For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The 13th Day

This looks like it could be the most inspiring movie since Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ.  It is called The 13th Day and is about the times Our Lady Of Fatima appeared to three children in apparitions .

The video above is merely the trailer of the film.  Unless you live in a large metro area you probably won't get to see it in a theater.  But there is always video...and, and I have no doubt it will be available to purchase by Easter or maybe Pentecost.

(h/t:  my RCIA director Patty as well as Joyful Catholics)

UPDATE: Now available on DVD

Aquinas and More Catholic Goods - For all your Catholic needs

The 13th Day

13th Day

2,000 Babies Saved From Abortion!

40 Days For Life has confirmed 2,000 mothers, who went to abortion clinics to terminate their pregnancies,  turned around and left with unborn children intact due to the efforts of over 200,000 people who cared.  And what did these people do?  Did they shout insults at the mothers?  No.  Did they attempt to physically restrain the women from entering the abortuary?  No.  They simply stood outside of the clinics en mass and prayed.  Most were adults standing silent vigil.  Some were children singing.  The efforts nationwide (and in a few other countries) paid off.

Read about it at LifeSiteNews.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Respect Life Month!

Not enough people in this country realize that October, already half over, is Respect Life Month.  And if you search your church bulletins you might find some interesting activities going on, such as the odd vigil outside an abortion clinic, for example.  It would be good to join in on the right side of the spiritual war and against the war waged by Planned Parenthood on the unborn by attending any of these you can. 

I missed the one conducted by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades in York, PA on October 2nd because I was on the road.  But he was there along with the Knights of Columbus and 200+ faithful who proceeded from the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church to the local Planned Parenthood abortuary.  Together they prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary for the unfortunate pre-borns, who will never have the joys of drawing their first breaths and whose lives are ended without so much as a whimper.

I have included much of Bishop Rhoades' homily for the occasion found in Catholic Witness:

"The idea that every human being has an innate, inalienable and sacred dignity is not accepted by pro-choice activists.  The pro-choice arguments for abortion are based on a very dangerous and erroneous assumption that human rights are not inherent in the person but are assigned to the person by society.  I don't know if many pro-choice advocates actually philosophically consider their position.  Where do human rights come from?  Where does the right to life originate?  They are given by God, not by society.  Society and government have no right to deny these fundamental rights of the human person.  They are inherent in human beings as human beings.  They are not based on the person's race or color, on the person's age or health, or on the person's location within or outside the womb....

...Our teaching has always been and always will be a great yes to human life.  We support research and medical science which serves human life, which overcomes or corrects pathologies.  But we reject whatever involves the intentional destruction of human beings or which uses means that contradict the dignity of the human person.  Why such respect for human dignity?  Because each human being carries in an indelible way his or her own dignity and value.  It is not something given by society or by legislators.  It is innate.  This is what pro-choice advocates reject or ignore.  As followers of Christ, we also believe that at every stage of his or her existence, the human person, created in the image and likeness of God, also reflects the face of his only-begotten son.  We believe that God's love for every one of us, including our brothers and sisters in the womb, is boundless.  In the words of Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II, 'human life is always a good, for it is a manifestation of God in the world, a sign of his presence, a trace of his glory.'"

(Picture borrowed from Catholic Witness.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recovering Economy? Or Panic Bloom Before Wilt?

This was so good (scary) I had to share it with everyone.  It's from The Daily Grind produced by ALG and delivered to my email address often.  How to get delivered to you will be at the end of this post.

The Panic Bloom

By Bill Wilson

"The Americans are enjoying the present at the cost of selling off ever larger chunks of their future.  Arguably, the imminent economic crisis is the most thoroughly predicted one in recent history.  Rather than refuting the crisis, the current US economic boom merely heralds it.  Biologists have observed similar phenomena in plants contaminated by toxins.  Before they wither, they produce one last batch of healthy shoots---to the point that they can hardly be distinguished from healthy plants.  Some speak of a panic bloom" ----Gabor Steingart, America and the Dollar Illusion, October, 2006

The US could well be in the midst of a panic bloom.  As noted by Gabor Steingart in 2006---brilliantly foretelling of the global economic crisis to come---right before a plant is about to die, it produces "one last batch of healthy shoots."  These, he writes, "can hardly be distinguished from healthy plants."  And so it is with the US economic recovery that, some misguided analysts conclude, is now fully underway.

