Friday, July 30, 2010

Historical Marker Database [UPDATED]

This is pretty cool.

Information for historical markers worldwide. Here's a sample entry:
A Seed of Catholic Education in Ohio / The Cradle of Catholicity in Ohio

Inscription. Side 1 A Seed of Catholic Education in Ohio

In April 1830 four Dominican sisters from St. Catherine's, Kentucky, founded St. Mary's Academy, the first Catholic school in Perry County. Bishop Edward Fenwick, first Bishop of Ohio, donated a small brick house and attached building situated on an acre of land for the school's use. Classes began with forty students. The following year the sisters built a three-story structure with a dormitory for boarders; by the end of the Civil War, enrollment had increased to 134 students, and St. Mary's gained recognition as one of the finest schools in Ohio. An 1866 fire destroyed the academy, and in 1885 the Dominican sisters reestablished the academy as a parish school. The present Holy Trinity School building dates to 1968.

Side 2 The Cradle of Catholicity in Ohio

On October 1827, one of Ohio's earliest Catholic churches was consecrated on the highest point in Somerset, a site that became known as Piety Hill. Named Holy Trinity, this small brick church served Somerset parishioners for twenty-five years under Rev. Nicholas Dominic Young, O.P., as pastor. In 1857 a new Gothic-style church building was constructed around the old church, which remained until the new church was consecrated. This church is still used by Holy Trinity Catholic parishioners. With St. Joseph and Holy Trinity churches as their bases, Dominican priests founded numerous Catholic parishes and churches throughout Ohio. For this reason this part of Perry County is known as the "Cradle of Catholicity in Ohio.

Erected. 2002 by The Ohio Bicentennial Commission; Holy Trinity School; The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 2-64.)

Location. 39° 48.266′ N, 82° 17.788′ W. Marker is in Somerset, Ohio, in Perry County. Marker is on S. Columbus St. (Ohio Route 13), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 228 S. Columbus St., Somerset OH 43783, United States of America.

Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, as the crow flies. General Philip Henry Sheridan (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Sheridan Monument / 1829 Courthouse (approx. 0.3 miles away); First Lutheran Synod (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Sheridan Homestead (approx. 0.5 miles away); Zion Reformed Church (approx. 6.2 miles away); Birthplace of Thomas A. Hendricks (approx. 9.6 miles away); Bremen World Wars Memorial (approx. 9.8 miles away); Wesley Chapel (approx. 9.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Somerset.


Bowing to the Inevitable?


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Friday, July 23, 2010

Digest of Today's Posts (23 July 2010)

  • Former Catholic Altar Boy Engages in Tax Avoidance

  • "Nonpartisan" Catholics United to “Set the Record Straight” by Trying to Convince Catholics That New Healthcare Law is "Pro-Life"

  • 50 Things a Man Should Be Able To Do
  • Labels:

    Former Catholic Altar Boy Engages in Tax Avoidance

    Elitist hypocrisy, thy name is John F. Kerry:
    Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.

    Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.

    But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.

    Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993, making the tiny state to the south a haven - like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau - for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners?

    Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000...

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    "Nonpartisan" Catholics United to “Set the Record Straight” by Trying to Convince Catholics That New Healthcare Law is "Pro-Life"

    I just received an email from with the following information:
    Dear CatholicVote Friend,

    Let me be blunt: I am in a fighting mood.

    This week the divisive group Catholics United announced they are preparing to spend $500,000 to defend members of Congress who voted FOR the pro-abortion healthcare law. You might remember Catholics United. They're an affiliate of Catholics in Alliance, which has received heavy funding from athiest billionaire George Soros.

    So now Catholics United has a massive warchest to spew propaganda that will divide and confuse the Catholic vote.

    We have a plan to fight back, but we urgently need your support today.


    Catholics United (Divided) has developed a bogus “Set the Record Straight” campaign to convince Catholics and other voters that the new healthcare law is pro-life! They are preparing television, radio and Internet advertisements that will tell voters that support for Obamacare was a vote to protect life. What nonsense!

    We saw what happened during the 2008 election when this group and others attempted to co-op the Church’s teaching to push their partisan agenda. In fact, Denver’s Archbishop Chaput slammed Catholics United saying they “have done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, [and] undermined the progress pro-lifers have made...”

    But that hasn’t stopped them. They are back for more, and if we don’t respond this time, they are poised to do some major damage.


    Click here to chip in:

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Archbishop Chaput: A Bad Bill and How We Got It

    Archbishop Chaput: Those Confusing the Catholic Stance on Health Care Will Bear the Blame for Anti-Life Effects of Heath Care Bill

    CatholicVote Takes on Soros-Funded Catholics in Alliance and Catholics United

    Sebelius and Kmiec Catholicism - the Catholic Left Declares War on Pro-Lifers

    Apologists for Abortion-Loving Catholics Attack Archbishop ... Again

    "Nonpartisan" Catholics United Attacks the Knights of Columbus

    "Nonpartisan" Catholics United Hits McCain with Ad Questioning His Pro-Life Credentials

    "Non-Partisan" Group of Catholic Obama Supporters Calling Itself "Catholics United" Gets Divisive

    The Catholic Left Meets in Philadelphia

    Convention for the "Common Good"

    Bill Donohue: "How the Catholic Left Is Boxed in by Abortion"

    "Catholic Democrats" Attack "Registered Republican Archbishop of Kansas City" for "Using Communion" to "Take Down" Sebelius

    Deal Hudson: "Catholics Organize to Elect Barack Obama"

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    50 Things a Man Should Be Able To Do

    At First Thoughts, Joe Carter has compiled a list of 50 things every man should be able to do, including, among other things, "perfectly cook scrambled eggs", "load, shoot, and clean a firearm", and "hug another man".

