Thursday, September 27, 2007

Drink on

Guess it is now okay to drink Miller products again. Miller pulls sponsorship from San Francisco homosexual “Leather Event”

So drink on without remorse.

Requim in Pace

Just received word that my wife's grandpa passed on this morning. May the soul of Morris Payne rest in peace. I am looking for a picture, but I realize that we don't have many pictures of him. That seems to sum him up. A quiet and very reserved man. Didn't want too much fuss made over him. He died at the advanced age of 93.

Only their "choice"

It has always seemed ironic for babies to die in the name of being "pro-choice". Not like the baby has much of a choice there. Neither does the father of the child, unless he also is choosing death for the child of his under-age girlfriend. Seems like the only choice they want is their choice.

Now from Gerald at The Cafeteria Is Closed come this interesting bit on Verizon Blocking Messages of Abortion Rights Group.
Saying it had the right to block “controversial or unsavory” text messages, Verizon Wireless has rejected a request from Naral Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights group, to make Verizon’s mobile network available for a text-message program.
Of course it doesn't matter to the "pro-choicers" that a private company has the right to choose what services they provide. Verizon stands to lose money by their stance, but that is their choice.

Remember, it is all about choice.

Verizon reverses their stance. (caves to the political pressure?)
Earlier this morning Verizon chose to reverse yesterday’s decision that Naral Pro-choice America could not send text messages on their wireless network.

Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said that, "The decision to not allow text messaging on an important, though sensitive, public policy issue was incorrect, and we have fixed the process that led to this isolated incident."

Count me in

Creative Minority Report: Microscopic-American Rights
Aren't Christians the ones who are supposed to be afraid of science? Aren't us religious nuts the ones who want to bring back the Dark Ages? Then why is it that Christians are the ones embracing science when it comes to looking inside the womb and the secularists want to keep the womb in the dark.

US Senator (and Catholic convert) Sam Brownback has introduced federal legislation that would require an ultrasound examination of any woman seeking an abortion.

Brownback added that the measure could "cause a deeper reflection on the humanity of unborn children." The pro-abortion community is, of course, up in arms. But it was much easier for the left to have this discussion in the 1960's when they could convince everyone that it was just a clump of cells in the womb until just about the time a woman gave birth.

But science is now showing the womb to be home to...gasp...a little human being! What exactly were we all expecting? And the more research that's done we've found that each fetus from the moment of conception is a completely original DNA endowed individual.

So the pro-abortion community is desperately attempting to keep the fetuses in the dark. Don't look at this ultrasound. The pro-abortion is like the Wizard of OZ still wildly pulling levers and trying to scare everyone all the while pleading for us not to look behind the curtain because when we do their power will be gone.

I want to pull the curtain. So I'm officially announcing a new club: Pro-Science Catholics for Microscopic Americans. Wanna' join?
Cue the mob line "It's curtains for them."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wrong answers

Seems the brave new world of on-line media is getting used for ill as well as for good. With the ambush videoing of pro-life people on the sidewalks, they are catching people off-guard with a false dichotomy. Gobsmacked by Logic: Will Pro-lifers Succumb to Silencing Tactics?
Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen hardly contained her enthusiasm over this new strategy in her piece titled "How Much Jail Time for Women Who Have Abortions?" (Newsweek, August 6, 2007). It starts with the description of a YouTube "mini-documentary shot in front of an abortion clinic" in Illinois. "The man behind the camera is asking demonstrators who want abortion criminalized what the penalty should be for a woman who has one nonetheless. You have rarely seen people look more gobsmacked. It's as though the guy has asked them to solve quadratic equations."

Quindlen relishes this story. Especially reporting these responses by pro-lifers: "I've never really thought about it." "I don't have an answer for that." "I don't know." "Just pray for them."
It didn't take me long after reading the question to come up with an answer, but then I wasn't standing there with a camera in my face.

The right answer? None! But the executioner should do plenty of hard time.

Game day

Thanks to Dom, we find Game Day Tips by the Dad Labs.

I like it. I have used one or two of the tricks to catch a game now and then. Sleeping baby is a sure bet. I also do my best to involve the kids. As they grow older, the choice is theirs and two of the boys already have favorite teams (Second to the Minnesota Vikings of course). When they are young and can't form their own opinions, they get the standard Viking outfits. Even my daughter who doesn't care for sports helps rally the troops into the proper attire for game day.

