Saturday, January 04, 2003

Congrats to Ohio State (and the Big Ten):
(Plus my Top 25 teams this year{1})

The Big 10 did better then the Pac 10 this year in bowl games. The Pac 10 - usually one of the best if not the best of the football conferences - really laid some eggs this year. The best team in the conference this year (USC) stomped Iowa; however the second best team in the Pac 10 this year (based on how strongly they finished the season) was my Washington Huskies and they basically got a 17-0 lead and thought the game was over against Purdue. Note to the boys in purple and gold: Purdue was a better team then their record indicated - just as you guys were. You went to sleep on the job and paid dearly for it. (Yes I know you came from behind on almost all of your wins and were not used to leading so big so early but that is no excuse.)

May this pimp-slapping by a rugged Big 10 team teach you to stay focused. Oh, and get Pickett someone to hand the ball off to. 4,000 yard throwing seasons are nice but without a constant running threat, it is hard to win consistently. Maybe if you had a running game this year (which not having one is very unHuskylike) the defense would have had better numbers. (After all, running the ball eats up clock and the defense is not on the field so much.) Do those things and maintain your fourth quarter prowess and you will go far next year - possibly be a national champtionship contender again. Okay, enough on that subject.

The Cougars got stomped by possibly the second best team in the country (Oklahoma). The Ducks laid an egg against Wake Forest. (Arizona State at least lost to a respectable Kansas State.) UCLA beat up a New Mexico State kind of team (aka "typical Big East conference opponent".) And Oregon State lost to a pretty good Big East team in Pittsburg. (Yes, occasionally there is another good team in that conference besides Miami.) The Conference should have gone 5-2 not 2-5. (With Washington, Arisona State, and Oregon joining USC and UCLA with wins: Oklahoma was simply too awesome for WSU and Pitt was too much for Oregon State.) Oh well, at least the Big 10 showed up to play.

The Big 10 was the toughest conference this year. Wisconsin beat Colorado, Minnesota slapped around Arkansas, Purdue outlasted the Huskies, Michigan beat Florida. This was offset by two losses (Iowa to USC, Penn State to Auburn). And capping off the very impressive 4-2 Big 10 showing was the Buckeyes of Ohio State slapping around a very good Miami Hurricanes team - winner of five national championships in the past twenty years. (Sorry guys, the 1992 "co-champ" thing with UW was a joke: we would have beaten you by at least four touchdowns much as we are 2-1 against you since that time including Dorsey's last loss before yesterday as a QB when we pimpslapped him around the astroturf.)

Anyway, Ohio State showed in technicolour that more then speed is needed to be the best. Frankly I think they could have beaten Miami a lot worse then they did as Cane players were falling like flies the longer the game went on. (Likewise I believe Oklahoma would have beaten Miami too as well as USC.) Miami put out a good team certainly but not the best or the second best. More like:

1) Ohio State
2) Oklahoma
3) USC (Pac 10 was not as strong as usual this year but SC has the horses to beat the Canes)
4) Miami
5) Georgia
6) Michigan
7) Texas
8) Iowa
9) Wisconsin
10) Florida State
11) Auburn
12) Purdue
13) Florida
14) Pittsburgh
15) Washington
16) Virginia
17) Kansas State
18) Boston College
19) Colorado
20) Washington State
21) Oklahoma State
22) North Carolina State
23) Texas Tech
24) UCLA
25) Nebraska


{1} Taking into account win/loss, strength of schedule, and how teams from the West and Midwest are almost always better then Eastern football teams.

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Friday, January 03, 2003

"NostraShawnus" Dept.

Jeff Miller of "Atheist to a Theist" had made the following predictions for 2003:


It is safe to say that he will probably go at least 11-13 - much as I am sure he would like to be wrong on several of them. In that spirit, to round out his list to an even 20, a few more predictions that will come true are:

Congress will *not* make deep and permanent tax cuts.

Congress will *not* make drug testing mandatory for all foreign born residents of this county.

Congress will *not* allow for oil drilling on US soil insofar as we can stop pretending to "need" foreign oil. (And thereby drop gas prices to below a dollar a gallon easily.)

The Supreme Court will *not* overturn Roe v. Wade

President Bush's first Supreme Court nominee *will* be a Hispanic.

Of course with the exception of the last one - where I simply want a nominee who takes the Constitution seriously regardless of race or gender - I hope to be proven wrong on all of the above.

For a few non-political predictions:

Catholic Apologetics International *will* end 2003 retaining a red light rating from Petersnet.

There will *not* be a successful accord worked out between the SSPX and Rome. (And at least one article on the 1988 consecrations *will* eminate from an influential cleric in the SSPX before the year is out which will be published either in the Angeles or one of the "encyclical letters" of their bishops, or district superiors.)

The US Bishops will *not* hold a much-needed Plenary Council in 2003.

