Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Well this isn't good

27% of Active Homosexual Men in Ontario Unaware They Have AIDS

TORONTO, June 30, 2004 ( - It is estimated that 27 percent of homosexual and bisexual men in Ontario who have AIDS are unaware that are infected, according to a survey of active homosexual men in Ontario. The Ontario Men's Survey was conducted by the University of Toronto and included over 5000 participants who identified themselves as "gay" or "bisexual".

"This survey offers an unprecedented snapshot of the Ontario gay/bisexual community and an updated baseline on the HIV status, the social lives and the sexual and health behaviours of its members," said Ted Myers, director of the HIV Social, Behavioural and Epidemiological Studies Unit.

Other key findings of the survey found 60 percent of survey participants preferred going to gay bars to seek sexual encounters; 35 percent said they used the internet to find partners. 45 percent said they would never disclose their HIV status to a casual partner.

See the full report online (pdf format) at:

What Canada thinks of the US

Given the Liberals' record of corruption, scandal, mismanagement, and squandering of taxpayers' money, why in the world would they vote Liberal rather than send them a message of integrity and accountability and vote against them?

"I've always voted Liberal," was Heather Whelan's answer. "Besides, all that garbage, if it even happened, took place under Chretien, not Paul Martin."

"With me, it was Harper," said her husband. "The guy scared me. He gave you the feeling he was up to something he didn't want you to know about."

Like what?

"I'm not sure, but Martin said he was and that was good enough for me."

"Martin," said St. Clair, "is a good man. He came across very honest. He wanted a chance to clean up all the s--t that happened under Chretien. I just didn't trust Harper. He came across too oily."

"Exactly," said Heather. "The scariest part for me about him is that he wanted to cosy up to the Americans. Can you believe it? The bloody Americans. I hate the Americans."

What do you hate about them?

"They're warmongers," said Don. "They're out to take over the world. They remind me of the Germans in World War II."

"They're not our best friends, they're our worst enemies," said Heather. "You can't trust them. I wish we had some other country as our neighbour, not those bullies. They're ignorant. They don't know anything about any other country. They'd just love to take us over if they could."

"I don't think they're all bad, I've got American friends," said St. Clair, "but Harper would've had us kissing their ass instead of telling them to screw off like Martin will do."

(Thanks to Mark Shea and others for the link)

Please pray

For a friend of mine who is struggling with the Catholic faith. She can use whatever help she can get. Many thanks.

Feast of the Roman protomartyrs

This memorial is in honor of the nameless followers of Christ brutally killed by the mad Emperor Nero as scapegoats for the fire in Rome. The pagan historian Tacitus and St. Clement of Rome tell of a night of horror (August 15, 64) when in the imperial parks Christians were put into animal skins and hunted, were brutally attacked, and were made into living torches to light the road for Nero's chariot. From 64 to 314 "Christian" was synonymous with "execution victim."

And no, we're not pagans for honoring them.

Christians celebrate the memory of the martyrs with religious ceremony in order to arouse emulation and in order that they may be associated with their merits and helped by their prayers. But to none of the martyrs do we erect altars as we do to the God of martyrs; we erect altars at their shrines. For what bishop standing at the altars over the bodies of martyrs ever said: We offer to Peter or Paul or Cyprian? Mass is offered to God who crowned the martyrs, at the shrine of the martyrs, so that the very spot may remind us to arouse in ourselves a more fervent charity toward those whom we imitate and toward Him who gives us the power to do so.

Meanwhile, the Presbyterians move one step closer to the world and further away from God

Gays and lesbians in relationships could still be barred from ordination under a separate church law passed in 1997, but liberals said removal of the 1978 restriction would be a major step toward full inclusion for gays in the church.

``It provides opportunities for gays and lesbians they did not have before,'' said Doug Nave, who serves on the board of the Covenant Network, a group of Presbyterians lobbying for gay ordination. ``We think it will show that Christians can disagree on something and still be part of a single community of faith.''
Actually, I think Paul had something to say about that:
11 But now I have written to you, not to keep company, if any man that is named a brother be a fornicator or covetous or a server of idols or a railer or a drunkard or an extortioner: with such a one, not so much as to eat. (DRV)
Yeah, you can disagree on something that there's not an answer to, like the relation between grace and will, or maybe whether Mary died before the Assumption or something like that. Disagreeing on something that has an answer, however, is a little more sketch.

Ave Maria gets new oratory that doesn't look like a greenhouse

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Just thought this was kinda touching

Message: 3
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2004 06:46:36 -0400
From: Lillian
Subject: Re: Re: Modesty and Dress at Mass

When working as a community health nurse in the Orthodox
section of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I used to 'cover up' out
of respect for my patient and the neighbors. What impressed
me so was the elegance of the young girls, walking together
on the Sabbath, in their long beautiful dresses. And I loved
to see the 'sister' dresses, little girls with like patterns of
flowers on their dresses, not a hair out of place. My patient
and her husband were appreciative of my efforts to keep my
hair covered and would answer my questions. This was not
a wealthy family--the dad drove a religious school bus.
But the dining room was covered wall to wall with expensive
leather bound Hebrew books. I'd never seen so many. No
knickknacks or china in the bookcases -- Scripture.

Orate pro nobis

Today is the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. This has proven to be one of my favorite feast days, mostly due to my past faith problems. I would always go back to the Bible and see Christ telling Peter that he was the rock against which the gates of hell would not prevail, seeing Rabbi Shaul go to his death as a follower of Christ. Recommended reading, when you're feeling down.


June 29, 2004

Dear Mr. Solimano:

I'm very pleased to tell you the first partial-birth abortion ban will
soon go into effect! Ohio was the first state to pass legislation
banning this procedure which kills a baby during delivery. The first
two attempts were ruled unconstitutional. The abortionist, challenging
their most recent ban, has announced he will not appeal a court ruling
in favor of pregnant women and their babies. Click Here
to read the details that
led to this momentous victory for innocent human life and pro-lifers

Sincerely for LIFE,
Bradley Mattes
Executive Director
Life Issues Institute

A realization

A lot of people thing the government is stoopid, therefore if they're taxing you and giving you money for other things, they have to be doing something wrong because otherwise you'd be doing it yourself. Problem with this assertation: it fails to recognize externalities which result in a non-pareto outcome. In other words, everyone can be made better off if you can force people to behave in certain ways, even though they don't realize it. Think of fishers in the Atlantic, or polluters.

Ah, the joys of studying for an econ final.

From the "I've been studying for Econ too long" department

So I'm at Mass today. And it occurs to me that perhaps you could consider Christ to be an externality problem. Now bear with me here. Man doesn't realize that production of sin is harmful because he doesn't realize the impact it has on his relation with God. So, while it seems to increase his utility (ugh Mill) it really decreases the pie of utility available to mankind. However, if, in traditional econ-style, God and man merge, all the externalities will be gone because there's nothing external anymore. So, then sin will be produced in the optimal amount, that is, zero. Heresy anyone?

From AA

The judge returned often to the point that there is a shield around these abortions and so there is no true way to find out the impact they have since no one will provide records even if the patient's identity is protected.

The health of the woman was the plaintiff's main focus, but no mention was given of the health of the mother after the abortion in this or any other procedure...obviously because of the continued denial of post-abortion stress.
I fail to see how hiding things will help us make progress anywhere. But I guess that's what happens when you're doing evil things.

Where is Kerry? Where is Kerry?

Here he is! Here he is!
The Bush doctrine, now ratified by both houses of Congress, radically alters more than 30 years of American Middle Eastern diplomacy. It puts the U.S., for the first time, flatly on the Israeli side of the post-Six-Day War dispute. Not surprisingly, Sharon hailed this as "a great day in the history of Israel."

Only three senators voted against the pro-Israel resolution: ex-Klansman Robert Byrd of West Virginia, John Sununu of New Hampshire and independent James Jeffords of Vermont. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, skipped the ballot. So did only one other senator: John Kerry. He was in California.

Addendum: I forgot to put the link. Argh. Thanks to Lisa it has been fixed

Prime Ministers

wo patterns have shaped Israel's history since 1992 and go far to explain Israel's predicament today. First, every elected prime minister has broken his word on how he would deal with the Arabs. Second, each one of them has adopted an unexpectedly concessionary approach.

Monday, June 28, 2004

The Roe Effect

Or, why it becomes harder and harder for Democrats to win elections.

Quote of the Day

I went to see "Fahrenheit 9/11" Thursday expecting to be entertained despite political objections, but I was wrong. To say Moore took liberty with the truth would be like saying that Ken Lay took liberties with Enron's accounting practices.
. . .
And what of the second conspiracy theory, suggesting that George W. Bush kept Americans grounded after 9/11 but let the bin Laden family escape American airspace scot-free? An FBI agent suggested President Bush's action was an insult to 3,000 dead Americans, while Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan dramatically demands on tape that we must have an investigation to find out who approved this.

But Michael and the senator both know who approved the bin Laden transfer: It was none other than that Bush-bashing hero of the left, Richard Clarke. He admitted it in the 9/11 Commission. Now, it's funny how Michael Moore used Clarke's 9/11 testimony to bash Bush in other parts of the movie, but decided to edit out that part that lays waste to bin Laden-and- Bush conspiracy theory.

Well, I don't think the Sun is what I would call a good paper

Or, ouch.

Bill Clinton has been characterized in many ways, often
unflattering. But would even the most strident Bubba basher describe
his life as a "failure"? There's no need to --- the ex-prez has
already done so himself.

