Friday, January 29, 2010

Why Planned Parenthood really wants Abortions

The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), the research arm of Planned Parenthood, estimates that there were 1.21 million abortions performed in the U.S. in the year 2005. Of the 1.21 million annual abortions, approximately 88% (1.06 million) are performed during the first trimester. The other 12% (150,000) are performed during the second and third trimester. In 2005, the average cost of a nonhospital abortion with local anesthesia at 10 weeks of gestation was $413. The Women's Medical Center estimates that a 2nd trimester abortion costs up to $3000 (with the price increasing the further along the pregnancy goes). If we take the $413 average for 1st trimester abortions and use a $3000 average for 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions, here's what we get: $438 million is spent each year on first trimester abortions and $393 million is spent on late term abortions. That means that each year in the U.S., the abortion industry brings in approximately $831 million through their abortion services alone. If you add in the $337 million (or more) that Planned Parenthood (America's largest abortion provider) receives annually in government grants and contracts for, the annual dollar amount moves well past 1 billion.

Abortion, to put it plainly, is a very lucrative business, and this has been true from the beginning. By last count, Planned Parenthood (a tax-exempt organization!) has $951 million in total assets! Marvin Olasky observes and documents in his book, Abortion Rites, that there have long been doctors who supported abortion "if not for principle, at least for principal." Like prostitution (which helped abortionists "flourish and grow rich" during the mid 1800's), abortion offers the opportunity to get rich quick. For all of human history, the "blandishment of wealth" has led many to rationalize career choices that they would never otherwise dream of.

What this means to the abortion debate is that the people and organizations who defend the morality of abortion the most vehemently are generally the very same ones who rake in huge profits from its continued availability. This sets up a significant conflict of interest and should immediately call into question any claims they might make about their desire to reduce the number of abortions. When Planned Parenthood argues that they're working hard to reduce the frequency of abortion, the fact remains that their financial livelihood is built on abortion. Planned Parenthood, then, is just like the big tobacco companies. Does anyone really believe that tobacco companies want people to stop smoking? Does anyone really believe that Planned Parenthood wants people to stop having abortions? Follow the money.

For The Inept President of the United States.

Hey Mr President, you want suggestions, here is one,but I doubt that you will take it.

Perfect answer to saving the Social Security System,
Stop Abortions, and enough money will be generated in the SS system to keep it going for hundreds of years, as long as the government does not continue to rape the system, and move it into the General Fund so that they can spend more to get votes.
Abortion in the United States
Incidence of Abortion
49% of pregnancies among American women are unintended; almost half of these are terminated by abortion.
In 2000, 1.31 million abortions took place, down from an estimated 1.36 million in 1996. From 1973 through 2000, more than 39 million legal abortions occurred.
Each year, 2 out of every 100 women aged 15–44 have an abortion; 48% of them have had at least one previous abortion and 61% have had a previous birth.
An estimated 43% of women will have at least one abortion by the time they are 45 years old.
Each year, an estimated 46 million abortions occur worldwide. Of these, 20 million procedures are obtained illegally.
Who Has Abortions
52% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25: Women aged 20–24 obtain 33% of all abortions, and teenagers obtain 19%.
Black women are more than three times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are two-and-a-half times as likely.
43% of women obtaining abortions identify themselves as Protestant, and 27% identify themselves as Catholic.
Two-thirds of all abortions are among never-married women.
More than 60% of abortions are among women who have had one or more children.
On average, women give at least three reasons for choosing abortion: three-fourths say that having a baby would interfere with work, school, or other responsibilities; about two-thirds say they cannot afford a child; and half say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.
About 13,000 women have abortions each year following rape or incest.
Contraceptive Use
54% of women having abortions used a contraceptive method during the month they became pregnant.
8% of women having abortions have never used a method of birth control; nonuse is greatest among those who are young, unmarried, poor, black, Hispanic, or poorly educated.
Nine in ten women at risk of unintended pregnancy are using a contraceptive method.
49% of the 6.3 million pregnancies that occur each year are unplanned.
As much as 43% of the decline in abortion between 1994 and 2000 can be attributed to the use of emergency contraception.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lies Obama told the people

11 Obama Broken Promises

1.Promise: The unemployment rate would not go past 8% with passage of his $787 billion Stimulus Package. Reality: The unemployment exceeded 10%. Unfulfilled promise.

2.Promise: Obama will bring bipartisanship to government. Reality: None occurred and he did not even bring in liberal Republicans like Olympia Snow of Maine. Broken promise.

3.Promise: A new way for Washington politics. Reality: The opposite occurred. To get Healthcare through the Senate, the Obama team “bribed” Senators Landrieu and Nelson with multi-hundred million dollar perks for their states to get their votes for a bill their constituents did not want. Broken promise.

4.Promise: The President promised he “will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days.” Reality: Bills were delivered to Congress hours prior to their votes without public review. Broken promise.

5.Promise: Bring transparency to Washington, stating: “But what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies.” Reality: Never occurred. Broken promise.

6.Promise: To close Guantanamo prison. Reality: Prison still open. Broken promise.

7.Promise: America will be safer with more international cooperation. Reality: We had more terrorist attacks in America in Obama’s first year than in Bush’s last seven. Unfulfilled promise.

8. Promise: The President promised in a January 6, 2009 press conference that: “We are going to ban all earmarks.” Reality: First spending bill Obama signed in March 2009 had over 9,000 earmarks. Broken promise.

9.Promise: Cut government spending. In the second presidential debate Obama said: “Actually, I am cutting more than I’m spending. So it will be a net spending cut.” In the third debate he stated: “What I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.” Reality: Obama has outspent all. Under Bush, the US debt increase in 8 years by an unacceptable $3 trillion. Obama exceeding that figure in his first year ($3.3 trillion). Broken promise.

10.Promise: No tax increase on families making less than $250,000, stating at a September 2008 town hall meeting in Dover, Delaware: “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase – not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” Reality: Obama has proposed Cap and Trade, which would be a fat tax on everyone, increased the cigarette tax by 159 percent, and others. Broken promise.

11.Promise: He would not force Americans to buy health insurance. In the January 2008debate he stated about Hilary Clinton’s plan: “She believes we have to force people who don’t have insurance.” In a February 2008 CNN interview, he stated: “If a mandate was the solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating that everybody buy a house.” Reality: After the election, Obama stated: “Under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance.” Broken promise.
But remember, if whatever woe Doofus has, it's either the fault of Bush (who's been out of office for over a year now), or the "Party of NO!" Republicans (who've been kept out of most, if not all, nuts and bolts meetings on Capitol Hill.)
posted by Vir Speluncae Catholicus

Friday, January 22, 2010

Telling it like it is!

This is an excellent article by Pat Buchanan....I’m impressed by his honesty to say what is very unpopular and almost makes you wince as you read it. The facts are the facts and history has proven time and again that white people simply are NOT the racists in this country. I love his closing paragraph, he calls for an END to affirmative action and ethnic preferences....God, I pray that we will ALL live to see that!

Here it is:

Has Obama Lost White America?
by Patrick J. Buchanan

If Republicans will study the returns from Massachusetts, then review the returns from Virginia and New Jersey, light will fall upon the path to victory over Barack Obama in 2012.

Obama defeated John McCain by winning the black vote 24 to one, the Hispanic vote two to one and taking a larger share of the white vote, 44 percent, than did John Kerry or Al Gore. As the white vote was three-fourths of the national turnout, Obama coasted to victory.

Now consider Massachusetts. In the 2008 election, no less than 79 percent of the voters were white, and Obama carried them by 20 points, winning the state 62 to 36.

How did Scott Brown turn that 26-point deficit into a six-point victory? By winning the white vote as massively as did Obama. While there are no exit polls to prove it, we do have exit polls from Virginia and New Jersey, which tend to corroborate it.

Bob McDonnell won the Virginia governor's race by 17, while McCain lost Virginia by six. As McDonnell did equally poorly with African-Americans, losing the black vote 90 to nine, while McCain's lost it 92 to eight, what explains his Virginia landslide?

The white vote. McDonnell won Virginia's white vote 68 to 32, though his opponent was a downstate Democrat more conservative than the Northern Virginia candidates he beat in the primary.

In New Jersey, same story. McCain won 8 percent of the black vote. Gov. Chris Christie won 8 percent of the black vote. How did Christie turn a McCain loss of New Jersey by 16 points into a five-point victory?

The white vote. McCain won the white vote in New Jersey 50 to 49, but Christie won the white vote 59 to 34, almost two to one.

Republicans have won three major races -- two of them upsets and one a Massachusetts miracle -- because the white share of the vote in all three rose as a share of the total vote, and Republicans swept the white vote in Reagan-like landslides.

What explains the white surge to the GOP?

First, sinking white support for Obama, seen as ineffectual in ending the recession and stopping the loss of jobs.

Second, a growing perception that Obama is biased. When the president blurted that the Cambridge cops and Sgt. James Crowley "acted stupidly" in arresting black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates -- a rush to judgment that proved wrong -- his support sank in white America and especially in Massachusetts, where black Gov. Deval Patrick joined in piling on Crowley. Deval is now in trouble, too.

Then there was Obama's appointment of Puerto Rican American Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Her militant support for race and ethnic preferences and her decision to deny Frank Ricci and the white firefighters of New Haven a hearing on their case that they were denied promotions they won in competitive exams because they were white caused 31 GOP senators to vote against her.

While Massachusetts is Democrat over Republican three to one, Reagan carried the state in 1984 and Hillary Clinton clobbered Obama in the 2008 primary, though the Kennedys were in Obama's corner. The Scott Brown Democrats were the Hillary Democrats were the Reagan Democrats.

But if McDonnell, Christie and Brown could roll up large enough shares of the white vote to win in three major states McCain lost, why did McCain lose all three?

