Robber 'holds up bar with ham sandwich'
Police say suspect used what they call 'gun-shaped' object
"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Robber 'holds up bar with ham sandwich'
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 4:58 PM
Pre-emptive strike:'Fragging prof' quits
College teacher suggested soldiersin Iraq should kill superior officers
Murtha removes unfavorable poll
Online voters overwhelmingly opposed Democrat's call for troop withdrawal
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 4:51 PM
...but, then again, the point is no fourteen year old boy should have to.
Fox News: Too Pretty for Prison?
A Florida reading teacher charged with having sex with a minor pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior as part of a plea deal that does not include any jail time.
"I accept full responsibility for my actions," Greco Middle School teacher Debra Lafave, 25, said during Tuesday's trial in Tampa.
The deal provides that Lafave will not serve any jail time in connection with multiple sex acts with a 14-year-old student unless she violates the terms of the plea agreement, which includes three years of house arrest and seven years' probation.
"To place an attractive young woman in that kind of hell hole is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions," Lafave's attorney, John Fitzgibbons, said in July of the possibility of jail time. "I'm not sure she would survive." (Emphasis mine.)
Debra LaFave's former husband said if her crimes had been committed by a man he "would have definitely gotten some jail time."
The former Florida teacher Tuesday took a plea deal to dodge a prison sentence over allegations she had sex with a 14-year-old boy. She pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious battery and received three years house arrest, followed by seven years of probation.
Owen LaFave said that deal sends the message that sex with minors isn't so bad. And, he said she still doesn't realize "how wrong it really is" to have sex with a child.
The boy told investigators he and LaFave had sex in a classroom, in her home near Tampa and once in a vehicle. The LaFaves were newlyweds at the time.
The ex-husband said it was the "most intense pain" he's ever experienced.
Debra LaFave won't have to wear a monitoring bracelet while on house arrest. But prosecutors say the 25-year-old is subject to random checks from a community control officer who must approve all of her movements. She will be allowed to leave the house only for work, to go out to shop for essentials and for other necessary trips approved by the officer.
The judge said LaFave will have to register as a sex offender, will forever lose her teaching certificate and can't have any contact with children, including the victim.
She also must complete an outpatient sex offender treatment program within four years and continue getting psychiatric treatment. She also must pay court costs and restitution for all the victim's psychiatric and physical care.
Meanwhile, the mother of the middle school boy who had sexual liaisons with LaFave said the media attention has taken its toll on the family.
The mother's name is being withheld to protect her son's identity. But she said the family wants to see it all end.
The victim's mother said the boy is "well-adjusted" and shows no signs of having been traumatized. The teacher still faces similar charges in Marion County, Fla. (Thanks to WDSU in New Orleans for the heads up.)
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 3:00 PM
Washington's other newspaper tries to come to grips with reality's latest assault on those harmless little sodomites.
The Vatican is ordering seminaries to bar candidates for the priesthood who "practice homosexuality," have "deeply rooted homosexual tendencies" or support "gay culture," according to a document published Tuesday by Adista, a Catholic news agency in Rome.
The long-awaited instruction to seminary directors was scheduled for official release next week. It has been the subject of numerous leaks that have sparked intense debate and led some Catholic leaders, including the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to defend the place of celibate gay priests in the church. But until Tuesday, a full text had not been published.
"The church, while deeply respecting the people in question, cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture," said the five-page document, which a Vatican official said appeared to be the authentic, final version.
The instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Vatican department in charge of seminaries, is not entirely new. Previous Vatican documents dating back to 1961 have called homosexuality an "intrinsically disordered" condition and have declared gays ineligible for ordination.
But Vatican officials say those rules have been loosely enforced, and some have blamed homosexuality for a worldwide scandal over sexual abuse of minors by priests. Other Catholics say there is no connection between homosexuality and pedophilia.
"There are people on the right wing who from the beginning saw this document as a kind of magic wand that would remove the taint of the sex abuse scandal," said the Rev. John A. Coleman, a Jesuit sociologist at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. "I think that's wishful thinking -- and pretty stupid."
Oh, that's right. All those altar boys were sodomized by Hugh Hefner clones. I forgot.
Congrats, Father Coleman, you win.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 2:30 PM
Here's the latest desperate act of the panic-stricken high priests of neo-darwinism.
Creationism and intelligent design are going to be studied at the University of Kansas, but not in the way advocated by opponents of the theory of evolution.
The university's Religious Studies Department is offering a course next semester titled "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and Other Religious Mythologies."
I'll bet Citizen Mirecki's Polish ancestors knew what real religion looked like. And they knew a false one when they saw it.
"The KU faculty has had enough," said Paul Mirecki, chairman of the department.
"Creationism is mythology," Mr. Mirecki said. "Intelligent design is mythology. It's not science. They try to make it sound like science. It clearly is not."
Earlier this month, the state Board of Education adopted new science teaching standards that treat evolution as a flawed theory, defying the view of science groups.
Although local school boards still decide how science is taught in the classrooms, the vote was seen as a major victory for proponents of intelligent design, which says that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.
Critics say intelligent design is merely creationism -- a literal reading of the Bible's story of creation as the handiwork of God -- camouflaged in scientific language as a way to get around court rulings that creationism injects religion into public schools.
John Calvert, an attorney and managing director of the Intelligent Design Network in Johnson County, said Mr. Mirecki will go down in history as a laughingstock.
"To equate intelligent design to mythology is really an absurdity, and it's just another example of labeling anybody who proposes [intelligent design] to be simply a religious nut," Mr. Calvert said. "That's the reason for this little charade." (Thanks to The Washington Times for the heads up.)
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 1:55 PM
The Book of the Day shall henceforth be known as the The Michael and Cathryn Borden Memorial Book of the Day, thanks to the efforts of their daughter, Kara Beth "Books are Gay" Borden.
Of course, today's books are:
Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
Professor Rummel provides an example of commie agitprop that would indeed be amusing if it weren't for the stench of their victims' rotting corpses that follows these sons of whores everywhere.
On The Decline In Warfare/Reviews of Mao
On Chang and Halloway's biography of Mao I wrote about yesterday, it is an educational experience to read the 38 reviews of the book on Amazon.com (here). Some surely are by Mainland Chinese, and probably planted by the CCP. But those that are not show the depth of the Mao myth among Westerners and, many of them forgetting about Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Kim Jung Ill, and Saddam Hussein, the inability to believe that any ruler could be so evil. To give you a taste of this, I include one such one-star (the lowest rating) review below. It is not a parody:
This pure unadulterated piece of garbage is so unbelievably out-of-this-world in portraying the late Chinese Communist Leader as Lucifer incarnate becomes so so boring,and tedious, I (and along with other literary friends) had to just discontinue reading the book and pick something else to read far far more substantial.
The author, who probably did not get a job in a Chinese take-away in London decided to write a book about Mao in connivance with her old demented husband (who probably married her out of pity and desperation when she was still a boat person) and the end result is a littany of lies whose main basis is her fertile imagination and hate for Chairman Mao. Their pens were already dipped in poison during conception of the book that one has to wonder why her literary sources ran a gamut of hundreds of pages that one can already write another book with it!
The author's style is extremely boring, filled with graphic descriptions of the "sufferings" and evilness of Mao , supremely exaggerated. And she blames the old man for the death of practically every Chinese individual (even those who died of natural causes or illnesses or poverty were included in her statistics.) It is sensationalistic from page 1. This person's hate for Mao is so intense and personal, the book was written by someone with an axe to grind.
