What was Benedict thinking?

The Vatican had already distanced itself from comments by bishop Richard Williamson, who has denied that 6 million Jews were murdered during World War II. The Holy See said that removing the excommunication by no means implied the Vatican shared Williamson’s views. (Jerusalem Post)

Then what did the lifting of the excommunication of Williamson imply?

As Elie Wiesel said, there’s no way the Vatican couldn’t have known about Williamson’s belief that the Holocaust didn’t happen before it lifted his excommunication.

It’s true that Williamson is not being allowed to function as a bishop. But the larger problem is, what was the pope thinking?

Wetting themselves on Inauguration Day

Media Research Center — Notable Quotables — 10/20/2008 — Media Research Center.

If anybody still has any doubts about whether the national media are wetting themselves over Barack Obama, just look at the quotes from inauguration coverage at the above link.

Bill Dennis, over at Peoria Pundit, has been talking lately about the need to drop the pretense of objectivity from journalism. While he makes a good point or two, the quotes at the above link show what happens when objectivity is dropped.

I wasn’t the best journalist in the world or in Peoria by a long shot, but I never degraded myself like these people did.




The problem with the economy, apparently, is children. Never mind that with fewer children, we’ll have fewer people to drive the economy — a situation we’re already dealing with due to legalized abortion.

How did this woman get elected?

Stephanopoulos Cried On Inauguration Day – mediabistro.com: FishbowlDC

White House Press Corps
White House Press Corps

Stephanopoulos Cried On Inauguration Day – mediabistro.com: FishbowlDC

This media puppy didn’t wet, he whimpered.

Just as annoying, albeit easier to clean.


If you click on the video below, you will have an indication of how I feel about the new RSA-CAT electronic card catalogue for central Illinois libraries, now in beta.

The original system was not bad. A little primitive, but it was sturdy and gave us the information we needed. Its replacement, now about a year old, is horrible. Counterintuitive, confusing, a real pain in the butt to use. The system in beta is terrific. Let’s hope it’s in use soon.

Anger over graphic abortion sign

I stopped by the National Health Care Services abortion mill at 7501 N. University St., Peoria, this morning for a quick prayer for the women and babies in there before coming to work. Two women, one of whom was Sister Mary Jo Yutt of Family Resources Center, holding a large sign, were already out there, trying to reach those heading in for an abortion.

As I walked up, a minivan pulled in and a very angry woman jumped out. She was enraged by the sign that Sister Mary Jo was holding, a very graphic sign of a dismembered fetus, the result of an abortion. As they had driven by a moment earlier, the woman’s granddaughter in her van had spotted the sign and asked her what it was. It infuriated the woman that such a graphic picture would be in public. She vented for about 5 minutes, but Sister Mary Jo and the other lady stood there and took it. The woman offered that she had had an abortion when she was a teen-ager and she regretted it, but that opposition to abortion didn’t justify the use of such graphic signs.

She threatened to call the police, which she apparently did, as a squad car came by a few moments later. The police officer spoke for a few seconds with Sister Mary Jo, then turned around and drove off. (The woman also, for some reason, threatened to call DCFS.)

As the woman herself left, Sister Mary Jo turned to me and said, “She hasn’t gotten over her abortion yet.” Which is probably the sad case.

The question that comes out of this is: Are very graphic signs a good way to witness to the horrors of abortion, or are they counterproductive?

Pro-lifers encouraged to keep the faith

On a dark day for the pro-life movement with the inauguration of the staunchly pro-abortion Barack Obama, Derrick Jones of National Right to Life and local speakers brought some much needed light to Peoria-area pro-lifers.

Jones, a Springfield native who is now communications director for the national organization, was the keynote speaker at Tuesday’s Central Illinois Right to Life’s annual Sanctity of Human Life Rally at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Peoria.

The annual event marks the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.

Now sporting graying temples, Jones opened his speech to the 300-400 people gathered by recalling that he started in the pro-life movement by stuffing envelopes as a 4-year-old in the Springfield Right to Life office.

Jones quickly pointed out that “while we join with the nation in celebrating a peaceful transition of power,” the injustice of abortion still needed to be recalled.

If unchecked, Obama’s policies toward the unborn could have an impact for decades to come.

“The man who admonished us to give hope a chance is in league with the worst enemy of life,” Jones said.

After mentioning Obama’s frequent citations of Abraham Lincoln, Jones said there is a “profound disconnect” between the two presidents. Lincoln’s worldview sought to protect the guarantees of the Constitution and the language of the Declaration of Independence — “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” In his first inaugural address, the 16th president talked about the “better angels of our nature.” But anyone who could vote against a bill protecting unborn children from partial-birth abortion “cannot be the second coming of Abraham Lincoln.” (Obama has since said he voted against the bill because a similar law was already on the books. He has consistently, however, as an Illinois legislator and U.S. senator, consistently voted against pro-life legislation.)

He could be known, potentially, as the “abortion president,” Jones said, an ironic situation considering the “growth market and target audience” of the abortion industry is young black women.

Jones also refuted claims by “moderates” in the abortion debate that they want to change the tone of the discussion. All that Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Rights Action League want are an executive order rescinding the Mexico City policy, which requires all nongovernmental organizations that receive federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortions; partial-birth abortion rights; elimination of conscience clauses; nomination of pro-abortion judges and justices; all-purpose improved access to abortion; and the “egregiously named Freedom of Choice Act.” (You can sign a petition against the act here.)

“How much more ‘moderate’ can you get than this?” Jones said. “All they want is everything.”

But the speaker then switched to encouragement mode.

“It’s easy at this time to feel discouraged,” he said, referring to decades of effort by pro-lifers. But now is exactly the time when pro-lifers need to stand firm.

“Fighting principalities and powers as we do every day will test anyone’s mettle,” Jones said.

True, the last election was a big disappointment, but it likely was lost because the economic concerns swamped social justice concerns.

But progress has been made.

“We’re a lot closer now than we were in 1973” to having a pro-life majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, Jones said, estimating that the court is now a sometimes 5-4 pro-life majority rather than 7-2 pro-abortion, as it was when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973.

“As true pro-lifers, we know that we will not give up,” he said.

One key is to change women’s attitude toward abortion. “On this front, we’ve made great progress,” he said.

Progress also has been made through educational efforts surrounding debates over such issues as partial-birth abortion and the morning-after pill. Legislative successes include the Hyde amendment, which bars use of federal funds to pay for abortions and the partial-birth abortion ban, which survived court challenges.

The availability of sonograms at crisis pregnancy centers such as the Women’s Pregnancy Center in Peoria enables women to see that what is within them is “not a cluster of cells, they see a baby.”

“The challenges that we face have never been more daunting, the stakes have never been higher,” Jones said. “Thank you for being here, for showing that we will work for the next four years. We’re not going anywhere.”

Encouraging words also were spoken by Myfanwy Saunders, executive director of the Women’s Pregnancy Center, and Sondra McEnroe of the CIRTL board.

“We have no right to ask women to carry to term if we aren’t willing to walk alongside her,” Myfanwy said, calling that attitude “the height of hypocrisy.”

She said the WPC sees 80 to 100 new clients per month, about 300 monthly. The WPC gives them options and information about the life that’s inside of them so they can make an informed choice to carry their babies.

“Desperation can become a trap that produces decisions that only produce more pain and despair,” Myfanwy said.

But the pro-life movement can succeed if those involved in it obey the mandates to love the Lord their God with all their heart, souls and minds, and to love their neighbors as themselves.

Sondra McEnroe, the grandmother of 50, told those at the rally that what they do — walking on a cold night in the March for Life, standing outside the abortion clinic in prayer, bailing out a mom who needs to be with her kids — makes a difference.

Relationships also are important, she said. A nurse from the Peoria abortion clinic called her earlier that night to wish her a good trip to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life scheduled for Jan. 22.

“Next year, I’ll ask her to go with us,” Sondra said.

She also said a woman recently brought a baby to show her and told her how she had made the decision not to abort the child. A year previous, 11 women sitting inside the abortion clinic at 7501 N. University St., Peoria, had heard the loud prayers of a minister outside and had decided, one by one, not to abort their babies. Clinic personnel, however, would not let them leave until the pray-ers had left.

The rally was preceded by a March for Life from the Peoria County Courthouse to the church. Dan Botkin, pastor of Gates of Eden Messianic Congregation, also offered a heartfelt confession of prayer, asking that God spare the United States from His wrath over abortion.

While a photographer from WMBD-TV showed up to interview Derrick Jones and took shots of the march, it doesn’t appear that the story made it to the air. That was the only media representative. Perhaps coverage by dwindling news staffs was too much to hope for on the day an Illinois senator and first African-American was inaugurated as president.

Michael Miller

Media like incontinent puppies

As a former reporter, I’m embarrassed at how the national news media have been wetting themselves over Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Obama greets minions

And people wonder why newspapers have lost readership:

After three and a half  hours at his transition office, PEOTUS obama took another 6 minute ride through washington, arriving at 157 pm at the nondescript soviet-style building at 15th and L street that houses the washington post.

Around 100 people–Post reporters perhaps?–awaited PEOTUS’s arrival, cheering and bobbing their coffee cups.

From politico.com.

In a piece on heritage.org titled “Key Questions for Senator Tom Daschle, Nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services,” Robert E. Moffitt makes this point: 

The tacit assumption of the Daschle proposal is that a special class of government officials should standardize medical treatment for very diverse patients who have the same medical condition. Such a direct repudiation of the professional independence and integrity of the medical profession and the traditional doctor-patient relationship is rare among American public officials.

This is the same approach government takes toward education: One size fits all. Obviously, that approach hasn’t worked well, because, besides health care, one of the main whines of our society is that our schools “aren’t working.” Well, of course they’re not. They’re designed for failure. Tailoring education to an individual child’s learning style works much better. What in the world makes Daschle or anyone else think setting up a health care system designed to fail in the same way would work any better?