Sunday, December 12, 2010

World Net Daily fabricates a "Missile" Contrail tale

I've been following the California contrail saga closely since the original video was captured in early November. I was never fully satisfied with any of the explanations, so I tracked down the two known first hand eyewitnesses and spoke to them about what they actually witnessed. As a result of these interviews, I contacted World Net Daily (because they were still writing about the subject a month later, from the bias that the contrail was indeed a missile, and I had written for them once before) and asked them if they would be interested in an article based on these first hand eyewitness accounts. They asked me to submit my article, and were eager to use it.

At this point, I was thoroughly convinced that the contrail was nothing more than UPS flight 902, back-lit by the setting sun. The object remained in view to the eyewitnesses far too long to have represented a missile launch, despite several credible military experts who had stated the contrary -- based only on viewing the highly edited CBS footage. Because WND was following the lead of these experts, and continued to insist the contrail was a missile exhaust plume, I knew I had to be extremely diplomatic in presenting a countering view, if I wanted them to actually publish it. So I used terminology that was deliberately non-committal.

Furthermore, Gil Leyvas had given freely of his time in presenting his side of the debate, and was very kind and gracious during our phone interview as well as multiple subsequent email exchanges, so I wanted him to have "his day in court." I gave him a lot of column space to explain his perspective.

Here is the article, as I submitted it to WND, with the graphics I recommended (the first of which was graciously supplied by poster TXnMA) and for which I had obtained permission. I was not blatantly militating for the airliner contrail argument, because WND would not have published such an article, but any objective reader would see from the manner in which I presented the facts that, despite Leyvas' good faith, the evidence underpinning the "missile exhaust plume" side of the debate was exceedingly weak at best:

California contrail: Four conflicting eyewitness reports

One month after the KCBS video purporting to show a missile contrail off the coast of California went viral, a heated debate over what exactly created the contrail persists. Experts have offered convincing analysis supporting the theory that the contrail represents an SLBM launch, while internet pundits have assembled a formidable collection of evidence that the contrail was created by UPS flight 902. The debate is seemingly at an impasse, and it might be a good time to step back from the intense data analysis and review the basic facts of November 8, 2010.
There are two known eyewitnesses who captured images of the contrail. Gil Leyvas is the helicopter camera man for KCBS in Los Angeles who videotaped the contrail and Rick Warren lives on Long Beach and photographed the contrail from his tenth story balcony. A 50 minute phone interview with Leyvas was obtained for this report and discussed further via email, and Warren was also contacted by email.
According to Leyvas, his video was obtained while filming a sunset view for a KCBS weather report. As he was filming, Leyvas noticed an object on the horizon that appeared to be climbing vertically out of the ocean, and he zoomed in on the object. He videotaped the contrail for a total of ten minutes and subsequently continued to view the contrail for an additional ten minutes. Leyvas maintains that the object itself that created the contrail only remained in view for two to three minutes. For 30 to 45 seconds, the object glowed brightly and then seemed to disappear from view. His initial impression was that the object was traveling east towards the coast. On reviewing the video later, he had the impression the object may instead have been heading away from the coast, towards the northwest.
The highly unusual appearance of the sunset contrail shown on TV and posted online, combined with Leyvas’ perception that the object creating the contrail only remained in view for two to three minutes, constitutes the primary basis upon which many observers believe the object was a Sub Launched Ballistic Missile.
Rick Warren wasn’t sure what the object was that he was photographing on November 8th. “I was shooting with a telephoto lens and looking through a viewfinder so I never really saw the separation of the object and the contrail until I looked at the photos, but I’m sure that this whole thing lasted way too long to be a missile. I see lots of contrails from my 10th floor balcony but the difference in this one was that it “seemed” to be going up.”
Having seen many contrails, what stood out for Warren was the vertical nature of the contrail, not that it looked like a missile exhaust plume. Some of his photos of the contrail were posted on the local ABC7 website, and were utilized by Mick West of to create a composite image of the flight progression of the object. The time stamps on Warren’s photos were used to establish that the object creating the contrail remained in view for 4 minutes 43 seconds in Warren’s photos. Based on altitude and position, the object first appeared in Leyvas’ video at least five minutes prior to Warren’s photos. After seeing West’s analysis of the images, Warren says, “I’m now of the opinion that it was indeed a plane."
At this point, one of the most glaring discrepancies between these eyewitness accounts must be addressed. Most observers looking at Warren’s images agree that the small dark object which appears at the top of each of his later photos is the same craft creating the plume that was seen in his earlier photos as well as that which was seen in Leyvas’ video.
If the object that created the contrail was still visible in Warren’s photos, then the object itself is not likely to have been a missile. Solid fuel engines such as those used in an SLBM create an uninterrupted exhaust plume for two to three minutes, after which time the solid fuel is spent, and the missile is usually out of view.
On the other hand, when an airliner transitions from cold moist air to warmer drier air, the dew point changes and contrail formation decreases. In the case of USP902, the airliner would have been transitioning from moist cool air at altitude over the ocean to warmer, drier air over land. This could explain the contrail disappearing as the object moved farther east.
Mick West created a "chronological cut" of Leyvas’ video and posted it to YouTube. The transition from moist cool air over the ocean to warmer, drier air over land may have occurred at 1:17 to 1:20 of the chronological cut, which Warren referred to as “the separation of the object and the contrail.” When still images from Leyvas’ video are compared to the overlay of Warren’s photos, there is a remarkable similarity and continuity between the two sets of images, providing a better time frame for Leyvas’ video within the context of Warren’s time stamps:

When Leyvas was initially queried regarding these later photos, he replied,
“…the [Contrailscience composite] animation … only shows the path the plume drifted and not anything in flight. The 30-45 seconds of video I captured in which I could see the object (the portion of the video showing the glow/flame of the object at its pinnacle) occurred 8-10 minutes prior to the animated images of the animation (if the time stamps are accurate). I have no way of telling if those time stamps are accurate since the raw video has no real-time time stamp associated with it. I can only go by an estimated time based on the time we launched out of John Wayne airport and the approximate time of our weather shot. My guess is that the time stamps are relatively close to the accurate time. However, what you are seeing in those images is the plume drifting and not anything in flight.

Leyvas still maintains the object creating the contrail is not visible in Warren’s photos 8 to 10 minutes later:
”The separate smaller trail that is separate from the main body of the plume and that was captured by Warren in his photos, which makes it seem as if the object continued in flight, appears in my video to possibly be the top portion of the plume that partly dissipates leaving a segment of the tip adrift - detached from the main body of the plume. (I highlight "possibly be" because during that portion of the video, I zoom in and out and pan off and back onto the plume, so I'm not sure if what we are seeing is a stage of separation like that of a missile or if it's the tip of the plume separating from the main portion). I did zoom into that portion to see if I could see a craft of some kind (at the time I thought that there was a chance the object was still making condensation/exhaust) but there was nothing there creating that segment. Had there been, I know I would have been able to see it with the high-powered lens I was using. Add to that - if it was traveling toward us, the closer it would come the easier it would be to see it, but there was nothing there. That's why I said it was merely the plume adrift and not anything continuously flying.
“Though there was no time code associated with the raw footage I shot, you are still able to accurately time the footage from the moment I started the recording (as we departed John Wayne airport) to the final moments of the mystery missile story. When I play the video I can time the duration of the object in flight which was between 30-45 seconds of "Glow Time" - which is inclusive within, and at the end of the 2-3 minute estimated flight time from which the plume was visible at the horizon ... I can rely on the raw footage as it plays to gauge my estimated times since it plays back in real time on the player deck's control track timer.”
There were also two unknown witnesses who captured images of the contrail, both anonymous posters on the image hosting website Flickr. A photographer on Hermosa Beach, north of Leyvas and Warren, uploaded a photo of the November 8 sunset and only subsequently realized he had captured the same contrail due to media reports. From his vantage point, without the setting sun directly back-lighting the contrail, it apparently appeared similar to the other contrails in his sunset photo.

