Written on 9:26 AM by Jack B.
Your Deadly Sins
|Chance You'll Go to Hell: 14%|
|You will get bugs, because you're too lazy to shoo them off. And then you'll die.|
Your Deadly Sins
|Chance You'll Go to Hell: 14%|
|You will get bugs, because you're too lazy to shoo them off. And then you'll die.|
To those who remember this post I wrote about the accepted wisdom in media circles that(despite no solid evidence to back it up) the Catholic Church's position against condoms is single-handily responsible for millions of AID-related deaths in Africa and elsewhere. Well here is more on that meme, from someone who should know better than to spread "false witness" against their brothers - the Outgoing Moderator of the Church of Scotland.
Here's the story: Outgoing Moderator says Catholic Church position on contraception damages fight against AIDS
I noticed the reporter couldn't resist labeling the Pope once again as an "arch-conservative" - it's like that phrase is part of the papal title now. I highlighted in bold the words of the Outgoing Leader/Moderator of the CofS and couldn't believe her gall. Considering the prejudice, bigotry and outright violence (just ask some of the Highland clans who stuck to their their Catholicism) of the successors of John Knox in the Established Church of Scotland - a prejudice to some like composer James McMillan still persists in Scottish society- one would think she would be more prudent in telling another faith what it should or should not do.
The outgoing Moderator of the Church of Scotland says the Catholic Church's
position on contraception damages the fight against AIDS in Africa. Dr Alison
Elliot told Scotland Today that the Vatican is being judgmental, and believes
the new Pope has to act. But the Catholic Church hit back, insisting condoms do
more harm than good.
One month on from his election, and much attention remains on Pope Benedict XVI to see what, if any changes, there will be on the big issues facing the Catholic Church. Human embryo research, married priests and perhaps biggest of all contraception - particularly in parts of the world like Africa, where the grim reality of AIDS is a part of everyday life.
Now, as she prepares to leave her position as Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Alison Elliot has entered the debate, suggesting the Catholic ban on condoms is adding to the problem.
She said: "I think the hanging onto a very strict and
traditional line is damaging more in terms of the sign it gives out that there are things that you mustn't do, there are prohibitions and the resistance to moving on the question of condoms is I think something which is contributing to that kind of inhibiting culture."
Many regard Pope Benedict XVI as an arch conservative who will, if anything, stick even more closely to traditional doctrine than his predecessor. Catholic Church spokesman Peter Kearney said: "There isn't any evidence to suggest change in any case would make any difference or improve things for the people who have AIDS or who might contract it."
Take the quiz: "The MOOD quiz! (With cool blinkies!)"
You are all about style. People mis-interpret that with being stuck up. But who cares? You don't need anyone! You're on your way to fame.
As you can see I made a few changes, my e-mail is added on the side in case anyone wants to e-mail me (though I love comments), I've changed my comments to Haloscan so maybe it'll be easier and anyone who wants to subscribe to my RSS feed can do via FeedBurner by pressing the little XML button. I've added a couple more links (and will continue doing so hopefully), a picture of the last Grand Duchesses of Russia (Olga, Tatiana, Maria & Anastasia) and put the website for updates on little Charlotte Wyatt right below my Terri S. links on the General Links list because I believe its something that's very important.
Yes, I know hatred is a sin or whatever but I'm sure Boston fans feel the same about the Yankees. It's something deep and dark within the heart of every real Pinstripe fan (as opposed to those who jump on the bandwagon during playoff time). Losing to the Marlins in the World Series, didn't faze me. The game 7 ninth-inning loss to Arizona, I dismissed as "one of those things". Losing to the Mutts in Queens? I don't lose sleep over it. But the Red Sox? I cringe at every at-bat. It wasn't so bad before last year where when push comes to shove the Red Sox lost. But now is a different story. Now I want vengeance. Now I want the Yankees to revenge themselves on the greatest choke in baseball history and prove they are the real champs...
...and what do they do? They get their brains clobbered on Saturday and then lose again last night. To Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky or Yaz I could take but Johnny Damon? Kevin Millar? Bronson Arroyo? Edgar Renteria? This is just shameful. I feel ashamed of the Yankees. And of course I blame the pitching - outside of Mariano River I have absolutely no confidence in anyone in that bullpen (100 year-old Buddy Groom, anyone?) and I could tell early on that Pavano and Mussina didn't have it. Saturday I turned it off when it was when it was only something like 6 or so 7 to 1 so I missed most of the carnage, on Sunday I had hopes that Wells would be as hittable as Mussina was but those hopes proved to dashed now too. This is just bad - the Yankees were playing great ball going into the series, the Red Sox were playing horribly and they still couldn't get their act together. It's like last year's "Big Choke" has reversed the Curse on the Yankees and they won't get their honor back unless they
a) decisively beat the Red Sox in the playoffs or b) or win the World Series before Boston does (hopefully another 86 years). I don't like feeling hatred for any of God's creatures, so I can only hope and pray that the Yankees get their act together so I can go pack to feeling pity for Boston fans instead of a simmering resentment of all things Red Sock.
Edited to add: I know there are a lot of Red Sox fans out there in Blog-dom who may take offense at this but please don't. Outside the baseball lines I love everyone since we are all creations of The Big G-O-D Upstairs, even if during gametimes I tend to think your team may be in league with this guy.
Just a personal opinion of course.
