Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thoughts At the End of 2011

As 2011 draws to a close, I find it interesting to look back on the year.  Let's take a look first of all at the country I call home - the United States of America.  Things were not good at the end of 2010 - high unemployment, people losing their homes, the dollar and the entire economy threatening to collapse, the survival of the family threatened with legalization of same sex marriage and general immorality, high abortion numbers, high numbers of kids failing in schools, threats of war everywhere - it just wasn't good.  But there was promise in the air - the nation had just elected large numbers of tea party candidates to the House of Representatives, and we were assured that things were going to change.  John Boehner, the new Speaker of the House, would stand up to Obama and turn this country around.  Good days were coming!

It is now 12 months later.  What has ensued during that time?  Well, we've been involved in yet another war - oops, I meant a "kinetic military action" in Libya.  President Obama didn't bother to get congressional approval for this "kinetic military action".  A few Republicans grumbled about that, but most didn't seem too upset and they certainly didn't do anything about it.  We were involved in overturning our long time ally in Egypt (very dangerous to be an ally of the United States - the US will turn on you every time); and we are now threatening to get involved with both Syria and Iran.  Hmmm, that doesn't sound too good. 


Friday, December 30, 2011

Christians Are Being Martyred and Driven Out of Mideast

As many as 1.2 million Christians lived in Iraq
before the 2003 invasion to oust leader Saddam Hussein.
However, many have since fled abroad in the wake of
stepped-up violence by al-Qaida-linked Muslim insurgents.
This Church, in Kirkuk, was hit by a car bomb that also
wounded 23 people in August 2011.
The MSM rarely speaks of the worldwide persecution of Christians, and when they do, we are never told the details.  We need to know what is happening to our brothers and sisters around the world, and most especially in the Middle East.  We need to be praying for them. 

Below is an article describing the life of Christians in present-day Iraq.  They have known persecution, violence, destruction and death since the American invasion of their land.  Is that what we fought for?



The Fate of Christians When America "Liberates" Countries

It seems to happen everytime the US "helps" another country towards becoming a democracy.  The Christians end up paying the price.  It happened in Iraq.  The oldest surviving Christian community in the world was in Iraq.  As Wikipedia tells us:  "Christianty was brought to Iraq in the first century by the Apostle Thomas, Addai (Thaddaeus) and his pupils Aggagi and Mari."  According to this same article:  "Prior to the Gulf War in 1991, Christians numbered one million in Iraq. The Baathist rule under Saddam Hussein kept a lid on anti-Christian violence but subjected some to "relocation programmes".  Under this regime, the predominantly Assyrian Christians were pressured to identify as Arabs. The Christian population fell to an estimated 800,000 before the 2003 invasion of Iraq." 

What happened after the 2003 invasion? 
After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, violence against Christians rose, with reports of abduction, torture, bombings, and killings.  Some Christians were pressured to convert to Islam under threat of death or expulsion, and women were ordered to wear Islamic dress.
In August 2004, International Christian Concern protested an attack by Islamists on Iraqi Christian churches that killed 11 people.  See 2004 Iraq churches attacks. In 2006, an Orthodox Christian priest, Boulos Iskander, was beheaded and mutilated despite payment of a ransom, and in 2008, Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul died after being abducted. In January 2008, bombs exploded outside nine churches.
What did the Bush Administration do about the persecution of Christians?  Nothing.  Did you hear about it in the MSM?  Not on your life.  It is important to question why, after living in relative peace with their non-Christian neighbors for so many generations, is there suddenly a threat to the very survival of these Christians?  Who is really behind it?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

ANOTHER REASON TO DISTRUST THE MSM

I think my blog is beginning to sound like an arm of the Ron Paul campaign.  Although I support Congressman Paul, as I have already posted, I do not believe that even if he is elected president that it will make a lot of difference in the direction of our country.  But I am blown away at how the entire establishment truly hates this man.  And he is the only man who can be trusted not to change his positions and to stand up for the Constitution and our rights as American citizens.  Here is yet another MSM editorial telling you how dangerous this true patriotic American is.
Ron Paul is a dangerous man [I guess this is how we characterize anyone who stands up for traditional American values]. While his domestic libertarian views are quite attractive to some voters fed up with politics as usual, it is Paul’s position on issues of our national security that are truly dangerous.
Those views have been largely overlooked by a news media [Overlooked?  This is all I ever hear about Ron Paul!!]  more interested in the presidential “horse race” than in the candidates’ positions on issues. But we expect New Hampshire primary voters will examine the facts and act accordingly.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

