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Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy Saint Patrick's Day 



Today is March 17, St. Patrick's Day. Be blessed, safe, and happy while celebrating Ireland's patron saint.

Saint Patrick's Breastplate

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort me and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

In the spirit of the holiday, check out LiveIreland.com for webcasts of Irish music and other media direct from Ireland.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

March for Life 2017: With New Hope and Determination 


Throngs of people in the March for Life surging toward the Supreme Court.

I participated on Friday, January 27th in the 44th annual 
March for Life in Washington, DC. This year's March, commemorating the infamous 1973 Supreme Court abortion decisions that imposed abortion on demand in the United States and the nearly sixty million abortions occurring since then, took place in the wake of the inauguration of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence into office. The March received the blessing and strong support of Pope Francis.

Instead of the Obama Administration's hostility to the cause of life and the even more ominous potential of a Hillary Clinton Administration, marchers came to DC in an environment of new hope and with determination to see real progress toward the protection of human lives in the womb. Still, it was important for the people to come and both encourage and hold accountable our new leaders, and to be a witness to the nation and the world. And come we did, with estimates of up to ~600,000 participants.

I started the day at an 8 AM Mass at St. Patrick's Church, offered by Cardinal Dolan of NY and packed with student groups and others from distant states. Then it was over to join the Family Research Council's ProLifeCon social media conference, featuring some key leaders and other amazing people in the prolife movement.

From there, after a quick McDonald's lunch, I headed to the March for Life Rally at the Washington Monument area. The crowds around there were so large, I stayed outside the security perimeter and listened to the start of the proceedings, highlighted by Vice President Mike Pence's  declaration of the Trump Administration's support for the prolife cause. I then made my way several blocks east along to Constitution Ave. to be at the front of the March to take some good pictures.

After joining some other photographers near the top of Capitol Hill for a while to capture the huge oncoming March, and then spending even more time in front of the Supreme Court, I went around the block back to Constitution Ave. and found the March was still surging strong. As our new President would say, this was really "Yuuuge!!" To end this awesome day, I joined friends and other marchers in celebration at DC's famous Irish pub, The Dubliner.


Huge crowd at the Washington Monument for the rally.




 VP Mike Pence pledged the Administration's support for the cause of life.

Here comes the Pro-Life Generation! (Students for Life of America).


Good to have some badass feminists on the side of life!


Approaching the Capitol: Nonviolent healthcare definitely does not include abortion.



The powerful presence of those involved in abortion who are silent no more.


Signs that succinctly state the case for protecting life.


A couple of powerful signs that couldn't say it any more clearly.


May the Supreme Court turn to the Constitution and protect life.


The many marchers continued to surge for ~2 hours.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Remembering Fallen Pioneers 



NASA, the nation and the world are observing this and next week the anniversaries of human losses in spaceflight: Apollo 1 (fifty years ago tomorrow, January 27), Challenger (thirty one years  ago Saturday, January 28), and Columbia (fourteen years ago Next Wednesday,  February 1).

I still remember all too well that Friday night in 1967. I was at home with my brother watching a science fiction show on ABC called Time Tunnel when the first news bulletins started coming over about the catastrophic fire. It was a terrible shock to an eleven year old boy caught up in the excitement of the space age,. It was most unexpected because it came not during flight but during a ground test that I was not even aware was happening that day.

May they be always remembered, along with the four Russians, the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo pilot and all those who have or will give their lives in the future as humans expand outward to explore, develop and settle new places in the cosmos. May God grant them all eternal rest.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Why We March 

This is a slightly revised and updated article I first wrote and posted in 2004 at this time.

March for Life 2014 ascending Capitol Hill on the way to the Supreme Court
On Friday, January 27, the 44th  annual March for Life will mark the anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decisions which imposed abortion-on-demand in the United States on January 22, 1973. Once again, concerned citizens will gather for the annual March, which in recent years has usually drawn an estimated several hundred thousand participants. Now, why do so many people consider it so important to take time on a weekday to come to Washington, DC at the coldest time of the year to make their voice heard on this matter?