Another anonymous photographer uploaded photos of clouds at sunset on November 8, and noticed a bright horizontal contrail that he subsequently associated with the media reports regarding the contrail. Notice that in the case of these latter two eyewitnesses, the first noted nothing unusual about the contrail until he read media reports about it, and the second viewed a horizontal, not vertical contrail.
Finally, the opinions of the known military experts must be taken into consideration. Several highly credible experts have stated their opinion that the contrail in question represented the launching of an SLBM.
A little further background from Leyvas might shed more light on the way the video was edited and presented to the public. Leyvas related that the video was taken during sweeps week in his TV market, and part of his job during sweeps week is to go out and look for and capture video of interest for sweeps week ratings. The video he captured of the contrail was subsequently heavily edited before being aired, and less than two minutes of the ten minutes of video has been seen by these experts. From the perspective of garnering sweeps week ratings, the footage was certainly successful.
It may be that the experts would modify their opinion based on viewing the entire footage. The footage is owned by the local CBS affiliate and nothing was found by the Department of Defense in reviewing the footage that would prevent its release to the public. According to Leyvas, it might still be available on their server. If that is the case, it should just be a matter of uploading the unedited ten minutes of video to YouTube to put an end to the debate.

As a result of a subsequent email exchange with Leyvas, I had asked WND to edit the final paragraph as follows:

It may be that the experts would modify their opinion based on viewing the entire footage. The footage is owned by the local CBS affiliate and nothing was found by the Department of Defense in reviewing the footage that would prevent its release to the public. According to Leyvas, although the entire raw video may no longer be available on the local CBS affiliate's server, "We archive important video we shoot as a back up for the station, but the station maintains the rights to the video." If that is the case, it would just be a matter of uploading the unedited ten minutes of video to the internet in order to put an end to the debate.

Now compare the article I composed and submitted above to the sensationalistic manipulated (and frankly, fabricated) version WND actually published:
Mysterious missile launch baffles even eyewitnesses
Video, still photographers watched contrail soaring over Pacific Coast

One thing to note, as I implied in my original closing paragraph. Both CBS and WND know that Gil Leyvas has a back up copy of the original unedited ten minutes of raw footage. CBS knows they duped credible military experts into stating publicly that the contrail was formed by a missile by deliberately editing the raw footage for ratings. CBS has also conveniently let the impression persist from the first week that the video was seized by the Department of Defense for analysis (implying they no longer had a copy.)

WND also knows from my correspondence with them that a back-up copy exists, but they left that important fact out of their version of the story.

Frankly, both media outlets are acting like ... typical mainstream media outlets.

I never trusted CBS to begin with.

Unfortunately, I can no longer trust World Net Daily as a news source.

And I sure as heck will never submit anything to them in the future for publication.

Update 12/28/2010:
Rick Warren just sent me an email noting he uploaded two more contrails, photographed yesterday:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pope visits Little Sisters of the Poor

Pope meets residents of St Peter’s Residence, Vauxhall

By Huw Twiston Davies on Saturday, 18 September 2010

Pope meets residents of St Peter’s Residence, Vauxhall

(Photo: PA)

Meeting with elderly residents of St Peter’s Residence in Vauxhall, London, the Pope emphasised the “unique gift” of life, “from conception to natural death”.

Arriving from meetings with victims of sexual abuse by priests just after five, roughly thirty minutes later than he was originally scheduled to arrive, the Holy Father was greeted by Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, and welcomed by Sr Marie Claire of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Pope then went and visited some residents individually, who were too sick to leave the rooms, and also accepted a donation from 10 Catholic residential homes for overseas missionary work.

Sr Marie Claire then spoke of St Jeanne Jugan in her speech, the founder of the Little Sisters of the Poor who was canonised last year.

The Holy Father then gave an address in which he emphasised his community with the assembled residents, saying he came to them “not only as a father, but also as a brother who knows well the joys and the struggles that come with age.”

The Pope also encouraged the older people not to fear the difficulties of increasing old age, saying that while people “may enjoy good health in old age; but equally Christians should not be afraid to share in the suffering of Christ, if God wills that we struggle with infirmity”, also recalling the illness of Pope John Paul II in the last years of his papacy.

“His cheerfulness and forebearance as he faced his final days were a remarkable and moving example to all of us who have to carry the burden of advancing years.”, Pope Benedict said, in reference to his predecessor.

The Holy Father also said that great age grants “the opportunity to appreciate both the beauty of God’s greatest gift to us, the gift of life, as well as the fragility of the human spirit” and that the elderly “are given a marvellous chance to deepen our awareness of the mystery of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.”

“As the normal span of our lives increases… these years are an opportunity to remember in affectionate prayer all those whom we have cherished in this life, and to place all that we have personally been and done before the mercy and tenderness of God.”

The Holy Father then individually blessed and spoke to each of the residents of St Peter’s before he left.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Of Medicine, Magic and Original Sin

Of Medicine, Magic, and Original Sin

by Brian J. Kopp, DPM

From The Wanderer


With the dawn of the Third Millennium, Western society is experiencing a period of economic prosperity and material wealth that is unequaled in the history of mankind. Americans have a standard of living greater than most men who ever lived. New technologies arise at an astonishing rate, previously untreatable diseases are now not only cured but eradicated, and much physical suffering is being alleviated. With this affluence has come a longer life expectancy, as well as increased rates of previously rare diseases. Unfortunately, an unhealthy obsession with health in general accompanies this affluence, and an uneasy realization is settling over the West. All the promise of our technology, and all the money of our booming economy spent on new treatments and cures, has failed keep pace with our demands. In the back of our collective psyche, it is dawning on the world that all these advances are failing to resolve the basic problem of the suffering and death of man.

In reality, there have truly been enormous advances. Life expectancy climbs steadily, despite the perceived "dangers" of our technological world, from industrial chemicals to pollution, to new sources of ionizing radiation and electromagnetic fields. Life expectancy alone is the best gage of true advance in the life sciences. It’s increase is primarily a result of modern medicine, despite its synthetic and "unnatural" chemicals and techniques, and overall improvement in diet, which has been achieved by farming techniques with heavy dependence on chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Yet the public perceives that medicine and science has failed them. They rightfully point out rising cancer rates, increases in heart diseases, drug resistant infections, and new and deadly viruses. As questions build, no true answers are forthcoming, at least from science. Thus, as man’s modern knowledge fails to fulfill its promise of solutions for all the world’s ills, the public is turning, en masse, to alternatives to mainstream medicine and science. If penicillin fails, an herb may help. If chemotherapy fails, acupuncture and meditation and vegetarian diets are embraced.

Much of this "new" medicine comes from the "old" religions. American Indian and Chinese herbology, eastern religious meditation techniques, vegetarian Hindu diets, acupuncture, and a myriad other old healing techniques are "rediscovered," and advanced as an alternative for the failure of modern science to cure all the suffering in the world.

Yet how can the west forget so quickly the roots of western medicine itself? Traditional western medicine has grown alongside traditional western culture. That culture, the culture of Europe, and to a certain degree the Americas, is the culture of the Church that formed it and from which it received its principles of scientific investigation. Those principles are, boiled down to their basics, derived from the rational approaches of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Granted, St. Thomas Aquinas dealt with theology and philosophy. Yet it was Thomistic thought, the rational, reasoned examination of concepts and ideas, from which grew the methods of scientific investigation and by which was discovered the evidence upon which modern western medicine and science is based. The Church was the incubator of the scientific process, and its universities were the seed from which has grown Western scientific thought.

Furthermore, western medicine and science have grown within a fundamentally Catholic understanding of reality. That reality is that God made the created world, along with the Laws of Nature by which it is governed. God, of course, is the infinite omnipresent power in the universe. He also made angels, man, and the lower animals. Demons are fallen angels. All His creation must obey His Laws of Nature, which are described and codified by scientific inquiry, as well as the Natural Law, which is written on our souls, summed up in the Ten commandments and the Great commendment of Jesus Christ, and codified within the sciences of philosophy and theology. Of course, we were created perfect, but disease and death entered the system with the Original Sin of Adam and Eve.

That is a simplistic summary of the reality of our existence, properly understood by science and philosophy and theology. We are created physical bodies, imbued by God with an eternal soul, living a finite Earthly life. We are forced to live according to the Laws of Nature and the Natural Law, and we cope daily with disease and death, the price of sin.

