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Thursday 16 August 2012

My Home Town Makes DrudgeReport

I know East Davenport like the back of my hand. My son organized his international cricket games in the park there. We used to eat at the local Mexican restaurant, Rudy's, right there. The views of the Mississippi River are great from the hills and politics is the local sport. If you were in a local restaurant, you would see people reading (yes, they read) and talking about politics intelligently, with facts. That is the Iowa way. Soybean, Black Angus and corn prices, gay marriage,  the GOP governor and all types of interesting topics would be overheard. 

There is also an ice cream and locally made chocolate shop to die for called Largomarcino's. If you go there, get a hot-fudge Sunday and a Green River drink. 

POTUS was there on Thursday. I hope other people are as fed up as Mr. Murty. Love the tee-shirt.

I used to live just down the road in downtown Davenport, in a great loft apartment. It is not a Catholic city, but it is a political one. 

Iowa deli co-owner caters for Obama visit, but his T-shirt tells another story

By Thursday, August 16, 1:43 AM

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Ross Murty likes business, but he doesn’t like President Obama.
And so the co-owner of the Village Corner Deli here agreed to cater Obama’s visit Wednesday — but not before donning a T-shirt blaring the message: “Government didn’t build my business. I did.”
It was a reference to a remark Obama made several weeks ago that his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, has seized upon to portray Obama as anti-business. Obama, referring to the help government provides to businesses by building roads and providing education and other services, said, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that."
“No one from the government was there when we were sweating it, when we were building this business,” Murty said. Before him was a bank of chafing dishes filled with smoked beef brisket, pulled pork, vegetable parmesan bake and cheesy hash brown casserole provided to the White House press corps covering the president’s three-day swing across Iowa this week.
Murty, 45, a registered Republican, didn’t really have a choice with the catering job. His partner, Bret Dalton (a registered Democrat), accepted the work on Saturday while Murty was away in Chicago watching a Cubs game. Dalton volunteered for Vice President Biden’s presidential campaign in 1988, when he was a student at Iowa State University.
But that’s not why he got the contract.
“One of Obama’s lead people came into the deli Saturday morning,” Dalton said. “I didn’t even know it was for Obama until that night.”
When he found out, though, Dalton had some fun. He called up Murty, who was driving back from Chicago, and asked: “Guess who’s coming to town this week?”
“He was a little stunned,” Dalton recalled. But the two take their political disagreements in stride, and the conversation was all in good fun, both said.
“I would never say no to anybody for any reason,” Murty said. “My partner and I have different views in politics, but business is business.”
The White House performs background checks on contractors for security reasons, but it does not vet them for their political views. Also, the caterers are hired to provide food for the White House press corps, which pays for the food, even though the White House makes the arrangements.
The Obama campaign had no comment on Murty's T-shirt.
But the Romney campaign seized on the moment, circulating pictures that reporters had tweeted of Murty with his controversial T-shirt. “Mr. President, please stay another day!” the Romney campaign e-mail said.

An Advertisement from St. Louis--Modest Wedding Dresses-TAC Ladies, For YOU!

This is from one of my readers. I thank tech_pilgrim for this link. My mom is from St. Louis and I love the city. Here is another good reason to go there, besides the Cardinals....Brides, take heart....

A repeated post ...for my fellow bloggers

Saturday, 3 March 2012

A Catholic Carpe Diem

A Catholic Carpe Diem, this post is for bloggers.
And, I claim Fulton J. Sheen as one of my patrons on the Net.
A day in the life of a blogger depends on the person's real job.
Now, for most bloggers, a vocation to the priesthood, married life,
motherhood and fatherhood may be part of the blogging day.
A job or profession most likely marks most Catholic bloggers,
who can be Canon lawyers, secular lawyers, university professors,
artists, journalists, writers, students, computer “guys”, or home schooling moms.
Blogging is an addition to the busy schedule of most.
The quality of the blog depends upon the time and technological skills of the bloggers.
For example, for one blogger, a posting may take 20 minutes.
For another, 30 minutes, and for some bright sparks, 10 minutes.
But, the real mark of every blogger is passion.

