Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Here's a partial solution for L'affaire McAuliffe.

The Knights have a membership requirement mandating a year of formation:

Every candidate must attend the Day of Formation in Washington and over the following twelve months will be required to attend at least two of the Association's spiritual activities and participate as a volunteer at two of the Association's personal service projects.

Since it is almost certainly a fait accompli that he will become a member (btw, notice how much jack it takes to get in?), how about assigning him to work in a crisis pregnancy center? That, and a couple of mea culpas for screwing over Democrats for Life and his cavalier attitude toward life issues and we might be getting somewhere.
Everything went well.

There were no complications and no surprises. Heather is resting comfortably right now.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Just another day with the 1st Minnesota.

[Reference and picture here.]

Terry McAuliffe, former DNC Chair and unapologetic defender of partial birth abortion, is about to be honored for his selfless devotion to and efforts on behalf of the Catholic Faith by being admitted to the Knights of Malta.

Once again, those laboring in the trenches to uphold the Gospel are about to take a shiv between the shoulderblades. Once again, the unfaithful get front row seats while the laborers in the vineyard are told to shut up. This is of a piece with the detonation over the Buffalo Deacon's homily (poor, poor "Brian," whose remarkably base political whoredom is noted here) and the Archbishop of Washington's studied refusal to directly address life issues with any Catholics in public life. Yes, the Church's leaders preach one thing while coddling the opponents within her ranks.

Imagine a French Director's Cut of The Prodigal Son, where the younger son returns home to schtup hookers in Dad's bed, kill all of elder brother's livestock and announce that he's building a shrine to Ba'al in the family room. All the while Dad shakes his head sadly and counsels that "the only response is a good example." That's pretty well where we are.

And you know what? I'm not sure how much I care anymore. Sure, at one level I am outraged. But on another level, I'm thinking "What else is new?" I started lowering my standards concerning morally coherent Catholic leadership in 2002, and I haven't stopped since. And, you know what? I'm happy to report that they come closer to meeting my expectations every year. Bishop-proofed faith--the key to peace of mind.

Too cynical? Perhaps.

So try it this way: Generally speaking, our leaders preach the right thing, but almost never act on it. For whatever reason, they are cowed by the enemy.

And yet.

That does not make our cause, our Faith, any less just. We do not worship bishops, priests, deacons or their equally dismaying lay equivalents with advanced degrees and/or tenure (gloria in excelsis Deo). "Do not put your trust in princes" applies to Church leaders, too. All we can do is keep fighting. Yes, we'll pay the price because of the gross negligence, cowardice and, yes, sometimes even treacherous malice, of our leaders. We'll have to pay a steeper cost later because they couldn't do the right thing earlier. But such are the breaks. We have it on good authority that we are soldiers, but we are not guaranteed good generals. Fight anyway. It makes a difference to the Commander in Chief.

[Update: I found a link I was looking for. Want to know how in the bag for the abortion lobby he is? McAuliffe refused to let Democrats for Life have a link on the DNC website. Share and enjoy.]

Monday, January 29, 2007

In order to not brood about the January from Hell....

I'm going to distract myself with yet another post about That Centuries Dead Empire and Its Culture. If you want updates about our schedule for the week, check here.

Last September, I posted a recommended reading list on the topic. I can imagine some poring over the list and thinking to themselves "What the [insert favorite interjection]? He's gotta be high. As in Tester's coated 'shrooms. I'm not going to order 1000 page opii nor pay shipping costs charged by previously-unheard of publishers located in the Balkans. More importantly, I don't share the obsessive mental illness."

OK--fine. The following are offered suggestions for Byzantium on a budget.

1. Byzantium, by Philip Sherrard. Part of the Time-Life Great Ages of Man series, Sherrard covers the nuts and bolts in around 180 nicely-illustrated pages. Ideal for Jack Webb types. The one failing is that it offers an abbreviated view of the post-Fourth Crusade era, which is typical in shorter accounts.

