One way food aid makes matters worse is by immediately depressing the price of any food that's produced locally. (Who can compete with free food?) And therefore putting any local farmers who have managed to weather the current famine or conflict or other crisis out of business or relegating them entirely to subsistence farming for their own needs
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Posted by KaleJ at 7/29/2006
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
WASHINGTON - A bill that would make it a crime to take a pregnant girl across state lines for an abortion without her parents' knowledge passed the Senate Tuesday, but vast differences with the House version stood between the measure and President Bush's desk.Hopefully they work this out. Perhaps the Republocrats are realizing that their hope lies in representing the will of the people that voted them in. I don't much care anymore if their intentions are less than noble as long as they vote with the people's interests in mind.
But anytime the scarlet letter 'A' is mentioned, it brings the out kookiest comments from the pro-death crowd trying to change to focus.
"We're going to sacrifice a lot of girls' lives," said Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.We already are Hillary, we already are. And don't forget the unborn boys that are being sacrificed at the altar of convenience.
"Congress ought to have higher priorities than turning grandparents into criminals," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy D-Mass.Yeah, all those loving grandparents sneaking kids off to the death chambers. That is the problem Senator. He is close in his supposition though. There is a big age difference between the father of the child that wants to hide the fact he got a minor pregnant. But it usually is men in their 20s, not grandparents.
The girl and her parents would be exempt from prosecution, and the bill contains an exception for abortions performed in this manner that posed a threat to the mother's life.Just why would anyone see the need to add this exemption. It is bogus in any abortion and if a young girl is hemorrhaging, I don't see the need to cross a state line an find an abortion mill. Most hospitals still have Emergency Rooms that are designed to save the life of the mother (and perhaps the child too).
[93.] The Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful should be retained,so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling.Chris also brings up a unique point regarding the receiving on the tongue versus hand debate.
I do try to be very careful to check my hands for any stray particles.I hadn't thought of that issue. I tend to receive on the tongue unless I have a cold sore. Someone once likened it to breastfeeding versus the bottle. Which is more natural? I find receiving on the tongue removes many issues; such as possibly dropping the host, taking the host in a casual manner as the recipient walks away or even intentional profanation.
Friday, July 21, 2006
It was a dark and stormy night. -Oops, wrong template. Yesterday I received the distress call that all was not well on the home front. The character of the kids seemed to fall inversely to the direction of the thermometer. Sassing, bickering, selective deafness; the mayday was clear, Mom was stressed!
Solution: A night out was in overdue. So after putting in a rally cry to all the guardian angels of my family, I called the local theater to book some tickets. I had seen a review (promotion, more like it as they were also the sponsors of the show.) in the Spokesman Review that morning. Just what I was looking for, something different from the usual meal and walk that had become the routine.
So after a hurried appetizer and desert we set off to see Pippin at the Coeur d'Alene Summer Theater. As it so happened we should have taken our time at supper because the night ended in two walks. The first was the walk-out before intermission on a crass and poorly done show. The second was a nice walk around the boardwalk at the resort.
The opening set the tone that even the tone deaf could tell was off-key. As the cast ran onto stage for the opening number, I was hoping that they weren't part of the play. I was wrong. Most were dressed in revealing black lingerie and looked the part of tramps. And that was just the guys. Through out the time we stayed, this group of "extras" continually wore less and less.
As the review had mentioned and as first scene set in, the "modern-twist" on the play was evident. King Charlemagne walked on stage talking obnoxiously on a cell phone. This twist did lend itself to some humorous points, Charlemagne's use of the projector screen and laser pointer brought plenty of laughter. But the slideshow of war pictures from knights to tanks to a third-world child holding a rifle was distracting. There was a song and dance number going on at the same time as the long slide show, many of the pictures were of poor definition and it ended with the bizarre dancing icon of a cross spinning around a prone scimitar. Then the scene with the grandmother of Pippin was even worse. The grandmother, played by Ellen Travolta, tried to get the crowd to sing the chorus of her number helped by the words on the projector screen. It was lame by any attempt and further hindered by the timing being off.
There was a definite "blame all the worlds ills on Christianity" to the play. But as this was obvious and blatant, I could have enjoyed the play if there was something to enjoy. But with few redeeming artistic qualities, there was little to stay for. I was thankful to note that a few of the anti-Christian jabs didn't bring the laughter they cast was expecting.
