Thursday, May 31, 2007

Oh, THAT kind of 'Medical Treatment'

From the Saratogan, a story about child pornography and a priest:

A 50-year-old Catholic priest who is a Cohoes native now living in Columbia County could be released on bond as early as today after a federal magistrate on Wednesday agreed to grant the accused bail as he awaits trial on charges he received and possessed computer images of child pornography.

Ahh, swift Justice, swoop in and take the alleged pervert. But wait..

[Prosecutor Thomas Spina] said Ethier faces five to 20 years in prison if convicted, but the criminal process will be delayed by medical treatment the priest will seek in Maryland.

Medical Treatment in Maryland, you say? Wouldn't happen to be St. Luke Institute, by chance?

I still think my monastery idea would be worth looking into.

h/t CWNews

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

That All ?

From the Omaha World Herald, Group Targets Actions of Bruskewitz:

More than 1,000 Catholics from all corners of the country have signed a petition protesting Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz's actions against members of the Lincoln-based Call to Action Nebraska.

One thousand?! That's the best you can do? Heck, our small parish packs that many in on any given Sunday.

"We are not happy with the way Bishop Bruskewitz has been handling things in the diocese and wanted to draw attention to that," said Rachel Pokora, president of Call to Action Nebraska.

Ms. Pokora thinks herself ill-used, excommunicated by the bishop for belonging to an organization that inherently defies catholic teaching and doctrine.

..the petition criticizes Bruskewitz's refusal to allow girls to serve at the altar and his 1996 excommunication of Call to Action Nebraska members.

Having not gotten any sympathy for their heretical views, Call To Action plays the Abuse card:

The petition also included criticism of his refusal to participate in the annual nationwide audit to determine whether churches are compliant with church policies regarding sex abuse.

"We find this to be very disappointing because we feel the children of Lincoln and the diocese are at risk," said Nicole Sotelo, spokeswoman for the Chicago-based Call to Action U.S.A.

Unlike Call To Action, the USCCB is less hysterical about Lincoln's non-participation in the audits:

A spokeswoman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said the Lincoln Diocese's lack of participation in the audit does not mean it isn't adhering to church policies regarding sexual abuse.

"The clergy sexual abuse crisis is a serious issue for all the bishops, and I can't see any bishop not doing all they can to ensure children are safe in their diocese," said Teresa Kettelkamp, executive director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection, which administers the audit.

In a written statement, Bruskewitz affirmed that his diocese is operating in full compliance with all civil and church laws concerning the abuse of minors.

I don't worry much about the children in Lincoln, because the Bishop's policy is clear to the local clergy. I think it's something along the lines of "If you abuse children, I promise I'll visit you in prison."

"The Catholic Church teaches that all homosexual acts and any sexual abuse of minors or others are mortal sins," Bruskewitz said in the statement. "Such sins and heinous crimes should be appropriately punished by the authorities of the church and the state."

He cracks down on heretics as well. It's going to take much more than a pathetic petition to change Bp. Bruskewitz' mind on the Call To Action Nebraska excommunications. Maybe they should try renouncing their heresies and reconciling with the Church. It's been known to work.

The Devil and Ayn Rand

Someone in the comboxes asked an interesting question:

How can the complete absence of force in the relations between men be described as evil? That is the essence of Ms. Rand's philosophy.

Well, if you're starting from a position that Objectivism is good, then it is difficult to prove it evil. The complete absence of force in relations is, on it's face, complete neutrality, and therefore cannot be considered a good. Any action is a force. How can the complete absence of action be considered evil? If I leave someone alone, I cannot claim to have helped them. A homeless person holds a sign asking for help, and thereby has forced his way into my consciousness, how do I respond? Walking down the street, I witness an assault in progress. Do I force my sense of justice on the victim and the assailant?

