14 Responses to DC Metal

  • Thanks for the laugh! That video was funny.

    I don’t understand the problems the diarist has with building smaller cars, though. Does the Catholic Church have a problem with small cars? WWJD (What would Jesus Drive)?

  • It’s difficult to shoehorn four children into a Focus.

  • Then you must have less children!!!!!!!!

  • Clearly, Jesus would drive a beat up old pickup with the apostles all riding in the back. James and John’s mother would then show up and ask if one of them could ride shotgun.

    And lo, when you enter into the Chevy, who will sit at the right hand of the Son?

    I was always kind of charmed by those post-war German micro-cars, having a fondness for small cars. Still, there’s no point in making cars that people don’t want, it’s simply wasteful. The evidence doesn’t seem to point to a situation where everyone wants tiny cars but Detroit refuses to make them. Rather, the reason why they don’t make more small cars is because there’s a limitted market fo them.

    That may change, but in the meantime there’s the danger that the administration is pushing GM to make a car that will simply push them deeper into trouble.

  • What would Jesus drive?

    Let’s see. A guy with long hair and sandals who goes around preaching peace and love with a bunch of other dudes with long hair and sandals. I’m guessing he’d drive this:


  • Suffice it to say, Jesus would’ve needed to drive something large enough to accomodate 13 fully-grown men on numerous round trips between Gallilee and Judea.

    But then, I’m guessing those who ask the question in the first place are probably likely to peg Jesus as the sort who would’ve used public transportation to get him and his disciples from Point A to Point B.

  • “It’s difficult to shoehorn four children into a Focus.”

    Hell, it’s difficult to get four children into a minivan when each one of them is required by law to have his or her own car seat/booster seat. We could easily fit a 5th and maybe even a 6th kid into our minivan if it weren’t for the booster seat requirement for the older kids.

    It’s pretty much gotten to the point where larger families (i.e. more than 4 kids) have to take 2 cars to get where they’re going.

  • DarwinCatholic,
    When I visited Europe I loved seeing those teeny little cars, too! I would never buy one – it just wouldn’t be safe, and no room for kids, groceries, mutt!

    I do think more people want fuel efficient and safe cars. There is a concern that the smaller cars are not safe because there are so many large trucks and SUVs on the highway that upon impact would destroy the small car, regardless of how many airbags it has.

    For me, I want to see more people buy smaller, lighter cars so we don’t have those worries (being trampled by the Suburbans, etc), but it’s also like circumcision. I want more people to reject circumcision so that the boys who aren’t circumcised become the majority (disclosure: my son is not circumcised).

  • Jesus and his twelve comrades were all illegal immigrants engaging in border crossing protests to emphasize the sinful structures of society! They drove around Palestine in a low-rider pickup camel with flames painted on the side.

  • Viona,
    I do think more people want fuel efficient and safe cars. There is a concern that the smaller cars are not safe because there are so many large trucks and SUVs on the highway that upon impact would destroy the small car, regardless of how many airbags it has.

    When you have only 2 feet of steel in front of you a concrete wall is deadly too, not so much with 8 feet of American steel. Big and small cars can be fuel efficient, but small cars just can’t be made as safe as big cars can. I’ll stick with big, safe and efficient… with the emphasis on safe.

    For me, I want to see more people buy smaller, lighter cars so we don’t have those worries (being trampled by the Suburbans, etc), but it’s also like circumcision. I want more people to reject circumcision so that the boys who aren’t circumcised become the majority (disclosure: my son is not circumcised).

    I also want more people buy smaller, lighter cars so that my wife and child will be even safer in her truck. Thank you to all of those people buying smart cars for making the road safer for them.

    I’m with you on circumcision by the way, but we certainly don’t want the government to levy heavy taxes on those who chose to circumcise, right?


    VW van is dead on!

  • i,

    You’ve read Miguel Diaz.

  • Jay: I think you’re right. But the van needs a groovy paint job with gospel verses written in Day-Glo orange and purple.

    When my dad nagged my big brother to get a haircut back in the late ’60’s, my brother’s best argument was to point at the print of the “Last Supper” we had hanging in the kitchen and say “Dad, do you see any buzz cuts there?”

Age of Martyrs

Tuesday, June 2, AD 2009


Hattip to Southern Appeal.  The executions of Saint John Cardinal Fisher and Saint Thomas More as portrayed in The Tudors.   It was largely because of the courage that these men showed, and the courage  hundreds of other men and women demonstrated who were martyred under the Crowned Monster Henry VIII, his son, and Bloody Elizabeth, that a remnant of the Catholic faith survived for centuries in England, Wales and Scotland, in the face of bitter persecution, until Catholic Emancipation in 1829.

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4 Responses to Age of Martyrs

  • I posted a similar comment over at Feddie’s, but it is unfortunate that they got More’s line wrong: it is “… the King’s good servant AND God’s first.”

    It is important to remember that the obligations are not mutually exclusive. More believed he was serving the best interests of King and country by remaining faithful to God and the Church. In the same way, we best fulfill our patriotic obligations when we remain faithful to what God asks of us.

  • Much prefer the portrayal of Thomas Moore’s martyrdom in A Man For All Seasons.

  • I loved that movie, “A Man for All Seasons”. Thank you for reminding me of it, Anthony.

  • I loved that movie, “A Man for All Seasons”. Thank you for reminding me of it, Anthony.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

13 Responses to Nope, There Are No Limits To What People Will Tolerate On a Pizza

  • Considering how disgusting Dominoe’s is, you have to slather quite a lot on there to make it edible.

  • When I was an undergrad at the University of Illinois where cold pizza from the night before was a food staple, we used to say that the only bad pizza was one crawling away under its own power!

  • I like the idea of wrapping it up and deep-frying it — that might actually be good

  • I’m from New York, so I am a bit of a pizza snob.

  • I’m from Chicago, so I can out-snob Paul.

  • Anyone remember the take that MAD Magazine did on the various uses for Pizza?

    (Maybe I’m outa line here – it was back in the early 60’s – showing my age) 🙂

  • I remember that too Don!

    Pizza has to be pretty bad for me not to eat it. I can only recall one instance and that was a frozen pizza which literally tasted like cardboard. Even then I had a pang when I tossed the remaining pizza into the trash.

    I’d probably even try the Krusty Krab Pizza:

  • I am a pizza purist – mushrooms, sausage and onions are the true and correct pizza toppings, although you can make an argument for pepperoni and I don’t turn up my nose at extra cheese either. Get outta here with your spinach and ham and shrimp and (ugh) pineapple.

  • Don: yes, cold pizza was my undergrad breakfast of choice too. And chili.

    There’s a diner called “Real Chili” near the Marquette campus and they actually sell bumper stickers: “Real Chili: It’s not just for breakfast anymore.”

    A couple of years ago, I was on the MU campus, and went into Real Chili for a bowl. Serious heartburn ensued. Ah, for the cast-iron stomach of youth!

  • Anyone for a mayonnaise sandwich? On seven-grain bread, of course.

  • Sorry, not doing too well ‘muscling past that gag reflex’–and I haven’t even started the video yet.

  • I’m from Detroit, home of Domino’s and Little Caesar’s so I technically can’t outsnob anyone, but I can ditto Mike. Chicago style pizza rules.

  • I like Sauerkraut on pizza, I think that is one of the more unique toppings out there.

