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The GOP's Maginot Line

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“Out of the mouths of Fox News reporters…” Politico.com has an interesting article about former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s declining to officially endorse Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the three-way race in New York’s twenty-third congressional district. Hoffman has been endorsed over his Republican and Democratic rivals by such GOP luminaries as Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty and Fred Thompson.

The comments of conservative activists show why the GOP will have a hard time climbing out of the ditch into which they have thrown themselves. They voice disappointment, surprise even at Huckabee’s unwillingness to back Hoffman. They want him to “take a stand.” This small upstate contest has become a battle for the soul of the Republican Party, and there will attach a sense of betrayal, not disagreement, to those who do not sign on.

\"Become human again\" says Archbishop of Canterbury

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Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, head of the Church of England and leader of the worldwide Anglican communion, said the climate change crisis is an opportunity for people to become human again, setting aside the addictive and self-destructive behavior that has damaged their souls. People have allowed themselves to become "addicted to fantasies about prosperity and growth, dreams of wealth without risk and profit without cost," he said.

Speaking before an audience at Southwark Cathedral, Dr. Williams said that small changes, such as setting up carbon reduction action groups, would help them reconnect with the world in addition to repairing some of the damage to the planet. "When we believe in transformation at the local and personal level, we are laying the sure foundations for change at the national and international level."

Williams' full speech

Bishops to elect five committee chairs

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. bishops will vote on five United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) chairs-elect of five committees at their November 16-19 General Assembly in Baltimore.

The following bishops were nominated for these positions.

1. The Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations

1. Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis
2. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Raleigh, N.C.

2. The Committee on Divine Worship

1. Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans
2. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit


3. The Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
1. Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif.
2. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Fla.


4. The Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth
1. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kan.
2. Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Harrisburg, Pa.


5. The Committee on Migration
1. Bishop James A. Tamayo of Laredo, Texas
2. Archbishop José H. Gomez of San Antoino, Texas

The desert race contineus

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Tom Gallagher, NCR blogger and Mission Management columnist, is blogging from Egypt, where he is racing across the Sahara Desert.

Day 4 - A rest day, but the race will continue
28-Oct-2009 02:57:06 AM [(GMT-05:00) Eastern Time(US & Canada)]

Sahara Race (Egypt) 2009
While my system is quieting down, I didn't have the calories and strength at the start line on Wed., the 4th stage. I decided to take longer to recover and prepare for Day 5, the 54 mile day. Yesterday's temperature was 49 degrees C, making it something around 125 degrees F - the hottest day on record for this race. Day 4 is expected to be about the same.

This morning I rode with Jack Denness, from Rochester, UK, to the next camp. Jack is truly an ultra endurance legend. Among his achievements, Jack has completed 12 Badwaters, the 135 mile footrace in Death Valley in July. Jack is resting today and will go out tomorrow as well. It was a real treat to chit-chat. It was a silver lining to not starting. By the way, Jack is 74.

Halloween fun? Racism in a new disguise

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As surely as leaves change color, autumn brings us renewed interest in all things Latino. As October is Hispanic heritage month, CNN ran a four-hour documentary about Latino life, and PBS brought us a program of Latino musicians, superstars all, performing at a black tie affair attended by none other than Barack and Michelle Obama.

But just as I was getting ready to uncork a bottle of wine and toast to my people's contributions to our great nation, I got an e-mail note from Redemptorist Fr. Ricardo Elford of Tucson. "This is maddening," he said. He then quoted a notice from United Farmworkers Workers:

Saint of the Day, Oct. 29

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Oct. 29 is the feast of the Martyrs of Douai, Englishmen who went abroad to study for the priesthood and then returned to England to minister in secret to their fellow Catholics.

"Between 1577, the date of the martyrdom of St Cuthbert Mayne, the college's protomartyr, and 1680, the date of the execution of Thomas Thwing, the college's last martyr, 158 college members, priests and laymen, secular and religious, met with a martyr's death."

To read their names, click here.

For details about the individual martyrs, Edmund Campion, Ralph Sherwin, John Sandys, Southwell the poet, Luke Kirby, Alexander Briant, etc., where they were born, where they studied before going to Douai, what crimes led to their arrest, imprisonment, torture, and execution, where they were hanged, drawn and quartered, etc., click here.

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