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Santorum: I'm No Huckabee

AMES, Iowa - Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum said Friday that he won't fall off the map after the Iowa caucuses, even though he has little-to-no campaign organization in other early primary states.

Santorum, who has spent more time in Iowa than any other candidate, says he has an advantage heading into New Hampshire that the 2008 winner of the Iowa caucuses, Mike Huckabee, didn't have.

"I'm from that area of the country," Santorum told reporters during a campaign stop in Ames. "In that respect, we have an advantage going into New Hampshire that Mike didn't have."

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The Etymologicon Guide to Christmas (Drinking)

I really enjoyed this video over at Julie's place on the origins of certain drinks/names while the dude gets blotto. Much fun. Go watch>>>>

Iowa's evangelicals moving to Santorum

More Rickmentum!!

DES MOINES (Reuters) - Signs that Rick Santorum is suddenly a contender in the race for the Republican nomination for president were all over Iowa on Thursday.

The former Pennsylvania senator - who has built his long-shot campaign around trying to appeal to evangelical Christians in the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday - received a boost when several prominent preachers said their followers were coalescing behind Santorum.

Some preachers called on one of Santorum's chief rivals for the influential evangelical vote, Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann, to abandon her campaign, or fold hers into Santorum's.
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Reason #7539 to Homeschool

Your kid's permanent public school record? Obama's got it.

Because we didn’t read the bill before we passed it, the Stimulus bill of 2009 Surprize! has an easter egg that stinks to high heaven. Kudos to the Missouried Education Watchdog for doing the leg work, and it deserves more press than it’s getting. Living just outside the beltway, I don’t recall a firestorm of criticism about creating a national database, defacto or otherwise of student information, and I listen to conservative sources of information that are local. So I’m thinking, this needs more noise, more pressure, more concern. We’re going to be told in soothing tones, nothing to see here, move along. But information is power. Having access to information without our consent or knowledge, is dangerous power. Go read it. Then start brainstorming, how do we deconstruct the Leviathan that has become our government, where rules are written and rewritten silently to eliminate privacy, to eliminate our liberty, to allow others who do not love us, to know more than in some cases, those who do love us, know.
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Santorum is Third in Iowa!


This could be huge for Santorum. I’m guessing people in Iowa like what he says, but needed permission to support him in the form of some assurance that their votes wouldn’t be wasted. If he’s trending upwards in the polls, they get that permission. As John McCormack pointed out in his nice piece on Santorum in The Weekly Standard, he’s not perfect; he has the liabilities of a Bush-era member of the Senate Republican leadership. But our friend Quin Hillyer, who’s been banging the drums for Santorum for about a year, had this post in the Corner (pasted below) a few weeks ago that makes the case for his record:
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3 y/o Christian Girl Killed by Islamic Gunmen

Jihad du Jour:

Nigeria: Three-Year-Old Christian Girl And Her Parents Shot To Death By Islamist Gunmen…
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Rowan Williams Class Warfare Christmas Sermon

Because Jesus came to defend anti-capitalist thuggery:

Archbishop of Canterbury Uses Christmas Sermon To Push Class Warfare, Says Rioters No Worse Than Bankers…

And this guy leads the Anglican Church?
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Prayer Request for a 5 Year Old

Ranting Catholic Mom writes:

My sweet little 5-year-old niece spent Christmas eve and Christmas day, and night, in the hospital with breathing problems. It appears to have been a long standing problem, beyond the previously diagnosed asthma and allergies. She will be home, but will use oxygen when she sleeps. Please keep her in your prayers for healing, and her doctors for insight as they try to find the underlying cause.
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What The Chuck?

Chucky Schumer strikes again. His brother-in-law gets surprise Fed judgeship in NJ.

Sen. Charles Schumer’s brother-in-law was quietly nominated this month to a federal judgeship in New Jersey — a move that has some in the Garden State crying political foul, The Post has learned.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com

Last Minute Lazy Man's Guide to Christmas Decorating

Pretty funny:

It Christmas Eve so you have officially run out of time to decorate your house!

The solution? Just do what the people in the house below did!
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Dear Obama, Please Kill Foreign Babies...

with my money!!!

House Democrats Write Letter To Obama Urging Him To Spend Taxpayer Funds On Foreign Abortions…
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First Lady: I Come First


Barbara Walters, ABC News: "Mrs. Obama, you've recently said something that I thought was very interesting for other women to hear. You said 'you put your own self highest on your priority list.' That sounds selfish?"

