Thursday, April 28, 2011


A beautiful story from the Associated Press:
VATICAN CITY – It was May 4, 1984 and Pope John Paul II was visiting Sarok Island off Korea, a one-time leper colony where several hundred people with the disfiguring disease were receiving care.

Arturo Mari was there, as he was on all the pontiff's trips, a silent witness to almost every papal audience, Mass, vacation and dinner party, public or private.

As the pope's personal photographer, Mari had nearly unrestricted access to John Paul's 27-year papacy, and his verdict as the pontiff's beatification approaches is unwavering: he was a living saint.

The protocol that day in 1984 called for John Paul to enter the Sarok pavilion where the patients were gathered, give a brief speech on the meaning of suffering, then leave. But after surveying the scene, John Paul brushed aside a cardinal who tried to speed him along, and set to work.

"He touched them with his hands, caressed them, kissed each one," Mari said. "Eight hundred lepers, one by one. One by one!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Liberal Logic Rejected on Campus

Should the GPA of students with a 4.0 be redistributed to students with lower marks? The liberal should say yes, but he kind of, well, worked really hard for those grades and so... Enjoy

Monday, April 25, 2011


Will anyone in England pay attention to this? From the Telegraph:
At least 35 terrorists incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay were sent to fight against the West after being indoctrinated by extremist preachers in Britain, secret files obtained by The Daily Telegraph disclose.

Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza, two preachers who lived off state benefits after claiming asylum, are identified by the American authorities as the key recruiters responsible for sending dozens of extremists from throughout the world to Pakistan and Afghanistan via London mosques.

The leaked documents, written by senior US military commanders at Guantánamo Bay, illustrate how, for two decades, Britain effectively became a crucible of terrorism, with dozens of extremists, home-grown and from abroad, radicalised here.

Death Throes

Walker's Law

This is an excellent article on the slow death of public sector unions, very germane to the goings on in Wisconsin, and in other states.

From Jack Kelly, writing for the Pittsburg Post-Gazette:
It isn't the modest cuts in contributions to health and pension plans in Gov. Walker's bill labor leaders object to most. It isn't even the restriction of collective bargaining to wages only. It's the provision which makes payment of union dues voluntary.

This is a body blow to Democrats, too. They depend heavily on unions to fill their campaign coffers

And that is the clincher. What existed for so long was the equivalent of a money laundering scheme, whereby union dues were automatically deducted from the employees' paycheck and funneled right into the coffers of the Democratic Party. Walker's law changes that by making donations of the individual union member voluntary. The left knew that, as a result of Walker's brilliant and overdue law, their decades-old shell game would be shattered, and hence, the collective apoplexy and tantrums that took over Madison.

The Empire (Welfare) State

A scary piece on a growing empire. From Peter Ferrara, writing for Forbes:
America’s welfare state is not a principality. It is a vast empire bigger than the entire budgets of almost every other country in the world. Just one program, Medicaid, cost the federal government $275 billion in 2010, which is slated to rise to $451 billion by 2018. Counting state Medicaid expenditures, this one program cost taxpayers $425 billion in 2010, soaring to $800 billion by 2018. Under Obamacare, 85 million Americans will soon be on Medicaid, growing to nearly 100 million by 2021, according to the CBO.


A unique, personal reflection on Easter and the story of a conversion from Mary Kochan, writing for Catholic Lane:
This is my 17th Easter.

For the first 38 years of my life I did not celebrate Easter because I was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a pseudo- Christian group with a very strange economy of salvation. It is not easy to describe life in a cult like Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is very dark. Even their light is darkness.

Read on.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

As Promised, Mt. Athos

Behind the scenes filming:

Henry VIII Strikes Back

From the Telegraph:
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, began work towards repealing the 1701 Act of Settlement, under which heirs to the throne must renounce their claim on marrying a Roman Catholic, in order to introduce full equality between the faiths. ...

However, the plan to abolish the Act of Settlement was quietly shelved after the Church raised significant objections centring on the British sovereign’s dual role as Supreme Governor.

