Older blog entries for fallenlord (starting at number 54)

20 Aug 2011 (updated 21 Aug 2011 at 21:08 UTC) »

Be Proud of Being Catholic

The following was a speech by well known Cleveland businessman Sam Miller at the City Club of Cleveland, given on Thursday, March 6. Even though of the Jewish faith, Miller has been a staunch supporter of the Cleveland Diocese and Bishop Anthony Pilla. It was published in the May-June issue of the Buckeye Bulletin.

I'm going to say things here today that many Catholics should have said 18 months ago. Maybe it's easier for me to say because I am not Catholic, but I have had enough, more than enough, disgustingly enough.

During my entire life I've never seen a greater vindictive, more scurrilous, biased campaign against the Catholic Church as I have seen in the last 18 months, and the strangest thing is that it is in a country like the United States where there is supposed to be mutual respect and freedom for all religions.

This has bothered me because I too am a minority in this country. You see, unfortunately  and I say this very advisedly  the Catholics have forgotten that in the early 1850's when the Italians, the Poles, the Latvians, the  Lithuanians, all of Catholic persuasion, came to this country looking for opportunity  because of famine, (particularly the Irish) they were already looked upon with derision, suspicion and hatred. Consequently the jobs they were forced to take were the jobs that nobody else wanted  bricklayers, ditch diggers, Jewish junkmen, street cleaners, etc.

This prejudice against your religion, and mine has never left this country and don't ever forget it, and never will. Your people were called Papists, Waps, Guineas, frogs, fish eaters, ad infinitum.

And then after the Civil War, around 1864, the fundamentalists, conservatives, Protestants and a few WASP's began planting burning crosses throughout the country, particularly in the South. And today, as far as I'm concerned, very little has changed. These gentlemen now have a new style of clothing  they've gone from bed sheets to gentlemen's suits.

There is a concentrated effort by the media today to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. You don't find it this bad overseas at all. They have now blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage. You and me have bees: living in a false paradise. Wake up and recognize that many people don't like Catholics. What are these people frying to accomplish?

From the Sojourner's Magazine dated August, 2002, listen carefully to a quote, "While much of the recent media hype has focused on the Catholic Church's pedophilia scandal, relatively little attention has been given to the high rate of sexual misconduct in the rest of American Christendom. This is truly a crisis that crosses the borders of all religions."

Now let me give you some figures that you as Catholics should know and remember. For example, research by Richard Blackman at Fuller Theological Seminary shows that 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact. In a 1990 study by the United Methodist Church, 41.8% of clergywomen reported unwanted sexual behavior by a colleague; 17% of laywomen said that their own pastors had sexually harassed them. Phillip Jenkins concludes in his book "Pedophiles and Priests" that while 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia, 10% of Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia.

This is not a Catholic problem. This is a problem of pure prejudice. Why the papers, day after day, week after week, month after month, see fit to do nothing but come out with these scurrilous stories? When I spoke recently to one of the higher ups in the newspaper I said, "This is wrong". He said, "Why, do you want us to shoot the messenger?" I said, "No, just change the message". He said, "How?" I said, "I'll tell you how".

Obviously, this is not just a Catholic problem. And solutions must be broader and deeper than those carried out by Catholic cardinals. The whole church has a responsibility to offer decisive leadership in the area of sexual misconduct whether it is child abuse, sexual exploitation, or sexual harassment.

Recently, churches have shown unprecedented unity on issues of poverty and welfare reform. Now it is necessary to call for a broad based ecumenical council addressing the issue of sexual misconduct in the church not only the Catholic Church, all churches, including synagogues. Its goal would be transparency and openness in developing stringent, forward‑looking guidelines, consistent with denominational distinctions, for preventing and addressing sexual misconduct within Christian churches and church‑related institutions.

Such a council could include not only denominational representatives but also a majority presence from external organizations such as child protection agencies, law enforcement, psychiatric services, victims' agencies, and legal and legislative representatives.

Crisis. "Crisis" in Chinese is one word. "Crisis" in Chinese means, on the one side, a real crisis problems etc., but the other side means great opportunity.

We have a great opportunity facing us. Crisis is often accompanied by an opportunity for extraordinary growth and leadership. We have that today. Even though you are the lowest ‑‑ by far the lowest of any organized religion today when it comes to sexual harassment ‑‑ American churches have a unique opening to develop and adopt a single set of policies, principles, practices, and common language on sexual misconduct in Christian institutions that is binding across denominations.

A system of cross denomination review boards could be established to help compliance and accountability. A centralized resource bank could be formed that provides church wide updates on new legal, financial, psychological and spiritual developments in the field. Guidelines, both moral and legal, could be established on how clergy, churches, and victims should best use civil and criminal actions in pursuit of justice and financial restitution for injury. A national database could be established with information on all applicants for ordination in any member Christian religion. Every diocese, conference, presbytery, and district could have a designated child protection representative whose job is to ensure that the policies and procedures are understood and implemented and that training is provided.