Michelle Obama: "No, no, it's practical. It's something that I found I needed to do for quite some time, even before the presidency. And I found it other women, in similar situated balancing career family, trying to do it all and a lot of times we just slip pretty low on our own priority list because we're so busy caring for everyone else. And one of the things that I want to model for my girls is investing in themselves as much as they invest in others."
Perhaps Michelle Obama isn't average. But the average person is selfishly oriented by nature, and so should not reinforce that by subscribing to a doctrine -- a considered, intellectualized manifesto -- of putting oneself first.
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Intolerable: Burning Baby Jesus

Rorate Caeli reports:

Ten years ago, Argentina went through a severe sovereign debt crisis not unlike the one being witnessed now elsewhere. This week, in protests to mark that occasion, what did protesters attack? A Christmas tree and... the nativity scene next to it.
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Boys Are Not Defective Girls

I had three girls in a row and thought I was the best parent in the world. Then we had a boy and I was forced to reassess my parenting abilities. Jason Fertig of Phi Beta Cons has an excellent little piece about a childcare professional realizing that boys and girls are just different:

I applaud my local Evansville Courier and Press for running such a politically incorrect (i.e. accurate) article in its education section.

This article chronicles what Hillary Krantz, program manager at Youth Resources of Southwestern Indiana, learned at a recent educational conference:
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Protestants, Jews Unite Against HHS Mandate

Great news:

Over sixty leaders of faith-based organizations or who work with faith-based organizations wrote a public letter in conjunction with the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance to President Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius protesting the very narrow exemption to the health insurance contraceptives mandate and asking that the administration not adopt in its place a different definition that would still only protect some faith-based organizations.
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Christian College Takes Obama to Court

Campus Notes reports:

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty announced that Colorado Christian University (CCU) today became the first interdenominational Christian college to challenge in federal court a new “Affordable Care Act” (aka “Obamacare”) mandate for abortifacients (drugs which induce abortions).
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Those Be Devil Horns!

You know the phrase "the Devil is in the details?" No seriously, the Devil is in this detail.

The Ironman US Championship just published the elevation chart for IMNYC. No look at it and tell me what you see?

I don't care what you say, those are Devil horns!!!

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Good Minus God

Rick Garnett writes:

Returning to an earlier-discussed matter, here is Louise Antony, in The New York Times, arguing with "those" who are alleged to argue that "[a] person who denies God . . . must be, if not actively evil, at least indifferent to considerations of right and wrong." I have never heard anyone (who is in the arguing business) actually argue this, but put that aside.
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Amazing Pro-Life Billboard


A billboard a Canadian pro-life group has paid for has a Toy Story-themed messages that will surely resonate with area residents when it comes to the issue of abortion.

Using the message “Some toys will have fewer children to play with this year,” Niagra Region Right to Life’s billboard focuses on Christmas from a toy soldier’s perspective — who won’t have any children to play with him this year because they have become victims of abortion.
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UNICEF Ad Makes Santa a Jerk

Gateway Pundit reports:

UNICEF turned Santa Claus into a poverty hating jerk this Christmas.
Then asks you for donations.
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Obama Appoints Planned Parenthood Board Member to the Court

Weasel Zippers reports:

Just to give you an idea how far to the left the judge is, Obama appointed her to the ulta-liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
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I Have Pretty Feet

Yeah, that's what I said.

You know how some runners develop really nasty looking feet? Callouses. Black toenails. Dry patches. That's not me.

I find that the more I run, the prettier my feet get. When I am not running, my feet suffer. But when I am running, even running and biking a lot like during Ironman training, my feet get softer, clearer, prettier. Heck, they almost like baby's feet.

It wasn't always like this. When I first started running, I lost toenails. Lots of 'em. But that was because I am, what is the word I am looking for? Oh yes. Stupid. I am stupid.

Back in 2003 when I first started...

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Chewbacca Sings Silent Night. And Weird Al

What more could you possibly want this Christmas?

It’s got everything: Star Wars, a Christmas tie-in, Star Wars. It’s exactly the kind of thing I gleefully swipe all the time.

But I like this one better:
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He's Got a Gun Shaped Pizza!!!


Bet you can't top this one: Boy disciplined after waving gun-shaped pizza slice

The threatening pizza slice didn't actually shoot pepperoni bullets, but you can't be too careful!
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Catholic College Grants Sholarships to Eight Kids in Very Special Family

Great story:

This is one heck of a Christmas gift. In fact, it’s eight of them. And it’s worth…oh…about a million dollars.