You are Saint Dymphna, The Patron Saint of Insanity
and Psychiatrists. She was born Dymphna of
Ireland, but she overcame this and many other
hardships to become the influential Saint she
is today. Dymphna rejected the sexual advances
of her father, who then had her committed
against her will to a succession of mental
wards. Her time in these mental wards was
recorded in a best-selling biography,
Catholic, Interrupted. Infuriated at
his portrayal in his daughter's widely read
book, Dymphna's father was driven insane by
rage at the choice of Bill Murray to play him
in the movie adaptation, and clubbed his
daughter to death in her apartment in the
Which Catholic Saint Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
If an S, an I, an O and a U
With an X at the end spell Su,
And an E and a Y and E spell I,
Pray, what is a speller to do?
Then if also an S and an I and a G
And H-E-D spell side,
There's not much left for a speller to do
But go and commit siouxeyesighed.
- written by the Spelling Reform Association some 60 years ago or so (!) and excerpted from the book, One Language for the World, written by Mario Pei, and originally published in 1958.
I guess some things just stand the test of time, huh?
I thiught secular newspapers were supposed to be just that byt the LA Times has given over its editorial page to telling what the Catholic Church what it should and should not do, and if it's doing the right thing or not.
Sainthood's Fast Track is not really about the cause to beatify Pope John Paul II or not but how the Catholic Church which is so usually so "unyeielding" can bend to public will and change if the public is loud enough.
Take a look:
The Roman Catholic Church may seem slow to respond to modern times, what with its unyielding doctrine on such issues as birth control. That fuddy-duddy image is being tested, though, by the Vatican's decision to put Pope John Paul II on the fast track for sainthood, waiving the usual five-year wait after death before starting the process.The church apparently understands that the old way of waiting generations, even centuries, for a popular figure to be canonized doesn't work in the drive-thru era. It was the Google generation, mostly youth groups, that waved signs calling for "Sainthood Now" during John Paul's funeral Mass.
They have more in common with the people of, oh, 1,300 years ago than they may realize. In earlier centuries of Christianity, saints were declared by public acclaim — essentially by lots of believers calling for "Sainthood Now." Legitimate concerns that some of the saintly miracles (and, in fact, some of the saints themselves) never existed led the Vatican to take over the process about 1,000 years ago and turn it into a long, finely honed examination of the candidate's life.In 1983, John Paul streamlined the sainthood process, getting rid of the "devil's advocate," a sort of prosecutor who would challenge the evidence for sainthood. He also initiated the "fast-track" process — for Mother Teresa, who died in 1997. During his 26-year papacy, John Paul II named 484 saints, more than 15% of the fully recognized 3,000 or so in existence, many revered as patrons for occupations as varied as astronauts and vinegar makers.All this aids his cause now, though even a quick-response canonization will take years. The first reports of possible miraculous healings attributable to John Paul II have made their way to the Vatican; two posthumous miracles are needed for sainthood.With its current leadership, the church is unlikely to move quickly, if at all, on important doctrinal issues that divide Roman Catholics. In that case, a fast pass to sainthood for a well-loved pope gives the faithful something to agree on.
See this: Record Catholic confirmation held & 5000 young Catholics "storm" Sydney SuperDome & Church Gives Seal of Holy Spirit to 5,000 Children in Sydney, Australia
Note from me: Cardinal Pell rules!
and this story: Young Catholics Seek To Restore Old Values on Sex
and this story from Fiji of all places: Catholics have fun
This is a must read op-ed piece by 17 year-old Lori Janeski:
New pope appeals to young Catholics, too
For days, all we heard about was "transitional pope, transitional pope, transitional pope," yadda yadda yadda. "He's too old, he's just a transition from the archconservative menace of John Paul II. When Benedict dies (which will be soon, don't worry about that), then we'll see those changes we've been hoping for."
What is commonly misunderstood is that even though there is a new pope sitting in St. Peter's chair, that doesn't mean that things will suddenly change in favor of heresy. How many of us know which of the hot-button issues can change and which can't? And how many of us know why some things simply cannot change no matter who sits in Peter's chair?
Of the 1 billion Catholics in the world, only 6 percent of us live in the United States, and it's an even smaller percentage of those people who want these drastic changes. So who are the dissenters?
I remember waiting and watching for the new pope to appear and make his address to the 1 billion members of the Universal Church. I had been looking forward to seeing that all day. To think that I will be able to tell my children that I saw the pope's opening words and even received the blessing he sent out to the world! But I saw one thing that moved me even more than the fact that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the new pope.
Before he even appeared on the balcony, after the white smoke drifted over the horizon, when the bells in the city began to toll announcing that there was a new pope, there were hundreds of people, perhaps even thousands, running - no, sprinting - into St. Peter's Square, excited beyond belief. And who were those Olympic-class sprinters?
The young people.
They're also the ones who spent days sleeping on the pavement in St. Peter's Square waiting for the conclave's decision, using the street curbs for pillows. When they announced that Cardinal Ratzinger had been elected, those young people were laughing and crying, hugging each other and dancing in the street. They love him. I know, I'm one of them.
Pope John Paul II was, in a sense, the mapmaker for our times. He was a philosopher who explained the church teachings as they apply to a modern world. He was a thinker. Benedict XVI is steering the ship. He's the one who can take the maps John Paul left us and teach us how to steer the ship through troubled waters without getting thrown off and drowned in the modern culture. He's the action man.
Long live Benedict XVI!
Cardinal O'Brien of Edinburgh that is,
and this one from the Herald: O’Brien forecasts married priests
The church leader has upset traditional Catholics in the past with his views on celibacy, homosexuality and the priesthood.
