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Thursday, April 30, 2009

That Nameless Virtue

Universities cannot guarantee the moral worth of their graduates

From The Harvard Crimson
By Christopher B. Lacaria

In a little more than a month, Harvard will graduate yet another class of seniors and commend them to prestigious positions in regions far-flung across the globe. Even with the economic downturn, no doubt this class—like all before it—will eventually fill the highest echelons in government, finance, law, and academia.

In conferring the degree, embossed with the university seal and confirmed by the president’s signature, Harvard thereby will stake its reputation on the intellectual fitness and aptitude of each recipient. Few indeed would doubt the natural intelligence, raw talent, and competence of most, if not all, of those in line for a sheepskin. But whether the last four years have augmented or molded those natural capacities in which newly arrived Harvard freshmen abound remains an open question.

Complaints about the Core and the nascent General Education—its lack of common requirements or a coherent, unifying philosophy—are rehearsed often. And the demise of a potential Great Books track within Gen Ed called further attention to this problem. The prevalence of grade inflation and the existence of trendy but “soft” disciplines in the humanities and social sciences continue to portend trouble to those concerned with Harvard’s intellectual rigor.

But these standard jeremiads against Harvard’s curricular vacuity, as just and true as they are, only extend so far. For one cannot seriously contest whether Harvard graduates are brilliant, well read, and extremely likely to succeed at whichever tasks they choose to apply themselves. Yet, despite this, one cannot but have serious reservations about these graduates’ cultivation, moral virtue, and character, over which Harvard as educator claims no responsibility.

In a kinder and gentler era, universities sought—as many of this region’s more ancient preparatory schools still ostensibly do—to educate not only the mind but also the “whole person.” For, in those days, Harvard and others cared not so much that their graduates were successful at their chosen professions as that they were decent, upstanding, and honorable gentlemen who would not bring shame upon their almae matres by their ill conduct.

The notions of honor and character to most Harvard students sound old-fashioned, if not completely absurd. Yet, at one point, such concerns formed the center of a truly moral education. Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics listed “greatness of soul,” or “magnanimity,” among the principal moral virtues—as the “crown” of the virtues, in fact, without which the other moral virtues cannot properly exist. For one who exemplifies all the moral virtues—an ideal toward which men of a previous age continuously would strive—proudly disdains base and trivial matters and values not material goods as much as the well-deserved respect of a good man. The magnanimous man, who seeks great honors while deserving them, necessarily is also a good man, the ideal gentleman.

Neither Harvard nor contemporary university pedagogy esteems this old ideal. The intellectual fads that currently enthrall academia long ago abdicated any concern with ends: Education, under this regime, is merely a question of means. Students indeed may write well and argue their points persuasively and powerfully, but toward which goal and on behalf of which argument they may exercise their faculties are questions never asked. Scientific training, assisted by advanced technology, points toward an ever-expanding horizon of information to be gathered and knowledge to be pursued, but with little concern for what purpose such research ultimately may be used.

Universities like Harvard still purport to teach the liberal arts, those studies worthy of a free man. Such a curriculum once itself implied an ideal, an end. The liberal arts, indeed, have had as their object to cultivate the “gentleman,” in the sense that the word implies a distinction, a high standard that presumably all, and probably most, can never attain—and not as we often use the term today, to welcome every male individual who passes through the door of a public restroom. A liberal education aspires to make men’s minds liberal, worthy of being free: those who are free from acting according to base motives, such as personal gain, and can practice the virtues for their own sake.

Modern college curricula have no regard for the virtues. The wisdom offered in classrooms, if not, as in the admittedly “applied” sciences, purely instrumental, is then essentially a curiosity, since it has no relationship to the good life. And, as such, graduates will be left uninstructed as to how they ought to use, or how they ought to act with, the knowledge they have gained and the natural intelligence they have sharpened over the last four years.

The lack of a moral ideal in education bodes especially problematic in the case of Harvard students, who, already confident and ambitious, deserve to have their talents and energies directed toward a suitably noble end. Those students, without due guidance, understandably will concern themselves first with gainfully employing their knowledge and skill for either money or power, and only secondarily, if at all, with the responsible and respectable ideal that their university and most in their generation abandoned long ago.

Christopher B. Lacaria ’09, a Crimson editorial writer, is a history concentrator in Kirkland House. His column appears in The Harvard Crimson on alternate Thursdays.

Freudian Slip

From Catholic World News "Off the Record"
By Diogenes

In its transcription of the presidential press conference of April 29, RealClear Politics has President Obama making this statement in the context of a discussion on abortion:

The other thing that I said consistently during the campaign is I would like to reduce the number of unwanted presidencies...

Unwanted presidencies? Yes, we'd like to reduce them, too.

Does Global Warming Cause Muslims to Rape Europeans?

