Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Liberal Legislation: Legalize Pot Smoking & No McDonalds

Now I don't like to use the terminology liberal. Often when asked if I'm liberal or conservative I like to say I'm Catholic. I use my Catholic faith (non-cafeteria Catholic faith) to help me discern life decisions.

In this article the (see video link) Massachusetts Representative Barney Franks (D) uses the term himself, so I'm just following his words.

So the proposed argument is stated:

The U.S. should stop arresting responsible marijuana users, Rep. Barney Frank said Wednesday, announcing a proposal to end federal penalties for Americans carrying fewer than 100 grams, almost a quarter-pound, of the substance.

Current laws targeting marijuana users place undue burdens on law enforcement resources, punish ill Americans whose doctors have prescribed the substance and unfairly affect African-Americans, said Frank, flanked by legislators and representatives from advocacy groups.

"The vast amount of human activity ought to be none of the government's business," Frank said during a Capitol Hill news conference. "I don't think it is the government's business to tell you how to spend your leisure time."


2nd Article:

Here in Los Angeles our City officials seem to not want to be out done by their Massachusetts counter parts.

City officials are putting South Los Angeles on a diet.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to place a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in an impoverished swath of the city with a proliferation of such eateries and above average rates of obesity.

The yearlong moratorium is intended to give the city time to attract restaurants that serve healthier food. The action, which the mayor must still sign into law, is believed to be the first of its kind by a major city to protect public health.

"Our communities have an extreme shortage of quality foods," City Councilman Bernard Parks said. MORE

So let me get this straight.

On the one hand we are responsible Marijuana users, able to know not to abuse the substance and on the other hand, we are not responsible enough to know not to eat too much fast foods.

I don't get it....?

Is this the Liberal society Mr. Barney Franks is speaking of?

... a shadow of 'change' to come...

do, do, do, do
do, do, do, do

... we are about to enter.... the twilight zone

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Earth Quake: 5.4 - Chino Hills

Okay, Just checked home. A 5.4 Quake just hit us, centered at Chino Hills... where I live.

I'm in Mahatten Beach where I work right now. I was on my way to mass at a local church in Redondo Beach during lunch when the earthquake hit. I was driving so I didn't feel a thing. I didn't feel any aftershocks during mass.

I phoned the wife and she says that it shock pretty good. No damage to the home other than a few pictures fell but other that that everything seem to be fine though the aftershocks are rolling thru.

My daughter works at Cal State Fullerton (about 16 miles from Chino Hills) and there where some minor injuries. The campus has been shut down and there is a mess of a traffic jam as the students evacuate.

... Thank God it was a relatively small one.

Morning Read...July 29,'08

Morning Read:

Did Mary's Assumption really Occur? The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - August 15

The Vindication of Humanae Vitae

Against the Grain (Great book! - Amazon link)

Brain That Changes Itself: int the abyss (New Search Engine - check it out)

First Look at Virgin Galactic's New Mothership - WhiteKnightTwo

Mother of .....18 Children!

"We never planned how many children to have," he said. "We just let God guide our lives, you know, because we strongly believe life comes from God and that's the reason we did not stop the life.

"We let life come."

Awesome statement from the mother of 18 children. Putting your trust in God. Now that's a message that, especially in having children, is not very popular now-a-days.

... and this from the Dad:
"Right now, I am not worried about the job. I'm going to stay beside her and help. I have to take care (of) my wife and baby."

Abigail is the newest member of the Ionce family of Romania, who now live in Canada.

May God look after this loving family.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Benedict XVI: The Green Pope?

Some reflection on the Comments B16 made on the environment.

A Closer Look at the Pope's Environmental Message

The pope urged his listeners to apply the same discipline and sacrificial spirit that drives them to recycle cans and conserve fuel to their spending practices, sexual choices and prayer habits. They should worry not only about disappearing rainforests but also about the spread of "a spiritual desert" of "interior emptiness" and "despair" in wealthy nations. And they should follow their respect for the limits of nature to its logical conclusion by recognizing objective moral limits on their own behavior as well.

Far from parroting predictable environmentalist mantras, Benedict's remarks pointed his listeners to a more satisfying, person-centered model of environmental stewardship. That model emphasizes precisely the unique human capacity for moral reflection and openness to the transcendent that many eco-warriors dismiss in their eagerness to prove that plants and animals matter as much as we do. Although reporters covering World Youth Day may have missed the profundity of Benedict's point, the enthusiastic response of his audiences suggests that the young heard him loud and clear.

McCain Campaign: Asleep at the Wheel...

I'm trying to figure out when McCain is going to start campaigning. So far I'm uninspired...

Ben Stein has a few thoughts on this...

McCain need Rove

Ben Stein says he knows how Sen. John McCain can win in November: Karl Rove.

That's right, that Karl Rove.

At a time when McCain is seeking to distance himself from President Bush, Stein argues McCain needs to enlist Bush's chief political guru in order to defeat Sen. Barack Obama.