While out of print, T-L churned out these volumes by the forest-load in the 60s, so they can be obtained dirt-cheap from the usual used bookstores, both brick-and-mortar and on the 'net. I'll even put in a plug for the entire GA0M, with the usual warning that such series invariably tend to be uneven in quality. In general, Time-Life books were pretty solid (we own five series, not all history) and, because of the quantity, remain very affordable.

2. For those who like their history visual, yes, Virginia, there is a DVD series: The Lost Empire by the Discovery Channel. Though it seems to go in and out of print, the DVD is currently "in." You can also find it in VHS from the usual 'net suspects. Narrated by John Romer, it is a four part series that was shown in 1996. Romer is a superb (and sympathetic) narrator, and does an unmatched job of giving the "flavor" for the imperium and its culture. You won't learn much about the emperors or great figures, but you will get an understanding of how Byzantium ticked. He also takes a look at less-well known areas such the Renaissance-like court at Mistra, in Greece, pointing out a little-known intellectual flowering that occurred even as the Empire receded toward extinction.

Warning regarding the DVD set: Discovery really didn't think much of this gem--there are no scene selections available, apart from being able to start at the beginning of the individual episodes. Instead, there are chapter breaks every ten minutes. Then again, you may not notice--it's that good.

3. Finally, I forgot the obvious geek source--Osprey Publishing. Sure, it's pure militaria, but that's not a deterrence for most (Angus McBride rules!). I can recommend the following: Byzantium at War, Romano-Byzantine Armies, Byzantine Armies 886-1118, and Byzantine Armies 1118-1461.

There you go--happy (and cheaper) hunting!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Thank you.

The pic with J-JB will go back up eventually. But yesterday was too early.

I thought I had my guard up, but I was wrong. The black dog found the weak spot in the armor, so to speak.

Thank you, though--everyone who has commented or written to us. The flood of good wishes is greatly appreciated and has helped. Overwhelming, but in a good way. Another thing that has helped is keeping busy--so, those who have written or are awaiting replies will get them.

I've stopped trying to make sense of it, to find a "meaning." But this has helped:

Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus wept.

He who knows the end is still grieved by the loss. That may be enough.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

As inexorable as continental drift.

More evidence that the chasm between conservative and progressive Catholics has grown unbridgeable. Savor the unintentional hilarity of most of the comments reacting to a nice post by Peter Nixon on the work of Sherry Weddell, whom the commenters unmask as a noted alienator, borderline practitioner of arrogant puffery and member of the Illuminati.

By the way, here are links to her blog and the Siena Institute. Both are worth your time.

A Thought Experiment.

[An interview with an American bishop, early 2008.]

"Frankly, it's simple," the bishop said, shaking his head.

"The fact is, we are engaged in a kind of spiritual triage here. There's no point wasting time and energy on the hopeless cases. And, bluntly, they are hopeless: Schwarzenegger, Pelosi, Giuliani, Kerry, and the host of those like them. We can talk to them till we're blue in the face but they'll never listen. So why bother even reaching out privately? We have better uses for the stamp money.

As to denying communion, come on. They'll find the star-struck, or malcontents like Drinan and the Paulist Center or, more sadly, not a few bishops willing to cozy up to them and give them aid, comfort or at least a photo op.

At some point, you have to cut your losses, write them off and focus your resources on those who can be saved. That's what we're doing."

My question is this: How is the mindset in the above hypothetical any different from what we are effectively seeing on the ground today?
Last Sunday's Galactica.

OK--need some help here from fellow BG heads, and I know there are a lot of you.

Specifically, guesses as to the veiled Cylon that Number 3 saw.

There was a clue--Number 3 apologizes to the one she speaks to. That suggests that it is one of the "humans" the Cylons have been trying to pursue to extinction.

My theory? It is Lee Adama.

Bear with me:

(1) Remember Leoben's claim to Roslin that "Adama is a Cylon."

(2) But...he note that he just said "Adama," leaving Roslin with the impression that it is the Admiral he's talking about. And Leoben is deliberately discursive and misleading, weaving the truth around deception.