And they catch on quickly. My two year-old was confused about to why I was talking on the phone while the game was on. He asked if I was "talkin' to Vikings?" Obviously I wasn't because I wouldn't have been holding a calm discussion had I had them on the line.

Picking a fight

Funny how little people like to pick fights to avoid their shortcomings. Bush hasn't finished either "war" he has us engaged in, yet he finds time to go around poking every other dictator on the nose. In the laughable headline, Bush urges U.N. to spread freedom, he singles out Burma/Myanmar, Lebanon, Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Iran as "brutal regimes [that] deny their people the fundamental rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration" of the UN.

Where are those who seem to think that Bush doesn't play attack terrier for the U.N. This whole "spread freedom" line is oxymoronic considering the U.N. allows terrorist nations a stage to spout their venom, and Bush uses this line while stirring up hate and anger among those who hate us most.

As Ron Paul is fond of reminding us, you don't "spread freedom" with the barrel of the gun.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Real Rudy?

From The REAL Rudy.

Interesting look at Rudy Giuliani's and the management of 9/11. One item to note in the video, watch the background for Jerry Hauer and Eileen Tallon. Looks like a Rosary and possibly some other Catholic statues or pictures in the office of Hauer. And pretty clearly a statue of Jesus on the shelf behind Eileen Tallon. Not surprising, just interesting to note.

via the Green Libertarian on Huckleberries

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Too good

If only I hadn't grown up in the missing generation. Our catechism consisted pretty much of what Fr. Phillip says Kids These Days: What they don't want from the Church. Father offers some great thoughts on what works and also how NOT to relate to the youth. Perhaps I will forward this to our youth ministry.
These students aren’t you at 18. Apply your own standards of liberality and let them explore the fullness of the Church’s ancient traditions. You had a crappy childhood at St. Sixtus of the Perpetual Frown under the bruising discipline of Sr. Mary of the Five Wounds of Christ, so religious habits, rosaries, crucifixes, devotional booklets, Latin, incense, sanctus bells, etc. all remind you of stifling dogmatic lectures, knuckle-rappings, silly moral imperatives, triumphal-martial Catholicism, etc. Guess what? They aren’t you! They didn’t have these experiences, so they don’t associate Eucharistic adoration and First Friday Masses with intellectual repression and physical pain. Let them transform these traditions and make them their own. This is what you did, right? Well then, be consistent and apply your own principles. If you don’t, they will simply ignore you as a dinosaur and look for unofficial leadership elsewhere…which is exactly what you did when your elders failed to allow you the room you needed to explore and grow!

You grew up (for the most part) in a sexually repressed culture crowded with rules and punishments. They didn’t. They grew up in the sexual chaos your revolution caused and still celebrates. If they want to figure out what virginity, chastity, and NFP is all about, let them. Again, your snarky predictions of their inevitable failure will only serve to further damage your credibility—it will not deter them. Also, ask yourself: why are you threatened by their desire to put their sexuality in the context of faithful marriage?...

Also, please, please, please don’t assume that they want their Christian lives to mirror their secular culture.
You wanted the Church to look more and more like your “times.” They don’t. They want their Christian lives to be counter-cultural, against the secular grain. Yes, they are extremely na├»ve sometimes about what this actually means but you will lose them instantly if you think an MTV Mass is the hip thing to do. Why would they come to a MTV Mass? They have MTV (and worse) 24/7 on their cell phones. They don’t need or want you for entertainment. Church is not a concert or an amusement park. What they don’t have on their cell phones is the Real Presence of Christ in his Eucharist.

Amen, and thanks for the link Jeff

Friday, September 21, 2007

Q and A

Question: Why wouldMattel apologizes to China over recalls?
BEIJING - U.S.-based toy giant Mattel Inc. issued an extraordinary apology to China on Friday over the recall of Chinese-made toys, taking the blame for design flaws and saying it had recalled more lead-tainted toys than justified.

Answer: Oh yeah.
Li reminded Debrowski that "a large part of your annual profit ... comes from your factories in China.

Of course, it isn't just the big bad Chinese that are bent on harming our children. Global monolith corporations take advantage of our federal protection of the risky foreign investment and have no qualms about using Chinese slave labor to boost their insane profit margins.

Design flaws? How about greed?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Catholic and living it, the new Crisis online magazine, has a 3 piece look at politics and Catholicism. As much as I enjoyed Thomas Woods, Why I Am a Catholic Libertarian I was distraught over Deal Hudson's Why I Am a Catholic Republican.

