Still in my photography workshop. Best way to do outdoor shooting when it is 102 degrees is be hanging off the back end of a boat, photographing wake boarders.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
-- 1984, George Orwell
Wait a second, "call law enforcement?!" Isn't the US Border Patrol supposed to be law enforcement?!
Multiple quizzes throughout the course and a final test ensure repeatedly that we know that we only have three options when encountering some murderous thug in a public place. 1. Run away; 2. Hide; and 3. Only put up a fight as a last resort by acting aggressively and throwing things at the shooter.
|Fortunately, Arizona has plenty of cacti to use when confronted with an armed threat . . . unless, of course, it is a protected species of cacti, in which case you will be charged for its use to save your life.|
|Rest in Peace, Agent Terry.|
A heroic straphanger saved a 9-month-old boy today after a gust of wind blew the tot’s stroller into the path of an oncoming subway in Brooklyn, authorities and witnesses said.
His mother had apparently forgotten to put the brakes on the stroller as she was tending to his three siblings, according to Khalima Ansari, 21, who watched the drama unfold and called 911.
A burst of breeze set the stroller in motion, and down the child went into the rail bed of the J-line.
Kudos to Mr. Simmonds, as well as Ms. Ansari for being observant and helping to keep the baby awake until the EMTs arrived.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
A TSA worker at an airport in Florida violated the agency’s policy when she opened a container containing the ashes of a passenger’s grandfather and spilled them on the terminal floor,according to Indianapolis, Indiana’s ABC affiliate station, WRTV Channel 6.
I despise petty little bureaucrats like this. Explain to me why it is wrong to take her aside and play "Danny Boy" on her face with an ugly stick?
I graduated High School this week. When my Dad said he had a present for me I thought I was getting some cheesy graduation card. But what I received was something truly priceless. Following the ceremony he handed me a bag with a copy of "Oh the Places You'll Go," by Doctor Seuss inside. At first I just smiled and said that it meant a lot and that I loved that book. But then he told me "No, open it up." ...On the first page I see a short paragraph written by none other than my kindergarten teacher. I start tearing up but I'm still confused. He tells me "Every year, for the past 13 years, since the day you started kindergarten I've gotten every teacher, coach, and principal to write a little something about you inside this book." He managed to keep this book a secret for 13 years, and apparently everyone else in my life knew about it! Yes the intended effect occured... I burst out in tears. Sitting there reading through this book there are encouraging and sweet words from every teacher I love and remember through my years in this small town. My early teachers mention my "Pigtails and giggles," while my high school teachers mention my "Wit and sharp thinking.." But they all mention my humor and love for life. It is astounding to receive something this moving, touching, nostalgic, and thoughtful. I can't express how much I love my Dad for this labor of love.
If you are a new parent, consider this.
Now excuse me, I must have gotten something in my eye . . . I need a Kleenex . . .
Fifteen years ago today, my beautiful daughter came into this world.
Some people said, when she was born, "Oh, you're gonna have a handful when she's a teenager." No - my Kate is a good girl and I only wish I was as cool as she is now when I was 15. Her Dad and I are very proud of the fine young lady she is becoming.
God has blessed her with beauty and brains. May He continue to bless her with wisdom and His Grace.
Added bonus! It's also the birthday of Captain, My Captain!
"The United States is an indivisible “Union of sovereignStates.” Hinderlider v. La Plata River & Cherry Creek Ditch Co., 304 U. S. 92, 104 (1938). Today’s opinion, approving virtually all of the Ninth Circuit’s injunction against enforcement of the four challenged provisions of Arizona’s law, deprives States of what most would con- sider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there."
"To remedy this, the Constitution’s Privileges and ImmunitiesClause provided that “[t]he Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.” Art. IV, §2, cl. 1 (emphasis added). But if one State had particularly lax citizenship standards, it might still serve as a gateway for the entry of “obnoxious aliens” into other States. This problem was solved “by authorizing the general government to establish a uniformrule of naturalization throughout the United States.” The Federalist No. 42, supra, at 271; see Art. I, §8, cl. 4. In other words, the naturalization power was given to Congress not to abrogate States’ power to exclude those they did not want, but to vindicate it [my own emphasis]."
"In Mayor of New York v. Miln, this Court considered a New York statute that required the commander of any ship arriving in New York from abroad to disclose “the name, place of birth, and last legal settlement, age and occupation . . . of all passengers . . . with the intention of proceeding to the said city.” 11 Pet., at 130–131. After discussing the sovereign authority to regulate the entrance of foreigners described by De Vattel, the Court said:
“The power . . . of New York to pass this law having undeniably existed at the formation of the constitution, the simply inquiry is, whether by that instrument it was taken from the states, and granted to congress; for if it were not, it yet remains with them.” Id., at 132.
