Liberal Hopes In A Nutshell

David Warren
has an analysis of Ignatieff's 'depth':

....I do not doubt that Mr. Ignatieff is in earnest, in his pursuit of the office of prime minister. But he was a fluffy “public intellectual”—as opposed to a hard thinker—and if he can achieve success as a politician, his books will look much heavier in retrospect.

Many years ago, as editor of something called the Idler magazine, I commissioned a review of Ignatieff’s career-enhancing book, The Needs of Strangers (1984). Our noteworthy Canadian was making a mark among the “young fogeys” in London, and from its title the book promised to be interesting. We had every reason to cheer him on. But, on closer examination, there was no “there” there. The book was pretending to a depth and insight it could not deliver. It gathered what strength it had only from its topic.

I have had the same impression wherever I have dipped into his later non-fiction books—journalism with some mildly academic conceits, pretending to be deep. Into the novels I never bothered to dip: I find his “sensitive man” style rather false and grating. I was not surprised when he took to television. I was a little surprised when he did not flourish in that medium.

Mild left, and aloof from “ideology”—or rather, from any burning desire to carry observation towards conclusion, or build a consistent “worldview”—I am describing the least harmful sort of modern “liberal.“ Little feints towards conviction, to tease the reader along. Mr. Ignatieff’s one daring public policy stance was to support the invasion of Iraq. He crossed this Rubicon in a boat slightly behind such harder leftists as Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie....

So if you are a political liberal, rather than an ideological liberal, you'll be happy with Ignatieff. He'll have a chance in Canadian politics... apparantly by virtue of his non-commitment to strongly held ideals and beliefs - even liberal ones.

Oh Canada!

Christianity, Islam and Mary

I just read an interesting article about the historical relationship between Islam and Christianity, by Barbara Kralis . She included an article by the late Archbishop Sheen on the Moslem devotion to Mary:
....Today (1950), the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world Power.

It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but that Moslemism, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity — and in a way that even some of our missionaries never suspect.

It is our belief that this will happen not through the direct teaching of Christianity, but through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God.....

During a visit to Lebanon as a Christian pilgrim in Feb. 2006, we visited (their)Cana. From the hillside we could see the shepherds and their flocks in the valley, and in the far distance, an unobstructed view of Israel. The site we visited is believed by those living there to have been the site of Jesus' first miracle, and was maintained as a little park with a path to a shrine of Mary - a cave with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima. As I recall , there were also some carvings in rock that were meant to depict the Apostles. While we were there, several cars bearing Moslem pilgrims arrived to pray at the shrine. It was quite remarkable.

I wonder whether Archbishop Sheen's hope that the Moslems may be converted through their veneration of Mary will be fulfilled before or after Christians are reconciled amongst themselves . In rejecting as insignificant Jesus' Mother, whom he offered to us from the cross, some Christians have separated themselves from Christ himself in a particular way that the Moslems have not. Whom shall Christ bring home first - those who implore the help of his beloved Mother, or those who do not?


UN Petition Presented

December 10th, two Members of the European Parliament, Anna Záborská and Carlo Casini held a press conference in the European Parliament to announce that 5.4 million families had sent a petition to the UN, calling for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to be interpreted as protecting the unborn child and the family.

The Familiokratos coalition, established one year ago on the 10 December 2007, gathers leaders from pro-family and pro-life movements (See: http://familiokratosen.blogspot.com/). It has presented the petition to the Gabon ambassador, to the Holy See, Firmin Mboutsou, as well as to other UN ambassadors in order to be distributed among UN delegates.

The group was formed in order to remind the world of the Universal Declaration and to uphold the Declaration in all international instruments. Currently the 60th anniversary of the Declaration is being celebrated, and Familiokratos said that the recognition of the family should be recognized as the bedrock of the UDHR.

"The family is a cultural anchor universal to all cultures," Said Záborská. "The family is where we learn that the authentic role of the state is to serve its people; and not to reinvent humanity along the lines of some artificial ideology: the first and last sign of the approach of totalitarianism is the collapse of the family. Finally, we promote the family because it is the primary repository of love in our society."

The Falimiliokratos petition in favour of the dignity of life and the human family asserts that the rights presented in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are inherent to every human being. Governmental representatives, politicians, and all other decision-makers must interpret the UDHR so as to reaffirm the right to life to all members of the human family, including the unborn child. The petition also calls on governments to: protect the family "as the fundamental group unit of society," give special assistance to motherhood and childhood and promote the rights of parents. (UDHR articles 3, 16, 25 and 26).

Today,(appropriately on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe) we have the Vatican's release of their new instruction on bioethics - 'Dignitatis Personae'.

BigBlueWave has some good highlights and commentary.

