Deborah Gyapong: January 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sometimes you have to laugh about exploding bazooms

Pamela Geller writes:

Islamic Jihad Plan Breast Bomb Attacks: Britain is facing a new Al Qaeda terror threat from suicide ‘body bombers’ with explosives surgically inserted inside them.
Maybe the Muslim women will like their new tatas so much, they will want to live! laugh! love! as infidels. Hubba hubba boom.

Why isn't our mainstream media covering Climategate?

According to American Thinker, the British press are all over the falsification of science in the climate change racket. So where is the mainstream media in North America?

The revelations have been nothing short of jaw dropping. Dozens - yes dozens - of claims made in the IPCC 2007 report on climate change that was supposed to represent the "consensus" of 2500 of the world's climate scientists have been shown to be bogus, or faulty, or not properly vetted, or simply pulled out of thin air.

We know this because newspapers in Great Britain are doing their job; vetting the 2007 report item by item, coming up with shocking news about global warming claims that formed the basis of argument by climate change advocates who were pressuring the US and western industrialized democracies to transfer trillions of dollars in wealth to the third world and cede sovereignty to the UN.


This is a great story. It has everything a media outlet could desire; scandal, conflict of interest (IPCC head Pauchuri runs companies that benefited from climate scare stories), government cover ups - why then, has this unraveling of the basis of climate science that posited catastrophic man made warming not been making any news at all in the United States?


Perhaps its time to ask why this story being revealed overseas with new revelations almost daily in the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the Timesonline, and other Fleet Street publications can't get any traction here. Blogs like Watts up with That and Climate Depot are keeping us informed of the latest from England but we hear crickets chirping when it comes to stories from major newspapers and - outside of Fox News - the cable nets.

As global warming the political movement is losing its scientific justification, the American people - who will be asked to foot the bill to the tune of trillions of dollars if Obama goes ahead with his "green" plans - are grossly uninformed about the state of the debate. Until the media starts to give this story the coverage it deserves, that state of affairs will not change.

Funny how you have to turn to the blogosphere to hear about this

Actually, it's not funny at all. It's horrible.

Lumpy, Grumpy and Frumpy has pictures and commentary from a recent march in Toronto by Coptic Christians protesting ongoing persecution in Egypt. She writes:

"Canada, Canada, Wake Up!" was the cry I heard most often at yesterday's Coptic Christian march through downtown Toronto. Their voices raw and sometimes desperate, the marchers cried out to Canada, their beacon of hope and democracy, to put an end to Islamic terrorism and save their fellow Copts in Egypt.

Their message was simple and blunt and absolutely not politically correct: "Islamic terrorists must be stopped!" "No more Christian blood!" "Why, why, must we die?" "No, no Islam by force!"

This is the difference between Canadians who have lived comfortable lives free of Islamic repression and those who have experienced it first-hand in their home countries: we pussy-foot around and are oh-so-careful not to offend anyone's feelings or, heaven forbid, cause an argument, whereas they will openly name the problem and call for a solution.

Despite the extremely cold weather, thousands of Coptic Christians gathered at Dundas Square, then marched to Nathan Phillips Square and on to Queen's Park. Their signs were varied; each carried a powerful message. The impetus for the rally was the recent escalation of violence against Copts by Muslims in Egypt but their signs and chants highlighted 1,440 years of Islamic violence.

Please head on over and look at her many photographs.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The boyz at Hillbuzz dissect trolls

This pro-Hillary site run by some gay men from Chicago is a regular stop for me. Great snark and interesting political observations. They saw the Obama campaign up close while campaigning for Hillary and the thuggery turned them into McCain/Palin supporters.

They have a most interesting post up about astroturfing "trolls" who show up in the comments sections of blogs like theirs pretending to be sympathetic, but then finding a way to insert Obama talking points.

Here are some excerpts I found amusing:

First and foremost, the troll needs to establish a connection with the site this troll has been assigned to. So, since this site is HillBuzz, and we are Team Hillary guys, the troll has to pretend he is a Hillary person too. Think of this as the troll putting on a bad disguise it stole from a garbage can in the alley behind an abandoned costume shop. ”Tee-hee! Me find mask. Wear mask, fool peoples. Never know me troll now! Tee-hee-hee!”.


“I’m not a troll, but I often use all-caps to make certain words stand out that I think are cute, like HOPE, which is a nod to the fact that I am an Obama troll, but by using so blatant an Obama troll go-to like HOPE, I’m being ironic and cheeky since people would assume a real troll wouldn’t be so blatant, so therefore I am not a real troll because I am so blatant, so thus I’m playing 11th dimensional chess with you right now because I went to Harvard and you didn’t”.


(4) I know he’s thrown gays under teh bus, but what exactly are you trying to do- elect the people who will give you NO chance of equality? Come on.

“Remember, trolls, insert at least one spelling error so that it looks like you are typing quick and with passion. Stoopid peoples, that how we trolls trick them! Spell words like “the” wrong, like “teh”, and then people will think, “Oh, this not professional troll, this regular blogger like am me! Professional troll would spell everything A-otay, so him not troll. Him nice person. Me agree with him!”

What a bunch of dodos

The secularist fundamentalists are at it again. Charles Lewis reports:

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has issued a report that says B.C.-based Trinity Western University falls below the standard of proper academic freedom because it requires its faculty sign a statement of Christian faith before being hired.

It has also put the organization “on a list of institutions found to have imposed a requirement of a commitment to a particular ideology or statement as condition of employment.”

The statement of faith, available on the school’s web site, acknowledges, among other things, that there is one God, the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and that Christ is God incarnate.

The report by the teachers’ body also pointed to excerpts from the academic calendar, which in part said: “All teaching, learning, thinking, and scholarship take place under the direction of the Bible.”

Although Trinity Western is the first school to be put on the list, the organization said it will now investigate three other Christian universities — Crandall University in Moncton, Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, and Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ont. — all of which require faculty to sign faith statements.

“A school that requires its faculty to subscribe to a particular religious belief or ideology cannot be practicing academic freedom,” said James Turk, executive director of CAUT. “This is not about the school being Christian, but about faculty having to sign a statement of faith before being hired. A university is meant as a place to explore ideas, not to create disciples of Christ.”

A university is meant to be a place where students can find the truth and in the most meaningful sense of the word down to its Latin roots, to have an education that, as Augustine College dean Edward Tingley so brilliantly said in the 20006 commencement address, will lead to wisdom and virtue and enable the student to find the grace to cut the enslaving bonds of sin and death. It is to weep what we have done to our precious western civilization.

Disciples of Christ would be a good thing. Not this postmodern, namby-pamby politically correct exploration of ideas as if they were all of equal weight that this dodo seems to think is what academic freedom is all about. He can't even see the irony in this, how CAUT in its secularist zeal is interfering with the academic freedom of Christian communities to pursue their notion of academic freedom within the context of Christian orthodoxy. No, only one orthodoxy will prevail.

No, only the one-size-fits-all pantyhose version of secularist liberalism qualifies as academic freedom for these modern day inquisitors. What a truncated view of truth and of education.

How sad. Hmmmmm. Will any Catholic Universities come under any pressure?

Dr. Sanity diagnoses the SOTU and then waxes eloquent on sociopathy

She writes:

In western culture, ethical and moral standards used to be anchored to the real world (i.e., to reality); but in the postmodern wilderness in which the political left and most of its most visible spokespeople--i.e., leaders in the Democratic Party-- wander aimlessly, ethics and morality are relative and "anchored" to feelings and whim; which inevitably unleashes the baser and more vile aspects of human nature.

The 20th century became the playground (and litter box) for the narcissist; and by the time the 21st century rolled around, malignant narcissism was not even considered deviant, it had gone mainstream. Since psychopathology continually evolves and worsens if it is not confronted and dealt with, what we have now in our culture, particularly the political system, is the endstage of psychological evolution under postmodernism: the sociopath who disguises his or her sociopathy by selflessness (now marketed as "hope and change").

These selfless sociopaths are people who couldn't care less about the individual human being. Individual human beings are expendable; even vast numbers of them--as long as they stand in the way of the implementation of the sociopath's great ideas and compassionate execution of those ideas. They are the fodder that can be used to build "great" societies, utopian fantasies and collectivist wet-dreams.


We can thank primarily the political left and its useful idiots for the persistent, unyielding, and willful celebration of--and ultimately mainstreaming of--malignant narcissism. We have entered the age of postmodern sociopathy and nihilism.

