I happen to disagree with the meat of this ad, but it is well done, targeting McCain and avoiding saying anything dumb about Palin.
I happen to disagree with the meat of this ad, but it is well done, targeting McCain and avoiding saying anything dumb about Palin.
I remember this guy on TV in the 60's! He usually played a nice villain.
Kowalski began to be known as a villain after hurting Yukon Eric during a match in Montreal in 1954.He visited his opponent in hospital after the match to check up on him and "the two men began laughing at how silly Eric's bandages looked. The reporter incorrectly printed that Killer was laughing at his victim and soon after, Killer quickly became wrestling's most renowned 'heel' or 'villain,"' according to the Web site.Kowalski later became famous for various moves, including a stomach vise grip called the "Killer Clutch."
A former DNC committee chairman, and a sitting congressman. "That just proves that God is on our side." Jerks.
Here's the website that first published this; it's now up on Drudge. RedState: Fowler Fouls: Hurricane is God's Favor to Democrats
And here's Michael Moore making the same point; hit the link for text and MSNBC video.
UPDATE: Hillary Clinton congratulates Palin - CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Clinton congratulates Palin « - Blogs from CNN.com
The first woman to ever be on a national ticket (the Democratic ticket in 1984, with Mondale), Ferraro feels that there is an appeal to women who feel Hillary CLinton was unfairly treated during the Democratic primaries.
Hit this link to hear Ferraro:
And here is the end of Palin's speech yesterday, mentioning Ferraro and Clinton.
I like Athouse - she's a Lieberman type Democrat so I disagree with her on lots of stuff - but she is usually very fair-minded.
Here's her posting on Palin as she "live-blogged"
11:31: She's speaking extremely well, and she's presenting herself as a McCain-style maverick. She seems like his perfect counterpart. She enumerates achievements in Alaska that involve taking "risks" and "challenging the status quo." She rejected "the Bridge to Nowhere." Now, she's praising McCain extremely well, and he's fiddling with his wedding ring, a reflex married people often have. Her speech is amazingly clear and strong, passionate and devoid of any hesitation or filler "uhs." The sign on the lectern reads "Country First." It's fitting, she says, that this privilege of running with McCain has been given to her almost 88 years after women got the right to vote. She wants to honor Geraldine Ferraro, the first (and up until now the only) female, major-party VP pick and Hillary Clinton, who "showed such determination in her presidential campaign." Palin loves to point her index finger and jab it about, a gesture you don't see that often in a politician anymore and that you almost never see done with a pointy polished fingernail. It's especially striking when she talks about Hillary and urges us to join her cause.
11:49: Wow! Great performance! Fabulous first walk onto the national stage!
UPDATE: Went home to see Palin's introduction and here first speech. She was very slightly nervous to begin, and then came on strong. The commentators on CNN and MSNBC were a little stunned by her nomination; they seemed to feel it was a good move by McCain.
Sarah Palin, the first term Governor of Alaska, all along has been a dark horse candidate for VP. In fact, I wrote about her here - Tom Faranda's Folly: Potential McCain VP choice is pregnant - back in March.
A reformer and maverick she took on her own party in Alaska. And she is pro-life, a member of Feminists for Life of America (as is my wife Brigid). On April 18th Palin gave birth to her fifth child, who has Downs Syndrome. Here's what Palin said at the time:
"I'm looking at him right now, and I see perfection," ... "Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking, in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?"
I don't know what her oratorical or debating skills are like; but she's a lot easier on the eyes then Joe Biden, even with his hair plugs.
From the NY Times - and the highest level of regret is among men who've had the newest type of "robotic" surgery
The research, published in the medical journal European Urology, is the latest to suggest that technological advances in prostate surgery haven’t necessarily translated to better results for the men on which it is performed. It also adds to growing concerns that men are being misled about the real risks and benefits of robotic surgical procedures used to treat prostate cancer.
I didn't watch her speech at the Dem convention, but this was commented on in a few places online - here's the quote:
I will always remember the single mom who had adopted two kids with autism. She didn't have any health insurance, and she discovered she had cancer. But she greeted me with her bald head painted with my name on it and asked me to fight for health care for her and her children.
She had no health care, eh? Asked Clinton to fight for it? Well, she was BALD - undoubtedly a side effect of chemotherapy or radiation for her cancer. She had health care!
I really despise these lying throw-away lines by politicians. Remember when Mrs. Clinton claimed she helicoptered into a Kosovo airport (I think it was Kosovo) while being fired upon? A total lie.
