Friday, September 28, 2007

For Deacon Brother Hugh

Salve Regina, Mater Misericordiae,
vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve!
Ad te clamamus, exsules filii Hevae,
ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes,
In hac lacrimarum valle.
Eja ergo, Advocata nostra,
Illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte
Et Jesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
Nobis, post hoc exilium, ostende,
O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria.

See Deacon Brother Hugh Vincent Dyer's homily below:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Pursuit of Life; Reductio Add Absurdum

How Much Torture is Cruel and Unusual?

The Supreme Court this term will hear a case involving the death penalty-but not exactly whether it should be outlawed in every state as intrinsically cruel and unusual for the State to kill off someone for their depravity, but whether a particular type of three-drug coctail lethal injection is too gruesomely painful and so should be substituted for some lesser form of torture unto death. Apparently we are splitting hairs on what is too gruesome a method of torturing unto death. Apparently no state just gives someone the option of intervenious injection with a bottle of Vodka mixed with a bottle of crushed sleeping pills so they can quietly slip away into that good night like Anna Nicole Smith when their number is called.
The case is Ralph Baze v. John D. Rees and it will likely be heard this term. It's a case that came to the Court from the lovely state of Kentucky, which practices this form of tri-drug coctail lethal injection borrowed from Oklahoma and Texas. [Briefs are linked to the pre-eminent Supreme Court blog]
The drugs apparently have the effect of paralyzing someone's muscles so that they cannot speak or move, but without effect on the nervous system such that they feel pain but just cannot speak about it. This is coupled with a drug that induces a heart attack (otherwise known as rock salt-the kind that melts snow-in your veins it induces heart attack). It is believed that the combination of these drugs places someone in the uncomfortable posture of being slowly tortured without ability to do anything about it- kind of like in Medieval England before the invention of the guillotine where someone was executed (at the Tower of London for example) by strapping them and their heads to a block so the executioner could lob off their heads with a sword, only he occassionally didn't get it on one try so he had to keep swinging while the person was half alive and felt his blinking head sever and roll off.
Of Course the entire discussion of whether certain drugs are more cruel and unusual than others in the State killing off someone for their depravity entirely misses the point of the 8th Amendment prohibition against "cruel and unusual" because DEATH is cruel and unusual per se. It is flatly cruel and unusual as a method of "punishment" to just kill off the sinner. If the degree of torture can be analyzed as potentially "cruel and unusual" then of course the blatant killing off -death itself- is the very definition of "cruel and unusual."
It serves no deterrent to him or her, it serves no rehabilitative function, it flies in the face of most people's understanding of the potential in all human life for redemption, it plays God where God said "do not kill" as one of the top Ten on the hit parade of sure-to-land-you-in-Gehenna commandments if you break them. Sure, there are some extremely depraved incorrigibles. So let them make license plates or do anything socially useful in solitary for the rest of their lives. The State has no jurisdiction to kill anyone. That's why an "unjust war" is considered nothing less than mass murder. It's God's jurisdiction. So lets hope that the Supreme Court takes the opportunity to issue something other than the narrowest ruling that addresses only whether drug A must be substituted with drug B to send them to their maker sooner.

Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown Washington, DC is sponsoring a very special event this Sunday.
On Sunday, September 30th at 10:10 AM and at 7:00 PM, Holy Trinity Church has invited Sr. Helen Prejean to speak to the Parish community on How Do You Live a Life that Does Justice? What I Believe. Sr. Helen's presentation is offered as part of the Adult Education Lecture Series this Fall sponsored by The William J. Byron, S.J. Fund for Adult Education. For more information on Sr. Helen's presentation, please check out our website at

Monday, September 24, 2007



Every year, the Sunday before the opening of the fall session of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC there is a Mass at Saint Matthews Cathedral (1725 Rhode Island Ave, NW, Washington, DC) ( for the purpose of blessing those involved with Justice in America. Five of the Nine US Supreme Court Justices in the US now are Catholic. Typically three or more of them come to this Mass, as do dignitaries from all branches of government and various Cabinet Secretaries and sometimes even the Chief Executives as well as Justice Department officials/attorneys of all levels.

