alicia: July 2004 Archives

what else?


You speak eloquently and have seemingly read every book ever published. You are a fountain of endless (sometimes useless) knowledge, and never fail to impress at a party.
What people love: You can answer almost any question people ask, and have thus been nicknamed Jeeves.
What people hate: You constantly correct their grammar and insult their paperbacks. (Picture moved to extended entry)

What Kind of Elitist Are You?
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Link found via BeneDiction

in case you were wondering


I'm blogging from my son's house in SoCal. We are out here for a few more days, have been making the rounds of family and friends, and shopping for groceries etc that I can't find in NH. Right now he is napping so I am typing.
I am just blown away by the cost of real estate out here! I don't think we would even be remotely able to move back, not when an 800 sq ft. house on a small lot and in not so hot condition sold for half a million dollars (not my son's, btw, a neighbor of my dad's). My mom told me that one of her neighbors decided that it was more cost-effective to gut their 20 year old house down to the studs and walls and completely rebuild the interior, rather than trying to sell and buy a house more in keeping with their tastes. This is insane!
I noticed over at the Rants and Recipes that Erik was asking for prayer - sounds like a real estate possibility. Please keep him in prayer too, as the part of CA where he lives has even more inflated real estate costs than the southern end.
I will be home 8/5/04 but still 'on vacation' till the 13th. I expect blogging to continue to be rather sporadic. I know that I promised news from the Omaha conference, and it will be forthcoming but I am not sure when. Anyone with specific questions or issues please send me an email and I will try to either answer directly or incorporate into a post.
Meanwhile, I think it is time for me to wake up the love of my life so we can proceed with the rest of the day.

more politics


Mark over at Vociferous Yawpings has created a Catholic Political Platform which is well worth reading. I made a long comment on his section on health care. Maybe when I get back from vacation I will expand on this and put it up here. And maybe I won't.
I really wish that we lived in a world where I could just do what God called me to do without there being such a big hassle about it! But that wouldn't be our fallen Earth, then, would it......

politics and me


I really do try to be apolitical on this blog, mostly because there are others out there who do a much better job than I possibly can. There are a lot of political bloggers out there, Catholic and otherwise. My degrees aren't in political science, history, or any of the other stuff out there that relates to public policy. My degrees are in Nursing, Literature, and Midwifery. Along the way I came close to a degree in French and I took exams equivalent to 21 units of Health Insurance law and policy. (It's a long story of a job I did for 4 years).
I frankly have many other things to mull over and hopefully to blog about. I am heartsick about the direction that the political action this year. I have stopped reading a few blogs just because I can't handle the degree of uncharity and stridor.
However, I did just get around to reading Kelly Clark's July 19th posting on the so-called "Communion Controversy" and I can highly recommend it. It says a lot of what I would have said had I chosen to address the topic.
On a sort of related note - my dh and I high-tailed it out of town just as the DNC was getting into full fury - a decision for vacation time that I think was more than just a little Providential. It is a good time to be nowhere near New England.
(side comment - DNC is how some laypeople write D&C, the abbreviation for Dilitation and Curretage, a surgical procedure for emptying the uterus which is employed for many reasons, including abortion. everytime I hear a radio person commenting on the DNC I get a flash of the image of a D&C).

(full text here)

Recent years have seen new approaches to women's issues. A first tendency is to emphasize strongly conditions of subordination in order to give rise to antagonism: women, in order to be themselves, must make themselves the adversaries of men. Faced with the abuse of power, the answer for women is to seek power. This process leads to opposition between men and women, in which the identity and role of one are emphasized to the disadvantage of the other, leading to harmful confusion regarding the human person, which has its most immediate and lethal effects in the structure of the family.

A second tendency emerges in the wake of the first. In order to avoid the domination of one sex or the other, their differences tend to be denied, viewed as mere effects of historical and cultural conditioning. In this perspective, physical difference, termed sex, is minimized, while the purely cultural element, termed gender, is emphasized to the maximum and held to be primary. The obscuring of the difference or duality of the sexes has enormous consequences on a variety of levels. This theory of the human person, intended to promote prospects for equality of women through liberation from biological determinism, has in reality inspired ideologies which, for example, call into question the family, in its natural two-parent structure of mother and father, and make homosexuality and
and heterosexuality virtually equivalent, in a new model of polymorphous sexuality.

