Thursday, September 30, 2010
Clifford D. May, the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism and Islamism, wrote this piece about Molly Norris, the former cartoonist for the Seattle Weekly, today on National Review Online.
Molly Norris Goes Ghost - Clifford D. May - National Review Online
You might remember this previous post about Molly's idea, which was “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” She backed off as soon as her idea went viral on the internet, because she was concerned for her safety. She was right to be concerned: "Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric — once touted by the New York Times as a moderate but in fact an al-Qaeda commander who is currently hiding out in Yemen — issued a fatwa calling for Norris to be murdered by any Muslim willing and able."
You might recall two of the former pupils of this holy man, Anwar al-Awaki: Nidal Malik Hasan, the U. S. Army Muslim doctor who killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at Ft. Hood in the name of Allah, on November 5, 2009, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab , the so-called Christmas Day Bomber, who tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on December 25, 2009.
Who can blame young Molly for "going ghost," which means, according to her former employer, she will be "moving, changing her name, and essentially wiping away her identity. She will no longer be publishing cartoons in our paper or in City Arts magazine, where she has been a regular contributor. She is, in effect, being put into a witness-protection program — except, as she notes, without the government picking up the tab. . ."
So is anyone upset about what has happened to Molly? According to the Clifford May piece: "The saga of Molly Norris has elicited hardly any notice from political leaders, elite journalists, and celebrities. Nor has it stirred to action those who claim to represent America’s Islamic community. Nor have I seen anything from Human Rights Watch. The ACLU is actually defending al-Awlaki. At the U.N., Muslim-majority countries are pushing to ban criticism of Islam under international law."
We all have to excuse Molly Norris if she has a hard time believing that "Islam means Peace."
How great for the country would it be to get rid of Barney Frank? Sean Bielat, a Marine Reservist and successful businessman, can do it. Here's a terrific interview he had on PJTV with Stephen Green.
To view the website set up for the election of Sean Bielat, and watch his latest interviews, go here.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Dear Friend in Christ,
It seems liberals believe in Objective Truth and Morality when it comes to smoking or trans-fat or the environment, but not when it comes to what REALLY counts. Ever wonder why? Watch this episode of the Vortex and find out why.
Please pass it on to friends and family.
GOD less you and your loved ones.
~senior executive producer, RealCatholicTV.com
(Click to enlarge)
Readers of this Blog are by now aware that the Closer to God in a Kayak series ended, on August 31, 2010. Trips back to the sea buoy, although still proscribed by health concerns, should begin again soon. In the meantime, Tuesdays will, for the next several weeks, carry a post on my ruminations (written contemporaneously after kayaking trips that were otherwise devoid of reportable maritime incidents) while kayaking in the ocean. These thoughts or ruminations may or may not find favor with many readers, but thankfully there are lots of other things to read in the blogosphere. I’m hoping, though, that some will share my views and maybe take the time to let me know of their agreement – or disagreement.
On completion of my daily rosary, which is always a part of my kayak trips, my mind is free to ruminate on many things – things that most of us fail to take the time to ponder amidst the cacophonous sounds of daily life and all those seemingly important things that dominate our time and attention. Florence King, in an article she wrote for National Review, entitled “The Examined Gesture,” called this failing of ours, “Americans’ war against the Socratic ideal of the examined life.” It was Socrates who declared: "The unexamined life is not worth living."
Since moving to Florida in 1973, I have lamented the absence of occasional “snow days.” Anyone who ever lived up north will recall how special a “snow day” was, especially when it caused the closing of schools. Those were the days when everyone was forced to stop and ignore all those very important things that were part of daily routines, and take a deep breath, relax, and realize that maybe all those things that regularly clogged our thoughts and actions were not so important after all: maybe we should think about, and even do, other things - at least while the snow piling up around us prevented us from continuing with those things that had seemingly become a part of our DNA. So my kayak trips have actually become my “snow days,” and I credit them with making me realize what is and is not important in my life and life in general.
My mother died when I was just about one year old, and my father’s mother, sister and brother all moved in with our family, which consisted of one brother, one sister, one father and me. Not given to reflection in those early days (even when it was snowing), not much is recalled about my early life. It was easy to stay busy, but being busy often prevents one from being overly inquisitive or introspective. Had regular solo kayaking been a part of my life much earlier, I’m convinced that today would find me a more intelligent and more interesting person. Maybe not.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The following was posted by John Couretas on The Acton Institute's PowerBlog.
