Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Is Barack Obama The Messiah?

Check out this satirical blog, which examines the mania surrounding the Obama campaign.

Even Hillary Clinton has been picking up on this.

I'm still praying neither one of them will be president.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Trees sentenced to death for shading solar panels

Which is more important? Preserving carbon-reducing trees, or maximizing the use of (carbon footprint minimizing) alternative energy sources?

In my home state of California, a six year legal battle ended when the court ruled that a couple must cut down redwood trees on their property that deprived their neighbor's solar panels of the light that makes their existence meaningful. (Read the story here.)

Once again, environmentalist principles have left people stuck between a rock and a hard place, pitting one of nature's largest and most beautiful trees against a synthetic device meant (perhaps ironically) to help mankind take advantage of what nature has to offer.

In this case, technology won, which means another manufactured device will soon be used to sacrifice these trees for the sake of our efforts to preserve the planet for their leafy bretheren.

It just goes to show that you can't make a vegan tofu scramble without killing a few soybeans.

Related: Redwood National Park.


In other news:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another Study Confirms Estrogen Footprints

This time at the University of New Brunswick. See the story at LifeSite News. and also at the Gulf of Maine Times, Looking for a non-pro-life source? Even the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which supports embryonic stem cell research is covering this on their EurekAlert news site.

To review: Women take the pill, and the hormones are excreted into the sewage system. They do not get filtered out by water treatment processes, and end up back in the environment, where they do bizarre things to fish populations. To top it off, people who eat the fish, also eat the hormones.

I posted on this twice before. The first time, I linked to a report from Canada's Freshwater Institute Fisheries and Oceans on the effects of synthetic hormones on aquatic life.

The second post links to a Scientific American article that discusses potential breast cancer risks for human populations that ingest fish from waters contaminated with synthetic hormones. Hormones which are classified as known carcinogens by the World Health Organization, according to documents from a Mayo Clinic Study which I have cited previously.

That's three separate studies so far, people.

Think about it.

Nod: Tito

A little Chesterton

There are two rooted spiritual realities out of which grow all kinds of democratic conception or sentiment of human equality. There are two things in which all men are manifestly and unmistakably equal. They are not equally clever or equally muscular or equally fat, as the sages of the modern reaction (with piercing insight) perceive. But this is a spiritual certainty, that all men are tragic. And this, again, is an equally sublime spiritual certainty, that all men are comic. No special and private sorrow can be so dreadful as the fact of having to die. And no freak or deformity can be so funny as the mere fact of having two legs. Every man is important if he loses his life; and every man is funny if he loses his hat, and has to run after it. And the universal test everywhere of whether a thing is popular, of the people, is whether it employs vigorously these extremes of the tragic and the comic.

-- G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens

Nod: PhatCatholic

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI is the Cat's Meow!

A biography of the Holy Father for children will be published later this month. The twist? His story will be told from the perspective of his cat Chico. Insight Scoop, the Ignatius Press blog, describes the book as follows:

"In this beautifully illustrated book for children, Chico the cat describes the life of his "best friend", Pope Benedict, in this authorised biography of the Pope for young people approved by the Vatican.

"Dear Children, here you will find a biography that is different than others because it is told by a cat and it is not every day a cat can consider the Holy Father his friend and sit down to write his life story," the Pope's personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein, says in the foreword."

Read the entire post here.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen! Vatican approved!

Being a both an educator and a lifelong cat person myself, I love this idea. Most children I have ever seen have a natural fondness for animals. The use of a cat as narrator will help to make the story accessible to children, while allowing them to see the Pope as a person worthy of both affection and great respect.

And if it's fun to read, hey, that's one more way to encourage kids to open a book once in awhile.

Birth control pills and hair loss in women

According to the American Hair Loss Association, "Women who are predisposed to hormonal related hair loss or who are hypersensitive to the hormonal changes taking place in their bodies can experience hair loss to varying degrees while on the pill or more commonly, several weeks or months after stopping the pill."

