With today’s air disaster this is an appropriate time to explain something called conditional absolution:

There are several ways to be absolved of sin. Baptism removes ALL previous sin but is done only once. The Sacrament of Confession removes sin. Outside of confession perfect contrition can also remove sin (perfect contrition: sorrow for sin due to love of God, Imperfect contrition is due to fear of hell) Absolution is given near the time of death, however when a plane is crashing its kinda hard for people to line up in front of a priest to get confession or absolution one at a time.

The priest can give conditional absolution to everyone on the plane on his own, it would apply to any person on the plane who would have if conscious of mortal sin sought absolution.

I wouldn’t suggest betting my soul on that situation.

Rabbi Yehuda Levin is about to become hated twice by the media, once for being a conservative Jew and once for saying this:

“I understand that it is very important to fill the pews of the Catholic Church not with cultural Catholics and left-wingers who are helping to destroy the Catholic Church and corrupt the values of the Catholic Church.” This corruption, he said, “has a trickle-down effect to every single religious community in the world.”

“What’s the Pope doing? He’s trying to bring the traditionalists back in because they have a lot of very important things to contribute the commonweal of Catholicism.

“Now, if in the process, he inadvertently includes someone who is prominent in the traditionalist movement who happens to say very strange things about the Holocaust, is that a reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater and start to condemn Pope Benedict? Absolutely not.”

Thompson points out that this isn’t the norm:

Rabbi Irwin Kula – a less conservative figure than Levin (not difficult) – also thinks that the reaction to the Williamson business was “outrageously over the top”. I’m not suggesting that Rabbis Levin and Kula represent the majority opinion among Jews; but nor, I suspect, do the professional offence-takers of the ADL et al.

I’ll say what I’ve said before, do you think that Williamson would have lost his seminary if the St. Pius X excommunications hadn’t been lifted? I think not. The media reporting on this outside of Thompson’s site has been atrocious and error ridden; almost as if the motive was to do damage to the Church instead of reporting the news. How about that!

Looks like today will be a crash edition covering the air disaster near Buffalo.

6:08 a.m. I didn’t realize that it had been over 2 1/2 years since the last fatal crash in the US. That’s a hell of a record. Although part of the blame can go to a certain skilled pilot out of NY that you might have heard about.

6:15 a.m. Andrea Mitchel today ugh. On non political issues she is usually ok, sort of like Wikipedia. If its all the same to me I’d just as soon deal with the Annoying version of Andrea and not have 48 people dead.

6:45 a.m. The truth o meter guy apparently wrote a book about a plane crash investigation in 1994. Truth-o-meter is preempted but the guy can cover the crash with some info.

7:40 a.m. They are talking the Judd Greeg stuff now. Nobody has mentioned the census stuff.

7:43 a.m. We don’t need a commerce secretary if there is no commerce.

8:26 a.m. If it wasn’t for the Gregg thing we would be talking about the Caterpillar gaffe.

8:29 a.m. Bigger part of the story the census is going to be taken over by Rahm. Rawest of Raw politics.

8:30 a.m. Oh the census is always political. The Bush administration made majority minority districts.

8:31 a.m. Apparently the Black Caucus applied the census pressure.

8:34 a.m. Andrea Mitchell is making excuses for Obama, what a big surprise.

8:40 a.m. Andrea vs Chuck Todd time

8:44 a.m. Joe says fire people, Gene Robinson says I don’t fire people after 3 weeks. Robinson is right.

I was very excited when the new colonization game came out. I remembered the old one fondly, loved the music and wasted much too much time playing it.

When the new one came out I liked the graphics, using the Civilization system seemed to work and the promotion system was an improvement.

However after a few months I find that it just isn’t fun anymore. We played it this week at game night and it was interesting to play for a while, particularly as a competitive game but without that competition it just is dull. I’m very surprised that I’m so bored with it but that’s the way it is.

Give me the old DOS version any day.

