Sunday, October 31, 2004

Send this man some love

Poor Jarred. And his evil roommates.

News from Yisroel!

Oh did I misspell that


Message: 1
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004 17:29:34 +0200
From: Lobelio
Subject: The Watergate Affair

Dear All,

The summer is over in Jerusalem. Yesterday there were 34 C / 93 F in
the morning but only 18 C / 64 F at noon. Clouds came with hail and
chilly storm rain. It was the first rain in previous six months. When I
ascended the roof I saw the desert became green and I smelled the air full
of flower aroma.

Roofs are horizontal and are made in terraces. Living above I see what my
neighbours do and their wash-tubs gathering rainfall. After the sun boils
this water, it is excellent for baths. "And it came to pass in an
eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof
of the king's house. And from the roof he saw a woman washing herself. And
the woman was very beautiful to look upon." (2 Sam 11:2) I do not have so
excellent view as David had, for the nearest building is a leprosorium.
That is something that did not change since the Biblical times, I see many
dying of leprosy.

Water that omits wash-tubs travels through gutters to cisterns that
are located under yards. The deepest one I saw is seven meters deep.
So, I try to be polite and silent because I do not want to deal with
the same problems one of loquacious prophets had. "Then took they
Jeremiah, and cast him into the cistern (...) that was under the court of
the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon
there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire." (Jer 38,6)

The cisterns are only a part of water system. The most of water comes from
spings. The ancient Jerusalem was dependant from an abundant spring of
Gihon, the same one where Salomon was crowned, "and [they] caused Solomon
to ride upon king David's mule, and brought him to Gihon (...) and all the
people said, God save king Solomon!" (1 Kings 1:38-39)

The Gihon is out of walls on a slope and, however it run to the
Kidron, part of water run to an underground niche under the city. A
shaft goes up from the niche. It is called the Warren's Shaft or the
Watergate. Buckets for water were lowered here in the time of a siege when
Gihon was unaccessable. Not by charging the walls but by climbing the
ropes of buckets the men of David took the Jebusite city. (cf. 2 Sam 5:8)

Hezekiah, the king of Judea, did not want to be attacked in the same
way as David came into to the city, so he closed the shaft in the time of
Assyrian siege in 701 before Christ. He ordered to dig a tunnel, so all
waters of Gihon would go to a pool inside of the walls. For many people
can use a pool simultanously, and a shaft is very inconvenient. "Hezekiah
also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down
to the west side of the city of David." (2 Chron 32:30)

The tunnel is 533 meters / 1750 feet long and you can travel it with a
torch walking in water up to your knees. There is also an ancient Hebrew
inscription inside, which gives a hint that the tunnel was digged from two
directions simultanously. When finally you get out of the tunnel, the pool
you are in is called Siloe. Tunel ma 533 metry dlugosci i mozna nim
przejsc z latarka w reku, wode majac po kolana. Mniej wiecej na
trzechsetnym metrze jest starohebrajska inskrypcja, z ktorej wynika, ze
kopano z dwu stron rownoczesnie, i ze tym sposobem zdecydowano sie
upamietnic miejsce spotkania obu zespolow robotnikow. Sadzawka, do ktorej
sie dochodzi nosi nazwe Siloah.


PS. It takes King David to break into the Watergate without the danger of
an impeachment following.

PPS. Thanks to your support I will have enough money to eat even twice a
day. But the checks need to be prooved before I will get the cash (which
will happen on November 15). As for now I am trying to arrange supper for
I have not eaten for 27 hours.

PPPS. I keep Mrs. Lewis in my prayers.


Rabbi Carmy is coming to give a talk at St. Paul's Chapel about Rambam. You should come. It will be good. There will be food.

Well, I don't think I'm going to Hell for this . . .

It [The Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes and teaches that the legal prescriptions of the old Testament or the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, holy sacrifices and sacraments, because they were instituted to signify something in the future, although they were adequate for the divine cult of that age, once our lord Jesus Christ who was signified by them had come, came to an end and the sacraments of the new Testament had their beginning. Whoever, after the passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally. It does not deny that from Christ's passion until the promulgation of the gospel they could have been retained, provided they were in no way believed to be necessary for salvation. But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation. Therefore it denounces all who after that time observe circumcision, the sabbath and other legal prescriptions as strangers to the faith of Christ and unable to share in eternal salvation, unless they recoil at some time from these errors. Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation.

I can't believe how much this council is coming up recently. First the traditionalists use it to argue such and such, then the doctors use it to argue about my damnation. Any insight? It's from the 11th session of the Council of Florence. I really can't imagine that the Council Fathers meant to make it sound this bad in English, since the talk about the "observation/practice of circumcision", which is somehow related also to placing hope in it. I'll sort out this one later.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Welcome to the man from the Pacific Rim

Who came here looking for "Advanced Homosex Images". I don't even know what that means. Ick.

Errors in the Bible?

You decide.

(Hint: The answer is "no")

What a classic

Elaine Dickinson:
Would you like something to read?
Do you have anything light?
Elaine Dickinson:
Umm, how 'bout this leaflet: "Famous Jewish Sports Legends"?

Capt. Rex Kramer:
Do you know what it's like to fall in the mud and get kicked, in the head, by an iron boot? Of course you don't--no one does--that never happens.

Dr. Rumack:
You'd better tell the Captain we've got to land as soon as we can. This woman has to be gotten to a hospital.
Elaine Dickinson:
A hospital--what is it?
Dr. Rumack:
It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.

The Maryknolls manage to get through an entire election analysis without mentioning abortion

Do you think I should have any dealings with them in the future?

Kerry and the Election

An overview from CWNews. Includes my quote of the day:

There was an oddly asymmetrical quality to the debate among American bishops earlier in the summer. The "conservative" bishops like Archbishop Burke--soon joined by others including Bishops Robert Vasa of Baker City, Oregon, and Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska--directed their public statements against the actions of unrepentant public sinners. The "liberal" bishops replied by criticizing their own brother bishops. One group of bishops tried to address the source of a scandal; the other group tried to quiet the complaints without addressing the scandal itself.

Friday, October 29, 2004

I love it even more when they're incoherent

Dear Scholars,

Paul Boghossian
Professor of Philosophy; Chair, Department of Philosophy

will speak on "Is Knowledge Relative to Culture?"

According to the Azande of Central Africa, certain events (misfortunes)
are to be explained by witchcraft; according to Western science, no event
is to be explained by witchcraft. Can we say that the Azande are wrong to
believe in witchcraft? Or is the most we can say something relative--
according to them, there are witches, but according to us, there aren't?

on Monday, November 8
5:00 p.m.
Jurow Lecture Hall, Room 101A Silver Center

Let's do a thought exercise. I put a bullet into your dog. I say a bullet killed your dog. You say you don't believe in bullets, so your dog must be ok. Can we both be right?

Not so much, not if the dog's real anyway, or if your name's not Derrida.

BTW I don't think you could say that science can't accept witchcraft, unless your scientist is also a metaphysician. At least I think so, I'm a little hazy on the details being buried in statistics at the moment.

I love it when people are silly

Non-partisan until you endorse someone. Good strategy.

Amusingly enough, the tag-lines to the press releases announcing
both complaints carry this statement:

"Catholics for a Free Choice is a non-partisan organization. We do
not support or oppose candidates for public office."

And yet, on their website you can find a press release entitled,
"Catholics for a Free Choice Supports Proposition 71: The California
Stem Cell Research & Cures Initiative."

The tag-line of that document, incidentally, is identical to the
others in all respects but one: It omits the line about being "a
non-partisan organization."

I‘ll keep you updated as events develop.

All the best,

Brian Saint-Paul

Anyone have any info on this?

Message: 7
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 19:07:04 -0500
From: "Timothy"
Subject: RE: This is our Elected leader...

People forget that Clinton did not get the popular vote either.

Here's some history on presidents elected without the popular vote.

In 1912, Woodrow Wilson received 41.8% of the popular vote.

In 1916, Woodrow Wilson received 49.3%.

In 1948, Harry S Truman received 49.5%.

In 1960, John F Kennedy received 49.7%.

In 1968, Richard M Nixon received 43.4%.

In 1992, William J Clinton received 43%.

In 1996, William J Clinton received 49%.

In 2000, George W Bush received 47.8%.

Tim Farness



And it looks super-cool. Anyone interested?


Message: 3
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 14:56:27 -0000
From: "Marshall"
Subject: Re: The Jewish Catholic and Jewish Law

Hi, David, Marilyn and all:

I've been away from the list for a day or so. Boy have I missed some

I think a source for Marilyn's statement that a Jew who considers
himself under the authority of the rabbis cannot become a Catholic
may be found in Cardinal Ratzinger's book on Covenants. I'm sorry I don't
have the exact title.

But he makes the point that is rather obvious and is everywhere in
the NT: Yeshua speaks with an authority that is greater than that of the
rabbis. He is not another interpreter of Torah. He is the GIVER of
Torah. Hence, his interpretation is absolutely authoritative and trumps
all others.

