Friday, January 30, 2009

What Is VOTF's Real Agenda?

What Is VOTF's Real Agenda?
Fred Martinez
Monday, Aug. 12, 2002
Recently, Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) became the news media's favorite "Catholic" lay organization to cure the Catholic Church of its sex-abuse scandal.
The New York Times and Boston Globe wrote glowing articles about this new "mainstream" Catholic organization. Even in Ireland and on the European landmass, newspapers were covering this "grassroots" group that started from a humble church basement.

VOTF claims it wants to democratize and subordinate the bishops to "lay participation." It also claims to be mainstream and conservative.

I received this e-mail from one of my readers asking me about VOTF's claims:

"Could you please direct me to a reliable assessment of the group Voice of the Faithful? A local 'chapter' is meeting this afternoon in Nashville, and it has been characterized by a local priest as 'just conservative Catholics who want some changes."

Voice of the Faithful and Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

The only information I had about this "conservative Catholics" group was that a member of VOTF's steering committee was working closely with the homosexual spin group Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

On June 15 at the Dallas bishops meeting, homosexual activist Cathy Renna, writing for GLAAD's Web site, said that during a victory get-together, she met with "a number of familiar media faces" and Anne Barrett Doyle of the Coalition of Concerned Catholics, who is a member of the steering committee for the lay reform movement Voice of the Faithful.

According to Renna, "Anne was one of the first people I spoke with back in March when we were cultivating resources and contacts to offer media outlets. ... Seeing Anne at the cathedral brought to mind how far we've come in the past months."

During those months, the media outlets, under the sway of gay activists like Renna and her friend Doyle, had censored George Will, Pope John Paul II's spokesman Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls, and the almost-all-conservative spokespersons in Dallas who attempted to report the "link between homosexuality and sexual abuse by priests," which U.S. News & World Report detailed before the media cover-up.

Earlier in the year, before the recent cover-up was solidified, U.S. News & World Report columnist John Leo wrote that studies have shown that 5 percent of priests or fewer fit the pedophile description. He said: "Most sexual victims of priests are teenage boys [abused in homosexual acts], according to one estimate. A study of Chicago's 2,200 priests identified 40 sexual abusers, only one of whom was a pedophile."

Now, just because one of the VOTF steering committee members was working closely with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance spin group to censor George Will, Pope John Paul II's spokesman and the Catholic conservative spokespersons at the Dallas bishops meeting doesn't necessarily mean that the VOTF isn't a "mainstream" and "conservative Catholic" group.

One must examine the "mainstream" and "conservative Catholic" priests that are supporting VOTF before making any judgments about that group. Unfortunately, not one single mainstream and conservative orthodox Catholic priest supports the group.

Voice of the Faithful and the Liberal Richard P. McBrien

However, Father Richard P. McBrien, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, put his support for the organization into an article in the Tiding on July 19 called "Listening to the 'Voice of the Faithful.' " As all mainstream and conservative Catholics know, McBrien is one of the most liberal Catholic theologians in the U.S.

McBrien has shown that he is 100 percent opposed to the official teachings of the Catholic Church when it counters the gay and lesbian movement's agenda.

The official Catechism of the Catholic Church states in section 2357 that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered ... under no circumstances can they be approved."

Also, the Sacred Congregation for Religious in Rome in 1961 stated: "Those affected by the perverse inclination to homosexuality or pederasty should be excluded from religious vows and ordination." Roman Catholic Faithful President Stephen Brady said, "The Church directive has never been rescinded and is still officially in force."

But McBrien, on a April 5 Tiding piece, disagreed with those who hold the official teachings of the Church, calling them "homophobes who look upon gays as disreputable souls held in the grip of the worst sort of moral perversion."

He then went on to attack Pope John Paul II's spokesman Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Valls for wanting to get "rid of gay priests."

The Vatican spokesman said homosexual ordination might be invalid in the same way a marriage can be annulled on the grounds that it was invalid from the start. For example, a woman who marries a homosexual can get her marriage annulled on those grounds.

McBrien, in his anger at Pope John Paul II's spokesman, revealed how widespread the homosexual problem is in the U.S.

He wrote: "A few priests have privately observed that, if this [homosexual ordination annulment] were actually to happen, the Roman Catholic Church might lose two-thirds of its priests under the age of 45 and some bishops as well. At the same time, many of its seminaries could be emptied of all but a handful of students."

A Large Percentage of the Liberal U.S. Priests Are Homosexual

Some orthodox Catholics have observed that the Vatican and some Latin American bishops are naïve as to how big a percentage of the liberal U.S. bishops and U.S. priests are homosexual.

The statement by one of the most respected liberal U.S. Catholic theologians that "two-thirds of its priests under the age of 45 and some bishops as well" are homosexual will hopefully open the eyes of those who are naïve about the "gay movement's" influence over liberal priests and certain VOTF lay Catholic theologians.

Lay Catholic theologian Thomas Groome, Senior Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College who has been a featured speaker at VOTF meetings in the Boston Diocese, is – like McBrien – in favor of homosexual ordination.

On March 21, according to the Miami Herald, Groome said homosexuality is rampant in the nation's seminaries. The Herald quoted the lay theologian as saying, ''A well-balanced gay person can make a fine priest. ''Having been 'inside,' I knew lots of gays and philanderers. I've known hundreds of priests and never known a pedophile. They hide themselves well,'' said Groome.

According to the Boston Diocese Sacred Heart Bulletin, in June Groome gave his lay participation talk on "Doing Theology Ourselves" at St. Eulalia's Parish (Manion Hall) on Ridge Street, Winchester, which is a major chapter of VOTF in the diocese.

The Rev. Victor LaVoie, a Strong Supporter of Voice of the Faithful

The Boston Globe said St. Eulalia parishioners praised pastor Rev. Victor LaVoie as "a strong supporter of the Voice of the Faithful."

One must consider the Rev. LaVoie to be unfaithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church on homosexuality if he has ex-priest (and McBrien clone) Groome – now turned lay spokesman – speaking at his parish.

On July 26, LaVoie became "the17th priest the archdiocese [of Boston] has removed over allegations of sexual abuse since January," according to the Globe.

The parishioners who supported VOTF also support their pastor. The Globe said, "Hundreds of parishioners attended a prayer meeting at St. Eulalia's last night to discuss LaVoie's suspension and to pray for him."

This is still the U.S. and LaVoie is innocent until proven guilty. So to be fair, the archdiocese's review board is still investigating all the priests suspended on credible allegations.

It has not yet announced any decisions on any of the cases, including the pastor of St. Eulalia. It is good that LaVoie has been suspended and it will be good that he and others spend time in jail if the allegations are true.

VOTF and Liberals Use Church Scandal as a Power Grab

VOTF and other liberals, however, were not so fair with other priests alleged to have committed sex abuse who they have been using as a political football to forward their lay participation and homosexual agenda.

Nor have VOTF or the liberals been so fair with the Vatican when it brought forward the real reason for the vast majority of the sex-abuse scandal.

It is safe to say that one cannot find one liberal Catholic who will support the whole statement of the 1961 Sacred Congregation for Religious, which stated: "Those affected by the perverse inclination to homosexuality or pederasty should be excluded from religious vows and ordination."

In fact, the pro-gay National Catholic Reporter (NCR), which is "the newspaper" of U.S. liberal Catholics – and a strong supporter of McBrien – has been pushing Voice of the Faithful as a mainstream organization for months.

On May 24, in an article called "Church in Crisis: Scandal Diminishes Churches' Clout," NRC said, "Not only are pastors running weekly notices about Voice of the Faithful's meetings – explaining the group's mission and goals – but some are assisting laywomen and men in establishing parish voice chapters in their respective churches."

In the very same article NCR said, "While these legislative developments indicate a waning of the [Boston]archdiocese's influence on relatively mainstream social policy matters, perhaps an even stronger measure of the cardinal's diminishing political clout came last month at a joint state House and Senate committee hearing. Two priests publicly opposed the church's position. The topic was same-sex marriage. ...

"While many of the gay community's longstanding political, legal and religious allies gathered in the statehouse to oppose the gay civil-rights setback, they were joined – for the first time in state history – by two Roman Catholic priests."

These statements on VOTF and homosexuality by the most respected liberal U.S. Catholic newspaper and the Rev. McBrien, the respected liberal theologian, show that VOTF is not mainstream, as James Likoudis says.

"Richard P. McBrien oozes with admiration for this group [Voice of the Faithful] seeking to restructure the Church, democratize it, gain financial control of it, and subordinate our Bishops to this new lay class of secular feudal lords and professionals," Catholics United for the Faith's Likoudis said.

"It's a power grab under the guise of more 'lay participation' and is made up of those dissenting liberals and radicals who do not like Catholic moral teaching but do like Dignity and GLAAD [radical homosexual organizations]."

Read more on this subject in related Hot Topics:
Catholic Scandal

What do Al Franken and VOTF have in Common?

By Fred Martinez

“[Radio host Al] Franken also imitated a priest giving Communion, saying "Body of Christ" when an imagined pedophile priest was in line but "not for you" when pro-choice politicians came up,” according to Michael Goodwin of the New York Daily News.

This Franken mockery of the Eucharist on Air America radio proves he is an idiot and possibly an anti-Catholic bigot. This ridicule reminds one of the Nazi propaganda that mocked the most sacred religious Jewish customs. The Jewish religion holds God’s very name in the highest respect and reverence.

The radio host, who claims to be Jewish, in the introduction of his new book Lies And the Lying Liars has a disrespectful mock conservation with the Holy One of the Old Testament. Here‘s an sample Franken‘s mockery:“’TOTAL BULL____,’ God said. ’ START BY ATTACKING THEM. HE’S [former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg who wrote a book about liberal bias] CLEARLY A DISGRUNTLED FORMER EMPLOYEE, AND SHE [Ann Coulter who wrote a book about liberal bias] JUST LIES. BY THE WAY, THERE’S SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH HER. ’”

To put it mildly, Franken’s purpose for writing his book was to “prove” that there isn’t a liberal bias. According to the radio host “[a]lmost every fact in this book [Lies And the Lying Liars] is correct. Either that, or it’s a joke.”

Franken’s Alleged Facts and Humor Here’s another example of radio host ’s alleged humor in his book on page 239:

“’Give it back! [Clarence] Thomas’s squeal broke their reverie.’ Give me back my magazine.’‘

Kerry and Gore jumped topsides and saw Ashcroft holding a cheaply printed magazine featuring teenage Vietnamese prostitutes.’”

I assumed this “joke” refers back to the alleged and “totally uncorroborated charges of off-color language against” the then African American Supreme Court nominee ClarenceThomas.

