Friday, February 29, 2008

Good news on the vaccine front

For those following the tainted vaccine issues, here is some great news from Children of God for Life.

Biotech Firm To Provide Ethical Alternatives to Aborted Fetal Vaccines

(Seattle) In a victory for pro-life families around the world, AVM Biotechnology LLC (AVM Biotech) today announced their decision to provide ethical alternatives in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and vaccine development.

Dr Theresa Deisher, AVM Biotech Research and Development Director and founder stated, “We will be working to bring commercially available, morally acceptable, vaccines to the US market and to use existing technology to produce new morally certified vaccines. Revenues from the vaccine business will also further the research, development and commercialization of morally certified therapeutics in other areas of medicine as well.”

The announcement was an answer to years of hard work and prayers for Children of God for Life, a pro-life organization that has battled to bring moral alternatives to aborted fetal vaccines to the US market for nearly a decade.

“There are no words sufficient to express our deepest gratitude to Dr Deisher and AVM Biotech”, noted the group’s Executive Director, Debi Vinnedge, who was also named to AVM Biotech’s Advisory Board for vaccine development.

While most vaccines and medicines are produced in an ethical manner, several are manufactured using cell lines derived from aborted fetal tissue with no competing ethical products available. Vinnedge noted this has left concerned pro-life families in both a difficult and unjust position.

“For too long parents who want to protect their children without compromising their deeply held pro-life and religious beliefs have been coerced into an unnecessary and unjust moral dilemma,” she stated. “No one should be forced to choose between these two fundamental human rights.”

Both organizations hope that the news will spark members of Congress to move forward with their Fair Labeling and Informed Consent legislation, a bill that would require full disclosure from the pharmaceutical industry whenever aborted fetal or embryonic cell lines are used in medical products.

“Every consumer, whether pro-life in philosophy or not, has the right to know if human fetal cell contaminants are present in the drugs they receive”, noted Dr Deisher. “Consumers should be informed and empowered to make the best health care choices for themselves and their families. Surely, if we have the right to know what is in our fast food, we should also have the right to know what is in our medicine."

AVM Biotech intends to further assist in this effort by certifying that its therapeutic products are not discovered, screened, evaluated, produced, or tainted in any way by the use of electively aborted human fetal material, human embryonic material, or any other unethically obtained materials.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Old law, meet the new guard

Just have to highlight this Item at CMR. Patrick post on an article from the Guardian

The item? "Home-schooling has been illegal in Germany since it was outlawed in 1938." It still is illegal. Christianity , I mean, Unlawful indoctrination has this dangerous concept of freedom. Can't allow for that in a police state.

Sins of omission

This is not the first time I have disagreed with Fr. Pavone. I respect his work to defend the un-born, but he gets in over his head when he veers into politics. His latest column, And What I Have Failed To Do is a good example. He doesn't come out and say it, but I believe he is advocating a vote for McCain. Anything less would be a sin of omission.

Thankfully his is a priest. In charge of hearing confessions, not telling us what we should confess. A vote for McCain is a vote to destroy the pro-life plank (as well as many other conservative ideals) in the GOP platform. I think his eventual nomination is already the death knell of the Republican party. Who needs another liberal, fiscally irresponsible party. The Democrats have that base cemented in (see Obama's reaffirmation of the party only unchanging plank.)

Me? I won't call any vote a sin. I don't know anyone's heart or conscience. But I know I can't vote for anyone that supports abortion. That narrows the field considerably. I am not confident of McCain's stance on that issue, but he claims to be pro-life. So I look at the other issues. And I won't vote for him based on those issues. Pro-nation building. Pro-big government. Anti-freedom. Pro-amnesty. That is enough for me to still vote Ron Paul. He may not win, but the GOP can look at all the votes they "could" have had.


but not reassuring. Obama must need to reaffirm his ties to the death eaters. Or as Jill Stanek puts it,
Terri Schiavo should have been a horse His biggest legislative regret?
He said he wished he had spoken out when Republican lawmakers tried to stop the severely brain-damaged woman's husband from removing her feeding tube in 2005.

"It wasn't something I was comfortable with, but it was not something that I stood on the floor and stopped, and I think that was a mistake.''
Jill finds Obama's compassion much greater for the furry four legged creatures
It's really too bad Terri wasn't a horse....

As both state and U.S. senator, Obama either supported or co-sponsored measures to stop horse slaughter, particularly since there is a horse factory in IL.

Terri would also have been better off a dog as far as Obama is concerned, because he has supported a legislative crack-down on dog fighting.
Yikes! Scary material for our future president.

