Ebola and African Horse Sicknesss (Horses can’t vote!)

Veterinarian’s Letter from Lewiston, Idaho to the Editor

The present Ebola crisis in the world is frightening. I have submitted the following letter to the editor of the Lewiston Morning Tribune:

Editor, Lewiston Morning Tribune:

If I wish to import a horse into the United States from Liberia or any African country other than Morocco, the horse needs to undergo a 60 day quarantine period at a USDA approved quarantine facility prior to mingling with the general population of horses in this country. Africa has a disease called African Horse Sickness that does not exist in the US; this is the way we have kept it out of this country. African Horse Sickness does not cause disease in people, only horses; our government has determined that it would be devastating to the US horse industry if it were to come here.

The United States (and virtually all other countries) require a myriad of tests and often quarantine prior to bringing in a foreign animal.

I cannot legally cross state lines in the United States with a horse or cow without a health certificate signed by a USDA accredited veterinarian stating that the animal has been inspected and found free of infectious disease. In most cases blood tests are also required. In fact I cannot legally cross the Snake River and ride my horse in Idaho without a health certificate and a negative blood test for Equine Infectious Anemia.

I’m not complaining; the United States of America, the States of Idaho and Washington, as well as the other 48 states take the health of our livestock very seriously, and we have a very good record at keeping foreign animal diseases out of our country. I am happy to do my part to maintain biosecurity in our animal population.

If I am a resident of Liberia incubating Ebola, to enter the United States all I need to do is present a valid visa, and lie when asked if I have been exposed to Ebola. Within hours (no quarantine required) I can be walking the streets of any city in the United States.

I feel very fortunate to live in a country that values our animals so highly.

David A. Rustebakke, DVM

Churches Push Back Against Warning Not To Talk Politics | Truth Revolt

“Earlier this month Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent out 84,000 letters to church leaders to warn them against speaking about politics from the pulpit according to IRS tax-exempt restrictions. Responses so far have not been so enthusiastic.

AU says they attempted to be “respectful” in their reminder and claim they are merely trying to protect organizations’ tax exempt status. In a blog post the group’s assistant director of communications, Simon Brown, explained that they only want churches to “follow the rules” and “stay out of partisan politics”:

“We merely want houses of worship to follow the rules, stay out of partisan politics and keep their tax exemption. And when we explain to clergy what the law requires, we do so in a respectful way.”

Despite their “respectful” tone, the church and state watchdog told The Blaze that they’ve already received about 45 fiery responses, and expect more in the days to come.

One church sent back AU’s letter with the simple statement “Drop Dead” written in marker across it. Another response was a brief letter, addressed to the executive director of the group, which concluded by asking to be removed from his mailing list and saying he could take his “solicitude regarding our legal well-being” and “shove it up your fat white a__.”

Here are two shots of the messages (via The Blaze):

via Churches Push Back Against Warning Not To Talk Politics | Truth Revolt.

Robert Spencer: the Boston jihad bombings & the war on free speech – video

Real Time Attack E-mails–Real Lies by Obama Regime

What Do Puss in Boots and Obama Have in Common?

Jonah Goldberg :

I knew Barack Obama was miserable when he tried to give debate moderator Jim Lehrer the Puss in Boots eyes. “You may want to move on to another topic,” Obama implored Lehrer, a bit like a motorcycle thief begging a cop to take him into custody rather than let him stay with the surly biker gang that caught him.

A Walk With Obama

Human Responsibility Demands Freedom and Conscience

H/T St. Thomas More“Go and Make Disciples”

Fr. Andrew was invited to lead the opening prayer at the 2012 Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention in the Magness Arena at the University of Denver. The moral challenges facing our country are not caused by political affiliation, but rather by attacks on religious freedom. He invites all people of conscience to uphold religious freedom.

“The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with ‘communism’ or ‘socialism’.” – Catechism of the Catholic Church 2425

The Eucharist is the Lord’s Passover

From a treatise by Saint Gaudentius of Brescia, bishop

The Eucharist is the Lord’s Passover

One man has died for all, and now in every church in the mystery of bread and wine he heals those for whom he is offered in sacrifice, giving life to those who believe and holiness to those who consecrate the offering. This is the flesh of the Lamb; this is his blood. The bread that came down from heaven declared: The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. It is significant, too, that his blood should be given to us in the form of wine, for his own words in the gospel, I am the true vine, imply clearly enough that whenever wine is offered as a representation of Christ’s passion, it is offered as his blood. This means that it was of Christ that the blessed patriarch Jacob prophesied when he said: He will wash his tunic in wine and his cloak in the blood of the grape. The tunic was our flesh, which Christ was to put on like a garment and which he was to wash in his own blood.

Creator and Lord of all things, whatever their nature, he brought forth bread from the earth and changed it into his own body. Not only had he the power to do this, but he had promised it; and, as he had changed water into wine, he also changed wine into his own blood. It is the Lord’s passover, Scripture tells us, that is, the Lord’s passing. We are no longer to look upon the bread and wine as earthly substances. They have become heavenly, because Christ has passed into them and changed them into his body and blood. What you receive is the body of him who is the heavenly bread, and the blood of him who is the sacred vine; for when he offered his disciples the consecrated bread and wine, he said: This is my body, this is my blood. We have put our trust in him. I urge you to have faith in him; truth can never deceive.

