8 Responses to Bishop Tobin On The Factor

  • “..state of Grace, you’ve heard that term.” It kills me how pathetically uneducated these folks like O’Reilly are on Catholic teaching. He doesn’t know the moral difference between abortion and the death penalty? Where is Alan Keyes when you need him?

  • What an excellent and charitable explanation the good bishop offered.

    I pray for more bishops like His Excellency that will finally execute their ecclesial duties and be our true shepherds!

  • I usually like Bill, except when he’s talking about the Church or economics – then he’s as misinformed as the idiots that watch Matthews.

  • [email protected]!

  • I’m not sure that O’Reilly’s question concerning the Dealth Penalty vs. Abortion was showing his uninformed perspective on the situation, but rather he was trying to be a bit journalistic. If he did not ask that question, for example, than those who would shout “Hypocrisy!” about those two issues regarding the Church would not know why they were incorrect.

  • Bishops Tobin comes across as quite fanatical.

  • Nope, he comes across as teaching precisely what the Church teaches on abortion.

  • “Bishop Tobin comes across as quite fanatical.”

    From the Spirit of Vatican II Dictionary:

    fanatic, n.

    Etymology: Latin “fanaticus” inspired by a deity, frenzied, from fanum temple, Date: 1550

    An articulate advocate for a cause or moral position uncongenial to the hearer.

    Antonym: prophet.

Thoughts on 'Climategate'

Tuesday, November 24, AD 2009

I think Prof. Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy outlines a sensible approach to the recent ‘Climategate’ scandal:

Most of us, however, lack expertise on climate issues. And our knowledge of complex issues we don’t have personal expertise on is largely based on social validation. For example, I think that Einsteinian physics is generally more correct than Newtonian physics, even though I know very little about either. Why? Because that’s the overwhelming consensus of professional physicists, and I have no reason to believe that their conclusions should be discounted as biased or otherwise driven by considerations other than truth-seeking. My views of climate science were (and are) based on similar considerations. I thought that global warming was probably a genuine and serious problem because that is what the overwhelming majority of relevant scientists seem to believe, and I generally didn’t doubt their objectivity.

At the very least, the Climategate revelations should weaken our confidence in the above conclusion. At least some of the prominent scholars in the field seem driven at least in part by ideology, and willing to use intimidation to keep contrarian views from being published, even if the articles in question meet normal peer review standards. Absent such tactics, it’s possible that more contrarian research would be published in professional journals and the consensus in the field would be less firm. To be completely clear, I don’t think that either ideological motivation or even intimidation tactics prove that these scientists’ views are wrong. Their research should be assessed on its own merits, irrespective of their motivations for conducting it. However, these things should affect the degree to which we defer to their conclusions merely based on their authority as disinterested experts.

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19 Responses to Thoughts on 'Climategate'

  • “We would need a lot more evidence than this to reasonably dismiss the scientific consensus on climate change.”

    I guess we need quite a few more whistleblowers. I imagine that there has been a mass culling of e-mails among many of the proponents of global warming since this story broke. The scientists involved in climategate are pretty big names among climatologists and I doubt if their attitudes and methods are sui generis.

  • A sensible approach indeed.

  • Yes, reasonable. But I think there’s still more reason for concern. It would take very little incorrect (intentionally) data by a handful of these agenda driven scientists to corrupt the entire body of research. Much like a simple math error early on gets built upon and with every additional operation you get further from the correct answer.

    If the discussion was confined to scientific inquiry and understanding, I don’t think many lay people would be concerned about it. It becomes problematic when it’s used as a political weapon by some in an attempt effect broad and inorganic change of the social order – that which they have tried and failed to can’t achieve based on the merit.

  • Iowahawk never lacks for material these days.

    Rich L. pinpoints the problem – it’s one thing to believe that we should be good stewards of the earth and quite another to attempt to transform the entire social order. What disturbs me about the whole AGW thing is that some of its more fanatical adherents have substituted Gaia for God. Several months ago, I read of couples in the UK who bragged about having themselves sterilized to ensure they wouldn’t add any nasty little polluters to the population. At its extreme end, environmentalism strikes me as deeply anti-human. (I was going to say ‘pagan’ but the ancient pagans had fertility rites!)

  • As Blackadder noted recently, mainstream conservatism has increasingly been associated with views that can be described as ‘anti-science’ in recent years.

    You can describe them that way, but the concept is underdeveloped.

  • If any scientist “manipulates” their data their credentials should be revoked. Period.

    This situation should be thoroughly investigated. There should be “zero tolerance” for such behavior. Of what value is “peer review” when those who are “objective” are among the corrupt? I wonder how “objective” any investigation will be anyway?

    With the strong political/social attachments of many scientists, being at the behest of different organizations, inside and outside government to fund their “research”, is this actually surprising?

    Are there still people who really think that honesty is a driving force in society that means more than the bottom line? You are naive.

    There is ALWAYS some end, which is NOT synonymous with the pursuit of truth, operative in all endeavors. This indictment includes the Catholic Church as well. Corruption is everywhere.

    When intelligent whistleblowers, with significant experience in what they are trying to expose, are ignored and suppressed out of hand because what they are saying could severely impact the “status quo”, this is what you get. People get what they deserve.
    The “complainer” is sometimes correct.

  • Apparently the scientists involved in climategate were using a very poorly coded computer program as part of their efforts to measure global warming.


    The bottom line:

    “Inappropriate programming language usage.
    Totally nuts shell tricks.
    Hard coded constant files.
    Incoherent file naming conventions.
    Use of program library subroutines that appear to be
    far from ideal in how they do things when they work,
    do not produce an answer consistent with other way to calculate the same thing, but which fail at undefined times, and where when the function fails the program silently continues without reporting the error.

  • I am one of those sceptics because of how they sell Global Warming. They sell it like it is a pathology which is in the field of medince. Biomedical studies is a science, it increases the body of knowledge. What does it prove when in the Artic when a huge chunck of ice falls into the ocean. They measure the CO2 in the ice or in immissions and determine it is causing it. Pathology uses words like suffering, wound, unrepairable, but in cell pathology as I understand you always take into consideration the word healing

  • Part of the problem with the scientists involved as I understand it, is that they would not provide their data when requested and even talked about deleting it. Professionally unethical and very, very, very suspect.

  • Such has happenen in medical publications before. The journels which published the studies retracted the articles and published the reasons why. Similar should happen now if the scientists cannot present their data for independent review.

  • Let me see if I have this straight: We have some folks in the scientific community acting in an unscientific manner in furtherance of a particular agenda, and yet it is the skeptics of that agenda who, once again, are dismissed as “anti science”. The whole “I’m shocked that people continue to think in this ‘anti-scientific’ way” meme is wearing thin.

    In fact, I’m shocked that any rational person – other than those (1) pushing a particular socio-political agenda for which “global warming” proves to be a particularly convenient bogeyman or (2) pretending to be “more rational than thou” in order to impress somebody – continues to unquestioningly buy into the “science” of so-called “global warming”.

  • I was intentionally provocative with that previous post. As offensive as it may be to be accused of buying into global warming in order to either push an agenda or impress someone, it is far more offensive to skeptics of “global warming” to be accused of being “anti science”.

  • Jay,

    I don’t really think the ‘who’s insulted more’ argument is worth having. If you think that CO2 emissions are not a long-term problem (contra the scientific consensus), that’s your call, although I’m disinclined to rely on your expertise in this area. As I see it, there are three basic questions around climate change:

    1) Are CO2 emissions a long term threat to the environment? My understanding is that there is a lot of evidence suggesting they are.

    2) Can we develop models that allow us to predict with some specificity – beyond the insight that they can be a serious long term problem – how CO2 emissions interact with the environment and will affect it in the future? I think the Climategate e-mails suggest we are not as far along on this as many previously thought; at the very least, there are reasons to be skeptical.

    3) Given that CO2 emissions are a threat, what is the appropriate political response? On this question I basically side with Jim Manzi, who accepts the scientific consensus that CO2 emissions are a problem, but thinks that they are a manageable risk, which we will be able to more effectively address through technological advances and economic growth, rather than through draconian and ineffective political half-measures.

    If you have a problem with the standard views in the global warming community to questions 2 & 3, then we’re in basic agreement, although I may be somewhat less skeptical than you about question 2. If you have a problem with question 1, then I think you’re venturing into ‘anti-science’ territory – and I think this could be a real problem for conservatives at some point. As the post indicates, I don’t pretend to be an expert in this area. I think Prof. Somin outlines a reasonable way for non-experts to approach Climategate. Feel free to disagree, but I don’t think speculating about my motives does much to advance the conversation.

  • Brought to you by Climategate:

    a) data manipulation
    b) subversion of the peer review process
    c) intimidation of science journal editors
    d) persecution of skeptics
    e) revelations of a non-consensus internal to CRU models and data
    f) communications through an unelected UN panel stacked and hand-picked by CRU members
    g) millions of dollars of grant money at stake
    h) destruction of data
    i) obstruction of the freedom of information act
    j) unprofessional conduct

    I can not support the largest wealth transfer in human history based on a science so full of arrogance and pettiness. The probability of error in this group appear extreme as demonstrated by the collective conduct. Rationality has not been their primary behavior.

    John Q. Public

  • Time is getting short and it is coming down to the fact, that soon ( December 7 to December 18 ) I will have to pray to my Lord, to maintain our freedoms and that God, not allow our leaders to sign the Copenhagen Treaty, which will take away our liberties, let go and let God-this being a challenge to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ? However, while there is still time to prevent the loss of a lifetime, perhaps loss of life it’s self – I will do what I am able to fight for our freedoms! The whole Climate Change agenda is a proven fraud and racketeering, but the United Nations and Globalist governments don’t care as that is just the excuse instrument they have used to ensnare us! Has everybody out there become a tree hugger? Anyone out there want to fight and maintain their freedom anymore? Please do all you can to preserve freedom in North America!
    Check out what Government is doing behind your back at: : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VebOTc-7shU

    To request that PM Harper doesn’t sign the Copenhagen Treaty, thereby causing Canadians to lose their Sovereignty and Freedom email the PM at: [email protected]

    Any lawyers want to help out by filing this Copenhagen Treaty be classified as an illegal Treaty to help save Freedom in North America? ( Unlimited Promotion Opportunity Here For a Law firm to Gain a favorable high profile credibility! )

  • “Climategate” started out when there appeared on the Internet a collection of e-mails of a group of climatologists who work in the University of East Anglia in England. These documents reveal that some climatologists of international preeminence have manipulated the data of their investigations and have strongly tried to discredit climatologists who are not convinced that the increasing quantities of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere are the cause of global warming.

    It is true that a majority of the scientists who study climatic tendencies in our atmosphere have arrived at the conclusion that the world’s climate is changing, and they have convinced a group of politicians, some of whom are politically powerful, of the truth of their conclusions.

    A minority, however, is skeptical. Some believe that recent data that suggest that the average temperature of the atmosphere is going up can be explained by natural variations in solar radiation and that global warming is a temporary phenomenon. Others believe that the historical evidence indicating that the temperature of the atmosphere is going up at a dangerous rate is simply not reliable.

    Such lacks of agreement are common in the sciences. They are reduced and eventually eliminated with the accumulation of new evidence and of more refined theories or even by completely new ones. Such debates can persist for a period of decades. Academics often throw invective at one another in these debates. But typically this does not mean much.

    But the case of climate change is different. If the evidence indicates that global warming is progressive, is caused principally by our industrial processes, and will probably cause disastrous changes in our atmosphere before the end of the twenty-first century, then we do not have the time to verify precisely if this evidence is reliable. Such a process would be a question of many years of new investigations. And if the alarmist climatologists are right, such a delay would be tragic for all humanity.

    The difficulty is that economic and climatologic systems are very complicated. They are not like celestial mechanics, which involves only the interaction of gravity and centrifugal force, and efforts to construct computerized models to describe these complicated systems simply cannot include all the factors that are influential in the evolution of these complicated systems.

    All this does not necessarily indicate that the alarmist climatologists are not right. But it really means that if global warming is occurring, we cannot know exactly what will be the average temperature of our atmosphere in the year 2100 and what will be the average sea level of the world’s ocean in that year.

    It also means that we cannot be confident that efforts by the industrialized countries to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will have a significant influence on the evolution of the world’s climate.

    Alas, the reduction of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere would be very costly and would greatly change the lives of all the inhabitants of our planet–with the possibility (perhaps even the probability!) that all these efforts will be completely useless.

    Harleigh Kyson Jr.

  • Pingback: Will Climategate Lead to Soul Searching among Religious Environmentalists? « The Enterprise Blog

An Interesting Thought on State Universities

Tuesday, November 24, AD 2009

Some interestingly counter-intuitive thoughts on the UC student protests against rising tuition from David Henderson of EconLog:

Taxpayer funding of higher education is a forced transfer to the relatively wealthy

Socialist author Robert Kuttner once called Proposition 13, California’s 1978 property-tax-cut initiative, the revolt of the haves. The latest opposition by UC students to a 32% increase in tuition is a revolt of the “will-haves.”

Milton Friedman used to remark that the California government, with its state funding of higher education, taxed the residents of Watts to pay for the residents of Beverly Hills. I think Friedman exaggerated substantially. Even though the California’s tax system relies heavily on sales taxes, which probably makes the state tax system on net somewhat regressive, it’s still the case that a given Beverly Hills family pays much more in taxes than a given family in Watts. But Friedman also focused on family income of the student, and that’s misleading.

