Restoring the Sacred

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Now This is a Teachable Moment

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H/T: csemm

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Ruminations in a Kayak X

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On the Word “WANT”

On days when there are no submarines appearing in the channel, no whales giving birth to calves, and no large pods of dolphins or ancient sea turtles to keep me focused on the here and now, my mind often wonders to things that have either always enthralled or always bothered me. On one recent day, after completing my daily afloat rosary, I thought of something that has always attracted my ire: the incessant use of the word “want” by children and even some adults. If I could, I would totally ban that word from our language. When I mentioned that desire recently to a friend, he defended the use of the word in circumstances where someone would say something like: “I want to help you,” or “I want to be a good person.” The use of “want” in such contexts, I told him is unnecessary, i.e., if one wants to be good, he need only be good. If someone wants to help me, he need only get to work helping me. The meaning of the word “want,” to which I object, includes a perceived need, a craving, a demand, or desire for something – usually something not really needed, or something to which the petitioner is not entitled, or has not earned. Wanting is something that comes naturally to everyone, but most of us learn to stop wanting “things” once we come to realize the unimportance of most “things.”

None of this is to say or imply that we should not always be trying to better ourselves, and our lives, but at some point it is important to realize that “things” do not really make us happy, and can often tend to make our lives worse, rather than better, after acquiring them. All “things” are temporal and at some point in our lives (the earlier the better) we should be concerning ourselves with the eternal rather than the temporal. One of the most important lessons given us by Samuel Johnson in Rasselas came from the mouth of Princess Nekayah near the end of the book after she, along with Rasselas and their tutor, Imlac, had traveled the world in an unsuccessful search for the "Choice of Life" that would bring true happiness: "To me," said the Princess, "the choice of life is become less important; I hope hereafter to think only on the choice of eternity."

(On such things does one ruminate while paddling a one-person kayak miles out in the ocean - closer to God.)

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Charles Murray: Expert Profiling Preferred

Charles Murray, of The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) offers his view on the name "Homeland" Security, and argues for the right kind of profiling to keep air travelers safe.

When the Department of Homeland Security was created, the very name was unsettling. “Homeland” sounded vaguely totalitarian, a word that the Third Reich or USSR propagandists might use, not a word in the American lexicon. In the wake of 9/11, a lot of us swallowed our objections and muttered, “Well, okay, but be careful how far you take this stuff.” What’s happening at the TSA is why we were apprehensive.

The Dept. of Homeland Security Increasingly Resembles Its Name

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sundays are for Beauty: August Rush!

If you haven't seen the movie, August Rush, you should try to rent it somewhere. It's a little surreal, but it's heartwarming -and a heck of a lot better (and probably more real) than reality TV.

Have a Beautiful Sunday.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

The EU is Crumbling. Good Riddance!

Daniel Hannan isn't the only Euroskeptic who happens to be a Member of the European Parliament. That's Nigel Farage, who also is an MEP, and who also is not afraid to state his position publicly. According to a post on PowerLine, Farage "tells more truth about the entire European experiment [in under four minutes] than all European bankers, commissioners, and politicians have done in the past decade." Surely the European Union is not what the Man of the Century had in mind when he called for a United States of Europe in 1946.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Vortex: The Politically Correct Archbishop Timothy Dolan

Dear Friend in Christ,

In a recent Fox News interview, NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan blew it. Instead of talking about being grateful to God (Jesus) he said, some people call God him, her, whatever. What is he thinking? An audience of a few million and God is spoken of in terms cultural diverse language. Please watch this episode for yourself with the interview in it. We report. You Decide.

GOD Bless you and your loved ones.

Michael Voris
~senior executive producer,

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We Need An Italian President From New Jersey

H/T: dc9271

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Darkhorse" Needs Our Prayers

We are asking everyone to say a prayer for "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan and they lost nine marines in four days.

Please pass this on to everyone you know. The Marines of 3/5 can use all the prayers they can get.

Semper Fi! God Bless America and
God Bless the United States Marine Corps...

You can read more details at the below link:

H/T: edscis
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Annie Oakley is Back

(Click twice in bottom right to watch on YouTube)

Annie Oakley died in 1926, but this 16 year old Wisconsin sharpshooter would give her some tough competition were she around today.

Humility is something not found in abundance today, and some teenagers seem to think a lot more of themselves than they probably should. That's why this young lady is such a delight to watch on video: no wasted words (that's for sure) and not even a hint of braggadocio, despite her great accomplishment. You have to love her.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ruminations in a Kayak IX

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On Contemplative Life vs. Society

In the 12th century, St. Bernard of Clairvaux (the last escort of Dante in Paradiso) was responsible for the spread of the Order of Cistercian Monks, the avowed purpose of which Order was a return to the literal observance of the Rule of St. Benedict. The Cistercians demanded an even more austere lifestyle for the Benedictine Monks than they had endured in St. Benedict’s time. The main feature of the new lifestyle was a return to manual labor – especially to fieldwork, which became the special characteristic of Cistercian life.

I often think of those Monks and their lifestyle when at sea in my kayak, and cannot help thinking of the story of the young novitiate in a cloistered order of monks who, upon entering the cloister, was instructed by the Abbot in the rules for all members of the cloister: Arise at 4:00 AM, chapel prayers for one hour, followed by a light breakfast, followed by six hours of work in the fields, followed by a meager lunch, followed by five hours of work in the fields, followed by a Spartan supper, followed by evening chapel prayers until 9:00 PM, followed by one hour of private meditation in one’s cell. The routine never varied day after day. No talking was permitted, but every five years each monk was permitted to speak two words.