Franken thinks its funny to promote “totally uncorroborated charges“ against the African American Thomas, but is fuming in his book because of “[c]redible rape charges” against his great hero Bill Clinton who sexually abused women (imagine the media indignation if sex abusing priests had used cigars), allegedly raped a woman, obstructed justice and lie under oath.

The radio host is outraged on page 138 because Bill O’ Reilly “deplored not only the Clinton’s alleged rape of Broaddrick, but also the mainstream medias’ rape of the American public in failing to report the alleged rape.”

Brent Bozell shows the “double-standard” of the media in this case best when he wrote:

“Credible rape charges are not news when levied against a liberal president, no matter how grave those charges are. But totally uncorroborated charges of off-color language against a conservative Supreme Court nominee totally dominated the news for a solid week.The national media’s double-standard has descended from the merely awful to the absurd.”[]

The continued media hypocrisy was recently displayed again when the Los Angeles Times put the allegations of sexual harassment against Schwarzenegger on the front page of the paper, while it buried Juanita Broaddrick’s 1999 rape accusation against Bill Clinton and refused to publish George Will’s column about Broaddrick’s allegation.Now Franken did say that “[a]lmost every fact in this book is correct. Either that, or it’s a joke.”

Franken is the “Teensiest Bit Selective”

Or maybe it’s not fair and balanced to Franken to compare the media handling of Clinton’s “[c]redible rape charges” vs. the “uncorroborated charges of off-color language” against Thomas. Maybe it’s “the teensiest bit selective.”

Al in his continued attempt to show that there is not a liberal bias on page 33 says “from among the hundreds of thousands of hours of broadcast news over the last three decades Bernie is able to coble together a few instances of slanted reporting. But even when Goldberg seems to have a point, it still feels just the teensiest bit selective.”

However, the radio host in his chapter called “I Bitch-Slap Bernie Goldberg” in his rigorist fact finding effort was the “teensiest bit selective” when he forgot to mention that Goldberg in his book Bias considered that the media’s anti-conservative bias against the great “social” issues such as abortion and homosexuality to be even greater than against the “Democrat-versus-Republican sort” of issues.

He said, “Why were we doing PR for the AIDS lobby by spreading an epidemic of fear, telling our viewers about how AIDS was about to break out into mainstream heterosexual America, which simply was not true?”

I guess the “I Bitch-Slap Bernie Goldberg” chapter was another joke unless Franken thinks it’s a fact that intravenous drug abusers and homosexuals are part of mainstream heterosexual America.

Franken’s and “the Most-Gay Presidential Candidate Ever” John Kerry’s BuddiesWhich brings us back to the radio host’s “joke” about a priest giving Communion to pedophile priests, but not to pro-choice politicians. Why are Franken and “the most-gay presidential candidate ever” John Kerry helping their buddies in the radical gay movement and liberal psychological establishment to cover up the fact that the Catholic scandal is overwhelmingly a homosexual sex abuse scandal?

The cover up tactic is to say that the scandal is about pedophilia and then claim that pedophilia is not associated with homosexuality.The gay activist expert and psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover, who wrote the book "Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth," which the Congressional Record of May 1996 called the "best book on homosexuality written in our times," states this is a standard spin. He writes:

"Activists are aware of the adverse effect on the gay-rights movement that could result if people perceived any degree of routine association between homosexuality and pedophilia…They have denied this association by focusing on the (true) fact that—in absolute numbers—heterosexuals commit more child molestation than homosexuals." "But careful studies show that pedophilia is far more common among homosexuals than heterosexuals."

According to an article by Register Correspondent Ellen Rossini, "Although heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals by a ratio of at least 20 to 1, homosexual pedophiles commit about one-third of the total number of child sex offenses," said Tim Dailey, a senior fellow for culture studies at the Family Research Council. (The National Catholic Register, September 15-21, 2002) []

With the above in mind I said in my book The Hidden Axis of Evil: The Clinton, Sex Abuse and the Aborting of America:

"If [the liberal “Catholic” organization] VOTF and the liberal bishops really want to end the church scandal, then they have to stop covering up the gay part of 90 percent of the scandal [The February 2004 National Review Board Report says 81 percent of the victims were males]. If VOTF and [VOTF’s Rev.] Doyle really want to end the pedophilia part of the scandal, then they have to expose the fraudulent scientific data eliminating penalties for sexual abusers and the Kinseyan [psychological] ‘experts’ who are advising the bishops."

It is Franken’s and VOTF's radical gay friends in the priesthood, who are there contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church, who have caused the overwhelming majority of the scandal. It’s also your friends in the liberal psychological establishment with their fraudulent scientific data who are eliminating penalties for sexual abusers and who advised the bishops to allowed homosexuals priests into their dioceses.

Unfortunately, it also isn’t a fact that the vast majority of Catholic priests are not giving Communion to pro-choice politicians. Sadly it’s not a joke that the vast majority of American bishops are appear to be okay with politicians- who vote for killing unborn babies- receiving the Eucharist. This despite the Catholic Church law (Canon 915), which states that the Eucharist should be withheld from “Catholic” public figures who advocate abortion.[]

What is the Real Agenda of Franken’s “Humor”?

Nor is it a joke that Franken and “Catholic” John Kerry support even late-term abortion, which should really be called infanticide. Is it a fact that Al did a warm up “comedian” act for Planned Parenthood in 2000. []

Above all, it is a fact that Franken’s jokes “deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect.“ It is appropriate that your “sense of humor” is associated with Planned Parenthood's participation in the killing of millions of unborn babies and the sale of their body parts, which is a grim reminder that PP’s founder Margaret Sanger promoted eugenics/Nazi teachings on the need to eliminate the world of "inferior people." []

C. S. Lewis in his book The Screwtape Letters describes the real agenda of Franken’s “humor” best. In this book his character, who is a senior evil spirit, says:

"But Flippancy is the best of all. In the first place it is very economical. Only a clever human can make a real Joke about virtue, or indeed about anything else; any of them can be trained to talk as if virtue were funny. Among flippant people the Joke is always assumed to have been made. No one actually makes it; but every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it. If prolonged, the habit of Flippancy builds up around a man the finest armour-plating against the Enemy [God] that I know, and it is quite free from the dangers inherent in the other sources of laughter. It is a thousand miles away from joy; it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practice it."

"Pro-Life" Democrat Sen. Bob Casey is Pro-Abortion

Pro-Life Democrat Sen. Bob Casey's Credentials Questioned After Abortion Vote

Washington, DC ( -- When it comes to members of Congress, pro-life Democrats are few and far between.

When Pennsylvania residents elected Bob Casey to replace pro-life Sen. Rick Santorum, pro-life advocates hoped he would represent the same pro-life views of his father, but that hasn't always been the case.

Although Casey claims a pro-life position and has sponsored a bill that will help pregnant women and reduce the number of abortions, Casey has cast several votes that have caused headaches for pro-life groups.

His latest came this week when he failed to join the Senate's other pro-life Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, in supporting an amendment to restore the Mexico City Policy.

That's the federal provision that makes it so taxpayers are not forced to fund groups that promote or perform abortions in other countries and the vote was the second Casey cast in his tenure against it.


Senate Rejects Helping Unborn Children, Prenant Moms Get Health Care Coverage

Washington, DC ( -- During the Bush administration, President Bush displayed his concern for both mother and unborn child by putting an administrative rule in place allowing states to cover unborn children in the SCHIP program.

On Thursday, the Senate rejected an amendment to make that administrative rule national law.

Pro-life advocates had strongly supported the Bush policy, in place beginning in 2002, because it promoted respect for human life and pregnant women without classifying pregnant women as children under the program.

They also say the health care support for unborn children, which entitles the pregnant mother to receive care as well, helped reduce the number of abortions for poor women who decide to have an abortion for financial reasons.

Sen. Orrin Hatch sponsored the amendment to codify the Unborn Child Rule and the Senate rejected his motion on a 59 to 39 vote.

The Senate vote on the amendment came down to the ideological divide on abortion in the chamber with pro-life lawmakers supporting it and pro-abortion senators opposing it.


NBC Rejects Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad Educating Viewers on Obama and Abortion

Washington, DC ( -- NBC is coming under fire from pro-life advocates for rejecting a television commercial a pro-life group hoped to run during the Super Bowl.

The ad shows a beautiful picture of an unborn child during an ultrasound and asks what would happen if President Barack Obama had been a victim of abortion.

The commercial, a popular one in recent weeks within the pro-life movement, is sponsored by the pro-life Catholic group Fidelis and its CatholicVote web site. After several days of negotiations, an NBC representative in Chicago told the group late yesterday that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving "political advocacy or issues."

Brian Burch, president of the pro-life group, told he is upset that NBC officials rejected what he calls a uplifting and positive pro-life ad. “There is nothing objectionable in this positive, life-affirming advertisement.

We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC’s parent company GE has done for years," Burch said. ACTION: Send your complaints about the rejection of the ad to Victoria Morgan, Vice President, Advertising Standards, NBC Universal, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 1825 E. New York, NY 10112. Call (212) 664-4267 or fax (212) 664-6366 or email

Thursday, January 29, 2009

He Predicted the Economic Crisis

The Sunday Times

October 26, 2008

Nouriel Roubini: I fear the worst is yet to come

When this man predicted a global financial crisis more than a year ago, people laughed. Not any more...Dominic Rushe
As stock markets headed off a cliff again last week, closely followed by currencies, and as meltdown threatened entire countries such as Hungary and Iceland, one voice was in demand above all others to steer us through the gloom: that of Dr Doom.

For years Dr Doom toiled in relative obscurity as a New York University economics professor under his alias, Nouriel Roubini. But after making a series of uncannily accurate predictions about the global meltdown, Roubini has become the prophet of his age, jetting around the world dispensing his advice and latest prognostications to politicians and businessmen desperate to know what happens next – and for any answer to the crisis.

While the economic sun was shining, most other economists scoffed at Roubini and his predictions of imminent disaster. They dismissed his warnings that the sub-prime mortgage disaster would trigger a financial meltdown. They could not quite believe his view that the US mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would collapse, and that the investment banks would be crushed as the world headed for a long recession.

Yet all these predictions and more came true. Few are laughing now.

Related Links
Global panic as investors take fright
Wall Street halts futures trading amid panic
What does Roubini think is going to happen next? Rather worryingly, in London last Thursday he predicted that hundreds of hedge funds will go bust and stock markets may soon have to shut – perhaps for as long as a week – in order to stem the panic selling now sweeping the world.

What happened? The next day trading was briefly stopped in New York and Moscow.

Dubbed Dr Doom for his gloomy views, this lugubrious disciple of the “dismal science” is now the world’s most in-demand economist. He reckons he is getting about four hours’ sleep a night. Last week he was in Budapest, London, Madrid and New York. Next week he will address Congress in Washington. Do not expect any good news.

