Friday, March 14, 2008

Oh my, O Mya, my name is Kennedy and I do what Ted says

Ted Kennedy Dumps Fuel into Nantucket Sound
Friday, March 14, 2008 9:14 AM

Ted Kennedy has called Nantucket Sound near his Massachusetts estate “a national treasure” — but that didn’t stop the senator from having oil dumped from his yacht into its waters.
A local photographer spotted an oil slick coming from Kennedy’s yacht Mya as Kennedy and his guests left the vessel in a launch following a race that ended in Hyannis, the Cape Cod Today newspaper reported.
The lensman was so shocked that he rowed his dinghy out to question the crew member left aboard the yacht.
He asked the crewman, “What the hell are you doing?”
The crewman said that diesel fuel had gotten into the bilge and he was told to dump it.
When the photographer pointed out that the yacht was moored in coastal waters near shellfish beds and people swimming, the crewman replied, “Whatever.”
Cape Cod Today published a photo showing the oil slick emanating from Mya.
As Newsmax reported earlier, Kennedy has opposed a proposal to construct a wind farm in Nantucket Sound to produce cheap, clean energy. Asked why, he said: “That’s where I sail.”

What I say on the Senate Floor does not count when I'm out the door.

Kerry Must Go

According to the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution he never
should have got there...just goes to show ya how smart them folks
in Massachusetts are...really dumb! Read it before you complain!
Section 3 can be found here:

What we need is a tough Pope...go get 'em Bene !

Catholic College Leaders Expect Pope To Deliver Stern Message

By Jacqueline L. Salmon and Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, March 14, 2008; A01

After years of Vatican frustration over what it views as the failure of many U.S. Catholic colleges to adhere to church teachings, school leaders are intently watching for a rebuke from Pope Benedict XVI during his Washington visit next month.

The pope requested the meeting with more than 200 top Catholic school officials from across the country. The gathering will come amid debate over teachings and campus activities that bishops have slammed as violating Catholic doctrine: a rally by pro-abortion rights Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton at St. Mary's University in San Antonio; a Georgetown University theologian's questioning whether Jesus offers the only road to salvation; and a performance of "The Vagina Monologues" at the University of Notre Dame.

This will be the first papal address in the United States on Catholic education in more than 20 years, and some Vatican watchers predict that it will be the most enduring part of Benedict's visit. Before becoming pope, Benedict was known as "the enforcer" of church orthodoxy, and since taking office, he has said Catholic education must bow to Catholic "truth" and the "rule of life." Such comments have some educators keyed up.

"With people expecting his address on these issues, hopes and concerns are beginning to resurface," said Mathew Schmalz, a religious studies professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., who has researched and lectured about Catholic identity in higher education.

The Rev. Timothy Broglio, archbishop of the U.S. military services, who served in Rome for a dozen years, said Benedict's speech will be direct. "It'll be very clear and distinct ideas," Broglio said. ". . . There will be no mistaking what he wants to say."

A drumbeat for greater orthodoxy in Catholic colleges has been heard since 1990, when Pope John Paul II issued a call for Catholic colleges and universities to refocus on their religious identity.

Now educators are waiting to see how tough Benedict, a former theology professor in Germany, will be at the April 17 lecture at Catholic University and how his message will be interpreted and carried out by the bishops after he leaves.

Church officials won't give details about the content of the speech, but conservative Catholics are predicting -- and hoping for -- shock waves from Benedict, who before becoming pope was associated with public reprimands of Catholic theologians and blocked appointments of university faculty members he thought were too liberal.

"This is something that's been simmering for so long that it's reached a boiling point," said Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, which works to promote orthodoxy in Catholic higher education. In its recommendations to students, the society says 20 of the 235 U.S. Catholic colleges and universities are sufficiently orthodox. Reilly said a number of bishops and Vatican officials say privately that the speech will "raise a lot of eyebrows."

