Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ed Whelan: Judge Reinhardt MUST Disqualify Himself in Prop 8 Appeal

Ed Whelan lays out a pretty conclusive case that Judge Reinhardt must disqualify himself:

"A quick follow-up to my post on how the role of Ramona Ripston—Judge Reinhardt’s wife—in consulting with plaintiffs’ counsel about whether they should file the suit requires Reinhardt to disqualify himself from the Prop 8 appeal:

It turns out that there’s a compelling—indeed, I would say conclusive—second and independent basis for Reinhardt’s disqualification:

Ripston heads, and Mark Rosenbaum is legal director for, the ACLU of Southern California. According to that organization’s
website, the ACLU of Southern California “is comprised of three separate corporate entities,” one of which is the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. According to its annual report, Ripston is also executive director of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. (See her signature line on page 2 of the report, which identifies her as “Executive Director” of “ACLUF/ACLU of Southern California.” From the context of the accompanying signatures, it’s clear that “ACLUF” stands for “ACLU Foundation.”)

The California Lawyer
article presents Rosenbaum as the ACLU lawyer whom plaintiffs’ lawyers consulted in connection with a June 25, 2009, amicus brief submitted in the district court on behalf of the national American Civil Liberties Union. Further, both that amicus brief and the motion for leave to file it list Rosenbaum (and Lori Rifkin) of the “ACLU Foundation of Southern California” among the signatories.

In short, the entity that Ripston heads took part as counsel to an amicus in this very case in the district court.

Canon 3.C of the
Code of Conduct for United States Judges provides a non-exhaustive list of circumstances in which a judge must disqualify himself on the ground that his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Subpart (1)(d) states that those circumstances “includ[e] but [are] not limited to instances in which … the judge’s spouse … is (i) a party to the proceeding, or an officer, director, or trustee of a party; or (ii) acting as a lawyer in the proceeding.” Addendum: Federal statutory law (28 U.S.C. § 455) sets forth virtually identical grounds for disqualification."

If he maintains his own policy, Judge Reinhardt will disqualify himself. Mr Whelan links to a post by law blogger Eugene Volokh:

"According to a post months ago by Eugene Volokh, Judge Reinhardt’s established (and unsurprising) policy is to disqualify himself from cases involving the ACLU of Southern California."

Monday, November 29, 2010

3 Judge Panel for Prop 8 Appeal Announced

It's Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Michael Daly Hawkins, and N. Randy Smith of the Ninth Circuit.

Pro counterfeit "marriage" law Professor Dale Carpenter says this is a good draw for the opponents of Prop 8. Judge Reinhardt is considered to be the most liberal federal judge in the land.

On the other hand, Orin Kerr writes:

"...I would think it is bad news for opponents of Prop 8 in the long term. It goes without saying that Reinhardt will vote the liberal way, and he’ll likely have Hawkins with him. But the word “Reinhardt” is radioactive at 1 First Street. Reinhardt writes like there is no Supreme Court, and as a result his opinions have a remarkable ability to annoy the Justices. In return, the Supreme Court loves to reverse Reinhardt. They love to reverse opinions he signs, and they love to reverse opinions he participates in. So the fact that he’ll likely be involved in the panel decision probably hurts opponents of Prop 8 in the long run."

The great Ed Whelan points out:

"As regular Bench Memos readers know, Reinhardt (appointed by President Carter in 1980) may well be the most aggressive liberal judicial activist in the nation—and the most reversed judge in history."

Whatever happens, the case will go to the Supreme Court.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Adult Stem Cell UPDATE: Burns Treated, Leukemia Patient Healed

We have not been following the amazing adult stem-cell progess as much as we should lately. Here are two MORE amazing stories:

From KSL in Salt Lake City:

Stem cell spray heals burns

A spray solution of a patient's own stem cells is healing their severe burns. So far, early experiments under a University of Utah pilot project are showing some remarkable results.
What was once a serious burn on Kaye Adkins foot is healing nicely now because of a topical spray. With diabetes as a complication, the small but open wound had not healed after weeks of failed treatments.

Dr. Amalia Cochran with the university's Burn Care Center says, "With a wound that is open for several months, as this patient suffered prior to seeing us in our burn clinic, we worry about a pretty heavy bacterial load there."

But enter the evolutionary world of regenerative medicine, using almost a bedside stem cell technique that takes only about 15 minutes."


And from LifeSiteNews:

Amazing first: leukemia patient completely cured with cord blood stem cells

"BERLIN, November 26, 2010 - Doctors associated with the German umbilical cord blood bank Vita 34 say that they have cured a child’s leukemia completely using an infusion of stem cells from umbilical cord blood.

The procedure was reportedly performed in 2005 on a four-year-old girl whose chemotherapy treatment had failed and who had a prognosis of only three months to live. The procedure was possible because the parents had decided to preserve their child’s umbilical cord blood at the time of birth.

After continuous monitoring of the child for five years now, with no sign of leukemia cells in her blood, doctors say that they have confirmed that the treatment worked."

