Saturday, July 30, 2005

An Encouraging Sign from British Muslims

BBC NEWS | UK | reports that "Muslims urged to combat fanatics". Is the silent majority of muslims at last beginning to stir? Maybe:
Muslims have been urged to turn away from the "harbingers of hate" following the terror attacks on London.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK has called for a "grass roots revolution" in mosques to combat violent fanatics.

Group leaders expect 30,000 people to attend its annual convention in Aldershot, Hampshire, over the weekend, and want members to focus on peace.

The meeting is among a series of events being held across the country by Muslim organisations to debate terrorism.

'Root out fanaticism'

Rafiq Hayat, the association's national president, called on members to honour the "true meaning of Islam - peace, tolerance, respect and service to humanity".

He said: "It's time for all Muslims to say enough is enough. We wish to practise Islam as exemplified by our founder Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him).

"The word Islam means peace but we have to live by it in order to grow.

"We call for a grass roots revolution in mosques across the UK where ordinary people wish to make a future in the UK, for the sake of themselves and their children and for the sake of humanity, turn away from the harbingers of hate and root out fanaticism."

A group spokesman urged anyone who may be able to help police trace terrorist cells to follow "common sense" and tell what they know.

Elsewhere, thousands of families are attending the ongoing Living Islam festival in Lincolnshire.
This could be a good sign. If this organization influences many Muslims that still sit on the sidelines, they may begin to isolate the fanatics within their midst. Without the relative anonymity of the Muslim community to cover them, these islamo-fascists will lose the precious ability to remain undiscovered. If Muslims begin to report on the activities of the terrorists, then they will have few places to hide and little opportunity to murder.

Fools would do well to pray for the success of this organization's call to action. The last thing the world can afford is for one billion Muslims to become radicalized. A war of civilizations will only generate a world without civilization. While we can and must wage unrelenting war against islamo-fascists and "violent extremists", we can't afford to allow that to become a war against a billion! How can Western Civilization hope to win such a global conflaguration without the use of nuclear weapons? Are we prepared to destroy the innocent? How, then, can we claim to wage a just defense? We can't. Therefore, the Enemy will have won a great victory. Fools must not let that happen.

BBC NEWS UK: "Bombing suspect faces extradition"

Get the story here. The gist:
One of the London bomb suspects has appeared before an extradition hearing in prison in Rome, Italy.

Magistrates could take several weeks to decide the fate of Ethiopia-born Briton Osman Hussain, 27, also known as Hamdi Isaac, as Italian inquiries continue.

The hearing comes as police in London begin to interrogate three other men, also suspected of trying to bomb three Tube trains and a bus on 21 July.
Osman Hussain is being linked to the bomb attempt at Shepherd's Bush station.

Scotland Yard said he could face fast-track extradition back to the UK under the European Arrest Warrant, legislation which only came into effect in Italy last Thursday.

The suspect's court-appointed lawyer said no decision had been made on Britain's request for extradition.

Antonietta Sonnessa said the legal process was in its "initial phase", adding there were "elements in favour and against" the extradition of her client.
I'm not surprised if AP reports that he wants to remain in Italy are true. As far as I know, Britain has much stricter Anti-Terrorism laws than Italy. He may face at least fourteen days of interrogation before Scotland Yard charges him. Or he may be charged immediately. Either way, he's a marked man. Sooner or later he'll likely crack, and that makes him a liability to his former islamo-fascist allies. Assuming, of course, that he's guilty as charged. I'll let a court determine that, but the "evidence" assembled by the BBC makes it look certain.

I hope that Mr. Hussain's arrest will save lives. The British people have been through enough already. So has the world.

The Frist-fry begins

Clergy Denounce Frist on Stem Cell Research. Did Senator Frist really believe he could do it? Did he think Christians would put political expedience before allegiance to Christ? Does he, a republican hopeful in 2008, truly take Christian voters for granted?

If he did, he's made a serious political miscalculation:
The Reverend Rob Schenck (pronounced SHANK), National Clergy Council President, issued this statement on behalf of the Council's executive committee representing church leaders of Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Protestant traditions:

"In saying that he believes life begins at conception but that he supports embryonic stem cell research, Senator Frist's position not only contradicts itself, it flies in the face of biblical and historical Christian moral teaching. It's the same as saying that we should use condemned criminals for medical experimentation because they're going to die anyway. It is morally incoherent. Senator Frist can no longer count on our support nor the support of the wider Evangelical or Catholic communities."
Senator Frist may not stop the bleeding of support that he once enjoyed. His own ambitions may bleed away with it. He may still, however, have an opportunity to prevent the Pro-Life heart of the party from staying home in 2006. He should immediately rescind his support for ESCR. He should foreswear any effort to secure the presidential nomination in 2008. He may also want to consider whether or not pro-Choice Senators such as Arlene Spector of Pennsylvania have any future on committees in the Republican-controlled Senate. He should certainly move fast on any Pro-Life initiatives on the senate floor, such as judicial nominees. Finally, if he were a man of principle, he would resign as the Senate Majority Leader. This would clear the way for Republican's to start anew in supporting the Administration's agenda, especially the Pro-Life agenda. If he can't stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the President on an issue as important as the rights of the Unborn, then he's unfit to lead the Republican Senators. For a majority leader should acknowledge the President's leadership as Chief Executive and Party leader. He should not bow to polls drummed up by slanted coverage and misinformation.

That Frist has done so demonstrates just how insidious President Clinton's poll-conscious politicing has become. Principles appear to count for less and less. This erosion can only bode ill for the Nation.

Pro-Life Blogs has more coverage of Frist's flip-flop. Check it out!

The Beginning of Human Life on Frist: "Double talk...but we'll take it"

Mike "the token conservative" of The Beginning of Human Life: blog appears to be sitting on the fence again. He notes Senator Frist's recent departure from the Republican reservation and sees this as an example of "this issue being discussed with less of an emphasis placed on political leaning and more on getting things done.". He also observes Frist's own self-contradiction, but appears to miss that:
"I am pro-life," Mr. Frist says in the speech, arguing that he can reconcile his support for the science with his own Christian faith. "I believe human life begins at conception."

But at the same time, he says, "I also believe that embryonic stem cell research should be encouraged and supported."
If Senator Frist believes that "human life begins at conception", and he also believes that ESCR "should be encouraged and supported", then he believes that it's morally permissible to experiment on a class of people even if it kills them. This is not a position that any serious prolife support would consider. It sounds more like the vague non-committment to any principle that presidential hopeful John Kerry uttered during the 2004 Presidential campaigne. Frist has fried himself from primary consideration in 2008.

Has our society's grasp of right and wrong so diminished that we honestly believe it's right to experiment on those we regard as human beings even if it kills them? If more people accept Senator Frist's reasoning, then I shudder as I recall Thomas Jefferson's admonition: I tremble for my country when I realize God is just."

Mike believes that Senator Frist's change of position indicates that the debate has now gone from partisan positioning to the practical consideration of "getting things done". I don't share his conclusion. Rather, I think Senator Frist's change of position reflects the growing acceptance for ESCR on the part of the public. It isn't hard to understand why it's caught on. MSM and Reasonable supporters of ESCR have pounded the message over and over: ESCR will cure the sick. ESCR can be done with embryo's that will just be thrown away, anyway. ESCR has too much promise to be held back by religious belief that a clump of cells i s human.

The Fools that support ASCR, however, have not pushed their agenda nearly as hard. Additionally, MSM has conveniently ignored breakthroughs in this research that led people to support ESCR. However, private money still pours into ASCR. This morally appropriate research has led to the development of over 84 successful treatments, while ESCR has lead to none. In fact, under the best of conditions, ESCR may lead to a treatment in over 23 years!.

Somehow, MSM and ESCR forget to mention this.

The irresponsibility of so many on the SCR issue have led our society--and the world--to this Huxlian precipice. We're all too ready to throw ourselves off in the name of "compassion." For a while, we may feel good about ourselves because we're "helping people." The trouble won't begin as we fall, however. The trouble begins--and ends--when we hit the bottom.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Roberts: a Catholic after St. Thomas More's Own Heart!

So implies DOUGLAS W. KMIEC of OpinionJournal. Hat tip to Jay Anderson of Pro Ecclesia for the link. Mr. Kmiec first summarizes the madness surrounding Senator Durbin and Judge Roberts a la Jonathan Turley of the L.A. Times. He then establishes just what the Roman Catholic Church teaches regarding Catholics in public life--and what she does not:
Yes, the Catholic Church is a defender of life. It has even issued statements that sound suspiciously like a certain famous declaration of self-evident truth--that we are all created equal, with an unalienable right to life. But the church is also resident in a world where Supreme Court precedent has tragically elevated personal preference over any once-proud declaration of right. What does the church expect of public officials in such an environment?

First and foremost, to be observant of church teaching in one's personal life. The church asks Judge Roberts and his fellow parishioners to pray to end abortion and, in social outreach, to create the conditions that make it less pressing. The church seeks to convert individual souls to the love of God and neighbor; it has no armies to compel either.

