“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

PZ Myers' University Peers Condemn Him

Just to shatter PZ Myers' paranoia that only "intolerant" Catholics are disgusted at his reprehensible actions, here is some to think about:

The Editorial Board of the University of Minnesota Daily (Myers' own University newspaper) frames him as dishonest in regard to his cited motivation with his desecration of the Eucharist and a petty, Catholic-baiter:

"...his decision to carry on with the act of desecration cannot be considered a "protest" of the conduct of UCF Catholics as he claimed in an interview with the Star Tribune. Rather, it is a retributive insult.

…we find it unfortunate that he chose to engage in a petty, Catholic-baiting flourish rather than honestly engaging the issue."

This mirrors UMM Chancellor Johnson's first press release saying Myers brought nothing of intellectual value to the table with his actions.

Local Diocese of St. Cloud Condemns Myers' Act and Calls for His Firing

The pastor of the Catholic parish in Morris and a spokeswoman for the Diocese of St. Cloud have urged Catholics to contact the University of Minnesota-Morris to express their anger about a professor who desecrated a host reported to be consecrated.

Catholics should "share their outrage that the school continues to employ someone who so blatantly attacks the Catholic Church's beliefs and what she holds to be most holy," said Rebecca Kurowski, director of communications for the St. Cloud Diocese, which includes Morris.

...We want people to know we find this offensive," Father Baltes [Pastor] said. "At the same time we want to react appropriately and give witness with our lives in how we respect the Eucharist and live out what we celebrate in the Eucharist."

Catholic Priests Defend Eucharist Against PZ Myers

Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (a national association of 600 priests & deacons) issued a statement on PZ Myers. They state exactly the essence of what is happening and reprimand both Myers and UM University officials. If Myers, or anyone, thinks this issue is going to die without punitive measures, they are sadly mistaken. Htip The Catholic League.

"We find the actions of University of Minnesota (Morris) Professor Paul Myers reprehensible, inexcusable, and unconstitutional. His flagrant display of irreverence by profaning a consecrated Host from a Catholic church goes beyond the limit of academic freedom and free speech.

...Lies and hate speech which incite contempt or violence are not protected under the law. Hence, inscribing Swastikas on Jewish synagogues or publicly burning copies of the Christian Bible or the Muslim Koran, especially by a faculty member of a public university, are just as heinous and just as unconstitutional. Individual freedoms are limited by the boundaries created by the inalienable rights of others. The freedom of religion means that no one has the right to attack, malign or grossly offend a faith tradition they personally do not have membership or ascribe allegiance.

...A biologist has no business 'dissing' any religion, rather, they should be busy teaching the scientific discipline they were hired to teach. Tolerating such behavior by university officials is equally repugnant as it lends credibility to the act of religious hatred. We also pray that Professor Myers contritely repent and apologize."

Monday, July 28, 2008

No Experience; No Obama

Political Guru Karl Rove was on Fox News yesterday and he brought up a very telling public opinion poll on Barack Obama.

Rove said:

"One [Obama problem] is the doubts about Obama's experience and fitness for the job. In March, I believe it was, ABC-Washington Post poll said 46 percent of the American people believe that he lacked the experience to be president.

He then spent $119 million between March and the end of June on his campaign, including a lot of advertising in key states, and at the end of June, Washington Post-ABC asked the same question again and the dial hadn't changed. Forty-six percent said that he lacked the experience and qualification to be president.

You normally find both [Parties] candidates somewhere in the 60 percent to percent range on that question. Here's a guy who can't even bump 50 percent."

This undercurrent of concern is something McCain should seize and run with. Sadly, he won't.

Hillary Clinton was smart enough to seize this, with her "Who do you want answering the phone at the White House at 3AM?" Clinton got a strong bump after this commercial, but could never go for the jugular without upsetting her party base.

Zogby confirms that when this same 3AM question is asked between McCain and Obama, McCain wins by an almost 20 point margin. There is teeth to this issue.

I can see a commercial showing a 55-year-old brain surgeon with white hair on his temples discussing how sensitive and life threatening your surgery will be, but then have him replaced by a gum-chewing intern saying he was voted in to do this surgery by people who think he has enough experience to do the job. It would leave voters very unsettled.

Kudos for Mark Shea!

Ok, back to being serious...

I have been exposed to Mark Shea through my beautiful National Catholic Register connection, and have seen more of his work now that I am a blogger. He covers PZ Myers' sacrilege more articulately and focused than I ever could with my pudgy calculator fingers. It is a perfection post. Praise to Mark!

A few points he mentions in this masterpiece that are worth noting:

"Myers and Co. are enmeshed in these lies because they have chosen evil. It is evil -- archetypally evil -- to desecrate the Eucharist. It's the sort of stuff archetypal bad guys in the movies do. And despite Myers' lies, it's completely unnecessary and gratuitous evil. Myers can do all the blasphemy he pleases on his blog (though not on the taxpayer's dime, as he often has, judging from the posting time and date of many of his entries). But the curious thing is that he cannot rest with mere verbal blasphemies. He has to get a host in his hands and destroy it with a savage glee that, curiously, places him not among scientists but among the most magical-thinking Bronze Age fanatics. "

Give credit to Shea for calling a spade a spade. Evil is evil.

I also see that Myers hides behind his good fortune of an intellectual occupation, and the "search of science" excuse that godless men have used as the rationale for some of the most horrible crimes against humanity, when the real underlying purpose of his psyche is to tear any notion of a God to shreds with his all-consuming hatred. Shea also hits a point squarely that I have been saying. Many of Myers posts are time and dated during university hours. The fact that he was spewing this hatred supported with taxpayers money is sufficient legal protection for the University to bounce him.

Forgiving and fighting not only may but must be done at the same time. If you doubt that, just look at Jesus: He forgave His impenitent killers at exactly the moment He was fighting (and winning) the most important battle ever fought against all the powers of hell. St. Paul likewise forgave his persecutors but was absolutely ingenious in making use of everything (including civil law) to fight them and advance the gospel... I have no problem with Catholics pointing out that many a Pharyngula post has been made on the taxpayer's dime and that misuse of state monies should be punished. I likewise have no problem with Catholics lobbying the university to have this bigot canned as radically opposed to the university mission statement... just as St. Paul had no problem at all asking the civil power to protect him from persecution when some mob threatened him or one of his churches...

New York's own Cardinal Francis Spellman rightly stated, "Pray as if everything depended upon God and work as if everything depended upon man."

We will pray that this man reconciles himself with God for the sacrilege he did, as we all must do for our own indiscretions, but we will work tirelessly to have him not poison any other minds, trapped collegians needing credits or naïve spectators, until this time of reconciliation by standing witness the truth with our voices and demanding he does not exist in an educational environment.

I Stand Corrected...

