Smoky Mountains Sunrise

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Obama 'Defiance' of Constitution Earns Impeachment Call

'What use are elections if the executive branch rules by decree?'
An organization that battles illegal immigration on behalf of the 75 percent of America's legal citizens who want more control over illegal immigration is calling for the impeachment of Barack Obama over his involvement in two issues: the transfer under his administration's jurisdiction of weapons to Mexican drug lords and his efforts to provide amnesty to illegal aliens.

"President Obama is no longer the legitimate president of the United States," said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, in calling for the action today.

"By arming drug and human smugglers with assault weapons that have been used to kill American and Mexican citizens and police forces, and by ordering amnesty for illegal aliens which has been rejected by both the Congress and the American public more than eight times, Obama has committed a form of treason against the United States and must be removed from office by Congress," he said.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Top Gay Blog Laments: ‘WE ALWAYS LOSE’ When Voters Decide on Marriage

By Kathleen Gilbert

A prominent online gay publication has admitted the existence of a little-known but persistent obstacle to legalizing same-sex “marriage”: American voters.

A post on the Queerty blog Monday concluded that President Obama’s silence on gay “marriage” results from a recognition that most American voters oppose it.

“Even LGBT organizers agree that they’d rather pass marriage equality by legislature than at the ballot because at the ballot WE ALWAYS LOSE,” wrote Queerty’s Daniel Villarreal.

“People who oppose the ballot also like saying that if America voted on interracial marriage in the 60s, that still might be illegal too. But is that really our only defense against the ballot argument?” he continued. “If so, it’s no wonder that Obama hasn’t articulated a reason to support marriage that doesn’t fly in the face of the democratic process that had denied us our rights.”

Before New York legislators passed a same-sex “marriage” bill earlier this month, a poll by QEV Analytics found that 57 percent of voters in the state supported marriage as “only” between a man and a woman. The same poll, commissioned by the National Organization for Marriage, found that 59 percent favored putting the question on the ballot instead of leaving it to legislators.

When put to voters, measures to enshrine true marriage into law or a state constitution have won majority approval in all of the 30-plus states where they have been proposed.

Poll data on the issue have been found to be routinely misleading: a September 2008 survey found that lead-up polls on average vastly underestimated actual support for traditional marriage at the voting booth.

In Joyful Thanksgiving for This 60th Anniversary of Pope Benedict's Priestly Ordination

"I give thanks to my God in every remembrance of you."

In just over six years, Pope Benedict has become a powerful, universal force for good  --  in his clear and compelling proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; in battling the "dictatorship of moral relativism;" in affirming the "hermeneutic of continuity;" in the historic new partnership with the Orthodox; in uniting separated brethren; in healing more recent wounds within the Church; in restoring liturgical beauty and reverence, and in the marshaling of a new and zealous evangelization.  

With gentleness and humility, the Universal Shepherd is renewing the Church and building the Kingdom of God in extraordinary ways.  But on this day, we give thanks to God that he has been, across the span of 60 years, a faithful alter Christus in the vineyard of the Lord.  May the Church be blessed with his leadership for many, many more years.  Viva Il Papa!  Long Live the Pope!

Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Saint Peter’s Basilica
29 June 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

“I no longer call you servants, but friends” (cf. Jn 15:15). Sixty years on from the day of my priestly ordination, I hear once again deep within me these words of Jesus that were addressed to us new priests at the end of the ordination ceremony by the Archbishop, Cardinal Faulhaber, in his slightly frail yet firm voice. According to the liturgical practice of that time, these words conferred on the newly-ordained priests the authority to forgive sins. “No longer servants, but friends”: at that moment I knew deep down that these words were no mere formality, nor were they simply a quotation from Scripture. I knew that, at that moment, the Lord himself was speaking to me in a very personal way. In baptism and confirmation he had already drawn us close to him, he had already received us into God’s family. But what was taking place now was something greater still. He calls me his friend. He welcomes me into the circle of those he had spoken to in the Upper Room, into the circle of those whom he knows in a very special way, and who thereby come to know him in a very special way. He grants me the almost frightening faculty to do what only he, the Son of God, can legitimately say and do: I forgive you your sins. He wants me – with his authority – to be able to speak, in his name (“I” forgive), words that are not merely words, but an action, changing something at the deepest level of being. I know that behind these words lies his suffering for us and on account of us. I know that forgiveness comes at a price: in his Passion he went deep down into the sordid darkness of our sins. He went down into the night of our guilt, for only thus can it be transformed. And by giving me authority to forgive sins, he lets me look down into the abyss of man, into the immensity of his suffering for us men, and this enables me to sense the immensity of his love. He confides in me: “No longer servants, but friends”. He entrusts to me the words of consecration in the Eucharist. He trusts me to proclaim his word, to explain it aright and to bring it to the people of today. He entrusts himself to me. “You are no longer servants, but friends”: these words bring great inner joy, but at the same time, they are so awe-inspiring that one can feel daunted as the decades go by amid so many experiences of one’s own frailty and his inexhaustible goodness.

1,400-Year-Old St. Paul Fresco Discovered in Ancient Roman Catacomb

A 1,400-year-old fresco of St Paul has been discovered in an ancient Roman catacomb. 

The sixth-century fresco of Saint Paul has been discovered in the Catacombs of San Gennaro in Naples

By Nick Pisa in Rome

The fresco was found during restoration work at the Catacombs of San Gennaro (Saint Januarius) in the southern port city of Naples by experts from the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Art.

The announcement was made on the feast day of St Peter and Paul which is traditionally a bank holiday in Rome and details of the discovery were disclosed in the Vatican's official newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Over 400,000 Already Registered for World Youth Day in Madrid

We are always struck by how much international traffic any post on this subject receives.  A truly hopeful sign for the future and the Kingdom!

More than 400,000 people have already registered to participate in the World Youth Day (WYD) celebrations in Spain in August, Vatican officials disclosed at a press conference on June 28.

Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, said that 14,000 priests and 744 bishops are expected to accompany the young people who assembly in Madrid for the WYD festivities, which open on August 16.

Organizers have recruited 24,000 volunteers, arranged 250 catechetical conferences, and ordered 700,000 copies of YouCat, the catechism prepared especially for young people.

WYD, said Cardinal Rylko, is “an epiphany of the Christian faith which has truly planetary dimensions.” He added: “And young people, especially in the old and profoundly secularized continent of Europe, have particular need of all this.”

In his message for World Youth Day, Pope Benedict XVI also alluded to the rising power of secularism in Europe. He pointed out that the last time WYD was held in Spain, in 1989, the event was soon followed by the fall of the Berlin Wall and eventually the disintegration of the Soviet empire. Now, he said, WYD was coming to Spain at another historical watershed, “at a time when Europe greatly needs to rediscover its Christian roots.”

In his message the Pope did not comment specifically on Spanish public affairs, but tensions between the Church and Spain’s liberal secularist government have formed the background for this year’s WYD. Church officials clearly hope that the fervor inspired by the WYD gathering will have some influence on the opinions of young Spaniards—as well as on the rising generation across Europe.

In his WYD message Pope Benedict encouraged young people to maintain their ideals. Recalling his own youth, the Pope said that “we were not willing to settle for a conventional, middle-class life. We wanted something great, something new.” The Pontiff urged the youth of today to maintain the same natural attitude, and “yearn for something truly greater.”

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

Pope Launches Vatican News Portal

With the following tweet, Pope Benedict has announced a new Vatican news portal:
"Dear Friends, I just launched Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI."
 The story follows:

Christine Lagarde Named IMF Chief

France's Christine Lagarde, 55, has been named the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The announcement of her appointment came soon after she received the backing of the US and Russia.

Libera Announces USA Summer Tour

A Sunlit Uplands favorite, the London-based choral group Libera has announced a summer tour of five American cities.   Those who are able to attend will not be disappointed.

The group will appear as follows:

Minneapolis - July 27th
Basilica of St. Mary.  Concert at 7.30 pm
Tickets: $40,25,15,10 (Premium, General, Student with ID, Children 16 and under)

St Paul - July 29th
Cathedral of Saint Paul | National Shrine of the Apostle Paul.  Concert at 7.30 pm
Tickets: $40,25,15,10 (Premium, General, Student with ID, Children 16 and under)

Chicago - July 31st
Rockefeller Chapel, University of Chicago.  Concert at 7.30 pm
Tickets: $40,25,15,10 (Premium, General, Student with ID, Children 16 and under)

Frisco - August 7th
Stonebriar Community Church  Concert at 7.00 pm
Tickets: $25,15,10 (Premium, General, Children 16 and under)

Houston - August 9th
Tallowood Baptist Church  Concert at 7.30 pm
Tickets: $25,15,10 (Premium, General, Children 16 and under)

Say Goodbye to Los Angeles

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Centuries before William James coined the phrase, men have sought a “moral equivalent of war,” some human endeavor to satisfy the jingoistic lust of man, without the carnage of war.

For some, the modern Olympic Games have served the purpose, with the Cold War rivalry for medals between the United States and the Soviet Union, and, lately, between America and China.

But the Olympic Games, most of which involve individual athletes competing against each other, have never aroused the passions of soccer, where teams serve as surrogates for the tribe or nation.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Obama's Gropers Remove 95 Year-Old Dying Woman's Diaper

When the Congress gets around to planning and funding the next presidential transition and inauguration, we hope they will ensure that The One and his family will be forced to fly commercial on their trip home to Chicago, Hawaii or Kenya.  We have no doubt that these outrages and humiliations are intended to soften up the people for far more serious oppression, but it's the high-living Obama family that should experience the last government groping.

Lena Reppert and her daughter Jean Weber celebrate St. Patrick's Day in New Orleans in 2010. TSA agents stopped the elderly woman and made her remove her Depends before she boarded a flight, according to her daughter.

From Fox News
An elderly woman in the late-stages of leukemia was forced to undergo 45 minutes of additional screenings last Saturday when she tried to board a flight out of Northwest Florida Regional Airport, her daughter told

Lena Reppert, 95, was to say her final goodbyes to her daughter before she made what would most likely be her last flight to her native Michigan. After eight years of battling leukemia, doctors say she doesn’t have much time to live.

“She said she wanted to be closer to her grave,” Jean Weber, her daughter, told “I knew it would probably be the last time I ever see her.”


China: Episcopal Ordination Postponed, Bishop-Elect Arrested

Father Joseph Sun Jigen
For the 2nd time this month, Chinese officials have abruptly abandoned plans for the ordination of a bishop—after the priest who was to have been consecrated as a bishop obtained the approval of the Holy See.

Father Joseph Sun Jigen, who was to have been ordained on June 29 as Bishop of Handan, was taken into custody by police on June 27 after he finished a spiritual retreat. 

Chinese officials have insisted that they will precede with episcopal ordinations without seeking Vatican approval. But Father Sun apparently sought and received the Vatican’s approval on his own. 

Earlier this month, plans for the unauthorized ordination of another bishop in Hankou were shelved, reportedly because of resistance from the Catholic faithful—including the priest who was to have been ordained.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

Jury Convicts Ex-Ill. Gov. Blagojevich at Retrial

Birds of a feather.
A jury has convicted Rod Blagojevich of trying to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old Senate seat and other corruption charges. The ex-Illinois Governor was found guilty of 18 of 20 counts at his federal corruption trial. Blagojevich is facing several decades behind bars.  

Click here to read more at 

Planned Parenthood Takes on the States

 A majority of Americans tell pollsters they do not want taxpayer dollars to subsidize abortions

By Charmaine Yoest and Denise M. Burke

The state of Indiana—and, by extension, 49 other states and the American taxpayer—is under siege from Planned Parenthood, the nation's abortion super-provider, and its allies in the Obama administration. Indiana is being threatened with the loss of federal funding for health care and being held up to scorn as having "declared war on women."

Indiana's crime? Last month it became the first state to prohibit all health-care contracts with and grants to any "entity" that performs abortions or operates a facility where abortions are performed. The law applies to state funds and to federal funds administered by the state, including money for Medicaid. Other states have been moving in the same direction.

Voucher Victory in Wisconsin

Expansion of Nation’s Oldest Urban Voucher Program Acclaimed by Nation’s Original Voucher Organization

With a stroke of a pen, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker yesterday signed a 2011-2012 state budget that dramatically expands the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program to include tens of thousands of working class and middle income families. His signature also means that a brand new school choice program will be established in Racine County.

The budget had previously passed the Senate and House on June 17 by votes of 19-14 and 60-38, respectively.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

From the Pastor - The Feast of Corpus Christi

A weekly column by Father George Rutler.