This year the RED MASS is at 10:00 am SEPTEMBER 30, 2007.

The Amazing News is that everyone, I mean literally everyone is welcome to come. But because the world is welcome to attend you have to show up early enough to get a seat or the Secret Service will have you cordoned off into some sattelite location. It officially starts at 10:00 am but the doors open at 9:00 and there is typically already formed a line around the block by that time.

The event is sponsored by the John Carroll Society ( who puts on a brunch at a nearby hotel afterwards at which time it gives out awards for pro bono leadership of various individuals and law firms who contributed to serving the legal needs of the poor in DC through the Archdiocese Legal Network. Anyone can come to this as well for the mere price of the brunch ticket of $40.00 by calling 703-560-1042.

This year the Archbishop of Washington, his Excellency the Most Reverend Donald W. Wuerl,
is the Principal Celebrant who is hosting the Archbishop of Milwaukee, His Excellency the Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan to give the homily (sermon.)

This is a time where we have seen some major changes in the Administration of Justice with the resignation of Gonzales, so it seems a particularly appropriate time to invoke the blessings of God and His wisdom on the Judicial system.

If you can't come, we still need your prayers.

St. Thomas More Prayer
"Lord, grant that I may be able in argument, accurate in analysis, strict in study, candid with clients, and honest with adversaries. Sit with me at my desk and listen with me to my client's plaints, read with me in my library, and stand beside me in court, so that today I shall not, in order to win a point lose my soul."

A Dieu Marcel

From Liz Berney

Dear Friends,

For those who have not heard the sad news, two wonderful men who were dear friends & clients from my literary agent days & work, Marcel Marceau (
and Gene Savoy, both passed away during the past few days (Marceau last night and Gene a week ago Friday).

Both men lived inspiring, remarkable, full lives. Marceau continued performing throughout the world, delighting audiences of all ages, for 50 years, until just a few years ago. Gene (who was the discoverer of ancient Peruvian cities & recreated ancient sea voyages) also continued his explorations for over 4 decades, until quite recently. Marceau had a heroic past - he was born Jewish (and had changed his name to that of a 19th c. French general). In WW II, he & his brother worked with the French resistance, including leading Jewish children out of France to safety in Switzerland. Marceau's father died in Auschwitz.

Both Gene and Marceau were sensitive and kind men, who reached out to people on a personal level. I still remember Gene's kind call and beautiful letter to me when my father passed away 5 years ago. One of many special memories of Marceau occurred one evening about 8 years ago, when we were meeting to discuss business after a performance, while my younger daughter was sitting in a corner of the room drawing pictures. Marceau thoughtfully went over to my daughter and praised her drawings and artistic ability - a memory which was a great inspiration to her & her artwork.

The Marceau Foundation may have a memorial service for Marceau in New York. If so, I'll try to send out another email with the info, since many of the recipients of this email also had a chance to meet Marceau and may be interested in attending.It's difficult to know what to say at such times. Marceau's beautiful quote probably said it best -

"Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mia Culpa, Mia Culpa

It is Yom Kippur (so if I were really Jewish I should not be on the web)- After sundown I will turn the lights out and the computer off in solidarity. This is the time I am told to really reflect hard on the moral failings, sins and transgressions we indulged in negligently or intentionally this past year and to humbly ask forgiveness. Catholics are supposed to do this daily or at least weekly and drop in the Confessional.

The National Conscience has two things on which it need chest-beat and start the wrenching of garments. The Nation as a whole has to figure out how to straighten up and fly right on these points which demand bipartisan non-bickering real solutions: it needs to face truth and consequences in a really intellectually honest way heretofore unseen-and we need to come together on it:


I pass no judgment on, while many have opinions on, which mass murdering is worse; the tacit legal permission for taking of innocent life that cannot defend itself or speak against it in numbers that surpass that of the WWII holocaust annually by women given legal license to self mutilate and discard their offspring in the process, or the civil engineering of a foreign country by Optional Experiamental War that has wiped out close to a million foreigners and several thousand of our own and cost us over 3 Billion dollars that should have been put to better use (for medical treatment of uninsured to save lives for example.)
On sheer numbers the Fetacide Holocaust suggests it is the more pressingly urgent moral crisis.
The culpability of the Nation's budget (your tax dollars) putting weaponry in the hands of Americans to perpetrate murder and mayhem on a country that didn't ask us in and doesn't really want us there, is a whole other level begging for moral scrutiny.