Belmont Abbey College, whose motto is ‘that in all things God may be glorified,” is offering eight children of a very special family full scholarships as part of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
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Planned Parenthood Approval Rating is 68%?

Cognitive dissonance at Why I'm Catholic:

So says Gail Collins in today’s New York Times. Maybe she just means in New York City. Interestingly, she also mentions the unconstitutionality of the provisions in the Senate Defense Bill the President says he will sign now ( S.1867), which will allow citizens to be detained without due process of law. This proves once again what strange bedfellows arise in political circles.

I give her kudos on the one hand, for recognizing the obvious abrogation of the rights of citizens, “we the people.” And on the other? I shake my head at the cognitive dissonance that gives the green light to killing our most vulnerable and precious assets: our unborn citizens.
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Tragedy and a Prayer Request

Christine writes and requests prayers:

Yesterday, Friday, started out like a regular day. Me and Sly got up and ate breakfast. We put on our shoes and left the house to spend the morning browsing shops. I still need Christmas gifts for two of my cousins, and they both like unique sorts of things. I thought I could find them something good in Lawrenceville. I was planning to come home after, put Sly down for a nap, and write a little blog entry saying, "wow - today's my one year 'blog-iversary'! I can't believe I lasted this long, etc. etc."

We were waiting at the corner of the main street to cross to the other side, where there were more shops. My memories are somewhat hazy...I don't remember if I was aware there was a large tractor-trailer truck making the turn. I probably saw it, but never thought I should have to move, since we were on the sidewalk. I was standing with Sly in front of me, in his umbrella stroller.
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Let Them Grieve

Great piece from RN Tracy Conley at her new blog Babbling and Babies:

Recently, there have been two prominent stories of loss in the news. The first and more recent is the loss of Jubilee Duggar. While most people have heard of the Duggars and know of the situation surrounding the loss of their youngest child, they have also been quite judgmental on how the family chooses to mourn the loss of their little girl. The other loss that has currently been in the news is that of Rick Santorum’s son, who was born and died at 20 weeks gestation. It is the treatment of this second loss that has caused me so much distress as to feel the need to write something concerning people’s reactions to viewing others’ grief.
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I Love 5ks. I Hate 5ks.

From www.Iron-Saint.com

Ahoy. It's race time again.

Life permitting, I will be running the Ho Ho Ho Holiday Run 5k tomorrow morning.

I love 5ks. I hate 5ks.

I love 5ks because you get all that race day energy. A good crowd. Camaraderie. Race bling (Sweatshirt in this case). Butterflies in your stomach. And you get a point in time measurement of your fitness.

I hate 5ks because they make you want to puke. You are running all out for 3 miles. There is no reserve, you use it up and hold on for dear life. Crowded. One little mistake and there is no time to recover. That friggin' 12yr old girl who runs right by you at the end!! And you get a point in time measurement of your fitness.

Now, I try to have perspective...
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The Cholesterol Lie

Very interesting compilation of data and articles suggesting that high cholesterol is not the culprit in heart disease.

Fighting heart disease is big business. And when I say big business, I mean BIG business. Prescriptions of the statin drug Lipitor alone produce billions of dollars of sales each year.

Statins of course, are a class of drugs which are designed to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering a person’s cholesterol levels. Over the course of the last decade they has become the prominent feature of heart disease management by the healthcare industry.

Secondary to this is the vilification of dietary saturated fats for their connection to serum cholesterol levels as produced inside the human body. The last several generations of people have seen staples of the human diet like butter, eggs, and beef, become public enemies in the fight to save lives.

But what if all of these fronts are a farce. What if you found out that the cholesterol you eat has no connection to the cholesterol you body produces...

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At Catholic Colleges, Mass Translation ‘Much Ado About Nothing’

Is the new Missal the Y2K of Catholicism?

The prophecies of the calamitous consequences of the introduction of the new missal were heard around the country. But was it much ado about little?

There were warnings from some Catholic publications that the new translation was “unreadable” and an “inhibitor to authentic prayer.”

One news story suggested that “New missal could drive away Catholics.” Another fretted, “Liturgists Worry About Upcoming Implementation.”