"I don't discount the possibility that some really smart person at the McCain campaign might go over to Karl Rove, and say 'We will offer you all the kingdoms of the world if you will come and guide our campaign,' " a hopeful-sounding Stein said in a recent interview, during which he also discussed Al Franken's Senate bid and his thoughts on a sequel to the 1986 box office smash "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," which launched Stein's film career.

Stein is not unlike many Hollywood types in that he speaks his mind when it comes to politics. But what separates him from the pack is his professional background and party affiliation.
Stein is an actor and an author, but he is also an economist, columnist and, yes, a lawyer. And he is a Republican, making him a minority in Tinseltown political circles.

Did I mention that Stein also worked as a speech writer for President Richard Nixon and President Gerald Ford? Yes, that's right, that Richard Nixon.

So when he talks about politics, it is fair to say that Stein has an informed view -- whether you choose to agree with his analysis is another issue.

From Stein's perspective, McCain has been running an uninspiring campaign -- one that lacks a coherent message.

"Mr. McCain is running the absolute most pathetic campaign I have ever seen in my whole life," Stein said in his unmistakable monotone delivery. "His campaign is just heartbreakingly pathetic. He is a very impressive guy. He is a brave guy, but he is running the most lackluster campaign I have ever seen in my entire life. I would have thought Bob Dole's campaign would have set a record for poor campaigns, but this one is even worse. I mean it is shocking."

Obama's European Speech: Audacity of Emptiness

The 'Audacity of Emptiness' has cast it's spell on the nation of America, and with no surprise the masses of Europe.

Words like 'Change' , 'Hope', and now 'this is the moment'. All are good words and phrases and all these words and others can be motivating. However the substance behind those words is what should really give one Hope... not just the word itself.

How are we to accomplish this?

Just like our faith. We can say that we believe. Hell, even the devil believes. Faith must be more than just a claim or thought. How do we live out our faith?

The same follows with Mr. Obama. The words are there, but there is no substance.

One more thought before I highlight the article I want to share.

There is a tendency for Mr. Obama is to re-write history, or at least to taper off the completeness of history; tailoring it to his needs and message. His reflections on the Cold War is a prime example. This is covered in the article in depth.... so on with the article

Sweet Nothings

Anyone who wants to understand Barack Obama would do well to stay away from the radio and the TV. Obama is a theatrical presence. That's what it means to be "charismatic": To an unnerving degree his appeal relies on sight and sound rather than sense. Better, in my opinion, to stick to the printed word. On paper (or the computer screen) his words can be thought about and chewed over. You can understand him at your own pace, undistracted by that rich baritone, the regal bearing, the excellent drape of his Burberry suits.

The printed word has its problems too, of course. You really need to be on your toes if you're going to get anything out of a newspaper's election coverage. You've got to tune your ear to euphemism and translate as you go. So last Friday, having missed the television broadcasts of Obama's speech in Berlin the day before, I read the Washington Post with a cocked ear, and when I saw that the speech was described as "broadly thematic" and "sober and serious" I knew exactly what it meant: a boring speech full of blah blah blah.


Obama: In Abstract Terminology

Read this article this weekend. It talks about the use of abstract terminology, 'CHANGE' and 'HOPE' with out specifics.

Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville had a keen ear for political foolishness when he said:

" After all, they "will often have vacillating thoughts, and so language must be loose enough to leave them play. As they never know whether what they say today will fit the facts of tomorrow, they have a natural taste for abstract terms."

The air is currently filled with bright-eyed cries for change and promises of hope, “hope you can believe in,” from Americans proud to call themselves "progressives." Amidst all this good cheer – which this very week has even been liberally spread about the Middle East, Afghanistan, and the more elderly parts of Europe, who have even been told that we will be tearing down a series of longstanding walls "between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew" - it may seem churlish to spoil the party by asking for some specifics about where this change will take us, what it hopes to accomplish, and what in our current circumstances constitutes progress, though such specifics appear be in very short supply.


I confess that in America I saw more than America; I sought the image of democracy itself, with its inclinations, its character, its prejudices, and its passions, in order to learn what we have to fear or hope from its progress.
~ Alexis de Tocqueville

Saturday, July 26, 2008

XM/Sirius Merger: Thumbs UP!

Finally the, the last holdout vote was given for the go-ahead merger.


Federal regulators formally approved the merger of the nation's only two satellite radio operators Friday.

"I think it's going to be, in the end, a good thing for consumers and be in the public interest," Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin told The Associated Press. "Consumers will enjoy a variety of programming at reduced prices and more diversified programming choices."

Subscribers will not have to buy new radios to receive a mix of programming from both services, according to the companies. But if they want to pursue a special pay-per-channel a la carte option, they will need new sets.


Maybe now I can do something about merging my two accounts....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mr. Myers... details

I don't think I should address him with the title of Professor. His latest actions don't point to someone I'd like learn anything from...

Jimmy Akins follows-up with the latest.

Morning Read....July 24, '08

Java and a morning read...

