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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hope we can change for; Change we can hope for


5 Reasons that illuminate why BHO is the most Pro-Abort President in US History…
thank you Susan B. Anthony list for supplying this concise and relevant summary of our current president's stance on our most fundamental right. Foundationally speaking, if you deny the right to life to some members of a society while allowing it for others, you are accomplishing the same thing that Pharaoh did, Herod did, Nero did, Hitler did, Mao did, Stalin did. 

Are we going to be party to this?  Will we sit idly by and watch as genocide continues for the countless unborn in this country? 

Abortion is bad for babies, bad for women, bad for men, bad for society, bad for all God's children.  It's time to restore hope; it's time for a change. There are 16 days until the election. Praying for an end to the madness.

Fact #1: Obama Callously Refuses to Protect Babies Who Survive Failed Abortions
       As a State Senator in Illinois, Barack Obama opposed legislation that would have provided equal protection for unborn babies who survive abortions.  The legislation: “[Provided] that a live child born as a result of an abortion shall be fully recognized as a human person and accorded immediate protection under the law.”
       The legislation was introduced after Jill Stanek testified in 1999 that, while working as a nurse at Christ Hospital in Illinois, infants who survived induced abortions were being left to die in a utility room.
For more information about Obama’s refusal to grant equal treatment and constitutional protections to babies born alive after a failed abortion, visit www.sba-list.org/melissa

Fact #2: Obamacare is the largest expansion of abortion on-demand since Roe v. Wade
       Obamacare uses taxpayer dollars to subsidize health care plans that include coverage for elective abortion.
       Under Obamacare, millions of Americans will unknowingly be enrolled in health plans that include abortion coverage. These plans will charge enrollees an “abortion surcharge” – that will go into a national abortion slush fund.
       Obamacare forces employers – whether religious or secular – to pay for insurance plans that cover abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization, regardless of religious or moral objections.
Polling shows that the majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion in Obamacare. A 2009 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 61% of Americans believe that taxpayer-subsided health care plans should not be allowed to include coverage for abortions.

Fact #3: Obama Refuses to Protect Unborn Baby Girls from Sex-Selective Abortion
       In May 2012, the House of Representatives voted on legislation that would ban sex-selection abortions, which occur when the gender of the child is not preferred by the parents. A study by the Lozier Institute shows that sex-selection abortion is happening here in the United States, with unborn baby girls falling victim. The majority of U.S. representatives – 246-168 – voted in favor of this ban.
       President Obama opposed the ban on sex-selection abortions, saying, “The government should not intrude in medical decisions … in this way.”
       A poll by the Lozier Institute found that 77 percent of respondents would support a law banning abortion in cases where “the fact that the developing baby is a girl is the sole reason for seeking an abortion.”  The proportion of women supporting such a law is 80 percent.
To learn more about the issue of sex-selection abortion, both here in the U.S. and around the world, click here.

Fact #4: Obama is an Unyielding Ally of Planned Parenthood, America’s Abortion Giant
       After undercover videos exposed Planned Parenthood employees showing a willingness to aid and abet in alleged human trafficking of young girls, Obama refused to cut a dime from Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding, even if it meant shutting down the government during the 2011 budget fight.
       Obama has bullied five states — Indiana, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Texas, and New Jersey – for defunding Planned Parenthood. His administration even yanked Medicaid funding or contracted directly with Planned Parenthood in states that have taken action to defund them.
To learn more about Obama’s unyielding loyalty to America’s abortion giant, visit www.sba-list.org/turnoffthemusic

Fact #5: Obama is Exporting His Abortion Agenda Overseas
       On his first day in office, Obama rescinded the Mexico City Policy, which bars non-governmental organizations that receive American tax dollars from performing or promoting abortion abroad.
       After taking office, Obama immediately restored funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which helps implement China’s brutal One-Child Policy. From 2009 to 2011, $145 million has been appropriated for UNFPA, and $47 million was requested in the President’s 2012 budget.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When Diversity is Dumb

[from Creative Minority Report]

Deaf Black Women Not Diverse Enough for College

This is unbelievable. A deaf black women who acts as a diversity officer at a college isn't diverse enough for the college. I know what you're thinking. Deaf. Black. Sure sounds like the college hit the diversity jackpot. I mean she's not 1/8 Cherokee like Elizabeth Warren but hey, deaf and black is pretty darn diverse. You know, their Human Resources guy won some kind of diversity award when they hired her. I bet there's a plaque right next to his night school diploma.

But it turns out that the the black deaf woman isn't diverse enough. The college suspended her. Guess why. You see, she signed a petition in her church to protect traditional marriage. So the college suspended her. Because to these imbeciles diversity has nothing to do with diversity of thought.

But the other thing that jumps out at me is you can't work at a college and be Christian.

Fox News reports:
Angela McCaskill, a 23-year veteran of the university, was placed on paid leave as the university investigates her support for traditional marriage.

“It recently came to my attention that Dr. McCaskill has participated in a legislative initiative that some feel is inappropriate for an individual serving as Chief Diversity Officer; however, other individuals feel differently,” wrote Gallaudet president T. Alan Hurwitz in an email sent to the campus community.

