3

Jack Was Every Inch A Sailor

Something for the weekend.  My late mother’s homeland, Newfoundland, has a lively musical heritage, and Jack Was Every Inch A Sailor is a fine example of the rollicking songs that the Newfies have produced.

‘Twas twenty-five or thirty years since Jack first saw the light,
He came into this world of woe one dark and stormy night;
He was born on board his father’s ship as she was lying to,
‘Bout twenty-five of thirty miles southeast of Baccalieu.

CHORUS:
Oh, Jack was every inch a sailor,
Five and twenty years a whaler;
Jack was every inch a sailor,
He was born upon the bright blue sea.

When Jack grew up to be a man he went to the Labrador,
He fished in Indian Harbour where his father fished before;
On his returning in the fog he met a heavy gale,
And Jack was swept into the sea and swallowed by a whale.

CHORUS

Oh, the whale went straight for Baffin Bay, ’bout ninety knots an hour,
And every time he’d blow a spray he’d send it in a shower;
Oh, now, says Jack unto himself, I must see what he’s about,
He caught the whale all by the tail and turned him inside out.

CHORUS

3

DC Bigotry

No Catholic Bashing

As Joe in his brilliant post here notes, various organs of the Left are in a tizzy because the Archdiocese of Washington has stood up to the attempt by secular bigots to force the Archdiocese to act contrary to Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality.  Here is the statement of the Archdiocese: Continue Reading

5

Life Under Health Care Reform

Time being scarce the last few weeks, I’d originally planned on writing a post of this format about one of the Senate bills, but since the House bill (HR 3962: Affordable Health Care for America Act) is currently the one in the news, I’m focusing on that. The purpose here is to try my best to cut through the hysteria and hype coming from both sides and take a realistic look about what changes we would notice as US citizens if the House health care reform bill becomes law.

The first thing to keep in mind is that nothing much happens until 2013. This could probably called the “keep incumbents from being hurt by this act, especially Obama” provision. Whether the long term effects of the bill are good or bad, change often causes pain and confusion at first, and one of the key ways of getting legislators on board for the bill is to assure them that they’re unlikely to be immediately booted out of office by voters upset about their premiums. This kind of cynicism is hardly unique to this one bill or to either party — it just is what it is. So take the below as a discussion of how thing would be under HR 3962 in the period 5-6 years from now, assuming that is passes and there are no changes made between now and then.

The bill provides several new regulations on insurance companies and on you, which you’ll notice quite clearly.

1) You will be legally required to purchase insurance. If you don’t (and unless you fit criteria for financial hardship as defined in the bill) you will be fined either 2.5% of you income, or the average cost of the plans in the lowest tier of the health insurance exchange. So, if you make 40k/yr, you would be fined $1000. If you make 60k/yr, you would be fined $1500. If you refuse to pay your fines, you’ll be treated exactly like any other tax evader (which means you can potentially be sent to jail.) The Senate bill specifically exempted non-payers from being sent to jail, but the House bill fails to differentiate those who refuse to pay health care fines from those who refuse to pay other taxes, so it is believed that standard tax evasion rules would apply. There will also be penalties placed on employers who do not offer their employees health insurance.
Continue Reading

6

The New Know-Nothings

Lynn Woolsey

Back in the first half of the Nineteenth Century a political movement arose called the Know-Nothings which thought the path to political power lay in Catholic bashing.  Many fine non-Catholic Americans, including Abraham Lincoln, joined in supporting Catholics in opposing this poisonous, and aptly named, movement.  Unfortunately, some current politicians are attempting to follow in the footsteps of the Know-Nothings.  As part of a new series on this blog I will designate Catholic bashing politicians who have earned, by their bigotry against the Church, the designation Know-Nothing.

First up is Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, (D-Ca), a pro-abortion fanatic, who vented her anger at the Stupak Amendment, which banned all funds for abortion in the ObamaCare bill that passed the House, by writing this screed in  Politico:

I expect political hardball on any legislation as important as the health care bill.

I just didn’t expect it from the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Who elected them to Congress?

The role the bishops played in the pushing the Stupak amendment, which unfairly restricts access for low-income women to insurance coverage for abortions, was more than mere advocacy.

They seemed to dictate the finer points of the amendment, and managed to bully members of Congress to vote for added restrictions on a perfectly legal surgical procedure.

And this political effort was subsidized by taxpayers, since the Council enjoys tax-exempt status.

 
When I visit churches in my district, we are very careful to keep everything “non-political” to protect their tax-exempt status.

The IRS is less restrictive about church involvement in efforts to influence legislation than it is about involvement in campaigns and elections.

Given the political behavior of USCCB in this case, maybe it shouldn’t be. Continue Reading

12

Get Health Insurance—Or Else!