I begin from a philosophy 1900 years older than Ms. Rand's. I am a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, also known to the masses as Jesus H. Christ. The complete absence of EMPATHY in relations between men is evil. The complete absence of Charity in the relations between men is evil. To Objectivism's ego-centric goal of self-satisfaction, true Empathy and Charity are anathema. Ayn Rand:

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

Contrast with the philosophy of Jesus, in essence, is the concept of man as a created being, with his obedience to his Creator as the moral purpose of his life, with selfless giving to others as his noblest activity, and faith, hope and love his only absolutes. Ayn Rand's 'men' are only heroic to themselves. A quick glance at a definition of a hero:

From the Greek ἣρως, in mythology and folklore, a hero (male) or heroine (female) are characters that in the face of danger and adversity, from a position of weakness display courage and the will for self-sacrifice, that is, heroism, for some greater good, originally of martial courage or excellence, but extended to more general moral excellence.

I am not a philosopher, nor can I debate the merits of Kant over Nietzsche. All I know is that Socrates, himself, is particularly missed. A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Used, and Used Up

Well, by now, most of you've heard that Cindy Sheehan's giving up and going home. This post will neither heap antagonistic calumny on her, nor tar her with the epithet Chiroptera Lunae. She's a victim of the Left's game.

A grieving mother, with a questionable grasp on theology, geopolitics and domestic politics, was scooped up by the Left. Transformed into an instant propaganda machine, Cindy had the credibility of actually suffering a loss from the War. Unlike most military families, which grieved their losses with dignity and respect for their children, Cindy ran about manically screaming for the War to stop. As if just stopping the War would make all the problems go away, and all would be puppies and sunshine.

Cindy pledged everything she had to the cause, and must have been rightly deflated by the Left's recent betrayal. Anti-war advocates in the House and Senate rolled over, as soon as the President wrote 30 pieces of silver into his budget for them. Sold out, there's nothing left to do. So let her go home and try to recover her family, if the bitterness will allow it.

I will eagerly await Cindy's next book, as it will reveal much to the Left that they will not admit to. Her farewell missive was titled "Good Riddance, Attention Whore", and while she may have been called that by less-than-charitable conservative bloggers, it's the Left that really treated her like a whore.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Book Meme 5/2007

Well, it's a coincidence that I built a new bookcase yesterday, and started reshelving my collection, and I read Kasia's book meme over at Clam Rampant. So, here we go:

Three works of non-fiction everyone should read:

1- The Imitation of Christ, by Tomas à Kempis, is more a guide to monastic living and discipline. But, it is full of exhortations to holiness and temperance that are applicable, and perhaps necessary, to maintain a Christ-centered perspective amid this materialist society we live in.

2- In My Own Words, by Mother Teresa, is a great study in charity and love of Christ through love of the poor. Her gentle reminders are, at times, a scourge to the modern, complacent christian conscience. Do we see Christ in the poor? What have we done for Him today?

3- Kasia had listed, as many others would, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I would agree, it's a great book. I would also add The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer as another excellent resource. Be wary of cheap grace.

Three works of fiction everyone should read:

1- The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein are the iconic tomes of fantasy writing, and touch on all the classic themes of love, sacrifice, courage, and hope. The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, are also great, and also listed by Kasia.

2- Brother Elijah, by Michael O'Brien, is an apocalyptic novel which, unlike Jack Chick tracts, doesn't paint the Pope to be the Antichrist. Fancy that, a non-fundamentalist version of the apocalypse.

3- A Brave New World by Aldus Huxley is a novel about a future utopia/dystopia. The citizens, pacified by mindless leisure, free sex and intoxication substances, tolerate totalitarian control and a rigid caste system. It's scary how the scenario is plausible, given our current lust for recreation and self-centered entertainment.

Three authors everyone should read:

1- Like the throngs of others, I'd say C.S. Lewis, for all the obvious and much rehashed reasons. He's got a great insight into living christianity.

2- Thomas Merton, but with a couple caveats. His earlier writings are full of inspiring observations and solid christian meditations. Later in his life, he persued and wrote much about his fascination with Buddhist meditation. These later writings were the springboard for many syncretist experiments by liberal catholics, trying to combine Buddhism and Catholicism. As the goals are diametrically opposed, many of these catholics ended up being more Buddhist than Catholic.

