Friday, March 29

Aim of Psychotherapy

The aim of psychotherapy is three-fold:

· To illuminate behaviors and the thoughts and emotions which trigger them

· To understand behaviors are goal-oriented and serve a purpose

· To maximize the client’s choices in the conduct of her life

The goal is not to indiscriminately enlarge the individual’s choices but to enlarge his/her choices by enhancing his/her knowledge of herself, others and the world around him/her and his/her skills in dealing with the important people in his/her life, his/her thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

The concept of "mental illness" undermines personal responsibility and precludes an inquiring attitude toward conflicts which his/her symptoms at once conceal and reveal.

Thursday, March 28

The Council of Trent

or why I am not a Catholic...

First session of Trent

Scripture and tradition were to be of equal authority - this denied the fundamental Protestant belief that the Bible alone was the basis of Christian belief.

The Catholic Church was to have the sole right in interpreting the Bible and the authority of the Vulgate was asserted. (The Vulgate was the ancient Latin version of the Scriptures produced by St. Jerome in the 4th Century).

Good works were upheld.

The seven sacraments were "absolutely necessary channels of divine salvation."

Communion in both kinds was forbidden except by express permission of the pope.

Second Session of Trent

Pilgrimages and penances were to be upheld.

The doctrine of transubstantiation was affirmed.

Communion in both kinds was condemned as were other aspects of the Protestant view of the Eucharist.

Third Session of Trent

Clerical celibacy was upheld.

Communion in one kind for the laity was upheld.

The veneration of images and relics was upheld.

Bishops were to ordain only suitable men to holy orders and to supervise their moral life.

Clergy were to reside in their parishes and to perform regular duties.

A seminary was to be established in every diocese

Wednesday, March 27

My Favorite News Story of the Day

BURRELL TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – An Indiana County man is facing several charges, after wildlife officials say he went deer hunting in a Walmart parking lot.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission says 40-year-old Arcangelo Bianco Jr., fired several rounds from a handgun at a 10-point white-tailed deer from within the Burrell Township store’s parking lot, and then bagged the animal near Old William Penn Highway.

The alleged shooting happened last November, while Bianco was shopping at the store, and then saw the buck in the parking lot.

According to charging documents, the deer ran around a corner of the store, and Bianco hopped out of his truck, gun in hand, and “began firing multiple rounds at the deer.”

Bianco faces a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment, as well as several hunting violations, including hunting without a license, shooting on or across highways and unlawful killing or taking of big game.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 1.

Tuesday, March 26

Another Filibuster Coming?

Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are threatening to filibuster gun-control legislation, according to a letter they plan to hand-deliver to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office on Tuesday.

“We will oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions,” the three conservatives wrote.

Monumental Case at the U.S. Supreme Court

At issue in today's Supreme Court argument is California’s Proposition 8, the state constitutional amendment enacted by voters in 2008 which bans same-sex marriage. Proposition 8 was passed by 52% of the voters after the California Supreme Court granted same-sex couples the right to marry. After Prop. 8 passed, a federal court followed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals said Prop. 8 was unconstitutional.

The high court could decide to uphold Proposition 8 or it could decide to not only strike it down but to invalidate any state law that limits marriage to one man and one woman.

In recent years, nine states, either through court rulings, legislation, or ballot measures, have redefined marriage to include same-sex couples. But 41 states have laws or constitutional provisions that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

On Wednesday the court will hear oral arguments in a challenge to one section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which for purposes of federal regulations and benefits, defines marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife."

Charles Cooper, who served in the Reagan administration as assistant attorney general in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel, will be arguing the case Tuesday for supporters of Proposition 8.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli will be arguing for the Obama administration, as a friend of the court, in opposition to Proposition 8.

The decision from the high court is likely by the end of its term sometime in late June.

Monday, March 25

Unusual Photo

The above photo and the preceeding ones were taken at the Tinker House in Rockford, Illinois.

Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum is a treasure trove of a time gone by. Rockford, Illinois businessman Robert Hall Tinker built the home in 1865, perching it high on a limestone bluff overlooking Kent Creek. His inspiration came from an 1862 tour of Europe where he fell in love with the architecture of Switzerland. Today the Cottage is one of only a handful of Swiss-style homes remaining in the United States from the 1800s. The Cottage is filled with Victorian Era furnishings and artifacts, all part of the Collection left by the Tinker family to the nonprofit organization. The Museum campus contains an Indian Burial Mound, a Victorian Rose Garden, a suspension bridge that crosses Kent Creek and connects the Museum campus with Tinker's Railroad Gardens and the founding site of Rockford in 1834 by Germanicus Kent, Thatcher Blake and Lewis Lemon. The Tinker House is believed to be haunted.

