Friday, March 31, 2006

And in case you'd forgotten...

One year ago today, Terri Schindler Schiavo went home. Assisted on her way by a culture that values human life according to what it will bring on the market. May God have more mercy on us than we had on her.

All quiet on the blogging front

Sorry for the silence here. My Lovely and Brilliant Wife still hasn't divested herself of the latest addition to our family, and she's feeling it. She can barely get around, and so besides coping with a busy season at work, I'm trying to hold the house together. Blogging has to take a back seat.

On the positive side, it looks like she'll probably drop foal while the kids are home for spring break, including my son Calvin who spends vacations with us. Our doctor's out of town for a few days, so he's waiting to induce until next week (unless little Mona develops her own sense of timing). So we're not merely in the home stretch but actively straining against the ribbon.

Meanwhile, while everybody else is slapping around the pending immigration bnill, take a look at this. I've been a lone voice crying for more immigration, not less, and it's kind of nice to see my attitude echoed by somebody else.
Immigration is not the pox neo-Know Nothings make it out to be. Begin with the astounding influx of illegal immigrants, the vast majority of whom hail from Mexico. While the population includes an eye-popping number of crooks, drug-dealers and would-be welfare sponges, it also provides a helpful prop for sustaining American economic growth and cultural dynamism.

Princeton University sociologist Douglas S. Massey reports that 62 percent of illegal immigrants pay income taxes (via withholding) and 66 percent contribute to Social Security. Forbes magazine notes that Mexican illegals aren't clogging up the social-services system: only 5 percent receive food stamps or unemployment assistance; 10 percent send kids to public schools.

On the work front, Hispanic unemployment has tumbled to 5.5 percent, only slightly above the national average of 4.7 percent and considerably lower than the black unemployment rate of 9.3 percent. Economist Larry Kudlow praises Hispanic entrepreneurship: "According to 2002 Census Bureau data, Hispanics are opening businesses at a rate three times faster than the national average. In addition, there were almost 1.6 million Hispanic-owned businesses generating $222 billion in revenue in 2002."

Think of that next time you hear somebody bellyaching about the brown tide at the border.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Found out a man ain't just being macho

Welcome, visitors from Facebook! Leave a comment and let me know who linked this, would you? It doesn't seem to be anyone I know and I'm curious. Thanks!

Joseph Bayly has some excellent thoughts on the societal current today against masculinity, which caused me to do some thinking on the subject myself. My oldest son just turned 17, and he's going off to college next fall, and I'm afraid for him because he's male in a culture that despises maleness. My next-oldest son doesn't live with me, but with his mother. The first I've only raised for the last three years; the second only during summers. How do you convey to a boy what a man is with that kind of time constraints?

Between the contradictory role models of "new-age sensitive man" and "clueless Tim-Taylor man," it's no wonder today's boys don't know what a man looks like. I'll give you a hint: neither one is accurate, because they're both self-centered and immature. The one is whiny, the other overblown, but both of them are completely missing what a man is and does.

So what does a man do?

A man works. Like a dog if necessary. Not just at a job, but at home, as well, because if anybody tells you that child-raising isn't work, they've been smoking the drapes. A man gets up in the night with a crying baby, or works a double shift, or makes trip after trip with the moving van. If it takes a lot of coffee, drink it. If you don't do it, it won't get done. Rest when things are finished, not when you're tired.

Erma Bombeck once listed off qualities her dad had had, and one of those was that he was always the one who went to the parking lot in the rain to get the car. That's a man. The women and children may stay under the shelter; a man may not. If someone's going to get wet, it should be you.

Ditto with disgusting things. Yes, I'm talking about diapers, but I'm also talking about things like stopped plumbing, pet messes, hairballs, and whatever's in that container in the back of the fridge. Clean it up, gag a couple of times if you must, then go wash your hands. God made your skin washable for a reason.