When Christ told the crowds that they must eat his flesh and drink his blood, they were horrified and began to murmur among themselves: This teaching is too hard; who can be expected to listen to it? As I have already told you, thoughts such as these must be banished. The Lord himself used heavenly fire to drive them away by going on to declare: It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

War of Words – What's In A Name?

NPR staff memo quoted by La Shawn Barber in NPR Drops ‘Pro-Life for'”Abortion Rights Opponents’:

NPR News is revising the terms we use to describe people and groups involved in the abortion debate.

This updated policy is aimed at ensuring the words we speak and write are as clear, consistent and neutral as possible. This is important given that written text is such an integral part of our work.

On the air, we should use “abortion rights supporter(s)/advocate(s)” and “abortion rights opponent(s)” or derivations thereof (for example: “advocates of abortion rights”). It is acceptable to use the phrase “anti-abortion”, but do not use the term “pro-abortion rights”.

What’s in a name?  Barber points us to: “How the Public is Manipulated” which gives us a heads up and out of the sand noting:

  • It Makes a Pro-Abortion Assumption that the Debate is About Abortion Rights, Not Abortion
  • It Plays Word Games with the Word “Rights”
  • It Ignores the Fact That Abortion Can Exist Without Abortion Rights
  • It Assumes the Negative
  • It Ignores the Concept of a Right to Life
  • It Affirms the Concept of a Right to an Abortion
  • Barber makes some points of her own for the mainstream media:

    • Refer to abortion supporters as “right to life opponents”
    • Refer to gun control supporters as “gun rights opponents”
    • Refer to “hate speech” backers as “speech rights opponents”
    • Refer to racial preferences advocates as “constitutional rights opponents”

    Write me if she missed any.

    "Courage and Consequence" Karl Rove

    Courage and Consequence – Karl Rove

    “the unwritten story of the whole affair is that if Democrats had granted the Bush administration the regulatory powers it sought, the housing crisis would no have been nearly as severe, the financial sector’s collapse not nearly as damaging, the economy’s slide not nearly as steep and lengthy, and global distress not nearly as widespread.

    Among the Democrats who backed Dodd’s filibuster and opposed reform was the freshman senator, Barack Obama. He was the third-largest recipient of campaign gifts from Fannie and Freddie employees in 2004. Since winning the White House, he has pointed to the economic problems he “inherited”, but he has never owned up to his role in creating them.”

    Who Do You Trust?

    "Half of All Black Children Are Aborted"

    Rep. Trent Franks has called President Obama the “Abortion President.” He clarifies the call, but doesn’t back away from it.  Congressman Frank tells why:

    “I don’t know what it takes to get people to see the obvious. The fact that humanity is very gifted and hiding from something that obviously true. I mean: in this country, we had slavery for God knows how long, and, now,  we look back on it and we say, ‘How blind were they? What was the matter with them?’ I mean: four million slaves! This is incredible, and we’re right!  We’re right!  We should look back on that and question.  It is a crushing  mark on America’s soul!  And yet today, today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted! Far more black children, far more of the African American community is being devasted by the policies of today, than were being devastated by the policies of slavery.. and I think, ‘What does it take to get us to wake up?’ “

    When You Can't Blame Bush – Blame America & the Constitution

    Charles Krauthammer makes it plain:

    “In the latter days of the Carter presidency, it became fashionable to say that the office had become unmanageable and was simply too big for one man. Some suggested a single, six-year presidential term. The president’s own White House counsel suggested abolishing the separation of powers and going to a more parliamentary system of unitary executive control. America had become ungovernable.”

    “Then came Ronald Reagan, and all that chatter disappeared.”

    “Desperate to explain away this scandalous state of affairs, liberal apologists haul out the old reliable from the Carter years: “America the Ungovernable.” So declared Newsweek. “Is America Ungovernable?” coyly asked The New Republic. Guess the answer.”

    Krauthammer sides with the American people and the Constitution:

    “The people said no, expressing themselves first in spontaneous demonstrations, then in public opinion polls, then in elections — Virginia, New Jersey and, most emphatically, Massachusetts.

    “That’s not a structural defect. That’s a textbook demonstration of popular will expressing itself — despite the special interests — through the existing structures. In other words, the system worked.”

    Ronald Reagan's "Shining City On A Hill"

    Ronald Reagan, where are you when we need you?!

    Today would be President Ronald Reagan’s 99th birthday.  May God bless and caress him for us, We, the People, whom he loved and lead.  We, the People, love and appreciate Reagan, the man, the mench, for his kindness, his integrity, his values, his patriotism, his determination, and his faith in We, the People.  He kept the vision of a “Shining City on a hill” before his eyes.  So, too, must we! Ronald Reagan is bright in our memory. Now we must live his dream. Freedom couldn’t have found a more clarion voice and heart to shout down the walls of tyranny by speaking with common sense. Listen again to his words of farewell:

    This Makes Obama Pro-Abort

    Our President Obama has a way with words, but his actions make him a pro-abort President, a pro-abort Senator and a pro-abort inhumane being.

    This from Steven Ertelt Life News. com:

    November 5, 2008 – Obama selects pro-abortion Rep. Rahm Emanuel as his White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel has a 0% pro-life voting record according to National Right to Life.