Before I go on any further, I need to say a couple of things. First, nothing in this article is meant to condemn anyone who has had an abortion or has been involved in abortion in some way. Far from condemning those with an abortion in their past, the people in the prolife movement are about healing and forgiveness, and want it to be clear that there is hope after abortion. Post-abortion counseling can be found through many church denominations and pregnancy counseling centers.

And second, while the prolife movement consists largely of people with strong religious convictions who feel called by God to defend the defenseless, that doesn't make the protection of human life a narrow religious issue. The facts that the defenseless exist and that they deserve protection in the human family can be persuasively advocated by non-religiously reasoned arguments.

First, let's start with a little scientific background (from the Science for Unborn Human Life website) about how each of us began our lives as unique human beings. A new human being is conceived when a sperm fertilizes an egg. The sperm has 23 chromosomes and so does the egg. But the fertilized egg has 46, half from each parent, and is genetically unique. These 46 chromosomes, which are fixed at conception, establish the child's sex and are a blueprint for how it will develop, both during pregnancy and after birth.

Blood vessels start to form very early, about 13-18 days after fertilization. Then, on about the 20th day - nearly the end of the third week - the foundation of the brain, the spinal cord, and the entire nervous system is established. The heart begins to beat on about the 22nd day after conception, circulating blood throughout the child. The arms begin to form on about day 26, followed by the beginnings of the legs on day 28, the same day that the mouth opens for the first time.

Both the eyes and ears are developing rapidly during the seventh week after conception. At this time, the thumbs, neck, heels of the feet and all of the fingers are also present. Taste buds begin to form during the eighth week after conception. All parts of the limbs are apparent at this time. In addition, the fingers and toes have lengthened and are completely separated.

By the end of the eighth week the overwhelming majority (several thousand) of the body's organs, structures and systems have already begun to develop. Few, if any, new structures begin to form after this time. During the remainder of the pregnancy, development consists mainly of growth and maturation of the parts of the body that are already present.

Isolated arm, leg and backward head movements begin at about 7 to 10 weeks after conception. During the ninth week, a regular pattern of breathing movements is observed, with a median frequency of about 30 breaths each hour.

These are just the highlights of how you developed during the first 2-3 months of your life. Now consider that a majority of abortions are performed during the tenth to twelfth week of gestation. Some are performed much later in the pregnancy, when the child has grown larger and any unbiased observer would recognize a baby when they see one.

So why if the evidence so clearly indicates that a unique human life begins at conception, how did the deliberate and violent destruction of that life come to be imposed as a 'constitutional right'? Time does not permit describing the whole history of abortion or the intertwining influences of the eugenics and population control movements. Let's start with the socially turbulent late sixties when a growing pro-abortion movement subversively exploited the legitimate aspirations of women for greater rights and participation in society.

The late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former abortionist and co-founder of the pro-abortion group NARAL, since changed his mind and heart and became a leading prolife advocate. He points out the disinformation at the heart of the pro-abortion campaign.
- "The statistics that we gave to the American public about illegal abortions annually; the statistics we fabricated regarding the number of women dying from illegal abortions annually; all of these matters were pure fabrication and still persist to this very day."

- "We spoke of 5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year. I confess that I knew the figures were totally false. It was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?"

- "We in NARAL were in the business of coining slogans principally for the media . . . we scattered catchy slogans for them . . . to use . . . in their stories. Slogans like "reproductive rights", "freedom of choice", "pro-choice". For many years we've known them to be hollow and meaningless. They're just catchy and, essentially, without substance."

The movement made rapid progress. California, New York and a few other states passed 'liberalized' abortion laws (though some other states rejected them). But what imposed abortion on American law were two Supreme Court cases, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, pronounced on January 22, 1973. The combined effect of the two decisions was to effectively impose abortion-on-demand throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Since that time, nearly sixty million human beings have been exterminated by abortion in the United States.