Tim the Tool Man notwithstanding, no man is born with a knowledge of gadgets and machinery. You acquire it a bit at a time. If you're lucky enough to have a father who is skilled at those things and available to teach you, great. If you're not (as I wasn't), you'll just have to figure it out. When I was in high school, my dad gave me a beater car, and I had to figure out how it worked. I'm still not a mechanic, but I've learned that a screwdriver and a wrench aren't magic wands. Read a manual if it helps, but if you can't, then take the thing apart and try to figure out which part does what. Never let "I don't know how" be an excuse for not doing something. Do or do not; there is no try.

As a man, you are stronger physically than women. You are also bigger than they are and hence intimidating to them, if only on a subconscious level. Never loom over them, never yell at them, never treat them as though they were men. (On the other side of the coin, don't condescend to them either. They're small, not dumb.) Bear in mind that you have all the equipment and strength necessary at any moment to overpower and violate any woman. It's therefore vital that you conduct yourself in a way that makes obvious that you not only wouldn't do something like that, but you'd step in front of a bullet or a grizzly bear to keep her safe. This isn't something you say out loud, but an attitude that stays in the back of your mind.

Men speak a different language from women. You should be able to handle "Woman" as a second language, but it's never going to come naturally to you. Don't make it your native tongue. Women talk through their feelings, but if you do it, it just sounds neurotic. Talk when you have something to convey to someone else.

On the same note, remember that men talk differently according to whether there's a woman present or not. If your vocabulary doesn't run toward vulgarity, good. If someone else's does, live with it. My father is a gentle, polite, soft-spoken man, and my mother knows for a fact that his language is invariably fit for the Ladies' Sewing Circle. She believes this because she's never heard him speak when there are no women around. Some of my most colorful phrases I learned from him.

Religion is not a female thing. I don't mean that it's supposed to be male-dominated, but it is male-led. Look around you at Mass, and see how many families are there without Dad. Don't let yours (when you have one) be one of them. Make sure your kids see you genuflect and kneel. Make sure they know you pray. They may appreciate their mother's faith, but it's yours they'll imitate. If you want to raise Godly sons, show them what one looks like.

Remember that although not every woman is potentially a wife or girlfriend, all of them are still women. Treat every female with the same respect and care you would show a woman you wanted to marry. Believe me, once you master this, you'll never lack for a date when you want one. Kindness, good humor and gentlemanliness aren't just for a girl you're hitting on. They can see through that a mile away. It's how you treat the ones you're not letching after that they'll notice. If you open doors and carry packages as a matter of habit, word gets around. After that, it doesn't matter if you look like Boris Karloff; you'll still be a hot property. And even if you're not looking for a woman at the time, what the heck? It never hurts to be well-liked.

Finally, as a great writer once said, "If my father was the head of the house, my mother was its heart." A man isn't the soft comforting lap the kids sit on to be rocked to sleep, or the kiss that makes owwies all better. He may be called on to do those things sometimes, but he's not really constructed for it. A man is the solidity in his family, the rock that can't be broken. He's also the wall that shields them from storms, and the roof that keeps their heads dry. Which usually means getting rained on or wind-beaten himself. If you don't do that, a woman has to, and it's something they're not constructed for.

That's the essence of being a man. Sometimes what you have to do sucks. That's the way it is. A man has both rights and duties, but when there's a conflict between them, duty always wins. Period. Your rights will be compromised over and over, but your responsibilities must never be. A man does what needs doing and worries about his rights some other time.

Don't be a guy. The world is full of guys. Be a man.*

God's Gold Tooth: Imperfect Prophetic Films

Excellent discussion here of Christianity and movies. Why aren't Christians making more movies that glorify God? Maybe it's because we're afraid to show that Christianity is grittier than the Family Circus, and we'd rather placate the brethren than speak the truth to the world.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Pfft! Now he's gone

Buck Owens now travels in elephants. May God give him the rest he deserves. And may he spend eternity jamming with Bob Wills, Johnny Cash, and all the other legends of America's music.

Updated 3/26 to include picture. I'd rather remember him this way: acting naturally.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Blog newydd!

Well, new to me, anyway. Chris Cope and his Welsh-learner's blog Dw i eisiau bod yn Gymro. Myfi hefyd, Chris!

(He's got a blog in English as well, for the subliterates who can't read Welsh.)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Descendants of genocide victims vow to perpetuate genocide

“To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,” [President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder] said last week. “I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”

You can't make this kind of thing up. Via I Blame the Patriarchy.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Looks like this is it

Christina's contracting like a divorced father's paycheck, and by tomorrow, we'll probably have a new baby. In the meantime, have a more pleasant night than we're likely to, and pray hard!

Wednesday morning update: Rats! It was a false alarm. We've had those before, but this one looked like it was really happening. We had my parents ready to come get the urchins and everything, and then God said, "Psych!" Thanks to everyone who prayed anyway.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Better late than English!

You're 70% Irish

You're very Irish, and most likely from Ireland.
(And if you're not, you should be!)

I wish there'd been a "How Welsh are you" quiz on St. David's Day. Maybe next year.

H/T to Julie, who's technically only 45% but has the heart of a thousand Irishwomen.

Friday, March 17, 2006

But it's safe! Safe, I tell you!

So what if two more women have died from RU-486? That's just anti-choice propaganda! You just want to own our uteruseses, keep us in bondage and punish us for having sex! It's perfectly safe! Stop questioning us, dammit! La, la, la... I'm not listening...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Dan Brown said a mouthful!

A gay porn parody of Dan Brown's controversial novel is due to be released the same day as Ron Howard's film version. They're calling it...

...wait for it...

... are you ready?...

...The Da Vinci Load.

Author mocks Christianity, author gets mocked by someone even more offensive. I love it!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Meet the new rep...

I see State Representative Rodney Tom has bolted the Republican party to run against Luke Esser for the Senate. Tom currently represents the 48th district, which is basically comprised of the really expensive real estate east of Lake Washington. (For those of you who aren't in the Northwest, Tom represents Bill Gates' neighborhood.) Henceforth, he'll be a Kleptocrat.
"I realized the far right has complete control of the party and for me to be effective for my constituents I need to be a Democrat," Tom said today.

He said being a Democrat is not only a better fit for the changing political demographic of the Eastside's 48th Legislative District, but a more comfortable fit for his ideology, which includes support for legal abortion, gay rights and higher taxes for transportation.

Rodney Tom is one of only two Republicans endorsed by Planned Barrenhood, one of four endorsed by the Log Cabin Republicans, and one of five with positive ratings from NARAL. He serves a wealthy clientele constituency (a district that voted overwhelmingly for Kerry in 2004), and he favors unrestricted abortion and higher taxes. So it looks like the only thing that'll be changing is the letter after his name.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Who you callin' Satan?

Pat Robertson is under fire for speaking about Muslims the same way they speak about us. Usually I just find Pat the Mouth kind of embarrassing, but after being called the Great Satan a few too many times, I'm durned if I can find it in my heart to blame him.

Never let faith interfere with political convenience

An honest politician is one who stays bought, said Lazarus Long. He probably wasn't thinking of pseudo-governor Christine Gregoire, but she certainly fits the bill.
SEATTLE -- The Washington State Board of Pharmacy is considering a proposal that would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions like emergency contraception on moral, religious or ethical grounds.

Backers like Rod Shafer, executive director of the Washington State Pharmacy Association, argue that pharmacists should have the right to decline work that conflicts with their beliefs as long as they respect the patient...

Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, has sent the pharmacy board a letter opposing the proposal. At a public hearing in Kent last Friday, most of the more than 100 people who showed up spoke out in favor of it.

I knew it was a setup as soon as I saw that both the "featured speakers" were from pro-death organizations. I expected nothing else from them. But I feel really backstabbed by Gregoire. From her, I did expect better. The uterofascists are cheering. The bishops of her putative faith are not. Which is she listening to? Guess.

There's no secret that her election was rigged. But I never held her responsible for that; her party was behind it. Like it or not, she's occupying the mansion now, and she'll be doing the job until the next sham election. When she admitted to ambivalence about voting in favor of an assisted-suicide initiative, I had some hope that her being Catholic would mean something. But apparently the masters have pulled at her leash, and she has heeled obediently. She not only won't lift a finger to defend life, she actively opposes your right not to kill. Your conscience means nothing to her.