Sadly, I think PZ Myers missed his strongest proof for evolution and one that would end all arguments:

No disrespect meant to the chimp. Unfortunately, the chimp doesn't have tenure but Myers would vote for him without reservation because the chimp supports the theory, I mean the science, of evolution.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

PZ Myers: Hypocrite at Large - Part III & IV

Two more findings on PZ Myers' hypocrisies:

In April of 2004, Myers wrote on his blog that a professor promoting Intelligent Design should not get tenure:

"I get to vote on tenure decisions at my university, and I can assure you that if someone comes up who claims that [Intelligent Design] 'theory' is science, I will vote against them. … If someone thinks fairies live in their garden and pull up the flowers out of the ground every spring, I will vote against them. Tenure decisions are not pro forma games, but a process of evaluation, and I'd rather not have crackpots promoted."

You have to be amazed by the absolute hypocrisy of the existence of Myers.

Understanding that both Intelligent Design and Evolution are both theories, and theories can not be proven, only disproven, in reading Myers' posts he constantly treats his theories as absolute proven sciences underscored by his complete intollerance of anyone else's views other than PZ Myers'.

Moreover, a person like Myers who is hiding his vile bigotry behind freedom of speech, and the free exchange of ideas, and most of all wrapping himself in the protection of his tenure, turned absolute Fascist when a colleague needed to be judge by the same tenets. I would have to agree with ASSOCIATE Professor Myers in regard to never having crackpots promoted.

Which brings us to the second portion of his post. Myers said:

"… It's a matter of whether [their views] screws up their ability to do their job. …but when they're advocating lunacy in their profession, then it's bye-bye time."

And that brings me to my second find:

On RateMyProfessor.com, a web site where students rate their college professors, Myers over the past few years has received an average score as a college professor. In the 3.5 range out of 5. He’s average, nothing more; nothing less. There are a few students that think he is great, there is an equal amount that don’t. But the last student to rate him on his review, done after this controversy, offers insight to this situation and speaks of his ability to never again be viewed as a legitimate college professor going forward:

"Really disappointed in this guy. He obviously has no respect for his students beliefs that might be different from his own. Read Pharyngula and you'll see what i mean. Scary"

These are the words from a University of MN Morris student. Not my words. Nor the Catholic League's.

Think of the sad situation you are in if you are one of his students and you have to give second thoughts about wearing a crucifix necklace to his class, or a Muslim woman student worried about wearing a hijab headscarf, and the implications it could have on her grades based on his vile hatred of religions and physical actions to support this hatred. I ask what is easier to do, desecrate religious articles to incite public outrage, or fudge a grade in private based on the same hostility? Myers has done the former, the more difficult one. The educational ripples and concerns from his behavior are deep and obvious.

I think it is safe to say, Myers’ little tantrum for attention has so completely compromised his position to be viewed as a scholarly educator that he can no longer do his job effectively and it is "bye-bye time."

Well said, Mr. Myers.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

An "Upside Down" Faith

One of the most beautiful revelations about Catholicism, is that since Christ’s establishment of this Faith over 2,000 years ago, it has turned everything in this world upside down. This Faith is so contrary to anything in the history of human thought, and so far away from any religion that could have been established by the human mind, it must have had a Divine origin.

It is a Faith that strips away all the distractions and materialistic prizes treasured by our world. It, in its true essence, denies everything of this world for the Divine. I believe a saint once said being Roman Catholic prevents you from being a slave to the ages. Society will change around you with every flux, fashion and desire, but your Faith will remain a constant through the ages based on its inherent Truth.

In this backwards paradox that our Faith has established, a homeless person who sleeps under a bridge and whom society mocks and shuns, may have a better reward on judgement day than a Hollywood actress, or a billionaire that our society fawns over.

Two of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s quotes come to my mind and should be touched upon in this post.

He pointed out that our Almighty God humbled himself and became vulnerable to join us in our mortal existence. He bled and felt pain. He had head colds and the stomach flu. His body became fatigue to the point that He craved sleep. He had to overcome all the human shortcomings that we wrestle with each day. Sheen beautifully pinpointed this Immortal God taking on a mortal form and the unfathomable nature of this event (paraphrasing the Archbishop), "A totally helpless baby lying in the poverty of a manger who also controlled all the stars in all the galaxies." What an "upside down" concept. What a great Faith!

Another one of my favorite Archbishop Sheen quotes spoke of this "upside down" incarnation. He said the reason why violent storms raged when Christ dropped his head in death on the cross was that "Nature could not tolerate Deicide." A God who would allow His Creation to kill Him in order to save His creation. We will never be able to fully grasp this "upside down" concept.

I thought of these quotes today when hearing PZ Myers’ despicable actions. An Almighty and All-Powerful God who created and controls everything in existence but allows a scurvy of his creation to sacrilege Him without just fury raining down on him (and all of us). This event is definitely "upside-down"; as our Beautiful Faith.

Two scripture passages came to mind to make sense of this horrible event:

The first shows who is really in control of this and every situation despite what Myers and his minions think:
Matt 26: 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels [to protect Me if needed]?

The second passage shows the same exact incident millenniums ago - - of another (Pilate) desecrating the Body of Christ - - and our God’s similar response, with all of His Almighty power and glory as intact back then as it is today:
Matt 27:12 And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. [He stood silent in the presence of his accusers].

This logic of this silence was understood a few days later at the Resurrection, as the logic of His silence now will be understood someday as PZ Myers stands in front of Him.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

UMM Chancellor Scolds PZ Myers Publicly

Catholic News Agency Reports that UMM Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson wrote a response to their inquiry in regard to the actions of PZ Myers:

I have given you her quote, then what she really meant.

“I deeply regret that the postings have been so upsetting to so many people and that this has, in turn, caused some individuals to question the values of civility, respect, academic inquiry and critical thought that are the hallmark of this institution.”

Translation: We have no control over this whack-job, his views are void of any academic value or discourse, please... please, I beg you, do not take him as the standard of our University.

"She said personal and intellectual engagement at the school is done in “in the framework of intellectual and critical inquiry, not from a platform of name-calling and derogation.”

Translation: PZ Myers offers no intellect or critique of value in his recent tantrum. It was more like a pre-schooler acting up. She even references the term "name-calling" to convey the intellectual esteem they have for Myers. This term is something a teacher uses to write home about when disciplining a second-grader. (It is obvious they are fed up with his antics.)

"In her message, Chancellor Johnson voiced her expectation that faculty and staff “interact and engage in a civil and respectful way in the workplace, and it is my hope that this demeanor would extend beyond the boundaries of their University responsibilities and commitments.”

Translation: PZ Myers did not live up to the University's expectations of personal character off the clock. They are embarrassed by him.

I give Ms. Johnson strong credit. I don't think this correspondence could have been more diplomatically direct with the University's outrage of this professor's actions.

Now what is the purpose of this harsh correspondence? It could be an offering to the Catholics that complained about him, I guess. A sort of, I understand your outrage. Or it is a message meant for Myers to let him know through the media that he is on thin ice? Or, it is laying the groundwork for his dismissal down the road?

But a correspondence like this would never go out without the President of the University's blessing and text approval. So why is he not signing it personally?

