Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Child Molester

This is the film, named simply The Child Molester, and produced in 1964 by The Highway Safety Foundation that has been indelibly linked in my mind with the Sister Janet Mead version of the Lord's Prayer.  IF you watch it, you'll see early 1960s PSA production values, and see how far we've come in our understanding of who we should worry about relative to our children's safety.  Nonetheless, watch it to the end at your own risk.  Even today, now, in the 21st century, after decades of graphic violence, scenes of death on the news, millions of hours of over the top Tarantino inspired blood-gore, those images are disturbing.  It's no wonder this all left a mark in my mind. 

Which makes me wonder, as I am wont to do.  If a single image like this was branded into my mind for all time, such that the tune and image remained even in the face of no evidence to support them, what oh what are the million images we deluge our children with today leaving in their minds?  Sometimes I wonder if we need ask such a thing.  I'm afraid we already know.

Speaking of songs of my early childhood

Playground in My Mind.  Warning, there's more where this came from!  I remember this from school, early grade school that is. The lazy, hazy days of innocence long gone.  It had to be innocent to get any kind of kick from this bizarre tune.

A Lord's Prayer song

The things you find on the Internet.  So I was getting ready to do my part in discussing the Lord's Prayer for RCIA.  Well, we didn't get around to it.  But in my searching around for inspiration, I stumbled across this musical take on the Lord's Prayer from the early 1970s:

The funny thing about this is, I've wondered about that tune all my life.  Since I became Christian, I've heard various musical versions of the Lord's Prayer, including one version set to music that I've heard when we recite the Our Father during Mass.  But I've wondered all along if this was just in my imagination or not, since I never, ever heard it at any time in my Christian life.

One reason that something I've not found (until now) was there buzzing about my recollections had to do with how I linked it in my childhood memories.  I distinctly remembered sitting and listening to it one day in first grade.  The reason it stuck there against all evidence that I might have imagined the tune, is because that day I had come home from school after watching a film at an assembly.  That film was a dramatization about two little girls who get in a car with a stranger after the stranger gives them candy. 

It was an educational film meant to teach us the dangers of getting near strangers.  The girls are taken to an isolated spot and quickly dispatched.  One girl fleeing for her life manages to hide in a drain pipe, only to be found and murdered.  The film ended with actual raw footage of the two girls' bodies being taken away by the police, the girls I supposed upon which the story was based.

Again, this was the early 1970s.  This was when the scariest thing a kid like me was exposed to happened to be the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz.  I'm sure that today such a film would go in one eye and out the other for most kids.  But in the innocent days of early 70s grade school, it left a mark on me I never shook.  And because it was so depressing to watch, coming home and hearing this song always equated the Lord's Prayer - in my own mind at least - with a little sadness. 

Now I know it wasn't just some fanciful recreation in my mind.  It really did happen.  The song was really published, and in fact, apparently, was quite a hit.  And to this day I shy from getting into cars with strangers, adult that I am.  I was going to connect this all with taking a fresh look at the Lord's Prayer.  But at least for me, it showed me that some of these old memories may have more basis in reality than I thought.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Remember when I said I would reserve judgement on the Trayvan Martin case

And was suspicious of individuals, like the President, exploiting it for personal gain?  Well here's another reason why.  Observe and shudder:

Now I don't know the details.  For all I know Zimmerman is as guilty as guilty can be.  Or he may be someone who, while going against what he was instructed to do, nonetheless felt he was acting in self defense.  I don't know.  Nobody knows.  Not the hordes calling for Zimmerman's head.  Not the leaders and media pundits exploiting dead teenagers in order to ramrod their agendas.  Not Gun Control activists, Gun Rights activists, or anyone.  Nobody knows right now what happened.  That we have been witness to a bona fide media inspired lynch mob should be enough.  But looking at the fact that Not. One. Media. Outlet has, as far as I know, shown anything other than an obviously young, angelic Martin and an obviously scruffy Zimmerman, it should be clear that the differences between America's National Media and Goebbels's inspired propaganda are, at this point, negligible.

