“HEATED RHETORIC?” Climate Expert Reviews Hard Data; Concludes Natural Causes for Global Warming.

With all this discussion about “heated rhetoric”, I wanted to return to a discussion involving both heat and rhetoric – that covering Anthropogenic (Man-Caused) Global Warming (AGW). To bring everyone up to speed: California is poised to implement the country’s only version of Cap&Trade based on a scientific fraud, with that implementation occurring at the hands of one of the most draconian, punitive, power-mongering bureaucracies known to man.

The proponents of the AGW state that there is “scientific consensus” and little disagreement with their conclusions. It has been my pleasure to meet some of the best scientists in this country, and they have the following message: THERE IS NO CONSENSUS ON MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING. I had the chance to hear Dr. S. Fred Singer speak during a presentation by the Lynceans. There were AWG proponents in the audience. There was debate. There was no consensus. Yet, it was a very polite and civilized exchange of data and interpretations.

Singer is the Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia and the Chairman of the NIPCC (Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change). His NIPCC group, among other activities, analyzes the data utilized by the IPCC (the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC says these data demonstrate that man is causing global warming. However, using the same material, the NPICC asserts that 20th century global warming was the result of natural causes. Singer theory is that the bulk of climate change is the result of natural causes.

“The IPCC used adjustable parameters,” noted Singer. “The analysis is simply an exercise in curve-filling. The NIPCC emphasizes a broad collection of real data.” To sum-up for the non-scientist:

• IPCC relies on computer models, in which many different parameters can be selected at the discretion of the individual scientist.
• NIPCC uses almost exclusively real data actually attained in the real world.

Nothing beats using real data to do real science!

Below is a graph that displays the difference between the models and the hard data. the context is the prediction by the climate models (shown in red) that there should be a “hot spot” at upper altitudes in the tropical zone – an altitude where the temperature would increase much faster than it does on the surface. This hot spot would then be a “fingerprint” of human-caused greenhouse gas warming. The problem is that the observations (blue and green) do not find such a hot spot, when data taken over several decades are compiled. The warming trend is observed trend actually decreases with increasing height in the atmosphere, and there is actual cooling at some altitudes.

“When the IPCC report was released, and it became apparent the observations of actual data did not agree with the model, they fudged,” Singer said. “The IPCC’s Executive Summary simply said there was some trouble with the tropical zone But the tropical zone is important because of its large area and the huge amount of energy it receives from the sun.

Singer and his team then prepared a report in March 2008: Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate. The NIPCC took a look at the collected data and came to the conclusion that natural causes impacted the climate most significantly. The IPCC would have none of that! Supporters of strong anthropogenic global warming prepared a counter-report, based on even more computer model information (the core of that analysis is presented graphically below). The green curve is typical of the actual data obtained from balloons over several decades, and the thick black curve is an average of the model predictions.

Singer explained that the IPCC did its best to make it seem like the computer models used actually mirrored the data collected from balloons and satellites. “The trends from the re-analysis are spurious,” noted Singer.

Singer then turned to a display of the actual satellite-measured global average temperature.

Singer discussed a better way to analyze the data: The degree change per decade over a 30-plus period of time in the Middle and Lower Troposphere – which shows no truly significant change, especially in the last few years.

Singer covered one of the major problems with the IPCC computer models: chaos. “The models are non-liner differential equations, which by their nature are highly chaotic. The trend line calculated during one run can be ten times of another. Models produce results that are highly variable.” This graphic shows how variable the model results can be:

How many runs does a computer model need to complete before it stops being so variable? To examine this, he used 1000 years of temperature data, dividing it into 25 chunks of 40 years each and using an “unforced model.” Singer found fairly steady results after a minimum of about 10 runs.

How many runs do the IPCC model results rely on? “Running ten models would be very expensive; about half the 22 data points the IPCC used were based on 1-2 runs, and the most runs on a model would be about five. Furthermore, because the IPCC is international, it had to use data from all models submitted – not necessarily the just best ones.”

“Nature changes climate all the time; the time-scale is what differs,” described Singer. “Over millions of years, it is plate tectonics; over hundreds-of-thousands of years, it is changes in the Earth’s orbit; over decades, it is solar activity.”

Singer points to stalagmite records in Oman as just one of the many proofs that the climate is influenced the most by solar activity. The cave readings show Carbon-14 levels (a proxy for solar activity) is directly proportional to Oxygen-18 levels (a recognized proxy for temperature). When the sun is more active, the Earth is warmer. This same fluctuation is also observed on other planets.

What can be done about climate change? Lorraine Yapps Cohen sums up Singer’s thoughts in her piece:

Breaking from protocol with a few economic and political remarks, Singer announced that climate change is a non-problem. Regarding politicians holding climate change as a social issue, Singer lamented that they’re destroying the economy.

“The best solution is to do nothing,” he said, adding an opinion that “it takes real courage for politicians to do nothing.” After all, politicians must think we elect them to do something, even if that something does nothing, costs dearly, or, at the worst, ruins the nation.”

Dr. Singer’s authoritative grasp of climate science was fully evident. During and after the talk, an attendee from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography argued that Singer was ignoring the basic temperature trends. He was not; rather Singer was dissecting the trend data to examine what was happening at higher altitudes in the Tropical Zone. Dr. Singer simply replied “That’s interesting” and was seen later giving the SIO gentleman a consultation.

