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Friday, August 08, 2003
Rush Limbaugh doesn't get it

Of all the hot news items today he could talk about, Rush Limbaugh engaged in a bit of vanity by reading from a thoroughly incompentent comment on blogs.

The Hill, Dr. David Hill: Bloggers won’t match Limbaugh

Although it is never safe to predict with any confidence what will happen over the next 15 years, I doubt that blogging or any specific bloggers will match Limbaugh’s record-setting pace for gathering influence in the political process. Blogging lacks four key elements in Limbaugh’s formula for success.

First, most bloggers don’t match what Rush calls “show prep.” Rush is almost always armed for his shows with reams of data and analysis from a wide variety of news and information sources. His commentaries indicate that he has actually read his sources, thought about their meaning, and prepared his own in-depth analyses before trying to persuade audience members during his three on-air hours each day.

Well, you can read the rest on your own. Are we to believe that Rush actually reads cover to cover all the news sources he quotes from? No, he's got a staff to do that now.

Rush was getting on his high horse. My news-oriented blog is put together like Matt Drudge or Rush's own show. Review the news sources (print, radio, and internet for me) and write about what's interesting to me and what's obscure and may be overlooked.

Hill totally misses the phenomenon that blogs work to create a news buzz in a collective sense. I download a lot of stuff but the major media outlets are themselves reading the blogs and looking for new angles and opinions. So some of my stuff gets uploaded and digested and that's good for the blogosphere and good for old media as well.

Rush himself discusses stuff that has only been blogged and not in the Associated Press newswire or sourced from traditional media.

What's so strange for Rush's comment is that he wants to align himself with "Old Media" (think the "objectivity" of NBC's News' perky Katie Couric and the "credibility" of Jason Blair's New York Times.

Rush you are one of us. You are reading Drudge Report and National Review Online.

I got into blogging because I wanted to share with people like me stories that I found interesting online. In fact, in my own way I think I imitiate some of Rush's own techniques:

  • Event-driven (I'm not blogging every day on the scandal of sexual abuse or cultural hostility to the Catholic faith, although these are topics that often come up here). Lot of themes. (Fresh)
  • Trying to discover stuff that other blogs, Catholic World News, Drudge, etc. didn't pick up yet. (The Incitement to Hatred Act in Ireland applied to the Catholic Church is a recent example) (Unique)
  • Adding a little humor. Like the lego illustration of a book burning that had an anti-Catholic element to it. (Not too serious)
  • Adding my own editorial opinion so It's not just cut and paste from the news. (Original)
  • Letting the readers have some interaction. (Community)

I just want to be a place that's worth a look every day or every week for something about religion or politics or popular culture that you haven't seen somewhere else.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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cromwell Newsday: Coat Won't Be Easy to Shed
Doing away with Huntington's controversial coat of arms may be easier said than done, town officials said yesterday.

The town board voted unanimously just after midnight yesterday to abandon the emblem, which included the family crest of reviled English tyrant Oliver Cromwell, after Irish Catholics pointed out that he led the massacre of legions of their ancestors more than 300 years ago.

Only now are officials beginning to grasp the scope of the task at hand. The symbol eventually would have to be removed from the town's fleet of cars for the public safety department, as well as from the garb of all security officers, animal control workers and all other uniformed employees.

"Any reference with this logo will be phased out and eliminated from use," said town spokesman Don McKay. "But we can't just rip them off without having something to replace them." Town officials said they will do what they can now, but a full-scale amputation of the insignia is just not feasible, nor cost effective.

I'm not sure if this is another case of politicians with too much time on their hands. I'm a history buff and into heraldry, so this is of special interest to me.

Pop Quiz: when you see a inescutcheon in pretence Sable a lion rampant Argent what leaps into your mind?

Well if you guessed Droheda and the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Irish Catholics at the hands of English Protestants in the 17th century, you are on target.

But to get serious this sort of obscure association of the lion on the seal of the Town of Huntington could have and should have stayed obscure.

Another link: Ireland Online

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, August 07, 2003
Thoughtcrime Watch

Catholic Lawmaker Sees 'Bigotry' in Vatican Doctrine

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) - a Roman Catholic in a heavily Roman Catholic state - is criticizing the Vatican over its opposition to homosexual marriage.

The Providence Journal reports that Kennedy is refusing to follow the Vatican's admonition for Catholic lawmakers to oppose same-sex "marriages."

