Thursday, January 22, 2004

Here is what I think is interesting in today's news:

NASA team loses contact with Mars rover
Thursday, January 22, 2004 Posted: 1:17 PM EST (1817 GMT)

PASADENA, California (CNN) -- NASA researchers said Thursday they were unable to make contact with the Mars rover "Spirit" and the source of the problem was unknown.

New Mars rock hints at past water

A rock found in the Atlas Mountains of southern Morocco in 2001 has been confirmed as Martian in origin.
The meteorite's chemical signature was checked out by researchers at the UK's Southampton Oceanography Centre.

Another state adopts DOMA. Think of what all the fringe benefits to "partners" would be worth.
Ohio Lawmakers Approve Gay Marriage Ban

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a measure banning gay marriage (search) and prohibiting state employees from getting benefits for domestic partners.

Education is less expensive than the alternative. Want to cut something in the budget, Governors?
New study shows US spends far more on contraceptives than abstinence
Washington, DC, Jan. 20 (Culture of Life Foundation/ - The financial balance sheet between abstinence and safe-sex programs within the United States has been little known, but many assume that the money spent between the two approaches is equitable. According to new report published by the Heritage Foundation, however, the United States government spends "$12 to promote contraception for every dollar spent to encourage abstinence."

Look out! "Choice" could be carved in stone soon, not just in court opinions.
Abortion Supporters Introduce Freedom of Choice Act
Susan Jones
Morning Editor

( - On Thursday morning, the 31st anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, defenders of abortion will introduce legislation to protect women's "civil liberties."

Sponsors and backers of the federal Freedom of Choice Act include Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Gloria Feldt, and NARAL Pro-Choice America President Kate Michelman.

Those advocates for abortion describe the Freedom of Choice Act as "a landmark piece of legislation designed to protect women's civil liberties and prohibit the government from interfering in the exercise of reproductive rights."

This is a terrific witness story:

Troops see God's hand in Iraq

Monday, January 19, 2004

So the Patriots are going against the Panthers. I have no love for either team since both have beaten the St. Louis Rams, my favorite. I can do something more constructive on Feb 1.
In a way, I kind of hope Dean wins in Iowa today. It will be easy for Bush to beat him because of all the wacko things Dean says. I can hear the negative ads now..... I think I'll lock up my TV for a couple months before the election so I won't have to listen to all the ads. I dread political ads.
The local talk radio show had a cow about Absp. Burke's letter to Wisconsin Catholic politicians since Burke is coming to our archdiocese. It amazes me how many ways someone can distort what Burke said. Separation of church and state? How could anyone read that into the situation?
I spent the whole weekend working on my three home computers. I installed Windows on two of them and added a better graphic card to the third. I'm having a hard time with the Windows installation. I've had to start over more than once. I get this strange "can't find the file" message. I tried skipping over the file, but Windows ran slow as molasses when it started up and it kept trying to install some drivers it could not find. I'll have to jump through some hoops to get this done.
I'm glad Christians believe in the abundant mercy of Jesus. I'd be in big trouble if I were Islamic.
Hamas: Women who shame family can be bombers
Hamas has now revised this position, and some of the organization's leaders condone the use of women in terror strikes, particularly in situations where a woman can carry out the assignment more easily (since she is likely to cause less suspicion at crossing points), and when the woman has transgressed moral norms. In such cases, a woman's "sacrifice" atones for the "stain" she has caused to her family for violating moral codes.

Finally! Bush got some spine last Friday and stopped letting the Democrats stop judicial appointments. It should have done this sooner.

President Bush Uses Recess Appointment to Confirm Pickering
Washington, DC ( -- Tired of the battle to overcome filibusters by pro-abortion Democrats, President Bush on Friday used a recess appointment to put pro-life appeals court nominee Charles Pickering on the bench.

The recess appointment helps Pickering avoid the contentious nomination process, though it only lasts until the next Congress convenes, in January 2005.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Is lawful polygamy next?
Three adults who want to live together as a husband and two wives asked a federal court this week to strike down Utah's ban on polygamy as a violation of their constitutional rights.

It's an open-and-shut case, of course. They haven't got a prayer.

Or have they?