No particular action for the Arthur vs carter watch at the moment but at Big Hollywood there is an excellent article on the subject comparing the decisions the president will need to make with that of Marshall Will Kane in High Noon:

It’s 11:57 in Hadleyville. The movie is “High Noon.” Marshall Will Kane (Gary Cooper) seals an envelope containing his last will and testament. He writes, “To be opened in the event of my death,” on its front panel. A train carrying a freed murderer, Frank Miller, who wants to gun Kane down will arrive in just three minutes. Marshall Kane has been abandoned by everyone. All that he believed is tarnished. He stands alone without a badge, with only his conscience. His new bride, the church, the state, old friends and allies have all turned their backs…

…Winter, 2009, Washington, D.C. It is 11:57 once again. Our new President, Barack Obama, must now choose how he will lead us in our continued response to the menace of Islamic terror. Will he appease the pacifists who believe the road to peace is paved with inane bumper stickers, humane treatment of savage killers, and good intentions? Will we capitulate to a world view which celebrates terrorist regimes while demanding that our true democratic allies in the war on terror, who have defended themselves, be tried for war crimes? Or, will he lead us to choose darkness and evil? Will he allow his new attorney general, Eric Holder, a man who orchestrated the release of convicted Puerto Rican terrorists, to prosecute the very people who have risked their lives to successfully protect us these last eight years? Or will President Obama lead us to stand tall and fight, choose light and life?

Economy or no this will be the question of this presidency that I care about. To get an idea of the tension the scene below from the movie says it all.

As a reward for his Full scholarship and fees package that he got I cleaned out my oldest’s folder at That’s Entertainment today. Looking though the stuff there were several back issues of Doctor Who Magazine. The December issue has the following to say concerning the soon to be replaced 10th doctor:

At the time of going to press on October 30th bookies Paddy Power made Paterson Joseph their 3-1 favorite. With Christmas Special Star David Morrissey close behind at 5-1.

The odds list included John Simm (8-1), Russell Tovey (10-1), Anthony Head (10-1), Harry Lloyd (18-1), John Barrowman (33-1), Marc Warren (33-1), Dean Lennox (50-1), Richard E. Grant (14-1), Hugh Grant (100-1), James Nesbitt (6-1), Robert Carlyle (14-1), Jason Statham (18-1), Aidan Gillen (18-1) , Ben Whishaw (20-1), Julian Walsh (20-1), Nigel Harman (20-1), Bill Nighy (25-1), Stephen Fry (25-1) he would have been pretty good I think, Chiwetel Ejiofor (25-1), David Suchet (33-1), Paul Bettany (33-1) he’s more of a Master type to me, Joel Beckett (40-1), Christopher Villers (66-1) Ricky Gervais (80-1), Vinnie Jones (100-1), Robbie Williams (150-1).

Cripes the return of the 9th doctor Christopher Eccleston was even given 40-1 odds but nobody at all had Matt Smith on their radar.

Those guys much must have made a fortune.

There are two new votes for my economic plan A today. One (via glenn) is from Philip Greenspun’s blog:

What did these guys want the government to do? Nothing, basically. “Back in the 19th Century, there were a lot of steep crashes, guys got wiped out, and the economy came back quickly.” What’s different now? The government is a lot bigger and more powerful. Rich companies and people can put some of their wealth into lobbying and demand that the government prevent them from getting wiped out (or at least slow the process).

Barack Obama promised on Monday not to rest as long as this economic downturn persisted. He promised to act decisively, change whatever had to be changed, spend whatever had to be spent. This is precisely what worries the investors to whom I spoke. They’d rather see the audacity of doing nothing.

The second comes from the news itself:

Sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly halted a record six-month slide in January, an advance that may not be sustained as job losses climb.

The 1 percent increase followed a 3 percent drop the prior month, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. Excluding cars, the gain was 0.9 percent. Last month’s rise reflected higher gasoline prices and more spending on items including clothing and food.

Perhaps our democratic friends don’t want to risk a recovery that they can’t take credit for. If they can postpone it for say 18 months it might look really pretty come election time.

