Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Russian Professor Predicts U.S. Collapse like Soviet Union of 1976

Regarding the following:

The prediction may not be so far-fetched. If Democrats and Barack Obama persist in their alienation of people of faith, including Obama's promise to pass FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act) which would wipe out all gains made against the slaughter of innocent unborn children and doctors, nurses and other health care workers are forced to kill, or partake in the killing of unborn children against their will, you will see a Civil war in the United States.

In the Civil War over slavery, Abraham Lincoln started a war to hold the country together. Now, 4,000 children are killed every day in their mother's womb -- 1.3 million every year. This is far worse than the events that led up to the Civil war. Some states will try to secede from the Union and for good reason -- the red states.

The blue states will be the home of the baby killers and all those who say women should have the right to have their children killed, the pornographers, homosexuals and all others who do not believe in God, or the contents of the Holy Scriptures.

I also predict that many people living in the blue states will want to relocate to one of the red states, because their children will be so indoctrinated in homosexuality, "red-light districts" will be everywhere and the crime rate will run amok. People will want to be around the religious.

And the person who will be solely responsible for this will be the socialist, Barack Hussein Obama, who is the closest thing to the anti-Christ we have in our country.

Write this down. It may not happen during my lifetime, but it will happen. The new Civil War will be a war between good and evil. And if it does happen during my lifetime, hand me a gun and send me to the front lines. I will fight to my death to save the lives of the little children and against the tyranny to force Americans to kill these same children in our hospitals and to force taxpayers to fund the killings.

Frank Joseph MD


DECEMBER 29, 2008

As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.

In Moscow, Igor Panarin's Forecasts Are All the Rage; America 'Disintegrates' in 2010


MOSCOW -- For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument -- that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. -- very seriously. Now he's found an eager audience: Russian state media.
[Prof. Panarin]

In recent weeks, he's been interviewed as much as twice a day about his predictions. "It's a record," says Prof. Panarin. "But I think the attention is going to grow even stronger."

Prof. Panarin, 50 years old, is not a fringe figure. A former KGB analyst, he is dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry's academy for future diplomats. He is invited to Kremlin receptions, lectures students, publishes books, and appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.

But it's his bleak forecast for the U.S. that is music to the ears of the Kremlin, which in recent years has blamed Washington for everything from instability in the Middle East to the global financial crisis. Mr. Panarin's views also fit neatly with the Kremlin's narrative that Russia is returning to its rightful place on the world stage after the weakness of the 1990s, when many feared that the country would go economically and politically bankrupt and break into separate territories.

A polite and cheerful man with a buzz cut, Mr. Panarin insists he does not dislike Americans. But he warns that the outlook for them is dire.

"There's a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur," he says. "One could rejoice in that process," he adds, poker-faced. "But if we're talking reasonably, it's not the best scenario -- for Russia." Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.

Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces -- with Alaska reverting to Russian control.

In addition to increasing coverage in state media, which are tightly controlled by the Kremlin, Mr. Panarin's ideas are now being widely discussed among local experts. He presented his theory at a recent roundtable discussion at the Foreign Ministry. The country's top international relations school has hosted him as a keynote speaker. During an appearance on the state TV channel Rossiya, the station cut between his comments and TV footage of lines at soup kitchens and crowds of homeless people in the U.S. The professor has also been featured on the Kremlin's English-language propaganda channel, Russia Today.

Mr. Panarin's apocalyptic vision "reflects a very pronounced degree of anti-Americanism in Russia today," says Vladimir Pozner, a prominent TV journalist in Russia. "It's much stronger than it was in the Soviet Union."

Mr. Pozner and other Russian commentators and experts on the U.S. dismiss Mr. Panarin's predictions. "Crazy ideas are not usually discussed by serious people," says Sergei Rogov, director of the government-run Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies, who thinks Mr. Panarin's theories don't hold water.

Mr. Panarin's résumé includes many years in the Soviet KGB, an experience shared by other top Russian officials. His office, in downtown Moscow, shows his national pride, with pennants on the wall bearing the emblem of the FSB, the KGB's successor agency. It is also full of statuettes of eagles; a double-headed eagle was the symbol of czarist Russia.

The professor says he began his career in the KGB in 1976. In post-Soviet Russia, he got a doctorate in political science, studied U.S. economics, and worked for FAPSI, then the Russian equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency. He says he did strategy forecasts for then-President Boris Yeltsin, adding that the details are "classified."

In September 1998, he attended a conference in Linz, Austria, devoted to information warfare, the use of data to get an edge over a rival. It was there, in front of 400 fellow delegates, that he first presented his theory about the collapse of the U.S. in 2010.

"When I pushed the button on my computer and the map of the United States disintegrated, hundreds of people cried out in surprise," he remembers. He says most in the audience were skeptical. "They didn't believe me."

At the end of the presentation, he says many delegates asked him to autograph copies of the map showing a dismembered U.S.

He based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI analysts, he says. He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.

California will form the nucleus of what he calls "The Californian Republic," and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of "The Texas Republic," a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an "Atlantic America" that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls "The Central North American Republic." Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.

"It would be reasonable for Russia to lay claim to Alaska; it was part of the Russian Empire for a long time." A framed satellite image of the Bering Strait that separates Alaska from Russia like a thread hangs from his office wall. "It's not there for no reason," he says with a sly grin.

Interest in his forecast revived this fall when he published an article in Izvestia, one of Russia's biggest national dailies. In it, he reiterated his theory, called U.S. foreign debt "a pyramid scheme," and predicted China and Russia would usurp Washington's role as a global financial regulator.

Americans hope President-elect Barack Obama "can work miracles," he wrote. "But when spring comes, it will be clear that there are no miracles."

The article prompted a question about the White House's reaction to Prof. Panarin's forecast at a December news conference. "I'll have to decline to comment," spokeswoman Dana Perino said amid much laughter.

For Prof. Panarin, Ms. Perino's response was significant. "The way the answer was phrased was an indication that my views are being listened to very carefully," he says.

The professor says he's convinced that people are taking his theory more seriously. People like him have forecast similar cataclysms before, he says, and been right. He cites French political scientist Emmanuel Todd. Mr. Todd is famous for having rightly forecast the demise of the Soviet Union -- 15 years beforehand. "When he forecast the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1976, people laughed at him," says Prof. Panarin.
[Igor Panarin]

Write to Andrew Osborn at


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Thank you.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Beautiful Reasons for Praying the Rosary


Beautiful Reasons for Praying the Rosary

Father Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican writes:

One day a colleague of mine heard the devil say during an exorcism, 'Every Hail Mary is like a blow on my head. If Christians knew how powerful the Rosary was, it would be my end.'

The secret that makes this prayer so effective is that the Rosary is both prayer and meditation. It is addressed to the Father, to the Blessed Virgin, and to the Holy Trinity, and is a meditation centered on Christ.

In the case of the public Rosary there are only two people speaking: the Leader and the respondents. Each is speaking to the Blessed Mother and listening carefully to her response within their hearts as they meditate on the scene before them in their consideration of the mystery being spoken of and interpreted and translated into their lives.

Spread this powerful prayer of exorcism, the Rosary, which contains the "Our Father", the Perfect Prayer, prayed five times in the recitation of each set of the Rosary's Mysteries, backed up by the powerful prayers of Our Mother who prays with us as we pray 53 Hail Mary's.

The Eternal Father once described what happens when we pray the Rosary, saying,


"When you pray 'Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now'..., the Blessed Mother comes instantly to your side to pray with you. And she does not come alone. She brings angels with her. And not just one or two for she is the Queen of Angels, so choirs of angels come with her."

"And she and Jesus are joined at the heart and cannot be separated so she brings Jesus with her. And Jesus cannot be separated from the Trinity so He brings the Father and the Holy Spirit with Him. And where the Holy Trinity is, all of creation is, and you are surrounded by such beauty and light as you cannot imagine in this life."

"Your Mother comes as Our Lady of Grace with her hands outstretched. Rays of light emit from her hands piercing your body, healing you and filling you with graces."

"This is your inheritance which was poured out from the heart of Jesus on the Cross, when the centurion pierced His Heart with the spear, into the only pure vessel ready to receive such graces at that time, Your Mother. Now as you pray the Rosary, or even just recite one Hail Mary, you receive your portion of these graces."

"Anyone who goes to Mary and prays the Rosary cannot be touched by Satan."


Is it any wonder that anyone who prays the Rosary from the heart is so blessed and protected and powerful in their prayers for others?


The Hail Mary

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is
the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death. Amen.

>From the Catechism of the Catholic Church; 2675:

"Beginning with Mary's unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God, centering it on the Person of Christ manifested in His mysteries."

"In countless hymns and antiphons expressing this prayer, two movements usually alternate with one another: the first 'magnifies' the Lord for the 'great things' He did for His lowly servant and through her for all human beings."

