Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Duw a'i bendithio

Rhiannon Evans now travels in elephants. I suppose it's not all that surprising, after her husband Gwynfor died last spring.
Mrs Evans was the daughter of banking union official Dan Thomas, a member of the Independent Labour Party who later became disillusioned with Labour and joined Plaid Cymru, and his wife Elizabeth, who was secretary of the Welsh Pacifist movement. It was through her mother that Rhiannon met Gwynfor, himself a pacifist...

BBC journalist Rhys Evans, the biographer of Gwynfor Evans, said last night, 'In his autobiography Gwynfor told how when they first met in 1939, Rhiannon was wearing a short summer dress. He was completely smitten by her.

'They married on St David's Day in 1941, at the height of the war. The rest of her life she was a devoted wife to Gwynfor, and to many she became known as Rhiannon Gwynfor. But it does her something of an injustice to see her simply as a dutiful wife, because she was very artistic and highly intelligent. She also brought up seven children, which in itself is a remarkable achievement.

Not to mention standing by her man as he turned a fringe movement into the dominant political party in a country that had become embarrassed of its name, its language, and any hint of its identity. When the Evanses married, the percentage of Wlesh speakers was a little over a third, and dropping like a rock. There was no schooling, radio, TV or other popular medium in which English wasn't overwhelmingly favored. Today, largely thanks to Gwynfor and Rhiannon, schools teach Welsh, there are two Welsh-language TV channels, and the Welsh music and publishing industries are thriving. The Welsh language is co-official in its own country for the first time since 1536. I would go so far as to say that Rhiannon Evans was to Wales what Coretta Scott King was to America. And it would be hard to find higher praise than that.

One down, one to go

It looks like John Paul the Great may have effected his first documented miracle.
The Vatican may have found the "miracle" they need to put the late Pope John Paul one step closer to sainthood - the medically inexplicable healing of a French nun with the same Parkinson's disease that afflicted him.

Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the Catholic Church official in charge of promoting the cause to declare the late Pope a saint of the Church, told Reuters on Monday that an investigation into the healing had cleared an initial probe by doctors...

"To me, this is another sign of God's creativity," he said, adding that the nun worked with children.

He said Church investigators would now start a more formal and detailed probe of the suspected miracle cure...

One proven miracle is required after John Paul's death for the cause to lead to beatification.

It must be the result of prayers asking the dead Pope to intercede with God. Miracles are usually a physical healing that doctors are at a loss to explain.

Another miracle would be necessary between beatification and eventual sainthood.

Santo subito!

This didn't take long

Guess what just showed up on the AP wire?
A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Tuesday ruled that the federal Partial Birth Abortion Act of 2003 is unconstitutional.

Every federal court which has reviewed the statute so far--including other federal courts in Nebraska and New York-have found the law unconstitutional.

Tuesday's ruling makes it more likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will review the issue and is likely to be the first case in which newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is called on to make a ruling in an abortion case.

My prediction: I think the SC will uphold the decision, and Alito will vote with the majority. Like it or not, the precedent has been set and it would be hard to overturn it without legislating from the bench. Despite my hope that this judicial constellation will slow down the abortocaust, we can't achieve it by subverting the Supreme Court. If we do, it will just start all over again when the makeup of the court changes. Roe and Casey need to go the way of Dred Scott and Plessy: not just overturned but repudiated for good.

Ted Kennedy sure puts on a good show

Now I see why Massachusetts keeps electing this guy. It's not the politics; it's the entertainment value.

I'd give a pretty to have seen his face when the confirmation vote was tallied.

Another anniversary

Rand and Twinklemoose are celebrating eight years as man and wife. Pop over and congratulate them. And don't forget to have a gander at the picture Rand's got linked. How Canadian is that?

Alito's in...

...and there's not a frimpin' thing the uterofascists can do about it. Not that this will shut them up, or anything. As usual, Jeff Goldstein says it best:
Somewhere, in the mythical back alleys of America, uteri twitch as Southerners, long held in check by the sheer egalitarian will of their liberal Democratic brethren, pull long white robes and heavy rope out of the mothballs in granpappy’s special “patriotic” hope chest…

Maybe he's not as stupid as I thought

Somebody send this to Homeland Security! (Warning: crudity alert!)
Bill Clinton's plan to save bankrupt airlines:

Replace all female flight attendants with some good-lookin' strippers! What the hell? The attendants have gotten old and haggard-looking. They don't even serve food anymore, so what's the loss?

The strippers would double, triple, perhaps quadruple the alcohol consumption and get a "party atmosphere" going in the cabin. And, of course, every heterosexual businessman in this country would start flying again, hoping to see naked women.

Muslims would be afraid to get on the planes for fear of seeing naked women. Hijackings would come to a screeching halt and the airline industry would see record revenues.

Why the hell didn't Bush think of this? Why do I still have to do everything myself?

Fear and loathing in February

I'm probably going to lose my entire female readership with this, but I have a confession to make.

I dread Valentine's Day.

Mostly, it's a function of having been involved (before I met my Lovely and Brilliant Wife) with women who used holidays as a bludgeon and a lever. For me, Valentine's Day has always been a time of misogynistic self-flagellation.

Since I married Christina, I've been steadily in recovery, and I no longer approach February 14 with the same steer-in-the-slaughterhouse feeling I used to. Still, I'm a lousy gift-shopper, and because Christina's birthday is not too long before V-Day (which in turn isn't long enough after our anniversary), I'm usually caught with my pants down. (Please stifle the obvious cheap shots at that.)

So I hope she won't take it too personally that I wallowed in the vindictiveness of these Valentine cards written for exes. I especially liked these:

Roses are red,
They come by the trainful.
I hope your death
Is slow and painful.

You won't take my calls,
You call me a toady.
Guess I'll have to impress you,
Like I impressed Jody.

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art in truth more like a Summer's Eve.
For thou art such a tremendous douchebag.

On this Valentine's Day,
My dear ex-wife,
Be glad that I'm not
An NFL star with a knife.

Though you left me alone,
I won't write, I won't phone;
I'm reluctantly gonna move on.
You should know, I suppose,
I put your nude photos,
At www.ellen.com.

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways... um... none!

