Monday, January 31, 2005

More from those "sophisticated" Europeans...

And people continue to ask me why I have no desire in doing a semester abroad and "experiencing" European culture.

Oh yeah

To the guy who came here looking for "bear homo gay penis" from Yahoo, you'll actually have to try a search that makes sense if you want results. I mean, were you looking for gay bears or what? I'm so confused.

Iraq in chaos? Illegitimate election?

But it happens to be untrue. The Afghan election worked so well that, there being insufficient bad news out of it, the Western media's doom-mongers pretended it never happened. They'll have a harder job doing that with Iraq, so instead they'll have to play up every roadside bomb and every dead poll worker. But it won't alter the basic reality: that the election may be imperfect but more than good enough.

OK, that's a bit vague compared with my usual psephological predictions. So how about this: Turnout in the Kurdish north and Shi'ite south probably was higher than in the last U.S., British or Canadian elections. Legitimate enough for ya?

But look beyond the numbers: When you consider the behavior of the Shi'ite and Kurdish parties, they've been remarkably shrewd, restrained and responsible. They don't want to blow their big rendezvous with history and rejoin the rest of the Middle East in the fetid swamp of stable despotism.

Naysayers in the Democratic Party and the U.S. media are so obsessed with Donald Rumsfeld getting this wrong and Condoleezza Rice getting that wrong and President Bush getting everything wrong that they've failed to notice just how surefooted both the Kurds and Shi'ites have been — which in the end is far more important.

Check out this leap of logic

Check out this leap of logic.

Pro-life license plates (more precisely, pro-adoption license plates) existing anywhere ever infringe on the free speach rights of Planned Parenthoot, even though they can get their own Planned Parenthood licence plates, because . . . well just because. SCOTUS seems to agree with this logic. So now SC must either withdraw the PL plates, or produce abortion plates . . . but there are no designs, because Planned Parenthood isn't actually interested in making any.

Welcome to the United States.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Today, silence

The latest from Crisis

Apparently, the right to free speech doesn't apply to everyone.
Especially if you happen to be pro-life.

That's the lesson the Louisiana State University Students For Life
learned recently. You see, last weekend, in anticipation of the
anniversary of Roe v. Wade, they placed 4,000 crosses on the campus
parade grounds. (The 4,000 figure represents the average number of
unborn children killed per day by abortion.)

It was a nice, silent witness to the atrocity of abortion.

But even that is just too much for some people. Around midnight
Monday morning, a group of pro-abortion students vandalized the
display, destroying 3,000 of the crosses and using some of the others to
spell "pro-choice" on the grass. All told the vandals did over $9,000
worth of damage.

Amazingly enough, one of the university police officers saw them
doing it and ordered them to leave. But he didn't arrest them. One
wonders if he would have acted similarly had he caught them
spray-painting graffiti on a dormitory wall.

The perpetrators were later arrested and charged with criminal
mischief -- a misdemeanor. But is that enough? Richard Mahoney,
president of the St. Mary and St. Joseph Memorial Foundation and
owner of the vandalized crosses certainly doesn't think so. The cross is a
religious symbol, he noted to The Daily Reveille (the student newspaper of
LSU), and "defacing a religious symbol is a hate crime."

In an amusing exercise in rationalization, John Philip Morlier, one
of the perpetrators, wrote a letter to the Reveille, defending his

"I engaged in what I believe to be an act of free speech. The
crosses were planted in an effort to join a debate, conversation. By
removing from the ground and disassembling the crosses, I was voicing a
counter point. I know that my actions were rash; however, the statement
made by the crosses was rash, inappropriate, invasive and hostile."

Where to begin? I wonder if Mr. Morlier would appreciate my own
"counter point" if I were to scratch the word "Idiot" into the side
of his car? Probably not. And yet, that's the kind of reasoning he's using
here with his vandalism-as-genuine-debate argument.

But it gets even better. He goes on to try to explain why he wasn't
guilty of a hate crime... only to shoot himself in the foot in the

"The crosses are not an invitation to engage in a give and take
debate on the issue, rather the issue is evasively hidden behind the most
powerful symbol in our community. Those crosses were a black and while
framing of a very complex issue veiled behind the threat of hell; a wood
and glue manifestation of the self-righteous, mislabeled 'Christian'
mentality that fuels itself off of the punishment it threatens or
administers to those that it persistently persecutes."

Did you catch his misstep?

When I first learned of the vandalism and the attempt to label it a
hate crime, I had my doubts. After all, the crosses were used in the
display to represent tombstones -- objects that have taken on a secular
value in our culture. Most likely, I thought, the vandals were reacting to
them as such.

But Mr. Morlier shows that this is not so, thereby surrendering his
single best defense. According to his own statement, he DID consider the
crosses religious symbols. In defacing them, he was acting against the
spiritual message he thought they communicated.

And that sounds like a hate crime to me.

I'll keep you updated on new developments in the story.

Have a great weekend,


Saturday, January 29, 2005

Hope the NY Medical College holds its ground

Once again, the politically correct Liberals are attempting to stifle dissent, using the traditional tactics of employing slur words like "racism" and "homophobia."

Hmm . . .

What is Intel Up To?
What does the mysterious VIIV that Intel just trademarked mean?
64 as in 64-bits
Two Pentium V chips and a pipeline
Who cares? I love AMD
This Poll by AliceHill
Click here to view current results

Jews and the Church Fathers

Or, starting on the wrong foot.

The Jews were unique among ancient peoples, Origen argues, because they were the only society that "displayed a shadow of the heavenly life on earth." "No other God but the one supreme God was venerated" by the Jews and idol makers were banished from Jewish society. As support for this view Origen cites Deuteronomy’s laws (4:16-18 and 11:19) against making graven images, and he praises the keeping of the Sabbath and the celebration of Jewish festivals because they provided leisure "to listen to the reading of the divine laws." From childhood Jews were taught to rise above "sensible" things and to think of God "not as existing in the sensible world but to seek him beyond material things." If one would compare the Jews to any other nation, "he would admire none more, since as far as it is humanly possible they removed everything not of advantage to mankind, and accepted only what is good."

Origen, of course, also says that there came a time when the Jewish way of life, which was confined to one people and one place, had to give way to a way of life that was adequate to other peoples and other lands. Yet even as he draws a contrast between the Jews and the Christians, he steadfastly maintains that the Jews are not to be placed in the same category as the idolaters, the pagans. In defending the worship of the one God, the chief goal of early Christian apologetics, Christian thinkers consider the Jews allies. This is a point of no little importance, for it suggests that even after the coming of Christ, on the matter of central importance, the spiritual worship of the one God, Jews and Christians are one.

So confusing

When Pius XII died, the New York Times commended him for his firm stance against the Nazis and his sanctity. Now he's being condemned for his weak stance against the Nazis and his odiosity.

Bemporad concluded that it is extremely difficult to express judgments on Pius XII, given the extreme threats he had to face. "It was not clear who was going to win the war, and if the Church would even be able to survive."

He was echoed by another rabbi of the delegation, Moses A. Birnbaum of the Plainview Jewish Center in Long Island, New York: "Let’s not forget that Jewish groups praised Pius XII after the war." The Jews, he added, should stay out of the discussion about the possibility of his beatification.

* * *

But the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, had indeed spoken out against the beatification of Pius XII a few days earlier.

Using as his launching point the new Vatican documents that had appeared in the newspapers, dealing with the Jewish children sheltered during the war by Catholic families and institutes – documents he defined as "horrible" – Di Segni told the news agency Apcom on January 11:

"The Church has every right to elevate to the altars whoever suits it. If anything, the problem is ours, because if the Church beatifies someone it is doing nothing other than indicating a model of spiritual perfection to Christians. Faced with a Church that identifies as a spiritual ideal a subject who has behaved in a certain way, we [Jews] can, as a consequence, also decide whether and how to engage in dialogue."

Some archeological evidence for OT historicity

Hamilton, Ontario, Jan. 28 (CNA/ - Canadian archeologist Russell Adams, a professor at McMaster University, has recently unearthed evidence that points to the historical accuracy of the Bible.

Adams and his team of archeologists have found evidence of the existence of the biblical kingdom of Edom at precisely the time Scripture claims it existed. The evidence flies in the face of a common belief that Edom actually came into existence at least 200 years later.

According to the Globe and Mail newspaper, the group's findings "mean that those scholars convinced that the Hebrew Old Testament is at best a compendium of revisionist, fragmented history, mixed with folklore and theology, and at worst a piece of outright propaganda, likely will have to apply the brakes to their thinking."

The kingdom of Edom, mentioned throughout the Old Testament, and a continuous source of hostility for biblical Israel, is thought to have existed in what is now southern Jordan. The group made their discovery while investigating a copper mining site called Khirbat en-Nahas.

The Globe and Mail said the radiocarbon dating of the finds "firmly established that occupation of the site began in the 11th century BC and a monumental fortress was built in the 10th century BC, supporting the argument for existence of an Edomite state at least 200 years earlier than had been assumed."

The evidence is also said to suggest that the kingdom existed at the same time that David, who Scripture recounts as warring with Edom, was king over Israel.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Christians in Poland

Living the Christian life.