And the Court held that it remains. Id., at 139."
"In light of the predominance of federal immigrationrestrictions in modern times, it is easy to lose sight of theStates’ traditional role in regulating immigration—and to overlook their sovereign prerogative to do so. I accept as agiven that State regulation is excluded by the Constitution when (1) it has been prohibited by a valid federal law, or (2) it conflicts with federal regulation—when, for example, it admits those whom federal regulation would exclude, or excludes those whom federal regulation would admit.
Possibility (1) need not be considered here: there is no federal law prohibiting the States’ sovereign power to exclude (assuming federal authority to enact such a law) . . .
What this case comes down to, then, is whether the Arizona law conflicts with federal immigration law—whether it excludes those whom federal law would admit, or admits those whom federal law would exclude. It does not purport to do so. It applies only to aliens who neither possess a privilege to be present under federal law nor have been removed pursuant to the Federal Government’s inherent authority."
Let me stop here for a second to point out an interesting parallel in history. If you ask most Americans what was the root cause of the Civil War, they will answer "Slavery." That is a a very common misconception. Abraham Lincoln used the abolition movement as a vehicle to stir the North into a fight against the South, but the South did not secede to preserve slavery.
In 1860, the South was experiencing significant prosperity in the export of its agriculture, cotton in particular, to Europe, with the demand heightened by the Crimean War. The Southern states were paying over 75% of taxes collected by the federal government before the Civil War, and that money was being used to support the "tax-and-spend" legislation of the new party in power - no, not the Democrats, the Republicans, believe it or not. Sorry if this shatters the hagiography you might have of Abraham Lincoln (and that's okay, after this summer teachers will have to forbear the questions of ignorant students as to why their texts do not mention his vampire fighting days), but it may explain why Obama clings to Lincoln's icon so fiercely. The federal government - controlled by the Republican party - used taxes to spend to expand the North from the pocketbooks of the South. And after a time, the South said enough was enough, and seceded. Lincoln called a vote for war - first placing Southern law makers and their families under house arrest in Washington, DC so they could not make it to the Capitol to vote - and so began the Civil War.
A simplified story, yes, but the point is to see the parallel here. Does Arizona hate Mexicans? Of course not. As Scalia said, this case is "whether the Arizona law conflicts with federal immigration law" - not racism. But racism is the vehicle that Obama would use to "rally his troops," just as Lincoln used slavery. The federal government seeks to deny Arizona its sovereignty to pander to its special interests at a cost to be borne by the state, just as the Republicans of 1860 did for its base in the North.
Is it not just S.B. 1070. Florida is locking horns with the Department of Justice in seeking to purge its voters rolls of fraudulent or invalid registrations, and with that there are also charges of racism and that Governor Scott is seeking to "disenfranchise" minority voters by requiring identification to vote.
The federal government versus the states. This climate was seen in 1860 and appears now. The question is, is secession a possible result? In my lifetime, I have seen amazing things, including the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Union. America has prided itself on its exceptionalism and that has been seriously undermined in recent times. Perhaps a new civil war is necessary to start afresh and restore our federal republic.
Monday, June 25, 2012
The Obama administration said Monday it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline many of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.
Interesting, not even an executive order. Simply, "Hello, Homeland Security . . . Arizona who? I'm sorry, you must have the wrong number."
So it's Obama saying, "Neener, neener, neener, Jan - that's what you get for shaking your finger at me. SCOTUS says you can't enforce your law except to verify immigration status and we are not going to enforce ours there, either. Sucks to be you, don't it?"
In effect, Obama has disenfranchised Arizona from the union with regards to immigration control. So why stay in it, Arizonans?
So, carry your ID and there won't be any problems . . . SCOTUS upholds key provision of Arizona law.
There were four provisions at issue in S.B. 1070:
1. Arizona made it a misdemeanor for being in the United States illegally.
2. Arizona made it a misdemeanor for an illegal alien to seek or obtain work.
3. Arizona allowed its police to arrest a person without a warrant if the police thought they had done something that could have them "removed" by immigration officials from the United States, i.e., being an illegal alien.