A Modern Miracle

Maliki Feints (what did Maliki mean?)

Scruton on the violent diatribes of the evangelical atheists

Marriage and the Family in Casti Connubii and Humanae Vitae

Going Solar Power: One Month Later

Web Browser Security

Joseph Pearce on Shakespeare the Catholic

The Dark Knight - A Catholic Review (Steven D. Greydanus)

The World's Oldest Bible...

Cool! ...but it's going to take a year for it to happen.

(..chances are the online version will happen long before the xm/sirius merger..ha..ha)

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The oldest known surviving copy of the New Testament gets the modern touch Thursday when parts of it go online for the first time.

The British Library plans to begin publishing the Codex Sinaiticus, a 4th century text handwritten in Greek, on its Web site. The Gospel of Mark and the Book of Psalms go online Thursday. The full manuscript is to be online in a year.

Translations of the Codex Sinaiticus have long been widely available, but publishing images of the manuscript online will let anyone see pages that, until now, have been viewed in detail mainly by academia.

As the Web site becomes operational, it will show photographs of each page of the text, with links to translations in English and German. There will also be a search function.

"It contains the earliest complete copy of the New Testament," said Scot McKendrick, the head of Western Manuscripts at the British Library.

While the Codex contains all of the New Testament, it also includes part of the Old Testament and originally contained the entire text of the Christian Bible. The manuscript also includes the Apocrypha, 14 disputed books of the Old Testament that are usually omitted from the Protestant Bible. It also includes two early Christian texts: the "Epistle of Barnabas" and the "Shepherd of Hermas."

The library announced plans three years ago to digitize the 1,600-year-old book, a tough job since pieces of the manuscript reside in four countries.

Checkout their website: Codex Sinaiticus

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

D'Souza, Dawkins Interviews: AlJazeera Videos

Okay, the debate that turned out to be interviews on the Riz Khan Show:

Part I: Dinesh D'Souza

Part II: Richard Dawkins

Myers UPDATE: The Bozo did it...

Thanks Jimmy Akin for keeping us abreast of the latest development.

P.Z. Myers Carries Out His Threat
details of his folly are to be revealed tomorrow.

Frankly I'm a bit scared for the guy. In his statement he gleefully admits to the desecration of the Host, Koran and a not mentioned third item.

I think we need to pray for this individual. Seriously, I'm afraid his antics for attention will provoke unwanted attention (other faiths).

I pray this issue ends here.

Prof. Myers: UPDATE

This updated posted on American Papist website

Professor who threatened to desecrate Eucharist has not been disciplined, university says

The University of Minnesota has told CNA that disciplinary action has not been taken against Professor Paul Zachary Myers, a biology professor at the school’s Morris campus who threatened to acquire and desecrate a consecrated Host on his popular science blog Pharyngula. However, impeachment proceedings have begun against the University of Central Florida student senator who took a Host from a Catholic Mass in the incident which inspired Myers to make his threat.

Daniel Wolter, the News Service Director in the Office of University Relations at the University of Minnesota, reiterated in an e-mail to CNA that Professor Myers’ views “do not reflect the views of the University of Minnesota.”

Also from Mark Shea: Concerning Eucharistic Desecration

For those who may have missed it, P. Z. Myers, a washed-up academic at a third-tier school who takes out his bitterness on Christians and calls it "science blogging," claimed that some human toothache named Webster Cook had received death threats for stealing a Eucharist and threatening to desecrate it. Reader John Farrell repeatedly tried to get Myers to verify the "death threat" bit but was shouted down by the throngs of Myers's cultists who took his claim on faith.

Myers then decided to blow away the last shreds of pretense that his blog
Pharyngula was about science and give full vent to his demented hatred of Jesus Christ by urging his throng of equally demented followers to steal some hosts so he could desecrate them and put the whole thing on his blog. The Catholic League got involved (rightly, in my view), and Catholics, as is our custom, have been arguing about it ever since, pursuing a range of responses from complete pacifism to some rather over-the-top reactions including (you guessed it) death threats against Myers.


Black Wave: A Family's Survival at Sea

I was at the local book store this weekend, browsing thru some of the new releases and I came across this one. (Amazon link)

This is a true story of a family from San Diego who spent 18mo at see; the adventure of living on a 55ft 'Cat' and the disaster that nearly took their father's life.

I did a little Internet research and found the original newspaper story with an abridged recount of their tale.

Amazing Story....

Monday, July 21, 2008

D'Souza vs. Dawkins! ... On Al-Jazeera! UPDATE

Update to the debate originally scheduled for today.

It's now, no longer a debate but two separate interviews between the two. Evidently Mr. Dawkins has refused to debate.

An Open Letter to Richard Dawkins

Dear Richard,
We're both scheduled to discuss issues of Darwin and God on the Riz Khan Show on Al-Jazeera on Monday, July 21. Viewers who are interested can watch the show
live here. The segments will also be posted on Youtube and I'll link to them.