Any religious institution, or system, that leaves power unexamined or smothers sexuality with silence  rather than promoting open conversation that can lead to moral and spiritual maturity  becomes implicated in creating an unhealthy and potentially abusive environment. An ecumenical Christian council authentically dedicated to strong moral leadership in the area of clergy sexual misconduct might move the church beyond the extremes of policing our own or abandoning our own.

For Christians, the true scandal is not about priests. It's about a manipulation of power to abuse the weak. When Jesus said, "Whoever receives the child, receives me", he was rebuking his followers for putting stumbling blocks in front of the defenseless. Church is supposed to be a place where one can lay one's defenses down; where one is welcomed, embraced, and blessed. This can only be authentically expressed in a culture that requires absolute respect for each individual's freedom and self hood. Until all churches bow humbly under the requirement, the indictments by wounded women and children will stand.

Just what are these kangaroo journalists trying to accomplish? Think about it. If you get the New York Times day after day; the Los Angeles Times day after day, our own paper day after day looking at the record, some of these writers are apostates, Catholics or ex-Catholics who have been denied something they wanted from the Church and are on a mission of vengeance.

Why would newspapers carry on this vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the United States, namely the Catholic Church?

Do you know  and maybe some of you don't the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday, at cost to your Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. Needless to say, that Catholic education at this time stands head and shoulders above every other form of education that we have in this country. And the cost is approximately 30% less.

If you look at our own Cleveland school system, they can boast of an average graduation rate of 36%. Do you know what it costs you and me as far as the other 64% who didn't make it?

Look at your own records. You (Catholic schools) graduate 89% of your students Your graduates in turn go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%, and all at a cost to you. To the rest of the Americans it's free, but it costs you Catholics at least 30% less to educate students compared to the costs that the public education system pays out for education that cannot compare.

Why? Why would these enemies of the Church try to destroy an institution that has 230 colleges and universities in the United States with an enrollment of 700,000 students?

Why would anyone want to destroy an institution like the Catholic Church which has a non profit hospital system of 637 hospitals which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people  not just Catholics in the United States today?

Why would anyone want to destroy an institution like that? Why would anyone want to destroy an institution that clothes and feeds and houses the indigent 1 of 5 indigents in the United States, I've been to many of your shelters and no one asks them if you are a Catholic, a Protestant or a Jew; just "come, be fed, here's a sweater for you and a place to sleep at night" at a cost to the Church of 2.3 billion dollars a year?

The Catholic Church today has 64 million members in the United States and is the largest non-governmental agency in the country. It has 20,000 churches in this country alone. Every year they raise approximately $10 billion to help support these agencies.

Why, after the "respected" publication, the New York Times, running their daily expose' on the Church, finally came to the conclusion of their particular investigation, which was ongoing for a long time. And guess what: buried in the last paragraph, they came up with a mouse. In their article "Decades of Damage" the Times reported that 1.8% of American priests were found guilty of this crime  whereas your own Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome reported 1.7% the figure I gave you earlier.

Then again they launched an attack on the Church and its celibate priests. However, the New York Times did not mention in their study of American priests that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in the face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.

Why wouldn't the New York Times, the paper of record they call themselves, mention this? You had to read it in the Los Angeles Times. The New York Times refused to print it.

If you read only the New York Times, you would begin to believe that priests are cowards: craven, sexually frustrated, unhealthy criminals, that prey on the innocent. What a shame.

Sometimes freedom of the press should have some type of responsibility, too. So I say this to you: instead of walking around with a hangdog look ‑‑ I talk to a lot of Catholics all the time, "how's everything going?" ............ "Well, in the face of things I guess okay". That's the wrong answer! The wrong answer!

Also, I ran into a fellow who said they started a discussion at some social function on pedophilia and he said, "I excused myself and left the room." I said, "why did you do that?" "Well, you know how it is".

I believe that if Catholics had the figures that I enumerated here, you don't have to be ashamed of anything. Not only are you as good as the rest, but you're better, in every respect.

The Catholic Church helps millions of people every day of the week, every week of the month, and every month of the year. People who are not Catholics ‑‑ and I sit on your Catholic Foundation and I can tell you, and what I am telling you is so. Priests have their problems, they have their failings just as you and I in this room do, but they do not deserve to be calumniated as they have been.

In small measure let's give the media its due. If it had not come out with this story of abusive priests, (but they just as well could have mentioned reverends, pastors and rabbis and whatever), probably little or nothing would have been. done. But what bothers me the most is this has given an excuse to every Catholic hater and Catholic basher to come out loudly for the denigration of your Church.