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    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Digest of Today's Posts (16 July 2010)

  • The ObamaCare Catholics Need to Re-Assess

  • Fighting for the Catholic Restoration

  • What if Roman Polanski Were a Catholic Priest?

  • Just Another One of My Occasional Reminders ...

  • From Yesterday:
  • Chris Matthews is a Bigoted, Elitist Idiot [UPDATED]
  • Labels:

    The ObamaCare Catholics Need to Re-Assess

    Writing at Public Discourse, Helen Alvaré issues "A Health Care Challenge to Commonweal and Timothy Jost":
    With so much water already under the bridge, it seems a risky move to wade into the debate between Commonweal (and its apparent legal advisor, Professor Timothy Jost) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at this stage of the debate over the contents of the health care reform law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or PPACA). On the other hand, it might be the perfect time to step back and survey the prolific exchange. Commonweal’s editors just don’t seem to trust the USCCB’s legal or policy analyses of the PPACA insofar as freedom of conscience or abortion are concerned.

    Conversely, Commonweal has extended every benefit of the doubt to the opinions of one professor, Timothy Jost, who not only has no record of cooperation with Catholic moral and policy interests along the consistent ethic of life, but seems to regard Catholic contributions to moral reasoning about law with animosity,
    comparing Catholic influence to the establishment of an Iranian theocracy. Furthermore, Jost seems to be a strident partisan across the board, a condition best (and hilariously) exemplified in his May 17 editorial for Politico, wherein Jost wrote how “unimaginable” it would be for American voters to want Republicans back in government when, under the Democrats, the “economy has come roaring back.”

    Meanwhile, The USCCB’s uniquely nonpartisan voice—even in the midst of some of the nastiest inter-party exchanges in recent history—successfully held together advocacy against killing the unborn with advocacy for expanding health care insurance to all Americans. Yet Commonweal, it seems, would not be satisfied with anything less than a full-throated blessing of whatever the House majority decided to offer pro-life Americans while in the throes of desperate, last-minute negotiations.

    Commonweal’s reliance on Jost became more and more troubling as Jost persistently failed to address the arguments contained within the USCCB’s legal analysis and Commonweal failed to hold Jost to account. Instead, Commonweal and Jost have continued to suggest that the USCCB reacted to the PPACA in an alarmist fashion. Yet the law does identifiably weaken protections against federal involvement in abortion, and weaken federal protection for freedom of conscience. Given both the continuing high number of abortions in the U.S. today, and the way in which rights of conscience are increasingly characterized as the enemy of women’s rights (most notably in a
    2008 letter from then-Senator Obama to the Secretary of Health and Human Services), why shouldn’t the USCCB protest against problematic portions of the PPACA?

    [Read the whole thing]
    My Comments:
    The Bishops - who, again, support universal healthcare - have no incentive to lie or mislead or, as some ObamaCare Catholics would have it, be ill-informed on this issue.

    The ObamaCare Catholics, however, whose primary objective seems to be to provide unwavering support for the Democrat agenda, and for whom the unborn seem to ALWAYS take a backseat whenever protecting them conflicts with said agenda, DO have such an incentive.

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    Fighting for the Catholic Restoration

    At Ethika Politika, Shaun Kenney writes:
    Let’s face it. It’s tough being a Catholic in today’s political climate.

    While traditionally in the parliamentary West there have been outlets for a Catholic polity, the American system of governance gives the Catholic voter a one-two punch.

    Not only do Catholic ideas struggle in a predominantly Protestant and now virtually laicized culture, the major parties — and their respective ideologies — command such loyalty that often party affiliation meets the caricature religious affiliation used to require. Secondly, the requirements for regimentation within party structures are so rigid, that room for distinction or nuance bleeds away quickly.

    How, then, can a Catholic remain true to their faith? Republicans such as Glenn Beck attack the very nature of social justice. Democrats fare no better, forgetting that all social justice begins with the right to exist. No third party in America represents the Catholic voter. Is a Catholic left to compromise their faith for the sake of an ideological fanaticism?


    Religion in the public square gets a bum rap. Believe in any other -ism you please, just don’t make that -ism Catholicism! Right?

    This isn’t to say that Catholics should boil down their faith to place it on par with political ideologies. Catholics should be very keen to remember that we live a faith, profess a faith, and defend a faith.

    Such a distinction is something our adversaries cannot claim, but constantly try to corrupt. You hear of ‘progressive’ Catholics, or ‘conservative’ Catholics, or ‘traditional’ Catholics. Note the emphasis even when it’s read — once again the -ism attempts to suffocate the very identity of Catholic.


    Why must one forfeit their conservative credentials if — as a Catholic — we stand fast to the Catechism and fight to end the death penalty, give preferential treatment to the poor, and to support a just immigration policy?

    Why must one forfeit their liberal credentials if — as a Catholic — we stand fast to the Magisterium and support marriage, stand firm on the principle of subsidiarity, and yes — unapologetically demand an end to abortion.

    The answer?

    Stop being a conservative. Stop being a liberal…and start being a Catholic...

    [Read the whole thing]

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    What if Roman Polanski Were a Catholic Priest?