Maybe it is such a bad situation, he is politically distancing himself from it and getting someone else to do his dirty work. Maybe he is letting the Chancellor issue it because it is her school, although the outrage has been seen nationally -- not just at her campus. Or... maybe he has to look impartial so that when he hands down the final discipline it looks like Myers had a fair hand.

Daniel Wolter, the News Service Director in the Office of University Relations at the University of Minnesota, issued an e-mail to CNA saying, "no disciplinary action has been taken against Professor Myers.” Here is the insight. This sentence is written completely in the present tense. It does say, "no disciplinary action WILL be taken again Professor Myers." It says no action has been taken...yet... It is all about the nuances, but if you look for and recognize them, it tips the University's hand.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

PZ Myers: Stupidity Knows No Bounds

The Catholic League issued a press release today quoting hate-mongering, and University of Minnesota psuedo-professor, PZ Myers now saying he will desecrate a Qur'an:

"...Myers says that “Thanks to all those who have demanded that I treat that silly book [the Koran] with disrespect, I’ll have to treat both equally.”

[On his original post Myers adds: "Since I now own one entirely superfluous copy of the Koran, it will meet the very same fate as the crackers." Meaning it will be desecrated as well.]

Bill Donohue, CL President hits the nail on the head in today's P.R. , "Instead of treating Catholicism with the respect he has previously shown for Islam, he now pledges to disrespect Islam the way he pledges to disrespect Catholicism..."

It is disgusting that this man would go so out of his way to attack other people's beliefs. Anyone's beliefs. I have a feeling, his support will be cut by 80% after this move, as his supporters realize he is not an activist taking on the mighty Catholic Church, he is just a whack-job, disguised as a college professor, spewing hatred from his sick, personal mind.

Here is the e-mail address that Donohue gives to protest this vulgar man to the Council on American-Islamic Relations: Ibrahim Hooper ihooper@cair.com

Somewhere in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, there is a University President whose beginning to realize the severe problem he has sheltered in his university, and that it is becoming too much of a liability.

I would suggest to this University President to check his university's internet records, establish proof that Myers posts these vile posts on his blog during working hours with University property, which he does, then show him the door and delouse the biology department.
He can even replace him with another Atheist. Just get an intelligent one.

Here is the University Presidents e-mail information again: President Robert Bruininks bruin001@umn.edu

Saturday, July 19, 2008

PZ Myers: Nothing Dumber than a Smart Bigot

Kudos and Perfection post by the Vivificat Blog exactly citing the federal laws that PZ Myers will break if he follows through on his hate crime threat of desecrating the Eucharist:

The Federal Law of the US Code 18 Part I Chapter 13 ss 247 states:

(a) Whoever, in any of the circumstances referred to in subsection (b) of this section—

(1) intentionally defaces, damages, or destroys any religious real property, because of the religious character of that property, or attempts to do so; [and...]

(b) The circumstances referred to in subsection (a) are that the offense is in or affects interstate or foreign commerce. (Blogger Note: Vivificat rightly points out that these consecrated host were mailed to Myer via interstate postal carrier.)

(d) The punishment for a violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be—

...(4) in any other case, a fine in accordance with this title and imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

(f) As used in this section, the term “religious real property” means any church, synagogue, mosque, religious cemetery, or other religious real property, including fixtures or religious objects contained within a place of religious worship. (Blogger Note: Vivificat says, and I agree, a consecrated host would qualify as a religious object.)

We are fighting to have Myers removed from his position at the University of Minnesota. He may accomplish this task all by himself and his own stupidity. I wonder if they allow blogging from the Federal Penitentiary?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Webster Cook Impeached by UCF Senate!

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Webster Cook has been impeached by the Senate of UCF. The vote happened late last night by a vote of 33-2. They deliberated for only 15 minutes.

This impeachment now sets in motion an investigation that would remove Cook from his office of University Senator if the investigation concludes he violated Senate ethic rules.

The Senate will decide what sanctions are appropriate after the investigation.

Webster Cook's Friend Also Faces Charges

Benjamin Collar, one of the votes against sending this incident to an impeachment vote, a close friend to Webster Cook, and someone who attended the "disrupted" Mass with Webster, is finding out you should choose your friends more carefully. Let me say that I have never believed in guilt by association, so we will give Benjamin the benefit of the doubt that he is innocent, until evidence is presented.

But his interview to MyFoxOrlando is interesting. First, he says that he can not register for next semester classes, saying there is a hold on registration pending a discipline hearing. This means Webster is in this boat as well.

Next, there is the quote telling you everything he didn't do, pretty much telling you what Webster did, :“While the situation, disruption happened, I was sitting in my seat looking forward, I did nothing:”“I never spoke to a university official, I never lied about who I was,” Collard added. “I never engaged in any disruptive conduct..."

Webster is not going to have too many friends left. I hope for Benjamin's sake, if he did do nothing wrong everything is resolved for him. By the same token, the Campus Ministry filed charges against him, so we will wait to see.

But here is something else worth noting. Benjamin is, I presume, the friend that Webster stated he was trying to show the Eucharistic to. If this was a lie, which I believe, Benjamin is not going to support Webster's lie over his survival at this college. He could turn "state's evidence" against Webster in the hearing.

Another story says the Senate seat Webster could lose are highly sought after. The Senate controls distribution of $80 Million in school funds. Maybe that is how Webster knew exactly how much religious organizations were receiving. It was reported some students spend $10,000 of their own money on their Senate campaign to be elected, and receive a salary (probably minimal). Times have changed so much since I have been in college, I was worried about paying my $3,600 semester tuition.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Webster Cook's Impeachment Moving Forward and He's Covering His Tracks

A few updates tonight:

1) The Central Florida student newspaper reports that by a vote of 5 to 2, the UCF Legislative, Judicial and Rules Committee consented to send the complaint affidavit against Webster Cook to the SGA Senate, for possible impeachment and removal of Cook from the UCF Senate.

The riddiculous charges that Cook brought against the Catholic Campus Ministry of hazing and under-age drinking were formaly dropped by the Committee.

According to Catholic Campus Ministry worker Michelle Ducker's statement in the affidavit, Cook pretended to consume the Eucharist at the incident. (Blogger Note: Meaning he was trying to deceive people for some purpose... Michelle, God Bless her, was the person who tried to pry the Eucharist from Webster's hand. There is a picture of Michelle Drucker on the Ministry Web site. She does not look like any physical match for Webster. When he says he was roughed up by her, add it to the list of his lies.)

Senate member, Anthony Furbish, filled the complaint against Cook. Defend your Faith, Anthony!

2) WFTV is reporting today that Catholics present at this sacrilege, say Webster "disrupt[ed] their service by accusing Catholics of worshipping the devil during mass and talking loudly." This is interesting because their are now multiple witnesses to this. With this information it does not seem like Webster was taking the Eucharist to benevolently show a friend, which we never believed.