Back to the Fetacidal Holocaust:
If you attribute the taking of the pre-born human genetically coded DNA with potential to become a fully human entity as seriously as you take a post-born one you can't sit idly by and let it happen without doing everything in love to stop it. And why wouldn't you attribute the taking of pre-born human genetically coded DNA with potential to become a fully human entity as seriously as you take a post- born one? What's the difference between the "blob of tissue" that could become the next Einstein and the crying nursing baby that could become the next Einstein? If you say one is just a blob of tissue and one is actually a baby, I say, they are both the next Einstein.
But the moral crisis in the destruction of the next Einstein does not fall exclusively on the despirate frightened almost-mother. It falls on society, the Nation as a whole. Because we as a whole Nation have to figure out a better way to make the Almost- Mother WANT to become the Mother of Einstein no matter what the state of her maturity, financial posture, family situation or state of social distress or disgrace in which she finds herself. And that is a much broader legislative challenge than telling her she does or does not have a choice. The "choice" rhetoric is just beside the point. It's so tired.
God gave women the Choice already whether they want to carry a conceived embryo to term or not. Women have the choice already, legal or not to eat right or at all, to slit their wrists in depressed despair, to jump off a bridge, or to take a bottle of 407 cleaning solution and shoot it up themselves to self- abort and self-sterilize themselves. No law is going to make a depressed despirate woman stop being depressed and despirate unless that law goes directly to the root of the reasons of why a pregnant woman would be so despirate or depressed that she kills her offspring before it sees daylight. No law is going to take the natural Choice away from women to protect or not protect, nurture or not nurture the life within them (certainly not one criminally penalizing the conduct- how much jail time should one get if one succeeds in suicide?) thus laws should be much better constructed to provide the socio-economic structures which encourage women to WANT their children and society has to be reformed at a much more basic level, welcoming in all life and all pregnant women.

There really should be a bi-partisan commission established to address this creatively-the surface of which is barely scratched because everyone is ducking the nasty rhetoric and name calling.

The Catholic Church is at the forefront of trying to address it in aggressively promoting abstinence/chastity (see,, establishing pre and post abortion counseling such as the Gabriel Project ( and Raphael Project, many post-abortive counseling organizations and efforts, and praying and counseling outside abortion clinics. There is a group now praying and fasting starting Tuesday called "40 Days For Life" ( which is a national effort to raise prayer and consciousness regarding ( the scandal of neglect of potentially pregnant women and to broaden the perspective on what the "choices" really are to encourage keeping one's pre-born child alive. See,

We have to move the legislative dialogue out of the arena of the "choice" discussion into
the "incentive" discussion. Face it- women already have the choice. By punishing one choice does nothing to take away the ability to choose-it just punishes women (not men by the way whose interjecting intervention apparently caused the unwanted pregnancy so they bear great and equal moral responsibility while no Republican agenda has ever sought to make them bear any legal responsibility for an unwanted pregnancy resulting in an abortion-as if the woman got pregnant by herself. That, ladies and gentlemen is what we call in the trade an "Equal Protection" problem).

Start Answering that - and make her believe it- and you have done more than demanding Roe v. Wade be overturned.

Here I have to interject a slide show of my sister Katie, her husband Chris and their baby, my nephew Jack who was born when Katie was 42 in a very "high risk" situation. (they are on vacation and the back of the gallery are a few of their friends with their baby- also born to someone over 40)-

Learning War No More-
On the War in Iraq, no one can say enough - not Cindy Sheehan, Not Move-On, not John Kerry, not anyone, on the depraved, insane, absurd, immoral, tactically ignorant, obscenely murderous diplomatic and foreign policy failure that the war in Iraq is. The disgust-o-meter has flown off the radar. It is absolutely frightening that this country has been steered at the helm by the team of self-impressed, woefully misguided Foreign Policy pseudo-diplomats who so misunderstand world geopolitics that they have conned the country for 4 years (longer than all of WWII) into the illusion that this INSANE war is helpful to Israel or the US. It's beyond scandalous. It is frighteningly immoral. It is plainly unjust. It is probably criminal.