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5 Responses to An Interesting Thought on State Universities

  • Henderson’s point isn’t limited to state funding of higher education (although this is a clear example). Lots of programs that are ostensibly about helping the less well off are in fact regressive. Social Security, for example, is funded through non-progressive payroll taxes. Since the rich tends to live longer and start work later, the net result of this is that the rich receive a proportionately greater benefit from Social Security, and pay a proportionately lower cost. I believe the same is true for Medicare, although the case is somewhat murkier.

  • Hilaire Belloc writes something to this extent in “The Servile State.” Capitalism, he believes, is not good. Socialism, he believes, is no better. Capitalism “mitigated” by socialism will be a nightmare. He reasons that the clever will be able to wile through the system and take advantage of it, whereas the dense or otherwise disadvantaged will be unable to keep up with its complexities. Moreover, as they get ensnared and ground up by the capitalist system, the safety nets that “save them” will only entangle them further, and lead ultimately to a situation where many of them will be permanently or indefinitely on the bottom, working for the benefit of those on top.

  • The problem is dismounting from the tiger:

    1. Secondary education, which was once fairly rigorous in metropolitan areas, has been allowed to rot (read Thomas Sowell on the quality of instruction he received at a certain high school in Harlem ca. 1946 and the quality his niece received there just 12 years later);

    2. The labor market relies on gradations of extent and selectivity of higher education as indicators of generally desirable qualities for employment;

    3. Vested interests prevent improvement of primary or secondary education;

    4. Vested interests prevent alternatives to higher education as indicators of desirability (case law on ‘equal employment opportunity’ effectively prohibits written examinations for employment;

    5. Absent ready alternatives to higher education as an indicators, later cohorts will be at a disadvantage to earlier cohorts in the labor market as higher education contracts;

    Optimally, nearly all educational institutions would be incorporated philanthropies whose trustees were elected by locally resident alumni; public higher education would be limited to training academies for the military, police, and civil service; public primary education would be limited to schools for incorrigibles run by sheriffs’ departments; and public secondary education would not exist. Primary and secondary education would be financed by state-issued vouchers and private donations (not tuition) and higher education would be by tuition and private donations, and nothing else. Enough of the edifice of ‘civil rights law’ would be demolished to permit employment examinations. Most people would begin their adult work life at 19.

    And we will never get to there from here. Too many people’s careers are bound up with the craptastic system we have now. Our president wants to make it possible for ‘everyone’ to go to college (so we can push the onset of adult life from 23 to 26? Argh).

  • Art,

    I agree that there’s really no changing the percentage of people who go (or try to go) to college at this point, even though that would arguably be a good thing all around.

    It does, however, stike me that it might be appropriate to expect public universities to get the vast majority (if not all) their funding from tuition, donations, and their endowment rather than from the state budget. If that meant raising tuition enough that graduates ended up with more student debt, that would seem like a relatively fair loan against one’s future.

  • …it might be appropriate to expect public universities to get the vast majority (if not all) their funding from tuition, donations, and their endowment rather than from the state budget.–Darwin Catholic

    And after a reform like that, what would make what you’re calling “public universities” different from other universities open to the public – other than meddling by politicians?

    Privatize the lot of ’em. Silicon Valley owes more to private Stanford University than to the five political appointee-operated universities elsewhere in the Bay Area – 2 UC and 3 CSU campuses – combined. The private, operated “in the Jesuit tradition” University of Santa Clara has also punched above its weight in supplying top Silicon Valley talent.

Zeitoun Marian Apparition 40 Year Anniversary

Tuesday, November 24, AD 2009

April 2, 1968 A.D. the Blessed Virgin Mary began appearing on top of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the Zeitoun District of Cairo, Egypt.  An estimated one million people were able to witness the numerous Marian apparitions that occurred during a two year stretch ending in 1971 A.D.

Both Christians and Muslims witnessed Our Lady of the Light appear on top of the domed church.  Even then President Nasser of Egypt witnessed it himself and ordered a complete investigation, intimidating and pilfering the church.  They came up with no evidence of any hoax.  In the end even he, a Muslim, admitted to this reality.

From my limited understanding, this is the only instance I can recall where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in front of largely non-Catholics.  In my humble opinion is that the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria was founded by Saint Mark the Evangelist, the one and only of the same gospel, and that many, many saints were buried beneath that church in Zeitoun, Egypt.

Hence the special importance of why the Blessed Virgin Mary chose that particular church, the Virgin Mary Church in Zeitoun.  Having an unbroken apostolic tradition with the blood of many martyrs sanctifying the beautiful church where these apparitions occurred.

(Biretta Tip: Canterbury Tales)


To learn more about the apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Zeitoun, Egypt, click here.

To learn more about the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria click here.  For the Wikipedia version click here.

To learn more about Saint Mark the Evangelist click here.  For the Wikipedia version click here.

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15 Responses to Zeitoun Marian Apparition 40 Year Anniversary

  • If this happened in 1968-71, then wouldn’t it be the 40-year anniversary?

  • You are correct!

    Just fixed it.

  • Dear Tito:

    Maybe I am missing something here…

    Your explanation is interesting…but I am curious: why would Our Lady appear over the dome of a Schismatic Church – unless it was to tell them to stop following there false pope and accept the authority of the true descendant of Peter? Perhaps she delivered that message, and the folks who created the website you linked to missed it. Otherwise, I have to agree with this fellow, who came to what I believe to be the only logical conclusion if this was truly a Marian apparition:

    “The apparition of the Virgin has consolidated the Orthodox creed. Had we been in the wrong, the Virgin would not have made Her apparition for a whole year over the domes of an Orthodox church. THE MOTHER VIRGIN HAS THUS MADE HER APPARITION OVER THE DOMES OF THE CHURCH THAT HAS PRESERVED FAITH FOR US! ”

    In Christ,


  • The Pope of Alexandria is not a false Pope; the term “Pope” was given to the Alexandrian Patriarch long before it was used as a title for the Roman Patriarch. Rome recognizes the succession of St Mark leading to the current Pope of Alexandia; while political schism is indeed an important issue, we must not use that to limit the work of God (and become like Donatists). The respect Rome has for Alexandria itself is great; indeed, the Coptic Christians have suffered greatly for the faith through the centuries, and their monastic witness continues to be an inspiration to Christians all around the world today.

  • Henry K. is correct.

    The term “Pope” has long been used by the See of Saint Mark before the See of Peter did.

    From what my Egyptian Catholic friends tell me, many Coptic families in Egypt have both a portrait of Pope Shenouda III and Pope Benedict XVI because of the great love and respect they have for both.

    They certainly need our prayers as the extremist Muslims continue to persecute them in their own homeland.

  • Dear Henry and Tito:

    Regarding the use of the expression “false pope” – mea culpa. I saw these titles for “His Holiness” on one of the websites you linked to:

    * Father of Fathers.
    * Shepherd of Shepherds.
    * Hierarch of all Hierarchs

    Surely you can understand my misinterpretation of the situation; however, you both missed my point. Perhaps this discussion is not even worth having – but what message does it send to Coptic church if Our Lady graces them with Her visible presence for over 1 year without offering any advice or encouragement regarding their “political schism” (I do not understand the use of this expression regarding the Coptics. In fact – I really don’t understand the expression at all…forgive my ignorance)? In answer, I would re-direct your attention to the conclusion drawn by the individual whom I quoted above:

    “The apparition of the Virgin has consolidated the Orthodox creed. Had we been in the wrong, the Virgin would not have made Her apparition for a whole year over the domes of an Orthodox church. THE MOTHER VIRGIN HAS THUS MADE HER APPARITION OVER THE DOMES OF THE CHURCH THAT HAS PRESERVED FAITH FOR US! ”

    Again, maybe I missed something.


  • Antony,

    No biggie!

    Hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving!


  • Why? This occurred to me: maybe so that this community of believers will survive, bear witness, & eventually in God’s time, reunite with the Western Church.

  • Edwardangelo,

    I agree. I also think it means to remind them to continue in witnessing their faith and in due time the Muslims will revert back to the True Faith and make Egypt a proud and great Christian nation once again.

  • did you ever consider the possibility this was a projected hologram?

  • Ralph,

    And the moon is made out of cheese.

    I’ll believe the moon part before I take your point seriously.

  • Ralph: I worked in Egypt last year and visited the Zeitoun Church, then searched on the net. From what I remember or was told (it’s all becoming vague now, so maybe you may choose to follow it up), at the time of the apparitions Egypt’s leadership under Nasser was heavily atheist and socialist, dependent on Soviet aid & advisers. No way were these apparations to their liking. It had to be proven a scam so the government + advisers checked out the whole area and surroundings for electronic or similar causes, and came up blank much to their dissatisfaction. Then they tried to block access into the area but it didn’t work. Now this is the part I like (I hope it’s true): the apparitions stopped when the authorities started to charge admittance to get near the church.

  • I found this page while googling, but did anyone realise that she appeared again in many different coptic orthodox churches in a similar fashion just a few days ago. On December 10-12 and again on 22 in other churches. Also a golden luminous dove was seen flying around the church. Search youtube for St Mary Warraq or St Mary Apparitions.

  • I’ve been reading that the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing in Al-Warrak!

    That is wonderful.

    I hope she brings peace to the Copts because of their continuous persecution under the Muslims.

Libs Go After Obama, Why?

Tuesday, November 24, AD 2009

In this most recent SNL skit President Obama was skewered… royally.  It’s as if the SNL writers downloaded my thoughts on President Obama’s recent Asia trip, or what is sometimes referred to as his World Apology Tour: Asia Edition, and wrote this skit

The sarcasm is biting and the humor is hilarious.

The question is, why does it seem that his base is turning on him?  Are they realizing that their previous efforts to poke fun at President Obama failed miserably so they turned it up a notch?  Or is this genuine creative license that sometimes hits or miss and in this instance it hit?  Or are they really upset with the excessive spending that President Obama is pushing for?

My guess is that it’s their creative license that finally hit its mark.  I like SNL, but watch it infrequently now that I don’t even have rabbit ears on my tv set to watch the broadcast networks.

This skit certainly got me to smile and lifted up my day ever so briefly.

The most memorable line from this skit is:

“I am noticing that each of your plans to save money involves spending even more money.”


[vodpod id=Groupvideo.4001657&w=425&h=350&fv=]

(Biretta Tip: Big Hollywood)

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34 Responses to Libs Go After Obama, Why?

  • There’s clearly at least one writer on SNL’s staff with some conservative sympathies (see here and here for other examples).

  • I remember both skits. Pretty good stuff.

    The second link, that of the Olbermann spoof, was so good that Afleck personally called up Olbermann to apologize for the skit.

    What a wimp.

  • Well, this liberal thinks our president is too conservative. And while I may be the most radical person in your commentariat, there are several million Americans who have me beat.

    That said, humor sells. SNL has spoofed every president since Ford. I doubted they had enough Palin material to roll with for eight years.

  • Well, Olberman crashed the closed set while Affleck was rehearsing the sketch…which must have been a little awkward. It’s not surprising that he apologized.

  • Why John Henry, I didn’t know you read the HuffPo! 😉

  • Well, this liberal thinks our president is too conservative.

    I’ll take the bait, Todd. How so?

  • Every President of a pronounced ideological stripe tends to leave the true believers on his side unsatisfied. That was certainly the case with Reagan and many conservatives. Obama is a dream come true for many liberals and worry is growing on the Left that they aren’t getting what they want. For example:

    1. No single payer health care system.

    2. US troops aren’t out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    3. Deep cuts in defense spending aren’t being called for.

    4. No card check.

    5. No Freedom of Choice Act.

    6. Insufficient spending by the Federal government as typified by the calls on the Left for a second stimulus package.

    7. No blanket amnesty for illegal aliens.

    8. No attempts yet to go after “right wing” talk radio through an imposition of a new Fairness Doctrine.

    9. No repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or the Protection of Marriage Act.

    10. No calls to overturn the filibuster rule in the Senate.

    Partisans of the Left recognize that this is the best opportunity to enact their agenda in four decades. From where they sit Obama is blowing a golden opportunity.

  • Donald,

    I hope they do fail on this farce of a health care bill.

    Lieberman has already said absolutely, unequivocally “no” to any form, delay, etc of the public option.

    Landrieu, Nelson, and Lincoln have hostile constituencies that want NOTHING to do with more public spending.

    I will be praying hard for this bill to die quickly.

  • Wow. I had no idea Donald was a closet liberal. Are you guys going to kick him off the blog for that?

    “I’ll take the bait, Todd. How so?”

    I don’t speak for other liberals, especially the secular ones, but Mr Obama is a conservative in my view because of …

    – pro-death penalty
    – Geithner and money
    – pro-choice (it’s a forty-year status quo, after all)

    He’s just a mainstream politician, no matter how much whining others do because he’s non-GOP. Y’all make the false assumption that we 40% non-GOP and non-Dem, are all tucked in ideologically between your two big parties. Look more closely.

  • We have other Catholics that lean left on this website.

    We all have fidelity to the Magisterium.

  • “Wow. I had no idea Donald was a closet liberal.”

    One does not need to be a liberal Todd to read their sites. The disappointment with Obama is palpable on many blogs of the Left. A typical type of post is linked below:


  • So, then, Donald, why are you pontificating on what it means to be a liberal? Aren’t there enough conservative things to talk about? Attending to your testimony, counsellor, would be like going to an internet-savvy Muslim to tell me about Catholicism. It just begs the question: what’s the point?

