This is Part 4.
What kind of people kill a 3-year-old child to as part of an execution of his grandfather?
Evidently, the mafia in Italy.
This isn’t the movie mafia of the Corleones and the Sopranos who have a “code” and love bambinos. These are cold-blooded killers who kill a baby in a car seat.
Pope Francis denounced this act. It’s interesting that there are people in high places who feel the Holy Father is already “being watched” by the mafia because of his work to reform corruption. I considered whether or not to talk about that. But my experience has been that the light of day is the best disinfectant, and the best preventative.
From the Irish Times:
Speaking at his Sunday Angelus, the Pope called on the faithful to pray for Coco Campolongo, burned to death as he sat in a baby seat in his grandfather’s car.
“This ferocity against such a small child seems unprecedented in the annals of organised crime,” said the Pontiff. “Let us pray with Coco, who is surely now in heaven with Jesus, for the people who committed this crime so that they might repent and be converted to the Lord”
Little Coco had the misfortune to be sitting in his baby seat in the back of a Fiat Punto car when mafia killers shot his grandfather, 52-year Giuseppe Iannicelli along with his 27-year-old Moroccan partner, Ibtisssan Tous. Police believe that the car was then immediately burnt in the remote rural zone where it was later discovered by a hunter out for a Sunday shoot.
When investigators examined the car, they found three bodies with Coco’s grandfather shut in the boot, whilst the Moroccan woman was still in the front passenger seat and the child was still in his baby-seat. Police point to a 50 cent coin left on the roof of the burnt-out car as an ‘Ndrangheta “signature”.
The Holy Father’s remarks to Notre Dame strike to the core mission of all Catholic Universities. I hope that they are listening.
American Atheists must rolling in cash. They’re running an ad at the upcoming Super Bowl.
Don’t throw your rosaries in the trash yet. There’s nothing new. It’s just the usual jibe at Christians — in this case Catholics. The ad is a pun on the hail Mary pass. It shows a man wearing what looks like a clerical collar, holding a football. The words A Hail Mary only works in football are displayed next to him.
The ad will also feature a link to American Atheist’s upcoming convention, where, presumably, there will be jibes, jokes and clever puns attacking Christians galore.
From The Huffington Post:
No country combines sport, politics and religion quite like the US. Just watch this weekend’s Superbowl for a barrage of chest-beating nationalism and religious iconography pumped out before, during and after the game.
Yet atheists, one of the quickest growing demographics in the US, according to recent polls, are striking back this year with a billboard at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium mocking those who turn to prayer during the game.
There are limits, and this reaches one of mine.
Pro life groups are evidently boycotting Girl Scout cookies. The reason, so far as I can tell, is that the Girl Scouts have thrown in with Planned Parenthood.
I find that disgusting. I’ve already written quite a bit about what I think of sexualizing little girls and pushing dangerous chemical birth control on them. It’s hard to fathom that the Girl Scouts are doing something like this.
However, if a little girl comes up to me in the parking lot of a convenience store, or knocks on my door, I am not going to look her in the eye and tell her that I am boycotting Girl Scout Cookies.
Ain’t gonna happen.
I’ll fork over the cash and take the cookies (which are usually stale) and toss them in the trash, just like I always do.
I’m sorry, fellow pro lifers. My spirit is with you. But my flesh doesn’t have what it takes for this one.
Can you think of another way to do this; preferably something that doesn’t involve hurting the feelings of a child who doesn’t know come here from sic ‘em about interlocking boards and organizational alliances?
I don’t think we should target kids to get at adults. Let’s go at the adults directly.
Figure out a way to do that, and I’m with you.
Pro-life organizations are standing with a small pro-life group in Waco, Texas to boycott Girl Scout cookies over the organization’s recent “praise for Wendy Davis and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius…and because of a deep and lasting entanglement with abortion providers and abortion rights organizations,” according to the CookieCott 2014’s website.
Many groups, including the American Life League, LifeNews, the Radiance Foundation, Life Coalition International, the National Black Pro-Life Union, are standing with John Pisciotta, head of Pro-Life Waco, which has launched similar ‘CookieCotts’ in the past.
Pisciotta’s group launched a Girl Scout cookie boycott in Waco in 2004as well after the Bluebonnet Girl Scout Council began co-sponsoring theNobody’s Fool summer sex education program offered by Planned Parenthood for Waco-area teens and pre-teens.
With this sponsorship by Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life Waco states the Bluebonnet Council placed the national Girl Scout logo on the program flyer and advertisements. In addition, Girl Scout employees served as volunteers for the Nobody’s Fool program.
I haven’t read every single one of the various atheist books by Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Hitchens, et al. But I’ve read most of them.
I’ve also read the historic atheists such as Russell, et al.
What amazes me is that anyone takes them seriously. Even when I was deep in my anti-God period, I could see that Russell’s Why I am Not a Christian (which says everything worth saying that is found in any of the other books, by the way) used self-refuting arguments. If you followed his line of reasoning to its end, you would have eliminated the existence of 2 billion Christians who are on the globe today.