So the Congress/Senate needs to get off of Move-On and get back to the business of really trying to make the world a better safer place. I received this email which I pass along for your consideration.

Catholics United Opposes Partisan Attack on

Dear Friends,

Catholics United joined the following statement in response to yesterday's shameful move by Senate Republicans to shift public attention away from our nation's most pressing moral concern: ending the war in Iraq.

Catholics like us need now, more than ever, to add our voices to the growing chorus of Americans demanding real change in Iraq. If you have not done so already, please sign the Catholics for an End to the War petition at

If you have signed the petition, please help us get to our goal of 20,000 signatures. Refer your family and friends today.

We are planing more activities in the coming weeks and months to make Catholics' voices heard, including advertising campaigns and local actions. Please stay tuned for further information.
In Peace,
Chris KorzenExecutive Director, Catholics United

Allies Statement in Support of

The resolution condemning yesterday sponsored by Senate Republicans was nothing more than a distraction from the real issue at hand: their unpopular support for a failed war in Iraq that is dragging on without end. Regardless of one's position on the ad in question, Senator Cornyn's resolution and the Republican assault on represented a frightening attack on free speech and an outrageous attempt to intimidate an organization, its allies and the popular movement in America they have helped lead to end the war in Iraq. Rather than intimidating or the coalition which is working to bring a responsible end to the war in Iraq, we are confident that such attempts to stifle debate will only further energize the progressive movement and the effort to end the war.

US Action Campaign for America's Future
Americans United for Change
Progressive States Network
American Family Voices
Win Without War
Catholics United

and this should really tick you off:

Nothing Premised on a Lie will Stand because its Foundation is an Illusion.

Ms. Butler,
A 2,000 word article, Seven CIA Veterans Challenge 9/11 Commission Report — Official Account of 9/11 a "Joke" and a "Cover-up", appeared today on OpEdNews. Link to article.
The article details severe criticism of the 9/11 Commission Report by seven CIA veterans and their calls for a new investigation. A brief quote from each of the individuals featured in the article appears below.
Please help disseminate this critically important information.
Best regards, Alan
Raymond McGovern, former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council and 27-year CIA veteran, "I think at simplest terms, there's a cover-up. The 9/11 Report is a joke."
William Christison, former National Intelligence Officer (NIO) and former Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political, and 29-year CIA veteran, "We very seriously need an entirely new very high level and truly independent investigation of the events of 9/11. I think you almost have to look at the 9/11 Commission Report as a joke and not a serious piece of analysis at all."
Melvin Goodman, PhD, former Division Chief of the CIA's Office of Soviet Affairs and Senior Analyst from 1966 - 1990, "The final report is ultimately a coverup. I don't know how else to describe it."
Robert Baer, 21-year CIA veteran and specialist in the Middle East, who was awarded the Career Intelligence Medal upon his retirement in 1997, "Until we get a complete, honest, transparent investigation …, we will never know what happened on 9/11."
Robert David Steele has 25 years of combined service in the CIA and the U.S. Marine Corps. Second ranking civilian in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence from 1988 - 1992. Member of the Adjunct Faculty of Marine Corps University. "I am forced to conclude that 9/11 was at a minimum allowed to happen as a pretext for war. … I have to tell anyone who cares to read this: I believe it. I believe it enough to want a full investigation that passes the smell test of the 9/11 families as well as objective outside observers."
Lynne Larkin, former CIA Operations Officer who served in several CIA foreign stations before being assigned to the CIA's Counter-Intelligence Center. There, she co-chaired a multi-agency task force, which coordinated intelligence efforts among the many intelligence and law enforcement agencies. One of twenty-five signers of a letter to Congress expressing their concerns about "serious shortcomings," "omissions," and "major flaws" in the 9/11 Commission Report and offering their services for a new investigation.
David MacMichael, PhD, former Senior Estimates Officer at the CIA with special responsibility for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the CIA's National Intelligence Council. Prior to joining the CIA, he served for four years as a civilian counter-insurgency advisor to the U.S. government, and prior to that was a U.S. Marine Corps officer for ten years. One of twenty-five signers of a letter to Congress expressing their concerns about "serious shortcomings," "omissions," and "major flaws" in the 9/11 Commission Report and offering their services for a new investigation.
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Thursday, September 13, 2007

An Unlikely Green?