Yeshua passed this authority on to the twelve apostles and their
successors. They are the ones who "judge" the twelve tribes of
Israel. "He who hears you hears Me."

Although Peter may have continued to observe dietary laws after
Pentecost, he very soon began to "live like a Gentile" (to quote St.

I have no problem with HCs observing some Mosaic customs, as long as this
is seen as voluntary and not required. "Circumcision means nothing. Lack
of circumcision means nothing."

Today is the feast of two apostles, Simon and Jude. I think one of
the antiphons of the Morning Prayer is relevant to this discussion:

The holy city of Jerusalem had twelve foundation-stones,
and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
The Lamb himself was the light of that city.

This is at the heart of our faith.



Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Give me my money

Software publishers generally insist that their products are Licensed, Not Sold -- and that they therefore can deprive you of the fair use rights you'd otherwise have with, say, a book or a music CD. But our recent discussions about copy protection have prompted several readers to point out a contradiction in the software industry's way of thnking.

"The recent gripe about DRM in the little kid's game reminded me of an old gripe of mine," wrote one reader. The CD for his kids' favorite game -- a copy-protected Broderbund product that prevented making a backup copy -- had gotten too scratched to load. "I contacted Broderbund and requested to pay to swap media. They said they had no more media and no way for me to recover the game. They would not even provide for a download copy or some other arrangements. The game was a few years old and I had all of the material to prove ownership, but now all I had was a useless CD."

But if the game was licensed, not sold, shouldn't he still have a right to a working copy? "It really drove home that the software companies want the best of both worlds," the reader with the defunct Broderbund CD says. "They claim that they are not selling you the program on the CD but rather licensing you to use the software. When the software becomes unusable, they switch their tune and tell you that you own a physical CD that you have damaged and you no longer have your license to the software."

Ethics in the workplace

Capitalism based on profoundly unethical behaviors where contributions, needs, wants, and money become unbalanced has never worked in the long run. It breeds, instead, a complete attitude of "I don't care, I just work here" on the part of employees. It also builds anger and paranoia in consumers and consumer groups served whether it is me shopping for groceries or the Pentagon buying services for Iraq reconstruction.

The Christians had a lot of trouble with the legacy of Greek commercialism for a reason -- their attachment to commercial practices (and the wealth brought by them) instead of values related to a higher power. I'm not defending Christianity any more than I am doing a 'dis on capitalism. What I am pointing out is that people shouldn't just chose between two bad things without making a commitment to making a change even when the cost is high. Sometimes, you, as a columnist, send a message to employees that going along and getting along is OK even when it might be unethical to do so.

Capitalism falters because it is increasingly one-sided -- winning at all costs. I think that the best capitalists are those who build on "reasonable expectations" for profit, market share, and for delivering quality.

I sense a little Thomas here. FYI, Advice Line by Bob Lewis, while sometimes annoying, is always informative. I recommend signing up.

Go St. Augustine!

Rome, Oct. 26 ( - Relics of St. Augustine will be brought to Rome for veneration in November, as the Church marks the 1,650th anniversary of his birth.

The relics of St. Augustine (354-430)-- Bishop of Hippo and Doctor of the Church-- have been kept for centuries in an ancient church in Pavia, in northern Italy. They will be transferred to Rome in November, for a week of events organized for the anniversary celebration. From November 7 to 15, the Vatican has organized a series of conferences, theological discussions, and Eucharistic celebrations in Rome. The relics of St. Augustine be exposed for veneration during that week at St. Augustine's church in Rome, then at the Augustinianum Institute, and finally in Ostia, where St. Monica, the mother of the great theologian, died. Finally, the relics are expected to be kept overnight in the private chapel of Pope John Paul II.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

And while we're on the subject of Dan Brown

I thought we could have a little review of Gnosticism. Just listen to how Christian it sounds:

Gnostic salvation is not merely individual redemption of each human soul; it is a cosmic process. It is the return of all things to what they were before the flaw in the sphere of the Æons brought matter into existence and imprisoned some part of the Divine Light into the evil Hyle (Hyle). This setting free of the light sparks is the process of salvation; when all light shall have left Hyle, it will be burnt up, destroyed, or be a sort of everlasting hell for the Hylicoi. In Basilidianism it is the Third Filiation that is captive in matter, and is gradually being saved, now that the knowledge of its existence has been brought to the first Archon and then to the Second Archon, to each by his respective Son; and the news has been spread through the Hebdomad by Jesus the son of Mary, who died to redeem the Third Filiation. In Valentinianism the process is extraordinarily elaborate. When this world has been born from Sophia in consequence of her sin, Nous and Aletheia, two Æons, by command of the Father, produce two new Æons, Christ and the Holy Ghost; these restore order in the Pleroma, and in consequence all Æons together produce a new Æon, Jesus Logos, Soter, or Christ, whom they offer to the Father. Christ, the Son of Nous and Aletheia, has pity on the abortive substance born of Sophia and gives it essence and form. Whereupon Sophia tries to rise again to the Father, but in vain. Now the Æon Jesus-Soter is sent as second Saviour, he unites himself to the man Jesus, the son of Mary, at his baptism, and becomes the Saviour of men. Man is a creature of the Demiurge, a compound of soul, body, and spirit. His salvation consists in the return of his pneuma or spirit to the Pleroma; or if he be only a Psychicist, not a full Gnostic, his soul (psyche) shall return to Achamoth. There is no resurrection of the body. (For further details and differences see VALENTINUS.)

I mean, I worship Jesus-Soter the Aeon of Jesus sent by Nous and Aletheia all the time. Sounds just like first century Jewish belief to me.

History lesson

Today we'll be learning about Marcion, a rather harsh fellow who had some ideas about religion. He runs in the same circle as Arius. Of his movement:

Heretical sect founded in A.D. 144 at Rome by Marcion and continuing in the West for 300 years, but in the East some centuries longer, especially outside the Byzantine Empire. They rejected the writings of the Old Testament and taught that Christ was not the Son of the God of the Jews, but the Son of the good God, who was different from the God of the Ancient Covenant. They anticipated the more consistent dualism of Manichaeism and were finally absorbed by it. As they arose in the very infancy of Christianity and adopted from the beginning a strong ecclesiastical organization, parallel to that of the Catholic Church, they were perhaps the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known.

I guess you can figure out which circle I'm talking about. Most interestingly,

How far Marcion admitted a Trinity of persons in the supreme Godhead is not known; Christ is indeed the Son of God, but he is also simply "God" without further qualification; in fact, Marcion's gospel began with the words; "In the fifteenth year of the Emperor Tiberius God descended in Capharnaum and taught on the Sabbaths". However daring and capricious this manipulation of the Gospel text, it is at least a splendid testimony that, in Christian circles of the first half of the second century the Divinity of Christ was a central dogma.

Or as I like to put it, booya, Dan Brown. Go lick an ecumenical council.

Monday, October 25, 2004


This is more exciting than when my mother told me I didn't have to take my shoes off when I went into the house. And I was 19 when I found that out.

Dear Editor:

I was brought up with the belief that "and" should not be used to start a sentence, but I see it often. What is your position on this point of grammar?

— E.M., Warwick, R.I.

Dear E.M.:

Grammarians agree that it's acceptable to begin a sentence with "and," even though everybody admits to having been taught at some past time that the practice is wrong.

One commentator has speculated that the rule of not using "and" to begin a sentence was made to keep children from stringing together independent clauses or simple declarative sentences with "ands": "We got in the car and we went to the movie and I bought some popcorn and ... ." As children grow older and master the more sophisticated ways of connecting clauses and making complex sentences, the rule against the use of "and" is no longer needed. But apparently our teachers forgot to tell us this. Consequently, many of us go through life thinking it is wrong to begin a sentence with "and."

The only rule for "and" that definitely applies is not to overuse it as a transitional word at the beginning of sentences, which would then make the writing sound unsophisticated and even choppy. A correct use would be: "The coach told his team that they would win. And he was right."

JWR on Kerry, Part II

Few have answered the question of how Kerry would achieve "multilateralism" — fewer have even asked it. The willingness to believe that he can do it — at least among my Manhattan neighbors — is based on not much more than snobbery. Kerry is a Forbes, he does not speak with a Southern accent, he has some French, he does not have a reputation as a "cowboy," he has not only gone to a good prep school and to Yale, as Bush has done, but he has the accent. Of course European opinion may share the same prejudices. But these are trivial matters — and not all of our European critics are trivial. What really of substance would a President Kerry have to offer them, after the novelty of not being Bush has worn off?