"The second entrusts the supplications and praises of the children of God to the Mother of Jesus, because she now knows the humanity which, in her, the Son of God espoused."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

When a Catholic Feels he or she is being ATTACKED for their Faith

By Father Trigilio

When I was in high school seminary, we had a professor who introduced us to forensic debating but in a fun way. We had mock courts with judges, juries, defense and prosecuting attorneys. Like the scholastic disputation method done in the time of Saint Thomas Aquinas, we held trials (debates) on such things as the death penalty, abortion, euthanasia, etc. A priest was always the judge but all he did was to rule on our arguments and never injected his opinion. We had another teacher as our coach (senior partner in the firm, so to speak)

What I found was that when compelled to formulate a coherent argument or defense, it makes you appreciate more what you believe. Appeal to sympathy and other logical fallacies were immediately dismissed. One had to use LOGIC and some persuasive argumentation. It also helped knowing what the other side would try to reason in their defense.

Issues like slavery, segregation, prohibition, etc., were also looked at.

Bottom line is to make theological and moral reasoning POSSIBLE in young people by showing that they have the ABILITY and POTENTIAL.

Our first trial was on the legal right of Catholics to practice their faith when the civil government and society are opposed to church teachings on doctrine and morality. Get them to first taste DEFENSE and then gingerly lead them into charitable but successful OFFENSE (apologetics, in other words)

Does not need to be a trial setting, debate works fine, too. More than just writing, oral presentations and some healthy COMPETITION will make it fun and productive.

When a Catholic feels he or she is being ATTACKED for their faith, they tend to become defensive in a good sense. If unanswered questions are first posed in a vulnerable or seemingly harmless situation (Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons' technique) then many are lost whereas if a Catholic has to stand up for what they believe or become a doormat, then their self-preservation kicks in and they begin to DEFEND and finally OWN their faith.


Pro-Life Philosophy

Thank you. Does this work? Can everybody hear me? If not, raise your hands. (Whoever's absent, please raise your hand.)

A Review of Logic
A couple of preliminary rules. I'm a philosopher, I like to argue, so I'd like to say something about the role of argument in addressing an issue like abortion, and then something about the rules of argument, and then something about the structure of an argument, and then something about the criteria for evaluating an argument. Maybe a minute or so each, but without these preliminaries we're in the wrong ball field.

An Argument's Role
The purpose of arguing is not to win. Arguing is not a game. It's not, "I'm cleverer than you are." The purpose of argument is like the purpose of science: to know. It's a means, not the only means, of knowing, of transferring us from ignorance to knowledge, a way of getting out of that cave. Philosophy is, in some obvious ways, not like what we today call science, but in some other less than obvious ways, it's very similar to what we today call science.

The purpose of an argument is to know

First of all, it's about the real world. Not about ideas, concepts, ideologies; those are the poker chips but not the money that you play for. Secondly, philosophy, like science, tries to prove things. There are tests, there are criteria. It's not just exuding your personal opinions or dreams. Some of the proofs claim to be certain, some of them claim only to be probable. A probable proof is still a good one. And finally, like science, philosophy uses experiments, only the laboratory is mental, not physical. An argument is a thought experiment. A syllogism is something like mixing two chemicals in a laboratory and seeing what comes out. Mix two true propositions, click them together in your mind, and see what conclusion comes out. There are objective standards for being right and wrong.

An Argument's Rules
Something about the rules of argument. Arguing is absentmindedness; that is, you abstract from a whole list of other things, like x-rays. You don't look at the skin, you don't look at the nerve endings, you don't look at the patient's face, you don't look at the reactions, you just look at the bone structure. So, argument appeals to objective facts; it doesn't appeal to subjective feelings. It doesn't ignore them, it doesn't say they're worthless, it just abstracts from them. An argument wins not because the rhetoric sways the emotions of the audience, but because the facts line up. That's like science.

One particular rule of argument, about the pro-life/pro-choice debate, is, I think, that the onus of proof has to be on the pro-lifer. Just as, in our courts, a person is innocent 'til proved guilty, I think it's quite fair that an act is innocent 'til proved guilty. So, unless I can prove that abortion is wrong, the jury is out and it's okay. So, I accept that burden of proof. That's, I think, a fair rule of procedure.

An Argument's Structure
Something about the structure of arguments, especially moral arguments, arguments about good and evil. All moral arguments seem to have two parts, two premises. One of them is a value judgment, and the other is a fact. One is a principle, and one is a particular case. And then when you apply the principle to the case, you get the conclusion. X is wrong, this is a case of X, therefore this is wrong. Well, "X is wrong" is a value judgment; "this is a case of X" is simply an empirical fact. You can disagree with either of the two premises, but they're different.

An Argument's Criteria
Finally, the criteria of any argument; what makes an argument work, and what makes it not work. This is just basic common-sensical logic. Since an argument is composed of propositions—classic argument, a syllogism, has two premises: an assumption and a conclusion—and since a proposition is composed of two terms, a subject and a predicate term, there are three parts to the argument: the terms, the propositions, and the logic of the argument. So there's three things that can wrong with any argument. The terms can be ambiguous, the premises can be false, or the logic can be invalid. If none of those things goes wrong with the argument, then honesty and intelligence demand that you agree that the conclusion is true. So, there's five things you can say to anybody's argument.

I agree with your conclusion. You have proved your case. You have no ambiguous terms, no false premises, and no invalid logic, therefore your conclusion is true. Or,
I disagree with your conclusion because your logic is invalid, or
I disagree with your conclusion because one of your premises isn't true, or
Finally, I disagree with your conclusion because one of your terms is ambiguous.
You cannot honestly say a fifth thing, but you can say a fifth thing, namely: Your premises are true, your terms are clear and unambiguous, and your logic is perfectly valid; nevertheless, I do not agree with your conclusion. You've proved it to be true, but I will not admit it. I am a willful, stubborn-headed, pig-headed fool. No one has said that, ever. I hope.

The Pro-Life Argument
There is one very simple argument that is the essence of the pro-life side. I hope that somebody tonight can refute this argument. I really do, because that would make it so much easier. That would relieve my worry, my conscience. That would make it not necessary anymore to make a big to-do of this. If somebody can prove to me that it's okay, then I'd sigh a relief. I haven't found it yet.

Here's the argument. The value premise comes first, then the factual premise, then the conclusion. There are various ways of wording the value premise. You could use some of the language in a very familiar document which begins, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these is the right to life and liberty." I'd prefer not to argue about rights. I have nothing against it, but it gets complicated. There's an easier way to do it.

There's a second way you could formulate the basic principle, and that's a little too easy. All murder is wrong; and then the minor premise would be abortion is murder, therefore abortion is wrong. That's too easy because murder doesn't mean just one thing. It means one thing legally, it means another thing morally.

Premise One

It is wrong to deliberately kill an innocent person

So, I prefer to word my first premise this way: It is always morally wrong to deliberately—that is, intentionally; that is, knowingly and willingly, one part—kill—that is, force death upon by an act of violence; not necessarily an omission, not necessarily letting die; that's different than killing—an innocent person. By innocent, I simply mean a person that does not deserve death, has done nothing to justify being killed. I put that in in order to abstract from the whole argument about capital punishment. I personally am morally ambiguous about capital punishment. I think I'm against it, but I'm not sure, so I don't want to argue on something that I don't feel totally confident about. But I do feel confident that it is always wrong to deliberately kill an innocent person.

What's a person? I'm a person, you're a person. Are all persons human persons? Are all humans persons? What's the relationship between persons and human beings?

Well, there's three possibilities.

One is that all humans are persons and all persons are humans. There aren't any non-human persons, and there aren't any impersonal humans. That's a fairly common-sensical position.
A second option is that there are human persons and there are also non-human persons. Martians, E.T., elves, angels, persons of the Trinity, the Greek gods. You can at least imagine non-human persons—most fantasy is about them—so it's a meaningful concept, whether you believe they exist or not.
A third option is that the term person is not larger than the term human, but smaller. Some of us members of the human race, some human beings, are persons and some aren't. The Nazis believed that Jews were not persons. The Communists believed that Capitalists were not persons. The Supreme Court, according to the Dred Scott decision, believed that black slaves were three-fifths persons, not full persons. That's an option; if you want to argue for that, then you've got an out, because you don't quite agree with the first premise, or you think that the term "person" is ambiguous in the first premise, but in order to justify that you're going to have to make common cause with company that's a little compromised. But we might come back to that option.
All right, there's the first premise: Always morally wrong to deliberately kill an innocent person.

Premise Two
Second, the factual premise. An unborn human being, the product of human conception, is an innocent human person. And abortion is the deliberate killing of that person. What is an abortion? You can't argue about abortion unless you ask what it is. And if you say, "I don't know what anything is, I'm a skeptic," then you don't argue anything at all. You don't even know what an apple is.

Is a fetus a person? Well, is a teenager a person? Is an adult a person? These words—fetus, teenager, embryo, adult—are nouns that come from adjectives. Embryonic human: embryo. Fetal human: fetus. Infantile human: infant. Childish human: child. Teenaged human: human. These are stages of development. Of what? Of one entity. So what is that entity? Philosophically, it seems that that's the crucial issue, because most moralists would agree that the first premise is true. If deliberately killing an innocent person isn't wrong, what is wrong? So it seems that the strongest pro-life case would be to deny that abortion kills a person.

