Monday, January 28, 2008

Stark Anlysis Of War In The Middle-East

On my dark, stark and logical days I understand the advantages of the deployment of our American troops into Iraq and Afghanistan as listed below.

1. This allows us and our allies to to continue the fight the 1400-year war against the "true believers" of Islam who campaign against Western Civilization and do so far from the places where that civilization was founded, nurtured and (For the time being) maintained.
2. This, in turn, has provided a field-of-combat where those international terrorists have elected to make their major efforts AND where they may be more easily killed and sped towards Paradise according to their beliefs and wishes OR somewhere else according to the expectations of many.
3. Notwithstanding the excellence of the small (Canadian, UK, Australian and some other allied armed forces in those areas) this has provided the means by which the USA has the only large, combat tested, military force in the world.
4. This, in turn, provides the USA with the real combat experienced cadres for the continuation of that type of armed forces by training of new members AND, in the case of a general war need for a return of the draft, the means to not repeat the history of start-up failures so evident at the beginning of World War-II.
5. Reactions (By politicians, media, teachers, ETC.) to these deployments and the bloody price paid by our troops (And those of our allies, some Muslim) in those dangerous places allows us to know who has learned from history (So as to not be condemned to repeat it) and who believes in the "fairy tale" that there is a "Free Lunch" path to maintaining what remains of personal freedoms and of our civilization.

I realize that this is a brutal analysis; But, anyone who has history, facts and logic to counter it is obliged to provide all with proofs to the opposite. Otherwise, they must yield the ground and admit defeat.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Are There Faults In My Reasoning VS. Abortionists

My very Catholic son has concluded, without offering logical opposition, that my train-of-reasoning as given below is faulty. If you can detect some fault in my assumptions or reasoning, please so notify me. (IF YOU ARE NOT A COWARD, PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS SO THAT I MIGHT PRIVATELY DEAL WITH YOUR POSITIONS!)

1. Natural Law allows each person to use deadly force as a defense against deadly attacks by others.
2. The teachings of most Christian Churches follow that prescription.
3. This is reflected in most, but not all, civil codes.
4. Natural Law may require us to use necessary force, including deadly force, to stop such attacks on the innocent.
5. Unborn babies are persons and are innocent.
6. Natural Law has authority and takes precedence over such civil laws as those allowing abortion (For purposes other than to save the life of a mother).
7. "The State" and civil law protects abortionists and, therefore, forfeits its authority (Under Natural Law) over anyone who stops or attempts to stop abortionists from their illicit actions by "public protests" or even the use of deadly force.
8. Less than deadly means of stopping such abortionists have failed to protect the innocent, unborn, babies from death-by-abortion.
9. Therefore, it is justifiable to use deadly force to prevent abortion by killing, as a necessary evil, those who perform such crimes.
10. The killing of abortionists is not "Murder" as prohibited by the Fifth Commandment; But, is the execution of justice "by the sword" as condoned, and sometimes required, by the teachings of the Church.
11. Therefore, jurors (In our legal system) or "Assessors" (In other systems) who sit on cases of persons who so kill abortionists must find them "Not Guilty", without regard to the civil law or instructions of the Courts, as a matter of upholding Natural Law.

Death Penalty, Justice & Church Teachings

In their most recent issue, the editors of the "National Catholic Register" presented a front page story as to the mother of a rape-and-murder victim who is actively opposing the death penalty. Below you will find my letter-in-response.


Catholic opponents of the death penalty (Whether the Pope or Ms. Vicki Schieber as featured in your Jan. 27, 2008 issue) forget or wish us to forget the following facts:
1. The correct translation of the Fifth Commandment is "Thou Shall Not Murder", the Hebrew word used is different from other words for killing;
2. St. Paul of Taurus endorsed the State's use of that punishment to maintain order and punish the wicked;
3. That great "Doctor of the Church", St. Bernard of Clarvaux, prescribed the use of deadly force in attacking those (Then and now Muslims) who attack the Church and People of Christ by that saint's dictate to strike blows (With the sword) for Christ;
4. The Church itself, in the Vatican States, used capitol punishment not that long ago (As measured in the time-frame of a 2,000-year old and eternal organization) to punish the wicked (By, if my memory serves me, beating the condemned to death, apparently pre-agreeing with some of our saner jurists that capitol punishment does NOT require painlessness); And,
5. From the Cross, Jesus did not condemn the punishment imposed on the two thieves (Robbers?) next to him nor do the Gospels contain any condemnation of the use of that punishment.

