Much more on a range of interesting subjects.In an evil move that must concern freespeechers, privacy activists, and anybody who doesn’t like powerful software & websites all up in their bizniss, Google is going to mind your online activities via their sites, and you have no privacy-opt-out choice. GoogleCorp had already slid this modus operandi under the radar with their popular Chrome Browser, assinging individual IDs to users, and recording their online activity. Now, the Google search-engine, Youtube, GMail, AdWords, and the many-tentacled mass of other Google products and sites will all be collecting data on you, personally. Via ComputerWorld:“What has the blogosphere and some users in an uproar is that Google isn’t offering users an opt-out option. If you don’t want your information from Gmail, YouTube and Google searches combined into one personal data store that can paint a detailed picture of you, the only option is to stop using Google’s services.”It all starts March 1st.
Already EvillingGoogleCorp is a corporation with inappropriate & cosy ties to the radical Obama administration; it has in the past helped with the Great Firewall of China (blocking traffic & content into & out of China); Google Earth data-catching was sweeping up passwords, private info, and illegal content; Google Corp has also been fined $500 million by the U.S. Government for criminal activity connected with the online drug market. That is, despite the founders’ motto “Don’t Be Evil”, the temptations of money, political power, and collaboration with repressive regimes has been a sweet, sweet opportunity for evil.Now, it’s ‘No Opt Out’. Well, if you want to use their products, that is. All freedom-loving Netizens should respond by refusing to use Google (except via anonymizer websites like Scroogle), cancel Gmail (I’m moving over to Yahoo), use SRWare’s spyware-free Chrome-copy Iron browser instead of Chrome (yes, it supports Angry Birds), use Bing or any other engine for searches, and off-dump any browser or desktop-intrusive Google products for free substitutes available everywhere online. And yes, the snooping also includes the new Google+.
But Binky!, You Say“But Binky,” you say, “you’re an international elf of mystery– we’re just using FaceBook and GMail and sending e-mails and browsing Amazon and eBay and kitten-picture sites. What’s the big?”The big? One company not only wants to be your gateway to the web, but install itself all over your computer– and watch you.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
And whatever is resolved, an advisor to the Catholic Church said, must re-affirm historic treaties signed between the two.
It is about recognizing the sacred importance of covenants, said Gerry Kelly at the one-day gathering held in Ottawa Jan. 24. Kelly is the former director of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ secretariat on aboriginal affairs and now advises Catholic entities regarding the Indian Residential Schools legacy.
“Our whole understanding of our relationship with God is understood scripturally in terms of covenants,” said Kelly. “We understand what it means. A covenant is sacred. We can’t hold that position and not recognize the covenant relationship established by treaties. It is timeless and it is binding.”
The rest at The Catholic Register
Laurel Broten is insisting that Catholic schools permit single-issue clubs such as gay-straight alliances despite the OCSTA’s outright rejection of such groups in a long-awaited document titled Respecting Differences.
Released Jan. 25, Respecting Difference affirms the Catholic identity of Catholic schools by stating that all clubs and activities must be “respectful of and consistent with Catholic teaching.” The document follows the Accepting Schools Act introduced last November by the minority Liberal government of Dalton McGuinty that would require all schools to accommodate gay-straight alliances or similar clubs under a different name.
“I do feel very confident that Catholic boards will be able to operationalize the expectations we have set out consistent with Catholic education. We all have a responsibility to make sure all of our students and in this circumstance, we’re talking about our gay and lesbian students, or our students who come from families with two moms and two dads. It’s important every one of those students be accepted and welcomed in our schools.”
Broten agreed with the OCSTA document’s goals to combat bullying and said it contains “some very wonderful language.” But Broten said her policy is outlined in her anti-bullying Bill 13, introduced last November, a bill the Catholic Civil Rights League, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada and other groups said threatens religious freedom and denominational rights.
More at The Catholic Register
Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Pope+peace+doves+slow+taste+freedom/6069248/story.html#ixzz1ktvrU4qE
A white dove, who looked like Central Casting had selected him to play the Holy Spirt in a Hollywood movie, landed in my garden many years ago and stuck around. He arrived in the summer when the impatiens were blooming and he would strut around, chest all puffed out, among the flowers. He loved unpopped popcorn and would eat out of my hand. When I would return home from work, he would land on the door of my car as I opened it, wings backlit, gorgeous, as I grabbed my gym bag to come in. He would be quite demanding though, insisting I feed him.