But a few hours after I mentioned our forthcoming debate on this blog, you posted a comment on your website essentially accusing me of making the whole thing up. So first you accuse me of having a Hitler voice, and now you accuse me of misrepresentation.

Too bad, I was looking forward the exchange. The interviews should still be worth viewing.

Friday, July 18, 2008

D'Souza vs. Hitchens Update

Here's a recount of the actual debate.... sounds like a heated one.

"You guys ready for some sparks," a man quipped as he took his seat to hear the rhetorical pugilists go head-to-head on the topic, "War, Terrorism & Geo-Political Crisis: Is Religion the Solution or the Problem?"

Billed on yellowing posters as a Wild West showdown and a championship boxing match all rolled into one, moderator Alex Green felt it was appropriate to set a few ground rules.

"For tonight's two debaters; Please, no head-butting, no ear-pulling, no slapping, no biting and no gagging," Green said tongue-in-cheek. "No eye-gouging, no spine locks, no neck cracks, no faking an injury and no escaping the ring. No hair-pulling, no fish-hooking, no distracting the referee, no groin strikes and no toe locks. No grabbing the throat. No attacks on the windpipe. No punches to the head, kicking below the belt and no unsportsmanlike conduct."

D'Souza vs. Dawkins! ... On Al-Jazeera!

Wow, on Al-Jazeera TV

the Dogma of Materialism

My Las Vegas debate with Christopher Hitchens continues to attract attention and comment. If you'd like to read an account of the debate, you can do so here.

Also on Monday July 21, at 4.30 pm Eastern time, I'll be debating Richard Dawkins (yes, Richard Dawkins!) on Al-Jazeera (yes, that Al-Jazeera). This is a noteworthy development because Dawkins has so far refused to debate me. But now we're appearing together on the Riz Khan television show, which I understand has some 25 million viewers worldwide. If you want to watch Monday's debate live you can watch it here. The segment will also be posed on the web and I will link to it on this blog.

Mark your calendars....

Todays Read...Morning Java

Here's some interesting articles to enjoy with the morning java, or afternoon frapaccino, or tazo peach, or evening hot chocolate.

It's 8:30ish here in Manhattan Beach, California.

Media Apply God-Talk Double Standard

The 'View' and the N-Word

Messiah Tablet Confirms Published Dissertation (Follow-up on the newly discovered tablet)

Benedict is encouraging Anglican converts

just 4 today...

Exhumation of Cardinal Newman's remains...

London, Jul 16, 2008 / 08:26 pm (CNA).- The exhumation of Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman has been requested by the Vatican to make veneration easier for his devotees. The prominent nineteenth-century convert from the Church of England is being considered for beatification, the last step before he is declared a saint.

Cardinal Newman’s body was buried in a small cemetery at Rednal in 1890. According to the Telegraph, the Vatican wants his remains to be moved to a marble sarcophagus in the Birmingham Oratory.

Father Paul Chavasse, Provost of the Birmingham Oratory, explained the reason for the request: "One of the centuries-old procedures surrounding the creating of new saints by the Catholic Church concerns their earthly remains.

... on the road to sainthood.

Praying to the Saints

The Intercession of the Saints

Canonization: The Declaration of Sainthood

WYD Sydney: And The Crowds Gather....

Half a Billion tuned in to watch.... 270,000 attended... Wow

Sydney, Jul 18, 2008 / 09:36 am (CNA) .- Spectacular scenes were played out across Sydney city’s landmarks, as part of the re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross for WYD.

An audience of half a billion tuned in to watch the performance that involved around 80 performers and was played out by young people at six major venues. Over 270,000 international and local spectators also made their way to points around the city to watch the Stations of the Cross live and on big screen televisions.

... like the shepherd and his flock. All for the Glory of God.

Sirius/XM Merger Update

... So, this merger is dragging on.

It seems that now the Federal Communication Commission member Jonathan Adelstein (Dem) may end up being the deciding vote in the matter.

He has put together another hoop for the two Satellite Radio companies to jump through.

Satellite radio saga takes unexpected turn

WASHINGTON (AP) - During his tenure at the Federal Communications Commission, Jonathan Adelstein has been a fierce critic of government policies that allow big media companies to get bigger. So it came as a surprise when the Democratic commissioner put forth a proposal that would allow the nation's only two satellite radio companies to merge.

Adelstein, the potential deciding vote, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he would support Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (SIRI)'s $3.1 billion buyout of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (XMSR) if the companies agree to a six-year price cap and make one-quarter of their satellite capacity available for public interest and minority programming, plus other conditions.
It may be that the commissioner, a seasoned political operator who spent 15 years as a Senate staffer, recognized a limited window of opportunity.


... you gotta read the whole article, but here's a key piece of it.

Adelstein is seeking 25 percent of the companies' satellite capacity for public interest programming - 10 percent for noncommercial programming and 15 percent for minority programming. That potentially would work out to about 75 channels.

... and he wants this to be guaranteed for the next 6 years. What does this mean (at least to me)?
Mr. Adelstein is trying to make sure that there is control over what you and I hear and don't hear.