It should be remembered that the same "contemporary bishops" who oppose the death penalty come from that same generation of bishops who resigned their moral authority as to crime-and-punishment by protecting (And continuing to shelter) those who sexually or otherwise abused those under their physical or psychological control. They are not fit to make pronouncements as to those who wish to remove from this earth those horrid persons who commit murder and other great crimes.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Solutions To The Gaza Problem

The most economical solution to the various problems (Including defensive blockades by Israel) in the Gaza is to have all Muslims reject the killing of Jews and the principle that once a land has been ruled by Muslims it must always be so governed AND to stop all rocket, bomb and other attacks on Israel. (Of course, it would be useful and basic to world peace if Muslims would reject the teachings and practices of using murder, rape, genocide, robbery and perpetual war to further the causes of Islam!)

At the other end of the solution-spectrum would be Israel's reoccupation of the Gaza and expulsion of all terrorists or potential (Muslim males over 12-years of age) terrorists from that zone.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Failed Prohibitions---Alcohol & Guns


In the USA the Prohibition against the manufacture, importation, etc. of alcoholic beverages was a very great failure as if failed of its goals of a more sober America and reduction in alcohol related social problems. As a matter of fact, that experiment (Like so many others supported by the proponents of the "Nanny State") brought more evil into the USA by: Raising minor gangsters to positions of great power; Increased the level of corruption among public officials; May have, through making drinking the "forbidden fruit", increased drinking and resultant personal problems; Destroyed the beer industry, substituting "booze" and drinking to get drunk for the liquid-bread previously enjoyed among family and friends; And, encouraged a general disrespect for the Law on the basis of the noted corruption, general breaking of laws and glorification of such as Al Capone.

In the UK and over the last 60-years or so, there has been imposed and inflicted on the Queen's subjects a growing prohibition against both the private possession of effective firearms and the Natural Law right to self-defense, those defending themselves against criminal attacks do so in violation of public policies-and-laws and at great peril of being treated more harshly than those who attack them.

There was a time (With lower crime rates) that real people (Not only such fictional ones as Holmes' Dr. Watson) thought nothing of putting a large-bore revolver in their coat pocket before going into dangerous areas or situations OR just walking about. In those times such truly real and truly great people as G. K. Chesterton actually took pride in going about armed (In his case with a sword cane).

I think there is little doubt that the UK's experiment with effectively banning the private ownership of effective firearms and suppressing the right to self-defense (And the means of executing that right) has horridly failed. According to published crime figures (Even allowing for suppression of some by UK police authorities): It is much more dangerous to walk about the streets of London than of New York City; The overall serious crime rate in the UK has overcome and surpassed, sometimes by 60%, that in the USA; The criminal misuse of firearms in the UK has skyrocketed (Remember: "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns."); 50%-plus of UK's burglaries now occur when the home is lawfully occupied (A crime often called "Home Invasion" in the USA); And, armed robberies increased more than 50% in one year (2002).

This evidence does not support the claims of the Labour Government and other "nannies" that gun banning has been a success!

What, then, should be done? I suggest that, over the next four years, the following be done:
1. First and foremost, the Parliament should affirm that individuals have a right to self-defense against criminal attacks (Including home invasions) and that the use of weapons in such defense is allowable under law and not subject to criminal or civil prosecutions;
2. Immediately issue personal handguns (0.38-caliber/9mm) and 50-rounds of frangible ammunition to all active duty police officers, customs agents, commissioned military officers, senior military NCOs and like persons, such weapons to be kept as their private property and carried in a concealed manner, at their discretion, when off duty and not drinking alcoholic beverages;
3. Within a year make the same issuance to all honorably retired persons in the above categories, upon their request, under the same conditions plus passing a live firing exercise by placing six of six rounds in a silhouette target's chest area at three-meters;
4. Within four-years make concealed weapons carrying permits available to all adult citizens of the UK who pass an annual police record check (Only drug and violent crime convictions to exclude such permits), pass a gun safety course (Not more than ten-hours) and pass a every three years shooting test as noted above.

Of course, a conviction for a criminal or negligent misuse of a fire arm would result in revocations of any such licenses; But, as few other restrictions should be put in place as is possible.

I suspect that the serious crime rate in the UK will begin dropping after steps 1 & 2 are enacted and continue to decrease over and beyond the noted four-year period. There might be a short increase in (Justifiable) homicides while the current crop of thugs learn that "the rules have changed", a phenomena which will reduce the strains of the UK's overcrowded prison system.

Other Commonwealth nations which have been experimenting with gun bans, and have likewise failed to protect their Citizens, should consider the same solution.

