Monday, June 27, 2016

That Supreme Court Abortion Decision: No Surprise

I'm not shocked by the most recent Supreme Court decision striking down the Texas abortion law.

The case was questionable in the first place, and the Court is too caught up in the Culture of Death and Perversion to go against the current media/elite controlled tide.

We can't really rely on the Court as it's currently constituted to make any real changes in a positive direction.

We have to go to the people. And I don't believe that will work either, at least not in the short term

 I don't mean to be unduly cynical, but the American people are essentially selfish and self-centered. The are motivated by what they believe is convenient or easy or what benefits them. They will not turn from abortion until either it poses a problem for them, or no longer is something from which they benefit.

So, while we should continue to pursue laws, the only way to really fight abortion is to get people - and especially women - to recognize what a threat abortion is to them, or to convince them that they are killing babies. We need to focus on the mental/physical health issues posed by abortion - death from the procedure, infertility, the increased instances of mental health issues, suicide and breast cancer, and so on. We need to keep repeating this information until women begin to see it's not in their interest. And we need to emphasize the "baby" angle, with cute/touching pictures, and even at times the horrible images. Right now we are faced by the lies of "choice" and "health" and "my body," and that the child is not alive or is just a parasite or blob of tissue.

It is only when people no longer want or accept abortion that the laws will change.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, June 25, 2016

How I saved Planned Parenthood (mea culpa)

A group of us pro-lifers saved Planned Parenthood today.

Oh, the irony.

We were across the street from the Greece, New York, Planned Parenthood facility as we are every Saturday (for years). We pray a Rosary, a Divine Mercy Chaplet and other prayers for the women, the children, and the staff, and for an end to abortion.

We had just stared the rosary when I noticed what looked like smoke coming up from the ground. It was intermittent, and we were across the street, so I wasn't sure.

I kept looking, turning my head this way and that just to make sure. And I also noticed that part of the base of the building, and some of the siding, looked charred.

When we finished the rosary and were about to start some of the other prayers I asked every one to stop and inquired if anyone else was seeing what looked like smoke, or were my eyes playing tricks on me. One woman remarked that she had smelled smoke, several people looked and said, "Oh, yeah."

Finally, one man walked across to the street to the building, looked closely, then pulled out his cell phone and called 911.

He came back and reported that the siding had melted and there was indeed smoke.

We continued praying. After a while, the fire department arrived. One firefighter sprayed the ground with an extinguisher, then they began pulling away siding, and the underlying wood. They kept spraying, and hooked up a hose and began digging, pulling away more of the wall, and kept trying to get in the building.

This particular Planned Parenthood office has been closed on Saturdays for the last few weeks. There are rumors of financial problems - but I don't know that for sure. Still, that meant no one was there.

We finished praying, then talked as we watched the firefighters at work, and the police arrive.

Some people kidded that we should have maybe let it burn a bit longer before reporting it - then acknowledged that calling was the right thing to do. The flames could have spread, could have put firefighters in danger, and maybe jumped to neighboring businesses and homes.

I joked that my first thoughts were the flames of Hell were coming up.

We also said we wouldn't be surprised if Planned Parenthood tried to blame us pro-lifers somehow. One person did point out that it was interesting the timing - for when we were there.

I also noted that one thought that passed my mind was if the rumors of financial problems were true that it was arson for insurance purposes - with us as convenient scapegoats.

Interestingly, although we had helped to save the building, one woman driving by gave us the finger.


The man who went over and I spoke briefly with a police officer - I said to make sure he pointed out that pro-lifers had saved Planned Parenthood. Then an other officer came over and took our statements with contact information if fire investigators needed to get in touch with us.

After that, we all left.

I wonder how this will get reported in the media - if at all?

And maybe a Planned Parenthood official or the owner of the building will come over to thank us next week.

I'm not holding my breath!

Pax et bonum

Renewal in Motion - Who says religious life is dull?

Pax et bonum

Scifaiku submissions

Sent off the following submissions to a scifaiku magazine. Tentacles crossed.

coming back to find
he no longer existed -
time travel mishap

watching as the clone
learns to ride a bicycle -
sense of déjà vu
supernova -
on some planet are wise ones
following its light?

alien envoy
says they received our signal,
asks for Gilligan

in three star systems
"Klaatu barada nikto"
is a knock-knock joke

crew wonders after
first alien encounter
who's more sentient

robot's Valentine
card bears the image of a
mechanical heart
chess master defeats
Komodo for the first time -
computer crashes

Pax et bonum

The Holy Outlaw - we need more such folks today!

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Quotes That Argue Life Begins at Conception!

Statements declaring that life begins at conception, from an article in Live Action News:

“The life cycle of mammals begins when a sperm enters an egg.”
Okada et al., A role for the elongator complex in zygotic paternal genome demethylation,
      NATURE 463:554 (Jan. 28, 2010)

“Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual.”