4. Arizona allowed its police to verify immigration status during a routine stop or investigation.
The US Constitution has a Supremacy Clause by which federal law "preempts" or "trumps" state law. So, the Court held today that provisions 1 through 3 are pre-empted by federal law since such measures exist in federal law. Mind you, this does not address the issue of what to do when the federal government does not enforce its own laws, but from a purely legal aspect, if the federal government has laws that govern something under its responsibilities (immigration), no state can override it with one of its own. So they are struck down.
But the Court upheld the fourth provision. That provision - also known as Section 2(B) of Arizona law S.B. 1070, requires that state officers (police, sheriffs, troopers) make a "reasonable attempt" to determine the immigration status of any person during a routine stop, investigation, or detention, if "reasonable suspicion" exists that the person is an illegal alien.
So - carry your ID and be prepared to answer questions truthfully. Oh, and obey the laws so you lessen your likelihood of being stopped. Good advice for natural-born citizens, naturalized citizens, legal residents, and visiting foreigners.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
The are times I really miss my former hometown of Santa Ana, California. Especially when I miss a party like this:
An argument at a wedding reception turned ugly as one man was shot and another fled the scene.
Two unidentified men started fighting during a wedding reception at 1245 S. Main St., police Cmdr. Tammy Franks said. One man wrestled a gun from a security guard and used it to shoot the other man in the arm.
Okay, wait a second. This was a wedding reception. With guests. So how is it that the two men remain "unidentified?"
And there must have been a lot of guests - because they had armed security for the reception. Okay, Barney Fife there managed to have his gun taken from him, so I hope the lovely couple got their money back.
But could the photo editor of the Orange County Register have chosen a more stereotyped picture to accompany the story? According to the caption in the Register, "Santa Ana Police interview a bride and groom after their wedding on Main Street Saturday night ended with one man shot."
Felicidades, you crazy kids!
Saturday, June 23, 2012
In May, Atkinson, of Lake County, Calif., pleaded no contest to incest, oral copulation, lewd contact with a minor and distribution of lewd material to a minor, the newspaper reports.
But in a letter to the court, Atkinson said she doesn't consider what she did as incest.
|Dat ass - this is a picture of what her son, indeed, would hit . . .|
Sure, I know what you're thinking - where did she come up with the 50% . . .?
Okay, maybe not. Perhaps it is more in line with, WTF, LADY, THIS WASN'T A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY, YOU KNEW IT WAS YOUR SON AND IN A CIVILIZED SOCIETY, THIS SORT OF THING IS, YOU KNOW, "FROWNED UPON" AND GENERALLY FOUND TO BE CREEPY AS HELL!
A couple of points here:
A child molester is not simply Jerry Sandusky. It is also people like Mistie Atkinson here. Yeah, people like to joke about there is no teenage boy who is going to complain about the "molestation" when it is an older woman. But stop thinking child abuse is only when it is a homosexual affair, or a girl with an older man.
Using "disorders" to excuse behavior opens a Pandora's box. As if a criminal can claim special protection as a "handicapped" person because of their "illness." Sociopaths also have disorders. But we feel a lot better having guys like Ted Bundy off the streets. We are supposed to rise above our limitations, and not simply give in and plead for sympathy.
Mary Cheney, the openly gay daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, has married her long-time partner Heather Poe, The Daily Caller has learned.
In a statement provided to TheDC, both the former vice president and his wife, Lynne, said they are “delighted” the couple could have their “relationship recognized.”
“Our daughter Mary and her long time partner, Heather Poe, were married today in Washington, DC,” the Cheneys said.
“Mary and Heather have been in a committed relationship for many years, and we are delighted that they were able to take advantage of the opportunity to have that relationship recognized,” the Cheneys said. “Mary and Heather and their children are very important and much loved members of our family and we wish them every happiness.”
So the Cheneys display class and etiquette, and their daughter married her partner. Surely, this is the utopia that supporters of gay marriage hope for, isn't it?
Evidently not . . .
As many people know, I lived in Santa Ana for over 15 years. And this happened today right in my neighborhood.
A 5-year-old girl died and her sister and mother are in critical condition after a woman reportedly ran a red light, hitting the three pedestrians inside a marked crosswalk at the intersection of 17th and Spurgeon, Santa Ana Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Police said Jessica Louise Cowan continued driving her Lexus, attempting to get away, before she was stopped by a driver who witnessed the crash.
Bertagna said a preliminary investigation shows that Cowan was driving 60 miles per hour or more while traveling westbound on 17th Street about 11 a.m. Saturday, and ran over the family, which was on its way to a store.