McCaskill’s attorney said they will hold a press conference on Tuesday — stressing that his client is not “anti-gay.”

McCaskill was one of 200,000 residents who signed a petition to put “Maryland’s Question 6” on the ballot. The measure is a referendum on same-sex “marriage.”

The Washington Blade published the names and addresses of every person who signed the petition. An anonymous faculty member spotted McCaskill’s name in the newspaper and immediately notified authorites.

Hurwitz said McCaskill, who earned the school’s first Ph.D as a deaf African-American woman, was immediately placed on leave. Her job remains in jeopardy
These people are tolerance Nazis. If you're not tolerant of what we say you should be tolerant of we will drum you out.

Most voters get hung up right here....

I love this very short and sweet explanation about the role of government and the concept of subsidiarity.  Sound confused?  Watch this and you won't be.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Mass


My sweet friend, Brina, is joy, personified. I have been so blessed to watch her journey of faith and her witness of Christ’s love in many environments: family , friends, church community, school. Most recently, she has taken on a new position of Director of Sacred Music at our church; a role that she dearly loves and is very well-suited for. Each Saturday, at St. Joan of Arc, I am blessed to sing with Brina in our choir role where we offer our gifts back to God in praise and worship of Him during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass—the high point of our week.  Once a month, the kiddos (The Arc Angels) join us . Yesterday was one of those Saturdays.  I share this with you NOT to poke fun at my sister in Christ, but just because this is so darn funny, I could not resist. This could otherwise be subtitled: The Demise of the Closing Hymn.  


This all started off innocently enough…
The text arrives yesterday afternoon from Brina…”how do you feel about wearing Mantillas while we sing at Mass”. Since we’ve both broken through the fashion barrier at daily Masses, I knew that the day would arrive when this threshold would eventually be crossed.  I have a few trepidations about wearing my chapel veil in the very prominent choir area at our post Vatican II-styled church, but I throw them out with yesterday’s news when I walk into to warm ups and see the children… Year of Faith kick off, kids choir, mantillas, it will be a lovely, non-distracting, admixture.

(The whole Mantilla/Chapel Veil is fodder for an entirely new blog post that is in my head, fyi)

We proceed with warm ups and conclude with a prayer before Mass from our freshly printed prayer page that Director Brina has beautifully formatted for all of us. Just one problem…the line that is supposed to read: “what we believe in our hearts, we may show forth in our lives…”actually reads: “what we believe in our hearts, we may show forth in our lies.”  The errant prayer is boldly proclaimed by all of the children, and me and organist.  Oops!  The irony is side-splittlingly funny, yes? Our Brina is mortified with the messy Biden-like gaffe however after we roll around laughing for a few, we recompose and chalk it up to the fingers being quicker than the eyes. At this point, Brina has only a little ‘splainin to do to Arc Angel parents. We proceed to Mass….

Mass is flawless until we reach the part where we pray the St. Michael Prayer, from same troublesome prayer page.  Seems like a few extra words inserted into the St. Michael prayer wouldn’t be too big a problem (UNLESS THEY ARE INTONED DIRECTLY INTO THE VERY HOT MICS) by Ms. Brina, who is still rattled by the new lie-promoting prayer from earlier. Does the statement: It pays to proofread; seem like too obvious a profundity?  This event now creates a cascade of infectious laughter that renders the miked-up-singer- people completely useless.  Ever tried to sing a song while trying not to laugh?  Every single, eternal, utterance sounds hysterically funny. Not only is it making you laugh, but it is also making the person next to you laugh so hard that they are crying.  Literally crying.  Tears are rolling down my face.  We are not only doubled-over distractions, we are weeping, doubled-over, mantilla-clad distractions!!

To make matters even worse, we are told that the wrong numbers were displayed on the tote board (eh hem) so nobody in the congregation was really singing anyways.  The exception, of course, are the awesome Arc Angels who are just kind of grinning and trying to ignore the –now completely useless- Director and sidekick show, while singing All Glory Laud and Honor. Lord have mercy.

What is the moral of the story? Rule 62 (never take yourself too darn seriously) also applies at Mass. AND…infectious laughter, is in fact, a gift of the Holy Spirit. Dear Father…we need a reinforced choir loft.

MANTILLAS.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Other Brother


One month ago, to the day, I received the phone call that no one ever wants to receive.

“Karen, this is Jeff.  Brian has taken a turn for the worse and he’s not going to make it. You need to come quick”.

My brother had suffered 2 massive strokes and was in ICU in a St. Louis hospital.  The painful reality that I was losing a brother was so unreal to me, which is why I feel compelled to write about it and about him. Grief is something that remains strangely elusive to folks until it sucker punches you unexpectedly in the gut. And then you have to deal with it, on its terms.

