Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
"If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention," said Hastings. "Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through."
Not surprisingly, the Palin campaign isn't commenting. Not that they really need to. Best thing is to let this bozo keep talking.
I've been wanting for a long time to post the recipe, but I lost it in a hard drive crash. Fortunately, another former member of the list preserved it verbatim, so I'm passing it on just as he gave it to me:
(yup, that's my other name from times past!)
COSAS PARA COMPRAR AL MERCADO:
1 lb ground meat
2 lg cans crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 white onion
1-1/2 lb or so sharp (charp!) cheddar or white cheese
3 large jalapenos (or enough to heat it all up a bit or a lot depending on how macho--Chicano you are.)
2 tbs. chile powder (pref. Chipotle but good ol' red will do) 1 tsp. cumino
1 can black olives
1 large pkg. cream cheese
Green onions (so-called scallions on the east coast)
2 dozen or so corn tortillas
oil (lots of it)
Chips of choice
Guacamole (Another easy thing, Cocinero. Just blend together ripe, soft avocado--of course without the skin burro!--a little lemon juice, salt, and hot sauce to taste ( If you're going to buy some, I really like "Cholula" brand. Blend in food processor until a little chunky...do it esse, it's so easy.)
Refried beans (Go ahead, esse, make you own, its ezzzzzzzy with una poca manteca or bacon grease, salt and chile powder. Smash those suckers up and fry til smooth and hot, put cheese on top with salsa....saboroso!) salt to taste
Grate queso (OK, cheese) and set aside
In a blender or food processor, put jalapenos, chile powder, cumino, 1/3 cup (mas o menos) cilantro, 4 green onions, tsp. or so salt, half of can of crushed tomatoes, and blend.
Put 2 tbs. oil in bottom of deep pot, heat and brown 2 tbs. flour. Add sauce blend along with rest of crushed tomatoes into pot. Add can of tomato paste.
Simmer for a long time while you snooze una siesta....or at least 20 min. Fry meat, drain fat (this is just a small gesture toward health), put in bowl with cream cheese and half the onion chopped, stir until meat, onions and cream cheese are blended
Fry the tortillas in hot oil just until soft (!no mas!)and set aside.
Spoon about a heaping tbs. spoon into a tortilla along with a small handful of cheese and roll into enchilada. Place in baking dish. Continue until something runs out--either ingredients or your patience.
Pour sauce over rolled enchiladas, top with more shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees or at least until cheese melts and dish is bubbling a bit.
Take those suckers out and top with sour cream, chopped green onion, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped or whole black olives. Sit your nalgas down at the table with lots of napkins, Fritos, White Corn Chips, guacamole, refritos (refried beans), Sangria (Make some real stuff or, for you who WW*, get some Pena Fiel Sangria--its ok, no alcohol), Margaritas (not to be confused with macarenas!) and XX and Orale!. An hour later, when you are finished drinking and eating a plate or two, have someone help you up from the table and into bed. Sleep it all off until the morning when you wake up and have the left overs (they heat up bueno in the microwave with Saranwrap over the top) for breakfast with more XX. Follow the whole works up with Menudo the next day....!Buen provecho, life is gooooood esse!
* Abbreviation for the Word of Wisdom.
Watch her graciously greet a visiting foreign ecclesiastical dignitary from Africa, and not go running off the state in an undiplomatic freak-out as he exhibits his strange foreign customs.
Apparently some on the left think she should have done the latter.
I was the best man at my friend's wedding but am not a confirmed Catholic (or much of a confirmed anything). We told this to the priest, and he said I wouldn't be able to receive communion, which was fine by me, because 1) the rules said I shouldn't and 2) I didn't want to be a hypocrite and 3) well, who cares. It wasn't my church. I was there to be my friend's best man. Whatever was on the program, I was down for.
During the actual ceremony, apparently the priest called an audible and decided that the it would look better if everyone got communion instead of three out of four, so he put the wafer in my mouth.
At that moment, I jumped up and spat out the communion wafer, screaming "OUT OF MY MOUTH, FOUL JESUS COOKIE!" and generally ran around like a jackass, screaming blue murder and cursing God and ruining my friend's wedding.
Uh, no I didn't. I ate the wafer and sipped the wine and bowed my head thoughtfully and pretended to be a good Catholic. I was there to be my best friend's best man, not to let everyone in the church know my precise feelings on transubstantiation.
