Friday, December 19, 2008

Daddy, what does theft mean?

So if I borrowed money from the bank for a mortgage and then spent it on a vacation to Malibu, how could I expect the bank to lend me more money to actually pay off the house?

So the Fed convinced Congress to lend $700B immediately under threat that failure to do so would result in major calamity, crumbling markets, total deprivation and the end of the world as we know it. With oh, by the way, no oversight. Then the Fed gets its hands on the money, drags its feet in distributing it, and changing its mind on what strategy, if any, should govern the distribution. And since they have taken their sweet time (with no discernible apocolyptic consequences) the administration decides it's going to spend the money on something else entirely. And, Congress, you can decide now to give us more money.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mom, this is what I want to do when I grow up...

Someone who has way too much time on his hands, not like me who finds time to post it.

h/t: journey to therese via CMR

Monday, December 15, 2008

Why do I hear oinking overhead?

The Day runs a positive story about a large homeschooling family! Here's the article
and click to see the slideshow.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rant of the day- sex and technology

The Day of New London ran this editorial on Friday which just about sent me over the edge.

The concept of sexting is not new, it's just a new delivery method, and if you didn't see this coming, you must have your eyes closed.

What burns me up is when the editor says, "Though it may not be practical or even ethical to check your teenagers' cell phone text messages and photos, don't ignore the issue." or even ethical? in this context are you kidding me?

This highlights for me not only a subversion of logic and morals, but the pervasive mentality that it is the responsibility of the parent to be their kids' friend, not their parent. I'm sorry, but if you're a parent and you provide your kids' home, food, clothing, education, transportation, entertainment, and the cell phone in question, you have every right to check the contents of your child's cell phone. Their privacy is a theory; your responsibility as a parent is a reality. Obviously, you ought to tread with sensitivity on sensitive matters, but you have to guide your children, not let them fend for themselves in adult matters when they are not yet adults!

Here are a few tips: Don't let your children have a computer or phone in their room. Computer use should be in a shared area in which anyone can see what is going on on-screen. Demand that you have 24-hour access to your kids' MySpace account, Facebook account, email and instant message accounts. Cell phones should be prepaid phones for emergencies only with no text or photo capabilities, if you even give them one.

And lastly, but MOST importantly, teach your kids to recognize that they are of infinite worth and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by themselves and others. Teach them to be modest in their actions, words, and in their dress. They are children of God, not sexual objects to be displayed for others in order to gain acceptance.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fitting for the Immaculate Conception

Special thanks to Nathaniel Peters for linking this on the First Things blog.

We sang this one year at the sem (though not nearly this well). Biebel's Ave Maria is one of the most beautiful choral pieces I've ever heard. Happy Advent.

Please don't watch it distracted, as beauty like this deserves your attention.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh, my...

Well this certainly woke me up out of my grumpy morning.

Rock on faithful sillies!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Between the turkey and the cranberries...

might be a crash course in moral theology. As in, this is why voting for "that one" was impossible for a Catholic. And this is why we have to oppose just about half of his plans. And no, that doesn't mean I want to burn people at the stake. And no, there isn't a secret albino society run by the Vatican. And no, Jesus did not have children by Mary Magdalene.

God help us.

Pass the mashed potatoes, please?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Keep this in mind next time you see a singing holiday tree in Home Depot

Speaking of how not to celebrate Christmas, wifey and I were talking today about all those kids' movies that celebrate the magic of the holiday within all of us...

Frankly, I'm sick of trying to come up with as many marketing ideas that show this "magical season" while blatantly avoiding the meaning of why the holiday is there in the first place.

Tell the story of Christmas! Not how a little mouse saved Christmas by making sure the bell tower worked. Not how a train engine worked together with his friends to cheer someone up. Not how Mrs. Brady got her voice back in time to sing Christmas carols.

Talk about Jesus. Born in a stable, laid in a manger, worshipped by the shepherds, reverenced by learned men, feared by kings, cradled by Mary, protected by Joseph, glorified by hosts of angels. The child born to make men free.

There are some linebackers who like to cuddle kittens.

This is a future one.

"Here you go. You have a bite."

It takes one tough Panda to oust Luke Skywalker as a 4-year old's (and his 3-and 2-year old brothers') favorite movie hero

I have to say, this is one movie I could watch with the kids on a continuous loop for a month. (Good thing for me, 'cause that's practically what it is. Unfortunate for wifey.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fr. Neuhaus on the upcoming trials

Hi folks,

Anyone interested in the relationship of faith and public life should read this and other articles by Fr. Neuhaus.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Plan B debate

Hi folks,

I stumbled across this blog post from last year and I thought that it was worth sharing, concerning the Plan B pill in Catholic hospitals. The posts toward the beginning are a little punchy, but once people get past their pride, I believe that they get precisely to the point about the decision by the CT Catholic Conference to allow Plan B in Catholic hospitals.

Friday, November 14, 2008

AG Blumenthal part two

Reply from Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

Dear Mr. and Mrs. J:

I appreciate your email and your strongly held views on this important issue. However, I would like to clarify the position of my office and 12 other state attorneys general regarding the proposed Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations.

