Friday, September 30, 2005

Gadzooks! It's LEMMINGS!

Oh the nostalgia!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Latin error messages

Or, what you never want to see when installing HD space on your computer.

"We started this exercise at late Friday evening, intending to have the new reconfigured system up by Saturday morning. By the time we had done a full tape backup, it was 3 AM or so. Then field engineering went through the process of recabling the disk configuration to install the new disk controllers and disks. We then installed the new version of Multics, including NSS -- now about 4 AM, Detroit time. By this time we were all pretty tired, so we made some small mistakes along the way, but got it installed about 5 or 6 AM.

The BOOT command produced the message


Software: Owned or Leased


"If the software is licensed, then the originating company owns it and they can pay the property taxes on it," wrote one reader. "I have to pay property tax on all the computer hardware and software used in my business virtually forever or until I declare it obsolete and no longer used. This is subject to audit by an agent of the county whose audit is accepted by the IRS as valid. If I rent a car as a business expense, the property taxes are paid by the owner, not me, except as incidental through my rental payments. It would serve these software developer thugs right to have to pay property tax on every sale they make to every end user in every state. If they refuse, then the software is automatically recognized as owned by the buyer, not leased."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Jesus Saves Bank, Member FDIC

And I thought the pope on a rope was crass. This is just completely disrespectful.

Oooh Lordy!

Dreadnought writes multiple entries on the ban on gay seminarians. Very throughly I must say.

Ha! Controversy on EWTN board!

Fr. Bob calls Novus Ordo Missae a fabrication and has to edit his words for all the kiddies. Too bad it's already hit the blogosphere.

Melkite Chant!

Because there are few things cooler than the sung liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Did I mention I liked this guy's blog name?

Two Lungs for the End of Moral Relativism

What an acronym that would be-

Today, as never before, we need a united Christian voice in Europe which is rapidly secularized and dechristianized. It is not a Unia that we need, nor a second Council of Ferrara-Florence. We need a strategic alliance, and we need it hic et nunc. In twenty, thirty or forty years it may simply be too late. The ultimate goal of visible unity must not disappear from our horizon, but we should not hope for its speedy achievement. On the other hand, nothing should prevent us from uniting our efforts in order to defend Christian tradition, without waiting for the restoration of full unity between the two lungs of European Christianity.

Think of it this way- the secularists are relatively organized, why can't we be?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

CLS has the Same Problems We Have

You put a blog up called Ecce Homo they look for gay porn... you put up a blog called Cosmos, Liturgy, Sex... they look for more porn. Everyone now sing a rousing chorus of the "The Internet is for Porn" because I can't seem to think about anything else on the subject.

I suppose that it should have occurred to me that with a blog title like ours we would eventually start getting hits from people trolling the internet for pornography . . . but it did not. For some reason it took quite a while but recently we started getting a good percentage of our hits from people searching on the term “sex.” With the Model of purity staring them in the kisser when they get to our page, the majority do not stay long, though a few do. This got me to thinking about the fixation our culture has with sex. Most television and movies that one might turn on seem to treat sex in a reductionist manner, portraying it as a biological function whose primary purpose is pleasure. Many of them act as if one cannot live a healthy life without it.

Archbishop Sheen once said that if he were looking for the Church that Christ established, he would focus his attention first on the Church which the world spent most of its time attacking. After all, this would be Satan’s the biggest threat. It seems to me that this could analogously be applied to sex. What I mean is the fixation that we have with sex indicates that there is something about it which is beyond ourselves. It is sought in ways that ordinary pleasurable experiences are not. This seems to suggest the recognition of a transcendence (i.e. a going out of and beyond ourselves) associated with the act. Sexual intercourse draws us in ways other experiences do not. The fact that it is perverted in ways that are not found with most other pleasurable experiences also suggests that there is something unique about it. It is unique in such a way that Satan seems to have most of his success with it.

Hans Kung? With the Pope?!

Who'd a thunk it- I'm waiting to find someone with good commentary on the subject but all I have to say right now is that I read the Times article and obviously got pturbed by this-

Dr. Ratzinger and Dr. Küng first met in 1962 in Rome - two of the church's brightest young minds, both German speakers (Dr. Küng is Swiss) - in the excitement over modernizing the church in the Second Vatican Council.

Both were liberals, though Dr. Ratzinger turned to the right during the student unrest in Germany later in that decade. By various accounts, Dr. Küng concluded that Dr. Ratzinger had abandoned his idealism in the name of conformity to the church hierarchy, and bitterness grew after Dr. Küng was stripped of the right to teach theology at the University of Tübingen in 1979. Cardinal Ratzinger took the position that Dr. Küng's scholarship was no longer in accord with Roman Catholicism.

The rest of it I suppose is somewhat suitable for consumption. But just in case it doesn't suit your fancy... as it is a wonder to me that their conversation went beyond "God exists. Oh? You think so too?" I posted CNS's words on the subject.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI and Swiss-born theologian Father Hans Kung, who have known each other for almost 50 years, met Sept. 24 in Castel Gandolfo in what the Vatican described as a "friendly" encounter.

Joaquin Navarro-Valls, Vatican spokesman, said Sept. 26 that the pope and Father Kung "agreed that in the space of this meeting it made no sense to enter into an argument about the doctrinal questions remaining between Hans Kung and the magisterium of the church."

Fierce and Free

From Ben Hatke

"Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say "do it again;" and the grown up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning "do it again" to the sun; and every evening "do it again" to the moon."
--G. K. Chesterton

Safe pills?

"This is a pill proved safe and effective for all ages."

That’s Ellen Goodman’s belief about the Morning After Pill (MAP or "Plan B"). I’d say she’s "misinformed" but she isn’t: I’ve written her before about the valid scientific research published by the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in its Internal Medicine Archives, and in another study, commissioned by the World Health Organisation, published in the UK’s equivalent, The Lancet. We wrote about the increased blood clot and cervical cancer risks from the standard birth control pills in this recent post.

This research, she ignores.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Obsolete OS special!



Plan 9 (not related to OS-9, and not officially obsolete)

OS/2 (my favorite)


And one not so obsolete . . .


Is it ok to talk negatively about clergy?

In order to answer this question, we have to return to our famous "ABC's" of negative speech. These basic principles, enunciated by Rav Yisrael Meir Hacohen of Radin in his famous work Chafetz Chaim, hold the key to explaining my previous statement as well as some significant differences in the case of rabbis and other spiritual leaders.

Basically, yes. But very very carefully.