Church leaders expressed concern that if a future heir to the throne married a Roman Catholic, their children would be required by canon law to be brought up in that faith.

Friday, April 22, 2011


From the Telegraph:
Indonesian police said 19 suspects, who had planted bombs beneath a gas pipeline at the Christ Cathedral near Jakarta, were part of a new terrorist cell inspired by al-Qaeda.

The bombs, which were defused in a 10-hour operation on Thursday, had been rigged to go off just as services at the 3,000-seat Roman Catholic church were taking place for Good Friday.

Maj. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam, spokesman for the national police, said the 19 suspects who led authorities to bombs planted beneath a gas pipeline near the Christ Cathedral Church just outside of Jakarta did not appear to be part of any large, existing terrorist organisation.

Anything stand out here? How does the first sentence (inspired by al-Qaeda), jibe with the last sentence, the assessment of Alam, who denied the plot was tied to a "large, existing terrorist organization"?

Christian Under Siege

The grim situation in Egypt continues to effervesce. From the Associated Press:
CAIRO – Tens of thousands of Egyptians led by hard-line Islamists escalated their protests Friday over the appointment of a Coptic Christian governor in southern Egypt, deepening mistrust between religious communities during the bumpy aftermath of Egypt's revolution.

More than a week of protests seeking to unseat the governor of Qena province are testing the ability of Egypt's transitional military rulers and the interim government to handle an Islamic movement capable of rallying large numbers behind its hard-line agenda without jeopardizing the future of a democratic Egypt.

Rare View of Mount Athos Monastery

This is just an intro to the special on 60 Minutes. As soon as it is available in its entirety, I'll post it.

From the Outside

This is an excellent piece by Ben Shapiro that attempts to get at the root of the intellectual un-Americanness of Barack Obama. It's not a pro-birther rant, but rather a look at the foreign ideology that nurtured Barack Obama, and unfortunately, so many who study at American Universities drenched in Progressivism.
President Obama is the culmination of a century of foreign infiltration already in place. The turning of America’s institutions of higher education took place decades ago; it is too little too late to focus on such infiltration now. Beginning in the early 20th century, America’s colleges and universities were infiltrated by German thought, then thought to be the most sophisticated in the world. That school of thought, a merger of Hegelian utopianism and Marxist classism, quickly infected America’s halls of power. Theodore Roosevelt, always trendy, bought into the new “progressivism” with alacrity, jettisoning the Constitution and capitalism in the process. Bringing this perverse ideology to American shores, Teddy announced, “We of to-day who stand for the Progressive movement here in the United States are not wedded to any particular kind of machinery, save solely as means to the end desired.” This was the philosophy of incipient dictatorship. It was brought to its near-term apex under a college professor, Woodrow Wilson, who thought that the Constitution itself needed to be stripped away.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


From the Scala Sancta

This is of the most captivating and haunting depictions of Christ's Passion that I encountered while in Rome.

Gaining Ground

From Politico, more signs that we're making real headway on the abortion front:
Republican legislatures across the country are passing tough new anti-abortion laws — and while abortion rights advocates believe the new laws are unconstitutional, they’re not rushing to court to stop them.

The reason: There’s a decent chance they’d lose.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

God & Real People

Is God God from Prayson Daniel on Vimeo.

Activism from the Bench

From Ed Whelan, writing for National Review Online:
Two weeks ago, former federal district judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled last summer in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, publicly disclosed for the first time that he has been in a same-sex relationship for the past ten years. A straightforward application of the judicial ethics rules compels the conclusion that Walker should have recused himself from taking part in the Perry case. Further, under well-established Supreme Court precedent, the remedy of vacating Walker’s judgment is timely and necessary.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Picking up the Slack

For all their faults, it's stories like this one that make me stick with the Republicans. From ABCNews:
House Republicans today appointed a private attorney to argue on behalf of the Defense of Marriage Act, which the Obama administration essentially abandoned two months ago, and vowed to take funds from the Justice Department budget to pay for it.