Contacted in Madrid on Friday, Roubini said the world economy was “at a breaking point”. He believes the stock markets are now “essentially in free fall” and “we are reaching the point of sheer panic”.

For all his recent predictive success, his critics still urge calm. They charge he is a professional doom-monger who was banging on about recession for years as the economy boomed. Roubini is stung by such charges, dismissing them as “pathetic”.

He takes no pleasure in bad news, he says, but he makes his standpoint clear: “Frankly I was right.” A combative, complex man, he is fond of the word “frankly”, which may be appropriate for someone so used to delivering bad news.

Born in Istanbul 49 years ago, he comes from a family of Iranian Jews. They moved to Tehran, then to Tel Aviv and finally to Italy, where he grew up and attended college, graduating summa cum laude in economics from Bocconi University before taking a PhD in international economics at Harvard.

Fluent in English, Italian, Hebrew, and Persian, Roubini has one of those “international man of mystery” accents: think Henry Kissinger without the bonhomie. Single, he lives in a loft in Manhattan’s trendy Tribeca, an area popularised by Robert De Niro, and collects contemporary art.

Despite his slightly mad-professor look, he is at pains to make clear he is normal. “I’m not a geek,” said Roubini, who sounds rather concerned that people might think he is. “I mean it frankly. I’m not a geek.”

He is, however, ferociously bright. When he left Harvard, he moved quickly, holding various positions at the Treasury department, rising to become an economic adviser to Bill Clinton in the late 1990s. Then his profile seemed to plateau. His doubts about the economic outlook seemed out of tune with the times, especially when a few years ago he began predicting a meltdown in the financial markets through his blog, hosted on RGEmonitor. com, the website of his advisory company.

But it was a meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in September 2006 that earned him his nickname Dr Doom.

Roubini told an audience of fellow economists that a generational crisis was coming. A once-in-a-lifetime housing bust would lay waste to the US economy as oil prices soared, consumers stopped shopping and the country went into a deep recession.

The collapse of the mortgage market would trigger a global meltdown, as trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities unravelled. The shockwaves would destroy banks and other big financial institutions such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, America’s largest home loan lenders.

“I think perhaps we will need a stiff drink after that,” the moderator said. Members of the audience laughed.

Economics is not called the dismal science for nothing. While the public might be impressed by Nostradamus-like predictions, economists want figures and equations. Anirvan Banerji, economist with the New York-based Economic Cycle Research Institute, summed up the feeling of many of those at the IMF meeting when he delivered his response to Roubini’s talk.

Banerji questioned Roubini’s assumptions, said they were not based on mathematical models and dismissed his hunches as those of a Cassandra. At first, indeed, it seemed Roubini was wrong. Meltdown did not happen. Even by the end of 2007, the financial and economic outlook was grim but not disastrous.

Then, in February 2008, Roubini posted an entry on his blog headlined: “The rising risk of a systemic financial meltdown: the twelve steps to financial disaster”.

It detailed how the housing market collapse would lead to huge losses for the financial system, particularly in the vehicles used to securitise loans. It warned that “ a national bank” might go bust, and that, as trouble deepened, investment banks and hedge funds might collapse.

Even Roubini was taken aback at how quickly this scenario unfolded. The following month the US investment bank Bear Stearns went under. Since then, the pace and scale of the disaster has accelerated and, as Roubini predicted, the banking sector has been destroyed, Freddie and Fannie have collapsed, stock markets have gone mad and the economy has entered a frightening recession.

Roubini says he was able to predict the catastrophe so accurately because of his “holistic” approach to the crisis and his ability to work outside traditional economic disciplines. A long-time student of financial crises, he looked at the history and politics of past crises as well as the economic models.

“These crises don’t come out of nowhere,” he said. “Usually they arrive because of a systematic increase in a variety of asset and credit bubbles, macro-economic policies and other vulnerabilities. If you combine them, you may not get the timing right but you get an indication that you are closer to a tipping point.”

Others who claimed the economy would escape a recession had been swept up in “a critical euphoria and mania, an irrational exuberance”, he said. And many financial pundits, he believes, were just talking up their own vested interests. “I might be right or wrong, but I have never traded, bought or sold a single security in my life. I am trying to be as objective as I can.”

What does his objectivity tell him now? No end is yet in sight to the crisis.

“Every time there has been a severe crisis in the last six months, people have said this is the catastrophic event that signals the bottom. They said it after Bear Stearns, after Fannie and Freddie, after AIG [the giant US insurer that had to be rescued], and after [the $700 billion bailout plan]. Each time they have called the bottom, and the bottom has not been reached.”

Across the world, governments have taken more and more aggressive actions to stop the panic. However, Roubini believes investors appear to have lost confidence in governments’ ability to sort out the mess.

The announcement of the US government’s $700 billion bailout, Gordon Brown’s grand bank rescue plan and the coordinated response of governments around the world has done little to calm the situation. “It’s been a slaughter, day after day after day,” said Roubini. “Markets are dysfunctional; they are totally unhinged.” Economic fundamentals no longer apply, he believes.

“Even using the nuclear option of guaranteeing everything, providing unlimited liquidity, nationalising the banks, making clear that nobody of importance is going to be allowed to fail, even that has not helped. We are reaching a breaking point, frankly.”

He believes governments will have to come up with an even bigger international rescue, and that the US is facing “multi-year economic stagnation”.

Given such cataclysmic talk, some experts fear his new-found influence may be a bad thing in such troubled times. One senior Wall Street figure said: “He is clearly very bright and thoughtful when he is not shooting from the hip.”

He said he found some of Roubini’s comments “slapdash and silly”. “Sometimes the rigour of his analysis seems to be missing,” he said.

Banerji still has problems with Roubini’s prescient IMF speech. “He has been very accurate in terms of what would happen,” he said. But Roubini was predicting an “imminent” recession by the start of 2007 and he was wrong. “He hurt his credibility by being so pessimistic long before it was appropriate.”

Banerji said on average the US economy had grown for five years before hitting a bad patch. “Roubini started predicting a recession four years ago and saying it was imminent. He kept changing his justification: first the trade deficit, the current account deficit, then the oil price spike, then the housing downturn and so on. But the recession actually did not arrive,” he said.

“If you are an investor or a businessman and you took him seriously four years ago, what on earth would happen to you? You would be in a foetal position for years. This is why the timing is critical. It’s not enough to know what will happen in some point in the distant future.”

Roubini says the argument about content and timing is irrelevant. “People who have been totally blinded and wrong accusing me of getting the timing wrong, it’s just a joke,” he said. “It’s a bit pathetic, frankly. I was not making generic statements. I have made very specific predictions and I have been right all along.” Maybe so, but he does not sound too happy about it, frankly.

Money Central: Ten people who predicted the financial crisis

Have your say

I agree with Mr. Roubini. I have come across his name often and have learned to respect his opinion/analysis of the economic situation. Not to say that he is always 100% correct, but that he has a good handle on the current situation. Thus, I pay attention to what he says.

Shirley Morine, Honolulu, USA

When a CDO or ABS, for example, is set up the fees of the rating agency to rate the notes are paid by the issuer (arranger really as it is their deal and they set up the SPV). Raters want to please their clients. The raters have changed their models as a result.

PSF, London, UK

Some one else who predicted the credit crisis and most of what's happened since: Hugo Bouleau in his book "The Final Crash" published in March 2007. See

richard, london, uk

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Netflix alternative

Netflix alternative

We have had Netflix now for quite a while, and love it for its variety of films, but it is still lacking in many things that we would like to see, and has plenty of filth that we don't ever even want to browse through. There are plenty of religion-based films, but that can still be frustrating for Catholics, since many have an atheistic agenda. I've rented more than one movie from them thinking it would be great entertainment, or a supplement to our homeschool curriculum, only to have to return it with disappointment.

Now there is an alternative, called Faith and Family Flix. They work the same way as Netflix, with your DVDs arriving in the mail with no late fees. They are still small, but they are growing. I received my first DVD, "Jesus and the Shroud of Turin," today. This is what FFF has to say on their About Us page:

Faith and Family Flix (FFF) was founded by families like you who are extremely concerned about what Hollywood and the entertainment industry are putting in front of our children. Family life is the foundational element on which our society is built. If families continue to disintegrate, so will our society. FFF has vowed to do what we can to help protect and nurture the family. Just like men and women in the military everyday put their lives at risk to protect our physical well-being, shouldn’t we put as much effort into protecting our spiritual/moral well-being? Our call to you is to be proactive. By supporting FFF and not companies like Netflix or Blockbuster, who support movie genres that are inconsistent with our Judeo-Christian beliefs, you are sending a strong message to the entertainment industry. Presently, FFF has one distribution facility, centrally located in the Chicagoland area. As business develops, we will be opening other distribution centers. We appreciate your patience and understanding. We know that you could perhaps get a better "deal" and maybe get the movies a day or two earlier by going with Netflix or Blockbuster. The real question is: as people of faith, what is the right thing to do? If you don't believe in supporting certain lifestyles or if you will never rent soft-core pornography, why support a company who offers it?
I'll be downgrading my membership with Netflix, and renting as many movies from FFF as I can.

Vatican criticizes Obama on abortion issue

Vatican criticizes Obama on abortion issue

Monsignor Rino Fisichella, who heads the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life, urged Obama to listen to all voices in America without "the arrogance of those who, being in power, believe they can decide of life and death."

Fisichella said in an interview published Saturday in Corriere della Sera that "if this is one of President Obama's first acts, I have to say, in all due respect, that we're heading quickly toward disappointment."

Obama signed an executive order that ended the ban on Friday, reversing the policy of the Bush administration.

"This deals a harsh blow not only to us Catholics but to all the people across the world who fight against the slaughter of innocents that is carried out with the abortion," another top official with the Academy for Life, Monsignor Elio Sgreccia, told the ANSA news agency.

"Among the many good things that he could have done, Barack Obama instead chose the worst," he was quoted as saying Saturday.

Officials at the academy could not be reached Saturday.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

God’s Bias for the Poor and the Humble of Heart

Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God. (New American Bible, 1Cor 1:26-30)

How many times have we heard the Christmas story of the angels appearing to the shepherds in the fields announcing that this day a Savior was born to them and that they would find the newborn Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger? How many times have we questioned why were shepherds the first to hear this Good News?

