Thursday, November 28, 2002

Spent much of the day in 30 degree weather at the zoo because it was our little girl's birthday and she likes animal videos, so we figured that she'd love the zoo. Well, she was miserable, probably gas issues. She did like the Tiger, she was out in full force and roaring. Other than that, it's hard for a 1 year old to appreciate caged up animals because they don't cooperate. I've always felt that zoo animals were selfish. The reason they are in there is for our entertainment, yet they consitently ignore and dissappoint us. I don' think it makes much sense.

World AIDS Day coming up, December 1

Do something in your family or parish or community about AIDS/HIV.

What can you do?

Check with your local diocesan office and see if you can tap into any diocesan-wide activity.

Have a prayer intention for those living with HIV/AIDS during the prayer of the faithful.

Encourage your priest or pastor to say something, even if very brief.

See if you can get it mentioned in your Church Bulletin.

Pray with your family for those living with the virus and for the healing of AIDS.

Help/assist someone with AIDS in your community.

Take up a family or community collection to donate to an organization that deals with HIV/AIDS. (There are many good Catholic agencies).

Any, some or all of these, would be a positive step.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

For a show that was nominated for a bunch of Emmy's, 24 is bordering on being pathetic. My wife is not convinced about
President Palmer

I like him because I swear he reminds me of
Bishop Steib of Memphis. BAP like me
Written by Crazedlove blog

BAP like me: A wayward black American princess sees an unnerving reflection of herself in Condi Rice's efficient soldiering for the Bush administration.

Condoleezza Rice is a cypher -- for most people. Press profiles portray the tough-minded national security advisor as some sort of preternatural mystery. Writers consistently marvel at her articulateness and speculate about her unflappable demeanor. In a review of "The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired" in the New York Observer, Benjamin Anastas wrote:

"First, a confession: Sometimes I think that Clio, the muse of history, has come to earth in the human form of Condoleezza Rice. Consider her utter certainty, the eerie, distant quality of her voice, and the strange calm she projects at the margins of White House photographs. And I can think of no other explanation -- save, perhaps, the puppy's eagerness to chew on rawhide -- for the exuberance she inspires in President Bush the Younger, her artist ... Just what exactly did happen behind closed doors during the famous 'education process' that resulted in our nation's foreign policy?"

Overlooking, for now, the racist and sexist undertones in this wide-eyed gushing, I have to say that Rice is no mystery to me. She's a BAP -- a bona fide Black American Princess -- who exhibits all the telltale qualities of the category: a razor-sharp proficiency, cool manner and a good daughter's devotion to carrying out orders. Believe me, I ought to know.

I count myself a wayward black American princess. As the editors of last year's "The BAP Handbook: The Official Guide to the Black American Princess" put it, I have been programmed since birth to "strive for perfection" in everything I do, as well as possess a keen sense of entitlement.

The black American princess is a prim, well-groomed, accomplished and articulate woman. In mainstream business culture, she rarely draws any attention to her ethnic heritage. She's often the sole black woman sitting in workplace meetings, or the hard-working, dedicated accomplisher of miracles for her church or community organization. (Not all black educated professional women are BAPs. Oprah Winfrey? Not a BAP, no matter how hard she may try; she's too spontaneous and relaxed -- and she grew up poor.)

The BAP baffles most people by confounding their expectations. Unless prodded, she exhibits no clear racial consciousness and staunchly defends her individualism. She speaks standard American English, rarely switching to the black English vernacular unless forced to by an overly familiar white colleague trying to establish intimacy. She may speak several languages, has likely traveled extensively, and may excel at antiquated avocations and elitist pursuits, like opera singing, violin or lacrosse.

BAPs are the feminine avatars of the black bourgeoisie, the fairer (if not in skin tone) half of a subculture larger and more complex than that limned by the Eastern Seaboard's patrician black Brahmins portrayed in Stephen L. Carter's bestseller "The Emperor of Ocean Park."

This tribe of upper-middle-class African-Americans prides itself on its heirs' ability to assimilate and integrate. Growing up in white suburbs and attending elite schools and institutions of higher learning, black American prince and princesses are immersed in Anglo (often WASP) culture and emerge with modes of speech, behavior and grooming that brand them as "Oreos," black on the outside and white in the middle.

From an early age, BAP matriarchs teach offspring their duty to present a flawless front in public, affirming the superiority of our forebears in defiance of Jim Crow and other racist institutions. BAP mothers also pass on negro noblesse oblige to their children, especially their daughters, who often lead fundraising efforts to support African-American causes. But they're more likely to raise money via debutant cotillions and other social events than car washes and bake sales. . .

in/medias/res says

P.S. I KNOW black people ski, because Tracy sure does and because the National Brotherhood of Skiers exists, but I sure didn't see either Tracy or any potential NBS members out there today!!! Maybe I ought to join those Charlotte Breezers after all...

Black skiers unite!

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Whenever we watch TV and those manipulative diamond ads come on, like Kays or the other one, "a diamond is forver," I tell my wife how much I appreciate the fact that she's not like "that." And then she asks, "what is 'that'?" And I say, "you know, the superficial, only a diamond shows true love, type."

Actually, she doesn't care but I do . . . about those commercials. I think they are terrible, what kind of message are they sending.

I secretly hope that those people who sued McDonalds for making them obese win the case. I see McDonalds is so evil. I firmly believe that they need to sacrifice some profit for a touch of social consciousness. I believe that they can make their food much healthier and maintain the taste. Nothing like a few lawsuits to push them in the right direction.

I got to 5,000 words with my first Nanowrimo story, but as usually happens, I normally plod through first drafts. A first draft can take months. The exciting part is the endless revisions that follow which explain why I haven't yet published a work of fiction. However, that might change soon. In the past three/four days, I have added about 6,000 words to an already existing short story. And if I don't add anything else to it I may be able to put out a small book of short stories.

The problem is that I am tempted to fiddle with another story which would extend any such plans. Oh well, so be it.

November 2002 will go down in history as my busiest month ever. I got my butt kicked with work and having a nasty cold for a week did not help. But they took their shot and I stumbled but I'm back up and ready to rumble.