But according to a number of priests and campus ministry professionals at faithful Catholic colleges, it seems that all the worry about the new missal translation is a bit like Y2K – prophecies of doom and gloom followed quickly by rather smooth sailing.
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The “Obamulkes?” Seriously?

And Obama Yamulka. You've gotta' see the pic:

Just in time for Hanukkah — and President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign — Progressive Jews can place an online order for the original Obama Yarmulkes, popularly known as ‘Obamulkes’ when they first appeared in 2007.”
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Red Cross: Women Need Access to Abortion

LifeNews reports:

A recently issued report from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has caused concerns that the organization may start advocating for abortion rights.

In a section of the report on human rights IFRC quotes a widely criticized document issued by Anand Grover, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, which said, “States must take measures to ensure that legal and safe abortion services are available, accessible, and of good quality.” The IFRC report goes on to editorialize, “But the real challenge is to find out how many states will indeed change their policies accordingly.”
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Flip Turns And Answered Prayers

What flip turns in swimming taught me about the prayer life.

Flip Turns And Answered Prayers

There is nothing natural about it.

You come in to the wall, you turn yourself upside down, blindly reach for the wall with your feet, push off and hope you are headed in the right direction.

Flip Turns. I have dreaded flip turns for as long as I have been swimming, which is going on 9 years now.

This whole time, even though I swam 5 times a week at points, I never learned how to do flip turns. Oh sure, I tried a few times, but it was always so disorienting and uncomfortable, I quickly gave them up. In this way, flip turns are a lot like prayer. Some of us may like to pray more, but every time we do it we feel uncomfortable. It is disorienting and we don't immediately get anything out of it, so we give up. What's the point?

So like I said, I never learned how to do flip turns. When I started...

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She Wanted to be a Priest as a Little Girl

But then she found out that the Church couldn't ordain women. Not wouldn't. Couldn't. And Katherine Thomas says that's why she's Catholic today:

As a 20-something Catholic woman with a master's degree in theology, I found the article "Female priests push Catholic boundaries" (Dec. 11) relevant and provocative.

Having shown a religious interest at a young age, I often was asked whether I would want to be a priest when I grew up. It seemed to me a possibility at the time.
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Rabbi: Tebow Win Will Cause Violence

Lunacy. Warner Todd Huston has the maddening story:

In the category of bigotry and hatred spares no religion, we find such hatred hiding behind religion in one “Rabbi” Joshua Hammerman of New York City. Hammerman has indulged his inner Father-Coughlin-in-reverse by proclaiming that if Tim Tebow wins the Super Bowl, why, Christians will go on a rampage that will result in the burning of mosques and the bashing of gays. Now, are you ready for some football?

Hammerman disgorged his absurd claims at his New York Jewish Week blog posted on December 12 titled, “My Tim Tebow Problem.” It is instead Hammerman’s civility problem. Tim Tebow has nothing to do with this neer do well’s extreme hatred of Christians.
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Do Gay Rights Trump Religious Liberty?

Worrisome comments from Obama and Hillary Clinton leave many worried.

Alarm bells are going off in the heads of religious liberty advocates from recent comments made by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and a subsequent commentary from President Barack Obama.

Speaking in Geneva, Clinton said in part:
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Obama Usurps Will of Texas

The SBA-List reports:

The Susan B. Anthony List today criticized the Obama Administration for its latest assault on the right of states—this time Texas—to pass legislation that would defund abortion-provider Planned Parenthood of taxpayer funding.
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Happiness Is A Warm Bed

More From My Running blog www.Iron-Saint.com whether you like it or not.


Happiness is a warm bed. That was all I wanted this morning, to stay in my nice cozy warm bed.

I did a triple 45 workout yesterday. I ran for 45 minutes in the morning. Swam for 45 minutes at lunch. Rode on the bike trainer for 45 minutes last night after dinner. Not that any of it was particularly intense or anything, but I was tired.

When my alarm rang this morning, I looked out at the dark and said to myself, "I can skip today. Or maybe I can run at lunchtime. Or maybe I should just take the day off."

I am not a morning debater usually. If I debate what to do each day, nothing good can come of it. When tempted to turn off the alarm, I yell at myself internally to "Just get up and do it, idiot." And I do.

But this morning Lincoln and Douglass were going at it in m head. Just get up. Listen to your body...Continue Reading >>>>

Archbishop Hepworth to resign as head of TAC

Catholic Culture reports:

The leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) has announced that he will step down next year. But other bishops of the Anglican group want his resignation immediately.

Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth said that his resignation would take effect in May 2012, on Pentecost Sunday. He said that move was prompted by the “considerable dissension” that has arisen within the TAC in recent months.
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So That's What That Idiom Means!

Elizabeth explains some idioms you probably thought you knew.

I'm in a British mood. I'm currently obsessed with a new television show, and no, it's not Canadian. It's British and brilliant. As I seem to have a struggle finding time for poignant posts that fit the original intent for this blog, I will share with you a fun one.

There is much to be thankful for with the English language. We are so blessed with synonyms that we could potentially create 78,990 versions of one ten-word-long sentence, without repeating key vocables. Or locutions, or morphemes, if you prefer.

However, I often weep for the English language, at the same time I torture it. We're losing the ability to exchange intelligent thoughts, I fear. In looking for shorter, newer ways of speaking, we've lost a more eloquent tongue. One of the casualties of this slow murder has been the loss of significance in our idioms.
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Mrs. Duggar Miscarries, Plans Funeral

Sad news:

Sad news for Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, stars of the TLC reality show "19 Kids and Counting." Michelle has had a miscarriage. The child would have been their 20th.

"We rest in knowing that even though our child has departed this life that we will one day see each other again in heaven," the Duggars wrote on the family website.
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Planned Parenthood Hiring Kids to Promote Sex

Hey, we all know how much they like kids, right?

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is hiring 7 “Youth Health Educators” to promote sex to their peers.

Children as young as 14 are considered eligible for the job:
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Obama Blocks Texas Defunding of Planned Parenthood

The Abortion administration strikes again:

The Obama administration has turned down a request from Texas to run a family its Title X family planning program, funded with federal taxpayer dollars, without funding the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
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Help for a Family in Need?

I know times are tight but this family seems to need help so I figured I'd let you guys know. Betty Beguiles has more:

I received an email tonight from a fellow mother of five. She shared with me that her husband was laid off from his job in August. Prior to that they’d been living paycheck-to-paycheck so they didn’t have much in the way of savings to begin with. Knowing that I’m familiar with her struggle she approached me to ask for help. My heart breaks for her. I know her pain so intimately. She worries about keeping the power on and putting food on the table, of course, but I know she worries, too, about how she’s going to find the money to put a few small gifts under the tree. There’s something about that kind of fear that especially grieves a mother’s heart. I hate that.
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The Nicest Guy in the Vatican

R.I.P John Cardinal Foley.

A few years ago I was at an awards dinner in New York City. From across the room I happened to see John Cardinal Foley, the longtime head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications. Foley had just been named a cardinal (after many years of being, according to Vatican sources, "passed over") so I made a mental note to offer my congratulations. The newly named cardinal had also been...Continue Reading>>>>

The Only Rule Christians Must Obey

From Bad Catholic

Contrary to popular belief, the problem with moral relativism is not that it allows far too much fun and annoys the hell out of the Puritans. If it were, it might be a tempting worldview, this whole what’s-wrong-for-you-ain’t-wrong-for-me frolic. No, the problem with moral relativism is that it takes the fun out of everything, and makes the world hellishly Puritanical.

There are two ways to ruin a game. The first to add too many rules, and the second is too eliminate all of them. If a man were...Continue Reading>>>>

More "Catholic" Thoughts from the Kennedys

No logic. No thought. She seems to want a Vatican run by pollsters:

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is a good example of how the deadly 1964 Hyannisport Conclave and tragically catholic family infamously involved keep on giving and giving and giving… to the culture of death.
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Where O' Where Have the Jesuits Gone?

They say they're disappearing but it's society's fault:

The number of Jesuits in America are rapidly declining. While some Jesuits disagree as to why, they seem to agree that the decline is sure to have an effect on the 28 Jesuit schools around the country.
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Ho No! A Return To The 5k

Check out my new Running Blog www.Iron-Saint.com

Ho No! A Return To The 5k

So next weekend I am gonna run a local 5k called the Ho Ho Ho Holiday Run. I did this event a couple of times some years ago and I always enjoyed it.

I did some 5ks over the summer and early fall as speedwork during my early marathon prep. But that was a while ago. The last time I ran "fast" was mid-October when I did the Rock n Roll 10k in Brooklyn and I haven't done a 5k since September I think. The point is, I haven't run fast in a while and I am wondering if all my speed (what I had of it) has disappeared.

