Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ryan is good.

Ryan's arguments are clear. He speaks plainly. He actually says something. WHY WHY WHY would you vote for Barack again? Look around? Not just your hometown. Not just America. The world. Look around. And then look inside. Obama's vision is leading us back toward the greatest mistakes of the 20th Century.

Let's play a game...

Read the article about Vatican II, linked here, and count up all the factual errors from Reuters regarding the Council. It's embarrassing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What is freedom?

“Freedom preserves its dignity only as long as it retains the relationship to its ethical foundations and to its ethical task. A freedom that consisted solely in the possibility of satisfying one’s needs would not be human freedom, since it would remain in the animal realm. An individual freedom without substance dissolves into meaninglessness, since the individual’s freedom can exist only in an order of freedoms. Freedom requires a communal substance, which we could define as the guaranteeing of human rights. We can put this in other terms: the very essence of the concept of “freedom” demands that it be complemented by two other concepts, those of law and of the good.” ~Pope Benedict XVI

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What's ahead

From FoxNews:
France is set to ban the words "mother" and "father" from all official documents under new plans to legalize gay marriage and give equal adoption rights to homosexual and heterosexual couples. Under the proposed law, only the word "parents" would be used in marriage ceremonies for all heterosexual and same-sex couples, a move that has sparked widespread outrage, The Telegraph reports. Changes to the civil code would mean swapping all references to "mothers and fathers," in legal documents, with the word "parents." The proposed law has been met with resistance by members of the Catholic Church. "Gay marriage would herald a complete breakdown in society," Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the head of the French Catholic Church, told Christian’s RFC radio last week.
By the way, the new blogger interface is a mess. Can't separate paragraphs... great.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Disintegration and Chaos

Mark Steyn, writing for National Review Online, makes some excellent, yet deeply sobering points about the state of affairs in America and the world.
I see the Obama campaign has redesigned the American flag, and very attractive it is too. Replacing the 50 stars of a federal republic is the single “O” logo symbolizing the great gaping maw of spendaholic centralization. And where the stripes used to be are a handful of red daubs, eerily mimicking the bloody finger streaks left on the pillars of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi as its staff were dragged out by a mob of savages to be tortured and killed. What better symbol could one have of American foreign policy? Who says the slick hollow vapid marketing of the Obama campaign doesn’t occasionally intersect with reality? On the latter point, after a week and a half of peddling an utterly false narrative of what happened in Libya, the United States government is apparently beginning to discern that there are limits to what even Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Susan Rice can say with a straight face. The official line — that the slaughter of American officials was some sort of improvised movie review that got a little out of hand — is now in the process of modification to something bearing a less patently absurd relationship to what actually happened. That should not make any more forgivable the grotesque damage that the administration has done to the bedrock principle of civilized society: freedom of speech.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I saw the headline, "Romney comments rock campaign," and I braced for the worst.  But then I read the comments:    
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what.  There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing."
Everyone is angry about these comments, but we should all take a moment and reconsider our anger.  Are we angry because Mr. Romney is wrong?  No.  We are angry because he is describing us and he is right.  Like an alcoholic, we have a dependency that we do not wish to acknowledge, and we certainly do not want to confront.  We feel the same anger towards Mr. Romney, therefore, that an alcoholic feels towards a family member who confronts him on his excessive drinking.  Let's not be indignant with Mr. Romney.  Rather let's be a little indignant with ourselves for once.       

Saturday, September 15, 2012

On Love and Pain

A reflection on the meaning of suffering, pain and love, from the Holy Father's book God and the World: A Conversation with Peter Seewald:
Today what people have in view is eliminating suffering from the world. For the individual, that means avoiding pain and suffering in whatever way. Yet we must also see that it is in this very way that the world becomes very hard and very cold. Pain is part of being human. Anyone who really wanted to get rid of suffering would have to get rid of love before anything else, because there can be no love without suffering, because it always demands an element of self-sacrifice, because, given temperamental differences and the drama of situations, it will always bring with it renunciation and pain.

When we know that the way of love–this exodus, this going out of oneself–is the true way by which man becomes human, then we also understand that suffering is the process through which we mature. Anyone who has inwardly accepted suffering becomes more mature and more understanding of others, becomes more human. Anyone who has consistently avoided suffering does not understand other people; he becomes hard and selfish.


Appearing in National Review Online, Mark Steyn comments on the truly lamentable state of affairs that transpired last week. Is there an end in sight?
So, on a highly symbolic date, mobs storm American diplomatic facilities and drag the corpse of a U.S. ambassador through the streets. Then the president flies to Vegas for a fundraiser. No, no, a novelist would say; that’s too pat, too neat in its symbolic contrast. Make it Cleveland, or Des Moines.

The president is surrounded by delirious fanbois and fangurls screaming “We love you,” too drunk on his celebrity to understand this is the first photo-op in the aftermath of a national humiliation. No, no, a filmmaker would say; too crass, too blunt. Make them sober, middle-aged midwesterners, shocked at first, but then quiet and respectful.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Obama's Middle East Policy

Liz Cheney wrote a powerful editorial on Obama's feckless Middle East policy. Here's an excerpt, from The Wall Street Journal:
It has certainly been a terrible 48 hours. In Libya, violent extremists killed American diplomats. In Cairo, mobs breached the walls of the U.S. Embassy, ripped down the American flag and replaced it with the al Qaeda flag.