    November 19, 2008 – Obama picks pro-abortion former Sen. Tom Daschle as his Health and Human Services Secretary. Daschle has a long pro-abortion voting record according to National Right to Life.

    November 20, 2008 – Obama chooses former NARAL legal director Dawn Johnsen to serve as a member of his Department of Justice Review Team. Later, he finalizes her appointment as the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of the Legal Counsel in the Obama administration.

    November 24, 2008 – Obama appoints Ellen Moran, the former director of the pro-abortion group Emily’s List as his White House communications director. Emily’s List only supported candidates who favored taxpayer funded abortions and opposed a partial-birth abortion ban.

    November 24, 2008 – Obama puts former Emily’s List board member Melody Barnes in place as his director of the Domestic Policy Council.

    November 30, 2008 – Obama named pro-abortion Sen. Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State. Clinton has an unblemished pro-abortion voting record and has supported making unlimited abortions an international right.

    December 10, 2008 – Obama selects pro-abortion former Clinton administration official Jeanne Lambrew to become the deputy director of the White House Office of Health Reform. Planned Parenthood is “excited” about the selection.

    December 10, 2008 – Obama transition team publishes memo from dozens of pro-abortion groups listing their laundry list of pro-abortions actions they want him to take.

    Pro-Abortion Presidential Record – 2009

    January 5, 2009 – Obama picks pro-abortion Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as the chairman of the Democratic Party.

    January 6, 2009 – Obama chooses Thomas Perrelli, the lawyer who represented Terri Schiavo’s husband Michael in his efforts to kill his disabled wife, as the third highest attorney in the Justice Department.

    January 22, 2009 – Releases statement restating support for Roe v. Wade decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions and has resulted in at least 50 million abortions since 1973.

    January 23, 2009 – Forces taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. Decison to overturn Mexico City Policy sends part of $457 million to pro-abortion organizations.

    January 26, 2009 – Obama nominee for Deputy Secretary of State, James B. Steinberg, tells members of the Senate that taxpayers should be forced to fund abortions. Nominee erroneously says limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional.

    January 29, 2009 – President Obama nominates pro-abortion David Ogden as Deputy Attorney General.

    February 12, 2009 – Obama nominates pro-abortion Elena Kagan to serve as Solicitor General.

    February 27, 2009 – Starts the process of overturning pro-life conscience protections President Bush put in place to make sure medical staff and centers are not forced to do abortions.

    February 28, 2009 – Barack Obama nominates pro-abortion Kathleen Sebelius to become Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    March 5, 2009 – The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business, made the invitation list as did other pro-abortion groups.

    March 9, 2009 – President Barack Obama signed an executive order forcing taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research.

    March 10, 2009 – Obama announces the creation of a new foreign policy position to focus on women’s issues. He names Melanne Verveer, an abortion advocate, to occupy the post.

    March 10, 2009 – Reverses an executive order to press for more research into ways of obtaining embryonic stem cells without harming human life. The order Obama scrapped would have promoted new forms of stem cell research.

    March 11, 2009 – Obama signed an executive order establishing a new agency within his administration known as the White House Council on Women and Girls. Obama’s director of public liaison at the White House, Tina Tchen, an abortion advocate, became director of it.

    March 11, 2009 – Obama administration promotes an unlimited right to abortion at a United Nations meeting.

    March 11, 2009 – Obama administration officials deny negative effects of abortion at United Nation’s meeting.

    March 17, 2009 – President Barack Obama makes his first judicial appointment and names pro-abortion federal Judge David Hamilton to serve on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

    March 26 – President Obama announced $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that has been criticized for promoting abortion and working closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations.

    April 7 – The Vatican has rejected three Obama ambassador nominees because of their positions in favor of abortions.

    April 7 – Obama has named pro-abortion law professor Harold Hongju Koh as the top lawyer for the State Department.

    April 7 – Put more abortion advocates on his White House advisory council for faith-based issues.

    April 8 – Obama nominee for assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, Ron Weich, is pro-abortion.

    April 14 – Obama administration releases document that claims pro-life people may engage in violence or extremism.

    April 17 – Obama administration releases the proposed guidelines that implement his decision to allow taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life.

    April 23 – Refused to appeal a ruling requiring the FDA to allow 17-year-old girls to purchase the morning after pill without either a doctor visit or parental involvement beforehand.

    April 27 – Obama’s women’s ambassador Melanne Verveer touted Obama’s decision to send $50 million to the United Nation’s Population Fund.

    May 5 – Details emerge about a terrorism dictionary the administration of President Barack Obama put together in March. The Domestic Extremism Lexicon calls pro-life advocates violent and claims they employ racist overtones in engaging in criminal actions.

    May 8 – President Obama releases a new budget that allows the Legal Services Corporation to use tax dollars to pay for pro-abortion litigation.

    May 8 – President Obama’s new budget calls for taxpayer funded abortions in the nation’s capital.

    May 8 – President Obama’s budget eliminates all federal funding for abstinence-only education.

    May 15 – Appointed pro-abortion New York City health commissioner Thomas Frieden as head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    May 17 – During his commencement speech at Notre Dame, Obama deceived listeners into thinking he wants a conscience clause, promoted embryonic stem cell research and misstated his pro-abortion record.