Woods points out how we really have a one party system in Washington right now, and they pretty much crowd out any real solutions in favor of the political status quo. He lauds Ron Paul for his work, especially his little known bill that would overturn Roe v. Wade with a simple majority vote in congress.
In accordance with Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, Paul's bill would strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over abortion, thereby overturning Roe through a simple majority vote in Congress.

I bet you've never heard about that bill before. That's because neither major party actually wants to see the abortion issue disappear from public life at the federal level -- too much fundraising and grandstanding depend on maintaining the status quo.

Dead on there. And I might add, the Republicans don't want the issue to go away, because that is about all they have to offer, "We aren't the evil Democrats". And that pretty much sums up Hudson's arguments for being a Republican. He lauds the GOP for being the pro-family, pro-life party, but in reality they are the Milli Vanilli of the political Grammy's. All sugar and no substance, paying lip-service to the pro-lifer voters who have no one else to turn to.

For all I care, the GOP could fold and die, it probably will if it nominates Giuliani, Romney or any other pro-war candidate. But to leave us in the hands of the Democrats at this time would be akin to depending on life-support in the Florida court system.

On a dark and rainy Colbert

Via The Ironic Catholic we have Colbert talking on the dark night that Mother Theresa experienced. In his own way, he can catechize so eloquently.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wisdom with words

I have always admired Chesterton's wisdom and way with words, even when I can't fully grasp them. But I fully grasp this bit of eloquence.Alive and Young: Chesterton on Drinking
A new morality has burst upon us with some violence in connection with the problem of strong drink; and enthusiasts in the matter range from the man who is violently thrown out at 12:30, to the lady who smashes American bars with an axe. In these discussions it is almost always felt that one very wise and moderate position is to say that wine or such stuff should only be drunk as a medicine. With this I should venture to disagree with a peculiar ferocity. The one genuinely dangerous and immoral way of drinking wine is to drink it as a medicine. And for this reason, If a man drinks wine in order to obtain pleasure, he is trying to obtain something exceptional, something he does not expect every hour of the day, something which, unless he is a little insane, he will not try to get every hour of the day. But if a man drinks wine in order to obtain health, he is trying to get something natural; something, that is, that he ought not to be without; something that he may find it difficult to reconcile himself to being without. The man may not be seduced who has seen the ecstasy of being ecstatic; it is more dazzling to catch a glimpse of the ecstasy of being ordinary. If there were a magic ointment, and we took it to a strong man, and said, "This will enable you to jump off the Monument," doubtless he would jump off the Monument, but he would not jump off the Monument all day long to the delight of the City. But if we took it to a blind man, saying, "This will enable you to see," he would be under a heavier temptation. It would be hard for him not to rub it on his eyes whenever he heard the hoof of a noble horse or the birds singing at daybreak. It is easy to deny one's self festivity; it is difficult to deny one's self normality. Hence comes the fact which every doctor knows, that it is often perilous to give alcohol to the sick even when they need it. I need hardly say that I do not mean that I think the giving of alcohol to the sick for stimulus is necessarily unjustifiable. But I do mean that giving it to the healthy for fun is the proper use of it, and a great deal more consistent with health.

The sound rule in the matter would appear to be like many other sound rules--a paradox. Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable. Never drink when you are wretched without it, or you will be like the grey-faced gin-drinker in the slum; but drink when you would be happy without it, and you will be like the laughing peasant of Italy. Never drink because you need it, for this is rational drinking, and the way to death and hell. But drink because you do not need it, for this is irrational drinking, and the ancient health of the world.
Drink not because you need it, but precisely because you don't. Wine is a gift of God, but one that is easily abused. But in the context here, adding to revelry is quite normal. And very refreshing after a hard day of labor.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Thousand Truths

Watching the classic, Doctor Zhivago, I was reminded of the adage; the devil will tell you a thousand truths to get you to believe one lie.

It was hard watching the truths about how horrendous the Bolshevik revolution was for the people living through it. How Communism destroyed the beauty in Russia, destroyed so many people and left the rest in poverty. But as hard as it was watching these truths, the lie was even worse, subverting the family even while exposing the horrors of Communism.