An unborn human being is an innocent human person

All right, when do you become a person? Is it a gradual process, or does it happen suddenly? It's got to be one or the other. Well, if it happens suddenly, at what point? Well, according to the law of the land, it's birth. When the doctor's scissors cuts the umbilical cord, you become a person. Scissors makes you a person. When you move from one room to another, you become a person. When you move from your mother's womb to the larger room called the world, that's when you become a person. So the external environment makes you a person.

Or maybe technology makes you a person. If you're viable—that is, if you can live outside the womb—that makes you a person. Well, viability depends on the technology available to keep you alive. In the jungle, you're not a person; in a hospital, you are. That doesn't make much sense.

So if it's not the scissors that makes you a person, what is it? Well, every biology textbook in the world, before Roe v. Wade, was not in doubt in answering the question, "When does an individual life of any mammalian species begin?" The answer is, "When the genetic code is complete." When instead of the haploid ovum and the haploid sperm, you get the diploid embryo. And at that point, something happens that is totally different, because the thing that's there seems totally different. Cells replicate immeasurably, and a pattern emerges, and gradually organs develop. Granted, there's nothing like a human brain in an embryo, but a human embryo grows a human brain, and an ape embryo grows an ape brain, and a bird embryo grows a bird brain. So that's a bird embryo, not an ape embryo. That's a human embryo, not an ape embryo, even though it doesn't yet have a brain and can't think.

Well, maybe this absolute dividing line of conception or fertilization is too simple. Maybe it's a gradual process. Maybe "person" is not either/or. Maybe you gradually become more of a person. All right, in that case it's not so bad to kill somebody who doesn't have all their systems in place, like a child whose reproductive systems are still immature, as it is to kill an adult. Does anybody seriously believe that it's not as bad to kill an eight-year-old as a eighteen-year-old? Of course not.

Well, the process of growth and development doesn't begin at birth, it begins at conception. And part of it takes place in the nine months in the womb, and then the rest of it takes place in the years after the womb. There is no point during that process where you see any absolute break.

I hesitate to argue this way because once I thought I won an argument and I really lost one, because often that happens. You win the argument, you lose the person. Sometimes you lose the argument but win the person. I was arguing with a very intelligent pro-choice feminist and I argued, "Give me one argument that defends abortion that doesn't also defend infanticide." And we argued for a while, and I felt it was going nowhere, but afterwards she came up to me and said, "You know, I didn't think you could do this, but you convinced me, you made me change my mind." I said, " Oh really? Congratulations, you've seen the logic." She said, "Yeah, now I'm for infanticide." So, sometimes logic is dangerous.

The conclusion of this argument is, of course, that if it's always wrong to deliberately kill an innocent person, and if abortion deliberately kills an innocent person, then abortion is always wrong. Always. Just as rape is always wrong. There's an addition to the argument, a third premise that you can add, that brings it into the social, political, and legal area. Some people will say, "There's nothing wrong with this argument, but I still don't want to legally force my views on people who don't agree with me. I'm personally opposed to abortion, but I wouldn't make it illegal."

An innocent person is killed

So, why do I also believe not only that it is immoral, but that it ought to be illegal? Not everything that's immoral ought to be illegal. The structure of legal reasoning has a moral premise, but then it has a legal premise. If a thing is not morally bad, we don't want to prohibit it by law. But some things are morally bad that we don't want to prohibit by law. Maybe smoking is morally bad, maybe it's irresponsible. I don't think there should be a law against smoking. Maybe not wearing a seatbelt is bad, irresponsible. I don't know whether it's a good idea or not, but I'm sympathetic to those that say there shouldn't be a law about seatbelts. I don't think smoking marijuana's a good idea, but I'm not sure whether illegalizing it is a good idea or not; maybe so, maybe not.

So, you have to add a legal premise to the moral premise, to get a conclusion that this thing that is morally ought also to be legally prohibited. All right, so what's the purpose of law? Law is to protect people. If law doesn't do that minimal job, it's not doing anything. Law has to at least protect the innocent and weak against the guilty and strong. Nobody seriously maintains that there shouldn't be laws against theft, rape, or slavery, because those are clearly cases of misusing human beings, oppression. Well, the legal premise that can be added to this argument is that the law must protect the rights of the innocent and weak against the powerful and strong. Well, if abortion is killing a person, and if that person is innocent and weak, shouldn't he be protected?

I used to call myself a liberal, back in the days of the Civil Rights Movement, because I was on the side of the poor, the oppressed. Blacks and women and the poor, and they had to be liberated. They had equal rights, they were the little guy. I still feel that way, very strongly. And that's precisely the reason why now I vote—and now I'm going to say an obscenity I suppose at Wellesley —Republican. There are a lot of things I don't like about Republicans, but at least they don't justify this slaughter. I think I'm against capital punishment too, and I agree with the liberals there. I tend to be very suspicious of conservatives because they don't show a sensitivity to conserving things like the environment. But those issues pale in significance if abortion is what I just described, if it is the legalized murder of a million of our children every year. So, that's a judgment call.

Why be "personally opposed" if it is not murder?

"I'm personally opposed, but I wouldn't want to make it illegal." That sounds a little bit like Pontius Pilate: "I'm personally opposed to crucifying innocent people, but on the other hand, I wash my hands of responsibility here." That's almost like saying, "I'm personally opposed to slavery, but I'm pro-choice. If you want to have slaves, go ahead." I want to ask one of these politicians, "Why are you personally opposed to abortion? Is it because you believe that abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent person. If not, why are you personally opposed to abortion? It's just, it's yucky? Like you're personally opposed to yogurt?" If abortion doesn't kill a human life, I agree with the pro-choicers: it is an intolerable oppression of women's freedom and women's bodies to tell them what to do. If that's their body and not somebody else's body, you have no right to tell them what to do. But if it's somebody else's body, they have no right to kill that other person.

Three Pro-Choice Arguments
Well, there's three kinds of pro-choice arguments. I can get out of this syllogism of mine. What are the three premises? There's a.) the moral premise, there's b.) the factual premise, and there's c.) the legal premise. You can deny any one of the three premises and these are the main three escape clauses.

In the beginning of the controversy, it was almost always the factual premise that was denied. But the scientific evidence is so clear and so comprehensive and accumulating that that way is not as popular as it used to be.
So, believe it or not, I've found that very many pro-choice philosophers now will deny the first premise. "There are no universal moral rules. There is nothing that is intrinsically wrong. Except, of course, the things our ideology happens to dislike." When you ask them, "Do you really think that cannibalism, or rape, or genocide are morally wrong?" most of them will back down. Some of them will say, "No, you can't make that judgment. I'm personally opposed to holocausts, but I wouldn't impose my will upon a Hitler." Most of us aren't that, well, shameless.
The third kind of pro-choice escape is, of course, to deny the legal premise. But notice what these premises are. To deny the factual premise, you've got to be really scientifically ignorant. To deny the moral premise, you've got to be really morally ignorant. And to deny the legal premise, you've got to be really legally ignorant, because these premises are absolutely simple. It's wrong to kill innocent people. That's pretty simple morality. Your children are human, like you. That's pretty simple science. Law should protect the innocent against those who want to impose violent death upon them when they don't deserve it. That's basic law.

Well, suppose you say, "Yeah, it's a good case, but who knows? You're dogmatizing. Just because you've got a good argument there doesn't mean that somebody won't refute you someday." You're right. You're right, we don't know. Let's be humble, let's be skeptical, let's be like Socrates. He's wise that he knows how little he knows. So now give me an argument from the skeptical point of view.

If you're not sure, don't shoot

There's two possibilities. Either we know what this argument claims, or we don't. Let's assume that the crucial argument is the factual. Let's assume that maybe you know that a fetus is a person with rights and shouldn't be killed, and maybe you don't. That's the Supreme Court's argument in Roe v. Wade: "We do not know when human life begins." Human life is a vague term, by the way. Life. Did you ever see life? What color is life? What size is life? The human person, on the other hand, is concrete. I don't think it's wrong to take life, I think it's wrong to take life from a person who has it. When does a person begin? That's the crucial question.

Well, there's two possibilities: a.) maybe you know that and b.) maybe you don't.
And then there's two possibilities. a.) You are right or b.) you are wrong.

So, number one: the fetus is a person, and you know it. You're right.
Number two: the fetus is not a person and you know that. You're right.
Number three: the fetus is a person and you don't know that. You think it's not. You're wrong.
Number four: the fetus is not a person and you think it is. You don't know the truth. You're wrong. (Like a Pascal's wager, two chances of being right, two chances of being wrong.)
What is abortion in each of these cases? The only four possible cases, logically.