His latest comments were made in an interview with the Catholic Times, which will be published on Sunday,
Asked if he believed married priests will become a reality, he said: "Having seen something of the apostolate of married deacons, I can foresee the day when there will be married priests."
The Cardinal has angered conservative Catholics in the past with his acceptance of gay priests, as long as they remained celibate.
I worked today (overtime) and will tomorrow and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I've also got FINALS (*cue* Imperial Death March Theme from Star Wars: Episode IV *cue*) this week. So I'm busy, busy, busy. No real time to study or read, not to mention work on that thesis paper on Esperanto that's due. I'm going through some serious brain drain here. Funny, I can't remember it ever being like this as an undergrad. I must be getting old. I'm not going to say I won't be blogging until Friday (cause that would be lie) but I am officially all Zamenhoffed* out.
*Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof was the creator of Esperanto.
1. Total Number of Books I’ve Owned: God knows, cause I sure don't. It must be in the high hundreds and counting comic books defintely over a 1,000. My bookcases cover all the walls and it still overflows into stacked cardboard boxes of paperbacks that are in the closet.
2. Last Book I Bought: No Enemy by Ford Madox Ford ~ If you look to the right side of the blog, among my "Idle Recommendations", you will see Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End. Well, I'm still reading it (the thing is 800 pages!) but I can quickly tell if I like an author or not so I purchased Ford's No Enemy to read later. The Anglo-German Ford Madox Ford is one of the most influential but least read authors of the early 20th Century (and a Catholic convert too!).
3. Last Book I read: Once Upon a Time: A Treasury of Modern Fairy Tales edited by Lester Del Rey and Risa Kessler ~ An anthology collection of fairy tales by contemporary writers like Issac Asminov, Terry Pratchett and Anne McCaffrey. Some of the stories are funny, some touching, some thought-provoking - and the art in the book is very good too. It's out-of-print and I got it from the library and am now looking to buy a copy of my own.
4. 5 Books That Mean Alot to Me:
a) Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert Massie ~ The best piece of historical biography I've ever read. Now over 30 years old but it still holds up. Be forwarned that if you read this you might become Romanov obsessed (like me - just look at all those Romanov links I have to the right). The story of the last Imperial Family of Russia is the stuff of classic tragedy but yet all too real. You really feel like you know Nicholas II, his beloved wife Alexandra and their innocent five children who were doomed to die in one of most horrific and cold-blooded murders of what would become a bloody century - the story of average people caught in the wrong time and place in history.
b) The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien ~ The movies were good but the book is better. And yes it should be read as ONE massive epic book and not three. For me, the most vivid and well-imagined fantasy world ever devised, one could study Middle-Earth for a lifetime and still not unlock all Tolkien's secrets. From Helm's Deep to the Battle of Pellanor Fields, Eowyn's stand against the Witch King, Gimli's love for Galadriel, Saruman's duplicity, Denethor's madness, Boromir's redemption, Faramir's chivalry, Aragorn's nobility, the Elvish language, Gandalf's death and resurrection, the courage of Samwise, the burden of Frodo, the bravery of the Hobbits and fall of Smeagol and destruction of Sauron. Classic good vs. evil writ large. I got lost for days in the appendix alone.
c) The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of Therese of Lisieux ~ It's said that after finishing the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila, (St.)Edith Stein said to herself "this is the truth". I got that same feeling after reading Therese for the first time. This sometimes-sugary, sheltered, bourgeoise French girl who died in a convent unknown at 24 is so far beyond me it is incomprehensible. Whenever I'm in my own "dark night of the soul" and have doubts, Therese Martin is my guide because I know she's been there too.
d) The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens ~ I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone but lets just say I weeped when it was over. I admit it. I'm such a sap.
e) Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain ~ My all-time favorite saint's life written by one of my favorite authors. The best fictional bio of Joan (or perhaps any saint for that matter) ever written - and this coming from the usually anti-religious, sometimes anti-Catholic pen of the agnostic Twain.
5. Tag 5 people and have them do this on their blog:
Peter at Lex Communis,Sister Lorraine (when she gets back), Carmel at Winterr's words,Patrick Sweeney at Extreme Catholic and Jeff Miller aka The Curt Jester (and I don't even know if he reads my blog or not!)
Pavano throws a complete game shutout. These are defintitely not the same Yankees that began the season. I know some people are going to say that they're just beating up on bad teams (Mariners, A's, etc.) but you know what? That's what you're supposed to do. That's why they're called "bad" to begin with.
For Yankee fans of a certain generation (late 80s-early 90s) when our team stunk up the American League East, Don Mattingly "the Captain" was the only shining spot in Yankeeland. He was the only thing that truly represented a link to the great Yankee past. When Donnie Baseball retired and they replaced him with some guy from Seattle named Tino Martinez, a lot of Yankee fans had doubts (me included).
But Tino quickly showed himself to be one of classiest acts this town has ever seen (on and off the field), one of the best moves the organizations ever made and he was a darn good hitter and fielder as well. Along with Paul O'Neil, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettite and a young Bernie Williams, Tino was the heart of the Yankee Championship teams. It is not surprise to me we haven't won since he left (aka was replaced) by Jason "I'm sorry for taking steroids even though I won't admit it was steroids I took" Giambi. Tino meanwhile went to St. Louis where he had to replace another great retiring player - Mark McGuire.