3) And in addressing the true reason Webster first gave before all his backpedaling, concerning why he did this horrible thing (to protest public funds), I mentioned in a blog to his father that he had a facebook detailing this as the true reason. He and his friends were trying to rally the troops by saying that Webster did this to protest public funds for religious groups. It listed Webster as the President of this activist page. Well, today his name is completely off the page, and so is the reason he did it in the first place. Now they point out only, much more subtly, that the host was paid for with public funds, nothing about the motivation. These modifications were purposely done as a cover up not to incriminate Webster at his trials. The truth has to be altered when the truth will bring your demise.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No Competition in the Classroom or on the Ballot

A little break in the heated action for a news story I found telling.

I came across a story that is a crystal-clear window into the existence and essence of the American Federation of Teachers, the national teachers’ union.

Everyday, this union sentences the poorest of the poor, inner city kids to an 18-year, life sentence within a failed educational system. This void in education follows them through their whole life like anchors around their necks and dissipates any possible chance they might have to live a better life. They are trapped into the life they were born into through no fault of their own.

The AFT does this so they can keep their strangle-hold monopoly on the educational system in America and not lose any power. This permits union officials to collect fat pay checks at the top and takes the pressure at the bottom off poor performing teachers whom if competition existed would then have to start performing for these children or risk losing their jobs. It provides lifetime job-security for all involved regardless of competency resulting in a den of mediocrity.

School vouchers, providing competition, would provide these kids a way out of their poverty, but the AFT is one of the most powerful unions in America and fights these with their every breath.

They are 1,000% against any competition, in any form, even if it would help children, whom are supposed to be their top priority.

Which brings me to today’s story. Randi Weingarten was just ‘elected’ President of the AFT. She had to be elected, she was the only person nominated for the office. She ran unchallenged and had no competition. That's the way the AFT likes it. With 280 million people in America, the AFT could not provide just one additional person to give their membership an alternate choice. Do you see the mindset and the essence of this organization? Fidel Castro could learn something from the AFT in regard to guaranteeing elections and snuffing out competitors.

Monday, July 14, 2008

PZ Myers: Hypocrite at Large - Part I & II

Upon the release of a Danish cartoon that enrage Muslim beliefs, PZ Myers wrote on his blog:

"Feeding bigotry and flaunting racist stereotypes would be something that would drive me to protest any newspaper that endorsed it—of course, my protests would involve writing letters and canceling subscriptions."

Good point, 'Prof.' Myers... we will write letters in protest of your feeding bigotry and cancel your tenure.

"I don't have any sympathy for a newspaper carrying out an exercise in pointless provocation."

Good point, 'Prof.' Myers... we will not have sympathy for a pseudo-intellectual, hate-mongering, self-absorbed professor who carries out an exercise in pointless provocation.

Htip Crunchy Con

Webster Cook Files Hazing Charges Against UCF Catholics

Webster seems very contrite about the whole thing, I guess desperate people grasp for desperate things:

WFTV Florida reports:

"A Catholic student group is facing hazing charges after a worshiper allegedly used force while trying to rescue a communion wafer from a student leader smuggling it out of Mass.

Cook said his hazing complaint cited a UCF anti-hazing policy banning the “forced consumption of any food,” in which the “initiation or admission into or affiliation with a University of Central Florida organization may be directly or indirectly conditioned.”
The rule presumably was intended to prevent fraternities from force-feeding pledges disgusting food. But Cook said the rule is clear, and applies to all UCF clubs, including the Catholic Campus Ministries religious group. He insists the group is guilty, because members ordered him to consume the Eucharist to remain at Mass.

Nearly two weeks after the incident, UCF spokesman Grant Heston confirmed the school was still reviewing the charges and had not yet decided whether they’d be dismissed or brought through a formal trial conducted by administrators with UCF’s Office of Student Conduct.
Recent groups convicted of hazing charges at UCF were fraternities, which faced several years of suspension as punishment.

Cook also filed charges accusing the Catholic club of violating the school’s underage alcohol policy by serving communal wine to underage students.

Cook is also facing a more public set of charges filed by one of his peers in UCF’s Student Government Association.

SGA Officer Anthony Furbush filed an impeachment affidavit against Cook claiming Cook violated SGA ethics when he announced he was an SGA official during Mass, and cited that reason, along with the fact Mass was held in a public campus hall, as why he didn’t have to leave when asked.

Cook denied that allegation. Hearings on the impeachment charge could begin Wednesday. If convicted, Cook would be stripped of his SGA position.

Cook, who said he decided to return the Eucharist after receiving threats against his life, and afterlife, from angry Catholics maintains he did nothing wrong, and still deserves an apology for being “attacked” during Mass. Cook also denied he apologized for his actions, as UCF officials claimed he did in a statement.

However, he said he’d be open to meeting with the student church members who filed the disruptive conduct charges against him, in hopes of working out a deal for both sides to drop the charges, before they end up in administrators’ hands, where suspension and expulsion would be on the table."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Webster Cook Logic: Inconsistently Inconsistent

Sept. 2006 Brent Matthews in Lewiston, Maine, rolled a frozen head of a pig through an open door, across a store-front Mosque's floor. Mr. Matthews said that the incident was "a prank." Mr. Matthews was indicted on criminal charges and charged with a misdemeanor for defacement and desecration of a place of worship.

Sept. 2007 Peggy Davidson and Judy Overby, of Syracuse, were indicted by a Grand Jury for disrupting services at two local temples by becoming verbally "loud and obnoxious." Each pleaded guilty to ... two misdemeanor counts of disrupting a religious service

July 2008: UCF Student Webster Cook disrupts worship at a Catholic Mass by stealing and desecrating the Holy Eucharist. Absolutely no problem... legal charges or University action would be such an over-reacting... I mean you have to consider, it was only done against Catholics...

It is either everything listed above is wrong, or nothing listed above is wrong. Which one is it?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

UMN President Robert Bruininks' Past History

Here is an interesting tidbit, in September of 2006, the University of Minnesota put on a play called "The Pope and the Witch." The play was written by a well-known, anti-Catholic bigot, Dario Fo.

The Catholic League was on it and protested the funding of the play to President Robert Bruininks. Long Island's newspaper, Newsday, described this play as involving ‘a heroin-addicted, paranoid Pope called John Paul II, along with scheming priests, bumbling nuns and monks….’ Comically, Long Island Catholics consider Newsday as an extremely anti-Catholic newspaper and for them to cite this is remarkable and speaks of the vile nature of this play.

Well, Robert Bruininks ignored this protest and let the play be performed with taxpayer dollars.

Most would think this is a very bad sign for those who agree with the Catholic League and want PZ Myers dismissed; however, I have another take.

My view is that Bruininks now has a past record of ignoring a grievance coming from the Roman Catholic community, and ignoring this second more flagrant sacrilege would establish an obvious pattern. Back-to-back, pluralistic, indifferent responses ignoring the concerns of the Catholic community would establish tolerance and coddling of anti-Catholic bigotry at the level of the President’s office. The shift of focus could go from a wacko, fringe-professor, PZ Myers, to the President of the University himself, Bruininks, and involve the people he is held accountable to. Bruininks is politically skillful enough to have gained the President's office in a state university system and hopefully smart enough to see this reality.

