Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Won't Be Cheap

But I'd sell out if the price were right:

Predictions for 2010:



—Bloggers will continue to mau-mau the mainstream media in the hopes of being able to sell out and be co-opted by an establishment media company.



Read the whole thing.

(Via First Thoughts.)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Emotional Fish?

I'm as fascinated by the scientific study of brain as the next guy. So when they start applying fMRI technology to fish, I'm interested. Then I find out that our emotional fish is dead:

Are fMRI Studies a Red Herring?:

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a technique for measuring brain activity by detecting the changes in blood oxygenation and flow that occur in response to neural activity.


Read the whole thing.

(Via First Thoughts.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Peer review

should be a kind of quality assurance system for scholars. But it doesn't necessarily work that way:

Peer review: Life, death, and the British Medical Journal:

This controversy erupted over estimates of war deaths since World War 2 (1939-1945:)

Researchers from Canada, the UK and Sweden have slammed the influential British Medical Journal (BMJ) for publishing an error-filled study on global war deaths, refusing an equivalent rebuttal article and having a flawed peer-review process.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Post-Darwinist.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

There Are Facts and There Are Facts

I'm still struggling with the competing narratives of the CACC(GW) so more competition is not welcome. Trying to remember that we're in the Holocene epoch of the Quaternary period isn't too much of a strain. Terms like the Holocene Climatic Optimum and Younger Dryas stadial are starting to test me, though. The net result of my research to date is to confirm that we are in an interglacial interval in the current ice age. that has had some significant climate fluctuations


Pressing issues include was there a Medieval Warm Period? How warm was it compared to today? (Or can we even reasonably know that?) The same issues arise with the Little Ice Age. Different scientific opinions can be read differently. These are deep waters for a high school graduate.


It's not only that different folks massage different sets of facts differently, but that different facts can be highlighted and others ignored from the same set of facts:


A Christmas Story: Some Facts about Greenland:

The wonderful Christmas season is upon us, and no Christmas story would be complete without snow. If you really like snow, Greenland is the place for you! The snow there lasts all year long and is 1,000s of feet deep in the interior – a white Christmas is guaranteed every year in this [...]


Read the whole thing.

(Via World Climate Report.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Climate Wars?

I'm trying to keep an open mind on the CACC(GW) theory while I do some desultory reading. So I've subscribed to RealClimate, Climate Audit and World Climate Report. The early returns suggest that I might get bogged down in details, scientific arguments I'm not competent to resolve and competing narratives:

Climategatekeeping: Wikipedia:


Lawrence Solomon has an interesting column in the National Post today on William Connolley’s climategatekeeping role at Wikipedia. See also an article last year.


Connolley was one of the nine realclimate founders, but posted little at realclimate. This has notoriously not been the case at Wikipedia. Solomon reports that Connolley “created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles” and that Connolley was granted a senior editorial and administrative status at Wikipedia that enabled him to delete “over 500 articles” and “barred” more than 2000 Wikipedia contributors who “ran afoul of him”.


Particular areas of interest for Connolley were the Hockey Stick debate e.g. here,


Check it out



Read the whole thing.

(Via Climate Audit.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

There's a Cold Breeze Blowing

against CACC(GW). Isn't there something self-serving about simultaneously blocking access to peer-review while dismissing alternative theories because they haven't been peer-reviewed? Admittedly the attempt to block access hasn't been 100 per cent effective. Does that mean we should trust the peer review process when it comes to Climate Change?

WSJ: How to Manufacture a Climate Consensus:

Be sure not to miss Pat Michaels’ view of one of the most important impacts of ‘Climategate’–the biasing of the contents of the scientific literature upon which the EPA bases its Endangerment Finding.
Pat lays out his case in today’s (Dec. 17, 2009) Wall Street Journal.
In summary:
The result of all this is that our refereed literature [...]


Read the whole thing.

(Via World Climate Report.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Confidence

in Science is not increase by this sort of news:

Another crack in the wall

Russians confirm that Global Warming is based on "cherry-picked" data.

Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with


Read the whole thing.

(Via Lex Communis.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Koran Versus The Bible

The multiplicity of Scriptural texts over a thousand years and more and the large number of textual variants are viewed by Muslims as a scandal. How could God's Word be variant or doubtful? For them, the Qur'an is the perfect counterfoil to the Scripture Text: uttered from the mouth of the Archangel Gabriel to Mohammed, who memorized it and passed it on to be written down, incorrupt.


For an educated Christian, however, the multiplicity of Scriptural texts and the hundreds of variants are a major blessing. First off, try drawing straight, parallel lines on a piece of paper. In elementary school I was taught that you needed at least three points to make sure a line was correct. By analogy, the thousands of Scripture texts (complete and partial) provide abundant evidence ("points") of the state of the original texts (the autographs).


What about all those variants? Don't they undermine confidence in the text? Not really. No significant doctrinal or historical divergence appears in any of the surviving manuscripts. The Good News of Jesus Christ is the same in every one. For thousands of texts over a thousand years in multiple languages, this is strong evidence for the reliability of our present text.


But is this not still inferior to the Muslim claim of a perfect, invariant text? No, because there is no such text. A great deal of the Qur'an's history has been destroyed thereby reducing the number of "points" we could test the present text against. Enough variants exist, however, to show that there was a history to the Qur'anic text which Muslim apologists are unaware of. Consider the following:


The Yemeni Qur'an:

To quote Puin: "So many Muslims have this belief that everything between the two covers of the Qur'an is just God's unaltered word... They like to quote the textual work that shows that the Bible has a history and did not fall straight out of the sky, but until now the Qur'an has been out of this discussion. The only way to break through this wall is to prove that the Qur'an has a history too. The Sana'a fragments will help us to do this."



[snip]



One early Muslim declared, "Let none of you say, 'I have acquired the whole of the Qur'an.' How does he know what all of it is when much of the Qur'an has disappeared? Rather let him say 'I have acquired what has survived'" (As-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fii Ulum al-Qur'an ).




Read the whole thing.

(Via Jihad Watch.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Natural Theology

is a branch of philosophy. It's heartening to see it being promoted this way:

All the Evidence for God. An Inquiry:

Ruini outlined three ways of access to God, three proofs of his existence, not theological but rational, and therefore able to be presented to all, not only to believers.