Now Tino is back (picked up as nothing more than a back-up player) and on a home run streak of the kind he hasn't had since he hit 46 dingers in Pinstripes the year he was runner-up for MVP. The man who was paid a gazillion dollars to play first base, Jason Giambi, meanwhile hasn't done anything in two years. He hasn't even been average, he's been horrible. I don't wish Giambi ill will but it looks like a test case for karma when the man who was deemed over the hill and who had supposedly seen his best days (Tino) is outperforming the man who he was replaced by.
Welcome back, Bam-Tino, this Yankee fan missed you.
The Yankees have now won eight games in a row and have climbed back to .500 (of course having said that they'll probably lose their next game but still...) I'm a little more hopeful now that the Yanks will make a run at it and even make the playoffs (I don't believe the Orioles will stay in first all season) but the flaws are still there - lack of young talent on the farm, bloated contracts no other team will take on and aging players especially on the pitching staff. The Yanks are one injury away from going downhill again - but I'm still willing to enjoy this mini-run while it lasts.
Maybe all I needed was a push because I certainly have been leaing in that direction for days now but Jamie's comments down below solidified my belief to be more open. Sooooo....as you can see under my profile my actual name (Jack Bennett) has replaced my initials (JB3). So there I am, revealed to the world (shock, horror) If in the 10000-to-1 chance you happen to come across this blog and you know this Jack Bennett as your Jack Bennett, I just plead you "don't ask, don't tell". I'll be more at ease that way. Otherwise, I feel better already. At least everything I write will have my name on it now (something satisfying in that).
I'm still concerned about internet privacy though - the idea that Google will keep track of all my searches unnerves me, and the possibility the government might have the abilty to know every page I visit does as well. It's like there's someone watching me while I type. Which has nothing to do with my blog since Big Brother would be able to do that no matter what name I use.
Unlike millions of others I have no interest in seeing Star Wars: Episode III. Judging by the reviews, it's the same old stuff from Lucas - bad dialogue and bad directing in an over-budgeted piece of junk. Where is the joy of the original Star Wars films? Where are the Han Solos, the Chewies, the Luke Skywalkers, the Princes Leia's, the Lando Calrissian's or even the Ewoks (I must be the only one who liked the Ewowks)? Who cares about that wussy Anakin Skywalker or his wooden bride. The only characters with any energy in these prequels are Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan and a CGI Yoda. If I don't care about Ankakin or why he becomes Darth Vader, what's the point? I still love the original trilogy but I'll just pretend this three never happened.
Also Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of my all time favorite books. There's something about absurdist British humor that appeals to me (no accident that I love Monthy Python stuff). But I didn't rush to see the movie and will probably wait till it's on DVD. Based on the film clips and the reviews, this isn't one of the Lord of the Rings movies that is true to the spirit even if it takes liberties or To Kill a Mockingbird movies that it true to both book and spirit. It's just so-so. And I don't want my memories of one of my favorite books ruined by a so-so movie. Not for $10 (not including popcorn and drinks) that is.
The further I go along in this blog the more I think I should put my full name in my profile. I mean, these are my thoughts, right? I should be able to claim them as such. As it is my initials (JB) are there - why not the rest? Originally I didn't do it because just in case anyone I knew stumbled upon this page they couldn't tell it was me. For instance none of my friends or acquaintances know of my interest in Catholicism. It's not something talked about in the circles I travel in. As for my family, they don't even read my blog (or any blog) at all - I know because I asked. But increasingly those reasons are making less and less sense. I mean I haven't exactly confessed some deep dark secrets. This blog is not my Father Confessor. Who cares who makes the connection to it and me?
On the other hand, being anonymous gives me a certain amount of freedom. I don't know how to explain it exactly but I feel like I can say things I couldn't say if my actual name was attached. I don't know what "things" these may be exactly but I get that feeling all the same. There's something about being faceless and nameless that releases inhibitions - like you're able to let loose a side of yourself that you otherwise couldn't.
I don't know how to resolve this, though I'm sure some psychologist somewhere has written a paper/book on the phenomenon.
No, not St.Ignatius - his hetrodox namesake university in Louisiana. As some of you may know, Loyola University decided to give an honorary degree to the entire political Landrieu dynsasy of LA. Archbishop Hughes of New Orleans in protest (the Landrieu's - at least Sen. Mary Landrieu and Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu- being in favor abortion rights) decided to skip the commencement. What gets me in this article is the level of contempt that the folks at Loyola show for the Archbishop and the Church. And this is supposedly a "Catholic" university.
Some faculty members and students aren't pulling their punches in reacting to Hughes' snub of commencement events.
"I'd rather be on the podium with the Landrieus than an archbishop who protected pedophiles in Boston," communications professor Larry Lorenz said.
Hughes served as the top aide to Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law in the early 1990s. While he played a peripheral role in the handling of John Geoghan, perhaps the most notorious of the era's sexually abusive priests, and generally implemented Law's policies in Boston, Hughes' name has not been directly linked to most of the sex-abuse cases that came to light in that archdiocese.
Loyola senior Katie Ide was dismissive of Hughes: "If the archbishop disapproves of the way we run our graduation, then we don't want him."
But the Loyola Faculty Senate's chairwoman, Nancy Dupont, expressed a common view that the Landrieu family "has demonstrated its commitment to the betterment of our community through decades of services" and that honoring them is appropriate at a campus where ideas are debated freely.
"Does that compromise Loyola's Catholic identity? Not in my opinion," Dupont said. "Good Christians are in search of the truth, and that requires an examination of every side of every issue, and that investigation continues every hour of every day of a human being's life."