Perhaps I should call the Lying Worthless Political Hack, a\k\a Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, the Artless Dodger.  It is clear that the penalties for willful non-compliance with the health insurance mandate under the version of ObamaCare passed by the House are severe and could involve up to five years in a federal pen.  Read all about it here in a letter from Thomas A. Barthold, Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, to Dave Camp (R-Mi), ranking Republican on the Committee.  Continue Reading

9

You Can't Buy This Type Of Bad Publicity!

stupidity

The administration of Ave Maria, I assume in an attempt to draw huge public attention to a critic, has banned blogger Marielena Montesino de Stuart from most of the campus.

Two days after she asked questions at a town government meeting, Marielena Montesino de Stuart was told by a university spokesman she was not allowed on university property or to attend a press conference announcing a $4 million donation from New York billionaire Tom Golisano. When she tried to go anyway, the university had Collier County Sheriff’s deputies waiting to say that they would arrest her if she persisted. Continue Reading

4

Save Your Marriage!

Emotionally riveting song and video for me- I have been blessed to discover the value of my own family- and I vow everyday not to screw it up and make the little ones pay the price for my mistakes. Hang tough little families out there- prayer is like a rock that anchors me to what is good and holy in my life. My wife and kids are the highlight of my day, my nightmare is to think of my life right now without them.

17

Walter Reed Officials Suspected Hasan Was Psychotic

Nidal Malik Hasan

The more we learn about this story the more unbelievable it becomes.  NPR is reporting here that starting in the Spring of 2008 officials held a series of meetings  during which one of the subjects of discussion was whether Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan was psychotic. 

Starting in the spring of 2008, key officials from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences held a series of meetings and conversations, in part about Maj. Nidal Hasan, the man accused of killing 13 people and wounding dozens of others last week during a shooting spree at Fort Hood. One of the questions they pondered: Was Hasan psychotic? Continue Reading

18

Before You Go

Time is doing what the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese could not do:  vanquishing our World War II generation.  The youngest American veteran of that conflict would now be 83, and in the next two decades or so they will all be in eternity.  Time now to express our heartfelt gratitude for what they accomplished for the country.  They have been called the greatest generation.  I am sure that most of them would reject that title, maybe putting in a vote for the generation that won the American Revolution or the generation that fought the Civil War.  Modesty has been a hallmark of their generation.  When I was growing up in the Sixties, most of them were relatively young men in their late thirties or forties.  If you asked them about the war they would talk about it but they would rarely bring it up.  They took their service for granted as a part of their lives and nothing special.   So those of us who knew them often took it for granted too.  Uncle Chuck, he works at the Cereal Mills, and, oh yeah, he fought in the Pacific as a Marine.  Uncle Bill, he has a great sense of humor and I think he was in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered to MacArthur.  When they talked about the war it was usually some humorous anecdote, often with some self-deprecating point.  They’d talk about some of the sad stuff too, but you could tell that a lot of that was pretty painful for them, so you didn’t press them.  They were just husbands and fathers, uncles and cousins.  The fact that the janitor at the school won a silver star on Saipan, or  the mayor of the town still walked with a limp from being shot on D-Day, was just a normal part of life, like going to school or delivering papers. Continue Reading

1

Soldier's Prayer

Dead Confederate

I asked God for strength that I might achieve, I was made weak, that I might learn to humbly obey.

I asked God for health, that I might do greater things, I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy, I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men, I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life, I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for – but everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am among men, most richly blessed.

Found on the body of a Southern soldier 1861–1865

5

Happy 234th Marines

On November 10, 1775 the United States Marine Corps came into being:

“Resolved, That two Battalions of marines be raised, consisting of one Colonel, two Lieutenant Colonels, two Majors, and other officers as usual in other regiments; and that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken, that no persons be appointed to office, or inlisted into said Battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea when required: that they be inlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present war between Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress: that they be distinguished by the names of the first and second battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered part of the number which the continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.”

You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth- and the amusing thing about it is that they are.
Father Kevin Keaney
1st Marine Division Chaplain
Korean War

6

Gather Us In?

Bad Music

Hattip to the eagle-eyed Father Z who found this on Facebook from a group called SLAP (Survivors of Liturgical Abuse in Parishes).

Gather Us In […to the tune of, that is!]

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

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

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

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

28

"Your position is unacceptable to the Church"

Bishop Tobin

Faithful readers of this blog will recall this post here  discussing the Bishop of Providence Thomas J. Tobin taking Patrick Kennedy, Teddy’s son, to task for attacking the Church over ObamaCare.  Now the Bishop has written the following letter to Congressman Kennedy:

Dear Congressman Kennedy:

“The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” (Congressman Patrick Kennedy)

Since our recent correspondence has been rather public, I hope you don’t mind if I share a few reflections about your practice of the faith in this public forum. I usually wouldn’t do that – that is speak about someone’s faith in a public setting – but in our well-documented exchange of letters about health care and abortion, it has emerged as an issue. I also share these words publicly with the thought that they might be instructive to other Catholics, including those in prominent positions of leadership.