If some CEO's are crooks it does not follow that every CEO is crooked; and if some priests are sexually ill it does not follow that all are sick. And your Church teaches that you've got to take in the sick and a priest who is this way has to be taken in and cannot be thrown out the 21st story of a building. He's got to be looked upon and given the same type of health that you would give anybody who has a broken leg or cancer or whatever.

The Church today, and when I say the Church keep in mind I am talking about the Catholic Church, is bleeding from self‑inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by an infinitesimally small number of wayward priests that, I feel, have probably been totally weeded out by now.

You see, the Catholic Church is much too viable to be put down by the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Cleveland Plain Dealer  take your choice, they can't do it, they're not going to do it and sooner or later they are going to give up. But you've got to make sure that you don't give up first.

In 1799 a notice was placed in a French newspaper that a citizen Brachi had died in prison. Little did the people realize that this was Pope Pius VI who had occupied the Chair of Saint Peter for 25 years. He had been taken prisoner by Napoleon's forces and died in prison as an indigent. At that time the thought was that this was the end of the Catholic Church, this was 200 and some odd years ago. And the reason was that there was no Pope to succeed him at that time.

But you fooled them then, and we're going to fool them again.

I've been talking more or less about the United States of America as far as the importance of the Church. Let's bring it home to Cuyahoga County and the seven surrounding counties.

In education, you save the county 420 million dollars per year. Wherever there's a Church and most other churches have fled the inner city  there's a Catholic Church; and wherever there's a Catholic Church there's an absence of drug dealers. You talk to any bank that has real estate mortgages in the inner city, and they will tell you that the one thing that keeps up the value in that particular area is your Church. I've seen, for example, on Lorain near the Metro Catholic Schools  there at the Church the nuns used to go out in the morning with brooms and sweep away the drug dealers from around the particular area.

On Health and Human Services, the homeless, adoption, drugs, adult care and so on, you saved the county 170 million dollars a year.

At the end of the day the difference that your local Catholic institutions make in the eight counties that comprise this diocese are several billion dollars per year.

Why don't we hear about this? Why, because it's good news. If some priest was caught with his hand in the collection plate it would be front page news. But the fact that you have thousands of students being education free, as far as the rest of the country is concerned, doesn't make news. Why? Because it is not newsworthy, it's not dirty.

I'm not here to deny freedom of the press, but I believe that with freedom comes responsibility, and with rights you have an obligation. You cannot have rights that are irresponsible.

Unfortunately, our society today is protected by all rights and ruled by some of their wickedness. Anybody who expects to reap the benefits of freedom must understand the total fatigue of supporting it.

The most important element of political speech, as Aristotle taught, is the character of the speaker. In this respect, no matter what message a man brings in, it shouldn't collide with his character.

The other day was shocked when I opened up America, a Catholic magazine, and my good friend Cardinal Keeler, who is a very dear friend of mine, was being fingerprinted by the Baltimore police  not for a crime, but as part of the new law put in place that all members of the Church hierarchy must be fingerprinted.

Amos, of the Old Testament, accused the people of Samaria in words that seared and phrases that smote. They "cram their palaces," he said, "with violence and extortion." They had "sold the upright for silver and the poor for a pair of sandals"  from Gucci, no doubt. But he also said that all this could be reversed, if only the people of Samaria would turn away from their own self absorption and toward those who, however silently, cry out for help. "Then," promised Amos, "shall your justice flow like water and your compassion like a never failing stream" (Amos 5:24)

The worst feature of contemporary society is its tendency to leave each of us locked up in himself or herself, connectionless. To lessen this isolation we have developed all kinds of therapies spiritual, psychological, and physical front groups that meet and talk endlessly all day long in spas,  week spas, month spas, life spas. But none of these things, from primal screams to herbal wrap, seem to be doing the trick, any more than the huge houses and wine parties. The Samaritan did.

What we need to do is open our heart to the plight of others, even some of your priests who have been condemned. They're human beings and they should be shown the same type of compassion we have shown anybody who is critically ill. We need to open our hearts to the plights of others, like our hearts were a dam, so that indeed our justice and compassion may flow to all.

What is essential is that each of us steps forward to hold out our hand to someone. There is no other way to walk with God.

One of the biggest Catholic bashers in the United States wrote  "Only a minority, a tiny minority of priests, have abused the bodies of children." He continues, "I am not advocating this course of action, but as much as I would like to see the Roman Catholic Church ruined. I hate opportunistically retrospective litigation even more."

Now he's talking about our tort monsters. "Lawyers who grow fat by digging up dirt on long‑forgotten wrongs and hounding their aged perpetrators are no friends of mine."

I'm still quoting this man, "All I'm doing" he said, "is calling attention to an anomaly. By all means, let's kick a nasty institution when it is down, but there are better ways than litigation." These words are from a Catholic hater.