The passion of the Catholic blogger is to communicate the beautiful Faith of
our Catholic Church, and give of the five loaves and two fishes
which have been given to that writer, especially in a busy schedule.
A blog may be what is left over in the baskets at the end of the day, or even the week.
Or, the blog could be one of the five loaves.

For most Catholic and traditional bloggers, a blog is a means of evangelizing, i
n the “new evangelization” of Blessed John Paul II. The Internet may very
 well not always be a place of truly free speech. I am not writing this out of paranoia,
but have already shown below in some articles, the coming United Nations effort to
bow to less than free cultures regarding electronic communication.
We in the West expect to be able to stand on our virtual soap-box
and say what we will, without being harassed. This may not always be the case.
And, so, the passion of the blogger is to get across as much real Truth,
real Catholic information as possible in a short period of time. Hence,
the needed passion to communicate falls within a framework of the “now”.
What is important “now” for Catholics?

By the “now”, I do not mean the ephemeral or the trendy. I mean what is important for
the corporate life of the Faithful. Sometimes the now means sharing a prayer, or being a
prophet, or a teacher. Sometimes the now means answering questions, or communicating
important local and international Catholic events, both good and not so good.
One can imagine examples in the last three months where the Catholic blogging
community has worked more hours than usual on the question of Catholic freedom of conscience
 in America. And, that is not the only issue.

I am convinced that I am part of a growing number of bloggers who try to make up what
has been missing in the catechesis of two, maybe three, generations. One person here in
Ireland, four years older than myself, was never taught Catechism in school. The lack of
education for some has created the Catholic Traditional Blog,
which attempts to fill in the gap for adult education for those who are on the computer
and on the Internet. I have read that sixty-percent of the Irish public have
Internet access at home. This is not my personal experience, quite the contrary.
Or, if there is access, only the very young, or under thirties use it regularly and not those older.
Access is limited elsewhere, as I have already noted on this blog.

Was is appalling are the numbers of adults who are not on the computer and not on the Internet,
who do not have access to the real teaching of the Catholic Church, or simply,
do not know where to find the resources. Such adults will remain as children and
even may be endangering their salvation by remaining in ignorance. Any adult who remains in
ignorance of the teachings of the Church in 2012 is guilty of sloth or disinterestedness. 
The second is a serious sin of neglect.

I have been told over and over again in England and in Ireland that adults
“do not have time for religious learning”. The pursuit of mortgages, cars,
careers and even a developed social life have pushed the responsibility to learn
and appropriate the Faith to the back-burner.

I have written on this before, almost two months ago. We shall be judged on
our own merits, or lack thereof, and not on the merits of Father ABC, who did not teach us the Faith.

The blogging community wants to share the Faith, Hope and Love given to us by
Christ with the whole world. If some Catholics are not interested or are too busy to
pursue learning the Truth of the Teaching Magisterium of the Church, we can only
hope that some day soon, the little light of realization will show them that now is the time
to grow in Faith and Reason, knowledge and grace. We may not have the leisure or the means “later”.

I compare blogging with missionary work. In my home town, the oldest existing
Church was founded by an Italian missionary priest, who traveled on horseback along
the Mississippi River spreading the Gospel and setting up parishes. He moved with
whatever was available at the time-a horse, backpack, Bible, Missal, Mass kit, vestments,
 food and water. He may have traveled with others, like a tracker, or guide, or a
few lay assistants. But, he moved, from Italy to Iowa and then up and down the edges of the Great River.

If he had not done this, many families would have died in the Faith. We are the
missionaries of the world of the Internet. I would like to think that in any little way, we encourage the Faith.

The missionary priests, and my great-uncle was one who came to help the
Czech community in northern Iowa, faced horrible dangers and inconveniences--weather,
unfriendly natives, unfriendly Protestants, lack of provisions, lack of books,
even lack of housing and clothing. We, who sit in our dens, classrooms, living rooms,
or Internet cafes, face no problems except perhaps not enough change for a second cup of coffee,
or the temporary loss of electricity, or travelling through a “dead zone”. But,
this may not always be the case. Blog away, fellow bloggers, while you can.
The days of freedom may be shorter than one would hope.