With my long training, tapering, and recovery running fast was just not part of the plan. But now I am beginning my training for the Manhattan Half-Marathon January 21 so speed work is definitely part of the plan. So it is with this in mind that I want to run this 5k. That seems logical. Here is the illogical part. I am afraid of what I might find.

Over the summer as...Continue Reading >>>>

What's the Ideal Family Size Anyway?

Are adoption agencies refusing children to families with too many kids? Mother the World has the story:

Vietnam is revisiting implementing a two-child policy.

India is also proposing a two-child policy even in the wake of India’s decreasing population and a huge gender discrepancy due to female infanticide and sex selected abortion eliminating females.

I am the mother of 7 children. When people ask me how many children I have, they gasp. Why do they gasp? They respond this way because large families in America do not represent the ideal. Why are they not ideal? Why has the concept of family size over 2.5 children become less than ideal? What is the ‘ideal’ family size?
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WaPo: Jesus Was OWS

Just because Jesus had long hair doesn't make Him a hippie:

You know #OccupyWallStreet is preoccupying the conservatives when Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council feels he has make the convoluted argument that “Jesus was a free marketer, not an Occupier.”

Except, of course, Jesus was an Occupier. Jesus occupied the biggest bank in Jerusalem, calling it a “Den of Thieves.” He threw the money-changers out. “Then Jesus entered the Temple and drove out all who were selling and buying in the Temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers. . .” (Matthew 21:12)
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This is Seriously Funny

Condoms and...dental floss at BC:

Last week, the street outside the campus of Boston College was the scene of a strange interaction between a group of students handing out condoms and another group handing out…dental floss, according to BC’s student newspaper The Heights.

Yup. Dental floss.
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GOP Too Dumb To Live

Yeah, what he said.

I took some grief on the recent NR cruise by telling the group that I thought Mitt Romney would lose to Barack Obama rather handily. That for some mysterious reason Obama continues to have relatively strong personal-approval numbers and a substantial, reliable base, which Romney doesn’t. As a typical standard-issue Republican, Romney wouldn’t have the heart or the courage to take the fight to the president, but instead would debate around the edges, and lose.

If this is to be believed, that’s the actual strategy:

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Scientist: Nuns Should Take The Pill

This is anti-Catholic lunacy, especially when you consider that the Pill is a carcinogen. The Blaze reports:

Should nuns be taking contraceptives? On the surface, this seems like a bizarre question to be asking, especially considering the Catholic Church’s stance on birth control and the fact that Catholic clergy take a celibacy pledge.

But scientists are now claiming that “the pill” would help protect nuns from breast, ovarian and uterine cancer — diseases they claim are more likely among women who never bear children.
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Newt's Fully Gay Half Sister Against Newt

I love when Obama supporters rail against the GOP for being anti-gay marriage, forgetting that Obama pretends to be against it too.

Newt's Gay Half-Sister Is Going to Vote For Obama, Because She Doesn't Like Newt's Anti-Gay-Marriage Official Stance

Apparently she doesn't believe Obama when he claims that is also his official stance.
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We'll Remove Nativity "When Hell Freezes Over."

This guy is great. A bunch of out of state atheists freak out about a nativity in a small Texas town where nobody's complained about. You've gotta' read what the county commissioner said.

The signs of Christmas are everywhere in downtown Athens.

Lights, trees, and Santa and his reindeer line the streets. But it’s the nativity scene on the lawn at the county courthouse that has caused concern.

“I just don’t understand it, to be honest with you,” said Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders. “I’m just confused about it.”
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Condemned Book Still Used at Catholic Colleges

Theologians cry that they're not respected by the bishops but then they completely ignore them:

A theology book condemned by the bishops as one that “completely undermines the Gospel and the faith of those who believe in the Gospel” is still required reading in at least one introductory theology course at a Catholic college and the subject of promotions advertised on Catholic college’s website.
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Theologians: Bishops Have Wounded Us

Campus Notes reports:

Decrying a lack of dialogue, the Board of the College Theology Society expressed their “sadness and grave concern” over the bishop’s condemnation of a book by Fordham Theologian Sr. Elizabeth Johnson and accused the bishops of wounding the entire community of Catholic theologians.
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Christmas Regulations

Whenever I read Sherry's posts I always find myself thinking, "I've had this exact same conversation." This is funny stuff:

It began with a question meant to while away the time driving from home to mass. “Hey kids! The grandparents in Texas want to give a family gift. Any suggestions?”