The young novitiate went off to his cloistered life and dutifully fulfilled his tasks each day. At the end of five years, the novitiate was called in to meet with the Abbot, who congratulated him and asked him what two words he would like to say. The young monk looked at the Abbot and said: “Bed, hard,” and immediately returned to his routine for another five years.

Five years later, the young monk, who had continued faithfully fulfilling his prescribed duties in the cloister, was again called in to meet with the Abbot. The Abbot, for the second time, congratulated the young monk and asked him what now, after 10 years in the cloister, he would like to say. The young monk looked at the Abbot and said: “Food, bad,” and immediately returned to his routine for another five years.

After 15 years of strictly following the rules of the cloister, the now not so young monk was called in to meet with the Abbot, who, for the third time congratulated him and asked him what two words he would like to say. The no-longer-young monk looked at the Abbot and said: “I quit.” To which the Abbot replied: “Well, I’m not surprised. All you’ve done since you got here is complain.”

The question arising from the above to be ruminated on while paddling a kayak is: Which is the better choice of life: the solitude of the cloister or the daily hubbub of society? Is it better to dedicate one’s life to God apart from society, or to try to remain faithful to God while remaining a member of society? Is the man who forsakes society for the quiet contemplative life of the cloister nobler than the man who continues to enjoy the good life of society, while also abiding it’s evil, or is he simply taking the easy way to God by removing himself from society’s daily temptations? It would appear that a man cannot be a part of both worlds.

For people who are very sociable, the choice is easy. But there are some of us who could not be described as being overly sociable. I, for example, do not consider myself unsociable, but I do know for certain that I will always consider a tandem kayak as having one too many seats.

Mona Charen has admonished women who want it all: career, children, athletic accomplishments, etc., that they can indeed have it all – just not all at once. I see it the same with the dilemma faced by the man who is not ready to abandon society, but yearns for the peacefulness of solitude to pray, meditate, and even ruminate. I have the solution for such a man: get a kayak – a one seater.

(On such things does one ruminate while paddling a one-person kayak miles out in the ocean - closer to God.)

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Andrew McCarthy - A Third Way to Try Terrorists

Andrew McCarthy, who successfully tried the Blind Sheik for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing - and put him away for life - is no fan of trying terrorists in civilian courts. He's also no fan of military tribunals which he thinks have done a poor job in the terrorists trials they have so far conducted.

Rather than just criticize, though, McCarthy has come up with a third way to handle trials for terrorists. He's calling for a national-security court system that will meld the best of both worlds: civilian courts and military tribunals.

The National Security Court System would be staffed the same way the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is staffed. The civilian judges would be assigned by the chief justice, and classified information would be protected. The terrorists would be granted rights that "are fair but that do not equal the constitutional rights of American citizens."

To prevent judges from inflating due-process protections, as they have liberty to do in the civilian system, Congress can prescribe exacting rules. Lawmakers can include a direction that terrorist defendants are not entitled to any rights, privileges, or protections not explicitly spelled out in the legislation. Government prosecutors can be given the power to appeal instantly if a trial judge suppresses evidence, dismisses counts, or tries to grant accused terrorists benefits beyond what Congress has enacted.

It sounds like an idea worth trying, but getting the legislative branch and the executive branch (especially Eric Holder) to agree on anything so revolutionary would probably be a bridge too far.

To read McCarthy's proposal in detail, which was published today on National Review Online, click on the link below.

How Should Terrorists Be Tried? - Andrew C. McCarthy - National Review Online

Stan the Man is Ninety

Yesterday, the greatest all-around baseball player of all time celebrated his 90th birthday. Who said "Only the good die young?"

The greatest fan Stan Musial ever had sent me a link to a post about the The Man on the American Thinker Blog yesterday.

As the Nuns always told us, a man can be judged by the friends (or enemies) he makes. Stan Musial apparently never made an enemy (even Ty Cobb liked him), and two of his best fiends are, like him, men of great character. Listen to what fellow St. Louis Cardinal and Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst, and Cardinal Hall of Fame Broadcaster Jack Buck had to say about him, as quoted on the American Thinker post.

Red Schoendienst: Stan is such a personal guy. A lot of times he and I would go visit kids in hospitals whenever we were on the road in Philadelphia , Pittsburgh or someplace. He didn’t want publicity for it and he didn’t do it to seek recognition or humanitarian awards, he just did it because he thought it was the right thing to do and he enjoyed making other people happy and maybe giving them a small ray of sunshine to brighten up their lives. That was the kind of guy he was as a player, and he is still that kind of guy today.

Jack Buck: Musial and I have become the best of friends. I knew how great a ballplayer he was, and it was a treat to meet him. He’s the sort of person that when you hear so much about him, you think to yourself, “he can’t be that good.” Then when you first meet him, you think it may be an act. After you get to know him, you realize it’s not an act at all-he really is that sincere and that nice. He is kind to everyone he meets.

Such encomiums, of course, are a lot more important than statistics of performance, but nevertheless Stan Musial's Stats are nothing short of amazing. You can check them out by clicking here. His greatest stat is not listed on the charts: he married his high school sweetheart, Lillian Labash, 71 years ago and they're still living happily ever after.

Lord Acton, who died 18 years before Stan Musial was born, is credited with adding to his famous quote about absolute power corrupting absolutely, a line about Great men seldom being Good men. Would that he had lived to meet Stan Musial.