Here's a really fair commentary by one of my favorite writers, Peggy Noonan. You'll have to hit the link to read it and sometimes WSJ links need several "hits". The title is "The Master has Arrived", referring to political pro Bill Clinton
As for Bill Clinton's speech, halfway through I thought: The Master has arrived. Crazy Bill, the red-faced Rageaholic, was somewhere else. This was Deft Political Pro Bill doing what no one had been able to do up to this point at the convention, and that is make the case for Barack Obama. He lambasted the foe, asserted Obama's growth on the trail, argued that he was the right man for the job and did that as a man who once held that job and is remembered, at least in terms of domestic policy and at least by half the country, as having done it pretty darn well. He gave his full imprimatur to a crowd that believes he has an imprimatur to give. As Clinton spoke a friend IM'd, "What is this, the Clinton convention?" The fact is, until both Clintons spoke, it was. Now oddly enough it isn't. Now eyes turn, and finally, to Obama. This was one of the great tee-ups.
Democrats in the end speak most of, and seem to hold the most sympathy for, the beset-upon single mother without medical coverage for her children, and the soldier back from the war who needs more help with post-traumatic stress disorder. They express the most sympathy for the needy, the yearning, the marginalized and unwell. For those, in short, who need more help from the government, meaning from the government's treasury, meaning the money got from taxpayers.
Who happen, also, to be a generally beset-upon group.
Democrats show little expressed sympathy for those who work to make the money the government taxes to help the beset-upon mother and the soldier and the kids. They express little sympathy for the middle-aged woman who owns a small dry cleaner and employs six people and is, actually, day to day, stressed and depressed from the burden of state, local and federal taxes, and regulations, and lawsuits, and meetings with the accountant, and complaints as to insufficient or incorrect efforts to meet guidelines regarding various employee/employer rules and regulations. At Republican conventions they express sympathy for this woman, as they do for those who are entrepreneurial, who start businesses and create jobs and build things. Republicans have, that is, sympathy for taxpayers. But they don't dwell all that much, or show much expressed sympathy for, the sick mother with the uninsured kids, and the soldier with the shot nerves.
Neither party ever gets it quite right, the balance between the taxed and the needy, the suffering of one sort and the suffering of another. You might say that in this both parties are equally cold and equally warm, only to two different classes of citizens.
The obamamessiah gets confused
Pretty interesting since it meant the various states wouldn't be saying "The Greeeeaaat State of New York, the Empire State..." etc etc, as they cast their ballots for Obama (or whoever) in a roll call vote. I suppose doing it by acclamation is a unity thing - bring everyone together. I didn't see this live, but the video is all over the internet.
I haven't watched any of the Democratic Convention (may watch Obama's speech the last night) but am enjoying reading the commentators - here's MoDo
At a press conference with New York reporters on Monday, Hillary looked as if she were straining at the bit to announce her 2012 exploratory committee.
"Remember, 18 million people voted for me, 18 million people, give or take, voted for Barack," she said, while making a faux pro-Obama point. She keeps acting as if her delegates are out of her control, when she's been privately egging people on to keep her dream alive as long as possible and no matter what the cost to Obama.
Hillary also said she was happy about the choice of Joe Biden because he added "intensity" to the ticket. Ouch.
She added insult to injury by coming out Tuesday night looking great in a blazing orange pantsuit and teaching the precocious pup Obama something about intensity and message. She thanked her "sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits," and slyly noted that Obama would enact her health care plan rather than his.
A pretty good showing by McCain on The Tonight Show, Monday night. McCain's best lines: "The approval rating for Congress is now 9% - that's blood relatives and paid staff." And, "We now have a President of France who is Pro-American, which shows anything can happen if you live long enough..."
But the test is controversial. Good feature in the NY Times
The need for such a test is immense. When ovarian cancer is detected at its earliest stage, when it is still confined to the ovaries, more than 90 percent of women will live at least five years, according to the American Cancer Society. But only about 20 percent of cases are detected that early. If the cancer is detected in its latest stages, after it has spread, only about 30 percent of women survive five years.
But far from greeting the new test with elation, many experts are saying it might do more harm than good, leading women to unnecessary surgeries. The Society of Gynecologic Oncologists almost immediately issued a statement saying it did not believe the test had been validated enough for routine use.
The biggest concern is not that the test will miss cancers but that it will say a cancer is there when it is not. That would then subject women to needless surgery to have their ovaries removed.
Whew. Daily Mail is a UK newspaper.
This is a great interview published this past weekend in the Wall Street Journal. Warren was the facilitator of the Saddleback Church Values Forum, with Obama and McCain.
Warren of course is an Evangelical Pastor, but his approaches mirrors the true understanding of the Catholic Church's presentation of the "seamless garment" or consistent Ethic of Life.