I cry when I don’t want to and I can’t cry when I do. To this I imagine that Brian would probably tap me on the cheek and say, in your usual sarcastic fashion: knock that (colorful expletive) off, I’m okay dag nabbit. And then he’d laugh, because he found most things in life funny. Kinda like Boyne Mountain…

Late summer, circa 1973, Kiwanis International Convention: dad decides it would be fun to take Brian and I with him for the annual convention boondoggle as Mom was not able to go. We stayed in the “Edelweiss” section of the resort campus while dad was about half mile up the road where his cronies were staying. We watched in astonished admiration as our father taught us how to cling-wrap toilet seats, sew suit pockets and sleeves together and turn trunks and dresser drawers upside down and remove every trace of facial tissue and toilet paper from the room after cold-creaming doorknobs and faucets. Even Mrs. Lippus’ hair piece was not safe as it lay unsuspectingly hid between the short-sheeted bedsheets. It was a veritable crash course in madcap pranking.  We are under the impression that this is what people do when they go to resorts. How novel!

On this particular fateful evening, as the movie we were watching: The Face of Dorian Gray was getting a little dull, Brian and I decided it was high time cross the threshold of apprentice to master prankster. I can’t remember if it started with multiple toilet flushings, (about 50 per hour), a game of hallway horseshoes using ice cubes which eventually soaked our neighbors front carpet, or a twice hourly town-crier recitation of the Gettysburg address out our window which brought a very angry security guard crashing down upon our little mischief party.

The security bloke ambled his way up our steps at about 3am and knocked loudly. “Security, security, you need to open the door, NOW.” Brian and I were 14 and 8 years of age, respectively. I think Brian’s appearance was enough to convince anyone over the legal drinking age that there was something wrong with Brian. His eyes were completely swollen to little slits with hayfever (August-Michigan-ragweed….you do the math). So now the security guard knows we’ve been raising (expletive) and probably thinks Brian is high on marijuana.

Door opens.

“What the (expletive) are you kids doing?  There have been multiple complaints from guests about your behavior”. And then this…

“I’m looking at your eyes”.
… ‘uh oh’ … Astonishly, my brother is trying not to LAUGH. Which is now making me laugh. Security bloke now he thinks we are total stoners.
“Where are your parents?”
“Our Dad’s in up the road with the Kiwanis people”.
“You mean he’s not even in this building?”
[Why, no, as a matter of fact. Ha ha!  He’s abandoned us to our own devices AFTER training us to be complete idiots in public. Good job Dad. If mom could see us now, she’d run you over with the lawnmower.]
“Get him on the phone”
Brian nervously dials my father at 3:15am.  The laughter has disappeared as we realize we are now in deep doo doo.

Dad mysteriously picks up after 1 ring.
“Uh, Dad, this is uh, Brian, your son.  And we sort of, need to let you know that, we are uh, …….with a security guard”
Security bloke takes the phone from Brian the Hayfever Stoner and has a serious telephonic throw down with my Father.
“Mr. Iles, this is Security. Your children are down here raising (expletive) and your son looks like he’s on drugs. You need to take care of this.”
Phone is passed back to my brother who is now soiling himself…
Dad sounds mad but not toooo mad. Tells us to knock it off, go to bed, and we will talk in the morning.

Disaster averted for the evening, but morning is a painful eternity away. We did not sleep. We didn’t even move.

So as my skivvy-clad father is tom-tomming the neighbor’s wall just behind the rather ominous beer-can pyramid they had constructed hours ago, a knock is heard at his door. He answers and is rather surprised by his late night visitor who is NOT the pizza delivery but the Security Bloke. Oooops. Apparently Security Bloke decided against hoofing it back to the place where security blokes hunker down but instead detoured to my Dad’s Kiwanis lodgings up the road. I guess the eye slits, sunburned face and general “cat ate the canary” expression that Brian was noted for necessitated a personal a-priori visit to dad. You usually got blamed for most things as I recall.

We are the only registered guests to ever be blacklisted from Boyne Mountain Ski Resort. An accomplishment that we have grown ever prouder of with each retelling of this story. 

I golfed on Sunday. On the 18th fairway I landed my approach shot in a bunker just off the right side of the green. I decided to pick up. As I exit the trap I look across to the noonday lake that formed the other obstacle to this hole. The radiant glints of sunlight danced across the surface of the water like an orchestra of light and I am reminded of your smile. I can no longer move because I am struck by the idea that I’ll not ever play golf with you again. This makes me cry. This is grief. Finally I understand what I have arrogantly told others in my feeble attempts at trying to help them. That grief comes and goes like the wind – when it wills. But so do the memories—and they are all good ones of my funny brother who had friends all over the globe.  I don’t have funny work jokes or poignant tales of drama.  What I do have are many pocketfuls of laughing memory that keep reminding me that he is near to me….especially at Holy Communion and during adoration.

I will miss you in so many ways. I will also try very hard to be the good example that you were to so many, especially to your beautiful wife and children. I know you are with God in heaven because of the sheer number of times I have heard the song Amazing Grace since September 4.

v. 5
When we’ve been there, ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.

Thank you for being my brother, Brian.
I’ll keep tweeking it and with God's help, this too, will someday make sense.