Posting will be sparse over the next week. Have a joyful Independence Day.
Friday, June 29, 2007
To follow up my wildly successful "A Catholic Knows It's Cold When" (It was published in some bulletin in Ohio or Wisconsin I think), here is
A Catholic Knows It's Hot When:
- You notice your Scapular tan line.
- A miraculous pool of water appears next to your statue of Mary - and she is splashing her feet in it.
- Your St. Pio of Pietrelcina statue bi-locates to under a shade tree.
- You have a mild understanding of how Sodom and Gomorrah felt.
- The Pre-Trib Rapture folks turn into the Pre-July/August Rapture folks.
- Kids spend way too much time by the holy water fonts - cooling themselves.
- Father's sermon reminds you of the fire and brimstone sermons of old - only because it seems to be happening.
- You see visions of the Blessed Virgin on someones back where they missed the sunscreen.
p.s. Being from Florida, The Curt Jester added his own hot list at the time of my cold list.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
It wasn't on the top of my list, but since I enjoyed the stories of King Arthur and the knights, I gave it a try. I almost turned it off after the first 5 minutes because it oozed with the stench of the Catholic bashing. From the equating Roman bloodlust and greed to the Church in Rome, to the championing of Pelagius.
Off the cuff, the dates seemed all wrong. The movie used 300 A.D. for the date of the Roman conquest of the Samartians. But the Roman soldiers were bearing the Christus Rex emblem (a P and X combined) but Constantine didn't issue the Edict of Milan until 313. And that only allowed Christians to worship legally, it didn't throw the empire under the hand of the Church. Paganism was still legal and two thirds of the government remained pagan. So I hardly could imagine the soldiers running under the Christian banner early in the fourth century.
I decided to stick it out and see if the "hero" Arthur stayed true to his Christian beliefs he professed. I was sadly disappointed there also. Besides proclaiming Pelagius to be an all around great Christian focused on free will and equality for all people, the movie also claimed he was excommunicated and put to death. The excommunication was true, but he was also restored for some time after he professed his faith to Pope Zosimus. The excommunication was later renewed as his heretical teachings became clear. He eventually was expelled from Palestine in 418 and wasn't heard from again.
Now as fiction, a movie can be what it wants with a mythical character such as Arthur. But the lede, insinuated that recent archaeological evidence was the basis for this movie. The underlying theme was this was the "true" King Arthur.
But with all his noble ideals and devotion to Pelagius (who attracted the morally stringent type) Arthur didn't seem to have a problem with fornication or a pagan burial and druid style wedding at the end.
There is plenty of gore and blood spattering in the battle scenes. But aside from that, (and that isn't that compelling to most) there isn't much to captivate in this movie.
The Poisoning of America
The news that Chinese toothpaste brands sold in Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Australia contained diethylene glycol, a highly toxic chemical used in engine coolants, came as a shock to U.S. health officials. It shouldn't have.The easy answer is we shouldn't. It should rest upon the supplier to ensure the quality of the product. When the shoe is on the other foot, who bears the burden of proof?
China, as anyone who has lived there knows, has virtually no safety controls on food and drugs. At the same time, it is in the midst of a no-holds-barred drive to increase its exports, and is heavily subsidizing its manufacturers to ship container loads of cheap goods of all kinds to the U.S. and other overseas markets. As a result, over the past few years, China has stealthily become the second-largest supplier of foreign toothpaste--and many other questionable food and drug products--to the U.S. market.
U.S. health officials responded by pledging to check all shipments of toothpaste coming from China. We have even offered to send inspectors to China. (An offer that China quickly rejected.) But why should the Food and Drug Administration--and ultimately the U.S. taxpayer--have to bear the entire burden of testing suspect Chinese-made food and drugs at all?
A single case of mad cow disease in 2003 led China to ban all U.S. beef imports. This ban remains in place today, long after temporary bans put in place by other countries have been lifted. To put it another way, China plays hardball in its trade with the U.S., while we play tiddlywinks.Just another good reason to avoid products made in China.
Not really but I did get a full refund on my airline ticket from my unsuccessful attempt to fly to South Carolina a couple of weeks ago. I was very disappointed to miss the Catholic Men's Conference, but a full refund makes the bitter pill a bit easier to swallow.
And to top that off I heard the Senate has given up on shoving the amnesty bill through. At least until the political climate is safer in 08 or 09. This should signal the end of John McCain's presidential bid.
Let the whining commence.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told colleagues that if the bill faltered, the political climate almost surely would not allow a serious reconsideration until 2009 or later. It would be highly unlikely, she said, "in the next few years to fix the existing system... We are so close."So close, so close to tearing down our borders and destroying our nation. The system indeed should be fixed, but the fix offered by our current president would be like giving a shot of cyanide to cure cancer.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Top 10 Signs That You're Obsessed with Bible Prophecy
10. You use the Left Behind books as devotional reading.Since most rapturists have their theology backwards, I want my bumpersticker to say, "In case of Rapture, I'M STAYING!" I think that comes from one of the great apologists, either Tim Staples or John Martignoni.
9. You get goose bumps when you hear a trumpet.
8. You believe the term "Church Fathers" refers to Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye.
7. You believe there is an original Greek and Hebrew text with Scofield's notes.
6. You can name more signs of the times than Commandments.
5. You refuse a tax refund check because the amount comes to $666.
4. Barcode scanners make you nervous.
3. You talk your church into adapting the '60s pop song, "Up, Up, and Away" as a Christian hymn.
2. You never buy green bananas.
1. You always leave the top down on your convertible (or your sunroof open) in case the rapture happens.
Peering intently at every cloud that is hit by sunlight might be another sign you need to come back to this world.