Believe it or not, in the last sentence of his bestseller's
acknowledgements, the guy who would never 'fess up without
qualifiers declares outright that none of his friends and family
"are responsible for the failure of my life."

"It's a typo," an Alfred A. Knopf PR flack told the New York Sun.
For "failure", read: "failures." While the mistake has been fixed in
the 725,000-copy second printing, it remains permanent in the book's
1.5 million first run. No errata slip was issued. And, yes, the
author was made aware of the OOPS! along with others, including the
former CIA director being called "John Woosley" in the index.

Attention e-Bay hawkers: Make sure to use the above info as a bonus

(BTW, The NY SUN is a GREAT read. And at a measly 25 cents an issue,
EVERY pro-Israel New Yorker should be supporting the paper!)

-- Binyamin L. Jolkovsky on

Food for thought

If Christians must consider themselves brothers of all men and behave accordingly, this holy obligation is all the more binding when they find themselves before members of the Jewish people!

-- Pope John Paul II in his address to the Jewish
Community of Mainz, Germany, November 17, 198

Yeah. That's about right

Stephen Hoyland, the (rather fab) lay chaplain at Lancaster University has left for (hopefully) better things. Since he doesnt have to be nice to anyone anymore - he composed a set of parody hymns for each denominational type group...
High Anglican

Immortal, invisible, God only wise
Irrelevant, dreary, so it’s no surprise
That no one not eighty does darken our doors
To spend time with Tories and terrible bores.

Now resting, now sleeping, it’s silent as light
Except for the snoring. The priest says “Good Night!”
The old dears in hats are like nothing you’ve seen.
And majors with medals who fancy the queen.

They think that they’re Catholics cos they like nice smells
And Latin and posh priests and lots of nice bells.
It’s sad but it’s true they are badly deluded
Most Catholics are lefties, the Pope is included.
Conservative (Traditional) Catholic

Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise God, all creatures here below.
Praise God above, ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, but Mary most.

The Father’s class, he made us, true.
And Jesus is a nice bloke too.
But his mum, Mary, we like best
So worship her, forget the rest.

Let us now praise Mary our Mother
She’s a saviour like no other
Send your spirit matrix dear
With luck God will not interfere.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Thought about the Visitation

Is this a Marian intercession sort of thing? You know, Mary brings Jesus to people? That way, our Lord does all the work, as it were, but she is still the Mediatrix in her way. Or am I a heretic? Random thought that popped up during the Joyful Mysteries.

Someone needs a dictionary

While the Beastie Boys CD does use copy control in some territories, there is no copy control on the Beasties Boys discs in the US or the UK. Where copy protection is used, it is Macrovision's CDS-200 technology; the same technology being used for the past several months around the world for all of EMI's releases in those territories. This Macrovision technology does NOT install spyware or vaporware of any kind on a users PC. In fact, CDS-200 does not install software applications of ANY KIND on a user's PC. All the copy protection in CDS-200 is hardware based, meaning that it is dependent on the physical properties and the format of the CD. None of the copy protection in CDS-200 requires software applications to be loaded onto a computer.

See! They won't install vaporware on your computer. I was so worried. Like, maybe you were gonna install PneWindows? Too bad PenWindows, like all vaporware, by definition, doesn't exist. Tragic.

Better dead than red

We the people?

The gunmen opened fire after they searched the documents of the 12 men inside and found that they had registered to vote. Two men escaped and alerted police, who found the 10 bodies but have made no arrests.
I donno, but I would find it a little hard to look myself in the mirror in the morning if I claimed to be working for the people and representing the people and also killing anyone who tried to participate in a democratic election. Good thing they don't have mirrors in the caves in Afghanistan.

Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism

Is anyone smart enough to tell me if this is any good?

Apparently FS has a sweet union deal

Common sense would dictate that the President of the United States would have the ability to shape his entire administration, including his foreign policy team.

But when it comes to the State Department, common sense doesn't apply. Even most senior positions are filled by careerists, people who do not change from one administration to the next. And because of union rules that even Jimmy Hoffa never would have had the guts to demand, State's career Foreign Service employees can't be fired by the Secretary of State— even for a felony conviction.

Sounds crazy, yet it is sadly true. Clinton's Secretary of State Warren Christopher ignored personnel policy and fired a woman who had plea-bargained to a felony count— of defrauding the State Department. She sued, she won, she got her job back, and got back pay. Why? Because, the court ruled, the Secretary of State can't fire even a convicted felon.
Only in the US could we have it so that the people in charge not only can't rely on the people that work for them but they're not allowed to do anything about it. Truly brilliant.

HRE on politics

I don't know how much use I'm going to be here, but here goes. As I've said many times, the center of Catholic social teaching is the family. Whatever benefits the family is good. Whatever harms the family is bad. That's where I come from in evaluating political candidates. Clearly, of course, Bronze Age Fanatics who want to kill as many innocent Americans as possible is one threat to the family. And I have no problem at all with hunting them down and killing them. I don't think that descending to their level. I think that's legitimate self-defense. My objections to the Iraq War have always been just war objection and have always been confined to that war, not to the war against al-Quaeda or the Afghanistan campaign. I believe the war against Radical Islam is a war we *must* win. However, I have been concerned because war has a coarsening effect on a culture and we humans tend to do "whatever it takes" in order to win. So far, we've been in a position to do soul-searching over things like Abu Ghraib (which speaks very highly of us). One doesn't get the sense that al-Quaeda does a lot of soul-searching about anything.

I continue to think that Bush is a basically decent man who is trying to do the best he can according to his lights. I think there is a long tendency in American history to see our mission as a duty to make everywhere America and that our optimism often exceeds reality. So, for instance, I am highly skeptical that the new states planted in Afghanistan or Iraq will last. But I think it is quintessentially American to attempt such an export.

As to domestic stuff, abortion remains, for me, a trump issue. Each month, more children are killed than were killed in all of the Vietnam War. Any candidate who wants to make sure that that continues, preferably with federal funding, is a candidate I can't vote for. The Stupid Party hasn't done much, but the Evil Party worships and celebrates the sacrament of abortion. So I have support Bush. Are there other issues? Certainly potentially. If, for instance, some Grand End to Evil Project Type were elected who really had drunk the Koolaid about the necessity of establishing American Hegemony By Any Means Necessary, I can conceive of abandoning both parties with a protest vote. I believe there are few dangers more potent than a faith in politics to achieve transcendent goals. Politics that attempt this virtually always seem to end in mass murder.

But we are still far from that, I think. At least, till we are threatened in a really major way. Then, it could well be katy-bar-the-door, given that immense power and fallen humans are a volatile mixture, when combined with profound fear, great pain, and deep rage.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Paul, homosexuality, and Romans

Dispatched well by Tekton Apologetics Ministries, a fine gentleman.

Or, let's not play dress-up

Which brings me to my point. The matter of appropriate dress is not
simply a matter of modesty, or lack thereof - it is a matter of respect &
reverence, an outward reflection of interior attitude. Which is what
troubles me most. When people come to Church inappropriately clad it's
clear that their minds are far away from the location of their bodies.
Mass attendence is nothing more than habit and afterthought. Not
something that is prepared for, not something that is thought about either
before or after its celebration. We Catholics have the incredible
privilege of possessing the Eucharist and what greater privilege is there
than attending Mass and accepting the body and blood of our Lord into
ourselves. What greater joy.

We need to bring to our communities a "Sabbath attitude" like the one that
I grew up with in an observant Jewish home. God's day and God's house
deserve our best. You know that out here I find that kind of reverence
and respect only in poor immigrant communities, especially the Hispanic
community. There you see impoverished workers, who live in crowded slums,
walking to Church in the hot sun with their children, wearing the clothes
that they wear ONLY to Church - the best things they own. I've seen
homeless laborers stripping down in the bathrooms of laundramats on
Saturday nights to wash their only clothes in preparation for Sunday Mass.
Now that's respect - and would that their much more affluent neighbors
would get the idea and emulate them.

My response: I can't really add much to this except to say how much sense it makes and how often I observe people receiving and not externally caring much. It's kinda painful at times.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Rape and incest

Springfield, Illinois, Jun. 25 ( - A group of women who have experienced pregnancies resulting from rape or incest are petitioning Congress and state legislatures to hear their stories, saying women who become pregnant from sexual assault don't want or need abortions. The petition comes on the heels of a proposed amendment to the Defense Department appropriations bill by Senator Barbara Boxer, D-California, that would authorize federal funding of abortions for military personnel who become pregnant from sexual assault.

The petition from the Ad Hoc Committee of Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault (WPSA) asks federal and state legislators to "hold public hearings at which we and other women who have become pregnant through sexual assault will be invited to discuss our unique needs and concerns."

WPSA was formed after the publication of "Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions, and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault," a book of personal testimonies collected from women who have experienced a sexual assault pregnancy. The group says that pregnant sexual assault victims have been either ignored or misrepresented by politicians and the media because of the polarizing effects of the national abortion debate.

"In most cases, it is only in the context of highly divisive debates over abortion that we are discussed," the petition reads. "In virtually every case, the people who claim to be defending our interests have never taken the time to actually listen to us to learn about our true circumstances, needs, and concerns."

Kathleen DeZeeuw, who became pregnant after being raped as a teen and gave birth to a son, Patrick, wrote in "Victims and Victors" that she feels "personally assaulted and insulted every time I hear that abortion should be legal because of rape and incest. I feel that we're being used to further the abortion issue, even though we've not been asked to tell our side of the story."