In fact, a President Kerry would have remarkably few options. On the war on terror, he has no more to give. He cannot abandon the fight against terror — although some believe that his way of waging war would be much more attuned to his languid way of doing the few things he has done in his adult life. But the Europeans do not fault us for waging this war, nor are they unwilling to see us wage it primarily with American and British blood and American taxes — as they were happy to see us wage and win the cold war. We are fighting on their behalf, and if we are willing to do so even though it may in the short term hobble our economic competitiveness and our popularity in the less-developed world, well, as the French say, so much the better!

From the "Missing the point " department

There's a Naked Run tonight on campus. The sign said that people shouldn't be cameras, b/c that would just be perverted.

So, a bunch of people are gonna take their clothes off and run around campus like fools and half the world is gonna be standing there drooling and fantasizing. But pictures. That would really be wrong.

American Democracy

Or, why we're quite special after all.

Which brings me back to Adams and Jefferson. The 1800 election bore little resemblance to anything remotely like a modern American election. Few direct votes for president were cast anywhere and after all, African-Americans and women couldn't vote, and in most states, neither could men who didn't own property. But it deserves to be remembered for reasons that have nothing to do with Sally Hemmings or Adams' predilection for suppressing dissent.

Why? Because, the spirit of '76 notwithstanding, 1800 was the real American revolution. That's because it was the first time in American history that a peaceful handover of political power was accomplished.

When Jefferson won, the incumbent Federalists left Washington. They did appoint as many judges as they could in their waning days of power. But when his term ended, John and Abigail Adams packed up their duds and their accumulated grievances, and went home to Massachusetts.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The site, by the way, lies

It thinks I should vote for Kucinich. YIKES. I guess that's what happens when you think both PP and corporate welfare are poop. But he disagrees with me there . . . and Dean? Come on people.

Your Results:

1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%) Click here for info
2. Kucinich, Rep. Dennis, OH - Democrat (53%) Click here for info
3. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (53%) Click here for info
4. Bush, President George W. - Republican (51%) Click here for info
5. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (50%) Click here for info
6. Lieberman, Senator Joe, CT - Democrat (49%) Click here for info
7. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (49%) Click here for info
8. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (45%) Click here for info
9. Clark, Retired General Wesley K., AR - Democrat (44%) Click here for info
10. Badnarik, Michael - Libertarian (43%) Click here for info
11. Cobb, David - Green Party (41%) Click here for info
12. Nader, Ralph - Independent (41%) Click here for info
13. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol, IL - Democrat (39%) Click here for info
14. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (39%) Click here for info
15. Brown, Walt - Socialist Party (36%) Click here for info
16. Gephardt, Rep. Dick, MO - Democrat (34%) Click here for info
17. Hagelin, Dr. John - Natural Law (16%) Click here for info
18. Peroutka, Michael - Constitution Party (15%) Click here for info

Don't know who to vote for?

These people will tell you.

Justice . . .

The US Supreme Court has denied the request of three plaintiffs to hear their case against Planned Parenthood, in which the California women accuse the abortion provider of refusing to educate women about the link between abortion and breast cancer.

The original lawsuit was launched in August 2001 by Agnes Bernardo, Pamela Colip, and Sandra Duffy-Hawkins. The women wanted Planned Parenthood to begin providing women with accurate information about the evidence that abortion raises breast cancer risk; they were not suing for monetary damages.

The Supreme Court dismissed the case, upholding an earlier decision by the California Supreme Court, which ordered the women to pay legal fees in excess of $77,000.

"Twenty-eight out of 37 studies published since 1957 have associated this elective surgical procedure with breast cancer," Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, said following the launch of the suit in 2001. "Women have a right to make fully informed decisions concerning their own health. If women are denied crucial information about the risks of a procedure, can it really be said that a choice ever belonged to them?"

"Accurate information about the research has been censored by Planned Parenthood and its supporters since abortion was legalized in the US nearly three decades ago," Malec now charges. "It was censored by the same people who ardently professed that they cared about women's health. Planned Parenthood's greed will cost women their lives and devastate families. This is a travesty of justice."

God and Oral Law

We might even say that the Oral Law was given to us orally because even after receiving the Torah at Sinai man's job was not complete. G-d gave us principles and rules of Biblical exegesis, but He did not spell out for us every detail of our lives. G-d was not interested in dictating to man step-for-step how he must live his life. His "kingdom of priests" (Exodus 19:6) was not to be an army of mindless automatons, each following a prepared script and acting precisely the same way. G-d made each of us different. Each of us must study the Torah and interpret its personal and individualized message for him or for her. Thus, we did not merely become *recipients* of G-d's Torah; we became G-d's *partners*. We would take the Torah, master it, and apply it to all of life's situations. And so, the Oral Torah represents the fact that even after giving us the Torah, G-d's work was not complete. Only we can complete G-d's sacred mission. Only we can take G-d's eternal messages, assimilate them, and apply them to our lives.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Go Yale

A student lights one of 167 luminaries arranged in the shape of a cross on Cross Campus Thursday to protest abortion.

Or, don't read too much into the language analysis

(2) The Aramaisms may perhaps be explained in still another way. We probably possess the Old Testament, not in the original wording and orthography, but in a form which is slightly revised. We must unquestionably distinguish, it seems, between Biblical Hebrew as an unchanging literary language and the conversational Hebrew, which underwent constant changes. For there is no instance anywhere that a spoken language has been preserved for some nine hundred years so little changed in its grammar and vocabulary as the language of our extant canonical books. Let us, for an instance, compare the English, French, or German of nine hundred years ago with those languages in their present form. Hence it seems exceedingly daring to infer from the written Hebrew the character of the spoken language, and from the style of the book to infer the date of its composition. In the case of a literary language, on the other hand, which is a dead language and as such essentially unchangeable, it is reasonable to suppose that in the course of time its orthography, as well as single words and phrases, and, perhaps, here and there, some formal elements, have been subjected to change in order to be more intelligible to later readers. It is possible that Ecclesiastes was received into the canon in some such later edition. The Aramaisms, therefore, may also be explained in this manner; at any rate, the supposition that the time of the composition of a Biblical book may be deduced from its language is wholly questionable.

A little Enoch never hurt anyone

Or, the first guy in the Bible who's really really weird. One of my favorite patriarchs, because he demonstrates quite clearly that Jews do, in fact, believe in things like the afterlife, even though a lot of people are in the habit of sometimes denying these things. To that charge, Rabbi Simmons responds.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Fraud in California

Or, once your state is bankrupt, try to make spending money on growing people to kill for their body parts the priority for your state. Then elect the kindergarten cop as your governator. Yikes.

Rome and the Rabbi

Here's what the Chief Rabbi of Rome didn't like about the Catholic Church.

To illustrate his point, the rabbi pointed to steps taken by the Catholic Church that were unwelcome to Jews: the canonization of Edith Stein, a famous Jewish convert and martyr at Auschwitz; the cause for the beatification of Eugenio Zolli, the former chief rabbi of Rome who converted to Catholicism under the influence of Pope Pius XII; the enthusiasm among Vatican officials for Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ . De Segni argued that the Catholic Church should make strong statements disavowing any effort to convert Jews.


Jesus came, if memory serves, to the Children of Israel. That means that the mission of the Catholic Church to the Jewish people is, if anything, more superimportant than anything else going on (I know this is theologically wrong but I'm using that hyperbole thing to make a point please don't report me). Basically, he's upset that the Church still holds to the Gospel. Oy.

Of course, this whole thing could be all wrong. I guess it's all media after all.

JWR on Kerry

Can I just say OUCH. Or as they put it, rather strongly:

Kerry seems to have nostalgia for the peacemaking ways of Clinton. But what Clinton actually bequeathed to George W., says Benn, was "an Israeli-Palestinian war and a total collapse of the hopes that flourished in the 1990s…. The height of the peace process during the Clinton era, the Camp David summit in July 2000, was a classic example of inept diplomacy, an arrogant and rash move whose initiators failed to take into account the realpolitik, misunderstood Arafat and brought upon both Israelis and Palestinians the disaster of the intifada."

By contrast, Bush has committed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to a Palestinian state and to a withdrawal from some, though certainly not all, of the settlements. In return, the president has recognized that the most populous and strategically pivotal settlements would remain in Israeli hands and has also ruled out what would be suicide for Israel, the return of Palestinian refugees after 56 years. The Palestinians have not yet signed on to these particulars. But they are the future details of any peace.

And the website it's all about

DE FIDE is a non-profit association founded specifically to use every available means of Canon Law to defend the Faith and Church from Heresy and other grievous crimes. To accomplish its mission, DE FIDE initiates lawsuits in Ecclesiastical Court to protect the rights of the faithful and unbaptized. The Association consists of a consortium of premier Canon Law experts around the world who work in tandem to achieve this goal.

Somewhat bizarre things going on from Rome

"I went to Rome in person to submit two critical questions to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith," said Balestrieri. "The first: Whether or not the Church's teaching condemning any direct abortion is a dogma of Divine and Catholic Faith, and if the denial and doubt of the same constitutes heresy. The second: Whether or not a denial of the Church's teaching condemning every right to abortion also constitutes heresy. Father Cole, an expert theologian who studied the matter carefully, responded in the affirmative on both counts."