From Moonbattery
Sweden has been suffering from a rape epidemic. Rapists who were born abroad reportedly outnumber rapists born in Sweden four to one. This isn't entirely surprising, considering that Sweden is being colonized out of existence by Muslim hordes exploiting liberal immigration policies. European women have taken to dying their blonde hair black and even wearing head scarves to avoid being attacked by Muslim colonizers, who hold them in total contempt.
Rape has a noble history in Islam. Muhammad himself raped his slaves, which is perfectly acceptable behavior according to the religion that we are allowing to replace Christianity. As Scandinavian blogger Fjordman observes:
If you postulate that many of the Muslims in Europe view themselves as a conquering army and that European women are simply war booty, it all makes perfect sense and is in full accordance with Islamic law.
Despite all this, it would be xenophobic to blame the rape epidemic on Muslims. Actually, the weather is to blame. According to an article in Aftonbladet, warm weather stimulates the hormones, causing rape.
The number of rapes in Sweden has increased fourfold in the last generation. But resist the temptation to associate this with the ongoing Islamic conquest by immigration. A correct person will realize that it's only proof that global warming is real after all, and is deflowering our maidens.
The weather did it.

The RNC's Crazy Man in the Attic

We strongly recommend that members of the Republican National Committee see the 1994 film, The Madness of King George. As we've noted here, here, and here, they have a lunatic on their hands in the person of the current chairman. If they are unwilling to correct the huge mistake they made in January, they might at least get pointers on coping from the Court of George III. It appears they are beginning to work around the crazy man in the attic:

Steele Fights Back Against RNC 'Scheme'

From The Washington Times

By Ralph Z. Hallow

The embattled Republican National Committee chairman angrily returned fire in his fight with current and former officers over control of the GOP's purse strings.

Under attack from conservatives since taking office on Jan. 30, Michael S. Steele on Wednesday blasted a group of members pushing for new checks and balances on the chairman's spending powers, accusing them of a power grab "scheme."

"I have just returned from an overseas trip to learn that the five of you have developed a scheme to transfer the RNC chairman's authority to the treasurer and the executive committee," Mr. Steele wrote in an e-mail he sent to Randy Pullen, the RNC's elected treasurer, and Blake Hall, the committee's general counsel, as well as to three former RNC officers.

In the e-mail, obtained by The Washington Times, Mr. Steele argues that he always has embraced the "transparency, competitive bidding and good governance" that Mr. Pullen and the others said their resolution aims to achieve.

Mr. Pullen and four other veteran members have proposed a resolution that imposes new controls on Mr. Steele's power to award contracts and spend money on outside legal and other services. The group needs signatures from RNC members from 16 states to force the resolution to the floor for a vote by the full party committee at the May 20 special meeting.

"It is of course not lost on me that each of you worked tirelessly down to the last minute in an effort to stop me from becoming chairman," Mr. Steele wrote.

Mr. Pullen, himself a candidate for treasurer, backed no one for national chairman. The party's former general counsel David Norcross, a longtime friend and mentor to Mr. Steele, supported the South Carolina GOP chairman. Since then, Mr. Norcross said Mr. Steele has not responded to telephone calls and e-mails from him.

RNC members reached by The Times said they did not know Mr. Steele had been "overseas." Steele spokesman Trevor Francis said "no comment" when The Times asked on Wednesday where exactly Mr. Steele had been.

In the e-mail, Mr. Steele said the resolution "amounts to nothing short of a completely unprecedented usurpation of the authority of the RNC chairman, and a transfer of the chairman's authority to the executive committee and the treasurer. No RNC chairman has ever had to deal with this, and I certainly have no intention of putting up with it either."

But Mr. Norcross, one of the measure's sponsors, said in an e-mail to some members that the opposite is true. He argues that the financial checks and balances proposed in the resolution were always in play at the RNC and somehow got lost in the 2008 post-presidential nominating convention shuffle.

"Randy's resolution or something very similar has been in place for years," Mr. Norcross wrote. "It has been adopted as part of the 'boilerplate' at the organization meetings immediately after the convention every four years. Inexplicably it was not adopted in Minneapolis."

Mr. Norcross then pointedly noted that the RNC's "elected treasurer is subject to criminal and civil penalties for false reporting to the Federal Election Commission. I don't think we should expect anyone to undertake that kind of exposure without this resolution or something very much like it."

Mr. Pullen said he gave Mr. Steele the measure Thursday and was told he would get a response by Sunday. When the response didn't arrive, Mr. Pullen informed the committee's other 167 members of the effort, igniting a battle with members supportive of Mr. Steele.

Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus knocked the group for trying to "embarrass and neuter the chairman."

The funding fight continues the open challenge to Mr. Steele's authority. Unhappy RNC conservatives secured the signatures needed to force the committee to convene next month's special meeting to vote on a resolution labeling Democrats as "socialists," despite the chairman's reservations about the political wisdom of the move.

Critics said the "socialist" resolution battle was a sign of Mr. Steele's rocky start as RNC chairman and his continuing struggle to assert control of the party's message since his election in January.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First 300,000 Petition Signatures Delivered to Notre Dame Board Members, Fr. Jenkins

Copies Are Being Rushed to Rome, Papal Nuncio, USCCB and ND Bishop John D’Arcy

Today, April 29, 2009, the first 300,000 names of individuals who signed the petition at NotreDameScandal.com — opposing the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Barack Obama at commencement — are being delivered to Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the Board of Trustees and the Board of Fellows as they prepare for scheduled meetings on Friday, May 1, at Notre Dame.

