Last updated 6/18/09

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Obama to revoke conscience laws

Via Lifenews.

Basically, all hospitals and personnel would be required to provide abortions, regardless of their personal beliefs. I seem to remember some bishops saying that they would rather close down Catholic hospitals than submit to such a law. I wonder how this will play out.
God help us...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

US and the Muslim world

I don't think it would be wise for us to completely withdraw, but we must be aware of and prepared for the fact that we will most likely never have any real allies in the Middle East.

The most pro-American, unradical country seems to be Azerbaijan. Don't honestly know much about that one, but I think I'll do a little research.

We get what we vote for


We elected a spender, so that's what he's doing. He's spending, and spending, and will spend some more. Bush pushed through the first stimulus, so the Democrats are not solely to blame, although now they're the ones at the helm, using their momentum to push through inadequate Republican blockades.

And how are we going to pay for all this? Higher taxes, naturally. Wait for it and see. Maybe the middle class voters who supported Obama will rethink their positions in 2012, when their taxes are up 2 or 3%. Funny how people who don't want to be single-issue voters will vote on one issue when it affects them personally.

40 Days for Life

Lent is upon us, and so are the 40 Days for Life. I encourage you to check this out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Our man Martino

Coverage at AmP,, and CNA

Bishop Martino of Scranton, P.A. has released a statement through a letter penned by Auxiliary Bishop Dougherty to three Irish-American organizations, asserting that if any pro-abortion politicians are honored at the upcoming St. Patrick's Day celebration, that he will close St. Peter's Cathedral and any other Dioscesan churches if necessary.

While there is some debate over the necessity and relevance of his statement (there were no prior reports that any of the groups were considering honoring such politicians), I think this was a brave and commendable move. Even if none of the groups were going to to invite pro-abortion politicians, this publicity is good. Bishop Martino realizes that the battle to end abortion is not only a passive, reactive endeavor, but one that must be actively fought. By making this statement, he is keeping the issue at the forefront and reminding Catholics that pro-abortion politicians should not be honored or supported, but brought to task.

I pray that God may grant Bishop Martino and all of our bishops continued and increased courage and wisdom in this fight to defend life. 

And yes, this is the same Bishop Martino who has said he doesn't want Joe Biden coming to Scranton to talk about his "Catholic" values. Like Bishop Burke and Archbishop Chaput, he has asserted that pro-abortion politicians should not present themselves for Holy Communion.

It would get to complicated if I gave each bishop his own score, so I'm going to aggregate them. Bishops +1.


Another grammar +1. That brings it up to the level of ninjas, surpassing common sense and sea lords. For now.

It greatly satisfies me (not I) to see grammar-related articles being written from time to time. I guess it's the writing tutor in me.

The Times is at least good for something.

Say Cheese

It's that time again.  Yes, it's cheese-rolling time. Not to be confused with cheese-chasing time.
I'll have to look up this "Shrove Tuesday pancake race." Sounds tasty. 

Bishop Williamson...

Shameful behavior for anyone, especially a clergyman to exhibit...

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bishop Williamson, he was excommunicated by Pope John Paul II in 1988.  This was because the bishop who ordained him and three other bishops did so without papal approval and mandate.  The excommunications were very recently lifted - an act which has caused quite a bit of stir and controversy, mostly because Williamson is a holocaust denier. He obviously has some issues...I just hope he get some help (divine and otherwise) and that this whole issue will blow over sooner than later.

Pirate Patrol

An interesting insight into the British Royal Navy's pirate patrolling procedure (excuse the alliteration): here.

It is interesting to note that once a ship is captured by pirates, it is more desirable to pay ransom than to try and take it back. Yo ho.

Jukin' Time

Mini special.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The usual suspects?

I think this is worth a chuckle.

New Feature

Just added a little scoreboard below the archived entries. Now we can all keep track of the various +1's that I grant (but never lightly).


I'm going to reserve judgement on whether or not Mr. Varney was 100% right in this interview - it is true that her responses were kind of nonsequitor...but then again, so are many of the responses we hear from politicians and political spokesmen. But perhaps she does deserve this kind of treatment considering the action she is advocating. And you know her organization, ACORN (yeah, familiar, huh?) received money from the stimulus? I think it was an eleven digit figure.

Although I think Mr. Varney has a point and does have reason on his side, I do think we need to be careful not to dehumanize these people. Yes, their situations are in many cases their own fault, but it's not very Christian (or very American, in my mind) to just offer them a "tough luck, kid" as they're kicked out on the street. I'm not sure the stimulus was an appropriate vessel for such aid, however, and I also think this woman and ACORN are overstepping their bounds. If they care so much about these people, they should be donating and raising money to help pay off their debts. Or is ACORN suggesting that taxpayer money should be spent to help these people, and that it will gladly protest, yet stop just short of opening its own coffers?


