Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fr. Z’s 5 Rules of Engagement for after the Motu Proprio is released:

With it being fairly definite that the Moto Proprio allowing greater use of the "Tridentine" liturgy is on its way, I think Fr. Zuhlsdorf's sage advice to those who look forward to its release needs to be repeated here:

1) Rejoice because our liturgical life has been enriched, not because "we win". Everyone wins when the Church’s life is enriched. This is not a "zero sum game".
2) Do not strut. Let us be gracious to those who have in the past not been gracious in regard to our "legitimate aspirations".
3) Show genuine Christian joy. If you want to attract people to what gives you so much consolation and happiness, be inviting and be joyful. Avoid the sourness some of the more traditional stamp have sadly worn for so long.
4) Be engaged in the whole life of your parishes, especially in works of mercy organized by the same. If you want the whole Church to benefit from the use of the older liturgy, then you who are shaped by the older form of Mass should be of benefit to the whole Church in concrete terms.
5) If the document doesn’t say everything we might hope for, don’t bitch about it like a whiner. Speak less of our rights and what we deserve, or what it ought to have been, as if we were our own little popes, and more about our gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for what God gives us.

& The Winner Is. . . . Pt. 2

In a post about 3 weeks ago I wrote that it looked like the race between the date of the release of the Motu Proprio allowing greater use of the "Tridentine" liturgy & the date that Fred Thompson would officially announce his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nominee. At the time the tentative date was 5 July. Well, with the news of a definite date for the Motu Proprio it looks like the race is on again. According to news reports it will be officially published on 7 July. Technically, the Motu Proprio has won as it has already been shown to about 15 bishops this past week. This meeting was presided over by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state. Papa Benedetto also showed up to greet those in attendance & took about an hour to discuss its contents & the letter that will accompany it.
According to a Zenit report the official communiqué says: "The publication of the document -- which will be accompanied by an extensive personal letter from the Holy Father to individual bishops -- is expected within a few days, once the document itself has been sent to all the bishops with an indication of when it will come into effect "

The 1962 edition of the Missal will be the approved text. What I am assuming is that this means that in those areas of Eastern Europe where it was allowed before Vatican II the the "Tridentine" liturgy will again be allowed to be said in Slavonic. Yes, you read that right, Slavonic. Most of us in the West don't realize that the "Tridentine" Rite wasn't said exclusively in Latin before Vatican II. An edition of the Glagolitic-Slavonic language missal of the Roman Rite was published in 1631 by Pope Urbain VIII. Pope Leo XIII published 2 more editions. So much for the myth that Latin was exclusively used in the Roman Rite before Vatican II.

The other myth is that the "Tridentine" liturgy is the Latin Mass. The fact is that the Novus Ordo liturgy can be said by any priest at any time in Latin without special permission from his bishop. It is just as much "The Latin Mass" as the older form.
The only question I have is "Will the post-Vatican II vernacular translations of the "Tridentine" liturgy be allowed? I suspect not. But it might be allowed, as well as being allowed to say the liturgy pro populo. Time will tell what all is & isn't allowed.
As long as I am mythbusting, lets deal with the myth that St. Padre Pio disapproved of the Novus Ordo liturgy. That is impossible as he died in 1968 & the Novus Ordo came out in 1970. So, he never saw it. He did say the 1962 version of the "Tridentine" liturgy. & he said it pro populo. Yes, he said it facing the congregation. If you have any doubts here is a video of the 1st few minutes of the last Mass he said in 1968:

(I love the fact that whoever posted this on YouTube ignored the facts presented by this to his own eyes. As well as the fact that under the rules then in effect older priests like Padre Pio were allowed to continue using the Latin instead of the vernacular which was only coming into use at the time of his death. But, some people won't let the facts/truth get in the way of their agenda.)
Anyhow, between the upcoming greater use of the "Tridentine" liturgy & the improved English translation the real "Spirit of Vatican II" as found in the "Letter of Vatican II" is finally being allowed to operate as God intended over 40 yrs ago. I am old enough to remember that the older liturgy could be mangled just as badly as the new. & that will continue to occur to some extent in both liturgies. The greater use of the older liturgy isn't a magic wand that will cure all the Catholic Church's problems. It wasn't the only liturgy (Western or Eastern) in use before Vatican II. Besides, there have always been dissidents & heritics & there always will be. There have been times when things have been as bad, if not worse, than they are now (re: the Arian heresy supported by over 1/2 of the Bishops). But God's promise the "the Gates of Hell will not prevail" is still in effect. There will always be a "faithful remnant" consisting of members of all the sui iuris Churches that make up the Catholic Church.
(Photo of the gathering with Papa Benedetto of the Bishops discussing the Moto Proprio.)

John Adams on Congress

I was listening to the soundtrack of 1776 the other day. As I did, I couldn't help but think that John Adams would be as fed up with the US Congress today as he was with the 2nd Continental Congress in 1776. Here are Adams opening lines from the play & the 2nd song he sings. Substitute Washington DC for Philadelphia & see how well his sentiments fit the US Congress of 2007.
"I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress! And by God, I have had this Congress!"



With the 4th of July fast approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to share the song from 1776 that inspired the title of this blog. The song is based in part on a letter John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail on 3 July 1776 about the fact that on 2 July the Continental Congress had declared independence & how he expected it to be celebrated. We know now that he was accurate in what he predicted.

You can check out the movie trailer here:


Friday, June 29, 2007

The Constitution IS Colorblind!

That is how Justice Clarence Thomas views it. & he said so in his concuring opinion issued Thursday as a part of the US Supreme Court's latest ruling on using racial preferences. Chief Justice Roberts, in his writing of the Court's opinion got it right when he said: "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
In otherwords, every human being deserves a fair chance. To tell somene that the only way you can make it because of your skin color is with special help is to tell that person that he or she is really 2nd class & not as good as a white person. Sorry, but I want the best person available. It should be simple, every person is hired for the job based on their talents & abilities. Color shouldn't be a factor in any way, shape or form.
We are all 1 race, the human race. & it is time for us to start acting on that fact. The Declaration of Independence says: "All men are created equal". Not some are, all. (& in this case the term men means mankind as a whole, not just males.) Discrimination is wrong & so is reverse discrimination!
Court strikes racial diversity school programs

Want to try for a NC-17?