In response to the attack in Cairo, diplomats there condemned not the attackers but those who "hurt the religious feelings of Muslims." The president appeared in the Rose Garden less than 24 hours later to condemn the Libya assault and failed even to mention the attack in Egypt. The message sent to radicals throughout the region: If you assault an American embassy but don't kill anyone, the U.S. president won't complain.

Though the administration's performance in the crisis was appalling, it wasn't surprising—it is the logical outcome of three-and-a-half years of Obama foreign policy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Obama and Infanticide

Ramesh Ponnuru picks apart Obama's awkward explanation for his opposition to a bill that aimed to protect babies that survived abortion. From National Review Online:
The media, this time the Washington Post, are again tackling the issue of Obama’s opposition, as a state legislator, to a bill protecting infants who survive abortions.

Obama and his apologists gave several excuses for his position during his 2004 senatorial and 2008 presidential campaigns, and continue to do so now. They said he opposed it because the law already protected these infants — a claim the Post’s Michael Dobbs fell for in his 2008 “fact check” on this subject. They said opposed it because the law lacked a clause clarifying that it did not protect fetuses within the womb. In fact Obama opposed a version of the bill that contained one (not that there was ever any need for it).

Read on. This is sickening. How does Obama sleep at night?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Queen Bess and Us

An excerpt from an interesting piece by Ed West, appearing in the Telegraph, If we are the new Elizabethans, then conservatives are the new Catholics:
Although most people are quite moderate on the “culture war” issues, just as in the 16th century the most fanatical are also the most vocal and determined; like in the 16th century they understand the media of the day, television and radio, better than conservatives. That is why, just as in the 16th century, it is used to spread relentless propaganda against the old society and faith. (Another parallel is the physical vandalism of the 20th century that tore down so many beautiful buildings that reminded people of another era.)

And just as in the 16th century, they use the law to exclude people with whom they disagree, people who do not swear the 21st century equivalent of the Oath of Supremacy – the Oath of Diversity.

Opportunities to serve...

Classic Sirico. Good stuff.

Friday, September 07, 2012

3PM Prayer

From the Telegraph:
A bishop is recommending that they set the alarms on their mobile phones to remind them of the new observance as part of a move to promote faith in the workplace ahead of the Church’s “Year of Faith”.

It comes in the week that British government lawyers went to the European Court of Human Rights to defend the right of employers to ban the wearing of public symbols of faith such as the cross in the workplace.

The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton and chair of the Church in England and Wales’s evangelisation committee, said the plan drew on traditions of saying special Friday prayers dating back to the 17th century.

He said: “I would like to invite every Catholic, especially during the Year of Faith, to pause for a moment of prayer of praise and thanksgiving at 3pm if possible, or perhaps when you break for lunch, on the first Friday of every month.


Thursday, September 06, 2012


The Beginning

Wilson. FDR. LBJ. Obama.

Here's an excerpt from an excellent article by George Will, appearing in The Washington Post:
Four years ago, Barack Obama was America’s Rorschach test, upon whom voters could project their disparate yearnings. To govern, however, is to choose, and now his choices have clarified him. He is a conviction politician determined to complete the progressive project of emancipating government from the Founders’ constraining premises, a project Woodrow Wilson embarked on 100 Novembers ago. ...

Progress, as progressives understand it, means advancing away from, up from, something. But from what?

From the Constitution’s constricting anachronisms. In 1912, Wilson said, “The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of governmental power.” But as Kesler notes, Wilson never said the future of liberty consisted of such limitation.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Toxic Pill

Here's a powerful excerpt from a review of Mary Eberstadt's Adam and Eve after the Pill, by Father C. John McCloskey:
The separation of sex and procreation has also spawned the deadly plague of America’s largest entertainment industry: pornography. The author refers to surveys reporting that “65% of boys age sixteen and seventeen report having friends who regularly download Internet pornography… and another study relates that “watching sex on television predicts adolescent initiation of sexual behavior,” while a third finds that “men who use pornography have lost the ability to relate or be close to women. They have trouble being turned on by ‘real’ women and their sex lives, with their girls or wives, collapse.” In addition, the use of the Pill or other forms of contraception along with alcohol produce what Eberstadt refers to as “the hook-up” culture at ‘Toxic U.” This environment was memorably portrayed in author Tom Wolfe’s novel I am Charlotte Simmons.

One campus psychiatrist has written a book that details the common denominators of his college patients: “drinking to oblivion, drugging, one night sex, sexually transmitted diseases and all the rest of the hook up-culture trappings.” A Washington Post writer reports that hooking up has become the “primary” sexual interaction of the young.

Damage Done

From CNN:
(CNN) – Sister Simone Campbell got what may have been the biggest media platform of her life on Wednesday night, when she addressed the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. But the Catholic nun had plenty of star power before that. ...