As of this morning, more than 344,000 people have signed the petition, but because of the overwhelming numbers it took The Cardinal Newman Society more than 24 hour
s to prepare the data and print more than 64,000 sheets of paper, double sided, which were then bound in notebooks and sent via FedEx to Father Jenkins and individual members of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees and Board of Fellows.

Copies of the petitions are also being rushed by The Cardinal Newman Society, which sponsored the petition, to Archbishop Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education; Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican ambassador) to the United States; Francis Cardinal George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Bishop John D’Arcy, of Fort Wayne-South Bend, who presides over Notre Dame; and Bishop Robert McManus, Chairman of the USCCB Education Committee. “

Only the Notre Dame Trustees and Fellows have direct authority over Father Jenkins, so their meetings on Friday are our best hope for an end to this scandal,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society.

“It is critical for all of us to pray that the Trustees and Fellows charged with safeguarding Notre Dame’s Catholic identity will heed the 50 bishops and hundreds of thousands of faithful Catholics urging Notre Dame to withdraw its invitation to President Obama.”

The University of Notre Dame is governed by a 12-member Board of Fellows, including six Holy Cross priests, who are charged with ensuring “that the University maintains its essential character as a Catholic institution of higher learning.” The Fellows delegate most of their governing authority to the 38-member Board of Trustees, comprised mostly of lay people.

The university’s charter states: "The essential character of the University as a Catholic institution of higher learning shall at all times be maintained, it being the stated intention and desire of the present Fellows of the University that the University shall retain in perpetuity its identity as such an institution."

Senator Specter: Please Take John McCain and His Daughters, Meghan and Lindsey, with You!

Huntsman Slammed for Embracing Civil Unions

Governor Jon Huntsman, RINO-Utah, who earlier this year was introduced to South Carolina Republican leaders at a dinner hosted by Attorney General Henry McMaster, has won praise from the leading homosexual advocacy group, Human Rights Campaign, for his support of civil unions. The liberal, Mormon Governor, who is expected to be a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, is a close associate of John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

As the following story from The Hill indicates, Republican organizations in other states are taking a more principled stand when it comes to the ambitions of Governor Jon Huntsman.

From The Hill
By Reid Wilson

Utah Gov. John Huntsman (R), seen by many as a potential top-tier presidential candidate in 2012, has been uninvited from a local Michigan Republican club after announcing his support for civil unions between gay couples.

Huntsman is touring Michigan this week and stopping at several county party events as he slowly raises his national profile. But the Kent County Republican Party this week canceled Huntsman's appearance, with the county party chairwoman saying his appearance would amount to an abandonment of party principles.

Joanne Voorhees, chairwoman of the party in the Grand Rapids-based county, emailed party members to announce the cancellation of the Saturday fundraiser.

“The voters want and expect us to stand on principle and return to our roots,” Voorhees wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, by holding an event with Gov. Huntsman, we would be doing the exact opposite.”

The move won praise from the Campaign for Michigan Families, one of the main groups behind Michigan's 2004 passage of a ban on same-sex marriages. Campaign chairman Gary Glenn called on Kalamazoo and Oakland County Republican Parties to cancel their own planned events with the two-term Utah governor.

In place of the canceled Kent County fundraiser, Huntsman will be hosted by Dick DeVos, the GOP gubernatorial nominee in 2006 and a major Republican fundraiser in the state, and wife Betsy DeVos for a fundraiser in Grand Rapids that benefits the state party.

Huntsman will also stop by the Muskegon County GOP.

Huntsman won praise in February from the Human Rights Campaign, one of the leading gay rights organizations in the country, when he announced he would back civil unions as contractual agreements between what he called non-traditional couples.

Huntsman has emerged as a leading voice urging national Republicans to moderate their positions and has signaled that, were he to run for president, he would do so as a centrist with business credentials. He has said that he doesn't plan to run for president, though he has well-known consultants guiding him as he visits several states crucial to winning the GOP primary.

Earlier this year, Huntsman visited several state party events in South Carolina, site of the first-in-the-South primary. He has also stopped in North Carolina and will give a speech at a conference later this week in Chicago.

In South Carolina, Huntsman met a number of party chairmen and activists with Attorney General Henry McMaster (R) at his side. In Michigan, political consultant John Yob has been setting up meetings for Huntsman around the state.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Prominent Gay British Politician Jokes about Killing Miss California for Her Opposition to Same-Sex "Marriage"

From LifeSiteNews
By John-Henry Westen and Hilary White

Alan Duncan, the UK's first openly-homosexual Conservative politician and the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons is rebuffing criticism for saying on a comedy show that he would kill Miss California, Carrie Prejean, for her remarks against homosexual "marriage." Prejean made the remarks during the recent Miss American beauty pageant. (See coverage: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/apr/09042103.html)

Mr. Duncan, on the BBC comedy news show "Have I Got News For You" on Friday, described Prejean as a "silly b**ch." He added, "If you read that Miss California has been murdered, you will know it was me, won't you?"

Other panellists on the comedy show expressed shock despite their support for same-sex "marriage." Katy Brand said, "That's a hell of a statement to be making on camera there, Alan." Paul Merton said, "For someone planning to be Home Secretary."