Commentary: The Weekend Interview - WSJ.com What Saddleback's Pastor Really Thinks About Politics
'Overhyped." That's how the Rev. Rick Warren describes the notion that the evangelical vote is "up for grabs" in this election. But what about the significance of the evangelical left, I asked the pastor of Saddleback Church after his forum with the presidential candidates last weekend. "This big," he says, holding his thumb and forefinger about an inch apart.
Sitting on a small stone patio outside the church's "green room," I question him further -- has he heard that the Democratic Party is changing its abortion platform? "Window dressing," he replies. "Too little, too late." But Rev. Jim Wallis, the self-described progressive evangelical, has been saying that the change is a big victory. "Jim Wallis is a spokesman for the Democratic Party," Mr. Warren responds dismissively. "His book reads like the party platform."
If you've read any of the hundreds of articles about Mr. Warren that have appeared over the past 10 years, perhaps you think I've got the wrong guy. After all, the leader of the fourth-largest church in the U.S. is supposed to be part of a "new breed" of evangelicals, according to the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and dozens of other publications. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof paid him what Mr. Kristof might consider the ultimate compliment earlier this year, referring to Mr. Warren as an "evangelical liberals can love."
It is true that Mr. Warren, whose book "The Purpose Driven Life" has sold 25 million copies, argues that his community needs to "broaden its agenda" to include issues like environmental conservation and fighting poverty and disease. "I don't just care that the little girl is born," he tells me. "Is she going to be born in poverty? Is she going to be born with AIDS because her mom has AIDS? Is she going to never get an education?" And he adds that there are plenty of evangelicals who are tired of the "combativeness" associated with the religious right.
But there is a misunderstanding by the media, says Mr. Warren. "A lot of people hear [about a broader agenda] and they think, 'Oh, evangelicals are giving up on believing that life begins at conception,'" he explains. "They're not giving up on that at all. Not at all."
From ONN - Public Relations insurance for the 21st century. Cost 45 million. And will save countless careers.
Two videos in one post - the second one is the one sent yesterday to people on the Obama email list (that's includes me) and the email said "Take a minute to watch this video". But in true Biden bloviating, yack, yack, yack style, it went on over three minutes.
The top video is much shorter (under 30 seconds) and really shows th true spirit of Biden ...
The Washington Post mentioned the comment in question ("I think I have a much higher IQ than you do.") in their article here - The Case Against Joe Biden - The Fix and then Ann Althouse found the tape of the comment here:
And here's the Obama campaign video featuring Biden:
Written by a Catholic woman journalist
Don't tell that to Judy Lee, one of the "priests." She insists that the archdiocese's pronouncement will be a dead letter: "We are Roman Catholics. . . . The all-male hierarchy and their legal traditions came along with the spiritual package that we embrace. We do not have to embrace both if they are contradictory." Bridget Meehan, spokeswoman for Roman Catholic Womenpriests, which claims 61 priests in North America, including one bishop, insists: "Nothing or no one can stop the action of God's Spirit moving in the Church. . . . We are not discouraged by excommunication. In fact, in many ways, it is a catalyst for growth." Ms. Meehan, who was ordained in 2006, believes that a "more transparent, community model" can bring nonpracticing Catholics back into the fold.
The Womenpriests come from a dissenting feminist tradition in the Catholic Church -- one in which a leading religious sister has even declared the Eucharist "defective and inadequate" for women. This tradition argues for renewing the church with a model "not geared to a hierarchy but inclusivity," as Ms. Meehan explains it. But those who are faithful to Rome argue that it is precisely the focus on the Eucharist -- and Christ's identity -- that necessitates an all-male priesthood. In 1994, Pope John Paul II declared that "the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women."
But the women's ordination movement may well be dying. It has neither momentum nor standing within the church, and the momentum surrounding papal events and traditional orders appears to suggest that Catholic sentiment is flowing in the opposite direction. Sister Sara Butler, the author of "The Catholic Priesthood and Women: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church," says: "These women do not represent most Catholic women, and they do not represent most women religious."
But what's the point of executing the guy? It won't bring back his three children.
He did it to get back at his ex-wife.
The Montgomery County man accused of drowning his three children one by one in a Baltimore hotel bathtub this year has told investigators that he used a stopwatch to time their 10-minute submersions and that the two older children, ages 4 and 6, struggled as he held them underwater...
A weak choose for VP. Biden is a Washington insider and a windbag (What happened to the "change" theme of Obama's campaign?). The Republicans have already started running ads like this, and are sure to run them during the Democratic convention.
As people who read my blog back when I was undergoing chemotherapy, and during my Sloan Kettering stay know, I kept going to the gym throughout my chemo. I even took dumbells into Sloan, and was allowed to use them (as well as this dinky faux bicycle exercise thing they gave me) before I had my stem cell transplant (day eight of my 20 day stay).