3- Many would list G. K. Chesterton, but I haven't read enough of his work to read give him any enthusiastic endorsement. I'd have to say Pope John Paul II.

Three books no one should read:

1- Altas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's epic Objectivist tirade, will do more to ruin one's sense of charity more than anything else. While I share her distaste for socialism, the alternative she posits it equally evil.

2- Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard. "Why believe in someone else (God, Jesus) when you can believe in youself?!" No thanks.

3- Beyond Good and Evil Freidrich Nietzsche.

I'd also like to recommend a couple children's books that anyone would find fun and amusing. Backbeard and the Birthday Suit by Matt McElligott and Grumblebunny by Bob Hartman and David H. Clark. Check them out at your local public library. Cheers.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Family Income Decelerates

From CNN Money, and Article called "Making less Than Dad Did":

American men in their 30s are earning less than their father's generation did, challenging a long-held belief that each generation will be better off than the one that preceded it, according to a new study published Friday.[5/25/07]

So, how many of you, out there, are better off than your parents at a similar stage in life?

Relying on Census Bureau figures, the study's authors found that after adjusting for inflation, men in their 30s in 2004 had a median income of about $35,000 per year, for a 12 percent drop compared with $40,000 per year for men in the same age group in 1974.

I definitely fall into that category, as I'm making 50% less than my father did at the same age. Although I don't doubt that the economy has much to do about it, my career choices also bear much of the blame. My dad was, then, an IT manager for a decent-sized corporation, I'm a technician in public broadcasting. It's a world of difference, pay-wise.

I wonder if the shifting male college graduation rate has anything to bear on this issue? The Pell Institute did a study, finding a growing gender gap in higher education (PPT file here). This definitely amplifies the overall impact of the economic changes, if you look at the effects on various education levels:

Alright, men, got get those Bachelors and Masters degrees!

I think that the difference is also more acute now, due to fuel prices (in turn making everything else expensive), healthcare/insurance costs, and the shifting onus of retirement saving/planning.

What do you think?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pots, Kettles, etc.

So, the current 'Worst President Ever'(WPE) is looking to name a new successor. I'd just like to take a moment to remind Jimmy of just one of the manifold maneuvers that have locked him into the WPE title:

Wreckage of an American helicopter, in the desert of Iran, having failed its mission to free american hostages April 24, 1980

Not that #43 is not giving it his all, competing for the WPE title, but Jimmy's got a solid chance to retain it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Heresies and Definitions

Inspired by a conversation at Pro Ecclesia, I started thinking up some modern responses to ancient heresies. 'Tis a shame that heresy is fashionable nowadays. What answers would you get, if you asked folks about:

Arianism - "Those are the 'White Power' dudes, right?"

Pelagianism - "Isn't that a disease?"

Montanism - "Rock climbing addiction."

Donatism - "Giving stuff to charity."

Antinomianism - "Umm, they want to be anonymous?"

Modalism - "Insisting on ice cream with pie."

Adoptionism - "Adopting too many children."

Marcionism - "Believing in aliens."

Nestorianism - "Homes should only be made out of twigs?"

Anyone else?

New additions, and more modern heresies:

Monophysytism - "Say that again, I didn't catch that. What? I still don't get it."

Calvinism - "A quote from the comic strip 'Calvin and Hobbes'." [as opposed to Far Sidism]

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Trouble in the Wind

It's coming...

Start mining those mineral deposits, boys and girls, we've got us some siege tanks to build. Of course, this will require a long-delayed hardware upgrade. My 1st generation, 350 Mhz G4 tower just isn't going to cut it any longer. Any other Starcraft players out there?


"Voice of the Faithful facing financial, membership crisis"

Aww, it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of heretics and dissenters. So, what's happening, you may ask?

Folks just aren't giving money like they used to (at the start of the Abuse crisis in the Church) and their member base has become so broad, it's hard to get a meaningful consensus on anything. VOTF has become a big tent for anti-hierarchians, women's ordinationistas, Choicers, Polygamist Priests (Christ and wife), and any other stripe of dissent from Magisterial teaching. While many camps are sympathetic to others, most folks are there to primarily support their own agenda.

