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Archive for March 2007

Who Says Feinstein Doesn’t Want War?

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Can you say Halliburton real slow?

Let’s see how the Democrats try to use the veteran hospitals to show military incompetance when the person responsible is the Democratic senators.

Peter Byrne’s article on Senator Diane Feinstein (D – California) abruptly resigns due to a funded exposé that highlighted her husband’s company profiting from military equipment showcases the hypocrisy of the Democratic party.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum’s ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein.

As MILCON leader, Feinstein relished the details of military construction, even micromanaging one project at the level of its sewer design. She regularly took junkets to military bases around the world to inspect construction projects, some of which were contracted to her husband’s companies, Perini Corp. and URS Corp.

[…] As of December 2006, according to SEC filings and http://www.fedspending.org, three corporations in which Blum’s financial entities own a total of $1 billion in stock won considerable favor from the budgets of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs:

  • Boston Scientific Corporation: $17.8 million for medical equipment and supplies; 85 percent of contracts awarded without benefit of competition.
  • Kinetic Concepts Inc.: $12 million, medical equipment and supplies; 28 percent noncompetitively awarded.
  • CB Richard Ellis: The Blum-controlled international real estate firm holds congressionally funded contracts to lease office space to the Department of Veterans Affairs. It also is involved in redeveloping military bases turned over to the private sector.

You would think that, considering all the money Feinstein’s family has pocketed by waging global warfare while ignoring the plight of wounded American soldiers, she would show a smidgeon of shame and resign from the entire Senate, not just a subcommittee.

Conversely, you’d think she might stick around MILCON to try and fix the medical-care disaster she helped to engineer for the vets who were suckered into fighting her and Bush’s panoply of unjust wars.

I wonder how many networks and newspapers will run this nightly as the headlines as they did when they tried to topple Karl Rove with his legitimate and entirely legal association with Halliburton? Read Byrne’s article for the rest of Feinstein’s negligent responsibility for veterans.

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Written by smalltalkwitht

March 29, 2007 at 6:57 am

"Santo Subito"

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Update: Mysterious Nun Named:

Sister Marie-Simon-Pierre is the French nun whose testimony of a mystery cure from Parkinson’s disease will likely be accepted as the miracle the Vatican needs to beatify Pope John Paul II, an official at the Paris maternity hospital where she works said Wednesday.

The identity of the nun has been one of the Catholic Church’s most closely guarded secrets. The nun says that she was cured of Parkinson’s after she and her community of nuns prayed to John Paul.

The nun, a member of the “Congregation of Little Sisters of Catholic Motherhood” in Aix-en-Provence in southeast France, works at the Sainte-Felicite hospital in Paris, the official said on condition of anonymity because an official announcement was expected Sunday.

Living in an age of miracles is miraculous when society wants science to prove everything. If there is a God, then John Paul II is in heaven. All Catholics know this but we still have to go through the paperwork.

Now a clandestine case of a nun’s Parkinson’s disease cured with the intercession of John Paul II, his canonization may move forward but unless she wants her name to be included, she will remain anonymous.

Next Monday, the second anniversary of his death, the Rome diocese will officially give the Vatican tens of thousands of pages of documentation and transcripts which propose that John Paul should be beatified, the last step before sainthood.

The documentation includes the case of a French nun who was suffering from Parkinson’s — the same disease that the late Pope had — until it inexplicably disappeared on June 2, 2005.

“The nun will be at the ceremonies in Rome and the Vatican on April 2, but so will thousands of others,” Monsignor Slawomir Oder, who is in charge of promoting the sainthood case for the late Pope, told reporters on Tuesday.

On Monday, Pope Benedict will lead a solemn mass at the Vatican to remember his predecessor.

Before the papal events, a bishop somewhere in France will disclose that it was in his diocese where the “miracle” took place, but he is not expected to reveal the nun’s name.

The nun, whose identity is known to only a handful of clerics and doctors, wrote anonymously of her experiences in a magazine published by the Italian Catholic Church.

“I was losing weight day by day. I could no longer write and if I did try to, it was difficult to decipher. I could no longer drive … because my left leg became rigid,” she wrote.

She describes how she and her fellow nuns in her religious community prayed to the late Pope for her healing.

On June 2, 2005, exactly two months after the Pope’s death, she said she felt the sudden urge to pick up a pen.

“My handwriting was completely legible … my body was no longer pained, no longer rigid … I felt a profound sense of peace,” she wrote.