One thing that constantly amazed me, through the years, has been the inconsistent use of the idea of 'biology as destiny'. Modern 'feminists' (who I actually see not as feminist but as masculinists, as their approach has been to masculinaize women in the name of 'equality') have loudly proclaimed, "Biology is NOT destiny" and that the gift of fertility need not interfere with 'self-actualization'. Yet the modern apologists for homosexual behavior are equally fervent that their attraction to members of the same sex, being 'biologically programmed', in indeed their destiny and one that no thinking person may deny.

while I am out


go over and read Mary

Why we blog


found surfing


vita mea another Catholic Seminarian blog.
You see, I had a chance to hear Eldon Curtis (Omaha archbishop) speak and thought I would look him up......

should have done this earlier


The Dawn Patrol, Dawn Eden's blog, is now on the blogroll. Worth reading.

reprinted via ktc


more from omaha

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Some of the wonderful things about this conference:
Daily Mass and a closing Mass concelebrated by lots of priests, including 2 bishops.
Grace before meals (and everyone waiting for Grace before digging in)
An Adoration 'chapel' set up.
Meeting so many other medical people with life-centered values.
The closing address by a Cardinal! (on Humanae Vitae).
Raymond Arroyo and Kerri Caveziel speaking at the closing banquet.
Being with my good friend and her husband and 8 of their kids.
Going with them to the local Byzantine Rite Liturgy (Ukrainian in the case).
Trying to figure out how to smuggle home some of her rhubarb!
Will be getting on an airplane soon to head home. I may still be kind of scarce for a while, though. I am working half the week, then dh and I will be flying to Los Angeles for a week to visit our son and to meet his girlfriend's mother.
There are a lot of things I want to say about the conference, but I still need to get my thoughts organized.


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I have been told that a video press release was recently sent out talking about using Natural Procreative Technology (an offspring of Creighton model NFP) and how it helped a couple with infertility.
If any of you have seen this on your local news programs, could you please drop me a comment with the call sign and location of the TV station? Thanks.
I am still in Omaha, having a wonderful learning time. I just obtained a fresh off the press copy of Dr. Hilgers' brand new textbook and it is wonderful. It is true to the magisterium through and through and also meticulously documents the beauty of God's design for human procreation, as well as ways to assist it without the tragic and dehumanizing interventions that have become almost routine in this country. Well worth the nearly $200!

Amy talks about midwives

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All is well
Thank you, Amy.

posting from Omaha

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Happy St Mary Magdalen day! I'm here staying with a friend and her family while we both attend a conference. I tell you, it is wonderful to be at a conference that has daily Mass attended by most of the participants!
I heard a heart-breaking story today about an experience with IVF (in-vitro fertilization, aka test-tube babies). I have never thought IVF to be a good idea even without the moral implications, but I will admit that I have thought about it from the woman's POV. This tale of woe caused me to think about the man's experience, suffering shame and humiliation and performance pressure, for love of his wife and desire for a child of their genes. It is really sad that our culture has so adopted the mentality of 'bypass' rather than 'diagnose and cure' for infertility.
Maybe we have adopted that erroneous mentality in other areas of life, as well. I am going to mull that one over for a few.

over at Revolution of Love

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Anti-Catholic American Girls
My daughters had a few of the American Girls dolls and books, but not many, mostly because of the cost. I also became concerned after the first few years that the series seemed to be developing an agenda that was borderline on politically correct.
However, this one takes the cake!

A cause for our times?


Martyred for the sanctity of marriage? Kevin Miller (over at HMS) suggests asking these men to intercede for the situation in our country.

Catholic Nerd Day

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We are in week 3 of the empty nest (dd is still in France) and we decided to drive to the Divine Mercy Shrine, about a 3 hour drive from home. We got there just in time for the trifecta - Mass, Benediction, and Devotions. Since there was a Spanish speaking tour group there, we said part of the Chaplet in Spanish. We then visited the gift shop, went to confession, toured a small part of the site, visited the gift shop again and filled a couple of bottles with holy water. It was a wonderful way to spend the day - and the drive gave us an opportunity to talk about all kinds of stuff.
While we were in the gift shop I got into a conversation with a lovely young woman - we got to talking about books and marriage and being Catholic. She is contemplating marriage to a young man but is concerned about the fact that he is not Catholic. Please pray for her and for him.
I am so pleased that this shrine is reasonably close by. There are some others locally that we would like to visit on day trips. In California, I would often go visit one of the mission churches to pray (we lived only a couple miles from Mission San Fernando) but in Oregon, and here in New Hampshire, it has been more difficult to do that kind of mini-pilgrimage. Still, it restores the spirit much more than any trip to an amusement park could.