Obama to Medvedev:

Be prepared for my next four years, because you ain't see nothing yet.

I'll be king undisputed,
respected, saluted,
and seen for the wonder I am!

A night at the concert

So last Monday night we were dazzled by the musical proficiency of our sons and their supporting orchestras.  OK, the bands did great.  Really, I don't seem to remember my high school band sounding so good, though we were a small rural high school that basically took anyone we could take.  Being carbon based was pretty much the requirement for almost anything you signed up for.  In my sons' school system, if they aren't more demanding, they seem to have more resources to cultivate talent.  So the entire concert sounded so much better.  Here are some clips:

Yes, our oldest always looks that serious

Our thirteen year old doing a bit of Chicago in Jazz Band

Playing snare drum for the 1812 Overture - he is just a match for drums

The obligatory 'ain't he precious' pic

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Incoherent atheist answers Fr. Barron

Even his accent couldn't save this train wreck of inept ramblings. Basically it all boils down to 'religion is too stupid and evil, and atheism has made the world what it is today!' Nothing really based on sound reasoning, as is typical of so many modern atheists. While insisting theirs is the sole domain of reason and the intellect, they as often as not appeal to knee-jerk, baseless stereotypes and emotional responses to complex issues. Fr. Barron makes it look too easy. This poor fellow shows just how difficult it is to enter into the complex and deep world of philosophical and theological reflections. Watch, and you'll see what I mean.

An atheistic comedy of errors

So I was getting ready for Mass this morning, and decided to watch MSNBC. Chris Hayes was on. I happened to stumble upon the segment gushing over that massive rally of atheists in Washington that happened yesterday.  His guests, during the part I watched, were Harvard Professor Steven Pinker, Susan Jacoby, author of Freethinkers, A History of American Secularism, Jamila Bey, host of the Sex, Politics and Religion Hour on the Voice of Russia Radio Network, and Jamie Kiltsein, a comedian  and radio host.

OK.  So here's what I heard, and if I could find a link to the program, I would post it.  If for no other reason than to share the laughter and guffawing I was able to enjoy this morning.  It began, as soon as I came to the channel, with our brave Chris Hayes admitting that he doesn't think much about his atheism.  It's not what defines him.  He doesn't give it much thought.  The guests all nodded in agreement. 

The rest of the discussion was a series of high-fives as we are informed of the various weaknesses of conservatives, religion, and the religious right.  In typical MSNBC style, there was not one shred of evidence that there might be credible opposing viewpoints in the world.  Rather much love and adoration was given to the polls that show more Americans are atheist and agnostic, even if those polls rather showed that more Americans don't identify with a particular belief, and are in fact seeking. 

In the course of the two segments, I learned this:

Chris Hayes and his guests, representing the intellectually sophisticated freethinkers, are proud of the fact that they don't give their atheism much thought.

Susan Jacoby thinks Pope John Paul II should have offed himself rather than suffer in the final days of his life.

Susan Jacoby doesn't distinguish details, but rather thinks secular conservatives and religious conservatives are all more or less fans of Ayn Rand, even though most religious conservatives, if informed of Rand's radical social Darwinism and atheism, would shockingly disavow such views.

According to Jamila Bey, African American women are the most religious group in America, even refusing to use contraceptives because their churches say so (which African American churches say this was not mentioned), even though their sexual lifestyles would suggest a need for contraceptives (because apparently this religiously devout segment attends churches that are OK with sexual promiscuity, hence the need for these devout ladies for contraceptives).  All of this really being the basis for Jamila Bey explaining that she can't help but be a zealous evangelist for the atheist cause.  Religious (or non-religious) devotion is just in the genes.

The good Steven Pinker reminds us that our notions of religious freedom and equality are firmly planted in the Western secular traditions, that religion and the Judeo-Christian tradition deserve not one iota of credit for any of this, even though the ideas of universal equality were seen by many European philosophers as being grounded in the existence of One Creator, and the early enlightenment philosophers and thinkers frequently argued from both philosophy and religion for laying the groundwork of religious freedom and human rights.  One could even suggest that such phrases as 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights' bespeak a certain tendency of those thinkers to not draw a thick line between secular thought and religious principle like modern atheists.

Kilstein, for the most part, was there to remind people of faith that they need not buy into the pop culture narrative that atheists are more tolerant or intellectually superior to people of religious faith.  Most of his rants, focusing primarily on gay rights, Gay Rights, GAY RIGHTS!, were paraphrases of the post-modern secular left's principle that says, "Look, as long as you conform to my superior dogmas and absolute infallible truths, I'm completely tolerant of anyone who agrees with me", while holding hatred of the right kind of people to be one of the highest virtues. 

But there was one moment that caught my attention.  Susan Jacoby got down to business about the Obama Administration's naked assault on Constitutional liberty.  She explained that it really isn't about contraceptives.  True.  She also added that it isn't about religious freedom.  What it's really about is religious institutions who think they can accept tax payer support for their missions without being forced by the government to conform the free exercise of their religions to the mandates of the state. 

In other words, religious institutions, and by extension the people who serve those institutions, had better plan on banishing themselves to the ghettos and the caves of Qumran, or they had get used to bowing before the mandates of Caesar.  It's the secular progressive dream.  And thus far, nobody has articulated it better than Ms. Jacoby, to the cheers and affirmations of their homogeneous panel of same-thinking freethinkers. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

To the Final Four!

Speaking of slam dunks, Congrats Ohio State!  After a disastrous and dismal couple years watching the OSU football program implode, it's nice to see Thad's boys make it to the Final Four.  Well done gentlemen.  We'll be seeing you in a week.

In tribute to the atheist march on Washington today

A little intellectual slam dunking by the always awesome Fr. Barron, as he takes on some of the more ludicrous fancies of modern atheism that pass as intellegence simply because guys in lab coats say so.

Because news on the Internet is of such high quality

In an age of global upheaval and economic uncertainty, makes sure I know that Kim Kardashian was flower bombed.  Whew.  Thank goodness I've been brought up to date.  That reminds me of Chesterton's famous observation that journalism largely consists of saying 'Lord Jones is Dead' to people who never knew that Lord Jones was alive.  Any notions that the Internet would heal the rot of modern journalism will be dispelled by a brief survey of most Internet news sources. 

The Jimmy Carter Study Bible

Yeah, really.  One of our nation's worst presidents has published his own study Bible.  Boy, I love Protestantism.  Given his degeneration into a leftist fundamentalist who sees anyone who doesn't conform to mandatory group think conformity before the infallible dogmas of liberalism as stupid, evil, racist, terrorist wannabes, it's not going to take much to imagine what his interpretations of Holy Scripture will be.  The man who, of late, has become a burden for his own party by declaring that anyone who doesn't obey The One is a racist, shows why, even when I see problems in the Catholic Church and its history, I still go to bed and rest well at night knowing I get my teachings from higher sources than politicians with axes to grind.

We're waiting

I'm curious if the media has covered the rallies against the HHS mandate that were held yesterday.  I know hundreds attended ours in Columbus, Ohio.  I know rallies and marches with far fewer numbers will get repeated coverage on the local news.  Given that it was across America, I imagined the national media would also cover it.  So I'll be watching.  They quite famously ignore the annual March for Life march held in Washington every year.  Let's see if they ignore this.  Didn't see anything on it last night.  Will give them a day to edit and produce the pieces. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fair enough

So atheists want to hold a rally in Washington drawing attention to their cause.  No problem with that.  That's what America is all about.  I do chuckle at the thought that, despite overwhelming sympathy in our popular culture, educational establishments, and the general eradication of free religious debate in the public forum, atheism still has not caught on.  Perhaps Americans, still possessing some of that down home common sense that defined their forefathers, are able to look at mostly secularized Europe and say, "We don't want to go down the tubes the way Europe has."  Don't know.  But go for it.  Even when atheists say silly things like 'nobody knows we're here', I'm for the right to say silly things.  More power to them as they demonstrate the freedoms and liberties all Americans should be able to exercise.  