Someone in the comments to the story said the mother was also on her way to St. Joseph Church - my former parish.
|A picture of the perp at the scene, from the Orange County Register|
Cowan failed a field sobriety test at the scene and had a container of marijuana on her dashboard, Bertagna said.
Hmmm . . . a White woman from Frazier Park in a Lexus driving under the influence at 11:00 am on a Saturday westbound on 17th Street - gosh, maybe she was coming from one of the 15 or so medical marijuana dispensaries that are on 17th in that area after getting her "prescription" filled.
Thank you to the woman motorist who boxed in Cowan's car to prevent her from leaving. Cowan should realize how lucky she is that she wasn't dragged from her car and given a taste of street justice.
Praying for the soul of that little girl. Checking to see if there is any type of donation fund being established.
|Completely unrelated to the story but come on, it's got a raptor!|
“It’s very important that you use your utensils as soon as possible,” National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials board member Raquel Regalado told about 1000 delegates at the group’s annual conference.
“As you know, we’re having another speaker and there is some Secret Service involved. So there’s a reason why there’s no knives at your table and the forks will be collected. ... And I’m not joking,” Regalado told the audience in a ballroom at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World. “So, like the good Hispanic mother I’m here to tell you to please, eat your lunch.”
Maybe they were afraid some of the attendees of Mexican descent were pissed at having relatives killed by guns supplied to los carteles narcos by Operation Fast and Furious.
Or worse. Latinos are know to be largely . . . Catholic.
"We decided as a little strategy position that to put Jerry on the stand, to set him up to have Matt come in to this jury and testify against him, would have absolutely destroyed whatever chances at acquittal. He reluctantly agreed not to testify."
I loved the peanut gallery behind him, though. When asked if the verdicts proved his client was "sick," and Amendola said no, the crowd erupted in a chorus of boos. When Amendola stated his client was likely to die in prison, the crowd started cheering. At what point would you realize, it's time to shut the hell up, and move away?
Just who here has the Histrionic Personality Disorder anyway?
Friday, June 22, 2012
A monsignor who oversaw hundreds of priests in the Philadelphia Archdiocese was found guilty on Friday of one count of endangering the welfare of a child, making him the first senior U.S. Roman Catholic Church official to be convicted for covering up child sex abuse.
Lynn was accused of what prosecutors said was an effort to cover up child sex abuse allegations, often by transferring priests to unsuspecting parishes.
Lynn's trial was noteworthy because of its focus on the role of a church official accused not of molestation but of covering it up. It raises questions of personal responsibility and how far someone such as Lynn could or should have stepped outside the rigors of the church hierarchy and whether strict obedience to church elders is defensible, experts said.
A priest takes a vow of obedience at his ordination to his Bishop and his Bishop's successors. But a priest should always remember that he ultimately he must answer to God. A priest once told me that he liked the fact that his was a job where he did not have to face layoffs. I would hope that no priest would exchange such security in compromise of their conscience, even if it did mean running afoul of their Bishop.
I admit, I would not be displeased to see bigger fish caught and convicted for cover-up, i.e., certain bishops and cardinals.
Got a birthday, anniversary, or wedding coming up?
Let your friends know how important this election is to you—register with Obama 2012, and ask for a donation in lieu of a gift. It’s a great way to support the President on your big day. Plus, it’s a gift that we can all appreciate—and goes a lot further than a gravy bowl.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for donations to charitable causes in lieu of a gift. But it is tacky to involve politics at this level. Unless you really are an insufferable wonk.
Just last week someone called me old and fat, and accused me of being a lesbian, and I didn't get one thin dime . . .
Meanwhile, the Walt Disney Co. says it would cover her bills at Disney World in Florida.
The incident has turned into an international fundraising juggernaut and opened her tormentors to an onslaught of threats and abuse.
From around the world, small donations for Karen Klein poured into the crowd-funding site indiegogo.com, at one point crashing the site and pulling in a staggering $443,057 by early Friday.
I did not see the video of her getting bullied. I am sure it was disturbing and disgusting. Probably a lot of what I have seen on occasion in the subways of New York growing up.
Bullying is never okay.
But I think this is getting a little out of hand.
The fundraiser flew past its goal of $5,000, initially designed to send the grandmother of eight on a “vacation of a lifetime.” Some 20,875 people had donated by early Friday, many in denominations of $20 or less.
You know what that means? It means any one individual sent her less than $10,000. Which is a gift under IRS rules. Which means Karen is getting nearly $500,000 tax-free.
Did I mention someone's sister called me fat and old?