    Al Kresta notes an interesting bit of hypocrisy in the left's (and that includes the media) attitudes toward two events involving sexual misconduct with children - the priest sex-abuse scandal and Roman Polanski's drugging and then forcibly sodomizing a 13-year-old girl:
    Here’s a maxim for Left-wing luvvies: let’s treat the Pope like a rapist, and treat a rapist like the Pope.


    But in the eyes of Lefty luvvies from Hollywood to Hampstead, the only real difference between the Pope and Polanski is that the latter is an artist. That, you see, erases a multitude of sins – yes, even the rape of a 13-year-old girl. The same people who are viciously denouncing Benedict even though he has not been convicted of any crime defend Polanski despite his conviction because he’s “one of us”. In their eyes, directing The Pianist and Rosemary’s Baby has somehow cleansed the stain of shame from this repulsive little man.

    Here is the bad news: the luvvies have won. Their man has been let off – to cries of relief from the arty set, the Swiss authorities have refused the America its request for extradition. The Pope, meanwhile, continues to be publicly reviled by bohemians who think he should be arrested for crimes he neither committed nor concealed. And they dare attack the Church for hypocrisy!

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Movie Producer Weinstein: "Hollywood Has the Best Moral Compass"

    "Age and ability in the arts or anything else, in my opinion, does not excuse a crime"

    Reminder: Roman Polanski Raped a Child [UPDATED]

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    Just Another One of My Occasional Reminders ...

    ... that I WILL NOT under ANY circumstances vote for Mitt Romney.

    (And yes, that means staying home or voting 3rd party in 2012 if the GOP is stupid enough to choose Romney as their nominee, even if votes like mine assure The One's re-election.)

    That is all.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Mitt Romney: Pro-Choice? Who, Me?

    Time for Yet Another Periodic Reminder to the GOP Power Brokers and Pundits ...

    Is Mitt Romney the REAL WINNER of the Massachusetts Special Election?

    Have I Mentioned Lately ...

    Regarding Mitt Romney, My Sentiments Exactly

    A Theory [UPDATED]

    Why Does Kmiec Criticize McCain for Positions on Which He Gave Romney a Pass?

    You Stay Classy, Mitt

    The Anchoress: "Convince Me of the Merits of Mitt"

    Romney's Free Ride On Abortion

    Romney and the Florida GOP Debate

    InsideCatholic: "Why Mitt Romney Is the Best Choice for Catholic Conservatives"

    Sam Brownback Says Mitt Romney Needs to Address Abortion Change

    Massachusetts Conservatives Back Brownback Over Romney

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    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Chris Matthews is a Bigoted, Elitist Idiot [UPDATED]

    How else to explain this?

    MATTHEWS: You, you sir, strike me, as I hate to use the word [ED.: No you don't, liar, or else you wouldn't constantly bring it up], as someone who's well-educated. I know you went to UVA Law School [ED.: Join the club]. Is that hurting you? Is - no I'm dead serious about this. Do you get hurt in the Republican Party now for having had a fine education? Do people think, look askance at you and say, "Oh he's an egghead, he's got a good degree from UVA" Is that a problem now, it's better to be a yahoo? Well I mean to be really uneducated like Palin, to really be proud of the fact you don't know anything?

    INGLIS: There, there is a sense out there that ignorance is strength. But you know ignorance really is not strength...

    Read more
    (editorial commentary added)

    My Comments:
    I, too, went to UVA Law School, and NEVER ... NOT ONCE ... have I EVER been made by Republicans or conservatives to feel like an "egghead" (seriously, we're talking about dime-a-dozen lawyers here, not nuclear physicists) or that I was too "intellectual" with my "fine education" and "good degree from UVA".

    My law school classmate, Todd Zywicki, now he's really smart. A highly published law school professor, in fact. Maybe he qualifies as an "egghead" with his "fine education" (he also has an A.B. with high honors from Dartmouth College - but never mind the M.A. he got from that land grant school, Clemson) and "good degree from UVA". But I'd be willing to bet that he has never been made to feel that he is "too smart" by any of the Republicans of his acquaintance.

    And what about Laura Ingraham? She was a couple of years ahead of us at UVA Law (and, like Todd, she also has a degree from Dartmouth College). Yeah, those Republicans just can't stand Laura, can they? She's too smart for 'em. They think she's an overeducated egghead, and none of them EVER listen to her radio show or watch her on FOXNews.

    Matthews is clearly grasping here, pretending that a UVA Law degree bestows some sort of intellectual superiority. Again, it's a frickin' law degree, not a PhD from MIT. He so wants to show that the conservative movement is anti-intellectual that he tries to paint frickin' Bob Inglis as some sort of heavyweight thinker, who was therefore rejected by the GOP, because he got a law degree from one of the liberal-approved law schools (after all, it's where Chrissy's heroes Bobby and Teddy got their law degrees).

    But more than that, Matthews is projecting his own bigotry on those who he is attacking. He's so convinced that anyone who doesn't follow his lead by getting wood for The One MUST be so deficient in their intelligence and in their outright disdain for education that they would reject someone for the mere crime of having a law degree from UVA. The rubes are not only "yahoos", according to Matthews, but they celebrate their uneducated status by throwing overboard anyone with the slightest hint of a higher degree from a "fine" school (yet, somehow, W's degrees from BOTH Yale AND Harvard didn't hurt him among the "yahoos"; those two Ivy League degrees don't seem to measure up in Chrissy's mind to Inglis' law degree from UVA). It's Matthews who is bigoted in his views of those with whom he disagrees, not the other way around. Yet Matthews continues to project on a daily basis, spewing this garbage about conservatives being hostile to education.