Wiki of the Day: Algerian Civil War

Sunday, September 25, 2005


You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

Could You Pass the US Citizenship Test?

Most British sentence I've seen in a while

Sunday evening Ella's parents came over and I cooked them a roast chicken. Fortuitously my roast potatoes worked out okay for the first time ever today as well. They were impressed. We also drank the Chianti wine we picked up in Tuscany on the day we went to Siena on our honeymoon. A nice evening was had by all or at least if it wasn't nobody said so.

Jimmy Akin finds a large rabbit on top of a mountain

Those Italians have way too much time on their hands.

Sed Contra comments on the SSA policy

He actually has about five posts, but all I'll say is that I think he's right on for the most part in his analysis in this article.

GNU or Linux?

Linux, I learn today, is a kernel, not an operating system.

Andrew has found a BSD-powered toaster

It has long been regarded that the UNIX-like OS NetBSD is portable to every type of machine except perhaps your kitchen toaster. Technologic Systems, however, has conquered this last frontier. Using one of its rugged embedded TS-7200 single-board computers housed inside the empty space of a standard 2 slice toaster, Technologic Systems has designed a functional NetBSD controlled toaster.

The toaster on display now in the NetBSD booth at the LinuxWorld Expo in San Francisco, is as high-tech as they come. This toaster features a 4 line LCD, USB keyboard, 10/100 ethernet port and a RS232 serial port for the external console. The toaster's internal circuit boards have been bypassed and routed through the CPU board allowing NetBSD complete control over the toaster's features. A keyboard connects through a USB port on the side of the toaster and the 4x40 LCD displays a NetBSD/toaster login prompt. The burner element is also controlled by the TS-7200 via an internal relay. Unlike previous NetBSD toasters which were nothing more than a glorified PC case-mod, this toaster can actually toast bread!

What I did yesterday

The 78th Annual Feast of San Gennaro, New York City's oldest, biggest and best street festival, will be celebrated starting Thursday, September 15, and continuing for 11 days through Sunday, September 25, 2005.

Presented annually since 1996 by Figli di San Gennaro, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, this year’s Feast will again bring more than 1 million people to the streets of Little Italy in the annual salute to the Patron Saint of Naples. The street festivities – including parades, entertainment, food stands and a cannoli-eating contest – are capped on September 19th with a celebratory Mass and candlelit procession as the Statue of the Saint is carried from its permanent home in Most Precious Blood Church on Mulberry Street.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Leaky Redbirds

And not of the subway variety, either.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Larry Osterman's got a really cool series about the Windows audio architecture

I'm a geek. Let's admit it.

It's amazing how they get it almost exactly backwards

Still, Father Silva of the Federation of Priests' Councils and three other church officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared they would lose their jobs if they revealed dissension within church ranks, said several influential American church leaders had tried to persuade Vatican officials not to release a document about gay seminarians because it would create more problems in the priesthood than it would solve.

"People would do what they used to do, which is not be honest," said a gay American priest and professor at a Catholic college who did not want to be identified because he fears he could lose his church position if his sexual orientation was known.

"The irony is, if you look at the exact ages and seminary graduating classes of those priests who were convicted of sexual abuse in the past few years, they were not on the whole people who entered seminaries in the 1980's, when there began to be more openness about homosexuality," he said. "These were people from the old closeted days.

Umm, I think the effect here is that there is a lot less deviant behavior in the past 20 years than before that. Rising orthodoxy and whatnot. I'm not sure you could state that openly homosexual priests are a good thing for children.

Philly goes down the tubes

Scathing Philadelphia grand jury report finds Cardinals Krol, Bevilacqua excused and enabled abuse; Cardinal Rigali responds (6 links)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Eucharistic bread invalid?

Thank you Mr. Akin.

Since the recipe calls for the use of salt, baking powder, honey, and oil, it is clearly illicit (not in conformity with the law). The Code of Canon Law provides:

Canon 924 §2.

The bread must be only wheat and recently made so that there is no danger of spoiling.

The instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum further specifies:

[48.] The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition. It follows therefore that bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, or if it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament. It is a grave abuse to introduce other substances, such as fruit or sugar or honey, into the bread for confecting the Eucharist. Hosts should obviously be made by those who are not only distinguished by their integrity, but also skilled in making them and furnished with suitable tools.

I would talk to the bishop about the problem if you can't get it rectified on the parish level.

Jewihs Mysticism and Mary

Now here's a fascinating topic. The Mystical Rose, from the other side of the table.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Thought of the day

Sowell dicit:

Not only does the passage of time produce knowledge, it also produces ignorance. You would have to be about 50 years old to remember what the situation was like before Roe v. Wade. As the passage of time removes people with first-hand knowledge of an earlier era, they are replaced by people ignorant of those times and therefore easy targets for demagogues.


It's probably been a few years since I've gone more than a week or two with the right amount of blood in my system, since I donate every eight weeks or so. Is that bad? Does it matter for my day to day existance?

He's sueing the Pope?

Sep. 20 ( - The US government has asked a Texas court to dismiss a lawsuit against Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news), since the Pontiff enjoys immunity as a head of state.

A lawsuit against the Pope would be "incompatible with the Unites States' foreign-policy interests," explained assistant US attorney Peter Keisler, in a motion filed to stop the suit.

The lawsuit was brought by attorney Daniel Shea, on behalf of three boys who report that they were molested by a priest in Houston during the 1990s. Shea, who has made several efforts to bring legal action against the Vatican in American courts, made the claim that prior to his election, the then-Cardinal Ratzinger shielded abusive priests from prosecution by treating their cases secretly in his capacity as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The federal intervention in the case was widely expected, since the Vatican had asked US officials to stop the proceedings. A similar lawsuit against Pope John Paul II (bio - news), also brought in a Texas court, was also dismissed on the same grounds.

Shea has said that if the Pope is granted immunity, he will appeal the case, challenging the constitutionality of US diplomatic relations with the Holy See.

Gotta discipline those Saudis

The letter quoted officials from the Treasury Department criticizing the Kingdom for "not establishing an oversight commission to regulate its charitable sector" as well as "for its failure to set up a Financial Intelligence Unit." The letter ended by urging the "Administration to oppose Saudi accession to the WTO" until it takes more "meaningful measures to cut off both the finances and ideologies that feed terrorist movements across the globe…" Clearly this has not occurred. For example, a program on Saudi Iqra TV on August 29, 2005 was devoted to supporting Jihad in Palestine [To view visit ]. Explicit instructions were given on how Saudis can donate money. The program began with the host telling all Saudis including "women, children, elderly and youth" that they should donate.

