Friday, December 31, 2004

The Turn of the Year
The end of a year is always a time to look back on its impact on the world. This year is ending with the immense tsunami tragedy in the Indian Ocean region.

The 2004 elections may be remembered as a 'tipping point' where citizens were engaged and energized to fight hard for both sides, but with President Bush winning re-election to the White House and conservative Republicans increasing their margins in Congress. While no person or party has a monopoly on virtue or ideas, we have hopefully moved a little closer to restoring authentic constitutional law and to protecting human life at all stages.

W began the year by announcing a new Vision for Space Exploration while NASA probes brought exciting new images and information from Mars, Saturn and elsewhere. But it was the exciting breakthrough in the private sector with the flights of SpaceShipOne and the winning of the Ansari X-Prize which will make the Vision more likely to succeed and live up to its full potential for humanity.

Finally, ABC News has made its choice for the 'People of the Year' who've influenced events: Bloggers.

On to 2005! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

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
Christmas in the Heavens
The International Space Station crew eagerly awaits the arrival of much needed food and supplies. Meanwhile, the Huygens probe is set to separate from the Cassini spacecraft. Landfall on Titan is set for January 14.
Why This Election Mattered
W resumes the fight to put some good people on the federal courts. Only going to cause the pro-abortion lobby more conniptions, while they are already howling and shrieking over the potential of a prolife DNC chairman.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

No Longer Partying like it's 1992?
There are signs that some Democratic Party leaders may be starting to come to their senses about their Party's obsessively pro-abortion position and its contribution to their continuing political setbacks. Check out the stories here and here.

Of course it remains to be seen whether any moderating of the Party's position will be substantive or mere window-dressing. Never-the-less, these hints are already stirring a pit in the stomachs of leading pro-abortion activists.
However, leading abortion advocates are chagrined by these events and blame Kerry, who refused to support even a modest ban on partial-birth abortion or not using tax dollars to pay for them, for not doing enough to tout his pro-abortion views during the campaign.

Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt told Newsweek that Kerry "did not help the cause."


"If we try to be fake Republicans, that's not going to work," Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, co-chair of the House pro-abortion caucus, told Newsweek. "It would be a cynical political move."

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Happy Feast Day!
Author Charlotte Allen discusses the meaning of today's Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
An image is a way of capturing the Incarnation -- God becoming man, in the flesh. God's image can be shown, and that image has power. Our Lady of Guadalupe is powerful because the Blessed Virgin Mary made her own image, her own incarnation.
Hanukkah and Our Attitude about the Future
(This is a post I originally made last year and feel is worth repeating, especially in light of developments this year that could lead to human expansion into space that would provide resources for future generations.)

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 have 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.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Not so embryonic stem cells?
Two proposals to develop embryonic-like stem cells supposedly without destroying human embryos are receiving careful scrutiny by those working to protect human life. Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review describes and offers a cautious endorsement of the two procedures in his articles(Part 1 and Part 2) at Tech Central Station.

I do support the careful approach the researchers appear to be taking, working with animal cells until proving that there is no live embryo destruction. What I wonder is, even if the procedures pass the ethical test, whether the products avoid the uncontrollable factors currently plaguing embryonic stem cell research and match the gains being made in adult stem cell research.
Commercial Space Legislative Victory
After several near-death experiences, the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 (H.R. 5382)was passed by the Senate on Wednesday evening shortly before adjournment. Jeff Foust provides some more background on how close the fate of the bill was. The Space Frontier Foundation has issued a press release praising the bill's passage.

Friday, December 03, 2004

'Blog' is the Word.
Merriam-Webster has announced the list of top ten words looked up in their on-line dictionary, with the most often researched word for 2004 being 'blog'. Now, if only Blogger will add the word to be recognized by its spell-checker.