Restoring the Sacred

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In Defense of Benedict XVI

A lot has been written lately, especially in the New York Times (imagine that), about the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Maybe it's just coincidence, but this is the holiest week of the year for Catholics; that's why it's called Holy Week. Somehow, I can't imagine the Times doing a hit piece on Ali Khamenei during Ramadan, but the same newspaper, just days before Holy Week, seemed intent on placing blame on Pope Benedict XVI for not doing enough to halt the abuse years ago, when he was serving as Archbishop of Munich and then Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Fortunately, the Pope has a host of defenders; two of them: George Weigel and Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, have spoken out.

Here is the piece by George Weigel that appeared on National Review Online, on March 22, 2010.

The End of Euphemism - George Weigel - National Review Online

The text of remarks made by Bishop DiMarzio during his homily this past Sunday were posted on the Deacon's Bench, the Blog of Deacon Greg Kendra, yesterday. You can read those remarks here.

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Shelby Steel Dissects Obama

Shelby Steele, the Robert J. and Marion E. Oster Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, wrote an insightful piece on President Obama in today's Wall Street Journal.

Here are some clips:

Of the two great societal goals—freedom and "the good"—freedom requires a conservatism, a discipline of principles over the good, limited government, and so on. No way to grandiosity here. But today's liberalism is focused on "the good" more than on freedom. And ideas of "the good" are often a license to transgress democratic principles in order to reach social justice or to achieve more equality or to lessen suffering. The great political advantage of modern liberalism is its offer of license on the one hand and moral innocence—if not superiority—on the other. Liberalism lets you force people to buy health insurance and feel morally superior as you do it. Power and innocence at the same time.

Mr. Obama's success has always been ephemeral because it was based on an illusion: that if we Americans could transcend race enough to elect a black president, we could transcend all manner of human banalities and be on our way to human perfectibility. A black president would put us in a higher human territory. And yet the poor man we elected to play out this fantasy is now torturing us with his need to reflect our grandiosity back to us.

You can read the entire piece here.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

If You Like Your Doctor, Sorry.

Remember the line: "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor?" Well, not exactly - not if your doctor decides to become a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker because he's had it with the government interfering with his business.

Remember Nancy Pelosi saying: "We have to pass the Bill so that you can find out what is in it?" The Verum Serum Blog has been "finding out what is in it" and writing about some of the unintended consequences of the Bill the Democrats were so ecstatic about passing.

Yesterday, Verum Serum posted a piece about the unintended consequence of a doctor shortage. You can read that here.

On Sunday, they posted a piece about the (maybe) unintended consequence of the severe economic impact of the Bill on some of our biggest job creating corporations. You can read that one here.

Philosophers, economists, social scientists, and historians have been warning us about the Law of Unintended Consequences for centuries. Adam Smith (1723–1790), whose work has probably not been read by anyone in the current administration, was especially wary of the unintended consequences of government action. ObamaCare is about to make a lot of people in Congress painfully aware of what Adam Smith understood (and preached against) more than 250 years ago.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sundays are for Beauty: Derek Paravicini

This video is about 14 minutes long (please excuse the commercial; I was unable to extract it), but it will definitely brighten your day.

Derek Paravicini, in the words of Leslie Stahl, "is a musical savant, blessed with an island of extreme talent in a sea of profound disability."

"It's like he's got libraries of pieces and styles in his head," Adam Ockelford, Derek's teacher, told Stahl. "And he can just whip out a piece book and a style book and just bring them together. It just kind of explodes."

So how does such a profoundly disabled from birth young man come to possess such a musical talent? Could it be some mysterious by-product of the "Big Bang?" I don't think so.

Have a Beautiful Sunday - and God Bless.

H/T: josiere

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Medical Symbol

Got this from a circulating E-Mail, and couldn't resist posting it.

To prepare for the new healthcare reform package, the White House felt it necessary to develop a new medical symbol that truly depicts the Health Care Plan you will be getting.

H/T: dfelder

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New CPR Method - Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic Presentation of Continuous Chest Compression CPR - a new approach to patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest that has been shown to improve rates of neurologically intact survival by 250%--300% over the approach advocated by the 2000 American Heart Association guidelines.