The Metropolitan Police have received a complaint from George Hargreaves, an outspokenly pro-family evangelical minister and the leader of the small political party, the Christian Party, whose members believe that homosexual activity is sinful.

Yesterday Hargreaves said, "Mr Duncan has crossed the line. A senior politician suggesting, even as a joke, that it is okay that Miss Prejean should be murdered for her evangelical Christian views is totally unacceptable.

"How can we stop gun and knife crime when the man who thinks he will be the next Home Secretary makes death threats?"

In later comments, Duncan continued to treat the incident as a joke. "Of course it was in jest. It is a comedy show after all. I'm sure Miss Prejean's very beautiful and that if we were to meet we would love each other. I have no plans to kill her. I'll send her a box of chocolates - unpoisoned," he told media.

A spokesman for the BBC said, "Alan Duncan's comment was not meant to be taken seriously and it did not go unchallenged. Its absurdity and unacceptability was [sic] highlighted by the other panellists."

George Pitcher, religion editor of the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph, wrote on Monday that the larger issue is that a senior Tory politician has said that he is opposed to the current legal definition of marriage in Britain.

"A union between a man and a woman. In current civil and ecclesiastical law that is how it is," he wrote. "So, it would seem that Mr. Duncan would want to put same-sex civil partnerships on the same civil and ecclesiastical legal footing as marriage. Is that Conservative Party policy and will Mr Duncan push for it if he becomes Home Secretary?"

Duncan, who is in a legal civil partnership with James Dunseath, is described as a "moderniser" in the Tory party and economically and socially libertarian in his political views. When Duncan announced in March 2008 that he would be entering into a homosexual civil partnership, Tory party leader David Cameron said, "I am absolutely delighted for Alan and James and wish them all the very best."

During the Miss America pageant, aired live on NBC, homosexual activist and celebrity gossip Perez Hilton, one of 13 telecast judges, asked Miss California, Carrie Prejean: "Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?"

Prejean answered, "I think it's great Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. And you know what, in my country, in my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody there, but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be - between a man and a woman."

Hilton later lambasted Prejean for her answer on his popular blog. He called her answer "the worst answer in pageant history." "She lost, not because she doesn't believe in gay marriage, she lost because she's a dumb b*tch," he said.

"If that girl would have won Miss USA, California, I would have gone up on stage, I sh*t you not, ... snatched that tiara off her head, and run out the door," said Hilton.

The Deadly Flu Pandemic of 1918

A World Health Organization official is warning that even if the Swine Flu epidemic dies out in coming weeks, it could rebound with far more deadly force in the Fall. According to The Telegraph:
"more than 150 deaths are thought to be related to swine flu, although only seven have been confirmed as being caused by the virus. The United States has announced 44 mild infections, while three people have the virus in New Zealand and six in Canada. There have been two confirmed cases in Spain and one in Israel, and fiften other countries have said they are investigating possible infections. Six people were being tested in Ireland."
The worst flu pandemic the world has ever known has been largely forgotten, but it killed more Americans than all the wars of the twentieth century combined. It is thought to have killed at least a half-million Americans and 30 million worldwide. The following documentary chronicles that deadly pandemic of 1918.

Ex-Graham Aide Fined for Theft

From The Hill
By Reid Wilson

A former political aide to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will pay a civil penalty after embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from Graham's Senate campaign, the Federal Election Commission announced Monday.

Mary Jennifer Adams, who was arrested in December 2007 for embezzling $280,000 from Graham's re-election campaign, will pay $2,500 to the FEC. She has also agreed not to work on a federal campaign in any capacity related to the campaign's finances.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Barack's in the Basement

Obama is less popular than Nixon and Carter

Editorial from The Washington Times

President Obama's media cheerleaders are hailing how loved he is. But at the 100-day mark of his presidency, Mr. Obama is the second-least-popular president in 40 years.

According to Gallup's April survey, Americans have a lower approval of Mr. Obama at this point than all but one president since Gallup began tracking this in 1969. The only new president less popular was Bill Clinton, who got off to a notoriously bad start after trying to force homosexuals on the military and a federal raid in Waco, Texas, that killed 86. Mr. Obama's current approval rating of 56 percent is only one tick higher than the 55-percent approval Mr. Clinton had during those crises.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Monday, April 27, 2009

Raging Radical Homosexuals and Their Hatred of the Truth

Real Clear Religion sums it up clearly and succinctly, plus a clip from The Daily Mail and a quote from Saint Peter Damian:

The radical sodomite movement will indeed bring about a persecution of the Church. The vitriol seething from those who are enslaved in the deadly sin of sodomy provides a glimpse into the future when they will one day line up and murder those who adhere to the true Faith. They are literally a possession of the devil and have been driven to an insane and fanatical revulsion of the truth. Here is just another example...
From Daily Mail:

'What makes you think it's natural to be heterosexual?': Christian teacher suspended over gay rights promotion row---
A senior teacher has been suspended from his £50,000-a-year job after he complained that a training day for staff was used to promote gay rights.