I hope I'm wrong about the extent of her betrayal. I really hope so. But I've hoped that about other CINO politicians, and been disappointed. Forgive me if I don't hold my breath.

Update: Abortion in Washington has a respectful open letter to Christine Gregoire. Stop by and offer your support.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Born in defiance

The book that uterofascists would really, really rather you didn't read:
Mary writes that in 1994 she fell pregnant, and was so sick that she had an ultrasound at 10 weeks to find out what was wrong.

It was only then she learned she was carrying twins. But the second baby was very small.

"This meant the baby was likely to have gross abnormalities because although it's normal for twins to differ in size late in pregnancy and after birth, in early pregnancy they should be exactly the same size to be normal.

"The doctor immediately recommended that I should `terminate that fetus'.

" `You mean kill the baby?' I replied, at which he got a bit upset with me and asked me not to use such language!"

The doctor preferred the term "selective reduction".

Finish the story here. And then see if you can ever stomach the line "It's between a woman and her doctor" again.

A tip of the ol' Akubra to Dawn Eden.

Oh, wouldn't it be nice...

Being a dyed-in-the-wool alternate history fan, I could probably pick a few holes in Louise's extrapolation of what the world would be like without that odious pimple Henry VIII. But what would be the fun in that? It's still a lovely picture.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A question to consider

Are employees of Washington Department of [Vehicle] Licensing offices merely cretins, or actual minions of Satan?


The infinite badassness of Chuck Norris

As if it weren't already a given, Tu Quoque channels Aquinas to prove it – five ways.
The second way is from the nature of the roundhouse kick. In the world of bar fights we find there is an order of roundhouse kicks. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a roundhouse kick is found to be able to hurt Chuck Norris; for so it would be kicking himself (resulting in the destruction of Chuck Norris), which is impossible. Now in roundhouse kicks it is not possible to go on to infinity, because the universe cannot contain more than one Chuck Norris. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no Chuck Norris, there will be no ultimate roundhouse kick, nor any intermediate roundhouse kick, nor anyone's butt to receive the kick; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first roundhouse kicker, to which everyone gives the name of Chuck Norris.

Via Patrick.


Your Love Life Secrets Are

Looking back on your life, you will only have one true love.

You're a little scarred from your past relationships, but who isn't?

You expect a lot from your lover - you want the full package. You tend to be very picky.

In fights, you are able to walk away and calm down. You are able to weather the storm.

Getting over a break-up doesn't take long. Easy come, easy go.

This is another of those quizzes that isn't a dead giveaway as soon as you see the first question. A little predictable, but not obvious. And the results are awfully accurate, although not completely so.

H/T to Miss Cellania, whose secrets are also revealed.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Welcome fellow amateurs!

And boy, didn't my entry on the Amateur Catholic blog look, well, amateurish? The e-mail cut off. In case anybody cares, here's what it was supposed to say:
(Sound of footsteps echoing on a stage, followed by feedback.)
Ahem... The Lord be with you. (Congregation: And also with you.)

I'm not a pagan, or a cult member, or even a heretic.I don't worship statues, or recrucify Christ on an altar, or buy indulgences. I don't know Pope Benedict, or Scott Hahn, or the Black Pope. Heck, I don't even know who the current head of the Jesuits is.

I have a priest, but he's also a pastor, like yours, and I also have a bishop and a pope. I don't speak Latin, at least not much, but I can get through a liturgy in Spanish. I attend a Mass, not a service, and I snooze through a homily, not a sermon, although my nap is a lot shorter. My pastor is a Jesuit, but he's not interested in taking over the world. If he ever achieved global power, he'd probably forget where he put it. He also doesn't molest children, although I've seen him assault a plate of cookies with a ferocity that would do credit to the Mongol hordes.

I can wear little medals of saints around my neck with a clear conscience. I believe in honoring Mary, not worshiping her. I've never burned a heretic or sacked Constantinople in my life, and I don't know anybody who has. A miter is a pointy bishop's hat, and a thurible is a holder for incense, and I pronounce it "a-GUST-in," not "AW-gust-een."