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UPDATES: Egypt’s Treasures and Gosnell’s Charnel House in Philadelphia

Dear Friends: Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans. While I had hoped to do more with the Grand Jury indictment on the Kermit Gosnell clinic from last week, a complex array of events overturned my plans. I wanted to update you on a few developments.


Sadly, the Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots did not view the Gosnell Clinic/Charnel Housethe same way I did — an example of bureaucratic waste, fraud and corruption that cried out for recall/removal of Pennsylvania Health Department and State Department cronies. That being said, the local people are in a position to know what group may make a better impact on this matter for the sake of Pennsylvania’s citizens — born and unborn. The coordinator of Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots kindly directed me to the PRO-LIFE UNION OF SOUTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA. I am playing a bit of phone tap with its chief, Mike McMonagle.

So, for those of you who wish to make a difference in preventing another Gosnell-style clinic from occurring again, and seeking redress from those institutions that failed to carry out the law and their public duties, please head here: http://www.prolifeunion.org/.

According to a phone message Mike left for me, Gosnell had been on the group’s radar for some time — and is not the sole clinic where similar violations in health and safety codes have been observed. From a recent press release (click here for full document):

The Gosnell coverage should help the Pa. Dept. of Health do their job. Over the years, we have discussed this delinquency with Harrisburg, but pro-abortion Governors were disinterested. The legislature has work to do as well. As Phila. DA Seth Williams pointed out, “Nail salons are more regulated than abortion.” The Grand Jury Report also cited University of Penn Hospital for their silence concerning the women they treated who were abused by Gosnell.

The Pro-Life Union has a press release with specific names and action items: Abuses, Fraud and Violations of State Law by the Pa. Abortion Industry Continue to be Ignored by Public Officials and the Media. Highlights of the document include the following:

* The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office: State law requires that ACs committing abortions after 14 weeks have a trained pathologist on staff (to ensure that all of the baby’s pieces have been removed by the “abortion procedure.”) Yet, the DA’s office has refused to take action when presented with clear evidence of these violations.

* The Pa. Department of Health and Steven Brigham: Steven Brigham is an abortionist and abortion chamber operator whose record of abuses and violations of local and state law is extensive and highly documented. He has lost or surrendered his medical license in five states, including Pa. He once operated five ACs in Pa. In recent years, his ACs in King of Prussia, State College and Erie have closed because of violations of zoning and personnel licensure requirements. In July 2008, the Pa. Dept. of Health (PDH) ordered his two remaining ACs in Pittsburgh and Allentown to close because of his continuing violations of personnel licensing requirements. Brigham’s response was to change the name of his ACs from “American Women’s Services” to “Rose Health Services” and transfer ownership to Judith Fitch, who is Brigham’s 70 year old aunt living in Toledo, Ohio. Brigham continues as the de facto CEO for these ACs. Chief Legal Counsel, Ken Brody, Esq., on behalf of the PDH, finds no basis for fraud in this transfer and refuses to pull the license for these two ACs owned and operated by “Rose Health Services.”

*The Philadelphia Health Department ‘s Dr. Donald Schwarz: Dr. Donald Schwarz is the Secretary for this Department. As a private practice pediatrician, Dr. Schwarz referred some of his patients to Gosnell. He claims to have stopped these referrals when they often returned with venereal diseases. Dr. Schwarz has received very little media scrutiny as to his possible role in violating state abortion laws and as to why he did not act to expose Gosnell when he became the Secretary. We call on Dr. Schwarz to immediately resign and for Mayor Nutter to fire him if he fails to do so.

* Another Case to Review: Lee Tripp is an abortionist from South Jersey who commits approximately 25% of all of the abortions in Pa., as he is a “circuit rider” who commits abortions at Planned Parenthood facilities in Philadelphia, West Chester, Reading and Allentown. The facts about his “abortion practice” are (1) has been prosecuted by Commonwealth of Pa.; (2) has 16 counts of lack of quality care; (3) his license is under reprimand by Pa. Board of Medicine (Docket 0412-49-95); the Board has ruled that his work must be supervised and he has claimed “serious emotional problems and “Adjustment Disorder.”


My wonderful pastor listed Egypt in our group prayer intentions today. I was truly grateful. I am following the looting and damage to Egypt’s ancient antiquities in my other blog, Temple of MUT — PHARAOHS’ MUMMIES BURNT IN EGYPT: Unrest threatens priceless legacy. I wanted to share with you some of the highlights.

1) Several items from the tomb of King Tutankhamen seemed to have been plundered from the Cairo Musem (see this report for full details).

2) I was struck by how grief-filled the eyes of Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General, The Supreme Council of Antiquities, were in a BBC interview. Hawass is a staple of television specials featuring ancient Egypt. To me, it as if he is trying to keep it together while discussing the loss of a family member. This tells me the loss to Egyptology is worse than we can possibly imagine.

I asked for the intersession of St. Michael the Archangel, as I fear there is great evil trying to gain ground in Egypt.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the worldseeking the ruin of souls.

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WordPress is So Awesome…!

UPDATE: The original was salvaged — CLICK TEA PARTY TARGET: Gosnell’s Little Clinic of Horrors

(Also see note below).

It vaporized my piece on Philadelphia. I am going to temporarily refer everyone to the Grand Jury report and Covert Conservatives while I make arrangements to publish this material elsewhere.

UPDATE: It is a miracle, truly. A good friend (and a true angel) had my post up and did a series of screen captures. For those of you interested in reading my initial remarks, please head over to my box.net files: 🙂


Miracle 2: The piece has been restored! TEA PARTY TARGET: Gosnell’s Little Clinic of Horrors

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TEA PARTY TARGET: Gosnell’s Little Clinic of Horrors

WELCOME Anchoress readers! Thank you for your detour to this site from her superb piece: Pro-Life Marchers Roundup.

