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Today on CMR —

Fr. Barron on "The Shack" and Grace and Law

A friend of mine who teaches at a Catholic high school told me that all of the teachers of his school were instructed to read the novel "The Shack," the huge Christian publishing phenomenon. It has become a controversial book in some quarters, but nonetheless has managed to be number one on the New York Times Bestseller list for 33 weeks in the paperback trade fiction category. Here Fr. Barron gives his take on the wildly successful novel.

How a Pipe Organ Works

Ever want to know how a pipe organ works? Here's your chance. It gets better as it goes on.

He Was Against Abortion Before He Was For It

I have given a name to my pain. And it is "Blue Dog" Democrat Bart Gordon of Tennessee for showing an appalling lack of courage. Truly, if Gordon had wanted to personify everything that's wrong with politics he couldn't have done any better.

Gordon yesterday turned his back on the unborn for political gain in such a blatant manner that it's shocking even by the low low standards set in our nation's capitol.

A House committee voted for an amendment to the health care legislation that would essentially prohibit the government from imposing requirements for abortion coverage. Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee who is often described as a "conservative Democrat" was the decisive vote for the amendment. Hooray.

But then a few hours later, committee chairman Henry Waxman pulled a fast one by invoking some odd House rules that allowed him to bring up the amendment for a second vote.

And a funny thing happened. Just a few hours after voting for the amendment, Gordon switched his vote to no, dooming the amendment to the trash heap and allowing abortion to be included in the health care bill, according to AP .

I've got to know. What was Gordon threatened with? What was he given in order for him to turn his back on the unborn?

A few months ago, Gordon didn't vote on the controversial auto bailout. He called it a "technical glitch" which oddly didn't affect any other legislator. Maybe this was a "conscience glitch."

No matter what, this is the latest and greatest example of why we despise politics and politicians. Too many of them will say or do whatever it takes to further their own career. But this one should rank Gordon as nearly despicable as Mary Jo Kopechne's killer.

The Scorpion, The Frog and Democrats

Dick Morris asked recently if the Democrats are nuts. Maybe but I don't think so. I think there's more going on here in this push for nationalized healthcare than just lunacy -although insanity might very well be playing a role. Morris wrote:

If the Democrats obey Obama's commands and pass health-care reform legislation by the August recess, they will be committing partisan suicide, akin to lemmings going over the cliff en masse...

The more word gets around about what the bill contemplates, the firmer opposition is going to become. That's why Obama wants to push it through now, while he still has some popularity left.

And, if the bill passes, then what? The howls of protest from the elderly the first time they are denied health care will be something to behold. It will become evident that immigrants -- legal and not -- are being given the health care now reserved for the elderly, and the anger will be enormous and instant.
I'm not so sure they're nuts. There are a few scenarios I have in my mind as to why many Democrats will go along with ObamaCare. But my first reason is I think that it's not so much the Democrats acting like lemmings as Dick Morris suggested but as scorpions.

1) The Scorpion and The Frog
Everyone's heard this story:
A scorpion set out on a journey through the forests and hills until he reached a river. He couldn't see any way across so he asked a nearby frog for help getting across.

"Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?" he asked while approaching the frog.

"Slow your roll there, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you wont kill me?" asked the frog hesitantly.

"Because," the scorpion replied, "If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for I cannot swim!"

Seeing the logic in this, the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He allowed the scorpion to crawl onto his back and they were about halfway across when the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog's back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.

"Dude!" croaked the frog, "Now we're both gonna die! Why did you do that?"

The scorpion simply said, "I couldn't help myself. It is my nature."

Then everybody died.
You see, I think there are Dems who know that this will likely hurt the Party's chances in the next election cycle but they can't help it. They're liberals. Socialists even. It's in their nature to expand government. They see the poll numbers crashing for Democrats but they can't help it. They just figure they'll work out the whole "paying for it" thing later.

#2 They're Martyrs
It's possible some Democrats might see themselves as martyrs to the liberal agenda. This one actually scares me the most for obvious reasons. Because this means there's no scaring them into doing the people's will.

#3 Playing the Long Con
The Dems see ObamaCare as a short term electoral disaster and a long term win for the party. Because once it's in place, I think we can all agree, there will be no getting rid of it. Nobody, and I mean not even the most fiscal conservative, is going to run for office on taking away people's "free" healthcare. Look at Social Security. It's going broke. Everyone knows it's an unsustainable model. But everytime Republicans talk about a "private option" they get killed. If you've noticed, the GOP hasn't talked about it in a while. They figure it'll be the same with with ObamaCare.

The Democrats know that every time a Republican comes along trying to cut things out of our "free" healthcare the Dems will have an easy method of demonizing them.

In the end, I think it could be a mixture of all three that will carry the day for the Democrats and push America into a socialized healthcare model.

Socialized medicine is only going to make things worse. Life and death decisions will be decided by bureaucrats with nearly zero accountability to people. The very issue of life itself will become a weight to be measured in a cost/benefit analysis. And there will be no arguing with the bureaucratic leviathan over whether it treated so and so fairly or unfairly. (At least you can sue and HMO) Or if this were the right call or wrong call on that patient. Bureaucracies are impersonal. That is their nature.

National Catholic Reporter is Shocked!

The vomitously liberal National Catholic Reporter is feigning outrage over Glenn Beck's comment that President Barack Obama is a racist. But to be fair they're always outraged over there. Not a lot of humor at that site. But their obsession of the moment seems to be Glenn Beck.

Michael Sean Winters writes:

I can’t improve on my colleague Thomas C. Fox’s takedown below of Glen Beck’s outrageous comments calling the President a racist. But, the controversy caused me to watch Beck’s show last night. It is truly shocking that someone is allowed a prime time television slot who brings precisely no analytical capabilities to the task of reporting the news, who rants instead of argues, and who distorts history and the news in equal measure in fits of tortured logic that are pitiful even by the low standards at Fox News. I wondered to myself, “Why would anyone consent to be on such a show?”
Whew. Methinks Glenn Beck made NCR a wee bit mad.

Now while I think what Glenn Beck said was stupid, I am slightly amused by the outrage coming out of NCR. I mean, give me a break. NCR? Really? So it's "outrageous" and "shocking" to NCR that someone in the media called Obama a racist?

I know they want to make it seem that they're appalled that someone would sully the office of the Presidency in such a way. But take a walk down memory lane with me, will ya'?

This is the same NCR that essentially called George W. Bush a Nazi in writing about Bush's flight onto the deck of a carrier to declare "Mission Accomplished."
We may look forward to the 2004 campaign TV spot of his plane majestically lowering itself godlike through the clouds to the strains of martial music -- as in that other propaganda film, Leni Riefenthal’s 1935 “Triumph of the Will.”
Now, that's not outrageous? Come on. In case you don't know Riefenstahl was a Hitler propagandist who portrayed Nazis in an uber favorable light.

(And in case you also didn't notice NCR spelled Riefenstahl's name wrong. But you've got to understand they were so excited to call Bush a Nazi that they couldn't waste time on spellcheck.)

And NCR also seemed more than willing to print allegations that Bush was racist without any other opinions being aired.
Michael Eric Dyson’s latest book, Come Hell or High Water: Katrina and the Color of Disaster, examines arguments common to the editorial pages and overheard discussions in every American city: Does the Bush administration care about black people?

And in an article called "Liberals Fight Back" in 2003, NCR highlighted the fact that the media which had been in the tank for Bush for so long was finally waking up. And they approve of this turn and point to a Village Voice cartoon which shows "Bush taking a whopper punch in the jaw."

So we've got Nazi metaphors, allegations of racism, and violence to the President printed by NCR. So what's missing? Oh yeah? George Bush is a jihadist. How could we forget?

In a cover story, Tom Roberts wrote about a book written by another writer for NCR:
In his book, "WAR Is the Force that Gives Us Meaning," (Chris) Hedges draws several comparisons between the United States and those we are fighting today. He compares the military campaign outlined by President Bush to a jihad, and says we have embarked on a campaign “as quixotic as the one mounted to destroy us.” He also says the hijackers learned from the United States “that huge explosions and death above a city skyline are a peculiar and effective form of communication.” Had we sown the seeds of our own attack?
So please spare me the outrage. Let's face it, NCR isn't actually upset that a commentator besmirched the office of the Presidency with an allegation, they're upset that a conservative commentator called Obama a racist. We know it. They know it.

You know, I've got to wonder when this story was written and edited did they not think that some idiot blogger like me wouldn't run a search through their archives to highlight their hypocrisy. Maybe they could get away with that in the past. Not anymore. CMR is here. We're idiot bloggers, we've got internet access, and some time to kill. We're dangerous.