As our friend Don Margolis often says, adult stem-cells are the greatest medicine in the history of man. It's tragic that our current President, for ideological reasons, chooses to spend his efforts on immoral and pointless Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

For a rundown of our posts on this subject, click here. And you can always visit our friend Don Margolis, whom we have called "The Best Stem Cell Blog" for more. Don follows all the latest adult stem-cell news, and has made it his life's work. God bless him!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Common Sense and Airline Security, Part II

We don't like profiling because it exposes innocent people to indignity. The TSA's "non-discriminatory" solution is to expose everyone to indignity.

Kevin O'Brien writes in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Emphasis added.

"The truth is, the other side keeps proving that even though they're incompetent at bomb-making, they're good at beating our defense. It's time we let our offense on the field.

That means profiling. Oh, that dirty, dirty word. That means using what we know about our enemies against them.

We know who they are: They're Muslims fighting a religious war. They're from identifiable hot spots of Islamic militant activity -- Middle Eastern and African countries, and radicalized enclaves in Europe.

Anyone getting on a U.S. commercial carrier who fits the description ought to be carefully watched and ought to have to answer some probing questions on their way to a scanning and/or a pat-down. Every item of luggage associated with that person should be painstakingly checked, too.

Yes, the Muslim grievance lobby will scream. So what?

That will be a lot less screaming than we hear now, as law-abiding people who we know very well pose no threat are given their pick of needless, pointless humiliations.

The forces of political correctness will advance the argument that once we start profiling, the terrorists will recruit people who buck the profile.

Fine. That's called making the other side work harder. And when they go prospecting for blond, blue-eyed, non-Muslims willing to fry their nether regions, they instantly make their command structure easier to infiltrate."

The argument is sometimes made that Islamic profiling will alienate the majority of good Muslims whose support is needed in infiltrating terrorist organizations. But it is certainly thinkable that being inconvienced could make them more willing to take a stand against the terrorists as the ultimate cause of their being inconvienenced and subjected to indignity. And after all, a normal Muslim is just as opposed to being blown up as anybody else.

Good Bishop Soto to lead CCHD

Let's pray for him. Bishop Soto is a great champion of the unborn (leading a vigil and procession to a Sacramento abortion business). He's also a great defender of natural marriage and strong teacher of the (he articulated the Church's teaching on marriage, sexuality and the sinfulness of "homosexual" acts at the 2008 National Association of Catholic Diocesan Lesbian and Gay Ministries conference, to a hostile response).

We hope he can ensure that all the grant monies distributed by the CCHD go to organizations that share his stand. The problem is, of, course, that that may require denying monies to groups that do good work in other areas.

We'll pray for the Bishop, and hope the necessary changes are made at the CCHD. For our past posts on the CCHD, go here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


This is the most interesting thing I've read in a long time. The sad thing about it, you can see it coming.

I have always heard about this democracy countdown..
It is interesting to see it in print.
God help us, not that we deserve it.
How Long Do We Have?

About the time our original thirteen states adopted their new constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

'A democracy is always temporary in nature;
it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government.'

'A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.'

' From that moment on, the majority always vote for the candidates
who promise the most benefits from the public treasury,
with the result that every democracy will finally collapse
due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.'

'The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years'

'During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

1. from bondage to spiritual faith;

2. from spiritual faith to great courage;

3. from courage to liberty;

4. from liberty to abundance;

5. from abundance to complacency;

6. from complacency to apathy;

7. from apathy to dependence;

8. from dependence back into bondage'


Drag Queens and Porn Stars and Gay Politicians

Just another Most Holy Redeemer Fundraiser

On October 16, 2010 San Francisco’s Most Holy Redeemer hosted a fundraiser for the Castro Country Club. Guests include a number of same-sex attracted San Francisco politicians. The politicians were Scott Weiner, Rafael Mandelman, and Rebecca Prozan, all homosexualist, and all of whom were running for San Francisco Supervisor for district 8. Prozan is “married” to another woman.

The homosexualist newspaper the San Francisco Bay Times reported: “The Castro Country Club filled a room at Holy Redeemer Church on Oct. 16 for their Harvest Festival Banquet with more than 150 people for a benefit for the club.”

The Castro Country Club, an organization that fights alcoholism, was, interestingly enough, founded by a Catholic Priest, Fr. Joseph Healy. On November 11, 2007, the webpage of Most Holy Redeemer announced: "Congratulations and Welcome, Fr. Joe! The MHR family welcomes Fr. Joseph Healy, a 'son of the parish' who has been assigned to Most Holy Redeemer as Parochial Vicar. We wish you many happy and successful years here at MHR." Why “son of the parish”? In his book on Most Holy Redeemer, “Gays and Grays: the story of the Gay Community at Most Holy Redeemer” Fr. Donal Godfrey SJ, explains: "The Castro Country Club was founded by an openly gay parishioner at MHR, Joseph Healy; Healy has since become a priest in the diocese of San Francisco." Fr. Healy passed away in 2009—may he rest in peace.

The SF Bay Times story continued: “The three-layer chocolate mousse truffle torte with wild berry compote was delicious and briefly distracted diners from staring at honored guest Michael Brandon, who is a champion charity fundraiser and provocative erotic film star and stage performer.” That is a roundabout way of saying that an ostensibly Catholic Church hosted a homosexualist porn star. Brandon’s website describes him as a “producer, director, and porn star award winner” and the site contains an obscenity disclaimer and requests persons under 18 years of age not to enter the site.