To answer that question we must ponder the pattern of God’s behavior throughout the Old Testament and into the New, noting his extraordinary bias toward the poor, the lowly, the powerless and the humble. How He loved to confound the “wise” and powerful of this world with little ones whose humility and openness to His Will and His grace allowed Him to work His wonders through them in the sight of the people, for He knew they would give the glory rightly to Him and not to themselves. Oh how He loved the Anaweim, the little ones! When Jesus came He would declare, “Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” As creatures we are always children, owing our existence to the Creator. As those reborn in grace, we are children adopted into God’s profound Trinitarian life out of the sheer goodness of His Redeeming Heart; we could never earn, nor deserve, life-- either on the natural or on the supernatural level.

We are always subservient to and dependent on God for everything. All life is pure Gift from the Author and Father of Life Itself, and the little ones are the first to gratefully and humbly acknowledge this Truth and live by it.

We see God’s choice in the child Moses, saved from the River Nile, who would lead God’s people out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land, a man with a speech impediment who needed his brother Aaron to speak for him. We see God’s choice again in the prophet Jeremiah, called by God in his youth, who protested, “Ah, Lord God! I know not how to speak; I am too young,” but God assured Jeremiah that He would provide the words for him to speak and he should have no fear. And then there was the orphan girl Esther, who would be chosen to wed the great King Ahasuerus, and through her wise and bold intercession would save God’s people from their enemies. Who can forget the mere woman, Judith, who would slay the dreaded Holofernes whom no man would stand against. But the darling of them all was the little shepherd boy, David, who killed the giant Goliath, whom the whole Israelite army feared, with a simple sling shot and a small stone guided by the hand of God in the fatal blow to the brow of the enemy. He would become the beloved Shepherd- King, anointed King in Israel’s glory days, from whose heirs a Messiah-King would come to shepherd God’s people forever, and He would be called “The Good Shepherd,” for He would lay down His life for His sheep

God’s favor to the humble is even more wondrously displayed when He did not hesitate to cast aside His glory and come to earth as a little Child, born in the little town of Bethlehem, to a humble Jewish girl from an insignificant place called Nazareth. Oh how God loves the poor and the humble! He chose to become one of them to save them from all harm. And how He loves to exalt them and humble the proud who oppress them. Is it any wonder then that He should first reveal Himself to the simple, humble shepherds in the fields, those always so ready to hear good news and get up and follow it? Surely the shepherds were first to hear the Good News because they were real, simply themselves, unpretentious, free of the lust for power or glory.

They remind us of the childlike purity of heart that must be ours if we are to see and hear God. They take us to that King of Kings who fulfills the promise to King David of old; that Good Shepherd Who would not only call each sheep by name but would literally become the “Paschal Lamb” slain to save all God’s sheep from eternal death. So, while the shepherds speak to God’s bias for the poor, they also challenge us to have the heart and mind of a child, always ready to be surprised and amazed at what God can and will do for us, always ready to follow His call. The heart of a child is pure and addicted to wonder! And the heart of a child will always cling to the Heart that calls its name and protects it from all evil.

In our own day, August 14, 1980, Our Lady of America spoke from the heart of Heaven’s Shepherd-King to another little one, Sr. Mildred Marie Neuzil, hidden away in her cloister. It was a message desperately calling God’s people back into His fold, to Faith and Purity and obedient love to Christ’s Vicar on earth, while this Good Shepherd tries to protect them from wandering away from His Truth into the abyss of destruction.

Sweet child, beloved of my Son and cherished by me, my message has not been heeded nor have I yet found one to further the cause of renewal from within. The Presence of the Trinity within every human being is the focal point, the basis of interior holiness. From this will spring a deep life of prayer and a love for penance as the discipline needed to convert all peoples to a serious preparation for the coming of my Son and His Kingdom.

Dear child, there are those of my children who are faithful, among these are my priests and religious who live a life of prayer and dedication to the work of my Son. What a consolation they are to me, with what joy I watch them furthering the Kingdom. But there must be more of such self-sacrificing souls, many, many more. Until this comes to pass, peace will not come, rather much more of suffering will encompass the world. I wish to spare my children from this, but I cannot do it without their help.

You must try to make my people understand that the life of God within them is the source of their peace and happiness. There is no other way. This is what my Son came to teach and bring and it was for this He lived and died. Unless this mystery of God’s Presence within is accepted and lived, peace will not come. It is the only way, believe me, my daughter.

Beloved daughter, you are not being accepted because you are a small one. But in the end all will come as I desire. Those who oppose you will receive light to understand. These good people mean well and if they are in authority it is for you to listen respectfully and obey. I will speak to them in their hearts and the Divine Spirit who makes all things clear will give them wisdom and understanding. In the end they will do as I wish. So, have patience, dear one, it will happen as I have said and those who have opposed me will become my most ardent and courageous supporters. Until this comes to pass, wait in trust, knowing that I never fail those who place their confidence in me. My Son blesses you, be at peace.

(Diary, Our Lady of America, Sr. Mildred Marie Neuzil, pg. 37)

On November 22, 1980, Our Lady spoke to Sr. Mildred of a heavenly mandate being given to our small nation of the United States in these words:

Beloved daughter, the United States is a small one among nations, yet has it not been said that “a little child shall lead them?” It is the United States that is to lead the world to peace, the peace of Christ, the peace that He brought with Him from heaven in His birth as man in the little town of Bethlehem. The Savior did not come to enter this world in a big city but a small town, again, a little one among many. Dear child, unless the United States accepts and carries out faithfully the mandate given to it by heaven to lead the world to peace, there will come upon it and all nations a great havoc of war and incredible suffering. If, however, the United States is faithful to this mandate from heaven and yet fails in the pursuit of peace because the rest of the world will not accept or co-operate then the United States will not be burdened with the punishment about to fall.

I was afraid that the burden of leadership would be too great for the United States without some special help from heaven. Our Lady assured me that Michael and the whole army of Blessed Spirits will give their assistance at all times. As the Queen of Angels she has loving command over them and they accomplish whatever she wishes. This made me feel better and the fears that I had left me. (Diary, pg. 38)

And so we are led to the Wise Men who left all behind to seek the King whose star appeared in the heavens. Most writers confirm they were of a priestly cult, astrologers more than kings for they studied the heavens. Perhaps they came to be called wise because they were learned, and are sometimes called kings because the gifts they brought to the Child were gifts that would be offered to a king. They had heeded a prophecy that even the heavens would give witness to the birth of a great king born to a virgin and they waited and watched for Him. In them we see natural wisdom give way to the Wisdom of God, for not only did they seek the One promised, but on finding Him, radiant as the sun that rises in the East, ablaze with the glory of God all around Him, they were enabled to quickly discern the truth from lies, the evil spirits from the Spirit of God. They then left that place filled with the Light and Presence of the living God, considering all else as rubbish, as St. Paul would later say, when he, too, encountered the one true God in Jesus.

We see this Wisdom of God in Our Lady’s warning to Sister, for us, about discernment of spirits:

Dear child, evil is so insidious that it often passes for good. The simple and pure of heart alone can detect the difference. Many good works and many a good person or persons are thwarted and destroyed by apparently good people who are manipulated by the powers of evil because they do not possess that finer sense of being able to detect a false spirit from a true one. (Diary, pg. 40)

It has been said that the greatest evil is the one closest to the truth. The following words of Our Lord to Sister Mildred on July 13, 1981, teach us to find protection from the insidiousness of evil, to find true Wisdom, in Him alone.

Many unnatural acts are being committed in the name of love. This evil is being disguised and tolerated as an intrinsic right like any other. Even some of My priests and consecrated virgins are being caught up into this web of evil, not realizing its terrible consequences.

My dearest one, many false doctrines are being taught and for many the true Christ is never made known. The false prophets and self-proclaimed Messiahs are drawing many away from Me, the Way, the Truth and the Life. I am the true Messiah who was sent and the only one proclaimed as such by My Father. (Diary, pg. 40)

Seek Me for I only am truth, I only am the Christ.

Here, and here only, is the Star that we must follow, the only light that leads us straight home!

©Sisters of the Indwelling Trinity, Fostoria, OH, 2009

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Spider-Man was a Type of Christ"

By Fred Martinez

Steve Ditko, the original artist and co-creator of the Spider-Man comic, is the Greta Garbo of comic books.

Even after Spider-Man 3 Ditko is still refusing to give interviews after 20 years. He refused interviews for major articles about him by the Los Angeles Times and one of Canada's leading newspapers, the National Post during the cinema run of the original Spider-Man movie.

Ditko, however, explained his philosophy of art in a narrative on a 1987 video titled "The Masters of Comic Book Art," hosted by author Harlan Ellison. In his introduction, Ellison dismissed Ditko's plea that heroes in art and literature be measured by the moral courage shown in objective good vs. evil choices.

The artist now seems prophetic for saying in the show that if we glorify the anti-hero in art, then anti-life and violence will come into our culture. The anti-heroes of the Columbine-like killings in public schools and the Sept. 11 terrorists seem to justify his claim.

What our American and global culture needs are heroes as models. In the program, the artist and co-creator of Spider-Man says, "Aristotle said that art is more important than history. History tells how man did act. Art shows how man should and could act. It creates a model.

"The self-flawed and anti-hero provide the heroic label without the need to act better. A crooked cop, a flawed cop, is not a valid model of a good law enforcer," Ditko said in the program. "An anti-cop corrupts the legal good, and an anti-hero corrupts the moral good."

Spider-Man as a model for goodThe power of Ditko's art has in fact influenced youth toward good. In the Fall, 2001 issue of The Jesuit, a teenager named Pedro tells how he was inspired to go to college by Spider-Man's message.

"Spider-Man got his power when he was a teenager and wasn't sure how to use it," Pedro explains. "So his grandfather [actually uncle] told him, 'With greater power comes greater responsibility.' That's the way it is at Cristo Rey. We're learning to make the world a better place. We're going to go to college and give a whole lot back from what we've been given."

Some are saying that Spider-Man is even a type of Christ. In his essay for the video, Ditko seems at times to be describing Spider-Man as well as the second person of the Trinity. He said, "Early comic book heroes were not about life as it is, but creation of how a man with a clear understanding of right and wrong and the moral courage to choose acts even if branded an outlaw."