Loyola law professor Bill Quigley said the Landrieus "have been part of the fabric of this place." Moon and Mitch Landrieu have lectured at the law school at various times, and Civil District Court Judge Madeleine Landrieu-Sensenbrenner serves on a law school advisory committee. Quigley, who teaches a course on Catholic social thought, points out that the church has a rich faith-based heritage in taking positions on war, immigration, the death penalty and other issues.
"We are not a one-issue church, period," he said. "Abortion is very, very important, but it's not the only issue . . . I can't imagine that anybody would think that this one issue defines what Loyola University is."
Wildes, who took charge last year as Loyola's president, has declined to comment beyond a university statement last week that said Loyola sought to honor the Landrieus "as a family" for lives of public service. He said nothing about the matter Thursday when he spoke at a Faculty Senate gathering. And this week, board of trustees Chairwoman Donna Fraiche wouldn't discuss the issue.
One board member, architect Arthur Q. Davis, said he was ill when the board pondered giving the honorary degree to the Landrieus, but that the abortion issue never should have been raised. In the wake of Hughes' decision to stay away, Davis said he supports bestowing the honor even more strongly.
The Rev. Lawrence Moore, a Loyola board member and Jesuit who has served as a Loyola law professor for 23 years, declined to say what position he took personally on the honorary degree, but said the abortion controversy didn't come "as a total surprise." Moore said he is well aware, through the Jesuit grapevine, of similar issues being raised across the country.
"It's playing out at a large number of campuses. I don't think we're unique or alone," he said.
Moore said "this will pass and, frankly, the sooner it passes, the better off all of us will be." He didn't see any long-term implications for the relationship between Loyola and the archdiocese, noting that Hughes has been warm and engaging in his recent visits to the campus.
"If your enthusiasm or your excitement over your graduation" has been dampened, Landrieu said, "we sincerely apologize."
Then the elder Landrieu gazed across St. Charles to the edge of Audubon Park, where a cluster of anti-abortion protesters had gathered, singing or quietly holding signs with "Shame on You" and "Choose Life, Not Loyola."
"We welcome the protest," he said. "That's what this country is built on."
And he told the budding lawyers that they may one day be called on to give legal defense to someone's free-speech right to protest.
So, yeah, I changed the template back to the original one. I said I had gotten tired of it but actually I had gotten used to it. Besides while a white background works good on paper, I like a little color on the computer.
And it had nothing to do with the fact I got this result (via Deo Gratias):
Your dominant hues are cyan and blue. You like people and enjoy making friends. You're conservative and like to make sure things make sense before you step into them, especially in relationships. You are curious but respected for your opinions by people who you sometimes wouldn't even suspect.
Your saturation level is medium - You're not the most decisive go-getter, but you can get a job done when it's required of you. You probably don't think the world can change for you and don't want to spend too much effort trying to force it.
Your outlook on life is brighter than most people's. You like the idea of influencing things for the better and find hope in situations where others might give up. You're not exactly a bouncy sunshine but things in your world generally look up.
Funny thing is, this is not far from the truth. Though tan has never been a favorite color - until now.
A TAN Dragon Lies Beneath!
My inner dragon is the true draconic magic-user. Deep down I am very wise, somewhat shy, and I have a rather short fuse. But don't worry, tans prefer to spend their time counting their enormous treasure, so pass quietly and you'll stay out of danger. Click the image to try the Inner Dragon Online Quiz for yourself.
Cole has passed on the baton to me about this little thing going around:
"List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can't really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), 'Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice.'"
So my take is this:
1) Bill Clinton - Yes despite the fact that I think he's a sleazy perjurer who'll say anything anyone wants him to say yet almost everybody I know loves the guy and think he's a good-hearted charming rascal who was persecuted by those meanie Republicans. That's why I don't like talking politics sometimes it seems I love in a bizarro world from all other New Yorkers I know (including my family).
2) Instant Messaging - The last thing I want to do when I sit down at the computer is to have one, two, three people instant messaging me nonsense and expect me to keep up a conversation with them in computer speak. Sorry, I can't type (let alone) type things like "how r u?" or "whas up?" without my brain cramping. Just send me a well thought out e-mail why don't you.
3) Quentin Tarantino - I respect anyone who can make themself one of the most famous directors in the world after being a video store clerk. I respect anyone who can make a whole generation of would-be screenwriters copy Pulp Fiction (which one of my professors said put back movie writing 10 years). But Tarantino's obsessive need to fill his movies with pop culture references, homages to other directors and little or no logical plot while originally fresh now reveals to be little more a guy who has no originality at all and just copies other people. I never became a director because I always felt I lacked the "Vision" thing good directors need. Apparently that never stopped Tarantino, lacking his own ideas he'll just copy (oops, I mean "do a homage") of someone else's.
4) Dance Clubs - When you reach a certain age in the Big City and are old enough to drink (or even before that if you get a fake ID) dance clubs are the perfect place to go. Hip Hop and the latest dance music have replaced disco but the object of getting high (via alcohol, drugs or just natural energy) and "hooking up" with members of the opposite (or same) sex are still there. Me, it just gives me a headache and I avoid those places like the plague. No, I can't dance like they do on MTV but I do a mean Fox Trot as well as the Hustle - how many 20somethings can say that?
5) Rap Music - I'm sorry but the only music I can stand is the kind with an actual melody (and not a sampling of someone else's melody either). Talking fast and rhyming about violence and sex (not love, just sex) and more often than not talking about women in the most demeaning ways or using foul language is not my idea of music - of any kind.
