Monday, February 25, 2008

The Voting Catholic

At National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru explains how a Catholic is expected to vote:
The bishops do not suggest that conscientious citizens should be single-issue voters. They do say that voters should will justice for the unborn, which precludes voting for a pro-choice candidate because he is pro-choice and also precludes voting for such a candidate without ascribing to the injustice of killing the innocent the profound weight it is due.
I'm not a Catholic, and abortion isn't a salient issue for me, but I see this misunderstanding a lot, and it seems worth clearing up. A faithful Catholic may not vote for a pro-choice candidate over a pro-life candidate because of their stands on abortion (does this even need to be said?), nor may he ignore their stands on abortion, but he may vote for the candidate who is less aligned with the church on abortion if the reasons for doing so outweigh the reasons for not doing so. A pro-choice stance must be considered a count against a candidate, but it doesn't necessarily have to be decisive.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Here Let Us Stop

“The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop.”

—George Washington’s Farewell Address, 1796

Poor George, both revered and kicked around by us. He was born February 11th but when he was 20 Britain and her colonies finally caught up with Catholic Europe by switching to the Gregorian Calendar, moving his birthday to the 22nd of the month. Then, starting in 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 moved the official celebration of his birth to the third Monday in February. In popular parlance we slight our first President by neglecting the legal name of the holiday, WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY and refer to it as a generic “Presidents’ Day”.

We likewise neglect Washington’s sage warning against entangling foreign alliances. Even in our commercial relations our leaders, not content merely to trade with the rest of the world, have entered into binding agreements restricting our ability to control our own commerce, to encourage domestic manufacturing, or even to protect our citizens from unsafe products. Our legal obligations to the World Trade Organization and our bilateral and multilateral trade agreements entangle us in a network of supra-national laws that can, effectively, overturn the actions of our elected Congress and President.

Imports of unsafe toys were, briefly leading up to Christmas 2007, a big news story. After years of shopping only for price, Americas woke up to find that an estimated 75 percent of all toys on the market were the products of one nation—China—which had been exposed as tolerating a manufacturing industry criminally unconcerned with the safety of her consumers half-way ‘round the globe. Worse, Americans found they had few options. Decades of failed public policy had driven much light manufacturing from our States where we could have monitored working conditions and inputs. Binding WTO obligations prohibited the U.S. taking any effective prompt and broad action to restrict imports from a known offender.

That leaves The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a relatively small federal bureaucracy, in charge of protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Daily the CPSC issues new notice of recall of some product or other than is a risk for explosion, fire, strangulation, lead poisoning or other threat to human health, safety or even life.

In my industry, textiles, CPSC has already in 2008 issued three notices of recall of dangerous—, potentially fatally so—consumer products. It will be no surprise to anyone who has followed the news that all three involved imported—Chinese and Korean—products. On our industry association blog, I have started posting, as a public service, links to CPSC recalled of textile and apparel products. The safe consumer is the informed consumer—Caveat emptor.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Coast Guard Proposes Gull Point Special Anchorage Area in Weymouth Fore River

Federal Register: February 14, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 31)][Page 8635-8637]

The Coast Guard proposes to establish Gull Point(PT) Special Anchorage area in the Weymouth Fore River, Weymouth, Massachusetts. This proposed action is necessary to facilitate safe navigation and provide a safe and secure anchorage for vessels of not more than 65 feet in length. This action is intended to increase the safety of life and property in the Weymouth Fore River, improve the safety of anchored vessels, and provide for the overall safe and efficient flow of vessel traffic and commerce.

Comments and related material must reach the Coast Guard on or before April 14, 2008.

You may mail comments and related material to Commander (dpw) (USCG-2007-0199), First Coast Guard District, 408 Atlantic Ave., Boston, MA 02110, or deliver them to room 628 at the same address between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Comments and material received from the public, as well as documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket, will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection or copying at room 628, First Coast Guard District Boston, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pray for Vocations

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of this week are the traditional spring Ember Days.
Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed various orders in thy Church: Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all who are called to any office and ministry for thy people; and so fill them with the truth of thy doctrine and clothe them with holiness of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name and for the benefit of thy holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Advisory Council Public Mtg March 5th

[Federal Register: February 12, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 29)][Page 8062]


Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Advisory Council; Notice of Public Meeting

AGENCY: Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.