Guess what, just by writing my last post I changed my rating from PG-13 to R. It just goes to prove my point. Abortion is obscene. But that is no surprize to me. The murder of thousands of innocents daily is 1 of the most obscene things out there.

Online Dating

For Mature Audiences Only

Online Dating

Apparently using the word abortion is an topic for mature audiences (unless you are Planned Parenthhod, then it OK to aim as young as possible). It was for the use of that word that was the main cause of my getting a PG-13 rating. In checking out some other sites it turns out that the more you use it, the more likely you are to get an R or NC-17 rating. Esp if you include other words like death. It looks like I'll have to put more emphasis on that as well as the fact that doing so could cause you to end up in hell.
When I fed in The Lair of the Catholic Caveman they got an R. The Cafeteria is Closed turned out to be rated NC-17. The top word cited for both as the reason for the rating, abortion.
Anyhow, apparently this ratings system gets something the world doesn't. That abortion is something ugly & obscene & definitely not a topic for those under 17. Did you hear that Planned Parenthood?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Supreme Court Loosens Election Ad Limits

The purpose of the 1st Amendment was to protect free speech, esp in the political arena. Recently laws like McCain-Feingold has sought to put limits on that that are clearly unconstitutional.
1 of those limits was an attempt to prevent certain types of ads being run by 3rd parties within the last few weeks of an election cycle. Despite what was said by the laws supporters, this whole ban was really an attempt by incumbants to limit valid criticism against them. It was clearly an attempt to overturn the 1st Amendment guarentee of free speech, esp in the political arena. & it doesn't matter if the real intent was to lobby the Congress, as was the intent by Wisconsin Right to Life, or to speak out for or against a candidate.
"Discussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because the issues may also be pertinent in an election," wrote Chief Justice Roberts. "Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor." He is absolutely right.
Lets hope that sanity prevails soon & that the rest of the attack on the 1st Amendment in the form of censorship of political speech that is at the heart of McCain-Feingold is soon recognized as well by the Courts.

Giuliani is Getting 1 Thing Right

According to a report on Newsmax, Rudy Giuliani "may be seeking to avoid controversy by choosing not to receive communion." If true, it is nice to see a Catholic in Name Only doing the right thing for once.
Ist of all Giuliani is pro-abortion. Many Catholics who are faithful to the magisterium of the Catholic Church have expressed dismay at how pro-abortion Catholics cause scandal by supporting abortion yet continuing to receive Communion despite the fat that both the Vatican & the US Conference of Catholic Bishops have made it clear that politicians who are Catholic & vote to uphold abortion rights should "exclude themselves from communion" to keep from causing grave scandal by their actions.
It Giuliani's case there is a 2nd reason for him to not receive the Eucharist, his marriage to his 3rd wife. His 2nd marriage was in the Catholic Church & is still considered valid as he has never gotten it annuled. (My opinion, he knows that there is no basis for an annulment & that any attempt would fail.) By remarrying without the annulment he has put himself in a position where he is living a lifestyle of grave sin & thus made himself inelligble to receive the Eucharist.
Given that he doesn't uphold the Church's teachings on life & clearly flaunts his disobedience to the teachings on marriage & sexual morality, it is a bit of a surprize that he is considering not going to communion. However, apparently for once he has decided to obey Church teaching & Canon Law. If true, I have to applaud his doing the right thing.

DBQ Co Republicans Celebrate

Yesterday (24 June 2007), the DBQ County GOP had its annual Summer picnic/fundraiser at the Oxus Grotto in Asbury, IA. This event is held every year on the last Sun in June. This year there were about 80 people in attendance including 3 presidential candidates, as well as state & local candidates & some state party officials.
The event began about noon with an opportunity for people to socialize. The meal began at about 12:30 with brats & hamburgers. A little after 1 pm the speeches began. At that time the presidential candidates present were allowed to speak.
The 1st speaker was John Cox of Illinois. He gave a little of his background & why it makes him qualified for the office of president. The main thrust of his message was the need for the GOP to get back to Republican Principles.
Next up was Representative Tom Tancredo of Colorado. He talked about how the people have lost faith in the government. The result, the Republicans lost the election last year. He challenged the party to return to the Judeo-Christian roots of our country.
The 3rd candidate for president to speak wad Daniel Gilbert of North Carolina. He talked about how the Republicans have lost their values. The party does have a message & we need to get it out to American Citizens.
At this point Bill Salier came up to speak about the Iowa Straw Poll to be held 11 August 2007 in Ames, IA. The event has 2 purposes. It is a fundraiser for the Iowa GOP. It is also an opportunity for the presidential candidates to be able to showcase themselves.
Next to speak was Steve Rathje who is running for the nomination to be the Republican candidate for the US Senate seat from Iowa that is up for election next year. He sees a big emphasis in the message of his campaign is that of its being a matter of right v wrong, good v evil. there is a battle to destroy everything we stand for. There is a need for a clear vision to proclaim & protect these values.
At this point they took a break from the speakers to start the auction of donated items, pies, an apron signed by most of the 2008 presidential candidates, 1 signed by Se. Chuck Grassley & an autographed copy of Light from Lucas by 2006 Republican cadidate for Lt. Gov, Bob Vander Plaats. They had some of the VIPs in attendance do the auctioning, which was interspersed with the restr of the speakers.
The next speaker was Leon Mosley, co-chair or the state central committee. (2 of the 1st district members of the committee, John Ortega & Karl Gilbertson were also in attendance but didn't speak.) Leon is the self-described "Baddest black man in the state of Iowa." He called on Republicans to find candidates who will do what we want him to do. He also talked about the need for blacks to remember what the Republican party is really about, its history & esp that all the great Black leaders were Republican.
Next to speak was Steve Lukan who is the district 32 represenative in the Iowa House of the State legislature. Steve spoke 1st as a representative of the John McCain campiagn. he also introduced 2 candidates who are running for the state legislature, Kris Lyons who is running for Iowa Senate district 16 & Dena Himes who is running for House district 31.
Finally Brian Kennedy spoke as representative of the Mitt Romney campaign.
The only disappointment i had was that more of the presidential candidates either didn't come or sent a rep. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable afternoon & a great opportunity to get together with fellow Republicans from the area.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lets, put on a show!