A caption then appeared on the screen: "Saudi Committee for Support of the Al-Quds Intifada, Account #98, a joint account in all Saudi Banks." This was followed by a moderator that explained "Jihad is the pinnacle of Islam" and that sending money will go directly to supporting those waging Jihad and "helps them carry out this mission."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

How's about Them Apples

Many women at the nation's most elite colleges say they have already decided that they will put aside their careers in favor of raising children. Though some of these students are not planning to have children and some hope to have a family and work full time, many others, like Ms. Liu, say they will happily play a traditional female role, with motherhood their main commitment.

Much attention has been focused on career women who leave the work force to rear children. What seems to be changing is that while many women in college two or three decades ago expected to have full-time careers, their daughters, while still in college, say they have already decided to suspend or end their careers when they have children.

"At the height of the women's movement and shortly thereafter, women were much more firm in their expectation that they could somehow combine full-time work with child rearing," said Cynthia E. Russett, a professor of American history who has taught at Yale since 1967. "The women today are, in effect, turning realistic."

Dr. Russett is among more than a dozen faculty members and administrators at the most exclusive institutions who have been on campus for decades and who said in interviews that they had noticed the changing attitude.

Catholic Music Just Sucks

Similar in theme from the previous post. Where is that B Minor Mass when you need it?

Catholic Song Parodies

From the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas. Yes they're bad, but just as bad as all those lyrics written by Luther and Calvin.

Gather Us In

Here in this place, our comfortable parish,
All of the statues carried away,
See in each face a vacuous visage,
Brought here by guilt or by R.C.I.A.

Gather us in, by Bimmer or Hummer,
Gather us in, so we can feel good,
Come to us now in this barren Zen temple,
With only a shrub and an altar of wood.

We are the young, our morals a mystery,
We are the old, who couldn't care less,
We have been warned throughout all of history,
But we enjoy this liturgical mess.

Gather us in, our radical pastor,
Gather us in, our unveiled nun,
Call to us now, with guitars and bongos,
Hang up your cellphones and join in the fun!

Here we will take some wine and some water,
Whether it changes, we really don't care.
But when the Sign of Peace comes, our pastor,
Jumps from the altar and hugs like a bear.

Gather us in, the privileged and snobby,
Gather us in, the liberal elite,
Help us to form our personal Credo,
Give us a choice between white bread and wheat.

Turns out there are worse people in the world than Muslims

Yes, Francis, according to most standards they do worship the same God as us.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Pope approves barring gay seminarians

Vatican, Sep. 19 ( - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) has given his approval to a new Vatican policy document indicating that men with homosexual tendencies should not be ordained as Catholic priests.

The new document-- which was prepared by the Congregation for Catholic Education, in response to a request made by the late Pope John Paul II (bio - news) in 1994-- will be published soon. It will take the form of an "Instruction," signed by the prefect and secretary of the Congregation: Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski and Archbishop Michael Miller.

The text, which was approved by Pope Benedict at the end of August, says that homosexual men should not be admitted to seminaries even if they are celibate, because their condition suggests a serious personality disorder which detracts from their ability to serve as ministers.

Priests who have already been ordained, if they suffer from homosexual impulses, are strongly urged to renew their dedication to chastity, and a manner of life appropriate to the priesthood.

Oh well.

Sometime between destroying the abandoned synagogues, looting the destroyed Jewish villages, tearing apart the hothouses, throwing grenades at IDF patrols guarding Moshav Netiv Ha'asara and shooting mortars at Sderot, the Palestinians discovered Egypt. At the direction of Hamas, and with the help of PA militias and Egyptian soldiers, thousands of Palestinians crossed the wall separating Palestinian Rafah from Egyptian Rafah. Among the merrymakers, unknown numbers of terrorists crossed back and forth shuttling arms and reinforcements into Gaza in unknown quantities. IDF commanders looked on, and impotently stated that there is a high probability that al-Qaida operatives are among the newcomers. Oh well.

For his part, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz fecklessly railed against the Palestinians and Egyptians for doing nothing to seal the border. The beautiful agreement he negotiated with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman fell apart in 30 seconds and suddenly Mofaz was faced with the meaning of retreat: When you retreat, others take over and you have no ability to stop them because you are not there. Oh well.

The Palestinians minced no words about their goals for the future. Hamas wants to liquidate all of Israel. Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said on Tuesday, "We know our nation is expecting us to continue the liberation journey until the flag of Islam is raised over Jerusalem. This land should not have any Zionists on it." That is, Zahar called for genocide. Oh well.

Judiciary Comitte Hijinks

"Yes, that is correct. If you want to be appointed to the Supreme Court these days, you have to clam up. You can't give any fodder to the well-funded special interest groups who hope to trip a nominee up with 'gotcha' politics."

"But Democratic Sen. Joe Biden says the American people have the right to know what Judge Roberts thinks."

"And Biden said the exact opposite when Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg was up for nomination in 1993. He said she shouldn't have to answer any questions that would color how she might view an issue that could one day come before the court. It's shocking, I know, but our politicians sometimes talk out of both sides of their mouth."


Sunday, September 18, 2005

One for Laura

Robert George on Just War theory.

George: There is a set of principles establishing criteria for moral evaluation of the use, or possible use, of military force. First, war can be justified only in self-defense or defense of others. Wars may not legitimately be fought for national glory, to avenge past wrongs, for territorial gain, or for any other non-defensive purpose. Of course, force may rightly be used, as in the Persian Gulf War, to evict an invading and occupying power. This is an essentially defensive purpose. A second principle of just war requires that the use of force have a reasonable likelihood of success. Lives may not be sacrificed and taken in futile causes. A third principle demands that force be used only when non-violent means will not suffice. A fourth recognizes the immunity of non-combatants from deliberate attack. Although it can be permissible to perform military actions that foreseeable result in the death or injury of noncombatants (so-called "collateral damage"), it is never permissible to make the harming of noncombatants the object of the actions. Thus, killing civilians for revenge, or even as a means of deterring aggression by people who sympathize with them, is forbidden. A fifth principle requires that the use of force, especially where harm to noncombatants is likely, be "proportionate" to the evil being opposed.

Relatedly, norms of fairness must be observed in electing to perform acts one knows will likely cause such harm. The just-war tradition affirms the sanctity of life and the principle of equal human dignity. The Golden Rule forbids treating people we don't know or who have no connection with us or who differ from us in ways that are irrelevant to their status as noncombatants as having less of a right to life than people who happen to be our fellow citizens.