ACTION: Notice of meeting.

SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area Advisory Council will be held on Wednesday, March 5, 2008, at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at University of Massachusetts--Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Campus Center, 3rd floor Bayview Room, Boston, MA.

This will be the annual meeting of the Council. The agenda will include a presentation on the development of a new guide book: Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands, membership review and election of officers, ``park report card'' update and public comment.

The meeting will be open to the public. Any person may file with the Superintendent a written statement concerning the matters to be discussed. Persons who wish to file a written statement at the meeting or who want further information concerning the meeting may contact Superintendent Bruce Jacobson at (617) 223-8667.

DATE: March 5, 2007 at 6 p.m.

ADDRESSES: University of Massachusetts--Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Campus Center, 3rd floor Bayview Room, Boston, MA.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Superintendent Bruce Jacobson, (617) 223-8667.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Advisory Council was appointed by the Director of National Park Service pursuant to Public Law 104-333. The 28 members represent business, educational/cultural, community and environmental entities; municipalities surrounding Boston Harbor; Boston Harbor advocates; and Native American interests. The purpose of the Council is to advise and make recommendations to the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership with respect to the development and implementation of a management plan and the operation of the Boston Harbor Islands NRA.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

In wrath remember mercy

From Morning Prayer for Thursday, February 7, 2008:
"O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy." –Habakkuk 3:2

President Bush Attends National Prayer Breakfast

THE PRESIDENT: Gracias, mi amigo. Thank you, friend. Laura and I are honored to join you all here for the 56th National Prayer Breakfast. A lot of reasons to pray, and one of course, is to strengthen us against temptation, particularly this morning -- from temptation to stay in bed. Obviously there's a lot of prayerful people here. And I appreciate your warm welcome.

We have a lot of distinguished guests here today -- members of Congress, military leaders, captains of industry. Yet at this annual gathering, we are reminded of an eternal truth: When we lift our hearts to God, we're all equal in His sight. We're all equally precious; we're all equally dependent on His grace. It's fitting that we gather each year to approach our Creator in fellowship -- and to thank Him for the many blessings He has bestowed upon our families and our nation. It is fitting that we gather in prayer, because we recognize a prayerful nation is a stronger nation.

I want to appreciate -- I appreciate Senator Salazar and Enzi. Thank you for putting this deal on. Madam Speaker, Leader Hoyer, Leader Blunt, thank you all for being here. Welcome the members of Congress. I appreciate the heads of state who are here. Welcome to America, again. I thank the members of the Diplomatic Corps who have joined us. Appreciate the distinguished dignitaries, all the members of my Cabinet -- don't linger, get back to work.

Admiral, thank you for your leadership. Always proud to be with the members of the United States military. I thank the state and local officials. Ward, thanks for your remarks. Those were awesome. I guess that's a presidential word. Proud to be here with Michael W. and Debbie. They're longtime friends of our family. Thank you for lending your beautiful voice. Judge, I'm not going to hold the Texas thing against you.

Every President since Dwight Eisenhower has attended the National Prayer Breakfast -- and I am really proud to carry on that tradition. It's an important tradition, and I'm confident Presidents who follow me will do the same. The people in this room come from many different walks of faith. Yet we share one clear conviction: We believe that the Almighty hears our prayers -- and answers those who seek Him. That's what we believe; otherwise, why come? Through the miracle of prayer, we believe he listens -- if we listen to his voice and seek our presence -- his presence in our lives, our hearts will change. And in so doing, in seeking God, we grow in ways that we could never imagine.

In prayer, we grow in gratitude and thanksgiving. When we spend time with the Almighty, we realize how much He has bestowed upon us -- and our hearts are filled with joy. We give thanks for our families, we give thanks for the parents who raised us, we give thanks for the patient souls who married us, and the children who make us proud each day. We give thanks for our liberty -- and the universal desire for freedom that He has written into every human heart. We give thanks for the God who made us in His image -- and redeemed us in His love.