4 Responses to Sorry Doug!

  • Yeah, so sad for Doug’s being snubbed for a regifted Laetare Medal.

    But there’s always a Supreme Court vacancy to which he can hold out some delusional remote hope of being nominated.

  • My guess for SCOTUS is Kagan. I’d be willing to bet Kmiec isn’t even in Obama’s top 50.

  • Kmiec’s not even a remote consideration. Not even on Obama’s radar screen. I’d be shocked if Obama views Kmiec with anything other than the the same disdainful contempt with which the British viewed Benedict Arnold.

    I agree with Feddie that it’s likely to be Diane Wood. Although Kagan is a good guess, as well.

  • It would be interesting to have Mr. Noonan’s analysis of the actual working of the contraceptive methods. Condoms are contraceptive – preventing the union of sperm and egg. Pills, IUDs, and other methods are abortifacient – preventing a created fetus from installing itself in the uterus.

Obama on Abortion

Thursday, April 30, AD 2009

Probably the most interesting part of the press conference last night.  Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has an interesting take on it.  Obama remains an ardent pro-abort, but I think he is beginning to realize that while that position may be popular among a majority of his supporters, it is much less so with the country at large.  I daresay all the upcry over Obama Day at Notre Dame is also having an impact upon him.  The Freedom of Choice Act* has tumbled from the “first thing he would sign” at the White House to “not the highest legislative priority”.   The message to the pro-life movement is clear.  Stay active, stay noisy and expose every pro-abort move that this administration makes to the public at large.  Obama is paying attention and he will back down in the face of determined opposition.


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25 Responses to Obama on Abortion

  • “Obama is paying attention and he will back down in the face of determined opposition.”

    I agree with this sentiment. But maybe I am just naively hopeful.

  • Wow. One thing I really find striking is how the rhetoric — the run down is so consistent each time he talks about it. 1. Abortion has a moral and ethical component. 2. Women don’t make these decisions casually. 3. They are better positioned to decide the morality of the matter. 4. We should seek “common ground” and reduce the number of abortions — in other words, not the debate the issue itself directly.

    Every video, every speech I have ever seen or read, this is the precise ordering and talking points. And the “ums” almost indicate he’s trying to remember his lines.


    Well, I’m glad FOCA is not a legislative priority. I wonder how Emily’s List feels about that.

  • I appreciate President Obama’s pragmatism on the subject. It also helps that he has good command of the English language (I cringed each time ‘W’ spoke) as well as a fluid speaking style.

    Though I disagree with his pro-choice/pro-abortion stance, he can easily identify the (and by name) the strong opposition from the pro-life camp.


    Excellent observation. He clearly is trying to remember his talking points, but it sure does help.

  • I hate to rain on this parade, I really do, but some of us were pointing out all along that the whole “first thing he would sign” business was nothing but campaign hype, and that it was a little silly to get so worked up about it.

    It’s better to come late to the party than not at all, and I’m obviously not pointing the finger at anyone here since I wasn’t posting here during the campaign. But the plain fact is that Obama has always been willing to have a reasonable discussion about abortion, even if he will, in the end, not be moved to accept the entire pro-life argument.

    Meanwhile some on our side make it seem as if one of the pre-requisites for being considered authentically pro-life is to hold as an article of faith that all pro-choice Americans are intolerant fanatics who cannot be reasoned with and who have no redeeming qualities.

    We can and must oppose abortion on all fronts, but we must also remember that we live in a world where the majority does not totally agree with us.

  • Couldn’t disagree more Joe. Obama is a total pro-abort. His idea of a reasonable discussion is abortion being legal forever. If he had the power FOCA would be passed tomorrow. That he hesitates is only because of strong pro-life opposition.

  • Donald,

    Well Obama has to be lying to someone here, and from everything I’ve seen and heard from him, I think it is more reasonable to conclude that he was feeding hype to the PP crowd than conclude that he is lying to us today. He’s elected now, he doesn’t need to be the politician on the campaign trail anymore.

    For better or worse, I do think that he has a sincere belief in trying to ‘find common ground’. I’ve never seen him fail to acknowledge at least the bare bones argument of the side he disagrees with, and pay them a minimum amount of respect.

    In today’s political world, where the politics section at the bookstore is filled with titles reflecting anger, cynicism, and hatred, where the pundits have nothing but one-sided takes on important issues, I have to say, I appreciate his approach.

  • I cringe each time I hear 0bama speak. A lie a minute. Um…Err…um…Fluid speaking style? I never understood this assessment of him. He’s looking for the next word like a drunk fumbling for the light switch. All this with a teleprompter. Feh.

  • Such a winning way of approaching the intelocutor/person with which you must deal, as the key political figure pertaining to so many important issues of human life and dignity…

  • Don’t get me wrong Joe. I fully expect Obama to throw the pro-aborts under the bus if it is to his political advantage, in that he will not fight for pro-abortion legislation if he believes that the political backlash will harm him. That is why it is so important for all pro-lifers to assert clearly that there will be a high political price to pay for pro-abortion legislation.

    As for pro-lifers, all we would ever get from Obama would be substanceless bloviating as Dr Frank Page on Obama’s Faith Council has learned:


    Obama is only interest in dialogue with us in hopes of making us toothless in our opposition. He will fail in that hope.

  • Joe is right. What I find weird about Donald and his link is that they clearly have not listened to Obama speak on this before. They seem to think this is something new. Instead, the parrot the old FOCA line ad nauseam, clearly influenced more by the right’s talking points than what Obama himself says. No, his answer last night is the same answer he gave whenever asked about this through the whole campaign (with its 254 debates…).

    I might be biased (!), but I’m rather partial to this take: http://vox-nova.com/2009/04/30/obama-addresses-abortion/

  • Tony, I quote what Obama himself said to Planned Parenthood regarding the Freedom of Choice Act. Horse’s mouth and all that. Since you voted for Obama perhaps it helps get you through the night to assert that he is a moderate on abortion. He is not and to pretend otherwise is to engage in pathetic self-deception. If it is to his political advantage, since he is above all a narcissist, he will betray the pro-abort movement, but only if he is confronted with a strong pro-life movement, and not with “pro-lifers” who will vote for him no matter what he does in regard to abortion.

  • Why do you assume Obama is a narcissist? Really, what is the foundation for that belief?

    I’ve known real narcissists in life, and Obama is nothing like them.

    It is true that political concerns will check his ambitions on abortion. I think Obama understands political reality, and is willing to accept compromise on the issue.

    Essentially Donald I agree with you that our stand must be strong and unwavering, and that this will have an impact on Obama. I just don’t think it will have the kind of impact that archetypal heroes have on archetypal villains, but rather the kind of impact that concerned and active citizens have on politicians who have a modicum of interest in serving their constituency.

    In other words, not only is there no need to make Obama out to be something worse than what he really is, it may actually be counter-productive. Until he proves himself unwilling or unable to listen and respond, I’m going to continue giving him the benefit of the doubt.

  • As to his narcissism Joe, the man wrote two autobiographies, the first when he was thirty-four; he has allowed a bizarre cult of personality to develop among some of his followers; his constant use of the royal “we”; his willingness to throw people he claimed were close personal friends under the bus in order to advance his rise to power; his thin skin to any criticism; his belief that he can charm our enemies through personal diplomacy; his reliance on a teleprompter to get every word of a speech perfect; the Obama “presidential” seal that he used during the campaign. Obama is not the first narcissist we have had for President, Bill Clinton this is your cue, but I think he has the worst case of it.