Yes, the late Pope John Paul II admonished Catholic public officials to work legislatively to limit abortion--something that even most Democrats proclaim to be doing at least during general elections. But there is not one iota of church teaching demanding that a judge or justice exceed the scope of his office to undo, on solely religious grounds, the public law of abortion or any other matter.

In this supposed controversy it is fitting to recall St. Thomas More, known to history for resigning the chancellorship of England when he failed to persuade Henry VIII not to declare himself head of the church. More is revered as a martyr for dying "the King's good servant, but God's first." But as the patron saint of lawyers and statesmen, More is far better remembered for his earnest efforts, at every turn, to avoid inescapable conflict among law, faith and public duty.

Judge Roberts listens carefully to the questions he is asked, and the extreme premise of Sen. Durbin's question--as reported--was a judicial action requiring an immoral act. One would hope that all Americans, Catholic or otherwise, would recuse themselves from that.
Mr. Kmiec gets it right. There's nothing in Catholic Teaching that requires Catholic American leaders to violate the integrity of the constitution. She presents the Truth. She clarifies those principles that allow the Truth to become reality. Her teaching has upheld the Rule of Law. Therefore, she does not advocate its destruction.

The Democrats that raise the alarm of the Catholic Roberts up-ending the constitution in the name of his Faith is an atrocious straw-man. If they believe that Judge Roberts will not responsibly interprete the law as a SCOTUS Justice is called to do, they should say so without playing the Catholic card. Otherwise, they join the long tradition of the intellectual's anti-semitism and the sad history of America's anti-catholicism. Perhaps such action would please the extreme Reasonable secularists of their party's hard left, but I doubt this will sell among the swingers.

Let Judge Robert's critics embrace honest criticism. Let's leave Catholic-baiting on the ash bin of history where it belongs.

On Humor

OK! Julie D. of Happy Catholic says, "This Seems Just About Right." I tried this quiz myself. Here's how I turned out:

the Prankster

(39% dark, 39% spontaneous, 38% vulgar)

your humor style:

Your humor has an intellectual, even conceptual slant to it. You're not
pretentious, but neither are you into what some would call 'low humor'.
You'd laugh at a good dirty joke, but you definitely prefer something
clever to something moist.

probably like well-thought-out pranks and/or spoofs and it's highly
likely you've tried one of these things yourself. In a lot of ways,
yours is the most entertaining type of humor.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Conan O'Brian - Ashton Kutcher

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 18% on dark
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 9% on spontaneous
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 54% on vulgar

Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on OkCupid Free Online Dating

Yeah, that's me. Although I haven't seen Conan O'Brian in action in forever. Does he still have it?

Happy Catholic finds her "model of the Church Is ..."

And you can to. Just follow Julie D's lead right here! By the way, here's mine:

You scored as Mystical Communion Model. Your model of the church is Mystical Communion, which includes both People of God and Body of Christ. The church is essentially people in union with Christ and the Father through the Holy Spirit. Both lay people and clergy are drawn together in a family of faith. This model can exalt the church beyond what is appropriate, but can be supplemented with other models.

Mystical Communion Model


Herald Model


Sacrament model


Servant Model


Institutional Model


What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with

Faithful Catholic Professionals Witnesses to the Truth!

If you haven't treated yourself to Faithful Catholic Professionals, do so. Craig Kelso offers an inspiring witness to the Truth. He's honest enough to admit those mistakes that many of us may have made and would rather forget:
Just below the above quoted paragraph is this cryptic, irresponsible paragraph:

"The event includes a highly successful Children's Garden, which was created for the two-day festival 12 years ago.The Children's Garden is a space where kids and toddlers must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. It has a no-exceptions policy that was implemented when the Children's Garden was founded 12 years ago."

What parent in their right mind would bring children to such an event?

Your author, dear reader, for one.

Yes, YEARS ago, in another incarnation, and as a sign of my tolerance and acceptance of every lifestyle, I took my daughter to a Pride festival here in San Diego.

Upon entering, my SIX year old was greeted with two women making out on a mechanical bull. As we strolled about the venue, the place was RIDDLED with porn, sexual imagery, and, yes, a "Children's Garden." She played in the garden. We were given stickers, various propaganda, and asked to sign a petition for the gay marriage movement.

I'll confess to not being too shocked by what I saw ... at least immediately. As my daughter and I continued around, it did become a little too much for even ME, Mr. Tolerant. Again, THE SEA OF PORN, the public displays of affection, and the outrageous stage acts pushed me and my progressive self to exit us early.

My daughter barely remembers the event, thank God.
He also has an alert about another woman "priest":
An organization that illegitimately "ordains" women as Catholic clergy has revealed the identity of a "deacon" who teaches scriptural studies at the University of San Diego, an institution that claims dedication to "witnessing and probing the Christian message as proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church."

R.C. Womenpriests, which on July 25 hosted the "ordinations" of nine women on the St. Lawrence River near Gananoque, Ontario, also announced that Jane Via had been "ordained" a Catholic deacon in June 2004 on the Danube River between Germany and Austria. The 2004 ceremony was led by two female "bishops" whom the Vatican excommunicated after they refused to renounce their "ordinations" in 2002. Previously Via was identified by a pseudonym, "Jillian Farley."

Research by the Cardinal Newman Society identifies Via as a Deputy District Attorney in San Diego County and an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego (USD). In 1977, Via was hired by USD as a full-time Assistant Professor and was tenured in the early 1980s before shifting to part-time employment. In 1985, San Diego Bishop Leo Maher banned Via from speaking at Catholic events in the diocese because she signed a statement published in the New York Times that challenged Catholic teaching on abortion. It is not apparent that USD took any action to restrict Via's teaching following the bishop's ban, and the Diocese of San Diego could not immediately confirm whether the ban is still in effect.
My, my, another Reasonable woman in Foolable clothing. I don't know whether to laugh or yawn. It's rather pathetic to watch graying Reasonable folk act as though the Catholic Church were an institution upheld by the consent of the governed. Last time I checked, the Church was the Body of Christ as well as the People of God. Does she honestly believe she's influencing any one to take her views seriously?

I do want the Bishop of San Diego to actually sheperd his people in the midst of this wolf's charade. If she continues to manifest grave sin after he's corrected her in private, then he should discipline her publically. Since at least one action has already been taken against her, it's time to for firmer measures. Will the Bishop of San Diego find his spine? Stay tuned.

Check out Mr. Kelso's excellent blog. You'll thank me later. Honest.

a voice from eden on "Frist and embryonic stem cell research"

Vox has good advice for Senator Frist right here. He first notes that new research techniques may provide researchers with stem cells without compromising any embryo's life. He then challenges the senator to truly serve the suffering:
But then there’s also the issue of suffering. "As a physician, Sen. Frist has a moral calling to save lives and alleviate suffering. He honors his Hippocratic Oath today by recognizing the unique healing power of embryonic stem cells," said Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts).

I think those who suffer from debilitating illness deserve more encouragement and support than those words from the senator. And they certainly deserve more than from an ethically questionable method that may or may not even bring about their healing. They deserve people who are with them in their time of pain and testing and to help them pass through their suffering. There is a profound meaning to suffering, as Pope John Paul II wrote several years ago in his Apostolic Letter Salvifici Doloris.
Unfortunately, our culture is one that denies the Transcendent as either an absurdity, an irrelevancy or a means of emotional comfort. In other words, many Reasonable people of varying degrees of Reasonableness don't take God seriously. They'll snort coffee out of their noses in laughter at any mention of redemptive meaning in suffering. No, to these people, suffering is a problem to be solved through the applied use of our collective will, i.e. science. After all, they believe, we're the fulcrum of meaning in the universe. Us, the Absolute Individuals. It's up to us to determine the meaning of our lives. Suffering doesn't cut it.

How tragically short-sighted. Surprising, too, when we realize that many of us expose ourselves to suffering on a regular basis in order to gain something. Name an athlete that doesn't suffer the pain of training; yet what athlete turns away from it? Name the sacrifices that medical students avoid on their path to becoming doctors; I doubt you'll find many! Name the entrepeneur that didn't go through many sleepless nights and agonizing days establishing his business; would they evade such struggles and risk their business's failure? Somehow, though, many of us drop this perspective when we experience suffering not of our choosing.

However, these are the experiences in which we must embrace, not deny, our cross. No one wants to suffer. However, when it's unavoidable, we can seize knowing that in doing so our Lord seizes it with us. We can recognize that through embracing the suffering in our midst, we welcome him into our midst. We grow in our capacity to love, for we sacrifice the pettiness and selfish desires for our own simple comforts as we serve those in suffering. When we suffer ourselves, we know that He's with us in our pain. We do not pass through it alone or for no reason. We depend on him even more.

Our culture has lost sight of this. God bestows his Grace to those who suffer, whether directly experiencing the ravages of illness or injury, or indirectly facing it in the suffering of loved ones. Thus, many see suffering as a nonsensical condition that must be eliminated. It is the only evil left that Reasonable people name in unequivocal condemnation. Thus, any thing that can alleviate suffering must be good. Unfortunately, for many, that includes the ineffective and immoral ESCR.

