Wednesday, November 30, 2005

OK, some more science.

RightWingNutHouse has yet another excellent post on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Short synopsis: Antarctic ice core samples show that CO2 levels are at least 27% higher in the past hundred years than they have been at any time in the previous 650,000 years.

OK, that's a strong, enduring correlation. Again, while correlation does not prove causation, it's one helluva compelling correlation.

Now, as the Nut says, can we prove that these levels are tied to a humanogenic rise in global temps?

Not so fast. Among other things, this same core sample discovers that increases in methane produciton, thought to have been associated with domesticated livestock, in fact may have no connectiont to agriculture, but instead may be tied to natural variations in wild woodland and other boreal-area decomposition.


The Nut then goes on to an examination of possible ramifications, especially as they relate to Kyoto.

But why read this, hmmm? Go on over there and read for yourself.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Daughter

I've spoken of my elder son elsewhere (too lazy to find the link).

Now, my daughter has a poster of these fellows on her wall (I just mounted it, in fact:):




Sigh. Oh well. Certainly not the worst choice ever. After all, it could be Eminem or System of a Down. :P

Supreme Court revisits abortion

In this case, the right of the parent(s) to know if their daughter is about to have an abortion.

CNN Link:

Of interest in the article is the following quote from a 20 year-old college student who had an abortion earlier in her life:
"I decided it was best for me to have an abortion because I did not want to be a parent at that point in my life," she said.

Now 20 and a college senior, she is speaking out against the state statute.

"These laws are only about eroding access to abortion," she told CNN. "If you want to talk to your parents, you can do that, but if the state steps in and tells you that you have to do that to protect your reproduction, it is very disappointing."


The woman in question is summoning age-old NARAL rhetoric in claiming the state is interfering with a woman's reproductive "freedom". At the risk of appearing that I am oversimplifying the situation (while in reality I am not), I submit the following solution to the woman's reproductive "freedom" issues:

Dear, stop having intercourse. Stop trying to have your cake and eat it as well. You are a big girl now, capable of controlling your appetites, sexual and otherwise. Don't fool around until you are "ready" to have that child (whenever that might be). You are free to have sex. Be prepared to accept the consequences of that exercising that freedom. You are also free to choose not to have sex, thereby enjoying the freedom from responsibility that entails.


It really is that painfully simple.

Momentary Tizzy

We interrupt the normally scheduled blog for this impromptu tizzy performed by the site's proprietor.


:Rant:

I have no real difficulty with right-brained people. I in fact tend toward the practice of coming up with ideas, getting part of the way through them, then decamping when I find the blizzard of details too tiresome to contend with.

There are exceptions: Most notably, when the idea I am embarking upon then directly impacts others. Then I must follow through, if for no other reason than for the benefit of those hurt if I do NOT follow through.

Bona fides at least partially established, on to the Rant.

There is a member of the staff(let us call her The Dreamer) I serve on that is notorious for embarking upon Big Ideas, publicly announced for all to see, and assuring all of us who have been left to pick up the pieces of her partially-completed-but-then-abandoned Right Brain disasters that THIS TIME she will follow through.

Given the fact that this staff member is also a serious benefactor of the same organization she works for (Conflict of Interest, anyone?), a tendency on the part of Leadership (usually level-headed but a bit twitchy at the idea of challenging anyone directly tied into the Revenue Stream) to indulge her mad passions at the expense of the rest of us does rear its ugly head. On occasion. On common occasion.

There is a section I and the rest of the staff are not scheduled to manage on Fridays, as the abovementioned Dreamer is in charge of a weekly, company-wide assembly designed to tie the stakeholders most intimately into the mission of our facility.

But, not THIS Friday. Due to poor planning on the part of the Dreamer, she would have to come up with a new means of managing the assembly. As is part and parcel of her job. But, she flat-out bailed, and The Leadership unilaterally decided that we will pick up the Dreamer's pieces by managing the section we normally would not have to manage.

In fact, we are not PAID for this section. The monies that might normally go towards us for managing this section go instead to the Dreamer to pay for her Right-Brain activities.

But, as the Night follows the Sun, the Dreamer has dropped the ball again, and we get to pick up the pieces.


Which, by itself, would be no big deal, except the Dreamer then compounded her sin by going straight home, TODAY (no doubt to escape the ire of her colleagues who are justifiably resentful of her dropping The Ball yet again), without fulfilling the minor duty of her watching the stakeholders during a daily community gathering. A minor, yet necessary duty. And who got to pick up THAT ball for her today? Yours truly.

I have not even begun to plumb the depths of my vocabulary in ranting about the qualities this woman, as a lead benefactor of some stakeholders at our facility, has used (or misused) in the time I have been there.





For the most part, I very much enjoy my job, the stakeholders, my colleagues (including the Dreamer herself) and everything about it.

But the bloom fades fast when colleagues who do NOT do THEIR job then force those of us around them to do it FOR them. And YES, I AM USING CAPS BECAUSE I AM TICKED!!!!!



:/Rant:


OK. Now I feel a bit better. Sorry to subject anyone to that.

Monday, November 28, 2005

First Things

There are reasons that I have First Things in my link bar.