Question: What does a retired Cardinal do after retirement?
Answer: Almost as much as he did before retirement.

The 77 year old Cardinal McCarrick, formerly the Cardinal and Archbishop of Washington, DC is perhaps an unlikely Green. But not so unlikely when
one considers his understanding of God as Creator and the Family of God living in the Family Home called Planet Earth. We need to clean house. From the perspective of his 77 years it looks like in places we have become rather slothful slobs, maybe even vandals, in caring for our environment which is putrifying before our eyes. God is an Artist. We are throwing mud all over his paintings.

From Greenland, no less, the ever spry Cardinal McCarrick attended a conference on religion, the environment and other things normally associated with those crazy wide eyed tree hugging whale watchers, the Kerrys and uncle Al. It even got the attention of the Greenland Press. No one held up a sign saying "God is Green" but they may as well have.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yes, Seth, We Can Do Better**

This Just In From Senator Bob Casey

Dear Cynthia,

After recently returning from a trip to Iraq, I am more convinced than ever of the need to transition the mission in Iraq and change the Bush policy.
In February, I voted against President Bush's decision to send more U.S. troops to Iraq.
Seven months later, the signs are clear that the Bush troop surge did not achieve its goal of buying time for the Iraqis to get their country in order. While in Iraq, I met with troops and U.S. officials including General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker as well as top Iraqi leaders. The troops I met were in the Green Zone and at a forward patrol base. Their bravery and commitment was inspiring.
Unfortunately, I had a very different impression of the Iraqi officials. They demonstrated no sense of urgency to undertake the political reforms that are needed to stabilize Iraq. Even as their country is torn apart by civil war and, as I write this email, 3,754 American troops including 175 Pennsylvanians have lost their lives, the Iraqi government has not stepped up to take control of their country. While in Iraq, the security problems are clear to see. Baghdad is a city of massive concrete barriers erected to restrict access of suicide bombers.
The streets were too dangerous to travel on so we were transported by helicopter that flew close to the ground and very fast to avoid missile attacks. And while I was at a patrol base, one of my meetings was punctuated by the sound and explosion of a rocket landing a few hundred yards away. Assessments of the progress in Iraq have been grim. The Bush administration's own assessment in the National Intelligence Estimate says that al Qaeda has regained strength to pre-9/11 levels. And governmental reports give failing grades to progress by our own Department of Homeland Security to improve security at home and to progress by the Iraqis on key military, political and diplomatic objectives. My trip to Iraq and these reports have redoubled my resolve and the sense of urgency to change our policy in Iraq.
As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, you can be assured that I will continue to press the Bush administration and General Petraeus in upcoming hearings. And I will continue to urge my Republican colleagues to join me to pass legislation to change the Bush policy in Iraq.

Sincerely, Bob Casey

**The title responds to the closing comment in the Movie "No End In Sight" that everyone needs to see in which a Marine Seth asks not-too-rhetorically (paraphrased)- Do you mean we can't do better than this? Don't tell the Marines who fought in Fallujiah that. Don't tell the Marines still there that. Don't tell me we can't do better. That makes me angry.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Far more Americans have died in Iraq than were killed on 9-11 and we are heading toward the 4,000 mark. Unholy obscene numbers of Iraqis have died at the hands of Americans.
The military surge has not produced a corollary fruitful political surge.
We are sending Americans in the middle of someone else's Civil War.
We are squandering Treasure as bad stewards on borrowed time and dime.
The US is not safer. Israel is not safer.
The Foreign Policy myths and wishes have stayed the course and run their course. There is no coherent intellectually honest strategy (and you know it).
For everything there is a season, and now is the smart season to REDEPLOY.
The fruit of more combat is more death and dismemberment.
The fruit of Diplomacy is Peace.
(I received this today and forward it for your thoughtful consideration.)

Ms. Butler,
Over the last 8 weeks a world renowned scientist and three nationally recognized engineers have called for a new investigation of 9/11, yet none of these have been reported in the mainstream media.
Most recently, on Sept. 4, Joel S. Hirschhorn, Ph.D., who served for 12 years as a Senior Staff Member of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and later as Director of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources for the National Governors Association, called for a new investigation of 9/11, saying "First, let the technical truth emerge. Then, if necessary, cope with the inevitable political, conspiracy and other questions." Former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment Senior Staff Member Calls for New Investigation of 9/11
On Aug. 27, Lynn Margulis, Ph.D., member of the National Academy of Sciences and world renowned scientist, characterized the official account of 9/11 as "a fraud" and called for a new investigation, "I suggest that those of us aware and concerned demand that the glaringly erroneous official account of 9/11 be dismissed as a fraud and a new, thorough, and impartial investigation be undertaken." National Academy of Sciences Member Calls for New 9/11 Investigation
An Aug. 21 article reported that James Quintiere, Ph.D., former Chief of NIST's Fire Science Division, called for an independent review of the World Trade Center Twin Tower collapse investigation. "I wish that there would be a peer review of this," he said, referring to the NIST investigation. "I think all the records that NIST has assembled should be archived. I would really like to see someone else take a look at what they've done; both structurally and from a fire point of view. ... I think the official conclusion that NIST arrived at is questionable." Former Chief of NIST's Fire Science Division Calls for Independent Review of World Trade Center Investigation
On July 16, J. Marx Ayres, former member of the National Institute of Sciences Building Safety Council and former member of the California Seismic Safety Commission called for a new investigation of 9/11, "Steven Jones' call for a serious investigation of the hypothesis that the WTC 7 and the Twin Towers were brought down, not just by impact damage and fire, but through the use of pre-positioned 'cutter-charges' must be the rallying cry for all building design experts to speak out." Former California Seismic Safety Commissioner Endorses 9/11 Truth Movement
Additionally, this week, Commander Ralph Kolstad, U.S. Navy ‘Top Gun’ pilot, questioned the official account of 9/11 and called for a new investigation. "When one starts using his own mind, and not what one was told, there is very little to believe in the official story." U.S. Navy 'Top Gun' Pilot Questions 9/11
The mainstream media has not covered any of these stories. Please help disseminate this critically important information.
Best regards, Alan

All Roads Lead To


Any accidental Pilgrim can wonder into any church in Rome and find the most amazing pieces of art and history everywhere in front of them. There are stunningly brilliant statues and paintings everywhere-everyone should get to Rome at least one time in their life (and Firenze, Siena, Assisi, etc...)
In one church there is standing just off to the right of the altar (if you are standing behind the altar) a little known Michelangelo sculpture of Jesus. The Story, which has inspired about 500 years of homilies, goes (as told by an Archbishop) that when Michelangelo was asked how he possibly could capture the Spirit of Jesus to create such a beautiful work of art he replied:

"It's easy: I take the raw marble and just chip away everything NOT JESUS."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Lets Seriously Get A Grip