As pope, Benedict has not been as explicit about the limits of academic freedom as some had expected him to be, and some educators predicted that the talk next month will have a pastoral tone. However, they said, it will make clear that the pope thinks change is necessary.

"One thing the pope will emphasize is the importance for all [Catholic] schools to realize that they aren't independent contractors, they are part of the church," said the Rev. David M. O'Connell, Catholic University's president.

Catholic University is the only U.S. Catholic college founded by the nation's bishops, and it follows the Vatican line more closely than do many other schools. O'Connoll said Rome is concerned about the lack of Catholic faculty at Catholic universities and about rampant "moral relativism" -- the belief that there is no objective right or wrong -- on campuses.

Last fall, Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus objected to a conference on teen pregnancy held on the campus of the College of the Holy Cross that included speakers from Planned Parenthood and NARAL.

And last month: San Antonio Archbishop Jose Gomez complained about the Clinton rally at St. Mary's University; St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said St. Louis University basketball coach Rick Majerus should be disciplined for his comments in support of abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research; and Catholic bishops moved a theological seminar off Notre Dame's campus to protest an on-campus performance of the play "The Vagina Monologues."

Bishops have criticized Georgetown for hosting Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and allowing the establishment of a pro-abortion rights student club there. Conservative Catholics are complaining about plans to open a gay resource center soon at the school.

School presidents insist that truth-seeking is part of their institutional purpose.

"Every university is committed to the pursuit of truth," said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, "and we want to ensure that there is the opportunity for both academic freedom and for the free exchange of ideas and opinions across all issues."

But David Gibson, the author of a Benedict biography, said the pope will ask, "If you're not going to be an authentically Catholic, orthodox institution, why should you exist?"

The lecture will be attended by presidents of most U.S. Catholic colleges and universities. All 195 diocesan education directors are also invited, although the Vatican's focus has been on countering relativism in higher education.

After liberalizing moves by the church in the 1960s and 1970s, Pope John Paul in 1990 issued Ex Corde Ecclesiae, presenting his views of what a Catholic university should be. In 1999, U.S. bishops voted to require theology professors to be certified as teaching in a truly "Catholic" manner.

Since then, there has been a vigorous exchange, with most educators on Catholic campuses agreeing that they want to keep a "Catholic" perspective but disagreeing about how pervasive that needs to be. Does it mean events and courses should always come down on the side of orthodox church teachings? Or can the church's position simply be articulated and discussed? What does academic freedom truly mean under Ex Corde?

Many conservatives have complained that colleges and universities don't take seriously the requirement that people teaching theology obtain a "mandatum," or certificate, from the local bishop indicating that the coursework was approved by the church.

Although Catholic colleges and universities were originally founded by religious orders or by laypeople working with bishops, their campuses have become more diverse, and that diversity affects their mission.

"Our schools are not made up of all Catholic students or Catholic faculty and administrators," said the Rev. Charles Currie, president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, who has spoken out against the mandatum and quotas on non-Catholic board members and faculty members. "And so the institution has to be respectful of differences at the same time they're trying to foster a [Catholic] identity."

Some are skeptical that anything will change.

"Whatever he says, I think, for the most part, it will fall on deaf ears," said Derry Connolly, president of John Paul the Great Catholic University. "Universities are tough institutions to turn around, and faculty are very powerful. . . . I don't think it will have much of an effect."

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another Finger Pointer

NY governor linked to prostitution ring

By AMY WESTFELDT, Associated Press Writer

Gov. Eliot Spitzer, the crusading politician who built his career on rooting out corruption, apologized Monday after he was accused of involvement in a prostitution ring. He did not elaborate on the scandal, which drew calls for his resignation.

His stoic wife at his side, Spitzer told reporters at a hastily called news conference: "I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family."

"I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself," he said. "I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family."

Spitzer's involvement in the ring was caught on a federal wiretap as part of an investigation opened in recent months, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing inquiry.