“In addition to the financial crisis facing VOTF, Bill Casey identified a crisis in leadership. Evidence of this comes from the low response rates (a range of 1 percent to 5 percent) when members are asked for input on proposals,” [the Vinyard newsletter] said.
“VOTF as a whole has difficulty in reaching closure on decisions, Bill said, as well as difficulty in respecting others' positions. In the past few years, rather than leading, many have simply been engaged in fighting about leadership.

It's hard to get dissenters to stop dissenting sometimes, eh? Makes it difficult to get anything constructive done if people are always griping about the direction of the group. Reminds me of the Judean People's Front, or was that the People's Front of Judea?

There are financial issues as well:

Part of VOTF’s financial difficulties may lie in the rising amounts it spends soliciting contributions. It reported $64,224 in fund-raising expenses in 2003. It then reported $111,089 in fund-raising expenses for 2004, $151,549 for 2005 and $143,603 in “development” expenses in 2006. It reported $133,261 in development expenses for the first seven months of its current fiscal year

I guess it's getting harder and harder to get the big donations, so they're bringing in bigger sticks to beat the bushes with. There's another, more ironic problem:

Figures up to 2005 come from audited financial reports posted on its Web site. VOTF, which led an unsuccessful effort in Massachusetts to require churches to file an annual audited financial statement with the state each year, has not yet posted an audited statement of its own finances for the last fiscal year.

Everyone loves a hypocrite, especially as an accuser.

h/t CWNews

Monday, May 21, 2007

Medical, or Moral, Futility

Emilio Gonzales has died. The infant's battle against a terminal illness was mirrored by his parents' effort to keep the medical community from snuffing him earlier. From the CNN account:

Doctors wanted to invoke a state law allowing the hospital to stop life support after a 10-day notice for patients deemed medically futile.

Some may argue that the parents' fight against the exercise of this law was morally futile, but I think not. Any citizen should be allowed to carry on medical care, for either themselves or a loved one, to the farthest extent possible. The fight brought to the fore that issue of whether an individual, or an institution, is endowed with the right to determine medical treatment.

Why would the hospital cut off medical care, but to save money. When they talk about alleviating suffering, are the doctors talking about the patient, or are they referring to stockholders?

The Texas Senate, moved by the fight against the involuntary termination of medical care, charged into action:

The state Senate approved legislation this month to change the law and give patients' families more time before ending life-sustaining treatment.

Is that any victory?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Headlines #070520

Porn flowing into Christian bookstores

Shield your eyes when popping into your local christian bookstore, as you may be looking for the latest 'Left Behind' novel, but may end up finding 'Great Behinds 2: Electric Bootyloo'!

Or maybe not. Here's the sub headline...

Hundreds dealing with company that promotes XXX-rated items

Oh, that's all? I feel so let down. The headline lead me on a bit, you see. Those guys at WorldNet Daily really know how to reel 'em in, eh?

An online company providing books to hundreds of Christian bookstores throughout Canada and the United States promotes XXX-rated materials, occult titles, manuals on homosexuality and lesbianism and satanism, according to a center that monitors the industry.

Now if we'd just censure them for promoting Jansenism, Calvinism, Pelagianism, and Freemason-Vatican conspiracy theories, that would be something. Folks don't have anything against theological porn, now do they?

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I haven't written much about the ever-impending Motu Proprio, which would loosen restrictions, at the diocesan level, for free exercise of the Latin Mass. The reason I haven't written about it is that I don't think much of it. I really don't think that it will save the Church, I don't think it will reinvigourate pew-warming catholics, and I don't think it will really change the social beliefs that affect the other 118 hours of a catholic's waking week.

If the Tridentine Rite is so devotion inspiring, then why is it that the generation that was born and raised with it the same ones to bring in the guitars, dancers, and EEMs? I revere the Latin Mass, I love traditional hymns, but cdl. Roger Mahony will continue to be cdl. Roger Mahony, and Richard McBrien will remain Richard McBrien. The Tridentine Mass will not change the neglect of Magisterial teaching in the Church.