Obama reminds us that it's always about race

So I've been following the tragic and sad shooting of Trayvon Martin.  Now, I don't know what happened.  I wasn't there.  As far as I know, the majority of Americans opining on this weren't there.  So I'm not going to judge. 

I do wonder why the entire nation is captivated by this one case.  No, let me rephrase this.  I know exactly why, because the media is.  And why is the media captivated by it?  That's simple enough.  Because initially it was about some neighborhood watch fellow with permission to carry a gun STOP!  This is a great opportunity to exploit in order to ramrod our opposition to concealed handgun laws!  Hie to the scene!!

Yes, it's always said to see the life of a young man cut short.  It's damn embarrassing to watch his death be exploited.  But exploited it shall be.  Even now, as we begin to learn more details that paint the initial reports in a little less 'white handgun owner kills innocent black man' narrative, it takes on a life of its own.  Naturally a little thing like pesky details and facts wont' derail the juggernaut.  Just like the Duke Lacrosse case, in which a cadre of Lacrosse players was falsely accused of raping a black woman should have demonstrated.  Even as it became painfully obvious that the Duke case was crumbling, the media continued to push its dream narrative, bringing out scholar after expert to assure us that all whiteskin men were genetic Nazis who just can't resist lynching blacks and raping black women.

And so for this, I doubt we'll get to the bottom of it any time soon.  I don't think facts or details have any bearing on what people want at this point.  But what stunned me was our illustrious leader's foray into the maelstrom.  He could have offered sympathy.  He could have called for restraint in judgement.  Heck, he could have kept his mouth shut since he doesn't seem to get particularly involved in the daily murders in Columbus, Ohio.  But no, what does he say?  He says that Trayvon Martin would like like a son of Obama's if Obama had a son. 

Just what the hell is that supposed to mean?  Let me rephrase that as well.  What the hell does that mean?   Because I'm sure there aren't too many people stupid enough to miss exactly what that is supposed to mean, and what that statement is supposed to evoke.

File under 'And this is news why?'

ABC News has a clip of a woman in the audience of a Santorum speech yelling that, in light of the 'gun' he was shooting, he should pretend it was aimed at Obama.  Santorum, the article admits, did not hear her.  When told what the woman said, Santorum immediately condemned it. So the million dollar question is, how is this news?

Well, it isn't news.  It's propaganda.  It's all part of the MSM's continued attempt to portray those who don't support progressive dogmas as brainless automatons moping about waiting for someone to play the Queen of Diamonds, thus causing them to go on a pre-programmed murderous rampage like the one in Tuscon last year that really didn't have anything to do with Right Wing rhetoric. It follows the play book of that great 20th propagandist who reminded us that if you tell a lie often enough, it will become true.  

So file this not as a news story, but as 'Told you they were murderous psychopaths, evidence A.14.3.'

UPDATE CORRECTION: I initially heard that this was at a speech Santorum was giving, and must have read the article with that in my mind.  Turns out it was at a shooting range that Santorum was visiting, and while he was shooting, the individual said what he/she said.  The Secret Service is looking into it, as well they should.  Otherwise, no reason to link it to Santorum (or I still believe, even report it given that things like this are said across the spectrum). 