The problem with some boat people is that when they have resources when the times comes, they seize the opportunity to write a book and lace it with personal agenda that they think they can claim fame from the foreign media.No way Jung chang! There's an opening for a cleaning post in the Chinese Embassy, this job is more suitable for you!
I myself is not a fan of Mao, I dont even know anything about him thats why I bought this book! However, Mao is nothing in this book except being described as a murderer and a devil. I'm so glad that this book is much disliked by many and I'm glad that a lot of Chinese people have spoken up and defended their old leader.
Avoid this garbage!
Chang was not one of the "boat people," that is, one of those who fled from Vietnam in boats during the 70s and 80s. She was born and raised in China, and as a young woman traveled on a fellowship to the reviewer's home country of Britain, where she now lives with her husband and co-author. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall were they to meet.
Go here for a favorable review in Foreign Affairs by Lucian Pye. More reviews are here.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:51 AM
If a man like Dr. Rummel can underestimate the horrors of a commie dictatorship, don't you think we should be reading more history, kiddies?
The Monstrous, Hidden Mao Tse-tung
In yesterday's blog, wrote that I was convinced by Jung Chiang and Jon Halliday's Mao that China's Great Famine was a democide, and that this raised the communist democide 1923 to 1987 to 73,000,000, exceeding by over 10,000,000 the democide total for the Soviet Union 1917-1987. There is much more in this book and its predecessor, Chiang's Wild Swans that I will reveal here.
I should note that I'm not doing book reviews, although I need to give some background from the books. My interest is only in what I learned from the books that are new and surprising. First, as to the Wild Swans, this is a story of the lives of three Chinese women, Chiang's grandmother who had her feet bound, and became a concubine; her mother who along with Chiang's father became high officials in the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), and Chiang herself who became a CCP member, a Red Guard, and was tortured, incarcerated, persecuted, underwent forced labor, and finally with Mao's death was able to get a university education and be awarded one of the first foreign fellowships, this to England. What is so absorbing about this is what is revealed about China's history through its effect on this one family. This includes the downfall of the Manchu Dynasty, China's brief flirtation with democracy, the warlord years, Chiang Kai-shek's rise to power, Mao's gradual seizure of power over the communists, the civil war, Japanese invasion and occupation, the post-war battle against Chiang for China, Mao's takeover of China, and the various bloody campaigns to solidify Mao's rule and impose communism, the Great Leap Forward, the Great Famine, the Cultural Revolution, and aftermath.
Here the perspective is bottom up. The top down perspective, that is of Mao and those around them, is given in Mao. These books are essential to each other and I strongly recommend that anyone interested in China today or its recent history, in pure evil, in communism, in totalitarianism, or in how mass murder and torture can become a routine operation of government, must read these books.
With that as background, what have I learned?
I whole-heartedly recommend the rest of this post. The link is in the title at the top.
BTW, wouldn't the world be a better place if all academics kept learning a la Rummel?
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:41 AM
As I have always suspected. (Fyodor's Rule #4: Always believe the worst about commies. It helps prepare you for facing the horror.)
Reevaluating China's Democide to be 73,000,000
Two books have had a big impact on my evaluation of Mao's rise to absolute power and his rule over China. One is Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang, and the other is Mao: the Unknown Story that she wrote with her husband, Jon Halliday. I'm now convinced that that Stalin exceeded Hitler in monstrous evil, and Mao beat out Stalin.
I will extract what is most surprising about both books in two parts. In this one, I want to wholly focus on the democide under Mao, and in the next blog, I'll abstract the most important and surprising things I learned about him.
From the time I wrote my book on China's Bloody Century (1991--here), I have held to these democide totals for Mao:
Civil War-Sino-Japanese War 1923-1949 = 3,466,000 murdered
Rule over China (PRC) 1949-1987 = 35,236,000 murdered
However, some other scholars and researchers had put the PRC total in from 60,000,000 to a high 70,000,000. When I've been asked why my total is so low by comparison, I've responded that I did not include the China's Great Famine 1958-1961. From my study of what was written on this in English, I believed that:
(1) the famine was due to the Great Leap Forward when Mao tried to catch up with the West in producing iron and steel;
(2) the factorization of agriculture, forcing virtually all peasants to give up their land, livestock, tools, and homes to live in regimented communes;
(3) the exuberant over reporting of agricultural production by commune and district managers for fear of the consequences of not meeting their quotas;
(4) the consequent belief of high communist officials that excess food was being produced and could be exported without starving the peasants;
(5) but, reports from traveling high officials indicated that peasants might be starving in certain localities;
(6) an investigative team was sent out from Beijing, and reported back that there was mass starvation;
(7) and then the CCP stopped exporting food and began to imports what was needed to stop the famine.
Thus, although Mao's policies were responsible for the famine, he was mislead about it, and finally when he found out, he stopped it and changed his policies. Therefore, I argued, this was not a democide. Others, however, have so counted it, but I thought this was a sloppy application of the concepts of mass murder, genocide, or politicide (virtually no one used the concept of democide). They were right and I was wrong.
From the biography of Mao, which I trust (for those who might question it, look at the hundreds of interviews Chang and Halliday conducted with communist cadre and former high officials, and the extensive bibliography) I can now say that yes, Mao's policies caused the famine. He knew about it from the beginning. He didn't care! Literally.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:26 AM
Iraqis OK terror and ask for timetable, right?
A rip from Uncle Jimbo
Since the left has already begun trying to make this bad news, I will pipe all the way up and say WRONG! The progress made in the meetings in Cairo represents a concrete example of healthy political give and take between all the Iraqis. First a point I have seen some look at improperly, from the AP:
The communique condemned terrorism but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if they don't target innocent civilians or institutions that provide for the welfare of Iraqis."
Absolutely proper. The native Iraqis who have taken arms against the invaders of their country, and who limit their actions to targeting coalition or Iraqi security forces are not terrorists. They are guerrillas or insurgents, and unless they purposely kill innocents or assist the terrorists they should not be called otherwise. We don't have to agree with their aims, but we need to be fair in how we refer to different groups, we did invade their country and overthrow the government they worked for. What people have missed is that when the Sunni leaders insisted on this wording they also explicitly severed any support for the jihadis and the Baathist dead-enders who are terrorists, that is huge. Now we have split the much larger group of Sunnis who had legit worries about whether they could be fairly treated in a federal Iraq, from the scum who are beyond reprieve. It also will free the Sunnis who join the rest of the country to provide intel and eliminate the few remaining rat holes the killers hide in...
...I hope I am wrong and the hue and cry next summer is not how the voices of reason forced W to admit his folly and finally strategerize our exit from Iraq. This has been an ugly and divisive time where the intentions of almost everyone have been questioned and attributed to the basest motivations. The left wants us to lose and the right just lives to kill for oil. That boils down to ugliness and since contrary to popular propaganda, we are not in Iraq forever, the troops will come home and it damn well better be to cheering crowds waving flags in a well-earned victory parade. We can have our disagreements about questions as vital as going to war or not, but once we go, and certainly as we are finalizing victory, cries to leave under duress should fall on deaf ears, or better yet not fall at all.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 11:13 AM
The Major respectfully disagrees with Mr. Murtha:
With all due respect, Sir, I completely disagree.
Congressman and Col John Murtha, USMCR - Ret. is by all accounts a bona fide American Hero. He has bled for this nation in a foreign land and shown great courage. He has now called for the establishent of a rapid timetable for the withdrawal of US Troops from Iraq, stating that we "have done all we can do." Colonel, I could not disagree more.
