old Zahra Abdullah for belonging
    to the Fur tribe?

    At one level, the answer is simple: The murderers were members of the
    janjaweed militia that stormed into this mud-brick village in the
    South Darfur region at dawn four weeks ago on horses, camels and
    trucks. Zahra's mother, Fatima Omar Adam, woke to gunfire and smoke
    and knew at once what was happening.

    She jumped up from her sleeping mat and put Zahra on her back, then
    grabbed the hands of her two older children and raced out of her
    thatch-roof hut with her husband.

    Some of the marauders were right outside. They yanked Zahra from Ms.
    Fatima's back and began bludgeoning her on the ground in front of her
    shrieking mother and sister. Then the men began beating Ms. Fatima and
    the other two children, so she grabbed them and fled -- and the men
    returned to beating the life out of Zahra.

    At another level, responsibility belongs to the Sudanese government,
    which armed the janjaweed and gave them license to slaughter and rape
    members of several African tribes, including the Fur.

    Then some responsibility attaches to the rebels in Darfur. They claim
    to be representing the tribes being ethnically cleansed, but they have
    been fighting each other instead of negotiating a peace with the
    government that would end the bloodbath.

    And finally, responsibility belongs to the international community --
    to you and me -- for acquiescing in yet another genocide.

    Tama is just the latest of many hundreds of villages that have been
    methodically destroyed in the killing fields of Darfur over the last
    two years. Ms. Fatima sat on the ground and told me her story -- which
    was confirmed by other eyewitnesses -- in a dull, choked monotone, as
    she described her guilt at leaving her child to die.

    ''Zahra was on the ground, and they were beating her with sticks, but
    I ran away,'' she said. Her 4-year-old son, Adam, was also beaten
    badly but survived. A 9-year-old daughter, Khadija, has only minor
    injuries but she told me that she had constant nightmares about the

    At least Ms. Fatima knows what happened to her daughter. A neighbor,
    Aisha Yagoub Abdurahman, is beside herself because she says she saw
    her 10-year-old son Adil carried off by the janjaweed. He is still
    missing, and everyone knows that the janjaweed regularly enslave
    children like him, using them as servants or sexual playthings. In
    all, 37 people were killed in Tama, and another 12 are missing.

    The survivors fled five miles to another village that had been
    abandoned after being attacked by the janjaweed a year earlier. Now
    the survivors are terrified, and they surrounded me to ask for advice
    about how to stay alive.

    None of them dared accompany me back to Tama, which is an eerie ghost
    town, doors hanging off hinges and pots and sandals strewn about. The
    only inhabitants I saw in Tama were camels, which are now using the
    village as a pasture -- and which the villagers say belong to the
    janjaweed. On the road back, I saw a group of six janjaweed, one
    displaying his rifle.

    Darfur is just the latest chapter in a sorry history of repeated
    inaction in the face of genocide, from that of Armenians, through the
    Holocaust, to the slaughter of Cambodians, Bosnians and Rwandans. If
    we had acted more resolutely last year, then Zahra would probably
    still be alive.

    Attacks on villages like Tama occur regularly. Over the last week, one
    tribe called the Falata, backed and armed by the Sudanese government,
    has burned villages belonging to the Masalit tribe south of here.
    Dozens of bodies are said to be lying unclaimed on the ground.

    President Bush, where are you? You emphasize your willingness to speak
    bluntly about evil, but you barely let the word Darfur pass your lips.
    The central lesson of the history of genocide is that the essential
    starting point of any response is to bellow moral outrage -- but
    instead, Mr. President, you're whispering.

    In a later column, I'll talk more specifically about actions we should
    take, and it's true that this is a complex mess without easy
    solutions. But for starters we need a dose of moral clarity. For all
    the myriad complexities of Darfur, what history will remember is that
    this is where little girls were bashed to death in front of their
    parents because of their tribe -- and because the world couldn't be
    bothered to notice.

    the prophetical value of Pope Paul VI's "Humanae Vitae"

    A great article from Zenit News on the dangers of contraception. Scientific studies are revealing the dangers of several versions of contraception.

    The Ortho Eve patch (How fitting a name, Eve being the first woman to be tempted to "be like God" and make her own decisions about her body)

    exposes users to more hormones than previously disclosed, the Associated Press reported Nov. 11. The higher level of hormones brings an increased risk of blood clots and other serious side effects.

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer have found that estrogen-progesterone oral contraceptives are carcinogenic. And for those about to dismiss the IARC as some religious nuts posing as scientists, first consider that they are the cancer research division of the World Health Organization. And I don't think religious zealots and WHO exactly go hand in hand.

    Wednesday, November 16, 2005

    Can we get this officially defined as a serious sin

    The Curt Jester has another masterpiece, The sin of commision.

    What is not to understand about "must follow"

    It always irks me when our bishops want to debate whether to implement instructions from the Vatican that are not optional.

    The Vatican, which has said that all translations must follow literally from the Latin,

    These corrections of mistranslations would ease much of the suffering of those who know, but can do little to change the errors. One of my favorite irks
    The second would change the prayer "Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed" to "Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed."

    Big difference there. We place too much emphasis on our bodies and too little on our soul in our society, and here the Mass has been mistranslated to do the same.

    And locally, we have the experience of the misguided "throwing the blessing back" motion with our hands when we say, "and also with you." This extending the arms is a priestly gesture not to be used by the laity. Perhaps this will help rid us of that.
    The third follows the priest's blessing of "the Lord be with you." It would change the congregation's response from "and also with you" to "and with your spirit."