Watching the plot lead the viewers to cheer for the hero get his "girl" even though he was already married. And in the end, the "hero" abandons both his wife and then his lover, each when they are with child. Very disappointing when a supposed classic sneaks up behind the beautiful scenery and stabs you in the back.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Arbiters of life

Read the story, then follow the link below
I am pro-life. I have been advised on how to answer this question - say this, don’t say that. I have EVEN been advised to change my position. I can’t. I thought maybe I should speak about the nuances of Roe v. Wade, but the reasons for my position are not that complicated.

In grad school I listened to a student deliver a presentation on how to remove Down Syndrome from the gene pool through selective abortion. I listened attentively. When he was finished, I stood up and told the following story:

I grew up on Love Lane in Kittery, Maine. That’s right, LOVE Lane. I was the youngest of seven children. At times you would have thought there was an 8th Scontras. His name was Billy. Billy Wurm was our neighbor. He graced our lives for more than 50 years. Billy had Down Syndrome. Sometimes Ya-ya, my Greek grandmother, would come stay with us. She spoke NO English, and she didn’t like to go to the beach with us. She would stay home by herself - quite content. She would walk about the yard, sit in the shade. I will never forget one particular July day when we returned home to find Billy and Ya-ya hand in hand, walking peacefully around the yard, talking to one another. Funny thing is, Billy couldn’t understand a word Ya-ya said, nor could Ya-ya understand Billy. Yet she had a wonderful look of peace and happiness on her face. Billy was also wearing his perpetual smile.

Years earlier when I was 3 or 4 years old, I stumbled and fell into our neighbor’s pool. No one was around. No one except for Billy Wurm, that is. I will never forget the image of Billy’s face coming toward me as I panicked in silence beneath the water’s surface. He scooped me up and placed me safely on the pool’s edge. I could tell you many more stories about Billy, each one suggesting some greater purpose to life. But they would all need to be considered in the context of that life-saving experience. Were it not for Billy, well…

Society hungers for perfection in our selves and our children, to a fault. As a parent, I see it. We want perfect children, perfect communities, free from pain and toil. It’s only human. My point to the speaker was this - I understand that sometimes a child may place a burden on society for any number of reasons. But they also bring with them unexpected grace, joy and the ability to touch other lives beyond measure. The most wonderful lessons in life often come from those who have had to overcome the greatest obstacles. Their lives seem to teach us the most about our own. Thankfully, our world is full of such stories... full of people like Billy Wurm.

To me, it is the human spirit that needs to be considered and protected. It reminds me of my favorite movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” One living person has the ability to shape so many others. It’s dangerous territory when WE become the arbiters of life. I told my classmate that I thought his thesis was well written, but sadly mistaken. Without Billy there would have been a hole in my life, or perhaps a hole where my life had once been.

Billy also had something that each one of us long for - unbridled happiness, unconditional love of all things. As I concluded my observations that day in class, a young woman rose up behind me. “I wasn’t going to say anything,” she said, “but I’m glad Dean did.” She continued, “I have several children. The youngest has Down Syndrome. He is by far the happiest of the bunch!”

Mr. Scontras is running for Congress in Maine. God bless him and his candidacy.

Growing up with a handicapped twin brother and now having a blind son, I can say for certain that these people are valuable people. My brother cannot live on his own, has to be monitored and can be a royal pain to care for. But I know of many occasions he has brightened the day for another human. Not that value to others is the only reason they have a right to live, but as the story above relates, those advocating abortion as a solution have no idea how sad our world would be without them.

After my brother finally "graduated" from high school and went to live in a home, with a job and as much freedom as could be trusted to him; he needed a checking account for his expenses. He didn't really have a concept of value, but he did understand items cost money. He loves Ford pickups and regularly visited the local dealerships. They knew him, tolerated him and I think enjoyed his enthusiasm. But on the day his check blanks arrived, he surprised us all. He had to turn them in to his case manager, but he first snagged one set for himself. Not the top one which would be noticeable, but one out of the middle.

He then went and bought a few items that were the objects of his desires. First and foremost, he bought a new Ford pickup. Not for himself, but for dad. Of course the salesman knew better than to cash the check. I got a good chuckle out of it and was happy he got to finally buy that pickup he always wanted.

So, the point remains, they may be a burden to society and a pain for those involved. But which of us where not a burden to our parents? And we are not the arbiters of life. They have a right to life because they are human beings. Valuable not because of what they can provide, but because of what they are; images of our Triune God that loved them into being.

link via Dom

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

NFL, Star Wars style

Not sure the predictions are accurate, or even add up mathmatically (3 AFC North teams are 10+ wins). But there is no quibbling with his style.

