Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Sky Angel Cowboy

Listen to This Please

This is a special story from a smart young man from Whitman, Nebraska. This young man knows His Saviour, and we all can too.

Here is the blog archive that goes with it.




Senator Barbara Boxer Gets Her Ears Boxed

She's Really More of a Pit Bull than a Boxer

Senator (not Ma'am) Barbara Boxer recently upbraided a Brigadier General for calling her Ma'am instead of Senator, since she had worked so hard to get that title. She made a fool of herself for all to see on Youtube.



Not everyone kept their mouths shut about this idiotic outburst from the erstwhile senator. A Guard Aviator and Captain for Alaska Air Lines hit the nail directly on the head with the following response to her.

You were so right on when you scolded the General on TV for using the term, "ma'am," instead of "Senator." After all, in the military, "ma'am" is a term of respect when addressing a female of superior rank or position. The General was totally wrong. You are not a person of superior rank or position. You are a member of one of the world's most corrupt organizations, the U.S. Senate, equaled only by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congress is a cesspool of liars, thieves, inside traders, traitors, drunks(one who killed a staffer, yet is still revered), criminals, and other low level swine who, as individuals (not all, but many), will do anything to enhance their lives, fortunes and power, all at the expense of the People of the United States and its Constitution, in order to be continually re-elected. Many democrats even want American troops killed by releasing photographs.How many of you could honestly say, "We pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor"? None? One? Two?

Your reaction to the general shows several things. First is your abysmal ignorance of all things military. Your treatment of the general shows you to be an elitist of the worst kind. When the general entered the military (as most of us who served) he wrote the government a blank check, offering his life to protect your derriere now safely and comfortably ensconced in a 20 thousand dollar leather chair, paid for by the general's taxes. You repaid him for this by humiliating him in front of millions.

Second is your puerile character, lack of sophistication, and arrogance which borders on the hubristic. This display of brattish behavior shows you to be a virago, termagant, harridan, nag, scold or shrew, unfit for your position, regardless of the support of the unwashed, uneducated masses who have made California into the laughing stock of the nation.

What I am writing, Senator, are the same thoughts countless millions of Americans have toward Congress, but who lack the energy, ability or time to convey them. Under the democrats, some don't even have the 44 cents to buy the stamp. Regardless of their thoughts, most realize
politicians are pretty much the same, and will vote for the one who will bring home the most bacon, even if they do consider how corrupt that person is.

Lord Acton (1834 1902) so aptly charged, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Unbeknownst to you and your colleagues, Mr. Power has had his way with all of you, and we are all the worse for it.

Finally Senator, I, too, have a title. It is "Right Wing Extremist Potential Terrorist Threat." It is not of my choosing, but was given to me by your Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. And you were offended by "ma'am"?

Cheers!

Jim Hill

I guess that puts a little rubber to the pavement, doesn't it.



What Are You Doing New Year's Eve

Well, What?

Me and the Mrs. are not too big on New Year's Eve, but I do like the Song.

Here is Karen Carpenter doing the Carpenter's version of the song. This song was released on the second Carpenters Christmas album, "An Old-Fashioned Christmas," a year after Karen's death in 1983.




Here's what Diana Krall does with it. Not your father's version, unless I'm your father. And she doesn't tickle the ivories in it. How unusual is that.



Let's take it away with the O'jays along with Auld Lang Syne. You gotta have some soul, brothers and sisters.



Happy New Year 2010 to you all.

African AIDS: the facts that demolish the myths

The mystery of why AIDS has been so devastating in Africa has been solved. And it’s not lack of condoms.

This article appeared in Mercator.net on March 22, 2009, and is one of their own 10 most popular articles of the year. In case you missed it then, here it is reproduced:
Benedict XVI’s recent comment on the African AIDS crisis -- "the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem" – provoked an international sensation all out of proportion to its half-sentence length.

"Impeach the Pope!" wrote a Catholic columnist in the Washington Post. This Pope is "a disaster", a Vatican official told the London Telegraph. These bouquets caRed Hill Cemetery in Durban, South Africa / New York Timesme from his friends. His foes were sulphurous. "Grievously wrong!" thundered the New York Times. "There is no evidence that condom use is aggravating the epidemic and considerable evidence that condoms, though no panacea, can be helpful in many circumstances."

No evidence, eh? None at all? Not even just a teensy-weensy bit? Had the Gray Lady and the thousands of other politicians and journalists who rained abuse on the Pope queried any AIDS experts about this? Apparently not. Had they done so, they would have discovered that many African AIDS strategists are having serious misgivings about an obsession with condoms.

In fact, a Harvard expert on AIDS prevention, Dr Edward C. Green, told MercatorNet bluntly: "the Pope is actually correct". Dr Green is no lightweight in the field of AIDS research. He is the author of five books and over 250 peer-reviewed articles -- and, he added, he is an agnostic, not a Catholic.

The not-enough-condoms explanation of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic is driven "not by evidence, but by ideology, stereotypes, and false assumptions," Dr Green wrote last year in the journal First Things. And myths kill: "they result in efforts that are at best ineffective and at worst harmful, while the AIDS epidemic continues to spread and exact a devastating toll in human lives".(1)

Experts with doubts

Dr Green is not a maverick voice. Similar views are being expressed in the world’s leading scientific journals. In an article in The Lancet, for instance, James Shelton, of the US Agency for International Development, stated flatly that one of the ten damaging myths about the fight against AIDS is that condoms are the answer. "Condoms alone have limited impact in generalised epidemics [as in Africa]," Shelton wrote.(2)

As long ago as 2004, an article in the journal Studies in Family Planning conceded that "no clear examples have emerged yet of a country that has turned back a generalized epidemic primarily by means of condom promotion". In fact, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS can actually rise with increased distribution of condoms. Take Cameroon, for instance, the country to which the Pope was flying when he made his notorious remarks. Between 1992 and 2001 condom sales there increased from 6 million to 15 million -- while HIV prevalence tripled, from 3 percent to 9 per cent.(3)

Benedict’s critics blithely assume that the solution is more condoms because AIDS in Soweto is like AIDS in San Francisco. It’s not. In the West, AIDS is confined to high-risk groups, like sex workers, homosexuals, and injecting drug users. Within these groups, studies do show that condoms are effective to some extent. But AIDS in Africa is a generalised, heterosexual epidemic which affects ordinary people.