For the moment I’d like to set aside the discussion of health care reform, as important and relevant as it is, and focus on one statement contained in your letter of October 29, 2009, in which you write, “The fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” That sentence certainly caught my attention and deserves a public response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s true. And it raises an important question: What does it mean to be a Catholic? Continue Reading

7

The Banal Evils of the Police State

With the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, many who lived under the communist regime of East Germany have taken the opportunity to go to the state archives and view the files which the Stasi secret police kept on them. Stasi files were not kept only on spies and political dissenters, but on ordinary people whose “offenses” were almost shockingly mundane, and whose betrayers were often friends or family:

A West German pudding. That was all it took. Once the Stasi found out about it, a family breadwinner was fired from his army job and an East German household was plunged into destitution.

Even worse, the family later found out that they had been turned in by a close friend. “She was watering the plants and went through the cupboards to find a Dr. Oetker dessert,” Vera Iburg, who has worked with files kept by the East German secret police for the last 20 years, told SPIEGEL ONLINE, referring to the snoop. “What was she doing? She had no business there!”

It’s an interesting example of the corrupting power of temptation that the availability of the means to easily hurt those around you by reporting others to the police motivated many to inform merely for the satisfaction of it: Continue Reading

20

Nidal Malik Hasan: What Did the Feds Know Prior to the Massacre?

Lots of disturbing facts coming out as to information possessed by the Federal government about  the alleged shooter Nidal Malik Hasan prior to the Fort Hood Massacre.

1.    Internet postings:   At least six months ago Hasan came to the attention of law enforcement authorities regarding internet postings about suicide bombings. 

2.    Attempts to contact al-Qaeda:  US intelligence officials knew for months that Hasan was attempting to contact al-Qaeda operatives.  Apparently the Army was informed of these attempts by Hasan to contact al_Qaeda.  The inquiry was dropped last year because the feds decided that there was no indication he would become violent.  (I guess they were wrong about that.)

3.    Comments made to fellow officers:  Colonel Terry Lee who worked with Hasan makes clear in the above video that Hasan was not shy about making pro-jihadi comments to other officers.    At Walter Reed he gave a lecture to dozens of doctors in which he said that non-believers in Islam should be beheaded and boiling oil forced down their throats (presumably before the beheading), in addition to being condemned to Hell.  For good measure he also said that unbelievers should be set on fire, although after the the boiling oil and the beheading that strikes me as redundant.  I find it difficult to believe that Hasan’s superiors would not have been aware of this type of behavior by him.

4.    Attempts to proselytize: Hasan was disciplined at Walter Reed for attempting to proselytize his Muslim faith to patients and colleagues. Continue Reading

8

Tear Down This Wall!

Ronald Wilson Reagan, how I miss you.

When talking about Ronald Reagan, I have to be personal. We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. This can’t be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989.Poles fought for their freedom for so many years that they hold in special esteem those who backed them in their struggle. Support was the test of friendship. President Reagan was such a friend. His policy of aiding democratic movements in Central and Eastern Europe in the dark days of the Cold War meant a lot to us. We knew he believed in a few simple principles such as human rights, democracy and civil society. He was someone who was convinced that the citizen is not for the state, but vice-versa, and that freedom is an innate right.I often wondered why Ronald Reagan did this, taking the risks he did, in supporting us at Solidarity, as well as dissident movements in other countries behind the Iron Curtain, while pushing a defense buildup that pushed the Soviet economy over the brink. Let’s remember that it was a time of recession in the U.S. and a time when the American public was more interested in their own domestic affairs. It took a leader with a vision to convince them that there are greater things worth fighting for. Did he seek any profit in such a policy? Though our freedom movements were in line with the foreign policy of the United States, I doubt it.President Reagan, in a radio address from his ranch on Oct. 9, 1982, announces trade sanctions against Poland in retaliation for the outlawing of Solidarity.I distinguish between two kinds of politicians. There are those who view politics as a tactical game, a game in which they do not reveal any individuality, in which they lose their own face. There are, however, leaders for whom politics is a means of defending and furthering values. For them, it is a moral pursuit. They do so because the values they cherish are endangered. They’re convinced that there are values worth living for, and even values worth dying for. Continue Reading

12

Fort Hood Massacre, President Obama, and George Tiller the Killer

Isn’t it interesting that President Obama is pleading for us to “not to rush to judgment” concerning the Fort Hood Massacre that was executed by Malik Nidal Hasan who is an extremist Muslim.  Yet President Obama called out the National Guard to protect abortion mills when George Tiller the Killer was killed by a deranged man and not a pro-life advocate?

Double standard you think?

Yeah.  But just remember that this is the same administration that called “right-wing” groups such as pro-lifers as a threat to national security and not one mention of extremist Muslims or Muslim organizations that operate within the United States or abroad.

President Obama and his administration represent a world view that is un-American with values that only Moloch would love.  Catering to the politically correct sympathies and dogmas of modern liberalism while demonizing pro-life organizations that only seek to protect the most vulnerable among us.

Let’s pray for a one term Obama presidency and a strong candidate to emerge to represent the best of most Americans.