What does it matter if the lives and freedoms of so many individuals are sacrificed to the murderous oppressors of the world? If you "kick out the wealthy" then you have the wonderful socialist paradise of Cuba; or the magnificent utopia of North Korea with all their misery, poverty, oppression and leftist enlightenment!

Under the "enlightened" and "progressive" left, wealth will be redistributed and the human mind enslaved--but so what? As the eminent leftist and quintessential nihilist Joseph Stalin once remarked, "Death solves all problems - no man, no problem."

Victor Davis Hanson on why Obama says one thing and does the opposite

Brilliant as usual:

So why does Obama serially tell untruths, mislead, and do the opposite of what he promises?

Here are four brief reasons. They are complementary, rather than mutually exclusive.

1) He does this because he can. Obama, from college at Occidental to Chicago organizing, has never been called to account. He was always assured that his charm, his ancestry, or his rhetoric alone mattered, while his record, actions, and accomplishments were mere footnotes. He channels our hopes and dreams and need not traffic in reality. We, the people, like the media, have tingly legs and believe the president is “some god,” and therefore need not question the charismatic face on the screen.

2) Obama is a reflection of an era of liberal academic postmodernism. There are no absolute facts; truth is only an illusion in the eye of the beholder. Reality instead is relative, and predicated on the basis of power. Ergo, what others say is true is simply a reflection of their race/class/gender/religion/cultural privileges. Speaking “truth” to power means simply opposing those who, you deem, have more advantages than you and yours.

3) Obama is a neo-socialist who believes the ends of social justice justify most means necessary to achieve them. As a philosopher-king who knows what is best for ignorant lesser folk, who can’t possibly appreciate all the ways in which he works and suffers on our behalf (Cf. Michelle’s “deigns to run”), Obama reluctantly must employ Platonic “noble lies” to achieve the common good: OK, we don’t understand ObamaCare and therefore fear it and the way it is packaged and sold; but once it is forced down our throat, we will come to love — what is good for us.

4) Obama is a narcissist, who believes that his reality is our reality, that his rules are our rules. If the king, the autocrat, the heart-throb, the prophet, or the messiah says something is true, then facts and reality adjust accordingly. Facts and corrections are boring. And if confronted with contrary evidence, the self-infatuated simply smiles with the assurance that the problem is others’, not his.

And it is, sort of.

Your must-read post of the day from Laura Rosen Cohen

Laura Rosen Cohen provided a must-read post over at Blazing Cat Fur to highlight the insanity of blaming the Holocaust on "bad words," thus justifying state sanctioned controls over freedom of expression.

Here's an excerpt of her post, but please go on over and read the whole thing. Interestingly, the same thing was true of the Rwandan genocide. It was systematic, state-sponsored and organized.

Wake up, folks. Laura writes:

It is easier to fight the war that was essentially already won. Although reprehensible, it is easier to wrap oneself up in a pseudo Jewish identity entirely based on the Holocaust than to invest the intellectual capital required to understand our current enemies and the threat facing our civilization. It takes a bigger investment in time and thought to study and understand the real, underlying message of Jewish living-“to life”, “/l’chaim/”, and being a Light Unto the Nations. Not by liberal activism under a superficial cloak of Judaism, but through celebrating life, and the commandments given to us by G-d passed on throughout the generations of Jewish history.

It is easier to frame one’s nominally Jewish life in familiar, au courant fashion such as “social justice” and “/tikkun olam/” (‘repairing the world’) rather than struggle intellectually and morally the real dangers facing us today.

The real danger facing the Jewish people, and the civilized world is not Nazi words-it is deeds; beheadings, suicide bombings and highjackings with the umbrella name of “jihad”. Furthermore, it is morally and intellectually dishonest to point to insulting words as the root cause of the Nazi dehumanization of Jews.

It was the disassembling of Jewish civil liberties and civil rights that began the downward spin toward hell on earth. The descent began when Jews were stripped by the state of their rights to own property and businesses. Their physical property and humanity were legally expropriated. When the state took away the Jews’ freedom to marry whom they chose, and when the state legally defined the Jews as less than human, the descent was unstoppable.

If today, someone calls me a dirty Jew, I care very little-and frankly don’t need the state to fight my battles. If suddenly, in Canada or America, the state were to suddenly decide that because we are Jews, that we are not legally entitled to own property or that we are no longer legally full humans, equal under the law, then, Houston, we would have a problem and civilized, western societies such as ours would reject the state’s totalitarian, antisemitic plans.

Ironically, it is Jewish liberals like Bernie Farber and Abe Foxman who share a profound sense of cognitive dissonance about the role of the state in protecting Jews. The Nazi state and its laws enabled the dehumanization of Jews-not words and insults. Concentrated, dictatorial legislative powers were Hitler’s best weapon and were among the Nazis most profoundly and rapidly absorbed anti-Jewish functions within German society.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Peggy Noonan nails the contradictions in Obama's SOTU

This is brilliant. Read her whole piece (my bolds):

The central fact of the speech was the contradiction at its heart. It repeatedly asserted that Washington is the answer to everything. At the same time it painted a picture of Washington as a sick and broken place. It was a speech that argued against itself: You need us to heal you. Don't trust us, we think of no one but ourselves.

The people are good but need guidance—from Washington. The middle class is anxious, and its fears can be soothed—by Washington. Washington can "make sure consumers . . . have the information they need to make financial decisions." Washington must "make investments," "create" jobs, increase "production" and "efficiency."

At the same time Washington is a place "where every day is Election Day," where all is a "perpetual campaign" and the great sport is to "embarrass your opponents" and lob "schoolyard taunts."

Why would anyone have faith in that thing to help anyone do anything?

Yuppers, as my friend Mary would say.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

ROFLMAO Mark Steyn rewrites the opening of Obama's SOTU

At the Corner, he writes:

Why is that? Well, look at the SOTU opening. It's eloquent, but in a cheesily generic way, as if one of his speechwriters was sent over to Barnes & Noble to pick up a copy of State of the Unions for Dummies:

They have done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they have done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle.

It’s tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable — that America was always destined to succeed. But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday and civil-rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were times that tested the courage of our convictions, and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements; our hesitations and our fears; America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, and one people.

It sounds like an all-purpose speech for President Anyone: We've met here in good times and bad, war and peace, prosperity and depression, Shrove Tuesday and Super Bowl Sunday, riding high in April, shot down in May. We've been up and down and over and out and I know one thing. Each time we find ourselves flat on our face, we pick ourselves up and get back in the race. That's life, pause for applause . . .

Thank God for Mark Steyn. Laughter is the best medicine. Glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read this. Shrove Tuesday---coming up in a few weeks--will never be the same after this.

More for the corruption of science files

Via Dr. Sanity, this Phyllis Chesler item (my bolds):

Lancet Study Does Not Mention Honor Killings, Forced Veiling, Arranged Marriages, etc.

It’s official. Britain’s premier medical journal Lancet has been completely Palestinianized. It no longer bears any relationship to the first-rate scientific journal it once was. Perhaps Lancet is no longer a standard-bearer but has become a follower in the global movement in which standards have plunged, biases have soared, and Big Lies now pass for top-of-the-line academic, scientific work.

The post-colonial academy is itself thoroughly colonized by the false and dangerous ideas of Edward Said (please read my dear friend Ibn Warraq’s most excellent book Defending the West: A Critique of Edward Said’s Orientalism). However, I once believed that Said’s paranoid perspective had primarily infected and indoctrinated only the social sciences, humanities, and Middle East Studies. We now see his malign influence at work in a new article, just out today, by professors who work at the Department of Medicine at Harvard University; the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at Minnesota University’s School of Public Health; The Boston University School of Medicine; the School of Nursing at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; and at the School of Social Work and Social Welfare at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

Their study is titled: “Association between exposure to political violence and intimate-partner violence in the occupied Palestinian territory: a cross-sectional study.” And yes, they have found that Palestinian husbands are more violent towards Palestinian wives as a function of the Israeli “occupation”— and that the violence increases significantly when the husbands are “directly” as opposed to “indirectly” exposed to political violence.

Frankly, I think "Spengler" has a much better take on what is really going on in the Middle East.

He writes in the Asia Times:

It may seem odd to blame the Jews for the misery of Middle East Christians, but many Christian Arabs do so - less because they are Christians than because they are Arabs. The Christian religion is flourishing inside the Jewish side. Only 50,000 Christian Arabs remain in the West Bank territories, and their numbers continue to erode. Hebrew-speaking Christians, mainly immigrants from Eastern Europe or the Philippines, make up a prospective Christian congregation of perhaps 300,000 in the State of Israel, double the number of a decade ago.