So in the end let's just rework that NCR quote from the beginning of the story and see who it described pretty darn well.
It is truly shocking that someone is allowed a newspaper which brings precisely no analytical capabilities to the task of reporting the news, who rants instead of argues, and who distorts history and the news in equal measure in fits of tortured logic that are pitiful even by the low standards at Fox News. I wondered to myself, “Why would anyone consent to be on such a newspaper?”
'Nuff said.

Obama's Doc Renounces ObamaCare

Gateway Pundit reports that Barack Obama's own physician is against Obamacare.

So the doctor that Barack Obama visited for over 20 year said the President's plan is "bound for failure."

Dr. David Scheiner, a 70-year Chicago-based physician who treated Obama for more than 20 years, said he was disheartened by the health care legislation his former patient is championing, calling it piecemeal and ineffectual.

"I look at his program and I can't see how it's going to work," Scheiner told the Huffington Post. "He has no cost control. There would be no effective cost control in his program. The [Congressional Budget Office] said it's going be incredibly expensive ... and the thing that I really am worried about is, if it is the failure that I think it would be, then health reform will be set back a long, long time."
So I got out my Obama Emergency Response Kit and started flipping through the pages. (There aren't that many)

So here's what Obama will do next, according to the Obama playbook:

First Obama will hold a prime time press conference to say he could no sooner renounce his physician than he would his old business partner Tony Rezko...er...or his preacher Jeremiah Wright...uhm...another bad example...or his own white grandmother whom he denounced by calling her a racist. Well never mind all those people. He'll just say he couldn't renounce someone he's been so close to all these years. And leave it at that.

And then when the doctor goes on Fox News to talk about the shortcomings of Obama's plan, Obama will pull aside a few friendly reporters to tell them, "Well he didn't really visit his doctor all that much and when he did he didn't really pay that close attention." He'll say he didn't need a doctor because he's in such great shape and then he'll take off his shirt. Chuck Todd and Keith Olbermann will then be carried out after fainting.

Then after the doctor's quotes start making the rounds and gaining traction in the press, Obama will then hold another prime time press conference to say that he's shocked....shocked that someone he was so close to could say and do such a thing. He'll say, "This is not the physician I once knew and it's sad to see him change in such a way. And these remarks by a doctor so clearly dominated by greed highlight the terrible need for health care reform which the Republicans are blocking because they hate children."

And then when polls come out saying Obama treated his physician unfairly he'll invite the doctor over for a beer to the White House. Photos will be taken but no questions will be allowed.

And then he'll hold a prime time press conference talking about why this was a "teachable moment for America." And also that George W. Bush was very bad.

'Heroes' Shameless Lesbian Ratings Ploy

The show 'Heroes' started off with a bang. Truly, it was one of the best first seasons of television I've seen. And what started with a bang will end with a pucker.

The second season was nothing short of a disaster and the third was worse than that. So now, they're desperate. Hmmm...what to do to grab some easy attention?

A-ha. They'll have the young hot starlet of the show go lesbian. At least that's what they're intimating with their preview of Season 4 at Comic-con. The move reeks of desperation.

We don't know if it's going to be a quick Lindsey Lohanesque trip with a return ticket to Lesbo or an Ellen Degeneres permanent residence thing. But one thing is clear, it's a desperate attempt at ratings.

The producers of the show are now trying to say people are blowing it out of proportion but they're the ones who showed the kiss between Hayden Panieterre's character and her on screen college roommate at Comic-con in front of a crowd of mostly young men to whoops and hollers.

I can't say I'm going to stop watching 'Heroes' because of this because I stopped watching it two episodes into the third season. And it's not that I mind Hollywood dealing with gay issues and same sex attraction but it's this awful, cynical and consequenceless take Hollywood has on all things relating to sex.

I remember once going to see a sketch improv show where a few of the male performers could be counted on to be funny for a few minutes on stage but they didn't seem to know how to get offstage. They had no idea how to end their sketches. So they did the only thing they could think of which was to kiss each other. This got a reaction from the crowd the first time. By the third time everyone was pretty tired of it because we all understood it was a shortcut. An excuse for actual humor.

'Heroes' is obviously right there too. They were brilliant for a while but now they're all looking at each other and they don't know how to get offstage. My recommendation: If you've got nothing else to say, just get offstage.

FRC Ad Highlights Abortion in ObamaCare

I think it's a decent ad even though the wife looks a little scared of her husband. My thinking is that besides being right, polling has shown for years that the public doesn't support public funding of abortion. I think this is a good fight to pick.

My fear is that Obama will drop abortion from the plan in order to get the votes and then they'll just put it in later buried in another bill that nobody's read.

Krugman Gets Embarrassed

This is what happens when a Nobel Prize winning economist's ideology is confronted by reality. And it's videoed and splashed up on YouTube for millions to see, point and mock.

HT Vodka Pundit

Fr. Barron on B16's New Encyclical: Love, Justice and Ecology

One of Fr. Barron's newest videos, and in one sense, one of his more unusual videos. Critique of a papal encyclical is not something you hear every day from the head of Word on Fire. One of course has to ask the question: if this is the official teaching of the Church and the Church is asking for a kind of world government, how are Catholic supposed to respond? Perhaps Fr. Barron can do a follow up on that question.

Uh-oh. ObamaCare Vote On Again?

Red State is reporting a rumor that's pretty scary. Now, normally I'm wary of rumors but this one is scary enough to throw it out there. And it feels like something Rahm Emmanuel would do:

Head’s up: there is a rumor circulating in the House of Representatives that enough Blue Dogs have caved on health care for Nancy Pelosi to get the bill to the floor this week. The memo to Republicans assuring them there’d be no vote could have been a ruse to turn down constituent heat enough.

Democrats are growing fearful that August recess will turn the Blue Dogs cold and want something out by Friday.

It appears they may have the votes to do that...
If you want to contact your legislator to give them what for on this, go to Red State.

Not Above His Pay Grade

So President of these United States Barack Obama infamously said that knowing when life begins is above his pay grade. Then how come the guy he hired knows so much about it?

Patterico writes:

John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Obama’s top science adviser, co-authored a 1973 book that said a newborn child “will ultimately develop into a human being” if he or she is properly fed and socialized:

“The fetus, given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being,” John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote in Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions.
The specific passage expressing the authors’ view that a baby “will ultimately develop into a human being” is on page 235 in chapter 8 of the book, which is titled “Population Limitation.”

We can't be shocked anymore by anything this guy says. (Holdren, not Patterico.)

But I just have to ask about the hubris of making such a statement. On what philosophical grounding do you make such a statement? None that I can decipher. It's whim. And worse, it's whim masquerading as compassionate social planning.

If we had too many babies in America, according to Holdren, the moment where life began would assuredly be slid over to the third trimester of second grade. If we didn't have enough babies according to Holdren, then we'd limit open season on children to kindergarten or maybe even Pre-K.

Aren't these supposed to be thinking people? His intellectual pontifications are essentially okaying a Holocaust. And this guy's working in the White House for the man's who's unsure when life begins.

Patterico asks:
Would the authors object to a mother killing her two month old baby if they really believe life begins after a child is socialized? I’m sure they would for PC reasons, but I don’t see how they could and be philosophically consistent.
I'm honestly not sure they would. Or perhaps they would in public but in private they'd have no problem with it.

But let's face it, the entire "above my pay grade" is just the public face of a monstrous agenda.

Gott Milk?

"We have lost our faith in politics, but not in the church."

That is the battle cry of four German dairy farmers. Dairy farmers in Germany and Europe in general have been going through a very rough time as the price of milk has plummeted. They have appealed to a bevy politicians for aid in their time of need, but none has been forthcoming. So now four dairy farmers in Germany have decided to take their appeal for aid in their plight to a higher power. The Pope.

So now these four farmers, only two of whom are Catholic, are making a pilgrimage to Rome - via tractor.

The quartet heading for Rome belong to the German Federal Association of Dairy Farmers (BDM) and they all went to Brussels in May to take part in protests organized by European dairy farmers calling for the European Union milk quotas to be lowered.

The convoy of two tractors and a VW bus is traveling under the motto: "We have lost our faith in politics, but not in the church." Although two of the group are not even Catholic that hasn't deterred them from hoping the pope will grant them a brief audience. "The pope is there for everyone," De Vries, who came with the idea of the pilgrimage, told the Neumarkter Nachrichten on Sunday. De Vries said he didn't want to give up his protests without trying everything to ensure the agrarian future for his three sons, who work on the farm with him. A Lutheran pastor from the town of Bützow, Karl-Martin Schabow, has even provided the men with a letter of petition to hand over to the pontiff.

Another of the pilgrims, the 38-year-old Kobow, may be a Catholic but, as he told Bild newspaper on Tuesday, "I only go to church for christenings, weddings and funerals." Nevertheless, he has faith in the 1,800 kilometer trip to Rome. "We wanted to do something new, a change from the usual demonstrations. We hope that society and politicians will finally wake up."