It is a remarkable thing for an American to see a group of young people come together to discuss the Christian reality so avidly and to work so hard in common to put it into practice. For young Catholic laypersons in America, opportunities to talk seriously about the faith with their peers—and not only to talk about it, but to join with them in learning to live it—sometimes seem few and far between. Parish youth groups and Newman Centers often emphasize "social justice" (or even just "socializing") so strongly that they spend only minimal time giving young people a chance to learn about the contemplative and sacramental riches of the Church, the interior life without which action is empty. There are many exceptions to this rule, of course; one thinks especially of all the renewal movements springing up in this country, movements whose members are extraordinary examples of enthusiasm and devotion, not to mention deep knowledge of the faith. In large part, though, youth organizations in America tend to present a vision of the Church as only a social institution, of Catholicism as more an extracurricular activity than an integrated way of life. The Church appears nonthreatening, useful, fun.

As a consequence, through no fault of their own, many young people do not understand the most fundamental truth of the Catholic life: that because of God’s presence in our midst, we are called to and enabled to achieve greater and greater holiness, and that such growth can really only take place in a community of faith, hope, and love, in which our lives are laid bare to one another and to God—a community that recognizes itself as part of the Body of Christ. More fundamentally, it seems many are afraid to acknowledge their need for God. What makes these young Poles such a good example is their growing understanding that there is no reason to be embarrassed by their neediness, their failures, their longing for fullness in God—as there is no reason to be afraid to use the gifts He has given. What they have learned, in fact, is that by sharing their very brokenness with each other, they are opening themselves to that fullness for which they long. In other words, they are becoming followers of Christ.

March for Life update, thanks to After Abortion

"With a larger turnout than in previous years, at least 250,000 pro-life advocates marched in Washington Monday for the annual March for Life."

That was with a "Wind Chill Advisory In Effect Until 10 Am Est Monday For The Washington Area, of 4°F (actual 19°F)," after a day-before storm had left 4-5" of new snow on the Mall and nearby streets.

*** By way of comparison, a flashback: "There are no official estimates of the crowd size as the National Park Service no longer tallies official crowd counts. However, CNN reported that Washington D.C. police estimated that 250,000 people participated in the pro-abortion march [on April 25, 2004]."

On that day, in the counterprotest, I was in a T-shirt and cotton blazer, with temps described as follows: "April 25, 2004: Cloudy, breezy, and very cool conditions persisted across the D.C. area all day. Temperatures struggled to reach 60 degrees." ***


Why is it that the avowedly secular government of Spain doesn't like being called what they describe themselves at. I'll never understand.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

And anti-Semitism in Europe

An excellent piece on Liberal "tolerance"

The saddest part is that so many people fall for it.

Anti-missionary answers

The Hebrew Scriptures use both the singular "eloah" and plural "elohim" to refer
to God, but the plural form is used far more often. (Gen 1:1) "In the beginning
God [elohim] created the heavens and the earth." God said, (Gen 1:26) "Let us
make man."

The rabbis explain this as an elegant way of speaking of God, something like
"the royal we." But it is a very weak explanation. The Shema, the central
proclamation in all of Judaism, declares: "Shema Israel, Adonai, Elohainu,
Adonai echod." (Deut 6:4) "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one [echod]
Lord." Adonai, often translated "Lord," is plural; it actually means, "my
Lords." Elohainu, "our Gods," is also plural. A literal translation of the Shema
would be, ". my Lords our Gods my Lords one."

Three mentions of God, followed by the word "one." A perfect representation of
the Blessed Trinity. The second mention of God, moreover, is Elohainu, "our
Gods," not Elohai, "my Gods," suggesting the Second Person, who would open
Torah to the whole world.

If the rabbis had believed in the Blessed Trinity, they would have used this as
exegesis to explain their belief. It is a valid form of rabbinic exegesis.

And the exegesis goes farther. Rabbinic tradition connects the three mentions of
God in the Shema with God's self-description in the midot, (Ex 34:6) "The Lord,
the Lord, a God merciful and gracious." Notice three mentions of God, together
with the indefinite article indicating a singular, "a God." Rabbinic tradition
also connects the Shema with the "thrice- holy" Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh in
Isaiah's vision of the seraphim, (Is 6:3) "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of
hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory," In Hebrew, kadosh kadosh kadosh
YHWH tzabaot."

Jews traditionally ascribe the "kadosh kadosh kadosh" to the Hebrew use of
repetition for emphasis. But in this light we may fairly ask whether it has an
additional layer of meaning: holy Father, holy Son, holy Spirit.

And what of (Proverbs 8:23) "Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the
beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when
there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been
shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth; before he had made the earth with
its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. When he established the
heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he
made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when
he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his
command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him,
like a master workman; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men." This sounds
to me like a second divine Person. Certainly it doesn't describe a mortal man.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Our beloved Stephanie's coverage of the San Fran march

Go learn Latin and Greek


We need people who speak these languages for theology, philosophy, and history. Let's get our act together people.

The prison sentence for fraud in the US is longer than the prison sentence for genocide in Europe

Problem No. 1: The United Nations rejects the death penalty. Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has had little to fear in his trial on 66 charges, including crimes against humanity. He has used it as a stage to publicly ridicule adversaries and the court — secure in the knowledge that the worst that can happen to him is that he'll get a life sentence, without parole, if the court is in a hanging mood, along with good medical care and protection from the thousands of Bosnian Muslims who lost loved ones during the carnage and would like to kill him.

Problem No. 2: "The court feels like it has to allocate the punishments based on the degree of responsibility," explained Beth Van Schaack, who teaches international law at Santa Clara University School of Law. "So individuals high on the chain of command, who are giving the orders, the highest sentences are being reserved for them." That means: If the worst Slobo can get is life without parole, his generals will get a lesser sentence, and their lieutenants should face even shorter sentences. In the United States, all the top guns would get the top sentence. But thanks to our Betters in Europe and their rigid demand for proportion, a top aide who orders the murder of thousands can expect to serve less than life without parole, because you weren't king. The Hague's longest sentence to date — for genocide — was reduced from 46 years, and an appellate court reduced it to 35 years. As a result, prosecutors won't ask for a sentence exceeding 35 years for any killer of lower rank, even a colonel. How exquisitely fair.

And supremely foolish.

Van Schaack said this system guaranteed "higher sentences for the true architects."

If so, it also assures henchmen that they can butcher families and serve as little as three years.

Nina Bang-Jensen, of the Coalition for International Justice in Washington, believes the court does good work in bringing to light the atrocities so that they will not be forgotten. She noted, "Keep in mind that before these trials, or before Nuremberg, you were much more likely to find yourself in jail if you murdered one person than if you killed 10,000." Good point. (To the extent that the tribunal punishes strongmen and tells the story that muted voices cannot, it does good work.)

But when the tribunal trivializes the murder of thousands, it sends the wrong message. The Hague's emphasis on genocide transforms the very personal act of murder into an impersonal act of politics. It changes the focus from the faces of the victims to the frame of mind of the perpetrators. Indeed, the court rulings care more about what the defendants thought than what they did.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Young Oligarch!

The munchkin has finally joined us in the dreary extra-uterine world. Yay!

An interesting Catholic

Thanks to Z(ed) for the link. His connections with Buddha and Kong Fu Zi (Confucius for you western types) are the kind of ecumenism I like a lot.

Ohio again.

I don't mean by that question to trivialize the issue of election fraud. In a nation that required a Voting Rights Act to ensure all of its citizens equal access to the ballot box, few things are more worthy of serious concern. Election fraud — whenever committed, by whomever and for whatever purpose — is a threat to our political system. If we the people lose confidence in the integrity of our elections, we lose pretty much everything.

And if I were convinced that was what moved Kerry to speak out, I'd happily support him. But it seems obvious to me after two months of conspiracy theories that what motivates Kerry and many other Democrats isn't concern over election irregularities in general, but concern over election irregularities that may have benefited the other party.

He's a politician, so maybe it's naive to expect anything else.

Still, the talk has become tiresome. In listening to party loyalists obsess over how the election was "stolen," I'm reminded of something a former colleague, a white guy from the South, once wrote about the Civil War.

"For years after the war," he said, "Southern partisans vainly re-fought the Civil War battles, particularly the crucial second day of Gettysburg, as if trying to get a different answer to a math problem."

More tolerance in San Fran

San Francisco, Jan. 24 ( - Energized by speakers who proclaimed the right of women and all people to be free of abortion, nearly 8,000 pro-lifers walked along San Francisco’s waterfront on January 22 in support of women and of life today.

“Abortion Hurts Women” proclaimed the banner that young women held as they walked in front of a densely packed procession of women, children and men that stretched for more than half a mile. The walkers were led by San Francisco's Archbishop William Levada and included a number of female students from local universities including Stanford, Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco.

The rally and walk were held in the face of virulent opposition from the city’s elected officials, after the San Francisco board of supervisors condemned the Walk in a resolution and a news release issued in conjunction with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice California. “The anti-choice minority might be emboldened by the climate in Washington, DC but they are not welcome here!” said statements issued by a coalition of abortion-rights groups. More than 1,000 abortion-rights counter protestors lined the Walk route and chanted and shouted at the Walk participants.

Sun wants IBM to port their apps to Solaris

Should they? Yeah, if they don't someone else will get the market. Always cannibalize your own products. But is it part of a vendor lock-in strategy if they don't? I think not . . . more of an architecture, and to avoid the nightmare of supporting software on 20 different processors. That's my take anyway.

What's in a New Yorker?

Thanks to Z(ed) for the link.

"No matter how long you have been here, you are a New Yorker the first time you say, That used to be Munsey's, or That used to be the Tic Toc Lounge.... You are a New Yorker when what was there before is more real and solid than what is here now."
--Colson Whitehead, The Colossus of New York

Monday, January 24, 2005

More about the Harvard Doomed0 brought up

Our complainer is making a very basic logical errorish something, however.