Freedom in Iraq sounds a lot like Christmas:
And now, something funny...
I have metioned earlier how cellular phones have proliferated here since the fall of Saddam. It seems as if every adult has one. In the past few days, I have had the occasion to chuckle a couple of times - at ringtones. Two senior Iraqi Officers have ringtones set on their cellular phones that cracked me up. One had his set to play "We wish you a Merry Christmas" and the other's was set to play "Jingle Bells." Both of these men are devout Sunni Muslims. I did not burst into laughter but many of the Americans could not help but crack a smile. For the few that will ask, it is not because Arabic tunes are not available as ringtones here. There are plenty of them. I suppose that I have just taken for granted after all these years what catchy tunes some Christmas Carols are...
And a victory for the good guys:
Heroism Part II
Kidnapping is a cottage industry here in Iraq, especially in Baghdad. With the combination of common criminals using it as a way of shaking down the local rich and middle class and the arhabi using it as a means of fundraising, it has been a serious problem. It keeps the IP's very busy. Today the good guys won one. There was plenty of grinning in the TOC last night as a report came in from one of our Iraqi Brigades. An Iraqi Warrant Officer (Comparable to a US First Sergeant or Sergeant Major) was on his way in to work at his unit headquarters yesterday morning when he drove by an arhabi scumbag in the process of kidnapping a young boy of about 10-12 years of age. The Iraqi Soldier, stopped his car and intervened. A struggle ensued in which the Iraqi Soldier shot the arhabi, allowing the boy to break free. While securing the boy, the arhabi was unfortunately able to limp back to his car and escape. The Iraqi Soldier brought the boy to the headquarters with him where he was later reunited with his mother, who was profusely thankful. Of all the reports we get, this was one that made my day. I see a medal in this Soldier's future. Score one for the good guys. Score one for getting involved and not just passing by. Score one for Iraqi Soldiers. Most of all, score one for a little Iraqi boy and his mother.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 10:51 AM
...and thank you, sir.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Home at Last
I wanted to report to any and all of those readers who have been kind enough to read this blog, or otherwise express concern for my well being, that I am home, and well.
I owe so many so much in gratitude for their support and encouragement, it will no doubt take me quite a while to come close to matching that debt.
I am temporarily displaced from ready blogging, I must concentrate on returning to civilian employment, and there are many obligations to family and friends. But I will not forget the obligation I feel towards my faithful readers, in finishing several short pieces in proper conclusion to the OIF III phase of my blogging experience.
That, and there's a whole new set of experiences, going through demobilization, hearing people's reactions to my return, the current political climate over Iraq and the Global War on Terror, and just readjusting to civilian life.
Please have patience; this is a whole new chapter for me now, and poses its own challenges, even as I try to conclude the Chapter on my time in Iraq.
Again, thanks to all my friends in the Blogosphere. You were greatly responsible for keeping me sane and on track while I was in the sand box.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 10:44 AM
May God have mercy on their brave souls.
The first speaker, CSM Socrates remembered our Battalion Commander with the following words:
It is yet another afternoon in Southern Baghdad and we gather once again, to pay tribute all to our fallen leaders, brothers in arms and friends. This afternoon it is my heart breaking yet ultimate honor to attempt to describe for you my short yet, everlasting relationship with Colonel William Wesley Wood.
I first met this fine officer over lunch, just a few months ago. His first words, like the man himself, were to the point. I quote: “CSM give it to me straight, what is your assessment of our battalion? From that first conversation it was clear he was determined to complete the mission at hand, a mission given to him just a few hours before.
For the next few months our relationship would grow by leaps and bounds. I saw a stoic face change to a smile thru turbulent times and at the oddest of times. His embodiment of mission accomplishment would not be superseded by anything, or anyone. His direct approach to operational success was not to control, rather, in my opinion, he wanted every soldier know that he was not only sending orders down to the soldier level, he was also AT their ground level, actively participating in just about every operation. For he was a man who believed in what he planned.
To see a Battalion Commander stop his PSD along Route ****, walk away from his vehicle and towards a small, unattended child, pull candy and a toy from his pocket, then crouch down to the eye-level of that child so he could give his gifts made a great impact not only on that child, but on the soldiers he led. COL Wood was an officer of uncommon breed. He was not your average man. He continually demonstrated in word and deeds his belief and allegiance to the cause of a better Iraq. His task consumed him in every aspect of everyday living in this country. Somehow, though, gradually his true nature began to show.
For me this happened one night while I was scrolling thru the daily myriad of e-mails that flood us day and night. He put his head in my office and said “Hey CSM get some sleep, tomorrow is another day.” I said “Roger Sir” and wished him good night as he walked away. As he disappeared I returned to the task at hand and my Harley Davidson wall clock struck midnight with its distinctive engine rumble. Suddenly, the Colonel appeared again: “ Oh yeah Harley’s suck.” This statement made me smile both on my face and in my heart and, no, I could not work again. I heard him laughing at me while he closed his door. As I attempted to get back at him he shouted “you should get a real horse” His laughter could be heard through the walls. There was nothing else I could do but laugh...
...Perhaps someday when I am blessed with grandchildren should I be asked the question that men of arms often look to for inspiration: “Grandpa,” they will say, “what did you do during the war?” I predict I will become teary eye and begin to tell a story of a man I once knew that had fallen along with many others, but the line in the sand he helped sustain, enforce and push forward was still standing; A man who believed in his Country, in his cause, and in the men he led. A man who is Forever Nightstalker:
William Wesley Wood - Colonel of Infantry - proud American - husband of Nancy - father of Rachel - lover of horses - and my Battalion Commander in the United States Army.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 10:37 AM
From Lance in Iraq:
War foes' 'cheap talk' may bring new vote
This article outlines a great strategy. If the cut and run Democrats continue to spout their French, white flag rhetoric, then let them vote for it. Or let them be shown as the cowardly hypocrites they are by not voting for a pullout:
The Republican who initiated last week's overwhelming House vote to keep U.S. troops in Iraq said he will do it again if Democrats don't cease their calls for withdrawal.
"If they start this again, we'll call the vote again," said Rep. J.D. Hayworth, Arizona Republican, whom members credited with suggesting holding a vote. "As far as I'm concerned, if they haven't learned from this, if they go back to this cheap talk, I would be more than happy to call for another vote."
Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat, said Thursday that the U.S. should start withdrawing from Iraq, but the House voted 403-3 the next day to reject immediate withdrawal. Republicans say the vote both bolstered the troops' mission and recaptured the political momentum on the issue.
Yesterday, several top Democrats came out opposed to Mr. Murtha's call, with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York saying it would be "a big mistake" and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware saying he is "not there yet."
There is nothing worse than a big talker who refuses to vote his or her conscience. Hardly the stuff of leadership.
Posted by Lance Frizzell at 02:02 AM
Big lie exposed
Michael Barone in the Washington Times:
It is said a big lie can work if it is repeated often enough. For weeks, leading Democrats have been hammering away at the Big Lie that George W. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
...Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney and the administration have the truth on their side. Exhaustive and authoritative examinations of the prewar intelligence by the bipartisan report of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004, by the Silberman-Robb Commission in 2005 and by the British commission headed by Lord Butler have established U.S. intelligence agencies and the intelligence organizations of leading countries like Britain, France and Germany, believed Saddam Hussein's regime had or was developing WMD -- chemical and biological weapons, which the regime had used before, and nuclear weapons, which it was working on in the 1980s.
To the charges that Mr. Bush "cherry-picked" intelligence, the commission co-chaired by former Democratic Sen. Charles Robb found intelligence available to Mr. Bush but not to Congress was even more alarming than what Congress had.