I can't say for certain, but I would bet a large amount of my oncologists money that keeping exercising helped me avoid many of the side effects of chemotherapy and sped my relatively quick recovery.
Here's am good feature article on the relationship between cancer treatment, recovery, and exercise, from the NY Times health and fitness section. There's a lot more to this article then what I've excerpted below the link, so if you have any interest at all, be sure to hit the link and read the whole thing.
''There used to be this understanding that if you're getting treatment you're supposed to be in your bed,'' said Pam Whitehead, an architect and survivor of uterine cancer who started the Triumph Fitness Program at gyms in Modesto and West Sacramento, Calif.
In some cases, oncologists are prescribing exercise, gently prodding patients to tackle whatever activity they can manage: light walking, simple stretches, exercise with resistance bands.
''I started in 1992 and that was really a time when not as many patients were exercising,'' said Dr. Alexandra Heerdt, a breast surgeon at Sloan-Kettering who is conducting a pilot program involving exercise. ''If a patient came to me back then and asked about exercise, I would have said there wasn't really any information.''
But now, she added, ''they have a lot of options.''
Wendy Rahn, 46, an associate professor of political science at the University of Minnesota, knows this well. After a double mastectomy, her shoulders hurt so much that she was often hunched in pain. Then, while researching her illness, she discovered a 2005 study on cancer and exercise.
''The effects -- what we call effect sizes in statistical research -- were enormous,'' she said, ''and I was like 'How come no one is talking about this?' '' She had given up exercise a decade earlier, but the study inspired her to go back to the gym.
This is a good LA Times op ed - yet another commentary on the Saddlebrook Church Values Forum.
"Does evil exist?" Warren asked Obama. "And if it does, do we ignore it, do we negotiate with it, do we contain it or do we defeat it?"
Obama the moral philosopher replied, accurately, that evil is everywhere, in Darfur, in our city streets, in our own hearts. We cannot "erase evil from the world. That is God's task. But we can be soldiers in that process, and we can confront [evil] when we see it." (Imagine the reaction if President Bush called himself a soldier of God in the battle against evil.)
When asked what America's greatest moral failing was, theological Obama said it was our collective failure to "abide by that basic precept in [the Book of] Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me."
For Obama the politician, such scriptural quotations often serve as an all-inclusive writ to impose his religious views on others when it comes to fighting poverty, global warming, racism, etc. But when the question turns to abortion, political Obama insists on a policy of moral agnosticism and political laissez faire. Asked directly when life begins as a legal matter, he punted, insisting the answer was "above my pay grade."
In 2003, as chairman of the Illinois Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Obama received a statement from Jill Stanek, a registered nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. She testified that at her Chicago-area hospital, she'd seen a baby accidentally delivered alive during an abortion and then "taken to the Soiled Utility Room and left alone to die."
I'm no expert on the Christian Gospel, but something tells me that Matthew might consider these wailing creatures the least of our brothers.
Alas, the abandonment of babies to suffer and die on the modern equivalent of a Spartan cliff did not require confronting evil. Indeed, Obama led the battle to defeat Illinois' version of the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, which would have treated babies living, albeit briefly, outside the womb as, well, babies. ... even after Roe-neutral language was included -- wording good enough that it won support for the federal version of the bill from abortion-rights stalwart Sen. Barbara Boxer -- Obama remained unmoved.
Until this week, Obama denied that he ever took such a position. His campaign has now admitted that he was, in effect, lying when he said pro-lifers were lying about his record. But simultaneously, Obama defends a position that comes dismayingly close to the layman's understanding of infanticide while claiming any other position would require him to play God.
Perhaps that theological Obama should wrestle a bit more with political Obama.
Actually I think his wife owns or controls all of them. And it isn't seven, it's eight. See the article below the video. I classify this ad in the same dumb league as McCain's britney Spears/Paris Hilton/Obama ad. Dumb.
Brian Rogers, a McCain spokesman, did not question Politico's analysis, but said his boss's bungling of the how-many-homes question is a nonissue.
"Voters care a lot more about candidates' personal ethics than about how many houses or residences or doghouses that John and Cindy McCain own," he said. He questioned efforts by McCain's Democratic rival, Barack Obama, to exploit the issue, given that Obama benefited from a 2005 land deal with the wife of convicted Chicago businessman — and former Obama fundraiser — Tony Rezko that expanded the Obama family's newly purchased $1.65 million homestead.
The whole discussion is stupid.
UPDATE - Here's the reply from McCain campaign
This is from the Wall Street Journal this past Tuesday. And it's a very illuminating article.
To fully understand it, here's a quick refresher course on the difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit, with some simplified examples.