The Colson Center for Christian Worldview is preparing to release a new study DVD this fall titled, Doing the Right Thing: A Six-Part Exploration of Ethics. The DVD is designed as a resource for small-group studies and features leading thinkers who explore the need for ethical behavior in the marketplace, public square, political life and other areas. Hosts Brit Hume, Chuck Colson, Dr. Robert George and a distinguished panel — including Acton’s Rev. Robert Sirico and Michael Miller — undertake a six-part exploration of ethics before a live student audience in Princeton, N.J.
The panel, students and interviewed guests will examine and discuss the following questions over six 30-minute sessions:
— How did we get into this mess?
— Is there truth, a moral law we can all know?
— If we know what is right, can we do it?
— What does it mean to be human?
— Ethics in the Market Place
— Ethics in Public Life
This is very exciting and should provide a version of hope and change for the betterment of mankind.
For more information on the project, you can visit the website of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian World View.
Monday, September 27, 2010
From a recent review of the movie, "Waiting for Superman."
24 September 2010
Author: drolfe from Dove Foundation
This stirring documentary sends out shock-waves of injustice and even a bit of a sense of futility when it explores the state of America's public schools. Interviews with education specialists, school superintendents and even Bill Gates add up to an impressive assembly of informed adults who know what the problem is, but haven't figured out a way to fix it on a large scale.
Washington, D.C. schools superintendent Michelle Rhee says it well when she summarizes the basic problem: "Public schools fail when children's education becomes about the adults." The adults who fail these children are not limited to public officials and government bureaucrats, though; a large portion of the blame is reserved for ineffective teachers and the teachers' unions who ensure that those teachers receive tenure and cannot be removed from schools. The documentary focuses on five public school children who represent inner-city kids with broken families and day-to-day financial struggles (except for a student of middle-class parents in the Silicon Valley). With that one exception, all are enrolled in failing public elementary schools and have little chance of graduating high school if they move on to the assigned secondary schools in their districts. The tear-jerking climax sees each of the kids attending a lottery drawing for limited spaces at public charter schools and rare, effective public schools within or outside of their district. Witnessing the academic chances for these kids being decided by such a random, impersonal process is heart-breaking and calls into question the very nature of American values like "Protestant work ethic," "equality," "freedom" and "the ability to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps" and make the future brighter.
The language is limited to a few expletives. The film deals with a tangled web of adult issues that make a child's education more difficult, which probably puts it outside the spectrum of interest for most kids under age 12. However, when watched with parents, it could create some valuable family discussions on the importance of education and may even activate a family to become advocates for change. We award "Waiting for Superman" the Dove Family-Approved Seal for audiences over age 12 and praise the filmmakers for presenting many teachable moments.
Three possible solutions immediately come to mind:
1. Close all Schools of Education as Dr. Thomas Sowell has been advocating for many years. That would require all potential teachers to obtain a real degree in a core subject rather than a "degree" in "how to teach."
2. Expose the teachers unions as being in business solely for the benefit of teachers (especially the incompetent ones), while having no concern whatever for the quality of education in our public schools.
3. Adopt voucher programs that effectively offer school choice everywhere in the country as Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman has recommended for many years. Watch this short video of Professor Friedman where he discusses his
long-held views of education at Hillsdale College.
For prior posts on this topic, click on the below label: Education.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
(click at bottom right of video to watch on You Tube)
Maria Callas died, on September 16, 1977; Sarah Brightman just turned 50, on August 14th; Jackie Evancho celebrated her 10th birthday, on April 9th. They're all treasures, but were I charged with declaring a winner here, it would have to be done posthumously.
O mio babbino caro is from the Puccini opera: Gianni Schicchi.
Have a Beautiful Sunday.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The Trifecta gang at PJTV got on Karl Rove, and for good reason. Watch the video here.
The only way Rove could win back some Conservatives (this one for sure) would be for him to catch the next plane to Delaware and work as a volunteer to get Christine O'Donnell elected to the U. S. Senate.
20 New Anticancer Rules
By Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D.
Michael Pollan's recent little gem of a book "Food Rules" inspired me to compile my own "rules" about what I'd like every person to know about how they can help avoid cancer - or slow it down if they have it.
1. Go retro: Your main course should be 80 percent vegetables, 20 percent animal protein, like it was in the old days. Opt for the opposite of the quarter pounder topped with a token leaf of iceberg lettuce and an anemic tomato slice. Meat should be used sparingly for taste, as when it used to be scarce, and should not be the focus of the meal.