Now, while there are potential side effects that are much more serious than this (increased risk of breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, environmental damage, etc.), it gives women with a family history of hair loss one more reason to consider alternatives to oral and other hormone based contraceptives. Like maybe Natural Family Planning, which has "perfect use" rates rivaling those of the pill, according to a German study.

Revival of Marriage?

Catholic Mom posts on generational differences among American Catholics with respect to marriage. I think she gets it.

I would also add, however, that I think lessons learned from the mistakes of an older generation may have something to do with it as well.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Birds, Bushes, and Blooms

It's Valentine's Day!

Here is my post from last year on the origins of the holiday and its connection to the bird mating season.

In some regions, Valentine's day is the time to prune any rose bushes in your garden.

With that thought, I shall leave you with a lovely rose photograph taken by my brother:

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

2008 Presidential Rat Race: A review.

Last spring I posted information on candidates' positions on non-negotiables. I re-post a shortened version of that chart featuring the current pool of major candidates, and the addition of one minor candidate.




Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Same-Sex Marriage

Hillary Clinton



Voted against constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. Supports gay domestic partnership benefits.

Mike Huckabee

Moderately pro-life. Supports abortion when the life of the mother is endangered. Opposes public funding for abortions organizations that advocate or perform abortions. Source

Opposes, accepts campain funds from stems cell researchers

Opposes same-sex marriage. Says we should “support gay couples”

John McCain

Moderately Pro-Life. 75% rating from NRLC.

Supports on existing lines, opposes on new.

Supports civil unions, opposes gay marriage.

Barack Obama

Pro-Choice. 100% ratings from Planned Parenthood and NARAL


Opposes gay marriage, supports civil unions.

Ron Paul

Mostly Pro-Life. Voted to oppose parental consent law.

Opposes expansion

Supports Civil Unions

Mitt Romney

Pro-abortion as Mass. Governor. Flipped to Pro-life when running for President.

Vetoed a Mass. Stem cell research bill.

Supports domestic partnerships, opposes marriage and civil unions. Supports homosexual adoption.

Alan Keys
Pro-life. Opposes Roe. Supports Human life Amendment to constitution. Opposes Euthanasia.

From Campaign Website:
"No medical advance, and certainly no material profit, justifies denying the claim to humanity of the embryonic human person."
"The effort to equate homosexual and lesbian relations with legal marriage represents a destructive assault on the heterosexual, marriage-based family"

The information here was taken from and the Alan Keys campaign website.
Their source references are duplicated here, where possible. Such sources include public statements by candidates, satisfaction ratings from organizations, and public voting records. They also link to candidate websites.


National Right to Life has a table with more specific information on the candidates' stands on pro-life issues, including parental consent laws, public funding, etc. Click here to see this. (PDF file. You will need Acrobat Reader).

Before you sign that donor card:

The notion of being able to save the lives of others even after we ourselves have left this life is a noble one. However, in the name of saving one life, one should always be careful to avoid the unjust taking of another.

In the wake of the Terri Schiavo case, it is especially clear that some people are in great danger of losing their lives to unethical medical practices.

Which is why some ethical questions are being raised about how organs are harvested.

Nod: Christina Dunigan

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fighting carelessness with stupidity

A proposed law in Mississippi would forbid restaurants from serving obese persons.

The trouble with this bill it assumes restaurants are the problem, and gives little credit to the eater for her choices and habits. It is possible to go out to eat, and still eat healthy. It is possible to eat at home all the time, and eat nothing but junk. Both phenomena occur daily across this fruited plain of ours. (Uh-oh, better hide the fruit, someone might make a dessert out of it!)

Modern Commentaries says all that really needs to be said on the matter.

I particularly enjoy the reaction of one of Amy's commenters, who says of the bill's sponsor:

I wonder when he's going to sponsor a bill forbidding bars to serve alcoholics (wouldn't that close down every Amvets and VFW in the country!), forbidding casinos to allow gambling addicts in, and forbidding stupid people from becoming politicians.

Government officials are perhaps the best illustration of the fact that legislation is not an antidote to foolishness.