The illogic of his logic actually led me to believe that if atheism had good arguments, they weren’t being advanced. This is telling because I was at a point in my life where I wanted to be convinced by atheism.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the crude and nasty atheists of today’s public forums are the way they are for two simple reasons. First, their philosophy, such as it is, is so hopeless and nihilistic that it is crazy-making. Second, anyone who reads one of these “four horsemen” and is convinced by them (much less goes around quoting them and pretending their ideas are your own) is either an adolescent, or they are an adult who is stuck is permanent adolescence.
The Four Horsemen and their progenitors are not thinkers for grown-ups.
I’ve just finished reading a book that addresses this adolescent thinking from the viewpoint of a fellow scientist. David Berlinski is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He has written such books as A Tour of the Calculus and The Advent of the Algorithm. What that means, aside from the fact that he’s got the chops to address the scientific hubris of the new atheism from the inside, is that, unlike most of the professional new atheist apologists, he doesn’t just go around writing hate screeds for a living. He actually writes and thinks about something else.
I wish his book on the scientific pretensions of the new atheism had a less lurid title. The book is of a higher quality than its title. However, I know that titles sell, and publishers make these decisions.
The book is called The Devil’s Delusion, Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions.
If you haven’t read it, you should. Berlinski writes with dry wit and clarity of the scientific gibberish that makes up the framework of new atheist arguments. The book is not, as the atheist books are, a vicious screed against those who disagree with him. It is rather, a gentle poke in the ribs.
Berlinski (who is not a believer) disassembles the house of cards of atheist scientific arguments against God, based entirely on the sheer outrageousness of their claims. There are no calls to insult people or attack them in the book. It doesn’t make totalitarian arguments that scientists should have their children taken away from them for the “child abuse” of teaching their kids what they themselves believe. There’s no trippy conflab about flying spaghetti monsters, and not one word of building a Christian revenge movement to drive atheists from the public square.
The Devil’s Delusion simply points out a few of the many over-the-top claims that atheists make in the name of science and calls them what they are: The attack polemics of a blind and absolutist faith. All of which is to say that the scientific claims by atheists are propaganda. They are not science at all.
I recommend The Devil’s Delusion. I hope that you will read it. If you’re been reading the adolescent rants of the new atheists, I especially hope you read it. It’s a great palate cleanser.
This is Part 2. If you haven’t seen it, you can watch Part 1 here.
I don’t know that I would go this far, even though I do think that Edward Snowden did the American people a favor by letting us know the extent to which our government was spying on us.
It is, however, an indicator of how at least some people in other countries feel about his actions that Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, has been nominated for the Nobel Prize. If it does nothing else, the nomination — which probably has scant chance of ever being more than a nomination — demonstrates just what a rattrap our “representation” in Washington has become.
From USA Today:
STAVANGER, Norway (AP) — Two Norwegian politicians have jointly nominated former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, saying his disclosures of secret U.S. documents have contributed to making the world more peaceful.
Anyone can be nominated for the prestigious award, so the submission Wednesday by Socialist lawmakers Baard Vegard Solhjell, a former environment minister, and Snorre Valen just means Snowden will be one of scores of names that the Nobel committee will consider.
“We do not necessarily condone or support all of his disclosures,” the two lawmakers said in their nomination letter. “We are, however, convinced that the public debate and changes in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden’s whistleblowing has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order.”
My mother was sick last night, so I didn’t give a lot of thought and attention to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
I watched part of it by picking up a live stream on my laptop. But other things took my attention after that and I didn’t see the rest.
The major take-away I got from what I saw is that our president is a fine orator. President Obama’s speech — at least what I saw — was witty, charming and upbeat. He delivered it flawlessly.
As for the substance of it, I’ve heard the good news about America’s growing oil independence before. I think this is wonderful. It’s key to our economic stability and foreign policy freedom of action.
I’m not so impressed with the figures on the economy, for the simple reason that I think that we need to do a lot more to get this country back on track economically. I’ve said in other posts that I believe we must work to re-industrialize America.
A country that does not make its own goods is in a weak position in the world. The president’s ideas about re-building the infrastructure might help do that; if we can pry the contracts out of the hands of the usual pork-barrel recipients and actually work to advance a true free market ethic that gives everybody a chance at the gold.
I could go through the issues he raised, in fact I probably will go through them at other times, in more detail. But basically, it was the same stuff we’ve been talking about for months. I agree with President Obama about some things, and disagree with him emphatically about others.
My primary concern after watching what I saw of the speech is two-fold.
One, I’m tired of seeing the Speaker of the House sit behind the President with a look of obvious hatred on his face. It’s fine to disagree with people on issues, but this business of making everything into a the-other-side-is-the-devil hate-off is harming our country, not to mention doing mental and emotional damage to the politicians indulging in it.
Second, I wonder if Congress going to just keep on yammering at itself and allow the President to make Congress irrelevant in governing this country?
It seems to me that these two concerns are intimately related. Congress is like a bunch of drunks in a bar fight who won’t let themselves be interrupted in their slug-fest, even though the building is on fire.
The Speaker of the House needs to grow up and get over himself. So does everyone else in Congress. Nothing they do is about them and their mulish and picayune little grudges. Their job is about this country.
Congress needs to assert itself as a legislative body and take its place in the system of checks and balances that make this country free. That requires a lot more intelligence and forethought, not to mention higher aspirations, than I saw on the Speaker’s face last night.
This is a video of the President’s entire State of the Union Address 2014.