Last June, in Lawrence v. Texas, the US Supreme Court overturned a Texas anti-sodomy law on the grounds that the Constitution protects "an autonomy of self that includes freedom of . . . certain intimate conduct." Five months later, guided in part by Lawrence, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that the age-old ban on same-sex marriage was "incompatible with the constitutional principles of respect for individual autonomy." The essence of civil marriage, said the SJC in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, is simply "the exclusive and permanent commitment of the married partners to one another."

Marriage, the best welfare reform

The United States doesn't have a "welfare problem," so much as a marriage problem. We spend $200 billion a year on various means-tested welfare programs. Seventy-five percent of it goes to single parents. The welfare system as we know it for children would hardly exist if it weren't for widespread single parenthood.

Here's Williams' roadmap out of poverty: Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits.

I think I would pay Gephardt to NOT vote. As Mark Twain said, "When Congress makes a joke, it's a law."

Gephardt Must Pay Salary Back to Missouri Taxpayers

Law requires absentee members of Congress to return paycheck

One of the most ironic things I've ever heard - giving a speech on global warming when it's below zero outside. They should make him give the speech outdoors.

Former Vice President Al Gore is scheduled to deliver a speech in New York this afternoon attacking the Bush administration’s environmental policy and its response to global warming in particular. Political observers familiar with Gore’s ideas on the environment will know to expect the same kind of hysterical predictions of doom and contempt for modern civilization that first brought him to national prominence in 1992 with the publication of his book Earth in the Balance.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Whew! Keep praying, though.
Father Groeschel Is Holding His Own, with no major damage to his organs

It looks like France is becoming like Mexico, or is that the other way around? Thank God for religious freedom in the US while it lasts.
Anti-religious militants in France are using the current political climate to exert increased pressure on Catholics says a French cardinal.

Greeley may be alarmed, but I consider this good news.
Young Fogeys

Young reactionaries, aging radicals—the U.S. Catholic Church's unusual clerical divide by Andrew Greeley

The Religious left?? That sounds like an oxymoron. A Catholic priest is involved? Must be a Jesuit.

Clerics want Bush out; Religious left to counter conservatives in Washington

It looks like JP II will be with us longer than the media thinks.
Pope Appearing Healthier

Wedded to the value of marriage

The marriage workshop promises to teach its participants how to fight fairly, and ultimately, how to forgive one another. It's also free - funded by the state of Oklahoma.

Mothers should be married, the administration believes
Oklahoma has long taken an interest in the marital bliss - or rather discord - of its populace.

Since 1998, when state economists concluded that being single and being poor were interrelated, millions of dollars have been spent on trying to bring people together, and keep them that way, through state-wide training in marriage and advertising which promotes the value of the institution.

Similar programmes run elsewhere. So convinced are West Virginian officials of the benefits of marriage for both the couple and the children that female welfare claimants are entitled to $100 more a month if they tie the knot.

Marriage initiatives are aimed at poor single mothers and low-income couples undecided as to whether they should wed: lone parent families - the majority of whom are headed by a female - account for nearly 60% of all welfare cases in the US.

Strong marriages and stable families are incredibly good for children, and stable families should be the central goal of American welfare policy of President George W Bush.
The hope is that marriage will provide these women, and their children, with a route out of poverty and alleviate the burden they place on the state. The thesis is simple: if failure to marry - or divorce - means poverty, marriage must enhance wealth.

Perhaps someday when someone says, "You're being a pig!", it will literally be true. Brave New World? Sounds sick to me.

Pig-human chimeras contain cell surprise

Pigs grown from fetuses into which human stem cells were injected have surprised scientists by having cells in which the DNA from the two species is mixed at the most intimate level.

It is the first time such fused cells have been seen in living creatures. The discovery could have serious implications for xenotransplantation - the use of animal tissue and organs in humans - and even the origin of diseases such as HIV.