WPSA members say that because women who have actually been pregnant following sexual assault have never been given a forum to describe their real experiences, public policies fail to offer pregnant sexual assault victims the care and support they need. Instead, public funding for abortions following rape or incest may give women, their family members, and health care providers the false impression that abortion is proven to be helpful in these circumstances.

Nearly 200 women submitted letters or testimonies for "Victims and Victors," making it the largest sample of information ever collected from women who have experienced a sexual assault pregnancy. In an analysis of the submissions included in the book, 88 percent of those who had abortions said they regretted their abortions and that abortion only compounded the trauma of the sexual assault Only one woman reported no regrets, while the remainder of the women either made no statements regarding their abortions or were uncertain if their lives would have been better or worse than if they had not had abortions. By contrast, none of the women who carried to term said they subsequently regretted their decisions to give birth.

A Key Distinction

Although most opponents of embryonic stem-cell research are traditional members of the pro-life constituency, some of pro-life congressmen supporting federal funding of such research if the embryonic unborn children being killed are "leftovers" from in vitro fertilization procedures.

"Opponents of (embryonic) stem cell research view it as destruction of potential human life and are misinformed," said Dr. Daphne Thomas, a Virginia physician whose 7-year-old daughter Alyssa has Rett syndrome, a rare and fatal genetic disease, at a news conference announcing the legislation. However, Thomas is misinformed, as pro-lifers view such research as destruction of actual human life, not just potential life.

Strangest question I've seen in a while

Filing out a survey, I was asked if I participate in grandchildren. I certainly hope not.

Love that UN

A seminar on anti-Semitism was held at the United Nations this week. Secretary General Kofi Annan opened the program by rebuking "those who . . . continue to spread lies and vile stereotypes about Jews and Judaism." Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel peace laureate, delivered a moving keynote address. Three panels of witnesses spoke about the menace of anti-Semitism and how to combat it. The event was presided over by Shashi Tharoor, the undersecretary general for communications, who also delivered the closing remarks.

All in all, you might think, a typical UN program — one of scores of gatherings the world body hosts each year on a wide array of human rights issues. The anti-Semitic hatred and violence seething in so much of the world are a grave international problem, so it stands to reason that the UN would make it the focus of regular and serious attention.

Except that it doesn't. Monday's conference on anti-Semitism was the first in UN history.

I have a love hate relationship with the UN. One one hand, they hate the Church. On the other hand, the Church loves them. Vertict: Bunch of crooks with some potential? I don't have problems with a level of soverignty above the nation-state, which isn't exactly the most ancient of institutions, but I do have a problem when people use that level of government in an attempt to push throgh agendas that are stupid, such as the international pro-abortion movement or the takeover of the general assembly by the antisemites. Bother.

They could be twins

The author seems to think Apple and Macromedia are pretty much the same company. I have my doubts though. EG Brett doesn't use Macromedia anymore, but he still uses Macs.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


Suburbia is a great place to live:
A video of two high school girls engaged in a sexual encounter as boys coax them into more intimate activity has been circulating in the Scarsdale school community, drawing the attention of authorities who are investigating whether a crime took place.

In the 18-minute homemade video, the girls are egged on by the videographer and the onlookers, who make coarse sexual comments and repeated references to drinking beer. As the sexual activity intensifies, one girl becomes reluctant, saying "stop" and "no" numerous times and pushing the other girl's hands away as the group pressures her into continuing. The activity involved groping, kissing and partial nudity.
Ah, the joys of adolescent lesbianism.

High school is a very disturbing place, something that most people don't really seem to get. We are quite far gone down the path to Sodom, and getting a smidge closer every day. Some places seem to be getting there faster than others.

Thanks to Tina for the link.

Reagans' son tells his mother to stop killing children to help old men

While advocates of embryonic stem cell research have invoked the name of Ronald Reagan in their crusade for taxpayer funding of the unproven research, his son says the former president would never have supported it.

After Nancy Reagan began the push for President Bush to reverse his policy against taxpayer funding of any new embryonic stem cell research (ESCR), the media, members of Congress and state legislators began invoking the name of the pro-life president.

Some have gone so far as to name legislation promoting the destructive research after the recently deceased president.

Now, Michael Reagan, one of the president's sons, is joining pro-life groups in saying that ESCR advocates are trashing his father's pro-life legacy.

"The media continues to report that the Reagan 'family' is in favor of [embryonic] stem cell research, when the truth is that two members of the family have been long time foes of this process of manufacturing human beings -- my dad, Ronald Reagan during his lifetime, and I," Michael Reagan writes in an editorial.

"Moreover, using the widely promoted and thoroughly discredited argument that stem cell research can lead to a cure of Alzheimer's disease, the media and proponents of stem cell research have suggested that had the research been done a long time ago, my dad might have avoided the ordeal he endured," Reagan explains. "This is junk science at its worst."

Parent Teacher night

Or, what happens when you discuss the Catholic teaching on abortion in a Catholic school with people who say they are Catholics.
I asked her to explain how my gender was relevant. She said that as a man I was ignorant of women's choices. She said that I lied and was full of shit and didn't know what I was talking about. She accused me of acting criminally and said that I had neither the right to an opinion, nor the ability to discuss facts. I was told that if her partner was there he would punch me in the face, and that she wanted to throttle me
So tolerant and openminded. Orate pro nobis, omnes sancti.
(Thanks to CAEI for the link)

Happy Birthday St. John the Baptist

Today is the feast of his nativity. We should be tight.


How you know John the Baptist was Jewish
When "Elizabeth's full time of being delivered was come,. . .she brought forth a son" (i, 57); and "on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called him by his father's name Zachary. And his mother answering, said: Not so, but he shall be called John. And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made sign to his father, how he would have him called. And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And they all wondered" (i, 59-63).
I thought they didn't go for juniors. I guess it was different before that whole Roman invasion thing. But an excellent point none the less.

Happy birthday to me

I am 20 years old today.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Rather impressive skills

On the mantel of a quiet suburban home here stands a curious object resembling a small set of organ pipes nestled into a neat, white case. At first glance it does not seem possible that such a complex, curving form could have been folded from a single sheet of paper, and yet it was.

The construction is one of an astonishing collection of paper objects folded by Dr. David Huffman, a former professor of computer science at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a pioneer in computational origami, an emerging field with an improbable name but surprisingly practical applications.Derived from the Japanese ori, to fold, and gami, paper, origami has come a long way from cute little birds and decorative boxes. Mathematicians and scientists like Dr. Huffman have begun mapping the laws that underlie folding, converting words and concepts into algebraic rules.
Computational origami, also known as technical folding, or origami sekkei, draws on fields that include computational geometry, number theory, coding theory and linear algebra. This weekend, paper folders from around the nation will gather at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York for the annual convention of Origami USA. At an adjacent conference on origami and education, Dr. Robert Lang, a leading computational origamist, will give a talk on mathematics and its application to origami design, including such real-world problems as folding airbags and space-based telescopes.
I should really major in this. It always amazes me how smart people can be. Right now I'm reading Maps and Civilization and the idea that people could map the world, accurately, without seeing it from above is amazing. This college education really isn't teaching me the good stuff.

Women without cervices get Pap tests

Squach doesn't get it.

Crusade anyone?

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A recording purportedly made by the mastermind of bombings and beheadings in Iraq threatened to assassinate Iraq's interim prime minister and fight the Americans "until Islamic rule is back on Earth."

The audio, found Wednesday on an Islamic Web site, is supposedly from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the same Jordanian-born terrorist whose group claimed responsibility for the beheading of of American hostage Nicholas Berg and Kim Sun-il, a South Korean whose decapitated body was found Tuesday evening between Baghdad and Fallujah.
This is beginning to look like the 700s again when Islam went into Africa and turned everyone into Muslims. This time, however, France will not launch a war to blunt the attack nor will the Chruch be able to call for a defense. And they've decided that beheading is the way to go. If we give in it's game over.

I don't want to learn Farsi any more than I want to learn Germen.

P.S. I don't think international law exists. People talk about it, but I'd like to see the code. Besides Canada spent the last 15 years claiming that "reproductive health services" didn't include abortion then when the US stopped funding them overseas Canada claimed the US had violated international law because aboriton is included in "reproductive health services". I suspect it's pretty much the same for the rest of it.


Q: What is the origin of the expression "goody two-shoes?" - Beth King, Jacksonville, Fla.

A: Beth, word experts say this comes from a children's book called "The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes," which was popular in the 1760s. In that era in England, Goody was short for Goodwife, a courtesy title used almost like "Mrs." is today.

The book's main character was so poor she had only one shoe. She was thrilled to get a matching pair and earned the nickname in the book's title, which basically meant "Little Mrs. Two Shoes."

Goody Two-Shoes is now used to indicate someone who's angelic or self-righteous, apparently out of a misunderstanding of the original usage of goody.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Abortion survivers

Yes, there are people who survive abortions. Isn't it strange that when you inject them with saline they aren't people but then when they pop out a few minuites later and start crying you have to start treating them for saline burns?
British Medical Association to Discuss the Fate of Late-term Abortion

LONDON, June 22, 2004 ( - The issue of abortion survival
is on the roster for the annual meeting of the British Medical Association
in Wales next week. Late term abortions are often done by chemical
injection, inducement of labour or saline and the child can survive only
to be left to die without care. At their meeting in Llandudno next week,
BMA doctors will hear arguments that a child who survives an abortion must
be given the same intensive neo-natal care as any other premature child.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the BMA, assured BBC
News Online that abortion survival was rare, however, since no records are
kept it is impossible to verify her assertion. The Daily Mail reports that
at least two such cases occur in the UK every year whereas pro-life
leaders say that statistics indicate that at least 3000 occur annually.