For years, researchers have desperately sought to understand why AIDS there has been so devastating. Sub-Saharan Africa is most heavily affected region in the world. It accounts for 67 percent of all people living with HIV and for 72 percent of AIDS deaths in 2007.(4) But now the answer is crystal clear. The reason is the widespread practice of "multiple concurrent partnerships".

Multiple partnerships

What does this mean? In Africa, it is not uncommon for an individual to have more than one long-term partner at a time. In the West, we might use the terms "mistress" or "boyfriend". Relationships like these are more than just casual hook-ups; to some extent they are based on intimacy, trust and friendship. In these circumstances, it is very difficult to persuade men to use condoms consistently. Concurrency, as the scholars term it, is a deadly recipe.

This is the theme of a highly-praised 2007 book by the medical journalist Helen Epstein, The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS (warmly reviewed by the New York Times, by the way). For a long time she attributed the epidemic to commercial sex, poverty, discrimination against women and low condom use. But after observing that HIV rates were increasing despite higher condom use, she grasped that concurrency is the key to the problem. She describes these multiple long-term partnerships as the "super highway of infections" with casual sex operating as "on ramps".

"Condoms alone won’t stop the virus, because so much transmission is taking place in longer term relationships in which condoms are seldom used," she told an interviewer last year. "Therefore, a collective shift in sexual norms, especially partner reduction, is crucial."(5)

And it turns out that condoms can be worse than just ineffective in a generalised epidemic. Dr Green explained to MercatorNet that they "may even exacerbate HIV infection levels due to a phenomenon called risk compensation, or behavioral disinhibition. People take more sexual risks because they feel safer than is actually justified when using condoms."

Effective solutions

If showering condoms over Africa can’t stop the epidemic, what will? According to a recent article in Science by researchers from the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard, the University of California at San Francisco, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health, only two interventions definitely work: male circumcision and reducing multiple partnerships.(6)

Male circumcision significantly reduces the risk of heterosexual HIV infection and has even been called a "surgical vaccine". It may explain why HIV rates in West Africa are relatively low. The UN is promoting it vigorously in southern Africa. But the challenge is huge – about 2.5 million circumcisions by the year 2010.

The other effective strategy, say these experts, is "partner reduction", which -- surprise! surprise! -- sounds remarkably like what the Pope recommends. In Uganda, HIV prevalence reduced dramatically after an intensive "zero grazing" campaign in the 1990s. A recent decline in Kenya’s HIV rate seems to be due to partner reduction and marital fidelity. Furthermore, despite scepticism by Westerners, it is possible to change sexual behaviour. A 2006 campaign in Swaziland about the danger of having a "secret lover" resulted in fewer partners.

If the standard HIV-prevention toolbox has "failed utterly to reduce HIV transmission", as Dr Green and other researchers contend in the current issue of Studies in Family Planning (7), how much is being spent on the treatment that works? Very little, complain the authors of the article in Science. The biggest chunk of the US$3.2 billion UNAIDS budget has been allocated to interventions which are "unsupported by rigorous evidence". Only 20 percent goes to generalised epidemics in Africa and elsewhere, even though these account for two-thirds of all HIV infections. Only 5 percent goes towards male circumcision -- and a negligible amount to changing sexual behaviour.

An editorial in the Seattle Times derided Pope Benedict for living in an "alternate universe".(8) But it isn’t the Pope who has take up residence there. It’s his critics. As Dr Green wrote last year, "Christian churches -- indeed, most faith communities -- have a comparative advantage in promoting the needed types of behavior change, since these behaviors conform to their moral, ethical, and scriptural teachings. What the churches are inclined to do anyway turns out to be what works best in AIDS prevention." (9)

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.

Notes

(1) Edward C. Green and Allison Herling Ruark. "AIDS and the Churches: Getting the Story Right". First Things. April 2008.

(2) James D. Shelton. "Ten myths and one truth about generalised HIV epidemics." The Lancet. December 1, 2007. pp 1809-1811.

(3) Norman Hearts and Sanny Chen. "Condom promotion for AIDS prevention in the developing world: is it working?" Studies in Family Planning. March 2004. pp 39-47.

(4) "2008 Report on the global AIDS epidemic". UNAIDS. July 2008.

(5) "AIDS Journalist Helen Epstein on The Invisible Cure". Philanthropy Action. May 20, 2008.

(6) Malcolm Potts et al. "Reassessing HIV Prevention". Science, May 9, 2008. pp 749-750.

(7) Edward C. Green et al. "A Framework of Sexual Partnerships: Risks and Implications for HIV Prevention in Africa." Studies in Family Planning. March 2009, pp 63-70.

(8) "Pope Benedict's alternate universe". Seattle Times. March 19, 2009.

(9) Edward C. Green and Allison Herling Ruark. "AIDS and the Churches: Getting the Story Right". First Things. April 2008.

This article is published by Michael Cook, and MercatorNet.com under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

Love Isn't Love

Reba McEntire

This is not a Christmas Song, but it is about Love, which is what Christmas is about.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Lord Monckton on Hopenchangen

I Mean Copenhagen

So, if Lord Monckton knows of where he speaks, then the draft treaty, that to the best of my knowledge remains as such after the recent meetings (though only time will tell), calls for a form of One World government, all based on faulty science. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Watch very closely.

HMMMM!!






















Recognizing aboriginal rights without violating the Constitution

Email Correspondence from Canadian Constitution Foundation

This also appeared in the National Post on December 30, 2009:
The lawsuit of David Brown and Dana Chatwell against Ontario and its provincial police has highlighted in dramatic fashion how quickly violence can follow the withdrawal of law enforcement. Similar problems exist on several Mohawk reserves in Ontario and Quebec, where an absence of strong policing along portions of the Canada-U.S. border has resulted in the expansion of smuggling, violence and organized crime using aboriginal reserves as safe havens.

In spite of these developments, Canada’s federal government continues to recognize an “inherent right of aboriginal self-government.” While undoubtedly motivated by good intentions, this federal policy, in place since 1995, is not compatible with Canada’s Constitution.