Look out your window
On a moonlit lovers' eve,
No, this window over here.
Hi. It's me.
Now wave,
'Cause stalking is a lonely, lonely business,
And a little feedback goes a long way.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
I'm not getting laid.
Can I come back to you?

There are also a few even crueler ones here. H/T to Miss Cellania, who is enough to make the bitterest misogynist open an account at a florist shop. I don't understand why this woman is single. BTW, did I mention I have an unmarried brother...?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Civil servant cruelty

Not nice, perhaps, but a heap of fun.
“Hello, my name is Marcus Planning Department Supervisor. I understand you want to build a knoll in your garden?”

A very strange name; maybe his parents had a sense of humour or his career path had been premeditated from birth? Still, he sounded like a jolly chap.

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Can I ask why?”

“Because the angle from my depository window is not good enough and I keep knocking my shins on the edge of the bath.”

Read the whole thing here. Better yet, read it out loud and see how long you can keep your voice deadpan.

Lifestyles of the Young and Stupid

Just for future reference: After a judge lets you off easy, putting up a website making fun of him and showing pictures of you violating probation is probably something to avoid.
The judge had chastised nine students caught drinking at a Troy high school prom last spring. That would be the end of it, he figured.

It was, until Judge Michael Martone stumbled across a Web site weeks after the students had been sentenced to probation. Leering back at him from his computer screen were some of the same students from Troy Athens High School, now in college.

On the site, they were giving him the finger. They were toasting him with cups of beer and chugging shots of Jagermeister liqueur. They were posing with beer cans stacked almost to the ceiling, and retching into toilets at Michigan State University.

The Web site's headline said: "F U Martone. ... Night after court/ Hahaaa."

This is America's next generation, the repository of our future. Sleep well.

A priest, a rabbi and a fetus walk into a bar....

I should have put up a link to this last week, but today, after the Walk for Life, it seems even more timely. What astounds me is that the HuffPo hasn't taken it down.
Why did the fetus cross the road?
Because they moved the dumpster.

Little Johnny goes up to his mother and says, "Is it true babies come from storks?" "Why yes," says the mom. "Do storks ever have abortions?" he asks. The mother stops and laughs and then says, "Yes, but only the poor black ones."

who's there?
you'll never know!

Notice in the comments how thin-skinned the pro-death crowd get when their favorite dogma is being questioned. These are the same people for whom no name is too foul to give somebody who stands up for Feto-Americans, but a poke in the ribs sends them into a Cujo-foaming tailspin. Intellectual cowards, the lot of them.

H/T to the queen of pro-life bloggers.

A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk

It seems kind of anticlimactic to write about Moses Lake's Walk for Life, which we held yesterday. This is about as far from San Francisco's or Washington DC's experience as we're likely to get. No pro-abort protesters itching for a brawl, no shouting, no sign-waving. In these parts, pro-lifers are just preaching to the choir.

A little background for the non-northwesterners who read this (probably most of y'all): Moses Lake is a small-to-medium-sized town, about 16,000 people. Still, it's the biggest city for several good-sized counties around. It's mostly tater farms around here, with cattle ranching to the west and wheat to the east, but not a whole lot that doesn't depend on agriculture. Lots of Mormons, Catholics and Fundamentalists, a few Muslims (the kind who don't burn cars or model explosive accessories); pretty much everybody here belongs to some morally-structured religion, even if they miss services sometimes when the walleye are biting. So this isn't exactly moon-bat country. We have a 1st Way CPC, but the nearest abortuary is in Kennewick, which is 70 miles away.

So yesterday's march was a fairly small one, because it's a small town. The Catholics were the biggest contingent (spearheaded by the Knights of Columbus), but I saw quite a few folks I used to worship with at the First Baptist and representatives of just about every church in town. My friend Doug Sherman was there, as were several other local pastors. Our Lady of Fatima's venerable Msgr. Skehan was there with his cane, his arthritic gait and his shy smile. He's so slight and frail-looking that he looks like a good wind would blow him over (and we get some dillies in eastern Washington), but looks are deceiving. Monsignor (in this parish, he doesn't even need to use a last name) is in his late eighties, and he came over from Ireland during World War Two, on a ship that had to dodge U-boats the whole way. At an age when most people are sitting home watching TV, he helps pastor two parishes, working as hard as he did at 40. If anybody had the right to sit out the Walk, it's Monsignor. But there he was, putting us young 'uns to shame.

The march was a short one, and unlike the big urban marches, we had to stick to the sidewalk because our location was on the busiest street in three counties, and nobody wanted to tie up traffic. The only police officer present was off-duty; I only know he was a cop because he's a member of my parish. I didn't see any reporters there either; I wonder who was in charge of getting the word out to the paper. (I hope it wasn't me.) We didn't sing or chant; we mostly walked along holding our signs up in the bitter-cold wind and visited among ourselves. Virtually every reaction was positive; honks and waves from passing drivers. One guy said he saw a one-finger salute, but I missed it. I think it was when we weren't fast enough getting through a crosswalk.

Moses Lake gets an average of 330 days of sunshine a year. As fate would have it, yesterday wasn't one of them. The temperature was somewhere in the high 30s, and as we walked, it started to rain. Those of us not smart enough to wear gloves had fingers the color of a fire engine by the end of the half-mile or so walk.

One thing that really struck home was how the various churches stood together. (Sectarian hostilities tend to be muted in a small town, because the fellow whose church you eviscerate on Sunday morning may be the guy who sells you a car or fixes your plumbing on Monday.) The opening prayer was led by an Evangelical minister (I've met him but his name escapes me), and during the prayer I heard a number of people murmuring "Yes, Lord. Yes, Jesus." in the Pentecostal fashion. When it ended, the Catholics crossed themselves. Nobody blinked at either gesture.

It's kind of disappointing that the solidarity we had at our Walk for Life is sort of wasted here. Don't get me wrong; it's good when brethren can stand together for what's right, and the word "shall not return void". But conservative Christians aren't really a force in Washington; we're a blue state by virtue (if that's the word) of the huge left-leaning population in the Seattle area. Our votes count for nothing in this state; our march was witnessed only be a few passing motorists. It was a lot like punching a marshmallow. We made our convictions known, but there was no opposition there to resist us. "Bring me men to match my mountains," says the poem, but ours was the opposite problem. We had the men, but no mountains.