Few pew-warming catholics have bothered to read the catechism, so what percentage will be proactive about learning the Tridentine Mass? They may learn to parrot the words in latin, but will they understand what it is that they're praying? More likely, they'll still frequent the 5:00 Saturday guitars and bongo Mass, and nothing will change. For the Tridentine Mass, the self-righteous traddies and the neo-trads will show, and then will nitpick the priest on his pronunciation and critique minutiae of rubrics.

Lastly, will this laser-like focus on liturgy do aything about pro-abort catholics, contraception advocates, and other dissent and deviance from the Magisterium? Not bloody likely. We need to have catholics examine what they do with the rest of their week, and see if it's worthy of Christ. Homiletics, teaching, example, and more teaching; we should be getting the hard truth from the ambo, not just the squishy and complacent platitudes. Instead of announcing the bake sale after Mass, maybe start working through the Catechism, one section at a time.

An overhaul of the current vernacular Mass would have a greater impact (and also overhauling the seminaries and many chanceries) than just allowing the Tridentine. I won't even go into the reaction of the schismatic Lefebvrists. Trust me, the Tridentine Mass won't placate them, as the defiance inherent in their movement extends well beyond the Mass; it's a cultural thing that the Church will not be able to reform quickly enough to their satisfaction.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A Voice for the Voiceless

"My hand is not the size of yours, but if I pierce it, I shall feel pain. If you pierce your hand, you also feel pain. The blood that will flow from mine will be the same color as yours. I am a man. The same God made us both."

- a slight alteration on the closing speach of Ponca chief, Standing Bear, at his trial requesting recognition as a human.

Standing Bear made the remark that his hand was a different color than that of the white judge before him. But the unborn can make no such remarks before a judge, and thus the genocide continues.

"My hand is not the color of yours, but if I pierce it, I shall feel pain. If you pierce your hand, you also feel pain. The blood that will flow from mine will be the same color as yours. I am a man. The same God made us both." - Ponca chief, Standing Bear.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Upchuck on Iraq

Some people should NOT speak, until they've completely thought through the implications of their ideas. Sen. Chuck Hagel (R?!-NE) announces that he thinks the U.N. should take over in Iraq:

Sen. Chuck Hagel said Tuesday it’s time to “take the American face off the political process in Iraq” and consider appointment of a United Nations mediator.

Pardon my cynicism, but the U.N. is that LAST agency to go for timely help on any urgent problem. Ask the folks in Darfur about the alacrity which folks at the U.N. can say something is wrong, then spring into inaction that aids no one.

Decisionmaking at the U.N. is subject to competing interests, which leads to the most bizarre committee appointments. Why the hell is Zimbabwe the new chair for Sustainable Development, when they've completely botched their economy and their ability to grow food?!? How did Sudan, the aggressor in the Darfur situation, get on the Commission for Human Rights (now defunct, if it was ever funct)?!?

And wait there's more, if you order a U.N. copout set in the next hour, you'll also receive a Hazardous Regional Partnership at no additional cost:

With no military solution possible and Iraqis “obviously incapable” of reaching political accommodation on their own, Hagel said, the United States needs to consider “bold, new strategic thinking.” That points to engagement of Iran and Syria within a regional security framework.

Oh cool, now Iraq can be torn between shiite and sunni extremist regimes from NEIGHBORING countries. Smoothe move, Ex-Lax. Now Iraq can sample politico-military life from the heart of Africa, where neighboring states fund rebel groups in each others' countries. Maybe Chuck can appoint consultants on the process, like Liberia's Charles Taylor and Uganda's Joseph Kony.

If invading Iraq was a bad idea, we're seeing a bumper crop of bad ideas for getting out. Thanks, Chuck, that will be all.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Negotiating with Big Oil

It's that time of year again, when e-mails fly about gas boycotts to punish the vampires oil companies for jacking up prices again. "Why a gasoline boycott won't work", says CNN

"A one-day boycott makes no sense whatsoever," said Tyson Slocum, energy program director at Public Citizen, a national consumer advocacy organization. "You're not reducing consumption, you're just buying on a different day."