2. Mix and match your vegetables: Vary the vegetables you eat from one meal to the next, or mix them together -- broccoli is an effective anticancer food, and is even more effective when combined with tomato sauce, onions or garlic. Get in the habit of adding onions, garlic or leeks to all your dishes as you cook.
3. Go organic: Choose organic foods whenever possible, but remember it's always better to eat broccoli that's been exposed to pesticide than to not eat broccoli at all (the same applies to any other anticancer vegetable).
4. Spice it up: Add turmeric (with black pepper) when cooking (delicious in salad dressings!). This yellow spice is the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory agent. Remember to add Mediterranean herbs to your food: thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, mint, etc. They don't just add flavor, they can also help reduce the growth of cancer cells.
5. Skip the potato: Potatoes raise blood sugar, which can feed inflammation and cancer growth. They also contain high levels of pesticide residue (to the point that most potato farmers I know don't eat their own grown potatoes).
6. Go fish: Eat fish two or three times a week - sardines, mackerel, and anchovies have less mercury and PCBs than bigger fish like tuna. Avoid swordfish and shark, which the FDA says pregnant women should not eat because they contain a high concentration of contaminants.
7. Remember not all eggs are created equal: Choose only omega-3 eggs, or don't eat the yolks. Hens are now fed on mostly corn and soybeans, and their eggs contain 20 times more pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids than cell-growth regulating omega-3s.
8. Change your oil: Use only olive and canola oil in cooking and salad dressings. Go through your kitchen cabinets and throw out your soybean, corn and sunflower oils. (And no, you can't give them to your neighbors or your relatives... They're much too rich in omega-6 fatty acids!)
9. Say "Brown is beautiful": Eat your grains whole and mixed (wheat with oats, barley, spelt, flax, etc.) and favor organic whole grains when possible since pesticides tend to accumulate on whole grains. Avoid refined, white flour (used in bagels, muffins, sandwich bread, buns, etc.) whenever possible, and eat white pasta only al dente.
10. Keep sweets down to fruits: Cut down on sugar by avoiding sweetened sodas and fruit juices, and skipping dessert or replacing it with fruit (especially stone fruits and berries) after most meals. Read the labels carefully, and steer clear of products that list any type of sugar (including brown sugar, corn syrup, etc.) in the first three ingredients. If you have an incorrigible sweet tooth, try a few squares of dark chocolate containing more than 70% cocoa.
11. Go green: Instead of coffee or black tea, drink three cups of green tea per day. Use decaffeinated green tea if it gets you too wired. Regular consumption of green tea has been linked to a significant reduction in the risk for developing cancer.
12. Make room for exceptions. What matters is what you do on a daily basis, not the occasional treat.
1. Get physical: Make time to exercise, be it walking, dancing or running. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week. This can be as easy as just walking part of the way to the office, or the grocery store. A dog is often a better walking partner than an exercise buddy. Choose an activity you enjoy; if you're having fun, you're more likely to stick with it.
2. Let the sun shine in: Try to get at least 20 minutes of daily sun exposure (torso, arms and legs) without sunscreen, preferably at noon in the summer (but take care to avoid sunburns!). This will boost your body's natural production of Vitamin D. As an alternative: discuss the option of taking a Vitamin D3 supplement with your doctor.
3. Banish bad chemicals: Avoid exposure to common household contaminants. You should air our your dry-cleaning for two hours before storing or wearing it; use organic cleaning products (or wear gloves); don't heat liquids or food in hard plastics; avoid cosmetics with parabens and phthalates; don't use chemical pesticides in your house or garden; replace your scratched Teflon pans; filter your tap water (or used bottled water) if you live in a contaminated area; don't keep your cell phone close to you when it is turned on.
4. Reach out (and touch someone!): Reach out to at least two friends for support (logistical and emotional) during times of stress, even if it's through the internet. But if they're within arms reach, go ahead and hug them, often!
5. Remember to breathe: Learn a basic breathing relaxation technique to let out some steam whenever you start to feel stressed.
6. Get involved: Find out how you can best give something back to your local community, then give it.
7. Cultivate happiness like a garden: Make sure you do one thing you love for yourself on most days (it doesn't have to take long!).
To review an earlier post about Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, and his book: Anticancer: A New Way of Life, go here.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
This was on a piece posted on the Foundry, the Blog of The Heritage Foundation, today. It's not just a criticism of the current administration: George W. Bush is the one who initially called it "The Global War on Terror." It's about time, though, to call it what it is. Someone needs to explain that to Eric Holder, who is not hard of hearing - just to much of a coward to speak the truth (isn't he the guy who called all of us cowards?).