    And Bob Inglis, still smarting from his throw-the-bums-outa-office asswhooping he took in the South Carolina Primary, glibly plays along, tying to milk his 15 minutes of lefty love now that he has trashed as "racists" the constituents who kicked him to the curb. Thank God the voters of his district voted this petulant jerk an early retirement.

    UPDATE (16 July 2010)
    Chris Matthews couldn't have had worse timing in bringing up a UVA Law degree as evidence of "someone who is well educated".

    My friend the Cranky Con brings to my attention this little gem from Congresscritter Sheila Jackson-Lee - a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law:

    And it's not like this is Jackson-Lee's first or even most egregious gaffe. Yet Chrissy Matthews would assure us that - on the basis of her Yale and UVA degrees - Jackson-Lee is among the nation's elite, unlike that "yahoo" Sarah Palin.

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    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Shocker: ObamaCare Will Fund Abortions in Pennsylvania

    Didn't see this one coming.


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    Friday, July 09, 2010

    Digest of Today's Posts (9 July 2010)

  • University of Illinois Instructor Fired Over Catholic Beliefs [UPDATED]

  • Joe Scarborough: For Too Long, McCain, Kristol, Graham & Lieberman Have Defined GOP Foreign Policy

  • Goodbye Cleveland
  • Labels:

    University of Illinois Instructor Fired Over Catholic Beliefs [UPDATED]

    The concepts of academic freedom and tolerance apparently don't apply to Catholics who take their Faith seriously:
    URBANA, Ill. -- The University of Illinois has fired an adjunct professor who taught courses on Catholicism after a student accused the instructor of engaging in hate speech by saying he agrees with the church's teaching that homosexual sex is immoral.

    The professor, Ken Howell of Champaign, has taught at the university for nine years. He says his firing violates his academic freedom.

    A professor at the university who is also president of the American Association of University Professors agrees. Cary Nelson says teachers are allowed to express their own beliefs.

    University spokeswoman Robin Kaler declined comment because Howell's firing is a personnel issue.

    The student had a friend register his complaint and has remained anonymous.
    My Comments:
    This should be a slam dunk First Amendment case for an organization like the Thomas More Law Center.

    My friend Don McClarey, a University of Illinois grad, has MUCH more on this story over at The American Catholic.

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    Joe Scarborough: For Too Long, McCain, Kristol, Graham & Lieberman Have Defined GOP Foreign Policy

    More on the Asscrackistan crack-up among conservatives:

    ... Anybody that understands how the conservative movement runs, how the Republican Party runs, there are columnists that people listen to. Ann Coulter is one of them on the hard right. And when Ann Coulter starts coming out, criticizing Republican foreign policy, policy that you can date back to George W. Bush and the second inaugural address . . . you know a real debate's about to begin in the Republican Party.

    The party has been the party of endless wars now for the past five, six, seven years, with George W. Bush promising to export democracy across the globe and, quote, end tyranny across the globe. The debate's begun.

    For too long you have had John McCain and you've had Bill Kristol, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman define what it meant to be a Republican when it came to foreign policy. When, in fact, historically, the Republican Party has usually been for restraint. They've been accused of being isolationists in the past and it seems like a small group of people want to fight every war at every corner of the planet and not good for the party. . . . This is a very important op-ed that Ann Coulter wrote yesterday.
    And more here, as well.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    The War Party Redux

    The War Party [UPDATED]

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    Goodbye Cleveland

    For some reason, this song is stuck in my head today:

    Goodbye Cleveland.
    Turn down the rock and roll,
    Turn out the light.
    Goodbye Cleveland.
    Goodbye, good luck and good night.

    ~ Robert Earl Keen

    You can listen to an excerpt here.

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    Thursday, July 08, 2010

    Endangered Species: Do Pro-Life Democrats Have a Future?

    From The Weekly Standard:
    Three months after his career-defining [ED.: More like "career-ending"] health care vote, Michigan Democratic representative Bart Stupak still bristles at questions surrounding the deal he cut with President Obama on abortion. “The executive order says public funds cannot be used for abortion,” says Stupak, and those who say otherwise are “dishonest.” [ED.: Back to calling the Bishops liars ... errr ... sorry, "dishonest", again.]

    Stupak may not be dishonest [ED.: Yes, he is.], but he’s certainly mistaken about the executive order that secured his vote, and the votes of other self-proclaimed pro-life Democrats, for Obamacare. Doesn’t the executive order simply affirm the Senate bill’s main abortion-funding provision that Ben Nelson signed off on—a provision that Stupak called “unacceptable” back in December? “I didn’t like the Nelson language on December 24, and up through that time,” Stupak replies. “Then there were changes in it, in the final bill. They cleaned it up quite a bit. There were changes made.” In fact, the abortion language passed by the Senate on December 24 is identical to the language signed into law by President Obama on March 23. [ED.: So, who's being "dishonest", Bart?]

    “I didn’t think we were going to get into the nitty gritty,” Stupak says after I ask him about the section of the executive order that says subsidized plans may cover elective abortions so long as federal subsidies are “segregated” from private dollars—the main funding mechanism of abortion in the bill and something Stupak had long rejected as a meaningless bookkeeping scheme. “I’m happy to call back if you want to get into the nitty gritty,” he says, “but in all honesty I don’t have [the executive order] sitting here in front of me.” Stupak said that on June 15. He never called back. [ED.: Of course not. He's a liar. Errr ... sorry ... he's "dishonest".]