_._

To read more about the Fort Hood Massacre click here.

To read more about the murder of George Tiller the Killer click here.

To read more about President Obama demonizing Pro-Lifers the same day that George Tiller the Killer was killed click here.

To read more of the Obama Administration categorizing Pro-Life groups as terrorists click here.

To read more by Ralph Peters of the New York Post on President Obama’s response to the Fort Hood Massacre click here.

2

Archbishop Burke's appointment to the Congregation of Bishops

200px-Archbishop_Raymond_Leo_BurkeArchbishop Raymond Burke has long been held with disdain (or outright revulsion) by liberal Catholics for his penchant to speak bluntly on various issues — from his cautioning the Democrats that they risk becoming “the party of Death” for their grievous stance on bioethical issues), to his disapproval of Obama’s appointment of Kathleen Sebelius to Secretary of Health and Human Services to his weighing in on the matter of reception of communion by publicly disobedient Catholics (see The Discipline Regarding the Denial of Holy Communion to Those Obstinately Persevering in Manifest Grave Sin Periodica de Re Canonica vol. 96 (2007)). His appointment by Pope Benedict XVI to the office of Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura was interpreted both as sign of the Pope’s favor (by conservatives) as well as perhaps a “punishment of sorts” by liberals, who hoped that his outspokenness on American political affairs would be muted by geographical distance.

Guess again. From National Catholic Reporter‘s “man in Rome” John Allen Jr. comes the news that, with his Oct. 17 appointment to the powerful Congregation for Bishops, Burke’s influence is set to grow:

When a diocese becomes vacant, it’s the job of the papal nuncio, or ambassador, in that country to solicit input on the needs of that diocese and to work with the local bishops and bishops’ conference to identify potential nominees. The nuncio prepares a terna, or list of three names, which is submitted to the Congregation for Bishops, along with extensive documentation on the candidates.

 

Members of the congregation are expected to carefully review all the documentation before meetings, and each is expected to offer an opinion about the candidates and the order in which they should be presented to the pope. Ultimately, it’s up to the pope to decide who’s named to any given diocese, but in most cases popes simply sign off on the recommendations made by the congregation.

To be sure, Burke’s nomination doesn’t mean he can single-handedly control who becomes a bishop, whether in the United States or anywhere else. … on the other hand, Burke’s influence may grow with time.

He’s by far the youngest of the current crop of Americans on the congregation (the next youngest, Levada, is 73, and Rigali is 74). Since appointments are for five-year terms and may be renewed until a prelate reaches the age of 80, Burke could be involved in bishops’ appointments for the next two decades. At some point he may well become the senior American in the process, with a correspondingly greater impact.

As Allen concludes: ” If anyone suspected that the decision to bring Burke to Rome last year was a way of muzzling him, or limiting his influence in the United States, it certainly doesn’t seem to be playing out that way.”

5

Great Jesuits 3: Dynamo From Ireland

Father John McElroy, S. J.

Number 3 of my series on great Jesuits of American history.

A year before the colonies won their fight for independence, John McElroy first saw the light of day in Brookeborough, County Fermanagh, Ireland on May 11,1782.  At this time English imposed penal laws meant that Irish Catholics were treated like helots in their own land.  The great Edmund Burke described the penal laws well:

“For I must do it justice;  it was a complete system, full of coherence and consistency, well digested and well composed in all its parts.   It was a machine of wise and deliberate contrivance, as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a people, and the debasement of human nature itself, as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”

As a result of these laws McElroy could receive little education in Ireland.  Ambition and a thirst for knowledge caused him, like many Irish Catholics before and since, to emigrate to the US, landing on our shores in 1803.  He became a bookkeeper at Georgetown College, studying Latin in his off hours.  In 1806 he joined the Jesuits as a lay brother, but his intelligence and his industry quickly marked him down to his Jesuit superiors as a candidate for the priesthood.  Ordained in 1817 , for several years he served at Trinity Church in Georgetown, until being transferred to Frederick, Maryland, where, during the next twenty-three years, with the boundless energy which was his hallmark,  he built Saint John’s Church, a college, an orphan’s asylum, and the first free schools in Frederick.  He was then transferred back to Trinity in Georgetown where he remained for a year until the Mexican War began.

Continue Reading

2

Res et Explicatio for AD 11-9-2009

Salvete TAC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the world of Catholicism:

reagan pope john paul ii

1. Today is the twenty year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin WallPope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher all played pivotal roles in bringing down Communism and discredited all socialistic and atheistic systems the world over.  Pope John Paul II played the most important role of the three, providing the moral backbone that is needed when confronting these manifestations of evil.

Newt Gingrich, Callista Gingrich, and Vince Haley wrote a timely article concerning this important anniversary titled The Victory of the Cross: How spiritual renewal helped bring down the Berlin Wall.  For this article click here.

2. Dave Hartline has already posted three articles here with us.  His latest is titled, Following the 2009 Election Results which Way is the Tide Turning toward Truth or Relativism?