In prayer, we grow in meekness and humility. By approaching our Maker on bended knee, we acknowledge our complete dependence on Him. We recognize that we have nothing to offer God that He does not already have -- except our love. So we offer Him that love, and ask for the grace to discern His will. We ask Him to remain near to us at all times. We ask Him to help us lead lives that are pleasing to Him. We discover that by surrendering our lives to the Almighty, we are strengthened, refreshed, and ready for all that may come.

In prayer, we also grow in boldness and courage. The more time we spend with God, the more we see that He is not a distant king, but a loving Father. Inspired by this confidence, we approach Him with bold requests: We ask Him to heal the sick, and comfort the dying, and sustain those who care for them. We ask Him to bring solace to the victims of tragedy, and help to those suffering from addiction and adversity. We ask him to strengthen our families, and to protect the innocent and vulnerable in our country. We ask Him to protect our nation from those who wish us harm -- and watch over all who stepped forward to defend us. We ask Him to bring about the day when His peace shall reign across the world -- and every tear shall be wiped away.

In prayer, we grow in mercy and compassion. We are reminded in prayer that we are all fallen creatures in need of mercy. And in seeking God's mercy, we grow in mercy ourselves. Experiencing the presence of God transforms our hearts -- and the more we seek His presence, the more we feel the tug at our souls to reach out to the poor, and the hungry, the elderly, and the infirm. When we answer God's call to love a neighbor as ourselves, we enter into a deeper friendship with our fellow man -- and a deeper relationship with our eternal Father.

I believe in the power of prayer, because I have felt it in my own life. Prayer has strengthened me in times of personal challenge. It has helped me meet the challenges of the presidency. I understand now clearly the story of the calm in the rough seas. And so at this final prayer breakfast as your President, I thank you for your prayers, and I thank our people all across America for their prayers. And I ask you not to stop in the year ahead. We have so much work to do for our country, and with the help of the Almighty, we will build a freer world -- and a safer, more hopeful, more noble America.

God bless.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Create and make in us new and contrite hearts...

Collect for Ash Wednesday
Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. –Book of Divine Worship

Monday, February 4, 2008

Boast not Thyself of To-morrow

From Morning Prayer for February 4, 2008, the Monday of the Week of the Last Sunday after Epiphany:
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forthProverbs 27:1

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Steve Jens Interviewed in Today's Boston Globe

"...Steve Jens says that one of his earlier memories of Cambridge came when he was growing up in Iowa and heard about the city's devotion to rent control. But after the young conservative graduated from MIT, he found himself staying here. He liked the bookstores and the presence of the universities, even if his political views put him in the minority... " Read more at Blue city blues

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pray the Daily Office in Lent

The Daily Office is the official prayer of the Church. Its order of prayers, praises, and readings proper to each season, day, and time of day serves to sanctify time. When you pray the Office you join the communion of saints who have recited these prayers daily for century upon century.

Lent is a good time to begin or renew a commitment to saying the daily office. The Daily Office from the Roman Catholic Anglican Use Book of Divine Worship is available online at

The offices for lent have been revised and reposted to make it easier than ever to say the daily office.

Friday, February 1, 2008

William J. McCarthy Running for State Committee in Worcester County

Bill McCarthy is running a write-in campaign for the February 5th Republican State Committeeman election in the First Worcester district. There is no nomination on the ballot. If 50 voters write in Bill's name he will be the new committeeman for that district.

The First Worceter district is made up of:
Worcester, wards 1 to 4, inclusive, 9 and 10, Berlin, Boylston, Clinton, precincts 3 and 4, Holden, Northborough, precincts 1, 2 and 4, Paxton, Princeton and West Boylston.
Bill may be contacted at

Mike Potaski Running for State Cmte in Blackstone Valley

Mike Potaski is running a write-in campaign for the February 5th Republican State Committeeman election in the Worcester and Norfolk district. There is no nomination on the ballot. If 50 voters write in Mike's name he will be the new committeeman for that district.

The Worceter and Norfolk district is made up of:
Blackstone, Douglas, Dudley, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millville, Northbridge, Oxford, Southbridge, Sutton, Uxbridge and Webster, in the county of Worcester; and Bellingham, in the county of Norfolk.
Mike may be contacted at