T he seasonal allergy of commencement addresses with their platitudes and grandiosities is now ending, and most of them will be wiped from memory by the healing unction of time. I read one particularly ineloquent speech that cannot easily be forgotten because of the nonchalant way the speaker unleashed a cataract of tasteless humor and crude language. He even mocked the words of the school's motto, which is a quotation of the Word of God.

The evaporation of erudition in our universities has made celebrity more important than science, so that degree ceremonies are addressed by entertainers instead of scholars. There is no equilibrium in this: the number of lame comedians speaking at graduations is greater than the number of philologists speaking at the Oscar ceremonies. More foreboding is the way the confusion of fame with integrity is applauded by reasonably intelligent people. The coarsening of speech turns from thesis to fact when it degrades even those who have had some vestigial acquaintance with high culture.

Two thousand years ago, a voice cried out in the wilderness announcing the approach of the Word of God in the flesh. Then the Word spoke: “Amen, amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” (John 6:54). In response, “many of his disciples returned to their former way of life, and no longer accompanied Him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, ‘Do you also want to leave?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’ ” (John 6:66-68).

In the succession of Simon Peter, Benedict XVI leads the faithful on the Feast of Corpus Christi, bidding a fractious culture not to return to its former way of life. With degraded voices all around — the shrill echoes of proud people who once thought their academies and economies would last forever — Christ speaks to us by His true presence in the Eucharist, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. His priest at the altar invokes the same power that made the universe out of nothing: “And so, Father, we bring you these gifts. We ask you to make them holy by the power of your Spirit, that they may become the body and blood of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at whose command we celebrate this Eucharist.”

Christ the Living Word condescends to come among us so that we might not be vulgarized, and He allows Himself to be mocked, so that we are not demeaned. That is why, after hearing Jesus, even skeptics said what no one has ever been able to say at the end of a graduation speech, however worthy or ignoble: “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks” (John 7: 46).

Father George W. Rutler is the pastor of the Church of our Saviour in New York City. His latest book, Cloud of Witnesses: Dead People I Knew When They Were Alive, is available from Crossroads Publishing.

The Solemnity of Corpus Christi

"While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said, 'Take it; this is my body.' Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, 'This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.'"
Luciano Pavarotti  -  "Panis Angelicus"  -  Saint Thomas Aquinas

Bryn Terfel  -  "Ave Verum Corpus"  -  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Sweden International Tattoo

The Sweden International Tattoo 2011 in Malmö Arena.

Lou Cannon Reflects on Ronald Reagan: The Man and the President

Lou Cannon is an American journalist, non-fiction author, and biographer. He was state bureau chief for the San Jose Mercury News in the late 1960s, and later senior White House correspondent of the Washington Post during the Reagan administration. He is a prolific biographer of US President Ronald Reagan, having written five books about him. Cannon is currently a columnist and editorial adviser to State Net Capitol Journal a weekly publication focused on state legislation and politics.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Law Could Make Kansas First Abortion-Free State

By Kathleen Gilbert

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) began inspecting the three remaining abortion clinics in the state this week, and said it will decide by July 1 whether they will be able to attain a license to practice under a new law.

Members of Operation Rescue, a pro-life whistleblower group, say they believe there’s a good chance the abortion clinics’ operating standards will be found unacceptable under the new requirements.

Israeli Diplomat Praises Pope Pius XII for Saving Thousands of Jews During the Holocaust

By Martin Barillas
Pope Pius XII
Apparently breaking with a taboo among critics of the Catholic Church and of Pope Pius XII – who reigned during the Second World War and the Holocaust – Israel’s ambassador to the Vatican has recognized that the pontiff did actually save thousands of Jews during the years of Nazi predation.

Ambassador Mordechai Lewy affirmed on June 23 that “as of the raid of 16 October 1943 and the days following in the ghetto of Rome, the monasteries and orphanages of the religious orders opened their doors to Jews, and we have reason to believe that this occurred under the supervision of the highest authorities of the Vatican, who were aware of these measures.” The diplomat spoke at a ceremony in which a Catholic priest, Gaetano Piccinini of the order founded by Don Orione, was posthumously awarded a medal honoring him as numbering among righteous Gentiles.

Media reports in Italy claim that it was Pope Pius XII, who is largely dismissed as having done little to save the victims of the Holocaust, who transmitted an appeal to religious orders through his Secretary of State, Cardinal Luigi Maglione. The pontiff’s desire that the Jews of Rome be sheltered from the Nazi storm was transmitted in conversations and messages so as to avoid Nazi reprisals. Besides the approximately 5,000 Jews who took refuge in Rome’s convents, schools, and monasteries, several thousands more were sheltered at the papal village at Castelgandolfo in Rome.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

England’s Saints Have Been Written Out of History

Our isle was once a land of saints, but now there is a trend to consign all religious people to the dustbin of history

St. Etheldreda at St. Peter and St. Paul Church, Ampton, Suffolk

By Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith

Today, under the old dispensation, which may yet return, would have been Corpus Christi, and at least in the Cathedral town of Arundel, it still is, and thousands of people will be rushing down to West Sussex to see the magnificent carpet of flowers and to take part in the solemn Mass and procession at 5.30pm. I, sadly, cannot be with them, and for those in that position, I offer some consolation in a reflection of today’s very English saint, St Etheldreda.

Etheldreda (630-679), sometimes called Audrey, was a royal princess, daughter of a king, twice married, second time around to the King of Northumbria; nevertheless she remained a virgin, took religious vows, and founded the Abbey of Ely. The Viking invaders later destroyed her abbey, but it was restored in more peaceful days, only to be suppressed once more in the 16th century by Henry VIII.

The period in which she lived is often called the Dark Ages. We ourselves live in a period of self-proclaimed Enlightenment. But these are broad brush terms, and as Catholics we believe in a hermeneutic of continuity: the past is not to be swept away, but rather should inspire us and provide us with a firm foundation for future progress. So we can learn, even from the Dark Ages. Sadly, St Etheldreda is now an almost forgotten historical figure, remembered in few places. The heroes of our history are those who destroyed her abbey, and who did so much damage to the fabric of our nation.

Dutch Court Acquitts Wilders of Anti-Islam Hate Speech

Dutch politician Geert Wilders of the Freedom Party leaves a courtroom in Amsterdam June 23, 2011.

A Dutch court acquitted populist politician Geert Wilders of hate speech and discrimination Thursday, ruling that his anti-Islam statements, while offensive to many Muslims, fell within the bounds of legitimate political debate.

Read the rest of this entry >> 

The Enduring Importance of Centesimus Annus

By George Weigel

Amidst the excitement of John Paul II’s beatification on May 1, the 20th anniversary of the late pope’s most important social encyclical, Centesimus Annus, got a bit lost. Blessed John Paul II was not a man given to rubbing it in. Still, it is worth noting that the encyclical, which celebrated the collapse of European communism and probed the social, cultural, economic, and political terrain of the post-communist world, was dated on May Day, the great public holiday of the communist movement. It was a subtle but unmistakable reminder that, in the contest between the Catholic Church and communism, someone had won and someone else had lost.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Old Rumors Resurface: Is Rick Perry Gay?

Rick Perry endorsing Rudy Giuliani for the Presidency in 2008

Rick Perry, if he enters the GOP primary race, will be well-positioned to chip away at Mitt Romney's front-runner status. But while Romney has, at least for political purposes, an impeccable marriage to wife Ann, Perry's marriage to wife Anita has long been dogged, at least inside Texas, by whispers.

Politico resurfaced the rumors for the national crowd this week, explaining that "his team is more than prepared for a re-airing of unsubstantiated rumors." (For instance, in Politico articles re-airing them. Or Daily Intel posts discussing those articles.) The most vicious gossip, which Perry publicly addressed in 2004, alleged that he was gay and had cheated on his wife with a member of his administration. The Austin Chronicle, the one paper that seems to have been willing to devote actual ink to the story, wrote that though they were "extraordinary in their baroque detail and remarkable persistence," there was no evidence whatsoever, and "numerous other reporters, from here to New York, have looked into the rumors, with, as far as we know, an identical lack of results." 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

No New Texans! Jim DeMint for President

Sunlit Uplands readers know that we bow to no one in our utter contempt for the Marxist who is deliberately dividing and undermining this country from the Oval Office in the White House.  Yet we are also the first to acknowledge that no one bears more responsibility for the election of Barack Hussein Obama than George W. Bush.  We were, therefore, sorry to read this morning that his close friend and political protege, Texas Governor Rick Perry, has added South Carolina to his summer travel plans -- his first trip to an early presidential primary nominating state.