DESCRIPTION OF AN ABORTION

If you or someone you know is considering an abortion, please read this so you will know exactly what will happen to you and your baby. These are descriptions of abortions at various stages of pregnancy:

Suction-aspiration:
In this method, the abortionist must first paralyze the cervical muscle ring (womb opening) and then stretch it open. This is difficult because it is hard or "green" and not ready to open. He then inserts a hollow plastic tube, which has a knife-like edge on the tip, into the uterus. The suction tears the baby’s body into pieces. He then cuts the deeply rooted placenta from the inner wall of the uterus. The scraps are sucked out into a bottle. The suction is 29 times more powerful than a home vacuum cleaner.


Feast of The Holy Innocents

A voice was heard in Rama,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be comforted,
because they are no more.
Today is the Feast of the Holy Innoncents, which marks the massacre of baby boys by King Herod in his attempt to kill the Christ child. From Wikipedia: "Herod ordered the execution of all young male children in the village of Bethlehem, so as to avoid the loss of his throne to a newborn King of the Jews whose birth had been announced to him by the Magi."  We shake our heads in disbelief at the wickedness of King Herod in ordering this massacre. But there is a much greater massacre of innoncents happening every day, and probably not very far from you. It's called abortion.

It may seem odd that the Catholic Church would call the massacre of young boys by King Herod a "feast." Holy Mother Church says that these young boys were martyrs. St. Augustine explains:
Dearly beloved, today we keep the birth of these children, who, as we are informed by the Gospel were put to death by cruel King Herod. Therefore let earth rejoice with exceeding joy, for she is the fruitful mother of this great host of heavenly soldiers. The favour of vile Herod could never have done such service to these blessed ones as hath his hatred. For the Church testifieth by this holy solemnity, that whereas iniquity did specially abound against these little Saints, so much the more were heavenly blessings poured out upon them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Who'd Have Thought?

I posted a couple of weeks ago that Father John Zuhlsdorf seemed to be actively supporting Newt Gingrich.  When I had posted negatively about the Newtster, Father Z called me a "Donatist"  because I dared to bring up past political actions of the former Speaker.  Well, it seems that even Father Z can't convince his loyal readers.  Below is a screen shot of a poll from Father Z's blog. Thumbs up to Father Z's readers for thinking for themselves, although I guess Father Z would call all of them Donatists. 

 



Father Z tried to explain away the Ron Paul vote thusly:

UPDATE: 19 Dec 1527 GMT:
I watched late yesterday as there was a sharp flood of several hundred votes for Ron Paul in a narrow time frame. Then the sharp spike stopped.


America, Land of the Free - Not So Much

Why is Ron Paul the only GOP presidential candidate who is speaking about this issue?  Are the others totally unaware of the National Defense Authorizaton Act, which allows the US Military to indefinitely detain anyone without a trial or even being officially charged, including American citizens, that the Government considers a threat?  Well, Ron Paul is speaking out about it, and we all need to hear what he has to say. 

 

 

Rep. Paul says defense bill assures ‘descent into totalitarianism’

By Jonathan Easley - 12/26/11 09:25 AM ET

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul warned that the National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by Congress this month, will accelerate the country’s “slip into tyranny” and virtually assures “our descent into totalitarianism.”  [Is anyone listening?]

“The founders wanted to set a high bar for the government to overcome in order to deprive an individual of life or liberty,” Paul, the libertarian congressman, said Monday in a weekly phone message to supporters. “To lower that bar is to endanger everyone. When the bar is low enough to include political enemies, our descent into totalitarianism is virtually assured. The Patriot Act, as bad as its violations against the Fourth Amendment was, was just one step down the slippery slope. The recently passed National Defense Authorization Act continues that slip into tyranny, and in fact, accelerates it significantly.”

The NDAA is the nearly $670 billion defense spending bill that covers the military budget and funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One controversial provision mandates the detention of terror suspects and reaffirms the administration’s authority to detain those suspected of having ties to terrorist organizations.

