Little Miracles

Friday, March 15, AD 2013

No, I don’t mean “kids.” They’re really big miracles in little packages. I also don’t mean things where small happenstances have big side-effects– like the time something silly I can’t remember happened, and delayed my car enough that we missed being T-boned or caught in the huge pileup with it from a run-away car. Barely.

I mean things where you are just not having a good time of it, for perfectly normal and predictable reasons…and then something rather odd happens that made you feel better, or fixed a problem unexpectedly.

The “hey, I know you’ve been down, but I also know you like rocks and I found this pretty crystal. Have a nice day!” type stuff.

Got to thinking on it because 1) I am a total sleep wimp, and 2) I’m a month and a half from the next baby being due. That means that, most nights, I can’t sleep. Mental note: next time, make sure that the last trimester is at the END of DST…. 😉

A couple of days ago, the girls were having screaming fits over everything. They’re tired, too; they miss their dad, mom isn’t as fun and can’t pick them up anymore, and there have been some minor disasters the last few weeks, from medical to minor injury to very minor vehicle trouble. As an added bonus, I emptied all the odds and ends stuff out of the closets to organize them properly, got a bunch of storage boxes and all… about two months ago, and haven’t managed more than a third of it. I knew that TrueBlue did a lot, but this is ridiculous.

I was unable to sleep, again, and about ready to cry from frustration, so I thought I’d try to find a registration code for a game I had on the old computer. Can’t find it. Try ever odder groupings of the name… and this email forward from a family friend that witnessed for our wedding, but has since died, popped up. It was one of those probably made up tear jerkers about a guy whose car suddenly had problems, and he managed to get to a gas station where he saw a woman in distress. He helped her and her kids out, feels the urge when she asks if he’s an angel to tell her “they were busy, so God sent me” and when he gets back to the car, it of course starts up.

The cry I got from that did more good than two hour’s worth of sleep, and I know it’s been making my days a bit easier. They’re still…trying, but I can deal a bit better, now. I’ve been able to get enough energy to do a couple of the things that I’ve had on my list for far too long, and I KNOW it’s made me a bit less irritable.

I still can’t find anything that should’ve triggered that search to bring up that email. I’m sure there’s something, but… a little, well-timed “accident” of the sort mom always taught us to be grateful for.

Trigger any thoughts anybody would like to share?

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11 Responses to Little Miracles

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  • This week, my son locked his keys in his recently purchased truck with the engine running. I went over to see if I could help him out with it. While I was there, I found a spot on one of his front tires that had been worn down to the wires under the rubber. The rest of the tire was fine, there was just this one spot where the previous owner must have repeatedly skidded the tires. The tire had been overinflated as well. Had he not locked his keys in his truck, a blowout of that tire was just a matter of time. It was a minor inconvenience that prevented what would have been a big one, potentially causing an accident. Small miracles…

  • I was seven or eight years old in the midst of the depression, one of five children. One Saturday, two school friends asked me to go to the movies with them. I said sure, hoping to “borrow” from them the 7 cents for a ticket. I didn’t dare ask my parents (my Dad had no job). When we got to the theatre it was a mob scene, waiting for the earlier show to end. While waiting in the entry, I spied a ticket on the floor and picked it up. There’s no doubt in my mind, some 75 years later, who put it there.

  • My sainted mother taught me how to drive which was quite a feat. I wasn’t the worst driver in the history of the world, but I was definitely in the running. I flunked driver’s ed and had to repeat it, although I did get my license on the first attempt. Mom always remained somewhat nervous about me as a driver, although I did get better with age.

    Mom died on Easter Sunday 1984 after a heroic fight against the cancer that killed her. In September of that year, my bride and I were planning on driving to Meridian, Mississippi from Mattoon, Illinois for the wedding of her kid sister. It was the longest car trip I had made up to that point. My bride and I were driving in our 77 T-Bird the day before our trip, and suddenly the power steering went out. As I was driving to the garage to get that repaired, all four tires went flat, one after another. The tires were replaced, the power steering repaired and my bride and I had an enjoyable and safe trip to and from Meridian. Coincidence? Perhaps, although I have now been driving for 40 years and I have never seen anything like it before or since.

  • Back in 1987 I went to Basic Training at Fort Bliss, Texas. I was issued a rifle that continuously malfunctioned. In fact, it was so old and worn out that parts wobbled and rattled when you shook it. I couldn’t get three shots off without a massive double or triple feed that took a considerable amount of time to clear. As a result, I had no practice because my time was taken up clearing multiple cartridges from the chamber of my weapon. The armorer couldn’t get it to function correctly. I dreaded the prospect of our marksmanship test. It had timed pop-up targets. If you didn’t get a passing score, you got “recycled” and sent back to an earlier phase of Basic Training to repeat the marksmanship portion. There was no leniency for malfunctioning weapons. I did not want to spend any more time in that place, and seriously considered going AWOL if I failed my test. I prayed hard the entire day leading up to the test. When it came time to shoot, my M-16 performed flawlessly, and I got the high score for the range that month. It was as if I was watching myself shoot. After that, my weapon went back to being the jam-o-matic piece of junk it was before. I once again couldn’t get three shots off without a jam. I consider that a miracle.

  • I’ve got a couple – but this one sticks most in my memory.
    In 1979 I had just carted my family across the Tasman to live in Australia. I had a very rough old ’64 Holden station wagon. It was 7 am. Sunday morning, Mass was at 8 am. a few miles away. The wagon had been hard to start, so went out at 7.15 am to start her, and warm her up before going to Mass. There was a “Rurr” sound, then silence. Flat battery. I opened the bonnet to let the early sun warm the battery, and went in to get my two young boys ready to come with me. We got into the car, and tried the ignition. Not even a “Rurr”.
    My oldest boy said, “what are we going to do dad?”
    I said, “you guys start praying.” “What will we pray?”
    I said, “The Our Father.” So the boys broke into praying the Our Father.
    When they got to “………..Thy will be done.” I hit the starter. No lie, I kid you not – the car roared into life.
    We got to Mass on time. After Mass, we went out to drive home, and the car was dead as a dodo – not even a click. My cousin was a part rime mechanic, so I phoned him and he came out – replaced the points in the distributor, and jump started the car so we could get home, buying a new battery on the way.
    The power of children’s prayer – I will never forget this.

  • My turn.
    My wife Mary and I we’re the caregivers for my mother-in-law Jeane. She had cancer and asked us to assist her in her last 18 months on earth.
    We were blessed to fulfill her every wish.
    On the morning of Aug. 25th 2000, at 6:30am Jeane was taken home. I stepped outside to reflect on the event. Suddenly three sandhill crain’s took to flight from the river across the street from Jeans home. The moment was breathtaking as I pondered the beauty of God in the Holy trinity.
    Two years later at Jeans gravesite, after finishing the Joyful mysteries for Jeans soul, I looked overhead and a perfect heart shape cloud filled my soul with Joy.
    A thank you from mom perhaps?
    God is so good. He cannot be outdone in generosity.

  • I can think of two things that happened to me while I was living in the Washington, DC area.

    In early 1989, I was really hard up for money. I had a car payment (I did not want to buy a new car, but my dad insisted and I was stuck with the payments). A refund check came from the insurance company that I cancelled five months earlier.

    Jump forward a little more than a year, and the car that I had (a 1988 Ford Tempo that I beat to death) began to sputter on I-95 on the way home from work. It stalled. I was stuck on the side of the highway. Cell phones were not common then and I certainly did not have one. Less than ten minutes later, a tow truck that was looking for someone else stopped and gave me a tow to a Ford dealer. The fuel pump was bad. Later, Ford recalled those cars with defective fuel pumps and my repair bill was refunded.

  • I don’t know why, but I suddenly had the realization I should’ve waited a few days and posted this as “Luck of the Irish (Catholic)” Or something.

    Nah, works fine. Even if that way would’ve gotten more eyes.

  • But Foxy……….
    I’m not Irish 😉

  • I had left the church 30 years ago but for some reason recognized the need to come back. I followed the same religion as my wife (Jehovahs Witnesses) but didn’t believe it. I was reading the Bible and writings of early christians and had come to the determination that the Catholic Church was started and guided by God. I knew my wife looked at our shared faith as the center of our marriage and for me to leave her religion could destroy our marriage. If I left I would be rejected by all our friends and her family. This would make it difficult to share friends and fun with my wife. I had come to the point where I had prayed to God to show me the way. Do I continue to go to the Kingdom Hall with her, save my marriage, yet worship God as a Catholic in my heart, or do I take a stand as the early Christians had? I prayed for an answer for several weeks.

    One day I was driving down the interstate listening to a homily on Catholic radio about an old man on the island of Crete who loved everyone. He welcome everyone in the community by going to their Baptisms and say good bye by going to their funerals. When he was very old and ready to die, he asked his sons to lay him on the ground so he could die with the soil of Crete in his hand. He passed away and came to the gates of heaven. Peter asked him if he was ready to enter heaven, and he said yes, very much. Peter than asked what he had in his hand. The old man explained to him that it was his beloved soil of his beloved Crete. Peter said you must put God first. They old man replied, but this is so little. I have lived my whole life for God, please let me in. Peter replied, when you give all to God you can enter.

    The next day, the old man approached the gate. This time Mary was to ask the same questions, but the old man just couldn’t give up his beloved Create.

    The next day, the old man approached once again and it was Jesus at the gate. Jesus asked the man what it was he had in his hand. The man opened his hand and the soil had turned to sand and falling between his fingers. Jesus asked him if he was willing to give up union with God in heaven of that sand. The old man dropped the sand and Jesus invited him in. When he came through, all of the loved ones who had died were waiting to greet him and heaven was like the best Crete had to offer.

    As I continued to drive, I prayed about this homily since it struck me as so pertinent. Just then there was a red semi trailer cross ways to the interstate like a large sign and in bold white it had one word on it, ‘Crete’. That was my sign from God. I rejoined the Church and my marriage became very difficult but it is getting better. But the Graces God has given me have made me the happiest I have ever been in my life. Deo Gratias. Praise be to God.

Lies of Omission

Thursday, February 7, AD 2013

I’m fairly sure that anyone here is sufficiently “plugged in” to current politics enough to have heard about House member Gabby Gifford’s recent plea for further gun restrictions. I’m not sure what your local media is like, but there’s a fair chance that there was even a mention of Sarah Palin or at least some sort of “incitement” behind that shooter’s attack. Given the body count, it’s not too surprising.