H/T: jpa1948

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sundays are for Beauty: New London Children's Choir

The New London Children's Choir has been performing since 1991, and "has appeared in all major London concert halls with the finest symphony orchestras and conductors."

Have a Beautiful Sunday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

An Outspoken American Patriot

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From an Anonymous, Politically Incorrect American:

I Am the Democratic Liberal-Progressive's Worst Nightmare.
I am a White, Conservative, Tax-Paying, American Veteran, Gun Owning Biker.
I am a Master leatherworker. I work hard and long hours with my hands to earn a living.

I believe in God and the freedom of religion, but I don't push it on others.
I ride Harley Davidson Motorcycles, and drive American-made cars, and I believe in American products and buy them whenever I can.

I believe the money I make belongs to me and not some liberal governmental functionary,Democratic or Republican, that wants to share it with others who don't work!

I'm in touch with my feelings and I like it that way!

I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer; it makes you a smart American.

I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to anything. Get over it!

I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac or any other item, you should do it in English.

I believe there should be no other language option.

I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.

My heroes are Malcolm Forbes, Bill Gates, John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and Willie G. Davidson, who makes the awesome Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.

I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time watching or arguing about it.

I've never owned a slave, nor was I a slave. I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted by the Turks, and neither have you!

I believe if you don't like the way things are here, go back to where you came from and change your own country!

This is AMERICA ...We like it the way it is and more so the way it was stop trying to change it to look like Russia or China , or some other socialist country!

If you were born here and don't like it... You are free to move to any Socialist country that will have you. (And take Barack Hussein Obama and his group with you.) Massachusetts started the ball rolling. Keep it going.

I believe it is time to really clean house, starting with the White House, the seat of our biggest problems.

I want to know which church is it, exactly, where the Reverend Jesse Jackson preaches, where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem and not the solution?

Can I get an AMEN on that one?

I also think the cops have the right to pull you over if you're breaking the law, regardless of what color you are, but not just because you happen to ride a bike.

And, no, I don't mind having my face shown on my driver's license. I think it's good.... And I'm proud that 'God' is written on my money..

I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don't want you deciding who should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.

I dislike those people standing in the intersections trying to sell me stuff or trying to guilt me into making 'donations' to their cause.... Get a job and do your part to support yourself and your family!

I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes two parents....

I believe 'illegal' is illegal no matter what the lawyers think!

I believe the American flag should be the only one allowed in AMERICA !

If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American.

If you are a BAD American too, please forward this to everyone you know....

We want our country back!
My Country.....
I hope this offends all illegal aliens.

My great, great, great, great grandfather watched and bled as his friends died in the Revolution & the War of 1812. My great, great, great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Mexican American War. My great, great grandfather watched as his friends & brothers died in the Civil War. My great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Spanish-American War. My grandfather watched as his friends died in WW I. My father watched as his friends died in WW II.

I watched as my friends died in Vietnam, Panama & Desert Storm. My son watched & bled as his friends died in Afghanistan and Iraq . None of them died for the Mexican Flag. Everyone died for the American flag.

Texas high school students raised a Mexican flag on a school flag pole, other students took it down. Guess who was expelled...the students who took it down.

California high school students were sent home on Cinco de Mayo, because they wore T-shirts with the American flag printed on them.

Enough is enough.

This message needs to be viewed by every American; and every American needs to stand up for America.

We've bent over to appease the America-haters long enough. I'm taking a stand.

I'm standing up because the hundreds of thousands who died fighting in wars for this country, and for the American flag.

If you agree, stand up with me. If you disagree, please let me know. I will gladly remove you from my e-mail list.

And shame on anyone who tries to make this a racist message.

AMERICANS, stop giving away Your RIGHTS !

Let me make this clear! THIS IS MY COUNTRY !

This statement DOES NOT mean I'm against immigration !

YOU ARE WELCOME HERE, IN MY COUNTRY, welcome to come legally:

1. Get a sponsor !

2. Learn the LANGUAGE, as immigrants have in the past !

3. Live by OUR rules !

4. Get a job !

5. Pay YOUR Taxes !

6. No Social Security until you have earned it and Paid for it !

7. NOW find a place to lay your head !

If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone, then YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM !

We've gone so far the other way . . . bent over backwards not to offend anyone.

Only AMERICANS seems to care when American Citizens are being offended !

WAKE UP America ! ! !

If you do not Pass this on, may your fingers cramp!

Made in the U S A & DAMN PROUD OF IT!!!!!

H/T: dc9271

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Jay Rockefeller: Case in Point for Term Limits

Jay Rockefeller, who has spent his last 25 years as a U. S. Senator from West Virginia (time to go, Jay), apparently does not even realize what he is advocating here. Controlling the news is one of the first things socialists want to do (after taking our guns and mocking our religion). Naturally, the first news outlet he would want to shut down is Fox News - certainly not NPR or PBS since those serve as the flagship of the Left Wing. Rockefeller's wife, by the way, is the C.E.O. of WETA-TV, the leading PBS station in the Washington D.C. area.

When an elected representative of a free people wants to control the choices of news media available to those people he supposedly represents, maybe it's time for him to leave.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reverse Profiling: The Newest Outrage

Now that the hottest topic in America is the new overly invasive techniques being utilized at airports by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), we learn that the Council on American- Islamic Relations (CAIR) is (surprise, surprise) upset. They don't want Muslim women to be subjected to the same procedures as non-Muslim women (after all who would ever suspect a Muslim woman might be smuggling anything under her hijab or burka?).