And when I was a kid at Camp Marydell, Geraldine Richardson called me "Mr. Peanut" because she said that's what my figure reminded her of.
And I had to wear orthopedic shoes as a kid.
And my dog died.
Send your donations today!
Don't worry - there is still likely to be arugula and kale.
But I took a closer look at this latest raffle. You don't need to donate to his re-election campaign to win. In fact, they promise that "[c]ontributing will not improve chances of winning." Of course, they are really hoping that you will throw a few bucks his way. After all, campaigning is an expensive proposition. But, you know, they don't want to appear like they're begging for it.
But reading further, I noticed this:
Three winners will each receive the following prize package: round-trip tickets for winner and a guest from within the fifty U.S. States, DC, or Puerto Rico to a destination to be determined by the Sponsor; hotel accommodations; and dinner with President Obama on a date to be determined by the Sponsor (approximate retail value of all prizes $4,800).
Never mind that if you are in Guam or American Samoa, no soup for you! Why would they tell you the approximate retail value? Because you will have won it, which means you will have to pay taxes on your dream. Just like any lottery. No executive order for you!
That makes me wonder - if someone just below the poverty line won this, when they file their next year's taxes, could this put them in a position of losing certain government benefits?
"Something as simple as a sun hat might seem to bypass the prescription issue to some extent," she wrote. "Alas, hats are not allowed at school, even on field day."
Sad thing is that rather implement common sense - have plenty of water, send a note home to the parents asking them to provide sunscreen, allowing the children rest periods in the shade, and removing a child from activities if it appears they are getting too much exposure - the next step wold likely be to eliminate field day altogether.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Who cares if I'm over 50? Age is a number.
One of the songs that the beautiful Claudia uses for the Wednesday night class is this one. I think Pitbull is cute!
But back to the closing arguments. Dude, really? Your client is the real victim here? You know, most people take the sexual abuse of children pretty seriously. Some of them have even read Nabakov's Lolita, where the pedophile in that book tried to gain sympathy by claiming he was seduced - but it just doesn't work. Sure, you can say the witnesses were misguided, or that the district Attorney was, say, "unnecessarily zealous." But then you said this:
"They went after him, and I submit to you they were going to get him hell or high water, even if they had to coach witnesses," Amendola said in a sometimes angry closing argument.
See, there is a problem with that - you really did not show any coaching occurred during the trial. So, why would the jurors buy your client as being "victimized?" That's a strongly charged word. "Wrongly accused" is a little more palatable. Although it might be trumped by "histrionic personality disorder," which is laughable.
Good luck, anyway. But I am betting your client is not getting any acquittal.
Once there was a stigma to going on the dole, and it was seen as a last resort. But now the Agriculture Department runs radio and TV ads prodding people to get the free food, as in a recent campaign that says food stamps will help you lose weight. A federal website boasts about strategies that have "increased program participation" with special emphasis on Hispanics because "our data show that many low-income Latinos simply don't apply for [food stamps] even though they're eligible."
I had the good fortune to experience a society where the people are completely dependent on the State for their basic necessities. In the summer of 1980, I was an exchange student in Leningrad, USSR. We tend to think that a Communist society has armed gorilla-like guards swarming the streets, that everyone dresses the same, and no one looks happy for fear of betraying any emotion lest they get dragged off to a labor camp. That is not true and although their are plenty of human rights violations, for the average person it meant a sort of day-to-day existence of scrambling to find razor blades, suddenly changing plans to stand in line for an hour because a state produce store got in an unexpected shipment of oranges (yes, I saw that happen and I stood in line for the chance to buy two - count them, two - Morrocan oranges), sharing an apartment with people you don't like because that is how the government housing allotment turned out, or realizing that the state department store will never have your size shoe in the color you want, so you make do with the ugly gray and use old newspaper to stuff the space because it is a size-and-a-half too big.
|Been there, done that. BTW, the sign on the store boils it down to the basics: MEAT.|
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
"No law respecting an establishment of religion" - many Americans may not realize that countries such as England and Germany have an official state religion - in the latter, those who do not enroll with the Lutheran church have a tax imposed upon them. The founding fathers wanted to make sure that the federal government stayed out of the religion business.
The "free exercise" thereof - this is more than simply worship but extends to what members of a religion might believe brings them closer to God or helps them be holy.