  • “He’s just a mainstream politican…”

    Maybe, but then why did so many of his disciples think he was The One?

  • Mr Obama is a conservative in my view because of …

    – pro-death penalty

    I may be mistaken, but I think the last time an execution was carried out at the behest of a (civilian) federal court was around about 1963, so whatever he might have said to whatever focus group is not likely to have much practical import. (Unless of course you were hoping for judicial appointments that would arbitrarily nullify all capital sentances, as Justice Brennan wished to do).

    – Geithner and money

    You appear to be referring to financial regulatory schemes and modes of recapitalizing the banks. He and Barney Frank have been most problematic in this regard. What appellation would you apply to Yves Smith (lapsed investment banker) and Luigi Zingales (professor at the University of Chicago) who have been most eloquent about the shortcomings of Geithner and his predecessor?

    – pro-choice (it’s a forty-year status quo, after all)

    How very Burkean, you and Jeffrey Hart.

    A purpose of political terminology is to supply and illuminating shorthand. It’s not working out for you (or the folks to whom you speak).

  • “It just begs the question: what’s the point?”

    To answer the question of the post Todd. There is growing concern about Obama on the Left. I find it interesting because Republicans he never had, Independents now are largely in opposition to his administration and even his base is becoming restive. That is a good shorthand description of an administration in trouble.

  • And right on cue Obama scores his lowest approval rating yet:


  • Okay …

    It’s just so fun to skewer you, Donald. I bet your courtroom opponents had similar fun on occasion.

    I think your politics are off somewhat. When elected, the president’s base was pretty solid among independents–I would have expected registered Dems to support him. Otherwise, he positioned himself (and giverns as) a moderate centrist Democrat. I give him credit for being the first northern Dem to be elected president since 1960.

    But base? Are you serious? These are Democrats you’re talking about. You realize that, right?

  • “It’s just so fun to skewer you, Donald. I bet your courtroom opponents had similar fun on occasion.”

    Normally they do not look like they are having much fun actually.

    “he positioned himself (and governs as) a moderate centrist Democrat.”

    For someone on the far Left Todd I have no doubt that Obama would appear moderate. For those Americans who have not swilled the “progressive” Kool Aide, Obama is quickly becoming president non grata. At 45% Obama is falling back on his Democrat base. Assuming the economy stays in the tank, I am expecting him to decline to 38% to 40% by the Spring of next year, assuming no foreign disaster. After he announces more troops to Afghanistan next week, that might peel off a point or two of the Out-Now crowd.

    You do have my sympathies Todd. It can be hard to vote for a man and then have him revealed as completely inept at the job. You can take solace from this observation however. With Jimmy Carter’s record as president, it will be difficult, although not impossible, for Obama to claim the distinction of worst post World War II president.

  • … or the worst president EVER.

  • Wow! So Pelosi, Kate Michelman, the late Ted Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Obama are “conservatives” on the subject of abortion, because conservatives are always on the side of settled law, no matter what the law happens to be.
    Who knew?

    Nice bit of sophistry. Reminds me of the media trick of referring to the hard-line Russian Communists who opposed Yeltsin in the early ’90’s as “conservatives.”
    It was an entirely inaccurate description but a cute way for liberals to reassure themselves that they are ever on the side of the angels.

  • Tito may be right, Donald. In just one year, Obama is giving Mr. Peanut a run for his money. By 2012, The One might even match the dismal record of Buchanan, who was long thought unbeatable in the “Worst President” category.

    For America’s sake, I certainly hope not, but the possibility *shudder* is there.

  • You might be right Donna. Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit, is saying that a reprise of the Carter Administration is a best case analysis now.

  • It can be hard to vote for a man and then have him revealed as completely inept at the job.

    Given his deficient preparation, it would be a most pleasant surprise if he performs creditably. Todd should have understood this before casting his ballot. Given the severity of our economic problems, one better hope he performs creditably.

    With Jimmy Carter’s record as president, it will be difficult, although not impossible, for Obama to claim the distinction of worst post World War II president.

    No, it will not.

    Mr. Carter’s principal problem was that he lacked the people skills and acquired street smarts to persuade Congress.

    His secondary problem was that his priorities were rather at a variance with those of the majority of the Democratic Congressional caucus; Mr. Carter’s interests: tax reform, civil service reform, energy conservation, and improved methods of public budgeting were more those of a liberal Republican (e.g. Thomas Dewey) that the mode of the Democratic Party of his day.

    Another problem was that he was unwilling to countenance controls on monetary aggregates to restore price stability. Keep in mind, though, that the stable of economists listened to at the elite levels of the Democratic Party misdiagnosed the sources of inflation (as did Arthur Burns) or misjudged how costly it would be to contain it (as did James Tobin).

    All of which is to say that the domestic policy failures of the Carter era had less to do with Mr. Carter’s deficiencies than they did with the wretched matrix in which he found himself. Blame Tip O’Neill, blame Arthur Burns, blame Texas oil patch congressman, and blame the shills of the public employee union in Congress ‘ere you blame Carter.

  • Whenever a discussion like this veers to Jimmy Carter, the Republicans have gotten bored with the notion of the Left laughing at President Obama.

    In political cycles like these, it’s easy enough to find the worst presidents. But I can’t pass up the opportunity for the bogus administration of Bush the Second: inattention on terrorists, then still-unsolved anthrax. Let’s not forget a souped-up homeland security department, followed by an inability to deal with a homeland natural disaster. Two wars, not well thought-out, incompetently run.

    Honestly, I think y’all are still smarting from getting thrashed in the last two national elections. Let it sink in: by your own admission, you’ve been routed by the worst president in history. Seven more year, my friends. Seven more years.

  • “Seven more year, my friends. Seven more years.”

    Actually Todd it is 13 more months and change before the Congress elected in 2010 is seated. Enjoy the next year Todd. I think you and your ideological think-a-likes are going to be in the political wilderness for a very long time.

  • to Jimmy Carter, the Republicans have gotten bored with the notion of the Left laughing at President Obama.

    It’s a small topic, needing few words.

    you’ve been routed by the worst president in history. Seven more year, my friends. Seven more years.

    The man is an empty suit; the Administration and Congress have done flat nothing to address a most wretched banking and financial crisis, and ignored sachems like Paul Volcker and Luigi Zingales; he has squandered months attempting to build a policy monument to himself in the form of a hopelessly baroque medical insurance program (which ain’t gonnal look good if we have a failed Treasury bond auction); he allowed David Obey, et al to turn a needed macroeconomic stimulus into a patronage free-for-all; and he Rahm Emmanuel, a monster of arrogance whose personal history suggests Latin American levels of corruption, in charge of his executive office staff. You want seven more years of this????

  • “The man is an empty suit …”

    That empty suit still beat your war hero and perky governor. And it wasn’t even close.

    “You want seven more years of this?”

    I’m going to enjoy watching conservative heads spin until 2017, at least. You’re far more entertaining this way. The only thing that would be better would be a third party to vault ahead of the Dems and leave the GOP third in a 3-way race. Then I’d get to watch conservative Dems twist in the wind, too.

    I agree, Tito, that corporate banks and insurance are a complete mess. It wouldn’t have been different under McCain, and we know it was BAU under Bush II.

    If we were suddenly to see Ron Paul and pre-pro-choice Dennis Kucinich surge into the fore, then we’d have some excitement.

  • I read what you write; the President’s suit is not the only thing that is empty. Happy trails.

  • Art, it doesn’t seem you read terribly carefully. Like many conservatives, you assume that just because I disagree with you on one point, I disagree across the board. There is a distinction between being the bearer of bad news and actually causing the calamity oneself. Take the last word, friends. This has been a tough one for you; you’ve earned it.

  • Actually, I tend to think it was George W Bush that beat “the war hero”. The Democrats could have nominated anything from Charles Manson to a lobotomized lab rabbit to a gooseberry pie and it would have won by the same margin.

  • Todd, have you checked Gallup or Rasmussen in the last couple of days? They’re a bit more accurate than Daily Kos online polls.

    I live in a very liberal area. If I confused the entire country with the folks in my neighborhood I would be very glum indeed.

    Todd, you need to get out more.

  • The Democrats could have nominated anything from Charles Manson to a lobotomized lab rabbit to a gooseberry pie and it would have won by the same margin.

    I don’t know about that. Charles Manson would have had a hard time delivering the minority vote in usual numbers. The lobotomized lab rabbit was even a drag to the ticket as VP running mate, and the gooseberry pie was too much of a girly-man for most voters.

  • Actually, I tend to think it was George W Bush that beat “the war hero”. The Democrats could have nominated anything from Charles Manson to a lobotomized lab rabbit to a gooseberry pie and it would have won by the same margin.

    Darnit, Rick beat me to the punchline!


  • Found this and just wanted to post it. No SNL skit, or funny, but straightforward truth.


Oops, Guess He Was Not In A Persistent Vegetative State!

Tuesday, November 24, AD 2009

Ron Houben was paralyzed and trapped in his own body for 23 years.  Doctors labeled him as being in a coma and in a persistent vegetative state.  As the Mail Online reports, they were gravely in error:

Rom Houben, trapped in his paralysed body after a car crash, described his real-life nightmare as he screamed to doctors that he could hear them – but could make no sound.

‘I screamed, but there was nothing to hear,’ said Mr Houben, now 46, who doctors thought was in a persistent vegetative state.

Three years ago new high-tech scans revealed that his brain was functioning normally.

His case has only just been revealed in a scientific paper released by the man who ‘saved’ him, top neurological expert Dr Steven Laureys.

‘Medical advances caught up with him,’ said Dr Laureys, who believes there may be many similar cases of false comas around the world.

Dr Laureys’s new study claims that patients classed as in a vegetative state are often misdiagnosed.

‘Anyone who bears the stamp of “unconscious” just one time hardly ever gets rid of it again,’ he said.

The doctor, who leads the Coma Science Group and Department of Neurology at Liege University Hospital, found Mr Houben’s brain was still working by using state-of-the-art imaging.

He plans to use the case to highlight what he considers may be similar examples around the world.

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3 Responses to Oops, Guess He Was Not In A Persistent Vegetative State!

Why I Don't Believe in a Young Earth

Monday, November 23, AD 2009

Some time ago, someone asked me:

Suppose–just for the sake of argument–you were convinced that an honest reading of the Tradition of the Church required you to believe that the initial chapters of Genesis were historical. Would you be able to do it, or do you think that Darwinism is so irrefutable that you would have to abandon or radically redetermine your faith?

I think this is the question that worries a lot of Catholics without a strong scientific background as they watch the evolution/creationist/ID debate on Catholic blogs. Here are these otherwise solid Christians taking common cause with the likes of the Richard Dawkins against their brother Christians. What gives? Are these folks really Christian? Do they care more about science than about faith? Do they only accept Catholicism so long as it agrees with science?

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24 Responses to Why I Don't Believe in a Young Earth

  • IMO it’s quite easy for Catholics to reconcile science and the Bible. My trust and understanding of the Bible relies entirely on the Church. My faith in the Bible comes from Christ and His Church. I accept Genesis as sacred scripture because it’s part of the deposit of Scripture that served God Incarnate, but mostly because the Church Christ established and gave authority to said this is Scripture. If we’re going to accept the Church’s authority on that, it’s equally as important to understand it as the Church understands it.

  • I studed geology and ended up a young-Earther myself. The geologcal evidence for a young earth was too great to ignore. But this hasn’t threatened or altared my Faith. I don’t see science and religion as opposed to each other or as each other’s bed fellows because science is a ***tool*** that is used to understand Creation. It’s one of **many** tools that we use to understand Creation and the meaning of life etc. People keep elevating science far above what it is meant to be and that’s when the trouble starts.

  • Ooops, hit submit to fast. I was going to end with:

    It’s like trying to elevate the tech pub (Science) to the same level of importance and greatness as the actual helicopter (Creation)… (I was a helicopter mechanic in the Navy.)

  • St. Augustine wrestled with this same question when he was a Manichean. The Manicheans taught all sorts of doctrines that are quite familiar in New Age thought today and could easily be revived as a whole, and astrology was a big one. Despite what people mistakenly think today, back then astronomers had pretty good methods of observing and recording the heavens. St. Augustine was no dummy, and he noticed that astrology did not account for either how people’s lives worked out or how the heavenly bodies actually behaved. For a while he hoped that when he finally got to talk to the really smart Manicheans, they would be able to explain why this was so. But when he discovered that they couldn’t, he had to give up the Manicheans because he saw quite rightly that one simply could not be expected to believe what was obviously not true.

    It has always been a great comfort to me that one of the smartest men who ever lived stood up for that obvious principle long, long ago, and became one of the greatest Catholics of all time. He would not expect anyone to remain a Catholic if it required people to believe things about the physical world that are obviously not true. I think that he knew a lot more about how to read and understand the Bible than I do and he did not consider Genesis to be a treatise in natural history. People who do simply do not understand how to read the Bible. They are doing the best they can to reconcile faith and reason, and because they can’t do so with their mistaken way of reading the Bible but they intuitively realize that faith must inform reason, they choose to disregard what reason would otherwise show. The solution is of course to get a better handle on Scripture and reason.

  • Your post kind of put God in a small box.

    After all, isn’t anything possible with God?

  • In all truth it doesn’t matter if the earth is 10,000 years old or 4.5 billion. What difference does it make if the universe is 1.5 million years old or 15 billion? God stated, “I AM WHO AM”. He is now! Not yesterday and not tomorrow. RIGHT NOW! So we can conclude that time is a construct for our benefit and if called to Judgment right now do you think Christ is going to ask you how old you think the earth is?