Winter came, and Dave---that's what my son named him---was still holding his vigil on the garage roof. I just loved this bird. He had so much personality and you could see his bird brain working---if he spied the jar that had popcorn in it, he would prefer to eat from that than from my hand, as as soon as his head was inside the jar, and he didn't see me, well, I wasn't there. Smart!
And he left credentials the size of quarters on the sidewalk and all over the garage roof, and that didn't make my husband happy. One day he caught him in his hands and asked me if I wanted to keep him, and if so, I should cage him, because he was not going to put up with the offal all over the place. Otherwise he threatened to put him in a pot and cook him!
So, I found a family that would be willing to take Dave, feed him, keep him in their backyard. I drove him over to another part of Kanata, and left him.
Then a couple of days later I got a phone call. Dave had escaped. He had squeezed around someone's hand while his water and food was being attended to. Oh well. But then, a day or two after that, I heard cooing. I saw little pigeon prints in the snow. And there he was! Dave came home!
If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you . . . .you know the cliche.
I tried again, tricking him with popcorn to get back in the cage. But he escaped again and came home. So the family gave up.
I brought him to the Wild Bird Care outfit and they found a home for him. I brought him there and he got out of his cage and perched on the back of an office chair. People walked by and Dave, cool as he was, just edged over a bit, otherwise unfazed. Such an awesome bird.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Found myself singing this in the car last night.
And trying to remember this one
Friday, January 27, 2012
Sin, Salvation, the End of Man
Thursday, January 26, 2012
What happens when the local, state, or national bills can’t be paid? When the prices keep going up, wages down, and the unemployed or debt-laden employed can’t pay the bills, or feed themselves & the kids? As the still-deferred reckoning of the 2006-2008 financial collapse continues to unfold?
We’re living on borrowed time– the ship has hit the rocks, and water is pouring in, and the officers are playing about as if it’s all just fine, no worries, go back to your cabins and wait for instructions type thing. The captain & officers will mostly save their own hides, so they’re not overly concerned about the expendable passengers.
It is often said that nobody knows how they might act in an emergency. Only partly true, in my experience. If you’re a douchbag/ette, you may surprise yourself with unsuspected resources of courage and suchlike in a disaster.. but you’ve also left it up to luck, maybe, who knows.
The time to prepare for an emergency is before the emergency– just as the way to deal with temptation is to practice virtue and stick to your promises with God’s help before the particular juicy opportunity saunters by. Thinking about what you’d sacrifice– or lay down your life for– best happens ahead of time, not while you find yourself kicking everyone out of the way to save your all-precious ass.. if not your self-respect or basic humanity.
Jeez: Move It, Granny!
Suddenly, we find ourselves pushed back on basics of self & civilization. A cornerstone: unselfish love. The Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” [ Luke 6:31 ] How about John 15:13 – “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.“
.. Or a weaker person, or a pregnant mother, a child, a granny, an elderly person, your spouse or child, a stranger needing saving. The passengers on the Costa Concordia (Or “Peaceful Coast”) found out what happens when civilization loses faith, and when “self and individuality and did I mention my all-awesome self?” is all I really believe in. Some charitable souls have tried to explain the recent disaster by pointing at Italians. As Steyn points out, nice try, but MV Estonia in the Baltic saw the same damned ugly scenes, of panicky men clambering over the weak, and not using their strength to save others.
Kathy Shaidle has often said, in the context of mass shootings such as the Montreal Massacre, that if you comfort yourself by saying, one never knows what one would do in that situation, "you make cowardice the default position."
So I think her principle can be expanded to these Costa Concordia situations----so that this kind of disgraceful scrambling is not the default position.
Such accounts may be exaggerations, but they should warn us that yearly progress is never assured. Instead, history offers plenty of examples of life becoming far worse than it had been centuries earlier. The biographer Plutarch, writing 500 years after the glories of classical Greece, lamented that in his time weeds grew amid the empty colonnades of the once-impressive Greek city-states. In America, most would prefer to live in the Detroit of 1941 than the Detroit of 2011. The quality of today’s air travel has regressed to the climate of yesterday’s .
