Sunday, June 27, 2010

French Survey Reveals Women’s Opinions on Abortion


The report from the General Inspection of Social Affairs (IGAS) on "The Evaluation of the Policies for Preventing Unwanted Pregnancies and for Taking Care of Voluntary Interruptions of Pregnancy" notes that 72% of women who have had recourse to abortion were on contraception. That's 144,000 of France's 200,000 annual abortions. The ratio of abortions to live births in France is 1:4.

The Alliance for the Rights of Life (ADV), also wishing to know the opinion of Frenchwomen on abortion, asked the IFOP to create a survey that was conducted upon a representative group of 1,006 women age 18+. Here are some of the findings.

For women, abortion is of no little importance.
* 61% = "there are too many abortions in our country."
* 83% = "abortion leaves psychological effects difficult for women to live with.”
* 60% (vs. 33%) = “society should do more to help women avoid having recourse to abortion."

French women are in favor of some other policy for preventing abortion that does not simply "provide against unwanted pregnancies" but also helps pregnant women to avoid abortion.
* 83% (vs. 13%) = information pamphlets given at pre-abortion consultations should include "details on help for pregnant women and young mothers."
* 55% = "psychological support to protect her against exterior influences" could help a woman with an unwanted pregnancy opt not to have recourse to abortion.
* 54% = wish for "information on the material aid to which she has a right."

Adoption of children carried to term would be "a good thing to make better known" to young pregnant women who would have heavy personal difficulties in raising their children.
* So say 67% of those >35 years old
* The number climbs to 76% for those <35 years old

The number of abortions continues to grow among minors (age 15-17).
* 11.5% of abortions in 2006
* 8.9% of abortions in 2002

Those between 20 and 24 who have recourse to abortion the most often.

51% of Frenchwomen believe that the 30% growth in the number of abortions by minors since 2001 is best explained by "sexual relations that are too precocious."

Well yes, but abortion is big business in France too. It's one of those twisted ironies that those who claim to be liberating women from slavery to their own bodies are further victimizing them with the abortion trade.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

JarJar on TomTom?


JarJar is perhaps waiting in the wings, but the voices of other characters are already available for the TomTom. You can listen to voice samples at the site above.

Darth Vader: Lord Vader commands you to turn to the Dark Side. Will you be able to resist as he guides you to your destination? Obi-Wan has taught you well but now it is time to choose your path. Light sabers at the ready!

C-3PO: R2-D2 has initiated the navi-computer. But you do realise that according to C-3PO the chances of successfully getting there are 3,750 to 1, master? But what does he know? After all, he's only a protocol droid.

Yoda and Han Solo are coming soon.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Stalin Statue Toppled


In Gori, Georgia -- the hometown of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin -- authorities removed from the central square a towering statue of Khruschev's predecessor, a man who murdered many more people than Hitler.

In a manner which would have made the old tyrant proud, the toppling of the statue was conducted in the dead of night and was attended by the beating of journalists who attempted to cover the clandestine event.

For his effective campaign to forcibly secularize his country, Uncle Joe is still revered in areas of his homeland, American Ivy League colleges, the New York Times, and by individuals perhaps not unwelcome in the current White House.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brains on the Brain


Two Johns Hopkins professors say they found one of Michelangelo’s rare anatomical drawings in a panel high on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel: they maintain the artist hid a drawing of the underside of the brain and the brain stem on the neck of God.

The Brain in God's Throat?

Yeah, I couldn't see it either.