The Catholic Church under siege in France---Yesterday's prayer hit a nerve

If you remember, several blogs were covering the prayer asked by the bishops' conference in France which was said yesterday in all parishes, hopefully. The prayer specifically was aimed at the growing push for civil marriages for homosexuals and for the eventual lowering of the age of consent.

Yesterday, pro-gay groups came out against the Catholic Church on this matter. Here is one article from France 24, which I use here frequently.

Gay rights groups in France have reacted angrily to the Catholic Church after it issued a call to prayer to protect the sacriment of marriage from same-sex couples.
The controversial “Prayer for France” has been sent out to churches across the country to be read out on August 15 to mark the feast of the Assumption.
The prayer’s subject matter is designed to mobilise Catholics against Fran├žois Hollande’s Socialist Party government, which recently affirmed plans to open up marriage and adoption to gay couples.
In a thinly veiled reference to the proposed gay marriage bill, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois asked churchgoers to pray for “newly elected officials” to put their “sense of common good over the pressure to meet special demands”.
These words have angered gay rights groups across France, who have slammed the church for "homophobia" and for interfering in poltics.
“Fran├žois Hollande is committed to these reforms and they have been reaffirmed by his government,” Nicolas Gougain of the Inter LGBT activist group told FRANCE 24.
“We can count on getting a majority in parliament and no prayer will be able to block this necessary legisation. Religion has no place in politics,” he added.
'No prayer can stop legislation'
The annual “Prayer for France” was a centuries-old custom that died out after World War II. It was first uttered in the seventeenth century after King Louis XIII decreed all churches would pray on August 15 for the good of the country.
Church spokesman Monsignor Bernard Podvin said its revival was timed to “raise the consciouness of public opinion about grave social choices”.
Minister for Families Dominique Bertinotti told French media this week that a bill legalising gay marriage will be voted on in parliament in early 2013.
As well as opposing gay marriage, the prayer also makes clear the Catholic Church’s resistance to gay adoption.
The cardinal invites congregations to pray that “children cease to be objects of the desires and conflicts of adults and fully benefit from the love of a father and a mother”.
These words provoked the wrath of Inter LGBT.
“He is implying that it is dangerous for a child to be brought up by same-sex parents," Gougain said. "The text of the prayer is homophobic. The church’s definition of family is far from the reality of the diverse families we see today – same-sex, mixed or single parents."
“We are asking that all different types of families are recognised, in the interests of both child and parent.”
Love thy neighbour
The Prayer for France follows the hardline stance taken by the leader of the Catholic Chuch, Pope Benedict XVI, who in January said gay marriage threatened “the future of humanity itself”.
Gay Christian groups have also reacted angrily to the Cardinal’s prayer.
“Most of our members are really upset by this terrible prayer, which reinforces the fears certain Catholics have towards homosexuals,” Elisabeth Saint-Guily of gay Christian group David and Jonathan told Europe1 radio.
“France’s bishops, and above them the Vatican, are using homophobic language. The Bible says, 'Love thy neighbour as yourself'. We would like the bishops to apply this maxim. They should love all their neighbours, including homosexuals,” she said.
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon defended the church’s positon, saying marriage, defined at the start of the Bible, was created by God to join man and woman.
“Nobody should be surprised if we Catholics think that the first page of the Bible is right, even more so than a parliament,” he told Europe1.

Prayers Needed

This blogger is begging for prayers. I have a serious situation which has come up. Thanks, please, for remembering me in your prayers.

On Gender Distinctions and the Catholic Church

The EU is pushing laws which would make teaching or cultivating distinctions of gender illegal. I have written about this and I am becoming more and more concerned for catechesis in the future. The Church's age old teaching on male and female differences would be under threat.

I have written many times on the dangers of androgyny. Now, it is possible that the teaching of Christians regarding man and woman, "male and female He created them" as being God-given identities would become underground teaching.