Dr. Nathanson, defending the decision to allow abortion survivors to die
without further care, spoke only of the cases where severe disability will
prevent doctors from instigating "aggressive" neo-natal care. She said,
"Nobody wants to see babies die and nobody wants to see babies suffering,
but suffering can also come from very aggressive treatment if that
treatment is not having any effect." Dr. Nathanson avoided the question of
many perfectly healthy children being abandoned after abortion; stories
all too familiar to pro-life activists.

Dr. Louise Silverton, of the Royal College of Midwives, even more
chillingly referred obliquely to "guidelines" intended to ensure death in
late-term abortions.. She said, "There are guidelines to prevent the live
birth of babies following late abortions." However, even she agreed that
those who escape ought to be accorded the same neo-natal care that other
pre-term children receive.

Nuala Scarisbrick, Trustee of LIFE, said, "We have known for years that
this dreadful practice goes on in NHS hospitals, often in units where
there are full facilities for care of premature babies. The BMA should
instruct its members at their conference next week that all babies born
alive after abortion should be resuscitated and given truly loving care."

Scarisbrick admonished the medical establishment to refuse to participate
in abortion. She said, "How strange that the Government which wants to
make it a criminal offence for parents to smack their children is
indifferent to the suffering of 180,000 unborn children killed by abortion
every year, and by the treatment of babies born alive after late
abortions. There is hypocrisy here."

BBC News online coverage:

Peace and stuff

Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi (bio - news), archbishop of Milan, was received in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, on Monday, where he asked the representatives to step back from their current hardline positions in order to rediscover the path to dialog with the Palestinian people. It was the first time that an Italian cardinal had been received officially by the Israeli representatives.

"The complex reality cannot be simplified by the dreams of those who want peace. But the parties to this conflict must have the capacity on each side to reverse themselves, to move in the direction of dialog and reconciliation. To accomplish this, it is necessary to be more humble, more courageous, and wiser," the cardinal told the assembled representatives.

Cardinal Tettamanzi was in Jerusalem to take part in the "paths to peace" framework promoted by the Ecumenical Council of the Christian Churches of Milan (created in 1998 by the now-retired Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini). The cardinal also told the representatives, "In these past few days, I have encountered much suffering, but also many small experiences of peace and of reconciliation." He concluded, "It is imperative for us all to build peace in the world."

This same message of peace was repeated on Monday morning to the Palestinian Legislative Council in Ramallah, by Gioacchino Pistone, president of the Ecumenical Council of Milan. The cardinal was not able to visit the Palestinian territory himself, because he was meeting at that time with the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Kevork Khazoumian.
I just hope we keep normal diplomatic relations between Israel and the Vatican and stuff. If things get ugly I would be very sad as it were.

Seriously though I'm never quite sure where the Church stands on the whole issue. It seems like there is no position, which makes sense to me, but you can never be sure with all these cardinals about.


Have you been hanging around my house lately and I didn't notice? I just
went through ALL that with my teen daughters and stepdaughters. While the
19 and 16 year olds (mine) understand and embrace this concept of modest
dress, the 17 y.o. (his) and the 13 y.o. (mine) are into flaunting their
midsections. Although they know not to attempt to blatantly show bare
skin to church, they try to get it in under the radar by scooching their
pants and skirts down lower on their hips.

I had nearly given up when my 91 year old, nearly blind (but not THAT
blind) grandmother attended Mass with us one Sunday. She observed the 13
y.o. wearing a little too much skin and not quite enough fabric to cover
her backside and she said (quite loudly because she has some trouble
hearing, but not THAT much trouble hearing), "Hey Courtney, nobody wants
to see your crack!" This was very effective in making both the 13 AND the
17 year olds pull UP their pants quickly! LOL

The moral of this story is, when you can't win 'em over one way, there's
always another way...and your 91 year old grandmother probably knows one!


How come everyone's a cheat?

State and federal authorities have been investigating allegations that Rowland took gifts and favors from friends, state contractors and state employees in exchange for political influence, an accusation the governor has denied. A special House committee also has been considering whether to recommend Rowland's impeachment.
Of course, it's not like this isn't the way every government in the US works. I guess he just got caught.

Ius et Bonus

Mark Shea's commentary on the chaos:
More on the attempt by godless philosophers to concoct justifications for human rights

Step right this way and watch the amazing sleight of hand tricks by Rawls and Rorty! The hand is quicker than the eye! They steal from the Judeo-Christian tradition you never notice it!
Note to the reader: No, you can't justify human rights if you're an atheist except by appealing to power. Not to the others: Saying that something's wrong if it directly hurts someone just leads to the questions of what's direct, what's hurt, and why we should pick your definition if you're a moral relativist anyway.

Monday, June 21, 2004

From the Ratzinger Fan Club

Yes, I have some very specific ideas.
1) Expand hours for confession in every parish in the country. If it can
work in Ars, it can work here. 2) Restore Communion rails. Anyone is
welcome to kneel at communion rails, and since the celebrant can bypass or
sidestep known public sinners, everyone else is unimpeded. 3) Chant. 4)
Parochial devotions. 5) Public burning of heretical music/texts. 6) The
public celebration of either the defrocking of a priest or the removal of
the pallium from an Archbishop. Just one ought to do the trick. 7) Pick
any (oh heck, pick all) the liturgical regulations which assist reverence
and enforce them uncompromisingly. Salus animarum suprema lex!



I never forget the joke.

Q: What's the difference between a liturgist and a terrorist?
A: You can negotiate with the terrorist.

All the best from Brazil


I like. At least I approve somewhat.

Homosexuality and genetics

Read: People like to hear themselves talk/don't know how to do math.

Now here's a way of looking at things that I hadn't considered . . .
There are those of the Jewish faith who will tell you that this quasi-Jewish observance is dangerous. That it is trends that at best causes horrible confusion about Judaism and Jewish values, or even worse accelerate assimilation. Some even call it blasphemy.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that this trend toward pseudo-Judaism may actually be a good thing. I will go so far as suggesting that Jews should be encouraging these practices — with one quid pro quo. If people want to pick up Jewish traditions without Torah learning or observance — let them pick up the blame. You know what I am talking about — the Malaysian Prime Minister/ Pat Buchanan libel kind of blame.

See how it could help? Take for example the Hollywood Kabbalah cult. Now I was always taught that Kabbalah was advanced Jewish study, before I could truly understand what it was all about, I would have to know Torah backward and forward. Yet the Hollywood Cult went strait to the Zohar (the sacred text that teaches Kabbalah). I say let them. But before Madonna, I mean "Esther", straps on her Tefillin, douses herself with Kabbalah water, or makes another music video singing about Kaballah while acting, ahem, inappropriately with another woman, she has to have a little press conference. She has to tell the press that it is she that controls the media. It's a believable concept. Let's face it anybody who has seen some of her last few movies will believe that she had to have some degree of control to get them made.

The Life of Cardinal Kung

And the plight of Catholics in China, where being Catholic is illegal. Nothing like a little martyrdom after breakfast.

Why I still subscribe to Computer Shopper

How could I miss biting commentary like this
Cost of Warming on the rise
According to a Wired story, "Climate change is a fact, so the question of what to do about it boils down to this: Pay some now or pay a lot more later. Scientists at two special briefings this week warned that the effects of global warming go beyond the environment and dip into everyone's pocketbook, but the extent of the economic damage will be determined by when action is taken."

Some thirty years ago, we were being warned of the imminent arrival of the next ice age within 50 years. Who knew that the scientists of that day, armed with just 130 years of reasonably accurate weather data on which to base the cyclical weather patterns of a 4.8 billion year old planet, could be so wrong. Thankfully, the extra 30 years of data collected by today's scientists allows them to be so much more accurate. Better still, neither I nor any of the men I know use a pocketbooks so it looks like women will finally be paying their fair share unless they too switch to fanny packs, wallets, or just stuffing their money into their pockets on top of their keys, next to their cigarettes.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Zorak's wisdom (a "Planned Parenthood" site): This site urges visitors to donate to PP in honor of the men in their lives: "This year, give the very best. Give your dad and the men you love the gift that keeps on giving - the gift of choice."

I cannot believe they called abortion the gift that keeps on giving. To whom is it a gift? What is the gift? What is its perpetual nature?
All of these are questions they can't possibly want to answer.

Quote of the Day

We missed the 5:45 bus back so we had an hour to burn so we tried to find a tea shop (Mark and I actually quite fancied a pub) and find one we did only it closed at 5 but the door was open and we sent Rachel in to do the whole dippy foreigner thing and it worked - the very nice man had us all in and sat us all down and made us tea and scones and produced cakes of many kinds (only one of which he had made himself) and it was all very nice. If Jesus himself ran a teashop, I doubt it would be much better. It would be free, and have more cake.

A culture of life

Truly we live in a civilized country and Islam is the greatest threat to world peace.
Some days I tell myself that nothing in the news would shock me, not anymore. Some days I'm wrong. Like when I read a legal memorandum churned out by the Justice Department, with the aid of distinguished counsel in the White House and in the Office of the Vice President. It's a memo that explains in 48-page detail why the Constitution and laws of the United States permit torture.

. . .