If I were Bruininks, keeping Myers, a ranting lunatic who made his own bed, would not be worth jeopardizing my six-figure salary and established position. His trump card was played two years ago and there are no more in his deck.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Catholic League to the Rescue: Bigot PZ Myers

As many of your know, the Catholic League issued a press release on PZ Myers, who on his blog stated he wants people to send him the Eucharist so he can "treat it with profound disrespect and heinous [Eucharist] abuse, all photographed and presented here on the web."
What make this vile man even more incredible is that he is a college professor at the University of Minnesota, with access to an educational platform and captive students who sadly may need to take his course.

The Catholic League is requesting that all decent people contact the President of his university and express their disgust and outrage at the Catholic-bigotry this man spewed.

Contact UMN President Robert Bruininks at bruin001@umn.edu .

The Catholic League, and myself, have also confirmed the Myers’ had a link to his blog up on his university profile page at the university, so his writings on this blog are not a segregated, extracurricular endeavor. The University also has a strict code of conduct that comes into question. Are we also to believe that Myers has never worked on his blog on or with university property paid for with taxpayers funds? Thankfully, they can retrieve all internet records from any computer on campus which might be the smoking gun for Myers' dismissal. The fact that the blog link has been removed very quickly is interesting because it tells us that the University is siding with the Catholic League intially and knows there is a problem.

A few additional thoughts:

Freedom of speech in no way protects you from the backlash from the reactions your words could ignite. It in no way protects you from the public asking for a just remedy. Ask Don Imus, or sportscaster Jimmy the Greek. Both men were fired from lucrative jobs because public outraged called for it and they said stupid things against a certain race. If Mr. Myers joins this list, it will be well deserved and warranted as he did the same.

Secondly, when you blatantly profane someone’s religion (and we are not talking a civil exchange of ideas), you are then trouncing on and violating another Constitutionally guaranteed freedom that we have in America, the freedom of religion. The right to worship freely without persecution. Myers violated about 75 million American Catholics' Constitutional rights with his rants. Again, worthy of dismissal.

Finally, I could not think of a better person to handle this situation than Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. PZ Myers has no experience in defending himself against a retribution campaign on the scale that the Catholic League will launch or possible lawsuit. However, Mr. Donohue has the utmost experience in all America in defending the Catholic Faith and getting retribution from the associations that house these bigots. Mr. Myers will be working on his C.V. shortly and it will be very hard for him to be re-hired in any academic setting when he has a hateful diatribe of paper trails that any potential employer can access to see the true, dark heart of this man.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Webster Cook's Father Checks in Again

Below is a post by Webster Cook's father and my reply:

Dr. Cook-
I was going to take the night off from posting, but thought you post deserved a reply. I am in full agreement with you in regard to violence never being appropriate. Over the past few days I have deleted more posts than I ever thought I would in my life. One post had the phone number, and personal information of your son. I did not post this for the protection and safety on your son and your family. I do not promote violence. In the same breath, I would also say that if someone is desecrating something, people have the right to restrain him or her. You or I can do this legally in our society.

I am in total and complete disagreement that your son’s action is not comparable to desecrating a Star of David. Please realize in my view it is worse. A Star of David is a symbol of God to our Jewish brethren; the Eucharist IS our God. It would be the difference between desecrating a statue of Christ, vs. the person of Christ. There is a belief among Catholics that the one accepted religious bigotry allowed in America is anti-Catholicim. I posted this comparison on purpose. Saying that if you son disrupted any other religious denomination service in America, I don't think you would be defending him as much as you are now. I don't think you would call the Anti-Defamation League press statement condeming your son's action if it was in a synagogue, "A Bully". Would you Dr. Cook? See you remove Roman Catholicism out of the equation and the incident becomes more vile.

In reading carefully your comments, I think there are still some problems not being faced. First the conflicting stories. One story said he was taking the Eucharist to protest public funds being used. In this story his action was premeditated. When everything started to implode, your son’s story changed to the more benevolent “I was just showing an interested friends.” This change in story makes it hard to believe it was not premeditated. It was totally premeditated and I think someone is not being honest. Did you know right now your son’s close UCF friends have a facebook page supporting him saying that he took the Eucharist to protest public funds? Your son is listed as the President of this page. You can’t say this was not premeditated.

The second problem with your comments is that the apology was not a true apology. It had many qualifiers to the point it sounded he was still making his point while apologizing. It was not contrite. “I didn’t want to hurt innocent people,” so he wanted to hurt people that were not innocent? Do you see what I mean?

You sign your post the "hostage-taker's" father. It still seems to be a big joke for you. As the apology is for us Devout Catholics.

Please understand that the are so many Catholics who feel your son affronted our Savior who suffered for us. Our love for Jesus and the Eucharist is on par with the love we have for our children. Do you think any parent would have let your son leave with malice holding their child without stopping him with every breath they had?

All this being said, I can image this has not been an easy week for your family. If you ever feel that your son wants to truly apologize without qualifications, I will broker this apology with the Catholic League, if you wish and put this chapter behind him. As a father of three, I know that kids do not think through their actions completely. Most adults don’t. I don’t believe your son’s intent on this action was on the level of a hate crime in his head, but it was an affront to the Holiest of Holies of our Catholic Faith and definitely maligned our Christ, our religion and all Catholics beliefs deserving of a response action.

Webster Cook's Father:

I would like to thank you for including my post in your blog. The dialog is worthwhile. I am confused as to why Webster's receiving the Eucharist is a breathtaking insult. He was raised Catholic and received his First Holy Communion, as did my other two children. There are church documents to confirm this.

I would agree with most of what has been said against Webster if he had premeditated the removal of the host from the church. That simply is not the case. Even so, I have told him that two wrongs do not make a right. He should not have compounded an inappropriate handling (physical force without calm reasoning) of a situation by walking out with the Holy Eucharist. I am positive that he would handle that situation differently if he had it to do again. He did not set out to make a mockery of your religious beliefs or to debase them.

This is not analagous to debasing a star of David as suggested above. What continues to disturb me, and why I vehemently protest your portrayal of this situation, is that physical violence and force should always be a last resort. The church has no excuse of being "young and impulsive." I hold the Catholic Church to a higher standard than a college student. Incidently, the college student has apologised, publicly. He has posted letters and gone on the televised news to do so.

Indeed, he publicly recognized that he caused innocent people pain, and that he wanted to stop that. How has the integrity and courage of church leaders been demonstrated in this? Perhaps some consideration that the handling of this situation might be examined for better results in the future might have mitigated the image of extremism that I see in much of the reaction to this event.