Nevertheless, the one thing small towns do have is a major export of young people. I saw lots of teenagers and young adults at the Walk, some of whom I know are about to finish school. Better than half of Moses Lake's kids will leave town when they graduate, and if they have a strong pro-life conviction before they do, each one will be one more voice for the unborn in places like Seattle or Spokane, where such voices are rarer. we may not be a bulldozer, but at least we're an incubator.

Still, maybe next year we can arrange to have some counter-protesters come over from Seattle. It would be a lot more fun with a little opposition. And it would make some great photo ops for the Greatest Newspaper in the Northwest™.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ain't it the truth?

Great line from Pilgrim at Slaves of Righteousness:
"If God loved you as much as you love Him, where would you be?"

Grab your gal and pat her on the head

If she don't like biscuits feed her cornbread. Then head over to Summa mamas' nod to Bob Wills. It don't matter who's in Austin; Bob Wills is still the king. (Extra points to anybody remembers who sang that.)

When you leave Amarillo, turn out the lights.

Not bad for a guy who drives a $300 pickup

I'm a Mercedes SLK!

You appreciate the finer things in life. You have a split personality - wild or conservative, depending on your mood. Wherever you go, you like to travel first class. Luxury, style, and fun - who could ask for more?

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

H/T to Christine. I promise, I'll get to your meme as soon as I have time.

Shut up and love

Steve Camp has a first-rate post up about turning the other cheek, even knowing you're going to get belted.
Have you ever been wrongly accused of something? Have you ever had people gossip behind your back with false accusations or perceptions about your integrity or character? Have you ever confronted a friend or family member in sin and been ostracized for the loving honesty? Have you ever stood for Christ in the work place and it cost you in reputation or promotion in a job? Even in the common ordinary day of our lives, it’s easy to become offended over trivial things, isn't it?. What’s worse, when we do get offended we end up savoring the bitterness, promoting ill will out of revenge to sooth our sagging pride or hurt feelings, conjuring up ways to “get even” with those who have wronged us, or possibly have spoken to others about it with no other motive or intent than to undermine the one who wounded us. However, the subtle quintessential way that we as Christians gossip about others behind their back is through... prayer. I call it the “gracevine."

I know I have a tough time keeping my mouth shut when somebody does me the dirty. Out in the blogosphere it's an even worse situation; it's awfully easy to shoot your mouth off knowing you'll probably never actually have to face somebody you've just laid into. And because you don't actually see their faces, it's easy to pretend that somebody on the other side of a comment box is like a TV character; you can hear them speak but they're not real, flesh-and-blood people. We speak and act in ways online that we would never dream of in real life, but at the same time we get our undies in a twist over being treated the same way. My nose is out of joint; O cursed spite!

Steve's reference to the "gracevine" is a good one as well. When we want to vent our nastiness at a fellow Christian, it's somehow more comfortable to do it in a "more in sorrow than in anger" way to third parties. We don't hate the dirty-eared fundamongoloid or the fetus-loathing apostate. Oh no, we love him; that's why we link to him, snark as though we just couldn't help ourselves, and pray loudly for his conversion (while privately hoping he doesn't really convert and take away our source of vicious amusement).

As much as I hate to do it and give up the pleasure of being snide about Steve, Rand, and other brothers (particularly Protestants with a chip about the Church), I apologize to anybody whom I've treated as though he were an embarrassment to the Body of Christ. These people are my Christian siblings, and I imagine it annoys God when his children bicker as much as it does me when mine do. I don't have a right to be acknowledged as right, even if I think I am. (And everybody thinks their opinions are right; otherwise they wouldn't hold them.) I only have the right to let you believe I'm wrong. If you think I'm stupid, or blind, or a brainwashed minion of Rome, it's not my place to snipe about it. God will set us all straight in the end. It's just my job to shut up and love.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Since part of my job is to lay out a monthly section for equine enthusiasts, I didn't think anything of it when my boss e-mailed me this with a straight face. Yee-haw!

Islam and Christianity mix it up in Africa

Can anybody say "Tashlan?"

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

A belated congratulations to Jungle Pop and his (presumably) lovely bride. (Would that make her "Jungle Ma?") Seven years and counting! Woohoo!

I was hoping somebody would have this

Tim Bayly links to some excellent photos of the San Francisco March for Life. Really illustrates who's the foaming fanatics here, doesn't it? I especially like the third page. Yes, pro-life women are better-looking, aren't they?

A new kid on the blog block

The Den at the new blog Santilland stopped off in the comments section the other day. Pop over and welcome him to St. Blog's Parish.

No daughter of mine is going to dress that way!

Show me a father who hasn't said that. And the girls just roll their eyes at dumb old Dad. But Molly Saves the Day agrees with us old prudes that there's a difference between beinng fashionable and dressing little girls like harlots.
Victoria's Secret has essentially started marketing merchandise that says "INSERT VULVA HERE" to little girls, and even the Chicago Tribune calls it "G-rated." Well, it may be G-rated to the girls who buy them, thinking pink is just a color and expressive of femininity. But girls are walking -- as the article mentions -- to classes and in public wearing pants with "pink" on the bottom. And while they may not understand the innuendo, I'm sure a lot of the other people who see them do.

Basically, Victoria's Secret has made it so little girls are unconsciously making themselves into sex objects, and their naive, desperate-to-show-off parents are buying into it.

I like my daughters to like the way they look. I even acknowledge that what's in today isn't the same thing that was in when I was a kid. But I remember something a wise lady of my mom's generation used to tell her daughters in high school: Don't advertise beer if you're selling lemonade. Call me sexist, call me hypersensitive, but I think if a girl is young enough to own an Easy-Bake Oven or even have boy-band posters on her wall, her clothing shouldn't say "Come and get it." Even (especially!) in grown-up code terms that she'll learn the meaning of later on.

Read the rest of the post here.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Vicious anti-choicers...

...who care only about the fetus, and give not a thought for the woman. Who want only to assume control of as many uteri as possible, and further the oppressive agenda of the patriarchy. Yep, that's these people.
A woman who chooses abortion must consider three things: her own well being, difficult circumstances of some sort, and the baby. These women have decided that one must be removed for the sake of the other two.

