Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Free money from an ATM!

I guess this is the same principle as the Arizona voting lottery, although not as risky.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A reminder of things I find troubling in our world.

My wife and I, and of course the baby, had a little date this weekend. Since not everything is at your fingertips in rural Arkansas, we made the 45 minute trek to Red Lobster in Ft. Smith. We entered and were seated with a little stand to hold Isaac's car seat, and we ordered a margarita and an amaretto sour. My wife and I are 24 and 23 respectively and most people say we look younger, so we got carded as we usually do. Being carded typically frustrates me. Not because they do it, but because they usually make some kind of comment like, "Take it as a compliment," or "You'll appreciate it when you get older." Ha Ha.

This time however carried an added annoyance. Why is it that it is not a big deal for us to have a child at our age, but it is have a drink? Say they thought we were under 21, which they obviously thought was possible, (yes, I know they are supposed to card anyone who looks under 27 or whatever, but that is only because it is possible that they are under 21.) no one batted an eye at us having a child, but of course it would be the end of the world for someone underage to have a drink. You also have to remember that this is the bible belt, so I am sure there were plenty of people in there who think having a drink at any age will take you straight to Hell (and if you've never been in the bible belt, no, I'm not exaggerating).

I am sure that this was not nearly this complex to anyone else. I am sure that our waiter never even thought about these things, but that is essentially my point. If someone is responsible enough to care for the life and soul of another human being, one who is absolutely 100% reliant on them, shouldn't they be responsible enough to have a drink of alcohol? The problem is not that our waiter doesn't believe this. The problem is that there are so many people who do both, but are far from responsible enough for either.

It is simply sad to me that we see so much about keeping young people safe from drinking and smoking, but so little about keeping them chaste.
Husbands love your wives.

This weekend saw one of the most misinterpreted passages of Scripture be read at mass. It truly does have far greater meaning to me now being married. It is one of those reading that I yearn for everyone who hears it to understand its truth. So, rather than ramble on in my own explanation of the reading, I would like to refer you to a beautiful and poignant expounding by Fr. Steven Hamilton of Catholic Ragemonkey. Enjoy!

Wives and husbands, you know what to do!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Colbert Report - A Great Show or the Greatest Show?

Stephen Colbert is a comedian who has become wildly popular in the last two years for a number of reasons, the most important being that the guy is hilarious. Irreverent? Yes. Sometimes crude? Yes. But putting these aside, the guy has some real creative genius. My favorite segment of his show, which unfortunately I can only watch rarely, is "Better Know a District," a 433 part series on the congressional districts and those who represent them. Watch a few of these and tell me you didn't laugh. My favorites (so far) are the District of Columbia, California's 6th, and Georgia's 8th - the Fightin' 8th!

Baby Grace - Rest in Peace Little Angel

Grace Elizabeth passed away in the early hours on Saturday, August 26th, 2006. After a vailent struggle for life against infection and lung collapse, her little heart was just too weak to carry on. She was a inspiration to all around her, and inspired countless acts of generosity. Thanks to all those who answered the call for prayer.

A friend of the family created a Paypal donation site a few days before she died, but if anyone would like to make a donation to help the family, please visit
Hurricane Ernesto Threatens Florida

Excellent coverage of this ongoing drama can be found at The Irish Trojan Blog, a record kept by another ND Law student (how he has time for this I have no idea...). He's "fanatical" about hurricanes if you couldn't tell.

National Hurricane Center
FoxNews - Florida Keys endangered
CNN - downgrade to tropical storm

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Boston Catholic Charity Board Members Resign Because Bishop Does The Right Thing

Picked up by the Mallon's Media Watch blog, this story is shocking. Members of the board of Catholic Charities resigned because the Bishop called for Catholic relief agencies, e.g. Catholic Charities, to be exempt from laws requiring these agencies to place some children in gay couple homes.

These board members them had the unmitigated gaul to state that the Bishop's ruling undermined their "moral priority of helping vulnerable children find loving homes." These people, who undoubtably have done considerable good vicariously through this agency, have stepped over the line with that statement. How can a home that by its very construction defies the natural order of Love hope to be one in which Love is welcomed and fostered? I can only speculate that they have allowed the sentimentality of their positions, and I am sure it is a very strong pull, to cloud their judgement of the higher orders of truth.