    May 26 – Appoints appeals court judge Sonia Sonotmayor as a Supreme Court nominee. Sotomayor agrees that the courts should make policy, such as the Roe v. Wade case. Sotomayor is later opposed by pro-life groups and supported by pro-abortion groups and those who know her say she will support abortion on the high court.

    July 2- Calls for an unlimited right to abortion at a United Nation’s meeting.

    July 7- The Obama administration admits it ignored the majority of Americans who opposed the proposed guidelines that would implement Obama’s decision to force taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research.

    July 14 – Obama science czar nominee John Holdren is revealed to have written before that he favors forced abortions.

    July 30 – Awards several pro-abortion activists with the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    July 31 – Tells the National Institutes of Health to adopt rules that allow embryonic stem cell research.

    August 4 – Information becomes public that Ezekiel Emanuel, an Obama advisor at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research, supports rationing health care for disabled Americans that could lead to euthanasia.

    August 6 – Obama criticized for asking for people to “snitch” on groups and people who oppose the pro-abortion health care bills in Congress.

    August 13 – Obama wrongly said a senator backed the pro-euthanasia components of the health care bill.

    August 23 – Said pro-life advocates were making “phony claims” about the health care bills. Also said the claims were false.

    August 24 – Releases veterans guide promoting euthanasia.

    September 13 – Misleads on the federal conscience clause in a health care speech and misleads on abortion funding.

    September 13 – Obama waits two days to comment on shooting of pro-life advocate whereas he commented immediately on shooting of abortion practitioner.

    September 15 – Senate confirms Obama’s new regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, who is pro-abortion.

    October 5 – Selected pro-abortion lawyer and Georgetown University law professor Chai Feldblum for the EEOC.

    October 5 – Announces he will give the keynote speech for pro-abortion group Human Rights Campaign

    Go here for links: Steven Ertelt Life News. com:

    What can we do?  PRAY for our President! Here is a powerful prayer from St. Gertrude the Great:

    Jesus, Savior of the World, have mercy on me.  You to Whom nothing is impossible, bestow mercy to the wretched. O Christ, Who by Your Cross, hast redeemed the world, hear us.

    The Lord is my strength and my glory; He is my salvation.

    Hail Jesus, my loving Spouse.  I salute You in the ineffable joys of Your Divinity; I embrace You with the affection of all creatures, and I kiss the Sacred Wound of Your love.

    Update – The Age of "Just Hope It"

    “Amen” to what he said.  Charles Krauthammer commenting on the Nobel Prize Surprise supposedly heralding the shining future of Obama the Peacenik and Flower Child ushering in the Age of “Just Hope It!”

    “What’s come from Obama holding his tongue while Iranian demonstrators were being shot and from his recognizing the legitimacy of a thug regime illegitimately returned to power in a fraudulent election? Iran cracks down even more mercilessly on the opposition and races ahead with its nuclear program.

    What’s come from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton taking human rights off the table on a visit to China and from Obama’s shameful refusal to see the Dalai Lama (a postponement, we are told). China hasn’t moved an inch on North Korea, Iran or human rights. Indeed it’s pushing with Russia to dethrone the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

    What’s come from the new-respect-for-Muslims Cairo speech and the unprecedented pressure on Israel for a total settlement freeze? “The settlement push backfired,” reports The Washington Post, and Arab-Israeli peace prospects have “arguably regressed.”

    And what’s come from Obama’s single most dramatic foreign policy stroke — the sudden abrogation of missile defense arrangements with Poland and the Czech Republic that Russia had virulently opposed? For the East Europeans it was a crushing blow, a gratuitous restoration of Russian influence over a region that thought it had regained independence under American protection.”

    Krauthammer hopes too, in the form of a question:

    Surely we got something in return for selling out our friends?

    Ahh, you guessed it, did you?!

    NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well, talk it up President Obama. “Peace,peace” and prizes for peace! So there is no peace to speak of, only talk and the shifting sands of duplicity beneath our feet.

    Update: Personally, for me, a bumper sticker speaks more to truth and peace than Obama.  It says: “No Jesus. No Peace. Know Jesus. Know Peace.” I know Charles Krauthammer wouldn’t put it that way, being Jewish; however, the way Christ preached, of truth and sacrificial love, rings throughout Krauthammer’s body of work.  Krauthammer doesn’t hand you ‘pie in the sky’, he preaches the need to slug it out in the trenches with our ethics, morals and integrity in tact.

    'Jane Roe" Arrested

    Todd J. Gillman reports:

    Norma McCorvey – the Dallas woman known as Jane Roe in the landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade – was among the protesters arrested today for disrupting the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.

    The case that bears McCorvey’s court-picked pseudonym – and that of longtime Dallas district attorney Henry Wade, her legal adversary in the case – has been a central issue in judicial nomination fights for years. But McCorvey herself long ago decided that she regretted her role in the fight to legalize abortion, and has worked with anti-abortion activists as a potent symbol of the effort to overturn the Roe decision.

    McCorvey, 61, is being charged with unlawful conduct/disruption of Congress, said Capitol Police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider.