And now I won't pass the baton because I can't figure out who to send it too. My brain stopped working correctly at some point when I was typing #2 on my list.
My alma mater celebrates it's 75th anniversary today! For my money the best bang for your buck and the most beautiful campus in all of New York City! You can have your Notre Dames, your Harvards, your Columbias, Fordhams or St. John's. Me? I'm proud to be a KINGSMAN!
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." - Joseph Goebells, Nazi Head of Propaganda
It is fast becoming accepted wisdom among the media intelligensia that the fault for AIDS in the 3rd World (Africa, Asia, South America) is the fault of the Catholic Church's refusal to accept (and help distribute). Therefore this makes the Catholic Church and particularly the Vatican/Pope who can change the rules of the Church any time he wants basically responsible for millions of dead people. The fact that the Catholic Church provided roughly 25% of all care for AIDS sufferers in the world (according to John Allen at the liberal National Catholic Reporter) doesn't matter. The Church (actually the Vatican because thats easier to dehumanize) has blood on its hands. This information which has no basis in verifiable facts or statistics, upon which there have been no studies done and is largely conjecture by people opposed to the doctrines of the Catholic Church in other areas (abortion, euthansia, women priests, celibacy) has been repeated over and over again. When Pope John Paul II I counted at least a dozen articles I read on the web that were specifically about this and called the late Pope something close to a killer (don't believe me? Read some Christopher Hitchens on JP2). With the election of the man progessives hated most, Joseph Ratzinger, as Benedict XVI this "Big Lie" has continued.
Nicholas Kristof in the NY Times (where else?) continues taking this opinion as accepted fact in his op-ed column The Pope and AIDS (use bugmenot.com for registeration). Kristof knows he can get away with a column like this because the claims he makes - that the Vatican is responsible for the spread of AIDS - is now the accepted wisdom of the media and the intelligensia despite the fact they can never offer conclusive proof of their claims - just opinion and conjecture with a smidge of vitriol and a little old-fashioned anti-Catholicism mixed in.
The only way to respond to this myth is not with something by a Catholic who supports the Church (and thus will be accused of bias) but by an Ex-Catholic like Brendan O'Neil, who is, in his own words, "implacably opposed to the Vatican's utterances on contraception and abortion (and everything else, for that matter)" in his article written right after John Paul II's death, Did the Pope spread AIDS in Africa? Read it, then reflect on Kristof's so-called accepted wisdom.
That what this article: "Secularism, Not Islam, Is The Real Enemy Of The Vatican" by Abid Mustafa says.
Forming an alliance with other world faiths such as Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and other Christian denominations will not alter the fate of the Roman Church. These religions are unable to stand up to the menacing ideology of secularism and they too have fallen prey to the secular powers. This is because of two reasons. First, they are all founded on an emotional creed that does not possess the intellectual dynamism to challenge the ideology of secularism. Second, they are based on creeds that only offer a spiritual perspective on human existence and are unable to present a social-political system of life that is a real alternative to secularism.
Islam is the sole ideology in the world that is able to counter secularism and offer genuine protection to people belonging to different faiths. Islam is able to achieve this, because at its heart is a spiritual and political creed that provides spiritual nourishment to its adherents and offers a comprehensive social-political system, where Muslims and non-Muslims are treated equally before the law.
In the past, when Islam was implemented practically, as in Islamic Spain, Jews, Christians and Muslims living in the Spanish cities of Toledo, Cordoba and Granada, enjoyed unrivalled tolerance and prosperity. Martin Hume wrote in his book “Spanish People”
“Side by side with the new rulers lived the Christians and Jews in peace. The latter rich with commerce and industry were content to let the memory of their oppression by the priest-ridden Goths sleep”.
However, when the Catholic monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand took charge of Spain in 1492, they did not reciprocate tolerance but proceeded to expunge Spain of its Jewish and Muslim populace. Similar acts of cruelty with the blessing of the Pope were carried out in other lands controlled by Muslims such as the island of Sicily and Jerusalem.
Today the Islamic world is experiencing a radical transformation from secularism to Islam. Muslims across the Islamic world are rebelling against the secular order that has been forcibly imposed upon them by western powers and their surrogates. Muslims are working day and night to over throw these secular autocracies and to re-establish the Caliphate on their ruins. With the establishment of the Caliphate, millions of Christians who were previously denied their rights under the secular regimes will have their rights restated in full. And like in the Caliphates of the past, Christian beliefs and teaching will be protected. History bears witness that unlike the Roman Empire and the secular order of today, Christian doctrines and teachings were not changed under the Caliphate to agree with Islamic values.
Against this background it would be wise for Pope Benedict XVI to reconsider his position towards Islam and the Muslim world. Instead of opting for a harsh stance against Islam and Muslims, the new pope should support the right of Muslims across the Islamic world to overthrow their secular regimes and re-establish the Caliphate. In this way, the pope will be saving
Catholicism, protecting the rights of his flock in the Muslim world and sending a good omen for future relations with the Caliphate.
So this Sunday I watched the EWTN replay of Pope Benedict's first mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran as Bishop of Rome on TV. The homily was deeply moving and like much of Joseph Ratzinger's writing both well-thought out and spanned both the readings of the Mass and the history of the Church. From my point of view, it was a pretty lengthy homily. It lasted several minutes. Yet according to the media what was the homily about?