Western medicine grew up with a fundamental understanding of this reality, and works within its finite framework. As such, it examines the body in a rational scientific Jesuitical manner, with its (sometimes limited) understanding of the Laws of Nature, and attempts to apply remedies to the body based on this reality and the diseases present.

There are biochemical, electrical, and other forces acting within the body, any disruption of which can lead to the diseased state. Investigation of disease entails the use of all the sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, etc. Treatment may be a chemical to restore function to an injured or malfunctioning organ, surgery to remove a diseased organ, vitamins and nutrients to restore proper function, or any of the thousands of treatments available to modern medicine.

They all have, as common denominator, at least an attempt to understand structure and body function through rational scientific thought within the framework of created reality, or in other words, Catholic reality. Even the early herbal remedies of modern western medicine were attempts at treating the body within the realm of reality. If remedies were found to be without merit, they were relegated to the dustbin with the other snake oils of history. As herbal remedies stood up to scientific investigation, the active ingredients were codified, formalized, and purified into the modern medicines we use today.

The failure of Western medicine today is that in its absolute pursuit of human knowledge, it has forgotten the fact of the immortal soul and the effects of Original Sin. It has so formalized itself that the patient has become a case number to be "objectively" evaluated, probed, prodded, sliced, medicated, and placated. Killing unborn babies, to use their cells to cure the current living case number, is the perfect example of the pit into which western medicine has fallen.

It is no wonder then, that men and women are sensing this something that is now missing. Western medicine has divorced itself from this spiritual side in the name of some mistaken "scientific objectivity." Unfortunately, when the patient takes the seemingly logical next step, from a soulless western medicine into the world of alternative, holistic, or eastern medicine, and the admission of the spiritual aspects of man these alternative philosophies embrace, he often steps from the relatively known to the unknown.

For all its failings, western medicine attempts to treat the body using rational scientific concepts. Alternative medicine largely refrains from making any such claims. Instead, remedies are couched in terms of balancing the "powers" within the body, or opening energy channels, or bringing "harmony" within. Anecdotal evidence replaces double-blind, standardized, and reproducible studies. Concepts of healing are drawn from eastern mysticism or ancient spiritualism, or other old world religious traditions such as Wicca and Earth worship, in a belief that "Mother Earth" provides all the cures necessary for the healing of her children. Many common maladies are believed not to be biochemical or genetic errors from a fallen human nature, but an unbalance of energies or powers, or bad karma from a previous life.

The public, in essence, is turning away from science, and returning to that which so much of early man embraced, namely superstition and gnostic paganism. These "new" alternative techniques rarely have scientific basis, but rely on mystical interpretations of the body and soul which are inherently foreign to the Catholic understanding of reality.

Despite the dangers and traps of western science noted above, these "powers" or "energies" of the body, which form the fundamental basis of these alternative remedies and techniques, still must be examined objectively. Are they "real?" Do they indeed exist? Can they be quantified or measured? If not, why? Are they part of that Nature God created? Of course, if they do exist, they must be made to "fit" into the realm of God’s creation, best understood by western philosophy and theology.

However, our western understanding of God’s creation has no place for powers or energies freely floating around for us to tap into, use and manipulate. Western tradition has a simple word for the tapping into and manipulation of energies or life forces. That word is "Magic." Magic, in the western Christian world view, is a forbidden art.

God did not make energies freely floating around into which we may tap and which we may manipulate by our will, like some cosmic Star Wars "Force." Any religion or "medicine" that promises its adherents such power is a dishonest or sinister one, for such is forbidden by God. Such "knowledge" is Gnostic, or forbidden or hidden knowledge, and it is antithetical to Christian belief.

What of so-called healings brought about by practitioners of eastern or New Age mysticism based medicine? Are there other "powers" by which we may be healed? The only force or power in the universe is the power of God. We are not permitted to attempt to conjure up God’s power by herbs, potions, incantations, yoga, "Healing Touch," Reiki, or any other technique.

We can indeed use intercessory prayer to ask God for true healing by His power. Saints have done so. Jesus our Lord healed multitudes by His power. Angels are credited with healings in Scripture, but only through God’s power.

However, we cannot conjure up God by an act of our own will or by ritual or incantation or transcendental meditation. Therefore, in the Catholic understanding of reality, these healings can at best only come from forces which God never intended us to understand or attempt to manipulate. Two thousand years of Christian thought and proper scientific investigation have not revealed any such powers. At worst, and more likely, they come from demonic forces, and magic is always and only the conjuring of demonic forces. Even when a "cure" is documented in alternative methods, the nagging question remains, "What profit it a man to gain the whole world yet lose his Eternal soul?"

For the typical individual who walks into a local alternative medicine shop, the herbal remedies they sell are not likely to open him up to demonic influence. However, the attraction of further advance into these gnostic healing arts that are the next logical step are hard to ignore. Power over physical reality, even the reality of our fallen physical nature, even if pursued to help and heal, is not a power to be grasped at by Christians. It is another attractive yet forbidden fruit so very much like that first one of which Adam and Eve tasted.

In western medicine, the patient has become naked to science, and their personhood is often run over roughshod. In an industry called "health care," they are no longer a face and a name and there may be very little care at all. In leaving behind this fundamental truth, that a patient is a human created in the image and likeness of God with innate dignity and that the end simply does not justify the means, western medicine has lost its roots and its soul.

So has western society and culture. Both have walked away from the Church that raised both from infancy, and still offers the only true hope for modern medicine and the culture at large. What is the solution to this malaise that has taken over the mind of modern man, this obsession with health and healing?

The root problem is a fundamental fear of death. Disease is simply a stage on the road to that death introduced by original sin. So man must come to terms with his own death. All the chemical compounds of all the plants of the world will never provide a cure for original sin, and therefore, disease will always be present. The sooner modern man grasps this reality, including the men and woman of science and medicine, the sooner man will truly be healthy in body and soul.

This can only come with a return to that concrete reality that tells us that God exists, He made us, and because of Original Sin and our sin, we must suffer and eventually die. The reality is that the only "cure" from this suffering and death is the embrace of the Cross, and the Savior who hung there and died for us. This reality must be proclaimed by all who would seek to heal his fellow man and himself. The cure is the Good News, and the sooner modern man takes His medicine, the sooner our world will be truly Healed.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Doctor fulfills dream by working to become nun

Several years ago a dear friend started on a beautiful journey:

Doctor fulfills dream by working to become nun

November 5, 2007 - By William Kibler,
A 47-year-old family physician from Altoona has cured herself of a chronic longing by joining the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Judy Jacobus closed her practice Oct. 1 and joined the order Oct. 26 in Washington, D.C., as a “postulant,” eligible to become a full-fledged nun by 2015.

She first felt the call at 15, but she hesitated because her nominally Catholic family in Kane discouraged her and because she wanted to get married and have “oodles of kids,” she confessed recently to members of her Lakemont parish.

Maybe it was an omen that the boy who took her to the prom is now a priest.

She dated on and off until five years ago, and she didn’t feel compelled to join any of the religious orders she checked out.

Then, a year-and-a-half ago, she read a Wall Street Journal story about the Little Sisters and felt compelled.

She wants to be part of a community of prayer, singing and eating together, and of a mission to care for the elderly poor so she wouldn’t waste her talents and 11 years of medical education.

She hopes she can work as a physician in the elderly care homes the sisters run.

“It’s a beautiful life,” she said.

Oddly, as her decision solidified, it coincided with her purchase of a downtown building for her doctor practice, which like her purchase of a house in 1991, helped to root her here.

She stopped taking new patients in late 2006 when a partner left, put her building up for sale, ended her practice Oct. 1 and spent recent weeks shedding possessions.

That wasn’t as hard as parting from her patients and distancing herself from friends and family, Jacobus said.

Still, giving up her practice as a doctor wasn’t as radical as it seems because Jacobus has “always been a nun,” said friend Dorothy Liller of Hollidaysburg.

She is kind and considerate, “a perfect friend,” and she seemed destined for the convent life she often talked about, Liller said.

“We were all just sort of waiting for her to give us the word,”she said.

Her mother, Greta, believes Jacobus may find it hard to take orders to feed or bathe an elderly resident after running her own medical practice.