This is so cool!

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Pregnancy 'makes women live longer'

I just hope that some one doesn't distort these findings into supporting embryonic stem cell harvesting.

my dh posts


Recipes from a monastery kitchen


vegetarian, too!
St Blog's Sean Roberts (Swimming the Tiber) is apparantly the webmaster for the monastery.

Why the Pagans are Correct .

When we encounter a society that equates sex with fast food, that treats women as objects, we have stumbled upon an essentially atheistic (male) error. Women might embrace this way of thinking, of course, but men are much more likely to. Women, by and large, understand that atheismís response to sex cannot be true. Because women embrace the relational, they know instinctively that sex is holy, that women are to be treated as goddesses for they are made in the image and likeness of God.

Dan Brown has been a thorn in my side for a while. Since I now live in his home state of New Hampshire, it is impossible to avoid the adulation that most locals give him. I have learned to shut up when asked my opinion of his books.

An interesting twist


on calendar rhythm. CycleBeadsare a method of determining potentially fertile days based on thousands of cycles examined through the Ovulation Method (Billings) and then turning that data into a simple algorithm. This method only works for women with regular cycles that are 26 to 32 days in length (Basically, the same group for whom calendar rhythm is effective). What is interesting is that this method is as effective at pregnancy prevention as most other user-dependant methods.
Rhythm has actually gotten an undeserved bad name. Calendar rhythm is 80% plus effective at pregnancy prevention when properly understood and utilized. The real problem with calendar methods is that they are not effective for pregnancy prevention immediately post-partum (although breastfeeding can be) or during menarche and menopause related cycle irregularities.
Addendum: Amy Welborn has a couple of related posts on the topic.
see here(warning;148 c0mments at last sighting) and here
So does Charles De Nunzio
And an article about the moral dangers of some attitudes here

TSO Spans the globe (or at least StBlogs) again.

my thoughts on M'Lynn's musings

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on judgementalism.
I am reminded of Marie Bellet's wonderful song, "What I wanted to say".
Now, I have had a few "difficult" children, but none with autism. And any mom knows that, no matter how heroic it seems from the outside, taking care of kids is just what we do because it is what we do! Somedays are very very good, and other days are horrid.

There was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good, she was very very good. And when she was bad, she was horrid.

Thinking more about what M'Lynn has to say, I am remembering so many bits and pieces of doggerel that my parents used to pull out when we were acting out. The above bit was one that was used on me.
Another that was used on my brother Bill "Oh where have you been, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?".
And in general, when we were getting tired and crazy:
I went to the animal fair, the birds and the beasts were there, the big baboon by the light of the moon, was combing his auburn hair.
The monkey he got drunk, and fell on the elephant's trunk, the elephant sneezed, fell down on his knees, and that was the end of the monk, the monk, the monk.

Have we lost some of these bits and pieces as TV and other electronic media have become so pervasive? When was the last time you saw a bunch of kids playing jump-rope - have all the rhymes been lost? Do kids in the school yard even play London Bridge, Tag, Red Rover or the like any more?

The Christian Carnival


visits the Anchor Hold.
Good reading!

ktc posts again


Either Or? no, Both And


How are we saved? How are we brought into the Kingdom? It is a most wondrous mystery, the Mysterium Fidei of God's mercy towards us.
"For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20)
and again:"Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God"(John 3:5).
For we are born sinful, tainted from the sin of our first parents, besmirched by the disobedience and pride of Adam and Eve. In Ephesians 2:8-9, we are told " For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you: it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast." And yet we are also told (2 Corinthians 5:10) - "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body. " And let us not forget Matthew 25: 31-46, where Jesus speaks about how we will be judged on how we treat one another. We have been given the gift of salvation, but we can cherish it and live accordingly - or we can choose to cast it away, trample it in the mud, and squander this precious gift. Are we saved through faith, works, or grace? I think that salvation involves all of these. God does not present us with an eithor/or, but rather a both/and.
And let us not forget the warning Jesus gave us about the sin of presumption:
"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21).
I pray that God will show me mercy above justice, as I know too well my sins and failings. I can not earn my way into Heaven, but I can pave the way to Hell. Lord, who bought my salvation with your blood, help me to live in your will and to accept and act upon that great gift.