Brandon was not the only questionable character in attendance. Quite in keeping with Most Holy Redeemer practices, the event was emceed by a well known San Francisco drag queen who goes by the name “Ivy Drip”, also known for headlining “Adults Only” events.

Apparently the organizers were a little concerned about allowing a “Catholic” church to host their event, but the SF Bay Times reported: “Controversy was averted when it was made clear that no room rent was paid for the space.” There was no mention of fear of controversy or scandal on the Most Holy Redeemer end.

Nicely said!

by Jeff Miller over at the "Curt Jester."

"One thing I have come to love about the Church is that it is never just arbitrary, that her moral theology is not only understandable – but that it’s principles can be applied consistently. The Church condemns IVF because it removes the unitive aspect of sex from procreation in the marital act. The Church condemns contraception because it removes the procreative aspect from the marital act. Since the Church understands marriage it is able to see the two-fold nature of the marital act and to apply that understanding in her moral theology. It is only the Church that is consistent and everybody else inconsistent."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Same-Sex Attractions, by Fr. Paul Scalia

The Catholic Education Resource Center is running an interesting four-part series on same sex attraction. Part two went online today. Here's an excerpt about sexual "orientation":

"Although our culture speaks about various "orientations," there is really only one: heterosexual. This is simply another way of expressing the truth that human sexuality is ordered and designed for a purpose. It is oriented toward heterosexual union for procreation and marital bonding. Anything apart from that is a dis-orientation – meaning it is not oriented to the proper purposes of sexuality.

Further, once we lose sight of the one orientation of human sexuality, we simply create confusion. We do not end up with two orientations but sexual chaos. And so now we have a seemingly endless proliferation of "orientations": gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, transgendered, transsexual, queer, questioning, etc."

I had been thinking along those lines myself, and it reminded me of that phrase, I believe by Chesterton, "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything." When one refuses to accept the reality, which is the limitation of, a thing (in this case sex) it can then be seen as anything else, limited only by one's imagination, because one no longer accepts that it simply is what it is.

An example of this is given in a radio interview given by the homoactivist priest Fr. Donal Godfrey, at World Youth Day, 2008:

"In our Christian faith, when you think about it, it's about the incarnation. It's about Jesus becoming human. It's also about being sexual. Not in the sense of having, of sex with a capital "s" but sex with a small "s." All our relationships, even for people who are celibate are sexual in some sense because it it is sexuality that draws us out of ourselves."

Until recently Fr. Godfrey was the Executive Director of University Ministry at the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco.

You can listen here. The segment above is heard in the first minute.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Statement on Pontiff's Words Regarding Condoms

"The Pope Does Not Reform or Change the Church's Teaching"

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 21, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a statement released today by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, regarding the words of Benedict XVI regarding condoms as recorded in a book, "Light of the World," scheduled for release on Tuesday.

On Saturday, L'Osservatore Romano published some quotes from this book, which drew public interest and prompted Father Lombardi to release a statement of clarification. ZENIT will publish excerpts from the English translation of the book over the next couple of days.
* * *
At the end of chapter 10 of the book "Light of the World" the Pope responds to two questions about the battle against AIDS and the use of condoms, questions that reconnect with the discussion that followed some statements that the Pope made on the theme during the course of his trip to Africa in 2009.

The Pope again clearly stresses that at that time he had not intended to take a position on the problem of condoms in general, but wanted to affirm with force that the problem of AIDS cannot be solved simply by distributing condoms, because much more needs to be done: prevention, education, help, counsel, being with people both to keep them from getting sick and in the case that they do get sick.

The Pope observes that even in the non-ecclesial context an analogous awareness has developed, as is apparent in the so-called ABC theory (Abstinence -- Be Faithful -- Condom), in which the first two elements (abstinence and fidelity) are more decisive and basic in the battle against AIDS, while condoms appear in the last place as a way out, when the other two are not there. It should thus be clear that condoms are not the solution to the problem.

The Pope then broadens the perspective and insists on the fact that focusing only on condoms is equivalent to banalizing sexuality, which loses its meaning as an expression of love between persons and becomes a "drug." Fighting against banalization of sexuality is "part of the great effort to help sexuality be valued positively and have a positive effect on man in his totality."
In the light of this broad and profound vision of human sexuality and the contemporary discussion of it, the Pope reaffirms that "naturally the Church does not consider condoms as the authentic and moral solution" to the problem of AIDS.

In this the Pope does not reform or change the Church's teaching, but reaffirms it, placing it in the perspective of the value and dignity of human sexuality as an expression of responsible love.
At the same time the Pope considers an exceptional circumstance in which the exercise of sexuality represents a real threat for the life of another. In that case, the Pope does not morally justify the disordered exercise of sexuality but maintains that the use of a condom to reduce the danger of infection may be "a first act of responsibility," "a first step on the road toward a more human sexuality," rather than not using it and exposing the other to risking his life.

In this, the reasoning of the Pope certainly cannot be defined as a revolutionary change. Numerous moral theologians and authoritative ecclesiastical figures have supported and support analogous positions; it is nevertheless true that we have not heard this with such clarity from the mouth of the Pope, even if it is in a informal and not magisterial form.