What the heck is 15 percent minority programming and 10 percent for noncommercial programming. Don't we already have non-commercial radio on satellite?

To me this is code words for more Air America type of radio. I don't know about you but I originally got satellite radio because it was commercial free and there are plenty of channels to satisfy the majority of music connoisseur and whatever political boat you want to sail in. We don't need Mr. Adestein to control this with his additional 'watch-dog' group either

Adelstein also wants to set up an enforcement regime to make sure the companies adhere to the conditions, something that was not outlined in the previous voluntary offer.

what a mess...

Myth Busters: Global Warming Consensus

Man made global warming. Inconvenient truth or IPCC myth?

In a posting to the APS forum, editor Jeffrey Marque explains,"There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."

The APS is opening its debate with the publication of a paper by Lord Monckton of Brenchley, which concludes that climate sensitivity -- the rate of temperature change a given amount of greenhouse gas will cause -- has been grossly overstated by IPCC modeling. A low sensitivity implies additional atmospheric CO2 will have little effect on global climate.

Larry Gould, Professor of Physics at the University of Hartford and Chairman of the New England Section of the APS, called Monckton's paper an "expose of the IPCC that details numerous exaggerations and "extensive errors" MORE

If there's something strange, in the neighborhood(CO2). Who you gon'a call?

the American Physical Society of course.

... 50,000 physicists strong. So much for the consensus. Sorry Mr. Gore

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Obama in Berlin

Obama has been trying to set up a media event to emulate President Kennedy's visit at Berlin's famous Brandenburg Gate.

...the German Cancellor, Angela Merkel is not too happy about this. Read HERE

I saw this in the Daily Breeze (local paper).

(thanks: Micheal Ramirez)

World Youth Day '08

CNA has some good coverage of B16's visit down-under.

As does the World Youth Day website

For video EWTN has it LIVE!
The crowds will be huge! No one can attract a gathering like B16 (or JPII for that matter)
..... sorry Obama, not even close.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

S.F. condemns Catholic Church

What the heck is with the Board of Supevisors of City and County of San Francisco? You'd think they were governing their very own planet.

A San Francisco city and county board resolution that officially labeled the Catholic church's moral teachings on homosexuality as "insulting to all San Franciscans," "hateful," "defamatory," "insensitive" and "ignorant" will be challenged tomorrow in court for violating the Constitution's prohibition of government hostility toward religion.

Resolution 168-08, passed unanimously by the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors two years ago, also accused the Vatican of being a "foreign country" meddling with and attempting to "negatively influence (San Francisco's) existing and established customs."

It said of the church's teaching on homosexuality, "Such hateful and discriminatory rhetoric is both insulting and callous, and shows a level of insensitivity and ignorance which has seldom been encountered by this Board of Supervisors."


The Holy Eucharist-University of Central Florida Incident

Read this yesterday ... quite disturbing. (Thanks InsightScoop)

Prof. Meyers, Webster Cook, and the Eurcharist

On June 29th, Webster Cook, a student at the University of Central Florida, presented himself to receive the Eucharist at a mass being performed by representatives of his local chapter of the Catholic Campus Ministries; the mass was evidently on school property. Cook is himself a Catholic, though of what depth or devotion I couldn’t say. Whatever the case may be, what happened next is well-substantiated: instead of consuming the consecrated host as is proper and expected, Cook decided to keep it. Early reports varied as to whether this purloining was planned or a “spur of the moment” sort of thing, though I’m inclined to lean towards “planned” for reasons that shall shortly become apparent.....

......This might have had all of the impact that any pronouncement from the Catholic League has (none officially and little informally), but it was instead picked up by Prof. P.Z. Meyers, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota-Morris. His response to this issue has been absurdly extensive, beginning with this post (warning: vulgarity) on his popular blog, Pharyngula. Even that might have been the end of it, given Cook’s return of the host, but no; Prof. Meyers upped the ante considerably:

So, what to do. I have an idea. Can anyone out there score me some consecrated communion wafers? There’s no way I can personally get them — my local churches have stakes prepared for me, I’m sure — but if any of you would be willing to do what it takes to get me some, or even one, and mail it to me, I’ll show you sacrilege, gladly, and with much fanfare. I won’t be tempted to hold it hostage (no, not even if I have a choice between returning the Eucharist and watching Bill Donohue kick the pope in the balls, which would apparently be a more humane act than desecrating a goddamned cracker), but will instead treat it with profound disrespect and heinous cracker abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web. I shall do so joyfully and with laughter in my heart. If you can smuggle some out from under the armed guards and grim nuns hovering over your local communion ceremony, just write to me and I’ll send you my home address.


American Papist covers it as well...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Obama - The Hunt for the Red October

Last article for the morning read.

This article draws it's analogy from the book (movie by the same name) Hunt for the Red October...