We became saints

The Ironic one once again shows us why she is one of the best theological bloggers of the day.
Humor? Got it.
Profound wisdom? Got it.
That wisdom hidden in simple readable writings? Got it. (and I don't mean simple as in plain)

In her Dear Communion of Saints column, St.Teresa lets us know the proper response to
Who should I blame this week about Catholics leaving the Church?
We became saints.
Read the rest and come away much wiser. I think the 'C' in I.C. stands for Chesterton.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Remembering the great line from the Incredibles, "Public?  My evening is in danger!"

Today my lunch was in danger.  Seems as though being a witness may be hazardous to one's health.  At least to a peaceful lunch.

I try to pray before each meal, even when eating out.  I don't make a big show of it, it is done for my benefit, not for anybody else's.  Still, being Catholic, prayers begin and end with the Sign of the Cross.  As I sat down and started crossing myself I bowed my head.  But not before I caught a glance from an elderly lady facing me from a few booths away.

As I finished my meal, I looked up to see her husband approaching.  He mentioned noticing the Sign of the Cross and asked if I was Catholic.  I assented but then his next question perked up the senses that he wasn't really Catholic. 

"Did I go to church around here?"

"No." and I mentioned my parish.  Funny thing is my parish is St. Pius X.  Which can be mistaken for the Society of St. Pius X, which is not Catholic but schismatic.   And in a tell-tale confusion, he tried to distinguish between following Rome or being from the Society?  Finally after mentioning "the pope" and Rome, he finally asked if I followed Benedict.  I said I was from the Roman Catholic Church, not the schismatic society. 

We had a nice chat, or should I say I listened, objected a few times and eventually gave him my address so he could send me some material.  (more so that I could research his theme and send HIM some material.  For God desires that all be saved.)  He wasn't part of the Society, but following his own little pope here in the northwest.  Of course this pope was a secret and very few know about him.  I can't wait to find out who he is.  And I will be watching the mail.

Moral imperative

It would seem obvious to the enlightened that this is a moral imperative, someone must be corrected.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sage tech advice

Some sage technical advice for people with computer issues,
How to find a good computer repair person.

1) Don't flatter them and tell them how smart they are, or how lucky their wife/family/dog is to have a computer guy in the family.
2) Don't laughingly demean yourself in front of them and shyly admit that you know absolutely nothing about how a computer works. I mean, would you tell a plumber you don't know how a tap works? A mechanic that you don't know what makes it go vroom?
3) See #2. Every call I have been on, I feel like telling the person to stop demoralizing themselves in front of me. It's like hearing someone tell you how fat and ugly they are and that this is why they will always be single. Just say what the problem is. Period.
4) Seriously. If your machine is ten years old, don't pay me $90 an hour to open it up and look at it. You have already broken most records for hard drive life and power supply life. Live it up and buy yourself a new computer. Pay me for an hour to help you set it up and be happy that you probably won't need me for a few years.
5) Google. Google your problem. Your question has been asked a million times and answered a million times. If you can fix it, great, if not, at least you will know what you are talking about when the tech arrives.
I can definitely agree with all of those items. Especially the last one. Google it. Phrase your problem in different ways. Even us geeks use this solution when WE don't know the answer. Most people that know the answer probably do some writing about it on the internet, we are geeks after all.

And on #4. When you get a computer, find that trustworthy geek and ask him to spend an hour setting up the computer with anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware software. An ounce of prevention... will keep the computer healthy for a lot longer in the hyper connected world of today.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oh yeah

I love G.K. Chesterton. And this is vintage.The Ironic Catholic: Friday's Chesterton QOTD
When such a critic says, for instance, that faith kept the world in darkness until doubt led to enlightenment, he is himself taking things on faith, things that he has never been sufficiently enlightened to doubt. That exceedingly crude simplification of human history is what he has been taught, and he believes it because he has been taught. I do not blame him for that; I merely remark that he is an unconscious example of everything that he reviles.

--G.K. Chesterton
Kinda reminds me of the "scientists" saying the global warming debate is closed because they have "consensus." As if that would pass the scientific test. Isn't science about forming a theory and then doing everything you can think of to break the theory? Or is it now to form a theory and get grants to perpetuate the theory and publish your theory so you get more grants?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Standard questions

In terms of investment, how much gold is enough. Richard Russell provides a practical answer in the Dow Theory Letters.
No, in practice, you need dollars. You need dollars to live. There's no getting around it. Furthermore, you've been taught not to put all your eggs in one basket. And that applies to gold. Sure, based on the charts below you should probably have all your money in gold, but that 'feels too risky.' You just don't feel comfortable with it. So if you're a subscriber to Russell's writings, you buy some gold -- as much as you feel comfortable with, and you tell yourself, 'Well, I've got more gold than 99% of the rest of the poor fools in America, and maybe that's enough.' Of course, it isn't, but that's what you tell yourself."