The brief flourishing and slow decline of Christian Arab life is one of the last century's stranger stories. Until the Turks killed the Armenians and expelled the Greeks, Orthodoxy dominated Levantine. The victorious allies carved out Lebanon in 1926 with a Christian majority, mostly Maronites in communion with Rome. Under the Ottomans, Levantine commerce had been Greek or Jewish, but with the ruin of the Ottomans and the founding of Lebanon, Arab Christians had their moment in the sun. Beirut became the banking center and playground for Arab oil states.

The French designed Lebanon's constitution on the strength of a 1932 census showing a Christian majority, guaranteeing a slight Christian advantage in political representation. With the Christian population at barely 30% of the total and 23% of the population under 20 - Lebanon's government refuses to take a census - Lebanon long since has lost its viability. The closing of the Christian womb has ensured eventual Muslim dominance.

Precise data are unobtainable, for demographics is politics in Lebanon, but Lebanon's Christians became as infertile as their European counterparts. Muslims, particularly the impoverished and marginalized Shi'ites, had more babies. In 1971, the Shi'ite fertility rate was 3.8 babies per female, against only 2 for Maronite Christians, or just below replacement. Precise data are not available, but Christian fertility is well below replacement today.

Even before the 1975 Lebanese Civil War, infertility undermined the position of Lebanon's Christians . The civil war itself arose from the demographic shift towards Muslims, who saw the Christian-leaning constitution as unfair. Christianity in the Levant ultimately failed for the same reason that it failed in Europe: populations that are nominally Christian did not trouble to reproduce.

Lebanon was a Catholic project from the outset, and the Vatican's thinking about the region is colored nostalgia for a dying Christian community and a searing sense of regret for what might have been. If only the State of Israel hadn't spoiled everything, many Arab Christians think, the Christian minority would have wielded enormous influence in the Arab world. It is true that in many Arab countries, Christians comprised a disproportionate share of merchants and intellectuals. But the same was true of the 130,000 Jews of Iraq before 1947, who owned half the businesses in Baghdad.

Contrary to the Arab narrative, the peak of Arab Christian influence occurred a generation after the founding of the State of Israel, when Boutros Boutros-Ghali became Egypt's foreign minister in 1977, and Tariq Aziz became Foreign Minister of Iraq in 1983. In fact, the founding of the State of Israel propelled Christian Arabs into leadership positions in Arab governments. The Arab monarchies installed by the British in Egypt, Jordan and Iraq failed miserably in their efforts to crush the new Jewish State in the 1947-1948 War of Independence. Young military officers replaced the old colonial regimes with nationalist governments, starting with Gamal Abdel Nasser's 1952 coup in Egypt.

Nationalism opened the door of political leadership to Arab Christians. The Syrian Christian Michel Aflaq founded the Ba'ath party which later took power in Syria and Iraq. The rise of secular Arab movements with strong Christian influence was a response to the Arab failure to prevent the founding of the State of Israel. After the Turkish destruction of Orthodox Christian populations in the Levant, the Arab Christian elite - for centuries graced by not a single name the world remembers - saw its chance to shine. Lebanon, previously a backwater, and the pugnacious Maronite population, a marginal group except for their ties to France, improbably emerged as the focal point of Levantine Christianity.

But Arab nationalism failed just as miserably as did the monarchies invented by the British after the Turks were thrown out. Having rolled the dice with Arab nationalism, Arab Christians were left with diminished leverage and declining numbers on the ground in the advent of political Islam. Both in politics and demographics, the Arab Christians largely had themselves to blame. Understandably, they find it more palatable to blame the Jews.

Interesting, no?

The corruption of science? medicine, too?

It's not only climate science. Check this out on the Swine flu "pandemic" that strangely seems to have dropped off everyone's radar screen, except for the ubiquitous dispensers of hand sanitizer foam. Don't you wish you had bought stock in one of those companies?

More than half of the experts who advised the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare swine flu a "pandemic" are linked to drug-makers that have reaped huge profits from untested vaccines and flu drugs.

This is from the Institute of Science in Society which tells us that eleven of the 20 members of the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) have profited from work done for the pharmaceutical industry or are linked to it through their universities. Many have declared interests in GlaxoSmithKline, the vaccine maker that stands to benefit the most from the pandemic.

At the height of the pandemic scare, UK's Chief Medical Officer warned of up to 65,000 deaths. The death toll now stands at 251; and the UK Government is now trying to offload up to £1 billion worth of unwanted swine flu vaccines.

Dr. Roy and U.N. Me

On Monday night, I went to a showing of a new documentary about the United Nations called U.N. Me. The ubiquitous Dr. Roy was there and has posted some pictures. He mentioned seeing me and provided a link, so welcome Dr. Roy readers!

The movie showed in a sometimes entertaining, sometimes gripping, sometimes heartwrenching way how far the UN has moved away from its original mandate. You can watch the trailer here.

The organization is rife with corruption and part of the problem seems to be the inability of all these nations to come to an agreement even on such a term as terrorism. It is under the "dictatorship of relativism," though the filmaker did not use those words.

Join the Free Thinking Film Society for some excellent films you won't see on the mainstream media or leftist theatres.

The picture shows U.N. Me filmaker Ami Horowitz (left) with Free Thinking Film Society founder and director Fred Litvin.

Obama and the Clinton cargo cult

David Goldman aka "Spengler" at First Things, has some terrifying observations about the economic plight of the United States. Here's an excerpt from his take on President Obama's State of the Union Address last night. Me? I couldn't bear to watch it. I rather liked following Twitter on it. Loved the fact that Father Z was tweeting on it. Anyway, here's the excerpt:

Obama hasn’t been retooled, of course, but he decked himself out in new trim: a spending freeze (that affects only 17 percent of the budget, $50 billion worth of accelerated depreciation for capital investment (extending his own 2009 extension of part of the Bush stimulus), a bit of middle class tax cuts, and the obligatory pork in the form of teaching and transportation subsidies. Didn’t Bill Clinton veer to the right and confound his critics?

Clinton slyly positioned himself to claim credit for the Great Expansion launched in 1983 by the Reagan tax reforms. Employment roared after 1995—the economy added five million jobs in the next two years. Clinton’s theft of welfare reform from the Republicans was like picking up lost money off the sidewalk. It was easy to push people off welfare into a booming labor market. Cutting the capital gains tax in 1997 helped the tech boom at the decade’s end.

In his attempt to emulate Clinton’s success, President Obama resembles nothing so much a the New Guinea aboriginals who built model airfields complete with straw control towers and airplanes after the Second World War and the departure of the American army. The Americans had summoned cargo from the sky through such magical devices, so thought the aboriginals, and by building what looked like airfields, so might they. But Obama can no more conjure up an economic recovery by doing things that look like what Clinton did, than the natives of New Guinea could draw cargo from the sky with straw totems. Marx’s crack about history repeating itself—the first time as tragedy and the second as farce—comes to mind.

It was one thing for Clinton to steal the Republican growth agenda when there was a Republican agenda, and there also was growth. As Dick Morris told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly just before Obama began speaking, “Bill Clinton could reposition himself because he could control his image. Obama will be an outcome based president. All will depend on what the economy and employment does. As long as the employment rate is where it is and the underemployment rate is where it is, people are not going to have a positive view of Obama, even if he stands on his head. He’ll move to the center and people will say ‘center, schmenter, show me the employment.’”

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

God, a Book, and a Boy by Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher Phillips writes about how he, a humble farm boy, became drawn to the catholic faith over at The Anglo-Catholic. Here's an excerpt, but do yourself a favor and read it all.

There were two things in the back room that I came close to coveting. One was an oval-shaped bas-relief carving of the Descent of Christ from the Cross. How such a thing found its way into the possession of a protestant family, I’ll never know. But I loved it, and when I asked my grandmother if I could have it, for some reason she told me that if I was ever ordained I could claim it. I was, and I did, and it hangs in my rectory to this day. The second thing was a book, a very particular book which had belonged to my English great-grandmother, who had been staunchly Anglican. It was a combined Book of Common Prayer (1662 edition) and the Holy Bible (King James Version), and although my family subsequently wandered off into Methodism, they had kept this book because it had been Nana’s. Its leather binding was cracked, but not badly. There was an ornate brass cross attached to its front cover. I wanted it very much, and it was given to me. So began my love affair with the formality of Anglican prayers and with the Holy Scriptures.