Kwabena Peat, 54, was one of several Christian staff who walked out of the compulsory session at a North London school after an invited speaker questioned why people thought heterosexuality was natural.

The presentation was given by Sue Sanders, a co-founder of the Schools Out organisation which campaigns for gay equality in education.

According to Mr Peat, Ms Sanders, herself a lesbian, said that staff who did not accept that being gay was normal had ‘issues’ they had to deal with.

Mr Peat, a history teacher who is also a head of year, said he was upset that people who disagreed on religious grounds had no chance to respond.

He wrote privately to the three staff members who organised the session, complaining about Ms Sanders’ ‘aggressive’ presentation. In his letter, he cited the Bible and warned that practising homosexuals risked God’s ‘wrath’.

But the staff complained to the school’s principal that they felt ‘harassed and intimidated’ by the letter and, after an investigation, Mr Peat was placed on paid leave. He is now being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

‘I am very disappointed, although not shocked,’ the married father of three said last night. ‘I am the one who has been harassed and intimidated – for expressing my religious views.’..."

"Ms Sanders, 62, founded the voluntary organisation Schools Out in 1974. However, the £850 training session was organised by Chrysalis, a training team that specialises in diversity issues.

Mr Peat said he had expected her merely to provide information to help teachers handle homophobic bullying, but she had gone much further.

‘She started promoting homosexual lifestyles and suggesting those who had objections should sort out their prejudices. She said, “What makes you all think that to be heterosexual is natural?” It was at that point I walked out.’..."

"Ms Sanders said her training sessions were designed to ‘raise awareness’."

How about some awareness for Ms Sanders?...

According to St Peter Damian, the sin of homosexuality "surpasses the enormity of all others," because:
"Without fail, it brings death to the body and destruction to the soul. It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the mind, expels the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart, and gives entrance to the devil, the stimulator of lust. It leads to error, totally removes truth from the deluded mind ... It opens up hell and closes the gates of paradise ... It is this vice that violates temperance, slays modesty, strangles chastity, and slaughters virginity ... It defiles all things, sullies all things, pollutes all things ... This vice excludes a man from the assembled choir of the Church ... it separates the soul from God to associate it with demons. This utterly diseased queen of Sodom renders him who obeys the laws of her tyranny infamous to men and odious to God... She strips her knights of the armor of virtue, exposing them to be pierced by the spears of every vice ... She humiliates her slave in the church and condemns him in court; she defiles him in secret and dishonors him in public; she gnaws at his conscience like a worm and consumes his flesh like fire. ... this unfortunate man (he) is deprived of all moral sense, his memory fails, and the mind's vision is darkened. Unmindful of God, he also forgets his own identity. This disease erodes the foundation of faith, saps the vitality of hope, dissolves the bond of love. It makes way with justice, demolishes fortitude, removes temperance, and blunts the edge of prudence. Shall I say more?"

Glendon Declines Commencement Honor From Notre Dame

From Catholic World News

Mary Ann Glendon has announced that she will not accept the Laetare Medal-- the highest honor conferred by the University of Notre Dame-- at this year's commencement exercises.

Glendon-- the Harvard Law professor who recently stepped down from her post as US ambassador to the Holy See-- has indicated that she decided to decline the Laetare Medal because of her concerns about the commencement address that will be delivered by President Barack Obama. In an April 27 letter to Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, she wrote that a prospect "that once seemed so delightful has been complicated" by the Obama appearance and by Notre Dame's response to criticism from the American bishops.

In her letter Glendon expressed dismay that Notre Dame chose to honor the President despite his clear public stand against Catholic principles on key moral issues. She also voiced her discomfort with the university's suggestion that her own speech at the commencement exercises might counterbalance the Obama appearance. A commencement celebration, she said, "is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised" by Notre Dame's decision to invite Obama in defiance of clear guidance from the US bishops.

The full text of Glendon's letter follows:

Dear Father Jenkins,

When you informed me in December 2008 that I had been selected to receive Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, I was profoundly moved. I treasure the memory of receiving an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 1996, and I have always felt honored that the commencement speech I gave that year was included in the anthology of Notre Dame’s most memorable commencement speeches. So I immediately began working on an acceptance speech that I hoped would be worthy of the occasion, of the honor of the medal, and of your students and faculty.

Last month, when you called to tell me that the commencement speech was to be given by President Obama, I mentioned to you that I would have to rewrite my speech. Over the ensuing weeks, the task that once seemed so delightful has been complicated by a number of factors.

First, as a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree. This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” That request, which in no way seeks to control or interfere with an institution’s freedom to invite and engage in serious debate with whomever it wishes, seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it.

Then I learned that “talking points” issued by Notre Dame in response to widespread criticism of its decision included two statements implying that my acceptance speech would somehow balance the event:

• “President Obama won’t be doing all the talking. Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, will be speaking as the recipient of the Laetare Medal.”

• “We think having the president come to Notre Dame, see our graduates, meet our leaders, and hear a talk from Mary Ann Glendon is a good thing for the president and for the causes we care about.”

A commencement, however, is supposed to be a joyous day for the graduates and their families. It is not the right place, nor is a brief acceptance speech the right vehicle, for engagement with the very serious problems raised by Notre Dame’s decision—in disregard of the settled position of the U.S. bishops—to honor a prominent and uncompromising opponent of the Church’s position on issues involving fundamental principles of justice.