Signorelli et al., Kinases, phosphatases and proteases during sperm capacitation, CELL TISSUE RES. 349(3):765 (Mar. 20, 2012)

“The oviduct or Fallopian tube is the anatomical region where every new life begins in mammalian species. After a long journey, the spermatozoa meet the oocyte in the specific site of the oviduct named ampulla, and fertilization takes place.”
Coy et al., Roles of the oviduct in mammalian fertilization, REPRODUCTION 144(6):649 (Oct. 1, 2012) (emphasis added).

“Fertilization – the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism – is the culmination of a multitude of intricately regulated cellular processes.”
Marcello et al., Fertilization, ADV. EXP. BIOL. 757:321 (2013). National Institutes of Health, Medline Plus Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary (2013).

“The government’s own definition attests to the fact that life begins at fertilization. According to the National Institutes of Health, ‘fertilization’ is the process of union of two gametes (i.e., ovum and sperm) ‘whereby the somatic chromosome number is restored and the development of a new individual is initiated.'”
Steven Ertelt”Undisputed Scientific Fact: Human Life Begins at Conception, or Fertilization” LifeNews.com11/18/13
“Human life begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”
Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.
“In that fraction of a second when the chromosomes form pairs, the sex of the new child will be determined, hereditary characteristics received from each parent will be set, and a new life will have begun.”
Kaluger, G., and Kaluger, M., Human Development: The Span of Life, page 28-29, The C.V. Mosby Co., St. Louis, 1974.
 An embryology textbook describes how birth is just an event in the development of a baby, not the beginning of his/her life.
“It should always be remembered that many organs are still not completely developed by full-term and birth should be regarded only as an incident in the whole developmental process.”
F Beck Human Embryology, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1985 page vi

“It is the penetration of the ovum by a sperm and the resulting mingling of nuclear material each brings to the union that constitutes the initiation of the life of a new individual.”
Clark Edward and  Corliss Patten’s Human Embryology, McGraw – Hill Inc., 30

“Although it is customary to divide human development into prenatal and postnatal periods, it is important to realize that birth is merely a dramatic event during development resulting in a change in environment.”
The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology fifth edition, Moore and Persaud, 1993, Saunders Company, page 1

“Your baby starts out as a fertilized egg… For the first six weeks, the baby is called an embryo.”
Prenatal Care, US Department Of Health And Human Services, Maternal and Child Health Division, 1990

“Landrum B. Shettles, M.D., P.h.D. was first scientist to succeed at in vitro fertilization: ‘The zygote is human life….there is one fact that no one can deny; Human beings begin at conception.’
“Zygote is a term for a newly conceived life after the sperm and the egg cell meet but before the embryo begins to divide.”
From Landrum B. Shettles “Rites of Life: The Scientific Evidence for Life Before Birth” Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1983 p 40

The medical textbook, Before We Are Born – Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects, states:
“The zygote and early embryo are living human organisms.”
Keith L. Moore & T.V.N. Persaud Before We Are Born – Essentials of Embryology and Birth Defects (W.B. Saunders Company, 1998. Fifth edition.) Page 500

“Thus a new cell is formed from the union of a male and a female gamete. [sperm and egg cells] The cell, referred to as the zygote, contains a new combination of genetic material, resulting in an individual different from either parent and from anyone else in the world.”
Sally B Olds, et al., Obstetric Nursing (Menlo Park, California: Addison – Wesley publishing, 1980)  P 136

“The term conception refers to the union of the male and female pronuclear elements of procreation from which a new living being develops. It is synonymous with the terms fecundation, impregnation, and fertilization … The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life.”
J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Freidman. Biological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Publishers. 1974 Pages 17 and 23.

"Development begins with fertilization, the process by which the male gamete, the sperm, and the femal gamete, the oocyte, unite to give rise to a zygote.”
T.W. Sadler, Langman’s Medical Embryology, 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. p. 11.

“[The zygote], formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being.”
Keith L. Moore, Before We Are Born: Essentials of Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2008. p. 2.

“Although life is a continuous process, fertilization… is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.”
Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Miller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.
“[All] organisms, however large and complex they might be as full grown, begin life as a single cell. This is true for the human being, for instance, who begins life as a fertilized ovum.”
Dr. Morris Krieger “The Human Reproductive System” p 88 (1969) Sterling Pub. Co

“The first cell of a new and unique human life begins existence at the moment of conception (fertilization) when one living sperm from the father joins with one living ovum from the mother. It is in this manner that human life passes from one generation to another. Given the appropriate environment and genetic composition, the single cell subsequently gives rise to trillions of specialized and integrated cells that compose the structures and functions of each individual human body.