I never thought in my life I would ever see these things.

Walk with your shoulders high and your head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non governmental agency today in the United States. Then remember what Jeremiah said: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls." And be proud, speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions. Be proud that you're a Catholic.


Syndicated 2009-10-07 01:56:00 (Updated 2011-08-20 17:30:59) from Living Core Dumps

20 Aug 2011 (updated 21 Aug 2011 at 21:08 UTC) »

Got a new toy!

And so I got myself a spanking new cool toy.... the last time I really felt excited about getting my own machine was way back in August 2005, when I got my Thinkpad T42p.

Got myself a brand new Macbook Pro 13" yesterday. After taking it for a spin, here's what I've found:

  • The machine, even at 2.26GHz CPU speed, doesn't feels slow. Quite a snappy performer after doing some programming stuff. And at 4GB of RAM, it shouldn't be slow at all!

  • At maximum brightness with wifi and a long download going on, the Macbook Pro can go on batteries as long as 5 hours. Not bad.

  • The glare from the glossy screen really hurts my eyes. It's that bad that I'm still suffering of headaches from the glare.

  • When the CPU is taxed, the Macbook Pro's chassis becomes one whole heatsink. Given that there are no grills on the bottom part of the chassis - the only part with the grill is at the hinge - it does get hot after a while. But not to the point of being "too hot to handle".

  • Having a keyboard that illuminates in the dark is pretty neat. While I do miss the Thinklight from a normal Thinkpad, the illuminated keyboard does its job pretty well.

  • I still miss the keyboard layout from my old Thinkpad. Having no dedicated Page UP/Down and Home/End keys is really a bummer. It really feels weird especially that I use those keys really often whenever I'm coding (in vim normally - an IDE is too much overkill for my tastes).

  • 1280 x 800 resolution in a 13" screen is anemic in 2009. My old Thinkpad T42p has a glorious 1400 x 1050 resolution on a 14" screen way back in 2005! Come on, Apple! Then again, my eyes would hurt far worse should the resolution be a 1440 x 900 on a 13" glossy screen.

  • Transferring gigabytes of data on USB 2.0 drives is really dog slow, whether backing up via Time Machine, or copying my old files from my wife's Macbook. I should've invested on external hard disks with Firewire connectors!

  • I really appreciate the two years I've been using Mac OSX. It's a balance between powerful and hassle-free. Sure, it's not as powerful as Linux (which I will continue to use and advocate), but it's hassle-free enough (as running Linux on random hardware doesn't produce good results compared to having an OS tailored exactly to the machine like the Macs).


Overall, I'm enjoying my time with the Macbook Pro, just as I had done so many years ago when I got my Thinkpad. It may not be a mobile workstation, but the Macbook Pro just suits my needs of having a fast machine for development with a very usable OS.


Syndicated 2009-08-16 13:28:00 (Updated 2011-08-20 17:30:59) from Living Core Dumps

20 Aug 2011 (updated 21 Aug 2011 at 21:08 UTC) »

Cito Beltran's Faulty Logic

In his column for the June 17, 2009 issue of The Philippine Star ("The great pumpkin", p. 14), Cito Beltran writes about some of his impressions about the Netherlands and Europe in general; his pen ranges from pigeons as big as chickens to the zeal with which hidden wealth is denounced in the United Kingdom. In the finest tradition of Filipino self-deprecation, Mr. Beltran also uses his impressions to reflect in a generally unfavorable manner upon certain aspects of Philippine society.

Towards the end of his column, Mr. Beltran observes that after centuries of being devoutly Protestant, the Dutch are no longer a churchgoing people due to "various influences, war and disillusionment." Yet he maintains that the Dutch people remain imbued with Biblical values in their daily conduct. Indeed, that he can't resist comparing the formerly Protestant Dutch people with the still-Catholic Filipino people in order to make a point at the expense of the Catholic Church.

Mr. Beltran writes:

"Even the staunchest Dutch atheists end up stammering when I point out that their character and conduct reflect the core values of the very faith that they reject. In the many days I spend just walking around The Hague, it became clear that the respect, courtesy, work ethics, social conduct of ethnic Dutch people reflect biblical conduct.

They are not religious or pious but centuries of Protestantism has (sic) resulted in generations of people who are sensitive to others, responsible for themselves and for their surroundings.

In contrast, 400 years of being "the only Catholic Country" in Asia has produced a religious society but not necessarily one where people live in their lives based on biblical standards. In other words we do the talk but we don't walk the walk.

Who was it that said, "one has faith that does not bear fruit, the other bears much fruit, but has no faith. Who then is better than the other"?

Thus saith Mr. Beltran, the self-proclaimed Born Again Christian.