Also recently mentioned, though only in passing, is that the guy who shot up the Family Research Council in DC was finally in court.  Honestly, my main memory of that was being on a family trip and wondering why the heck somebody targeting based on “anti-gay bias” would have bags of Chick-fil-A. I can remember a few commentators suggesting that it was some sort of cartoonish attempt at “blending in”– an indication of just how crazy his view of those who disagree is or was. “Hey, Chick-fil-a is ‘anti-gay’ the same way that the FRC is– they don’t support redefining marriage to fit current pop culture appeals. The Family Research Council even denies a man and woman are functionally identical to two guys or two gals, of all the nerve! They’ll never notice me coming in and killing people if I have suitable fast food bags!”   Not someone to take too seriously, even if he did have a gun.

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32 Responses to Lies of Omission

  • If the loon attempting to shoot up the FRC had been a conservative attempting to attack a Leftist institution, media coverage about every aspect of his case would have been non-stop from the initial arrest to today. It would have been a major issue in the campaign with the Democrats and their media cohorts arguing that this demonstrated how Republicans had created an atmosphere of hate that led to the shooting. We no longer have a merely biased media in this country; we have a media that operates almost entirely, and unashamedly, as the propaganda arm of the Left wing of the Democrat party.

  • It looks like there’s another shooter story breaking, in LA. A former police officer and (the blogs are saying) a liberal. For the time being, this is something we should be praying about. But it’ll be worth keeping an eye on how the narratlve is delivered.

  • One of our local radio guys moved down there, so he called up and did an interview to plug KFI. All information to follow is from that interview.

    Shoot was in the military–supposedly got some shooting experience that way– and was a police officer, until he was fired for misconduct. He’s murdered the daughter of the guy who represented him at the hearing, her fiance (who may or may not have been another cop) and a second man that was at the same place.
    He’s posted at 20 page “manifesto” on facebook that, to my ears, sounds like he was pushing every button possible to get attention– promotes gun control, W, Tebow, and brain injury.
    As of about 11:30 they’d had a description of his pickup all over everywhere and hadn’t had so much as a report since the night before, even with two different license plates.
    He supposedly has a wide range of guns, including a .50 cal rifle.

    End what I’d heard so far.

    I half-heard at the last newsbreak that he may have tried to steal someone’s boat last night around “a San Diego military base”– which worries me, because we’ve got friends and family that are down in that area, and the bases with the most POBoats nearby would be right next to most of them.

  • Here, several sources have said this is the full “manifesto”.
    http://pastebin.com/yw3Ffy0S
    (looks more like “simicoherent rant,” and my blogging shows that I’ve got expertise when it comes to throwing thoughts together just enough for them to stick)

  • …Apparently, he thinks guns cause shootings, too. Or is willing to claim they do.

    Psycho.

  • Did the guy, DORNER, did he call up KFI?? This is some odd story:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/07/christopher-jordan-dorner-facebook-pages_n_2639934.html?utm_hp_ref=technology#slide=2076164
    http://news.yahoo.com/scariest-parts-chris-dorner-manifesto-warned-lapd-killings-175227852.html
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-57568288-504083/christopher-dorner-update-ex-los-angeles-cops-manifesto-hints-at-racism-as-motive-for-killings/
    You can see from the excerpts, he wrote some of that manifesto and predicted he’d make these killings and those that know me won’t be able to believe it he says.
    http://www.tmz.com/2013/02/07/lapd-cop-killer-christopher-dorner-tim-tebow-charlie-sheen-larry-david/ Stuff he wrote to Tim Tebow, the KFI guys and others.
    It’s intriguing but it’s also a bit like rubbernecking at an auto crash.

  • ***REMOVED AS PER AUTHOR’S PERMISSION, AS TOO FAR OFF TOPIC***

    Foxfier-as-editor: No hard feelings, just too many directions; I’m horrible about staying on topic as it is.

  • Since today/lastnight’s shooter mentioned two different KFI hosts and (if my guess about the selection of the topics is accurate) has the kind of personality that a host might want to stir things up, I’d say there’s a good chance he’s called in several times.

    I wonder if him being black, being former military (maybe a reservist, since he still had mil stickers on his pickup?) or being a former cop will have a bigger effect on how the story’s spun. Just waiting for this to be use to justify gun control, since he’d previously been in both of the groups that would not be disarmed.

    Not exactly rubber-necking, since it really is a scary situation and thinking about what would I do? is pretty dang important.

    Bet you that Mr. Johnson spent a lot of time thinking about what he’d do if, say, some hothead came in, picked a fight and shot him.

  • It appears that for mass-media, mass-murder politicizers some mass murders is more equal than others.

  • We have to wonder whether we are capable of handling guns anymore these days. We’re not the same people we were sixty years ago or so. We’re becoming increasingly incapable of our institutions and democratic traditions. This is the kind of people we are now, not quite the citizenry the founders had in mind, I’m afraid.

  • “We have to wonder whether we are capable of handling guns anymore these days.”

    And leave only criminals and the State armed? No thank you very much! The Founding Fathers did not idealize the American people of their time. Their writings and their speeches are filled with criticisms of the people and laments as to the lack of public virtue. Random senseless murders were far from unknown in their day. Many of the Founding Fathers thought that the experiment in self rule they had started would not long survive their death. Our freedom is absolutely as precious now as it was when the Founding Fathers crafted the Constitution.

  • Yes, there are outrageous crimes but how many gun owners never cause trouble? It’s a bit like how many drink beer and never cause trouble, you have your cases of drunk driving and accidents. I’m sure throughout the heartland, you have farmers, etc. no problems ever happen. I’ve heard there may be as many as 80 million gun owners in the US, legal owners. So do they pay for the crimes of Jared Laughner, James Holmes and these others?

  • I’m so glad you said that. I often idealize our country’s past. Yet I can’t help but feel we’re worse off now than then. I could be mistaken, but we seem so much more dysfunctional, perhaps because we have less space or because we blame the environment more. Any thoughts?

  • @Jon: Just in my view, I would look more towards a decline in moral values, really does seem like with the pill, abortion where life is not valued, sexual revolution, the country has entered a decline.

  • Yes, the new morality of the 60’s has not helped. I do feel we’re worse off now and perhaps it’s due to that. I also wonder whether a lack of space leads to less civility.

  • Since, as I mentioned, today’s guy was in not one but two of the groups that would stay armed with disarmed citizens– I’m very much against taking guns from everyone else!

    Over at National Review Online, somebody pointed out that the one study of gun-crimes-per-person comparing police to concealed carry folks found that the rates were about the same. (cops were a little higher, but that may be a bigger chance of being caught/accused)

    Guns are just a tool. They become more dangerous as fewer people have them, because they’re of greater relative power. The Portland mall shooting would have had a much higher bodycount if one guy hadn’t ignored the signs and brought his concealed carry weapon inside, making him able to threaten the murderer.

  • You could be correct about the lack of space, inner city crime has probably declined and it amazes me that Colorado which is so beautiful and seemingly spacious has had a few of these incidences though the Aurora Theater shooting was done by someone who was not from there.

  • I also wonder whether a lack of space leads to less civility.

    I’d guess it has more to do with the lack of consequences. The 60s promoted both gross violation of basic manners (“Alinsky tactics”) and prevention of punishment for transgressions. (ie, being punched in the nose if you walk up to a woman and proposition her)

    Then, starting in the 80s or so, actual assault by bullies in school was excused– and self-defense punished more harshly than the assault.
    (maybe 70s; I wasn’t around for it, but about ’89 they did try to expel my roughly-six-year-old self for kicking at the over-100-pounds-bigger bully that hauled me off the play equipment for a beating, while he faced…detention, for having “known problems.” Small, rural school, so it had to be pretty well established for it to filter down to us.)

    So now we have a generation where the psychopaths have learned there’s no real risk to their actions…and when they run up against any resistance, it probably feels like a betrayal of the basic order.

    Or, for today’s shooter-on-the-loose, maybe “racism”– very unjust, anyways. They’re reporting he got kicked out of the Navy Reserve officer corps, and I’m wondering what he did that got him kicked out of the police as well….

  • Hmmn…interesting. Yes, I think people are more prone to aggression and neurotic behavior when less space is available. I wonder if many of these types of crimes involving weapons take place in more heavily populated places generally. For example, New Jersey and Connecticut, two states that are densly populated, rank the highest for neuroticism! New York’s pretty high too.

  • Foxfier, I totally agree with everything you just said!! But here’s a question: Why was it that in the 80’s bullying was excused and self-defense severely dealt with? Why was that the trend? Where did it originate and what was the thinkin?

  • “Thou shalt not kill” was never taught to the shooter.

  • Jon-
    probably a bunch of different trends, from “fruit of the 60s” (which were fruit of their own predecessors, etc) to those theories about how society is what makes you “act out,” to bias against good masculinity and a belief that all violence is bad, even if it’s in self defense.

    Honestly, if you really believe that “violence never solved anything,” then treating a bully (who does, indeed, have emotional problems by definition) more lightly than an otherwise good kid who offered violence in self defense makes sense.

    I can’t claim to understand the line of thought that would make someone really think that all violence is equal, though.

  • Mary De Voe’s much shorter comment kinda puts it in a nutshell.

    Remove Christ, the culture can only go so far on inertia. Humans just aren’t very nice without some help.

  • probably a bunch of different trends, from “fruit of the 60s” (which were fruit of their own predecessors, etc) to those theories about how society is what makes you “act out,” to bias against good masculinity and a belief that all violence is bad, even if it’s in self defense.

    1. Self-defense requires independence of spirit, anathema to people who are inclined to make ‘clients’ of everyone.

    2. Self-defense incorporates the assumption that both parties understand the relationship between acts and consequences, and that the will of both parties (instructed by consequences) determines their acts. This is ‘much too simple a view’ and cuts into the act of people who inveigle and manipulate for a living (with professional certifications from faculties of ‘education’, ‘counseling’, social work, and clinical psychology.

    Assuming that mass-entertainment tends to reflect certain notions ambient in the society at large, I offer this:

    There was an episode of The Andy Griffith Show broadcast ca. 1962 which ended with Opie and Andy in an agreeable frame of mind. Opie has a piece of beef over half his face nursing a black eye and Andy is proud his son took the pain and gave a local bully a shiner rather than part with his lunch money. I recall seeing the rerun around a decade later and it was just completely alien to the line figures in authority were shooting you (in suburban Upstate New York ca. 1973). The dysfunctionally feminized, manipulative, and passive-aggressive ways of school administrators, school teachers, and bourgeois mothers of that era (aided and abetted by contemporary mass-entertainment products) simply ignored or wished away the actual social dynamics of the world boys inhabited (and, really, the world anyone inhabited).

  • I will offer this hypothesis also:

    In that era, people in authority (school officials, bourgeois mothers, and, in a different way, clergymen) were on something on a suicide mission. They made themselves into superfluous people to the rest of the world by repairing to platitudes (the clergy) or continually offering ‘guidance’ which did not tally with the lived experience of their charges. The court system compounded the problem by favoring social work over punishment; elected officials had to strip judges of much of their discretion in order to contain that.