(3) More evidence, from the miniseries: he takes the longest to recover from the pulse generator overload on Colonial One. Sure, he's the closest--but the distance difference is, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant.

(4) He is able to navigate without difficulty through the Cylon conveyor tunnel during the "Hand of God" battle at the tylium asteriod.

Any other theories?
While it would have been nice if you had called first...

Yesterday, the nearest and dearest called me and advised that this blog had received a printed plug in the National Catholic Register newspaper. Specifically, in Eric Scheske's blog column--in the Arts and Culture page, no less.

DM was listed as a recommendation in the "Wit Lit" category, which sounds suspiciously like "witless" when you say it fast, but no matter. Thanks, Eric!

So, to you newbies who are venturing here for the first time, welcome! We talk about all sorts of things here: religion (doy), family (that's me and my pistol-packing little brother right below), sci-fi/fantasy (the novels of S.M. Stirling and the new version of Battlestar Galactica being favorites), culture, law and even occasionally politics (but I'm pretty well burnt out on the last).

I also quote movies and make other pop culture references here. A whole lot. Even--especially--when it's tangental to the point.

As a result, I am at a near-complete loss to sum up the blog with an analogy or catchphrase. If you like your humor gentle, wry and observational, you'll run out of here screaming in about, say, five minutes. But if you can handle a two-star pub atmosphere with elbow jostling, dart throwing and the not-so-occasional flying barstool, you'll do just fine, mate.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Seventies.

A strange era during which otherwise sensible and loving parents dressed their helpless young children in the seat covers of VW microbuses.

Friday, January 19, 2007

And in other news--sport.

Bill Simmons has a worthwhile column about how sports saturation has changed fandom, and not for the better. He looks at it in light of the slow change of the New England Patriots into a "villain" team everyone roots against. In a more objective era, people would applaud the Patriots as a team of good citizens that does it the right way. But not now. Now, it's a constant game of King of the Mountain, and the King must fall. It's not the way it should be.

Go Pats!
I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal...and brawn. That's what kind of man I am. You're just a woman with a small brain. With a brain a third the size of us. It's science.

The New York Times revealed on January 17 that, for the first time ever (supposedly), most American women are single. Written by a gent named Sam Roberts with the assistance of three ladies, as the Sage of Minnesota noted in his amusing commentary.

It's a junk article, printed Versed for anxious blue state single gals tiring of watching their Sex And The City DVDs.

Part of the evidence is buried 2/3 of the way in the article:

Among the more than 117 million women over the age of 15, according to the marital status category in the Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey, 63 million are married. Of those, 3.1 million are legally separated and 2.4 million said their husbands were not living at home for one reason or another.

OVER THE AGE OF 15? Nothing quite like fiddling with the stats until you get them to back your advocacy. Oh, but it gets better--it also includes widows and military wives whose husbands are deployed overseas. [Scroll down--Kathy's permalinks may be twitchy.]

Of course, the sad thing is that it doesn't matter that the claim is wholly bogus. It ceased to matter the moment it entered print. Now that it has been emitted into the cultural smog, "everybody knows" that the majority of American women are living without a husband. Just another sign of the times. No matter how phony it is.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ultrasound is at 11:30am today.

We should know more soon.

Update: Ambiguous-to-good news. The ultrasound revealed some development, namely the appearance of a yolk sac, which was absent during the ER ultrasound. The technician couldn't draw a bead on a baby, but that didn't seem to surprise her. According to her, that put development at the 5 weeks, 5 days stage, not the seven and a half weeks we assumed it was.

The ambiguity remains, though--the slow hormone increase, the heavier-than-normal bleeding and other bad signs earlier on, and our calculation of 7.5 weeks. Our ob/gyn could have offered more insight, but she was not there today as her children are sick and she's come down ill herself.

So, the upshot is that we have more hope--and more reason for it--than we have had for a few weeks, but I'm keeping my guard up.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The hands on the wheel.

Via Insight Scoop, a revealing essay at Commonweal by a practitioner of interfaith dialogue expressing his frustration with "brusque" Benedict. Timely, as the rhetorical cricket bat had started to collect dust.