She’s giving up a lot, her mother said.

In love, sacrifices don’t seem like sacrifices, Jacobus said, recalling when she gave a dress with a butterfly imprint to a sister who loves butterflies and realized her sister’s delight outweighed her own loss.

Jacobus first felt the call on a diocesan mission trip in high school to Kentucky, where she painted the tin roof of a one-room shack papered inside with cereal boxes. There were five children and their mother with no indoor plumbing.

At supper and around the campfire, Jacobus shared with fellow volunteers and the mountain people, feeling “incredibly grateful” for what she had back home.

“Everything I learned in my Catechism that was in my head went to my heart,” she said.

Jacobus began going to daily Mass. She eventually returned to Kentucky three times and later went to Haiti many times, finding things that were even worse.

As a Little Sister, her spouse will be Jesus, her “best friend,” to whom she can tell everything without fear, she said.

He “loves me no matter what, even with my worst screw-up job,” she said.

The community is worse off by losing Jacobus’ services, said Dr. David Burwell, who will be custodian of her medical charts.

Her leaving aggravates the acute primary doctor shortage in the area, caused by nine who have left practice in the past year and a half, Burwell said.

The shortage is national, but it’s especially bad in Pennsylvania because of high malpractice insurance costs and low insurance reimbursement, he said.

Jacobus tried and failed to sell her practice, an indicator of the problem, he said.

Her old number refers callers to Burwell, but he hasn’t taken her patients en masse, he said.

His staff is giving prospective new patients their first appointments in December, another indication of the problem, he said.
Judy is the God-mother of our daughter, Marie. This weekend, my wife and Marie attended Sister Judith of the Eucharist's first profession at St. Ann's Novitiate in Queen's Village, NY:

And here's an entry from the Little Sisters of the Poor website:

Little Sister novices enter retreat in preparation for first profession

July 8, 2010

“What happiness for us, to be a Little Sister of the Poor!”
Saint Jeanne Jugan

This is a very exciting time for St Ann’s Novitiate!

Please join us in praying for our Little Sister novices and postulants who have entered into retreat today in preparation for first profession and entrance into the novitiate on July 16 and 17. They are being led in retreat by Rev. Frederick Miller, a good friend of our community; during these days of retreat they will be immersed in prayer and complete silence.

The ceremonies will take place at our novitiate in Queens Village, New York. Five young women will become novices on Friday, July 16 and the next day four novices will make their first profession as Little Sisters. This year’s profession ceremony will be quite a Midwestern affair, as the new Little Sisters hail from Oklahoma, Kansas, Minnesota and western Pennsylvania.

So, please join us in praying for:
Sr Amy Marie of Jesus (Love)
Sr Dara Catherine of the Passion (Vishnefske)
Sr Judith of the Eucharist (Jacobus)
Sr Maria Catherine of Jesus (Flicker)

Check back after the 17th to see photos of the profession ceremony and to learn the first destination of our new Little Sisters. By then we’ll also know the religious names of our five new novices. For those who might be curious, we have the possibility of choosing our own religious name and may keep our baptismal name or choose an entirely new name. For each Little Sister this is a highly personal choice, “worked out” in prayer. You can guess from the names above that many of our Little Sisters pick some combination of new and old elements for their religious name, and the names often reflect a Little Sister’s personal spirituality in some way.

Accompanying this blog are some photos taken recently at the Jeanne Jugan weekend in Queens, during which the novices and postulants introduced young woman to our saintly foundress and her charism. In two of the photos the novices and postulants act out the humble beginnings of the Congregation in Brittany, France in the 19th century.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fatima and the 2009 H1N1 Flu Pandemic

Fatima and the 2009 H1N1 Flu Pandemic

In the fall of 1918, two young Portuguese shepherds contracted a virulent form of swine flu during a global pandemic that took the lives of 50 to 100 million. Francisco Marto barely survived the flu and died of complications, most likely a secondary bacterial infection, in April 1919. His sister Jacinta subsequently developed tuberculosis and died in February of 1920. With their cousin Lucia dos Santos, they are better known today for having witnessed the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.

Francisco and Jacinta likely would have survived the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic if modern antibiotics had been available. Science has subsequently assembled an impressive database for virology and immunology as well as more effective vaccines, antiviral medications and intensive care interventions for flu complications. Despite these advances there are increasing deaths, especially among pregnant women, the young and the healthy due to the current swine H1N1 pandemic, which has striking similarities to the Influenza A (H1N1) virus responsible for the 1918 pandemic. Both are noted for precipitating “cytokine storm,” an overreaction of the immune system that floods the lungs and can lead to multi-organ failure and death. Unlike 1918, the feared second wave during September of 2009 failed to produce a massive surge in fatalities. Complicating the debate, the scientific world is split on the implications of recent minor genetic changes in the virus and the best available options for prevention and treatment in the face of a possible third wave later this winter.

A good illustration of the dissension within the scientific community can be seen in the work of David Fedson, MD. Specializing in the epidemiology of influenza and vaccination, Fedson served as Director of Medical Affairs for Aventis Pasteur MSD and was a member of numerous US and World Health Organization (WHO) committees on influenza immunization. Having worked extensively within the field, he continues to believe that safe effective vaccines are the gold standard in preventing deaths from pandemic flu, but also grasps the inherent shortcomings of our reliance on flu vaccines and antiviral medications such as Tamiflu. A December study in the British Medical Journal has drawn into question the general effectiveness of Tamiflu, and due to a minor genetic mutation (known as H274Y) seasonal H1N1 flu is now 99% resistant to Tamiflu. There have been increasing reports of the H274Y mutation in 2009 swine H1N1 samples. Viral genetic drift, which helps a virus evade a host’s immune response, can also render pandemic vaccines ineffective, and global pandemic vaccine production capacity is only sufficient to immunize approximately a billion people, less than 1 in 7 of the world’s population. Fedson is an ardent promoter of adjuvants as an essential antigen sparing method to stretch limited supplies to vaccinate as many as four times as many individuals.

An interview with Fedson exploring these issues was published in July in L'Osservatore Romano as part of their coverage of the G8 Summit meeting. For over five years Fedson has been campaigning for research on the use of currently available generic medications to help control the “cytokine storm” precipitated by novel influenza strains. Targeted drugs include statins and fibrates (currently used for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides), glitizones (used in managing diabetes) and Resveratrol (a chemical in red wines and peanuts thought to be responsible for lowering rates of heart disease). Until recently, his pleas fell on deaf ears at the CDC, WHO, The Gates Foundation, and other major philanthropic organizations. Headlines this fall finally vindicated his efforts. Research funded by the CDC indicated that among people hospitalized with seasonal influenza, those taking statins were 50% less likely to die.

Susan Chu, MD was a cosigner of Fedson’s seminal 2006 letter to The Times (UK) urging research on this issue. An editor of the popular website, Chu parts company with Fedson when it comes to the use of adjuvants in flu vaccines. Chu has posted a series of essays at about the possibility of adjuvants causing autoimmune disease and spontaneous miscarriages. The medical literature and vaccine manufacturers simply have not provided adequate documentation to allay Chu’s concerns, though Fedson maintains that, with 40 million adjuvanted vaccines administered so far in Europe, such complications would already have been widely reported. Adjuvant promoters also point to a possible additional benefit, the potential of cross protection via broader immunity to pandemic viruses that displays genetic drift away from the original vaccine target. Recent minor genetic mutations (known as D225G) that have been noted in samples from the Ukraine and Norway were also seen in the 1918 and H5N1 influenza strains. These mutations are associated with infections that strike deeper in the lungs, causing widespread damage to alveolar cells and triggering cytokine storm, increasing virulence and death rates. One Ukraine specimen with this minor genetic mutation was characterized as a low reactor, indicating that current vaccines might not be as effective against strains with this mutation.

An additional concern is an immunological concept called, ironically, Original Antigenic Sin (OAS). According to the OAS theory the immune system will create a robust immune response to a novel virus, but if the individual is subsequently infected with a strain of virus closely related to the first strain, the body reacts as if it were being reinfected with the original strain, failing to confront the mutated virus. This could have implications for the minor genetic variations noted between waves of any given pandemic flu. Individuals infected with the spring 1918 pandemic wave had at least partial immunity to the fall 1918 wave, but little or none to the Winter 1918/1919 wave. Fortunately, the 2009 H1N1 Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) nasal spray appears to have included the D225G variant. The injectable inactivated vaccines do not, and no one in the medical community can foretell the significance of this at present.