Writes Brian Wesbury in yesterday's Wall Street Journal, "Since March 9, when investors realized mark-to-market accounting rules would be corrected, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 51%, the S&P 500 is up 58% and the Nasdaq is up 69%.  The NYSE Financial Stock Index is up 137% and bond market risk spreads have narrowed considerably, suggesting that investors are confident the crisis has ended.  By nearly every measure, the economy is tracing out a V-shaped recovery."

But is this really a healthy recovery?  Or is it simply that "one last batch of healthy shoots" before the final collapse comes?  Time will tell---but certain signs are far more ominous than optimistic.

Gold persists at over $1,000 an ounce, on its way to $1,100, warning of inflation and higher interest rates to come as a direct result of record-setting levels of government spending, borrowing, and printing.  Unemployment remains high, with U-6 measured at 17% in September.  And over 358,000 homes were in the foreclosure process as of August, 2009.

Most troubling of all is the compounding problem of the US national debt, now at nearly $12 trillion, that promises to be an increasingly heavy drag on the economy.  The overall liabilities of the entire nation---private debt + government debt--- is an eye-popping $57 trillion.  As Steingart writes, "The Americans are enjoying the present at the cost of selling off ever larger chunks of their future."

How could this happen?  In sum:  Follow the easy money.

Because of few constraints on borrowing in the US both by individuals and by the nation, the quickest means to raise capital these days is to borrow it.  For example, outstanding mortgage debt rose from $3.805 trillion in 1990 to $14.568 trillion in 2007---a 383% increase.  The national debt itself rose from $3.23 trillion to $9 trillion, a 278% jump.

The money supply behaved predictably as a result, rising from $1.787 trillion to %5.268 trillion over the same period, according to the Ludwig Von Mises Institute.  And prices followed:  gold rose from $386.20 an ounce to $695.39, a 180% increase, and oil rose from $23.19 a barrel to $64.20, a 277% increase.

Predictably, the unsustainable debt binge flooded markets with liquidity, resulting in bubble after bubble:  tech, housing, oil and commodities, and then treasuries.

Now once again, hedgers against inflation are warning that another bubble is about to pop.  Even the normally dispassionate editorial board of the Wall Street Journal is concerned:

"For a time in the wake of the panic, the dollar benefited from a flight to the relative safety of US Treasuries and other dollar assets...  In a storm, the dollar was thought to be less risky than other investments.  But as this overall global risk aversion has ebbed, the risk calculus has turned and the dollar itself has become more dangerous to hold than nondollar investments."

Why is this so?  The Federal Reserve has been flooding the entire world with dollars.  It has more than doubled the money supply since the crisis began in 2007.  It has kept the federal funds rate---the rate at which banks borrow from the Fed---at an historic zero % rate.  This is far beyond normal monetary easing, thought to consist of modest levels of inflation and lower-than-normal interest rates.  This is outright monetary devaluation.

The motive, of course can only be to emerge from the US debt problem---in the most dangerous and deleterious way possible.  In short, the Fed plans on inflating the debt away.  And this has left holders of dollars and of US debt the world over on the verge of a panic.  The only question left is:  Who will be the first to dump their dollars before the devaluation fully ensues?

When the dollar run begins days, weeks, months, or even years from now---not if, but when---what geopolitical changes will it leave in its wake?  As Steingart noted, long before the panic of 2008 ensued, "One morning many dollar-owners will wake up and look at the facts about the US economy without rose-colored glasses---just as private investors woke up one day and took an unflinching look at the New Economy, only to see companies whose market value couldn't be justified by even the most dramatic of profit increases."

And the question now is:  Have we finally reached that dreaded day?  In a mad rush to save itself through a panic bloom, has the US economy sprouted one last batch of healthy shoots right before the dollar---and thus the economy---wilts, wobbles and completely keels over?  Only time will tell, but as Steingart observes, the outlook isn't brilliant.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Did Obama Drag His Feet On Afghanistan To Win Nobel Prize?