Yeah, it's hard to explain that to the maroon that forwards you the e-mail. You can't tug the oil companies by the pump, because they've already made their money before then:

But Fiore said the boycott could be problematic if it took off.

"We hope citizens understand that they are not harming an oil company, but a small businessman," he said.

So, spare the station owners grief, and just concentrate your ire on the oil company execs, and the politicians that enable them. Less sanguine souls than I would probably suggest kneecappings or even ammonium nitrate deliveries.

Monday, May 14, 2007

non turbetur cor vestrum

from Sunday's Gospel reading, John 14:27 -

Peace I leave with you: my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled: nor let it be afraid.

So, where is this "peace" that Jesus speaks of? It's not obvious on CNN. Here are some headlines:

  • U.S. soldier killed in attack on convoy in Pakistan
  • Terror group says it took U.S. soldiers
  • Iran warns U.S. over strike threat
  • NATO: Taliban leader dead
  • Russian cafe blast turns deadly
  • Gunmen snatch oil worker en route to work
  • Old man beaten as people watch, tape show
  • 'Paris should go to jail,' family friend says
I could go on, but I think that you get it by now. So, to paraphrase that '80s Wendy's commercial: "Where's the Peace?"

The peace is internal. The peace is that my heart is not troubled by the above headlines. And though I may sympathize with the victims of tragedy, my trust in God is not shaken by the presence of Evil in the world. Though many are consumed by hatred, I do not doubt the Love of God. Despite the disasters, I have hope that Christ will prevail. It is a peace that only Christ can bring. The world can only offer an occasional cease-fire.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

How Many Bloggers..

.does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

This past semester, I wrote a paper on the cost comparison between incandescent, LED, and compact fluoresent (CFL) lightbulbs. Here's the result, and then I'll 'splain it:

All bulbs compared were higher-quality units, so that we weren't comparing ultra-cheap items to expensive ones. All costs are also modified to allow for 3% annual inflation.

  • Replacement costs were based on the bulbs needed to produce 750 lumens for 6 hours per day, factored for the lifespan (in hours) for each bulb, and projected over 20 years.

  • Disposal costs were calculated by taking the total bulbs needed over 20 years, and for incandescent and LED bulbs, projecting standard waste disposal costs for normal trash. For CFL disposal, I factored in a proposed $0.50 per bulb disposal fee.

  • Electrical costs were based on producing 750 lumens for 6 hours per day, at $0.08 per KWH (Nebraska costs). Depending on where you live, the electrical costs would be significantly higher.

As you can see from the chart, over twenty years, CFL bulbs are cheapest to operate, even if the cost per CFL bulb stays relatively flat.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Brilliance Recognized

Paul, at Thoughts of a Regular Guy, has mistaken my ramblings for actual "Thoughts", and as lazy as I am, I sha'nt correct him. Instead, I shall give the credit to where it's really due, to the following bloggers:

Tiber Jumper, whose blog Crossed the Tiber is a must read for really spiritual reflection. Don't leave home without reading it. Lately, TJ's been working on podcasts as well.

Digital Hairshirt, whose blog of the same name is a lawyer's eye view of life and being Catholic. Smart lady, and a fellow "I've Pissed Off The Caveman" club member.

Dad29, whose blog Dad29 should be honored by folks more intelligent than I. Wisconsin Politics, the Church, and guns are his bent.

Everyone else in my blogroll is, in some fashion, an inspiration or pollutant in my thought process, and should be regarded with both awe and caution. Salut.

U.N. Committees

From CNN:
The 53-member Commission on Sustainable Development voted 26-21 with three abstentions on the new chair [Zimbabwe], said Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, vice chair of the commission. The chair traditionally rotates among regions of the world and it is Africa's choice this year.

Wow, Zimbabwe as the U.N. role model for development. "Hey, let's see which country can stop producing food the fastest!"

" On your mark...Get set...STARVE!"

In other, unpublicized votes:

The U.N. Commission on Poultry Housing voted a fox as chairman. Fox indicated his enthusiasm, saying "This will be a recipe for sweet success. I cannot wait to dig in."