The evolutionary explanations for these mutations are being hotly debated among the scientific community and point to one of the greatest controversies among virologists. The current genetic theories of random mutation and viral reassortment, representing the reigning orthodoxy at the CDC and WHO, simply cannot explain the appearance of some of these mutations among widespread samples and differing genetic backgrounds. Henry Niman, PhD, is the leading proponent of a relatively new theory of homologous recombination to explain and predict such mutations, and his company, Recombinomics, hopes to cash in on the ability to predict such changes to better guide vaccine production. By shear tenacity he has managed to drive the online flu community towards his point of view, and in the process has precipitated wider access to genetic sequence data online. His signature comments, “Release of sequences would be useful” and “[the genetic mutation du jour] is cause for concern” have become both a thorn in the side of mainstream science as well as a rallying cry among the online flu community seeking transparency from government labs and influenza researchers.

The scientific establishment points to a lack of peer reviewed publications supporting Niman’s theory of recombination, but the recent ClimateGate controversy has illustrated the tyranny and political correctness of the peer review process. As in the global warming debate, the mainstream position isn’t holding up to scrutiny. Tamiflu resistance is becoming too widespread to continue to claim it is randomly popping up in multiple patients simultaneously, or that resistance to Tamilflu makes the virus less able to spread. In France, one fatal case contained both D225G and Tamiflu resistance mutations. According to Niman, low reactors to current vaccines due to the virulent D225G mutation along with increasing prevalence of Tamiflu resistance could create the perfect storm for a deadly third or fourth pandemic wave later in 2010.

Fortunately, some common concerns expressed since early in the pandemic cycle have been settled. Current pandemic vaccines do not utilize any technologies that are intrinsically objectionable from a pro-life perspective, and there never was any validity to claims that current pandemic vaccines might be used for population control purposes. Brian Clowes, PhD, is director of research at Human Life International, and exposed the use of abortifacient hCG hormone-linked Tetanus vaccines in third world countries in the early 1990's. When asked if current pandemic vaccines might be used for population control purposes, he stated that although sterilization vaccines are still being researched, they are only used by western nations against the third world countries targeted in the 1974 National Security Study Memorandum 200.

By mid December, at least 200 million doses of pandemic flu vaccine had been administered globally, and the complications that were feared, based on the infamous 1976 Swine Flu vaccine campaign, have simply failed to materialize. Though Guillain–BarrĂ© syndrome has not become an issue in the current vaccine campaign, there have been some credible reports of increased allergic reactions and anecdotal reports of miscarriages associated with adjuvanted vaccines. The non-adjuvanted pandemic vaccines have displayed a safety level similar to seasonal flu vaccines, but it is still too early to tell whether current vaccines will actually prevent deadly infections during subsequent waves of influenza.

Most of the hysterical claims regarding the current pandemic have originated among promoters of alternative medicine, who insist that herbs, vitamins and other natural remedies can prevent and cure influenza. While proclaiming that the pandemic declaration itself is a hoax or conspiracy, they’ll be happy to sell supplements to the credulous, and adjust their flow of energy for optimum immune response. A central theme of the new age Gnostic alternative health field is the notion that the human body should be symptom and disease free, simply as a result of living a "healthy" lifestyle, and therefore able to overcome any illness. Unfortunately, this concept implicitly denies that disease entered human history as a result of Original Sin and continues due to personal sin. Gluttony and sloth aren’t bad lifestyle choices because they disturb karma or displease Gaia, they are cardinal sins that have temporal consequences. Obesity, diabetes and heart disease are the highest risk factors in the current pandemic.

Mainstream medicine has been neutered in its ability to address modern lifestyle choices, be they nutritional, behavioral, or sexual, because the “scientism” that animates modern medicine is non-judgmental. This “scientism” promised a utopia of health, happiness, and freedom from disease, and eventually the answers to all human questions and problems, but also forbids the intrusion of traditional morality into modern mainstream medicine.

December’s headlines, “H1N1 Pandemic a Dud,” may be true. Or the mounting viral mutations could cause a brutal third wave later this winter. Regardless, it is apparent that scientism has failed to deliver on its grand promises, at least in this current pandemic. The new age Gnosticism inherent in the alternative medicine industry is blind to the reality that human suffering comes from The Fall, the answers to which can be found only in the Cross. Disease will not be eliminated by science or by a healthy lifestyle. It will only end in that place where all tears are wiped away.

There are messages for us in the midst of this pandemic, in the message of Our Lady of Fatima. Blessed Francisco and Jacinta, please pray for us, and help us discern.

Friday, July 9, 2010

SEALED WITH BLOOD Letter From a Father to His Beloved Son

Letter From a Father to His Beloved Son

April 2002By Brian J. Kopp

Dr. Brian J. Kopp is a foot surgeon, NFP instructor, and home-schooling father in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Cite de Dio
The Feast of The Holy Innocents, A.D. 2032

My Dearest Miguel,

Oh, how I yearn to see your face again Miguel, my first-born son and only child. I so very much wish you were here with me now in this incredible city where the Sun never sets. Each time I look into the face of my Father, I see your face there. My joy would be that much more complete if you decide to join us here.

I realize our parting was so very hard for you. I wish it had not happened that way, and I realize that you could not possibly understand how I could have left you without an explanation. Now, I will try to explain. I know it can never erase the sense of bewilderment and disbelief that must have engulfed you at our parting. However, as I’ve come to know my Father here, I have come to know too that I must speak to you about those days of bewilderment and wonder and disbelief. I wish I had known my Father better in my youth. He has such boundless wisdom. Oh, the mistakes I could have avoided, and the suffering I could have prevented, if only I had listened to that wisdom in my youth. I pray you will understand, someday, that these words I write and speak are not words of regret. It is too late for regret. They are simply words of truth that I could not have possibly shared with you before that painful parting. You would not have understood then.

I wish too that your mother had decided to join me here, Miguel. You know I loved her too, as much as a mortal man can love a woman. It was not enough, though. As much as it is possible to "miss" someone here now, that much I miss your mother. She could have decided to come here too, but I would not have been able to help her make that decision. Our parting too was so very difficult. Then, it was my own face that was disfigured with that same sense of bewilderment and disbelief. It was so painful to see it on your face at our own parting, such a short while after.

We possessed the world, your mother and I. We had all that the world could offer. Never before had two people so enjoyed the awe and esteem of the world's medical and scientific community. Never before had two scientists become so powerful and so wealthy. From the halls of the United Government, to the International Universities and Hospitals System, to the homes of the media elites, and even in the corridors of hidden power and control, we were welcomed and esteemed. That is why it was so hard for you to have seen me leave the way I did. That is why the questions ring through your brilliant mind, seemingly without answers. Questions you never anticipated asking, and for which I failed to form you to be capable of answering. That, in this place and time of no regrets, would be my greatest regret. In that I failed you, Miguel, despite my unprecedented worldly success.

As you know, Miguel, your mother was instrumental in finally "proving" the existence of global warming to the world. Her atmospheric modeling and computer analysis surpassed the efforts of any other scientist. Her ability to devise long-range plans for its alleviation brought her the Nobel Peace Prize. It was an accomplishment that an entire University faculty couldn't match, and few men could even comprehend her mathematical methods and programming genius, let alone challenge her conclusions. Hers was a mind rivaled only by my own, Miguel. And you are heir to both our intellects. There is danger in that, Miguel, yet great promise and hope. I hope you realize this soon. Very soon.

When I joined the faculty of the International University, adjoining the grand halls of the United Government, my accomplishments preceded me. Few men had an MD degree as well as PhD's in biophysics, immunology and nanoscience. My work identifying the protein markers on the fetus and placenta made it possible to develop the only contraceptive vaccine known to man that was at once as effective and safe as it was permanent. Unused and forgotten embryos, frozen in liquid nitrogen in fertility clinics worldwide, offered ample material for my research and experimentation.

