Developments in my life may soon be taking an interesting turn. My wife and I will make an impromtu trip to Tennessee this weekend to look at three houses we are interested in buying. Of these houses, there is one that we are particularly interested in, and we hope that we'll be able to purchase it. We've seen detailed photographs of the house and it has all the necessary amenities and typography for it to be made into an accessible living space. We've all but made the decision to move to Tennessee largely becuase we can no longer afford the high cost of living here.
The State of Tennessee has one of the lowest costs of living in the union. It also has no state or local income taxes, and (by comparison to Hamilton County, Ohio, where I now live) vastly lower property taxes. A lot of people who visit East Tennessee mistakenly believe the cost of living to be very high there. This is because many visitors go to tourist areas such as Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, where the sales taxes are deliberately inflated so that Sevier County and the local municipalities can milk tourist dollars for all they are worth. If I were running Sevier County, I would probably do the same thing, and that's precisely why we aren't considering buying a house in Sevier County.
People who know me well realize very quickly that I am a big believer in the power, influence, and guidance of the Holy Spirit. If this is what the Lord wants for us, then he will open a door, and if it isn't what he wants, I trust and believe that he will show us what he does want. Those of you who read this, and who have come to Believe through God's grace, I hope you'll join me in praying for the Lord's will to be revealed in this important development in our lives.
Here's an update on the Canadian Liberal scandal: Paul Martin was practically begging for there not to be an election. He looked like a beaten man. He knows, however, that if he can delay an election he might be able to escape with another Minority Government, which means that after such an election, there would likely be another one within a year.
To be fair, if the polls are correct they mean the Conservatives will have a Minority Government and they will have to rely on (of all things) the Bloc Quebecois to prop them up. That will likely mean that they, too will face an election within a year or less.
Stephen Harper is not the world's best Party Leader, and probably won't be the best Prime Minister. However, he isn't politically stupid. He knows that if he has a Minority Government, that Government must do what the Liberals could not-they must keep their noses clean. If the Tories keep their noses clean during a period of Minority, it may be the test to secure a long term Majority in the House of Commons.
"Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting, at this sensitive moment, that God is a Tory. But the Church’s mission is to bear witness to the truth. The truth is not something that needs redefining each time a pope dies."
Thoughts from a conservative columnist on Benedict XVI
In parousing online Blogistan today, I found a new blog managed by Cincinnatian Michael S. Rose on His Holiness Benedict XVI. A link to Rose's new blog will appear on my "Links" sidebar here at the World momentarily. Rose is the author of Goodbye Good Men, a controversial book on how liberals have attempted to infiltrate the Catholic priesthood in America. The book went to press just as the clerical sex-abuse scandal was breaking in 2002. Like me, Mr. Rose is not only obedient to our new Pontiff, but he's also a big fan of Benedict's pre-Pontifical work.
While exploring Michael Rose's new blog, I found something of interest written by another local boy, Peter Bronson of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Bronson isn't even Catholic, but he says there are five good reasons to love our new Pope. Needless to say, I generally agree with Bronson's reasoning.
The Liberal Party of Canada is in crisis, and since the Liberals control the government there, that means the government is in crisis. The Liberals have had a nearly dictatorial hold on power since beating Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative government in one of the biggest blowout landslides in the history of world parliamentary elections. The PC's were beaten so badly that their number of seats were reduced to two, and the Bloc Quebecois, a secessionist party, became the Official Opposition. The Party of Sir John A. Macdonald ceased to exist at the federal level.
The Government of Prime Minister Jean Chretien had such a huge majority (and such a divided opposition) that repeated accusations of corruption and dictatorial conduct could not force the Liberals from power. Last year, in what was Prime Minister Paul Martin's first election, the Liberals finally lost enough seats to have a minority government, with a united right-wing and a new Conservative Party risen from the ashes. Canadians, however, seem to be of the mind that Conservatives will leave them solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. They opted to keep the Liberals in power, albeit with a minority, with only the Western provinces voting solidly Conservative.