A tax deduction is a reduction in your taxable income. For example if your income is $100,000, and you have a mortgage where you're paying $10,000 in interest, that $10,000 of interest is deductible from your income. So your taxable income is reduced from $100,000 to $90,000.
A tax credit is a dollar for dollar reduction in the tax you owe. So, suppose after you do your return you find you owe, for example $15,000 in federal income taxes. However you are entitled to a $500 tax credit for one reason or another - then you will only owe $14,500 in federal income tax.
Pretty simple to understand - but what if you are entitled to a tax credit, but don't pay any income tax? Well, you don't pay any income tax, so you don't need a tax credit, right? Not quite... you need to understand the beauty of "refundable" tax credits.
Barack Obama's tax plan is the opposite of supply-side economics. He proposes to raise marginal rates for just about every federal tax. He also proposes a raft of tax credits that taxpayers can receive if they engage in various government-specified activities.
Moreover, the tax credits would mostly go to those who pay little or nothing in federal income taxes. His trick is to make the tax credits "refundable." Thus, if the tax credit is for $1,000, but the taxpayer would otherwise only pay $200 in taxes, the government would write a check to the taxpayer for $800. If the taxpayer pays nothing in federal income taxes, the government would pay him the whole $1,000.
Such credits are not tax cuts. Indeed, they should be called The New Tax Welfare. In effect, Mr. Obama is proposing to create or expand a slew of government spending programs that are disguised as tax credits.
Overall, the bottom 60% of income earners pay less than 1% of federal income taxes on net. When "tax credits" primarily go to this group in the form of checks from the government (rather than a reduction in their tax burden) it is simply an abuse of the language to call the spending a tax cut.
You'll need to hit the link above for the full article (and WSJ links sometimes require several hits), to see the various "refundable" tax credits Obama is proposing, and the various tax rate hikes which will be needed to pay for the welfare payments disguised as tax credits. It's a great deal if you don't pay any taxes. If you are in the 40% of wage earners who pay significant federal income tax, prepare for a haircut. Those "refundable" tax credits have to come from somewhere...
Of course, the point here is "fairness" - Main Street - WSJ.com For Obama, Taxes are about "Fairness"
He was diagnosed in 2001, resumed swimming in 2003.
Oblivious to the kicking, slapping and pushing going on between the race favorites, the 6-foot-9 (2.05-meter) Van der Weijden won the inaugural Olympic men's 10-kilometer open water marathon under a steady rain Thursday."The leukemia taught me to think step by step," Van der Weijden said. "When you're laying in the hospital bed and feeling so much pain and feeling so tired, you don't want to think about next week or next month, you're only thinking about the next hour."
I've never heard anyone say an unkind word about "the Yogi." Here's a good feature off the Yankee website.
Yogi Berra's delightfully fractured language has grown so much over the years that there seems to be a Yogism for every occasion. One that fits with this year -- being the last season of Yankee Stadium -- might be his remark that "nostalgia isn't what it used to be."
This was pointed out on James Taranto's column a couple of days ago, on opinionjournal.com.
Obama was questioned by Rev. Rick Warren as follow:
Warren: What's the most significant--let me ask it this way. What's the most gut-wrenching decision you ever had to make and how did you process that to come to that decision?
Obama: Well, you know, I think the opposition to the war in Iraq was as tough a decision as I've had to make. Not only because there were political consequences, but also because Saddam Hussein was a real bad person, and there was no doubt that he meant America ill. But I was firmly convinced at the time that we did not have strong evidence of weapons of mass destruction, and there were a lot of questions that, as I spoke to experts, kept on coming up. Do we know how the Shia and the Sunni and the Kurds are going to get along in a post-Saddam situation? What's our assessment as to how this will affect the battle against terrorists like al Qaeda? Have we finished the job in Afghanistan?
So I agonized over that. And I think that questions of war and peace generally are so profound. . . .
However, here's the text of his actual speech while in the Illinois State Senate, on October 22, 2002.
I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne. What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.
Here's Taranto's commentary on the above -
The speech did include a condemnation of Saddam, but it was a pro forma one--not a concession to the other side, but an inoculation against the charge that Obama was siding with a vicious dictator. In his speech, Obama gave no quarter to those who disagreed with him: no indication that there were any valid points on their side, or even that they might have been arguing in good faith.
Now Obama expects us to believe that opposing what he understood at the time to be no more than a "cynical attempt" by "armchair, weekend warriors" to "shove their own ideological agendas down our throats" and an "attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us" was the most gut-wrenching decision of his entire life.
Actually Tim's preseason football training started Monday night, but his coaches knew he wouldn't be available until the summer league playoffs end. For Tim's team they ended last night after four games, as they lost to Bedford, 6-3.