Rep. Kennedy, the son of Sen. Ted Kennedy, was quoted as saying, "I see the policy of opposing same-sex marriages or unions, whatever you call it, as bigotry or discrimination."

Pat, some forms of discrimination are crimes. Are you saying the following the teachings of the Catholic Church in this matter is a criminal act?

If this is really how Pat Kennedy feels, why would he want to remain a Catholic?

I'm not canon lawyer, but isn't there a point where a public position in opposition to the Church on a matter of doctrine becomes a heretical act?

There's a difference between "The Church is against abortion, I'm for it" and "The Church does not want a legal recognition of homosexual marriage and I'm for such a recognition, and furthermore the Church is discriminating in doing so, and we can impose a criminal penalty for that.

And spare me the "he didn't mean that" line. He wants to win the race to be first in line of CINO's to make threats against the tax-exempt status of the Church and other "trouble" that the government can create for the Church.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Florida Bishops Accused of 'Deafening Silence' in Euthanasia Case

A Catholic media organization Wednesday criticized Florida's Catholic bishops for not speaking out in the case of a Catholic woman who is disabled and whose husband is seeking court permission to let her die of starvation and dehydration. In response, the office of the Florida bishop in whose diocese the woman lives re-released a nearly 10-month-old statement explaining that the church "will refrain from passing judgment."

Cecilia Martin - editor of The Catholic Advocate in the St. Augustine, Fla., Diocese and a member of the Catholic Media Coalition (CMC) - said she finds "inexplicable" the inaction on the part of Florida's bishops in the matter.

According to Catholic doctrine human life has inherent value and dignity regardless of its condition," the Catholic media members wrote. "Medical records show that Terri Schiavo is not in a persistent vegetative state nor is her death imminent. Therefore, the removal of her feeding tube has the sole purpose of causing her death."

This is disgraceful. Learn about this case and you can't help but conclude the so-called husband wants to kill Terri.

This is precisely the precedent the Kervorkian-crowd is looking for to permit non-consensual withdrawal of food and water from a person where there is reasonable doubt as to the "persistent vegatative state".

The recent emergence of a man from an 18-year coma is a reason for hope.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:36 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Irish Echo: Church may face court over anti-gay document

By Cahir O'Doherty codoherty@irishecho.com

Distribution of the Catholic Church's new document on same sex marriages may he postponed in Ireland. On Friday, the Irish Council of Civil Liberties (ICCL) released a press statement suggesting that clergy and bishops who distribute the Vatican's latest publication describing homosexual activity as "evil" could face prosecution under the republic's incitement to hatred legislation.

The ICCL has indicated that the language in the 12-page booklet is so strong that it could be interpreted as being in breach of the law.

The latest document published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith states that Catholics have a duty to oppose the introduction of legislation recognizing same-sex unions. It also instructs Catholic politicians worldwide to vote against any such moves.

According to the document, Catholic teaching on the issue states that although homosexuals should be treated with "respect, compassion and sensitivity," in the church's view homosexuality itself is "objectively disordered."

The new document's strongest condemnation however is reserved for the possibility of gay unions: "Those who would move from tolerance to the legitimization of specific (marriage) rights for homosexual persons need to be reminded that the approval or legalization (It evil is something far different from the toleration of evil," it states.

The document also claims that allowing children to be adopted into same- sex unions would mean" doing violence to these children." This would place them "in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development

In Dublin, the Sinn Féin spokesperson on social and family affairs, Sean Crowe, called on the church to end "its campaign of vilification" against homosexuals and same-sex marriages.

The Dublin South-West TD said: "The reactionary and homophobic teachings of the Catholic Church on this issue are the real threat to society, not same-sex marriages.

"For the church to suggest that allowing children to be adopted by gay couples is tantamount to acts of violence against children is especially nauseating, coming as it does from an organization whose institutionalized cover-ups of terrible acts of violence against children leaves it with no credibility on this issue," Crowe said.

"It is long past time the Catholic Church started embracing positive social change and ended its campaign of vilification against homosexuals.'

An editorial in the Irish Times on Monday' stated that the Vatican document exhibited an "intolerance bordering on hatred. There is little evidence of Christian understanding, of love - the greatest attribute, according to Christ. It is simply not good enough for Cardinal Ratzinger and his associates who drew up this document to insert the suggestion that 'men and women with homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity" when the rest of the document suggests the opposite."'

