Saturday, December 20, 2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
Oh, no, I am informed, it's a GENERIC holiday celebration (I generally refrain from pointing out that HOLIDAY is a variant of the original HOLY DAY). Just happens that SO many important holidays occur around this time that it's convenient to adjourn for vacation.
I always respond by saying, "I'll call it Winter Break the very first year that it DOESN'T include Christmas".
Christmas is the ONLY reason for the break - it comes at a bad time, just before the end of the semester. It would make FAR more sense to delay the vacation for another week, give the tests, then adjourn for a between-semesters vacation.
Won't happen. Parents (most of them taxpayers and/or voters) would have the school boards roasted - like chestnuts - for daring to implement the sensible switch.
No, we break BECAUSE the majority celebrate Christmas - many of them attending church for the only time that year (I'll address the twice-a-year Christians another time). A few celebrate Kwaanza - fewer every year - and, in selected locations, Hannukkah makes the present-giving event(s).
Funnily enough, few remember the Christian tradition of Epiphany (Jan. 6) or the Holy Day of Obligation (Jan. 1 - Feast of Mary - older Catholics may remember this as Circumcision of Jesus).
Christmas goes on from December 25 (the 1st Day of Christmas) to January 5 (the Eve of Epiphany, when the Magi appeared - celebrated as Three Kings Day in many countries).
The picture at the left shows the Holy Family at the start of their Flight into Egypt (by Michaelangelo).
So, in the spirit of the EXTENDED season,
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Like we're gonna let that happen. The world already has enough failed dictatorships.
I've been thinking about what it means to be an American:
- You might, like me, have a family history that traces to BEFORE this was a United States - even before the American Revolution.
- Or, you might be the 1st generation to hit our shores.
- You might, like me, be of largely Euro background.
- Or, you might be from any other ethnic branch, or several.
- You might be Christian - if viewed by that sole criteria, we are perhaps the largest religious group.
- You might be Jewish, Muslim, Hindi, Buddhist, or another group - or none at all (both non-believers, who don't care what you believe, and atheists - who feel COMPELLED to tell the other groups that they are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG - do you hear them? WRONG!).
- You might be rich - we do have a lot of them in the USA.
- You might be poor - again, we have a lot of people who consider themselves poor (although, it must be said, by the world's standards, even our poor people are quite rich).
- Probably, like most Americans, you would be considered middle-class.
Really, there are relatively few requirements for being an American:
- You might get it easily - through birth (talk about hitting the lottery!)
- You might have taken the slow road - getting permission to enter (Visa), applying for residency, learning our main language (English), about the rules and customs of our nation, and about the Constitution and our history. I've seen videos of naturalization ceremonies, and they always bring tears to the surface.
- Or, you might have crossed the border without permission (or, overstayed a legal Visa), and taken advantage of various amnesty programs.
Once part of the family, however, you are IN all the way. No "American, but not really" status in our country.
Not all Americans appreciate this country. Many want to change it - some in a radical way. A very few despise the United States of America. Even so, they remain Americans.
Many radicals would like to pretend that when Conservatives say "I want my country back!" they mean they'd like to take possessions, rights, and power away from non-White people.
What they mean is: I want the Constitution's limitations on power to be respected. I want laws and rules to apply to ALL consistently. I want incentives for NOT working to be reduced (and, eventually, eliminated). I want those who earn money to KEEP their money. I want opportunities in America to be for ALL, not just those who suck up to the people in power.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
During this time, we sing out happily to all, friends and strangers alike, with "Merry Christmas", "Happy Thanksgiving", and other holiday greetings. If asked by a stranger, we are quite likely to open our wallets and our hearts, and hand over cash. Many Americans spend hours of their own time to give to strangers - gifts, food, clothes, and shelter.
I'm betting the Obama administration is counting on that. At this time of year, more than any other, we let our guard down. Expect more outrageous abuses of executive powers in the next month.
The question is, what will YOU do about it? So far, complaints to our Representatives and Senators haven't had much effect.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
- Don't just tie Department-specific cuts to the CR's being violated with Executive Action. Make an AUTOMATIC 5% cut to ALL parts of government, if he uses EITHER bureaucratic regulation OR Executive Action to get more illegals "legalized".
- Don't fall for a long-term solution - ANY CR has to be short-term. The new Congress has a right to act without having their hands tied.
- Go aggressive - use PR about the cost of illegal aliens to the country - in hospital care, incarceration, schools, spread of disease, lost jobs and downward pressure on wages, etc. Have a daily update, and post it on Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook. USE that alternative media - it can be an opportunity to influence younger and future voters.
- Set up a clock of the cost of illegal aliens, just as was done with the National Debt. The sight of those numbers were influential with some of the public, and have led to more serious discussion of debt issues. It's a war of attrition, and we need to play full-court press.
If you have read this far, please contact your Congress-critters.
And, while I'm sure it's going to be ignored, perhaps the sheer numbers will begin to align our Dear Leader with reality - The White House.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
I'm generally opposed to the whole bailout thing - if any investor screws up, and loses money, well, that's his problem. The government (and, really, the taxpayers, whose money funds it) should NOT throw money at their feet.
The most galling thing about this is that GOOGLE is a major investor in this (Link to Financial Statements here). The other major player is NRG (Link to Income Statement here)
Check out the links - do these companies deserve PUBLIC money to increase their profitability? Especially since the taxpayers will NOT share in the expected return?
Saturday, November 8, 2014
When your kid or grandkids come home, confidently spewing the Leftist crap they've been taught by their teachers, you want to know enough about the philosophy to refute its conclusions.
That's where I come in.
When I first graduated from high school, the Leftist professors were just beginning their Long March into the Ed Establishment. They were the Assistant and Associate professors (along with some grad students) who promoted the anti-war movement of the 1960s and 1970s. They wormed their way into classes, institutes, student organizations, and conferences. Over time, they not only got themselves tenure, but they used their positions to bring in like-minded hires.
As a result, the entire college and university establishment is heavily soaked in the Leftist Philosophy Bible, which includes the Leftist Prophets:
- Antonio Gramsci - his work is revered by Leftist "scholars" (I put that word in quotes, as too many of them sacrifice their claim to scholarship by the bias they bring to it). A fuller treatment of his thinking on education is here. A quote about his thinking on Cultural Hegemony (a term that had been often used in grad school classes, without ever explaining just what it was - below I'm quoting from Wikipedia, which has the best explanation of CH that I've ever read):
Orthodox Marxism had predicted that socialist revolution was inevitable in capitalist societies. By the early 20th century, no such revolution had occurred in the most advanced nations. Capitalism, it seemed, was even more entrenched than ever. Capitalism, Gramsci suggested, maintained control not just through violence and political and economic coercion, but also through ideology. The bourgeoisie developed a hegemonic culture, which propagated its own values and norms so that they became the "common sense" values of all. People in the working-class (and other classes) identified their own good with the good of the bourgeoisie, and helped to maintain the status quo rather than revolting.
To counter the notion that bourgeois values represented "natural" or "normal" values for society, the working class needed to develop a culture of its own. Lenin held that culture was "ancillary" to political objectives, but for Gramsci it was fundamental to the attainment of power that cultural hegemony be achieved first. In Gramsci's view, a class cannot dominate in modern conditions by merely advancing its own narrow economic interests. Neither can it dominate purely through force and coercion. Rather, it must exert intellectual and moral leadership, and make alliances and compromises with a variety of forces. Gramsci calls this union of social forces a "historic bloc", taking a term from Georges Sorel. This bloc forms the basis of consent to a certain social order, which produces and re-produces the hegemony of the dominant class through a nexus of institutions, social relations, and ideas. In this manner, Gramsci developed a theory that emphasized the importance of the political and ideological superstructure in both maintaining and fracturing relations of the economic base.