PS---If there is a shortage of firearms available to enact my
recommendations, I suggest that the Authorities search
the various Mosques and other Islamic centers out of
a reasonable expectation that they have modern weapons
stored-and-stockpiled within their walls.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Best Yet On Academic Freedoms

Mr. David Warren, of the Ottawa Citizen (Canada) is, to my mind, one of the best essayists now in print. If newspapers do not obtain the usual permissions and reprint his offerings, they would be depriving their readers of the output of an unusually balanced mind and of an excellent stylist.

The column below is only one example of that balance and excellence and one which should be quickly reprinted.

January 19, 2008
Galileo again
Over the last fortnight I have been writing much about threats to freedom of speech and press in Canada, without mentioning the rest of the world. “Human rights” commissions or the like -- kangaroo courts and star chambers designed to silence the politically incorrect, without any of the inherited checks of a legitimate legal system -- are hardly restricted to Canada.

More broadly, the witch-hunting spirit of “political correctness” is at large in university campuses across the Western world; is sympathetically received in news and entertainment media; and has become an intrinsic part of the “progressive” ideology of bureaucratic elites in every Western country, including the good old USA.

This is a huge issue that can only be discussed in one tiny aspect at a time, but must be discussed, increasingly, under the noses of the commissars, and in despite of their heavy breathing.

The components of political correctness -- radical feminism, the “gay agenda,” multiculturalism and “reverse racism,” extreme environmentalism, “health fascism,” Darwinist scientism, and lately and most incongruously, Islamism -- do not constitute a coherent worldview. Each agenda contradicts each other, and each is internally irrational. The various interests are however united, not by what they affirm, but by what they deny or oppose, and are dedicated to destroying. Their common enemy is the Christian heritage of the West, or what is often called the “Judaeo-Christian tradition.”

I was quite struck, this last week, by one tiny aspect of this issue on display in Rome. Pope Benedict was invited to speak at a commencement of La Sapienza -- the famous science university, founded by Pope Boniface VIII in 1303. He had chosen to speak on the case of Galileo. ...

[Update & correction: his speech is now available in English through Zenit, & it does not even mention Galileo. I, & most of the rest of the world media, fell for the imaginings of the people I compare to "howler monkeys" below.]

... This was enough to inspire demonstrations, organized by the Left, at the university and elsewhere. The pope cancelled his appearance, after it became clear that his address would be interrupted by mobs of students and professors acting like howler monkeys (though without their excuse).

A sensible move: for the pope is now publishing the text of his address, and everyone still capable of reading with attention may do so in the quiet of his own home. Moreover, thanks to the negative publicity, more people will now read it.

On contemporary censorship generally, I was further struck by one remark, quoted in a Reuters dispatch on the event:

"I think the Pope's visit is not a good thing because science doesn't need religion. The university is open to every form of thought but religion isn't," said Andrea Sterbini -- a computer science professor who was one of 67 academic signatories of a document protesting the pope's visit.

In those two sentences my reader may see exposed the grounding assumption of every politically-correct proposition in the post-modern, so-called “liberal” mind. The speaker assumes there is an official "open-minded" position, that must be protected by law or force. He then insists on banning any deviation from this official “open-minded” position.

George Orwell made it his life's work to expound the way in which the plain meaning of any English word could be inverted in minds contaminated by ideology. The “open mind” becomes indistinguishable from the closed one. “Human rights” means the withdrawal of the inherited rights of each individual human being. The need for “diversity” means the suppression of variety. “Tolerance” means intolerance of dissent. “Peace” means war. “Freedom” means slavery. “Ignorance is strength.”

I was finally struck by a remark made by Frank Furedi, author of Politics of Fear, Therapy Culture, and assorted other books with nice titles. In the middle of a gallant defence of the pope's right to speak, he dropped this, probably unconsidered, line:

“Historically, science emerged through a struggle with religious dogma.”

This statement is not merely untrue, it is the opposite of the truth, and I believe that any intelligent and literate person, with a genuinely open mind, and the patience to study history, will discover that it is the opposite of the truth. Moreover, the question is extremely important, to science as well as to religion, because science lapses into scientism when it makes claims for itself that cannot be sustained in reason.

As the pope was perhaps going to say, before he was so rudely interrupted, a key to understanding the modern relationship between science and religion comes from e.g. studying the case of Galileo calmly, and then beginning to comprehend its background in a world where modern science had already been growing, for several centuries, under the direct patronage of the Catholic Church.

David Warren
© Ottawa Citizen

Friday, January 18, 2008

It Must Be The Water---In The UK

Let's see: Highly paid and Muslim doctors in the UK attempt to blow up an air port; Favored young sons of Muslim families having the benefits of what still remains, if just barely, a Civilized education in the UK join terrorist movements and commit their horrid acts; All toy pigs and "piggy banks" are removed from British public view in an attempt to not offend Muslims (But, not previously found necessary as to Jews); Government agencies refuse to fly the Union Jack lest its crosses are felt as insulting to Muslims; Ministers of State declare that the word "terrorist" is no longer acceptable---IT MUST BE THE WATER!!!