The Roman Catholic Church is the largest religious organization in the world, the oldest Christian church still in existence (no matter what the Orthodox say), and the preserver of Christian civilization in the West.

My name is Joel, and... I... am... a Papist!

(Congregation: Uh... yeah. Amen.)

And no, I'm not a Canadian. I just rip off their commericals. In true amateur fashion.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Much better than being a pansy, I guess

You are an Iris:

You are logical, analytical, dignified, and wise.

You are studious by nature and may prefer

books to people. You tend to be a serious

person but are capable of making others laugh

with your dry sense of humor. Friends always

benefit from your advice.

Symbolism: Over the centuries the iris has come to

symbolize faith, wisdom, hope, and promise in


Which Flower are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Ironically, I dated a woman named Iris for a while, back in my misspent youth. There was nothing studious or dry-humored about her, though.

A tip o' the petals to Julie.

A couple of blogroll additions

First, I'm long overdue in adding It Comes in Pints? to the sidebar. For all the belly laughs I've had at their site, I thank them, and for the oversight, I apologize.

Then one I just ran across today: Conblogeration by Pastor Jeff. If I were Protestant again, this is the kind of guy I'd want for a pastor.

Monday, March 06, 2006

And the abortion violence continues...

The governor of South Dakota has signed a ban on abortion into law. Meanwhile, the violence continues. I eagerly await the denunciations from the uterofascists, just as pro-lifers repudiate violence when it breaks out against abortionists.

Go ahead, I'm waiting...


Still waiting...


[Sound of crickets chirping...]

But as the South Dakota drama unfolds, expect to see a lot more scary stories like this one. Brought to you by the really, really unbiased media. Honestly.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Where is H. L. Mencken when you need him?

A schoolteacher has been sued for bathing too much.
Many people find the sound of running water soothing and peaceful.

Not Marvin and Goldie Smith, who have sued their neighbor over her 5 a.m. baths.

The couple, 83 and 78 respectively, live on the eighth floor of the Polo Club Condominiums near the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. They claim the water pipes they share with the woman below them vibrate so badly they can't sleep through her early morning baths.

The bather - Shannon Peterson, a special education teacher in the Arvada public schools - can't believe she's being sued for bathing before leaving for work...

The Smiths sued Peterson just before Christmas, citing the "reckless and negligent use of her bathtub."

H/T to Overlawyered, which I've just discovered but will make a point of reading from now on. Lots of great stuff there!

Is anybody surprised?

Soviets 'behind pope shooting'
ROME, Italy (AP) -- An Italian parliamentary commission has concluded that the Soviet Union was behind the 1981 attempt to kill Pope John Paul II, a theory long alleged but never proved.

"This commission believes, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the leaders of the Soviet Union took the initiative to eliminate the pope Karol Wojtyla," said a draft of the commission's report, a copy of which was made available Thursday to The Associated Press. Wojtyla was John Paul's Polish name.

What impresses me is that although JPG may well have known about this, he didn't use the fact as a bludgeon on the Soviet Union, even though he was probably the most effective force in the twentieth century behind the fall of communism. He allowed it to die in its own evil, rather than using his personal popularity to hasten the process. He had the bulliest pulpit on earth, but refused to use it to play what would have been dirty pool in the long run.

Santo subito!

Catholic hospitals and canon law

In her comments about the Connecticut law requiring Catholic hospitals to dispense the "Morning After" pill, A Rose is a Rose at the Nutmeg Grater asked me a question I don't have a definite answer for. How much control (and hence, responsibility) does the local bishop have over a Catholic hospital in his diocese? I know they have lots of non-Catholic employees, and receive government funding, but beyond that, where does the ultimate authority reside? Can the bishop simply close the hospital if this law passes? Will Rome hold him responsible if he doesn't, and the hospital gets into the abortifacient business?

I'd really appreciate some information from somebody more familiar with canon law and operations of charities than myself.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Gonna go get a piece of ash!

Not much time for blogging today. Meanwhile, I mustn't forget that in addition to Ash Wednesday, today is also my oldest son's 17th birthday, my little sister's 33rd birthday, and the feast of St. David, patron of Wales. I don't know how old he is.

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant hapus i bawb!