The New York Democrat, identified in legal papers as "Client 9," met last month with at least one woman in a Washington hotel, the law enforcement official said.

The prostitution ring, identified in court papers as the Emperors Club VIP, arranged connections between wealthy men and more than 50 prostitutes in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Miami, London and Paris, prosecutors said. Four people allegedly connected to the high-end ring were arrested last week.

The club's Web site displays photographs of scantily clad women with their faces hidden. It also shows hourly rates depending on whether the prostitutes were rated with one diamond, the lowest ranking, or seven diamonds, the highest. The most highly ranked prostitutes cost $5,500 an hour, prosecutors said.

The scandal was first reported on The New York Times' Web site.

Spitzer spoke hours later. Stunned lawmakers gathered around televisions at the state Capitol in Albany to watch, and a media mob gathered outside the office of Lt. Gov. David Paterson, who would become governor if Spitzer was to resign. It took opponents only minutes to call for his resignation.

"Today's news that Eliot Spitzer was likely involved with a prostitution ring and his refusal to deny it leads to one inescapable conclusion: He has disgraced his office and the entire state of New York," said Assembly Republican leader James Tedisco. "He should resign his office immediately."

Spitzer, 48, built his political reputation on rooting out corruption, including several headline-making battles with Wall Street while serving as attorney general. He stormed into the governor's office in 2006 with a historic share of the vote, vowing to continue his no-nonsense approach to fixing one of the nation's worst governments.

Time magazine had named him "Crusader of the Year" when he was attorney general and the tabloids proclaimed him "Eliot Ness."

But his term as governor has been marred by problems, including an unpopular plan to grant driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and a plot by his aides to smear Spitzer's main Republican nemesis.

Spitzer had been expected to testify to the state Public Integrity Commission he had created to answer for his role in the scandal, in which his aides were accused of misusing state police to compile travel records to embarrass Senate Republican leader Joseph Bruno.

Spitzer had served two terms as attorney general where he pursued criminal and civil cases and cracked down on misconduct and conflicts of interests on Wall Street and in corporate America. He had previously been a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, handling organized crime and white-collar crime cases.

His cases as state attorney general included a few criminal prosecutions of prostitution rings and into tourism involving prostitutes.

In 2004, he was part of an investigation of an escort service in New York City that resulted in the arrest of 18 people on charges of promoting prostitution and related charges.

She's Still My Hero

The headline may be wrong but she's still my hero...

She's a soldier and not a marine...but hey, who cares.

It's not the unifrom she wears that counts,

it's the valor that underlies the cloth...

Female Marine Gets Historic Silver Star The Associated Press Monday, March 10th 2008, 4:00 AM

CAMP SALERNO, Afghanistan - A 19-year-old medic from Texas who braved insurgent gunfire to pull her comrades to safety will become the first woman in Afghanistan and the second woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star.

Army Spec. Monica Lin Brown used her body to shield five wounded comrades and pull them to safety after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees last April, the military said.

"I did not really think about anything except for getting the guys to a safer location and getting them taken care of and getting them out of there," Brown said Saturday at a U.S. base in the eastern Khost Province.

She said ammunition going off inside the burning Humvee was sending shrapnel in all directions, so she helped drag the soldiers away from the vehicle.

"I was in a kind of a robot mode, did not think about much but getting the guys taken care of," she said.

Eventually, she helped move the wounded some 500 yards away and treat them onsite before putting them on a helicopter for evacuation. "I did not really have time to be scared," Brown said. "Running back to the vehicle, I was nervous [because] I did not know how badly the guys were injured. That was scary."

Brown, of Lake Jackson, Tex., is scheduled to get the Silver Star, the nation's third-highest medal for valor, this month.

Pentagon policy prohibits women from serving in front-line combat roles - in the infantry, armored or artillery divisions, for example. But the nature of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with no real front lines, has meant female soldiers take part in close-quarters combat more than in previous conflicts.