With courage Benedict XVI thus offers us an important contribution of clarification and reflection on a question that has long been debated. It is an original contribution, because on one hand it maintains fidelity to moral principles and demonstrates lucidity in refuting an illusory path like that of the "confidence is condoms"; on the other hand, however, it manifests a comprehensive and far-seeing vision, attentive to uncovering the small steps -- even if only initial and still confused -- of an often spiritually and culturally impoverished humanity, toward a more human and responsible exercise of sexuality.

Translation from Italian original by Joseph G. Trabbic

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rope-a-Dope by the Pope?

I think so...his response to the condoms question has gotten the attention of everyone worldwide.

I suspect a knockout punch is coming.

Posted by Gibbons

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Pope & Condoms: Much Ado about very little

The AP is all breathless about the Holy Father's statement that it might be justifiable for male protitutes to use condoms.

No real story. What the Church has always opposed and still opposes is contraception. Since there is no conception to to be "contra'd" when two men commit sodomy, there is no question of contraception involved.

UPDATE 11/26: Mea Culpa! My first sentence is wrong. My description of the Holy Father's statement as "that it might be justifiable for male protitutes to use condoms" is incorrect. For a much better analysis of what the Pope was saying, see what Fr. Fessio says here.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Common Sense and Airline Security

Selwyn Duke writes at the "American Thinker". Excerpts:

“… behavioral-sciences specialists long ago developed the method called 'profiling.' Unfortunately, social-engineering specialists soon after discredited the universal application of profiling with a method called propaganda. Consequently, when we want to administer targeted treatment in the effort to thwart terrorism, we're told that it's 'racial profiling' and beyond consideration. This is utter nonsense.

('Racial profiling' is) ...an emotionally charged term designed to manipulate the public. In reality, there are only two types of profiling: good profiling and bad profiling. What's the difference? Good profiling is a method by which law enforcement can accurately determine the probability that an individual has committed a crime or has criminal intent; bad profiling makes that determination less accurate. Good profiling considers all relevant factors -- age, sex, dress, behavior and, yes, race, religion and ethnicity -- without regard for political or social concerns. Bad profiling subordinates common sense, criminological science and security to political correctness.

Good profiling is also fair. That is to say, it discriminates on the correct basis: If a group -- any group -- commits an inordinate amount of a given crime, it receives greater scrutiny. Period.

If you cross the street upon seeing a bunch of rough-hewn young men walking your way, you've just engaged in profiling. You've also done so if you cut a wide swath around a leashed dog; after all, he may be a very nice pooch, but, since canines are known to sometimes bite, your action is prudent. And it doesn't mean you're hateful or bent on discriminating against rough young men and dogs but simply that you're in a situation in which the cost of obtaining more information would be too great. Consequently, as Professor Walter Williams wrote, 'We can think of profiling in general as a practice where people use an observable or known physical attribute as a proxy or estimator of some other unobservable or unknown attribute.'

He then goes on to write:

'Let's look at a few profiling examples to see which ones you'd like outlawed. ...Some racial and ethnic groups have higher incidence and mortality from various diseases than the national average. The rates of death from cardiovascular diseases are about 30 percent higher among black adults than among white adults. Cervical cancer rates are five times higher among Vietnamese women in the U.S. than among white women. Pima Indians of Arizona have the highest known diabetes rates in the world. Prostate cancer is nearly twice as common among black men as white men.

Knowing patient race or ethnicity, what might be considered as racial profiling, can assist medical providers in the delivery of more effective medical services.'

Now, should doctors be prosecuted for taking these statistics into consideration when delivering medical care? If not, why would we prosecute law enforcement for considering racial and ethnic factors (along with sex, age and other characteristics) when tackling the moral disease known as criminality?

The profile here (airplane hijackers) is very specific, as it's a rare person who will sacrifice his life to destroy an airplane. Protestants aren't doing that. Catholics aren't doing it. Nor are Buddhists, Taoists, Zoroastrians or Hare Krishna. In our age, this is a method of people who 100 percent of the time are Muslim jihadists and 99 percent of the time are non-white. And only the idiotic -- or the suicidal -- ignores such correlation."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

The Story of Rey Flores & Why I Won't be Giving to the CCHD Second Collection

Rey Flores’ story is remarkable. In November 2009, at the height of the CCHD funding scandal, Mr. Flores, as the incoming Program Director of Chicago’s Catholic Campaign for Human Development, joined in signing an open letter taking issue with those who had challenged CCHD’s funding practices. The letter contained some forceful passages:

"Recently, CCHD has come under attack from certain groups whose motivations and objectives are rooted in partisan politics, rather than faithfulness to Catholic teaching and concern for the poor. These groups have gone so far as to call for the elimination of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, making erroneous and inflammatory statements about the program, its supporters, and the projects it funds. Despite efforts on the part of the CCHD staff to reach out to these critics and respond to their concerns, anti-CCHD rhetoric has only become more fervent and hateful, and the time has come to rally in defense of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.”

