Saturday, December 21, 2013

12 Years a Slave.

Prior to my reading Washington Post opinion writer, Richard Cohen's take on Steve McQueen’s movie 12 Years a Slave , I had never heard of Solomon Northup or his 1853 memoir of the same name. Surprising, since I had read books by Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass which deal with the same subject matter; slavery in America.

Being familiar with The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Uncle Tom's Cabin I suppose that, unlike Cohen, I had been ".........shockingly confronted by the sheer barbarity of American slavery" before reading Northrup's book. Unlike Cohen, I knew that Margaret Mitchell's  Gone With the Wind  was not an accurate portrayal of antebellum life in the South.

I've just finished reading Northrup's memoir; I haven't seen the movie, but I'm looking forward to doing so. If the movie is faithful to the book - which I suspect it is - it will be well worth one's time and money.

There are a number of unanswered questions which Northrup could not address. We know nothing of the fate of Northrup's slave companions following his release. Obviously, Northrup could not write on what he did not know. We'll never know the fate of these poor souls because Northrup himself could never know. We can hope that many of them lived to see the end of slavery, but the book was written a dozen years before slavery was finally abolished in the United States with the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1865.

It would have been a splendid turn of events had Northrup's kidnappers received there just rewards. The book makes it clear that they went unpunished in this life time. Fortunately, no one escapes justice in the life to come.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Recuperating.

Trying to survive a rather nasty cold, I'm going to do as little as possible this weekend. Mostly rest and a bit of reading. I'm currently reading 3 books, which I hope to finish reading before the month is out.

The three are:
1) Write Away, by Elizabeth George.
2) Twelve Years a Slave, by Solomon Northup.
3) Defending The Free Market , by Fr. Robert Sirico.

Perhaps, I'd finish the books I read faster if I read just one at a time.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Homeless Jesus in the News Again.

Last April, I posted an article about Canadian sculpture Timothy Schmalz's statue Homeless Jesus. [Statue Provides Opportunity for Catholic-Bashing.] There was a mini-controversy surrounding the statue at the time. There were a number of reports that Schmalz had attempted to give the statue to two prominent Catholic churches, St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, only to have his statue rejected by the two cathedrals.

Liberal blogs & news sources had a field day bashing the Catholic Church with stories how Homeless Jesus had no home.

The truth was, St. Patrick's had to refuse the statue, not because the work too controversial, but because the Cathedral was undergoing extensive restorations at the time.

The Toronto archdiocese had even tried to help Schmalz find an alternative location, eventually finding a home at Regis College at the University of Toronto.

Fast forward to November, when it was reported that the statue was presented to Pope Francis. An article written in December reports that the statue was blessed by Pope Francis and returned to it's home at Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields, in Toronto.
Now, the Christian Post is reporting that, after its trip to the Vatican, the statue was stolen.



Not being willing to leave the story there, I went to the Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields website. I was surprised to discover that the church is not a Catholic church, but Anglican. The church's pastor is a female priest, no less. I was a bit confused as to why an Anglican church would want their statue blessed by the Pope. Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to have it blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Looking further into the website, I come across the church's report on the the theft of the statue. As it turns out, their statue was not the Homeless Jesus  statue blessed by Pope Francis, but an entirely different one called Jesus the Panhandler .

Not quite certain what to make of all this. Perhaps it's just another case of poor Internet news reporting.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Bigoted Letter Attacks Muslims in Ireland.



I first came across the link to this article -Horrific racist threat to Muslims in Ireland- on Facebook; the person posting the link seemed to think these threats against Muslims were OK.

The article concerns an anonymous letter received by Muslim schools and mosques in Dublin, Ireland. The letter [ found here] is full of hatred and threats against the Muslims in that country.

Some of the threats include : ( the original was printed with all caps)

"WE WILL ATTACK ANY MUSLIM MAN WOMEN AND CHILD THAT ENTERS ANY MOSQUE IN IRELAND AND ESPECIALLY IF THE NEW LARGER MOSQUE IS BUILT IN NORTH DUBLIN AND OUR CHILDREN WILL ATTACK YOURS IN SCHOOLS.........."

"WE WILL DEFEND OUR CULTURE AT ANT COST, WILL WILL [sic] DEFEND OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH AT ANY COST AND WILL WILL [sic] ATTACK ANY MUSLIM OR PERSON WE FEEL IS MUSLIM."

"THIS LAND BELONGS TO THE CHRISTIAN FAITH AND WE WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO TURN IT INTO A MUSLIM COUNTRY."

First of all, I will not defend Islam. As a devout Catholic, I know Islam to be a false religion. However, I also know that Protestantism, in all it's various forms, is equally false. I would not advocate violent attacks on Protestants and I certainly wouldn't advocate such attacks on Muslims either.

I've yet to find any statement in the Gospels that shows Jesus supports the type of violence proposed in this letter.

We are called to defend Christ's Church, yes, but not with gratuitous acts of violence.

As if the call to attack Muslims weren't enough, the letter's writer(s) state they will attack persons they feel are Muslims. I guess that would mean Sikhs are fair game, as well.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

CRS Responding to Super Typhoon Haiyan.



From Catholic Relief Services website:

Super Typhoon Haiyan, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 195 miles per hour, slammed into the Philippines on the island of Samar the evening of November 7, 2013, and hit Vietnam on Sunday, November 9. The storm has killed an estimated 10,000 people, and local officials report approximately 9.5 million people have been affected.

Catholic Relief Services, in cooperation with our partners, will provide100,000 families with shelter, essential living supplies, and clean water and sanitation. We will continue to identify the most vulnerable communities that need assistance.