He discussed several factors that could help explain the underrepresentation of women. The first factor, he said, according to several participants, was that top positions on university math and engineering faculties require extraordinary commitments of time and energy, with many professors working 80-hour weeks in the same punishing schedules pursued by top lawyers, bankers and business executives. Few married women with children are willing to accept such sacrifices, he said.

Dr. Hopkins said, "I didn't disagree, but didn't like the way he presented that point because I like to work 80 hours a week, and I know a lot of women who work that hard."

Why does she not like it if she agrees? Does not compute.

Polycarp publishes a good excerpt from Fr. Neuhaus's book review

And it should prove to be contraversial, and right in the area of my interests.
In the latest issue (Feb. 2005) of First Things, Father Richard John Neuhaus reviews David Klinghoffer's new book, Why the Jews Rejected Jesus: The Turning Point in Western History. It's not on-line yet, but Fr. Neuhaus' review is well worth reading, so I thought I'd share a few excerpts:

". . . . The argument, in effect, is that Jews reject Jesus because they are already Jews, and the mark of being a Jew is that one rejects Jesus. This is quite unconvincing in its circularity. Christian thinkers, including Paul, viewed Christ and the Church as the fulfillment of the promise to Israel not because they were engaged in tit-for-tat exegetical disputes with Jews over what Klinghoffer recognizes are often ambiguous and enigmatic Old Testament prophecies. Christians early on, and very importantly in engagement with Greek philosophy, developed a christology that entailed an understanding that all of reality, including the history of Israel, finds its center in Christ who is the Word of God (the Logos), the image of the invisible God in whom all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell (Colossians 1), and, finally, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. These philosophical and theological developments, almost totally ignored by Klinghoffer, form the matrix with which the Church -- mainly Jewish in its beginnings -- understood Israel and its Scriptures. For the early Christians, as for Christians today, the person of Jesus Christ was revelatory also of the history and sacred writings of Israel, of which he is the fulfillment.

The Other Jews

"Klinghoffer is involved in an exercise of 'what if' counterfactual historical revisionism. In fact, the early Christians, both Jewish and gentile, made no secret of the Jewish grounding of their faith. The second century Marcion who pitted Christianity against the history of Israel was condemned as a heretic. Many pagans did deride Christianity as a 'Jewish sect,' which did not prevent its continuing growth. Moreover, those Jews who did not accept Jesus were themselves involved in reinventing Judaism after the destruction of the second temple in 70 A.D. It is not too much to say that there were two competing versions of the history of Israel that were presented to the world: what became known as rabbinical Judaism on the one hand and the Church on the other.

"The very title of the book, Why the Jews Rejected Jesus, is highly problematic. Scholars generally agree that in the first century there were approximately six million Jews in the Roman Empire (for some reason, Klinghoffer says five million). That was about one tenth of the entire population. About one million were in Palestine (sic), including today's State of Israel, while those in the diaspore were very much part of the establishment in cities such as Alexandria and Constantinople. At one point Klinghoffer acknowledges that, during the life of Jesus, only a minuscule minority of Jews either accepted or rejected Jesus, for the simple reason that most Jews had not heard of him. Some scholars have noted that, by the fourth or fifth century, there were only a few hundred thousand, at most a million, people who identified themselves as Jews. What happened to the millions of others? The most likely answer, it is suggested, is that they became Christians. What if the great majority of Jews did not reject Jesus? That throws into question both the title of the book and Klinghoffer's central thesis. The question can be avoided only by the definitional legerdemain of counting as Jews only those who rejected Jesus and continued to ally themselves with rabbinical Judaism's account of the history of Israel."


Book review!

The first four chapters, "Building a Synoptic Theory", comprise nearly half the book and are devoted to Wenham's analysis of the Synoptic problem. He examines the relationship of each of the Synoptics to each other (devoting a chapter apiece on Luke's relationship to Mark, Luke's relationship to Matthew, and Matthew's relationship to Mark). In subsequent chapters, Wenham takes a look at ancient testimony to Matthew's Gospel followed by that of Mark's Gospel. A chapter discussing the date of Peter's going to Rome is then followed by one devoted to further considerable issues pertinent to Mark (e.g. Mark being the founder of the church of Alexandria, the controversial 7Q5 Qumran manuscript fragment, and the issue of eyewitness testimony in Mark). A chapter on the ancient witness to Luke's Gospel then precedes a chapter that examines how the Gospels were written. The penultimate chapter details the importance of oral vs. written Jesus tradition by the early church. Finally, in the concluding chapter, Wenham proposes a dating for the Synoptic Gospels based on his conclusions regarding the issues examined leading up to that point.

Wenham argues persuasively, based on the external evidence, that Matthew wrote first in Aramaic, followed by Mark and then Luke (this corroborates the conclusions drawn here on Tekton; see here). It is shown why the majority of the arguments favoring Markan priority are either flawed or equivocal, and that the internal evidence suggests that Matthean priority is at least as plausible. The author demonstrates in at least a couple of instances why Matthean priority would be more likely, though he concludes in the end that the internal evidence could reasonably lead in either direction. It is the external testimony of the church fathers which seems to tip the scales in favor of Aramaic Matthew being the first Gospel, rather than the internal evidence itself. A key assertion to Wenham's dating rests on the veracity of his claim that Peter first went to Rome soon after his escape from prison in about 42 A.D. He candidly admits that he is challenging the scholarly consensus when it comes to this issue, though he does note "Of the nine major works on Peter in English this century, seven have been quite disinclined to dismiss the old view" [147]. The author, building largely off the case argued near the beginning of the 20th century by G. Edmundson, peruses the evidence for this 25 year Episcopate of Peter in Rome. If the external evidence, based on archaeological findings and the writings of the early church, were all that we had to go on, I'd consider the impressive array of evidence presented by Wenham to render the matter settled in favor of the veracity of Peter's 25 year Episcopate.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Two quotes of the day

"Our kids will try to convert your kids. Your kids will try to convert our kids. This we call ecumenism." -- Fr. Neuhaus.

"She almost almost almost almost had a point"
"But not quite"
-- Anonymous.


But not quite alive. I gotta go try to put out a fire (metaphorical and Catholic). Be back soon homies.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

I'm blogging during a meeting

Scandalous. I might get kicked out! We're at this web site.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Sorry :-(

I'll be in CT for a few days retreating, so I won't be able to post much/respond to your lovely comments. TTYS!

Anti-semitism in Europa

The fact is, you don't need an invitation to a royal costume party to see vestiges of the culture of Jew-hatred these days. Much worse things than the sight of a tabloid celebrity wearing a swastika are available to be heard and seen in London, Paris, and in many other European and Asian capitals, not to mention the United Nations.

As a U.S. State Department study reported last week, anti-Semitism continues to plague Europe. In particular, the willingness of many in the European media and other members of its intellectual elite to demonize the State of Israel and foment hatred of Jews continues without much notice.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, traditional European anti-Semitism was spread to the Arab and Islamic world. But in the last few decades, immigrants from the Islamic world have become a bridgehead for Jew-hatred in Britain, France, Germany and other European nations.

But rather than focus on this virus, the same sources who howl about Harry have either downplayed the rise in anti-Semitism or become willing accomplices to a movement that seeks to delegitimize Jewish national identity and Israeli self-defense. For all of the condemnations of the famous prince, anger over slights to dead Jews is but cheap talk when it is not matched by fury at Islamist and Palestinian terrorism, whose end goal is the annihilation of the descendants of Hitler's victims.

Those who truly care about the memory of Jewish martyrs don't need Prince Harry or any other intellectually challenged British royals marring the Auschwitz anniversary with crocodile tears. The fact that the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center is pushing for Harry to go to Auschwitz speaks volumes about the failure of some of those who seek to represent Jewry to understand this problem.

An entire novel written without the letter 'e'

Strangest thing you ever saw. Must see.

4 out of 5 rabbis agree that the Pope is dope

Rabbi Jack Bemporad, director of the Center for Inter-religious Understanding, said "No pope before John Paul II has ever done as much, or been so concerned to create fraternal relations between Catholics and Jews. ... Coming to the Vatican from all over the world, we rabbis say thank you!"

The Holy Father drew loud applause when he greeted his Jewish visitors by saying "Shalom!" He read the entirety of his own prepared remarks, in English, during the audience.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Religion in America

No, we don't even have a particularly religious president right now. We just have a particularly godless godless Left.

George W., in fact, has lately become more sensitive to secularist sulking than most of those predecessors. He has toned down the telling of his embrace of the born-again religion of the Methodist camp meeting. He first set liberal teeth on edge in the 2000 presidential debates when, in answer to a question, he identified Jesus Christ as his favorite "philosopher." (This irritated more than a few of his fellow evangelicals, who regard Christ not as a philosopher but as the unique Son of G-d.) When he goes out of his way now to reassure the blockheads who insist on misreading what he says, the president is careful to refer to the divinity in more or less neutral language.

He isn't quite as bland as Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, like generals will, imagined that he spoke to G-d as (at least) an equal. Mr. Eisenhower neatly summed up the prevailing Potomac piety five decades ago: "Our government makes no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith — and I don't care what it is." Presbyterian, Pentecostal or Hottentot, all same-same.