Tim really loved his baseball this year; his little league team Franzoso Contracting, and the summer league, which had a regular season and then the playoffs. He did well, especially considering he'd missed the wole prior year with his broken ankle.
Here he is in his last at bat -
And a few team pictures:
From the serious picture to the, well, you get it...
The Catholic email service ZENIT had a very fascinating reflection by the Pope on John Paul II's two-phased minstry - the second phase being his passion as he accepted the sufferings attached to his steady physical decline
Points to Equal Importance of 2 Parts of Pontificate
BRESSANONE, Italy, AUG. 19, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says that the pontificate of Pope John Paul II can be divided into two equally important parts: the years when he took the Gospel to the world and the years of his "passion."
The Pope affirmed this Aug. 6 when he met with priests, deacons and seminarians of the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone and answered in German six questions they asked him. The Holy Father was on vacation in the Dolomites, where he stayed at the major seminary of Bressanone.
A question was offered by a 42-year-old priest who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis the same year he was ordained, Father Willi Fusaro. Father Fusaro asked Benedict XVI to draw from the example of John Paul II and offer advice to elderly or sick priests on how to make their presbyterate fruitful and to live it well.
The German Pope responded by saying that, for him, "both parts of Pope John Paul II's pontificate were equally important. In the first part, in which we saw him as a giant of faith, with incredible courage, extraordinary force, a true joy of faith and great lucidity, he took the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. […]
"However, I must say that because of the humble testimony of his 'passion,' to my mind these last years of his pontificate were no less important; just as he carried the Lord's cross before us and put into practice the words of the Lord."
With his growing weakness, John Paul II, "who had been a master of words, thus showed us visibly -- it seems to me -- the profound truth that the Lord redeemed us with his cross, with the passion, as an extreme act of his love," Benedict XVI said. "He showed us that suffering is not only a 'no,' something negative, the lack of something, but a positive reality.
"He showed us that suffering accepted for love of Christ, for love of God and of others is a redeeming force, a force of love and no less powerful than the great deeds he accomplished in the first part of his pontificate."
Like the Lord
The Pope said that Jesus' life also had these two aspects.
"In the first part [Christ] teaches the joy of the Kingdom of God, brings his gifts to men and then, in the second part, he is immersed in the Passion until his last cry from the cross," the Holy Father explained. "In this very way he taught us who God is, that God is love and that, in identifying with our suffering as human beings, he takes us in his arms and immerses us in his love and this love alone bathes us in redemption, purification and rebirth."
The Pontiff said that in a world "that thrives on activism, on youth, on being young, strong and beautiful, on succeeding in doing great things," people must "learn the truth of love which becomes a 'passion' and thereby redeems man and unites him with God who is love."
Still, Benedict XVI acknowledged, accepting suffering is no easy task, and those who suffer need prayers and signs of gratitude.
"Let us therefore pray for all who are suffering and do our utmost to help them, to show our gratitude for their suffering and be present to them as much as we can, to the very end," he encouraged. "This is a fundamental message of Christianity that stems from the theology of the cross: The fact that suffering and passion are present in Christ's love is the challenge for us to unite ourselves with his passion.
"We must love those who suffer not only with words but with all our actions and our commitment. I think that only in this way are we truly Christian."
Well-known leftist whacko Michael Moore, filmaker (Sicko, Fahrenheit 9/11, etc) and general propagandist, offers Caroline Kennedy some unsolicited advice in his occasional email from his website. Kennedy is on the Obama vice-presidential selection team, helping Obama to select a VP, and Moore suggests the best team would be Obama with her as the vice president.
An Obama-Kennedy ticket.
Here's Moore's website:
What Obama needs is a vice presidential candidate who is NOT a professional politician, but someone who is well-known and beloved by people across the political spectrum; someone who, like Obama, spoke out against the war; someone who has a good and generous heart, who will be cheered by the rest of the world; someone whom we've known and loved and admired all our lives and who has dedicated her life to public service and to the greater good for all.
That person, Caroline, is you.
I cannot think of a more winning ticket than one that reads: "OBAMA-KENNEDY."
Caroline, I know that nominating yourself is the furthest idea from your mind and not consistent with who you are, but there would be some poetic justice to such an action. Just think, eight years after the last head of a vice presidential search team looked far and wide for a VP -- and then picked himself (a move topped only by his hubris to then lead the country to near ruin while in office) -- along comes Caroline Kennedy to return the favor with far different results, a vice president who helps restore America to its goodness and greatness.
The NY Times this morning had an excellent article on the new "World's fastest man". The 21 year old Jamaican is the youngest man to win the 100 meter Olympic gold medal and at 6 feet 5 inches also the tallest.