So far the men have made good progress, traveling around 250 kilometers a day, and they aim to reach the Vatican by Friday morning. Before he left his 500 dairy cows back home in the village of Dadow bei Ludwigslust, De Vries told local newspaper theSchweriner Volkszeitung that he may have lost his faith in politics but not in the "up high above." He said he was sure that the pope would give them at least three minutes of his time, "because we are travelling by tractor from the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean."
I could make a point about how this story speaks volumes on how that in even a secular Europe, the Church and the Papacy have the power to unite in a crisis, but I won't. Rather I think I will point out that this story has a dateline of July 21. So the farmers should have reached Rome by now. I wonder who got the unenviable task of telling the farmers that the Pope isn't there?

Shock! People for Abortion Laws Are Pro-Life

Caitlin Borgmann, a professor at CUNY School of Law and editor of the Reproductive Rights Prof Blog, wrote an article entitled "Parental Involvement Laws for Abortion: Irrational, Unnecessary and Downright Dangerous" for The Jurist.

Borgmann argues that parents shouldn't be legally required to be involved in the decision of their children to undergo an abortion. Her reasons seem to me to be varied and contradictory. No. I'm understating it. Borgmann's logic so far eludes the rational mind that it deserves an award for rhetorical gymnastics with her leaps of logic, her fearless use of non-sequiturs and total recklessness with facts.

I'll walk with you through this minefield of mania. First, Borgmann seems shocked...shocked I say to discover that the people pushing parental involvement laws are pro-life. What?! People pushing laws to curb abortion are pro-life? Well who'd a thunk it?

While that seems pretty obvious to you and I, Borgmann reveals this as if she's revealing the sudden and shocking conclusion of a Sherlock Holmes mystery. "It was the pro-lifers Watson." Close curtain. Cue applause.

On their face parental involvement laws appear intended to keep parents informed and to ensure minors’ wellbeing. But let’s remember that the main proponents of parental involvement laws oppose abortion altogether. Their ultimate goal is not to improve familial communication but to eliminate abortion as an option for all women. A strategy memo written by anti-abortion-rights movement leaders James Bopp, Jr., and Richard E. Coleson, for example, encourages the passage of “parental involvement” laws, among other “incremental” restrictions on abortion. They argue that such laws “keep the abortion issue alive and . . . also translate into more disfavor for all abortions, which in turn reduces abortions.”
Ah-ha! They're so busted. Anti-abortion activists plotting to end abortion. What next?

Couldn't it be that pro-lifers believe that the decision to have an abortion is a major decision with lifelong consequences that should not be taken lightly?

OK. So she's done with the finger pointing at the pro-lifers. Now she's ready to walk a really fine line.

First she argues that we don't need the law because most kids involve their parents anyway. And then in the same paragraph she starts saying we need the law because many parents are abusive and awful and terrible and beastly and all sorts of other mean nasty things.

The two things are a tad contradictory but consistency isn't really her thing.
Studies have shown that most pregnant teens voluntarily involve their parents in their abortion decisions. Even in the absence of a parental involvement law, about six in ten teens consult at least one parent before seeking an abortion. Teens who avoid telling their parents often have compelling reasons for doing so. Teenagers may suffer abuse when their parents discover they are pregnant; other teens are thrown out of the house. Some parents actively prevent their children from obtaining an abortion. Some minors function as the de facto adult in dysfunctional homes where the custodial parent is largely absent. Because of the dangers that minors can confront when forced against their own judgment to involve their parents, most major medical groups, including the AMA and the American Academy of Pediatrics, oppose mandating parental involvement for abortion.
Now, let me just use Borgmann's logic against her a little. These two organizations that don't support parental involvement laws aren't they also pro-choice organizations? Ah-ha! So we've got pro-choice organizations plotting against parental involvement laws. "It was the pro-choicers all along Watson." Close curtain. Cue applause.

OK. Now we're getting to the really tricky part where Borgmann shows she can balance contradictory thoughts in her brain with aplomb. She argued in the last paragraph and the title of her piece that parental consent laws are "downright dangerous." But now she's going to tell you that you should not support parental consent laws because they don't achieve anything anyway.

In one paragraph to go from a calamitous apocalyptic law to the kids are gonna' get an abortion no matter what we do is actually quite impressive. Here's she goes:
Ironically, properly functioning bypass systems demonstrate the irrationality of requiring court waivers in the first place. When bypass processes work as envisioned, the vast majorities of minors’ petitions are granted. This is because the law requires that judges must grant a waiver of parental involvement if a minor is either mature enough to consent on her own or if an abortion without notice would be in her best interests. The vast majority of minors fall into one of these two categories. For example, one study in Massachusetts showed that out of 477 petitions, only one minor was denied a waiver. Indeed, a report by the AMA found that minors’ decision making process on abortion is comparable to that of adults aged 22-25. Thus, when bypasses work correctly, they ensure nothing more than that minors needlessly parade through courtrooms in order to be granted the right to do what they can already do for a host of other sensitive medical treatments: provide their own consent.
Wow. I'm exhausted. That was really a workout. I'm impressed with all of you for sticking with it.

So here's what we learned. Pro-lifers want limits on abortion. Pro-choicers don't. The bill would be dangerous for minors because they'd be forced to "needlessly parade through courtrooms." Huh? What's going on in those courtrooms that's so dangerous?

You're the Guest CMR Mocker Today

There's a point. I don't know when it happens but it does happen. I can best explain it like this: If someone young and vigorous falls everyone around them laughs and puts it on YouTube. But if a sick or old person falls everyone's very concerned and tries to help.

I'm a natural mocker. I mock. That's what I do. When people say and do ridiculous things I point and laugh. But David Brooks' latest column in the New York Times is such a spectacular fall that I don't even know if I should laugh. I think I'm starting to feel sorry for David Brooks.

David Brooks of the New York Times wonders what would happen if half the world were sterilized -our half of course because he'd probably be seen as anti-Muslim if he even mentioned the other possibility.

Firstly, doesn't this guy have editors who tell him that that's a stupid idea for a column now go and write something that wouldn't be so appropriate for a science fiction book in the Young Adult section of the bookstore.

But to the point. In the column he writes this paragraph.

If, say, the Western Hemisphere were sterilized, there would soon be a cataclysmic spiritual crisis. Both Judaism and Christianity are promise-centered faiths. They are based on narratives that lead from Genesis through progressive revelation to a glorious culmination.

Believers’ lives have significance because they and their kind are part of this glorious unfolding. Their faith is suffused with expectation and hope. If they were to learn that they were simply a dead end, they would feel that God had forsaken them, that life was without meaning and purpose.
I want to tear it apart. I'm sure Father Z could fisk the heck out of this thing but I'm honestly not even sure what he's saying here.

Is he saying that people without children can't be Christian? Is he saying that Christians can't accept bad things happening. Never mind the Jews. Jews have been through some pretty seriously awful times before without quitting the whole faith.

If you read the rest of his piece it's not all wrong. But there doesn't seem to be any final point. I was wondering at one point if he was making an analogy about the slow motion demographic suicide that Western Civilization is committing but he fails to come close to the point. Maybe he backed off making it because he got too scared of sounding like Mark Steyn.

So because I'm at a loss for words I open up wide the doors of CMR and ask you to mock, explain what the heck he meant, or what you think he might have wanted to say but didn't. It's up to you. CMR is yours. You're in the driver's seat. You've got a full tank of gas. There's some soda in the cooler in the back seat and some chips in the glove compartment. Knock yourself out.

Do Blue Dogs Really Exist?

Scott Johnson of Powerline scares me. He doesn't believe in the reality of Blue Dog Democrats. He says they're usually just liberals from conservative districts.

He writes:

I've never much believed in the concept of a "blue dog Democrat." As far as I can tell, the only thing that determines whether a "conservative" or "moderate" Democrat votes with his party's leadership is whether the party needs his vote. If it does, it's bye-bye blue dog. On this interpretation, being a conservative Democrat is just a pose that is adopted to the minimum amount necessary to gain re-election in a swing district.
I fear that he's right but I hope he's wrong mainly because this healthcare overhaul really scares the heck out of me for so many reasons we've discussed before.

But the main reason it scares me is that it's become clear that the power may be in our hands on this issue. And we need to scare the heck out of the Democrats into not doing this. We do this by ensuring that Republicans all vote no on this disastrous idea of destroying our country's healthcare. Not most. Not many. All. Democrats wants this to be a bipartisan vote, not for the sake of bipartisanship but just to have someone to share the blame with when things go south.

You know that guy in the office who cc's everyone on every email and he never says "I" am responsible. He says "We" an awful lot. He's not a team player. That's all about apportioning future blame. CYA. Well, just about every politician is like that guy. If things go bad with healthcare the Democrats want to be able to say it was bipartisan.

But if they have to do it alone they will. Obama's legacy is all about health care reform now. The White House and the Democrat Party will threaten them with financial support for their reelection if they fail to come to Obama's aid on this one. And that's scary for a politician.