Here are a couple of them now (From the December First Things, in Fr. Richard John Neuhaus's indispensable "While We're at it" section):

(According to British historian Paul Johnson). . .fervent Darwinists are inadvertently undoing the cause of their champion. "At a revivialist meeting of Darwinians two or three years ago, I heard the chairman. . .call out, 'Yes, we do think God is an old man in the sky with a beard, and his name is Charles Darwin" I doubt if there is a historical precedent for this investment of so much intellectual and emotional capital, by so many well-educated and apparently rational people, in the work of a single scientist. . .The likelihood of Darwin's eventual debacle will be sensational and brutal is increased by the arrogance of his acolytes, by their insistence on the unchallengable truth of the theory of natural selection -which to them is not a hypothesis but a demonstrated fact, and its critics mere flat-earthers- and by their success in occupying the commanding heights in the university science departments and the scientific journals, denying a hearing to anyone who disagrees with them.


Shades of religious fervor. Example #2245682 that one CANNOT fully separate religion and state. Nature abhors a vacuum. Take out monotheism and replace it with Darwinism; all the worst features of Christianity in its full ascendancy (or degeneracy) when it fully melded church and state are now in full flower with the Religion of Darwin. (And if ever there was a more reluctant prophet, I'd like someone to point him out. I cannot believe that Darwin would hew to the ravings of his modern followers were he alive today.


Fr. Neuhaus then takes on the "scientific post-humanists", as exemplified by Ray Kurzweil, who is predicting the coming "Singularity" where technology will ". . .take over from nature in the evolution of the human species." Neuhaus quotes Robert George, who suggests that the post-humanists have a very sinister intent. . .in short, with the debate surrounding stem cell research, their interest is not in stem cell work, but in out-and-out fetal farming, wherein the fetus is grown with the express purpose of killing it to harvest its biological goods, so to speak.

As Fr. Neuhaus entitles, the little tidbit, "If It Can Be Done, It Will Be Done."

(shivers)


When will we learn?


In the meantime, subscribe to First Things NOW!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Yet Another Michael Moore Letter to Spoof

You'd think the idiot would quit while he was already behind. . .

Sorry, George, I'm In the Majority ...from Michael Moore


Already off on the wrong foot. . .and the letter hasn't even STARTED yet.

11/19/05

Dear Mr. Bush:

I would like to extend my hand and invite you to join us, the mainstream American majority. We, the people -- that's the majority of the people -- share these majority opinions:


Meaning, of course, that they are your opinions. Of course you provide CNN poll data. . .but isn't this typical Monday Morning Quarterbacking? Something you are really very good at. (As opposed to filmmaking).

Tell me, Mr. Moore. Let us consider for just a moment that the poll data are accurate. What if the question were skewed just a bit, and asked: "Do you agree with Michael Moore's views on the war and the Bush Administration?"

I bet we'd get some REALLY different data. . .indicating that you are in fact far from the mainstream.

But that question would never be asked. Too nice to the Bush Administration, don't you know.

1. Going to war was a mistake -- a big mistake.
.

Nothing is said in the CNN data about "big" mistakes. But your pal Bill Clinton certainly had something to say about it. Stay tuned for coverage on that little tidbit. And see above comment.

2. You and your administration misled us into this war. (link)

And what about the fact that the Clinton Administration gave utter credence to Iraq's possession of WMDs and intent to produce nuclear weapons?

Oh. I keep forgetting. With you guys, it's never the message, but the messenger that determines the truth. If Caligula said the sky is blue, then it must be blue. But if Bush says it's blue, you say it's been red all along. Funny how you leave out that critical piece of information.

But then, you couldn't MMQB as effectively, could you?


And notice, it is old Gov. Caligula himself who terms this the "big" mistake? You're hurtin', Mike, when you are stealing material from Billary.

3. We want the war ended and our troops brought home. (link)
No duh. So does everyone else. ONCE THE JOB IS FINISHED, FOOL!!! Not even the TROOPS want out before that.

4. We don't trust you. (link)
. Umm, from you, this is news?

Now, I know this is a bitter pill to swallow. Iraq was going to be your great legacy. Now, it's just your legacy. It didn't have to end up this way.
. Screwed up again. Timely, genuine leadership at the time of 9-11 will be his legacy, not to mention actually bringing democracy to that jaded land, despite your terminal treason in hacking at the country's Achilles tendons every chance you get.

This week, when Republicans and conservative Democrats started jumping ship, you lashed out at them.

HELLO!! WHAT??? A vote of 403-3 to stay until the job is done, and that is jumping ship????


You thought the most damning thing you could say to them was that they were "endorsing the policy positions of Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic party."

And you thought you were in the majority.

I mean, is that the best you can do to persuade them to stick with you -- compare them to me?

Your point there. This is akin to saying that they are all "fat and ugly."


Wait a minute. . .



You gotta come up with a better villain.

Whatever for? You spout utter gibberish, you just BEG for attention, and you make a target that is REALLY EASY to hit!!



For heaven's sakes, you had a hundred-plus million other Americans who think the same way I do -- and you could have picked on any one of them!
There's that majority thing getting in your way again.

But hey, why not cut out the name-calling and the smearing and just do the obvious thing:

Ignore you? That would actually be a wise idea.


Come join the majority! Be one of us, your fellow Americans! Is it really that hard? Is there really any other choice? George, take a walk on the wild side!
I think we've already dealt with this.

Your loyal representative from the majority,
. Loyal? You've GOT to be kidding me.

Michael Moore



The only reason I can see him writing these letters is because he likes to hear himself talk/write. That and he has hordes of adoring, unthinking fans who soak up every word he generates. . .which is depressing in a microcosmic sense. . .and so he can then bask in the further adulation given him for dispensing such "wisdom."