Answer: In 2008, the working and middle class had had a bellyful of the Bush-McCain Republicans. They were seen as pro-amnesty for illegal aliens and pro-NAFTA, when U.S. workers had watched 5 million manufacturing jobs disappear in a decade -- and reappear in China. They were willing to give Obama a chance because Obama had persuaded them by November he was not just another big-spending utopian liberal.

So what have Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi been doing for a year? Crafting a federal takeover of health care with a vast plan that provides coverage for the uninsured -- most of whom are minorities -- while sticking it to Medicare recipients, 80 percent to 90 percent of whom are white.

Immigrants are 21 percent of the uninsured, but only 7 percent of the population. This means white folks on Medicare or headed there will see benefits curtailed, while new arrivals from the Third World, whence almost all immigrants come, get taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. Any wonder why all those Tea Party and town-hall protests seem to be made up of angry white folks?

What the McDonnell, Christie and Brown victories teach is that the GOP should stop listening to the Wall Street Journal and start listening to these forgotten Americans.

An end to affirmative action and ethnic preferences, an end to bailouts of Wall Street bankers, a moratorium on immigration until unemployment falls to 6 percent, an industrial policy that creates jobs here and stops shipping them to China appear a winning hand in 2012.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why give them Food? How stupid!

This is satanic. I can't think of a better way to put it.

The people of Haiti are in need to the very basics of life, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation has the audacity to ask for money for THIS!?

Here's some of their HELP HAITI NOW donation website; (Emphasis and comments mine.)


Help Haiti Now: Donate to PROFAMIL

100% of donations collected will go directly to PROFAMIL's operations, so they can get their clinics and mobile health units up and working as soon as possible.

Since 1984 PROFAMIL has provided low-cost, quality sexual and reproductive healthcare. As a leader in the field, PROFAMIL meets regularly with the Minister of Health to develop strategies for increasing access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.

Programs that Profamil offers include:

* Sexual & Reproductive Health Services: PROFAMIL clinics provide family planning, early detection of breast and cervical cancers, high-quality sexual and reproductive health clinical services for men and women, and pre-and-post natal services. (Besides being a Christian act, how about burying the dead? That is more of a critical 'health service' in Haiti right now than passing out rubbers.)

* Mobile Health Clinics: PROFAMIL brings health providers directly to the rural communities where the people are totally isolated. Approximately 200 men, women and children are provided with basic health care services at each visit. (And then again, they consider ripping an unborn child out of the womb as 'basic health care'.)

* HIV/AIDS Prevention: PROFAMIL conducts voluntary testing and counseling for HIV/AIDS, educates the public about prevention and ensures widespread access to condoms. (A sandwich and a bottle of water would be nice.)

* PROFAMIL Youth Program: PROFAMIL provides youth-friendly clinical and educational services to young people aged 10-25. (Again, couldn't you just drop off a sandwich and a bottle of water instead of handing out abortion pamphlets?)

* Health Education: PROFAMIL covers issues such as promoting family planning and presenting various methods; cervical cancer and the need for routine pap smears; relationships; gender issues; domestic violence; HIV/AIDS prevention with regular condom demonstrations. In 2006, PROFAMIL educated over 225,000 people. (And murdered 305,000 unborn children last year alone.)
posted by Vir Speluncae Catholicus

For the Liberals Dem's in Hawaii

Headline, Dec. 8, 1941 - Thousands Of Sailors Wet!
Oh... and the Japanese attacked, too

Helmet tip to Former Alter Boy.

God love the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Check out the headline, then the article proper. Here's some of it; (Emphasis mine.)

Scores attend civil-union rally
By Rob Shikina

Thousands opposed to same-sex marriage rallied at the state Capitol to send a message to lawmakers who support a civil-unions bill in this election year. "Your one vote is just as powerful as their one vote," Dennis Arakaki, an organizer, told the crowd. "Use that power to elect people who are righteous."

Arakaki estimated about 15,000 people dressed in white went to the Capitol yesterday, some on their own and many others bused in with church groups. The turnout was more than last year's traditional-marriage rally that brought 10,000 to 12,000 attendees dressed in red, Arakaki said.

A handful of civil-union supporters stood across the street amid traditional-marriage proponents. Some opponents engaged in debates about homosexuality, but deputy sheriffs reported no major problems. "They're promoting social inequality," said Dave McCaskey, 18, a University of Hawaii student who is not gay. He carried a sign that read, "You can't outlaw LOVE."

"They're defining who we are by depriving us of our rights," said Kealoha Kelekolio, 63, of Manoa. Kamuela Kaahanui, 60, a UH professor, said he was disappointed that they would hold the rally on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and on the anniversary of the overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani. "If the queen were here, she would ask this question," he said, pointing to a sign reading, "Where's the aloha?"
Actually, under Queen Kaahanui's reign, the penalty for homosexuality was as follows;

...a fine of up to $1,000 and confinement at hard labor for up to 20 years.
Even the Queen back then knew that guys shouldn't be leiing each other.
posted by Vir Speluncae Catholicus

Speaking for the PEOPLE

That Old Obama Magic Is Back
by Ann Coulter

Once again, the people have spoken, and this time they quoted what Dick Cheney said to Pat Leahy.

Less than two weeks ago, The New York Times said that so much as a "tighter-than-expected" victory for Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley would incite "soul-searching among Democrats nationally," which sent Times readers scurrying to their dictionaries to look up this strange new word, "soul."

A close win for Coakley, the Times said, would constitute "the first real barometer of whether problems facing the party" will affect the 2010 elections.

But when Coakley actually lost the election by an astounding 5 points, the Chicago boys in the White House decided it was the chick's fault.

Democratic candidate Martha Coakley may be a moral monster, but it's ridiculous to blame her for losing the election. She lost because of the Democrats' obsession with forcing national health care down the nation's throat.

Coakley campaigned exactly the way she should have.

As a Democrat running in a special election for a seat that had been held by a Democratic icon (and another moral monster) for the past 46 years in a state with only 12 percent registered Republicans, Coakley's objective was to have voters reading the paper on Friday, saying: "Hey, honey, did you know there was a special election four days ago? Yeah, apparently Coakley won, though it was a pretty low turnout."

Ideally, no one except members of government unions and Coakley's immediate family would have even been aware of the election.

And until Matt Drudge began covering it like a presidential election a week ago, it might have turned out that way.

Coakley had already won two statewide elections, while her Republican opponent, Scott Brown, had only won elections in his district. She had endorsements from the Kennedy family and the current appointed Democratic senator, Paul Kirk -- as well as endless glowing profiles in The Boston Globe.

And by the way, as of Jan. 1, Brown had spent $642,000 on the race, while Coakley had spent $2 million.

On Jan. 8, just 11 days before the election, The New York Times reported: "A Brown win remains improbable, given that Democrats outnumber Republicans by 3 to 1 in the state and that Ms. Coakley, the state's attorney general, has far more name recognition, money and organizational support."

It was in that article that the Times said a narrow Coakley win would be an augury for the entire Democratic Party. But now she's being hung out to dry so that Democrats don't have to face the possibility that Obama's left-wing policies are to blame.

Alternatively, Democrats are trying to write off Brown's colossal victory as the standard seesawing of public sentiment that hits both Republicans and Democrats from time to time. As MSNBC's Chris Matthews explained, it was just the voters saying "no" generally, but not to anything in particular.

Except when Republicans win political power, they hold onto it long enough to govern. The Democrats keep being smacked down by the voters immediately after being elected and revealing their heinous agenda.

As a result, for the past four decades, American politics has consisted of Republicans controlling Washington for eight to 14 years -- either from the White House or Capitol Hill -- thus allowing Americans to forget what it was they didn't like about Democrats, whom they then carelessly vote back in. The Democrats immediately remind Americans what they didn't like about Democrats, and their power is revoked at the voters' first possible opportunity.

Obama has cut the remembering-what-we-don't-like-about-Democrats stage of this process down from two to four years to about 10 months. Folks, I'm convinced that if we all work really hard, we can get it down to three months.

Four years of Jimmy Carter gave us two titanic Reagan landslides, peace and prosperity for eight blessed years -- and even a third term for his feckless vice president, George H.W. Bush.

Two years of Bill Clinton gave us a historic Republican sweep of Congress, which killed the entire Clinton agenda (with the exception of partial-birth abortion and felony obstruction of justice) -- and also gave us two terms for George W. Bush.

And now, merely one year of Obama and a Democratic Congress has given us the first Republican senator from Massachusetts in 31 years.

In other recent news, last November, New Jersey voters, who haven't voted for a Republican for president since 1988, threw out their incumbent Democratic governor, Jon Corzine. In Virginia, which Obama carried by 6 points a year earlier, a religious-right Republican won the governor's office by 17 points.

Sen. Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, won his last election in 2006 by 28 points -- the largest margin for a Democratic Senate candidate in that state in a quarter-century.

Since voting for the Senate health care bill last Christmas, the once-bulletproof Sen. Nelson not only gets booed out of Omaha pizzerias, but he has also seen his job approval rating fall to 42 percent and his disapproval rating soar to 48 percent. (Meanwhile, the junior senator from Nebraska, Mike Johanns, who voted against the bill, has a job approval rating of 63 percent.)

The Democrats have no natural majority because they have no fundamental principles -- at least none that they are willing to state out loud. They are like a drunken vagrant who emerges from the alley to cause havoc every few years. They are the perpetual toothache of American politics.

To be sure, the fact that 52 percent of Massachusetts voters are racist, sexist tea-baggers -- i.e., voted for a Republican -- means only that the Democrats just went from having the largest congressional majority in a generation to the second largest. But this was "Teddy Kennedy's seat." And it was in Massachusetts.

Now, no Democrat is safe.