Dear Friends: I am writing today as a Tea Party activist, as I sincerely believe that there should be an event focused on the clinic where Kermit Gosnell slaughtered newborns and butchered women. I am putting it in this blog, as opposed to my political one, as I am acting as a Tea Party Catholic. In this piece, it is my hope to:

1) Persuade readers that this case is related to several Tea Party priorities: The US Constitution, fighting fiscal waste and corruption, and holding government workers accountable in meeting their responsibilities. I think Tea Party intervention by local groups would be perfectly appropriate here. If we can Recall Sheriff Dupnik, we can certainly handle Pennsylvania politicos.

2) Push back on the elite media’s attempt to cover-up the sheer magnitude of carnage that occurred under Gosnell by using detached euphemisms. This is done to protect abortion, which seems like a sacrament to journalism’s progressives.

3) Challenge my weakness in confronting evil of this type.

One of the my action-items in this post is to use a God-given talent I possess: Reading legal documents and translating them into understandable language for normal people. So, I plan to read the 250-plus pages of the Grand Jury report and describe exactly what went on at that clinic, and list my findings here — so that others can reference the materials. This will take time, strength, and psychic energy… so please pray for me.

The inspiration comes from Elizabeth Scalia, the Anchoress, who nailed the fact that the elite media is trying to obfuscate the true nature of the bloodbath disguised as standard medical procedures in her piece: Abortion, Language and Looking Away.

Most of the news reports I’m reading on this story are surprisingly succinct, given the 281 page Grand Jury Report which brings his crimes into sickening detail and make it plain that Gosnell brought a depraved indifference to life and human dignity into his “practice” if one could call it that. The press writes as little as possible, and many of these stories online do not include links to the report.

Elizabeth provides some details, but could not go on because of the sheer scale of evil described in the Grand Jury report. I will endeavor to pick up where she left off. I will provide updates as I can at the bottom of this post.


Abortion is viewed by many Tea Party activists as a “social issue”, and not normally on the radar. I think this particular incident transcends “abortion as theory”. This is a perfect case where Tea Party ideals can intercede on a matter that is not typically covered by citizen activism.

1) Under government-applied rules, this clinic should have been monitored. Because it was not convenient or fiscally possible,annual inspections of abortion clinics were suspended by Republican Governor Tom Ridge. This is a template of how medical facilities will be monitored under Obamacare.

2) The slaughtered newborns were American citizens, denied the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness. Gosnell’s clinic became the “back alley abortion” scenario that the penumbra of privacy was suppose to guard against. Effective action on this matter is in the best interest of freedom and liberty for citizens across the country.

As an example of the criminal treatment of Americans, Hot Air has a video of Latoya Ransome, who tells CNN how Gosnell’s work ended up making her so ill that she had to have open-heart surgery and disabled her. Read this from Michelle Malkin and be prepared to be astonished, as it underscores how big government and the US Constitution are not really compatible:

*The Pennsylvania Department of Health knew of clinic violations dating back decades, but did nothing;

*The Pennsylvania Department of State was “repeatedly confronted with evidence about Gosnell” – including the clinic’s unclean, unsterile conditions, unlicensed workers, unsupervised sedation, underage abortion patients, and over-prescribing of pain pills with high resale value on the street – “and repeatedly chose to do nothing.”

*Philadelphia Department of Public Health officials who regularly visited Gosnell’s human waste-clogged offices did nothing;

*Nearby hospital officials who treated some of the pregnant mothers who suffered grave complications from Gosnell’s butchery did nothing; and

*The National Abortion Federation, the leading association of abortion providers that is supposed to uphold strict health and legal standards, determined that Gosnell’s chamber of horrors was “the worst abortion clinic she had ever inspected” – but did nothing.

3) Gonsell made millions from his mass murder. How did he get his money? Who did he pay off? What bureaucrats and politicos were connected to the clinic? The local Tea Party would be in the best position to know this information and initiate recall campaigns and other actions items. I have contacted the Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots, to see if I could assist them. I would encourage like-minded Americans to do the same as well — offering to assist with whatever talent and means you can contribute.

Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots: CLICK HERE; Contact – CLICK HERE

Check back for updates as I get information back from our Philadelphia patriot friends. Also, check back for updates on the review of the Grand Jury report, too. It is truly the Slaughter of the Innocents:


Grand Jury Case Against Philadelphia’s “Women’s Medical Society
(Abortion as Profit)


* Team Gosnell (8 others were charged with him) murdered newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors.
* He overdosed his patients with drugs.
* Gosnell and crew spread venereal disease among patients with infected instruments.
* His medical staff perforated their wombs and bowels with sharp objects. Two women died directly as a result of these wounds.
* Cats were allowed to roam and pee/defecate all over the clinic.
* Blood-stained blankets were used.
* Critical medical equipment (including life-saving defibrillators to start the heart) were either broken or went unused.

And because serial murderers like trophies:

* Infant remains were scattered throughout the clinic in jars and bags and plastic jugs.

* Is there a doctor in the house? Gosnell was the only licensed doctor. None of the others were doctors (though two went to medical school); there was no nurse on staff. Despite the fact none of the other employees had any medical education or certification, they diagnosed, performed procedures, and administered drugs.