And so, half a century after the Nuremberg Trials, American officials are now found citing the very arguments made there - by the defense. Here is the same old refrain used to justify torture and worse: Orders Are Orders. It sounded better in the original German: Befehl Ist Befehl. Indeed, the whole memo sounds like some pallid translation from the German penal code circa 1938. ("In light of the complete authority over the conduct of war, without a clear statement otherwise, criminal statutes are not read as infringing on the President's ultimate authority in these areas. . . .") The Nazis were more concise; they had one word for this whole, strained line of reasoning -fuhrerprinzip.

Waste of space

U.N. Treaty on Rights of People with Disabilities Could Be 'Ramp to
the Gas Chamber'
Concerned Women for America ^ | 6/9/2004 | Wendy Wright

Nongovernment organizations (NGOs) decided to kick right-to-lifers
out of a caucus advising U.N. delegations on a new treaty to protect the
rights of people with disabilities. The decision came after the chairman
of the U.N. committee that is drafting the treaty unexpectedly announced
that the proceedings would be closed to nongovernment representatives,
apparently to hurry deliberations by eliminating their input.

Pro-life representatives, which include me for Concerned Women for
America, have been advocating that the treaty should protect all
people with disabilities, including the pre-born and those targeted
for denial of food and fluids.

The caucus of NGOs working together dealt with the chairman's threat by
kicking out groups it considered "not aligned" with organizations that
represent people with disabilities. It specifically named "right to

Ironically, John Wayne Cockfield, the representative for the
International Right to Life Federation, is a land-mine survivor and
double-amputee. He works on behalf of those who, due to medical
conditions, are targeted for euthanasia, including pre-born babies.

Both he and Patrick Buckley of the Society for the Protection of
Unborn Children spoke to the assembly of U.N. delegates, asking that the
treaty cover pre-born children and include the right for people with
disabilities to food and fluids necessary to sustain life.

The NGO caucus leaders (who are not disabled) were heard strategizing
after the chairman's announcement. Complaining that "right to lifers" were
allowed on the list of speakers to the assembly, they discussed how to
eliminate pro-lifers from the caucus but allow other groups not
exclusively made up of people with disabilities.

One of the leaders, the European Union representative for people with
disabilities, then presented the decision to the caucus when it met the
next morning. Cockfield, a former marine, strongly chastised him in front
of the group.

"I am offended," he stated, "that you, who are not disabled, would
tell me that I cannot be a part of this group." He also pointed out
that if there is no right to life, then no other right to equal
access will matter.

"They will build a ramp to the gas chamber," he declared.

And yet, that afternoon at a subsequent caucus meeting, NGO leaders
reportedly removed representatives that they did not believe
were "aligned" with them.

In the U.N. assembly, several NGOs spoke in favor of retaining
Article 8 of the draft treaty. Entitled "Right to Life," it
proclaims, "States Parties reaffirm the inherent right to life of all
persons with disabilities, and shall take all necessary measures to ensure
its effective enjoyment by them."

China is attempting to limit this right only to those "who have been born
and are now living on this earth." Infamous for its forced abortion,
one-child population-control program, and the killing of prisoners to sell
their kidneys, China argued for this limitation so it could "relieve
burdens on society."

While the draft declares protection for life, it takes it away in
another section that calls for "sexual and reproductive health
services." It defines "reproductive health services" to include

In a landmark debate over this language during the World Summit on
Children in June 2001, the United States asked, "Can anyone explain
to me what [reproductive health] services mean?" Canada responded, "I do
not understand why the distinguished delegate asks the question, because
he knows the answer, but of course it includes, and I hate to say the
word, but it includes abortion."

Immediately, several countries demanded that the phrase be deleted
from the document they were considering.

The stakes are higher here, though. The document from the child
summit is nonbinding, that is, no country is legally required to
follow it. In this case, a treaty is being debated and would be
legally binding (for countries that ratify it). The words "sexual and
reproductive health services" do not appear in any other treaty, and could
be used to establish an international right to abortion.

The United States has limited its participation on this treaty to
providing technical assistance on the drafting. It is not actively
engaged in the public deliberations because, under the Bush
administration, it has no intention of becoming a party to the

The treaty will have far-reaching effects on pre-born babies and
others vulnerable to euthanasia. Some U.S. judges, including Supreme Court
justices, have based decisions on international law and rulings from
foreign bodies of which the U.S. has no part.

Concerned Women for America is participating in these deliberations
to keep the treaty from denying rights to those who cannot speak for
themselves. We need to ensure that abortion and assisted-suicide advocates
do not gain a foothold through ambiguous language in a U.N. treaty. We ask
for your prayers to ensure that this treaty will cover all people with

The question of "Eucharistic hospitality"-- sharing communion with other Christian churches-- has been the topic of heated debate in European Catholic circles. The widespread practice of Eucharistic hospitality, particularly in Germany and Switzerland, has been a source of deep concern to the Holy See. In his 2003 encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia (doc) , Pope John Paul II (bio - news) devoted most of a chapter to the issue, stressing that non-Catholics should not receive Communion. The Pope argued forcefully that the practice of intercommunion is an offense against ecumenism, not an aid, because it creates the false impression that non-Catholics share the Church's teaching on the nature of the Eucharist.

This is something I can't understand. How you could just kill a man! Wait wrong song.
It seems to me that the only real reason that you could be willing to share the Eucharist with someone who doesn't think it's the Body and Blood of Christ is if you don't think so too. As an illustration, as much as Jess loves Cat, she wouldn't shuffle her into Pius and give her Communion. But the Swiss really seem into it. Does that mean they don't believe in the Real Presence? I donno.

Incidentally, does anyone know if the priest doesn't have the right intent when he consecrates the wine and wafer if it is effective? I know you need valid intent for a sacrament, which is why you can train a priest without, you know, having problems. But I seem to recall something else about the Church supplying for ministers who screw up . . . but I can't remember details.

OO on priests and stuff

Good article about priests, laity, and where good things are going to come from.
Two side notes: some have maintained one reason why fewer men are becoming priests these days is because of the emphasis on the equality of religious and lay vocations. (Roughly speaking, these people argue: religious life is much harder, so if both lifestyles are just as good, why do the harder one?) I don't fully agree with this argument. The difficulty of the priesthood would pale in comparison to the nature of the service to which the priest is called. The difficulty dissuades only because the truly transcendent and spiritual aspects of the priesthood are downplayed these days. If the priest is no more than a glorified psychologist and social worker, no wonder why men aren't drawn to the priesthood. The secular world does these things better, and you can have the comforts of a secular lifestyle

Love those Presbys

The issue of abortion is likely to take center stage at a meeting of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Richmond, Virginia, June 26. A number of presbyteries, or district governing bodies, have submitted abortion-related resolutions to this year's General Assembly.

The Protestant church has been criticized in the past for its previous support for abortion.

The Beaver-Butler Presbytery in Pennsylvania and the Presbytery of Charlotte in North Carolina are asking church members to affirm the protection of unborn babies well enough developed to live outside the womb.

Meanwhile, the Presbytery of Upper Ohio Valley is lobbying commissioners to declare that the 2002 and 2003 Assemblies "erred in supporting abortion, especially late term partial-birth abortion." The presbytery adds that the Board of Pensions "errs in providing abortions" except in pregnancies that clearly endanger the life of the mother.

Presbytery members would also like to see a pro-life position on abortion incorporated into the church's constitution.

But not all presbyteries are promoting a pro-life agenda.

For instance, the Lackawanna Presbytery wants to advocate for a restoration of money to the United Nations Populations Funds. The UNFPA has drawn criticism from pro-life lawmakers and the Bush administration has withdrawn funding from the U.N. agency because it supports China's population control policies that include forced abortions and sterilizations.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Int'l fun

The sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Church in the US over the past two years is not be limited to the US or any international borders, according to a report to be published by the Dallas Morning News this weekend. Between 100 and 200 priests around the world, mainly members of religious orders, were allegedly moved from country to country after being accused of various matters, including allegations of sexual abuse of minors and other criminal activity.

Reporters for the newspaper traveled around the world over the past 18 months to reveal the global nature of the clergy abuse scandal. "The Church is the largest organization in the world, not just the largest religious organization," Dallas Morning News reporter Brooks Egerton told National Public Radio on Friday. "We've globalized this story... focusing on international movement of abusive priests." He said that there are documented cases of priests, accused and in many cases criminally charged, convicted, or having admitted to abuse, who were transferred from one country to another, and in some cases, transferred from country to country to country. "Some are in active ministry today while on the run from law enforcement," Egerton said.

The rain in Spain falls mainly in the mosque

During the campaign leading up to his victory in March of this year, Zapatero announced his support for efforts to liberalize Spain's divorce law, to give legal recognition to same-sex unions, and to allow adoption by homosexual couples. He also indicated his sympathy for human cloning for research purposes.

Shortly after his election, Zapatero announced: "The time has come to respect the sexual choices of every individual, to offer a lay vision of society in which no one imposes his beliefs, whatever they may be-- neither in schools nor anywhere else." At the same time, the new prime minister announced plans to cut government aid too Catholic schools.

I want to have sex with my dog. In my high school. NOW. And I want to take him to the prom. You don't like that? Lawsuit.

Meanwhile, people with common sense start looking in other directions. At any rate it's probably great news for the Muslims who will have a rash of converts, says Squach who predicts this without knowing anything about the situation in Spain or anyone involved. But it makes sense to me.

Because it's fairer

Ah, the joys of ecumenism.
Romanian Orthodox officials are threatening to break off talks with their Romanian Catholic counterparts if the Byzantine-rite Catholic Church does not give up legal claims to parish properties confiscated under the Communist regime.
So unless you let us keep the property that we stole from you 50 years ago, we won't talk to you. Sounds like an upstanding group of citizens.