But the country just got a lot safer.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crooks and Thieves

Check this out, and who is going to pay for this on top of the Healthcare bill?????
Get this Email I just received:And this on top of the Healthcare bill they are trying to force through:
Martin Weiss

Blank checks to Fannie and Freddie at taxpayers' expense
have elevated Treasury Secretary Geithner to "Bailout
King." We must not bow down to decrees of this new king.
Details below. -- Martin


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the quasi-government entities that
were "rewarded" with $200 billion in bailout money for their
role in the greatest housing meltdown in our nation's history,
are now set to receive an "unlimited funds" bailout...

In a stealth move while nearly all of Washington was away,
Secretary Timothy Geithner lifted all caps on the Fannie
and Freddie bail-outs, and enacted what may turn out to be
one of the greatest taxpayer heists in history!

And to add insult to injury, the top executives of these
two entities will also receive $42 million in bonuses!

+ + How much is "Unlimited?"

itzik, this outrage and madness seems to know no bounds.
Geithner's bold move sidesteps government oversight, and
gives Fannie and Freddie an unbridled opportunity to write
themselves huge checks without prior approval of Congress.

Again, all at YOUR expense!

Where does the print-and-spend madness end?

It will only end if and when the investor-citizens rebel.

That's why I'm so grateful that you are already standing with
me and the Sound Dollar Committee to battle precisely this
kind of irresponsibility. With your help, we can begin to change
the reckless culture in Washington.

+ + Alert your friends

itzik, in the face of so many economic concerns, many
citizens and citizen investors behave like a deer caught in
the headlights of oncoming traffic. Too frightened to move.

These are the very citizens I'm counting on you to reach out to
in the days and weeks ahead -- alerting and steering them to
the Sound Dollar Committee.

Forward this message to 20-30 friends today, urging
them to take action with you by clicking here:

This latest revelation regarding Fannie and Freddie galvanizes
the need to quickly mobilize a powerful grassroots coalition
of citizen investors who are determined to put free-spending
politicians on notice and rescue the U.S. dollar.

Over the next 30 days, I'm counting on you to help me rally
an additional 20,000 citizen signers who are taking action!

Thank you in advance for taking action with me through the
Sound Dollar Committee.


Friday, January 15, 2010

The Evil is all through the Cabinet

January 14, 2010

Secretary Clinton Announces 5-year Funding Push, Including Abortion
By Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) In Washington last week, United States (U.S.) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the United States would engage in a massive funding push over the next five years to promote “reproductive health care and family planning” as a “basic right” around the word. Clinton has previously stated for the record that this includes abortion. The plan includes potentially siphoning off funds currently directed towards fighting HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis and malaria.

Commemorating the fifteenth anniversary of the controversial International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Clinton said there were only five years left to achieve ICPD’s goal that “all governments will make access to reproductive healthcare and family planning services a basic right.”

Last April, in testimony before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, when asked whether the United States' definition of “reproductive health" includes abortion, Clinton replied that, "We happen to think that family planning is an important part of women's health and reproductive health includes access to abortion that I believe should be safe, legal and rare." 

In her remarks last week Clinton specifically emphasized the importance of the abortion component of the Obama foreign policy by saying,“One of President Obama’s first actions in office was to overturn the Mexico City policy, which greatly limited our ability to fund family planning programs.” The 1984 Mexico City Policy required all non-governmental organizations that receive federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services, as a method of family planning, in other countries. In fact, notwithstanding Clinton’s assertions, the ICPD outcome document likewise rules out abortion as a method of family planning.

Despite the economic downturn, Clinton announced that “The U.S. Congress recently appropriated more than $648 million in foreign assistance to family planning and reproductive health programs worldwide.…the largest allocation in more than a decade.” The “centerpiece” of the Obama foreign policy, she said, would be the Global Health Initiative. She said the initiative “commits us to spending $63 billion over six years.” This will link the reproductive rights agenda to high profile global health concerns. Launched by the World Economic Forum in 2002, the initiative is supposed to focus on HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, and malaria.

The plan to link abortion rights to the Global Health Initiative through the issue of maternal and child health was announced at the 2007 United Nations (UN)-sponsored “Women Deliver” conference by abortion rights groups such as International Planned Parenthood and Center for Reproductive Rights as well as the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). At that time, these groups also called for linking abortion rights to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by inserting a target for “universal access to reproductive health” under MDG 5 on maternal health. Critics see this as a stratagem to dip into funds previously directed to fights AIDS and other diseases.

Last week Clinton pledged U.S. commitment to the reproductive health target, saying,“We have pledged new funding, new programs, and a renewed commitment to achieve Millennium Development Goal Five, namely a [three-fourths] reduction in global maternal mortality, and universal access to reproductive healthcare.” That target has never been accepted by the General Assembly in open debate, and was soundly rejected the last time it was raised in 2005.


When will I come to the end of my pilgrimage and enter the presence of God?

Even when I think the journey is over, I find that God has not given up on me. Even when I've long given up on myself, God sends messengers in the form of angels, homilies, friends and prayer to call me again to Himself, to rouse me to battle on and seek Him in my Vocation...whatever it is.

No, I'm not totally at peace with that idea. I know that there is something more, and in the end, I told him I think I'm just in some strange limbo. Neither here nor there, just....existing. Trying to focus on what I know and needing to work on holiness in the present moment.

The problem is that I'm so weary from this journey. I'm so tired of seeking that I'm ready to lie down and go to sleep, accept where I am and just go on from there. I'm ready to accept that I'll be single forever, and that my Vocation is one of perpetual pilgrimage, wondering if I should take private vows to that effect and be done with it.

This weekend, though, we suffered experienced the transferred Solemnity of the Epiphany, and at my home parish, the Pastor gave an incredible homily about the Magi, about their journey and about how we should learn from them. The journey is hard, but their eyes were on the goal. Father called us all to keep our eyes on the goal, and not to give up just because it seems at times that the journey never ends. He cited weariness, he cited trials and difficulties, delays and roadblocks. And then he called us all onward, to continue that journey because to find Christ under the star, to adore Him, is the goal of us all for eternity. He waits for us, He awaits our gifts, not just of what is needed...but the free gift of ourselves.

As Father spoke, nearly every word cut right through me. He didn't know I was there. He wasn't speaking to me or intending to be speaking in terms of Vocation. Yet...that's what he was doing. As I listened to his homily, I couldn't help but see the parallels between the journeying Magi and my own search, the search that seems to go on into eternity. First waiting, and then, upon recognition of the star, that there really IS a goal, to travel the long and dangerous route to get there.

No, Father wasn't talking to me personally...but the Holy Spirit was, and He isn't one to leave me alone. Later that day I saw that another priest had delivered the same message, although a bit more specific (I'm hoping he posts the text; all I have is an allusion to it.)

I left Mass a bit shaken, realizing it ISN'T over, God HASN'T forgotten about me, and hasn't abandoned me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Regarding Homosexuality

1) HOMOSEXUALITY: The Church can never change its position on the immorality of homosexual behavior and therefore will never apologize. Homosexual behavior is a moral issue, and the Church is infallible when it speaks authoritatively on matters of faith and morals.

2) Homosexuality has been condemned in the Scripture, by constant tradition and by the Church hierarchy and constitutes the regular teaching of the Church’s Magisterium:

A) Scripture: Scripture condemns homosexuality in no uncertain terms several places. Those who attack the Church’s position on this matter are taking issue with Scripture itself.

Romans 1:24-27: “That is why God left them to their filthy enjoyments and the practices with which they dishonor their own bodies since they have given up Divine truth for a lie and have worshipped and served creatures instead of the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen! That is why God has abandoned them to degrading passions; why their women have turned from natural intercourse to unnatural practices and why their menfolk have given up natural intercourse to be consumed with passion for each other, men doing shameless things with men and getting an appropriate reward for their perversion"

1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” Here, homosexuality is listed along with many other behaviors always accepted as sins (thievery, adultery, etc.); if the Church is “wrong” on homosexuality, is it also wrong on these sins? Note that it says homosexuals will not “inherit the kingdom of God”, meaning homosexual behavior is mortally sinful.

Jude 1:7: “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

B) Tradition: Homosexual behavior has constantly been condemned by the Fathers and the Saints; there does not exist a single saint, doctor or father of the Church who condones it. A few examples:

St. Cyprian of Carthage: “Oh, if placed on that lofty watchtower, you could gaze into the secret places—if you could open the closed doors of sleeping chambers and recall their dark recesses to the perception of sight—you would behold things done by immodest persons which no chaste eye could look upon; you would see what even to see is a crime; you would see what people embruted with the madness of vice deny that they have done, and yet hasten to do—men with frenzied lusts rushing upon men, doing things which afford no gratification even to those who do them" (Letter 1:9 [AD 253]).

Eusebius of Caesarea: "[H]aving forbidden all unlawful marriage, and all unseemly practice, and the union of women with women and men with men, God adds: ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for in all these things the nations were defiled, which I will drive out before you. And the land was polluted, and I have recompensed [their] iniquity upon it, and the land is grieved with them that dwell upon it’ [Lev. 18:24–25]" (Proof of the Gospel 4:10 [A.D. 319]).

St. John Chrysostom: Here one of the most eminent of the Greek doctors explains that even if homosexuality is accepted in society, it is still a grave sin, something pertinent today: “And sundry other books of the philosophers one may see full of this disease. But we do not therefore say that the thing was made lawful, but that they who received this law were pitiable, and objects for many tears. For these are treated in the same way as women that play the whore. Or rather their plight is more miserable. For in the case of the one the intercourse, even if lawless, is yet according to nature; but this is contrary both to law and nature. For even if there were no hell, and no punishment had been threatened, this would be worse than any punishment" (Homilies on Romans, 4 [AD 391])

St. Augustine: “"T]hose shameful acts against nature, such as were committed in Sodom, ought everywhere and always to be detested and punished. If all nations were to do such things, they would be held guilty of the same crime by the law of God, which has not made men so that they should use one another in this way" (Confessions 3:8:15 [A.D. 400]). Notice that Augustine says homosexual acts are to be detested “everywhere and always,” indicating that he understood the Scriptural prohibitions to be universal and not just bound to one culture or time.