The Silberman-Robb panel also concluded, after a detailed investigation, that in no case did administration authorities pressure intelligence officials to alter their findings.
Posted by Lance Frizzell at 02:01 AM
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 10:31 AM
From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
Catholics and Evolution
One of the most important questions for every educated Catholic of today is: What is to be thought of the theory of evolution? Is it to be rejected as unfounded and inimical to Christianity, or is it to be accepted as an established theory altogether compatible with the principles of a Christian conception of the universe?
We must carefully distinguish between the different meanings of the words theory of evolution in order to give a clear and correct answer to this question. We must distinguish (1) between the theory of evolution as a scientific hypothesis and as a philosophical speculation; (2) between the theory of evolution as based on theistic principles and as based on a materialistic and atheistic foundation; (3) between the theory of evolution and Darwinism; (4) between the theory of evolution as applied to the vegetable and animal kingdoms and as applied to man.
(1) Scientific Hypothesis vs. Philosophical Speculation
As a scientific hypothesis, the theory of evolution seeks to determine the historical succession of the various species of plants and of animals on our earth, and, with the aid of palæontology and other sciences, such as comparative morphology, embryology, and bionomy, to show how in the course of the different geological epochs they gradually evolve from their beginnings by purely natural causes of specific development. The theory of evolution, then, as a scientific hypothesis, does not consider the present species of plants and of animals as forms directly created by God, but as the final result of an evolution from other species existing in former geological periods. Hence it is called "the theory of evolution", or "the theory of descent", since it implies the descent of the present from extinct species. This theory is opposed to the theory of constancy, which assumes the immutability of organic species. The scientific theory of evolution, therefore, does not concern itself with the origin of life. It merely inquires into the genetic relations of systematic species, genera, and families, and endeavours to arrange them according to natural series of descent (genetic trees).
How far is the theory of evolution based on observed facts? It is understood to be still only an hypothesis. The formation of new species is directly observed in but a few cases, and only with reference to such forms as are closely related to each other; for instance, the systematic species of the plant-genus Œnothera, and of the beetle-genus Dimarda. It is, however, not difficult to furnish an indirect proof of great probability for the genetic relation of many systematic species to each other and to fossil forms, as in the genetic development of the horse (Equidæ), of ammonites, and of many insects, especially of those that dwell as "guests" with ants and termites, and have adapted themselves in many ways to their hosts. Upon comparing the scientific proofs for the probability of the theory of evolution, we find that they grow the more numerous and weighty, the smaller the circle of forms under consideration, but become weaker and weaker, if we include a greater number of forms, such as are comprised in a class or in a sub-kingdom. There is, in fact, no evidence whatever for the common genetic descent of all plants and animals from a single primitive organism. Hence the greater number of botanists and zoologists regard a polygenetic (polyphyletic) evolution as much more acceptable than a monogenetic (monophyletic). At present, however, it is impossible to decide how many independent genetic series must be assumed in the animal and vegetable kingdoms. This is the gist of the theory of evolution as a scientific hypothesis. It is in perfect agreement with the Christian conception of the universe; for Scripture does not tell us in what form the present species of plants and of animals were originally created by God. As early as 1877 Knabenbauer stated "that there is no objection, so far as faith is concerned, to assuming the descent of all plant and animal species from a few types" (Stimmen aus Maria Laach, XIII, p. 72).
Passing now to the theory of evolution as a philosophical speculation, the history of the plant and animal kingdoms upon our globe is but a small part of the history of the entire earth. Similarly, the geological development of our earth constitutes but a small part of the history of the solar system and of the universe. The theory of evolution as a philosophical conception considers the entire history of the cosmos as an harmonious development, brought about by natural laws. This conception is in agreement with the Christian view of the universe. God is the Creator of heaven and earth. If God produced the universe by a single creative act of His will, then its natural development by laws implanted in it by the Creator is to the greater glory of His Divine power and wisdom. St. Thomas says: "The potency of a cause is the greater, the more remote the effects to which it extends." (Summa c. Gent., III, c. lxxvi); and Suarez: "God does not interfere directly with the natural order, where secondary causes suffice to produce the intended effect" (De opere sex dierum, II, c. x, n. 13). In the light of this principle of the Christian interpretation of nature, the history of the animal and vegetable kingdoms on our planet is, as it were, a versicle in a volume of a million pages in which the natural development of the cosmos is described, and upon whose title-page is written: "In the beginning God created heaven and earth."
(2) Theistic vs. Atheistic Theories of Evolution
The theory of evolution just stated rests on a theistic foundation. In contradistinction to this is another theory resting on a materialistic and atheistic basis, the first principle of which is the denial of a personal Creator. This atheistic theory of evolution is ineffectual to account for the first beginning of the cosmos or for the law of its evolution, since it acknowledges neither creator nor lawgiver. Natural science, moreover, has proved that spontaneous generation–i.e. the independent genesis of a living being from non-living matter–contradicts the facts of observation. For this reason the theistic theory of evolution postulates an intervention on the part of the Creator in the production of the first organisms. When and how the first seeds of life were implanted in matter, we, indeed, do not know. The Christian theory of evolution also demands a creative act for the origin of the human soul, since the soul cannot have its origin in matter. The atheistic theory of evolution, on the contrary, rejects the assumption of a soul separate from matter, and thereby sinks into blank materialism.
(3) The Theory of Evolution vs. Darwinism
Darwinism and the theory of evolution are by no means equivalent conceptions. The theory of evolution was propounded before Charles Darwin's time, by Lamarck (1809) and Geoffroy de Saint-Hilaire. Darwin, in 1859, gave it a new form by endeavouring to explain the origin of species by means of natural selection. According to this theory the breeding of new species depends on the survival of the fittest in the struggle for existence. The Darwinian theory of selection is Darwinism–adhering to the narrower, and accurate, sense of the word. As a theory, it is scientifically inadequate, since it does not account for the origin of attributes fitted to the purpose, which must be referred back to the interior, original causes of evolution. Haeckel, with other materialists, has enlarged this selection theory of Darwin's into a philosophical world-idea, by attempting to account for the whole evolution of the cosmos by means of the chance survival of the fittest. This theory is Darwinism in the secondary, and wider, sense of the word. It is that atheistical form of the theory of evolution which was shown above–under (2)–to be untenable. The third signification of the term Darwinism arose from the application of the theory of selection to man, which is likewise impossible of acceptance. In the fourth place, Darwinism frequently stands, in popular usage, for the theory of evolution in general. This use of the word rests on an evident confusion of ideas, and must therefore be set aside.
(4) Human Evolution vs. Plant and Animal Evolution
To what extent is the theory of evolution applicable to man? That God should have made use of natural, evolutionary, original causes in the production of man's body, is per se not improbable, and was propounded by St. Augustine (see AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO, SAINT, under V. Augustinism in History). The actual proofs of the descent of man's body from animals is, however, inadequate, especially in respect to paleontology. And the human soul could not have been derived through natural evolution from that of the brute, since it is of a spiritual nature; for which reason we must refer its origin to a creative act on the part of God.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 10:06 AM
USA Today: IRL driver Danica Patrick weds in relative obscurity
Although Danica Patrick got plenty of publicity for her season in the IRL, she certainly didn't want much for her wedding. The 23-year-old, who finished fourth in the Indy 500, and physical therapist Paul Hospenthal, 40, were married Saturday in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 9:36 AM
Tonight I will leave my little corner of Bloggerville for a four day Thanksgiving weekend filled with family, food, football (and a smidgen of college hoops), and fun.