In February the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the 1996 act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Attorney General Eric Holder said at the time that while the administration had previously defended DOMA in court, it had recently conducted a new examination and found the law was unconstitutional. ...

"At last we have a legal eagle on this case who actually wants to win in court," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage. "Thanks to Speaker Boehner's actions, President Obama's attempt to sabotage the legal defense of DOMA is not going to work."

It's not just the "rich" who will pay

Very good. From the editors of The Wall Street Journal Online:
A dominant theme of President Obama's budget speech last Wednesday was that our fiscal problems would vanish if only the wealthiest Americans were asked "to pay a little more." Since he's asking, imagine that instead of proposing to raise the top income tax rate well north of 40%, the President decided to go all the way to 100%.

Let's stipulate that this is a thought experiment, because Democrats don't need any more ideas. But it's still a useful experiment because it exposes the fiscal futility of raising rates on the top 2%, or even the top 5% or 10%, of taxpayers to close the deficit. The mathematical reality is that in the absence of entitlement reform on the Paul Ryan model, Washington will need to soak the middle class—because that's where the big money is.

Wasting No Time

From the Associated Press:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – State by state, Republicans are moving at light speed on a conservative agenda they would have had no hope of achieving before the big election gains of November.

The dividends are apparent after only a few months in office, and they go well beyond the spending cuts forced on states by the fiscal crunch and tea party agitation. Republican governors and state legislators are bringing abortion restrictions into law from Virginia to Arizona, acting swiftly to expand gun rights north and south, pushing polling-station photo ID laws that are anathema to Democrats and taking on public sector unions anywhere they can.

All this as Democrats find themselves cowed or outmaneuvered in statehouses where they once put up a fight. In many states, they are unable to do much except hope that voters will see these actions as an overreach by the Republicans they elected — an accidental revolution to be reversed down the road.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


(AP Photo)

Quote of the Day

“The now aged liberal wing of the Church, which dominated discussion after the Council and often the bishops and the emerging Church bureaucracies, has no following among young practising Catholics, priests or religious.” - Cardinal George Pell

Confusion in the Ranks

From Life Site News:
DENVER, April 11, 2011 ( – Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput delivered a keynote address at the University of Notre Dame student-organized Right to Life lecture series Friday, during which he focused on politics and especially the battle for pro-life and Catholic values in the political sphere.

During a question and answer period, CNS News reported, Chaput answered frankly when asked why there is so much disunity among Catholics on the question of Catholic politicians standing clearly with the Church on major moral issues, such as abortion.

“The reason ... is that there is no unity among the bishops about it,” said the archbishop.

“There is unity among the bishops about abortion always being wrong, and that you can’t be a Catholic and be in favor of abortion - the bishops all agree to that - but there’s just an inability among the bishops together to speak clearly on this matter and even to say that if you’re Catholic and you’re pro-choice, you can’t receive holy Communion,” Archbishop Chaput said.

Going to School

Paul Ryan politely informs Bob Schieffer on the Republican plan. Well worth a watch.

"Diversity" is a Sham

This story from the UK shows once more how singularly threatened Christianity is, beneath all the calls for tolerance, diversity and equality.

From the Telegraph:
Electrician faces sack for displaying Christian cross in his van

Colin Atkinson, 64, from Wakefield, has been called to a disciplinary hearing at the housing association where he has worked for 15 years.

His bosses at the publicly funded Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) have demanded he remove the eight inch long cross made from woven palm leaves that sits on his dashboard.

The organisation claims the cross may cause offence but says it strongly promotes "inclusive" policies and allows employees to wear religious symbols at work.

It has provided stalls at gay pride events, held "diversity days" for travellers, and has allowed other staff to display photographs of Che Guevera, the revolutionary leader, in their office.

Filling the Void

Ominous signs in Egypt.