Biz-wise, St. Martin looks like it's going to do relatively well this Xtmas, recession and soft economy notwithstanding. It seems that there is enough interest in specifically Catholic goods to make things happen. There's always the inventory selection question. Do I stock high end items or just stick with mid range and low range items. I think I'll do what I've always done, get the high priced stuff. The problem is that it costs a lot to stock high end items but one thing I learned early in this business is that you can only sell a $300.00 silver rosary if you stock a $300.00 rosary. There is always the fear that you'll get stuck with excess high-end inventory that you can't move. That is possible but it has not been our experience in general.

I just bought a $55.00 humongous German-English dictionary. Why? You ask. Well if Johnny Cash can shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die, darn it, I can buy a huge dictionary just to watch it burn. Home:Sons of Confederate Vets divided on racial agenda

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - More rifts are forming in the Sons of Confederate Veterans as factions struggle for control of the group's identity and direction.

``Save the Sons of Confederate Veterans'' is sending letters to more than 800 camps around the world aimed at steering the SCV back toward its ``constitutional purpose'' of defending Southern heritage in a nonracist way.

Last week, Ron Wilson, commander in chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, removed Charles Hawks, a retired government worker, as head of one of the group's three regional divisions.

Three months earlier, Hawks had beat an opponent with white supremacist ties for the coveted post of commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. Wilson said he took the action because Hawks breached the confidentiality of a closed meeting, but Hawks says he obeyed the group's rules.

Hawks says he is being ``purged'' from the 31,000-member organization because he does not embrace the far-right politics of some of its leadership, including his election rival, lawyer Kirk Lyons.

Hawks' removal was tied to a meeting with discussions about disciplinary action against Greensboro, N.C., restaurateur and SCV local chapter leader Gilbert Jones.

Jones started Save the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

``What we're trying to do is simply return the SCV to its constitutional purpose,'' said Walter C. Hilderman of Eutawville, one of the group's organizers, said in a news release. ``If someone wants to attack the government and advocate secession, they can join the League of the South. If they find some sort of warped virtue in racism, then go to the Ku Klux Klan. But this organization has rejected racism in its past, and it's time to do it again once and for all.''

Wilson says the SCV hasn't become political or embraced a racist agenda. ``People, when they don't like what you're doing or saying, they'll label you with some onerous term,'' he said.

Some SCV members also are members of the League of the South and the Council of Conservative Citizens, both of which the Southern Poverty Law Center labels racist hate groups.

Wilson acknowledged that many SCV members belong to other groups. For instance, his chief of staff was a member of the League of the South. Wilson said he belonged to both the League of the South and the CCC several years ago, but has quit both groups. ``Obviously, I had some discomfort or I wouldn't have left,'' he said.

Wilson said those memberships don't violate the SCV's prohibition against political activity.

``We don't give up our citizenship when we join this organization,'' he said.

Democrat & Chronicle: At 5-6, Bills have to win five straight to make playoffs

I still have faith. Jesus says that if you have faith you can say to this mountain be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea and it will be so, if you have faith and do not doubt.

I believe, I believe, I believe, . . . I implore any one who considers me a half way decent human being to please say a St. Jude novena for the Bills. If you need a text I'll mail it to you. I am desperate at this point.

Myself, wife and kid are going to Buffalo the day after Thanksgiving and the plan was to get Jersey's and other stuff. I need to justify such an investment in this tough economy and the only way to do that is if the Bills win and make the playoffs. All they have to do is run the table for the next five weeks and beat times like Miami and the Packers, no problem at all . . . but we must pray.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

I just got an Iomega zip drive on Amazon, so I hope my computer doesn't crash before then. I'm getting a 250mb one, which they say is the equivalent of 170 floppy disks.

I think someone should do a "What Star Trek voyager character are you?" I'm undecided who I''d be.Definitely not Janeway, not Chakotay(sp?), I think Be'lana Torres (maybe not but she's my favorite). Definitely not seven of nine (if any one comes up as seven of nine, I think they should be worried). Tuvok may be a possibility for me.

Computer crashes are a horrible thing. My laptop began crashing early this week and I was not able to use it for days. I have finally broken down and decided two things, first--I'm going to get a zip drive so that I can save all my files, secondly--dude, I'm getting a Dell! I currently have a Gateway and I like it but I haven't heard the best things in general about Gateway. However, Gateway has a great deal, computer starting at $399 (w/o monitor and speakers). So after this post, I'm headed to to get a zip drive.

Friday, November 22, 2002

I am website number one at Comet Search: COLDESE. A distinction I claim not without some measure of pride and satisfaction. Don't ask why.

The Sacramento Bee -- Civil rights leader sued for fraud, misrepresenting blacks

LOS ANGELES(AP) - A group of African Americans has sued civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, accusing him of fraud and demanding that he stop pretending to represent them.

African Americans Against Exploitation, a newly formed group that includes a former head of the Kentucky Republican Party, filed the lawsuit in Superior Court on Nov. 12. The suit claims Jackson is calling himself a black leader without permission from the country's millions of black citizens.

ROLAND S. MARTIN: Where are the marriage defenders when you really need them?

If the ABC Television Network had decided to show a group of 25 men vying to be married to a gay bachelor, religious groups and family values organizations would be up in arms, protesting the assault on our nation’s morals. With that in mind, what explanation is there for their relative silence over the weekly joke known as the TV show, The Bachelor? Amazing. Harry Potter is assailed for promoting witchcraft but The Bachelor gets a pass.

Jets by 3?!!! Where's the love.

I guarantee a Bills victory, you can write that down and take it to the bank.

I watch about four TV shows on a fairly regular basis. I am only devoted to one, Alias, but the others are ER, West Wing and 24. My question is how the quality of writing and acting can vary so much among these shows. Alias and West Wing are extremely well written, 24 is a joke and ER is somewhat questionable now after many strong seasons. Two shows whose writing I am ultimately impressed with are Cheers and Everybody Loves Raymond. It is just amazing that you can have shows like that and then have a show following that is basically stupid.

The show that I'm rooting for this Fall which is doing quite well is Bonnie Hunt's show. I watched it a couple of times and thought it was okay, but it is drawing 10 millions viewers a week, so it seems safe for now.