The HHS mandates are unconstitutional because they allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services - presently Kathleen Seblius - to define what qualifies as a religious institution and mandate conduct which is antithetical to the exercise of the Catholic faith. The HHS mandates require an employer to provide health insurance coverage that includes contraceptive measures, be it birth control or abortion, both of which the tenets of the Catholic faith condemn. An exemption for "religious institutions" exist; however, Sebelius has narrowly defined that to mean parishes and dioceses. Organizations such as hospitals or schools run by religious orders as part of their vocational ministries are not exempt, since they provide their services to people other than Catholics. So, an urban health clinic run by the Missionaries of Charity - the order founded by Mother Teresa - must provide health care with contraceptive benefits even if the only people using the health care are the nuns themselves, because they take care of everyone.
That is the impasse at which the Catholic Church finds itself with the Obama administration. The Church is not asking for the mandates to be written such that the requirement is abolished completely - although the media has been portraying it as a story of the Catholic bishops wanting to "take away" birth control from everyone - but that all of its institutions be allowed the exemption so that their "free exercise" is not abridged. This may mean that some Catholic institutions choose to provide such health coverage, but that then becomes an issue of internal governance in the Church - again, leaving the State out of the religion business.
Here is what Chaput had to say:
We need to look honestly at the arc of Catholic history in our country. The lessons may not be comforting. American Catholics began as an unwelcome minority. The Church built her credibility by defending and serving her people. She developed her influence with the resources her people entrusted to her. A vast amount of good was done in the process. We need to honor that. But two other things also happened. The Church in the United States became powerful and secure. And Catholics became less and less invested in the Church that their own parents and grandparents helped to build.
I think it’s fair, in part, to blame Church leaders for a spirit of complacency and inertia, clericalism, even arrogance, and for operating off a model of the Church–often for well-intentioned reasons–rooted in the past and out of touch with reality. But there’s plenty of blame to go around. Too many ordinary Catholics have been greedy, losing themselves in America’s culture of consumerism and success. Too many have been complicit in the dullness–the acedia–that has seeped into Church life, and the cynicism and resentment that naturally follow it.
These problems kill a Christian love of poverty and zeal. They choke off a real life of faith. They create the shadows that hide institutional and personal sins. And they encourage a paralysis that can burrow itself into every heart and every layer of the Church, right down to individual Catholics in the pews. The result is that Philadelphia, like so much of the Church in the rest of our country, is now really mission territory–again; for the second time.
My point is this. We live in a world of illusions when we lose sight of who Jesus Christ really is, and what he asks from each of us as disciples. One of novelist Ray Bradbury’s characters once said, “I wonder if God recognizes his own son the way we’ve dressed him up, or is it dressed him down? He’s a regular peppermint stick now, all sugar crystal and saccharine.” Father John Hugo, a friend and counselor to Dorothy Day, put it even more forcefully when he wrote of our “falsified picture of Jesus [with his] eyes perpetually raised to heaven, soft, even girlish in beauty, [the] very incarnation of impotence.”
The real Jesus, in Hugo’s words, “did not hesitate to condemn the rich, to warn the powerful, to denounce in vehement language the very leaders of the people. His love and goodness were chiefly for the poor, the simple, the needy. And his love for them was not a limp, indulgent love, like that of a silly, frivolous mother. To his friends he preached poverty of spirit, detachment, the carrying the cross. No more did the kindness of Jesus spare his followers, than the kindness of God the father spared his son. We are to drink of the same chalice that he drank of.”
That’s our vocation. That’s the life of honesty, heroism, and sacrifice God calls us to as a Church and as individual believers. And in our eagerness to escape it, to tame it, to reshape it in the mold of our own willful ideas, we’ve failed not only to convert our culture, but also to pass along the faith to many of our own children.
The Fortnight for Freedom is not window dressing. I have had the benefit in my legal studies of seeing the cases brought before for religious freedom, whether they addressed the right of the Amish to educate their children according to their faith or the right of a Santeria church to sacrifice roosters. This is not something new - the government has sought to interfere before with the free exercise of religion and people pushed back. What is different now is that it is the Catholic Church doing so, and sadly we are the media villains, our bishops portrayed as "extremists" or "out of touch". It is time to take a stand lest lose a generation from the Church.
A critic of the Catholic faith may read Chaput's words and say, give it up, it's too late. No, it isn't. Mother Church has stood for 2,000 years in a constant state of flux - indeed, some periods were worse than now - but remains here today, with members joining everyday. I like to remind people that the Church is an infallible institution - it must be, it was initiated by Christ Himself - populated by fallible individuals. And as history has shown us, human nature changes little. The complacency towards the Church has happened before, and a call to arms issued to realize who we are as Catholics has been issued in the past. That call is now. And I say it goes even to non-Catholics, because once one individual's freedom is threatened, and nothing is done, then anyone else's becomes fair game.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Gay Écoute (Gay Line), a Canadian gay rights group in Montreal, has started a registry where one may - anonymously - report "homophobic acts." What is a "homophobic act?"