The first way departs from the evident fact "that there is something rather than nothing." The second moves from the observation that the universe can be known by man. The third is based on man's experience of a moral law within himself.


Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

A Different Perspective

on the Copenhagen Climate Conference:

If the Marx Brothers Held a Climate Conference:

It would look like this


Read the whole thing.

(Via Campaign Standard.)

I Don't Believe in Santa Claus

It's hard to say when it began. Perhaps my nanny taking me (three years old or so) to a store with a large bearded man in a garish red suit. I cried and cried and would not sit on his lap. Perhaps it was later when I had reached the age of maturity (twelve or thirteen) and announced to my sister (six or so) that Santa Claus was a lie. Dad was not happy


As a moralistic parent (thirty plus) I determined never to tell my children lies. So while I never said "There is no Santa Claus", I refused to promote his cult.


Saint Nicholas, on the other hand, we enthusiastically promoted. We hung stockings on the Fireplace mantle on the eve of his feast (Dec. 6). And the first year, just to make the point, Daddy (me) received sticks in his stocking for being a bad boy. You should have seen how big their eyes were.


On Nicholmas morning their presents from the sainted bishop would be found. The gift giving at Christmas was by way of exchange only. They had the advantage on their schoolmates of getting presents early, but otherwise felt left out of the Santa Claus festivities. As young adults they're still not entirely reconciled to Dad's philosophy of Christmas and child-rearing. Oh well.


Santa’s Dead:

Perhaps it was my innocent sheltered and naive nature, but I found the Santa myth quite appealing as a youngster. So appealing, in fact, that I clung it to it long after others my age had discovered that it was no coincidence that Santa Claus and Dad had the same favorite cookies, or that Santa’s handwriting bore a striking resemblance to Mom’s.


Read the whole thing.

(Via In the Agora.)

Eccentricity

is in the eye of the beholder. There has been a little sensitivity in the Catholic Blogosphere over the Archbishop of Canterbury describing the Pope's theology as eccentric. I'm not as riled as some over the Dr. Williams comments. He seems irrelevant to Catholicism for the most part. But some of the reactions do raise a smile:

Catholic Culture : Commentary: Off the Record:

The Archbishop of Canterbury is annoyed with England's Labor government, and particularly with the way the government treats religions: as if "it's an eccentricity, it's practised by oddities, foreigners and minorities."


Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic World News.)

Less Babies

equals happiness? The dark underside of the environmentalist religion has started showing a little more prominently. Promoting the totalitarian regime in China as a leader in the CACC(GW) movement doesn't inspire confidence. These are the children of Mao and he had millions of deaths on his conscience when he died. The current leadership hasn't renounced a single one.


The One-Child policy continues, albeit slightly less draconian in places, and forced sterilizations and abortions still occur. This kind of madness is only now having deleterious effects that are being recognized by these leaders. This is not the kind of leadership anyone needs. Alas, the Financial Post hasn't caught up with the news. As Mark Shea says: "Just enough of me, too much of you". So the following isn't entirely unexpected:


Carbon Scheme: Offset Your Jet-Set Lifestyle by Eliminating African Babies:

Population control groups have been using the hype surrounding the Copenhagen climate change conference to promote their solution to hypothetical impending environmental catastrophes. Earlier this month, two pieces appearing in the same edition of the Guardian revisited a report by Britain's Optimum Population Trust (OPT) that suggests that people in wealthy first-world countries should "offset" the carbon cost of their jet-setting lifestyles by paying to prevent the births of poor children in the developing world.


Read the whole thing.

(Via LifeSiteNews.)

The Sky is Falling!

While I wrestle with the vexing issue of whether and how much the base climate change data has been manipulated there is still the uneasy feeling of salesmanship. When I took a Business Communication course many years ago, one technique they mentioned was "backing the hearse up to the door".


This is a sales technique that uses naked fear to sell some good or service to the prospective customer. Examples of it are on TV all the time. If they're not using sex to sell something, it's about our fears. And the sense that there is an overplayed emotionality to the sales pitch for CACC(GW) reminds me uncomfortably of this technique.


Mark Shea brings in some nice insights from GKC while expatiating on this theme:


PANIC!!!!!:

The pattern that emerges over the decade is that the preferred governing style of our Ruling Classes is to scare the daylights out of people with some sort of world-imperilling threat and then use the panic to stampede us toward this or that consolidation of massive power.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

A LIttle More Direct

than I would put it:

Jimmy Akin Shares My Skepticism About AGW:

in spades.

When they tell you "Shut up about Climaquiddick! We need to adopt a global one child policy right now!" you should be very skeptical about what the Stampeders in our Ruling Classes are up to.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)

Is Evolutionary Psychology

a faux science?

Can evolution explain religion?:



Here's my MercatorNet column (10 December 2009),
Evolutionary psychologists offer two contradictory explanations for the existence of religion. They can't both be right, but they can both be wrong.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Post-Darwinist.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Data Manipulation

doesn't equal conscious fakery, by the way:

ClimateGate: Was Data Faked? - Megan McArdle:

To me, the worry is the subtler kind of bias that we indisputably know has led to scientific errors in the past.  Richard Feynman has the most elegant exposition I've ever read:


Read the whole thing.

(Via Campaign Standard.)

Where to Start?

If I'm going to try to get off the fence about CACC(GW) what process should I use? I prefer the process of asking questions. So I'm trying to compose a series of questions that will help me assess, as an ignorant lay-person, the validity of the various claims made.

First question, is the global climate warming? If so, over what period of time and relative to what? This involves a lot more research than I'm entirely comfortable doing. I'd have to assess paleoclimatological questions as well. Hypotheses like the MWP and the "Little Ice age", not to mention even more ancient climate change theories, would have to be dealt with.


Second question, to what extent is this change, if it exists, outside normal change?


Third question, what contribution, if any, are human beings making towards this change, if it exists?


Lastly, what are the chances, assuming we can estimate such things, that these changes will have catastrophic effects on humankind?