Before we slide off the Cliff

I was in Starbucks today with my new favorite toy; Verizon wireless (it's a trap for the warrantless wireless wiretap NSA folks). I was sitting at a table and I couldn't help but overhear a very attractive young woman, probably in her mid-20s, talking to her other very attractive young woman friend about her recent divorce and abortion. She was so discrete about it anyone in Starbucks earshot now knows the price of her abortion. Abortions are, by the way, I was shocked to learn far less expensive than a root canal. It costs less to dispose of the fruit of your womb than it does to clean out the roots of a bad tooth and cap it. Oh- and her insurance covered much of it.
I wouldn't say that she was glib, so much as non-challant. It was a medical procedure, involved some medications she detailed, and had less emotional consequence it seemed than getting rid of the creep that was her x-husband. I wanted to say- I just had a root canal, you just killed your first born (before it saw daylight). Hello? Anyone home under that cute Anne Klein $200. sundress? You had a living, growing, human DNA coded being inside you and
you -what-checked your insurance policy to see how much out of pocket it would cost you to rip
it from the walls of your motherhood? Care for another VanillaMochaCarmelMachiatto?
-And where do you think that you sent that creature that was ripped from the walls of your motherhood?
I don't know what we are going to do to make people realize what they are doing. I don't know if sending all the "I used to be a hip slut like you and now I am a born-again chaste virgin and still georgeous" spokespeople to campuses, Focus on the Family and EWTN shows is going to wake people up.
Federally funding mandatory ultrasounds is a good start. You could set them up in church basements or in the Gabriel Project clinics. Why doesn't every church have one? Why doesn't every McDonald's have one? Buy a happy meal and get a free ultra-sound. That thing-yeah, with tiny fingers, toes and eyelids-that's what your "procedure" just killed. If an ultra-sound saves just one life it is worth more than the price of the fanciest organ.

Tomorrow, September 5, at 5:30 pm at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC is a Mass in honor of the tenth anniversary of the passing of Mother Theresa. Invite anyone you see at Starbucks tomorrow. You never know what life you may save.

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of (all) the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies – presenting all your members and faculties – as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.: (Romans 12:1)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Service With Honor


They saw things you hope you never have to.
We paid them to risk injury. We owe them care.
We have to do a better job taking care of the war wounded. This URGENT story emailed to me seemed worthy of attention (facts have not been verified).

Someone is hopefully paying attention.

Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:17 am (PST)Subject:
Please help save Private Ryan: This Lakota Warrior served two tours in Iraq, participated in over 160 missions, now the Army at Ft.Carson, Colo. wants to kick him out without helpDate: Mon, 27 Aug 2007 13:33:54 -0600The Army is even calling this wounded soldier, "Dead Wood" Write letters, contact your Congressional Delegation, send funds, DO SOMETHING! This Lakota Warrior needs help. The address to help is at the bottom of this article.Gay KingmanColumn: Help lacking for hidden war wound - Sunday. August 26, 2007Pfc. Ryan LeCompteIt's been hell trying to save Private Ryan.
Pfc. Ryan LeCompte, an Army scout, has been diagnosed by military and private doctors with post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury after serving two tours in Iraq with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

He came home with a wounded mind and a broken body.

Now senior officers want to get rid of him.

The 27-year-old Lakota warrior from Lower Brule, S.D., was a standout soldier, earning accolades for working tirelessly, without complaint, despite the long hours and harsh conditions he faced, according to a December 2003 award recommendation.He participated in more than 160 combat missions.He was an unstoppable force that ranks him among the best in the Thunder Squadron.That was then.Now senior officers at Fort Carson, Colo., argue he should be kicked out of the military without benefits for misconduct, charges that include missing a unit formation and allegedly hitting two soldiers.LeCompte's chain of command has made every effort to mentor and rehabilitate him into a productive citizen and soldier, wrote the Army's congressional coordinator, Kenia Bultman, in an April response to an inquiry from Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D.LeCompte's actions continue to defy the good order and discipline of the unit and have a negative impact on the rest of the soldiers.Tammie LeCompte, Ryan's wife, asked the senator's office for help. She said her husband was receiving poor medical care, was harassed by supervisors and was facing a dishonorable discharge after seven years of service.The soldier had been on post at Fort Carson for more than a year before he was admitted to the Sheridan, Wyo., Veterans Administration Hospital for a six-week program, including treatment for substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.He was released in June. But his supervisors had already been building a case to have him discharged.On Aug. 20, Ryan attended a hearing to argue against misconduct charges. But Col. Henry Butchâ Kievenaar said he would proceed with the separation, despite being aware of Ryan's combat-related injuries.The previous month, Kievenaar had discussed a medical separation for post-traumatic stress disorder with the LeComptes and an investigator with Veterans for America, according to a letter sent to the senator's office by Mary Foster, director of the military personnel division at Fort Carson.Maj. Gen. Robert Mixon, Fort Carson's post commander, will make the final decision in days to come.But the outcome doesn't look promising for Ryan.And it doesn't bode well for thousands of other military service members returning from war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan with emotional and mental problems.Dr. Steven Knorr, director of mental health at Evans Army Community Hospital at Fort Carson, issued a memo to unit commanders, urging them to move swiftly and decisively when deciding the fate of soldiers with emotional issues.