    "Love in Truth" – "Caritas in Veritate"

    From the Introduction of Caritas in Veritate

    “Love in truth — caritas in veritate — is a great challenge for the Church in a world that is becoming progressively and pervasively globalized. The risk for our time is that the de facto interdependence of people and nations is not matched by ethical interaction of consciences and minds that would give rise to truly human development. Only in charity, illumined by the light of reason and faith, is it possible to pursue development goals that possess a more humane and humanizing value. The sharing of goods and resources, from which authentic development proceeds, is not guaranteed by merely technical progress and relationships of utility, but by the potential of love that overcomes evil with good (cf. Rom 12:21), opening up the path towards reciprocity of consciences and liberties.

    The Wall Street Journal reports “Anyone seeking a repudiatyion of the market economy will be disappointed.”

    The Pope on ‘Love in Truth’

    By ROBERT A. SIRICO

    In his much anticipated third encyclical, Caritas in Veritate (Love in Truth), Pope Benedict XVI does not focus on specific systems of economics — he is not attempting to shore up anyone’s political agenda. He is rather concerned with morality and the theological foundation of culture. The context is of course a global economic crisis — a crisis that’s taken place in a moral vacuum, where the love of truth has been abandoned in favor of a crude materialism. The pope urges that this crisis become “an opportunity for discernment, in which to shape a new vision for the future.” Yet his encyclical contains no talk of seeking a third way between markets and socialism. Words like greed and capitalism make no appearance here, despite press headlines following the publication of the encyclical earlier this week. People seeking a blueprint for the political restructuring of the world economy won’t find it here. But if they look to this document as a means for the moral reconstruction of the world’s cultures and societies, which in turn influence economic events, they will find much to reflect upon. Caritas in Veritate is an eloquent restatement of old truths casually dismissed in modern times. The pope is pointing to a path neglected in all the talk of economic stimulus, namely a global embrace of truth-filled charity. Benedict rightly attributes the crisis itself to “badly managed and largely speculative financial dealing.” But he resists the current fashion of blaming all existing world problems on the market economy. “The Church,” he writes, “has always held that economic action is not to be regarded as something opposed to society.” Further: “Society does not have to protect itself from the market, as if the development of the latter were ipso facto to entail the death of authentically human relations.” The market is rather shaped by culture. “Economy and finance . . . can be used badly when those at the helm are motivated by purely selfish ends. Instruments that are good in themselves can thereby be transformed into harmful ones. But it is man’s darkened reason that produces these consequences, not the instrument per se. Therefore it is not the instrument that must be called to account, but individuals, their moral conscience and their personal and social responsibility.” The pope does not reject globalization: “Blind opposition would be a mistaken and prejudiced attitude, incapable of recognizing the positive aspects of the process, with the consequent risk of missing the chance to take advantage of its many opportunities for development.” He says that “the world-wide diffusions of prosperity should not . . . be held up by projects that are protectionist.” More, not less, trade is needed: “the principal form of assistance needed by developing countries is that of allowing and encouraging the gradual penetration of their products into international markets.” The encyclical doesn’t attack capitalism or offer models for nations to adopt. “The Church does not have technical solutions to offer,” the pope firmly states, “and does not claim ‘to interfere in any way in the politics of States.’ She does, however, have a mission of truth to accomplish, in every time and circumstance . . .” Benedict is profoundly aware that economic science has much to contribute to human betterment. The Church’s role is not to dictate the path of research but to focus its goals. “Economic science tells us that structural insecurity generates anti-productive attitudes wasteful of human resources. . . . Human costs always include economic costs, and economic dysfunctions always involve human costs.” He constantly returns to two practical applications of the principle of truth in charity. First, this principle takes us beyond earthly demands of justice, defined by rights and duties, and introduces essential moral priorities of generosity, mercy and communion — priorities which provide salvific and theological value. Second, truth in charity is always focused on the common good, defined as an extension of the good of individuals who live in society and have broad social responsibilities. As for issues of population, he can’t be clearer: “To consider population increase as the primary cause of underdevelopment is mistaken, even from an economic point of view.” Several commentators have worried about his frequent calls for wealth redistribution. Benedict does see a role for the state here, but much of the needed redistribution is the result of every voluntary and mutually beneficial exchange. To understand such passages fully and accurately, we do well to put our political biases on the shelf. This encyclical is a theological version of his predecessor’s more philosophical effort to anchor the free economy’s ethical foundation. Much of it stands squarely with a long tradition of writings of a certain “classical liberal” tradition, one centered on the moral foundation of economics, from St. Thomas Aquinas and his disciples, Frederic Bastiat in the 19th century, Wilhelm Roepke, and even the secular F.A. Hayek in the 20th century. It also clearly resonates with some European Christian democratic thought. Caritas in Veritate is a reminder that we cannot understand ourselves as a human community if we do not understand ourselves as something more than the sum or our material parts; if we do not understand our capacity for sin; and if we do not understand the principle of communion rooted in the gratuitousness of God’s grace. Simply put, to this pope’s mind, there is no just or moral system without just and moral people. Father Sirico is president and co-founder of the Acton Institute.

    Death Knell for Affirmative Action?

    eCharles Krauthammer sounds the death knell for reverse racism with the Supreme Courts Ricci decision:

    Ricci left Sotomayor relatively unscathed. But not affirmative action. Ricci raised the bar considerably on overt discrimination against one racial group simply to undo the unintentionally racially skewed results of otherwise fair and objective employment procedures (in this case, examinations).