All the other vaccines had failed, even those that linked the HCG hormone of the fetus to known immune antigens such as the tetanus vaccine. These vaccines all had painful, dangerous side effects, because the body failed to attack the fetus early enough in the pregnancy. My vaccine, however, met all the expectations and surpassed them. By developing a synthetic protein that mimics the proteins of the cells lining the early placenta, an immune reaction would develop as soon as a pregnancy started, ending it before the regular menstrual period. It was truly a silent termination. Ninety-nine percent of women never had any idea they were pregnant.

The fact that it could be added to the other vaccinations of childhood made it easier to distribute, especially among those cultures that we deemed "backwards" at the time, and refused to embrace the "wisdom" of our population control plans. We marketed the vaccine to the public at the same time, aimed at women of childbearing age as a painless alternative to surgical sterilizations and dangerous hormonal medications. We convinced the medical community that it only lasted for 10 years. It was a perfect deception. Yet this deception did not seem important compared to the scale of the environmental crisis we envisioned if the "population explosion" was not stopped.

Your mother and I ardently embraced the need for population contro. Her own calculations and global warming models showed the need and why action was necessary. My vaccine finally provided the answer; a safe effective permanent vaccine that was "accepted" because it was not suspected. With the wild success at eliminating so many human diseases that the vaccines of the 1900's brought about, who would have questioned continuing and expanding the vaccine industry and research. Great-grandparents still remembered the iron lungs of the years before the polio vaccine. Several generations grew to respect and accept vaccination programs uncritically. My breakthrough was the dream of the United Government. I made it a reality and it made me rich. My own Nobel Peace Prize was awarded secretly, for the United Government decided the world was not yet ready to accept the level of central planning already being achieved by the selective administration of my vaccine.

Beyond that concern, and more importantly, the Third World nations were finally leveling off in population growth, and within a short period they entered into that desired demographic goal of birth rates "below replacement level." Finally, after many years, total world population was declining. The strategic threat posed by population growth in Third World countries compared to the population decline of the West was finally eliminated. Even the Muslem countries failed to see the effects of this childhood vaccine. Its demographic effects were not felt till 15 to 20 years after its introduction, making it hard for traditional cultures to determine the cause of their infertility.

I am reluctant now to admit that we planned it that way, Miguel. It was the greatest cold war victory in the history of man. A war had been fought and won against an enemy, the world's population, that never knew it was fighting a battle for its very existence.

Between your mother's models and my own insistence that we were winning this demographic warfare at an unprecedented rate, on a scale never imagined, the nascent United Government decided that the traditional wars that had been envisioned as necessary to curtail world population growth were no longer necessary. A worldwide peace was negotiated and the United Government emerged victorious over eons of strife and discord. A new order grew that was unprecedented in its philanthropy and humanitarian efforts. A seemingly just world order reigned that never could have functioned before the population implosion that followed on the heels of my vaccine.

Fortunately, Miguel, I was able to turn to more rewarding research. Using my background in biophysics and nanomachines, I dedicated the rest of my years to developing a precise delivery system for chemotherapy and radiation therapy to malignant tumors. This was always my goal. I never intended to follow down that road to population control. I always found it somehow unsettling, but never realized why until I came here to this city.

I was fascinated with thesenano machines from my earliest memories. Machines not even seen by the human eye, capable of navigating the arteries and veins of the body, to deliver microscopic doses of molecular poison to cells of that last remaining incurable disease, cancer -- these machines were always a dream of medicine. It was a frontier as big as the suffering of man but smaller than a human cell.

Like the wild success of my vaccine, my research utilizing nanomachines in treating tumors held such promise. The navigation system of these magnificent little machines depended on recognizing those same chemical markers on the cell surfaces of the body's tissues. Just like the body's own immune system that my vaccine tricked into attacking the placenta, my nanomachines were trained to find and attack tumor markers on cells associated with cancer. Building on my own experience with the female reproductive tract and its tissue markers, we attacked the cancers there first, with phenomenal success.

The delayed time bomb of breast cancers, uterine cancers, and cervical cancers precipitated by the widespread use of hormonal contraceptives that the West relied upon so heavily before my vaccination gave us ample opportunity to experiment and refine our machines and techniques. Your mother joined me, utilizing her expertise in computer modeling to map the surface antigen codes and utilizing the findings of the previous generation's Human Genome Project.

We had cracked the code for every tissue marker in the body. Collecting tumors from the United Government's International University Hospitals System, we mapped the tissue markers specific to all of the most common cancers. We prepared nanomachines for each type of tumor, capable of delivering the appropriate dose of chemo or radiation necessary to obliterate the tumor cells. The size of the tumor determined the number of nanomachines injected. They went directly to the tumor and launched their deadly payload right into the tumor mass itself. The results were immediate and astonishing. We were curing cancers previously thought incurable.

Then...the world crumbled around me, son. When your mother was diagnosed, it was like a deathblow to me, despite the rapid progress we were making. If I had believed in God, I would have shaken my fist in His face, or cursed fate, or engaged in any of the old superstitions to which man resorts when he knows not why he suffers. But atheists are stoic in their own way. Stoic is really just a word for the mask atheists hide behind while they silently despair.

Your mother's treatment should have been routine. Instead it went terribly wrong. I should have recognized the signs of that fearsome condition from the start, Miguel. In my earlier days, working on my PhD in immunology, I had described it in the medical literature and mapped out the complex biochemical cascade that lies behind it. But Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopathy was simply not seen much any longer, and in reality, doctors always tend to undertreat and underdiagnose their own family and friends.

Why didn't I see it, Miguel?

Pride. My pride would not admit that my own treatment of my beloved wife was killing her. Her blood simultaneously clotted and grew too thin throughout her body, throwing clots to fingers and toes and organs, and at the same time bleeding uncontrollably in other places.

Looking into her eyes I saw a horror I never knew possible for a person of science. She was more fiercely atheist than myself, and she knew death was coming, but in her pride she would not believe, even then.

Of course, I followed the United Government International University Hospital guidelines for termination of life support immediately. I helped write them. I had to abide by them, even if, after recognizing my error, I thought somehow I could save her.

Miguel, you were deeply involved in your own meteoric rise within the inner circle of the United Government long before your mother became ill. Now I see that I lost you so many years earlier when I chose my work and research over raising you, my son. And with an intellect such as hers, the world did not expect your mother to forget her own research to raise a son. There is no way to apologize now for what was so obvious then. We were embarrassed to have conceived (I would never give my own wife that vaccine--we elites were above such cattle controlling methods) and too proud to abort the offspring of two such great minds.

Yours was the finest education money could buy, at only the best prep schools. I'm sorry you only saw us on our vacations from the International University. My own money, power and prestige, combined with one of the greatest intellects of all time, bought you your ticket to the highest levels of the new United Government. But you never knew the love of your own parents.

After your mother died I suffered a depth of despair that few could possibly know. When the promise of science fails to fulfill one's life and bring the happiness that the grasp of pure knowledge promises, an abyss of despair, depression and even suicide awaits, Miguel. I was very close to death, having decided to end my despair and my life over my failure, when I first heard my Father's voice. It came to me as a whisper, as in a dream. "Awake, my beloved son. I have work for you yet to complete before you part from your world."

In that moment I saw it all. I saw the billions of children who died early deaths in the womb from my vaccination. I saw the agony of "infertility" of billions of couples. I saw your atheism, which sprouted from my rejection of fatherhood and my failure to show you the Love of the Father of us all. I also saw my eternal "reward" for my life up till that moment. I had a conscience, and I had knowingly killed it. I ignored the natural law permanently imprinted on my soul. I was guilty of some of the greatest crimes ever against humanity. I was a prideful man, Miguel. You know that. But I was not a dumb man. I knew the reward that was mine at that very moment.

When I awoke, I knew that I had little time to correct the things I had done. After 78 years of destroying the Father's image in His families on earth, I had so very little time to restore some small piece of it. I knew nothing of that Faith which my grandfather had brought out of Cuba, and my own parents rejected, and that I ridiculed as the crutch of small-minded men. But I knew that something must be done.