Frankly I didn't know he was nominated.  And why should he be?  Only 12 days into his administration and the Nobel people nominate him because he "intends to" save the world from imperialist America?  

I was surprised....and then not so surprised.  After all, didn't they just give it to Al Gore?  And before him wasn't Arafat the honored recipient?  At least Jimmy Carter did things that qualified him to be nominated (not so sure if he deserved it, though), so how honorable can the prize be when you look at the list of recent winners?

Even so I try to make an effort to make some kind of sense of the situation.  I speculate about what connection this strange event might have with other strange events ---like why Obama was dragging his feet on making decisions about whether or not to send more troops to win the good war.  You would think by now he would have looked at the situation there in Afghanistan and decided that eight years was too many and pull our troops out,...OR send 200,000 troops over there and finish the job quickly.  But instead, he sits and fiddles while Rome burns....while our troops continue to die in combat.  

So did Obama intentionally drag his feet on sending troops to Afghanistan in order to insure winning the Nobel Peace Prize?  Does this sound like an unfair question?  Is it any worse than the nasty assumptions the LEFT made about the intentions of President Bush?  Perhaps the Nobel Committee would have rebuked Obama had he escalated the Afghan conflict...  And we can't have that!

The Joint Chiefs and Gen. Petraeus agree with Obama's own hand-picked Gen. McChrystal on the urgency of sending 40,000 more troops to do the job and beat the Taliban.  But Obama hesitates.  Got a better explanation?

Read about the nominees that were passed over by clicking HERE.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Introducing... Catholic Vote Action!

This is the first video from, an independent offshoot of, but able to lobby Congress directly with 100% of its resources to express the values and views of common sense Catholics like your's truly.  Don't yah just love community organizing?

The video above is a spoof on the Government, and in response to Will Ferrell's Hollywood spoof against insurance companies.  Well, why not?  And it's funny.  Check it out.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Domestic Distraction Becomes International Embarrassment: Obama Loses Olympic Bid

Incredibly, President and Mrs. Obama (along with Her Majesty, Oprah) could not convince the Olympic Committee that Chicago is the Bethlehem of America where the Messiah was born... Okay, that was cruel. Let's try that again...

The Olympic Committee, too smart to buy into the usual Obama barrage of his self-inflated ego (his story, or Michelle's father's Multiple Sclerosis story), failed to be convinced that Chicago was their kind of town for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. 

Past presidents, including Jimmy Carter surprisingly, were all too smart to make the trip to Copenhagen or wherever to lobby for the US to host the games, because without a guaranteed pick it's a break-even or lose situation --break even if we get it and lose if we don't. And when the leader of a country, and I don't care which country, spends months trashing his own country's reputation on one apology tour after another, he/she won't have much credibility when it comes time to sell the notion of how wonderful we are and deserving to play host to the Olympics.

Another reason Obama blew it is that anyone can see what direction the US is headed with its $12 Trillion debt and the likelihood of it doubling. Where will the US be 7 years from now in 2016? Likely bankrupt at the current pace. Who wants to have an Olympics in a ghost town of a dust-bowl nation? Even though Brazil is much poorer (GNP) than we are, they are growing in the right direction and will be even more powerful economically by 2016. Spain will probably still be coasting along like it has since Barcelona, but at least not bankrupt.

What I cannot understand is why Obama didn't push the fact that in Chicago the home team almost always loses. That would be great for the other countries competing against us, and one would think, a positive message for each Committeeman to take back to his/her homeland. It would have been a slam-dunk, IMHO. He could've made the presentation wearing a Cub's hat to drive the message home.

The networks were shocked. The people of Chicago waiting for the news in Daley Plaza were stunned like little ducklings smacked on the head. They wandered about aimlessly twitching their heads, asking "how could this happen?" With the exception of Team Jordan, all Chicago teams take their fans to the brink of victory and then collapse in defeat. It's usually the law of nature in Chicago, so it should have come as no surprise to them. But they continue to hope for change in their own naive kind of way....

Can you tell I'm enjoying this a little bit?

Read other stories about this in Michelle Malkin, Chicago Ray, and Jill Stanek.

Picture above from