In 1960, there were far fewer government officials, far fewer prisons, far fewer laws, and far fewer lawyers — and yet the state was a far safer place than it is a half-century later. Technological progress — whether iPhones or Xboxes — can often accompany moral regress. There are not yet weeds in our cities, but those too may be coming.
The average Californian, like the average Greek, forgot that civilization is fragile. Its continuance requires respect for the law, tough-minded education, collective thrift, private investment, individual self-reliance, and common codes of behavior and civility — and exempts no one from those rules. Such knowledge and patterns of civilized behavior, slowly accrued over centuries, can be lost in a single generation.
A keen visitor to Athens — or Los Angeles — during the last decade not only could have seen that things were not quite right, but also could have concluded that they could not go on as they were. And so they are not.
A couple of months back, I was with a friend of mine when she suddenly collapsed and I found myself having to run her to the emergency room. After a fairly harrowing 14 hours, the hospital released her, the doctor writing her a prescription for the still-very-intense pain she was in. So we stopped at her local Kinney Drugs in Vermont.
-snip- (several astonishing mix-ups occur after first forays to the drug store--go and read the entire post)
This time, they had the drugs. My pal handed over her new insurance card. After some 15 minutes, the clerk returned and said the insurer had declined it. There were two cars backed up behind us. My friend said that couldn't be right, the number was valid, could they please run the number again. They did. Same result. There were now four cars behind us. The clerk suggested we drive around the building, join the back of the drive-thru line, and maybe when she'd taken care of the four cars behind things would have quietened down sufficiently for her to call someone and try to find out what the problem was.
Never mind my friend's crippling pain, spare a thought for me: I'd had to spend untold hours being kindly and supportive and sympathetic, which is not a role to which I'm naturally suited, and the strain was beginning to tell. In that useful Americanism, I didn't need this in my life right now. So I enquired of Kinney Drugs whether it would be possible for us just to pay for the prescription — you know, with money — and then bugger off to resume our lives. She went off to see whether that was still possible. Upon her return, I grabbed my wallet and pulled out a credit card.
"That will be eighteen dollars and 79 cents," she said.
Oh. For whatever reason — perhaps the sheer dogged determination required to negotiate this time-consuming transaction to a successful conclusion — I had assumed this would be one of those expensive pills about which one hears so much and I'd be ponying up 500 bucks. Instead, I put away the credit card and fished out a $20 bill.
And then I thought of the opportunity cost not only to me but to the four cars behind. It seemed a very expensive way to buy 18 bucks' worth of pills.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis
during this morning's general audience to Christ's priestly prayer during
the Last Supper, as narrated in chapter 17 of the Gospel of St. John. In
order to understand this prayer "in all its immense richness", said the
Pope, it is important to see it in the context of the Jewish feast of
atonement, Yom Kippur, in which the high priest seeks atonement first for
himself, then for the order of priests and finally for the community as a
whole. Likewise, "that night Jesus addressed the Father at the moment in
which He offered Himself. He, priest and victim, prayed for Himself, for the
Apostles and for all those who would believe in Him".
The prayer which Jesus prays for Himself is the request for His own
glorification. "It is in fact more than a request", the Holy Father said,
"it is a declaration of willingness to enter freely and generously into the
Father's plan, which is accomplished through death and resurrection. ...
Jesus begins His priestly prayer by saying: 'Father, the hour has come;
glorify your Son so that your Son may glorify you'. The glorification Jesus
seeks for Himself, as High Priest, is to be fully obedient to the Father, an
obedience which leads Him to fulfil His filial status: 'So now, Father,
glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence
before the world existed'".
The second part of Jesus' prayer is His intercession for the disciples who
have followed Him, and His request that they may be sanctified. Jesus says:
'They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
Sanctify them in the truth'. Benedict XVI explained how "To sanctify means
to transfer something - a person or an object - to God. This involves two
complementary aspects: on the one hand, the idea of 'segregation' ... from
man's personal life in order to be completely given over to God; on the
other hand there is the idea of 'being sent out', of mission. Having been
given to God, the consecrated thing or person exists for others. ... A
person is sanctified when, like Jesus, he is segregated from the world, set
aside for God in view of a task and, for this reason, available for
everyone. For disciples this means continuing Jesus' mission".
In the third phase of the priestly prayer, "Jesus asks the Father to
intervene in favour of all those who will be brought to the faith by the
mission inaugurated by the Apostles. ... 'I ask not only on behalf of these,
but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word'. ...