And he is seriously asking, from the standpoint of a man, why? He had over 75 comments when I got to it, so I am sure he is getting his answer and then some. But here is the view from a former self-seeking young man.
The easy answer is, what can be more fulfilling than co-creating another eternal soul?
Easy? Not a chance. Require sacrifice? Yes with a capital Y. I have six and one on the way. Did I ever envision myself as a father of many children? No. In fact I was too selfish to even want any. I have several siblings and they have many children, but I was never into babies. I hardly held a small child until mine were born. So I can relate to his questions. But the lesson of self-sacrifice was learned from raising children. I wouldn't be where I am today if not for those lessons.
So in other words, my salvation is heavily dependent on my children.
And as I have told my older brother who has no children, either you pay now or you pay later. Having children is an expense of time, talent and treasure. But spending that now in the service of others leads to eternal rewards. Isn't that the message of Jesus Christ? Seriously, as a parent of several children, we don't have to look far for our corporal works of mercy; feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the sorrowing....
In our youth, we can spend our time on ourself or we can spend it on our children. Our choice may well determine how we spend our time in our old age and eventually eternity. And who wants to be alone and still seeking our own solitary happiness then?
So there is my answer without even resorting to the joys they bring.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Hearing a bad homily would be preferable to disciplining a defiant child during Mass and I think this was a great homily. But alas, it was not to be. As I struggled with the frustration I considered what to offer the suffering up for and the salvation of my children came to mind.
The Mass and the Four Most Important Lessons of Childhood
One of the questions of the old Baltimore Catechism is, "What are the purposes for which the Mass is offered?" The answer given was fourfold:Not being a product of the Baltimore Catechism, I had never heard this before.* First, to adore God as our Creator and Lord.Adoration, thanksgiving, petition, and satisfaction—mention of these four ends found their way into many an old missal and are still a familiar feature of any traditional catechesis on the Mass. What is often overlooked, however, is the relation of these ends to our own concrete lives as human beings. How exactly do these four things relate to our psychological, emotional, and spiritual welfare?
* Second, to thank God for His many favors.
* Third, to ask God to bestow His blessings on all men.
* Fourth, to satisfy the justice of God for the sins committed against Him.
One way to approach this question is to consider the four most important things that we learn to say as children: "I love you," "Thank you," "Please," and "I’m sorry." These four simple sayings are not only capable of directing both young and old onto the path toward human happiness; they also provide a useful analogy for what happens at every Sacrifice of the Mass.
Behind these simple expressions, then, lies a sound moral anthropology, a broad outline of the good life. Ideally speaking, a person who is capable of saying "I love you" and meaning it is capable of commitment, devotion, and self-sacrifice. A person who is capable of saying "thank you" and meaning it recognizes, as we will see, the unmerited gift of his existence and his debt to a broader world he did not create.Perhaps that is why those words are so often the most difficult to say. Especially when saying them our children.
A person who is capable of saying "please" and meaning it confesses his dependence on a reality outside himself and rejects the principle that might makes right, transcending the debilitating egoism that would leave him, to paraphrase Sir Walter Scott, a vile wretch concentered all in self. And finally, a person who is capable of saying "I’m sorry" (or for more minor offenses, "excuse me") and meaning it makes the difficult but crucial breakthrough into unflattering and unglossed self-knowledge, mustering the courage to acknowledge his faults and the resolve to redress them.
Our comparison between the four ends of the Mass and the four great things we learn as children also gives one final insight into the importance of the Eucharistic sacrifice. To think of Mass "attendance" as a legalistic burden imposed on us by the Church is as impoverishing as thinking of manners as mere extensions of parental power and caprice. Though by no means sufficient, manners are nevertheless instrumental in orienting us to the created order, and when they are appropriated properly, they help actuate our full potential as human beings. Similarly, the adoration, thanksgiving, petitions, and satisfaction we make at Mass orient us to the Creator of our nature, actuating not simply our native potential, but our capacity to participate in the very Godhead itself.
To be able to say "I’m sorry," "I love you," "please," and "thank you" to our Heavenly Father through the mediation of His Son and under the guidance of His Spirit is not only a unique privilege for a lowly creature; it is a steadily transformative act. And to that we can only say, Deo gratias.
Friday, June 22, 2007
My first though is this smacks of good ol' American celebrity worship. Yes marriage is a public event. But public in a local and personal way, not the Enquirer sort of public star gazing way. Friends and the locality have the right to know someone is married so actions can be viewed as proper and without scandal. But following someone else's problems for 16 years could be viewed as obsession.
Second, yes I believe the annulment process is seriously flawed if not corrupt in some places in the US. What legal system in the U.S. hasn't been tainted by our affluence and desire for power. We are taught to seek control of everything in our lives and this even affects our religion.
Was justice denied by being delayed so long. Probably. But just as the reasons for annulment are confidential, we can't pretend to know the inner workings of the Curia either. Annulment is a slow bureaucratic process here in the U.S. So it stands to reason that examining the appeal of that process is going to be slower. Perhaps largely because of the bureaucrats that ruled incorrectly in the first place. And that leads to my final point.
We have the religion we deserve here in the U.S. We are fat and egotistical, obsessed with power and the desire to control every facet of our lives. We don't like being told we are wrong, but if admitting being wrong in the past gets us what we want now, we will swallow that small bitter pill for today's ecstasy. Polluting our bodies and water supply are insignificant side-effects, subservient to the need to control our fertility by chemical means. And we seek out pastors and shepherds that will affirm us rather than correct us. More often the wrath of God is him allowing us to learn the hard way about the pain of sin while the mercy of God is rapid correction and chastisement. Or simply, wrath is letting us have our way. Give me the quick reproof anytime.