From the Telegraph:
Radial Islamist groups gaining stranglehold in Egypt

The rapid spread of Muslim political parties ahead of September's parliamentary elections has strengthened fears that Egyptian democracy will be dominated by radical Islamic movements.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest Islamic movement and the founder of Hamas, has set up a network of political parties around the country that eclipse the following of the middle class activists that overthrew the regime. On the extreme fringe of the Brotherhood, Islamic groups linked to al-Qeada are organising from the mosques to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of the dictatorship.

The military-led government already faces accusations that it is bowing to the surge in support for the Muslim movements, something that David Cameron warned of in February when he said Egyptian democracy would be strongly Islamic.

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Shared Sacrifice" Malarkey

From Jonah Goldberg, writing for National Review Online:
As for shared sacrifice, it is hard to find any in his [Obama's] proposal. Six out of ten U.S. households receive more from the government than they pay in taxes. If “shared sacrifice” is the standing order of the day, where is theirs? The president suggests that repealing Bush’s tax cuts will save the day. But the vast bulk of those cuts go to people making less than $250,000 a year. The president wants to keep those cuts as his idea while talking about shared sacrifice. Meanwhile, as the Wall Street Journal notes, if you taxed everyone who makes over $100,000 at a rate of 100 percent, you still wouldn’t raise enough to balance president Obama’s budget, never mind pay off any debt.

The only good news to come from all of this is that the battle is now joined. The president has staked his banner in the soil of reactionary liberalism. Good. By setting his fortifications so far to the left of the middle ground, he gives the forces of reform room to advance far.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Agape vs. Luv

"Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams." -Fyodor Dostoevsky

Home Sweet Home

The New UK

From the Telegraph:
Almost one in eight in UK are foreign born

Almost one in eight people living in the UK are now foreign born after hitting record levels in the wake of the largest wave of immigration in history.

Seething Pro-Aborts

From CNN:
(CNN) -- As two states imposed the latest rounds of laws against abortion or its providers this week, a new study contends "hostility" toward abortion rights is on the rise in legislatures across the country, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

The trend has been buoyed by GOP victories in last year's elections, as well as how federal health care reform encouraged states to adopt their own laws regarding abortion coverage under plans offered by health exchanges, said Elizabeth Nash, public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, an advocacy group for abortion rights.

"It's pretty much an all-out, anti-abortion, free-for-all out there," Nash told CNN. "I've been doing this for almost 12 years now, so I feel like I have some historical sense. This year is just unlike any other year we've seen before."

Add the success of states' anti-abortion laws passed in the last couple of years with the Republican sweep of statehouses last fall, "and you end up with a year that is unparalleled in what we have been seeing in regard to abortion restrictions," Nash said.

Social engineering at its worst

From the Associated Press:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The state Senate has approved legislation that would require California's public schools to include gay history in social studies lessons.

Supporters say the move is needed to counter anti-gay stereotypes and beliefs that make gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender children vulnerable to bullying and suicide.

Opponents said it would burden an already crowded curriculum and expose students to a subject that some parents find objectionable.


Well worth a read, from The Wall Street Journal:
Did someone move the 2012 election to June 1? We ask because President Obama's extraordinary response to Paul Ryan's budget yesterday—with its blistering partisanship and multiple distortions—was the kind Presidents usually outsource to some junior lieutenant. Mr. Obama's fundamentally political document would have been unusual even for a Vice President in the fervor of a campaign.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Good Defense

Here's an excellent piece from The Wall Street Journal: Paul Ryan and His Critics: Dissecting the liberal assault on the House Republican budget

Ryan for President, Cont.

Paul Ryan discussed his economic plan this morning with Good Morning America's George Stephanopoulos:

Ryan-Rubio 2012?

A discussion on fresh faces in the GOP.

The War That Never Was

From David Klinghoffer, writing for National Review Online:
“The Republican war on science” is a catchy phrase coined by journalist Chris Mooney in a 2005 book of the same name. According to the pervasively influential mythology, religious and other conservatives stand athwart medicine — and good science in other fields, too — in a campaign to force their antiquated beliefs on other people.