Murder. Case number one: The fetus is a human person, and you know that it is a human person, and nevertheless you kill it. That's murder. That's the legal definition of murder. Knowingly and deliberately imposing violent death upon an innocent human person that you know to be an innocent human person.
Manslaughter. The second possibility. The fetus is, in fact, a person, and you don't know that. You think it's not a person. You sincerely believe that, "Well, maybe it's not a person, I don't know it. I don't know whether it is or not," and you kill it. What's that? Legally, that is manslaughter. Not deliberate murder. It's like running over an overcoat on a dark night in the middle of a highway, that has the shape of a human being, and it might be an old drunk who's just lying there, stoned in the road. And it might just be an overcoat. And you don't swerve, you deliberately run over it. Or, it's like shooting a movement in the bush that might be a deer, and it might be your fellow hunter. Or, it's like fumigating a dormitory without being sure that all the students are out, and the fumigation kills them. You might be lucky. You might find that there is no man under the coat, and there is no hunter behind the bush, and there is no student in the dormitory, but you didn't know that and nevertheless you shot, you fumigated.
Criminal Negligence. That's criminal negligence if there's nobody there, it's manslaughter if there is somebody there. All three cases—murder, criminal negligence, and manslaughter—are bad.
So only the fourth case justifies abortion, and it does.
So, if you can give me some argument that the fourth case is true—not just that a fetus is not a human person, but also you know that it is not a human person, then fine. You're right. But if you don't know, if you're a skeptic, if you say "These pro-lifers are dogmatists, they claim the fetus is a person. Who knows?" Well, that's all the more reason for not shooting. Exactly because you don't know.

I'm not going to end with anything rhetorical, I'm just going to end there. That's the argument.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Horror: Millions of Baptized Christians ...Vastly Increased Number of Murders

"The horror—can anyone still feel genuine horror?—the horror is that millions of baptized Christians have enabled the culture of death to make a quantum jump into unrestrained evil. Regardless of how they have justified this to themselves, the objective consequences of their choice will be a vastly increased number of murders in this land—murder being, by definition, the unjust taking of human life."

StudiObrien Advent 2008 newsletterFriday, December 5, 2008 8:34 AM
From: "studiObrien" Add sender to Contacts To: undisclosed-recipients

Advent, 2008

Dear Friends,

Posted on yesterday’s Lifes! ite News (the worldwide pro-life news service) there is a report of a talk I gave in Toronto two days ago. My remarks were about the difference between the “heroism” of Don Quixote and the authentic sanctified heroism of David facing Goliath. Both men confronted giants, each in a radically different way. If you would like to read the report, the link is:

While I was praying during the week following the U.S. federal election, it came to me that in the times to come we must be prepared to stand totally alone while all the world reviles us and misrepresents what we as Catholic Christians say.

Literally all the world? Well, I don’t think we have reached that point yet. Indeed the outcome of the election has galvanized a great many people of good will who until now have remained supportive of the pro-life movement but not directly involved. There is a new grass-roots marshaling of forces, much of it hidden, quiet, peaceful, but impelled by a love that is stronger than death. People are waking up to the meaning of what has happened, and in the privacy of their souls have made a ! decision to get involved: to resist. And more than resist: to become more active in building the civilization of love against all apparent odds.

Of course, the election has shaken us; but it should not dismay us. It seems to me that a mask has fallen off the face of things, and I expect that the nature of the war in which we are all involved—the Great War that will last until the end of time—is becoming more clear to many.

To reduce Obama's election to purely sociological factors, or to media power, or to confusion among voters, moral blindne! ss, et cetera, is to ignore the spiritual dimension, which has! played a major role during the past forty years in preparing the ground for this moment by manipulating human consciousness, and thereby deforming conscience (see Ephesians 6: 12). Large numbers of people have been deceived, and have acted upon the deceit for all manner of supposedly good reasons. The horror—can anyone still feel genuine horror?—the horror is that millions of baptized Christians have enabled the culture of death to make a quantum jump into unrestrained evil. Regardless of how they have justified this to themselves, the objective consequences of their choice will be a vastly increased number of murders in this land—murder being, by definition, the unjust taking of human life.

The call to be prepared to stand "alone" is about ! an interior condition that we must maintain, not only a resolve to defend truth against all odds, but an acceptance of the sorrows that will inevitably come when we encounter opposition. In part, this means that we will feel within ourselves a profound grief over the condition of the world, and even at times we will grieve over the condition of the particular churches that have either cooperated with, or have failed to resist, the spirit of murder (see Ezekiel 9). This is in contrast to the universal Church under Peter, which has been consistent, bold, prophetic in its resistance to falsehood and in its promotion of the culture of life.

But how are we personally to respond to the call to choose life—defend life, promote life—in every dimension of o! ur society? First, we must recognize the multitude of ways in ! which we have been paralyzed or blocked by our very selves. For many it is a case of habitual flight from “negative feelings” and fear of conflict, combined with feeding our habits of feeling good at all costs.

To grieve is a healthy thing. To be paralyzed by fear is not. To indulge in the rotten catharsis of hatred is very much not. We cannot judge the hearts of anyone who has participated in the evils of our times, including direct or tacit cooperation with murder. However, we must continue to speak about the objective realities. Part of our co-redemptive sufferings (see Colossians 1: 24 and 1 Corinthians 12: 26) will include not only the pains of bearing the hostility of a newly triumphalist "dictatorship of moral relativism" whenever we speak t! he truth, but also may at times include a sense of profound loneliness as all the world rejoices over the spread of evils that it does not recognize as evil. We may or may not be forced to literally lose everything for the sake of defending truth, but the willingness to do so must be foundational in our inner life, if we would hold the ground that has been given us to defend.

We are not alone in this struggle. We will never be alone. Jesus is with us until the end of time—suffering with us and in us and through us for the salvation of the world. There are many who now stand firm, and who will continue to stand firm, like Frodo in the face of the full wrath of Mordor. There are many who are formed by the mind of Christ, who do not allow thems! elves to be mesmerized and conditioned by the various palan! tirs through which the invisible “dark lord” enthralls the world. Of course, dramatic images of ourselves are a temptation of another kind, but we should always remember that we are something much more than a fictional hero; we are adopted sons and daughters of the Father. Christ in the Gospels tells us that we are the salt of the earth. Yet he also warns us that if salt loses its taste it becomes good for nothing but to be trampled underfoot. The trampling of faithful Christians by those who knowingly or unknowingly are against Christ, has begun. But let us not willingly throw ourselves under those feet.

As world consensus affirms what is good in Obama's coming reign while ignoring the massive amount of evil he will bring about, those who continue to voice ob! jections will more and more appear to be extremists. As the poles radically shift, the apparent center moves with them, and what was once considered by all civilized people to be reasonable and just will seem irrational and hateful.

Then comes the danger for those who are awake to the reality of our times: a spirit of resignation can take root as external evils spread, and after resignation comes the slide into either bitterness or apathy. To avoid these alternative reactions, we must always keep our eyes on the approaching victory of Christ, avoiding all compromises with false peace, and continuing to speak—and live—the truth.

At this time we must also beware of over-focus and a kind of "endlosung" mentality, even if a spiritualized one, the yearning for a kind of cosmic "final solution", for divine justice to come immediately, now, to burn it all up. That "great and terrible Day of the Lord" will come, soon or later, but it is not our part to long for it with disregard for the good of souls. Our mission is to work while the light lasts, because the salvation of many yet hangs in the balance. All too easily we can forget mercy and turn away from those who are alive in this world, thus letting ourselves fall into deeper resignation and from there a decline into passive isolationism. Followers of Christ must beware of such either/or traps. The third way, the Christian way, offers depth perception: that is, we work while the light lasts, indeed increasing our efforts in the new evangelization, even as we know from Scripture and the teachings of ! the Church that there will come a time when our efforts will be overwhelmed and appear to be defeated. Truly, the war is already won, but the final battles are (and will be) especially vicious, as Satan knows that his time is short.

Do we have a few short years left, or a decade, or perhaps a generation longer? We do not know. But unless mankind repents, the world as we once knew it will shortly become unrecognizable, even as it appears to be “normal” in the eyes of many. Keep in mind that we have been warned again and again by Christ and the prophets that when men call good evil, and evil good, then the end will come.

"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. On the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed." (Luke 17: 26-37)

Even so, he also says:

“When you see these things begun to happen, look up, for your redemption is near a! t hand.” (Luke 21:28)

"The greater the darkness, the greater our confidence should be." (St. Faustina Kowalska)

And finally this reflection by a 14th century Dominican friar, John Tauler:

"You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed"
Jesus always promised his disciples peace, both before his death and after his resurrection, always peace (John 14:27; Luke 24:36). Never did the disciples receive this peace outwardly, but they garnered peace in suffering, in their struggles and love and, in death, they found life. They found joyful victory, too, when before this death they were interrogated, judged and condemned. They were true witnesses.
Yes, there are many who are filled with sweetness in body and soul, penetrating even to the marrow and veins, but when there follows suffering, darkness, interior and exterior abandonment, then they no longer know what to do with themselves. They come to a full stop and, from that, there issues nothing. When terrible storms come upon them, interior abandonment, exterior temptations from the world, the flesh and the Enemy, whoever is able to go through it all will find the profound peace that no one can take away from them. But whoever does not take this path is left behind and will never taste true peace. From this you know who are Christ's true witnesses.

Holy peace and grace and confidence in our Lord Jesus, "the One"!