Almost 40 years past our rejection of the prophetic Humanae Vitae, are we surprised that our shepherds who were silent on that infinitely more important matter are slow to respond on this minutia?
Lord have MERCY on us.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I recently had to resolve a dust-up between my 7 year old and a friend. Seems the rough housing on the trampoline got a bit rough. I tend to ignore when the boys get their feelings hurt when they are being rowdy.
But my wife called attention to my boy being unhappy because the other boy hit him. But, of course it was a return for getting shoved. After I settled the matter with some push-ups and stairs, I had the boys shake hands. And then shake hands again, like a man which includes looking each other in the eye.
That night I was talking to my boy and he was still festering about it. I mentioned we would have his friend and dad come over so we can have a boxing match. I told him if he wanted to settle it with fighting we would put the gloves on and work it out fairly. He thought about it and grumpily agreed, but then added that he would rather wrestle.
Sounds about right because this other boy used to bully him until my son took him down and pinned him. But then again, my boy has a bit of the careless bully in him too. Perhaps we will just go UFC?
This is one of those times. Tell CBS 'Rosie is wrong at any Price' by One Million Dads.com
According to numerous news sources, CBS is considering replacing longtime The Price is Right gameshow host Bob Barker with lesbian feminist Rosie O'Donnell.First of all, this is "The Price is Right" people! I don't see how the culture war is going to be won on this front. Yeah Rosie is offensive. But Bob Barker and the consumerist game show weren't exactly generals on our side.
O'Donnell recently left her job on ABC's The View after her controversial comments degrading toward Christians, the US military, and president Bush led to a viewer backlash against the network.
Tell CBS that replacing Bob Barker with Rosie O'Donnell is a bad bid for The Price is Right.
And primarily, it is up to the entertainment company to decide who they want to employ. If they hire Rosie and she tanks, we are no better off. If she does well, we are no worse off. Perhaps better off because who took Barker seriously when he repeated "Spay and neuter your pets."
Bush vetoes embryonic stem cell bill - Yahoo! News
Announcing his veto to a roomful of supporters, Bush said, "If this legislation became law, it would compel American taxpayers for the first time in our history to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos. I made it clear to Congress and to the American people that I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line."She is quite right here except her tense is wrong. The last line should read "This would be just one example of how the president would put ideology before science, politics before the needs of our families,"
Sen. Hillary Clinton, R-N.Y., said if she is elected president, she will lift restrictions on stem cell research.
"This is just one example of how the president puts ideology before science, politics before the needs of our families," she said.
Her stance is one of ideology and politics and filling the coffers of the political scientists. I don't recall where I read this but it rings so true, if ESCR was so effective, it wouldn't need government funding. It would be funded by research companies scrambling to find and patent the process. Ironically, the ad on the this site was for Tylenol. A widely successful product made possible by private research and investment.
The death marchers make it sound like Bush is outlawing the research. Or worse, he is out there working with Dr. Kevorkian, whom most of the ESCR supporters have no problem supporting. Talk about twisted. They complain disabled or sick people might die because the president won't allow researchers to kill people. Yet we could have heard silence when Terri Shaivo was killed by her husband. It is a wonder these folks don't have slivers in their posterior from jumping back and forth over the fence so often.
Currently, states and private organizations are permitted to fund embryonic stem cell research, but federal support is limited to cells that existed as of Aug. 9, 2001. The latest bill was aimed at lifting that restriction.Yup, big bad Bush is out there unplugging respirators again.
At the Republican debate May 3, Giuliani said he supports such an expansion with limits, "as long as we're not creating life in order to destroy it, as long as we're not having human cloning."Umm..., memo to Rudy. You might want to add a bit of reading to that assignment Ron Paul has already given you. Embryonic means a life HAS been created.
# If you are carjacked one mile, go with him two.I would add
# If yor are hit, turn the other signal.
# Do not let your air bag become puffed up like the Pharisees
# Let not the sun go down on you road rage
# Carry your cross daily, or at least have one hanging from your rear view mirror.
# When you enter a freeway that is backed up, go and move to the lowest place and not try to merge into the front. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
# Do not talk about your Honda so that it can be said of you "That he did not say it of his own Accord."
# Hydroplaning is not the same thing as walking on water, avoid it.
# Before Jesus peformed the miracle at Cana, he appointed a designated driver.
Thou shalt not covet they neighbor's parking space.And I foresee a possible document on "Weather conditions for seafaring fishermen."
Remain humble even when you are giving God your Fiat.
When tempted to weave in and out of slow traffic alway remember, the first shall be last.
Cut not lest you be eternally cut off.
Remember the parable of the sheep and goats, always stay right.
Meat shower curtains, corn dog air fresheners... I am not sure about the bacon mints though.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
While we blog about the pork barrel spending, the pork is peeking out a little hole to see if anyone is looking.
We welcome all visitors here, even the nervous pork type. But I am a bit leary because I have never witnessed a pig stampede.
Domain Name cdc.gov ? (U.S. Government) IP Address 158.111.4.# (The United States Centers For Disease Control) Referring URL http://blogsearch.go...center&sa=N&start=30 Search Engine blogsearch.google.com Search Words cdc off center
CDC Off Center
Some examples in the report of CDC’s spending:I sure could use a $125,000 moral boosting tax cut. I might skip the beauty pageant though. And after getting fat on all this pork, a trip to the $30,000 sauna might be in order.