  • From a tactical standpoint on the abortion issue I think it is good that Obama is a narcissist. If he were a true believer above all in the pro-abort cause that would make him a much more effective opponent of the pro-life cause. Narcissists always prize self-preservation, in the case of Obama political self-preservation, and I think that is key in coming up with strategies to counter-act him on abortion.

  • Does the sign on Mr. McClarey’s business shingle read “attorney of law’ or “clinical psychologist”?

    I always thought he was a lawyer.

  • Mr. DeFrancisis the law has more narcissists than any other profession I can think of off hand so I have had plenty of time to observe them in action! In regard to Obama I do not think one needs any professional credentials to conclude that he is a narcissist, merely eyes to see and ears to hear.

  • Donald,

    I don’t buy the narcissist argument. Obama is a self-promoter, yes, but I actually get the sense that he is more insecure than he lets on. That’s the ‘thin skin’ you’re talking about. Narcissists by contrast are immune to criticism.

    Narcissists are almost incapable of simulating what it is like to hold another position or be in the shoes of another person. That’s just not Obama. Obama is able to look at things from other points of view and at least understand the basic principles of his political opponents. Narcissists can only do that with the most excruciating difficulty. Obama does it effortlessly.

    He’s just not a bad guy, and certainly not a narcissist. And, for the record, I don’t think Bush was a bad guy either. When I was a young leftist I hated him like everyone else did on the left, but the older I got the more tiresome all the jokes about his intelligence and speaking abilities became.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    My statement was more a poor attempt at humor than an argument about professionalization as a necessary condition in the discernment of psychological disorders.

  • Agreed Mr. DeFrancisis, and I took it in a humorous way. I took 20 hours of psych as an undergrad and remember mice in mazes and Freud in Vienna, or perhaps it was Freud in a maze and mice in Vienna.

    Joe, I sincerely hope you are right and I am wrong.

  • As has been pointed out many times, Obama’s genius is his ability to use such thoughtful and moderate-sounding rhetoric even while his actions tell a completely different story.

  • Joe, I agree with you insofar as we’re in agreement — I imagine you are — that dialogue is not at the expense of true progress. One of the immediate tragedies with the horror of abortion is strategy. The gravity and scope of the evil doesn’t lend itself to a timely cultural dialogue, particularly a false one — I’ll clarify this point momentarily. Though, it seems that given the situation, we are obliged to a win-some, lose-some strategy and it requires compromise. But, again, this is hard particularly if the result is generational perpetuation of abortion with the fruit of very slow social and cultural progress on the matter. Again, I’m reiterating so we’re clear, I’m not asserting you’re making this error. I’m just saying it for the sake of clarity.

    It seems to me and this was my reasoning: if the Democratic political machine can win Catholic, even pro-life votes, without any sort of meaningful criticism or opposition, there is no reason for them to change or even rethink their position on legal abortion. Rather, they’ll continue to play “word gymnastics” and say let’s reduce abortions. Now while abortion reduction is a good in the short-term, it cannot be confused as the long-term goal.

    I’m not saying this is your position — you haven’t made it your position — but I’ve encountered too many minds that think we’re going to reach zero abortions through socio-economic means, which is an absurdity. Poland illegalized abortion except in cases of rape, incest, and life of the mother. They went from six figure abortions to a much smaller, but still unfortunate, 300 abortions in a year. That is such a profound difference.

    In some sense, if you look at Catholics United, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Catholic Democrats, you get the idea that the pro-life position is solely and only “reducing the need for abortion” and not abolitionist. It’s no more intellectual incoherent than trying to solve the issue of slavery by subsidizing slave-owners so they won’t need slaves and giving contraception to slaves in order to reduce the number of slaves in the country. Now, I know and am fully aware you already agree with this. I just think “dialogue” is such a fine line between relativism and civil debate within a pluralistic society. That’s number one.

    Number two and this is for Don:

    “Don’t get me wrong Joe. I fully expect Obama to throw the pro-aborts under the bus if it is to his political advantage, in that he will not fight for pro-abortion legislation if he believes that the political backlash will harm him. That is why it is so important for all pro-lifers to assert clearly that there will be a high political price to pay for pro-abortion legislation.”

    Well, while I don’t deny this at all, here’s my problem. This mentality lends so much energy and focus toward the “enemy” that when we have a pro-life Congress or Administration, we don’t hold them too the fire in regard to their accomplishments, or lack thereof. This is unequivocally my opinion as a Democrat, so you are free to contradict me, but it seems to me that Republicans really in a lot of ways get a license, or a free pass, to get under the radar of scrutiny.

    If George Bush veteos health care for children it isn’t so much of an outrage. In regard to the wars in the Middle East, we need not even presuppose whether or not they’re just, but rather the management — I think from any perspective — has been far from ideal. So wherever the GOP may be lacking, they have a sort of “immunity” because of the pro-life label.

    It’s clearly more a label than an ethos because I just don’t see evidence for the contrary. If you have nine new Justices that weren’t on the court during Roe, with seven of them being appointed by pro-life Republican presidents (the majority of the pro-choicers appointed under Reagan) with only four of them being pro-life, it’s rather telling.

    I honestly don’t think Catholics should trust a political machine so blindly, let alone think it’s — or its politicians — are our allies. At least, in any sort of complete sense. Now, surely, I don’t think this is your view, but it’s more my concern about a “tendency.”

    Now surely abortion is an issue with very few, if any equals on the moral plane. The whole issue of “non-negotiable” issues is that Catholics cannot disagree on them, remain Catholics, and receive the Eucharist. Now in regard to all other issues, there is room for disagreement among Catholics. However, this (to me) seems to be indicative that these other issues do not regard activity that in and of themselves are objectively evil, therefore, a position on these other issues do not in themselves constitute grounds to bar Catholics from receiving communion.

    In regard to such matters, we aren’t all right (as much as we’d like to be). There isn’t a sudden moral neutrality. We can intellectually disagree, but arguably some position, some consideration is more fully (objectively) in accord with the Gospel, more reasonable, and more rational — it is truthful and most plausible in the context of a situation.

    I’m not sure why there is this sort of relativism that is prevalent because of the issues that call for “prudential analysis”, e.g. abortion is a paramount evil; Catholics can disagree about the war in Iraq and, say, capital punishment. This sort of talk almost paints the latter two issues as “non-issues.” Just in language, it can come across as saying, “Well, that’s not relevant right now. Abortion first.”

    I don’t think it’s entirely a matter of different degree of issues. I can’t recall any talk in the Catholic blogosophere [perhaps I simply overlooked it] about the massive spending increases and “big government” policies of the last eight years in any substantial way.

    So, admittedly, I think there’s a double standard and a bias. I don’t think it’s fair and I’m not sure if it really helps Catholics, of all political perspectives, to find a solution to our moral and social challenges. Rather it sort of puts us in camps and I think that’s what we’re watching play out.

    Just my two cents. Not sure how coherent it is.

  • Well, now that Justice Souter is retiring… I can’t wait to see who Obama thinks will be wonderful black-robed priest of the Constitution.

    Of course, maybe he’ll make a “mistake” just like Bush I did with Souter!

  • He’ll use a pro-choice litmus test and say he didn’t.

    Are there any pro-life judicial activists? I’d like to strike a deal…

  • On the narrow issue of Obama’s alleged “first thing” promise, I have to side with Joe, that it was somewhat overblown by the pro-life side.