Michael O'Brien


Some reflections by a cross-section of Catholic authors:

Pope Benedict XVI: address during hismeeting with Catholic bishops of the U.S.A., 16 Apr! il 2008:

Dr. Mark Miravalle, professor of Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio; president of the worldwide apostolate Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici: "Post-election Commentary: the Remedy":

Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International: "Catholic Culture and the Election of Barack Obama":

John-Henry Westen, editor of "U.S. Bishops’ Stark Warning to Obama":

Mark Mallett, Catholic musician, essayist, lay evangelist: "What if?":

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

God's Plan for Salvation, the Immaculate Conception

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

God’s Preparation for the Divine Humanity

Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee!

(Canticle of Canticles 4:7)

This Scripture passage describes so beautifully God’s masterpiece of creation, that chosen vessel, the Virgin Mary, destined from eternity to bear God into our world. Mary’s vocation as Theotokos, God-bearer of the Redeemer, Mother of the Divine Humanity, is a mission that by its very purpose necessitated her singular privilege of the Immaculate Conception. She who was to give her very flesh and blood to the Son of the living God, the All-Holy One in Whose presence not the slightest impurity can stand, must herself be untouched by any impurity in order to be a fitting dwelling place for Him. She is conceived in God’s eternal mind, the firstborn creature from the bosom of the Father’s unfathomable love. She is the first fruits of her own divine Son’s work of redemption. She is sanctified in the womb of her mother, Anne, by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. She is the epitome of God’s marvelous deeds and of the extravagance of His Love.

Pope Pius IX defined this dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in his Constitution Ineffabilis Deus on December 8, 1854 in these words:

The Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.

Being a descendant of Adam and Eve, Mary, like us, needed redemption. Unlike us who are cleansed from original sin in Baptism, she was redeemed in a more exalted fashion, preserved from original sin in anticipation of Christ’s saving death. No sin, original or personal, ever touched her soul. Favored with the fullness of grace befitting her divine maternity, she who is most like the All-Holy One exceeds all men and angels in purity. Though the angels exceed her in the order of nature, she far surpasses them in the order of grace. She is the Queen-Mother whom the King never refuses. She is the woman expected from the beginning of the world, already revealed by God in the Garden of Paradise when He announced the victory of the Messiah, her offspring, over Satan, as He cursed the ancient serpent.

I will put enmity between thee and the woman and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

(Genesis 3:15)

Mary and her role in God’s plan of salvation can only be understood in the light of the Divine Humanity and in that awesome mystery that is the beginning and end of all things, the Most Holy Trinity, our Creator, our Redeemer and our Sanctifier. The mystery of our Triune God is the central doctrine of our Christian Faith.

The first Eve, mother of all the living, succumbed to the wiles of Satan and in pride and disobedience enticed the first Adam to likewise disobey. Adam’s disobedience effected man’s separation from God and passed on to all their posterity the effects of their sin—a darkening of the mind and spiritual blindness; a hardening of the heart and self-absorption; and a stubborn bending of the human will inward toward self-worship instead of outward toward the worship of God. Sin brought suffering and death and the closing of the gates of heaven to man. Mary, as the new Eve, reversed the effects of the first Eve’s sin precisely by her humility and her obedience to the will of God. While God created us without our consent, He cannot save us without our consent. Why? Having made us in His image which is Love and by definition free, He made us free, knowing full well we might choose to reject Him. And so man, in Adam and Eve, did reject God, but God always takes the initiative. Although He will never force our free will, He will always woo us into the desert, that sacred space deep within us that is His alone, where everything else fails us and He alone remains, where He can speak to our hearts. He spoke to Mary’s heart and she said “yes,” “yes” on behalf of all the living, and God hastened to be born amongst us in Jesus who is like us in all things but sin. Mary gives us Jesus, and in His Divine Humanity the divine and the human are intimately and irreversibly wed. While the Israelites believed that no one could see the face of God and live, in Jesus all humanity does see the Face of God and not only lives but lives ever more abundantly.

Mary is indeed the new Ark of the new Covenant, not made of wood or in stone, but made of grace and written in the hearts of men. She is the Immaculate Tabernacle of the Indwelling God, for in her the Presence of the Living God comes to dwell in our midst, snuggled up to our hearts and commingled with our everyday lives. She is the living temple of the Living God and in her lowliness there is more splendor than in the temple Solomon built. She is the woman clothed with the sun, with the moon at her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head. Sacred Scripture begins and ends boasting her immeasurable grace and God’s fidelity to His promise throughout the ages, manifested and fulfilled in and through her and their Beloved Son.

This Immaculate Virgin, Our Lady of America, appeared to Sr. Mildred Marie Neuzil on November 22 and 23, 1957 under this magnificent image that combines the Mary of Genesis with the Mary of Revelation and identified herself as “I am Our Lady of the Divine Indwelling, handmaid of Him Who dwells within.”

Our Lady was standing on a globe, her right foot resting on a crescent or quarter moon, the left on the snout of a rather small and very ugly looking dragon. I saw fire come out of his huge jaws, but not very much, as he could not open them wide enough because of Our Lady’s foot. At times he seemed to be somewhat black, again of a shade of green. Our Lady was all in white. Her veil was so long that it seemed to envelop the globe halfway. Sometimes the veil appeared so transparent that Our Lady’s hair could be seen through it, and the hair seemed to be sparkling with the light of many glittering stars. At times the edges of the veil, sleeves, and garments seemed to be outlined in light. The veil was held about her head by a wreath of white roses. Her feet were bare.

The previous day Our Lady had appeared with her hands outstretched. At this second visit she slowly raised them, and then crossed them on her breast rather close to her waist. While doing so, she bent her head slightly forward, and it seemed that her eyes were closed, not just lowered. On her breast, as though through a veil, the Triangle and the eye which is often depicted as the symbol of the Divine Indwelling, could be visibly seen. I said that Our Lady’s feet were bare, that is, devoid of any kind of footwear, but on each foot was a large white rose. The roses, both on the feet and on the crown, were of such dazzling whiteness that the outlines of the petals could barely be seen, sometimes not at all. It seemed that a strong beam of light streamed from the Divine Presence within Our Lady onto the globe at her feet. Then halfway around the figure of Our Lady above her head appeared a scroll on which were written in letters of gold the words: “All the glory of the King’s daughter is within.”

The mission of Mary is the mission of all of us, to be living tabernacles where the Presence of God might dwell and make itself manifest in our world. As we learn to share in her grace, may we learn to share in her prayer of praise to the Almighty God who dwells within.

My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He Who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is His name! (Luke 1: 46-47)

There are those who say we give too much honor to Mary. The simple truth is, no one can give Mary as much honor as God Himself has.

So we entrust to your intercession, O Immaculate Mother, Queen of our country, our lives, our families, our Church, our Nation, indeed the whole world which is in such need of your favor and Christ’s redeeming grace. Protect us, O heavenly Lady, so pure and so bright with the radiance of God’s light shining in and about you. Protect us from that deep abyss of evil that is life without God and without your loving maternal care, the evil enveloping our contemporary world. Use us, your children of America, in bringing peace among men and nations. Work untold miracles of the soul in us, as promised, in anticipation of your enthronement in our National Shrine so we may be a glory, as you are, to the Most Holy Trinity who desires to dwell so intimately within us and within our aching world. We thank you, dear Mother, as only your children can!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Was the Economic Meltdown Manufactured?

I don't know. I wouldn't put it past the pro-abortion and gay mafia, who from a large part of the economic elite, to cause hardship for millions to bring about their agenda.

But the economy may not be in as bad shape as the media was saying. This is what Steve Forbes has to say:

"The global economy still retains enormous strengths…The world is flush with cash. It’s frozen because of fear, but the cash is there. Productivity gains are burgeoning. So will this global boom resume next year, slowly at first and then with increasing momentum?

"The proper conservative focus is given by the man I supported for president before George W. Bush defeated him and who has, I believe, a superb economic mind in the U.S. with a journalist’s ability to put ideas in plain words: Steve Forbes.

“Belatedly, governments realized the only way to get credit flowing again was to make massive infusions of new equity into failing banks…Despite the crisis, the global economy still retains enormous strengths…The world is flush with cash. It’s frozen because of fear, but the cash is there. Productivity gains are burgeoning. So will this global boom resume next year, slowly at first and then with increasing momentum? It should. Whether that happens, however, depends on the next highly dangerous phase: the political aftermath.” The change in focus that came yesterday from Treasury seemed to indicate the rightness of Forbes’ position."


What is the Next Logical Step for Republicans?

1 event--the meltdown--cooked us.

Party Should Turn More Conservative.

Every time the national GOP loses the presidency, it becomes more conservative than when it owned the White House. That was the case in 1933 after Herbert Hoover a New Deal-style anti-free market experimenter lost and conservative congressional Republicans changed the party’s philosophy. Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency largely applied Bob Taft’s domestic policies-but also his military ones: Ike rejecting Nixon’s urging for boosting troops in Vietnam or wasting more money on defense to fight the illusory JFK-propagated “missile gap”. Jerry Ford’s loss led to the rise of Reagan conservatism.

So what is likely to happen to the Republicans now that they are in the wilderness? They should speedily become more conservative than George W. Bush has been. But before we go there, let’s take a brief backward look at the election in order to put it in perspective.