On the other hand

Sympathy with the Bishops goes down hard when we remember that the Bishops, against the pleas and groveling of not a few folks, more or less supported Obama and his Healthcare Mandate, as long as Obama kept his promise not to force certain religious organizations, i.e. the Catholic Church, to violate its conscience.  Apparently forcing others regarding other provisions of the reform was fine and dandy.  So there's almost a little 'serves you right' that comes with their sudden shock and horror that they were betrayed by the one they allied with over the objections of many.  It's also a little humbling that many others who were thrown under the bus in this little alliance, have nonetheless flocked to the Church's side to stand on a principle the Church has apparently joined only now that it affects, well, the Church.

But such is the legacy of Catholicism.  I'm not one with a pie-in-the-sky take on Catholic History.  More than once the 'Catholic Church' has zigged when it should have zagged.  More than once it decided based on whatever it was influenced by, either for the wrong reasons, or for the right reasons advocating something ultimately disastrous.  Hence the troubled periods of its history.

I'm reminded of this as I read an article showing the the US Catholic Bishops have sided with - wait for it - the Obama Administration on its legal assault against Arizona over that state's immigration laws.  The case, the mandate, the difficulties are very complex and there's no clear indicator that any one side is altogether correct.  What is more disturbing is the Federal Government's willingness to drop like an anvil on the state at the front lines of the immigration breakdown in our country.  And yet, never ones to learn a lesson, the Bishops have once more said they're on board with the Administration as long as it pans out for their own cause. 

Standing on principle maybe? Perhaps.  But as history clearly teaches, there's a right way, a wrong way, and a stupid way.  Fool me once is usually good enough.  Apparently, it will take a few more lessons for the Bishops to learn (assuming that, apart from the HHS mandate, they have any desire at all to learn it).

A good day at the Stop The HHS Mandate Rally

While our glorious Propaganda Ministry media establishment continues to update us on the goings on of the endless hordes that make up the Occupy Wall Street Protests, as seen in the Columbus, Ohio version:

Not a few people turned out to express their opposition to Obama's naked assault on Religious Liberty, and by extension, all Liberty, through his HHS mandate requiring religious institutions to violate their long held religious beliefs:

I wondered what the turnout would be.  Didn't need to worry.  Enough people on an inconvenient Friday noontime rally with little advanced preparation time to prepare showed up to indicate Americans aren't all stupid yet.  Of course more publicity would have been nice, and perhaps some emphasis from the ol' pulpit.  But given what it was, the time to prepare and publicize, and the time chosen (as opposed to a Saturday or some more open time), I must admit I was impressed by the turnout.  The entire even wrapped up with a sudden rendition of God Bless America.   Overall, a good beginning to the war for freedom.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Super Boy to the rescue!

It's not easy getting a picture of this fellow.  He's always on the move.  Even captured in a swing he can be elusive.  But here, on a day we were able to take him to the park, with his Mom giving him a push, I finally got a face shot.  One of the benefits of having weekdays off is spending time with our youngest.  We are mindful of the fact that he will grow up apart from his older three brothers.  There will be advantages to that, to be sure.  But there will always be that sense that they were the party he missed.  So we take as many chances to spend a few extra with him as possible. 

Yes he's usually smiling, the pictures of the top and back of his head just seldom show it!

Nobody does the importance of skin color like the Left

As demonstrated, I sadly admit, by one of my favorite actors.  Now, imagine if a conservative actor (and I hear they exist), said that it was too soon for a black first lady.  Need I go on?  Tarred and feathered, drawn and quartered, skinned alive, shot, tortured, you name it.  We are a society without standards.  Without ethics.  We are society that only cares that our side wins.  And that's not enough to survive upon.

Hate Crimes have ended, enter Thought Control

It came out a day or so ago.  The news that ex-Rutgers student Dharun Ravi was found guilty of hate crimes against Tyler Clementi, the young man who committed suicide last year.  OK.  I admit I was not in the courtroom, and did not hear all of the evidence.  It's entirely possible that some massive piece of evidence was produced that showed, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Ravi deliberately did what he did out of malice against Climenti on the basis of Clementi being gay. 