    That statement to Planned Parenthood was made in response to a direct question about what he would do to protect abortion rights. I always took his reply to mean that signing FOCA was the “first thing” he would do in relation to abortion — not necessarily a literal promise that it would be the very first bill he would sign after taking the oath of office. His answer, taken in context, did not rule out the possibility that other issues (e.g. the economy) would take precedence over abortion.

    That being said, I do still believe that Obama is the most pro-abortion president since Roe, and if not for the determined and vocal opposition of pro-lifers, he probably would have gladly signed FOCA by now.

    I also partly agree with Joe with regard to Obama’s level of narcissism. Ex-Gov. Blago was and is a textbook example of hard-core narcissism (he too had ambitions of running for president). Obama is not nearly as far gone as he was. However, just about any successful politician is narcissistic to some extent.

  • Eric,

    Here’s the thing. Ideally, I would love for the US to do what Poland did, and just ban it, no ifs, ands, or buts. On say, 95% of issues, I’m more than willing to follow our Constitutional procedures. When it comes to protecting the right to life, however, my first preference would be an outright ban with or without the approval of individual states. This is a philosophical question, an ontological question, that cannot be decided by a majority vote.

    But that just isn’t going to happen. No president will do it, no Congress will do it. Thanks to the Blackmum court, we are now in a situation where we have no choice, ironic as it may seem, but to be politically pro-choice while being philosophically pro-life.

    What do I mean by that? I mean even the states rights, overturn Roe v Wade approach is ultimately a pro-choice position, no matter how anyone tries to spin it. You can say that you’ll vote pro-life when the time comes to decide whether abortion should be legal or illegal on a state to state basis. And that’s great! It’s certainly what I will do.

    But we’re still forced to accept that the ontological status of a human being can be decided by majority vote, if we’re going to stay within the confines of the political system. That is, in its essence, pro-choice, even if we personally choose pro-life.

    When presented with this undeniable logic a lot of ‘states rights’ pro-lifers admit that their position is a pragmatic one, and they think it is the best one. That’s fine. But the pro-life Obama voters also have a pragmatic approach – to reduce abortion through economic policy. There’s little if any moral difference between these positions, but the illusion is that there is a great difference.

    I think we should do the following: a) continue to work on overturning Roe, b) continue to work on reducing abortion through economic policy, c) continue what I see as the more valuable and effective work of building the culture of life, and d) strive for pro-life unity and recognize that both the anti-Roe and abortion reduction pro-lifers are pragmatists doing their best within the political system and the prevailing culture of death.

    I hope that makes sense.

Time to Panic

Thursday, April 30, AD 2009


Hatip to Drudge Report.  Biden, that never failing source of unintentional humor in dark times, in addition to being Veep is apparently de facto Surgeon General based on this rather alarmist advice that he gave in regard to swine flu.  Perhaps he believes the swine flu is the crisis he warned about last year?

Update:  Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings has more health tips from the Veep.

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6 Responses to Time to Panic


Thursday, April 30, AD 2009


Hattip to Catholic Key BlogBishop Robert W. Finn gave an address at the 2009 Gospel of Life Convention on April 18, 2009 that deserves to be read by every Catholic in this country.  He is blunt, forceful and truthful, qualities that have too often been in short supply among bishops in this country over the last four decades.  Here is the text of his address:

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Catholic Democrats Attack Glendon And Run Into Father Z

Wednesday, April 29, AD 2009


Father Z plays whack-a-mole here with the attack on Mary Ann Glendon by Catholic Democrats, a group which has experienced a ferocious fisk from him before.   Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia has some perceptive thoughts in his post “… Dollars to Doughnuts …” regarding the attacks on Mary Ann Glendon now coming from some elements of the Catholic Left.

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7 Responses to Catholic Democrats Attack Glendon And Run Into Father Z

Obama Report Card

Wednesday, April 29, AD 2009


The first 100 days for a president is a rather silly bench mark.  For some presidents it is an important period:  Lincoln and FDR come to mind.  For other presidents the first 100 days are relatively unimportant:  both Bushes, Coolidge, Carter, etc.  However it is traditional to grade a President now, and the graphic above indicates my assessment.  Except for Iraq and Afghanistan, I believe the policy choices made by the President up to this point have been disastrous, particularly in regard to abortion, stem cell research and the economy, where I would be hardpressed to think up worse policies short of this.  However, that is merely my opinion and I am interested in reading yours in the comment thread.

Michael Denton, at his always well worth reading blog, For The Greater Glory, has a list, partially humorous, of what he perceives to be the 100 top failures during the first 100 days of the Obama administration.

For our readers who wish to participate, MSNBC is running an online poll on grading the Obama administration here.

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"—a Moral Issue on Which There Can Be No Compromise."

Wednesday, April 29, AD 2009


Before he was elevated to be Archbishop of Newark, John J. Myers was Bishop of Peoria, my diocese.   I always liked him.  He was vibrant and orthodox and attracted many men to the priesthood during his tenure.  Earlier this month he released this statement in regard to Obama Day at Notre Dame on May 17, 2009:

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10 Responses to "—a Moral Issue on Which There Can Be No Compromise."

  • Has Bishop Jenky said anything? And have you read Archbishop Myers’s book, Space Vulture? It’s a fun sci-fi work.

  • In regard to Bishop Jenky, he has not yet Zak and I hope he does soon. My guess is that he has been working behind the scenes to attempt to get the invitation rescinded, obviously without success up to this time.

    I am aware of Space Vulture.


    To say the least, an Archbishop who also writes science fiction is an unusal combination! I love science fiction, but I have not read this book yet.

  • I do hope Bishop Jenky will say something publicly soon.

  • I’ve also been surprised not to have seen any statements from Chaput yet.

  • In other developments, a case of swine flu has been reported at Notre Dame…. with all the hysteria about an imminent pandemic, I wonder if this won’t give Obama and/or Jenkins just the “out” they need to cancel the speech.

    Blog posts portraying swine flu as divine punishment for the ND scandal or for the election of Obama will commence in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1….

  • I mean blog posts on Catholic blogs in general, not just here.

  • In regard to recurrent flu hysteria, anyone else remember the swine flu “crisis” during the Ford administration?, this article has a good common sense take.


  • Yes, Don, I do, though I was only 12 years old at the time. I don’t recall anyone in my family getting swine flu shots, because they thought the whole thing was a boondoggle.

    My exhaustive Web-based research (translation: a quick glance at a couple of Wikipedia and other articles) finds that U.S. deaths attributed to swine flu vaccine (25) far outnumbered confirmed U.S. deaths from swine flu itself (1). Still, public health researchers do regard the 1976 swine flu scare as a valuable lesson in what to do, and what NOT to do, in the event of a genuine pandemic.

  • Back in 93, Jenky protested, preached, publically condemned a tavern owner who was going to name a sports bar the Hail Mary. Jenky was so outraged that Our Lady’s name would be made a mascot. Yet the most powerful pro abortion politician on the planet wears Our Lady’s name and is honored at Our Lady’s University where Jenky is on the Board, yet he is silent as can be. Hey Jenky, why no public witness, outcry? Why no resignation from Our Lady’s University that causes such a scandal, that hosts the Vagina Monologues and an annual Queer Festival? Frankly Bishop J., you are a hypocrite.