The Meltdown was the Deciding Factor.

After every losing election the GOP produces fly-speckers who say “if…if…if.” If he had gone to Ottumwa, Iowa rather than Des Moines. If he had picked Romney instead of Palin. If his staff hadn’t tried to micromanage Palin. If he had a ground game. If he hadn’t accepted federal financing (I agree here most of all). These things are speculative and counter-productive. The mid-September economic meltdown did it. Period.

Going out of the gate, with the unpopularity of the Iraq War and President Bush, the Republicans had no right whatever to imagine they could win in 2008…but McCain started to. Why? The country was center-right and Barack Obama was not. All the way along until mid-September even with the adulatory pro-Obama media working against McCain, it seemed to work--John McCain clocked at 2, 3, 4 or even 5 points ahead of Obama despite all the national media hype that inculcated the man from Chicago as destiny’s savior. With mid-September came the economic meltdown. Since that time, McCain ran 4,5, 6 or 7 points behind depending on the poll you read., was right on the button: Obama won with plus 6.5% of the electorate. In electoral votes of course it was greater-365 to 162 (270 needed to elect). So we should stop muttering if-if-if. The meltdown did it.

Loss but Not a Disaster.

The Democrats did not gain enough in the Senate (plus 6) to put down a Republican filibuster-such as may well occur if they try imposing a “Freedom of Choice” act to override Hyde amendment protections or return to the mid-named “Fairness Doctrine” which would put conservative talk shows in a strait-jacket. In the House Dems gained plus 26. No tidal wave there. Nor in ideology. Polls show now Dems comprise 39% of the electorate, Republicans 32% contrasting with the 37-37 tie in 2004. Nor is the spread in Congress dismaying. After his victory in 1976 Jimmy Carter had bigger margins in the Congress. Moreover-and this is most important-22% of the electorate call themselves liberal (up one point since 2004) and 34% call themselves conservative (unchanged since 2004). Forty-four percent constitute a swing vote-self-identified as moderate-compared with 45% in 2004. That is amply sufficient to build another coalition-if care be done that while continuing George W. Bush’s laudable social policies, it does not simulate his foreign or domestic views.

There were no huge gaffes in the 2008 campaign that Republicans need to torture themselves with. Sarah Palin was just what the doctor prescribed as needed-a bright conservative pro-lifer to energize the dominant evangelical base…and her addition to the ticket undeniably aided the effort, no matter what the liberal media think. In fact their frenetic hatred energizes her case for 2012.

Three Signal “Events.”

Often I have cited Harold Macmillan’s view of politics that it is not engulfed so much in strategizing as in “events, my dear boy, events.” I list the salient events that changed the campaign as three. First, the brilliant defense of pro-life by McCain in the most intellectually stimulating two-part interviews at the Saddleback church run by Pastor Rick Warren. In his interview Obama seriously blundered by saying the question of when life begins “is above my pay grade.” McCain surged with conservatives at that point who set aside all doubt that he was their guy.

In reaction to Obama’s disaster at Saddleback, liberal media felt for the first time that the election of their candidate was in jeopardy…and they dropped any pretense of objectivity in order to savage the candidate who was once their favorite Republican and censor stories that reacted unfavorably on Obama. That’s when the stories first started appearing about McCain’s “advanced” age of 72 (ridiculous: Churchill was 77 when he returned to power in 1951; Charles deGaulle was 77 and at the peak of his career when as president of France he declared an arms embargo on Israel in 1967). The attack culminated with leaked stories of how his reputed short-fuse would ignite world tensions (ridiculous again, the shortest presidential fuses in modern times belonged to the explosive Ike, then Harry Truman, then Bill Clinton).

Second, McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin which so angered the media because she was pro-life…and more: she had resolved to have a Down syndrome baby when liberals believe if abortion rights mean anything the “right” to end an inconvenient life by a mother was being negated. So they resolved to picture her as a naïf and bumpkin with no depth despite the fact she had far more executive experience…as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas commission and governor of the state… than did Obama who in his embarrassingly thin resume ran nothing: zero, zilch. The McCain campaign staff cooperated unwittingly by making her unavailable to conservative talk show media and Fox News, wasting much time preparing her for two liberal appearances where she was savaged-Charlie Gibson’s on ABC and Katie Couric’s on CBS.

Accordingly, media escalated minor news about Palin (the $100,000 wardrobe purchased by the Republican National Committee for her, for example that is being donated to the poor: a news story that stunningly was released by McCain staffers) and embargoed the Los Angeles Times video of a horrific toast Obama made to a Palestinian leader. The New York Times relegated to page 62 behind the corset ads Joe Biden’s scary recounting to NBC’s Katie Couric (who nodded approvingly, itself a weird circumstance) of how as president FDR stabilized the country after the stock market crash of 1929 by going on national television, not understanding that Hoover not FDR was president then and there was no television beyond experimental devices in `29…which cast doubt on Biden’s mental acuity since in his health record there are recorded two serious and separate aneurisms of the brain.

The third event was the economic meltdown which was beyond McCain’s or Obama’s power to avert or even ameliorate. By that time, the Sleepy Eye of the electorate opened wide, grasped that a world crisis was in the making and that Republicans were in power-so the Eye concluded there must be a change in command no matter what the risk.

Summary: The two given conditions for reelection being peace and prosperity, there are no examples in U.S. history where the party in office during wartime which also presides over an economic panic was returned to power: none.

For the future, what should be done?

I: Return to Taft Foreign Policy.

On foreign policy. The direction of foreign-defense policy in the Republican party can be changed without negating the past or pulling up all the stitches that have gone heretofore. Something has happened to take the war off the screen in the 2008 campaign: the surge worked; we’re winning in Iraq.

This leads to the question: Was Iraq necessary? After 9/11 we waited for terrorism’s second shoe to drop-and nothing happened. All the while other sites became targets: Madrid, Glasgow, London and Bali, the entirety of Denmark as well as, of course, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. All this time we have been safe from suicide bombers, germ warfare and skyscrapers being struck by air transports. Assuredly we are not out of danger, but when the presidential campaign regards Iraq as of secondary importance to Sarah Palin’s wardrobe it seems to me there are two conclusions to be drawn. (A) Either al Qaeda has been on vacation or (b) something serious has been done to frustrate their ambitions.

I would say that for now, since terrorism is off the table and presumably will be for the duration of the Bush presidency, out-of-power Republicans should accept the view of the nation’s leading expert on the Middle East, Bernard Lewis that Bush’s reaction to invade Iraq was correct-because for the first time terrorists were shown America has the will and energy to fight for which he credits Bush’s action in Iraq. Since he’s one of the world’s leading experts at age 92, I defer to him.

However I will say that the Republican party of the future should not echo the Bush policy of announcing we will eradicate all tyranny in the world to be replaced by democracy whether the inhabitants want democracy or not . This Wilsonian futility is self-evident.

Then what foreign policy should be adopted by the Republican party? I would say it is largely contained in A Foreign Policy for Americans written by Robert A. Taft circa 1951. He was not just a great constitutionalist but a skilled diplomat, having learned intelligent policies from his father, the 27th president who encouraged U.S. businesses to invest in under-developed nations (for the U.S.’s own good, thus it was called “dollar diplomacy”) . Young Bob learned at his knee and served first-hand as a legal counselor at Versailles where he learned the folly of Wilsonian idealism. In his book he wrote, “Our traditional policy of neutrality and non-interference with other nations was based on the principle that this policy was the best way to avoid disputes with other nations and to maintain the liberty of this country without war.” But he made clear that “it has always opposed any commitment by the United States in advance to take any military action outside of our territory. It would leave us free to interfere or not interfere according to whether we consider the case of sufficiently vital interest to the liberty of this country. It was the policy of the open hand.” (Italics mine).

Taft’s should be the policy leading to the future with the proviso of returning full measure to terrorists who strike at this country. Far different from the missions made by Condoleezza Rice where she junkets around the world as a constable of rectitude and screams at every unfriendly country including Iran that the United States won’t stand for this-or-that. That is world policeman stuff.

Nor is Barack Obama’s enunciated policies like Taft’s. Obama is willing to meet with America’s enemies without preconditions (it’s a good question whether he thinks we have any enemies). He was willing from the outset to abandon Iraq. Thus we would have lost the war and trivialized the lives lost there-a war we are now winning. That is not the Bob Taft view of the world who strongly opposed the Korea “police action” but determined that once we were in Korea to we must win it. He would have chosen Douglas MacArthur…the architect of “there is no substitute for victory” as his vice president. (How those two would have meshed, however, is anybody’s guess).

Another point. I have always been embarrassed by Republican candidates publicly pandering for Jewish votes here by threatening to engage in a Mideastern war solely to defend Israel and no other purpose. Here we were in 2008, at war in Iraq, at war in Afghanistan, on a rumble with Russia over Georgia, threatening to repulse Iran… and John McCain issuing yet another threat of war bearing on Israel’s survival. Almost like we are lashed together as one nation. Those who respect the policy of the free hand for U.S. involvement were and are genuinely disturbed with that talk.