The paper went on to lament what it called the church's "unleashing of weapons of mass destruction on innocent civilians..."

The director of the ICCL was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

The Rev. Martin Clarke, director of the Catholic Communications Office at Maynooth, told the Irish Echo on Tuesday: "I do not accept that the document issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith contravenes the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 and would draw particular attention to Paragraph 4 of the document which states that 'men and women with homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."'

Under the 1989 Incitement to Hatred Act, literature that is threatening, abusive or insulting, linked with the intent of stirring up hatred, is illegal in the Republic of Ireland. Those convicted under the Act can face jail terms of up to six months.

Note the headline reads "anti-gay". This is a evolution of the gay agenda. It's not enough to be speak out against violence and intolerance as the Church does, but it's necessary to endorse gay acceptance into legal marriage, adoption, etc. and all the offices, ministries, roles, etc. of all religious bodies.

It looks like a race among Ireland, Canada, and the United States to see when the persecution of Catholics starts for what their Church teaches on matters of human sexuality.

another link Irish Times: Legal warning to church on gay stance

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Arnold Schwarzenegger is running for Governor

A pro-abortion Catholic.

Guest comment from my 9-year-old: "So Mr. Universe is running".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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plan-b ® (levonorgestrel) is being advertised in the New York City Subway. It is a "morning-after" pill which possibly abortifacent.

There's no need to argue with me about this. The FAQ itself says

Plan B may prevent a newly fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus, although there is no scientific evidence that Plan B works this way.

This google search

Goggle: levonorgestrel abortifacient

Here's the concept -- it not only affects sperm but affects the egg and the woman's body -- to prevent fertilization and implantation. The drug is designed to create a hostile environment for sperm, egg, and embryo.

Another concern is that with wide availability this drug could be used surreptitiously, without the knowledge and consent of the woman, to contracept or induce an abortion.

I take a photo of the ad if I get a chance.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Arizona Republic: Romley's letter to Vatican sent back Sought extradition of indicted priests
Return to sender.

That was the response Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley got last month after he mailed a letter to Vatican officials asking them to order indicted priests back to Arizona for prosecution in child molestation cases.

Romley said he sent the request to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's secretariat of state.

Several fugitive priests are known to be overseas, including one in Rome and others in Mexico and Ireland.

Romley's letter came back unopened, with a note from the Vatican postmaster: "Sir, the item here enclosed is returned to sender because refused by the rightful addressee."

What's next? An Interpol arrest warrant for Cardinal Sodano for harboring fugitives?

What did Cardinal Sodano have to lose by sending an actual reply that would describe the jurisdictional issues involved?

Perhaps Romley would have better luck with the papal nuncio.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:19 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Memphis Commercial Appeal: Episcopals vote in 1st gay bishop
"This is a huge step for gay and lesbian folk in the church. . . . I think we are seeing the (country) moving into a kind of mature adulthood with the full inclusion of gay and lesbian folks in the culture and I'm proud to a be a tiny, tiny part of that," Robinson said.

"Full inclusion" is sort of a code. It not only implies admission of "gay and lesbian folks" to every role, function, ministry, office, and honor, but the affirmation of homosexual genital sexuality to be a expression of love of equal and identical holiness to sexuality which transmits life and cooperates with God's plan of creation.

"Partial inclusion" is a second-class status where you can't become a bishop or archbishop, you can't get married, adopt, be a Boy Scout leader, etc.

What's remarkable in the press accounts I've been reading is the focus on culture, power and status. It's so "now" and "this world".

My own expectation is that there will be a formal split coming with bishops around the Anglican Communion aligning along the lines of blessing gay marriages and the acceptance of gay clergy. I don't expect anything to change regarding the ordination of women.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:48 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Greenville Church Burns the Bible

August 3, 2003

GREENVILLE -- A church in Greenville thinks the Harry Potter books are part of an evil cult, so church leaders decided to have an old-fashioned book burning, but children's books were not the only things that went into the fire.

"They have changed it the key points in the Bible," said Bishop Tom Turner Sr. of Jesus Non-Denominational Church in Greenville.

"The majority of it's probably the same, but it takes just a little bit to mislead people."

So the Book of Mormon, versions of the Bible, even the Catholic Rosary, all went up in flames.