- $1.7 million — including terrorism funds — on a Hollywood liaison program, which happens to be run by a former employee (pg. 87);
- $45 million for conferences, including those featuring prostitutes, protests, and beach parties (pgs. 48 - 60);
- $30,000 employee saunas in a new $200,000 fitness center that also includes mood-enhancing lightshows and $3,500 worth of zero-gravity chairs (pg. 15);
- $5 billion spent over seven years on HIV/AIDS prevention funding, and yet the U.S. still sees 40,000 new cases each year, with no decrease in infection rates for over a decade (pgs. 23-37);
- Syphilis prevention funds used to feature a porn star’s presentation (pg. 44);
- HIV/AIDS prevention funds spent on a transgender beauty pageant (pg. 45);
- $250,000 spent so two former employees could help build staff morale, (pgs. 100 - 101);
- $5.1 million on “audio visual integration” in the new Thomas R. Harkin communications and visitor center, including a giant 70-foot-wide by 25-foot-tall video wall of plasma screen TVs showcasing agency vignettes (pg. 8);
- 110 CDC employees traveled to two international AIDS conferences, when buying retroviral drugs with the trip funds could have prevented mother-to-child AIDS transmission for more than 115,000 infants (pgs. 50 & 52);
Monday, June 18, 2007
Traveling with sick kids is the blues. I am not fond of cleaning up vomit or the alternative from the lower GI tract. So here is my additions to her list, I will leave the time for each indulgence up to the mercy of God.
- Cleaning up said fluids while remaining inside the vehicle because it is below zero outside.And the point, parents don't need to look far for their corporal works of mercy; clothing the naked, feeding the perpetually hunger, comfort the sorrowing, changing the stinky.
- Navigating the vehicle to a safe stop on a narrow mountain road when the vomit hits the your seat.
- Maintaining humor when the you finally understand why the 2 year old was pointing to him mouth saying "ick" for the last 15 minutes.
- Avoiding the compounding of sins in the instances a child needs a potty break immediately after the crying baby finally fell asleep.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Romney woos anti-abortion activists
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Friday told hundreds of anti-abortion activists that his conversion to their cause is genuine as he sought to fend off rivals' criticism that he's inconsistent on the issue.It is not TIME that unites, but the TIMING sure is suspicious. Him being a politician and all, it is perfectly natural to not believe a word he says. Show me some action that gives proof. But he can't because he didn't convert until after he could have possibly done something concrete to stem the abortions in Massachusetts.
"I know that it is not time but conviction that unites us," Romney said in remarks on the second day of the National Right to Life's annual convention. "I proudly follow a long line of converts — George Herbert Walker Bush, Henry Hyde, and
Ronald Reagan to name a few."
Probably of more interest is the something he doesn't proclaim very loudly. He at least has a plausible explanation for his conversion on abortion. But I have yet to hear his explanation for his similar conversion, coincidentally at the same time, regarding homosexual unions. Are we supposed to just take it for granted that he saw the light their also? Another Damascus road experience? Perhaps as the legend goes, he needs to be knocked off his horse for us to believe him. Although I consider him more of a donkey in the political sense.
Give me the consistency of Ron Paul any day.
Which is a better way of saying we are all hair shirts to those around us. As Fr. Corapi was saying today, "Good morning hair shirt. How scratchy are you going to be today?"
Sounds a bit rough, but he makes his point quite well. To become the precious gems in the Kingdom of God, we are given our family to help us become holy. Just as grit is added to the tumbler to smooth the rough edges of the stones; our spouse, children and family in all their annoying faults are there to smooth our rough edges. Learning to love them despite their faults is how we become holy. And we must remember, they may be grit to us, but what grain of grit are we to others? For those who have listened to my complaining, just remember, I am polishing you.
Or in other words, to roughly paraphrase Mother Angelica, holiness is listening to someone complain about all their problems over and over. Or listening patiently to a joke you have heard 25 times and laughing at the punch line for the 26th time.
Boy, all that holiness I am missing as my children tell joke after joke.
So, have you hugged your grit today?
Thursday, June 14, 2007
...Mine is fast, your's is slow...
Guess having that song stuck in my head is better than the headache I got trying to follow the structure of this actual sentence.
"Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is a grammatically correct sentence used as an example of how homonyms and homophones can be used to create complicated constructs.I think I will have to see if my 6th grader can figure it out.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Nah, the Chinese government doesn't censor their internet. Just some technical issues as Yahoo says Beijing likely blocking Flickr
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Flickr.com, one of the world's most popular online photo-sharing sites and owned by Yahoo Inc., is likely being blocked by the Chinese government, Yahoo's Hong Kong unit said on Tuesday.
Flickr -- popular among a growing class of digital photo enthusiasts in the world's second-largest Internet market -- has not shown photos to users in mainland China since last week, amid rumors Beijing took action after images of the Tiananmen massacre in early June 1989 were posted.
I've been blogging nearly every day of at least 5-1/2 years so giving that up, even for a finite period, is difficult,Then it will be a sad day for St. Blogs parish. One of my favorite bloggers and always on the must read list. A fine mix of well thought out Catholic information and a good head for truly conservative politics.
He will be missed!
If he gets the nomination and proceeds to lose the election, (I can't see a pro-war, anti-life candidate winning. Kinda like the worst of both worlds.) he could take the entire Republican party down in flames with him and we could see a legitimate third party emerge. It may be a painful four years, but similar to purgatory; it would be worth it to break up the current stranglehold of corruption.