Well, let’s see now. Successful medical research has tangible results. People are healed, or they are not. From the hype that ESCR has received since 2001, when President Bush limited federal funding for it — a move reversed by President Obama — you might think it has shown the capacity to perform miracles. If so, you’ve been deceived.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Level of Insanity

"Easter Eggs" are out, "Spring Spheres" in.

Jessica, 16, told KIRO Radio's Dori Monson Show that a week before spring break, the students commit to a week-long community service project. She decided to volunteer in a third grade class at a public school, which she would like to remain nameless.

"At the end of the week I had an idea to fill little plastic eggs with treats and jelly beans and other candy, but I was kind of unsure how the teacher would feel about that," Jessica said.

She was concerned how the teacher might react to the eggs after of a meeting earlier in the week where she learned about "their abstract behavior rules."

"I went to the teacher to get her approval and she wanted to ask the administration to see if it was okay," Jessica explained. "She said that I could do it as long as I called this treat 'spring spheres.' I couldn't call them Easter eggs."

Do these people know how absolutely foolish they make themselves look?

Nonsense South of the Border

UNITED NATIONS — Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving "Mother Earth" the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.

The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to "dominate and exploit" — to the point that the "well-being and existence of many beings" is now threatened.

It's not at all surprising that this kind of drivel is coming out of Latin America. As someone with a good dose of Latin American heritage, it's a little embarrassing to see how irrelevant that region is becoming in the arena of geopolitics with this kind of neo-pagan garbage. This stuff makes Latin America into a laughing stock. The people are, by and large, wonderful, warm, faithful and joyful. But their political and cultural leaders... eesh!

Gender Schmender?

Apparently that's the attitude of J. Crew. From FoxNews:
A J.Crew ad that shows a top designer painting her young son’s toenails neon pink has some parents and doctors seeing red.

The image appeared in a feature called "Saturday With Jenna," which was emailed to customers last week and highlights a few of J.Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons’ favorite products -- including the hot pink Essie nail polish seen on her son, Beckett.

The caption below the picture reads, “Lucky for me I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

Sad. But the resulting outrage is encouraging.

Dolphins and Cats

I like cats, and who doesn't like dolphins? This is pretty neat.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thoughts on Confession

Blaise Pascal, 1623 – 1662

The Catholic religion does not oblige us to reveal our sins indiscriminately to everyone; it allows us to remain hidden from all other men, with one single exception, to whom it bids us reveal our innermost heart and show ourselves for what we are. There is only this one man in the world whom it orders us to disillusion, and it lays on him the obligation of inviolable secrecy, which means that he might as well not possess the knowledge of us that he has. Can anything milder and more charitable be imagined? And yet, such is man’s corruption that he finds even this law harsh, and this is one of the main reasons why a large part of Europe has revolted against the Church. -Blaise Pascal, Pensée 978

"Jesus Wept"

For me, two of the most beautiful words in all the Gospels. (John 11:35) Christ wept for his dear friend Lazarus, who had recently died. He thus proved His humanity, His bond with us, and shortly after proved His Divinity by calling Lazarus back to life. Ample material for mediation from today's Gospel.

Ryan Schools Gregory

This is great. Meet the Press host David Gregory tries to pigeonhole Paul Ryan, who takes up the challenge. None of these reporters can successfully trap Ryan. With their recycled talking points, reporters like Gregory have tried again and again to trip him up, and they fail, looking clueless in the process.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Saturday, April 09, 2011

"There is no such thing as 'public money'...

there is only taxpayer's money."

More truth from Margaret Thatcher:


From the BBC:
The tomb of St Francis of Assisi has reopened to the public after the first restoration in its nearly 800-year history.

St Francis was buried in the 13th-Century and became the patron saint of animals and of Italy.

St Francis of Assisi devoted his life to the poor.

The son of a wealthy cloth merchant from the Umbrian town of Assisi, he rejected his own comfortable upbringing to help those in need.

In 1224 it is said he received the stigmata, making him the first person to bear the five wounds of Christ.