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Japanese kids are comedic geniuses

Whether they know it or not, they are.  This most recent "make your own skit" activity was framed around a telephone conversation theme. There were many amusing ones, but too many for me to record without being adequately lazy. So here are a few, with very minor spelling/grammatical editing:

A: Hi, this is Nakanishi. Can I talk to Tashiro, please?
B: No. This is Haru. Nakanishi, nice to meet you.
A: Haru? Who are you?
B: I'm Haru. Are you free.
A: Oh, yes. Why?
B: Because. It was love at first sight.
A: You didn't see me.
B: I saw you by sixth sense.
A: Oh, by sixth sense.

A: Hello?
B: Hi, this is Risa. Can I speak to Mitsuki, please?
A: Speaking.
B: Would you like to buy something to drink?
A: No. Would you like to buy something to drink?
B: ...Ok.

--3 (Entitled "One Day...")
A: Hello?
B: Hi, this is Margret. Can I speak to Bob, please?
A: I'm sorry, he can't come to the phone right now. Because Bob is working in the park.
B: Really?
A: Yes, yes, yes.
B: I see.
A: Bye.
B: Liar!

A: Hi, this is Jona. May I speak to Cully?
B: Speaking. What's up?
A: To tell the truth, I love you.
B: Oh, my God. I love you, too.
A: But. My heart is stronger than your heart.
B: No!! My heart's stronger.
A: No!!
B: No!!
A: Sorry. I lose...
B: Thank you.
A: I love you... I love you...
B: I love you too...
A: Good bye.
B: See ya.

A: Hello? This is Cow.
B: Hi, this is Pony.
A: Would you like to buy some milk?
B: No, thanks. I have milk. Goodbye.

A: Hello?
B: Hi, this is your son.
A: What?
B: This is your son!
A: Oh! John?
B: Yes! This is John!!
A: I have no son. Goodbye.

A: Hello?
B: Hi, I am your son.
A: Is your name Taro?
B: Yes. Yes! I am Taro! Now I don't have a job. I lost my job.
A: Please give me money?
B: Um...sure. How much?
A: About a million yen. Ok?
B: Sure. I'll give you money.
A: Thank you. I respect you.
B: You're welcome.

--My Thoughts--

I know they were just using phrases we taught them, but the usage in some of these cases is great. Take #4: a passionate conversation about the depths of their love, ended with "see ya."
Although there is something slightly sinister about #3 (obviously Margaret knows something that leads her to believe Bob is not at the park after all) and I also enjoy a good skit about a mother either disowning her son or earning his respect by giving him money, I think my favorite is #2. I like how Mitsuki turns the sales deal around on Risa (why is she selling a drink over the phone in the first place?).

Anyway, this is my reward for a lesson well-taught.

Friday, February 20, 2009

North Dakota, Abortion, and C.S. Lewis on Liberal Christianity

I'd like to share some thoughts on related issues.

First of all, here is an exciting bit of news(Hot Air).  Reported here (Life News) and here (AmP), too.  Although I don't expect it will get passed the state senate, North Dakota's house just recently passed a piece of legislation, one "Personhood of Children Act."  Its aim is to obtain "personhood" status (the right to exist and be recognized as a person) for each individual from his or her conception.  If it does pass, it will serve as a challenge to Roe and should cause quite a stir.  Pray for a favorable outcome (or cross your fingers if that is your preference).

As those of you who know me are aware, abortion is a real hot-button issue for me.  I haven't done as much throughout the years as I should have, but when I return to the States I will make an honest effort to become more active in the Pro-Life movement.  That said, I have been debating (or arguing) and following Pro-Life news for quite some time.  Recently, with the election of Mr. Obama and the scandal surrounding Mrs. Pelosi, a lot of liberal Catholics have been coming out of the woodwork both in the public forum and on internet ones.  I've been reading a lot of "abortion is just one issue" and "politicians should not legislate morality."  What I struggle with is that fact that there seem to be just as many "Pro-Life" Democratic Catholics that agree with these arguments as Pro-Abortion "Catholics."  I've presented the comparison of abortion to slavery (despite abortion actually being murder), but I have found time and time again that there are those who close their minds to reason. 

 To those who believe that legislators should not dictate morality: In America, we live in a republic.  We elect officials to represent our best interests, and we trust that they will do what they feel is right.  We know that they obviously cannot represent the interests of every single voter who cast a ballot for them.  Thus, if they are convinced that society needs to be protected from something, it is their duty to act according to those beliefs.  If a politician believes abortion to be murder, they must fight tooth and nail to protect those lives rather than let them be quashed.