CRS desperately needs your help so we can reach people and communities in desperate need—now and as they rebuild their lives.


To donate to Catholic Relief Services, click here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Clueless Pro-Choicers.

I first came upon the video of Marni Evans and her fiance, John Lockhart, who had to delay a scheduled abortion after a decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Texas to implement new regulations on abortions by way of a ChurchMilitant.TV video. I found it again via Catholic Vote.org. Now, it appears the video is everywhere.

In the video below, the couple calmly discuss their decision to abort their unborn child.



I have to agree with the writer of an article on the National Right to Life website who said, "it’d be hard to pick a less sympathetic couple". The two appear to be totally clueless when it comes to understanding that they are talking about taking the life of a human being.

Their reasons for aborting their child? The typical, "we can't afford it excuse". They also admit that they haven't invested enough into their relationship.

Can't Ms. Evans see that her fiance is essentially telling her that, oh yes, I care for you but I can't possibly think of supporting your offspring?

Likewise, Evans is letting Lockhart know, in no uncertain terms, that she'd rather kill his child than bring it into the world.

Pro-abortion writers who agree with Evans & Lockhart call us "anti-choice". That's supposed to be an insult. How dare we deny someone a "choice"?

One especially clueless individual commenting on the original Texas Tribune article had this enlightening observation.

"If you don't want one,[abortion] don't have one. I don't like Brussels sprouts but I don't scream at people who choose eat them. Their choice."

The decision whether or not to allow your offspring to live is like choosing whether or not to eat Brussels sprouts.
Dear Lord, where do these people come from?

All we can do is pray for them.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Predicting the Future.

If ever there was a failed hope, an unrealized dream or a prediction for the future which did not materialize, this quote by Sir William Sefton Brancker certainly falls into that category.

Writing the introduction to World War I flying ace, Alan Bott's book, Cavalry of the Clouds, Brancker - who was then Deputy Director-General of Military Aëronautics - made this comment:

"War has been the making of aviation; let us hope that aviation will be the destruction of war."
(August 1, 1917)



Brancker was killed when the R101 airship crashed on 5 October 1930, during its maiden voyage to India, years before the London Blitz.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Reading and Writing.

When I wrote my first post of 2013, and first mentioned Deal Hudson's list of 100 Best Catholic Novels, I knew there'd be little possibility of my reading all - or even many - of the 100 books listed. I'd do my best to read as many as I could. After 10 months, I haven't gotten close. Sad to say, there are a few that I began reading but couldn't finish.......some just didn't hold my interest.

En Route by Joris-Karl Huysmans and The Comedienne, by Wladyslaw Reymont are just two of those books.




Netflix has introduced me to Swedish crime novels (in movie form) - the works of Liza Marklund, Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell. It was only a matter of time before I'd be hunting down these crime novels in book form.

Unfortunately, the first one I bought was The Bomber by Liza Marklund. This book is the first in her Annika Bengtzon series. I throughly enjoyed the film series, but the novel isn't the page turner I expected it to be. I hope I can finish it.

Going from Swedish crime dramas to stories taking place in England (via Netflix) led me to the BBC series featuring Detective Inspector Lynley. The Inspector Lynley novels were written by an American, Elizabeth George.

I found quite a few of Ms. George's books at Amazon.com but, rather than order one of her crime novels, I purchased her book on writing fiction, Write Away. I'm very glad I did.

I'm having a hard time putting down this book; it's very instructive. Like countless others, I once started writing my own novel, but now I have a better understanding of my mistakes. I'm hoping that, upon finishing this book, I'll be a much better writer and able to repair my Philippine novel.

Time will tell, of course.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Washington Post Poll Results.......

Are liberal readers of the Washington Post simply brain dead?

The poll question was simple enough -

Will Healthcare.gov's issues cause long-term political damage to President Obama and Democrats?

As this snip shows, 63% said, no it'll cause no problem for Obama.

Seriously?




How can we ever expect anything to be accomplished in this country when we are obviously light-years apart?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween advisory: No Offensive Costumes.

The dean of the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) and University of Minnesota Office of Student Affairs have asked students to be a bit more
politically correct sensitive in their choice of Halloween costumes this year.

Some of the costumes on the forbidden list are obvious choices -no black face-no sombreros or serapes-no turbans.


Surprisingly, students were asked not to dress up as "hillbillies" or "white trash".

There is some disagreement as to what is inappropriate. Mike Schmit, the undergraduate student body president at the University of Minnesota said,

“As a student, I think you’re better off erring on the side of not dressing like something that can be questionable. Cowboys, for instance — totally fine. Indians — not totally fine.”

CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said that as someone from a ranch family, he considers traditional cowboy costumes "crude."

"My people are ranch people from Montana," he said."When you dress up as a cowboy, and you have your sheriff badge on and a big cowboy hat, that's not a representation of a cowboy, that's not a representation of people who work on a ranch that's not a representation of people who live in the West, that's kind of a crude stereotype."

What's acceptable?

Disco parties.

But what would a disco party be without the Village People?

Friday, October 18, 2013

It's the End of the World......again.



For those of you who haven't gotten your fill of end times prophesies lately, here's one from anti-Catholic bigot, John Hagee. This one about "four blood moons".

click here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Videos Following Recent Earthquake in Philippines.



From Inquirer.net , two videos following the destructive earthquake that jolted parts of the Visayas and Mindanao in Philippines on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013.




.




Monday, October 14, 2013

Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Although my taste in music covers a broad spectrum - (I'm truly catholic in my musical tastes) - I'll be the first to admit that not all types of music are equally accessible to everyone. Fans of Bob Dylan might enjoy Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, or The Wallflowers, but Bernard Hermann could be alien to their musical temperament.