H/T: ga76821

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Friday, March 26, 2010

High Praise for ObamaCare

Fidel Castro obviously thinks ObamaCare is Socialized Medicine - but how would he know?

This is from The Heritage Foundation Blog today.

Castro Calls Passage of Obama's Health Care Plan "A Miracle" | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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So, You Still Want to Close Gitmo?

Andy McCarthy explained clearly yesterday, in the following article on National Review Online, perhaps the most important reason NOT to close the state-of-the-art prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

So, You Still Want to Close Gitmo? - Andrew C. McCarthy - National Review Online

(Andrew C. McCarthy's new book: Willful Blindness is available at You can use the search box on the right side of this Blog to read a review or order a copy.)

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Senior Congressional Staff Exempted from ObamaCare

This post from The American Thinker probably isn't news to anyone, but it is, and always will be, grating to me that the Democrats who shoved this so-called health care reform Bill down our throats not only exempted themselves from it, but also exempted their staffs. Feel like a peasant? You should. It's probably safe to say that should they ever succeed in creating a single payer universal health care system, they and their staff members will also be exempt from that.

Senior Congressional Staff Exempted from ObamaCare

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Senate, Say No to Liu for 9th Circuit

The School of Athens (that's Plato and Aristotle in the top center) is the logo of Verum Serum, a very interesting website. Click on the photo to enlarge. Here's a link to the site:

That's President Obama's pick to fill a vacancy on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Berkeley law professor Goodwin Liu. He seems to be philosophically drawn slightly (shall we say) to the Left, so he would fit in perfectly with that judicial body. The above video and an accompanying post appeared on Verum Serum two days ago, and created more than a mild stir among Blogs from the other side. You can read the post here, and see if you have a problem with it. I don't.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Alan Dershowitz: Obama's Legacy - A Nuclear Iran

Alan Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Dershowitz is one of the best known criminal defense attorneys in the United States. At the age of 28, he became the youngest full professor of law at Harvard. He is seldom on the Right side of issues of importance (especially in the criminal justice system), but, when Israel is involved in any way, he becomes almost a Conservative. In an article he wrote for the Wall Street Journal today, he argues that Obama's legacy will NOT be his revamping of our health care system (which, according to Dershowitz, is not a bad thing - see what I mean?), but whether Iran becomes a nuclear power on his watch - something that appears to be inevitable.

Here are some excerpts from the Dershowitz article (emphasis added):

In these respects, allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons is somewhat analogous to the decision by the victors of World War I to allow Nazi Germany to rearm during the 1930s. Even the Nazis were surprised at this complacency. Joseph Goebbels expected the French and British to prevent the Nazis from rebuilding Germany's war machine.

In 1940, Goebbels told a group of German journalists that if he had been the French premier when Hitler came to power he would have said, "The new Reich Chancellor is the man who wrote Mein Kampf, which says this and that. This man cannot be tolerated in our vicinity. Either he disappears or we march!"

But, Goebbels continued, "they didn't do it. They left us alone and let us slip through the risky zone, and we were able to sail around all dangerous reefs. And when we were done, and well armed, better than they, then they started the war!"

So too will Iran's construction of nuclear weapons, if it manages to do so in the next few years, become President Barack Obama's enduring legacy. Regardless of his passage of health-care reform and regardless of whether he restores jobs and helps the economy recover, Mr. Obama will be remembered for allowing Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. History will not treat kindly any leader who allows so much power to be accumulated by the world's first suicide nation—a nation whose leaders have not only expressed but, during the Iran-Iraq war, demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice millions of their own people to an apocalyptic mission of destruction.

The Wall Street Journal now requires a subscription to read the whole article online, but the above excerpts provide more than an adequate glimpse of the piece.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

So Who is the Coward, Mr. Holder?

Andy McCarthy wrote, once again, about Attorney General Eric Holder, on NRO. You'll recall that Holder, in one his earliest speeches after his confirmation, called the United States "a nation of cowards" when it comes to race relations. This from a guy who refuses to provide an honest answer about his position on the treatment of captured enemy combatants, when questioned before a Congressional Committee.

Here are some clips (emphasis added).