Pro-Life Leaders Won’t Vote for Rudy Giuliani Over Abortion
Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention was a strong supporter of President Bush during his 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns but said he would not vote for Giuliani in the 2008 general election, even though the Democratic nominee will almost assuredly be pro-abortion as well.
"I'm not going to vote for a pro-choice candidate, period," he said, speaking on behalf of himself and not the convention.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, was equally strong in his comments about how he would treat Giuliani in the voting booth.
"Speaking as a private citizen, no, no, I could not support (Giuliani)," Perkins told Politico. "The 20 years I've been involved in politics, the life issue has been at the very top. How could I turn my back on that?"
He said he would likely support a third-party candidate should Giuliani carry the GOP standard next fall.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
The second leg from MSP to Detroit was delayed and then I found out the third leg from Detroit to Greenville was canceled. (Due to the weather of course). They couldn't get me to SC until around noon on Saturday. With a rental car, drive time and finding the place, I would have missed over half the conference. And that meant spending the night in Detroit. Likely in the airport. So I chose to come home and sleep in my own bed.
Anyway, Sen. Brownback makes a great point. We shouldn't capitulate to the pro-abortion crowd. Abortion is wrong under all circumstances. The only time it is permissible is when it really isn't elective, such as a tubal pregnancy where the mother and baby will die if the tubal pregnancy continues. And if future medical advancement finds a remedy for that, then even that will have to be re-evaluated.
Sam Brownback Says Abortion Shouldn't Be Allowed in Rape, Incest Cases
Brownback's comments came during the National Catholic Men's Conference.Life is sacred, no matter what the circumstances of creation. Conceding the minute percentage of "rape and incest" babies to the pro-death crowd is hypocrisy.
He said that encouraging a woman who has been a victim of sexual abuse to have an abortion doesn't address the problems she faces as a result of the rape and does nothing to prosecute the rapist.
"Rape is terrible. Rape is awful. Is it made any better by killing an innocent child? Does it solve the problem for the woman that's been raped?" Brownback said, according to an AP report.
Michigan attorney Rebecca Kiessling knows firsthand about the potential impact of abortion on unborn children conceived through rape.
"I was adopted nearly from birth. At 18, I learned that I was conceived out of a brutal rape at knife-point by a serial rapist," she says.
"Like most people, I'd never considered that abortion applied to my life, but once I received this information, all of a sudden I realized that, not only does it apply to my life, but it has to do with my very existence," she added.
Kiessling feels the pain of what could have happened to her every time she hears someone say abortion should be allowed in such cases.
"All these people are out there who don’t even know me, but are standing in judgment of my life, so quick to dismiss it just because of how I was conceived," she says.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Court rules in favor of enemy combatant - Yahoo! News
RICHMOND, Va. - The Bush administration cannot use new anti-terrorism laws to keep U.S. residents locked up indefinitely without charging them, a divided federal appeals court said Monday.Bottom line, if he is guilty of something, he should stand trial. Sounds like there is evidence, so please proceed to protect our society from these criminals. But usurping the rights of citizens sets a dangerous precedent for the rest of us "not yet criminals".
The ruling was a harsh rebuke of one of the central tools the administration believes it has to combat terror.
"This is a landmark victory for the rule of law and a defeat for unchecked executive power," al-Marri's lawyer, Jonathan Hafetz, said in a statement. "It affirms the basic constitutional rights of all individuals — citizens and immigrants — in the United States."
The court said its ruling doesn't mean al-Marri should be set free. Instead, he can be returned to the civilian court system and tried on criminal charges.
Funny what happened when another illegally detained U.S. citizen took it to court.
Jose Padilla, who is a U.S. citizen, had been held as an enemy combatant in a Navy brig for 3 1/2 years before he was hastily added to an existing case in Miami in November 2005, a few days before a U.S. Supreme Court deadline for Bush administration briefs on the question of the president's powers to continue holding him in military prison without charge.And why don't I trust that our supreme court will rule in favor of liberty? Hmmm, I wonder why?
David is wearing space-age armor, though probably not king Saul's. Moses is ripped and carries a sword and shield. Noah looks about 20 and has a cross-bow. At least Sampson looks somewhat accurate with long hair and a weapon that resembles the jaw bone of a donkey.
I think I will hold out for the Invincible Suffering Servant of Isaiah.
If this clip is any indication, it isn't the candidates that are the problem. It is the voters!
Watch it to the end and tell me what is wrong with the response of the test group.
The thing about Romney that jumped out at me was how little he had to say in the last debate. His commentary on absolutely nothing was marvelous. But it still was about nothing. It was like eating the beautiful advertisement of fast food. It made you salivate but there was nothing there. Except perhaps a little indigestible fiber that stuck in your throat.
He stepped towards the camera and droned on about the "future" without giving any substantial answer. If that is what appeals to voters, then we are in big trouble as a nation. Feed them pablum with a smile and tell them it is tender roast beef.
Here it is embedded.
Here is someone who has isolated the problem to be patch MS07-027 that slows down Outlook 2003
Microsoft MVP Sandi has identified and found a workaround for a vexing Outlook 2003 problem. When you install the MS07-027 / KB 937409 patch, you may discover that Outlook 2003 (or 2002 - the version in Office XP) slows to a teeth-jarring halt every time you type a formatted message.Actually, the last suggestion about using MS Word as the e-mail editor does work. That is the only fix that I have found acceptable. (since I enjoy a spy-ware free workstation).
According to Sandi's post, if you are using Outlook (not 2007), have IE7 installed and use HTML as your email format, then when you type an email the IE rendering engine will check the registry for entries in IE's Restricted Sites zone **every time you type a character***.