Finally, my personal respect for the free exercise of religion by others does NOT extend to violence. I do not support the right of suicide bombers to enforce their view of religion on others. I do not subscibe to either Jihad or Crusade as a legitimate means of worship. I might just as well make the comparison of the behavior exhibited by Catholics in that church with those acts as accept the portrayal of my son's behavior as a "hate crime." Both comparisons are patently absurd. Both behaviors demand apology and deep reflection.Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,Brian W. Cook, MDThe "hostage taker's" father.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Another Teenager's View of the Same Eucharist

"A tradition dating from the sixth century says that St. Tarcisius was an acolyte whose fidelity and courage so impressed the leaders of the Church during the persecution of Valerian that he was entrusted with taking the Blessed Sacrament secretly to the Christians who awaited martyrdom in prison. This custom arose when the priests who ministered to the prisoners would be easily discovered, while the acolytes were less known to the heathens.

The Roman Martyrology, based on the fourth-century poem of Pope St. Damasus, gives the story of the "boy martyr of the Eucharist" in these words: "At Rome, on the Appian way, the passion of St. Tarcisius the acolyte, whom pagans met carrying the sacrament of the Body of Christ and asked him what it was he was carrying. He deemed it a shameful thing to cast pearls before the swine, and so was assaulted by them for a long time with clubs and stones [and martyred.]"

The Best of VCR: The Eucharist

Upon coming home this night, and reading so many horrible, demonic comments left about these last few posts, I felt it would be a good time for some reposts, to hopefully touch anyone who will open their heart. For those who are tired of searching for emptiness. As St. Augustine said, "O Lord, our heart is restless until it rests in thee..."

1) A recent, grieving, Protestant widow in a foreign country saw a [Eucharist] procession outside her window. In her overwhelming grief she wrote to her sister-in-law (Protestant as well), "How happy would we be, [if we] believed what these dear souls believe: that they possess God the [Eucharist], and that He remains in their churches and is to them when they are sick! … The other day, in a moment of excessive distress, I fell on my knees without thinking when the [Eucharist] passed by, and cried in an agony to God to bless me, if He was there-that my whole soul desired only Him."

The grieving widow was Elizabeth Ann Seton, who later became the first American to be canonized a saint. Faith is a journey.

2) Here is one of St. Jean Vianney's favorite stories that he would often tell in his homilies on the power of attending Eucharistic Adoration:

"A few years ago there died a man who belonged to this parish. Upon entering the church in the morning to pray before setting out for the fields, he left his work tools at the door and then became wholly lost in the presence of God while praying before the [exhibited Eucharist]. A neighbor who worked close to him, and thus used to see him in the fields, worried at his unusual absence. On his way home he found the missing man’s tools outside the church, then entered the church to see if the missing man was ill inside. He did find him in the church. The man had been praying in front of the [Eucharist] all day. His friend in disbelief that he had missed his whole day asked him, “What have you been doing here all day?” The missing man replied, “I have been looking deeply into the good God’s face and He has been looking deeply into mine.”

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Roadmap to Save Webster Cook

As some might know, Webster Cook's father posted on my blog this A.M. He blamed everyone for the mess his son is in, The Catholic League, me, etc... except the real cause:

You should be more diligent in your understanding of facts before making such hostile statements about another person. My family respects the freedom of all to worship as they see fit. Someone who publicly claims to "bring Fortune 100 companies to their knees" should examine their own arrogance, rather than casting aspersions on teenagers. Your hostility and thirt for vengence is quite unchristian.I'll bet that you are too arrogant to risk posting this comment as well?!

Brian W. Cook, MD, FACEP Father of Webster Cook

Driving to work this morning, and thinking about his father’s post, I started to feel sympathy for Webster for the first time. He is getting himself deeper and deeper into this mess and doesn’t have the tools or parental guidance to get himself out of it.

So in realizing this Webster, being a devout Catholic and knowing how we think, here is a blueprint for your way out:

1) This first step will be the most difficult from what I am seeing and the success of all the other steps will be contingent on it. Come to a sincere understanding of the horrible act you did and take full, 100% responsibility. None of this, "I was wrong, but still believe…"; "I was wrong, but so were they…"; "after everything, I still don’t think state money should be used for this…"; and the "I still just wanted to show my friends" nonsense. As you saw by the first apology, a half-hearted apology just gets you in deeper. We need a 100% contrite apology accepting responsibility for your actions and not, "I was not aware of this or that…". When Mel Gibson said those hateful words against our Jewish brethren, his apology was something like, "there are no excuses and my actions were despicable, period." The apology should be address to all Catholics everywhere and asking for their forgiveness.

2) Type up copies of this apology. Give one to the head of the campus ministry, one to the bishop of the diocese, and send one to Bill Donohue at the Catholic League to be distributed nationally. I know Bill Donohue. He is the most tenacious person you will ever meet, but when a sincere and complete apology is given he turns charitable instantly. He is very street smart and if he smells there is some reservation or insincerity in the apology, he will continue his campaign relentlessly.

3) Sign up voluntarily for 6 months of "sensitivity" counseling.

4) Tell the Catholics on Campus you will volunteer for a certain amount of hours of public service, offering your services for the desecration you did to their Faith. They probably won’t trust you with anything liturgical, but you can do something. Sell tickets to something, do some gardening around the chapel, give an elderly person a ride to Mass. Describe this as your "penance" to them a term that Catholics will relate to.

5) When all this is done, give the final letter of the apology to the Catholics on campus you are bringing the phony charges against. Tell them how wrong you were, and you will drop all charges against them immediately. Also tell them that you will accept any judgement coming to you without any protest. Put your trust in their kindness. Most likely after all these gestures, no one will feel good about expelling you and you might have saved yourself of a reputation that would have followed you the rest of your life. UCF would love to have this issue resolve itself without them involved. They have been flooded with e-mails from Catholic League members for the last few days and know this is high profile and requires some punitive action if there is no resolve between the parties.

This is the advice I would give my son if he screwed up as bad as you did.

Monday, July 7, 2008

UCF Webster Cook in Way Over His Head

VCR Friend, Bill Donohue and the Catholic League now is monitoring this story:


"To protest student fees for religious services at the University of Central Florida (UCF), a student walked out of a campus Mass on June 29 with the Eucharist. Webster Cook, a student senator, finally returned the Host this past weekend.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue offered the following remarks today:
“For a student to disrupt Mass by taking the Body of Christ hostage—regardless of the alleged nature of his grievance—is beyond hate speech. That is why the UCF administration needs to act swiftly and decisively in seeing that justice is done. All options should be on the table, including expulsion.”

Contact UCF president John C. Hitt at jhitt@mail.ucf.edu "

The Catholic League has brought Fortune 100 companies to their knees. Webster won't last make it through this unscathed. It is a shame he did not give a sincerely apology when he had the chance. As my previous post showed he is still an arrogant fool impressed with himself. A contrite apology would have been accepted by Catholics and he viewed as a young person who made a bad mistake. It would have saved his enrollment at UCF.

Eucharist Returned at UCF

From WFTV Florida:

"Orange County, FL -- One week after a University of Central Florida student snatched something sacred from church, armed UCF police officers stood guard during Sunday Mass to protect what Catholics call “The Body of Christ.”