An excerpt from the memo posted on the National Public Radio Web site reads: PROCRASTINATING ON DISCIPLINE AND SEPARATION. Delaying administrative separation is counterproductive. Get rid of dead wood.Jason Forrester, a spokesman for Veterans for America, said about 38 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq suffer from mental health problems, but the military has inadequate resources to assist them.They need to be more proactive in screening people when they come back and start treating them rather than punishing them, Forrester said.The General Accounting Office is investigating other allegations made by Fort Carson soldiers who say they were mistreated or kicked out of the Army after admitting they suffer from PTSD.In fact, several multi-layered investigations are under way by the GAO, involving PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and deployment-related health problems.We've had a lot of requests for reports in this area, Laurie Ekstrand, GAO director of health care, said Friday. This is a huge issue.The first GAO report is expected in December. The rest will follow next year, Ekstrand said.Meanwhile, dozens of pages of military medical records show Ryan's PTSD and traumatic brain injury have led to nosebleeds, memory loss, panic attacks and headaches. He also falls asleep at inappropriate times.His tendency to sleep is probably a welcome escape from his bleak internal landscape, wrote Dr. David Polefka, a psychologist at the veterans hospital in Sheridan, Wyo.The military treated Ryan with prescription drugs. This spring, he was oversedated while a patient in the Cedar Springs Behavioral Health System in Colorado Springs, Colo.He had to be resuscitated, according to a July report from Dr. Roderick O'Brien of the U.S. Air Force Academy Hospital.Ryan's family members say he no longer resembles the 20-year-old who signed up for military service in 2000.Orville Langdeau of Lower Brule, S.D., said his nephew can't even make a simple decision by himself. He wants Ryan back among the Lakota, where he can heal and be honored as a combat veteran.In a July 23 psychiatric report, Dr. Anne League described Ryan as very sleepy, looks depressed. When I asked him questions, he either stared back at me, answered, I don't remember,' or I don't know,' or looked at his wife for help.The Fort Carson military psychiatrist said Ryan did appear confused or to not understand what I was asking him. He was alert and orientated, at least after he woke up. He also could not remember the last time he felt happy.Yet, in a medical evaluation requested by Ryan's command, League in a July 30 letter described Ryan as alert, exhibits good eye contact and understanding of his situation and has been able to establish one-to-one relationships. His activities of daily living functioning remain intact. Asked about the contradictory statements, written within a week of each other, League said, I can't speak with anyone without a release from the soldier.And if Ryan were to sign a release?Well, if he's not competent, it raises a lot of issues.

In May, Tammie LeCompte testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing called Invisible Casualties:
The Incidence and Treatment of Mental Health Problems by the U.S. Military.

But the hearing didn't give her the platform to say what her life with Ryan was really like.I'm alone and fighting the U.S. Army, she said last week.She quit her job to take care of Ryan and five children. Money is so tight the family is eligible for food stamps. The soldier's wife recently sold their bedroom suite for $600. The kids' beds are gone, too.Two months ago, Tammie sold the family living room set for $900.Anything at home and worth some money is at the pawn shop, she said.Jodi Rave covers Native issues for the Missoulian. Reach her at (406) 523-5299 or jodi.rave@.. .You can help

Friends have established the LeCompte Combat Lakota Warrior Fund. Electronic fund transfers can be sent to:Armed Forces Bank and the Air Academy Bank in Colorado Springs, Colo.Routing No. 101108319Account No. 5157153
The LeComptes' mailing address is:Ryan and Tammie LeCompte4314-D Inchon CircleFort Carson, CO 80913