One of the forms of music which has been difficult for me to appreciate fully is opera...... more specifically, the singing in a language other than English. How can I understand Carmen when I don't speak French, La traviata when I'm ignorant of Italian, or anything by Wagner when German is, well, Greek to me?
Fortunately, with the Internet, finding the libretto to any opera - along with the English translation - is remarkably easy.

For a good many years, I've been thinking of ploughing my way through Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Now, thanks to a website containing Wagner's librettos and Wikipedia articles on the four operas ( Das Rheingold - Die Walküre - Siegfried and Götterdämmerung ) I can listen to the mega opera on Spotify.

It's going to be slow-go.

As things stand now, I'm listening to one scene at a time. It could possibly take me as long to hear the entire work as it did for Wagner to create it.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Thank God, I'm Not a Methodist.

While Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment may have been "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican", I don't hold to a similar view regarding the criticism of my fellow Christians.

In this Politically Correct Universe we live in, it's perfectly OK for secularists to speak ill of any and all Christians, but it's considered indecorous by some, for one Christian group to speak critically of another. Tolerance above all, is their motto.

As one who firmly believes that the Catholic Church is the one, true apostolic church established by Jesus Christ, I can't support the notion that I should keep quiet about the heresies permeating Protestantism.

One of the most glaring heresy to arise of late is debate within the Methodist community  as to whether or not churches should offer Holy Communion online.

Being an offshoot of the heretical Church of England, Methodists deny that the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ, as the Catholic Church teaches. So, I shouldn't be surprised that some in their church are considering this move. (If we want to be precise, from the Catholic perspective, the Methodist version of communion isn't the actual body and blood of Jesus any way).

The Rev. Daniel Wilson, who is preparing to serve as online campus pastor for Central United Methodist Church in Concord, N.C. says,
 "You will see onscreen an invitation from one of our pastors to get your elements of bread and juice or wine. We do not want to water it down so much that people use Goldfish (crackers) and apple juice.”

I guess that's slightly better than the Alpha Church , which has this on their website concerning online communion:

"To prepare for Holy Communion - Eucharist
Gather your communion elements before you begin the service:
1.) get a small amount of something to drink like juice, water, soup, broth, tea or milk.
2.) get a small amount of something to eat like a cracker, a small piece of bread, a little piece of a tortilla, or a few grains of cooked rice".



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ohio school district agrees to keep portrait of Jesus off wall, pay $95G fine.



From several sources:

The Jackson City School District, located in Jackson, Ohio has agreed to remove a portrait of Jesus Christ from school property and pay a $95,000 fine. Under the terms of the settlement, the district will pay the money to the ACLU and Freedom From Religion Foundation for damages and legal fees.

I can't believe that any school district in the United States today would fight this issue. The courts have made it perfectly clear that government-run schools cannot endorse any particular religion. Public schools cannot display paintings of Jesus, or Buddha or Satan ...... and they certainly can't display a portrait of Mohammed.

Note to parents - if you want your child to be taught religion in school, send him or her to a private, religious school.

I'm not supporting the ACLU and Freedom From Religion Foundation in this fiasco either. OK, I get the “unconstitutional” part, but the "students and visitors to the school will continue to suffer permanent, severe and irreparable harm and injury, if a portrait of Jesus continues to reside on school property" part is quite the load of B.S..

Jackson Superintendent Phil Howard said, "Our attorneys felt like this was the best case scenario for the district because the legal fees were mounting by the day. The settlement did not cost the district or taxpayers any money because it was paid for by the district insurance company."

Maybe:

If I lived in Jackson, Ohio, I'd be demanding we find another School Superintendent.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Obama Unhinged over Govt. Shutdown.



From caintv.com:

Bizarro-Obama embraces anti-union, anti-strike, rhetoric in shutdown battle...

"This one ...well, I don't even know where to begin. Today, during a speech President Obama clawed his way through the looking glass into serious bizarro territory. The man who has long prided himself on being the best friend the unions would ever have went on an anti-strike, anti-organized labor rant that must have shaken the very foundations of AFL-CIO headquarters. Speaking to a group of workers in Rockville, Maryland, Obama railed against the very core concept of organized labor in order to attack Republicans over the government shutdown."

In the video, Obama says,

"Everybody here just does their job, right? If you're working here and in the middle of the day you just stopped and said 'you know what, I want to get something, but I don't know exactly what I'm gonna get. I'm just going to stop working till I get something - I'm just going to shut down the whole plant until I get something' - You'd get fired, right?

Cuz the deal is, you've already gotten hired. You've got a job. You're getting a paycheck. ..And so you also are getting the pride of doing a good job, and contributing to a business, and looking out for your fellow workers. That's what you're getting. It shouldn't be any different for a member of Congress."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Feel The Love.


A cliché becomes a cliché because it's true. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Can't you just feel the ........unlove in Obama's eyes?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hendrix.

When I open up Spotify for the first time each morning, I generally hunt around for music that is new for me.......the music may not be exactly brand new, but if I've never heard it, then it's new to me. That's how I came upon the work of Bernard Hermann (who wrote the music for many of Alfred Hitchcock's films, such as North By Northwest   and  Psycho.) and Wojciech Kilar, to name just two.

There are times, however, when I like to time travel into the past and listen to music that I enjoyed when I was younger. Today was one of those days, when I thought of Jimi Hendrix. It hadn't dawned on me that today is just a couple of days since the anniversary of Hendrix's death on Sept. 18, 1970.