The letter also referred to “the deceitful cries of these detractors, whose partisan agendas supersede their faith.” The intensity of the letter makes Mr. Flores subsequent actions all the more striking. Unfortunately for the uncritical supporters of the CCHD, but fortunately for the Church, Mr. Flores proved to be a man of good faith and a responsible director. He actually took the documentation provided by groups such as Reform CCHD Now and the Bellarmine Veritas Ministry (not to mention CCHD’s own guidelines) seriously, and discovered that they were not “allegations” at all but provable statements of fact. Flores went further. According to LifeSiteNews, he personally investigated a group called the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP). SWOP received CCHD grants in 2008 and 2009. Among other things, the SWOP was implementing a school program called Elev8 at Marquette Elementary School. The Elev8 clinic provides sex education, distributes condoms and oral contraceptives, and refers for abortion. Access Community Health, which provides contraceptives to children without parental guidance, was chosen by SWOP to operate the clinic.

Flores acted. On November 12, 2010, LifeSiteNews reported: “When vetting SWOP, Flores called the health clinic at Marquette, posing as the father of a grade 7 student who might be pregnant. The nurse told him ‘in no uncertain terms’ that if his ‘daughter’ was pregnant, they could refer her to the nearest abortion provider. ..Otherwise they could get her ‘the pill’ if he wanted.” Armed with this information, Flores strongly opposed the continuation of any CCHD grants to SWOP. One would have thought that his diligence and proactive approach would have been applauded, but that turned out not to be the case. Over his objections, the group received a $45,000 CCHD grant for 2010. LifeSiteNews quoted Flores: “Despite strong recommendations against this funding and clear requests from the Chicago CCHD office that the national CCHD further investigate SWOP and its Elev8 activities, the national CCHD saw it fit to award the grant anyway.”

Mr. Flores is now the former director of the Chicago CCHD. Details of his firing or resignation have not been made public, but his position as director ended sometime in October. Despite this, he continues to believe in the work of the CCHD, but has also noted that "the lack of respect for the sanctity of life and the destruction of the necessary societal institutions of traditional marriage and family are the major reason for the moral, physical and spiritual poverty we suffer in the western world.”

Mr. Flores is an “on-the-ground” Catholic social activist, and he is not alone. On January 19, 2010 California Catholic Daily released a portion of an email from a former employee of the Mission Neighborhood Health Center (MNHC). The MHNC was the recipient of funding awarded at the behest of the San Francisco Organizing Project, a group that has received funding from the San Francisco CCHD, and is in partnership with the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The email said in part: “As a former employee of this agency I can affirm that they are doing referrals to Planned Parenthood. I could no longer tolerate these practices and I had to part ways with them…. What is sad is that the majority of Hispanic underserved and homeless patients are Roman Catholic and other Christian denominations opposed to abortion ….”

The author shared Flores’ moral clarity “There is absolutely no ‘good work’ which outweighs the sanctity of life. It is the holy intent of God the Father, creator and source of all life that his children with all their potential to cure the ills of this world be sent here to do his will.”

Both of these admirable and experienced men believe in the CCHD, but they also realized that there were groups funded by the CCHD whose activities were simply incompatible with the Catholic Church. When men such as these have to leave their jobs at the CCHD or at CCHD funded organizations, it's hard for me to believe that the CCHD is the best place for my donations.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Our Nancy Elected Minority Leader

No surprise.

To see why Nancy gets about 80% of the vote in SF, visit Zombie's "Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco" photo essay. Warning: definitely NOT safe for those unable to face the reality of San Francisco, the liberal's utopia. It includes a number of photos of our opposition at the Walk for Life West Coast


*For the origin of the "Gay Rome" tag, go here. It's at about 1:14 into this audio of USF's "Queer Perspectives" seminar, sponsored by the Lane Center, and held at (where else?) Most Holy Redeemer.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Archbishop Dolan!

Tom Peters has the important news.

The new President of the USCCB is the dynamic Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. Seems to be a good choice--a great choice when one considers the alternative.

Peters reports on the voting:

"Here is how the ballots played out…

On the first vote, Bp. Kicanas led the count with 104, Abp. Dolan – 84, Abp. Chaput – 20.

On the second vote, Abp. Chaput’s supporters went mostly for Dolan: Abp. Dolan 118 – Kicanas 111.

By the third vote, it was all over: Abp. Dolan 128 - Bp. Kicanas 111."

On its face it is disturbing that Bishop Gerald Kicanas, supported by the "Rainbow Sash" homoactivist group, could garner that many votes, but Rocco Palma points out there is another way to look at this:

"For the first time in the history of the US bishops, a vice-president (Kicanas) standing for the presidency has been denied the top post, losing a stunning election to the archbishop of New York.

Important news, indeed.

"Eggsploitation" San Francisco Premier

On December 9 at 7:00 PM the Center for Bioethics and Culture in cooperation with San Francisco Archdiocesan Respect Life Program will presents the San Francisco Premier of the shocking new documentary film "EGGSPLOITATION." You can watch the trailer below.

The showing will be held Kabuki Sundance Cinema Theatre #2 Japantown, and will be followed by a Q&A with producer Jennifer Lahl. Admission at the door $20---Validated parking $3.75. For advance tickets & group rates, contact Vicki Evans at the Archdiocese of San Francisco: 415-614-5533 or vevans1438@att.net

You can learn more by going to the Eggspoitation website.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Nancy Pelosi has stood for us, and we stand for her"

So said Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, yesterday.