Friday, March 22

Today's Thoroughbred Picks

Race 3 GULFSTREAM #3 (8/1)

Race 6 HAWTHORNE #1 (2/1)

Race 8 TURF PARADISE #5 (3-1)

Colorado Shooter Now a Muslim

You won't see this story get much play in the Mainstream Media.

"James Holmes, the gunman who massacred 12 people and left 58 others wounded in Aurora, Colorado last July 20, has decided he is now a Muslim so he can justify his barbarous assault. One prison source said, 'He has brainwashed himself into believing he was on his own personal jihad and that his victims were infidels.'"

Breitbart News

Thursday, March 21

Today's Handicapping Picks

Race 8 AQUEDUCT #1 (7/5)

Race 5 SANTA ANITA #5 (5/2)

Race 7 SANTA ANITA #4 (5/2)

NCAA Final Four Prediction

Duke, New Mexico, VCU, Indiana

Wednesday, March 20

Fight the Democrats

"Fight them on every front, fight them in every state, fight them on television and in print and on the airwaves. Confront them at every opportunity, seek out and embrace conflict, and fear not bullies like Chuck Schumer (the living embodiment of the Lefty Sneer), Dick Durbin, and passive-aggressive corruptocrats like Harry Reid. Don’t make nice with them, don’t play fair with them, don’t reach across the aisle and above all, treat them and their ideas with exactly the same amount of respect with which they treat yours: none. Contempt is the only language they understand." - Michael Walsh

Monday, March 18

The New Pope's Coat of Arms

Pope Francis has decided to keep his coat front, chosen from his episcopal consecration and characterized by a linear simplicity.

The blue shield is surmounted by symbols of papal dignity, the same as those taken by his predecessor Benedict XVI (miter placed between crossed keys of gold and silver, bound by a red cord). At the top, stands the emblem of the order of origin of the Pope, the Society of Jesus, a radiant sun and flamboyant loaded from the letters in red IHS monogram of Christ. The letter H is surmounted by a cross, at the tip, the three nails in black.

Below, are the star and the flower of nard. The star, according to the ancient heraldic tradition, symbolizes the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and of the Church, while the flower of nard shows St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church. In the iconographic tradition Hispanic, in fact, St. Joseph is depicted holding a branch of spikenard. By placing these images in his shield, the Pope wanted to express his particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph.

Sunday, March 17

Taking North Korea Seriously

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon announced Friday it will spend $1 billion to add 14 interceptors to a West Coast-based missile defense system, responding to what it called faster-than-anticipated North Korean progress on nuclear weapons and missiles...

...The Pentagon intends to add the 14 interceptors to 26 already in place at Fort Greely, Alaska. That will expand the system's ability to shoot down long-range missiles in flight before they could reach U.S. territory. In addition to those at Greely, the U.S. also has four missile interceptors at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Hagel said the 14 extras should be in place by September 2017 but will not be deployed until they have been adequately tested.

Saturday, March 16

Obama Sends His Regards to New Pope

The White House announced that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi will be representing America at the pope's inaugural mass. Both Biden and Pelosi are Catholics and pro-abortion.

Friday, March 15

Hello, Obamacare !

I had my doctor's appointment today. Anti-cholesterol drugs are doing their job. My doctor discussed the effects of Obamacare and is pessimistic about the future of medicine. He noted the consolidation of hospitals and stated that doctors are being forced out of private practice. He said that he didn't know where he would be in a year. My doctor related that physicians were required to pay $15,000 for a "module" to complete electronic records. He also stated that "everything" about the patient goes to computer data bases.

Thursday, March 14

My Favorite Senator

Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R)

Wednesday, March 13

Black Smoke, White Smoke

For black smoke, the Vatican Information Service said, the compound blends potassium perchlorate, anthracene and sulfur. White smoke heralding a new pope comes from a mixture of potassium chlorate, lactose and rosin, “a natural amber resin obtained from conifers.”