Gramsci stated that bourgeois cultural values were tied to folklore, popular culture and religion, and therefore much of his analysis of hegemonic culture is aimed at these. He was also impressed by the influence Roman Catholicism had and the care the Church had taken to prevent an excessive gap developing between the religion of the learned and that of the less educated. Gramsci saw Marxism as a marriage of the purely intellectual critique of religion found in Renaissance humanism and the elements of the Reformationthat had appealed to the masses. For Gramsci, Marxism could supersede religion only if it met people's spiritual needs, and to do so people would have to think of it as an expression of their own experience.
For Gramsci, hegemonic dominance ultimately relied on a "consented" coercion, and in a "crisis of authority" the "masks of consent" slip away, revealing the fist of force.
If you'd like to learn more, here's a link to The Gramsci Reader - translations from his work.
- Paulo Freire - again, I'm linking to Wikipedia as a starting point - yes, they are generally biased in their articles on politics and culture, but it's a good primer on Leftist Thinking.
Freire's thinking permeates the Educational Establishment at most colleges and universities. He is even more revered than Dewey. The core of his philosophy is that education HAS to be revolutionary, or it will support "the system". For him, there is no such thing as a "neutral" education.
In the course of his work as a physician and psychiatrist, Fanon supported the Algerian War of Independence from France, and was a member of the Algerian National Liberation Front. For more than four decades, the life and works of Frantz Fanon have inspired movements in Palestine, Sri Lanka, the U.S. and South Africa.
Fanon was a supporter of the revolutionary liberation movement in Algeria. He believed that ALL colonial governments were inherently violent, and that, therefore, violence was totally justified against those governments. That viewpoint provided the basis for much of the 1960s revolutionary movements, in Viet Nam, Burma, Cuba, and other locations.
I'll be adding more information about prominent "Progressive" and Leftist thinkers. We need to become familiar with their work, to be able to effectively argue against their agenda. Look for this Continuing Conservative Self-Education in the Tab at the top of the blog.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
It's a bad idea - for several reasons:
- Using the filibuster for partisan purposes (and, what OTHER reason would a Democrat have for using it?) would clog up the system unnecessarily. Unless those opposing a nominee can marshall solid reasons, related to the performance of their judicial responsibilities, for turning thumbs down to a nominee, that person should be affirmed. Too many courts are backlogged already - we needn't make the situation worse by making it hard to get replacements or reinforcements.
- Yes, the filibuster is a time-honored tradition - so are duels. Some old ideas need to stay DEAD.
- Lastly, I'm in favor of keeping the status quo, because it would be a necessary correction to the recent rampage of the Senate demagogues. They imposed rules and procedures to make THEIR rule opposition-free. They should have to live with the consequences of their actions for at least as long as they used the changes against Conservatives/Republicans/Any Sane Legislator.
Friday, October 31, 2014
Although Michelle Obama's Grim Substitutes, the vegetable tray and other low-calorie treasures, may stop that. We've been told - officially - NOT to bring in treats. For ANY reason.
I never thought sugar and fat would become the New Crack.
I've never been that into Halloween, post-elementary age. Until well into the 1980s, it was a relatively minor holiday.
No more. Adults and teens have taken over the grim festivities, with gruesome body parts, truly repulsive costumes, and weeks - even months - of planning for the parties. It's chance for women to unleash their Inner Slut, men to experiment with Cross-Dressing, and for all to use conspicuous consumption as a signal of their Elitist Status.
Don't like horror movies. Don't enjoy dressing up. Hate parties, for the most part.
Not my holiday.
The funny thing is that this all comes at a time when few believe in Hell, most think their "sins" are not an offense against God, and many try their Wildean best to avoid the appearance of aging, and throw money in a futile Faustian bargain at doctors, trying to avoid their inevitable death.
For all that many enjoy the Lion King's Circle of Life song, they can't quite see themselves as nearing the end of that Circle. And, for those without spiritual underpinnings, that "endless" circle is broken.
I started this several days ago, just was too busy to finish. My bloglife is a lot like that lately - not that I'm not interested, just too busy.
Which, is OK with me right now. In the past, I hovered over my blogs. Were enough people reading them? Had I responded to a political issue? In short, did I put my 2 cents in?
I still have strong feelings. But, more often now, I've found other people (in REAL LIFE) who are willing to listen to me, and respond in their turn. Taking the blogging discourse into real life is FAR more satisfying.
Plus, over time, I've found those on Facebook and Twitter who are simpatico - some of them friends or family offline, as well, others - not.
So, even though I still have a burning desire to have my say, I - more often than not - can get that in other ways.
Right now, I am tired. Weary of the political ads, the "issues", the "news" clawing at my attention.
Work is tiring - not bad, but truly fatiguing. I'm temporarily overscheduled - mentor stuff, grading, planning, and, now, getting signed up for a Gifted & Talented course - or, rather TWO courses - that I have to take to teach the Honors classes next year.
I'm 2-3 years away from retirement. By that time, I likely will be REALLY ready for the rest.
At that point, I will - FINALLY - have time to write.
Which is my plan.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Just enjoying the sun - it's perfect. Mostly dimmed by cloud cover, occasionally breaking through for a dazzling over-the-top light (I left my seat, briefly, to get a hat with a brim). My newly-finished Adirondack chair is comfortable, the air is warmish, without inducing sweat.
So few moments in life are that. We need to stop sometimes to enjoy God's creation. Just sit in the sun.
Link to "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" lyrics.
Link to the song.
And, don't forget to sit and do NOTHING occasionally.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
I read the following at Front Page Magazine:
Socialism’s big moments arrive when people feel helpless. It does well during depressions and recessions. That’s how we ended up with FDR, Clinton and Obama.
Socialism is a sleazy insurance salesman. Its product may be bad, but people are a lot more likely to buy it when they’re worried about the future. Europe turned to socialism after its people lost confidence in the future and themselves. America is turning to socialism after a similar crisis of confidence.
Right now, I'm at a low point. Maybe later, it will be time to burrow into my nest, and pick up my spirits with an uplifting movie - The Return of the King, Enemy of the State, or other We Win, The Bad Guys Lose sort of thing.
Are you avoiding watching the news, anticipating that they will be ignoring the REAL problems of America and the world, while focusing on fluff?
Do you hate to open Facebook, knowing that your friends will be alerting you to the very REAL oppression of non-Muslims in the world?
Do you cringe when you see the President in news conferences, knowing that he will:
- Blame Bush
- Blame White cops/businessmen/teachers/school boards/governors/Republican leadership/out-of-office politicians/military/families/churches - etc., etc., etc., as the King of Siam said in the movie
- Insist that he only heard of an administration evasion in testimony/flat-out lie/crime/abuse of power - whatever - from the news
- Defend the PEACEFUL (shouldn't that be Cut to PIECES?) religion of Islam from those who would question the fact that the practitioners seem to be the ones committing war crimes/genocide/enslavement of their enemies/terrorism/invasion/oppression of non-Muslim human rights
Yeah, I know - me, too.
I have a nagging sense of dread - civilization is in peril (not unlike the desperate moments in The Two Towers part of the trilogy). The forces of evil are in command in much of the world. The law, such as it is, seems to have a heavy hand on the scales, in favor of anarchy, socialism, and totalitarianism. The Christian Church is facing the Islamic and Secular Lions, and no rescue is near.