That means there will be no football picks this week. (Yea!)
If everything goes as expected, I will be back here on Monday November 28, which is the first day of deer season (rifle) here in PA. Go hunters! Kill those deer!
Everybody have a safe and happy holiday.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 9:16 AM
Why don't we all take some time tomorrow to actually thank the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Paraclete for...well, everything. Contrary to popular opinion, that is why this holiday was invented. That's right, kiddies, it had nothing to do with shopping.
I am thankful for my life and for the gift of Faith. Thank you, Lord, for your Church on earth. Thank you for the gift of free will.
Thank you, Lord, for my family. Bless and protect them all in every way, especially while they are traveling for the holidays.
Thank you, Lord, for granting me the privilege of citizenship in the greatest country the world has ever seen. Thank you for the freedom and the opportunity the USA offers.
Thank you, Lord, for the brave men of our Armed Forces who risk their precious lives for the sake of the freedom and security of people they will never know.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 8:47 AM
First, last, and always, PRAY. Pray for the survivors. Pray for the repose of the souls of those who were killed. Pray for the families and friends. Pray for the relief workers, the cops, the firemen, the troops, and the technicians. Pray for the volunteers.
It is time to step up once again, kiddies. "Do unto others", "I was naked and you clothed me", et cetera.
As time passes, the memory of these disasters will fade for those of us fortunate enough to live outside the devastated areas, but recovery and restoration will take years.
Please, whatever you do, don't become a cynic. (I know, I know. But I just play one on the computer.) Of course there will be more horror stories like the abuse of the debit cards and that $250-odd billion federal package will produce insane amounts of corruption, but our fellow Americans will be suffering from Katrina for a long time.
True charity, (News Flash! Taxes ARE NOT charity.) like the money you donate to Catholic Charities will help the truly needy and will not foster dependency.
Catholic Charities USA is collecting financial donations to Catholic Charities agencies’ emergency and long-term recovery efforts in the wake of both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Catholic Charities USA is consistently ranked among the highest and most efficient organizations across the country. Approximately 96 percent of contributions made to the 2005 Hurricane Relief Fund will be used for emergency response and recovery efforts.
Mail Checks To:
Catholic Charities USA
2005 Hurricane Relief Fund
PO Box 25168
Alexandria, VA 22313-9788
Contribute Now Online
11/16/2005 — Catholic Charities USA Volunteer of the Year Helen Brown Determined to Help New Orleans Recover
11/08/2005 — Catholic Charities USA Provides More than $36 Million to Assist with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Recovery Efforts; Passes $100 Million Mark in Donations
11/02/2005 — Catholic Charities USA Addresses Congress’ Bipartisan Working Group on Disaster Recovery and Response
10/20/2005 — Grace Amid the Devastation
More news...Poor and Vulnerable at Heart of Catholic Charities' Hurricane Recovery and Advocacy Efforts
FAQ - Donations
FAQ - Hurricane Relief
Catholic Charities of Miami
Catholic Charities of New Orleans
Catholic Community Services of Baton RougeCatholic Social Services of Houma-Thibodaux
Catholic Social and Community Services of Biloxi, MS
Catholic Charities of Jackson, MS
Catholic Social Services of Mobile, AL
How you can help:
Unfortunately, Catholic Charities USA is unable to accept contributions of food, clothing, blankets and other relief supplies. Monetary donations will be used to provide for the emergency relief and long-term recovery of Katrina's and Rita's victims. Catholic Charities USA is consistently ranked among the highest and most efficient organizations across the country. Approximately 96 percent of contributions made to the 2005 Hurricane Relief Fund will be used for emergency response and recovery efforts.
About the Disaster Response Office
Catholic Charities USA, which has been commissioned by the U.S. Catholic Bishops to represent the Catholic community in times of domestic disaster, responds with emergency and long-term assistance as needed. Its Disaster Response Office connects the Church's social service agencies and disaster planning offices across the nation.
And, as always, give generously to the special collections for hurricance disaster relief in your local parish.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 8:43 AM
Today is the Feast of Pope St. Clement I. Today we also honor Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro who ministered to the faithful of Mexico during the shameful anti-Catholic persecutions there in the early part of the last century and was murdered by the state for the greater glory of God. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.
Today's reading for the Feast of Pope St. Clement I is 1 Peter 5:1-4.
Today's Gospel reading is Matthew 16:13-19.
[Links to the readings will be from the NAB until I can find another chapter and verse searchable Douay-Rheims Bible on-line.]
The Blessed Virgin Mary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today
Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.
St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us.
Prayer to Saint Anthony, Martyr of Desire
Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)
PRAYER TO SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 8:20 AM
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Professor (heehee) John Daly of Warren County Community College in New Jersey (LEFT) revels in his fifteen minutes of fame. His other job is working security at Devils games. (Thanks to WND for the heads up.)
A New Jersey college's board of trustees has called for an emergency meeting tonight to discuss how to handle the controversy surrounding an e-mail by a professor suggesting soldiers in Iraq should kill their superior officers.
As WorldNetDaily reported, the e-mail by adjunct English instructor John Daly of Warren County Community College was a reply to freshman Rebecca Beach for her announcement of a campus program last Thursday featuring decorated Iraq war hero Lt. Col. Scott Rutter.
Daly wrote: "Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors."
Daly said Sunday he was worried he would be fired tonight and already had been told not to show up for the three classes he was scheduled to teach today, according to Inside Higher Ed, an online news source.
Awwwwww, poor baby.
The instructor said he stood by the e-mail message, but it was being taken out of context. His comment about soldiers turning their guns on superiors was meant "in the most metaphoric sense," he explained.
How about we metaphorically blow your head off, moron?
Daly also said that because Beach was never one of his students, he thought she was a "Young America's Foundation organizer and sent the message with that in mind.
Ohhhhhhhhhhh. She belongs to an organization you hate. That makes it all better, Comrade Stalin.
He would have used a different tone if he had known she was a freshman, he said, although the content wouldn't have changed.
In his e-mail, Daly said he would ask his students to boycott the event and also vowed "to expose [her] right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like [Rebecca's] won't dare show their face on a college campus."
Young America's Foundation, which came to Beach's aid, said that besides organizing the event, Beach's offense was hanging up fliers contrasting the number of people killed under communism to those liberated under President Reagan.
Beach responded to Daly's written tirade with a demand that Warren President William Austin institute seminars on free speech and sensitivity to teach intolerant faculty members to be respectful of differing opinion.
The college has issued three statements since the controversy began, with support for Daley apparently declining with each one, Inside Higher Ed said.
On Thursday, the college posted a statement on its website saying:
The viewpoints of this professor in no way depict the views of Warren County Community College, its administration, or the Board of Trustees. The College does however support the constitution, the first amendment, and the right to free speech.
Additionally, Mr. Daly's message was sent as a one-to-one message, via e-mail, to one person, and not to the college community. Finally, the College is viewing this message as a personnel issue and will be addressing it according to the policies and procedures of the College.
Austin attended the lecture Thursday night, and the next day, the college's statement, noting the speech went well, added criticism of Daley, quoting Austin as saying the e-mail was "disgraceful and offensive."
Saturday, the college announced the board had scheduled the emergency meeting, noting Tuesday was the first day such a meeting could be held legally.
"The Board of Trustees intends to consider the welfare and rights of its students, the college community, and the public in lieu [sic] of recent events. The board will also consider personnel issues," the statement said.
Wow. Little John is being hung out to dry. And by a board of trustees that seems to know as much about English as the bad professor (heehee) does.