NFL Predictions; Star Wars style

Especially note
Jawas - They are small, brown, and constantly trading for junk.

Storm troopers - They may look tough, but they aren't.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Nice guys

Nice guys, these democrats. With all the hammering the Republicans are taking with Senator Craig's daily soap opera, its nice to know those on the other side of the aisle haven't strayed too far from corruption.

Don't know about you, but I would probably be a bit more selective about the friends I keep if I was to run for office. Clinton to return $850,000 raised by Hsu
Hsu pleaded no contest in 1991 to accusations that he defrauded investors of $1 million. He was facing up to three years in prison when he skipped town before his sentencing in 1992. He finally surrendered to the arrest warrant Aug. 31, but disappeared before last week's hearing where he was expected to turn over his passport and ask a judge to cut his $2 million bail in half.

Wolfson said the Clinton campaign was "unaware of Mr. Hsu's decade-plus old warrant," despite what he described as a thorough review of public records.
Bail jumping, fraudulent investors as major donors do not exactly show the squeaky clean image the democrats were supposed to portray. But then that is politics as usual down in the (below the) Beltway.

Shine a light and they scatter

Looks like the battle in Aurora over the "undercover" building of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic is heating up.

Planned Parenthood sent a libelous letter to the Aurora city government regarding the protesters. But this group is organized an has some experience with the court system, with a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court that ended up in their favor. And knowing the man heading up the group, Eric Schiedler, it will be interesting to see if their request for a retraction or redress is acknowledged. Whatever the case, I think PP has picked a battle with the wrong fella.

via the Curt Jester and Fighting Irish Thomas

Friday, September 07, 2007

GOP debate review

Peggy Noonan notes in her fine column about the debate, the Sept 5th debate showed some fireworks and some good conversation on the war. As Huckabee pointed out afterwards, it could have use a few new fresh topics in the 1 1/2 hour debate.

Romney still looks like a stuffed suit and never answers a question. The quintessential politician. I had to laugh when moderator Brit Hume asked Romney if he had any thoughts and my wife interjected, "Nothing original." He dances like Astaire, ever looking for the sound bite.

Guiliani wears thin with his statistics about reducing crime in NY City. We all know about lies, damn lies and statistics. So the city improved while he was mayor, good for him. But that would be the expected outcome for any elected official. Now tell us why he would be a good president. So far, he has not done that.

Ron Paul and Huckabee had a good jab fest over the troop withdrawal. As much as Noonan loves Huckabees "If we make a mistake, we make it as a single country, the United States of America, not the divided states of America."" comment, I thought Paul's response was even better; "If we make a mistake, the American people through their representatives should correct that mistake." I like Huckabee, but I am not as attached to the Republican party that I think they should all be like honorable captains on a sinking ship. Especially when the ship hasn't sunk, and there is still time to change courses and find harbor.

Dr. Paul made his comments quite emphatically, especially when the moderator tried to mock him with the "orders from Al-Qaida " comment. And while on the subject, the snickering teen-age mentality of some candidates was seriously out of line. Fox News and the establishment must be worried to sink to the level of engaging in these subtle discrediting tactics.

Duncan is about done, I like his stance on the border, but the super-hawk isn't going to distinguish himself from a mostly pro-war field. Brownback looks more and more like a big government Republican every day. Thinking the fed-gov should fix everything and write an amendment for all the social problems would set a bad precedent. It may be tempting to solve it this way, but what happens when the party of opposite ideals wants to solve their "problems" in the same fashion?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Do you believe

Jesus told us that if we only had faith the size of a mustard seed.... But too often while saying we believe, we always keep that plan B ready for implementation. Whole hearted trust just doesn't work in our individualistic world.

I should know, it took almost two years of a son close to death with cancer, but I now believe in modern day miracles. But when your options are all gone, treatments have failed and you finally have to turn to God or turn away; I have proof running through my house - often at breakneck speed for a blind kid - that miracles are real.

So enjoy this A Back to School Story And Modern Day Miracle. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine.
Bottom line,
He still believes in miracles.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Just in time

Just in time for the second most important season of the year, the Curt jester has introduced the Liturgical Referee

Bottom line?
With the presence of the Liturgical Referee you can leave liturgical abuse spotting to the experts and spend your time instead trying to enter the Mass in prayer.