There is dishonest, and there is asinine. Combine them and you have Attorney General Eric Holder’s congressional testimony on Tuesday.

...Cornered, he insisted to Rep. John Culberson (R., Texas) that there was no need to answer the question of whether Osama bin Laden would be Mirandized on capture because . . . he won’t be captured. Holder guaranteed that bin Laden would instead be killed: “We will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden,” Holder said. “He will never appear in an American courtroom.”

...What is even more troubling than Holder’s stubborn failure of imagination is his twisted mindset. According to the Obama administration’s dogma, we must abandon the war footing that we’ve been on since 9/11, go back to approaching jihadist terror as a crime, and treat every perpetrator of a “man-caused disaster” as an ordinary defendant clothed in the Bill of Rights. This shining example of “our values” in action, we’re told, will impress the Muslim world and thus improve our security.

So how impressed is the Muslim world going to be when we summarily kill Muslims so that we can avoid inconvenient questions about Miranda warnings and thereby spare the Obama administration some political angst?

...Holder clearly believes — as he argued in the amicus brief he withheld from the Senate before his confirmation hearings — that our al-Qaeda enemies should be regarded as common criminals: given Miranda warnings upon capture and endowed with all the due-process protections of civilian defendants. This is an ill-advised position, but it’s not an uncommon one. It is predominant on the academic Left. Yet Holder bobs, weaves, and contradicts himself on the question — whatever it takes to avoid giving us a straight answer about his own beliefs. So who is the coward?

Here's the whole article:

This Corpse Has the Right to Remain Silent - Andrew C. McCarthy - National Review Online

H/T: bkmck

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Rep. Paul Ryan's Final Remarks on ObamaCare

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), speaking before the House voted last night, summed up why the (since passed) so-called Health Care Reform Bill is not something of which Americans should be proud.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sundays are for Beauty - The Beach Boys

Surfin' USA, the second album released by The Beach Boys, came out in 1963. It reached #2 on the charts in the USA and stayed listed for 78 weeks.

Have a Beautiful Sunday.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Milton Friedman on ObamaCare

Milton Friedman (1912-2006), the Nobel Prize winning economist published an article in the Wall Street Journal, entitled "A Way Out of Soviet-Style Health Care," on April 17, 1996. That was the year Obama was first elected to the Illinois State Senate, and 13 years before anyone had heard the term ObamaCare. Dr. Friedman, the disciple of Frederick Hayek, and mentor of Thomas Sowell, was nothing if not prescient. Would that he were alive today to lend his learned voice to the chorus of other great economists (such as his protege, Dr. Sowell) who have been trying to explain the horrors of the soon-to-be-voted-on "health care reform" Bill.

The Journal reprinted the article in today's edition, and it could not be more timely. To read the article, click here.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Katie Spotz Rows Across the Atlantic - Alone

That's Katie Spotz, a 22 year old adventurer from Mentor Ohio. Last Sunday, she paddled her row boat into Georgetown, Guyana (South America), after rowing all the way from Dakar, Senegal (Africa). She left Dakar, on January 3rd. She became the youngest person to row SOLO across the Atlantic, a distance of some 2,817 miles from her starting point to the finish, and she did it in 70 days.

The following is from the attached article:

According to the Ocean Rowing Society, she is the 43rd person to complete this east-to-west row across the Atlantic. The previous record for the youngest solo ocean rower was set by Oliver Hicks, a 23-year-old from Great Britain who rowed from New Jersey to England in 2005.

To find out more about this amazing young lady, and to view more photos, go here.

H/T: mckte

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Duplicitous Demagogues Win: Senate Votes Against School Choice

The D. C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP) has been covered on this Blog since Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the original duplicitous demagogue, first stripped its funding from the Omnibus Spending Bill last year. This is a travesty, and further proof that Democrats are more in sympathy with unions (especially the NEA) than they are with the idea of poor minority children obtaining a good education. The Heritage Foundation posted the below on their Blog today.

Senate Votes Against School Choice | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

To revisit earlier Ocean Kayaker posts on the DCOSP, click on the below links.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Obama Apology Tour Continues: No U.S. Flag in Haiti

Please make sure you're sitting down before clicking on this link from The Heritage Foundation.