It seems odd that a ten year old boy would be able to find something of God within cracked leather and yellowed pages, but I did. It was as close as I had to a Real Presence, and my inability to understand all the words emphasized the Mystery I was seeking. There would seem to be little use for “A Table to Find Easter-Day; From the Present Time till the Year 2199 Inclusive,” or for “Forms of Prayer for the Anniversary of the day of the Accession of the Reigning Sovereign,” or even for “A Table of Kindred and Affinity,” although it was fascinating to learn that one’s mother’s father’s wife may not marry her mother’s mother’s husband. But for the rest of it, these were my first faltering steps towards Catholic beauty, Catholic order, Catholic truth.

The prayers did it for me. And the words of the Scriptures. I would speak them sotto voce in my room, just because the words sounded so beautiful, even to my ignorant ears. I suppose, by most external points of reference, it was an odd thing for a child to do. Certainly, I had plenty of friends, activities at school, involvement in the local church, duties at home. But my soul had a hungry corner that would not stop its demands until it was satisfied. I had never heard Augustine’s words about the restless heart, but I surely knew what he meant.

One of the wonders of the Catholic faith is that it reaches into such unexpected places and in such extraordinary ways to draw the unsuspecting to itself. Indeed, this is its catholicity. It feeds both farm boy and pope.

Chinese and Canadian censorship in synch says George Jonas

Sad but true. Read all about it in today's National Post in Jonas' aptly headlined: "Censors of the world unite--and wreck the Internet. An excerpt:

The Jan. 24 editorial in China's People's Daily is a censor's lament, a commissar's cri du coeur. It's a pained rejection of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's criticism of Beijing's interference with the Internet. China's editorial writers sound not only wounded but puzzled. Who, us, interfere? Number one, we don't. Number two, why pick on us? Everybody does.

Yeah, well, better take another look at this, fellas, because the second assertion somewhat reduces the value of the first. But never mind. What I want to know is where did I read this before?

Yogi Berra would call it "deja vu all over again." The editorial in my mailbox, courtesy of Neil Hrab, looks eerily familiar. "Most countries exert some sort of control over information," it says. Hmm. Not much of an argument to justify censorship, but I remember reading it recently somewhere else.

"As is widely recognized, freedom is always relative..." says the People's Daily. Well, yes; most municipalities prefer people to stop at red lights. While all freedoms are relative, some freedoms are more relative than others. Beijing's experts on the relativity of freedom can probably knock Einstein into a cocked hat.

"Freedom is always relative" rings another bell, though. Let's see. Of course! "Because no right is absolute." It's a Canadian source.

Look at the opening statement to the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies, delivered in the summer of 2009 by Chief Commissioner, Jennifer Lynch, Q.C. It fits perfectly. How can freedom be anything but relative, as the People's Daily asserts, when no right is absolute, as the Chief Commissioner of Canada's Human Rights confirms.

Deja vu solved. If Ottawa is here, can Beijing be far behind? Censors of the world, unite. The Canadian Human Rights Commission and the People's Daily are in synch.

Canada--please don't fund overseas abortions!

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced a laudable goal--to lead the way in reducing maternal and infant mortality around the world. I attended a post- roundtable newser that International Development Minister Bev Oda hosted yesterday. Here's Brian Lilley's report. An excerpt:

It’s hard to argue with the idea of saving the lives of women giving birth or of ensuring that children do make it to their 5th birthday, yet when most people think of what kind of action would best accomplish such goals, they likely think of what the Prime Minister outlined in his article; clean water, nutrition, vaccinations, and better training of local health care workers. That’s not what everyone has in mind.

A group in Britain called the Optimum Population Trust advocates aggressive family planning and reducing the world’s population in order to save the environment and reduce global CO2 emissions. Such a group would normally not be of interest in Canada but the OPT has the ear of Gordon Brown’s Labour government, meaning that the G8 meeting is likely to hear about how we can save women from dying in child birth by preventing child birth.

Knowing this, I asked Minister Oda whether the Harper government was leaning toward the aggressive family planning model or favoured the building of local health clinics. While Minister Oda said she was seeking the best advice and not leaning in any direction at this point, one of the experts around the table nodded her head in agreement as I asked my question. Jennifer Kitts from Action Canada for Population and Development approached me excitedly after the news conference to tell me that family planning is key to reducing maternal mortality and infant deaths.

Kitts says that 30% of maternal deaths can be avoided and infant mortality can be reduced by 20% with proper family planning. Now I quickly understood how family planning could reduce maternal death but when I asked her to explain how family planning could help children live past their 5th birthday, Ms. Kitts became nervous and asked me to turn off my recorder. I asked her the question again and she told me she would have to do the interview later. The coin eventually dropped, the people at ACPD plan to reduce infant mortality by reducing the number of infants born. A major part of family planning for ACPD is abortion.

Now it really doesn’t matter which side of the abortion issue you fall on, when you hear that a government wants to reduce infant mortality, funding abortions in developing countries is likely not what comes to mind. When the Prime Minister says it is troubling that 9 million children die before their 5th birthday, most Canadians don’t think aborting children in developing countries so that they never have a birthday is the solution.
The government material stresses all the right material. It's the advice behind closed doors that is troubling.

Interesting post on liturgy

At Inside Catholic by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. An excerpt:

Even if Cardinal Ratzinger could not endorse the traditionalists' critique of liturgical reform in its entirety, some of their concerns were also his own. His writing on the liturgy emphasized a number of key factors, some of which were intrinsic to the reform and others that were merely its unfortunate byproducts.
For one thing, he contended that the new missal gave rise to excessive creativity in liturgical celebration. This development undermined the very essence of liturgy and cut Catholics off not only from their past but even from the parish down the street, where Mass was different. In Feast of Faith, Ratzinger wondered, "Today we might ask: Is there a Latin Rite at all any more? Certainly there is no awareness of it. To most people the liturgy seems to be rather something for the individual congregation to arrange. Core groups make up their own 'liturgies' from week to week, with an enthusiasm which is as amazing as it is misplaced."
The very idea that liturgy is something to be made reflects a complete breakdown of liturgical consciousness. Ratzinger wrote: "Neither the apostles nor their successors 'made' a Christian liturgy; it grew organically as a result of the Christian reading of the Jewish inheritance, fashioning its own form as it did so. In this process there was a filtering of the individual communities' experiences of prayer, within the basic proportions of the one Church, gradually developing into the distinctive forms of the major regional churches. In this sense liturgy always imposed an obligatory form on the individual congregation and the individual celebrant. It is a guarantee, testifying to the fact that something greater is taking place here than can be brought about by any individual community or group of people."
There are those who complain that requiring strict fidelity to the rubrics infringes on the freedom of the "faith community" to devise the kinds of liturgies that suit them best. Ratzinger disagreed, and suggested that "the obligatory character of the essential parts of the liturgy also guarantees the true freedom of the faithful: it makes sure that they are not victims of something fabricated by an individual or group, that they are sharing in the same liturgy that binds the priest, the bishop and the pope. In the liturgy, we are all given the freedom to appropriate, in our own personal way, the mystery which addresses us." In fact, he turned the complaint around, noting that these manufactured liturgies themselves amount to a kind of tyranny exercised over hapless congregations, the vast bulk of which do not belong to parish liturgy committees. "Those able to draw up [manufactured] liturgies are necessarily few in number, with the result that what is 'freedom' for them means 'domination' as it affects others."

The TAC's 2007 letter to the Holy See is now published

The Anglo-Catholic has published the entire text of the 2007 letter to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith that the bishops and vicars general of the Traditional Anglican Communion(TAC) had signed on the altar, along with a Catechism of the Catholic Church. An excerpt:

From the Bishops and Vicars General of the Traditional Anglican Communion, gathered in Plenary Meeting at Portsmouth, England, in the Church of Saint Agatha, to the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, concerning their desire for unity with the See of Peter.

5th October 2007

Grace and peace in the Name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour!

“A new hope arises that those who rejoice in the name of Christians, but are nevertheless separated from this apostolic see, hearing the voice of the divine Shepherd, may be able to make their way into the one Church of Christ….to seek and to follow that unity which Jesus Christ implored from his Heavenly father with such fervent prayers.”

In these words in his moto proprio, Superno De Nutu, the Blessed John XXIII, responded to the visit of Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher.

