Saturday, December 06, 2008

Mastic man gets 19 years in deadly home invasion

"A Mastic man sentenced to 19 years to life in prison Friday for a deadly home invasion asked a judge why he was charged with murder when his fellow burglars had actually done the shooting.

"How come I have to take their fall?" Edwin Frazier, 20, asked Suffolk County Court Judge James Hudson in Riverhead. "I know I'm guilty of entering a home without permission, I know I'm guilty of holding a gun. I'm not guilty of killing anybody. Why couldn't I plead to a burglary charge?"

Frazier pleaded guilty Oct. 23 to second-degree murder in connection with a botched burglary that left three people dead in a Medford home last year. When certain kinds of felonies result in death, New York State law holds all who took part in the crime equally responsible." [emphasis mine]

It is good he will go to jail but sad that his sentence is a little longer than Eric Calace's sentence when Calace is the one who set the entire robbery up in the first place. Calace should have to serve more time, he will be out while still in his 30's and able to do more harm to society. What I find very interesting is that this NYS law is not being applied in the case of the murder of Marcello Lucero. Not all 7 are being charged with his murder. Anybody want to explain why?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rerum Novarum excerpt IX -

22. Therefore, those whom fortune favors are warned that riches do not bring freedom from sorrow and are of no avail for eternal happiness, but rather are obstacles;(9) that the rich should tremble at the threatenings of Jesus Christ - threatenings so unwonted in the mouth of our Lord(10) - and that a most strict account must be given to the Supreme Judge for all we possess. The chief and most excellent rule for the right use of money is one the heathen philosophers hinted at, but which the Church has traced out clearly, and has not only made known to men's minds, but has impressed upon their lives. It rests on the principle that it is one thing to have a right to the possession of money and another to have a right to use money as one wills. Private ownership, as we have seen, is the natural right of man, and to exercise that right, especially as members of society, is not only lawful, but absolutely necessary. "It is lawful," says St. Thomas Aquinas, "for a man to hold private property; and it is also necessary for the carrying on of human existence."" But if the question be asked: How must one's possessions be used? - the Church replies without hesitation in the words of the same holy Doctor: "Man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need. Whence the Apostle with, ‘Command the rich of this world... to offer with no stint, to apportion largely.’"(12) True, no one is commanded to distribute to others that which is required for his own needs and those of his household; nor even to give away what is reasonably required to keep up becomingly his condition in life, "for no one ought to live other than becomingly."(13) But, when what necessity demands has been supplied, and one's standing fairly taken thought for, it becomes a duty to give to the indigent out of what remains over. "Of that which remaineth, give alms."(14) It is a duty, not of justice (save in extreme cases), but of Christian charity - a duty not enforced by human law. But the laws and judgments of men must yield place to the laws and judgments of Christ the true God, who in many ways urges on His followers the practice of almsgiving - ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive";(15) and who will count a kindness done or refused to the poor as done or refused to Himself - "As long as you did it to one of My least brethren you did it to Me."(16) To sum up, then, what has been said: Whoever has received from the divine bounty a large share of temporal blessings, whether they be external and material, or gifts of the mind, has received them for the purpose of using them for the perfecting of his own nature, and, at the same time, that he may employ them, as the steward of God's providence, for the benefit of others. "He that hath a talent," said St. Gregory the Great, "let him see that he hide it not; he that hath abundance, let him quicken himself to mercy and generosity; he that hath art and skill, let him do his best to share the use and the utility hereof with his neighbor."(17)

9). Matt. 19:23-24.
10). Luke 6:24-Z5.
11). Summa theologiae, IIa-IIae, q. lxvi, art. 2, Answer.
12). Ibid.
13). Ibid., q. xxxii, a. 6, Answer.
14). Luke 11:41.
15). Acts 20:35.
16). Matt.25:40.
17). Hom. in Evang., 9, n. 7 (PL 76, 1109B).

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Nun Vs. The Priest
In 'Doubt,' faith is put to a wrenching test of wills.