Now is not the time to hide the Gospel. Now is the time to proclaim it in the fullness of our lives. We must evangelize through every act we make in union with our Savior. People yearn to know the meaning of their lives and to believe that they do not live alone. God answers this deepest need of the human heart; we can bring God's good news to them. If the world is to see suffering as the opportunity for us to grow closer to him, we must preach the gospel that allows the blind to see. Let not our hearts be troubled, let not our efforts sag. Ultreya!

The Beginnings of Peace in N. Ireland?

I hope so. All people of goodwill should hope so. Reuters has the story here. The UK raises the stakes as the IRA, for the first time, calls on its members to surrender their arms. The UK's removal of the Northern Ireland army towers provides the symbolic gesture that shows Great Britain keeps its words:
Britain began dismantling Northern Ireland army watchposts -- symbols of its military presence -- on Friday after a pledge by Irish republican guerrillas to down arms revived peace efforts in the province.

The move made good on commitments by Britain and Ireland to carry out promises delayed by the Irish Republican Army's past failure to disarm and came as work resumed to secure a political deal that would restore a suspended regional government.

Pulling down the eight hill-top watchtowers along the Irish border is one of the actions long demanded by Irish nationalists to normalize life in a province slowly emerging from a 30-year conflict in which 3,600 people were killed.

"In light of yesterday's developments, the Chief Constable and I have decided that a further reduction in security profile is possible," General Commanding Officer Reddy Watt said.

The move put pressure on the IRA to fulfil its side of the deal by dumping the huge arsenal of guns and explosives that sustained its fight for a united Ireland until a 1997 cease-fire.

It has given no timetable but The Irish Times quoted government sources on Friday as saying Dublin hoped the IRA's entire arsenal, which it said has been centralized in a number of munitions dumps, could be destroyed by the end of August.

The newspaper said there were "strong indications" the first act of decommissioning could be days away.
The hardliners in N. Ireland--staunch Irish Protestants that support Great Britain's continued presences in the six counties--benefit from the status quo. Will there be sufficient enough pressure on them to support changes, now that the IRA has finally relented? The signs are not encouraging:
Much further off is any revival of a local assembly put on ice three years ago over the IRA's reluctance to scrap its arms. The Democratic Unionist Party refuses even to talk to the province's main Catholic party Sinn Fein until the IRA disarms fully.

"We will judge the IRA's bona fides over the next months and years based on its behavior and activity," said firebrand cleric Ian Paisley, leader of the DUP.
Years? There had better be a return to regional rule, as called for in the Good Friday Accords, once the IRA has surrendered their arms, Mr. Paisley. Or would you prefer to present a pretext for the Irish terrorists on both sides of the religious divide to seize? Are you truly interested in peace, sir? Or is dominion the only state you continue to desire?

The IRA and Protestant Para-military terrorists have called the shots for too long. Northern Ireland has the opportunity to establish a lasting peace. I pray that pointless sectarian politics play no part in preventing it. The Irish Catholics of Northern Ireland certainly have many legitimate grievances. However, the violence of terrorism is no longer the way they can announce these grievances. May Mr. Paisly and his Democratic Unionist Party honestly seek the best interests of all the people of Northern Ireland. As soon as the UN verifies that the IRA has disarmed, The DUP and Sinn Fein should sit and negotiate. The Irish people of the northern six counties deserve no less.

More Arrests made in London Bombing 7-21.

AP has the details.. A sampler:
Raids in London and Rome on Friday rounded up the last of the four suspected attackers from the failed July 21 transit bombings in Britain, officials and media reports said.

Two of the suspects were picked up in west London following raids by heavily armed police, the reports said. London police did not confirm their identities.

Italian police in Rome arrested Osman Hussain, a naturalized British citizen from Somalia, as part of an ongoing investigation in the bombings, said Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu.

Police said they raided two residences Friday in west London and arrested two men at one address and one at another, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity.

So far, about two dozen people have been arrested in connection with the attacks last week in which bombs in backpacks failed to detonate on three subway trains and a double-decker bus. Those attacks caused no injuries, unlike the July 7 attacks in London that killed 56 people, plus the four suicide bombers.

A Betrayal of Party and Principle

Not so surprising, however, for a politician to read tea leaves. The misinformation train has long left the station. People line up along the tracks to wave it on. Voters included. AP covers Dr. Bill Frists fall from grace here. Details:
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Friday threw his support behind House-passed legislation to expand federal financing for human embryonic stem cell research, breaking with President Bush and religious conservatives in a move that could impact his prospects for seeking the White House in 2008.

"It's not just a matter of faith, it's a matter of science," Frist, R-Tenn., said on the floor of the Senate.

Frist's announcement immediately dented his support among Christian conservatives but won lavish praise from former first lady Nancy Reagan, who said it "has the potential to alleviate so much suffering." Her husband, the late former President Ronald Reagan, had Alzheimer's disease.
This reminds me of why Mark Shea has called the Republicans the Stupid Party. Their platform stands on the right side of truth, in terms of prolife issues. However, their consistent inconsistency in boldly promoting that platform dogs their every move. Senator Frist's stunt is just the latest manifestation of their stupidity.

Their the majority power. A Republican president sits in the White House. Republicans control both houses of Congress. Several state governorships rest in GOP hands. President Bush has nominated one Republican conservative for the Supreme Court. He may have two more nominations to make. Yet the Republicans refuse to act as though they're the party in power. They allow the Democrats to define the agenda on the War on Terrorism, abortion and ESCR. When will they find the guliones to actually lead?

The problem with ESCR, as I just mentioned, is that it's press is far more effective than its promise. People buy the spin. Some of the disabled expect to take cures for their disabilities within a short time. Some in wheelchairs believe they'll walk, as Christopher Reeves once dreamed. The unscrupulous advocates of ESCR have manipulated their hopes in order to solidify support. Meanwhile, ASCR has quietly led to over 84 treatments. Private money continues to pour in to ASCR, and no one dies during research procedures.

It's sad that Senatory Frist bowed to the pressure from voters to support the snake-oil show of the 21st century. That's why it's more important than ever to get the truth about ASCR out there. Supporters of ASCR had better get the story going. Fools should do their part to pass the word along. The Culture of Death has already convinced too many that life is literally what we make of it. All Fools have to persist in their witness to the Truth about Life. Otherwise, the avalanch of voters will sweep more members of the Stupid party into the hands of the Enemy.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Any Port in a Storm!

A Fool will welcome an delays of deliberate death. ArriveNet Press Releases (Politics) indicates one such delay has been given. The Senate has refused to take up H.R. 810 before their recess. This bill, which would increase Federal funding for ESCR along with "ethical and legal guidelines", had already passed the House in May. The Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR) cries me a river with this press release:
Today, the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR), comprised of over 95 nationally-recognized patient groups, scientific societies and academic research institutions, expressed its disappointment that legislation to expand federal support for embryonic stem cell research was not brought to a vote in the Senate prior to Congressional recess, despite promises from Senate leadership to do so.

The legislation, known in the House of Representatives as H.R. 810, passed 238-194 in the House on May 24. The bill would allow federally supported scientists to study additional stem cell lines, expand research among America's top academic researchers and accelerate the cure and treatment of diseases that affect over 100 million Americans. H.R. 810 imposes ethical and legal guidelines on the research even as it expands federally funded research opportunities of additional stem cell lines from voluntarily-donated in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos that will otherwise be discarded. This morning, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) objected to a motion that H.R. 810 be brought to the floor.

CAMR President Daniel Perry said "We are disappointed that the Senate is leaving for its August recess without addressing this vital issue. A delay in Senate passage of H.R. 810 is a delay in hope for millions of Americans. A majority of the American people support stem cell research, a majority of the House supports stem cell research, we are confident a majority of the Senate support stem cell research, and are dismayed they have not yet gotten an opportunity to express that support."
Yawn. The release drones on in the same monotonous fashion: People want it, yada-yada-yada, quote from injured party, yada-yada-yada.

Why can't these agencies get behind ASCR? That's where the private money is. Instead of spinning the same misleading yarn and manipulating people in need of genuine medical hope, organizations like CAMR could push for Federal funds for ASCR. It will yield more promising results in less time, and no one will have blood on their hands. Why this entrenched need to compound evil and prolong tragedy? It's already wrong that embryos are frozen in IVF clinics. Thawing them out to make them dying guinea pigs does not make what happened to them right.

Honesty will go further than the continued half-lies meant to bolster this pseudo-scientific and Quixotic quest for medicine's Holy Grail. People need real treatments as soon as possible! Let's quit fooling around and make sure they get them. Let's throw society's resources behind the proven winner: ASCR!

Smart, Sudan, Real Smart!

The U.S. Secretary of State comes to Sudan. The Sudanese President's security detail man-handles her entourage. The Secretary speaks to refugees. Reuters AlertNet reports that Darfur camp residents face arrest and intimidation from Sudanese Security. Do I detect a whiff of contempt? Or is the leadership in Khartoum just this incompetant? Behold the stupidity:
Sudanese security threatened refugees in Darfur with arrest and beatings to find out what they told Condoleezza Rice when she visited their camp, U.N. sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The U.S. secretary of state spoke to a number of people in Abo Shouk camp near the town of al-Fasher during her visit last week. She told reporters Sudan had a "credibility problem" over Darfur and that she wanted to see "actions not words".