They had seen her on "The Colbert Report," pushing back on the Vatican's crackdown on American nuns, or read about the "nuns on the bus" tour that Simone organized to decry Rep. Paul Ryan's federal budget proposal. ...

By asking her to speak at their convention, the Democrats appear keen to capitalize on Campbell's budding celebrity at a moment when the official Roman Catholic Church has been critical of the Obama administration, claiming that it is infringing on religious liberty.

And at a convention that is revolving largely around an alleged GOP-led "war on women," Campbell is a poignant feminist symbol. She has stood up to the Vatican's criticisms of American nuns for what the church says is their fixation on progressive advocacy at the expense of promoting socially conservative positions. ...

On Wednesday night, Campbell said that Obama's health care law and expanding Medicaid coverage "is part of my pro-life stance and the right thing to do." It was the biggest applause lines in her speech, which was filled with big applause lines.

"Paul Ryan claims his budget reflects the principles of our shared Catholic faith," Campbell said later in her speech. "But the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops stated that the Ryan budget failed a basic moral test, because it would harm families living in poverty.

"We agree with our bishops," Campbell said. "I am my sister's keeper. I am my brother's keeper.

Isn't Obama's brother living in poverty in a hut in Kenya?

Anyway, as soon as I read that bishop's simplistic critique of Ryan's budget, I knew this was going to happen. A foolish and ill-timed critique of Paul Ryan's budget by an ill-informed bishop (or committee) who simply refused to do his homework is used as a weapon by the liberal Catholic wing in America against a solidly pro-life, faithful Catholic with an impeccable pro-life voting record. As though Paul Ryan's views on the budget are in any way comparable to the grave matter of protecting innocent lives in the womb. The criticism is totally baseless. Paul Ryan himself answered it. This is just throwing out old, tried and tested talking points.

The Race Card

A scene from the convention:

Robert George's Take

Many are saddened by Cardinal Dolan's presence at the Democratic National Convention.  His presence, they say, will only cause confusion among Catholic voters.

Robert George, however, thinks that Cardinal Dolan's appearance will have some positive consequences.  The Democratic campaign team has pushed the idea that Republicans are waging a war on women by denying them access to abortion and contraception.  The Republicans, therefore, are villains and should be kept out of office.  Or so the story goes.  According to George's op-ed piece in today's issue of the Wall Street Journal, however, Dolan's presence at the DNC undercuts this war on women argument.  No one in public life takes a stronger stance against abortion and contraception than Cardinal Dolan.  So if anyone is conducting a war on women, Dolan is, right?  "Well... yes," the Democrats have to answer--"but we are pleased to invite this villain to lead the prayers at our convention.  So how serious are we, again, about this war on women?" 


The Nazi Card

From FoxNews:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Another Democratic official on Wednesday invoked Nazis while describing Republicans, in the third such incident this week as Democratic leaders gathered in Charlotte for their national convention.

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian compared the state’s Republican female governor, Nikki Haley, to Adolf Hitler’s mistress and eventual wife, while speaking Wednesday at a delegation breakfast in Charlotte, according to The State newspaper.

“She was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun,” Harpootlian reportedly said, referring to Haley’s daily news briefings inside a basement studio at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Where SEALs Stand

The The New York Times featured a review of No Easy Day, the highly anticipated book written by a Navy SEAL who participated in the raid that took out Osama bin Laden. Here's a striking excerpt:
It is only after the George W. Bush presidency that the author begins complaining about the slow-moving “Washington machine” that members of the SEALs found frustrating. That irritation mounts in 2011, when the SEALs anxiously awaited their signal to raid Abbottabad, but this account is determined to steer clear of serious politics or leave itself open to election-season manipulation. The worst it has to say about President Obama is that none of the fighters who caught bin Laden wanted to help re-elect him, and that he never followed through on a promise to invite them to the White House for a beer.

Says something about the president, eh? Read a few more shocking anecdotes here.

Mother of Fallen SEAL Rebukes Obama, Clinton

The Latin Church

From Harry Mount, writing for the Telegraph:
Thank God for the Catholic church – and I speak as an agnostic Anglican. Once again, they are helping to preserve the study of Latin in Western Europe, as they have for more than a millennium.

Pope Benedict is about to set up a new body, the Pontificia Academia Latinitatis, which will study and promote the language in schools and churches.

The role of Latin has declined in the Catholic church since Vatican II but it still remains the official language of the Vatican – and the role of the church in the survival of Latin is incalculable.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Walker on Ryan on GM

An excerpt from a great article by Governor Scott Walker on Paul Ryan's convention speech and, more specifically, the General Motors plant that shut down in Janesville. From Politico:
The reviews of Rep. Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech for the Republican vice presidential nomination are in, and it’s being cited as a success. Is there any wonder that the Obama campaign staffers and surrogates are in full-blown damage control mode, screaming that Paul was unfair in some of his criticisms of President Barack Obama?

You’ve likely all now heard about the General Motors plant in Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, Wis. It’s closed — has been as long as Obama has been president. Bailout be damned. Ryan told the story of that plant on Wednesday night. ...

Clapping at Mass

A nice little image from Canterbury Tales