A few years later, in the Sistine Chapel, in March 1966, the next Bishop of Rome, Paul VI, told the next Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, that he should look on his journey as an approach to a home:

As you cross the threshold we want you especially to feel that you are not entering the house of a stranger but that this is your home, here you have a right to be.

The Holy Father warned of the difficulty of the task of bringing about the unity of “the Church of Rome and the Church of Canterbury”:

In the field of doctrine and ecclesiastical law, we are still respectively distinct and distant; for now it must be so, for the reverence due to truth and to freedom; until such time as we may merit the supreme grace of true and perfect unity in faith and communion.

The next day, at the Basilica of Saint Paul’s Without the Walls, the Holy Father placed his ring on the Archbishop’s finger. They had just signed the Joint Declaration that was intended to begin a dialogue that would lead to full communion between Anglicans and the See of Rome. The Pope used the phrases “our dear sister church” and “united but not absorbed’. These phrases inspired Anglicans who yearned for the reuniting of the Anglican Communion with the Holy See. They waited in prayerful optimism for the fulfillment of the work of the Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission. The Lambeth Conference of 1968 powerfully endorsed the approach to the Holy See of the Archbishop and the proposed work of the Commission. The Holy Father noted this acceptance in his homily at the Canonization of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales in 1970, when he reflected on the nature of the unity that he anticipated:

There will be no seeking to lessen the prestige and usage proper to the Anglican Church.

These words exchanged between Anglican bishops and the Holy See transformed centuries of profound mistrust and unconsummated dreams of unity.

And yet they were set against contemporary Anglican developments that were already separating the Anglicans who most cherished these new hopes from their churches.

The ordination of women to the diaconate and presbyterate, at first in North America, Hong Kong and New Zealand, and in more than half the churches of the Anglican Communion by the mid – 1990’s, created a crisis of conscience among those who termed themselves Anglican Catholics, and who held the faith of the Catholic Church on matters concerning Holy Order, the primacy of the Eucharist in the life of the Church, and the authority of the Bishop of Rome in teaching with divine authority concerning matters contested in the Church and the world.

The Holy See, in direct and frank communications with the Archbishop of Canterbury, as well as – with increasing finality – in specifically addressing these innovations in its Apostolic Teaching, defined these Anglican innovations as “new and grave” obstacles to unity.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is it just me, or has the world gone nuts?

Especially when I read stuff like this:

“He chopped her head off,” District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said of Hassan. “He chopped her head off. That’s all I have to say about Mr. Hassan’s apparent defense that he was a battered spouse.”

Hassan, 45, is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 12 beheading of his wife, Aasiya Zubair Hassan, 37. The Pakistani-born couple were best known for Bridges TV, the station they formed in 2004 to counter negative Muslim stereotypes.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Father Z writes in the Catholic Herald about the Internet

and how the Catholic Church--guided by her bishops-- needs to use it to her advantage:

Catholics intuitively look for leadership from priests, to be sure, but in a special way from diocesan bishops. I have met only a handful of bishops who actually grasp that there is an internet. Few take it seriously. On the live internet stream of the November meeting of the USCCB a bishop observed that, while he appreciated reducing paper consumption by giving him a CD-ROM disk, he didn’t know how to use it. I met a prelate in Rome, working in social communications, who didn’t know how to turn on his computer.

An American cardinal quizzed me about my footprint in cyberspace and mused: “More people read you in a day than read me in a week in our newspaper.” As a new generation of bishops emerges, episcopal savvy about modern tools of communication will improve. Nevertheless, bishops can’t themselves be the point men for a diocese’s online ministry.

Vicars for online ministry don’t have to exert control over the Catholic internet space – as if that were possible. Rather, they should take advantage of a natural desire on the part of Catholics for official leadership in all areas of communication and education. Dioceses have to fill in the vacuum that now exists in terms of information channeling and interpretation. They do this usually, and not always well, through “official spokesmen”.

An alternative media has its important role, but bloggers are at risk of becoming the sole free-flowing channel of news and information both about what is going on in the Church as well as what current events mean. If anyone doubts the universal effects of Original Sin, let him watch an intersection with a four-way stop sign for a while, or read the combox of an interactive website. You Brits have those roundabouts – but I’ll bet the analogy holds.

I blog about apologetics at The Anglo-Catholic

You can read my lengthy post here. Here's an excerpt:

I told her she was of the John Paul II generation that did not share the antipathy towards bishops and the Pope that many in my generation have. They are curious about their faith and want to know more.

She agreed.

Then we talked more about the garbled nature of the assaults on the faith and how what is thrown at us in situations like the dinner with her coworker is so twisted with falsehoods and misinformation that you almost don’t know where to begin unpacking the arguments.

So I said that sometimes the best thing to do is not even try, but to pray for people like this and show them your sweet spirit and your love.

Sometimes the false ideas that people hold against the Church are like strongholds in their minds that only prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit can dislodge. Sometimes we need to remember that our faith has grown through flashes of insight and a well-timed word from a friend or from the Bible that suddenly comes to life. It often does not come in a head-to-head clash of rational arguments.

That said, as I think about this beautiful, tender-hearted young woman I wished that we were doing a better job of equipping and discipling our Christian young people. Even if you do come up against the brick walls of a spiritual stronghold or a lofty thought that holds it itself up against the knowledge of God, having a quiver full of good arguments and lots of Scripture makes it a lot easier for you to follow the Spirit’s guidance to take one of them and drive it home in a way that can change a life.

See the comments section, too.

If you haven't visited The Anglo-Catholic yet, it's a great blog. Very interesting.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Another brilliant insight by Mark Steyn about the meaning of the word "truck"

While Bill Clinton may be famous for saying "it depends on what the meaning of 'is' is," Mark Steyn makes a brilliant observation about Barack Obama and, how his last speech really boils down to "it depends on what the word "truck" means.

It's all part of the same postmodern mindset that divorces reality and truth from words.

Here's an excerpt of Mark's column, which really must be read in its entirety.

The defining moment of his doomed attempt to prop up Martha Coakley was his peculiar obsession with Scott Brown's five-year-old pickup:

"Forget the ads. Everybody can run slick ads," the president told an audience of out-of-state students at a private school. "Forget the truck. Everybody can buy a truck."

How they laughed! But what was striking was the thinking behind Obama's line: that anyone can buy a truck for a slick ad, that Brown's pickup was a prop – like the herd of cows Al Gore rented for a pastoral backdrop when he launched his first presidential campaign. Or the "Iron Chef" TV episode featuring delicious healthy recipes made with produce direct from Michelle Obama's "kitchen garden": The cameras filmed the various chefs meeting the first lady and then picking choice organic delicacies from the White House crop, and then, for the actual cooking, the show sent out for stunt-double vegetables from a grocery back in New York. Viewed from Obama's perspective, why wouldn't you assume the truck's just part of the set? "In his world," wrote The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes, "everything is political, and everything is about appearances."

Howard Fineman, the increasingly loopy editor of the increasingly doomed Newsweek, took it a step further. The truck wasn't just any old prop but a very particular kind: "In some places, there are codes, there are images," he told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. "You know, there are pickup trucks, you could say there was a racial aspect to it one way or another."

Ah, yes. Scott Brown has over 200,000 miles on his odometer. Man, he's racked up a lot of coded racism on that rig. But that's easy to do in notorious cross-burning KKK swamps like suburban Massachusetts.

Whenever aspiring writers ask me for advice, I usually tell 'em this:

Don't just write there, do something. Learn how to shingle a roof, or tap-dance, or raise sled dogs. Because if you don't do anything, you wind up like Obama and Fineman – men for whom words are props and codes and metaphors but no longer expressive of anything real.

America is becoming a bilingual society, divided between those who think a pickup is a rugged vehicle useful for transporting heavy-duty items from A to B, and those who think a pickup is coded racism.

Kathy Shaidle comments on this column (and a hat tip as well):

Besides being one of his recent best, Mark Steyn's new column is a mini master class for writers.

First, because it's about words: their misuse, and their power -- or, in Obama's case, their lack of power, as his vaunted (and exaggerated) oratorical skills are already failing him.

Second, because if you look carefully, you'll see a great example of one of those hard-to-imitate Mark Steyn "moves". His use of cliches is a bit like Oscar Wilde's, if less aphoristic; watch and learn:

As he did with his Copenhagen pitch for the Olympics, he put his personal prestige on the line, raised the stakes, and then failed to deliver. All those cool kids on his speechwriting team bogged him down in the usual leaden sludge. He went to the trouble of flying in to phone it in.