    Our faith in Christ does not require a scientific understanding. Most Christians throughour history were ignorant and illiterate. Clearly salvation does no hinge on knowledge of the world or the universe. Know Christ – that’s it.

    Now He also made us curious and I beleive this to be true even before the Fall. It is what we are curious about that needs to be corrected, not the curiousity itself. He also gave us dominion over Creation, which we know includes all we can see no matter how many billions of light years afar it is.

    I find it difficult to square the evidence (I am not a scientist) with a 10,000 year old earth. That doesn’t mean we won’t find evidence to the contrary and either way it will not change the most pivotal point in all of histroy, Our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross.

    I don’t think God would deceive us into thinking the universe is 15 billion years old as some kind of trick. I also don’t think it matters to Him if it is 1.5 million years old or 150 trillion. He is very patient – we are not.

    I alos think that in order for our temporal reality to unfold and be reasonably perceptible by our limited minds it has to be 15 bil years old because our Sun and our location in the Milky Way would not be logically possible in a shorter period of time. Creation itself is a miracle; however, it unfolds in a natural and rational manner for us to understand which is totlaly necessary for us to even notice miracles.

    If God placed us right here in this vast universe suddenly, without context we would have to accept that as a miracle and miracles would then be facts and not mysteries. If miracles are not mysteries then they are not special and if not special then the Incarnation is nothing more spectacular than a lepton.

    Where’s the adventure in that?

  • Tito,

    To say that the earth is 6,000 years old is to make God a liar. Not a good idea.

  • BA,

    I wasn’t saying or agreeing with the young earth theory, more with some of the scientific propositions that were offered.

    God is capable of creating the speed of light at approximately 186,282 miles per second, instantaneously.

  • Good post, Darwin. If you get a chance, check out the blog of David Heddle. He’s a physicist–and a Reformed Christian who takes the same tack. One of his themes is that if the Earth is indeed 10K years old, God is attempting to deceive us through His act of Creation. Which, lest we forget, is a form of revelation itself.

    I think the distinction between the miraculous and the idea the universe is 10000 years old is this:

    (1) the first inverts/suspends/makes an exception for the natural law/order, (2) the second suggests there is no such thing as natural law or a natural order. Or certainly no way to discern the latter.

  • Good post, Darwin. If you get a chance, check out the blog of David Heddle. He’s a physicist–and a Reformed Christian who takes the same tack. One of his themes is that if the Earth is indeed 10K years old, God is attempting to deceive us through His act of Creation. Which, lest we forget, is a form of revelation in and of itself.

    I think the distinction between the miraculous and the idea the universe is 10000 years old is this:

    (1) the first inverts/suspends/makes an exception for the natural law/order, (2) the second suggests there is no such thing as natural law or a natural order. Or certainly no way to discern the latter.

  • Sorry about the double post!

  • Dale,

    No problem.

    I need to read most things twice in order to ingest the information, reminds me of my college days.

  • Tito,

    It is possible that God created the world five minutes ago, complete with fake memories of the past and fake evidence indicating that the world was much older. He could do that, but the question is why He would do so, and whether believing this is consistent with what we know about His nature.

    Similarly, God could have created the world 6,000 years ago, but planted evidence to make it look like the world was much older. He could do that, but it’s hard to see why He would do that, nor is it clear that His doing so would be consistent with what we know about His nature.

  • Tito,

    Perhaps this will help clarify a bit: I certainly don’t mean to say that God _could not have_ created the world ten thousand years ago. God, in his infinite power, could create the world in any way that he chose. Though of course, God being eternal, I think there’s merit to the Augustinian idea that God exists in a single, eternal present. And so from a God’s-eye view, this moment is one with the incarnation, and is one with Adam and Eve’s fall, and is one with both the instant of creation and the end of the world. The stretch of billions of years which to us looks like the long and gradual development of the universe is in God’s mind an instant of ever-flowering creation — and it’s only our view, trapped within the temporal timeline of creation, that makes it look like “God sat around for a few billion years before single celled life even developed”, as some complain.

    So my point is not that God could not have created the world another way than he did, or indeed tha we are definitely right in our current understanding of the physical history of the world (in that I’m sure there are a lot of things we don’t know or are wrong about) but rather that I have a lot of trouble with the idea of that all the indications that the world is ancient (from seeing objects millions of light years away, to geological strata, to continental drift, to radioactive decay, to the apparent history of the other planets, to fossils, to DNA, etc.) are misleading or explained by processes totally different from what we see acting in the world today (and in some cases, incompatible with the physical laws on the universe as we currently observe them.)

    I certainly don’t think our current understanding of the universe is perfect, but I do think that as rational creatures we’re called to use our reason as best we can — and so I don’t think it would be in keeping with our calling as rational creatures made in the image of God to refuse to use our powers of reason and our senses to understand creation as best we can (and accept the conclusions of that study) just as it Augusine’s day it was his calling to understand the world through the best philosophical and scientific insights of his day, and Aquinas in his.

  • Darwin,

    Thanks for that articulate response.

    I don’t have much to offer to this intriguing debate which I have been enjoying reading (and learning a lot).

    But where I stand is that I do believe we are descended from Adam and Eve. Hence why I find it difficult to digest that we are descended from monkeys if we are made in His image. Not rhetorically or symbolically, but literally. We are made in His image.

    Not there isn’t anything wrong with eating bananas and hanging out on tree limbs, but we are special and are God’s most special creation.

    That’s my lens that I use.

    Sometimes a simple understanding can lead to the Truth.

  • Coffee Catholic writes Monday, November 23, 2009
    “I studied geology and ended up a young-Earther myself. The geological evidence for a young earth was too great to ignore”.

    In a nutshell. It is a question of scientific evidence. The Bible has nothing to do with the matter except for the non-scientific question of creation.

    Let geologists present the facts and we can go from there. The meaning of “day” and the order of creation do not affect the geological facts.

  • Darwin’s point was the same point as Pope Benedict in his Regensburg lecture — God has given us reason, which, though limited, is not to be dismissed for something sub-rational. God’s qualities, as revealed through revelation, indicate a God who does not contradict himself; reason of course is used to determine this — but if we say “don’t limit God,” then I guess we can all end up in the nominalist-voluntarist dream of God who is not limited, even by his own self-limitations.

  • Henry beat me to it… I thought of Regensburg as well.

    Tito, we are made in the image of God because we have an intellect, free will, and are made for relationship; God could’ve taken a pre-existing creature an infused these things (parts of a rational soul) at any time.

  • Interesting post, Darwin – and also interesting commenting.

    Chris, your point concerning the fact that the “image of God” is a good one. Are we to understand that being made in the “image of God” is describing a picture of a human? It seems clear to me that the human form as an image cannot be what is referenced in what we read in the Bible. What of people who are born with missing limbs or other deformities? To the outside observer, some of these people may not even appear human, yet we would not say that they lack the “image of God” we describe. Moreover, our bodies can be changed virtually at will by accident or design, yet I would argue that the image God placed in us is left unchanged, for God Himself is the only one with that power.

    For these reasons I have always equated our creation in the “image of God” to be the fact that we are given a soul that is indeed in the image of God.

  • No more they do.

    I guess I’m a bit confused as to what you mean by that in this context, though.

    As a Catholic who thinks that evolution is basically correct in regards to the history of life on Earth, I would say that at some point in history (when I would not presume to say) God infused our ancestors with immortal and rational souls, making them truly “human” in the sense that we mean the term (something which I would say is not reliant on a biological form, but rather on our nature). Not until that infusion of souls into what were, before that, bipedal and rather clever primates, did we become truly persons, truly made in the image of God, etc.

    At whatever point that divine spark entered humanity, we were permanently and irreparably set apart from the rest of the animal world, because we were no longer strictly animal, but rather both animal and rational, both animal and divine.

  • Darwin,

    Thanks for the explanation.

    I’m going to hang out in my neighbors tree house and eat some banana’s now.

  • “Gorillas don’t have souls.”

    Where in the world do you get this kind of nonsense from? By the fact that they are animals, they have souls — indeed they have a specific kind of soul which transcends the souls of plants (according to classical definitions). Catholic teaching has always said this.

  • Animals do not have rational souls. They have a vegetative and a sensitive soul that perish when they do. A good summary of Catholic teaching on this subject is linked below.


5 Responses to Political Gibberish

  • You mean it’s not intentional??????

  • What, is anyone surprised? I guess you need to register a complaint with President Soros. Oh, that guy who has the title is a well schooled quasi “Hollywood” actor. With great delivery and a situation that his race could be used as a smoke screen for the left’s agenda, he’s hardly in his office, given his busy TV, basketball, and golfing schedule.

  • Trust me, politicians, like lawyers, quite deliberately speak gibberish.

    I’ll never forget the first time I typed a legal document, and brought to my boss’ attention an extremely vague section. His response: Of course it’s vague, that way, if we have to go to court, we can argue it means anything we need it to mean.

  • “Political gibberish” is an oxymoron.

    Beware of the politician who seems to make sense.

  • The current press secretary has nothing on Baghdad Bob!

The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism Because The Pope of Christian Unity (Pope Benedict XVI) Is Gathering the Scattered Flocks Left Behind by Those Who Thought They Knew Better Than The Church

Sunday, November 22, AD 2009

The Catholic Church has always had a bull’s-eye attached to it, and in truth many of us wouldn’t want it any other way, for when we are almost universally loved, as has happened a few times in the last 40 years we have become “of the world,” instead of suffering for the world.”  Lately, during the pontificates of Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI dark forces have gathered at the gates of truth attacking the Church for a variety of long held beliefs.  These beliefs can range from the theological to the social. However, following the US Election of 2008 a tidal wave seems to have inundated the Church from the mainstream media, the political realm and even the entertainment world. The Church’s 2,000 year old teachings and beliefs have been attacked in the United States and Western Europe from elected officials, the mainstream media and well known entertainment celebrities. Some of the faithful have become discouraged and questioned me as to how the thesis of my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, could possibly be true in light of this news.

The truth of the matter is that against this troubling backdrop the Church continues to grow around the world, especially in African and Asia but even in North America, where much of the onslaught against the Church has emanated. Seminaries and Mother Houses often have no room for those pursuing a vocation and those young African and Asian men and women are often sent to the US or Europe to explore their vocation. Even in the US and pockets of Europe seminaries are experiencing a mini boom. One seminary rector told me that in the 40+ plus years of being affiliated with the Church, he has never seen a longer sustained period of top notch orthodox minded young men coming in and being ordained as he has seen in the last 10 years. Perhaps this is why the powers that be are so angry.

It seemed the US midterm Election of 2006 emboldened the cause of those militant liberals and secularists who have contempt for much of what orthodox minded Catholicism holds dear. Following the results of the Election of 2008, many pundits proclaimed the results as a sea change for America. Agnostics and atheists gleefully announced that a world where religion and especially conservative or orthodox minded Catholicism held sway was being replaced by a humanist brand of religion where age old teachings were replaced by the ideas of “enlightened” religious leaders, agnostic thinkers, and pop culture celebrities. It seemed this new brand of liberal thinker was less idealistic than their 1960s peers and displayed an anger and hostility that was a far cry from the utopian idealism displayed some 40 years ago. Yet, beneath the surface and below the radar screens of many news organizations, lies the hope of the Catholic faithful who hold on to the ideas  imparted by Christ, His Apostles, Popes, Bishops, Priests, Women Religious, Saints and holy laymen and laywomen throughout the centuries.

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6 Responses to The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism Because The Pope of Christian Unity (Pope Benedict XVI) Is Gathering the Scattered Flocks Left Behind by Those Who Thought They Knew Better Than The Church

  • I appreciate your message of hope.

    Your title is way, way too long!

  • The Church, the holy bishops and priests, the laiety, and the Holy Father certainly have Satan running scared!

  • I have been told by some evangelicals that there belief that eventually all orthodox christians will be under the care and protection of the Catholic Church. Even though there is disagreement among them. I tend to agree with there reasoning and from the signs we are seeing. I pray that the holy spirit comes to all those that need the help to come home.

  • As usual Dave, you tell like it is. Although some did not like Bishop Tobin’s public response to Patrick Kennedy, who found out quickly that his ilk will no longer be tolerated in his actions against the tenets of the Church, I belive more and more Bishops have come to the realization, that speaking out after conferring with these so called “catholics” has strenghtened the laity. Take care and God Bless.

  • Pingback: Catholic bioethicist weighs in on paralyzed man thought to be unconscious for 23 years « Cooperating with Grace
  • Splendid column as usual, Dave. No doubt the damage wrought by Luther will be repaired and unity restored, thanks to the secularists whose relentless assault have recently spurred the Christians to draw a line in the sand with the Manhattan Declaration to show that they will not render to Caesar what is God’s.

Patrick Kennedy Barred From Communion

Sunday, November 22, AD 2009

Patrick Kennedy, a son of Ted Kennedy and a Democrat Congressman from Rhode Island, has been engaging in a very public conflict with the Bishop of Providence Thomas J. Tobin.  Prior posts on this combative dialogue are here and here.  Kennedy has now revealed that he is barred from receiving communion. The Bishop has responded by releasing this letter:

I am disappointed and really surprised that Congressman Patrick Kennedy has chosen to reopen the public discussion about his practice of the faith and his reception of Holy Communion. This comes almost two weeks after the Congressman indicated to local media that he would no longer comment publicly on his faith or his relationship with the Catholic Church. The Congressman’s public comments require me to reply.