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Chicken or egg

    If we had to divide up our activist energy as it relates to which cultural fight we would join, where would we fall?

    I have thought about this on occasion. Is it more important to ensure our freedoms as Americans, or should we focus on right to life issues? This came up again in the hubub about Harriet Miers. Is it enough that she was pro-life? Anyone reading my blog would know that I think the right to life (in the legal battle) hinges on bigger issues. If we see the US Constitution as the primary protection of our God given rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, then the someone who will interpret the Consitution correctly will recognize the right to life.

    So the right to life is the first and foremost, but from a judicial standpoint, we should be concerned about the whole constitution. The right to life will be taken care of in that stand.

    This is why I had a problem with Priests for Life and Focus on the Family's endorsements of Miers on the sole grounds that she was pro-life.

    But back to my question, where would I stand if I could only take one?

    I would take it on Catholicism. I think the battles we face in our country will not be resolved without a dramatic return to morality. And I don't think morality can stand without the authority of the Church. Without that authority, the Bible can be interpreted however someone wants to twist it.


    For all those who are concerned about SCOTUS nominee Alito's stance on abortion, relax.

    And a side note to those on the other side claiming this should disqualify him, read this and shut-up:

    "Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a long history of advocacy on behalf of liberal causes, but she was evaluated on her 13-year record as a federal judge and her jurisprudence, not her belief that there was a constitutional right to prostitution or polygamy."

    Now, what is with the apparent contradiction with Alito's beliefs and rulings? As some have taken the pain to point out, the SCOTUS isn't just about abortion. Roe v. Wade was judicial usurpation. The case was a fraud and the ruling had no basis in the constitution.

    Those of us who have been fighting for good judges (and pressuring poor appointments to withdraw) are not just looking for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. There are so many cases where judicial activism is tearing our country down by the foundation. Lawrence v. Texas, another fraud case that was setup to destroy marriage. The Massachusetts court mandating the legislature to create a law.

    This is about appointing judges that will judge according to the constitution and work within the checks and balances of our Judicial system.

    Judge Alito has a personal belief that abortion is wrong. But rightly or wrongly, the Supreme Court has set the precedence that abortion is legal. Alito recognized that he was not the sole arbitrator of the law, but a judge within a system. And as a lower level judge, he followed the rulings that set precedence from above, despite his personal belief. Oh, would that more judges would realize it isn't about them.

    Once confirmed to the HIGHEST court in the land, he may correctly rule based on the constitution. He will help set the precedent, and rightly so.

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    Ahh, relief is in sight

    For those yearning for a more reverent liturgy, help may be on the way. Although the Vatican typically moves at a snails pace, the Pope encourages quick completion of English Mass translation.

    ...the new translation from Latin will allow the English-speaking faithful around the world to "benefit from the use of liturgical texts accurately rendered."

    ...will succeed in transmitting the treasures of the faith and the liturgical tradition in the specific context of a devout and reverent eucharistic celebration.
    I heard a bit on this on Catholic Answers Live also. The guest (forgive me, I don't recall the name) said that this was in response to some requested changes by the American bishops.

    As one who suffers from knowing what the proper translations should be, yet unable to do much about it; all I can say is, HOORAY!

    Classic case of denial

    In an article called Group warns about failed birth control, the director of the Westchester Planned [anti-]Parenthood office offers her brilliant analysis of why two women on Depo Provera got pregnant.

    "'We don't know how these women got pregnant,'" Ms Winjum said."

    We are under the impression that the Depo shot was not the cause.

    I am left wondering if these women got all the bad side effects without the "desired" suppression of a woman's natural cycle.

    My letter to the editor

    In his letter ("Hierarchy wants control," Nov 8) that the Catholic Church is afraid of women priests, Mike opines from a humanistic perspective. But as often is the case, this is similar to looking through the wrong end of the telescope. The view is very narrow.First, married priest would likely lead to greater loyalty, even sucking up, to the bishop. Celibate priests can readily be moved from parish to parish, but a married priest would be burdened greatly by a move. So desire for stability or prime locations would be a greater influence. A priest has a family and it is his parish. Adding another family reminds me of the verse that a man cannot serve two masters.

    Women priests are not feared, they are impossible. The priest represents Christ, the Church represents the Bride of Christ. Female priests would equal a homosexual relationship and as Mike alluded, that is incompatible with the Christian faith.

    Thirdly, there was no tacit approval of gay priests.

    Nay, this wasn't about control, The Church is concerned about our salvation. But Her perspective is from the correct end of the telescope.

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    Catholics and sports, a fresh look

    Here is the original article about the Vatican taking a look into the Christian mission role in sports.

    Here is a sampling the Daily Eudemon's take.

    The Holy Three: Owner, Player, Agent
    Liturgical Dance in the End Zone
    Forgiving the Father Who Stabs You for Not Playing His Son in Tee Ball
    Soccer Moms: Possessed or Devoted?
    Helping Pros Who Receive the Minimum $350,000.00 Annual Salary
    And I will add

    Press Conference Preaching
    How to Claim God's Help in Victory Without Insulting Thy Opponent
    Know It, Love It, Serve Me; Tales of an Obsessive Parent
    Smack Talkin' In All Charity
    How Deion Sanders Found god, and his name was Deion.
    There is no Deity without Dei[on]

    One line says it all regarding "gay" priests

    “It’s not about you. It’s about the Church and the good of the Church”

    Okay, I lied, I can't just not comment on this. Commenting is why I blog.

    Actually, this doesn't just apply to the "gay" priests. It applies to everyone. Starting with anyone that thinks the Church should change to meet their needs.

