Saturday, June 30, 2007

At last!

The fabled Hillary Clinton-David Goldstein connection. (Didn't you always know in your heart there was one?)

A hearty tip of the ol' Akubra to Number One Son, who'll be voting for the first time this year. I suspect I know where his sympathies lie.

Makes me wonder why I bothered with insurance

$3980.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth

Mingle2 - Online Dating

I used to joke that I stayed underinsured because I felt safer being worth more alive than dead. (Don't laugh; you don't know my ex.) Now I wonder if it made any difference anyway.

Strangely, my Reverend Auntie is worth more than I am, despite being a much earlier model. Some might even say a classic. Then again, some might mutter darkly about expired "use-by" dates.

Just for the heck of it...

... and because My Lovely and Brilliant Pregnosaurus Wife will get a chuckle out of it:

A/T to Miss Cellania. Age cannot wither her...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Seriously cool map

I'm a sucker for maps. Any kind of maps. I'll sit and look through an atlas for hours as if it were the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

So my Lovely and Brilliant Wife sent me this interactive historical map of Europe. You can go century by century from the year 1 to 2000, and see what peoples occupied which regions and which long-forgotten kingdom, empire or tinpot duchy was where.

I'm in grave danger of sitting and playing with this thing and neglecting my work.

Classroom skit

This is a hoot, in a really, really sick way. Clean, but I still feel like a horrible person for laughing so hard.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Quickie prayer request

I just got a phone message at home from a place I sent a resume to, and I'll be going home at lunchtime to return the call. I never expected to hear from this office, and it's remotely possible it could involve a serious career improvement. It's a long shot, but then, with God there are no long shots. I'd be grateful for prayer if anybody sees this.

Update: I'm still playing phone tag. I'm sorry for being vague, but I'd just as soon not go into details. Honestly, I figured what I had applied for was a pipe dream.

And I haven't failed to notice that the people who jumped in with offers to pray are ones who, I gather, don't make a habit of prayer. So especially from you, that means a lot. Thanks, guys.

Updated Update (Thursday morning): Spoke briefly with the chap, and he's going to call me back this afternoon and set up an interview. I actually sent the resume in for something a bit different from what I'm hoping to get, but if I can impress him, I may have a whole new career ahead of me, one I've wanted to get into for years. (And one that pays enough to support a family on.)

You've sold me

I'm of two minds on Scott Hahn. On the one hand, I really enjoy his apologetics and explanations of matters that seem weird to Protestants. His Hail Holy Queen was excellent, and I loved A Father Who Keeps His Promises, too. On the other hand, he has a condescending air that gets really old really fast. I like reading him as long as I can recall that I'm on the same side as him theologically.

So after reading Jeremy Lott's review of his latest book, which isn't an apologetic per se but a guide for giving apologetics, I think I'll have to make this one I buy as soon as I can swing it.
While addressing unbelievers, Mr. Hahn avoids the common Protestant mistake of quoting the Bible at them as though that should settle the argument. ("No, the Bible is true. See, it says so right here.") When speaking of Protestants, however, he takes great pains to explain to fellow Catholics that it's okay to go verse for verse with our dear "separated brethren." He has to argue thus because the Good Book tends to serve a different function in Catholic and Protestant churches.

He's got a point: Protestants sometimes attack the Mass as "unbiblical," but that's patently false to anyone who has (a) read much of the Bible and (b) attended Catholic worship. The text of the Mass, which good Catholics attend at least once a week, is saturated with Scripture. Many of the short sayings are Bible verses, and the order of service has three readings — one from the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament), one from a Gospel and one from a non-Gospel New Testament book — along with a recitation of a Psalm and the Lord's Prayer.

There are many reasons why Catholics are reluctant to argue with Protestants about Scripture. The largest reason isn't their ignorance of the text as such but their relationship to it. Private Scripture reading by Catholics is encouraged — you can get an indulgence for it — but the public proclamation of the Word is what's important. The people stand when the Gospel is read and cross themselves three times, over their forehead, mouth and heart, out of respect and reverence. There is a sense, mistaken but understandable, that arguing about something so sacred would cheapen it.