He died in 1226 and was made a saint two years later.

The body of St Francis was placed in a bronze urn and buried in a stone crypt in his hometown.

Who Won?

From the Telegraph:
Tea Party the real victor in American budget battle

As Barack Obama avoided budgetary crisis by a whisker, there is no doubt that the real winner of this near debacle was the Tea Party and not the president, writes Alex Spillius.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Governor for a Day

This is great.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sign of the Times

From the Associated Press:
LONDON – The once hidebound royal family seems to have caught up with Britain's tolerant public in the three decades that separated Prince Charles' marriage to Diana Spencer from the wedding of their first born.

Few people — royal or otherwise — seem bothered by the fact that Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton, have been living together off and on during the course of their eight-year romance, which began in university days.

That's a marked turnaround from the days preceding Charles and Diana's 1981 marriage. At that time, there was a general expectation that Diana would not have dated before her engagement to the heir to the throne, and her own uncle came out publicly to declare her a "bona fide" virgin.

It's sad that cohabitation has become so normalized within a generation or two. That which was once considered a grave scandal is hardly afforded a yawn these days. It's all the more frustrating that this change is presented as enlightened progress, and the alternative as "hidebound". It's also sad that the Church of England's standards are so low, as they evidently could care less about proper marriage preparation and about encouraging abstinence until marriage. Sad, but not at all surprising, given the state of that communion.

Here's another shallow take, featured on MSNBC: For modern royal bride, virginity doesn't matter.

To read an articulate presentation of the case against cohabitation, check out this article from Relevant Magazine:
Research has found that unwed couples who choose to live together have less reverence for the institution of marriage and less confidence that it will last. Lower expectations weaken a couple's resolve to stay together, even after they make the transition from cohabitation to marriage.

Research also shows that the high rate at which cohabitors break up reinforces the notion that intimate relationships are fragile and fleeting. Those who have already experienced the collapse of an intimate cohabiting relationship generally have less hope that their marriages will last and more quickly accept divorce as a way to address marital turmoil.

Perhaps relevant as well is a couple's understanding of the link between commitment and intimacy. For those who marry first, the decision to give lifelong care and love to one's partner comes before the pleasures of married life, including sexual intimacy. The couple promises, in effect, not to seek the gratification of their strongest desires from one another until they commit to a life of mutual service and faithfulness.

Postponing intimate life becomes a way for the couple to express their devotion to one another. From the outset, commitment to the well-being of one's partner is given priority over personal satisfaction. The couple who marries first understands that devotion does not stem from the joys of intimate living, but serves as the foundation for those joys.

The Only Ones Surprised

NBC's Chuck Todd, another self-annointed pooh-bah of Washington's elitist journalistic corps, is belatedly coming to the realization that fighting abortion still matters to Republicans. After months of listening DC talking heads telling us how social issues have fallen by the wayside in light of the poor economy, news today that a deal to pass a budget is hinging in a large part on whether or not to block funding for Planned Parenthood seems to have shocked the insiders. Go figure.

From MSNBC's First Read:
From the look of things, many are acting as if we’re in the midst of a modern-day Kennedy-vs.-Khrushchev showdown. But instead of a standoff over nuclear missiles in Cuba, Democrats and Republicans are on the brink of a government shutdown over the difference of a few billion dollars, Planned Parenthood, and abortions in Washington, DC. (We somehow missed how Planned Parenthood was an issue in last year’s midterms. We also somehow missed the complaints when Dems voted for previous legislation with a DC abortion funding ban.) It’s all ridiculous -- something which House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer acknowledged on “TODAY” this morning. But just like it’s always darkest before dawn, it always looks the most ridiculous before the deal. The question Dem and GOP lawmakers need to ponder: Are they really going to shut down the federal government over $300 million for Planned Parenthood? That’s what the debate has really come down to.

