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

Monday, April 30, 2007

Are We Sure He's Dead?, After All He Was Sam Dracula!

Today would have been Al (Grandpa Sam Munster) Lewis' 84th birthday.
video by MarkyMunster (Mark Doyle)
Grandpa Al Lewis
30 April 1923 (or 1920 as he claimed) -
3 February 2006
[But given he was Dracula are we sure he is really gone? ;) ]

Why This Day in History Is Responsible for This Blog Existing

Today is the 14th Birthday of the WWW. The reason is that this is the day CERN [Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (European Council for Nuclear Research)] announced their new technology and that it would be provided for free and thus available to everyone.
Today is the day in 1803 when the U.S. more than doubled its size with the Louisiana Purchase. It acquired all the land west of the Mississippi, from France, for about $15 million, which comes to about 4 cents an acre. & this is the event that would have definitely changed everything if it hadn't happenned.
Part of the Louisiana Purchase was the land that would become the state of Iowa. Dubuque is in Iowa, so is Oelwein, my hometown. My maternal grandparents came from Italia to Oelwein via New York City. My paternal grandparents came from Maryland to Oelwein. Both my grandfathers (& 1 of my maternal greatgrandfathers) worked for the Chicago Great Western Railroad repair shops that existed in Oelwein. I came to DBQ to go to Loras College & stayed here.
Oelwein is named after Gustav Oelwein, 1 of the 1st people to settle in the area.
Dubuque is named after Julien Dubuque, a French miner & 1 of the 1st white men in the area.
OK, so what does all this have to do with bringing this blog into existance. Simple?:
If the USA hadn't bought the land from France, Dubuque probably would still exist as Julien Dubuque was French & settled here before the USA bought the land.
Loras College might have existed as Bishop Matthias Loras was from Lyon, France & might still have ended up as 1st bishop of DBQ as well as founding Loras College.
So far, nothing would have changed, but here's where things might have.
Gustav Oelwein was born in Baltimore, MD of German immigrant parents. But, if what is now Iowa was a part of France, not the USA it is less likely he would have ended up in what becaome Fayette County in Iowa & settling in Jefferson Township & becoming the founder of Oelwein. This came about ( very short version) as a result of land he owner was donated when a forerunner of the Rock Island (RR) decided to go through the area.
It is doubtful that the RI, or later the Chicago Great Western RR (CGW) would have come into existence. Or if they had, that they would have come into the foreign country that what become Iowa would have been. & even less likely that the CGW would have had its roundhouse, shops, etc, there.
& even though both sets of grandparents would have left their homes & come to America, it is unlikely they would have ended up in the same area working for the same railroad. (My maternal grandparents getting together is still highly likely as Nonno Stasi settled in Oelwein because the man who would become his future father-in-law was already there. They were from the same town in Italia. So he & my Nonna Stasi, ne Aiello, probably would still have gotten to know each other as my grandpa would have still settled when my great-grandpa was at.)
If both sets of grandparents hadn't ended up in the same area, my parents wouldn't have met, I wouldn't have been born, let alone gone to Loras College where I now work, & I definitely wouldn't be here blogging.
See how neatly it all fits together.
So today is definitely a day for me to be thankful to God for the historical events of this day.
(Interesting enough, as I was finishing up writing this I am listening to a repeat of Mother Angelica Live. Mother is talking about the various what ifs that had they been a little different, she might not have been born either.

& I Didn't Even Have to do a Miracle

This is a picture of St. Allen Church in the Carrick district of Cornwall, Great Britian. It was founded about 1000 yrs ago & was originally a Catholic Church, but is now (unfortunately, thanks to Henry VIII) Anglican. It is the only St. Allen that I have been able to find with a spelling of the name the way I spell it.
Actually the Celtic saint's name was probably originally spelled Alunus, Alune or Allun. All I know about him is that in mediaeval times his feast was celebrated on 22 February (a happy coincidence as that is the same day as the birthday of my grandpa George Washington Troup.), but for several centuries it was celebrated on Rogation Sunday (the Sunday before the Feast of the Ascension) instead. It is once more being celebrated on 22 Feb.
(Note: The links below connect to all I have been able to find on this St. Allen. It would be nice if I could find out more about him. Over the years I have come across info on Blessed Alan de la Roche OP, sometimes he is called Alanus de Rupe, whose feast is 8 Sept. He had a deep devotion to Mary & the Rosary. & St. Louis de Montfort refers to him in his writings on Marian devotion. I have seen a feast for an Allen on 12 Jan but have no other information. There have been a couple other dates for a St/Blessed Alan, various spellings, on a couple other dates. Again no info.)
More info on St. Allen Church:
Some pictures of the church:

Mission to Magadan Update 3

I received the latest newsletter from the Archdiocese of Anchorage's Mission to Magadan a few days ago. As you may remember the Mission's purpose is to help the ministry of The Church of the Nativity in Magadan, Russia. It is done under to oversight of the Archbishop of Anchorage in service to the Ruusian Bishop in Irkustk.
I'd like to share 2 items from the April/May 2007 newsletter.
The 1st item is an update on the story of Olga Zoi. Olga is a young woman who found herself pregnant with her 2nd child. Her husband wanted her to have an abortion. She refused & he left her. Because of her financial situation the governemnt took custody of her newborn daughter, Diana. She was left to care for herself & her son, Paul. Olga was getting training as a hairstylist so that she could earn enough to care for her family. She has completed the training & is looking for work. Meanwhile, with the help of the priests at the Church of the Nativity she was able to go file a lawsuit against her husband.
He has a good job, but wasn't paying anything towards the care of the children. After 2 months of dealing with various departments & the paperwork they required the lawsuit was filed. The court ordered her husband to parovide monthly aid until the children reach aged 18. Now she has the money for her to provide child care while she is working.
As the newsletter says: "She has become more independent, which always is the Magadan Mission's goal when it helps young women like Olga. The priests will help women use the legal system more now to insure the fathers take on some share of caring for the children they've fathered."
The other article has to do with the artist's rendition of the stained glass window shown above. The rose window shown is 1 of the 3 windows being designed & made by Serge Nouailhat for the Church of Nativity.
Serge 1st came to Magadan over 5 yrs ago while on a pilgrimage. he spent a month there spending time in prayer. He also "(F)ound in his heart a deep desire to both fill the church" there "with more beauty and to proclaim the gospel in Far East Siberia through his work."
A French woman with relatives in the gulag offered to sponor the rose window of the Holy Family. However there are 2 other larger windows that need sponsors to pay for them. These windows will be on either side of the main altar of the church. The theme of the left side is the Old Testament, while the right side focuses on the New Testament, the glorification of the Eucharist and the Heavenly Jesrusalem. You can see more of the design of the windows here. (Note: The page is in French. To see a more detailed picture of any window click on the picture for a popup with details.) The 2 windows consist of 30 panels.
The project is looking for seperate sponsors. This is to ensure that no money will be taken from any other projects. It will only be completed as the mopney comes in. Each panel can be sponsored for $1000. It can be given for a particular person or intention.
Here is the information needed to make a donation:
(NOTE: If you wish the money to go to the Window Project & are donating by a check, you must indicate it specifically on the check. It would be good to also enclose a note with the same info. If you do so via phone be sure and tell them. The internet form only allows to give to the general Magadan fund.)
Do not mail any checks directly to Russia as there is no way that the check can be cashed. In the USA you can mail a check directly to the Archdiocese of Anchorage.
Mission to Magadan
Archdicese of Anchorage
225 Cordova St
Anchorage, AL 99501-2409

