Friday, March 30, 2012

Archbishop Chaput's New E-book.

Anyone thinking that Archbishop Charles Chaput would bite his tongue in his new e-book A Heart on Fire: Catholic Witness and the Next America would be quickly disabused of that notion from the very beginning where Chaput has this quote from Herman Melville's The Confidence-Man;

Truth is like a thrashing-machine; tender sensibilities must keep out of the way.

If I have anything negative to say about the e-book it would be that the book is far too short. Archbishop Chaput recognizes the problems we face in this country today - as quoted by in this review of the book, Chaput writes,

“Our national leadership in 2012 seems deaf to matters of religious freedom abroad and unreceptive, or frankly hostile, to religious engagement in public affairs here at home.”

I first learned of the Archbishop's e-book from this review by the Catholic League. After reading the book, I was wondering why it wasn't just released as an essay - and published on any number of Catholic websites - It wasn't until I saw this on National Catholic Register that I learned that the e-book was written to be the forward to a new edition of Chaput's 2008 book Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life which is scheduled for release this summer (the e-book includes an excerpt from the earlier work).

If you've already read Render Unto Caesar as I have, downloading the e-book for your Kindle or Nook is well worth the 0.99. If you haven't read the earlier book and plan on reading the 2012 edition, I'd save my dollar and wait until the new edition comes out.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Being basically out of commission due to recent surgery, I've been spending more time reading than would be normal for me if I were working regularly. After reading the first two of ER Burroughs Tarzan books, I downloaded the five in his Barsoom series that are out of copyright and thereby free at Project Gutenberg.

The first in the series - A Princess of Mars - was interesting enough, I guess, but it's been really a struggle to get thru the second - The Gods of Mars - I was disappointed in Burrough's method of getting John Carter to and from Mars; also, it doesn't take long before the constant fighting between Carter and a weird assortment of Barsoomians wears thin.

Honestly, the only way I could finish it was to tell myself that I could go on to something better (like Charles Chaput's A Heart on Fire: Catholic Witness and the Next America) once it was done.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Three and one half Time Outs Tuesday redux.

It's Tuesday once again and it's time for another 3 1/2 Time Outs Tuesday.

After reading E.R Burroughs' A Princess of Mars , I downloaded the next four from Project Gutenberg (the ones out of copyright).
I've read 75% of the second, The Gods of Mars. My appreciation of Burroughs has worn a bit thin. If I work at it, I can fight my way thru this book, but it doesn't encourage me to go further into the series.

I posted a video earlier this morning .....I'm posting a link to it here for my 2.

Thanks to a link at CMR, I discovered where I was able to snatch the following gif.

As you can see from the photo below, the bearded iris' have started to bloom. Also, you can see that sans weeds, we'd have no lawn.

Romney Alarmed by Obama open mic Gaffe.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

How Tweet It Is.

I've never really had much interested in Twitter. I had gone to the website a couple of times, but frankly, I can't understand the point; what's the draw?
Tweets? Seriously? You call the postings tweets?

With all that being said, I went to Twitter and opened an account. Who or what could possibly persuade me to become a Twittinista?

Rush Limbaugh. Or, rather the contest El Rushbo is having. Follow Rush on Twitter and get a chance to win a new iPad.

The odd thing is, if I were to actually win, who do you think would get the iPad?
Yep, that's right.....Sweetie.

Once the contest is official over, I'll cancel my Twitter account. I'm following a couple of folks besides Rush - LarryD and Dom. but, heck, I already follow those guys' blogs so this Twitter thing is just superfluous.

Speaking of LarryD, in a comment to Tuesday's post, Larry mentioned that he had downloaded the 5 book John Carter series for his Nook. I've been reading the Tarzan series (thanks to Project Gutenberg) and I had downloaded the first John Carter - A Princess of Mars. The five John Carter books are part of the 10 book Barsoom series. Five of the 10 books are out of copyright, so are available for free at Project Gutenberg. Three of the Five are John Carter books.
You can get the complete Barsoom series for Kindle for like $2. I've already downloaded the five free ones.......I'll wait and see if I can make it thru these five before I purchase the whole set.