Best Named New Blog

"A Catholic Jew Pontificates".

Related to Fr. Elias Friedman's "Jewish Identity", of course, one of the hottest out of print books in my bizarre little world.

Check out the intro article for a little background.

Is a Bible Writer's Silence Evidence of Ahistoricity?

I say no. Holding agrees.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Should I work for IBM?

On one hand, I'm obsessed with them. On the other hand, I don't know if I'm really skilled enough to pull it off.

I'm in Linux hell

Any class where the examples in class don't work, I don't have much respect for the profs or the TAs. Especially where after he hands out the assignment he says to ignore a good chunk of it b/c it's wrong.

Dressing for success

Friday, September 16, 2005

You going to the convention?

The exorcist convention, of course.

Shea on ID


People who talk about a need for "change" in the law are off on a tangent, if not cynically confusing the issue. Nobody denies the need for change. The Constitution itself provides a process for its own amendment.

The real question is who should make those changes — "we the people" through elected representatives or unelected judges?

Those who think that judges need to update the law have claimed that it is hard to amend the Constitution. But what is the evidence for that? That it hasn't been done very often?

People don't often put on one red shoe and one green shoe. But that doesn't mean that it is hard to do. It just means that they don't want to do it.

Roberts' philosophy

Not an activist, but a passivist.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Pope's Post-its

It is rumored that the Holy Father has a penchant for jotting down several notes throughout the day. Often an idea comes to him and he is forced to write it down on whatever paper is available.

John Paul II, Benedict XVI's predecessor, left so many notes that scholars think it will be decades to sift through all the Post-Its.

Great Joke

The priest was vesting for Mass and told the altar boy that he could go home because there were so few in the Church that day. He told the altar boy, "I can take care of everything myself."

The altar boy just stood there silently as the priest continued to vest. The priest, thinking the altar boy hadn't heard him, again told the altar boy that he could go because the priest didn't need him.

The altar boy continued to stand there silently. Finally, the priest said to the altar boy quite loudly. "There aren't many people in the church. You can go home."

The altar boy responded, "But, Father, if I go who will wash away your iniquities and cleanse you of your sins?"

Another Great Catholic Store

I highly recommend this t-shirt.

Two of my Favorite Things- God and Cartoons

This is such a funny political cartoon blog.

Today is the Feast of the 7 Dolors of Mary

In 1239, five years after having established themselves, the seven founders of the Servite Order took up the sorrows of Mary who stood under the Cross as the main devotion of their religious Order.

On June 9 th and September 15 th, 1668, the Feast of the "Seven Dolors of Mary" was granted to the Servites with the object of commemorating the sorrows of Mary.

This Feast was extended to Spain in 1735 and to Tuscany in 1807. On September 18, 1814, after returning from his exile in France, Pope Pius VII extended this Feast to the whole Latin Church.

The other Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, held on Friday before Palm Sunday, was originally kept on the Friday after the third Sunday after Easter. Known under the title of, "Commemoratio angustix et doloris B. Marix V," this Feast commemorated the sorrows of Mary during the Passion and death of Christ. Instituted in 1413 by the provincial synod of Cologne, its object was to expiate for the crimes of the iconoclat Hussites.

On April 22, 1727, Pope Benedict XIII extended this Feast to the entire Latin Church under the title of "Septem dolorum B.M.V." This last Feast did not have originate through the Servite Order.

Today's Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows draws our hearts towards the Blessed Virgin Mary in compassion for the motherly sufferings that she endured during the life of Jesus on earth. Early in the life of Jesus, Simeon prophesied that the soul of Mary would be pierced by a sword. [Lk. 2:35] Many may view the statement of Simeon as a horrible thing to say to a young mother. But others view this as the first step to prepare Mary for what was to come.

After all, not long after the visit to the Temple, having been warned by an angel in a dream, Mary and Joseph had to escape to Egypt to protect Jesus from king Herod who massacred all the children under the age of two. [Mt. 2:13-18]

This event parallels what is going on in many countries that are torn by civil war. How many families are living in refugee camps or had to immigrate to foreign countries to escape those who are kidnapping and murdering the fathers, the mothers and even the children? How many families had to escape from their homeland to protect their daughters from being raped by mercenaries and soldiers who have no morals whatsoever? These families can associate with the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

It was not until about ten years later that Mary suffered her next greatest sorrow. Returning home after participating in the festival of the Passover in Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph realized that Jesus was not with the group of travellers. They had to return to Jerusalem and look for Him. [Lk. 2:41-52]

Many parents can associate with this frightening experience. How many parents have lost their child in a supermarket, at a campground or even experienced an incident where their child wondered away from the back yard and could not be found for a few hours? How many parents have experienced the loss of a child due to a messy separation and custody battle? How many parents have permanently lost their child, not knowing his or her whereabouts? Such traumatic events truly pieces the soul of the person involved. This is something that many cannot perceive unless they personally experience it.

Over and over the aforementioned, the soul of Mary was pierced when she saw the condition of Jesus on the road to Calvary, when He was crucified, when she stood at the foot of the Holy Cross, when the body of Jesus was taken down from the Cross and when Jesus was buried.

These events remind many parents of their personal family experiences. Some parents have seen their son or daughter beaten so badly that his or her face could no longer be recognized. Some had to identify the body of their child who was murdered in a random shooting. Many parents in war ridden countries had to care for their sons after they had been kidnapped, beaten and even mutilated. How great is the suffering of these parents. How much greater was the suffering of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For she who enjoyed the fullness of her immaculate state could never conceive doing such deplorable crimes.

Through life experiences, many have compassion for Mary, being able to associate with her life sufferings that resembles a spiritual martyrdom. How many times can one pierce the soul of a person without leaving eternal scars? Only once! Yet, the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary was pierced seven times!

During the remaining of the day, let us reflect upon the sufferings of the Mother of God. For those who continue to endure similar sufferings, let us pray that they may receive from God the strength that they desperately need to continue to carry their spiritual crosses.

What would happen if mosques were burned — and other silly questions

Then, just as now, as the shocking events unfolded, there was a strong current of Jewish opinion that counseled us to not take it so seriously. The excuse for the sack of Joseph's Tomb was that the yeshiva there was an irritant to the Arab population of the city.

So, too, we are now told that the results of the Palestinian Mardi Gras in Gaza this week shouldn't upset us. It was Israel's fault for not destroying the synagogues themselves before leaving since the sites were symbols of the hated Jewish presence.