Worse, America, the sole escape, is firmly in the hands of those who hate her - the ruthlessly Anti-religious bigots, the proudly non-working overlords, the savagely brutal bureaucrats, the thoughtlessly crude, the militantly ignorant (don't know, and don't care), and the relentless Humanity-Hating Humanists.
We are on the verge of a new Dark Age.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
What are you currently doing about the Mid-East situation?
Let's start with the second part. For many of us, it's hard to know WHAT to do.
- Calling, writing, faxing, and emailing our representatives in Congress, Senators, and the President and the administration have led to one outcome, for me. I get a nice letter on letterhead stationery that assures me they have listened to my concerns, appreciate my contacting them, and that they will keep my thoughts in mind - and, BTW, don't forget to vote.
- I have written in online comment boxes on news sites, blogs, magazines. I Share, Comment, and Like posts that reference the conflicts and urge action. I've signed the online petitions.
- I bring up the subject with almost everyone I know. They are generally sympathetic to the fate of the Christians and Jews in the region, but, when asked for more, say "What can I do?". They are not asking the question, but justifying their decision to put the issue to the back of their mind.
- I pray - daily. I have no doubt that the practice has efficacy, but truly think that the time for action is here. There is a legitimate time for "Praise the Lord, and Pass the Ammunition". It's the idea of a Just War.
Nonetheless, I am opposed to any American action that puts our military representatives in danger. I have NO confidence that the current administration will be effective - they seem to just want a photo op that bolsters the leaders for their next election. They want to convince the public that there is an action called the "surgical strike" that will ONLY kill the ISIS members who are engaged in an atrocity at that moment, but leave all others in place to - what? - regret their actions? Like that would happen!
One of the few politicians who seem capable of speaking the plain truth in public is Newt Gingrich - yes, I know he's not the greatest representative of Conservative philosophy in action - 3 marriages would, for many, disqualify him from commenting on SSM - but, he does not shy away from telling the truth in public.
So, yes, voting will have SOME effect. I'm also going to be writing to our pastor, and urging several actions:
- Practical help - donations, resettlement assistance, prayer
- Preaching about it - each week, there should be BOTH prayers for our Christian and Jewish brethren, AND suggested actions for the congregation to follow - petitions, letters to the editor, distribution of fact sheets that they can copy and use to educate their neighbors, friends and family, workplace (NOT political, but educating about the concept of Just War, links to donation sites, etc).
I do plan to continue to post on Facebook, but do not consider that effective action. Just hitting the Like button is not enough. Sharing is not enough. It is, however, a start in spreading information.
I like FB. I use it to keep up with friends and family. Sometimes, it can be a part of your toolbox in educating the people you are connected with.
But, by itself, it is NOT enough. We need to move beyond FB "activism".
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
The question: Is he right?
The Washington Post thinks Trump is wrong, but their story is mixed:
- Ebola is contagious - which means that you have to be in direct contact with bodily fluids of the infected person
- "Amesh Adalja, a member of the public health committee of the Infectious Disease Society of America and an infectious disease doctor at the University of Pittsburgh" says that there is NO chance of infection for the general public. This is in part due to the superior contagion-blocking capabilities of US medical establishment - hoods, masks, full-body suits, etc.
- However, the CDC reports that American hospitals do a poor job of controlling infection - "One in 25 patients in U.S. hospitals has an infection acquired as part of his or her care".
- Hygiene is critical - keep in mind, that health workers can sometimes neglect hand-washing. In Britain, the NHS has permitted exceptions to sterile procedure (long sleeves, no use of alcohol-based sterilants) for Muslims. It has led to higher infection rates.
An explanation of how the Original Plague (also known as the Black Death) spread:
...the 14th-century strain, the cause of the most lethal catastrophe in recorded history, was no more virulent than today's disease. The DNA codes were an almost perfect match.
According to scientists working at Public Health England in Porton Down, for any plague to spread at such a pace it must have got into the lungs of victims who were malnourished and then been spread by coughs and sneezes. It was therefore a pneumonic plague rather than a bubonic plague. Infection was spread human to human, rather than by rat fleas that bit a sick person and then bit another victim. "As an explanation [rat fleas] for the Black Death in its own right, it simply isn't good enough. It cannot spread fast enough from one household to the next to cause the huge number of cases that we saw during the Black Death epidemics," said Dr Tim Brooks, a scientist from Porton Down, who was not part of the Crossrail team, will put forward his theory in a Channel 4 documentary, Secret History: The Return of the Black Death,on Sunday.
To support his argument, Brooks, who has yet to examine the Crossrail evidence, has looked at what happened in Suffolk in 1906 when plague killed a family and then spread to a neighbour who had come to help. The culprit there was pneumonic plague, which had settled in the lungs of the victims and was spread through infected breath.
The skeletons at Charterhouse Square reveal that the population of London was also in generally poor health when the disease struck. Crossrail's archaeology contractor, Don Walker, and Jelena Bekvalacs of the Museum of London found evidence of rickets, anaemia, bad teeth and childhood malnutrition.
So, the factors that were important were:
- General poor health (in these cases, complicated by lack of food, but it must be remembered that TOO MUCH food also leads to immune system impairment)
- Other diseases - we have AIDS, asthma - which would be particularly susceptible to airborne Ebola, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a multitude of non-lethal, chronic illnesses. In Western societies, you can live a long life, even though not healthy - until another factor, such as Ebola, enters the picture.
- Closeness to neighbors - the original plague spread rapidly in the cities. The countryside was largely immune, both for reasons of better nutrition, and because of the distance between potential victims.
- The major plague outbreak years had AIRBORNE transmission.
- Compulsive attention to hygiene - in a crisis situation, this is a component that may be ignored or given less attention. And, a widespread plague IS a crisis.
Health workers are at greatest risk - about 100 have died in this outbreak. One of them "Sierra Leone’s leading doctor in the fight against Ebola, Sheik Umar Khan, a national hero" is, by his name, a Muslim. Now, why is that important?
Islamic beliefs have led nurses and other health workers to wear long sleeves, and refuse to use alcohol-based sterilants. In Britain, the problem is so great because the NHS has allowed them to ignore procedures for reasons of religion.
The real concern is the possibility that Ebola might become airborne - infectious through coughs and sneezes. From Wikipedia (I know of Wikipedia's unreliability on politically-related subjects, but for basic information, it's not bad).
It is not entirely clear how Ebola is spread. EVD is believed to occur after an ebola virus is transmitted to an initial human by contact with an infected animal's body fluids. Human-to-human transmission can occur via direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from an infected person (includingembalming of an infected dead person) or by contact with contaminated medical equipment, particularly needles and syringes. Semen is infectious in survivors for up to 50 days. Transmission through oral exposure and through conjunctiva exposure is likely and has been confirmed in non-human primates. The potential for widespread EVD infections is considered low as the disease is only spread by direct contact with the secretions from someone who is showing signs of infection. The quick onset of symptoms makes it easier to identify sick individuals and limits a person's ability to spread the disease by traveling. Because dead bodies are still infectious, some doctors disposed of them in a safe manner, despite local traditional burial rituals.
The CDC claims that Ebola absolutely CANNOT be spread through the air.
However, the organization then issues an advisory that seems to contradict their claims:
Crew members on a flight with a passenger or other crew member who is ill with a fever, jaundice, or bleeding and who is traveling from or has recently been in a risk area should follow these precautions:
- Keep the sick person separated from others as much as possible.