The Obama Apology Tour Continues: No U.S. Flag in Haiti | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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A Few Questions for President Obama

Ever since it was announced yesterday that the president will be giving an exclusive one on one interview to Fox News Channel tonight (the subject of which will be the "Health Care Reform Bill"), and since Bret Baier, host of Fox News Special Report (who will be doing the interviewing) asked the general public to submit questions to the station's website, I have been trying to come up with one. The first obvious question would be: "Why Fox News, Mr. President? You've been more than a little critical of that outfit for quite a while now. Your administration has accused them of distorting the facts and being biased against you and your agenda. In fact, your spokesman even stated that they are not really a legitimate news source. So why choose Fox for your last ditch effort to salvage your extremely unpopular attempt to impose government control over one sixth of the economy?"

I decided not to submit that question because the answer is obvious: More people (thank God) depend on Fox News (especially Special Report) to keep them informed, in a fair and balanced way, on what is happening in the world than on any other news source.

Fortunately, the Independent Institute's Beacon Blog today published better questions than any mere blogger could conjure. Click on the below link to read them; I'm sure Bret Baier has already done so.
A Few Questions for President Obama

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lance Mackey in Nome

He did it! He crossed under the arch at 6:59 PM, EDT. He became the second musher in race history to finish in less than 9 days -- by just 51 seconds. In 2002, Martin Buser set the record when he crossed the finish line in 8 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes and 2 seconds. Mackey's finish today missed that record by less than an hour and a quarter.

Read more about the finish here.

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Lance Mackey - Four in a Row

That's Lance Mackey leaving Safety, the last check point on the way to Nome. With only 22 miles to Nome, and the closest musher (Hans Gatt) ten miles behind him, it appears to be all but over. This will be the fourth win in a row for Mackey, and that is a record. There are other four time winners, but none did it four times in a row. Rick Swenson has won five times, in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1991.

This is the Finish Line on Front Street in Nome. You can see photos of Mackey in Nome in tomorrow's edition of the Alaska Daily News by clicking here.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Andy McCarthy: The Legacy Media's War on Conservatives

Andy McCarthy is upset about a hit piece in the L.A. Times today attacking the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas. He wrote this today on National Review Online.

The Legacy Media's War on Conservatives - Andy McCarthy - The Corner on National Review Online

Andy is not the only one upset. Quin Hillyer of the American Spectator joins the fray and discusses the duplicitous nature of the main stream media in such affairs. Hillyer calls for a declaration of war on the establishment media. You can read his post on the American Spectator Blog by clicking here.

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Philip Coyle: Obama’s Weak Missile Defense Nominee

This is from The Heritage Foundation's Blog today, and it's not comforting.

Obama’s Weak Missile Defense Nominee | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Here's a scary clip:

At National Review Online, Foreign Policy Initiative executive director Jamie Fly adds: “Coyle made a name for himself by questioning whether missile defense is technically possible, contradicting a proven track record of repeated successes by the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency. … Given Iran’s recent tests of missiles with increasing ranges and its successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Mr. Coyle’s questioning of the intentions of rogues such as Iran is incredibly naive.”

So, it's not just Poland and The Czech Republic that this administration has placed in jeopardy; it's us, too.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sundays are for Beauty - Pachelbel's Canon in D

Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) was a German Baroque composer, organist, and teacher, best known for the Canon in D, the only canon he wrote.

In this video, the "Voices of Music" perform Pachelbel's Canon in D on original instruments. Not only are they using the original instruments, they are also using the bowing techniques from the time of Pachelbel.

Even those who profess not to enjoy classical music have heard (probably at a wedding) this piece and have to admit to its beauty.

Have a Beautiful Sunday.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fr. Jenkins, Free the Notre Dame 88

This is the sign my friend, Martin Kennelly, Notre Dame Class of 1953, will be carrying tonight in Ft. Myers, Florida, in the vicinity of a speech to be given by Father John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame University. Fr. Jenkins will speak to the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Ft. Myers, and he will not be happy to see Martin carrying his sign. For those of you unaware of the ND 88, you can check out their website at the below link.