Just goes to show you, never trust a Romanian. Or her daughter. Or the dog. Grr.

A little consistancy please

Any takers on why this isn't a good comparison? Looks outstanding to me.

Anti-abortion fanatics destroy abortion clinics, try to impose their political beliefs on others

Whoops -- sorry, by "anti-abortion" I meant "environmentalist," and by "abortion clinics" I meant "houses and cars." Apparently, radically anti-human environmentalists have been destroying property they don't like and endangering other peoples' lives. Their targets are new housing developments and SUVs.

We await the following:
• Reporters asking the Sierra Club, World Wildlife Federation, and other non-violent environmentalist groups if they repudiate these domestic terrorists;
• Reporters asking John Kerry and other prominent Democrats if they think the Earth Liberation Front is a legitimate political organization; and
• Reporters grilling environmentalists about whether they are sincere about their beliefs -- because after all, if you oppose suburban land growth and big vehicles, you must necessarily use violence to destroy those threats, as surely as night follows day.

I wonder if there will be a ratio of about 1,000 news stories for each SUV destroyed, the way there was about that many stories for each abortion clinic bombed and abortionist murdered.

Why do I do this anyway?

Seriously, now, I'm not sure. Let's check the archives for the reason I gave when I started it. Here is my first day of posting:
Friday, November 07, 2003

Book Review from Butler

Just read part of a book called "The Catholic Left" back from before Hans Kung got the hatchet. There were some valid issues brought up, mostly with regards to social issues. The Church is doing a rather good job for a mostly unfunded organization, I think, but there's about a billion people that need more food to survive, so something's not quite right. Most of it was, however, the same old stuff. Calls for contraception, etc. Reasoning, emotions above logic. Emotions certainly have their place. I often have to fight to keep them out, and they always sneek back in, to logical arguments. But in matters such as these, you have to keep in mind that a good tree bears good fruit, and a bad tree bears bad fruit.

The harvest hasn't been very good lately.
- posted by Squach @ 11:52 PM
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Catholic and Enjoying It! on the Iraq war

Mark Shea calls it like it is again. I just wish I knew where I stood in the whole process. But hey, no one ever said decision-making was easy.

Note for the curious: No, the Vatican didn't say that the war was wrong, they said that the process was deeply flawed. No pacifism involved. If you need confirmation of that, check out the Carthars. What Carthars, you say? Exactly.
- posted by Squach @ 5:33 PM
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Old Oligarch's Painted Stoa

I have to say, when I saw The Matrix Revolutions last night I thought it really sucked. Like, a lot. After reading this article, which contains spoilers (BEWARE), I liked the philosophy/theology a lot more. Mostly because I understood it coming from this guy, and not in the theater. It resolves a lot of questions, gets into the Christology of Neo a bit. Good stuff.

Recommend reading some of his other articles, esp. about playboy.
- posted by Squach @ 4:54 PM
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Alrighty there folks. I decided to get a blog. This will not be one of those livejournal diaryland things. This is for serious discussion of serious topics by serious people. No fun allowed!
- posted by Squach @ 4:09 PM
I guess that pretty much covers it. I filch from OO and CAEI, write some bizarre commentary, and call it a day :-).

I guess purpose will have to wait a little.


Who do you listen to?
"These (kidnappers) are holy warriors, heroes, who never waver, even if they will fail," Mizahen al-Etbi told the AP. "All Saudis hate Americans, not only these heroes."

But the preacher of Riyadh's Imam Sultana Mosque implored the kidnappers to release Johnson in a column published in Al-Riyadh newspaper on Friday.

"O, youth of the nation who have trodden the wrong path, come back to the fold of the community of Islam. Avoid this sedition and be obedient to the ruler of the Muslims," Sheik Mohammed bin Saad al-Saeed wrote.


I don't get it. You kill children and the world rallies to your cause. You kill killers and the world condemns you. Bizarre.
Yasser Arafat started the intifada in September 2000, just weeks after he had rejected, at Camp David, Israel's offer of withdrawal, settlement evacuation, sharing of Jerusalem and establishment of a Palestinian state. Arafat wanted all that, of course, but without having to make peace and recognize a Jewish state. Hence the terror campaign — to force Israel to give it all up unilaterally.

Arafat failed, spectacularly. The violence did not bring Israel to its knees. Instead, it created chaos, lawlessness and economic disaster in the Palestinian areas. The Palestinians know the ruin that Arafat has brought, and they are beginning to protest it. He promised them blood and victory; he delivered on the blood.

Even more important, they have lost their place at the table. Israel is now defining a new equilibrium that will reign for years to come — the separation fence is unilaterally drawing the line that separates Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinians were offered the chance to negotiate that frontier at Camp David and chose war instead. Now they are paying the price.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Reassuring to know we all have our rights

Or how Bush says citizens don't have rights and everyone says "OK".


In an official letter to the US bishops, which has not been made public, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith writes that Catholics who are "living in grave sin" or who "reject the doctrine of the Church," should abstain from the Eucharist.

Cardinal Ratzinger's letter was prompted by the sharp differences among American bishops on the question. These differences have been discussed at length by US bishops and Vatican officials in recent weeks, as the American bishops made their ad limina visits to Rome.

The existence of Cardinal Ratzinger's letter was first reported by the Italian daily La Reppublica , and subsequently confirmed by informed sources at the Vatican.

The thrust of Cardinal Ratzinger's message was at odds with reports from a few American bishops, who had returned from their visits to Rome saying that Vatican officials had discouraged any effort to withhold the Eucharist from public figures who oppose Church teachings on issues such as abortion and same-sex unions.

This question has been thrown into sharp relief this year because of the presidential candidacy of John Kerry, a Catholic who has been outspoken in his support for legal abortion and has opposed Church positions on issues such as euthanasia, stem-cell research, and homosexuality. Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis has said that he would deny Communion to Kerry; several other American bishops have stated that politicians holding such views should not receive the Eucharist.

Another group of openminded tolerant people stiff-arm their own countries

New Latin American Document Recognizes “Sexual Rights”

A discord-filled Latin American regional meeting held in Mexico
City last week witnessed pro-abortion and pro-lesbian advocates take
control of many government delegations, allegations of blackmail made
against the United States, and the acceptance of a document that appears
to support abortion, even though most Latin American countries recognize
the right to life from the moment of conception.

The outcome of the Ninth Regional Conference on Women in Latin
America and the Caribbean left radical feminist advocates claiming a
victory for their agenda and a defeat for the United States and its
pro-life allies, including Nicaragua and El Salvador.

The outcome document, what is now being called the “Mexico City
Consensus,” includes language calling on Latin American states to
implement legislation “Guaranteeing the responsible exercise of sexual and
reproductive rights and access without discrimination to health services,
encompassing sexual and reproductive health.”

The most significant aspect of this language is the insertion of
“sexual rights.” Ellen Sauerbrey, US Ambassador to the UN Commission on
the Status of Women and the head of the US delegation at the meeting, told
the Friday Fax that, “I am concerned about the implication of ‘sexual
rights’ because to the best of my knowledge it is a new and undefined
concept, one that I have not seen in any major international document.”
Some observers believe that radical feminists hope that “sexual rights”
could eventually include such things as abortion-on-demand, legalized
prostitution, homosexual marriage, and complete sexual autonomy for

According to Lilian Celiberti, of Articulacion Feminista Marcosur,
a pro-abortion women’s group, the US was so concerned with this language
that it “blackmailed several delegations to prevent the use of the terms
‘sexual and reproductive rights’ in the final document,” an allegation
that is vehemently denied by Saurebrey. According to Sauerbrey,
“Absolutely at no point at this meeting or leading up to it was there any
implication that the many programs that the United States funds to promote
women's rights throughout the world would be impacted by decisions made by
delegations at this or any other international meeting.”

According to a news report, the goal of such regional meetings is
to create documents that will be sent to United Nations headquarters in
New York, to represent the “objectives” of the Latin American region
during next year’s Beijing +10 Conference, the ten-year follow-up to the
Fourth World Conference on Women.

Rocio Galvez, president of Provida, a Mexican pro-life group that
worked with many other pro-life NGOs at the meeting, said that, “We see
what happened in Mexico as very disturbing, because the pro-abortion and
pro-lesbian groups imposed a stance against life and morality which does
not at all represent the views of this region. I hope that in Beijing +10
there is more tolerance, and that it is made clear that not all social
groups advocate anti-family practices like abortion and homosexuality.”

The next regional meeting will be in Puerto Rico from June 28 to
July 2.

Copyright – C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute). Permission
granted for unlimited use. Credit required.

I'm a nontheist?

Good stuff, mostly b/c I've never heard of this before.
Since I am rather new to this group, I am wondering whether what follows
is a new topic or an old topic for this group?

One of the reasons why I admire Cardinal Ratzinger is that he is a
brilliant theistic theologian. By theism, I mean the idea that God is the
Supreme Being who exists independently of the physical universe and
created the physical universe out of nothing.