For more than a century, the Supreme Court of Canada has repeatedly and consistently declared that the Constitution distributes all legislative power between the federal and provincial governments. Aside from these two levels of government, there are no sovereign powers outside of the Constitution. The only “inherent” government power in Canada is that which flows from Canadian sovereignty, referred to in law as Crown sovereignty.

No reasonable person would disagree with the goal of seeing aboriginal people manage their own affairs without being controlled by Ottawa’s politicians and bureaucrats. Fortunately, this can be achieved within Canada’s Constitution.

A constitutionally valid form of aboriginal self-government may be created through federal legislation that delegates government powers and authority to an aboriginal community. This has been done successfully with the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act, the Yukon First Nation Self-Government Act and the Cree-Naskapi (of Quebec) Act. The delegation of federal and provincial powers enables aboriginals to run their own affairs, exercise their aboriginal rights and use aboriginal title lands.

Delegating provincial and federal powers is fundamentally different from recognizing “inherent” aboriginal self-government power that is not derived from Crown sovereignty. “Inherent” means self-originating and not dependent on Canada’s Constitution, or on either of the two orders of government created by it.

The central characteristic of government is the capacity to exercise coercive power. This means the power to interfere with the physical integrity and freedom of persons, to seize or determine ownership of their property and assets, to create rights and liabilities, to determine entitlements to benefits and advantages, to impose burdens and to determine who can vote and be part of government itself. Recognizing an entity as “government” has very serious implications.

In 1992, prime minister Brian Mulroney and the premiers attempted to insert an “inherent aboriginal right of self-government” into the Constitution through the Charlottetown Accord. They correctly understood that a new order of aboriginal government could be achieved only by amending the Constitution. But after Canadians rejected this proposal in a national referendum, the federal government nevertheless proceeded to recognize “inherent aboriginal self-government” as if it already existed in the Constitution.

Since 1995, the federal government’s policy has resulted in the Nisga’a Final Agreement, the Tsawwassen First Nation Final Agreement and the Westbank First Nation Self-Government Agreement, all of which purport to create a “third order” of government that is outside of the Constitution, and not accountable to Canada’s federal or provincial orders of government.

There are numerous practical problems which result from a policy that doesn’t comply with the Constitution.

The recognition of a “third order” of constitutionalized aboriginal government on par with the federal and provincial governments creates an uncertain legal environment for business, and for all citizens. Even if clear rules could be enacted for reconciling conflicting laws and authorities, the unwieldy complexity would spell the end of functional government in Canada. The creation and imposition of new taxes and royalties on top of existing federal, provincial and municipal taxes will undoubtedly deter investment. Moreover, the federal and provincial capacity to enforce the law is necessarily reduced.

A “third order” of government hinders the federal and provincial governments’ ability to amend legislation for the purpose of accommodating changing circumstances and solving new problems which may arise. The legislation creating the “third order” of government found in the Nisga’a and Tsawwassen Agreements cannot be amended by Ottawa or Victoria like other legislation.

Most significantly, the recognition of “inherent” aboriginal government over Canadian territory constitutes withdrawal of Canadian government authority and law from that territory, an act known in constitutional law — and strictly prohibited by it – as abdication. The longer this federal policy remains in place, the more frequently Canadians will experience the violence and lawlessness which took place at Oka, Que., and Caledonia, Ont., and is currently taking place on Mohawk reserves along the border.

Lawyers John Carpay and Jeffrey Rustand are, respectively, executive director and in-house counsel with the Canadian Constitution Foundation
Now that that's all cleared up, we can move on to something else??

My Dog's Better Than Your Cat

Well, Not My Dog, But This Dog

Blazing Cat Fur put a pic of his real live kitty up the other day, and Wamo, not to be outdone put up a pic of his.

Since we don't have a cat or a dog either for that matter, I chose to reprise a picture from an earlier post, that showed how dogs are less sedentary than cats.

I mean their kitty's are cute and all that, but if you want some real love and affection, and possibly some home wrecking for good measure, you need a dog.









What is Rabble Babble?

Only in Canader, eh. Pity!

There is a site that the Flaming Kitty, BCF pointed his readers to called rabble.ca, which has a section called Babble, making it Rabble Babble what one might expect in the subsection. It is in fact true to the definitions below, and members were pontificating the other day on systemic white supremacist racism in Canada.

Here is the definition of Rabble:
  1. A tumultuous crowd; a mob.
  2. The lowest or coarsest class of people. Often used with the.
  3. A group of persons regarded with contempt: "After subsisting on the invisible margins of the art scene ... he was 'discovered' in the mid-80's, along with a crowd of like-minded rabble from the East Village" (Richard B. Woodward).
And here is what Babble is defined as:
  1. Inarticulate or meaningless talk or sounds.
  2. Idle or foolish talk; chatter.
  3. A continuous low, murmuring sound, as of flowing water.
Certainly, what I read was inarticulate and meaningless, as well as idle and foolish, by a low coarse class of people. At least, they call themselves like it is. I just don't get why they would want to brag about it.

Anyway, one free speech oriented individual Viking 77, who shares meaningful opinions from time to time over at the Kitty's Blog, had attempted to raise the convo over at Babble above the banal. He wandered off after being harangued by the Babblers. I visited the particular page linked above on 3 occasions, to see if I read what I thought I read, and whether it got any better with time.

In response, I can confirm that I read what I thought that I had read, and it did not improve with age, or additional commentary.

Meanwhile, over at Blazing Cat Fur's site, we engaged in a little fun and foolery amongst ourselves until Blaze chilled us with the use of big, though cool words. In response to Viking's valiant attempts to bring sanity to the Rabble who were babbling, he said the following:
Its Marxist twaddle designed to instill guilt among gullible liberals, a tactic of cultural Marxism employing elements of cultural and moral relativism to undermine society Viking.
Well, that ups the ante considerably. After I had interjected a meaningless, but fun response to the use of big words, with a suggestion that he pop over and insert them into the babble that was going on at Rabble, a reader called The Phantom took it up another notch saying:
Structural racism" is an unprovable rhetorical construct designed to beat up Conservatives and white people generally. Its what you have to resort to in a culture like ours that has decided racism is damn foolishness and moved to eliminate it in all walks of life.