First, we are astonished that someone who considers himself to be a Born Again Christian would consider it better to have no faith but have much fruit, than to have much faith and yet no fruit. Neither state is ideal, and surely even Born Again Christians consider both faith and good fruit to be essential to being Christian. However, since Born Again Christianity stands precisely on the embrace of faith alone as the path of salvation and the rejection of the view that good works -- good fruit -- have any bearing on one's salvation, one would think that Mr. Beltran would still consider someone who has faith to be better than someone who has no faith at all.

On the other hand, we are elated that Mr. Beltran concedes that Filipino Catholics have faith - after all, that is something that many of his fellow Born Again Christians refuse to even concede. At least there is hope for us Catholics!

Second, according to Mr. Beltran, the "social conduct of ethnic Dutch people reflect biblical conduct" due to their Protestant past. Is Mr. Beltran aware that the Netherlands has gay marriage, euthanasia even of children, and some of the world's most liberal abortion and drug laws? Does he consider these to be reflective of biblical conduct as well? Or is he just so dazzled by Holland's economic prosperity and neatness and the social graces of its inhabitants that he could no longer see that moral aberrations have struck deep roots in that same country? Using Mr. Beltran's line of reasoning, we must also consider Protestantism to be the source of the Dutch people's acceptance of gay marriage, euthanasia, drug use, abortion, and the abandonment of church-going. After all, as Mr. Beltran declares, their social conduct is due to Protestant influence!

Mr. Beltran would like to attribute to Protestantism the virtues of the Dutch people while remaining silent on the moral situation of the Netherlands. Why then would he link Catholicism to the lack of biblical conduct among the Filipino people? By what standard of reasoning does he apportion praise and blame? How convenient for him to attribute the virtues of a formerly Protestant country to Protestantism, while attributing the vices of a still-Catholic country to Catholicism! We have a term for this: double standard. The fact is that no country is perfect, and Protestant and Catholic countries alike have their peculiar strengths and weaknesses, their singular virtues and vices.

Neither Catholicism nor Protestantism claims to be able to eradicate sin completely from this world, and by that same token no Christian society can ever be a perfect image of the particular form of Christianity that it by and large espouses. No Christian society will ever be free of blemishes, blemishes that should not always be blamed on the principles upon which that society stands, for no society exists that can perfectly replicate Christian principles.

Before we leave this topic behind, Mr. Beltran should be corrected on one important point: the Netherlands' positive attributes are not due entirely to Protestantism. It has had a Protestant royal family since the 16th century, and until the 20th century it had a Protestant majority, but Holland has always had a large Catholic minority, and the roots of its prosperity and work ethic go back to the high medieval ages - when Holland was still one of the most devoutly Catholic nations in the whole world.


Syndicated 2009-06-21 23:34:00 (Updated 2011-08-20 17:30:59) from Living Core Dumps

20 Aug 2011 (updated 21 Aug 2011 at 21:08 UTC) »

The Creed

The Nicene creed is a statement of faith of the early Catholic Church ratified by the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 AD in opposition to certain heresies, especially Arianism. These heresies, which disturbed the church during the fourth century, concerned the doctrine of the trinity and of the person of Christ.

This creed serves as the bar of orthodox Christian belief - to confess to parts of the creed without confessing to the entirety of the creed is to confess to being in heresy.

Here's the Latin and English versions of the creed. As I am more familiar with the Latin (as I chant to this every Sunday), I'll place the Latin first followed by the English transliteration.

Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem caeli et terrae, visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

Et in unum Dominum, Jesum Christum, Filium Dei unigenitum, et ex Patre natum, ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum Verum de Deo Vero. Genitum non factum, consubstantialem Patri, per quem omnia facta sunt.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Qui propter nos homines, et propter nostram salutem, descendit de caelis. Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria virgine, et homo factus est. Crucifixus etiam pro nobis, sub Pontio Pilato, passus et sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in caelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, judicare vivos et mortuos, cujus regni non erit finis.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et Vivificantem, qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur, et conglorificatur, qui locutus est per Prophetas.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

Et Unam, Sanctam, Catholicam, et Apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum, et vitam venturi saeculi+.

And I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess in one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

Amen.


Syndicated 2009-03-26 22:07:00 (Updated 2011-08-20 17:30:59) from Living Core Dumps

20 Aug 2011 (updated 21 Aug 2011 at 21:08 UTC) »

Mobile Internet using my Nokia E71 and Debian GNU/Linux

I never expected connecting to Globe's 3G network using Debian GNU/Linux Unstable and my trusty Nokia E71 to be a walk in the park, but I was dead wrong. Configuring the connection via Gnome's Network Manager applet proved to be a breeze.

