Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday Joke

Larry got off the elevator on the 40th floor and nervously knocked on his blind date’s door. She opened it and to his amazement and joy, was as lovely and sweet as his friend Dave had promised.

“I’ll be ready in a few minutes,” she said. “Why don’t you play with Snuggles while you’re waiting? She does wonderful tricks. She’ll roll over, shake hands, sit up and if you make a hoop with your arms, like this, she’ll jump through.”

The dog followed Larry out onto the balcony and started rolling over. Larry made a hoop with his arms and sure enough, Snuggles jumped right through - and then over the balcony railing just before Larry’s date walked out!

“Isn’t little Snuggles the cutest, happiest dog you’ve ever seen?”


“To tell the truth,” he replied, “she seemed a little depressed to me.”

Friday, May 15, 2015

Government Growth

On this day, in 1800, president John Adams orders the federal government to move from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. The US population was 5.3 million and the government employed 125 people.

Today the US population is 318 million (about 61x as many people), but the federal payroll has grown to 2,750,000 people (about 22,000x as many people).

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Is the Pain Capable Act a Good Thing? [Updated]

Perhaps you read this story yesterday: Breaking: U S House Passes 10 Week Abortion Ban on Anniversary of Gosnell Conviction.

According to OpenCongress, the vote was 242-184 in favor, mostly along party lines, with 4 Democrats voting "yes" and 4 Republicans voting "no".

I remains to be seen whether the senate will pass this bill with enough votes to withstand the pretty much guaranteed veto of our extreme pro-abortion president. If the vote goes along party lines, it will fail (55-45 if the independents split their vote).

I have mixed feelings about this bill. I applaud any legislation that protects the right to life, but there are a number of problems...

1) The bill makes avoiding pain the criteria for protecting the right to life. This is dangerous in many ways. First off, if an abortionist were to inject the baby with an anesthetic before, or at the same time as, the digoxin, then the abortion would be (presumably) OK. Second, if we make pain the criteria for preserving life, what about people with chronic pain? Do they become eligible for euthanasia? We have established a principle that pain is so important avoid it is worth taking away a woman's "rights"? Could it be used to take away a senior or disabled persons's right to life?

2) The bill brings the US into line with other "civilized" nations. The political will to move beyond this point will be lessened. This may be a moot point, since we don't seem to have the political will to go even this far, judging by the "controversy" and expected lackluster performance in the senate.

3) The percentage of abortions performed after 20 weeks is small, about 1.4 percent. So this bill does not save many lives. Not that the 16,800 lives it would save are not significant, but if we're going to go through the process, it would be nice to have a bill that addressed a larger percentage of abortions.

On the plus side, when (nearly) every Democrat votes against for abortion up to birth, and the president vetoes the bill, it does point out just how extreme the party's views on abortion are. Perhaps that will get people thinking and acting to defend life...

[UPDATE] It seems others find even less good about this bill. The exceptions in it are pretty much the reasons given for most late term abortions today, so the number of lives saved will be even tinier. Sounds like more "feel good" legislation. If you want to feel good for real, contact your legislator and ask them to support HR 816.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Extremists

“We cannot let a minority of people — and that’s what it is, a minority of people — hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people”

Think about these words, and how scary they are. We cannot let people hold a viewpoint - that's thought police. It's not "we cannot let people do such-and-such" - they should not be allowed to think such-and-such.

If I were a minority I'd be scared out of my wits living in a country where a leader said that. Perhaps Perhaps I'm an African American, and people are being terrorized by the violence in Baltimore and Ferguson. Or perhaps I'm a Muslim the US, where one could arguably say that Islam terrorizes the majority (as on 9-11).

What is being proposed for the people who are not allowed to hold such a viewpoint? Should they be deported? Locked up? Sent to "reeducation camps?"

Consider those word, and then consider who said this, any about whom. Was it Putin, speaking about Chechens? Hitler speaking about Jews? Was it a quote by Big Brother, from Orwell's 1984?

No, it was Hillary Clinton, and she was speaking about people who hold a viewpoint that is in the Constitution, and which has been confirmed time and time again by the Supreme Court - namely that the right to keep and bear arms is a right of the people of the United States.

For extra credit, it's not just the second amendment she wishes to abolish, but also the first, when she said:
“Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed"

I don't know about you, but her viewpoint terrorizes me.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Joke

A mangy looking guy goes into a restaurant and orders a hamburger. The waiter shakes his head and says, “No way. I don’t think you can pay for it.”