Umbert the Unborn by Gary Cangemi

Question for Hillary: "Who Puts Ideology Before Science?"

Answer: The Dems, not President Bush as she claims,

On Wednesday 20 June 2007 President Bush kept his word & again vetoed a bill that would expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. As usual, the Dems began screaming about how horrible Bush was & how cruel he was to deny hope.
"This is just one example of how the president puts ideology before science, politics before the needs of our families." Hillary Clinton
According to Barak Obama The president is "deferring the hopes of millions of Americans who do not have the time to keep waiting for the cure that may save or extend lives."
"President Bush won't listen to the more than 500 leading organizations who support the bill including AARP, the American Medical Association and the American Diabetes Association, just to name a few. President Bush won't listen to the 80 Nobel laureates or his own director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who all support embryonic stem cell research. Most importantly, President Bush won't listen to the overwhelming majority of Americans who call out for stem cell research." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
"While I support these other methods of research, the consensus among the scientific community is that these methods are years behind the progress of embryonic stem cell research. " Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo
But, as I've pointed out before, it is the Dems who won't listen. Bringing out the old canards about denying hope, they failed to notice who was there with President Bush when he gave his speech explaining his veto. Or maybe I should say, intentionally ignored. Right up there besides him was Kaitlyne McNamara of Middletown, Conn. She was born with spina bifida. She was a prime example of someone who has benifited from "ethical stem cell research."
Yet, even when presented with evidence that shows adult & umbilical cord researchis the form that is succeeding,the Dems keep lying. & as you can see from the quote of Rep. DeGette do so boldfacedly, without any shame about the fact that they are. Anything using embryonic stem cells is at best, a maybe, a specious nebulous hope. Adult & umbilical stem cell research has produced REAL HOPE, REAL TREATMENT right now. (About 73 treatments & cures as listed here.)
& why are they doing this? Well, I have to agree with what was said last nite (Fri 22 June 2007) on EWTN's The World Over. The question came up & the answer put forward, the effect admiting this was life would have on the legality of abortion. If it is wrong to use embryos for stem cell research because they are a human life then it becomes just as wrong to abort the unborn child.
The Republican National Coalition for Life made a similar statement: "As long as the human embryo has some measure of legal protection in this country, and as long as the American people consider such protection a moral imperative, we have a chance to some day end legal abortion. The killing of human embryos for research is supported by public officials who are, in general, pro-abortion. They realize that the fate of the human embryo is at the core of the battle over the right to life and the 34-year effort to reestablish legal protection of that right under the U.S. Constitution. "
I'd like to have Rep. DeGette, or Sen. Harkin meet the guest they had on The World Over who's cancer was successful treated with a treatment that they claim doesn't exist.
As for Sen. Reid, while he is right about what NIH chief Elias Zerhouni has said, maybe the 2 of them better check out the NIH's website & see what it says. While it plugs the use of embryonic stem cells it has to admit the following fact: "Adult stem cells…are currently the only type of stem cell commonly used to treat human diseases…The clinical potential of adult stem cells has also been demonstrated in the treatment of other human diseases that include diabetes and advanced kidney cancer." Wait a minute, I thought Sens. Harkin & DeGette claimed that there wasn't any success for diabetes using adult stem cells? (The NIH site tries to downplay the success to build up what it wants, embryonic research. However, you can find more here that counters Zerhouni & NIH's claims.)
I also like the way Sen. Reid twists facts. He talks about an "overwhelming majority" calling out for stem cell research. The reality is different. A 2006 poll shows that "48% of Americans oppose federal funding of stem cell research that requires destroying human embryos, while only 39% support such funding." That shows that 13% have no opinion. So how does he come to his "overwhelming majority"?
When he says an overwhelming majority support stem cell research he leaves out 1 key fact, that the real majority (58.6%) supports using only adult & other non-embryonic sources. The only way he gets to an overwhelming majority is by adding in the 23.6% who support embryonic research as an alternative to the 56.8% majority who want only ethical research. So, while the majority do want stem cell research, to imply that the overwhelming majority of Americans are behind fetal/embryonic stem cell research as he does is disingeneous, an outright lie. Esp since the other implication in what he is saying is that no research is going on right now. The other "big lie" equating fetal/embryonic with all stem cell research. The reality, the truth, as you can see, is quite different.
President Bush was right when he said: "Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical, and it is not the only option before us." Kudos to President Bush for doing the right thing & vetoing a bill that would put us further down the path of enshrining evil as national policy.
So, back to the original question: "Who is putting ideology before science, politics before family?" The answer, Hillary, Barak, Harry, Tom & the rest of the Dems who support embryonic stem cell research. Maybe they ought to read this: Patients, Not Politics. Or are they too afraid to confront the truth?
More info here:

More to Think About re: Gas Prices & Profits

Given that I work at a college & have seen how tuition & other costs have gone up as well as my health insurance costs, I'd tend to say these charts are fairly accurate.
This then raises the question, "If Big Oil is Price Gouging, are these other industries doing the same?"
For more on how gas pricing works check out this booklet by the US Dept of Energy: A Primer on Gasoline Prices

Well, the 3 game series between my NY Mets & Minn Twins is over. I'm happy because my team won every game. I'm unhappy, because my team lost every game. (The Mets won 1, the Twins, 2 games.) This is what can happen in the bizarro world of interleague play.
I don't like it for MLB, I don't like it for the NFL. (To be accurate in the NFL it is actually interconference.) Other sports don't matter as I don't have any teams I like in them.
It has made the World Series & the Super Bowl much less meaningful, although no less profitable. Maybe if it was then they would discontinue the interleague/interconference play.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dilbert 4 - Wacko Environmentalists 0

Papa Benedetto - Castel Gandolfo

I lift up my eyes to the mountains; where is my help to come from?
My help comes from Yahweh who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

A Saint Today's Catholic Politicians Could Learn A Lot From

Today is the feast of St. Thomas More.