Finally, with recent news reports that other Catholic schools are similarly choosing to disregard the bishops’ guidelines, I am concerned that Notre Dame’s example could have an unfortunate ripple effect.

It is with great sadness, therefore, that I have concluded that I cannot accept the Laetare Medal or participate in the May 17 graduation ceremony.

In order to avoid the inevitable speculation about the reasons for my decision, I will release this letter to the press, but I do not plan to make any further comment on the matter at this time.

Yours Very Truly,

Mary Ann Glendon

Post-Christian? Not Even Close

A high-profile ‘religious landscape’ survey is said to show that America is rapidly losing its faith in Christianity. One problem: It’s not so.

From USA Today
By Stephen Prothero

In the endless debate over whether the United States is a Christian nation, the "ayes" no longer seem to have it.

The "ayes" might have the 1892 Supreme Court ruling describing the United States as a "Christian nation," but the "nays" have the Treaty of Tripoli of 1797, which affirmed that "the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

Now comes President Obama, who in January in his inaugural address spoke of this country as "a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers." On April 6 in Turkey, Obama added that the United States "does not consider itself a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation" but "a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."

Read the rest of this entry >>

Drunken Nation: Russia’s Depopulation Bomb

From Georgian Daily
By Nicholas Eberstadt

A specter is haunting Russia today. It is not the specter of Communism—that ghost has been chained in the attic of the past—but rather of depopulation—a relentless, unremitting, and perhaps unstoppable depopulation. The mass deaths associated with the Communist era may be history, but another sort of mass death may have only just begun, as Russians practice what amounts to an ethnic self-cleansing.

Since 1992, Russia’s human numbers have been progressively dwindling. This slow motion process now taking place in the country carries with it grim and potentially disastrous implications that threaten to recast the contours of life and society in Russia, to diminish the prospects for Russian economic development, and to affe
ct Russia’s potential influence on the world stage in the years ahead.

Russia has faced this problem at other times during the last century. The first bout of d
epopulation lasted from 1917 to 1923, and was caused by the upheavals that transformed the Russian Empire into the Soviet Union. The next drop took place between 1933 and 1934, when the country’s population fell by nearly 2 million—or almost 2 percent—as a result of Stalin’s war against the “kulaks” in his forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture. And then, between 1941 and 1946, Russia’s population plummeted by more than 13 million through the cataclysms and catastrophes of World War II.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Barack Obama and the CIA: Why Does President Pantywaist Hate America So Badly?

From The Telegraph
By Gerald Warner

If al-Qaeda, the Taliban and the rest of the Looney Tunes brigade want to kick America to death, they had better move in quickly and grab a piece of the action before Barack Obama finishes the job himself. Never in the history of the United States has a president worked so actively against the interests of his own people - not even Jimmy Carter.

Obama's problem is that he does not know who the enemy is. To him, the enemy does not squat in caves in Waziristan, clutching automatic weapons and reciting the more militant verses from the Koran: instead, it sits around at tea parties in Kentucky quoting from the US Constitution. Obama is not at war with terrorists, but with his Republican fellow citizens. He has never abandoned the campaign trail.

That is why he opened Pandora's Box by publishing the Justice Department's legal opinions on waterboarding and other hardline interrogation techniques. He cynically subordinated the national interest to his partisan desire to embarrass the Republicans. Then he had to rush to Langley, Virginia to try to reassure a demoralised CIA that had just discovered the President of the United States was an even more formidable foe than al-Qaeda.

"Don't be discouraged by what's happened the last few weeks," he told intelligence officers. Is he kidding? Thanks to him, al-Qaeda knows the private interrogation techniques available to the US intelligence agencies and can train its operatives to withstand them - or would do so, if they had not already been outlawed.

So, next time a senior al-Qaeda hood is captured, all the CIA can do is ask him nicely if he would care to reveal when a major population centre is due to be hit by a terror spectacular, or which American city is about to be irradiated by a dirty bomb. Your view of this situation will be dictated by one simple criterion: whether or not you watched the people jumping from the twin towers.

Obama promised his CIA audience that nobody would be prosecuted for past actions. That has already been contradicted by leftist groups with a revanchist ambition to put Republicans, headed if possible by Condoleezza Rice, in the dock. Talk about playing party politics with national security. Martin Scheinin, the United Nations special investigator for human rights, claims that senior figures, including former vice president Dick Cheney, could face prosecution overseas. Ponder that - once you have got over the difficulty of locating the United Nations and human rights within the same dimension.

President Pantywaist Obama should have thought twice before sitting down to play poker with Dick Cheney. The former vice president believes documents have been selectively published and that releasing more will prove how effective the interrogation techniques were. Under Dubya's administration, there was no further atrocity on American soil after 9/11.

President Pantywaist's recent world tour, cosying up to all the bad guys, excited the ambitions of America's enemies. Here, they realised, is a sucker they can really take to the cleaners. His only enemies are fellow Americans. Which prompts the question: why does President Pantywaist hate America so badly?