The Scriptures, both in the Old and New Testament provide clarity as to the differences of male and female. St. Paul outlines sins connected to "effeminacy". But, of course, he was writing to the Greco-Roman cultures which had already seen the dangers of the blurring of the genders. In The Republic by Plato, there are references to weak, effeminate men. Aristotle warns of the dangers of soft, weak men and goes further in stating that effeminacy is linked to too much luxury. One can see that in our highly materialistic, hedonistic society.

Gender blurrings are part of the lgtb agenda to change the culture. St. Paul helps us under stand how serious these blurrings can be. Notice that this is a separate category of serious sin. Sodomites are separated form the effeminate. I give three translations.1 Cor 6:9-10

"Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor sodomites, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." King James Version

Do you not know that unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers, nor boy prostitutes, nor sodomites...." New American Version

Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, not idolators, nor adulterers. Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall posses the kingdom of God. Douay Rheims

Some Scripture scholars and theologians do not like the new translation of effeminate as boy prostitutes. One can argue about this. But the point is that God's natural law is being violated even in law.

Without a culture based on Revelation and natural law, there is only barbarism.

The Road

Recently, I forced myself to watch The Road. This is not for kids and even for some adults as it is R. Before I watched it, I knew it was brutal. Viggo Mortensen is an under-rated actor. He is truly talented but obviously chooses his films for his own reasons. The film, as most of you know, as it is not new, takes place in the post nuclear war world. How people react to the world of cannibalism and violence creates part of the story. The father tries to teach his son, after the mother leaves to die, about good and bad. The ending is hopeful, thank goodness, and there is a, I think, reference to The Lord of the Rings at the very end which I do not want to spoil. There is nothing beautiful in the film except the love of the father for his boy and the boy's growth into "a good guy".

But, it is an important film. The movies shows that in the end, nothing counts but character and love.

Evil persists and grows worse, which means that good must become heroic.

I went down and helped after Katrina and the landscape, especially the dead trees, reminded me of Mississippi. The reactions of the people were somewhat similar. Many men committed suicide. Some youth began to live pagan lives, completely hating God, life and themselves in a pursuit of pleasure to numb pain and fight the ordinary. Some began to practice the occult, especially voodoo. Some people, the majority, were kind and good and helpful to each other. I learned a lot about people and myself.

I was reminded of the Israelites in the wilderness, trying to get to the Promised Land after years of punishment owing to sin. One of the simplest scenes included the Man and the Boy walking into a city where the expensive jewelry shop had been. They were literally walking on money, pearls and other precious stones. Nothing mattered but food and water.

If there is a nuclear holocaust, it will be a direct result of sin. If there are any survivors who do not see people merely as prey, but as humans in need, responding in love, it will be because of grace.

We need to prepare our souls now. We need to build character and learn what real love is all about.

Sacrifice and courage. May I add real community is a necessity.

More on Ryan

taken from The Weekly Standard Blog

What the Ryan Pick Says About Romney

11:06 AM, Aug 11, 2012 • By FRED BARNES

Mitt Romney, the cautious candidate, wary of being specific, and counting on the bad economy to defeat President Obama – forget all that! The Romney who picked Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate is an entirely different person. He’s prepared to take the fight to Obama on the biggest bundle of issues – spending, debt, the deficit, taxes, entitlements, and the reversing of America’s accelerating decline under Obama. Specifics? There will be plenty.