St. Thomas More was born in Londodn England on 7 February 1478. He was a friend of King Henry VIII, who made St. Thomas Lord Chancellor of England (2nd only to the King) in October 1529. When King Henry wanted to divorce his 1st wife, Catherine of Aragon, The Vatican ruled that the marriage was valid & couldn't be annuled, nor could Henry divorce her. Henry, rather than submit, declared himself head of the Church of England. (We can see the fruit of that in the way things are in the various branches of the Anglican Church today.)
At this point, may 1932, St. Thomas decided to resign as chancellor because he could not support Henry's action. March 1534 saw the Act of Succession passed by Parliament. Part of the act required an Oath of Supremecy. This oath, when a person was asked to take it, required the person to acknowledge that the offspring of Henry & Anne Boleyn was the legitimate heir to the throne. It also called on the taker to repudiate any foreign authority, prince or potentate. This would include the Pope. Thomas More was called upon to take the oath. He refused, was imprisoned in the Tower of London, tried for treason, convicted & executed 6 July 1535.
At any point in tie, he could have saved his job by going along with what the King wanted. He decided to follow his conscience instead. Unlike many of today's Catholic politicians, he knew that his faith required him to act on it. "I'm personally opposed but" & THE REST OF THIS GARBAGE spewed out by Pro-Choice Catholic (in Name only) politicians & elected officials was anathama to him. Jesus Christ & living his faith came 1st, not power, not popularity, not fame. St. Thomas was willing to lay down his life for his faith, unlike the Pro-choice Catholics who are willing to lay down their faith to gain the whole world.
St. Thomas made the right choice, let us pray that those Pro-choice Catholic politicians will soon follow in his steps & turn their backs on support for abortion even if it costs them their elected office. & may those Catholic polititcians who are Pro-Life continue to stand strong in defense of Life & that God would protect them from any attacks they may experience that tempt them to waver from their faith.

Litany of St. Thomas More,

Martyr and Patron Saint of Statesmen, Politicians and Lawyers

V. Lord, have mercy
R. Lord have mercy

V. Christ, have mercy
R. Christ have mercy

V. Lord, have mercy
R. Lord have mercy

V. Christ hear us
R. Christ, graciously hear us

V. St. Thomas More, Saint and Martyr,
R. Pray for us (Repeat after each invocation)

St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians and Lawyers

St. Thomas More, Patron of Justices, Judges and Magistrates

St. Thomas More, Model of Integrity and Virtue in Public and Private Life

St. Thomas More, Servant of the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ

St. Thomas More, Model of Holiness in the Sacrament of Marriage

St. Thomas More, Teacher of his Children in the Catholic Faith

St. Thomas More, Defender of the Weak and the Poor

St. Thomas More, Promoter of Human Life and Dignity

V. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R. Spare us O Lord

V. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R. Graciously hear us O Lord

V. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world
R. Have mercy on us

Let us pray: O Glorious St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, your life of prayer and penance and your zeal for justice, integrity and firm principle in public and family life led you to the path of martyrdom and sainthood. Intercede for our Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, that they may be courageous and effective in their defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life - the foundation of all other human rights. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

Litany is © Catholic Diocese of Wilmington. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

& A Little Sheep Shall Lead Them!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The 10 Commandments of Driving

(Issued Tuesday 19 June 2007 by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People)

1. You shall not kill.

2. The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
3. Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
4. Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
5. Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
6. Charitably convince the young and not so young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
7. Support the families of accident victims.
8. Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so that they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
9. On the road, protect the more vulnerable party.
10. Feel responsible toward others.
According to a Fox News report the 36 page document entitled Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road also includes a call for praying while driving, esp the Rosary. Cardinal Renato Martino issued the document under his own signature as head of the Congregation.

Shades of The Mouse That Roared

Liechtenstein Successfully Tests Teeny Tiny Nuclear Bomb

I guess that they are afraid those "happy taxpayers" will want to bomb Liechtenstein to stop it from being a tax haven that is ruining their fun.

Happy 29th Birthday to my Favorite FAT CAT

It was 29 yrs ago today that the 1st Garfield comic was published (see below). My favorite Fat Cat has aged well, hasn't he?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Don't Let the Radical Pro-Abortion Feminists See This. It Destroys 1 of Their Biggest Claims.

That claim: If men could get pregnant abortion would be a sacrament. Well, it seems that several studies are discovering evidence that pregnancy affects the father as well as the mother. Stretch Marks for Dads reports on the fact that "evidence is accumulating that pregnancy and parenthood leave their marks on men's bodies."
" (I)n the last handful of years, scientists have shown that normal, healthy, non-pregnancy-envying men often undergo real bodily changes when they're expecting children." It turns out that the weight gain, nausea, food cravings, backaches, insomnia, etc are much more than psychosomatic. Collectively those symptoms are known as couvade syndrome or sympathetic pregnancy. & it doesn't just affect humans. Marmosets & cotton-top tamarins raise their offspring in a way similar to humans. According to the research the males "gain as much as 20 percent of their body weight while waiting for the birth of their offspring."
Research has also found out that "dads-to-be have elevated levels of cortisol and prolactin, hormones that are also present in high levels among mothers who are attached and responsive to their children. A father's testosterone level also drops by about a third, on average, in the first three weeks after his child is born."
The hypothesis: "These hormonal shifts, which are likely sparked by exposure to the pregnant woman's hormones, . . . . mirror those experienced by mothers and may similarly prepare men for parenthood."
Another interesting discovery, there is "preliminary but tantalizing evidence that fatherhood can change the brain." This study done in 2006 "found enhancements in the prefrontal cortex of the father marmoset. After childbirth, the neurons in this region showed greater connectivity, suggesting that having young children could boost the part of the brain responsible for planning and memory, skills parents need when having kids gives them more to keep track of. The neurons also had more receptors for vasopressin, a hormone that has been shown to prompt animal fathers to bond with offspring."
I am sure that more evidence will accumilate as more research is done. This evidence, along with all the evidence being found that (despite what abortion supporters claim) shows the psychological harm done to the father of an aborted child proves that men are much more than just a "sperm donor". Men are as much a part of the equation as women. & they have as many rights as the mother, including the right to have their children born safely.
Abortion is really a sacrament of radical feminism. A sacrament that results in the sacrifice of over 3500 innocent lives each day at the altar of selfishness & greed. (& that doesn't count the psychological damage done to the mothers, fathers & other relatives of those victims.)
Meanwhile, the next time you hear someone who is pro-murder (what being pro-abortion really is) say the quote I started this post out with you can now tell them men do & it never will become a sacrament to them.