Of course, you, better than anyone else, know the rest. After I called the international press conference and revealed to the world the presence of my vaccine in childhood immunization programs world wide, the truth was out. I was a powerful man in my own right. I revealed the demographic war that had been fought against the Third World countries. I revealed to the Muslims the failure of their leaders to protect them and their faith.

The world finally realized why the Catholic Church had been sounding the alarm at every United Government meeting for decades -- faithfully, truthfully -- while everyone had stopped listening except a small remnant. Now a springtime of the faith blossoms amid the blood of countless martyrs.

Of course, all these admissions did nothing for the credibility of the United Government, and the price was to be paid in blood. When they brought me before the United Government International Criminal Court, the Chief Justice -- you, Miguel-- could not believe the reports. How could you possibly believe that your own father, that brilliant scientist, had rejected the god of Science and backslid into that old superstition of Religion. Controlled by a bureaucracy you helped to create, you had to convict your own father of treason against the United Government you served, just as I had put your mother to death due to the guidelines for Euthanasia I had helped create for the International University Hospitals System. The United Government allowed no exceptions to its laws.

You yourself wrote the law that said that a United Government International Criminal Court Chief Justice, finding a man guilty of a capital offense against the United Government, must personally carry out that execution. I know that somehow, when you wrote that, you felt it was a noble thing, and would help prevent abuse of a punishment reserved for only the greatest offenses against this new world order. I also knew that the beast you unwittingly helped create and set in power was now dictating to you your duties. I hold no ill feeling towards you, son. Like myself, you thought you were only serving man and science.

Our parting was so difficult Miguel. When the day of my execution arrived, bewilderment, wonder, and disbelief filled your face as you did for me that which I failed to do for you. You gave me the gift of Baptism by Blood, even though I had never given you the gift of Baptism by Water. By taking my life, you gave me Eternal Life. By following the orders of the Beast, you are helping the Beast to defeat himself. My public execution, televised worldwide on the United Government network, was witnessed by more human beings than any other death in history.

Of course war and bloodshed have since replaced that false peace the United Government had imposed. From my witness and blood has sprung forth so many more witnesses and martyrs. And I was only a 78 year old fool, who only grasped Reality for the final 47 days of his life, and who never learned a single line of the teachings of the Father during his life on earth.

Son, my prayers here in this Cite de Dio seem to be powerful with my Father. Apparently the intercessions of the Martyrs are some of the most powerful next to those of the Mother of God. I look into His beautiful face, into this Beatific Vision, and I see you. My Father allows me to see into your soul, where I see turmoil, bitterness and bewilderment. Yet I also see a fragile glimmer of hope there, that fragile willingness to believe that maybe, just maybe, your own father did not die in vain. My Father does not allow me to know your final decision, however, so I persevere in prayerful intercession for you at His throne.

I will spend Eternity in this City learning about Our Infinite Father. He has taught me the severity of my sins but also the Infinite Mercy of His Divine Love and Forgiveness. Now, of course, He has also taught me that in His eyes there is simply, no such thing as "overpopulation." The Love of an Infinite Father simply cannot be exhausted by "too many" children. In My Father's eyes, there are poverty-stricken children and prideful, selfish children. They are all the Father's children, made in His image and likeness, yet wounded by that Original Sin. His Will is for His children blessed with material excess to aid His children in poverty, not eliminate them. Yes, Miguel, the Father's Son, when He walked the earth with us, said the poor would always be with us. He knew man would resist His Grace and Love, with which those effects of Original Sin could be solved. Even your mother's prideful notions of global warming, which we used to rationalize the deaths of billions of His children, were way off the mark. The pride and folly of man, to think we could destroy the creation of an Infinite Creator! You and your United Government now must realize that the global economy has completely collapsed because there simply cannot be economic growth with a contracting population base, and that "global warming," such as it was, was only the Father's naturally created cycles that man's myopic vision could not grasp.

You are indeed one of the ten most powerful men in the world, Miguel. But the most powerful one, the one you serve, is not of My Father, but a liar and deceiver from the start. But do not despair, my son. Even my death will be forgiven you, if you only ask.

So I say these words here directly to your soul, even if your mind fails to hear them and grasp them. My pride and failure as a father took away much of your earthly opportunity to come to know our Father. Yet He undeservedly granted me the grace of Martyrdom before your very eyes. There is no greater witness to that which cannot be seen. Please take this gift that was given you, the witness to the shedding of blood for belief in the Eternal Father, so that you too may come to believe, and decide to join us here in this City.

I have lost everything, Miguel. I lost my worldly wealth and position. I lost your mother. I lost my life, but by losing my life, I gained it. I do not want to lose you too. Of all my worldy accomplishments, none could I bring with me here to this City. The souls of our children is the only worldly thing Our Father allows us to bring to this City. You are my only Eternal accomplishment, Miguel.

Please come join me here my son, my only child, my executioner, my beloved Miguel. It is not too late. Our Father is waiting for you to decide.

Your loving father,

Saint Miguel Cortino III, Holy Martyr

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rise in Autism: Aborted Fetal DNA in Vaccines Versus Cable TV?

I am a 100% skeptic when it comes to claims of a link between autism and vaccines. There is far more correlation between television viewing and autism rates than any other link. See

Does Watching TV Cause Autism? - TIME

Does Watching Television Trigger Autism? - National Bureau of Economic Research

TV might cause autism. - By Gregg Easterbrook - Slate Magazine

Daily Kos: Early Television Viewing Is Correlated With Autism

Rainfall + cable TV = autism?

However, the following theory must be fully explored:

Thursday June 3, 2010

Study: Rise in Autism and introduction of Aborted Fetal DNA in Vaccines Correlate

By James Tillman

PHILADELPHIA, PA, June 3, 2010 ( -- Dr. Theresa Deisher, founder of the pro-life Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute, presented a study revealing the link between autism and aborted fetal DNA in vaccinations at the International Meeting for Autism Research in May.

"The temporal connection between the introduction of aborted fetal DNA and autism rises is found over decades and across continents," Dr. Deisher told LifeSiteNews. "This temporal connection is more compelling than any mercury connection," which, she said, had no temporal connection to rising rates of autism.

As the abstract of the study indicates, autism rates in the US and the UK began to increase around the same time that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine switched from using animal cells to using human cells that had been derived from aborted fetuses.

The use of such cells means that the vaccine might contain residual human DNA fragments. Dr. Deisher told LSN that "short fragments of human DNA residuals in vaccines present two well-documented potential physiological dangers" and "the possibility for auto-immune reactions." While the immune system recognizes the DNA as foreign, its similarity to an individual’s own DNA can cause the immune system to attack parts of the individual's own body.

Another danger springs from the length of the DNA fragments. Residual DNA fragments consisting of less than 250 base pairs (bp) have been shown to have a higher probability of entering the nucleus of human cells. Once inside the nucleus, short DNA fragments can integrate with the genome of the cell. The probability of integration is 1 billion times greater with DNA from the same species than with DNA from another species, according to the abstract.

The study explained that, as the average human DNA fragment length in the rubella vaccine is 220bp, it would be especially likely to enter the nucleus of a cell. Moreover, 25 of the "recombination hotspots" where the DNA fragment could likely combine are located in some of the autism-associated genes (AAG). Thus, such recombination could be one of the causes of autism.

According to SCPI, before children received many vaccinations and before vaccines contained aborted fetal DNA, only about 1 of 10,000 children was diagnosed with autism, whereas now 1 of 150 is diagnosed.

Sound Choice is working to provide further evidence of a causal association between residual human DNA and autism. "In order to definitively prove the connection, one would want to see these vaccines all replaced and autism rates go down immediately," Dr. Deisher told LSN.

Sound Choice also plans to look at historical databases for more evidence of correlation, to evaluate a mouse model of autism using mouse DNA fragments, and to attempt to determine the exact location where human DNA fragments enter the human genome.

The pro-life organization Children of God for Life praised Sound Choice and its companion organization Ave Maria Biotechnology for their crucial research.

"Until the advent of AVM Biotechnology and their non-profit arm SCPI we had little hope that anyone would invest the time and money to do this study", stated Children of God for Life founder Debi Vinnedge.