Pelosi stands for those who make millions killing the unborn.

Our Bishops claim to stand for the unborn. Why do they still let Pelosi call herself Catholic or receive communion?

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Friday, November 12, 2010


Thought you might like to read this letter to the editor of a British national newspaper. Ever notice how some people just seem to know how to write a letter?. Here is a woman who should run for Prime Minister!Written by a housewife, to her daily newspaper. This is one ticked off lady.

"Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores in July 2002, and in New York on 11 Sept 2001, and have continually threatened to do so since? Were people from all over the world, not brutally murdered that day in London , and in downtown Manhattan , and in a field in Pennsylvania ? Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they? And I'm supposed to care that a few Taliban were claiming to be tortured by a justice system of the nation they come from and are fighting against in a brutal insurgency. I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11 and 7/7. I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere belief of which is a crime punishable by beheading in Afghanistan. I'll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry for hacking off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.I'll care when the cowardly so-called 'insurgents' in Afghanistan come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques and behind women and children. I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of Nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs. I'll care when the British media stops pretending that their freedom of speech on stories is more important than the lives of the soldiers on the ground or their families waiting at home to hear about them when something happens. In the meantime, when I hear a story about a British soldier roughing up an Insurgent terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take this to the bank:I don't care.

When I hear that a prisoner - who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and 'fed special food' that is paid for by my taxes - is complaining that his holy book is being 'mishandled,' you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts:I don't care.

And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled 'Koran' and other times 'Quran.' Well, believe me!! you guessed it ......I don't care!!

If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to all your friends. Sooner or later, it'll get to the people responsible for this ridiculous behaviour! ...And may I add:'Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. Our soldiers don't have that problem.

I have another quote that I would like to add:

Only five defining forces have ever offered to die for you:
1. Jesus Christ
2. The British Soldier
3. The Canadian Soldier
4. The US Soldier
5. The Australian Soldier.
One died for your soul, the other 4 for your freedom....

It's interesting that so many people in the Western World feel this way, but not one of our politicians, who are supposed to represent us, ever have the guts to state the situation like it is."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More on Gerrymandering and Rigging Elections

Back on October 30, we posted a Reason TV interview on gerrmandering electoral districts.

Now good ol' Zombie, the San Francisco photojournalist, has an excellent column simplifying the subject.

Check it out.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Arrogance Costly for Iowa Judges"

The great Dr. Thomas Sowell discusses one of the most hopeful signs of the recent election. --the people's reasserting our right, and duty, to self-government:

"Results of the recent elections showed that growing numbers of Americans are fed up with 'public servants' who act as if they are public masters. This went beyond the usual objections to particular policies. It was the fact that policies were crammed down our throats, whether we liked them or not...

Whether these policies were good, bad or indifferent, the way they were imposed represented a more fundamental threat to the very principles of a self-governing people established by the U.S. Constitution....

The voters struck back, as they had to, if we are to keep the freedoms that define this country. The Constitution cannot protect us unless we protect the Constitution, by getting rid of those who circumvent it or disregard it.

The same thing applies to judges. The runaway arrogance that politicians get when they have huge majorities in Congress is a more or less common arrogance among federal judges with lifetime tenure or state judges who are seldom defeated in elections to confirm their appointments to the bench.

It was a surprise to many — and a shock to media liberals — when three judges on Iowa’s Supreme Court were voted off that court in the same recent elections in which a lot of politicians also were sent packing.

These judges had taken it upon themselves to rule that the voters of Iowa did not have the right to block attempts to change the definition of marriage to include homosexual couples. Here again, the particular issue — so-called “gay marriage” — was not as fundamental as the question of depriving the voting public of their right to decide what kinds of laws they want to live under...

Media liberals, who like what liberal judges do, spring to their defense. The media spin is that judges were voted off the bench because of 'unpopular' decisions and that this threatens judicial 'independence.”'

Since this was the first time that a justice of the Iowa Supreme Court was voted off the bench in nearly half a century, it is very doubtful that there was never an “unpopular” court decision in all that time.
(Good point!) The media spin about “unpopular” decisions sidesteps the far more important question of whether the judges usurped powers that were never given to them by the Constitution. "

Monday, November 8, 2010

At USF, Pro-Lifers are "Hate Groups" but Sister Keehan is Worthy of Honor

Sounds about right.

A couple of points that were not mentioned in this morning's California Catholic Daily story about the (Jesuit) University of San Francisco's honoring of Sr. Carol Keehan:

This is the first event sponsored by USF's Department of Campus Ministry since Julia Dowd took over as Acting Director, following the departure of Father Donal Godfrey. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Dowd had served as the Associate Director at USF's Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought. The Lane Center, of course, has a long history of inviting pro-abortion speakers, including Professor Sylvia Marcos; Amnesty International's Irene Khan; the Rev. Ignacio Castuera, President of the Clergy Network of Planned Parenthood and the Rev. Lisa Sargent, Chaplain of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate.