Thanks to Gerald Augustinus at The Cafeteria Is Closed.

Why Don't I Believe This?

According to Bill Harbaugh & other researchers at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Paying taxes is a pleasurable duty. What planet are they from?
According to the news report, the study consisted of giving "19 female university students $100, and told them some of this money would have to go towards taxes." Using brain scans to prove this they also claim that the same research enabled them to predict "which people are most likely to donate cash to charity." They say they got the following results: "The 10 subjects who showed the greatest brain activity in response to hypothetical taxes in the first part of the study later chose to donate money twice as often as the other nine subjects."
I won't go into all the details of the experiment, you can read them by clicking on the link. What I have to say is that this has to be a joke. They can't be serious. There are so many things wrong with how they went about it as well as what practical experience & history show to be the truth.
1st of all, this was an experiment using 19 female university students. Anyone with any understanding of statistics knows that this is not representative of the general public. It was all females, all the same age. No men, no older adults no cross representation of the general populace.
Next, this is a single study. NO other studies have been done to confirm the results. None at nall Not even one using 19 female university students, let alone any other group that even approaches a accurate sampling of the tax paying public has been done to confirm that these results accurately represent female university students at the U of Oregon, Eugene, let alone any group anywhere else.
3rd, what kind of controls were used? Apparently none. More flaws.
Then there is the ratio of 10 to 9. There is only 1 more person in the enjoys taxes enjoys giving column. What about the margin of error, esp with so small a sampling?
Now onto history & my own experience.
Let's see now, what was 1 of the big factors that contributed to the Revolutionary War, the Declaration of Independence & the birth of a new nation? Does the phrase "No taxation without representation!" ring a bell? How about the Boston Tea Party?
Then, let's not forget what happenned during President Washington's time in office. For those of you who forgot, it was the Whiskey Rebellion & took place in 1794. Ehy were they upset. Because in 1791 Congress impossed a tax on distilled spirits. Then there was a tax on houses during Jhn Adams administration that resulted in John Fries's Rebellion.
It is this next fact that makes me question the results even more. That fact, the financial/investment industry has as a HUGE part of it what we know as tax shelters. Why would so many people be looking for ways to avoid paying taxes if it was so enjoyable? For that matter, if paying taxes is so enjoyable why do so many people by savings bonds, state & municipal bonds that are exempt from local, state &/or federal taxes?
All this versus 19 female college students seems to be saying 1 thing. That entire study is so full of holes it would make a Swiss Cheese jealous.
As a friend of mine I shared this with said: "This could only come from Oregon." He goes out to say that if paying taxes is as pleasurable as they claim, then why not make paying them voluntary?
Good point! The article says that voluntary giving to charities results in the the brain scans showing "an even greater boost in brain reward centres than paying mandatory taxes."
"Harbaugh explains this bigger boost has to do with the fact that voluntary donations are a personal choice: "You feel better because it was your agency that made the difference. Usually, when you are giving, people are watching," he says, which can be an ego boost." Wouldn't voluntarily paying taxes bring the same results resulting in more being paid in taxes?
We all know the answer, people pay taxes, not because they like to or even want to, but because they have to. If they didn't have to, they wouldn't. I know I wouldn't. (Instead I would get more joy out of being able to give more to charities that used to go to taxes. Wait, that has happenned since the Bush tax cuts a few years ago. & I am on the lower end of the income scale that supposedly got no benefit from those cuts. I did, & the fact I'm paying $750-1000 less each yr in Federal taxes makes me happier then if I was still paying them. What makes me less happy is that I now have less to deduct on my state return, thus paying higher state taxes.)
However, according to Harbaugh, it isn't because they have to that they pay them. He thinks that "people probably like paying taxes more than they admit." Wait, there's more. "He believes the results of his new study help explain the widespread compliance with tax laws. 'We like to complain about it, but based on what we do, we are not as opposed to it as we like to say,' Harbaugh says. " This quote proves he is another Ivory Tower dweller that is out of touch with reality. It is not because they like paying taxes that they do it. Most people see taxes as a necessary evil. An evil to be avoided as much as possible. The reason most people comply with tax laws is simple, no matter how much they hate paying them, they are LAW ABIDING, ETHICAL & MORAL CITIZENS. They obey Jesus' command to "Render unto Caesar". They pay what they owe, no less & definitely no more than they have to. (With a few exceptions.)
I have to wonder if Harbaugh had a few wires crossed when he did the brain scans? & I wonder even more what his political motivation is in trying to prove this? Whatever it may be, common sense & facts prove that he is wrong in his claims. Harbaugh, it is time to climb back into your Ivory Tower, lock the door, throw away the key & disconnect the phone, e-mail, etc so you can continue to live in your little fantasy world & let the rest of us get on with our lives. Including not having to see a portion of our taxes going to pay people like you.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Papa Benedetto visits San Francesco