* Bonus – Not only was it an abortion mill, but the clinic was a prescription drug mill as well. Oxycontin flowed freely, provided a “patient” could pay for it.

*Abortion entrepreneur: Team Gosnell’s niche was providing late term abortions to women who were too pregnant to be serviced at more traditional clinics. The closer to full-term the baby was, the more he charged. Ultrasound data was forged to make it seem these abortions were compliant with state and federal law.

* Labor without labor: Gosnell was not a morning person. He would have his staff give women labor-inducing drugs in the early in the day, and stop by in the evening to deal with those about to deliver. Any infant born before his arrival would be “snipped”: The newborn’s spinal cord would be cut with a scissor inserted in the back of the skull. Gosnell’s term for it — “ensuring fetal demise”.

* The death toll? Countless….Team Gosnell destroyed most of the records. One case the investigators uncovered was a 7 1/2 month gestational age boy who breathing and moving when Dr. Gosnell severed his spine and put the body in a plastic shoebox for disposal. The doctor joked that this baby was so big he could “walk me to the bus stop.”

* Sunday Clinic Operations: Some fetuses were so large when Gosnell agreed to take the case, he took additional steps to hide the nature of these abortions. He had the patient come in on Sunday, when the rest of the staff was at home. His only assistant was his wife. There were no records of any of these procedures.

UPDATE #1: Due to a technical difficulty, this post vaporized temporarily. I will continue updating the material, and now will have a back-up document. I appreciate all who helped me resolve this matter, and appreciate your patience.

* Maternal Malpractice: Team Gonsell had to occasionally extract the fetus from the mother, sometimes with horrendous results. One patient was left bleeding when Gosnell punctured her cervix and colon; he threatened family members with arrest when they tried to enter the clinic and remove the woman. Another woman was sent home with fetal parts still within her body (which can lead to blood poisoning). Gosnell insisted she was fine over the course of several days, when a massive infection was roiling through her body. By the time the woman’s mother got her to the hospital, Gosnell’s patient was near death. Gosnell punctured the uterus of a 19-year old, who had to undergo a hysterectomy to save her life.

* Pain Relief Payment Plan: Dr. Compassion didn’t care to hear women in labor moaning, so he had his staff drug them into a stupor using pre-set dose charts that did not count for unique patient factors (little things like weight, blood pressure, and allergies). The only part that Gosnell cared about was the money: The more you paid, the better the course of pain relief treatment was.

* The Death of Karnamaya Mongar: A 41-year old refugee patient, who could read no English, she came in for an abortion. After signing waivers she could not possibly read, Gosnell’s staff doped her up on cheap, and dangerous, Demerol (a drug that might have contributed to Michael Jackson’s death). She stopped breathing. Since the defibrillator (heart-starting unit) was broken and Gosnell did not use emergency medications that might have restarted her heart, real medical staff in the form of paramedics were called — AFTER A SIGNIFICANT DELAY TO ALTER THE SCENE TO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE A LEGAL PROCEDURES WAS BEING PERFORMED. Because of the cluttered hallways and the padlocked emergency door, it took the paramedics 20 minutes to figure out how to get Mongar back to the ambulance. Finally, because the staff lied about the Demerol dose and other factors, the doctors could not administer an effective course of treatment. Life support was removed the next day.

* Total System Failure. As noted above, Michelle Malkin details where the various oversight agencies failed to act according to their mandate. It was only after police raided the clinic — LOOKING INTO ILLEGAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG ACTIVITY — was action taken on the extreme violations of mandated abortion safety protocol, because these heroic officers refused to look the other way at discarded baby bits and incapacitated, incoherent women. I will sum up the regulatory failure highlights:

Pennsylvania Department of Health – did not audit the facility regularly (only once a decade) nor did it follow-up on violations (after all, Dr. Honest promised to fix them). That came to an end in 1993, when Governor Tom Ridge put an end to even this amount of review, because “it would put a barrier to women getting abortions.” Even when a doctor hand-delivered a complaint that he was regularly treating clinic patients for a venereal disease contracted at Gosnell’s filthy facility, the Pennsylvania Department of Health did nothing. The department also failed to act to a report about Mongar’s death. Only after the police, and their story hit the press, did the department act — closing the clinic within three weeks and lawyering-up at tax-payer expense. (Contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health — Philadelphia County, by clicking HERE).

Pennsylvania Department of State: Is in charge of individual medical licenses and oversees physicians, so this Department of State could acted quickly to revoke Gosnell’s paperwork and stop his practice cold. It did nothing about Gosnell after repeated complaints — including a detailed account of facility conditions and Gosnell’s practices by a former employee, and a report that followed on the heels of a lawsuit settled on the behalf of the family of a 22-year old patient that died at Gosnell’s hands. After four separate, detailed accounts of what was occurring at Gosnell’s facility, the lead attorney dismissed them as meaningless and indicated their was “no pattern of conduct.” (File a complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of State ON the Pennsylvania Department of State by clicking HERE.)

Check back tomorrow for more.


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CONFESSION CELEBRATION! Reflections on my son’s 1st Reconciliation and my own.

Dear Friends: A little Egypt-based humor before we kick off the serious topic of Reconciliation:

My son is about to make his first confession today; in the new way of referring to about it, it is his first Reconciliation. I wanted to take the opportunity of today’s post to share my experiences with what was, for me, one of the most daunting processes of joining the Catholic Church. I hope that by doing so, it lends a new perspective and makes Reconciliation a little less intimidating. In many ways, its is a reason to celebrate.