Her neurologist and other doctors and psychologists who later examined her were at a loss for a medical explanation. She had earlier been diagnosed as suffering from Parkinson’s.

If Vatican experts and doctors concur that the healing of the nun was a miracle — which experts said is likely — Pope Benedict can then beatify John Paul.

According to Church rules, another miracle would be necessary after the beatification in order for him to be declared a saint.
But as supreme leader of the Catholic Church, Benedict could decide to waive beatification and move directly to sainthood.

In May, 2005, Pope Benedict put John Paul on the fast track to sainthood by dispensing with Church rules that normally impose a five-year waiting period after a candidate’s death before the procedure that leads to sainthood can even start.

Many Catholics are convinced of John Paul’s holiness. Crowds at his funeral chanted “Santo Subito” (“Make him a saint now”).
However, Oder, who is Polish like the late Pope, said he expected the procedure to run its normal course.

Oder said that his office has received numerous reports from people who say they have been healed — most of them from cancer — after praying to John Paul.

Written by smalltalkwitht

March 28, 2007 at 11:40 pm

Like The Fourth Estate Doesn’t Hate Bush?

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In response to President Bush citing two Baghdad blogs as being upbeat about what’s going on in Iraq, Associate Press report Ben Fuller was a little perturbed and made the following biased report.

Bush made a surprising reference to the blogosphere during a spirited defense of his war strategy on Wednesday. The mention seemed even more unusual because the president didn’t identify whom he was quoting, so he seemed to be leaning on anonymous commentary.

“They have bloggers in Baghdad, just like we’ve got here,” Bush told the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Then he began to quote: “Displaced families are returning home, marketplaces are seeing more activity, stores that were long shuttered are now reopening. We feel safer about moving in the city now. Our people want to see this effort succeed.”

His point was that Iraqi people are seeing signs of progress—and what better example of their unbridled expression than blogs.

It turns out, the White House made clear hours later, that he was quoting two brothers, Mohammed and Omar Fadhil. They write an English- language blog from Baghdad called IraqTheModel.com. […]

Associated Press reporter Ben Fuller just didn’t cotton to Bush’s use of actual Iraqis talking about the situation in which they live? How dare bloggers think they have anything to do with truth or facts? It’s only just opinion? So what is this jealous member of the Fourth Estate’s opinion?

Blogs are Web sites that tend to be narrow in focus and directed at a niche audience. Most operate without editors and give instant reaction to the news. Their freewheeling, open nature makes them popular but also ripe for unverified statements.

Unverified statements? Like the drive by media only prints factual, well-researched and accurate news? The Associated Press doesn’t print their own liberal biased opinion?

Let’s cite just a few times in just the last year that fauxtography and misrepresentation of the facts has been used by the loony leftist press to push their agenda:

If you believe anything the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Associated Press and Reuters prints, without checking out the author and the facts, then you’ll also believe that Maureen Dowd has a heart-shaped framed autographed picture of George W. Bush on her desk that says: “Love ya, Maureen, your friend George.”

As for me… I’ll take the word of Hugh Hewitt, Michelle Malkin, Bill O’Reilly, and the Fadhil Brothers anyday over liberal extremists.

Written by smalltalkwitht

March 28, 2007 at 9:56 pm

It’s Just Spring Training but…

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Boston Red Sox win 5-4 against Minnesota Twins! Opening day is Monday! Life is good…

Written by smalltalkwitht

March 28, 2007 at 9:51 pm

Posted in baseball, Boston, Red Sox, Sports

Dog Performs Heim-lick Manuever On Owner

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You’ll get an argument from me if you say dogs aren’t capable of reasoning and don’t understand what is happening around them.

Toby, a 2-year-old golden retriever, saw his owner choking on a piece of fruit and began jumping up and down on the woman’s chest. The dog’s owner believes the dog was trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver and saved her life.

Debbie Parkhurst, 45, of Calvert told the Cecil Whig she was eating an apple at her home Friday when a piece lodged in her throat. She attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver on herself but it didn’t work. After she began beating on her chest, she said Toby noticed and got involved.

“The next think I know, Toby’s up on his hind feet and he’s got his front paws on my shoulders,” she recalled. “He pushed me to the ground, and once I was on my back, he began jumping up and down on my chest.”

That’s when the apple dislodged and Toby started licking her face to keep her from passing out, she said.

“I literally have pawprint-shaped bruises on my chest. I’m still a little hoarse, but otherwise, I’m OK,” Parkhurst said.