Jesus prays for the Church in all times, He also prays for us. ... The main
element in Jesus' priestly prayer for His disciples is His request for the
future unity of those who will believe in Him. This unity is not a worldly
achievement. It derives exclusively from divine unity and comes down to us
from the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit".
By this priestly prayer Jesus establishes the Church, "which is nothing
other than the community of disciples who, through their faith in Christ as
the One sent by the Father, receive His unity and are involved in Jesus'
mission to save the world by leading it to a knowledge of God".
Benedict XVI invited the faithful to read and meditate upon Jesus priestly
prayer, and to pray to God themselves, asking Him "to help us enter fully
into the plan He has for each of us. Let us ask Him to consecrate us to
Himself, that we may belong to Him and show increasing love for others, both
near and far. Let us ask Him to help us open our prayers to the world, not
limiting them to requests for help in our own problems, but remembering our
fellow man before the Lord and learning the beauty of interceding for
others. Let us ask Him for the gift of visible unity among all those who
believe in Christ, ... that we may be ready to respond to anyone who asks us
about the reasons for our hope".
At the end of his audience, Benedict XVI delivered greetings in various
languages to the pilgrims and faithful gathered in the Paul VI Hall,
reminding them that today's Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul marks the
end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Addressing Polish faithful he
said: "The conversion of the Apostle of the Gentiles near Damascus is proof
that, in the final analysis, it is God Himself Who decides the destiny of
His Church. Let us ask Him for the grace of unity, which also requires our
individual conversion, while remaining faithful to the truth and love of
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Check out his real website http://www.ricksantorum.com/
Friday, January 20, 2012
Reading literature endows us not just with a model of expression and thought, but also with a body of ideas — and the names, facts, and dates that we can draw on to elucidate them. When I used to follow the career of the brilliantly destructive Bill Clinton, he seemed to be Alcibiades reborn — and thus was surely bound to share the same fate of those with enormous talent who are consumed by their own huge and unrepressed appetites.
Richard Nixon jumped out of the pages Sophocles, another gifted Oedipus whose innate and unaddressed flaws were waiting dormant — for just the right occasion to explode him, for Nemesis to take him from the King of Thebes to itinerant blind beggar.
Obama? He came on the scene as arrogant and self-righteous as young Pentheus or Hippolytus and he is now learning firsthand the effects of his Euripidean smugness on others. Nothing that we experience has not happened before; the truly ignorant miss that, hypnotized by sophisticated technology into believing that human nature has been reinvented in their own image.
TranscendenceWe all wish to live beyond the confines of our pathetic flesh and the limitations of the material world. I am here not just talking of religion, but rather of how shared ideas and learning trump age, race, class, gender, all the supposed barriers that only government alone can trample down.
At Fresno I used to teach works like Xenophon’s Hellenica or Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound in advanced Greek classes, usually to about 10 students. Some were 60 years old and retired. Some were physically disabled and rolled in on wheel chairs. Some were Mexican-American; some women; some Asian. Often an epileptic retiree, who took every Greek course offered, would have a seizure in class. Most were poor or of middle means; but I recall there were one or two millionaires as well.
The Point of Such “Diversity”?There was no diversity.
When they translated or sounded off about Prometheus’s pontifications or nearly wept at poor Theramenes (who perhaps deserved his fate for his triangulation) being dragged off to his death, all “difference” disappeared. What we had in common vastly outweighed our class, gender, and racial distinctions. Thucydides could belong to an immigrant from Oaxaca as much as it did to me — or even more so.
Brushing aside concerns about religious liberty and respect for individual consciences, the Obama administration has announced that Church-related institutions will be required to provide contraceptive coverage for employees in their health-care plans.Okay. I hope they do draw a line in the stand and have the courage to fight. And don't think this problem is not here in Canada as well. Ours concerns encroachments by the state on Catholic education and parents' prior rights to educate their children.
The decision, announced on January 20 by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, guarantees a confrontation between the Obama administration and the US Catholic bishops. The bishops, along with a number of Catholic universities, had argued strenuously against including mandatory contraceptive coverage in health-care plans.