  • Matt, the incident you referred to was in 2003. Otherwise, although it pains me greatly to say it, you are correct as to Bishop Jenky. He has always been very active in the pro-life cause, but when it mattered most, when his speaking out might have derailed yesterday’s profanation of Notre Dame, Bishop Jenky was nowhere to be found.

Good Riddance

Tuesday, April 28, AD 2009


Pro-abort Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Arlen Specter is now pro-abort Democrat Senator Arlen Specter.  He does this of course because he realized that Pat Toomey would have creamed him in the Republican primary in 2010.  Instead, assuming that the Democrats are deluded enough to nominate him, Toomey will cream him in the general election.  This should be a prime race for all pro-lifers around the nation next year.

Update I: Hattip to Hot Air.  Here is Specter last month on the prospect of his switching parties:

I am staying a Republican because I think I have an important role, a more important role, to play there. The United States very desperately needs a two-party system. That’s the basis of politics in America. I’m afraid we are becoming a one-party system, with Republicans becoming just a regional party with so little representation of the northeast or in the middle atlantic. I think as a governmental matter, it is very important to have a check and balance. That’s a very important principle in the operation of our government. In the constitution on Separation of powers.”

Normally, I’d berate someone like this as a self-serving turncoat.  However my reaction is simple joy to have this political hack finally out of the GOP.

Update II:  The ever perceptive reptilians at Big Lizards Blog have an intriguing look at the upcoming Toomey-Specter match up in their post A Specter Is Haunting the Democratic Party.

UpdateIII: The Cranky Conservative has some thoughts here on Specter, including the observation that after 30 years in Washington Specter is the poster child for term limits.

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30 Responses to Good Riddance

  • We’re going to need to work blue-dog Dems or Obama will have a fillibuster proof Senate

  • Lets be honest here, he simply jumped from one tyranical party to another. At least now his label is more accurate. American politics is about winning, not about anything having the least to do with truth.

  • Why do you think Toomey will kill Specter (or another Dem) in the PA general election? Everything I’ve read suggests that PA has become more Dem over the recent past.

  • No doubt I wil be in the minority among many Republicans but I am not cheering this. Spectre no dounbt will be compelled to go along with Dems on certain procedural votes in order to maintain a potential Chairmanship. I suspect some deal was made here.

    It should be recalled that ASpectre had a ACU rating of 44. Casey has a ACU rating of 8. I am anxious about how far that might drop

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  • JH,

    You should cheer this (although I know you dislike Toomey, who is now most assuredly going to win the nomination).

    THIS is the REAL Arlen Specter: the one who will do or say whatever is necessary to get elected, but, at the end of the day, you can always expect to act more like a liberal than a conservative.

  • Jay,

    Well as to the GOP primary another republican might challenge Toomey in the primary since the field is clear

    I have no doubts that Spectre wasa liberal Republican. But for the most part he was good on the procedural votes. Now we are facing a Filibuster prrof Senate which is frightening.

    If Toomey or another Republican cannot defeat Spectre (which I think is likely in the general) then what have gained in real practical terms

    I honestly think our only hope is somehow Spectre is defeated in the Democrat primary

    I think Spectre will do quite well in the general

  • Also, now Huck (who we all should know is not on good terms with Toomey) is free to back the other pro-life Republican in the GOP primary without fearing any pro-life recriminations for throwing the nomination to Specter.

    That’s a good thing, too, from your perspective. Because, as I noted at your blog, a pro-life split in the primary that could have thrown the nomination to Specter would have been the cause of Santorumesque retribution toward those who didn’t back Toomey as the strongest pro-life horse in the race.

  • As for “what have we gained”, I’m not a Republican, so I don’t much care. Specter is a leftist pro-abort regardless of whether he has an “R” or a “D” next to his name. At least now, with his new-found home, there is some truth in advertising.

  • Jay well I suspect this affect non Republicans as well.

    I know many Conservatives have a love/hate relationship with the Republican party. However for all the talk I hear of “they are all the same” it appears having a Dem Super majority is in fact important and affects all sort of things.

    I agree with this from Contentions

    “. Pennsylvania Republicans played their part in this. Much as Connecticut Democrats’ decision to reject Joseph Lieberman in the 2006 Senate primaries in favor of Ned Lamont ultimately came back to bite the party – Lieberman, after all, won the state-wide race as an independent – Republicans do not help their prospects by rejecting a figure from their own party who has long represented state-wide political consensus. Granted, a left-wing Republican might not serve many Republicans’ policy priorities effectively – but neither will representation by two Senate Democrats.

    3. With a filibuster-proof majority, the Democrats have reached a major political peak. How long they stand on this peak is an open question. But Republicans have physics on their side: what goes up must come down.”

    No doubt there were many Demcratss and indeed liberals (who have no love for the Dem party) thought good riddance as to the Senaotr from Conn.

    As they found out that had consequences. Now of course Liberiman is a different animal from Spectre. I respect Libierman more. Still I am getting a sense we have seen this before on the other side.

    If somehow we regain the White House in 2004 and we get a Judicial retirement from the Bench I just hope it is not SPectre’s vote that holds it up now

    Still a lot of water must go under the bridge. THe good news it appears more and more that my GOP Senator from Louisiana is going to be safe. Now the GOP needs to find 5 or 6 more seats in able to slow this stuff down

  • You assume Pat Toomey would have defeated him in the primary. Like 6 years ago Republican leadership would have put aside their lipservice to the pro-life cause and would have been out in force to support Spector because holding a seat is more important than principle
    They are all self-serving turn coats.

  • Awakeman I had no problem with Republican leadership protecting a Senate Incumbenet and I don’t think that mean there is just lip service.

    The problem is this. This is a Coalition party. If people want to say to all conservatives that are pro-choice and to voters please leave then they should that. When that happens we can have the Republican convention in a telephone booth and I don’t think that helps the pro-life cause at all.

    That being said if have to support Toomey I will though I don’t like him

    I am surious about Rick Santorum. Is he not offically damaged goods. What are the changes he could get into thsi Republican primary

  • JH:

    I most certainly hope that David Vitter’s seat is NOT safe. I prefer the GOP, but I am very much hoping the Democrats give me a reasonable option to boot Vitter out of office. Vitter has consistently lied to the people of the Louisiana, about his past transgressions and his commitment to the pro-life agenda (see: support of Rudy).


    That’s true; the GOP leadership protected Specter; they reap their rewards today.


    If this brought the total to 59 instead of 60, I’d be right with you. However, I am a little worried that this increases the chances that the Dems can ram through FOCA or the anti-conscience clause despite anything a pro-lifer might try to do to stop it. I worry about this particularly because I think Obama will probably be concerned about losing seats in 2010, and so faces a “do now or forever hold your peace” mentality.

  • Michael

    David’s endorsement was not long term deal breaker to me. But I understand how some people feel. He has beena consistent good vote for pro-life causes. His past sins of the flesh never got me to rufffled and in fact I think most people knew that had gone on when he was voted in. It certaintly was the talk of the state

    That being said I was never a big Vitter fan but he has grown on me slightly because I can tell he has been humbled a tad. Vitter with his ego was badly in need of a humbling experience and I think he got it.

  • I think to oppose Vitter in favor of a “pro-life democrat” one would have to be completely sure this “pro-life democrat” is not a cowardly equivocator like Casey Jr. or most of the other so called pro-life democrats. Otherwise, it’s simply a vote for the pro-abortion agenda of Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

    While I’m not a fan of the use of “pro-choice” over “pro-abortion”, Rudy’s position was infinitely closer to “pro-choice” than Obama et. al.