As a matter of fact, I came across the date of his death in an odd way. Listening to some of his music on Spotify, I Googled his name and came across this story from the Seatle Times :2 men arrested in spray-painting spree; Jimi Hendrix statue defaced .

Two intoxicated men were arrested last night after they went on a spray-painting spree, defacing several objects, including the Jimi Hendrix statue on Capitol Hill, Seattle police said.

And according to Seattle Pi , the two men, ages 20 and 21 defaced a lot more that just the statue before attempting to make their get away on a Metro bus.

The blue substance on the statue, pictured below, is not the paint used by the two men, but  "Elephant Snot" graffiti remover. No word as to the color of the paint used by the drunken vandals. Purple might have been appropriate.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Obama's Presidential Library is an Outhouse.

From   wnd.com:

It doesn’t matter if you think Barack Obama is the No. 1 or No. 2 president in American history. There’s an outhouse in New Mexico labeled “Obama’s Presidential Library” to accommodate both. Located in Tucumcari, N.M., near historic Route 66, the man who posted the sign has no apologies for the message concerning the commoder-in-chief.

The video comes from Albuquerque's KOAT TV.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hasan's Punishment.

From Catholic News Service via catholicphilly.com, Archbishop Timothy M. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services said he opposes capital punishment for Army Maj. Nidal Hasan. Hasan was sentenced to death Aug. 28 following his conviction of the shootings in the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood, Texas.

I happen to agree with  Archbishop Broglio though I know I'm not going to make any friends by writing a post likely to offend so many of my fellow Conservatives.

Be that as it may, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2266 The State's effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. the primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.

 2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.
"If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
"Today, in fact, given the means at the State's disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender 'today ... are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'


One can hardly argue that, in Hasan's case, "absolute necessity for suppression of the offender" would demand the death penalty. Hasan is paralyzed from waist down.

The decision as to whether or not capital punishment is appropriate shouldn't come from a desire to seek revenge. Executing Hasan will not assuage the grief felt by the family and friends of his victims.

I'm not trying to excuse or justify Hasan's actions. He should be punished for his having massacred more than a dozen human beings.  According to Catholic teaching, in this particular situation, Jesus asks that we not execute this killer. Who am I to go against that?

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Obama Flag.



When I first came upon the photo showing Democrats carrying a U.S. flag with Obama's face on it, (thanks to LarryD) the idea came to me that perhaps I could locate one of these flags and burn it.

An online search lead me to ultimateflags.com where you can by the thing for just $24.95.

The description of the flag from the website is as follows:

" This is a US style Flag with President Barack Obama's face on it celebrating his re-election and showing suport for his leadership."

I copied & pasted the description ......yeah, "support" is misspelled.

Before one gets the idea that Ultimate Flags is some crazy Liberal organization, they also sell a Rebel Obama flag.



Not quite sure who'd buy that.

Naturally, the company has a Facebook page where they welcome comments on their handiwork.

Oddly enough, on their Facebook page, I found the following video.




 Anything for money, I suppose.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Dumbest Thing I've Ever Read on the Internet.

And that's saying a lot.

From The Guardian:  Imagine: Canadian dentist hopes to clone John Lennon using tooth DNA.

"A Canadian dentist is hoping to clone John Lennon using DNA from one of the singer's rotten teeth. Michael Zuk, who bought Lennon's molar at a 2011 auction, has begun sequencing the former Beatle's DNA."

Doesn't Zuk know that John Lennon has reincarnated?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gov. Christie's Misunderstanding of Catholic Teaching.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may very well be a Catholic - he says he is and I'll take his word for that. But, one thing is certain. Gov. Christie does not have a thorough understanding of Catholic teaching, particularly when it comes to homosexuality.

From an article in Bloomberg ,
"Christie told CNN’s Piers Morgan in 2011 that while he is Catholic and his church believes homosexuality is a sin, he doesn’t share the view. 'If someone is born that way, it’s very difficult to say then that that’s a sin,' he said, a quotation reproduced in today’s statement".

The inclination to homosexuality - if someone is born that way, to use Christie's words - is not a sin, according to the Catholic Church. It is the acting out of that inclination that is sinful. Just as being born heterosexual in itself isn't sinful, there are a whole lot of heterosexual acts that are.

It is telling, however that Christie calls himself Catholic but has no problem disagreeing with what he believes the Church teaches. He has all the makings of a cafeteria Catholic if ever there was one.

Of course, the writers of the Bloomberg article don't understand Catholicism any better. Referring to a now famous quote of Pope Francis (taken out of context) they write:

"In July, the faith’s leader, Pope Francis, opposed a stance by his predecessor, Benedict XVI, who had written that gays shouldn’t be priests."

Sorry, Elise Young & Stacie Sherman, Pope Francis hasn't "opposed a stance by his predecessor". This has been discussed and explained often, yet those who don't want to understand won't understand.

The Fox News article on Christie signing a bill banning gay conversion therapy didn't get the facts exactly right either.

"In signing the ban, Christie reiterated his belief that people are born gay and homosexuality is not a sin, a position he first stated in a 2011 interview with CNN's Piers Morgan. That view is inconsistent with his Catholic faith, which teaches that homosexual acts are sins".

The Church does teach that homosexual acts are sinful, but the Church also teaches that being born "gay" is not. Is this point too subtle for journalists?

I guess it would be too much to expect reporters to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Then again, I guess that would be asking too much since we can't even get Catholics to read it. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

'Third Gender' Official in Germany.

From Spiegel Online:

The option of selecting "blank", in addition to the standard choices of "male" or female" on birth certificates will become available in Germany from November 1. 

The legislative change allows parents to opt out of determining their baby's gender, thereby allowing those born with characteristics of both sexes to choose whether to become male or female in later life. 