We need to be scarier. With our phone calls. With our letters. With our blogs. Word of mouth. We need to ensure that this doesn't go through.

If there aren't Blue Dog Democrats as Scott Johnson fears, we need to create 'em.

More Condoms Needed!

OK. These smarty pants UN loving types seem to love two things: condoms and funding. They love talking about condoms, they love funding condoms, they love the idea of passing them out to kids. And getting mad cash to do it.

I actually think their love of condoms is directly inversely proportional to their love of actual humans. And they love their condoms.

So a new study comes out indicating that young people experience a 25% higher rate of contraceptive failure than adults. Shock! Kids don't know what they're doing. Who'd a thunk it?

A new study of women’s contraceptive use around the world finds that sexually active 15–19-year-olds are more likely than their 20–49-year-old counterparts to use contraceptives inconsistently and, on average, experience a 25% higher rate of contraceptive failure.
So what's the answer? Guess?

Yes! You guessed it. MOOOOOOOORRRRRE funding for MOOOOOOORRRRRRRE CONDOMS!!!!!!!!!!!

Is this science? Do scientists often say, "Hmmm. Nothing we're doing is achieving the desired result. Let's do it more and see what happens."

One of the main reasons that the study gives for birth control not working effectively is that young people are just so darn fertile. Well what amount of funding is going to change that?

In their gobbledygook smartypants way they use to try to make what they're saying less absurd they say that they think a wee bit more money will do the trick nicely even though it hasn't worked yet:
Blanc and colleagues observe that the rising proportion of young women practicing contraception, coupled with global trends toward staying in school longer and delaying childbearing, have created a greater demand for comprehensive contraceptive services. The authors believe that meeting the contraceptive needs of young people will only become harder as the global population of adolescents increases. They conclude that meeting this expanded need will require greater investments in improving the quality of health systems, as well as in instituting targeted programs and policies aimed at increasing young people’s knowledge of and access to contraceptive services.
You've got to love these folks. If everyone were using them correctly (and those darn kids weren't so darn fertile) and teen pregnancy rates went down they'd say their plans are working so they need more funding. But when they don't work they say that's obviously an indication they need more funding.

In the real world, the guy who's not getting the job done gets shown the door. They don't get a raise.

But the question remains. Why then are they all about the birth control? The CMR Investigative Team did a little snooping around. The study was done by a group called Engender Health. What? You don't know them. Well, maybe you might know them by their former name "The Sterilization League of New Jersey" which was a pro-eugenics group. It's purpose, according to Wikipedia was "to aid in the preparation, promotion, enactment and enforcement of legislative measures designed to provide for the improvement of the human stock by the selective sterilization of the mentally defective and of those afflicted with inherited or inheritable physical disease."

They then changed their name to the "Sterilization League For Human Betterment" which advocated eugenics and forced sterilizations. After the Nazis were defeated eugenics wasn't really cool anymore so they changed their name yet again and again.
But it seems that they're still up to their old tricks. They just have better p.r. now.

In 2002, EngenderHealth was awarded the United Nations Population Award for its "contribution to family planning and reproductive health care in resource-poor countries." Because of this, Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared July 1, 2002, as "EngenderHealth Day" in New York City.

Who'd a thunk that a group that was begun by eugenicists would support massive amounts of birth control for people in third world countries? Hmmm...

I Hope The Tuition Isn't Very High

In case you're wondering this is a real college. I looked it up. It's probably just a bit harder to get into than Villanova University.
HT Failblog

God Became Man But He Can't Multiply Fish

Yeah sure, God become man. And He definitely rose from the dead. But there's no way he multiplied loaves and fishes for people to eat.

That's the logic of so many when they deny the physical nature of the miracle of loaves and fishes from yesterday's Gospel. What is the problem some people have with this miracle?

I've heard it argued (even from the pulpit) that this was not a physical miracle but a spiritual one in that the people were so moved by Jesus' words that they shared. Come on, if it was just about sharing, do they really believe all four gospel writers would've mentioned the story.

Case in point. I read this today from the Arkansas Catholic:

Did Jesus really create miracle of multiplying loaves, fishes?
Q. We heard at Sunday Mass the Gospel (from Matthew) on the miracle of the loaves and fish. Our priest said the miracle was a spiritual one, in which everyone shared what they had and everyone ate. He never stated that it was indeed a physical miracle of multiplying the bread and fish, as I was led to believe in reading the Bible. Which is true? (Seeds of Faith, Question Corner)
At it's heart, isn't questioning this physical miracle questioning Jesus himself. Why can you believe that God created the heavens, man, earth, fish, the stars but have a problem believing He multiplied loaves and fishes?

Never mind the implications that particular gospel has on the Eucharist. Is it an overall problem with the miraculous. I mean, perhaps it's easier for some to believe in the huge miracle of creation than in the more "mundane" miracles of water into wine and multiplying loaves and fishes. Don't know why though.

An Immodest Proposal

As many of you probably read somewhere, an ESPN sportscaster had her privacy invaded when someone filmed her changing her clothes in the privacy of her hotel room.

The video was released online and created quite an uproar when the New York Post ran the photos with black bars over her in some areas. Many other news outlets reported on the video and the photos but issued warnings to readers that searching for the photos could prove hazardous to their computers as many hackers set up websites designed to lure people in to infect their computers.

OK. Let me get this straight. People are doing something sexual related they shouldn't necessarily be doing and getting a virus from it. Hmmm...this sounds awfully familiar to me.

I think it's time the government stepped in.

The government should be handing out free anti-virus software for everyone's computer due to the recent epidemic outbreak of porn relating to the ESPN sportscaster. These software packages are "nearly" 100 percent effective. Perhaps we could hand them out in high schools and Radio Shacks to anyone and everyone - no questions asked. And don't you religious nuts say that the anti-virus software will only incite people to go searching for porn because study after study from liberal think tanks have conclusively shown that it doesn't no matter what all the other studies show.

But if handing out anti-virus software proves too expensive for the government in these economically challenging times perhaps the government should establish it's own safe and secure website where those who wish to view the pictures and video of the ESPN sportscaster can view it without having their computers infected or harmed in any way. No age requirement either. We must protect the children from viruses too. We can't have them out there searching for it. That would be dangerous. They're going to do it anyway so why not just make it safe?

Even if these government programs only lead to more porn usage by children and the populace at large please remember that we had to do something. We couldn't just not act. We didn't even have time to read the bill in its entirety. And I'm sure we can always fix it with more government programs.

Please take this immodest proposal in the way it was intended. Remember, it's all about the children.

Move Along, Nothing to See In The Womb

Stop looking in the womb! And don't listen to the heartbeat! There's nothing in there but a blob of tissue! That's all! Move along. Nothing to see here.

As us anti-science troglodyte conservative types embrace 21st century technology, liberals are desperate to drag women back into the dark ages by not allowing them to know what (or who?!) is growing inside of them.

CMR loves standing up for women's rights. Yup. That's how we roll. We're all feministy like that. Patrick even used to cry at Little House on the Prairie episodes as a show of solidarity with women -at least that's why he said he was crying.

Life News reports

A Fargo, North Dakota abortion business has filed a lawsuit to stop women from having the ability to see an ultrasound of their unborn children before the have an abortion. Gov. John Hoeven signed the measure into law in May after the state House easily approved the ultrasound measure.

The House backed House Bill 1371, on a strongly bipartisan 77-9 vote in February and the Senate signed off on the bill in April. The measure is designed to help women learn the humanity of their unborn child and to consider abortion alternatives.

While most abortion businesses do an ultrasound before an abortion is done on a woman and her unborn child, that doesn't mean the mother will have a chance to see it. Rep. Bette Grande, a Republican sponsoring House Bill 1371, hopes the bill changes that.

However, the Red River Women's Clinic, the only abortion business in the state, filed a lawsuit to stop the law from taking effect on August 1.

With help from the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion legal group, the abortion center is asking for a temporary injunction against the ultrasound measure.

The law requires that a woman seeking an abortion be offered the opportunity to see an ultrasound of her unborn child and hear the fetal heartbeat, which can begin as early as eighteen days after fertilization.

Red River claims the law is confusing and would limit a woman's ability to get an abortion. It also claims allowing a woman to hear the heartbeat of her baby is inconsistent with best medical practices and claims the cost of the equipment is too burdensome.
Can you imagine fighting against women knowing what's going on in their bodies? Seriously, what other issue except abortion would cause this kind of madness?

Let's accept their premises for a moment that pregnancy is a women's health care issue like any other. Could you imagine if a woman went to a doctor complaining of headaches and "women's advocates" fought to have the results of CT Scans hidden from women. They wouldn't be seen as pro-woman, would they? They'd be seen as insane. But because it's not about appendectomies or headaches and it's only about killing babies then they're viewed as perfectly sane and champions of women's rights.

