Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jenny has

Jenny has two women whom she was taught to call "mommy", although only one really is.

Jenny has a father in Boston who has laughing blue eyes and a beard. She will never know this, however because he will always be just "donor" to her. She imagines he was a spy captured by enemy soldiers and that's why he never comes to see her. In fact, he makes people happy playing beautiful music on the piano. Jenny will never take piano lessons because nobody knows how much she would love it if she had the opportunity.

Jenny has a Father in heaven who loves her, and she loved Him too until she was taught that He didn't exist and that people who believed in Him were ignorant and hateful. Jenny's mother teaches her that in reality things are what you believe them to be and if you want happiness you have to envision it and the universe will send it to you. Any sadness Jenny has is her own fault because she's not trying hard enough.

Jenny has a family history of colon cancer on her father's side, and since she doesn't know to get screening for it, it will probably kill her if she lives long enough.

Jenny's father has an aunt who could teach Jenny how to make pierogi and dance a polka, and how to speak Polish, and tell her about her grandfather, who was descended from a duke. Jenny will never meet her.

Jenny has a grandmother who lives in a nursing home. She wishes she had someone to visit her or a reminder that someone loved her. Jenny loves to draw and makes dozens and dozens of pictures of flowers that her "mommies" put on the fridge until they finally have to throw some out.

Jenny has an "uncle" who likes to borrow her mother's clothes, and who teaches her what a male body is like. Her "mommies" want her to be free to explore sexuality. Jenny uses this to her advantage and becomes a very popular fifth grader.

Jenny has a baby who loves her, whom she will never know. She's not sure whose it is, but since she is 13 and it might be her gym teacher's he takes her secretly to get an abortion.

Jenny has a savior who died for her, whom she will never know. He sheds a tear for her as the nail pierces the flesh of His left hand.

Monday, June 27, 2011


It is with disgust that I read this article about a "genderless" preschool in Sweden. According to the preschool:
The taxpayer-funded preschool which opened last year in the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm for kids aged 1 to 6 is among the most radical examples of Sweden's efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward.

Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.
So, if they are to be believed they are trying to solve this "problem". But instead of encouraging people to value girls more, the solution they have decided upon is to remove the "advantage" by attempting to alter the nature of the children themselves.
Some parents worry things have gone too far. An obsession with obliterating gender roles, they say, could make the children confused and ill-prepared to face the world outside kindergarten.

"Different gender roles aren't problematic as long as they are equally valued," says Tanja Bergkvist, a 37-year-old blogger and a leading voice against what she calls "gender madness" in Sweden.

Those bent on shattering gender roles "say there's a hierarchy where everything that boys do is given higher value, but I wonder who decides that it has higher value," she says. "Why is there higher value in playing with cars?"
Which is exactly the question. Why should anyone think that playing with cars is better than playing house? I don't.
Director Lotta Rajalin notes that Egalia places a special emphasis on fostering an environment tolerant of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. From a bookcase she pulls out a story about two male giraffes who are sad to be childless — until they come across an abandoned crocodile egg.

Nearly all the children's books deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no "Snow White," ''Cinderella" or other classic fairy tales seen as cementing stereotypes.

Rajalin, 52, says the staff also try to help the children discover new ideas when they play.

"A concrete example could be when they're playing 'house' and the role of the mom already is taken and they start to squabble," she says. "Then we suggest two moms or three moms and so on."
Now we get to the real reason for this radical agenda - trying to teach children to accept the gay lifestyle. These children who quibble over the role of mom already being taken already understand something their "educators" have become to smart to understand - that a child actually has one mother and one father.

Attempts to raise children genderless or reverse their gender roles in the past have all either failed or resulted in severe psychological trauma. That the state should approve wholesale experimentation on this scale is appalling.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pi equals three

There is an urban myth that at one time in our nation's history Congress legislated that the value of "pi" (3.14159265...) be changed to 3 to simplify computations involving trade goods. The Huffington Post cribbed the idea in a spoof last month. Of course, what makes these "funny" is that we understand that the government can't change nature, and so the true value of pi will always remain what it is and all that would be hurt by such legislation is the US economy.

Such is the case with the legislation that Governor Cuomo signed into law yesterday. I know this has been posted in much more frequented blogs than mine, like The Curt Jester and Cleansing Fire, but it needs to be shouted form the rooftops, so here's my shout. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio's statement regarding the passage of same-sex "marriage" legislation reads as follows (emphasis mine).
Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have deconstructed the single most important institution in human history. Republicans and Democrats alike succumbed to powerful political elites and have passed legislation that will undermine our families and as a consequence, our society.