Now, however, the Liberals look to be in some real trouble. Anyone who is even mildly familiar with Canadian history knows that Canada as a whole has struggled with the issue of Quebec separatism ever since the rise of the Parti Quebecois. Well, once again separatism is on the agenda in Quebec (it never really goes away), and throughout the 90's, the Liberal solution to the Quebec Question was to pour lots of money into the Province to promote what they call national unity. In 1995, after all, Quebec came within less than two percentage points of actually seceding from Canada in a referendum. The Liberal government used Sponsorship Program money to promote everything from cultural festivals to street billboards promoting Confederation all over Quebec. We now know that they also have used it to provide kickbacks to their political friends in Quebec in order to "get things done," and rumors abound that Sponsorship money was even used to pay off bribes.
To "investigate" this, the Fearless Leader of the Liberals, Prime Minister Paul Martin, proceeded to launch something called the Gomery Inquiry, so named for the judge overseeing the proceedings. I suppose he thought that having an investigation would keep the Tories and the Bloc Quebecois quiet. Instead, the constant stream of revelations coming out of the Gomery Inquiry has revealed that the Liberal Government stinks of corruption so badly that the angels can likely pick up the stench from Ottawa in High Heaven, and it has not kept the Tories or the Bloc quiet at all. Instead, the polls indicate that were an election held today the Conservatives, after years of division and consignment to the political wilderness before a recent unification of the Canadian right, would achieve a minority Government. Whoever would have thought!
The Liberals, however, think themselves entitled to power (as most leftists do), because no one on the right, according to their thinking, has any right to govern. They care, and nobody on the right cares, because the Liberals and leftists just say its that way! They have now attempted to block Conservative procedural moves that could trigger an election, a move which may yet prove unsuccessful. In his latest act of desperation, Paul Martin will address the nation tonight. In a Parliamentary system, that only happens in a time of national emergency because the Prime Minister gets to address the nation every week from the front benches of the House of Commons. I would reckon that in the Liberal lexicon, the idea of Liberals being toppled from power by the Canadian people would qualify as a national emergency. After all, the dictatorship must be kept in tact, with Paul Martin as the Great Leader who must be adored.
If Martin is successful in staving off an election, he may not be able to save the Canadian Confederation as we know it. The Sponsorship Scandal has set off such a firestorm of public anger in Quebec that the Bloc Quebecois is expected to gain even more seats whenever the election is held, and the Parti Quebecois expects to be swept into power in large numbers at the next provincial election there. Such a result would invariably trigger a referendum on Quebec independence (again), and this time Quebecers might just say that they have had enough of a Canada that elects governments that filthy and corrupt. If Canadians are clueless enough to re-elect Martin's government, they'll deserve everything they get next time around.
Something doesn't seem right with the world when Monday Night Football, which for 35 years has been a staple of prime time network television in the fall, will exist no more as we know it after this year. The latest bids for NFL contracts were announced yesterday, and MNF will move to ABC's sister network, ESPN, which means that the coveted Monday Night game will no longer be on free local television.
Compensating for this new reality will be the fact that Sunday Night Football, which has served for many years as one of ESPN's staple programs, will lead the return of the NFL to NBC, which for years covered the AFC with vastly superior coverage to CBS. MNF has long functioned as the NFL's version of the old Major League Baseball Game of the Week precisely because it was on network television and was the featured game that week, and the only one that day. It will be interesting to see if the Sunday night game can fill that void.
Something seems strangely wrong with the sporting landscape not to have an NFL game on network television on Monday nights. MNF has become such a staple of the American sports landscape, that not having it as we know it will leave us a huge void in the world of sports culture, a void a doubt NBC can fill, no matter how hard they try.
Well, the sucking up to Pope Benedict XVI has begun. Father Andrew Greeley, a notorious dissenter who borders on being a heretic, and who once was quoted as saying that he would be "dismayed" if Pope Benedict were elected, was on Todaythis morning sucking up to the Pope. He appeared so disingenuous that you could smell the bullcrap in the air over the television screen. Similarly, other known schismatics, heretics, and dissenters have been mysteriously falling into line-or bailing out of the Church (its about time, since their hearts and souls had left the Church long ago).