  • It needs to be noted how much the media have to do with all this. If the guy didn’t know for a fact that he’d get attention, he never would have done this. I remember saying this a few weeks ago – and I wasn’t alone. The attention we give to the last shooter inspires the next shooter.

    Of course, in this case, it’s a little different. The guy is an active threat. It make sense for people to be informed about him. But we’ve got to move toward shutting down the channels of publicity for the disturbed and violent.

    Now, for the completely, completely honest part. I’m sick of being tarred by everyone who disagrees with me politically. I’m sick of being called names. I want Anderson Cooper and the SPLC to have to deal with it for a while. I don’t know if that’s justice or pettiness or a “teaching moment”.

  • Donald,

    It is disheartening to read the idiotic comments at Yahoo and elsewhere cheering on this monster. Whatever flaws the LAPD has, it doesn’t justify murdering innocent people. It makes me uncomfortable to share geography with some of these people. I don’t understand the thought process at all.

    And if you read his “manifesto,” it is manifest that this guy was Officer Looney McNutty. He’s full of contradictory statements and opinions, and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon without even listening to the other side of the story.

    Sometimes Americans sicken me.

  • There are always loosely wired people and many of them seem to like to vent on the internet! I do not take them as representative of most Americans, not even Americans who inhabit the political Left.

  • Art Deco, you are spot on. From the 50’s onward, representatives of society and culture seemed to feel that the environment was both the cause and solution to every problem and that evil didn’t exist. There was no devil to inspire people individually or collectively, and institutions through social engineering could never do wrong. A tremendous faith in human nature coupled with education prevailed. One can still find this unwarranted optimism in the United Church of Christ as well as among some politicians and many social workers. I think it must have seemed for a little while that progress would endure.

  • @Foxfier: Your post has enlightened me by its thoroughness; your post and the comments, too. Brilliant.

  • @Mary-
    if you say so… I feel like I’m just throwing stuff out there, but I know my perceptions are off from lack of sleep.
    (I should be napping while the girls do, but I just can’t sleep during the day unless I’m sick.)

Culture War on a Shoe String (Budget)

Sunday, January 6, AD 2013

Over at the blog of the author, Sarah Hoyt, there’s a very good post.

I was going to try to use the theme to combine with some conversations from over at Ricochet.com, but then she went and put what I would’ve been pointing at into its own paragraph:

Both of these endeavors will change your perception and you’ll find yourself huffing at sitcoms you used to enjoy.   This is good.  Most of the politics are snuck into stuff like that (hence the directive that came down for more plots about healthcare in sitcoms and episodic dramas) and if you’re not aware of them they’ll insidiously color the way you see the world.  It’s brilliant to sneak them into entertainment because if you complain, you’re a sour puss.  But at this point they’re not even subtle, and you’ll start seeing them if you look: cardboard “conservative” characters who are anything but and who can’t defend their positions.  “Dangerous” tea partiers.  Liberating yourself through having indiscriminate sex and stuff.  The government as a fount of goodness.  It’s all there.  And it’s there on purpose.

There’s more, some general stuff on how the polite refusal to inject politics into everything puts us at a bit of a disadvantage, and it’s quite worth reading.  Now, on to my comments:

She’s right.  My husband is a lot more easy going than I am, but we both can’t watch some shows because of the obvious agenda involved.  Recognizing it isn’t just about paying attention or such– we had a rather long argument with my mother over a TV show that opened with a guy being shot inside his house by a SWAT team called in for a false hostage situation. (Before SWATting got big.)  The show, and the woman who taught me to not trust the story that the news presented, held the SWAT team (personified by the leader) responsible.  TrueBlue and I held those who certified that it was a hostage situation on an anonymous call from a random number as being responsible– there wasn’t any way for the guys who’d been told they were going in to a known hostage situation to know that the guy charging them with a kitchen knife was righteously defending his house.  The guy risking their lives had to be at fault, while the paper-pushers that actually created the entire situation had to be blameless– not even faceless, but as natural a thing as the sun rising, and as unquestioned.  Something goes wrong?  It’s the fault of those uniformed Authority Figure guys. (Who all incidentally looked military.)

Stories set up the way we see the world.

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7 Responses to Culture War on a Shoe String (Budget)

  • Just gave up cable, and it felt liberating. It’s not that I think we should detach ourselves from the culture – in fact I believe I advocated just the opposite here recently – but if we start making wiser cultural purchases (for lack of a better way to phrase it) then we can start slowly turning the tide.

    You’re right about the little things. It’s easy to just sort of shrug your shoulder at the little digs, but it’s the little things that frame the narrative.

  • “But at this point they’re not even subtle,”

    About as subtle as this:

  • Giving up cable is good. Another option is to get something like netflix – it then tracks what you watch and becomes, in a sense, a Nielsen type rating, but one that gets real input from real viewers, and one you actually control to some extent.

    I have also noticed how shows that have any intelligence whatsoever seem to get cancelled while the most idiotic ones get five seasons. Although it may hae had biases, a show like Caprica explored issues your average viewer never even thought about (what it is to be a person, use and abuse of technological power, etc.). It may have eventually degenerated in unhealthy directions, but at least it was asking the right questions. It seems sci-fi and fantasy are where the real philosophy happens; sitcoms are essentially cultural anesthesia.

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  • Our home has never had cable. Internet, sure, and about two years ago we got Netflix– recently I figured out how to use my husband’s old computer that we use as a back-up system to work with Hulu, so the girls can watch “Where’s Boo?” on our schedule.

    It seems sci-fi and fantasy are where the real philosophy happens; sitcoms are essentially cultural anesthesia.

    Building worlds means that you get to put in a lot more assumptions. *grin* They do inject a lot of BS into the non-fantastic, but it is usually a LOT more obvious. Suspension of disbelief doesn’t require you to be blind when something is required by the world, but sometimes you do blink past it when it’s a “just happens” thing in “real” shows.

    The same lady I quoted often mentions the “Gray Goo” type of scifi– you know, the hopeless, depressing drek that they were pumping out when I was a teen, and have kept doing. Baen pulled a Fox News and filled the niche demands of “people who read scifi for enjoyment instead of the message.” (To be fair, I think Baen got there first, but since they print “anything we think will sell,” it’s a bit less obvious.)

  • I really liked Hoyt’s article.

    Increasingly, with the ease of access to information, the skill of being able to sort through information critically is becoming ever more important. Even if there were no right/left battle, and no fight between religious tradition and secularization, it’d be important to teach your kids to review things that they hear and read and consider what underlying assumptions they make, what points of view they advocate. That ability to skim, digest, and appreciate information is essential. Of course, as Christians defending a certain framework, those skills are tested every day. So by all means, teach your children to critically analyze their history lessons and their entertainment.

  • I am never quite certain if they are laughing at me, with me, or for me. It is important to take a stand for the slightest insult, indignity imposed or heresy. This would consume one’s whole day, but one’s children will know where to draw the line when they are being sucked into a black hole. The shows and their sponsors are not invincible and they know they can do better.
    In the old days, the pastor would go down to the moviehouse and turn away any of his parishioners from an x-rated movie.

New, Shocking Study Finds Humans Are Not Standardized!

Wednesday, January 2, AD 2013

Folks here probably know about the BMI– and possibly are familiar with my, ahem, “issues” with it as a tool of diagnosis; anything that bases treatment choices on the assumption that bones, fat and muscle all weigh the same, and people are identically proportioned, is going to get me angry. Add in it being changed in 2000 by over 2kg/m2 (so that “overweight” is 25kg/m2; BMI is weight in kg divided by height in meters, squared) to make it easier to calculate and remove the differences between men and women and…well, I’m getting distracted.

Anyways, the BMI is the basis for the “obesity epidemic” we’ve all heard about, and there are calls for action on the following theory that this generation will die earlier than their parents.

Shockingly, some scientist actually decided to do research to see if being over-weight or obese by this BMI standard resulted in dying earlier. It’s clear that if you’re heavy enough, you do die earlier, but that’s diagnosis by examining actual people, not by applying a broad standardized calculation.  Everyone knows that if you’re over-weight, then you’re going to have more health problems, so you’re going to die earlier.

There’s a problem: they didn’t confirm what “everyone knows.”

The news will seem heaven sent to those contemplating a new year diet, and contradicts the received wisdom that being fat reduces life expectancy. It is the second time that research studies led by Katherine Flegal, a distinguished epidemiologist from the National Centre for Health Statistics at the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Maryland, US, have studied the link between obesity and mortality.

In 2007 the same group caused consternation among public health professionals when they published the results of a similar analysis that also showed being fat does not shorten life. Walter Willett, professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, dismissed the finding as “rubbish”.

Dr Flegal told The Independent she had decided to conduct a second, larger, study on the same theme to counter the sceptics. She and her team examined results from 100 studies from around the world, involving three million people and 270,000 deaths.

via Recipe for a long life: overweight people have LOWER death risk – Health News – Health & Families – The Independent.

Who knew that the art of healing people may not work so well when you try to remove individuals and judgement from the mix?

 

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7 Responses to New, Shocking Study Finds Humans Are Not Standardized!

  • Got curious how big of a change the standardization was; 5’9 is about 1.75 meters, squared is 3.0625; multiply that by the old male standard of 27.8 kg and you get 85.1375kg, which is 187.7(rounded) pounds, vs the new standard of 168.8(rounded) pounds, so nearly nineteen pounds on a average guy just to make it easier to calculate.

    So even compared to the old BMI, it’s a pretty flipping huge change; no idea how much the known higher mortality of underweight people weighs down the “ideal weight” category.

  • “New, Shocking Study Finds Humans Are Not Standardized!” says the furry.

    A social study is the elaborate demonstration of the obvious by means that are obscure.
    –William Bennett, former US Secretary of Education

    I suspect the experience of shopping for clothes was the source of Dr. Katherine Flegal’s secret knowledge.

  • Icon’s a werefox, actually, from an old anime-themed pen and paper RPG.

    Not sure what you’re getting at with clothes shopping– I was thinking more along the lines of folks I actually know who die suddenly. Other than the ones that are immensely huge, it’s mostly the extremely thin weight-freaks. Usually from the same thing: heart attacks.

    I have noticed that current styles, being aimed at builds that are too thin, tend to make those who are healthy look really fat. My little sister, for example, thinks that she’s fat– after all, her BMI says she’s over weight and look how horrible the stick-fashions look on her!– even though she’s not. She’s simply an adult female. I know women whose body fat is so low that they have, ahem, lady problems– and they still think they’re fat, because their BMI says so, and they’ve got “muffin tops” when they wear hip-huggers. (Navy offered a lot of chance to get way, way more information from casual acquaintanceship than you’d think, and I seem to have a giant sign that says “please, talk to me, I’ll listen.”)