The Vatican, as near as I can make out, wasn't bothered for a comment.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sacerdos in Aeternum

Yesterday nine new priests were ordained according to the Traditional Latin Rite at the SSPX seminary in Winona, MN, Deo gratias.
* Fr. Todd Anderson
* Fr. John Bourbeau
* Fr. Daniel Dailey
* Fr. Séan Patrick Gerrity
* Fr. Michael John Goshie
* Fr. Raphaël Granges
* Fr. Patrick Sean Mackin
* Fr. Shane Carlo Pezzutti
* Fr. Thomas Aquinas, OSB

Fr. Anderson gives a first blessing to my god-daughter and her mother

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two Takes on Power

"It's said that 'power corrupts', but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power. When they do act, they think of it as service, which has limits. The tyrant, though, seeks mastery, for which he is insatiable, implacable."
-- David Brin, novelist

"The genius of you Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them we are missing."
-- Gamel Abdel Nasser (1918-1970), former Egyptian president

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hyundai Pulls Repugnant Commercial


Hyundai pulled a 30-second commercial after audiences pointed out the spot demeaned symbols, actions, and events that Catholics hold dear.

The ad begins with singing in Latin, then depicts an Argentine “church” with a stained glass window of a soccer ball; later there's a soccer ball sporting a crown of thorns. Worshippers are depicted kneeling and sacramentally receiving pizza.

Hyundai said it had not anticipated the numerous objections that its insulting ad would produce.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

How Traditions Begin

This week after returning from a business trip to D.C. I'll be headed to Winona, MN for my annual expedition to the SSPX seminary. Nine young men will be raised from the diaconate to the priesthood, Deo gratias.

A group of us from my home chapel attend each year. It's one of the few places left on the planet where men are still being formed and ordained according to the traditional Catholic rite, so attending is a great grace and privilege.

Helmut usually gets a block of rooms at a Winona hotel and then lets friends use them. It's a courtesy he performs for his pals.

One year Helmut did me the favor of paying for my room as well: I went to the lobby to check out, but the tab had already been paid.

The next year I attempted to return the favor: I snuck down early the morning of checkout, paid for my room, and then paid for Helmut's.

Such was not to be, however: the hotel staff messed up the transaction, and instead of debiting my credit card, they credited it.

The mistake wasn't noticed until the hotel ran its end-of-week reconciliation paperwork. After the accountant noticed the error he reversed the credit. Then -- because Helmut's credit card was the one on record for having originally booked the room -- the debit was made on his credit card. We all found out about it on our end-of-month credit card statements.

Needless to say, I again thanked Helmut for his generosity. Twice in two years: that's how traditions begin...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Providential, Inscrutable

Yesterday was day one at a new job. After 5.5 years at my old company, I accepted an offer that amounted to a promotion and a raise with another company. It's the same work, just inside different colored walls.

I took a few days off to squeeze in a few more state capitols. See the route I took here.

Today was day two on the new job, and I learned that my Razorfish supervisor and my former career manager were both let go in layoffs this morning. No telling if I would have been caught up in that, but I'd pulling a lot of bench time lately, so to my way of thinking it doesn't
seem improbable that I would have been fellow #3.

Though it's tempting to take credit for having read the handwriting on the wall when I opted to change employers, the fact is I was just as surprised as the rest of the crew. On one level I can joke about how my career move now appears brilliant. In truth, however, I hadn't been looking to change jobs; rather, I just took the opportunity when a recruiter contacted me. The matter strikes me as providential and inscrutable.

Having been tagged in three layoffs of my own over the years, I told my two former colleagues that I knew how they felt and I invited them to send me their resumes.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Objectionable Part

Once I was having lunch with a crew of colleagues, including my supervisor. At some point during the meal an off-color joke was greeted with knee-slapping laughter by everyone except yours truly. "Not to your liking Sean?" I was asked. I shook my head and looked away.

When we were settling up with the waitress I pointed out that she hadn't charged me for my iced tea, only for the entree. The mistake, it turns out, was mine: I'd ordered off the lunch menu, and the price of the drink was included.

After the waitress walked away, my supervisor shook his head and said, "Sean, you make me want to vomit."

"Right," I replied. "You had a good laugh a minute ago at a crude joke, but what really makes you want to vomit is a guy being honest." The chap just looked away.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chartres Pilgrims

Feast of Corpus Christi

My French Traditional Catholic brethren make a pilgrimage each year from Chartres to Paris.

This year the folks at DICI produced a nice little video of the event titled "The Fight of Faith" -- see