A Princess of Mars is what some would call a cliff hanger of sorts; more interesting than the Tarzan stuff, but the story is really bizarre. I mean seriously. It's easy enough to overlook the fact that we know Mars is nothing like Burroughs imagined. Just call it Barsoom and everything's OK, but there's no getting around the fact that the plot, characters and ideas in the book are truly weird.

Interesting, but weird.

The Plum Trees.

During the Fall of 2010, I planted plum trees on our property. I vaguely, sorta, kinda, knew in the back of my mind that I'd need two trees for pollination. Not being nearly knowledgeable enough, I didn't pay as much attention in picking my two trees as I might have otherwise.

After putting the trees into the ground and removing the tags, I learned that picking just any two varieties wasn't enough. Not only did I have to pick two different varieties for cross - pollination, but some groupings are considered better than others. Fortunately, I accidentally managed to pick two varieties ideally suited for producing fruit. 1) Burbank and 2) Santa Rosa.

Unfortunately, because I removed the tags, I have no idea which is the Burbank and which is the Santa Rosa.

The first spring, I knew I'd not be getting fruit. I was a bit puzzled, though, how the two could cross pollinate since one tree bloomed a week or ten days before the other. I noticed again this time that the two did not blossom together. How could/would they produce fruit?

Surprisingly, one has already put on beaucoup fruit. If the second one fails to produce anything, the fruit on the first will be more than enough for me, my wife and son. I don't if the second one will produce this season or not........I'm hardly an expert.

Now, I only need to worry about insects, squirrels and birds eating more than I think they should (that number would be zero, BTW).

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's Tuesday.

Some might call this part of my Lenten penitence, though I prefer to call say that my participation in LarryD's 3 1/2 Time-Out Tuesdays is part of my recovery from my recent surgery - helping me ease back into the blogopolis.

We knew prior to my surgery that I'd be removed from work for a considerable period. I thought that I'd spend most of my time either reading or writing.
The first week proved that the writing would take more effort than I was immediately able to sum up. Thankfully, Project Gutenberg and my Kindle would provide with more than enough reading material.

Often times, while floating along the Internet, I'll drift off into areas - letting my whim take me me where it will, and I'll discover something interesting without being able to recollect exactly how I got from point A to point X. That's the case with my recent discovery of Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson.
Born in 1871, Benson was the youngest son of then Archbishop of Canterbury, Edward White Benson. He was ordained into the Church of England, but later converted the Catholicism and ordained as a Catholic priest.

I've downloaded two of Benson's books from Project Gutenberg :
One "science fiction novel" Lord of the World. The work is essentially Benson's end-times from a Catholic perspective. Written in 1907, the work has certain flaws regarding technology of the future, but is, never the less, a remarkable work. Word of warning......brush up on your Latin to fully appreciate the work.
And two, a religious work, Paradoxes of Catholicism. The work is a collection of sermons given by Benson during Lent of 1913.

The wikipedia article on Benson suggests that he may have been homosexual. Be that as it may, there's no indication of that in any of his work that I've read so far.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Basket Case.

I learned from following links on Pew that Rev. Michael Pfleger has launched a campaign against retailers - such as K-Mart, Walgreen's, Toys R Us and, of course, Walmart, that are selling pre-packaged Easter baskets that include water pistols and Nerf Guns.

I have to say, I find it quite odd that anyone would think to include a toy gun in an Easter basket. Somehow, I can't see the connection between toy guns and the celebration of Christ's Resurrection. I don't have a problem with someone confronting retailers over this; but.........

I've never quite seen the point of Easter baskets. Easter eggs? Chocolate bunnies?
More pagan than Christian, if you ask me.

Pfleger might be more effective trying to convince the good people at St. Sabina Catholic Church to simply stop buying Easter baskets. Period.

Links to the story at Chicago Sun Times [1 and 2] lead me to two photos of Fr. Pfleger posing with a few of the evil baskets. In the photos, Pfleger put on such a pitiful face. I know he couldn't very well smile posing with the baskets, but he looks absolutely laughable in both the photos.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Surgery.

This is not the sort of blog post that I had imagined having to write; at least, perhaps until the very, very distant future. Be that as it may, not being one who likes beating around the bus, as they say, I hope to get straight to the point.

It was recently discovered that I had prostate cancer. Fortunately, the cancer was found early enough where a successful outcome is expected.

After reviewing my options with a urologist, I decided that a radical prostatectomy was preferable to any sort of radiation treatment. So, this past Wednesday, I was admitted into the hospital for the surgery.