Before 2005, the black smoke was “obtained by using smoke black or pitch and the white smoke by using wet straw,” the Vatican said.

Meet the New Pope

Newly elected Pope Francis I waves to the waiting crowd from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica on March 13, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the 266th Pontiff and will lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

Tuesday, March 12

The Conclave

The word "conclave" comes from the Latin meaning "with key". It is a church tradition that began in 1268 when local officials became so fed up with the lack of a decision among cardinals — they had deliberated for more than two years — that they locked them away with limited food and water to encourage a result.

No conclave has lasted more than five days in the past century, with most finishing within two or three days.

Monday, March 11

77 Votes

"Black smoke" is expected from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel tomorrow indicating that God has not made up his mind yet as to who should be his representative on Earth until the Messiah returns. With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, the College of Cardinals, the men in the funny hats, must vote for his successor. 77 votes are necessary, a two-thirds majority of the 115 votes, to elect the next Pope.

World interest in this pick should be at a fever pitch given that the Prophecy of St. Malachy predicts that this will be the final Pope. In religious circles, the selecting of the next Pontifex Maximus combines the excitement of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, World Series, Stanley Cup, and Superbowl.

The politics of the process is fascinating. It's supposed to be super secret and anyone divulging what's going on is subject to getting ex-communicated, literally kicked out of the Catholic Church and being denied admission to Heaven.

Here's the scoop as I understand it: There are two camps, the status quo (AKA the "Romanists") and the reformers. The Romanists want to carry on business as usual and they are associated with running the Vatican via the Roman Curia, the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope.

Recent scandals in the Catholic Church have reached this level at the Vatican. Note the leaking of documents by the Pope's butler. The Pope Emeritus, the Pope who just resigned, commissioned an investigation and the results of the investigation will be given to the next Pope. There are rumors of financial improprities and even a gay sex ring in the Vatican. Given that the church has been dealing with child sexual abuse for some time, this could be explosive.

The next Pope is going to have to deal with this. Are there any Martin Luthers among the Cardinals who can reform this corrupt church? Does St. Malachy's Prophecy have any merit? Inquiring minds want to know. My hunch pick for the next guy to wear the big ring and funny hat is Cardinal Odilo Scherer.

Sunday, March 10

Year of the Comet

Click here

Papal Conclave Trivia

- AVERAGE AGE 71-72. There are eight cardinals who have either just turned eighty or will turn eighty this year.

- KASPER IS THE OLDEST CARDINAL AND THOTTUNKAL IS THE YOUNGEST. The German Walter Kasper turned 80 on 5 March, before the start of the Conclave but after the start of the sede vacante period. Cardinals are eligible to vote up until the age of 80. Severino Poletto and Juan Sandoval Iniguez turn 80 this March. The youngest cardinal elector is the Indian Baselio Cleemis Thottunkal who turns 54 in June. Filipino cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle’s birthday is also in June but he will turn 56. There are three more cardinals under the age of 60: two Germans and one Dutchman.

- OVER HALF OF THE CARDINAL ELECTORS ARE EUROPEANS. There are 60 electors representing the Old Continent, followed by Latin America with 19 representatives and North America with 14 (so 33 in total), Africa with 11 and Asia with 10. There is also one Australian, George Pell.

- ITALY HAS THE MOST MEMBERS, FOLLOWED BY THE U.S. Italy is the most represented country in the Conclave, with 28 cardinals. It is followed by the United States, which has 11 cardinal electors and Germany with 6. Spain and Brazil will have five cardinals each representing them in the Sistine Chapel.

- 67 OF THE CARDINAL ELECTORS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN BY THE POPE EMERITUS. The majority, 58%, were created cardinals by Benedict XVI. The other 48 were created byJohn Paul II. Paul VI created two of the members of the College of Cardinals but they are over 80 years old so cannot vote in the Conclave.

Saturday, March 9

The Pope's Bold Fashion Statements

The tall folded hat worn by popes and other bishops is called a mitre, and is an ancient symbol of priestly authority. Mitre's come in several styles: simplex or simple, made of white linen or silk; pretiosa or precious, adorned in precious stones; and auriphrygiata or gold (seen here) made of gold cloth or white cloth with a gold fringe, typically worn during celebrations. Benedict was known for wearing mitres that were taller and often more colorful taller than his predecessor John Paul II.