The priority, the editorialists at Ha'aretz, which styles itself the "New York Times of Israel," is to "douse the flames," and not to criticize the Palestinians for what Silvan Shalom, Israel's current foreign minister, rightly termed "barbarism."

Going one better than the real New York Times, which wrote of the burnings only in passing, The Philadelphia Inquirer's Israel correspondent Michael Matza omitted it entirely from his dispatch. Readers of that newspaper were only informed of the vandalism in a caption to a picture of a Palestinian mob making merry atop a demolished synagogue in Netzarim.

But as Yossi Klein Halevi, senior fellow at the Shalem Center, said in an e-mail to me about the subject, "We can't expect the rest of the world to feel greater rage than Ha'aretz feels."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Pope unveils statue of OD founder

Where's my RSS links?

Oops. I'll have to update the template.

Do I even have any RSS readers besides myself? Or on the comments stream?


Comp Sci at Columbia has invested countless hours of time and a ton of effort into getting a VOIP phone system that approaches the features of the analog system, but doesn't work as well.


Members of CS department:

We will roll out the new 3COM VoIP phone system from next Monday
to Thursday 9/22/2005 to replace the current VoIP system.

1. Attached is the schedule of VoIP (not analog) phone numbers that will
be moved to 3COM system.


2. This time we will only move your current VoIP phone from SipQuest to
3COM system. The analog phones will remain untouched until the next
conversion schedule on 10/10/05, when we move completely to VoIP (no
analog). At that time, your analog phone number will replace your
VoIP number.

3. The 3COM system is extremely nice and reliable. Please take advantage
of the features provide by 3COM system as much as possible. Below are a
few examples:

- Voice mail
when you have voice mail, you will receive a notification via
email. The email also has the attchament of the voice message.
You can listen to this message on your PC. However, the
will remain on your phone system, until you delete it.

- Call transfer

- 3 way conference

- Call forward

- Call forward ring no answer
this is my favorite feature. I use this feature to transfer
the calls from my desk phone to my cell phone after 3 rings
without answer.

- Switch Your Telephone to Do Not Disturb

You can find the complete instructions at: -> CS Phones

On behalf of the Computer Science department, I would like to thank Erik
Papir, Director of 3COM VoIP and members of his team, Tom Sammons
and Jeff Enters, for donating the entire system (hardware and software),
providing the deeply discounted maintenance contract, and for their time
to install the system into the CS network.

I also would like to thank members of Emergent, Santo J. Pittsman, Mike
Tedder and Stephen P. Tarzia for working side by side with us to test
the 3COm VoIP system.


Another story of great customer service

The reader and his wife both talked to the Sprint representative to make sure they understood what Sprint was offering if they would stay with the service. "He said that if we renewed our contract right then, not only could we get a pair of free phones, he'd also give us a free month of service," the reader wrote. "He said that we could go to Wal-Mart or BestBuy and get free phones by merely supplying our phone number, or we could go to the Sprint store or Radio Shack, purchase the phones and at the same time pick up a rebate slip for the cost of the phones. Either way, in the end the phones were to be free."

Of course, it turned out there was a large measure of untruth in what the Sprint rep told them. "We went to Wal-Mart, and the clerk looked at us like we were crazy when we told her of the promised deal," the reader wrote. "So, she called Sprint, and we -- the clerk, myself and my wife -- went through one rep and two supervisors. All of them said that they knew of no such offer and couldn't do anything for us. So we told the last supervisor that if they weren't going to honor the new, verbal contract, neither were we and we wanted our service cancelled."

That cancellation over the phone didn't register with Sprint either. "So when we started getting bills, I wrote to Sprint and told them the same sordid story and they said 'too bad.' I never signed anything, and all they have, if they have anything, is my voice on tape, along with the rest of the contract we discussed, I would imagine. Now I've been turned over to a collection agency, and when I asked them for a copy of the contract that holds me liable, all they sent in return were copies of the bills for the months since all this transpired. The remarkable thing is that every bill shows absolutely no usage and still, they can't see the solidity of my side."

I should try sending bills to Sprint and then calling a collection agency when they don't pay. Good way to keep busy on Friday nights.

What's blowing through the AC vents in DC?

Last Thursday, David Almasi, director of the black conservative organization Project 21, answered a phone call from a woman who asked for him. Almasi told Culture and Cosmos that although the woman never identified herself she took on a tone of great familiarity and was, according to Almasi, "acting like she was my best fiend." She asked which organization had the briefing book on Roberts and how she could obtain it. "That automatically made me wary. And I said 'Look no one has it. As far as I know no one has done it.' And then for good measure I said 'I know People for the American Way have a nice big old report on John Roberts. I don't know of anyone on our side that has something similar.'"

Following the call, Almasi used the star 69 feature on his phone to find out the call's origin. It turns out the call came from the offices of the Religion Action Center of Reformed Judaism, a liberal religious lobbying organization. Alexis Rice, the organization's communications director, was evasive when asked by Culture and Cosmos to comment on the episode. Rice said she was unaware of any such call and suggested that it could have come from someone not associated with the organization because outside organizations hold meetings there. Rice said that the Religious Action Center has not come out for or against the Roberts' nomination and that perhaps someone from the Center was trying to gather more information on the nominee. Rice did say that if it was someone from the Religion Action Center they should identify themselves.

Even more bizarre, last Wednesday night Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz told Air America Radio that during his college days "a few years after the Second World War" that recently deceased Chief Justice William and his friends, "would wear brown shirts and parade in front of Encino Hall – one of the halls in which a small number of Jewish students lived." Dershowitz claimed that Rehnquist and companions did "the heil Hitler salute, and goosed-stepping and singing German songs…" Dershowitz offered no proof of this wild story but said he "confirmed it" in 1971 with a number of Jewish students who had been in the dorms.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Ratzinger on Ecumenism and whatnot

Is the American University really that great?

I think it's often kinda a waste of time, rather than the pinnacle of Western civilization.

Marriage and Control

In the traditional Jewish family, the husband was the breadwinner and the wife was the homemaker. Inasmuch as the husband had primary access to the family income, he could exert control by making the wife totally dependent on him for money. In today's economy, this occurs if the wife cannot sign a check or have a credit card. Putting the wife on a weekly allowance as one would do with a juvenile is an affront to her dignity. The reverse is true when the wife supplies the family income, either by her earnings or her family's support. If she utilizes this to control the husband, this is both a transgression and an undermining of the marriage relationship.

Each spouse must live for the other, is the message, it seems.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The evils of democracy

Thanks to Mark Shea for finding this gem.