To those who believe Catholic politicians should promote welfare and charity: I agree.  However, what is the message when they are Pro-Abortion?  That it is ok for the government to decide that I should give my money to those less fortunate and in need of help, but that even when a politician believes an unborn child is a human being, it is not ok for the government to tell the mother they cannot kill their child?  On one hand, the government can tell me how to spend my money, but on the other hand, the government cannot protect a dependent and helpless life?  The "abortion is only one issue; my candidate helps the poor and promotes welfare" argument fails here.

To those who believe that people should have the right to sin or make the wrong choice (see Fray): Your argument falls apart unless you are willing to concede that we should all have the right right to kill, steal, and rape at will.  If your sin or wrong choice affects someone else, it is not something that should be left up to you.  Society has a duty to intercede.

I think one of the major problems with liberal Catholics who place more import on charity than justice and life is that they have a misconception of God.  Recently I've been reading C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain.  Lewis is a brilliant writer and theologian, and I love his works.  I think he should be required reading for all sincere Christians.  But I digress.  Here are a couple of passages that I found enlightening and relevant to this subject:

"By the goodness of God we mean nowadays almost exclusively His lovingness; and in this we may be right.  And by Love, in this context, most of us mean kindness--the desire to see others than the self happy; not happy in this way or in that, but just happy.  What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, 'What does it matter so long as they are contented?'  We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven--a senile benevolence who, as they say 'liked to see young people enjoying themselves' and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of the day, 'a good time was had by all.'[...]I do not claim to be an exception: I should very much like to live in a universe which was governed on such lines.  But since it is abundantly clear that I don't, and since I have no reason to believe, nevertheless, that God is Love, I conclude that my conception of love needs correction (31-32)."

"There is kindness in Love: but Love and kindness are not coterminous, and when kindness (in the sense given above) is separated from the other elements of Love, it involves a certain fundamental indifference to its object, and even something like contempt of it.  Kindness consents very readily to the removal of its object -- we have all met people whose kindess to animals is constantly leading them to kill animals lest they should suffer.  Kindness, merely as such, cares not whether its object becomes good or bad, provided only that it escapes suffering.  As Scripture points out, it is bastards who are spoiled: the legitimate sons, who are to carry on the family tradition, are punished.  It is for people whom we care nothing about that we demand happiness on any terms: with our friends, our lovers, our children, we are exacting and would rather see them suffer much than be happy in contemptible and estranging modes.  If God is Love, He is, by definition, something more than mere kindness.  And it appears, from all the records, that though He has often rebuked us and condemned us, He has never regarded us with contempt.  He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense (32-33)."

Something to think about, perhaps.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pope reminds Nancy what the Church says on abortion...

Good coverage over at AmP.

Nancy goes to Rome..

Many (Catholic and conservative) sources have been covering story recently - Nancy Pelosi will soon meet with Pope Benedict XVI.  There're a lot of strong feelings flying around. A friend of mine hinted that he wouldn't be disappointed if she were impaled by a Swiss guard's pike. 

As I'm sure you all know, Madame Speaker has made many incorrect and ridiculous statements about the Catholic Church and abortion - such as claiming that the Church only determined in recent years that life begins at contraception. Several months ago, her bishop invited her for a talk...she accepted the invitation, but has yet to visit him. No time for that, but time to fly to Rome. While many Catholics seem to want her excomminicated, or at least denied communicion or publically rebuked, I don't think that's going to happen here. I predict a private audience, the content of which will not be made public. The pope will talk to her about the error of her ways. She will thank him, be on her way, and continue down the path to eternal damnation. Unless he does something to surprise me, this one will be a victory for Pelosi (in this life, anyway), and the liberal press.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lord of the Rings - Voiceover

Heh heh...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Nuclear Subs Crash

What are the odds, given how few subs there are floating around in so many miles of our vast oceans?  But really I wanted to post this article because of this:

Britain's most senior sailor, First Sea Lord, Adm. Jonathon Band, said the underwater crash posed no risk to the safety of the submarines' nuclear reactors and nuclear missiles. But he offered no explanation of how the rare incident might have occurred.

The guy's title is "First Sea Lord." Holy crap, that is cool. I wish I were a Sea Lord.

Edit: I'm giving all Sea Lords a +1 for being BA.

DRUGS ARE AWESOME!! Socialized Healthcare Sucks.


Status Update

Jeff expressed his concern to me recently because I haven't updated for a while. Rest-assured, everything is fine with me; it's just that I struggle every once in a while to maintain motivation for this blog (and for my vlog, as well). My low readership/viewership sometimes make me think I have better uses for my time.

I will resume again soon, though. And Jeff, thank you for being a loyal reader and friend.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The People's Stimulus: Get Your Money Back

I like the way that woman puts it near the end -"We need to help ourselves."