I hope with regards to the last two that I am proven wrong. As for the first one, I DARE Bob Sungenis to prove me wrong. (And would *gladly* post a mea culpa at the end of the year if he and his associates could rejoin the communion of the Catholic Church and make the following profession of faith.) They would of course have to replace my name with the individual names of the "staffers" of CAItanic. Simply saying "I, Shawn McElhinney" and reiterating the rest of the professio will not be sufficient ;-)

I am sure I have just given Bob and company a little of the attention that they so desperately seek. Nonetheless, as I have made my policy with them clear already (in the second link under the pseudo-traditionalist column in the margin) that is all I will say on the matter at this time.

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Thursday, January 02, 2003

"Rerum Novarum Update" Dept.

Yes it has been a while since anything substantial was done to this weblog. (The last update was about a month ago and was rather minor - a couple blogs and a link or two added.) This one is more substantial as links were added but some were deleted too and some categories were abrogated with their links being reclassified, etc.


A six part political parody from the archives was dropped from the margin index.
Catholic Converts Message Board
John Betts' "Boycott CAI" BLOG
Bill Cork's "Antisemitism and the Catholic "Right" Link
Lisa Graas "Gen X Catholic" BLOG
Pete Vere's "Canon Lawyers Obfuscating Gnomes" BLOG.

Reasons for dropping these links - other than for the sake of making room for others - were not wanting. In the case of the converts board - they altered their entire format, ditched their archives, and revoked my login and password. After nearly four years of patronizing that board (less in 2002 then the previous three years admittedly) and a growing disenfranchisement with the overall board tenor the past couple of years, this was the final straw as far as I am concerned.

As far as Bill Cork and John Betts' weblogs, John's auxillary weblog is on hiatus at this time and Bill has not added to his as of late. So that there is no misunderstanding, We at Rerum Novarum join with John and Bill in renouncing CAItanic and all of its works, all of its pomps, and all its display. This is noted lest anyone think by removing those links we are changing our position here.

Lisa Graas' weblog has gone without updating in about a month so it has been removed from th e list of links and put back in the batch of ones we are monitoring. Should she resume blogging again soon, her weblog link will be re-added in the next update to this weblog. (Her website link "Lisa's Lighthouse" will remain on the list of approved websites.)

As far as Pete Vere's "Canon Lawyers Obfuscating Gnomes" BLOG well the fact that (i) he is not updating it much and (ii) the fact that we have solemnly excommunicated Pete's canon law weblog made Us decide that on this matter we can only approach him "ecumenically" ;-) That is enough on the subject of deletions, now for the subject of additions.

As far as additions to this weblog revision they include the following links by category:

Approved Weblogs:
Anne Wilson's BLOG
JB the Kairos Guy's BLOG

Both have been monitored for some time. (Yes we do not add links to this weblog willy-nilly.) JB contributes to various comments boxes at weblogs such as Mark Shea's as well as maintaining a weblog.

Anne Wilson had a weblog we started monitoring in Sepember which as of October 2nd went without update for quite some time. Right when we decided to remove it completely from consideration, she has resumed blogging again and appears to have returned to regular blogging.

Having wanted for some time to add some non-Catholic Christian weblogs to Rerum Novarum{1} yet of course having to scrutinize this area with greater care then with Catholic weblogs{2} We therefore add her weblog as the first non-Catholic Christian weblog. Hopefully we can find some others to add. (We have a few others under consideration but anyone knowing of some good non-Catholic weblogs please let me know.)

Political Miscellany:
My Kingdom for a Viable Third Party (in two parts)

On Church Authority:
Authority or Infallibility Yet Again (aka "Groundhog Day" Dept.)

The subject that never wants to die it seems. It is added here and a subsequent addendum post will be linked to the end of it for easy access later on if I remember to do it. (The two are in the same week so if I forget it should be accessible by scrolling up the thread from the link.)

On 'Traditionalism' (Falsely So-Called):
'Trad' Internal Inconsistencies (Parts I and II)

New Category "On 'Traditionalism' (Properly So-Called)":

The thought of how I have sought to emphasize this distinction in essays and web correpondence came to mind. However, it was not made on my weblog except unofficially in my Miscellaneous blog which was referred to on the main weblog. The latter made adding this section seem a necessity because I find myself in the position of refuting pseudo-'traditionalism' but considering myself to be a Traditionalist. This is not well-represented if the term is not given a proper interpretation; ergo this category is for doing just that.

Authentic vs. Sham Traditionalism - A Brief Synopsis
What Makes Us Catholic Traditionalists (co-written with Pete Vere JCL)
Weblog conversations with Jeff Culbreath (Parts I and II)

On Controverted Subjects:

The Interfaith outreach links were placed here. Since part II links to part I I made one link. Hence the additions to this section are...

Reflections on Interfaith Outreach (Parts I and II)
Advice for Neophyte Evangelists/Apologists
"Dave-Aid" Dept. (aka "Advice for Neophyte Evangelists/Apologists Part II)
Refections on Cloning
More on Human Cloning

With regards to "Dave-Aid", I ask all my readers to read the link and consider doing your part to help a ministry that needs assistance and which does so much in service of the Church.