Starting today, every woman in America will know of several familiar faces she can turn to in order to receive help removing the difficult circumstances, rather than the baby.

As an American on Call, the people mentioned above will gather under the purple flag to invite women and men in need to answer a simple question: How can we help you?

Damn Nazis. Stop the hatred!

Do you really not see the irony here?

We don't want none of them intolerant people in these parts!

This came from a pro-abort blog post on the March for Life in San Francisco. (The photo below, BTW, is from the same march, out of the SF Chronicle. Credit where it's due.)

The scary thing is that these people probably don't see any irony. Nor would they see the contradiction in asserting that thousands of women will die if abortion is in any way restricted, but ignoring the fact that millions of unborn women will die if it's not.

Some women are more equal than others.

Oh, really?

I'll bet she wouldn't be if you stuck a pair of forceps in her skull. I'm just saying...

Things to remember about raising boys

Readers who remember the habañero incident will have some idea of what my Lovely and Brilliant Wife and I have to look forward to. She comes from an all-female family (one of five daughters, and her mother was one of five daughters as well), and the only boy she's raised so far was an unusually well-behaved kid. So she's not prepared. I, on the other hand, proved several of Miss Cellania's points below. (I can personally attest to numbers 2, 9, 12, 16, 19 and a variation on 23.)

Do not be alarmed. Be very, very frightened.


1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq.ft . house 4 inches deep.

2. If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3. A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 room.

5. You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few a times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.

8. Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9. A six-year old boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

10. Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old boy

11. Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is forever.

13. No matter how much Jelly you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14. Pool filters do not like Jelly.

15. VCR's do not eject sandwiches.

16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17. Marbles in petrol tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18. You probably DO NOT want to know what that odour is.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

20. The fire department has a 5-minute response time.

21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22. It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24. Raw eggs and semi digested cheese stick to walls and ceilings very well.

25. 80% of men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

Anybody got any more lessons learned from raising boys?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

World domination and sex!

Wahoo! Who could ask for more?

Tonight is my induction into the Knights of Columbus, which I'm assured is just like being a Jesuit, but it's for married men, which means with licit nookie!

Of course, I won't know all the secrets of the conspiracy until after tonight (and then I'll either have to pretend I don't or kill you), but I think I've figured it out. See, Knights get to wear these blue vests as their uniform. Where else do you see blue vests? That's right! Wal-Mart!

Wal-Mart, you may recall, is only the biggest retailer in the world. They have what, thousands of stores? With millions employees who are disgruntled, underpaid and ripe for the revolution! Once we take over the cheap-clothing-and-housewares market, it's only a short step to wrecking the world economy and installing the Black Pope in Rob Walton's place. What need have we of the Throne of Peter when there's the Armchair of Sam? Then we can really rule the world! (Insert mad scientist laughter here.)

I'm looking forward to having an army of brainwashed minions like the one at right saluting me as I stroll through the auto parts aisle. But that's down the road a few years. In the meantime, I'll settle for some of the lesser perks of belonging to a secret society: Getting to use the carpool lane, getting out of a ticket by making the secret sign to the cop, and maybe even scoring a spot on Jeopardy!

See you at the New World Order pancake breakfast!

Once again, Mark Shea coined the right phrase

When "What could it hurt?" becomes How were we to know?"

How long do you reckon it'll be before calls start coming in for a shiny new (and gay-friendly) development on property occupied by Antioch Bible Church? Of course, nobody would ever manipulate the law against a religious organization for political reasons. Nah, can't happen.

Hooray for Franklin

I missed Ben Franklin's 300th birthday, which should have been celebrated with revelry and debauchery. Stacy Schiff of the NYT remembered, though, and sums up beautifully what his contributions were to our country. He not only gave us bifocals, stoves and newspapers, he also gave America its go-to-hell attitude. If Washington was the father of his country, Franklin was more like the disreputable uncle who teaches you to spit, swear and ogle wenches, and whom your parents would rather you didn't spend too much time around.

Happy birthday, Ben! And a H/T to Patrick at the Paragraph Farmer.

Americans are slow developers

Ran across this from Albertus Minimus:
Abortion. You know, the thing is, if the supporters of abortion could tell me when a human life begins, then there would be no real problem about it. After all, in essence this is not a religious argument but one based on reason: at some point after conception, according to those in favour of abortion, the status of the creature changes from non-human to human.

Now, in Britain we say that's at 24 weeks. In America it's only at birth. In Germany and France 12 weeks, Italy 13 weeks and Sweden 18 weeks. So from this I am forced to conclude that proto-Germans and pre-French turn into real German kinder and teeny French enfants a week quicker than Italians become mini bambini. The Swedes are pretty late developers, taking five weeks longer to change from being a bundle of cells into a full-on human being - it's probably the cold that slows them down. As for we Brits, it must be the weather, or the diet or something, but it takes us a full three months more than the Germans and the French (no!) to become little John Bulls. Finally, it's almost embarrassing to mention this, given that I have quite a few American readers, but I must sadly inform you that Americans are the tardiest of all: you don't turn into human beings until you're actually born. I can only conclude that it's a result of too many burgers.

Not even then, apparently. Even in the process of being born, we're not human until the mother and/or the doctors say we are.

This alone warrants a spot on the sidebar for Albertus. And I think I need a burger.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Jaw-jaw is better than what?

My first response, when I read the headlines about the members of Fathers 4 Justice who were arrested for plotting to kidnap Tony Blair's son was to shield my eyes and say "Oh, you idiots!" What Oklahoma City did for the constitutionalist, patriot and other political movements, this may yet do for fathers. Who will ever again take "fathers' rights" as anything but an oxymoron, especialy in Britain, which has policies that make ours look downright egalitarian? This might well have been enough to set fathers' rights (already shaky at best) back a decade or two. Up to now, Fathers 4 Justice has mostly pulled off stunts: running around in Batman costumes and the like to get publicity. An actual abduction would be a whole 'nother can of worms.

I should have read the story closer. Seems talking was all they did; there's no evidence that there was any definite intent:
Police sources have told the BBC they knew of suggestions of a plot to kidnap Tony Blair's five-year-old son Leo.