First, the letter to HHS was in response to its request for comments on proposed regulations. There is no lawsuit pending or contemplated at this time.

Second, the letter urges withdrawal of the regulations and suggests that the personal views of health care providers be balanced with the rights of patients to legally and medically prescribed health care procedures. In Connecticut, hospitals can refuse on personal or moral grounds to dispense certain emergency contraception but they must also make some accommodation so a patient, in this instance a rape victim, can receive the prescribed health care service or prescription.

Both the patient and physician’s interests must be taken into consideration.

I hope I have clarified my position and thank you for contacting me.

my response:
Mr. Blumenthal,

Thank you for your reply. That does clear up some confusion. However, I am still concerned that without this regulation, pro-life health-care professionals will still be discriminated against for their positions.

As you said, such pro-life doctors and nurses can not be forced by law to provide services they feel objectionable, but what protection is there for them in the workplace?


Reply from Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

Dear Mr. and Mrs. J:
I appreciate your continued interest, and wish to confirm that any health care provider should be completely protected under existing statutes from discrimination based on religious views. If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Many thanks, and warmest regards.

My response to you all:

"existing statutes"- but why would HHS feel the need to place a regulation protecting pro-life health care providers unless there were hints of discrimination?

Also, FOCA is not an existing statute, but it would in all likelihood undermine the rights of those hcp's to refuse to participate in such procedures.

Keep praying!

Monday, October 13, 2008

And just when you thought ecumenical dialogue wasn't interesting...

Another chance to laugh at ourselves...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

eating crow

OK, for those of you who never thought I'd be here... check out this link:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Open letter to CT Attorney General Richard Blumenthal

Dear Mr. Blumenthal,
It is with great sadness that we write to you in regards to your action against the proposed regulation protecting pro-life health care professionals. As someone who watched with keen interest the unfolding of events regarding Plan B contraception and Catholic hospitals in the state, this HHS regulation would provide a necessary protection to people of conscience. We fully support the opportunity for those who have serious moral reservations about providing services that are known to end the life of an unborn child to be able to avoid acting contrary to their deeply held religious beliefs.
It is antithetical to the mark of a free society when individuals are forced or coerced to commit actions that go against their most fundamental beliefs. The absence of this protection for health care professionals will only serve to coerce such individuals to compromise their conscience or to leave their profession. Your position in the claim that to focus on the conscience of these individuals denies the rights of patients to necessary health care is flawed. First, your position would render the moral guidelines of such doctors, etc., to be meaningless and irrelevant. Second, it is highly unlikely that patients seeking such care will be unable to find those services. Third, the notion that abortion or emergency contraception is medically necessary, is, as you know, a highly controversial and contested claim. Emergency contraception is in actuality, can be and is designed to act as an early-term abortifacient. This is a defensible statement because it is not scientifically defensible to say that human life begins at any other point but at conception. Many contraceptive measures are defined "contraceptives" by defining pregnancy by implantation. This is not a reasonable position, as any rational reflection of the subject will show.
Please consider this our strong objection to your filing suit against this ruling. The needs of a free society demand that individual freedoms are not violated. Your position in this matter would choose to violate the individual freedoms of pro-life health care professionals.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A response to a Catholic Obama supporter

Often times in debates, especially political, it is easy for people, ourselves included, to get swept up in emotion, and to divulge their conclusions with no explanation of how they got there. This frequently results in misunderstanding and confusion and can sometimes even lead to animosity and hatred. As Christians, we have a responsibility to rise above that. Also as Christians, we have an obligation to try to live a moral life, and avoid sin. In so doing, we have to make objective judgments about actions. We do not, however, have a right to make subjective judgments about people, and this was never our intention in the comment about reflecting on your Catholic soul. We are not passing judgement upon you or anyone else. It is, however, a reminder of the fact that as Catholics, we must recognize that the protection of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is fundamental.

God is not Republican or Democrat, but God's love for all human life is one that extends beyond any political boundaries. As Catholics, we can have legitimate disagreements about how to pay for health care, education, housing, foreign policy, and many other issues. These disagreements can exist without any moral deficiencies on the part of either side. They are often disagreements about strategy, not ultimate goals. Vying for one side or the other can be morally acceptable.

The Church makes it clear that we can support a pro-choice candidate DESPITE his or her position but never BECAUSE of that position. It is completely incompatible to be both a faithful, practicing Catholic and pro-choice. Based on your response it sounds like you are supporting Sen. Obama for other reasons: health care, education, etc. Though we disagree in terms of approach to these issues, we fully take you at your word and don't question that it is your faith in Christ that motivates you to help those in need. But what the Church has always taught, and why we cannot possibly support Sen. Obama, is that human life is sacred from the moment of conception. Therefore, abortion is intrinsically evil, and advocating abortion is a sin. The right to life is fundamental; without it all other liberties stand in meaningless mockery.