If you want to donate by Master Card or VISA you can either call the Archdiocese at 907-297-7700 or go to their stewardship page on their website.
You can also write to either of the priests at the mission. & you can send a package as long as the contents are valued less than $90. All mail MUST be addressed to only 1 of the 2 priests, Fr. Sheilds or Fr. Means. DO NOT PUT ON BOTH NAMES AS THEN BOTH WILL BE REQUIRED TO SHOW UP TO GET THE LETTER/PACKAGE. A U.S. customs form MUST be filled out declaring the box's value. A letter takes about 2 weeks & a package about 8 weeks to deliver. The Postal Clerk will help you with forms & determining the right amount of postage needed.
685000 Magadan
Glavpochtant, Box 171
Fr. Michael Sheilds (or)
Fr. David Means (Remember, use only 1 of the 2 names.)
(Stained glass window designed by Serge Nouilhat for Magadan's Church of the Nativity)


To Whom Shall We Go - St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort

Those who follow the world, on the contrary, urge each other to continue in their evil ways without scruple, calling to one another day after day, "Let us eat and drink, sing and dance and enjoy ourselves. God is good; he has not made us to damn us. He does not forbid us to amuse ourselves. We shall not be damned for so little. We are not to be scrupulous. No, you will not die."
Dear brothers and sisters, remember that our loving Savior has his eyes on you at this moment, and he says to each one of you individually, "See how almost everyone deserts me on the royal road of the cross. Pagans in their blindness ridicule my cross as foolishness; obstinate Jews are repelled by it as by an object of horror; heretics pull it down and break it to pieces as something contemptable.
"Even my own people - and I say this with tears in my eyes and grief in my heart - my own children whom I have brought up and instructed in my ways, my members whom I have quickened with my own spirit, have turned their backs on me and forsaken me by becoming enemies of my cross. 'Will you also go away?' Will you also desert me by running away from my cross like the worldlings, who thus become so many antichrists? Will you also follow the world, despise the poverty of my cross, in order to seek after wealth; shun the sufferings of my cross, to look for enjoyment; avoid the humiliations of my cross in order to chase after the honors of the world? 'There are many who pretend they are friends of mine and protest that they love me, but in their hearts they hate me. I have many friends of my table, but very few of my cross.'"
St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort - 1673-1716

Portrait of St. Louis Marie painted shortly after his death, preserved at Saint Laurent-sur-Sèvre

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Papa Benedetto Shows Off 1 of His Little Known Talents

"& more, much more than this,
I did it

Religion and the Common Good

This is a portion of a talk given by Archbishop Charles Chaput O.F.M. Cap of Denver at the John Cardinal Krol Conference, "Promoting and Protecting the Common Good", in Philadelphia on 21 April 2007.
"Brothers, we most truly serve the common good by having the courage to be disciples of Jesus Christ. God gave us a free will, but we need to use it. Discipleship has a cost. Jesus never said that we didn't need a spine. The world doesn't need affirmation. It needs conversion. It doesn't need the approval of Catholics. It needs their witness. And that work needs to begin with us. Bernanos said that the "scandal of Creation [isn't] suffering but freedom." He said that "moralists like to regard sanctity as a luxury; actually it is a necessity." He also said that "one may believe that this isn't the era of the saints; that the era of the saints has passed. [But] it is always the era of the saints."
The only thing that matters is to be a saint. At least we can try. And if we do, God will take care of the rest."
The whole talk can be found here at the Archdiocese of Denver website or at here at First Things website, or here at Zenit.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Like I Said Before - We Need a TV Network Like This

