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Rare photo of a Stork delivering a baby. *

*James Connor on Facebook

The dire border situation

Whatever you think about what's going on at the border, writes Byron York, it's worse:

MISSION, Texas -- Anyone paying attention to the news knows the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border is terrible. Anyone who actually visits the border discovers it is worse than that.

Here is what is most striking about the government's response to the unprecedented surge of illegal border crossers: It is entirely improvised. Jury-rigged. Thrown together in a scramble to accommodate thousands of migrants who were not coming just months ago. And the reason it is being improvised is that during his first days in office, President Joe Biden blew up the foundation of the government's handling of migrants. With a series of executive actions, Biden threw out key policies with nothing ready to replace them. And he did it using rhetoric that invited migrants to rush to the border -- more than 172,000 in March alone, including nearly 19,000 unaccompanied children.

This is the sort of problem in our nation that causes anguish, because we ordinary citizens can do nothing about it. And yet, we also knew it was coming when Biden was elected. 

The Republicans pointed to several things Biden has done to create the current crisis. First, he did away with President Donald Trump's Remain in Mexico policy, which required asylum seekers to stay in Mexico, not in the United States, while their asylum claims were adjudicated. Second, Biden ended Trump's asylum agreements with the Northern Triangle countries -- El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras -- to steer would-be asylum seekers from those nations into safe countries other than the U.S. Third, Biden gutted Trump's use of Title 42, the government's authority to expel most migrants for the purpose of controlling the spread of COVID. Biden did not throw Title 42 away altogether but is by some accounts now letting most would-be migrants stay rather than be turned away because of the pandemic.

The surge, Scalise said, "was created when President Biden got rid of things like the Remain in Mexico policy. He could put that back in place tomorrow and stop this surge of illegals coming over."

I don't think Republicans necessarily have the answer; I know Democrats are making things exponentially worse, and getting a pass from the mainstream media about that.  


A Medical Student Questioned Microaggressions. UVA Branded Him a Threat and Banished Him from Campus. 

From the article:

Kieran Bhattacharya is a student at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine. On October 25, 2018, he attended a panel discussion on the subject of microaggressions. Dissatisfied with the definition of a microaggression offered by the presenter—Beverly Cowell Adams, an assistant dean—Bhattacharya raised his hand.

Within a few weeks, as a result of the fallout from Bhattacharya's question about microagressions, the administration had branded him a threat to the university and banned him from campus. He is now suing UVA for violating his First Amendment rights, and a judge recently ruled that his suit should proceed.

To be honest, I am not sure that what happened to this medical student constitutes an offense against his right to free speech in the sense that that right is enshrined in our Constitution -- a political right to speak out without government interference or censure.

The real issue is broader and deeper, not restricted to political speech but encompassing the very nature of speech as inquiry, as conversation and even argument among adults, particularly in an institution of higher learning. 

It was a polite disagreement. Adams [the assistant dean presenting on the topic of "microaggresions"] generally maintained that microaggression theory was a broad and important topic and that the slights caused real harm. Bhattacharya expressed a scientific skepticism that a microaggression could be distinguished from an unintentionally rude statement. His doubts were wellfounded given that microaggression theory is not a particularly rigorous concept.

But Sara Rasmussen, an assistant professor who helped to organize the event, thought Bhattacharya's questions were a bit too pointed. Immediately following the panel, she filed a "professionalism concern card"—a kind of record of a student's violations of university policy.

Our society is becoming increasingly authoritarian veering into dictatorial while cleverly covering its tracks with the rhetoric of inclusivity. We need to be able to identify offenses against civilized interaction and discourse

It's not so much that Bhattacharya's skepticism was scientific per se. He simply wanted clarity; perhaps he wished to expose the confusion of the administration's policy and the power move behind it. This is the essence of communication. People ought to be free to question and challenge each other, especially in matters that affect their particular community.

We need to understand that the norm in history and in the world is not freedom, and what we have enjoyed in our society has to be fought for and not let slip away from inattentiveness or an inability to describe the situation. 

We have to use our own rhetoric, a rhetoric grounded in truth, and not accept the terms of the argument when they are set by those who seek to undermine communication. The administration of the UVA School of Medicine clearly indicates in this episode that it is not interested in having its policy of silencing members of its community challenged, and that is simply wrong.