“The Fifth Amendment is about much more than the right to remain silent in the face of government questioning,” Paul continued. “It contains very basic and very critical stipulations about the due process of law. The government cannot imprison a person for no reason and with no evidence presented and without access to legal council. The danger of the NDAA is its alarmingly vague, undefined criteria for who can be indefinitely detained by the U.S. government without trial.”

“It is no longer limited to members of Al Qaeda or the Taliban, but anyone accused of substantially supporting such groups or associated forces,” Paul continued. “How closely associated, and what constitutes substantial support? What if it was discovered that someone who committed a terrorist act was once involved with a charity? Or suppose a political candidate? Are all donors of that candidate or supporters of that candidate now suspects and subject to indefinite detainment? Is that charity now an associated force?”

The White House initially threatened to veto the NDAA because of the detainee language, saying it would tie the hands of law enforcement officials. But the administration dropped the veto threat before the bill passed the House, as the bill’s supporters argued that there were sufficient waivers.

“The president’s widely expanded view of his own authority to detain Americans indefinitely even on American soil is for the first time in this legislation codified in law,” Paul said. “That should chill all of us to our cores.”  [Sorry, Congressman Paul, but people are much more interested in American Idol than the fact that their freedoms are being taken away]

“The Bill of Rights has no exceptions for really bad people or terrorists or even non-citizens. It is a key check on government power against any person. That [the Bill of Rights] is not a weakness in our legal system, it is the very strength of our legal system. The NDAA attempts to justify abridging the Bill of Rights on the theory that rights are suspended in a time of war, and the entire United States is a battlefield in the war on terror. This is a very dangerous development, indeed. Beware.”

Monday, December 26, 2011

Big Bad Ron Paul


According to Republicans, who is even more scary than President Obama?  An evil Muslim terrorist?  Oh no, it's a 76-year old man who constantly talks about the US Constitution and warns us that our liberties are being taken away.  The person Republicans need to fear above everyone else is - Ron Paul!!   So says Dick Morris, the one-time Bill Clinton advisor turned Republican (we can really trust him, can't we?):

From Newsmax.com:

With Ron Paul surging in Iowa polls, Dick Morris, the Fox News analyst and Republican strategist, warns of horrific [oh my, lions and tigers and bears, oh my!] consequences for the GOP if he wins the GOP nomination.

In a column released on Dickmorris.com this weekend, Morris writes:

"Ron Paul remains terrifying. He is really the ultimate liberal in the race. He wants to legalize drugs [see below], repeal the Patriot Act, slash our military spending, pull out of Afghanistan [you betcha to all of that], and remove all limits on abortion 
[again, see below. Also, this issue means nothing to Dick Morris - he is pro abortion]
 . On these issues, he’s way, way to the left of Obama. What makes him a conservative is hard to tell. [Maybe the fact that he supports the Constitution, ya think?]  But, whatever he is, he would be a disaster as the Republican candidate. His bland assertion in the last debate, that 'anyone' will beat Obama is both self-serving and inaccurate. He wouldn’t. Anyone who votes for Paul and is not brought up short by his denuding us in our defenses against terrorism and his passivity in the face of Iranian nuclear weapons, has to realize that nominating him is tantamount to re-electing Obama."

Catholic Churches Bombed in Nigeria on Christmas Day

Violence against Catholics on Christmas Day.  Fron Reuters:  

ABUJA | Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:44pm EST




ABUJA (Reuters) - Islamist militants set off bombs across Nigeria on Christmas Day [it may or may not be true that the bombings were done by Islamist militants - don't accept this at face value] - three targeting churches including one that killed at least 27 people - raising fears that they are trying to ignite sectarian civil war [somone is trying to start a war, that is certain].

The Boko Haram Islamist sect, which aims to impose sharia law across the country, claimed responsibility for the three church bombs, the second Christmas in a row the group has caused mass carnage with deadly bombings of churches. Security forces also blamed the sect for two other blasts in the north. 
St Theresa's Catholic Church in Madala, a satellite town about 40 km (25 miles) from the centre of the capital Abuja, was packed when the bomb exploded just outside.
"We were in the church with my family when we heard the explosion. I just ran out," Timothy Onyekwere told Reuters. "Now I don't even know where my children or my wife are. I don't know how many were killed but there were many dead."