On the Internet, I found the testimony of a man who used Ditko's art to turn to God. Mark Dukes, now a deacon of the African Orthodox Church, said:
"My father wasn't around. My mother was a single parent. It was a vacuum in my life. Who am I supposed to be? How am I supposed to be?
"For me, Spider-Man really resonated. Spider-Man's alter ego was Peter Parker, who was a nerd. And I didn't feel like I was a cool guy either. Spider-Man was disliked and feared. Everyone thought he was a crook, but he was a good guy. No one gave him any respect but he continued to do good even in the face of all that.
"He would sacrifice himself, get beat up and then people would say 'Ahhh. Spider-Man! Run. He's going to do something to us!' And really he had just now saved the world. That is very saintly.
"For me, Spider-Man was a type of Christ. He went through suffering just to do good. And he continued to do it even in the face of everyone misunderstanding him and hating him."
Spider-Man, icon art and invisible realitiesDukes is an artist of Orthodox icons for churches, an artistic pursuit similar in some ways to Ditko’s own work.
Blake Bell, creator of Ditko Comics Web site, said:
"Visually, Ditko had what most people would consider a cartoony style, but his work was far more real than the ‘photo-realist’ comic artists that would appear on the scene in the following 20 years.
"His was more real because the visual laws defined in his universe were so real, so consistent, that one suspends disbelief to its maximum."
Icon historian Andrei Navrozov, in the June issue of Chronicles, agrees with Bell that art can either be about "gaining a deeper understanding" of reality by symbols or can "mimic" reality.
Perspective was first invented in 470 B.C. by Agatharchus as a means of "geometric illusionism" to mimic reality in stage sets for theater, according to the icon historian.
Navrozov said the "theater set is conceived as a fiction, whereas [an icon] is born as an attempt at truth of life, an attempt that in no sense compromises the integrity of the original [reality]. ... They are symbols of real life, not lifelike imitations of reality.
"There is no deeper conflict in history than that between these opposing views of art. 'Is art to serve reality and the individual under God or is it to serve [materialistic] realism and the masses under communism?"
Navrozov shows us that the modern battleground against God and reality is imagery and the imagination. Michael O' Brien, in his book A Landscape with Dragons: The Battle for Your Child's Mind, said that the imagination is the way that mankind comprehends "God's territory" and his created "invisible realities."
The modern imagination, according to O'Brien, has lost "God's territory" by returning to its "pre-pagan split in consciousness," which is the Gnostic rejection of the "sacramental" unity of spirit and matter, the addiction to occult tales of will to power like Harry Potter, and the relativistic denial of good and evil with ends-justify-the means storylines.
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is for O'Brien a prime example of a return to the Western Christian epic tradition of the moral imagination, which comprehends "God's territory" and his created "invisible realities."
O'Brien wrote: "The discernment of the right paths that must be taken, if good is to triumph, is dramatized in the myriad geographical, emotional, spiritual, and symbolic choices faced by the questers. In each of these, Tolkein's world is faithful to the moral order of the universe, to the absolute necessity of freedom. Middle-earth is a "sacramental" world, an "incarnational" world. ... Spirit [invisible realities] and matter are never portrayed as adversaries."
Western culture based on reality and GodThe Western Christian culture was rooted in this service to reality and God. Reality was the belief in the objectivity of things that are both material and spiritual. During the last two to five centuries, materialistic modernity has been the adversary of this spiritual and matter "incarnational" worldview.
This "incarnational" reality was rooted out and refilled with the lone materialistic science and "realism" in art worldview in which reality was contained only within material objects that could be tested or seen.
Spiritual (invisible) realities like God, love, beauty, responsibility and free will were neither seeable, material nor testable, so they were not within modernity's realism.
Modernity attacked the primacy of realistic philosophies such as Thomism and realistic symbolic literature like Dante's spiritual epics and Shakespeare's dramas contrasting persons who were symbols of the conflicting real worldviews of modernity and the older realistic philosophy.
Hamlet's "To be or not to be?" illustrates what the two cultures were in conflict about. In our time, Bill Clinton ("What is the definition of is?") is the symbol of modernity's denial of "to be" or objective truth or falsehood.
Modernity, in its desire to stamp out the Christian culture, dislodged Thomism realistic philosophy and realistic symbolic literatures with Pavlovian behaviorism as well as the materialistic reductive studies and application of art, which represented only material acts. Such as Freud's deterministic reduction of all symbols of the mind to represent only the physical acts of sex and Picasso's sexual anti-art.
This cramped reality of only the materially seeable or testable led to rootlessness and alienation, which was so unbearable to modern man that there was a reaction. According to philosopher Allan Bloom, Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy of disbelief in all reality, seeable or unseeable, material or spiritual, became the language of the American reaction.
Friedrich Nietzsche's values philosophy led to the subjectivity of all concepts of objective truth, which included good and evil.
Many will remember when President Reagan called the USSR "the evil empire"; he was roundly criticized for violating the new language of "beyond good and evil." This language of value relativism allows for neither the words nor the symbols of evil and good.
Nietzsche's anti-reality philosophy of "God is dead" led to the anti-heroes of politics and art.
In society this led to the denial of the concepts of absolute truth and the law of identity in reality by modernist artists such as Pablo Picasso and by politicians such as Clinton. This rejection of good and evil in turn led to the degrading of women and sexuality.
In the case of Picasso, E. Michael Jones in Degenerate Moderns says:
"His break with the traditions was an index of his hatred not only toward the spiritual values of the West but toward the human body and spirit that the West prized as good. In the end, the only thing that Picasso portrayed realistically was the woman's crotch. Modern art had returned to its roots, and the gaping crotch was the only thing now that could keep the aging Picasso in touch with the real world."
Spider-Man the hero On the other hand, the hit Spider-Man movie may be a sign that our society wants to go back to the culture that Nietzsche, Picasso and Clinton rejected—a culture that was able to see the objective reality of God, love, beauty, responsibility, free will and the honorable hero.
In the climax of the movie, at the top of a bridge, the Green Goblin's hand holds up the woman that Spider-Man loves and in the other hand he holds a cable with a tram full of children dangling at the other end. Then the villain lets them fall to their deaths. As he does this, he gives Spider-Man a choice by saying, "You can save either the girl or the children."
Spider-Man, almost miraculously, saves both. For some, this is symbolic of the need in our society to return to the Christian tradition of men retaking the heroic responsibility of showing love by committing both to his woman and the fruit of their love through "better or worse" for life.
As our hero slowly lowers, by the cable, his love and the children to safety, he is repeatedly knocked around by the Green Goblin.
The Goblin taunts him to let go and save himself, which would mean the deaths of those he is lowering. But as the villain zeros in for the kill, Spider-Man is ready to give his life for others, as another hero did 2,000 years ago.
With the help of New Yorkers, Spider-Man saves his love and the children and defeats the Goblin, who finally begs for mercy. As our hero is about to give him his hand, the villain sends his high-tech vehicle to kill Spider-Man from behind. Spidey avoids the vehicle and it ends up killing the Goblin.
This is the Christian message in a symbolic nutshell. God will forgive anyone no matter what the offense, with only one exception. The only offense God can't forgive without destroying our free will is one's choice to reject mercy. By the Judas choice, one freely sends oneself to where God is not, which is the definition of hell.
Clinton the classic anti-heroThe Democrats and their public relations agency, the media, are at the other end of the symbolic spectrum, as real-life anti-heroes who use the seduction marketing trick of association to sell lies.
Years ago, in Catholic books, association meant personal relationships with good or bad companions—friendships that led to either depravity or honorable lives.
‘Association’ now means creating the false impression that a product, place, thing or politician is like the symbol he figuratively stands next to. Nike shoes are "good" because stars like Michael Jordan wear them, or toothpaste will make you popular because that's what happens in the commercial.
It's a con job to sell products and politicians. Sadly, the shadier part of our economic culture is based on this tactic. This shallow magician's trick, as with all lies, leads to meaninglessness and despair. The selling of pornography to the masses by associating it with constitutional freedoms would make our founding fathers turn over in their graves.
Pornography is not only bad, it is also an empty evil that can only mimic reality. It's men having imaginary relationships with glossed-over images of what was once a picture of a real woman, betraying her most intimate self and future relationships. The emptiness keeps multiplying.
Porn is not symbolic of real life, but a lifelike imitation of reality.
As Navrozov said, "There is no deeper conflict in history than that between these opposing views of art. Is art to serve reality and the individual under God or is it to serve [materialistic] realism and the masses."
The marketing and selling of pornography brings us to Bill Clinton, who, despite promises to the contrary, disrupted the "obscenity prosecution" of Ronald Reagan's task force, which had the porn industry in "serious trouble in the late '80s and early '90s."
Instead, Clinton lived like a presidential X-rated soap opera star for the $10 billion per year pornography industry.
Our society was willing to accept a degenerate like Clinton as an anti-hero. And as Ditko said, "[A]n anti-hero corrupts the moral good."

Children's Right to Porn?

The California appeals court ruled that libraries must not use computer filters to disallow kids from viewing Internet pornography. A San Jose Mercury News editorial inferred that the First Amendment was invoked so the adult’s right to view porn would not be encroached.

One can see the Civil Liberties Union-who won the case- standing with hand over heart as the Constitution upheld this new right.

If Internet smutt is authorized why not have smutty magazines lying around the newspaper section. Also, we mustn’t forget the kid’s right to check out dirty magazines and videos.
It would never get that far because parents don’t allow their children into porn shops. The libraries funding would soon be voted down.

Why aren’t parents angered by library Internet obscenity? It is the same reason abortion is legal while infanticide is not.

Babies and dirty magazines can be seen, but babies in the womb and Internet porn usually are unseen by parents. Of course, the media could show the American public killings of unborn babies and kids looking at public funded Internet smutt.

But, the national media wants to preserve our Constitutional rights so they bans or prohibits those dangerous images. Thus, for the sake of the First amendment they in practicality prohibit our First Amendment rights.

All the news and drama stories-on primetime- are about courageous feminist saving women from back street abortions. Or, valiant publishers fighting against hypocrite who would destroy our freedom.

They can hide the truth because the evidence is not easy to see. As with Clinton, if not caught red handed they lie. When caught they will spin it in their favor.

If you ask the representatives of the media: why isn’t it, also, a child’s right to check out porno magazines and videos? Why is it wrong to show killed unborn babies when it was right to present dead G.I. in the Vietnam War? Why is it right to take hidden cameras into Crisis Pregnancy Centers, but wrong to use hidden cameras to catch kids watching public funded smutt? They will do a Clinton, if you ask these questions.

As Clinton switched from, ”I don’t know that [Monica] woman,” to” Sex is not that big a deal.” They will switch from; “We are only trying to preserve our Constitutional rights,” to the classic Kenneth Starr spin,” Why are you so obsessed with sex?”

We will never get a straight answer from the cultural elite, so we must ask ourselves the questions. How perverted is our country when we allow a president to sexually abuse a girl just out of high school? How corrupt are our courts and media when they promote a child’s right to pornography.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to Pray

"Yet everything depends on this ability to stand still and to be present with full inner awareness."

"The basic meaning of the word 'collected' is to be gathered together, united.
A glance at our life will show how much we lack this aptitude. We should have a fixed centre which, like the hub of a wheel, governs our movements and from which all our actions go out and to which they return; a standard, also, or a code by which we distinguish the important from the unimportant, the end from the means and which puts actions and experiences into their proper order; something stable, unaffected by change and | yet capable of development, which makes it clear to us who we are and how matters stand with us. We lack this; we, the men of today, lack it more than did those who lived in earlier ages.