With this vote, Governor Cuomo has opened a new front in the culture wars that are tearing at the fabric of our nation. At a time when so many New Yorkers are struggling to stay in their homes and find jobs, we should be working together to solve these problems. However, the politicians have curried favor with wealthy donors who are proponents of a divisive agenda in order to advance their own careers and futures.

What is needed in our state is leadership and not political gamesmanship.

In light of these disturbing developments and in protest for this decision, I have asked all Catholic schools to refuse any distinction or honors bestowed upon them this year by the governor or any member of the legislature who voted to support this legislation. Furthermore, I have asked all pastors and principals to not invite any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration.

The above request is intended as a protest of the corrupt political process in New York State. More than half of all New Yorkers oppose this legislation. Yet, the governor and the state legislature have demonized people of faith, whether they be Muslims, Jews, or Christians, and identified them as bigots and prejudiced, and voted in favor of same-sex “marriage.” It is mystifying that this bill would be passed on the last day of an extended session under the cover of darkness.

This issue has been framed as upholding marriage equality. This is not the case since one of the principal purposes of marriage is to bring new life into the world. This cannot happen in same-sex marriage. It is not a civil rights issue, but rather a human rights issue upholding the age-old understanding of marriage. Our political leaders do not believe their own rhetoric. If they did, how in good conscience could they carve out any exemption for institutions that would be proponents of bigotry and prejudice?

Republicans and Democrats equally share responsibility for this ruinous legislation and we as Catholics should hold all accountable for their actions.
Although I might add I don't find it "mystifying that this bill would be passed on the last day of an extended session under the cover of darkness" - I expect that. We've seen it from our pre-2010 Congress and current president often enough.

May God have mercy on us.

Friday, June 24, 2011


A short while ago on plurk my friend Adoro started a discussion about zombies. My friend Christie posted her theory of zombies:
Zombies are people who have succumbed to mortal sin. They are spiritually dead, devouring others in their selfish self gratification. They infect others and make more like themselves. We really are in a Zombie Apocalypse if you think about it
...which will be the topic of today's post. There are a lot of zombies out there. People who have given up their free will and mindlessly follow wherever their "natural" instincts lead them. From the idea that homosexuals are unable to control their impulses (and shouldn't try) and likewise for heterosexuals who are encouraged to "just do it." I think the attempts to redefine marriage in terms of sex instead of sacrifice are part of this zombie apocalypse.

But of course zombies are only one kind of monster. What else is out there? There are vampires. Vampires are people who have sold their soul for the promise of eternal life on Earth. They kill young innocent human beings, taking their life's blood in order to keep themselves alive longer. Although embryonic stem cells have yet to add one minute to anyone's life, they are taken in the name of longevity, and are being used increasingly in ways to "help benefit" people, from vaccines to cosmetics to artificial flavor enhancers to lasers!

Then there is Frankenstein's monster. He was created by Dr. Frankenstein, who took organs from executed criminals without consent. Monstrous, and yet we have it being used to support euthanasia in Belgium. Just as troubling are the presumed consent laws, which basically give the state de-facto ownership to use your body unless you "opt out" and, of course, unless they make a mistake or fail to find you on the list, etc. In those cases, you have no legal recourse but to be chopped up for the greater good.

There's the werewolf. Once a month this person looses control of their body and becomes only partially human. Women today are encouraged to use "the pill", which interrupts their monthly cycle and suppresses one of the natural functions of the human body - the giving of life. Just like the werewolf slowly becoming less and less human, they lose their desire and desirability, and the ability to love and be loved, and perhaps risk their lives as well.

There are monstrous chimeras, as depicted in the classic horror stories The Fly and The Island of Dr. Moreau. Consider the actual chimeras produced in labs today, such as the cows that give human breast milk or the man/mouse hybrids being used in research.

Those were all the monsters I could think of. Feel free to chime in if I missed something important. Eugenics and IVF are staples of sci-fi distopian stories as well, but I'll leave them for another post, since they are not typically thought of in the "monster" category. Scarily, unlike the monsters in books, movies, and TV, these are all real world things.