    In Stupak’s defense, he may not have been prepared to discuss the executive order because the topic of the interview was the future of pro-life Democrats. But it’s hard to talk about the future of pro-life Democrats without discussing what happened in March. It was a defining moment that revealed there may not be a future for pro-life Democrats.

    The health care vote confirmed that when a pro-life Democrat’s principles collide with his loyalty to the broader Democratic agenda, it’s the pro-life principles that give way. This pattern goes back all the way to Roe v. Wade. It happened long ago with the likes of Jesse Jackson and Richard Gephardt and Al Gore. Ultra-liberal Dennis Kucinich of Ohio—long a pro-lifer—tossed that position overboard the instant he launched his vanity presidential campaign in 2004. Harry Reid of Nevada sold out what remained of his pro-life principles in exchange for becoming the Senate Democratic leader in 2005. The Senate’s health care vote in December claimed the credibility of the two remaining pro-life Democrats in that chamber: Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, who announced he’d rather pass a national health care bill that funds abortions than pass no bill at all, and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who held out for a bit of extra federal cash for Nebraska known as the Cornhusker Kickback.

    But Stupak was supposed to be different. He held out in spite of intense pressure from party leadership and activists for months. “I’ve had so many death threats, I don’t know if most of them were for or against health care, before or after [the vote],” he says. As Stupak told The Weekly Standard two weeks before the health care vote in March: “If I didn’t” cave in before, “why would I do it now after all the crap I’ve been through?”

    Good question. We still don’t fully know the answer. But the reason doesn’t matter to pro-life groups. The lesson they took away from the health care vote is that there needs to be a day of reckoning for the Stupak Democrats, who cannot claim to be pro-life after voting for taxpayer-funding of abortion. So far, the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List has had some success targeting these members through its $1 million Votes Have Consequences campaign...

    (emphasis and editorial commenatary added)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    The Smear, Part 2: Stupak Attacks Catholic Bishops

    The Smear

    Stupak Sells Out ... [UPDATED]

    Stupak: Democrat Efforts to Pass ObamaCare Without Restrictions on Funding Abortion “Are a Pretty Sad Commentary on the State of the Democratic Party”

    Patrick Archbold on "The Great Pro-Life Outing"

    Can Stupak Be Counted Upon to Stand Firm on Abortion? Probably Not

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    Wednesday, July 07, 2010

    The War Party Redux

    I originally posted this as an update to my original post on the subject, but have decided that it merited a post of its own.

    I don't normally go in for Ann Coulter ... her vitriolic brand of commentary isn't my style, nor do I believe it to be all that effective except in throwing some red meat to the true believers.

    That said, I have to give the girl credit for knocking this one out of the park::
    ... But now I hear it is the official policy of the Republican Party to be for all wars, irrespective of our national interest.

    What if Obama decides to invade England because he's still ticked off about that Churchill bust? Can Michael Steele and I object to that? Or would that demoralize the troops?

    Our troops are the most magnificent in the world, but they're not the ones setting military policy. The president is -- and he's basing his war strategy on the chants of cretins.

    Nonetheless, Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney have demanded that Steele resign as head of the RNC for saying Afghanistan is now Obama's war -- and a badly thought-out one at that. (Didn't liberals warn us that neoconservatives want permanent war?)

    I thought the irreducible requirements of Republicanism were being for life, small government and a strong national defense, but I guess permanent war is on the platter now, too.

    Of course, if Kristol is writing the rules for being a Republican, we're all going to have to get on board for amnesty and a "National Greatness Project," too – other Kristol ideas for the Republican Party. Also, John McCain. Kristol was an early backer of McCain for president -- and look how great that turned out!

    Inasmuch as demanding resignations is another new Republican position, here's mine: Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney must resign immediately.
    (emphasis added)

    Amen! Couldn't have said it better myself.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    The War Party [UPDATED]

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    Tuesday, July 06, 2010

    Religion of Pieces: Muslim Extremists Cut Off Catholic's Hand

    Deacon Kandra has the story:
    Suspected Islamic militants have chopped off a Catholic professor's hand in Kerala for allegedly insulting Islam in an exam question paper.

    Professor T.J. Joseph was attacked on July 4 in while returning home from Sunday mass with his mother and sister, a Catholic nun.

    Kochi inspector-general of police, B. Sandya, told that an Islamic extremist group is suspected of the crime and have arrested four people and impounded a vehicle.

    She said the attackers used the vehicle to block Joseph's car before dragging the professor from his vehicle and chopping off his right hand. The attackers then threw the hand away before fleeing.

    Church-managed Newman College in Thodupuzha had suspended Joseph, its Malayalam professor, on March 25 for allegedly preparing a question paper with insulting references to the Prophet Muhammad.

    St. Joseph Sister Mary Stella said the assailants attacked her brother with an axe and swords.

    [Read more]

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    Saturday, July 03, 2010

    The War Party [UPDATED]

    John McCain has been severely screwing over conservatives, not to mention the Constitution via his ill-conceived campaign finance reforms, for roughly a decade now.