"They (Sudanese security officials) have threatened and harassed people after high-profile visits. They want to know what people said ... People were harassed after Rice's visit," a U.N. source in al-Fasher said.

"(They were) threatened with prison and beatings," the source added.
This follows confirmations of the story that Sudanese military forces attacked another Western Darfur village. If people weren't dying, this situation would be utterly laughable. However, this pathetic attempt by the NIF to close the Barnyard door reaks of the same pathetic despotism that has characterized their rule since 1989. Their continued stupidity may just spur more MSM outlets to expand coverage of the genocide. Assuming no more Nancy Halloway stories don't come down the American Media pipeline. Oh, wait; of course they'll be more!

Sigh. : Pope: a West tired of God; Asia and Africa at the crossroads

"it seems that people have no need for us, all that we do seems useless". So says Pope Benedict XVI, according to this story by He sounds like the consumate Fool! Observe:
Speaking of the lack of vocations in the Western world, the Pope pointed to the West's own mentality, which he defined as "tired of its own culture", as having reached the conclusion that "there is no longer any evidence of the need for God, let alone which it seems that man could construct himself...In this climate of rationalism closed in on itself, which considers the pattern of sciences the only pattern of knowledge, all the rest is subjective. Even...Christian life becomes a subjective choice, thus arbitrary and no longer the path of life. And becomes difficult to believe and...offer one's life to the Lord to serve him."

Recalling the ad limina visits of various Asian and African bishops, Benedict XVI then said that "here, vocations are growing...indeed, there are so many that there is a lack of seminaries to receive these young men who want to become priests." "Of course," he went on to say, "some of them come in the hope of social advancement... Bishops must be very careful in discerning... Nevertheless, there is quite an enthusiasm of faith."

The Pope explained that such enthusiasm depends on the fact that these cultures "are at a given time of their history, namely a time in which traditional religions...reveal their insufficiency." "These traditional religions," he said, "carry in themselves a promise, but expect something. They expect a new response that purifies and, shall we say, takes on all beauty and liberates these insufficient and negative aspects. At this juncture, in which their culture really reaches out to a new hour in history, two offers -- Christianity and Islam -- are history's possible answers."
We face the void. Nothing stares back at us. One reflection of Nothing offers us the power to declare for ourselves what is Right and Wrong. It would place us upon the seat of Judgement reserved for God. "For there is no God," Nothing whispers, "There is only the Great-I-Am". Another image of Nothing demands the utter obedience of the fanatic. "No one is innocent!" Nothing screams, "All non-believers must die or become believers! There is no other way!"

Pope Benedict XVI does not flinch from telling the truth. The mirages we follow are the embodiments of nothing in which we fill with our own vanity. We demand the power over consequences that God's own natural law alone possesses. We will not rest until we order our world accoring to our word. Pope Benedict XVI, however, reminds us that when we do so, we turn away from this God:
...the world cannot live without God; The God of Revelation -- and not any God: we see how dangerous a cruel God can be, an unreal God -- the God that showed in Jesus Christ his countenance. This countenance which suffered for us, this countenance of love which transforms the world in the manner of the grain of wheat which falls to the ground...Without the concrete God, the God with the Face of Christ, the world self-destructs."
The Holy Father will not go gently into that goodnight. He rages against the dying of the light. We can chose to rage with him like Fools, or shake our heads and dismiss him like the Reasonable. I recall another Fool that believed he would save the world for God by getting executed by the mightiest Empire of the West. When the Pope mirrors his response, I'm for following his example. Thank God we have a sheperd with the courage to set one!

Media Matters Moans

See, Dick Durban's not the only self-hating Catholic, according to Media Matters for America. They want everyone to know that Republicans are in the act, too. Consider their objection:
The New York Times, Fox News, CNN, and The Washington Times have reported allegations that Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin (IL) asked Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. a question about his Catholic faith, with a New York Sun editorial accusing Durbin of "slander." But they ignored a similar question posed to Roberts by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn (OK). Coburn and Durbin questioned Roberts at separate meetings on July 22.

In a July 25 Los Angeles Times op-ed, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley reported that Durbin asked Roberts "what he would do if the law required a ruling that his church considers immoral." Since the publication of Turley's op-ed, The New York Times, The Washington Times, Fox News, and CNN all quoted or featured conservatives criticizing Durbin. In a July 27 editorial, The New York Sun accused Durbin of invoking a "religious test," writing, "Interrogating a nominee in respect of his religious beliefs is not only grossly inappropriate. It's unconstitutional." The five media outlets reporting Turley's allegations also noted that Durbin or his office have described Turley's account as inaccurate.

They did not, however, report that on the same day, Coburn asked Roberts how his faith influences his work. On July 23, the Associated Press reported that Coburn and Roberts "discussed issues ranging from Roberts' faith and his relationship with his wife to how he might change as a member of the country's highest court," adding that Coburn "said Roberts declined to answer a question about how his Catholic faith influences his life and work." The Daily Oklahoman also noted (registration required) Coburn's question, but a Nexis search* turned up no other news outlets that reported the exchange.
Ah, the power of Non-Sequitors. Does it follow that, because a Catholic Republican Senator asks Judge Roberts about the influence of their mutual Faith on his decisions, Democrats such as Durbin do not propose a litmus test? Of course not. Media Matters for America must know it, too. No, their Reasonable and delusional project is to liberate media from the vast, right-wing conspiracy. Therefore, any Non-Sequitors such as the one cited that may help the good cause will be employed with extreme prejudice.

MSM highlights the upcoming struggle between the party in power and the alleged "loyal opposition". Bantering by party-in-power mavericks, while eye-brow raising, are not the story. President Bush nominates a Catholic conservative to the Bench. Democrats have opposed said President's Catholic conservative nominations to the Federal Judiciary before. What will the Dems do now? That's the story. MMoA should look elsewhere for bias. Such as MSM's entrenched, Reasonable bias towards all things politically left of center.

But, of course, they won't. That would be Foolish.

Personal Bleg

The Summer of our discontent goes on! I find my family and I are in need of your prayers yet again.

My brother-in-law had an accident at work. He's at Westchester Medical Center, where's he's expected to spend the night under observation before undergoing knee surgery tomorrow. He's also suffered mild head injuries.

Meanwhile, my mother is on her way to Nyack Hospital. She's suffering severe dehydration and serious nasea after her first two days of chemo-therapy. I haven't heard from my father yet if she's spending the night.

Please keep my mother and brother-in-law in your prayers. Thank you!

Update: I spoke to my Father. Mom will spend at least two nights in the hospital receiving hydration. The genius' at her oncologist's office didn't mention that she should drink plenty of water for at least a week or two before the first treatment. Please keep praying. Thanks again!

The Pope's First Hundred Days

RADIO FREE EUROPE/ RADIO LIBERTY offers a fair assessment. There's something quaint and humorous about references to American Presidents. Especially when they're applied to the Pope. It's as though The Vicar of Christ were yet another secular ruler subject to the people. Which, of course, quite a few Foolable people would prefer. Not to mention the Reasonable.

In spite of these peculiarities, I think Jeffery Donovan makes some good points. He notices that the Pope has shaken the image that MSM was so determined to forge for him. Instead, he's allowed the world to see the warmth that he always possessed. They must be furious. Mr. Donovan also comments on the meandering ecumenicism that the Holy Father embraces:
In waging his war on relativism, Benedict appears to be looking to the Orthodox churches as an ally. His predecessor, John Paul II, made great efforts to reunite the main branches of Christianity, which split in 1054. But few expected Benedict to follow him so strongly, as Allen points out.

“This is a man who in his 24 years as head of the doctrinal office in the Vatican was always very concerned about reinforcing Catholic identity and Catholic distinctiveness, and therefore was never seen as a particularly ecumenical figure," Allen says. "And yet, he has made it abundantly clear that he sees this as a top priority of his pontificate and, above all, he wants to improve relations with the Orthodox Church, trying to heal this millennium-old split.”

Ironically, the pope also has another ally in his battle against secularism: Islam. But Allen says that for Benedict, as a cardinal who has expressed opposition to Muslim Turkey joining the European Union, relations with Islam are a balancing act.

“You know the old political adage, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’ And in that sense, I think Ratzinger perceives a friend in Islam in the struggle against secularism," Allen says. "On the other hand, he also does not want Europe to become an outpost of Islamic culture. So he’s going to try to walk this fine line between the sort of philosophical and theological common cause with Islam, while at the same time try to some extent to hold Islam at arm’s length in his own backyard, which is Europe.”
It's not difficult to understand the Pope's approach. Humanity faces a pincer move by the enemy. The Reasonable forces of secularization and Great-I-Am-ness promote the Dictatorship of Relativism on one side. Fanatic extremism by islamo-fascists terrorize the innocent on the other. The Pope seeks unity with the Orthodox and religious Muslims to confront the Dictatorship of Relativism, on the one hand. He hopes to re-invigorate Europe's Christian heritage so that Europe preserves its identity in the face of islamo-fascists and fundamentalist islamic immigrants, on the other hand. Ideas have consequences, after all, and the Pope understands that Truth needs to be embodied. Otherwise, we can expect no culture of Life or civilization of Love to rise.