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
So the name of that insurance company whose ads have been dominating most of the TV stations we watch is extremely appropriate - PROGRESSIVE. We'll all recognize the pert young lady who stars in all those cute ads, but who knew anything about the owner of the company? This E-Mail that has begun circulating may cause a decline in the market share of this most progressive company known as Progressive Insurance - at least we can hope it does.
This is a heads up regarding Progressive Auto Insurance. You know who they are - they're the ones with the clever television ads featuring the perky redhead actress all dressed in white. What you might not know is that the chairman of Progressive is Peter Lewis, one of the largest funders of the left in America . He's your typical rich spoiled kid who took over the company from his father and apparently feels "guilty" for his success and now dedicates himself to making it impossible for anyone else to become wealthy.
Between 2001 and 2003, Lewis funneled $15 million to the ACLU, the group most responsible for destroying what's left of America 's Judeo-Christian heritage. Indeed, Lewis is himself a ACLU member. One of the ACLU projects he earmarked his funds for was an effort to sue school districts who have drug testing policies. In other words, this idiot wants teachers to be able to use drugs without fear of exposure. I wonder what he would think if all his own employees came to work drugged out every day.
Lewis also gave $12.5 million to MoveOn.org and American Coming Together, two key components of the socialist left. The former group is perhaps the main group used by the Obama forces to organize their activists; the latter group is a 527 political action group that essentially served as a front for the SEIU union thugs who ran ACORN.
His funding for these groups was conditional on matching contributions from George Soros, the international socialist who finances much of the Obama political network.
It's disturbing that Lewis made a fortune as a result of capitalism but now finances a progressive movement that threatens to destroy the free enterprise system. He reminds me somewhat of Armand Hammer, theformer head of Occidental Petroleum who did business with Joseph Stalin and became his good friend, around the same time Stalin was executing businessmen all over the USSR .
This company is targeting television shows watched by conservatives such as Fox News. Peter Lewis is making a fortune off of conservative Americans so that he can destroy our country. He's banking on no one finding out who he is. I think it's time we expose this clown.
The information in the E-Mail, according to Snopes, is TRUE.
Dear Friend in Christ,
When the Holy Spirit came to rest on Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2005, Catholics around the world rejoiced. How little did we know then just what a stirring and forceful leader he would turn out to be. Please watch this episode of the Vortex and pass it on to all your friends and family.
GOD Bless you and your loved ones.
~senior executive producer, RealCatholicTV.com
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Today in Birmingham, England, Pope Benedict XVI will beatify John Henry Newman. Beatification is a major step toward sainthood.
The following is from The Catholic News Service:
Cardinal Newman was an Anglican cleric who founded the Oxford Movement to bring the Anglican Church back to its Catholic roots. He became Catholic at the age of 44 after a succession of clashes with Anglican bishops and was made a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII. He died in Birmingham in 1890 at age 89.
Beatification by the Pope is unusual because "under Pope Benedict's own rules, a beatification is to be performed by a cardinal in the diocese where the candidate for sainthood died."
According to Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, president of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales,"Pope Benedict has a particular attentiveness to the writings of Cardinal Newman...He is making an exception to his own rules to do this. ... This will be the first beatification he has carried out as pope."
For more information on John Cardinal Newman, go here, or go to the link to Campus Notes, the Blog of The Cardinal Newman Society which has been added to My Blog List on the right side of this Blog.
Have a Beautiful Sunday.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Dear Friend in Christ,
He was a giant of the 20th century Church; unequaled in his lived testimony to the Faith. Then, how he acted toward attacks on the Faith says an awful lot. Hear from an eyewitness exactly how Sheen handled one such attack. Please watch and pass this episode of The Vortex along to as many friends and family and neighbors as possible.
GOD Bless you and your loved ones.
~senior executive producer, RealCatholicTV.com
Thursday, September 16, 2010
So government control of the economy (communism, socialism, statism) just hasn't worked out for Cuba. They've been trying to make it work since ousting Fulgencio Batista in 1959, and it really should not have taken them this long to realize that the alternative they were trying would not work; it never does.
This piece in the Wall Street Journal spells it out. Cuba is now pursuing a market-oriented system, which is not quite a free-market system, but it's a step in the right direction.
Cuba will lay off more than half a million state workers and try to create hundreds of thousands of private-sector jobs, a dramatic attempt by the hemisphere's only Communist country to shift its nearly bankrupt economy toward a more market-oriented system.