    Yet National Review, in an extremely rare (and heavily criticized) move, recently endorsed McCain over his GOP primary opponent. McCain may be the better candidate, but he was likely to win anyway, so National Review's decision to involve itself is somewhat puzzing. Until, that is, you read their explanation, and then it becomes painfully obvious what REALLY matters to those who call themselves "mainstream conservative" these days:
    ... when McCain is right he can have a terrific impact. McCain has a credibility on national security that few other Republicans can match. It is entirely possible that without Senator McCain we would have left Iraq in ignominy. Few legislators ever accomplish as much good as McCain did through his leadership on the surge. Conservatives should be grateful for this service and appreciative of the wisdom and fortitude that made it possible. This accomplishment, in our judgment, more than makes up for McCain’s mistakes, the impact of which has also been major (as in the cases of campaign-finance regulation and interrogation policy).
    (emphasis added)

    Got that? Be as squishy as you want on pro-life issues, especially things like ESCR. Screw over your party's efforts to get qualified conservatives onto the judiciary by compromising with the Dems who are filibustering those nominees, making it that much more difficult to get originalists through the Senate confirmation process (and, thus, Roe v. Wade overturned). Quash political free speech by pushing for restrictions on campaign financing that are, in fact, efforts to shield incumbents from the criticism of politically active citizens. Play footsie with the media and the opposing party, while reserving your harshest language and criticisms for those in your own party and in the conservative movement.

    But, as long as you toe the War Party line, that "more than makes up for" the afore-mentioned deficiencies.

    Another example: Michael Steele.

    Steele has been needing an ousting from the role of RNC Chairman for quite a while now. Poor fundraising in what should be a banner GOP year is just the tip of the iceberg. Steele has been guilty of political misstep after political misstep, and is prone to stick his foot in his mouth and alienate some segment of the party on a weekly basis.

    Long ago, Steele fell afoul of social conservatives over his irresolute and ambivalent remarks regarding abortion. I called for his removal over a year ago after he seemed to admit that he was "pro-choice" on the abortion issue.

    But for all the pratfalls that have bedeviled Chairman Steele throughout his tenure at the helm of the RNC, he is only now in real danger of losing his job. Why?

    Because his most recent misadventure with foot-in-mouth syndrome just so happened to cross the War Party cheerleaders:
    Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is under increasing pressure from within his own party to step down for saying the nine-year old U.S. military conflict in Afghanistan is a "war of Obama's choosing" that history suggests is "probably a lost cause."


    But Rove didn't go as far as other prominent conservatives, including Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol, who are calling on Steele to resign.

    "Everyone makes mistakes, but Mr. Steele has failed at virtually all of the tasks expected of him," Christian Whiton, a State Department official in the Bush administration, wrote in an opinion article for "He is gaffe prone, off message, and has repelled rather than attracted RNC donors."

    "His comments on Afghanistan, reminiscent of isolationists who called World War II 'Mr. Roosevelt's war,' and who were kept out of office by voters as a result, ought to be the last straw," he wrote.

    Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a Marine combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Steele's "irresponsible comments show him to be completely out of touch with the majority of the Republican Party."

    "Time and again, Steele has demonstrated this disconnect," he said Saturday in a written statement. "His comments were not only tactless, but showed an unfortunate level of ignorance on such a significant national security issue."

    Hunter added that Steele's comments were "as wrong as it is a disservice to our military men and women."

    In remarks captured Thursday on camera and posted online, Steele criticized President Obama and his handling of the Afghan war and suggested the war cannot be won.

    "This was a war of Obama's choosing," Steele said. "This is not something United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in."


    Kristol, writing for The Weekly Standard, was among the first to say Steele should resign.

    "There are, of course, those who think we should pull out of Afghanistan, and they're certainly entitled to make their case," wrote Kristol, a consistent supporter of the Afghanistan war. "But one of them shouldn't be the chairman of the Republican Party."

    Liz Cheney called on Steele to resign, telling Politico in a statement that Steele's comments were "deeply disappointing and wrong."

    "I endorse fully Bill Kristol's letter to Chairman Steele," she said. "It is time for Chairman Steele to step down."
    Whenever the GOP performs poorly, it is inevitable that the presence of social conservatives in the party will receive the lion's share of the blame. But it is inarguable that the GOP performed poorly in the last 2 election cycles because of the Bush Administration's war policy.

    Unfortunately, the War Party tail is STILL wagging the Republican Party dog.

    UPDATE (7 July 2010)
    Damn. I hate it when I find myself agreeing with a vitriolic windbag like Ann Coulter. But she hit this one out of the park:
    ... But now I hear it is the official policy of the Republican Party to be for all wars, irrespective of our national interest.

    What if Obama decides to invade England because he's still ticked off about that Churchill bust? Can Michael Steele and I object to that? Or would that demoralize the troops?

    Our troops are the most magnificent in the world, but they're not the ones setting military policy. The president is -- and he's basing his war strategy on the chants of cretins.

    Nonetheless, Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney have demanded that Steele resign as head of the RNC for saying Afghanistan is now Obama's war -- and a badly thought-out one at that. (Didn't liberals warn us that neoconservatives want permanent war?)

    I thought the irreducible requirements of Republicanism were being for life, small government and a strong national defense, but I guess permanent war is on the platter now, too.

    Of course, if Kristol is writing the rules for being a Republican, we're all going to have to get on board for amnesty and a "National Greatness Project," too – other Kristol ideas for the Republican Party. Also, John McCain. Kristol was an early backer of McCain for president -- and look how great that turned out!