Last February I posted on this blog the alledged schedule of a new cable network created by Matthew, 1 of the escaped inmates from The Shrine of the Holy Whapping, called Holy Whapping Television Network (HWTN). Well guess what?, I now have more proof that this man has way too much time on his hands. (I thought being a grad from Notre Dame's Architecture School would guarentee a non-stop flow of job offers that would leave one too busy to come up with stuff like this. Apparently not!) Anyhow here it is the newest season of
Holy Whapping Television Network (HWTN)
8:00 PM. The Sopranas: Special Encore Presentation - Ba-da-bing! The scion of a notorious Mafia family, now trying to reform his life as a seminarian at the North American College, finds himself drawn into a scheme to take over an illegal ring of cassock-oversleeve smugglers. [Okay, I'll give you a hint. The soprana is a sort of sleeveless academic gown that used to be worn by Roman seminarians...though not at the NAC.]
9:00 PM. Trading Chancels - The late Martin Travers guest-hosts this week’s episode, where we watch the new cathedral in Oakland get turned into a perfect 1/6th scale replica of St. Peter’s Basilica. Meanwhile, something goes horribly awry with the opposing team’s attempt to put vinyl siding on Chartres.
8:00 PM. House, O.P. - Mangy maverick novice-master Fr. Gregory House, embittered from years of suspicion from his superiors (“never trust a skinny Dominican”), ferrets out obscure heresies on the campus of the Catholic University of America. This week: fears of an outbreak of Montanism paralyze the Dominican House of Studies after unaccounted-for stockpiles of cheese are discovered in the basement by Sister Allison.
9:00 PM. The P.O.D. Couple - Hilarity ensues when Fra Oscar’s cigar and poker night clashes with Friar Felix’s turn to host his weekly ecology class. Can a Franciscan and a Dominican share an apartment without driving each other crazy?
9:30 PM. The Knights of Poverty. “We’re gonna convert a rock star!” A group of lovably bumbling CFRs plot to break into Mick Jagger’s apartment where they will convince the musician to voluntarily give up his wealth.
8:00 PM. Two and a Half Acolytes - World-class mooch Baron Corvo is forced to move into the spare rectory room of disapproving former patron Cardinal Manning after he loses all his money in a scheme to perfect underwater photography. This week’s guest-star: Percy Dearmer as himself.
8:30 PM. When Heretics Attack! - This week: Cathars prey on an unsuspecting young couple visiting Yellowstone National Park!
9:00 PM. American Chorister - Bishop Bruskewitz brings to tears Henry Wooton-Thorpe, Choirboy Third Class from St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, after a disastrous rendition of Nolo Mortem Peccatoris.
8:00 PM. Frater Magnus - A new season of last year’s blockbuster reality show returns. This time, the rectory is playing host to a member of the SSPX, someone from Voice of the Faithful, a Jesuit, a Priestly Fraternity seminarian, an Opus Dei numerary, a CL member, a Bulgarian Orthodox deacon...and Matthew Fox.
9:00 PM. Dr. Pusey. “Hello, Newman.” “Hello, Pusey.” The saga of America’s favorite sitcom about the Oxford Movement continues. This week, wackiness follows Dr. Pusey and Fr. Faber’s forced apartment-switch after Faber’s disastrous attempt to redecorate his place in the style of an Italian baroque chapel. Meanwhile, Christina Rosetti concocts an elaborate scheme to falsify her street-address so she can order Supreme Flouder from the local Chinese take-away.
9:30 PM Franciscan Feud. This week on the world’s favorite game show for mendicants: Capuchins versus the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Watch who wins!
8:00 PM. Elias - Ridiculously omni-competent Carmelite secret agent Sister Dionysia Bristow continues her search for secret technology based on the prophet Elijah's chariot of fire, which is also being sought by evil ninjas sent by…um, er, well, we’re not sure what this show is about, but she kicks the crud out of a lot of people, wears really crazy wigs and disguises and there’s something about Cardinal Rambaldi. Go figure.
9:00 PM Veronica and Mars - Christian schoolgirl Berenike and Roman centurion’s son Mars fight crime in the seaside down of Ostia. Much late-Imperial angst and incoherent flashbacks follow.
8:00 PM.How Not to Vest - The Rev. Mr. Kelly and Sister Anastasia (with her catch-phrase “Tacete!”--essentially, “Shut up!”) offer some emergency tailoring advice and a 5,000 Euro gift certificate to Gamarelli to this week’s lucky contestant—a fashion-challenged fifty-something priest who owns clerical shirts in every color but black.
9:00 PM. CSI: Catholic Saint Investigation - Much unnecessary swoopy computer-animation and neon-lit shots of very small, very wrinkled Italian nuns bent over lab-tables accompany this week’s dramatic attempt to confirm the authenticity of the skull of St. John the Baptist as a child.
8:00 PM. Taxis - After Gloria von Thurn und Taxis squanders her ancestral inheritance, gained by two hundred years of a family postal monopoly on the Holy Roman Empire, on buying obscure fur-lined papal regalia for Benedict XVI, she is forced to take a job in Louie de Palma’s Sunshine Cab Company in New York. Also starring Andy Kaufman as Msgr. Gänswein.
8:30 PM. Fr. Ted: The Animated Series. Somehow Mr. T. got involved in this, I’m really not sure why.
9:00 PM. NCIHS. - The crack investigators of the Papal Navy’s police arm do their thing, though nobody can quite remember what the initials stand for, why so many interesting crimes seem to occur around the docks at Ostia, or why their lab tech looks like something out of Aubrey Beardsley.
& for those of you who think the same about me, I only report what I find, unlike Dom Christopher of Abbaye Saint-Wandrille who came up with this potential Network:
From the BBC (Benedictine Broadcasting Corporation):
Blackadder 2 & 1/2
(The Popish Plot)
Grand Inquisitor Michele Blackadder-Ghislieri suffers a brief setback in his ascension to power when his embittered predecessor, Cardinal Carafa, accuses him of blatant Marcionism. But Blackadder's trusty secretary, Mgr. Baldrick, saves the day with a cunning plan: Johann Burchard is re-installed as papal master of ceremonies, and sets about breeding a powerful papal bull under the pontifical secret. During the ensuing conclave, the bull attacks the cardinals' red cassocks, prompting them to elect Blackadder, who thereupon cunningly institutes the "pivilège du blanc." At the new pope's coronation, Burchard (now aged 201, and an immemorial custom himself), announces the bull's name, Quo primum. The pope rides the bull across christendom, firing off Roman Missals as he goees.
"Blackadder, Blackadder, he rides a pitch black steed.
Blackadder, Blackadder, he's very POD indeed. "
Cardinal Allen fans the flames
In a last-ditch attempt to halt the progress of the bull, Cardinal Allen multiplies public acts of faith at Smithfield. However, he seems to over-reach himself when the Jesuit-led opposition blames the loss of Calais on his public invocation of St. Joan of Chichester
Funny, but I don't remember reading anything in The Rule of St. Benedict that allows for this sort of thing. Doing the work of God, yes, doing the work of a a script writer, no. Not even between, as Dom Christopher puts it, his day job & night office! (Don't blame me, the good? Benedictine came up with it himself.)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Just a Game? . . . I DON'T THINK SO!!!!!

Item from the minutes of the DBQ City Council, 16 April 2007 meeting:

Shawn Ruiz, 2425 Crissy Dr., expressed her concern over the inappropriateness of the Tarot Card History and Demonstration program being offered June 12 at the Library. She has spoken with Library Director Susan Henricks about canceling it. Susan has agreed to remove items for purchase and door prizes. Demonstrator Terri Farber(sic), 1113 Main St., said that this program is for entertainment only and not a religious movement. Library Youth Services Manager Jean Gullikson, 427 Shinoak Ct., said that this program was in response to the Library's Teen Safe Zone priority as well as in response to a teen survey. After discussion the Council concurred with City Attorney Lindahl that, per City Code 30-5, exclusive management of the Library belongs to the Library Board of Trustees, and Ms. Ruiz should petition them.
1st of all, I wish to salute Shawn Ruiz for her courage in speaking out the truth. I have been where she is & know the attack & ridicule it opens you up to.
OK, what is so harmful about a little "entertainment"? Plenty when the entertainment involves exposing & opening up yourself to evil spirits as this does. & at the least the "demonstration" would require those involved to break the 1st Commandment. This is simple because the demonstration would be to show how the cards are used. & they are used for 1 thing only, divination, which is clearly banned by the 1st Commandment.
Let's look at what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about divination. "All forms of divination are to be rejected . . . . They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone." (Par 2116)
So, is using Tarot Cards a form of divination? To answer that question we have to go back to what a demonstration would entail. The demonstration would be to show how the cards are used. They are used for "readings" & the different ways that this is done. What is the purpose of a Tarot reading? According to the Wikipedia entry there are 3 types of readings, divination, psychological & as a mnemonic device. The 1st type clearly falls under the ban, but what about the other 2 types. Under psychological it is describes as a type of "New Age" therapy. & it describes the mnemonic use as being for occult purposes. Enough said to show that all 3 uses are related to divination or other occult uses banned by the 1st Commandment.
(For a fuller explanation of what the "New Age" movement really is & what it stands for, read Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life, A Christian reflection on the "New Age" put out by theVatican's Pontifical Council of Culture & Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.)
Clearly a demonstration should not be allowed on the Spiritual dangers alone. But what about the 1st half of the presentation, the history of the Tarot? Well, given who the person presenting it is, clearly it won't be a presentation about the hidden dangers. Rather it will be a glowing report about how good & wonderful it is. & despite what Ms. Faber says, while, in & of itself, it is not a religious movement, as a part of the "New Age" it has spiritual & religious aspects that she is glossing over.
So, how do I know she will present a glowing report? Simple, because of what she does for a living. & that is shown by the fact that they are having her give a demonstration of how to use the Tarot. But there is more that not only shows that the report wouldn't include the Christian view, it also shows the occult connection. According to the article in Friday's Telegraph Herald she describes herself as a "natural witch". The business she runs with her husband is "Enchanted Curiosities", located at 1113 Main St is more proof. The business is all "New Age" in what it does.
The description of Tarot she gives in the article is also very revealing & upholds all that I have said above: "It's hidden truth, which is basically what tarot reading is about, getting to the hidden knowledge in a person's own life," said Faber, who pointed out that "occult" means "hidden knowledge."
So, I think it is safe to say that a Tarot demonstration is not merely entertainment, but something that clearly goes against God's Divine Law.
In the article, Ms. Faber does come close to getting 1 thing right. She says that the reaction by Ms. Ruiz et al is about fear. "They are just very narrow-minded. They're scared. I actually feel sorry for them because they are scared. They live in such a fear-based box." The reality is a bit different. In fact it is just the opposite of what she says. The only think we are concerned about is that we don't want to see any harm done to the youth of the DBQland area. & that includes the possibility of this resulting in 1 or more of them spending eternity in hell let alone the corolary damage done to them here in this life. & that is SCARY to any of us who truly love the Lord. We aren't living in fear, we are living in love, the perfect love found in Jesus. & as Scripture points out that perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). & that includes the fear of what will happen at the Day of Judgement (1 John 4:17)
& it is because we don't live in fear that we don't need to be concerned about the future & what it holds. We can trust in God to care for us, provide for us, guide us & lead us without having to resort to any occult practices for guidance. It sure sounds to me like we are definitely anything but in a"box"!
I wonder if Ms. Faber would be willing to allow the other side to present their facts. Or would she be "afraid" to let the truth be told about what she is involved in. Somehow, I don't think she would be open to allowing equal time at the presentation.
Meanwhile, as I have told many of my friends, we need to pray for the situation. Pray that any plans to present this dangerous tool of evil will be thwarted. Pray that the real truth will come out about the Tarot. Pary that people will be open to the truth. & esp to pray for Ms. Faber, her husband & coworkers to be convicted of their involvement in sin & evil by the Holy Spirit. To pray that they will repent of the evil they are doing & turn to Jesus to set them free from the bondages that they are in as a result of their involvement with the occult.