Holy Lord, it's a trainwreck, in all its fascinating, jack-knifed, twisted metal glory. Bullet-pointing:

I. Its touchstone is the Regensburg address, but the critic (Fr. Francis Clooney) specializes in Hinduism. Under the circumstances, it would have been nice had the magazine come up with a Catholic expert on Islam. Throughout, one gets the distinct impression of a baker offering advice on plumbing problems. It also results in the essay having some serious structural weaknesses, as will be noted below.

II. Though the year is yet young, the following is a certain medalist in the Silliest Catholic Quote of 2007 competition [emphasis added]:

While few sensible Christians would be so brusque today, the question of the meaning of Islam for Christians is still with us, particularly if (by tradition, habit, or conviction) many Christian leaders avoid speaking of the Qur’an as revelation or of Mohammed as a true prophet.


Despite a yeoman's effort to infuse the passage with tuchus-covering ambiguity, the bolded section is still a humdinger, as we Michigan fundies are wont to say. Rub your eyes all you want, but it's still there--he's tsk-tsking at Christians who refuse to speak of the Muslim holy book as "revelation" and Muhammad as "a true prophet."

That's because (1) it's not and (2) he isn't. For "Christians" to believe otherwise is to worship a god who at his best meanders pointlessly like Grandpa Simpson and at his worst gibbers like a patient suffering from end-stage dementia. There's no sane way to harmonize the make-or-break claims of each religion. As an aside: Not that that daunts the dominant fruitbat wing of Piskiedom.

III. Somewhat nitnoid, but perhaps not, given that it provides insight into his arguments: Manuel II Paleologus lived from 1350-1425, not 1234-84 as Fr. Clooney claims. This reveals considerable ignorance about the historical background of the life and times of the Emperor and his writings, and a complete lack of awareness concerning the relentless Muslim Turkish war machine he battled against his entire adult life. These facts shed essential light on Manuel's "brusqueness."

Manuel II: "Devshirme--it's bad for children and other living things."

IV. Perhaps my favorite section, a public service announcement for the Canaanite Anti-Defamation League:

As for style, Benedict has tended to brusqueness not only in the older documents mentioned above but even as pope. In his justly praised 2005 encyclical, Deus caritas est, he is rather sweeping in his characterization of pagan religions, offering his criticisms without any helpful footnotes. While explaining Christian eros, he proposes “a rapid overview of the concept of eros past and present,” summarizing and, to some extent, depreciating the Greek view of eros, a judgment supported by several phrases from Virgil’s complex Tenth Eclogue: “Omnia vincit amor” (love conquers all) and “et nos cedamus amori” (let us, too, yield to love). Greek and Roman ideas about eros appear merely a foil to the excellence of the more complete Christian understanding. But Benedict then makes an even harsher judgment on “the pre-Christian world,” possibly meaning the ancient Near East. “The religions,” he tells us, are guilty of a “‘sacred’ prostitution” wherein eros is “celebrated as divine power, as fellowship with the divine nature.” The pagan reverence for goddesses is a cover for sexual excess, and their so-called ecstasies are nothing but “the degradation of man.” Providentially, the biblical tradition is implacably against such tendencies: the “Old Testament firmly opposed this form of religion, which represents a powerful temptation against monotheistic faith, combating it as a perversion of religiosity.” With remarkable candor, Benedict describes the Old Testament as taking up arms against pagan views when it “declared war on a warped and destructive form of [eros], because this counterfeit divinization of eros actually strips it of its dignity and dehumanizes it.”

Experts on Canaanite and neighboring religions are nowadays considerably more circumspect in judging religions about which our knowledge is only very fragmentary. The Hebrew Bible does indeed speak harshly of those religions, but the prophetic polemic behind such condemnations is an insufficient basis for any fair and full understanding of ancient religions, their practices, and their attitudes toward gender. While Benedict is making a truly positive and valuable point about Christian eros, was it really necessary to judge the old religions (and perhaps their modern counterparts) so harshly?