"Dr. Deisher's work is a blessing to hundreds of thousands of families, if not millions worldwide," Vinnedge continued. "She is a direct answer to our prayers for a biotech company focused solely on moral research and ethically produced vaccines and therapeutics."

Related links:

Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute

Ave Maria Biotechnology

Children of God for Life

See related stories on

Is Aborted Fetal DNA in Vaccines Linked to Autism?

US Elections: Why Social Issues Matter

Friday June 4, 2010

US Elections: Why Social Issues Matter

Chichester believes that present fiscal crisis is direct result of left's war on life and family

Commentary By Dr. Brian Kopp

AUSTERLITZ, New York, June 4, 2010 ( - The upcoming November US elections are being held under the shadow of unprecedented global economic turmoil. As the chaos striking European nations deepens and threatens to spread, American conservatives are concerned that the politicians they support comprehend the origins and implications of this economic crisis and are willing to combat it effectively.

Tim Chichester, a candidate in the GOP primary for the US Senate seat occupied by Democrat appointee Kirsten Gillibrand, is working with the New York state Tea Party movement to educate voters on the true origins of the present crisis. An unapologetically pro-life veteran of the culture wars, Chichester believes that the present fiscal crisis is a direct result of the left's war on life and the family.

Chichester says, "Frederick Engels focused on social issues as the key to transforming society to the socialist model; he firmly held that religion, traditional marriage and family structure must be destroyed so as to bring about social conditions that would usher in socialism."

According to Chichester, "These economic dislocations and disasters are the exploding assets of Western civilization. They are the by-products of social assaults, collateral damage in socialism's unrelenting war on the family. Every major economic ill we have can be directly traced to social policies. The promotion of divorce, promiscuity, abortion, pornography are all heavy artillery shells aimed at creating disconnected, disaffected and malleable individuals with no moral anchor or foundation."

"All of these policies", continues Chichester, "have enormous economic side effects as the individuals are severed from normal and natural social connections. Those policies that attack the family produce declining populations.

The American economic effects of abortion alone are estimated at over $50 trillion of lost GDP. Adam Smith noted that prosperity was associated with growing populations and poverty with declining populations. We must reverse these trends if we are to survive as a republic."

And Chichester sees a philosophical war emerging as a result. "What I see at stake in these elections goes far beyond balancing of the federal budget, desirable as it is. What is at stake is whether or not we will still have our republican form of government by the time these troubles pass - whether or not our children will grow up truly free. I see this as a last stand against what is coming. I do not expect to go down to Washington and come away unscathed, or have a long comfortable career. I expect to go to the Alamo, to fight to retain the Constitution during what is to be the Second Civil War: A war against the idea that man has unalienable rights. A war between Socialists who see man as property of the state and those who see property as inextricably bound to individual liberty and creativity. A war between the violent sterility of Socialism and the creative prosperity of a Godly people protected by a Divinely inspired Constitution."

Chichester believes that those claiming that the current recession is almost over, with economic recovery on the near horizon, are delusional. He likens the current market indicators to the receding waters preceding an economic tsunami. "As a Catholic, I understand the moral implications of abortion, population control, etc. I understand in greater detail the economic and social penalty to be paid in adhering to behavior that is inherently evil. When a society adheres to a great evil, the impact is obvious. Our world is ready to see the enormous economic and social penalty that has accrued over the years because of our disregard for the life ethic."

A vocal minority of Tea Party conservatives, primarily among the small libertarian faction, is insisting that social conservative issues be set aside in this election cycle to focus solely on "fiscal conservatism." The fiscally conservative Libertarian Party is even threatening to run a candidate in the Kentucky Senate race against one of their own, Rand Paul, because of his support for a federal abortion ban and his opposition to gay marriage.

In this election, Chichester is urging social conservatives not to be deceived by "fiscal conservatives" seeking to forge a larger coalition based on marginalizing social issues, because this war is one which fiscal conservatism alone simply cannot win.

See Tim Chichester For US Senate website and Tim Chichester For U.S. Senate’s Facebook site

Dr. Brian Kopp has written articles for L'Osservatore Romano, The Wanderer, New Oxford Review and World Net Daily.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Medicare Fraud

By Brian Kopp, DPM

Podiatry Today
August 2001 •

In my first week of podiatry school, one young professor stood before our freshman class giving his first lecture. He began by saying, “Podiatry is what I do. It is not what I am. What I am is a husband, and a father, and a believer.” It is the only direct quote I remember from eight years of schooling and two years of residency, and when I keep this hierarchy of priorities, life goes well.

During our early years, we lived in an apartment above our office. Patients got to know my wife and three young children, and continue to bring cards and gifts for birthdays and holidays. My training failed to prepare me for the depth and scope of the friendships I would form with many patients, or the very real sense of loss felt when patients passed away. The personal (if not financial) rewards of the practice of podiatry have far surpassed any preconceptions I had when I started my practice.

Unfortunately, all my years of training failed to prepare me for another reality of podiatry. Recently, I read a discussion on an online podiatry e-mail list about the perception that there is a federal “witch hunt” going on regarding fraud among podiatrists.

Yet daily I see evidence of the fraud the feds maintain exists, as patients come to my office after having seen other podiatrists. They uniformly expect that their routine foot care will be covered, because it always was before.

As I review their medical histories and find no qualifying systemic diseases, and find strong pulses and healthy skin, I go into what has become a standard monologue:

“Cutting toenails and trimming corns and calluses is called routine foot care. Medicare simply does not cover routine foot care unless the patient has an underlying disease that would make it dangerous for them or a family member or friend to care for them. Your feet are healthy and you have none of the underlying diseases, and you say you don’t have pain in your toes from the toenails. Therefore, unfortunately, this will be a noncovered service. You may bring back your EOMB from your previous doctor’s visit, and I can review it with you to see if there’s some way I can get your treatment covered too.”

After reviewing numerous past EOMBs with my patients and discussing this issue with peers around the country, I’ve come to the conclusion that the feds are not unjustified. Podiatry seems to be blind to the scope of insurance fraud rampant among our ranks. Here are some common examples:

• billing 11721 when there are only one or two mycotic nails, or, as often as not, no mycotic nails;
• reporting pain or infection where there is none;
• claiming PVD where there is no clinical evidence;
• class findings grasped out of thin air;
• billing 11721 or 11720 when 11719 is clearly the appropriate code;
• billing 11730 when no such procedure was done;
• billing for ulcers or skin neoplasms where only corns and calluses exist;
• billing the 11055-11057 procedures in conjunction with 11720/11721/11719 on patients with underlying systemic diseases where no corns/calluses existed;
• practices that bill routine foot care as covered in 100% of patients, or bill E&M codes instead when routine foot care is provided;
• unnecessary surgical procedures, such as the patient presenting with a simple, uncomplicated ingrown hallux nail who was previously told this was secondary to a very mild bunion deformity that would first need correction to resolve the onychocryptosis.

Medicare fraud is easy to rationalize (i.e., “Medicare guidelines and reimbursements are unreasonable,” “procedural definitions are unreasonable,” “managed care is taking away our patient base,” “our bottom line is constantly shrinking,” etc.) Given the entitlement mentality of the retirement population, who demand that every conceivable medical treatment be covered, I’m seen as the bad guy and the fellow who fudges it to get it covered is the hero.

Of course, these things are rationalizations, not justifications, for fraud, which is never justifiable. The government defines the regulations and terms under which we work and get reimbursed. They may be grossly unfair. Lobbying to effect change for the better is the duty of all disagreeing with these regulations. Committing fraud to circumvent them is unethical and criminal, and the feds would be guilty of wrongdoing in the utilization of my tax dollars if they failed to investigate and eliminate it.

Fraud investigation is also the only hope I have to practice on a level playing field. Maybe my religious convictions engender a certain scrupulosity over ethical billing practices. I know that if I’m ever forced out of the practice of podiatry, it will not be due to managed care, Medicare restrictions/cutbacks, or educational loans and malpractice costs. It will be because I cannot and will not compete with those—too common in our ranks—who say, “Podiatry is what I do, a Medicare fraud is what I am.”

Dr. Kopp has been in private practice since 1995 in Johnstown, PA. He is a regular contributor to several national Catholic periodicals, writing on issues of morals and ethics.