Where I wish I could work


interesting site

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I've made a few changes, if I accidentally deleted you, send me an email and I will add you back in. I moved some of the non-blog links to the permalinks on the other side. Sigh. The blogroll is getting so long, but I hate to delete anyone who is still posting regularly.

Worried about New Age issues?




I will be in Omaha NE from 7/21 to 7/26 for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Fertility Care Practitioners. If anyone lives in that area and would like to try to get together, please contact me via email.

Touchstone Magazine - Mere Comments


David Mills on the death of his father.
Lots of sage advice and comments. Via Apologia

Politicians and religion


De Fide
about the canonical suit for heresy against Mr. Kerry

more on conscience and access issues


The Dawn Patrol
also blogs on the Prevention article I mentioned a few posts below.
Dawn - I wish you had comments. There are ways to prescribe the hormone treatment that you are taking without using medication packaged as birth control. There are probably also ways to manage your health problems without impairing your fertility. If you are at all interested, I could certainly refer you to any of a number of health care providers who would not only throw hormones at your problems, but might even get a good diagnosis first.

because I can


My japanese name is 藤原 Fujiwara (wisteria fields) 三千代 Michiyo (three thousand generations).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

please respond

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Access Denied is Prevention Magazine's polemic against health care providers who refuse (on the grounds of conscience) to prescribe or furnish contraception. The story is extremely one-sided, and a sidebar on NFP (found in the print version) was not carried over to the web version.
I suggest that letters be addressed not just to the author of the article (who is the fitness editor) but to the managing editor.

Via Saintly Salmagundi

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Fatal Attraction
about a truly chilling 'scientific' exhibition.

Free Market?

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from my inbox this morning - sent by a dear friend

A car company can move its factories to Mexico and claim it's a free market.
A toy company can outsource to a Chinese subcontractor and claim it's a free market.
A major bank can incorporate in Bermuda to avoid taxes and claim it's a free market.
We can buy HP Printers made in Mexico. We can buy shirts made in Bangladesh. We can purchase almost anything we want from many different countries.

BUT, heaven help the elderly or even me who dare to buy their prescription drugs from a Canadian (Or Mexico) pharmacy. That's called un-American!

And you think the pharmaceutical companies don't have a powerful lobby?

Military Medical Ethics


I thought that a few readers might be interested in the press release below, just into my mailbox. This is not an endorsement, as I have not read the book.
Latest in Textbooks of Military Medicine Series Offers First-Ever Book on Military Medical Ethics

Washington, DC - Current events in Southwest Asia have once again highlighted the role of US military medicine in providing care for the wounded, whether coalition or enemy. The ethical necessity of this care is the subject of a long-anticipated and unique two-volume set on military medical ethics just released by the Borden Institute. The volumes are written for both military and civilian audiences.

Eugenics then and now over at Amy Welborn's blog.
She links to a CT review of a book by Phillip Jenkins and then adds in her own comments.
I would like to say that eugenics has been a central concept in many science fiction writings over the last 100 years. John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, David Brin's Uplift series, Murray Leinster's The Eleventh Commandment have all in their varied ways addressed the subject both of eugenics and its cousin, Darwinian evolutionary theory. Nancy Kress's series that started with Beggars in Spain looks at genetic engineering as well.
I grew up reading science fiction. It is still the literature that I most enjoy reading, a true literature of ideas. I am both amazed and disturbed at the prescience of some of these writers - both in how much they got right about where we are now, as well as how much they didn't get at all.
I remember as I was growing up how I fretted that in a eugenically oriented culture I would not have been allowed to be born. My family has the genes for type 1 diabetes and nearsightedness, to name a couple factors. My dad would tell me that our brains and creative abilities more than compensated for the minor physical 'disabilities' but I was still distressed and disturbed. It didn't help much at all that, even then, we were seen as abnormal for the size of our family (6 children born between 1955 and 1971). The only people who were supposed to have families as large as ours were Catholics (which we weren't) or Mormons (ditto). Intelligent families were supposed to only have 2 or 3 children so that all the resources could be poured into the education and upbringing of those (potentially perfect) children.
I loved it when I read the original book of Cheaper by the Dozen. I especially loved the practical joke about the lady from the Birth Control movement who was sent to solicit funds from the largest family in the neighborhood. If you haven't read the book, go get it. It should be in the Public Library - unless the censors have decided that it isn't PC enough!