- Provide the sick person with a surgical mask (if the sick person can tolerate wearing one) to reduce the number of droplets expelled into the air by talking, sneezing, or coughing.
- Give tissues to a sick person who cannot tolerate a mask. Provide a plastic bag for disposing of used tissues.
- Wear impermeable disposable gloves for direct contact with blood or other body fluids.
The study that looked at transmission between species showed that non-contact transmission was possible.
There are three likely candidates for the route of transmission: airborne, droplet, or fomites.
Airborne and droplet transmission both technically travel through the air to infect others; the difference lies in the size of the infective particles. Smaller droplets persist in the air longer and are able to travel farther- these droplets are truly “airborne.” Larger droplets can neither travel as far nor persist for very long. Fomites are inanimate objects that can transmit disease if they are contaminated with infectious agents. In this study, a monkey’s cage could have been contaminated when workers were cleaning a nearby pig cage. If the monkey touched the contaminated cage surface and then its mouth or eyes, it could have been infected.
Author Dr. Gary Kobinger suspects that the virus is transmitted through droplets, not fomites, because evidence of infection in the lungs of the monkeys indicated that the virus was inhaled.
- See more at: http://healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/article/pigs-monkeys-ebola-goes-airborne-112112#sthash.ByoHbzTT.dpuf
The other side? The Canadian Health authorities have grave concerns about airborne Ebola:
In the laboratory, infection through small-particle aerosols has been demonstrated in primates, and airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated (1, 6, 13). The importance of this route of transmission is not clear.
Couple the above with concerns that Ebola might be used as a Bioweapon, and you have some interesting - and disturbing - issues.
So, could Trump be justified in his concerns? Answer in the comments.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Well, it sure isn't the poor.
Steve Camarota and Karen Ziegler of the Center for Immigration Studies reported last month that “since 2000, all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal). This is remarkable given that native-born Americans accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population."
[Bold is mine]
So, any gains in the economy have gone to NON-natives. This would explain the "improving" job stats (I still think his people are playing with the numbers - each month, there has been corrections after the rosy improvements). Better numbers, but, Americans are still jobless/temporary/part-time.
This is why we can't afford another minority in the White House - Non-White or Female - for some time. Not because they wouldn't do a good job - they could hardly do WORSE - but, because they won't get a fair appraisal of their performance, which, in this case, is abysmal. Minorities are still praising the President who has stabbed them in the back, all for Progressive ideology.
I don't get it - it's like watching a friend with an abusive spouse - you can use logic, but she's still going to defend the one that is slapping her around - "but he LOVES me!" NOTHING you say - however true - gets through her defensive fog. I don't know how to open her eyes to the truth.
Eventually, it will happen. Eventually, there will come a moment that CAN'T be denied, when the obvious fact of his indifference to her welfare becomes clear, even to her.
Until then, don't waste your time.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I'm guessing that those bozos are actively using the media to help hype their group. The gathering is planned for August 9 in Davidson County - in the town of WELCOME, NC (LOVE that irony!).
I imagine there will be a few (considerably less than 100) bozos, a WHOLE lot of protesters, and media up the whazoo.
Lots of video, the potential of some injuries (remember the media slogan - "If it bleeds, it leads"), and no ultimate effect on life whatsoever.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Congress continues to struggle to investigate:
- Fast & Furious
- VA scandal
Elections are months away, and most Democrats are running for cover, and hoping to survive.
Republicans may have their own scandal in MS, with the Senate primary. Pity - they should fully cooperate, and let the chips fall where they may.
I've an uneasy feeling - no particular reason - one of those "just before the storm" feelings. I hope it's not justified.
Friday, July 11, 2014
- One week babysitting grandchildren
- 2 weeks at a workshop
- 1 week in Cleveland, organizing and cleaning
- 2 weeks at home, organizing and cleaning
And, now, back in Cleveland for a few days. Followed by:
- 2 day STEM conference
- 3 days learning how to be a mentor (with a few days of nothing scheduled in between)
- Last 2 weeks of vacay
It all seems to go so fast. One VERY positive part of this summer has been my commitment to exercising - I've been at the pool every day for the last few weeks. Haven't seen much progress on the scale, but I'm moving more easily, and my clothes are fitting better.
Friday, June 13, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
For those women, and their husband, adoption is also not possible. Unless they have a LOT of money to spend, legally adopting a child is hard. It's made harder by social workers who oppose adoption if a parent is living, however ill-suited they are to raise that child. Too often, that opposition keeps children in foster care for years. Some have accused agencies of keeping kids in foster care for the money it brings in - I can't believe that. I think it's an ideological position that is to blame.
For those reasons, some women feel that they have no alternative to surrogacy. Today's surrogacy has evolved into a multi-partner process, that splits the pregnancy action into parts:
- The male contribution - sometimes from the prospective adoptive father, other times from donors (the men are generally paid for their sperm). Sometimes, the sperm samples are mixed, so the father-to-be can assume a biological connection.
- The egg contribution - an egg donor is paid far more than the sperm donor. That's because she is pumped full of drugs to stimulate release of multiple eggs. Research on the dangers has not fully explored the long-term damage to the egg donor's system. See information about Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which is just ONE of the problems that can arise. For this part, younger, more educated women are preferred; often, these egg SELLERS are recruited via ads in college newspapers. The high cost of college makes them a vulnerable population.
- The Surrogate - that's the woman who actually carries the child to term. Since there is no genetic connection, she may be of any race or background. Previous mothers are preferred for this part of the "job". Third-World women are often recruited for this. India is one of the countries that have taken over this "job that Americans won't do". Since the surrogate has to be pumped full of hormones to carry the pregnancy, it may well have a lifelong effect on that woman's health.
Breaking the motherhood part into 2 separate parts (it can be more, if the egg of one woman is used, but the DNA of another woman) virtually eliminates the problem of the "Baby M" case, where the genetic mother carried the baby, and bonded with it, leading her to challenge giving the child up after birth.
Older would-be mothers are often encouraged to use eggs from another woman, as their own might be old enough to have potential damage. For very busy women, or those who don't want to "ruin" their figures, the surrogate option is preferred.
The whole process is expensive, involves multiple payments to the various people in the process, and legally severs the connection to original mothers and fathers. For that reason, it is strongly promoted by well-off older partners, straight and gay. They are the core group that has the financial resources to engage in the practice, and the ones that cannot, or would prefer to not, biologically create the child the natural way.
Who loses in this?
- The sperm seller, who has left pieces of himself spread around the country. In some cases, donors have been forced to contribute to the support of children they helped create. The secrecy of the system can lead to unaware grown children becoming involved with their genetic brothers and sisters.
- The egg seller, who, for a substantial amount of money, risks her health and future fertility. Like the sperm seller, she has unknown numbers of potential children.
- The surrogate, who takes some of the largest risks (pregnancy is still a risky proposition, especially when assisted with extra, injected chemicals). During the pregnancy, both the hormonal changes, and the natural emotions of a mother contribute to a wrenching separation at birth. Some husbands may resent the intrusion of the infant. Children may have trouble understanding how mother could give away a child; lifelong insecurity may result.
- The buyers, who are benefiting from many people's loss. They have to know that only their money made this possible; the ethics of it all are questionable, at best. At the worst, it is exploitation of vulnerable and poor people. The surrogacy is a form of temporary slavery-for-hire.
As Pope Paul VI made clear in his encyclical, the conception process is a holistic endeavor. To divorce one part from another, or to mechanize part of the process, is wrong. He wrote that modern man had:
...a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society, of the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love.
I do realize that Pope Paul VI was widely disparaged for his encyclical. Few were the clergy that actually taught their congregations about the thinking behind it. It was reported in the press and on TV as the anti-sex preaching of an out-of-touch papacy.
The encyclical warned of four resulting trends: a general lowering of moral standards throughout society; a rise in infidelity; a lessening of respect for women by men; and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments.
Fast forward almost 50 years, and we have:
- People coupling with virtual strangers - if a woman doesn't know that person well enough, she gives him oral sex. Say what you will, the "Hookup Culture" is NOT compatible with human dignity.
- Very young women becoming pregnant - sometimes having abortions, sometimes having children, and raising them as single mothers.
- Sex tapes - often made by those who are more emotionally involved, and with the understanding that it is to stay private. Lots of luck with that when they break up!
- Online porn - for some, a substitute for interaction with an actual human. For both producer and viewer, a dehumanizing experience.
- Forced use of contraception and forced abortions.
- Many older women who have passed their fertile window of opportunity, often due to focusing on their careers. For them, the seemingly reasonable option of surrogacy.
- Women without partners they want to make fathers - single motherhood as a CHOICE.
- Men-men partnerships - don't have the equipment to carry a child, so "HIRE" a woman or (by splitting the egg/bearer job), women.
It is, in part, because surrogacy does not respect the dignity of women, that I am opposed to it. It isn't that I don't understand (as far as I am able) the torment of a woman and a man that cannot conceive naturally. The Biblical story of Abraham and Sarah is filled with that pain.
But, it is also filled with the consequences of going outside of natural marriage means to solve that problem. Sarah insisted that Abraham impregnate a slave, Hagar. After the child was born, Sarah did NOT bond with it, but resented both the child, and his mother. She eventually insisted on banishing Abraham's son and his mother.
Why might Sarah have been infertile? Well, Abraham had to labor 7 years, only to be tricked into marrying the wrong daughter. He then had to labor another 7 years - 14 in all. Let's assume that Sarah was 16 when Abraham first proposed. Add 14 years to that age, and she would have been 30 when finally married. By 27, women have lost 10% of their fertility. By 30, women have lost 90% of their eggs.
That story is an object lesson in the perils of waiting to start your family.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Saturday, May 24, 2014
There's a new campaign to "explain" economics to the average person - look for distillations of this wretched thinking - which thinks lack of a large social state that controls everything - is the cause of all the ills of the USA. I'm REAL sure that teachers will be indoctrinated with this at workshops, given curriculum that draws upon it, and encouraged to be "socially responsible", and teach it to their kids (in this context, "teaching" means pushing kids to agree with the outcome, if not the thinking).
I haven't the time to wade through all of Thomas Picketty's book; but I don't have to. The blogger on An American Manifesto has, and it covers the topic throughly enough for you to understand what's at stake.
So, how DO we solve the debt problem of the USA?
One way to do so is to sell off unnecessary land and buildings.
Some of that land is owned by the states. And, as this article about SC's state-owned land shows, government may be overleveraged with property.
But, that's just one state. How much land/property/buildings does the Federal government own, and what does it cost us? Approximately 1/2 the land in Western states is "owned" by the Federal government (BTW, the land in dispute by Bundy is just such land).
According to Wikipedia,
As of March 2012, out of the 2.27 billion acres in the country, about 28% of the total was owned by the Federal government according to the Interior Department.
Here's a report of SOME of the land managed by the Federal government. Although it's long, it isn't that difficult to follow. One of my arguments for reducing the size of federal lands is that they do such a poor job of it. MANY of the western forest fires begin on Federally-owned land, and is a direct result of policy decisions - AND the continued holding of land in public trust.
My position: if the property is so extensive that it cannot be maintained without risk of fire, it's too big a holding.
Does that mean that the Feds should look to reduce the size of some of the parks? Yep. The public doesn't benefit if the park is in flames; better to have a smaller park, and fewer fires.
Here's a link to a map showing excess federal property (not being used). See how many are in your state.
BTW, that link was from the White House - NOT a partisan site.
2 problems with holding so much land and property:
- The land and property costs the taxpayer - if not in use, it deteriorates. A lot of money has to be spent to patrol it, keep it up, and provide basic maintenance. See the NPR (Yes, THAT NPR!) report at the link.
- That land is NOT taxable property - as it would be in private hands. Each acre/building is removed from the local tax rolls, and that state is poorer for that.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
He/she is a HUMAN BEING - made in the image of God. They are not perfect; some may use sharp language in arguing their beliefs. They may delight in the foibles of their political opponents - laugh at their pratfalls, enjoy the scandals, and gloat over their defeat.
That doesn't excuse you from doing the same.
We're SUPPOSED to follow the Christian example - turn the other cheek, return abuse with a gentle smile, act decently, even when reviled.
Yeah. That's NOT easy. For me, I have to work - HARD - to avoid using intemperate language when insulted. My natural inclination is to give it back - with some extra spin on the ball. Particularly aiming at the face.
Sometimes, you might argue, it's not possible to respond without some venom. That opponent, you say, has EARNED the biting retort through their nasty speech.
Let's examine one such case, and consider the FULL story.
Forbes Magazine had a recent look at Sarah Palin's bringing up the Ukraine in the 2008 debates. The first line reads: Sarah Palin may not have been able to see Russia from her house, but she might have been right about Russia invading Ukraine.
BTW, Palin NEVER said she could see Russia from her house - that was Tina Fey. She DID say, correctly, that from some parts of Alaska, you could see the shores of Russia.
“After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next,” Palin claimed in 2008, during her vice-presidential bid alongside John McCain.
Are the Liberal media falling over themselves to apologize for mocking her earlier words?
Don't be ridiculous!
Has Sarah gone a little over-the-top in crowing about her prediction coming true?
Well, yeah, she has rubbed it in.
Can you blame her?
Thursday, May 15, 2014
She is Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a Sudanese Christian who refuses to convert to Islam.
Her father was Muslim; he abandoned the family when she was 6, and her Ethiopean Christian mother raised her. She married a Christian in her church, gave birth to one child, and is currently pregnant with another - in jail.
Her brother brought the attention of the authorities to the "problem" (guess holiday dinners will be strained). If your father is/was Muslim, ALL his children HAVE to be, as well. And, for women, there's another trial - they CANNOT marry a Christian, as Meriam has.
She has been sentenced to flogging, then execution.
She could stop it - IF she converted.
This, she refuses to do.
Let me see - the media is FILLED with "scandals":
- An elderly owner of a sports team made disparaging remarks about Blacks - no one's life is in jeopardy
- An athlete made mild remarks about a public, STAGED kiss between 2 men - no one's life is in jeopardy, although the athlete is being fined, and will be sent to re-education camp (Gee, shades of the totalitarian Communist regimes!)
- Sundry other "scandals" are hitting the headlines
But, not this. It's right out of the New Testament - where are the preachers, priests, and rabbis? Why are none of the sermons asking for help for this woman - contacting our own government - at the White House, reaching the Dept. of State, writing a letter to the legislators (if your Senator/representative is running for office, it may be most effective), reaching Amnesty International?
We don't even have to make that decision NOT to convert; although many of the songs we sing on Sunday claim that we would bravely resist, even to the point of death.
We just have to take a few SAFE actions, to try to persuade our government to get involved.
For most Americans, not happening. Not as important as sports, entertainment, or otherwise goofing off.
And we CALL ourselves Christians.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
To the scientific man a myth is a curious but valueless cultural artifact from a superstitious age. The worthlessness of myth is rooted in the work of several academics from the turn of the twentieth century.