When I think back to how I prepared for the process during my RCIA class, I was grateful to hear about how some of the First Confessions went from my RCIA instructors. While it is difficult to open up about past sins, I think everyone recognizes that none of us is sinless, so I appreciated the insight of what my cherished mentors brought into the confessional with them. So, if anyone is approaching their first confession, just ask Catholic friends how they handled theirs. It is a good first place to begin.

As I was approaching my first Reconciliation, I asked by blogging icon, The Anchoress, if she had any tips. She certainly did: Lent Prep Confession Primer. That was extremely useful, as it directed me to a several references describing the Rite of Reconciliation.

One of the other resources that I used is a handout that our church made available in front of the Reconciliation Room. It’s recommendation was to reflect upon the 10 Commandments, and see where you may not have been quite following them with the full intent of what they command.

1. I am the Lord your God: You shall have no other gods before me.
2. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain
3. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
4. Honor your father and mother
5. You shall not kill/murder
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife (and I would imagine not the husband, either).
10. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.

In a nutshell, as I reflected on what the heart of those Commandments meant, over the course of the 20-plus years since my own baptism, I had violations on each one but #5 and #9. Here is example:

Violation of Commandment #1: I use to read Tarot Cards (which I enjoyed, as part of my Eastern European background and also because it was fun to do at parties). Frankly, I think that was the most worrisome thing I said during the Reconciliation process, as the Father became very concerned about the opening to evil dabbling in that sort of thing creates. After reviewing some material on Exorcism recently, I fully appreciate his concern.

Upon reading “Bad Catholics Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins”, I am adding a new assessment to my pre-Reconciliation prep: A check of the Seven Deadlies. Here is the list:

I recently had a little combination episode with Pride and Anger (a personal demon) at a recent Tea Party event, about which I am quite contrite. Basically, I had my historically-important and awesomely awesome speech, which was cut short – and I delved into a little inappropriate wrath because I was not compassionate about the stress that the organizer was undergoing. Fortunately, because I of my Catholic faith and all the teaching I have received recently, I recognized in problem before the event ended in time to make amends, but it was not my finest moment.

Another aspect to review is compliance with the BIGGEST and BEST TWO LAWS.

1) “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a
2) “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I am still working on these.

While preparing for the Confession, I have personally found it helpful to keep a wry outlook on my presentation. Unless you are Charles Manson, Ted Bundy Jr., or Kermit Gosnell, chances are that your Confessor has heard some version of what you are about to confess before (though, perhaps, me sharing the time I used a voodoo doll – with humor and not intent, in frustration with co-worker issues was an exception to that rule). Here are some classic confessions from the movies that will help underscore that point:


Loretta Castorini: Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been two months since my last confession.
Priest: What sins have you to confess?
Loretta Castorini: Twice I took the name of the Lord in vain, once I slept with the brother of my fiancee, and once I bounced a check at the liquor store, but that was really an accident.
Priest: Then it’s not a sin. But… what was that second thing you said, Loretta?

SALVADOR (with incomparable James Woods)

Priest: Do you follow the Catholic way
Richard Boyle: …Not exactly.

(NOTE: A Big Hollywood article on Salvador notes that has a hilarious: If none of the above convinces you to check out “Salvador,” I promise you that watching Boyle give his first confession to a priest in 30 years is well worth your time. The scene is poignant, utterly faithful to the character, and on-the floor-funny.I have ordered the movie on Amazon, so I can specifically watch this scene.)

There are certain aspects of Reconciliation that are worthy of celebrating. Personally, I view this as a chance to let my faith ripen, and become a better person. As it is often pointed out, the first step in resolving a problem is identifying that you have one.

Another facet: I know find myself asking if an act/thought is “Confession-worthy”. In other words, do I want to have to take what I am about to do or say into the Confessional and have to chat about it with my pastor. Frankly, I have found it a great, new control on certain less grace-filled parts of my flawed nature.

Another benefit that I have discovered because of Reconciliation: my discretion level has increased. I find myself listening to my friends, and respecting what they share with me by keeping what I hear to myself.

One last thing that may be concerning: What about the penance? A few reflections from this newbie Catholic. The first one comes from The Anchoress:

Sometimes it is not enough to hear “Jesus loves you and forgives your sins,” you need to hear, “yeah, girl, you screwed that up, pretty good,” too. If the weight and depth of the sin is never plumbed, how can the uplifting counterbalance of Grace be properly, gratefully, understood?

You really need contrition to make the Rite of Reconciliation work. If you confess something without that contrition, and you have no intention of changing, then you are breaking at least Commandment #8 and probably a few others. Click Here for responses to an illuminating discussion on this topic, which is beyond the scope of this post.

Therefore, the penance is a growth opportunity. In my case, I had an awesome penance: Reading and praying on Galatians 5:22-26.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

I hope this has been helpful! Other great references are:

Catholic Answers Forum
First Confession Advice
Hints for a First Confession

The reason for celebration: You sins are forgiven you. Your faith has saved you. Go, and sin no more.

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Tea Party CATHOLIC chats with RAND-ian Objectivist about CROSS

Dear Readers: A reason I became a Catholic was because of my involvement with Tea Party activism: I wanted to keep grounded (when people praised me for my golden punditry) AND I wanted to be strengthened (when I was insulted for those same views). While some Catholics seem convinced that citizens speaking passionately and critically about government policies “inspires violence”, I wanted to share an experience I had this week that demonstrates quite the opposite. This example will also show:

1) How truly vast the “big tent” is for social views among Tea Party participants.
2) Where faith and the US Constitution intersect, how the faithful can engage others among Tea Party members for support.