Perhaps, someone should analysis the water supplies for those Mosques attended by the noted doctors and youths, that at the Labour Party HQ and its other offices, Number-10 Downing Street and like places for traces of LSD or other toxins.

If the water is not contaminated by such substances, we can only assign cause for such aberrant behaviors to such human stupidity as: Once caused Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to think compromise with Hitler would assure peace and Hitler to think Germany could conquer and maintain control over Europe; And, now causes people to continue to believe in the aggressive and horrid, anti-civilization, teachings of Islam and others to believe that being overly polite to todays Hitlers, operating out of Mosques, will assure "peace in our time" (Remember that phrase?).

To paraphrase a Spanish philosopher: "Those who do not learn from history will be condemned to repeat it".

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Faith Based Diplomacy Yields Results---NOT

The most recent (Jan. 20-26, 2008) issue of the National Catholic Register featured Mr. Douglas Johnston and his invention, the "International Center For Religion And Diplomacy" under the headline "Faith-Based Diplomacy Yields Results". In the too short intervals between the sound of rockets flying from the Palestinian Territories into Israel, the resultant and balancing air attacks by the IDF, bombs going off in every part of the Middle East and the sounds of bullets and explosives killing both directed and random targets, I have failed to hear the sounds of peace or see any useful product of diplomacy by Mr. Johnston's or any other group.

In fact, Mr. Johnston's group, the Holy See and other like organizations are "going through the motions" of peace making, maintaining the pathological illusion that they are being of use. Such persons and groups are wasting the time, resources and, most of all, the hopes of all Christians and Jews for peace.

Why? Because, peace with those who believe in the teachings of Islam is impossible as its inventor, Mohammed, declared that: There must be perpetual war with "unbelievers" until they become Muslims or submit to Islamic rule in a state of dhimitude; That the use of murder, rape, genocide and robbery are permitted, if not required, of Muslims to accomplish that goal; That the waging of military Jihad (Or, at the least, active support of it) is required of all male Muslims until that goal is achieved over the entire world as a matter of their eternal salvation; And that all of the above, and more anti-peace and anti-civilization teachings, are the direct instructions of Allah and may not be diminished by man.

Peace can be had with Islam and Muslims; But, only on the terms commanded by Allah as listed above. Any person who has concluded that enough Muslims will reject the relevant teachings of the Koran (Please see below for citations) to make peace possible on any other basis most surely needs "professional help" OR, at the very least, a reeducation as to the real teachings of Islam and its
1400-history (To this day in such places as the Sudan) of a firm stand against peace on any terms other that those noted above.

To paraphrase: There are many peaceful Muslims; But, Islam is, in every way, anti-peace---And, always causes Muslims to revert to that basic philosophy with derived and violent actions.


* verses which preach cruelty, incite violence and disturb public tranquility (i.e., 2:193; 8:39; 2:216; 9:41; 9:123; 66:9; 9:73; 8:65; 8:66; 47:4—15; 8:12; 69:30—33; 8:15—18; 25:52; 9:39; 9:111; 3: 169—171; 4:100; 48:29; 49:15; 2:154; 3:157—158; 8:59—60; 9:2—3; 9:29; 8:67; 4:84; 29:6; 29:69; 61:9—13; 9:36; 9:5; 9:14; 9:20—22; 4:95—96; 8:72—74; 3:142)
* verses which promote, on grounds of religion, feelings of enmity, hatred and ill-will between different religious communities (i.e., 4:101; 60:4; 58:23; 9:7; 8:13—14; 8:55; 25:55; 5:72; 9:23; 9:28; 3:28; 3:118; 4:144; 5:14; 5:64; 5:18; 5:51)
* verses which insult other religions as well as the religious beliefs of other communities (i.e., 5:17; 4:157; 5:116—118; 98:6; 68:8—13; 38:55—57; 22:19—21; 22:56—57; 5:36; 15:2; 72:14—15;41:33; 4:125; 25:27—29; 26:96—99; 3:85; 8:38; 31:13; 29:41—42; 37:22—25; 37:26—32; 25:17—19; 7:173; 21:66—67; 21:98—100; 16:20—21; 6:22—23; 6:40—41; 6:148; 2;221; 24:3)

Mihi persuasum est odisse acerbe!