Schieffer in a Tizzy

Does CBS political guru Bob Schieffer know/remember that the Democrats, while having virtual supermajorities in Congress prior to last November's election, failed to pass a budget? FAILED. They couldn't even get it done in the lame duck session. Letting gays serve openly in the military was more important to them. Now, Schieffer puts on indignation at the fecklessness of Congress!? Shameful.

From CBSNews:
CBS News chief Washington correspondent and "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer says that if there's a shutdown lasting longer than a few days, Congress will face outrage from Americans like never before.

"I don't think it will be much impact at first, but if this goes on into next week and it starts inconveniencing people, I think you are going to see outrage like we have never seen before because let's not forget, Congress has been in session since January and up until this point, they have accomplished absolutely nothing," Schieffer said.

"We're into a blame game now. Both sides are trying to blame the other side if the government does shut down," he added. "They've got to get off that and get to thinking about the people that sent them Washington to represent them. This is a shameful episode in the history of the Congress, and I think if this government does shut down for any length of time people are not going to look for who to blame, they're going to blame all of them."

Amazing how the presumed smartest of the smart can be so stupid.

Excommunication in Order?

I don't propose that recourse lightly, but when, according to Archbishop George Niederauer, Pelosi's archbishop in San Fran., will she have gone too far in offending common decency and flouting the Catholic Church to which she claims loyalty. From Politico:
There is “a war on women,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says, and it’s being led by her own colleagues on the other side of the aisle in Congress.

“There is actually a war on women,” the California Democrat said Thursday in Washington, taking aim at House Republicans’ efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and restrict access to abortions, among other measures.

“Abortion is one issue, but contraception and family planning and birth control are opposed by this crowd too,” the first female speaker of the House said of Republicans at the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Women, Money and Power Summit, CNN reported.

She is portraying those who are attempting to protect unborn children, and the essential, unitive component of marriage, as the legislative equivalent of enemy combatants! When do we say "Enough!" as outraged Catholics? Are bishops scared of Pelosi? They should know that, by her routine disobedience and spectacles, she makes Church leadership in this country look incompetent and timid in carrying out their sacred duty to lead and to shepherd souls.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Café, Castros, Cuba, Communism

Jimmy Carter among friends in Cuba

From the Associated Press:
HAVANA – Cuba has spent $9.5 million the past five years to modernize coffee production, but meager harvests mean this java-loving nation must still import to cover domestic consumption, the director of the state-run coffee company said Thursday.

The money went toward improving coffee mills, roasters and packaging in an effort to produce the 18,000 tons needed to meet local demand, said Antonio Aleman, director of the company, Cubacafe.

Cuba's annual coffee harvest currently stands at 6,000 tons, and Aleman confirmed the island is buying 12,000 tons of beans to make up the shortfall.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why Cuba has to import coffee. Given its climate, they shouldn't have to import one bean to that island.


The rule of law in my beloved Wisconsin has a chance still. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Madison - In a political bombshell, the clerk in a Republican stronghold is set to release new vote totals giving 7,500 votes in the state Supreme Court race back toward Justice David Prosser, swinging the race significantly in his favor.

The Waukesha County clerk's office has told state elections officials that they will be adjusting the vote totals to give incumbent David Prosser more than 7,000 new votes, said Mike Haas, staff attorney for the state Government Accountability Board.

"Waukesha will be adjusting their vote totals by 14,000," Haas said the Accountability Board was told.

The numbers will add some 11,000 votes for Prosser and some 3,000 for Kloppenburg, he said.

And from National Review Online:
After Tuesday night’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election, a computer error in heavily Republican Waukesha County failed to send election results for the entire City of Brookfield to the Associated Press. The error, revealed today, would give incumbent Supreme Court Justice David Prosser a net 7,381 votes against his challenger, attorney Joanne Kloppenburg. On Wednesday, Kloppenburg declared victory after the AP reported she finished the election with a 204-vote lead, out of nearly 1.5 million votes cast.

I assure you, Kloppenburg is bad news for WI. The anti-Walker, anti-taxpayer unions adore her.