In short, the guy is an ego freak of the first water.

Nevertheless, the writing and posting of such sententious, disingenuous twaddle serves for some fine cannon fodder.


SUPPORTERS: Please write your own spoofs on your websites. . .or submit them to the e-mail at the bottom of the page. . .and I'll post the best of 'em here.


Surely someone can do better than me. I mean, I cranked this baby out in less than 10 mimutes.


Link to previous spoof: Spoofing rich fat,unkempt documentary filmmakers.

100 Year-Old Wisdom

Back from a Thanksgiving hiatus with no computer access. So, there will eventually be the filling of various odds and ends. Not least of which is commentary on the global warming panic brought about from M. Crichton's thoroughly researched State of Fear.

BUt that is for later.

Right now I want to toss out some quotes from Mr. Gilbert Keith Chesterton from his 1905 "nightmare", The Man Who was Thursday.

Question (From Syme, a law and order type): "You wish to abolish Government?"

Answer (From Gregory, an Anarchist):(We wish) to abolish God!. We do not only want to upset a few despotisms and police regulations. . .we dig deeper and blow you higher. We wish to deny all those arbitrary distinctions of vice and virtue, honor and treachery upon which mere rebels base themselves. We hate Rights and Wrongs. We have abolished Right and Wrong."
Ooh. Where have we heard some of this stuff said recently?

Policeman (a thoroughly enlightened fellow: We say that the most dangerous criminal is the educated criminal. . .the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Compared to him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men. They accept the essential ideal of man; they merely seek it wrongly. Thieves respect property. They merely wish that the property become their property so that they may more perfectly respect it. But philosophers dislike property as such; they wish to destroy the very idea of personal possession. Bigamists respect marriage; else they would not go through the highly ceremonial and even ritualistic formality of bigamy. But philosophers despise marriage as marriage. Murderers respect human life; they merely wish to attain a greater fullness of human life in themselves by the sacrifice of what seems to them to be lesser lives. But philosophers hate life itself, their own as much as other people's."
Note with interest the last two: Bigamists and murderers. Even murderers recognize murder for what it is. . .yet the abortionists and euthanists do not. They make it a caricature, a euphemism, so that their own loathing of human life. . .even their own. . .is hidden. As for bigamy, see the current gay marriage brouhaha.


There is so much more. I may post some more as I skip through this delightful trove.

Keep in mind the man copyrighted this book in 1905.


That's 100 years ago, friends. Orwell published 1984 in 1949. Huxley published in 1932. Both essentially warn us of a society managed by the state that succeeds in re-defining reality to fit its own needs and desires. Not to take away from those awesome works, but Chesterton was nailing all the same ills in 1905. The primary difference is that Chesterton was not criticizing an all encompassing state. . .but is it not a bit chillingly ironic that he foreshadows Orwell and Huxley in the painting of their own nightmares? GK covers the same moral ground, the same twisting of fact into fiction and the converse. . .leaving us to consider the potentially devastating consequences for ourselves.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Independence

I don't often talk about this. It may come as a surprise to the more entrenched MoonLeft that I am not a Republican. I am a registered Independent.

Part of the reason for this is that I am essentially a cultural conservative; on economic issues I tend to wander from the Right party line, sometimes significantly.

Another reason I am Independent results from a visceral reaction I had against a statement a priest made back in my undergraduate days. This priest, (his name escapes me. He was a little gnome of a man, less than five feet tall with a corresponding voice) was saying during the '84 elections that one had to pick a party and stay with it, come hell or high water. He was voting for Mondale in that election because he was a Democrat. End of discussion. When asked why he was a Democrat, he replied, "Because they are for the little guy." Most of this sentiment came from the Democrat's association with labor unions.

Setting aside the argument that labor unions are actually FOR the little guy or not, I had trouble squaring the idea with the Democrat's increasing promotion of the unlimited abortion license.

Consequently, I quickly came to the conclusion that the priest was just dead wrong here. Political parties, like any entrenched organization (and yes, trolls, that does sometimes mean the Church as well) can sometimes wander off in the wrong direction. . .and to back them in those times is in essence to disenfranchise yourself. So, I swore to myself I would never affiliate myself with any one party. Hence, my Independence.


Now, RightWingNuthouse has published a short essay that provides the beginning of a different read on the same subject. I urge you, supporters and trolls alike, to go read it right now. It provokes some interesting thoughts and ideas that I think we ALL need to be looking at.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The First Intelligent Quote Ever Seen Re: Global Warming

From an otherwise standard, Chicken Little-style CNN article on global warming:


"There is stronger and stronger evidence that there is an anthropogenic (human) element affecting the climate," said Paal Prestrud, head of the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo.


Prestud may well be right. But look at what he said: "There is stronger and stronger evidence."

OK!!WONDERFUL!!! There is a likelihood we are causing it. Excellent. But this it far different from the standard moonbat claims that we ARE causing it.


Truth in advertising. Ain't it wonderful? Kudos to Mr. Prestud for having the cojones to speak the scientific truth, as opposed to the politicized hyperbole.

Here comes the next wave

Look out. New York Catholic school sued by the ACLU for firing an out-of-wedlock, pregnant pre-school teacher.

And according to the article (yes, it is from CNN, please apply salt before reading), the previous case law in New York does not bode well for St. Rose of Lima in Queens.