No Credibility For "Amnesty International"

I am very strongly opposed to the injustices of Sharia law and such examples of it as stoning to death women convicted of adultery in Iran and other Islamic jurisdictions. "Amnesty International" also opposes those acts; But appears to not have any "problems" with cutting unborn children to pieces or chemically frying them as that organization now supports abortion.

Perhaps, that organization should keep silent as to inflicting horrid deaths on others until it opposes such acts against innocent children.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Italian Limits To Academic Freedom

About 50-professors (Majority or minority of staff?) at Rome's Sapienza University have forced the cancellation of Pope Benedict's planned speech there and have clearly demonstrated their fear of even listening to any person who might challenge them to actually think outside the lines of their secular-humanist/atheist framework.

Somehow, I was under the impression that the academic world both faculty and students should first hear, then think and, only after such "brain-sweat" activities, evaluate. Of course, such in this persons (As the anti-Minutemen thugs at Columbia U. and those loyal "Sons Of The Prophet" who oppose those who would inform all of the true teachings and history of Islam), and the faculty and administrators who support them, have joined in in destroying the real meaning of "university"---An institution founded and made possible ONLY in a Catholic-Christian environment.

Canada VS. Human Rights

Canada's so-called "Human Rights Commissions" have been very, very, busy in well documented efforts to destroy the right of free speech-and-press and of religion in that nation.

Now, some Toronto, nanny-state, politicians have called on Canada's Parliament to declare all handguns illegal in that nation (The usual second step towards confiscation of all firearms after Canada's already inflicted first step of gun registration).

It is not a new pattern to first eliminate private possession of effective weapons and then to attack all freedoms. After all, such enemies of freedom as Stalin, Hitler and the followers of Mohammed all did so.

Of course, such disarming of law abiding citizens also deprives them of the means to execute their Natural Law rights to effective and immediate defense against home invasions and other criminal attacks--The police being always too late to do so.

Those persons and organizations who focus too closely on only one human right (eg Free speech-or-press) lose sight of the fact that all basic rights are interlinked.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Attacks On Churches In Iraq---Ongoing History

Ever since the self-serving, genocidal and murderous hand of Saddam Husein was taken off the historical practices of Islam in Iraq, Jihadi attacks on Christians began and have continued. The 1400-years of the history of Islam should have prepared us for such events. However, our political and religious leaders, in a self-destructive flood of delusional thinking, continue to assert that Islam is a "Religion Of Peace" (Which it is NOT) and to "reach out" to that ideology which has basic teachings aimed at destroying all law and governmental systems except the very anti-democracy Sharia and to destroy everything which, for good or evil, makes Western Civilization possible.

As an citizen of the USA I find it specially disturbing that the agents (eg Hasham Islam) of such an ideology have penetrated the Department of Defense and caused it to not renew the contract with Stephen Coghlin, one of the leading experts on Islam who provided some reason to the essential problems associated with that murderous philosophy.

As a Catholic-Christian, I am appalled that the Church has learned nothing from its long history of being attacked by Islam and continues to misuse the contributions of the Faithful it its dealings with Muslim organizations and governments. The lessons my Church should rely upon are those that were taught at the Battle of Lepanto and at the walls of Vienna on a much better "9/11" (1529AD) when Civilization was, until this era of lesser men, given a reprieve from the forces of Jihad.

As a compulsive reader of newspapers I am forced to conclude that too many publishers, editors, reporters and other "media types" are among those lesser men as they gloss over or pointedly ignore the essential teachings of Islam and the long and horrid application of them to all other humans and cultures--Perhaps out of their usual secular-progressive-atheistic orientation which would deny that "faith" is important to many in this world (Or, perhaps, because the effects of Arab oil money corrupts their thinking and actions).

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I Am Intolerant---Come Join Me

Yes, I must admit that as a conservative and Catholic-Christian I am very, very, intolerant of many in this world---As listed below in no special order.