For the article click here.

For all of Dave Hartline’s articles on The American Catholic click here.

3. Catholic Culture has changed their look again.  Unlike the last time I mentioned their new look, I have to say it is a major improvement.  It’s much easier to find Diogenes of Off the Record (under Commentary).  Blue has replaced what I think was the color pink as it’s primary color and the fonts are much stronger.

For the Catholic Culture link click here.

For Diogenes, which is under Commentary, click here.

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43

Pro-Life Republicans

pro-life gopLast night all but one, who voted present, of the House Republicans voted in favor of the Stupak Amendment in spite of knowing that its passage made likely the final passage of ObamaCare.  Here is a statement of the House Republican Leadership issued last night before either the Stupak amendment or ObamaCare was passed:

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) issued the following statement in support of an amendment offered by Representatives Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA) that would prohibit federal funding of abortions under the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) health care plan: “We believe in the sanctity of life, and the Stupak-Pitts Amendment addresses a moral issue of the utmost concern. It will limit abortion in the United States. Because of this, while we strongly and deeply oppose the underlying bill, we decided to stand with Life and support Stupak-Pitts.

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4

Harry's Chamber and the Bill of Secrets

With apologies to Harry Potter and the X-Files.  From the folks at Patients First.  After ObamaCare passing last night in the House, the pressure is on Reid to see if he can get anything out of the Senate.  In order to do that he will have to gain 60 votes to invoke cloture, which means that, unless he can persuade either of the Maine Republican Senators Olympia Snowe and Sue Collins to cross over, he needs every Democrat and Joe Lieberman to vote for cloture.  That is a very tall order.

22

Stupak Gets His Vote

Representative Bart Stupak’s (D. MI.) amendment to the ObamaCare bill in the House will get an up or down vote. Stupak’s amendment would prohibit all funding of abortion under the House ObamaCare bill.  Now the Lying Worthless Political Hack, a/k/a, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, attempted to avoid a vote on the Stupak Amendment by concocting a false compromise which was shot down.  So why is she caving now after so long attempting to avoid a vote on this issue which threatens to derail ObamaCare for good?  She doesn’t have the votes to pass it otherwise. Her whip Steny Hoyer (D. MD.), has told her that he doesn’t have the votes to pass ObamaCare unless pro-life Dems get this vote.

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19

You keep using that word… I do not think it means what you think it means.

Okay, that’s a heckuva long title for a blog post, but it also happens to be almost perfect for the subject of this particular entry at The American Catholic.

On Tuesday, the voters of the state of Maine — surprisingly — rejected same sex marriage (SSM) and reaffirmed that marriage in Maine is between a man and a woman. Naturally, SSM supporters were shocked and outraged (the Catholic Church appears to be the early target), while supporters of traditional marriage were overjoyed with the results; Maine, after all, isn’t exactly in the Bible Belt.

Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America (CWA), was typical of the latter: “Every time Americans vote on marriage, traditional marriage wins.” And she’s right: when it comes to ballot initiatives, SSM is 0-31.

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1

I Want One Of Them Stimulous Jobs

There is something in me which, when it sees to related numbers, wants to immediately do a calculation, so when I saw a news story stating that the $215 billion in stimulous money given out thus far had resulted in 640,329 jobs, my first question was, “How much is that per job?”

Answer? $312,339.44

Not too shabby, eh? I’d like one of them jobs just fine.

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6

Did Health Care Reform Help Massachusetts?

Ezra Klein has a post up trumpeting a new paper from MIT economist Jon Gruber which purports to show that Massachusetts significantly reduced individual health care premiums through its 2006 health care reform bill — which in many ways was similar to the Democratic proposals currently moving forward in congress. (Needless to say, this would be contrary to what most people who have actually experienced health care in Mass., even this liberal speech writer, have experienced.) However, looking at all the findings is key:

In their December 2007 report, AHIP reported that the average single premium at the end of 2006 for a nongroup product in the United States was $2,613. In a report issued just this week, AHIP found that the average single premium in mid-2009 was $2,985, or a 14 percent increase. That same report presents results for the nongroup markets in a set of states. One of those states is Massachusetts, which passed health-care reform similar to the one contemplated at the federal level in mid-2006. The major aspects of this reform took place in 2007, notably the introduction of large subsidies for low-income populations, a merged nongroup and small group insurance market, and a mandate on individuals to purchase health insurance. And the results have been an enormous reduction in the cost of nongroup insurance in the state: The average individual premium in the state fell from $8,537 at the end of 2006 to $5,143 in mid-2009, a 40 percent reduction, while the rest of the nation was seeing a 14 percent increase.

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45

Massacre at Fort Hood

FortHood_SRPC_detail3x

13 have been killed and 38 wounded at the Fort Hood army post in Texas.  The alleged shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, is dead, and two alleged suspects have been taken into custody.  This is a major story and details are sparse.  May the souls of the dead victims rest in peace.  More details as they become available.