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (Big Sis), was questioned about the objections put forth by CAIR, and her non-answer was reported by WorldNetDaily.Com:

It was at a news conference that Napolitano was asked by, "On the pat-downs, CAIR has recommended that Muslim women wearing hijabs refuse to go through the full body pat-downs before board plans. Will you insist that they do go through full body pat-downs before boarding planes?"

Napolitano didn't answer the question. Instead she talked about the need to keep powders and gels and liquids off passenger jets.

What she did say was, "We are doing what we need to do to protect the traveling public and adjustments will be made where they need to be made."

She continued, "With respect to that particular issue, I think there will be more to come."

Those who think it's outrageous enough that our government adamantly refuses to even considering profiling at airports will be less than delighted should a decision be made that could only bring us reverse profiling. We can expect to see future groping of pilots, Nuns in Habits, young children and grandmothers, but don't be surprised to see those hijab wearing ladies given a pass to the gangway.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In Memoriam: Lt. Robert Kelly, USMC

The following poignant E-Mail message was sent to family and friends by Lt/General John F. Kelly, USMC, (above) whose son, Lt. Robert Kelly, USMC, was killed in action on November 9, 2010, in Sangin, Afghanistan defending our freedom.

The message was forwarded here by Marine Corps friends.

From: Kelly LtGen John F
Date: November 12, 2010 10:23:20 PM EST
Subject: FW: My Boy

Family and Friends,

As I think you all know by now our Robert was killed in action protecting our country, its people, and its values from a terrible and relentless enemy, on 9 Nov, in Sangin, Afghanistan. He was leading his Grunts on a dismounted patrol when he was taken. They are shaken, but will recover quickly and already back at it. He went quickly and thank God he did not suffer. In combat that is as good as it gets, and we are thankful. We are a broken hearted - but proud family. He was a wonderful and precious boy living a meaningful life. He was in exactly the place he wanted to be, doing exactly what he wanted to do, surrounded by the best men on this earth - his Marines and Navy Doc.

The nation he served has honored us with promoting him posthumously to First Lieutenant of Marines. We will bury our son, now 1stLt Robert Michael Kelly USMC, in Arlington National Cemetery on 22 Nov. Services will commence at 1245 at Fort Myers. We will likely have a memorial receiving at a yet to be designated funeral home on 21 Nov. The coffin will be closed. Our son Captain John Kelly USMC, himself a multi-tour combat veteran and the best big brother on this earth, will escort the body from Dover Air Force Base to Arlington. From the moment he was killed he has never been alone and will remain under the protection of a Marine to his final resting place.

Many have offered prayers for us and we thank you, but his wonderful wife Heather and the rest of the clan ask that you direct the majority of your prayers to his platoon of Marines, still in contact and in "harm's way," and at greater risk without his steady leadership.

Thank you all for the many kindnesses we could not get through this without you all. Thank you all for being there for us. The pain in unimaginable, and we could not do this without you.

Semper Fidelis

John Kelly

Thank God for such men as Lt. Robert Kelly, USMC. Requiescat in Pace.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen

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Yes, That Is Dick Cheney

He might not look like Dick Cheney, but he sure sounds like him. This was at the ground breaking for the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas yesterday.

Reduce Rates; Increase Revenues

Surely by now everyone has heard of the Laffer Curve, but for those who have not here is a brief introductory video from The Center for Freedom and Prosperity :

Dr. Thomas Sowell, writing yesterday on National Review Online offers some clear data in support of the theory:

The first big cut in income taxes came in the 1920s, at the urging of secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon. He argued that a reduction of the tax rates would increase the tax revenues. What actually happened?

In 1920, when the top tax rate was 73 percent, for people making over $100,000 a year, the federal government collected just over $700 million in income taxes — and 30 percent of that was paid by people making over $100,000. After a series of tax cuts brought the top rate down to 24 percent, the federal government collected more than a billion dollars in income-tax revenue — and people making over $100,000 a year now paid 65 percent of the taxes.

To read the whole piece by Dr. Sowell, click on the link below.

End Deficit-Reduction Commissions - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Soldiers' Angels Need Your Help

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This is the new book by intrepid war reporter and photographer Michael Yon. You can order an advance signed copy, and read about and help support the work of Soldiers' Angels by clicking here.

It's not cheap, but you can be sure the book will be worth it, and you will be helping our wounded soldiers. Please order it; I just did.

An Appeal to President Obama

(Click twice in bottom right to watch on YouTube)

The more than 6.6 million views since February 2010 indicate America will survive the attempt to subjugate our freedom.

H/T: macnmag

Ruminations in a Kayak VIII

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On Making Judgments

The screensaver on my home personal computer is in rolling text. It reads "Be Judgmental." If that fact got out, there is no doubt I would never be confirmed by any U.S. Senate committee for any high government post, because even thinking one should be judgmental would be more than enough to disqualify any prospective appointee. Such a nominee would be considered divisive and not sufficiently in tune with diversity. I hate thinking about such nonsense when I should be relaxing and enjoying the splendor of nature that is the Atlantic Ocean, but some days it can’t be helped.