  • BMI is the most worthless piece of information you can have. It can’t measure body composition, which is far more important than a simple weight/height ratio. Particularly because fat is not as dense as muscle, a leaner person may actually weigh more than someone who is “lean” challenged, thus having a higher BMI although actually in better physical shape.

  • My uncles all had so little body fat, and such solid bone structures (yay, Irish! Watching the Hobbit felt like a family reunion with bigger beards.) that they actually failed the “dead man’s float” in boot camp.

    They would’ve all failed a BMI test as well.

    I can see it as a sort of thing to trigger a doctor checking to see if you’re fat– kind of like how my OBGYN asks if I’m having trouble breathing, and when I say “yes” we check the times and verify it’s because the kid is pushing and I’m carrying two toddlers, not because of something or other that can also strike pregnant women.

    Instead, they’re going the route of salt with heart disease, and putting everyone on a treatment path that will only help a few folks, and can seriously hurt others. (My dad was nearly killed by the anti-salt bias; thank God he happened to not be driving heavy machinery when heat stroke/lack of electrolytes hit him.)

  • I have come to hate the BMI. I come from a family of nearly 6-foot women who don’t get above 120 pounds until middle age and many children. I am having extereme trouble getting insured because of “the magic number.”

  • As much as I’d love to have that problem, you’ve got my sympathy. (Much like I wish I had my sister in law’s problem that the only weight she gains is in her chest–otherwise, no curves at all.)

It’s All The Social Conservatives Fault!

Thursday, November 8, AD 2012

I really, really wish I were joking about the title, but I’ve actually heard several folks seriously suggest this.  (Hugh Hewitt show had a co-host/guest suggest “dropping the abortion issue,” for example—thankfully, Hugh pointed out that was…not a great idea.)

In a campaign where social issues were not focused on, where the SoCon vote was assumed, where the entire point would be “It’s the economy, stupid” and our turnout dropped hugely… we should really ditch these social conservatives entirely and try to peel off some Democrat voters.  I was one of the folks that was saying at the beginning that we could not just assume we’d get our own base and that all we needed was to go after other groups, though I—like many others—thought that things were obviously bad enough that maybe the base could be taken for granted.

We tried the “shut up about social issues, focus on the financial short-term disaster.”   Shock shock, it didn’t work.  The “of course” votes didn’t show up, as best we can tell at this early of a time.  Of course there was fraud and probably voter suppression, but we knew from the start that we’d have to win so big that they couldn’t cheat.

I know the thinking Libertarians believe that Social Issues hurt us, and if we’d just drop them it would improve—but they ignore that if you let people do all the stupid stuff they immaturely desire, they are going to want to be saved by someone else.  (I’m ignoring the sub-group of thinking Libertarians that thinks having children at is a “personal choice” with no serious effect on the future of society, and mostly only something that ‘women want while they leach off men.’  I wish that last part was not a very slight paraphrase.)  Of course, thinking Libertarians think social issues hurt because when thinking Libertarians recognize the cause and effect of libertine personal actions in creating demand for a leech-State, they become at least isolationist conservatives, rather than Libertarians.  But I’m digressing.

So, we tried assuming that the rah rah Abortion!! stuff on Obama’s side would be enough to 1) get half our base out, and 2) get them to vote for Romney.  Clearly, that was wrong.

We focused on the economy.  I think we did pretty well on that, considering that Obama and Co could lie their tails off about what we actually said.  (It’s a given, sadly.)

That makes me think that we maybe should’ve beat on the military side of things a bit more as well.  I  have friends who are still active duty who thought I was blowing smoke up their rears when I told them there was never a protest when the Ambassador was killed, when that was known just days after the attack.  (Power Line linked an interview in a UK paper that included quotes from the guys who were opening a hospital with the Ambassador; they were on the phone when the attack started, and there was no mention of a protest, which would’ve been a pretty big deal.)

So, we need to actually make our own case, try to win the base before we try to peel folks off, and probably improve our communication networks.  I’m going to work even harder on applying this in person—when someone says something incredibly untrue in person, I’m going to politely correct them.  Yes, it’s uncomfortable and socially awkward, but that is what the other side’s tactics depend on.  At some point, the drunk in the party has to be confronted.  We’re there and past.

This is going to be especially hard on religious people.  There are a lot of very nice people who…well… voted for Obama because that’s what “nice” people do.  It’s never easy to stand up to family, no matter how wrong you know they’re being.

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25 Responses to It’s All The Social Conservatives Fault!

  • You know what, I agree that it is Social Conservative’s fault, but not in the way most people think. We have utterly failed to transform the culture. Jesus gave us the commision to “Go out and make disciples of all nations”. If we had been doing that, this whole debacle would never have happened. It is time to get off the sofa and get out there and evangelize. 50% of Catholics voted for Obama. That is disgusting and needs to change.

  • “Of course, thinking Libertarians think social issues hurt because when thinking Libertarians recognize the cause and effect of libertine personal actions in creating demand for a leech-State, they become at least isolationist conservatives, rather than Libertarians. But I’m digressing.”

    We call ourselves Ron Paul supporters, or as I also like, paleo-libertarians. It’s just the Old Right.

    But to be clear: we are not “isolationist.” 18th century Japan was isolationist. 18th century America under the leadership of the founders was non-interventionist, foreign and domestic. Meaning the federal government stays out of both the lives of people living in other countries and the people living in this one as well. As for diplomacy and free trade, we are all for it, unlike isolationists, who aren’t. Along with Thomas Jefferson and Ron Paul, I also don’t object to the use of military force abroad if it is used to stop aggression against the U.S.

    I just think we’ve had the troops in the wrong parts of the world. They belong in the narco-terror state south of the border.

    It’s all a digression from your main point, though, with which I agree. Good post. We won’t be driven into silence by “libertarians” who fail to understand the connection between strong families and strong economies, or who blindly give into the demands of the totalitarian homosexualist movement.

  • We call ourselves Ron Paul supporters, or as I also like, paleo-libertarians. It’s just the Old Right.

    Roughly what the other Thinking Libertarians say as their evidence for why you’re not Libertarians…probably doesn’t help that they also exile the unthinking type college libertarians?
    (It’s a bit like the issue with children and abortion and such– a sizable chunk of the TLs want the woman to be responsible for their own and the man’s “fun,” with children being non-beings without rights or responsibilities. Yes, it’s all male, that I’ve spoken to. Most annoying thing about Ricochet….)

    Glad you like the broader point, though.

    I wonder what the effect of “GOProud” and those idiots that tried to claim the TEA party was all about ditching social issues had on turn out….

  • Well I suppose all the “smart people” will tell us that Santorum can’t be that guy next time because he has too much baggage. Why we should listen to them I have no idea, but I think building off what he did in the primary would be a big advantage and he’ll have surely learned alot about how to get his message across.

    Again the “Smart People” will tell us that women still hate him, but I can’t see how we can truly get less women than Romney got and Santorum is much more attractive to the base and to middle class and to the hispanic community than Romney was.

    Too bad the Smart People will tell us he can’t win, like they told us Romney could.

  • I would never support Rick Santorum in a GOP primary. If he somehow won a GOP primary to become a presidential candidate, I still wouldn’t vote for him. At that point I would simply not vote or vote 3rd party. He is explicitly pro-war and would bankrupt this country through military adventurism.

  • “He is explicitly pro-war”? Parrot Ron Paul much?

  • Do you think it’s time that the Christian Conservatives just say the heck with both parties and form their own? Perhaps with people like Sarah Palin and Allen West leading the way? They certainly have the charisma to jump start it. In hindsight, during the primaries, Romney was much tougher on Santorum and Gingrich than he was on Obama. There seemed to be a deliberate effort to exclude the socons from political influence which has turned the GOP into democrat lite – so what’s the real difference? The people need to have a party that truely speaks for them and their beliefs with no compromise on the moral/social issues.

  • My only option is Rand Paul. He isn’t completely anti-war (neither am I), but at least he understands that fiscal conservatism is incompatible with Wilsonian idealist adventurism abroad. He is also a social conservative, opposing abortion and “gay marriage.” And of course he is his father’s son and would do as much as he could to dismantle the intrusive federal bureaucracy that is attempting to take total control of our lives.

    Yes, I “parrot” Ron Paul, but only because he parrots the founding fathers as well as the greatest economic minds of the 20th century.

  • There is such a party. It’s called the Constitution Party. Here is its platform: http://www.constitution-party.net/party_platform.php

    BTW, here is a link to Rick Santorum on the issues. He is a hard right Conservative. But he isn’t a war monger.
    http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Rick_Santorum.htm

  • Such a party would ensure overwhelming Democrat political domination for the next generation and cause the enactment of social policies in every state diametrically opposed to the beliefs of social conservatives. There are precious few Democrats who are social conservatives who would join such a party and such a party would need to have stands on all the issues which would quickly lead to the same sorts of divisions that currently exist in the Republican party on economic and foreign policy isssues. For myself, I am a plain old conservative: economic, foreign policy and social.

  • Paul P,

    I deleted the offensive portion of my comment and your reply to it. I went too far, I acknowledge that.

  • David Frum was singing the same song – the Republicans need more social diversity – after the 2008 elections, and I am sure his clones would do the same now. Giving them credence will bring death to the Republicans, for at the bottom what animates most of these social libertarians is a hatred of Christianity.

  • Here’s a must-read for conservatives. (Paulists probably don’t need to bother)

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/333010/election-and-right-yuval-levin#

  • I’ve been reading a lot of political sites. Every single ones either has posts calling for dropping the social issues or commenters writing in and saying quit talking about abortion.

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  • Daisy observed the following, “I’ve been reading a lot of political sites. Every single ones either has posts calling for dropping the social issues or commenters writing in and saying quit talking about abortion.”

    If the GOP abandons its support for the life of the unborn child or for traditional marriage between one man and one woman, then I will vote for a third party such as the Constitution Party. We should no longer put our trust in the princes of this world. Furthermore, I do not think that it matters any longer who wins because the culture has become so thoroughly pagan and hedonistic that nothing save utter catastrophe can reverse things. That was the case in ancient Israel and Judah, and we are seeing history repeating itself again.