Unfortunately, I seem to be stuck at the first question. If the "overwhelming proof" that the climate is rapidly warming has been created by statistical manipulation, how am I to assess what is really happening? The good news is that the blogosphere is on the job:



Intellectual freedom: The difference the blogosphere makes:

In "Bloggers peer review a scientific 'consensus,'" Gordon Crovitz writes (Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2009),

Blogging scientists have been busy reviewing the 15,000 lines of code by programmers that were included in the "Documents" folder of the leaked materials. The latest twist is hidden notations in the data from programmers that indicate where they had manipulated results. The programmers expressed frustration when the numbers didn't fit the case for global warming.

Comments in the code include "These will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures," referring to an effort to suppress data showing that the Middle Ages were warmer than today. Comments inside the code also described an "adjustment" as follows: "Apply a VERY ARTIFICIAL correction for decline!!" Another notation indicated when a "fudge factor" had been added.
Read the rest here.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Post-Darwinist.)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Puzzling over Global Warming

The CACC controversy is beyond the competence of laypeople and perhaps even many scientists to adjudicate by themselves. So an appeal to authoritative opinions must be resorted to. When these opinions conflict, how does a layperson reach a conclusion?

INEX: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Appeal to authority):

Any argument should ideally be based solely on direct evidence, not on the authority of the messenger. However, it is rarely possible in common discourse to provide all the direct evidence, so an "appeal to authority" is often used as a shortcut


Read the whole thing.

Doubt and Belief

are two sides of the same coin: our attempts to achieve knowledge. In the CACC(GW) debate I'm still on the fence. And the recent brouhaha over the hacked emails (I prefer "the CRUtape letters" as a moniker) I'll let others parse their meaning and import before giving anything like a settled opinion.

It's the uneasy feeling that there are agendas behind some the alarmism. The movie clip that was part of the Copenhagen summit has a little girl screaming while holding on to the branch of dead tree and surrounded by raging waters. That creeps me out: "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!".


And I'm reminded that this isn't the only alarmist nonsense that was used to advance radical change in recent history. Who can forget the "Population Bomb"?


Scientists Behaving Badly:

Climate change is a genuine phenomenon, and there is a nontrivial risk of major consequences in the future. Yet the hysteria of the global warming campaigners and their monomaniacal advocacy of absurdly expensive curbs on fossil fuel use have led to a political dead end that will become more apparent with the imminent collapse of the Kyoto-Copenhagen process. I have long expected that 20 or so years from now we will look back on the turn-of-the-millennium climate hysteria in the same way we look back now on the population bomb hysteria of the late 1960s and early 1970s--as a phenomenon whose magnitude and effects were vastly overestimated, and whose proposed solutions were wrongheaded and often genuinely evil


Read the whole thing.

(Via Campaign Standard.)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Kennedy Did It!

With his world-shaking election in 1960:

Lex Communis:

As it happens, the tree-ring proxies match up with the thermometer measurements up until about 1960, when there is a “divergence” between the two sets of data. The tree rings indicate a global cooling after 1960, while the thermometer data indicates a sharp warming.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Lex Communis.)

Science and Ideology

There are two parts to my skepticism about anthropogenic global warming (Should I be shortening that to "agw"?). The first the an uneasiness in the face of claims that seem remarkably like a "Chicken Little"-like attempt to stampede leaders into radical changes to society and governance.

The other is the sense that belief in agw has become a litmus test of almost religious proportions. Believe this or be cast into the outer darkness. This particular blend of faith and science bodes ill for all concerned.


Scientists Behaving Badly:

In the current wars over global warming we are seeing an example of scientists behaving badly. I am not referring just to the hacked e-mails that everyone is talking about. Far more disturbing to me is the recent tactic of labeling any scientist who expresses skepticism about the extent of anthropogenic global warming a “global warming denier,” as though they were somehow comparable to holocaust deniers and thus both willfully ignorant and morally repulsive.


Read the whole thing.

(Via First Thoughts.)

I Remain Agnostic

about anthropogenic global warming, but Jimmy Akin has strong opinions and lots of links:

I Told You So! (Well, Maybe.):

It is now clear that, as I've held all along (in private conversations if not on the blog), the man-made global warming claim is based on junk science. 


(Via JIMMY AKIN.ORG.)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Science and Ethics

One of the key points to keep in mind is that even if there were unethical behaviours in the "Climategate" scandal, that still doesn't tell us what the truth is about anthropogenic global warming. Remember, Galileo and Newton fudged their numbers too.

Climategate III: The Mystery of the Missing Data - Megan McArdle:

Sexing up a graph is a bad thing.  But the world is not going to plunge off a cliff because of one overdone graph.  I've become considerably more concerned at items that have subsequently gotten more attention. 


Read the whole thing.

(Via Campaign Standard.)

Philosophy and Science

In our continuing quest to try to understand the conflicting claims of various scientists and others about anthropogenic global warming, here is a beginners guide to evaluating the concept of "scientific consensus":

The “No True Scientist” Fallacy:

In his 1975 book Thinking About Thinking, philosopher Anthony Flew outlined a form of argument that he dubbed the “No True Scotsman” fallacy:


Argument: “No Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”


Reply: “But my uncle Angus likes sugar with his porridge.”


Rebuttal: “Ah yes, but no true Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge.”



Read the whole thing.

(Via First Thoughts.)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Another Lesson in Climate Science

for those who will persevere, there may some enlightenment:

Richard S. Lindzen: The Climate Science Isn't Settled - WSJ.com:

Is there a reason to be alarmed by the prospect of global warming? Consider that the measurement used, the globally averaged temperature anomaly (GATA), is always changing. Sometimes it goes up, sometimes down, and occasionally—such as for the last dozen years or so—it does little that can be discerned.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Campaign Standard.)

Climate Science for Civilians

In the wake of "Climategate" it would be useful for the public to consider how Climate Science works and how we are to receive the judgements of these scientists. John da Fiesole of Disputations gives us a two part discussion to enlighten us. Here is the first:

Science and data, i:

A lot of people are spun up over the material stolen from the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. Some are spun up over the material, some are spun up over the stealing, some are spun up over others being improperly or inadequately spun up themselves.


Read the whole thing.

Here is the followup.

(Via Disputations.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ClimateGate: What You Need to Know

In case you didn't get the previous reference to "climategate":

ClimateGate: The Very Ugly Side of Climate Science - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com:

When we think about “scientists,” most of us probably envision people toiling away in the lab or the field, accumulating and analyzing data in order to test theories, leaving their personal biases at home, scrupulously considering any confounding data or theories and willfully distancing themselves from the political implications of their research.