Romney the fighter? Anyone who has read about the 1948 presidential campaign has noticed a likeness between Romney and Tom Dewey, the Republican candidate against President Truman. Dewey was anything but a fighter. His campaign had no purpose other than winning. He figured Truman’s unpopularity would provide for that.
It didn’t work in 1948. Nor has Romney’s message that the economy is in terrible shape and he’s a businessman who can deal with it – few specifics, no special plan, just a man with an experience. In 2012, that’s not a winning strategy.
Romney understands that. Otherwise he wouldn’t have chosen Ryan, whose budget is the plan Romney lacks. Sure, Democrats will attack it furiously, especially its reform of Medicare. But where’s their plan? Obama doesn’t have one; instead, he pretends the country isn’t facing a fiscal and economic crisis.
So, first and foremost, what the selection of Ryan tells us about Romney is that he’s not passive. He’s not Dewey without the mustache. Ryan is hardly a cautious choice of a running mate. He’s the boldest. Now Romney must actively promote and defend the Ryan plan. As of today, it’s the Romney plan.
Romney’s solution is to “get someone who can,” notes Washington consultant David Smick, a friend of Ryan. No one in America is better than Ryan in spelling out, with figures and facts, the crisis America faces.
Third, Romney turns out to be a political heavyweight with a smaller than usual ego. Ryan is bound to steal more of the limelight than normal for a vice presidential candidate. He is the leading policy thinker in the Republican party. His budget, which all but a handful of congressional Republicans have voted for, is now the campaign’s platform.
Fourth, by picking Ryan, Romney turns out to be his own chief strategist. He’s ready to adopt a campaign scheme that some, if not most, of his advisers would surely not have preferred. Nor was Ryan their first choice.
Fifth, Romney now wants to wage an exciting campaign – a tutorial. That’s an important change of mind on his part. From what we’ve seen of his campaign pre-Ryan, this was the farthest thing from his mind.
Stirring America to believe drastic action is required to avert a calamity won’t be easy. The crisis is still largely an abstraction. But Ryan can make it real in voters’ minds. And that alone makes his selection by Romney a very smart one.

And, I add a quotation from Buchanan on his website: Obama believes government is the engine of prosperity. Romney and Ryan believe people, private institutions, entrepreneurs and businesses are the creative and energizing forces in society.

A strange solution

I am sorry, but this is weird. Apartheid rules in Saudi Arabia. I print almost the entire article, as it is so unbelievable.


Coming to Saudi Arabia: The world's first women-only city

The super-patriarchal Gulf kingdom is creating a female-only city to finally allow a huge percentage of its educated population to work freely

How will this all-female city work? 
Saudi Arabia has a problem: The Persian Gulf kingdom has an increasingly educated, increasingly unemployed female population and ultraconservative laws and customs that forbid women from mingling, much less working, with men. The Saudis are fashioning an unusual solution, building an industrial city that will allow only women. The female-only zone is scheduled to open in the Eastern Province city of Hofuf next year, with more ladies-only areas to come in Riyadh, the capital. How do these cities-inside-a-city work, and are they good for women? Here's a guide to the first-ever city of women:
The inaugural one in Hofuf is essentially a female-only industrial zone that's expected to employ about 5,000 Saudi women in the textile, pharmaceutical, and food-processing industries. Women will run the companies and factories. "I'm sure that women can demonstrate their efficiency in many aspects and clarify the industries that best suit their interests, nature, and ability," says Saleh al-Rasheed, deputy director general of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (Modon), which is in charge of the project. The women will live in adjacent neighborhoods.
Who came up with the idea?A group of Saudi businesswomen, according to the business newspaper Al Eqtisadiah. But Saudi Arabia's ruling monarchy embraced the concept as a way to lower female unemployment while staying "consistent with the privacy of women according to Islamic guidelines and regulations," Modon said in a statement. The government had little choice, says Sarah Goodyear at The Atlantic. "Restrictions on women's lives and productivity there are so extreme — Saudi women need a male guardian's permission to travel, seek employment, or marry — that the country is in effect letting a potentially huge sector of the productive economy sit idle." About 60 percent of college graduates in the country are women, and 78 percent of them are unemployed, according to recent surveys; only 15 percent of the Saudi workforce is female.
Will this city work as intended?
Some women who work in these new cities "will no doubt distinguish themselves, but they will still be laboring in segregation," says The Atlantic's Goodyear...For one thing, "as an industrial town with no men in it, it will presumably contain none of those mini-impediments to productivity known as 'children.'" In a few years, these Saudi women will be South Korea to their male counterparts' North. These cities will either fail or they'll succeed in further segregating women from the public sphere,says Homa Khaleeli at The Guardian. Maybe women should "flock to them, close the doors, and refuse to leave until the kingdom's rulers understand just what it is like to live without women."
Is this a step forward for women?That's a tough question, says The Guardian's Williams. It's not really "a move forward in women's liberation, not unless you think apartheid was a good system for black people because they got their own swimming pools,..."