Some Catholics expected the Pope to drive out dissenters. Others expected him to reform recalcitrant Bishops. It's clear that dissenters on the Catholic "right" and "left" condemn the Pope's ministry so far. That's reason enough for me to be grateful to God for him! I'm also happy that he confronts the threats to our humanity by boldly proclaiming the truth about God and abour ourselves. I'm happy that he seeks the witness of those that also seek truth, however imperfectly. Solidarity to Truth and Love is what defeats the plans of the Enemy. Pope Benedict XVI reminds us of this in his words and his actions.

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Outages!

Wondering where I've been? I suppose their ought to be a pool on my whereabouts by now. Which pays the highest? "Holy Fool's on vacation?" "Holy Fool's hung it up?" "Holy Fool's out of his mind?" Well, if only the truth was so dramatic.

I was a little under the weather. In fact, about 12,000 of us were in the dark. The lights went out at my place around 5:30PM, just after I delivered the Coalition for Darfur post of the week. The Thunderstorm had rippped through our area with plenty of warning but greater intensity that I had thought. The winds swirled around my backyard like the funnel wall s of a tornedo. Thankfully, no tornedo came!

The temperature dropped slightly after the storm passed through. Not enough, however. And the humidity was murder. We all felt smothered by it. No air conditioning on a 100+ degree day will do that to you, even if the storm cut the edge off!

It was so uncomfortable that Mira, Dad, Frankie and I escaped it by running off to Dairy Queen. Mom felt too tired to join us. Frankie loved every minute of it, of course. Who wouldn't?

We returned to a blackened house. O&R had informed their customers via teleprompt that they'd restore power to our home by 9:45. Well, Mira and I slept from 9 until midnight with windows open and no sheets, and the power did not return! Then Frankie woke up the first time; he was hot and sticky. We tossed and turned the next three hours away. Frankie woke up at least two or three more times.

The lights came back on at 2:30 AM. Frankie finally settled down. Then six o[clock rolled around; I had to get up. Yesterday and today I met two collegues at my school. We're putting together a 9th grade advisory curriculum. Oy!

Meanwhile, Cable was still out. That meant no digital cable, VoIP phone service for my parents, ...and my internet connection. It's finally back at, you guessed it, now!

Dad's surgery. Mom's surgery. Mom's complication. And now a blackout! Is this Summer over yet?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Weekly Darfur: "Witness"

Coalition for Darfur posts a weekly update here. Here it is, in it's entirety:
Two weeks ago, the Center for American Progress and the Genocide Intervention Fund launched a joint initiative known as "Be A Witness" built around a petition calling on television networks to increase their coverage of the genocide in Darfur.

As "Be a Witness" noted

"During June 2005, CNN, FOX News, NBC/MSNBC, ABC, and CBS ran 50 times as many stories about Michael Jackson and 12 times as many stories about Tom Cruise as they did about the genocide in Darfur."

This week, tireless Sudan advocate Nicholas Kristof took up the call and chastised the press for its lack of Darfur coverage

"If only Michael Jackson's trial had been held in Darfur. Last month, CNN, Fox News, NBC, MSNBC, ABC and CBS collectively ran 55 times as many stories about Michael Jackson as they ran about genocide in Darfur."

Shortly thereafter, Editor and Publisher printed a piece reporting

"New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof's attack on the press for underreporting the atrocities and genocide in Darfur, which ran in today's paper, has drawn the ire of some newspaper editors who said they are doing the best they can with what they have."

In this piece, USA Today Foreign Editor James Cox offered a partial but important explanation for the dearth of coverage

"Cox pointed to a two-day series USA Today ran in May on Darfur, stressing the difficulty the paper had in even getting a visa for reporter Rick Hampson to travel there. 'It was excruciatingly difficult to get the permission,' he said. 'We had an application that had been stalled for months.."

Sudan does not want journalists freely traveling around Darfur for the sole reason that their reports are going to reveal the true nature of Khartoum's genocidal campaign.

Considering this basic fact in conjunction with the efforts currently underway to expand the African Union mission in Darfur, it might behoove all involved to consider embedding journalists with the AU just as the US did during the initial weeks of the war in Iraq.

People want information about Darfur; journalists want access to Darfur; and the UN and AU want (or at least should want) to disseminate information regarding to crisis in Darfur as widely as possible.

The US and NATO are currently providing key logistical support to the AU mission and ought to insist that any reporter who wants access to Darfur be assigned to and granted protection by an AU patrol force.

Brian Steidle served with the AU in Darfur for six months before eventually resigning his position so that he could share his photos with the world.

Steidle is a hero for doing this - but it shouldn't take personal acts of sacrifice and courage to make the world aware of the genocide in Darfur.
Eugene Oregon has the right idea. Journalists should make arrangements to accompany AU soldiers as embedded reporters. The only drawback is that the AU force is already so meager. They may not be able to secure the journalists' safety as readily as U.S. troops could during the invasion of Iraq. Even there, journalists faced incredible risks. However, the world needs to know in detail whats happening in Darfur. If embedded journalists could cover this story, then embedded journalists is what the MSM should advocate.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Think the Scandal is Over?

Think again. Amy Welborn has a disturbing story here. Here's the gist:
Single and unemployed, Stephanie Collopy asked a Portland judge this month to order her son's father to increase her child support and to add their chronically ill boy to his health insurance plan.

Sitting on the witness stand in a white button-down shirt, gray slacks and blue blazer with a small gold cross on the lapel, Arturo Uribe -- the 12-year-old boy's father -- had an unusual defense: He is a Roman Catholic priest.

Uribe, who was a seminarian when he fathered the boy during a consensual affair with Collopy, had taken a vow of poverty and therefore had no money to support his son, he told the court. Now pastor of the 4,000-family St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Whittier, Calif., Uribe had never seen the boy, who was born in 1993.
How long, O Lord, how long, until you send us More Shepards with Spines. For there are too few, too few.

How does a man that can't complete his formation as a seminarian without violating chastity become ordained? Why would the Redemptorists allow such a scandal to happen? Because our culture celebrates as gospel the One Thing That Matters. And besides, we're Christians. We're supposed to forgive. That means we can't think of punishment. That would be too Old Testament.

As though compassion and justice were mutually exclusive. The pathetic cooperation with a corrupt culture goes on. How long, O Lord, how long?

By the way, one of Amy's commentors, Elizabeth McKenna, tells a heartbreaking tale of abuse that all of us should read. We must demand that our priests and Bishops adhere to the teachings of our Faith and accept no less than complete fidelity to their vows. Otherwise, the sacrilidge of Ordained men commiting sexual crimes against minors of either sex will continue.

Ales Rarus on Humanae Vitae, 37 years later

Funky Dung offers his reflection here. He demonstrates how far many Catholics have fallen when it comes to obeying the teaching of Humanae Vitae. He observes this sad phenomena at play in Allegheny county:
In Allegheny county, which is 69.8% Catholic, there are only 4 doctors (that I have found) who do not prescribe, perform, or refer for contraception, sterilization, abortion, or in vitro fertilization. That's right, there are only 4 physicians who live out the Church teaching on sexuality and life issues in a county that is almost 70% Catholic. That seems a little ridiculous to me. Of those 4, 2 are pediatricians, 1 is an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor), and 1 specializes in occupational/preventive medicine. None of them do gynecology work, not even the preventive medicine doctor. I called and asked. So, if you are a practicing Catholic woman in Allegheny county, you need to go elsewhere to find a gynecologist who shares your values.
Why have many Catholics become so Foolable on Humanae Vitae? Mr. Dung believes the poor state of catechism and preaching today may be a cause:
Personally, although I grew up Catholic, I didn't understand the Church's teaching until college. I remember learning there was a Church rule against birth control. I didn't have the impression that that the rule was still followed or "enforced". I never even knew that natural family planning existed, nor did I know that there were requirements for its use to be just. I think I had a pretty typical experience in this regard. I grew up in your average parish, attended Mass on Sunday and all Holy Days of Obligation, went to Catholic school and CCD during public high school. It was only through an orthodox Newman center that is very effective at catechesis that I learned the Church's teaching on sexuality and Her reason for it. Why didn't my paernts, who are supposed to be my primary catechists, mention it? Why did I not learn this in catechism class? Why had I never heard about it in a homily? The first time I ever heard the Church's teaching on contraception mentioned in a homily, I was in Denver and Mass was being celebrated by Archbishop Chaput. He is very much the exception to the rule, though. In my experience, there are very few priests who have the spine to talk about such a contraversial issue in a Sunday homly. Where are the bishops? Why are more bishops not talking about it? Why are the bishops not encouraging their priests to talk about the issue?
I've shared his experience. Twelve years of catholic education did not explain to me why the Church taught Humanae Vitae. I still haven't heard "theology of the body" mentioned in a homily. In fact, I rarely, if ever, here Humanae Vitae even mentioned.