    Speaking of boycotts

    The shortest and most effective boycott I can remember has ended as Catholic League's boycott of Walmart ends. Walmart apologized, fired the drunken Siberian Shaman named Kirby and fixed their web page so that Christmas isn't replaced by Holiday.

    It isn't like I am going to start shopping at Walmart anyway, but I am glad they did the right thing. Cheap slave-labor goods and small community destroying policies are still in place, so they stay on the Don't-need-them list.

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    Finally some sense from Congress

    I support the Fiscal Watch Team Offset Package. It is about time the elected leaders of our country realize we can't keep running up the charge card. As Senator Coburn states

    Congress is learning what the American people already know – charity requires
    Time to get our local WA and ID senators on board.

    Boycotting 101

    Eric Scheske of The Daily Eudemon hits on a topic I have been considering lately. How is a good Christian supposed to keep up. I like his advice on using a soft boycott.

    If I can boycott an item without excess expense or inconvenience, I
    Driving all over town to avoid buying from certain companies is probably not in the best interest financially and family wise.

    But in certain areas, I draw the line. American Girl, we can do without. A betrayal on that level deserves a swift kick in the bottom line. As a family we don't buy made in China. If I exhaust all other options on a necessary item, I may buy the item and counter with at donation to PRI or HLI's work in China.

    From the not so fat and happy

    Come another view on why CAFTA and all the free "trade" agreements are bad for the poor of other countries.

    CAFTA did not come down from God. It is the flawed work of man, and only one of many versions of how our nations could be linked. I thank those members of the U.S. Congress who voted against CAFTA. They desire trade with fairness, justice and morality. They rise against the Bush administration’s threats to cut off our existing trade preferences so as to force Central American approval of this trade agreement. They yearn for a country that cooperates with, not presides over, its neighbors in the Western hemisphere.

    Funny how the peasant farmers of Guatemala find time to be informed and protest these steps to global tyranny, but ask any affluent American about CAFTA and you get a blank stare.

    Kudo's to Bishop Álvaro Ramazzini for a thoughtful and well written article. Here is a bishop truly concerned about the poor.

    A Book for all Ages

    One of the recent Words of Encouragement shows how timeless the Bible is.

    Isaiah 49:15-16 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.

    Even if these forget! We have forgotten O Lord, have mercy on US!

    Why we care

    Why should we care so much about the courts and who sits on them? Is it really necessary to fight over these distant judges?

    Read this article about the 9 Circus Court of Appallings. When the courts are saying the parents have no fundamental right to teach their own values to their kids, the fight has been thrust into your living room.

    The bitter pill

    A thought provoking article at Christianity Today.

    Dying to self isn't easy. Especially when the culture surrounding us promotes the worship of self so completely.

    Could the little pill have stood for more than just a chance to get a fiscally responsible life before opening it up to stinky diapers? Could [the pill] have changed not just the hormonal makeup of my cells, but also what cannot be seen under a microscope? Could it have served as one more safety lock on the door not just to my womb, but also to my figure, my marriage, my home, my career, my gym routine?

    Here she hit the basic erroneous assumption of contraception

    After taking care of that divine mess, she gave a lecture on the eugenics-rooted assumptions that have led Western Christians like me to view children—and even the possibility of their arrival—as an inconvenient interruption. Why, she asked, do we feel the need to perfectly time and fit children into our busy schedules? Is this a Christian instinct?"Only in a small number of cultures do we have the idea that adults should do their work, worship, and entertainment without the presence of children," she says.
    As the song goes, "it ain't easy being easy." And that is especially true when we are submitting to God's will over our own.
    Ah, baby clothes. Living in the space where human and divine freedoms overlap doesn't come easy, so my first reaction to her offer was weak-throated: gulp.

    Monday, November 07, 2005

    If this don't tell the tale

    No chance of puppies for this couple. They've been spayed and neutered.

    I have used that line on occasion when folks tell me that they have been "fixed." I reply that neutering is for dogs or cattle.

    Wanna bet this poor old lady doesn't have any grandkids to spoil?

    Well done parodies are like

    well... well done parodies. This parody on the Rad Trads is hilarious. Titled Society of St. Pius the First, they claim “To be any more Trad, you’d have to be Jewish.”

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    It's a little bit like that

    Today's BC cartoon, reminds me a little bit of the push for anesthesia for the baby during an abortion.

    Clarification please

    In the WND article, the Church appears to give credence to evolution as worthy to believe.

    This is true, at least partially. The Church accepts the scientific theory of evolution. It does not take the next step most "evolutionists" take in proclaiming God is not needed.

    From John Allen's interview with Professor Nicola Cabibbo:

    What clashes with divine creation is an extension of the theory of evolution
    into materialistic interpretations, the so-called "evolutionism." What
    evolutionism says, and here I'm thinking about people such as Dawkins, is that
    there's no need for God. But that is not science, it's not part of what has been
    discovered by science.
    So, if we read the deeper into the article we see,
    We know where scientific reason can end up by itself: the atomic bomb and the
    possibility of cloning human beings are fruit of a reason that wants to free
    itself from every ethical or religious link,
    So the sum of this is, faith in God as Creator is not opposed to science. True science will lead us to discover God. What we see in today's world is the evolutionists are crossing the boundary of science into faith. They are saying because of science, we can reason there is no God. Perhaps they would be better served to stay in the lab and out of preaching. Evolution is not a religion, it is a theory. Prove it to me in a lab and I will believe it. We are talking science, I will not accept it on faith.

    Church says science and intellect is useful as long as it is not detached from religion.