When confronted with a culture that actually -is- racist, these weenies can't encompass it. They think its all politics or something.
I agree with what both of these erudite guys had to say, though I am not sure what it means. Fortunately, The Phantom had brought things back to a level that I could get totally, when he called the Babblers "weenies."

But, this I get. Since the Babblers are probably in general a bunch of white guys and gals, with too much time on their hands, and probably supported by Mommy and Daddy's money, their racist remarks against white people, of which I am one, probably would get a free pass, if one of us were to complain to the Barbara Hall thought police about it. This is undoubtedly true, even though reading the "twaddle" did hurt my feelings, such that I am beside myself. In fact the two of us are fighting over the keyboard at this very moment, making it challenging to write this posting.

Now, if we could only get them to use the word "Nazi" in there somewhere, we could go to J Ly, and have them investigated into submission. These clowns do remind me of the now infamous Canadian Nazis, that have been writing screed from their basements, and are more a threat to themselves than to any real personages, but have gained the ire of the Ceej and the CHRC.

The twaddle these clowns are spouting sounds so much like extreme Socialism, that they would give Nazi's a bad name. But, in the end it is just a form of sex by oneself, with equal abilities to bear fruit.




Defining Moments In Our Lives

Breaking Away from Faulty Programming

We have all had in our lives, defining moments. We like to think of those that have spurred us on to bigger and better things, because they make us feel part of something bigger than ourselves, but also because they mask the pain from the ones that stopped us in our tracks for a moment, or have negatively altered our life journey.

Defining moments can include the "day I first believed" like in Amazing Grace, or the moment you encountered the man or woman of your dreams.

But, often our defining moments are traumatic events that occurred at some time and played a part in the life we have lived to this point. There does not have to be loss of blood, or physical pain for an event to be traumatic. Most traumas are mental or spiritual in our society, though that does not diminish the physical trauma that many of us have felt from some kind of abuse or accident.

The problem with most non physical trauma, and even some physical trauma is that our brains hide these memories from us. In the case of physical trauma, we might have actual visible scars to remind us or recurrent pain that serves as a reminder of the event, though not always. In the case of the mental or spiritual trauma, it may remain hidden for a time, or forever in a pure memory sense, while it wreaks havoc on our lives.

I remember a friend of mine many years ago, who as we talked one time, recalled from his childhood recurring incidents, with his impatient and irritable father. His father, would often walk into a room he was in, doing something, and shout at him: "Jesus Christ, Gary," and then berate him for some kind of failure in what he had been doing. As Gary told it to me at the time, for the longest time he thought his full given name was 'Jesus Christ Gary." What I did not realise at the time was that he was using humour to mask the effects of trauma on his life. To the best of my knowledge, my friend has never been able to fully accept the love of Jesus Christ for him, or to forgive his own "failures" to be the son his long deceased father wanted him to be.

Things that happen to us or involve us in our lives come in two categories, events or anecdotes. An event is formative in that it impacts our lives and creates an attachment. An anecdote is a story of something told from a detachment. Typically the traumatic things that happen in our lives remain as traumatic events, not as anecdotes, and I will explain my meaning in a bit.

I realise now, many years later, that my friend was attached to that story he told me, because he told it to others as well, but the emotion in it, as I think on it, told me that it was a story of the current moment in his life, from an impact standpoint.

We are designed by our creator such that our brains become programmed, particularly by the traumatic, so that we avoid further similar traumas, or develop coping mechanisms for them.

Let me give a personal example, and a resolution of it much later in life. When I was 2 years old, I developed a hernia. Actually by the time I was 4 I had had two of them, sort of a matching his and hernia. Anyway, when I was 2, in 1952, my mother took me to the hospital to have it operated on. I recall, (at 2 years old mind you) that I was placed in a crib in a hospital room by myself, where the walls of the crib were much higher than I was tall. I recall that my mother left me there, by myself with strange people, and that the next day, they hurt me. That is the memory of a 2 year old, incomplete, but sufficient to impact my future life.

So, leaving that as I understood it from my childhood, my brain became programmed by that recall of the event, just as it was designed to be. Let me digress for a minute about this training, programming component.

When I was a young teenager, my parents took us to Alberta on a motor vacation. There we rented a cabin at Banff. While there, my sister and I noticed some very cute brown bears outside our cabin rooting around in the garbage for food. We were intrigued and went outside to see them. Though we were about 20 yards away from them, we were not afraid in the least. Suddenly, our mother opened the door, screamed at the bears, and yelled at us to come inside, where she lectured us about the dangers of bears. That event traumatised us towards wild animals. We then became aware that the bears had been looking at me and my sister like lunch meat. That left an impression on us.

So, coming forward to about 10 years ago, I was in BC, and walking by myself on a nature trail. When I exited the trail by the highway, I saw a cougar up the way, about a quarter of a mile. My programming from my childhood, that was reinforced a number of times later in life, told me that this was not a cute kitty cat, that I should go and see if I could befriend, but a wild animal looking for a tasty meal. Accordingly, I ran to my car, and beat a hasty retreat. What I also realised was that I had been an idiot to have been walking on the trail alone in the first place.

The programming that I had received earlier in this case was not inappropriate. I had developed a healthy fear of wild animals, and me in their habitat, and the latter event refined that fear with some better boundaries for my own actions. That is pretty much the way that our brain programming capability through trauma was designed to operate. By the way, I tell you this story of anecdotes in my life, not events.

Back to the little boy at 2. So, since that day, I feared being abandoned by my parents, by friends, by my wives. More than any single "event" in my life, that fear of abandonment that was programmed into me from that trauma, lived inside me and grew as other later events helped formulate it into a full blown life strategy. It made me emotionally unavailable to the people who came into my life. I could communicate, work, play sports, but not get close to another person really. So, big surprise I had two failed marriages, many failed friendships and other relationships, and jumped around from job to job a lot in my earlier years.

But, the biggest problem with this whole thing, is that I never knew I feared abandonment. I just acted that way, and it was "normal" for me, though really not normal, whatever that means. I did realise along the way that there was something incomplete in my life and I did a fair amount of therapy with some limited success.