Mad props to the Bishop of Boston for getting this one right.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Arizona Voting Lottery

Here's a well-thought response to the Arizona Voting Lottery idea. With not at all the angle I was expecting, Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe walks though the logic following the assumption that voter turnout is the proper measure of democratic health. Once you start there, anything, including lotteries or giveaways, that can improve that number should make the state healthier. He's got a good read on the situation, and I find myself coming to the same conclusion: voter turnout is not the best measure of democratic health, and even if it was, the best way to improve it is to give honest, conscientious citizens real reasons, real choices at the ballot. Far too many incumbents win elections because of gerrymandered districts, georgraphically tortured to preserve the status quo. Let's give people real political debate over things that matter, and then see how healthy we look.
Procreate and Dominate (Revisited)

As illustrated here at 40:20 some time ago, more and more people are starting to take notice of the repurcussions to society caused by the contraceptive mentality. Here's another gem from the Wall Street Journal. This one focuses on the coming shift in electoral politics as conservatives continue to out-produce liberals on an accelerating basis.
How dare they!

Does anyone else find this a bit silly? Someone in Britain is mad, because Tom and Jerry, yes Tom and Jerry, smoke in a couple of cartoons.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Russian Climbing Video

An incredible display of agility, strength, and freakin' awesomeness! This kind of stuff makes me wish me parents had made me be a dorky gymnast when I was a kid. I may do it to my boys when I get the chance...

Baby Grace

My 1 pound, 1 ounce niece Grace Elizabeth was born on Saturday at 11:59:55 PM. She was born at 24 weeks along, and is only 11 inches long. But, despite her size, she's already a fighter. My wife and I drove up to see her and we were astounded by her tiny perfection. These pictures don't do her justice, she's already quite the looker.

Please keep her in your prayers, as things will be touch and go for some time now.
Yay school!

Well, today is the first day of school us here in Arkansas, so please keep my students and I in your prayers today. Pray especially that their hearts will be open to all of our discussion of God and his majesty this year.

St. Joseph of Copertino - Pray for us!
It's a miracle!

Although I doubt that is supernatural, it is not a bad resemblance. Much better than most "sightings" of Jesus and Mary in everyday objects. At first glance it just looks like a small statue.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Paris Hilton: ‘I think I am a good role model’

I think we could probably have a field day with this!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Ender Petitions for Life

The Web site of Ms. Magazine--yes, it still exists--is calling on readers to sign a petition: "I have had an abortion. I publicly join the millions of women in the United States who have had an abortion in demanding a repeal of laws that restrict women's reproductive freedom."

Well, so much for the right to privacy. If Ms. readers hadn't had so many abortions, there might be more Ms. readers. As for the rest of us, here's a petition we could all sign: "I wasn't aborted."

Having narrowly escaped being aborted, I'd be the first in line. (full text here)

This article is a simple and poignant reminder of the self-defeating selfishness that characterizes the contraceptive mentality. Ms. Gorin's opinion column in today's Wall Street Journal highlights some tragic aspects of life in Soviet Russia that I had never heard of before, such as women with "double-digit abortion counts" being commonplace. Her protrayal of the dialogue between nurse and mother in Israel was especially enlightened for modern times.

The way she spoke of herself as a "second-born" reminded me of the sci-fi Ender's Game book series, a strong offering from Orson Scott Card. In the books Earth is facing a death struggle against possible alien invasion (the "Buggers") and couples are only allowed two children. Ender is a "Third," a pejorative conveying extreme disgust. In both the stories and this column, children who "should" have been aborted turned out to be great blessings to humanity - Ender defeats the Buggers and the men in Ms. Gorin's column become master violinists.

Wouldn't it be great if we could accept the children regardless of whether they were going to be world-savers or great musicians? Wouldn't it be something if we could look at the pregnancies that resulted in tyrants like Nero or Stalin and still say spare the knife? If we can't, we're still utilitarians, nothing more.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Happy Feast Day!

Today is kind of a big one for us:

It is our son's first feast day.

Maximilian is the patron of the church where my wife and I married.

We have both been to Auschwitz and seen the place of his martyrdom, and my wife has actually met Francis Gajowniczek, the man whose place Maximilian took on death row in the camp. Even with that great feat, for which he is so well known, there are many other less well known but equally amazing examples of his holiness, so read this article and pray to this great saint today on his feast!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!”

I found the first reading at mass today to be very inspiring, especially for me as a young married man. My wife and I, while relatively poor and struggling with the pressures of our new life together, are in a remarkably blessed and easy state of life. We have simple needs and wants, no children to love and care for (yet), and a strong bond of love. While listening to this passage from Kings, it struck me that this will certainly not always be the case, hopefully the children part particularly. There is a special grace given to persons during any quiet time in their life, a grace of mending, strengthing, and healing; so that we can be ready for the tasks ahead of us. I hope I don't waste the graces or the time.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

ND Here We Come!