Minutes before the Mass began, Student Senator Webster Cook returned the Holy Eucharist he was holding hostage in a Ziploc bag ever since smuggling the blessed wafer of bread out of the Catholic Mass service Sunday, June 29.

Cook said he just wanted to show the Eucharist to a friend he brought with questions about Catholicism before consuming it. But outraged Catholics across the globe didn’t believe him, and suspected he intended all along to steal the Eucharist, and bloggers sent out e-mail messages damning him to Hell.

“I am returning the Eucharist to you in response to the e-mails I have received from Catholics in the UCF community,” Cook wrote in a letter to the church. “I still want the community to understand that the use physical force is wrong, especially when based on assumptions. "However, I feel it is unnecessary to cause pain for those who are not at fault in this situation.”
Cook said some threatened to break into his dorm room to rescue the Eucharist. Brinati said the Diocese of Orlando didn’t condone those threats, but was happy Cook had a change of heart and returned it.

...It’s still not clear if the controversy is over. There is no word yet if either the Catholic students or Cook will drop their separate complaints filed against each other with UCF’s student court. The violations each side accused the other of could result in suspension or expulsion.
Cook still disagrees with the more than $40,000 in student funds distributed annually to support Catholic and other religious groups on campus, but seemed conciliatory in his letter. "I want to thank the individuals who explained the emotional and spiritual pain my possession of the Eucharist caused them to experience,” he wrote. “They have demonstrated that the use (of) reason is more effective than the use of force."

Cook said he still hopes to meet with the local Bishop to discuss prohibiting the use of force to recover the Eucharist. He also wants an apology. "

Ol' Webster still doesn't sound so remorseful, he is not at the completely submissive stage yet. Somehow he positions himself as the good guy and the victim still. The Catholic League will get him to an unconditional apology.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Eucharist Desecration at UCF

As many of you have read, a student at University of Central Florida named Webster Cook took Communion with the thoughts of not consuming it, but holding it for his own purposes. Here is the full story. Htip to Creative Minority Report

I wrote the President of the University, Dr. John Hitt, an e-mail tonight sharing my outrage, and he replied:

I am vacationing outside Florida with my children and grand children, and have not had an opportunity to discuss this matter with staff, but have seen a press account and had the benefit of an email from our student judicial officer.

Rest assured that the university takes this matter very seriously and is working with the Catholic diocese to assure that university rules of conduct and Florida statutes are upheld. The Catholic campus ministry is a vibrant and respective part of university life.

John C. Hitt President, UCF

We will see what happens here.

One Nation; Under God!

To round off the 4th of July weekend, I would like to mention a television program I caught this morning that had former-speaker-of-the-house Newt Gingrinch speaking on the topic of God in our government. He was addressing a congregation in a southern church.

Commenting our current culture has turned so hostile towards any mention of God in a government or public setting, fiercely trying to advance an absolute concept of separation of church and state (really just trying to discard God from our society), Gingrinch brought to the audience’s attention this was never the intent of out Founding Fathers:

1) For centuries the Supreme Court has begun its day with a prayer, ""God save the United States and this honorable court." Why didn’t any justice with lifetime job security object to this if there was to be a clear separation of church and state?

2) The Washington Monument has Laus Deo (Praise be God) carved into it eastern side to meet the sunrise each day. Countless monuments in D.C. have references to God. No separation here.

3) Gingrinch mentioned when Jefferson wrote his famous letter to the Danbury Baptist church where he coined the phrase, "Separation of Church and State," this was intended to keep the government out of establishing/funding a specific religion, it was never meant to say God should be kept out of government. In fact, Gingrinch cites that two days after Jefferson penned this letter, he attended weekly church service that was held in the U.S. Capitol building. These services on government property were common in our country prior to the Civil War. Clearly Jefferson would be critical of this arrangement if he believe in the absolute of this concept.

4) One of Jefferson’s famous phrases has him defending liberty against tyranny by having "sworn upon the altar of God." This quote is displayed in the Jefferson Memorial in D.C. He was taking a Divine oath for what extreme secularists would have you believe is just a secular commitment???? He could have sworn on his life or his honor if God had no place in public service.

Gingrinch had one more comment very worth mentioning. He said as God is slowly removed from a government it is moved closer and closer towards totalitarism. He supported this view by saying the most totalitaristic governments in the history of the world eradicated God from their culture and government. The Nazi’s (12 Million killed), Stalin’s Russia (20M), Mai Tse-Tung’s China (50M) etc… Having God as the basis and present in your government solidifies a lasting Democracy. Please reference my Unalienable Rights post. It was a very valid point.

The Jesuit and the Vacuum Cleaner

I have a very holy, great-aunt who is known in our family as "the hotline" for her ability to get her prayers answered. To give you an idea of how powerful her prayers are, she said a novena for my father to meet "a nice girl" many decades ago. My aunt ended her novena for my father on a Tuesday and my parents met the next day.

I would often tap this source of Faith in my family. Whenever I had an urgent prayer request I would enlist her to storm the heavens. When I would check on her progress and jokingly ask her if she was still praying for my request, she would say in her Irish brogue, "My lips are dry!"

One time after checking on her "progress" on a very special prayer petition during my college years, she told me something that to this day has left an impression on me. She said she made a deal with God that if He honored her request she would vacuum Heaven for Him someday. When I heard this I broke a smile, but she was dead serious. There was definitely a Heaven, and it definitely needed vacuuming. Her Faith was so simple and childlike. It was unsophisticated but completely pure and without any sliver of doubt.

Immediately after this conversation with my aunt I headed off to one of my college classes. It was taught by a Jesuit priest whom on that day mentioned that only three words have been documented out of the mouth of Christ. In looking back, I am unsure of what his end game was in telling the class this. Maybe he was trying to get a rise out of the class, or test our Faith, or dilute our Faith. I have known a good amount of Catholics whom have strayed from Rome as the result of Jesuit instruction that adapted the Catechism of the Church to their own intellectual views. Many don’t know this but Jesuits take a fourth vow at their ordination, when regular priests take only three (poverty, chastity and obedience). This extra oath is obedience to the Pope, which makes some of these Jesuits even more difficult to tolerate. All this being said, like any group of people you have your good and your bad. Father Joseph Fessio and Cardinal Avery Dulles are shining examples of Jesuits.

So at the time that this intellectual Jesuit, who never wore a roman collar around campus, threw out this discerning fact to the class I had thoughts of raising my hand and asking him if he thought Heaven needed to be vacuumed. I think I would know what his answer would be, but would have loved to have seen the look on his face and I would side with my great-aunt’s belief first. Hopefully, you can appreciate the contrast in this story. An over-educated Jesuit spreading doubt in his Faith, and a "simple" woman without a high-school diploma believing absolutely in her Faith.

Yesterday, I stopped by my great-aunt’s house. She is going on 94 and has deteriorated considerably. She does not recognize people and does not make eye contact with anyone anymore. She is incoherent with any communication. After staying about 20 minutes and upon leaving I, realizing this could be the last time I see her, gave her a kiss and a hug and told her I loved her. At that moment she shockingly made eye contact with me for the only time during my visit and said, "Please pray for me…", then went back into her world.