This does not surprise me. The dissent so common from Catholic "liberals" today stems from opposition to Humanae Vitae. The movers and shakers of the Church, flush with enthusiasm for implementing the council (in all the wrong ways, it turns out), were shocked (shocked!) that Pope Paul VI dared not overturn centuries of Catholic teaching on contraception. They could not stand that some part of the modern world would still be held illicit by Rome. Did they not understand what the council was about? Why, the Church was to learn from the world. It didn't have all the answers! Why, then, did Pope Paul VI act so Foolishly?

Their outrage hardened into defiance. As they gained prominance in parishes and chaunceries, they soon found other issues with Roman Catholicism. Catechism soon became little more than a series of seventies affirmations on how God was Love and how Jesus loved us and forgives us everything, at least in suburban New York. Sexual morality, if it was mentioned in high school religion at all, was discussed in psychological, not doctrinal, terms. I didn't understand the Church's teachings on sex until well into my twenties, and not because of any parish-based program. I learned from Christopher West.

What we believe matters. We act on our beliefs. Because of our inclination towards sin, it's all the more important to believe right. We struggle to act on right beliefs; we act on wrong beliefs with much greater ease. However, actions from wrong beliefs produce wrong consequences. A tree is known by its fruit. If we want better fruit for our culture, we had better nourish the ground of our hearts and minds so that we can sow the seeds of Truth. Then, and only then, will our culture have a chance.

A Reasonable columnist gets Foolish!

Miracles do happen: I agree with Nikolas Kristof of the New York Times for once! I even agree with his cheap shot at President Bush--because it isn't a cheap shot. The President has done many great things. Leadership on Darfur is not one of them. Allowing Sudan to use the treaty between Northern and Southern Sudan as a billy club is inexcusable. Remaining silent and abdicating a strong response to Khartoum's genocide against the Dafuris is shameful. But, as Mr. Kristof points out, the gallery of crickets chirping from MSM is even more damning. The Reasonable media found every angle of story and protest to utter about the Iraq War. They couldn't find a mouthful of outrage about the 21st century's first genocide? Mr. Kristof, as a reluctant prophet bearing the truth to his own, recites the damning facts:
Serious newspapers have done the best job of covering Darfur, and I take my hat off to Emily Wax of The Washington Post and to several colleagues at The Times for their reporting. Time magazine gets credit for putting Darfur on its cover - but the newsweeklies should be embarrassed that better magazine coverage of Darfur has often been in Christianity Today.

The real failure has been television's. According to monitoring by the Tyndall Report, ABC News had a total of 18 minutes of the Darfur genocide in its nightly newscasts all last year - and that turns out to be a credit to Peter Jennings. NBC had only 5 minutes of coverage all last year, and CBS only 3 minutes - about a minute of coverage for every 100,000 deaths. In contrast, Martha Stewart received 130 minutes of coverage by the three networks.

Incredibly, more than two years into the genocide, NBC, aside from covering official trips, has still not bothered to send one of its own correspondents into Darfur for independent reporting.
Even more embarrassingly, the NY Times columnist notes who has been successful at covering Darfur:
The BBC has shown that outstanding television coverage of Darfur is possible. And, incredibly, mtvU (the MTV channel aimed at universities) has covered Darfur more seriously than any network or cable station. When MTV dispatches a crew to cover genocide and NBC doesn't, then we in journalism need to hang our heads.

Editors of various MSM didn't take Mr. Kristof's smackdown for long. They offer their litany of excuses and righteous indignation:
James F. Smith, foreign editor of The Boston Globe and a former African correspondent, agrees that more Darfur attention could be given, but said that is the case for many foreign hot spots. "Nicholas Kristof may be very upset about Darfur, but there are other places that need attention," he said, noting a Globe two-page spread on life in the Congo that ran two weeks ago. "We felt the need to tell people about that, too. I have groups in here all the time -- from India, Venezuela -- who say we don't write enough about them, either."

Jim Willse, editor of The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J. had the same explanation. "We don't have anywhere near as much as we'd like to have," he said of Darfur reporting. "Papers our size are constantly having to make choices on anything to cover. I agree Darfur is worth more attention than it is receiving. But we cannot be in all the places that are newsworthy."

Steve Butler, foreign editor of Knight Ridder, said he has been hampered by having no African correspondent since his last one left in December. "We have been keeping our Iraq coverage going and that is a more important story," he said. "It has U.S. soldiers there, people are very interested in it, and it lends itself better to breaking news."
Included in these inadequite protests is one particularly pathetic moan:
"If we don't cover the Michael Jacksons, that will be our demise," said John Yearwood, world editor of The Miami Herald.
Mr. Yearwood is damned honest about the bottom-line motivations of most MSM outlets. The ka-ching! rules the day.

That's a sign of how far off society's conscience has become.

Close to 2 million Dafuris have died. More deaths will come; the genocide in Darfur may take more lives than Rawanda's holecaust of 1994. The National Islamic Front of Sudan, the military-backed governing elite of the country that has already provoked one of Africa's longest and bloodies civil wars has perpetrated this horror. Sudan still sits on the UN human Rights panel. The first genocide of the 21st century goes on and on. Darfur still isn't story enough to send even one international correspondent? Exactly what has to happen in Darfur before the networks start to pay attention? Why is Christianity Today and MTVu out-scooping USA Today and CNN? Where is that solidarity with the poor and oppressed that the MSM has proudly associated itself with in the past?

Some of these editors have stooped so low as to blame their readers for "lack of interest":
Unfortunately, many editors also admit a lack of reader interest and understanding of the Darfur situation, a story that remains complicated and continues to evolve.
They're trying to say that the American people aren't interested in the continued occurance of a genocide? That Americans could care less if Dafuri men are murdered and women are raped? That Black Sudanese homes and lives are destroyed by hate-filled Arab militias supported by the Sudanese military? If they're truly that out of touch with the American people, then they should step aside immediately. Their outlet deserves leadership that will actually help the enterprise remain viable.

There is no excuse for the lack of coverage in Darfur. Comparisons between genocide in Darfur and other problems in Africa are ridiculous. There is no moral equivelency between mass murder and routine corruption. The sad and Reasonable world in which these MSM editors dwell may support such insanity. The real world does not. Mr. Kristof is right. The MSM has behaved as disgracefully as President Bush and the rest of the powers of Western Civilization. Let them stop running off excuses and start telling the story.

Happy Catholic notes that "... it has been infallibly decided by the Church that women cannot become priests."<

I wonder what jcecil3 will say about this! Happy Catholic has the declaration here. The highlights:
Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

Responsum: In the affirmative.

This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 25, 2).
Perhaps Mr. Cecil will argue that the Second Vatican Council, an ecumenical council that decided no new doctrine, yet remains infallible as a council of the Church, is not, in fact, infallible.

The Church is the body of Christ and the People of God. One can't minimize the one because one is enamored of the other. The more Catholics come to understand this, the better off the Church will be.

Unintended Encouragement

Jill Stanek passes along's critique of this Reasonable diatribe from Glamor Magazine. The graph above gives a taste of Glamor's ironic advocacy.

The Reasonable watch support for their precious sacrament slip away among the next generation they expect to defend it. All they can say is, "They don't know any better, the Fools." All we Fools can answer is, "What did you expect from a Fool?" The truth has a way of breaking through. Ever wonder why Water is a symbol of the Holy Spirit? No anything that can resist water indefinately?

I didn't think so. Leon H. of says it best:
he final point of this whole discussion is that we've found hope for the future of the pro-life cause in a very unlikely source. Nobody is more prone to fits of desperation on this issue than I am, and I mourn the fact that too often I have allowed my indignation to cross the line and turn people off. But the point of it all is that persuasion is working. Slowly but surely, if we maintain the course, the battle will be swung our way.
I couldn't agree more!

How PBS Honors the Disabled

Simple! It promotes a film about a disabled man that choses to commit suidcide! ProLife Blogs has the story here. Not Dead Yet president Diane Coleman has strong words for PBS:
"The choice of this particular air date is an affront to people with disabilities in this country," says Diane Coleman, president of Not Dead Yet, a national disability rights group based in Forest Park, IL. "It's the 15th anniversary of the signing of the ADA, a law that is, for people with disabilities, the nation's largest minority, what the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is for people of color. Not only is this being ignored by PBS, but the network is featuring and promoting a program about a person so terrified of aging and disability that he commits suicide. In terms of sensitivity to diversity issues, this puts PBS in the same league as the Fox News Channel. And, no, that is not a compliment."
But remember, boys and girls, PBS is the home of Sesame Street and Big Bird. Any attempt to cut its funding means no more Big Bird and company.

Therefore, All Americans must support PBS through taxes on their hard-earned money, even if it means that they support the promotion of Euthanasia for the disabled. It's all in the interests of society, after all. Perfectly Reasonable.

The Stem Cell Extremist: "Let's not shut our minds to stem cell research - just our logic"

The Stem Cell Extremist speaks the truth! Behold:
Unfortunately, no one has a right to a life free from pain: especially when a majority of the planet would still like a life free from hunger.
Those that desire a life free from suffering betray their belief in utopianism. There will never be such a perfect world, no matter how far scientific research progresses. We're not God, in spite of the best, crazed hopes of the Reasonable. While we can, and should, look to alleviate suffering to the best of our ability, we can't hope to banish it from our lives.