Father Cole wrote, "If a Catholic publicly and obstinately supports the civil right to abortion, knowing that the Church teaches officially against that legislation, he or she commits that heresy envisioned by Can. 751 of the Code [of Canon Law]. Provided that the presumptions of knowledge of the law and penalty and imputability are not rebutted in the external forum, one is automatically excommunicated ...."

Balestrieri said the response was unusual in several respects: that a response was provided to a layman at the request of the undersecretary in only 11 days, that the response was in writing, decisively clarifying the matter, and that it was in far greater detail than a typical official reply. "Normally, only a bishop may request such clarification of doctrine from the CDF, such responses usually take a much longer time to be received, and they are rarely made public," he said.

He also said that the original canonical complaint of heresy against Kerry had received so much response from the public that the tribunal of the Archdiocese of Boston has been deluged with thousands of letters from ordinary Catholics who wish to add their names to the complaint. The head of the archdiocesan tribunal reportedly told him that the case had not been rejected and was "now in the hands of the archbishop," that is, Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston.

Balestrieri, a self-identified political independent, says that his actions come as a defender of the faith and Holy Eucharist from sacrilege and scandal, not as one focused on an electoral outcome. "Our victory can come as early as today: It would be for Sen. Kerry, who publicly calls himself a Catholic and yet in violation of Canon Law continues to receive Holy Communion, to repent of his grave sin and publicly recant his abortion advocacy."

The complete text of Father Cole's response as well as other details of the pending cases are available on the web site.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Worse website ever


Mail call!

Message: 13
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 12:50:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ken xxxxx
Subject: Re: Would the external observances of a Jewish Catholic offend
other Jews?

In my former life as a "Messianic Jew" in NY I did wear a kippah and was
observant and this quite frankly was just a curiosity to the observant,
orthodox or chassidic but more offensive to the less observant. Of course
there were those in the orthodox camp that would have reacted harshly but
its curious that those with a much stronger Jewish identity other than
just cultural were more threatened. My limited experience would seem to
bear this out.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Prayers pleaes

For Jennifer's father, who got hit by a drunk driver, and for Mrs. Stechick, who has passed away. Dona ea requiem, Domine.

Derri-dandy deconstructionalismic force

So classic

Few intellectual movements have done more to unhinge words from meaning, ideas from philosophical foundations and art from artistry than Derrida's ghastly creation. In 1992, Cambridge University proposed giving Derrida an honorary degree. Twenty professors of philosophy objected that "semi-intelligible attacks upon the values of reason, truth, and scholarship is not, we submit, sufficient grounds for the awarding of an honorary degree in a distinguished university." In a vote of the full faculty, Derrida's supporters prevailed, 336-204.

CS Lewis on the four loves

This and Aristotle's three friendships should be required reading in say the 5th grade.

Does it work? Is it strange?

Message: 12
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 23:40:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Richard
Subject: Cardinal Newman: commandments as types


"...the prescriptions of the Law...were abolished because they were types
and because Christ their atintiype is come. True then as far as they are
types they are abolisehd, but not as far as they are religious services
and principles and elemnts of religius worship." (Cardinal Newman, Sermon

From an historical and theological point of view, Christ has come, but
certainly there remains the continual effort to grow closer to him. And
there are times when he may not seem to be there at all (and even from an
historical point of view, something of his presence awaits the second
coming). Even if the type (the figure) has been superceded by the reality
from an historical point of view, from the point of the of the individual,
the reality is still elusive enough, it seems, to justify holding on to
the figure. The statues and pictures of Jesus that adorn Churches and
privates homes are also figures. They would be pointless in the presence
of Jesus. But they are important, even now, even though Jesus has come,
because few people can feel his presence as concretely and persistenatly
as they can feel it through those figures. The same goes for the
commandments. They are figures, but even now, after the Incarnation and
the Crucifixion, there is still a place for figures.

All the best,

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Balestrieri has an answer of sorts

Also look here

Looks like the Vatican is leaning towards saying that Kerry is excommunicate. Yikes.

Nova Vulgata, seen from 1907

Is that all done yet? I keep mixing it up with the new missal in my head.

Kerry, opportunist or refinist?

This line of attack gains power only with serious oversimplification. Kerry said in the first debate, "We had Osama bin Laden cornered in the mountains of Tora Bora." Kerry doesn't know that. Some intelligence indeed suggests that bin Laden was there. But the U.S. commander on the ground, Gen. Tommy Franks, also had reports that bin Laden was in Kashmir, in southern Baluchistan and northwest of Khandahar near a lake.

Kerry also said, "We didn't use American forces." That is false. The United States expended massive amounts of ordnance at Tora Bora, both laser-guided bombs and the devastating fire of AC-130 gunships. Video feeds from Predator drone planes provided real-time intelligence. American Special Forces troops were present on the ground, if in small numbers.

They weren't there in force on the basis of a strategic choice that Kerry supported. The United States wanted to avoid the Soviet experience in Afghanistan. We could have flooded Afghanistan with roughly 150,000 troops like the Soviets, but at the risk of causing a nationalist reaction. So, the United States instead used Special Forces troops, precision-guided bombs and indigenous forces.

At the time, Kerry was all for it. He told an interviewer in late 2001 that the United States could avoid making Afghanistan into another Vietnam, "as long as we make smart decisions, and we don't go in and repeat what the British or the Russians tried to do. And I don't think we will; I think we're on a different footing." In mid-December 2001, right in the middle of the battle of Tora Bora, he supported the administration's strategy: "I think we have been smart. I think the administration leadership has done it well, and we are right on track." Kerry only cautioned against using too much force: "I am not for a prolonged bombing campaign," he said.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Welcome to my visitor from Harvard!

He apparently came here looking for "homo sexual and bisexual pro and contra. I guess this was an unpleasant surprise.

Right up there with me being called a religious fundamentalist in class today. Bravo!

Go Jessica!

You've been blogged being blogged by me. That's a metablog if I ever saw one.

The real question is, what does that make this entry.

If you're in the mood for something weird today . . .

Pray for a special intention for Zorak the Mantis. Weirdest prayer EVER.

Deliver us from people

"When you're pro-life, you're against the death penalty, you're against abortion, euthanasia," said Maureen Wlodarczyk, 38, a Realtor who backs Kerry. "It's not just the abortion side."


And all said the Catholic hierarchy should stay out of politics.

You heard it here, folks. Mother Teresa and the Pope aren't pro-life and the Church asking Catholics to be Catholic is a bad thing.


Something to be said for the live lived.

Another "hopeless" case

Janice was born with a congenital heart condition that was supposed to have killed her before her fifth birthday. The doctors told my mother not to expect her to live. A specialist in downtown Detroit instructed her not to hope for a miracle, because miracles do not happen.

Our family practitioner, who paid house calls, on the other hand, said he had seen many miracles of healing in his many years of practicing medicine, so “don’t give up hope.” She grew slowly as a girl, one side of her body a little less developed than the other. I remember a few times she would pass out, grow limp and begin to turn blue after a hard fall as a toddler, and my mother would cradle her and press her and shake her to get her to wake up.

Janice was never healed, but she was a fighter. She attended public school, graduated high school, went to college and earned a degree in social work. She chose social work because the head of the nursing program told her she couldn’t physically handle nursing. After she ended up working in a nursing home as a aide, she decided she could handle nursing, went back to school and received her R.N. some time later.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Somehow I don't trust this board

Jst in time for his 26th anniversary

Rome, Oct. 14 ( - Pope John Paul II (bio - news) could soon own a new sports car, courtesy of the famous Italian manufacturer, Ferrari.

Luca Montezemolo, the head of Ferrari, told reporters that his firm was ready to make a special Formula One car for the Holy Father, as a gift to commemorate the 26th anniversary of his papal election.

Montezemolo said that the Pope's test drive-- which provided some free publicity for the auto manufacturer-- came at a time "when Ferrari was not having great success." He said that he was making a new car for the Pontiff because it was "the least I can do to show my appreciation."

The Vatican has not commented on the Ferrari offer.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Happy Anniversary!

One year ago, as he celebrated Mass on the 25th anniversary of his pontifical election, John Paul II prayed to God "that everything will be accomplished according to your will." In his homily at that anniversary Mass in 2003, although he spoke with a shaky voice, the Holy Father laid to rest the current rumors that he might resign from the papacy.

One year later, as he marks his 26th anniversary on October 16, John Paul remains active, in spite of his deteriorating health. He has no special plans for anniversary celebrations. Instead, he is preparing to open the Year of the Eucharist with a Mass on October 17.

On his 25th anniversary, the Pontiff spoke candidly about his physical limitations, saying that he was doing his best to respond to the demands of each new day, leaving his own future in God's hands. He said: "Since the start of my pontificate, my thoughts, my prayers, and my actions have all been driven by a single desire: to bear witness that Christ, the Good Shepherd, is present and working in his Church."