Update 1: Dead gunman thought to have been a mental health professional,  a psychiatrist. I have heard on Fox that he was assigned in the past to Walter Reed.

Update 2: Gunman was thought to have been a drug and rehab specialist who obtained his license to practice psychiatry in 2005.  According to the Army Times he was promoted to Major on April 22, 2009.

Update 3: More details here about the gunman.

Update 4: Gunman worked at the Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood.

Update 5: Gunman had received a poor performance evaluation at Walter Reed.  He was upset about a forthcoming deployment to Iraq.

Update 6: Colonel Terry Lee who had worked in the past with Hasan says that the gunman had made statements that Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor.  He is being interviewed on Fox.  The Colonel also said that Hasan thought that after Obama was elected the war in Iraq would come to a swift end and he became frustrated that this did not occur.

Update 7: The two suspects taken into custody have been released.  I am hearing that they may have been attempting to subdue the gunman and were taken in for questioning about the incident.  Good!  That makes it much more likely that this is the work of just one deranged individual rather than a conspiracy.

Update 8: Now the local Congressman in whose district Fort Hood is located is stating that he has heard that another suspect has been brought in for questioning.

Update 9: The gunman’s name according to some reports is Nidal Malik Hasan and not Malik Nadal Hasan as initially reported.

Update 10: Here is info on the gunman on the Virginia Board of Medicine Practitioner Information page.

Update 11: According to a cousin of the gunman interviewed on Fox, Hasan was born and reared in this country.  He has always been a Muslim and is not a recent convert as was initially reported.  He joined the military against the wishes of his parents.  He complained about harassment to relatives that he alleged that he received from fellow soldiers in the Army because of his pro-Muslim views.

Update 12: Lieutenant General Bob Cone, the commanding general in charge of Fort Hood, at a press conference announces that Nidal Malik Hasan was wounded and is in custody, and was not killed as was initially reported.  He is also stating that Hasan was the sole shooter, and that no one else appears to have been involved.  He says that the slain and wounded soldiers were in an enclosed area awaiting medical and dental treatment.  A female civilian police officer shot and wounded Hasan.  She was wounded by Hasan and is in stable condition.  (Soon to be celebrated by the nation as a heroine I think.)

Update 13:  NPR has this report:  

A source tells NPR’s Joseph Shapiro that Hasan was put on probation early in his postgraduate work at the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He was disciplined for proselytizing about his Muslim faith with patients and colleagues, according to the source, who worked with him at the time.

Update 14:  Hasan is the son of Palestinian immigrants, both deceased. 

Update 15:  Reports that Hasan had come to the attention of federal law enforcement authorities six months ago because of internet postings advocating suicide bombings.  This seems to be the post in question:

“There was a grenade thrown amongs a group of American soldiers. One of the soldiers, feeling that it was to late for everyone to flee jumped on the grave with the intention of saving his comrades. Indeed he saved them. He inentionally took his life (suicide) for a noble cause i.e. saving the lives of his soldier. To say that this soldier committed suicide is inappropriate. Its more appropriate to say he is a brave hero that sacrificed his life for a more noble cause. Scholars have paralled this to suicide bombers whose intention, by sacrificing their lives, is to help save Muslims by killing enemy soldiers. If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers because they were caught off guard that would be considered a strategic victory. Their intention is not to die because of some despair. The same can be said for the Kamikazees in Japan. They died (via crashing their planes into ships) to kill the enemies for the homeland. You can call them crazy i you want but their act was not one of suicide that is despised by Islam. So the scholars main point is that “IT SEEMS AS THOUGH YOUR INTENTION IS THE MAIN ISSUE” and Allah (SWT) knows best.”

Take this report with a boulder of salt until it is better confirmed.  However, if the authorities did believe that Hasan was posting on internet sites advocating suicide bombings six months ago, why didn’t the Army take steps to keep him away from troops, especially troops heading for Iraq or Afghanistan?

Update 16:  The brave female police officer who took Hasan down is Police Sergeant Kimberly Munley.  She pumped four bullets into the gunman in spite of being shot by him. 

Update 17:  Hasan shouted Allahu Akbar ( God is Great) before beginning his rampage.

Update 18:  Information about some of the victims here.  May they now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.

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No Islamic Holy Sites Destroyed in 2012 Movie, Fear of Fatwa

Grand Mosque of Mecca

Due to the fear of a death threat in the form of a fatwa from Muslim scholars, movie director Roland Emmerich chose not to shoot any scenes depicting the destruction of Islamic holy sites in his new end-of-the-world film, 2012.  Though Roland Emmerich says this did not stop him when filming scenes depicting the destruction of Christian landmarks such as the Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Basilica, and the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.  He wanted to make sure his views of opposition to “organized religion” were not soft-pedaled in the movie 2012.

Of course, “organized religion” is a euphemism for the apostolic churches of the Catholic and Orthodox faiths.  Hence why you’ll see the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica topple over in the 2012 film and not the Ka’aba inside the Grand Mosque of Mecca collapse.