  1. Right click on the Network Manager icon, and select Edit Connections

  2. Connect the Nokia E71 via USB cable to your PC. Make sure you select the PC Suite mode of operation in the phone when prompted.

  3. Select the Mobile Broadband tab and click the Add button. A popup will appear and show the Nokia E71 as one of the options.

  4. In the username and password, provide the values globe, and set the APN to internet.globe.com.ph. Save the connection (for me I labeled it as Nokia E71 - Globe).

  5. The Mobile Broadband option for your new 3G connection is now ready! Select it from the options in the Network Manager applet and enjoy your 3G connection.


Syndicated 2009-03-26 22:04:00 (Updated 2011-08-20 17:30:59) from Living Core Dumps

20 Aug 2011 (updated 21 Aug 2011 at 21:08 UTC) »

Fasting during the Great Lent

Below is an excerpt from St. John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople during the 5th century and one of the early Church fathers, about the noble Christian tradition of fasting and abstinence during the Great Lent.

The value of fasting consists not only in avoiding certain
foods, but in giving up of sinful practices. The person who
limits his fast only to abstaining from meat is the one who
especially lowers the value of it.

Do you fast? Prove it by doing good works. If you see
someone in need, take pity on them. If you see a friend being
honored, don’t get jealous of him. For a true fast, you cannot
fast only with your mouth. You must fast with your eye, your ear,
your feet, your hands, and all parts of your body.

You fast with your hands by keeping them pure from doing
greedy things. You fast with your feet by not going to see
forbidden shows or plays. You fast with your eyes by not
letting them look upon impure pictures. Because if this is
forbidden or unlawful, it mars your fast and threatens the safety
of your soul. But if you look at things which are lawful and
save you increase your fast, for what you see with your eye
influences your conduct. It would be very stupid to eliminate or
give up meat and other foods because of the fast but feed with
your eyes upon other things which are forbidden.

You don’t eat meat, you say. But you allow yourself to lis-
ten to lewd things. You must fast with your ears, too. Another
way of fasting with your ears is not to listen to those who speak
evil or untrue things about others. “Thou shalt not receive an
idle report. “This is especially true of rumors, gossip,
untruths which are spoken to harm another.

Besides fasting with your mouth by not eating certain foods,
your mouth should also fast from foul language or telling lies
about others. For what good is it if you don’t eat meat or
poultry, and yet you bite and devour your fellow man?


Seems like I have much to learn, do and undo. I must say I've been guilty of observing the bare minimum for the fasting practice - since 1537 the Filipino faithful have been exempted from much of the laws of the fast and abstinence, reducing the requirements of the fast to Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. By contrast, the early Christians fasted a lot!


Syndicated 2009-03-08 22:27:00 (Updated 2011-08-20 17:30:59) from Living Core Dumps

20 Aug 2011 (updated 21 Aug 2011 at 21:08 UTC) »

Debian Lenny on the Dell Vostro 1310

In my quest to run the web application project I am working on in a saner environment (read: 64-bit, modern versions of software and libraries, and faster execution time in native mode vs virtualized mode), I attempted to install Debian Lenny 64-bit on the Dell Vostro 1310 issued by my employer

What works:

  • 802.11b/g wireless LAN (via compiling the 64-bit Broadcom STA driver). All this time I thought my current Vostro is capable of draft 802.11N. Boy I was so wrong!

  • Sound. I thought sound support was hopeless as I really couldn't hear a thing coming out of the audio port (after installing Pulseaudio and even upgrading the kernel to Linux 2.6.28) ... until I messed around with the mixer controls and found out that the sound card of this laptop have differing controls for the front and headset channels!

  • 64-bit Flash player plugin for Firefox. The alpha-release for Adobe Flash 10 has native support for 64-bit Linux. It's about time you've released this, Adobe. We've had 64-bit Linux since 2003!

  • Sun Java 64-bit plugin for Firefox. Finally.


What doesn't work:
  • Bluetooth. After some time searching via Google, I found out that Windows Vista upgraded the firmware driver for the Bluetooth module. Great. The only solution is to go back to Windows XP, download and install the Windows XP driver for the Dell Wireless 360 Bluetooth module. To think I already had XP wiped out... This is trouble (as I won't be able to tether to my Nokia E71's HSDPA network without Bluetooth) that I must resolve soon.

  • Compiz. Seems my Vostro has a blacklisted PCI ID (8086:2a02). That means no 3D desktop for me.

  • Global Address List for Evolution 2.22. Too bad the OpenExchange plugin isn't code complete... I'll have to wait for 4 more release cycles before I can even test this! Right now Evolution is just way too buggy to use as an Exchange client.


My list of TODO's:
  • Make the entire web application project run on Debian Lenny, with new versions of software. Freaking tall order, but I believe I can do it.