The U.N. Substance Abuse in Sports Committee also voted for a new chair, electing Barry Bonds by unanimous decision. Outgoing chair Mark McGwire could not be reached for comment.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

God Bless America..

.though we have some straightening to do with our priorities.

Here's a billboard funded by, wait for it, a Chicago-area divorce lawyer:

This is wrong on so many levels that it actually hurts my head to contemplate them all. Needless to say, marital decisions should not me made by organs that reside anywhere between the knees and the navel. I imagine that the appeal of the billboard is to people whose troubles revolve around the concepts the lawyers are advertising with.

Here's an idea instead:

Show a pudgy, balding man moving into a small apartment. It's all he can afford, now that he's paying alimony and child support. Sorry, chump, no hotties for you. You don't have the money.

Then show a woman, harried from working all day, then coming home to the kids, and all eating macaroni and cheese for dinner. Sorry, ma'am, no hunks for you. Even if you had the spare cash, If you hang out in the singles bars, custody of the kids will go right back to daddy.

Someone somewhere will get the clue that most divorces cause more problems than they solve.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Everything's Coming Up Judas

In addition to the recent flare of popularity of the gnostic fraud, 'Gospel of Judas', there's a new novel by Jeffery Archer The Gospel According to Judas By Benjamin Iscariot. From a review by Dr. Justin Thacker:

At its simplest, it is an account of the public life of Jesus Christ in the style of the canonical gospels, and based on the testimony of Judas Iscariot as given to his son, Benjamin Iscariot. Hence, it is not given to wild fantasy or sensationalism like the The Da Vinci Code, nor is it a contemporary version of the second-century gnostic 'Gospel of Judas'; it is in a genre all of its own. It is the Diatessaron - a second-century harmonised gospel account - blended with some contemporary New Testament scholarship (albeit liberal), written by a disgraced politician and popular novelist; it is remarkable.

So now we have a 21st Century polluted gospel account. Yes, it's remarkable. The arrogance needed to undertake such an endeavor is staggering. And just to lend the novel some credibility, they dress it up:

The book is presented in a mock leather cover with gilded edges and a ribbon marker.

Wow, it looks so much like scripture, only a expert could tell the difference.

It is approximately the same length as one of the canonical gospels, and divided into twenty-five chapters, which are further divided into verses. Throughout, in red ink, parts of the canonical gospels are either quoted in full or faithfully paraphrased, and references to these verses are given in the margin. Hence, both visually and in terms of content, these authors are trying to present this work as a gospel of Jesus Christ.

Why all the effort? Isn't the Word of God sufficient as it is? Obviously not to these folks. And, I love the phrase "faithfully paraphrased". Speaks volumes, eh? Here are some of the more egregious deviations, as noted by the reviewer:

  • In chapter 2, verse 8, doubt is cast on the authenticity of the virgin birth.
  • Jesus presented in this gospel appears to have little interest in the 'Kingdom of God', nor in his own Messiahship.
  • The book does not declare that Jesus was not the Christ, but it certainly casts doubt on this hypothesis, suggesting, with Judas, that he was merely a prophet, a man of God.
  • What is missing, though, is the conclusion Peter reaches in Mark 8:29 "You are the Christ".
  • The Judas presented in this account is not the one who betrays Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, but rather one who was only trying to protect Jesus from himself. Judas, it is suggested, is the only one who really understood what Jesus was about.

Okay, we know who's kool-ade they've been drinking.

The most disappointing factor to this is the Catholic scholar that was associated with the project, Francis Moloney, who naievely asserts that his motivation was to get people to know "what God has done for us in and through Jesus Christ". Why not have people read the Bible? Scholars know better than to trust the Bible, as evidenced by the Jesus Seminar and its adherants.

h/t TitusOneNine

Personally, I Hate It

from CNN:

Giuliani donations to Planned Parenthood surface

I'm not sure whether the Left is jubilant that Rudy's really one of them, or that they've just scuttled his chances with religious conservatives. Not that he really had a chance with me to begin with, as I'm backing Sam Brownback or Fred Thompson.