Catching up on blogs after a brief hiatus, and I think Dylan just posted that I should "shut the f--k (update this was the original posting) up?" How easy to say such things anonymously over the internet. Being that, unlike Dylan, I'm not given to unleashing bubbling streams of profanity, I have nothing to say. However, I note to Dylan and sympathizers that this is a private blog and not required reading.

Monday, November 18, 2002

The Practice

Mr. Kelley continues his probe or others may call it an assualt on Catholicism. Being that I am hardly ever sympathetic to the hierarchy anymore, especially the Vatican and then Bishops, I am not repulsed by his criticism. I do find that it is not overly critical, it seems that he does have a clear agenda of Catholic lay rebellion, which is masked in a credible dialog. And even though this dialog is a "mask" it is nonetheless present and mutes his primary agenda.

Yesterday's program was about the firm having to defend a child molestor. Both Bobby and Jimmy are sickened by it but a resolved to do their jobs. Bobby's priest makes an appearance in court and confronts Bobby for hypocrisy because while he quit the Church because the Church "ennabling" child molestors, he is here defending a child molestor and "ennabling" him by working to secure his freedom. He challenged Bobby to walk out on criminal defense just as he walked out on the Church because, in Bobby's logic, both would be considered to be doing the same thing. Bobby does win the case and the child molestor goes free. The priest does retract his words and acknowledges appreciation for the necessity of the criminal defense lawyer in our system of justice, but questions how Bobby can remain a criminal defense attorney. They also had a side story about Santoria, which is something like the Cuban version of voodoo: traditional African slave elements mixed in with Cathjolicism. That's a whole other post.

Again, I think the one thing that emerges is the worship of the system, the law is God. The other thing is that, I think the priest was wrong in criticizes Bobby for being a hypocrite, because the Church is and should be held to the highest standards of morality, while the state tends to operate by the lowest common denominator. That the system allows for ennabling of criminal activity is a different thing than if the Church allows for it. But I think there are still a few more episodes to go on this issue and so I think I'll wait to see where David Kelley is goiing with all this. I wonder if ratings are up?

Dylan calls itAfro-facism and racist because black newspapers are critcizing David Craig for using a white guitarist. Ridiculous!

Racism has nothing to do with simple selection or preference it is far more sinister and ominous. Also racism is does not operate in a vacuum, there is already a pre-existing situation. Present references to racism and its remedies cannot neglect the diachronic aspects of human living and action. The motivations for black newspapers criticizing David Craig are the question not the blanket fact that they are criticizing. If the criticism is because black people hate and despise whites because of black supremacy, then that would be an issue. If it is because of a host of other legitimate reasons then it simply is a cheap shot to call it racism meant to elicit a "threatened" response from many white people, who are already weary of legitimate black demands for justice and recognition. The fact that the criticism may or may not be prudent, or even stupid, has nothing to do with racism. This talk of "reverse racism" just cheapens a very sensitive issue and further desensitizes those who have disregard anyway for this issue.

Friday, November 15, 2002

I just finished teaching a six week course to catechists on Sacraments. We finished up marriage today. My two least favorite sacraments to teach are marriage and annointing of the sick. They are both so fuzzy that you have to leave the podium littered with more questions that one would like. Theologians are still hashing out marriage which makes it difficult to make some definite statements. For instance ecclesiatical law can be an impediment to a valid marriage. How?? e.g. Archbishop Milingo gets married, but because he has taken of vow of celibacy and perhaps other things he signed(?) ecclesiastical law prohibits him from marrying. So that the Vatican could claim that his marriage was not valid in the first place. I can see how natural law can be the basis for annulment, for instance, two man marrying would not take, I just don't see how or why an ecclesiastical law can make a marriage invalid. I know that I haven't fully articulated what concerns me but . . .

For the last class, I have the students do a presentation on the one sacrament that has the most significance for them. That is always enlightening. The way people work sacramental experience out in their lives is very interesting and instructive. I alsways learn a thing or two.

I realized that I did not give my weekend movie veg report/review. I did see some interesting movies last weekend, I just don't remember. That reminds me of something I read . . . I forget who wrote and I forget what he said, but it was pretty good.

Google Search: we "hate the bills"

Via ibidem

House passes Homeland Security bill:

"In one last-minute addition, Representative Dick Armey, Republican of Texas, inserted a provision that was apparently intended to protect Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical giant, from lawsuits over thimerosal, a mercury-based vaccine preservative that some parents contend has caused autism in their children.

"I'm really quite surprised they would put in the fine-print provisions we never saw in any other versions, that never even went through committees," said Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee."

But Republicans, like Representative William M. Thornberry of Texas, said the additions were minor and paled next to the importance of creating a department to protect the nation's safety."

There are reasons total Republican control scares me and this is one of them. Another is the bankrupcy bill that just passed the house. It is written to make it much more difficult for people to declare bankrupcy, thus sheilding them from creditors. Guess which industry pushed that one? Credit Cards companies. How does this help anyone but the big business? (hate to sound cliche-iche).

This is where we Democratics ask Republicans with compassion to make some noise in your party and put the breaks on some of this type of legislation. When Democrats returnt to power in 04, we'll reciprocate.

Thursday, November 14, 2002


Re your blog on "The Practice"

I was wondering what you thought about the juxapositioning of Bobby's indignation over the Church 'protecting serial pedaphiles" with his equally
emphatic insistance that his firm protect a serial murderer.


A couple of episodes back, Eugene and Jimmy got into a dispute over representing a clinic that did stem cell research. Eugene's anti-Catholic bias was then revealed. However, it wasn't just a bias, it was extreme anger that he began to take out everyone. Bobby finally comfroned him about and in his speech he accused Eugene or being anti-Catholic claimed that Eugene worshipped the law. The impression was that Eugene was unbalanced and Dylan was the complete one who had religion.However, the next episode is a total turn around for Dylan. He then decides to leave the Catholic Church.

It was kind'a wierd that it didn't seem to take much to "turn" him. I David Kelley's message is to gravitate towards Eugene, worship the law, be suspicious of religion, especially Catholicism. Dylan's worship of the law is what led him to conceal and not be bothered by the serial murderer that he was representing but be incensed over serial pedaphilia.