Perhaps giving birth isn't so dangerous after all

Off the top of your head, do you think that women are more likely to die from the complications of childbirth or the complications of abortion?

If you're like most people, your immediate thought would be, "Women are far more likely to die from the complications of childbirth." Somewhere along the line, you've probably heard it said that women are six times more likely to die from childbirth than from abortion.

A study published in late 2004 in the international medical journal Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology has called this assumption into question.

Researchers Mika Gissler, Cynthia Berg, Marie-Helene Bouvier-Colle and Pierre Lukens investigated whether our methods for identifying deaths associated with abortion are accurate. In Methods for
identifying pregnancy-associated deaths: population-based data from Finland 1987-2000, this team of researchers provides evidence that current international methods for collecting information about abortion-related deaths are quite faulty.

Sleepless nights . . .

Apparently me praying across the street from an abortion clinic with Columbia Catholics for Life ranks on the other side as an opportunity:

The Students for Choice clinic escorting program sends groups of escorts every Friday and Saturday morning to a clinic to provide a comfortable and secure zone against the intimidation and harassment of anti-choice protestors.

Glad I could keep people from going out on Thursday and Friday so they can get up at the crack of dawn to try to beat me down to 31st St.

Which reminds me, anyone who wants to go down to the clinic, email me, I wanna go confuse the SFCers a little more by deploying a platoon of intimidating anti-choice Barnard women to pray the Rosary.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Blog day of silence

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Love Stinks

Troy's mixtape of love... or something. Who knew someone could be that obsessed after 6 months. It's so funny it's depressing.

The best thing is, she left him 3 days later.

I was misquoted in the Columbia Spectator!

This is almost as good as the time I was misquoted in the Village Voice about Prodigy Classic's death, when I was ascribed the exact opposite position both of what I said in the chatroom and what I told the journalist.

Took me about a year to figure out how to make a Windows PC print on a Mac printer

And here is the info.

Evangelism on college campuses

Last night we at Columbia held a bit of an orientation event for our freshmen. One of the girls had been talking to a (newfound) friend of hers down the hall of the Orthodox (Jewish) persuasion when she noticed a rosary and proceeded to launch into a fairly typical "Jesus was a rebel" diatribe, which greatly upset the frosh in question, who didn't know how to respond.

I myself, however, wouldn't know how to respond either, though for different reasons. My first response would be to create a new opening on the posterior of the offender, but that wouldn't help very much at all, since I doubt she would listen very much to what I was saying and her argument was proceeding from ignorance rather than knowledge in the first place. I suspect that a rather long and informational conversation would be the best course of action, but would that work? Pretty much any response I could think of would set off an interreligious incident.

The affair, and a lovely article in a campus publication, got me thinking about campus evangelization in general, and how poor a job we do at it. I'm not sure where to begin really. The Socialists badger people all day with their newspapers and when they get noise complaints it's a free speach issue, but when someone gives a sermon about pro-life issues in Mass I get complaints that it was inappropriate. I suppose there are members of the congregation who don't feel that Mass is an appropriate place for preaching.

Something needs to change, it seems. More open dialog, more knowledge.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Krauthammer on blame

Through LGF, and quite worth reading

Jimmy Akin on screaming

Now: Why is the bear screaming in rage (or whatever)? By bellowing, he's making a loud, startling noise that may paralyze you with fear. By showing you his teeth, he's also threatening you, which will again tend to produce a fear reaction.

So why do you scream in fear? I mean, sure, it's a reflex. But why do you do it? Well, by making a making a loud, startling noise at the bear, you may cause him to startle and freeze up. By showing him your teeth, you may intimidate him.

Your instictive scream of fear may produce in him the same reaction that his instinctive scream of rage is designed to produce in you.

In other words, screams of fear may be an instinctive reflex designed to save our lives by making a potential attacker think that we're about to attack them. They're attempts to fake out our attackers by returning their attempt to intimidate us with a mirror effort to intimidate them.

At least there's a chance, and a chance is better than just getting eaten by a bear.

Awesome story from MS

Matthew's always had a lot of solid common sense. When he was five, some kid in his class told him he didn't believe in God because he didn't believe in things he couldn't see.

"Can you see the back of your head?" asked Matthew. Not bad for a five year old.

Today he tells me one of his pals at Central Washington University was in some college bull session about the Da Vinci Code. The students were all stroking their chin in Deep Thought and remarking that, "Even if it's not true, it's still interesting to think about." Matthew's pal looked at the young Aristotle who said this and replied, "Your mom's a whore!"

The guy, taken aback, said, "What?!"

Matthew's friend replied, "And even if that's not true, it's still interesting to think about."

More this evening.

The Vatican is naming a coadjutor for Jerusalem

All for the best, I think, but I wasn't aware Bishop Gourion had passed away. Quite a man with quite a history, I think.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A beautiful story about faith restored

Did the Red Cross get blocked out of NO?

Radioblogger says yes . . . any info?


A gay activist just called California an extreme right wing dominated state. HA! HA! And once more. HA!

If you look closely, CA had a referrendum of sorts on gay marriage 5 years ago, which went about 3-2 in favor of marriage being maintained as having some meaning. The legislature tried to ignore the results and pass a bill over the heads of the people they're supposed to be representing. The Governator, noticing that the legislature is theoretically supposed to represent the people, and also noticing that they were clearly not in this case, vetoed the bill. Geoff Kors responded by saying he was "pandering to an extreme right wing", which can only mean the 60% of Californians disagree with him.

Who knew California was secretly a solid Republican state?

Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Not sure what this is really about, but it's a good read

Something about successful relationships and whatnot, I think.


If the levees had been higher and stronger, the damage Katrina inflicted on New Orleans could have been minimized. Given that there were several CAT-IV hurricanes in the Gulf in the early 20th Century, and the damage that would be inflicted on New Orleans if it were hit by a storm like Katrina had long been predicted, this is apparently a case of negligence. But since no federal administration from the time of Franklin Roosevelt on has sought to build levees strong enough to withstand a Katrina force hurricane, finger-pointing is pointless.

It took nearly four days before meaningful help arrived for thousands who gathered for shelter in New Orleans' Superdome, prompting many in the news media to describe the federal relief effort as a "shame" and a "national disgrace."

This says more about the ignorance and bias of journalists than it does about the federal relief effort. Because the fundamental fact — unreported by any major media outlet — is that the federal response to Katrina has been much more swift than to any previous natural disaster, despite far greater challenges.