This is not far off par for our present day. "When an American president closes an address by saying 'G-d bless America,' " writes Michael Lind in Prospect magazine, "this is not a signal that the United States is about to become a theocracy. It is the equivalent of 'may the Force be with you.' "

CIA attacks al-Qaeda with prescription drugs

Brilliant! It'll reduce prices at home and end the war on terror. What a great country.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Oh those Spanish

Madrid, Jan. 19 ( - Although Spain's highest judicial authority has ruled that a proposed bill legalizing gay marriage is unconstitutional, the country's Socialist government said on Tuesday that it is going ahead with plans to vote the bill into law.

The ruling of the Judicial Authority Council is non-binding, but the ruling could open the door for quick legal challenges if the bill becomes law. The four judges of the council voted three to one against the bill. Justice Minister Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar said he would ignore the ruling which was "without legal basis." The bill is expected to pass easily through parliament despite the judges' ruling.

Jose Luis Requero, a member of the council, reiterated that marriage could "only be heterosexual." He said, "According to arguments I have heard (in support of same-sex unions), it would be impossible to argue why two brothers cannot marry, or why a man cannot marry many women."


Apparently they're merging Netware and Linux, so hopefully we'll get some of Netware's ease of use and kickass directory service along with the power of Unix . . . for cheap?

We'll see.

OK, I got a question

I was reading a Jewish/Catholic discussion group today, and people were asking how a SSPX mass could be valid but illicit, like, what that meant. It seemed pretty simple to me, but reading on a canon brought up the fact that this distinction appears almost nowhere outside of Catholic law. Is this true? Does anyone else know of where valid and licit, that is, legal, might not be equivlent?

It all makes sense to me, so confusing.

This day in history, courtesy of JWR

On this day in …

* 1840, during an exploring expedition, Captain Charles Wilkes
sights the coast of eastern Antarctica and claims it for the United

* 1915, during World War I, Britain suffers its first casualties
from an air attack when two German zeppelins drop bombs on Great
Yarmouth and King's Lynn on the eastern coast of England.

* 1944, the federal government relinquished control of the nation's
railroads following settlement of a wage dispute.

* 1950, the People's Republic of China bestows diplomatic
recognition upon the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

* 1955, a presidential news conference was filmed for television for
the first time, with the permission of President Eisenhower.

* 1961, outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower cautions incoming
President John F. Kennedy that Laos is "the key to the entire area
of Southeast Asia," and might even require the direct intervention
of U.S. combat troops.

* 1983, Klaus Barbie, AKA the "Butcher of Lyons", the Nazi Gestapo
chief of Lyons, France, during the German occupation, is arrested in
Bolivia for his crimes against humanity four decades earlier. As
chief of Nazi Germany's secret police in occupied France, Barbie
sent thousands of French Jews and French Resistance members to their
deaths in concentration camps, while torturing, abusing, or
executing many others.

* 1999, a mere three weeks after California passed a law against
cyberstalking, Gary Dellapenta is charged with using the Internet to
solicit the rape of a woman who had rejected his advances.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A documentary about Israeli war crimes in Jenin was made up

Or so says the guy who made the film.

Aquinas would be surprised

Or, sketchy econ.

Normative questions deal with what is better or worse. No theory can answer normative questions. Try asking a physics teacher which is the better or worse state: a solid, gas, liquid or plasma state. He'll probably look at you as if you're crazy. On the other hand, if you ask your physics teacher which is the cheapest state for pounding a nail into a board, he'd probably answer that the solid state is. It's the same with economic theory, as opposed to economists. That is, if you asked most economists which method of conflict resolution produces the greater overall wealth, they'd probably answer that the market mechanism does.

The bottom line is that economic theory is objective or non-normative and doesn't make value judgments. Economic policy questions are normative or subjective and do make value judgments — questions such as: Should we fight unemployment or inflation, should we spend more money on education, and should the capital gains tax be 15 percent or 20 percent? It's in the area of value judgments where there's so much disagreement among economists.

The problem with statements like these is that not everyone agrees on what economic theory actually is. We may be able to agree that a price in a certain town is thus, but to answer the why requires not math, but psychology, and that becomes murky water very fast. Caveat lector.

Iraqi abp. taken hostage and then freed



Earlier, Church officials in Iraq had been quoted as saying that they had received a ransom demand. Father Tetrus Mosei, the vicar general of the Mosul diocese, reportedly received a phone call on Tuesday morning demanding payment of $200,000 for the archbishop's release. Catholics in Mosul were collecting funds for the ransom payment when they heard that Archbishop Casmoussa was already free.

In Rome, Navarro-Valls said that the archbishop's abduction came as a surprise, in part because he is "very well liked by both Christians and Muslims."

Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, who heads the Chaldean Catholic diocese of Mosul (Archbishop Casmoussa is the Syrian-rite leader), suggested that the kidnapping was probably not motivated by religious issues. He told reporters that criminals in Mosul, taking advantage of the unrest in the city, have begun kidnapping prominent people to generate quick profits from ransoms.

Details of the archbishop's release are unclear-- as are the reasons why his abductors would have freed him without payment of ransom. But Msgr. Thomas Habib, an official at the apostolic nunciature in Baghdad, told the AsiaNews service that he had spoken with Archbishop Casmoussa personally. And Patriarch Emmanuel Delly, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, reported that the archbishop was resting comfortably at home, unharmed.

Archbishop Casmoussa was seized on Monday afternoon, January 17, by a group of armed men who seized him on the street in Mosul, threw him into the trunk of a car, and sped off. The perpetrators of the kidnapping have not yet been identified.

More liberal politically correct thought censorship

This one absolutely boggles my mind.

This man simply suggests that there is a possibility (more of a probability IMO) that there are biological differences between the genders that account for differences in performance in fields such as science and engineering.

"Here was this economist lecturing pompously (to) this room full of the country's most accomplished scholars on women's issues in science and engineering, and he kept saying things we had refuted in the first half of the day," said Denton, the outgoing dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Washington."

You'd think that this woman, being such an accomplished scholar, would know that a lower average ability to perform does not preclude there from being women with oustanding abilities.

Also, does she feel that such existence is an irrefutable argument against innate differences?


Monday, January 17, 2005


Apparently Hitler tried to kidnap Pius XII and use him as a political chip, but the general he assigned didn't do anything. It thus seems rather unlikely that Pius XII was "Hitler's Pope" as people don't usually kidnap their friends, unless you mean that he was Hitler's Pope insofar as he was supposed to be in Hitler's basement next to Hitler's hot water heater.

Thank you Jimmy Akin for finding this stuff.

LGF gets threatened with shutdown

Because some guy thinks the site is disgusting and is reporting them to the authorities. Umm. Right then.

Who needs free speach when you can just threaten people you disagree with?

OO has seen my room

From St. Francis de Sales' sermon on the fourth Sunday of Advent, on Penitence -- a cautionary word to many book addicts in the blogosphere:

"The second reason [why people do not profit from the word of God] is 'spiritual avarice' by which we seek to obtain a great deal of knowledge and to amass a huge stock of devotional exercises. You will find some people who never tire of amassing new writings and instructions, all sorts of spiritual advice and information, and who nevertheless do not put any of it into practice! And what is that if not spiritual avarice, a truly serious fault in the devout life?

"You will find others who must always be hearing and seeing something new. To attract attention they collect innumerable books and create libraries that are wonders to behold. 'Poor creatures, what is the purpose in all that?' They will respond: 'Oh, we are practicing foresight in anticipating our future needs. When older, we can make good use of them.' 'Oh God! do you not realize that Our Lord strongly desired to remove such avarice and anxiety from His disciples' hearts and commanded them to live from hand to mouth and to have no anxiety about tomorrow (Mt 6:34)?

"Indeed, among the ordinances which God imposed on the children of Israel was the command to collect only a certain measure of manna [Ex 16:16]..."
Yesterday 5:49 PM


A fascinating look at Annan, the French, and the corruption in the highest ranks of the UN. Thanks to Sed Contra for the analysis (or the anal, as they would say in NYU econ).

While I have not been generally as strongly opposed to Kofi Annan and the some folks have, and while I have continued to consume French cheese and wine (both excellent, too), I have stumbled nonetheless across two more reasons to dislike both the Secretary General and the French.

First, Annan. I am a little surprised that this is not more generally known, but back in January 1994, about three months before Hutu extremists got their tribesmen to slaughter their Tutsi neighbors and family members at a pace that surpassed the killing of Jews in World War II, Major General Roméo Dallaire, U.N. force commander in Rwanda, received an informant from among the extremists who laid out the whole plan and told him where to find arms caches which had been stored for the fighting and slaughter.

Dallaire, a Canadian, urgently cabled off a plan to the U.N. in New York to his boss, Kofi Annan. With a few of his troops, well armed and with surprise on their side, Dalliare's plan called for raids on the caches to blow them up and forestall the planned slaughter for at least a little time.

Annan's answer was not just no, but the worst sort of ill-thought out no. Frontline reported it.

Dallaire was told the U.N. didn't agree with his plan to raid the arm caches and furthermore, he must inform the president of Rwanda what he had learned from the informant, even though it was the president's own inner circle that was planning the slaughter of Tutsis.

The rest is a very sad and bloody history. Except for the addition that early in the slaughter ten Belgian peacekeeping troops were captured by the extremists, tortured and killed, a fact which led Belgium to pull its troops which is what the extremists had wanted after all.

According to Philip Gourevitch's landmark We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, the Belgians had tried to investigate the circumstances behind the deaths of their soldiers, but not only had Annan refused to testify in the matter, he refused to let Dallaire do so.