C. Magisterium: The Church’s Magisterium has spoken out on this very clearly as well, following in the footsteps of Scripture and Tradition.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of homosexual acts: “They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved” (CCC 2357). Since Pope John Paul II said the Catechism was the “sure norm for teaching the faith” we must regard this as the teaching of the ordinary Magisterium and give it our full assent (Apostolic Letter LAETAMUR MAGNOPERE, 1997)

The Magisterium has also condemned homosexual acts in the 1979 document Persona Humana put out by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In section VIII homosexuality is treated and merits being cited in full, which can be taken as the modern stance of the Church on homosexuality:

At the present time there are those who, basing themselves on observations in the psychological order, have begun to judge indulgently, and even to excuse completely, homosexual relations between certain people. This they do in opposition to the constant teaching of the Magisterium and to the moral sense of the Christian people.

A distinction is drawn, and it seems with some reason, between homosexuals whose tendency comes from a false education, from a lack of normal sexual development, from habit, from bad example, or from other similar causes, and is transitory or at least not incurable; and homosexuals who are definitively such because of some kind of innate instinct or a pathological constitution judged to be incurable.

In regard to this second category of subjects, some people conclude that their tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage, in so far as such homosexuals feel incapable of enduring a solitary life.

In the pastoral field, these homosexuals must certainly be treated with understanding and sustained in the hope of overcoming their personal difficulties and their inability to fit into society. Their culpability will be judged with prudence. But no pastoral method can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant with the condition of such people. For according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality. In Sacred Scripture they are condemned as a serious depravity and even presented as the sad consequence of rejecting God. This judgment of Scripture does not of course permit us to conclude that all those who suffer from this anomaly are personally responsible for it, but it does attest to the fact that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and can in no case be approved of (Persona Humana 8).

D) Conclusion: It is evident that the Church’s condemnation of homosexual activities is not a modern position but something the Church has always taught and believed in every capacity. Therefore, it is part of her depoit of faith and by that fact irreformable and unchangeable. This means (a) that this position will never be changed (b) the Church will never apologize for it and (c) those Catholics who deny the Church’s teaching on this matter endanger their souls by adopting heresy. To say that the Church should change or is wrong is to deny the unchanging nature of the Church’s moral teachings. As Persona Humana says, “In moral matters man cannot make value judgments according to his personal whim” (Persona Humana 3).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Decay of Western Civilization

Western civilization is something that is dear to the heart of any orthodox Catholic. A large part of the crises of the modern world consists in the fact that our civilization seems to have forgotten its heritage and in a sense committed cultural suicide. It is interesting to note that if you spend any time reading conservative publications or listening to conservative pundits, you will hear the phrase "Western civilization" thrown around a lot as well. On the surface, these conservatives say a lot of things about "Western" civilization that a Catholic could agree with: that it is a good, that it must be protected, that it transmits everything valuable from our forefathers, that there is a culture war on today, etc.

But further reading and digging into what exactly is meant by "Western" culture reveals that the Western culture the political neo-cons are so gaga about is not really the same Western culture the Catholic is concerned with restoring. Many of the secular defenders of "Western civilization", such as Mark Levin and Sean Hannity for example, see Western tradition as being embodied in the principles of the United States and having their origin in the Enlightenment. The source of our civilization, for these pundits, is not Catholicism or the united Christendom of the Middle Ages but the ideals of men like Rousseau, Jefferson, Locke and Thomas Paine. Occasionally there is a reference to Greece and Rome as important contributors, but by and large you will find the opinion that the greatness of Western civilization begins with the modern period.

Lest I make this observation without properly giving examples, let us consider three. The first time I noticed this emphasis on the Enlightenment as the origin of Western civilization was in the famous book Closing of the American Mind by Alan Bloom (1987). In this book Bloom points out the degenerate nature of modern culture and the bankruptcy of American institutions in truly educating students. He blasts relativism and modernity unrelentlessly and according to some fired the first shot in "culture wars" of the past several decades. Yet if Bloom calls the modern American lifestyle degenerate and our educational system bankrupt, what is the standard to which he is comparing it? One finds this standard in the Enlightenment philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whom Bloom quotes extensively throughout as one of the founders of Western cultural thought.

Though he cannot really be called a conservative, another critic of the modern age who adopts this idea is famed cultural historian Jacques Barzun, who penned his famous From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life in the mid-1990's when he was close to ninety years old (by the way, he is still alive and is 102). This book purports to trace the fate of Western civilization from its origin to, in barzun's opinion, its collapse into mediocrity in the modern age; hence the title, From Dawn to Decadence. Where exactly does Barzun put the "dawn" of Western civilization? Not at the Enlightenment, but with Martin Luther at the Protestant Revolt. Thoug Barzun, like Bloom, will go on to see Western cultural blossom and grow during the Enlightenment, he sees its origins in the ideals of the Protestant Revolt, specifically with Luther's rejection of ecclesiastical authority and the idea of religious liberty (which is ironic because those of us who know Luther know that he was no fan of religious liberty). For Barzun, Western civilization emerged out of the mire of the Middle Ages during the Reformation, grew into maturity at the Enlightenment and fell into decadence in the period after World War I. Everything good about the world (including reason, scientific advancement, political ideals and capitalism) Barzun attributes to the Enlightenment.

Hillsdale professor Dr. Victor David Hanson, a Distinguished Fellow in History at the college. In his article on "Western warfare" in the 21st century we find some interesting definitions of what he means when he talks about "Western civilization" and the future of "Western culture". Notice what he omits in his definition of our cultural heritage:

[W]hat do we mean by the West? Roughly speaking, we refer to the culture that originated in Greece, spread to Rome, permeated Northern Europe, was incorporated by the Anglo-Saxon tradition, spread through British expansionism, and is associated today primarily with Europe, the United States, and the former commonwealth countries of Britain...(source)

Wait a minute, where did it come from? Let's look at that again: we refer to the culture that originated in Greece, spread to Rome, permeated Northern Europe, was incorporated by the Anglo-Saxon tradition, spread through British expansionism. Was there not any other stages between the Anglo-Saxons and British expansionism? The Anglo-Saxon tradition, at best, can be said to be dominant from the 6th century to the 12th century, and British expansionism didn't begin in earnest until at least 1600. That leaves out everything from around 1100 to 1600; i.e., the Middle Ages.

Notice also the Anglo-centric view of Western civilization - why does he say the culture of Greece and Rome "permeated northern Europe" and then went into Britain? What about Spain, France and Italy? Didn't they share in Western civilization? I think it is ridiculous to speak of the Western tradition as "permeating" northern Europe while leaving out any mention of France and Italy. Those, of course, were the countries most wedded to Catholicism in the Middle Ages.

He also defines Western ideals based largely in the context of the Enlightenment:

And what are Western ideas? This question is disputed, but I think we know them when we see them. They include a commitment to constitutional or limited government, freedom of the individual, religious freedom in a sense that precludes religious tyranny, respect for property rights, faith in free markets, and an openness to rationalism or to the explanation of natural phenomena through reason (source).

Not all of these are bad or anything a Catholic would necessarily disagree with, but we cannot deny that they are all ideals associated with the Enlightenment. Constitutional government? Free markets? Rationalism? These are not the characteristics of the Middle Ages, to be sure. Like many other conservatives, Dr. Hanson sees the origin of Western civilization as bound up with the ideals of the 17th and 18th centuries, the same period that gave us the French Revolution, anti-clericalism, Deism and ant-supernatural rationalism. For many conservatives, this period of the glory of Western civilization.

So why is this important? Maybe it's not, but it is of interest, especially if we find ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder at times with conservatives in defense of "Western" ideals. So what is so valuable about Western civilization to these conservatives? I mentioned Mark Levin earlier; on his show he regularly discusses the blessings that Western civilization has brought about, which he sees as concomitant with capitalism. Some of these blessings of Western civilization are the abundance of wealth in the world today, the high standard of living, the technological advancements of the modern age, and the "liberty" enjoyed by Americans. In other words, these are all purely material benefits. Many of these "benefits" I do not even think are unqualified benefits at all. The highest level of prosperity ever seen in the history of the world? Also the highest level of materialism, which no one can deny is a result of consumerism. Sometimes, when I hear Levin talking about what his ideal of "Western" civilization has procured, I think that some of these things are responsible for the cultural quagmire we are now in.

Then what is Western civilization, from a Catholic viewpoint? For me the glory of Western civilization is not in the writings of Locke and the principles of the Constitution but in the courts of Charlemagne and the cathedrals of Chartes and Notre Dame; it is not found in the radical liberty proposed by Martin Luther but by the harmonious relation between faith and reason as found in Aquinas; it is not in the cold rationalism of the Deists but in the mystic spirituality of the saints; not in the imposing neo-classical hulks of Washington D.C. but in the splendid gothic works that still dot Europe.

For the Catholic, the Middle Ages embodies Western civilization, which is a religious and cultural ideal;, complete with the union of throne and altar; for those mentioned above, Western civilization is a reaction against that ideal. For the Catholic, Western civilization declines with Luther; for the political conservative Western civilization begins with him. For the Catholic, everything bad about the world comes after 1500 while for those above, everything valuable is found in those unhappy centuries after Luther. For one the standard is a united Christendom under the popes; for others it is the Founding Fathers and the Enlightenment principles of government. For one it is a religious ideal, for others a secular and political one. For me, Western civilization means nothing other than Christendom. For some, Western civilization is what is built up on the ruins of Christendom.