For some reason, I didn't take the episode to seriously because it did not seem fully thought out and we are not taken through the thinking and crises of Faith Dylan experiences. His decsion reeked of superficality. There might be more to this whole thing in the next few episodes. We'll see. I think one thing that the show tries to display is the consistency of the law and how it is the one thing in our lives that is constant and trust worthy. Catholicism now becomes a foil to display the steadfastness and consistency of the law compared to the secrecy and abusiveness of Catholic priests. It is all so preachy, I wish they'd drop this whole Catholic thing or at least make it more subtle and substantial

4,635 words--a little behind schedule but I can get there.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

The Bishops' debate and discussion on a document on the Iraq situation was also very interesting. What happened was that on Monday, a Bishop moved that the body consider a statement in light of the very real possibility of war with Iraq. A statement was prepared and the discussion on the issue was held today.

Apparently many of the Bishops were uncomfortable with the document because even though it was for a specific situation, i.e.,the Iraq war, it is setting a precedent for future conferences on the topic of war in general. The document draft said that for the US to go to war in Iraq it needed a constitutional imperitive (no argument on that one), broad consensus among US citizens (some concern), and some form of international sanction, preferably the UN Secutiry council (red flags everywhere).

It would take more time than perhaps necessary to recount the specifics of the debate, but the issue is that if all the conditions are met for just war sans international sanction, is that then an extra requirement? Also the US is a soveriegn nation and is sufficient in itself to determine what constitutes a threat and does not need any form of international sanction at such a time. Cardinal Law, who is chair of International committee was very reluctant to accept these suggestions, he argued that this document clearly refers to this particular situation. Some Bishops pointed out that the 15-0 outcome of the UN security council vote is very rare and it wasn't too long ago that the Soviet Union was our enemy and would have vetoed the US backed resolution . . . then what? A voice vote was taken on this issue and it was to close to call, so they took a stand up vote and the language pretty much remained in there, but the margin was very close.

BTW, the specific motion was made by Cardinal Bevliacqua to strike from the document, language by the Holy See requiring UN approval for war. This was very interesting because almost half the bishops were willing to go against the Holy See. It was doubly interesting because it was a Cardinal and that showed some back bone.

I thought that since it was obvious that many Bishops were not happy with the language, I thought they should have reconsidered the document. Anyway it takes two-thirds majority to pass the statement and we'll know tommorrow morning.

There was also the problem of conscientious objection and selective conscientious objection which is objection to a particular war and this is against the law for service men/women. However, they established that both forms of objection have long been supported by the U.S. Bishops.

I think that they should have held off on considering such a document because it was too hastily written and things are changing so fast in this unfolding saga. Oh well, that's why I am not a Bishop.

Some thoughts on the Bishops' conference.

I generally tend to support the U.S. Bishops because I think that some vocal Catholic conservatives do not understand the role of the Bishop and tend to think that the Bishops are middle managers, or cabinet appointees, or executives put in place to carry out the will of shareholders. The Bishop is not the Pope's employee and a Bishop's primary responsibility is not to the Pope but the sheep (ideally). As a result I get irritated by the whole idea of pitting the Vatican against Bishops and the attempt by the Vatican to rein in Bishops who happen not to be Pope cronies. But today I felt that the U.S. Bishops have exhibited no back bone in the past year and so I will be critical.

The applause from the Bishops and their enthused acceptance of the work of the Mixed Committee and the revised norms is baffling being that it was their own document that the Vatican unilaterally decided was in need of revision. All I can figure is this. The U.S. Bishops in June caved to public pressure and gave the public what it wanted, knowing full well that there would be Canon law problems. Some have admitted so much in not so many words. They couldn't as a body take the heat for not making a public show. Well, the Vatican sent the norms back for revision and joined in the process, so that now it looks like these are the Vatican's revision, when in all likelihood, it is what the Bishops wanted in the first place. They just were to afraid to do it and were none to glad to have the Vatican do it. That's spineless to me.

I do think that the first set of norms that were sent back for revision, and the June meeting, reflected the will of Bishop Gregory who is known to be extremely tough on sex abuse by priest and Archbishop Flynn. So in a sense they both lost this battle. Cardinal George's observations were interesting, he expressed a sentiment that I feel strongly, which is that the Bishops let the pendulum swing in protection of abuser priests for so long that they have to let the pendulum swing the other way because that's what pendulums do. This is not the time to be protecting priests, it is the time, rather, to be in complete solidarity with the victims. At such a time, when the Bishops have displayed goodw will, then they can proceed towards moderation. Cardinal George made some comments to that effect and those comments were well received by the body.

It was also very interesting that a Bishop had put in an ammendment for the Bishops to take responsibility for their mistakes. This ammendment was rejected by the committee and was headed for the trash bin until a Bishop moved to reconsider, Cardinal Law favored the motion and others too. Basically, they noted that many priests feel abandoned, while the Bishops have protected themselves. Finally, language was put in that said that the Bishops apologize for the action of "some" Bishops. That was positive but still weak. I think that they should all agree that from here on in, any Bishop not in compliance should tender his resignation to the Vatican and even if the Vatican rejects it, the symbolism would not be lost on the victims and the Church community.

No blogger today until much, much later, perhaps tonite.

I just got a few hundred luminous mystery prayer cards that we are giving out at our brick and mortar store for free. I'd extend this offer over the internet but I'm not quite sure how to make it work. It wouldn't be worth it. For the amount of postage, you could get the same amount at your local Catholic store. Anyway . . .

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

New/ revised document on domestic violence

Good document. I note one interesting theological point. The document says:

For Men Who Abuse
Admit that the abuse is your problem, not your partner's, and have the manly courage to seek help. Begin to believe that you can change your behavior if you choose to do so.

I agree with the bolded sentence, but I am heterodox I think. Doesn't it sound semi or somewhat Pelagian? One would expect a church document to speak of grace initiating the conversion experience and not the person initiating change. Now we might say that this is addressed to the man in need of conversion and not to the theologian. However, wouldn't the Church want to highlight to the man his need of God's grace?

We taped "the practice" on Sunday and watched it last nite. They were representing a man who had been molested by the Church. The moral of the story was that regardless of how many good priests there are, that is not the point, lay people cannot simply stand by and watch. They must do something, leave the Church.