Which is absurd on its face. How can a Catholic institution have any hope of enforcing its teaching if it can't also reinforce that teaching through the actions of its teachers? Actions -let us remember, people- speak infinitely louder than words.


Of course, the CINOs are chiming in saying that the woman needs to be forgiven. Certainly. Which means she may start over, at another Catholic school if she so chooses, where her teaching reputation is not permanently sullied as it has been at St. Rose.


The ACLU needs to revisit its Gibbon.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

What hero are you?



You scored as Maximus.


After his family was murdered by the evil emperor Commodus, the great Roman general Maximus went into hiding to avoid Commodus's assassins. He became a gladiator, hoping to dominate the colosseum in order to one day get the chance of killing Commodus. Maximus is valiant, courageous, and dedicated. He wants nothing more than the chance to avenge his family, but his temper often gets the better of him.

Maximus -75%

Neo, the "One" -63%

Indiana Jones -63%

Batman, the Dark Knight -58%

Captain Jack Sparrow -54%

The Amazing Spider-Man -50%

The Terminator -50%

Lara Croft -42%

William Wallace -42%

James Bond, Agent 007 -38%

El Zorro -33%


Ha ha. I knew it all along!!

Quiz Farm has the quiz (the html tags screwed up my template. . .so the usual links are not in place. Had to enter this stuff manually).

Hat tip to CatholicPillowFight for the link.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Cindy Sheehan

Not possessed of a single clue.


Not one.


And now, fellow cluebats will provide her yet MORE profit for being utterly devoid of a clue, by purchasing what will be her undoubtedly silly slip of a book.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Judicial Usurpation of the State, Anyone?

Get this:

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, the same judge who ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, wrote that parental rights stop at the “threshold of the school door.”


This in a decision the 9th Circuit (that same group of moonbats in Frisco that the Bush Adminstration says needs to be broken up) that denies parents the right to keep their children from intrusive questions about their thoughts on sex.

So, Judge Steve thinks that the State (undoubtedly led by his judicial wisdom) ought to do all the parenting for kids while in the schoolhouse?



Riiiiiight.

Original link here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Gay marriage banned in 11 states

Shows how much I was watching the news. I just now discovered this little bit of information.

11 states voted last week to ban gay marriage. The roll call: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah.

Now, looking at that list, I see a number of Deep South states that would pass it with little effort. Mississippi passed with an 86% yes vote. That is about as massive a vote as one can hope to get, no matter what the subject. I then see Western and Northern Tier states like Utah (Mormon stronghold, no surprise) and Montana and North Dakota (still lots of conservative ag types there) and Michigan. I find Michigan to be a curiosity, as is Ohio. If any of the states with these amendments up for a vote were to reject it, I would have expected one of those two to do so. But apparently they too passed with comfortable margins. But there was one state where I truly expected rejection.

That state was Oregon. I am a native Oregonian, and have watched that state's peculiar political climate for many years now. They are highly unpredictable; voting in environmental friendly and developer antagonistic green-space legislation, medical marijuana and euthanasia laws, and electing a mayor of Portland some years ago that like to flash sculptures (remember that picture from at least 20 years ago, "Expose yourself to Art?" . (Yes, supposedly the bearded "pervert" in this shot later became the multi-term mayor of Portland). Yet they also have voted in some of the most draconian tax rollbacks seen anywhere in the West.

But, if you had to bet, you usually bet that Oregonians will vote on the Left side of the aisle. No judgement on that, simply an observation. I expected that a gay-marriage ban would have little traction in the Beaver State. And apparently, so did the pro-gay-marriage lobby, having spent the most money in Oregon to defeat it.

Yet the Oregonians said no to gay marriage, 57-43. While this was the closest race of all 11 states, it wasn't even close. A 14 point spread is a relatively sound beating.


And so the state went 11-0 on this issue. How does the Left now respond? A wry shrug of the shoulders, and claim that the people have spoken? Or does it denounce all the states in question as being populated by vicious "hate-lovers and bigots", who don't have the sense God gave a billy goat? If there was a God in the first place?


Sadly, I am placing my money on the latter.

While the states are to be commended for passing what would appear to be common sense legislation (under natural law, trolls, not Church law. Don't work yourself up into a froth over very little), it is a curiosity -and a sad on at that- that the issue has even come up in the 21st century election process


LINK:

Update on the Loretto/Sills controversy

Katelyn Sills and her family have released a number of letters and e-mails from them and from Loretto that paint the Loretto admin in a less-than-flattering light. Granted this is only the Sills family version. But is would seem upon reading this material that the administration simply wanted rid of what they felt was a troublesome parent. . .thereby committing a rather flagrant act of injustice against Katelyn Sills.

Read them for yourself. . .


The comments are almost funny. . .and fascinating how most admitted Loretto students and alumni are opposed to the Sills family. . though that is no surprise. Rebels are rarely welcomed in insulated communities.











Catholic Schools, Crazy Parents. . et al.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

AIDS Prevention: Condoms v. Abstinence

A never-ending source of head-shaking amusement can be found reading some of the MoonBat Left blogs. One recent lurker took me to task for being "ignorant", simply because this little blog is certainly not left-of-center, and I have had the foolish habit of decrying the problems of homosexuality here. So, to gain the banner of "enlightened", all I need to is say that the untrammeled practice of homosexuality is a good thing, and voila! You have your wits about you again.