A plea for divine mercy

Lord, I know You've been occasionally a tad, shall we say, harsh with mankind. A flood, ten plagues, mosquitoes, the Black Death... these are things we've come to associate with Your wrath. And no argument, we've deserved it.

But whatever You do, please, please, don't inflict this on us. Have mercy. We can't have sinned that badly.

Dire prophetic warning via Ken.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

As usual...

... Orson Scott Card makes good sense.
Only fools believe that an enemy cannot do what he threatens to do.

The Brits really believed that because they had a long reputation for ruling the ocean, Germany could not really challenge them. They ignored all the intelligence reports about Germany's effort to rebuild its army and, particularly, its air force.

They seemed to believe that just by being Britain, they could stop Germany whenever they wanted to.

Similarly, Americans seem to think that no matter what weapons Iran develops, when it becomes necessary we can stop them.

Well, maybe. But right now we could stop Iran without any threat of their detonating nuclear weapons anywhere. In a year or two or five (estimates vary, but the inevitability is not denied anywhere), we will have to stop Iran while facing the threat of the use of nuclear weapons against our armies.

If we invade a nuclear Iran, they will simply detonate nuclear weapons over their own soil to destroy our armies. And there is no technology currently foreseen that could stop them.

It's not encouraging, but regrettably, he's right all across the board. Americans don't like war, and that's a good thing. But I don't think we're going to be able to avoid it. The question is whether we wait long enough to be assured of defeat.

Maybe it should be called a golf coarse

These people have poisoned the well for every man who golfs. "Honest, honey, it's just a golf game. No lap dances. I promise!"

Fortunately, I don't golf myself. I figure if I ever have the urge to do something like that, I'll just take up a drug habit instead. It's cheaper, I'd get more time with my family, and I'd be able to quit easier.

Monday, June 25, 2007

New blog!

A few weeks ago I quoted Gigantor's Blogger profile, where he described the need for God's word in these terms:
* I love mathematics and the sciences * physics * chemistry * astronomy but my number 1 passion is expositional study of the Word of God. I am addicted * hooked * if God's word were a monkey it would be on my back and I would feed until it over took me.

Now he's started bloggng at (appropriately enough) The Monkey on my Back. He and I disagree on an awful lot of things, but not on love for the Lord. Stop on over and welcome Gigantor to the blogosphere.

Pro-abortion brownshirts: Coming next for the doctors

One more step in the battle to render the health care professions Katolischenfrei:
Whether you're asking about birth control, STDs or infertility, these discussions can be tinged with self-consciousness, even embarrassment. Now imagine those same conversations, but supercharged by the anxiety that your doctor might respond with moral condemnation — and actually refuse your requests.

That's exactly what's happening in medical offices and hospitals around the country: Catholic and conservative Christian health care providers are denying women a range of standard, legal medical care. Planned Parenthood M.D.s report patients coming to them because other gynecologists would not dole out birth control prescriptions or abortion referrals. Infertility clinics have turned away lesbians and unmarried women; anesthesiologists and obstetricians are refusing to do sterilizations; Catholic hospitals have delayed ending doomed pregnancies because abortions are only allowed to save the life of the mother. In a survey published this year in The New England Journal of Medicine, 63 percent of doctors said it is acceptable to tell patients they have moral objections to treatments, and 18 percent felt no obligation to refer patients elsewhere. And in a recent poll, nearly 1 in 20 respondents said their doctors had refused to treat them for moral, ethical or religious reasons. "It's obscene," says Jamie D. Brooks, a former staff attorney for the National Health Law Program who continues to work on projects with the Los Angeles advocacy group. "Doctors swear an oath to serve their patients. But instead, they are allowing their religious beliefs to compromise patient care. And too often, the victims of this practice are women."

Obscene? I daresay it is. Who do these doctors think they are? It's their job to follow orders, dammit, just like at Nuremberg and My Lai. If it meanns excommunication (and if you're Catholic, prescribing an abortifacient does mean that), then that's just the price you pay for obedience to a higher good.

Last year, pharmacists were slapped down for refusing to fill doctors' prescriptions for abortifacients. After all, shouted the uterofascists, a doctor knows what's best for the patient. A doctor's word is final, or at least it was before they started getting all uppity. Now those doctors figure they ought to be able to be members of their religion and physicians. That will be corrected shortly, as it becomes possible to simply deny admission to medical schools to practicing Christians. But in the meantime, those pesky discrimination laws make it necessary to take a slower approach. First they came for the pharmacists...

Once again we see that "choice" means doing as you're damn well told. And if you belong to a religion that the abortion industry finds unacceptable, then you'll convert or suffer the consequences. Kind of like radical Islam, but with better-looking belts.

A/T to Catholic Überblogger Mark Shea.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What's My Blog Rated? From Mingle2 - Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Apparently the bulk of the reason was the use of the word "abortion," which occurred 12 times. There was "death" twice, and "ass" twice, at least one of which actually referred to the animal (over in the sidebar).

But "abortion" is cause for an NC-17 rating? I guess pro-life talk just isn't suitable for moldable young minds.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This woman needs to be legal now

I tend to avoid getting into illegal immigration on this blog, becuase I have some very mixed feelings about the issue as a whole.

But this time I don't have any ambivalence whatsoever. I don't care how wet or dry this woman's back is; her bill has been paid. In full, and with extreme interest. I hope Senator Kerry can get her a receipt.

Monday, June 18, 2007

We are all Paris Hilton

As a firm believer in the free market and the American way, I had to stop in my tracks when I read this from Jon Swift. I feel his pain, as I must feel hers.
What has always made America different from other countries is that every citizen has an equal opportunity to become rich or, at least, to inherit great wealth. That is the American dream. That is why most Americans oppose high taxes for the wealthy and death taxes because they know that someday they might be well off themselves.

But the tragic saga of Paris Hilton has shattered that dream. How can we possibly have faith in the American system of justice when we see that despite having access to the best lawyers money can buy, Paris Hilton can be treated so cruelly? What hope do we have for the future when we see that even if we become a wealthy celebrity, we might still be subject to the harsh vagaries of the law.

First they came for Paris Hilton and I did not speak up because I was not Paris Hilton.

Suddenly, candlelight vigils and 24-hour coverage just seem so... inadequate.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

I was going to write a long, involved post for Father's Day, but on the whole, I think I'd rather just sit around and enjoy being a dad.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Some things are self-demonstrating

My mom (a formidable woman with a doctorate in education, whom I contradict with care) firmly believes that sex roles are learned responses, not innate. But she's not in my living room at the moment, to see 1-year-old Mona carrying on an involved conversation with a stuffed elephant, while 3-year-old Dai (short for David) is "fixing" the vacuum cleaner by pounding on it with a plastic hammer. Some things you just don't have to argue.

Who will fill the great men's shoes?

In the comments about Ruth Bell Graham below, Paul brought up something that's been nagging at me ever since. Who, he asks, will our children look up to as the great men of God?

That's a really good question. In our lifetime (Paul and I are about the same age, and I guess most of my other readers are close, too), there have been a few men we could point to who were genuine men of God. Billy Graham is an obvious one. So is John Paul II. Both of these men were uniters in the true sense; they were loved by their own co-religionists and respected by those outside their own folds. They brought honor to the name of Jesus even among unbelievers. Both of them held true to their vows - one in marriage, one in celibacy - resisting that temptation that so often brings down clergymen of charisma. Both of them remained solid in the teachings they embraced, not watering down nor shifting themselves to be more acceptable to others. Both of them spoke the truth in all things, and both of them were quick to come publicly to the side of sinners. And despite (or perhaps because of) their differences between the two, they became close friends and brothers in the Lord.

I'm not trying to lionize Graham and John Paul here. There are any number of others out there whose work in the Lord's fields has yielded a strong harvest. But I chose those two examples because (a) they were the sort of men a Christian could imitate without hypocrisy, and (b) they're gone. Well, John Paul the Great is, and Billy Graham is likely to follow his wife at any time.

When we came of age in the 70s and 80s, my two examples were already old men, and well-established in the world. but who will there be for our children? When our kids come of age in this decade and the next, whom will they have to look up to? Are there men (and women) out there whom they can take as Christian role models? Ones who don't play to the cameras, who take vows and commitments seriously, who love Jesus more than they love political influence?

I can think of a few people who I think will have an impact in their elder years (assuming they stand firm), but I don't know if they'll ever be highly visible enough to inspire a generation. One who leaps to mind is Fr. Frank Pavone. He's obscure now, but I'll bet he won't be in ten years or so. I'd also like to see Frederica Mathews-Green come to the forefront more. She's the epitome of a faithful Christian feminist, the sort of woman I wouldn't mind my daughters emulating. It may be that Franklin Graham will be a fit successor to his father, but that's a huge shadow to escape.

Readers, can you think of anybody that you think can fill such huge shoes? We're not looking for divisive political figures here; there's a reason Billy Graham is respected outside the faith and Pat Robertson isn't. I'm especially curious to hear from the non-Christians out there. What Christian leader would you single out as the genuine article?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

She's gone

Ruth Bell Graham now travels in elephants. I know Protestants can't be officially canonized, but I wouldn't mind seeing her cause come up if that ever changed. Her husband may have been the one in the spotlight, but she was behind the scenes cheering him on and giving him strength. I'm betting he'll join her within six months.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her.

Update: Because Paul asked (blaming it on his wife), here's a copy of the story The Man Who Traveled in Elephants. You'll see why it fits the occasion. Have a hanky ready.

A newspaperman's decalogue

Dave got the ball rolling on this one, all unintentionally, by posting his Business Process Manager's Prayer. Then Ken sidestepped the thing but exhorted the rest of us to take a stab at it.

Trouble is, my job at The Greatest Newspaper in the Northwest™ is kind of hard to define. I used to be the cut-and-paste guy, back when we used hot wax and exactos, and then it kind of evolved into what they call "Special Sections Manager." It means I handle the advertising supplements and "custom publications" that would otherwise fall into the cracks between the news and advertising departments. (There are some examples here. On those I do the writing (some of it, anyway), editing and layout, but there are also a bunch of little things that have kind of been dropped on my desk for lack of anybody else to assign to them. (Not to mention maintaining the website, which I'm learning from scratch.) A few years ago, I was the Lord of the Exacto; today, I just call myself the Layout Guru.

So here's my Ten Commandments:

1. I, even I, am Joel thy layout guru, which will be creating the publication that payeth thy mortgage. Thou shalt not piss me off.

2. Thou shalt not make unto me any illegible graven image, so shall thine ads and thy stories be perfect in thy sight.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of Joel thy layout guru in vain; neither shalt thou go tattling to the publisher when thou gettest not thy way.

4. Remember the deadline, to keep it holy. Thou hast had three weeks in which to turn in thy copy; woe be unto thee if thou sit upon it until the day on which it is to print. Five days shall I labor to complete thy project, but for the sixth and seventh I get no overtime, and would rather be home with a cold beer.

5. Honor thy pressmen and thine ad setters, that they may not come back bellyaching to me about thy treatment of them.

6. Thou shalt not cancel projects on which I have just spent thirty sleepless, breakless hours.

7. Thou shalt not drag me into thy silly-ass disputes with other salespeople. Verily, I give not a rat's patoot who said what to whom.

8. Thou shalt keep thy grubby hands off my desk. Yea, though it looketh like a job for FEMA, yet do I know where all things are hid, and will be mightily wroth should they be moved.

9. Thou shalt not throw thy layout guru under the bus when a customer complaineth about thine abjectly stupid screw-up. Face up to thine own incompetence.

10. Thou shalt not covet my job, for lo, it could be done by a trained chimp, except that the chimp would require too many shekels.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

McCain goes after Romney's record on abortion

I'm not surprised. This one is bound to get sound-bitten to death.
Arizona Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign issued a stinging attack on GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney's stance on abortion Wednesday.

McCain's camp claimed a new YouTube video indicates the former Massachusetts governor supported maintaining abortion rights in his state six months after he opposed such rights.

Romney has said he started opposing abortion rights in November 2004 while he was governor of Massachusetts after a conversation with a stem-cell researcher made him feel the value of human life had been diminished.

But in a new video the McCain campaign posted to the popular video sharing site YouTube, Romney says in a May 2005 press conference, "I am absolutely committed to my promise to maintain the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion and choice and so far I've been able to successfully do that. And my personal philosophical views about this issue is not something that I think would do anything other than distract from what I think is a more critical agenda."

Romney vetoed legislation that would have expanded stem cell research in Massachusetts on the same day he made the statement according to The Associated Press.

Romney supported abortion rights before changing his stance on the issue during the stem cells debate and vowed not to change Massachusetts abortion laws while was governor despite personally opposing abortion, the AP reported.

In a statement titled "Mitt vs. Fact," McCain spokesman Matt David said Romney's "biggest challenge in this election will be convincing Republicans he has principled positions on important issues, especially now that it's known that he remained committed to pro-choice policies after his 'epiphany' on abortion in 2004."

The part McCain doesn't seem to understand is "I am absolutely committed to my promise to maintain the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion...". In other words, Romney promised not to change the abortion laws, and he didn't change the abortion laws. That's inconsistent?

Would somebody like to explain (slowly, and in short words) to McCain what it means to be absolutely committed to a promise? He may find it informative.

Ruth Graham is fading fast

Last report is that she's in a coma, and not expected to come out. She's stood quietly behind her husband for better than six decades. While he was being the unofficial chaplain to presidents and the best-known evangelist of our time, she was the spine that made him stand straight. May the Lord welcome her into His kingdom with all the honor she never sought on earth.

Things a cop knows

One of my guilty pleasures is reading cop blogs. I don't hanker to be one, but I'm darn glad they're out there. I live in a small town where the cops are often bored enough to hassle me over things like turn signals, and all things considered, I'm just as glad they have the time to.

I don't understand people who think cops are their social inferiors. I always address a policeman as "sir," even if he's like half my age. (Which is beginning to happen.) As far as I'm concerned, people who say things like "I pay your salary, pig!" deserve to get their money's worth, delivered with rubber gloves.

So I got a chuckle when I saw The Enforcer's list of things he had learned as a cop. Some of the best ones:
• The running speed of a German Shepherd is at least twice that of the average out-of-shape tweaker. If you are going to attempt to outrun one, please calculate the "Rate x Time = Distance" formula ahead of time if you want to avoid getting bit.

• If they say they "just met" another person, then they are close friends who just committed a crime and don't want to be implicated with aforementioned friend.

• Anyone who goes out of their way to acknowledge you is hiding something. Anyone who goes out of their way to ignore you is hiding something. 

• If you borrowed a BMW from a friend it's not unreasonable to expect you to know your friend's last name. 

• If you rob a gas station you're only going to get $20, but I get to see a large K-9 dog use your arm as a chew toy. For all I care you can keep the $20. 

• If I can see a 12 year old in your house finishing a beer bong I don't need a warrant. 

• If I ask you the day or month you were born and you have to think about it I don't believe your answer. 

• If the company you entertain includes crack, meth, and/or heroin users I may act like a professional when you call me for the burglary report but I'm secretly laughing my ass off at the poetic justice of the situation. 

• Speaking to me and starting your phrase with, "Screw you, you can't do..." will quickly make you the victim of your own ignorance. 

• If you look right then left more than once while talking to my face, you are about to wear handcuffs or sit in the back seat of my unit, I do not like foot pursuits. 

• If I ask you "is there anything in the car that's illegal" and you say "not that I know of" or "there shouldn't be".....I get very's like Christmas morning.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A legacy of curiosity

Moses Lake is a small town, but it's still fun to see family in the paper. And when your auntie is one of the Town Characters, it happens from time to time. She got profiled today at the Greatest Newspaper in the Northwest™.

As quirky as she comes across in the article, she's a hundred times more fun in real life. I wasn't born into her family, but I'm proud to have been absorbed into it, and she's one of the reasons I love it so much.

It's hard to imagine my uncle rolling cigarettes in his sleeve, though. Her, I could picture doing that. Him, no.

Friday, June 08, 2007

You can't jail me! I've got hooters!

Imagine the scenario:

A man kills his wife, by shooting her in the back in her sleep, then makes a run for it with his three daughters. He claims that she battered him and he had no choice. He doesn't present any evidence of physical abuse, and people who knew her say she wasn't a violent person. He does, however, have a financial secret he didn't want her to find out about. His excuse is that he was under a lot of stress and wasn't really responsible for his actions.

How much time would he serve in prison?

Not 60 days in a mental-health facility, I'll tell you what.

And can you imagine any court in America giving him custody of the kids after he killed their mother?

Me either. Breasts=Get Out of Jail Free card. Must be nice.

Ready in thirty minutes or it's...

... Aaaauuugggggh!

A/T to Jim Romanesko, who always delivers news hot out of the oven.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Found it!

Pintster Ken posted a link to a banned commercial, and it got me thinking about the one I saw back in the early 90s that got pulled after just a couple of airings. Here it is, and you can see why.

I remember watching it and thinking it was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen. Apparently someone else didn't. People who can't handle black humor should stick to watching the Hallmark Channel.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Monkey on my back

I've gotten into a discussion over at Steve Camp's blog over sola fide and the role of works. The chap I've been debating with (who's been a gent about it, BTW), I clicked over to his blogger profile out of curiosity, and found myself slapped with a wonderful summing-up of the desire for Christ:
* I love mathematics and the sciences * physics * chemistry * astronomy but my number 1 passion is expositional study of the Word of God. I am addicted * hooked * if God's word were a monkey it would be on my back and I would feed until it over took me.

I love the Bible, but I wouldn't have thought of it in those terms. May the Lord make me just as addicted to His word.

What were you doing ten years ago?

Looking for a job? Having a brace put on your teeth?

I ran across this post at File It Under where Rob ponders what-all has changed (or not) in his life since 1997. Since it didn't occur to him to make a meme out of it, I'll just have to do it myself.

1997: A Siamese cat called Abishag, who was beautiful, unmated, and lay down with me to keep me warm.
2007: With seven-and-a-fraction kids, who has time for a pet? Besides, it would just get lost in the girls' room and we'd find it feral years later.

Largest Concern:
1997: Single parenting and finding a job, any job.
2007: Trying to support a huge family on that same dead-end job.

Biggest problem:
1997: Not enough money to pay the bills.
2007: Not enough money to pay the bills.

What I do for fun:
1997: Watch 30s and 40s movies on the VCR.
2007: Watch 30s and 40s movies on the DVR.

My advice to the "youth of America"
1997: That college degree won't net you a job, no matter what the admissions people tell you.
2007: Pull up your pants, learn to make eye contact, and for the love of God get that thing out of your eyebrow.

My politics:
1997: Libertarian, leaning toward the militia movement.
2007: Fairly libertarian, but with a strong pro-life focus.

Message to the President:
1997: I don't care if you lift every skirt east of the Mississippi, just quit handing the country over to the Chinese.
2007: Hang in there, sir. Illegitimi non carborundum.

Okay, now I'm tagging Brian, Pilgrim, Hindu, Ricki and Ken. Extra points to anybody who remembers where the line about the braces came from.

Looking at a new Dawn

Well, actually the same Dawn, but in a new job! Seems the Queen of the Pro-Life Bloggers has been tapped to head up the Newman Society's Love and Responsibility program. After all the dreck she's been through in her professional life for championing chastity and life, nobody could deserve it more. Congratulations, Petite Powerhouse!

You are old, father William...

Happy birthday to Brian, who's always going to be just a tad older than me!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Why Mister Rogers was the best neighbor ever

15 excellent reasons at Mental Floss. My favorite one:
2. He Made Thieves Think Twice
According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town. Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.”

I have no trouble believing this. None at all. H/T to the lovely Miss Cellania.

Pro-abortion brownshirts right behind them

Because "choice" means doing as you're damn well told.

Again via Mark Shea, a pharmacy that has the gall to decide what they want to sell, without the permission of Planned Parenthood:
A Great Falls pharmacy's decision to phase out the sale of prescription birth control pills for moral reasons is stirring a small firestorm of controversy locally and a buzz of criticism nationwide on women's health Web sites.

The state of Montana has no law that requires pharmacists to carry all prescription products, but some women's groups fear it's part of a national trend by activist pharmacists to restrict use of birth control pills.

The new owners of Snyder Drug, Stuart and Kyla Anderson and Kurt and Kori Depner, say they started phasing out the filling of oral contraceptive prescriptions in early May for moral and business reasons.

They are not accepting any new prescriptions for the drugs and have told current customers they will stop filling oral contraceptive orders when their existing supply runs out, probably in a month or two, Stuart Anderson said.
The pharmacy, at 2516 6th Ave. N. in the Northside Shopping Center, didn't fill too many prescriptions for oral contraceptives anyway, Kyla Anderson said, and didn't make much of a profit from those sales.

However, that's not the main reason for the policy change, the couples said.

Certain oral contraceptives and Plan B, the so-called "morning-after pill," are "abortifacients" that can work by inhibiting fertilized eggs from implanting on the womb, which the pharmacy's owners consider immoral abortion, the Andersons said.

They are devout Catholics and do not believe in abortion, they added. Stuart Anderson said they made their decision as individuals and are not part of a national movement.

But Jill Baker, education director of Planned Parenthood of Montana, said the decision by the owners of Snyder Drug "denies women access to basic health care.

Basic health care, my ass. When Planned Parenthood gets outraged over a pharmacy that won't sell me heart medicine, I'll believe they're interested in something besides narrowing all choices down to theirs.

Gay Brownshirts on the March

British Gay activists want to strip the Catholic Church of its schools for obsitinately persisting in Catholicism.

I'm the last guy to downplay the nastiness of bullying, as I made clear last year. I doubt very much that Catholic schools actually intend to countenance bullying. What I would certainly find objectionable in their position is having policies dictated to the school by Stonewall, an organizaton whose sole purpose is the destruction of those standards to which the Church adheres. It would be like having all-black schools handed their policies by the Ku Klux Klan, and shut down if they complained.

No, the real purpose here is to punish the Church, or any other organization that maintains that homosexual behavior is (or even can ever be) a sin. It's a tool that can be used to crush dissent. "How dare those Papists continue to believe that something we... we... do is a sin? They must be silenced!"

Think it can't be done? It's happened before. A long time ago, true, but under similar circumstances. The Church believed things that the government disapproved of, and the givernment retaliated. Eventually, of course, it was banned outright.

A tip of the Akubra to Mark Shea, the Godfather of St. Blog's Parish, for both the link and the title.

Monday morning coffee snorter

I saw this cartoon at Wicked Thoughts this morning, and I couldn't resist. It's sorta bawdy, so you'll have to follow the link.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Pray like mad!

Remember the little boy with cancer I asked for prayers for a couple of weeks ago? Well, it's not looking good. If you're someone who prays, please do so now. God is bigger and meaner than cancer.

It's still a sick idea

I guess I got suckered. Turns out the "Big Donor Show," where they give some lucky winner a chance not to die of kindey failure, is a hoax. I don't know which is worse, that they used this stunt to "raise awareness," or that it seemed plausible enough to be real.

No more pencils, no more books...

... no more dead kitties hanging in the trees?

What a marvelous way to mark your entry into adulthood!

Can you tell it's been a long week?

One of my co-workers handed me a card this morning, where I'm supposed to write down my "hopes and dreams" and then mail it in to some charity or other. Cute but harmless.

I'm wondering what would happen if I sent back hopes and dreams that involved nylon rope, a linoleum knife, and a terrified co-ed on a moonless night by the river. Just to see if anybody would follow up on it.

This is what happens when I go in too early on a Friday morning.