Obama Lies

"You arrogant ass! You've killed US!"The line comes from an enraged Soviet Navy officer to his superior, Captain Tupolev, in the film version of Tom Clancy's thriller The Hunt for Red October. Clancy fans will remember Tupolev as the Soviet submariner tasked with destroying the Russian super-sub Red October, captained by Tupolev's old teacher, the defecting Marko Ramius (Sean Connery). Egotistical, obsessed with getting Ramius, in the heat of battle the not very bright Tupolev impulsively launches a torpedo against the advice of his senior officer. Too late he realizes the torpedo has been led back to a target other than the Red October. At the very last moment he understands the horrible truth as his senior officer screams the line above seconds before Tupolev's sub is destroyed -- by the torpedo launched with Tupolev's own hand.

Barack Obama is now in the process of being Tupoleved by the American Left. More amusingly, the American Left is in the process of being Tupoleved by the American Left. The torpedo? Two simple words repeated ad nauseam now for years. The words?

Bush lied. MORE...

... one ping only

.... I would have like to have seen Montana....

EPPC: Articles

I thought I'd highlight some articles from the EPPC website:

Oil, Oil, Oil - Rick Santorum

Marketing 101 - Yuval Levin

Not Without a Fight - Stanley Kurtz

An Anthem Switch - George Weigel

Ethics and Public Policy Center

You'll find writings from George Weigel, Stanley Kurtz, Colleen Carroll and other prominent Fellows & Scholars

This is from their 'About' page:

Founded in 1976, the Ethics and Public Policy Center is Washington, D.C.'s premier institute dedicated to applying the Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy. From the Cold War to the war on terrorism, from disputes over the role of religion in public life to battles over the nature of the family, EPPC and its scholars have consistently sought to defend the great Western ethical imperatives -- respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, individual freedom and responsibility, justice, the rule of law, and limited government.

EPPC is unique among Washington think tanks in its ability to develop and promote these ethical imperatives:

We deal openly and explicitly with religious and moral issues in addressing contemporary issues. We work to clarify the ways in which moral principles shape the choices that political leaders must make in our democracy.

We are genuinely ecumenical and interreligious. Our Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scholars probe the riches of their own traditions, forge alliances within their communities, and work together to promote a shared understanding of the common good.

Our outstanding scholars write books that are widely read, publish articles in the popular press and in scholarly journals, and appear frequently on television and radio. We have close working relationships with key public-policy leaders in the Administration and on Capitol Hill.

Our reputation for excellence has been built up over three decades.

Through its core programs, EPPC and its scholars work to influence policymakers and to transform the culture through the world of ideas.

Pay them a visit...there's some good stuff there.

An Interview with George Weigel

George Weigel, Catholic theologian, writer, scholar, Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and one of America's leading public intellectuals.

I found this interview which took place in the July 13
issue of Avvenire . Mr. Weigel has some great insight.


VVENIRE: America is heading for the elections in a weak economic situation: higher unemployment rates, higher gas prices, the subprime mortgage and housing crisis, and so on. How much do these things affect U.S. voters? And how much do these problems affect the way of life of the American people?

WEIGEL: The odd thing about the polling data is that, while most people think "the economy" is in difficult circumstances, they think they're doing just fine, personally. I attribute this "dis-connect" -- things are terrible but I'm doing just fine, thank you -- to seven years of mainstream media hysteria-mongering, which tends to shape (or perhaps better, mis-shape) people's views of the large picture. The fundamentals of the American economy are sound. There is a credit crunch, which affects the housing markets, and there's a lot of pressure from rising energy costs. But there's nothing here that can't be fixed.

AVVENIRE: Food stamp requests have been increasing for two years and the cost of gas, fruits, vegetables, corn are higher. These are just examples of the problems American middle class (and not just it) have been facing. Do you think the American people are still optimistic about the future? Or have they lost trust in the ability of the country to solve its problems and make things get better?

WEIGEL: I very much doubt that the American people have lost confidence in their capacity to do what needs to be done to built better futures. What they have lost confidence in is the Congress, and with good reason -- Congress is perhaps the most dysfunctonal major institution in American life. Curiously, though, most incumbent congressmen will likely be re-elected. (Permit me to add, as an aside, that European reporting on American life would lead the proverbial "man from Mars" to think that the United States was a Third World country. The better way to measure the reality of contemporary American life, including economic life, is by immigration, legal and illegal. Assuming people aren't stupid, people don't try every means possible to move to a losing proposition.)

AVVENIRE: Election 2004 was played out, above all, on national security issues. Four years later, is the economy the key issue? Usually American voters lean toward Democratic Party when the economy is weak. Why?

WEIGEL: In fact, the 2004 election was decided by a half-million evangelical voters in Ohio who registered to vote in order to vote in defense of traditional marriage -- and who also voted for President Bush, who thereby carried Ohio and the election. Absent that issue, President John Kerry would be running for a second term. Americans turned to a Republican, Ronald Reagan, when a Democrat, Jimmy Carter, had made a mess of both the economy and U.S. foreign policy. The Democratic Party does tend to be more interventionist in economic matters, which may attract some voters who think that government is the answer to economic problems; it usually isn't, but there are still people who think that way. There's also a lot of what I call "tribal" or "genetic' Democratic voting in what my friend Maggie Gallagher describes as the "Decadent Catholic Corridor" -- the Northeast, Illinois, and Michigan, where "Catholic = trade union = Democrat." Reagan's ability to attract these voters created the Republican coalition that effectively set the U.S. political agenda from 1981 until 2006. It's also worth noting that a pro-abortion Democrat, John Kerry, carried every state in which there was a residential American cardinal in 2004.