    Now there are others here at TAC who are far more optimistic than I and believe that we can salvage something using the political process. I pray that those individuals are correct and I incorrect. But after seeing the filthy advertisements on national TV and on the internet that the Democrats ran (a girl saying that voting for the first time is like having sex for the first time, so do it with the right guy – Obama), the general rot and refuse on popular TV, the barbaric body piercings young and old alike sport in public places, and all the other disguting stuff, I am convinced that short of the miracle of God’s grace, we as a nation are headed towards the fall that we so richly deserve. Popular entertainment TV shows like the Mentalist or Castle or Elementary that show dominate women and weak men as a norm to be emulated are merely symptoms of a decay that has long progressed into terminal cancer, except the patient isn’t aware he will die because he is feeling no pain. This exists all over, so when Obama runs his war on women theme, he wins – either people don’t care, or people do care and support him.

    Nope, I won’t support the GOP if it gives up on social conservativism. And if the country goes to hades as Israel and Judah did, then that too is a part of God’s plan. Viva Cristo Rey! The persecution the Cristeros faced will be repeated.

  • I’ve been reading a lot of political sites. Every single ones either has posts calling for dropping the social issues or commenters writing in and saying quit talking about abortion.

    Probably by the same folks that urged the “don’t talk about it” tactic for this election….

    Paul: watch something else! Good heavens, Warehouse 13 manages to have a very masculine guy… he acts like a goofball, and then goes and is utterly awesome nearly every episode. *grin* Need more decent, upbeat goofballs.

    Sure, TV sucks. Seems like it always has…..

  • Love WHSE 13, Foxfier. Usually watch the Science Channel, though, or H2.

  • I know the thinking Libertarians believe that Social Issues hurt us, and if we’d just drop them it would improve…
    –Foxfier

    If only those TLs (thinking Libertarians) could explain why the Libertarian “no social issues here” Party vote didn’t crack 1% of the total vote despite the millions of voters unhappy with Social Issues talk.

    P.S. When I remind TLs that the Democrat party is chock full of its own Social Issues agendas, they suddenly want to change the subject.

  • The Democrats always bring up their social issues. Abortion (strike that, it’s the right to choose, but they never finish the sentence), gay marriage, etc.

    Romney did not get involved in social issues and it is still the social conservatives’ fault Romney lost. Yeah, right. I heard Ann Coulter thinks this. Coulter can pound sand.

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  • If the news outlets would quit pretending the 400,000 marchers in DC didn’t exist…

New Catholic Convert

Wednesday, October 17, AD 2012

From over at John Wright’s place, I heard mention of a guy who went from being the head of the Secular Free Thought Society (no jokes, please, they write themselvers) to converting to Catholicism, as told in State Press Magazine:

Imagine society’s collective shock if Hillary Clinton were to join the National Rifle Association…

Josh Horn’s friends were hit with a shock wave of that magnitude when Horn, then an ardent atheist, announced his resignation as president of the Secular Free Thought Society, an ASU club known for its skepticism of religion. Horn had committed the ultimate taboo and sealed his self-imposed excommunication with one act: he decided to become a Catholic.

Welcome home!

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2 Responses to New Catholic Convert

Where Are The Artists?

Monday, October 15, AD 2012

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of folks lamenting how modern art (especially Modern Art) doesn’t have anything to compare to, oh, the great cathedrals of Europe—according to some, doesn’t even have a decently sized mural.  Usually comes with a lot of talk of how soul-killing Walmart and their sort are, but not always.

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8 Responses to Where Are The Artists?

  • The Church and wealthy Catholic royalty and nobles sponsored the best of the art that lasts. Today’s Catholics give proportionally less to the Church than their ancestors did in earlier tougher times. The sense of beauty and art is lost and that is why the urine Christ and elephant dung ( or whatever that was) is defended as “free speech.”

  • …Did you bother to read the post?

  • Which medium?
    Personally the canvas of old, oil paints and the several layers of paint to bring the canvas to life is my favorite. Today computer generated works pale in comparison. It’s okay…like wine everyone has their taste, mine is not in twitching ears, or fur to skin.

    Are they, the creators artist? Yes. What level of talent goes into their work? Extremely high level no doubt. As far as not looking right…?

    Well..who is to say. Let us agree on this; P— Christ, or any type of blasphemy portrayed as art is an insult TO THE ARTIST. Why? Because true art is inspiration from the Divine Artist, and anything elese is just plain SCHLOCK.

    Please stop insulting the true artist.
    By the way foxfier the work above is not schlocky. Not my glass of Merlot but definitely not bad.

  • My mom has a similar view about music–says that if someone can make truly good music, there must be some good in them.
    She also mentions that it can take a lot of digging to reach some folks’ good….

    I can’t stand most of the old “icon” style art, especially where it shows people. But some kinds of stylizing look nice to me– Kinkaid, for example, or the animation above. Computer images that try to look photo-realistic hit the same “I don’t like this” button as the icons; they’re close enough to hit the uncanny valley to trigger my “aaaaaah!!!!” reflex.

  • That said…. I really wish I could afford something like this.

    I seem to remember about seven years back Mr. Jones shared a picture of a commission that was a dark stein of beer, a crusty loaf torn in two and what looked like a slice from a round of cheese that was American-cheddar golden in color; wish I could find it, amazing.

  • Suburban Banshee has a typically interesting post with some old art in it.

  • Updating to include something a facebook friend shared. It seems to be a digital painting of Pop Eye, if he were real.

  • Timothy Jones.
    That is beautiful, the still life.
    Thanks for sharing Foxfier.
    …pop-eye….strange image.
    Take care.

Science And Religion

Sunday, October 7, AD 2012

Yeah, that old favorite; Mr. Wright enters the fray again over at his blog, in a rather long and detailed post asking if science fiction is inherently opposed to religion.

Because this is the internet, the comments rather quickly head into attacking religion (ours and his, specifically), which he answers by explaining in detail the reasons he’s now Catholic.

I was inspired to post what is mostly a “hey, go read this!” after several great comments by folks other than the author, culminating in this one:

 If some earnest scientist did the experiment outlined above, and then said to the nearest Catholic (not even going as high as the Pope) “I have conclusively proven that what you say happens during the celebration of the Eucharist does not, since this sample still has the same qualities of wine after the words of institution were spoken as it did beforehand, and so it has not turned into the blood of an Iron-Age Semitic male from Roman-occupied Galilee, and so all your beliefs are false and God does not exist”, then the Catholic would say “Dude, I *know* that already. We talked about it back in the 13th century, even before they had spectrometers or chromatographs: Tommy A gave a definition of transubstantiation where he puts it in the technical philosophical language of “The accidents remain the same but the essence changes”.

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4 Responses to Science And Religion

  • Thanks ,Foxfier. The author’s own conversion, which shows up at about comment three, is more interesting than the actual blog post in my humble opinion. When you call God out, he answers…loudly. Couldn’t read all the comments because I have little patience for atheists, buy what a story.

  • If you have time, head back and just skip the ones by “Sith Lord Whatever.” He takes several paragraphs to say things that are then quoted in a nutshell in the response. He’s obnoxious, but I am glad that he goaded Mr. Wright into posting more detail on his conversion than he previously has– I knew the broad strokes, but not details.

    I’m really glad I didn’t need a conversion, myself. I don’t know if I’d be lucky enough to slip in, or need the holy boot to the head.

  • “or need the holy boot to the head.”

    If I had not been born Catholic Foxfier, I suspect that such would have been needed for me to see the light! 🙂

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Fast Friday

Friday, July 27, AD 2012

That’s “fast” like “quick,” not “fast” like, well, “fasting.”  I do go meatless, but that’s entirely beside the point.  The idea is things to make when the weak week is ending and I’m longing for a stiff drink ready for the weekend.  Maybe I’ll make a tradition of it, we’ll see.

Expect it to be thrifty, too, because I’m cheap like that.

Safeway has some lovely “party sized” dinners that I got because… well, they were about 25% off, and I’m lazy sleep deprived, and I love both lasagnas (five cheese and meat, respectively) and orange chicken.  Grabbed the cannelloni because it sounded like something to try.

Thus far:

$7 for five to ten servings.  Usually ten bucks plus tax.  Easily two evening’s dinner for us with the toddlers, plus a generous packed lunch.

Cooking time is a bit on the low side—by which I mean you’ll want to set it for the low timer, check it, and then let it go to the high suggested cooking time.

The cannelloni  was… er… well, TrueBlue says it didn’t taste right.  It tasted like salsa made of green peppers mixed with basic pasta and a good white cheese sauce to me.  Kept its form very well.

The cheese lasagna is WONDERFUL.  How good is it?  My husband willingly ate it when I wasn’t cooking only non-carne meals.  This is the guy that complains there’s not enough meat in his steak and potatoes….

The meat lasagna is good; not great, but better than I could make, and probably less expensive.  The meat seems to be rather spicy sausage, but not bad at all.  (Note, this is not to be interpreted as “spicy” or “hot” by the measure of most folks; more along the lines of mild-to-medium salsa.  Yes, I’m a wimp.)

Haven’t tried the Orange Chicken yet, we’ll see.

 

(update: fixed the name of the not-very-good baked dish; I blame that line from the Godfather movies)

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10 Responses to Fast Friday

  • Down here, fish ‘n’ chips is still the standard Friday fare, even after – what – 40 years?
    Tastes better after the downing of a couple of pints of good ale, and washed down with a liberal glass of shiraz or cab-sav red wine. 🙂

  • Some places here, too, but usually a bit expensive.

  • We like to use the frozen lasagnas on Sundays. That way there’s less work involved in meal prep on the Lord’s Day. There are some good ones out there. Stouffer’s is pretty good. So is Marie Callender’s. Walmart has its own brand which is half a notch down from the other two, but they also offer a “Mexican Style” lasagna that isn’t bad at all. With eight kids, though, the family size isn’t really enough. It says 12 servings, but they don’t take teenagers into account. Heck, our 12 year old has shot up three inches in three months. Try feeding that hungry beast!

  • Good plan, Foxfier.
    ~$65 and two days spent a few months ago to prepare meat and cheese lasagne in a deep pan. The best part was having portions on hold in the freezer for those fast meals.
    I won’t start on how good Fish and Chips are the object of an endless search since a little place nearby closed.
    For economy, you could stretch nice Yellowfin Tuna into a cold salad plate by mixing it with brown rice and celery, radish, and chives, or something and mayonnaise. But that’s cooking rice, chopping, refrigerating and not fast unless it’s ready.
    Can’t even imagine a cannoli tasting of salsa … isn’t that a dessert?

  • PM- not a clue what it was supposed to be like; for all I know, I could be spelling it wrong. It was pasta tubes stuffed with chicken, simi-liquid cheese and not-hot-pepper salsa, covered in more cheese and tomato sauce.

    And I’ve got rice on the brain for future Fast Fridays… I base “fast” on how much time I have to actually spend on it, rather than cooking time!

