And for raiment why are you solicitous?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they labour not, neither do they spin.
But I say to you, that not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. – Mt:6:28-29
More beautiful flowers:
Ever wonder if you remembered to take your pills this morning? A medical tech startup has a novel solution: Swallow a computer chip that will help you keep track.
Proteus Digital Health scored a big victory this week when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted approval for the company’s “ingestible sensor” invention. The 1 square millimeter device — roughly the size of a grain of sand — can relay information about your insides to you, and if you choose, to your doctor or nurse.
The chip works by being imbedded into a pill. Ingest it at the same time that you take your medication and it will go to work inside you, recording the time you took your dose. It transmits that information through your skin to a stick-on patch, which in turn sends the data to a mobile phone application and any other devices you authorize.
The system’s goal is to overcome our forgetful impulses, says Andrew Thompson, the CEO and cofounder of Proteus.
“People live busy and complex lives, and as a result often don’t take their medicines correctly,” Thompson says. “We wanted to develop a solution that would help make existing medicines more effective in real life.”
The European Union approved Proteus’ system device in 2010, according to the company. The Redwood City, Calif., company plans to bring its first product, called “Helius,” to market later this year in the U.K. in partnership with the Lloydspharmacy chain.
Helius includes Proteus’ mobile health app, a supply of its stick-on patches (they last seven days, then need replacing) and a stash of its sensor-equipped placebo chips. The company declined to comment on the system’s planned price tag.
The first wave of Proteus products will rely on placebo pills taken at the same time as the patient’s medication. The company hopes to eventually get its sensors built straight into common medications, Thompson says.
Proteus’ spent four years working through the FDA approval process. Now that it’s got a green light, it plans to begin working on a U.S. version of its Helius system.
Too many people think that freedom, opportunity and a variety of choices are ever-present features of life in the U.S. — that fundamental transformation of America will not affect accustomed standards.
When we lived in the U.S.S.R., locked away from the world, kept from traveling abroad and surrounded by government-controlled sources of information, we couldn’t imagine what kind of life people had on the outside. Simple things, like tomatoes in stores in winter, seemed improbable.
When we immigrated to the U.S., I realized that most of what we were taught about capitalism was false. I was surprised how uninformed and downright clueless Americans were regarding communist ideology and history.
The platitudes of communist propaganda that were all around me in the Soviet Union were accepted as something new and wonderful by well-meaning people in the U.S. While Soviet citizens were excluded from the external world by their government, liberal/progressives in the “free world” were insulated from reality.
In the 1930s, when communists were starving the Russian people with regulations on farmers, New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty reported, “Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.” For his stories, Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize.
Through the late 1950s, liberal newspapers in America ignored stories about work prison camps in the Soviet Union. But more than 20 million people accused of opposition to centralized government perished.
In 1956, Soviets brutally suppressed a revolt against the Soviet-imposed socialist government in Hungary. More than 2,500 Hungarians were killed. In 1968, Czechoslovakia lived through a similar uprising and suppression.
From late 1960s, Soviet dissidents raised their voices against the oppressive, inhumane rule of the communist government in the U.S.S.R. Dissidents were imprisoned, condemned to psychiatric facilities and expelled from work. Their families were persecuted.
Meantime, enjoying the freedoms of the U.S., Weather Underground radicals were calling forces to unite for “the destruction of U.S. imperialism and achieve … world communism.” By 1980, the centrally planned economy of the U.S.S.R. was in shambles. By American standards the population lived below poverty level.
It’s stunning for an immigrant from a socialist country to hear in the speeches of Democratic Party leaders platitudes taught in socialist countries. Even more stunning is how they resonate with people born in the free world.
At the end of 19th century and the beginning of 20th calls for “equality,” “fairness,” “sacrifices for collective good” and “social justice” aroused communist revolutionaries in Russia and ushered in the U.S.S.R. They demonized and obliterated any religion that interfered with government authority. They erased individualism and entrepreneurship from society. Animosity among ethnic groups was insidiously cultivated.
In the U.S., fascism and socialism are classified at the opposite ends of the political spectrum; in reality, these two ideologies have a lot in common.
Fascism is “a political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition” (Merriam Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary).