"This becomes evident in our attempts to pray. Spiritual teachers speak of 'distraction' as that state in which man lacks poise and unity, that state in which thoughts flit from object to object, in which feelings are vague and unfocused and the will ineffective. Man in this state is not really a person who speaks or who can be spoken to, but merely an unco-ordinated bundle of thoughts, feelings and sensations.

"Collectedness means that he who prays gathers himself together, directs his attention on to what he is doing, draws in all thought—a painstaking task—so as to dedicate himself to prayer as a unified whole. This is the state in which he may, when the call comes to him, answer in the words of Moses, 'Here am I (Exod. 3:4).[page 19]

"In it awakens not only the religious consciousness but a new and higher consciousness, which we might call the spiritual heart of the child of God.

"On this holy ground the reality of God becomes manifest. It may happen that man experiences it suddenly and is overcome by its grandeur and flooded by its proximity. If this happens, he knows that he is receiving the great and intimate mystery of prayer. He must receive it with reverence and guard it well. But such an event is rare indeed and more often than not nothing happens. The God of whom the worshipper had said, 'He is here,' remains silent and hidden. Then the prayer, supported by faith alone, must go out into this silent darkness and maintain itself there.

"In collectedness the worshipper says, 'God is here and here also am I.'" [Page 23]

[Romano Guardini, Prayer in Practice, Page 18, 23]

Friday, January 16, 2009


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Quick Pick Activities for Critical Thinking. This new product from Edupress takes the Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking one step further by giving teachers practical help in letting students work independently to learn how to think on all six levels identified in Bloom's Taxonomy. It comes in a box with a plastic lid and offers ideas that bridge the gap between classroom lessons and meeting assessment standards. The widely varied activities help children build their ability to recall, comprehend, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and extend responses.

What will you find in the box?

120 Activity Cards that contain multi-sensory activities geared to Bloom's Taxonomy. They are color-coded for easy filing with icons that identify the activity type. There is ample space for note-taking on the back of each card.
An Informative User's Guide
A Reproducible Assessment Checklist
Guide to Understanding Bloom's Taxonomy
Color-Coded Dividers for Easy Filing

Available on Three Levels: Order by title and catalogue number. $15.29-D each.

BTH-2106 Activities for Critical Thinking Level 1 for ages 5-7, Grades K-2
BTH-2344 Activities for Critical Thinking Level 2 for ages 7-9, Grades 2-4
BTH-2345 Activities for Critical Thinking Level 3 for ages 9-11, Grades 4-6

Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking: With just a flip of the page you will have key words and questions that cause students to think on all six levels of thinking in the cognitive domain, as defined in Bloom's Taxonomy. Great for leading discussions and preparing tests. Can be a life-saver for substitute teachers. Cat # BTH-150, price is only $3.59-D. These qualify for Title 1 funds. Order on line here.

New Quick Flip Questions for the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy from Lorin W. Anderson and David R. Krathwohl's A Taxonomy For Learning, Teaching, and Assessing, Abridged Edition. You have loved the original Quick Flip Questions for Critical Thinking, but you have also been requesting this updated version. But here's a secret between us. There is nothing new in this updated version. The words for the heading have been changed, but "Creating" has the same material as "Synthesis" had in the original version, and everything else that appears different is just in a different order. This handy resource helps one improve thinking skills at any age with the flip of a page. This indispensable tool helps teachers write lesson plans, master Bloom's Taxonomy, and develop higher levels of thinking. It will help students develop questioning and analysis skills. It will help parents improve child / parent communication and enhance their verbal skills. The levels of the cognitive domain of learning has been divided by the authors into these levels: Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating. BTH-3618. $3.59-D

Now translated into Spanish: Repaso rápido de preguntas para pensamientos críticos. See description above. BTH-3003. $3.59-D.

Quick Flip Activities for Multiple Intelligences: By just flipping a page you will find help in recognizing a child's unique talents and in planning activities to develop them. Classroom teachers will get help in writing lesson plans, becoming aware of the learning styles of their students, and developing a well-rounded curriculum where all students may experience success. Suggests activities for Intrapersonal Intelligence, Interpersonal Intelligence, Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence, Musical Intelligence, Logical-Mathematical Intelligence, and Linguistic Intelligence. All the flip charts are the same size 5"x6."
Cat. #BTH-151, $3.59-D. These qualify for Title 1 funds.

Analogies for the 21st Century by Bonnie Risby. This book provides a great way for teachers to combine the teaching of vocabulary and thinking skills. It begins by explaining what analogies are and the techniques for solving them. Students learn to replace guessing with systematic ways to find the most logical solutions to these verbal puzzles. These puzzles will also help students to prepare for standardized tests that use similar analogies. 33 pages, including answers. For grades 4-6. Cat#BTH-164. $8.06-D

Analogy Roundup by Bonnie Risby. For grades 4-7. Teaches vocabulary development, attribute recognition, and thinking strategies. This book will help review material learned in Thinking Through Analogies and Analogies for the 21st Century. As in the previous books, students are introduced to a type of analogy and given practice in recognizing and solving it. The vocabulary reflects current events and culture. 32 pages, including answers. Reproducible. BTH-525. $8.06.

Attribute Block Activities: provide easy-to-use cards to introduce logical thinking skills to young learners. Students use attribute blocks to complete the patterns on the 32 full-color task cards. These two titles are available

Analogies, for grades K-3. Cat. #BTH-152. $8.96-D
Sequences, for grades K-2. Cat. #BTH-154. $8.96-D

Clues to Comprehension with interactive CD-ROM. Using a motivating riddle format, this series presents lessons that help students use visual and text clues; formulate and revise hypotheses; draw conclusions and use critical thinking; process information by creating and interpreting graphic organizers; and respond to writing prompts. Each lesson gives practice in using strategic approaches to item formats frequently encountered on standardized language tests. The CD-ROM presents the riddle charts in full-color in an interactive manner and also includes a printable PDF of the book. 144 pages plus CD-ROM. Available at three grade levels:

Clues to Comprehension, Grades 1-2: BTH-876. $17.99-D
Clues to Comprehension, Grades 3-4: BTH-877. $17.99-D
Clues to Comprehension, Grades 5-6: BTH-878. $17.99-D

CPS for Kids: A Resource for Teaching Creative Problem Solving to Children by Bob Eberle and Bob Stanish. Prufrock Press, 1996. This book will teach your students an exciting and powerful problem-solving method from start to finish. Each step in the process, from finding problems, to finding solutions, is outlined in detail and includes accompanying activities on reproducible pages. The method taught with this book can eliminate the tendency to approach problems in a haphazard manner and, consequently, prevents surprises and/or disappointment with the solution. Designed for students in grades 2–8, these activities are challenging and interesting. 89 pages. BTH-4534.

Crime Scene Detective: Using Science and Critical Thinking to Solve Crimes by Karen Schulz. A Dandy Lion publication. 80 pages. Reproducible for classroom use. Your students will get excited about finding out who started the fire in their school library in this crime simulation designed to teach critical thinking skills. It also includes background information on forensics, and an exploration of careers in forensic science and law enforcement. To crack the case, students will examine evidence left at the scene, interview suspects, and use thinking skills to connect the clues and eliminate suspects. Students will feel like real investigators. Instructions are given to write your own crime scene simulation if you'd rather use something other than the one already provided here. BTH-3. $11.96-D

Crime Scene Detective: Arson: Using Science and Critical Thinking to Solve Crimes by Karen Schulz. Prufrock Press, 2007. A fire breaks out in the school library, and somebody on campus is to blame, but who? Your students become detectives as they interview suspects, analyze evidence, and participate in real-life forensic labs as part of the mock crime scene investigation in this book. Teachers will find everything they need to set up a crime scene in their school, including six new suspect and witness storylines, guides to displaying evidence and setting up forensic labs, and lessons for teachers explaining the basics behind forensic science. There are also handy forms for students to record information, tips for garnering schoolwide participation, and detailed instructions for setting up accurate crime scenes. After following clues and solving the crime, your students will beg for more challenging and exciting forensic science activities. 96 pages. BTH-4535. $11.66-D

Crime Scene Detective: Theft: Using Science and Critical Thinking to Solve Crimes by Karen Schulz. Prufrock Press, 2008. An expensive digital camera has been stolen from the school’s media center and somebody on campus is to blame, but who? Students will become detectives as they analyze evidence and participate in real-life forensic labs as part of the mock crime scene investigation in this book. Students will interview suspects, follow the clues, and analyze lab reports. Liek the other two best-selling books in this series,
this book includes everything teachers need to set up a crime scene at school, including six new suspect and witness storylines, guides to displaying evidence and setting up forensic labs, and lessons for teachers that explain the basics behind forensic science. 102 pages. BTH-4536. $13.46-D

Critical Thinking Workbooks by Steck-Vaughn. These consumable workbooks help improve students' reading, thinking, and reasoning skills. They introduce and provide practice for the six most important thinking skills within any content area. Age-appropriate activities are provided for each grade. 96-128 pages, depending on grade level. Available for grades 1-6. Teacher editions are separate. Just for the record, it appears that the content in these books is the same as in the reproducible books above except that these books add one color to the pictures. Unless you especially want consumable books with a separate teacher guide, you will find it more economical to go with the reproducible Critical Thinking series above. Student editions are $15.26-D. Teacher Editions are $14.85-D. Order by grade level.