  • Foxfier,
    Couple things:
    1. Pasta tubes stuffed with chicken tasting salsa-y sound like tamales (cornmeal wraps) or maybe chicken crepes (roulades) ? No Safeway around to check out.

    2. Pastry tubes stuffed with ricotta cheese are cannoli. Check out a good Bakery with a refrigerated case. Treats.

    3. Rice & tuna time – an hour to the fridge and ready for table.
    – $2/can, use two for your family of four. Cook a cup of rice per can as gauge. + or – to taste.
    – A pan to cook rice with a splash of oil in the water.
    – A screen colander to cold water rinse the starch out of the cooked rice.
    – A casserole dish to mix and serve.
    – While the rice is cooking, you can chop vegs., shred tuna with fork, and put in the serving bowl ready to mix with cooled rice and mayonnaise, and clean up.
    – Serve on lettuce, chips on side. Cannoli for dessert!

  • Definitely not tamales– I just compare it to salsa because that’s the only thing similar, not because it was actually salsa. Ever made salsa? Imagine doing that, but no tomatoes, no hot peppers, just green peppers. That’s what it tasted like….

    *spends longer looking online than she spent writing the post*
    Cannelloni. I dropped several letters in my memory.

  • Good – mystery solved.
    Thanks for unclogging my mind – spent time in the indices of the few cookbooks around here. So many pasta and pastry shapes and possibilities. Cannelloni I don’t know, but cannoli I love. You were just talking in code or shorthand – pretty close – starts with can, ends with i. That’s what happens when the years or things to do pile upon you.

  • I constantly scandalize my husband by talking about “bowties” or “the falafel things” (farfalle), “macaroni noodles,” calling anything you can make a spaghetti dish out of “spaghetti” (even the flat noodles that are about a quarter inch wide), “those twisty ones” (rotini) and “the big macaroni ones.” (Penne.)

    I’m just horrible at names.

    Thanks for the recipe– we have one sort of like that, but I take all the parts, mix them with a can of “cream of” soup while the rice is hot, add a bunch of cheese-chunks, put in a pan, cover with more cheese, cheese and bake until nicely browned. The girls don’t seem to like eating things that are supposed to be served cold, and I’m giggling at the idea of TrueBlue eating stuff served on lettuce. (yes, he’s going to be a bit of a problem when it comes to getting the girls to eat rabbit food… at least he eats broccoli)

  • It takes years of macaroni/spaghetti/pasta differentiation – and then, here come the cannellonis – love flat noodles 1/4″ or less because they are like homemade of yore for spaghetti or soup.

    Hot and cold dishes – hot seems more filling and broccoli more nutritious –
    stay with tried and true.

    We are in a heat wave/drought – by the way it rained two inches finally today – but the rain was after your post and I was thinking cold food.

    The two little neighbor girls that used to spend time at my table on and off would have loved your soup – anything or nothing with cheese please. Hold the rice and that green stuff. They were fast food/ take out/ eat in their carseat specialists. Cracker, cheese, apple slice snack was cheese – with cracker and apple decorations. But I witnessed both chewing on falling leaves in autumn off the ground.

    [While I’m at it the cup of rice is the amount before you cook it – just in case …
    and I cut the lettuce up so it’s easier to eat and have cheese on the side –
    or do the same with elbow macaroni]

2 Responses to Andy Griffith 1926-2012

  • “He was one from our country’s last best generation.” I heard that yesterday in a eulogy.

    If there were a top ten TV shows for the Fourth of July list, I’d hope to see ‘Matlock’ on it. And watching the episodes about life in Mayberry would be great formation for our country’s children.

  • Griffith was a Yellow Dog Democrat who recently shilled for ObamaCare along with “Dopey”, Ron Howard. I do have fond memories of the Don Knotts Show, sometimes mislabeled the Andy Griffith Show. Griffith’s finest work was at the beginning of his career in this film:

11 Responses to Defense of Self Against Unlawful Attack

  • Did you notice that according to that law and probably many such laws, a person cannot use force if the bad guy is escaping after stealing? Now this contradicts the ever prudent sage, Axl Rose inter alia…” you can take anything you want, but you better not take it from me.”…from the yesteryear tune, “Welcome to the Jungle”. You according to law have to watch the criminal leave with your goods….( in your fav blue athletic bag no less.) My bad. But I retrieved by force a lethal weapon that likely would have been used later in a street murder. Aquinas…”the lawgiver cannot foresee every situation”…ergo, epikeia is needed. The law literally means that a gunstore owner coming upon a thief leaving his store with 30 Taurus pistols in a sack….cannot use force to stop him despite the imminent distribution of said guns to thugs. Lawyers….help me out with this.

  • Bill, I’m pretty sure that if you run into a thief coming out of a gun store with guns, you can reasonably be expected to conclude he’s an imminent threat to life and limb.

  • Foxfier,
    I hope you are correct but if the bag were closed and like many burglars (for sentencing reasons) he carried no loaded weapon himself outside the bag, I wouldn’t bet on the outcome in court if the owner fractured the guy’s skull with a gun butt.
    On your topic of the police, there have been cases of home invaders announcing themselves as police. Awful dilemna….whether you have a gun or do not. What do you do outside Indiana? Amazon sells great adjustable door braces (knob to floor white metal pipes with rubber ends) that you place in position in a second.
    Very good for big city life.

  • If more Gentlemen and good willed citizens owned guns Criminals would think twice more often and people would not have to wait ten minutes for cops to arrive to arrest a man who left eight minutes before, The problem of Mexican drug smugglers killing ranchers in the Southwest would not happen as often because criminals get guns whether it is legal or not, your average Joe on the other hand tends to obey the law.

  • Bill whether someone is a cop or not it is still wrong for them to kill someone innocent.

  • Atleast in Newark Delaware a lot of cops act like totalitarians I know a story about a young girl who was taken to the Police station because she was looking for a balloon for her birthday with her friends in the middle of the day and the way the cop got her to go to the station was by threatening to send her parents to Jail. All because people are so freaked out about security when no one was doing any harm to them except the po po pig that took her away to the station on her birthday.

  • The common law rule was very simple and straightforward. A householder could use force against an unlawful intruder, but he acted at his peril: if the entry was authorised, then killing the officer was murder.

    Just as the entry was either lawful or unlawful, so was the killing. As far as justification went, the householder’s state of mind was immaterial. The fact that the householder believed the entry was lawful, when, in fact, it was not, would not turn him into a criminal for killing the officer. Likewise, his belief that it was unlawful, when it was not, was no defence.

    This meant that no enquiry as to his state of mind was necessary at the trial. The test was purely objective, which makes for simplicity and certainty.

  • Michael, I think you have it backwards, but you’re right– up to that court decision, the common law was perfectly fine.

  • I am not sure why a guy who you don’t know, probably doesn’t live in your neighborhood, and makes a living sending people to jail somehow is the exception to the rule of people not being allowed to barge into your house. I think neighborhood guards who are local and morally upright are more trustworthy than a lot of police officers.

  • I find it odd for police officers to be surprised when someone their putting in shackles fights back, I think something which Christ tells to Peter is “Those who live by the sword die by the sword” one of the things that means is that if you punch someone or spray mace at their eyes don’t be surprised to get a hay maker in the jaw.

6 Responses to Coincidence, Timely, or A Hint?

  • I like the Fulton Sheen quote very much.

  • “Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons.” Bishop Fulton Sheen. The U.S. Supreme Court tolerated Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the atheist, but the Court also tolerated the atheist’s principles, imposing a mortal human being over the infinite Supreme Sovereign Being. O’Hair was murdered, proving that she was mortal. We now have a government that has no destiny, no principles and no tolerance of the human person.

  • America’s government and ruining elites not only tolerate it, they greatly reward bad behavior.

    Love (by acting to admonish, counsel, instruct) the sinner. Hate sin like the devil hates Holy Water. With apologies to St. Augustine.

  • ““Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons.” Bishop Fulton Sheen. The U.S. Supreme Court tolerated Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the atheist, but the Court also tolerated the atheist’s principles, imposing a mortal human being over the infinite Supreme Sovereign Being.” The U.S. Supreme Court did not tolerate our founding principles, the eternal truths inscribed in our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, making its decision un-American, a violation of all human, unalienable civil rights and inhuman.
    The American people struggle under the burden of government tolerated evil principles, anti-human principles of abortion, gay-marriage, euthanasia, and the burden of taxation without representation to support an agenda of principles foreign to our founding principles and the will of the people.

  • Bishop Sheen, my all-time favorite Catholic cleric. Imagine what a fighter for the Church he would be today, but probably couldn’t get a TV sponsor except for EWTN.

  • My dear husband enjoys it when I play Sheen’s stuff on youtube, too. Rather impressive, seeing as how most religious stuff gives him hives…. (Very rational fellow.)

The Mother Thing

Sunday, May 13, AD 2012

This is going to meander.  It’s more of a thinking-out-loud type post than really having a specific point.  Can I call it a meditation?

So I got married.  And suddenly, like the boy thing had hit, the motherhood-thing hit.  I wanted children.

In retrospect this is vaguely puzzling.  Look, guys, I was always awkward around babies, vaguely puzzled by toddlers and often outright scared of school age mons– er… children.  So why the heck did I want kids?  Who knows?  Perhaps biological imperative.  Perhaps insanity.  I wanted eleven children.

I’ve had a mania for reading According To Hoyt for the last week or two—goodness, it’s almost like reading Chaos Manor or TOF’s Place, but more feminine in a way I can’t quite put a finger on but find highly appealing (my kind of gals!) and with WAY more folks commenting—and there are a lot of things that I have a very easy time relating to.  Not a sensation I’m accustomed to. ^.^

I’ve always understood that kids are Important, especially babies, and they need special protection—but that doesn’t mean I’m a fan of cuddling or entertaining them.  Everything you do is Important, and I didn’t know what to do, so I saw no reason to volunteer to screw up.  At the same time, I always knew I wanted a true mate and children, and knew that these weren’t contradictions; my mom was NOT the baby crazy member of her family.  Both she and my dad were thought to be “confirmed bachelors” when they met and married, ended up having the second-most kids of any of their siblings.

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2 Responses to The Mother Thing

  • “I really do appreciate the folks who respond to my trying to ride herd on the Princess by telling me that it’s not required, but I’m generally not trying to control her for them—I’m trying to control her because the teachers I respect the most have informed me that good manners get you further than a good education. ”

    My late mother, and how much I miss her and Dad, had fiery red hair, pure Irish blood and temper and charm to match. A rare day did not go by for me without a slap and a hug from her, when we weren’t busy laughing at each others’ jokes and sallies. Back in 1967 my maternal grandmother Alice, a formidable lady just like my Mom, called my Mom a savage after she saw my mother slap me. My Mom responded that if she did not slap me I would be the one growing up to be a savage. I suspect she was correct.