Wherefore, as all links above meet with my approval, by the authority vested in me as Sovereign Thane and Lord High Executioner of Rerum Novarum, I declare motu proprio that the above links receive admission to the weblog all things to the contrary notwithstanding.


{1} While Bryan Preston of the JunkYard BLOG (one of our favourites btw) is a professing Christian, his weblog is predominantly political and therefore heads the list of our "political weblogs".

{2} And yes we do that btw..


More on Cloning:

You say [at this link - ISM]: "t]he spiritual soul, which is the essential constituent of every subject belonging to the human species and is created directly by God, cannot be generated by the parents, produced by artificial fertilization or cloned sticks out at first glance." The problem of course is that as we have demonstrated virtually no respect for human life in which there *are* spiritual souls, how much less would a life that contains no spiritual soul be treated???

I say: The Vatican is not saying in this quote that a clone or test tube baby(in vitro) has no spiritual soul because of the method of fertilization. The Vatican is saying that the "spiritual soul" cannot be created by artificial fertilization,cloning, or by the parents through natural sexual relations. The spiritual soul in each case is directly created by God.

I posted this response because I am sure that if one person read the post this way that there are probably others as well who have. The question was more of a rhetorical device then anything else. Nonetheless, it *is* true that I question to some extent the existence of a spiritual soul in this case precisely because of all of the elements involved in cloning. (All the jokes we make about the hillbilly who was his mothers uncles sisters fathers grand-nephew actually exist in this scenario.)

I do side with the camp that believes an immortal soul is involved. My view more or less is that cloning is intrinsically evil and therefore cannot be endorsed in any way.{1} Whether people like it or not, there *are* certain boundaries that cannot be crossed not because they cannot be as much as it is suicide intellectually and physiologically if they are crossed. The same problem exists here that does with stem cell research except further along on the spectrum.

If one accepts stem cell research on embryos, one cannot logically reject human cloning. And if one accepts the position of life existing at conception, I cannot see how one can logically accept stem cell research or cloning. Human life means the existence of an immortal soul. And how Jesus when He condemned those who would "harm the little ones" would endorse stem cell research or cloning is a mystery to me.


{1} I see this question too closely flirting with Chesterton's dictum about "pulling the mitre off the head of pontifical man and his head came off with it".

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Wednesday, January 01, 2003

May all of my readers and their loved ones have a blessed New Year.


Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Some good commentary from John Betts


Monday, December 30, 2002

Human Cloning Courtesy of the Curmudgeon and Drudge:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

First off, the Curmudgeon talks about the cloning story here. The next part kinda weaves together.

Last night after mass at Blessed Sacrament, I was listening to the Sunday night radio program of Matt Drudge (as usual) with double carona and water bottle in hand overlooking Lake Washington at dusk. The discussion was on human cloning and Drudge was interviewing some people who have some knowledge in this field. I have to say that based on what I have heard this sounds rather suspicious to me. Part of the discussion was around a cloning firm run by a cult being raided in South Korea (read about it here) and the claim of some flaky woman to have cloned a human baby named Eve. (It would be interesting to get the blogosphere's own Eve to comment on this as she has written pretty extensively on human cloning but I digress.)

The Roman Curia, seldom known for being swift-of-foot, at least presented some Reflections on Cloning back in 1997. One statement in particular, that [t]he spiritual soul, which is the essential constituent of every subject belonging to the human species and is created directly by God, cannot be generated by the parents, produced by artificial fertilization or cloned sticks out at first glance. The problem of course is that as we have demonstrated virtually no respect for human life in which there *are* spiritual souls, how much less would a life that contains no spiritual soul be treated???

Now there will always be those who think lower life forms are of greater value then higher ones (aka the people who believe in a "right to choose" who detest my right as an American to "choose" to hunt or fish, to wear fur or whatever) but how would this resonate in a culture that has lost the understanding of the sanctity of life???

When I wrote the essay Opening Pandora's Box back in 2001, this is the very kind of thing I was referring to. President Bush is firmer on his stand now than he was on stem cell research then but the principle is the same in both cases: tampering with human life. This is another area where I feel for prudential reasons the use of the death penalty should be limited because what is needed is as solid of a reaffirmation of the dignity of human life - made in God's image - as we can. Society suffers because this concept has been lost and it will continue to ail until this understanding is restored.

In light of these circumstances I will cease to refer to the very lovely and intelligent Michelle Malkin or anyone else as "good subjects for cloning" even in the abstract. Though I doubt anyone has been successfully cloned even now, the atmosphere for joking on this subject clearly has to change gears.

Does anyone know if Michelle has a twin sister???

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At my request, John Loughnan posted the material on the Chinese rites chronology. Those who are so hung up on the "in perpetuity" clause in Quo Primum - but who strangely enough have no problems with St. Pius X changing the 1568 Brevery promulgated "in perpetuity" or the suppression of the Jesuits "in perpetuity" in 1773 followed by their restoration "in perpetuity" in 1814 - this will not make for an easy read but here goes:

Jesuits Missionary Outreach and Roman Church Chinese Mission Blunders: 1600-1940

Not all of the above was problematical of course but most of it was.

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