1. Persons who support the bloody slaughter of innocent and unborn children while opposing the death penalty for the worst of our adult criminals after their trials by their peers and too many appeals.
2. Judges who presume to find new "rights" and meanings within the Constitution and bypass the right of the People to do so by amending that key document.
3. "Professional Blacks" (As opposed to Black professionals) who continue to stir up what remains of racial distrust and hatred in the USA to insure their present and future incomes---Now joined by a mob of other "professional victims".
4. All members of the Congress who pay off contributors and attempt to bribe voters by use of "pork" and "ear marks", especially those in the Republican Party who should be the strongest opponents of such crimes.
5. All elitists (Many who have body guards) who would deprive the People of the means (eg Concealed weapons) to enforce their Natural Law rights to self-defense in all places and at all times and refuse to understand or declare that "gun free zones" are "free fire zones" for crazed criminals.
6. All Secularists and other Atheists who cannot seem to get to that part of the Bill Of Rights which calls for the "free exercise of religion" as part of free-speech AND who deny that Atheism is a religion which attempts to suppress all others and become the STATE RELIGION.
7. Those Muslims who will not reject and condemn those teachings of Islam which allow or encourage, if not command, the use of murder, rape, genocide, robbery, perpetual war with "unbelievers", unequal treatment of women and non-Muslims and other like crimes.
8. Those leaders of my Church who continue to waste the resources given them by the People to "reach out" to Muslims whose intent is clearly to destroy all Christian Churches and their daughter civilization.
9. Those same "Catholic" leaders who (Do not deny it!) who continue to protect and support those priests, bishops and others once in power who sexually and otherwise abused children and young adults to the great waste of donated funds and the shame of all Catholics.
10. Editors, publishers and other "media types" who present lies and, worse yet, half-truths to support their own overt-and-covert bias through such means as story selection and placement, reproducing the data provided by clearly biased sources and like means to the very great discredit of the USA's once great journalistic structure.
11. Anyone who makes judgments as to scientific matters who fails to understand the "scientific method" and that there is no scientific question beyond some or much need for ongoing reexamination.
12. Immigrants to the USA who have rejected our democratically enacted immigration laws and appear to have no intent to joint the general, English speaking, culture of OUR nation as did the millions of other immigrants before them and, thank God, many who legally are still enriching the USA by their arrival and hard work here.

Given time and no regard for my blood pressure, I could likely come up with more people towards which I am intolerant. However, at this point all I can do is to ask you (In voting, supporting candidates for office, writing editors and congress-critters and like activities) to join me in this most patriotic and civilized program of intolerance.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Editorial Fairness Not Needed At MJS


One of your employees (Who shall go nameless) recently informed me that editors are free to write what they will--Apparently without regard to fairness and balance, such freedom to provide biased statements being the "editorial privilege".

Your comments of January 5th (As to the NFL's tree planting, climate change and evolution) may provide a classic example of the exercise of that journalistic philosophy. Why? Your slander against the many sound scientists who, as good scientists should, raise questions as to the proposed impact of human activities on climate and the matter of evolution (I will not call them "theories" as they are NOT subject to experimental testing) is evidence of that exercise in bias and half-truths which appears to be your standard for editors.

As to "carbon foot prints", you might have noted the huge ones left by the thousands who flew to the resort island of Bali for an "environmental congress"---And, apparently did not stop to plant trees, but only generated more hot air in our world's atmosphere.

Since the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has, on its better days, called for greater openness by government and even such private organizations as the Catholic Church, perhaps you should be more open as to: The scientific qualifications, if any, of your editors; Their membership or contributions to political and cause-based organizations; And, their personal investments in companies as might have a relationship to the editorials they write.

Respectfully submitted,
James Pawlak

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel---Jan. 5, 2008
It won't counteract all the hot air being emitted from the Super Bowl, but the National Football League is making a grand effort to go green. The Arizona Republic reports that the league is planting thousands of trees to replace those lost in Arizona wildfires. This is really an effort to compensate for the greenhouse gas emissions from the upcoming game in Glendale, Ariz. (We hope, by the way, that this game features a specific team whose color scheme involves green). The NFL's 3,000-vehicle ground transportation fleet will emit some 350 tons of such gases. The reforestation will more than compensate for that but, sigh, doesn't much mitigate the jet travel it takes to get teams there and the emissions from all those fans' cars, the newspaper reports. Powering the University of Phoenix Stadium and the adjacent NFL theme park with clean energy sources from New Mexico and California probably won't make a big dent, either. We're guessing that climate-change deniers - and others who know man-made global warming is real but who pretend it isn't because they might be inconvenienced by having to give up something will pooh-pooh this as just more Goreism run amok. Our reaction: It's a valuable effort that sets a good example. We don't fancy having to grow gills. Oh wait, growing gills would involve evolution, which, of course, also doesn't exist

To Republicans: Don't Bother Me Until...

Dear Fellow Republicans:

In recent weeks I have received far too many US Mail, e-mail and telephoned requests for money from Republican organizations Please do not bother me with such until our Party produces one or, hopefully more, candidates for the presidency who will do the following (More or less in order of importance to me).
1. Proclaim his definition of "pork" and "ear mark" and swear, upon penalty of perjury: To veto any-and-all general purpose Bills containing such perversions; To call upon all Members of the Congress, of both parties, to promise, upon oath, to not introduce such measures; And, to call out, publicly and by name, all Members who do not do so.
2. Declare that all persons who enter the USA illegally and at other than designated points-of-entry are invaders and will be dealt as such by the Border Patrol, Armed Forces, National Guard and, if necessary, the General Militia AND that such persons, having avoided the full jurisdiction of the USA have NO rights under the Constitution---Including giving citizenship to their children as are born in OUR nation.
3. Declare that abortion for any purpose than saving a mother's life is a crime.
4. Declare that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right of all citizens (Except for those who have lost it by reason of felony convictions or dangerous mental disease) and that all Federal law enforcement officers and officials are to treat it as such.