So now it is more than a decade later. How precisely did this man move on to run the U.N.? Why didn't he resign and why didn't we demand he resign. What light does this knowledge place on his behavior in the disputes over Iraq before the war?

Quote of the Day

After my article about how an imam in England said that the suggestion that there could be such a thing as a Muslim terrorist was offensive, Z(ed) was quick to note:

Yeah but according to that there also can't be Catholic terrorists in England either! Let's bomb something!

I say, let's go for it. I got time.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Just got back to school

Please give me a few moments to collect myself my dears.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Old Oligarch on homosexual cannibalism

If you missed this news story last year, you gotta read what he has to say. So very logical.

Lots of cool indulgences for the year of the Eucharist

"A Plenary Indulgence is granted to all faithful and to each individual faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin), each and every time they participate attentively and piously in a sacred function or a devotional exercise undertaken in honor of the Blessed Sacrament, solemnly exposed and conserved in the tabernacle.

"A Plenary Indulgence is also granted, under the aforesaid conditions, to the clergy, to members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and to other faithful who are by law obliged to recite the Liturgy of the Hours, as well as to those who customarily recite the Divine Office out of pure devotion, each and every time they recite - at the end of the day, in company or in private - Vespers and Night Prayers before the Lord present in the tabernacle.

"The faithful who, through illness or other just cause, are unable to visit the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist in a church or oratory, may obtain a Plenary Indulgence in their own homes, or wherever they may be because of their ailment, if, ... with the intention of observing the three usual conditions as soon as possible, they make the visit spiritually and with the heart's desire, ... and recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a pious invocation to Jesus in the Sacrament.

"If they are unable to do even this, they will receive a Plenary Indulgence if they unite themselves with interior desire to those who practice the normal conditions laid down for Indulgences, and offer the merciful God the illnesses and discomforts of their lives."

The Decree asks that priests, especially pastors, inform the faithful "in the most convenient manner" of these dispositions, prepare, "with generous and ready spirit," to hear confessions and to lead the faithful "in solemn public recitation of prayers to Jesus in the Sacrament." The faithful are likewise exhorted "to give open witness of faith and veneration for the Blessed Sacrament" as proposed in such acts as Eucharistic procession and adoration, and Eucharistic and spiritual communion."i>

Friday, January 14, 2005

What a covenant marriage is

Thanks to Z(ed) for the linky.

Brave new Europe

Apparently there's some illegality attached to saying that there are Islamic terrorists under a new English law. Lovely.


Message: 19
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 04:12:54 -0000
Subject: Hello from a New Member

Hello to Everyone,

I just joined your group and wanted to briefly mention why. Three
years ago I left the Catholic Church and sought to convert under the
supervision of an Orthodox Rabbi. I learned of him through a Torah
teacher in Jerusalem. One of the reasons I left the Church is because
I was deeply influenced by the book, "The Anguish of the Jews," by
Fr. Edward Flannery. I know that Father didn't intend that one of his
readers would leave the Church, but when I read about the terrible
things done to the Jewish People over the centuries by the Catholic
hierarchy, I was heartbroken. I felt like I was personally
responsible for those things. You see, ever since I was a teenager,
and had gone to Israel at the age of sixteen, I always felt a deep
bond with all the Jewish people. However, I didn't know any Jewish
people, or anyone in the Church to talk to about what I was feeling.
That bond has lasted for over twenty seven years. When I read about
what happened to God's beloved people I became very upset. I decided
to try and personally do something about it. So I joined the Jewish
community and began studying the Torah and making friends. After
three years I converted in the Conservative movement (the Orthodox
Rabbi said that they decided to put my conversion on hold). This past
May I was accepted by the Jewish "court" and went through the process
of conversion. I took for my Hebrew name "Chana Ruth" (Hannah was the
mother of Samuel the prophet, who asked God to remember her; and Ruth
was the first convert to Judaism). I expected to feel very happy
about my conversion, and fulfilled. But I wasn't. Instead I began
feeling worse. I then began thinking of the saints I had been devoted
to in the Church, such as St. Margaret Mary, St. Claude de la
Colombierre her confessor, St. Gemma Galgani, and St. Teresa of
Avila. I felt cut off from them. Then I received from a Catholic
friend a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for Christmas. That was
the ticket to my coming back! I had always been greatly devoted to
the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and when I saw that picture I knew He was
calling me back to the Church. So I went to confession a few weeks
ago and the priest, and myself, were very happy.

Sorry for the long message, but I needed to share with you where I am
in my life right now. I need to reacclamate myself to the Church's
teachings, because I filled my mind with the teachings of Rabbinic
Judaism. I actually feel like I am a Jewish person seeking to learn
the Catholic faith! It is a very strange feeling. I would appreciate
your prayers, and look forward to the group discussions.

Let us continue to pray for the peace of Yerushalayim!

Shalom Rav V'Kol Tuv, (Much Peace, and be well!)


In Germany, parents teaching their children is illegal

German school official has ordered seven families home-schooling their children in northwest Germany to enroll their children in public schools immediately, or the children will be forcibly removed by police and taken to school. Any resistance on the part of the parents will result in the children being removed from their homes, according to a Home School Legal Defense Association report.

The families argued that, as Christians, they wanted to protect their children from the Godless and humanistic values being taught in public schools. They also assured officials that they were providing an adequate education through a German correspondence school.

County education director Heinz Kohler dismissed the families' beliefs, saying, "You and your children are not living in isolation on some island but rather in an environment posing intra- and extracurricular situations where you'll have to accept that your world view will be curtailed."

Kohler further explained that home-schooling could not be allowed as "...children should not be encapsulated or kept apart from the outside world. In these cases, the parents' rights to personally educate their children would prevent the children from growing up to be responsible individuals within society..."

Check it out once more. Read it slowly. Is it just me, or has he all but promised to reengineer the children's outlook on the world? Of course the state is above the family, Herr Kohler, of course.

The strange tale of Fr. Drinan

Pro mea Iudaea:

When he wrote to applaud President Clinton's veto of a ban on partial-birth abortions, a controversial Jesuit priest was clearly out of step with the thinking of the Catholic Church. But his behavior was perfectly consistent with an ideological pattern that first became obvious when he ran for Congress--in direct defiance of orders from Rome. In the summer of 1992 a Jesuit graduate student at Harvard, Father Paul Mankowski, completed the background research for an article he planned to write on the relationship between the Society of Jesus and the congressional career of Father Robert Drinan, with a particular focus on Drinan's voting record on abortion. With the knowledge and consent of the archivist for the New England Province of the Society, Mankowski made photocopies of the correspondence and office memos pertinent to the issue. For various reasons Mankowski subsequently decided not to write an article. However, he then sought out the opinion of a professional historian, James Hitchcock, in determining how the various documents could be of use for the historical record. With the re-emergence of Father Drinan as a political player in the abortion debate, the documentation has assumed a new timeliness.

* * * In the United States even many liberal Catholics support Church teaching about abortion. It was therefore shocking that one of the president's strongest defenders was a Jesuit priest, Father Robert Drinan, who published articles in both the National Catholic Reporter and the New York Times attacking the bill and praising the President for having vetoed it. Such open partisanship is unusual among American priests, but it was not surprising in view of the fact that Father Drinan himself for ten years (l97l-8l) served in Congress, as a Democrat, and that while there was perhaps the single most reliable supporter of abortion "rights." In l970 Drinan was a well-known priest-lawyer and an official of Boston College. In February of that year, Father Pedro Arrupe, the Father General of the Jesuits world-wide, queried the provincial of the New England Province, Father William G. Guindon, concerning a rumor that Drinan was planning to run for Congress. Arrupe warned Guindon that Jesuits could not endorse the actions of any political party. About a week after Arrupe's warning, Drinan informed Guindon that he would indeed seek the Democratic nomination for Congress from a suburban Boston district. After Drinan's candidacy was publicly announced, Arrupe on February 25 cabled Guindon, saying flatly that Drinan could not run for office, and if elected could not serve. Although the Jesuit order traditionally laid great stress on obedience, an official of the New England province now told Arrupe that he was refusing to act on the latter's orders because such action would violate Drinan's rights. In March, Father Guindon was in Rome and met with Arrupe, who told the provincial that he must develop a plan whereby Drinan would withdraw from the congressional race. Assuring Guindon that he understood the reasons for the candidacy, the General nonetheless ruled that they were not sufficient to outweigh Jesuit policy. In addition to the permission of his Jesuit superiors, Church law also required that a priest in Drinan's situation receive the permission of the bishops in whose dioceses he was working. At the beginning of his candidacy Drinan told his Jesuit superiors that he had received informal assurances of approval from the Archdiocese of Boston and from the Diocese of Worcester, and the New England Province had forwarded this claim to Rome. However, Arrupe now queried the two bishops and reported that he had received letters from Cardinal Richard J. Cushing of Boston and Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan of Worcester stating that their permission had never been sought and thus had never been granted. Arrupe then requested that Drinan come to Rome to meet with him--a request Drinan apparently ignored as he began his campaign for Congress. Following his election in November, Drinan wrote to Arrupe informing him of his success and stating that he viewed his entry into politics as fully in keeping with the Society's commitment to social justice. Early in l972 the president of the American bishops' conference, Cardinal John J. Krol of Philadelphia, indicated publicly that Drinan's presence in Congress was contrary to Church policy and against the wishes of the bishops. A week later Arrupe formally told Drinan that he could not run for reelection, basing his decision on the judgment of the Americans bishops that the appropriate circumstances did not exist which would justify it. In mid-March, Arrupe informed Drinan that he had received a letter from Bishop Flanagan stating that both he and Archbishop Medeiros disapproved of Drinan's running for reelection. Arrupe then repeated his own prohibition.