  • Configure PPPOE support for my DSL line at home (in the event that my wireless router craps out)

  • Fix the Bluetooth mess!

  • Configure tethering to my Nokia E71 via Bluetooth or data cable.

  • Install and configure Eclipse 3.4 Ganymede as a development environment.

  • Get an IM client that supports the Yahoo! Messenger webcam streaming protocol.


Syndicated 2009-03-08 22:05:00 (Updated 2011-08-20 17:30:59) from Living Core Dumps

20 Aug 2011 (updated 21 Aug 2011 at 21:08 UTC) »

Is ALP dead?

Is ALP really dead in the water?

CES 2009 featured the debut of Palm's new phone, the Pre, running Palm's own Linux-based mobile OS, the Palm webOS.  This, however, doesn't bode well for the Access Linux Platform - the supposed successor of the PalmOS.

As we do all know, PalmSource was acquired by the Japanese company Access a few years ago, and they have developed their own evolution to the old PalmOS. With Palm going their own way with webOS, what's the future of ALP? Samsung has already buried their plans of releasing an ALP-powered phone, no mention of other ALP-powered phones released (note - all that has been seen are just announcements), Orange cancelling its adoption of ALP in their smartphone offerings, no other telco or mobile phone manufacturer announcing adoption of ALP , and with other manufacturers like HTC that has pledged to make more Android-powered phones - this doesn't bode well for ALP's future.

Sayonara ALP. I was kinda have been waiting for an ALP powered phone for a very long time.


Syndicated 2009-01-11 12:35:00 (Updated 2011-08-20 17:30:59) from Living Core Dumps

20 Aug 2011 (updated 7 Sep 2011 at 18:10 UTC) »

Food Shortage Facts vs Population Control

One of the most common claims of RH Advocates is that the Philippines is facing a food shortage because of the size of our population. “There are too many Filipinos and there is too little food and rice available” is a common refrain from anti-life advocates.


One of the real reasons for the food shortage in the Philippines is not the population, but the unbelievably massive losses of food supplies in our country.  According to DA Secretary Arthur Yap in his speech “The Challenge of Sustained Agriculture Growth in the Philippines”, given at the Manila Overseas Press Club “Farmers’ Night” at the Intercontinental Manila (May 18, 2007), spoke of:
    “..the need for a program that will address the post-harvest losses of our grain crops, vegetables, livestock and fisheries products. In grains, we are losing 10-15%, and in vegetables and fisheries, close to 50%..The losses in terms of spoilage and reduction in volumes translate to billions of pesos and impact directly on farm incomes and consumer prices.”
In the same speech, Sec. Arthur Yap mentions that “in the 70’s, our thrust was to produce at least 99 cavans of rice per hectare… today, we are a boisterous and democratic nation pushing beyond 86 million Filipinos, working with shrinking areas for lands and watersheds. And yet, we have the technology and the testimony of farmers from all over the country, which make it possible to harvest an average of 200 cavans of rice per hectare of irrigated rice lands.”


Instead of investing billions of pesos in pills and condoms, we should invest this money instead in warehouses and rural development in order to prevent more senseless waste of our food resources and in order to produce more rice with better technology. This is a more sensible and long-term way of addressing poverty and hunger. It will also leave a more lasting impact on the lives of congressional constituencies.


Syndicated 2008-09-29 08:56:00 (Updated 2011-09-07 17:56:32) from Living Core Dumps

20 Aug 2011 (updated 7 Sep 2011 at 18:10 UTC) »

Separation of Church and State: What does "Separation" Really Mean and Why RH Bill Supporters Don't Understand what it Really Means

The supporters of the RH Bill in the media and in Congress often cite “Separation of Church and State” in order to muzzle the opposition of the Catholic Church. But do they really believe in their own propaganda? Apparently, they are using this principle only for their own ends. This only shows that the supporters of the RH Bill are cynical and manipulative.


While defending the RH Bill, Rep. Janette Garin said that the opinion and support of the Iglesia ni Cristo is important for the Bill. This admission was recorded in many newspapers and can easily be found in the Internet.


One of the Philippine media’s most rabid supporters of the RH Bill and one of its harshest critics of the Catholic Church, Anne Marie Pamintuan of the Philippine Star, said in her column for September 22, 2008, Monday, that:


“Maybe women should join the Iglesia Ni Cristo, which is supporting the bill. And will someone ever file a case questioning violations of the constitutionally enshrined principle of separation of church and state?”


In two sentences, this vociferous critic of the Catholic Church calls upon women to join the Iglesia Ni Cristo because it supports the RH Bill. At the same time, she calls on people to drag the Catholic Church to court.


Wait a minute! We thought that these people are against any Church “meddling” in legislative and state matters? Obviously, this meddling is “bad” only when it goes against the preferences of certain politicians and of certain media people. The Iglesia Ni Cristo is praised because it supports the RH Bill while the Roman Catholic Church is condemned and spat upon by these pro-RH people because it opposes the Bill.