Now if our current administration would just learn the same lesson, things will get better for everybody, and we won't end up like the elderly couple pictured above. Of course, the lesson still needed to be learned by both governments is: governments don't create jobs; the private sector does.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
The American Hamas Flag", was sent in by Alan Knox, a Nashville based designer, who describes himself on his website as follows: "Alan Knox is a discerning and dedicated competitor who sees each day as a chance to get better."
He's already gotten pretty good.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, a French born naturalized American citizen won two personal battles with brain cancer, and initiated his quest to find a way to prevent a third encounter. He found it, and wrote a book about it. It's called Anticancer: A New Way of Life, and it can be purchased at Amazon.Com for $17.79.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaking at a town hall meeting in Perth Amboy, New Jersey doesn't sound at all like a politician: he makes too much sense; he's against giving people something for nothing (by way of redistribution); he's not afraid to face real problems head on; and he doesn't blame the other political party for those problems.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput in an address to the 15th symposium for the Canon Law Association of Slovakia, on August 24th, urged Christians to rediscover "their historic faith as the only sound basis for a just society."
Recalling the historical experience of the Slovakian Church under Communism, Archbishop Chaput told the assembly of Central European bishops and canon lawyers that Christians are being called today to defend the Church's own rights, and the rights of all people, against the “civil religion” of relativism.
Bishop Chaput is the most courageous and outspoken Catholic Bishop in the United States, and is obviously concerned with what Pope Benedict XVI refers to as "the dictatorship of relativism."
The below link to EWTM News provides a summary of Bishop Chaput's address and includes a link to the entire speech.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Alec Rawls of Error Theory Blog sent this to his blogroll asking that it be posted today.
Flight 93 on 9/11: Ride to Stop the Crescent Mosque
Anyone live within driving distance of Somerset Pennsylvania? It's a beautiful place to visit and a group of motorcyclists from Indianapolis is already going.
Tom Burnett Senior and Alec Rawls are buying full page color ads in the Somerset Daily American for both Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th, so anyone who makes the trip will have a ready made protest sign waiting for them. Just buy a newspaper, tape the ad to a piece of cardboard, and let the massed national media know what side you are on.
That's right. With Laura Bush and Michelle Obama both attending, it's going to be a media circus, and a rare opportunity to force coverage of our issue. Just self-organize. Ad-holders will show a core of united opposition (and the media might even be forced to read our brief expose).
A PDF of the ad will be posted in another blogburst next week for anyone who wants to make signs ahead of time. There is also a set of small posters that were put together for a previous talk by Mr. Burnett. Just print with tiling to make the finished product as large or small as you want:
Board 1: The giant crescent
Board 2: It points to Mecca
Board 3: The gigantic Islamic sundial
Board 4: The 44 glass blocks
Petition to stop the Flight 93 memorial passes 10,000 signatures
Including a spate of dozen or so by 9/11 family members that feature some very strong comments. (See pages 198 and 199.)
It Points to Mecca video nearing 20,000 hits
Thanks to big fat repostings by Creeping Sharia and Atlas Shrugs. Thank You!
Here are parts 2, 3 and 4 (also worthy):
If you haven't been to Shanksville before, there really is no lovelier place on earth than an open field in that sprawling Sherwood Forest that is Western Pennsylvania. Drink it in. There is something in the air at that patriots' grave.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
That's our youngest son, Steve, who chose the business world over a life at sea, so he wasn't able to be featured in our Closer to God in a Kayak series, having never met me at the sea buoy, but in the above video he shows some of his talent as the best kayaker in the family. The video was made at Sanibel Island where surf like that is a rare occurrence. In addition to being the best kayaker in the family, Steve is also the best sailor (of sail boats) in the family, something neither of his brothers would ever admit, and without question the best wide receiver in the family. He's also a husband and father of three extraordinaire.
Robert Spencer of JIhadwatch.org has posited what just might be the true motivation behind the cowardly mayor of New York City, Michale Bloomberg, in his rush to label as bigots all those who object to the LOCATION of the Ground Zero Victor Mosque.
You can read this interesting theory here.
This came from Bronnie who blogs at Inspiration and Chai, a little too squishy for my taste, but it was on Instapundit and it struck a chord.
Bronnie worked for many years in palliative care, and spent the last three to twelve weeks with people who were dying. In her conversations with those people she always questioned them about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently. she identified five common themes in their answers.
Here, according to Bronnie, is the second most common regret, which came from every male patient.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.
By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.