Even to the very end, with every human function of her body failing, her Faith remained predominate.

It was a very bittersweet moment that this powerhouse of prayer that I relied on so much over the years for her prayers somehow found the will to ask me to pray for her in her final days. She now relied on my prayers and I owed her many. I think my low-level prayers for her will be steady but short-lived as she will be praying for me again soon in between her vacuuming. The Communion of Saints is a true gift of Catholicism.

Mark 10:15: Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."

Friday, July 4, 2008

Lip Service...Not Even.

The Associated Press reported that John McCain stopped at the Basilica in Mexico City and paid a visit to the holy image of Our Lady of Guadalupe:

"McCain began the day at Mexico City's famed Basilica de Guadalupe, where he laid a wreath of white roses at the altar and stood atop the Papal balcony.

He was accompanied by President Bush's brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who was visiting Mexico on a business trip.

McCain's visit to the Basilica had clear political overtones as Catholic and Hispanic voters are expected to be key swing voters in the November election."

Now I ask all my pro-life friends out there, is there ever any better opportunity in the world for candidate to say something remotely pro-life than a visit to the Patron of the Unborn, Our Lady of Guadalupe?

We got nothing, zippo, other than a few pictures and a political strategist who crossed "Appeal to Catholic and Hispanic swing voters," off his list.

I have always been able to see clear contradictions in my life, at sometimes being tortured by them.Yesterday, we had John McCain who can't run away from the pro-life issue fast enough appearing in the presence of the Divine portrait of the Mother of God, depicted carrying our Savior in utero, who eternally and without cease focuses us on the sanctity of life.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Unalienable Rights

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

This is the most famous quote in American history, but sadly many people don’t understand the exact meaning of it.

If you go up to the common man on the street, and ask them what the definition of an "unalienable right" is, they would be in trouble. Normally, people say it is a right inherent to a person. This answer misses the true definition.

So I ask how can we understand and defend this phrase when most of us can’t define it?

The definition of this great term, "unalienable rights", that Jefferson so carefully chose in this powerful document that unleashed freedom around the world is precisely defined as a right that "can not be transferred, taken or forfeited." It is held and controlled on the Divine level; we have no control of our unalienable rights, or anyone else’s. Jefferson knew if we had any possibility of controlling these rights on a mortal level, even controlling our own, the government would sooner of later seize them and control them. Jefferson purposely put these rights on the Divine level because they would forever be out of the grasp, and control, of the government.

So… by this document, we can not "transfer" these rights: Doctors, friends or spouses can not make the decision on our behalf when our life should end. Physician-assisted suicide is in direct conflict with this document.

By this document, we can not have these rights "taken": Abortion is in direct conflict with this great document. Terri Schiavo’s death/Euthanasia is in direct conflict with this document.

By this document, we can not "forfeit" these rights: Capital Punishment is positioned that the guilty has forfeited his right to live. A district attorney once told me this is the legal logic behind putting someone to death. This is in direct conflict with this document.

It is worthwhile to review this document every year at this time. Unfortunately, the Declaration of Independence is just a historical document, with no legal barring. We have to work to make these absolute principles part of our lives and laws.

Enjoy the 4th of July! God Bless America!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Very Non-direct Mail

Today, an awareness came over me on just how in trouble the McCain for President campaign is. I received a campaign-fundraising letter in the mail. Well I didn’t receive it, it was addressed to me at my parents’ address - - a residence where I have not lived for 13 years. That was the first troubling sign. They have been paying for outdated mailing lists.

The second concern was how bad the target marketing of the piece was. It was a plethora of very safe, middle-of-the-road issues, stretched all over the map with no common theme; aiming for everything and hitting nothing. There was absolutely no thought nor focus behind this undertaking, just throwing enough of "it" up on the wall and hope something sticks and some possible donations are sent. I am unsure if this was a result of inexperience or laziness.

I have worked as product managers for direct mail companies (plural). I also surmise they got my name from previous donations to political candidates. My donation history is clearly and percisely supporting candidates that are adamantly and vocally pro-life and social conservative. Names like Alan Keyes, Sam Brownback and others. I should have been easily identifiable as to what kind of voter I am.

What is the one topic this mailing did not mention? You got it, the pro-life issue. If they started the letter, "There are three Supreme Court justices that will be replaced in the next four years, and we need your help," I would have considered this request. This sloppy, direct mail effort now makes me more upset that my primary cause is being shunned, most-likely never leading to a donation being sent.

McCain should have had one letter to the social conservatives (pro-life, defending God in the schools, against gay marriage, etc.), one letter to the fiscal conservatives (preventing a 25% tax rate and keeping tax cuts), one to moderates (mentioning gas prices, immigration, economy), etc… That is a campaign that knows what it is doing, and a campaign that will be successful.
As I said, it was a sad realization.

Today, McCain shook up his campaign by replacing Rick Davis with Steve Schmidt handling all day to day operations. I hope for all of our sake this move shows a better return.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The VEEP Sweepstakes

In the next few weeks, John McCain and Barack Obama will both announce their selections to round off their presidential tickets as they enter their conventions.

There is a lot of media pundits guessing as to who will be selected. A few weeks ago, I heard WABC radio report that McCain's choice was definitely Huckabee, today the pundits are announcing Mitt Romney is the top choice.

There is no way of telling whom they will select. The history of VP selections have paired people on a ticket that disliked each other so much you wouldn't have normaly found them in the same room. There was no love lost between JFK and LBJ. Kennedy selected him as a politically shrewed move to help him carry the south. Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush intensely disliked each other when Reagan asked him to be his VP. Over the years, they became friends.

The last few elections have been so "hanging-chad" close, I believe both of the VP selections will be heavily influenced by looking at the electoral map.

A great political Web site, Real Clear Politics, has an updated Electoral Vote Map for the 2008 Election. In looking at it, some states, and their VP candidates, become very important very quickly.

The two biggest prizes in play right now could yield the Vice President choices.

McCain, surprisingly, does not even have Florida leaning towards him. It is in play. Republican Presidential candidates usually carry Florida and Texas, Democratic ones carry New York and California. If just one of these states flip to the other party, the election is over. McCain needs Florida to have a chance. His selection should be Governor Charlie Crist from Florida. He is popular and will carry the state for McCain. He is also noted as a great fundraiser and McCain is trailing Obama in war chests. He recently flip-flopped on offshore drilling in FLA, which some saw as trying to align himseld with McCain - - a bid to be named VP.

Obama should pick Ohio's Govenor Ted Strickland. Ohio's 20 EV are in play, and if Obama gets them he would then be at 258 total EV's, a hiccup from the Presidency. Also, no Republican candidate has ever won the Presidency without carrying Ohio. By every historic standard, carrying Ohio would cement the Presidency for Obama . Strickland is a former preacher that will position Obama better with the faith-based voters he desperately needs, and has been courting recently.

Politics makes strange bedfellows. When looking at electoral votes, the bedfellows become less strange.