Although many Vatican-watchers have doubted his capacity to continue as leader of the universal Church, John Paul II has continued to astonish the world, filling an active schedule for his 26th year. Long after journalists declared that he would never be able to travel again, the Pope undertook two trips abroad: to Switzerland in June and France in August. He also traveled twice across Italy: to the Alps for his summer vacation, and to Loretto, on the Adriatic coast, to join in a Catholic Action pilgrimage in September.

The Pope's weakness has forced a sharp cutback in his public appearances. He no longer visits the parishes of the Rome diocese, and although he invited the clergy and faithful of several parishes to come to the Vatican to meet with him, those meetings were stopped in March. He has dropped a few traditional ceremonies from his calendar, such as the baptism of infants and ordination of new bishops in January. But he has presided at all of the principal ceremonies of the liturgical year, including the Easter Triduum and Christmas Masses, and the Urbi et Orbi blessings that follow. He also presided at the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday in the Roman Coliseum, and the Corpus Christi procession through the streets of Rome. The Polish Pontiff led six beatification ceremonies during his 26th year; he has now beatified 1,342 people, and canonized 483 new saints. And last October, shortly after his silver-anniversary celebration, he held a consistory to elevate 31 new members to the College of Cardinals.

His speech is now halting, and he ordinarily reads only a portion of his prepared messages during public appearances, leaving aides to deliver the remainder of the text. But the Pope continues to produce a steady flow of written work. On his 84th birthday, May 19, he published a new book with the evocative title Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way, about his experience as a bishop; another new book, Memory and Identity, based on correspondence with an old Polish friend, is due to appear early in 2005. The Roman Curia has produced significant texts which the Holy Father approved-- such as Redemptionis Sacramentum (doc), promulgated by the Congregation for Divine Worship in april 2004; and the Letter to Bishops on the Collaboration of Men and Women, promulgated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in July of this year. And the Pontiff himself produced his annual Letter to Priests on Holy Thursday, and his 44th apostolic letter, Mane Nobiscum Domine, inaugurating the Year of the Eucharist, at the beginning of October.

John Paul II remains a forceful figure on the international scene; during the year he has met with government leaders like US President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has led a vigorous-- albeit unsuccessful-- effort to include a reference to Christianity in the constitution of the European Union.

The Pope has continued to emphasize ecumenical work, hosting the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, in Rome in June; and making a powerful gesture of reconciliation by returning the prized icon of Our Lady of Kazan to the Russian Orthodox Church in August.

On March 14 of this year, the pontificate of John Paul II became the 3rd-longest in the history of the Church-- following only those of Pope Pius IX and St. Peter himself. Although there is no question that age and disease have severely weakened him, he has made it clear that he plans to carry out his duties to the end-- to "die in public view," as one sympathetic observer put it.

Now John Paul II is praying that the Year of the Eucharist will bring a "special time of grace" to the Church as he begins his 27th year on Peter's throne.

What is love?

Hint -- It's not a feeling.

When I prepare my marriage couples, I tell them that the love they feel for each other is going to change over time, and will most probably go through periods in which it diminishes considerably. Realize that this will happen so that, when it does, you won't be alarmed. The married couple's love is not all about feelings, although we hope the feelings are there. The spouses will almost certainly meet other people for whom they have very strong feelings, perhaps even stronger than for their own partners. That is a passion and neither has moral value on its own, nor does it serve as a guide to right moral action.

For the married couple, their love is something willed, decided on, and vowed, and so it surpasses the ups and downs of the passions. This is what makes fidelity and permanence possible in marriage. I've had people ask me whether they weren't being false if they continued an otherwise good marriage when they no longer felt the strong love that they felt before (and this often goes hand-in-hand with having found someone else for whom they do feel that spark of love again).

This seems to me to be one of the biggest problems we have, here in the good old US of A. We don't know how to love. That's my problem anyway. Suggestions?

Chugga Chugga steal money from dead Jews

Progress reported in lawsuit over alleged looting of ‘Gold Train’

By Ann W. O'Neill

A bi-partisan clamor in Congress is growing in an effort to rectify one of the last reversible injustices against Holocaust survivors. Will they beat the clock?

I really don't get it. Just give the people their money back already. What a bunch of low-lifes. Let's get our act together people!

Chesterton on Sex and Property

I'd comment, but that would just ruin the masterpiece that is anything GKC ever wrote.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Why do I find this so amuesing

Even when a fictional author makes material up out of thin air, skeptics still insist on stealing it's just a copy of some Babylonian religion, despite the complete lack of similarities.

This common misconception stems from the hoax edition of the Necronomicon edited by “Simon.” The bulk of this book is supposedly based on Sumerian and Babylonian mythology and claims that Lovecraft drew on similar sources when he created his pseudo-mythology. It makes comparisons between Lovecraft’s creatures and figures in Sumerian mythology:

Lovecraft Sumer
Cthulhu Ctha-lu, Kutulu
Azathoth Azag-thoth
Shub-Niggurath Shub Ishniggarab

These comparisons are especially tenuous, since none of these things exist in Sumerian or Babylonian mythology! Referring to any good text on either mythology demonstrates this. In addition, suggesting that Lovecraft had to lift these names from an existing mythology both goes against his habit of creating entirely non-human names for his creatures and diminishes the quality of his imagination.

From ALL

Connie Lynne Carrillo writes that abortion "isn't an issue of political or religious persuasion, the Left or the Right. This is an issue of being irresponsible members of the human family. Anytime an innocent member of our human family, born or unborn, must sacrifice his or her life, safety, health or happiness to advance our sexual agenda, rid us of our consequences and make life easier for us, that is an immoral act, no matter what your political or religious affiliation. That is a crime against humanity. Such self-serving behavior violates our family and deifies the culture of sexual hedonism."

Will the real father-in-law please stand up?

I have to say, I really don't think modern Biblical critics know much about people. I mean, would you really want to make it obvious who your in-laws are in a a book that's going to be the most widely read book ever? Can you imagine trying to explain that one to your in-laws?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

QOTD, thanks to Z(ed)

Spectators during the hearing included Catholics from several communities around the state as well as representatives of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin.

"I can't believe that in 2004 we're still talking about whether someone has a right to birth control," Kelda Roys, an attorney for NARAL, commented during a break in the proceedings.

Yeah, and you also can't believe that in 2004 we're still talking about whether someone has a right to abortion. Some of us, however, are progressives, not stuck in the 1970s. We see something better.

Love one another

The Torah commands, "Don't hate your brother in your heart; surely reprove your fellow, and don't bear sin towards him" (Lev. 19:17). When someone is acting improperly, we shouldn't write him off and assume he is incorrigible; we should gently explain to him how his acts offend. The great Medieval commentator Nachmanides explains further that we should focus on how we personally are affected by his acts: "Don't hate your brother in your heart when he acts against your desires; rather, reprove him: 'Why did you do that to me?'" Modern psychology confirms Nachmanides insight; people are far more offended by being told they acted against some principle of ethical behavior than they are by being informed that someone individually was hurt by them.

Not just for Catholics!

JWR on Madomma

An interesting take.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Respone to the response

What ever happened to love thy enemy?

Message: 14
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 00:19:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: Richard xxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Can you provide any insights into this ...

Hi Athol,

I lived in Jerusalem for over 30 years, 14 of them in the Old City. I
never saw spitting and it never happened to me. Perhaps you walked in
sections I didn't walk in. In any case, its not the kind of thing a person
is likely to see very often, if at all. Even the newspaper didn't make all
that much of it and attributed it to instigaters.

There is alot of tension in the Old City. It has great holiness and, like
most things that have great holiness, attracts alot of ,
well...characters. And the greater the light, the greater the darkness. So
there's alot that can happen there which is unlikely to happen elsewhere.
Just think of your post of scandalous behavior at the Church of the Holy

A few years ago, I was standing in the vestibule of a Jewish hostel near
the juncture of Arrart and St. James when all of a sudden a Jewish guy
called me out to join him. Just up the block, a bunch of black robed
Armenian seminarians had started beating up a yeshiva student. They
dispersed as we got there.

There's alot going on in the Old City.

Could we just drop this?

All the best,

CISC, RISC, and other things related to computers you should really know.

Let this be officially declared "Mark Shea Day"

The Prophet John making straight the path for Lord Kerry

Cardinal Sin in the hospital

And lots of other good stuff. Go and read.

Good blog

And here's the article he's commenting on

A few weeks ago, a senior Greek Orthodox clergyman in Israel attended a meeting at a government office in Jerusalem's Givat Shaul quarter. When he returned to his car, an elderly man wearing a skullcap came and knocked on the window. When the clergyman let the window down, the passerby spat in his face.

The clergyman prefered not to lodge a complaint with the police and told an acquaintance that he was used to being spat at by Jews. Many Jerusalem clergy have been subjected to abuse of this kind. For the most part, they ignore it but sometimes they cannot.