Sen. Obama voted three times against a bill that would grant human rights to babies who survived abortion attempts and were living and breathing ON THEIR OWN outside the mother's womb. Such babies, instead, are wheeled into a utility closet until they cry themselves to death.

Currently, the Department of Health and Human Services is supporting a ruling that would protect pro-life doctors, nurses, and other health professionals who refuse to perform abortions. Sen. Obama would strike that rule down. Opponents of the rule, like Obama, might cite the separation of Church and State as the reason for opposing this ruling. However, the separation of Church and State was never intended to overrule the individual's informed conscience, which we as Catholics recognize to be supreme in governing our way of life.

The issue of abortion is also tied to socialized health care. If government becomes the single payer of health care, it can also dictate what it will and will not pay for. This will lead us on a path, which we are on already, that puts a monetary value on human life. We all know that pregnancies and births are very expensive. Other countries with socialist or communist medicine have child limitations, enforced by mandatory sterilizations and forced abortions. (China, anyone? Does this sound like free choice?) Already in this country we see insurance companies who would deny expensive cancer treatments, but at the same time cover physician-assisted suicide. Please refer to Oregon.

In terms of sexual ethics, Senator Obama voted for a bill to teach sex education to kindergartners. If you reply, like Senator Obama has, that this is a false claim, go online and read the text of the bill for yourself. We did. The language is in the first paragraph. As Catholics, we are taught that our sexuality was made for and brought to perfection in the context of our chaste lived vocations. As men and women we are brought to fulfillment sexually through our spouses, the Church, or our single way of life. The union of one man and one woman, as taught by the Church, is only morally permissible within the context of marriage, and only when it is free from coercion and any artificial means of contraception. The teaching of Humanae Vitae, clearly vindicated in the course of history, is highly instructive. In other words, it is when this marriage covenant is abused that natural law is thwarted and human dignity is diminished.

We are not voting on one issue. We are voting on many issues, but not all issues are equal in importance. The question of abortion is the trump card for us as Catholics. When the government can abrogate for itself the right to decide who may live or die for expediency or convenience, we are all in danger. Be forewarned: as the baby boomers move into long-term care en masse, you will start to hear arguments in favor of euthanasia much more frequently. Please pray for the disabled, both physically and mentally, already targets to the utilitarian viewpoint.

Roe vs. Wade should be overturned, not only because it makes the wholesale killing of innocent babies at every stage of development legal in all 50 states, but because it is bad law. It is the role of the legislature, accountable to the citizens of the United States, to make laws. By fiat, and with no Constitutional basis, the Supreme Court decided that abortion cannot be outlawed in the U.S. Since 1973, forty-seven million U.S. citizens have been aborted in this county. That's seven million each year, or the population of Los Angeles and Chicago combined. Forty-seven million members of our generation have been denied the right to live. The price of gas seems trivially unimportant, doesn't it?

Pro-abortion advocates think that overturning Roe v. Wade will make abortion illegal. This is not so. The issue will go back to the states, where the state legislatures, acting on behalf of the people they represent, will decide if and how abortion will be allowed in their jurisdiction. This is proper democratic procedure, after all, giving voice to the people. Forty-seven million citizens have been denied that vote in the matter.

You might still say that we are voting on one issue; in our defense, it seems the most important issue at stake. You might find that despite all this, you continue to support Senator Obama. We cannot make that decision for you. To your credit, yours is the most thoughtful and articulate defense of your support for him that we have heard from anyone. Most people just say, "Change, hope, change, change, evil George Bush, hope, change, hope." Yet we strongly disagree, and with the Church, we see that abortion is not just one issue among many. We are surrounded by a culture of death, with no regard for the value of human life. It is our responsibility to stand and be a voice for the voiceless. After all, it is for human lives that Christ suffered and died. His children are being denied life.

Please consider all of this as you determine how you will vote this November. In the meantime, we invite you and all others of goodwill to join in peaceful prayer vigil in the 40 Days for Life campaign. And remember, if life itself is jeopardized, all other liberties are meaningless.

God bless you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Religious Freedom

A stark reminder of how our faith informs freedom.  Check it out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Catholic Dads

Hi everyone. I've found a great website called Catholic Dads. It is a convergence of blogs by Catholic dads. It's a great resource.

Also on it today is a video from that I would recommend for you all to watch.

God bless and pax vobiscum.

Friday, August 8, 2008


This is only a test. Do not panic.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

And today...

...I join the countless others who have flirted with the oft-repeated heresy that my vote just doesn't count anyway.

In the primary, yesterday, I cast a vote for Mitt Romney, who, just hours ago, suspended his race for the Republican nomination. Ironically, I voted for him in one of the few states that went to McCain by a wide margin (not surprising, as CT is one of the blue-est states in the nation. I often refer to my area as the "purple corner.")

So now I have much thinking and praying to do about this upcoming November. Do I cast in with the man who sought to suppress First Amendment rights even at the expense of the pro-life cause he claims to support? Or do I just stay home? But is staying home giving a half-vote to the NARAL Democrat candidate whomever he/she might be?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008