Red Cross Army

A brilliant piece by George Will, appearing in The Washington Post:
Have you noticed how many of the U.S. armed services’ recruiting appeals, on television and in advertisements in airports and elsewhere, show this or that service engaged in humanitarian relief operations, distributing food and medicine? These present the U.S. military as the Red Cross with, for reasons that are unclear, weapons. Given that some of the services sometimes seem reluctant to recruit for their primary mission — maintaining a credible capability for war — it is not so odd that the Obama administration flinches from the word “war.”

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Obamacare, UK Version

From the Telegraph:
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the presidents of the Royal College of Surgeons, the College of Emergency Medicine and other leading medical associations call on ministers to redress the balance to ensure that such patients receive “the highest levels of supportive care”.

They argue that while the NHS has succeeded in reducing waiting times for pre-planned operations in recent years, this has come “at the cost of relative neglect of the needs of the patients admitted as emergencies”.

Often, those in greatest need are having their surgery “squeezed in at the end of the day”, they say. “Surgeons know the service could be much better,” they write. Cutting waiting times became a priority for the NHS after Labour came to power in 1997 with a pledge to take 100,000 patients off the waiting lists.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

For Laughs

The New Way Forward

Facing the media:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Representative Paul Ryan lays his cards on the table. Today is his day, as he prepares to unveil a dramatically trimmed budget proposal for 2012. He shares his thoughts with us today in The Wall Street Journal:
Congress is currently embroiled in a funding fight over how much to spend on less than one-fifth of the federal budget for the next six months. Whether we cut $33 billion or $61 billion—that is, whether we shave 2% or 4% off of this year's deficit—is important. It's a sign that the election did in fact change the debate in Washington from how much we should spend to how much spending we should cut.

But this morning the new House Republican majority will introduce a budget that moves the debate from billions in spending cuts to trillions. America is facing a defining moment. The threat posed by our monumental debt will damage our country in profound ways, unless we act.

Monday, April 04, 2011

On Helping the Other

All true effort to help begins with self-humiliation; the helper must first humble himself under him he would help, and therewith must understand that to help does not mean to be a sovereign but to be a servant, that to help does not mean to be ambitious but to be patient. - Søren Kierkegaard

"Hope Isn't Hiring"

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Remarkable, if true

From the Daily Mail:
The image is eerily familiar: a bearded young man with flowing curly hair. After lying for nearly 2,000 years hidden in a cave in the Holy Land, the fine detail is difficult to determine. But in a certain light it is not difficult to interpret the marks around the figure’s brow as a crown of thorns.

The extraordinary picture of one of the recently discovered hoard of up to 70 lead codices – booklets – found in a cave in the hills overlooking the Sea of Galilee is one reason Bible historians are clamouring to get their hands on the ancient artefacts.

If genuine, this could be the first-ever portrait of Jesus Christ, possibly even created in the lifetime of those who knew him.

I am a little concerned that these newly discovered codices will be presented by the media as telling the "real" story of Jesus, as opposed to the Scriptures. It's an old tactic, to use such discoveries as a launching pad for attacks on the authenticity of the Gospels.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Catholic Targeted

From the Telegraph:
Catholic policeman killed in Omagh car bomb

A 25-year-old Catholic police recruit has been killed by a booby trap car bomb at his home in Omagh, County Tyrone.

The device exploded under a vehicle outside his home in Highfield Close, off the Gortin Road, in Omagh, Co Tyrone, just before 4pm today.

The victim, who died at the scene, was named locally as Ronan Kerr.

Neighbours reportedly rushed to help with fire extinguishers to put out the flames from the explosion.

Jeffrey Donaldson, the Democratic Unionist MP for Lagan Valley, said the police officer was targeted because he was a Catholic member of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Dear Mr. Ryan: Run for President!

Watch this clip and imagine a debate over the economy between Obama and Ryan.

Don't Mess with the Liturgy

In terms of liturgical reverence, not to mention sanity, we have so much to learn from our Orthodox brethren. Watch this clip of the Patriarch's "presanctified liturgy."