Theism was the universal way of conceiving of God in the West up to the

Clearly, both the Old and New Testaments are based on theism. Theism has,
for several centuries, been challenged by nonthesism which simply denies
that God exists independently of the physical universe. Nontheism should
be distinguished from atheism, which simply denies that there is any God.
Nontheists can still talk about God and profess belief in God, but it is
not the theistic God that they are talking about. Theism can be described
and formulated fairly briefly and concisely, but this means that it can be
easily attacked by nontheists. What unites nontheists is not what they
believe but what they don't believe. What they do believe about God can
vary all over the place. It could be "ultimate reality" or "the ground of
being" or it could even be the "force" of the popular Star Wars movies.
All these nontheistic formulations deny the supernatural, the existence of
any nature independent of physical nature. C. S. Lewis wrote a book called
Miracles which explained quite well the
difference between the naturalist and supernaturalist viewpoints.

In the books I have read by Cardinal Ratzinger, I do not recall him
talking explicitly about theism, but he does seem to assume it as a given.
Since the Catholic Faith is a theistic faith, it is his duty to uphold it,
which he certainly has done. However, Cardinal Ratzinger has many
opponents even within the Roman Catholic Church. I believe that his
opponents and the general dissent within the Church is rooted in
nontheism. While atheism and nontheism differ over their use of the word
"God", they are virtually identical in their practical results. For
example, ethical relativism follows logically from nontheism and also from
atheism. Theologians who do not distinguish uncreated Being (God) from
created being (us), will see us as being morally autonomous. Liturgies
which focus on ourselves rather than God, I believe are also nontheistic.
Secular spiritualities which focus on the world rather than on God seem
also to be ultimately nontheistic. Also, the authority of the Magisterium
the Church does not fit in well with nontheism. Nontheists would tend to
see the authority of the Pope and bishops coming from below rather than

Dissenting theologians, however, do not readily admit to nontheism. I once
attended a talk by a theologian whose nontheism was fairly apparent from
his writings. I asked him if God would still exist if the universe were
completely destroyed. He did not answer the question, but he made the
comment that many other theologians think like he does, but they are not
as open or honest about it. Nontheistic theologians usually do not reveal
their nontheism with their words. They do reveal where they are coming
from by what they emphasize or de-emphasize. I suspect that those who
oppose Eucharistic Adoration ultimately come from a nontheistic outlook.
Mel Gibson's Passion is based on the traditional teaching that Jesus
Christ died for our sins. Those who are nontheists, will not see much
value in the movie since the Redemption does not fit well with nontheism.
For nontheists, sin is not an offense against the Supreme Being.

This "hidden nontheism" has worked great mischief on ordinary Catholics.
Most are still theists in theory but are nontheists in practice because
nontheism is in the air of secular society and this air has penetrated
deeply into the Church. The wide acceptance among Catholics of abortion,
contraception, and premarital sex are the fruits of the moral relativism
which derives from nontheism. Many within the Church have supported rather
than opposed this penetration of nontheism. Fortunately, Pope John Paul
II, Cardinal Ratzinger, and many others right down to the local level have
recognized the problem. They are attacking the "Gates of Hell" and those
gates will not prevail.

I would like to see a specifically theistic sentence or phrase inserted
into the creed which is recited at Mass. It should be something which the
nontheists could not recite without being hypocrites. Just as the Nicene
Creed was aimed at the Arians of the early century of the Church,
something should be aimed at the nontheists of the present. In truth, I do
not see anything like this happening because the nontheists are extremely
strong in the Church and can easily block such a move.

Thank you to any of you who have gotten this far in this rather lengthy

Pax et Bonum

Jim Nugent

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I'll believe it when I see it

Apparently, spam's going downhill because society won't deal with it. But Mexico's government tried to outlaw the Church in a country over 95% Catholic and they did it for like 80 years, no? 2 years no spam my butt. Check out this line:
"In society, you never have a majority suffering under an onslaught from an inconsiderate minority."
Reminds me of another interesting line, something like this:
I notice everyone who's pro-choice has already been born.
If only I could remember the attribution.


Parents! Are you worried about your teenage son or daughter frequenting unwholesome arcades, associating with the dregs of their peer group, and spending all their allowance on games containing bloody murder, sex and profanity?

Well, worry no longer! Nu Ministries Ntertainment technology has licensed the popular Japanese fad of BeMani, or 'Musical Games', for the power of the Church! Yes, using Government funding, your Church can have one of our revolutionary 'Dance Dance Resurrection' games installed free of charge (non funded institutions charged at $4000 per installation) - And the Arcade must accept the proposal, thanks to our statute on Freedom of Religious Speech.

Yikes. Thanks to et cetera for the link

Godspy on stopping the bad stuff

A fascinating little article about how pols should deal with abortion and how the church has dealt with it, with particular praise for el Papa. He is quite the cookie . . . ok that metaphor didn't go anywhere.
What I’m advising goes against that traditional “avoid the abortion issue” recommendation. I’m saying that your position on abortion – which side you’re on – is going to be known anyway. Every reporter reports it because it’s such a big issue. Since they know your position and it’s such a big issue, talk about it in a big way, in a new way, that people aren’t used to hearing: “I’m against abortion and I’m also going to do all this stuff to help women, those who’ve already had abortions.” That’s new and interesting, and it’s something, for the post-abortive women, where they can say “wow, somebody really cares about me.”
I think Touchstone recently had an article about stuff like this and an exchange in the letters section, but I'm too lazy/busy to look it up right now. The point being, it isn't good to yell at people and call them names. Even if true. You have to love them, even if they want you to bite the dust. That's how you win. Smother them with goodness and love and Lamb's blood and all that good stuff. Harshness is important, but it seems to me to be best reserved for politicians and others who are playing for power, not for the people who are essentially attacking their own lives and livelihoods.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Go figure

It's how to say a Low Mass! Incidentally it seems that the paten is what the priest has the hostia on before it is consecrated.
Prepare the missal, if necessary, marking the appropriate pages with ribbons. Wash your hands, saying the prayer "Da, Domine" and then, if necessary, prepare the chalice and paten. Then make the sign of the cross and as you vest say the vesting prayers. (It is expected that the priest is already wearing a cassock. If not it should be put on first, it is unbecoming to put vestments on over ordinary outdoor clothes.)

The amice is put on first, followed by the alb, the cincture, the maniple, the stole and lastly the chasuble. The cross on the amice, maniple and stole is first kissed before the vestment is put on. When putting on the amice it should first be placed on the head and then at once lowered and arranged around the neck. When vested put on the biretta.

Which matters little to most of you but somewhat to one. My favorite part is the little bit about the cassock. "Unbecoming". Oh well, hope springs eternal. Good thing it's a theological virtue and not an emotion.

BBC -- Logic check

Reading a BBC article and noticed a cute little bug:
Titan will provide a unique opportunity to travel back in time. Conditions on the Saturnian moon today resemble Earth's own atmosphere billions of years ago, in which the chemical reactions necessary for the origin of life must have taken place.
No, they didn't have to take place. They possibly did, but must assumes that the probability of life forming from non-life is above zero, which you'll have a hard time making a case for to some.

Excellent reference

Gor the prolifely inclined. Lots of links. He's also looking for someone to host.

Quote of the Day

For once, something serious.
"Maybe Progressives think the Holy Spirit should be fired for such mismanagement."

I'd go with you, but it's too right-wing an analogy for your intended audience. Instead, they usually encourage us to think of the Holy Spirit as the theological liberal of the Trinity, a marginalized junior partner who has some really good things to say. Like ordain everything that moves, and free love anyone that wants it for whatever duration, as long as it is committed right now.

Thinking back about that last remark, is there no end to their tendency to remake God in their own image?
Old Oligarch

NB refers to this

95% of everything written on all topics is rubbish

Another strange book in the tradition of "Constantine's Sword", or so it seems from the review.

PRESUMABLY, CRAMER'S intention is to give his prose a spoken quality, to capture voices and to project one of his own. There are, however, two problems with this. First, it is hard to endure 280 pages of unremitting syntactic crapulence. Second, the purpose of the ellipsis is not emphasis but elision. This is something Cramer seems not to understand, and it is the failing of the whole book: as he hops from one thumping indictment to another, he skips over every inconvenient fact, detail and nuance.

Thus, in explaining Ariel Sharon's malignant role in perpetuating the so-called cycle of violence, Cramer states as fact that "In the summer of [Sharon's] first year, 2001, Hamas had observed a cease-fire on Israeli civilians for a couple of months, until July 31, when the Israelis assassinated two Hamas commanders in Nablus."

Well, not quite. Between the June 1 attack on the Dolphinarium disco and July 31 the following attacks on Israeli civilians took place:

June 11, 2001: Yehuda Chaim Shoham, a five-month old boy is critically wounded in a stone throwing attack on his parents' car. He later dies.

June 12, 2001: Gur Pzipokatsatakis, a 35-year-old Greek Orthodox monk, is shot in a drive-by attack, and dies.

June 18, 2001: Doron Zisserman, 38, father of four, is shot in the head, and dies.

June 20, 2001: Ilya Kirivitz, 62, is shot in the head, and dies.

June 28, 2001: Ekaterina Weintraub, 24, is shot in the chest, and dies.

July 2, 2001: Aharon Abadian, 41, father of four, is shot at point-blank range, and dies.

July 2, 2001: Ya'ir Har-Sinai, 51, father of nine, is shot in the head and back, and dies. He is described as a "man of nature" who "would tend his sheep with no weapons and was on friendly terms with neighboring Arabs."

July 4, 2001: Eliyahu Naaman, 32, is shot at point-blank range, and dies.

July 13, 2001: David Cohen, 31, is shot in the head and chest in a drive-by attack, and dies.

July 24, 2001: Yuri Gushtzin, 18, is shot and stabbed to death.

July 26, 2001: Ronen Landau, 17, is shot in a drive-by attack, and dies.