The other day, the infamous ninth circuit court of appeals in California ruled the ban, in California, against “same sex marriage” unconstitutional. By now, one would have thought the ninth circuit court of appeals would have been ruled unconstitutional. Jean Paul Sartre once said that all of French Existentialism is to be found in the contention that if there is no God everything is permitted, but being alone in a kayak far out in the ocean makes it impossible to believe there is no God. How else could such grandeur come to be if not from a loving God? But God made rules: they’re called the Ten Commandments if you’re a Christian. They’re called other things by other religions, but all people who believe in God believe in rules. We Christians believe God created man and woman to fulfill different roles in His overall plan. It still takes (and will always take) one man and one woman to make one new human being.

I’m surprised that political correctness has not yet mandated the expunction of the definition of the word “perversion” from the dictionary. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, it means: a sexual practice or act considered abnormal or deviant.

As Dr. John Patrick told us in his famous lecture, entitled “What Hippocrates Knew and We have Forgotten,” and here I paraphrase: one does not tolerate truth, beauty, goodness, or love; one tolerates something that could be described as the exact opposites of those virtues. Some of us believe it is not being unfair, bigoted, or intolerant when someone chooses to judge good over evil, so how in the world did those who favor evil succeed in painting us judgmental people as intolerant?

It probably should be pointed out clearly that our judgment is being exercised about the evil actions not the actors. We love the actors; we hate the actions.

(On such things does one ruminate while paddling a one-person kayak miles out in the ocean - closer to God.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chris Christie on Meet the Press, November 7, 2010

If there's one thing we don't need in the White House it's another lawyer, but Chris Christie has been walking the walk in New Jersey from the day he was sworn in as governor. Detractors will say he has not been in office long enough to entertain a run for the White House in 2012, but I seem to recall a very short tenure in the U. S. Senate by the current occupant of that House. Christie also served as a highly successful U. S. Attorney in New Jersey before running for governor. He was never a community organizer, though.

Funniest Commercial of the Year

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sundays are for Beauty: Glenn Miller

(Click in bottom right to watch on YouTube)

This is from The Glenn Miller story, with Jimmy Stewart playing the part of Glenn. They don't make them like this anymore.

Have a Beautiful Sunday.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nazareth is an al-Qaida hub. Is nothing sacred?

That's the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, Israel. It was built on the site where, according to Roman Catholic tradition, the Annunciation (the Archangel Gabriel proclaiming to the Virgin Mary that she was to be the Mother Jesus Christ, the Son of God) took place.

In the lead up to the millennium, the Shihab al-Din mosque was established as a triumphalist mosque adjacent to the Church of the Annunciation. The Vatican protested the building of the mosque in that location, but Ehud Barak, who was Prime Minister at the time, rejected the Vatican's objections. The government even donated the land for the mosque from the Israel Lands Authority.

Now the imam of that mosque, Sheikh Nazem Abu Salim Sahfe, has been indicted for promoting and recruiting for global jihad and calling on his followers to harm non-Muslims.

Among the other plots born of Sahfe's sermons was the murder of cab driver Yefim Weinstein last November. Sahfe's followers also plotted to assassinate Pope Benedict XVI during his trip to Israel last year. They torched Christian tour buses. They abducted and stabbed a pizza delivery man. Two of his disciples were arrested in Kenya en route to joining al-Qaida forces in Somalia.

Caroline Glick reported all this in her recent post, which you can read by clicking on the link below.

Addressing our homegrown enemies

Gary Becker: What now?

(Click in bottom right to watch on YouTube)

As promised, here is the fifth part of the Gary Becker interview with Peter Robinson (see prior post).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gary Becker on Obamacare

(Click in bottom right to watch on YouTube)

University of Chicago Professor, Nobel Prize winner, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Gary Becker recently completed a five part interview with Peter Robinson of The Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

This is part four, which deals with the effects of Obamacare on the economy, and especially on those of us considered elderly. Part five of the interview, which deals with Professor Becker's "pro-growth prescription for lifting the U.S. economy out of its prolonged malaise," will be featured in a later post.

For those unfamiliar with Gary Becker, he is one of those rare intellectuals who trusts in the "common sense" of the American people to make judgments about economic issues that effect their lives. His philosophy of economics mirrors that of his fellow economist, and contemporary, Thomas Sowell. Both are disciples of Milton Friedman and both are able to make economics understandable to the layman

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lies From The White House

This is from The Heritage Foundation today:

The White House rewrote crucial sections of an Interior Department report to suggest an independent group of scientists and engineers supported a six-month ban on offshore oil drilling, the Interior inspector general says in a new report.

In the wee hours of the morning of May 27, a staff member to White House energy adviser Carol Browner sent two edited versions of the department report’s executive summary back to Interior. The language had been changed to insinuate the seven-member panel of outside experts – who reviewed a draft of various safety recommendations – endorsed the moratorium, according to the IG report obtained by POLITICO.

“The inspector general’s finding that the blanket-drilling moratorium was driven by a politics and not by science is bitter news for families who, because of it, lost their jobs, savings, and way of life...”

It was earlier believed that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was responsible for the falsifying of the report by seven experts concerning offshore drilling, but it turns out it was done at The White House by an aide to Global Warming Czar Carol Browner (think she knew about it?).

Veterans Day, 2010

The above video is obviously from an NFL game some years ago between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. Tom Brady and Andy Reid were much younger, several of the players are either retired now or playing for different teams, and President George H. W. Bush is still standing on his own. The rendition of our National Anthem by the service academy choirs, sung the way it is meant to be sung, is most fitting for a proper celebration of this day to honor all our veterans, living and dead.