A response to an article I haven't posted yet

Sort of a NYTimes-esque paper it seems . . .

Message: 1
Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 12:29:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: Richard xxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: Can you provide any insights into this ...

Hi David,

I was not aware of this. The newspaper it appears in is very left wing and
notoriously anti-religious, so although I am not saying that they are
lying, they are not beyond blowing things out of proportion.

I am sure that Yeshivas do not encourage such behaviour, and it is not an
issue that is likely to come to the attention of national religious
leaders here because, as the paper itself reports, "most of the
instigators are yeshiva students studying in the Old City," which is
tantamount to saying that it is a very limited and local phenomenon. By
the way, many of the students in the Old City yeshivas are American! And
they are not all models of studiousness and piety.

Be that as it may, there are all kinds of Jews and there are always a few
hotheads. If this represented anything more--a cultural or religious
phenomenon--it would not be limited to such a small population. Ha-aretz
is the sort of paper that just loves being able to report such a story.
There is a hostility here between the secular and religious that an
American can hardly fathom. Living so close together, secular and
religious life-styles and values often clash. There is no majority gentile
community to reinforce a sense of brotherhood among the Jews inspite of
their differences, and religious differences here have a direct political
expression. There are religious parties and anti-religious parties,
particularly Shinui, which is currently in the government. .

In general, Israel bends backwards to demonstrate religious tolerance and
to guard religious freedom. If some gestures of hatred have, nevertheless,
filtered through from hundreds of years of oppression culminating in the
holocaust, I don't think we should be quick to make judgements and
generalizations. How different our history would be if all that ever
happened to us was that we were spit upon. In Germany, my father was once
beat up and left for dead.

All the best,

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Germania est inferior

Ah how I love bad geography, bad Latin, and worse politics.

August Hanning, the head of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, held a press conference the other day and he ladled out familiar European mush over what's happening in Iraq, noting that the path to security and democracy is "still very rocky." But he conceded that rocky or not, Germany shares with America a mutual stake in the outcome. "All of us have a common interest, whether we take part in the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq" or not, he said. "This country must be stabilized."

Even John Kerry, who says lots of foreign leaders (all unnamed) want Americans to elect him and that he's the man who can build a winning coalition of these reluctant allies, now concedes that whoever these mystery nations are they don't include France and Germany. In something less than felicitous language, he specifically singled out France and Germany as allies who "aren't going to trade their young for our young in body bags."

So we're back to the drawing board. Somebody's got to do the heavy lifting and thank heaven for the United States. Once more with feeling, Europeans are asking themselves what kind of world they would be living in if the Americans, boorish and vulgar as they may be, were not in it. This becomes not an issue of nationalism or chauvinism but about "all of us," and about who wants to destroy "all of us."

Fascinating thought on kashrut laws

Message: 17
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2004 20:26:35 -0500
From: "Marty Barrack"
Subject: RE: distinction but not separation

Hi Richard and Sarah,

As I understand, Maimonides said that God instituted the laws of kashrut
because the Israelites built and worshiped the golden calf, showing that
the Egyptian gods were still very much with them. Under kashrut, the
Israelites were to kill and eat the animals that the Egyptians had
worshiped. The Israelites were forbidden to eat animals that the Egyptians
killed and ate, so that they were forced to kill and eat what the
Egyptians had worshiped. Obviously, one cannot easily worship what one
kills and eats.

As I understand, Christ terminated the kashrut laws (Mark 7:14) because by
that time the people Israel, while they had picked up many other
idolatries, were completely purged of the Egyptian gods, and so there was
no further need for kashrut.

So, in my understanding, the laws of kashrut were in reality enforcement
of God's First Commandment: "You shall have no other gods before me." This
is part of our understanding that Rabbi Yeshua did not change Torah.
Terminating the kosher laws was not changing the Torah because the kosher
laws all along were intended as a subset of the First Commandment.

Your thoughts? Also, if you know where in Maimonides this comes from, I'd
appreciate a citation.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us!

Baruch haba baShem Adonai, <><


Association of Hebrew Catholics:

Sorry about disappearing

When I came home last night I was greated by a rather large puddle of water in my room. Sort of lagoon-like actually. Apparently it all came from the bathroom across the hall. Can you spell disgusting?

I called maintainance and began removing stuff from the room, throwing out boxes under my bed, tossing papers out, drying off shoes, and taking pictures of everything in case I have to sue the pants off of Housing to get some money out of them. I finished up round one five minuites before Adoration started, so I figured the Man upstairs was sending me a message, and off I went.

So yeah still in recovery.

New book on papal primacy coming out

The question of papal primacy has been one of the main problems in ecumenical dialogue, particularly with the Orthodox churches. The problem became more acute with the proclamation of papal infallibility by the First Vatican Council. During his visit to Rome in June of this year, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the leader of the Orthodox world, remarked: "It is necessary to speak in depth about the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, papal infallibility, the position of the Pope in the structure of the Christian Church in its totality, because this is the most difficult point in our relations, which still bars the way to full communion."

Official theological dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox churches has been suspended since the last meeting of a joint international theological commission, held in Baltimore in 2000. At that meeting, the main topic of controversy was the status of the Eastern Catholic churches, which the Orthodox are loath to accept.


Cracking down on freedom in the name of freedom. Or security. Whatever.

Monday, October 11, 2004

The browser wars continue

And Opera gets a decent rating from PCmag. In the other corner Google seems to be sniffing out the market, no doubt looking for an additional source of revenue.

In other news, IE still sucks, even though it runs the most websitage of all.

Sunday, October 10, 2004


And when you have fulfilled in turn the duty of praise and of humility, then ask for what you ought to ask for; not for riches, not for the glory of this earth, not for health of body: for He made you and your health is in His care, and He knows which state is profitable to each one, to be healthy or to be infirm. He will provide for your body's needs.

-- St. Basil the Great


Squach (9:30:36 PM): what do you think i hsould be for halloween?
Vander (9:30:49 PM): jewish

Ora pro ea

Message: 1
Date: Sat, 09 Oct 2004 12:39:32 -0000
From: "xxxxxxxx"
Subject: I lost my mother last night

I don't quite know how to feel because I know she is with Jesus and
Mary in the truth. What a joy she must feel. Please pray for my
brother who doesn't know G-d and for my dad to have much strength in this
loneliness. He is dying from cancer. And please pray for me. I consider
myself blessed because in this Rosh Hashanah, I've come back to the L-rd.
Now my mother is with Him awaiting us all. Thank you for your prayers
which I know will be lifted up because of your generosity with all people.


Dona ea requiem

Catholic Kerry Watch

Kerry: That's why I think it's important. That's why I think it's important for the United States, for instance, not to have this rigid ideological restriction on helping families around the world to be able to make a smart decision about family planning. . . .

Isn't it great when you expess your religious opposition to abortion during a Q&A session and the self-proclaimed "Catholic alter boy" candidate refers to your moral stance as a "rigid ideological restriction"?

Or, Kerry demonstrates that he is indeed the strangest of all people.


Thanks to Jessica for the link.

Contraceptives can help destroy marriages. Only four years after contraceptives were first tested, researchers found that marriages in which contraceptives were used were twice as likely to end in divorce than marriages in which there was no contraceptive use1. Why this huge difference? Well, using contraceptives means that a couple's fertility is suppressed, and treated like a disease. They are no longer able to share themselves with each other totally in the sex act. There is a barrier not just physical, but also emotional, erected between them. They are closing one part of themselves off from each other, and from God. Often the couple begin to be dissatisfied. The wife starts to feel that the husband does not desire her, only her body. The husband begins to feel that his wife doesn't really want to have sex with him, that she is cold and tired. These attitudes can poison their whole relationship. With this crucial part of their marriage gone bad, soon other problems develop. Before they know it, the couple is in divorce court, dividing up their mutual property.

Contraceptives treat children like a disease. We take medicine or have surgery done to prevent them. When a couple does become pregnant in our modern culture, it may be seen as an occasion for condolences rather than congratulations. A pregnancy after a couple has one or two children may be treated as an unfortunate mistake. As Christians, we know that this attitude is wrong. The Bible tells us that children are a gift from God. They are His blessings. An abundance of children is an expression of God's special favor. What right do any of us have to refuse a gift from God? Instead of the world's attitude that children are bothersome nuisances that prevent us from enjoying our hard-earned wealth, we need to see each child as a marvelous assist to full human life. We believe that all children are good and beautiful. Although some pregnancies may occur under tragic circumstances, each child is an occasion for celebration.