The Qur'an Challenge

Hat Tip to On Dover Beach for this video in which Canadian comic Steven Crowder braves the wrath of The Religion of Peace:

Pandemic Feared As Swine Flu Spreads

It was just days ago that Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, told us that illegal immigration is not a crime, even though the statute says that it is. As with most liberals, national survival doesn't mean much to the cabinet member charged with ensuring it. But personal survival is quite another matter for her sort. Now that foreign invaders threaten the lives of her family, friends and neighbors back in Arizona, securing the national borders may yet become as high a government priority as no smoking bans, seat belt enforcement, and safe sex.

Scientists search for answers in new strain

From The Washington Times
By Associated Press

A new swine flu strain that has killed as many as 81 people and sickened more than 1,000 across Mexico has "pandemic potential," the World Health Organization chief said Saturday, and it may be too late to contain the sudden outbreak.

Mexico's president assumed new powers Saturday to isolate people infected with a deadly swine flu strain as authorities struggled to contain the outbreak.

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Atlanta Symphony and Chorus - "And The Glory Of The Lord" - Handel

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Free Speech Concerns Ignored as "Hate Crimes" Bill Passes Fed. Judiciary Committee

From LifeSiteNews
By Kathleen Gilbert

A divided House Judiciary Committee yesterday voted to send a federal "hate crimes" bill to the House, after free speech advocates failed to secure protection for pastors who might preach biblically-based injunctions against homosexual activity.

In a motion almost completely ignored by the mainstream media, the Judiciary Committee voted 15-12 to allow the hotly contested H.R. 1913, known as the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Act of 2009, to go forward.

The measure would grant the federal government a new authority to prosecute any violent crime anywhere in the country that is perceived to be "motivated by prejudice" against a number of protected characteristics, including "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."

Christian leaders are particularly concerned that attempts to secure the right to speak against the homosexual lifestyle and its normalization have failed. Among many rejected proposals for the bill was one offered by Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, which would have included a clause ensuring ministers could not be prosecuted for abetting a "hate crime" because they preached the Christian perspective on homosexuality.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

An Anthem for the TEA Party Revolution by Lloyd Marcus

The great beauty of the TEA party movement is that they allow concerned, patriotic Americans the opportunity to realize they are not alone, that countless other ordinary Americans are also committed to taking America back from those intent on changing and destroying her. May that movement grow until a new revolution has fully restored the republic under its Constitution. Here's a song that should become the movement's anthem.


The Biggest Spending Spree in American History

From the Republican Study Committee

As President Barack Obama approaches his 100th day in office, we have just witnessed the most debt-riddled first 100 days of an administration in American history. Obama has vaulted far past the debt numbers accumulated by his two predecessors in their first 100 days (in fact past their entire first years). In just 100 days, Obama has left future generations 564 billion dollars in new debt. Unfortunately for taxpayers, this is only a preview of what is to come.

As American taxpayers continue to hand over their money to pay for President Obama’s reckless spending agenda, it is appropriate to compare his first 100 days to those of previous administrations. Below, find the debt accumulated in President Obama’s first 100 days compared to those of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Even given the size and scope of President Obama’s reckless spending agenda, the figures below are sure to surprise. (Source: Bureau of Public Debt)

Obama even blows away the competition when comparing his first 100 days to his predecessors’ first full YEAR.

Clinton’s 1st YEAR

Bush’s 1st YEAR

Obama’s 1st 100 DAYS

$312 Billion

$194 Billion

$564 Billion

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Egyptian-American Muslim to Advise the Kenyan Muslim on Muslim Affairs

The Los Angeles Times reports that Dalia Mogahed, a veiled Egyptian American, will advise President Obama on Muslim affairs.

Can't tell you how often we have thought that what Jihad in America needs is more of that unique Egyptian perspective. We're sure Ms. Mogahed will be very helpful to the Kenyan Muslim who appointed her.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

EarthFirst Gives Me Hope!

. . . Yes, the realization that these people are all Obama supporters should encourage every conservative!

Obama's Catholic "Plan"

Britain's Naked Public Square

From First Things
By Peter C. Glover

A series of high-profile legal battles and workplace rulings during the past several months has kept Christianity, or its lack, in the headlines in Great Britain. Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, caused outrage last year when he suggested that Shari’a law might replace British common law in some cases. But the piecemeal persecution of Christians in Britain is even more damaging—and it has now become routine.

The growing crime rate and out-of-control teenage pregnancies (the highest percentage in Europe and rising) are among the social problems that have created national anxiety. But what has caused the recent headlines are the major legal battles and workplace problems that reveal the existence of anti-Christian bias in Britain—a bias manifested by censorship in public debate and a media antagonistic to all things Christian. Is it too much to think that the social problems and the bias are related? By making Christian practice difficult, if not outright illegal in public life, the British courts and public authorities have contributed to an increasing awareness that a vacuum exists where the nation’s Judeo-Christian spine used to be.