Never to pull over for an unmarked car on the side of the road, but rather wait until you get a gas station.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Lots of interesting news today!
Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004 1:31 p.m. EST Multiple Tests Confirming Iraq WMD Send Media Into Deep Spin Mulitple tests conducted in Iraq by Danish and British experts indicate that Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction have finally been discovered, but mainstream news editors either ignored the story Sunday morning or are furiously spinning the news as inconsequential. More than 12 hours after the Fox News Channel, Reuters and the Associated Press carried reports that preliminary tests showed Iraqi mortar shells discovered near Basra contain a deadly liquid blister agent, the New York Times had yet to report the bombshell find on the main page of its Web site - or anywhere in its Sunday morning print edition. The Washington Post's Web site also chose not to cover the blockbuster news, which ABC News military analyst Tony Cordesman said Saturday would be "the first real confirmation that Iraq actually had deployed chemical weapons and was prepared to use them" if tests confirmed the find. Saturday night the Fox News Channel revealed that initial tests had indeed confirmed the blockbuster discovery. "Danish troops are in charge of that area around the village of Al Quarnah, and they have found what they believe are, according to this official, two hundred shells," reported FNC's Greg Palkot. Palkot said the Danish official told him: "They've run four different tests on that liquid inside those shells. And all those tests do indicate that there is blister gas - that's a deadly chemical weapon - inside of those shells." The AP said that a statement released by Danish officials cited British experts, who had also confirmed that the shells contained "blister gas." Before the war the Bush administration had alleged that Baghdad was stockpiling blister gas in liquid form. Both reports noted that the find had yet to be confirmed by the U.S. team in Iraq assigned to search for weapons of mass destruction. But according to the London Sunday Telegraph, Ali Nimir, a former colonel in an Iraqi Republican Guard artillery unit, had also confirmed the find. "I remember seeing boxes of these kinds of armaments in our base two years ago," Nimir said. "We were told that they were chemical weapons." "They were removed from our bases and distributed to secret hiding places about a year before the war," he explained. "I never saw them again." Still, despite the staggering political consequences of the bombshell discovery - news that could mean total vindication for President Bush against Democrat charges that he "lied" about Iraq's WMDs - mainstream reports consistently downplayed the story. The New York Daily News, for instance, covered the news on page 24 of its Sunday edition, and then only under a headline that obscured the potential impact of the story: "Old Iraqi Gas Shells." New York's Newsday echoed the same theme with its page 20 headline, "Weapons Found, but Likely Old" - as if the vintage of Saddam's WMDs somehow mitigated genuine proof of their existence after months of media claims to the contrary. The only news outlet to refer to weapons of mass destruction in its headline was the New York Post, which labeled its page 2 report: "WMD Gas Shells Dug Up in Iraq." News of the WMD find was not discussed on the Sunday morning news shows.

Renowned TV priest Father Benedict Groeschel, author of numerous books and popular on the Catholic network EWTN, was hit by a car near Orlando International Airport Sunday night. He is in stable but critical condition at the intensive care unit at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Details remain unverified and sketchy but reports are that he had just arrived in Orlando and was walking to a place for food when he was struck, possibly breaking a leg and arm. At latest reports he is partially conscious and awaiting surgery. We ask all to pray for this fine priest.

EWTN has a new kid's page.


A senior Syrian journalist reports Iraq’s WMD located in three Syrian sites.

January 8, 2004, 8:57 PM (GMT+02:00)

Nizar Najoef, a Syrian journalist who recently defected from Syria to Western Europe and is known for bravely challenging the Syrian regime, said in a letter Monday, January 5, to Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf,” that he knows the three sites where Iraq’s WMD are kept. The storage places are:

1. Tunnels dug under the town of al-Baida near the city of Hama in northern Syria. These tunnels are an integral part of an underground factory, built by the North Koreans, for producing Syrian Scud missiles. Iraqi chemical weapons and long-range missiles are stored in these tunnels.

2. The village of Tal Snan, north of the town of Salamija, where there is a big Syrian airforce camp. Vital parts of Iraq’s WMD are stored there.

3. The city of Sjinsjar on the Syrian border with the Lebanon, south of the city Homs.


Indications Saddam Was Not in Hiding But a Captive
A number of questions are raised by the incredibly bedraggled, tired and crushed condition of this once savage, dapper and pampered ruler who was discovered in a hole in the ground on Saturday, December 13:

The hole had only one opening. It was not only camouflaged with mud and bricks – it was blocked. He could not have climbed out without someone on the outside removing the covering.
Saddam Hussein was not in hiding; he was a prisoner.