I think this distinction is very important, and we need to keep it in mind. Those who advocate a return to "Western" tradition are not really our friends if they are referring to this secular concept of the West as found in the Enlightenment. This view of Western civilization is completely divorced from Catholicism, as evidenced by Dr. Hanson referring to the largely pagan nations of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan as "Western" also because they have adopted "Western ways"; i.e., capitalism. I for one am not praying and fighting to save the anti-Christ ideals of the Enlightenment, but to promote Christianity and a Christian culture, poltically, socially and economically. I refuse to allow "Western civilization" become a code-phrase for American capitalism.

But let us remember that there is no civilization at all without religion, no culture without cult, and no Western civilization without Roman Catholicism. Our point of reference should not be the Enlightenment, one of the most decadent and wicked periods of human intellectual history, but in the beautiful unity of spiritual and temporal that was the glory of the Middle Ages.
Posted by BONIFACE at 8:36 AM

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Time was, when everyone hauled their own load

Seems like these people still do, kudos for them:
Emergency Weather Bulletin

This text is from a county emergency manager out in the western part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a severe snow storm ...

The Mining Journal, Marquette, MI


Up here in the Northern part of Michigan we just recovered from a Historic event --- may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" --- with a historic blizzard of up to 44" inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to tens of thousands.

Obama did not come.
FEMA did nothing.
No one howled for the government.
No one blamed the government.
No one even uttered an expletive on TV.
Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.
Our Mayors did not blame Obama or anyone else.
Our Governor did not blame Obama or anyone else either.
CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC did not visit - or even report on this category 5 snow storm.

Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.
No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.
No one looted.
Nobody - I mean Nobody demanded the government do something.
Nobody expected the government to do anything either.
No Larry King, No Bill O'Rielly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No Geraldo Rivera.

No Sean Penn, No Barbra Striesand,
No Brad Pitt, No Hollywood types to be found.

Nope, we just melted the snow for water.
Sent out caravans of SUV's to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars.
The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn't ask for a penny.
Local restaurants made food, and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snow bound families..
Families took in the stranded people - total strangers.

We fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman lanterns.
We put on an extra layers of clothes because up here it is "Work or Die".
We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for 'sittin at home' checks.

Even though a Category 5 blizzard of this scale is not usual, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

I hope this gets passed on.
Maybe .....
SOME people will get the message ......
The world does Not owe you a living.

------ End of Forwarded Message

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Expiatory Power of the Blood of Christ

Throughout the Pentateuch, there is an insistent prohibition against the consumption of blood because, it is said, “the blood is the life” (Deut 12:23; cf. Gen 9:4). This identification relates, moreover, not just to dietary legislation, but is also at the heart of Israel’s sacrificial worship of God, for it is by reason of the life within it that blood is able to make atonement upon the altar (Lev 17:10-14). The purpose of this paper is to deal first with the relationship between blood and life, and then further to explore the expiatory power of lifeblood within the sacrificial cult ordained by God in the Old Testament and perfected by Christ in the New.

The Blood Is the Life

The biblical identification of blood with life goes all the way back to the time of Noah. When after the great deluge God granted permission to Noah and to his sons to eat the flesh of animals, there is a prohibition joined to this permission: “Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood” (Gen 9:4). It is interesting to note here that this command is here “made incumbent on all humanity,”1 on all the descendants of Noah. In its origin the prohibition against eating blood is universal in scope.2

Many commentators rightly draw attention to the widespread association of blood with life in the ancient cultures of the Near East. In the Navarre Bible Commentary, for example, this prohibition is said to reflect “the culture of a period when blood was regarded as the source of life,”3 and again, “there existed a strong conviction among those peoples that blood was the seat and source of life.”4 Indeed, this connection was evidently made in Mesopotamia, in Egypt, in Canaan, and in Arabia, as well as amongst the Israelites.5

Some writers are content to state that the biblical authors (together with the rest of the ancient world) probably arrived at their belief in the identity between life and blood based on the simple “observation that loss of much blood leads to death,”6 while others view the Old Testament prohibition against blood consumption as ultimately derived from “a taboo that is also known elsewhere.”7 Jacob Milgrom, however, disagrees sharply with this last interpretation: “That none of Israel’s neighbors possesses this absolute and universally binding prohibition means that it cannot be a vestige of a primitive taboo, but the result of a deliberate, reasoned enactment.”8

If, however, one simply takes the divine inspiration of the Scriptures seriously, these arguments and conjectures largely fall away or fall into place. The common observation that loss of blood leads to loss of life is rather a confirmation of their divinely revealed identity, than the source of a deduction. It is not surprising if many of the descendants of Noah remembered the identity of blood with life while ignoring and eventually forgetting the prohibition against eating it. Israel’s adherence to this law does not go back to some “taboo,” but to God himself. In short, the prohibition against eating blood is a divine law based upon a real identity between blood and life. Blood is not, of course, simply the same as life; but for animals and men they are inextricably linked.

The Expiatory Power of Sacrificial Blood

There is more at stake here in this connection between blood and life, however, than just dietary laws. For God also revealed to Israel that he would accept blood as life upon the altar in atonement for sin. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life” (Lev 17:11). Here we are at the very heart of Israel’s sacrificial cult.

The atoning power of blood lies in the fact that God accepts it as an offering of life. In other words, God does not desire blood simply as such, but precisely inasmuch as the life of the creature is within it. This, however, raises a crucial question in regards to the idea of substitution. “Basic to the theory of sacrifice in ancient Israel, as in many other ancient societies, was the notion of substitution.”9 The lives of animals were offered in place of the lives of men. The laying of hands upon the animal seems to have been symbolic of this substitution: “By placing (Heb sāmak) a hand on the animal (Lev 1:4; 3:2, 8, 13: 4:4, 15, 24, 29), sinners passed their essence on to it (cf. Num 27:18-23).”10 The question that must arise here, though, is this: In what respect does the animal stand in the place of man? Is this substitution a matter of redirecting God’s vengeance away from sinful men, i.e., is it a matter of penal substitution? Or, is it rather a matter of God requiring a visible expression of an interior offering of man’s own life to God? In other words, does God demand life (in the sense of death) as punishment, or does he desire to receive life as a gift (in the sense of a voluntary dedication of one’s life to God)?

Baruch Levine seems to favor the former interpretation. In his commentary on Leviticus 17:11, referring to the Hebrew formula le-khapper ‘al nafshoteikhem, “for making expiation for your lives,” he writes: “Literally, this formula means ‘to serve as kofer (ransom) for your lives.’ God accepts the blood of the sacrifices in lieu of human blood.”11 Further on, he continues along the same lines:

In our passage, blood is considered efficacious because it represents life, not because it has special properties. Creatures cannot live without blood, and killing is expressed as shedding blood. On this basis, the blood of the sacrifice offered on the altar is the ‘life’ of the sacrifice and can stand in place of human life. God accepts it in lieu of human life and grants expiation or refrains from wrath.12

There is much that is true here, to be sure. Certainly God accepts the lifeblood of the sacrificed animal as standing in the place of human life; but Levine seems to envision this primarily in terms of death. To put it simply, animals are killed instead of the men who deserve to be killed.

There is, however, another way to understand this substitution. God does not accept the life of an animal in lieu of human life, if this means that having sacrificed an animal a man does not also need to offer his own life interiorly to God. Rather, God accepts the sacrificial offering of animal life as an exterior expression of man’s necessary interior self-offering. That this latter interpretation is preferable is clear from the numerous texts in the prophetic tradition that speak of God’s dissatisfaction with ritual animal sacrifice.

If I am hungry, I shall not tell you: for the whole earth, and all that is in it, belongs to me. Am I likely to eat the flesh of bulls, or to drink the blood of goats? Offer to God the sacrifice of praise, and fulfil your vows to the Most High. And call upon me in the day of tribulation and I shall rescue you; and you will glorify me. (Ps 50:12-15)

If you had wished for sacrifice, I would certainly have given it: but you will not delight in holocausts. The sacrifice offered to God is a broken spirit; God will not despise a heart that is broken and humbled. (Ps 51:16-17)

By what means shall I reach God, or take hold of my God, the most high? Shall I reach him with holocausts, with year-old calves? Will God be satisfied with thousands of rams or ten thousands of fat goats? What if I give the first-born of my impiety, the fruit of my belly for the sin of my soul? Have you been told, O man, what is good? Or what does the Lord require from you, except to practice justice, and to love mercy, and to be prepared to go with the Lord your God? (Mic 6:6-8)

I desire mercy rather than sacrifice. (Hos 6:6)

These texts make it abundantly clear that God does not need man’s sacrifices for his own sake; he is not pleased by animal sacrifices simply as such. He is pleased, though, for example, by a contrite heart, and by mercy. Yet why then did he command such sacrifices to be offered? This is a question that St. Augustine deals with admirably in his great work De civitate Dei contra paganos (The City of God). His conclusion: “The visible sacrifice is the sacrament, the sacred sign, of the invisible sacrifice.”13 The offering of the lifeblood of an animal to God was meant to be a “sacrament”14 of an interior act on the part of the offerer. God wished the visible sacrifices of the Old Law to be observed in order to signify those invisible sacrifices that he more truly desires, namely, according to Psalm 51, a humble and contrite heart; according to Psalm 50, praise; in Micah, justice, mercy, walking with him; in the words of Hosea, found twice on the lips of the Savior (Mt 9:13; 12:7), it is mercy that he desires as a true sacrifice. Taking all of these and like texts into account, St. Augustine is able to offer a concise and enduring definition of true sacrifice: “The true sacrifice is offered in every act which is designed to unite us to God in a holy fellowship.”15

The true sacrifice required by God is the interior self-oblation of the offerer, of which the exterior gift of animal blood is a sign. He commanded the Israelites to offer the lifeblood of animals in order to signify thereby that what he required of them was their own lives – lives offered and dedicated to his service, lived in humility, in the exercise of justice and mercy, and in praise and adoration of him. The lifeblood of the animal poured out upon the altar is effective in making atonement only when it actually corresponds to the interior offering, “on the altar of the heart,” of a sacrifice of humility and praise, in which “the flame on the altar is the burning fire of charity.”16 Such a sacrifice pleases God. The sinner is forgiven, not because God’s punishment fell upon an innocent animal, but because the sinner’s own interior self-oblation, expressed exteriorly through the offering of the lifeblood of an animal, is pleasing to God, who thus graciously remits (at least partially) the punishment due to his sin. God does not take the life of (kill) an animal instead of a man; he rather accepts the life of an animal as signifying the heart of man voluntarily placed upon the altar, there to be consumed by the fire of divine charity and transformed into an ever greater likeness to God.