Some products, including Spybot, IE-Spyad and Spyware Blaster, stick lots and lots of URLs in the Restricted Sites zone. Thus, if you have Spybot, run IE 7, and you install MS07-027, your formatted mail typing speed may run like molasses in January.
Sandi has three workarounds: "remove all of those entries in the Restricted Sites Zone - a quick way to do this is to reset Internet Explorer's settings (Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab); Stop using HTML (switch to Rich Text instead); or use Word as Outlook's email editor."
I don't have a suitably clobbered PC to test it on, but my guess is that her last suggestion won't work. Outlook slows down because it uses IE as its formatted mail "rendering engine". Outlook 2007 is immune to the problem because it uses Word, not IE, to render formatted email messages.
Now if I could get Outlook 2003 to save the POP3 password, I might make it back into the good geek graces with my wife.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
WorldNetDaily: China exports lead poisoning
WASHINGTON – In the wake of scandals involving tainted food and toothpaste from China comes word of a new concern from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as well as the Food and Drug Administration – toys, makeup, glazed pottery and other products that contain significant amounts of lead.
While lead poisoning among children was once mainly caused by old paint, U.S. manufacturers long ago banned the ingredient. Today, a new rash of high lead levels in the bloodstreams of American kids is being caused by foreign products – mainly from China.
Washington State: Kids could be stuck in booster seats until 16
Thousands of Washington children will be forced back into car and booster seats next month when a change to state law takes effect.And if that wasn't bad enough, it only gets worse.
On June 1, children will have to stay in the safety seats until they are at least 8 years old or 4 feet, 9 inches tall. Violators face a $112 ticket.
The changes also require children to use booster seats until they are 16 years old if a vehicle's seat belt does not properly fit the child.So any "safety minded" WSP can pull over a vehicle they see with a child's head riding a bit too low. What about people who recline in the passenger seat. Perhaps we should just be able to buy a $300 sticker for our windows that reads, "Child Friendly, already been extorted by Graco."
As they say, "Hate freedom? Vote liberal."
They sure can count on a lot less families risking the journey into the Ever-greedy State.
When does the military prosecute "immoral behavior"?
You name it. Bigamy, sodomy (with either gender), wrongful cohabitation, gambling, dueling, indecent exposure, indecent language, indecent acts, pandering, prostitution—all of these are considered crimes under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
If you're an officer, you're also subject to a general prohibition on "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman." This rule, as interpreted in the military's 900-page courts-martial manual, can be used to prosecute things like cheating on tests, stealing, public drunkenness, failing to support your family, and reading someone else's mail. To top it off, the military can also prosecute anyone for anything that damages the "good order and discipline in the armed forces" or makes them look bad.
Bonus Explainer: If actions like adultery and sodomy are legal for regular civilians, why are they illegal in the military? Because the military is special. The 1974 decision Parker v. Levy established the military as a "specialized society" with different laws from civilian society—a notion even the founding fathers recognized when, in the Fifth Amendment, they exempted "the land or naval forces" from having to call a grand jury to indict people for capital or "otherwise infamous" crimes.*
I already mentioned the amazing video of Giuliani's response during the lightning round of questions, now I will try to bring out more detail of the other candidates from the New Hampshire debate.
Once again, Ron Paul's internet presence is being felt as he is sweeping the debate scorecard (the meaningful ones anyway) winning the votes by 58%. I wasn't as impressed by Dr. Paul's performance this debate. His knowledge of actual issues is unmatched, and is one of the few believable candidates. But he turned in what looked to be a one-trick pony for this show. His answers were good, but when he said the undeclared war was the greatest moral issue of our time, that seemed a bit over the top.
However his answer on gays openly serving in the military was dead on. It isn't about orientation, but about disruptive behavior. See my post on military conduct for more details. The military has the right to ensure the safety and readiness of their soldiers. Immoral and disruptive behavior work against that readiness.
Romney was very disappointing even for someone who already dislikes him. He should have been part of the Democrats debate (yes we watched that too, at least the half of it we could stomach.) He blathered on and on turning most every question into a black hole about how the Republicans were the party of the future. Don't ask what I mean because I couldn't figure out what he meant, other than he had little to say and took too long saying it.
Giuliani continually went over the time limit and ignored the moderator with more of his politico-speak. Not much substance and everything seemed related to him being the most capable of protecting our nation. McCain was on the defensive most of the night because of the amnesty bill he co-sponsored with Ted Kennedy. Someone pointed out that he had more in common with Kennedy than with the Republicans. So he stumped and he whined about that every chance he got.
Jim Gilmore finally got something of substance right when he was asked about global warming. He pointed out that the Kyoto treaty was more about financing Russia and China than protecting the environment. Tancredo has some wonderful points, but I pity him when he has to speak. He stammers and pauses and winds his way around some great ideas, but by the time he is done, the concept is mostly lost. Tommy Thompson got an infusion of charisma and actually looked comfortable on stage.
Excluding the rest of the candidates giving Rudy "sparky" Giuliani a wide berth, the best lines of the debate were between Huckabee (or Hucklebee as my kids say) and Hunter. Huckabee was asked whether he believed in evolution or in a 6 day creation as the Bible says. The former minister proved his credentials by giving a 60 second sermon on what most Christians believe. Namely that we don't know the "how" of creation, but we know the "Who" and the "why". Did God make it in six literal days, or 6 millennial days? Huckabee said he didn't know. But he did know that there is a God that loves us and that created us for his purpose. Amen to that pastor!