Square outside the Lower Basilica of St Francis
Sunday, 17 June 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
About eight centuries ago, it would have been hard for the town of Assisi to imagine the role that Providence was to assign it, making it a famous city in the world today, a true "place of the soul". It was what happened here which gave it this character that impressed on it an indelible mark.
I am referring to the conversion of the young Francis. After 25 years of a mediocre life full of dreams, spent in the pursuit of worldly pleasures and success, he opened himself to grace, came to his senses and gradually recognized Christ as the ideal of his life. My Pilgrimage to Assisi today is intended to recall that event and to relive its significance and importance.
I stopped with special emotion at the little Church of San Damiano, in which Francis heard the Crucifix say these programmatic words: "Francis, go and repair my house" (cf. 2 Cel 1, 6, 10). It was a mission that began with the complete conversion of his heart, to become subsequently a Gospel leaven, generously distributed by the handful in the Church and in society.
At Rivotorto I saw the place where tradition has it that lepers were confined whom the Saint approached with mercy, thus beginning his life as a penitent. And I also saw the Shrine which calls to mind the poor dwelling place of Francis and his first friars.
I went to the Basilica of St Clare, Francis' "plantlet", and this afternoon, after my Visit to the Cathedral of Assisi, I shall stop at the Portiuncula from which, in Mary's shadow, Francis guided the steps of his expanding brotherhood and where he breathed his last. I will meet the youth there because there the young Francis, converted to Christ, spoke to their hearts.
From the Basilica of St Francis in which his mortal remains repose, I would now like above all to make his tones of praise my own: "Most High, All Powerful, All Good Lord, All praise is yours, all glory, all honour and all blessing" (cf. Canticle of the Sun 1). Francis of Assisi is a great teacher of our faith and praise. By falling in love with Jesus Christ he encountered the Face of God-Love, of whom he became an impassioned bard and sang his praise passionately like a real "minstrel of God".
In the light of the Gospel Beatitudes we can understand the gentleness with which St Francis was able to live his relations with others, presenting himself in humility to all and becoming a witness and artisan of peace.
From this city of peace, I would like to send a greeting to the representatives of the other Christian denominations and of the other religions who, in 1986, accepted the invitation of my venerable Predecessor to take part in a World Day of Prayer for Peace here in the homeland of St Francis.
I consider it my duty to launch from here a pressing and heartfelt appeal to stop all the armed conflicts which bathe the earth in blood. May weapons be silenced and may hatred everywhere give way to love, offence to forgiveness and discord to union!
We feel here the spiritual presence of all those whom war and its tragic consequences cause to weep, suffer and die in any part of the world.
We are thinking in particular of the Holy Land, so loved by St Francis; and of Iraq, Lebanon and the entire region of the Middle East. For too long now the peoples of those countries have been experiencing the horrors of war, terrorism, blind violence, the illusion that force can resolve conflicts, the refusal to listen to the reasoning of others and the refusal to do them justice.
Only a responsible and sincere dialogue, backed by the generous support of the International Community, will be able to put an end to all this suffering and restore life and dignity to individuals, institutions and peoples.
May St Francis, a man of peace, obtain for us from the Lord an increasing number of people who accept to make themselves "instruments of his peace" through thousands of small acts in daily life; and that all who have roles of responsibility be motivated by a passionate love for peace and an indomitable determination to achieve it, choosing the appropriate means to obtain it.
May the Blessed Virgin, whom the "Poverello" loved tenderly and praised in inspired tones, help us discover the secret of peace in the miracle of love which was fulfilled in her womb with the Incarnation of the Son of God.