Avery Cardinal Dulles Dies

Avery Cardinal Dulles died today at the age of ninety. He's the first American Jesuit Cardinal, a prolific and well-respected theologian, and a straight speaking faithful priest.

Fr. James Martin reports on the Jesuit "America" website:
"This is to inform you that Avery Cardinal Dulles died this morning at about 6:30 at Murray-Weigel Hall. Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly. May he rest in peace." [Murray-Weigel Hall is the Jesuit infirmary, located at Fordham University, in Bronx, New York.]

Cardinal Dulles, the first American Jesuit ever to be named a cardinal, was widely considered to be the dean of American Catholic theologians. An archive of articles by, and an interview with Cardinal Dulles, a longtime and beloved contributor to America magazine, for the past 40 years is here.

We mourn the loss of a great man, a learned scholar, a compassionate priest, a model Jesuit, and a dear friend of the editors here.

James Martin, SJ

National Catholic Register will be publishing articles on his life and work.

Online Archive

Articles By Cardinal Dulles in "First Things"

The Westin family will be including Cardinal Dulles in our prayers, and also Fr. Richard John Neuhaus (First Things), who has cancer.
(h/t Jeff Miller)

"Our Lady Of Guadalupe"

Last year our parish, St. Ignatius (Cayman Islands), received from Mexico a life-sized replica of the Tilma. It was blessed in Mexico City and hangs on the wall of our church near the front, where it is visible from almost every pew. After each Mass he attends, my seven-yr. old goes over to the picture (by himself) and 'visits' with Our Lady, thanking her for her wonderful 'Yes!'.

Every time I look at this image, I am reminded that we are not alone in our struggles to 'save the unborn'.

EWTN has some great information on the history of Juan Diego, the Tilma, and the Feast of Our Lady of Gualdalupe - December 12.
...let us call upon MARY with confidence. She is an "incomparable model of how life should be welcomed and cared for... Showing us her Son, she assures us that in Him the forces of death have already been defeated" (John Paul II)


Global Warming Turning Sour

More UN scientists refute the hype of the Global Warming religionists, than originally signed on:US Senate Report informs that over 650 scientists (up from last year's 450) are refuting the questionable science that has been pushed (and eagerly taught in public schools) around the world:

A hint of what the upcoming Senate report contains:

“I am a skeptic…Global warming has become a new religion.” - Nobel Prize Winner for Physics, Ivar Giaever.

“Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical.” - Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman in the world to receive a PhD in meteorology and formerly of NASA who has authored more than 190 studies and has been called “among the most preeminent scientists of the last 100 years.”

Warming fears are the “worst scientific scandal in the history…When people come to know what the truth is, they will feel deceived by science and scientists.” - UN IPCC Japanese Scientist Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental physical chemist.

“The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn’t listen to others. It doesn’t have open minds… I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists,” - Indian geologist Dr. Arun D. Ahluwalia at Punjab University and a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet.

“The models and forecasts of the UN IPCC "are incorrect because they only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity.” - Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico

“It is a blatant lie put forth in the media that makes it seem there is only a fringe of scientists who don’t buy into anthropogenic global warming.” - U.S Government Atmospheric Scientist Stanley B. Goldenberg of the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA.

“Even doubling or tripling the amount of carbon dioxide will virtually have little impact, as water vapour and water condensed on particles as clouds dominate the worldwide scene and always will.” – . Geoffrey G. Duffy, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering of the University of Auckland, NZ.

“After reading [UN IPCC chairman] Pachauri's asinine comment [comparing skeptics to] Flat Earthers, it's hard to remain quiet.” - Climate statistician Dr. William M. Briggs, who specializes in the statistics of forecast evaluation, serves on the American Meteorological Society's Probability and Statistics Committee and is an Associate Editor of Monthly Weather Review.

“For how many years must the planet cool before we begin to understand that the planet is not warming? For how many years must cooling go on?" - Geologist Dr. David Gee the chairman of the science committee of the 2008 International Geological Congress who has authored 130 plus peer reviewed papers, and is currently at Uppsala University in Sweden.

“Gore prompted me to start delving into the science again and I quickly found myself solidly in the skeptic camp…Climate models can at best be useful for explaining climate changes after the fact.” - Meteorologist Hajo Smit of Holland, who reversed his belief in man-made warming to become a skeptic, is a former member of the Dutch UN IPCC committee.
(h/t SDA)

I just want to add that I am constantly being annoyed by 'scientific' articles in our local paper, and gov't 'politically correct' decisions being made, based on this ****. Does Cayman always have to be two steps behind the rest of the world? By the time we catch up to the de-bunking of global warming, how much will we have given away? Responsible custody of our earth - YES! Fanatical caving to every passing popular myth - emphatically NO!