    Inasmuch as demanding resignations is another new Republican position, here's mine: Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney must resign immediately.
    (emphasis added)

    Amen! Couldn't have said it better myself.

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    Friday, July 02, 2010

    The "D" Makes All the Difference

    Bill Clinton's eulogy of the late Sen. Robert Byrd proves that, as long as you put a "D" next to your name, there's no manner of despicable activity that you can engage in for which your fellow travelers and the media will not make excuses for you.

    But heaven forbid you say some kind things about an old man at his birthday party and have an "R" next to your name. You'll lose your job over it.

    More from HotAir:
    ... contra Billy Jeff, Byrd’s association with the Klan wasn’t exactly “fleeting.” He joined in 1942; four years later, he was still babbling about his hope for a KKK renaissance in West Virginia. And 18 years after that, he famously filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Nothing necessarily racist about opposing a statute, of course, but then that logic didn’t save Rand Paul a few months ago when he raised libertarian concerns about a single section of that same law (before reiterating that he would have voted for it anyway). Exit question: How bad, precisely, do your actions have to be before the “he was just trying to get elected” defense doesn’t cut it?
    (emphasis added)

    That's a good question. For the 100% absolutely correct answer to the question of what action is beyond the pale for these people, click here.

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    Music Recommendations: Some Revolutionary Sounds for the 4th of July

    (Originally posted July 2, 2008)

    If you're tired of hearing the same old Sousa/Copeland/Berlin-as-performed-by-the-Boston Pops/National Symphony fare that is generally offered up on the 4th of July (and I won't even mention the more cheezy patriotic offerings that have come out within the last 30 years), I have some CD recommendations that will go a long way toward curing what musically ails you.

    First up is Liberty Tree by The Boston Camerata.

    The Boston Camerata are favorites of mine whenever it comes to early music. And this selection of early American music is no exception. From the program notes:
    Our view of the American past is shaped by many things -- dimly remembered history lessons from our earliest school days; the posturings of present-day public people; and, perhaps most importantly, by the popular media -- radio, television, and the movies. Talk about static! Can we ever, then, experience our collective past as it "really" was? Hardly -- those days are gone forever. But, on the other hand, can we get closer to our roots than heretofore? Can we eliminate some of the distortion and noise? At least as far as music goes, I am convinced that a cleaner, truer approach is possible.

    The partsongs, marches, anthems, jigs, and ballads we perform for you here were all part of American life during the early decades of the country's existence: between the founding of the Republic and the Civil War. This, the everyday music of villages and towns, represents a hybrid tradition. Notated and harmonised in a rough, pragmatic way by musicians of the time, these pieces are not learned or complex enough to be taken seriously as "high" art by most music historians. Yet, since they managed nonetheless to make their way onto paper and into "polite" society, they are surely a bit more refined and worldy-wise than the folk song of the truly rural settlers. It is in this neglected, between-two-worlds repertoire, I maintain, that we can find much of the soul of early America.

    A few of our works have retained popularity since those earlest times; some tunes, once secular "hits", now survive, spiritualised, in the still-vital shapenote hymn tradition. But many of these pieces, once beloved in their day, have not been heard in generations, and have been transcribed and edited specially for this recording from original sources.

    You will hear in our performances the kinds of musical instruments that were played a century and a half ago; softer and more rounded in tone than their modern counterparts. Though we don't know with any certainty how "art" music may have been sung in nineteenth-century America, the timbres of the musical instruments provide important parallel clues as to how the human voice may have sounded before the age of roaring tenors and the Boeing 747.

    The result? You will experience a lighter, less aggresive tonal pallette than the one we tend to associate with patriotic fervour, or with history with a capital H. Yankee Doodle can be heard as the perky, disrespectful teenage piece it originally was. On the Road to Boston makes one visualise the road, perhaps the old one from Quincy and Dorchester; much narrower than the commuter-clogged Southeast Expressway, unpaved, with horse and foot traffic only -- and no billboards. And the untutored harmonies in a piece like Clovergreen give a truer, sharper sense of life on the (cultural) frontier than the sugary sweetness of the same tune played b y saxophones (as Auld Lang Syne) on New Year's Eve from coast to coast. True it is that we can't go back to those places, but fragments of what they once were do illumine and enrich our contemporary imagination.

    Program includes:

    I. Liberty Tree
    1 Yankee Doodle 2'56
    2 Chester 2'11
    3 Liberty Tree 2'34
    4 The Boston March 1'11
    5 David's Lamentation 1'45
    6 Jefferson and Liberty 2'39
    7 Rights of Woman 1'12
    8 The Appletree 1'12

    II. Dormant
    9 Dormant 2'29
    10 Hero and Leander 2'13
    11 Mary's dream 3'59

    III. Jolly Soldier
    12 On the Road to Boston 0'49
    13 Jolly Soldier 3'23
    14 Jefferson and Liberty 1'03
    15 Abraham's Daughter 2'19
    16 Brave Wolfe 4'49
    17 Irish air 1'22
    18 The Blue Bells of Scotland 2'00

    IV. The Working Boy
    19 The Working boy 2'03
    20 Poor old Maids 0'57
    21 Bob in the Bed 0'32
    22 Old Tare River 1'53
    23 The Rose Tree (The Knoxville Harmony) 2'06

    V. Parting Friends
    24 Clovergreen 3'41
    25 Parting Friends 3'46
    26 Ode to Science


    Next up is Liberty! by fiddler Mark O'Connor (with Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, and James Taylor).