Monday, February 18, 2008


Matthew at CMR catches another Hollywood type endorsement, you know the type where the candidate probably wishes they would just shut up and donate. Susan Sarandon Endorses Obama. The money quote...
So I think he definitely has convinced people that he stands for change and for hope, and I can't wait to see what he stands for.
I think we are all waiting for that. The scary thing is we will probably find out after he is elected.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

As expected

The destruction of the GOP must go on. Mitt Romney will endorse John McCain.

Oh, this was supposed to be a good thing. The unity of the party and all that. So they can be certain to defeat those evil democrats. Of course. Even McCain would be better than Hillary or Obama.

Not so sure on that. McCain is the masculine version of Hillary and that is about where the differences end. So Romney senses that he isn't going to win the nomination after spending mega millions on the campaign. Rather than go to the brokered convention and make sure his "fiscal ideals" are represented, along with Huckabee's stance on life and Paul's stance on freedom; he bags it all and backs the one opponent he can't stand. Making sure that Huckabee and Paul supporters are silenced. How's that for party politics?

But party politics makes the world media go round, right. Take this review of "conservative" talk radio. She makes the claim "Rush and Coulter are causing a rift in the GOP". Why? Because they are SO far right and dare to bash McCain (last great hope against Hillary).

Sorry, but Rush is a party man through and through. Has been for years. Coulter is blonde with a big mouth and a propensity to attack those disliked by the GOP. Splitting the party? What party? The GOP tent was chopped down long ago and now McCain is carrying the GOP backpack. Leaving Ron Paul and other conservatives with no where to go.

This Romney drop out and endorsement reminds me of a lame sitcom script. Perhaps the hollywood writers aren't on strike after all. They just moved into political news reporting.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wonder what He said?

Wow, maybe He insulted Zeus. Rio's statue of Christ survives lightning hit
Rio de Janeiro, Feb. 13, 2008 ( - Lightning struck the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 12.

The giant statue, which was last year voted one of the Seven Wonders of the World, survived the lightning bolt, apparently unscathed.

The statue of Christ the Redeemer, which dominates the Rio skyline from a nearby mountain top, is made of reinforced concrete. At 130 feet, it is the world's tallest statue of Christ: a commanding figure accentuated by its location at the top of a 2,300-foot mountain.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Another fine finish

Going to have to allow a proud dad to brag just a bit.  Another Pinewood derby is in the books.  Three boys building cars, the two younger brothers doing their best to "help".  I thought this was Cub Scouts not Adventure Scouts.  But yes, quite another adventure.

The boys did quite a bit of the work this year, they designed their own cars.  I did my best to sculpt the block of wood to their specs using Japanese Carving Chisels.  They had to do the sanding.  Then they got to do the painting.  They helped polish the wheels and I did the final assembly.  We talked about the critical items on the car, aerodynamics, good finish, but the most important is the wheels.  Get them straight and the race goes well.  Any issue on the wheels will probably lead to poor results.

So how did we do?  I had to scramble to get the weights on hours before the race, and after setting the bar real high last year, I wasn't optimistic.  Last year the eldest son got second at the pack and 14th at the district.  Son 2 got fifth at the pack and just missed going to districts.  An awfully high bar considering it was our first year and I see more value in them trying and failing than have dad do it all so they can win.  Couple that with trying to put more of the responsibility on the boys this year, I didn't expect doing as well.

But the good Lord be praised, my eldest son had another fine showing.  He was running well, not winning every heat, but he must have been more consistent than the others.  Watching his brothers tell him where he finished was entertaining.  Then I would tell him his time and/or the winning time for each heat.  I let him calculate the numbers.

He could hardly contain himself as the top 4 were announced.  Afterwards I told him he needed to work on being more humble when he won.  He told me, "I'm trying dad!" in his most subdued excited voice he could manage.  Good for him.  For a boy that trails his younger brother in many things, I like to see him win once in a while.

The other two did well, 6th and 9th respectively.  And they are already planning improvements for next year.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Today's readings

I alway wonder how the "health and wealth" type of preachers would deal with today's Gospel?

Jesus' refusal to turn stones into bread flies right in the face of the whole "name it, claim it" philosophy. Man does not live on dough ($ or otherwise) but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

Then there is the not putting the Lord, your God, to the test. Ironic that Satan quotes scripture here to justify his position. How easy it is to use a verse out of context to justify whatever we desire.

But the last temptation is the most difficult to harmonize with the popular feel good idea of being Christian means being a worldly success. "All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”

Worldly success can bear a high price.