He also has a new book out. Against The Grain

Monday, July 14, 2008


A friend sent this to me in an email today....

FIRST… do you know what ANWR is?

ANWR = Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


Now… A comparison

And Some perspective


Note where the porposed development area is...
(it's in the "ANWR Coastal Plain")

This is what those who are against drilling in ANWR show you when they talk about ANWAR

... and they are right... these ARE photographs of ANWR

Isn't ANWR BEAUTIFUL? Why should we drill here (AND DESTROY) this BEAUTIFUL place?

.........................................Well... That's not exactly the truth

Do you remember the map?
The map showed that the proposed drilling area is in the ANWR Coastal Plain
Do those photographs look like a coastal plain to you?



(Thanks Google...)



Here's that same spot in the Winter.


*the Prudhoe bay area accounts for 17% of U.S. domestic oil production

We Need to Drill!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

D'Souza vs Hitchens Debate: Freedom Fest-Las Vegas

Christopher Hitchens author of 'God is Not Great' will be debating Dinesh D'Souza author of 'What's so great about Christianity' in Las Vegas tomorrow.

Dinesh's book is well written, I read it and he is an accomplished debater. You can view some of his debates online. Just do a google search, there are many available.

Eight debates – including a Christopher Hitchens vs. Dinesh D'Souza bout over religion and terrorism – headline this year's FreedomFest in Las Vegas, which describes itself as the tradeshow for liberty and the world's largest gathering of free minds.

The British journalist Hitchens, who calls himself an antitheist, is the author of the recent best-seller "God is Not Great," while D'Souza hit the charts with "What's So Great About Christianity?"

Their topic Friday night at Bally's/Paris Resort is "War, Terrorism and Geo-Political Crisis: Is Religion the Solution or the Problem?"

FreedomFest, which runs tomorrow through Saturday at the Las Vegas venue, will feature speakers such as Forbes CEO and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes, Republican Rep. Ron Paul, Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former congressman Bob Barr, CATO Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz, Wall Street Journal writer and Club For Growth co-founder Stephen Moore, President Richard Viguerie, Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel, Habitat for Humanity founder Millard Fuller, historian William J. Federer and Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer.


Link: Dinesh Dsouza's website
(about the debate)

New Website: Catholics Come Home

A new website to visit.

Catholics Come Home, for anyone thinking about entering the faith for the first time, former Catholics that have been away from the faith for a while or if you just want to find out more about the Catholic faith.

Even if you're already Catholic there are some resources there for you as well...

Have a visit: Catholics Come Home

Gabriel's Prophesy: The Tablet

Lot's of claims are flying with the discovery of the famous 'Tablet'. It's probably just my ignorance and non-scholarship concerning these claims (e.g. the Resurrection was made up) but my faith in the Catholic Church is not shaken in the least. I think there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

But I do find it interesting to read and learn so here's some follow-up on the subject:

Link: Gabriel's Revelation
Link: Before y'all abondon Christianity because of "Gabriel's Revelation"...

Thanks InsightScoop

Francis Beckwith: Return to Rome

Mr. Beckwith created a big stir with his return to the Catholic faith. He now has a new book which tells his story.

Link: What's wrong with the world - Dispatches from the 10th Crusade

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Is the Resurrection True?

In light of recent news of a 'three-foot-tall tablet with 87 lines of Hebrew that scholars believe dates from the decades just before the birth of Jesus is causing a quiet stir in biblical and archaeological circles, especially because it may speak of a messiah who will rise from the dead after three days.' I came across this new book from Ignatius Press

"Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?"
If Christ has not been raised, said the Apostle Paul, Christian faith is in vain. The Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is not an incidental or minor aspect of Christianity. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, Christianity is certainly false.

Skeptics have long tried to show that there was no Resurrection. Today, there has been a resurgence of attacks on this central truth of Christianity. Some people claim that the followers of Jesus fabricated the Resurrection. Others argue that the disciples hallucinated or had a “vision” of their dead master, which they confused with a truly risen Jesus. Others still suggest that the Resurrection was a myth or that the apostles may have seen a “spirit” or witnessed a “spiritual resurrection” that had nothing to do with an empty tomb and the transformation of Jesus’ dead body. Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? carefully scrutinizes the historical evidence. Rather than accept Christian belief blindly, top scholars and biblical historians critically examine alternative explanations. In the end, they show why it is a matter of sound reason as well as faith to affirm what the early Church proclaimed: Jesus is risen.

