Archive for the ‘News and Views’ Category

On the recent massacre of Christians in Baghdad

November 10, 2010

“May we now speak of the Muslims who want to kill us?”, asks Fr. Raymond De Souza, concerning the butchery of a priest and his congregation in a Baghdad church.

“By now the killing of Christians by jihadists has become a regular feature of the landscape in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. Yet a massacre in a church, during the Holy Mass, surely would provoke a thunderous reaction?”

Well, not exactly…

The American State Department had no statement at all.

In the Church too, there is often a reluctance to support vigourously Christians under attack, and to call things by name.

He quotes a bishop in Dallas (Kevin Farrell) blaming not the perpetrators, but their (American) co-religionists:  “The level of incivility in our national dialogue has reached a crescendo,” Farrell wrote.

Of course to a certain mindset, now common in our midst, that’s just the natural way to look at it.

Fr. De Souza’a article is here.  (I linked to it from the First Things blog site).



Al Gore’s carbon footprint…

May 5, 2010

… is a BigFoot!  Headline for an LA Times news story:  “Al Gore, Tipper Gore snap up Montecito-area villa”:

The couple spent $8,875,000 on an ocean-view villa on 1.5 acres with a swimming pool, spa and fountains, a real estate source familiar with the deal confirms. The Italian-style house has six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms.

But does anybody really care?  To suggest that such a man as Al Gore is corrupt or hypocritical– that might truly be an inconvenient truth to most of our news media.

“How Global Warming Makes Blizzards Worse”

February 11, 2010

From Yahoo news, a link to a Time magazine article with the headline “DC Snowstorm:  How Global Warming Makes Blizzards Worse”.  Yes, I’m sure that explains  it all!

Perhaps some day, Time magazine, or the IPCC, or the World Wildlife Fund (a prime source of science info for IPCC reports), or even Al Gore, will condescend to answer the following question:  What weather event, or what seasonal weather anomaly, do you think would tend to disprove Global Warming?

Unusually severe Caribbean hurricanes(as in 2005), or puny hurricanes (since then)?  Droughts in our Southwest(as this year),  or lack of drought in the African Sahel(in recent years)?  Heat waves in Western Europe in 2003, or very cold weather there this year?

All, all are caused by Global Warming.  “The science is settled.”

“Why are liberals so condescending?”

February 9, 2010

Due to a record-breaking snowstorm here in the Washington DC area we have not received any mail, or the Washington Post in the morning.  Thus I missed reading a fine op-ed piece in Sunday’s Post by Gerald Alexander.  Too bad, it would have brightened my morning before I went out to shovel more snow; but reading it online was fun too.  He starts with this:

Every political community includes some members who insist that their side has all the answers and that their adversaries are idiots. But American liberals, to a degree far surpassing conservatives, appear committed to the proposition that their views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason, while conservative positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological and unworthy of serious consideration. Indeed, all the appeals to bipartisanship notwithstanding, President Obama and other leading liberal voices have joined in a chorus of intellectual condescension.

I’m an ex-liberal, and I think Alexander (a prof of Politics at UVA) is on to something.  Of course I know conservatives who have the same attitude to liberals, denouncing them like Catholics did in the old baptismal rite, renouncing Satan with “all his works and pomps”.  So, is “to a degree far surpassing conservatives” really true?  I’m afraid it is, especially when I hear the President speaking of consensus and compromise in a most reasonable tone while– maddeningly– assuming that those who oppose him are either too dumb to understand, or acting in bad faith.  From Alexander’s piece:

…  Indeed, when the president met with House Republicans in Baltimore recently, he assured them that he considers their ideas, but he then rejected their motives in virtually the same breath.

“There may be other ideas that you guys have,” Obama said. “I am happy to look at them, and I’m happy to embrace them. . . . But the question I think we’re going to have to ask ourselves is, as we move forward, are we going to be examining each of these issues based on what’s good for the country, what the evidence tells us, or are we going to be trying to position ourselves so that come November, we’re able to say, ‘The other party, it’s their fault’?”

Harsh winter a sign of disruptive climate change, report says

January 31, 2010

Read it and weep (or better, laugh):   this story from the Washington Post on Jan. 28th:

This winter’s extreme weather — with heavy snowfall in some places and unusually low temperatures — is in fact a sign of how climate change disrupts long-standing patterns, according to a new report by the National Wildlife Federation.

“Climate change” in the article, of course, is Global Warming, not a new Ice Age.

I’m a Post subscriber but somehow missed that story last Thursday– I thank two Web sites I visit– Anthony Watts’s  “Watts Up With That?” and Steve MacIntyre’s “Climate Audit”—  for bringing it to my attention.

Well, perhaps the NWF has some expertise on climate science?  Both Watts and MacIntyre (and others) have noted that the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), in a recent official report on AGW(anthropogenic global warming) based some of their “science” statements on material from NWF, and also from WWF (World Wildlife Fund).  And even  (Watts cites Britain’s Telegraph paper for this):  The United Nations’ expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing from the world’s mountain tops on a student’s dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.

The Telegraph story was on Jan. 30th;  it doesn’t say which month’s issue of Climbing magazine was the IPCC’s scientific source.