The guy says, “You’re right. I don’t have any money, but if I show you something you have never seen before, will you give me the food?”

“Deal!”

The guy reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a hamster and puts it on the counter. The hamster runs to the end of the counter, across the room, and up the piano. He jumps on the keyboard and starts playing Gershwin tunes.

The waiter says, “Wow, you’re right. I’ve never seen anything like that before. That hamster is a really good piano player.”

He brings the man a hamburger, which he promptly eats and asks for another.

“Money or another miracle,” says the waiter.


The guy reaches into his coat again and pulls out a frog. He puts the frog on the counter, and the frog starts to sing. He has a marvelous voice and great pitch. A fine singer. A stranger from the other end of the counter runs over to the guy and offers him $300 for the frog.

The guy says, “It’s a deal.” He takes the money. The stranger takes the frog and runs out of the restaurant.

The waiter says. “Are you crazy? You sold a singing frog for $300? It must have been worth millions.”

“Nah,” says the guy. “The hamster is also a ventriloquist.”

Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday Joke

A Montana State trooper pulled a car over on I-90 about 2 miles east of Bozeman, Montana. When the trooper asked the driver why he was speeding, the driver said he was a 'Magician and Juggler' and was on his way to Bozeman to do a show for the Children’s Hospital. He didn't want to be late.

The trooper told the driver he was fascinated by juggling and said if the driver would do a little juggling for him then he wouldn't give him a ticket. He told the trooper he had sent his equipment ahead and didn't have anything to juggle.The trooper said he had some flares in the trunk and asked if he could juggle them. The juggler said he could, so the trooper got 5 flares, lit them and handed them to him.


While the man was juggling, a car pulled in behind the State Troopers car. A drunken good old boy from Butte, Montana got out, watched the performance, then went over to the trooper's car, opened the rear door and got in. The trooper observed him and went over to the State car, opened the door asking the drunk what he thought he was doing.

The drunk replied, “You might as well take me to jail, cause there ain't no way I can pass that test.”

[H/T Fr. Leo]

Friday, April 24, 2015

Foundation

I recently listened to Scott and Julie, from A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and it's tough for me to keep up with them all, so I am a bit behind on this one. The story they were talking about was Isaac Asimov's Foundation. This is a book near and dear to my heart, as it brings me back to high school. A lovely young lass befriended me, and convinced me to join the Science Fiction Book Club, of which she was a member. Now that I think of it, perhaps she just wanted the free book credits for getting me to join...

At any rate, I got 2 free books for joining, and they could be any books, even trilogies. So on her advice I got Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy and Frank Herbert's Dune trilogy. Wow, seeing as that's going for $195 I wish I had kept my copies. Oh well.

Science Fiction soon became my favorite thing to read. And although I loved both sets of stories, Foundation was my favorite, and Asimov soon became my favorite author. Between trips to the mailbox looking for my next month's SF book club offerings, I would go to the library and pour through their science fiction section, from Anderson to Zelazny, reading everything they had.

But back to the Foundation trilogy. If you haven't read it, there will be spoilers, so go away, read it, and come back... Good. Julie and Scott had some interesting things to say about it, but they didn't focus on what I think is very obvious (maybe they didn't because it is so glaringly obvious) - Harry Seldon is Christ. Oh not literally, but he is a Christ figure in the story. Just like Christ he gathers his disciples and says "I will be with you until the end of the age."

When there is a Seldon crisis" he even appears to the descendants of his disciples. You did read the books, right? Oh, then a "Seldon crisis" is a socio-political crisis predicted by Harry Seldon's psychohistorical mathematics. When one happens, the people can't see the way it can be resolved, but Harry knows, and it all works out in the end. Kind of like "the gates of hell shall not prevail" kind of stuff...

Which got me thinking. In the 13th century, the Church was suffering from corruption from within and the threat of Muslim invasion and secularism from without. Sound familiar? Until a young man named Francis had a dream that Jesus was telling him "rebuild my church." We think of him as a nice man in brown who holds birds in his hands, but in the day he was quite the radical. He walked hundreds of miles, barefoot, to preach to the Muslims, with the result that they did not invade.

It seems like the Church today is experiencing another "Seldon crisis." Will Jesus appear and help us through this one? Perhaps he already has...