    Krauthammer notes (bemoans?) Sotomayor’s survival:

    While overturned on Ricci, she is protected by the four dissenting justices who upheld the side of the case she had taken as an appeals court judge. Sotomayor was additionally helped by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s insistence on reading her dissent from the bench, as if to emphasize the legitimacy of her position — and, by implication, Sotomayor’s.

    Link Around

    H/T Michelle Malkin: Story you won’t hear

    White House spinning again: Ed Morrissey

    Lady Justice Winks – No Blindfold!

    Hot Air writes concerning Sotomayor inconvenient statement of her judicial stance:

    And so the retreat begins, as predicted yesterday in Politico’s story about Democratic strategists nudging The One to walk back her comment and make it go away. Obama weighed in on this himself just a few minutes ago, saying he’s sure she would have “restated” what she said if she could do it again; Gibbs makes essentially the same point. Nice try, but their problem here is that she wasn’t speaking off the cuff at the time. It came in the course of a speech, something to which a federal judge would devote care in composing. Either she’s a sloppy writer, even on matters of great cultural sensitivity like race, or she meant exactly what she said. And somehow I find it hard to believe she’s a sloppy writer.

    Lady Justice no longer wears a blindfold, but the American people must, not to see the irony and pathetic stance of this kind of justice and this administration. For Obama appeals to the great American heart in his heralding the success story of Sotomayor.  However, there is another classic American story, as engaging as Sotomayor’s for true grit, that the American people should get to heqr at the Senate confirmation hearings and that is the story of Frank Ricci.

    Charles Krauthammer hopes for a moment of illumination for America’s voters,  just to be clear:

    Ricci is a New Haven firefighter stationed seven blocks from where Sotomayor went to law school (Yale). Raised in blue-collar Wallingford, Conn., Ricci struggled as a C and D student in public schools ill-prepared to address his serious learning disabilities. Nonetheless he persevered, becoming a junior firefighter and Connecticut’s youngest certified EMT.

    After studying fire science at a community college, he became a New Haven “truckie,” the guy who puts up ladders and breaks holes in burning buildings. When his department announced exams for promotions, he spent $1,000 on books, quit his second job so he could study eight to 13 hours a day, and, because of his dyslexia, hired someone to read him the material.
    He placed sixth on the lieutenant’s exam, which qualified him for promotion. Except that the exams were thrown out by the city, and all promotions denied, because no blacks had scored high enough to be promoted. Ricci (with 19 others) sued.

    Case dismissed by the three-member circuit court panel including you guessed it Sotomayor.  Ricci promotion denied thanks in large part to ‘empathetic’ Sotomayor.  No American success story for the white guy, because he’s white.

    Krauthammer: On the Ricci case. And on her statements about the inherent differences between groups, and the superior wisdom she believes her Latina physiology, culture and background grant her over a white male judge. They perfectly reflect the Democrats’ enthrallment with identity politics, which assigns free citizens to ethnic and racial groups possessing a hierarchy of wisdom and entitled to a hierarchy of claims upon society.Sotomayor shares President Obama’s vision of empathy as lying at the heart of judicial decision-making — sympathetic concern for litigants’ background and current circumstances, and for how any judicial decision would affect their lives.Since the 2008 election, people have been asking what conservatism stands for. Well, if nothing else, it stands unequivocally against justice as empathy — and unequivocally for the principle of blind justice.Empathy is a vital virtue to be exercised in private life — through charity, respect and lovingkindness — and in the legislative life of a society where the consequences of any law matter greatly, which is why income taxes are progressive and safety nets built for the poor and disadvantaged.But all that stops at the courthouse door. Figuratively and literally, justice wears a blindfold. It cannot be a respecter of persons. Everyone must stand equally before the law, black or white, rich or poor, advantaged or not.Obama and Sotomayor draw on the “richness of her experiences” and concern for judicial results to favor one American story, one disadvantaged background, over another. The refutation lies in the very oath Sotomayor must take when she ascends to the Supreme Court: “I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich. … So help me God.”When the hearings begin, Republicans should call Frank Ricci as their first witness. Democrats want justice rooted in empathy? Let Ricci tell his story and let the American people judge whether his promotion should have been denied because of his skin color in a procedure Sotomayor joined in calling “facially race-neutral.”Make the case for individual vs. group rights, for justice vs. empathy. Then vote to confirm Sotomayor solely on the grounds — consistently violated by the Democrats, including Sen. Obama — that a president is entitled to deference on his Supreme Court nominees, particularly one who so thoroughly reflects the mainstream views of the winning party. Elections have consequences.Vote Democratic and you get mainstream liberalism: A judicially mandated racial spoils system and a jurisprudence of empathy that hinges on which litigant is less “advantaged.”

    Cheney – The Lone Ranger -Silver Bullets?

    I hope Dick Cheney keeps the pressure on Obama.  He’s a Lone Ranger with silver bullets hitting their mark.

    AllahPundit writes of Cheney:

    Dour though his Darth Cheney persona may be, he projects gravitas and speaks with understated eloquence. He’s bound to persuade at least a few fencesitters.

    The Pundit points to Toby Harnden in Telegraph.co.uk who notes Cheney’s 10 punches:

    1. “I’ve heard occasional speculation that I’m a different man after 9/11. I wouldn’t say that, but I’ll freely admit that watching a coordinated, devastating attack on our country from an underground bunker at the White House can affect how you view your responsibilities.”