The Sun said police believed a fringe section of campaign group Fathers 4 Justice discussed the idea but did not have the ability to do it...

[BBC correspondent] Ben Ando said police had been investigating extreme groups linked to Fathers 4 Justice for some time.

"The plan only got as far as what they [police] called the chattering stage," he said.

"No real reconnaissance was carried out, no actual kidnap attempt was made, no-one has been arrested, and the police are not convinced those at the centre of the alleged plan had the capability to carry it out."

Men's advocate (and a bit of a loon) Angry Harry has his own take on the incident:
Thus far, this alleged 'plot' to kidnap Tony Blair's son - which is also on the very front page of the Sun today - seems to be nothing more than the police having come across some inane chatter on the internet - which probably went something like this.

"Blair's government has really fu##ed up my family. I bet he wouldn't like to see his own son taken away from him."

"Wow, Zingbat. That's a good idea. Why don't we kidnap Blair's son? That would teach him. And it would bring about some publicity too!"

"Yo, KingKong24156, that really would be a great idea. What other ideas do you have? I think that we should also all dress up like King Tutankhamun and build a huge pyramid in Hyde Park."


But, thus far, this is what really seems to have gone on. And, from this, we have a conspiracy to kidnap Blair's son.

I can sympathize with these guys to a certian extent, if talking was all they're doing. Child abduction, you understand, is illegal – for men. For women, there's government assistance available.

Okay, that's an exaggeration. There's plenty of legal bias to go around, as my Lovely and Brilliant Wife has pointed out to me, on the many occasions that I've gotten bitter over a dad's plight. There are a lot of situations where a man has the upper hand, and especially in some states over others. But the fact is, it's a lot easier in general for a woman to restrict a man's parenting rights than it is for a man to get those rights back. There's an unwritten assumption in the public mind that men whose wives or girlfriends leave them are abusers (or at least jerks); it's the smoke-fire connection. I ran into this one three years ago, when I found out the hard way that there was effectively no legal recourse for parental abduction. It was technically illegal, but nothing was going to be done about it. (Of course, you can imagine what would have happened to a man who did the same.) All a father can do is wait to find out what parental rights (and how much of his paycheck) a vindictive woman wants him to have. When it comes to child custody, men and women are equal de jure but not de facto.

Things are a lot worse in the UK than they are here, I'm given to understand. In Britain, when a couple with children separates, Mama's word becomes law. If you think I was angry and frustrated (and you'd be right), imagine what a man with not even de jure legal standing goes through. He's basically a checkbook with a name. And the name is just as likely to be "Sperm Donor" as "Daddy."

In that situation, I suspect I'd find myself daydreaming about making a politician feel the same thing I did. I might even talk to a group of equally-screwed-over dads about my anger. Which is what this appears to have been. Meanwhile, the feminist goon squads (those same uterofascists who brought you abortion-on-demand and the Vagina Monolgues) gain a huge victory: Fathers 4 Justice is disbanding, and it will be a long time before any British father dares speak out too loudly again.

Congratulations, ladies.

Bones! This! Hurts!

Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a jeweler!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I may not remember the 80s as well as I thought I did, but at least I beat Miss Cellania on this one. My ego is restored.
True English Nerd

You scored 89 erudition!
Not only do you know your subjects from your objects and your definite from your indefinite articles, but you've got quite a handle on the literature and the history of the language as well. Huzzah, and well done! The English snobs of Boston salute you.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 93% on erudition

Link: The Are You Truly Erudite? Test written by okellelala on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Monday, January 16, 2006

What would yours be?

Your last meal, that is. Given it any thought? Me neither. Now I'll be lying awake at night constructing the perfect menu on which to meet my maker.

If you have a taste for really, really macabre trivia, check out Dead Man Eating.

I was there in the 80s! I was!

I only got 74.3 percent on this, which is kind of sad. For heaven's sake, I remember most of these songs from my teenage years. And I wasn't stoned through the decade, either.

I though this was particularly unfair:
Your generation stuck mine with a motherload of cultural horrors (bradys! disco! plaid! roller skating!). -30% for being a yuppie.

I was a child in the 70s! What's more, I was in one of those pockets of America that missed out on disco and roller skating. The Dukes of Hazzard and Little House on the Prairie were a lot closer to my experience. Of course, by the time high school rolled around, I was living in the suburbs of Seattle and experiencing real pop culture for the first time. (And the last; I gave up on it in about 1988 and shifted gears abruptly into geezerhood.)

Okay, all you grown-up Breakfast Clubbers. Let's see if you can do any better!

The end of the search?

Like any blogger with a fragile, insecure ego, I watch Sitemeter carefully to see where my meager readership is coming from, and some of the search engine referrals are amusing. Today's is probably the best I've seen so far:

Miss Tacoma hiney contest

Never heard of it, but it sounds fun. Anybody know where I can get a list of the winners?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Who the hell do these people think they are?

Yes, I know it's hard to judge an ignoramus for being one. But there's no excuse for taking a girl with Tourette's syndrome and asking her in front of her friends to leave a theater.
Jennifer Irizarry, 13, went to see "The Chronicles of Narnia" at Cinemagic on Dec. 26. Before the opening credits, several other movie-goers complained about her high-pitched squeaks and vocal outbursts.

She claims a manager led her to the lobby and threatened to eject her if she had another outburst. But theater management denies that she was asked to leave.

"What I told her was between me and her, but she wasn't forced to leave," said Jamie Pinard, the theater's general manger.

Realizing that her condition would worsen under the stress of being singled out in front of her friends, Irizarry decided to leave.

I don't give a rat's patoot if she was ejeccted or just hinted at. If she's got Tourette's, she jolly well knows she's making noise and is already killing herself to keep it down.

I know. I've got Tourette's, possibly a souvenir of my dad's Agent Orange exposure. (So does my oldest son, although he didn't get it from me; no genetic connection.) I was diagnosed at seven, and I spent my entire school career dealing with punishment from teachers, peer bullying, and horrid side effects because of it. My fifth grade year was spent hooting like an owl about every thirty seconds. Off and on, I've had tics like clacking my teeth like a nutcracker, and rolling my eyes as far back as they would go. Both of those result in brutal headaches. Fun, fun, fun.