At USF, hosting pro-abortion speakers is the norm, and when they do deign to notice the Catholic position, the bias is obvious. The 2009 fall session catalog at the University’s Fromm Center for Lifelong Learning includes a class by Professor Bernice Goldmark “Hate Groups in the US.” The catalog describes such “hate groups”:

“While the course isn’t exactly “entertainment,” the stories (such as those of the white supremacy, anti-gay/lesbian, anti-abortion groups, among others — and the anti-Hate groups) tell of audacious and grim activities of villains, and courageous and creative reactions of the heroes who oppose them.”

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"You weren’t looking at me. We were looking at God."

Fr. Z has some lovely reflections from a Priest celebrating his first Tridentine Mass. Excerpt:

"The Mass is a prayer addressed to the Father, and despite our best intentions, we clergy address it to the congregation at whom we are looking. You cannot help it. The human face is a powerful thing. Last Saturday night I realized for the first time that I was part of a family of faith directed toward the same heavenly Father. I felt as if I was part of a church at prayer. It was not my job. It was my church. I never realized how very lonely it is to say Mass facing the people. I am up there looking at you. I am not part of you. For 13 or 14 minutes. You weren’t looking at me. We were looking at God."

Read the whole thing.

Fr. Schall on Catholic League v. San Francisco

The great Fr. James V. Schall, SJ weighs in on the lawsuit of the Catholic League and the two San Francisco Catholics against the city of San Francisco. Father does not spend much time on the legal question, but addresses the underlying issue.

"Children need a parent of each sex, whether they be 'in need' or not. Compassion does not trump principle. The Board obscures what human life and nature are about. It does this by the suasive power of civil resolution. In the end, it is not the Board that is protecting the needs and nature of real children, but the hapless Vatican.

In San Francisco, such a voice perhaps cries in the wilderness, but it cries the truth about children and their needs. It puts children first, not the self-interest of single-sex advocates. To refuse to deprive children of what they most need, a mother and a father, is this really so difficult to understand? Is it really 'hateful?' 'ignorant?' 'discriminatory?' 'insulting?' or 'callous?' to use the Board's own words, for anyone to strive to give all children what they most need, a mother and a father?"

Friday, November 5, 2010

CCHD Lauds Pro-Abortion, Pro-Homosexuality Group in Document Promising to Distance Self from Pro-Abortion, Pro-Homosexuality Groups

They are beyond belief. On October 26, I commented on the CCHD's new guidelines:

"I sincerely hope the CCHD will get its house in order. But I will wait a year before I consider donating again."

Even I'm surprised that my skepticism would be justified so quickly. From today's LifeNews:

"The Reform CCHD Now (RCN) coalition, a collection of various pro-life groups with a Catholic mission, has released a report detailing multiple problems with the Coalition of Imokalee Workers (CIW). CIW is the featured in a document intended to outline the review and renewal of the CCHD program.

CIW has not been awarded another grant yet, but could be, and the coalition is complaining CCHD organizers have not yet released the 2010 grantee list, although they are proceeding with the collection. They are featured in the renewal document as a great example of the work of the CCHD.

Michael Hichborn, lead researcher for RCN member American Life League, told LifeNews.com today that CCHD officials are still not doing due diligence on grantees before assigning them funds from the fundraising campaign.

“The very idea that the CCHD would praise CIW in a document that apologizes for funding pro-abortion, pro-homosexual organizations in the past and promises to make a stronger effort to avoid doing so in the future undermines their credibility,” he said. “If CCHD can’t get it right at the beginning of this process, what confidence can we have that it will be able to do so later on.”

RCN’s report outlines in specific detail how CIW participated in the US Social Forum 2010; something the pro-life groups noted in June. The US Social Forum ran a collection of workshops, many of which were devoted to abortion and other political ideas that run counter to the teachings of the Catholic Church. RCN’s report also specifies three of CIW’s coalition and network partnerships are pro-abortion and have the mission of encouraging cross-issues advocacy of their members.

Rob Gasper, founder of RCN member Bellarmine Veritas Ministry, also commented on the Coalition of Imokalee Workers becoming a Catholic Campaign for Human Development grantee.

“The CIW’s participation with these groups directly violates the CCHD Renewal documents restriction on participating in coalitions which have positions or actions which contradict fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching,” he said. “The CCHD’s lack of oversight even in its renewal document underscores our concern and call for a delay in the national collection until the 2010 grants list is released.”

The CCHD's incompetence, if not worse, is truly amazing.

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Our Nancy to Run for Minority Leader

No surprise--she knows how to count votes, and the remaining Party of Death members in Congress are more Pelosite than before the election. From The Hill:

"Though deeply unpopular with the broader public, Pelosi remains well-regarded in a caucus that will lean more liberal after the more conservative Blue Dog Coalition was decimated in the midterms.

Outside liberal groups are already organizing support for Pelosi. Americans United for Change launched an email campaign on Friday encouraging supporters to 'send a personal note to Speaker Pelosi about how much you appreciate her leadership,' and to 'make sure she knows that we still support her.'"

The Republicans are happy about this. National Review quotes the response from Ken Spain:

“We welcome her decision to run for House Minority Leader based on her proven ability to create jobs for Republican lawmakers.”

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

Catholics for the Common Good Needs YOUR Help!

Our friend Bill May, over at Catholics for the Common Good tells us the organization can use the financial help of faithful Catholics now.