After his last audiotaped message was delivered and aired over al Arabiya TV on Sunday November 16, on the occasion of Ramadan, Saddam was seized, possibly with the connivance of his own men, and held in that hole in Adwar for three weeks or more, which would have accounted for his appearance and condition. Meanwhile, his captors bargained for the $25 m prize the Americans promised for information leading to his capture alive or dead. The negotiations were mediated by Jalal Talabani’s Kurdish PUK militia.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

I was wondering why my future bishop was on the "bad boy" list.
Several dioceses protest inclusion on sex-abuse list
Bishop Raymond Burke of LaCrosse, Wis., has one last issue to resolve in Wisconsin before he is installed later this month as archbishop of St. Louis.

Burke wants his diocese removed from a list that includes 19 other dioceses said by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection not to be in compliance with the bishops' charter on sexual abuse.

The LaCrosse diocese was placed on the list because an audit of its program by the Gavin Group reported that the diocese had not completed a program to instruct all children, parents and staff on how to respond to acts of sexual abuse, according to Sheila Horan, deputy director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection.

The diocese agrees that it has not completed the program but argues that it has done enough work so that it should be considered in compliance with the charter.

Don't go to Disney World on Father's Day.

Second Homosexual Event Scheduled at Disney World

Ann Coulter's article, "The Jesus Thing"

When they were fund-raising, the Democratic candidates for President all claimed to be Jewish. Now that they are headed for Super Tuesday down South, they've become Jesus freaks. Listening to Democrats talk about Jesus is a little like listening to them on national security: They don't seem terribly comfortable with either subject.

To ease Democrats into the Jesus thing, the Democratic Leadership Council is holding briefings for Democratic candidates teaching them how to talk about religion. The participants were warned that millions of Americans worship a supreme being whose name is not Bill Clinton. As has been widely reported, the DLC gingerly suggests that Democrats start referring to "God's green earth."

Democrats never talk about believing in something; they talk about simulating belief in something. Americans believe in this crazy God crap that we don't, so how do we hoodwink them into believing we believe in God? It's part of the casual contempt Democrats have for the views of normal people.

Space Shuttle Columbia Crew Memorialized On Mars

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today announced plans to name the landing site of the Mars Spirit rover in honor of the astronauts who died in the tragic accident of the Space Shuttle Columbia in February. The area in the vast flatland of the Gusev Crater where Spirit landed this weekend will be called the Columbia Memorial Station.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Double, double, toil and trouble.....
Church may split on female bishops
The Church of England might have to split in two if women become bishops — one with female clergy and one without, an official report has concluded.

An unborn child is a person? What a novel idea!!
Fetal deaths may lead to homicide charges

Authorities are investigating three cases in Allegheny County in which pregnant women had miscarriages after incidents of domestic violence.
Coroner Dr. Cyril Wecht's office recently ruled one death from September a homicide, but pathologists and investigators have not yet linked the most recent fetal deaths to assaults on the mothers.

If they do, prosecutors will have to decide whether to file charges of homicide of an unborn child against the men accused of abusing the women. Since 1998, when the Crimes Against the Unborn Child Act became law, police in Allegheny County have filed that charge only twice.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

News from the land of fruits and nuts.
800 cases filed in state against Catholic church in California

Jehovah's Witness congregations argues first-amendment rights

Two Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, the Amarillo-Southwest congregation and the Dumas congregation, are seeking a court order to protect them from releasing documents in a civil lawsuit who claims a former elder sexually abused her.

“Jehovah’s Witnesses have a constitutional right by and through the First and Fourteenth Amendments, respectively, to be free from a government order compelling the church to disclose its confidential and exclusive religious doctrines, teachings and beliefs,” the motion states.

The motion says a court order compelling the church to produce some documents would violate the church’s constitutional right to freely practice its faith.

I didn't know this about Tom Cruise. I thought he had more sense.

Tom Cruise searches for spirituality, fights in the 19th-century Japanese civil war, and finds his inner warrior in The Last Samurai.