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Perez Hilton and In-Your-Face ‘Queer’ Activists: the Obnoxious Spoiled Brats of our Culture

Carrie Prejean sought to please God rather than politically-correct man; WARNING: GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS

From Americans for Truth About Homosexuality
By Peter LaBarbera

OK, where do we start with the Perez Hilton-Carrie Prejean Miss USA controversy? Earlier today I was a guest on the Bob Dutko Show on WMUZ in Detroit, and observed that Hilton epitomizes the spoiled-brat aspect of “queer” activism. It’s bad enough that this obnoxious and rude “gay celebrity blogger” calls Miss California a “dumb bitch,” and then stands behind his ugly remark after initially apologizing for it. I want to know why this nasty fellow is then treated so deferentially by the media — first by this MSNBC anchor Norah O’Donnell and then NBC’s Matt Lauer? Are the liberal media — like those irresponsible parents who let themselves be manipulated by their spoiled children — now so indulgent toward homosexuals that they can’t even call out an angry activist whose vicious and juvenile conduct is obvious to most everyone else? Would NBC have accorded similar respect to a right-wing blogger who blasted a homosexual contestant as a “dumb fag”? Of course not (but they would have made an example of him as a hateful bigot, which is precisely what Mr. Hilton is). Watch this YouTube of this morning’s NBC Today Show, followed by more commentary after the jump:

Chris Simcox for the United States Senate!

In the midst of a political nightmare and national despair, there is great news from Arizona today. Chris Simcox, a successful businessman, educator, and patriot founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps has announced that he will challenge the second worst Republican Senator, John McCain, for the Republican Senate nomination.

We strongly endorse Chris Simcox and hope that anyone who can, will sign up on his website to help. His election will send a powerful message to the Republican Party, and will be a great step toward saving our republic, securing our national borders, defending national sovereignty, and restoring a government under the Constitution, guided by the unchanging laws of God.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

FBI Spied on TEA Party Americans

Even as average Americans were planning to get out in towns and cities to demonstrate against Big Government and Big Taxes, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) surveillance was being unleashed upon them. In fact, unsuspecting Tax Day TEA Party participants were being closely watched during the demonstration planning stages in a covert operation that began on or about March 23, 2009.

If you were one of the estimated 750,000 Americans who attended one of about 600 TEA parties last week, you might have seen media cameras covering the event. Media cameras, however, were not the only cameras taking video at these events, something that has at least one current FBI agent concerned over the future of America. According to this agent - the same agent who provided the Northeast Intelligence Network (NEIN) exclusively the unreleased photographs of the 11 missing Egyptian students who were the subject of a FBI BOLO in August 2006–placed his concerns for true patriots of the U.S. over his own career when he confided that covert surveillance was “planned and performed” at each of the TEA parties that took place last Tuesday.

“Listen to what I am saying,” stated the source during an interview with Doug Hagmann, founder (NEIN). “The Department of Homeland Security Intelligence Assessment that is receiving so much attention is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and the true patriotic citizens of this country are on the Titanic. This is what bothers me. But it goes far beyond that assessment. There have been very significant changes made over the last few years that redirect the focus and assets of the intelligence community internally. These changes have greatly accelerated under this administration, and the threats have been redefined to include those who used to be patriots. It’s not only chilling but absolutely insulting to God-fearing Americans.”

According to this unimpeachable source, a single-page confidential directive issued by the FBI headquarters in Washington, DC (FBIHQ) was sent to each of the 56 field offices located across the United States on or about March 23, 2009, instructing the Special Agents in Charge (SACs) of those offices to verify the date, time and location of each TEA Party within their region and supply that information to FBI headquarters in Washington. The source stated this correspondence termed the TEA parties “political demonstrations,” and added that the dissemination of the directive was very tightly controlled. “Not all agents were privy to this correspondence,” stated the source, who compared the dissemination to an older “Do Not File” classification.

In addition to obtaining or confirming the location and time of each “demonstration,” each field office was instructed to obtain or confirm the identity of the individual(s) involved in the actual planning and coordination of the event in each specific region, and include the local or regional Internet web site address

, if any. The information collected by region was then reportedly sent to FBI Headquarters.

The source alleges that a second directive was issued on or about April 6, 2009 that reportedly instructed each SAC to coordinate and conduct, either at the field office level and/or with the appropriate resident agency, covert video surveillance and data collection of the participants of the TEA parties. Surveillance was to be performed from “discreet fixed or mobile positions” and was to be performed “independently and outside of the purview of local law enforcement.”

Although the level of detail collected from each operation is unclear, the information was reportedly submitted to Washington, where, “at the level of the National Security Branch (NSB), this information was to “include the office of the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), and integrated with a restricted access database, one that reportedly is accessible to only two agencies” [of the 14 agencies that comprise the U.S. intelligence community, according to the source.

“The implications to the citizens of the U.S. are ominous. It seems that there is a hostile political agenda coming from Washington that characterizes the supporters of our constitutional freedoms as threats to our domestic security, which is totally absurd. The redirection, the refocusing of domestic threats from al Qaeda cells to ‘flag waving right-wingers’ is something that has gone from a murmur a few years ago to a roar today.”

Training government-issued cameras on ordinary citizens, many of whom brought their children to an estimated 600 Tax Day TEA Parties is a page torn out of George Orwell’s 1984 and makes the term “God Bless America” more meaningful than ever.