You'd have to have a heart of granite not to laugh at that one--Sympathy for the Ba'al. Hoo, boy.

Additionally, there is a surface contradiction in its view of what revelation is--the Koran is to be regarded as inspired, but "the Hebrew Bible" has to be discounted because it's too polemical. But it is consistent, when you think about it--if your view of revelation is that the Muslim scriptures can be worked into the mix, you don't exactly have a high view of the concept from the get-go. At this point, you might as well toss in Alice Toklas' brownie recipe. Why not? You'll sure get a "transformational" feeling. Not to mention the munchies, but there's always a price to pay for enlightenment.

Back to the point: Yes, I suppose it's remotely possible that those who followed the Canaanite gods were communal egalitarian pacifist vegetarians who lived in harmony with nature. But I think I'll skip the screening of Dances With Dagon when it comes out.

Now to the useful bit:

Yet how this prayerful dialogue is to occur is not clear if we reflect on it in light of the sharper positions enunciated in Dominus Iesus. That 2000 CDF declaration argued for the centrality of Christ and his salvific action, interpreted in integral relationship to the full set of church teachings on God, salvation, faith, ritual, and the role of the church itself. While defending a place for ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, Dominus Iesus insists that no element of the integral Christian faith can be sacrificed merely in order to treat religions as equal.

* * *

Nor are our hopes raised when Dominus Iesus offers stark ground rules for dialogue: “Equality, which is a presupposition of interreligious dialogue, refers to the equal personal dignity of the parties in dialogue, not to doctrinal content, nor even less to the position of Jesus Christ-who is God himself made man-in relation to the founders of the other religions.”
Similarly, in the twentieth-anniversary Assisi document cited above, Benedict approvingly cites John Paul II’s strictures: “The fact that we have come here,” John Paul said, “does not imply any intention of seeking a religious consensus among ourselves or of negotiating our faith convictions. Neither does it mean that religions can be reconciled at the level of a common commitment in an earthly project which would surpass them all. Nor is it a concession to relativism in religious beliefs.” Benedict affirms this to be the mode of dialogue intended by
Nostra aetate: dialogue is sincere and positive, but it is not seeking consensus, not negotiating our core convictions, not believing that religions can be reconciled for some larger human goal, and not a concession to relativism. The truly positive statements Benedict makes about dialogue simply cannot be read without also recalling these stern assertions about the founders, beliefs, prayers, and rituals of other religions, and stern judgments about dialogue as good people, even good Catholics, attempt it in a less than perfect world.

Just so. The fact that some who are engaged in the field of interreligious discussions feel themselves in "a bind" when faced with the Church's limits reflects a skewed set of priorities. The prime mission of the Church is not dialogue, but evangelization, the preaching of Christ to the whole world, in season or out. Any dialogue has to recognize and be governed by the strictures of the Gospel and the Church's mission, not the other way around. Given the minimal (not to mention offhand and vague) references to evangelism in the essay (you have to look hard and with a generous eye), one could easily and understandably come to the conclusion that Fr. Clooney regards the evangelizing imperative as an embarrassing impediment to the really important stuff--namely, what he does. Which is why I found the essay to be strangely comforting--the frustration with the limits means that the man in the wheelhouse is an alert one.

Finally, a dose of irony. Namely, that brusqueness gets results--a group of esteemed Muslim scholars responded to the Regensburg address with a measured essay of their own. Oddly, this development merits no mention in the Commonweal article.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Why King Matters.

[Poster link here.]

I'll repeat what I said last August:

His leadership and example ensured that America's struggle over racial issues would be fought with paper, not bullets. In most times and places, it hasn't worked out that way.

He appealed to the better angels of our nature, and forced the country to see the gruesome gap between our national ideals and the brutal segregated reality. Thanks to him, we are closer to (if still a ways away from) a color-blind society. My children live in a better world thanks to him. A national holiday is the least we can do to honor his legacy.

The "I Have A Dream" speech, text and video, can be found here. His final oration, delivered one day before his assassination and often referred to as the Mountaintop speech, can be found here.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Thank you.