Hours after the first bomb, blasts were reported at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church in the central, ethnically and religiously mixed town of Jos, and at a church in northern Yobe state at the town of Gadaka. Residents said many were wounded in Gadaka, but there were no immediate further details.

A suicide bomber killed four security officials at the State Security Service in one of the other bombs, which struck the northeastern town of Damaturu, police said. Residents heard two loud explosions and gunfire in the town.

A Reuters reporter at the church near Abuja saw the front roof had been destroyed, as had several houses nearby. Five burnt out cars were still smouldering. There were scenes of chaos, as shocked residents stared at the wreckage in disbelief.

"Mass just ended and people were rushing out of the church and suddenly I heard a loud sound: 'Gbam!' Cars were in flames and bodies littered everywhere," Nnana Nwachukwu told Reuters.

Father Christopher Barde, Assistant priest of the church, said: "The officials who counted told me they have picked up 27 bodies so far."

Police cordoned off the area around the church. Thousands of furious youths set up burning road blocks on the highway from Abuja leading to Nigeria's largely Muslim north.

Police and the military tried to disperse them by firing live rounds into the air with tear gas.

"We are so angry," shouted Kingsley Ukpabi, as a queue of hooting vehicles lined up behind his flaming barrage.

ATTACKS INCREASE

Boko Haram - which in the Hausa language spoken in northern Nigeria means "Western education is sinful" - is loosely modelled on the Taliban movement in Afghanistan.

It has emerged as the biggest security threat in Nigeria, a country of 160 million split evenly between Christians and Muslims, who for the most part live side by side in peace [so who and what is suddenly causing this tension between the two groups?]. 
Its low level insurgency used to be largely confined to northeastern Nigeria, but it has struck several parts of the north, centre and the capital Abuja this year.

Last Christmas Eve, a series of bomb blasts around Jos killed 32 people, and other people died in attacks on two churches in the northeast.

At the church near Abuja, a wounded man whose legs were almost shattered to pieces by the blast was loaded onto a stretcher near an ambulance by security services.

"I'll survive," he said in a hushed voice.

The blast in Jos, a tinderbox of ethnic and sectarian tensions that sometimes sees deadly clashes between Muslims and Christians [didn't this article just say that there is mostly peace between Christians and Muslims?], was accompanied by a shooting spree by militants, who exchanged fire with local police, said Charles Ezeocha, special taskforce spokesman for Jos.

"We lost one policeman and we have made four arrests. I think we can use them to get more information and work on that," he said. Police found four other explosive devices in Jos, which they deactivated, he added.

President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the south who is struggling to contain the threat of Islamist militancy, called the incidents "unfortunate" but said Boko Haram would "not be (around) for ever. It will end one day."

The White House condemned "this senseless violence and tragic loss of life on Christmas Day.
We need to pray for all involved here, the innocent victims and their families, and even for those involved in the bombings, that they can somehow repent and turn away from this violence. 

But remember what I have told you, folks, don't trust the MSM.  Yes, these bombings definitely happened and people were tragically killed.  Yes, the Muslims are claiming credit for these bombings, but who are these groups and who is manipulating them?  Why would people suddenly turn against their neighbors with whom they had been living peacefully?   Don't accept anything at face value.  Question everything you hear from the MSM.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christ the King Born in a Manger


When I was a kid, one of my favorite Christmas songs was "Away in a Manger":
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
We've heard the story so many times that it doesn't even register anymore. Christ was born in a manger. And we see the cute little pictures like the one here, and we have a big "awwww" moment. But think about it. The King of the Universe, our Creator and God, chooses to come to earth not in royal splendor but as a tiny babe in a manger filled with straw, "no crib for his bed".  What's the deal?