“Every human being alive today and, as far as is known scientifically, every human being that ever existed, began his or her unique existence in this manner, i.e., as one cell. If this first cell or any subsequent configuration of cells perishes, the individual dies, ceasing to exist in matter as a living being. There are no known exceptions to this rule in the field of human biology.”
James Bopp, ed., Human Life and Health Care Ethics, vol. 2 (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1985)

“In fusing together, the male and female gametes produce a fertilized single cell, the zygote, which is the start of a new individual.”
Rand McNally, Atlas of the Body, (New York: Rand McNally and Company, 1980) 139, 144.

“[The Zygote] results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm … unites with a female gamete or oocyte … to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”
The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th ed. Keith L. Moore, Ph.D. & T.V.N. Persaud, Md., (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), 2-18

“….it is scientifically correct to say that human life begins at conception.”
Dr. Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard Medical School: Quoted by Public Affairs Council

“… Conception confers life and makes you one of a kind. Unless you have an identical twin, there is virtually no chance, in the natural course of things, that there will be “another you” – not even if mankind were to persist for billions of years.”
Shettles, Landrum, M.D., Rorvik, David, Rites of Life: The Scientific Evidence for Life Before Birth, page 36, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1983

From Newsweek November 12, 1973:

“Human life begins when the ovum is fertilized and the new combined cell mass begins to divide.”
Dr. Jasper Williams, Former President of the National Medical Association (p 74)

“The formation, maturation and meeting of a male and female sex cell are all preliminary to their actual union into a combined cell, or zygote, which definitely marks the beginning of a new individual. The penetration of the ovum by the spermatozoon, and the coming together and pooling of their respective nuclei, constitutes the process of fertilization.”
Leslie Brainerd Arey, “Developmental Anatomy” seventh edition space (Philadelphia: Saunders, 1974), 55

The Biology of Prenatal Development, National Geographic, 2006 (Video)

“Biologically speaking, human development begins at fertilization.”

In the Womb, National Geographic, 2005 (Prenatal Development Video)

“The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created, a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”

“The zygote therefore contains a new arrangement of genes on the chromosomes never before duplicated in any other individual. The offspring destined to develop from the fertilized ovum will have a genetic constitution different from anyone else in the world.”
DeCoursey, R.M., The Human Organism, 4th edition McGraw Hill Inc., Toronto, 1974. page 584

“The science of the development of the individual before birth is called embryology. It is the story of miracles, describing the means by which a single microscopic cell is transformed into a complex human being. Genetically the zygote is complete. It represents a new single celled individual.”
Thibodeau, G.A., and Anthony, C.P., Structure and Function of the Body, 8th edition, St. Louis: Times Mirror/Mosby College Publishers, St. Louis, 1988. pages 409-419

“The development of a new human being begins when a male’s sperm pierces the cell membrane of a female’s ovum, or egg….The villi become the placenta, which will nourish the developing infant for the next eight and a half months.”
Scarr, S., Weinberg, R.A., and Levine A., Understanding Development, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1986. page 86

“Each human begins life as a combination of two cells, a female ovum and a much smaller male sperm. This tiny unit, no bigger than a period on this page, contains all the information needed to enable it to grow into the complex …structure of the human body. The mother has only to provide nutrition and protection.”
Clark, J. ed., The Nervous System: Circuits of Communication in the Human Body, Torstar Books Inc., Toronto, 1985, page 99

“A zygote (a single fertilized egg cell) represents the onset of pregnancy and the genesis of new life.”
Turner, J.S., and Helms, D.B., Lifespan Developmental, 2nd ed., CBS College Publishing (Holt, Rhinehart, Winston), 1983, page 53

“Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote)… The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual.”
Carlson, Bruce M. Patten’s Foundations of Embryology. 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p. 3

“Embryo: The developing individual between the union of the germ cells and the completion of the organs which characterize its body when it becomes a separate organism…. At the moment the sperm cell of the human male meets the ovum of the female and the union results in a fertilized ovum (zygote), a new life has begun…. The term embryo covers the several stages of early development from conception to the ninth or tenth week of life.”
Considine, Douglas (ed.). Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia. 5th edition. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976, p. 943

Lennart Nilsson A Child is Born: Completely Revised Edition (Dell Publishing Co.: New York) 1986
“…but the whole story does not begin with delivery. The baby has existed for months before – at first signaling its presence only with small outer signs, later on as a somewhat foreign little being which has been growing and gradually affecting the lives of those close by…”

“In that fraction of a second  when the chromosomes form pairs, [at conception] the sex of the new child will be determined, hereditary characteristics received from each parent will be set, and a new life will have begun.”
Kaluger, G., and Kaluger, M., Human Development: The Span of Life, page 28-29, The C.V. Mosby Co., St. Louis, 1974

“The development of a human being begins with fertilization, a process by which two highly specialized cells, the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female, unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”
Langman, Jan. Medical Embryology. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1975, p. 3

“It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitutes the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual.”
Human Embryology, 3rd ed. Bradley M. Patten, (New York: McGraw Hill, 1968), 43.