So, when I married my dear wife, as opposed to those to whom I was not so dear, I wanted to be different. I did not know how to be different, and certainly did not know I had to break with my own training in order to be different. Then 6 years ago, I was in an auto accident, and my life as I knew it, got stopped in its tracks. When my head started to clear somewhat about 3 years after my accident, I knew that I had to find a way to get better use out of that portion of my brain that was still reasonably functional, since my total capacity was diminished.

That led me to a different kind of therapy, called EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. In EMDR therapy, you basically re-examine the traumatic events of your life, those that have formed you into the human doing that you are (as opposed to the human being you were created to be), and through a set process reprogram the brain such that the traumatic events of your past, become anecdotes in the stories of your life. From having an emotional hold on you, such that it molds your behaviour and feeds your emotions, a trauma becomes merely a story from which you are detached, and which you view as an observer, realising that you are a part of the story, but no longer traumatized by it.

As I discussed this article with my dear wife yesterday, we both were aware that our life since I have been able to put away the traumatic events of my life, and turn them into anecdotes that open me up to other possibilities in my life, has been much gentler, and free of my anxiety highjacking it along the way.

I had not really revisited how my life had been shaped by trauma before, but when I was communicating with a friend the other day about something that happened when he was 10 years old, that has impacted him since, I was reminded of how hard it had been for me to put the past of my life, in the past where it belongs, and that I was not the only one on the planet carrying this extra baggage.


I Will Exalt You

You Are My God

This is Christian Music from Hillsong, a Christian church in Sydney Australia. They have produced some of the best worship music over the last 20 years. This is from a Live performance of the song "I Will Exalt You" from Hillsong Live's newest project FAITH + HOPE + LOVE.



Enjoy.

Christopher West - The Playboy and the Pope

Comparing Hugh Hefner to Pope John Paul II

Give a listen to this video from Christopher West teaching about the Theology of the Body.




Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lord Monckton on Global Warming

Not Al Gore, and That's the Best News

Lord Christopher Monckton is the former science adviser to Margaret Thatcher, and as such has every bit as much right as Al Gore to have theories on Global Warming, if there is such a thing. It is very hard to get to hear what he has to say, since it is contrary to "accepted science", even though the accepted science is unproven, and in fact erroneous in many areas.

I am a fan of using resources wisely. I am not a fan of Global Warming as a religion, nor as an end times prediction. Anyway, here is what Lord Monckton had to say when given an hour on the Michael Coren show to discuss his thoughts.

By the way, Al Gore has never agreed to debate Lord Monckton, though he has been invited often. But, let Lord Monckton explain that to you as well. Listen to all 5 parts and hear another viewpoint, if you dare.

One of the interesting areas that Lord Monckton disputes is that of the computer models. Anyone worth their salt has followed the Hockey Stick model kafuffle, and discovered that figures don't lie, liars figure, and have done so here. Lord Monckton disputes the computer models that most earthlings are taking as gospel. Having spent much of my professional career building computer models for business purposes, I can attest to the fact that when I produced a model, because it came from a computer, it was believed, as though from the hand of God. I certainly never modeled the earth and global warming, either successfully or unsuccessfully. That makes the only difference between me and the global warming scientists the fact that I have never gotten it wrong, only because I have not done it.

Anyway, on to Lord Monckton.









Rachel Weep No More

A Pro-Life Christmas Story By Gary Bauer

H/t Fr. James Farfaglia

This article by Gary Bauer appeared in Human Events Online on Christmas Day. Although it is about the American experience of abortion and the battle for the lives of pre-born children, it is applicable in Canada as well:
This day in history is a day of glorious demarcation. Through a birth in the backwaters of the Middle East, God became man. And on the day that we celebrate the birth of the most important Baby, it is useful -- nay, essential -- to reflect on the deaths of so many other babies (about ten in the five minutes it’ll take you to read this column) made in the image and likeness of the Christ-child.

At this time of year, Christians are filled with hope and the knowledge that our existence is made possible by the mystery of the love of God. Pro-lifers similarly feel the deep joy that comes with knowing that no matter how bleak the battle against the abortion culture gets, a victory is achieved every time a child is born who might have been aborted. Pro-lifers have had much to celebrate, and their victories can even be seen in the current struggles.

In Baltimore recently, the city council passed the first legislation in the country that requires crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to post signs outside their buildings that state that they do not provide or refer for abortions. Failure to do so will result in a fine of $150 a day.

The law seems to be a response to CPC’s success in counseling women with crisis pregnancies not to abort their children. CPC’s have been aided by ultrasound imaging, which has been instrumental in revealing the unborn child as a living and sensing person. By giving mothers and fathers an enhanced picture of what -- of who -- is being destroyed during an abortion, such technology has been perhaps the pro-life cause’s most valuable tool to impede the ever encroaching culture of death.

Studies show that 80 to 90 percent of women who see an ultrasound of their unborn child choose not to abort. The widespread use of ultrasound has been a major reason why abortions have decreased by 25 percent, to 1.2 million in 2005, from an all-time high of 1.6 million in 1990, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute.

Ultrasound is changing hearts and minds, including those of people with deep roots in the abortion culture. Recently, the director of a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Texas had a change of heart and mind after watching an ultrasound video of a child being killed by abortion. “I just thought ‘I can’t do this anymore,’” said Abby Johnson in an interview with a local news network in which she was asked to explain her sudden resignation from her post after eight years. She continued, “It was just like a flash that hit me and I thought ‘that’s it.’”

As more pregnant women turn to CPCs, abortion centers are closing. A new report by Operation Rescue found that 1,500 abortion centers have closed since 1991. And a recently released Harvard study found that the number of Planned Parenthood affiliates has plummeted, from 163 in 1994 to 91 in late 2009.

As the number of abortion facilities has dropped, so has the number of abortionists. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the number of abortion providers decreased from 2,908 in 1982 to 1,787 in 2005. And 87 percent of U.S. counties, including 31 percent of its metropolitan areas, have no abortion availability.