In a meeting I was at yesterday, someone asked, "why can't pastors spot a dying parish right before their eyes?"

I'm really interested in finding out what Bishop Gregory really thinks. His speech yesterday gave shot to the arm of all priests and he got a rousing applause from the Bishops. Basically he sounded happy that "the charter has been strengthened" and there will be more protections for priests. My spin here is that since Rome gave the US Bishops a spanking (to the Vatican's eternal shame [Bishops are not middle managers but co-bearers of apostolic responsibility]) and sent them back to the drawing board, Bp. Gregory had no choice but to complement Rome's decision. I'm sure he can't surely mean that it strenghten's the charter that an unreasonable statute of limitations was placed in the document.

Here's my church-future prediction. Chruch will retreat into the trenches like at Trent and re-institute fortress mentality for another couple hundred years. It'll shore up its traditional and conservative base. Liberals will eventually be forced to leave. Moderates will whittle down to a negligible minority. A couple of Church councils will retread the tires as the Church seeks to regroup, ignoring the secular world. Church emerges from trenches and fortress one hundred and fifty years from now. Church will then need a Vatican II type council to update itself. Post council years will make the last 30 seem like cup cakes. Too many changes, different society, not enough engagement. It'll emerge stronger but smaller and less relevant . . .

I'm still reading Sunday's paper. Yesterday's pape remains untouched. I did not get a paper today.

Prediction: Bills 35 Kansas City 17

Updated Superbowl call: Green Bay vs. Buffalo, Bills win handily 39-24.

Monday, November 11, 2002

From T.S.Orama (I post this hoping you don't mind.)Ono, I'm sorry you have been hurt by the cheerleading of some conservative Catholics like myself.

Thanks for the sentiment, but cheerleading is allowed. My posts reflect my interest in the apparent overlap between conservative Catholics and political conservatism. I've always thought that Catholics were, for the most part, pro-life democrats. Now I think I think differently. And the question for that interests me is the root of the conservatism. Are Catholic conservatives, as most are in St. Blogs, conservative because of the political leanings or are they conservative because of Catholic social values. Wherein does the conservatism lie. I think it is the fomer.

I HOPE what motivates me is the desire not to see our nation become further secularized. James Carville himself said that the problem with the Democrat Party is that they are afraid of religion. This tends to make me afraid of the Democratic Party.

The leaders act that way, but they don't hesitate to exploit religious situations. For instance, they'll go to black churches to get out the vote. But like every party there is a fight for the heart of the party.

You ask - if you are a battered woman or a senior needing prescription drugs, do you vote on the issue of abortion? That is a great question! In fact, that is THE question, since what that vote says about that person will
speak volumes. For a battered woman or a senior needing prescription drugs to vote for a pro-life candidate and risk their own welfare is the most beatiful thing imaginable. They are putting themselves second. They are
recognizing the greater good though ir eyes and bellys tell them something different. Their place in heaven will be higher than ours! Would I blame them for voting in their self-interest? No. But is it beautiful?

I don't disagree that it would be beautiful, what I am interesting in establishing is that they would not be wrong to vote for the candidate who would alleviate their concerns regardless of stance on abortion.

As far as single-issue voting in general, wasn't that the correct thing to do during the Antebellum years in this country? Didn't the issue of slavery rightly dwarf all other issues like how to apportion tax dollars?

Single-issue voting is not wrong. What I am wary of is if I am told that that single issue must be and always be on the abortion question and that that is the only legitimate Catholic option.

I think the key point is whether one makes a distinction between a 7-yr old and an embryo. You believe there is a distinction and that does make all the difference. Given that, I can understand why you are not a single-issue
voter on abortion. On the face of it, comparing the two is ridiculous. Everything tells us that there is a huge difference. It is only with the eyes of faith that the embryo has an immortal soul. It is ridiculous in the
eyes of the world. But I believe in all that "silly" stuff, or at least pray that I do!

I don't think I have said that there is a difference between an embryo or a seven yearl old. What I say is that there is a continuum of life between the unborn and the born, so concern for welfare of human life is not restricted to the unborn. The starvation of a two year old is just as dreadful in God's eyes and should be in our's. So it, in my view, is not consistent ethic of life to not show as much dedication to the cause of the defensless two year old. My point is that it is not the ideology that matters but the people. I am not pro-life because it is a cause, it is the concern for a person. That same concern for people is what drives equal concern in other issues at all stages of life. James 1:26-27, one of my favorite verses, points out that true religion in the eyes of God is about taking care of the widows and orphans, in this day and age, we would add the unborn, but the addition of the unborn does not and cannot diminish in any way the concern for oppresed widows and orphans. It is all about people. There is no such thing as life, life does sleep, eat, breathe, get sick, and die, people live. The word "life" may be the problem because we are no longer dealing with people but a metaphysical concept "life".

Dylan had a post about Pro-life Nazi statement I made. I wasn't able to read his post in full detail, but I will say this, the example was a possible hypothetical. The point is that you could have a Nazi type, white supremacist, wants to destroy other races in the worst way, etc., and that person could be anti-abortion. If this person was a candidate would you vote for that person based on the pro-life issue? I imagine the answer is no. This has nothing to do with republican or democrat. The point is about voting indiscriminately on an issue regardless of candidate or any other considerations. I think far too much is being made about the Pro-life Nazi. In fact I would agree that such a term may be incoherent, but for similar reasons that I argue that it is inconsistent to be concerned for the unborn and that concern tapers off in regard to the born.

G. Popcack on giving to chanceries and work for the poor

"Fr Bob Carr, the rector at Holy Name Cathedral once posted a brilliant essay on why the Church should not be involved in hospitals and schools, and social justice UNLESS the driving mission is NOT doing social work, but rather, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Too many chancercies think they are preaching the Gospel because they are doing social work. And that is the problem. Bishops become secular administrators of community improvement projects and pat themselves on the back for being great bishops, all the while failing to do the hard work--the work they were specifically ordained to do--preaching, teaching, and defending the faith."