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George Washington and Catholics

America has been blessed by God in many ways but I suspect no blessing has been greater than His granting us George Washington to lead us in our struggle for independence and to be our first President.  Catholics have perhaps more reason than other Americans to keep the memory of Washington alive in our hearts.  In a time of strong prejudice against Catholics in many parts of the colonies he was free from religious bigotry as he demonstrated on November 5, 1775 when he banned the anti-Catholic Guy Fawkes celebrations.

“As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope – He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.”

Order in Quarters, November 5, 1775

– George Washington Continue Reading

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Following the 2009 Election Results which way is the tide turning toward truth or relativism?

Under the surface, and largely unbeknownst to the mainstream media, the tide has been turning to Catholicism for some time. The pontificates of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI along with events such as an increase in orthodox minded seminarians, young priests and young women religious, a return to devotions and a reform of the reform of liturgy have shown us that indeed the tide is turning. However, for some time now western culture has been moving in the opposite direction, where any, whim or opinion that holds that orthodox minded religious thought is antiquated and even harmful is held in high regard. How could this jibe with the turning tide within the Church? Who would win? Didn’t Jesus promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church after He gave Peter the keys (and the 265 subsequent popes) to lead it? The answer is the same answer that has always been, the Church eventually always wins and it will this time as well.

Following the Election of 2008 when liberalism was on the ascendancy, many in the mainstream media joyfully proclaimed a new era, where one could read between the lines and see that traditional views of society, family and religion were on their way out and big government was in. However, a funny thing happened on the way to the revolution, many Americans refused to go to the Bastille with pitchfork in hand. Americans view of revolution was almost always in line with George Washington’s view of limited government and not Maximilien Robespierre’s view of war against society, family and religion. Perhaps the Election of 2008 was a pox on both their big spending houses that was wrongly construed as a vote for Big Government.

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Two Out of Three

Happy Elephant

The Republicans won two of the three big races last night, taking the state houses in Virginia and New Jersey while losing the special Congressional election in New York 23.  What does this mean, other than that the Republicans had a good night last night?

1.    The Demise of the Republican Party was greatly exaggerated.  Whenever a party takes a shellacking in an election, as the Republicans did in 2006 and 2008, common wisdom begins to hold that the party is in deep trouble and may not be long for this world.  Rubbish.  Since the time of the Federalists and the Jeffersonian Republicans, this country has almost always had a two party system.  The Democrats and the Republicans have fought each other for over a century and a half, and the one thing that can be safely said about this unending political struggle is that there are no final victories.  The Republicans are starting a come back, a familiar theme in American political history, and not very surprising. Continue Reading

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A Plague of Atheists Has Descended, and Catholics are the Target

Christopher Hitchens

Greg Craven, who is the Vice-Chancellor of Australian Catholic University (ACU), wrote a serious, yet funny, article.  The article comes from my favorite Australian newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald.  In the article, A plague of Atheists has Descended and Catholics are the Target, Greg Craven explains the rise of a new group of atheists that would rather engage in polemics and attacks on the Catholic faith than engage in serious dialogue.  These attacks are so vitriol that they descend beyond reason and become humorous to read, but they aren’t intentional.

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More Than Intentions

Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek makes a good point which is too often glossed over in political debate:

Writing about health-care, Paul Krugman asserts that “conservatives … don’t want Americans to have universal coverage” (”The Defining Moment,” Oct. 30).

Among the earliest lessons that I teach my freshman economics students are (1) intentions are not results, and (2) to oppose a government program is not necessarily to object to the intentions stated by that program’s advocates.

Paul Krugman obviously teaches his students differently, for he clearly believes that (1) if government intends for Americans to have universal health coverage, then the result will be that Americans actually get universal health coverage, and (2) anyone who opposes a government program promising universal health coverage is a person who objects to Americans actually getting universal health coverage.

This is perhaps the most common fallacy of all in political argument for people to follow the form: I support bill/candidate X because I think it will have good result Y. You don’t support X. Therefore you don’t care about Y. Continue Reading

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One Year Later: 49%-45%

Obama

An interesting poll from Scott Rasmussen here.  If Obama was up for re-election today 45% of adults say they would vote to re-elect Obama and 49% would not.  Intriguing that this is of adults, who tend to skew Democrat in polls, and not of likely voters, who tend to skew Republican.  34%  of the respondents said they would be very likely to support Obama while 40% of respondents said they would be very likely not to support him.  With Obama there is very little middle ground.  We will see tonight if this poll is an accurate gauge of the public mood.

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"Hope and Change" Lizards Are Here!

If I can tear myself from the election results tonight, I plan on watching the pilot of the new V series on ABC which will premier at 7:00 PM central tonight.  I wrote about this new V series here in a post last May, a remake of a cheesy, yet entertaining, alien invasion show from the Eighties.