So Long, Farewell, NOT!

Another deep philosophical question, a white male says something racially offensive & is quickly fired & rightly so (Imus). BUT ROSIE DID SOMETHING EQUALLY OFFENSIVE (THE MOCK CHINESE) & GETS A PASS FROM THE LIBERAL LEFT. PER CHE(WHY)?

HYPOCRISY thy name is "liberal double standard"!

(Note for you copyright infringement freaks out there, let me remind you that this is a parody & the US Supreme Court has ruled that they do nae infringe on copyrights.)

Wouldn't You Like to Be Able to Do That to Those Idiots?*

*Esp those that use their cell phones when they drive!

This does raise a philosophical question about Darth Vadar. Was he merely giving into the dark side once more? Or is this a case where a bit of the residual good came out & he used the force for good, ie to punish those idiots who leave their ringer on when they shouldn't?

He Did the 'Monster Mash'

Bobby "Boris" Pickett (Robert George Pickett) died Wed night, 25 April 2007, of leukemia. He was 69. He died at the West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital with his His daughter, Nancy, and his sister, Lynda at his side. He is also survived by 2 grandchildren.
Bobby Pickett probably was the only 1 hit wonder to do so 3 times with same song, Monster Mash. It was 1st released in 1962 & hit the #1 spot on the Billboard Chart the week before Halloween (appropriately). It hit the top again August 1970, and yet again for a 3rd time in May 1973. & every Halloween it is still played by radio stations everywhere. & in 1995 it was made into a movie with him playing Dr. Frankenstein.
The Crypt-Kickers were a band created in the studeo to record the song. For his 1st live appearances his backup band was a young Beach Boys. & later, in the late 70s, a just starting band known as Van Halen was his backup band. Monster Mash was banned by the BBC in 1962 for being as "offensive" and "unhealthy".
He continued to make live appearances until last Fall. Her is a video of him performing his hit for 1 of the last times, 28 October 2006, at the Chiller Theatre Toy, Model and Film Expo in New Jersey with Zacherley the Cool Ghoul (John Zacherle):
11 February 1938 -
25 April 2007
Update: 29 April 2007 - Talked to a friend of mine who is an expert & got Bobby Pickett's unique 1 Hit Wonder status confirmed. He is the only person to be a 1 Hit Wonder with a song that hit #1 after being released 3 different times. Mille Grazie to Ron McCarthy, star of KAT-FM (92.3)'s Saturday Night Cruise (a very "PUN"ishing job, . . . for us listeners), KGRR-FM (97.3)'s Morning Show Sportscaster, local sales manager for Radio Dubuque (KAT, KGRR owner) & former all-star head honcho of "KLOR, 630 on your AM dial, Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa!" where he taught me everything I know about being a radio DJ (Back in the days when both of us had a few less grey hairs & a few more brain cells). (Caution: Pictures of Ron on his KGRR staff page or his KAT staff page let alone on the SN Cruise page may not be suitable for children under 13, or over 13 for that matter. But, Grazie al Dio, at least they don't include any pictures of him performing "Disco Duck", lyrics here.) Again, Mille Grazie Ron, now get back to cleaning those restrooms before the next appearance of The KAT is required.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dubuque's Most Wanted