This week, several of the members of our Tea Party group have promoted today’s rally in support of the Mt. Soledad Cross in La Jolla, California. In a nut-shell: an atheist, attention-seeking, whiner has tried to destroy a cross that is prominently posted on top of a coastal hill. Since 1991, the cross has been the focus of legal wrangling, judicial activism, and “separation of church and state” histrionics.I believe that our Founding Fathers would have detested the vile reasoning being used against this beautiful landmark; a Hot Air post on another matter expresses my reason for this belief quite eloquently:

…. but the majority of the Founding Fathers were religious. And those who weren’t orthodox in their beliefs, at least had a healthy respect and appreciation for religion. They didn’t want to force others to believe as they did – certainly – but they respected religion, and the Bible, nonetheless. Even those more critical, such as Thomas Jefferson, believed the Bible contained important lessons – lessons wise men should take to heart. There may have been a few, like Thomas Paine, who held religion in less high esteem, but they were the minority, not the majority.

In the course of dialoging with my Tea Party blogging compatriots about meeting up, or newest team member — a thoughtful young writer whose essays are exceptional — chimed in about the post-rally lunch: Definitely not in for the Mt. Soledad rally. Separation of church and tea party pls.

This event was not a Tea Party, which I think should focus on fair and free markets, small government, constitutional principles, and sound financial policy. However, there are strong reasons to mention it to our many participants. This event pertains to the First Amendment and is a great example of the legal abuses that have been allowed to go unchecked, which create a tyranny of the minority. Furthermore, as a Catholic, I felt compelled to respond, to make a case for treating faith matters with respect (even though another may not be a believer). I prayed for St. Anthony’s intersession, so my words would reflect respectful disagreement and an honest attempt to persuade. So, I wrote back:

…a number of our SCTRC membership think that the Mt. Soledad cross is a First Amendment issue item — so, the interpretation of the US Constitution is a focus of this event. I also firmly believe our Founding Fathers would be ill, knowing the US Constitution was going to be used to desecrate a memorial dedicated to men who died for this country.

Sarah (Bond) made such a point in the SCTRC email – “As the non-Christian co-founder of SoCalTRC, I wholeheartedly disagree with this ruling. It is the final act of respect that we allow our warriors and fallen to be remembered in the shadow of the faith that provided them the strength to protect our freedoms during the most harrowing of circumstances.”

(Note – SCTRC is our local Tea Party band):

To be honest, I don’t much care for Ayn Rand. I tried to read “Atlas Shrugged”. I lasted three pages, as I found her work souless. My Randian-Objectivist compatriot responded with the classic “separation of church and state” argument — all theoretical, not based on the realities of the feelings and spirit of those honored by the Mt. Soledad cross. Sarah (another co-founder of our Tea Party group) then added details and background:

In 1994 the city of San Diego tried to sell the monument to the Mount Soledad Association so that it would be under the ownership and control of a private organization. In 1997, a judge halted the transaction and said that it violated the California State Constitution: “the City’s attempt to comply with this Court’s order by selling only a small portion of the land underneath the Mount Soledad cross still shows a preference or aid to the Christian religion.” 

The City tried to sell the land (a larger portion) again in 1998 and the same judge allowed the sale to the Mount Soledad Association for $106,000. Then the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found the sale to be a violation of the California State Constitution on the grounds that government cannot afford “any financial advantage or subsidy to religion.”

Then the Mt. Soledad Association agreed to a settlement where they would remove the cross, gain ownership of the property, and then rebuild the cross. But the City of San Diego would not agree to this settlement.

Then in 2004 the city put it out to the voters as Prop K to allow the sale of the land. But the voters rejected the measure, in large part to not understanding the terms.

In 2005 there was another initiative put to the voters to transfer the property to the Interior Department as a veterans memorial. This time the measure passed.

The results of the election were thrown out on the grounds that the intention was to preserve the Christian symbol, not honor Veterans (regardless of the $900,000 in veteran memorials added to the property). The removal of the cross was ordered.

In 2006 the federal government used Eminent Domain to take ownership of the land to reinforce the function of the property as a veterans memorial.

In 2006 the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled that the 2005 initiative was Constitutional. In 2007 the California Supreme Court affirmed the 4th district ruling.

In 2008 a Federal Judge ruled: “The Court finds the memorial at Mt. Soledad, including its Latin cross, communicates the primarily non-religious messages of military service, death and sacrifice. As such, despite its location on public land, the memorial is Constitutional.”

In 2009 the issue of separation of Church and State was brought to the 9th Circuit. And last month they ruled the cross to be unconstitutional.

At that point, my Rand-ophile friend understood the reasons for his compatriots’ support of the rally. I admire his openness, and that while he might still disagree, he obviously garnered a better understanding. As one of our libertarian friends put it: Today, the Mount Soledad cross. Tomorrow, let’s burn down all the California missions! This was a great example of the kind of discourse and debate that occurs amongst Americans at the Tea Party level. It is not fueled by “heated rhetoric”, but a desire to persuade, inspire, and promote the best ideas that will help the most Americans.