I tried to snip excerpts from the article, but couldn't without ruthlessly violating copyright - I strongly suggest you read the whole thing.
I grew up on myths - as a kid, Superman was almost as real to me as my neighbors. It wasn't just the popular TV show of the time - the costumes were cheesy, even to my eyes, the plots weren't as well-crafted as the comics, and the lack of color made it, in retrospect, as exciting as a Soviet documentary.
But the comics!
They engaged me. They guided my developing sense of right and wrong, instilled my belief that the weak and poor were to be protected (which later led me to youthful Liberal ideas), and were a powerful source of moral certainty.
I don't mean to ignore other influences - my mother and father did their part, and not only sent me to Sunday School, but discussed current issues at the dinner table, allowing me to apply what I'd learned to real life. Schools openly supported the values of the time - patriotism, belief in God, responsibility, obeying the law - all were grounded in what we now call "Juedo-Christian" values.
My influences extended beyond my neighborhood. I went to school with children whose families had fled Nazi horrors, Soviet oppression, and the Holocaust. I learned from them of the power of the State to cause great evil, as well as good.
And, not only that, but I imbibed the fashion sense of super-heroes, which might explain some of my more questionable clothing choices.
I read widely. At around 12, I had finished all the books in the Children's section of my local library (I may have missed a few, but not many), and wandered into the adult section. When I realized that no one was going to chase me out, I started taking out books from there, starting in the Z's (that section abutted the Children's section). For a while, I worked alphabetically - wonder if I was slightly OCD?
Eventually, I would find an author I'd hear about, and read everything that person had available on the shelves. Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Austen, whatever. Fortunately, the fad for filling shelves with popular bestsellers, rather than classic literature, had not started, so I got a wide smattering of modern, and past, literature. Some junk, too, but trying to check out a quasi-smutty or more adult book got you the fish-eye from the librarians. They exercised their authority by suggesting that you wait a few years to read that one.
Imagine that! A non-related adult exercising moral guidance! Without being sued by the parents!
At home, my parents didn't censor my reading choices - they figured that if I could read it, I must be old enough to absorb the lessons within. For the most part, it worked.
I liked mythic novels, which is why I've read ALL of Sherlock Holmes (the literary character, not the insipid TV character), From that, and similar works, I absorbed the concept that even deeply flawed people could be capable of great things.
Today, Liberals sneer at myths - IF those myths are Conservative ones. They have, however, imposed their own myths:
- The Liberal Democrat Leaders - Kennedy, LBJ, FDR, and President-era and Post-Presidency Carter. All are lauded for their INTENTIONS. Their personal flaws, and the dreadful societal impact of their presidencies - particularly for minorities - are generally ignored.
- The Clinton Legacy - That Lovable Scamp, just couldn't stop exercising his overflowing Love of ALL Mankind (at least the female part of it)! Practically a SAINT for his stalwart support of the Holy Sacrament of Abortion! Did you know that the economy improved during his Presidency (NOTE: Biden seems to disagree)? And he HARDLY had to be forced to take action to do so.
- Wilson - He was SO educated - a Doctorate! Broke his health trying to get the League of Nations started, but the EVIL Conservatives just worked against him. If ONLY he had not suffered a stroke, the world would not have had a Hitler. Fortunately, his wife, a Modern, Truly Liberal Woman, stepped up to act (that little thing about it all being QUITE non-Constitutional never seems to bother any Liberal), and allowed him to finish his term. All of his UnConstitutional, Repressive Actions are ignored, as were his Support of the KKK. Really. He did. Also segregated the Armed Forces and the Federal Government.
- Al Gore - do you know that he was ACTUALLY elected (well, according to Liberals)? But the Supreme Court stepped in, and refused to allow him to selectively count the votes, so that Horrible George Bush was SELECTED, not ELECTED to office. But, that's OK - Gore managed to inject himself into the Global Warming debate, sell a film with the assistance of his many faithful minions, including the Education Lobby, who promoted it as an educational film teachers just HAD to show their students, and, finally, sell his failing cable network to - GASP! - oil-backed money connected to Fascist, terror-supporting Al Jazeera. But that's OK! He's a Liberal Saint, who backs BOTH abortion AND environmentalism.
Monday, April 14, 2014
- KS is just one example of the overly-self-important, elitist women who are SURE they are superior to the Hoi Polloi. She kind of smiles (well, it REALLY doesn't look like a smile - more like gas pains - tight-lipped, and NOT amused) condescendingly when challenged, barely tolerating the time before she can explain - in VERY simple words (you KNOW how the commoners are - they just WON'T understand complex thoughts), her position.
- When she fell on her @$$, during the Obamacare rollout, she was clearly LIVID - she went from her usual tight-lipped expression to nearly having her lips DISAPPEAR - well, kind of like the usability of the web app. Naturally, like any well-bred WASP (except for that icky P part - no need to actually get involved in religion - opiate of the masses and all), she resolutely accepted responsibility. Not that she was actually responsible, you understand, just that, in the elite tradition, she would SAY she was responsible.
- You can't say she didn't do her part - throwing money around to fix the problem, shoveling vast numbers of plebians - I mean, citizens - into the system, even resorting to AGAIN changing regulations to allow for delayed sign-up, waiving verification, pushing them into Medicaid, and, finally, LOTS and LOTS of unemployed - and, for all we know, unemployable - former ACORN activists, felons, layabouts, and regular people, to man the phones to sign up applicants.
- It took Time and Money, and probably Blood, Sweat, and Tears (great band, BTW), to fudge the numbers - I mean, count the applications - and FINALLY announce that the whole thing was a HUGE success! For several days, she basked in the glory.
- Until she was fired - I mean DECIDED of her OWN volition to resign. Have to go out when you're on top!
- Next on the Sebelius Success Train? A memoir (one that, like most Democratic books, will mysteriously end up on the Best Seller list, despite being remaindered everywhere - read the comments at the link for some suggestions as to WHY), a cushy university chair, and piles of money that SOMEHOW just HAPPEN to end up in her bank account.
Someday, walk around your local public library, and count up the number of Democratic memoirs, compared to the Republican/Conservative ones - The D's WAY outnumber the R's. Funnily enough, you can seldom find Grant's highly regarded memoirs (he was likely HEAVILY assisted by Mark Twain - unlike Ayers, an engaging writer).
Saturday, March 29, 2014
You are paying more for a degree that is worth less than at any time in our country’s history.
If male, you are maneuvering in a minefield of feminist threats:
- If drinking, your actions will be judged as though you were completely sober and capable of planning. Any woman involved will be a helpless victim of you, and anyone in the vicinity.
- If your ALLEGED actions become public, the resulting embarrassment will be just what you deserve. She, on the other hand, will be protected from public exposure, and, if “outed”, will blunt efforts to hold her responsible for her actions by crying “slut shaming” (which, according to feminists, is a BAD thing, unlike the same thing used against males).
- If brought up on charges by the college, you will have few Constitutional Rights. No Due Process, Right to an attorney, Rules of Evidence, or Jury of your Peers. You could be expelled from college, losing a significant investment of time and money, with little ability to appeal that decision. All for an incident that does NOT rise to the level of a prosecutable crime.
If female, you will be “subtly” encouraged to:
- Engage in random sex with relative strangers. You will be told that it is “empowering”.
- Drink liberally, and then use your drunken state as a reason why your partner in sex is TOTALLY to blame for the activities you both decided to engage in.
- Express your bitterness towards men in all-female group sessions. Accept no responsibility for your decisions turning out badly. Focus on your victimhood.