So saith the Cluebat Left.


This is NOT to say that the Left is insensitive to the trials and tribulations of their fellow man. A recent comment I read on a rather batty Left blog recently gave me pause:

For the record, kudos to you for your extensive helping nature that you gratiouitsly wax on about above. But before your very easy to predict response of "what have you done for humanity", I will tell you. Among many things, I normally take two to three months a year, unpaid, to practice medicine in Africa, as the HIV crisis is just a little bit of a health concern in a continent that has over 50% infection rate.

You may even do things to help there too. Like push for abstinence only education, condoms as a last resort, and "social teaching", re. religious indoctrination. Well that sounds very cute, but I've seen it in action. How is the thirteen year old hooker who supports her siblings as her parents are both dead of HIV (current staistics support that assertion 9/10 times), and sells her body, in any way gaining a benifit by abstinence education or lack of condom availabiltiy? Oh, right! Silly me. She doesn't count does she?

Brenda this may be a bitter little pill to swallow, but in Africa women don't often have sexual autonomy. In fact most who get HIV, get it through unchoiced sex. Please apply your paradigms here and show us your "logic".


Set aside the gratuitous slams (not to mention the gratuitous self-backslapping) and the poor spelling. Clearly, this person (NOT a doctor) is rightfully appalled at the monstrous infection rate in Africa, and the fact that most women in that region have little to no autonomy of person that women in the West enjoy.

The author claims that out of mercy and expediency that condom usage needs to be done to save the lives of these women.


After doing a bit of research, I was forced to pause and consider for a moment that the Cluebat may actually have a point; that maybe Proportionality comes into play here, and just maybe a smaller sin is needed to prevent the larger evil. After all there are bishops in Africa (not speaking ex cathedra) that seem to insinuate that the Church needs to revisit its position on condoms in Africa, given the horrendous epidemic it suffers under.

But, then I did a little more research. And what do you know, but little old Science, that "evil" discpline that I am suppoed to be foursquare against, came to the defense of -you'll never guess it- the proponents of abstinence programs!!!

Uganda provides the clearest example that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is preventable if populations are mobilized to avoid risk. Despite limited resources, Uganda has shown a 70% decline in HIV prevalence since the early 1990s, linked to a 60% reduction in casual sex. The response in Uganda appears to be distinctively associated with communication about acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) through social networks. Despite substantial condom use and promotion of biomedical approaches, other African countries have shown neither similar behavioral responses nor HIV prevalence declines of the same scale. The Ugandan success is equivalent to a vaccine of 80% effectiveness. Its replication will require changes in global HIV/AIDS intervention policies and their evaluation.

Population Health Evaluation Unit, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK.
(here is the link for the abstract.)

Oopsie. Both science (as in the discipline) and Science magazine (sponsored by the AAAS -The American Association for the Advancement of Science- one of the more rigorous scientific organizations out there) seem to be saying that abstinence programs DO work. By golly.



Science set aside, let us wander into the realm of philosophy for a moment. (of which empirical science is but a branch of, but that is another topic, another time)

Briefly, let us look at the basic expectations that the liberal mindset has placed upon sexuality since the '60s. "It's good. Everyone is going to Do It. So, to prevent pregnancy/STDs/AIDS, we need to make sure that condoms/abortion et al are easily available."

Now, while no one will disagree with the idea that sex is a Good Thing (when used as the manufacturer intended), let's look at what lurks behind Curtain #2, "Everyone is going to Do It." Implicit in that statement is the belief that we as humans are no different than monkeys. That we cannot Help Ourselves. We are helpless before the god Orgasm, and must make sure that we enjoy the fruits of that god without the attendant responsibilities. Because once again, "We Can't Help Ourselves."


Sorry. It ain't that simple. And you aren't off the old hook of Responsibility that easily.

The Ugandans seem to be providing factual evidence that another element may be at work here. That in fact, with a bit of education and intestinal fortitude, it would seem that people CAN control their urges.

And I recognize from the above quote that much of the human misery that contributes to the AIDS epidemic in Africa stems from local governments -in all likelihood steeped in corruption- being unable/unwilling to make the policy decisions necessary to change conditions so that those desperate 13 year olds might escape their plight.


But we let those governments off too easily by throwing condoms at them. We say in part: "The problem is insoluble. Here is a slight panacea."

Sorry. That won't do it either. The problem IS fixable, humans CAN control their appetites.


But liberal cluebats, -deep down- believe that humans are no better than animals. That we cannot help ourselve. That we really can't manage heroic actions to answer huge problems. They prefer to say, "Poor child. Let is comfort you in your misery."


Whereas the correct thing to do, the truly humanistic (and Christian, what a coincidence) action is to say; "Poor child. Let me help you up so that you may teach you and your children to never know this misery again."

Which worldview is truly more honoring to the human? What really strives for more in terms of human excellence -in ALL things-? American liberalism circa 2005 A.D.?





I think not.

Monday, November 14, 2005

some of the joys of age

Having recently turned 40, that particular number becomes a lightning rod for reflection. (40!!!! The texts say this is when the mid-life crisis hits!!! Am I in one????)

Seriously, much of that reflection is positive, in the long commitment my wife and I renew with each other every day; with the raising of 7 remarkable children for whom I am thankful and prayerful every day; for a career that I usually enjoy. While I may not be living the axiom, "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life", I am close to it. Close to it indeed.


But, 40 also provides reminders that the warranty on the Body God was kind enough to grant me to use for passage through whatever alloted years I have is essentially expired; and some of the parts are beginning to fail. The knees are somewhat creaky, the one big toe appears to be arthritic, making for something of a hitch in my get-along, especially on colder mornings or during times of weather change.

Then there is the broken tooth I just had extracted about an hour ago (the fragment was removed, not the whole tooth). Dentist says it could simply be the "wages of age" marching their way across my body.


Sigh. Oh well. At least it gives me an excuse to spend more time with the family today.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Airheads weigh in on T.O.

Why is the "Reverend" Jesse Jackson saying that Terrell Owens is being treated too harshly by the Philadelphia Eagles? (Link here).

Background can be found here.


My question: How can ANYONE defend these pampered fools who make millions per year? How on God's earth can a man (black, white, striped, I don't care) who is in the highest 2% of American income, being paid for playing a damned game, be mistreated when he looks his gift horse in the mouth and claims that it is fraudulent.

Sorry sonofabitch deserves to be bucked off the back and tossed to the ground.

Both Jackson and Nader are ignorant grandstanders trying to make a name for themselves.


Sorry, guys. T.O. made his own bed. He now gets to lie in it, and then make still more millions next year with some idiot team that thinks they can tame him.

Parenting and the kids one ends up with

This may be an ongoing post, as I am ruminating over a number of different sub-topics. . .I'm simply going to post what I come up with and then edit and add as I can. So, my small readership, you might want to re-visit as this post evolves.

And now I am going to lunch. So, more later.

And back from lunch. One of the ruminations stems from the consideration of two children that are friends with two of my own kids.

Ever considered whether the behavior traits we exhibit are functions of genes (inherited traits, "nature) or are learned behavior (nurture)? This is a perennial topic in the psychology class I teach, and the answers always seem appealingly easy. . .and then we come across anecdotes that blow our handy little theories right out of the water.

Often, the conclusion we come to is that a majority of our traits are learned. The odd facial expression that a person exhibited we later discover was also made in almost exactly the same fashion by the boy's father. The studious girl is found to have been mothered by a woman with a Ph.D and the same penchant for careful scholarship.

There are exceptions. There are studies out there that have determined with fair surety that there are many kids that are born with an inherited (genetic) tendency towards either shyness or boisterousness. (Twin studies. . I won't bore you with the details.) But even then, one may be born with these tendencies and later on habituate themselves into the opposite behaviors: The wallflower may turn into a good public speaker, while the born extrovert may learn to quietly meditate for hours on end. And of course, there are some behavior-pattern disorders that have a very clear genetic component (mood disorders, alcoholism).

But, for the most part, random polling (at least that I have conducted) indicates that most people believe the majority of their behaviors are learned. And in general, I would agree with them.


From this belief model comes a very heavy burden upon parents. Since much of behavior would seem to be learned, we as parents have a tremendous responibility to then teach our children as best we can to "behave" properly (whatever that looks like). And this burden is well illustrated in society. The parents of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris (the Columbine terrorists) came in for a great deal of public opprobrium after that tragedy; the basic nut of the criticism was that the Harris and Klebold parents were bad parents; if they had done their duty properly, none of this would have happened.

Some of the onus was also placed upon the school itself; in allowing bullying behavior, the school helped send the terrorists "around the bend"; in short, their environment led them to anti-social actions.

That is an extreme example. But I cannot count the number of times some poor social misfit blundered about the landscape, and the question then arises: "What were the parents of that poor sap doing?" Even the parents flagellate themselves, staying up hours upon end, asking themselves what they could have done different so that poor Joey wouldn't have turned into such a whatever.

So much of learning, of what we are, comes from our parents. Freud, somewhat deranged sex-fiend that he was, is greatly admired by many current therapists, not least because of his insistence on this piece of reality.


And yet, it doesn't always parse.


Let me give you a series of examples:

Example #1: I have an uncle whom I greatly admire. He and his wife had 9 children. Interestingly, the first one suffered organic brain damage due to some serious birthing complications. . . he has needed some type of institutional care his entire life. It was evident when he was born that he would need this care. And yet, my aunt and uncle went on to have 8 more children. But I digress.

Now, save for the aforementioned disabled cousin of mine, 7 of the remaining 8 are well-adjusted, devout, "pillar-of-the-community" type citizens. But the 8th, a female cousin, is not. Was rather the rebel as a teen, and has had spotty marriage record, not very devout. . .I need not go on.

Example #2: We recently played host to a young person whose mother and step-father were out on a hunting trip. This young person comes from a family environment that is essentially agnostic, verging on white-trash, indifferent to the general welfare of their children. Yet the kid in reality is remarkably polite, devout, friendly, considerate, hard-working. . .destined, I would think, for great things.

Example #3: We have another young person who is a friend of the household. This young person is raised by devout Christians, who run a loving, tight household generally free of "redneck" strife (sorry for the generalization. . but I am trying to reach for a common understanding in few words), and who are most solicitous of the overall welfare of their child. Yet this child is generally speaking spoiled, self-centered, rather inconsiderate and possessed of a teasing streak that often verges on being outright malicious.


Now, if our behavior traits are mostly learned particularly from our parents, then we would expect the following outcomes for the previous three examples:

Example 1: The 8 cousins with no devlopmental disorders would be expected to turn out more-or-less consistently. The black sheep really ought not to exist. Yet we all know of large families with at least one kid who simply did not fit the mold in some fashion or other. For large families, the black sheep syndrome is seemingly very common.