Wednesday Morning I woke up to what was probably the most unexpected bit of news in a long time, that Federal agents were arresting a man they suspected was "The Bishop". (OK, I will admit that the whole thing occasionally strikes me as something out of a Monty Python skit more than a serious news event.) It is more proof that you should never say: "It can't happen here!" (I actually quite saying that a few years ago after the "Smiley Face" mailbox bomber worked the area & we had to keep our mailboxes open for a few days.)
Basically, John Tompkins, allegedly "The Bishop", was charged with "sending pipe bombs and threatening mailings to investment companies in Denver and Kansas City, Mo., in an effort to drive up stock prices." ('Bishop' bomber suspect arrested, Telegraph Herald, 26 April 2007)
According to the same article here is how the whole thing went down:
"Federal agents, many with "FBI," "ATF" or "U.S. Postal Inspectors Police" emblazoned on their jackets, swarmed in front of the gray ranch-style house, located four homes down Grant from its intersection with Hillcrest. Hempstead High School sits atop a nearby hill.
A U.S. Postal Inspectors Mobile Command Center-Chicago Division van sat in the home's driveway. Local, Chicago and national television news crews congregated at the corner of Grant and Hillcrest, which had been closed to traffic by Dubuque police and federal agents.
Agents spent more than an hour loading a red four-door car onto the back of a flatbed truck. The car had been parked outside the residence. Agents also moved into and out of the home.
Earlier, agents determined from a photograph contained in one of the mailings that the man they were looking for may have been driving a red 1993 four-door Chevrolet Lumina -- the kind of car Tomkins owns.
Also Wednesday morning, bomb-sniffing dogs and a robot were dispatched to a pair of storage unit/garages at Penn Place Apartments, 3702 Pennsylvania Ave. -- about a mile from Tomkins' residence. An agent in a protective suit emerged from a Quad Cities Bomb Squad van and entered the storage units after the robot had breached the doors. Authorities detonated two small objects."
He is now in Chicago awaiting what will happen next. The question of bail will be 1 of the 1st things decided, tentatively next Monday. & depending on how the court sees the risk of flight, he either won't be given bail, or it will be set so high that he won't be able to raise it. It will probably be at least a year before he even goes to trial.
Like I said at the start, we tend to think "It can't happen here, not in DBQ." But, it can, & it did. Naturally, there was the article in Thursday's TH with all the typical "I can't believe it" quotes from the neighbors (Neighbor: 'The Bishop' bomb suspect a 'super cool' guy).
1 of the things that struck me is how many of these events are going on & we just don't notice them. These sort of things have become so common that they have become a bit of background noise we just ignore, until it suddenly becomes something here & now, involving us in some way. In this case, it turns out that he lives was not that far from where I do my laundry every week. In a way, that isn't all bad. It shows that we don't let these attempts at terror stop us from living our lives. &, in this case, it shows that the system works. That our law enforcement officials are doing their job & protecting us from harm. As much as they humanly can.
The VTech shootings are now in the what could we have done phase as far as reporting goes. & while that is good to do, esp if it turns out something that could have been done will be done next time, it also should remind us that there is only so much we can do. & that in a free society we will always live with risks that are never totally removable. (At this point I will refrain from going on about the attempts to turn the government into a nanny that will protect us from ourselves. I will just remind people who idealize the nanny state that even the best of nannies can't absolutely protect her charges. & that it is unrealistic, & undemocratic & unconstitutional to expect our government, federal or state, to do so.)
Anyhow, to get back to what I said about this whole thing being under my radar, here are a few of the articles, except for the 1 the day of the arrest, that I missed before now about the story:
Meanwhile, I am wondering how long it will be til this is made into a Movie of the Week for television. & who will be cast to play "The Bishop" & the heroic U.S. Postal Inspectors Police officer who broke the case.
Until then, I am going to let my life go on, grateful that the case is apparently solved, trusting in God to protect me. I can't (& won't) let what has happenned lately with all the shootings, killings, etc, fill me so full of fear at what next that I will become so paranoid about every little threat. I know what common sense precautions to take, & with my job, I know what I need to do in an emergency. That is all I can do. To let fear rule is not only to let them win, it is to not trust God as I should.
(Update: 29 April 2007 - The Sat 28 Apr 2007 TH had an update on this that confirms my suspicions that this has all the makings of a Movie of the Week. Why? According to the article, Tomkins source of money for the investments that he was trying to manipulate through the threats he mailed were union funds that he had access to.
"The Chicago Tribune on Friday reported that investigators are looking into John P. Tomkins' activities in his role as secretary-treasurer of Local 1238 District 6 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Investigators, unidentified by the Tribune, said they believe Tomkins could have used money from his union to purchase stock option contracts.
A spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers acknowledged the organization is "cooperating with the FBI and their investigation but we won't have any further comment until the investigation is completed." He did express curiosity over what he referred to as the Tribune's "vague references." "
Like I said, Made for TV Movie. Remember, you heard it here 1st, thus giving me a creative rights credit (& the money involved) to any future TV, or movie for that matter, project that may come along. & this includes book rights also.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sorrow Of Our Lady Of Guadalupe / El Dolor De Nuestra Señora Del Guadalupe

FaithMouse by Dan Lacey
Add them to the tears shed over Iowa & Missouri legalizing cloning & embryonic stem cell research & over all the abortions, euthenasia, etc occuring in the Americas of which she is patroness. Lord Have Mercy on us for allowing such infamia to ever occur.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day 2007 Reminder

Remember that today, 24 April 2007 is American Life League's 5th Annual Pro-Life T-Shirt Day. The theme this year is "What part of ABORTION don't you understand?" & while it is too late to order the 2007 shirt, any shirt with a pro-life message will do. For any of you who are students who attend a public school, the courts have ruled over & over again that you have the right to wear a pro-life shirt. If you are concerned that a teacher or principal may try & stop you, the Thomas More Center for Law & Justice has a letter you can print out & show them. (Make sure you fill your parents in on what you are doing if you are under 18.) In fact check out ALL's info on how to deal with harrassment so you have all the info you need to deal with any attempts to silence your free speech including how to contact the Thomas More Center. (Note: Most private schools are a different matter, esp if there is a dress code. Some may allow it.) Most of us adults do not have a job that will allow you to wear a T-Shirt to work. But you can usually wear a precious feet pin or some other Pro-Life jewelry. & after work wear a Pro-Life Shirt. (Tues is my day off, so I'll be wearing it everywhere today.) This year it is esp important to speak out loud & clear. Even with the small step in the right direction we saw last week (Partial-Birth Abortion ban upheld by the Supreme Court) there is still so much more to be done. Cloning & embryonic stem cell research have been approved or are being considered for approval in many parts of the USA. We cannot rest until every unborn child is given his or her "inalienable right to life".
(& no, I didn't pose for the picture. It was taken from ALL's Pro-Life T-Shirt website.)

You Can Say That Again!!!!!*

* With absolutely NO apologies to MasterCard!

Umbert the Unborn by Gary Cangemi

Sunday, April 22, 2007

DBQ Co. Right to Life 2007 L.I.F.E. Dinner

This year DBQ Co. Right to Life held its annual L.I.F.E. Dinner on Fri, 20 Apr. 2007. The speaker was Jim Sedlak, Executive Director of Stop Planned Parenthood (STOPPP). Mr. Sedlak is Planned Parenthood's Public Enemy #1. Over the years his efforts as head of STOPPP have helped to get the truth out there resulting in many a victory over Planned Parenthood's efforts. These efforts have also enabled people to have the tools to get several of Planned Parenthood's abortion clinics accross the USA closed.
Listenning to him speak, you begin to understand why Planned Parenthood hates him so much. He has a solid grasp of the facts & is able to present them in a way that is understandable without being boring. In his speech, Mr. Sedlak gave an overview of the history of Planned Parenthood (PP), including its eugenics roots & connection to Hitler through its founder Margaret Sanger, the truth about its goals & operations & how, for being a Not-For-Profit Orginization it is making money hand over fist. For example, for fiscal year 2002-2003 they made a profit of $36.6 million. Since 1987 thir total profit is $502.8 million. (Technically it is called income over expenses.) Yet PP claims it needs subsidies from the Federal as well as local governments to survive.
His talk was loaded with information that PP doesn't want out there. When it is, it usually has the results mentioned above. Mr. Sedlak is truly a hero to the unborn & to all of us who are working to end the evil that is abortion.
(I would recommend going to STOPPP's for more information as well as documentation for those facts mentioned above.)