In due course Drinan was re-elected and in l974 prepared to run for third term. In the meantime, however, the face of American politics had changed irrevocably by the sudden intrusion of the abortion issue into the national arena after a l973 Supreme Court decision finding a constitutional "right" to abortion. Drinan's position has always been that he fully accepted Catholic teaching on the subject. However, even before the Supreme Court decision he had supported, with increasing passionate intensity, every proposal to make the procedure legal and to fund it with tax money. Shortly after Roe v Wade, Drinan wrote a public defense of the decision, recognizing that it had flaws but finding it on the whole a beneficial judgment. He then proceeded, over the next several years, to compile an almost perfect pro-abortion voting record in Congress. Early in the fall of l974, with another election a few weeks away, the question of Drinan's permission to run again became public, after Drinan told the press "I have permission in black and white." This time Bishop Flanagan stated publicly that he had not given permission, while Cardinal Medeiros merely stated that the issue was an internal one for the Jesuits. Cardinal Medeiros would later reveal that he did not approve of the Jesuit's presence in Congress, while Bishop Flanagan said that the priest's candidacy was a clear violation of Canon Law. Despite these developments, Drinan proceeded with the campaign and was duly returned to Congress by his constituents. He was again re-elected to Congress in November of l976, and again in l978. In February, l980, another election year, Arrupe wrote to Father Edward M. O'Flaherty, now the New England provincial, again urging that Drinan retire from Congress. This time Arrupe expressed the personal opinion that Drinan's position on abortion was indefensible. How far that position actually extended was illustrated in a fundraising letter mailed that year by the National Abortion Rights Action League, which denounced the pro-life movement in the strongest terms and cited Drinan as a friend whose re-election to Congress was essential to the abortion cause. That same year the Holy See issued a general order requiring all priests to withdraw from politics, and in early May Father O'Flaherty announced that indeed Drinan would not be a candidate for re-election. Drinan's departure from Congress hardly marked his departure from politics, as in due course he became president of the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA). He became increasingly vituperative in his criticisms of the pro-life movement, and as head of the ADA sent out a fundraising letter specifically urging the moral necessity of electing pro-abortion candidates to Congress. It is now clear that, despite what Drinan and his supporters often claimed, he never had authority from Father Arrupe to run for Congress. It is equally obvious that Drinan never had the permission of the Archbishop of Boston or the Bishop of Worcester, despite what he told Arrupe. Drinan himself was sometimes eager to emphasize his clerical identity. But to the degree that there were potential conflicts between a priest's duty to the Church and a politician's duties to the voters, this actually proved definitively why priests should not be in politics--Drinan was bound to the Church and to the Society of Jesus by solemn vows much older and deeper than anything which bound him to the citizens of Massachusetts. Although Drinan's publicly expressed views on abortion seemed more moderate before l970 than they would later turn out to be, it was already evident that he was a priest-lawyer with whom Catholic moral teachings sat uneasily at a number of points. Abortion had not yet become a national issue, but the legalization of abortion was one of a widening circle of radical proposals for the reshaping of society, many of them in direct opposition to Catholic doctrine. The Catholic Church would inevitably be a major obstacle to such changes, and it probably occurred to at least some secular liberals that it would be an inestimable advantange to have in Congress a Jesuit priest willing to support virtually all of those changes enthusiastically. How could any layman--especially one who was not a Catholic--be faulted for supporting abortion if the most prominent Catholic priest in public life did the same? Drinan bears heavy responsibility for making the Democratic Party the party of abortion.

Check it out

Saying that science is in fact science is "religious".

A federal judge Thursday ordered a suburban Atlanta school system to remove stickers from its high school biology textbooks that call evolution ``a theory, not a fact,'' saying the disclaimers are an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

"By denigrating evolution, the school board appears to be endorsing the well-known prevailing alternative theory, creationism or variations thereof, even though the sticker does not specifically reference any alternative theories," U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said.

Hmm, let's see. Science is the observation of things and the creation and testing of theories about them. Science doesn't generally deal with fact, but with data, and tries to explain the data. E.g. quantum mechanics and general relativity are both wrong, but they both explain a lot.

Now certainly science veers towards truth, but I don't think that reminding students that science is a work in progress is really an endorsement of religion, nor is this "denigration". It's just a little philosophy of science, maybe metaphysics, both of which His Honor should learn before spouting off.

Just thought everyone might like to wake up to a nice cup of SSPX

The amount of ignoring what was going on by Abp. Lefebvre and others is quite impressive.

As is clearly visible from the content of Archbishop Lefebvre's appeal, he neither accepted the decision of the Commission of Cardinals, nor the actions of Bishop Mamie in suppressing the SSPX. Archbishop Lefebvre presented his arguments to the Apostolic Signatura based upon three grounds.

First of all, he claimed proper procedure was not followed in suppressing the SSPX and their seminary.

Secondly, he claimed that the Commission of Cardinals was not competent to judge his declaration, rather this was the competency of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

And thirdly, he claimed that the declaration was his alone, and neither the SSPX nor their seminary should be suppressed as a result of his personal declaration.

Whether or not the normal canonical procedure had been meticulously followed would soon become irrelevant, for on June 10, 1975 the Apostolic Signatura rejected Archbishop Lefebvre's appeal on the grounds that the Holy Father had approved the decision of the Commission of Cardinals in forma specifica.(45) This would be confirmed by Pope Paul VI personally in a letter to Archbishop Lefebvre in which the Holy Father stated: "Finally, the conclusions which [the Commission of Cardinals] proposed to Us, We made all and each of them Ours, and We personally ordered that they be immediately put into force."(46) Hence, no further recourse was possible for Archbishop Lefebvre, for under c*. 1880, "there is no appeal: (1) from the sentence of the Supreme Pontiff himself or from the Signatura Apostolica..."(47) Consequently, the SSPX and their seminary were unquestionably suppressed as a juridical person within the Church.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Gospel of Hell

However, any real love must start from within. You can't love others without loving yourself first. And, of course, masturbation is the greatest expression of self-love. So it's natural that we, the citizens of the world, are joining together to masturbate for peace.

Self love . . . I believe there was an angel who loved himself a lot once. Funny how Christ says loves starts with loving God and modern man says love starts with loving man.

Torture's great

Except a) it doesn't work and b) it's immoral.

By contrast, it is easy to find experienced U.S. officers who argue precisely the opposite. Meet, for example, retired Air Force Col. John Rothrock, who, as a young captain, headed a combat interrogation team in Vietnam. More than once he was faced with a ticking time-bomb scenario: a captured Vietcong guerrilla who knew of plans to kill Americans. What was done in such cases was "not nice," he says. "But we did not physically abuse them." Rothrock used psychology, the shock of capture and of the unexpected. Once, he let a prisoner see a wounded comrade die. Yet -- as he remembers saying to the "desperate and honorable officers" who wanted him to move faster -- "if I take a Bunsen burner to the guy's genitals, he's going to tell you just about anything," which would be pointless. Rothrock, who is no squishy liberal, says that he doesn't know "any professional intelligence officers of my generation who would think this is a good idea."

Or listen to Army Col. Stuart Herrington, a military intelligence specialist who conducted interrogations in Vietnam, Panama and Iraq during Desert Storm, and who was sent by the Pentagon in 2003 -- long before Abu Ghraib -- to assess interrogations in Iraq. Aside from its immorality and its illegality, says Herrington, torture is simply "not a good way to get information." In his experience, nine out of 10 people can be persuaded to talk with no "stress methods" at all, let alone cruel and unusual ones.

Asked whether that would be true of religiously motivated fanatics, he says that the "batting average" might be lower: "perhaps six out of ten." And if you beat up the remaining four? "They'll just tell you anything to get you to stop."

Worse, you'll have the other side effects of torture. It "endangers our soldiers on the battlefield by encouraging reciprocity." It does "damage to our country's image" and undermines our credibility in Iraq. That, in the long run, outweighs any theoretical benefit. Herrington's confidential Pentagon report, which he won't discuss but which was leaked to The Post a month ago, goes farther. In that document, he warned that members of an elite military and CIA task force were abusing detainees in Iraq, that their activities could be "making gratuitous enemies" and that prisoner abuse "is counterproductive to the Coalition's efforts to win the cooperation of the Iraqi citizenry." Far from rescuing Americans, in other words, the use of "special methods" might help explain why the war is going so badly.

Some truth

But I'm not convinced.

As the third recent Middle East election nears in Iraq, Americans are still puzzled over why well-off Islamic fundamentalists crashed planes into skyscrapers and now send mercenaries to the Sunni Triangle to slaughter us as we sponsor democracy. Yet since Sept. 11, we have grasped that Muslim fascists understood that the course of American-led world history — democracy and globalized capitalism — was leaving them behind. Thus they strike the United States before they are made irrelevant.

America symbolized the onset of a hated modernism and its breakdown of religious, gender and ethnic hierarchies that were so treasured by Islamicist patriarchs. As this war wore on, we also fathomed the pathological partnerships of tyrannies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria with al-Qaida and other terrorist cadres. Both groups scapegoated the superpower United States for their own failures. In addition, killers in bin Laden's mafia and other terrorist planners from Iran to the West Bank turned out not to be the impoverished, but more often the pampered of the middle class — like the Saudi suicide zealot who just blew up Americans in Mosul.