Examples 2 & 3: You would expect that the temperaments/tendencies of the kids in question would be exactly reversed. Kid #2 ought to be the hellion and miscreant, while kid #3 ought to be more. . ."angelic".


Granted, we are talking about individuals, and we all know that such limited anecdotes are not good for making future predictions. Furthermore, there is -I am sure- a great deal of mitigating data that I have not reported (and probably do not know) that could shed some further light. . .at least on examples 2 & 3.


But they will serve as illustrations of a greater whole.


There is no mistake that parents bear a huge responsibility for the formation of the children they are blessed with. And a large portion of their future behavior will come about from the modeling that my wife and I provide. Therefore, we have a solemn and sometimes enormous burden of fulfilling that responsibility properly. And, God willing, our kids will turn into the generally good people most of my cousins have. Every parent should sometimes stagger under that awesome responsibility.


But they should not be paralyzed by it. At the end of the day, God loans us our kids, and in that loaning, suffuses them with the same free will that He has given to us and the rest of humanity.


And some of humanity may choose to use that same Free Will poorly, to the grief of their parents.


Just so long as that grief is not paralyzing.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Truth is Truth, not Opinion

So often, the Freakbat Left levels the claim that I -in my hubris- seek to impose my will upon others who do not share my beliefs. . .possibly due to some basic flaw in my character that impels me to lord it over others.

Far from it.

. . .if a man is ignorant of the fact something is wrong, and acts in ignorance, he incurs no guilt, provided natural reason was not enought to show him that it was wrong. But while ignorance may excuse the man it does not excuse the act, which is wrong in itself. If I permitted the act simply because the man is ignorant, that it is wrong, then I would incur guilt, because I do know it to be wrong. It is really that painfully simple.


-Walter M. Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz Bantam Spectra Books. Original Copyright, 1959, Walter M. Miller


Some of the more deranged of my limited readership cannot even claim ignorance, sadly. They know either by dint of previous education, or the obvious lessons of natural reason. In their obstinacy, they reject both.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Life is difficult enough

. . .without Pat Robertson fouling the air with his strange ravings. First he called for the head of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.


Now, he is saying that the residents of Dover, PA are subject to "God's wrath" (presumably a natural disaster) for having the temerity to vote out their school board; the same one that voted in a stamp on all their science textbooks questioning the validity of evolution, and the need to be open to other theories, notably, ID.

Now, without getting into the question of ID vs. evolution (another time, please), let us focus on the senselessness of Mr. Robertson; senselessness that verges on perfidy.

I've already called into question his wisdom of advocating for the removal of Chavez's head. And here he is being just as much a demagogue.

For two reasons: 1) It undoubtedly gives ammunition to the Freakbat Left that those on the Right can be just as loony, if not moreso. Setting aside the fact that Robertson has about as much traction with rational members of the Center and Right as the Rev. Al Sharpton; Robertson is a well-known face and voice. And despite the obvious lack of common sense on the part of both "reverends" (I am coming to dislike that word), that has never prevented their opponents from using their respective screeds as evidence of the Right or Left's mental instability.

Then there is 2). Just as Sharpton has some traction with the Moonbat Fringe of the Left, so too does Robertson have traction with the Weekly World News reading faction of the Right. And the LAST THING that is needed is to give any faction, no matter how Out There, reason to believe that their most paranoid fantasies are in fact true.


In this case, the nefarious and nonsensical belief that God will wipe the sinners off the face of the Earth like he did with Sodom. Robertson has the bad taste and lack of common sense to brand Dover, PA as the modern Gomorrah.

Whatever.

None of his ravings are helped by the fact that theologically he is way out At Sea on this topic. . .yet his public persona lends credence to the idea that there are Christians all over the map who agree with his twisted reasonings. Lately, he has become the poster boy for the argument against Sola Scriptura.

Not only does the man need to shut up -now- he needs to -once again- unlimber his Crow Pie recipe and retract his words.

And for Heaven's Sake, keep quiet in the future. He is simply wrong, and makes everything look bad.

Forgiveness

This is a remarkable story of forgiveness.


Read it now.


Then, consider how the Relativist Left, with its hatred of God and binding moral precepts, explains how such loving behavior could possibly take place. They cannot claim that conscience alone calls the Schrock's to forgiveness, as anyone's conscience in such a situation calls for vengeance. There is a higher moral calling that Mrs. Schrock responded to, and that higher moral authority cannot come solely from within ourselves.

It must come from Beyond.

The Left can take the opposite tack, that the Schrocks are entitled to their vengeance. But then, how can that be the loving, compassionate response that the Left always presents itself as endorsing?

They cannot have it both ways. In fact, the Left cannot have it either way.

Not only do the Schrock's show us the model for loving forgiveness, they also -albeit unwittingly- expose the fundamental philosophical conundrum the Left both is founded in and also always finds itself.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gay Marriage

I also take a ton of heat for criticizing the notion of gay marriage. Neverminding the philosophical sand that the argument of such marriage is built upon, consider the practical ramifications. The Anchoress -as usual- has her finger on the pulse here. Check it out.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How the Left interprets Elections

Here we have a result from Maine, protecting a law making it a crime to discriminate against GLBTs. While this law can be problematic, and perhaps limits free speech and the use of private property, is not the end of the world.