Ironically, the administration’s decision was announced just a day after a speech in which Pope Benedict XVI told visiting American bishops that religious freedom is under attack in the US. The Pontiff specifically mentioned government initiatives that would “deny the right of conscientious objection” by forcing individuals and institutions to partiipate in activities they regard as intrinsically immoral. The US bishops’ conference had warned that the imposition of mandatory contraceptive coverage would be a clear violation of the conscience rights and an assault on religious freedom.
Calling the administration's decision "literally unconscionable," Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, the president of the US bishops' conference, said that the ruling "has now drawn an unprecedented line in the sand.” He promised that the US bishops would fight against implementation of the administration's plan. "In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences," he charged.
Sadly, I saw something about a poll that said 51% of Catholic will vote for Obama.
I came to the debate a few minutes late so I didn’t see it live. At the end of the debate, when CNN replayed “highlights” the standing-O wasn’t included (it certainly seemed like a “highlight” whether one liked it or not), so I only became aware of it thanks to the internet, and social media.Here's a peek at the rest:
This morning I got an email from a friend who scours the papers, and he wrote:
AP and others did not even mention the standing O
I took a quick look around at various mainstream reports and discovered that my friend was correct. Even pieces identifying themselves as analysis of “winners and losers” or “views from the bleachers” made no mention of the standing ovation that accompanied Newt’s smackdown of King. From the bleachers, this is what it looked like to CNN:
He opened by offering Newt Gingrich a chance to respond to his allegations from his ex-wife in an interview on ABC. Gingrich delivers a flat “No” and the segmented crowd becomes uniform in its applause as Gingrich attacked the media.The writers, Soledad O’Brien and Rose Arce (two sets of eyes!) were in the bleachers and saw the crowd “become uniform,” but they can’t bring themselves to report what they actually saw.
Several reports did make mention of the other unusual moment of the night, when John King asked Santorum, Gingrich and Romney about their pro-life positions and then then moved on. The audience (and even my husband and I at home) yelled at the moderator, “what about Paul! He’s a doctor!” And King was forced to allow Paul to be part of the discussion. The press was right to mention the moment, but — as my friend said — they seem to be determined to ignore Newt’s standing-o, which is something completely foreign to debates; in my memory it has never happened before. That alone makes it news-worthy and yet it’s not considered mentionable. To the press, it was not a “highlight.”
Which means we must ask, why is that?
The mainstream press does not want to discuss last night’s standing ovation because it shakes their worldview. They were supposed to be able to control the narrative; they were supposed to be able to corral the sheep. And last night, the sheep indicated that they’re no longer willing to be herded, no longer going to allow their own moral judgments to be exploited in a time when the nation is facing serious issues. They’ve decided they’re going to make up their own minds, thank you, about who they think is up to dealing with those issues. They’re looking at the press and saying, “Scallywags, heal thyselves!”This has to be a true shake-up for the press. No wonder they don’t mind, so much, the idea of the government being able to shut down the internet at will. Without it, it will be so much easier to hide what they’d rather not have to discuss.
Which is precisely why we really need to make sure the internet remains unencumbered.Shutting it down may be the only play the mainstream media has left.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
If the Ordinariate in the United States is a Vatican effort to poach disgruntled Anglicans, Sunday-golfing ex-Anglicans or never-were Anglicans, its newly appointed leader has not received that memo.In fact, says the Rev. Jeffrey N. Steenson, Anglican does not appear in the new body’s formal name, the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, because members will make no pretense of remaining Anglicans.And anyone who wants to enter the Ordinariate because of anger toward Anglicanism rather than a desire for deeper communion with the Roman Catholic Church probably ought to wait.Steenson, who was bishop of the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of the Rio Grande from 2004 to 2007, will be invested as the first Ordinary of the Ordinariate during a Mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Houston, Feb. 12.“It is spiritually so critical that they leave all that anger behind. We want people who are happy with their spiritual lives and are not fighting old battles,” Father Steenson told The Living Church.snipSteenson expressed a similar wonderment about being asked to lead the Ordinariate. He planned to continue teaching patristics for a few more years at Houston’s University of St. Thomas and then possibly to return to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, whose archbishop, Michael J. Sheehan, helped Steenson work through his questions about joining the Roman Catholic Church.“No one in their right mind would accept this,” he said of his new duties, in which he will continue working full-time for the university but will serve the Ordinariate in his free hours, without salary. “It is the challenge of creating a diocese from scratch, overnight. … When the Holy See asks for something, the answer is ‘Yes, sir.’”