The list excludes Israeli soldiers killed during this period. It fails to mention the July 16 suicide bombing at the Binyamina railway stop, which killed two soldiers but was aimed at civilians. It excludes an attempt to stage an attack at the opening of the Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem, which failed when the bomb exploded prematurely. It excludes a foiled suicide attack in the town center of Afula. And while it is true that most—though not all—of the victims listed above were killed in the territories, it is not precisely clear why they should be discounted as civilians. Was little Yehuda Chaim Shoham a perpetrator of occupation and thus a legitimate military target?

Monday, June 14, 2004


Article about Catholic holy books. Actually kind of fascinating, but limited appeal probably.

My only question is, is this is there good logic or bad logic in the decision?

Here's some nice news to start the week off with.


The Supreme Court just ruled -- last hour -- that a California
atheist has no legal right to ban the Pledge of Allegiance from his
daughter's school and others nationwide because he did not have
legal authority to speak for the child.

Remember, the kid is living with her mother.

But – there's always a but – the High Court in its ruling avoided
weighing in on general church-state issues.

You read it here first, folks!

I’ll put up the full story on the front page -- -- as soon as I get the details.

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming already in
Binyamin L. Jolkovsky
Editor in Chief

Madonna or the Madonna?

I want to correct one mistake in the following at the outset, however: Madonna is a stage name. She was born Louise Veronica Ciccone. So the sacrilegious use of the name is intentional on her part.

Naming her daughter Lourdes is more of her weird love-hate relationship with traditional Catholic devotions, which I've guessed must be similar to the way gay men turn the elaborate aesthetics and reverential deference of Catholic worship into something erotic. As best said by my gay boss, as a greeting to another fag: "Hail, Holy Queen!"

Thanks to Old Oligarch for the update.


Turns out that Schechter is 5 minuites from Wein on foot. Yikes.

A Modest Proposal

Good to know that nothing matters. I'm going out and finding a hooker.
Every day in every way we are, I am told, getting better and better. How do we know? Well, for one thing, there's ready access to culture (like the Lollapalooza Grunge Festival we occasionally celebrate near my beloved Seattle). There are also cleaner, safer abortions (if you don't let fundamentalists cow you into making overdrawn definitions about for whom, precisely, they are safe). And, of course, TV screens are larger than ever. This last item is especially important because it feeds into our increasingly receptive minds the critical information we need to know (such as the scientifically proven fact that every day in every way we're getting better and better—and that we should buy more and larger screen TVs).

In addition, proof of our upwardly mobile sociological evolution can be seen in the fact that we are no longer shackled by superstitious adherence to the taboos of a bygone age. Unlike olden days when, in Thomas Howard's words, human beings "believed they had souls, and that what they did in this life had some bearing on the way in which they would finally experience reality" we now know that nothing means anything, it just is. This, I am assured by my large screen TV, is a staggering ethical leap. To read transcendent significance into a cluster of atoms is pure illusion (I learned this from Carl Sagan on "Cosmos"). Now we know that truth lies not in this meaningless flux of physical events (and all events, I am told, are merely physical events), but in our personal truth of the moment—how we feel, not in what things "are" and not in what they might "mean."

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Bishop update courtesy of American Life League

D'ARCY: Indiana Gov. Joseph Kernan was prohibited from speaking at a Catholic high school because of his support for abortion. This follows Bishop John M. D'Arcy's objection to Dr. Nancy Snyderman's scheduled appearing at a Catholic college.
(Action: Thank you e-mails may be sent to the attention of Bishop John M. D'Arcy at
(Reading: "Fort Wayne bishop bans pro-abortion governor from high school commencement," LifeSiteNews, 5/3/04,

OLMSTED: Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted writes, "I call upon all Catholics, especially those in public life, to examine their consciences, and to refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they are unambiguously pro-abortion. As a bishop, I shall continue to pray for an end to abortion and other sins against life; I shall stand up for the life and dignity of every human person and I urge all people of good will to do the same. Should some Catholic politicians who are presently pro-abortion obstinately persist in this contradiction to our faith, this becomes a source of scandal and measures beyond those of moral persuasion would be needed. As God tells us in the Book of Leviticus (19:16), 'You shall not stand by idly when your neighbor's life is at stake.'"
(Reading: "Bishop Olmstead responds to Arizona Republic Article printed May 21, 2004," Diocese of Phoenix news release, 5/24/04,

SHEEN: Some 32 years ago, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said, "Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops and your religious act like religious."
(Reading: Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, before the Knights of Columbus, June 1972,

Suffering Servant ie Messiah

At this point the Petrine hymn sketches a wonderful synthesis of the Passion of Christ, modeled on the words and images of Isaiah, applied to the figure of the Suffering Servant (cf. Is 53) and reinterpreted in the Messianic key of the ancient Christian tradition.

3. This hymn that tells the history of the Passion consists in four negative (cf. I Pt 2:22-23a) and three positive declarations (cf. 2:23b-24), in which it describes the fortitude of Jesus in that terrible and grandiose event.

It begins with the twofold affirmation of his absolute innocence in the words of Isaiah 53:9: "He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips" (I Pt 2:22). This statement is followed by two further considerations on his exemplary behaviour, inspired by meekness and gentleness: "When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten" (I Pt 2:23). The Lord's patient silence is not only a courageous act but a generous one. It is also a trusting gesture in regard to the Father, as suggested by the first of the three positive affirmations, "he trusted to him who judges justly" (ibid.). His was a total and perfect trust in divine justice that leads history towards the triumph of the innocent.

Sorry for the slow day

But I'm in the midst of wiping out my computer and putting it back together. Good times! So I will advise you to read whatever you can find about Corpus Christi, because it's good stuff. St. Thomas More too, he had a good play about him. A Man for All Seasons.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Why I shouldn't write my own material

So I had two thoughts today. I know, a record.

Firstly. I always seem to forget, when giving people the sign of peace, or signum pacis, that there's a very important Someone in the room who deserves more of my attention, to put it mildly. Why is that, is it good, is it bad? I've recently been reading Archabbot Baur's book "In Silence with God" and I have the feeling that he would say that the Eucharist is in its form to allow us an opportunity to struggle with the obvious sensory perception (it's bread) and get at the truth behind it (it's not).

Secondly. After Mass one day next week I was walking out and I kneeled before the Blessed Sacrament shrine and low and behold I had an image in my head. People often say that we must reflect divine glory with our souls because all goodness is from above. I think Dante really likes that imagry. At any rate, I had this image of light pouring out of the Blessed Sacrament, hitting my chest oh about a little below my neck where I estimated the Eucharist was at that point and shining out as if it were a polished mirror. Thus, the Eucharist really lets our souls reflect light, not just the normal reflection you get say off of a piece of wood. Interesting.

Friday, June 11, 2004


I just don't understand Progressive ecclesiology. If you believe that the Holy Spirit has been leading the Catholic Church and at the same time for 2000 years it has wrongly condemned homosexual acts and homosexual marriage. Maybe Progressives think the Holy Spirit should be fired for such mismanagement. This subject is not just some minor point, If homosexual activity was truly a good than the constant teaching of the Church would be a lie. If we can't trust the Church on a matter so important then how can we trust what it has said on anything? The divinity of Christ, the Trinity, our redemptive salvation could all be errors in this topsy-turvy theology of the Church. They mention that there are only five verses in the Bible that deal with homosexuality. Of course they don't mention the number of scripture examples of committed homosexual couples, which is exactly zero. How about the number of Church fathers who condoned homosexuality? Exactly zero again. So if we just totally ignore scripture, tradition and the magisterium then hey why not endorse homosexuality. What is the point of being Catholic if you can't know for sure if a teaching of the faith is true or not. This is closer to Gnosticism where only some people can attain to the secret knowledge of what the truth is.

NPR says:
The story by legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg aired recently on NPR's "Morning Edition." She was speaking of an elderly Jewish woman whose aunt and uncle died in Europe in the years around World War II.

"Jews don't believe in an afterlife, but she says she hopes they know what has happened this week," Totenberg said.

Radio talk-show host Michael Medved, an observant Jew, was stunned at the statement.

"I almost crashed the car," he said. "First of all, this is government-funded National Public Radio. And it's an outrage. It's a slander to all believing Jews everywhere."

One one hand it's nuts. Of coure, on the other hand I've read articles from rabbis trying to explain how afterlife belief is not defined quite so much. Of course, I thought they were full of it when I was reading it so I tend to symphathize w/ person number two. Of course I probably just misunderstood everyone involved. Oy vey.

Lest anyone accuse me of being a pinko Commie

No, I don't think going Canadian is the answer any more than I think Michael Moore knows what he's talking about.
For decades our Canadian friends and relatives cast pitying glances at their poor American neighbors who have to pay for heath care while Canada's medical insurance is "free".

On the other side of the border, Americans like Representative James McDermott, MD (D-WA) fantasize about importing the Canadian health care dream to the U.S. so that every citizen has "equal access" to medical care.

But more and more Canadians are awakening — not from a dream — but from a nightmare. The results are coming in. After years of government-controlled health care, the ordinary Canadian patient is noticing his health care system is ailing badly. Plus it's bleeding money — his hard-earned tax dollars.

Comparing Canada with other industrialized countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that provide universal access to health care, a study released by The Fraser Institute in May revealed that Canada spends more on its system than other nations while ranking among the lowest in several key indicators, such as access to physicians, quality of medical equipment, and key health outcomes.
Ugh. Canadians.

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