AND, the Jamaican women swept the medals in the 100 meters, as another 21 year old, Shelly-Ann Fraser, also crushed the field, winning by .20 seconds. Jamaicans sweep women's 100 meters - International Herald Tribune
Amazing. The Appleton rum and Red Stripe beer is flowing in Jamaica!
Here's the NYT article on Bolt. I excerpted the section where they are discussing Bolt's long stride.
“A big wheel is going to turn over slower than a small wheel, and it used to be thought that was a disadvantage except now when you see this guy who has the turnover of somebody six feet,” Boldon said. “Add that to the fact that he’s probably covering three or four more inches with every stride and that he’s only taking 40 to 41 strides to finish a 100, and you cannot argue with the math.”
Boldon said he and the former 100-meter record-holder Maurice Greene, who are both 5-9, used to finish their races in 45 or 46 strides. Tyson Gay and Powell, Bolt’s top current competition, are at about 45. Lewis required between 43 and 44 at his fastest.
Boldon said Bolt was at 41 strides on Saturday but would surely have been at 40 had he not slowed toward the end. “All of a sprint’s velocity is created from point of touchdown until the foot is directly below the body,” said Dr. Ralph Mann, a biomechanist with USA Track and Field. “Bolt’s long stride means that he is creating velocity for a longer period than shorter runners.”
Here's a funny juxtaposition - Fraser, the Jamaican winner of the women's 100 m. was the shortest woman in the field.
I posted about the Forum earlier here Tom Faranda's Folly: Interesting column on this past weekend Saddlebrook Church "Values Forum" with McCain and Obama question... but I didn't watch it myself.
The Wall Street Journal had an editorial yesterday, about Obama's dissing and slighting of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. There are seven paragraphs; and it's worth hitting the link to read the whole thing. With the WSJ you sometimes have to hit the link three or four times before you get through.
Pastor Rick Warren asked each Presidential candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. Mr. McCain said, "with all due respect" the four most liberal sitting Justices because of his different judicial philosophy.
Mr. Obama took a lower road, replying first that "that's a good one," and then adding that "I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don't think that he, I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution." The Democrat added that he also wouldn't have appointed Antonin Scalia, and perhaps not John Roberts, though he assured the audience that at least they were smart enough for the job.
Even more troubling is what the Illinois Democrat's answer betrays about his political habits of mind. Asked a question he didn't expect at a rare unscripted event, the rookie candidate didn't merely say he disagreed with Justice Thomas. Instead, he instinctively reverted to the leftwing cliché that the Court's black conservative isn't up to the job while his white conservative colleagues are.
So much for civility in politics and bringing people together. And no wonder Mr. Obama's advisers have refused invitations for more such open forums, preferring to keep him in front of a teleprompter, where he won't let slip what he really believes.
I didn't see this Forum, which was televised Saturday on MSNBC, but I did see some excerpts on the BBC World News. The BBC excerpted McCain and Obama's responses to a question on taxes, and to their views and thoughts on their own Christian faith.
Here's a young Catholic priest, Fr. Jonathan Morris, who has an opinion column on foxnews. com, commenting on his take about the Forum.
Before Saturday’s event, most analysts agreed the forum at Saddleback Church was the perfect venue for Obama to break into McCain’s considerable advantage among evangelical voters. He would be on their turf and could talk their language—beautifully, of course—and that would be enough.
How wrong they were.
They were wrong because most political pundits still don’t “get” regular church-going evangelicals. Or more precisely, because they don’t get the faith dynamics of fervent Christians of any denomination (weekly church attendees is a more consistent voting block than any denomination as a whole). They assume getting their votes is mostly about connecting with them through a common faith language. They assume because Obama talks the lingo of conversion and salvation (even from the pulpit at times), and because McCain has seemed uncomfortable sharing his faith experience, then Obama is very much like this voting block and should be able to get some of their votes.
The logical flaw here is the assumption that active Christians judge a candidate primarily by his religious talk. The recent American religious experience is full of scandal. The regular churchgoer is now rather unimpressed by words alone and is particularly attentive to behavior inconsistent with Biblical standards. Action, or in the case of politics, policy, is their best indication a politician can be trusted to govern wisely.
Some people have managed to evacuate to Canada and France.
No help from my humor coordinators on this one; I found it myself.
I have no idea whether the Shroud of Turin shows the real body of Jesus or was somhow manufactured during the Middle ages; there seems to be evidence for and against. If it was manufactured, how did they produce a negative image?
Here is an interesting article from the LA times about a physicist who has devoted much of his spare itme for decades studying and promoting the Shroud. Shroud of Turin stirs new controversy - Los Angeles Times
... Jackson, 62, is getting his chance to challenge the radiocarbon dating. Oxford University, which participated in the original radiocarbon testing, has agreed to work with him in reconsidering the age of the shroud.