A report last year in the journal Contraception found that 66 percent of physicians performing second-trimester abortions are more than 50 years old. As Susan Hill, president of the National Women’s Health Foundation, told the Washington Post last fall. “Our doctors are graying and are not being replaced. . . . The situation is grave.”

The worst news for the abortion industry are the numerous polls that reveal a significant drop in the share of Americans who consider themselves pro-choice, while a majority of Americans now consider themselves “pro-life.”

Of course, though the number of abortions, abortionists, abortion facilities and abortion supporters has dropped, the abortion rights movement remains undeterred.

As I write, it appears 60 U.S. senators will vote to pass a health care bill that will force all taxpaying Americans to pay for millions of abortions. Polls show that most people, even self-described pro-choice people, do not want to pay for abortions. But on the eve of the celebration of the birth of the most important Baby in history, a majority of members of “the world’s greatest deliberative body” voted to advance the death of countless innocent unborn babies.

Following the birth of Christ, agents of the greatest government the world had ever known tried to kill all the babies of Bethlehem, and we remember the sorrow of “Rachel weeping for her children.” It is not the highest act of government to kill children, or to compel others to do it. Truly great governments make a way for their citizens to live and prosper.

But let’s not end on a sour note. Because America has a history of expanding rights, all but the most radical abortion advocates should acknowledge that history is against them. Most strikingly, America’s youth, the “survivors” of the post-Roe era, are its most pro-life generation.

No matter what happens with the health care bill, the abortion movement is failing because it conflicts with the eternal truth of the value of all human life and with the founding ideas of the American Republic, recorded in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:

“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, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”


Former presidential candidate Mr. Gary Bauer is president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.




Beautiful Star of Bethlehem

The Judds

This is an oldy but a goody from the days of Wynnona and Naomi Judd singing together.

The Joys of Being Trailer Trash

Dreaming of Arizona

As some readers may know, my dear wife and I have our motor home in Arizona, and are eagerly planning our jaunt to the sunny south, commencing soon.

This piece below was sent to MDW from a friend. It deals with a concept with which we feel some affinity, that of being trailer trash, at least a part of the year. The RV pictured in this piece resembles ours in as much as it has 6 wheels. After that, not so much:
I want to be trailer trash. They did not cause any of the problems that our country faces today. They did not get mortgages they couldn't afford. They did not run banks to the ground with greed. They did not use investors for their personal benefit. They don't even belong to the unions that ask too much of their companies.
I'm tired of paying mortgage bills, utility bills, property taxes.I want to live more simply, pack up the dog and move into a travel-trailer.I don't mind being called 'trailer trash', but I want to get your opinion.
Here's some pics of the trashy trailer her friend had in mind.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Liars Lie Because They Can

Abortion Funding Slips in to US Health Care Reform

Why do liars lie? Liars lie, because they can and because they think that they can get away with it.

H/t Joshua.

The following was on David Horowitz's Newreal here today. It is too important to be missed, so here goes with the bulk of it.

The biggest problem with trying to lie all the time is that at some point the truth just may accidentally slip out. How many times have we heard the White House or Democrats tell us that abortion will not be covered in the new health care bill? Well, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius have unwittingly let the cat of truth slip out of their bag of lies.

President Barack Obama has tried to keep health care reform from being about abortion. He told ABC News recently that “this is a healthcare bill, not an abortion bill.” Democrats have continually cited the Hyde Amendment (a law banning government funded abortions) as proof there will be no abortion coverage in any new health bills (even though those same Democrats have repeatedly tried to get rid of the Hyde Amendment.) Many on the Left have consistently used talking points on major media outlets to argue that people are lying when they say abortion will be covered. Obama set the model for that argument when he told the religious Left in August that people were distorting the facts on abortion.

“You’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion,” said Obama. “Not true. These are all fabrications.”

The House version of a health care bill had one amendment added to it – the Stupak Amendment. That amendment used strong language to make sure abortion would not be paid for by American tax dollars. Pelosi tried to make a deal to soften the Stupak language but lost out. However, the Senate version that passed on Christmas Eve has no language similar to the Stupak Amendment. And some have let it slip how happy they are about it. Pelosi forgot to censor herself when she said that the Senate bill that passed has,

“abortion language that is completely different from the House — thank God.”

Obviously Pelosi wants to make sure the hard-earned money of the American people is going to pay for abortions.

Leftists argue that the Senate version doesn’t allow money to directly pay for abortions. That’s sort of true. However, abortions will still be funded through the trickery of accounting. And guess what? HHS Secretary Sebelius inadvertently let that bit of truth leak out while talking to a feminist blog show. This ignored news story has briefly been covered already on Newsreal here.

“The Senate language which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, who are very strong defenders of women’s health services and choices for women, take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak Amendment. And I think do a good job making sure there are choices for women, making sure there are going to be some plan options…There will be an accounting procedure but everybody in the exchange.. will set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund and not be earmarked for anything, it would be a separate account that everyone would pay…It is bit confusing, but it’s really just an accounting measure…not just to women who want to choose abortion coverage.” -Sebelius

Did you get that? The plan is to get around the Hyde Amendment by using an accounting trick. All participants in the new government plan will be required to pay into a special fund that isn’t earmarked for anything, but will exist to fund abortion premiums for those who choose abortion but cannot afford it.

The only thing more shocking than this news is that the story has only been picked up by a handful of folks like us, Rush Limbaugh, and a couple of blogs. The lie has been uncovered but ignored.

The abortion issue is a big one. Moderate Blue Dog Democrats can stop the version of the Senate bill from becoming law. Many of them are people of faith and conservative socially on issues like abortion. They would be wise to remember these words of Jesus:

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32
We need to be set free from this health care bill. The best way to do that is to make sure people know the truth that Sebelius and others have inadvertently revealed.


The biggest problem with this is of course the lies to the American people, and that the blood of the murders of the unborn will be on the hands of all the taxpaying American people, by the use of an accounting trick.

Is it only a lie if you get caught, or is it a lie because it is a lie? This is an attempt not at Freedom Through Truth, but at Freedom FROM Truth. I read the last chapter of THE BOOK. It does not go well for liars who are not repentent.

About that Little Incident at Detroit Airport the Other Day

You Know Where the Muslim Tried to Blow Up The Plane

Just before it disappears into the ether, some folks are giving their take on it.

BCF had a look at it Christmas Day here.

But, News Busters did a little comparison of Janet Napolitano's response to the near disaster to the response to Mrs. Murphy's cow of Chicago Fire Fame, from 1871 here.

So, a disaster averted by the Grace of God, becomes a system functioning effectively in the views of Homeland Security. I feel secure, but then I live in Canada, about 120 miles from Detroit. What am I feeling so smug about? The incident would have been scary enough on its own, without the spinning around it.

The Abortion Debate

Pro-Choice or Pro-Abortion

Is it semantics, or is there more to it? Suzanne Fortin at Big Blue Wave discusses the difference here, and with compelling arguments.

If you are pro-life, and if you yourself are breathing on your own, I think you should be, and want to read something disgusting, go to the comments to her piece, and read the linked article in the first comment. I was absolutely disgusted at what an alleged, esteemed member of the EEC clergy wrote earlier this year.

The History of Slient Night

Reba McEntire

Here is the brief story of how the carol Silent Night was formed, and Reba's own version of it.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Joshua Comments on Looking for the Messiah

It Gets More Real When It Happens to You

I just woke up, a few minutes ago, and as happened the other day with a two part comment from Joshua, I opened my email and found part 1 sitting there on top of my messages. I read it and had to wait about 60 seconds for the second part to appear, and I was waiting with bated breath, because the story was left hanging. But, here is the finished comment/story. I hope you enjoy it as I did. Thanks, Joshua for sharing this delightful opportunity to find Jesus in the most unusual of places. And aren't wives the most wonderful creatures on the face of the earth?
What a delightful piece! And thought provoking in the extreme! And it just so happens that as I was reading it, my CD player was playing IF JESUS DROVE A MOTOR HOME by Christian singer-songwriter Jim White. Coincidence? Hmm...

Now, I may be flattering myself here when I say that I THINK I might be open to recognizing Elliot the Plumber as the Son of God...maybe.

I love kids, that is to say, I prefer the company of children to that of adults. And children have always been drawn to me. At social events and parties, I inevitably end up playing with the kids down in the rec room.

In Hollywood movies, children see dead people.

In real life, I find Jesus in children...all the time.

As I've gotten older, I find Jesus speaking to me through other people...all the time.

You cannot find what you aren't looking for. Ergo, seek and ye shall find.

Nowadays, I find Jesus is wherever I look for Him.

Because I have searched for Jesus my entire life, Jesus has been my constant companion - even during those times when I thought I was alone (and lonely).

In hindsight, I can see the hand of Jesus in everything I have lived through.

I cannot count the number of times I encountered Jesus speaking to me through others. Let me explain via one small example that pops to mind.

It was 1978. My wife and I had been married a couple of years, and she was VERY pregnant with our first child. We driving through the New York state countryside. It was late in the Fall. It was bitterly cold and past 11:00 p.m. as we drove through some little town. Suddenly - out of the proverbial nowhere - a man staggered into the street directly in front of us. I slammed on the brakes as the man stumbled and fell smack in the middle of the road. Absolutely enraged by the man's actions, I got out of my car and rushed towards the fallen figure on the road. I am not precisely certain of what I was thinking, but it was NOT good thoughts.

When I reached the man seconds later, the stench of alcohol on him was so strong that even the brisk wind couldn't blow it away. I "saw red" and began shaking the man, shouting that he'd almost gotten himself - gotten ALL of us - killed. In as clear a voice as I have ever heard, he opened his eyes and said: "I knew you would come, Jesus. I'm so cold and I wanted to die. Thank you for the blanket, Jesus. Thank you for the warmth. Thank you. So much. I love you, my sweet Jesus." Then his eyes closed and he slipped into unconsciousness.

I retrieved the polar blanket from the trunk of my car and wrapped the man up. With my wife, help, we loaded him into the back seat and drove to the local police station. There, we explained what had happened and asked the officer on duty for his help. The young officer quickly dispatched one of his colleagues to our vehicle, and the drunken man was removed and placed in a county jail cell for the night for his own protection. As the young officer passed by supporting this drunken man, the latter looked directly into my eyes and slurred, "Thank you, Jesus. I knew you'd come..."

A short time later, as we drove away, my wife said something that almost made me veer off the road. "Isn't it beautiful how such a broken man can have such unbroken faith in Jesus? He wasn't too drunk to recognize how Jesus can work through us, was he, Joshua? Jesus does indeed save, doesn't He?"

Now you perhaps understand why I often marvel at my wife's "angelic take" on things. In my anger at the events that had just transpired, I hadn't stopped to examine what really happened. My wife's words were like an alarm clock ringing at deafening volume.

Later, as we lay snug in our bed at a "better" motel, we talked into the morning about what had really happened. My wife reflected upon the "divine intervention" she perceived to be at work in her own everyday life in so many ways. As I listened to her ramble on about the many ways she saw Jesus and the Holy Spirit at work every day, I silently thanked God for sending me this wonderful angel who had become my lifelong spiritual partner and wife. As I slipped into sleep with my hand gently stroking our growing child within her, the last words I heard her say were "Jesus lives there, too, Joshua. Our baby has been nurtured on nothing but the Lord's prayers..."

My conviction that Jesus actually lives is absolute. I BELIEVE that Jesus lives now - today - on this earth, and works tirelessly to protect His flock in innumerable tiny and enormous ways. And because that is what I believe, I like to THINK that I would recognize Elliot the Plumber as the Son of God should I ever look into His eyes. And I pray every day that I will know and recognize my Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour at work in my life when next I open my eyes...
Makes you think, doesn't it?

Not Everybody's Memory Of Confession is a Good One

Here's What Joshua Remembers

Every priest is a sinner just like us, but as children, we relied on them to be Men of God, though we, in some sense at least, reserved for ourselves the opportunity to define what that meant. We did have a right to believe that we would not be abused, either emotionally or physically, and that right was not always minded. The scars left on young children that have continued to adulthood are sad, but there is redemption for us and for those who sinned against us. That is in fact, the Good News. Here is Joshua's vivid memory of a turning point event in his life, that has taken him away from something that he valued.
I was 10 years old the last time I went to confession as a Catholic. I, too, found myself adrift in the "sin" category. I wasn't a perfect child, but I was extremely well raised and disciplined by a loving grandmother. As such, and with Good Friday approaching, I sat down and "came up with" a few sins to confess - just for good form, you understand.