Since an ice storm is supposed to be clobbering southeastern Michigan overnight, blogging may be difficult. So, with that in mind, thanks for the kind words and prayers, both here and over at the DBR. He still works miracles, I have to remind myself. Knowing that there's some heavy intercession going on (not least from our youngest, who has punctuated our dinner prayer with "keep the baby safe") helps.

And, since I have a bad, bad tendency to brood, I think it's essential to try to lighten up, too, so here's my first YouTube embed, a Monty Python classic:

Thanks again--from all of us.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Almost certainly bad, of course. We've been worried for the better part of a month now, and we've been hoping for the best. Perhaps--all too likely?-- in vain.

Posting here will be light and/or raging at the world.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My God, it's full of stars!

I think the pain meds are a bit on the strong side.

The giant talking mango with the bowler and corncob pipe who's taken up residence in the pantry seems inclined to agree with me. At least when he's not arguing about economics with the Pillsbury Dough Boy (the frigging Marxist).

So, how's your day?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Oh, and before I forget...

Go over to congratulate EvilSteve on the birth of his son.
From our "Death Rattle of Western Civilization" files.

The ever-sensible Charlotte Allen gets a podium at the L.A. Times to expose several senseless courses offered at institutions of "higher education" [sic].

Yes, Virginia, there is a Phallus Class:

No, it's not a biology course. It's a survey, offered by Oxy's [Occidental College] department of critical theory and social justice, of "feminist and queer takings-on of the phallus." Topics include "the relation between the phallus and the penis, the meaning of the phallus, phallologocentrism, the lesbian phallus, the Jewish phallus, the Latino phallus, and the relation of the phallus and fetishism."

The "lesbian phallus," eh? Presumably involves Duracells.

With that, I will sink into my painkiller-dulled haze and bid you a woozy adieu.
The definition of "irony."

That would be "an attorney having a slip and fall injury."

I planted my left knee quite nicely into some frozen Detroit asphalt after slipping on the only frozen surface in the entire parking lot. 2007 just keeps looking up.

Heather had enough of my wincing and sent me packing to the emergency room. X-rays negative, just a "deep bruise."

I'll be in the bunker with the ice pack, canned goods, Kevlar and Vicodin if anyone needs me.
The Accurate Pro multis Translation: Aggravating all the right people.

Bishop Trautman, bulwark against things Traditional, has issued another call to arms. Anyone else reminded how alpha-male baboons deal with challengers? So much to fisk, so little time.

So I'll just jump on this little nugget:

“That change easily could be misinterpreted as denying the faith of the Roman Catholic Church that Christ died for all people,” the press release quoted Trautman as saying.

Translation: the Ordinary of Erie thinks you are a USCCB-Certified, Grade-A idiot. And by "you," I am saying those in Holy Orders as well as lay people. He's assuming (1) pastors are faced with a theological conundrum equivalent to reciting from memory the canons of the Council of Nicaea, (2) said pastors are absolutely incapable of giving a three-sentence (maximum) explanation of the change, and that us dunsels in the pews are (3) lowing cattle mentally incapable of putting the round peg in the round hole and (4) are such delicate hothouse flowers we are sure to sprint from our parishes in tears upon hearing the change from "all" to "many."

We hear over and over that we are the "most-educated laity in the history of the Church." We have lay pastoral education initiatives out the wazoo. Adult education programs are a priority of the Church in America. But we simply can't get this one. Right. I mean, just imagine the spontaneous combustions that will occur when us poor dears read that the Lord uses "for many" in the Last Supper narratives in Matthew and Mark.

Sounds like someone's condescending ox is getting gored.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Curious about the doings of Der Tommissar?

Then go to the Express lane to read his confession to the near-decapitation of an Oklahoma Benedictine.