“A Dog!”
“A Fish!”
“A kitten!”

Sensing a trend I did not favor, I explained. “Rule number one: We shall add no living things to our family this Christmas.”
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CoFounder of Major Catholic Charity Dies

Catholic Key reports:

Bud Hentzen, co-founder of Kansas City based charity Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA), died November 30. The 30 year old charity he helped found has served more than 650,000 children and aging through their tremendously successful sponsorship program which matches donors with individual children and other beneficiaries worldwide.

Hentzen was 83 and news of his death in Wichita was sent out today by CFCA’s Carlos Casas.
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Principal Turns Off Heat for Environment

If your kids freeze to death, hey at least it was for a good cause.

British Principal Turns Off Heat to Classrooms Amid Near Freezing Temperatures To Reduce Its Carbon Footprint…
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If Only Hollywood Agents Could Marry

Pundette writes of the latest abuse scandal:

This horror story shouldn't surprise anyone. Hollywood is all about exploitation and its products have long shown how deeply it despises childhood and innocence. But this story is about as sickening as it can be:

Recent Charges of Sexual Abuse of Children in Hollywood Just Tip of Iceberg, Experts Say
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Oldest Catholic College Drops "Catholic"

Wave of the future or are most Catholic colleges finally going the other way?

Sad news.

It might have happened a long time ago in deed but now the word is catching up. The Catholic University of Leuven, founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V, is dropping the adjective ”Catholic,” according to Rorate Caeli.

This move is hardly a surprise as it follows a year of dialogue concerning dropping the word “Catholic” after the college was criticized for the awarding of the Nobel Prize to Robert Edwards, the pioneer of in-vitro fertilization.
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Archbishop Wenski: Notre Dame Got Played

Wow. Bracing truth.

Writing in the Miami Herald, Archbishop Thomas Wenski said that the University of Notre Dame, along with other notable Catholics who supported Barack Obama’s health care plan, got played.
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Clinic Fined for Illegal Dumping of Remains

Good things those little babies aren't reeeeeeelly human. Otherwise this would be really bad.

The Texas Commission on Environment Quality has released documents to Operation Rescue that show two Texas abortion clinics and the disposal company Stericycle have been slapped with fines in excess of $83,000 for illegal dumping of aborted baby remains.
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What Running Empties, God Fills

From my running diary/blog Iron-Saint.com

I sometimes go through periods in my running, like some periods in my life, where my soul feels as barren as a desert.

One of the things that I love about running is that it empties my head of the mundanities of life. It creates a space, a vaccumm, that can be -- will be filled up with something else. But what else?

As the title of this blog indicates, I view running as a spiritual exercise. Penance. Virtue. Cardio.

But it is also a sport. For the past few months, and in particular the last two months, my running had been almost entirely focused on my preparation for the Philly marathon. And in the weeks since, recovery. That space that running is supposed to empty filled up with me. What pace should I run the marathon. How will I do? What should I wear? Am I ready? And since... Could I have done better? When will I be recovered? Why do I still feel so lousy?

That space got filled up with a lot of me and that has killed the joy of running for me. No room for thoughts about God or family, too crowded in there for that.

So it was that this weekend as I began my Saturday run, I took a right turn into the woods. I had been avoiding trail running ...

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School Bans Santa for Fear of Offending

Ha! This is awesomely stupid:

More PC lunacy.

Via Fox News’ Todd Starnes:

Controversy is embroiling a California town over allegations that elementary school teachers have been told they cannot display poinsettias or Santa Claus in their classroom over fears that it might offend people.
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No Smoking But Yes to Abortions in Hospital

The perfect hypocrisy of our age:

From the Catholic Anchor:

Our local Catholic hospital, Providence Alaska Medical Center, has been in the news twice recently. In the first case, it was reported that hospital management decided to lease office space to abortion doctors. Hospital staff defended this by saying these doctors aren’t going to be performing abortions in the offices owned by the hospital.
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Boomers Heading to Seminary

Interesting story from CNN about older men heading to the seminary:

At 51, Vincent Guest could well be the professor at a table filled with 20- and 30-year-olds. He is leading a lunchtime social justice meeting for seminarians at Theological College at Catholic University in Washington.

Forks clink on plates in the basement conference room as Guest opens the November meeting in prayer. "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit," he says as he bows his head and clasps his hands.

Guest is not a visiting professor. He is a seminarian, just like the other younger men at the table.
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Finding the Ark of the Covenant?