This is sad, that he would claim with all certainty that taking care of the poor is not preaching the gospel. I don't know how this reads in the NAB but the KJV is clear . . . James 1:26-27. The poor and the oppressed are what count, not teaching, defending, etc, the Faith. Teaching, defending, preaching the Faith without a primary focus on the poor means absolutely nothing in itself, because the Faith is precisely about loving the poor and oppressed.

Late nite blogging today, much work.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Continuing the discussion about the pro-life issue being the sole relevant voting issue.

Is there a situation, just one, when it would not be wrong for a pro-life person to not vote for the pro-life candidate, but rather vote for the po-abortion candidate?

Consider a woman who is a battered wife. She and her two kids get beaten to a pulp every night by her drunk husband. She needs to leave him but is afraid. Her only hope is a battered woman's shelter which provides services unique to this peculiar situation. But her county does not have a battered woman shelter. There are two congressional candidates, a pro-life republican who will not spend money on a battered woman's shelter, nor is it a priority with him/her. The other candidate is a pro-abortion democratic who is passionate about women's issues and has as a top priority to build a battered woman's shelter in the county. Would this battered woman be wrong in voting for the democrat? Yes or No.

An elderly couple in their 70s, both are retired and their total income is $1200/month. Rent is $600, there's food, electricity, etc to pay for. Their prescription bills come to $800/month. Often they are reduced to eating dog/cat food (this does happen frequently), they often do not turn on the heat because they can't afford it, they cut out necessary medication from their regimen because of expense. There are two candidates in their district. One is a pro-life republican, for whom prescription drug issues are more about protecting pharmaceutical profits, the other is a pro-abortion democrat, who is committed to providing prescription drug coverage,or at least relief. ls the elderly couple wrong in voting for the democrat?Yes or No.

A woman is homeless along with her two daughters (note that the a significant number of the homeless are women with children). She is trying to get back on her feet. She needs job training and a safe and decent place to stay in the mean time, It will take about a couple of years before she can get back on her feet. She needs her kids to be able to continue to go to school, she needs healthcare, food, a place to stay, etc. There are two candidates, a pro-life republican who is seeking to curtail welfare and assistance benefits and possibly eliminate them and there is a pro-choice democrat who is seeking to provide as much relief to people like her so that they can get back on their feet. Is this woman wrong in voting for the pro-abortion candidate? yes or no.

We could multiply examples.

The answers to these questions can only be from the view point of the protagonists in these situations and so if you answer these questions, you must first enter into the situation of these people.

Here's another question:

Is it okay to vote for a pro-life Nazi? If not, why not.

If the answer to any of the above was yes or if the answer to the nazi question was no, then you have to explain why there can be at least one case in which it may be okay for one person to vote pro-choice and not pro-life. Now if your answer to the above three situations is an unequivocal no, simply based on principle that pro-life first and everything else, regardless of what it is, a distant second, I have nothing else to say. I think that to be un-Christian with all due respect.

Again, I ask is the life of the aborted unborn child who died yesterday more precious in the eyes of God than the 15 month old girl who withered to death in the Ethiopia earlier today? Does God's love drop off in intensity or passion or something once a human emerges from the womb. Is less evil done when a pro-life republican votes against a measure proposed by a pro-abortion democratic specifically designed to provide food and medicine to prevent two year olds in Somalia from withering away by disease and starvation?

Is God more concerned for the unborn than he is for the seven year old girl in the Balkans who is forced into sex slavery and will have been raped hundreds of times in the next few years and will have contracted every imaginable sexually transmitted disease in that time span?

If life were that easy an uncomplicated it would be obvious that it is that easy and uncomplicated. There can be no consistency. We are and will be dragged in the slime of evil because this is the situation of evil in the world.

For us, where is the continuum of care, compassion and principle drawn? If the concern for the unborn is not based on compassion then it is useless. But how can there be true compassion for the unborn if there is none for the mothers. This is the great revelation of the feminists and the great oversight of the pro-lifers. If we had fought just as hard for care of the women involved, such as health benefits, prenatal care, etc, if we had shown that we had compassion for the women involved, we would have gotten far in the issue of abortion.

I think it all comes back to answering one question, what kind of man was Jesus that the adulterers and prostitutes and the unclean could seek him out, knowing his uncompromising stand, yet they were drawn to him? We've certainly lost that if we ever had it and if we can answer that question then we might be able to take a step in the right direction.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Google Search: spanking kids should it be illegal?

In the past months I think that I've been careful not transpose observations about the Catholic blogging community to the wider Catholic Church. However, I do think it represents to a substantial degree, U.S. Catholic conservatism. I've found the reaction to the election very interesting and somewhat revealing in general. I don't understand why the pro-life issue has become the solely relevant political issue and all I can link it to is a conservative ideology and less to Catholicity, I think. There seems to be an all out embrace of the Republican party and open disdain for the Democratic party, even though neither party is sufficient to Catholic concerns and both in fact are necessary to address Catholic concerns.

The one thing that I am interested in knowing is the income level and "class" in general of Catholic pro-life advocates. I say this because I suspect that these are people who have enough to eat and a decent roof over their heads and are fairly comfortable. I suspect that Catholics who live under difficult conditions would still be as pro-life but less sanguine about the Republican parties and definitely would not cast their lot with the Republican party.

The Catholic pro-life agenda does not exist in a vacuum, it is rather a subset issue of the wider issue of social justice. But what I observe is that many conservative Catholics are less than enthused about social justice issues, but become live wires when it comes to abortion.

The fact is the issue of alleviating poverty

issue of welfare reform, education and such like are high on the Bishops' agenda. (I think the education focus is suspect because the Bishops' interest is to push Catholic schools which has positive financial implications. I haven't necessarily seen a mannifest concern for public schools by the Bishops.). The fact is that equally important issues form the political fabric of orthodox Catholic life and one must be careful not to let certain aspects suffer at the expense of others. For instance, with the Republican sweep, TANF which provides assistance for needy families, which is due for reauthorization, may very well be dead. Again, this was a bill the Bishops were very concerned about.

I don't think that all is lost, because 51/52 majority still demands significant compromise in the Senate. Also Bush's advisors are politically savy and realize that majorities are unstable and can backfire if one leans to far in one direction, so we can expect them to compromise some . . . but not much, in fact, probably very little.