    Evolutionists say science doesn't need religion or God.

    Who is being unreasonable here?

    Wednesday, November 02, 2005

    Anti-name calling to avoid losing an argument

    From another blogs comments, where I was accused of being anti-intellectual.

    My rebuttal
    First, define anti-intellectual. Second, prove that I am that.

    I find the use of the word to be a cop out. Many times when someone has no reply, they expose their shallow argument by name calling or throwing out an "ism" or "anti". For example, calling those conservatives who opposed Miers sexist. Or calling someone who isn't progressive anti-intellectual.

    I am actually very intellectual about my faith. Sometimes too much so. My struggle often comes in feeling in my heart what I know in my head. I read when I have the time, enjoy reading and learning about my faith. I have listened to numerous tapes and CDs to learn my faith.

    What I understand you to be saying is I don't follow the progressive mantra that the hierarchy is bad. And since many of the progressives are so-called intellectuals with PHDs, therefore I must be anti-intellectual.

    On the contrary, as I have said before, true learning, true knowledge will lead us to Christ. I find many of these "intellectuals" to be leading people away from Christ, often because they don't like sharing the spotlight even with God.

    Tell me how many people Fr. McBrien has brought to Christ. How many have really deepened their relationship with God because of him? I find him directing people to a self-worship.

    Compare that to how many people have come to Christ because of Scott Hahn, Marcus Grodi and such. True conversion, true discipleship means dying to self, not promoting self.

    I find the abortion/contraception crowd trying to fill that God shaped hole with earthly pleasure. Trying to put the self in that God shaped hole.

    Straight from the Bible

    Straight from the Bible and one of my favorite verses (I try to remember this verse whenever I encounter trials.)
    John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

    From CNA, Archbishop: Pope will ‘prune’ institutions with weak Catholic identity

    Archbishop Miller based his prediction on the writings of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. He said the writings indicate that the new Pope believes it is a mistake to uphold institutions that lack a solid Catholic identity.
    "[The Pope] argued that it might be better for the Church not to expend its resources trying to preserve institutions if their Catholic identity has been seriously compromised," the archbishop was quoted as saying. "His writings show that a time of purification lies ahead, and this undoubtedly will have some ramifications for Catholic institutions."
    Archbishop Miller said the Pope believes the “measure of an institution can be judged by its Catholic integrity."

    A sad yet hopeful thought, we must pray so these institutions will realize what it means to be Catholic. Excercising the correct authority of discipline is never meant to diminish or harm those punished, but rather to correct and call them back to obedience. Something that as a parent we must also remember.

    Pruning is for the good of the tree.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    And a "well liked" child psychiatrist he must be

    From the bizarre career choices file we find this.

    The former Kiss manager who spent 10 years on the lam to avoid supporting his ex-wife and kids pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge yesterday in a deal that allows him to resume working as a child psychiatrist.
    His ex-wife, Rita Hilsen, who lives in an Upper West Side homeless shelter, criticized the deal as risky because her ex may flee again.

    So, he keeps his license as a child psychiatrist? How many ways does that seem wrong. The good news is he knew it was wrong to avoid paying child support.

    And more good news. There is one more child psychiatrist for all those little minds messed up by dead beat dads.

    Friday, October 28, 2005

    making sense

    Southern Appeal has an excerpt of Justice Scalia's review of Steven Smith's book, Law's Quandary. One part in particular that struck me from the excerpt:

    try but fail to explain “how the law makes sense without ‘the law.’”

    There lies the problem with all the anti-Christian law makers out there. They have no basis for law. All laws are a suject to and based on The Law.

    Not done yet

    The uprising to get Miers to withdraw has been successful. While Bush saving face with the claim regarding confidential documents, our work is not done.

    One of the blogs reminded of the need for prayer. I second that notion. I for one need to remember to call to "pray, fast and don't worry."

    But some on the complete other side still don't get it. Not that it is surprising.

    Fearing that Bush's next pick will be a darling of the right, Ralph Neas, president of the liberal People For the American Way, urged Bush to resist calls for an ultraconservative and pick someone with a mainstream legal philosophy.
    "The president must not let the extreme right dictate his next choice, but instead choose a nominee who can bring us together and maintain a fair and independent balance on the Supreme Court," Neas said.

    Mainstream isn't what they want. But they love to change the meaning of words to de-radicalize their views. The "extreme right" as the majority of conservatives are called, does not dictate his choice, but they sure as hell got him elected. And it would be wise for Bush to stop hammering on the last nail in the Republican coffin.

    So here's to praying they realize we are still vigilant. Our votes do matter.

    The TRUE spirit of Vatican II

    In an outreach program I could definitely get excited about in the Manchester diocese;

    Ste. Marie Parish’s commitment to evangelization is taking them out to local bars.
    In an effort to reach out to 20- and 30-somethings who don't go to church, the parish has booked four talks at the Strange Brew Tavern in downtown Manchester,

    Couple fine beverages with good Catholic conversation, throw in some talks on Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, and I am a big fan.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    Why Miers

    Has anyone stopped to ponder, why Harriet Miers? I mean really, was Bush merely looney? Did he want to divide his base? Why would Bush think his legal councel would make a good Supreme Court Justice?

    If we dig a bit deeper, we see that Bush isn't stupid (sorry Mark), he merely plays one on TV. President Bush and his staff keep asserting that the know Miers very well. Since they have told us of their deep knowledge of her numerous times I will have to take their word. But if they know her so well, how could they think she would be a good judge in light of this.

    Well, perhaps she is exactly what the NEED on the Supreme Court because of this and this.