But as of now, I've not seen it.  As of now, the evidence seems to suggest that this was a college prank by a young man who, being a child of the post-modern west, bore no real grudge against homosexuals, or even Clementi over his sexual orientation.  In fact, based on evidence that has been discussed in the media, there was plenty to suggest that there was little other than friction that can occur between college students tossed into close quarters; the kind of friction that has been going on since the beginning of college life.

More than that, unless there is some huge piece of evidence we've not heard from, the whole prank seemed to be nothing other than a living out of the media dream of pulling some humiliating prank on someone you were having issues with.  This was just Radar O'Reilly slipping a microphone under Frank and Hot Lips while they were engaging in marital infidelity.  This was American Pie.  This was Animal House.  This was humiliating humor the likes of which dominates the Comedy circuit in our society, and has for decades. 

Unless there was some massive piece of evidence not yet revealed, this is what it looks like.  And yet, he's found guilty of a hate crime.  Why?  On what grounds?  I'm waiting to hear the jury unpack this, because to this little blogger, this has all the trappings of our post-modern society lurching ever forward in its quest for a post-liberal despotic tyranny.  This was simply a warning, taking Ravi to the chopping block as a warning.  Not a warning not to attack or hurt homosexuals.  But a warning that you had better not do anything to a homosexual at all, even if you aren't doing it maliciously.  Because if anything goes wrong, you will be skinned in a public display of post-modern justice. 

Again, I could be wrong.  There might be some reason, based on some evidence, that the obvious was discarded and the concept of hate crime rendered meaningless, or nothing other than an excuse for thought control and punishment of conscience and non-conformity.  But unless I hear otherwise, I'm going with the most obvious interpretation, especially given the forward march of censorship in the name of non-heterosexual normality.

Oh, and by the way.  The little to no play time that this decision has received in the MSM, suggests to me there's something disquieting about it all; something that the MSM doesn't want folks thinking about.

Lifesite News unpacks the Media lie

Really, how can a sane person even come close to believing that our media is honest?  My biggest fear is that people aren't that stupid at all.  My biggest fear is that they no longer care about truth or facts or data or anything.  They just want their side to win. Period.  That would certainly explain why the media, despite evidence that America is at best split over the HHS mandate, and even possibly leaning against the Obama Administration, continues to peddle the narrative of an overwhelming majority in favor of the mandate. 

Of course, there could be something to the thought that we live in a post-reality age.  An age where nobody really cares about what's true, right, accurate, factual, or any such nonsense.  An age of pundits, not principles. We just want our side to win.  One of the greatest proponents of this 'might makes right...thank goodness' attitude is, of course, Stanley Fish, law professor and writer who enjoys preaching the gospel of 'no rules, just win'.  Of late, he has posted for the New York Times a crack piece of insight that cheers on the obvious double standard of those who praise Bill Maher while condemning Rush Limbaugh. 

Not one to back out of a ludicrous position, Fish doesn't argue that there is some well founded reason that one could give Maher a pass while condemning Limbaugh without incurring the charge of hypocrisy (because for common sense thinking people, there obviously isn't).  Nope.  He wants to cheer on the obvious double standard, insisting that it's time to dispense with all this 'do unto others' nonsense, and finally grip that true Darwinian ideal of 'might makes right'. 

God help us that individuals such as Fish, in the shadow of the last century, wield such influence and input in the societal mindset of our present darkness. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Light blogging right now

But making sure I tend to the important things!  Here are the boys at our eleven year old's All City Choir Concert this last Monday night.  It has the choirs from all the grades from sixth grade on up, giving the equivalent of a two hour concert.  One of my most favorite times of the year.  I love watching them grow in their talents.  The older two are not in choir this year (through a scheduling snafu at the middle school, my thirteen year old was given the choice of band OR choir, he chose band).  So they're up with the family.  Here they are listening, singing, or doing whatever it is they do!