Being a man of high culture and vast knowledge of the arts, (sarcasm alert) it was easy to be more offended by the poor choreography and dancing. The dancers seems un-natural and lacked any grace. I think it may have been the heavy reliance on hip thrusting and the focus on trampiness. But as my wife pointed out, when the guys have more movement in their hips than the ladies, the play is in trouble.
We weren't the first to walk out and neither were we the last. As one couple and another elderly lady left shortly into the an early scene, my wife asked, "Well?" as if to see if we were leaving also. I replied that we might as well stick it out as surely "It can only go up from here." But I was wrong.
There was one bright spot in the limited viewing we had. The lead actor who played Pippen, the son of Charlemagne, almost rescued a few scenes. His energy and commitment to the role was engaging. His voice was good bordering on very good. But he was not enough to rescue the whole mess.
Aside from the anti-Christian theme, the ever revealing costume, the poor choreography, the un-natural and graceless dancing and constant use of the projector screen; aside from all that, the show was just ... awful.
But the night did end with a bit of cheer. We asked and were given vouchers for a different play that is coming up in a few weeks.
Posted by KaleJ at 7/21/2006
Thursday, July 20, 2006
You would think the world's greatest scientists could do this, in good faith and with complete honesty and a rigorous desire to discover the truth. And yet they can't. Because science too, like other great institutions, is poisoned by politics. Scientists have ideologies. They are politicized.
All too many of them could be expected to enter this work not as seekers for truth but agents for a point of view who are eager to use whatever data can be agreed upon to buttress their point of view.
And so, in the end, every report from every group of scientists is treated as a political document. And no one knows what to believe.
We can only dream of scientist being seekers of truth in this era. Some criticize religious folk for taking the God's Word without scientific proof. But then we should turn around and take their word as Gospel without questioning it. Let me tell ya, it ain't the religious that are playing footloose and fancy free with the Truth.
Ralph Reed lost this week in his race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Georgia. This strikes me as significant in several ways.
I always thought the question about Mr. Reed is: Is he a Christian who went into politics, or a politician who went into Christianity? Was he sincere and driven by a desire to have a positive impact on public policy, or a mover driven by a desire to get a piece of the action as American Christians,
I have wondered the same. Is he a Kinkade or a witness to the Gospel? Is he just Christian because it is profitable and he looks the part? Dunno, but I distrust much of the "Christianity" in politics.
Conservatives don't live for government and don't love it, either. They like other things. They think government is a necessity and a potential evil. This is because they know human nature, and they know humans run governments. Ergo extremely flawed and even damaged people are governing us. Ergo don't give them a big sandbox to play in; keep it as small as possible. That way their depredations will be, by definition, limited.
This point of view--humans are imperfect, governments even more so--is not inherently pessimistic but rather optimistic about other things: life, faith, relationships, gardens. A conservative politician who does not enjoy gardening, reading, taking a walk or seeing a play more than governing is a human warning sign: Don't go there.
Posted by KaleJ at 7/20/2006
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Archbishop Charles Chaput (Denver) held a town hall meeting on immigration yesterday. Whatever you think about the rest of his talk, you have to agree that he nailed it on the head with this remark:The mostly solemn crowd erupted in laughter and applause when Chaput was asked if the government would listen to his church.He replied, "I don't think the government should listen to the church - the government should listen to the people and the people should listen to the church."
Posted by KaleJ at 7/18/2006
Its [Tenet Healthcare Corp.] statement said euthanasia was "repugnant" and that if any such decision was made by the three employees arrested, it was done without the knowledge of their superiors.
Posted by KaleJ at 7/18/2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
The first four points Schall makes are how politics and the state (polity) are not the ultimate end. Kinda like the Sabbath was made for Man, not the Man for Sabbath; so was the state made to serve Mankind, not the other way around.
Law, defined as "the ordination of reason, for the common good, by the proper authority, and promulgated," is the context in which Aquinas discusses most political things. An unreasonable law is no law, as Aquinas cites from Augustine; it lacks one or more elements from this definition.
"the polity is an end, but it ordains those within it to a higher purpose. The polity does not itself define the higher purpose, but only recognizes it." And it needs "to contain within itself at least some who are wholly oriented to what is beyond politics."
"The life of politics is worthy but dangerous. The Fall is a factor in each individual life, including that of the politician.
Law ought to be a standard of what is right or wrong even if it is not fully observed.
Private property is the best way to meet the purposes for which the world is given-i.e. that the generality of men can provide for themselves.
Posted by KaleJ at 7/17/2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
The court, however, ruled that amendment "and other laws limiting the state-recognized institution of marriage to heterosexual couples are rationally related to legitimate state interests and therefore do not violate the Constitution of the United States."
Posted by KaleJ at 7/14/2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Posted by KaleJ at 7/13/2006
Pope Benedict is keenly aware of today's challenges, he said, and determined to restore a proper sense of reverence to the liturgy. The Sri Lankan prelate said that some of his thoughts had been taken out of context after a previous interview with the French newspaper La Croix. He had not intended to suggest that the liturgical reforms of Vatican II had failed, he stressed; rather, he meant that some liturgical changes had produced an overreaction, and a loss of appreciation for Church traditions. As a result, he said, "the reforms of the Council did not bear the expected fruit, because of the way in which they were interpreted and put into practice."
Archbishop Ranjith said that two extremes must be avoided: a liturgical free-for-all in which "every priest of bishop does what he wants, which creates confusion;" or a complete abandonment of liturgical reforms, leading to a vision that is "closed up in the past." Today, he said, those two extremes are becoming more prominent, and the Church needs to establish a middle ground.
The church should have allowed priests to get married years ago. If they had, then they would not have had such a massive problem in the west with lack of priests. I would have trained for the priesthood, but for the celibacy rule.
Posted by KaleJ at 7/13/2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
"When your religion says 'whatever' on doctrinal matters, regards Jesus as just another wise teacher, refuses on principle to evangelize and lets you do pretty much what you want, it's a short step to deciding that one of the things you don't want to do is get up on Sunday morning and go to church."
"So this is the liberal Christianity that was supposed to be the Christianity of the future: disarray, schism, rapidly falling numbers of adherents, a collapse of Christology .... And they keep telling the Catholic Church that it had better get with the liberal program -- ordain women, bless gay unions and so forth -- or die. Sure."
Not because we need you at our side in the battles to come (we do) and would welcome you with open arms (we would), but because the Catholic Church is the one church founded by Christ Himself. It might not be politically correct to state it this bluntly, but it's what Catholics believe. And in times like these, isn't such a bold claim worth a second look?
Monday, July 10, 2006
There can be and often is, however, extreme danger of “defect” in our care for this mystery. It is unfortunately very easy to grow complacent about our Lord in the Eucharist. It is very easy to allow the complacency of routine to replace the vigilance of heart that the greatness of the Most Holy Eucharist categorically demands. It is certainly judgmental on my part, but I often wonder while distributing Holy Communion about the internal disposition and focus of the recipients. I often wonder whether the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have retained their original sense of wonder and awe, or if this most noble of duties is approached with an unacceptable degree of nonchalance and routine. I experience a bit of anxiety as I see and hear mundane and casual conversations taking place, with outdoor voices as we say to the children, in the naves and sanctuaries of our Churches. There is not much danger of an excess of reverence for our Lord, but there seems to be ample room for concern about a defect of such reverence.
It does require consistent and focused effort to assure that the Most Holy Eucharist is given “the prominence it deserves.” There is after all nothing about the external appearance of the host or the wine in the chalice that cries out, in and of itself, for adoration, wonder or awe. Gazing upon these external elements with the eyes of faith, we need to be driven to our knees, knowing that they have received the Sacred Words and are now different than their accidents indicate.
I have had the experience of being driven to my knees in fear and trembling before the Eucharist. I trembled as I approached the priest and I cried tears of thankfulness after receiving. I long for a similar experience again, but so far I can just treasure that I experienced it at least once.
Our church is setup so that there is much mundane and casual conversations taking place in the church. Hopefully this will change as people are drawn back to the mystery, but for now, Bishop Vasa says it well:
The danger is that we routinely live in such a way that there is, sadly, no danger of excess in our care for this mystery. Would that there would be more danger of an excess in our care for this mystery!
Posted by KaleJ at 7/10/2006