Oh beautiful for spacious skies


Father closed the homily yesterday by quoting the second verse of "America the beautiful"

O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!
America! America! God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.

He started by discussing the Gospel reading (Luke 10:1 - 20) - Jesus sending out the 70 disciples, 2 by 2. They were to carry nothing with them, not even shoes. Faith for the journey would be their only luggage, faith and the name of Jesus. Father then talked about those who came to North America to bring the Gospel and to try to live a life of faith. How we were once a beacon of hope, and have now become so much a target of scorn. How we need to pray, and act, and pray, and live such that our ultimate destination is heaven.
I was struck by the words of the song, "Confirm thy soul in self-control". So much of our current woes have come from the lack of self-control. I was talking with the nurses at the hospital the other day, and we were discussing how different expectant moms are now than they were 20 years ago. Then, many moms were willing to bear pain to protect their babies from drugs, and it was sometimes difficult to help them through labor. Now, most come in wanting and expecting a painless childbirth, and even for the easiest of labors they want all the drugs available. One nurse pointed out that on TV, the ads for painkillers talk about not wanting to wait even 10 minutes for the drug to take effect. Made me really think, too.
The problem of pain and suffering is one that has plagued believers. We Catholics have an explanation of the salvific value of suffering that has helped me personally. But I can see that for so many other people, pain and suffering are useless burdens that could and should be relieved no matter the cost (and I am not talking just money here). It is not that big of a step from saying that all pain needs to be eradicated to saying that we have a right to physical (and other) pleasure all the time, anytime.
Don't get me wrong here, I am not saying that it is wrong or evil to use painkillers or to relieve suffering (physical, mental, or emotional). But I am saying that this comes at a cost, and that sometimes the cost is higher than the pain that is relieved. And even more, I think our culture of perfection is what has led to the culture of death, because in death all pain is relieved (or so they say).
I just had 2 post-abortive women tell me that they don't feel guilty about their abortions (though they grieve for themselves that they won't be mother to that child) because by aborting the child they saved the child from pain. And the euthanasia advocates, well they are also about saving people from pain. "confirm thy soul in self-control" - is this not a recipe for preventing pain? in some ways? self-control in not seeking out the short term pleasures that contribute to the long-term pain?
Another seeming paradox - (confirm) "thy liberty in law". How much does our culture say that true liberty is freedom to act according to ones' own desires, free from such artificial constraints as 'law'? How often have we denied that there are universal moral laws, that there is a natural law that is written on our hearts? A false understanding of liberty is so akin to a false understanding of conscience - and both of these false understandings so permeate our culture that I am unsure if their effects can be reversed.

contains a link to the gov report


what she says!


Peter Singer: Some people are more equal than others"Singer is pure, disembodied rationality - the Enlightenment made flesh. He measures pain and capacity to suffer in neat units and disregards old-fangled notions such as species or emotion. He discusses killing babies or his mother with the passion of the speaking-clock. Give me Singer over the Vatican-style superstitions he is trying to dispel any day; and yet, as I leave the interview, I can't shake off a strange - Singer would say sentimental - anxiety. "
This is what truly frightens me to read in a newspaper.

Chuck Colson weighs in


Something we agree on
The Liberal Case Against Gay Marriage
Links via Envoy Encore
After you read the articles, go over to Envoy and read the comments.

Stockholm (ENI). A Swedish court has sentenced a pastor belonging to the Pentecostal movement in Sweden, Ake Green, to a month in prison, under a law against incitement, after he was found guilty of having offended homosexuals in a sermon.
(Via Thomas)

safer than most think!

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News alert in my inbox

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British Journal of Cancer: Legal Abortions Are "Best Predictor of British Breast Cancer Trends" (U.S. Newswire)

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer notes a report in the British Journal of Cancer (BJC) concerning a presentation in Manchester (UK)on "Trends and Risk Factors in English Breast Cancer." It shows that legally induced abortion is the best predictor of British breast cancer trends. (1)

1. "Trends and Risk Factors in English Breast Cancers." British Journal of
Cancer. Vol 91 Supplement 1 July 2004 page S24.

i didn't know he had a blog

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But I've enjoyed Steve Bogner's comments on other blogs.
We don't agree on everything, but I find him to be thoughtful and charitable.

for the string of google searchers


banned by the South Korean government


by Bill Barnwell


what carl olson is up to now


Ignatius Insight
link thanks to the comments boxes over at Catholic Ragemonkey

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by alicia in July 2004.

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