- Sign up for “women’s classes”, then, complain that employers don’t want to hire you at high wages, even though what you learned has no economic value to employers.
- DON’T take math, science, or technical courses beyond the minimum. They’re HARD! Complain about the “mean and sexist” professors that expect you to master the coursework, without some special assistance to you for the “handicap” of being a woman.
And the classes! As a “privileged person (if White, even though your background may be poverty-stricken and uneducated, you will be assumed to be a member of the Power Elite. A Person of Color, even though coming from a well-educated and wealthy family background, will be presumed to be disadvantaged and given scholarships & financial assistance), you will be accused of promoting cultural/political hegemony. That’s like the WORST thing, EVAH!
Of course, you will ask what that is. The professor’s explanation will be meandering and confusing. Like me, you will finally Google the phrase, only to find that it means (Wikipedia definition):
Hegemony (UK /hɨˈɡɛməni/, US /hɨˈdʒɛməni/; Greek:ἡγεμονία hēgemonía, "leadership" and "rule") is an indirect form of government, and of imperial dominance in which the hegemon (leader state) rules geopolitically subordinate states by the implied means of power, the threat of force, rather than by direct military force.
Huh? According to Merriam-Webster, it’s better (and more clearly) defined as:
noun \hi-ˈje-mə-nē, -ˈge-; ˈhe-jə-ˌmō-nē\
: influence or control over another country, a group of people, etc.
Full Definition of HEGEMONY
1: preponderant influence or authority over others : domination <battled for hegemony in Asia>
2: the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group
I don’t get it. Rather than using military muscle to overcome a government, and subdue a people, Hegemonists use influence/persuasion to spread their way of life to other cultures.
And, somehow, that’s a BAD thing?
Understand, these professors don’t see violent takeover as bad – providing that the states exerting this enforced, imposed-from-afar influence are NOT the United States of America. They have no problem with rooting for Muslim-dominated countries to invade, China to send out its armies, or for Russia to take over the Crimea.
They just don’t want the USA to come out on top – ever – even by peaceful means.
Oh, on that how to use the professor’s words against them in arguments? Don’t accept their framing of that phrase. Every time they talk about political or cultural hegemony, say:
- So, if I understand you correctly, you’re saying that using peaceful, non-violent means to spread your culture is wrong? Are you in favor of imposing your culture by force?
- So, if you DON’T try to persuade people to give up aspects of their culture, you’re in favor of:
- Slavery of Africans by people of Arab descent?
- Genital mutilation?
- Forced marriage by adult men to underage girls – even as young as 6?
- Stoning of women who have sex outside of marriage – even if raped?
- So, you’re against the Russian take-over of the Crimea?
- So, you’re against forbidding Christianity in Muslim countries, which is being facilitated by burning churches, kidnapping and rape of Christian women, then forcing them to convert and marry their rapists? (Christians were in these countries BEFORE Islam – they have the antiquity high ground)
You get the idea. Turn their words against them. Make them justify their position. As Saul Alinsky wrote, in Rules for Radicals,
RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)
From the Roman Catholic Blog, DPC:
1. Basic plan: “DPC”
D: Carry out the little duty of each moment, with faith (God sees and knows even our smallest acts) and love (because Love is the measure of all things).
“Do you really want to be a saint? Carry out the little duty of each moment: do what you ought and concentrate on what you are doing.” (St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, n. 815)
P: Patience! With yourself, with others, with things and traffic, with work and delays; early in the morning and late at night and in all the moments in between!
“Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing frighten you.
All things pass. God never changes.
Patience wills all that it strives for.
He who has God finds that he lacks nothing.
God alone suffices!” (St. Teresa of Avila)
C: Do not complain: in the morning or in the afternoon or at night; to yourself or to others or about others; out loud or on the inside. One exception: you may complain to the Lord if you love him enough.
“You complain? And you tell me you have reason to complain: One pinprick after another!... But do you not realize that it is silly to be surprised at finding thorns among roses?
(St. Josemaria, Furrow 237)
Check it out for other ideas, and for some interesting information/links to things Catholic
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
"For women under the age of 35, 40.7% of fertility treatment attempts resulted in a live birth. So did 31.3% of the attempts by women ages 35 to 37; 22.2% of the attempts by women ages 38 to 40; 11.8% of the attempts by women who were 41 or 42; and 3.9% for women who were 43 or older.
So, because most older women do NOT experience a successful pregnancy, even with a "test-tube" conception, SOMEONE has to carry the child for 9 months.
Enter the "womb-man" - the person who is thought of only as a disembodied uterus. She needn't be the same woman who donates the egg - in fact, for the purposes of wresting the baby from her at birth, it's MUCH better if she is not. It's easier to deny her parental rights if she has no genetic connection to the child she nurtured during her pregnancy.
Read more about the ethical implications of this trend - about 1.5% of children born have parents who used IVF.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
He points out that, although the Kochs have some relatively common Conservative positions, the
Kochs are not as simple as the hysteria would have them be. Indeed, even the lightest of research reveals them to be in favor of gay marriage, of drug legalization, of reforming and expanding the immigration system, of withdrawing troops from the Middle East, of cutting defense spending, of curbing the NSA’s overreach, and of helping to balance the budget by raising (some) taxes.
Is it their money? They made it legally, as did Warren Buffet - who is lauded by the Democrats.
Is it that they donate money (their own) to affect the elections? Unions do the same thing - with MORE money - NOT their own - and Democrats don't seem to have a problem with that.
Is it that Harry Reid, and others who spew their name like a curse, believe that ANY opposition to the Democratic agenda must be annihilated?
Sounds to me like some Democrats have a peculiar idea of what representative government is about. If Harry can force politicians to avoid the Koch brothers, lest they be tainted by the association, that should have a dampening effect on their chances to win elections.
Maybe THAT'S the point.
Friday, February 28, 2014
First, some admissions:
- Getting pregnant was NEVER a problem for me. I had 3 kids in four years. Coulda done more, but I was really getting tired of birthin'
- In my younger years, I did follow the crowd and use contraception. Never had to consider an abortion, which I thank God for. Some things, it was just a mercy I hadn't been in a position to have to decide upon - I don't know that I'd have decided in a good way.
- There have been days my kids drove me crazy. Well, the same is true of my husband. But, I never wished they hadn't been born.
I never had to wrestle with the conflicts between a strong desire to have children, and the ethical problems that lay within that decision.
In high school, we all read "Brave New World" and "1984" (funny, seldom do kids read either these days. 1984 is too uncomfortably close to the near-worship of our current leader.
And, Brave New World, with its manufactured baby products, seems WAY too close to modern elite parenting.
And, it IS an elite problem - they are the ones that delay pregnancy until conception is difficult, if not impossible. They are the ones (Octo-Mom notwithstanding) who have the money to make their quest for a mini-me possible. And, they are the ones that can see a potential egg donor or surrogate, and see - what? A virtual non-person? A "lesser" human being? A bought-and-paid-for servant?
Egg donors take enormous risks. The process of "harvesting" eggs requires the donor to be pumped full of drugs, some of which will imperil future pregnancies, cause premature menopause, or, even, serious illness or death.
The surrogates take risks, too. They take on the normal risks of pregnancy, plus the added complication of implantation or medical intervention to join sperm to egg. If the sperm donor is gay, she risks AIDS exposure, hepatitis, or other STD (Yes, I know that the sperm is screened. Keep in mind that, in the pre-AIDS testing years, such an unknown pathogen couldn't have been guarded against. Caveat emptor - or rather, let the SELLER beware.).