H/T: rkwlsn

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Muslims Killing Catholics in Iraq II

Today was going to be reserved totally for the Happy Birthday message to the Marine Corps (posted early this morning), but this news is too important to delay its reporting, because you won't hear about it from Christian Amanpour, or anybody else in the mainstream media. Muslims in Iraq are continuing their assault against Catholics, but apparently that is a fact not worthy of notice. Our prior post, on the massacre of Catholics (including two priests) attending Mass in Baghdad last Sunday can be reviewed here.

The assaults continued today, as reported in the Christian Science Monitor.

Marines 235 Years Old Today

A Legacy Is Born

During the American Revolution, many important political discussions took place in the inns and taverns of Philadelphia, including the founding of the Marine Corps. 
A committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore. 
The resolution was approved on November 10, 1775, officially forming the Continental Marines. 
As the first order of business, Samuel Nicholas became Commandant of the newly formed Marines. Tun Tavern’s owner and popular patriot, Robert Mullan, became his first captain and recruiter. They began gathering support and were ready for action by early 1776.

(The above is from

Happy Birthday United States Marine Corps
November 10, 1775 - November 10, 2010
Semper Fidelis!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Term Limits for Judges - Why Not?

If it's time for term limits on elected officials, why not impose them on judges who too often act like legislators? The voters in Iowa just imposed "term limits" on three of the judges on their supreme court for overturning the will of the people concerning traditional marriage.

I have always voted against the retention of every judge on every ballot even while knowing that it was a futile attempt by one person to impose a limit on the abuse of power so often exhibited by judges. A very good friend, during the last election, opined that she was voting to retain state supreme court judges appointed by a conservative past governor of our state, and against the retention of judges appointed by prior liberal governors. I immediately recalled the nomination of Earl Warren to SCOTUS by President Dwight Eisenhower, the nomination of David Souter to the same court by President George H. W. Bush, and the nomination of Anthony Kennedy by President Ronald Reagan. Those three appointments (and certainly many others through the years) should deconstruct the myth that judges appointed or nominated by certain politicians will perpetually issue rulings that reflect the interpretation of the constitution held by the politician making the appointment or nomination. In any case, it behooves us to remember the warning issued by Lord Acton concerning absolute power, and to understand that judges - especially those ensconced for life - enjoy absolute power.

Dr. Thomas Sowell, in his column today on National Review Online, makes the case for "Stopping Judicial Imperialism."

Here are some clips:

The runaway arrogance that politicians get when they have huge majorities in Congress is more or less common among federal judges with lifetime tenure or state judges who are seldom defeated in elections to confirm their appointments to the bench.

Those who believe in gay marriage are free to vote for it. But, when they lose that vote, it is not the role of judges to nullify the vote and legislate from the bench. Judges who become politicians in robes often lie like politicians as well, claiming that they are just applying the Constitution, when they are in fact exercising powers that the Constitution never gave them.

If they are going to act like politicians, then they should be voted out like politicians.

The time is long overdue to stop treating judges like sacred cows, especially when they have so much bull.

To read Dr. Sowell's entire column, click on the link below.
Stopping Judicial Imperialism - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online

Ruminations in a Kayak VII

On Making Decisions

Anyone serious about introspection has to have, on many occasions, second-guessed himself about past decisions involving, as Rasselas called it, the Choice of Life, or choice of mate (or even whether to have a mate), and the many other choices made during the course of one’s life. Being alone in a kayak in the ocean is the ideal place for such introspection since one in such a place is, as mentioned earlier, as close to God as one can get on this earth.

Before wondering about whether one has made the right choice regarding anything that demands choosing, one must at least attempt to establish whether there is any validity to the philosophy of Determinism, a good definition of which is provided by the American Heritage Dictionary as: ”the philosophical doctrine that every state of affairs, including every human event, act, and decision is the inevitable consequence of antecedent states of affairs” (often understood as denying the possibility of free will).

It would be very easy to buy into that philosophy and accept the specious defense of “the devil made me do it,” to erase any culpability on one’s part for poor decisions. One could also take the seeming high road and espy the hand of God in every personal decision, good or poor, as an attempt at self-exoneration, but either one is what we today call a cop-out. Foreknowledge of a decision does not necessitate responsibility for that decision, so the fact that God knows what our decision will be even before we know does not (some believe) cancel out the free will that makes us responsible for that decision. St. Augustine, who fought with himself arduously over this and other epistemological problems, never completely satisfied himself regarding Determinism, Free Will, or Predestination, and if the Bishop of Hippo could not find definitive answers to such complex problems, it is easy to say that perhaps we should not waste our time. Time, though, is never wasted by such contemplations, especially when kayaking alone in the ocean.

Those who would avoid responsibility for their own actions, and blame all their misfortune on fate, embrace the idea of Determinism, but on what do those same people blame their good fortune?

So, even if we are unsure about the idea of Determinism, should we blame ourselves for decisions that in retrospect have been determined to be bad ones? Yes, but we get over it and keep going. To quote C. S. Lewis: “What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.”

(On such things does one ruminate while paddling a one-person kayak miles out in the ocean - closer to God.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

She's Not a Nun

That's Carol Keehan, who still calls herself a Nun even after defying the Catholic Bishops and helping to pass Obamacare with no regard for the innocent babies who will be slaughtered as a result.

From The Cardinal Newman Society:
The University of San Francisco’s office of University Ministry will honor Sister Carol Keehan at its “Stand 4 Conference” on November 23, according to the University. She will deliver a talk entitled “Health Care as a Social Justice Issue,” despite the fact that she defied the U.S. bishops’ efforts to urge Congress to pass a healthcare bill including pro-life provisions.