    As his councel, Miers worked to expand presidential powers on detaining terrorist suspects and the Patriot act. Bill Goodman of the Center for Constitutional Rights has sued the federal government over the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. He isn't the right-wing fringe type, but he too was concerned about the president filling the Supreme Court with cronies that share his desire to create a powerful executive branch without worrying about any check or balance from the Court. According to the Boston Globe, Miers was part of the legal crew that aided in the development of the Patriot Act and policy on detaining suspected terrorists.

    The administration even admits this as a selling point on Miers. According to strategist Ken Mehlman in the October 4th issue of The Hill,

    He said that as a former White House counsel Miers would know the importance of not letting the courts or the legislative branch “micromanage" the war on terrorism.

    Bush also praises her views in his October 4th press conference,
    What matters to me is her judicial philosophy; what does she believe the role -- the proper role of the judiciary is, relative to the legislative and the executive branch. (Emphasis added)

    "What matters to me is her judicial philosophy. What does she believe the proper role of the judiciary is relative to the legislative and executive branch?" (Emphasis added)

    So the power grab-bloated government idealogy is behind the Miers nomination. With an eye to future cases that could be coming against him and his policies, Bush has foisted what he thought would be a shoe-in on the American people. He just didn't count on his base being awake enough to challenge his nomination.

    Ah, there is hope for fat, dumb and happy America yet.

    sources: The New American, The Hill, and Mark Shea

    "We Are Church" is NOT

    As an example of what the VOTF/We are church movement is proposing, I would say their stance on the Eucharist puts them outside the Church. No bishop's pronouncement needed (but it sure helps to clarify anti-catholic groups).

    we are more than puzzled by every form of devotion, which is usual in the Eucharistic cult (for example, Eucharistic adoration, processions, etc.) in which the sacralization of Eucharist has a plain role, making an idol of the Eucharist

    They already fell off the cliff. Now we just need bishops to point this out so more Catholics don't mistakenly run over the cliff after them.

    Althought we all may struggle with it at times (it is a hard saying), can you not agree that the We are church people are in heresy on this?
    Thanks to Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam for the link.

    Reminds me of a time when men were men

    My brother in North Dakota sent me this after the fierce winter storm passed through 3 weeks ago. Truth or fiction, it hammers the point home.

    This Weather Bulletin came from the Emergency Manager of Eddy County in North Dakota concerning the winter storms that hit North Dakota on 4 & 5 Oct 2005. I thought it was a little funny. Maybe because it has a lot of truth in its description.

    Up here in the Northern Plains we just recovered from a Historic --- may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" with a historic blizzard of up to 24" inches of snow and winds to 50 MPH that broke trees in half, stranded hundreds of motorist in lethal snow banks, closed all roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10's of thousands.

    George Bush did not come....FEMA staged one howled for the one even uttered an expletive on TV...nobody demanded $2,000 debit one asked for a FEMA Trailer news anchors moved in.

    We just melted snow for water, sent out caravans to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars, fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Aladdin lamps and put on an extra layer of clothes. Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early...we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves. Everybody is fine.

    Those in willing to give up all freedom, stand here

    How in the world did we survive hurricanes before FEMA? I understand suffering and loss hurts, but stand up for yourself and be counted among the free.

    Gov. Bush seems to think along these lines in retrospect

    "People had ample time to prepare. It isn't that hard to get 72 hours worth of food and water," said Bush, repeating the advice that officials had given days before Wilma hit.

    But if you prep people by telling them the socialist mother will be there to wipe all your tears before you even fall down, why bother thinking like someone responsible for themselves.
    "This is like the Third World," said Claudia Shaw, who spent several hours in a gas line. "We live in a state where we suffer from these storms every year. Where is the planning?"

    I guess it wasn't being done by lots of private citizens. Yes it is eerily like a Third World nation, everyone lines up and waits for the government to dole out a tiny bit of freedom found in a loaf of bread.

    Reminds me of the "teach a man to fish" line. Fishing must just be something the government employees do on vacation now.

    Looming Catastrophe

    In the last few weeks, there have been a series of warning signs that the situation in Darfur, already horrific, is rapidly deteriorating.

    Two weeks ago, Juan Mendez, the UN's Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, returned from Darfur and warned that the situation was worsening, stating frankly that "the situation much more dangerous and worrisome than I expected it to be." Shortly thereafter, the UN declared that, due to insecurity, large portions of the region were deemed "no go" areas, which in turn cut off aid access to at least 650,000 people. The UN also evacuated all non-essential personel from West Darfur.

    All the while, attacks on the displaced continued and seven AU monitors were killed in an ambush. Not long after that, the New York Times reported that the Janjaweed militias, equipped and supported by the Sudanese government, were acting with complete impunity and were "now emboldened enough to turn their guns on the government."

    That was followed by a frantic statement from Antonio Guterres, the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees, that "everything is getting out of control" and that the international community had just weeks to attempt to restore order in Darfur or risk "a very serious degeneration of the situation."

    That, in turn, was followed by a report that "more than 100,000 people are now believed to have died in the Darfur region of Sudan since the United Nations Security Council set a
    30-day deadline last year for the Khartoum regime to begin to resolve the crisis in the area." That is on top of the several hundred thousand who had died prior to UN-issued deadline.

    Amid all of this, and mostly ignored by the press, former Secretary of State Colin Powell told an audience that the world had failed to "fully face" the genocide in Darfur. That is something of an understatement, but considering that it was Powell himself who first declared that what was happening in Darfur was indeed genocide - more than one year ago - it is certainly worth noting.