"But why don't you just stop?" whine the ignorami. You betcha. Let's see you stop blinking. Really. I can stop ticcing just about as long as you can keep your eyelids still. And if you go too long without blinking, you do it twice as hard when you do give in to the urge. It's the same way with tics.

I'm not usually sensitive about Tourette's. It's technically a disability, but it's not like it's crippling. And it's not going to go away, either. So there's really nothing to do about it but laugh at it, and I do. For a while, my online name in chatrooms was "Twitchboy." I joke about being the "human castanet," that being my current tic.

But when I was 13, I was mortally sensitive about it. Kids would follow me in the school hallway, mimicking me. I had teachers who punished me for disrupting the class, as though I were getting a big ol' belly laugh out of grunting and twitching. And this lout with a manager's nametag has the gall to treat this girl as though she were one of those little splats that sit in the third row and throw popcorn at other patrons.

I hope the parents sue this theater raw. And if I knew how, I'd try to tell Jennifer that it really does get easier when you grow up. Nobody says anything to my face anymore; the people who know me know what makes me tic, and the people who don't are apt to think twice before giving trouble to a full-grown man. Eventually she'll learn to dismiss them with a withering look or phrase. But in the meantime, she's going to have to put up with ignorami who think the only disabilities are the ones that involve wheelchairs.

H/T to Amy the Advice Goddess, who, I hasten to add, doesn't strike me as ignorant. She does, however, strike me as both funny and right on target much of the time.

Perfectly understandable

He played the same Elvis song over and over again until she stabbed him with scissors. A fairly restrained response, if you ask me.
PERTH, Australia -- A woman stabbed her boyfriend with a pair of scissors because he repeatedly played the Elvis Presley hit "Burning Love" on the King's birthday, police said Tuesday.

The 35-year-old man was treated for six stab wounds to his head, back and legs at the hospital in the farming town of Northam in Western Australia state late Monday night but was allowed to go home, state police spokeswoman Ros Weatherall said.

Ain't love grand? H/T to Peculiarosities.

Society to Cut Up Men

Valerie Solonas would make a good guest-blogger at Pandagon or I Blame the Patriarchy. (I'm beginning to be unsure if the latter is really subtle parody or not.)

From the SCUM Manifesto:
It is now technically possible to reproduce without the aid of males (or, for that matter, females) and to produce only females. We must begin immediately to do so. Retaining the male has not even the dubious purpose of reproduction. The male is a biological accident: the y(male) gene is an incomplete x(female) gene, that is, has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.

The male is completely egocentric, trapped inside himself, incapable of empathizing or identifying with others, of love, friendship, affection or tenderness. He is a completely isolated unit, incapable of rapport with anyone. His responses are entirely visceral, not cerebral; his intelligence is a mere tool in the service of his drives and needs; he is incapable of mental passion, mental interaction; he can't relate to anything other than his own physical sensations. He is a half-dead, unresponsive lump, incapable of giving or receiving pleasure or happiness; consequently, he is at best an utter bore, an inoffensive blob, since only those capable of absorption in others can be charming. He is trapped in a twilight zone halfway between humans and apes, and is far worse off than the apes because, unlike the apes, he is capable of a large array of negative feelings - hate, jealousy, contempt, disgust, guilt, shame, doubt - and, moreover, he is aware of what he is and isn't.

The hell of it is, this isn't parody. She's serious. (And, thank God, incarcerated.) Read the whole thing, and cringe.

Better a dinner of herbs...

Read this at Waiterrant and see if you don't just hurt for the woman.
The man orders an appetizer, soup, and the rack of lamb. When I turn to the wife she’s holding the menu in one hand and a Weight Watcher’s point book in the other.

“Oh, I don’t know what I can have,” the woman pouts.

“Oh for Chrissake’s pick something,” the husband says. What a nice supportive spouse.

Read through to the end. She should have married a waiter. If I ever treat my wife like anything less than the treasure she is, don't bother to shoot me. Just put me on the curb with the rest of the trash.

Thanks to Julie D.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Eichmann and Mengele were comfortable, too

From an ABC interview with the Arkansas Abortionist:
For years, he has been performing three abortions before lunch and three after, four days a week. He is unabashed, some would say shameless, in recommending the procedure. He has argued with everyone who has challenged his position, from local officials to protesters who oppose abortion, some of who firebombed his clinic in 1985.

And he remains entirely unambiguous when it comes to the fundamental issues at stake when considering to terminate a pregnancy.

"I consider the mother's life to be much more important than that little blob of tissue, and that's all it is at that time," he said.

I challenged him on this point, saying that this little blob to which he refers has by 20 days a beating heart and by 40 days a brain that's directing the functions of all the major organs.

The doctor conceded to me that all of that is true — and that he's comfortable with killing this notion of life.

Work makes free, and murder makes born again!

Just answer the question, Judge!

Jeff Goldstein should be bottled and dispensed only under prescription.
Biden: “With all due respect, Judge, don’t dodge the question. Will you or will you not allow hillbillies to take control of a woman’s uterus by removing it from her body and using it as a kind of mini-accesorized rucksack? A simple yes or no will do, sir!”

Read the whole thing with an absorbant pad of some kind on your chair.

Left-wing comic says more than the author intended

It's supposed to be a jab at wiretapping and torture apologists, but it doesn't take much of a stretch to make a few adjustments like filling in "fetus" for "kitten," and get the pro-abort party line. My hammer, my choice!

H/T to Washington State Political Report. Original cartoon here. I'm on the opposite side from this guy's politically, but cartoons like his mark a worthy adversary.

"Red Communist parasite snakes of hell"

As Dave Barry would say, that sounds like a good name for a rock band.

The Crusty Curmudgeon heard a hoot of a radio show that proves once again that the Fundie fringe is weirder than we ever suspected. There are more things in the airwaves, Horatio...

Bless me, Father... are you getting this down?

I can't believe a judge has the gall to screw around with the seal of the confessional. Especially since the only thing that's going to happen is a contempt citation. Never give orders that you know won't be obeyed. Ed Peters has the relevant Canon Law information.
In his order, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz writes that Monsignor Michael Lenihan cannot assert "clergy privilege" to avoid revealing whether he heard confessions of a deacon accused of sexual abuse.

