Sunday, June 28, 2009

Irish favor immigration restrictions

Seven out of 10 favour immigration restrictions
Poll reveals public concern over welfare strain from 'new' EU citizens

Sunday June 28 2009
A LARGE majority believe immigration from new EU member states into Ireland should be restricted because the perilous economic situation means we no longer have enough jobs, a Sunday Independent poll has revealed.
Nearly seven out of ten Irish people now want the inflow of foreign nationals to be curtailed fearing that further new arrivals will strain the social welfare system.
The poll was conducted after it was revealed in the Sunday Independent last week that the number of foreign nationals on the Live Register is now about 80,000 -- or around 20 per cent of the total.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

King declined Irish ambassadorship

White House offered Ireland ambassadorship to GOP Rep. King
Daily News
By Kenneth R. Bazinet June 15th 2009

WASHINGTON - The White House dangled the ambassadorship to Ireland in front of GOP Rep. Pete King, even before that coveted post went to the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Daily News has learned.
King (R-L.I.) chose to remain in Congress despite the Democrats' desire to wipe out all the Republican members of Congress in the Northeast. "I'm shocked [King] didn't pursue it," said an inside source. "He loves Ireland almost as much as he loves the U.S."

King, who embraces his Irish roots, was a key player in peace talks between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland during the Clinton administration. Despite some random incidents of violence, that peace has held for more than a decade.

The GOP lawmaker, who regularly visits Ireland, declined to comment on the offer made by White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. "I talk to Rahm about about a lot of things, but I keep those conversations private," he said.
King has long respected Emanuel as a man who keeps his word, but still has no doubt that Obama's top aide would target his House seat if the opportunity arose. Now that Obama has tapped GOP Rep. John McHugh to be his Army secretary, there are only two Republican congressmen remaining in New York state.
Obama named Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney to be ambassador to Ireland on St. Patrick's Day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ah, Those Mandarins!

Wednesday June 10, 2009
Mo Bhroin, Mo Bhroin... Ah, Those Mandarins!
By Patrick Hurley

An Irish consul general once addressed a New York County Cork Association Banquet. In an endeavor to flatter, he explained that upon reviewing his predecessors' files, he discovered a note elaborating that as one of the most vital organizations, the Cork Association should be afforded appropriate recognition at every opportunity. Now, Cork people do not easily succumb to blandishments. The cynic in us realized that other organizations like - God forbid - the old rivals, the Kerrymen, would be similarly wooed. Ultimately, the good diplomat's words were infinitely more illustrative about the modus operandi of the mandarins of Iveagh House - Ireland's Foggy Bottom - than about the Rebels.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pete King - Local Fundraiser

Congressman Pete King

Saturday, June 13th

2:00 - 5:00 pm

Mulcahy's Pub

3232 Railroad AvenueWantagh, NY 11793

(1 block north of Sunrise Highway at Wantagh Avenue)

Open Bar and Buffet

$50 per person

Payable by cash, personal check or credit card

Donations can also be sent to:

Pete King for Congress

P.O. Box 1428

Seaford, NY 11783

or donate by clicking here

Event Chairmen Jim Boyle & Bill Thomas
Any questions call (516) 459-5007

Check out Pete's new website:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Notre Dame Scandal

The Notre Dame Scandal: A defining moment for the Catholic Church
By Patrick Hurley

Barack Obama is only incidental to the Notre Dame controversy. When Catholics went to the polls in November 2008, they knew what they were getting. His extremist "infanticide" philosophy was no secret. Obama does not believe in an unborn child’s right to life. He has consistenly opposed efforts to restrict partial birth abortion and has voted against "born alive" bills that would ensure life sustaining assistance for a post partum baby that has survived an attempted abortion. Obama merely received the invitation to Notre Dame and as anticipated, showed up.

When Notre Dame president, Fr. John Jenkins decided to honor him as commencement speaker and to enhance that recognition with an honorary law degree, he was fully cognizant that the latter’s extremist philosophy is in stark contradiction to Church teaching. However, such is the deficit of strong, resolute leadership in the U.S. Catholic Church, and such is the resulting pervasive ill - discipline, that the president of what was once the preeminent American Catholic university felt that his defiance of the U.S. Catholic Bishop Conference would brook no serious sanction. Fr. Jenkins has brazenly disobeyed the Bishops 2004 statement forbidding "the Catholic community and Catholic institutions . . . from giving awards, honors, or platforms to those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles". His defiant act is rightly viewed by the faithful as a betrayal of Catholicism.
Jenkins’s feeble response to the anger his action provoked has included the bizarre assertion that inviting Obama was somehow advancing the university’s mission to promote "intellectual inquiry" by fostering "dialogue". We are all for promoting same but, as has been correctly emphasized, a commencement address is not a "dialogue" but a monologue, in which Obama got to do all the talking. If its "intellectual inquiry" that Jenkins wanted, then the invitation should have been to a campus debate forum, in which Obama’s "infanticide" philosophy could have been challenged and its moral vacuity exposed.
No matter how Jenkins squirms, the truth is that he sacrificed Catholic principle on the altar of an ephermal, shallow popularity.