"It's Called Christmas!"

PTBC has its naughty and nice (and marginal) list up with commentary:
....Christmas is in fact a legal federal holiday. It’s not just another day. It’s not just “the season” or another “holiday”. It’s Christmas. I’m sorry for those Canadians who dislike Canada and its heritage and history and traditions so much that they seek to change Canada to be to their liking. Sadly, they’re making a lot of headway. But sorry as I am, I’m going to push back and fight them back. It’s a war they’ve launched. A culture war of sorts. And they attacked first. So let’s deploy the citizens—the sane, rational defenses of the citizenry. “Yes we can!“

Do we want to mock and ridicule them, here? Why yes. Yes we do. Of course we do. They are mock-worthy and ridiculous. And they don’t deserve our business and hard-earned dollars.

Do we want to give a little free advertising to businesses and organizations that openly celebrate CHRISTMAS? Yes.

We call it Christmas proudly and happily and like normal folks do. Let them schlep away in their quagmire of ugly left-wing politics and ideology in their own dark ugly and probably undecorated homes...

Catholic Carnival #202

Hosted this week by newbie James Hahn atReal Life Rosary. Plenty of Advent/Christmas resources and meditations, pro-life gifts for Jesus, and the winner from last week's contest! Wow!


ACTION And Results...

40 Days For Life, Fall 2008, held a teleconference today, and published a summary of their results . Looks to me like they didn't waste their time!

(...middle picture of the cover has my MOM! snuggled between two other vigil keepers in Halifax)

'search blog' (at top) to find '40 Days For Life' posts (59!)

"Only Men Aloud"

I've been getting e-mails about these guys, so here they are singing "Benedictus", by composer Karl Jenkins.

(sounds 'spiritual' to me..)

Their webpage has all the info you'll ever need about them.

There Is Intelligent Life...

Saul Anuzis, contender for GOP chair, tells it like it is:
"First of all, you are never going to legislate the issue of abortion and morality. Basically, what you have to do is establish a social norm and educate the people as to why it’s right or wrong," .....

..."This is not something that is going to happen tomorrow. This is not something that’s going to happen quickly. This is a long-term process. This has been a long-term battle, and I think it will continue to be a battle years down the line," Anuzis explained. "I think you have to educate people year by year, election by election."
(h/t Suzanne)

The main bit of education needed is that an abortion is not a 'procedure', it is the killing of a child. And not just for 'religious' folks.



"Top Ten Fascinating Catholics 2008"

Lisa Hendey of Faith and Family has published her list:

1. Pope Benedict XVI - He moved hearts and captivated our imaginations with his visit to the United States in 2008. His writings, his homilies and his general presence inspire me to try to be a better, more loving and giving Catholic.

2. Sister Helena Burns - Otherwise known as the “Media Nun”, Sister Helena runs a blog called “Hell Burns” (catchy title, huh?) and is one of the most forward thinking media minds I know. This Daughter of St. Paul is constantly on the lookout for new uses of media to evangelize. Next time you’re in Chicago, look her up at the Pauline Book and Media Center on Michigan Avenue. You’ll be inspired!

3. Fr. Frank Pavone - National Director, Priests for Life and Missionaries of the Gospel of Life; President, National Pro-life Religious Council; and Pastoral Director, Rachel’s Vineyard, Fr. Pavone is a tireless advocate for the right to life of every person. I admire Fr. Pavone’s endless conviction and courage....

...and so far I've found Jeff Miller's:

#6 Doug Kmiec. Yeah right.

#7 Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM. The bishop is a favorite of mine for years and this year was no exception. He spoke out multiple times this year and not just about the election. Whether he is speaking out to defend life, sex abuse, immigration, etc - he has been willing to engage the media instead of complaining about how unfair it is. This year he wrote the book "Render onto Caesar."

#8 Bishop Martino. There were many bishops who spoke out this year and who responded to the silly comments from Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. But I especially give the tip of the Jester's hat to Bishop Morlino for saying "The USCCB doesn't speak for me." It is certainly the bishop who is the primary teacher in his diocese and his excellency takes this seriously. Too many bishops allow the USCCB provide cover so they don't have to be as strong as they could be, not so in this bishops case....

They've made this into a 'meme', so keep looking...there will be plenty more interesting and informative lists out there !

To Whom, For Freedom?

I agree with Scott Gilbreath. This quote from Albert Einstein is relevant to today. Eerily so.

“Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. …

“Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly."

We've come a ways down the same road, and yet alarms are being ignored by the vast majority. What is it about human nature that allows a civilization to ignore its own decline?

Selfishness. The main thrust of secular humanism.