Fromholz writes that "the penitential privilege protects 'a communication made in confidence"' but "does not prohibit the disclosure of the fact that the communication occurred."

The church argued that all communications between a priest and a bishop are privileged. A church attorney said some priests might continue to refuse to answer questions despite the ruling.

Damn right they will. Yes, I have respect for the law of the land, but we're talking about two conflicting legal systems here, and a priest is still going to answer first to ecclesiastical law, even if the state punishes him for it. Peter and Paul did it, Ignatius did it, More did it. And under a lot stiffer penalties. If Msgr. Lenihan doesn't stand up for his vows (although I think he will), he's not fit to wear the stole.

As the preacher noted below, the Church is older than the State, and it will outlast it, too. The judge is badly outmatched this time.

H/T to Catholic Überblogger Mark Shea.

Maybe a bridge wasn't the smartest place to play this game

It's all fun and games until the bomb squad shows up.
While conducting a routine inspection on September 27, an Idaho Department of Transportation inspector noticed something strange on the Rainbow Bridge, located 13 miles south of Cascade on Highway 55. A green bucket held in place with a system of ropes and wires was suspiciously perched underneath one of the struts of the bridge. To be safe, the Boise bomb squad was called in and the highway was closed, stopping traffic for almost seven hours.

Around 2:15 p.m., 33-year old Scot Tintsman from Meridian showed up at the scene to tell police that the object was a "geocache." The bomb squad was called off, the bucket removed and traffic resumed just before 4 p.m. with travelers wondering, "What the heck is a geocache?"

Geocaching is a popular sport--some call it a hobby--where players use handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) units to locate containers stashed in the wilderness and secret urban locations. With technology prices dropping and companies making smaller hand-held GPS units, more and more people are enjoying this modern technological version of a scavenger hunt. But a sport this young still experiences growing pains and players still struggle to learn the rules of the game.

I can't believe I missed this line

Excellent quote in the WaPo from a Baptist preacher on the Alito hearings:
[Rev. Herbert H.] Lusk warned adversaries: "My friends, don't fool with the church because the church has buried a million critics. And those the church has not buried, the church has made funeral arrangement for."

H/T to (of all people) Mel Gibson. I would have been skeptical, but Mark Shea seems to think it's the real McCoy.

Update: Okay, I'm a gullible dork.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Well, that's a relief!

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Are you a heretic?
created with QuizFarm.com

Akubra tip to the also non-monophysite Scott.

No wonder they're attacking so hard!

And here I thought the Kleptocrats were pigpiling on Alito beause he won't promise to protect the abortion industry. Turns out he's got another skeleton in his closet:

And he let that poor slob in Turkey take the rap for it. Expect to see senators leaping on this tomorrow like curs on a femur.

A/T to Lauren at Feministe.

Just a thought

I overheard a snippet of a conversation today and it occurred to me that my children will never understand why it feels ridiculous to call someone on the phone and ask "Where are you?"

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What kind of an object lesson is this?

The inventor of LSD will turn into a two-dimensional, scintillating magenta ocelot 100 years old this week. A happy and surreal birthday to him and his seventeen remaining brain cells.

The funniest blonde joke I've ever seen!

I thought I'd heard them all, being from a Norwegian family, but this is a new one on me! Check it out!

Top 11 Reasons To Go To Work Naked

11. No one ever steals your chair.

10. Gives "bad hair day" a whole new meaning.

9. Diverts attention from the fact that you also came to work drunk.

8. People stop stealing your pens after they've seen where you keep them.

7. So that -with a little help from Muzak- you can add "Exotic Dancer" to your exaggerated resume.

6. You want to see if it's like the dream.

5. To stop those creepy guys in Marketing from looking down your blouse.

4. "I'd love to chip in, but I left my wallet in my pants."

3. Inventive way to finally meet that special person in Human Resources.

2. Can take advantage of computer monitor radiation to work on your tan.

1. Your boss is always yelling, "I wanna see your ass in here by 8:00!"

Via (who else?) Miss Cellania.

I'm pretty sure it's satire...

... but it comes so close to some of the real pro-death, anti-male ranters that it's easy to confuse them. Check out I Blame the Patriarchy, and then compare it to this real pro-abort blog.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Bill would make abortion a felony in Indiana!

This may be a glimmer of hope:
Abortion would be illegal for most women in Indiana, including victims of rape and incest, under a bill filed this week in the Indiana House...

The only exception allowed under House Bill 1096 would be for women whose health or life would be permanently impaired if a pregnancy continued. The bill would define life as beginning at conception and make it a felony to perform all other abortions. Anyone convicted would face up to eight years in prison.

[Rep. Troy] Woodruff said he expected the bill to easily pass the House. But Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Garton, R-Columbus, and Gov. Mitch Daniels questioned the prospects of the proposal.

With a Republican majority in both house and senate, and a Republican governor as well, it looks like there may be a chance for this. Woodruff is gambling on Samuel Alito being confirmed this month before the law is passed and challenged, in the hope that the new Supreme Court will look at it differently from the 1973 court.

The text of the bill is here. Pray harder than ever for an unbiased, NARAL-free Supreme Court.

Update: My LaBW points out that although the bill makes it a felony to perform an abortion, it doesn't make it a crime to obtain one. So there is a penalty for the abortionist, but not for the woman. Which is as it should be. Women make the abortion decision under stress; a doctor doesn't. And a doctor who has spent time in prison is unlikely to be practicing when he gets out. Also as it should be.

Praying hard

Confirmation hearings for Samuel Alito begin today. I have a good deal of confidence that he'll be confirmed, although the Kleptocrats have sworn to block him if they can. I don't think the court will be overturning Roe vs. the Human Race any time soon, but one more fetus-friendly justice could prevent a lot of harm anyway.

Bear in mind that most of the people who are pulling for humanity's Alito's defeat don't pray, and think you're an idiot for doing so. That gives us an advantage: the worshippers of Moloch aren't actively beseeching his help.

John Paul the Great, pray for us!

Note to self:

"Newspaperman" is a job. "Daddy" is a vocation. Do not confuse the two.

They got this picture off my driver's license!