I also love how these "women's advocates" say that's it's "too confusing" for the woman. What's confusing? Do they think women are idiots and so easily confused? And when I'm confused I often seek more evidence. Wouldn't a nice picture clear things up quite nicely?

HT Pewsitter

Catholic Nurse Forced to Perform Abortion?

This is pretty darn awful and disturbing and yet another example how necessary conscience clauses are for healthcare workers. With this upcoming debate on healthcare be assured that there will be a thorough going over of conscience clauses.

Remember, to the left abortion is a right. And your religion can't preclude others from exercising their rights. Your religion can't prevent some from having free speech or the right to assemble. They see abortion as the same thing. If they have their way, stories of health care workers being ordered to perform abortions will be an everyday occurence..

The New York Post reports that a Catholic nurse from Brooklyn, New York is claiming that the hospital where she's employed ordered her to assist in a late term abortion or be fired.

Now there is curently a conscience clause which exists already but I guess there's an out clause if the patient's life is in jeopardy. The hospital allegedly told the nurse that the mother's life was in danger and it would appear now that it was not, according to a lawsuit filed by the nurse.:

"It felt like a horror film unfolding," said Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo, 35, who claims she has had gruesome nightmares and hasn't been able to sleep since the May 24 incident.

The married mother of a year-old baby was 30 minutes into her early-morning shift when she realized she had been assigned to an abortion. She begged her supervisor to find a replacement nurse for the procedure. The hospital had a six-hour window to find a fill-in, the suit says.

Bosses told the weeping Cenzon-DeCarlo the patient was 22 weeks into her pregnancy and had preeclampsia, a condition marked by high blood pressure that can lead to seizures or death if left untreated.

The supervisor "claimed that the mother could die if [Cenzon-DeCarlo] did not assist in the abortion."

But the nurse, the niece of a Filipino bishop, contends that the patient's life was not in danger. She argued that the patient was not even on magnesium therapy, a common treatment for preeclampsia, and did not have problems indicating an emergency.

Her pleas were rejected, and instead she was threatened with career-ending charges of insubordination and patient abandonment, according to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.

Feeling threatened, Cenzon-DeCarlo assisted in the procedure.

She said she later learned that the hospital's own records deemed the procedure "Category II," which is not considered immediately life threatening.

"I felt violated and betrayed," she recalled. "I couldn't believe that this could happen..."

The day after the procedure, Cenzon-DeCarlo filed a grievance with her union. Later that week, she was cornered by two supervisors who told her if she wanted any more overtime shifts, she would have to sign a statement agreeing to participate in abortions, the suit says.

The next month, Cenzon-DeCarlo was assigned to one overtime shift, rather than the eight or nine she usually received, the suit claims.

Although the Brooklyn resident is still working at Mount Sinai, she's asking a court to order the hospital to pay unspecified damages, restore her shifts and respect her objections to abortion.
Pray for all involved. Slightly more awful from a hospital called "Mount Sinai" named for the mountain where God gave Moses a list of commandments which included "Thou Shall Not Kill."

As usual Pundette sums it up better than I could:
In a country where it's acceptable for a mother to ask a doctor to dismember the baby she's been carrying for 5 months, why would one expect anything, including religious freedom, to be sacred?

OSV has more.

Fr. McBrien: Liberal Catholics are Unfaithful

Fr. Richard McBrien of Notre Dame is slipping. He used to couch his anti-Church statements with question marks so he could just claim he was asking a question or he'd make simply say something heretical but start it with "Many say..." or "Some believe...". It's a clever rhetorical flourish to avoid serious hot water.

But it looks like Fr. McBrien messed up this time. He said what he actually meant. Uh-oh. Fr. McBrien wrote in The Tidings:

Religious communities of women have been responsible for many of the good things that the Catholic Church in the United States has achieved, both before and after the Second Vatican Council.

It is all the more distressing, therefore, that two Vatican agencies --- the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) --- have targeted these communities and their principal leadership organization for a "visitation" and "doctrinal assessment" respectively.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the "visitation" is the requirement that each of the visitors will be required to make a public profession of faith and an oath of fidelity to the Apostolic See.

This requirement will discourage a number of potential visitors from volunteering their services in this study, and thereby skew the visitation teams in a particular ideological direction.
Did you get that? An oath of fidelity to the Apostolic See skews you in a particular ideological direction, ie conservative.

Fr. McBrien, it's called being faithful. It's not ideological.

But using logic would lead one to an inescapable conclusion. If being a conservative Catholic is defined as being faithful to the Apostolic See, then how must a liberal Catholic be defined?

Tsk Tsk Fr. McBrien. The first rule of Heresy club is you don't talk about Heresy club. And you never ever say what you really mean.

Friday Fun

I don't know why but I couldn't help but smile while watching this. But you must remember! Don't feed it after midnight and never ever get it wet!

HT Deacon's Bench

AARP Hijacks Hale-Bopp?

The AARP endorsing a plan that mandates "end of life counseling" for all seniors doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Won't this hurt their own membership numbers?

Obama might as well be asking seniors to hitch a ride on Hale-Bopp.

I'm trying to think of equivalent situations and all I can come up with is tobacco companies that knew they were killing their own customers but at least they were milking them dry for profit on the way to the grave.

I'm used to the left being somewhat anti-human. I mean, let's face it the only thing environmentalists like about humans is that we're biodegradable upon death (except Pamela Anderson). But what is it with the left that insists upon killing its own members or just acting against their own long term best interests?

Liberals fought so hard for "reproductive choice" so that they could...what? Kill off little baby pro-choicers. And then they're shocked...shocked I say when just one generation into the "freedom to choose" era, the country is filling with pro-life people. Duh. That's because pro-lifers have mainly pro-life children and lots of them while the future pro-choice generation is tossed out in clear bio-hazard bags behind the abortion clinic.

The left, which includes a majority of Jewish folks and homosexuals, are constantly seeking to appease Muslims. Do they not realize that a pretty decent sized chunk of the Muslim population wouldn't even say thanks before lobbing off their heads first?

But this AARP thing really kills me. They've essentially been a Democratic front group for years even thought the Democratic Party has clearly been labeled the "Legislation passed by this party might be dangerous to very small children and pregnant women" party.

So now that it's apparent that all the social programs that previous generations voted for themselves and borrowed from children and grandchildren that they didn't actually find time to have, has bankrupted the country. In short, because we wiped out much of the next generation there are less workers to support old people. Thus we get old people mandated to attend "end of life counseling" which essentially says 'we can't afford to keep you around so would you mind plugging yourself into 'The Mercy Machine' so we can go through your pockets for loose change to buy condoms for junior high schoolers?"

It's all kind of funny in a sad way that senior citizens have raised hell every time some legislator raises the specter of having old people take driving tests. Seniors have shouted that suggestion down at every turn in a loud and unified voice. And they've won because they vote in large numbers and legislators are afraid of people who vote. But then we get virtual silence when legislators are mandating that seniors go see someone who's going to tell them that killing yourself isn't as bad as it used to be?

I say seniors should not allow themselves to be talked into killing themselves. They should die like so many other seniors do...by mistaking the gas for the brake, leveling a 7-11 and taking out the cashier and the dude at the Slurpee machine who's always asking strangers for a few nickels so he can call his "lady friend" for a ride home.

Code Pink's Call to War?

You remember Code Pink, right? The anti-war organization that got tons of press attention against President George W. Bush's War in Iraq, calling out to the country (but especially the media) with a "feisty call to wage peace."

But the organization that was so outraged by Bush's "war of choice" because it could harm millions of innocent civilians in a foreign country where America had little interest is now calling for a war of choice that could harm millions of innocent civilians in a foreign country where America has little interest.

Ah, I love the smell of irony in the morning.

Code Pink sent out an email alert today by its Founder Medea Benjamin calling for "action" in replacing the current President of Honduras with the ousted leftist President of Honduras Manuel Zelaya. They are asking President Obama to initiate and enforce a trade embargo on Honduras. Embargoes are typically seen as an act of war and are enforceable only by the military.

What? Is Dick Cheney running Code Pink now?

Here's some excerpts of the press release full of incendiary warmongery goodness:

It's past time for Manuel Zelaya to come home and get back to the job he was elected to do: president of Honduras. Enough is enough. It has been three weeks since the military rousted the president from his bed at gunpoint and whisked him away--in his pajamas--to Costa Rica. It has been almost a week since Costa Rican President Arias came up with a compromise that was rejected by the coup leaders. Please join us, as we did yesterday in Washington DC (see photos here) in demanding that the Obama administration take a tougher stand and support Zelaya's immediate return! No more mediation. No more delays.

Sounds like a call to arms to me. Why the rush to war? Stop the madness!