Under the new law, individuals can also opt to remain outside the gender binary altogether.

Let's see how that works out once the Muslims finally take over Germany.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

NC Voter Law Has Progressives in a Tizzy.

North Carolina's new voter ID law has caused the panties of Progressives to bunch up uncomfortably.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory said in a statement concerning the new law,  
“Common practices like boarding an airplane and purchasing Sudafed require photo ID, and we should expect nothing less for the protection of our right to vote”
and  “This new law brings our state in line with a healthy majority of states throughout the country”.

As one might expect, the Washington Post imagines that the real reason behind this law, and others like it, is to suppress the votes of the young, the old, the poor, blacks and Hispanics and everyone who isn't a white, middle class Republican.

In a column by Ari Berman for the Nation - North Carolina Passes the Country's Worst Voter Suppression Law - the editors felt the need to include a photo of a police officer watching over demonstrators near the NC state legislature; an obvious appeal to Progressives' emotional association of police officers to Fascism.



With this law, North Carolina becomes one of 35 states that require ID in order to vote. Like that bastion of Southern racism, Rhode Island :

"Despite the pleas of national Democrats who realized their cover was being blown, the state senate's only black member, Democrat Harold Metts, sponsored a voted ID bill. He said he'd heard complaints about voter fraud for years, telling the story of one poll worker who encountered a voter who couldn't spell his own last name. "

As we all know, ID laws are already in place to prevent senior citizens from purchasing cigarettes, and and minorities from purchasing beer.

Oh, yeah......I wonder which group those Amtrak racists are targeting with  their  photo ID policy?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Mayor of Stupidelphia.

It's that time, at last. The time has come for us to cast our ballots for the number one candidate in the race for Mayor of Stupidelphia.

To qualify as Mayor of Stupidelphia, a person should, obviously, through his or her actions, thoughts or words, personify stupidity like no one else.The candidate must be someone who is breathtakingly stupid.......mind numbingly stupid.....stupidité par excellence.

Below, I've listed four people who I feel are most qualified to fill that position.It should go without saying that the Mayor of Stupidelphia would have to be someone who voted for Barack Obama - twice. Although I can't be certain, each of the four nominees appear to fall in line in that area. But, as stupid as voting twice for Obama may be, it takes more than that to become Mayor of Stupidelphia. After all, millions of stupid people did that and they can't all be Mayor.

No, the Mayor of Stupidelphia should be a person so mind-bogglingly stupid that neither Patrick Star nor Otto West would stand a fair chance.

Candidate #1)
Nancy Pelosi.

Ms. Pelosi is an obvious choice. She has said so many incredibly stupid things that the difficulty for me lies in picking just one example. One idea of hers, however, is particularly stupid. According to the Huffington Post, Pelosi believes "Hillary Clinton Would Be 'Best Qualified' To Run In 2016". I kid you not. Nancy Pelosi is that  stupid.

Candidate #2)
Public Policy Polling director Tom Jensen.

In a poll asking voters in Alaska who they would favor as a GOP presidential candidate, Jensen included George Zimmerman among the likely choices. George Zimmerman might be the only living American citizen who would lose  to Hillary Clinton in a Presidential race. He couldn't win if  Robert Zimmerman wrote his campaign song.

Candidate #3)
Paul Rampell

In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Rampell, a lawyer from Palm Beach, opined that the state of marriage - being what it is today - shows we should have "wedleases" rather than "wedlock". Since marriage is going to be temporary anyway, he believes, two people should "commit themselves to marriage for a period of years — one year, five years, 10 years, whatever term suits them. The marital lease could be renewed at the end of the term however many times a couple likes."
I'm not quite sure why Rampell limited the wedlease idea to couples.

Candidate #4)
Lauren Rankin.

In an article for Truthout, Rankin says "Not Everyone Who Has an Abortion Is a Woman". As she sees it, we have "Designated Females at Birth" - that is men born with female bodies, getting pregnant and having abortions. These folks may have the equipment that permits them to become pregnant, but Rankin and her fellow travelers say that these folks aren't women.

Honorable Mention.

If this were an election for the city council members of Stupidelphia, where we could have multiple winners, then I'd probably nominate that relatively small group of people who believe in their heart of hearts that Pope Francis will one day soon allow women priests in the Catholic Church, along with the Church's celebration of same-sex "marriage".

But this vote is for Mayor of Stupidelphia and only one person can have the job.

(Inspired by CMR).

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Minnesota Protestant churches Prepare for Same-sex Weddings.

In Minnesota, a a number of Protestant "churches" are preparing to preform same sex "marriages" ceremonies now that the state has legalized, so called, same sex "marriage".

Of course, what can you expect from a protest movement which broke away from Christ's one true Church five hundred years ago?

The Protestants have already eliminated seven books from their version of the Old Testament. Will they be making additional edits to take out references to homosexuality being a sin? As far as I know, there hasn't been any formal call for that among the Protestants, but it wouldn't surprise me to see some changes in this regard in the not too distant future.

To my Protestant friends - perhaps it's time to reevaluate your Protestant notions and take a serious look at the Catholic Church.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

From Lumen Fidei...........


From ENCYCLICAL LETTER LUMEN FIDEI OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF FRANCIS TO THE BISHOPS PRIESTS AND DEACONS CONSECRATED PERSONS AND THE LAY FAITHFUL ON FAITH:

"There is an urgent need, then, to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illu­minating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God."

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's Already Started.

The Archbold brothers (Pat and Matt ) predicted it would happen.

Left of center non-Catholics would take Pope Francis' recent comment on homosexuals and the Church, misinterpret said comment and run with it.