“It is unspeakable that the University of San Francisco should choose to honor someone who severely damaged pro-life efforts in this nation and undermined the express will of the U.S. bishops,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society.

The University of San Francisco, by the way, is a Jesuit University.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sundays are for Beauty: Bach's Italian Concerto

(Click in bottom right to watch on YouTube)

That's The Kudos Saxophone Quartet performing J. S. Bach's Italian Concerto. We'll definitely have them back here again.

Have a Beautiful Sunday.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Man Bites Dog in New Jersey

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch.Org posted this man bites dog story today on his website. It's big news when the ACLU and CAIR come down on the right side of anything. They both came out against the firing of the NJ Transit Authority employee who burned a copy of the Koran on the 9/11 anniversary in Lower Manhattan to protest a planned Islamic community center there.

You can read Spencer's post here.

Today's GOP Address by Marco Rubio

(Click in bottom right to watch on YouTube)

It's nice to have a politician recognize that America is Exceptional. That's a message we haven't been hearing for the past two years.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Lame Duck - Priceless!

Pelosi's Last Lame Duck: What Could Go Wrong? from Heritage Action for America on Vimeo.

This is from Heritage Action for America.

Americans must keep their current Members of Congress accountable, even if those Senators and Representatives are already polishing their resumes. The lame duck session could include tax hikes, dangerous treaties, government power grabs and more mischief.

It’s time to re-mobilize the conservatives you know: have them visit our site and sign up for our activist email list. We’re working hard to stop bad policy. With your help, and the help of your friends, we’ll hold Congress accountable to their new conservative mandate.

You can visit the website by clicking here.

Vortex: No Common Ground

Dear Friend in Christ,

Now that the dust from the elections is beginning to settle down, you are going to start hearing about a lot about "common ground".  For Catholics, that phrase is a red flag.  Please watch this episode of the Vortex and pass it along to as many friends and family as possible.

GOD Bless you and your loved ones.

Michael Voris
~senior executive producer,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sparky Anderson: R.I.P.

The following is from Action News, WXYZ.Com in Detroit, Michigan.

George "Sparky" Anderson passed away at his home in California. He was 76-years old. Anderson died as a result of complications from dementia.

He was placed in hospice care Wednesday due to complications from dementia.

Anderson, who led the Tigers to the 1984 World Series Championship, was the first person in Major League Baseball history to lead teams to world titles in both the National League and the American League. Tony LaRussa became the second manager to accomplish the feat in 2006.

In 1987 the Hall of Famer founded "CATCH", which raises money for sick and at-risk patients of Children's Hospital of Michigan and Henry Ford Hospital.

As the request of Mr. Anderson there will be no funeral or memorial service. The family also requests any donations be made to "CATCH".

Donations can be made online at CATCH CHARITY or mailed to:

223 Fisher Building
3011 West Grand Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48202

This Detroit news outlet can be excused if they somehow forgot to mention that Sparky won two other World Championships: as Manager of the Cincinnati Reds, in 1975 and 1976. He was inducted into The Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. He was not just a great man; he was a good man.

Did The Latinos Punish "Their Enemies?"

(Click to enlarge)

John Sexton, at Verum Serum Blog, talks today about Mort Kondracke and Megan McCain using rough language to blame Sarah Palin for the Republican "loss" of the Senate. First of all, who in the world cares about anything said by either Mort Kondracke or, especially, Megan McCain? Secondly, the Republicans didn't "lose" the Senate." They just failed (but not by much) to win it back.

John provides the most valid reason for the Republican failure to win the Senate: The Latino vote.

Nate Silver who took a look at where Democrats out-performed polling. Though the trend isn’t crystal clear, it seems possible that a big part of wins in Nevada, California and Colorado had to do with Hispanic voting:

“There is one overarching reason why the polls were wrong in Nevada,” Mr. Barreto wrote in an e-mail to FiveThirtyEight. “The Latino vote.”

His firm, which conducts interviews in both English and Spanish, had found that Latino voters — somewhat against the conventional wisdom — were relatively engaged by this election and for the most part were going to vote Democratic. Mr. Barreto also found that Latino voters who prefer to speak Spanish — about 40 percent of Latino voters in California meet this description, he told me — are particularly likely to vote Democratic. Pollsters who don’t conduct bilingual interviewing at all, or who make it cumbersome for the respondent to take the poll in Spanish, may be missing these voters.

John adds: So when the President went on Univision a week before the election and suggested Hispanics should “punish their enemies,” I think we have to look at the results and consider the real possibility that they listened.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Barack and the Beanstalk

Sonja Schmidt, who hosts the "Left Exposed" segments on PJTV, offered this new twist on an old nursey rhyme today.

Click here to enjoy it.

Heritage Foundation: Solutions for America

The Heritage Foundation issued today a set of five simple actions Congress must take in order to meet the mandate of the American people, as manifested in yesterday's voting. They call their list "Solutions for America: Get to Work."

FREEZE AND CUT SPENDING: Congress should immediately freeze discretionary budget authority at 2010 levels; and cut at least $170 billion from the federal budget for fiscal year 2012. This is only a first step. In the past four years, Congress has approved more spending that even the bureaucrats can handle. Congress must immediately survey the unobligated balances of all appropriations made in the past four years and should reclaim these unspent taxpayer funds and use them to reduce the deficit.