On the radio yesterday, I was listening as a lobbyist for business was drooling about what they are going to push for with this new Republican majority and I almost had a heart attack. There was a laundry list which showed absolute disdain for the common good. What floored me was when he said that they were going to work to relax environmental standards . . . is this crazy or what? We all need clean air, we all need clean water, we all need to revitalize our rivers, bays and lakes which are dying due to industrial waste pollution.

I don't pretend that the Democratic party would be better for the country, but the answer is both parties and perhaps more. If Dems won all three branches, like they did in 1992, I would be uncomfortable. There is nothing quite so sinister as unchecked power (such as the Catholic hierarchy has, but that's a different discussion).

Nano is going slower than I expected,but that's okay. It made me think up a new story that I otherwise wouldn't have. I suspect that I'll have no more than 10,000 words by the end of the month, but that shouldn't keep me from forging ahead.

Next week is going to be mega-busy so I don't envision doing much then.

I normally drive 495 South to Rt. 5 to Rt 301S to Waldorf on my way back from work and the same way, different direction to work. On Rt. 5 between Clinton and Waldorf is the most beautiful stretch of trees and when they turn it is breath taking. This year, though, the leaves turned later and the colors are not quite as vibrant. However, I was hoping to take some pictures but I just haven't been able to and it may be too late. Oh well.

I saw a Gateway ad on TV for desktops starting at $399, can that be true? If it is, I am all over that like . . .

World AIDS Day coming up, December 1

Do something in your family or parish or community about AIDS/HIV.

What can you do?

Check with your local diocesan office and see if you can tap into any diocesan-wide activity.

Have a prayer intention for those living with HIV/AIDS during the prayer of the faithful.

Encourage your priest or pastor to say something, even if very brief.

See if you can get it mentioned in your Church Bulletin.

Pray with your family for those living with the virus and for the healing of AIDS.

Help/assist someone with AIDS in your community.

Take up a family or community collection to donate to an organization that deals with HIV/AIDS. (There are many good Catholic agencies).

Any, some or all of these, would be a positive step.

what foreign language are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

You're ancient greek, and you don't quite know how to pronounce yourself. you love to have a good time, but no one finds that out until they've gotten to know you pretty well, because most of the time you seem to be interested in dusty books and horrible-looking charts of noun and adjective declensions.

When the heck is Matrix II coming out?

Worst movie ever--Demolition Man (Snipes, Bullock, Stallone)

Thursday, November 07, 2002

From what I heared, Fox won the election coverage sweepstakes, followed by CNN and then MSNBC; ain't that somethin'? I watched MSNBC all night, can't stand Fox (Brit Hume) and CNN wasn't rocking for me. With CNN, Tucker seemed to deferential to James Carvel and they weren't swinging like they normally should. I thought Chris Matthews and his buddy from Newsweek, Brazille and the others, were more lively and insightful; of course, I think they were more democrat friendly than other channels.

It seems that John Kerry of MA is slowly emerging as a favorite in the race to lead the Dems. Chris Matthews seems to think that Gore has his soldiers in the field, Ford et al, shooting down current leadership so that he can re-emerge as the leader. I think Gore is certainly qualified, but being qualified has nothing to do with being president, I think you have to be, first and foremost, likeable and affable, and charismatic, that was Clinton's strength and Dubya's. Gore is as qualified as anyone on domestic and international issues, and is very good with the environment, but the democrats need a personality. Kerry might be that person, I haven't heard or seen Edwards of NC much and I see little hope with him. The other posibility might be from the ranks of governors. BTW, there is a concern that Kerry may loose his appeal beyond the Northeast.

But here's the catch, Bush has the trump cards, Rice and Powell. If Bush puts either one on his ticket for 2004, he will get a chunk of the Black vote. Rice is likely, Powell not. Again, the loss of Powell and Rice, who could very easily fit the mould as moderate democrats, was a miscalculation on the Democrats part. They could have courted them early and often, but they didn't.

If Clinton, Hillary, that is, runs for president, the Democrats loose. I wouldn't even vote for her, too left. She would alienate so many people including the center.

Oh well, I can't worry about this, as long as the party does not go more left. I'm interested to see what the Independents and Greens offer, I just might go that route in 04. Maybe I should consider running for office . . . I gotta go, I need to work on my message.

Blogging later in the evening, perhaps at night.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

World AIDS Day coming up, December 1

Do something in your family or parish or community about AIDS/HIV.

What can you do?

Check with your local diocesan office and see if you can tap into any diocesan-wide activity.

Have a prayer intention for those living with HIV/AIDS during the prayer of the faithful.

Encourage your priest or pastor to say something, even if very brief.

See if you can get it mentioned in your Church Bulletin.

Pray with your family for those living with the virus and for the healing of AIDS.

Help/assist someone with AIDS in your community.

Take up a family or community collection to donate to an organization that deals with HIV/AIDS. (There are many good Catholic agencies).

Any, some or all of these, would be a positive step.

As a Democrat, it has been a sad day, but ces't la vie. I just don't understand how Kathleen KennedyTownsend lost. I suspect it was because she did not pick an African American for her running mate. It was a great slight to the black community angering many who think she took them for granted. Her running mate (Lt. Governor) was a white moderate Republican and the point was to attract independent and moderate republican white voters. Well the plan back-fired. I doubt that the black voter base turned out for her. Furthermore, Ehlrich, the new Governor, has an African American as his running mate, making the Republican party attractive to many middle and upper class African Americans in this very Democratic state. In fact, Democrats won congressional seats and local elections statewide, but why didn't that transfer to Townsend?

At this time it looks like the Republicans will take it all on the national level. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't express my extreme dissappointment. The only good thing is that there'll probably be pro-life friendly legislation, but other than that, there's nothing to look forward to. We might as well kiss health care goodbye, environment, prescription drugs, welfare, etc.

The one silver lining is that Democrats seems to be doing or have done well on the state and local level, but this has certainly been a disaster for the Democrats.

Lighter blogging this week and definitely next week. I should be able to get a few posts in here and there. A lot going on on the work front.