Relying On God

Author and artist Michael O'Brien addressed a planning and strategy meeting of LifeSiteNews supporters and staff in Toronto:
Using the images of Don Quixote and the Biblical David, O’Brien observed that those who embark on an heroic mission - such as the mission of the pro-life movement - under their own powers only will inevitably end up like Don Quixote at the end of Cervantes’ novel – broken-hearted and disillusioned.

Rather than Don Quixote, said O’Brien, pro-life activists should fight with the spirit of David, a mere boy who was able to defeat the giant Goliath. The author emphasized that the reason for David’s victory was that he put everything in God’s hands, saying of the result of his fight with Goliath, “The battle belongs to the Lord.” This, he said, should be the constant refrain of the pro-life movement.

Rather than fighting the culture of death with mere ingenuity or intelligence, which inevitably fail and leave us disappointed, said the author, pro-life activists should engage in the battle for life in what he termed a “prophetic spirit” that is unafraid to embrace the cross and to serve as a “sign of contradiction” to the world.

This seems to be a recurring theme. Should pro-lifers include religion in their strategy, or not? Shouldn't we be smarter, more tech-savvy, less 'oogedy- boogedy'? Why hasn't the pro-life movement been able to convince the public of the direness of society's degradation and decline, due in large part to a disregard for the value of life? Are 'religious' people scaring away those who would be otherwise open to Life arguments?

ProWomanProLife keeps returning to this discussion . In a recent thread it was debated whether there was a category of secular (social) conservatives, or whether the so-cons were basically all religious folks. At the same time as PWPL is establishing themselves as a reasonable pro-life voice in the blogosphere and beyond, they have a diversity among themselves. Some of the writers are religious, some have 'left' religion. (There is a problem with consistent definitions of religious/non-religious here that would help the discussion.)

I myself have had discussions with self-proclaimed atheists who express sympathy for pro-life advocacy, and strain to establish a 'morality' without a God. They say 'I am a good person, because I have decided that these things are good.' The problem that I see, is that without a higher purpose to that belief, how do they convince others? How is their 'belief' useful to the pro-life movement?

Michael O'Brien is right. If we try to organize ourselves into success, and be politically correct by eliminating outward signs that we believe God will act for us, we CANNOT succeed. The pro-life movement absolutely depends on the Rosary brigade, the Masses offered, the sacrifices of faithful people, to deluge Heaven with prayers. We have to keep begging for mercy. Only through the mercy of God, will the tide of cruel indifference to life be stemmed.

It serves no purpose to be embarrassed by our more prayerful activists. We rely on them to make up our own deficit.

As for the place of secular non-religious in the pro-life movement, I believe each person is individually part of God's plan to redeem the world. We aren't all on the same 'schedule', but I consider myself to be on the road to His purpose, and anyone who works to save Life is surely on that road too.

God will work out those details.

'Christus Vincit Anywhere'

An Audio pod-cast hosted by Brian Michael Page

Here they review another 80 or so hymns/songs/muzak as found in the 2009 Music Issue. They also talk about Advent, preparing for Christmas, ad Orientem, share a child's perception of the Bible and salute a church for excellence in music.

Direct Listen
Complete Show Notes

Grab yourself a coffee brandy to warm up, then enjoy the show!

News From Home

Halifax is in the middle of a turf war between rival gangs, inspiring my vote for 'quote of the week':

None of these guys are terribly successful. Police routinely bring them in and convict them on drug offences. They're the more menacing version of the Trailer Park Boys.
(Donald Clairmont, director of the Atlantic Institute of Criminology at Dalhousie University in Halifax.)

I have finally had my curiosity piqued enough to actually look up the 'Trailer Park Boys', as they seem to have become somewhat of a cultural icon. (You'll have to look them up for yourself. I have language standards.) The 'Halifax Regional Municipality', which used to be known as Halifax/Dartmouth (and Sackville, and Bedford) has surely gone downhill since I left. Coiincidence?


Nervous Nellies

(or ruthless, power-hungry opportunists?)

Ignoring the fact that their own party members rejected them such a short time ago, and that the Canadian public rejected their own party IN OCTOBER, Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae are chomping at the bit. (Alberticon for anxious to get going - if Kathleen Parker can make up words...)

Liberal leadership candidates Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae stepped up the pressure on Stephane Dion Sunday to step aside before Parliament resumes next month.

Canadians Brave Freezing Weather To Rally

(psuedo-canadians rally indoors)

photos and videos at bigbluewave >

PELALUSA has a growing collection of pictures and videos.

My personal favourite signs are the 'JACK' signs. ('Hit the Road Jack', 'Silly Jack, Tricks Are For Kids') Unfortunate name.
Oh yes, and the 'L'. (for Liberal Loser!)

Shouldn't we just ignore Gilles? He doesn't have much to do with Canada, does he?