Hunter is still the king of the hawks, but I would say maybe more of a mother hawk. He is genuinely concerned for the security of OUR nation. He would be a great Secretary of Defense. But his line came when asked if he would pardon Scooter Libby. He responded that he had not read Libby's transcripts, but that he had read some others, those of border agents Ramos and Campion. He said he would immediately pardon these two who have been jailed for doing their duty and protecting our border.
Brownback also had a worthwhile comment. When asked about evolution, he showed his well researched Catholic roots by mentioning that the college hosting the debates was named after St. Anselm and one of the things he was known for was seeking faith through reason. Brownback stated that faith and reason are not opposed to one another. If we find that they are, we need to check either our faith or our reason.
Too sum it up, the big three were unimpressive to downright worthless. Ron Paul was good if somewhat limited and many of the others continued to bring out great points. Hopefully this will resonate well and help shape the platform for whomever is nominated.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
A very humorous "intervention" in tonights debate as Giuliani answered a question about the bishop who took him to task over his stance on abortion.
Wonder if he will have a conversion on the road to Des Moines now too? Doubt it. His reasoning that he "consulted his religion and the constitution" caused my wife to ask, which religion and which constitution? The ones he is inferring to have some very pointed stances on the sanctity of life.
Giuliani didn't seem to get the message, but his colleagues on stage did. They all suddenly gave him plenty of space while he finished the comment.
Who says God doesn't still speak in our time?
Monday, June 04, 2007
So when is the "now" gonna happen?
Rep. Jefferson indicted in bribery probe - Yahoo! News
"But the essence of the charges are really very simple: Mr. Jefferson corruptly traded on his good office and on the Congress," said Chuck Rosenberg, the U.S. attorney in Alexandria.Pelosi is expected to push for Jefferson to be stripped of his seat? What is wrong with this picture? Is Congress about the only place that marking the Felony box on the job application doesn't matter?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) is expected to push this week for Jefferson to be stripped of his seat on the Small Business Committee, according to a leadership aide who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not yet been announced.
"If these charges are proven true, they constitute an egregious and unacceptable abuse of public trust and power," said Pelosi, D-Calif. "Democrats are committed to upholding a high ethical standard and eliminating corruption and unethical behavior from the Congress."
And how appropriate that he is on the Small Business Committee. I wonder how many small businesses have died in committee under his watch. Racketeering, soliciting bribes, wire fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy, all good qualities for someone supposing to help small businesses flourish.
But I am sure this too can be spun by the politicians. The Republicans will claim the moral highground, but not too loudly so anyone will remember Abernoff and all their fiscal misdealings. The Democrats will merely point out that this happened while the Republicans were in charge.
Of course, it’s not just Catholicism that is subject to this phenomenon. The trend in public discourse these days is to shoot from the hip and to attack that which you have knowledge of based on what you’ve read at Wikipedia.And from some of the issues Wikipedia has encountered with administrators embellishing their resumes, this seems to be the peak of self-centered delusional thinking. Perhaps we should help these "Thinking" folks come up with a motto for their bumper stickers.
- I Wiki, therefore I am.My dad had a couple of sayings that seem to fit also.
- Whaddaya mean Wiki isn't 100% accurate?
- Of course I am who my profile says I am, just read the Wiki-article about me that I wrote?
- I wasn't wrong, my mind just had a buffer overflow.
- How could I know it was false, I just spew what I read on the Internet.
- Forgot to engage the brain before engaging the mouth.
- And quoting someone [could be Mark Twain or Winston Churchill, I am could not locate the exact quote], Believe only a fourth of what you read, a third of what you see and half of what you know.
Pro-Life Groups Celebrate Defeat of Amendment Hurting Free Speech
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Pro-life groups are celebrating the defeat of an amendment to a lobbying reform bill that would limit their free speech rights and those of their members. They said the amendment targeted would have hurt their efforts to tell private citizens about what is occurring in Congress.Bottom line is these groups are a pain in the rear to wayward congressmen. The phone, fax, and email surges when the public becomes aware of actions they would rather hide in the darkness of bureaucracy. Like a cockroach, support for these bills scatter when the light is shone upon them.
Rep. Marty Meehan, a Massachusetts Democrat, says his amendment targets grassroots lobbying and its supporters asserted that the measure would require merely “disclosure” of “huge undisclosed amounts” spent to get members of the public to “lobby Congress.”
Yet, a coalition of pro-life groups, said the reality is that the Meehan Amendment would force countless individual Americans and groups to register and report as “lobbying firms."
“The defeat of the Meehan Amendment, and its predecessor in the Senate, is an important victory for grassroots-based movements like the pro-life movement," he said. "This victory is due to an outpouring of opposition to the idea of officeholders regulating the right of private groups to communicate with the public about what is going on in Congress.”
Johnson said that he was pleased with the victory but worried about another bill that would cause headaches for pro-life groups.
He cited H.R. 984, sponsored by pro-abortion Rep. Henry Waxman of California, that would require Executive Branch officials to disclose every letter, email or contact they receive from any "private party" such as pro-life groups or pro-life people.
“Under the Waxman ‘Big Brother Act,’ it would no longer be possible for any private citizen to express an opinion about a federal government policy, without that communication becoming an entry in a public database,” Johnson explained.
"if America is to have government by the people, then the right of the people to be informed must be protected."
Friday, June 01, 2007
NETWORK OF TERROR SPREADS IN SHATTERED MIDEAST SOCIETIES
In northern Lebanon, in the long-established Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, out of the blue arose a new al-Qaida-related insurgent group,
Fatah al-Islam. Within days and even hours, the recurring hell of the Middle East was loosed and refugees poured out of the camp in terror.