2,398 Words, 47,602 more words to go.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Dylan wants to know who won the Bills game on Sunday

Well, if you define winning as something as superficial as a higher score in a ball game, fine, the Bills were not able to secure a victory in that superficial sense. However, if we define winning in a broader, more holistic sense, incorporating good ole values, then the Bills are definitely winners . . .:)

I hate the Bills, they make me sick, sick, sick!!!!!!!! I am never going to watch another Bills game in my life. I promise, this is it!!!!

Gay sheep shed light on sexuality

Gay sheep that mate only with other rams have different brain structures from “straight” sheep, a finding that may shed light on human sexuality, U.S. researchers said on Monday. The differences are similar to those seen in some homosexual humans, but probably only go a small way to explaining the causes of different sexual preferences, the team at Oregon Health Sciences University said.

Monday, November 04, 2002

PromoGuy's Monday Mission 2.44

1. Have you ever had to appear in court? What was the reason? How did it turn out?


2. Ever been accused of something you never did? Were you able to convince anyone?

I have in one of my early grades. I was punished and I never was able to convince anyone that I was innocent. It worked out well for me because I now have this strange obsession with false accusations. I like being falsely accused and misunderstood because it gives me power,i.e., I know a truth that you don't know, my innocence.

3. When it comes to crime and punishment, do you agree with the saying "An eye for an eye?"

No. I keep in mind that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." I have enough faults of my own, I don't need anyone claiming my eye balls.

4. Are you a judgemental person? Do you ever make up your mind about a person before you know them? When was the last time that happened? Or if not, how do you keep from being judgemental?

I am judgmental, although open to correction. However, sometimes I do decide that I am not going to like someone and it is very difficult to change my mind. But I'll only decide to not like someone for good reasons, such as being a racist, arrogant, jerk, etc. I forgive them, but I choose not to like'em

5. When I was in 6th grade I lit a match in class accidentally and was given the choice of having my folks called or getting 10 "swats." I took swats and damn, that wooden paddle with the holes drilled in it hurt like hell (not to mention the horible whistling sound it made before impact). I don't think they allow "swats" anymore. Ever get "swats" at school? How do you feel about children being spanked in school. Is it best that they don't do that anymore? How about parents spanking kids? Good or bad?

I got a few in my day. I am 100 percent in favor of a good juicy spanking.

6. What is your favorite "Chick Flick?"

i don't think I have one; don't watch them to often.

7. Describe the last situation you were in that can best be summed up by the phrase "seemed like a good idea at the time?"

Starting a business

BONUS: Who will bury us when we die?

Probably no one. My guess is that they'll leave our bodies for the fowl of the air to feast on and for maggots and . . .

Today's Comment Question: What's your favorite saying (currently)?

"Life sucks and then you die."

I am excited about tommorrow's election. I can't wait to park myself in front of the TV as I sit through hours of annoying political punditry. Unless something changes between now and tommorrow, I'm going for Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. I watched her do an interview yesterday and she came across quite well. I haven't heared Ehrlich speak yet, but I don't trust him. Last time I trusted a "compassionate conservative, I got burned."

Local stuff will be much more tricky because I don't know who all the county guys are. I don't think I want to do a straight party ticket. We'll see . . .

Oh my, long, long day. The work day is almost over, but the battle goes on.

I'm giong crazy looking for a power cord for an old computer monitor that I was given. If I can't get one, do I have to buy a new monitor or buy a new/used computer. Dell and GAteway have those great deals, but do I want to spend $700 on computers? . . . at this time?

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Now there's a way to let someone you care about know that they have bad breath. Call the Center for Breath Disorders at 888-373-0911, and they'll send an anonymous email or letter.

Nano=1,975 words.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

I'm trying to decide if Al Pacino is the same character in every mover with the exception of Godfather I.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Yahoo! Search Results for blacks thoughts on latinos

Friday Five

1. Were you raised in a particular religious faith?

Christian. Officially Catholic, but raised Pentecostal.

2. Do you still practice that faith? Why or why not?

I am officially Catholic and do the Catholic thing, but I would and could easily add a Pentecostal weekly service to my schedule. I am more often than not, unfulfilled after mass.

3. What do you think happens after death?

Die and go to Heaven or Hell.

4. What is your favorite religious ritual (participating in or just observing)?

None presently. I used to live for Pentecostal praise/worship. You can get that in some Catholic Churches, especially African American ones.

5. Do you believe people are basically good?

Yes, sort of, but we are all basically evil also. It was normal people, "good people" who did not feel compelled by goodness to do anything about slavery, it was good regular people that watched as the Holocaust happened, we can multiply examples. We were made good but have evil hearts which is why Jeremiah says that the human heart is evil above all else. how true.

Matt Collins comments on a question on the Maryland ballot.

Yesterday I got my sample ballot for the upcoming election in Maryland. My eyes just about popped out of my head when I read Question # 2. Here it is, straight from the web site of Anne Arundel County's Board of Elections.

Question Number 2:
Emergency Legislation Authority of the Maryland General Assembly
Authorizes the Maryland General Assembly to pass emergency laws creating or abolishing any public office or changing the terms or duties of any officer.

HOWZZAT??? You mean you want us to give you the right to abolish the office of the governor, the comptroller, judges, legislators, and anyone else you feel like? Just by passing an "emergency" law?

Are they insane? Or is this a plot to get this authority in under the radar scope so they can implement it whenever they want?

I know I'm paranoid, but just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you!!

i'm not paranoid or a conspiracy theorist but I do know that Maryland's authorities scare me. The judge system here is, from my limited and lay view, corrupt and wild beyond measure. MD judges have som much power and very little oversight. There have been captial murder cases where the judges commute the sentence without the knowledge of the victim's family by striking back room deals which they are not required to reveal.

The Governorship of MD does have a lot of power as it is and now the MD assembly wants it. I guess they want to balance out the power of the Governor.

All I ask is for train service from Southern MD to Baltimore and the D.C., clean up the Chesapeake, health care, better schools, reduce crime, . . . .

Nano story-- 757 words, slow start. Goal by the end of weekend--7,000 words. I'll be posting excerpts here

If I feel so moved I might just go ahead and post the entire thing. We'll see. My wife and I worked through the outline last night and it is looking quite good.

It is going to be a children's story so I will have to make the prose simple and more direct.