One other thing struck me as true about all the "traditional" monster stories. They are all afraid of the Catholic church, and can all be defeated by it. Some things never change. I find comfort in that.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

This is so sick

I have to post this, even if it is only a link to another site. The excellent blog Mary Meets Dolly has this post about the "euthanasia coaster". According to the designer it is a roller coaster (I kid you not) that kills 24 humans at a time for "dealing with overpopulation or when your life becomes too long". And this is produced by a site called "science gallery". Makes me want to think about removing the word "science" from my degrees.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Common Ground

What do Israeli feminists and Catholics have in common? Concerns about surrogate motherhood. From BioEdge:
The Israeli feminist group Isha L’Isha has published a harshly critical report on surrogate motherhood. Israel was the first country to legalise surrogacy, in March 1996. But 15 years later, says Isha L’Isha, “insufficient data have, as yet, been gathered to enable full evaluation of this innovative social experiment.”

“It is our belief that perceiving pregnancy and childbirth for another couple or individual solely as a financial business transaction is inappropriate and unthinkable. The fact that surrogacy is a complex relationship which might be fertile ground for harm and exploitation must be recognized, especially when private organizations with financial interests are allowed to become involved. We believe, that surrogacy in Israel should be prohibited. In the least, surrogacy must not be allowed to becomes an accepted, routine procedure, and should provide a solution only in rare, very extreme cases.”

The report warns that surrogacy could easily become baby farming:

“Objective utilization of identity-related aspects of the human body contradicts basic ethical values, and by nature, has high potential for exploitation and degradation. Surrogacy is an experimental procedure with great potential for harm, especially if it will become prevalent and accepted. The distance between heroically presenting a unique human gift to a childless couple and time spent on a ‘fertility farm,’ which uses human machines, is not large, and the ability to preserve this distance will diminish as surrogacy becomes more widespread and routine.” ~ Isha L’Isha, June 1
The newsletter from which this came, Isha L'Isha, listrs similar concerns about the egg donation side. Although the articles warn that surrogacy and egg donation "encourage" the commoditization of human life, the Church recognizes that surrogacy and egg donation in fact is the commoditization of human life, and contrary to the dignity of human beings.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Backing up

What do you do for backups? Until about four years ago most of my important data was on a Linux machine in a RAID array, and I periodically would just copy the whole thing to a separate disk. However, as the separate disk was in the same machine (this was in the days before USB external hard drives), a lightning strike could take the whole thing.

Over the years I decided to go with an external USB hard drive, but it is a pain remembering to connect it periodically, and if you leave it connected, it can get fried with the machine. Then I got a Macbook. My initial thought was to back it up to the Linux box over the network, and do backups there all in one place, but NFS connections on the laptop are somewhat unreliable, and I would often find the darn thing hung trying to do a disk write over the network.

I tried Time Machine, but I didn't like the way it worked. I don't want to keep all the old versions of stuff, I just want to be able to restore data. So I got a copy of SuperDuper! and it is very nice for backing up the laptop to an external disk. It's tech support is surly, but knowledgeable and I was happy with it for a number of years now. I also got a copy of Tuxera NTFS which lets my Macbook read/write external drives formatted for Windows. This makes interoperability of external drives between my Linux and Mac machines easier. Life was good.

Then I decided off-site backups would be a good idea in case the house floods, burns down, etc. I looked at some of the online backup solutions. The one I went with in the end was SafeSync. The reason I chose it was price - unlimited backup storage for $60/year. Since then the price has gone way up, so unless you have very little data to be backed up it's not a good solution (nor is any online backup I've seen). I have also some problems with them. They have a browser-based backup solution for non supported machines, but it doesn't work from a browser under Linux (so all I can back up is the Macbook). Their software insists on backing up everything under a folder - no exceptions. Which means if I want all my iTunes data backed up I also have to backup my podcasts, which means backing up many MB each day that I really don't need to. In addition, the Java app that performs backups is a resource hog. I don't think other online solutions are as bad, but I'm not willing to invest the money to find out.

So I found myself looking for a better backup solution that doesn't cost a fortune. Lifehacker suggests using multiple cloud services to get free online backups, but that is a headache, and still limited in storage size. I believe what I'm going to stick with is one of those fireproof safe boxes and keep my external drives in there. I know there are fireproof disk drives but they are more expensive than this solution, especially since I can use the fireproof safe for many drives.

Are you backed up? You should be!