Which prehistoric creature are you?

Grrr arrr Rum and Monkey.

The usual H/T to Miss Cellania.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Ack! Embarassing!

I believe them when they say it was human error. What business would be stupid enough to deliberately link Planet of the Apes to search results for movies about Martin Luther King? Still, of all the embarrassing website gaffes you could make...

Wal-Mart is apparently suspending the system until they work out the glitch. I don't know; I think we could have some fun with this. How about getting Lolita on a search for Jerry Lee Lewis? Or Revenge of the Nerds for Bill Gates? American Gigolo for Bill Clinton? Encino Man for Charles Darwin? Waterworld for Ted Kennedy?

All right, let's make it a meme. I tag Patrick, Julie, Pilgrim and Scott to come up with at least five as bad or worse than these.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

One of my favorite deadly sins!

What Sad Rejected Super Hero Are You?


You're GLUTTONOUS MAN! Born with the bizzare power to spread his massive beer gut out over several miles, Gluttonous Man is able to crush any threat that comes near him. Also any homes, schools, businessess, roads, trees, wildlife, small children, basically anything in his way. But his aim is getting better. It's not easy controlling a giant expanding stomach ya know.
Take this quiz!

Ironically, before I married my LaBW, I was six foot three and weighed somewhere around 130. Her cooking has modified the situation a bit, but I'm not going to be tipping any scales anytime soon. So this may be as close to obesity as I ever get!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


What better way to start off your married life than by deliberately pissing off God?

An audience of One

Christian musician Steve Camp lost his brother Norm this week, and posted this humbling reminder of what it means to serve the Lord with your whole heart:
I wanted you all to meet my brother for he is a rare jewel in the body of Christ. He was a servant, not a star. He was a man of God, not a man of the world. He was not about style, but all about substance. He loved others and thought lowly of himself. He was an athlete in his younger years and really enjoyed life to the fullest—a practical joker at heart. He was patient and longsuffering even in his suffering (he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease seven years ago). We are all different in the body of Christ with different callings, gifts and talents. I have spent most of my Christian life in the public eye as a Christian singer/speaker/writer before audiences in churches, festivals, colleges and civic auditoriums. He spent most of his life simply for the applause of heaven. In my early years of Christian music while I was busy making a name for myself, he was busy promoting the name of Christ. While I was charging for Christian music ministry (until 1994 when the Lord convicted me and no longer charge), he was freely giving his life and the gospel away. While I was rubbing shoulders with the most famous in evangelical circles, he was marching on his knees in the trenches of some of the hardest ministry found any where in the world today. How I treasure and am thankful for Norm...

Our life is a vapor—come and gone so quickly; and only what is done for Christ will last. May we live each day faithfully to the Lord and unselfishly to others—giving our lives away for the glory of the God and not our own. Norm's life could be summed up by the Apostle Paul when he said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; (2 Timothy 4:7). Faithful to the fight; faithful to the finish; faithful to the faith. And now my brother has heard the sweetest words anyone could ever hear from the Lord, “Well done, Norm, thou good and faithful servant.”

What a profound reminder for each of us to live our lives for an “audience of ONE.”

That last phrase is enough to shake you in your boots. An audience of one. There are those whose calling is high-profile; they're called to proclaim the Gospel in the public eye. That doesn't mean they seeek fame; it just means that God's purpose for them is accomplished through their visibility. Then there are some whose service doesn't require publicity but who gain recognition simply because a lot of people see their love for Christ. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta did her work for decades before a journalist happened to notice her and made her ministry world-famous.

But the Lord's biggest labor pool is comprised of the ordinary Joes, who do what they're told and never call a press conference about it. Steve describes a preacher who worked in the shadows. He preached in poor, ravaged and dangerous places, to people who might otherwise never hear the Gospel. He risked his life, but he got no medals for it. No books were written about Norm. No network will ever base a mini-series on his life. Even if Protestants had such a thing, he wouldn't be well-enough known for anybody to start a cause for his canonization. He simply proclaimed the Gospel until he was physically unable, and then went home. And when he arrived, he was met at the gate by the only Person Whose endorsement meant anything to him.

The famous and the obscure servant are the same, really. Only the circumstances differ. In the end, everybody who serves the Lord is performing for an audience of One. Everything else is irrelevant.

May Norm spend eternity basking in the applause.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

So is this average-average, a little more average than not, or what?

"Average" is such a vague term. Unless you're Scott, who measures it for a living.

You Are 60% "Average American"

You are average because you've known your best friend for at least ten years.

You are not average since you don't think affirmative action is necessary.

A/T to the never-average Miss Cellania.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Here it comes

I can already hear the dirty-eared subliterates crowing about this. The Vatican has opened up the archives of the Index of Forbidden Books, and there are a few surprises. Watch the Fundamentalist end of the blogosphere for triumphant reportage that Uncle Tom's Cabin was almost included (See, Romanists are pro-slavery!) and Mein Kampf wasn't (The pope really was in league with Hitler!).

Merely the existence of the Index is upsetting to American Protestants, who nevertheless maintain their own informal Index. (Raise your hand if you've ever actually read, let alone viewed, The Last Temptation of Christ. How about Brokeback Mountain?). But when the Catholic Church reviews the morality of books or other media on an organized basis, it's censorship. In fact, that's the origin of the word "censor." So how long do you think it'll take before anti-Catholic inbreds (the kind who obsessively replace "Catholic" with "Romanist") start parading Papist perfidy over this? I'm watching the search engines to see who's first.

What those guys almost certainly won't take into account is that the censors were actual people, given the job of determining which books were contrary to Christian faith and morals. They weren't empowered to speak ex cathedra; they were merely asked for an educated opinion, which they gave. If they made some choices that today we think were wrong, so what? They didn't have the benefit of hindsight, and the Church is not so monolithic that even Catholics will all agree with them. And I'm prepared to bet that the vast majority of the books on the Index would be offensive to Protestants today as well, and that 99 percent of Protestants have never read a book on the list. (Unless it was a specifically Protestant theological work, of course. In which case you can hardly expect to find a nihil obstat on it anyway.)

H/T to Fr. Tucker. If there's an Index of Required Blogs, Fr. Tucker belongs on it.