Read the whole thing.

Catechesis

since the Vatican II hasn't worked. I made this point earlier and here are some numbers supporting that assertion:

Whatever it is we’re doin’… ain’t workin’!:

I don’t know how many times my own proposals, or those of others I have heard about, were rejected because of "young people".   "No, no.  We have to do [FILL IN BLANK] for young people".


Read the whole thing.

(Via What Does The Prayer Really Say?.)

News

is what the newscasters say it is. The editing job done by the MSM results in the relative ignorance of those who rely on them. And "Climategate" is just the latest exemplar of that fact:

Blogs v. The Legacy Media:

Occasionally the question comes up as to why I get my news from blogs instead of conventional big media news sources.


Read the whole thing.

(Via ThePolitic - Canadian Political Weblog.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

More LIght, Less Heat Please

The relatively abysmal state of Catholic education and literacy is making for a lot more heat and very little light when Church teaching on moral principles is concerned. For example, the phoney war Rep. Kennedy has been waging on the Catholic Church for his own political advantage has been illustrative of this problem. Bishop Tobin has been exceptional amongst his brother bishops in that he has not let the calculated ignorance of the scion of the Kennedy clan to go unremarked. He has been temperate and reasonable in his dealings with the CINO politiican. The resulting circus of condemnations from the ignoranti who were, no doubt, educated in the "Spirit of Vatican II" and little else, has been proof positive that the revolution in catechesis since the Second Vatican Council has been a spectacular failure. Could this be one of the most illiterate Catholic generations ever?


So here is a little light to dispel the darkness:


Abortion, Capital Punishment, and War — One of These Things is Not Like the Other:

Ed Stoddard of Reuters’ religion blog Faithworld carries a roundup of the skirmish between Congressman Patrick Kennedy, the son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, has claimed that Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin.




Read the whole thing.

(Via First Thoughts.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Introductory Apologetics

by a convert:

Verses I Never Saw:

by Marcus Grodi One of the more commonly shared experiences of Protestant converts to the Catholic Church is the discovery of verses "we never saw." Even after years of studying, preaching, and teaching the Bible, sometimes from cover to cover, all of a sudden a verse "we never saw" appears as if by magic and becomes an "Aha!" mind-opening...


Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Politics Must First Be Entertaining

or so Bill Buckley once said back in the sixties. I wasn't sure if he was being facetious. Now in my old age, I see the wisdom. Limited to choices that look like Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, they can at least keep us entertained through the show-democracy that we have settle for.


On this basis, I quite enjoy the madness that arises whenever Sarah Palin is in the spotlight. And I'm not the only one to notice:


AP Goes Full Sullivan on Palin:

...devotes ***11*** freakin' reporters to pore over ghost-written piece of self-promotional fluffery.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Over the Top?

I have an off-the-wall kind of humour, so this struck me as a form of black humour. Read on at your own discretion:

The Doctor is Out:

We’re sorry, your appointment tomorrow with Dr. Hasan has been canceled.


2765865147



Read the whole thing.

(Via Southern Appeal.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Autumn


I'm sitting at home wrestling unsuccessfully with some virus or other. I've been spoiled by relative resistance to diseases over the year. When the rest of the family gets ill, I merely got tired and grumpy. But the years are catching up.


This has been a lovely Autumn, something we don't get every year. So, walking to work has sent me into reveries about Fall colours, dying, death and re-birth. Why do we associate Autumn with starting out? The school year begins. Football and Hockey start over. And yet Nature is retreating, preparing for the sleep of Winter


And does any of this tell us something about ourselves when we enter our own personal Autumn? I would argue that Nature, beautiful in every season, is at it's best now: Colourful, brilliant, especially on the grey days that we're likely to see. Are we at our best in our Autumn?


Thomas Aquinas apparently said that we reach our prime from 50 to 70 years of age. Is this our Autumn? Should we start out anew in these late months of our life, armed with experience, education and intelligence? Well, experience anyway.


The colourful leaves drop, winter's sleep ensues. But beneath the white coat the dead leaves are preparing to nourish new life in the Spring. If we refuse to live our lives to their peak at these late stages, are we denying those to come nourishment for their Spring? Didn't our parents and their generation give themselves completely to life, enriching us in the process?


Random thoughts at a keyboard while recovering from one of life's little insults.

Schism!

Amongst the Atheists. The lamentable drop in quality of the "new atheists" is being noticed even by atheists:

Schism! Denial! Infighting! Name calling! And that's just among the atheists...:

The God Delusion made me ashamed to be an atheist...


Read the whole thing.

(Via Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Atheism

is apparently suffering from a serious brain drain of late. Professor Richard Dawkins, a leading biologist, periodically wades into philosophy, theology and history in order to confirm this thesis:

Oh my, I do love the cool, calm, and rational thinking...:


Mercy! The man is a wit wrapped in a genius outfit, swaddled in sassy, deep-fried in searing sarcasm, and smothered in spicy polemics. Throw in a 20 oz. lemonade and a Charles Darwin action figure and you have a super-duper Man of Science value meal that kids ages 6 to 12 can enjoy—well, at least until they throw up and grow up.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Crazies Are Coming Out

to critique the Pope's impending offer of reconciliation for those Anglicans who have been requesting it for years. And the resulting display is revealing:

Lex Communis:

In regard to Dawkins' bigotted rant, Damien Thompson at the Telegraph asks a pertinent question:

The peg for this piece? The Pope’s offer to make special arrangements for Anglicans converting to Rome, a matter I would have thought was none of Prof Dawkins’s business. But I’m not going to bother to argue with any of his points, because these are the ravings of a man who appears to have lost all sense of proportion. Seriously: is there something wrong with him?


The answer is clearly yes.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Lex Communis.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Perspective

on the whole Anglican-Catholic thing that has been buzzing in the blogosphere:

EARLY RETURNS | Midwest Conservative Journal:

The RCC can reach into its sofa cushions and find more peeps than attend Episcopal churches.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Obama

seems to define himself by his perceived enemies. He becomes President and starts identifying the Republican party with Rush Limbaugh. Now he's using his bully pulpit to try to isolate Fox News. Who's the last President to focus so much attention on his "enemies"?