    One year ago, the world knew it was genocide and did nothing. One year later, UN officials are warning that "everything is getting out of control" and that Darfur risks descending into utter anarchy, bringing with it an untold loss of life ... and still the world does nothing.

    Philippe Gaillard was head of the International Committee of the Red Cross mission in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide - and though the following quote refers to international community's failure to respond to the atrocities in Rwanda, it could just as well apply to the failure to respond to Darfur

    In such circumstances, if you don't at least speak out clearly, you are participating in the genocide. If you just shut up when you see what you see -- morally, ethically you cannot shut up. It's a responsibility to speak out. It did not change anything, and it …[did not] move the international community. I just
    can say that they cannot tell us or tell me that they didn't know. They were told every day what was happening there. So don't come back to me and tell me, "Sorry, we didn't know." No. Everybody knew.

    Not on my watch

    We need married priests because of the priest shortage, right? Not in the diocese of Lincoln Nebraska under the watch of Bishop Bruskewitz. With their own seminary and good Catholic schools, their ratio of priest to Catholics is 1 to 737. That is about 4000 better than the national average of 1 to 4723.

    So what is their secret? Not married priests, not groups like Call to Action; they are a forbidden group for Catholics in Bruskewitz's diocese.

    Many point to the dioceses being faithfulness to the Magisterial teaching of the Church. When you have a good sheperd, you have healthy sheep. But don't read faithfulness as political stance, according to Fr Matya.

    “It’s not that we try to be overly conservative,” he told the Daily Nebraskan, “but as a diocese, we do try to act how God wants us to be, and I think that is very appealing to a lot of these young men.”

    I know some people from the diocese of Lincoln. They couldn't understand not having good Catholic schools and plenty of priests. If there is one fault, it was that the priests were somewhat distant and not overly approachable. But I am not looking to the priests to be my drinking buddy or to be all warm and fuzzy if I can receive the Eucharist from a priest at Mass and Confessionals are readily available.

    A way out of what went wrong

    Town Hall has a way out of the Miers mess and John Fund has a good article on what went wrong.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    For parents of young girls

    For parents of young girls that enjoy the "American Girl" doll and magazine, here is something you need to be aware of and take action on.

    The American Girl company, owned by Mattel has partnered with Girls Inc., a group known for promoting abortions, contraception and lesbianism. The American Girl website had (since removed) a link to Girls Inc. and promoted the "I Can" bracelet.

    See Pro-Life Action League's response
    and World Net Daily

    How to change a law 101

    Was Lawrence v. Texas a setup? The landmark case that was a major step towards legal civil unions for homosexuals may have been a fraud. According to Judge Janice Law of Texas, the participants in the Lawrence case may have set the whole "crime" up to challenge the law.

    Just the thought of a poorly acted fake crime could make its way to the Supreme Court is scary enough.

    Dawn Eden of the Dawn Patrol is looking for input for her column in reaction to this Catholic school banning certain blog sites.

    My take.

    I had a much different stance on this ban, but then I looked at the site in question (, wow is it rife with issues.

    This isn't your typical "journal my thoughts" blogspace. This is "40 questions" on fetishes, favorite alcholic drinks, favorite anatomy on the opposite sex... Throw in addresses, IM identities, phone numbers and you have something I wouldn't let a teen go near.

    As an IT manager, I think it is impossible for the school to actually monitor this. And I am not for any public or parochial entity trying to take the job of parenting away from the parents. But kudos to this school for alerting parents on this on. Parents should be more diligent in what the kids do online, but if a school becomes aware of something bizarre like this, they have the duty to inform parents to be vigilant.

    'Dust People' Starve in Zimbabwe Ruins

    SOME call them the "dust people", others the "people with no address".
    President Robert Mugabe's government has a more graphic term: "Sniff
    out the rats who have sneaked back in" is the name of the latest
    campaign by police and soldiers against the city dwellers whose homes
    they demolished earlier this year but who have refused to flee.

    Thousands of Zimbabweans are now living like animals in the midst of
    rubble, crawling in and out of hovels less than 3ft high, fashioned
    from cardboard boxes and broken asbestos.

    With no means of earning a living — and with aid agencies banned by
    the government from helping them — they are forced to forage in
    rubbish for rotten vegetables or prostitute themselves for the
    equivalent of 10p to feed their children. A doctor who managed to get
    in said tuberculosis was rife.

    These are the victims of Operation Murambatsvina (drive out the
    filth), Mugabe's so-called urban beautification campaign which,
    according to a damning report by the United Nations, left more than
    700,000 homeless or without an income.

    Yet last week the United Nations flew Zimbabwe's president on an
    all-expenses-paid trip to Rome to celebrate World Food Day in defiance
    of European Union travel sanctions. Flanked by bodyguards, he
    proclaimed that there was no hunger in his country and blamed its
    problems on George W Bush and Tony Blair, branding them international
    terrorists and likening them to Hitler and Mussolini.,,2089-1838506,00.html

    Dividing up love

    As my wife and I talked about the article written on the SFGate site by Mark Moford, I figured out why the anti-family people can't understand those with many children. They see love as finite, as in love=time or love=money. But real Love is infinite. The more you love, the more love you have. So to those who think loving your children merely means spending 10 minutes of "quality" time with them, or means buying them the latest designer jeans; large families just don't make sense. Instead of 10 minutes with one child, you would only spend 1 minute with each of 10 children.