The Expiatory Power of the Blood of Christ

Basic to the Christian understanding of the Old Testament sacrifices, of course, is that they were ultimately accepted by God only in view of the definitive sacrifice offered by Christ upon the altar of the Cross. Here again there is an insistence upon the role of the blood in making atonement. All throughout the New Testament, the sacred authors refer again and again to the precious blood of Christ as that which inaugurates the New Covenant (Mt 26:28; Mk 14:24; Lk 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; Heb 13:20), that which brings life to those who receive it in the Eucharist (Jn 6:53-56); by the blood of Christ we are redeemed (Acts 20:28; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:12; Rev 5:9), justified (Rom 5:9), sanctified (Heb 13:12), purified (Heb 9:14; 1 Jn 1:7), reconciled (Col 1:20), liberated (Rev 1:5), and brought near to God (Eph 2:13); his blood makes expiation (Rom 3:25), and “speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel” (Heb 12:24).

As in the Old Testament animal sacrifices, so in the sacrifice of Christ does the notion of substitution play a role, but it is a different (more perfect) kind of substitution; there is also present in the latter as in the former an interplay between an interior and an exterior offering, yet in Christ these two converge perfectly.

In regards to the notion of substitution, in the Old Testament sacrifices, the life of an animal was offered in place of the life of man. This was worship with replacements, which, in the memorable words of Joseph Ratzinger, “turns out to be a replacement for worship.”17 What Ratzinger has in mind here is the contrast between what he refers to as “replacement” on the one hand and “representation” on the other. Unlike animals, which can only take man’s place upon the altar, Christ, as the true representative, gathers up all men into himself. In Christ, we now have a true representative through whom, with whom, and in whom to offer ourselves to God the Father.

Whereas in the case of the Old Testament animal sacrifices, the offered lifeblood of the animal might or might not correspond to a genuine interior self-oblation on the part of the offerer, in Christ the two converge. The blood which he offers is his own blood, which offering is not merely a sign of his interior gift, but the actual “concrete expression of a love of which it is said that it extends ‘to the end’ (Jn 13:1).”18 Christ’s interior self-oblation in loving gift to the Father for men finds its fullest and most perfect expression in the exterior pouring out of his lifeblood upon the altar of the Cross.

There is no question here as to whether it is the blood of the sacrifice (exterior aspect of sacrifice) that pleases God, or the dispositions (praise, humility, mercy, etc.) of the offerer (interior aspect). It is both. The two converge and are one. In the Old Testament sacrifices, God accepted the life of animals as pleasing only inasmuch as these foreshadowed the sacrifice of Christ, and truly corresponded to a pleasing disposition on the part of the offerer. The sacrifice of Christ, on the other hand, is pleasing to God, according to Aquinas, both “because of the exceeding charity from which He suffered,” and “on account of the dignity of His life which He laid down in atonement, for it was the life of one who was God and man.”19 In him the exterior gift of his lifeblood corresponds perfectly to his interior dedication of his whole life and being to the will of his Father. His blood makes atonement upon the altar of the Cross by reason of the life which is within it – the life of a God-man, poured out as the perfect expression of his burning charity

Unam Sanctam

Atmosphere of Faith

For the past two years I have been in charge of the Religious Education and Sacramental preparation programs at my parish. Everybody knows of the dire state of Catholic religious education in this country (and presumably around the world) - kids making their First Communion with no idea as to what the Eucharist is, coming to Confirmation interviews without the slightest idea as to the identity of the Holy Spirit, parents showing up to get their kids baptized who have only been to Church once or twice in the past twelve months, and in general ignorance and laziness in the religious upbringing of the children. Parents seem to come with a "checklist" mentality: "Okay, got my kid's First Communion (check), Confirmation (check) and now we can wash our hands of religious education altogether." I think we all know that this is the case, and I'm not going to spend anymore time trying to convince anybody of this obvious fact.

I just got done with another round of such interviews, and while the kids at our parish were a lot better prepared than kids I have heard about at other parishes, there were still some unpleasant interviews with kids that could have been a lot better prepared. And those that were ill prepared were told so by our pastor. But what is especially interesting to me is how my attitude towards this phenomenon has changed in the past two years.

When I first arrived here, I thought that the reason kids were coming through ignorant was because of very pragmatic reasons: the text-books were not orthodox enough, the catechists themselves were spotty on their practice and knowledge of the faith, there was not enough testing and feedback, etc. Over the past two years, I made the changes in these areas that I thought were best for the program. I staffed my Religious Ed program with people who were solid in their faith and who zealously prayed for their kids. We went to the Ignatius Press Faith & Life series, which is what most homeschool families around here use, and implemented weekly quizzes to gauge the comprehension of the kids. I personally went into the classes many times to answer questions and give talks on important subjects. Interviews for admission to sacraments were made into real interviews in which kids actually had to demonstrate retained knowledge. Everything that was possible to improve from a practical standpoint was improved, under myself and under Anselm (who preceded me at this post).

And yet after now four years of tweeking the program (under first Anselm then myself), nothing has changed. They are still coming through ignorant. Still coming to Confirmation not knowing who the Holy Spirit is. Still saying Holy Communion is a symbol. Still looking at the floor ignorantly during their meetings and still having parents admitting that they don't go to Mass. Still in the same spot they were before, as if very little at all had changed. The only real change is that less people have signed up for our program, perhaps content to go to the more wishy-washy one at a nearby parish that doesn't ask as much. But as for positive improvement, there has been but little. What did I do wrong?

I have come to conclusion that Anselm, myself and our pastor have been doing everything right, and that the solution to this problem is not in better textbooks or catechists, as I once thought. It is in the families, pure and simple. My pastor and I have both noticed how time and again the homeschool candidates for sacraments do excellent on their interviews. They can name all seven Gifts of the Spirit. They can tell you what Transubstantiation is. They know what sanctifying grace is. They earnestly desire to know and love God better. They have a regular Mass attendance and devotional life. The division between the poor religious ed student and the well-prepared one falls evenly along the division between public school and homeschool. Without much qualification, I can say that public schoolers almost uniformally do poorly on their interviews for sacraments and homeschoolers do exceedingly well. This is despite the fact that in many cases, the public schoolers have been through four years of orthodox, solid Catholic catechesis in the parish religious education classes.

But as all homeschoolers know, the home is the domestic Church, where faith is first taught, and it is parents who are responsible for the religious upbringing of their children. The simple fact is this: public school students tend to do poorly in religious ed because, despite the fact that they may get good catechesis for the one hour a week of class, religious vocabulary is not part of their life at public school and consequently religious topics always seem foreign and strange to them. Most public-school parents who enroll their kids in CCD do so by way of abdication, that is, hire us to teach their kids so they don't have to. So there is very little discussion of faith at home and very little modeling of its practice.

Therefore, as I am coming to see, despite sound catechesis at the parochial level (which is of course necessary), a child cannot come to a full sense of the faith without being immersed in an atmosphere of faith at the familial and social level. Why do we expect kids to know what the Holy Spirit is when religion is never talked about either at home or at school? If CCD class is the only place they hear about the faith, it will always seem like a strange topic to them - all the talk about getting closer to God, growing in faith, prayer and so forth will be superficial because they have never seen it modeled. As I have said before, it really does take a village to raise a child, and this is true in matters of faith as well as morals. It takes a whole Catholic community, where faith is the norm and not the exception, to inculcate in a child the reality that faith and trust in God is the normative way to live. How can that seem normative if it is restricted to what a stranger tells them one hour a week on Sunday? And especially when what the stranger tells them is contradicted by the lifestyle of their parents and peers, who often live as if God did not exist?

Is there a solution? Not withint the current diocesan framework in this country, which encourages admitting as many people to the sacraments as possible for the purpose of (a) not offending anybody and causing them to leave the Church, and (b) to make their numbers look as high as possible. I think the best thing would be perhaps to abandon altogether any kind of parish run religious education programs (which were instituted in a vastly different time and culture and have outstayed their usefulness) and replace them with a type of guided home preparation, in which any parent who want their kids admitted to the sacraments would have to do the footwork themself, receiving guidance and encouragement from the parish while not being allowed to simply cede this duty to the parish entirely.

Furthermore, the spiritual good of the child has to take precedent at the diocesan level over statistical and demographical concerns. This statistical and demographic focus is a real problem in the philosophical outlook of many diocesan bureaucracies. Until this changes, parishes will not be permitted to implement the kinds of changes that are necessary to get kids truly prepared for the sacraments.

Great public school families are out there as well; I personally know a few of them and can say that this generalization doesn't apply universally, so don't be offended if you are the thankful exception to the rule. I am just calling it like I see it.
Posted by BONIFACE

Friday, January 8, 2010

What Seniors on Long Island will be facing shortly!

Still think your votes can't hurt you? Those that voted for Obuma in New York ,take note of what is heading your way:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona to Stop Treating Some Medicare Patients

By David Olmos

(Bloomberg) -- The Mayo Clinic, praised by President Barack Obama as a national model for efficient health care, will stop accepting Medicare patients as of tomorrow at one of its primary-care clinics in Arizona, saying the U.S. government pays too little.