Quote of the Day (So Far!):

It comes from today's classic Krauthammer column on the White House's war on Fox:



Defend Fox from the likes of Anita Dunn? She's been attacked for extolling Mao's political philosophy in a speech at a high school graduation. But the critics miss the surpassing stupidity of her larger point: She was invoking Mao as support and authority for her impassioned plea for individuality and trusting one's own choices. Mao as champion of individuality? Mao, the greatest imposer of mass uniformity in modern history, creator of a slave society of a near-billion worker bees wearing Mao suits and waving the Little Red Book?



Read the whole thing, as they say.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Campaign Standard.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bold, Benedetto, and Bello

More thoughts on the big news from Monday:

Bold, Benedetto, and Bello:

As the Second Vatican Council developed, traditional Catholics in England were distressed because they saw Rome giving up the Old Latin Mass for a vernacular both shallow and shabby. Further, as Evelyn Waugh put it, "This was the Mass for whose restoration the Elizabethan martyrs had gone to the scaffold. St. Augustine, St. Thomas à Becket...


Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

A Coming Storm

is predicted by Father Z:

Whose ecumenism?:

Liberals are beginning to twit.



They are just warming up, but soon it will be a grand mal twit.


Read the whole thing.

(Via What Does The Prayer Really Say?.)

More Evidence

that Papa Ratzi has outflanked the ecumenist establishment and "liberal" bishops:

Standing on My Head: Personal Ordinariate - the Background:

Daily Telegraph religion journalist Damien Thompson is sometimes a bit gossipy for my liking, but in this article he does an inside analysis on some of the other major things happening in and behind this week's stunning announcement of Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Lex Communis.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fr. Z on Fr. Rutler on

the News from Rome is the inspiration for this break in silence. My reading of this is that the old man is moving the establishment against it's will. One report from England seems to confirm this. Four-plus years in and the Pope is slowly but steadily moving the bureaucracy towards his idea of ecumenism.


And the announcement before an actual Apostolic Constitution is finalized signals two things to me. First, the Vatican is getting a little more media-savvy. Second, there were rumblings from the establishments (in London and Rome) that the move would be sabotaged with malicious "leaks" if Rome waited for the text to be ready. Talks with the Anglicans will continue, of course. It's just that there will be less and less to talk about.


Consider what some wiser heads than mine have to say about this news:


Fr. George Rutler (convert from Anglicanism) on new Anglican provision:

On CNA Fr. George Rutler comments on the new Anglican provisions.  My emphases and comments:



October 20, 2009

Fr. Rutler discusses Vatican’s Anglican provision

By Fr. George Rutler *



Editor’s Note: Fr. George Rutler, a convert from Anglicanism, was asked by CNA what his reaction is to the Vatican’s new Anglican provision. Fr. Rutler’s reply follows.



It is a dramatic slap-down of liberal Anglicanism and a total repudiation of the ordination of women, homosexual marriage and [this is important] the general neglect of doctrine in Anglicanism.


Read the whole thing.

(Via What Does The Prayer Really Say?.)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Epimetheus

is my name, I decided many decades ago. Epimetheus ("Afterthought" in Greek) was Prometheus' ("Forethought") brother. So many occasions in my life I made decisions about which I had to explain to myself or others as "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time."


One of the more egregious examples was joining the RCIA team in the parish. There were certain encouraging signs that I took to be God calling me forward. And I'm still not sure that it wasn't true. But I charged in without "due diligence" and so was unprepared for the conflicts that arose over those three years. Those conflicts were, in fact, completely foreseeable. If only I had done the research and thought and prayed first.


But Estel is my other name. So I remain hopeful that I can learn from experience and do better in the future. So when Father invited me to become an EMHC early this year I was non-commital. The invitation was renewed a little while ago, so I started praying, thinking and studying. There is Hope after all.


A regular position of service in the parish would be a good thing, at least in the abstract. But the issue of EMHC's isn't all light and happiness. Some respectable Catholics argue that their very use as currently seen (regularly scheduled and quite ordinary in that sense) is, in itself, an abuse.


If and when you get past that meta-issue, there are some specific areas of concern:


Training, whatever that consists of, and Archdiocesan guidelines, to the extent these are written and accessible, will help with some of the answers.


But this time around, I intend to do all the praying, thinking and researching in advance, so that I can ask the appropriate questions and only then make a well-informed decision.

Monday, September 14, 2009

LIft High the Cross

was sung at yesterday's Mass and again this morning. Which is appropriate considering today's feast. When I heard it yesterday it reminded me, as it does every-time I hear it, of the first time: John Paul's visit to Abbotsford.


So how do I fit that hymn into my funeral Mass? A recessional? It was the opening hymn at Abbotsford.


Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:

Information about the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [1] Readings for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [2] Readings from the Jerusalem Bible Readings and Commentary: [3] Reading 1: Numbers 21:4b-9 With their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses...


Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

Post-Christian Britain

is mirrored by British TV. A favourite program of mine was the Inspector Morse series with John Thaw in the title role. I used to compare the books by Colin Dexter to the tv series and found that the Colin Dexter's clear questioning of Christian belief (through Morse) was watered down. Sergeant Lewis gave a simple, sincere Christian witness to Morse's world-weary cynicism in the books.


In the tv the Lewis character was muddled and muted. Now with the resurrected series they have made Lewis world-weary and cynical, while his Oxford-educated sergeant represents a post-Christian Christianity. The elite that produces tv and movies in Britain are no longer able to represent, much less engage the intellectual and spiritual underpinnings of Christianity.


This thought was inspired by Rich Leonardi:


The abolition of Britain:

"On the road from Gethsemane to Calvary I lost my way."

So reads a suicide note in tonight's Inspector Lewis episode on Masterpiece Mystery!


Read the whole thing.

(Via Ten Reasons.)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sunny

is our cockatiel and we have regular conversations. But no one in the family thinks he is human or even near-human. So I do understand the human foible of anthropomorphizing animals. So a more rational analysis of the relationship between humans and animals is in order:

Humans are unique - get used to it, or get therapy. Do NOT get a chimpanzee:

In "Restating the case for human uniqueness," in Spiked* (Issue 25, June 2009), managing editor Helene Guldberg reviews Not a Chimp: The Hunt to Find the Genes That Make Us Human by Jeremy Taylor (Oxford University Press 2009):

She notes that

Taylor sets out to argue that it is ‘as wrong as it is misguided’ to ‘exaggerate the narrowness of the gap between chimpanzees and ourselves’: ‘It plays into the hands of our natural propensity to anthropomorphise our pets and other animals, and even our inanimate possessions, and it has allowed us to distort what the science is trying to tell us.’