Here's a thoughtful look at the ethical challenges that commercial child-buying entails.
Here's a look at sperm buying, from a person whose father was "Donor".
Sex was not necessary for me to exist. I was not the natural fruit of a marriage. I was a very clear decision, an economic transaction and exchange of services rendered by buyers and sellers who did not know each other—not even as acquaintances. - See more at: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/03/4628/#sthash.8H149Qag.dpuf
He differentiates between types of immortality:
There are two types of immortality: genetic and memetic. Genetic immortality includes the preservation as well as the reproduction of genes. Living forever like Duncan MacLeod in Highlander is one example of genetic immortality through preservation; freezing your body cryogenically is another. Genghis Khan and his now 16 million living descendants are an example of genetic immortality through reproduction. Memetic immortality, on the other hand, has little to do with the physical matter of our bodies. It is the theory that mental content and "cultural units"—ideas, beliefs, patterns of behavior, etc., can be reproduced from mind to mind—as individuals influence each other to adopt new ways of thinking, preferences, and so on. - See more at: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/03/4628/#sthash.8H149Qag.dpuf
How does the never-present father benefit?
Fifty years ago a man had to devote his life through marriage to pass on his genes. Today he doesn’t even have to buy his mother’s child a drink. - See more at: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/03/4628/#sthash.8H149Qag.dpuf
If the seed of the father contains at least SOME of the character traits - introvert/extrovert, easy-going/uptight, athletic/clumsy - then will our future civilization be shaped - perhaps NOT for the better - by the careless seeding of these absent men?
This woman was charged with crimes. Read it, and tell me - just how different are her actions from the LEGAL actions of those purchasing surrogates?
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
How to work with Liberals/Leftists? He has some good advice:
Compromise is potentially constructive only when it's strictly about means: i.e., when the two sides angling toward a compromise sincerely agree on the end to be sought, and are both willing to allow that they might be wrong about what means would best serve that end. Under those conditions, everyone involved will be watching the outcome and judging the means applied by that standard alone. When the ends are opposed to one another,compromise must disserve one or the other. It cannot be any other way.
If your end is political liberty -- the maximum possible freedom from coercion or constraint for peaceable persons -- there's absolutely no reason to "dialogue" with persons whose end is an expansion of State power. Compromising with statists means promoting their end, which is the exact opposite of your end. Yet many a freedom-minded person will feel a tug toward such a "dialogue," and the ideal of compromise, despite the clarity of the above. This is the Nice-Guy Trap in action.
We're indoctrinated practically from birth about the goodness of "sharing," and how Nice Guys should "try to see both sides" -- of everything. Nice Guys mustn't declare others to be The Enemy even when The Enemy has already done so in the plainest possible ways. That's because confrontation is bad, don't y'know. At any rate, it's unpleasant, which in modern "thought" amounts to the same thing.
Hidden beneath the Nice-Guy Trap is a pair of steel jaws that can snap any principle cleanly in half. This is so obvious as to be tautological: He who compromises on principle has surrendered it to some other end.
There's more, and I suggest you read it.
I'll continue blogging on this issue in the future.
WHY is it important? Here's a link to Neil Young singing about ANOTHER 4 dead.
They didn't have to die.
Oh, well, is that SUCH a big deal? As Madam Secretary Clinton <s>said</s> yelled, "What difference, at this point, does it make?"
Saturday, February 22, 2014
There seems to be no other way to explain this boneheaded decision:
FCC to "monitor" news broadcasts for bias
Even more EXCITING, the firm that the FCC is looking at to conduct the study of the media, specializes in "social welfare".
Here's a link to the actual proposal. I'm not that concerned about them looking at what they call "Critical Information Needs" - that's examining the actual content, and comparing it to how well it matches what the public has a need to know (assuming, perhaps unrealistically, that our Leftist government minions can fairly judge that) - but, that the major focus of the study seems to be on "perceived" needs.
Whose perception is going to take precedence? Leftists? Minorities (including transgender, transexual, bi-, undecided, Arab-heritage - the RIGHT kind, the Muslims, not those "icky" Christian Arabs, those with quasi-psychiatric diagnoses that are PROUDLY used to excuse horrible behavior, et al)?
I'm confident that this will be used as a club to eliminate non-Leftist media.
BTW, isn't it funny that the ones that seem to be getting most enervated about this are NOT the Old Media, but the New Media? Who says the MSM haven't outlived their purpose?
Friday, February 21, 2014
Too often, history is written by supporters of the leading party. In present day, history taught in schools is SOLIDLY controlled by Liberal/Leftist teachers, and written to reflect that slant.
Therefore, what children learn is:
- Washington, Jefferson, and almost all of the other WHITE Founding Fathers were racist, sexist, and, generally, Bad Guys. The ONLY reason for the "3/5ths" clause in the Constitution is that they ALL Hated Black People.
- After those early days, the only presidents worth mentioning are Andrew Jackson (man of the people), Abraham Lincoln (we won't mention his party affiliation, but we LOVE him because he abused the Constitution to keep the Union together), Teddy Roosevelt (another unmentionable party, but not REALLY - he was a Progressive! Which is a Wonderful Thing!), and Wilson (REALLY smart - an honest-to-God PhD - and we LOVE his League of Nations idea, which only failed because of those BAD Republicans, who like to see helpless creatures die grisly deaths, among other failings. They love him MOST because he was a Progressive).
- Then, after a period of prosperity (for some STRANGE, unknown reason, it coincided with a series of Republican administrations ), we have The SAINTED FDR (who, just like Wilson, trashed the Constitution), followed by Cold Warriors (including Truman, who, although a Democrat, had the unfortunate habit of not always kowtowing to Communists), followed by Another SECULAR Saint, JFK (he had to be a Secular Saint, because he sure wasn't all that Catholic, according to his family), LBJ (Bad-Good - Bad on Vietnam, Good on the Great Society), The VERY BAD - in fact, E-V-I-L Nixon (Yeah, the Progressives went all Impeachment on yo' a$$!), Ford (Eh.), Carter (there are no words to describe how bad a president he was, except to say that he and Obama are neck-and-neck for the ABSOLUTELY WORST!), Reagan (Boo! Hiss! Yet, amazingly, the economy improved and the debt lessened under his administration - and, foreign relations were terrific).
- Then, Bush I (Eh.), Billy Boy Clinton (who managed to eclipse JFK for sleazy, tawdry actions - in his case, both in and out of the bedroom), and Bush II (neither as bad nor as good as his enemies and friends say).
- And, then, there's Obama. Who:
- Took office under the cloud of probable primary and election fraud.
- Proceeded to mis-manage the economy so badly that we're still mired in unemployment, low GDP, and national debt.
- Blithely ignored the Constitution (What, exactly, was he supposed to be an expert on?)
- Handled corruption and other impeachable offenses by grandly declaring that he, and all his people, were completely innocent, even before the investigation began. Then, proceeded to block those investigations. Then, again declared that there was nothing to the charges.
- Has a backside that is covered in layers of lipstick from the Mainstream Media. Still enjoys telling them to shut up, and take his word for everything. They still grovel at his feet.
- Has stirred up more racially-based hatred than ANY president, including Woodrow Wilson, who segregated the Federal government. His take on current events: If you're Black, you could be my son. If you're White, why are you even talking - you know you're a Hater!
One bright spot is the recent fictional books by Rush Limbaugh, which are intended for young people to learn more about the United States' history, not as they are often taught in school.
I'm convinced that it will be the efforts of SEVERAL generations to remove the Leftist detritus from our culture.