Design Studio: Integrating Art and Thinking by Diane Draze and Annelise Palouda. Dandy Lion Publications. This course in thinking also teaches design principles. Students learn the following design techniques: unity, repetition, color, balance, proportion, variety, movement, emphasis, economy, and space. As students learn each principle, they are given unique projects which allow an opportunity to hone both their thinking and artistic skills. BTH-588. $10.76-D

Detective Club: Provides six mysteries that will challenge primary students. Solving the mysteries involves decoding messages, sorting information, and thinking logically. For grades 2-4. Cat. #BTH-153. $10.79-D

More Adventures of the Detective Club by Judy Leimbach and Sharon Eckert. Prufrock Press, 2007. This sequel to Detective Club (also for grades 2-4) opens with Shirley's Tests for New Members, a series of short puzzles that quickly reviews the types of skills new members will need to be ready to solve the four new mysteries in this book. There is a teacher guide for Shirley's Tests and for each of the new mysteries and solutions can be found at the back of the book. To solve the mysteries, students will need to use inferential thinking, solve logic puzzles, sort information, solve word puzzles, and decode messages. The cases in this book are longer and more challenging than the mysteries in the first book. 64 pages. BTH-3848. $10.76-D

Famous People Puzzles: Exercises in Inference and Research by Carolyn Powell. This book contains scraps of imagined papers left by famous people. For grades 5-8. The students take these fragments and exercise their deductive reasoning skills as they try to flesh out their clues with research to find out who "wrote" the fragments. The subjects represent different areas of the world, periods of history, sexes, and occupations. All are individuals who have made their mark on the world. Each unit contains general information for the instructor, the personal momentos to be duplicated and given to students, a reproducible page for students to take notes on their research, a page where students can write a biography of their famous person, and a reference log form. Subjects covered are Louis Armstrong, Julius Caesar, Jacques Cousteau, Marie Curie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Mahatma Gandhi, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Nelson Mandela, Edson Arantes do Nascinento (Pelé), Georgia O'Keeffe, Sacagawea, William Shakespeare, and Harriet Tubman. 16 units and 61 pages in all. Reproducible for classroom use. BTH-155. $10.79-D

The Great Chocolate Caper: A Mystery That Teaches Logic Skills, by Mary Ann Carr. Reginald Van Feisty, the owner of a world famous chocolate factory, is about to produce the most delicious chocolate bar ever. But before he can make even the first one, his recipe is stolen. It is discovered that six suspects have motives for committing the crime. Students learn logic skills to discover which one is guilty. The book contains nine lessons, each teaching a different logic skill. Each lesson may take several 50-minute class periods to complete. Worksheets for lessons are reproducible. For grades 5-8. Cat. BTH-156, $10.79-D

Hands-On Thinking Activities -- Centers Through the Year. Celebrate each season with 8-10 fun-filled, hands-on centers (36 in all) that allow students to practice logic and critical/ creative thinking skills. The books provide complete teacher directions for setting up the centers, ready-to-use color center signs and display items, and reproducible student forms. 192 pages in full color.

Hands-On Thinking Activities, Grades 1-3. BTH-920. $17.99-D.

Hands-On Thinking Activities, Grades 3-6. BTH-921. $17.99-D.

Logic on Meadowbrook Lane by Bonnie Lou Risby. Prufrock Press, 2007. This new book for grades 5-8 includes more than 20 intriguing grid logic puzzles that teach deductive and logical reasoning and challenge students' problem solving skills. The puzzles are related to the adventures of a group of eight friends who all live on Meadowbrook Lane and take part in a series of projects and events in their neighborhood. To solve the puzzles, students will need to gather clues and organize them using logic grids, deductive reasoning, analytical thinking, and the process of elimination. Answers are included. 48 pages. BTH-3802 . $10.76-D

Puzzle It! Logic Puzzles and Tricks: 50 Challenging Riddles, Brain Teasers, and Logic Problems by Moshe Levy. Incentive Publications, 2007. This book contains 50 challenging logic puzzles that require the use of basic skills to solve. Working these puzzles will sharpen critical thinking and problem solving skills and motivate reluctant learners. Students will need to practice analysis and deduction, ask questions and consider multiple answers, develop and try out strategies, visualize possibilities, apply information in a new way, and refine spatial awareness skills. Student pages are reproducible for one classroom. Answers are provided. For Middle School grades and up. 64 pages. BTH-4026. $8.99-D

Lollipop Logic: Critical Thinking Activities by Bonnie and Robby Risby . Dandy Lion Publications. For grades K-2. Reproducible. 64 pages, including answers. This book teaches seven different thinking skills: relationships, analogies, sequences, deduction, inference, pattern decoding, and critical analysis. The format is suitable for prereaders. This book uses pictures rather than words for student response.
BTH-497. $10.76-D

Mastermind Mathematics: Logic, Strategies, and Proofs by Mathew Mitchell. Key Curriculum Press. Mathematics teachers have long used the game MASTERMIND to teach logic and deduction. Mathew Mitchell, an associate professor at the University of San Francisco Department of Learning and Instruction, makes the connections between game strategies and mathematics concepts such as problem-solving and proof strategies. As students use this book and play MASTERMIND, apply strategies such as establishing subgoals, making a chart, deductive reasoning, eliminating possibilities, pattern searching, and proof by contradiction.

This book can be used full-time for a unit on deductive reasoning lasting several weeks, or a teacher can use single activities throughout the year as warm-ups or for enrichment. Math clubs can also make good use of this book. 102 pages. Key-3196. $6.26-D

Mystery Disease by Mark A. Bohland. For grades 5-8. A serious illness is sweeping through the small community of Jamestown. Why are all these people sick? Where did they catch the disease? Student take the role of public health workers as they track down the source of the illness. This problem-based unit combines science, social studies, math, research, group collaboration, and communication as students work in teams to solve he problem and present their findings. This unit should be very relevant to students who are hearing about new diseases on the media quite frequently now. Student pages are reproducible for classroom use. 88 pages. BTH-23. $11.66-D

Mystery Science: Case of the Missing Lunch by Connie Gatlin. For grades 3-5. As students enter the classroom, they will notice something is amiss. As they view the area cordoned off with tape, they will discover several lunch boxes, an empty thermos, a white powder, cookie crumbs, and footprints. This is the beginning of a crime scene investigation that requires experimentation and critical thinking to solve. Students will use chemistry, observation, and analysis of the scientific data, and also personal information about the four suspects to determine who stole the cookies and milk out of one of the lunches. As they work on solving the mystery, students will find real-world applications for science concepts.

Contained in this book are a brief introduction, a story that introduces the mystery, a map of the crime scene, a list of materials, directions for each crime lab, statements made by the suspects, detailed instructions for the preparation and set-up of each lab, a list of possible vocabulary or spelling words for the mystery, and an explanation of what happened. There are step by step instructions for the teacher on how to prepare and complete the activity. This can't be used as a time filler or be haphazardly thrown together. It does require careful preparation, but it will be fun for the students as a chance of pace in science and problem solving. Student materials are reproducible for classroom use. 48 pages. BTH-425. $9.87-D

One-Hour Mysteries, by Mary Ann Carr. Students become detectives and need to learn logic skills to solve the five crimes in this book. These crimes can be included in a unit on mysteries or be used independently for variety about every six weeks or so. Each mystery requires about 1-3 hours to solve. These mysteries motivate students to learn reading and thinking skills. For grades 4-8.
Cat#BTH-157, $10.76-D

More One-Hour Mysteries by Ann Carr. Dandy Lion. The sequel to the very popular One-Hour Mysteries. Young detectives in grades 4-8 use clues and logic to solve five intriguing mysteries involving a stolen will, a dog napping, a forged memento, a stolen video game, and a hoax. These can be used for one-or two day sessions, or as lead-ins for a literature unit on mysteries. They teach deductive reasoning, inferencing, taking notes, organizing data, and analyzing evidence. 64 pages
BTH-496. $10.76.

Blast off With Logic Series
A series of three reproducible books that develop logic skills in a sequential,
developmental fashion. Children enjoy solving these logic puzzles.
Click image to enlarge it.

Logic Countdown: For Grades 3-4. BTH-524. $10.76-D
Logic Liftoff: For Grades 4-6. BTH-158. $10.76-D
Orbiting With Logic: For Grades 5-7. BTH-160. $10.76-D

Logic Safari Series

These books are packed full of wonderful deductive logic puzzles that appeal to children.
These puzzles include the problem, the grid, and an eye-catching illustration. $8.06-D each.
Book 1, grades 2-3, BTH-161; Book 2, grades 3-4, BTH-162; Book 3, grades 5-6, BTH-163

First Time Analogies: This is the very first book in this series for teaching children how to solve analogies. It presents pictorial and symbolic analogies so that even non-readers can develop creative and analytical thinking skills. For grades K-2. Cat.#BTH-197. $9.86-D

Analogies for Beginners: Pictorial and verbal exercises introduce logical thinking to young students, grades 1-3. BTH-26. $8.06-D

Thinking Through Analogies: This challenging array of investigations into the similarities
between two things builds vocabulary and critical thinking skills. For grades 3-6. BTH-166. $8.96-D

Advancing Through Analogies: When students are ready for more advanced analogies, this book will help expand vocabulary and build flexibility and analytical thinking. For grades 5-8. BTH-27.$8.06-D

Playing with Logic: Reproducible Activities for Grades 3-5 by Mark Schoenfield and Jeannette Rosenblatt. Frank Schaffer / Fearon, 1985. This book has puzzles in the following areas of logic and critical thinking: Relationships, Sequencing, Inference, and Deduction. The last chapter consists of group logic games. Answers are provided. 59 pages. BTH-5054. $8.99

One slightly damaged copy might still be available for $8.29. BTH-5055. Use this link to check availability and to order on line.

Primarily Logic by Judy Leimbach. A Dandy Lion Publication. For grades 2-4. This book consists of a series of units designed to introduce logical thinking. Each skill is introduced with examples, and the reproducible worksheets give students the opportunity to practice the following logical thinking skills; finding relationships, analogies, all and no statements, syllogisms, if-then statements, and dedcutitve reasoning. Eye-catching graphics add interest. 56 pages, including answers. BTH-498. $10.76-D

Primarily Thinking by Judy Leimbach. A Dandy Lion Publication for grades 2-3. This book introduces six essential thinking skills: comparison, cause and effect, fact and opinion, patterns, classification, and sequences. The reproducible worksheets will give students lots of practice in using these new skills. The text is easy for young readers, and the pictures enhance the text and add interest. 64 pages with answers. BTH-499. $10.76-D

Primary Analogies: Critical and Creative Thinking, by Brunner, Schoenlank, Williams, and Wiss. EPS. Helps children who are just learning to read do analogies. They learn to find similarities, categorize, make comparisons, and use Venn diagrams. In picture to picture analogies, students choose two pictures from a frame that have the same relationship as two others and connect them with a line. As students begin to learn the alphabet, the analogies combine letters, pictures and symbols, and progress to analogies using only words -- easy, phonetic words they are likely to meet when they read. Order by catalog number and title.