Read the whole thing.

(Via Mindful Hack.)

Catholic Funerals

should be about praying for the dead, not canonizing them:

The problem wasn't the funeral.:

Speaking of the recent funeral of Senator Edward Kennedy, the Archbishop of Boston, Sean Cardinal O’Malley, endeavors to defend his participation in the event -- to which Fr. John Zuhlsdorf provides a helpful fisking. On the Archbishop's own blog there are already 100+ comments from readers -- the first comment by "Grace" will suffice, and indicates my thoughts exactly:

Of course Senator Kennedy should have been afforded a Catholic funeral. And I had no problem with you being there.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Against The Grain.)

Monday, September 07, 2009

Reason and Faith

intersect somewhere and that somewhere

On the integrity of the New Testament manuscript evidence:

Let's question the "common-sense" double-standard. Folks, I was reading this article published today in Time Magazine online, entitled, The Burial Box of Jesus' Brother: A Case Against Fraud, because the controversy has been around for a while and of course...


Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Self-Improvement

starts with having children, preferably including daughters:

Quotables 9.5.09:

[E]very man needs a daughter. All of my male friends who had children were changed for the better by having at least one daughter. It is not a wife who socializes a husband, it is a daughter.


— Anonymous commenter on Marginal Revolution



Read the whole thing.

(Via First Thoughts.)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Stop Complaining

and suggest some solutions. Which is what Sherry W has done in her four-part analysis of our culture and the RCIA. It's excellent. Have a read:

Whither RCIA? Part Four: Some Beginning Steps:

First, we make disciples in the inquiry period Then we form and catechize those disciples in the catechumenate.

[snip] 5) Resist the temptation to move people into the formal catechumenate prematurely.

[snip] 6) Make sure all the members of your RCIA team and all your sponsors are intentional disciples.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Intentional Disciples.)

Monday, August 31, 2009

My Soap Box

includes, metaphorically, the meaning, purpose, effectiveness of RCIA and how this squares with the Church's own nature and her intent for this process. So the beginning of an interesting series of blogs on RCIA caught my eye. But one quote in particular hit a nerve for me:

Whither RICA? Part One:

(Since the majority of those who enter the Church through RCIA leave the practice of the faith within a year...


Read the whole thing.

(Via Intentional Disciples.)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Internet Courses

have their place in our modern world. It's good to hear that one is being offered for Catholics wanting to share the Gospel Message:

Evangelization Training for Catholics: Learn to Share the Authentic Gospel Message!:

The Authentic Gospel Message In the Fullness of the Catholic Tradition Developed and Taught by Aimee M. Cooper, M.A. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel.. .. For I did not receive it from man...


Read the whole thing.

(Via New Advent World Watch.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

True Love

Brings Life, produces children. This is true in intellectual life as well as biological. If you love the Truth you will attract the young. The young faces reacting with joy at the announcement of Cardinal Ratzinger's election as Pope was in stark contrast to the grey-haired critics shaking their heads.


The most telling fact about the "Spirit of Vatican II" believers is their dearth of followers. Their love has played them false and left them without children. The exceedingly slow response of the Vatican to dissentient religious orders is one sign that the "Spirit of Vatican II" believers will have to ask and answer some hard questions about their future.


Paranoia. Identity Politics. Rebellion. Us vs. Them.:

Put bluntly, the LCWR is has been aiding and abetting—nay, actively promoting—the steady extinction of women religious in the U.S. for forty years, usually in the name of empty clichés and politically-correct fads. The nuns of the spirit of Vatican II insist the future is theirs, but they don't even have a future, as the average age of the enlightened, progressive sisters is over 70 and young women aren't exactly pounding on the doors to be let in. "Within our own lifetime," cracked Max Lindenman, "white, liberal nuns may become as much a curiosity as white, liberal heavyweight boxers.">


Read the whole thing.

(Via Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Boys and War

What is it about the male of the species that makes us try to measure ourselves against those engaged in active combat? The war games, movies and toys continue to do a brisk business despite the feminization of the culture over the last, say, forty years. In any case, the author mentioned below is quite compelling, at least to the testosterone producing side of the equation:

Yon: The Kopp-Etchells Effect:

Another photo-filled essay from Afghanistan by Michael Yon, memorializing lost comrades as the fighting heats up: The Kopp-Etchells Effect.






(Via Little Green Footballs.)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Feast of the Assumption

Saint Tarcisius gets buried in this major feast, but here is a link that covers both.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Skepticism

is not a value in and of itself. I'm skeptical about the global warming alarmism, but not dogmatically so. Precisely because experts disagree about the various details, I reserve judgement. Just so a proper balance is achieved, here is a website that tries to answer many, perhaps most, of the global warming skeptic's questions:

Answers for Climate Skeptics:

[snip] one of the valuable resources I discovered is at ScienceBlogs: How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.




Read the whole thing.

(Via Little Green Footballs.)

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Condoms and Happiness

don't go together, surprise, surprise:

“Safe Sex” with Condoms Bad for Mental Health, Psych Researcher Finds:

(LifeSiteNews.com) – Research from Scotland finding that heterosexual sex without using condoms is more likely to make people happy than “safe sex” with condoms, has stirred controversy among “sexual health” campaigners. The lead researcher wrote of the survey respondents, “The more often they have sex without condoms, the better their mental health.”




Read the whole thing.

(Via SoCon Or Bust.)

A Beautiful Day

can inspire the most interesting ideas. I'm tiring of trying to fix a hole in my opening repertoire so I turn to listen to Father Roderick on his latest Secrets of Harry Potter podcast. Father or one of the other panellists mentions that they thought of the Funeral Antiphon "In Paradisum" when reading about the song of the phoenix over Dumbledore's dead body.



This antiphon was sung as the body was removed from the church at the end of the service. Having previously thought about my own funeral, I wanted to know what it sounded like. And here it is.