From Newsweek, a short interview with some people involved in the movie version of the play Doubt, including Meryl Streep. This sounded like a great play which I missed when it was showing in NY. Some snips:

"STREEP: You're a part of that team—the uniform of a nun is like a team jersey—and we all like that. I also found it interesting because it's sort of the second female boss I've played in a short time. People talk to me about "The Devil Wears Prada" and about the stern editor, and now I'm the stern headmaster. We have a very, I think, ambivalent attitude about women in power."

DAVIS: For me, Catholicism was such a sense of community and belonging and identity. I had nothing growing up. We were the first black family in our Rhode Island town. We were on the periphery. And to see all my friends in their white little first communion dresses, looking so cute and going to catechism—it was fabulous to me.

SHANLEY: Now the Catholic Church has its faults, but these dioceses, these church schools, these centers, provided a gravity which kept people from flying off into outer space. And we haven't really yet come up with a great substitute. The best we have is the Internet, that's the new community.
New Grand Rapids wireless cafe, the Catholic Information Center, seeks faithful customers

"GRAND RAPIDS --The coffee bar gleams and offers a variety of goodies. The chairs are inviting, and floor-to-ceiling windows allow plenty of natural light for reading.

Everyone is welcome to this latest entry into the wireless cafe world which offers what commercial places don't -- things that are free and low-key faith information.

The Catholic Information Center, on the second floor of Cathedral Square, doesn't charge anything for the coffee, the goodies, or the Internet service. It also offers -- but doesn't force on people -- reading materials on the Catholic faith. "

I found this story on Whispers in the Loggia. The Info Center looks very nice, just what is needed here on Long Island. I hope someone will run with this here. I know the idea was floated around the DRVC with the intention of locating it in a mall. I have hundreds of good quality books that would be great for a center. The Catholic Information Center in Washington D.C. would be a good model to follow. A place for orthodox faith, for apologetics, socialization, discussion, coffee, music, etc.. is just what we need here. I do not think the coffee and food would have to be free however - as the mobster Barzini said in the Godfather: "After all, we are not communists".

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Be on the Watch: Advent and the Coming(s) of the Lord

For the first Sunday of Advent I went to Mass at a local parish. There was no procession at the start of Mass, the priest and deacon just took their seats in the sanctuary before Mass, joking and talking to each other, and then the Opening Hymn started. What possible reason could a priest have for skipping an opening procession?
Global AIDS crisis overblown? Some dare to say so

I am glad to see this article in Newsweek as I have thought this for some years now. The political correct police have insisted for years that AIDS was a disease that affected everyone and everyone was at risk to get it, yet many more people are affected by cancer. Although the situation in Africa is still bad, the truth is other problems are worse than AIDS, and the excessive funding of AIDS means money is not going to other real problems. Some snips from the article:

"(LONDON) As World AIDS Day is marked on Monday, some experts are growing more outspoken in complaining that AIDS is eating up funding at the expense of more pressing health needs.

They argue that the world has entered a post-AIDS era in which the disease's spread has largely been curbed in much of the world, Africa excepted.

Roger England of Health Systems Workshop, a think tank based in the Caribbean island of Grenada, goes further. He argues that UNAIDS, the U.N. agency leading the fight against the disease, has outlived its purpose and should be disbanded.

By 2006, AIDS funding accounted for 80 percent of all American aid for health and population issues, according to the Global Health Council.

In a 2006 report, Rwandan officials noted a "gross misallocation of resources" in health: $47 million went to HIV, $18 million went to malaria, the country's biggest killer, and $1 million went to childhood illnesses.

AIDS advocates say their projects do more than curb the virus; their efforts strengthen other health programs by providing basic health services.
But across Africa, about 1.5 million doctors and nurses are still needed, and hospitals regularly run out of basic medicines"

I recently read "The Wisdom of Whores: Bureaucrats, Brothels, and the Business of AIDS" and probably came to the exact opposite opinion than what the author had hoped for: AIDS funding is not as needed as much as funding for other diseases, and it does not affect as wide a range of people as the p.c. crowd would have us believe.