|One of her regular series, "Zen Moment of the Day"|
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
The revolutionist despises escapism; he is always ready for any psychological confrontation with capitalist ideals.
— Vladimir Lenin (@Thresagu) July 30, 2014
Tips to Keep Your Skin Clear - http://t.co/L309pnd9PI pic.twitter.com/IhkoAXbUU2
— Vladimir Lenin (@Thresagu) July 30, 2014
I guess it makes sense. After a long day killing all kinds of counter-revolutionaries, who wouldn't need a soothing facial massage?
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
|Just look at these crazed, bigoted Teabaggers in their white KKK sheets with all kinds of weapons strapped to them. Sickening! Oh, wait. Those are Hamas guys. Never mind, we're cool with them because they're all ethnic and diverse and stuff.|
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Yesterday, my wife and I were looking at burial plots. Not for ourselves, but for a relative who had recently died. One of those we visited was deep in the hood. You didn't really feel safe driving to and from it. I came up with the perfect slogan for the place.
"Here at Restful Acres, we believe in preparing for the day when you're shot to death visiting Restful Acres."
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Friday, July 25, 2014
Obama’s passivity stems from an idea. When Obama says Putin has placed himself on the wrong side of history in Ukraine, he actually believes it. He disdains realpolitik because he believes that, in the end, such primitive 19th-century notions as conquest are self-defeating. History sees to their defeat...Italics in the original. If you're wondering why the US hasn't intervened in any meaningful way to stop Russia, ISIS, Syria or anyone else, it's because Obama thinks they've already lost. Like the Marxists, he seems to think that history is relentlessly moving in one direction, in this case towards freedom, civil rights and prosperity. All we have to do is sit back and watch them fail.
Remember when, at the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, Obama tried to construct for Putin “an off-ramp” from Crimea? Absurd as this idea was, I think Obama was sincere. He actually imagined that he’d be saving Putin from himself, that Crimea could only redound against Russia in the long run.
What's worse for them, these anti-freedom forces are getting a lot of grit in their eyes from blowing up buildings.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
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.We've got at least two more years where Christians, among many others, will be murdered without a murmur of protest.
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.
|I don't know, he doesn't seem all that disappointed to me.|
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Breaking. #ISIS Islamists rebels just burnt the Assyrian Catholic Church in Mosel #Iraq. Completely lost. pic.twitter.com/U5GjRFYarN
— RealSy (@BBassem7) July 18, 2014
Friday, July 18, 2014
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?|
Thursday, July 17, 2014
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!|
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?"
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I'm always surprised by crabs coming ashore. Here in San Diego, our crabs are rigorously aquatic. Crawling across lawns and up walls is simply unthinkable to them. Driving around Grand Cayman, we occasionally saw these fellows crossing the street and swerved to avoid them. The crab got a comment from someone in the car every time, too.
I left the image fairly large so it might be worth a click. The little arthropod has some interesting designs on the side of his head. Or is that body?
|Where does the head stop and the body begin?|
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
|Or if you don't want to click on the link, here's a repeat photo of our Maximum Leader keeping a watchful eye on the Catican Compound staff.|
Monday, July 14, 2014
The best thing I read this weekend was advice to flee temptation. If you're trying to quit doing something and you find yourself in the perfect environment to do that thing, run away!
Exercising willpower takes a lot more energy than simply running away!
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Saturday, July 12, 2014
I argued that the great philosophers like Nietzsche, Aquinas and Locke could be understood independent of their time. Digestion of my favorite Christian authors, CS Lewis and GK Chesterton, might be improved with a small amount of context, but their work was perfectly comprehensible without it.
His response was that the teacher in his Pauline theology class had opened his eyes to the historical context of the writings of St. Paul and through that lens, the Letters of Paul seemed to have a very different meaning from what we give them today. In fact, there was some connection made between Hitler's persecution of the Jews and Pauline theology. He couldn't remember the precise connection, but he felt sure that Hitler had been heavily influenced by St. Paul's writings.
That, of course, is complete nonsense.
Hitler saw the Jews as a race, not a faith. That right there ends the discussion. To the Church, race and faith are orthogonal dimensions. In fact, that was one of the central tenets of St. Paul's writings - Christianity was universal and not Israel-centric. To the Nazis, everything was about race. As for the Final Solution in particular, the minutes of the Wannsee conference refer to Darwinistic thought directly, but never to anything even vaguely Christian.
Under proper guidance, in the course of the final solution the Jews are to be allocated for appropriate labor in the East. Able-bodied Jews, separated according to sex, will be taken in large work columns to these areas for work on roads, in the course of which action doubtless a large portion will be eliminated by natural causes.
The possible final remnant will, since it will undoubtedly consist of the most resistant portion, have to be treated accordingly, because it is the product of natural selection and would, if released, act as a the seed of a new Jewish revival (see the experience of history.)Emphasis mine.
One of the things I learned when I went to college many, many years ago was that outside of the science and engineering departments, you couldn't trust a lick of what was being taught. Everything needed to be questioned and tested for bias. The bias was omnipresent and always in the same direction, too. Since then, the experiences of our children indicate the situation has only gotten worse.
|St. Paul, Gauleiter of Magdeburg.|
Friday, July 11, 2014
All blacks are "true" blacks only if they're baptized, confirmed and actively worshiping in the Church of Social Justice Fascism. Deviate from this as an individual and you are excommunicated from the race. Deviate from this as an organization and it's time for a religious war.
The Koch brothers donated $25M to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Apostasy! The Koch brothers are conservatives and libertarians! The AFSCME, orthodox and faithful to the Church, marshaled its forces, preached salvation to those who would fight under its banners and attacked.