"[A]ny word or act negatively toward a homosexual or homosexuality in general: physical abuse, verbal abuse, intimidation, harassment, graffiti offensive, abuse, mockery offensive,inappropriate media coverage and discrimination."
Any word? I do not condone homophobia, but I also do not stand for the notion that any criticism - including that which is unrelated to one's sexual orientation - can be tagged as "homophobic." Just as criticism of Obama has been subject to charges of racism.
"I disagree with your position on the new tax surcharges. And you've got soup on your tie."
While this new registry is not "official" and Gay Écoute will be advising the "anonymous" people calling in as to where they can take official action - such as filing a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission - it is being funded by the government.
In two years, the group will analyze the registry data and make recommendations to help stem homophobic acts. The registry is being funded with $60,000 from the Quebec Justice Department, which has set aside $7.1 million to battle homophobia over five years.
I don't like hate crimes because they require a determination as to what is in the mind of an alleged perpetrator and that means theya re really thought crimes, which is just too Orwellian for my tastes. It is a crime to assault someone, that is, to cause apprehension. It is a crime to then cause a touching upon the person, and that is a battery. However, it is not per se a crime to call someone a faggot.
I also have to wonder - if homophobia is such a problem, given the cultural diversity of Canada - common to former British colonies - are there other people requiring such a registry?
Or is it really more practical to enforce laws against crimes as is?
“Not all hurtful things that are said are illegal,” Gagnon said. “Some things may just be part of a person’s freedom of speech. But this registry will help (police) understand what is going on province-wide.”
Here is a question to ponder: when should a "hurtful thing" that is said be illegal? Bill Maher can call Sarah Palin a "c**t" which is the most egregious thing that can be said to a female - if I call a lesbian quebecoise the same thing, should that be illegal? And . . . what if she is a nasty enough person for it to be true? Can a gay man call a transgender woman a bitch - and get away with it?
Or should we just let crimes be crimes? And save taxpayers the money of chasing insults.
Which brings us to Eric Holder . . .
-- so did you get the documents and I think that Terry -- the United States that you had subpoenaed?
Sadly no we not only didn't get the documents but the only offer we got was an offer. That if we would take a briefing followed by such documents is they think support the briefing. And agree to -- the case. We could go our separate ways. The attorney general did not come with any offer -- any documents. Except as a contingent for ending the case out right and he didn't bring any list of any documents or for that matter anything in writing.
|Oh, c'mon - a gal can dream, can't she?|
I hope the contempt goes forward. For the memory of US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, killed by Mexican cartel member using weapons supplied to them by Holder's "Operation Fast and Furious." The contempt isn't enough - indictment and conviction would be, as well as a finding of liability in a civil suit - but it's a start.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange settled a sex-abuse and cover-up lawsuit Monday night with an accuser of former Monsignor Michael Harris, agreeing to pay an unusually high amount of $2 million to end a case that alleged a single incident of abuse.
The settlement in Orange County Superior Court came at around 9:30 p.m. after hours of negotiations on a day when jury selection was set to begin before Superior Court Judge Ronald L. Bauer.
Maria Schinderle, general counsel of the Diocese of Orange, said Tuesday the diocese settled for the church entities only and not for Harris, who technically remains a defendant in the lawsuit. Vince Finaldi, an attorney for accuser John Doe, said the lawsuit will be dropped against Harris because he is insolvent.
I have experienced the "settlement on the court house steps" - it is a real motivation to do so when faced with witness testimony and the thought of sitting at counsel table, revisiting everything you wish would just go away.
Of course, the fact that John Doe dropped the case against Michael Harris due to the latter's insolvency will fuel accusations that he brought suit "just for the money." I am not sure that is true. Maybe. But $2 million settlement by the Diocese for a single case suggests to me that either there was significant substance to the accusations, and/or the Diocese is afraid that going forward would uncover other malfeasance, specifically reveal that certain diocesan staff, including clergy, are motivated more to cover their own asses than to bring a wrongdoer to justice.
That is voiced in the comments of Joelle Casteix, the western regional director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP):
"Unfortunately, Michael Harris is still a free man who has complete access to kids. The Diocese of Orange cut him loose onto society with full knowledge that he is a monster. And yet, the people who covered up for Harris have remained unpunished and many have been promoted."