Wait. I thought Indiana Jones found it already!

A very British problem of a leaky church roof could be about to give the world the chance to glimpse the legendary Ark of the Covenant.

That's because the claimed home of the iconic relic - a small chapel in Ethiopia - has sprung a leak and so the Ark could now be on the move.

The Ark - which The Bible says holds God's Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai - is said to have been kept in Aksum, in the Chapel of the Tablet, adjacent to St Mary of Zion Church, since the 1960s.

According to the Old Testament, it was first kept in the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem for centuries until a Babylonian invasion in the 6th century BC.
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Zags Jesuit Says Church Distributes Condoms

And on top of that a lecturer there endorses Plan B, an abortifacient:

In what can only be termed sad and shocking news, the Gonzaga University campus newspaper is reporting that at a paneled discussion called “Let’s Talk About Sex” on campus earlier this week, the Jesuit director of University Ministry told 125 students in attendance that the Church doles out contraception in some countries for health purposes, and a University lecturer on the panel endorsed the abortifacient Plan B.
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Should We Look at Perry Again?

Hmmm. Pundette thinks so.

With Newt ascending like a hot air balloon and Mitt starting to crack under the strain, maybe it's time for voters to take a second look at Perry. Conservative Daily News:
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Your Favorite Movie...Evah?

This is kinda' fun but you have to play along to get the full gist. Adrienne has a quiz.

Try this test.

This amazing math quiz will predict which of 18 movies below will be voted the NUMBER ONE movie of all times in 2012.

It really works, for MOST of us anyway!
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Does Obama Not Know What His Job Is?

Did he really just say that?

Obama: My Daughters Are “Going To Be Successful Even If America As a Whole Is Not”…

It’s good to be king.
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You Look Like Crap

From my new running/triathlon blog that I am starting called www.Iron-Saint.com. I am still developing it, but maybe you would like to see a preview?

You Look Like Crap

You look like crap. Sickly. Weak. Pathetic.

Would you ever say such a thing directly to someone? I doubt it.

However, a curious thing comes over people when speaking to a person who has lost a significant amount of weight.

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Gene Therapy for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is terrible. But some use it to push suicide. Rebecca Taylor writes about hope for the future:

Chronic pain is a major problem for many and some pain does not respond to traditional pain medications or some people cannot tolerate the side effects. The culture of death has their solution for those suffering from chronic intractable pain: assisted suicide. Researchers at the University of Michigan have another more hopeful approach: gene therapy. They have engineered a herpes virus to deliver the gene that encodes for a natural pain killer. This virus migrates to the nerves and makes the nerve cells produce the pain killer for a month to six weeks. Researchers think they can extend this effect for up to 6 months.
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We've Accepted Her

Chelsea writes this wonderful piece:

This has been all over the pro-life interwebs this week, so you’ve probably seen it already. But if by chance you have not yet read about the little girl with Down syndrome who has become the ‘darling’ of the child modeling world in the UK, you’ll want to read this now. It’s easily the most wonderful story you will read all week:
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The Eyeless Eye of Assisted Suicide

Mark Pickup writes this excellent piece about assisted suicide at Catholic Lane:

Assisted suicide is not about pain control. Palliative care in the 21st Century has come so far as to be able to eliminate virtually all physical pain. Assisted suicide is about the illusion of personal control even over death.

Death is not a right, it is an eventuality that will visit us all regardless of what any law may state. It is life that must be protected. All the great human rights documents such as the American Declaration of Independence, the UN’s Declaration of Universal Human Rights and even Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms place the Right to Life as the first legal right. Why? Without the Right to Life assured all other rights become arbitrary and uncertain.
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Are Babies Parasites in the Womb?

Live Action reports on the unexpected health consequences of having babies:

From the Gawker science blog io9 comes a particularly cool revelation about pregnancy that might seem apolitical at first glance, but holds powerful implications for one of the abortion movement’s more callous talking points:
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"You Just Have to Catch the Baby's Head"

Thomas Peters writes:

As we’ve reported, a dozen pro-life nurses in New Jersey are fighting for their right to follow their conscience and not be forced to assist at abortions.

This quote in The Washington Post by one of the nurses stopped me in my tracks when I read it:

One of the nurses, Fe Esperanza R. Vinoya, said a manager told her: “‘You just have to catch the baby’s head. Don’t worry, it’s already dead.’ 
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