Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Love Paramedics, Hate Guardrails

New blogging friend Trigger posted this bit on Conspicuous Forgiveness that's worth a read. It made me think of a sermon I heard recently letting us all know how important forgiveness was. The priest is a thorough lefty, so his sermons lean heavily to the forgiveness side and almost never touch on sin itself. Now that's all well and good and forgiveness is a big part of our faith, but it's only needed after you've screwed up.

In essence, forgiveness is the paramedics coming to patch you up after you've rolled your car and find yourself upside down in a ditch. Rules about sin are guardrails designed to keep you on the road and stop you from rolling your car in the first place.

Folks like that priest don't like it when we're judgmental of each other. They don't like to preach about rules and regulations or seem small minded. However, they also don't like to preach about the sins that led to little Taniqua Wilson being abused by her baby mama's live in boyfriend or the ones that led to Joe Smith's meth addiction. We hear a lot about forgiving Taniqua's mom and Joe, but some of us think it might be better to be asked to forgive just a little less often.

Still think you don't need guardrails?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pink And Yellow

These are the flowers of some succulent out in our front yard. My wife and mom know what it is, but I don't. In any case, I was out there, fiddling around with my Nikon Artillery Piece and took this shot. I love it. I left it quite large, so I think it's worth a click.


Monday, July 21, 2014

The Anti-Bullying Campaign Is Over

... and if your side is getting bullied, for the next two years it's going to be pretty awful.
For the first time in 1,600 years, Mass is not being said in Mosul: an ancient culture has been wiped out in a matter of weeks. It's a war crime that, strangely, no one seems to want to talk about. 
Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq and the place where many Christians believe Jonah was buried. Since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) rode into town, their faith has been forced underground. Bells have been silenced, the hijab enforced with bullets. Tens of thousands fled after being offered an unattractive choice: convert, pay a religious tax, or be put to the sword. 
There's no one out there with the will or the power to stop the bullying, whether it's from the Muslims, the Russians or the Chinese. If you're hoping America will step in anywhere, you're going to have to wait. Peggy Noonan penned an outstanding piece discussing President Obama's detachment from his job and how he's uninterested in any of these crises.
"The world seems to disappoint him," says the New Yorker's liberal and sympathetic editor, David Remnick.

What kind of illusions do you have to have about the world to be disappointed when it, and its players, act aggressively or foolishly? Presidents aren't supposed to have those illusions, and they're not supposed to check out psychologically when their illusions are shattered.
We've got at least two more years where Christians, among many others, will be murdered without a murmur of protest.

I don't know, he doesn't seem all that disappointed to me.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Beauty At The Living Coast

My folks took us to the Living Coast Discovery Center yesterday. A good time was had by all, but this had to be the highlight of the trip:

I have no idea who this boy was, but watching him with the tortoise was lovely.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

It's Open Season On Christians

... because no nation will defend us. Burn down a mosque and tell Moslems to convert or die and you'll have several hundred crazies with guns and bombs slaughtering your citizens the very next day.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Q: What Invention Enabled Long-Range Ocean Voyages?

A: Sauerkraut.

I'm currently enjoying The Great Age of Discovery, Volume 2: Captain Cook and the Scientific Explorations after having made my way through the superb Treasure Island. The Great Age of Discovery is fascinating and it begins with one of the most interesting facts I've heard in a long time.

The book starts with a hideous, detailed description of scurvy, written by a mariner from the 18th Century. The author then goes on to describe various unsuccessful hypotheses and treatments developed by the British and the Continentals to deal with the problem. After a long period of study and experimentation, they discovered that the Scandinavians never contracted scurvy and that they always brought barrels of sauerkraut with them on their voyages.

Lieutenant Cook (later Captain Cook) made his first voyage to the Pacific with plenty of the stuff on board and lost no one to scurvy. Until that point, a ship's master could expect half of his crew to die from the malady on a voyage of that length and the remainder to be weakened or crippled.

So there you have it. Just as it did in the World Cup, pickled cabbage wins again.

Sauerkraut. Is there anything it can't do?
Addendum: Natural News calls sauerkraut the original probiotic superfood. Endorsed by rugged, manly seamen and hairy-legged, granola-munching, feminist crazies, you can't go wrong with a big bowl of sauerkraut!

Cheezburger of the Day

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What I Saw While Drinking At An Irish Pub

On Saturday, I went to confession. After being shriven by the padre, I needed to sit with my German cookbook somewhere and pick out a recipe for the night's dinner, preparing as we were for Deutschland's World Cup game against Argentina.

Figuring I'd celebrate my newly scrubbed conscience with a pint, I wandered over to a local Irish pub and got a tall glass of Harp to quaff while I perused the recipes.

Howay the saved!
It was about 4:30 in the afternoon and while I sipped suds and flipped pages, a pair of young ladies came in and sat at the bar nearby. They had young children with them and it was clear they were regulars. They chatted happily with the barmaid about some adventure or another involving guys, booze and whatnot.

The ladies were sprinkled with tattoos, the kids were familiar with the bar and the topic of conversation was not one you'd associate with bankers, lawyers, captains of industry or their wives. Husbands weren't mentioned so it was a good bet the kids dads weren't in the picture. Be that as it may, they seemed like nice enough girls, if a bit wayward. Such girls have always existed and while we have more than our share these days, they're God's creatures just as much as, say, Cardinal Dolan of New York.

What did strike me was that thanks to our fiscal profligacy, much of it in the name of "compassion," each of them, ladies and children alike, owed $55,200+. The easy girls with children and no husbands from our past were never loaded up with that much debt. People make bad choices all the time, some worse than others. What gave the government the right to pile such a burden on all of them on top of the costs of their own mistakes?

I wished I'd had a congressman or Administration official in the bar with me. I'd have asked them, "What made you think you had the right to push all of that debt on top of them? Didn't you think they had enough problems without having to pay for you to look like a big shot?"