The urologist is optimistic. Everything went well and the prognosis is good.

I'll be off from work for quite some time. Before the surgery, I expected to be able to write more than usual; that might happen, but days after the surgery, it is difficult for me to sit at a PC for any length of time. I've never been comfortable using a laptop, so that's not an option for me.

I feel reasonably well, under the circumstances. It's been a week since the surgery and I feel like, while I won't be doing any "heavy lifting" any time soon, I should be able to write more in the coming days.

Of course, I'm thanking everyone in advance for any future prayers.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

3 1/2 Time-Outs Tuesday - the Incomplete Segment.

At the risk of being accused of stating the obvious, I admit I haven't done much in the way of blogging of late. Part of my excuse involves a serious health issue. I'm not up to going into great detail on that at present.......that will require more energy than I can muster today.

So, to ease back into the blogopolis, I'll attempt to participate in one of LarryD's 3 1/2 Time-Outs-Tuesdays.

A few weeks back, Washington Post columnist, Eugene Robinson declared that there is no war on religion in the good ol' U.S. of A.; particularly not the Roman Catholic Church. Well, that was before this ad in the New York Times calling for liberals and/or progressives to leave the Catholic Church.

As pitifully short as this post is, I have put forth a tremendous effort to looks as if I won't be able to take this any further.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Washington Woman - Warehouse Wedding Update.

Every striving to be on the cutting edge of the blogopolis, I would be remiss if I did not do some sort of update on my post from January, Babylonia Aivaz to Marry Warehouse.

As readers of that post will recall, Seattle "activist" Babylonia Aivaz planned to marry a 100 year old warehouse in a feeble attempt to stop demolition of the building. Ms. Aivaz and the warehouse were married before a group of approximately 50 people.

Sadly, there were protests; haters trying to spoil Babylonia's joyous occasion.

Same sex "marriage" supporters, Johnny McCollum-Blair and Phoenix Lopez argued that this was not a gay marriage. They claimed that Aivaz's insisting that the wedding was a "gay union" was irresponsible.

“Her saying it’s a gay marriage sets the community back with Christians and politicians and gives them a chance to say, ‘See, we told you, they’re going to want to marry everything if we give them the opportunity,’” said Johnny McCollum-Blair. “Having compassion against something you love, I understand, but to call it a gay union is irresponsible.”

The protesters believe that marriage is between two people.

Like my previous post, I had been able to locate a video of the event, which I uploaded to Youtube. That video can be see here:

Much have I loved thee.
Woman, warehouse wed as some object reference to “gay marriage”

Friday, March 2, 2012

Killing Newborns is Morally the Same as Abortion, Writers Claim.

Since the very beginning of the abortion debate, we pro-lifers have been making the argument that abortions should not be allowed because an abortion is morally identical to killing a newborn baby.

Now, there is outrage over a paper published in the British Medical Journal by two "academics" - Alberto Giubilini, from Monash University, and Francesca Minerva, from the University of Melbourne - which states,

"Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not
have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing
that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the
same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that
both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3)
adoption is not always in the best interest of actual
people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth
abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all
the cases where abortion is, including cases where the
newborn is not disabled.

Got that?

Giubilini and Minerva contend that mothers should have the right to kill their newborn children where abortions are already legal.

The two write;

"A serious philosophical problem arises when the
same conditions that would have justified abortion
become known after birth. In such cases, we need
to assess facts in order to decide whether the same
arguments that apply to killing a human fetus can
also be consistently applied to killing a newborn

And yet, those SOBs in the, so-called, "pro-choice" movement didn't see this coming?

In the view of the "ethicists";

"Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing
someone a right to life.

I can't up with the words to describe just how disgusting I find this. You "pro-choice" really are beyond belief. You want to have us believe that this issue is about a woman's right to choose. This is and always has been, about the taking of innocent human life.

Julian Savulescu, editor of the publication which posted the article, said Giubilini and Minerva had received death threats over the issue. Naturally, Savulescu is shocked and surprised. Imagine, writers advocating utilitarian murder being targeted for violence.

I, for one, would never advocate violence against these two, regardless how disgusted I am by their very existence; I know that as long as someone is alive, there is always the chance for redemption.

Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison.