Day of Wonders!

Snow Day #2 was interesting, with many amazing discoveries and narrow escapes.  As I get twitchy when confined indoors (and in isolation) for any length of time beyond a day, I took to the wintry streets to snap some photos:

1.  Survival on the Steps

101_0165

I like my landlords, but they inexplicably chose to paint my steps with a slick, high-gloss paint, meaning that anytime there is snow and ice, I take my life in my hands with my travels.  Today, I again survived.

2. Intestinal Turbulence Avoided (check the expiration date on that box).

101_0187

Yeah, that’s Bisquick almost three years beyond its expiration date.  While I was cleaning my apartment, I got rid of some nasty old foodstuffs.  Not shown here: Rock-hard mini-marshmallows (which tragically did taint my hot chocolate yesterday–after they refused to melt), a two-year outdated box of “Mango Crisp” cereal, and the cranberries I swept out from behind my oven.  If you haven’t guessed it, baking in my kitchen is a perilous and messy enterprise.

3. Icy River, Forded

101_0174

Okay, so I really didn’t ford the river, but it fit with the numbered themes, and was dramatic, so yeah…I just got pictures of it from afar, while dodging surprisingly active trashtrucks wheeling about in residential neighborhoods.

Advertisements

Pre-emptive Strike!

cupids-hunt

Twenty-eight years of life I’ve withheld judgement on Valentine’s Day.  I value the (often forgotten) origins of the holiday and what it stood for, but I think it’s time for the day to go.  Love has the option of ruling every day–it doesn’t need it’s own special day of celebration.  

I’ve seen too many singles start suffering when the shelves get chocolate-stocked after New Year’s, and I’ve had to council some of the (many) broken-hearted teenage boys crushed by idiot girls that think VD is a great time to break-up with someone.  So I’m just going to do it…I’m going to call Valentine’s day out on the crap that it is–a commercialized day of pain that has brought more heartache than good.  

images

But you know me, and I try not to leave people on a downer ;).   V Day needs a replacement.  And not just a day of wholesome goodness, which can only be celebrated by the few.  We need a week, celebrated by all.  So band together with me to sign this petition to institute National Pie Week (and don’t forget to let Olivia know we want it to replace Valentine’s day).  

Stay Strong…This Race Can be Won

Today is the 35th “anniversary” of Roe vs. Wade.  My classes began with silent prayer…one second for every 1 million of our brothers and sisters who’ve been aborted in the last 35 years.  My students were shocked by how long that lasted.  Would that we could have taken one minute for every million–and still too short a sum it would have been to honor lives extinguished by indifference.

It is disheartening to see how little progress has been made in the fight for life, when tens of thousands of lives saved still must be weighed against more than a million yearly lost, and how little those lives meant to most in our past election.  And so I cast about on this darkest day of the year for encouragement, and found my spirit surely lifted.

Lifted first by a speech delivered by a Catholic priest on this day last year (portions posted below) and secondly from a Newsboys song overheard while driving home (also posted below).

I hope others can take heart from these, and stay strong, for this race can be won.

“…We contend, and we contend relentlessly, for the dignity of the human person, of every human person, created in the image and likeness of God, destined from eternity for eternity—every human person, no matter how weak or how strong, no matter how young or how old, no matter how productive or how burdensome, no matter how welcome or how inconvenient. Nobody is a nobody; nobody is unwanted. All are wanted by God, and therefore to be respected, protected, and cherished by us.

We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every unborn child is protected in law and welcomed in life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until all the elderly who have run life’s course are protected against despair and abandonment, protected by the rule of law and the bonds of love. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every young woman is given the help she needs to recognize the problem of pregnancy as the gift of life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, as we stand guard at the entrance gates and the exit gates of life, and at every step along way of life, bearing witness in word and deed to the dignity of the human person—of every human person.

Against the encroaching shadows of the culture of death, against forces commanding immense power and wealth, against the perverse doctrine that a woman’s dignity depends upon her right to destroy her child, against what St. Paul calls the principalities and powers of the present time, this convention renews our resolve that we shall not weary, we shall not rest, until the culture of life is reflected in the rule of law and lived in the law of love.

It has been a long journey, and there are still miles and miles to go… To be recruited to the cause of the culture of life is to be recruited for the duration; and there is no end in sight, except to the eyes of faith.

Perhaps you, too, can specify such a moment when you knew you were recruited. At that moment you could have said, “Yes, it’s terrible that in this country alone 4,000 innocent children are killed every day, but then so many terrible things are happening in the world. Am I my infant brother’s keeper? Am I my infant sister’s keeper?” You could have said that, but you didn’t. You could have said, “Yes, the nation that I love is betraying its founding principles—that every human being is endowed by God with inalienable rights, including, and most foundationally, the right to life. But,” you could have said, “the Supreme Court has spoken and its word is the law of the land. What can I do about it?” You could have said that, but you didn’t. That horror, that betrayal, would not let you go. You knew, you knew there and then, that you were recruited to contend for the culture of life, and that you were recruited for the duration.

The contention between the culture of life and the culture of death is not a battle of our own choosing. We are not the ones who imposed upon the nation the lethal logic that human beings have no rights we are bound to respect if they are too small, too weak, too dependent, too burdensome. That lethal logic, backed by the force of law, was imposed by an arrogant elite that for almost forty years has been telling us to get over it, to get used to it.

But “We the People,” who are the political sovereign in this constitutional democracy, have not gotten over it, we have not gotten used to it, and we will never, we will never ever, agree that the culture of death is the unchangeable law of the land…

We do not know, we do not need to know, how the battle for the dignity of the human person will be resolved. God knows, and that is enough. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta and saints beyond numbering have taught us, our task is not to be successful but to be faithful. Yet in that faithfulness is the lively hope of success. We are the stronger because we are unburdened by delusions. We know that in a sinful world, far short of the promised Kingdom of God, there will always be great evils. The principalities and powers will continue to rage, but they will not prevail.

In the midst of the encroaching darkness of the culture of death, we have heard the voice of him who said, “In the world you will have trouble. But fear not, I have overcome the world.” Because he has overcome, we shall overcome. We do not know when; we do not know how. God knows, and that is enough. We know the justice of our cause, we trust in the faithfulness of his promise, and therefore we shall not weary, we shall not rest.

–Fr. Richard John Neuhaus

Famous People on Gun Control

gun_control_works2

A friend forwarded an interesting link to me concerning the topic of gun control. It was written by an Indian gun owner, who lamented the continued lawlessness and terrorist action in his part of the country, and blamed those things (and terrorism) in part on the lack of gun ownership in the general populace.

I’m not going to paste the full article, but rather the quotes on gun ownership from some notable figures of history.  There are some real eye-openers here, as several individuals normally associated with “non-violence” and “peace” have in fact openly endorsed the right to bear arms.  A notable socialist speaks out in favor of firearm rights (to my great shock–I’m used to them opposing such rights).  And one of the most evil men in history endorses strict gun control, revealing precisely why we need the 2nd Amendment.

Adolf Hitler: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty.” (H.R. Trevor-Roper, Hitler’s Table Talks 1941-1944)

Mahatma Gandhi: “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.” — (An Autobiography OR The story of my experiments with truth, by M.K. Gandhi, p.238 )

Lenin: “A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie.”

George Orwell (himself a socialist): “That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”

Sammy “The Bull” Gravano (notorious Mafia hit-man): “Gun control? It’s the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I’m a bad guy, I’m always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You’ll pull the trigger with a lock on, and I’ll pull the trigger. We’ll see who wins.”

Thomas Paine: “The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside…. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them….” — Thoughts on Defensive War, 1775

The Dalai Lama: “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times) speaking at the “Educating Heart Summit” in Portland, Oregon, when asked by a girl how to react when a shooter takes aim at a classmate.

George Mason: “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”

Ninja Parade Success Once Again

From the Onion News Network:

I’ve notified fellow ninja that the incompetent ass who was caught on camera a few years ago is to be hauled before the Tribunal so he can perform seppuku.  We must maintain the appropriate levels of fear.  

File under “A” for “Awesome”…

robodog11

I stumbled upon these allegedly REAL pictures of a guy who rides a robo-motorcylce-dog to work every day.  I’m insanely jealous, and yet surprisingly heartened by the sight.

robodog4

This dude gives me hope mankind just might survive the Robocalypse.  Of course, all things are possible if we can train bears to do this:

motorbear1