So odd

Saturday, October 09, 2004

In honor of the Little Flower

By going directly to the Gospel sources Therese joins with all her force in Our Lord's initial movement: the demolition of religious facades. The blazing passion with which John the Baptist, in the spirit of Elias, clears the ground to give the approaching Messiah room and air is itself only a preparation for the absolute passion with which the Son flattens every obstacle to the Father's glory. "Whoever draws near me draws near to fire," runs one of Christ's apocryphal sayings, and each of his words, his actions and his miracles is fire -- a fire all the more consuming since it is not the fire of justice but of love. And once God has cast this fire upon earth he sends his saints to fan it into flame so that it cannot be damped down in the hearths of a "bourgeois" Christianity.

Therese of Lisieux also cleanses the Temple with a whip. She is fearless and aggressive. She loves war. She is a fighter by nature. "God wanted to make me conquer the fortress of Carmel at the sword's point." "Our Lord has granted me the grace of being totally unafraid of war; I must do my duty, whatever the cost." "Let us always grasp the sword of the spirit... let us never simply allow matters to take their course for the sake of our own peace; let us fight without ceasing, even without hope of winning the battle. What does success matter! Let us keep going, however exhausting the struggle may be... One must do one's duty to the end." "This morning I read a passage in the Gospel where it is said, 'I come not to bring peace but a sword'. All that remains for us then is to fight. When we have not the strength, it is then that Jesus fights for us. Together let us put the axe to the root of the tree..." "Sanctity! It has to be won at the point of the sword."

Too many nukes!

New York, Oct. 08 ( - The Vatican's representative at the UN has called upon the world's nations to impose strict controls on nuclear weapons and reduce worldwide military spending.

Archbishop Celestino Migliore, speaking at the General Assembly on October 7, observed that military spending has reached levels close to those of the Cold War peaks. He argued that nations have spent money on weaponry that could have been devoted more profitably to "education, health, and housing." He voiced particular concern over the heavy trade in armaments in Africa.

The Italian archbishop sketched a sobering picture of world affairs, marred by "fear of terrorist attacks, fear of new wars, fear of the weakening of international laws." He argued that terrorism has shown "a clear sign of the culture of fear and of death," and condemned the "blasphemous" use of religious language to justify killing.

Lamenting the "fragility" of non-proliferation agreements, the Vatican envoy added that the fears of terrorism are compounded by the realization that terrorist groups might someday acquire weapons of mass destruction. He recommended "more vigilant" controls on existing weapons, and efforts to find a simple way to eliminate the weapons now in existence.

I was fascinated by these things for at time in my life. Luckily I'm past my kill everyone stage.

Just got back from a retreat

Will update later with weird happenings and good pasta.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Year of the Eucharist starts on Sunday

So go to church!

The Year of the Eucharist, the Pope reminds his readers in his new apostolic letter, will begin with the International Eucharistic Congress in Guadajalara, Mexico, on October 10- 17, and run through the next session of the Synod of Bishops, which will meet in Rome in October of next year, to discuss the topic of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.

The Eucharist, John Paul writes, opens the possibility for "a culture of dialogue." In a world torn by tragedy and terrorism, the Church finds in the Blessed Sacrament "a great school of peace."

While he lauds the results of the liturgical reform that allows the reading of the Scriptures in the vernacular language, the Holy Father cautions that these readings must be done with reverence and attended with care. He also calls for a greater sense of solemnity in the celebration of the Mass.

From the mailbag . . .

Message: 6
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 2004 19:53:36 -0400
From: David xxxxx
Subject: Re: On -line Yeshiva

Dear Richard G.

A Yeshiva is a Jewish school, perhaps even a seminary of higher learning,
where students intensively study Torah, Talmud and related texts. Because
the traditional yeshiva is run by Orthodox Jews, the students have been
traditionally male. I believe that today there are Yeshivot which admit

In the "Complete Book of Jewish Observance", Rabbi Leo Trepp describes a
typical Yeshiva.

"The term "Yeshivah" comes from "yashav", "to sit". Here the young men
would sit from morning to night, studying heavy tomes of Talmud. Each
small grouop would follow its own course, preparing for the rabbi's
lecture and reviewing it. Some studied alone. The Yeshivah student lived
in a world of his own, far from sunlight and flowers. His cheeks lost
their bloom. But he found sunlight in Torah and flowers in newly
discovered "fine points."

"The method of study, called "Pilpul", was aimed at finding ever new
meanings within the text. As it was held that all the great masters of the
past knew everything, their conflicting opinions had to be reconciled,
even if they lived centuries apart. This became possible only by means of
a hairsplitting logic. It must be remembered that this method of
interpretation was common among all scholars during the Middle Ages, not
only Jewish ones. Through it, history came to be transcended; various
periods spoke to each other and to the student across the centuries.
Judaism became a living organism, beyond time and space and circumstances.

"The students were poor, and many remained poor for life, being supported
upon marriage by a father-in-law and, later, by the wife."

Perhaps Richard R. can add to the thoughts of Rabbi Trepp and describe a
little about the Yeshivot in Israel.

Regarding your question about how an online Hebrew Catholic Yeshiva would
work, I haven't given it any thought yet. Perhaps Athol could describe a
little of what he had in mind when he suggested it.


Sed Contra on the Resurrection

Does it matter if He rose?

Some say no. SC says yes.

Looks like a good cause

So go and click!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Email of the day

Did you know? Arnold Schwarzenegger majored in economics. Lisa Kudrow
majored in biology. You don't have to pursue a career based on your area
of concentration. Learn how to find the job of your dreams, no matter what
you studied in school.

I can't believe I have the same major as the Governator.

I really don't get it

You can already get medical marajuana in pill form. Do these people really think that they have an argument that smoking it is medically necessary?

I sense my soul sinking

Priest/Jedi: May the Force be with you!
People: And also with you!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Israel and Covenant

Thanks to CAEI for the heads up on this good shiznit. Also recommended:

Ratzinger on the subject


Salvation is from the Jews

Is ox kosher?

The Rabbi and the Ox
By Yanki Tauber

One day, the neighborhood butcher came to the study of Rabbi Pinchas Horowitz (1730-1805), the famed rabbi of Frankfurt, with an halachic (Torah law) query. A defect had been discovered in the lung of a slaughtered ox, raising the possibility that it might be treif, forbidden by Torah law to be eaten. It was a complex borderline case, and the rabbi spent many hours studying the rulings of the great halachic authorities of previous generations, several of whom where inclined to forbid the meat under such circumstances. Finally, Rabbi Pinchas issued his ruling: the ox was kosher.

Later, one of his disciples asked him: "Rabbi, why did you go to such lengths to render the ox kosher? After all, the Shach (Rabbi Shabtai HaKohen, the great 17th century halachist) deemed it treif. Would it not have been more advisable to simply throw away the meat rather than risk transgressing such a serious prohibition?"

Rabbi Pinchas smiled and replied: "You know, for every man there comes the day when he must stand before the heavenly court and account for his life. I imagine that, when that day comes for me, I shall have to defend the decision I arrived at today. The 'prosecution' will undoubtedly call a most prodigious witness to testify against me: the 'Shach' himself will explain how I permitted the eating of meat whose kashrut is in serious question. I shall have to respond by citing the opinions of his lesser colleagues who ruled that the ox is indeed kosher, and by explaining why I preferred their rulings over his. You can be sure that the prospect fills me with trepidation.

"But what if I had ruled that the meat is treif? Then I would have to contend with another accuser -- the ox. He will take the stand against me and bellow his rage: 'How many hungry mouths might I have fed!' he will cry, 'How many hours of Torah study and prayer might I have sustained! How many good deeds might I have energized! And this man consigned me to the garbage heap, while there were grounds for rendering me kosher.' To be sure, I could call on the great Shach to defend me. But, all things considered, I would rather take my chances against the Shach than confront an angry ox in court..."

Iraq and Israel

Even with Saddam in prison awaiting trial, there seems to be little popular support for embracing Israel. An August survey of 1,000 people in Baghdad by the Iraqi Center for Research found that the largest group, 32 percent, answered "Israel" when asked "Who is, in your opinion, Iraq's number one enemy right now?" The next largest group, 23.2 percent, named the United States. Islamic extremists came in third, at 12.3 percent.

In Iraq's National Assembly, some called Allawi's handshake disgraceful and demanded an apology.

One of the most outspoken advocates of a new Iraqi view toward Israel is Mithal al Alusi, a former spokesman for Ahmad Chalabi, who's head of the former exile group the Iraqi National Congress. Al Alusi visited Israel in September for a terrorism conference and argues forcefully that other Arab countries have reached accommodations with Israel and Iraq needs to do the same.

"One of the most important countries to Iraq is the U.S. They helped us get rid of Saddam and they also are helping us build so we can support our country. One of the most important American allies in the Middle East is Israel," al Alusi said.

"How can we work and build stability and ignore Israel?" al Alusi asked. "We cannot ignore our strategic borders."

An Iraqi newspaper reported Monday that Iraq's highest court has charged al Alusi with treason for the visit and his family has denounced him, asking that he no longer use his last name because they don't want to be associated with him. The report couldn't be confirmed.

What's a journalist to do?