    For me the only trustworthy choice was Huckabee when it came to the paramount issue of abortion, far too many questions about the other significant candidates.

  • On a side note there is now just one Jewish Republican left in the entire COngress!!!

    I never understood this.

  • Michael,

    If hoping for Specter’s reliability is what our hopes for blocking the Dems’ anti-life agenda were based on, then that battle was lost already. Isn’t his very willingness to switch parties (not to mention his pro-abort record) indicative of his unreliability?

  • JH:

    I think most people knew that had gone on when he was voted in. It certainly was the talk of the state

    Yes, but it was talk he denied. He was asked about it point blank, and he lied. He has to date not apologized for that lie. I could deal with the other stuff if he had been honest about it.


    I see what you’re saying. My point was that this will embolden Obama, as there is absolutely no chance Specter will hold (as he might have before to appease the party, a small chance mind you).

    As I said in my blog, we don’t know if this will hurt us all that much. It could do nothing. But I don’t see how it helps anything other than cleaning the party out a little bit.

  • Michael

    to be more specific what Vitter was asked about was the Wendy Cortez alleged incident in New Orelans. Not about his activities in DC

    Before Vitter ran for Seante it was common knowledge that he and his wife had recieved Couseling for certain issues. WHich everyone knew what that met

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  • JH:

    My point is exactly on one hand the Republicans tell social conservatives that they are against abortion, same sex marriage, etc.. They pound their chest and state “We are the pro-life and pro-family party”. Yet, when they are in power they do nothing except just say if you want us to do anything you have to elect more of us, and at other times they tell us all that we should be voting for someone like Spector because we should trust them because it will all work out and because we have to build a big collition party. To hell with both parties there is not a dimes worth of difference between them.

  • awakaman,

    while pro-lifers are and should be dissappointed about progress made under Republican administrations, it’s absurd to suggest that the massive reversals under Obama are the same.

    when they are in power they do nothing except just say if you want us to do anything you have to elect more of us

    this is just false, while they often don’t do enough, they do more than nothing. Look at Senator Jesse Helms’ (God rest his soul), record of successful action on pro-life issues.

  • Well, no surprise there. The Governor of Pennsylvania had mentioned that he, Biden, and Casey had attempted to get Specter to switch parties with no luck. I suppose this prompted Specter to think about it and to make a decision.

    If anything, I’m more sympathetic in that his reasoning about political parties is not all too different from my own, particularly in regard of the “Big Tent” and feeling out of place. So, I’m sympathetic. Though, I’m not excited that once Franken is in, the Democrats have 60 votes.

    In other news, Sebelius was confirmed as the HHS Secretary (the vote was 65-31). Tito, you’d be interested to know this: Sen. Brownback voted ‘yes.’

  • Et al.,

    This is still sad news now that the extremists have a filibuster proof senate.


    I was aware of his initial backing. It’s pure politics since I hear that Mr. Brownback wants to run for governor and needed Sebelius’ backers to pull that trick.

    And I am not happy that he did vote ‘yes’. Very disappointing.

    Et Al.,

    How about Senator Casey Jr. switching over to the GOP?

  • I’m glad that Specter quit the GOP. Good riddance to him I say as well. But he should also quit the US Senate. He’s old, he’s got cancer, he’s been in office for over 25 years. Clinging to power, and doing so by switching parties, is a very bad sign of moral degeneration (which was evident from his support for abortion). Specter needs not just to be gone from the GOP, but defeated entirely.

  • Vail,

    Troll alert!


    How about Senator Casey Jr. switching over to the GOP?

    why would you want him? He’s not his father, and is only pro-life when it suits him.

  • I deleted your comment Vail, as I will delete any comment in any of my threads that attempts to use the predator priest scandal and the bishops who protected them to stop discussion on a topic.

  • I pray for Senator Casey. However, since his last voting scandal, he has been consistent in his pro-life votes.

    If anything, his father is my hero and even if Casey were like his father, I’d be very sad to see him cross over to the GOP.

  • Eric,

    For Senator Casey Jr. Even if he didn’t cross over, I’d vote for him for president if he continues with his pro-life voting record.

    I’m not a registered Republican, I just vote for the candidate that carries my Catholic values best.

Mary Ann Glendon

Tuesday, April 28, AD 2009


Mary Ann Glendon, Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard, is in the limelight now for her decision to deprive Jenkins of his fig-leaf over his invitation to honor Obama on May 17, 2009.  I am not surprised by this development.  She has long been an eloquent defender of the unborn in a completely hostile environment.  She has written many articles on the subject.

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16 Responses to Mary Ann Glendon

  • I was glad to see her remind Jenkins that his first reponsibility was to honor the graduates and not turn their special day into some three-ring travesty of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Glendon made good use of her teaching moment, whether or not the lesson was received.

  • A great woman with integrity, wit and eloquence.

    I hear the position’s still open for an ambassador to the Vatican? 😉

  • Glendon is awesome. BTW, looks like Notre Dame is having a REALLY tough time finding a replacement:


  • A beautiful woman – inside and out.

  • South Bender,

    That’s hilarious.

  • I am not a catholic, am very pro life and I wanted to let her know I am so excited to see someone with their beliefs and principles stand up against notre dame for honoring Prez Obama/ it is so wrong for the school to honor a man who has none of the same views of life.. breaking Gods heart im sure!

    thank you for your courage Ms Glendon!

  • An observation:
    Ever notice that the bravest people speaking out against the excesses of Islam are women? Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nonie Darwish, Brigitte Gabriel are a few. The same can be said about the pro-life cause. It’s a beautiful thing.

  • Mary Ann Glendon for Vatican ambassador? Been there, done that 🙂

  • Bishop D’Arcy has suspended Fr. Jenkins faculties a divinis. He is forbidden to say mass, hear confession, preach or in any way address the Catholics residing in his diocese. This is nuclear option.

  • Matt, according to American Papist this suspension rumor is merely an e-mail hoax:


  • That’s crazy, the Director of Pro-life at the diocese sent it to me. It’s a shame if it turns out as a hoax.

  • First rule of the internet Matt: just because we wish something to be true does not make it true.

  • Thanks Donald, I’m sure a wise man like you never makes this kind of error.

  • Not often, but when I do I own up to it and resolve not to make that stupid blunder again.

  • I have the highest regards for Mrs. Glendon and applaud her decision. The rewards that this woman will have someday will make the Lataere Medal look like a peanut. God bless her.

  • Kudos to Mary Ann Glendon! It’s wonderful to see that there are still at least a few people who are willing to stand up for their morals and God’s Law and refuse to follow the lemmings over the cliff. While Fr. Jenkins has not rescinded his decision to “honor” President Obama at ND’s commencement, he will hopefully get that “knot in his stomach” when it actually happens and he realizes what he has done in spite of the best advice in the world to recant. How can an educated and practicing Catholic, a teacher at an iconic Catholic University, simply ignore the counsel of the entire Council of Catholic Bishops and others, such as Mrs. Glendon and hundreds of thousands of Catholics, who have tried to pint out the error of his decision? Hopefully, for Fr. Jenkins’ sake, God will not look on this as “scandalizing his little ones”!