  • Sounds like we have highly similar families– even to the point of having a formidable grandmother much like the mother named Alice.

    when we weren’t busy laughing at each others jokes and sallies

    Reminds me of when I first realized I was a Real Grown Up. My mom was having internet problems while I was back on leave; from Japan, so I must’ve been in my twenties. I couldn’t fix anything, so there was a repair guy setting up the smoke-signals. About fifteen minutes into us trading back and forth, he stuck his head out of the “office” and asked if we always put on a show like that. I can’t remember which of us said “oh, no. When nobody’s watching, we’re far worse.”

29 Responses to Aliens, Sex and Catholicism

  • Happens, with science fiction.

    Some people enjoy speculative fiction, some don’t.

  • Foxfire:
    My dad was a storyteller, every night to us, his children, dad made it up as he went along. Dad had The Pirates of the Carribean and Harry Potter beat. God rest his soul.

  • May there be more like him!

  • Foxfier, Foxfier, Foxfier. God love you

  • Somebody’s gotta.

    (….no, I can’t resist a straight line like that.)

  • I was going to post, “What a waste of my time!” Instead I”ll say ” It’s just not my cup of tea.”

  • Well, as a Trekkie I really enjoyed this. Science fiction was a childhood favorite of mine, and this was funny!

  • BTW, it was Larry Niven in his Ringworld series (which also I loved reading and re-reading) who coined the term Rishathra. I don’t think it was ever used on Star Trek. But Vulcan Ambassador Sarek did marry human Amanda Grayson who bore him the son Spock.

  • So, technically speaking, Sarek and Amanda were not interspecie, but intraspecie. One common definition of different species is that they cannot procreate. It therefore would not be Rishathra.

  • Interesting clarification, C. Matt. However, Humans and Vulcans are different species (e.g., the former having iron in its hemoglobin and the latter have copper) whereas Vulcans and Romulans are the same species, but different offshoots or races. So in the case of Human-Vulcan parings, inter-species is appropriate (with the possibility of viable off-spring), but in the case of Vulcan-Romulan, intra-species is likely the accepted term (with still viable off-spring). But I really don’t know. We may have to find a Vulcanologist to ask!

  • Star Trek always struck me as the pinnacle of Enlightenment atheism, which is very common in science fiction. As we understand more and more, we’ll credit fewer and fewer things to God, until religion will die out (according to the narrative). It didn’t make me flee from science fiction, but it did grow tiring.

  • Karl-
    generally a good choice! I figure 95% of EVERYTHING would be a waste of my time, but is at least enjoyable and harmless for others.

    Paul and c Matt-
    I have a LOT of fun with that, since we’ve got at least one cannon example of a quarter-Vulcanoid, and at least one half-Romulan that was made without reproductive “help.” (Random redshirt in TNG who lost his clearance for a Romulan grandfather and AU Tasha Yar’s daughter, the Romulan commander.)

    The really fun thing? ….Ever try to get someone to define “species”? The old definition was that they could make fertile offspring, with some quirks (similar to how we consider tomatoes a vegetable). More recently, the definition is more like “are a different genetic group that reliably makes offspring that look the same.” Which would be fine, but would classify different breeds of cow as different species without the unwritten rule of them being different “enough.”
    I didn’t realize how plastic the definition was until I found out about the arguments about wolves/dogs/coyotes. Turns out that “red wolves” are just mostly-coyote wolves, genetically, and the “coyotes” up north are mostly wolf….

    So part of the definition of “different species” might include “possibly fertile but don’t generally interbreed because of different mating practices or other difficulties.” (Like coyotes usually eating dogs.)

    Obviously, can’t use that for PEOPLE!

  • Pinky-
    I got tired of it, too, until I started playing mind-games– there are bits of religion all over the place, they’re just kind of smashed, and even though the series was designed to reject God, the demands of story keep slipping him back in there.
    (Such as all the half-aliens…. wow, I just realized that from TOS through Voy, every single series had a half alien main character, at least sort of; I thought DS9 didn’t, but Sisko’s mom was a human embodying a wormhole alien, so he counts.)

    So, my current theory? We only see StarFleet, the highly public stuff– the Church has gone underground. The Vulcan Pope is coming!

  • I always respected Babylon 5 for depicting religion. The creator of the show was an atheist, but he didn’t believe that the instinct toward religion would disappear.

  • Pinky is correct. I loved Babylon 5 especially for its respectful and realistic depiction of religion.

  • Pinky wrote:

    “Star Trek always struck me as the pinnacle of Enlightenment atheism, which is very common in science fiction. As we understand more and more, we’ll credit fewer and fewer things to God, until religion will die out (according to the narrative). It didn’t make me flee from science fiction, but it did grow tiring.”

    He’s 100% right. Capt Picard once told Q that humanity had outgrown its need for gods. That turned me right off.

    But the original Star Trek once had an episode in which the Enterprise visits a world where the Roman Empire never died, and only in its equivalent to the 20th century did news of the “Son” spread. When Enterprise people heard of this religion of the “Son”, they thought it was “Sun” worship (why the Romans weren’t speaking Latin but English isn’t explained because the difference between Filius Dei and Sol Dei is obvious to the ears). At the end, when Uhura explains everything, Kirk says that now the religion of peace and universal brotherhood will overthrow their Caesars. Ignored is the obvious Crucifixion – the Paschal Lamb slain to save sinners. It’s all about social justice and the common good. Typical and disappointing, but expected.

  • He’s 100% right. Capt Picard once told Q that humanity had outgrown its need for gods. That turned me right off.

    That sort of thing is what prodded me to think that religion was suppressed– there are a lot like it, but it’s all slogans without form. Kind of like how there’s “no money” in the future…officially. Went right out the window as soon as you got any distance from total Federation control.
    Kind of like how we’re going in politics these days, with any allusion to religion being scrubbed– even “AD”– with the actual form remaining. A new coat of paint doesn’t change much!

  • Foxfier – That’s a pretty dark interpretation of the Federation – an interstellar army that censors thought. It’s definitely not what the show’s writers had in mind, but it would make for good fanfiction.

  • “That’s a pretty dark interpretation of the Federation – an interstellar army that censors thought. It’s definitely not what the show’s writers had in mind…”

    But that’s essentially the upshot of Picard’s comment to Q that the people in the Federation had outgrown the concept of gods. If you believe in God, then you are old, outmoded, barbaric, uncivilized, etc. The same thing with money – the Federation has outgrown that – we all work for free, each receiving according to his need and giving according to his ability. I remember when Commander Riker explained that to the Ferengi who were the 23rd century outmoded capitalists that Picard derided as Yankee pirates.

    Wait! Didn’t someone say that about receiving according to need and giving according to ability in the 1800s? It’s all Marxism – er, dressed up, techno-fantasy liberalism – in the setting of Sci-Fi.

  • Pinky-
    Not so much censoring and promoting their own, pro-unity theories– it’s a voluntary club, after all. You can’t even apply as a planet unless you’ve got a one-world gov’t.

    I prefer to take an optimistic view and figure 1) it’s easy to travel, so those who disagree with Federation policy or mots world governments just leave, and 2) there are non-Federation planets, entire flotillas of ships, all the normal folks who keep stuff going. Anybody remember Mudd from the original series? Or Worf’s brother?

    Of course, it’s not much of a choice for the folks who are on a boarder with the folks that the Federation are fighting (poorly) with, but the Klingon Empire wouldn’t be very comfortable no matter who their neighbors were!

    Of course, joining the Federation can be pretty dangerous if you’re in the way of peace, as the Marquis figured out when their systems were traded over to Cardassian management. (Can you say “fascists”? They really have replaced religion with The State, and Garak is their roving preacher….)

    Like Paul touches on– it’s liberalism; Marxism that doesn’t actually require that people be forced to work to get stuff. Replicators set that up. It’s just for extra stuff, or things that are outside of The System, that people need credits/money/barter.
    It probably helps that DS9 was the first series I saw when I was old enough to really think about what stuff entailed, and they even had to deal with martial law on Earth. (for good reason, but still) The Federation’s interaction with the Russians–oops, I mean Romulans– especially reminded me of real world liberal reactions. /twee

    I accept only the vague notion of a lot of the Earth/Federation stuff from DS9 in part because some of it contradicts itself and some of it is just really bad writing, but the gist is there.

  • In my defense, I’m not thinking this stuff up on the fly, nor do I set for hours watching the show– I’ve been “working” on a fanfic about this for roughly a decade. It’s what I do when I’m doing something that requires attention but not thought. (biggest problem: I can’t make a story-arc to save my life, and when I do write scenes down it’s usually 90% dialog and some repetitive actions. My scene descriptions are best left unconsidered.)

  • Michael Eddington’s, a leader of the maquis, speech in which he presented a rather damning view of the Federation:

    “Why is the Federation so obsessed with the Maquis? We’ve never harmed you. And yet we’re constantly arrested and charged with terrorism. Starships chase us through the Badlands, and our supporters are harassed and ridiculed. Why? Because we’ve left the Federation, and that’s the one thing you can’t accept. Nobody leaves Paradise, everyone should want to be in the Federation! Hell, you even want the Cardassians to join. You’re only sending them replicators because one day, they can take their rightful place on the Federation Council. You know, in some ways, you’re even worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You’re more insidious, you assimilate people – and they don’t even know it.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRxPjJ8VlyE

    Gene Roddenberry was of course a liberal and he had the usual liberal view that Man could ultimately create a terrestrial paradise. Conservatives, and Christians, understand this is the sheerest hubris. For Roddenberry the Federation was perfect. Imperfection came from outside of the Federation. Once Roddenberry died Deep Space Nine and Voyager were able to explore storylines where the Federation was shown as less than perfect and filled with fallible humans.

  • Foxfier – No need to defend yourself. It’s interesting. I take it that you see the Federation as something like the Alliance on Firefly?

  • Michael Eddington’s speech could well apply to liberal America.

  • Actually, now you’ve got me thinking about it. Weren’t there earlier hints that the Federation liked power a bit too much, like maybe on TNG and the second movie, where they co-opted scientific discoveries?

  • Donald-
    thank you! I fried my speakers yesterday– the magic smoke came out while the girls and I were listening to the radio online and cleaning house– so I can’t really look up any videos for stuff, even if I had the patience to set and watch them. I’m going largely off of memory…although I suppose I could go get the wedding gift my in-laws gave us and actually LOOK at the DVDs!

    I spent a lot of time thinking about the Federation and Marquis when I was writing a character in a play-by-email sim, too– it was set on a Cardassian space station, post-Dominion War, and my character was a Cardassian. (Only ones I could work up a lot of sympathy for, too– former POW to the Federation, which is not a bad gig, especially if you’re injured.) Figuring out how to make the characters make sense as a young teen probably warped my thinking permanently.