My wife and I are packing with a revengence this weekend, getting ready for the big move out to Notre Dame on Tuesday. Hard to believe that I'm going to be joining those crazy Irish fans after a lifetime supporting the Miiiiiiiiichigan Wolverines.

I don't think Lloyd Carr will ever speak to me again.
A very interesting story.

Maybe you have already heard about this, but I just saw it on the Today show this morning. A Mennonite doctor in Pennsylvania refused to give a rape victim the Plan B morning after pill. The girl's mother was outraged. By the way she is Catholic. This article also states that:

"The Pennsylvania Catholic Health Association said the Catholic Church allows emergency contraception in the case of rape if tests for pregnancy and ovulation are negative."

To me this sounds like a complete crock. Besides the fact that this "Catholic" agency is obviously not in touch with the Church, it is also apparently not in touch with reason either. What exactly would be the point of administering "contraception" (abortafacia) to someone who is neither pregnant nor fertile?

It is such a sad thing to me when non-Catholics with correct beliefs are set in opposition to Catholics with incorrect beliefs. I am very proud of this doctor for standing up for his beliefs in a difficult situation. I am very sad for our faith and its overabundance of lukewarm members.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I guess I'm just a proud papa!

In case you haven't noticed, I like showing off my son. Here are a bunch more pictures of the world's cutest child! (And no, that is not up for debate.)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

"A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever"

One of my favorite quotes expresses what I witnessed a few weeks ago in lovely Cincinnati, OH. Invited to visit a close friend's parents' house for the weekend with my friend and his wife, my wife and I were privileged to attend a 20th Anniversary party marking the opening of a Catholic medical group in that fair city. While we were surprised by the invitation (I had to borrow the neighbor's wingtips), we were blessed to find the event moving in ways beyond pleasant food and conversation.

I have known the Borts for four years now, and while I have come to admire the way they have raised six wonderful children and their incredible generosity, I had not been given a glimpse into Dr. Bort's professional life until that evening. What I saw was an inspiration. Dr. Bort and his "senior partner," whose name I regrettably cannot recall, began a medical practice in 1986 with only themselves and one assistant. They founded it on solid medical practices and the social and moral foundations of the Church; and now, twenty years later the fruits of their hard and righteous labors are plain for all to see. Their small practice has expanded to more than a dozen partners, a large number of nurses and physician's assistants, and a physical therapy center. They have given their patients ethical, wholesome advice for all that time, and, despite their success, remembered to give the main thanks to the Lord and to their patients for trusting them for all these years. They have kept foremost their duty to the Lord and their duty to their patients, and have managed to keep the bottom line ok too. Quite a feat in today's world, and as a law student who is looking to start his own practice in a few years, I have been strengthened and emboldened by the vision they presented.

For it is a vision, and their success goes beyond numbers. There was something more to the celebration than a simple corporate event. There were comrades, sharing old memories and struggles, you might find that anywhere. Beyond all that though, there was something...something impressive, intangible. Something that lingered just beyond the scent of fresh flowers, that hid on the fringe of candlelight, filling the spaces between "Hello" and "How are you," bridging the gap from words expressed to ideas shared. An easy laugh, a twinkling eye, and the comfortable silence shared by those who have toiled long together in a just cause. There was Love in that room, dancing amidst the fork and spoon, and I was blest to behold Him.

The feast that night was not that one promised at the wedding feast of the Lamb, but perhaps it was an appetizer. Such are the rewards for those who bring heaven, the joy that lasts forever, with them no matter where they go.

Monday, August 07, 2006

World Trade Center Movie

This is an outrage! We all need to stand up and protest this explicitly anti-Islamic movie! If this movie is allowed to be shown in theaters, there will be a great uprising of anti-Islamic ideologies and violence! For the sake of all persons of Islamic and/or Arab descent, we must boycott and stand against the spread of this film!

Now, wouldn't it be silly to stand in the way of a potentially beautiful movie, because some might miss the beauty and focus on something that I am sure is not even present in the movie?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Catholics in the headlines.

Someone pointed out today that they found it interesting that with all the things going on in the world right now, fighting in Israel and Lebanon, Castro's health, etc., that the story getting top billing in the news is Mel Gibson for his antics and his "anti-semitism."

I just wonder though, if he was a Methodist, Baptist, Adventist, etc., would he be getting the same attention?

What if he had made a controversial movie about the president rather than a "controversial" movie about Christ?

I don't think so. How about you?