"Spengler" Comes to First Things

Tuesday, April 28, AD 2009


For a number of years I have read the opinion pieces of a writer known only as “Spengler” in the Asia Times Online.  I enjoy his wit and his tight reasoning on many topics.  “Spengler” has now revealed that he is David P. Goldman, the new associate editor of First Things.  I am glad to see Mr. Goldman coming to First Things, but I confess to sadness that “Spengler” is no longer a mystery.   As bloggers know, a nom de plume can take on a life, and a character, separate from the keyboarder who creates it.  The substance of the writing of course remains, and that is most important, but a certain element of fun dies when the writer behind the assumed name is revealed.

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3 Responses to "Spengler" Comes to First Things

Jenkins to Glendon: "OK, We'll Find Someone Else."

Monday, April 27, AD 2009


Hattip to Hot Air.  Notre Dame’s reaction to the stunning Glendon withdrawal:

“We are, of course, disappointed that Professor Glendon has made this decision. It is our intention to award the Laetare Medal to another deserving recipient, and we will make that announcement as soon as possible.”

Now who could Jenkins get at the last moment?  Hmmm, someone on board with Obama, doesn’t mind ticking off the bishops, nominally Catholic, nominally pro-life.  I have it!  The perfect candidate for Jenkins is here.

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17 Responses to Jenkins to Glendon: "OK, We'll Find Someone Else."

  • Now that would really close the loop!

  • Kmiec is on my short list of possible suspects.

    I wonder though, if even Kmiec is willing to go that far.

    In spite of all the denials, my Vatican contacts have told me that Mr. Kmiec’s was nominated for the position of Ambassador to the Holy See and was rebuffed, and in no uncertain terms, by the Vatican. At this point, he is a tarbaby even to Obama.

    Do you think with 8.2 million already being held hostage in donations Jenkins is willing to pour fuel on the fire by replacing Glendon with Kmiec, Pelosi or Sebelius?

    Do you think Kmiec is foolish enough to burn every bridge?

    All very interesting!

  • Now if only the headline had read “Jenkins to Obama: ‘OK, We’ll Find Someone Else.'” 🙂

    Like Carol, I don’t see Kmiec being chosen as the Laetare Medal replacement, although I wouldn’t entirely rule it out.

    If Jenkins were to nominate Pelosi or Sebelius, however, I’d have to seriously wonder if he’d gone off his nut… that would be a bridge-burning moment of Blago-esque proportions.

  • Yeah. With Biden and Pelosi both having flares shot across their bows by the Catholic Church, I can’t imagine either one of them are stupid enough to get involved in this fugatz.

    Hmmm. With the electric atmosphere, what repudiator of Catholic tenets will be willing to back into the corner with Jenkins?

    Hmm. I just can’t think of a soul.

    Me thinks this year will be post humorous award?

  • I think you meant to say “posthumous”, as in “after death”. Although this whole affair has also gone past the point of being humorous, too, if it ever was humorous :~)

  • haha!

    Sister Denis Marie would clobber me after four years of Latin.

    I beg your indulgence!

  • (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy): Elaine & Carol, a “post-humorous” award this time would be at least as appropriate as a posthumous award, IMHO. (“Post-humorous” may have been unintentional, but I like it!)

  • Man, Notre Dame must be getting REALLY desperate:


  • Ha!

  • It appears that the WH is already paying ND back for the invitation and honorary degree. (That was fast!)


  • I don’t understand the antagonism in this web space towards a caring, just, and intelligent president such as Barack Obama. He wants to reduce abortions by supporting adoption and all his other issues are in complete concensus with Catholic Social doctrine and the Gospels. (help the poor). Abortion is the law of America and most other countries and this law has prevented numerous abortions in unsanitary, illegal locations or abortions performed by scared young girls with hangers or other devices. Lets decrease the number of abortions and support the living who are poor and vulnerable. Abortions, I’m afraid will never be eliminated.

  • “Abortions, I’m afraid will never be eliminated.”

    With politicians like Obama in charge you are absolutely correct. To pro-lifers Mr. Sanchez every abortion kills a human being with just as much a right to life as you possess or I possess. A politician like Obama who celebrates abortion as a right is dedicated to perpetuating this evil. We are dedictated to stopping it.

  • Dennis,

    You don’t reduce something by increasing funding and promotion.

    Further, we didn’t combat slavery by concerted efforts to reduce it. And we certainly wouldn’t tolerate an administration that hired all pro-slavery people because we would know the direction such a president would be turning the ship.

    Killing people and enslaving them are to be eradicated in a civilized society. There is no other social program that can distract us from it.

    God Bless.

  • Another point Mr. Sanchez, if you are a Catholic, the Church requires that you be in favor of making abortion illegal. Here is the portion of the Catechism on that point:

    “2273 The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

    “The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”80

    “The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined. . . . As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”81”

  • Well done Donald.

    “Abortions, I’m afraid will never be eliminated.”

    Neither will rapes, but we outlaw them.

14 Responses to POW Servant of God

12 Responses to Geekier Than Thou

  • ….WTF did they do to Romulans!?!?!?!

  • That does look rather strange doesn’t it? However, I think the program was not set up with dogs in mind.

  • I went to the site, as well, ‘cus I couldn’t tell what the heck… that thing looked like a TOS Klingon gone all tribal….

    Just more weight on my “we’ll see it when it gets to the cheap theater” impression. (Hey, they want a trek movie that “isn’t aimed at star trek fans”– they’ll get fans that aren’t aimed at their movie.)

  • Here’s a question for your geeky-ness:
    Have you ever considered where the heck the Church is, in Star Trek?

    I’ve said since high school that Vulcans would be very good Catholics. (yes, even before Mr. Wright’s joke)

  • Gene Roddenberry had little use for religion and therefore religion was downplayed in the original series, except for the Bread and Circuses episode:

    “McCoy: (to Kirk) I read in your report that Flavius was killed. I’m sorry. I really liked that sun worshipper.

    Spock: I do wish we could examine that belief of theirs more closely.

    Uhura: I’m afraid you have it all wrong. All of you. I’ve been monitoring their old style radio broadcasts. The Empire’s spokesman trying to ridicule their religion. But he couldn’t. (after a brief silence) Don’t you understand? It’s not the sun up in the sky. It’s the Son of God!

    Kirk: Caesar and Christ. They have them both.

    Spock: It will replace their imperial Rome, but it will happen in their twentieth century.

    Kirk: And the word is spreading… only now. Wouldn’t it be something to watch it happen all over again?”

  • Not sure how many of you know this, but Archbishop John Myers of Newark, formerly of Peoria, is a big Trek fan and in fact submitted some suggested plots to the producers of one of the early-90s shows (not sure whether it was “Next Generation” or “Deep Space Nine”) with his friend Gary K. Wolf (of “Roger Rabbit” fame”). They weren’t accepted, however.

  • Mr. McClarey-
    I know why there isn’t any showing, but if you treat it as a “world” instead of a show, you can make a lot of interesting stories– at one point I had a pretty good lineup of “evidence” that religion had been systematically repressed.

  • Interesting. My wife has devoured Star Trek fiction. I read a book by Esther Friesner where Aaron Stemple of the Here Come the Brides show was revealed to be an ancestor of Spock. The inside joke of course that actor Mark Lenard played this role, in addition to his role on Star Trek as Spock’s Vulcan father.