We certainly can't liberate ourselves from it by killing unborn children in order to develop "cures."

Unfortunately, the first temptation humanity faced remains the most seductive temptation humanity faces. A part of all of us wants to be God. We want to have that control over our lives. We want to decide good and evil for ourselves. We want the power to command our destiny to be whatever we say it will be.

This is just short hand for saying that none of us want to die. None of us want to suffer, either. We don't understand why we must eventually suffer and die. It doesn't make sense.

Christians do not need to live in this existential nonsense. Christ has offered us an answer to the paradox of life and death. He offers us the cross. Rather than tell us what suffering and death mean, he shows us. He transforms their bitterness into joy and their despair into hope. For suffering with him through the bearing of our Cross brings us into the greater joy that comes from communion with him. Death, too, becomes not our inevitable end but our doorway to him. We have been baptized into his death; if we remain in communion with him throughout our lives, we rise from death with him!

This teaching is hardest to accept when we experience the misery of suffering and grief of our loved one's death. It was impossible for all but one of the disciples to experience Christ's death on the Cross, too. The times when we suffer and grieve are the times we must hold fast to our Faith most of all. Suffering and Death are not part of God's original plan. Both entered the world after sin. However, God's new plan allows goodness to come through even suffering and death. Redemption is real. It is ours if we ask for it. It is ours when we live in the love he offers us!

We don't need a world free of suffering. We need a world in which even suffering leads to communion with him. Thank God we already have such a world!

Egypt Identifies the Suicide Bomber

from The Associated Press:
Investigators have identified a suspected suicide bomber in the weekend attacks that killed scores in this Red Sea resort, saying he was an Egyptian with Islamic militant ties, officials said Tuesday as dozens more people were questioned in the probe.
Police using DNA tests identified one of the bodies found at the Ghazala site as Youssef Badran, an Egyptian Sinai resident who they said has links to Islamic militants, security officials said. Those links led the officials to suspect he was the bomber in the attack, they said.

Police held members of Badran's family for questioning and were trying to determine his associates, the officials said. Across Sinai, security forces took in 70 people for questioning Tuesday, bringing to 140 the number held since Saturday's pre-dawn blasts.

Also Tuesday, an Egyptian diplomat said Pakistanis were not involved in the bombings, despite police circulating photographs of five Pakistani men a day earlier.
It looks like Al Qaeda, according to the Counterterrorism Blog:
"Analysts: Al-Qaeda behind attacks: London, Egypt blasts mirror group's tactics" - The back-to-back nature of the attacks in Egypt and London, as well as similarities in the methods used, suggests that al-Qaeda might have ordered both operations and is a clear sign Osama bin Laden and his deputies remain in control, according to counterterrorism analysts and government officials in Europe and the Middle East."-Craig Whitlock, Washington Post. Courtesy of the
Why go after a resort in Egypt? "In looking for a motive, note that the trial of the October 2004 suspects is scheduled for July 24". Here's an excerpt from Xinhua News (English):
Egypt's Supreme State Security Courton Saturday put off to July 24 trial of three suspects inconnection with three bombings which rocked Sinai resorts lastOctober, the official MENA news agency reported.

The trial of the suspects, Mohammed Ahmed Flefeil, MohammedJaber Sabah and Mohammed Abdullah Rubaa, was scheduled to begin onJuly 2 in Ismailia, 120 km northeast of Cairo, said MENA.

Mohammed Gaber Sabah and Mohammed Abdullah Rubaa are in custody,while Mohammed Ahmed Flefeil is still at large and will be tried inabsentia.

The suspects are facing charges of premeditated murder of anumber of tourists in north Sinai last October and attempted murderof others.
Hat tip Andrew Cochran of the Counterterrorism Blog again. The bombing has several ominous implications. First, Al Qaeda proves that it's still formidable enough to coordinate multiple bombing campaignes through a diffuse and de-centralized network of affiliate operatives. Second, the terrorists sent a message to Egypt: leave the islamists alone and don't even think about forging a democracy. Egypt may offer the first uncontested election in its history. While no one seriously believes that this will ensure democracy in Egypt, it's symbolism could not be more clear. Or more dangerous for the islamo-fascists' ideology. As long as Egypt is perceived as another puppet-state propped up by American foreign aid, then the terrorists can continue to push their pathology on the Arab street. Third, Al Qaeda has disrupted the Egyptian economy while terrorizing the West simultaneously. Tourism remains Egypt's number one industry, and the targeted resort served Egyptians and foreigners, in particular Britons and Israelis.

The islamo-fascists will not stop until they have ignited their war between civilizations. If Osama Bin Laden is still alive, he will stop at nothing short of the Caliphate. Fools must not allow him to succeed. There must be no war between the West and muslims of good will. There's already a war between the West and islamo-fascist extremists that only practice suidicidal murder. None of us can allow that war to broaden into the international conflaguration that the extremists want. We must never allow them that victory!

Pope Benedict XVI: "At the root of the crisis: the idea of Church"

Catholic Insight presents a compelling chapter in The Ratzinger Report. Although written in 1985, the insights that Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger offered then hold the same validity today. He sees the crisis of Catholic identity in the Faith stems from a misunderstanding of the Church's nature. Too many Catholics do not take seriously the reality that Church is more than a human institution. Observe:
“My impression is that the authentically Catholic meaning of the reality ‘Church’ is tacitly disappearing, without being expressly rejected. Many no longer believe that what is at issue is a reality willed by the Lord himself. Even with some theologians, the Church appears to be a human construction, an instrument created by us and one which we ourselves can freely recognize according to the requirements of the moment. In other words, in many ways a conception of Church is spreading in Catholic thought, and even in Catholic theology, that cannot even be called Protestant in a ‘classic’ sense. Many current ecclesiological ideas (ecclesia, Latin for assembly or Church), rather refer to the model of certain North American ‘free churches,’ in which in the past believers took refuge from the oppressive model of the ‘State Church’ produced by the Reformation. Those refugees, no longer believing in an institutional Church willed by Christ, and wanting at the same time to escape the State Church, created their own church, an organization structured according to their needs.”
He reminds all Catholics about the true nature of Church:
“For a Catholic, the Church is indeed composed of men who organize her external visage. But behind this, the fundamental structures are willed by God himself, and therefore they are inviolable. Behind the human exterior stands the mystery of a more than human reality, in which reformers, sociologists, organizers have no authority whatsoever. If the Church, instead, is viewed as a human construction, the product of our own efforts, even the contents of the faith end up assuming an arbitrary character: the faith, in fact, no longer has an authentic, guaranteed instrument through which to express itself. Thus, without a view of the mystery of the Church that is also supernatural and not only sociological, christology itself loses its reference to the divine in favour of a purely human structure, and ultimately it amounts to a purely human project: the Gospel becomes the Jesus-project, the social-liberation project or other merely historical, immanent projects that can still seem religious in appearance, but which are atheistic in substance.”
The heart of contemporary Catholics' misunderstanding of Church may come from an erroneous interpretation of the Second Vatican Council (surprise, surprise!):
I: During Vatican II there was a great emphasis—in the interventions of some bishops, in the statements of their theological advisers, but also in the final documents—on the concept of the Church as “People of God,” a conception which subsequently seemed to dominate in the post-conciliar ecclesiologies.

Cardinal: “That’s true. There was and there still is this emphasis, which in the Council texts, however, is balanced with others that complete it. A balance that has been lost with many theologians. Yet, contrary to what the latter think, in this way there is the risk of moving backward rather than forward. Here indeed there is even the danger of abandoning the New Testament in order to return to the Old.

“‘People of God’ in Scripture, in fact, is a reference to Israel in its relationship of prayer and fidelity to the Lord. But to limit the definition of the Church to that expression means not to give expression to the New Testament understanding of the Church in its fullness. Here ‘People of God’ actually refers always to the Old Testament element of the Church, to her continuity with Israel.

“But the Church receives her New Testament character more distinctively in the concept of the ‘Body of Christ.’ One is Church and one is a member thereof, not through a sociological adherence, but precisely through incorporation in this Body of the Lord through baptism and the Eucharist. Behind the concept of the Church as the People of God, which has been so exclusively thrust into the foreground today, hide influences of ecclesiologies which de facto revert to the Old Testament; and perhaps also political, partisan and collectivist influences. In reality, there is not truly a New Testament, Catholic concept of Church without a direct and vital relation not only with sociology but first of all with christology. The Church does not exhaust herself in the ‘collective’ of the believers: being the ‘Body of Christ’ she is much more than the simple sum of her members.”
When some Catholics emphasize the image of Church as the People of God, and minimize the other valid images of Church that balance one another, they form an innaccurate perception of Church. They may begin to believe that we the People, in order to form a more perfect Union with Christ as his baptized priests, may reform this Church into a body more open to the people's participation. Somehow they forget whose Church it is. They fail to fully internalize the reality that Church is the Body of Christ manifest in the people of God. We image this body when we act in communion with him and those he has chosen to guide us: the Pope and Bishops in communion with him. If we forget that the Church is his body, then we may act as though we own the Church, that it's only a human community that may change according to our understanding of revelation. Why does such an understanding strike me as more consistent with those that practice private judgement, i.e. protestants? Why does this ecclesiology appear more congregational than incarnational to me?