Just for the record, the priest wasn't supposed to have done that. Nevertheless, Ace did the right thing. If a given religious function doesn't actually violate your beliefs, be as polite as possible out of respect, not necessarily for the belief, but for the person who believes it.
Now, there are limits to politeness. I wouldn't participate in, say, a Wiccan ceremony even so far as walking in the door. That would violate my beliefs. However, if I fond myself present for something of that sort, I would still try to quietly slip away and pray for their souls, rather than make a huge to-do that would serve only to make Christians look like dolts by association. (Of course, I'm not promising that I wouldn't go find some holy water to splash on them when they weren't looking, but still. Always discreetly.)
Among Christians, it seems to me that there is much we can agree on, and it's usually possible to skip over the things we can't. I've been to pentecostal services where, when the whole thing dissolved into Holy Spirit-induced chaos (from my perspective, anyway) I stood and prayed quietly in English while others around me prayed in tongues. I don't do it myself, but other Christian brethren in good conscience were, and we're all in it together. (I did avoid the Hail Mary out of respect for them, because if others knew I was praying it it would have been a stumbling block.)
Conversely, my mom came to Pete's baptism last month, and although she doesn't believe in infant baptism or baptismal regeneration, she loves and respects us Christians who do. (For those who aren't familiar with the rite, it's here. When we went through the Apostles' Creed and the priest asked us all if we believed it, she could say "I do," because she does. When we reached the Litany of the Saints, she held her peace while those of us who could pray it, did. (I'd forgotten it was part of the ceremony, incidentally, or I'd have asked Father if he could leave it out.)
I've even been to Mormon functions, mostly weddings and funerals, and there are things I could agree with. They read from the Bible, I can say "amen." They read from the Book of Mormon, I can let the people next to me say "amen" and disagree silently. God knows my heart and theirs; there's no need to clarify publicly.
Sarah Palin might or might not have put much stock in the pastor's prayer. (I haven't actually seen the video, so I don't know what-all it entailed.) But it seems to me that, for all the guff she's gotten about lack of foreign exposure, she has the right attitude. She was respectful of a presumably good man doing what he believed was a good thing for her.
The criticism she's gotten points more to the secular Left's (and the media's) ignorance and fear of serious religion than to anything about her. The African pastor's invocation seemed weird and scary to them, because people who actually believe their religions frighten them. Look how much has been made out of her belonging to a pentecostal church in her youth. Pentecostals aren't scary to me, because I know that they hold to a particular moral code. Mormons aren't alien to me, either, for the same reason. I've never met an Orthodox Jew, but they don't give me the willies, either. It's got nothing to do with whether I believe their tenets or not. It's more to do with how strongly they believe their faiths. Someone who believes strongly in praying in tongues (or even in Joseph Smith's visions) probably also believes equally strongly in honest dealing and charity to the needy. I can respect such a person.
It's like Lewis said: People who are orthodox in separate religions usually have more common ground than the more inclusive liberals who try to pretend there are no differences.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Seems two days ago, she had a call from her dad that he had cancer. No other details were available yet. The call today was to tell her that the cancer was gone before treatment had even begun. These people are prayin' folks, so I have no doubt that's what they've been doing.
A better Christian than me would be completely unsurprised by it. Me, I just sat there with my mouth hanging open. And then blogged about it.
Okay, so "Barbie" is a little demeaning. But I like the idea of her high heels being planted in a few liberal hinies. They'll be begging her to go after caribou before she's done.
Meanwhile, the real reason McCain postponed the debate.
Akubra tip to Roanoke Copand Mark Shea, respectively.
Monday, September 22, 2008
“Oh no. It’s not so bad as that. I haven’t got my rights, or I should not be here. You will not get yours either. You’ll get something far better. Never fear.”
“What do you keep on arguing for? I’m only telling you the sort of chap I am. I only want my rights. I’m not asking for anybody’s bleeding charity.”
“Then do. At once. Ask for the Bleeding Charity. Everything is here for the asking and nothing can be bought.”
(C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce)
I mentioned a while back that I was mildly impressed with our new Associate Pastor, Fr. Brooks. I'm sorry, but I have to change my assessment of him in light of yesterday's Mass.
I'm impressed as all get out with him now.
Since we left Visigoth, Ostrogoth and the baby at home, we were able to sit through an entire Mass and actually hear what was being said. I have to tell you, I know Fr. Brooks is a cradle Catholic, but the way he preaches, I'd have taken him for a recovering Baptist.