Perhaps Fr. Jenkins lack of concern for hierarchical sanction is justified. Of the two hundred and fifty plus diocesan bishops in the United States, only about 70 have made public declarations on the Notre Dame scandal. And how many of those actually put their words into action, traveled to Notre Dame, protested and were arrested? If the Catholic Church was really "One", the campus Police would have been confronted by a sea of clerical red leading demonstrators in a grand act of civil disobedience. Ostensibly, bishops wear red to signify their readiness to martyr themselves for the Church. However, on commencement day the potential martyrs were conspicuous in their absence. In the words of one demonstrator: "Where are our bishops? Where are our shepherds? They're supposed to be leading the flock, and where are they? You don't see anyone out here." As usual, it was the priests and nuns - far down the church’s hierarchical structure - and the activist laity who were in the trenches.

The silence from the pulpit on the scandal, as on many other challenges, has been deafening. In just two months, 370,000 signed the online Cardinal Newman Society petition to protest the Obama inviteation. However, if strong resolute hierarchical leadership had been exercised, the clergy should have been using the pulpit to work the faithful into a frenzy. Consequently, the number of signatories had the potential to be ten times that number.

When was the last time you heard a clear, concise, matter of fact sermon on the many contemporary challenges to Catholic principles? A colleague of mine, a retired U.S. Army officer, troubled by the lack of strong unambiguous leadership from the pulpit, recently inquired of one his priests as to why the local clergy never sermonize on issues like abortion, the Notre Dame Scandal, etc., etc. . The priest answered that they did not wish to "offend" people. Did not wish to "offend" people? And we thought that all Catholics, clergy and laity alike, were supposed to assert their religious principles at the expense of any fickle, shallow popularity. Careful! That cock is about to crow a third time!

Now, we don’t mean to be critical of the dedicated pastors and priests in the parishes. They, of course, must obey the diktats from the diocesan palaces. We suspect that not a few of them are frustrated by their muzzling. With rare exception, when was the last time you saw the Church hierarchy walk the walk and not just talk the talk? Despite all the pontificating, have errant politicians been denied Holy Communion recently? And to quench Fr. Jenkins thirst for dialogue can we anticipate from Conference of Bishops an "intellectual" refutation of Obama’s address? The hierarchy seemingly exists in an Ivory Tower far removed from the perspectives of the parish priest and the parishioner. To the hierarchy the storm raging outside the church door is to be handled as some aloof, intricate academic exercise and not with principled resolute action. The faithful is confused, cynical and demoralized, tiring of what it perceives as the duplicity and hypocrisy.

In reality, the majority of practicing Catholics do not fully comply with Church teaching. Few of us are saints! On matters like contraception and family planning there is probably a significant gap between ecclesiastical diktats and what the laity practices. Those on the right of the political spectrum might also support philosophies that would not be fully reconcilable with church teaching either. However, the Vatican has made it clear that it considers abortion "intrinsically evil", infinitely more intolerable than an issue like the death penalty. It is one thing to quietly err - as in the case of we the imperfect - it is quite another, as in the case of Fr. Jenkins, to directly challenge Catholic principles and to brazenly flaunt one’s deviancy.

Though complete adherence remains an aspiration for most, Catholic teaching provides a constant, an absolute, an objective standard by which to take a moral compass bearing to guide us through this ego centric, materialistic and ethically challenged world. Fr. Jenkins’ brazen defiance of the bishops and the liquefied response, thus far, of the latter threatens to upset this delicate equilibrium.

The Notre Dame scandal is a defining moment for the Catholic Church. If the commensurate sanctions are not applied to Fr. Jenkins and, if necessary, the university then the faithful will just throw up its hands in despair, concluding that the church really stands for nothing and vote with its feet. Jenkins must be defrocked and excommunicated, and if Notre Dame refuses to sever itself from him, then the Church must remove its imprimatur.

Who will forget the riveting photograph of 78 year -old, retired U.S. Army colonel, Fr. Norman Weslin, lying on the ground, arrested and handcuffed by the Notre Dame Campus Police? His courage and resolute principle is an inspiration to us all. Juxtapose the photo of the student, wearing a tee shirt proclaiming "Don’t ruin my graduation", or, indeed, the quotes of the biology graduate who uttered. "The attention here should be on the graduates . . . I don’t really like the spectacle created here . . . I don’t like that people are putting gory images . . . at the gateway of our campus. " After years of a Notre Dame education, they just don’t get it. It’s not always all about "me". Throughout history, momentous moral struggles have a nasty habit of intruding on, and indeed, "ruining" graduations. One would have expected graduates of a celebrated institution like Notre Dame to have appreciated that. Fr. Jenkins . . . you’ve done a wonderful job. Not!

This article originaly appeared in the 05/20/09 edition of the Irish Examiner USA