In the interview last night, according to Inside Higher Ed, Daly said it was entirely appropriate for him to criticize "a pro-war rally."
Hey, I'll bet he watches CNN.
People should be outraged that military recruiters are able to attract the college's students to enlist because they can't afford tuition and find good jobs when they graduate.
Maybe if they had real teachers teaching them...
"The YAF is trying to turn back affirmative action and to promote the war, and I have a right to speak out," said Daly, who noted he's been teaching at Warren for about a year.
Nobody has the right to be that big a dumbass, son.
He also teaches at another school but declined to give the name because of the current controversy.
Referring to the threat of being fired, Daly said his situation reflects a trend for non-tenured instructors.
"As more and more professors are teaching part time, this is a direct attack on our academic freedom," he said.
No, the direct attack comes when you are sent to the GULAG or a re-education camp. Or when those who regard themselves as the true defenders of socialism put a bullet behind your ear.
Daly's e-mail also claimed that "capitalism has killed many more" people than communism and that "poor and working class people" are recruited to "fight and die for EXXON and other corporations."
Zowee, kiddies! That may be the most imbecilic thing I have ever read. I'll bet his mom is changing her name right now.
Anyone who hires this soon to be unemployed weasel for anything other than cleaning out septic tanks is a fool. (And is overpaying.)
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 3:15 PM
Do you hate those pesky slugs that eat your tender garden plants? Don't get mad, get even! Eat their cousins!
Emeril Lagasse and Food Network bring you
Garlic Escargot with Goat Cheese, Fennel and Bacon-Stuffed Mushrooms
18 large button or crimini mushroom caps, about 2-inches in diameter, wiped clean
3 (7-ounce) cans snails, well rinsed under cold running water and drained
Garlic Compound Butter:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 (teaspoon? - F.G.) cayenne
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Goat Cheese, Fennel and Bacon Stuffing:
4 slices smoked bacon, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fennel
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onions
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme Pinch salt
Hot French Bread, for dipping
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread the mushrooms, stem side up, on a baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes. Turn and continue roasting until tender, about another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, garlic, lemon, salt, pepper and cayenne on high speed for 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the parsley. Transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a tight log, about 1-inch in diameter. Refrigerate until hard, about 1 hour.
In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until beginning to brown and the fat is rendered, about 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Cook the fennel and onions in the fat until soft, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and spread on a plate to cool.
In a bowl combine the goat cheese with the bread crumbs, pepper, garlic, thyme and salt. Add the cooled fennel-onion mixture and bacon, and mix well. Re-season as needed with salt and pepper.
Place 6 small, round baking dishes on a baking sheet. Place 3 mushroom caps, stem sides up, flat in the bottom of each baking dish. Place 1 snail inside each mushroom, and 3 snails in the dish between the mushrooms.
Top each mushroom cap with about 2 teaspoons of the goat cheese mixture. Cut the compound butter log into thin slices and lay the slices across the baking dish, covering the snails and mushrooms. Bake until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to broil and cook until the cheese begins to turn golden brown around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes.
Carefully remove from the oven and serve immediately with hot French bread for dipping into the butter.
Bad manners catch Mr. Wills' eye. See if you can find the spot beyond which this arch-"conservative" fears to tread.
Let's be good cosmopolitans and offer sociological explanations rather than moral judgments about students having sex during the day in high schools, as The Post reported. Sociology discerns connections, and there may be one between the fact that teenagers are relaxing from academic rigors by enjoying sex in the school auditorium and the fact that Americans soon will be able to watch pornography and prime-time television programs such as "Desperate Housewives" — and, for the high-minded, C-SPAN — on their cell phones and video iPods in public.
The connection is this: Many people have no notion of propriety when in the presence of other people, because they are not actually in the presence of other people, even when they are in public.
With everyone chatting on cell phones when not floating in iPod-land, "this is an age of social autism, in which people just can't see the value of imagining their impact on others." We are entertaining ourselves into inanition. (There are Web sites for people with Internet addiction. Think about that.) And multiplying technologies of portable entertainments will enable "limitless self-absorption," which will make people solipsistic, inconsiderate and antisocial. Hence manners are becoming unmannerly in this "age of lazy moral relativism combined with aggressive social insolence."
So says Lynne Truss in her latest trumpet-blast of a book, "Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door." Her previous wail of despair was "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation," which established her as — depending on your sensibility — a comma and apostrophe fascist (the liberal sensibility) or a plucky constable combating anarchy (the conservative sensibility).
Good punctuation, she says, is analogous to good manners because it treats readers with respect. "All the important rules," she writes, "surely boil down to one: remember you are with other people; show some consideration ." Manners, which have been called "quotidian ethics," arise from real or — this, too, is important in lubricating social frictions — feigned empathy.
"People," says Truss, "are happier when they have some idea of where they stand and what the rules are." But today's entitlement mentality, which is both a cause and a consequence of the welfare state, manifests itself in the attitude that it is all right to do whatever one has a right to do. (Ah, but there's the rub, Georgie Boy. What rules? Or, rather, Who's rules? Don't you have a suggestion for us? Why not? Don't worry, George. I know why. That was for the benefit of the kiddies in the audience. - F.G.) Which is why acrimony has enveloped a coffee shop on Chicago's affluent North Side, where the proprietor posted a notice that children must "behave and use their indoor voices." The proprietor, battling what he calls an "epidemic" of antisocial behavior, told the New York Times that parents protesting his notice "have a very strong sense of entitlement."
A thoroughly modern parent, believing that children must be protected from feelings injurious to self-esteem, says: "Johnny, the fact that you did something bad does not mean you are bad for doing it." We have, Truss thinks, "created people who will not stand to be corrected in any way."
Furthermore, it is a brave, or foolhardy, man who shows traditional manners toward women. In today's world of "hair-trigger sensitivity," to open a door for a woman is to play what Truss calls Gallantry Russian Roulette: You risk a high-decibel lecture on gender politics.
One writer on manners has argued that a nation's greatness is measured not only by obedience of laws but also by "obedience to the unenforceable." But enforcement of manners can be necessary. The well-named David Stern, commissioner of the NBA, recently decreed a dress code for players. It is politeness to the league's customers who, weary of seeing players dressed in "edgy" hip-hop "street" or "gangsta" styles, want to be able to distinguish the Bucks and Knicks from the Bloods and Crips. Stern also understands that players who wear "in your face" clothes of a kind, and in a manner, that evokes Sing Sing more than Brooks Brothers might be more inclined to fight on the floor and to allow fights to migrate to the stands, as happened last year.
Because manners are means of extending respect, especially to strangers, this question arises: Do manners and virtue go together? Truss thinks so, in spite of the possibility of "blood-stained dictators who had exquisite table manners and never used their mobile phones in a crowded train compartment to order mass executions."
Actually, manners are the practice of a virtue. The virtue is called civility, a word related — as a foundation is related to a house — to the word civilization.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 1:39 PM
Here's the beginning of Mr. K's latest pile of piffle in defense of the stale orthodoxy of neo-darwinism:
Because every few years this country, in its infinite tolerance, insists on hearing yet another appeal of the Scopes monkey trial, I feel obliged to point out what would otherwise be superfluous -- that the two greatest scientists in the history of our species were Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, and they were both religious. (BTW, exactly how many other animals do you know that currently use the scientific method? Or are you going O.M. Hubbard on us?)
Here's the deal, Mr. Krauthammer: Prove it to me and I'll buy you the best dinner D.C. has to offer.