I have had some insights into the politics of the Diocese and frankly, that is a legitimate concern. I will be frank: while I respect his office of bishop, I have little to no respect for Tod Brown. I have met him and I have heard stories about him and he strikes me as a cold, paranoid little martinet of a man. And one who turns a blind eye to what goes on so long as it means no loss of face to him. I still remember watching him during the late Bishop Norman McFarland's funeral look out over the people gathered and thinking that he had a look on his face that said, damn, I bet if I dropped dead I wouldn't even get half this many at my funeral.
|Bishop Tod Brown|
The good news is that there are some very fine and good and holy priests in the Diocese of Orange, and I get mad when I think of the suspicion they face by virtue of the collar they wear, caused by their brother priests. It is grossly unfair to them. My prayer is that Orange soon receives a bishop who is orthodox in the faith and unafraid to clean house. I have a friend who is a priest with whom I joke that I am petitioning the Blessed Virgin Mary to elevate him to bishop and appoint him to Orange - that would be a hoot. But all kidding aside, just as in corporate America, poor management at the top means the rank and file can get away with murder, figuratively.
And, literally and sadly enough, abuse of children.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The Popular Egyptian Islamic Association, a Salafist (extremist Sunni Muslims who support jihad) group out of Egypt allegedly took to its Facebook page this month to urge followers not to eat tomatoes, claiming that they are a Christian vegetable (botanically it’s a fruit).
According to the Now Lebanon web site, an image of a tomato cut in half was posted on the group’s page. In the picture, the insides of the vegetable appear to show what looks like a Christian cross (see above). The web site reports that the text accompanying the picture reads:
“Eating tomatoes is forbidden because they are Christian. [The tomato] praises the cross instead of Allah and says that Allah is three (a reference to the Trinity).”If they just issue a fatwa against lettuce . . . they could hit a trifecta o' haram with a BLT.
[God help us]. I implore you to spread this photo because there is a sister from Palestine who saw the prophet of Allah [Mohammad] in a vision and he was crying, warning his nation against eating them [tomatoes]. If you don’t spread this [message], know that it is the devil who stopped you.”
And thus leave more for me - which ain't bad.
But - the gun ranges! Evidently, their very presence is adequately menacing to frighten any decent human or comapny from operating a business within five miles of one.
True fact: when I lived in Southern California, I would go shooting at Firing Line in Huntington Beach. Located in a lovely eucalyptus tree-lined business park, it was surrounded by light manufacturing, offices, and - just around the corner from its location in the park - a Christian church.
Or Eight Miles. Jackson targeted Action Impact due to its proximity to Eight Mile, a road that Detroit claims divides the Blacks (poor and noble) from the Whites (rich and blood-sucking). Except . . .
The dirty little secret is that there are no operating gun ranges within the geographical borders of Detroit. He obviously chose Action Impact because it is located just outside the city of Detroit border. Thusly, the entire premise of Jackson’s anti-gun campaign has been proven to be false. As mentioned earlier, there are no gun shops in Detroit. So, where are the jobs?
And then, hilarity ensued . . .
Moreover, Jackson’s so-called rally at the Action Impact gun range did have an unintended effect. He actually brought the so-called divided people - whites and blacks - together to mount a counter-protest. Jackson’s designated minion, the Operation Push Detroit Chairman, and two other people doubling as props were given a most proper reception from about 50 freedom and gun loving folks of all hues.
So Jackson had three - count 'em, three! - protesters outside this gun range where they were met by 50 people - Blacks and Whites - who were there to support the gun range. And Jesse himself was a no show.
Jesse owes someone an apology.
All I can say is thank God the larger group were the gun owners who, supporting a range where gun safety and operation are taught and practiced, were likely responsible and law-abiding people. Thus, those three dupes of Jesse's were the safest they've ever been.
|Look at these "gun nuts" - I'd like any one of them as a neighbor.|
Look at the difference between these two videos. How can MSNBC claim any credibility after this?
I have often told my clients in Family Court, never lie. The reason is that family law is often "he said, she said" - but the difference is who the Court believes more. Once you get caught in a lie, your credibility is shot to hell and it takes a long time to recover it.
Brietbart is here. This is why the late Andrew Breitbart placed so much importance on people like you and like me to use video and audio to capture the truth, because we cannot count on talking heads like Andrea Mitchell to be anything but duplicitous towards someone who is not "them."
Pass this around. Make sure it is shown what lying scum exists on MSNBC. Maybe Al Gore can use her over at Current TV.