What are the chances of getting a choir to perform this for my rite of passage?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Manipulating People

is a skill Saul Alinsky perfected with his "community organizers". President Obama has perfected these skills and so have his students. It comes as a revelation to me that Father Mitch Pacwa was a student of Alinsky's while the President was still getting his early education in Indonesia:

Fr. Mitch Pacwa on the "Sol Alinsky style of community organizing":

This most recent newsletter from Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., received this morning, has some interesting historical information, some frank talk, and some strong opinions:

 I recently became upset when Newsweek's "Without A Doubt" feature published an article by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend entitled, "Why Barack Obama represents American Catholics better than the pope does." She commend President Obama's "pragmatic approach to divisive policy" and his "social justice agenda." Meanwhile, she claims that the positions of the pope, the bishops and the pro-life activists do not. In fact, Townsend asserts that the Chicago community organizer president could teach the pope a lot about a Catholic approach to politics and the ability to listen to other people's points of view with empathy. [snip]

 I recognize the community organizer approach that Townsend commends in this piece. I learned Sol Alinsky style of community organizing as a novice in Chicago when President Obama was a little boy living in Jakarta, Indonesia.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The CCCB and it's Employees

The CCCB is the Employer of record for Development and Peace. Once a year they ask for donations in the parish envelopes from the faithful. What have they been doing with this money?


Well they're not directly supporting abortion-related projects, but that was never the charge. Rather they are supporting a multitude of organizations that themselves promote abortion in varying guises:


“Just the Facts”…from a reader:

Development and Peace- the facts



  1. Five pro-abortion groups in Mexico received $170,000 in total this year from D&P in Canada.  These five groups are pressuring the government of Mexico to legalize abortion.

  2. D&P is also funding at least one pro-abortion group in Bolivia (Center for Promotion and Integral Health- CEPROSI).  This group has been described as “one of the most militant, radical and active pro-abortion organizations in Bolivia.”

Read the whole thing.

(Via SoCon Or Bust.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What Have You Been Doing?

Working; not hard, but day shifts and I don't get along.



Trying to practice golf; I'm taking my first lessons now. What a frustrating game. More time, more practice...



And attending my daughter's play: Jacques (or Obedience) combined with The Future is in Eggs, two one-act plays by Eugene Ionesco. Welcome to the Theatre of the Absurd. It's running tonight and Sunday (8 p.m.) at the Carousel Theatre on Granville Island.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

What Is This About?

A rapist or a murderer has a higher place in hell than someone who leads little ones astray to false teaching, especially to false moral teaching, for the one defiles the body, and the other defiles the soul. God help us!



Father John Corapi, Winnipeg, Manitoba, September 1, 2001


Father is apparently coming back to this theme:

The Canadian Bishops & Their Rebellion: What It’s Going to Cost:

The majority of Canadian bishops signed the infamous Winnipeg Statement that just categorically rejected Humanae Vitae. That kind of rebellion is catastrophic


Read the whole thing.

(Via SoCon Or Bust.)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Brave New World

is upon us:

Re: Designer Babies:

As I mentioned yesterday, when it comes to issues of bioethics the “degradation of language only leads to linguistic confusion and muddy thinking.” A prime example can be found in the BBC article that Ryan cites. The term design means to intend for a definite purpose—and the gene mapping test is intended for the very definite purpose of culling embryos that do not meet the parent’s concept of quality.


Read the whole thing.

(Via First Thoughts.)

As Long As We're Sighing Over Italy

We should have a look at Joan Lewis' pictures of Saint Peter's.

Lies, Damned Lies

and Statistics, in that order. I blame today's outburst on Mark Shea's particularly excellent output today.

Persistent Myths in Feminist Scholarship - ChronicleReview.com:

By CHRISTINA HOFF SOMMERS

"Harder to kill than a vampire." That is what the sociologist Joel Best calls a bad statistic. But, as I have discovered over the years, among false statistics the hardest of all to slay are those promoted by feminist professors. Consider what happened recently when I sent an e-mail message to the Berkeley law professor Nancy K.D. Lemon pointing out that the highly praised textbook that she edited, Domestic Violence Law (second edition, Thomson/West, 2005), contained errors.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It.)

From One Extreme to the Other

So here's an in-country commentary on the Honduran crisis. From Capuchin silence to radio-talk-show host blather in sixty seconds. Beat that.

What the world needs to know (Please read!) « Witnessing Hope:

What the world needs to know (Please read!)
June 30, 2009 by Emily
After watching the international news last night, I’d like to clear up a few things concerning the recent political upheaval in Honduras. The coverage these events are getting on the international level is horribly unbalanced! For those of you who don’t have time to read a long explanation, here are the basics:


Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It.)

Silence

doesn't always mean absence. I was away from the Internet for ten days while visiting the family in Minnesota. But mostly the daily checks of the New aggregator haven't moved me to comment.


Iran is too complex and I'm still not on the Obama-is-a-wus bandwagon. His gradual move to a mild rebuke isn't necessarily the worst thing he could have done, though I do remain concerned about his grasp of geo-political reality. Reagan was a realist who recognized opportunities to change the reality presented themselves. I'm no convinced Obama and his advisors have that kind of vision.


There has been a lot to comment on besides that, but others seem to be doing a fine job of presenting various perspectives. But I'd be remiss if I didn't point you towards Amy Welborn's series on her taking her family to Sicily. Ah, Bella Italia:


Castle: Check:

As in - serious castle.This is the Castle of Chiaramonte overlooking the town of Mussomelli.We headed up there around 9:45 and arrived around 11:00, even though it was maybe 30 miles from where we are as the crow flies. But...




Read the whole thing.

(Via Via Media.)

Moral Retardation

is a phrase I just picked up from Mark Shea. He's commenting on the Swedish couple who want to keep their child's sexual identity secret until later in life. And I love that there's such a thing as a "Gender Equality Expert" to consult. Could there be a more pernicious form of expertise in our culture?


Anyway, read and think:

Idiots Use Child as Ideological Mannequin:

A Swedish couple believe so strongly that gender is a social construction that they do not reveal whether their 2.5-year-old is a boy or a girl.

Idiot mother explains her stupid, selfish and cruel plan, "We want Pop to grow up more freely and avoid being forced into a specific gender mold from the outset. It's cruel to bring a child into the world with a blue or pink stamp on their forehead."