More than 3,000 patients eligible for Medicare, the government’s largest health-insurance program, will be forced to pay cash if they want to continue seeing their doctors at a Mayo family clinic in Glendale, northwest of Phoenix, said Michael Yardley, a Mayo spokesman. The decision, which Yardley called a two-year pilot project, won’t affect other Mayo facilities in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Obama in June cited the nonprofit Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio for offering “the highest quality care at costs well below the national norm.” Mayo’s move to drop Medicare patients may be copied by family doctors, some of whom have stopped accepting new patients from the program, said Lori Heim, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, in a telephone interview yesterday.

“Many physicians have said, ‘I simply cannot afford to keep taking care of Medicare patients,’” said Heim, a family doctor who practices in Laurinburg, North Carolina. “If you truly know your business costs and you are losing money, it doesn’t make sense to do more of it.”

Medicare Loss

The Mayo organization had 3,700 staff physicians and scientists and treated 526,000 patients in 2008. It lost $840 million last year on Medicare, the government’s health program for the disabled and those 65 and older, Mayo spokeswoman Lynn Closway said.

Mayo’s hospital and four clinics in Arizona, including the Glendale facility, lost $120 million on Medicare patients last year, Yardley said. The program’s payments cover about 50 percent of the cost of treating elderly primary-care patients at the Glendale clinic, he said.

“We firmly believe that Medicare needs to be reformed,” Yardley said in a Dec. 23 e-mail. “It has been true for many years that Medicare payments no longer reflect the increasing cost of providing services for patients.”

Mayo will assess the financial effect of the decision in Glendale to drop Medicare patients “to see if it could have implications beyond Arizona,” he said.

Nationwide, doctors made about 20 percent less for treating Medicare patients than they did caring for privately insured patients in 2007, a payment gap that has remained stable during the last decade, according to a March report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, a panel that advises Congress on Medicare issues. Congress last week postponed for two months a 21.5 percent cut in Medicare reimbursements for doctors.

National Participation

Medicare covered an estimated 45 million Americans at the end of 2008, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the agency in charge of the programs. While 92 percent of U.S. family doctors participate in Medicare, only 73 percent of those are accepting new patients under the program, said Heim of the national physicians’ group, citing surveys by the Leawood, Kansas-based organization.

Greater access to primary care is a goal of the broad overhaul supported by Obama that would provide health insurance to about 31 million more Americans. More family doctors are needed to help reduce medical costs by encouraging prevention and early treatment, Obama said in a June 15 speech to the American Medical Association meeting in Chicago.

Reid Cherlin, a White House spokesman for health care, declined comment on Mayo’s decision to drop Medicare primary care patients at its Glendale clinic.

Medicare Costs

Mayo’s Medicare losses in Arizona may be worse than typical for doctors across the U.S., Heim said. Physician costs vary depending on business expenses such as office rent and payroll. “It is very common that we hear that Medicare is below costs or barely covering costs,” Heim said.

Mayo will continue to accept Medicare as payment for laboratory services and specialist care such as cardiology and neurology, Yardley said.

Robert Berenson, a fellow at the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C., said physicians’ claims of inadequate reimbursement are overstated. Rather, the program faces a lack of medical providers because not enough new doctors are becoming family doctors, internists and pediatricians who oversee patients’ primary care.

“Some primary care doctors don’t have to see Medicare patients because there is an unlimited demand for their services,” Berenson said. When patients with private insurance can be treated at 50 percent to 100 percent higher fees, “then Medicare does indeed look like a poor payer,” he said.

Annual Costs

A Medicare patient who chooses to stay at Mayo’s Glendale clinic will pay about $1,500 a year for an annual physical and three other doctor visits, according to an October letter from the facility. Each patient also will be assessed a $250 annual administrative fee, according to the letter. Medicare patients at the Glendale clinic won’t be allowed to switch to a primary care doctor at another Mayo facility.

A few hundred of the clinic’s Medicare patients have decided to pay cash to continue seeing their primary care doctors, Yardley said. Mayo is helping other patients find new physicians who will accept Medicare.

“We’ve had many patients call us and express their unhappiness,” he said. “It’s not been a pleasant experience.”

Mayo’s decision may herald similar moves by other Phoenix- area doctors who cite inadequate Medicare fees as a reason to curtail treatment of the elderly, said John Rivers, chief executive of the Phoenix-based Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.

“We’ve got doctors who are saying we are not going to deal with Medicare patients in the hospital” because they consider the fees too low, Rivers said. “Or they are saying we are not going to take new ones in our practice.”

--Editors: Andrew Pollack, Bruce Rule

Why doesn't the entire RNC do the same?

Posted: January 07, 2010
12:30 am Eastern

© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Rep. Nathan Deal
A new media initiative by a group of citizen-journalists reports Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., has written to [Alleged] President Obama asking him to prove his eligibility to hold the office of president.

According to the Post and Email, "This forever changes the public discourse."

"What does this mean?" the site asks. "This is probably the first time in 233 years of American history that a sitting member of the House of Representatives has officially challenged the legitimacy of a sitting president … one full year into his term."

The website said Deal's chief of staff, Todd Smith, confirmed Deal sent a letter "to Barack Hussein Obama requesting him to prove his eligibility for the office of president of the United States of America."

"The letter was sent electronically the first of December 2009 in .pdf format, and Mr. Smith said that Representative Deal has confirmation from Obama's staff that it has been received. The letter did not have additional signatories. It originated solely from Representative Deal," the report said.

Get the must-wear clothing item for 2010! "Where's the birth certificate" T-shirt!

"Even if the putative president ignores the challenge, he cannot hide from it, because by doing so he admits his guilt through silence. The question has to be asked near and far, why would a president who has promised greater transparency than any previous administration pay upwards of $2,000,000 of taxpayer money to hide documents that could resolve the matter once and for all time for the cost of $20.00. He has publicly admitted on more than one occasion that his father was NOT an American citizen. This alone disqualifies him from eligibility based on Article 2, Section 1, Paragraph 5 of the Constitution, and consequently makes him a usurper," the site said.

Deal's office did not respond immediately to WND requests for comment.

Demand the truth by joining the petition campaign to make [Alleged] President Obama reveal his long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate!

Obama's original birth papers have yet to be made available for review, and there are critics who contended he wasn't actually born in Hawaii. Others say that doesn't make any difference, since with a father subject to British rule at the time of his birth, he was at best a dual citizen. The critics contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from being called a "natural-born citizen," as required by the Constitution.

The "natural-born citizen" issue has been raised in a multitude of lawsuits since before Obama was elected, including some pending at various levels of the judicial system.

Most judges, however, have concluded that U.S. citizens and political candidates simply have no right – or "standing" – to question whether Obama has met the requirements of the Constitution

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Of course the United States is on the Gay's side. What a shock!

January 7, 2010

General Assembly "Sexual Orientation" Vote Reveals Defection by Catholic Nations
By Piero A. Tozzi, J.D.

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) An analysis of how countries voted with respect to novel non-discrimination categories based on "sexual orientation and gender identity" in a United Nations (UN) General Assembly (GA) resolution last month reveals an emerging global line-up on contentious social issues that has traditionally-Catholic nations aligned with social "progressives."

Voting to delete reference to a treaty body "General Comment" was a victorious coalition of socially-conservative nations centered in Africa, the Islamic world and parts of the English-speaking Caribbean. The losing side was led by Global North nations – European Union states, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. What is significant, however, is the defection to this group by most traditionally-Catholic nations.

A host of Latin American countries – Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay – joined by nations such as the Philippines, voted to retain reference to the Comment containing the new categories.

The terms "sexual orientation and gender identity" are controversial because they have never been consented to in a legally-binding document nor clearly defined, and are favored by activists promoting a broad homosexual-rights agenda. Critics contend that once sexual orientation and gender identity are accepted as non-discrimination categories, a new-found right would emerge to trump traditional free speech rights and religious liberties as has happened in countries such as Sweden, Canada, and even the United States.

The shift by Latin delegations over the years has been marked. At the 1995 Beijing Women's Conference, Latin American delegates, particularly from Central America, successfully objected to expansive definitions of the word "gender" not tied to the two biological sexes. In recent years social progressives have dominated certain Latin American delegations, however, pushing agendas at the UN that regularly meet with resistance at home.

Thus at last year's Commission on Population and Development meeting, a delegate from Honduras affiliated with the lesbian activist group Cattrachas promoted language construed to include a multiplicity of family forms beyond the traditional one headed by a married husband and wife.

A disconnect between the positions taken at the UN and the stance of such countries domestically is evident in the December GA vote. The Dominican Republic, for example, recently amended its constitution to protect the traditional understanding of marriage in what was deemed a rebuff by homosexual rights advocates. In overwhelmingly Catholic Philippines, a bill seeking to penalize discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has languished in the legislature, prompting proponents to call for pressure to be applied by "stakeholders inside and outside the Philippines."

Despite the apparent fixing of camps on social issues, a certain amount of fluidity remains. In December's sexual orientation GA vote, Communist Cuba and left-wing Nicaragua favored deleting the reference, with Brazil and Bolivia abstaining and Venezuela absenting itself. Sources speculate their positions may in part reflect solidarity among developing nations rather than positions on the merits of the resolution.

One delegate told the Friday Fax that the Europeans were "overconfident" before the vote, and discounted the resentment that heavy-handed pushing of novel norms generates in much of the world.

Monday, January 4, 2010

What? A Liberal paper printing this????

Jonah Goldberg
On the last day of 2009, that awful year, I was listening to a report on National Public Radio. Reporter Tamara Keith presented a by now familiar recap of the worst financial and corporate scandals of the decade, from Enron and Martha Stewart to Tyco and Bernie Madoff. It was a depressing slog of greed, venality and theft. When the report was over, "Morning Edition" host Steve Inskeep summarized it with a tart, "the decade in capitalism."