Don't bother me, for contributions, until such a candidate appears.

Friday, January 04, 2008

"Evangelicals VS Mitt Romney"--A Reply



My Catholic-Christian Faith has many beliefs that might seem strange to a non-Christian or unbeliever, some of which I do not understand but "accept on faith". However, since the founding of that Church many (Beginning with the Apostles and St. Paul) have, for 2,000-years, commented on the teachings of Jesus and subjected them, as both individuals and such collectives as Church Counsels, to the most careful examination, sifting and sorting to determine what was true, what was questionable and what was evidently false.

Our Christian "New Covenant" is based on the revelations of the "Old Covenant" and, to a considerable extent, validated by historical sources well beyond the revelations of the New Testament.

The "Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints" (aka The Mormons/LDS), like Islam, is founded on the unsubstantiated revelations claimed by one man, very loosely based on orthodox and time-tested Judeo-Christian teachings AND not subject to the tests of history, archeology and reason. Both the LDS and Islam reject such tests and have always refused to question their "sacred texts" as opposed to the Christian Churches 2,000-year tradition of ongoing reexamination and questioning.

Like most members of the LDS, your contributor Carrie Sheffield
("Evangelicals against Mitt"; January 3, 2008) has failed to publicly note the considerable attrition of her fellow (Birth & Convert) Mormons who have left that Church; But, are still listed as members as they have not formally resigned or likewise been cast out.

Mr. Romney, when discussing the persecution of his Church, failed to note that it also persecuted others (ie Look up the "Mountain Meadow Massacre") and is a polytheistic Faith at great variance from basic Christian teachings. My objections to Mr. Romney is NOT the nature of his Faith; But that he has been less than honest about it.

Respectfully submitted,
James Pawlak


Evangelicals Against Mitt
By Carrie Sheffield
Published 1/3/2008 12:08:20 AM

Mitt Romney is facing an unexpected challenge in Iowa from rival Mike Huckabee, who has enjoyed a groundswell of support from religious voters, particularly evangelical Christians wary of the clean-cut former Massachusetts governor because of his Mormon religion.

The common worry among evangelicals is that if Romney were to capture the White House, his presidency would give legitimacy to a religion they believe is a cult. Since the LDS church places heavy emphasis on proselytizing -- there are 53,000 LDS missionaries worldwide -- many mainstream Christians are afraid that Mormon recruiting efforts would increase and that LDS membership rolls would swell.

One such concerned evangelical, Tricia Erickson, was raised in the Mormon faith but left as an adult. She has attended the McLean Bible Church in northern Virginia. Erickson adamantly opposes the LDS church, which she considers a brainwashing cult. She has launched a media blitz designed to discredit Romney based on his religion.

In an interview, Erickson told me that Romney has "got the image. He's a good business man. He has the coiffed hair with every hair in place. ... He has a pretty, blonde Mormon wife; he has a chiseled face. He is very polished. He has that image which Mormons develop through the Mormon Church to present to the public to give credibility to the religion."

Or take Bill Keller, evangelical host of the Florida-based "Live Prayer TV." Last year he told his reported 2.4 million e-mail subscribers that a vote for Romney would mean a vote for Satan.

"The presidency is the most powerful position in the world," Keller explained to me. "If Romney was elected president, it would give mainstream credibility and acceptance to the Mormon cult and lead millions of people into that cult."

THE ONLY PROBLEM with those fears is that they don't add up. Evangelicals may be surprised to learn that the growth of church membership in Massachusetts slowed substantially during Romney's tenure as governor. In fact, one could make the absurdly simplistic argument that Romney was bad for Mormonism.

Consider: From 1997 to 2002, the six years prior to Romney's governorship, LDS church membership in Massachusetts grew by a rate of nearly 40 percent. During the four years Romney was in office, membership growth slowed to a snail's pace -- a mere 1.7 percent, according to membership statistics kept by the church and published in the LDS Church Almanac. The national growth rate during that same period was about three times the Massachusetts number: 5.1 percent.