Or, unbalanced and balanced reporting.

Distributists, Round I

Chesterton on Common Sense

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

hRevenue by lawsuit

A spokesman for Kodak said on Friday: "Kodak has and continues to make substantial technology investments to ensure high-quality products. We are pleased that the court has validated Kodak's intellectual property rights protecting these valuable innovations."

Sun argued throughout the 3-week trial that Java did not infringe on the Kodak patents and that, even if it did, the patents were invalid. But Kodak won the day.

This week the company will therefore return to the court, in Rochester NY, and press on with its damages claim. In pre-trial documents Eastman Kodak Co lawyers indicated the company would be asking for $1.06 billion in lump-sum royalties - a figure that represents half of Sun's operating profit from the sales of computer servers and storage equipment between January 1998 and June 2001.

Since Sun doesn't charge for Java itself, Kodak's strategy is to go after its hardware revenues. Sun will vigorously defend the damages phase of the trial, it says.

I hate these things

Since the reader was about to affirm with his signature that he had read the policy, he thought he should actually read it. "The cashier immediately started telling me what it said," he wrote. "I told the cashier that since I was signing it, I needed to read it. As I read, the cashier kept telling me what was in it, then called out 'Next!' I tried to ignore the cashier, and was not otherwise prevented from reading the text to completion, whereupon I signed the receipt."

As far as the reader was concerned, it was just too bad if he was irritating the cashier. " The cashier asked me if I had shopped there before," he wrote. "I replied that I did not shop there often, but that the wording could have changed since the last time I was there. I did not notice whether there were any signs posted with the return policy, but even if there were, that would be no guarantee the text agreed with the text on the receipt. In terms of annoyance, both to me and to people behind me in line, asserting my rights here is approximately equivalent to doing so at those parking garages which have signs at the entrance reading 'This contract limits our liability. Please read it.' Of course, if you do, you can have all the cars behind yours honking at you."

The legal system in this country is out of control. Oy.

Oh my.

This may be America's last remaining point of 100% bipartisan foreign policy agreement: Israel was right to smash the Iraqi reactor 23 years ago, and it should be equipped for a similar job in Iran.

In 1981, Begin was forced to act without American approval. Prime Minister Sharon cannot afford to do that. It is a one-superpower world now, and U.S. support is absolutely critical to Israel. But Sharon will not be just a blind enforcer. He is, after all, the only guy around with experience in Islamic bomb-busting.

He also has the most to lose. If he takes out the Iranian nukes, it will further enrage the Muslim world. If he tries and fails, Israel's deterrent will be badly damaged. Either way, Iran very likely will attack Israel (and Jews around the world) with everything in its terrorist and conventional arsenal. Under the circumstances, it is not unreasonable to suppose that Sharon will demand - and get - a role in determining the what and the how of a future operation. And the when.

That's why it was so startling and instructive to hear Sharon's national security adviser say, in public, that the point of no return is now barely two months away.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Poor Moses

You don't hear it much today, but it used to be all the rage to compare the birth story of Moses to that of a certain Sargon of Assyria, and claim "Copycat!"

Jessica's description of my ideal woman

"She wears long skirts and is very pious and doesn't like to do anything and keeps a good distance away. Your ideal woman is the Virgin Mary."

The Elements

Thanks to Karen for the link . . .

This book looks good

I love Ignatius Press.

How you know the world is wrong

David: Be good.
Lada: Yeah, I don't have time for anything else.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox

Brilliant analysis

Law and Catholicism, round eight million

Message: 1
Date: Sun, 03 Oct 2004 08:55:36 -0000
From: "aronbengilad"
Subject: Re: Two types of religious law: the ideal and the normative

Dear Richard,

I am no expert on law in general though I did teach family law to
highschool students at one school. I think there is a difference
between the personal law of the heart which Jesus calls each of the
baptised to. This is not necessarily the law of the nation or state. When
Yeshuah said his comments about . Some say "an eye for an eye ..." But I
say etc he was not abrogating the Torah principle fo the Jewish State
where the principle of :An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" as a
standard of Justice in the national law. He was adressing those who took
this principle out of context and used it for personal pay back.

For the Church as the Guide for all nations it must work with the
Universal understanding and principles that come from the Torah as a guide
for the national law of the myriad Catholic nations that have entered the
Church. It does not abolish the Laws but its role is not just to national
Israel but to the Universal Israel of all nations. It is not the role of
the Church to formulate national laws but they are there as a moral
guardian or watch dog and ethical teacher giving the broad moral and
ethical principles that nations must follow in their law making processes.
In the case of the Jewish state the National Law is also God-given and its
outward forms may not be appropriate for other cultures and nations.

We have to discern between what are law for the citizen in the
nation and then moral laws for the baptised. The baptised are called to
resist lustful thoughts but the State is not expected to punish such
thoughts. It is the same for divorce. A Catholic may legally divorce
according to the State laws of Divorce for many valid reasons but on the
spiritual level they are not divorced and thus it is spiritually wrong to
attempt a remarriage.

Sorry I am not clearer.I hope you get what I am trying to say but
making a hash of it.

Cheers Athol


Saturday, October 02, 2004

Read and respond

He is feeling, a little, shall we say, down. Tell him life is worth living.

ALL and the Red Mass

Something to do with lawyers and stuff apparently . . . all I know is I really don't understand the "I hate the Papacy but I'm Catholic" thing.

Quote of the Day

"Pax Christi wants you to stop going on an on about all those stupid babies being dismembered! It's so *over*! Okay?

Yessirree. The Left: Committed to the Care of the Most Vulnerable."
-- Mark Shea

So you wanna know about saints?

Just trying to clear up a few misconceptions :-).

To the number of these sainted sovereigns, we must also add approximately sainted popes, who are also accounted among the monarchy of Europe. From St. Peter to St Gelasius, the first 53 popes all are saints. Then from 590 to 1294, 23 popes have been canonized. Pius XII canonized Pius X in 1954 and John Paul II beatified Pius IX and John XXIII on September 3, 2000. All told there have been 78 canonized popes.

To date, Pope John Paul II (bio - news), is the largest "saint maker" in the history of the papacy. On Sunday, he will preside over his 147th ceremony of beatification, adding up to 1,342 beatifications and 483 saints. On average, the Holy Father has proclaimed 54 blessed and 19 saints per year since the beginning of his pontificate.

Between 1588, the year in which a particular organization of the Roman curia was created to deal with the causes of beatification, and 1978, the popes proclaimed 302 saints and 1201 blessed. Until the 11th century, many saints were proclaimed without the intervention of the pope, but by the will of only one bishop. The monopoly on canonizations by the Vatican was enacted only in the 12th century and the procedure was fixed in 18th century. John Paul II reformed the procedure in 1986 by returning to the bishops the initial responsibility to gather files to show evidence of holiness.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Rock for Life

Below is a partial list of musicians who support abortions on demand enough to hold concerts for them, but the Rock For Life musicians (like Gary Cherone, former lead singer of Van Halen), have this to say to teens and YAs: "The 'Vote for Change' tour is a coalition of musicians seeking 'change in the direction of this country.' What they are actually working for is maintaining the status quo of abortion on demand...If the 'Vote for Change' tour [a benefit for America Coming Together, a project of one of those lovely pro-Kerry 527s, MoveOn] is coming through your area, prayerfully consider hosting a peaceful demonstration effort before the show to educate concertgoers that...we shouldn’t be supporting musicians that support the destruction of over one-third of our generation."

Things are looking grim for PeopleSoft


According to Nature (a real science journal, not some Scientific Creationism rag), we're all descended from one person in East Asia who lived roughly 1500 BC.

This raises more questions than it answers for me. I though Mitochondrial Eve lived 200,000 years ago in Africa. I thought Abraham, from whom the Jews are descended, lived 2000 BC. I thought Indians crossed the land bridge 10,000 years ago.

I don't get this at all. I hope Christians don't pounce on this article as "proof" of something.

Update: Well, it turns out that secular journalists pounced instead. Note the dogmatic and detailed headline: "We are all related to man who lived in Asia in 1,415BC". Yessirree, no "probably" or "evidence suggests" or "scientists theorize". Nope. This is a Scientific Fact.

Now when Bishop Ussher told us the creation of the world could be dated to October 23, 4004 BC at 9:00 in the morning, this was later derided as an example of the hubris of the human intellect brought low. But nobody derides this incredibly confident headline as hubris. Nope. We know for a fact that this theoretical man lived in 1415 BC. Not 1414 or 1416. 1415.

"Hypothesis… establishes itself by a cumulative process, or, to use proper language, if you make the same guess often enough it ceases to be a guess and becomes a Scientific Fact." - Mr. Enlightenment, in The Pilgrim's Regress by C.S. Lewis

Somebody should write a book chronicling the theories which were presented as Scientific Fact in the press and how they remained Scientific Fact in the popular imagination long after they'd been abandoned by the scientific community.

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