REPEAL OBAMACARE: Congress must immediately pass a bill that repeals Obamacare. Until Congress is able to get the President to sign a law repealing Obamacare, it must withhold funding, block key provisions and override regulations carrying out Obamacare. Only after Obamacare is rejected, can Congress undertake a careful, thoughtful legislative process to make practical adjustments that allow the free market to provide affordable, effective health care insurance choices.

STOP THE OBAMA TAX HIKES: Congress must reject the Obama tax hikes, and make permanent the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, thereby helping the economy grow and create more jobs.

PROTECT AMERICA: Congress must pass a budget resolution that won’t put our troops at risk or leave Americans vulnerable. It can do this by providing for defense an average of $720 billion per year (to be adjusted for inflation) for each of the next five fiscal years, in addition to the funding needed for ongoing contingency operations. Congress must make the defense budget as efficient as possible and reinvest dollars achieved from reforms in the military to offset the cost of modernizing and developing next-generation equipment.

GET CONTROL OF GOVERNMENT: Congress must immediately reestablish legislative accountability by posting complete legislation, ending earmarks, reviewing all unauthorized programs and respecting constitutional limits on government. Congress must check executive branch overreach with aggressive oversight, roll back recent government interventions, stop unnecessary administrative regulations and sunset new ones, restrict bureaucrats’ rulemaking authority and override executive orders.

These five priorities represent the bare minimum of what is expected of our new representatives. More will need to be done to get our nation back on the right track, but taking these actions represent a good start.

Vortex: Notre Dame Chooses PC Over Prayer

Dear Friend in Christ,

Why would Notre Dame refuse to offer a public prayer for the student who was killed on campus last week? Something is terribly wrong. Please watch this Vortex and pass it along to friends and loved ones.

GOD Bless you and your loved ones.

Michael Voris
~senior executive producer,

Hallelujah! The Republic Is Saved

(Click in bottom right to view on YouTube)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Muslims Killing Catholics in Iraq

This past Sunday in Baghdad, while Catholics were celebrating Mass at Our Lady of Salvation Church, gunmen from the Islamic State of Iraq, an Al-Qaeda affiliated organization, stormed the church and took 100 people hostage. Fifty-two people were killed in the attack, and 67 people were wounded.

The Islamic State of Iraq has vowed to continue its attacks, and is allegedly targeting Egypt’s Coptic minority for its supposed mistreatment of Christian women who convert to Islam, while a succession of bomb blasts once again rocked Iraq Tuesday evening, raising additional questions about the security services’ ability to cope.

The Daily Star, a newspaper in Lebanon, published this story dated tomorrow, November 3, 2010.

Caroline Glick posted a piece today, entitled "The Age of Dissimulation", in which she spoke of the atrocity at Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad on Sunday. She wrote:

On Sunday, we received a grim reminder of the plight of such minorities with the Islamic terror attack on Baghdad's largest church, the Our Lady of Salvation Catholic church.

As some one hundred worshipers celebrated evening mass, Islamic terrorists stormed the church. According to an eyewitness account, they walked straight up to the priest administering the mass and executed him. The Muslim terrorists then took the Christian worshipers hostage.

As Iraqi military forces stormed the church under US military supervision, the Islamic terrorists threw grenades at the worshipers and detonated their bomb belts. By Monday, the death toll had reached 52. It will be interesting to see how Catholic officials in Iraq and throughout the world respond to this attack.

It will indeed be interesting to see how Catholic officials throughout the world respond to this attack.

Chris Matthews: The Tingle Is Gone

(Click in bottom right to watch on YouTube)

When you've lost Chris Matthews...

Ruminations in a Kayak VI

(Click to enlarge)

On Making New Friends

There is more than one reason for my enduring preference for the one-seat kayak. Aside from an almost lifetime love of solitude (probably should have considered a cloistered monastery), there is my lack of desire for an abundance of friends. I have always been very careful in choosing my friends, and in extending my friendship to just anyone. The good Nuns at St. Timothy’s used to tell us that one could judge a man by the friends he makes. The corollary to that proposition, of course, is that one could judge a man by the people with whom he never became friendly. When one is so particular about close personal friendships, the loss of close friends is, of course, much more profound than it might be for one who does not place such high value on relationships. When close friends are lost late in life, replacing them is more difficult. It is more difficult, first of all, because the number of men with whom one shares the same life view has probably been dwindling steadily for some years. What, then, is one to do?

I have, as related previously, lost my closest friends in the past three years, and have not even tried to replace them. Frankly, I have no idea how to go about it. My father made one of the closest friends of his life after he took up the game of golf when he was well over fifty. I gave up golf many years ago when the boys started playing sports, so that’s out. It seems ironic that someone paddling all alone miles out in the ocean should ponder such a dilemma. The chance of meeting a new close friend out there (especially one my age) is probably not very good. On the other hand, should I come across another lone kayaker at the sea buoy, chances are we might have something in common (given the geographical circumstance of our meeting). With my luck, though, the guy would probably prove to be an eco freak, and a card carrying member-in-good-standing of PETA, who cherishes the life of the planet, the whales, dogs, cats, and every other animal known to man, in fact every life but the life of an unborn child. In other words, with my luck he would be a Liberal. Thank the Lord for one-seat kayaks.

(On such things does one ruminate while paddling a one-person kayak miles out in the ocean - closer to God.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

How Do You Really Feel, Sarah?

Vote Tomorrow For Freedom

That's Lt.Gen (Ret) William Boykin, and before you dismiss him as a radical undeserving of your attention, please click on his name and read his background. You can then more ably judge his credibility.

H/T: edscis