“The doctor said I probably wouldnt be here without Toby,” said Parkhurst, a jewelry artist. “I keep looking at him and saying ‘You’re amazing.'”

Read the entire dog-gone good story.

Written by smalltalkwitht

March 27, 2007 at 9:04 pm

What About The Women?

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From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Phyllis Zagano, a senior research associate-in-residence at Hofstra University and author of “Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church” writes an opinion on women’s ordination.

The billion-member Catholic Church is arguably half-female. Women are honored in “Sacramentum Caritas” as “created in God’s image and likeness.” Honored as well is “the unique mission of women in the family and in society.” But there is not the slightest hint that women will be put on an equal footing in the hierarchy with ordained men. Nor is there any suggestion of a wider married priesthood, which would help overcome old prejudices that consider women “unclean.”

The largest part of the Catholic Church — the Latin, or Roman Catholic Church — ordinarily disallows married priests. Despite a number of strong suggestions by bishops at the 2005 Synod, Benedict XVI reaffirmed celibacy as the norm. The older tradition — married priests — is adhered to by most Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Eastern bishops are celibates — typically from monasteries — but parish priests are usually married. Their wives and children are legitimate in the eyes of both state and church.

Not so in the Latin Church. There priests, with few exceptions, must be celibate at ordination and for life. Catholic law, both east and west, is that a married man may be ordained, but an ordained man may not marry. Still, there are a few married Latin Catholic priests in the United States and elsewhere who were married Protestant ministers who converted to Catholicism.

The other problem with the pope’s “report” of the Synod, on women in ministry, collides with both history and logic. While women priests are out of the question given the current trajectory of thought in Rome, the church still could have women clergy. (Last summer’s women’s ordinations in Pittsburgh are not considered valid — or even Catholic — by Rome.) Aside from women priests, the Catholic Church could revisit its tradition of women deacons, ordained clergy who minister in charity.

Women served as ordained deacons in antiquity and beyond, and there is a treasure trove of evidence to prove it. There are women deacons in some Eastern churches the Vatican recognizes as in “imperfect communion” (related but not fully joined), and Catholic tradition, scripture and outright need argue for the widest restoration of the tradition of ordained women deacons.

What would happen if the tradition was restored? Ordained clergy act “in persona Christi” — in the person of Christ. The ordained represent Christ; ordination announces that the individual is made in the image and likeness of God. No matter how many times the church repeats that phrase, all-male assemblies of celibate Catholic clergy broadcast around the world drill in the not-so-subtle message: Women cannot come near the holy.

Only Fisherman, Tent-Makers, and Tax Collectors, Are Worthy

Update On Women’s Ordinations

Written by smalltalkwitht

March 27, 2007 at 12:07 am

Pope Changes Previous Statements On Hell

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The eternal debate about hellfires and brimstone, sulfur fumes, pain and suffering keeps most Catholics on the straight and narrow, scares the pants off of parochial school children, and was the visual nightmare of many saints and martyrs. What does Pope Benedict XVI say? He says Hell is a real place.

Vatican officials said that the Pope — who is also the Bishop of Rome — had been speaking in “straightfoward” language “like a parish priest”. He had wanted to reinforce the new Catholic catechism, which holds that Hell is a “state of eternal separation from God”, to be understood “symbolically rather than physically”.

Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, a Church historian, said that the Pope was “right to remind us that Hell is not something to be put on one side” as an inconvenient or embarrassing aspect of belief.
It had been misused in the Middle Ages to scare the impressionable with “horrific visions” of damnation, as described in Dante’s Inferno.

It had a pedigree, however, that went back to Ancient Egypt and the Greek idea of Hades, and was described by St Matthew as a place of “everlasting fire” (Matthew xxv, 41).

“The problem is not only that our sense of sin has declined, but also that the world wars and totalitarianisms of the 20th century created a Hell on Earth as bad as anything we can imagine in the afterlife,” Professor Bagliani said.

In 1999 Pope John Paul II declared that Heaven was “neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but that fullness of communion with God which is the goal of human life.” Hell, by contrast, was “the ultimate consequence of sin itself . . . Rather than a place, Hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy”.

In October the Pope indicated that limbo, supposed since medieval times to be a “halfway house” between Heaven and Hell, inhabited by unbaptised infants and holy men and women who lived before Christ, was “only a theological hypothesis” and not a “definitive truth of the faith”.

Okay, lets’ talk about the Devil now…

Written by smalltalkwitht

March 26, 2007 at 11:51 pm