Mendacious Banality

Adoremus has a very interesting article on its website. It is taken frm the June 2007 issue of The Adoremus Bulletin. It was the text of an address given by Bishop Peter J. Elliot (auxilary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melborne Australia) at the international conference, Sacrificium laudis: The Medina Years (1996-2002) in October 2005. Liturgical Translation: A Question of Truth looks at the original translation of the Novus Ordo into English by the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL). Rakes over the coals may be a better description.
He starts out by saying: "Unfortunately, when we enter the complex domain of translating the sacred liturgy into the vernacular we find that there have been different understandings and applications of “truth”, and not all of them have been splendid." He goes on to ask this question about the ICEL translation "Do these English words convey the Catholic doctrinal meaning that is embodied in the words of the Latin original authorized by the Church?" While recongnizing the good intentions he says that often the result was "mendacious banality, that is, a translation that tells lies in a rather dull way." (The old saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" comes to mind here.)
1 example Bishop Elliot gives is the virtual elimination of the word grace from the text & in particular 7 of the collects. "This serious falsification" is how he describes what was done. But he sees the removal of the "essential Christian word "grace'" as only "a symptom of the deeper doctrinal malaise underlying the current ICEL texts." He says that it "is a kind of Pelagianism. What we do is what matters." OUCH!!!! Sad, but true. If you compare the Latin to the English, much of the emphasis is on put on us, & taken away from God where it should be & the Latin text intended it to be.
The bishop goes on to show how Marian doctrine came under attack by the use of dynamic equivalence as the philosophy behind the translation. "Here we find an amazing failure to comprehend a basic principle of christology and mariology: Marian adjectives are doctrinal, not poetic." "Striking examples of mendacious banality" is how he describes it. While it is understatement in some cases, like using blessed istead of most blessed, elsewhere "Marian phrases that convey doctrinal truths taught by the Church were simply removed."
Bishop Elliot goes on to point out the reason it is essentail that liturgical texts are accurately translated. "Another dimension of truth in translation is asking whether a text maintains the mystery or a sense of the sacred. In the East, mystery in worship is maintained largely by the iconostasis. In the West, the Latin language functioned as a kind of iconostasis of language. Coupled with the celebration of Mass ad orientem, the Roman Rite retained the sense of a holy mystery that the East maintained through the universal liturgical paradox of concealing so as to reveal. The truth of the mystery came to be carried in the Latin texts."
He goes on to point out that in the name of making things comprehensible (shades of Bishop Trautman) we are really giving into human control, something that "mystery" does not allow for. He goes on to show how Liturgiam authenticam & directives from Vox Clara have freed us from this "obsession with communication, instant comprehension, or immediately accessible meaning, all of which destroy real meaning."
He goes on to show how liturgy should & & can teach while retaining the mystery it must contain. Instead of pedagogy being the end all be all that they made it 35 + yrs ago, it must result in the Eucharistic liturgy being the "culmination" of "the divine mystery" and recieved as a "gift evoking a human response."
The Bishop goes on to deal with reasons for many of the objections out there that oppose the new translation. Instead of the language they defend, he says that the liturgical language must speak with "dignity, reverence, and graciousness" or "we risk losing an essentially Catholic way of how we relate to God, how we understand God and ourselves as persons." He goes on to say: "The loss of sacral language may be seen as a betrayal of the Second Vatican Council’s radiant vision of the liturgy." In other words, what they claim was done in the "Spirit of Vatican II" was anything but.
Another interesting point he makes for why some oppose the more accurate translation is that it "will remind them that they are not living up to the doctrinal and moral norms of the Church, norms they want to consider locked in a past they never wish to see again." They want the lie to allow them to deny the truth, to avoid obeying the truth, etc. It should be no surprize that they will attack. Instead of what they want they need to face the reality that what they support has actually "caused harm among Christ’s faithful."
The concluding section of the talk looks at redefining the debate in ethical terms. What was done nearly 40 years ago resulted in "the undermining of the truth of the mystery and above all as the creation of a dull mood that drains away the truth of Christian worship." The "ethic of strategic mistranslation enters a domain closely related to lying: stealing." However, as he points out, instead of trying to fix blame "it is important to say firmly and clearly, 'Never again!'"
"Now is the time to look forward and 'wait in joyful hope'". "Something better is emerging in this area of English liturgical language, a significant development that may also make it possible to face the wider challenges of an inevitable reform of the reform. Through the new translations, we hope to see something of the glory of the liturgy shine once more. May we recover the divine splendor of the truth, on the lips, in the minds, and in the hearts of a people worshipping the triune God 'in spirit and in truth'."
Before I add any final comments I must strongly recommend that you read the entire talk. I have tried , poorly I think, to summarize what he said. I had to leave out much that goes into greater depth & more clearly explains what he said because of the nature of this post. It wasn't to repeat verbatum everything he said, but to show some hilites to encourage you to read it & be better armed to deal with those who are opposing the new translation.
After reading this article, much of the reasons for the opposition have become clearer to me. Or should I say, some of the things I suspected have been confirmed. It does raise a question that I hate to ask but have to: "Why is Bishop Trautman (as well as some other bishops) so opposed to the changes?" This question pops up because Bishop Trautman uses the very same objections that those who want the lie are using. It makes me wonder if he is (they are) in the camp who wants to water down or even undermine the truths of the Catholic Church. I hate to suggest this, & hope I am wrong, but too much evidence points to the fact that what I suspect is true.
I have a book that has the parallel translation comparing the Latin to English, Italian, Spanish & 4 other languages. I am not an expert on Latin, & my Italian & Spanish are rusty but even so, the weaknesses of the English language translation are glaring. I would highly recommend checking out The Roman Sacristan as he does an excellent job of camparing the Latin to the current English & giving his more accurate translation of the Latin. Fr. John Zuhlsdorf's What Does The Prayer Really Say? is another site that often does a comparison.
When done right (including accurately translated if not done in Latin) the Novus Ordo Liturgy can be as beautiful as the older Tridentine or any of the Eastern litugies when they are done right. (& I have seen Tridentine liturgies just as badly done as some Novus Ordo liturgies.) When the Moto proprio allowing greater use of the Tridentine rite comes out I will welcome it. But I also look forward to the new translation coming out. It will cause a lot of people to call for more faithfulness by priests & bishops to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church instead of the mix of heterodoxy & heresy that is out there much of the time. But in the end, as always, it will be up to each deacon, priest & bishop to do what he should to accurately present the truths of the Catholic Church. For almost 2000 yrs the Church has suffered at the hands of clergy & laity who have intentionally attacked these teachings, yet the Church has, & will continue to have a core group of those who are faithful to Jesus, the Church He established & the Vicar Jesus put in charge. In the end, no matter what Satan & those who cooperate with his attacks do to dim it, the divine splendor of the truth will shine forth!!!!!
(Photo: John Casamento, Episcopal ordination of Bishop Elliot 15 June 2007, St Patrick’s Cathedral, East Melbourne Australia, added 19 June 2007 1:41 am)

Dave Berry, Insurrectionist????????

You know that academia has taken a dive off the deep end when a quote from Dave Berry is deemed Politically Incorrect. According to a article by Fred Thompson (Banning Dave Berry) the head of Marquette University's philosophy department had the following quote removed from the office door of Ph.D. student Stuart Ditsler: "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government."

OK, the only reason someone would find Dave Berry's comments offensive is if he or she believes that the federal government should be "Big Brother" & is super thinned skinned about their views being made fun of. (OK, that covers about 90% of college professors & most of the Democratic Party.) Anyone with a bit of common sense & a knowledge of history knows that all he is doing is making a bit of fun of the longstanding (231+ yrs) tradition of not fully trusting the US government. Also, as a big fan of Dave Barry over the years, I would never consider him to be dangerous to either the political left or right. A bit of an anarchist at times, but not someone who is trying to start an insurrection.

The fact that it is Marquette (a Jesuit institution) explains some of it to me. It is OK to have a theology professor (Daniel Maguire) who has been corrected by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). They said that his teachings "cross the legitimate lines of theological reflection and simply enter into the area of false teaching." Those teachings say that abortion, contraception and homosexual marriage are OK according to Catholic Teaching. ( Has he read the Catechism lately?) Marquette has refused to do anything about him in the name of academic freedom. Also, at this year's commencement they gave Former Wisconsin Secretary of State Vel Phillips an honorary degree. (She supports homosexual marriage, is pro-choice, chaired pro-abortion U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore's 2004 campaign, including helping her secure substantial funding from EMILY’s List.) Never mind that Ex Corde Ecclesia & USCCB rules forbid such things.

So, I guess it is OK to let your faculty lead the souls in their care into the danger of eternal damnation of those souls, but it isn't OK to allow free speech that is "patently offensive" only to those who's liberal viewpoint it challenges. It says to me that we only want academic freedom when we want to challenge the very Catholic teachings that we were founded to uphold & proclaim. But, when what we believe, however heretical, is challenged then we support censorship & tactics that would do Stalin proud. What Marquette is doing is anything but "academic freedom", it is academic licence to drive on the Highway to Hell.
(More on how Marquette is falling short of being truly Catholic can be found here on the Cardinal Newman Society website.)

Hail to the Chief!

President Bush models his new wardrobe for visiting Jeb in Florida after he retires in 2009.