Saturday, April 21, 2007

This Day in History - 1789

On this day, 21 April 1789, in New York City, John Adams was sworn in as the 1st Vice-President of the United States of America. Technically, he was actually acting President for 9 days since George Washington wasn't sworn in as president until 30 April 1789. This was the only time that the President & Vice President weren't sworn in on the same day. Unlike more recent VPs he actually took his Constitutional responsibilities as President of the Senate seriously by regularly attending the daily sessions. He still holds the record for the most tie-breaking votes cast, 31. He was involved in the debate over the official title for the President. He prefered titles like His Majesty the President" or "His High Mightiness". This came from his experience as the 1st American Minister (Ambassador) to the Court of St. James in England. He saw the importance of titles to Europeans. However, most Senators didn't & gave him the nickname "His Rotundity" behind his back. Many other of his actions as President of the Senate would never be tolerated today. But, he probably wouldn't see the need for most of them as a lot of his actions were to try & get the Senate to set up proper procedures, AS HE SAW THEM. (Much as Adams is a hero of mine, at times what Franklin said about him was accurate: "at times out of his mind".
(Portrait of John Adams by John Trumbull)


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Is It Too Early To Start Dreaming?

Current stats for my Mets & Twins:
NY Mets 10 - 4 1st place NL East
Minn Twins 10 - 5 1st Place AL Central

Dare I start hoping for my dream World Series this early?

Better not. But I can dream can't I?

Eucharistic Miracles Exhibition in E DBQ

Last month I told about the Vatican International Exhibit, The Eucharistic Miracles of the World that was coming to St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in E DBQ. Well it is here, I saw it tonite & I was overwhelmed. & several of my friends who also saw the exhibit felt the same way.
It is impossible to take in everything in the exhibit in 1 visit. There is just too much to absorb to do so. The exhibit is a testemony to the love of God for his people. It shows His desire for us to know the truth about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Many of the miracles were done because someone had doubts or lost faith in the Real Presence. Other miracles came about to counter disrespect toward the Eucharistic Presence. & others occurred for many other reasons. All were done ultimately to give honor & glory to God.
As I said, there is way too much to grasp in 1 visit. Fortunately they are coming out with a catalog book for the exhibit. If you get the chance, check out the exhibit. It is well worth the time, even if you can't get every panel in. If you can't, there is a webpage that enables you to see all the display panels in the exhibit.
Either way, this exhibit is a great way to aide in the strengthening your faith. I know it was for me.

Habemus Papam, 2nd Anniversary of Papa Benedetto's Election

Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum;
habemus Papam:
Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum,
Dominum Josephum
Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Ratzingerqui
sibi nomen imposuit Benedictum XVI
All I can do is echo what Thomas N. Peters said on his American Papist blog (which has some fun links to help celebrate the joyous event):

Ad multos annos, carissime Papa!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Supreme Court Finally Gets It Right

(FaithMouse by Dan Lacey)
In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that the Federal ban on partial-birth abortion is legal. This means that the most horrendous form of what is in & of itself a horrendous procedure in any form has been banned nationwide, including all US Territories & Commonwealths. Unfortunately this will have a very, very minimal effect on the number of abortions performed. & many of those which would have been done by this means will still be done by other means.

Does it surprize me that the pro-murder crowd is loudly decrying this, NO! not for a moment. In fact that they even embrace this shows exactly how morally banktrupt the abortion fans really are. I've said it before & I will repeat myself here. Abortion & fetal stem cell research is on the same level as the atrocities done by the Nazis in the prison camps during WW II.

Even many abortion supporters are forced to admit that this is a horrific proceedure even as they support it. What Susan Estrich had to say in her latest column for shows the extremes to which pro-abortionist will go:

"Gruesome? Sure. More gruesome than dismembering the body first and then counting body parts to make sure you haven’t missed anything? That shouldn’t be the standard. No one likes abortions, much less late ones. They are prohibited after viability in every state, unless necessary to save the life of the mother."

Notice the lies & half-truths. Esp the bit about them being prohibited after viability. The fact is that the definition of what is the health of the mother has been painted with so broad a stoke by the courts that anything can be used to justify the so-called health exception.

Earlier she also attacks the term partial-birth used to describe the procedure. "What "partial birth abortion" is generally understood to refer to is the D and X procedure, occasionally used by doctors in abortions after the first trimester, in which the fetus’ body is delivered largely intact rather than being dismembered first." While she is technically correct, partial birth abortion is not the official medical term, the term does accurately describe the proceedure for what it is. I wonder if she objects to any of the other popular terms used for medical proceedures that aren't the technical term? Probably not. I suspect that it is only when the non-medical term doesn't hide the horror of a type of abortion that she would object.

& what Justice Ginsberg said in her dissent (Souter, Stevens & Breyer concurring) further shows the extremes to which abortion supports will go to mislead about the facts: "It blurs the line, firmly drawn in Casey, between previability and postviability abortions. And, for the first time since Roe, the Court blesses a prohibition with no exception safeguarding a woman's health."

1st of all, this proceedure is only used in late term abortions when the preborn child is already viable by any reasonable definition of the term, it is her that is doing the blurring. & as for safeguarding a woman's health, see what I said above. There are still alternatives.

She is right about 1 thing, this is the 1st chip in the granite block that the Supreme Court created when it found a non-existant right to abortion in the Constitution: (It) "cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away a right declared again and again by this court." The reality is that we are a very long way from overturning Roe v Wade & Doe v Bolton. & even when it finally is, & I firmly believe it will be, overturned, without a Constitutional amendment protecting the life of the unborn all it will do is return the debate to the states. That in itself is not a bad thing as it will force people to face the facts about abortion.

I don't know, but I suspect that the reason that Justice Kennedy was asked to write the majority opinion is because he was seen as the swing vote in this case. But given his strong dissent in 2000 when the Court declared the Nebraska law unconstitutional, Stenberg v Carhart, it is puzzling to me as to why anyone would think he would go over to the other side & declare this 1 unconstitutional.

As a Catholic, I was glad to see that all 5 Justices who are Catholic upheld this ban.

As for the future, this is definitely going to put a stronger spotlight on where the 2008 presidential candidates stand on abortion. This is also going to make the battle for the next Supreme Court nominee (probable in the next year & 1/2 but not definite) by President Bush even more difficult, but not impossible.

In the meantime, the US has taken 1 small step back from the precipice. & for those of us in states like Iowa where so much pro-death legislation supporting cloning & fetal stem cell research has passed into law recently, it gives us renewed hope & a sense of joy.

Complete docket for Gonzales v Carhart No. 05-380 (Includes lower court rulings, briefs & amici filings).

See the complete ruling & dissent here.
(Update: 22 April 2007 No surprize here. Planned Parenthood is already calling this decision reckless & using it as a way to raise funds to continue their pernicious efforts to murder the unborn.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God!

"For I will behold thy heavens, the works of thy fingers: the moon and the stars which thou hast founded." Psalm 8:4 (Douay-Rheims)

Virginia Tech Shooting - 16 April 2007

Please keep everyone in your prayers, victims, family, friends, the shooter, police & VT administration & staff.
Beyond that, because I work at a College in a part of their security department, I feel it would be inappropriate for me to publicly comment on any of the details. Just pray that God will work in & through the situation.