The verbiage even escalates:
"The Obama administration has condemned the coup and cut off military aid, but that's not enough," women's rights leader Sara Elisa Rosales told me. "The U.S. should recall its ambassador, freeze the assets of the coup leaders and deny them U.S. visas, and cut all financial aid. It should go even further by imposing a trade embargo. If the U.S. cut commercial ties with Honduras, the coup would fall in a day."

This is the same Medea Benjamin who often talked about an inflated number of innocent civilians that George W. Bush's war of choice affected and even said that the death of civilians negates any heroism performed by our troops:
"I wouldn't characterize anybody who fought in Vietnam as a war hero. In 23 bombing sorties, there must have been civilians that were killed and there's no heroism to that."
So, Just out of interest, who does she think would be affected most by a trade embargo on Honduras? But I guess installing a leftist dictator like Hugo Chavez back to Honduras is more important than the lives of those pesky innocent civilians.

So Medea Benjamin is calling for a trade embargo to be enforced by the military that she said the country didn't really need at all in 2007:
"I actually think it is people like myself who have been fighting for our rights to free speech and I would like the right to defend my own right to free speech, not have soldiers doing it for me. I don't think I need soldiers."
Hey Medea, trade embargoes have to be backed up with arms, you know. The kind of arms that shoot bullets and missiles. I thought you were against all that stuff.

For weeks now, Code Pink has been pushing an initiative to "Stop the Next War Now." "
We are dedicated to creating a movement that is capable of stopping the next war, whether it is in Syria, Iran, North Korea or anywhere else. We need to educate ourselves, expose the truth to the public and create a culture of peace and compassion before we are saddled with another expensive, unjust war.
Well, so much for that. Maybe the new initiative should be called "Start the Next War Now."

Obama Thinks You Are Stupid

"Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof he was in own home." -- Barack Obama

Seems pretty straightforward no? The Whitehouse says no.

At the end of yesterday's presser, President Obama made the remark about the arrest by the Cambridge police of Harvard scholar Louis Gates Jr. I would think that in the prep work before the conference that they might have anticipated that this question would come up. I also assume that even the most junior level advisor would know how to properly answer such a question. The proper answer would have been something like "Well I am a friend of Dr. Gates but I am obviously not going to prejudge the situation without all the facts. I assume that the Cambridge police will thoroughly look into the matter to insure that everything was handled properly and if it wasn't to take the proper steps." and then to make some general remarks about race in America.

Instead the president, without all the facts and either out of arrogance or naivete, condemned the actions of local law enforcement going so far as to call their action "stupid."

Due to this blunder, this is now the story of the day with his health care proposals remaining on life support. So now it is tap dance time. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is now cast in the role of Baghdad Bob with the mandate to convey the message - in as straight faced manner as possible - that the obvious meaning of the Presidents remarks is not the obvious meaning of the president' remarks.

"Let me be clear, he was not calling the officer stupid," Gibbs told reporters as Obama landed in Cleveland for two health care events Thursday. He said Obama felt that "at a certain point the situation got far out of hand" at Gates' home last week.
Yeah, except he did. Reading this ridiculous spin it occurred to me that Obama does not only think that the Cambridge police officers involved are stupid, if he expects you to buy this nonsensical spin he thinks you are stupid too.

Nice work Mr. President. What were we talking about again? I think it had something to do with Doctors...

Is The Bloom Off Obama's Rose?

When it comes to press treatment of President Obama the question I am asking myself is "Is The Bloom Off The Rose?" After reading a FACT CHECK by the Associated Press on yesterday's prime time disinformation event, I think the answer many be "a bit"

Last night's press conference was designed to gain the political capital necessary to bring around some Democrats on the President's proposed government takeover of health care. Get that. He is trying to bring Democrats around. They don't need Republicans. So if the reason for the press conference should be worrisome for the President, the Associated Press' coverage of the event should give the President shivers. If he loses the press, he has lost it all.

The Associated Press looked at a number of claims made by the President last night and, I think it is fair to say, concludes that the President simply lies. Claim after claim by the President is rebutted or debunked. Marvel.

OBAMA: "I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade, and I mean it."

THE FACTS: The president has said repeatedly that he wants "deficit-neutral" health care legislation, meaning that every dollar increase in cost is met with a dollar of new revenue or a dollar of savings. But some things are more neutral than others. White House Budget Director Peter Orszag told reporters this week that the promise does not apply to proposed spending of about $245 billion over the next decade to increase fees for doctors serving Medicare patients. Democrats and the Obama administration argue that the extra payment, designed to prevent a scheduled cut of about 21 percent in doctor fees, already was part of the administration's policy, with or without a health care overhaul.

Beyond that, budget experts have warned about various accounting gimmicks that can mask true burdens on the deficit. The bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget lists a variety of them, including back-loading the heaviest costs at the end of the 10-year period and beyond.


OBAMA: "You haven't seen me out there blaming the Republicans."

THE FACTS: Obama did so in his opening statement, saying, "I've heard that one Republican strategist told his party that even though they may want to compromise, it's better politics to 'go for the kill.' Another Republican senator said that defeating health reform is about 'breaking' me."


OBAMA: "If we had done nothing, if you had the same old budget as opposed to the changes we made in our budget, you'd have a $9.3 trillion deficit over the next 10 years. Because of the changes we've made, it's going to be $7.1 trillion."

THE FACTS: Obama's numbers are based on figures compiled by his own budget office. But they rely on assumptions about economic growth that some economists find too optimistic. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, in its own analysis of the president's budget numbers, concluded that the cumulative deficit over the next decade would be $9.1 trillion.
Not only this - even the New York Times is questioning the veracity of Obama's claims. The New York Times
Mr. Obama said doctors, nurses, hospitals, drug companies and AARP had supported efforts to overhaul health care.

While it is true the American Medical Association has endorsed a bill drafted by House Democratic leaders, a half-dozen state medical societies have sharply criticized provisions that would establish a new government-run health insurance plan.

Likewise, Mr. Obama said Medicare could save large amounts of money by creating “an independent group of doctors and medical experts who are empowered to eliminate waste and inefficiency” and hold down the annual increases in payments to health care providers.

Far from supporting this proposal, the American Hospital Association is urging hospital executives to lobby against it.
What's more is that if you look at CNN's website this morning, coverage there does not focus on Obama's health care at all, but rather Obama's incomprehensible rush to judgment in the Professor Gates arrest at Harvard by saying that the police acted stupidly. Rahm Emmanuel must have cringed at the response of the president last night. Presidents need to be above the fray, not criticizing local law enforcement. This is particularly true when the facts are in dispute and race is involved. This was a damaging rookie mistake born of arrogance on the President's part. For this I am very grateful. Obama finished his presser by going completely of message. Hooray.

So today the press is doing very tough fact checks on his health and budget claims or talking about his race misstep. Is the bloom off the Obama rose? Probably not, but it may be wilting.

Put Your Laws All Over My Body

Nobody has pointed out the hypocrisy of liberals when it comes to Obamacare better than William Jacobson in writing:

"Keep your laws off my body" has been a rallying cry of liberals, and the pro-choice movement in particular, for decades. The concept is that medical procedures are so intensely personal that government, regardless of its intent, should not be involved in the decisions. Yet when it comes to the Democrats' health care plans, liberal supporters of keeping the law off their bodies now are saying, "put your laws all over my body."
So what happened to ideological purity or was it all just feigned?

But speaking of ideological purity I've written before how many Democrats are announcing their opposition to any inclusion of taxpayer funds going to abortion in the health care package. But yesterday Nancy Pelosi said she had the votes on the floor already to pass healthcare. But this seems to be contradicted by other legislator's comments. Pundette has more on the mixed signals coming out of Washington D.C. but I have to wonder if many Dems are speaking on the public stage about not allowing the public funding of abortion while stage whispering to their colleagues that they'll buckle when the time comes in exchange for some other goodies.

Let's face it, they too know that the fate of Obama's presidency may rest on the fate of this health care debacle and some of these elected officials may be grandstanding as simply legislative blackmail to the Obama administration but if the White House promises them a few pork projects and some access to big money people they'll gladly turn their back on the unborn after some meaningless compromise is reached that will act as a fig leaf to their unconcern for the unborn.
Monique Stuart reminds us that it'll be very easy for them to force taxpayers to fund abortion. All they have to do is not mention it:
I believe that this is being done on purpose. If language allowing taxpayer dollars to fund abortion was added to the bill, there would be outrage and opposition. The absence of the language leaves a huge whole in the bill that will lead to the use of our tax dollars to fund abortion. The only way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is for language to be added to the bill specifically prohibiting it.
So, in short, this fight can only be won if we continue fighting it. Don't think that it might just work itself out. Contact your representatives and let them know you don't want this.