 South Carolinians have been tricked before by conservative rhetoric that masks big government, big spending, liberal policies and hordes of Rockefeller, Giuliani, Romney-style appointees to impose them.  Indeed, George W. Bush never met a problem that $20 billion couldn't solve.  South Carolinians believe that problems are best solved locally, by caring individuals, churches, and civic organizations, where true charity is the reflex of prayer.  Many here give 10% of their income to support their church and its social outreach.  Could there be another state with more churches per capita than South Carolina?  

Governor Perry talks about the private sector doing the job government does so poorly.  Indeed, he has learned that in the new media, bombast and tough talk in a viral video can cover a thousand sins.  But when the talk ends, where does the governor put his money?  Not in his church.  ABC News reports:
The Perry family's income tax return shows Perry gave $90 to his church in 2007, a year in which he reported an income of more than $1 million, the San Antonio Express-News reported in Sunday's edition. Tax records from 2000, when Perry became governor, through 2009 show he earned $2.68 million and gave $14,243 to churches and religious organizations, about a half percent, the newspaper reported.
Perry reported no religious contributions in 2000 and 2009, according to his tax records.
Americans averaged giving nearly 1.2 percent of their income to churches and religious groups in 2004-08, according to the Illinois-based research firm Empty Tomb Inc., which tracks church-giving trends.
Does America need another liar and pretender in the White House? 

South Carolinians should not expect that the very political circle that brought America into crisis will now rescue us.  Indeed, we need not look very far afield at all for a quiet, prayerful, principled conservative to lead America in these dark days.  Among our own is a leader who talks the talk, but also walks the walk.  That's why we strongly support Jim DeMint for President.

How Many Canadians Seek Medical Care Outside of Canada?

There are a growing number of companies providing Canadians with easier access to medically necessary treatments outside the country.  Of course, leaving Canada for medically necessary treatment is nothing new; Canadians have been doing so for many years, either in response to the unavailability of certain treatments, in response to concerns about quality, or in response to long wait times for medically necessary treatment, says Nadeem Esmail, the Fraser Institute's former Director of Health System Performance Studies and Manager of the Alberta Policy Research Center.

How many Canadians receive treatment outside Canada each year, though?  Esmail estimates based on the results of the Fraser Institute's Waiting Your Turn survey and the counts of procedures completed each year in Canada:
  • An estimated 44,794 Canadian in total received treatment outside Canada in 2010.  
  • This is a notable increase from the 41,006 Canadians estimated to have received treatment outside Canada in 2009.
  • The national increase in the estimated number of patients treated outside Canada occurred at the same time as a national increase in the median wait time for medically necessary treatment -- specifically, the national median wait time for treatment after consultation with a specialist was 8.0 weeks in 2009 and 9.3 weeks in 2010.
This estimate likely underestimates the actual number of patients who received treatment outside the country in 2010, says Esmail.

Source: Nadeem Esmail, "Leaving Canada for Medical Care," Fraser Institute, March/April 2011.

For text:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

From the Pastor - The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

A weekly column by Father George Rutler.

T he Feast of the Holy Trinity is an exclamation punctuating the joyous days following Christ’s Resurrection. Throughout His earthly ministry, the Second Person of the Trinity kept hinting at this deepest of all mysteries, as when He said that those who saw Him saw the Father, and that the Father and He are one, and again when He breathed the Holy Spirit on the apostles so that they might forgive sins. It was only as He ascended in glory, that He explicitly announced the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

It is a paradox of our age’s pedantic arrogance that it tends to think of earlier cultures as rough and clumsy, while affecting exasperation at the subtlety of their language. As the Church prepares to use, later this year, a more precise translation of the Creed, there are those who say that the terminology will confuse ordinary people. The Fathers of the Council of Nicaea, and later Constantinople, did not think that their formulas were only for philosophers. Some were gifted thinkers, but it is said that Bishop Nicholas of Myra was so unsubtle that he punched the heretic Arius in lieu of debate.