Even worse if it comes too fast then someone might think to Blame Bush for it!

Looks like Civil disobedience paid off for the Sheehan family even if it cost them 100k in fines:

Although Liam Sheahan’s 2002 decision to disregard planning laws and bulldoze 250 trees on his hilltop property hurt his family financially and emotionally, he believes it helped save them and their home on the weekend.

“The house is safe because we did all that,” he said as he pointed out his kitchen window to the clear ground where tall gum trees once cast a shadow on his house.

“We have got proof right here. We are the only house standing in a two-kilometre area.”

And those who obeyed the law? They had this reaction before their council:

“We’ve lost two people in my family because you dickheads won’t cut trees down,” he said.

“We wanted trees cut down on the side of the road … and you can’t even cut the grass for God’s sake.”

But hey whats a few dead Australians if we can feel good about our selves as environmentalists right? And our green friends have wasted no time in using the deadly fires to promote their global warming ponzi scheme.

The entire global warming business is just a modern version of buying indulgences without any benefits to an actual soul.

The American Papist reports that the timing of the disclosures on the Legionaries of Christ’s founder was not a coincidence:

My contacts assert that the convergence of these two big news events–the outrage prompted by the Bishop Willliamson affair, followed shortly afterwards by the new revelations regarding Father Maciel’s “double life” — was no accident: the order’s superiors and their ecclesial allies took advantage of the crisis surrounding Bishop Williamson to minimize the impact of the new disclosures regarding Maciel. The Mexican superiors, I’m told, believe the present tempest will blow over and the Legion will pull itself together and go on as before. (The Cathoholic – updated 3:30pm)

It certainly seems that amidst the hubbub surrounding the SSPX story, coverage of the Maciel scandal has been slim-to-none, except for the notable exceptions chronicled on these pages.

In terms of PR that is a normal move when trying to dilute damage. However if your goal is truth and pastoral healing dodging the issue is a bad idea.

Update: Damion Thomspon says this isn’t going away:

I wrote yesterday about Fr Maciel, a Mexican whom the Legionaries and their lay wing, Regnum Christi, had virtually canonised before he died. Big mistake: not only did he sexually abuse male seminarians, but we’ve just learned that he fathered a baby girl in his 80s.

Several Legionary priests are disgusted by the way their leaders defended Maciel – it seems like they must have known that he was living a double life. Meanwhile, many Regnum Christi members are behaving like shocked members of a cult, still saying prayers based around the mission and charism of their founder.

He points out why this isn’t pushed in the media:

This scandal is potentially bigger than the SSPX fiasco. The media have given it little attention – perhaps because it offers little opportunity for Pope-bashing: it was Benedict who sent the Legion’s sexually predatory founder, the late Fr Marcial Maciel, into exile in 2006.

He links to George Weigel who goes the whole hog:

None of these questions can be thoughtfully or prayerfully answered until there is a full audit.

And, as the flailings and failures of the past ten days have made clear, that audit cannot be conducted by the Legion leadership, which is likely beset by a maelstrom of internal and external pressures. It must be mandated by the pope, and it must be conducted by someone responsible to the pope alone—not responsible to the relevant parts of the Vatican bureaucracy, not responsible to the cardinal secretary of state, but responsible to the pope alone. There is simply no other way open to an accounting that will be both scrupulously honest and publicly credible.

To take an image from corporate law, the Legion of Christ must be immediately put into receivership: A personal delegate, appointed by the pope, must be empowered to take over the governance of the Legion of Christ and to conduct the moral and institutional audit required. The papal delegate would be instructed to report his findings, both interim and final, to the pope alone, and he would be instructed to make recommendations (again, to the pope alone) addressing the possible futures, including dissolution or dissolution-and-reconstitution, of the Legion.

I’m still getting fundraisers from them. My recycle bins will remain full until this stuff gets fixed, and honestly I instinctively don’t trust any religious group that promotes itself via sweepstakes.