    Anyone who was in New York or Washington on 9/11 (I was here in DC) was profoundly affected and most Americans understand this. Obama was, as far as I can tell, in Chicago. His response – he was then a mere state senator for liberal Hyde Park – was startlingly hand-wringing and out of step with how most Americans were feeling. This statement by Cheney reminds people of the tough decisions he and Bush had to make – ones that Obama has not yet faced.

    2. “The first attack on the World Trade Center was treated as a law- enforcement problem, with everything handled after the fact: arrests, indictments, convictions, prison sentences, case closed.”

    This was the pre-9/11 mindset, much criticised after the attacks. Many sense that this is the approach Obama is increasingly taking.

    3. “By presidential decision last month, we saw the selective release of documents relating to enhanced interrogations. This is held up as a bold exercise in open government, honoring the public’s right to know. We’re informed as well that there was much agonizing over this decision. Yet somehow, when the soul searching was done and the veil was lifted on the policies of the Bush administration, the public was given less than half the truth.”

    The release of the documents was a nakedly political move by Obama and Cheney called him on it. This passage from Obama’s speech today came across as completely disingenuous: “I did not do this because I disagreed with the enhanced interrogation techniques that those memos authorized, and I didn’t release the documents because I rejected their legal rationales — although I do on both counts. I released the memos because the existence of that approach to interrogation was already widely known, the Bush Administration had acknowledged its existence, and I had already banned those methods.”

    Read the full article here.

    AllahPundit Update:

    Update: In hindsight, wasn’t it awfully stupid of The One to rush out a national security speech to try to preempt Cheney? If he’d kept quiet, this still would have been a hit on righty blogs and Fox News but nowhere else. By jumping in, he created the sensational “terror duel” storyline that’s forcing the media to magnify this. At the very least, he should have waited a week or so and then given his speech as a rebuttal to Cheney’s. For someone so message-savvy, he crapped the bed this time.

    Right to Life National Awareness Day- Today!

    Gallop Poll – Pro-life exceeds Pro-Abort

    The truth of the value of one human life does not rest on a poll, but as a sign of hope in a very dark time for our country it does show movement in the direction of the law written on the heart. HotAir reports the good news with the results of the latest Gallop Poll:

    “May 7-10, finds 51% of Americans calling themselves “pro-life” on the issue of abortion and 42% “pro-choice.” This is the first time a majority of U.S. adults have identified themselves as pro-life since Gallup began asking this question in 1995.”

    “The new results, obtained from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, represent a significant shift from a year ago, when 50% were pro-choice and 44% pro-life. Prior to now, the highest percentage identifying as pro-life was 46%, in both August 2001 and May 2002.

    The May 2009 survey documents comparable changes in public views about the legality of abortion. In answer to a question providing three options for the extent to which abortion should be legal, about as many Americans now say the procedure should be illegal in all circumstances (23%) as say it should be legal under any circumstances (22%). This contrasts with the last four years, when Gallup found a strong tilt of public attitudes in favor of unrestricted abortion.”

    Israel – Sheikh Attacks with Words -Pope Walks

    The enemies of peace are many and emerge unexpectedly.  In the events of the day we are getting another admonition to be ever vigilant because those enemies are poppong out of the woodwork even in the name of peace.  Islam, I believe, means peace.

    H/T Whispers in the Loggia for this report by The Jerusalem Post.

    “Sheikh attacks Israel, Pope walks out”

    Chief Islamic Judge of the Palestinian Authority, Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, launched a poisonous verbal attack on Israel at a Monday night gathering attended by Pope Benedict XVI. In a meeting with organizations involved in inter-religious dialogue at the Notre Dame Jerusalem Center, Tamimi called upon Muslims and Christians to unite against what he said were the murderous Israelis.

    Taking the podium after the pope without being on the original list of speakers scheduled for the evening, Tamimi, speaking at length in Arabic, accused Israel of murdering women and children in Gaza and making Palestinians refugees, and declared Jerusalem the eternal Palestinian capital.

    Following the diatribe and before the meeting was officially over, the pope exited the premises. Army Radio reported that the pope shook Tamimi’s hand before walking out.

    Minutes after the embarrassing occurrence, Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, released a response to the incident.

    “The intervention of Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi was not previewed by the organizers of the interreligious meeting that took place at Notre Dame Centre in Jerusalem,” the message read. “In a meeting dedicated to dialogue, this intervention was a direct negation of what [it] should be,” it continued.

    “We hope that such an incident will not damage the mission of the Holy Father aiming at promoting peace and interreligious dialogue, as he has clearly affirmed in many occasions in this pilgrimage,” Father Lombardi added.

    “We hope also that interreligious dialogue in the Holy Land will not be damaged by this incident,” the message concluded.

    Israel condemns Tamimi’s disparaging comments,” read a joint statement issued by the ministries. “Instead of advancing peace and coexistence, he chose to sow fear and hatred between Israelis and Palestinians, and between Jews, Muslims and Christians.”

    Nine years ago, Tamimi caused a similar scandal when at an interfaith meeting at the Notre Dame Jerusalem Center, attended by the late Pope John Paul II who was the pontiff at the time. Then, the Palestinian religious leader condemned Israel for a long list of offenses.