“We shall not weary, we shall not rest”

January 23, 2010

Richard John Neuhaus was the editor of First Things magazine before his death just a year ago.  On the anniversary of the “March for Life” on the national mall, his magazine reprints (every year) a speech he gave at that event:

The culture of death is an idea before it is a deed. I expect many of us here, perhaps most of us here, can remember when we were first encountered by the idea. For me, it was in the 1960s when I was pastor of a very poor, very black, inner city parish in Brooklyn, New York. I had read that week an article by Ashley Montagu of Princeton University on what he called “A Life Worth Living.” He listed the qualifications for a life worth living: good health, a stable family, economic security, educational opportunity, the prospect of a satisfying career to realize the fullness of one’s potential. These were among the measures of what was called “a life worth living.”

And I remember vividly, as though it were yesterday, looking out the next Sunday morning at the congregation of St. John the Evangelist and seeing all those older faces creased by hardship endured and injustice afflicted, and yet radiating hope undimmed and love unconquered. And I saw that day the younger faces of children deprived of most, if not all, of those qualifications on Prof. Montagu’s list. And it struck me then, like a bolt of lightning, a bolt of lightning that illuminated our moral and cultural moment, that Prof. Montagu and those of like mind believed that the people of St. John the Evangelist—people whom I knew and had come to love as people of faith and kindness and endurance and, by the grace of God, hope unvanquished—it struck me then that, by the criteria of the privileged and enlightened, none of these my people had a life worth living. In that moment, I knew that a great evil was afoot. The culture of death is an idea before it is a deed…

We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every unborn child is protected in law and welcomed in life…

I know many people who do not agree with Fr. Neuhaus, but I must say that I do.

In Copenhagen

December 19, 2009

I followed a link from the PowerLine blog to an article by Roger L. Simon, a self-described “Hollywood apostate”, who had an “ah hah!” moment in Copenhagen:

On the last day of COP 15, staring at a Jumbotron where Hugo Chavez was addressing the conference, something was nagging at me besides the obvious (that half the audience was enthusiastically applauding a maniac). I was trying to figure out what it was about the conference that so perplexed and disturbed. And then, before the Caudillo had concluded his tedious remarks and long before the “meaningful deal” between the world leaders was announced, I realized what it was. We had returned to the Middle Ages.

A high tech Middle Ages, of course, but still the Middle Ages. Forget the Renaissance, forget the Enlightenment, forget Spinoza, Locke, Galileo and everybody else, we had returned to our roots as gullible and idiotic human beings, as willing to believe in the primacy of anthropogenic global warming as we would in the sighting of the Madonna at a river crossing twelve kilometers south of Sienna in 1340.

I think the man is on to something– I’ve kind of had the same feeling.  And Catholics are supposed to like apparitions of the Madonna, aren’t we?  But some visions I can’t believe; though I hate to disagree with friends who do.

Here is Simon’s piece, if you want to read the whole thing. His rather short “interview” with Congressman Rangel is a nice touch.

Further considerations (Dec. 19th):  It’s easy to look down on the Middle Ages as Roger Simon does (and I was going along with him).  But actually, the church (even then) would say that such matters as apparitions of the Virgin were just private revelations– you could be a good Catholic without accepting them.  But now:  can you be a good modern citizen if you doubt that global warming (to the extent it has occurred) is primarily man-made?  In the view of the mainstream media and most world “leaders”, the answer seems to be NO.

Only 14 days?

December 7, 2009

According to Britain’s Guardian, they’re joining 55 of their cohorts in an effort to save us from ourselves.  The headline:   “Copenhagen Climate Change Conference:  ‘Fourteen days to seal history’s judgment on this generation’ “.  The subheader:   “This editorial calling for action from world leaders on climate change is published today by 56 newspapers around the world in 20 languages”

But don’t read anything from this, it might turn you into a denier!  And then the great newspaper effort might be in vain, and the world would not get saved.

Hello again!

November 23, 2009

I have not posted anything on this blog for quite a while.  Has the world missed me?  Somehow I don’t think so…

Just a few days ago some public benefactor hacked the web site of the University of East Anglia’s Hadley Climate Research Unit (CRU).  I say “public benefactor” though I usually don’t approve of computer hacking.  But, what the emails of CRU, now made public, reveal is information that the public (in every country) needs to know.  And it’s pretty sordid stuff.  As a skeptic on much of the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) alarmism, though, I can’t say that I’m too surprised.  I hope it does some good!

Here’s one early article on the above subject, from the PowerLine blog.     But I don’t propose to get into the whole dismal subject right now.

Instead, I’ll post some quotes from an interesting book, which I found at the recent Irish Festival in Timonium, MD (near Baltimore).  The title:  “God and the Referees:  Unforgettable GAA Quotations”.  GAA is the Gaelic Athletic Association, which oversees the Irish sports of (Gaelic) football and hurling, in Ireland.

Forecasting the Earth’s Temperature

September 9, 2009

Anthony Watts maintains a site which is very skeptical of AGW  (Anthropogenic[human-caused] Global Warning).  More precisely, he and his contributors reject the premises that (1) recent warming has been mainly due to human activity, and (2) that such warming, unless we take drastic action, is potentially catastrophic to the earth’s ecology– and thus to us.

Here is a recent posting from  An excerpt:

Recall that only one or two annual data points ago many scientists, as well as the most vocal ‘campaigners,’ dismissed the very idea that the world’s average annual temperature had not changed in the past decade. Today it is an observational fact that can no longer be ignored. We should also not forget that nobody anticipated it. Now, post facto, scientists are looking for an explanation, and in doing so we are seeing AGW in a new light.

The main conclusion, and perhaps it’s no surprise, to be drawn about what will happen to global temperatures is that nobody knows.

I believe that  “deniers” such as Watts make a very credible case.  Of course many people whom I highly respect strongly disagree with this.