Here we have a Texas bid to outlaw gay marriage winning comfortably.

Here we have Kansas school board challenging the regnant primacy of Evolution in the publoc schools.

Why is it when I visit sites that tend toward the Right (markshea, the Anchoress, even the supposedly radical MichelleMalkin) I find commentary, perhaps some sadness, some crowing, but a generally calm reaction.

Yet, go to the dailyKos, or just about any other left-bent site that considers these things (you folks can probably find these people on your own. ..why give them any free advertising, eh? Even if it is from this very remote corner of blogdom), and you will find vituperation, profanity, tirades. . .behavior common to a 3 year-old.

I get taken to task for being of the Right, and therefore, "ignorant" and "intolerant."


Whose speech is really intolerant? Whose speech is truly indicative of a fundamental ignorance, if we were to regress these people to the developmental age their vocabulary and invective indicates?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Catholic Schools, Crazy Parents and Second Chances

The story can be found here.

It seems that in Sacramento, an all-girls Catholic high school, Loretto, hired a new drama teacher by the name of Bain this year. This woman had been observed in the past, escorting women into the Planned Parenthood so as to facilitate their reception of PP's hideous offerings, bypassing the protesters who object to PPs murderous activities, thereby also giving implicit blessing to PP and its activities.

Note, I said she had been observed. She had been observed, apparently during the summer, by a young woman who attends the Loretto school. When this young woman, Katelyn Sills (her website is here ) mentioned this to her mother, Wynette, Mrs. Sills apparently then approached the administration of the Loretto school, suggesting that Ms. Bain was not a good role model as a teacher for the school and ought to be removed. The administration refused.

Mrs. Sills then took the next logical step and approached the Bishop of Sacramento, William Weigand, and appraised him of the situation. At some point thereafter, Bishop Weigand essentially ordered Loretto to fire Ms. Bain. Which, while disagreeing with the Bishop, they did under holy obedience.

Two weeks later, the school expelled Katelyn Sills, apparently with little or no prior warning.


Now, having read all of this, my (limited) faithful readers are probably breathing fire and wanting to go down to Sacto and set fire to the Loretto administration.


And I was right there with you.

Except for this critical paragraph found in the Sacramento Bee's coverage of this little foofaraw:

The teacher, Marie Bain of Sacramento, who ceased volunteering before taking the Loretto job, was fired Oct. 14.


Now, if, IF the Bee is correct on this and not spinning the truth, this places the entire story in a much different light (see here for an example of why the MSM may not be trusted to be telling the truth here).

In this light, the Bishop may well have been premature in ordering Marie Bain's removal, and the intrepid Sills family is barking up the wrong tree.


As a principal, I once hired a woman who was engaged to be married. She was not a Catholic, yet understood and accepted our morals code for hiring. She revealed to me that she had been living with her fiancee (av ery public act of poor moral behavior), but they both agreed that if they were to pursue the position, they would have to separate the household until they were married. I added that they ought to lead fully chaste lives, but that I also wasn't about to police their behavior. And I hired her, because she was (and is) a good teacher. I also told her that if I received knowledge that they were not living chastely, I would terminate her employment immediately. There is little doubt that if parents discovered that I had hired a woman who had been living with her fiancee, I would have had parents at my door questioning my wisdom. And I would have said (as I was expecting that pressure to come about) that while she was behaving in error, she was not now, and so long as she stayed within the employee Code, I would retain her, and that would be that.

But I never did get confronted.


Here, it seems that we have a similar problem. We have a woman engaging in a public act of poor moral behavior (assisting at a Planned Parenthood), before being hired at a Catholic school. She terminates this behavior prior to her hiring, as did my own hire. Yet in this case, parental pressure forces the firing of the woman for behavior that predates her employment. (in the end, the administration acted not out of pressure, but out of Holy Obedience)

If I had refused to hire the teacher I hired despite her obvious qualifications and her desire to reform her behavior, I would have been doing both her and the school and injustice. If the Sacramento story is correct, a similar injustice has been done here. Marie Bain should not have been fired.

People must be allowed the opportunity to repent of their errors and move on in a spirit of forgiveness and charity. Marie Bain, it seems, was denied that opportunity.




Now, there remains the issue of Katelyn Sills expulsion. And here I will say that the school is in further error, in that -and I am speculating here- the girl was removed not because she was a menace, but because her mother was intolerable. And I am foursquare opposed to the removal of a child from a school because a parent is a tyrant. I might invite them to leave, but an expulsion requires the child acting in such a way as to require removal, not the parent. A similar case is occuring in Orange County where an openly gay couple has had theur child removed from the school because of their public behavior. Whether or not one agrees with homosexual behavior is beside the point. The child should not be punished for the indiscretions and idiocies of their parents.

And for one really pragmatic reason: Parents are ALWAYS acting like idiots with their children. If I had to throw one out, it then becomse way to easy to throw 50% of them out. The only way I would ever have a child leave for parental idiocy would be for their utter refusal to pay their bills to the school. Even then, I would simply refuse them the ability to register for a new year.


Even outright craziness, like having berserk parents stalk the halls can be overcome by restraining orders and a well-placed SRO; but it is a travesty of justice to expel a kid for parental foolishness.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Nut said it right

Here in terms of the attempt on the Left to usurp the American voting process. It's all there, judicial usurpation of politics, Kennedy demagoguery, poor sports. . .all of it.

Read it and do so NOW!!!!!
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