Church leaders say any Bible besides the King James version that they use, are distractions.

However, religion experts say this is something very uncommon to West Michigan.

Dr. Bastiaan VanElderen has been studying religion at Calvin College since the 1940s and has never seen anything like this here.

"No, not at all," said VanElderen. "I've heard a lot of harangs about differing viewpoints, but nothing of this caliber."

Still, pastors sight a passage from the book of Acts that mentions burning pagan literature.

"So mightily grew the word of God and revailed," said Tom Turner Jr.. "When did it prevail? When they burned them and made a public testimony that they are for God."

Book burnings aren't a new part of our country's history, but Dr. VanElderen says the last time he remembers burning Bibles was in the South in the 1950s.

Copyright © 2003, WXMI-TV, Grand Rapids

Surprised that there are "King James Only"-Christians? What a sheltered life you must have had.

I wonder if we can find the book of the Wisdom of Sirach in his so-called "King James Version". After all, it was in the King James Bible of King James himself in 1611.

And if the English of King James was good enough for Jesus and Paul, then it's good enough for me.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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As I suspected, Gibson was saying that according to Christian theology Jesus suffered and died for everyone and so therefore everyone is responsible in some sense for his death and needs to look at their own failings as a result. Even if you find this theological notion distasteful, it's right there in the center of Christianity and it was fair game for Mel to use it.

By deleting the italicized material, those who have used the quotation have left the reader with the impression that Gibson was talking in particular about Jews and thus making an anti-Semitic remark. He wasn't doing either. This is another case of "Dowdification."

Thank you, Jim Davila.

Thank you, InstaPundit-Glen Reynolds

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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CNS News:Florida Woman to Be Allowed to Die Despite Family's Wishes
By Jeff Johnson

Capitol Hill (CNSNews.com) - Attorneys for the parents of a 39-year-old Florida woman - who suffered brain damage under uncertain circumstances in 1990 - asked the Florida Supreme Court Monday to stop her husband from allowing her to die by starvation and dehydration

Terri Schindler Schiavo is scheduled to begin dying Monday, August 25. On that date, her nutrition and hydration will be stopped unless the Florida Supreme Court or Gov. Bush intervene.

Pray that this not be allowed to go forward. This case has a history of horrors.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:25 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tech Central: Is the Case for Euthanasia Dying?
In other words, the desire for euthanasia was not so much about pain and suffering as about their worldview and a perceived diminution of their quality of life within that worldview. As Mak put it, "disintegration [of the patient's sense of self-worth] was likely to occur earlier if patients had unresolved life events, personality problems, or poor social support had threatened their sense of wholeness." Patients whose sense of self-worth was reaffirmed by good quality end of life care tended to re-evaluate their need for euthanasia. The inference we might make from Mak's work is that doctors can help make the end of their patients' lives better by providing good psychological care, attuned to the individual patient's experiences, rather than by helping the end come quickly.

This is what my common sense tells me: if you give a person comfort and constructively manage their fears about dependency and dying, they don't want to go until God calls them home.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:42 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, August 04, 2003

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Rush Limbaugh

Happy 15th to Rush Limbaugh

I know it was Friday, but in my new job I don't get the opportunity to listen to the show live.

I had several Rush Limbaugh encounters before he became well known.

As you know he started the national show in New York in 1988. The WABC radio studios were (and are) there at Two Penn Plaza (which he began to call it the "Excellence in Broadcasting Building"). I worked in that building from 1984 to 1993 and during that time met Rush a few times to say "Hello", "I love the show" and "dittos". For him that must be 75 pounds ago. (It's called Penn Plaza because it is above "Pennsylvania Station", the New York terminal of the former Pennsylvannia Railroad, now hosting Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and Long Island Rail Road.) (Digital Equipment Corp. was my employer.)

Rush is as nice a guy off the air as he is in person.

He's in Florida now and I'm further uptown.

Don't stop until everyone in America agrees with you!

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Opinion Journal: A Moral Failure
Why did so many on the left march to save Saddam Hussein?


On Sept. 11, 2001, there was, in the U.S., a massacre of innocents. There's no other acceptable way of putting this: some 3,000 people (and, as anyone can figure, it could have been many more) struck down by an act of mass murder without any possible justification, an act of gross moral criminality. What was the left's response? In fact, this goes well beyond the left if what is meant by that is people and organizations of socialist persuasion. It included a wide sector of liberal opinion as well. Still, I shall just speak here, for short, of the left. The response on the part of much of it was excuse and apologia.