Now, hundreds of columnists this week used the expressions "phone it in," and mentioned Obama "flying in," but nobody put them together.

A wonderful priest in Oakville

I have personal reasons for being deeply thankful for Rev. Paul Charbonneau. Here's a story about him by Sue Careless in the Anglican Planet:

For six years now they have held their annual Great Garage Sale Giveaway. At first glance it looks like your typical rummage sale. There are racks upon racks of second-hand clothes, tables laden with used toys and books and household items. But look closer. There are no price tags or cash boxes. Not even a place to leave donations.

Instead each shopper is encouraged to take a small note that says:

Yes…it really is free!

We hope this small act of kindness brings some light today. It’s a simple way of saying God loves you – no strings attached. Please let us know if we can be of any assistance.

People want to know where they can pay.

“We’re really adamant about not taking any money, not even when they insist it’s for the church,” says the Rev. Paul Charbonneau, rector of St. Hilda’s. “We want to express the tangible love of Christ for people. It’s a tangible expression of the grace of God. There’s a surprise element. It opens the door for people to share; it leaves the door wide open.”

There are no limits set on how much people can take.

“Most people are conservative in what they take. I want them to take more,” says the priest. “You move more stuff if it’s free. Even if you charged a penny an item it would not move as well.”

So it is a great recycling project. One year they gave away a small sailboat! Nor do they prevent folk from reselling. Twice a fellow has come and the congregation knows he resells the goods but they consider him “one in a hundred.”

Every Thursday St Hilda’s delivers free food to needy families. These families are given a flier about the giveaway and are invited to come early to have first crack at the best stuff.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sexual abuse and the Catholic Church

Here's a link to a rather long piece I worked on last week concerning where the Catholic Church in Canada is concerning its handling of clergy sexual abuse. Here's an excerpt:

Investigative journalist Michael Harris has seen a "tremendous policy change" in the Catholic Church since he broke the story of sexual and physical abuse at the Mount Cashel orphanage in the late 1980s.

"There has been a true response to the real problem instead of musical parishes, private deals and chequebook dispensations," said the author of Unholy Orders: Tragedy at Mount Cashel. "I have a good feeling that the next generation of Catholic priests will not be in this position."

Despite the improvements, the child pornography charges Bishop Raymond Lahey and revelations of a sexual abuse settlement concerning the late Father Des McGrath, "keep reversing the sense of progress," said Harris.

He said the revelations about McGrath were "almost worse than that of the Christian Brothers," because he was "such a beloved figure" in Newfoundland.

The priest was found dead in his garage last summer, a day after he was to appear in court to answer sexual abuse charges. In December, it was revealed the St. George's Diocese had paid a more than $200,000 settlement to a victim, though McGrath had denied guilt. McGrath had been a founder of the Fish Food and Allied Workers Union.

Harris described Lahey, too, as "a hero to the Church, who seemed to understand you shouldn't put kids through endless legal hurdles." Lahey had announced a $13-million abuse settlement in his Antigonish Diocese only weeks before he was arrested and charged with possession and importation of child pornography last September.

His case is wending its way through the courts in Ottawa, where he was arrested.

Sister Nuala Kenny said the "hurt goes on" because the Church has never successfully addressed the systemic issues she and others identified in the 1990 Winter Commission Report.

"Do this, in memory of me"

Fr. Christopher Phillips put this beautiful excerpt from Dom Gregory Dix's The Shape of the Liturgy (1945) over at The Anglo-Catholic on "Do this, in memory of me."

Was ever a command so obeyed? For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable circumstance, for every conceivable human need from infancy and before it to extreme old age and after it, from the pinnacles of human greatness to the refuge of fugitives in the caves and dens of the earth. Men have found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for the proclamation of a dogma or for a good crop of wheat; for the wisdom of the Parliament of a mighty nation or for a sick old woman afraid to die; for a schoolboy sitting an examination or for Columbus setting out to discover America; for the famine of whole provinces or for the soul of a dead lover; in thankfulness because my father did not die of pneumonia; for a village headman much tempted to return to fetich because the yams had failed; because the Turk was at the gates of Vienna; for the repentance of Margaret; for the settlement of a strike; for a son for a barren woman; for Captain so-and-so, wounded and prisoner-of-war; while the lions roared in the nearby amphitheatre; on the beach at Dunkirk; while the hiss of scythes in the thick June grass came faintly through the windows of the church; tremulously, by an old monk on the fiftieth anniversary of his vows; furtively, by an exiled bishop who had hewn timber all day in a prison camp near Murmansk; gorgeously, for the canonisation of S. Joan of Arc — one could fill many pages with the reasons why men have done this, and not tell a hundredth part of them. And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of christendom, the pastors have done this just to make the plebs sancta Dei — the holy common people of God.

Absolutely beautiful.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The death of the Obama mystique

There is a must-read essay in The American Thinker on what the Scott Brown victory does to the messianic mystique that surrounded President Obama when he began his term last January. Please read it all, but here's a taste:

The tired, near-shabby figure who appeared in Boston last Sunday to mouth a pro forma endorsement that he obviously did not believe was not the Obama of last year. Not a godling, not a New Man, not a higher step in evolution, but a sad and overwhelmed individual who is having bad time of it and sees worse coming.

Mystique is a strange type of armor. Intact, it is effectively impenetrable. But when it fails, it fails not in sections or layers but completely, becoming not a source of protection but a burden, one that the wearer cannot rid himself of no matter how hard he tries. Obama is about to discover the truth of this. The historical record is clear on one point: people are not kind to failed messiahs.

And it was accomplished by a regular guy, a guy who drives a pickup, who probably intended or foresaw nothing of the sort. But that, after all, is the way it goes in this country. It's not Beowulf who rides to the rescue in America -- and that's a good thing; Beowulfs often die fulfilling their missions -- but the average guy who sees something wrong and acts to set it right. That is what Scott Brown did. And though he may sometimes disappoint us in days to come - a serious conservative, after all, could never have been elected in Massachusetts - nothing can diminish his achievement of this day. He is the man who demonstrated, clearly and with finality that a god-emperor has no place in the American system. That is no small thing.

We must all be Geert Wilders--Kathy Shaidle

Her talk at last night's Toronto event is up on You Tube:

I was afraid my little talk would be a partypooper. However, to my surprise, all the other speakers said the same thing: we all have to start "being Geert Wilders" instead of just admiring him, then muttering into our coffee about the latest outrage and keeping our heads down.

The indefatigable Mississauga Matt filmed all the speakers. Throughout the day, he'll be posting them at his YouTube site.

I'm (reluctantly) posting mine here, since some readers have asked me to. Ugh. Oh well.

(Yes: I know I look like Hilary Clinton and talk out of one side of my mouth. Thank you.)

# Kathy Shaidle : 2010-01-21 09:06:53 EST

Hitler reacts to Scott Brown victory

He is not pleased. Hilarious. The Anchoress writes:
I couldn’t believe someone put this together so quickly!
H/T Insty

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The gay dudes at Hill Buzz set goals

Jihadwatch has posted an English translation of Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders' speech at the opening of his trial on hate speech charges. Here's an excerpt (my bolds):

Future generations will wonder to themselves how we in 2010, in this place, in this room, earned our most precious attainment. Whether there is freedom in this debate for both parties and thus also for the critics of Islam, or that only one side of the discussion may be heard in the Netherlands? Whether freedom of speech in the Netherlands applies to everyone or only to a few? The answer to this is at once the answer to the question whether freedom still has a home in this country.

Freedom was never the property of a small group, but was always the heritage of us all. We are all blessed by it.

Lady Justice wears a blindfold, but she has splendid hearing. I hope that she hears the following sentences, loud and clear:

It is not only a right, but also the duty of free people to speak against every ideology that threatens freedom. Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States was right: The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

I hope that the freedom of speech shall triumph in this trial.

In conclusion, Mister Speaker, judges of the court.

This trial is obviously about the freedom of speech. But this trial is also about the process of establishing the truth. Are the statements that I have made and the comparisons that I have taken, as cited in the summons, true? If something is true then can it still be punishable?

I've been busy over at The Anglo-Catholic

I've got a couple of posts up at The Anglo-Catholic, the official hub of all things pertaining to the Apostolic Constitution and the Personal Ordinariates for faithful Anglicans who wish full communion with the Holy See.

One on Priestly Celibacy and the Personal Ordinariates, and another on my love/hate relationship with ecumenism.