OK, so he's more interested in the camera - at least they weren't singing yet

I don't know if they were posing, or were really that interested in the program

And making his grand entrance!  What a ham

He sings with such concentration, sometimes that jovial slap-happy personality can be overlooked

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Could the NYT be fooling us?

Nah.  I'm sure it's just a coincidence.  Over at Mark Shea's blog, he finds an article from The Daily Caller, in which we are informed that poll numbers strongly suggest that the majority of Americans are a bit nervous about Obama's naked attack on Religious Liberty.  Of course this isn't how it's being played in the ministry of propaganda.  Across most of the MSM, including the very poll cited in the NYT, the narrative is one of helpless damsels being assaulted by some invisible attack on women.  Naturally, the MSM assures us that all good Americans care about women's health.  OK, they probably do.  Thus, somewhere along the line this is all supposed to play out in a way that suggests Americans care about women and don't want to see them attacked, therefore most Americans support Obama's HHS mandate. 

Just for safe measure, this is covered with a liberal helping of stories and segments constantly reminding us that the greatest human tragedy since the Holocaust was not the Killing Fields of Cambodia, but instead was Rush Limbaugh's unparalleled attack on the dignity of womanhood.  The hope being, again, to keep Americans' eyes off the assault on fundamental rights and freedoms.

The good news?  Despite joke jockeys, legal zealots, and a propaganda media firmly in the tank of select political power structures, Americans aren't buying it.  At least not the majority.  The bad news, of course, is that so many Americans have been swayed into thinking that the most important rights that the Constitution protects are the rights to decadence, debauchery, narcissism and hedonism.  That such a number would see the rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech as somehow subordinate to those less visible rights contained between the lines of our founding documents, shows just how far from the intellectual tree of our founding has the fruit of post-Baby Boomer America truly fallen.

Happy Pi day

Here are two of my favorite things:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pictures? We've got pictures!

So it was the annual maple syrup festival at the Lutheran Memorial Camp in Morrow County.  Unlike other years, when snow or bitter chill is in the air, this was a balmy 70 degrees.  The camp is the place of many memories, as I first visited here on a school field trip when I was in second grade to see the actual syrup making.  The syrup cabin, and all the equipment, is, alas, long gone.  It is now just made fresh for this festival in a much smaller operation, there not being enough funds or staff to make all they used to make.  Syrup still is imported from local syrup makers, but it still misses something.  I would come back several times in my school years; to our sixth grade camping experience in November, and as a camp counselor myself in 1983 and 1984.  But the old school, like so many, no longer comes here. Hence the reduction in funds and staff. Perhaps the hipper zip-line and rock wall camps are preferred, or perhaps the religious themes of the camp are a worry. I don't know.  I just know it was good fun in its day, and I hope the family had a small shard of what I once enjoyed in the dim, shadowy reflections of years so long ago. 

Oh, and the syrup wasn't just good.  It was darn good.

The family on the way to some good eatun!

Run boy, run!

The Mom, the Baby, 'nuff said.

Yes, those were pancakes with syrup straight from trees a hundred yards away.

The boys.

Our eleven year old looking strangely pensive.

Our ray of sunshine flanked with by real things

I know, he looks like he should have his own family by now.

He's too fast; I'm glad to get a picture at all, much less a face shot.

Our youngest with his favorite playmate, the awe at which he holds his older brothers is oh, so visible.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

God bless them

In a tragic story among so many, an entire family was wiped out by the tornadoes that ripped across the Midwest.  Many have died, of course.  And in each case, a family mourns the loss.  To those individuals left behind, it is no less tragic or devastating to lose their loved ones.  To all of those who have lost so much, may the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, cover their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

But the story of baby Angel Babcock was so inspiring in the midst of such horror, that to see she passed away is double the pain.  Lord Jesus, cover the hearts and minds of her family, those who have lost so much.  And receive into your arms little Angel Babcock, and unite her with her own family who were taken too soon. 