Now think about the symbolism. There had been none of this kind of terror networking in these northern camps. Indeed, since this camp was established in 1949 to accommodate refugees from northern Palestine after the creation of
Israel, it has housed one of the more formal and conservative of peoples.
But it was soon established that these new "insurgents" or "terrorists" -- or whatever they really are -- had arrived at the camp only recently, that they marched in one day with brand-new weapons, ready to fight. As of this writing, they remain there.
Iraq, where we were supposed to be "containing terrorism," is now clearly EXPORTING insurgents to other regions -- to Lebanon, to
Syria, to Gaza, to Bangladesh, to Kurdistan.
And so, on the one hand, you have weakened societies -- "only spaces" -- that have become vulnerable to the "new answers" of "new insurgencies," and on the other hand, you have Iraq set up as a school for terrorists with American troops and policy providing the constant inspiration for their fight.
This, of course, is not the way the Bush administration -- despite everything that has gone so terribly wrong -- sees it.
They see terrorists as born, not created by history, bearing the mark of Cain, not the mark of circumstance. There is a scarlet "T" written on their foreheads at birth and the only answer is to destroy them. This kind of thinking, of course, relieves the thinker of any responsibility for the presence of the insurgent-terrorist-whatever in our innocent midst.
Hansen, a Web application security specialist,... has figured out a way to launch man-in-the-middle attacks against a computer with a fully patched Google Desktop installed.Ignoring the need for spell check and proof reading, he points out that my fears were well founded. With all security issues Google is having, I might hold off trying that Google Personal Finance program.
“This should drive home the point that deep integration between the desktop and the web is not a good idea, without tremendous thought put into the security model. As Google’s site is unencrypted, and they place their content that can run executibles [sic] on their site, it can be subverted by an attacker,” Hansen warns.
Anti-crime teams sent to 4 more cities - Yahoo! News
The influx of agents brings the number of ATF Violent Crime Impact Teams, which first deployed three years ago, to 29 cities. The FBI is also adding to its more than 180 Safe Streets Task Forces by sending one to Orlando, which Gonzales said has been plagued by gang violence.The increasing federalization of the police does not leave me with a warm, fuzzy, secure feeling. On the local level, compare the different temperament of of the Highway Patrol versus the local cops. To the local cops, this is home and they are concerned about safety. If you follow their emphasis patrols, they are looking to reduce speeds in neighborhoods, reduce accidents and in general, the good of the community.
Orlando police spokeswoman Barbara Jones said the department "welcomes any additional federal support in our efforts to combat violent crime."
The report, released Friday by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine, warned of problems with federal crime-fighting task forces. It concluded the teams duplicate efforts and compete for help from local authorities while failing to communicate among themselves. The poor communication, in particular, resulted in three so-called "blue-on-blue" cases where federal agents mistook each other for criminals.
Compare that to the HP who will seemingly follow someone, allowing them to continue violating the law as they wait for a better ROI.
It is like bringing in a stranger to discipline the kids because they have gotten out of control. The stranger is likely to look at the discipline as a task to be accomplished at all costs, rather than the loving reproof of a father.
As we export our local jobs to the federal nanny state, don't expect the results to improve. I would much rather chastised by a father than subjugated by a dictator.
...The beginning of my own sense of separation from the Bush administration came in January 2005, when the president declared that it is now the policy of the United States to eradicate tyranny in the world, and that the survival of American liberty is dependent on the liberty of every other nation. This was at once so utopian and so aggressive that it shocked me. For others the beginning of distance might have been Katrina and the incompetence it revealed, or the depth of the mishandling and misjudgments of Iraq.I won't say "I told you so." but I bet my beloved wife would. We know his political leanings were not conservative, but towards big government. But I still held hope that the man who spoke so openly about faith would rely on it to guide him. Too bad it was his faith in power and politics that soon took over.
Bush the younger came forward, presented himself as a conservative, garnered all the frustrated hopes of his party, turned them into victory, and not nine months later was handed a historical trauma that left his country rallied around him, lifting him, and his party bonded to him. He was disciplined and often daring, but in time he sundered the party that rallied to him, and broke his coalition into pieces. He threw away his inheritance. I do not understand such squandering.
Now conservatives and Republicans are going to have to win back their party. They are going to have to break from those who have already broken from them. This will require courage, serious thinking and an ability to do what psychologists used to call letting go. This will be painful, but it's time. It's more than time.
Ms. Noonan is dead on with the country rallying around his leadership and a strong bond was formed after 9/11. Between that and the mentally ill fermentation of the extreme left that spewed bile and hatred at him from every shadow; many good people stuck with Bush for way too long.
Seeing how unhinged was the opposition, how could he be wrong? But just as in the Church, as if the scale of Left and Right isn't linear, but rather a broken ring, the two extremes are so far from the truth that they are almost touching.
Let us hope that the good people of this nation are ready to cut bait. The Grand Old Party has become that of drunken raucous teenagers breaking the law. Are we still sober enough to recognize it and get ourselves out before the roof caves in?
The blogosphere will have a feast with this one. Giving Hillary a pass
If George W. Bush had stood in front of a misspelled sign for a campaign speech, it would be on every news broadcast and mentioned in every article written about it, as if he was personally responsible for the creation and installation of every sign on his campaign stops.But you say POtato, I say poTATo. I like the excerpt from the article
Yet when it’s Hillary Clinton, there’s not a word in the Associated Press coverage.
But there’s no liberal bias or double standard in the media.
The New York senator and Democratic presidential hopeful said she's trying to increase the number of so-called H1B visas aimed at highly educated workersEnglish as a first language? Well we can murder the rest of the languages later.