I can understand our evangelical Protestant allies…invaluable supporters in all elections… see a symbolic Biblical tie between Christianity and Judaism which I share. Assuredly, Protestant evangelicals are an indispensable part of any winning effort Republicans are to make. They who voted for McCain by 92% are far more influential and effective in the grassroots for conservative elections than indifferent Catholics (only one in four who go to church) who voted for Obama 54%.

All the same, while we revere democracy in Israel (in fact we send millions of dollars in aid to it very year) the most pragmatic political argument to scotch the pounding of war-drums vis-à-vis Israel is this: 78% of American Jews voted for Obama who was pulled up short early in the campaign as being insufficiently pro-Israel and who was at times was even suspect as favoring Palestinians and was quoted in that famous toast as saying he learned much at the feet of an anti-Israeli Palestinian scholar.

Especially to nurture the tie with evangelical Protestants who comprise an essential part of our base, we should respect the historic ties between Christianity and Judaism. But let’s do it with less stentorian bombast than McCain, George W. Bush and others have stressed. Under Richard Nixon with Henry Kissinger at his elbow and under George H. W. Bush they pursued realistic not idealistic foreign policies. Realism should return to American foreign policy-essentially despite all the challenges, we cannot and should not send our secretary of state across the globe issuing dire warnings of war-war-war.

II: A Sharply Curtailed Domestic Policy.

On domestic policy, Republicans should get one thing straight: The only “compassionate conservatism” that counts is lessened government size, fewer oppressive regulations and tax cuts. Not by adding other government programs to those liberals have created which we label as ours…as did Bush and Good Time Charlie Speaker Dennis Hastert…when they passed their hugely costly new entitlement program for seniors.

On the economic meltdown: It was not caused principally by “business greed” (as McCain and Palin have erroneously said) but by government and political foul-ups…partially by Alan Greenspan’s arrogant mistakes at the Fed for which he is now contrite…but most significantly by Democratic favorites at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac named in 1988 by Bill Clinton who got hundreds of millions in bonuses, Franklin Raines and Jamie Garlick. A Bush OMB probe in 2004 found massive fraudulent bookkeeping at Fannie Mae but was blocked by Democrats, Congress refused to hold hearings.

All the while Fannie Mae gave millions to Democratic causes including ACORN and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), banking chairman along with Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), a member of the Federal Financial Management committee as well as Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), chairman of House Financial Services, an acknowledged gay whose boyfriend was a key executive at Fannie Mae. (Media blacked out this news). Raines and top executives were forced to resign in 2005, paid $31.4 million in civil fines, did not go to jail, received little media coverage and were allowed to keep their bonuses.

McCain introduced the “Federal Housing Regulatory Reform” act in 2005, saying ”if Congress doesn’t act taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market and the overall financial system.” Media gave it almost no coverage. Democratic recipients of Fannie Mae cash opposed it and it died aborning. Instead, the Democratic congress passed stringent anti-business bill, Sarbanes-Oxley which media gave extensive coverage to.

On the $700 billion rescue package: The proper conservative focus is given by the man I supported for president before George W. Bush defeated him and who has, I believe, a superb economic mind in the U.S. with a journalist’s ability to put ideas in plain words: Steve Forbes. “Belatedly, governments realized the only way to get credit flowing again was to make massive infusions of new equity into failing banks…Despite the crisis, the global economy still retains enormous strengths…The world is flush with cash. It’s frozen because of fear, but the cash is there. Productivity gains are burgeoning. So will this global boom resume next year, slowly at first and then with increasing momentum? It should. Whether that happens, however, depends on the next highly dangerous phase: the political aftermath.” The change in focus that came yesterday from Treasury seemed to indicate the rightness of Forbes’ position.

By which he means whether we follow policies that hinder growth or and retard or abort a full-blown recovery-“regulations that stifle innovation and taxes that harm the creation and deployment of capital.” Such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s crusade to add car makers to the list of taxpayer beneficiaries and to “let Main street share with Wall street” whatever that means.

Also: The out-of-power Republican party must be to take up what has been aptly called the elements of the “leave us alone” campaign of Grover Norquist-fighting government’s “takings,” defending gun owners’ rights, ending misguided campaign finance “reforms” that curtail free speech (in favor of unlimited contributions with immediate Internet disclosure), and by all means defending the taxpayer: reducing the corporate income tax rate, cutting the 35% tax rate on corporate capital gains, advocating a flat tax, abolishing the alternative minimum tax, abolishing the death tax and most important, creating a constitutional protection against taxes creeping back.

There: that’s off my chest. Enough for now. More at some future time.

Posted By: Tom Roeser

Monday, December 01, 2008

Beware of Fake Pro-Lifers: Matthew 25 Network and Doug Kmiec

Don't Listen to the Counterfeit Pro-Lifers Like Matthew 25 Network and Kmiec
Washington, DC ( --

Last week, nationally-recognized pro-life nurse and blogger Jill Stanek wrote a column about fake pro-lifers. She responded to groups like the Matthew 25 Network and Obama backers like Doug Kmiec who tried to fool pro-life voters into thinking pro-abortion candidate Barack Obama wasn't so bad.

Stanek says so-called pro-life advocates like them never show up with the millions of Americans who are genuinely pro-life. "If you've missed spotting any of these pro-life 'activists,' the clueless Washington Post deemed them, at pro-life events like the annual March for Life, or speaking or writing on the pro-life issue, it's because they've been MIA." Stanek says she's always ready to welcome a pro-life convert to the cause.

"Just not Obama supporters who argued that despite his support of abortion on demand even after delivery, Obama's 'abortion reduction' plan allowed pro-lifers to vote for him, and besides, there were other equally important issues." Stanek says these so-called pro-lifers like to cite how the economy affects abortion but fail to note how abortion businesses prey on poorer women, blacks and Hispanics.

"In defending welfare, both newspapers cited a 2000 Guttmacher (research arm of Planned Parenthood) study finding abortion among women in poverty was four times higher than woman of means.

They didn't site another Guttmacher Institute study that found 97 percent of all abortion mills are located in urban areas, where those poor women live."

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California: "69,000 HIV/AIDS Deaths due to Male/Male Sex"

Should California Declare Homosexuality 'Marriage' in Light of HIV/AIDS Data?
On World AIDS Day, Accountability Needed in California
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 1 /Christian Newswire/ -- For two decades, the U.S. has done virtually nothing to arrest the behavior causing most cases of HIV/AIDS in this country: homosexual sex.

In California, homosexuals are now demanding their behaviors be considered "marriage," even if it means subverting a lawful vote.

Let's look at California and HIV/AIDS:

1. In California, 67% of HIV/AIDS cases are directly linked to male homosexual behavior, with another 9% involving the combined risks of males having sex with males (MSM) and injection drug use (IDU)(Source: California Department of Public Health).

2. California has experienced 69,000 HIV/AIDS deaths due to male/male sex since the beginning of the epidemic (From CDPH data).

3. In California, nearly 62,000 people are now living with HIV or AIDS (Source: CDC 2006 Surveillance Report). Applying the current trend that at least two- thirds of these cases result from MSM, approximately 41,000 infected males who have sex with males now live in California, eligible to legitimize this epidemic through "marriage" if the California Supreme Court rules against the Proposition 8 voters' decision.

4. California is receiving $363 million federal dollars for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment (source: As shown above, roughly 2/3 of these cases result from male/male sex, about $5900 per infected male.

HIV/AIDS in the U.S. is an expensive homosexual disease. Yet no current approaches deal with this reality.

"Males need to stop having homosexual sex," said Harvey. "That means, close homosexual hang-outs, especially all bathhouses. Patrol public parks and arrest men having sex in public toilets. Stop sponsoring large public events, like Folsom Street Fair, that allow public sex and nudity. Ignore the screams of the homosexual lobby when officials do the right thing, even for them. Think of the lives that would be saved and disability prevented."

If we are unwilling to do this, Harvey said, taxpayers should stop subsidizing the current phony approaches to this disease, including the proposal of the Obama-Biden administration, which does not even mention homosexual behavior ( ).

And they should hold California officials accountable if they would presume to call homosexual behavior "marriage."

Saying an unequivocal "no" to homosexual sex, along with discouraging injection drug use and high-risk heterosexual sex, should be the top priority in any honest and effective prevention strategy. And it should be the primary message we teach our youth.

For more HIV/AIDS facts, go to

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI May Change Catholic Mass

Pope May Change Catholic Mass
Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI may change the sequence of the Catholic Mass, including the sign of peace exchanged between worshipers, in order "to create a more meditative climate" of worship, a senior Vatican official said.

Cardinal Francis Arinze said the pope had asked all bishops for their views on whether the sign of peace, which is shared before Communion, should be moved to an earlier point in the Mass.

Arinze, who heads the Vatican body in charge of liturgy and sacraments, made the announcement in last Saturday's edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.

"The meaning of this gesture is often not fully understood," Arinze said. "It is thought to be a chance to shake hands with friends. Instead it is a way to tell those nearby that the peace of Christ, really present on the altar, is also with all men."