    But as members of healthy large families can attest too, more kids means more love. Mom and Dad learn to give of themselves more freely. Self sacrifice is a way of life and that gives the kids a valuable example. And if mom or dad are occupied, there is surely someone else that can help a younger sibling. And is that really asking too much of an older child to get a cup of water for a 3 year old? Heaven forbid they learn how to serve others! Jesus never taught us that. He only mentioned the empowerment of self as the way to salvation. He was such a glory seeker that he had to go and dramatically die on a mountain during an earthquake so for 2000 years HE would be all his followers can talk about.

    The ACLU rampages on

    The ACLU will stop at nothing to eradicate the US of any trace of Christianity. Witness in point, the small New Mexico town of Tijeras (population 500) is being taken to task by the communist ACLU. The issue? A small cross on their town seal. Never mind the much larger Native American religious symbol, the cross is the problem.

    "Tiny cross inspectors are not permitted to fret about large non-Christian religious symbols, only undersized Christian ones," commented columnist John Leo about the case.

    Funny how a small town is willing to stand up while Los Angeles county just buckled.

    Friday, October 21, 2005

    A modern look

    A modern look at the what the Sacra really ments.

    An instant classic in my book. I won't spoil it with any excerpts, just read it. Thanks to the Jester for this tip.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    What the???

    Read this mindless diatribe and then forgive my screed for screed. I did try to remain a bit more charitable than this "I've run out of shock content, so I will just be insulting" twit from SF.

    He does his best to insult about everybody this side of the pelvic left. Republicans, the father's name, the mothers vaginal dimensions? Get a clue you moron, if you have something to say, say it. If you just want to insult people, go write for the WWE (or whatever it is today.) And when he runs out of insults, he tries to infer that God is a "her." For which I have one question:

    Isn't your feminine goddess supposed to be the goddess of fertility?

    Bloated fool can't even follow his own logic. And in his dying last gasp, he tries to make a plea for the "poor gay couples" that can't even legally adopt in most states.

    Whaaa freakin whaaa! Step out of your control freak box and get married, sacrifice a bit and have children the way everyone has back past the flood. It ain't the parents of 5+ children that are driving most huge SUVs and eating caviar. The worlds poor exist despite the charitable Christians. They exist because bigoted people like this fool think they are so damn smart and should control those poor stupid people who don't know any better. Look at your own selfish habits before trying to fit that square peg in a round hole. Baby-drunk people? If you have ever seen a mother of a newborn baby (whether number one or 16) look at their baby, you may just begin to understand why they are willing to do it all over again. Watch them fall in love again and again. There is nothing quite so humbling and uplifting as a 5 month old that knows how to give a hug.

    But this poor sap does stumble on an acorn of truth:

    Where is, in other words, the funky tattooed intellectual poetess who, along with her genius anarchist husband, is popping out 16 funky progressive intellectually curious fashion-forward pagan offspring to answer the Duggar's squad of über-white future Wal-Mart shoppers? Where is the liberal, spiritualized, pro-sex flip side? Verily I say unto thee, it ain't lookin' good.

    Perhaps this the scariest aspect of our squishy birthin' tale: Maybe the scales are tipping to the neoconservative, homogenous right in our culture simply because they tend not to give much of a damn for the ramifications of wanton breeding and environmental destruction and pious sanctimony, whereas those on the left actually seem to give a whit for the health of the planet and the dire effects of overpopulation. Is that an oversimplification?
    I have been saying this for years, these anti-family hacks had better get their licks in while they still exist. The are contracepting themselves right out of existence. And their 1.2 children are wanting to rebel so bad, they actually might look to faith. After all, how can you rebel against someone who stands for nothing?

    Wouldn't that be a bizarre twist to the Darwinists? Survival of the fittest? Well, yah gotta breed to survive. 1.2 children isn't exactly multiplying.

    If this were a dance

    It couldn't get much more choreographed.

    Cindy Sheehan has come out blazing away at the "pro-war" Hillary Clinton. What is amazing is that some of the words actually are true. Often misplaced or stupidly simple, but some are true.
    First, speaking of Hillary, Cindy says:

    But I don't think she can speak out against the occupation, because she supports it.

    Well, that is very good reasoning Cindy. Most would probably come to the same assumption, which begs the question. Why say something so simply obvious?

    Because this is exactly the perception they want. As one rube was quoted in response:
    Who would have thought that Hillary's candidacy could be in trouble because she's not far enough to the left?"
    It all seems so choreographed. Hillary has been trying to move her image, not her views but how she is perceived, to the center. She is too far out on the radical fringe, so a makeover is needed. And what better to serve the purpose than a loudmouth peacenic whose 15 minutes of fame just expired.

    From another world

    On another blog, we are discussing proper material for sacred vessels.

    One participant responded that he doubts the kind of container determines the depth of one's faith. Arguing that an imprisioned priest in Communist China could validly celebrate Mass with whatever container he could aquire.

    Here is my response.

    The container does not affect our belief. But the respect shown (or not) of those in charge, e.g. those who buy the vessels, does make a difference.
    While using a thimble as a sacred vessel in Communist China may be worthy, we are not in China. We are in the most affluent country in the world. Do those priests and bishops who think it "humble" to use pottery vessels, drive humble old beaters or wear simple clerical clothes? I doubt it.

    And look at it this way. What does a wedding ring symbolize? The love and commitment of the spouses. Would you find it appropriate if you wife to be bought you a pottery ring? And then how would you react when she buys herself a new diamond necklace? Would you say the lack of artistic merit has no bearing on the depth of her love? (credit to my wife for this well put analogy)

    Weekly post on Dafur

    This week's post on Dafur is "Spotlight on Darfur 2" hosted by Live from the FDNF

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    Snuffing smurfs better than banning Piglet?