I pray with a Cenacle of Life group in which we pray the Rosary for Life, and the following is the meditation for the third Joyful Mystery, the Nativity of our Lord:
The Birth of God in total poverty amongst the animals attending the fields.  Amen.  Let us ponder, why was the Lord not born in a castle where kings live?  God chose to be born in a manger, which is a feeding trough for animals.  O' the Lord beckons those who are humble, who reject the wordly ways. 
The Creator of the Universe, the One who gives us every breath of air we breathe, chose to come to this earth in complete poverty. When people today go anywhere with their babies, they have to practically hire a truck to carry all of their baby stuff - car seat, diaper bags, bottles, forumla, toys, etc.. Our Lord didn't even have a blanket. All his parents had for him were "swaddling clothes":

"Swaddling clothes described in the Bible consisted of a cloth tied together by bandage-like strips. After an infant was born, the umbilical cord was cut and tied, and then the baby was washed, rubbed with salt and oil, and wrapped with strips of cloth."

And as the song says, he had no crib in which to lay his head, only a manger, a feeding trough for animals, filled with straw. 

Isn't it ironic that this momentous occasion - the birth of Christ, who was born into material poverty - is  marked by the world as a material orgy?  The "Christmas season" starts with what is called the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday.  And on Christmas Eve this year, the headline on the Drudge Report is: "Air Jordan shoes cause riots around nation."
Scuffles broke out and police were brought in to quell unrest that nearly turned into riots across the nation Friday following the release of Nike's new Air Jordan basketball shoes — a retro model of one of the most popular Air Jordans ever made.

The mayhem stretched from Washington state to Georgia and was reminiscent of the violence that broke out 20 years ago in many cities as the shoes became popular targets for thieves. It also had a decidedly Black Friday feel as huge crowds of shoppers overwhelmed stores for a must-have item.
Is this what Christmas now means in our society - wars across the nation over sneakers???

Then I came across this article:  "Just Say No to Christmas".  This article is in the "money" section of USA Today.  It starts out:
Susan Lee, a divorced mother of three in New York City, is taking a drastic step this year. "No Christmas for me," she says. "No gifts, no turkey, no tree, no kidding."

Lee, 41, a marketing consultant, says she needs a break from the stress and spending that are integral parts of the holiday [this is not the Christmas that has anything to do with that small babe in the manger]. Her kids will celebrate a traditional Christmas with their dad, but she's ignoring all the rituals.
"I start dreading Christmas from the time the decorations go up in the stores," she says. "It stopped being fun for me, so I'll find out this year if I can do without it altogether. I think it will be a relief. It already is."
Huh?  If there are "No gifts, no turkey, no tree," then there is no Christmas?  If it's not "fun," then what's the point????

The article later says:
Some people simply loathe the holiday. A Facebook search for "I hate Christmas" turns up dozens of results, including pages and posts from people who say they despise almost everything about Christmas: music, shopping, family gatherings, trees and lights
Guess what, folks?  The "music, shopping, family gatherings, trees and lights" is NOT what Christmas is about.  This article actually gives me great hope, because it is telling me that people are rejecting the false Christmas created by our materialistic culture.  They are finding that it leaves you with your pocketbook drained and empty feelings.  And that is most certainly not why God came to earth as a small babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger filled with straw. 

Susan from New York and all the rest who are tired of what Christmas has become might be very interested in Pope Benedict XVI's Christmas message for this year.  This is from Reuters:
Pope Benedict ushered in Christmas for the world's 1.3 billion Roman Catholics on Saturday, urging humanity to see through the superficial glitter and commercialism of the season and rediscover the real significance of the humble birth of Jesus.

. . .

Benedict, wearing resplendent gold and white vestments, urged his listeners to find peace in the symbol of the powerless Christ child in a world continually threatened by violence.

"Today Christmas has become a commercial celebration, whose bright lights hide the mystery of God's humility, which in turn calls us to humility and simplicity," he said in his homily to about 10,000 people in the basilica and millions more watching on television throughout the world.

"Let us ask the Lord to help us see through the superficial glitter of this season, and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem, so as to find true joy and true light."

The Christmas story of how Jesus, who Christians believe is the son of God, was born powerless "in the poverty of the stable" should remind everyone of the need for humility.

"... let us strip away our fixation on what is material, on what can be measured and grasped. Let us allow ourselves to be made simple by the God who reveals himself to the simple of heart," he said.
My prayer is that everyone will find the true meaning of Christmas spoken of by our Holy Father.  Only then will we have the peace and joy that so many speak of this time of year, but rarely find.

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