It is clear that these people do not really care about the so-called principle of “Separation of Church and State.” What they simply want is to terrorize the Catholic Church and make it comply with their beliefs. To this end, they will support a church that does what they themselves will consider as “meddling” if that church supports them. Thus, they praise the INC, with its legendary viciousness against Catholicism and its reliable support for artificial contraception.






In their fight for the passage of the RH Bill, not a few of this Bill’s supporters have, once more, invoked the “Separation of Church and State” in order to muzzle the Catholic Church’s opposition to the RH bill. According to these people, the Catholic Church is violating the principle of the Separation of Church and State by daring to speak out against the Bill.


As we shall see, the supporters of the RH Bill are, in fact, very ignorant of what the “Separation Clause” really means.
  • What Separation of Church and State really means is that the State does not have any State or “Established Church”, it does not subsidize the Church or pay the salary of its clergy, and that no Church has any official access to the instruments of State power (e.g. it cannot use the armed forces to fight other churches or to enforce its beliefs and practices on citizens).
  • Furthermore, in the Philippine legal and constitutional context, the Separation clause has its origins in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, which states that:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”


(Take note: the phrase “Separation of Church and State” can never be found anywhere in the US Constitution)


As a US Congressional Report noted in 1854, “What is an establishment of religion? It must have a creed, defining what a man must believe; it must have rites and ordinances, which believers must observe; it must have ministers of defined qualifications, to teach doctrines and administer the rites; it must have tests for the submissive and penalties for the non-conformist…” (cited in p. 31 of David Barton’s “The Myth of Separation”; Aledo, Texas, Wallbuilder Press, 1992). In short, in a true situation of Union of Church and State, the State will force its citizens to adhere to a particular Church, with punishments for those who do not want to conform. Where there are no such penalties, there is no question of an “Established Church”


In modern times, the Establishment clause has been broadened to include the non-use of government property or funds in order to promote the beliefs of a particular Church or religion. Nevertheless, the principle that no Church must be established by the state has never been understood to mean that no one has the right to speak out in public in accordance with his or her religious beliefs.


In short, the Separation of Church and State was established in order to prevent the government from forcing a particular church down the throats of its citizens, and from encroaching upon the rights of the Church. It was established in order to protect the Churches, not the State.


All of these conditions continue to apply to the Philippines, which has no “state religion”, which does not subsidize the Catholic Church or pay the salaries of its priests, which does not require classes in Catholic beliefs in public schools, and which has no provision for forcing non-Catholics to follow Catholic beliefs and practices at gunpoint. Indeed, non-Catholics churches and religions also have a strong voice in the affairs of state and have considerable public influence in the Philippines. Therefore there is true separation of Church and State in the Philippines.


  • Separation of Church and State does NOT mean that Church officials cannot speak or try to influence state policy. In a democratic republic, any citizen has the right and duty to use his influence and moral suasion in order to persuade the government to take a particular course of action. Since Church officials are citizens, they continue to have the right to speak out in favor of their beliefs, as long as they use purely moral, non-violent and legal means of expressing these beliefs. This is what the CBCP does. Its members are only exercising their rights under the Constitution, and they have certainly not resorted to violent means.
  • Separation of Church and State does not mean that Catholics are required to leave their religious beliefs in their private life, and that they should act like they have no Catholic beliefs at all in the public square. To force Catholics to think and act like they are not Catholics, outside the confines of their private lives, is plain and simple discrimination. In the final analysis, to require Catholics to abandon their religious and moral beliefs in matters of public policy is the same as requiring these Catholics to believe that their religious beliefs are not really true. After all, if you believe that something is true, you will stick to it anywhere and everywhere and in all things, and not just in your private life. The supporters of the RH Bill, in attacking the defenders of the pro-life position for upholding their Catholic beliefs, are in effect attacking the congressional defenders of the pro-life position for having the guts to stick to their moral and religious convictions. This is absurd! In any democracy, it should be expected that people will stick to their moral convictions and make decisions according to their conscience!

  • Furthermore, if we are going to condemn the Catholic Church for violating the separation of Church and State by speaking out against the Bill, then why should Islam and the INC not be accused of committing the same violation when these support the Bill? After all, if speaking out on a proposed Bill in Congress is a form of interference in State matters, then it does not matter whether a church speaks out FOR or AGAINST the Bill; what matters is that the said church spoke ABOUT the Bill. If the Catholic Church is to be condemned for violating the separation of Church and State, then Islam and the INC should be charged guilty of the same violation.


Syndicated 2008-09-29 08:49:00 (Updated 2011-09-07 17:54:46) from Living Core Dumps

45 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!