    Never referring to Israel by name, Tamimi had called on “the occupier” to stop “strangling Jerusalem and oppressing its residents.”

    Happy Prayer Day – Featuring ACLU

    H/T Hot Air

    Volition – the Act of Choice

    Hope grows as we are willing to let in the Light.

    I haven’t be able to embed this short film by the Doorpost Film Project but it well worth the click it takes to get to it.

    Volition (n)- The act of making a choice. Sometimes the choice of inaction has consequences stronger than we could ever imagine. Throughout history, men have been faced with difficult choices in a world that makes it easy for them to conform. This film explores the hope that lies behind every decision made in the face of adversity; the hope that is buried in the heart of those that look beyond themselves and see something bigger worth fighting for.

    This is the movie trailer:

    Israel in Jeopardy – Secret Accord Jeopardized

    Ed Morrissey notes Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller’s track record of demanding Israeli disarmament as the Washington Times exclusive breaks the bad news:

    President Obama’s efforts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons threaten to expose and derail a 40-year-old secret U.S. agreement to shield Israel’s nuclear weapons from international scrutiny, former and current U.S. and Israeli officials and nuclear specialists say……

    Mr. Netanyahu is expected to seek assurances from Mr. Obama that he will uphold the U.S. commitment and will not trade Israeli nuclear concessions for Iranian ones.

    For the past 40 years, Israel and the U.S. have kept quiet about an Israeli nuclear arsenal that is now estimated at 80 to 200 weapons. Israel has promised not to test nuclear weapons while the U.S. has not pressed Israel to sign the nuclear NPT, which permits only five countries – the U.S., France, Britain, China and Russia – to have nuclear arms.

    Joseph the Worker – May 1st

    Better than the politics of this day celebrated elsewhere as May Day, is the memorial of Joseph the Worker remembered in the Church.

    May St. Joseph the worker keep us united to Jesus and the Church as our days of trial test our faith and fidelity. May we never think our smallest most menial tasks lack infinite worth in the hands of heaven.

    Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

    St. Joseph, by the work of your hands and the sweat of your brow, you supported Jesus and Mary, and had the Son of God as your fellow worker. Teach me to work as you did, with patience and perseverance, for God and for those whom God has given me to support. Teach me to see in my fellow workers the Christ who desires to be in them, that I may always be charitable and forbearing towards all. Grant me to look upon work with the eyes of faith, so that I shall recognize in it my share in God’s own creative activity and in Christ’s work of our redemption, and so take pride in it. When it is pleasant and productive, remind me to give thanks to God for it. And when it is burdensome, teach me to offer it to God, in reparation for my sins and the sins of the world. (Note: This prayer was taken from the booklet “Devotions to Saint Joseph” by Brian Moore, S.J., printed and published by the Society of St. Paul.)

    Unarguably Founded On Christian Principles

    I needed solid footing and balance after the bombardment of an aberrant President and press. Stephen Prothero writing for USA Today says:

    Now comes President Obama, who in January in his inaugural address spoke of this country as “a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers.” On April 6 in Turkey, Obama added that the United States “does not consider itself a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation” but “a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.

    It was just such that drove me in search of visual confirmation in Washington D.C.  Now home from our Nation’s capital, I feel again on the cutting edge of a clandestine warfare coming of age and to light.  Washington D.C. did indeed confirm that the United States of America was unarguably founded as a Nation established on Christian principals as document after document, monument of monument, Statesmen and heroes alike, testify to, in stone, and marble,valor and blood, recorded there for posterity, dramatically and historically.  Homecoming, however, is returning to the fray.  It is waking up each day to being unceremoniously attacked by the daily news of the madness that is Obama.

    However, it not just Obama, that drives me to distraction, it’s the incessant kowtowing menagerie of his Orwellian Animal Farm. George Orwell, to his chagrin, aside from being proved right, can now see his book lived out in the American experiment.  Eric Blair’s (George Orwell’s) satire is on parade for all to see and most of the animals are oblivious to the part they are playing in the threatening demise of our Nation as a Republic” of the People, by the People and for the People.

    Americans are not perfect people.  We are like all people, flawed; and, as foreseen by the Founding Fathers, we need our checks and balances to curtail our greed and self- centeredness, to keep an eye open and watch our backs as a People.  Our checks and balances are gone. Our press is the servant of the President, our Congress is the servant of our President and our people seem content to worship at his feet.  So much for balance.

    Our weaknesses as individual’s who are capable of resenting one group or another within the American system are being used against us.  We are being set against imagined “masters” despite the fact that our nation is the free-est on earth. All the “animals” set free by Obama’s Hope Machine, with childish idealistic and idyllic dreams can now High Five one another in the name of justice and progress, oblivious to the new chains being forged for their piggy hands and feet.  Yes, power-hungry pigs, like Orwell’s, Napoleon, are on the prowl ready to become their new totalitarian dictators. The little happy piggies will some learn on their Animal Farm that “All Animals Are Equal  But Some Are More Equal Than Others.” Oppression, call it what you will, even “the Audacity of Hope” is no less oppression. Martin Luther Jr.’s “I have a dream.” is being replaced by Obama’s dream which it best described as, “I have a nightmare.”