In a letter made public Thursday, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said it will no longer partner with or raise funds for the fund, known for its iconic motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”Roll that last sentence around on your tongue and savor it. The UNCF provides scholarships to blacks. The Koch brothers' money had the same value and would go to the same purpose as money from Nancy Pelosi. Young blacks going to college can spend a grant from the UNCF the same way no matter the original source of the cash. And yet, to the faithful, a young black going to college with this money is a betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement.
AFSCME President Lee Saunders said the actions of the college fund’s president “are not only deeply hostile to the rights and dignity of public employees, but also a profound betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement.”
I've been steeped in Catholicism for decades and I've never experienced anything that esoteric and abstruse from the pulpit or the Catechism. Still, there's a certain theological charm to it and one can picture faith-crazed zealots nodding their heads and vowing vengeance on the heretics.
Taking money from the Koch brothers? If that's not a bugle call to the upright and virtuous, I don't know what is.
|Here, the AFSCME does righteous battle with the UNCF. Note how the UNCF aren't really black.|
Thursday, July 10, 2014
All along, my thinking has been that they couldn't stop buying bonds because there was no one else out there to sop up the roughly $600B of new bonds the government is issuing every year - about $50B per month. If there's no demand for short-term Treasuries which are practically zero percent investments, then interest rates are going to have to rise until it's worth buying the things.
I'm less pessimistic than I have been in the past, not because the fundamentals have changed, but because all of the predictions of doom I've read have yet to come true. That last is the classic profile of the late-to-the-party sucker who gets drawn into investing in a bubble right before it pops.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
I've read a lot of blog posts and essays lately, upon the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI about how we might be heading into a global conflict now, too. That's silly.
China is squaring off with Vietnam and Japan, the Middle East has wars all over the place and Russia is flexing its muscles. That's not quite a world war. That's more like the conflicts that filled the 1800s. Small to medium-sized wars all over the world, ignited by local rivalries and ethnic tensions. Contrary to the childish views of Barack Obama and John Kerry, it's the way of the world when there's no global cop.
It's not stability, it's just normal.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Monday, July 07, 2014
Here's a studio version with Peter Furler singing lead instead of Michael Tait. That studio version really sounds like AC/DC. Here are the lyrics. I'm a big AC/DC fan and when I heard this on the "In the Hands of God" CD I got for Father's Day, the similarity jumped out at me immediately.
Sunday, July 06, 2014
No blood for oil. Blood for votes.
Update: Meanwhile, real, live Americans are going without water in Detroit because they can't pay their bills. Since they already vote for the
Saturday, July 05, 2014
Above all, we need to be reminded on a daily basis how gosh-darned compassionate the progressives are as they hand out benefits, refuse to enforce immigration laws and fight protecting the border.
Maria Gonzalez*, formerly of La Trinitaria, MX and now resident of some warehouse in Brownsville, TX, was Maria Gonzalez before she crossed the border. Knowing the border wasn't enforced and the benefits were there, she ditched the lousy life in La Trinitaria and headed north.
|A four star restaurant in La Trinitaria.|
It wasn't until she crossed into Texas that we cared about Maria. At that point, she became a trophy to our compassion. Speeches were made about Maria. Debates raged over Maria. Pundits pontificated about Maria. Of course, had Maria failed to reach the US because she died, ran out of cash or was enslaved on the way as were so many of her co-travelers, the Very Important People in America wouldn't have said a word about her.
It all started when she made the very reasonable cost-benefits decision in La Trinitaria, taking into account the lack of border enforcement and American government benefits. Until she crossed the border, she wasn't a potential vote.
* - If you're wondering, this name is just a proxy for any of the immigrants.
Friday, July 04, 2014
All of the conversations I've heard and read about the illegal women and children coming across our border focus on how to treat them humanely now that they're here. Everyone wants to wave their Compassion Flag as high as they can.
How was it compassionate to tempt them to come here in the first place? What horrible things happened on the way to the US?
Maybe the most compassionate thing we could have done would have been to control our border.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
I'm not usually one for religious self-help books. I find that merging the two subjects usually makes for an inferior treatment of each. While I'm trying to be a thoroughly Catholic nut case, I prefer my Catholicism to be foundational, informing all of my decisions*, but to leave the mechanics of my decisions to other approaches. Sifting through our library looking for material on this topic, I came across Max Lucado's Cure for the Common Life.
Max is a Christian writer and this is a very Christian book. His points are illustrated through the use of stories and excerpts from the Bible. That's all very well and good for Max, but for me, I felt the book wasted a lot of space on Biblical teaching that added very little to finding your calling. For me, a Rosary and Adoration Chapel would accomplish more than all the Bible quotes Max could find.
In spite of this, Max had two diamonds in his rough that changed the way I see my life. The first was to look back on your life to find episodes that had brought pleasure and fulfillment. In a perusal of my checkered past, I quickly saw that I was most energized when I was leading some kind of crusade, whether that was at work, with the family or in my hobbies. When I was trying to do something that was particularly difficult and perhaps never done before, I found practically limitless reservoirs of enthusiasm and determination.
Ironically, the second insight came from one of Max's Bible stories. He used the Parable of the Talents to say that God doesn't want you to think small.
While the rest of the book was skimmable at best, the first of those two nuggets was life-changing and the second reinforced it. When I try to sell people on reading self-help books, I frequently get push back - "Well, that may work for you, but it doesn't work for me. I find too much wrong in the author's work." That attitude is self-defeating and can cause you to miss marvelous nuggets of wisdom. No book has universal, total applicability, but most of them have something unique you can pluck out and use to improve your life.
* - Informing isn't the same as doing. See also: sin.