"Well, I'm a Scientologist," he says. "I've been a Scientologist for over 20 years now and I identify strongly with the mind-over-body take on things, the way of the samurai. It's one of the things that I think is worthwhile to strive for in life. You look at religion and you see that man has known about this ability since 2000 years ago.

"In my own life I have pursued spirituality and peace and I live that because of Scientology. Definitely I have that kind of peace within myself. It's given me great stability and tools that I use on a daily basis. It's also enabled me to help others."

Monday, January 05, 2004

I guess, judging from the photos from Mars, that the War of the Worlds won't ever happen. The planet is dead. That's bad news for sci-fi fans.
Healthy Rover Shows Its New Neighborhood on Mars

N.J. 'cloning' bill likely to reignite national debate; state to sanction stem cell research
TRENTON, N.J. (BP)-New Jersey politicians appear ready to reignite the nation's cloning debate.

Democrat Gov. Jim McGreevey has promised to sign a bill sanctioning stem-cell research which cleared the state legislature Dec. 15.

Another ECUSA Controversy

Meanwhile, as if the ordination of Robinson were not causing enough of a storm, another Episcopal clergyman has stirred controversy among church members with his recent and widely publicized remarks affirming Islamic beliefs from the pulpit.

The latest burst of outrage in the denomination involves Bishop John Chane and his reported upholding of Muslim teaching during his Christmas sermon at the Washington National Cathedral. In a nationally televised service, Chane asked, "What was God thinking when the angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the sacred Quran to the Prophet Muhammad?"

The AP quotes Episcopal conservative David Virtue, who suggests that God is thinking Bishop Chane should be tossed out of his job "for talking rubbish."

Episcopalians grapple on Web
The direction of the Episcopal Church is increasingly being determined not by its clergy or church institutions, but by a group of determined Internet jockeys whose reach encircles the globe.
They are men who spend 12 to 14 hours a day sending out posts to message boards, fielding replies or overseeing "blogs," or journals on the Internet, about the conflict tearing the 2.3-million-member denomination apart: the Nov. 2 consecration of the first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop.

Texas warns of abortion-cerebral palsy link
"Some large studies have reported a doubling of the risk of premature birth in later pregnancy if a woman has had two induced abortions," the booklet reads. "The same studies report an 800 percent increase in the risk of extremely early premature births for a woman who has experienced four or more induced abortions. Very premature babies, who have the highest risk of death, also have the highest risk for lasting disabilities, such as mental retardation, cerebral palsy, lung and gastrointestinal problems, and vision and hearing loss."

The matrix of both the abortion and gay marriage cultures the contraceptive culture. This is a commentary on this article, Gay marriage and the cult of non-procreation by Bill Murchison

Women's Group Slams AMA's Efforts to Conceal Abortion-Breast Cancer Research
By Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer
U.S. Newswire -- The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer denounces the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA), a chapter of the American Medical Association (AMA), for opposing efforts by the Minnesota Public Health Department (MPHD) to educate women about the abortion-breast cancer (ABC) research.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Happy New Year!
My new year's resolutions are to pray more, abstain from eating refined flour, and spend more time with my kids.

Larry Elder's Resolutions for a New Year

Ann Coulter on the The American Civil Liberties Union

"I'm not sure what horror is supposed to befall the nation if the liberals started ignoring the law more than they already do, but apparently it would be even worse than a country in which the Ten Commandments have been stripped from every public space, prayer in schools is outlawed, sodomy is a constitutional right, and more than 1 million unborn children are aborted every year."

Episcopalian Church members oppose a split
"The Anglican way has generally been to agree on how we worship and not to inquire too deeply into your exact theological beliefs beyond the basics," Mr. Deimel said. "But the people who are supporting Bishop Duncan are very much concerned about purity. They feel they have 'the' interpretation of Scripture. It's very un-Anglican."

Lieberman Questioned on Abortion Stance
WASHINGTON -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Lieberman said Friday he doesn't want to revisit the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion, disputing a New Hampshire newspaper story that suggested he believes the historic ruling should be updated to reflect medical advances.

Razorbacks win over Missouri in Independence Bowl 27-14. The University of Arkansas is my Alma Mater, so I'm thrilled we beat my brother-in-law's Alma Mater. I had a lot of fun rubbing it in yesterday. Yes!!!!