The comment.........

"When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem ... they're our brothers."

As the Archbolds pointed out, this idea isn't anything new - it follows what the Church has always taught. It does not mean, as some will suggest, that Pope Francis accepts the idea of homosexual priests or same-sex "marriage".

One group called Freedom to Marry, posted this photo on their Facebook page.


Of course, many same-sex "marriage" supporters knew this photo was a manipulation of what the Pope really  meant, as evidenced by some of the comments of Facebook.

"The church has always said they should not judge the sinner. You can bet 'who seek The Lord' does not include their sin. Seek The Lord, but leave the sin behind. It is not like they'd accept the actual love or acts of love between gays. This is just smoke being blown, and my ass isn't having it."

"This has been the Catholic Church's official stance for a long time. Nothing new. They still want you to be celibate for the rest of your life."

"This statement is completely out of context. The pope stated he would not judge gay priests meaning he would be ok if a man denounced his homosexuality to serve God in the priesthood, not that he wouldn't judge gays in totality. Please lets not forget this is the same pope who stated that any child raised in a gay household is a victim of child abuse!"

"What you have written in your post is NOT what the Pope said. He has not changed what the Catholic Church has said about being Gay at all, but is definitely taking a more gentle and kinder tone. Nothing has chaned about what that Church teaches on these points; 1: All priests are expected to be celibate- no mater their orientation. 2: Having a "homosexual" orientation is not considered "sinful". 3: ACTING on said orientation IS considered "sinful". I am not defending these teachings, so hang on to those rocks and rotten tomatoes, please, but only correcting some very sloppy and imprecise writing on your post. Be careful! Facebook can be terribly misleading."

Contrary what many would have us think, Pope Francis is not about to turn the Catholic Church into the Episcopal church.

No same-sex "marriage". No women priests.

Is the Pope Catholic?

You bet.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sinched, Singed and Unhinged.

Thanks to LarryD @ Acts of the Apostasy  for his recent post, Houston Woman Sells Gov. Perry “Voodoo Dolls” To Benefit PP.

 Larry tells of a Houston, Texas area woman - Michelle Sinched - who has created voodoo dolls representing Texas Governor Rick Perry. These voodoo dolls come with "....tampon pins to act out your anger and or hexes upon his person".

All profits from the voodoo dolls will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

From the Houston Press:

"Each Perry voodoo doll is handmade by Sinched from materials left over from her many other projects. You can purchase a casual Perry doll in a anti-abortion coat hanger T-shirt for $25, or a suited version for $30. They are also available as a pair for $50, and each comes with a blank sign so you may write the pro-life slogan or Perry gaffe of your choice. The clothes are removable."

Not knowing Ms. "Sinched" or her husband Kenny Arocha, I can't speculate as to whether or not she believes in voodoo. While she might not actually believe in the powers of voodoo, it's telling that an abortion supporter would use demonic imagery to spread the message.

This isn't Ms.Sinched's first foray into - how shall I put this ? - the counter cultural netherworld.


In 2010 Ms.Sinched, AKA Michelle Betenbaugh, and her husband, with the help of the Texas ACLU, sued the school district in Needville, Texas to force the school to go against it's long standing grooming policy and allow their then five year old son to attend the school with long, braided hair. According to the suit, the son, in keeping with his Native American religious beliefs, has never cut his hair, which he has kept in one and two braids.

Of course, I'm a firm supporter of religious freedom and if wearing long hair is an authentic tenet of the Arocha's religion, then taking this to court was the right move; but I have to wonder - was this a religious statement or a fashion statement ? Was it really necessary to involve the United States Court of Appeals so Adriel Arocha could sport braided hair ?

By the way, photos posted on the Lipan Apache website (Adriel and Kenny Arocha's tribe) show most of the male members of the tribe wear short hair.

Just sayin'.

See Judge Rules Needville ISD Violated Native American Boy’s Constitutional Rights

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Christians Aren't Republicans.............

.........or Democrats, or Libertarians, or Socialists or any other political party.

In his piece for the Huffington Post, Bob Burnett puts forth the argument that Republicans Aren't Christians. Burnett argues that Republican  Party philosophy stems from the ideas of John Calvin and that Calvinism isn't Christianity.

I can't disagree with him on that. But, although for many, the Democrats may (or may not) appear to be more "Christ-like" in their views on immigration or the poor, the Democrat Party's views on abortion and same-sex "marriage" disqualify them from the label of  "Christian" as well.

It would be foolish to look to either Party for salvation and neither Party will ever be successful in transforming this country into any sort of Utopian Paradise.

As neither Party is an exact match with Catholic teaching, the best hope we might have, politically, is to try and transform one of the Parties into a more Christian position.

On the whole, I think it might be far easier to convince the Republicans to support a more Christian attitude towards immigration or capital punishment for example, than it would be convincing Democrats to abandon their support for abortion on demand.

In most cases, we Catholics have to hold our noses when we vote. Most of the time, it a choice of which Party stinks less.

See also, this video.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thoughts on the Living Wage.

In a piece for National Catholic Reporter entitled Wal-Mart & Catholic Social Teaching, in which he discusses the City Council for the District of Columbia passing a new 'living wage' law that "applies specifically to large scale businesses like Wal-Mart, writer Michael Sean Winters opens with a quote from Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, Rerum Novarum:

"There is a dictate of nature more imperious and more ancient than any bargain between man and man, that the remuneration must be enough to support the wage-earner in reasonable and frugal comfort. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil, the workingman accepts harder conditions because an employer or contractor will give him no better, he is the victim of force and injustice."