You just lost shark week

Do we proceed under the right method?

An important essay that examines the reasons given to accept vaccines (and any product) that uses aborted fetal cells, from Michael Pakaluk: 

Why I Signed “To Awaken Conscience”

In ethical questions, one has to follow the right method. Right method does not mean coming up with an argument that seems obvious to you, even if it implies that lots of thoughtful people are deluded. This is how the EPPC signatories proceed. It’s obvious to them that only the abortions in the past could be wrong; these are remotely distant. Therefore, only forward-looking effects can be ethically relevant now. And, so long as one limits oneself to using “immortalized cells,” there can be no such effects.  

So they say. I hold that every step of this reasoning is flawed. But more importantly, their method is flawed. If, on their view, past statements of the Pontifical Academy of Life, the CDF, the U.S. Bishops, and many other thoughtful “pro-life scholars,” such as those at the Charlotte Lozier Institute and the National Catholic Bioethics Center, end up being not simply mistaken but actually insanely deluded, then they’ve made a wrong turn. Their view cannot be correct, because it does not “save the appearances,” as Aristotle would say.  

We are somewhat hemmed in by the insistence on a certain approach of theologians who are bound and determined that we take the vaccines. But is their framework valid? Before we assent to the discussion, we have to decide if it's the discussion that offers answers:

First, we need to clear up some confusions involving Liguori’s distinction, from his Theologia Moralis, between “formal” and “material” cooperation. That distinction is useful only when cooperation is verified, and one wants to know what sort of cooperation it is. 

Michael thinks they have the wrong end of the stick: 

For Catholic ethicists to assure us solemnly, as some have done, that we can licitly take the “abortion tainted” vaccines, for the reason that our material cooperation with abortions in the past would be “very very remote,” is philosophical foolishness of the highest order.

Read the whole thing to find out why from a philosophical point of view.

I believe the theologians err by falling into the trap of legalism, which takes as given that the thing will be done, and merely seeks a path of reasoning that shows that it can licitly be done. Is this how we want to live? Or do we want to do good.  

Lock 'em up though

 “Since the pandemic began, we have not had a single outbreak,” Fr. Marc Guelfucci, the parish priest of the church in question, told a group of journalists outside of his church.


Meanwhile, prosecutors in Reims, northeastern France, have reportedly opened criminal investigations into two Easter Masses offered at the Church of St. Joan of Arc for not wearing masks.

Paris archbishop opens canonical proceedings against parish over maskless Masses.

Since when does the Church act as an arm of the state? Does the Archbishop have medical knowledge or special expertise? And who is at risk if no one gets sick?

Men, time to overcome your soft ways and fight!

Leila Miller and I wrote a piece to express our urgency: Men, this fight is yours -- women, let your men fight! Nay, encourage them! And then step out of the way!

Women for too long have taken the lead, especially in matters of church affairs. Priests spend all their days surrounded by women! Bishops only hear from women and their lives (and dioceses!) are run by women! Women love rules and carefulness and not offending anyone and being fussy. ENOUGH! 

Time for bishops to be men, to confidently calculate risks, and to do what needs to be done despite danger, real or perceived -- and only men can accomplish this rescue mission of freeing our leaders of their effeminacy. It won't be pretty, and women will feel that things are not done quite right, said quite right, thought quite right. That is okay! 

Catholic Men, Rise up and Fight!

On deleting comments

In my previous post, Is a vaccine passport a sure ticket to tyranny?, "anonymous" claims that I deleted a comment of his/hers and implies censorship on my part.

I want to be clear that I did not delete any comment from that account. My post specifically asks for responses, so it would be pointless for me to delete something just because I disagreed. 

Of course, someone posting as "anonymous" doesn't have the best position from which to demand fair treatment while coming out swinging and leaving an aggressive message. Nevertheless, I did no deleting.

This platform is somewhat annoying when it comes to comments, and I hope that people interacting will keep that in mind. I have no way of seeing any "trashed comment" or "spam" file (unlike on my Like Mother, Like Daughter" blog) -- there's no record of what has transpired that I can figure out. I welcome comments and specifically asked for them in that post!

So far I've only deleted a few duplicate comments. If someone is abusive or rude, I will feel free to delete. But mere disagreement? No. 

The comment that was left was unreasonable, however, as I pointed out. The commenter's mother, it's claimed, got Covid from "an unvaccinated health care worker." First, vaccine status is protected under the HIPPA laws -- if it was revealed to anyone that a certain worker was not vaccinated, the informer should lose his job.

Second, let's be clear: the vaccine manufacturers and the CDC DO NOT CLAIM that the vaccine will protect against contracting or transmitting Covid! Despite the optimistic rhetoric, the idea that the vaccine makes you immune and/or not able to transmit the disease is erroneous -- careful reading will reveal that fact.

It's a virus. Many experts agree that current approaches to Covid are irrational. All agree that viral activity is hard to predict and protect oneself from. The likelihood is that most people are fairly immune at this point -- and also that those who are not will get some form at some point. It's certainly not going away -- that's not how viruses work. 

Is a vaccine passport a sure ticket to tyranny?

Watch this video from Naomi Wolf: "Why Vaccine Passports Equal Slavery Forever" -- if you just want her conclusions, start at around minute 13.

Is this hyperbole or a conspiracy theory?

If you don't think that having a card that states your vaccine status leads to tyranny, that is, leads to keeping people from stores, travel, and gatherings, and even punishing them for having the wrong opinions in a Chinese-style social credit system -- why not? 

How do you see it working and being effective according to its own purposes (keeping track of and rewarding people for getting vaccinated)?

Just to be clear, vaccine ID cards are happening now. So I'm not asking if they should happen. I'm asking if you see these cards -- passports --as taking away our basic freedoms, because that is what worries people like me. I would like to know if I'm overreacting when I fear that we are headed for what Wolf calls the worst slavery ever known.

Bishop Schneider clarifies the moral issue

Today Crisis has a powerful article by Bishop Athansius Schneider: Resisting Abortion-tainted Vaccines and the Culture of Death.

Anti-Christian world powers that promote the culture of death are seeking to impose on the world’s population an implicit—though remote and passive—collaboration with abortion. Such remote collaboration, in itself, is also an evil because of the extraordinary historical circumstances in which these same world powers are promoting the murder of unborn children and the exploitation of their remains. 

When we use vaccines or medicines which utilize cell lines originating from aborted babies, we physically benefit from the “fruits” of one of the greatest evils of mankind—the cruel genocide of the unborn. For if an innocent child had not been cruelly murdered, we would not have these concrete vaccines or medicines. We should not be so naive to not see that these vaccines and medicines not only offer a health benefit but also promise to promote the culture of death. 

Bishop Schneider states the situation clearly. 

When one uses an abortion-tainted vaccine, one is standing directly and very personally before the vaccine syringe. In paying taxes, one is not directly and personally confronting the process of a specific abortion. A government is not asking you concretely to give your money to “this” concrete act of abortion now. The government often uses our money against our will. Therefore, the use of an abortion-tainted vaccine is a much more personal confrontation and a much closer meeting with the monstrous crimes involved in its production, than paying taxes or benefitting from the evil acts of another person. Should the government tell a citizen directly and personally, “I am taking your money to pay for this concrete abortion,” one has to refuse, even if it means confiscation of one’s home and imprisonment.

We shouldn't act as if there are no alternatives. I wonder how many know that there were alternatives to morally tainted vaccines in the US in the 80s. How did they disappear? It's simple supply and demand.

We have to resist the myth that there is no alternative—and by using these vaccines or medicines, we cooperate in further propagating this myth. Yet, there are alternatives! The anti-Christian world powers will surely not admit that alternatives exist, and will continue to push abortion-tainted vaccines. But we must resist. 

Read it all!  

Cardinal Zen's message to Cardinal Sarah

Read and weep.

And please do not tell me about all the things that are "approved by the Vatican." There is a rot in that place that only the bishops can clear out, and if there is only one bishop or two -- for the sake of 10 righteous bishops -- God will come to our aid.

(Note that there is a typo-- the date should indeed be 2021)