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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Perky Katie...You've Come a Long Way Baby?

This is from Beliefnet's Deacon Greg Kandra...

A friend sent me along this item from Creative Minority Report, which notes a commentary by Katie Couric, marking the anniversary of The Pill.

As CMR notes:

In these times of high unemployment and dangerous deficits one issue has become so awful and dangerous to America that CBS news anchor Katie Couric has called for millions and millions of dollars to be spent on solving it. What is it? Preventing poor women from having babies, of course.

CMR calls Katie a "modern Margaret Sanger."

I know what CMR is talking about. And boy, do they have Katie nailed.

True story. A few years ago, when Katie first came to CBS News, I worked as the editor of her blog "Couric & Co." One afternoon, I had a meeting with her in her office overlooking the CBS newsroom. Her suite of offices is gorgeous: white-on-white, with a marble desk and gorgeous black-and-white prints on the walls. (Think "The Devil Wears Prada," and you'll get the picture. Staffers used to refer to it as "The White Palace" or, more derisively, "White Castle.") On the back wall is a lovely, dramatic picture of Jackie Kennedy and her children. Other iconic women on the walls included Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Audrey Hepburn. When Katie arrived for our meeting, I was admiring the pictures, but noticed one woman who was unfamiliar to me. "Who's that?," I asked.

"Margaret Sanger," she replied.

And I think that tells you everything you need to know.

Anyway, for whatever it may be worth,you can watch her commentary below.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Susan B. Komen-Why you should NOT run for this cause

Komen and Planned P-Hood...bedfellows with a business model...

by Hannah Carter

May 24, 2010 Note: Hannah Carter is the director of education for Georgia Right to Life, a statewide pro-life group. This opinion column originally appeared on the GRTL blog web site.

Groups like Susan G. Komen acknowledge that the level of exposure to estrogen throughout a woman’s lifetime is one of the greatest predictors for breast cancer. Sadly, they do not acknowledge that the increased exposure to estrogen after an abortion could increase risks of breast cancer as well. For an organization whose primary goal is “to have a world without breast cancer”, you would think they would try to let women know of all the risk factors for breast cancer, especially those that are preventable like abortion.

Recently, in an article by Jill Stanek, pro-life author and blogger, asked a very thought-provoking question, “Is it really “morally permissible” to cause breast cancer in one room if screening for it in the next?”

Read the rest of Hannah's article here:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pomp & Circumstance

He did it.  He ran the ball down the field....he fumbled it a few times....he tried to lateral it unsuccessfully to another teammate or two.....he encountered a formidable array of defensive lineman...he busted through them....he had some bad calls called against him and some uncooperative injuries that made things painful but he has crossed into the end zone folks.  He is.....a graduate!

We're kind of like a military family when it came to schooling for our oldest son. We've travelled to many countries but are citizens of none.  Well, sort of.  Here's a brief tour. 

First try was at a Greek Orthodox Preschool in Farmington Hills, Michigan.  He lasted 20 minutes.

Next try: St. Joan of Arc Preschool. The doors are solid steel.  They are this way for a reason. Karsten tried to kick it down on his first day in 'lock down' with Mrs. Marino and classmates. You would have thought that he was sentenced to a maximum security prison with no option for parole. I finally shed the guilt of that experience last week. We stayed until Kindergarten when we ventured to..

Most Piously Named Academy:  GREAT school.  GREAT formation.  GREAT values. so much. Mom worried about lack of water and too much of an open campus with other business access.  Actually it was the imagined very hairy man just 'hangin' out by the drinking fountain that caused me pause. I was neurotic. Sorry GREATsville. Off to 1st grade somewhere else.

Where we stayed for a year until they built...

High Expectations Elementary.  Started off GREAT but by the 6th grade, our youngest son's teacher decides to join My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancee Reality show which proves to be tip of iceberg of other more glaring difficulties and we make a quick exit to...

HomeSchool:  OMG.  Are you kidding?  I think we read Of Mice and Men.  I think. Nice try Mom.  Next year new alternative for Grade 7 is...

Not For Anyone Under 140 IQ Academy:  Most excellent for children who are studying to be nuclear physicists.  They only provide one physical education component:  Tae Kwon Do. My child is so stir crazy he's hallucinating. Somebody got suspended for having hiccups. Get me outta here....

Upper Crust Elementary: Kids are being suspended here for using colorful F-bomb expletives and throwing baseball helmets at coaches because they've been benched.  We put up and shut up because it's only a year before he starts...

For Students With Loser Parents Who Didn't Send Them to Primo HS.  I spend first year explaining why this was a good decision and making up for more accumulated guilt. Teenager expands his horizons whilst jettisoning most of the logic and reason that we will soon understand as a normal part of adolescence. I start hearing voices which I believe is my first foray into schizophrenia. I realize this voice belongs to my deceased father and he is saying..."I don't get mad, I get even."

So dear Karsten, you have closed a chapter.  Your high school years are now behind you.  I hope it is possible for you at some point to know just how proud I am to be your mom and how happy I am to see you take this big step forward. Dennis Prager once quipped that he hoped he only passed on half as much dysfunction to his children as was bestowed on him.  Growing up isn't easy as it should seem.  Those pesky mistakes and lapses in judgment can be our undoing if we allow them to be.  Don't allow them to be. Just let them be the rungs on your ladder. Trust yourself enough to know that it'll get figured out and trust God enough to know that He always has your back.

With your new chapter at ASU straight ahead of you, I have every confidence that you will be able to be more decisive about your academic pursuits than we were about your school location choices!  You've weathered some storms and you're ship's been rocked a few times.  Allow these to be the waves that carry you to better awareness...of you...of human nature...of God.  And never underestimate the Deity. The greatest knowledge-seekers the world over understand this.

Congrats, son.
Love you,

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."  Albert Einstein.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sidewalk Counseling in the 21st Century

Steve Jobs just might make an Apple convert out of me yet.  Check this out. This is the perfect accessory for those in the Pro-Life movement to sport on the sidewalk starting this spring.  The new app allows you to see the features of a fetus growing in the womb from as early as the 4th week after conception. It would have been even nicer if they could have included the ever important conception to fourth week time period, but perhaps that is the next upgrade. Can you just see us out there with our new techy tool..."Hey Mom, wanna take a peek at what little Junior is doing there in inside of you? By the 8th week after conception, all of the parts of a human being are present, they just need to grow. We are told that what is needed to bring about the end to abortion is conversion of heart. One way to do that, is to make the hidden visible. This is what needed to happen with the Nazi holocaust. It is what needs to happen with the holocaust that is abortion.
Congratulations Pampers....Apple....
It's an obvious assertion that keeping your future customer base alive is a good business model!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Mom

I called my Mom today. She's in the Trinity Center nursing home in Des Moines.  Recently relocated to a wing where she can receive more support, my mom is now challenged with coordination tasks such as feeding herself and getting up and down from a seated position.  Mom is a spry 80 and has been suffering with altzheimers disease since the late 90s.  Altzheimer's is tricky.  It robs your loved one of their memories and eventually their faculties, leaving the shell of a person who no longer recognizes the world around them. It is a brutal and cruel disease and leaves many families in dis-ease.

When I call my mom I try not to ask her how she's doing.  Rather, I spend a lot of time talking about my life and the life of her family in Arizona. I recently made the mistake of calling her on her 80th birthday and asking her if she knew how old she was? When she responded "no" I emphatically told her "you're 80!". She did not share my enthusiasm. There was a silent thud so deafening I thought surely I was about to be slapped bald-headed. I also found out that my other brother had done the same thing.  A double-whammy 80th birthday surprise.  Oh joy.  If you have an older relative, it is best not to remind them of their age. They probably know or don't want to know. It's that simple.

My mom is a wonderful woman.  Even in her altzheimerish state, she maintains a sense of cheerfulness and self-deprecating humor. Every now and then I catch glimmers of her old spark. I miss her touch. I used to get excruciating 'charlie horses" as a child.  These leg cramps would wake me up from a sound sleep and caused terrible wincing pain up and down both legs.  Mom always came to my rescue. She'd walk me downstairs to the sofa, give me a few pink St. Joseph's apsirin and begin to massage each leg until the pain started to subside. I miss her touch.

I miss her smile, the smell of her perfume (Estee Lauder Beautiful), and the laughs we had. I miss laughing with her about the silly things she used to do. She had to pee so bad at the Buick Open one year and the only open port-a-potty was a handicapper.  My mom limped all the way down that hill better than any authentic, crippled, post-war vet I've ever seen.  After relieving herself, she forgot to stay 'in character' and practically ran up the hill.  This was less than amusing to the rest of the folks in line who's back teeth may have been floating. I laughed so hard I nearly, know how that goes. There are a lot of great "Gwen Stories" around.

So this being Mom's day and all, on behalf of my Mom, I'll provide some maternal advice that she might have shared with you:
Altzheimer's Prevention Tips
1. Take control of your blood pressure
2. Lower your cholesterol
3. Check your B12 and homocysteine levels
4. Eat a diet rich in fruits and veggies. (red wine is okay unless you're an alcoholic)
5. Protect yourself from brain injury
6. Check your eyes and ears.  Sharpen your senses
7. Exercise
8. Jog your brain; use it or lose it.
9. Socialize. Become a more interesting person
10. Beware of depression and stress.  Be happy

and to this list I will add
11. Pray.  Pray for those who suffer.  Pray for a cure.