On February 21, 2007, I wrote to Congressman Kennedy stating: “In light of the Church’s clear teaching, and your consistent actions, therefore, I believe it is inappropriate for you to be receiving Holy Communion and I now ask respectfully that you refrain from doing so.” My request came in light of the new statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that said, “If a Catholic in his or her personal or professional life were knowingly and obstinately to repudiate her definite teachings on moral issues, he or she would seriously diminish his or her communion with the Church. Reception of Holy Communion in such a situation would not accord with the nature of the Eucharistic celebration, so that he or she should refrain.” (Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper, December, 2006)

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11 Responses to Patrick Kennedy Barred From Communion

  • Thanks for posting this, Donald… Kennedy’s actions are deeply “unfortunate,” to put it mildly… Bp. Tobin kept this private, Kennedy said he wasn’t going to discuss this publicly anymore, and then he does this.

    Kudos to Bp. Tobin for his strength and courage in this.

  • If only the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith could still use enhanced corrective measures to rehabilitate wayward Catholics.

    Thank God for Bishops that take the pastoral care of their flock seriously. Politics be damned. This idiot needs his soul saved and he chooses to attack his bishop. Sad really.

  • Hooray for Bp. Tobin!

  • Just for clarification, I believe Patrick is actually the late Swimmer’s son, not his nephew.

  • Thank you Jay! I have made the correction.

  • I remember the last public exchange between these two – it may have been reprinted on this site. Bishop Tobin came off testy. It’s good that we have the context now. It’s also very good to know that bishops are addressing wayward politicians behind the scenes.

  • May I ask, where does that leave the “Good Practicing Catholic, Nancy Pelosi?”

    Christ reminded us of only 20 rules that should assist us in the attainment of heaven The Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes and the Great Rules! Wish I had the money to post them on billboards across the country. No comment necessary,

  • I think it leaves her in need of a good bishop?

  • Why did the Church have a huge Catholic funeral for Ted ? Smell the coffee, please ! By the way, Mission Church in Roxbury, MA is a Redemptorist parish ! At the venerable shrine, there was pomp and splendour for Senator Kennedy. The order’s founder, St. Alphonsus Ligouri, would go ballistic if he knew that his spiritual sons condone such a ceremony. St. Alphonsus preached vehemently against mortal sin and made no apologies to no one. Why wasn’t Senator Kennedy told that he couldn’t receive Holy Communion ?

  • An excellent and brave move by Bishop Thomas.

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Sunday, November 22, AD 2009

Pius XI


Venerable Brethren, Greeting and the Apostolic Benediction.

In the first Encyclical Letter which We addressed at the beginning of Our Pontificate to the Bishops of the universal Church, We referred to the chief causes of the difficulties under which mankind was laboring. And We remember saying that these manifold evils in the world were due to the fact that the majority of men had thrust Jesus Christ and his holy law out of their lives; that these had no place either in private affairs or in politics: and we said further, that as long as individuals and states refused to submit to the rule of our Savior, there would be no really hopeful prospect of a lasting peace among nations. Men must look for the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ; and that We promised to do as far as lay in Our power. In the Kingdom of Christ, that is, it seemed to Us that peace could not be more effectually restored nor fixed upon a firmer basis than through the restoration of the Empire of Our Lord. We were led in the meantime to indulge the hope of a brighter future at the sight of a more widespread and keener interest evinced in Christ and his Church, the one Source of Salvation, a sign that men who had formerly spurned the rule of our Redeemer and had exiled themselves from his kingdom were preparing, and even hastening, to return to the duty of obedience.

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Where Your CCHD Donations Go To

Sunday, November 22, AD 2009

Today most of your parishes will be collecting for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  Donald, Christopher, and I have written over and over again of where the money actually goes to, funding for abortions being the most grevious of the lot.

So think twice before donating anything.

(Biretta Tip: Paul Nichols)

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4 Responses to Where Your CCHD Donations Go To

$100 Million: Enough to Buy Landrieu Vote

Sunday, November 22, AD 2009

Democrat Party Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana cast her vote for Harry Reid’s health care bill and became the biggest purchased vote in American legislative history.  She sold her vote for a cool $100 million in order to begin debate on the anti-life health care bill.

As of 24 hours ago Senator Landrieu was still wavering on whether to vote for the health care bill.  But in a dark smoke filled room away from the lights and cameras of the media a deal had been struck which bought the senators vote.  Surprising considering President Obama promised an open and lively debate throughout the entire process and he has failed miserably in delivering on this promise.

Lies, corruption, and blatant disregard for the American people, in this instance, the people of Louisiana was in full display as Senator Landrieu cast bought vote for the health care bill.  She was so brazen about selling out her soul for money the U.S. government does not have that she proudly declared, “And it’s not a $100 million fix. It’s a $300 million fix.”  Bragging that she was bought for $300 million.  Some have called it the great new Louisiana Purchase.

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26 Responses to $100 Million: Enough to Buy Landrieu Vote

  • Tito, she didn’t vote for the health care bill itself, she voted on a “cloture” motion to begin DEBATING it, which is not necessarily the same thing. While it might be logical to assume that anyone who voted for the cloture motion is in favor of the bill itself, that could change at any time, especially if they start getting flak from their constituents.

    You criticize Obama for not delivering the “open and lively debate” he promised; well, isn’t this exactly what we’re going to get with this cloture motion having passed?

  • “she sold her vote against the wishes of the Louisiana people for an outrageous $300 million.”

    Am I missing something? I thought she got $300 million for Louisiana out of it.

  • and she got $300 million for her vote, not $100,000!
    Where in the ten commandments does it say that one can sell integrity if the price is high enough? Or is an honest politician a contradiction of terms? It’s said that the average payment in the house for a vote for health care destruction was $150 million. My how 30 pieces of silver has escalated.
    Yes this was a ‘start debate’ vote but historically,
    97% of bills getting through this hurdle, get passed!
    I’m amazed at how quickly the Democrats have been able to destroy the country we love.

  • To Elaine Krewer,

    I don’t want an open and lively debate on the health care bill. I want it defeated along with Barack Hussein Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Joe Biden and every other liberal politician who legitimatizes (1) experiments on unborn babies for “medical research”, (2) extraction of the brains of unborn babies as a “right to choose”, (3) murder of the aged and infirm as some sort of “death with dignity”, (4) sanctification of sodomy as a “human right”, and (5) all the other madness they extoll as “human rights”.

    One does NOT debate with the satanic legions of hell. One prays for their utter, total and complete defeat.

  • Paul, I’d rather it had never even been debated either, and were I one of Landrieu’s constituents I’d be disappointed in her decision as well.

    However, the fact remains, this was NOT a vote on the bill itself and it’s premature to portray it as such. Even if historically 97 percent of bills advanced to this stage pass, there’s still that other 3 percent.

    Needless to say, this bill is probably in the top 3 percent (or less) of most controversial bills ever and as such has a higher chance of still being defeated. Also, opening debate allows amendments to be offered, including pro-life amendments. Plus the Senate and House versions of the bill would still have to be reconciled in conference committee and voted on again. So this is NOT a done deal yet.

  • At the risk of sounding like an apologist…

    How is this payment for a vote different than the regular pork projects that constituents readily, and greedily, accept from their representatives? As a Pennsylvanian, I consider Rep. Murtha to be an embarrassment. He specifically called us racists and ignorant hicks and yet, he retained his seat. Why, because he continues to “bring home the bacon.”

    Frankly, We the People are getting EXACTLY what we deserve in our legislators because we are the ultimate recipients of what is, in essence, bribery. I think we, and the people of LA, have given up the right to claim righteous indignation at the high price paid for this vote. Or, to steal a Casablanca quote: “I am shocked! Shocked! To discover gambling is going on!”… Or something like that.

  • he retained his seat. Why, because he continues to “bring home the bacon.”

    I think that would be of interest to local politicos and for people in favored constituency groups, not to the general public. I think you will find that general public demobilization, not authentic public admiration, accounts for the degree to which incumbents are impregnable. Advertising costs for electoral contests are prohibitive. Also, Congressional districts in densely populated areas are either fairly uniform on certain variables or are seriously gerrymandered. The practical route to removal of the representative is a party primary, something which (I submit) seldom happens unless you alienate identifiable party factions or irritate some individual who can self-finance a run for Congress. An additional problem you have (where I live) is the culture of the press corps. They are often in the pocket of the legislator, and treat him boosterishly as an ‘area man’. Chaps like John Murtha get re-elected (by and large) because the self-selected class of people involved in electoral politics do not generate alternatives.

  • Biographical information on Landrieu indicates that she is 54 years hold, has drawn salaries from political office since she was 24, and has (apparently) had no other occupation since she was 32. She is a cut above Barney Frank, a 69 year old man who has held office since he was 28 and whose antecedent employment history consisted of the sort of part-time and seasonal positions you hold while a student. Still, she is a recognizable type. Jerry Springer explained his departure from electoral politics in Cincinnatti as follows, “if you’re doing this to put bread on the table, you’ll say anything.”

  • First let me make the point that Landrieu is not up for relection 2010. She just got put back into office last years. So while she is feeling heat the fact that 5 years is lifetime in politics is mitigating some of the influence of the people of the State. WHich to be honest is how the Founders intended it I guess

    I was not pleased with this vote but as much as I have opposed Landrieu I don’t find her corrupt. The fact that she received something for the State in exchange for her vote does not strike me as corrupt. Though if I was her I would have held out for more!!

    How she got in again (this is her third term) is a whole different story. She had a tough race 7 years ago. Her Repubican opponent this time ( a former well liked Democrat) ran a horrible race that many were not expecting. Still the race was closer than expected.

    How Mary Landrieu will vote on this at the end is well up in the air. She is pretty cozy with Insurance companies that has made the left very mad at her.

    One factor that might influence her is how her actions affect her brother Mitch Landrieu. Current Lt Governor of Louisiana. Mitch has gained some popularity after being defeated for Mayor of New Orelans (Lt Governor is a nice job not much controversy) He has his eyes on the Governor mansion after Jindal leaves. So that factor might be in play too

  • Though if I was her I would have held out for more!!

    BAH! Can we please give the state and local governments a standard subsidy based on per capita income and population, let them build their own frigging public works, and put federal facilities where they serve to best perform institutional missions? The last reason in the world you want a military base at locus x is to make advertising fodder for Congressman Suckupthecash.

  • Elaine,

    She did sell out her vote.

    She could have easily defeated the bill without it having to be debated on the floor.

    As far as President Obama’s promise of open view of the process, he has failed miserably. None of the behind the door negotiations were on C-SPAN as he claimed would happen.

  • “Can we please give the state and local governments a standard subsidy based on per capita income and population”

    That was my first thought but then I thought, “why give any money to the states and local governments?” Give it to individuals based on individual income and family size. Any state or local projects can be financed by state or local taxes.

  • Give it to individuals based on individual income and family size. Any state or local projects can be financed by state or local taxes.

    State-to-state variation in per capita income in considerable, with Mississippi’s about half that of Connecticut. A program of income redistribution necessary to counteract that would require the assessment and disbursement of ~22% of personal income each year. (Social Security implicates the assessment and disbursement of 5%, btw). The marginal tax rates necessary for such a project of equalization would make for a decidedly anemic economy, I would think. The ratio of state-and-local expenditure to domestic product is 0.17, so the necessary assessment and disbursement would be smaller. When I last checked, intergovernmental transfers amounted to about 3% of domestic product. You would not have to increase these much, just repartition them and remove the conditionality.

  • Art Deco, I read your reply four times and I’m still not sure I’m understanding you correctly. I’m not advocating complete income equalization between the states (which I imagine your idea of state subsidizing wouldn’t do either), just some redistribution.

  • Voting for the cloture motion IS voting for the bill. If Democrats vote it down after the fillibuster-proof, 30 hours MAXIMUM “debate” that will follow, a lot of people will die of shock — me included. There is not going to be a debate. There will be the usual bunch of speeches and then they will pass it because they can.

  • I know it is standard but where do the Constitution, the Ten Commandments or Church Teaching set up politicians to go to Washington to steal as much from everyone who does not live in your state?

    It seems wrong to me, don’t you think?

    I also think that giving scandal to Catholics isn’t helpful. If I was Christian and not Catholic I would see the behaviour of Landrieu, Pelosi, Biden and the rest of the devil’s rejects as a great reason to levy the label, “whore of Babylon” against the Church. Is that ignorant? Of course it is. But is it any more ignorant than being a pro-gay, pro-murder, pro-socialist Catholic?

  • How is it stealing to secure more funding for Medicaid, a program the helps poor people to buy health care?

    That’s as absurd as the notion that voting to allow debate renders one amoral. Where do you people get the idea that hyperbole is effective? It makes you look like nuts (this being the charitable explanation that you aren’t actually nuts). Thank goodness for some people with common sense like Elaine and jh.

  • Zak: “How is it stealing to secure more funding for Medicaid, a program the helps poor people to buy health care?”

    When one is coerced by threat of force to part with private property that is theft, no matter the reason. We can argue about the degree, context, etc. But is still theft.

    Now if Medicaid was actually a program to help the poor have access to health care it may not be so bad. But it isn’t. Medicaid is self-perpetuating bureacracy designed to increase its constituency by making and keeping people dependent on it for access to basic, necessary services (including Family Planning). It is the modern day plantation and seeks to increase power by making more slaves. Do not confuse stated intentions with practical results.

    Setting that aside, Let us assume that Medicaid is good for the poor of Louisianna. How is it just to acquire $100mil, which we don’t have, to purchase the cooperation of a Senator in order to legislate the murder of the pre-born? The poor we will always have with us, the preborn we won’t especially if we are forcibly caused to pay for their deaths. Maybe that is how we solve the problem of the poor – kill them before they are born! Does that make sense?

  • http://forthegreaterglory.blogspot.com/2009/11/louisiana-purchase.html

    And yes, she comes up for election in 2014 next. Sen. Vitter from LA is up in 2010 and he will probably be re-elected, unfortunately.

  • American Knight, have you ever, once, found a doctor of the church or a pope who has condemned taxation as theft? And what is your interpretation of Christ’s teaching about “rendering unto Caesar” which was given in the context of a discussion of taxation.

    It is not yet determined whether the healthcare legislation will include any funding for abortion, so voting to allow debate isn’t legislating the murder of the unborn.

    Regarding whether Medicare makes people slaves, I do think it’s an imprudent, if not absurd, means of argument. Here – “we’ll pay your son’s doctor’s bill when he has the flu so you don’t have to choose between that and food” doesn’t sound quite the same as “pick cotton in the field and if you don’t pick enough I will whip you.” There are certainly major flaws in the welfare state, but a slave plantation it is not.

  • Zak,

    Taxation is a pretty general term. What kind of tax are we talking about? Income taxes are not beneficial in any way shape or form and they constitute a confiscation of wealth from the aggregate economy. People’s wages are income to the worker; however, they are an expense to the producer who pays those incomes. By taxing what is effectively, at a macro-level, an expense the government is stealing from the commonwealth of America. Taking that which does not belong to you is stealing, especially when it is illegal and without consent. Hence any type of income tax on the earnings of a natural person is not a revenue tax but rather an additional expense, hence a burden, on the aggregate wealth. Payroll taxes are especially pejorative because they raise the tax burden on the poor far more than anyone else and along with mandatory minimum wage laws create most of the unemployment for the least skilled, usually the poor and undereducated.

    Federal money units fund Medicaid. These units are fabricated dollar units in the form of notes (debt) owed to the private, illegal Federal Reserve by the US Treasury on behalf of the people of the USA without our consent. The servicing of that debt is income taxes on natural persons (currently over 66% of income tax revenue and headed to 100% very soon). Therefore, it is a confiscation of the aggregate wealth of America in order to service a usurious debt burden based on nothing other than paper (or digital ledger entries).

    While Medicaid allegedly provides for the poor, it is burdened with fraud and self-serving bureaucratic costs. It distorts the natural price system creating over production and service in some areas while creating shortages in others. The former attracts fraud and the latter raises costs and reduces service to the poor. Additionally, each dollar unit fabricated out of thin air dilutes the dollar value and raises the costs, which is a more severe burden on the poor.

    By creating this unethical program and couching it in terms that are appealing to social justice the perpetrators of this fraud are robbing all Americans and doing the most damage to the least advantaged while making them think they are providing a benefit for them. This is unethical and immoral on so many grounds.

    Adding to this crime, we now have an additional $300 million burden to secure the vote to proceed on a bill that includes the murder of the most innocent and vulnerable Americans. How much will it cost to bribe her to vote for the bill proper? It is also horrible that this bribe bought the vote of a Catholic Senator. Did she vote for the bill? No. No one has. Did she vote to discuss, which is an implicit vote for the bill? Yes. Does the bill include murder? Yes. Does the removal of the abortion-funding make this bill better? Yes, in that it will not be directly killing babies; but that does not make it good. It only makes the bill less bad and since abortion is one of the highest sins of our culture and our government, it is first on the list. Do not think the fact that the removal of abortion-funding has prominence means that this bill is not offensive to Catholic teaching in many other areas. It is a horrible bill that creates an apparatus for a secular (often hostile to Christians) government to have control over a large part of our economy and considerable if not total control over our lives.

    To think that a government run by sinners and not only sinners but secular progressive sinners hostile to Christ, His Church and His people will use the power it has for our benefit is naïve at best and more than likely delusional.

    Government has a specific and necessary function and it needs to be funded by taxes to perform those functions. Providing health care and taxing the incomes of natural persons does not fall under the legitimate authority of government and most certainly it does not fall under the authority of our government as established by the Constitution of 1789, properly amended.

    Christ did tell us to render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but He also warned us not to render to Caesar what is God’s. Our health and our lives belong to God and not to Caesar.

  • BTW – Zak, you have an incorrect view of what a slave plantation was like. Sure some slaves were physically abused and wipped and raped, etc. Horrible.

    But that is a small percentage of slave owners who treated their slaves that way. Most slave owners considered their slaves as their property and a key factor in the plantation’s prodcutive capacity. So physical abuse would be the same as a farmer starving his ox or modern day farmer taking a sledge hammer to his tractor.

    Slaves where actually physically rather well off becuase they were beasts of burden. Ratehr than most slaves suffering physical abuse what they were suffering was abuse of their human dignity.

    People on Medicaid, food stamps and other government welfare programs are suffering the same abuse to their human dignity.

    In fact one could say that African slaves suffered less attack on their dignity than the victims of the modern welfare state becuase at least the African slaves knew they were slaves. Also, since the slavery was more personal, human emotion often got the better of the master’s household. Some slaves were taught to read and write, some were offered a portion of the land to grow their own crops and even sell them. No social worker affords modern-day welfare-slaves that dignity. Some slaveowners even insisted that their slaves be taught the Christian faith – imagine a government worker reading Scripture to a Medicaid recipeint. Gimme a break.

    Before anyone jumps on me for being a racist: I am Southern and I am also an immigrant to the Southland (by the Grace of God) from the lands that Christ walked so I am not exactly white and to my knowledge my family hasn’t owned any African slaves in the last couple of centuries if ever.

    I am also not stating that ante-bellum African slavery was dignified. I am not. It was horrible. I am merely saying it is less bad than the modern day welfare-state slavery of blacks and North and South American Indians and poor whites.

    My plantation analogy still stands. The difference is the plantation is nationwide and the master is the secular progressive government and the slaves are all sorts of different colors.

  • one could say that African slaves suffered less attack on their dignity than the victims of the modern welfare state

    I haven’t been taking American Knight seriously for a while now but this just blew my mind.

    Before anyone jumps on me for being a racist: I am Southern and I am also an immigrant to the Southland (by the Grace of God) from the lands that Christ walked so I am not exactly white and to my knowledge my family hasn’t owned any African slaves in the last couple of centuries if ever.

    Yes, because what determines whether you’re racist is your location, complexion, and whether your ancestors owned slaves.

  • All,

    Be very careful in what you say in the commboxes.

    You’ve been duly warned.

    I don’t take PC-speak from anyone, especially on my post.

  • rr,

    “I haven’t been taking American Knight seriously for a while now but this just blew my mind.”

    Coming from you that is probably a compliment; however, I have taken your posts seriously – otherwise why should I bother responding? If we are searching for truth and debating how our Catholic faith informs our political and cultural involvement we should all take each other seriously. That comment is more a reflection on you than it is on me.

    I share my views here becuase I want to know if I can defend them or if they have flaws. You and I may not agree on practical methods, but I would hope that we agree that we are called to inform our minds and actions with orthodox Catholic teaching. Unless a moderator, whose guest I am on here, tells my that I am out of line then I would appreciate it if you would respond sensibly to my posts, especially those you disagree with, or kindly ignore them.

    “because what determines whether you’re racist is your location, complexion, and whether your ancestors owned slaves.”

    No it doesn’t. But I post on here anonymously so I very few actually know me. I though some generic information may help move the focus on to the veracity of the argument instead of an attack on ‘a typcal southern racist descendant of slave owners’ approach. I feared that small-minded people may decide the post was racism directed at blacks because labeling anything that offends egalitarian political thought racist is a common and easy distraction. I actaully expcted better from you. You won’t dissappoint me again.

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25 Responses to Social Doctrine is Ours… Let's Take it Back!

  • I support the complete dissolution of the CCHD. The money could be used to help save Catholic schools from closing instead of funding socialist and anti-Catholic organizations that promote class warfare and hate.

  • In other words you disagree completely, Tito? 🙂

    Seriously, though: I happen to think that *everything* is redeemable/reformable, even CCHD. And as I argue, the idea — seeking to address poverty in a systemic & structural manner — is worth fighting for.

  • It’s worth fighting for, through Catholic organizations.

    I don’t like giving our money to anti-Catholic organizations that in the end would persecute us if given the chance.

  • I don’t either, which is why I support reforming CCHD, including ditching the ban on giving to Catholic entities.

  • I don’t know enough about addressing poverty through a systemic and structural manner, but I do trust our faith in doing what is needed in this area.

    The CCHD is completely incompetent and irrelevant to this task as much as the USCCB is (but that’s for another day).

    Let’s scuttle them altogether and come back with a new plan under a new committee in executing this. The CCHD is infested with self-avowed communists (Ralph McCloud) and leftist bishops that could give a damn about our faith unless it promotes social revolution (I am speaking in regards to Bishop Morin).

    Kick the bums out.

  • …promote class warfare and hate.

    Tito – you nailed it.

  • leftist bishops that could give a damn about our faith unless it promotes social revolution (I am speaking in regards to Bishop Morin).

    What are you referring to, Tito?

  • Chris,

    Bishop Roger Morin.

    His continued defense of the indefensible.

    After mountains of evidence showing that some of the programs funded by CCHD are anti-Catholic, he continues to deny that they aren’t.

    He lies through his teeth.

  • People who donate to the CCHD do so willingly, and partly because they know the campaign is about “human development.” (The other part if obedience to the envelope in their box.)

    Catholic catechesis is another fine opportunity to offer one’s material resources. And if such donations are made to students who are primarily poor, then that would be in keeping with the principle.

    However, the failure of Catholic schools is not a problem that can be fixed necessarily with money.

    The problems, real or perceived, of CCHD are also not going to be fixed by a drumbeat of insult, however couched in fact-checking rhetoric. People will give to the CCHD this weekend, and some will give more knowing others are on the warpath against it.

    Talking louder and more often does not seem to be convincing either bishops or CCHD leadership. Indeed, many high-profile conservative bishops have spoken in favor of CCHD.

    Giving to CCHD or not is a prudential issue. But it has the support of a large number of bishops. It would seem that CCHD’s most vehement detractors are practicing a variation of cafeteria Catholicism here. It is one thing to investigate the CCHD and its beneficiaries. Another to withhold one’s own money. Another to urge others not to donate. And entirely another to call a bishop a liar.

    Is this line of criticism effective or realistic?

  • “addressing poverty at a systemic & structural level is both necessary and thoroughly Catholic, ”

    I know the answer is not simple, but what does this mean? Does this mean Catholics are morally obligated to argue for government to redistribute wealth and provide social services?

    Is Catholic Social teaching a set of moral principles to inform politics or is it more than that?

  • Todd,

    It shines a light on a depraved process inside a decrepit organization.

    Because our bishops are beholden to no one and when they ignore charitable approaches to resolving the issue, they leave no room for discussion.

    Hence why I posted about it.

    Believe me, if my bishop would have listened to what I had to say and taken action I wouldn’t have posted this at all.

    And yes, this line of criticism is effective.

    Just because it makes you and others uncomfortable doesn’t make donating money to the CCHD right.

  • It strikes me that one of the additional sources of controversy surrounding “addressing poverty at a systemic & structural level” is that those with progressive and conservative dispositions will probably see what that would mean in very different ways.

    Painting in very broad strokes, conservatives tend to think that if people are given an education, opportunity, and a strong work ethic, that they will generally be able to improve things on their own, and at most will need direct help when they run into misfortunes.

    Progressives, on the other hand, often seem to think that people are already doing everything they could themselves be doing, and that what’s needed in order to improve their condition is for someone to come in and raise awareness so that the government will give them things or ordain that they will be paid more for the same work, etc.

    This doubtless results in a lot of difference over what a structural program that would assist those in poverty would actually look like. It also probably accounts for the fact that conservatives index more heavily towards liking direct aid for people currently in desperate circumstances — because they assume that once people in poverty have received some help to get back on their feet, that they’ll go and improve their overall condition themselves. I’ve often heard progressives dismiss such direct help as enabling poverty to continue — which probably makes sense if you assume that people are fundamentally incapable of improving their own conditions no matter what they do.

  • Tito, I wouldn’t interpret my stance here as discomfort. I’m a critic, and an unconventional one at that.

  • Echoing part of Darwin’s comment, I’d note — perhaps responding at least in part to Zach’s question — that “addressing poverty at a systemic & structural level” is not synonymous with calling for help from the government, let alone the feds. *Can* it mean that? Sure. Does it *have* to mean that? No.

    I subscribe to the theory that politics is downstream from culture… while there is certainly a feedback loop, culture is primary. So when I speak of addressing poverty at a systemic & structural level, I’m thinking first about efforts to change the culture of the local community, at the level of the local community. Darwin’s strokes are a bit overly broad for me (and he acknowledged their breadth)… I think there it’s thoroughly conservative to try to address the cultural underpinnings of poverty, and that’s what I’d like to see the CCHD do.

    Tito, the fact that Bishop Morin appears somewhat obtuse with regard to what CCHD funds in no way makes him a leftist who promotes social revolution.

  • CCHD is not reformable. It is not a person. It is a half-baked socialist idea that infiltrated the Church along with a great deal of other smoke from Hell.