Getting back to Ayn Rand: I have been reading “Bad Catholic’s Guide to Seven Deadly Sins”, in which the author (John Zmirak) tags Rand as an icon of vanity. This was quite an eye-opener, as Rand is iconic among many in the Tea Party crowd. But I think Zmirak nails a reason why I do not find her work appealing: “Rand’s idea of autonomy of the individual is so autistic, so clinically isolated from any real, human knowledge of how people grow up in families and cultures, that it recalls the lab experiments with baby monkeys raised by wire mothers”. He also has a handy response to Randian theories regarding charity:

…Did you invent the English language? Did you develop Common Law, or write the Constitution that protects your cherished rights? Did you build up urban civilization, or invent the technology that let you live better than what man is by nature – a hunter-gatherer? I didn’t think so. It seems to me that you inherited a great deal of social capital that you did absolutely nothing to earn. So now it’s your time to pass along a little bit of the largesse you received, or else you really ought to strip naked and go hunt wildebeest in the savanna.

Zmirak writes for Inside Catholic, which I have now added to this site’s blogroll. It offers a conservative perspective on the news of the day, with a Catholic take on these matters. I hope to follow more of his writing.

I will post an update to this piece related to the outcome of today’s Mt. Soledad rally. This week I took a Tea Party look at Ayn Rand theorists. Next week, I face a bigger challenge – looking at the other end of the big-government involvement spectrum that is the result of misplaced compassion. That should be fun! 🙂

Please check back.

UPDATE: Here are some reports from the Mt. Soledad Rally: At Mount Soledad Yesterday; Gaia hates the 9th Circuit

Hat-Tip: B-Daddy, The Liberator Today

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Angels Among Us: Daniel Hernandez

Dear Readers: This inspirational story via HillBuzz, about Daniel Henandez. Hernandez is the newly hired aide to Gabrielle Giffords, who was at the horrific event in Tucson this weekend. Instead of fleeing from the gunfire, he ran toward it to help others.

While others around him panicked and fled in terror, Daniel went running TOWARDS the gunfire to help those who had fallen. He checked pulses. He propped up heads so people would not choke on their own blood. He taught people how to apply pressure to mitigate bleeding.

He probably saved her life.

Using his hand, Hernandez applied pressure to the entry wound on her forehead. He pulled her into his lap, holding her upright against him so she wouldn’t choke on her own blood. Giffords was conscious, but quiet.

Certainly, this was an act of grace and courage that should be an inspiration to us all.

God bless and keep Daniel Hernandez and all the victims and their family members.

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The Anger of Achilles.

The title of this translation of Homer’s Illiad by Robert Graves is the inspiration for today’s post. As a newbie Catholic who has long studied ancient Egypt, I feel compelled today to make my first piece about a true “slaughter of the innocents“: Suicide Bomber Kills 21 and Wounds 79 in Blast Outside of Coptic Church in Alexandria, Egypt. This image from that event now haunts my psyche:

I am angry at this desecration and needless death. Now, as a Christian who loves Egypt, what can I do about it?

I am just a working mom in Southern California, with a lap-top and activist spirit — so in reality, probably not much. But, I thought I would start off exploring the concept of anger and “Just War”, as well as make it a point to pray for Egypt’s Copts during all church services I now attend. Serendipitously, the History Channel just showed “Seven Deadly Sins – Anger” this week (you can watch the episodes free HERE), which has caused me to reflect upon the sin of those seven for which I a probably the most guilty. (MUT Note: I have mixed feelings about The History Channel; sometimes it’s great, sometimes awful).

A few items that captured my attention:

* Troy fell at great cost, in part because of the anger of Achilles, at great cost to both the Greeks and their vanquished foe. Achilles, because he was pissed at Agamemnon for stealing a slave girl, stopped fighting and subsequently caused the war to last a decade. Achilles’ anger was NOT based on reason or justice, and subsequently her harmed himself and his compatriots dreadfully.

* It’s not as if God never got angry. In fact God really got ticked-off at humanity on at least THREE SEPARATE OCCASIONS. (MUT NOTE: I will also note that the Egyptians were not exactly given the kid-glove treatment prior to the Exodus, either).

* Jesus also had moments of extreme righteous anger, too. Here is a nice piece from EWTN reviewing righteous anger: Anger is the passion (emotion) by which a man reacts to evil, real or apparent, and seeks vindication of his rights, that is, justice. By itself the passion is neither moral or immoral, but becomes so by reason or its being ordered or disordered – that is, reasonable according to the circumstances. An ordered anger is directed to a legitimate object, and, with an appropriate degree of vehemence.

* Anger is the deadliest, and in many respects, the most powerful of the “seven deadlies“! Subsequently, it is Satan who is the CEO of that particular sin (though formal lists also note the COO, Amon — whose name is based on that of a leading ancient Egyptian divinity…so no wonder why I struggle with this one!)

Amon and Mut, King and Queen of ancient Egypt's Gods

Getting back to the tragedy in Alexandria, perhaps the most pertinent point brought up in The History Channel Show is this: Of all religions, it was the Jews and then the Christians that first highlighted the fact that the way you treated fellow humans was as important as how you treated a divinity. Per Matthew 22:37-40 — Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Perhaps Muslims might take a moment to reflect that they are too focused on honor Allah and Mohammad — and pay too little attention on loving their neighbor as themselves.

I used defend “moderate Muslims”. I must admit that over the years, I have developed some real ambivalence (it started with the beheading of a Muslim woman in New York by her Muslim TV executive husband). I see little sustained effort by Islamic religious leaders and laypeople to denounce the terrorists and stem the heinous acts conducted in the name of Islam. One aspect of evaluating “faith actions” I learned from my RCIA class is to “look at the fruits” that are derived from that act. So far, the “fruits” have not been all that savory. Two events add fuel to my ambivalence fire: 1) The Muslim security personnel seem to have been tipped off about the bombing and fled the scene; and, 2) Muslims blamed Israel’s Mossad for targeting the Copts (in case you didn’t know, Mossad is also responsible for killer sharks).