    In a rather different look at the UNICEF's Smurf film, Mark Steyn questions why this UN body didn't use machetes rather than bombers? After all, the UN has more experience allowing machete massacres rather than surgical strike air wars. And when he is finished with the Smurfamisms, he actually makes a convincing arguement for the war in Iraq.

    Can we get an AMEN on this brother bishops?

    I heard a blurb on EWTN radio today regarding this and now found an article (thanks to Mark.) A teacher in a Catholic school was fired for volunteering at Planned Parenthood.

    For those wishing to convey their praises to Bishop Weigand, here is the page for Catholic Schools.

    My take

    Mark Shea got gently taken to task by Tom Hoopes of the National Catholic Register.

    I read the NCR article and I give NCR their due. I read it without thinking they were Bush puppets. But then again, I don't take most of Bush's respectable supporters as puppets. Some may not have considered carefully, others I just disagree with.

    But here are my issues with the article. The step of logic between "which is she- unknown or overly known" doesn't make sense. To US (everyone other than the president) she is an unknown. The fact of that Bush knows her doesn't change the fact that she has no "paper trail" to verify her qualifications. Couple that with the "trust us" being the only qualification forwarded by Bush doesn't maker her a known commodity.

    On cronyism? What about the fact that the Senate gives "advice" and "consent" to the nominations essentially to prevent cronyism, nepotism and other of that ilk. (see the Federalist Papers #76 )

    On overturning Roe v. wade. I don't (I think I speak for many on this) wabt to know if she is going to overturn Roe v. Wade. I would care to know if she thinks that ruling was according to the constitution. She is not an electable politician. Her opinion doesn't matter. Her ability to rule without being influenced by her opinion does.

    To paraphrase another commentor on Shea's blog, a confirmed originalist would likely rule against Roe v. Wade, but that isn't all. He/she would rule correctly on so many other important issues facing our nation today.

    Kickbacks, paybacks and hell to pay

    If there ever was a doubt about the two-party system not representing the working class citizens, this should remove all doubt. As I linked to yesterday, the Miers lottery scandal has so many tangled webs, we may never even hear about it. Sounds like the Dems and the GOP are both afraid of getting caught by this nasty spider. Will we hear about this in Miers' confirmation hearings? Doubtful.

    According to a reliable source close to the Texas lottery scandals, the answer might be that no senator would dare ask the tough questions.

    Ben Barnes, the former Texas lieutenant governor and the man at the heart of the National Guard controversy, is pressuring Democratic senators to avoid any references to the lottery scandal because they would jeopardize Democratic Party officials as well as Bush, reports WND columnist Jerome Corsi.

    In other words, says Corsi, "the fix is in."

    The upside? Bush may ask her to withdraw rather than risk this mess.

    Monday, October 17, 2005

    Abstain from the UN

    The UN isn't worth the concrete needed to cover its own grave and here is another perfect example. For those unfamiliar with the Ugandan sucess in fighting AIDS, they use the ABC method. A for Abstinence, B for Be faithful in Marriage and (a regrettable inclusion) C for Condoms if A and B don't work for you. The focus on chastity has driven the HIV infection rate from 18% to 5-7%. Compare that with the UN dominated Condoms campaign rate in the rest of Africa which are going the wrong direction. The UN despises the success of abstinence and is fighting to end the ABC program because it is "doing damage to Africa." Here are some thoughts from the Ugandan health minister:

    Once the usual UN administration fee had been deducted from Bush's pitifully inadequate $15 billion, there could easily have been enough left over to buy, oh, twenty thousand bucks' worth of second-hand condoms from a rubber factory co-owned by a nephew of Kofi Annan and a cousin of Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

    Why let actual results dicate policy, what they need is more condoms! (and the UN needs another cash cow.)

    On Miers, On Souter, On Kennedy...

    Peggy Noonan continues to do her part to help Bush down from the ledge he has walked onto.

    And surprisingly enough, I agree with former conservative spokesman Rush Limbaugh in his article, Holding Court: There's a crackdown over Miers, not a "crackup." As much as I disagree with his inclusion in the "We", he is finally able to clear his head and criticize either party when is proves fitting.

    Complete breakfast or Indigestion?

    The Curt Jester assures us this "New and improved" version of the Breakfast of Constructionist will be received much more warmly than the previous version. After all, we get what we really wanted:

    Included in each package is her judicial philosophy (just keep digging it's in the box somewhere).
    Warmly received like warm milk on soggy cereal.

    From the "don't color us surprised' file

    Children of Divorce: New Study Explores the Nasty Effects

    Thus, children of divorced couples are forced to enter into an adult world of responsibilities and worries at a young age. Marquardt's survey revealed that even among those children whose parents had managed their divorce well (in terms of reducing the impact on the kids) around half agreed that they always felt like an adult, even when they were young. This proportion reached two-thirds among children whose parents' divorces were more problematic.

    Following a divorce, many of the children felt they had a responsibility to protect their mothers, and a substantial number had to take on greater duties in caring for their siblings. This also happens in families where a parent dies or is seriously ill; the difference with divorce is that the children know it comes about as a result of a voluntary choice on the part of at least one parent.
    The findings aren't that stunning. For those growing up in a traditional two-parent home and then raising children of their own, the study states the obvious; raising kids is a delicate, intense job that requires two people committed to the same task.

    To paraphrase two parts of the above quotes: As a result of the parents acting like children (I'm not going to play with you anymore) the children have to behave like adults. As a result, the child doesn't get to mature and grow up. They simply have to grow up.