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USA Today Reports on Catholic Blogosphere

Last Friday on October 30 the mainstream media here in America reported inaccurately that the Vatican was warning parents that Halloween is ‘anti-Christian’.  Of course no such thing occurred.  The Vatican did not say that Halloween is ‘anti-Christian’, in fact they didn’t say anything at all.

On that same day, Jack Smith of The Catholic Key Blog debunked the story with yeoman’s work finding the source of the “alleged” Vatican Halloween Warning to a priest of the Spanish Bishop’s Conference by the name of Fr. Joan Maria Canals, CMF, a liturgy expert.  I followed up with a posting on this website early the next day supplementing Jack Smith’s findings with common mistakes made in reporting what is and isn’t official.

I then submitted my article to several news organizations, including the Drudge Report and the USA Today.  Additionally I left comments and sent emails explaining why their reporting was inaccurate.  To their credit, both the Drudge Report and the USA Today, rectified the situation some extent.

Drudge Report Catholic Church Halloween Evil 2

The Drudge Report removed the link to the Daily Mail late Saturday morning.  Then early Monday afternoon on November 2, Doug Stanglin, who wrote the piece that inaccurately attributed the Vatican warning parents of the anti-Christian nature of Halloween, followed up with our side of the story.

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Planned Parenthood Director Resigns After Viewing Ultrasound Abortion

Just received breaking news from Katerina Ivanovna, M.J. Andrew, and an email from Coalition for Life concerning a major defection from Planned Parenthood to the Culture of Life movement.

Abby Johnson worked at Planned Parenthood abortion mill in Bryan, Texas for eight years, the last two as its director.  After viewing an ultrasound of an abortion she had a spiritual conversion.  Last month she submitted her resignation to the abortion mill and like clockwork Planned Parenthood has placed a restraining order on her and the local chapter of Coalition for Life, where she had been spending more and more time at.

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Predictions

fishing for votes

For political junkies like me, tomorrow begins the political season for 2010 with gubernatorial elections in Virginia, New Jersey and the special congressional election in New York 23.    There is also a special congressional election in California 10, but that is in the San Francisco metro area and everyone, except for the Republican running, David Harmer,  believes that is going to be won by the Democrat, Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi, and I join in that consensus, although I suspect it might be surprisingly close.

In regard to the three competitive races, here are my predictions:

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Some Advice Before You Get Married

I am a single man that believes that my vocation is that for marriage.  So when I came across this article I thought it prudent to read it since I have much, much to learn about marriage.  Me being the type that I would like to prepare for it the best I can rather than “learn on the job”.

Regardless, this struck home, not because of any past sin, but because it is rare to see a good priest speak truth to power.  Once cloning technology gets perfected I plan on mass-producing this priest.  Yeah, I know, cloning destroys the dignity of man so I was only speaking rhetorically.

So here is a warning for you all before you read the article.  Of course the author issues his own warning, but it is best to be safe than sorry!

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Fake Republican Endorses Real Democrat

Scozzafava and Owens

In an unsurprising move, Dede Scozzafava, who dropped out of the race Saturday, endorsed Democrat Bill Owens in the New York 23rd Congressional District special election against pro-life conservative Douglas Hoffman.  This should be a major embarrassment to the National Republican National Committee which poured down a rathole almost a million dollars in Republican donations in supporting a liberal Democrat, Scozzafava, in Republican clothes.  I doubt if the endorsement will do much more than drive up Hoffman’s victory margin by a few points as enraged conservatives and Republicans flock to the polls on Tuesday.  No one likes being played for a sucker, and that is what Scozzafava was attempting to do to every Republican in the congressional district.

Update:  Scozzafava’s campaign manager endorses Hoffman.

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Not One Cent

Hattip to commenter Mary Ann Kreitzer and Rich Leonardi at Ten Reasons in regard to the above video.  I join in Tito’s call for a boycott of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.  Last year in this post I quoted the statement of the late Father Neuhaus, and his thoughts remain just as relevant today:

“Which brings me, finally, to another and related matter that will surely be discussed in Baltimore and deserves to be on the agenda. The Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is an annual collection in parishes, usually on one of the last two Sundays in November. It used to be called the Catholic Campaign for Human Development but the Catholic was dropped, which is just as well since it has nothing to do with Catholicism, except that Catholics are asked to pay for it. Some bishops* no longer allow the CHD collection in their dioceses, and more should not allow it. In fact, CHD, misbegotten in concept and corrupt in practice, should, at long last, be terminated.

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Movie About Saint Josemaria Escriva

There Be Dragons

A new movie about Saint Josemaria Escriva’s early years placed during the Spanish Civil War has been produced and will be released in 2010 A.D. titled, There Be Dragons.

Saint Josemaria Escriva was born in 1902 A.D. in Barbastro, Spain.  Later at the age of 26 in Madrid Saint Josemaria started the apostolate that would eventually be called the Work of God, or simply Opus Dei, in pre-Civil War Spain in October of 1928 A.D.  Opus Dei would experience delays in progress with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 A.D.  This is the period that the setting of the movie is placed in.

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