During the Romney years, the number of Mormon wards and branches, congregations that are created and dissolved based on geography and population, in the Bay State rose by one and fell by one, indicating that congregational growth was static. Nationwide, the number of congregations grew by 7.3 percent.

When I put these growth rates to both Erickson and Keller, they didn't dispute the numbers. However, they argued that a Romney presidency would be something else entirely.

Erickson said the Massachusetts stagnancy can be attributed to the liberal nature of the state, where Christianity is declining. However, if Romney won the White House, she argued that Mormons would have an easier time winning converts in the more religious parts of the nation, particularly the South, where church attendance is high.

Keller believes the slowed Massachusetts growth rate is explained by the fact that Massachusetts is a stronghold for Catholics. He claimed these Catholics have grown less willing to listen to Mormon proselytizing but, like Erickson, he fears a Romney presidency will open the floodgates elsewhere.

SUPERFICIALLY, Erickson and Keller's worries are not crazy. The LDS church has undergone phenomenal growth in the past.

David O. McKay was the ninth prophet and president of the Church, who served from 1951 to 1970. McKay implemented the "every member a missionary" program in 1961 in hopes of spreading the LDS Gospel worldwide, to great effect. Under his tenure, the number of LDS "stakes" -- congregational units similar to a Catholic diocese -- more than doubled, and total church membership well more than doubled.

Since McKay's death, subsequent church prophets, apostles, and lay leaders have continued to stress missionary work, particularly singling out lay members of the church as not doing enough to advance the cause. During a 1999 address beamed from Salt Lake City to chapels throughout the world, the current Mormon prophet Gordon B. Hinckley urged members to double the number of people baptized into the Church each year, from 300,000 to 600,000.

However, since Hinckley issued his challenge, the number of church members serving full-time missions has actually decreased, thanks to stricter moral standards church leaders recently created for those seeking to serve missions. True, Church membership has increased, but not to the extent Hinckley had hoped for.

Since Hinckley took over in 1995, membership has grown by about 38 percent, from 9.3 million then to 12.8 million today. The rate is impressive when compared to other religious groups in the United States. However, it has slowed significantly when compared with earlier years of LDS growth. In some places, such as Massachusetts, it has essentially gone flat.

"I don't know that [the slowed growth rate] has anything to do with [Romney] as much as the conversion rate in America is not moving at the same pace as it was 20 years ago," said M. Russell Ballard, an LDS apostle who is one of the top-ranking leaders of the church.

Ballard explained that he thought that the problem was much larger: "In a lot of ways, America is drifting a little bit towards religious indifference, similar to what you see in many parts of Europe ... [O]ur biggest challenge, to be candid with you, is apathy, is just plain indifference. ... [People are] far more interested and worried about the NFL and the NBA than they are about God and their personal purpose in life."

And while it's true that many Mormons support Mitt Romney, his candidacy is essentially irrelevant to the larger Mormon project. When I asked one of Ballard's colleagues, Apostle Quentin L. Cook, whether the church has noticed a Romney "bump," he said he hasn't noticed one, and that the question was not one that preoccupied him.

"The missionaries are fully engaged and they're doing great work. We haven't done a survey to find out whether there's been an increase," Cook said.

ONE WAY TO GAUGE what might happen under a President Romney would be to look at what happened during the period of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Held in Salt Lake City, they were dubbed the "Mormon Olympics."

During this period, majority-Mormon Utah garnered vast international attention as more than 8,700 members of the media converged in the Beehive State to cover the games. Despite a rocky, scandal-ridden start (which was cleaned up largely due to the efforts of one Mitt Romney, who was brought in as president and CEO of the Games), the Games finished with a budget surplus, no major security breaches, and warm feelings all around.

Leaders of the LDS church urged members to avoid overt proselytizing in connection with the Games. They did, however, welcome a vast influx of visitors to Temple Square, where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang, talented Brigham Young University dancers performed in its Conference Center, and leaders presented numerous religious and patriotic services.

Despite all the increased attention, worldwide the Church grew only slightly, and in fact in the year leading up to the games the total number of congregations fell. Overall, from 2000 to 2004, there was a 10.9 percent increase in memberships and a 3.6 percent increase in congregations.

These modest growth figures include children of LDS parents, who are traditionally baptized at age 8, as well as converts from other faiths. The numbers suggest that while the public has had increased exposure to Mormons and the Mormon faith, that doesn't necessarily translate to a large spike in membership.

The LDS church is likely to continue its current modest-but-impressive growth whether or not Romney wins the White House. Perhaps the only real worry for evangelicals is that, if elected, the former Massachusetts governor will demonstrate to Americans that Mormons don't have horns.

Carrie Sheffield, a member of the LDS Church, is a writer living in Washington, D.C.