Tuesday, in an appearance on conservative commentator Laura Ingraham's radio show, Giuliani said the donations were not inconsistent with his personal opposition to abortion because "Planned Parenthood makes information available" on other options available to pregnant women, including adoption.

When I'm personally opposed to something, the advocates of the offending concept do NOT get ONE RED CENT of my money. If I want to support adoption, or women's health services, I give money to Catholic charities and hospital organizations, NOT Planned Parenthood.

The former mayor has said that while he personally "hates" abortion, he supports a woman's right to make that choice. However, he has expressed support for a federal ban on late-term abortions, recently upheld by the Supreme Court, and he has also vowed not to lift a ban on using federal money to pay for abortions for poor women, something he advocated as mayor.

Wow, so he's "personally against" abortion, but supports it as an acceptable option for women, and he's changing positions relating to federal funding. Sounds like John Kerry all over again.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


My, my, been too busy lately.

My wife came down with Pneumonia, 4 days before my Algebra final, so I took that week off of work to take care of her and the kids.

I took my Algebra final, after a few days of fragmentary study, got a low B, curved up to a low A, which still left me with 102% for the semester.

My basement renovation is officially finished, So to celebrate, local thunderstorms dumped torrential rains on us and into the newly-renovated basement. They even patiently waited for me to finish laying carpet down there. Go f*&$^*g figure.

I'm getting ready to take the family on a three-week road trip, which will go more smoothly and finish better than the basement renovation. We'll see.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Episcopalian Discernment

All the news organs are a-twitter over Jim McGreevey, former NJ Governor and Catholic, entering the Episcopal church and joining their seminary. Here's the very first paragraph in USA Today's version, which tells you why it's newsworthy, and exactly why the Episcopal church wants McGreevey:

The nation's first openly gay governor has become an Episcopalian and been accepted into a seminary, according to a published report.

The Episcopal church, in recent years, has laboured hard and fast to build its reputation as a "Gay Church". These endeavors have made others in the Anglican Communion uncomfortable, and have infinitely widened the gulf between them and Rome. Back to McGreevey, for a moment:

McGreevey was an altar boy and attended Catholic schools. While in office, he continued to practice the religion, but differed from church teachings in several areas, including his support of abortion rights.

I would also add, to his list of disagreements with Rome, his penchant for buggery. By joining the Episcopal church, he's found a religion that has all the outward ceremonial appearances of the Catholic faith, but without the inconvenient theology. In the Episcopal seminary, he'll learn about:

  • The United Nations' 'Millenium Development Goals'

  • How to get people to give money to fund futile attempts to achieve The United Nations 'Millenium Development Goals'

  • How to parse the Bible to justify sinful behavior

  • How to ignore the Bible when you can't parse it to justify sinful behavior

  • How to distract attention to the fact that you're ignoring the Bible to justify sinful behavior, by focusing your attention on The United Nations 'Millenium Development Goals'

Pray for this confused man, as he thrashes wildly in the jaws of a wolf.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dafur: Four More Years?

So, it's been four years since the cries of the people of Darfur had first reached our ears. What's been done? Precious little, for many reasons, but some insist on blaming the United States. From retired ambassador Lawrence Rossin's blog entry:

" The United States is still dallying – how many more “weeks” will President Bush give Ban Ki-moon’s diplomacy, when the Secretary-General can describe no imminent progress with al-Bashir?"

Funny, I seem to remember a contingent that complained bitterly when, after months of tampered weapons inspections, the U.S. lost patience with the diplomatic process, and invaded Iraq. So, it begs the question; Which way do you want it?

Now, don't get me wrong, I think what's happening in Darfur is terrible, and if our forces weren't committed in Iraq, I'd expect them to be in Sudan. But where's the U.N.? What ever happened to "Never Again"? I guess the phrase should instead say "Until the next one."

I had a "Free Tibet" bumper sticker a long time ago, and Tibet is still occupied by China. I guess that bumper stickers are not the omnipotent talismans I thought they were..