“Fertilization is an important landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed… Fertilization is the procession of events that begins when a spermatozoon makes contact with a secondary oocyte or its investments… The zygote … is a unicellular embryo..”
From Human Embryology & Teratology, Ronan R. O’Rahilly, Fabiola Muller, (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996), 5-55.

Pax et bonum

Two more scifaiku

there are rumors that
"Klaatu barada nikto"
is a knock-knock joke

crew wonders after
first alien encounter
who's more sentient

Pax et bonum

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Another school year over

Except for some teacher workshops, school is over. All my grades have finally been filed. All the paperwork is filled out.

Besides the workshops - tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday - I have some cleaning out of my room to do. I also have work to do to prepare for the new digital reality of the school and my classes, including uploading a lot of documents and information packets.

I'm not set to begin doing that writing I planned to do this summer. A piece about the presidents for an online publisher, revising a short story I plan to send out next wee - those are the first tow on my agenda.

I also have some other plans - more on those later if anything comes of them.

Right now, just need to chill for a day or two.

Pax et bonum

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rock of Faith photo

Rock of Faith playing at the 9 a.m. Mass.

Pax et bonum

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Proclaim to the nations - Mass version

Rock of Faith performing one of my songs as a Mass prelude.

Pax et bonum

Proclaim to the nations

A demo song - I was recorded solo (singing and guitar), the engineer (our bass player) overdubbed my voice, then added bass later. The song was to teach the group.

Pax et bonum

Monday, June 6, 2016

"Will Wilder" ... Nice try, but

Raymond Arroyo of EWTN has been endlessly self-promoting his children/young teens book Will Wilder: The Relic of Perilous Falls. I spotted a copy at our local Catholic shop and wanting to give him some support I bought it.

It was a quick read. That's good.

Second, let me say that it's wonderful Arroyo tells his children original stories.

Third, let me compliment him on actually finishing the writing of a novel. I certainly didn't finish that one I've been working on off and on for years.

As for the book, though, while it is not awful, it certainly is not very good.

There are plot holes. Some of the characters' actions seem hard to believe. (I'm not talking here about fantasy elements;  I'd be fine with that. But some characters simply act in ways that ring false even in a fantasy novel.) The secondary characters are too flat. The dialogue at times seems silly and forced. The forces of evil are simply not evil or threatening enough. The fantasy and adventure elements don't always work.

Some examples: There's a hidden pagan temple that no one seems to explore or even know about except for the "informed"? How did a pagan temple get built there in the first place? There's an underground entrance to the Keep that no one seems to notice, yet three boys are able to enter it easily? Will's friends are trapped in chambers filling with water, and he just deserts them? What kind of hero is that? Will's dad sees all kinds of monsters, yet continues to try to ignore them even though they nearly killed his wife and children?

Were this written in the 1920s or 30s Arroyo might be able to get away with some of these things - and some of the dialogue and characters - but not in 2016.

I finished the book, but quickly added it to the pile of books to be donated to the library.

Again, let me say this is not an awful book. I've read worse - including a number of books aimed at Catholic or Christian audiences. And the underlying idea is an interesting one. And some young, less discerning readers might enjoy it.

But, sorry Mr. Arroyo. You might be a great dad and you have served EWTN well, but this effort falls short.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, June 4, 2016

More Spiritual Focus

Met with my spiritual director last week, and went to the cathedral last night for Mass and confession as part of the Year of Mercy Plenary Indulgence.

From both spiritual moments it became clear that if I am going to grow spiritually I need to focus more on what is good, and spend less time on what is not.

Among the bad habits -

Watching too much trashy television
Wasting too much time on social media
Getting caught up in pointless debates online
Playing too many computer/online games

These things in and of themselves are not bad, but spending too much time on them is.

So ...

I'm going to leave the television off as much as possible. I don't need to watch mindless sitcoms and crime shows and horror movies and movies that have questionable content.

I'm going cold turkey on computer games.

I'm going to avoid arguments online, and avoid spending much time on social media - just tune in to get updates, and lightly post (and try to keep it positive).

Instead, I will focus on spiritual reading, prayer time, writing, and getting my school work and chores done.

I already avoided turning on the television today, and haven't played a computer game. I might watch something with the wife later, but not any of the usual programs or movies I watch. (Sorry scifi and horror channels!) 

As soon as I finish posting this, I will get back to grading papers.

Lord, please give me the strength I need to resist temptation.

Pax et bonum

More Scifaiku

coming back to find
he no longer existed -
time travel mishap

robot's Valentine
card bears the image of a
mechanical heart

hearing aide, false teeth,
prosthetic limbs on the shelf -
bed time ritual

Pax et bonum