Feast of Divine Mercy Homily

Last Sunday in the city of DBQ the Power of Prayer, Inc. sponsored a special Mass at 2 pm at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in honor of the Divine Mercy. The main celebrant & homilist was Fr. Michael Podhajsky, associate pastor of Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church in DBQ. Here is his homily:
"My sister-in-law is a good woman and a faithful Christian. She happens, however, not to be Catholic. when I was visiting with her on Easter, she was lamenting the fact that her parish had decided this year not to have any service on Good Friday. Her pastor explained that the cross is just too depressing; it's too upsetting, too saddening. How many Christians share this opinion, that the cross is just too depressing. After all, this is the Easter season and we are an Easter people, a people of the resurrection. So, let's just skip over the cross which is too messy, too difficult, too upsetting, and instead let us focus on the joy of the empty tomb.
I don't know about you, but to me the cross is not depressing. I'll tell you what is depressing, the world without the cross! Without the cross what do we have: a world full of human misery, suffering, pain, distress, despair, all of which have absolutely no meaning or purpose. Without the cross we are trapped in sin, alienated from God, oppressed by the agony of the world. Wtihout the cross we are in the same position as Job whose friends counseled him to "curse God and die".
The cross is not depressing. The cross is mercy! Because now Christ has redeemed our misery, he has freed us from our sins. God does not remain aloof from our problems. He is not far removed from the human conditino. Instead, He has sent His only begotten Son to bear the full brunt of human weakness, sorrow and suffering and to give it new value. Now that which formerly oppressed us, that which alienated us from God is that which unites us most closely to Him. Now we can join our sufferings to the sufferings of Christ. Now, we can lay down our lives as Christ laid down His life for us. Now, as Christ offered up His suffering for the salvation of the world, so too can we offer up our sufferings for the salvation of the world. The cross is not depressing. The cross is mercy!
We see this in our Gospel reading. The apostles were locked away from the world in fear, in despair. Our Blessed Lord breaks through those locked doors and says to them, "Peace be with you." And then as a pledge of His peace, as a sign that He has truly won the right to give them peace, He shows them His hands and His side. The wounds of victory, the scars of love, as if to say, "See. Do you see what I have done for you? I have given up my life to give you peace. I have suffered so that you no more may suffer. I have laid down my life to redeem yours."
And this is what that great doubter, Thomas, wants to see. He says, "I want to see His wounds. I will not believe in any Messiah who is not willing to suffer for me. I will not follow any Christ who is not willing to lay down His life for me." So Christ returns, and again says, "Peace be with you." And then to Thomas, He says, "See, Thomas. See what I have suffered for you. See that it is I, who have laid down my life for you." And Thomas cries out, "My Lord, and my God! You have laid down your life out of love for me. Now I shall lay down my life out of love for you." And this is precisely what he did. All of the apostles were to lay down their lives for Christ and suffer for Him in martyrdom. All except John, that Beloved Disciple, who had the great vision of heavenly worship. And he saw there the Son of Man, the Christ, in all of His glory. Who holds in His mighty hand the keys to death and the nether world. The one who died and now lives for ever and ever.
The apostles laid down their lives for Christ because this was the commission they had received from Him. Our Blessed Lord breathed on them, and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." As the Father has sent me to suffer and die for the world and so win for it salvation, so I send you to suffer and die for the world and win for it salvation. Christ did this establishing that wonderful sacrament of confession whereby we experience the depths of God's mercy. How often, and with what devotion, should we make use of that glorious sacrament.
And Christ gives us the same commission. He says to us, "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." Not that we have the power to hear confession, but that we are to go into the world and show forth the depths of God's mercy. For, how many people in the world are longing to know of God's love. How many people are thirsting to know that God cares for them. How many people crowded around the apostles in the hope that the slightest part of Peter's shadow might fall upon them, and as many as it touched were cured. There are still thousands of people longing to be touched by the shadow of God's mercy. There are still vast crowds desiring to know of God's love and care through the shadow of our good works, so that those who are mourning may know comfort, and those who are lonely may know companionship, and those who are ill may know healing, and those who are in distress may know help and those who are in despair may know hope.
Is this not the message of Divine Mercy given to St. Faustina? In that beautiful image of mercy our Lord showed her, His one hand points to His pierced heart, out of which flows the rays of mercy. His other hand is raised in blessing so that the fruits of His mercy may be extended to all the world.
My friends, you and I are being called today to embrace this message of mercy, to instill in ourselves and extend to others a true devotion to Christ in those wonderful words, "Jesus, I trust in Thee!" "
(c. 2007 Fr. Michael Podhajsky, Used with permission, All rights reserved)
Fr. Podhajsky, who is a friend of mine, gave me his permission to share his homily. Mille Grazie amico mio!

Monday, April 16, 2007

You Say It's Papa Benedetto's Birthday?



Happy 80th Birthday!

[photo: AFP/Filippo Monteforte, Stamp issued by Germany in honor of Pope's 80th birthday.]

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sen. John McCain in DBQ -14 Apr 2007

Sen. John McCain had a townhall meeting at the Grand River Center on Sat, 14 April 2007 at 9:00 am. It went for about an hour. He spoke for a while & then answered questions from the audience.
Sen. McCain was very outgoing & relaxed & used plenty of humor in his speech. He did have notes that he was refering to.
As for his content in the talk & in the Q & A session:
For the most part he did have a ready answer, sort of. There was 1 question about a specific problem with social security numbers assigned to adopted children from other countries he was unable to answer. He did get the woman's name & promised to look into it. On the subject of social security he called for bipartisianship in dealing with the problem.
My biggest problem with what I heard was that it sounded too much like he was trying to please all sides of the question on many of the things he said.
The prime example of this is in the area of global warming & new sources of energy. He claims that the problem with global warming is real (global warming is occuring) & that it is definitely caused by man (despite what some claim, the jury is still out). He called for a development of a sytem of credits for companies that polute. He also said (& I was glad to here this) that we can't exclude India & China ( a major flaw of the Kyoto Prtotocols). He also called for the development of nuclear energy, making a good point that all those anti-nuclear franco-philes ignore, 80% of France's electricity is generated by nuclear power plants & that they even sell it to other European countries. He also said that he has changed his views on ethanol, with the increase in oil prices,it is now a viable alternative, but it doesn't need govenment subsidies.
He also talked about Darfur. He said that the US shouldn't step in, it was the responsibility of the neighboring African Countries, but he did say that the US could & should help provide the equipment needed to do so.
What I felt was the biggest problem with what he had to say was the fact that even though he talked a lot about the problems & did answers most of the questions, he didn't offer any plans or solutions. Here is where the sort of I said earlier comes in. & a friend of mine who was there felt the same way. All it sounded like was that he felt that governemnt should be the 1 solving all the problems.
While I like Sen. McCain & deeply respect him for what he went through as a POW, I am not to comfortable with a lot of his positions. As I said, it strikes me that he is often more trying to please all sides rather than taking a solid stand. That make work for a while, but eventually, people will take a serious look & see the same thing I am seeing. When they do, I think that he will loose a lot of support.
(This is the latest in my reports on the visits of the various candidates to the area. Not many have been in the area yet. Many of them were in Des Moines last Sat for the Iowa GOP Lincoln Dinner. I was unable to make it. But as they do come to the area & as I can make them, I will continue to report on them.)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The "CHEESE"iest Post I Will Ever Put On My Blog