A fascinating, fast-paced, exciting exploration of Jesus’ fate, Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead? shows how Jesus’ Resurrection has consequences for every one of us.

...looks like a timely release

Year of Paul

I came across this article from the July issue of Homiletic & Pastoral Review: Challenges to Preaching Paul

It's pretty interesting...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Aftermath: Population Zero

I saw this National Geographic presentation of something called

Aftermath: Population Zero

I kind of already knew what this might be about, but I thought I'd give it a change to see what the presentation had to say.

I can't tell you how disappointed I was in the message of this show.

The message?

... the world would be a better place without Humans. I don't exaggerate.

The show begins with a "What if..." scenario of man disappearing from the face of the earth all of a sudden, sort of like a rapture moment only the entire human race disappears. Of course cars are without drivers, planes are flying themselves for a while on auto pilot, nuclear plants are left unattended. You get the picture.

The point of the whole show is that man has made a mess of the planet and even in his untimely disappearance, he still manages to add some destruction in his departing.

Even pet dogs and cats are left without food or water, locked up in their previous thoughtless owners homes and apartments.

But! Not to worry...

Even after the bad humans destructive departure, nature can heal itself. "If only nature is left alone to do so", are the final words in the presentation.

Henceforth, the world would be a better place without man

What a message to leave our children with.

Yes, God created the world (...however, nowhere in the presentation is God mentioned) and everything in it. He created man as it's steward (see Genesis) to take care of the earth but also to use it's resources to 'be fruitful and multiply'.

Yes, some have abused the earth to an extent, while others have taken it for granted. But there are also many who have sought to be good stewards of God's creation and extremist on both sides of the the pendulum.

This show in my opinion, goes further than just bring awareness to 'good stewardship' of home on earth. There is no balance in it's message. It's constant timeline updates of "100 A.H. to 1000 A. H. (A.H. - After Humans) underlines it's intent.

So if you have a few hours to WASTE it will air again I'm sure.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Balloon Man

He's crazy....

....but you can track his adventures HERE

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Have a great 4th of July....

... be proud of being American and this great Country of the U.S.A!

WestCoastCatholic +<><

Thursday, July 03, 2008

ARTWalk - Laguna Beach

For those who maybe in the So. Cal area this July 4th, there is plenty to do.

This is just one thing I might be doing tonight.

First Thursday Art Walk in Laguna Beach and the SawDust Festival is in full swing...
Laguna Beach Magazine (4 events)

Sold His Soul to Hell's Pizza

This is just weird...

A New Zealand man has sold his soul to hell -- Hell Pizza, that is.
The New Zealand pizza chain said Thursday it had struck a deal with Walter Scott, 24, to buy a deed to his soul, shortly after an online auction site that initially agreed to the sale withdrew it from the Internet because of complaints it was in bad taste.
Scott offered his soul on the TradeMe site on Wednesday, saying he had not found it to be much use.
"I can't see it, touch it or feel it, but I can sell it, so I'm going to palm it off to the highest bidder," Scott, 24, said on the sale site.
The auction attracted more than 32,000 hits and more than 100 bids before it was taken down.
TradeMe business manager Michael O'Donnell said the company had received an "overwhelming number of complaints from the TradeMe community."


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hands-Free Phoning - California Law

It's finally here. In California starting July 1st it's illegal to talk on the phone while driving unless you have a hands-free device.

... whatever that means.

Do they make a hands-free cheeseburger?

Driving while phoning

Calling all cars: Be on the lookout for errant drivers fumbling for their new hands-free devices. Avoid their swerves and keep your own hands at 10 and 2. This new cellphone law is going to take some getting used to.

As pretty much every California motorist knows, today it becomes illegal to talk on the phone while driving -- unless the driver's end of the conversation takes place on equipment that leaves both hands available for the steering wheel. The law raises the sort of questions that middle school students just love: What's the point of the restriction if you still need one hand to punch in phone numbers or to insert your new earpiece? How does the law help if it remains legal to drive with a hand on the CD player, or wrapped around a breakfast burrito, or stuck out the window in a gesture toward the guy who just cut you off?

It's common sense that drivers with two hands on the wheel have more control, but that doesn't automatically mean that it's more dangerous to hold a phone than a cheeseburger. People who gab and steer at the same time become hazardous on the road because their attention is divided between the conversation and the stop sign. But that's just as true of riveting banter between the person in the driver's seat and the one riding shotgun. MORE
... still I think it's a good thang.

Arctic Ice

the Arctic Ice pack... what's really going on?

Arctic ice melting faster as temperatures climb

Huge Vaolcanoes May Be Erupting Under Arctic Ice

... so which is it?

St. Paul Study Guide

A nice little study guide to go along with the Pauline year.
This one's put out by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.

Religion and Politics

A little of both....

Ad asks Obama: 'If fatherhood begins at conception, when does life begin?'

Pauline year seen as invitation for all Christians

Is John McCain "running on an astonishingly Catholic platform"?

David Mamet: Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal'

The Traditions of Men

Freedom and the View From Obamaland