Jon Stewart slams Bill Maher for insulting Sarah Palin

Wait a minute.  That's wrong.  What was I thinking? That must be some parallel universe.  Here it is.  Jon Stewart slams Rush Limbaugh for insulting Sandra Fluke.  OK, that's better.  Far more believable.  Plus he makes sure to remind us that all Jews are crooks.  No, that's not right.  That all blacks like watermelon.  Nope, missed again.  That all Catholics are Jesus eaters.  No, still not there.  Oh, yeah.  He points out that Rush is just like all those people who don't conform to Stewart's absolute moral dogmas.  Cue laughter from post-moderns who celebrate hatred and contempt for anyone who stands in the way of our hedonistic narcissism.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Goodbye Ralph McQuarrie, and thank you

I saw that Ralph McQuarrie has died.  Now, to be honest, the name itself means nothing to me.  But what he did left an impact on me that will never be forgotten.  As I've already mentioned, in the summer of 1977, nothing captured my imagination more than that galactic space opera straight from the mind of George Lucas. 

But it wasn't just Lucas.  Sometimes, given the deplorable quality of his recent endeavors, one can't help but wonder how much of it was Lucas at all.  Some probably. But there were many others who gave shape and form to the visions and ideals spinning about in the mind of the techno-sage.  One of them was Mr. McQuarrie, whose artistic vision put flesh and bone, cape and helm, on many of the characters who would define a generation. 

So on this day, I will post some of the artwork that brought life to that galaxy far, far away.  I remember seeing in magazines and other publications a few of these, and they bring back memories to be sure.  So thanks for those memories Mr. McQuarrie, may you rest in peace, and may the perpetual light shine upon you.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Martin Sheen, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney headline play supporting marriage discrimination

That's right.  The story is right here. Of course I could be wrong.  Some of them may well support the right of siblings, family members, and minors to be married.  They may also be in there swinging for marriage equality for polygamists and other polyamorous people.  But my hunch is, the tired and inaccurate 'marriage equality' is here, as it usually is, applied only to marriage for homosexuals and lesbians.  They may well not have a problem advocating discrimination against those other approaches, hence they are not really for 'marriage equality'.  Like so many superficial slogans of the progressive movement, it means nothing but an attempt to shut down debate lest too many people begin to ask questions and put two and two together.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

This Week's editorial staff sees the impending Holocaust Part II

And immediately says 'don't stand so close to me.' Nice to see what should be obvious, that the idea of killing infants, while repugnant on every level, is more or less the logical conclusion to a culture that has defined the same infant only moments before and a few inches from the opening of the birth canal as a worthless piece of biological sludge.  Of course the question continues to be tossed around if this is really some parody, some satirical piece in the great tradition of A Modest Proposal.   I would like to think.  Still, it's not the first time such ideas have been seriously floated.  Plus, it is, sadly, in keeping with the post-modern contempt for human life as nothing other than an abhorrent malignant blight upon the purity of our divine Earth goddess. 

Andrew Breitbart RIP

Andrew Breitbart, conservative commentator, has died suddenly.  I was never a fan of Breitbart's style, nor did I always agree with his positions.  But 43 is far too young to be taken.  God's peace be upon him and his family, may the Lord give them strength to deal with this sudden loss.  And may God save us all from the growing darkness that clouds the hearts of those who, because of differences of opinion, are even now celebrating and wishing more death on those with whom they disagree.

Democrats for Progressive Tyranny (DPT)

Democrats in our illustrious Senate have stricken a blow for tyranny, and helped sidestep the issue as our society lurches ever so dumbly toward the dictatorship of ideology that our Founding Fathers feared. On the good side, while we sit and watch our liberties and the right not to be progressive slip away, we can enjoy the harmonious voices of Hollywood lapdogs as they oozed worship and obedience to The One while possibly pining for the very things that now threaten us all (warning, viewing by intelligent people can lead to nausea):