The reason, of course, is that we now have a Pope who is watching them as directly as he can. In his capacity as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he was putting an end to these people's shenanigans on a daily basis. Now, he can reign in the enemies of Christ and His Church with the full power of the Chair of Peter.
I can't wait to watch the proponents of Amchurch be put into their place. As Cardinal McCarrick said today, Pope Benedict is a believer in "clarity with charity."
His Most Emminent and Most Reverend Lord Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church Joseph Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict XVI. The Church could not have picked a better Pope!
He called himself a "humble servant on the Lord's vineyard called to this ministry." He will, no doubt, be one of our great Popes because he will lead the Church through a period of cultural, social, and what may be political persecution. He is the man to do this. He stands in the place of Peter as the guardian of the faith.
At the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he's been putting the Smackdown on heresy since 1981. Now he can put the smackdown on the things he has called "the biggest enemies of the Church: Liberalism, Marxism, and materialism," from the Chair of Peter. In the coming days, we'll have more on Benedict XVI here at the World.
Long live the Pope! His praises sound Again and yet again: His rule is over space and time: His throne the hearts of men:
All hail! The Shepherd King of Rome, The theme of loving song: Let all the earth his glory sing And heav'n the strain prolong.
Beleaguered by the foes of earth, Beset by hosts of hell, He guards the loyal flock of Christ, A watchful sentinel:
And yet, amid the din and strife, The clash of mace and sword, He bears alone the Shepherd Staff, The champion of the Lord.
His signet is the fisherman's No scepter does he bear In meek and lowly majesty He rules from Peter's chair And yet from every tribe and tongue From every clime and zone A thousand million voices sound The glory of his throne
Then raise the chant With heart and voice, In Church & school & home: "Long live the Shepherd of the Flock! Long live the Pope of Rome!" Almighty Father bless his work Protect him in his ways, Receive his prayer, fulfill his hopes, And grant him length of days!
Media pundits are all angry, and several are fit to be tied, because they want the election process for the Papacy to be more open. They believe that the election of the Successor of Peter should be "open" so that they can influence it in the same way that they influence our national election. To their credit, the College of Cardinals (and the Church as a whole) will have none of it. It is not right that the secular media should think that they have any right to influence an election for the Vicariate of Christ. Media types are fuming that they can know nothing...can't they just respect the fact that there is one election that is Sacred, and they have no right to influence it?
Three ballots so far (one last night, two today), all black smoke. No Pope yet.
At this writing I am watching the members of the College of Cardinals swear the oath of secrecy upon the book of the gospels, and the Sacred Conclave is about to begin. The careful observer can't help but notice the somber expressions on the faces of the Cardinals. This is indeed very different from the expressions that have been seen on those Cardinals' faces who have spoken to EWTN last week (Cardinals were permitted to speak to the press only if their reflections concentrated on John Paul II). Those who did address the press, in all cases that I could see, they gave their time to the Catholic media, were very upbeat and could even be described as happy.
Today, as the Cardinal Electors swear their oaths under Michelangelo's Last Judgement, it is probably fair to say that the weight and the gravity of the moment has finally sunk in for many of them. Their faces look weary, and their countenance appears as if some great catastrophe or burden has befallen them, as if it will create troubles innumerable. Is it fair to place such a great weight, some might ask, on 115 men, many of whom are elderly and in the twilight of their years on earth? Would you want the job of selecting the leader of the Church on earth? I certainly would not, largely because I would not count myself worthy enough to be a part of such a process. Perhaps the nature of today's occasion shows that many of the Cardinals feel much the same as I do. Doubtless, the Cardinals know that one of them will be elected Pope, and they are probably scared to death that they might be that person.
Adding to the seriousness of the occasion, when each of the Cardinals vote, they will cast their ballot in front of the Last Judgement, and look into the face of Christ, and swear with each ballot:
I call as my witness Christ the Lord who will be my judge, that my vote is given to the one who before God I think should be elected.
I wouldn't presume to think for one minute that every Cardinal in that room, even the ones who have been less than fully loyal to the Church, understands the grave implications to their souls of such an oath.
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