Katrina made landfall at 6:10 a.m. Central time last Monday. The main levee protecting New Orleans breached around 1:00 a.m. Tuesday. By Friday, hundreds of tons of relief supplies were pouring into the area, despite the fact that many of the roads and airports were covered with water or strewn with debris. The rapid federal response was made possible because President Bush declared federal emergencies in Louisiana and Mississippi the Friday before Katrina struck, permitting relief supplies to be prepositioned.

Much suffering might have been alleviated if authorities in Louisiana had acted as promptly. Bush asked Friday that a mandatory evacuation be ordered, but Gov. Kathleen Blanco took a day to think about it, and refused Bush's request to put the Louisiana National Guard under federal control.

Mayor Ray Nagin didn't order a mandatory evacuation until Sunday morning.

New Orleans had a plan to use the city's buses to evacuate those who did not have automobiles, but no effort was made to implement it.

Looting began shortly after the levee was breached early Tuesday, but Gov. Blanco didn't authorize the National Guard to help enforce the law, or ask for help from National Guard troops outside Louisiana until Wednesday.

Order broke down mostly because two thirds of the New Orleans police force was AWOL, and some cops were among the looters. It's hard to see how this is President Bush's fault. But Blanco and Nagin are blaming Bush for their own shortcomings, and the news media are trumpeting their charges without examining them.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Supreme Court logic

But in 1995, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 was unconstitutional because what the act criminalized — possession of a firearm in or near a school — was purely intrastate innature, and its effect, if any, on interstate commerce was negligible. The principal dissent, by Justice Stephen Breyer, argued that a gun might produce violence which would affect the economy by, among other things, injuring the learning environment, resulting in a less productive citizenry.

Do you, Sen. Schumer, support that reasoning? If so, does not Congress have the power to promote a healthy and productive citizenry by mandating flossing and regulating homework? Does it matter to you that the original intent of the Commerce Clause was to ensure the free movement of goods and services among the states? Do you think that Madison, the foremost Framer of the Constitution, misunderstood the Constitution?

During debate on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Hubert Humphrey, the Minnesota Democrat who was one of the principal sponsors of the legislation, denounced the "wholesale distortions" and "nightmarish propaganda" that the law would permit preferential treatment of an individual or group because of race or a racial "imbalance" in employment. Humphrey stressed that under the act no employer would be permitted to "take into consideration race" because it would "prohibit preferential treatment for any particular group." Tom Kuchel, a California Republican and another leading sponsor, said the legislation was "colorblind" and would prevent discrimination "in favor of or against a person because of his race." Are such assurances germane to judging the legality of what are called "race-conscious remedies"?

Sowell on moral rebuilding

The differences between the two major NYC blackouts of the 60s and 70s have always impressed me greatly.


Survey says, yes.

The viciousness began almost before the storm had passed. A Wal-Mart was one of the first stores broken into; its inventory of guns promptly disappeared. Crowds of thieves ransacked clothing stores, jewelry stores, liquor stores. In full view of television crews and news photographers — and in some cases, even police or National Guardsmen — looters hauled cases of stolen beer through hip-deep water, filled trash barrels with clothes, shoes, and jewelry, and crammed car trunks with computers and DVD players. In a video clip shown on NBC, security guards joined looters in stripping one shop bare. Police officers looted, too.

To break into a drugstore protected by a steel barrier, reported The New York Times, ''someone had stolen a forklift, driven it four blocks, peeled up the security gate, and smashed through the front door." Thieves entered the parking garage of a New Orleans hospital and stripped cars of their batteries and stereos. Carjackers stole a vehicle from a nursing home bus driver. Looters ransacked a police truck filled with food.

But the breakdown of civil society didn't stop with attacks on property. Soon the predators were attacking people.

On Thursday, New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass described the savagery inside the convention center, where 15,000 people had taken shelter: ''We have individuals who are getting raped; we have individuals who are getting beaten." He sent 88 police officers to restore order; they were beaten back by a mob. Police snipers took up positions on precinct roofs, on guard against the armed gangs who were roaming the city. Not all the corpses turning up in New Orleans were of drowning victims. Some had been shot to death. The Federal Emergency Management Agency was trying to operate, director Michael Brown said, ''under conditions of urban warfare."

Monday, September 05, 2005

Napster is on the Rebound

I've been using it for over a year now and I can say that's it's pretty rockin', so you should check it out if you get a chance.

Roberts gets the hat tip

Liberal groups have expressed opposition to Roberts because of his conservative writings as an attorney for the Reagan administration and his rulings as an appeals court judge. However, it does not appear that his opponents have enough votes to block Roberts' confirmation.

So, basically liberal groups are opposed to him because they don't like him. But judges aren't supposed to have political parties . . .

The blame game begins

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Rehnquist is dead

I sense civil war . . .

Saturday, September 03, 2005

This worries me

First of all, I happen to think this is a good point:

"I am absolutely disgusted. After the tsunami our people, even the ones who lost everything, wanted to help the others who were suffering," said Sajeewa Chinthaka, 36, as he watched a cricket match in Colombo, Sri Lanka. "Not a single tourist caught in the tsunami was mugged. Now with all this happening in the U.S. we can easily see where the civilized part of the world’s population is."

However, the comment boxers seem to be of the opinion that the best way to deal with the world is nuclear, and that there will be some kind of laser system that will prevent other countries from having any effect on us.


All it takes is one suicide sub in New York Harbor for the City to cease to exist.

Peace people, peace.

Though the reaction, I think, wasn't quite as civilized in the East when they heard that the West would be helping out.

Someone's trying to slander JP Holding

Not quite sure why . . . I suppose it's best to think that he honestly believes what he's said. Or doesn't know how to use online library catalogs.

So why exactly did everything take so long?

Not sure, and no one's too happy about any of it.

FDA official resigns in protest over morning-after pill

Washington, Sep. 01 ( - A ranking official of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has resigned in protest over the agency's decision not to grant immediate approval for over-the-counter sales of the "morning-after" pill.

Susan Wood, the director of the FDA's Office of Women's Health, announced that she was leaving the agency after Commissioner Lester Crawford announced that the FDA was postponing a final decision on full approval of the pill known as Plan B, which is taken after intercourse.

Wood complained that postponing the decision would "limit women's access to a produce that would reduce unintended pregnancies and reduce abortions." The decision, she complained, was "contrary to my core commitment to improving and advancing women's health."