I don't want to single out Ins- keep, since he was doing what pretty much the entire media establishment has done, particularly of late: reducing "capitalism" to its alleged sins.

Madoff: Not a poster boy for all financiers.
And that's the point. There are few areas of life where a thing responsible for so much good gets so little credit for it.

Imagine if I were to collect the most infamous deeds of African-Americans over the last decade -- say Michael Vick's dog-fighting scandal and O.J. Simpson's most recent criminal exploit -- and then put a bow on it with the phrase "the decade in black America."

What if I did the same thing with Jews? Bernie Madoff, the face of Jewish America! Do the scandals of Rod Blagojevich, Charlie Rangel and John Edwards define the Democratic Party from 2000 to 2010? Do Abu Ghraib and the balloon boy sum up America?

Consider NPR. As a brand, it claims to be standing athwart capitalism because it's "public." What that means exactly is a bit unclear, since it still allows corporations to fund its programming in exchange for audio endorsements none dare call commercials and relies on the kindness of listeners to keep it afloat -- listeners who, one way or another, make their money from you-know-what.

Indeed, speaking of the decade in capitalism, National Public Radio failed to mention that Joan Kroc, widow of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's, left more than $200 million to NPR in 2003. Mrs. Kroc's generosity of spirit was her own, but the wampum is all capitalism's, baby.

In a similar vein, the decade of capitalism saw one of the world's richest men, Warren Buffett, pledge more than $30 billion to a foundation created by another offspring of capitalism, Bill Gates, for the purpose of aiding the world's poor. Surely, capitalism should get some of the credit, since the book on philanthropy in noncapitalist systems is shorter than the guide to cities without Starbucks.

Capitalism doesn't just create generous wealthy people but generous poor people, too. Americans give twice as much to charity as the most generous European nations, and the most generous Americans are, in fact, poor Americans.

But forget philanthropy. Since 2000, hundreds of millions of people in China and India -- home to a plurality of the world's poor -- have lifted themselves out of poverty and illiteracy, thanks to capitalism.

China started to embrace markets as a last resort in the late 1970s. And by last resort, I mean last resort. First, they tried murdering tens of millions of their own people through collectivism and oppression. When that didn't work, they embraced markets -- and the poverty rate dropped from 64 percent to around 8 percent today.

As it always does, capitalism drove innovation over the last decade. The BlackBerry was introduced in 1999, but the iPhone didn't exist in 2000, nor did the iPod. YouTube was a fantasy, and no one could even imagine why you'd ever need something like Facebook or Twitter (in fairness, some people still ask that question). iTunes was launched in 2003, and five years later it was outselling Wal-Mart as the No. 1 music retailer.

Government-funded basic research in medical science deserves some credit for breakthroughs, but it's worth remembering that lots of countries invest in basic research. America, with its markets, stands alone as the leading, arguably sole, source of medical innovation. Breakthrough drugs are as American as apple pie.

Every good thing capitalism helps produce -- from singing careers to cures for diseases to staggering charity -- is credited to some other sphere of our lives. Every problem with capitalism, meanwhile, is laid at her feet, except that the problems with capitalism -- greed, theft, etc. -- aren't capitalism's fault; they're humanity's. Socialist countries have greedy thieves, too.

Free markets are in disrepute these days, especially among the people running Washington. For them, government is the solution, and capitalism is the problem. If they have their way over the next decade, they won't cure what allegedly ails capitalism -- people will still steal and lie -- but they will impede everything that makes capitalism great. And that will be bad for everyone, even NPR.

Read more:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Are we surprised?

Obama has established himself as one of the most “don’t-give-damn” liars of all time in that office
B. Hussein Obama Grade for First Year in Office: F minus; Abject Failure
By Jerry McConnell Sunday, January 3, 2010
We have just passed through the time of year which we have for many years called the ‘Season of Joy’ in this overwhelmingly Christian nation. However, there wasn’t much joy in this year of 2009 due to the unwelcome presence of a foreigner who has usurped the highest elected office of our country: the U. S. Presidency and ignores Christ.

I have to call the occupant a usurping foreigner because he adamantly refuses to allow his ORIGINAL birth certificate to be seen by anybody. Some of his totally blinded and easily duped supporters defend this action by issuing discordant invectives as abuses naming those who call attention to it, the out of order term “birthers.” A term that is more comical of the issuer than the issuee.
If Obama is a true American citizen, like the rest of us, he should be proud to show his true colors. But methinks a huge can of ugly worms would be opened to the devouring public should the real truth ever be seen. A veritable Portrait of Dorian Gray.
This calculated lapse of common decency and respect for what he calls his “fellow Americans” is probably the most singly responsible element in Obama’s slide to new popularity depths with the public. It, along with numerous incidents of breaking his word to the people who put him in the White House, are paramount to his failing grades as he ends his first year in office.
The number and description of his broken promises are so voluminous as to be physically impossible to totally repeat in a column of this size, so I will try to cover some of the principal promises that have not been kept.
And before you ask; yes, I wlll list the very scant few promises to the voters and general public that he has kept. In fact, that they are so few, I will list them first. Although you will note that four kept promises (with one pending) do not have great impact or assistance to the greater majority of American citizens. They are more targeted on low income people and many of probable questionable legal citizenship.

The basic information shown for each one of the next four excerpts of “promises kept” (and one pending) was furnished in an online column by Adam Serwer at

Credit Card Reform
In 2004, 84 percent of African Americans and 75 percent of Latinos were carrying a credit card balance, compared to 51 percent of whites, making them especially vulnerable to random interest rate increases, etc. The credit card reform bill Obama signed last May prohibits unscrupulous practices and hidden fees.

Reforming the Civil Rights Division
Adam Serwer claims the Civil Rights Division of Justice under the Bush Administration “faltered in its responsibility to enforce anti-discrimination laws and protect the voting rights of minorities” theoretically because Bush appointees were “ideologically opposed to the historical mission of the division. Since being confirmed, the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez has declared the Civil Rights Division ‘back in business.’ The Division has prosecuted the largest number of hate crimes since the last time a Democrat was in office.”

Signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
Lilly Ledbetter was a supervisor at Goodyear Tire and Rubber’s plant in Gadsden, Alabama, for nearly twenty years before she discovered that her male counterparts, often with less experience or seniority, were making far more money than her. Nine days after being inaugurated, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act—the first bill of his presidency—into law, which extends the statute of limitations to 180 days after the last discriminatory paycheck, rather than when the discriminatory wage was first set. The potential implications in a country where African-American men and women earn 72 cents and 64 cents respectively for every dollar that white men earn are obvious.

Reforming Mandatory Minimum Sentencing
It happened without much fanfare or notice, but an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act the President signed in November 2009 directs the U.S. Sentencing Commission to review all the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, the first time it has been directed to do so since 1991.

Although this next item is not yet signed into law by the president, it has two versions passed through the two houses of Congress; to be resolved and merged into one satisfactory to the president.

The Health Care Bill
The Senate recently passed its version of the bill which will now go to conference between the Senate and the House for final presentation to the president. I have not shown any of the provisions of either bill, suffice to say that there is no way anyone can predict what will be in the final version.

An ever-increasing majority of American citizens are opposed to this form of a health care reform bill and pressure on legislators while home on the holiday leave break could even cause a wholesale dismantling of the two bills and a renewed effort to present a bill that would be more acceptable to the general citizenry.

As I noted above, all four of Obama’s “promises kept” apply only to select groups of Americans and not the majority of our citizens.

Also as I noted above, the volume of “promises not kept” makes a complete list impossible; particularly with comment regarding each individual one. Things like his promise to “keep lobbyists out of his Administration” could take several pages just identifying the individual lobbyists that he has already hired to work in his Administration. There are so many of them that Michelle Malkin has written an entire book titled “Culture of Corruption” that is bloated with such events. So we should probably list that one as one of the most egregious and go on to the others as is possible.

An online site titled, almost a year ago listed some of the campaign promises that Obama had already broken. This is the site and the information in it:
February 17, 2009

Make Government Open and Transparent
Make it “Impossible” for Congressmen to slip in Pork Barrel Projects
Meetings where laws are written will be more open to the public
No more secrecy
Public will have 5 days to look at a Bill
We will put every pork barrel project online
As you can see, just reading that short list that has furnished, every one of which has been totally ignored, Obama has established himself as one of the most “don’t-give-damn” liars of all time in that office. Trouble is, he also keeps repeating, for compliant press coverage promises that he has already broken with absolutely no intention of EVER keeping them.

In just about every appropriations bill that comes before him he has just previously promised not to sign the bill if any earmarks (pork) is in it. I just read the other day that so far during his short term as president there have been about 9,000 earmarks total in the bills he has signed.

Probably the most ludicrous and downright laughable promise that he has also made on several occasions, both before and after being elected is the assertion that he will provide the most “transparent” administration of any of all time. Then his very next procedure is to take evasive actions and steps calculated to turn transparency into the dark of night to hide any possible actions that could cause controversy or questions.

Number 3 above is a total joke. All the major bills written to create a new law are done, again in the dark of night, and by professionals who are not even elected and then in many cases, they are voted on in Congress when the time is most propitious for secrecy while voting. These actions also impinge on Number 4 in the list also.

Of all the major bills so far during the course of this legislative year does anyone recall when the public got FIVE days to examine a bill before a vote took place? This was a promise Obama made that needed cooperation from the Congress but has never been achieved.

Also never achieved is the promise made to publish all pork barrel projects online. The next one will be the first one.

One of the reasons why I believe Obama makes and then doesn’t keep his promises is that when he makes a promise in a public setting or news conference gathering he is posturing and trying to look presidential. But then later when confronted by those to whom he is obeisant and who tell him to back off, he just conveniently forgets it; sort of like Al Gore’s convenient lies that have made him so much money