Read the whole thing.

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Spirit of Vatican II

Catholics now have a spokesperson. And the choice is revealing on so many levels:

Jesuit: Obama is "the most effective spokesperson" for "the spirit of Vatican II":

John W. O'Malley, S.J., a professor in the theology department at Georgetown University and author of What Happened at Vatican II (Contiinuum, 2007), is so impressed by President Obama's style and rhetorical skills, he appears to have nominated him, in the pages of America, for the position of Pope of the American Catholic Church:


Read the whole thing.

(Via Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Abortafacient Contrceptives?

Following up on the previous post here is some more evidence for that argument:

New Evangelical Documentary Exposes Abortifacient Qualities of the Birth Control Pill, Promotes NFP:

By Alex Bush May 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A documentary called “28 Days on the Pill” has been released that seeks expose the abortifacient properties of the birth control pill.  The documentary explains that many forms of birth control pills contain progesterone,...


Read the whole thing.

(Via LifeSiteNews.com Headlines.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Don't You Prefer Contraception to Abortion?

This is what an earnest young candidate asked me a few years ago during the RCIA Process. He reasoned, as many do, that it is the lesser of two evils. But I had to answer "no".


You see, it's not really abortion or contraception; the two go hand-in-hand:

"Most abortions are the result of unwanted pregnancies, most unwanted pregnancies are the result of sexual relationships outside of marriage, and most sexual relationships outside of marriage are facilitated by the availability of contraception. To turn this 'progression' around: contraception leads to more extra-marital sexual intercourse, more extra-marital sexual intercourse leads to more unwanted pregnancies; more unwanted pregnancies lead to more abortions."

Janet Smith (via the USCCB Pro-life page.)


The mentality that separates the sex act from procreation doesn't greet pregnancy as a happy accident. If sex is for gratification (mutual or otherwise) then the "burden" of parenthood doesn't exactly signal gratification to the reluctant parent. And that doesn't even address the fact that the contraceptive pill and IUD's are abortifacient by themselves already.


And even the so-called 99% effective method (birth control pills) fails sometimes. Consider that:

"Pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has repeatedly reported on major surveys that show 56%-58% of all women having abortions were using contraception the month they became pregnant."

(Hat tip to Physicians for Life.)


If President Obama offers contraception to "lessen the need for abortion" he is in fact promoting a mindset and technologies that will increase the actual number of abortions. There's no common ground between the pro-lifer and pro-choice positions in contraception.


For those desperate for common ground they have to consider sterilization. Good luck with that project.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dialogue: Answer to Example Number One's Question

Lo and behold, Obama does not want to reduce the number of abortions. He just wants to increase the use of contraceptives. Oh yeah, there's a common ground for him to work with the "Spirit of Vatican II" Catholics: they both reject Humanae Vitae. Guess where the rest of us are left?

Key Obama aide: "It is not our goal to reduce the number of abortions.”:

The goal, as reportedly stated by Melody Barnes, who is the President’s Domestic Policy Adviser and the Director of the Domestic Policy Council, is to "reduce the need for abortions."





And what has been Obama's preferred method of "reducing the need for abortions" in the past?


Each of these prominently features the use of contraceptives as an essential means of reducing abortions.


Read the whole thing.

(Via Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog.)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dialogue, Part Four

Here's a link to some analysis about what dialogue should be:

stages in dialogue:

Father Robert Barron of Word on Fire has written a thoughtful article on dialogue, in wake of the speeches given at Notre Dame's commencement cermonies last Sunday. A snip:

It comes down to that slippery little word “dialogue.” I realize that to say that one is against dialogue is akin to saying that one is impatient with motherhood, patriotism, and sunny days. But the point is this: one should,


Read the whole thing.

(Via The Weight of Glory.)

Dialogue: Example Number One

Does the President want to reduce abortions? Or just the need for them? Is he ok with unneeded abortions? (Which pro-lifers will happily identify as all abortions currently being performed.) Enquiring minds want to know:

...and we're off:

Wendy Wright of Concerned Women of America writes in Human Events of the specific nature of the conversations that have taken place in the Obama - administration-sponsored meetings about abortion, seeking to find common ground:This meeting took place two days...


Read the whole thing.

(Via Via Media.)

Dialogue, Part Three

It's not an endearing trait, but some things I approach with an air of deep suspicion. Calls to "dialogue" on abortion is one of those things. What does "dialogue" mean to the speaker? What does he want to change about the present state of the controversy? Is the possibility of reaching an agreement on a moral truth even exist for this person?


To get a possible answer to some of these questions start with the link below to Professor Beckwith's CRI article "Deconstructing Liberal Tolerance":


I’ll be on Hugh Hewitt and the Bible Answer Man next week, May 26 and May 28:

 I will be a guest on the Hugh Hewitt and Bible Answer Man programs on May 26 and 28. On the former I will be talking about my new book, Return to Rome: Confessions of An Evangelical Catholic (Brazos Press, 2009). On the latter I will be discussing a chapter I contributed to the new book published by Christian Research Institute, What is Truth?: The Best of the Christian Research Journal (CRI, 2009). The chapter, “Deconstructing Liberal Tolerance” was originally published in 2000 in the Christian Research Journal.


(Cross posted on Return to Rome and What’s Wrong with the World)



(Via Southern Appeal.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Of Course, It's Only Anecdotal

but it sure seems to confirm my intuition:

'Mancow' Waterboarded - Lasts 5 Seconds Before Deciding 'It's Torture':

Ranting “conservative” talk show host Erich “Mancow” Muller decided he would prove that waterboarding isn’t torture by undergoing the interrogation method himself.





Read the whole thing.

(Via Little Green Footballs.)

Are There Any Pro-Abortion People Here?

Let's start the conversation here:

Twisted abortion logic:

A commenter here at SA (and many thousands of people before him) recently wrote:


Perhaps with a bit of reflection, Joe, you may realize that support for abortion rights is quite a different thing from support for abortion.


Does this type of statement make sense in any other case?  If not, why do people think it makes sense in the case of abortion?   Let’s try substituting some other practices, and see how it holds up.


Perhaps with a bit of reflection, you may realize that support for the right to rape is quite a different thing from support for rape.



Read the whole thing.

(Via Southern Appeal.)