A Good Thing to Watch and A Good Cause to Support

A friend and student here at Mundelein Seminary, Nick Blaha, is studying for the priesthood with the Archdiocese of Kansas City. He's spending part of his summer in El Salvador at an orphanage called Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (sorry about the lack of tilde) which does great work taking care of orphaned and abandoned children in Latin America and the Caribbean. He's made a few video clips for his blog for his family and friends to show what he is doing down there, but I think they would be edifying for a larger audience... first, to show the great caliber of men we have going into the priesthood these days (also handy with a video camera), and second, to show what good work NPH is doing. It's heartwarming to watch. If you ever wondered if Sally Struthers' commercials for feeding starving children were legit and didn't donate, here you have first hand evidence of great work being done for children who would otherwise be living on the very dangerous streets. It takes a few minutes to watch them, but I promise it will be worth it. I was especially struck by the quote painted on the wall at the end of the second video. It's a good reminder for all of us.

Gettin' Paid


We were this close to getting rid of these guys forever, but alas they have been rescued from the dustbin of history - at least for now.

BOSTON — Voice of the Faithful, the lay Catholic group founded during the church's clergy sex abuse scandal, has raised enough money to keep operating for now.

The Massachusetts-based group sent a letter to its members last week, saying its financial situation was so dire that it might be forced to close its Needham headquarters unless it raised $60,000. On Tuesday, the group said its plea raised more than $63,000. The money will be used to pay operating costs for July and August.

The group hopes to raise additional money so it can continue to operate long-term.

On another note (or maybe not) If you got into the priesthood in Ireland for the money, you chose poorly.
July 22 (Bloomberg) -- Irish Roman Catholic priests in the country’s second-biggest diocese took pay cuts of about 10 percent after church investments in bank stocks dropped as much as 7 million euros ($10 million).

The Killaloe diocese, which covers parts of the midlands and west of Ireland, cut salaries by between 8 and 12 percent, after shares fell and bank dividends were eliminated, Willy Walsh, the Bishop of Killaloe, said in an interview with Ireland’s RTE radio today.

Ireland’s ISEF Index of financial stocks has fallen 93 percent from its Feb. 2007 peak, as the banking system last year came close to collapse after the real estate prices tumbled and credit markets froze. The government has nationalized Anglo Irish Bank Corp., and pumped 7 billion euros into Bank of Ireland Plc and Allied Irish Banks Plc to help save the lenders as bad debts surged.

“All of us thought that bank shares were a safe as possible place to put money,” Walsh said. “Obviously in hindsight, they weren’t.”

Your Mortgage is My Problem?

Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine. Our responsibilities and commitments to each other are spelled out by that doctrine which at its core is about loving one's neighbor.

So that's why when I see signs like the one above saying "Your mortgage is not my problem" and articles and columns detailing similar ideals my mind reacts negatively because I know that I am my brother's keeper. So, in short, I know that their mortgage is my problem.

I think that's one of the main reasons that the Democratic Party is so enticing to so many Christians. They hear of people in pain and the only party talking of doing something...anything about it is the Democratic Party which...let's face it... has marketed itself successfully as the party of compassion. The party that cares about the poor. Or to put it bluntly, the party that says your mortgage is everyone's problem. It all feels very Christian if you ignore the fact that the government is forcibly taking people's money from them to establish another version of the Department of Motor Vehicles which will employ political toadies with responsibility to no one but their patron party bosses.

The Republican Party on the other hand has a strong streak of libertarianism running through it. And those ideas are often promulgated with a heavy emphasis on freedom. But the connection that conservatives have to charity and love for the poor is often left undiscussed. And without that I fear the Republican Party will continue to lose the social justice voters.

When I see signs like "Your mortgage is not my problem" that's a problem for me. Look, I know what they mean. It's a reaction to collectivism. And collectivism worries the heck out of me. I've read studies that seem to show that conservatives give more money to charity than liberals. But I think Republicans need to talk more about why freedom is good for everyone including the poor. I think the GOP needs to not only the party of that stirs a passion for freedom but the party that inspires compassion for all. And I'm not talking about the "compassionate conservatism" of George W. Bush who simply meant more big government but not quite as big as Barney Frank would like it.

I know that in societies with big government, people witness their neighbors in trouble and they shake their heads and say in pitying tones "The government should really have a program to help those poor people" rather than just helping people out themselves. In societies with big government the people in trouble tend to feel like they're owed help and that when they receive help from the government they're often ungrateful and ask why the government can't do more. So we end up in a situation where the people who had the money taken from them are angry and the people who eventually received the money are ungrateful. Who does that help?

A free society must inspire those with to help those without. A free society that is to remain a free society must accept that someone else's mortgage is their problem.

When Mommy Becomes A Daddy

Newsbusters writes:

How do you tell your kids that mommy is now a daddy? Or that a daddy is now a mommy?” Leave it to ABC to raise these questions on “Good Morning America.” A July 21 segment previewed “Primetime Family Secrets” airing later that night about a transgender woman and the effects of the decision on his family.

Correspondent Juju Chang documented the Prince family for one year. In 2008 Ted Prince became “Chloe” through a sex change and his wife, Rene, stayed with him. The couple has two sons: Logan is 7 1/2 and Barry is 6. Since the family stayed together, the purpose of Chang’s report was to examine all the adjustments that had to be made.
The news is now normalizing transgendering. Hmm. I thought the next kick would be normalizing polygamy but I guess they figure they'll go right for the extreme.

This is all just part of the redefining of term "family" to which they ascribe all the evils of middle America.

Well, I won't be tuning in I've got to watch a very special episode of "Blossom" I've had taped for a decade and a half that I'll finally get to tonight. That Joey Lawrence kid is da' bomb. I think he's going to be a huge star. But if any of you do watch this garbage let us know how it goes in the combox. I'm sure it'll be a pleasant hour.

HT Newsbusters

I've Got My Druthers

I find myself completely lacking the ability to chit. And I'm very poor at chatting. Combining the chit and chat makes me a verbose lunatic capable of only non-sequiturs and insane rantings. Case in point, yesterday:

I'm at the park yesterday with the kids and these women I've seen around the neighborhood. They all seem nice and respectable and good mothers. They take walks together at night sometimes and they're on the neighborhood committees to run the Easter Egg Hunt and the 4th of July Parade. Like I said, they're good people. They seem very friendly to each other. But typically they leave me alone. I am The Other, I think. I'm a Dad at the park. Not sure they know what to make of me.

And I'm good with that. They hang near the swings. I'm near the jungle gym. But yesterday when I walked the kids to the park I noticed that they'd congregated near the jungle gym.


Now, not to get too Bloods and Crips about all this but this was a massive breach of protocol. I see these people here all the time. The jungle gym is my area. you see, two of my children love climbing and hanging upside down so I usually set up camp there because it seems that if an injury is going to occur, it'll be one of these two.

So I sit down on the bench right near this group of women. But I'm pretending to be cool with that.

You see, I'm pretty good at avoiding conversation by staying right on top of my kids or pretending to bury my face in a book. But my kids want less and less to do with me on the playground except for the moment where they yell "Dad, watch this" right before they do something that I'd require a parachute, a jetpack and three dozen mattresses before trying. And that day of all days I forgot my book...LEAVING ME EXPOSED!

As I'm watching the children I see two of the ladies making the short walk over to my bench.

Now, in prison this kind of thing means a hit. But I'm not in prison. I'm just a Dad next to the jungle gym. But I still find myself preparing for their arrival. Now, don't the wrong impression of me. It's not that I'm unfriendly. I am quite friendly. But I'm a waver. When I drive by I wave and smile. If I walk past you on the street or in a store I've got a might fine "how ya' doin?" at my disposal that I use to great effectiveness quite often.

Just as the ladies sat, my four year old decided that hanging from his feet would be fun. So I'm trying to watch him while the women sit down, essentially right next to me. I scroll through my responses in my head which consist of waving or saying 'how ya doin?' But being right next to them I'd probably take out an eye with a wave so I trot out my best "how ya' doin?" I even said it twice because there were two of them. Quite clever, huh? And I was ready for that to be it but within three minutes I learned more about these women than I know about my sister.

You see, when men talk we don't talk about ourselves. We might as well be third party outraged narrators pointing out all the evils of our favorite teams or maybe politics if we feel real comfortable. "Did you see that error last night? or "You hear they're raising our taxes again?" Third party outraged narrators.

But women are different. They talk. They talk fast and they burrow deep. I'm not a burrower. I like skimming along the surface like a flat rock.

But the two women talked about real things. One of them had cancer years before. The other was worried about how slow her son was picking up reading.

And all I'm thinking is "Hey, did you hear that the Phillies are strongly considering Pedro Martinez? Isn't that outrageous?"

But here's the real point of the story. Then they both told me what they did with their lives before the children. The one had been an account executive and the other had been in pharmaceutical sales. And they told me about their promotions and how nicely their careers had been progressing and then the one said, "But now I'm just home with the kids."