Well, the "hard-line" stances of Abortion and Euthansia, of course. Yes, there were all of two lines (that recieved lengthy applause from those in the basilica)that touched on the subject (with the words abortion and euthansia never even being mentioned if my memory is correct) but that was not the point of the homily. Too bad the Vatican doesn't have the English translation of it up at their website or you can read it for themselves...or better yet how about the reporters who wrote articles on the event reading it, based on the following headlines they certainly weren't paying attention:
Pope opposes altering church
With a sub-headline that reads:
Benedict sticks with John Paul's stands against abortion, euthanasia.
Pope Benedict XVI says he will follow his predecessor's tough line on abortion and euthanasia.
He said that, like Pope John Paul II, he would remain "unequivocal" about the "inviolability of human life from conception to natural death".
Pope Benedict XVI indicated Saturday he will stick to Pope John Paul II's unwavering stands against abortion and euthanasia, saying pontiffs must resist attempts to "water down" Roman Catholic teaching.
Pope Benedict XVI sent a clear message at the weekend that he intends to stick rigidly to the "pro-life" stance of his predecessor.
Blogger is featuring Darth Vader's blog . It's interesting but personally I think Lord Vader's thoughts are a bit more prosaic than I prefer.
For succcint commentary I much prefer The Incredible Hulk's blog
For deep thoughts (on honey and other things) there's always Pooh Pundit
For irony go read The Diary of a Midvale Orphan written by a poor girl who unknowingly is Supergirl's housemate.
And of course for all out evil (Darth is waaay too sentimental for my tastes) no one beats the original Lord of Darkness - Moloch
Peru's Catholics Brace for Fissures in Their Church
The NY Times must really be desperate to give the Catholic Church bad press. This is basically a non-story on how the conservatives have come out on top over the leftist Liberation Theology gang in Peru and now the same Liberation Theology type quashed by Pope JP2 are crying to the Times with the election of B16. if you read the article carefully (use bugmenot.com if you don't want to register) there doesn't actually seem to be any "fissures" in the Church. There is no dissent like there is in America and Europe, the leftist clerics are basically defeated there and have been in a state of retreat.
More than anything it seems like another excuse to go after the anti-catholics new bogeyman, (as the Jesuits once were) Opus Dei and its rise to "power", and the Opus Dei Cardinal of Lima, Juan Luis Cipriani, who does indeed have real enemies who will resort to forgery as this as this report by John Allen in the uber-liberal NCR made clear.
While Catholicism in Europe and the West is dying, Catholics in the relatively young Church in South Korea are already sending out missionaries to places that still have not really received the Gospel - like Mongolia. That's the future, folks. Not with the Hans Kungs of the world.
Mongolia would be a wonderful outpost for the Faith - I kinda like the sound of a parish dedicted to "Our Lady of the Mongols".
Benedict XVI sends greetings and good will to a group of French Calvinists.
This was a group, by the way, who were very critical of his election and said so. And yet he goes out of the way to put out his hand to them.
But we're still expected to believe that he is an arch-conservative hardliner? Please...
Via that highly "reliable" news source CBS
Could that headline be any more loaded? "Whacked"? What is this the The Sopranos or something. Benedict XVI as portrayed by James Gandolfini? CBS is not doing much to improve its tarnished reputation here.
Millions of lives could be saved if the election of the new Pope heralds a change in the doctrine of the Catholic Church, local Euro-MP Chris Davies said this week...
...Mr Davies said this week that by revising church views towards contraception, a new Pope could do much to halt the spread of the disease.
The MEP argues that, while the Catholic Church does great humanitarian work in Africa and Latin America, it is exploiting ignorance and promoting a myth that allows a deadly infection to spread.
He said: "The election of a new Pope creates the opportunity to change church doctrine, just as has happened many times in the past. After all, it was once heretical to claim that the earth went around the sun.
"Whatever the theologians might say, in practice, millions of churchgoers refused to follow the rulings of Pope John Paul II on contraception.
"Catholic countries such as Spain and Italy now have the lowest birth rates in Europe."
The deal arranged by Blair, expected to be announced later this month, involves utilising handheld technology, in which Hewlett Packard is a market leader, to enable practising Catholics to keep an ongoing schedule of their sins. That record, uploaded into data ports incorporated into the side of confessionals, will be available to the attending priest on a screen in his compartment. Having read the
'e-fession,' the priest can then choose from a database of atonements which are uploaded back into the confessor's handheld device.
As the device continues to be used on a regular basis, it builds a history of its owner's misdemeanours and the recommended repentances for them. It is believed the software features a function which automatically calculates a suggested frequency of confessions and, when connected to a confessional, will enable priests to gauge at a glance which atonements are working best for each individual.
"It's spiritualism on the go," an anonymous source at HP told Regan Blakemore of Reuters. "In the setting of a high-paced world of life-shaping decisions, it makes communing with God a smoother, more immediate and satisfying process. It takes the grind out of being righteous."
I've never even been down South.
Your Linguistic Profile:
50% General American English
0% Upper Midwestern
Just as dozens of blogs spring up,SoDakmonk and Romanitas have closed up shop. I don't know their reasons but I must admit sometimes I've been tempted to stop myself. Largely because I haven't been able to set out what I wanted when I began - which was to post a little something every day. It just seems like I can't find the time during most days and when I can find the time I spend entirely too much time on this thing. So while I have been able to write my blog I haven't been able to get any other writing done (except school work, of course) which makes me sad.