Under the contemplated change, Arinze said, the sign of peace would instead take place at the "offering of the gifts" when the Eucharistic bread and wine are brought forward.

Pope Benedict has more than once expressed concern about the disruptive potential of the sign of peace when performed in an inappropriate fashion.

In a 2007 document, he called for "greater restraint in this gesture which can become exaggerated and cause a certain distraction in the assembly before the reception of Communion."

Arinze gave no indication of when Benedict might decide on the possible change.

-- Religion News Service

Palin's Priorties of God and Family vs. Leftist and Republican Elitist

-"Since the election [Palin] has fearlessly and steadfastly stated her priorties- God, family- stop right there, because that is enough to enrage the leftist [as well as some Republican elitist] and drive them to relentless attacks."

- "Apparently, insiders of both parties are afraid that Sarah might represent the majority of Americans."
[Journalist Christopher Manion, The Wanderer, Nov.20, 2008]

McCain Owes Sarah Some Straight Talk

Where's John McCain's honor when we need it?

We'll find out tonight, when the Arizona Republican appears on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. In the week since the election, Mr. McCain's campaign team has leaked some nasty stuff about Sarah Palin. These leaks are personal, and they speak more to the character of Mr. McCain and the leakers than they do to Mrs. Palin. So it will be telling if Mr. McCain stands up for his partner and says how offended he has been by what some of his staffers have done to her.

Two weeks or so before the campaign was over, the first round of McCain campaign rumors alleged that Mrs. Palin was a "whack job," and characterized her clothes-shopping as "hillbillies looting Neiman-Marcus from coast to coast." More recently, she has been alleged to know as little about geography as Barack Obama knows about the number of states in the union (at one point, he put it at 57).
The unmistakable message here has nothing to do with Africa, the North American Free Trade Agreement or bathrobes. It is the campaign team's cry, "It's not our fault. How could we ever win with this woman on the ticket?"
The first point to make here is the most obvious: This is the language of losers.
This whole display calls to mind those embarrassing codas to each episode of "The Apprentice," when the losing team would sit before Donald Trump in the boardroom and then start blaming everyone but themselves for their failures. The apparent eagerness of Team McCain to indulge in this kind of fingerpointing is similarly unprofessional, and it raises an interesting question.
We are asked to believe that Mrs. Palin was not ready for a national campaign. On what evidence from any part of this election are we to conclude that anyone on the McCain campaign team was ready for a national campaign?
Let's stipulate that Mrs. Palin was not perfect. Regardless whose idea the Katie Couric interview was, it went badly and left some damage. The phone call she took from a comedian pretending to be French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy didn't help. Neither did her assignment as campaign attack dog, the traditional role for any vice presidential candidate.
Yet there are other, more salient points. In the treatment of Mrs. Palin by some of the McCain staff, there is the clear whiff of condescension. That's something a sitting American governor might understandably find hard to stomach coming from a bunch of young professional Republicans who have never themselves run for office.
Ultimately, of course, this will all pass. And if Mrs. Palin goes back and continues to do a good job as governor of Alaska, these attacks will likely only reinforce her outside-the-Beltway credentials to rank-and-file Republicans.
Let's remember too that the only time Mr. McCain surged ahead -- in the polls, in the volunteers, in the mojo -- was when he picked Mrs. Palin. Before that he and his staff had been flying solo, and they were losing. When the contest returned to the top of the ticket, as presidential campaigns inevitably do, Mr. McCain and his team drove their lead into the ground.
It wasn't Mrs. Palin who dramatically flew to Washington promising a legislative answer to the most important economic issue of our day -- and then, in the words of a New York Times campaign profile, "came off more like a stymied bystander than a leader who could make a difference."
And what does it say when the campaign team of a man who has spent decades in the U.S. Senate cannot agree on (much less present) a coherent answer to why he should be elected president of the United States -- except that he's not Barack Obama?
In Mr. McCain's moving concession speech, he wished "godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president." He asked his fellow Americans to join him in helping President-elect Obama bridge our differences and build a better, more hopeful nation.

It will be instructive to see whether Mr. McCain will now extend the same level of graciousness to Mrs. Palin that he has to Mr. Obama, by giving a public slapdown to the very public smears emanating from his own campaign team. We have no idea what Mr. McCain will do when he sits down with Mr. Leno tonight.
But there's no doubt what a man of honor would do.


Palin is opposed to abortion in almost all cases, including rape and incest, but not if the life of the mother is endangered.[23][24][25] In 2006, while running for governor, Palin was asked what she would do if her own daughter were raped and became pregnant; she responded that she would "choose life."[24] She and her husband have stated that they have "faith that every baby is created for a good purpose."[26] When asked what she would do as governor if Roe v. Wade were overturned, she responded "it would not be up [to me] to unilaterally ban anything. It would be up to the people of Alaska to discuss and decide how we would like our society to reflect our values."[27] Palin personally supported bills to outlaw late-term abortions and to require parental consent for underage abortions in Alaska,[28] but rebuffed religious conservatives who wanted to legislate restrictions on abortion even though she agreed with the bills.[29]

In her televised interview with ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson on September 12, 2008, Sarah Palin made the statement that as a politician she felt that her opinions were to be made openly to the public, but that sometimes it may differ with political legislation. When Gibson asked if she thought Roe v. Wade should be overturned, she replied, "I think it should and I think that states should be able to decide that issue."[30] Palin also said that she hoped "to reach out and work with those who are on the other side of this issue, because I know that we can all agree on the need for and the desire for fewer abortions in America and greater support for adoption, for other alternatives that women can and should be empowered to embrace, to allow that culture of life."[30] Gibson noted that Republican presidential nominee John McCain allows exceptions for rape or incest, and asked, "Do you believe in it only in the case where the life of the mother is in danger?" Palin answered, "That is my personal opinion."[30] When pressed on the matter, she said, "My personal opinion is that abortion allowed if the life of the mother is endangered. Please understand me on this. I do understand McCain's position on this. I do understand others who are very passionate about this issue who have a differing [opinion]."[30]

[edit] Stem cell research
Governor Palin stated in 2006 that because she believes embryonic stem cell research causes the destruction of life, it is inconsistent with her pro-life position and she does not support this research.[31]

All of the various adult stem cell research approaches are supported by Palin. In an interview with Charlie Gibson, Palin differentiated between the two types of stem cell research "And thankfully, again, not only are there other options, but we're getting closer and closer to finding a tremendous amount of other options, like, as I mentioned, the adult stem cell research".[32]

[edit] Sex education
Palin is opposed to "explicit sex-ed programs", including "school-based clinics and the distribution of contraceptives in schools", though is in favor of teaching children about contraception, having said "kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues". She has expressed strong support for abstinence-only sex education as an alternative.[33][34] [35]

Palin: "I think the Republican Ticket Represented too much of the Status Quo"

-“I think the Republican ticket represented too much of the status quo, too much of what had gone on in these last eight years, that Americans were kind of shaking their heads like going, wait a minute, how did we run up a $10 trillion debt in a Republican administration? How have there been blunders with war strategy under a Republican administration?” Palin said.

GOP ticket was too ‘status quo’
By ANDY BARR | 11/10/08 11:19 AM EST Text Size:

Sarah Palin says she and John McCain lost because the GOP ticket 'represented too much of the status quo.'

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Sunday that she and running mate John McCain lost because the Republican ticket “represented too much of the status quo.”

In an interview with the Anchorage Daily News posted on the paper’s site Monday morning, Palin pointed a finger at the Bush administration for souring the GOP brand, adding that it was “amazing” that the McCain campaign did as well as it did.

“I think the Republican ticket represented too much of the status quo, too much of what had gone on in these last eight years, that Americans were kind of shaking their heads like going, wait a minute, how did we run up a $10 trillion debt in a Republican administration? How have there been blunders with war strategy under a Republican administration?” Palin said.

“If we’re talking change, we want to get far away from what it was that the present administration represented, and that is to a great degree what the Republican Party at the time had been representing. So people desiring change, I think, went as far from the administration that is presently seated as they could. It's amazing that we did as well as we did.”

Looking back on the race, the Alaska governor said that she was “frustrated” by misinformation spread about her, especially related to her family.

“Some of the goofy things, like who was Trig's mom. Well, I'm Trig's mom, and do you want to see my medical records to prove that? And banning books. That was a ridiculous thing also that could have so easily been corrected just by a reporter taking an extra step and not basing a report on gossip or speculation,” Palin said.

“Just looking into the record. It was reported that I tried to ban Harry Potter when it hadn't even been written when I was the mayor. So, gosh, we have so many examples, I mean every day, especially the first few weeks, every day something that was thrown out there.”

After railing against earmarks and congressional spending on the campaign trail, Palin promised “fewer earmark requests” for projects “that can help on a national front, not just on a state front.”

Asked about running for the Republican nomination in 2012, the Alaska governor seemed cool to the prospect, pointing out that current polling showing favorable prospects in a potential GOP primary field are likely to shift.

“Look how fickle poll numbers are,” Palin said. “Look where I've gone, up and down, up and down, even in the state of Alaska the last couple of months. We can't pay attention to those numbers.”