    Pinky-
    usually, if I defend myself on that sort of thing, I feel a bit guilty about the amount of implied time and effort. Since I feel guilty about swatting a fly on up, I end up explaining a lot! Just assume I have a smile on my face. :^)

    As for Firefly, I haven’t really watched it as closely as Star Trek, but I see it as a good version of the Alliance as I understand it. Not perfect, any more than the Alliance was pure evil, but a sort of extrapolation of our gov’t if it was controlled by folks who thought the way that a lot of Fleeters talk. Much more into soft power, too, with a few individual exceptions for abuse of power.

    They do stuff For Your Own Good. That’s a thing that’s pretty easy to pervert.
    There was even that two-part episode where evil parisite aliens realized this and tried to take over… either SF or the Federation, can’t remember.

    One of the things that keeps the Federation as basically good guys is the way that they have a lot of rules that are way too broad to be good (You can’t mess with pre-contact civilizations.) where violations are ignored if you do the right thing. (Like when they saved a planet’s population from a supernova sun; pretty sure that was the second ep where Worf’s brother showed up.) Reminds me of the US military being responsible for refusing unlawful orders…when you do refuse an order, it’d dang well better be upheld.

    Sure, they have Bureaucratitus, but what system-spanning organization wouldn’t? It’s not like politics will die out.

    They just happen to have this little…twitch… where nothing related to religion is allowed out… a perfectly understandable extrapolation from the current drive to remove religion from the public square. And what’s more public than StarFleet?

A Real Job

Thursday, April 12, AD 2012

I’ve had it suggested that I write about motherhood a bit; be careful what you ask for.

 

….Yeah, I’m posting on that.  Some idiot talking head makes a slam at a grandmother with MS and everyone has to comment about it.  I think I have something worth saying, though, rather than just talking about it because it’s big.

 

I’m a stay at home mom.  A home-maker.  A house wife.

 

I have worked outside the home, before I got married, in a very similar field—I was a Petty Officer in the Navy, specializing in calibration. (Making sure things that measure are accurate enough.)  Before that, I was in another similar field, at least sort of—I was a ranch kid.

 

Perhaps some folks look at those things and are curious—what on earth is the connection between being a mother, working with cows and fixing stuff that’s used to fix planes and ships?

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11 Responses to A Real Job

  • My wife stayed home with the kids Foxfier until they were in highschool and now helps me out at the office while they are in school. (Our oldest is finishing up his sophmore year at the University of Illinois.) I have always thought that I work so that she can do the important work of the family in being the mom of our kids.

  • I have always thought that I work so that she can do the important work of the family in being the mom of our kids.

    Hey… maybe part of the problem is that “produce high quality adults” isn’t the main purpose of a family anymore? It’s about Husband and Wife, not Mom and Dad…. A sort of sister problem to the whole removing-reproduction-from-sex thing.

  • Donald: You have a blessed family.
    Foxfire: “It’s about Husband and Wife, not Mom and Dad…. A sort of sister problem to the whole removing-reproduction-from-sex thing.” The word “sex” is used to confound the difference between “love” and “lust”. Husband, wife, mom and dad are offices assumed through the exercise of free will, informed consent, and are vocations. Male and female refers to the human being’s gender. Man and woman are human beings composed of body and soul as created by God. To consider the sex of a person without considering the soul of a person is a crime. To place the wife and mom outside her vocation to which she has consented to in an act of free will is a violation of a person’s FREEDOM, a crime against who a wife and mom is as created by God. That Rosen presumes to know the heart of Ann Romney is plagiarism, jealousy. I just realized that the word jealousy ends in the word “lousy”. Rosen was being lousy. With family, husband, wife, children, one learns how to pray.

  • Found this:
    For thousands of years men were expected to provide for the household and women were expected to manage it. And in Memphis when I was growing up, most of the city commissions that actually ran the city were dominated by married women. There might be a figurehead man chairman, but everyone understood that the power rested with the commissioners, just about every one of them married, educated, and upper middle class. They had the time and interest to participate in self government. And of course most church committees and charitable functions were run by married women who had the time to participate in these associations. That’s not modern, of course. And surely we’re so much more civilized now and the children are so much more civilized since all that changed.

    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/jerrypournelle.c/chaosmanor/

  • There will be an extra bit of “oomph” in my intentions for you this Divine Mercy Sunday, FF.

    “The Mote In God’s Eye” is an all time classic, BTW.

  • This whole episode has made me so mad I just want to spit! I work full time and my husband stays home with the children. The very idea that staying with the children is not a ‘real job.’ The thought that my job is more important than raising children. How utterly insane the world has become. I can’t even put together a coherent thought.

    Foxfier, I like your phrase, sister problem. Well this attitude is a sister attitude to what I frequently find at work when having some child issue (like being tired after staying up all night with the baby). The attitude goes something like this, ‘It was your choice to have children, so it’s your own fault. If you don’t like being tired, you shouldn’t have had children.’ There is little empathy or perspective, just blame.

  • I stayed at home while my four kids were young. It was hard work, and we sacrificed the big house, the second car and many other luxuries for which I have no regret! I almost wanted to go back into the work force to get a little rest! But what I wanted even more was to be with and nurture my kids instead of daycaring them and barely affording the coverage. Lots of women in the mid to late 70?s and a little beyond still stayed home with their kids, as did all of the folks from my parents age group. “Stay at home Mom” should not now be a bad word. For those who can, God bless them- it is far better for your children! For those who cannot, God bless you as well; but please don’t be bitter and envious as some of these shrill women are.
    What is most stunning, is that the left consistently makes these ridiculously thoughtless and most often mean spirited statements, and never has to explain nor apologize for them!!!!

  • Foxfier—what is so important in your post is the recognition of the unity of the marriage, regardless of whether the mom works. We chose that my wife would “work” at the vocation of family friend, leader, spouse, mom, executive, etc. In so doing, probably like Don, I worked the heavy hours building a practice. There were many scary times along the way. I always find it interesting, as again in the judginess by the left, how a life dedicated to her family as with Mrs. Romney, a noble inspiring vocation, is viewed by polity in a snapshot rather than the video stream of what was, is and will be. It’s the same leftist view of the so called “rich.” The snapshot of what is now in an instant, not the life time of sacrifices, hard work, and purpose undertaken by many of the so called “rich” to achieve something for others.

    I can honestly remember growing up the normality of moms being home, and dads pouring themselves out to provide for the family. In post modernity, this is considered a defect. Strange times indeed.

  • I think Ms Rosen’s jab was a least in part motivated by class warfare– not only about whether or not working at home qualifies as “working”… some comments that I have read elsewhere are more about having the freedom to choose to stay home– which I know is always subject to what the values of the particular mom/dad are– some think they have to work when others would think they will cut back on their spending– but I do think class jealousy has something to do with the huge reaction.

  • You know as rich as Jackie Kennedy was, people were proud of her for having a job… the princesses of England are former schoolteachers etc– the class issue is at the bottom of it– the royal family of England knows it is important that the regular folks can identify with them

    Although lots of women don”t “have” to work they just like to get out of the house and use their other talents once in a while

  • Of course it was class warfare. Same as the old lie about only folks who are really well off can have a stay-at-home parent. Part of why there are so many programs to help pay for working mother’s daycare costs is because it usually doesn’t make economic sense otherwise; if you’re not willing to take handouts you don’t really need….

    While I was obviously not alive then, I get the impression that Mrs. Kennedy would have been lauded for anything she did. She was beautiful, fashionable, charming, married a handsome and charismatic hero that became president and died tragically and early. Any time they come up, my mom tends to point out that there were three pictures on the wall when she was a kid– Jesus, the Pope and JFK.

    Same way we’re supposed to be awed when the Obamas volunteer at a soup kitchen, but the Cheneys giving the majority of their income away is somehow bad; Sarah Palin running for office with kids at home is abandoning them, and Mrs. Romney having been a home-maker is a sign they’re spoiled, rich people.

    Don’t get me started on the “she had help” meme– I have no idea what their finances looked like when the boys were young, I doubt anyone spreading the meme has bothered to look into it, and I’d like to know what the heck daycare is if it’s not “help watching the kids.” Don’t see anyone discounting working mothers because someone else watches the kids part of the day….

The Pope in Cuba

Tuesday, March 27, AD 2012

Apparently, he’s staying busy.

SuburbanBanshee has two very good posts on the topic– the first has the great opening of “seldom have I enjoyed myself more watching a speech at an airport.”  The second one is on what he said at Mass, with the bonus of an honorary mention of the Swiss Guard Ninja Death Squad Elite.  (Which doesn’t exist.)

Have I mentioned lately that the fellow has guts?

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One Response to The Pope in Cuba

Sin is Poison

Tuesday, February 21, AD 2012

even when you didn’t do it.

 

A few minutes ago, I was dancing around with my two year old Princess, and the baby Duchess got herself into a corner again– she can’t turn or go in reverse, yet.  Princess, of course, wanted me to dance with her, so I said: “Princess, I can only handle one baby at a time!”

 

As soon as the words left my mouth, I thought of “selective reduction,” and the kids that won’t ever have a chance to play with mine.  I’ve never done anything like that, but it still poisoned my mood.  A silly, small example, but it’s interesting how having words to hold a concept can help you identify it, even when it’s tiny.

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4 Responses to Sin is Poison

  • Foxfier, you have good heart for your little girls. Wish I could say don’t worry, it’ll be OK, but this world is messy enough to bring on sadness right in the middle of good fun. Understanding and identifying the poison can’t hurt you, unless it comes out of your heart. I thought of Wed., 2/8 Gospel as maybe fitting this moment of yours. “Hear me , all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters on from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” from Mark 7:14-

  • Thank you, PM– the older I get, the more I appreciate why my folks wouldn’t talk about some things with us unless we started the conversation. (It turned out alright. Come to think of it, they seem to have followed the philosophy of your quote– if it was something they saw possibly sprouting from us, they started a conversation; if it wasn’t, they didn’t introduce it.)

  • PM: I was thinking about exactly that last night walking to the RR station.

    At moments when evil seems to be taking over, a short prayer may help.

    “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fire of Hell; take all souls to Heaven; and help especially those most in need of thy Mercy.”

  • “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fire of Hell; take all souls to Heaven; and help especially those most in need of thy Mercy.”

    Does anyone else read that and hear it in Mother Angelica’s voice?
    Hm; Mother Angelica’s TV and radio outreach– two bright spots, especially since they expanded on to the internet, and there are all the lovely blogs to help people find truth and hope. (Hopefully the Truth, as well.)