    Human Development is a big theme, maybe the biggest, in the Pope’s most recent encyclical and it does not mean anything close to what CCHD does. CCHD is a dehumanizing and government-promoting endeavor masked with Catholic-sounding words that are used in a socialist context.

    A Catholic organization that is under the direction of the Church must be concerned with the salvation of souls before any other mission including feeding the poor. As a lay Catholic I am called to take care of all I come in contact with as I would Christ. The Church is not called to that to the same degree – the Church is called to save souls first. I can’t save a soul but I can feed a poor person – and I should be a good Cahtolic witness while I am at it.

    CCHD does none of these things. Time for it to die.

  • How is CCHD’s mission socialist, Knight? Why is it irreformable?

    Listen, the whole point of the post was to talk about the idea of development, not the way in which one organization has failed to promote human development worthily.

    I’d challenge your ecclesiology in the 3rd ‘graph, Knight… you are a part of the Church, of course, and as laymen we have a particular responsibility to carry out the mission of the Church, in a great many variety of ways. To refer to the Church as an entity separate from us is problematic… it leads to conclusions such as your charitable work is not the Church’s.

    I can’t stand the errors of CCHD more than anyone else, but I think it’s too soon to be talking the nuclear option.

  • It was set up on the Saul Alinksy radical model to fund non-Catholic social(ist) organizations.

    Why bother reforming it? We have many other better models to delivery Charity and Truth and stay true to Church teaching.

    Chris, we are members of the body of Christ, so yes, we are Church; however, a bishop can celebrate Mass and I cannot; a priest can hear confessions and I cannot. We are one church but we have different functions. It is time for Bishops to stick with pastoral care, administration of the Sacraments and informing our consciences in communion with the Bishop of Rome. Leave the community organizing to the proper ilk that are predisposed to that sort of thing.

  • “addressing poverty at a systemic & structural level is both necessary and thoroughly Catholic”

    I know the answer is not simple, but what does this mean? Does this mean Catholics are morally obligated to argue for government to redistribute wealth and provide social services?–Zach (12:54 pm)

    I’m suspicious of the true agenda of those who spout Leftist code phrases such as the one Zach identified. The basic moral instruction the Church should be giving to one and all is most proper and most effective way to address virtually all genuine “systemic and structural” poverty there is in the United States today.

    Envy (the practical motive of any leveller) and enabling destructively immoral behavior aren’t part of “the Church’s social teaching.”

  • AK has been swallowing talking points from too many sources. In one breath, he complains about “government-promoting endeavor” and in another “Saul Alinksy radical model (of) social(ist) organizations.”

    Yet again, we have an emphasis on charity to the exclusion of justice. Not to mention a seeming ignorance of Matthew 25.

    I don’t see CCHD going away any time soon. What happens to the Catholic Right is they’re stuck with it? Just another seasonal Angry Event.

  • Todd,

    I appreciate the criticism. It certainly helps in forming ideas. Please help me a little more. It seems that you think that ‘government-promoting endeavor’ and ‘Alinsky radical model’ are incompatible. Am I right? If so, why? I see them as one and the same dehumanizing force – please help me clarify your thoughts. I am not suggesting that you are wrong but I can’t see a reason to agree with you.

    Charity and Justice are also not mutually exclusive. I hope I did not suggest that. Charity, properly understood is Love. Justice is also Love, love of God and in that love our neighbor. I owe God justice by observing the precepts and commandments of His religion. I owe justice to my fellow man by the same mechanism.

    Charity can be taking care of the acute needs of the poor and Justice can be helping them solve the reason for their poverty. I am confident that faithful Catholics agree on that. Where we may disagree is on the means of how to achieve those noble goals. The Church doesn’t tell us how, and if she did she would not be infallible becuase the method is not a matter of faith or morals – the goal is.

    I am not in disagreement with the stated intention of CCHD. I am in disagreement with the means to that stated intention and also the evidence that in practice CCHD as worked to achieve the opposite ends.

  • ok, Knight, I’ll bite.

    Are you saying that the CCHD’s problem includes government? I can’t say I’ve followed the list of organization grants carefully, but I didn’t see any government agency on the list in my diocese.

    Our government is much more beholden to the excesses of capitalism and Big Bidness than socialism.

    I agree with you there are many dehumanizing forces in the world. They are much more often due to extremism that the particulars of philosophy. By themselves, socialism, federalism, capitalism, or most any other philosophy has good points rooted in what some people think to be a better way to live. The problem is when the philosophy becomes the idol and God is set aside.

  • Todd,

    It was not a debating snare. No need to bite. I think we are coming closer to some agreement.

    I don’t think CCHD gave any government agency money directly; however, many of the groups that received CCHD money also recieve government money. Unlike USCCB, the money from the government doesn’t come without strings (to be clear I think Catholic money should come with strings – strings that require witness to the Gospel). This effectively places our material charity in organizations with a secular-government slant, which renders the material charity devoid of true Charity.

    We also agree that our government is beholden to Big Bidness; however, we disagree that it is beholden to the excess of capitalism (I take you to mean free market capitalism). Greed is not inherant in capitalism; greed is inherent in fallen humans. The problem is we are taught to look at capitalism and socialism as oppsities, when in fact they are twin sisters. Socialism approaches economic and eventually total control from the angle of ‘social justice’ and ‘class struggle’. Capitalism approaches from the ‘market’ perspective. Both are lies.

    Socialism seeks to use social influence from the masses by promoting envy and coveting to wrest control from the ‘merchant class’ and capitalism seeks to use corporate consolidation (monopoly, duopoly) to wrest control from the ‘merhcant class’. The means both systems use is government coercion and the ends will be the same: Absolutism, either oligarchy or dictatorship. Keep in mind Russia’s errors would not have been possible without support from wealthy Western industrialists.

    In that case their is no room for charity or justice.

    We need to begin to approach our ‘systemic’ concerns from the perspective of true, authentic Charity (Caritas, which is Love) at the most reduced level: person to person and from there up and out respecting subsidiarity. This keeps Charity on the level of each of us loving our neigbor in Truth and also subsidiarity is more likely to promote Justice than consolidated power and decision making do.

    Authentic Human Development as expressed by the Church and most recently Papa Bene is only possible on the human level where in the institutions are subject to the human person rather than the human cog subject to the institutional machine.

    Like I said, we can fall into the quagmire of partisan and ideological rhetoric (I am very guilty of that) or we can transend and find authentic ways to promote the general welfare, the common good properly understood in light of Truth, since we have the same ends in mind: The Kingdom of Heaven. What we must remember is that we cannot seperate the means from the ends. We need to use His means to seek His ends becuase fallen human means and fallen human ends are hellish.

  • I’m for the nuclear option.

    I refuse to wait until my grandchildren get a corrective on CCHD.

    By then we’ll probably be the United Socialist States of America and that isn’t going to happen until they pull my gun away from my dead hands!

  • Chris,

    Thank you for the response – very helpful for me.

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Junk Science

Saturday, November 21, AD 2009

A fascinating insight into the world of scientists who are advocates of the theory of man-made global warming was given by hackers who stole a huge amount of data and e-mails from the  Climactic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England.  To my complete non-surprise, in many of their e-mails the scientists seem to be much more concerned about advocating the “party line” of the reality of man-made global warming instead of engaging in disinterested science.  John  Hinderaker at Powerline has a fascinating look at some of the e-mails here.  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is on top of the story.  A good overview is here.

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38 Responses to Junk Science

  • What is also surprising to me, is that they are losing credibility day by day. That is a pleasant surprise.

    As the evidence continues to grow of the farce of mand-made global warming it’s one less thing we can worry about as time goes by.

  • My husband laughed himself sick.

  • The undeniable facts are these:
    – The world has been getting warmer for the past 500 years.
    – The warming has accelerated over the past century.
    – External processes (Solar radiation, the galatic environment, or some alteration in the Earth’s radiation belts) can’t account for the acceleration of warming.
    – Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased measurably since industrialization.

    We know that political people were denying warming trends as late as ten years ago. The evidence is clearly all against them, so now a common fallback position is that it’s not our fault.

    That might be, but no serious scientist has uncovered a plausible mechanism for the acceleration of warming trends. It seems to coincide exactly with the emission of industrial byproducts into the atmosphere.

    Hacking into e-mails is enjoyable enough as an adolescent prank or as criminal behavior, but it doesn’t change the facts. The science of climate change has been debated within the scientific community among climatologists, astronomers, physicists, and other experts. The consensus is a reality.

    That some business interests see this news as a threat to profits and power is also undeniable. But, you know, things change. New markets open up. Other people get a chance tomake money in new businesses. That those businesses might be wind turbines, solar power cells, and local agriculture, and not Middle Eastern oil or over-sized cars or maybe not even corn-based ethanol is just the way it is. We’re not talking junk science as much as we’re talking junk economics.

    Climate change skeptics, if they are insistent and incurious, may well be targets of ridicule. I don’t sympathize.

  • I’d add one more fact. Greenhouse gases, including carbon emissions have a global warming effect. We can argue about the extent of the warming, the extent to which carbon emissions contribute to it, and what to do about it but deniers usually go too far and deny the basic facts. Too often I hear, “It’s cold today, therefore global warming is a farce.” Talk about unscientific!

  • It’s a good idea to switch to clean energy and less consumption regardless of whether or not human activity is the primary cause of global warming.

    What we don’t need is to be told how to run our lives by Al Gore. These people couldn’t care less that millions of unborn children are killed through abortion.

    We should remember that the Church has much to say about environmental issues. In Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict writes,

    “But it should also be stressed that it is contrary to authentic development to view nature as something more important than the human person. This position leads to attitudes of neo-paganism or a new pantheism — human salvation cannot come from nature alone, understood in a purely naturalistic sense. This having been said, it is also necessary to reject the opposite position, which aims at total technical dominion over nature, because the natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulated at our pleasure; it is a wondrous work of the Creator containing a “grammar” which sets forth ends and criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation.”

    Sounds like a good starting point for me.

  • The undeniable facts are these:
    – The world has been getting warmer for the past 500 years.
    – The warming has accelerated over the past century.

    The ‘undeniable facts’ are disputed by, among others, this fellow:



    I believe the recorded increase in global temperatures over the last century or so has been on the order of 0.6 F, with a period of decline during the period from 1945 to 1980 (during which Carl Sagan and others began to push global cooling scenarios). Got other stuff on my mind, Todd.

  • Too often I hear, “It’s cold today, therefore global warming is a farce.” Talk about unscientific!

    Indeed! Just as ridiculous is to say this decade or this century or this millennium is warmer and man must be making it so, therefore man can and must reverse it.

    As silly as it would be to measure the temperature of two particular days and draw a conclusion about the climate trend in a century, that would still be more accurate than measuring mean temperatures in two centuries and drawing a conclusion about the climate trend over 5 billion years. Given what we know about the cycles of the earth’s climate, I think it would be insane to expect the climate to remain static across centuries. None of this is to say that’s it’s not possible that our activities can’t effect climate to some degree, however, a change in climate does not mean that it must be man’s activities causing it.

  • Art, regarding, “The ‘undeniable facts’ are disputed by, among others, this fellow …”

    I didn’t see anything in his piece that wasn’t a surprise when I took GEO204, Climatology.

    The problem with warming trends, as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age show, but that melt from Greenland alters the Gulf Stream and plunges Europe into another Little Ice Age. My real concern would be an alteration of monsoon patterns for South Asia. Nothing like famine and ensuing political instability for one to two billion Asians.

    ” … a change in climate does not mean that it must be man’s activities causing it.”

    Well, ok … But nobody has come up with another reason for it.

  • Wait, you’re worried about something that might happen, so we’ve got to beggar the first world, oppress the third world out of ever advancing to a decent level of life (because that would have too big of a carbon foot-print) and put in power a whole ton of folks who view humans as pests? Sounds like the probable cure is worse than the theorized disease.

    Well, ok … But nobody has come up with another reason for it.

    Yes they have– solar cycles. Which matches up with warming on other planets, plus the lack of sun spots matches up with the recent lack of heating.

    If you’re really interested in disputations on your information, Todd, I’ve got a post here that is basically a grab-bag of refutations, quibbles, ignored information and such.

  • (Side note: every time folks feel the need to point out that there’s nothing wrong with trying to live more efficiently, use less and such, I can practically hear my grandfather saying something to the effect of:
    “Wait. You are working on making it cheaper to heat and cool someone’s home, you want to lower their power bill and make it so that they can help people who are starving or in other trouble live better lives, and the only way you can talk them into doing it is to tell them the world will end if they don’t? Son, you need to hire a salesman– you couldn’t sell ice in Death Valley.”)

  • “Wait, you’re worried about something that might happen, so we’ve got to beggar the first world ….”

    Wait, I thought this post was about computer hijinx. Who said anything about poverty? Are we totally dependent on Dick Cheney and the Saudis or do we have freedom to explore new business opportunities?

    “Yes they have– solar cycles. Which matches up with warming on other planets, plus the lack of sun spots matches up with the recent lack of heating.”

    All disproven. Solar cycle changes do not affect climate in the way that atmospheric greenhouse gases do. Likewise warming on other planets and on Earth is a myth. The world is getting warmer. Get used to it.

  • The world hasn’t been getiing warmer for the past decade:


  • Stick to the law, counsellor. You’re better at that. I posted on this last month: http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/2009/10/27/lets-chill-on-global-cooling/

    Follow the links there for a debunking. It would seem 2005 superceded 1998 as the warmest on record.