I love you mom!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

'Man Up' and Stop the Violence Against Women

A telling article by Brian Clowes, director of research and training for Human Life International.  When is reproductive freedom offered as an answer to stop violence against women? According to Planned Parenthood and Alan Guttmacher, only when it insists that women kill their offspring to assure it.

The Guttmacher Institute Redefines 'Violence Against Women'

By AGI (Alan Guttmacher Institute) definitions, then, a man can only avoid being labeled a "reproductive controller" if he never expresses any opinion whatsoever as to whether he wants a child and lets the woman make all of the decisions without his input -- in other words, the radical feminist's ideal man. Of course, this "ideal man" must also keep his mouth shut when paying for all of her reproductive decisions without question, whether it be footing the bill for an abortion (even if he is pro-life) or paying for however many children the woman wants to bear.

Read the rest here:

Friday, May 7, 2010

Patriotism is not a crime (at least not yet)

Did you hear about the students who were expelled from school for wearing American flag tee shirts on Cinco de Mayo?  It happened yesterday in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Four Live Oak High School teens sent home for wearing American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo have become the focus of national media attention and spurred a march by Hispanic students through downtown Morgan Hill.

Live Oak students Daniel Galli, Dominic Maciel, Matt Dariano and Austin Carvalho wore red, white and blue T-shirts - some with the American flag and some with flag shorts - to school Wednesday, prompting administrators to ask the students to change their clothing or turn their T-shirts inside-out because it could incite a confrontation on Cinco de Mayo. The four students' parents were called into a conference with Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez and Principal Nick Boden, who sent the students home with an unexcused absence - not a suspension

How have we become so mis-educated? (Yes, I said mis-educated)? When did it start becoming so uncool to be American? Growing up in the 60s and 70s I had a unvarnished view of my country as being the "land of free and home of brave". We celebrated "Riverview Days" during the first week of July which always culminated in a (somewhat anticlimactic) fireworks display launched over Reflection Pond (clever name, eh - you cannot fault Riverviewans for being overly creative). but it was beooootiful. This predates modern pyrotechnics by about 2 decades. We decorated our bicycles and little red wagons with red white and blue crepe streamers and balloons.  The wagons were made of aluminum then and were called Red Ryders. We held parades and had a Mrs. Riverview Contest (mom won!).  One year my brother Brian played The Star Spangled Banner on his Trumpet for the official opening to "Young Patriots Park".  I held the music. There's a rather embarrassing picture of this floating around somewhere.  We celebrated our nation.  We celebrated our One-ness.  We were happy being Americans and I didn't really know anyone at that time introducing themselves as an __-American.  There were not _______Americans.  Only Americans.  I know that this post will be positively upsetting to those who might be very attached to those ___________American titles.  The point,or rather, the question I would like to ask is where has American culture gone?  Has it disappeared or just taken a back seat to more PC persuasions. What are the things that define American culture and why might it be important to hold on to them? This is a massive question that I would like to start taking a little more seriously within the month ahead of us. I do not disparage the great ethnic heritages that are woven into the fabric of this country.  I'm mostly wondering if we are an E Pluribus Unum still or a Unum Pluribus E??  A quilt with lots of patches or a blanket with more homogenous threadwork. It is important to determine how cultures ebb and flow, stay or go.

Especially if we're considering expelling kids for the clothes that they wear.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

God Bless You Too, Ernie

The voice of Tiger Baseball, Ernie Harwell, died on Tuesday at the age of 92. Ernie - as he was known by all - was a relic of the Great Lakes State and someone whose voice, I won't ever forget.

Harwell had one of the longest runs by a broadcaster with one major league club, calling Tigers games for 42 seasons. For the first 32 of those seasons, he made and cemented his legacy by doing play-by-play on the radio. His Southern voice — rich and authoritative but not overbearing — became as distinctive to Michigan listeners as baseball itself.

Unlike some announcers in recent decades, Harwell didn't litter his broadcasts with shouting, excessive talking or all-knowing pronouncements about players and managers. Listening to him was as pleasant as being at Tiger Stadium in the summertime. As he fell silent between pitches, listeners got to hear the sounds of the ballpark — the crowd's buzz, the vendor's cry — and absorb the rhythm of the game. Harwell thus became an ideal companion for a listener anywhere: the couch, the yard, the car or the boat.

I got to know Ernie by listening to his voice in the garage on rainy Saturdays when my brother would sit for hours in his aluminum rocking chair with transistor radio at his side. Ernie Harwell was a brand name; a registered trademark of the Motor City.

Quotable Ernie:
"In baseball, democracy shines its clearest. The only race that matters is the race to the bag. The creed is the rule book. And color, merely something to distinguish one team's uniform from another's.

"Baseball? Just a game — as simple as a ball and bat. And yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes."

"I'm ready to face what comes," he said at the time. "Whether it's a long time or a short time is all right with me because it's up to my Lord and savior."

We'll all miss you in peace.

Entire article: