Because it was all about the money.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Because it was all about the money.
But I will be lazy this morning and point y'all in the direction of my friend, The Crescat, and her far-better-written-post-than-anything-I-can write-unless-of-course-she-and-I-were-drinking-at-The-Thirsty-Beaver:
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Yesterday was the Feast of the Holy Innocents, those children killed by the order of King Herod, to whom it was foretold that a child - the Christ - would become King of the Jews. To eliminate what he saw as his rival for the throne, Herod ordered that all Jewish boys of a tender age would be slain. Joseph was warned of this and fled into Egypt, thereby saving the Christ Child's life.
I spent yesterday with children - mine and two other friends, at Dollywood. To them, it was a fun vacation day. To me, it was something more. I was spending the day watching my children, silently giving thanks to the Lord for their presence. At one point in my life, such a gift would not – was not – within my comprehension.
I have been thinking about the Incarnation – really, Christmas is not the celebration of His Birth as we know birth to be in human terms, but a continuation of the mystery of the Incarnation, begun when the Virgin Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit. That Christ was present even then cannot be disputed – at Mary’s visit to her kin, Elizabeth, the child John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth’s womb for joy at the presence of his Savior. And indeed, Jesus cannot be “born” as He always was and will always be – instead, fully divine, He takes on flesh and becomes fully human, and Christmas is the culmination of that process. Our God so loves us that He assumes our lowly forms and walks among us.
My reading led me to the quoted passage above. Taken from a Christmas homily in 2009, it speaks to the loss of innocence, an innocence of absolute trust in God and the ability to face His truth without fear, and how Christ came – in His Incarnation – to restore us to that innocence.
If I am one thing, I can be overly cynical at times. All too often, I can dismiss someone as being “naïve” or “simple”. They just don’t understand “the rules”; they don’t see the world as I do, self-assured and “tougher” than they are. At such times, I must remember to stop and ask myself, am I playing Herod? Am I “killing” innocence rather than check my cynicism and my pride and simply trust in the Truth that is Christ?
I recently wrote a letter to a friend, telling them of my fears at what may be conduct on their part leading to mortal sin. I do not think I was being judgmental, but what I did do was describe to them conduct that would lead me to withhold my gift of friendship and amity – no, I would not stop loving them but while love is unconditional, that is not the same as being without consequences.
Sometimes, in my practice of law, a client might ask, “When should I not allow [the other parent] to take the child for a visit?” when there is a fear of harm. I would ask them, “Well, would you let the child go if the other parent arrived at your doorstep falling down drunk?” “Of course not!” they would exclaim. Then I would “lessen” the egregious nature of the other parent’s behavior so that they could see there is a time when consequences to someone’s behavior are not appropriate . . . and a point where they become so, and so action such as not allowing visitation may be in order.
So too is it for us in our relationships with others. “Turning the other cheek” does not mean becoming a punching bag. Surely, I would not expect any Christian to disparage a woman – especially one with minor children – for leaving a husband who is an abusive alcoholic. She may still love him; even in her anger, perhaps subconsciously, she may still retain a love for the fact that they conceived children together. But that does not mean her love must be sacrificed to his decision to act in a certain way. And so certain physical manifestations of her love – the conjugal act, maintaining a household together – are foregone to ensure her and her children’s safety – or, if you will, their innocence.
Well, there is a possibility that The Crescat might come for the holiday. Maybe we'll find that snake-handling church having a midnight service . . .
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
I just want to take this time to wish all readers of this blog a very Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.
Christmas is about rejoicing in the greatest gift of all, the Incarnaton. As I was wrapping presents for my children this morning, it occurred to me that after thanking God for His Son, I should also be thankful that I find myself in a comfortable home wrapping gifts for children that I bore with a good husband. Really, after that, what need to I have for anything else?
The picture above is Christmas 1960. I am there, albeit in utero. Mom would have been about five months along. I wonder if she was having similar thoughts that Christmas, with one child toddling about and another on the way.
So Merry Christmas to all!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Let us begin:
- Bad spelling and poor grammar. Now, I know the beauty of Facebook is that it is spontaneous! Friendly! Just between me and my 321 close friends! And I recognize when someone will purposely write something folksy using literary license, such as, "I lahks me some pie!" That is appropriate and a literary device used by people such as Mark Twain, George Orwell, and Hubert Selby, Jr. And I know that mobile devices with their blasted auto-correct functionality - not to mention typing on a touch screen - can cause one's commentary to slip. But if you are putting your best face to the world, albeit digitally, strive to be literate. As I commented earlier, I would have thought that the song "Loser" by Beck would teach a generation how to spell that word correctly. If you write, "He is such a looser," I must inquire as to whether the subject is an archer or has simply eaten too much.
- Infantilism in language. Sadly, this happens all too often with members of my own gender. Someone could post as their status, "My God, I just found out I have an inoperable brain tumor that will kill me within six months!" and, in response, someone will comment, "Hang in there - wuv u!" Weally?
- Drunk Facebooking. This happens when someone decides to unwind with Facebook and a cocktail. Or two. Or several. At the same time, they may be listening to music and think, "Man, I never knew how deep and meaningful the song "Mandy" is . . . man, I gotta post this on Facebook!" Or, "God, I love the Packers, my life is devoid of any meaning or worth without them!" Thereafter, this person will post some 50 links, pictures, and videos, all dedicated to the object of their admiration, and all within the next five minutes. Subsequently, you come onto Facebook, only to see your entire wall - and more of it below - spammed by their postings. And causing you to overlook a single status from a friend saying, "I want to kill myself tonight. I need someone to talk to."
- OMG, IF YUR REALLY FREAKIN OUT AND YOU CANT BREATH OMG YU NEED TO STOP FREAKIN OUT BECUZ YOUR GONNA EXPLODE . . . then you wouldn't have the time to type it out on Facebook, now would you? Oh, and , TYPING IN CAPS IS STILL CONSIDERED SCREAMING!
- Think before you repost. According to the site Transplant Living, the average cost of a heart transplant in 2008 was $787,000. Some three years later, I could predict it is nearer to $900,000. I think it is highly improbable that a medical facility would move a patient up on the list of those waiting for a donor heart and perform all the medical work gratis because a picture of the patient - who looked quite POST-op in the picture - was shared 100 times. Also, no, simply because you're my Facebook friend, I do not consider you family. Thinking that just makes me question whether you have an issue with boundaries.
- Passive-aggressive irony. "OMG, some people should just tell me what they think of me instead of talking behind my back to all our friends, and they know who they are, I hate those people who won't tell you to your face!"
- Lurkers. Some of my friends have the saddest profiles of old statuses and the occasional lonely voice in the wilderness writing on their wall, "Hey, how are you doing?" Does it mean that they are not active on Facebook? Perhaps. But I notice in conversation with these people, they bring up subjects that you have recently discussed on Facebook, which leads me to believe they use Facebook to lurk. Think of them as sort of a digital Peeping Tom. Here is a tip that I know other friends do: adopt a fictitious persona. It is okay to hide your identity. Frankly, I enjoy the alter egos of some of my friends, especially when it allows them to suspend some inhibitions they have in real life.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Well, he is right."Per se" means "in itself." So, yes, the Taliban is not our enemy per se.
It's all the shit they do that make them that.
See, even a blind pig finds an acorn once in awhile, so stop making fun of Joe.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Evidently, a little PR can go a long way. I await eagerly to see what they come up with. A snappy slogan? A bouncy little jingle ("Have you heard the latest news?/We're here 24/7 to kill the Jews . . .")? Or maybe they will get Tom Ford to redesign a fresh-n-fierce burka for the ladies.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
BTW, best comment on this: when my dear friend, Buzz Bannister, heard I photographed "The Nutcracker on Ice", he said, "I was hoping to see a picture of my ex-wife's attorney laid out in the morgue!"
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Friday, December 09, 2011
Evidently, it covers both sexes. This presuambly is en email sent to a woman after a date - and the only date - with "Mike."
Oh ha, ha, ha . . . nothing like checking off "perform token gesture to Jews" from your to do list early, especially when it might interfere with your Hawaiian vacation. It wasn't a token gesture? Unlike the actual Hanukah, where the candles are lit consecutively, one each night, until all eight (plus the extra shammes candle) are lit, Obama handily lit all of them at once, made his joke, and . . . that was it. What, no latkes? I guess Obama thought his Catskill shtick was "Jewish" enough.
The offiical White House transcript (as of December 9, 2011 at 6:19 am EST - I put that because as criticism rises, they may well scrub the references to laughter):
THE PRESIDENT: Well, good evening, everybody. Welcome to the White House. Thank you all for joining us tonight to celebrate Hanukkah -- even if we're doing it a little bit early. (Laughter.)
I want to start by recognizing a few folks who are here. The ambassador to the United States from Israel, Michael Oren, is in the house. (Applause.)
We are honored to be joined by one of the justices of the Supreme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is here. (Applause.) We are thrilled to see her. She's one of my favorites, I got to -- (laughter.) I've got a soft spot for Justice Ginsburg.
And we’ve got more than a few members of Congress here and members of my administration in the house, including our new Director of Jewish Outreach, Jarrod Bernstein is here. Where's Jarrod? (Applause.) Hey, Jarrod.
I also want to thank the West Point Jewish Chapel Cadet Choir –- (applause) -- the Voice of Tradition -– for their wonderful performance, but more importantly, for their extraordinary service to our country.
And I want to thank all the rabbis and lay leaders who have come far and wide to be here with us today.
Now, as I said, we’re jumping the gun just a little bit. The way I see it, we’re just extending the holiday spirit. We're stretching it out. (Laughter.) But we do have to be careful that your kids don’t start thinking Hanukkah lasts 20 nights instead of eight. (Laughter.) That will cause some problems.
This Hanukkah season we remember a story so powerful that we all know it by heart -- even us Gentiles. It’s a story of right over might, of faith over doubt. Of a band of believers who rose up and freed their people and discovered that the oil left in their desecrated temple –- which should have lasted only one night –- ended up lasting eight.
It’s a timeless story. And for 2,000 years, it has given hope to Jews everywhere who are struggling. And today, it reminds us that miracles come in all shapes and sizes. Because to most people, the miracle of Hanukkah would have looked like nothing more than a simple flame, but the believers in the temple knew it was something else. They knew it was something special.
This year, we have to recognize the miracles in our own lives. Let’s honor the sacrifices our ancestors made so that we might be here today. Let’s think about those who are spending this holiday far away from home -– including members of our military who guard our freedom around the world. Let’s extend a hand to those who are in need, and allow the value of tikkun olam to guide our work this holiday season.
This is also a time to be grateful for our friendships, both with each other and between our nations. And that includes, of course, our unshakeable support and commitment to the security of the nation of Israel. (Applause.)
So while it is not yet Hanukkah, let’s give thanks for our blessings, for being together to celebrate this wonderful holiday season. And we never need an excuse for a good party. (Laughter.) So we are going to see all of you in a second downstairs --
MRS. OBAMA: Aren't we in the Blue Room?
THE PRESIDENT: Or wherever we are. (Laughter.) I think we're downstairs. We are downstairs in the Map Room. So as I look around, I see a whole bunch of good friends. We can't wait to give you a hug and a kiss and wish you a happy holiday. The guys with whiskers, I won't give you a kiss. (Laughter.)
Thank you very much, everybody. (Applause.)
It was a momentous day for father and son. They were observing Ashura, the annual religious holiday when Shiite Muslims display penance and mourning with self-inflicted wounds to commemorate the 7th century martyrdom of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the prophet Muhammad.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Ah! Brings me back to those second-trimester pregancy days . . .
(And it occurs to me - we acknowledge that the Catholic priesthood was initated at the Last Supper. But the priesthood of . . . what? While we call Pentecost the birthday of the Chuch, it seems illogical to have the priesthood precede the start of the Church. If pressed to answer, who was the fist Catholic or Christian? - how can you not answer, "Mary!"
May you have a blessed day, this Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Look for Mary - she is going to be around today and you never know when you might come face-to-face with her. Mama is cool like that.
But Gustavo will undoubtedly crow about now being the target of The Catholic League as evidence of his grandeur.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word
and my soul shall be healed.