Available titles

Cat. # Title Price
N1-2283 Primary Analogies 1 (40 pp.) $5.50*
N1-2284 Key, Book 1 (32 pp) $5.25*
N1-2285 Primary Analogies 2 (48 pp.) $5.50*
N1-2286 Key, Book 2 (32 pp) $5.25*
N1-2287 Primary Analogies 3 (64 pp.) $6.25*
N1-2288 Key, Book 3 (40 pp) $5.25*

Puzzle it! Logic Puzzles and Tricks: 50 Challenging Riddles, Brain Teasers, and Logic Problems by Dr. Moshe Levy. Incentive Publications, 2007. This book contains 50 challenging logic puzzles that require the use of basic skills to solve. Working these puzzles will sharpen critical thinking and problem solving skills and motivate reluctant learners. Students will need to practice analysis and deduction, ask questions and consider multiple answers, develop and try out strategies, visualize possibilities, apply information in a new way, and refine spatial awareness skills. Student pages are reproducible for one classroom. Answers are provided. For Middle School grades and up. 64 pages. BTH-4026. $8.99-D

Quotation Quizzlers: Puzzling Your Way through Famous Quotations by Philip A. Steinbacher. A Dandy Lion publication. 64 pages. This reproducible book offer students challenging opportunities to meet famous people through their own words. But first they have to use their deductive reasoning and word analysis skills to decipher the quotes. Correctly placing the letters which are grouped at the bottom of the puzzle into the spaces provided at the top will produce the quotation. But solving these puzzles requires critical thinking, word analysis, flexible thinking, and the ability to see both the small pieces of the puzzle and the way they fit together to form the whole solution. Besides the fifty puzzles, students will find short biographical sketches of each famous person quoted. Even teachers will be challenged by these. Workbook size. BTH-2. $10.76-D

Solving Logic Mysteries by Rebecca Stark. Educational Impressions, 2003. In this book, students will read about situations, consider a list of clues, and use a matrix grid to eliminate possibilities and arrive at conclusions. In the process they will develop important deductive reasoning and critical thinking skills, as well as memory and listening skills. This will also help develop vocabulary and reading comprehension. The logic mysteries are divided into two levels of difficulty and may be done independently, in pairs, and in small groups. The book includes detailed explanations of solutions and a template so that students can create their own mysteries. 96 pages. For grades 3-6. BTH-1601. $13.46-D

Solving Logic Problems Book 1: Basics by Jim McAlpine, Betty Weincek, Sue Jeweler, and Marion Finkbinder. Educational Impressions, 2008. This book introduces students in grades 5-7 to logic and shows them how to apply logic strategies to a variety of problem-solving activities that require deductive, inductive, convergent, and divergent thinking. You will find grid puzzles, pattern problems, syllogisms, and other differentiated activities in numerical, verbal, and visual-spatial logic. There is also a section with extension activities for additional experience. You should start with this book no matter what the grade level unless students are already familiar with logic strategies. 92 pages. BTH-4681. $13.46-D

Solving Logic Problems Book 2: Advanced by Jim McAlpine, Betty Weincek, Sue Jeweler, and Marion Finkbinder. Educational Impressions, 2008. This book introduces students in grades 6-8 to logic and shows them how to apply logic strategies to a variety of problem-solving activities that require deductive, inductive, convergent, and divergent thinking. You will find grid puzzles, pattern problems, syllogisms, and other differentiated activities in numerical, verbal, and visual-spatial logic. There is also a section with extension activities for additional experience. You should start with Book 1 no matter what the grade level unless students are already familiar with logic strategies. 92 pages. BTH-4682. $13.46-D

The Thinking Skills Series, by Evan-Moor, presents lessons to strengthen critical, logical, and creative thinking skills. Each of its 44 lessons have step-by-step teacher directions, a chart that poses a thinking challenge, and a reproducible practice page. Each book also has a CD-ROM where students can interact with the full-color charts by entering brainstorming responses, dragging and dropping objects into a Venn diagram, and solving matrix puzzles on the computer screen. The CD also includes a printable PDF of the book. 144 pages in each book plus the CD-ROM. Available for grades 1-2 (BTH-917), 3-4 (BTH-918), and grades 5-6 (BTH-919)). Books are $17.99-D each.

Thinking Stories by Jackie Scott. A bilingual series from Dandy Lion Publications. These English-Spanish stories combine literature and thinking in a unique bilingual instructional format. Each book contains four original stories in both Spanish and English. They are followed by activities which relate to the problems presented in the stories and which require using various thinking techniques to solve. All three books in the series are for grades K-3. It does not appear that the books need to be used in any particular order. More details contents for each book follow:

Thinking Stories Book 1 includes these stories: The Moving Company (attribute recognition and classification); Who's Been Jumping on the Bed (math problem solving); the King's Towers (problem solving strategies), and Games Bunnies Play (deductive logic.) BTH-500. $9.86-D

Thinking Stories Book 2 includes these stories: The Alien Animals (categorization); The Enchilada Machine (elaboration and sequencing); Gregorio's Disaster (categorization); and The Mystery Person ( inductive reasoning)BTH-501. $9.86-D

Thinking Stories Book 3 includes these stories: The School for Bears (prolem solving, flexibility); Helga's Dilemma (deductive logic, organizing information); The Tooth Fairy Disaster (following directions, seeing relationships); The Anthology Machine (analogies, seeing relationships) BTH-502. $9.86

Thought Provokers and More Thought Provokers: Published by Key Curriculum Press. These challenge the critical thinking and math skills of high school students with intriguing puzzles. $8.46-D each.

A Treasury of Critical Thinking Activities, Intermediate by Rosalind Curtis, Maiya Edwards, and Fay Holbert. Teacher Created Resources, 160 pages. This book targets these teaching strategies: Bloom's Taxonomy, creative thinking, research skills, brainstorming skills, Rensulli's Enrichment Triad, Thinking Caps, and Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. Each of these strategies has its own section, which is divided into three subsections: Notes on the strategy's practical applications in the classroom; a wide ranges of activities which cover the main curriculum areas; and task cards and blackline masters to support the activities. BTH-1722. $13.46-D

Unlocking Analogies: The Right Combination to Unlock Critical Thinking edited by Marianne Tatom. Harcourt Achieve, 2008. The three books in this series build critical thinking skills, enhance vocabulary development, and help improve standardized test scores. They provide direct, explicit instruction and guided practice that will teach students the secrets of analyzing analogies. 48 pages in each book. Here are the available titles:

Unlocking Analogies Grades 2-3 teaches these types of analogies: Groups; Part to Whole; User to Object; Synonyms; Antonyms; Name and Description. BTH-3414. $7.19-D

Unlocking Analogies Grades 4-5 teaches these types of analogies: Example and Class; Part to Whole; Homophones; Synonyms; Antonyms; Item to Category. BTH-3415. $7.19-D

Unlocking Analogies Middle School teaches these types of analogies: Example and Class; Object and Function; Homophones; Synonyms and Antonyms; Doer and Action; and Location.
BTH-3416. $7.19-D

Word Bogglers: Visual Words and Idioms by Diane Draze. Each reproducible page has six word puzzles similar to the one on the cover. Students analyze the shape, location, arrangements of letters, etc in the boxes to come up with a word or phrase it represents. For example, the answer to the puzzle on the cover is "Banana Split." (And in the puzzle page, there is no picture of the answer given as a hint like the one on the cover. Difficulty level is for grades 3-6. These are fun and make nice fillers that improve thinking skills and vocabulary.
BTH-180. $9.86-D

Working with Analogies: Making Connections Book 1 by Jim McAlpine, Betty Weincek, Sue Jeweler, and Marion Finkbinder. Educational Impressions, © 2004. Understanding and decoding analogies is a skill that transfers to reading comprehension, critical thinking, and creativity. Analogies help students to think about the relationships betweens two words, pictures, or symbols. This book is divided into five sections: Part-to-Whole/Whole-to-Part; Synonyms and Antonyms; Purpose, Use, or Function; Cause and Effect; and Degree. The book uses both visual/symbolic and verbal analogies. Some exercises are open-ended, and students are challenged to create some analogies of their own.
For grades 2-3. BTH-1581. $11.69-D

Working with Analogies: Making Connections Book 2 by Jim McAlpine, Betty Weincek, Sue Jeweler, and Marion Finkbinder. Educational Impressions, © 2004. Understanding and decoding analogies is a skill that transfers to reading comprehension, critical thinking, and creativity. Analogies help students to think about the relationships betweens two words, pictures, or symbols. This book is divided into five sections: Part-to-Whole/Whole-to-Part; Synonyms and Antonyms; Purpose, Use, or Function; Cause and Effect; Degree; Grammar; and Association. The book uses both visual/symbolic and verbal analogies. Some exercises are open-ended, and students are challenged to create some analogies of their own.
For grades 4-6.BTH-1599. $11.69-D

Working with Analogies: Making Connections Book 3 by Jim McAlpine, Betty Weincek, Sue Jeweler, and Marion Finkbinder. Educational Impressions, © 2004. Understanding and decoding analogies is a skill that transfers to reading comprehension, critical thinking, and creativity. Analogies help students to think about the relationships betweens two words, pictures, or symbols. This book is divided into five sections: Part-to-Whole/Whole-to-Part; Synonyms and Antonyms; Purpose, Use, or Function; Cause and Effect; Degree; Grammar; and Association. The book uses both visual/symbolic and verbal analogies. Some exercises are open-ended, and students are challenged to create some analogies of their own.
For grades 6-8. BTH-1600. $11.69-D

You Be the Judge: Lessons to Build Evaluative Thinking Skills by Barbara Juskow. Help students master essential skills for decision-making and evaluation. Complete lessons and reproducible worksheets introduce students to three types of decision making:

Criteria evaluations measure against a set standard.
Value judgments employ moral training and personal values.
Judicial decisions require students to weigh facts before making an evaluation
Each section contains several lessons on reproducible worksheets that introduce the particular evaluative skill and give students opportunities to practice the skill. In all of the lessons in this book, students are asked to become active participants - to weigh, to consider, to debate, and to cast judgment. They will learn how to decide on criteria, how to use criteria to judge the best ideas, how values affect decisions, how use ethics to evaluate different situation, and how to fairly apply rules and punishments. Use this book to build important evaluative skills students will use throughout their lives. 64 pages. For grades 5-8. Cat. BTH-167. $10.76-D


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Our normal office hours when we answer the phone are 10: 30 AM - 4 PM Monday - Friday.
We answer email and ship at other times, but normally take Sundays off.

We prefer you ask your questions about products and availability by e-mail, since that gives us more time to prepare a thoughtful answer and keeps us from playing phone tag. Please remember to put our email address in your address book if you have a spam filter or you won't ever get your answer unless you also leave a phone number. We cannot usually tell you immediately over the phone if a book is here. We have to walk two blocks to check the warehouse, so I usually have to call you back or email you anyway. We do check our e-mail frequently throughout the day when we are at home. If we should be out, and you leave a message on our answering machine, we sometimes cannot hear the phone number clearly to return your call. Those are some reasons why we recommend you email us first. If you want us to call you, please leave your phone number and time zone.
When you do email us, please do not leave the subject blank or just say "Hi" or "Hello" as the subject. We delete those before opening because a lot of spam messages look like that.
We have supplied a subject line in the link provided above that will guarantee your mail will be opened fast.
Or call (800)925-8587 (not before 10 AM or after 10 PM Pacific Time)

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