Helpful unsolicited backwoods advice: stick to what you know--like squeezing Cheez-whiz on "steak" sandwiches and screaming obscenities at non-Eagles fans.
Yes, what what.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
His Highness Dale the Pertinacious of Lower Wombleshire
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

You stout yeomen and other assorted peons are also free to address me as:

Reverend Earl Dale the Unusual of Bumswick by the Hole


Grand Duke Dale the Waspish of Lower Bumhampton

Hat tip to Mark Sullivan for the find.

Oh, wait--it's Jennifer Granholm.

Never mind.

[BTW, unless you've heard Bland Jen speak, you don't understand how hilarious the thunderous Biblical comparisons are. Let me put it this way: it's more than a little like heralding Mr. Whipple with Psalm 45.]

UPDATE: Oh, and please note that the Guv was actually anointed by the assembled reverendi. For those of you not in the know, the Hebrew word for anointed is "messiah." In Greek, it's "christos." Imagine the collective aneurysm if Jim Dobson and Fr. Neuhaus smeared a little sacred oil on Dubya's forehead. The assembled media horror chorus would sound like a 24/7 "This Is a Test of the Emergency Broadcast System" network.

Remember: "It's not a double standard if I'm doing it."
I'm pretty damn tired of seeing good people buried this year.

Two funerals in two days. The first for Christina, and the second (today) for Viola Elizabeth Murphy, the remarkable mother of the remarkable entrepreneur quoted here. I am proud to say I know the Murphys, and in one of the truly great moments of my legal career, I represented Nikole in a lawsuit. A retired schoolteacher, Viola was a thoroughly kind and decent woman who let my kids get away with lesser felonies when she saw them. Prayers for the Murphy family are welcome indeed.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Nativity Scene Theatre.

Rachel has taken to our Nativity Scene like an ant to a honeypot. Since there is no way to keep it out of her reach, and she doesn't play rough with it or move the figures from the general area, we have decided not to stop her.

This morning the littlest playwright set up a very interesting scene involving the angels and the Holy Family:

Angels: "Can we hold the baby? We're angels!"

Mary: [Jumping up indignantly and moving the baby away] "NO!"

I suppose it works--Our Lady is the Queen of Angels, too.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Christina Denwiddie, 1972-2007.

Christina, dear friend of our family and infrequent commenter at this blog, died this morning from a relapse of cancer. We learned she was going into hospice care last evening (Tony and Christina tried to avoid "burdening" people with bad news), but she never made it home. She had remained cheerful when we spoke and visited with her, but she never really healed from the surgery. She was readmitted to the hospital on Christmas Eve. She never left.

She was a twice-published author of fantasy short stories (under her maiden name of Krueger), a great story teller, and always filled with laughter. Her favorite trilogy was the Dies The Fire series, and I am happy to report she was able to finish A Meeting At Corvallis before she passed. The kids knew her as "Aunt Christina," and rightfully so. If we have another girl, she will bear the name Christina.

I can come up with a long list of people whom the Almighty could have taken before her, but He mysteriously took this great soul to Himself first.

Remember her and her bereaved husband Tony in your prayers today.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Prayers appreciated.

I'm not particularly interested in going into specifics--learn/remember the Rule--but prayers for Heather and the family would be much appreciated right now.
Over troubled waters.

Driving across the Mackinac Bridge during a "high wind warning" is doubleplus unfun. Yes, I know--only two vehicles have gone off the bridge in nearly fifty years, one a Yugo and the other probably a suicide, but hearing the wind whoosh under your vehicle while you spy the choppy surf of the Straits 150 feet below makes for some serious white-knuckling.

Make no mistake, though--she is a beauty (this is about what conditions were like yesterday, albeit considerably windier).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Just got back.

As in "an hour ago." As I type this, it is 10:05pm Eastern.

Long but basically good weekend with my brother and his family in Sault Ste. Marie. Love the Upper Peninsula--too bad I can't make a living there.

Watched the Bowl, am disappointed but hardly crushed. There are things more important in life than college athletics. Most things, in fact.

Anyway, glad to see 2006 dead and buried, and will update soon. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

The Synodage of Satan.

The Catholic Church announces that it is discontinuing support of its previous OS.  I mean, TC and the Coddling of the Krauts makes that cl...