Winters contends that while hardly - if ever - sympathetic to Catholic concerns, the DC City Council did the right thing in mandating that Walmart be required to pay employees no less than $12.50 an hour.

Parenthetically, this is the same City Council which recently passed a bill allowing "transgender and intersex residents to amend their birth certificates to reflect their correct personal information, such as gender and name, and obtain unmarked, updated copies of the certificates".

Winter's discussion of a "living wage" lead me to reread Rerum Novarum and to look further into the idea.

The Living Wage Action Coalition defines a living wage this way:

 "A living wage is a decent wage. It affords the earner and her or his family the most basic costs of living without need for government support or poverty programs. With a living wage an individual can take pride in her work and enjoy the decency of a life beyond poverty, beyond an endless cycle of working and sleeping, beyond the ditch of poverty wages."

According to one so-called "living wage calculator", an individual living in my area, while supporting a household consisting of 2 adults and one child, should earn at least $16.26 an hour.

As a Catholic, I agree with the notion that everyone should be paid a decent wage, but nowhere in Rerum Novarum is it written that it is up to the State to enforce this ideal on businesses.

Obviously, should Walmart be forced to pay workers in Rome, GA. either the minimum wage of $12.50 an hour, or the living wage of $16.26, the company would be forced to shut it's doors. The prices Walmart would be forced to charge it's customers would make their products unaffordable. $16.26 would no longer be the "living wage" in this area. It's called inflation.

If the State wanted the workers to earn a living wage, it should encourage the workers to live frugally and soberly, and further their education. Instead, the State encourages materialism, gambling, substance abuse and sexual immorality.

Rather than expect government to force businesses to pay $16 or $17 or $18 an hour, one should concentrate on making oneself worth higher wages.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bye Bye Samuel Adams.

I have to admit, first off, that I'm far from the beer drinker I once was. Back in the day, it was more quantity over quality. "Volume" was the guiding principle

Things have changed. Now I hardly ever drink beer, but when I do, it's strictly,good, American made beer.

After learning of Boston Beer Company's decision to omit “by their Creator” from an Independence Day ad featuring the Declaration of Independence, I've decided that Samuel Adams was one American beer that would not find a home in my refrigerator.

I know, the company won't go bankrupt because of my decision; I don't buy enough beer to keep any company in business, but it's the principle, right?

Here's the ad in question.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Monday, July 8, 2013

Plants vs Zombies.

Being an old fart who was never much of a gamer, I'm not on the cutting edge of the video game universe, but thanks to my 7 year old son, I've been introduced to Plants vs. Zombies.

I watched him play the free online version while we were in Sibulan and I told him when would download the game to my PC when we returned home.

Doing a Google search, I located a site selling the game for $2.99, which I almost bought, until I read the fine print. I would have been charged a subscription fee of $6.99 a month. Always read the fine print.

I found the game on CD at Walmart for 10 bucks and some change.(That's coming out of J.P.'s allowance). It's installed on my PC now, and my son has actually let me play it a bit.

This is just what I need....... a further excuse to spend more time on my PC. At least it keeps me away from the Internet.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Madonna's New Look.

Yawn.

In an attempt to be controversial, Madonna has posted a photo from her photoshoot with Harper’s Bazaar magazine on Instagram and Facebook. In the photo, she is wearing what some have called a "chainmail niqab".

The Independent thinks she may have gone too far, although the article states that her message is unclear.

On Facebook, Things Liberals Hate believe Muslims will view Madonna's act as punishable by death.

I doubt it. Unlike her blatant anti-Catholic outfits, I don't think this photo criticizes Islam. It doesn't go far enough, in my opinion.

No, I think some in the West will be shocked by this, but she probably won't receive flack from the Muslim world.

We'll see.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day


OK; Maybe it's just one of my pet peeves, but now one says "Happy December 25th" or "Happy 4th Thursday in November" or "Happy March 17th". They say "Merry Christmas" or "Thanksgiving" or "St Patrick's Day".

We're celebrating Independence Day, not July 4th.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Abortion in Sign Language.

I first came across this gif a few days ago. In it, a woman is demonstrating the word "abortion" in American sign language.

I didn't post the gif  at the time for, actually, a pretty stupid reason. I thought everyone had already seen it. Well, obviously, not everyone has.

When I came across a post on LarryD's blog, linking to the image, I decided that this needs to have more exposure.

This "sign" does a pretty good job describing abortion.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Moving to Philippines.



We've taken the first steps on path towards moving to the Philippines. We've got a long way to go ......we can't be finished fast enough to please my wife. It'll take time.

I've sent an email to the Philippine immigration dept regarding the necessary visas. Normally, one can get a 21 day visa when you enter the country, but obviously, that won't do. There is also a, so-called "balikbayan visa" for family members of returning Filipinos, but that visa is only good for one year.

I've also sent an email to a local realtor to help us sell our house. I should hear something from him when I get off work this afternoon.

The next item on the agenda is the disposal of whatever we can't take with us.......that's going to be difficult. We can send some items that we may want to keep by way of balikbayan boxes, but most of this stuff will need to be sold, or given away. I see a number of yard sales in our future.

We may already have a potential buyer for the house so we'll need to start right away on the packing of the balikbayan boxes and the yard sales. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Airplanes and Airports; Part Two.



In yesterday's post, I wrote that, this month, I'd flown on 8 different airplanes and passed through 6 different airport - twice. I also pointed out that, for the most part, the trip to Philippines was unremarkable and uneventful. It wasn't until the return trip, I wrote, that things became unpleasant.

Actually, the unpleasantness wasn't immediate, but rather came in degrees.

Whatever unpleasantness there may have been at the Dumaguete airport as we were leaving was not because of the airport, or Philippine Airlines, but rather the crying and unpleasantness of having to say goodbye to loved ones.

We arrived in Manila at the domestic Terminal 3. We'd need to transfer to Terminal 1 for the international flight. Oddly enough (or maybe not so odd) where the taxi from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 when we arrived was 330 Ph pesos - roughly $8 - the reverse taxi ride was quoted at more than 800 Ph pesos - $20 !

Fortunately, we were able to locate a shuttle. It was a slow go, but it only cost 20 pesos each for the three of us, and as we had a long overnight wait, slow going wasn't a problem.

The last flight out of Dumaguete brought us to Manila around 5:30 or 6:00PM. Our flight leaving for Japan wouldn't leave until 6:40 AM. A 12 hour layover can hardly be called pleasant, but it wasn't due to anything horrible at Terminal 1......it's just that, a 12 hour wait is a long, long, boring wait.

The worse thing about Terminal 1 is having to pay the terminal fee - 550 Ph pesos each - 1650 pesos! Nearly $40 bucks. At least the souvenirs were reasonable priced.

The 2 hour layover at Tokyo/Narita was an improvement. Heck, I could stand on my head for two hours.

On the flight from Japan to New York, I began the readjustment to the difference in time. It was tempting to sleep as much as possible, but I forced myself to stay awake according to an Eastern Time Zone schedule. Finding a few interesting movies on-board helped. (King Kong wasn't half bad.)

Unlike our experience on the way to Philippines, making our way through JFK on the trip home was a nightmare. All of Delta's flights are located together in a separate terminal - except for incoming international flights. After going through customs, we had to find our way to this elusive terminal with no idea how to get there; most of the folks employed at JFK are equally clueless as how to find it. Finding Skull Island in the above mentioned King Kong was easier.

We were lost - even went security twice - until we finally talked to a TSA agent who actually knew his ass from a hole in the ground - a rare animal, indeed.

Getting to Atlanta and leaving JFK behind was such a relief that I wasn't the least bit upset to find out in Atlanta that the folks in New York had put one of our bags on a later flight. Delta located said piece of luggage and delivered to our house the next morning.

It's Tuesday and I've pretty well adjusted to the time difference with little jet lag to speak of. It's back to our normal routine, where an 8 hour day at work can seem like a 13 hour plane ride from the U.S. to Japan.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Airplanes and Airports; Part One.


During the month of June, I've flown on 8 different airplanes and passed through 6 different airport - twice.

Needless to say, planes and airports seem to be stuck in my mind at present; I'm hoping that writing about these experiences will exorcise these thoughts.

We left for our trip to Philippines on June 5, heading first to Atlanta's Hartsfield/Jackson airport. Because going from Atlanta is our obvious choice, we were given 3 options.
1) Korean Airlines to Inchon, then Manila.
2) Flying to LA on a domestic airline (probably Delta) then Philippine Airlines to Manila.
Since our last trip to Philippines, Delta had taken over Northwest Airlines, so option
3) was to take Delta to Japan (with one US stop in-between) then continue Delta to Manila.

Option 3 was the only one that fit within our budget.

Hartsfield /Jackson was pretty much uneventful - basically, check in, wait board the plane, then off to:
JFK to change planes to Tokyo/Narita. Nothing much to say about the experience of going through JFK on the way out, except that the lunch we had at the airport was, naturally, over priced and while not horrible wasn't wonderful either.

Due the flight being delayed at JFK, our lay over in Japan was shortened considerably. We pretty much just deplaned, went through security, then back on the same flight to continue to Manila.

At the International terminal in Manila, we were met by friends after going through customs and  baggage claims. We would have to take a taxi to terminal 3 for our overnight wait for the flight to Dumaguete. One of our friends arranged and paid for the taxi - 330 Ph pesos (roughly $8). We had arrived in Manila around 9:00PM and our flight to Dumaguete wasn't scheduled to leave until 8:40 AM. Our friends in Manila stayed with us in terminal 3 until time for us to check in.
As it turned out, our flight was delayed until around noon.Our 12 hour lay over became a 15 hour layover. Ouch.

What can I say about the Dumaguete airport? The planes do not pull up to a gate. It's just like in the old movies; you deplane by way of steps pulled up to the aircraft and walk across the tarmac into the building. Once  inside, it was simple enough getting our checked bags and then into the van the family had arranged.

Thankfully, there wasn't much to complain about concerning the flight to the Philippines. OK, the flights were long, as were the lay overs; the food was mostly edible, some of the movies were better than others. Sleep didn't always come easily. All of that's to be expected.

It wasn't until the return trip, that things became unpleasant.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Leaving For The U.S..




As I write this, it is 6:45 AM, Friday in Sibulan ( 6:45 PM, Thurs. back in Georgia ). We'll be flying out of Dumaguete in approximately nine hours - if the plane actually leaves on time.

We'll have to spend the night in Manila; our flight for Japan leaves just before 8:00 AM, Saturday, Philippine time.

We're scheduled to leave Tokyo, Saturday afternoon at 3:10 Tokyo time.....we'll arrive in JFK Saturday afternoon at 3:05. Ain't time travel amazing?

This will be my last post until after we arrive home. It'll be late Saturday night in Atlanta when we arrive; I won't go back online until after Mass Sunday.

A few days ago, we went to St. Paul's University ( a Catholic school from elementary thru college ). That visit, along with an email from St.Mary's at home informing us of a large increase in tuition, has pretty much help me make up my mind about moving here.

I'll be writing more on that in the future, but it looks like June, 2015 will be the target date.

See ya'll Sunday.