You have to understand, I grew up in a church that was probably on the liberal end of Baptistdom, but still decidedly Baptist. And like many other denominations that don't make a big deal of sacraments, they compensate for it with a strong tradition of sermonizing. That's the primary criterion for a good preacher in that tradition, is how well he can drive a point home in a sermon.
When I turned Catholic, I found that one of the first things I missed was good sermons. We call them "homilies" on this side of the Tiber, and they're actually about five minutes of thoughts on the readings of the day. Most of the priests I've heard (which isn't many, admittedly) deliver them in almost a Father Mulcahy style, sounding well-educated in well-modulated tones, with enough reasonable openness not to offend anyone. In a word, Catholic homilies tend to be, well, bland.
Not so with Fr. Brooks. Now here's where the looks get deceiving. Fr. Brooks looks like a nerd among nerds. He's tall (about six-four), thin and balding and has kind of a perpetually befuddled look on his face. When he speaks to you, he kind of sounds hesitant and unsure of himself, like that shy middle-aged bachelor that lives two doors down and spends his time talking to cats and reading the lonelyhearts ads. (Father, if you read this, I'm sorry. I mean all that as kindly as possible.)
But when he finishes that Gospel and steps out from behind the ambo, it's like somebody threw a switch somewhere and he suddenly turns confident, colloquial and coherent. Having spent a fair amount of time in the business world before swapping a tie for a collar, his take on yesterday's Gospel reading was really, really cogent. (It was the parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, if you're familiar with that.) He pointed out that it's human nature to demand fairness in our dealings, and that that principle is what the American business culture is founded on. If business were operated the way the parable describes, he said, the economy would crumble. That, he said, is where the American culture and the Kingdom of God part ways.
It's true. The entire Christian faith is predicated on unfairness. It's hard for the rest of the world to grasp, but that's the truth. Take a look at the "cultural religion" you see on TV and in the movies. There's an underlying assumption that you go to Heaven if you're good, and to Hell if you're bad. (And that once in Heaven, you turn into an angel, but that's a whole 'nother irritant.) You get what you deserve, in other words.
You can't blame the makers of such shows, because to a human way of thinking, that's exactly how it should be. Justice is one of the most basic human instincts, and on the whole, it's a good one. it is incumbent on us to behave justly toward one another. We should keep our word, give honest measure for fair pay, and return the wallet on the sidewalk with all the money intact. And if we violate laws, our punishment should be swift and sure.
To an extent, that's what we find in Christianity. There is a quid-pro-quo involved. Sin rates damnation. (N.B.: I'm not going to get into arguments about the exact nature of the Atonement. I'm not theologian enough to keep up my end.) But that's where it ends. Virtue does not rate salvation. In fact, nothing rates salvation. We start out sinful through no direct fault of our own, and as soon as we learn how, we proceed to add our own fault to it. Everybody does it, and once it's done, it's done. The debt outweighs our potential for payment. We cannot virtue our way out of it.
So damnation is a given. We deserve it, if not for original sin, then for actual sin. It's no use complaining that it's not fair, because it's eminently fair. We did the deeds, we take the consequences. it's also no good complaining that eternal damnation is disproportionate to whatever our little peccadillos are, because we simply have no way of knowing what is proportionate and what's not. We understand as much about God's operations as a cow understands about calculus. Did we know right from wrong when we sinned? We did. Then we're in a darn poor bargaining position to try to negotiate proportionality. We don't make the rules, we don't get to change them. We're damned, fair and square, and there's not a frimpin' thing we can do about it. And what's more, it's fair that we should be.
But God doesn't cotton to fairness. He's a Person, not an accounting system, and He has a way out of the dilemma. The catch is, we have to give up on the whole idea of justice. Justice won't keep us from toasting our toes eternally. Injustice will. God, who owes us less than nothing, will give us a free passage into Heaven, which He is under no obligation to share in the first place. The catch is, there is no catch. None. Take it or leave it. You can't pay for it, you can't repay it, you can't get it anywhere else. It's just not fair.
That's the part that's so hard to grasp. We automatically start looking for catches and loopholes. We automatically want to make an exchange. But while God does have some expectations for us as saved people (like not throwing it away once we have it), the actual salvation is not subject to any kind of deal whatsoever. Then, too, we think of a scapegoat system as a dishonest, sneaky way to do things. That we should gain by throwing Someone else under the bus upsets all our notions of right and wrong. Nevertheless, this is how God has decided to do things.
This is so much a part of the Christian faith that we tend to treat it as a fish treats water. We take it as a background and assume we're owed justice within that structure. Once we're in the Kingdom, we reason, we ought to get what we deserve. I've been good. Shouldn't good things happen to me?
That's kind of the attitude I took last year when our financial situation came to a head. I've been a good Christian, I figured. I don't kill, fornicate, worship idols or covet my neighbor's ass. My areas where I do fall short I glossed over, since that has already been taken care of. Unjustly.
But when it came to this, I figured I deserved justice. I did what I was supposed to do as a child of God. I should get the results I consider fair.
Yeah? Sez who? I don't determine what's right and wrong in that area, any more than I do wen it comes to salvation. I'm completely pig-ignorant of how God does things. the one thing I can be certain of is that I will not get what I deserve. I may get something better, or I may get poked in the metaphorical eye with a sharp stick. Either way, as long as I'm benefitting from God's manifest injustice, it's pretty stupid of me to start demanding "fairness" when it suits me. I'd much rather have the Bleeding Charity.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
A thought came to mind the other day: My grandparents are still alive, pushing ninety. In particular, my grandfather has lived long enough to see his first great-great-grandson. His great-grandfather, the man who is the same relation that to Grandpa that he is to Loki, was a boy of six when he watched his father march away to the American Revolution. It's a little staggering to think of.
I don't know how to embed a music player, but here's something for my Reverend Auntie and anyone else who might be interested. You'll have to right-click, download, and play it on your own computer. It's a song I used to hear my mom sing as a child, so it must have come from one of her parents. (Update: Found a player. Let's see how this one works.)
And a soundie by the same band, courtesy of High-Falutin'Newton:
Happy weekend, y'all!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Up here in the sagebrush desert, it's hard to picture what those hurricanes must be like. The worst we ever get is dust storms, and those aren't nearly so destructive. I can't imagine sitting through something like that.
I hope it means once the mess is cleaned up, he'll be back in the blogosphere. I've missed what he's had to say.
Friday, September 12, 2008
More information will follow as it comes in.
Update: The phone rang literally as I clicked the "Post" button. It's all over with. (Or just beginning, depending on how you look at it.) Mama and baby are doing well if wearily. They ended up doing a C-section because of worries about the cord, so WR is about to discover the joys of painkillers. I don't think she's ever had to take them before.
Official stats because the ladies will ask: Loki Brian was born at 2:45 at Willamette Falls Hospital in Oregon City. He is 8 pounds 9 ounces, 21 inches. No picture yet, as the parents have much more pressing matters on their minds.
(And incidentally, Brian is my middle name. I'm humbled and proud.)
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Your result for Reincarnation Placement Exam...
Arrrh! Yer just what we need in the way of a pirate -- I mean, privateer!
According to your answers, you love adventure, and working with -- or against -- people. And you can enjoy it all without having to deal with the pesky interference of that abomination called... civilization.
Keep yer powder dry and yer sense of adventure as sharp as yer cutlass! Don't bother saving for retirement... it's just not close to likely. If the weather doesn't sink you, an enemy ship will. But in the meantime, you'll have plenty of rum, fresh air and adventure.
Remember the Pirate's Code! Even though it's, you know, more of a set of guidelines.
A tip of the ol' Akubra to Nina.
Monday, September 08, 2008
A/T to Mark Shea, the Godfather of St. Blog's Parish.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Gov. Palin may be the second woman vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket, but she is not the right woman. Sadly, she is a woman who opposes women's rights, just like John McCain.
The fact that Palin is a mother of five who has a 4-month-old baby, a woman who is juggling work and family responsibilities, will speak to many women. But will Palin speak FOR women? Based on her record and her stated positions, the answer is clearly No.
In a gubernatorial debate, Palin stated emphatically that her opposition to abortion was so great, so total, that even if her teenage daughter was impregnated by a rapist, she would "choose life" -- meaning apparently that she would not permit her daughter to have an abortion....
What McCain does not understand is that women supported Hillary Clinton not just because she was a woman, but because she was a champion on their issues. They will surely not find Sarah Palin to be an advocate for women.
Translation: Sarah Palin believes that fetuseses are people. Therefore, she's not really a woman. More like a man. With hooters.
Many women, of whom Sarah Palin is one, believe that (a) an unborn baby ("fetus," if you insist) is a human being, and (b) that human is therefore entitled to the same protection under the law as anyone else. I have yet to hear an explanation of why this is "anti-woman" that holds water for ten seconds.
(N.B.: The canard that it's really about a "woman's right to do what she wants with her own body" does not hold water. If that were universal, rape would be a constitutional right. It's my body, and I'll violate someone else with it if I want to. Right? I thought not.)
Crispy had a good point to make about he left's infatuation with the sacrament of abortion (edited for capitalization):
I'm going to say this one time, and then I'm going to shut up. Re: Bristol Palin. The American liberal is, - seriously, literally - pro-abortion and anti-choice, believes essentially in mandatory abortion. What does the average liberal mom do when her 16-year-old daughter shows up pregnant? Drags her immediately to the abortion clinic, whatever the daughter's (or the babydad's, of course) misgivings. The American left thinks that Bristol Palin having her baby is, actually, morally wrong. And more to the point, it shows something terrible about her mom, who had a moral obligation to make her daughter have an abortion. And one reason for this is that if you have a baby when you're 16, you will likely slip out of our class. You'll go live with Joey, the kid who wants to be a mechanic. You'll take classes at the community college instead of heading off to a decent school. You'll end up in a housecoat with a houseful of wailing babies, listening to Faith Hill. What haunts the imagination of the American liberal: my family, in the next generation, will be white trash. Maybe it would be more interesting to look at these sorts of motivations than to try to figure out "when human life begins."
I suspect it's time for NOW to change their acronym to "NOAFA": National Organization Against Feto-Americans. That way, they can deny all affiliation with that
Monday, September 01, 2008
But there's one aspect of it all that burns my butt with the fire of a thousand habanero chalupas: Where on earth do the lefty losers at places like Daily Kos get the assumption that Sarah Palin would automatically be ashamed of Bristol's condition? It's a logic I can't follow: "Those Republicans don't believe in killing children, so they must not love them as much as we do." (The Uterofascists are being even viler. And even American Spectator had something fatheaded to say.) Obama had enough class to ask his followers to back off Bristol, but somehow I doubt it'll work.
There's a delicious irony, though, in the way it points up the contrast between Gov. Palin and Sen. Obama.
Palin: Stands behind her daughter and welcomes the grandchild.
Obama: Would hate for his daughters to be punished with a baby.
Palin: Gave birth to a Down Syndrome boy, and is raising him happily in a loving family.
Obama: Fought for Down Syndrome babies to be left on a shelf to die alone.
Palin: Human beings are good things, worthy of love for their own sake.
Obama: Human beings are disposable, inconvenient and a punishment.
But us conservatives... we're the haters. Right?
Yeah, yeah. I know. Put my money where my mouth is, right? Fine.
This is my oldest daughter, hereinafter referred to by her childhood nickname, Wharf Rat, to preserve some hint of privacy. She is twenty years old, beautiful (as you can see), smart, and charming. She is also eight months-plus pregnant, literally ready to give birth any day. She is not married. Rather, she lives with a boyfriend who I think is basically all right, despite the shiny things stuck through his nose and a few other superficialities. They have expressed vague plans to get married, though I'm not holding my breath.
By Kossack logic I should be mortally ashamed and keep this hidden as best I can. Wharf Rat has sinned, and conservatives cannot abide sin. I should pretend I don't know her, spit when she walks past, and burn any residual photos of her in my house. Just like Dick Cheney was expected to do about his gay daughter, I should do about my knocked-up one.
If I fail to behave this way, it only proves that I'm a hypocrite. Being conservative, I naturally despise anyone who falls short of my pharisaical moral code. I'm willing to make an exception for my own. But other people's get no mercy.
So why am I owning up to WF? Because I'm not the least bit ashamed of her. See, I had her out of wedlock, and married her mother two months later. From the time she was four until ten years later, I raised her mostly alone. We had some rough times in her teen years, but I never, never was anything but proud of her. I still am. I'm worried for her, because she's got a tough road ahead of her. Sin? Yes. I did a long time ago, and she has since. That's what a confessional is for. But to think a child whose birth results from my sin or hers is somehow less wonderful requires a Calvinistic puritanism only someone who doesn't believe in sin could express with a straight face.
Far from wanting to keep the impending grandson hidden, I'm eager to make his acquaintance. If he turns out to have a disability or something, so it goes. Because he's a human being, and human beings are basically a good thing. His mother certainly is.
That's Sarah Palin's attitude, too. It's one Barack Obama cannot conceive of, apparently. I know which attitude I'm happier to have.