Divine Mercy Sunday

Sunday 15 April 2007 is the date that this year on which the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Divine Mercy. What is this feast? & why is it so important?
The origin of the feast lies in a message received by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska in the early part of the 20th Century. Jesus appeared to Sister Faustina & told her that He wanted a feast instituted to celebrate the mercy of the Father. This feast was to be celebrated on the 1st Sunday after Easter.
"The message of The Divine Mercy is simple. It is that God loves us — all of us. And, he wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy.
The Divine Mercy message is one we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC:
A - Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.
B - Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.
C - Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive." (Divine Mercy Website, Marions of the Immaculate Conception) In a nutshell, that is why it is so important. The feast is a way to celebrate in a special way the mercy that God desires to offer to each & every one of us. The Mercy He extended to all of us by Jesus' death on the cross. But, He can't force us to accept it. If we reject God's Mercy than we leave Him no choice but to subject us to His justice.
The whole story of the feast, the painting of the image of God's Mercy, how to celebrate, & devotions for the day as well as throughout the year can be found on the Divine Mercy Website. Please check it out as the site explains all this in a way much better that I ever could.

All I can add is that God's Love wants us to experience His Mercy rather than His Justice. God wants us to come to him in trust seeking forgiveness for our sins, as the message says. Please don't let this opportunity to experience His Mercy pass you by. It may be your last chance.
(POST # 400)

Barry Nelson (1920-2007)

It was announced Friday that the original James Bond, Barry Nelson passed away on 7 April 2007. According to a report on "Nelson died on 7 April while traveling in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, his wife, Nansi Nelson, said Friday. The cause of death was not immediately known, she said."
When Ian Fleming published Casino Royale in 1953 he sold the rights to CBS for a reported $1000. They made a 1 hour version for their series Climax hosted by William Lundigan. They focused in on the center section of the book. That portion that took place in the casino. Peter Lorre was cast as LeChiffre. Barry Nelson was offered the role of 'Card Sharp' Jimmy Bond. To appeal to American audiences Bond was changed from a British to an American agent. Several other changes were made, including changing Felix Leiter to Clarence & making him British. & Vesper Lynd & French agent Matthis were combined into Valerie Matthis. The show aired on 21 October 1954. Unfortunately, the show wasn't as successful as Ian Fleming had hoped.
According to a report on for the TV version of Casino Royale: "Barry Nelson has said that his main impetus for taking the role was the opportunity to work with legendary actor Peter Lorre. Nelson had been a fan of the actor's great body of work and believed that if he didn't take this opportunity to work with him here it may not present itself again."
In my opinion, despite the radical changes & the usual goofs that occured in a live bradcast at that time, the show was still a worthy premier for James Bond. & Barry Nelson did a good job of being the 1st to bring James Bond to life on the screen. The script (again changes above noted aside) did an excellent job of capturing the portion of the novel they focused on. The limitations were the obvious ones resulting from the small budget the average mid-50s TV show had.

Barry Nelson was born Robert Haakon Nielsen on 16 April 1920, in Oakland, California. He graduated in 1941 from the University of California at Berkeley. MGM quickly signed him to a contract. Over the years he performed in films, on TV & on the stage. In 1978 he was nominated for the Tony Award as Best Actor (Musical) for "The Act. His co-star was Liza Minnelli.
Barry Nelson is the 2nd actor to play James Bond to have passed away, David Niven (Sir James Bond, Casino Royale, 1967) being the 1st. (Peter Sellers & Terrence Cooper from the same movie technically don't count as their character names were not originally James Bond but were changed to James Bond as a part of the plot line.)


Friday, April 13, 2007

Another Adult Stem Cell Success May Be in the Works

To hear Iowa Senator Harkin (D- IA, I'm ashamed to say) tell it, adult stem cell research has proven useless. In a recent debate in the US Senate he said: "Scientists have known about adult stem cells for 40 years and they still haven't brought about a cure for juvenile diabetes." Either Senator Harkin is ignorant of the history of adult stem cell research, or he is deliberately lying because he knows that if he told the truth then he would have no justification for sponsoring the bill increasing funding for embryonic stem cell research.
In fact, & in a bit of superb irony, even as he was making his claim an article was being published in the 11 April 2007 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association that refutes his claim. This news was reported in the 10 April issue of The Washington Post.
The Journal article is a report on the results of trial using adult stem cells. The "stem cell therapy eliminated the need for insulin therapy for varying periods of time". Report co-author Dr. Richard Burt says of the results: "It's the first time in the history of Type 1 diabetes where people have gone with no treatment whatsoever... no medications at all, with normal blood sugars." (Family Reseach Council e-mail)
"The new study, conducted by scientists in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and in Chicago, involved 15 patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. All participants underwent high-dose immunosuppression therapy followed by a procedure called autologous nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHST) to preserve beta-cell function."
"During follow-up that lasted up to 36 months, 93 percent of the patients achieved some length of insulin independence. Fourteen patients became insulin free -- one for 35 months, four for at least 21 months, seven for at least six months. Two more participants who had late responses to the stem cell therapy became insulin free for one and five months, respectively.
One person developed pneumonia, and two others developed problems with their endocrine system, which governs hormones in the body."
"The obvious question is how long does it work and what is the risk of treatment," said Dr. Larry Deeb, president of medicine and science at the American Diabetes Association. "But the excitement is where we are in diabetes research and treatment, and the excitement some of these questions generate for people who have diabetes and for the diabetes community and for the profound argument that this is not a time to be proposing less money for research in diabetes."
The questions Dr Deeb asks are valid, in so far as they go. But, sad to say, Dr. Deeb is subtly using this as a justification for more funding for embryonic stem cell research. The ADA & the Juvenille Diabetes Association are big supporters of embryonic stem cell research & in the past have even turned down requests from people doing research using adult stem cells similar to this that has shown promise. They have been forced to acknowledge the successes with adult stem cells because they know that if they didn't it would hurt their fundraising. Yet, as I said, the fail to support this research when presented with the opportunity to do so.
The only explanation I can come up with for why the continued lies in the face of the truth is that the real goal isn't cures but that it provides a cover for perfecting the process of human cloning. That is the only logical explanation. If they were truly looking for cures, they would be calling for more funding for adult & umbilical cord stem cell research instead of making it sound like there hasn't been any successes. They wouldn't try & confuse things by making it sound like those who oppose embryonic stem cell research oppose all stem cell research. They wouldn't deny the fact that somatic cell nuclear transfer is really cloning. & they would quit using people, like me, who suffer from diseases like diabetes as a cover for their unethical research.
1 final thought for Sen. Harkin. What you said about adult stem cell research is actually true about embryonic stem cell research. For once, please tell the truth, foreign as that seems to be to you & so many other Iowa Democrats.

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