There does seem to be a lot of feudal stakeholding going on in the Middle East which would be why a lot of people in power hate us. However, I think the reason why we are hated by the man in the street is the same reason that the Jewish Zealots hated Rome. We're, to a certain extent, atheistic, immoral, corrupting, and evil. We kill our children, try to kill their children, and then get upset when other people kill adults. Very very strange.

Covenant marriages are growing

But I have no idea what they are. I guess they make no-fault divorce impossible or something? I think it's a good idea, but I really can't tell from this story.

Condoms and AIDS

The United Nations AIDS
agency (UNAIDS) has published a draft of a study, due out at the end of the month, which shows that condoms are ineffective in protecting against HIV an estimated 10% of the time. The admission from the UN, which is far lower than some studies which have shown larger than 50% failure rates, is a blow to population control activists which have aggressively and misleadingly marketed condoms in the third world as 100% effective.

The Boston Globe, which reviewed the draft report, demonstrates the false marketing of the notorious population control advocacy group, Population Action International (PAI). A September 2002 report, ''Condoms Count,'' published by PAI, said, ''Public health experts around the globe agree that condoms block contact with bodily fluids that can carry the HIV virus and have nearly 100 percent effectiveness when used correctly and consistently.''

The report examined two decades of scientific literature on condoms and UNAIDS says lead author Norman Hearst, "makes a cogent argument that we should be talking about safer sex, not safe sex, with condoms."

The Globe quotes Edward C. Green, a senior research scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, saying, the one in ten failure rate of condoms protection from AIDS, is "not good enough for a fatal disease." "He said, "The way condoms are marketed in Africa and other developing parts of the world is as if they were 100 percent safe. Condoms have brand names like Shield and Protector that gives the impression that they are 100 percent safe."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Civil war in Israel . . .

Old-guard military establishment types like Labor MK and (res.) Brig.-Gen. Ephraim Sneh are openly calling for a civil war. In an opinion column published in Ma'ariv two weeks ago, Sneh wrote, "85 years after its establishment, the United States of America was drawn into a cruel and destructive civil war, but the results of that war formed the democratic character of the giant country. The confrontation among [Israelis] is also unpreventable." Totally ignoring the threats emanating from Palestinian society today and those likely to arise in the coming months and years, Sneh wrote, "Even if the confrontation will be bloody, the toll will be minuscule in comparison to the blood and sacrifice that more decades of conflict with the Palestinians will extract from us."

If we can be brought to believe that the dangers that Sharon's plans manifest relate only to the pesky, overwhelmingly religious Israelis who live in the areas he wishes to empty of Jews, rather than to the country as a whole, then there can be little doubt that there will be bloody confrontations (provoked mainly by the Left) between Jew and Jew. On the other hand, if we are willing to recognize that the dangers inherent in his plans relate to the entire state, then not only would such internecine violence be consummately avoidable, we would also be able to craft policies that would ensure the well being and security of Israeli society as a whole for decades to come.

Rabbis in Texas

The final frontier?

CFOI on Israel and the wall

Another deleterious effect of seeming insouciant about the slaughter of Jewish civilians is that it endangers the good relations between Jews and Catholics that the Holy Father has worked so hard to promote.

Catholic leaders here and in Europe have been led down the garden path by Holy Land Catholics who require moral blindness as the price of loyalty. Latin-rite Patriarch Michel Sabbah’s friendship with Yassar Arafat and his collaboration with left wing, pacifist organizations that demonize Israel have created the false impression that Catholics are anti-Israel. Sabbah sings one note: “The occupation causes terrorism,” and from that historical incongruity springs a garden of moral equivocation. A Catholic Patriarch should be a voice for moderation and moral sanity; he should not offer up partisan propaganda wrapped in the thin veneer of Catholic social teachings.

Israel’s strategy was morally correct and strategically necessary. Rather than dropping bombs or saturating terrorist strongholds with IDF troops, Israel has opted for selective targeting of terrorist leaders, limited troop engagements (which pose greater risk to soldiers), and the non-lethal barrier. All of this is paying off, as the Intifada is running out of steam, terror attacks have declined significantly in number, and fewer Palestinians are lining their children up for murderous martyrdom, lest their homes be the price of slaughtering innocents.

Admitting you were wrong is tough, as any Catholic who regularly participates in the sacrament of confession will attest. But the facts are in and Catholic leaders were wrong: the anti-terrorism barrier saves Jewish lives from anti-Semitic violence so horrific its only corollary takes us back sixty years.

The Holy Father has called the Jewish people “our elder brothers.” In the Jewish town of Avnei Hefetz the security fence was left open to avoid hardship to the Arab residents of Tulkarm, who depend on Israel for an economy. A Palestinian terrorist slipped through the opening, shot dead one of our elder brothers and wounded his daughter. The UN, EU and the BBC may choose to be sanguine about this. Catholics should not.

License agreements

The good, the bad, and the ugly. I haven't had problems, but kudos to the brave souls fighting Microsoft.

Are tax-cuts against the Torah?

Try telling that to King David.

As columnist Mona Charen writes in her new book Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (And the Rest of Us), a policy of defining compassion as a function of federal dollars spent was a colossal failure.

"During the twenty-five years that followed Lyndon Johnson's declaration of war on poverty, U.S. taxpayers spent $3 trillion providing every conceivable support for the poor, the elderly and the infirm. Private foundations spent scores of billions more, and private and religious charities even more. Nevertheless as Ronald Reagan later quipped, 'In the war on poverty, poverty won.'"


“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”

~ Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States of America.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Crime in the Vatican

Apparently it's up, and 2% of all crimes there are committed by citizens. Which is a little disturbing.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Outrage at comparing abortion and the Holocaust

I agree. 60 million deaths a year and 6 million deaths over 7 years are very different and are hard to compare.

Jews and Catholics talking about Metatron

Message: 4
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 13:18:45 -0000
From: "aronbengilad"
Subject: Re:Metatron

Dear Richard,

The identity of Metatron is very complex in Jewish traditions. He is the
Angel that has God's name within him also called Yahoel and the Angel of
YHVH. He is also called the shining Light of the shekinah and the male
aspect of the Shekinah. He is also called the Holy Child or Holy Youth.
Christians have long associsted this Angel or Messenger with the Eternal
Word before his Incarnation. He is also the same as Sar ha Torah also
called Yofifeh (Beautiful Mouth) or Yofiel (Beauty of God). The Zohar
gives him 8 angelic titles including Sar ha Panim (Prince of the Faces)who
is in the Jewish Liturgy (for rosh ha shanah I think) is called Yeshua Sar
ha Panim. 3 Enoch associates Metatron with the ascended Enoch however
Metatron existed before Adam and thus could not really be Enoch but Enoch
is a type of the Son of Man who will take flesh as a Ben Enoch.

Matronita is the heavenly Warrior queen associated with the female
aspect of Shekinah. She is the 'Moon of Israel'.

I will be writing about this in much more detail in my book.

Cheers Athol


Message: 5
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2005 13:35:43 -0000
From: "aronbengilad"
Subject: Re:Moon

Metatron becomes Yeshua at the Incarnation and Matronita is Miriam in
Eternity.The name Miriam is connected to the concept mentioned in Zohar
about the two Mems. I see it this way. She is the Sea of Understanding
and Wisdom that is represented by the open men and she receives the Divine
Seed of Wisdom who is her Son who is the closed mem. The resh in her name
represent Rosh the head Tefillin (Sacred Heart) and the yod represents yad
as the hand tefillin (the Immaculate heart). The two boxes of the Tefillin
represent the two mems as two hearts. When we daven we approach the Two
hearts that beat as one. The male and female aspects are united as One
Love. The six petaled rose (shoshan) is the Son and the thirteen petaled
Rose (shoshanah) is the Mother of mercy (hesed)[Shalom lah Miriam meleat
ha hesed...] they are the Rosa Mundi[the prototype for the unfolding of
the Creation of the Universe]. The Tallis and Tallis katan are also deeply
connected with this concept of the Divine Heart. this isan enteringin to
the deeper messianic and universal level of understanding Torah.

Cheers Athol

Jimmy Akin is the new Mark Shea

I figure I'll be in the running by next year if the current rate of traffic increase keeps up. I only know 5 people who read this blog, so someone else must be coming in here besides the perv who came here looking for "homo sexual photo sex not filter".

Responsum ad dubiam

From Mr. Goldston:

So it turns out that the Vatican's newspaper, l'Osservatore Romano, did
not criticize Israel for not sending enough aid to Sri Lanka. Apparently
it was a translation error that had the Catholic World News saying that
Israel is "too preoccupied with making war," and l'Osservatore was
actually criticizing Sri Lanka for that. NOW they tell us.

After all, what actually happened was that Sri Lanka originally refused an
aid package and volunteers from Israel on the grounds that too many of the
people Israel wanted to send were active-duty IDF.

If I could read Italian decently I'd check it myself, but I guess as it is
I can take this as one heck of a Freudian slip on the part of Catholic
World News' translators.

As a member of the Jew crew, though, I can't say I wasn't shocked by the
original story from CWN blaming Israel for not sending aid...after all,
the Vatican is putting Eugenio Pacelli through the beatification process,
even as new dirt on him is seeing the light of day, like "a 1946 letter
from the Holy Angelo Roncalli, the papal nuncio in Paris and
later Pope John XXIII, [which] confirmed the principle that baptized
Jewish children in the Church's care during the Holocaust should not be
restored to surviving parents after it. Even unbaptized Jewish orphans
were not to be turned over to other family members..." (quotation taken
from TNR)

With saints like this...yeah.