His name was Father Lalonde. I commenced my confession with the usual protocol: "Bless me Father for I have sinned. it has been X months since my last confession..."

I went on to describe my little invented sins: I disobeyed my parents a few times; I said "bad words" on occasion; I had been mean to my little baby brother a number of time.

Father Lalonde stopped me. "How MANY times?" he asked.

"I don't keep a list, Father," I explained. "My gran always says to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative."

"You should keep such a list," replied Father Lalonde. "Little boys like you are EVIL by nature, don't you see that? Jesus knows you are evil. That's why you must confess monthly, and KNOW exactly how often you have sinned, and what kind of sins you committed. If you don't, you will remain an evil boy and you will burn in Hell for all eternity."

I SO wish I was kidding. I am not. I left the confessional that day, never to return.

But I do - to this day - confess my sins directly to Jehovah on an "as needed" basis. And I receive absolution directly from my Lord and Saviour.

I have regretted for many years the "mistake" who was Father Lalonde. He single handedly drove a 10 year old GOOD LAD from the Romam Catholic Church.

Michael, I would completely understand if you were not to post this because it makes you uncomfortable. As I have explained to you personally, I would genuinely appreciate the opportunity to discuss this issue with a Catholic priest in the "here and now". But as it is, Father Lalonde remains the "priest" that I think of whenever i think of "Roman Catholic priest". It IS a pity, I know. Bu

I suppose that is what happens when a good Catholic is subjected to spiritual abuse by a priestly troglodyte.
As adults, we are free to come to the Lord, but we are often not really free, as we have to live with the impact of old traumatic memories on our way of viewing things. There is healing for memories, and I have seen it used as part of a spiritual exercise, within charismatic circles, and believe in its efficacy. Our memories are of more import to our day to day living than we normally give them credit for.

For all the Joshua's of this world, who have been hurt by someone in the Catholic Church, I ask you to forgive all of us who claim to be Catholic, for our corporate responsibility in your pain. I join my own prayers with you for the healing of your memories, and for a new clarity to seek and find the truth of the situations that have troubled you all these years. The Body of Christ in incomplete as long as one of us is not in full communion with it. We shall not see the total communion of the Body of Christ in our own life times likely, but we can yearn for and work for
it.

I also join you in praying for forgiveness for the Father Lalonde's of this world, and all those who have abused the authority given to them by the Church, for without forgiveness, we cannot be forgiven ourselves, as it says in the Our Father.

May God Bless Us all and bring us to unity in Him.

When a Child is Born

Johnny Mathis

Listen to what he has to say, and then his beautiful song.

Looking for the Messiah

Max Lucado

I received this in my email on Christmas Eve, and as so often happens, I wanted to share it with you. Imagine the Son of God in your church today. That's what Max Lucado does in this excerpt from his book A Gentle Thunder.
SUPPOSE JESUS CAME to your church. I don’t mean symbolically. I mean visibly. Physically. Actually. Suppose he came to your church.

Would you recognize him? It might be difficult. Jesus didn’t wear religious clothes in his day. Doubtful that he would wear them in ours. If he came today to your church, he’d wear regular clothes. Nothing fancy, just a jacket and shoes and a tie. Maybe a tie … maybe not.

He would have a common name. “Jesus” was common. I suppose he might go by Joe or Bob or Terry or Elliot.

Elliot … I like that. Suppose Elliot, the Son of God, came to your church.

Of course, he wouldn’t be from Nazareth or Israel. He’d hail from some small spot down the road like Hollow Point or Chester City or Mt. Pleasant.

And he’d be a laborer. He was a carpenter in his day. No reason to think he’d change, but let’s say he did. Let’s say that this time around he was a plumber. Elliot, the plumber from Mt. Pleasant.

God, a plumber?

Rumor has it that he fed a football field full of people near the lake. Others say he healed a senator’s son from Biloxi. Some say he’s the Son of God. Others say he’s the joke of the year. You don’t know what to think.

And then, one Sunday, he shows up.

About midway through the service he appears in the back of the auditorium and takes a seat. After a few songs he moves closer to the front. After yet another song he steps up on the platform and announces, “You are singing about me. I am the Son of God.” He holds a Communion tray. “This bread is my body. This wine is my blood. When you celebrate this, you celebrate me!”

What would you think?

Would you be offended? The audacity of it all. How irreverent, a guy named Elliot as the Son of God!

Would you be interested? Wait a minute, how could he be the Son of God? He never went to seminary, never studied at a college. But there is something about him …

Would you believe? I can’t deny it’s crazy. But I can’t deny what he has done.

It’s easy to criticize contemporaries of Jesus for not believing in him. But when you realize how he came, you can understand their skepticism.

Jesus didn’t fit their concept of a Messiah. Wrong background. Wrong pedigree. Wrong hometown. No Messiah would come from Nazareth. Small, hick, one-stoplight town. He didn’t fit the Jews’ notion of a Messiah, and so, rather than change their notion, they dismissed him.

He came as one of them. He was Jesus from Nazareth. Elliot from Mt. Pleasant. He fed the masses with calloused hands. He raised the dead wearing bib overalls and a John Deere Tractor cap.

Excerpted fromThey expected lights and kings and chariots from heaven. What they got was sandals and sermons and a Galilean accent.

And so, some missed him.

And so, some miss him still.

From A Gentle Thunder
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1987) Max Lucado



Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Grace of Reconciliation

What a Sacrament

I have written a new piece over at Life in the Spirit, about my experiences with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

I am sure that you will get a chuckle out of my first experience at age 5 with the sacrament, and I hope that you will relate to my more recent experiences, and a very special one a number of years ago, as well.

Christmas is about God reconciling us to Himself, by sending His Son to earth in human form, to show us the Way, the Truth and the Life. Part of that life for Catholic Christians is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and it is a beautiful part of our walk of faith.