The "morning-after" pill, designed to be used after a woman engages in sexual intercourse, has been the focus of a tense debate in Washington. Although proponents of the pill argue that it would cut down on demand for abortions, opponents point out that if conception has taken place, the pill's effect is to cause the death of the embryo-- that is, to cause an abortion.

FDA Commissioner Crawford had been under heavy pressure to approve pharmacy sales of the morning-after pill for all women. Crawford indicated that he is concerned about purchase of the pill by teenage girls if the pill is approved for sale without a prescription.

Jimmy Akin has a fascinating series on disaster ethics

As we saw in the first post in this series, the Catechism speaks of the possibility, in situations of urgent necessity, of taking another's property without it being the sin of stealing.

In the second post in this series, I tried to sketch the general type of situation in which this is licit. I suggested that it occurs when you cannot get what you need by paying for them or through the government or another aid agency. I.e., when you can't pay and are on your own.

In this post I'd like to talk about what things you are allowed to take in such situations and what other rules there are concerning taking them.

Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans?

OO's Response

The NYT Response

My response:

It's rather difficult to evacuate a city when the people are doing the evacuating are under fire and the city is under water, and I'm afraid that's just reality. Though we should all donate to the Red Cross or some such organization. I also rather agree with OO's point: It's a very very very very very bad idea to build a city in a location that, properly speaking, should be part of the Gulf of Mexico. Get the people out, leave it to be, and rebuild somewhere else. Perhaps somewhere above sea level, where most people would prefer to live.

Bishops reading blogs!?!

When will the chaos end?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

What REALLY happened with BXVI and Harry Potter

As explained by Vatican Radio.

Happy New Year

Today begins the new liturgical year of the Byzantine Catholic Church. And this weekend is the Pilgrimage to Uniontown in honor of Our Lady of Perpetual help.

Vosotros vs. Ustedes in the Liturgy

Q: No. 59 of the instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum" states that the reprobated practice by which priests, deacons or the faithful alter or vary at will the text of the sacred liturgy that they are charged to pronounce, must cease. Does this also apply in the Spanish language where in the United States the sacramentary has "Vosotros" but the Mexican culture has made most of the priests and deacons use "Ustedes"? Are we obliged to use the actual words in the sacramentary in this case? -- G.O., Pendleton, Oregon

A: About 15 years ago, at the instigation of the Holy See, all Spanish-language bishops' conferences agreed on a common text for the Mass. Before this agreement there were many differences in the translations including different versions of the Our Father. The lectionary for the readings remains proper to each national or regional episcopal conference.

In this missal the greetings retain the more familiar "vosotros" form prevalent in Spain instead of the more formal "ustedes" common in Latin America.

In fact, except for some remnants in Argentina and Chile, the "vosotros" form practically disappeared in both spoken and written American Spanish several generations ago. Only in Spain does the plural "vosotros" with its attendant concordances form part of daily usage.

This distinction has no current equivalent in English as both expressions translate as "you" plural. However, the familiar "tu" or "vos" and "vosotros" are roughly equivalent to the archaic English "thee" and "ye" which were familiar forms whereas "you," at least in the singular, was slightly more formal.

Because this form is no longer current speech the Mexican bishops requested and obtained permission to substitute "ustedes" for "vosotros" in the greetings. For the sake of unity, however, they retained the older form in the verb constructions of Christ's words at the consecration narrative "Take and eat/drink."

Not all Latin American bishops' conferences adopted the same criteria as the Mexican. Some have preferred to maintain the more archaic form in the liturgy considering that it creates no particular barrier to understanding and is well accepted by the faithful.

Even in Mexico, the faithful readily adapt to visiting priests used to the "vosotros" form as it does not imply any variation with respect to the responses and interventions of the assembly.

Sucks for You!

Could too much publicity be a (gasp) bad thing? Well, if you're an "escort" and bragging about making big bucks, then, yeah, maybe. Natalia McLennan, who was profiled in a New York magazine cover story, was charged with money laundering, prostitution and promoting prostitution last week. Her lawyer complained to the NY Post that McLennan was arrested because:

"[The police] pieced together basically quotes from all the articles about her and interviews that she's done. It's basically that they saw her on the Donny Deutsch show and the Paula Zahn show and they read the article in New York magazine.

"They have no person who has ever seen her perform an act of prostitution. It's insane. They've arrested her because of some newspaper articles and some sensationalism."

Interesting, but this is an important note for all would-be, wanna-be "number one escorts": It's a slippery slope because escort pretty much implies prostitute, and the NYPD just believes that for $2000 an hour, your john's getting more than handholding.

I love you. Oh, and I've got an STD

New York Magazine gets wilder and wilder:

Sex with a new partner has always been a calculated risk, deliberated in the blink of Malcolm Gladwell�s eye, but the way we calculate that risk is changing. Herpes and (perhaps more so) HPV are increasingly regarded as (1) a post-condom, mid-relationship confession, and (2) a fact of having a sex life. The lightning-quick, internal pre-sex checklist now goes something like this: I�m horny; I don�t see anything on me or my partner; we�ll use a condom. Given that, the rationalization continues, talking about my STD right now would only lead to embarrassment, rejection, or a serious buzz-kill.

Doctors estimate that one in four Americans has genital herpes, and up to 90 percent of them don�t know it. With about 1.6 million new infections every year, 40 percent of all men and half of all women could be infected by 2025. And it is estimated that, at some point in their lives, 75 percent of women and men will be infected with genital HPV. Many of them will never show symptoms.

HPV is so pervasive, in fact, that some doctors condone keeping quiet. More than a few of our female friends have been told by their gynecologists that HPV is just not worth the trouble of bringing up.


Where will the Students Go?

The storm severely damaged many colleges and universities, displacing perhaps 100,000 students or more for the fall semester, officials estimated.

New Orleans is home to several institutions of higher learning, including Tulane University, the University of New Orleans, Southern University of New Orleans, Xavier University, Loyola University of New Orleans, Our Lady of Holy Cross College and Dillard University, as well as Louisiana State University's medical school.

Both the American Council on Education, the nation's largest association of colleges and universities, and the American Association of Universities, which includes 62 of the nation's leading research institutions, including Tulane, urged their member institutions yesterday to help displaced students.

And universities and colleges around the nation said they were making efforts to help. For example, the University of Virginia was working to accommodate Virginia students who had been enrolled in New Orleans area institutions, it said in a statement. Vanderbilt University will try to enroll the displaced as "visiting students," said Michael J. Schoenfeld, Vanderbilt's vice chancellor for public affairs.

Swanky Dorming in the Times

Good luck to students everywhere.

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