  • Et al.,

    After living life and becoming aware of the social themes of star trek, my enthusiasm dipped a bit when I realized that Star Trek was a Communist Utopia. Where there was no money and people pursued their vocations, not necessarily trying to survive since everything was taken care of.

    Of course this is incredibly unlikely with the demise of the Soviet Union, but I can see why some of the appeal being where there are no conflicts and people lived to fulfill themselves rather than God.

  • Star Fleet is the UN in space– part of why I enjoyed DS9 so much: socialist utopia gets smacked in the face with the folks they don’t control.

  • Of course the Star Trek episodes rarely took Roddenberry’s philosophy seriously. No war: The episodes of the show usually revolved around military conflict. No money: mentioned but never taken seriously. Just ask Cyrano Jones or Harry Mudd. The Prime Directive: Stamped on almost every time it came up. No religion: Star Trek Deep Space Nine reveled in religious themes. Utopia: Hardly, just ask the Maquis. Star Trek works because it barely pays attention to Rodennberry’s view of how the future might turn out. It is grand, and entertaining, Space Opera. Long may it go on providing amusement!

  • Mr. Roddenberry’s vision is kinda like the vision of most anything else: when it hits reality, it changes a lot.

    Communism: from each by their ability, to each by their need. Reality: nobody works to the height of their ability, and the folks managing the “to” always seem to end up with a bit more for their trouble.

    Ideal: “we hold these truths to be self-evident…”
    Reality: anyone who’s been into a history class in the last ten years got those bashed into their heads.

    ideal: Men and women are morally equal
    reality: women have to act like men to *be* the same.

Anzac Day

Saturday, April 25, AD 2009


Today is Anzac Day.  It commemorates the landing of the New Zealand and Australian troops at Gallipoli in World War I.  Although the effort to take the Dardanelles was ultimately unsuccessful, the Anzac troops demonstrated great courage and tenacity, and the ordeal the troops underwent in this campaign has a vast meaning to the peoples of New Zealand and Australia.

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9 Responses to Anzac Day

  • Thank you Don, for your wishes. I am rather humbled,flattered and honoured to be singled out.

    Loved your poem – I had not heard it before, but is very appropriate, and very Kiwi/Aussie. There are many other songs I could quote of course, but not printable on this blog – as I’m sure anyone attached with the military, and of that time, can attest. (If anyone is unsure what a “bob” is, it is the slang term for a shilling – nowadays, 10 cents.) Interestingly, wages had not gone up much, for by WW2, my Dad was being paid only ten bob per day. As Rommell said of the Aussie and Kiwi troops, “Pay them another ten shillings per day, and they’ll drink themselves out of the war.”

    Anyhow, we really kicked his arse at the battle of El Alemein in the Western Desert – he should have put up the extra ten bob. 🙂
    No small part of that was the Long Range Desert Group (LRGD) a bunch of mainly Kiwis, with a few Aussies and Poms thrown in, who harassed the German and Italian forces, hundreds of miles behind the enmy lines. A high death toll though; my father knew a couple of the guys involved.

    Back to Gallipoli, my maternal Grandfather, and mum’s uncle both served on Gallipoli.Grt.Uncle Eustace Nicholson was a Sergent Major – a big man, and a real feisty old bugger, who was a boxing champion on the Western Front after surviving Gallipoli. Pop Piper (Mum’s father) was a Cornishman – came to NZ about 1910, and was told that because he was from Cornwall, he could be a Tunneller. He used to keep us spellbound when we were kids, about how he could hear “the Turk” above him – that’s when they’d stack up explosives and get out quick before the ka-boom. Pop Piper was wounded, but went to England to assist with training etc. – joined the army as a private, came out a Second Lieutenant.
    Dad’s oldest brother also saw service in the trenches in France and Belgium. He got gassed, and when he recovered back in NZ, played Rugby for a Rotorua club for the next ten years. He was a real character – always had a twinkle in his eye, especially for the ladies. After his gassing, he was returned to NZ to a convalescent home. Only there for three days, and seduced the matron 😆 not bad for still recovering,and with only one lung.

    Dad served in Italy in WW2 – just missed Casino where the Kiwis suffered a bit of a clean up – but saw action in Faenza and Rimini in ’44. Came home on a hospital ship with a bad back injury – was used a a guinnea pig for spinal operations and took 18 months to recover. Managed the pain till his death in 2005 at age 93. Had many relations as well in WW2 – a mad Irish stock uncle – Joe Murphy by name – navigator in Lancasters – got shot down and captured, escaped, rejoined his squadron, got shot down again and spent the rest of the war in a POW camp.

    Anyway, enough from me. Thanks foe the ANZAC post Don, and God Bless.

  • Oh, BTW.
    I read the links you have included.
    The third one – “The best kind of Travel experience” if you check out the left hand link about the Bay of Plenty, that’s my home town – Tauranga.

  • Glad you enjoyed it Don! I hadn’t heard of the Rommel comment before, but it sounds like the type of dry observation that Rommel would often make. Courage is a virtue too underrated today; the Anzacs had that virtue in plenty and that deserves to be remembered, and not just in New Zealand and Australia. For the benefit of our readers I am linking below to a site with a few basic facts about Tauranga.


  • Gallipoli.

    If only Mr. Churchill planned it out better the outcome would have been different.

    We would have been able to march to Constantinople, free the city of Muslim rule and allow the Greeks to worship without fear.

    Now they’re almost wiped out.

    What could have been.


  • Tito,

    that’s the religion of peace you’re talking about there.

  • Tito.
    It was mainly the blinding incompetence of the British command that was the main problem: procrastinated decisions,watering down objectives and failing to sieze initiatives.
    But lets not discount the fierce Turkish resistance either.
    The Aussies had the sense to take their troops out of British control after Gallipoli. In the campaign in Europe when the Aussies refused an order from General Haig, Haig threatened to execute them all for mutiny- The Aussie commanders told Haig that he could not put a volunteer army before the firing squad. Haig had to back down.
    The NZ troops were still under British command. Five NZ soldiers were infamously executed for desertion, but the poor devils were so shell shocked they didn’t know what they were doing. So much for the British stiff upper lip and absentee commanders.
    All a long time ago now.

    Have we learnt anything?

  • hi does anyone no how to get the lyrics to the poem the last post!!!

  • kate, here is a link, assuming this is the poem you had in mind.


  • I remember reading that “we are the Anzac army’ was a marching song, sung to the tune of Aurelia (which to those unfamiliar with that name, is same tune as the famous anglican hymn “The Church’s One Foundation”)

    It’s easy to blame Gallipoli on WC, and it all but ruined his political career for a generation, but the whole British administration backed the plan … Kichener, Fisher, Asquith … that is, until they didn’t or got cold feet.

    Too many Anzacs …and Britsh … soldiers and sailors paid with their lives for inept combined tactics. W.C., however, was not responsible for Kichner’s unwillingness to combine landings with the naval assault on the Narrows, nor for the Navy’s unwillingness to press the battleship attack against the Narrows batteries when victory was at hand, nor the abysmal British generalship when the landings finally did take place – particularly at Sulva Bay.

    Sic transit mundi.

    Had it worked, the Ottoman Empire would have been out of the war … and likely no Bolshevik revolution, no Arabian revolt, and, perhaps, no World War 2. Who knows. The sacrifice of those who died on that terrible peninsula, who were maimed or wounded, though, is honored by all who admire duty, loyalty and courage. May the rest in peace and honor.