But on the other hand I actually am enjoying getting my thoughts (as rare as they are) out there into the blogosphere where people may or not read them. For me that's not the point. Actually just letting it out is a kind of cleansing, clearing away my brain for other thoughts. Kinda like clearing out a warehouse of needless junk you've clung on to way too long. So in a way its therapeutic.
Like I said I can see both sides.
I mean I kinda wasn't expecting much since I thought there would be a let-down after last year's "Choke Heard Round the World" but I never expected it them to be this bad. This is just dreadful. Unwatchable. I don't know what's keeping George Steinbrenner from going all Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" after watching his 120+ million dollar version of the Bad News Bears. I know they won today because of Mussina (the only starting pitcher I trust left on the team) but this is going to be a looooong season. And whats worse is I know we're going to hear it from our arch-foes up in John Kerry-land and fans of the Pedropolitans who play at Shea.
The problem is of course is that the team is bloated with big salaries (like Giambi's) and are old. Jeter and A-Rod are about 30 or so and that's young on this team. The heydey of our dynasty came when the core players of Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera, Andy Petttite and Derek Jeter were just coming up out of the Yankee system and were young. And the reason that happened was because Steinbrenner was suspended for awhile giving Gene Michael leeway to build up the farm system without George trading the young'uns for some washed up over the hill DH (Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps anyone?). Now Bernie is old and about done. Pettite is in Houston. Rivera is not what he used to be and Jeter is the only really dependable one of the bunch left...but there's no one coming up to take their place. Instead we get 40+ year old Randy Johnson in the off season, pitchers like Kevin Brown, Paul Quantrill, and Tom Gordon (those three basically cost us the season last year) back stinking up the joint. Tom Pavano whose main claim to fame was beating the Yankees in the World Series and Jaret Wright who doesn't even look like even a half-way decent pitcher outside of Atlanta (at the same time letting Jon Lieber who was one of the few dependable arms last year go to Philly). I don't know who to blame. Torre will win if he has the horses, but when he doesn't he loses (look at his record as manager in other places). Cashman just does what the Boss tells him and the players have too large contracts to trade - other than the Yankees who could afford them?
I know it's still relatively early yet but I don't think this is going to be a pretty season for the Pinstripes. Not at all. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
The ubiquitous Fr. Thomas Reese S.J. (who was seeemingly everywhere on TV after the death of Pope JP2 and the election of B16) has been forced to resign as editor of the left-leaning Jesuit magazine, America (personally I prefer Commonweal). Apparently Benedict's former stomping grounds at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith put pressure on the Jesuits. Is this scene of things to come? Cause if so a lot of people should be worried. Things that were allowed to go on under John Paul may not under the new Pontiff.
Here's the story from the (even more left-leaning) National Catholic Reporter
via the AP
Now I'm getting worried.
Okay, this answer I don't like.
Ha! I knew it all the time ;)
You are Mr. Darcy. You are rich, you are brooding,
and you are sexy. You like to go swimming in a
white shirt and look all cute and bewildered
when you come up. You come off as a little
coarse at first, but in the end people come to
see you as warm-hearted and generous. And
Which Pride and Prejudice Character Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Not only does she look a little like Flannery O'Conner (to me, a point in anyone's favor) but she finds links like this:
The Crusaders were right after all (use BugMeNot.com if link won't work)
What with the new Ridley Scott Crusades movie coming out you just know we're in for the constant stream of bashing Crusaders and the Crusades (which weren't all that great but I don't think everyone or even most had bloodthirsty evil motives) from the film critics and media. So it's good to read someone who doesn't neccessarily take the politically correct view.
And to all those who haven't visited it, Relapsedcatholic.com is the Queen Mother of all Catholic Blogs, still going strong after all these years while others come and go (that's a compliment, I swear!)
So a would-be bride runs away from her wedding, people think something bad might have happened to her, she's eventually found, lies about it and then its found out she actually just got cold feet. End of story. Right?
So why is this friggin' story dominating the headlines in the newspapers (it was front page news here in NYC) and why do the news networks and talk radio talking about this non-stop? Is this REALLY the most important thing going on in the world today? How about just in the USA today? Oh, lordy.
Well, yes but the article itself is not as dire as the headline makes out.
Meanwhile in The Irish Echo, the largest Irish-American newspaper in the US, has this piece by Terr Golway on how Catholicism on continent is ripe for reinvigoration
This piece by Sean Scallon is interesting. I'm not quite sure I agree with all of it but I do admit to being quite disturbed by people who call themselves conservatives (of some nature at least) allying themself with the likes of Christopher Hitchens, an anti-Christian bigot of the highest kind who being the small man he is has gone after the like of Mother Teresas and John Paul II - calling them fanatics and frauds. Just because he supported the War in Iraq (which I didn't I admit) or going after Bill Clinton for perjury, do neo-conservatives think he's "one of them"? Is this one of the cases where the enemy of my enemy is my friend? How Machiavellian can you get?
... but this piece entitled Still Hanging In There As A Catholic, In Spite Of Everything beside from the usual lament from the author that he'll stick with the Church despite how conservative its new Pope is has this paragraph that stuck out to me (I'm not quite sure if author realies how right on they are):
"Right or wrong, it is naïve to think that the Catholic Church, no matter who is Pope, is going to whisk through a laundry list of what lapsed Catholics would like to see reformed in the Church. Most importantly, this will not occur because hardly any lapsed Catholics will return to the Church if this is done, and more traditional Catholics may begin to leave it or form their own traditional Catholic parishes."