Of course, Roncalli gave this letter exactly the attention it merited and
did the right thing, which is why he's my favorite Pope, but yeah.

Given John Paul II's obsession with glossing over Pius XII's record, is it
any wonder that Jews everywhere were in an uproar the instant the CWN
article hit the 'net?

Pius XII's beatification is majorly creeping out those of us who pay
attention to such things.

OK then several points to respond to.

First of all, the Asian aid. I'd urge Mr. Goldston not to associate CWN with the Vatican, expecially since some of CWN's frequent commentators range towards sedevancantism, and CWN has it's own agenda. I'm not too familiar with the story, but I think it has more to say about CWN than the Church in general.

Next, Pius XII. As you, my lieblings, know, I recently found an article that explains exactly what was going on there. Nothing too exciting. The linky is [here] . Unlike most stuff from CWN, it's fully accessable to the public, so no problem there. And, of course, the letter is unsigned, wasn't found in the papers of the Church but in the archives of France, was in French, and in any event doesn't say what the esteemed Mr. Goldston says it says. Moving right along.

JPII. Mr. Goldston should perhaps familiarize himself with the record of the pontiff, who is a great friend of the Jewish people and is on pretty good terms with the Rabbis of Italy and Israel, as far as I know, not to mention the great number of Jewish friends from his WWII years.

Do pro-life laws cause violent behaviors?

Legal abortion makes it convenient for a father to tell a mother that he wants her to have an abortion when she finds herself suddenly pregnant. And if she refuses to comply, some partners feel they have license to assault or even kill their wives of girlfriends.

That's what happened in the case of Rae Carruth, a football player for the NFL's Carolina Panthers.

Though making big bucks as a professional athlete, he refused to pay child support when his girlfriend Cherica Adams became pregnant and refused to have an abortion. Instead, he got his buddies to shoot her.

The violent assault left Cherica dead and her son Chance, who doctors were able to save, permanently disabled.

Chance will never enjoy the opportunity to play professional football like his dad, because of his disabilities. That's the result of legalized abortion.

Alternative embryonic stem cell techs are still flawed and immoral

His technique, called alternate nuclear transfer, involves turning off certain developmental genes and causing a nonfertilized egg to divide and multiply as it would if fertilized by human sperm.

What would be created wouldn't be a unique human being, but a nonhuman embryo from which stem cells could be extracted.

However, two leading Harvard University researchers who favor embryonic stem cell research call the proposal "scientifically flawed."

Writing in last week's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard biologist Douglas Melton said the Hurlbut's process would be virtually impossible to recreate.

''This would not only waste valuable time, but also precious resources," Melton wrote.

Good morning

I'd just like to remind everyone that the Sacrament of Reconciliation, otherwise known as "Confession", is probably the best thing you can do for your soul besides Mass. Go early, go often, go on a schedule.

Remember, grace is free, but it isn't cheap.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

LGF on the Palestinian elecitons


Students often report that their professors react against them for stating a viewpoint different from the prevailing orthodoxy of the left. They can be ridiculed in class discussions or given low grades on exams.

Dartmouth College has been carrying on a running battle with the conservative student newspaper, the Dartmouth Review, from the moment it was founded many years ago. On some campuses, conservative student newspapers are destroyed by leftist students or even burned publicly, with little or no effort by the college administration to maintain freedom of speech.

A student at Lewis College in Colorado was actually kicked by a professor for wearing a sweatshirt proclaiming his Republican views. This happened at a birthday party, of all places, and the professor has been quoted as saying that her only regret was that her kick was not "harder and higher."

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which monitors campus intolerance, is trying to get some action taken against that professor. Good luck.

The day after the election, we spent about an hour to an hour and a half talking about how the country was screwed and the election was a fraud and there was massive voter fraud and people voted for Bush either because they were rich and greedy or really stupid. It was a wonderful experience.

The complaint of Diogenes

I don't think being cynical can help. After all, in the Colosseum they sang psalms as the lions ate them. But surely something must be done

Read the entire story, searching for any mention -- even oblique mention -- of sin, or penance, or reparation. You won't find it. Instead, we get all the Dr. Joyce Brothers buzzwords: inappropriate, evaluation, treatment, boundaries, regret, counseling, renewal. There's zero indication that Fr. Witte's wrongdoing and correction are understood to have importance in the supernatural order. An atheist dean of a dental school detailing remedial measures for an erring atheist faculty member might have made the same statement in the same words.

It's no surprise that many progressive Catholics have forsaken any interest in God. Fine. But why continue the charade? Why don't they simplify things and eliminate the middleman? If only psychologists can explain and correct evil, if sin has become an embarrassing anachronism, who needs the clergy or hierarchy? Your daughter runs with a bad crowd? Put her on the pill. Your husband tumbled his secretary? Send him to outpatient therapy. You need to kill time on Sunday mornings before the pre-game shows begin? Buy a couple Disney videos. For those transient "spiritual" needs, get an inflatable acolyte and read to it from the heavy-breathing passages in "Faithful Citizenship." And there are always Sr. Joan Chittister's reflections in the NCR.

Not being a progressive, I believe that if I didn't go to Mass I'd go to hell. I acknowledge the need for the clergy. But the clergymen (for the most part) to whom I must resort to discharge my Sunday duty laugh at my scruple as a child's bogey-myth. Hence the paradox: I think I'm damned unless I subject myself weekly to Fr. Witte's floor show, which he in turn uses to mock my fidelity as infantilism. Moreover, I'm under orders from my bishop to pretend that this floor show is the Mass the Universal Church wants me to have. Only a knave or a fool can sincerely believe this, of course. My gentler, more tolerant friends urge me to make a good faith effort at bad faith: better to pretend a candle is lit, they say, than to curse the darkness.

Only a bishop, however, can light the particular candle in question. That's another hugely inconvenient doctrine that I, as a Catholic, am compelled to believe. My bishop may have no belief at all about the apostolic nature of hierarchical governance and sacramental validity, but it's greatly to his advantage that I do. That's what he means when he reminds us that we are, after all, an Easter People.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

No, Microsoft doesn't have Jews

Or, don't be paranoid.

Now, there were many ways he could read the random rebus glowing on his client's CRT: My first interpretation would be: "Hey, numbskull, if you're really a computer consultant shouldn't you know how to get letters instead of clip art out of the keyboard? Maybe your real aptitude lies in a different profession, perhaps something a little less high-tech, like . . . oh . . . let's say . . . shepherd (I'm sure there's sheep accounting software and very computer-literate shepherds but I'm equally sure that anyone who's ever touched a sheep professionally has a sense of humor. We won't see the headline, "Message of Shepherd Hate by Two-bit Magician in PC Computing" on the front page of "The Sheep Examiner").

Sudan in chaos

Someone pointed out to me that there are more slaves now than there ever have been before, but no one seems to care very much. I think I'm going to write an article about this for a newsletter . . .

Everything you ever wanted to know about NT and UNIX

I use both, and I'm not quite sure what I prefer. However, this is a religious question, so I feel it is appropriate to blog it.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Big blood problems in China

Apparently lots of Chinese doctors buy and give blood without testing it for diseases like, oh, AIDS, thus killing people. Very very sketch. This is why I go to the blood center, even though I've gotten offers for cash for my blood from certain of my med-student friends.

Thanks to Z(ed) for the heads up.

A very boring article about ISBNs

That utterly fascinates me.

Everything you wanted to know about learning a little assembler


"Amma Sarah said, 'If I prayed God that all people should approve of my conduct, I should find myeslf a penitent at the door of each one, but I shall rather pray that my heart may be pure toward all.'"

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Please pray

for Brenda who has cancer.

Gratias tibi.

Effects of contraception

Using the language of economics, Akerlof pointed out that “technological innovation creates both winners and losers.” In this case the introduction of widespread effective contraception—especially the pill—put traditional women with an interest in marriage and children at “competitive disadvantage” in the relationship “market” compared to modern women who took a more hedonistic approach to sex and relationships. The contraceptive revolution also reduced the costs of sex for women and men, insofar as the threat of childbearing was taken off the table, especially as abortion became widely available in the 1970s.

The consequence? Traditional women could no longer hold the threat of pregnancy over their male partners, either to avoid sex or to elicit a promise of marriage in the event their partner made them pregnant. And modern women no longer worried about getting pregnant. Accordingly, more and more women (traditional as well as modern) gave in to their boyfriends’ entreaties for sex.

In Akerlof’s words, “the norm of premarital sexual abstinence all but vanished in the wake of the technology shock.” Women felt free or obligated to have sex before marriage. For instance, Akerlof finds that the percentage of girls 16 and under reporting sexual activity surged in 1970 and 1971 as contraception and abortion became common in many states throughout the country.

Thus, the sexual revolution left traditional or moderate women who wanted to avoid premarital sex or contraception “immiserated” because they could not compete with women who had no serious objection to premarital sex, and they could no longer elicit a promise of marriage from boyfriends in the event they got pregnant. Boyfriends, of course, could say that pregnancy was their girlfriends’ choice. So men were less likely to agree to a shotgun marriage in the event of a pregnancy than they would have been before the arrival of the pill and abortion.

Thus, many traditional women ended up having sex and having children out of wedlock, while many of the permissive women ended up having sex and contracepting or aborting so as to avoid childbearing. This explains in large part why the contraceptive revolution was associated with an increase in both abortion and illegitimacy.

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