The pallium is a thin woolen shawl worn during mass and on special occasions. It covers the pope's shoulders and extends down the length of his body. In the West, the pallium has typically been symmetrical, running down the center of the popes body. Benedict, however, occasionally wore an asymmetrical Eastern-style pallium, which some interpreted as a symbol of his efforts to mend relations with Eastern Orthodox churches.

Another once-forgotten vestment Benedict dug up from the back of the papal closet is a red-velvet cap with white ermine fringe called a camauro. Reminiscent of Santa's hat, the camauro is worn only by the pope and only in the winter, in place of the typical zucchetto skull cap worn by bishops and cardinals. Like the mortarboard caps worn by graduates, hats similar to the camauro were once also worn by medieval academics.

Most senior clergy wear a short elbow length cape called a mozzetta, but the pope has five distinct styles that only he can wear. Like most vestments, only the pope can wear white mozzettas, and only his come trimmed with ermine fur in the winter.

The pope historically wore red shoes festooned with a large gold cross or gold buckle when walking outside, all the better for kissing. Following Vatican II, Pope Paul XVI kept the red shoes but ditched the buckles in the 1960s and ultimately nixed foot kissing altogether. All successive popes wore red shoes but one, John Paul II, who wore brown shoes. Benedict XVI reinstated the red shoes, getting his loafers made by a Peruvian-born shoemaker in Rome named Antonio Arellano.

From the eighth century to the middle of the 20th, popes were coronated wearing an ornate three-tiered crown called a tiara. Like many of the finer vestments, tiaras went out of style following Vatican II and a decree by Paul VI. Paul actually renounced a special tiara made especially for him by the city of Milan, which he wore only once briefly at his coronation. The last tiara was auctioned, and purchased by American Catholics and is on display at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. No popes have worn a tiara since 1963, but the new pope could restore the tradition.

Friday, March 8

SNAP's "Dirty Dozen"

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) has identified a "Dirty Dozen" cardinals who are contenders for pope that they consider "to be the worst choices in terms of protecting kids, healing victims, and exposing corruption."

The members of the "Dirty Dozen" cardinals, according to SNAP, are: Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga (Honduras), Norberto Rivera (Mexico), Marc Ouellet (Canada), Peter Turkson (Ghana), George Pell (Australia), Tarcisio Bertone (Italy), Angelo Scola (Italy), Leonardo Sandri (Argentina), Dominik Duka (Czech Republic), Sean O'Malley (United States), Timothy Dolan (United States), and Donald Wuerl (United States).

Thursday, March 7

Secrets of the Papal Conclave

A new Pope for the Catholic church will be selected this month since Pope Benedict XVI resigned for reason of declining health. Here are some facts about the conclave that will select his successor:

The Cardinals who vote must be under 80 years old.

By Church law, two physicians are to be on hand throughout the conclave to respond to possible medical emergencies.

One of the first acts of the conclave is to select by lot three “Infirmarians”; their responsibility is to collect ballots in a secure lockbox from those cardinal electors who have arrived in Vatican City but are prevented by illness from being present to vote in the Sistine Chapel.

The Chapel and adjacent areas are to be swept by professionals to ensure that they have not been bugged with recording or transmitting devices.

All cardinal electors and the staff that assist them must promise to refrain from using cellphone cameras, etc. and must swear “absolute and perpetual secrecy” about the voting.

The cardinal electors are expected to listen to “two well-prepared meditations on the problems facing the Church at the time and on the need for careful discernment in choosing the new Pope” that are presented to them by “two ecclesiastics [not necessarily electors] known for their sound doctrine, wisdom and moral authority”.

Tuesday, March 5


Forbes magazine recently released their 2013 Billionaire List. By their estimation, there are 1,426 billionaires in the world (including 442 in the United States) with a combined net worth of $5.4 trillion, less than a third of our national debt! Don't believe Washington when they say it's impossible to trim 2.4% of the federal budget.

Monday, March 4

2014 U.S. Senate Elections

There are 14 Senate Republicans up for re-election and Senate Democrats try to hold onto 21 seats. The Democrats currently have a 55-45 edge in the Senate.

Friday, March 1

Coptic Christianity

The word "Copt" means Egyptian and is derived from the Greek word "Agyptos" meaning Egyptian. Following the Arab conquest of Egypt in 642 AD, the term "Copt" came to designate only the Christians of Egypt.

Doctrine, Practice, and Spirituality