We understand easily only what we have made. When it comes to what someone else has invented (for me, the computer is an annoying example) it is harder. When it comes to the Second Person of the Holy Trinity who was not created at all, it is impossible to understand Him without His help. So Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to “teach you everything” (John 14:26).

The new English translation of the Creed will speak precisely as the Holy Spirit did when He led the early bishops to speak in their own Greek, using words like “only begotten” and “consubstantial.” The sub-apostolic Fathers were free of the bias infecting second-rate intellectuals, who suppose that deep thoughts are too obscure for anyone other than their extraordinary selves. St. Paul was an evangelical failure once when he tried to be a rhetorical success, endeavoring to persuade the professors in the Areopagus university by quoting their own authorities. He certainly had done his research, but he might have been more successful had he quoted Jesus of Nazareth instead of Epimenides of Knossos and Aratus of Soli.

Yesterday was not atypical in our parish. Within about eight hours, I offered the Sacrifice of the Mass twice, heard confessions, baptized a baby, married a young couple, and buried a man. Each of these actions was done in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Though some of the Greek poets had used similar words, the Word of God made them real. That is why St. Paul died in Rome, not for a syllogist but for a Saviour.

Father George W. Rutler is the pastor of the Church of our Saviour in New York City. His latest book, Cloud of Witnesses: Dead People I Knew When They Were Alive, is available from Crossroads Publishing.

Polish Nightingales - 'Laudamus Te' - Antonio Vivaldi

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ex-CIA: 'Forged Document' Released as Birth Certificate

Gen. Paul Vallely: Congress afraid to probe 'possible felony' over fears of 'black backlash'

Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely
Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, the chief of Stand Up America, a national security expert and FoxNews contributor, says the “Certificate of Live Birth” released in April by the White House as “proof positive” of President Obama’s Hawaiian birth is a forgery, but the FBI is covering the fraud and no one in Congress is willing to tackle the situation because of fears of a “black backlash” if the failings of the nation’s first black president are revealed.

In an interview today with Greg Corombos for WND, Vallely, who previously has expressed concerns about whether the Obama administration is in violation of the U.S. Constitution, said, “His actual birth certificate has never been found in Hawaii nor released from Hawaii hospital there, Kapiolani hospital there, if it in fact did exist.”

“We’ve had three CIA agents, retired, and some of their analytical associates look at it, and all came to the same conclusion, that even the long-form was a forged document,” Vallely said.

Cardinal Reports on Progress Toward US Ordinariate for Ex-Anglicans

From CNS
By Nancy Frazier O'Brien

As many as 100 U.S. Anglican priests and 2,000 laypeople could be the first members of a U.S. personal ordinariate for former Anglicans who want to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington reported to his fellow bishops June 15.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

‘Nothing More Impeachable’ Than War Without Authorization, Says Constitutional Scholar

Louis Fisher, a scholar in residence at the Constitution Project who served for 40 years as a constitutional law expert at the Library of Congress, says Americans and members of Congress should understand that President Barack Obama committed a “very grave offense” against the Constitution in taking military action in Libya without congressional authorization.

“I am not going to recommend that the House Judiciary Committee hold impeachment hearings, but I would like members of Congress and the public to say that nothing would be more impeachable than a President who takes the country to war without coming to Congress, who does it unilaterally,” Fisher told’s Online With Terry Jeffrey.

Mitt Romney Receives 'Backing' From Al Gore Over Climate Change Stance

Green Comrades:  Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the 2012 Republican nomination has received the kind of support he could do without – praise from Al Gore for his stance on climate change. 

By Toby Harnden

Mr Gore, who has championed climate issues since losing the 2000 presidential race and relinquishing the vice-presidency, posted a note on his blog lauding Mr Romney for his position that mankind has contributed to rising global temperatures.
"Good for Mitt Romney though we've long passed the point where weak lip-service is enough on the Climate Crisis," Mr Gore wrote. "While other Republicans are running from the truth, he is sticking to his guns in the face of the anti-science wing of the Republican Party."

The message, almost certainly designed to be mischievous, could further stir up conservative criticism of the former Massachusetts governor, who outlined his position in New Hampshire.

President Barack Obama and senior Democrats have also expressed enthusiasm for Mr Romney's Massachusetts health care law, describing it as a template for Mr Obama's controversial national reform of last year.

Mr Romney's supporters argue that the praise from Democrats is an attempt to scupper his bid for the nomination and an indication that they fear him. 

Report: Weiner Tells Friends He Will Step Down

June 11: Rep. Anthony Weiner is interviewed as he walks down the street near his home in the Queens borough of New York.

Embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner reportedly has told friends that he is stepping down.

The New York congressman, who has faced three weeks of scandal over pictures he texted to women he communicated with on Twitter and Facebook, had led to Democrats devising an exit scenario for him.

Young Christian Beheaded in Northern Iraq

By John Newton and Andre Stiefenhofer

The decapitated body of a Christian man has been discovered in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, a few days after he was kidnapped.

Ashur Yacob Issa, 29, was abducted late Friday night or early Saturday morning and his mutilated body was discovered Monday morning.

His family had been asked for a ransom but was not able to pay the sum of more than £61,500 (€70,000) the kidnappers demanded.

Speaking to Aid to the Church in Need, the charity for persecuted and other suffering Christians, Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk condemned the killing, and went on to pay tribute to the strength and faith of his community despite the continuing threat of violence.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Norman Berdichevsky: 'Why I Wrote These Two Books'

By Norman Berdichevsky

Two weeks ago I returned from a trip to Denmark where I visited my son and his family. I also made the trip to publicize my new book, An Introduction to Danish Culture (McFarland Publishing) and was interviewed by Tim Anderson of, a weekly internet video program on different aspects of Life in Denmark. The 10 minute interview can be viewed on their website in early June. The book on Denmark will be available in mid-July, just a month after the publication here in the U.S. on June 10th by the New English Review Press of The Left Is Seldom Right.

Why are these two books appearing almost simultaneously and what do they share in common?

They are my answer to the moral crisis that grows ever more ominous and threatening with the conviction of distinguished Danish author Lars Hedegaard of the Danish Free Press Society for exercising the right of free speech in criticizing the reluctance of many Muslim immigrants in Denmark to meaningfully integrate in Danish society and accept responsible citizenship and President Obama’s call for Israel to return to the Auschwitz Cease-Fire lines of 1949-67 as if they qualified for what U.N. Resolution 242 explicitly called secure and defensible borders.

Both of these events are our 2011 equivalent of the appeasement agreement at Munich in 1938 that sealed the destruction of Czechoslovakia, the only democracy in Central or Eastern Europe, a country compelled to bow before the all powerful ruse of "self-determination" for a recalcitrant and hostile German minority. Instead of referring to the minority as Germans, the preferred term in the Western press was the politically correct mantra of “Sudetens” as if they were not part of a powerful and aggressive German nationalism steered by Hitler, akin to the ocean of crocodile tears shed for the "Palestinians” anxious to dismember the State of Israel with the full backing of the Arab world and Muslim ummah.

Archbishop Dolan: 'God, Not Albany, Has Settled the Definition of Marriage a Long Time Ago'

The stampede is on. Our elected senators who have stood courageous in their refusal to capitulate on the state’s presumption to redefine marriage are reporting unrelenting pressure to cave-in.

The media, mainly sympathetic to this rush to tamper with a definition as old as human reason and ordered good, reports annoyance on the part of some senators that those in defense of traditional marriage just don’t see the light, as we persist in opposing this enlightened, progressive, cause.

But, really, shouldn’t we be more upset – and worried – about this perilous presumption of the state to re-invent the very definition of an undeniable truth – one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children – that has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start?

Pat Buchanan: 'Why Weiner's Going Under the Bus'

By Patrick J. Buchanan
Is there any redeeming social value to the tawdry tale of Anthony Weiner?

Only this: The nationwide revulsion at the conduct of the congressman has compelled the leadership and members of the House Democratic caucus to demand he resign immediately and cease not only distracting them from their work but stinking up their party.

Traditional morality has just been affirmed by Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats.

For consider what it was Weiner did.

He sent lewd and pornographic photos of himself to half a dozen women, including a college student, a stripper and a 17-year-old who had befriended him on Facebook. He initiated “sex-ting” with women who had simply expressed admiration for his politics and leadership.

On seeing a few of the photos in the tabloid press and reading of the others and Weiner’s language, the adjectives that come to mind are gross, infantile, weird, sick, suicidal.

Michelle: "This Man Doesn't Take a Day Off"

One of more than 60 rounds of golf.