The car explosion that went off in front of Saints Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria killed 21 and injured 96 parishioners who were attending a New Year’s Eve Mass. According to church officials and eyewitnesses, there are many more victims that are still unidentified and whose body parts were strewn all over the street outside the church. The body parts were covered with newspapers until they were brought inside the church after some Muslims started stepping on them and chanting Jihadi chants.

Then, just as my heart begins to harden, the Anchoress reports this: Muslims Protecting Christians with their Bodies (please read the whole thing)

Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had a been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.

From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.

“We either live together, or we die together,” was the sloganeering genius of Mohamed El-Sawy, a Muslim arts tycoon whose cultural centre distributed flyers at churches in Cairo Thursday night, and who has been credited with first floating the “human shield” idea.

Among those shields were movie stars Adel Imam and Yousra, popular preacher Amr Khaled, the two sons of President Hosni Mubarak, and thousands of citizens who have said they consider the attack one on Egypt as a whole.

“This is not about us and them,” said Dalia Mustafa, a student who attended mass at Virgin Mary Church on Maraashly. “We are one. This was an attack on Egypt as a whole, and I am standing with the Copts because the only way things will change in this country is if we come together.”

Obviously, some Muslims understand the second of the BIG TWO COMMANDMENTS quite well. So, I think it is wise for everyone to take a look at the actions of individuals, and the fruits of those actions, instead of painting everyone of the faith with a big, black brush.

But, what to do with the anger? The Coptic language is derived from the language of ancient Egypt, written in Greek letters. I attended a service at the St. Mary Coptic Church in Cairo, Egypt in 1988 — one of the steps on the road my personal journey to the Catholic Church. Attending that service, listening to the prayers in Coptic Egyptian while witnessing rites steeped in history, was profound. One one of my many business flights in the 1990’s, I had the privilege of talking to a devout Egyptian-American Copt for several hours, who was delighted to talk to another American who was somewhat versed about his church’s history. So, the attacks on the Copts is more personal to me; however, all the attacks on Christians by Muslims in the Middle East is truly disturbing.

St. Mary Coptic Church in Cairo, Egypt.

I have been reading the “Bad Catholics Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins“. The chapter on “Wrath” is yellow with highlights. In this book comes this quote which I think strikes the right chord: “The Chruch teaches that we must show mercy, except when it enables or encourages others to sin, When we do that, we are complicit in their sin. Often, we must insist on strict justice for ourselves and innocent others.”

So, we Catholics can’t, and shouldn’t, just “roll over” — we must find a way to stop terror killings without becoming an anger-filled agent of Satan, blind to justice at steeped in our own, flawed, version of vengeance. Whatever else, we must do all we can to support the efforts against Islam’s terror leaders — so as not to encourage them to continue breaking God’s laws and spitting on His justice. I think now is also a good time to review the catechism for “Just War.” Here is a snippet:

  • the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
  • all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
  • there must be serious prospects of success;
  • the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated.

While keeping the Copts in my prayers, I will also endeavor to find out a site for donating to those Copts, for support and assistance. Please check back for updates.

Posted in Catholic Doctrine, Egypt | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Welcome to “Flight into Egypt”!

Dear Reader:  I am a newbie Catholic, who formally entered into the Church on the Easter Vigil of 2010.  I want to share some of my faith journey and hope it inspires you as I have been inspired by many Catholics who I have met via the Internet.

In part, I am developing this site on the suggestion of my blogging icon, the Anchoress.  The Anchoress oversees the Catholic Portal over at a religious-dialog website called Patheos.  Much of her faith-oriented writing is also found at Summa This, Summa That .

I learn the most when I write and teach. Therefore, I hope to follow the example of the Anchoress and devote a day during the week to prepare something that addresses faith in some way. It is my wish that some of my discoveries will be enjoyed by others. Topics I plan to touch on include:

* Biblical history and archeology.
* Discoveries I make or experiences I have related to the Catholic Church.
* How the Catholic Church can be helped by a free and fair market.

I am a citizen activist, who has prepared several posts already in my original site that addressed some Catholic materials: Temple of Mut:

Tea Parties, Tempests, and DEMOCRATIC “tea-baggers”!

GOD speaks to me through EGYPT

Passover: Egyptian History Review

This site will also be geared toward “Tea Party Catholics” — taking a look at Tea Party topics as they relate to Catholics and the church. I have also invited a few of my Catholic mentors to opine as guest bloggers, which I hope they will do.

Why did I chose to entitle this blog as “Flight Into Egypt”? As I noted in my post above, Egypt figures prominently in my faith journey — and the last leg on the road to my journey to the Catholic church began when my son said “God lives in a box in Egypt”.

Interestingly, Egypt during the Roman Period (and the Egypt to which Jesus, Mary and Joseph fled) was quite prosperous. Octavian, in his restructuring the country to be the domain of the Emperor only, removed a lot of bureaucracy and re-directed wealth that originally went to cult temples into agricultural and business enterprises. The Valley of the Golden Mummies stems from that time. Therefore, when Joseph’s family arrived, Egypt was well-prepared to provide for them.

I hope you stop by again and enjoy watching this site, and my faith, evolve. God Bless!

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