Mitt Romney: "Ask Me Anything"

On Sat, 16 June 2007 Gov. Mitt Romney had a Town Hall meeting at the Best Western, Midway in DBQ. There were about 200-250 people present. The meeting started out with a little bit of unexpected excitement as a part of the stage with Ann Romney on it collapsed. Fortunately the stage was only a few inches high & she wasn't hurt. She was even able to joke about it saying: "I ride horses, that was nothing."
After giving a short speech reitterating his main themes he went on to answer a few questions from the audience. 1 of the stories he told was that of being given a 1961 Nash Rambler (made the last year his father George Romney was head of American Motors.) He said he pointed out to his sons how the car worked, the huge steering wheel (before power steering) the poor quality window defroster, the lack of seat belts & arm rests. His point was how things needed to improve to remain competative. If they don't people will take their business elsewhere. (This seems to me something that American car companies like GM need to relearn. Why buy Chevy when a Toyota is better made, gets better mileage, keeps its value better & IS actually made in America?)

In talking about the military he called for an increase of at least 1000,000 troops as well as in the budget. He laid much of the blame (rightly so) at the feet of Bill Clinton for the cuts he did that put the military in such a poor condition in the early part of this decade.

He talked about the importance of America learning from Teddy Roosevelt. "Speak softly & carry a big stick." A strong military is a sign of strength & our willingness to use it if need be. (This was a strong statement, not of saber rattling, but of the idea of negotiating from strength, so you DON'T have to use force.)

In talking about what terrorism is trying to accomplish he was very blunt. "There is a worldwide effort of different people all intent on bringing down modernity and, replacing it, in some respects, with barbarism." (True. & many here on the left are doing all they can to help.)

He talked a bit about the need for reform in health care. He pointed out the problems with having the government take over & called for the other states to follow Massachusetts lead in developing ways to pay for health care. He pointed out that the problem isn't that of not getting health care. People who have heart attacks, for example, get an ambulance & health care in a hospital even if they can't pay. & there is the real problem, who pays? He explained what they did while he was governor. He said that 1 size doesn't fit all & each state needs o come up with its own solutions for its uniqie problems. AS time goes on maybe some things that work can be applied nation wide. (This is 1 point i really liked. He is opposed to the Federal Government imposing a 1 size fits all solution. Those rarely work. His view shows an understanding of how federalism as enshrined in our Constitution, esp the 9th & 10th Amendments, is supposed to work.)

He talked about the need for Roe v Wade to be overturned so that the debate can be returned to the states. (There is good & bad in this. R v W was wrong in so many ways, 1 of which was that it ussurped states' rights in an unconstitutional way. But in another way, it ignored what is already there in the Constitution & more specifically stated in America's foundational document, The Declaration of Independence. In particular the RIGHT TO LIFE. & merely pushing it back to the states will result in life being protected some places, not elsewhere. This is 1 issue where I am concerned about how seriously commited to it he is.)

Overall, I feel Gov. Romney did an excellent job in handling things, despite some technical problems with the microphone & the stage collapse. & unlike the other so-called 1st tier candidates, he is commited to the process here in Iowa. & that doesn't mean just the big towns like Waterloo, Cedar Rapids or DBQ. It includes the smaller towns like my hometown of Oelwein. He spoke there Fri afternoon & drew about 75 people. (See AP picture of event at the right.) According to an article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette (Romney wins over crowd during stop in Oelwein) he hit on a lot of the same themes that he touched on in DBQ.

Battling Cats

According to the caption at Christus Vincit these cats are battling over which is the worst hymnal out there. I suspect that they are trying to prove that most of the music in them is worse than the sounds of a cat fight. I am sure that if they were discussing a good hymnal, like that of Adoremus, they would be sitting there quietly purring instead.
St. Gertrude of Nivelles (patron saint of cats) & St. Francis of Assisi would definitely agree with me.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thought for the Day - 16 June 2007

"Congress just passed a law against gas station price gouging. You know how you can tell if a gas station is price gouging? If the sign says open." - Jay Leno

This joke captures the mindset of Congress exactly. If you make a record profit because you sell a record amount of a product, then you must have done something illegal. Or you are a Congressman trying to make it appear like you are doing something. Never mind that record profits also signify that record taxes (sales & excise) were collected on the gasoline because of the record amounts of sales. & add the resulting record income taxes (local, state & federal) as well as other taxes the gas companies, wholesalers & retailers pay out of the gross profits, I'd say that the local, state & federal governments made out a lot better than they want to admit. But do you hear Congress crying about these record tax revenues? Do they act like they are gouging us by the high taxes?

This map shows the combined state & federal excise taxes on a gallon of gasoline in 2005 (Most states tax levels have gone up since then.) This doesn't include state & local sales taxes. In DBQ it is 7 cents on the dollar. Right now that adds about another 19 -20 cents to the price of a gallon. As of March 2007 (according to the above sources) Iowa & Federal excise taxes came to 40.4 cents. Add the sales tax & you come to a total of about 59 - 60 cents per gallon. Gas is selling for $2.999 in DBQ. Lets split the difference & use 59.5 cents for the total in Iowa. That means that about 19.85% of the price of a gallon of gasoline is taxes in Iowa. Yes, the sales tax is paid on the part of the cost of gas that comes from the excise taxes. (Some states exempt the state portion from the sales tax.) Yet another dirty secret the government doesn't want you to know.

This chart to the left shows (roughly) what makes up the cost of a gallon of gas. The markup by the retailer is not included as it varies from state to state. Also, some states have a minimum markup law that requires them to charge a minimum amount above their costs. (Check here for a full explanation of how the DOE figured this.)

According to ConocoPhillips, they make about 10 cents profit per gallon. Lets see now, that means that about 3.3% of the price of a gallon of gas in DBQ is the oil company profit. Compare this to the nearly 20% of the price that comes from taxes. The retailer comes out even worse. According to the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa (PMCI) a retailer in Iowa makes about 1% gross profit that he has use to pay things like labor, rent, freight, property taxes, insurance and utilities. So net profit is even less. (Note: The different sources yield slightly differing numbers. So the actual amounts may vary, but my numbers give a good approximation.)

No matter how you slice it, the various levels of government make still make more on a gallon of gas that the gasoline companies, the wholesalers & retailers combined. So, who is really doing the price gouging? Headlines

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