  • Indications are that this was a whistleblower, not an outside hacker. Not that it’s relevant anyway.

  • Todd, stick with attempting to get congregations to sing. The Global Warming Pause is real and the Warmists are hard pressed to explain it:


  • Wait, I thought this post was about computer hijinx.

    It was, until you changed the subject to science.

    Does that mean you want to go back to the emails on how these folks are falsifying science, and plotting to cover it up?

    Are we totally dependent on Dick Cheney and the Saudis or do we have freedom to explore new business opportunities?

    Guess that means you just want to change the subject again, to a non-siquitor. You might want to look into the “solutions” folks are offering for global warming– uniformly, they consist of stopping business, retarding advancement and taking money by force.

    All disproven.

    BS. I’ve got links to well-supported articles, you’ve got only your own assertions– got any support?

    Solar cycle changes do not affect climate in the way that atmospheric greenhouse gases do.

    Very true. The solar effects can be shown, and actually match up with historical cycles– in a manner of speaking, they can predict the past. (This is different from other computer models.)

    Likewise warming on other planets and on Earth is a myth.

    I’m afraid you’re mistaken, as this is the top response to “global warming mars” on google. And NatGeo believes in AGW/CC.

  • In a logical world, climate change is about science. Not politics.

    I read over the Spiegel piece, and it’s not convincing. The uptick in global temperatures is real. If you want to draw a line from 1998 to 2008 you’re going from a warm year to a slightly cooler year. Try a statistical trend dating back to the 16th century.

    Statisticians were given the temperature data without knowing what it was. They all agreed there’s an increase and it’s not leveling off or dipping. Ships are still sailing the Arctic Ocean, and the Northwest Passage is now a reality.

    Personally, I care little for the particular solutions politicians are offering. It has yet to be seen if human beings can reverse the warming trend. What I’m choosing to attack here is the mindless meme that either the warming trend is non-existent or that human industrialization is the main cause for an acceleration not seen in centuries.

    I respect Donald and others for their tenacity and their intellect on other issues. But I’m sorry to say, guys, you’re heading for an F in science and math. Better stick to the culture wars. It’s what you do best.

  • Not the Northwest Passage thing again. That’s been hammered on for the last decade, and not very accurately.

    To quote:
    Here is a photo of the St. Roch. It’s a wooden ship, not some massive, metallic icebreaker. According to the Vancouver Maritime Museum web site, this 104 foot wooden ship sailed through the Northwest Passage from 1940 to 1942, that was from west to east. In 1944 it did it again from from east to west. King George VI awarded Captain Henry Larsen, and the crew, the Polar Medal for making the 1944 voyage

    You say:
    But I’m sorry to say, guys, you’re heading for an F in science and math.
    While failing, massively, at basic research– guess you need to stick to personal attacks, eh?

  • Look, this is the way it goes here: hackers stole some e-mails and suddenly climate change is discredited? Hardly.

    The world is getting warmer. I read the science behind it in books, scientific publications, and I talk to real scientists at real universities.

    Donald and others quote the Guardian and Der Spiegel. It’s like a seeker getting her or his information on Catholicism from Time or Newsweek. If you want the facts, go to the source.

    I don’t know if any fencesitters are still following this discussion, but if you have doubts, don’t trust anybody here–even me. Just find the scientists who can communicate the facts.

    What’s to do on the political front is still up in the air. Take with a grain of salt anybody who uses the but-we’ll-go-broke argument to deny climate change. With that, I leave this discussion to anyone else that can insert more sense into it.

  • Look, this is the way it goes here: hackers stole some e-mails and suddenly climate change is discredited? Hardly.

    Among the e-mails is a set of exchanges on a non-esoteric topic: a discussion of the means of arranging for the dismissal of the editor of Geophysical Research Letters for the offense of publishing a paper by Dr. Willie Soon et al. of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center. People tend to lose some of the authority with which they speak when they are exposed as crappy institutional politicians. If that bothers you, tough.

  • Todd,

    Your comments are well read and respected, but you’re lacking something vital.

    And that is an avatar. Why not throw up a pic will ‘ya!

  • Look, this is the way it goes here: hackers stole some e-mails and suddenly climate change is discredited? Hardly.

    No, this is the way it goes:
    Someone supposedly hacked into a AGW supporting group’s email and released evidence they were cooking the books. (There is a lot of suspicion that it might be a leak, rather than an actual hack.)

    This indicates that the supporters of global warming realize it can’t stand on its own.

    That, needless to say, gives more weight to the information already out that points towards anthropogenic climate change being discredited.

    Just find the scientists who can communicate the facts.

    My blog post up above is a good place to start– has a wide range of scientists represented, along with specific points where AGW supporting scientists have been shown to be questionable.

    I read the science behind it in books, scientific publications, and I talk to real scientists at real universities.

    And yet you ignore scientists to quote an AP story that basically says “I selected data, removed all identifying information, and sent it to statisticians– see, it proves global warming!”

    It’s insanely easy to see how that could be innocently warped– what years did he send? Where did he get his measurements? Where did those he got his measurements from get their information, since many city measurements have been shown to be tainted by inappropriate placing. (Such as putting a thermometer by an AC exhaust.)

    How about responding to the actual content of the information you dismiss?

    You haven’t responded to the information on the Northwest Passage (sailed over a century ago) to the information on “global warming” on Mars (not a myth, counter to your claim) the effects of solar variation (which can actually be shown, correctly, via computer model) or the weakness of AGW climate models. (which can’t manage to accurately predict the past– a pretty simple test of a model, since all the information is there)

  • Someone supposedly hacked into a AGW supporting group’s email and released evidence they were cooking the books.

    If they have been “cooking the book” then why does their data show an absence of warming over the last decade? Are they just really stupid in addition to being really evil?

  • If they have been “cooking the book” then why does their data show an absence of warming over the last decade?

    More complicated than that is the short answer.

    Some information on book-cooking here, but here’s a snippet:
    The story began when Steve McIntyre, the same researcher who was largely responsible for destroying Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph purporting to show unprecedented warming in the 20th century, turned his attention to a famous article published by Keith Briffa of East Anglia’s CRU in 2000. This article analyzed the diameters of tree rings, including rings from an area called Yamal in Siberia, and conveniently generated another hockey-stick shaped graph. You can read an account of the ensuing controversy here. McIntyre’s work appeared to show that Briffa had cherry-picked trees in order to get the result he was looking for. One fact that this story highlights is that global warming alarmists publish their results in scientific journals, but refuse to make the underlying data publicly available so that the validity of their analyses can be checked.

  • Example:
    From: Phil Jones
    To: ray bradley ,[email protected], [email protected]
    Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
    Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
    Cc: [email protected],[email protected]

    Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
    Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow. I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998. Thanks for the comments, Ray.


    Prof. Phil Jones
    Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
    School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
    University of East Anglia
    Norwich Email [email protected]
    NR4 7TJ

  • A more extensive rundown, with many emails linked on page 2.

  • Blackadder —

    They’re “cooking the books” not in the sense of inventing data out of thin air (in which case you’d have a valid point), but in the less thrilling but still extremely damaging sense that they have now been shown to have: 1) strained to come up with statistical models that help prove what they already “knew” to be true; 2) privately confessed to less certainty than they ever showed in public; 3) schemed to block articles from being published that would disprove their work.

  • Oh, and on top of that, they schemed to destroy emails and data so as not to have to answer FOIA requests. Now you’re a lawyer . . . if a whistleblower lets you know that the defense is scheming to destroy a bunch of evidence so that you can’t find it in discovery, what are you going to ask the judge to infer about the contents of the evidence?

  • Anono,

    Do you have any evidence that this was the result of a”whistleblower” as opposed to a hacker as it being reported?

    I don’t deny that there is some pretty damaging stuff in the emails, but it seems an exaggeration to say that the emails prove global warming is a hoax.

  • Well, his link does make an argument that if it is a hacker, it’s a rather odd one; no bragging, only two very quiet attempts to get the information out… “disgruntled employee” would fit the facts as well as “strange hacker.”

  • Where I come from gobal climate change has a simpler name:


    We need to be mindful of our home not worship it. Additionally, try as we might, we do not get to destroy the world. God made it and He will end it.

    In the meantime, enjoy the warming. You people that are always crying about man made global warming are the same ones usually bitching about being cold. So what is it, too warm or too cold? Eat a hamburger, put on a sweater and quit crying.

    If you leave the rest of us alone to drive SUVs and crank the A/C and drink American beer; then we’ll let you worship all the trees and ants you want, drink your wheatgrass lunches and beat your tribal drums in your Birkenstocks while not showering (just don’t stand too close). Then we can let evolution take its course and see which ‘species’ survives. 😉

  • Do you have any evidence that this was the result of a”whistleblower” as opposed to a hacker as it being reported?

    What’s the evidence that it’s an actual hacker, would be the first question.

  • Anono,

    The University says that they were hacked. You said that “[i]ndications are that this was a whistleblower, not an outside hacker.” My question is what indications you were referring to?

  • Well, you could try reading the link I posted with that remark. And also try thinking about whether some random outside hacker would know which emails to target out of probably hundreds of thousands over the past decade.

    Anyway, that’s beside the point (which you’re studiously avoiding). Hacker or not, this whistleblower has done an immense public service in showing how the great scientists’ feet are made of clay. And how they seem to act as if they have something to hide. (Now why would genuine scientists whose data analysis is on the up-and-up need to threaten deletion as soon as someone wants to see their data? Hmmm.)

    Check out the posts here: http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/ for some interesting posts. E.g., http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/steve-mcintyres-at-it-again/

  • Blackadder: what you are missing is that this particular group of scientists have had a very great influence on media and public perceptions of AGW. Mann, of course, is the guy who developed the famous “hockey stick” Al Gore made prominent use of in his film. So this isn’t about some obscure group of geology students engaging in a little jiggery-pokery to get A’s from their professors. It’s about deception and fraud among scientists whose work is being used as rationale to restructure the global economy.

    If you actually read the emails (link provided at Powerline) you will see they admit to massaging the data, and also discuss targeting skeptical scientists. If AGW is “settled science,” why does the data need to be massaged?

    Todd and restrained radical: you both seem to operate under the assumption that only people who work for evil capitalist organizations and industries can be corrupted. Scientists who get many millions in grant money from the government are apparently pure in heart and are never tempted to falsify data or suppress evidence in order to produce the results they desire (the ones which will bring them even more grant money). Do you think that human greed will vanish if capitalism does? Some survivors of the old USSR would like to have a word with you.

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5 Responses to 22,000 Youth in Eucharistic Procession Through Kansas City

  • That’s pretty freakin’ sweet. These kids will go home and they’ll say to their youth ministers, “Hey, can we have a Eucharistic procession!?”

    Yeah, you’re right – there’s definitely a new wind blowing in here, isn’t there?

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  • Wonderful statement on our faith! To see the youth out on the streets boldly.

  • There is not word on your website concerning the Charismatic Renewal ! Doesn’t it register with the Roman Catholic Church that are Catholics that don’t fit within traditional Roman Catholicism ? We are not members of the Knights of Columbus nor Legion of Mary members. We believe that Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and man. What is important is to accept Christ as personal Savior and be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Another thing, your assessment of Martin Luther is wrong. Luther and the other Reformers were removed by Bishops and the Pope that did not want real Bible revival; they could not accept real biblical reformation. Even in the 13th century, a number of monks who had no intention to leave the Church were persecuted and eventually burnt at the stake. Read the biography of Friar Girolamo Savornolla, a well beloved preacher Florence, Italy, he was publically executed in the public square of Florence in 1492. Friar Savornolla urgently preached the whole Bible not just portions of the Bible that just deal with love and peace. He preached vehemently against immorality, astrology and corruption in the Church. It was not just Martin Luther that the Vatican couldn’t deal with, there were John Calvin, John Knox and many Baptist martyrs, some former Catholic priests !

  • Michael,

    Ironically, none of them Catholics.

    So no, there is no mention of invented traditions by men that you say.

    The Catholic Church has the entire deposit of faith with the fullness of Truth. Why should we look elsewhere for false gods and apostles?

Miles Gloriosus

Saturday, November 21, AD 2009

Something for the weekend.  Bring Me My Bride, perhaps the funniest sequence, in what I regard as one of the funniest films of all time, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  A superb recreation of a comedy that could have been written by the Roman playwright Plautus.  Wily slaves, braggart soldiers, dull-witted Senators, scheming wives, crazed soothsayers, they are all there, along with all the other stock characters that caused the Romans to roar with laughter.

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5 Responses to Miles Gloriosus

  • If I recall, key plot elements, several stock characters, and the name Miles Gloriosus were swiped lock, stock and barrel from Plautus!

    My dear husband once played Erronius in an amateur production of Forum, and it is one of our favorites!
    Should he ever do it again, he’ll need less white hairspray.

  • As recall, when Miles descends from his horse he tells Phil Silvers he wants to arrange “a sit down orgy for 40.” And when shown a bottle of wine asks, “Was the year one a good year?” But my favorite was “I am my ideal!”

  • “If I recall, key plot elements, several stock characters, and the name Miles Gloriosus were swiped lock, stock and barrel from Plautus!”

    You are correct cminor! A professor of Roman history told me long ago at the University of Illinois that A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum was a brilliant evocation of Roman life. Rome via the Borscht Belt!

  • “Everybody ought to have a maid…” I’ve never like the film much because I saw it after I saw a production of the musical, and the musical is much funnier!