It is also tied together nicely today with the juxtaposition of the fall of Adam versus the triumph of Jesus over the Tempter. Adam was in a beautiful garden surrounded by the best of foods. He failed to be obedient even with everything going in his favor. Yet Jesus had fasted for 40 day in a desert, surrounded by heat and barren lands. But when he was tempted, he drew his strength from scripture. Not with a phony proof text to get what he wanted, but with actual context to do the will of the Father.

Friday, February 08, 2008

If only we had a little more time

Some humorous news here, The Russians think they have invented a time machine. The kicker, they just need a bit more time. 3 months to be precise. I'll wager that time never come.

But working on the invention is a good anti-time machine, you will never get that wasted time back.

via Alive and Young

Hearing the Call

Father had Benediction after the Stations of the Cross tonight. Our poor two year old was rather confused when Father said it was time for Benediction. He headed for the altar. I grabbed him and asked where he was going. "He called me" was the answer. I am sure it doesn't help that is also the nickname Father has given him.

Let's hope he hears the Lord's call as clearly.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Just what the doc ordered

yeah, I know, I mentioned possibly giving up blogging during Lent. Notice the "possibly" part. I decided rather than completely stop, I would try to bring it into correct order. Meaning it is behind my vocation (husband, father, employee...). I am not a professional writer, I don't make any money off it (notice the lack of ads) but I do enjoy it. So, perhaps I will write less often, link to less other posts, but write better stuff. Again, notice the decidedly non-committal "perhaps".

Down goes Fraizer

Well, it isn't quite as monumental as that fight, but

Down goes Romney. (via Huckleberries) I would say it was a surprise, but not really. Bush-Romney-McCain-Huckabee are all made from the same dough. Just rolled in a different topping, Romney had the financial sparkles, McCain is the crusty old glaze, Huckabee is the sugar topping for the shallow evangelical type.

Romney's step back is just proof that it isn't about conservative values, but about being "Republican". Not that the name means much anymore, but as long as they can fool the voters and the media keeps up the the "Republican vs Democrat/Conservative vs Liberal" reporting, no one will realize how they are part of the same party. The ruling class party. As my wife succinctly put it, sounds like an "Establishment" type of move.

One another note, Ron Paul did well in my native North Dakota. He actually won the district caucus that my parents are in. By 5 votes. My parents, sister and her husband and their son.

And to think my parents were die hard Bush fans not that long ago. They might not admit it, but they are coming around. And rather quickly.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Class of 08

I was listening to the Saintcast on the ride home and this thought struck me. As the podcast covered news on some saints about to be canonized, I remembered how many expected Pope Benedict XVI to slow down the process. As if there were to many holy men and women being raised to the altars.

I initially agreed with this concept, perhaps Pope John Paul II had been a little too aggressive in inducting them into the Eternal Hall of Fame. But that is where reconsidered. Sainthood isn't like the Hall of Fame. On earth, we are limited. In going to the HOF, we can only take in so much. So adding more and more members sort of drags down everyone. Everyone is special, so nobody is really special.

But being raised to the altars of Sainthood is different. First, heaven isn't limited. We will have eternity to take in all the HOF members. (perhaps surprised at some that were included, as they will be of us.) So there is no reason to jealously guard the exclusivity of the club.

Second, I haven't ever been to any HOF. Perhaps for many it is seeking out the favorites, from one's favorite team or favorite memories. And often that is how sainthood is looked upon. The local cult is what drives the initial process. (learned that from the Saintcast) So just as you may look for members of your local team, the nation or area has a saint to emulate and look up to. Or one can always find that connection that may bring you to a patron saint.

So here is to a big EHOF class of 2008.

Something fishy

Jimmy Akin breaks down everything you might want to know about Lent. One in particular struck me as hilarious about the Fish industry hoax claiming the Pope mandated eating fish to promote the Italian fishing industry. The distance some people will travel to find a conspiracy is amusing.

Jimmy gives that rumor a good beating, and my two cents is that fish was the food of the poor. Since the abstinence from meat was supposed to lead to greater concern for the poor (perhaps giving alms instead of spending the money on meat) it was deemed improper to include fish and put a greater burden on the poor.

What are you giving up?

I love it. The Ironic Catholic brings us this newsflash, Local Catholic To Give Up Presidential Election For Lent
“I’ve been very interested in what’s going on, but I think that I need to take a break. Really, with Super Tuesday and Fat Tuesday coinciding, it’s like God himself is telling us to gorge on CNN Tuesday but then take a six week break. The way these people are going at it, you’d think that the salvation of the world hung on the latest endorsement or poll or something.”

Me? I am seriously considering a fast from blogging. Would be good for humility (funny how one can become so proud of so little), would be good to spend more time on my vocation (family, odd jobs and the fix it list that need so much attention.)

A bit scary though, I have worked so hard for the small readership. But we should be ready to throw it all away for His sake, right?