    This is the soundtrack from the excellent PBS series Liberty! The American Revolution. Here's a description of the recording from the PBS website:
    The music for LIBERTY! The American Revolution features arrangements of traditional Revolutionary-era folk melodies by Mark O'Connor, as well as original compositions by Richard Einhorn and O'Connor. O'Connor, a Grammy Award-winning violinist, performs, along with: Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma; Pulitizer Prize-winning composer and trumpet player Wynton Marsalis; David and Ginger Hildebrand; and the Nashville Symphony. O'Connor's "Song of the Liberty Bell" is the series' main theme. James Taylor and O'Connor perform the traditional song, "Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier," over the closing credits... American music of the revolutionary era drew upon the cultural influences of the people of the new nation - English, Scottish, Irish, German and African - and blended into a sound of its own. Through the interest and involvement of a remarkable collection of artists, that music has been recreated for LIBERTY! in a memorable soundtrack and score, from Sony Classical.
    Program includes:

    1. Song Of The Liberty Bell
    2. Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier
    3. Surrender The Sword
    4. Soldier's Joy
    5. When Bidden To The Wake Or Fair
    6. The World Turned Upside Down
    7. Bunker Hill
    8. Freedom
    9. The Flowers Of Edinburgh
    10. Brave Wolfe
    11. Devil's Dream
    12. Song Of The Liberty Bell


    My third recommendation is a CD that I purchased a couple of years ago (and have practically worn out listening to in the intervening years) called Davy Crockett's Fiddle by Colonial Williamsburg musician Dean Shostak. It is definitely my favorite of the bunch and a MUST OWN for anyone interested in early American music.
    This recording features the fiddle that purportedly belonged to Davy Crockett. All the instruments and music on this CD are from the time of Davy Crockett (1786-1836). From the program notes:
    I first learned about Davy Crockett's fiddle when I saw its picture in the April 2001 issue of USAToday; an old well-worn violin. That was the beginning of a wonderful musical adventure. I contacted the good folks at the Witte Museum, who owned the fiddle, and proposed that we have it restored. I wanted to make a recording of music of Davy Crockett's time on his very own fiddle accompanied by period instruments.

    They enthusiastically agreed, and we embarked on an remarkable historical journey; restoring the violin, researching and learning the music Davy Crockett would have played, and recording it right in San Antonio where he spent his final, heroic days.

    When I returned to Williamsburg, VA, I assembled some of my favorite early American musicians together to create musical scenes from Davy's life using his own fiddle...
    Program includes:

    1. Perry's Victory
    2. Yankee Doodle
    3. Amazing Grace
    4. Speed The Plow
    5. Hunters of Kentucky
    6. Shenandoah
    7. Turkey In The Straw
    8. Haste To The Wedding
    9. German Waltz
    10. The President's March (Hail Columbia)
    11. Home Sweet Home
    12. Durang's Hornpipe / College Hornpipe
    13. Jefferson And Liberty
    14. Soldier's Joy / Bonaparte's Retreat
    15. Duke of Kent Waltz
    16. Cindy
    17. The Girl I Left Behind Me / Leather Breeches
    18. Rock of Ages
    19. Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes
    20. Star Spangled Banner
    21. The Legend Of Davy Crockett


    My final reccomendation is The World Turned Upside Down by Barry Phillips and Friends.

    Of my recommendations, I've owned this recording the longest - I bought it on cassette tape many years ago (while I was still in law school), and purchased it again on CD a few years ago. The title of the recording refers to the tune that tradition says the surrendering British troops played as they paraded by the victorious Continental and French Armies at Yorktown during the American Revolution - the tune is also known as the Cavalier (and later, Jacobite) ballad "When the King Enjoys His Own Again". (It's also the tune to which Sarah marched down the aisle at our wedding.)

    Here's more about the recording:
    Barry Phillips and Friends explore the colorful variety of music popular in late 18th and early 19th century America, from elegant Colonial drawing rooms to homely frontier hearths to rollicking waterside taverns. The title tune, according to legend, was played by Cornwallis' surrendering troops at Yorktown; the album also includes dances and folk songs (All The Pretty Little Horses, Rights of Man, Fisher's Hornpipe, Love in a Village) along with a suite of early American classical music by the Boston master William Billings. As always, liner notes provide colorful background history of the music and the times.
    Go here for the complete liner notes. Program includes:

    1. The World Turned Upside Down 2:42
    2. Love in a Village / Love Forever 3:05
    3. The Rights of Man 3:20
    4. When Jesus Wept 3:46 (by William Billings)
    5. Billings Suite 3:48 (by William Billings)
    6. Dutchess of Brunswick 2:21 (Traditional)
    7. Young Widow/Black Joke 2:22
    8. New German Spa 3:59
    9. All The Pretty Little Horses 3:13 (Traditional)
    10. Sweet Richard 4:07
    11. Fisher's Hornpipe / Patterson's Hornpipe 4:55 (by James A. Fisher)
    12. Rights of Conscience 4:19 (by Issachar Bates)


    Whether you're a history buff, a fan of early American music, or just want something different to listen to on Independence Day, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND ALL of these recordings.

    And, finally, there is one more recording that I'd like to mention, which I do not own, but which looks promising. It is titled Music of the American Revolution: The Birth of Liberty. This recording appears to cover some of the same ground as the recordings I've listed above, but is limited only to music of the American Revolution. Could be worth checking out.

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