If the above links don't work, you are probably using Explorer, and sorry I don't have the technical expertise to fix the problem. They do work if you use Firefox. For those stuck with Explorer, what seems to happen is the browser will allow you to click one link, then the rest will be stuck when you come back. You have to navigate away from my blog, then come back to make a link work.

Or you can copy and paste this into your address field:

Bookmark the site. There have been lots of interesting posts over the last several days, including information from the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, Archbishop John Hepworth, about the formal letter each TAC bishop has received from Cardinal William Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Here's an excerpt:

In the past three weeks, each of the Bishops and Vicars General who signed the Petition to the Holy See of October 5th 2007 seeking “corporate reunion with the Holy See” has received a formal response. These letters, from the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, William Cardinal Levada, complete the process of the response of the Holy See to the Petition, and initiate the process of our formal response to the Apostolic Constitution.

The Cardinal makes the point in his letter that

This provision (the Apostolic Constitution with the Norms and Commentary) constitutes the definitive response of the Holy See not only to your original request, but also to the many others of a similar nature which have been submitted over the last years.

In the Petition, the bishops sought

a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See, at once treasuring the full expression of catholic faith and treasuring our tradition within which we have come to this moment.

In another place, they state that the Traditional Anglican Communion was formed, in part

to seek as a body full and visible communion, particularly eucharistic communion, in Christ, with the Roman Catholic Church

The Cardinal, in his letter, acknowledges our request

that some way might be found to welcome groups of clergy and faithful from the Traditional Anglican Communion into full visible unity with the Catholic Church, in a structure that could offer support and witness to the many evident graces of the Anglican tradition.

He goes on the add that, in the period since the submission of the Petition, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has completed a long and detailed study with the aim of making available

A suitable and viable model of organic unity for your and other such groups.

Whoo-hoo! Scott Brown won in the Bay State

I've been dealing with some sad news in my personal life over the past couple of weeks, and yesterday I got additionally bummed out by reading about Geert Wilder's trial on so-called hate speech charges in the Netherlands. But last night, I was in the mood to rejoice over the results of the Massachusetts Senate race. I was in such a celebratory mood, I poured myself a liquer to toast Republican Scott Brown's historic win.

Brian Lilley writes about the victory on Mercatornet:

I'm not sure at this point that I can fully comprehend the historical significance of Brown's win. Not only is this a case of Obama's magic failing to be enough to lift Coakley to victory, this is a seat the Democrats have held since a young man named John Fitzgerald Kennedy won it over Henry Cabot Lodge Jr back in 1953. To put that in perspective, the last time Republicans held this seat, Elizabeth was still a princess, John Edwards was in diapers and I Like Ike was something people still said, not a pop culture reference. It is a victory The Boston Herald called the "Massachusetts Miracle" and The Drudge Report dubbed "The Boston Tea Party."

Well, my friend Brian isn't possibly old enough to remember the era first hand, but I grew up in the Boston area and during my childhood, I would drink a glass of milk to toast President Eisenhower when I watched "Big Brother Bob Emery" on a black and white TV, followed by the "Howdy Doody" program. Even though my family tended to be somewhat progressive, they were not big Kennedy fans. Teddy Kennedy was viewed with contempt because of Chappaquiddick. But the Kennedy family sure did seem to have a lock on that Senate seat.

This is huge. It shows that the effects of the Obama Kool-Aid have worn off my fellow Americans and maybe the United States will return to her Found Fathers' principles before it is too late.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Revenue Canada revokes charitable status

This is downright appalling:

Kings Glory Fellowship received a letter from Canada Revenue Agency informing them that they are no longer eligible, after over thirty years of having charity status, to keep their status. The agency cited that "members of the Board of Directors espouse strong negative views about sensitive and controversial issues, which may also be viewed as political, such as abortion, homosexuality, divorce, etc" as the reason for denial.
Are Catholic Churches going to be next? The Catechism of the Catholic Church does not exactly support divorce, abortion and sexual activities of any kind outside of traditional heterosexual marriage.

Christian Horizon's and the loss of associational rights

The Christian Horizon's case is wending its way through the courts. Here's what's at stake. Evangelical Fellowship of Canada associate legal counsel Faye Sonier poses and interesting scenario over at her blog:

Imagine a not-for-profit bookstore set up by a group in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered (GLBT) community. The bookstore carries all different kinds of books, but has an expansive collection of GLBT literature. The bookstore is open to the general public. One of the reasons for the existence of the store is that those who have set it up want to expose the general public to more gay literature. However, as a condition of employment at the store, all employees must sign a statement that they join forces with the GLBT community in opposition to hetero-sexism, homophobia, the institution of patriarchy and social constructs that emphasize hetero-normality. The statement also requires employees to join forces with the GLBT community in support of the right to consensual love, free expression of gender and sexual diversity, queer families and same-sex marriage.

In light of the Heintz decision however, this bookstore cannot be primarily serving the interests of both the GLBT community and the interests of the general public. And because this bookstore is open to the public and does not discriminate on the basis of creed, race or sexual orientation, they are no longer granted the protection of section 24(1)(a). The bookstore may not impose a statement of belief as a condition of employment. Nor can they demonstrate that requiring the signing of this document is, in an objective sense, rationally connected to the work itself.

An Evangelical Christian applies for a job at the store. She is opposed to gay marriage and is intent on providing a second opinion to the bookstore’s customers on what homosexuality is all about. When she refuses to sign the employment statement, the bookstore is given a choice: it may compromise its identity, or it can close its doors.

It’s something to think about, isn’t it? I wonder how those other groups are going to feel once they realize their associational rights have been stripped away.

All people of good will, gay or straight, religious or non-religious, need to understand how important it is to defend our fundamental freedoms.

Please pay attention to the trial of Geert Wilders

The trial of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders on hate speech charges begins this week. The truth is on trial here, not Wilders. Because as we have seen in Canada before human rights commissions, the truth is no defense. Truth is illegal in European courts.

This is another story you probably do not have a clue about if you rely on mainstream media for your news. But it will one day be in history books as a turning point, marking the time when Europe came to its senses and reclaimed her western, Judeo-Christian roots and fundamental freedoms or marking a victory for Shariah and the surrender of the west to a pernicious political form of Islam.

The International Free Press Society has published a symposium on Wilders. Please read it.
Some excerpts (my bolds):

Clare M. Lopez:

When Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders goes on trial this week in the
Netherlands, he will stand alone before a Dutch court. But make no mistake: it
is the very principle of free speech which hangs in the balance there. Brought up on charges of inciting hatred, Wilders is one of the few leaders anywhere in the Western world who dares to denounce a supremacist Islamic doctrine that commands its faithful to jihad and terror against non-believers. As he showed so honestly in his courageous film, ‘Fitna,’ a system of pluralist, tolerant, liberal democracy is fundamentally incompatible with literal, textual Islam as presented on the pages of the Qur’an.

Increasingly, Wilders’ fellow countrymen and lovers of individual liberty under rule of man-made law across Europe are responding to his call to confront those who would follow the way of Islamic jihad. We all are beginning to understand that Geert Wilders is Everyman—every man and woman who believes in the freedom to speak one’s mind, to express truth as he sees it without fear of repression or prosecution. Free speech means nothing if it does not include the right to offend, and no belief system, not Islam and not any other, can be exempt. To speak the truth is no crime—but to rise up in gratuitous violence at the sound of truth, however offensive, ought to be.

Daniel Pipes:

Although I disagree with Wilders about Islam (I respect the religion but
fight Islamists with all I have), we stand shoulder-to-shoulder against this
lawsuit. I reject the criminalization of political differences and the attempted thwarting of a political movement through the courts. Accordingly, the Middle East Forum’s Legal Project has worked on Wilders’ behalf, raising substantial
funds for his defense and helping in other ways.

Wilders today represents all hose Westerners who cherish their civilization. The outcome of his trial has implications for us all.