I'm a reasonably intelligent layman, so it should not be too hard for you to convince me. (Of course, I'm not NeoCon smart, so you will have to work at it.)
What do you need to show me? Empirical evidence of evolution. Things, facts, tangible items that demonstrate the step by step progression of living organisms down through the ages, culminating in life as we know it today. If evolution is fact, and not merely theory (as you seem to shout a little too often and a bit too shrilly) you should be eating for free in no time.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 1:18 PM
Dr. Williams knows what causes inflation, and it's not Haliburton.
Last month, President Bush nominated Dr. Ben S. Bernanke, currently chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors, as chairman of Federal Reserve Board to replace the retiring Alan Greenspan. Alan Greenspan's replacement comes at a time of heightened fears of inflation resulting from the recent spike in oil prices.
First, let's decide what is and what is not inflation. One price or several prices rising is not inflation. When there's a general increase in prices, or alternatively, a reduction in the purchasing power of money, there's inflation. But just as in the case of diseases, describing a symptom doesn't necessarily give us a clue to a cause. Nobel Laureate and professor Milton Friedman says, "[I]nflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon, in the sense that it cannot occur without a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output." Increases in money supply are what constitute inflation, and a general rise in prices is the symptom.
Let's look at that with a simple example. Pretend several of us gather to play a standard Monopoly game that contains $15,140 worth of money. The player who owns Boardwalk or any other property is free to sell it for any price he wishes. Given the money supply in the game, a general price level will emerge for all trades. If some property prices rise, others will fall, thereby maintaining that level.
Suppose unbeknownst to other players, I counterfeit $5,000 and introduce it into the game. Initially, that gives me tremendous purchasing power, whereby I can bid up property prices. After my $5,000 has circulated through the game, there will be a general rise in the prices -- something that would have been impossible before I slipped money into the game. My example is a highly simplistic example of a real economy, but it permits us to make some basic assessments of inflation.
First, let's not let politicians deceive us, and escape culpability, by defining inflation as rising prices, which would allow them to make the pretense that inflation is caused by greedy businessmen, rapacious unions or Arab sheiks. Increases in money supply are what constitute inflation, and the general rise in the price level is the result. Who's in charge of the money supply? It's the government operating through the Federal Reserve.
There's another inflation result that bears acknowledgment. Printing new money to introduce into the game makes me a thief. I've obtained objects of value for nothing in return. My actions also lower the purchasing power of every dollar in the game. I've often suggested that if a person is ever charged with counterfeiting, he should tell the judge he was engaging in monetary policy.
When inflation is unanticipated, as it so often is, there's a redistribution of wealth from creditors to debtors. If you lend me $100, and over the term of the loan the Federal Reserve increases the money supply in a way that causes inflation, I pay you back with dollars with reduced purchasing power. Since inflation redistributes (steals) wealth from creditors to debtors, it helps us identify inflation's primary beneficiary. That identification is easy if you ask: Who is the nation's largest debtor? If you said, "It's the U.S. government," go to the head of the class.
So what about the president's nomination of Ben S. Bernanke as Alan Greenspan's replacement? I know little or nothing about the man. What I do know is that it's not wise for one person, or group of persons, to have so much power over our economy. Here's my recommendation for reducing that power: Repeal legal tender laws and eliminate all taxes on gold, silver and platinum transactions. That way, Americans could write contracts in precious metals and thereby reduce the ability of government to steal from us.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 1:09 PM
(Note: The link above will take you to Joe's current on-line column. The archive is here. Not all of his past columns are available in the archive.)
Joe Sobran is a real conservative, but that and two bucks will get you a cup of coffee at a casual dining restaurant.
Anyway, Joe knows what's wrong with the Supreme Court.
We are being assured that Judge Samuel Alito, like John Roberts, and in contrast to poor Harriet Miers, is superbly qualified for the U.S. Supreme Court. He sounds good to me, but I wonder. Specifically, I wonder what qualified means.
The people who insisted that Miers didn’t measure up almost made me wonder what up means. Interpreting the U.S. Constitution shouldn’t be all that difficult. It’s written in plain English for ordinarily intelligent people. The only hard part is ridding your mind of all the false interpretations that have confused people about it.
If you search it for something about “the separation of church and state,” “freedom of expression,” “the right to privacy,” or even “democracy,” you may be surprised to find it isn’t there. We’ve been told so often that all these things are there somewhere that it’s hard to shake the idea they are what it actually says and means. The real trick is to stop reading things into it.
Being a Supreme Court justice shouldn’t require much intelligence. And it obviously doesn’t, or how could undistinguished people like Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter hold their own on the Court? They are praised because liberals like the way they vote, not for any special legal insight they possess.
If anything, the Court is notable for the number of its members who have been short on common sense. Kennedy is best known for his silly opinion that defining the universe is a constitutional right, and that somehow this right is umbilically related to the right to kill unborn children.
What we really need are justices who can refrain from reading their pet notions into the Constitution. It may seem that this isn’t asking much, but the Court has a considerable legacy of nonsense uttered by men who have supposed that judicial robes confer philosophical profundity. The late William Brennan, for example, called the Constitution “a sublime oration on the dignity of man.” Oration? Sublime? Dignity? Where on earth did this embarrassingly orotund rhetoric come from?
Justice Stephen Breyer, one of the Court’s leading liberals today, avoids the absurdities of Kennedy and Brennan. Nor does he repeat the cliché that the Constitution is a “living document,” which always turns out to mean that it can be virtually amended by the judiciary, without the forms of amendment prescribed in the text itself.
Breyer is the subject of a flattering profile by Jeffrey Toobin of The New Yorker. Breyer sounds like a pleasant, reasonable man, and Toobin stresses that he believes the Court should respect the will of the legislative branch, overturning acts of Congress as seldom as possible. In contrast to Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, Toobin observes, he doesn’t seek the “original intent” of the Framers of the Constitution.
“The message I’m trying to provide,” Breyer says, “is that there is more to the Constitution than a Fourth of July speech. It was a serious objective of the framers that people participate in the political process. If people don’t participate, the country can’t work.”
But the Constitution says nothing about “participating in the political process.” These are buzzwords of our own time, never used by the Framers. If popular participation is the whole idea, where does that leave the elitist practice of judicial review?
And by the way, in ascribing this “objective” to the Framers, isn’t Breyer just giving his own version of their original intent? How does he know what their intent was, apart from the words they used?
Agreed, the Constitution isn’t a Fourth of July speech. Let’s just stick to what it actually says. That won’t answer every question, but it will take us pretty far, and it may save us from the temptation to answer questions that haven’t been asked.
Unfortunately, common sense isn’t a subject taught in the law schools, not even our most prestigious law schools. On the contrary, the more clever the lawyer, the more he may delight in reaching excessively clever — or “counterintuitive” — conclusions, such as that the Constitution protects abortionists.
Let’s not pretend that reading the Constitution is harder than it really is. The Framers’ original intent is clear enough, because it’s expressed in the words they agreed on, not in musty archives or arcane theories. Most of the problems arise only when lawyers try to substitute modern words for those of the text. The chief “qualification” for a justice should be good sense.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 12:50 PM
Ann Coulter continues to demolish what you think you know about the American commies' war against you and me.
As noted here previously, George Clooney's movie, Good Night, and Good Luck, about pious parson Edward R. Murrow and Sen. Joseph McCarthy, failed to produce one person unjustly accused by McCarthy. Since I described McCarthy as a great American patriot defamed by liberals in my 2003 book, Treason, liberals have had two more years to produce a person—just one person—falsely accused by McCarthy. They still can't do it.