The zeal of the Vatican II generation to implement the council cosumed them. Thinking that the Holy Spirit had guided them to accept much more of the modern worldview than was prudent, they adopted the sensibility of many protestants. These Christians, however, live their faith from a very different theological paradigm than Catholics do. They form congregations of individual Christians that enjoy a vertical relationship with God. They honor the decision of their conscience in private judgement. This relationship with God does not encompass the same understanding of Church as the Body of Christ that the Catholic Church has taught in the Council. Thus, certain overzeolous Vatican II Catholics have inadvertantly steered other Catholics into non-Catholic thinking and practice of their Faith.

Foolable Catholic "left" dissenters base their demands for changes in the hierarchy, such as the admittance of women and married men, on the premise that the Church is the People of God. They do not take seriously the transcendent dimension of the Church as the Body of Christ. They fail to see that Catholics can't arbitrarily change what God has established. They would grant authority to the laity that the Pope himself denies that he has! Meanwhile, many struggle in their faith as this Catholic "culture war" divides his body more and more.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger presents the truth of what the Church is. We are the people of God as the body of Christ. Our Lord and savior is our head. We are the sacrament of salvation in the world as members of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. He is our bridegroom, and we are his bride. We have only the authority over ourselves that he has bestowed on us through his body, the Church. We can't change his body to our likeing if such a change runs counter to his will. We the Church belong to him, not the other way around.

May Pope Benedict XVI continue to witness to the Truth of who we are as Church. May Catholics throughout the world respond to his witness in integrity and obedience. Then we may bring the world the fullness of the healing of Christ that the world so desperately needs.

Not an Auspicious Beginning

If this report holds up under scrutiny, then the truce between khartoum and Darfur rebels has not begun well. Reuters has the story here. It looks like a he-said/he-said so far:
Sudanese troops and helicopters killed seven civilians and wounded about 10 in attacks on villages in the western Darfur region, the rebel commander of the area told Reuters on Monday.

Sudanese officials were not available to comment.

An official from the African Union, which is monitoring a shakey ceasefire in the area, said a team had been sent to investigate but had not yet reported back.

The attacks took place at two separate sites along the road between Nyala and al-Fasher on Sunday, rebel commanders said.

"They (Sudanese forces) killed three civilians in Abu Hamra and four in Sheng al-Tobei," said Adam Yacoub, the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) commander of the area.

"About 10 people were wounded in total," he added.
If Sudanese forces did attack this village, then it's clear Khartoum has no intention of altering its genocidal policy in Darfur. How will the International community respond to such defiance? How will the U.S. answer this challenge?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Dad29 on "Benedict XVI vs. The demi-Pelagians"

My fellow victimco-beneficiary of the Curt Jester observes a battle. It's Benedict XVI vs. The demi-Pelagians. He notes a Zenit interview with Tracy Rowland that reveals the fundamental misunderstanding of Gaudium et Spes. This tragic mistake has caused many misplaced efforts to accomodate The Church to the World, rather than enlighten the world with Christ mediated through The Church. His money quote:
The popular interpretation of this document was that it represented an acknowledgment on the part of the Church that modernity is OK and that it is the will of the Holy Spirit that Catholics accommodate their practices and culture, including liturgical culture, to modernity's spirit as quickly as possible.

This had the effect of generating a cultural revolution within the Church such that anything that was characteristically pre-conciliar became suspect.

Modes of liturgical dress, forms of prayer, different devotions, hymns that had been a part of the Church's cultural treasury for centuries, were not just dumped, but actively suppressed. To be a practicing Catholic in many parishes, one had to buy into the pop culture of the 1960s and 1970s.

Against this, Ratzinger has been critical of what he calls "claptrap and pastoral infantilism" -- "the degradation of liturgy to the level of a parish tea party and the intelligibility of the popular newspaper."

If the project of "Gaudium et Spes" is taken to mean "accommodating the practice of the faith to the culture of modernity," then I think that the project has been problematic in pastoral terms.
This misinterpretation may also have positioned many Bishops into surrendering to the libertine culture that resulted from the sexual revolution. I've already discussed tonight how tragic this decision of many of America's prelates has been for the Roman Catholic Church in America. Not to mention the world.

Pope John Paul the Great spent much of his papacy forging a correct interpretation of this document of the Second Vatican Council, an interpretative key, if you will. Pope Benedict XVI may do the same for Lumen Gentium, another crucial Vatican II document that has been grossly misinterpreted. The two papacies together may finally right many of the pastoral and doctrinal errors that so many in the Church appear to have made since the close of the Second Vatican Council. Might this be the springtime of a proper implementation of Vatican II? Stay tuned.

I Love It When The Reasonable Whine!

Consider this fine screed by the People For the American Way. Note that they title it, "- Right Wing Religious McCarthyites and John Roberts". Before everybody has read a word, they already know that whoever The People for The American Way disagrees with are "Right Wing Religious McCarhyites". That's to cover their foaming-at-the-mouth:
Building on their two-year old campaign to smear those who might oppose Roberts as anti-Catholic bigots, the Committee for Justice has dusted off its “Catholics Need Not Apply” rhetoric. Talking points posted on its CFJ’s website advocate defending Roberts for the role he played in two abortion-related cases while serving in the Solicitor General’s office by suggesting that:

“[C]ritics who attack Roberts' unstated views on abortion are simply attempting to impose a religious litmus test on nominees, i.e., practicing religious [sic] (especially Christians) need not apply. The memo continues, “This is the same scurrilous attack on several of the President's lower court nominees, such as Bill Pryor, and has no place in modern politics.”

A set of nearly identical talking points reportedly authored by Republican staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee – typos and all – has now surfaced on the web. It is disappointing, if entirely predictable, that some far-right groups would attempt to misuse religion in this manner. But if these “anti-Christian” talking points are being promoted by Senate Republicans, it is an outrageous and unacceptable attempt to intimidate and dissuade Senate Democrats from asking the tough questions that the American people need answered so they can understand the judicial philosophy of this or any other nominee.
No. It's a reminder by the Republicans to the pro-abort fanatic Democrats on the Judiciary Committee that Litmus tests are not allowed. It wasn't a Republican that objected to a nominee on account of his "deeply held beliefs". That honor belonged to Senators Charles Schumer, Diane Feinstein, Dick Durban and other Democrats . To whom was he referring? Why, faithful Catholic William Pryor! So, if a faithful catholic can be refused a seat on a Federal Court because he holds "deeply held beliefs", is one insane to assume that he's being refused for any other reason then his Faith? Of course not. And The People for the American Way know it. They and their Reasonable allies can't openly say it, but they will never accept a faithful Catholic on the Federal Courts or SCOTUS. They fear that such Catholic Fools would take away their sacrament to Moloch. That would be the one that allows them to worship the Great-I-am through the sacred rights of the One Thing That Matters. Roe v. Wade must stand for all time, the Reasonable chant. The People continue to babble:
The use of this bullying tactic in the process used to consider judicial nominees as the Senate performs its advice and consent function first surfaced in 2003 when accusations of anti-Catholicism were, for the first time, openly leveled in Senate chambers.

In June of that year, during a hearing on the nomination of William Pryor to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Republican Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (UT) inexplicably asked Pryor about his religious affiliation, to which Pryor responded that he is a Roman Catholic. Democratic Senator Pat Leahy (VT) angrily objected to Hatch’s question, but Hatch tried to spin the issue by responding that “General Pryor’s religious beliefs have been put squarely at issue, and if not directly, indirectly.” When Leahy said that asking about a nominee’s religious beliefs would set a “terrible precedent,” Hatch responded, “Then let’s get the outside groups to stop doing that,” even though none had done so. Indeed, it was Hatch who raised Pryor’s religion -- during his opening statement, before a single Senator had even had the opportunity to ask a question of the nominee.
What a fantastic piece of dissembling. Now it's the Republican's fault that Pryor's Catholicism became an issue in his confirmation! Wow, I'm so glad these Reasonable people cleared that up for me! And hear I thought that "Deeply Held beliefs" meant any religious viewpoint that considers abortion immoral, especially Roman Catholicism. I'm so relieved that it is the party that has been more Prolife that actually has a problem with candidates that hold prolife positions! Thanks for setting me straight!

I'm laughing out of my seat! The sputtering vitriole of the People for the American Way betrays just how insanely out-of-touch they've become. I love it! They don't have a prayer of legitimately derailing Judge Roberts' nomination. Even while the Democrats position themselves to lose national standing in a pointless and futile filibuster attempt, Conservatives and Republican's pull away their curtain. The Reasonable will have no cover for their institutional prejudice this time. The People For the American Way can't stand that. They know they can't win unless they can cover this prejudice.

How I love to hear them whine. Such music to my ears will leave me laughing for a long time!