David B. Harris

There are serious worries that, underlying the Dutch prosecution, is a wish
to silence someone who is embarrassing governing politicians wishing to
ingratiate themselves with the increasing numbers of fundamentalist Dutch
Muslims and mosques. There is also suspicion that anything less than
highly-visible state-persecution of Wilders could lead to Islamist assaults on Dutch interests, at home and abroad, similar to those that cost the Danes so heavily during the Mohammed Cartoon Affair.
Genuine human rights activists worldwide, are mustering to Wilders’ side, in the growing conviction that Dutch law is being put to uses contrary to the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and more in line with sharia law standards and

An indication of possible caprice in the matter, comes from a startling statement attributed to authorities:“It is irrelevant whether Wilder’s witnesses might prove Wilders’ observations to be correct”, the ‘Openbaar Ministerie’ stated, “what’s relevant is that his observations are illegal”. … (
Another invitation to disbelief is the fact that, despite the manifest risks to Wilders’
life, the Dutch government is refusing to try the case in a secure courtroom of
the sort that was provided for van Gogh’s Islamist killer. This has driven
columnist Mark Steyn to raise a thought that, in other days and times, would
have been inconceivable: “You’d almost get the impression it would suit them if
he failed to survive till the verdict.” (

David Yarushalemi:

Wilders’ crime is not his speech. It is his commitment to the truth of
existence of a Dutch people and nation grounded in Christianity. That truth
violates the principles of the Enlightenment now engraved in the tablets of a
Western world where the only truth permitted men in the public sphere is a
multicultural pluralism devoid of any truthful content but that there is no
truthful content.

To that breach of peace, Wilders is guilty. To be sure, his
legal team will defend him in the context of the Enlightenment’s new truth. They
will argue a technical compliance with the new hate crimes by claiming that he
criticized a scripture not Muslims. They will argue that he called for no
violent acts or discrimination only peaceful and lawful responses to a violent
threat. This defense will echo meaninglessly within the judicial chambers.
Wilders will be found guilty as charged and, given the law as written, he is

The only rational defense to the charges is that the Dutch statutes
which Wilders is accused of violating are themselves a violation of what it
means to be a Dutchman. If that defense fails, there is no such thing as a
Dutchman and in time there will only be Muslimen in the Netherlands. And, with
that, the Enlightenment will have reached its necessary end.

And of course Mark Steyn:

A couple of years back, the novelist Martin Amis went to see Tony Blair and
brought up the European demographic scenarios of my book. When the British
Prime Minister got together with Continental leaders, Mr Amis wondered, was this
topic part of “the European conversation”? Mr Blair replied, with disarming
honesty, “It’s a subterranean conversation.” “We know what that means,” wrote Amis. “The ethos of relativism finds the demographic question so saturated in revulsions that it is rendered undiscussable.”

Geert Wilders is on trial for wanting to discuss it. The European political class will not permit this – even though what is “undiscussable” in polite society is a statement of the numbingly obvious if you stroll through Amsterdam and Rotterdam, not to mention Antwerp, Clichy-sous-Bois, Malmo, or any old Yorkshire mill town. The Dutch establishment is effectively daring the citizenry: “Who ya gonna believe – the
state-enforced multicultural illusions or your lyin’ eyes?” Lest you be tempted
to call their bluff, the enforcers are determined to make the price of dissent
too high.

In the Low Countries, a pattern is discernible. Whenever politicians seek to move the conversation from the “subterranean” to the surface, they are either banned (Begium’s Vlaams Blok), forced into exile (Aayan Hirsi Ali) or killed (Pym Fortuyn). Given that the court provided greater security to Theo van Gogh’s killer than to Mr Wilders, you might almost get the impression that the authorities are indifferent as to which of these fates consumes him.

Behind this disgraceful prosecution lies a simple truth that the Dutch establishment cannot tell its people – that, unless something changes, their nation will become more and more Muslim and, very soon, slip past the point of no return. They understand the tensions between their ever more assertive Muslim population and an aging “native” working class, but they believe that the problem can be managed by placing “the European conversation” – the non-subterranean conversation – within ever narrower constraints, and criminalizing any opinions outside those bounds. Some of them are blinkered and stupid enough to think that they need to do this in order to save the tolerant multicultural society from “right wingers” like Wilders. In fact, all they are doing is hastening the rate at which their society will be delivered into the hands of the avowedly intolerant and unicultural. In its death throes, Eutopia has decided to smash the lights of liberty.

And if you are in driving distance of Toronto, consider attending this event to show your support for the brave Geert Wilders.

===============================Join us for a Solidarity Rally for Geert Wilders
Wednesday, January 20, 20107:30 pm – 9:30 pm
at theToronto Zionist Centre,788 Marlee Avenue
The film Fitna will be shown
and a diverse coalition of community leaders will speak, including Rabbi Jon
Hausman from Boston, a close associate of Geert Wilders.
Jewish Defence
League of Canadawww.jdl-canada.com416
736 7000

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Fr. Anthony Chadwick has compiled an index (scroll down to find it) of Damian Thompson's posts on Futurechurch.

Thompson then links to some very interesting observations. Lots of food for thought.

Meanwhile, John Allen Jr. has a new book out called The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Church and he's blogging on this here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What the mainstream media hid about Obama

This excerpt of the latest most interesting discussion between Mark Steyn and Hugh Hewitt makes me wonder what they are still hiding:

HH: Yeah, what’s remarkable, the people who come off the worst, though, is the media, because you’ve got Hillary and Bill wandering around obsessing about President Obama’s past drug use and not being reported…

MS: Right.

HH: …Hillary muttering about Obama’s mother being a communist. I mean, there’s all sorts of stuff in this book.

MS: Right, right, right.

HH: None of it made it into the media.

MS: No, and I think that was a conscious, obviously that was a conscious decision. There was a great phalanx of protection around him. I remember the one time I saw him speak in New Hampshire, down in Southern New Hampshire somewhere, and he was, you know, he was ordinary. He was ordinary. And what was strange to me is that after the buildup in the press that he was this incredible being, this revolutionary being, this transformative being, that what struck me was just how sort of ordinary he was. And I made the mistake of, which I should know better of, of assuming that my colleagues in the press couldn’t all be so misguided and deluded, and perhaps I’d caught him on a bad day. But I think we’ve seen, actually, when we see him stagger through these listless, lifeless performances he gives, that in fact that is the real Obama, and the media invented a kind of alternative one out of their own kinky fantasies.

HH: Hillary at one point says, “Am I the only one who sees the arrogance? Does it not bother other people? Bill says he’s an, “off the rack Chicago politician.” Over and over again, they’re amazed he’s an empty suit, and they can’t touch him.

MS: Well, and the arrogance thing, and I think Hillary is right. I think there is, that you can certainly make the case, I mean, I’m not someone who cares about sexism and mean-spiritedness, and all the other obsessions of the Democratic Party. But I think if you do, then I think that you can certainly make the case that Hillary was the victim of that, that in fact, he’s in many ways a quite unpleasant man, this sort of curious habit he has of composing himself so that his hand on his face appears to be flipping the finger at you, which he has done a significant number of times, toward political opponents, that it doesn’t seem like an accidental gesture. And I think this is the question….somebody said to me before the election, Obama isn’t cool, he’s cold, he’s cold. And I think that’s what America saw in the performances after Fort Hood and the Pantybomber.

Mark Shae remarks on bad theodicy from the right and the left

At Catholic and Enjoying it he writes:

Turns out the Haitian earthquake was caused, not by a 200 year old pact with Satan, but by failure at Copenhagen.

You will not, however, hear howls of derision over Glover's contemptible opinion because Gaia is very trendy at present. Only Pat Robertson's stupid remarks will be noted.

Prayers for the Week of Christian Unity

I found these prayers on the blog of the Church of the Atonement, an Anglican Use parish in Texas already part of the Catholic Church. Follow the link to find out their origin.

The Octave Prayers

ANTIPHON: That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in me and I in Thee; that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me.

V. I say unto thee, thou art Peter;
R. And upon this rock I will build my Church.

[Here is brought to mind the intention for the day's prayer.]

January 18: For the return of the "other sheep" to the One Fold of our Lord Jesus Christ.
January 19: For the return of the Eastern Orthodox Christians to communion with the Apostolic See.
January 20: For the return of the Anglicans to the authority of the Vicar of Christ.
January 21: For the return of all Protestants throughout the world to the unity of the Catholic Church.
January 22: That Christians in America may be one, in union with the Chair of Saint Peter.
January 23: That lapsed Catholics will return to the Sacraments of the Church.
January 24: That the Jewish people will be converted to the Catholic Faith.
January 25: That missionary zeal will conquer the world for Christ.

Let us pray. O Lord Jesus Christ, who saidst unto Thine Apostles: Peace I leave you, My peace I give to you; regard not our sins, but the faith of Thy Church, and grant unto her that peace and unity which are agreeable to Thy Will; Who livest and reignest ever, one God, world without end. Amen.