CCG is THE foremost group of lay Catholics in the state of California fighting the good fight for natural marriage and the family. Unsurprisingly, as a result, their website gets hacked and their insurance rates go up:

Insurance Costs Increase 65%
'CCG May Offend Someone'

"On top of our current tight financial situation, we learned that our liability insurance premiums are going up by 65%. But before I tell you about that, I want to thank you for the overwhelming response to our call for help last week. So many faithful, and a large number of first time supporters, responded. We have received over $3,000 in donations within the week, but still ended October with a shortfall. We must raise $32,000 to complete the year in the black.

The insurance situation is a real sign of the times. We learned that our current carrier is no longer interested in writing a liability policy for Catholics for the Common Good Institute and only a more expensive alternative would be available to us. While shopping for lower cost alternatives, one broker very candidly advised that insurance companies are reluctant to cover organizations dealing with 'traditional' marriage because we could easily offend someone, opening the door to lawsuits."

You can help the CCG continue its good work by donating here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Obama Administration Threatens Independence of Catholic Colleges

In its latest threat to the religious liberty and independence of Catholic colleges and universities, the Obama administration has issued new regulations that open the door to possible state intrusion into curriculum, student policies and hiring decisions.

The regulations issued Friday effectively force many states to increase oversight of postsecondary education through state chartering or licensing, which is a necessary condition for colleges to participate in federal student aid programs.

Most Catholic colleges accept low-cost federal student loans and grants. If forced to forego federal aid, these colleges would be at a disadvantage in recruiting students. “The door is opened for state politicians and bureaucrats who would impose their social agendas on private and religious colleges,” warned Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society.“

Already the Obama administration has seized direct ownership of student loans, and now a college’s eligibility for student loans is subject to the political whims of its state legislators and regulators. Many states have demonstrated callous disregard for the religious identity of Catholic colleges, from mandating contraceptive coverage in student and employee health plans to requiring employee benefits for same-sex couples.

Although the Higher Education Act has long required state authorization for a college to participate in federal aid programs, many states do not aggressively monitor colleges and their consent was assumed unless otherwise reported to the U.S. Education Department. The new regulations require state approval of colleges “by name” and a state process “to review and appropriately act on” complaints about any approved institution.

When issuing the regulations Friday, the Education Department acknowledged that it had received complaints from college leaders that “a State’s role may extend into defining, for example, curriculum, teaching methods, subject matter content, faculty qualifications, and learning outcomes.”

Others feared that states might “impose homogeneity upon institutions that would compromise their unique missions.”In response, federal officials agreed that the new regulations do “not limit a State’s oversight of institutions.” Last year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that Belmont Abbey College, a Catholic institution in North Carolina, must cover birth control in its employee health insurance plan despite the college’s religious objections. An appeal to the EEOC is under review. Catholic colleges and students may also not be protected from similar mandates for abortion and contraceptive insurance coverage under the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—i.e., President Obama’s health care overhaul.

After the EEOC ruling against Belmont Abbey College, The Cardinal Newman Society launched its project to defend the religious liberty of Catholic colleges through its division, The Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education. The Center published three papers—from experts in law, health insurance and ethics—to help Catholic colleges defend against government mandates for employee health benefits that violate Catholic morality. Later this month, the Center will release a new legal analysis prepared by a prominent legal interest organization on steps Catholic colleges must take to defend themselves against increasing threats to their Catholic identity.
Written By: CNSwebDate Posted: 11/1/2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Iowa's Counterfeit "Marriage" Judges Get the Boot

In the midst of all the election news there is a very important story. Tonight, Iowa voters struck an important blow for self-government and against activist judges: all three of Iowa's Supreme Court Justices who were up for retention lost. How unheard of is this? Last week the Des Moines Register quoted a Vanderbilt University law professor who said

“It is virtually unheard of for a judge to lose a retention race.”

From tonight's Des Moines Register:

"Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and her two colleagues are on pace to lose their seats tonight in the wake of last year’s unanimous decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

Ternus has 46 percent support, with 1,362 of 1,774 statewide precincts reporting. Justice David Baker has 47 percent, and Justice Michael Streit has 46 percent.

Their removal would mark the first time any Iowa Supreme Court justice has not been retained, since the merit selection and retention system was adopted in 1962."

They lost because they had inflicted counterfeit "marriage" on the citizens of Iowa. We had blogged about this back on September 19:

Civics Lesson Iowa: Counterfeit "Marriage" Judges on Ballot"

In the post we quoted Matthew Franck:

"When judges create a right to same-sex marriage out of whole cloth, that’s more than 'overstepping.' That’s a direct assault on the constitutional order, and the effort to defeat the offending Iowa jurists in this year’s retention elections is understood by its advocates to be an attempt to restore something severely damaged by the judges... As for the 'peril of subjecting judges to voters’ whims,' how about the peril of subjecting voters to judges’ whims?"

As Iowa for Freedom campaign manager Chuck Laudner said:

“It is the citizens’ right to vote their conscience...Election Day is their turn to be the judge.”

God bless the good people of Iowa!

UPDATE: the great Ed Whelan comments on the Iowa story, and has more about elections involving the judiciary.