That definition of fascism can easily be applied to the socialism I experienced. The only difference is that to organize communities of fateful followers, German fascists used an ideal of racial purity, and communists used class warfare. Fascists confiscated properties of non-Aryans, and communists confiscated all private properties.
Free market capitalism, which created a large, prosperous middle class in America, and government-centered ideologies have nothing in common.
For more than 100 years, old and tired socialist propaganda brought out the worst in societies: envy, hate, intolerance and disrespect for human life, just as these traits have increased in the last four years in the U.S.
The U.S. is not 19th century tsarist Russia, but it is being transformed into something far different from the “land of the free.” The softer-styled European welfare societies are falling apart, leaving future generations broke. Is there a chance Barack Obama’s vision of centralized government, surrounded by a web of sclerotic bureaucracies, will create a fair society?
The same reader who commented on my July article continued: “Or is the grim description of life in the former Soviet Union meant to paint Obama and his party as communists/socialists/fellow travelers bent on destroying America and all it stands for?”
Yes, that’s exactly what I mean — and Obama’s rhetoric, actions and results confirm this point.
In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I was taught to believe individual pursuits are selfish and sacrificing for the collective good is noble.
In kindergarten we sang songs about Lenin, the leader of the Socialist Revolution. In school we learned about the beautiful socialist system, where everybody is equal and everything is fair; about ugly capitalism, where people are exploited and treat each other like wolves in the wilderness.
Life in the USSR modeled the socialist ideal. God-based religion was suppressed and replaced with cultlike adoration for political figures.
The government-assigned salary of the proletariat (blue-collar worker) was 30%-50% higher than any professional. Without incentive to improve their life, professionals drank themselves to oblivion. They — engineers, lawyers, doctors, teachers — earned a government-determined salary that barely covered the necessities, mainly food.
Raising children was a hardship. It took four to six adults (parents and grandparents) to support a child. The usual size of the postwar family was one or two children. Every woman had the right to have an abortion and most of them did, often without anesthesia.
There is a comparative historical reality that plays out the consequences of two competing ideologies: life in the USSR and in America.
When the march to the worker’s paradise — the Socialist Revolution — began in 1917, many people emigrated from Russia to the U.S.
In the USSR, economic equality was achieved by redistributing wealth, ensuring that everyone remained poor, with the exception of those doing the redistributing. Only the ruling class of communist leaders had access to special stores, medicine and accommodations that could compare to those in the West.
The rest of the citizenry had to deal with permanent shortages of food and other necessities, and had access to free but inferior, unsanitary and low-tech medical care. The egalitarian utopia of equality, achieved by the sacrifice of individual self-interest for the collective good, led to corruption, black markets, anger and envy.
Government-controlled health care destroyed human dignity.
Chairman Nikita Khrushchev released facts about Stalin and his purges. People learned of the horrific purge of more than 20 million citizens, murdered as enemies of the state.
Those who left Russia found a different set of values in America: freedom of religion, speech, individual pursuits, the right to private property and free enterprise. The majority of those immigrants achieved a better life for themselves and their children in this capitalist land.
These opportunities let the average immigrant live a better life than many elites in the Soviet Communist Party. The freedom to pursue personal self-interest led to prosperity. Prosperity generated charity, benefiting the collective good.
The descendants of those immigrants are now supporting policies that move America away from the values that gave so many immigrants the chance of a better life. Policies such as nationalized medicine, high tax rates and government intrusion into free enterprise are being sold to us under the socialistic motto of collective salvation.
Socialism has bankrupted and failed every society, while capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system.
There is no perfect society. There are no perfect people. Critics say that greed is the driving force of capitalism. My answer is that envy is the driving force of socialism. Change to socialism is not an improvement on the imperfections of the current system.
The slogans of “fairness and equality” sound better than the slogans of capitalism. But unlike at the beginning of the 20th century, when these slogans and ideas were yet to be tested, we have accumulated history and reality.
Today we can define the better system not by slogans, but by looking at the accumulated facts. We can compare which ideology leads to the most oppression and which brings the most opportunity.
When I came to America in 1980 and experienced life in this country, I thought it was fortunate that those living in the USSR did not know how unfortunate they were.
Now, I realize how unfortunate it is that many Americans do not understand how fortunate they are. They vote to give government more and more power without understanding the consequences.
The politically correct idea of equality seems to know no bounds. Sweden has just introduced a new gender-neutral pronoun — hen. In the Swedish language, he is han and she is hon. Now it seems Sweden’s educational establishment is set upon using the nation’s preschools national curriculum to abolish gender distinction among children. The schools have even gone so far as to employ “gender police” to assist teaching staff in identifying language and behavior patterns in children that might reinforce old stereotypes that need to be “corrected.” Old stereotypes can be understood as those models influenced by Christian civilization.
The word hen was first introduced by Swedish linguists in the mid-60s but was curiously added to the online version of Sweden’s National Encyclopedia on the very gender-specific International Women’s Day on March 8, 2012. At one public preschool called Egalia in Stockholm, staff now avoids using words such as him or her and address students as friends or hens instead of boys and girls.
Another preschool has gone so far as to eliminate recess from its curriculum because, as one teacher put it, when children are free to play “stereotypical gender patterns are born and cemented. In free play there is hierarchy, exclusion and the seed to bullying.”
Every detail of children’s interactions gets micromanaged by “concerned” adults, who end up placing children in a quandary over the development of their sex by how they form friendships, what games they play and the words used in the songs they sing.
This odd behavior was largely inspired by Sweden’s first gender-neutral children’s book written by Jesper Lundqvist, Kivi and Monsterdog. It seems Lundqvist desired to write a children’s story where characters are not identified with any sex and do not conform to a traditional gender-based story line. He (or perhaps hen) was in fact trying to avoid giving his characters roles that children tend to emulate.
The manner in which they do this is by designating as stereotypes those roles based on nature and Western culture. Most people understand stereotyping as a widely held, but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person. While this conjures a negative connotation of the word, those pushing a liberal agenda like Sweden’s school system are able to obliterate the natural distinctions inherent to each sex all in the name of “gender equality” and avoiding stereotyping.
Conveniently this contorted application of Lundqvist’s strange book fits perfectly into the global homosexual agenda by blurring the necessary and natural distinctions between men and women. Sweden is now advocating androgyny among its youngest citizens. When students play house in school, they are encouraged to include daddy, daddy, child; mommy, mommy, child; or any other modern unnatural combination to refer to family.
Not everyone has embraced this radical equality with enthusiasm however. Many critics affirm that it can be psychologically and socially damaging, especially for children. Columnist and former equality expert Elise Claeson, from the Swedish Confederation of Professions stated “that young children can become confused by the suggestion that there is a third, in-between gender at a time when their brains and bodies are developing. Adults should not interrupt a child’s discovery of their gender and sexuality, argues Claeson.” She is quoted in the Swedish daily, Dagens Nyheter, that “gender ideologues have managed to change the curriculum to establish that schools should actively counter gender roles.”
If Sweden’s school system were really practicing equality, they would put their children on equal footing as themselves and respect the child’s opinion as equal to their own. By teaching them anything at all, they place themselves as superior, and thus, they teach inequality by example. Why would they encourage children to say daddy, daddy, child regarding family if they did not have an ideological agenda? If Sweden’s preschools were consistent with this warped notion of equality, children would be taught to say hen, hen, hen. Perhaps gender equality has simply run amok.
Fyodor Dostoevsky, the great Russian writer of the 19th century, warned that the denial of sin and hell in education and religion would end in a world Socialism where men would surrender freedom for a false security. He pictured anti-Christ returning to the world and speaking to Christ, thus:
“Dost thou know that the ages will pass, and humanity will proclaim by the lips of their sages that there is no crime, and therefore no sin; there is only hunger? And men will come crawling to our feet, saying to us: ‘Give us bread! Take our freedom.” – The Grand Inquisitor
In this sobering talk, Archbishop Fulton Sheen examines our death-oriented society, from the advent of abortion to the midnight of our headlong rush to self-extinction.
“Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly color. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Professor Julian Savulescu said that creating so-called designer babies could be considered a “moral obligation” as it makes them grow up into “ethically better children”.
The expert in practical ethics said that we should actively give parents the choice to screen out personality flaws in their children as it meant they were then less likely to “harm themselves and others”.
The academic, who is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, made his comments in an article in the latest edition of Reader’s Digest.
He explained that we are now in the middle of a genetic revolution and that although screening, for all but a few conditions, remained illegal it should be welcomed.
He said that science is increasingly discovering that genes have a significant influence on personality – with certain genetic markers in embryo suggesting future characteristics.
By screening in and screening out certain genes in the embryos, it should be possible to influence how a child turns out.
In the end, he said that “rational design” would help lead to a better, more intelligent and less violent society in the future.
“Surely trying to ensure that your children have the best, or a good enough, opportunity for a great life is responsible parenting?” wrote Prof Savulescu, the Uehiro Professor in practical ethics.
“So where genetic selection aims to bring out a trait that clearly benefits an individual and society, we should allow parents the choice.
“To do otherwise is to consign those who come after us to the ball and chain of our squeamishness and irrationality.
“Indeed, when it comes to screening out personality flaws, such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence, you could argue that people have a moral obligation to select ethically better children.
“They are, after all, less likely to harm themselves and others.”
“If we have the power to intervene in the nature of our offspring — rather than consigning them to the natural lottery — then we should.”
He said that we already routinely screen embryos and foetuses for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome and couples can test embryos for inherited bowel and breast cancer genes.
Rational design is just a natural extension of this, he said.
He said that unlike the eugenics movements, which fell out of favour when it was adopted by the Nazis, the system would be voluntary and allow parents to choose the characteristics of their children.
“We’re routinely screening embryos and foetuses for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome, and there’s little public outcry,” he said.
“What’s more, few people protested at the decisions in the mid- 2000s to allow couples to test embryos for inherited bowel and breast cancer genes, and this pushes us a lot close to creating designer humans.”
“Whether we like it or not, the future of humanity is in our hands now. Rather than fearing genetics, we should embrace it. We can do better than chance.”
THE Church teaches that twelve years after the Crucifixion, Mary gave up her sorrowful soul to God. We believe that He of whom it has been said that He would not ” let this Holy One see corruption,” did not allow Our Lady’s body to remain in the grave, but admitted her at once into Heaven, where ever since she has pleaded powerfully on our behalf.
Non-Catholic Christians honestly believe that the worship they owe to Christ would be minimized by veneration of His Blessed Mother. In their desire to honor His Godhead, they forget His Manhood. They forget that no human being among the countless millions, who throughout the ages have inhabited this earth, has ever stood in a more intimate relation to their Creator than Mary, the Mother of Our Saviour.
From all eternity the Almighty had singled her out for the greatest honor ever conferred upon a created being. Through her it was that our Blessed Lord was given to us, to her care He was entrusted in childhood, she never ceased in her pure and selfless worship of Him, she kept all His sayings in her heart.
For thirty three years she was His daily companion; she, unlike the disciples, never betrayed Him, but remained with Him until the end at the foot of the Cross. Can we for one moment imagine that she can have been anything but most pure, most chaste, most patient, most lovable, most admirable?
We often judge the moral worth of men and women by their devotion to their mothers. If human children are capable of the most intense love and devotion to their mothers, what must not the love and devotion of Jesus have been for His? Can we believe Him to have been less loving, less obedient, less devoted, than the most perfect son on earth?
We take it for granted that nothing could have exceeded Our Lord’s love and respect for His mother. Almost His last thought on the Cross was to provide for her, in leaving her in the care of His beloved disciple, St. John. In the person of “the disciple whom Jesus loved” He gave her to us all as a mother. Hear Mary herself: “All generations shall call me blessed.” Hear the Archangel from heaven, God’s own messenger, ” Thou art highly favored, thou hast found favor with God.” Hear St. Elizabeth: “Blessed art thou among women!”
From the earliest times the Church has always given to Mary the most wholehearted devotion, the most profound respect, the most filial love. We believe her to be very powerful with God, and therefore have recourse to her in our troubles. She is our intercessor with God, our “Mother of good Counsel,” the” Comforter of the afflicted, and “the” Refuge of sinners.”
We should therefore strive to acquire a very special devotion for Our Lady, for the Church bids us to go to her, and if we do so, she will in time become most dear to us, and in very truth a Mother.
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners that we may learn to love and venerate thee as we should, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
THE CONVERT’S ROSARY
ALICE M. GARDINER