Required reading.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:35 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Mark Shea -- consider yourself warned of this New York to Seattle migration

Gawker: Hipster migration to Seatte

LasagnaFarm interviews a New Yorker who speculates that "latent irony" may attract the hipsters out of Williamsburg, now that Williamsburg is No Longer Cool: "I can feel Seattle's latent irony in the marrow of my bones. The city is like a polyester bowling shirt hanging in my great-uncle Morris's closet in 1987, waiting for the world to turn its way. It won't be long until kids in post- Williamsburg Brooklyn will be glomming up all the Patagonia pullovers they can get their pale, white mitts on. Plus, pre-ironic homesteading is the new gentrification. Take the Catskills as an example."

Interview with two young Manhattanites who mention more times than I care to remember that they are going to move to Seattle soon [LasagnaFarm]

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:22 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Crosswalk.com: Same-Sex Marriage: What's 'Wrong' With It?
"Religious views are the last to change, but they do change over the course of time," [Steven Baines, a senior organizer for religious affairs with People for the American Way] said.

Polls have shown that people who consider themselves religious are moving toward greater acceptance of homosexuality. The culture is more accepting of homosexuals, as evidenced by homosexual characters on TV shows and in sports, he said.

"[The Vatican] document widens the gulf between the people of our church and its leadership and runs counter to the Gospel values our faith teaches," [Marianne Duddy, executive director of Dignity USA] added.

Some of the best reasons for believing the Catholic Church is "Right" on the question of same-sex marriage comes from the arguments that are given promoting same-sex marriage.

The PAW's would tell you the Catholic Church is wrong because it's on the wrong side of the tide of history. Hey! People change! Look at the polls! So get with it! Change the Gospel! Change the Church! Conform to the Popular Will!

Even if one could put a poll in front of Baines showing that people don't want same-sex marriage legalized, I doubt he would back down.

Duddy of Dignity knows better. She have to make the claim that it is the same Gospel, but that the Church after 20 centuries of uniting man and woman in marriage was wrong to refuse to unite man and man or woman and woman.

The tide of history claim is so bogus to anyone who knows history: The deprecation of marriage in favor of free unions, concubinage, etc. has always been a sign of the decay of a society.

I think it was Alice Von Hildebrand who pointed out that the slippery slope towards the destruction of the family started with the acceptance of marriages between men and women which were intended to be pepetually sterile, denying life. Once this became fixed in the culture, it became harder to deny anyone who sought pleasure from genital sexual activity.

In the bigger picture, there's utter cluelessness - such as critics of the "Child Care Tax Credit" who say "Why do we need to encourage people to have babies?" Why, indeed. There's a demographic nuke that will hit Japan, then Europe, and then the United States as the average age of its population creeps upward. In some countries, pensioners will be greater in number than the people actually working.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:22 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, August 03, 2003
Heard on the Drudge Radio Show

Gigli was so bad that people were having cell phone conversations in the theater and no one cared.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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CNEWS Canada - Catholic Church hypocritical: gay activists
MONTREAL (CP) - The Catholic Church's credibility in preaching against same-sex marriage has been compromised by decades of repressive sexual attitudes and an unwillingness to condemn abuse by priests, participants and observers of Montreal's gay pride parade said Sunday.

"Now those are the last people that have any moral high ground to give any comment at all,"

You just can't win with these people:

  • If the Church ordains homosexual men as priests who then engage in criminal activities (sex with minors, child porn, blackmail, etc.) then the Church is accused of being "unwilling to condemn abuse by priests".
  • If the Church does not ordain homosexual men, then it is unjustly discriminating.

I think there needs to be a moratorium on the ordination of gay men to the priesthood. I have two reasons for this:

  • To address the overrepresentation of gay men in the priesthood and to bring the precentage down to something approaching the rest of the population of the United States.
  • To see, with the passage of time, if the sexual abuse scandal really is linked to homosexuality, or is it as some claim, unrelated to homosexuality, ordaining only heterosexual men would demonstrate this.

I know the scandal includes unchaste heterosexual men who are priests. The number of such men is small relative to the numbers for homosexual priests.

Likewise, the position of the people at the Gay Pride parade on the matter of chastity for Catholic priests is likely not the position of the Church as well.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com