The following is from that website and will serve as background on the ND 88:

Pro-Lifers Arrested for Peaceful, Prayerful Witness

It was mainly during the days leading up to the Commencement when those 88 pro-lifers, who were bearing a cross and/or praying the rosary and not causing any disturbance whatsoever, suddenly found themselves halted by campus security police and were then arrested and hauled off to jail in handcuffs.

This arrest and jailing of peaceful and prayerful pro-lifers at Notre Dame, which astounded so many Catholics and others around the entire nation, was done at the behest and direction of Notre Dame officials. Its security police are invested with the same state power to make arrests as are city and state troopers in Indiana.

Based on Notre Dame’s complaints that its property rights were infringed, criminal trespass charges were brought against all these defendants, many of whom hailed from out of town and had to come back to South Band weeks or months later to enter pleas of not guilty and to demand jury trials. If convicted of these charges, each of the defendants could be jailed as well as fined up to several thousand dollars.

As you may recall, Fr. Jenkins invited President Obama to deliver the commencement address to last year's graduating class at Notre Dame, causing grave concern among catholics who, in accordance with church teaching, are against the killing of unborn babies. President Obama is arguably the most pro abortion man ever to occupy the oval office. That event was covered in several posts on this Blog at the time, and you can revisit those posts at the below links.

That's Fr. John Jenkins at last year's commencement at Notre Dame next to his guest of honor, who averred that he was attempting to find "common ground" in the abortion "debate." Wonder where that would be?

Finally, here is a video that pretty much sums up the feelings of Catholics who still believe in the dogma of the church.

That's Michael Voris, a 1983 Notre Dame graduate, who went on to become an Emmy Award winning broadcaster. After viewing "The Da Vinci Code," Voris decided to produce a one hour TV program to refute the distortions about Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church presented in the film. It wasn't long before he realized that his Catholic Church, and his country, were facing daily challenges that needed to be answered. Voris decided to take a substantial withdrawal from his retirement fund and, with the help of friends and volunteers, built a television studio in Ferndale, Michigan. He called it: St. Michael's Media, after the archangel who drove Lucifer from heaven. He named his television program: "The One True Faith." It's been televised in the Detroit area since September 2006. The main criticism leveled at him by his detractors is that he is a one issue advocate, to which I say: If the one issue you advocate is LIFE, you don't need a second issue.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Rep. Paul Ryan on ObamaCare in Imprimis

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), one of the brightest stars in the GOP, spoke at Hillsdale College in January 2010, and the text of his speech was printed in the college's publication, Imprimis, which arrived by mail yesterday. The title of the speech is:Health Care in a Free Society, and nobody has spoken more eloquently or clearly on the topic.

Here are some clips:

President Obama said in December: “If we don't pass [this health care reform legislation]...the federal government will go bankrupt, because Medicare and Medicaid are on a trajectory that are [sic] unsustainable....” On first hearing, this argument appears ludicrous: We must stop the nation from going broke by enacting a program costing $800 billion or more in its first decade alone? On the other hand, if the President means what he says, there is only one way to achieve his stated goal under the new program: through deep and comprehensive government rationing of health care.

Americans take pride in self-government, which entails providing for their own well-being and the well-being of their families in a free society. In exchange for this, the promoters of government-run health care would make them passive subjects, dependent on handouts and far more concerned about security than liberty.

Americans understand that the problems facing our health care system today, real as they are, can be addressed without nationalizing one-sixth of the American economy and moving us past the tipping point toward a European-style social welfare state. They know that we can solve these problems while at the same time remaining a free society and acting consistently with the principles that have made us the greatest and most prosperous nation on earth.

You can read the entire speech here.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pelosi the Matriarch Speaks

You've probably seen this on TV, but it's worth remembering. Charles Krauthammer gave her the benefit of the doubt, explaining that she "probably" meant that once people feel the "benefits" of the bill (which, if any, will be at least three years behind the taxes to pay for it) they will understand and appreciate the Bill.

Nobody is right all the time - not even Krauthammer.

Here's more on this from the The Foundry, the Blog of The Heritage Foundation.

"We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it" | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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God Bless America

That's Martina McBride at the 2002 Rose Bowl parade. A great way to start any day.

H/T: JPA1948

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