And the account executive said, "If I had my druthers I'd be back in the office but...day care costs and..." and she trailed off.

And then it was my turn to talk. You see, people signify this by looking at you and remaining silent. See, I pick on these little subtleties. And then the one, obviously wondering why I look like I just ate a lemon, said with a polite smile, "If you had your druthers what would you be doing?

My response went something like this:

"Druthers. That's a funny word. Who has all the druthers that everyone is always looking for? Everyone always says, 'If I had my druthers, I'd...' But I've never heard anyone say, "hey, you'll never guess what I got today. I got all my druthers. I wasn't even looking for them and there they were." You know I'm starting to think there's someone somewhere who's confiscated all the druthers and they're doing quite fine for themselves.
As I'm talking the one woman's polite smile is becoming maniacally stretched. I can tell it's not a real smile but she feels she's under some obligation to smile at what I'm saying so she's literally forcing the sides of her mouth to join her ears. But her eyes aren't squinting as happens during a real smile. Her eyes are widening. She's realizing I'm insane. So I stop talking.

And just so you know that level on insane non-sequiturs gets you only strange looks and a lot of silence. As well as a whole bench all to yourself. Just a few moments after my insanity giggled to the surface the two women found reasons to scatter to the far end of the park leaving me alone on the bench.

The jungle gym was mine again. Go Crips!

I wondered to myself while watching my children climb and slide and run, where I'd be if I had my druthers. And I couldn't help but think that if I had my druthers I'd be on the park bench watching my children climb and slide and run. Maybe I'd have a book. And the four year old would be wearing a really big helmet. But that's it.

And I wondered if those two women actually felt differently about their roles as stay at home parents or they just felt some kind of societal pressure to prove their worth by explaining their pre-child careers to me. And I felt bad about that. I've noticed a trend with stay at home parents that upon being asked what they do they often give a rundown of their previous career that takes a few minutes and then add a few words (almost as in epilogue) that now they just stay home with the kids.

I find it really sad that parenting is something we have to make an excuse for.

I've decided that when people ask me about myself I'm just going to say "I'm a stay at home Dad." I'm not going to explain myself. Not going to say what I did before. I'm not going to explain what I also do now. When asked, I'll say I'm a stay-at-home Dad.

I just don't think anyone at this park will be asking me anything anytime soon. So I'll just sit there on the bench watching all my children with no book and all my druthers.

I’ll Speak With Your Mama Outside.

Ah, thes esteemed halls of one of our finest institutions of higher learning in the US. Harvard. Where one can sit at the feet of world renowned scholars and listen sagacious phrases such as "Ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside."

Below you will find the text of a police report in which a top American black scholar Henry Louis Gates,Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, where he is Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Professor Gates, for his part, suspects that race played a part in his arrest. After reading this report, I suspect that racism played a large part in the events of that evening. We report - you decide.

On Thursday July 16, 2009, Henry Gates, Jr. - -, of Ware Street, Cambridge, MA) was placed under arrest at Ware Street, after being observed exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior, in a public place, directed at a uniformed police officer who was present investigating a report of a crime in progress. These actions on the behalf of Gates served no legitimate purpose and caused citizens passing by this location to stop and take notice while appearing surprised and alarmed.
On the above time and date, I was on uniformed duty in an unmarked police cruiser assigned to the Administration Section, working from 7:00 AM-3:30 PM. At approximately 12:44 PM, I was operating my cruiser on Harvard Street near Ware Street. At that time, I overheard an ECC broadcast for a possible break in progress at Ware Street. Due to my proximity, I responded.

When I arrived at Ware Street I radioed ECC and asked that they have the caller meet me at the front door to this residence. I was told that the caller was already outside. As I was getting this information, I climbed the porch stairs toward the front door. As [reached the door, a female voice called out to me. I looked in the direction of the voice and observed a white female, later identified {} who was standing on the sidewalk in front of the residence, held a wireless telephone in her hand arid told me that it was she who called. She went on to tell me that she observed what appeared to be two black males with backpacks on the porch of• Ware Street. She told me that her suspicions were aroused when she observed one of the men wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry. Since I was the only police officer on location and had my back to the front door as I spoke with her, I asked that she wait for other responding officers while I investigated further.

As I turned and faced the door, I could see an older black male standing in the foyer of {} Ware Street. I made this observation through the glass paned front door. As I stood in plain view of this man, later identified as Gates, I asked if he would step out onto the porch and speak with me. He replied “no I will not”. He then demanded to know who I was. I told him that I was “Sgt. Crowley from the Cambridge Police” and that I was “investigating a report of a break in progress” at the residence. While I was making this statement, Gates opened the front door and exclaimed “why, because I’m a black man in America?”. I then asked Gates if there was anyone else in the residence. While yelling, he told me that it was none of my business and accused me of being a racist police officer. I assured Gates that I was responding to a citizen’s call to the Cambridge Police and that the caller was outside as we spoke. Gates seemed to ignore me and picked up a cordless telephone and dialed an unknown telephone number. As he did so, I radioed on channel I that I was off in the residence with someone who appeared to be a resident but very uncooperative. I then overheard Gates asking the person on the other end of his telephone call to “get the chief’ and “whats the chiefs name?’. Gates was telling the person on the other end of the call that he was dealing with a racist police officer in his home. Gates then turned to me and told me that I had no idea who I was “messing” with and that I had not heard the last of it. While I was led to believe that Gates was lawfully in the residence, I was quite surprised and confused with the behavior he exhibited toward me. I asked Gates to provide me with photo identification so that I could verify that he resided at Ware Street and so that I could radio my findings to ECC. Gates initially refused, demanding that I show him identification but then did supply me with a Harvard University identification card. Upon learning that Gates was affiliated with Harvard, I radioed and requested the presence of the Harvard University Police.

With the Harvard University identification in hand, I radioed my findings to ECC on channel two and prepared to leave. Gates again asked for my name which I began to provide. Gates began to yell over my spoken words by accusing me of being a racist police officer and leveling threats that he wasn’t someone to mess with. At some point during this exchange, I became aware that Off. Carlos Figueroa was standing behind me. When Gates asked a third time for my name, I explained to him that I had provided it at his request two separate times. Gates continued to yell at me. I told Gates that I was leaving his residence and that if he had any other questions regarding the matter, I would speak with him outside of the residence.

As I began walking through the foyer toward the front door, I could hear Gates agai,n demanding my name. I again told Gates that I would speak with him outside. My reason for wanting to leave the residence was that Gates was yelling very loud and the acoustics of the kitchen and foyer were making it difficult for me to transmit pertinent information to ECC or other responding units. His reply was “ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside”. When I left the residence, I noted that there were several Cambridge and Harvard University police officers assembled on the sidewalk in front of the residence. Additionally, the caller, md at least seven unidentified passers-by were looking in the direction of Gates, who had followed me outside of the residence.

As I descended the stairs to the sidewalk, Gates continued to yell at me, accusing me of racial bias and continued to tell me that I had not heard the last of him. Due to the tumultuous manner Gates had exhibited in his residence as well as his continued tumultuous behavior outside the residence, in view of the public, I warned Gates that he was becoming disorderly. Gates ignored my warning and continued to yell, which drew the attention of both the police officers and citizens, who appeared surprised and alarmed by Gates’s outburst. For a second time I warned Gates to calm down while I withdrew my department issued handcuffs from their carrying case. Gates again ignored my warning and continued to yell at me. It was at this time that I informed Gates that he was under arrest. I then stepped up the stairs, onto the porch and attempted to place handcuffs on Gates. Gates initially resisted my attempt to handcuff him, yelling that he was “disabled” and would fall without his cane. After the handcuffs were property applied, Gates complained that they were too tight. I ordered Off. Ivey, who was among the responding officers, to handcuff Gates with his arms in front of him for his comfort while I secured a cane for Gates from within the residence. I then asked Gates if he would like an officer to take possession of his house key and secure his front door, which he left wide open. Gates told me that the door was un securable due to a previous break attempt at the residence. Shortly thereafter, a Harvard University maintenance person arrived on scene and appeared familiar with Gates. I asked Gates if he was comfortable with this Harvard University maintenance person securing his residence. He told me that he was.
After a brief consultation with Sgt. Lashley and upon Gates’s request, he was transported to 125 6th. Street in a police cruiser (Car 1, Off’s Graham and Ivey) where he was booked and processed by Off. J. P. Crowley.
As a learned Harvard professor I applaud Prof. Gates restraint by choosing not to quote the great poet Gibson during this ugly episode by inquiring as to the responding officer's potential Jewish heritage. Prof. Gates is someone we could all learn a lesson from.

For my part, I sympathize with Professor Gates consternation. He was obviously concerned that his treatment would mirror that of other black men in this country. Perhaps he feared that he would be thrown into a position of immense responsibility and power for which he was completely unqualified. Imagine his terror! What without a teleprompter and all. Shiver.