Aside from the grave issue that was decided, the finding that abortion is part of a constitutional 'right of privacy' is considered an overreach of judicial power even by some legal scholars who describe themselves as 'prochoice'. The 'reasoning' was based on 'penumbras' the justices claim to have seen in the constitution.

Did you know that the two plaintiffs in the Roe and Doe cases, Norma McCorvey and the late Sandra Cano, have filed affidavits to the effect that they were manipulated into their roles and that the decisions should be overturned? You would think that this development would be considered unprecedented in Supreme Court history, but apparently Chris Matthews, Diane Sawyer, the New York Times, etc. forgot to inform you.

One fact that is becoming evident that abortion-on-demand is not such a great thing for women. Abortion has left many women emotionally and sometimes physically scarred. Campaigns such as Silent No More Awareness are tapping into this hidden anguish.

Also evident is the effect on our society, with conflicting attitudes on how we treat not only the unborn, but also the sick, disabled and elderly. Consider the heart wrenching case of the judicially imposed death of Terri Schindler-Schiavo in 2005. Abortion has torn marriages and families apart, and led to a hardened and increasingly violent culture. The raging debate over embryonic stem cell research and human cloning shows the growing risk posed by a disregard for the dignity of every human life.

So, we have had for the past forty four years, a culture that in some ways has grown cynical, forgoing the promise of a hopeful future for instant gratification, or more often, the resignation to unimaginative 'solutions' that pit mother against child or people against the planet. One is reminded of a quote from the great Irish poet William Butler Yeats:
"The blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere a ceremony of innocence was drowned."

These Supreme Court abortion decisions were assumed to have 'settled' the issue in our society. Yet much to the consternation of the pro-abortion establishment, the movement of concerned citizens to protect life has only grown in strength over the past forty four years. The prolife movement has pursued multiple paths: educating the public, lobbying and litigating for change, participating in politics, and especially reaching out to help women with unplanned pregnancies.

On the political front, abortion continues to play a pivotal role in national and state elections and in the debate over health care and other public legislation, and is becoming increasingly intertwined with issues of religious and personal liberty and freedom of speech. The abortion conflict has recently ramped up with the release of Investigative videos revealing the hideous practices of Planned Parenthood exploiting their unborn victims and the women they claim to serve in order to harvest unborn human body parts. The powers-that-be and others who want to silence the prolife movement are terrified (even if subconsciously) that the brutal reality of abortion will be exposed. Presidents, election campaigns, economic cycles and other controversies come and go, but the struggle for life goes on.

Particularly significant is that the change in public attitudes on abortion is most striking among young people (who've lost peers they've never met). This is manifested in polling results and an upsurge of prolife activism among teenscollege students, and new media savvy activists who are exposing the dark side of the abortion industry. This is much to the consternation of their professors and, in some cases, their parents. Sort of adds a new twist to some lyrics from the sixties by Buffalo Springfield:
"Young people speakin' their minds, A-gettin' so much resistance from behind."

This year, with a new president and congress more disposed toward protecting life than we've had in many years, and the possibility of new Supreme Court justices who may be more inclined to question whether the Roe and Doe decisions are really consistent with the Constitution, there is renewed hope. The new leadership is already starting to take action. Still, we must be there to both encourage and hold accountable our new leaders, and to be a witness to the nation and the world.

So the buses are starting to roll, as thousands from distant states once again journey to Washington, where many will gather in prayer the night before or the morning of the March. Then we will rally and march, knowing that those we are trying to defend would some day defend our nation, write great literature, cure disease, compose stirring music, and explore and begin to settle the Solar System.

But more than for their potential accomplishments, we speak out for them simply because of the inherent dignity of each of their lives. In so doing we are responding to a great calling as individuals and as a civilization. And we'll continue to speak and march and work and pray, confident in the hope that, one of these years, we'll no longer face the cold winds. Instead, we'll gather on a warm spring day to celebrate the inclusion of the youngest in the human family within the protection of the law.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Our New President is Inaugurated 




Donald J. Trump was sworn in as our 45th President yesterday with the usual inaugural drama and ceremony. I had the honor of being among the hundreds of thousands who witness this historic change in person.

President Trump's inaugural address (video and text here) repeated the themes of his campaign acknowledging that many Americans have been left behind economically and socially and that America needs to reassert its self interest. The speech then took a lofty tone of renewed optimism for the future.
Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. 
We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again. 
We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow. 
A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions. 
It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.  
And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the windswept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they fill their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same almighty Creator.
The recent campaign and indeed much of the national conversation in recent years, even decades has been increasingly rancorous. This division spilled over into Inauguration Day with peaceful protests, which are in the American tradition, but unfortunately some violent outbursts, which must never be tolerated or excused.

All of the hopes of many, and fears of others, about President Trump's administration,have been based on speculation up until yesterday at noon. Now the action really begins, and the president and his administration can be judged on whether he does the right things and does them effectively.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Circus On The Severn Convenes For 2017 



The Maryland General Assembly convened on Wednesday for its 2017 ninety day run. Transportation will be among the major issues of contention between Gov. Larry Hogan and the leadership of the General Assembly

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016: What a Ride! 

Another year has passed. While each year has its individual joys and sorrows felt by each of us and those we love, there are those events and historical developments we share in common, and 2016 certainly has had some unique ones.

2016 saw its share of bloody violence, from all out warfare in Aleppo to terrorism in Orlando to individual murderous acts in Baltimore, to name only a few examples. Tensions festered along racial and other lines, sometimes agitated to advance political agendas.

Progress continued to advance forward, with fits and starts, on many fronts including medicine, technology, commercial space development, etc. Bold plans are laid out for the future (e.g. Elon Musk's plans for settling Mars). Time will tell which plans bear fruit and on what time scale.

In the US, presidential politics dominated attention. A year ago, many wondered whether Donald Trump's candidacy had serious potential or was more of a pop culture sensation. After out-hustling a formidable and talented GOP field of candidates, Trump swept to the nomination in Cleveland and went to take on the favored (and Media darling) Hillary Clinton. In the early morning hours of November 9, many were astounded to find that Donald Trump acquired enough electoral votes to become the 45th President of the United States. Economic anxiety, national security concerns, rejection of extreme "progressive" policies on abortion and other issues all can be cited as deciding factors, along with a general sense that elites in power are not in touch with the concerns of many average citizens.

With the presidential transition pressing ahead and appointments to key positions already named, the table is being set for some of the leading developments of 2017. Trump's confrontational personality combined with the unhinged negativity of some of his opponents mean there will likely be rancorous times ahead, but more important is whether we can make headway in protecting life, defending liberty, maintaining national security and global stability, and achieving expanded prosperity.

Well, wishing you and yours God's blessings and peace and all the best on this new frontier we call 2017.

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Have a Holy and Merry Christmas! 

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment,
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth
to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem,
because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there,
the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them
and the glory of the Lord shone around them,
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
"Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you:
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes
and lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
"Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

Luke 2:1-14

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Hanukkah and Our Attitude about the Future 

(This is a post I originally made in 2003 and feel is worth repeating each year, especially in light of some very dark anti-human views of the future vs. ongoing and emerging developments that can provide resources for future generations (e.g.  this headline from last year.)

Rabbi Daniel Lapin has a provocative column in WorldNetDaily on a message of Hanukkah that is relevant to people of all faiths. He shows examples, ancient and modern, of how a pessimistic Malthusian worldview has been repeatedly disproved by the Creator's providence of material resources and the ingenuity to utilize them to provide for the future. Rabbi Lapin says:
It only seemed that we lacked sufficient copper, whale oil or wood. In reality, our God-given ingenuity developed exciting new technology that eliminated our need for each commodity just as it was becoming scarce.

Hanukkah's miracle was that, day after day, the Temple's menorah just kept on burning in spite of an apparent shortage of fuel - a metaphor, surely, for all apparent shortages that can be overcome with faith. Hanukkah invites us all to express gratitude to the Creator whose beneficence is boundless. It stimulates discussions that can spur our spiritual growth. It reminds us that with His gift of creativity, challenges become optimistic opportunities to partner with God in creatively solving all material shortage.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving! 

A special day set aside in our nation to give thanks to God for all His gifts to us.

Thanksgiving has a long history in our country, but the theme of giving thanks goes much further back in history, as recorded in the Bible. Some celebrations of giving thanks in America predate the Pilgrims, including  the celebration of Mass by Spanish settlers in what is now St.Augustine, FL. The end of this Thanksgiving weekend coincides with the First Sunday of Advent, as discussed in this reflection a few years ago by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, starting the season of spiritual preparation for Christmas.

Have a good time with family and friends and don't eat any more than I would. ;-)

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Monday, November 07, 2016

The 2016 Election 

Well, the campaign that seems to have lasted forever is finally coming to a conclusion. From a herd of seventeen Republican candidates and four Democratic candidates (recall Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb?), the winnowing process gradually narrowed the fields. I actually participated in the process, running as an alternate delegate candidate for Ted Cruz in the Maryland primary this year. And now the hand has been dealt, with the two major candidates (plus several minor ones). Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will be elected this week.

Hillary Clinton is dragging chains of baggage longer than those of Jacob Marley's ghost. Clinton Foundation corruption, unsecured email server, Benghazi, Whitewater, etc.

And the there are the critical issues of life, liberty, security and prosperity. (Protecting life from in the womb until natural death is a threshold issue for me.) Judicial nominations are critical. Not to mention the soaring health care premiums that many of us are experiencing.

As I noted at the top, Donald Trump was not my first choice (or 2nd, 3rd, etc.) for the Republican nomination. Trump is certainly an unconventional candidate with rough edges and a checkered past (and I in no way excuse or condone the alleged acts of sexual harassment). I think he came into the race with a huge ego and a lack of understanding of most of the issues and of how government works. While much of the ego remains, he does seem to have shown increasing seriousness about issues, from foreign/defense policy to protecting life to the economy and even on the future in space.

Some fear that Trump's sometimes rude or outlandish comments during the past year in a half make him and his supporters the equivalent of the fascist dictatorships that arose in Europe during the last century. While I could be proven terribly wrong, I don't think that is likely. I believe that the extreme corruption and deceitfulness combined with the radical world view of Clinton and her associates may present the greater danger to our way of life. Consider the WikiLeaks revelation of the audacity of campaign chair John Podesta and others to think that they could organize a movement to undermine the teachings of the Catholic Church. (Taking on the Church founded 2,000 years ago by Jesus Christ would be an ultimately futile gesture, but other powers in history have engaged in severe persecution in the attempt.)

One other thing. When the history of this election is written, the story of the media may be as big as that of the candidates. The bias of much of the established media toward liberal issues (especially social/cultural liberalism) and candidates, became so much more overt this time. Yet, the rise of alternate networks and especially of Internet social media have made it increasingly difficult for anyone to impose a single narrative on the reporting of current events. A fundamental reason our society is so divided is that people are relying on different sources of information, with many deeply distrusting the long established media institutions. Whatever the election outcome, an altered media landscape may be a long term consequence of this divisive political season.

Finally, we need to pray for the candidates and for the nations. History is ultimately in God's hands. (Recall 2 Chron 7:14.) We also need to be sure that our deep divisions do not separate families and friends. Whatever the outcome, may we gather in two weeks in Thanksgiving for our blessings.

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Friday, September 30, 2016

On Becoming A Multi-Planet Species 

On Tuesday, September 27, 2016, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk delivered a presentation to the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico that could have a significant impact on the human future in space. Musk introduced a bold plan for an Interplanetary Transport System that could allow for human settlement of Mars to begin, possibly within a decade (though Musk cautioned that timelines are not firm).

This plan is more than a conceptual study, but is based on engineering development already carried out by SpaceX of a huge booster and spacecraft capable of carrying 100 passengers comfortably to Mars on a single trip.. The company has already begun hardware development of some components, revealing pictures of employees standing next to a giant liquid oxygen tank that would be part of the vehicle.

The presentation (PDF here) focused mostly on the means of transportation to get the settlers to the Red Planet. Musk said that while SpaceX will be making substantial investments in the project, he expects that it will take partnerships with other industrial partners and government agencies to accomplish this daring venture. Perhaps he is counting on partners to develop the infrastructure needed to sustain the settlers on their new planetary home.

SpaceX is already partnering with NASA on commercial cargo and crew to the International Space Station and on the planned unmanned Red Dragon mission to Mars. However, this project is so huge it dwarfs NASA'a own Journey to Mars program, providing unique challenges to a partnership.

This kind of undertaking is certainly high risk. There are a number of challenges, including technical, financial, and human factors to be addressed. There may be serious political challenges from those with vested interests and some with ideological motives.

One thing about Elon Musk is that when he sets his mind on an audacious goal, he has the drive to get it done (though maybe not on his originally announced timeline). Also, Musk is not alone with the vision for human expansion into space. Jeff Bezos, whose Blue Origin space company recently announced plans for a large new rocket (and a hint of a larger one to come) openly shares his vision "I want millions of people living and working in space. I want us to be a spacefaring civilization." And other visionary entrepreneurs are pursuing ventures in developing space habitats, mining the Moon and asteroids, space tourism, etc.

These developments are leading to the expansion of humanity beyond Earth with profound implications for economic growth, national and international security, and cultural development. We live at a time when our civilization is at great peril, and at the same time there is much promise for the future.


Video illustration of SpaceX's Interplanetary Transport System carrying people to Mars



Video of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk presenting the plan at IAC2016

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

In Remembrance of September 11, 2001, Fifteen Years Later 


U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass

Fifteen years ago today, I overheard a coworker down the hall from my office telling someone else about planes hitting the World Trade Center. I checked in on the Internet and on news radio for reports on what would develop into the the modern era's day of infamy. We know of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but there was also the attack that did not occur because of the heroic actions of the passengers on United Flight 93.

Fifteen years of daily living, along with increasing domestic rancor, may have dimmed the feelings of shock, horror, and outrage and the response of prayer, compassion, and resolve that united the people of America and most of the world. However, the current horrific events in the Middle East and the recent attacks around the world and here in America serve to remind us that the threat is still real. We must not allow complacency or political correctness to distract us from recognizing the reality of the current danger.

This anniversary stirs abundant remembrance and reflection and many stirring pictorial and video items have appeared on the web and on Facebook. I still find this audio/visual Internet presentation developed by a New Yorker shortly after the attacks as one of the most powerful portrayals of those times. The sequence is ~15 minutes long and some of the images and sounds are quite disturbing, others are inspirational. (Use the browser View/Zoom function and adjust the scroll bar to enlarge the slide show.)

It is important that we remember, not only to honor those who died and those who acted heroically that day, but to remain constantly aware of the ongoing and growing dangers, of the presence of real evil in the hearts of some people, and to maintain constant vigilance and a determination to defeat this evil. Finally, we must always remember to trust in God and his mercy during trying times. The story of the cross formed by two beams found among the ruins of the twin towers is recounted here.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

OSIRIS-REx Boldly Goes to asteroid Bennu 

Photo credit: NASA/Sandy Joseph and Tim Terry

The NASA OSIRIS-REx  mission was successfully launched Thursday evening on its multi-year mission to scout the asteroid Bennu and retrieve a sample of that body that will be returned to Earth in 2023. The mission could reveal valuable information information about the development of the Solar System and will also provide technical and operational expertise beneficial to future scientific and commercial asteroid missions.

By a coincidence of celestial mechanics, the launch occurred on the 50th anniversary of the TV broadcast of the first episode of the original Star Trek series. So this mission began its journey to boldly go where no man-made robotic spacecraft has gone before!

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Friday, July 29, 2016

World Youth Day 2016 










Over five hundred thousand pilgrims are joining with Pope Francis in Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day 2016 now occurring to energize the world's young people for Christ. (Despite the title, it is actually a several day event.)

Here is the official web site. WYD is also being covered by EWTN.

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