Meanwhile, I can prove that Murrow's good friend Laurence Duggan was a Soviet spy responsible for having innocent people murdered. The brilliant and perceptive journalist Murrow was not only unaware of the hundreds of Soviet spies running loose in the U.S. government, he was also unaware that his own dear friend Duggan was a Soviet spy—his friend on whose behalf corpses littered the Swiss landscape.
Contrary to the image of the Black Night of Fascism (BNOF) under McCarthy leading to mass suicide with bodies constantly falling on the heads of pedestrians in Manhattan, Duggan was the only suicide. After being questioned by the FBI, Duggan leapt from a window. Of course, given the people he was doing business with, he may have been pushed.
After Duggan's death, Murrow, along with the rest of the howling establishment, angrily denounced the idea that Duggan could possibly have been disloyal to America.
Well, now we know the truth. Decrypted Soviet cables and mountains of documents from Soviet archives prove beyond doubt that Lawrence Duggan was one of Stalin's most important spies. "McCarthyism" didn't kill him; his guilt did.
During the height of the Soviet purges in the mid-'30s, as millions of innocents were being tortured, exiled and killed on Stalin's orders, Murrow's good pal Duggan was using his position at the State Department to pass important documents to the Soviets. The documents were so sensitive, Duggan had to return the originals to the State Department before the end of the day. Some were so important, they were sent directly to Stalin and Molotov.
On at least one occasion, Murrow's dear friend Duggan sat with his Soviet handler for an hour as the handler photographed 60 documents for the motherland. In other words, Duggan was the kind of disloyal, two-faced, back-stabbing weasel you rarely see outside of the entertainment industry. (He certainly was perceptive, that Murrow.)
All this time, people Duggan knew personally were being falsely accused and executed back in the Soviet Union. Duggan expressed concern about Stalin's purges with his Soviet handler, but he didn't stop spying. As Allen Weinstein describes it in The Haunted Wood, Duggan was mostly concerned about being falsely accused by Stalin himself someday.
Because of Murrow's good buddy Duggan, innocent people were killed. Not just the millions murdered during the purges while Duggan was earning "employee of the month" awards from Stalin. At least one man was murdered solely to protect Duggan's identity as a Soviet spy.
Ignatz Reiss had been the head of Soviet secret police in Europe. As such, he was aware of Soviet agents in the U.S., including Duggan. But unlike Duggan, Reiss was stunned by Stalin's bloody purges. In 1937, Reiss defected from the Soviet Union, threatening to expose Duggan if they came after him. It was his death warrant.
Two months later, Soviet secret police tracked Reiss to a restaurant in Switzerland. According to the official memo describing Reiss' murder, Soviet agents dragged Reiss out of the restaurant, shoved him in a car, shot him and dumped his body by the side of the road. (Or, in Soviet parlance, he was "debriefed.")
Soviet officials later happily informed Duggan's handler in America: "(Reiss) is liquidated, (but) not yet his wife. ... Now the danger that (Duggan) will be exposed because of (Reiss) is considerably decreased." Despite all Clooney's double-sourced fact-checking, he missed the part about Murrow's good friend Duggan being an accomplice to murder.
To hear these liberals carry on, "McCarthyism" was the worst thing that ever happened in the history of the universe. No one has ever been so persecuted or so heroic as Hollywood actors in the '50s.
At the exact same time as these crybabies were wailing about McCarthyism, there was much worse going on in the parts of the world so admired by the Hollywood left. It's not as if we have to go back to the Peloponnesian War to find greater suffering than that of Hollywood drama queens during the BNOF under McCarthyism.
I believe anyone would find it preferable to have been a "target" of McCarthy in the '50s than to have been an ordinary citizen living in the Soviet Union, Hungary, Poland, the Ukraine or any nation infected by the Red Plague.
Thanks to McCarthy, and no thanks to Murrow, the worst horror to befall an American citizen in the '50s was the dire prospect of losing a movie credit—although, since then, I suppose having to watch a George Clooney movie would run a close second.
Amen to all that, Sister.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 12:30 PM
Pat Buchanan gets to gloat while typing "I told you so."
I think he's wrong in this: Our pending loss in the War Against Moslem Terrorists is a result of our emasculation and subsequent failure of will. When (not if) a war to protect the American interests Pat recognizes as valid becomes necessary, our country will refuse to even start to fight it. (See France.)
Symptoms of the Vietnam Syndrome, clearly visible now, include a deepening divide in the country, a new savagery in politics, a reluctance to spend more blood in a cause in which one no longer believes, wounded protests that one was deceived and the portrayal of one's loss of nerve as a principled advance toward a higher moral plane.
With 57 percent of the nation no longer believing Bush an honest and truthful man, and 60 percent believing Iraq was a mistake and we should start bringing the troops home, it is impossible to see how the president can sustain the war effort. The Senate Democrats have gone over the hill, and the Republicans only await the bugle call to retreat.
And the enemy is not stupid. They can see the American home front crumbling and know that if they can hold on, they will not much longer be facing 150,000 U.S. troops.
America's problem is that, while we are not losing this war, we have not crushed the insurgency. And if a guerrilla army does not lose, it wins. The only way America can win this war is with a massive infusion of U.S. troops. Yet, even John McCain is not advocating that.
America appears unwilling to pay the price in blood, money and years to achieve what Bush calls victory. Whether that represents a failure of will on the part of the American people or a failure of leadership on the part of President Bush, the result is the same.
What caused the nation to turn against the war and our war president needs to be studied for what it tells us about ourselves as a people.
We Americans are lousy imperialists. We lack the patience and perseverance. We will not support the daily loss of American lives, with pictures of the fallen on television every night and in the paper every day, unless we are persuaded something vital is at risk. And who rules Iraq is not something Americans are willing to bleed or die for indefinitely.
But as the air is full of allegations of lying, we at least need to tell ourselves the truth about what we are inviting, what we are risking, if, as seems possible now, America should lose this war.
One certainty is that many Iraqis who cast their lot with us will pay the price Algerians loyal to France paid when the French departed in 1962. And if the U.S. Army and Marine Corps could not crush an insurgency in three years, it is difficult to see how an Iraqi army, trained by the U.S. Army and Marines, can do the job.
Like I said.
Thus, the United States must accept the possibility, if not probability, that our enemies will control the Sunni Triangle and contest Baghdad, thus leading to breakup of the nation and civil war. For the Kurds and Shia are not going to accept Sunni rule again.
America would aid the Kurds and Iran the Shia in any such war. The Sunni would look to fellow Arabs for help, the price of which might be the head of Zarqawi. As for the impact of any such war on oil prices, the only question is how devastating it would be.
Here at home, there would be years of bitter recrimination, as there were after Korea and Vietnam. The Democrats might do well to recall the fate of their fathers who voted to take us into Vietnam, then to cut off funding for the war. Between 1968 and 1988, Democrats lost the presidency in five of six elections, ruined their reputation as reliable custodians of the national security and lost the nation to Reaganism.
Golly. Maybe this time we can defeat Senator Murder.
As for Bush, a retreat from Iraq and defeat there would mean a failed presidency. The Bush Doctrine of employing U.S. power to unhorse dictators and impose democracy will be dead.
America will adopt a new non-interventionist foreign policy, except where vital U.S. interests are imperiled. The tragedy is that we did not do, voluntarily, 15 years ago, what a foolish, failing neoconservative foreign policy may now force us to do in the not-too-distant future.
Posted by TheChurchMilitant at 12:12 PM
- First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.
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