If the challenge is successful, Jackson hopes to be allowed to reexamine the shroud, which is owned by the Vatican and stored in a protective chamber in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy.
Jackson, a physicist who teaches at the University of Colorado, hypothesizes that contamination of the cloth by elevated levels of carbon monoxide skewed the 1988 carbon-14 dating by 1,300 years.
"It's the radiocarbon date that to our minds is like a square peg in a round hole. It's not fitting properly, and the question is why," he said.
On that point, Christopher Ramsey, head of the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, seems to agree.
"There is a lot of other evidence that suggests to many that the shroud is older than the radiocarbon dates allow, and so further research is certainly needed," says a statement on his website. "Only by doing this will people be able to arrive at a coherent history of the shroud which takes into account and explains all of the available scientific and historical information."
I posted something about Bolt on June 1st, after he set the World's record on Randall's Island.Tom Faranda's Folly: The new world's fastest man is named Bolt
Yesterday was the first time I watched any of the Olympics, and I saw the evening re-run of Bolt's 100 meter final. Make sure you see it at some point, just amazing. The Post has a nice article...
Years from now, people will look at the images from the finish of the men's 100 meters at the 2008 Olympics and ask: Was Usain Bolt given a head start?
Was it possible for one man to end up that far ahead of seven other men, seven other elite sprinters, the best the world has to offer?
He broke his own record of 9.72 sec's., doing it in 9.69. But if he'd kept running hard at the end it would have been 9.50 something...
And, he was slow out of the blocks!
Sent to me by one of my humor coordinators, Ellen.
The test goes quickly; you have eight seconds to answer each question. I scored a 26.
It's in the development stage, and called the "flip-n-zip". Very neat!
Amazing story; the woman has died the unborn baby has survived. There's an under 2 minute news video as well as the text.
UPDATE: Scientist Says 'Bigfoot' Fails DNA Test - One DNA sample from a human and the other "96% from an opossum."
Really. It's the NY Times. And with pictures.
Tom Biscardi, a longtime Bigfoot booster from the Bay Area, who traveled to Georgia to see the animal, said he was “150 percent” sure that the carcass was a Bigfoot, an American Indian legend whose modern fame dates to an elaborate “footprint” hoax perpetrated at a Northern California logging camp in 1958.
“This is ‘Eureka!’ man,” said Mr. Biscardi, whose operations include a Bigfoot Web site, a Bigfoot merchandise line and a Bigfoot Internet radio show. “I touched it.”
Both Mr. Biscardi and Mr. Dyer said they expected skeptics to discount the find, which is being kept in a freezer in an undisclosed location outside Atlanta. ...
Are our tax dollars really going for this (the prior posting is so depressing i thought i better put this up...)?
I've been trying to get my arms around this whole mess. I posted John McCain's op ed yesterday Tom Faranda's Folly: McCain op ed this morning - the Russian invasion of Georgia
I really know very little about that area of the world, so I have been reading articles from a variety of what I consider reliable sources. Here's the best one I found, from historian Victor Davis Hanson. I am only going to excerpt the final four paragraphs (of 19), but the whole article is instructive.
Victor Davis Hanson on Russia in Georgia on National Review Online The title is: RUSSIA'S SINISTER BRILLIANCE Who Wants to die for Tbilisi?
We talk endlessly about “soft” and “hard” power as if humanitarian jawboning, energized by economic incentives or sanctions, is the antithesis to mindless military power. In truth, there is soft power, hard power, and power-power — the latter being the enormous advantages held by energy rich, oil-exporting states. Take away oil and Saudi Arabia would be the world’s rogue state, with its medieval practice of gender apartheid. Take away oil and Ahmadinejad is analogous to a run-of-the-mill central African thug. Take away oil, and Chavez is one of Ronald Reagan’s proverbial tinhorn dictators.
Russia understands that Europe needs its natural gas, that the U.S. not only must be aware of its own oil dependency, but, more importantly, the ripples of its military on the fragility of world oil supplies, especially the effects upon China, Europe, India, and Japan. When one factors in Russian oil and gas reserves, a pipeline through Georgia, the oil dependency of potential critics of Putin, and the cash garnered by oil exports, then we understand once again that power-power is beginning to trump both its hard and soft alternatives.
Military intervention is out of the question. Economic sanctions, given Russia’s oil and Europe’s need for it, are a pipe dream. Diplomatic ostracism and moral stricture won’t even save face.
Instead, Europe — both western and eastern — along with the United States and the concerned former Soviet Republics need to sit down, conference, and plot exactly how these new democracies are to maintain their independence and autonomy in the next decade. Hopefully, they will reach the Franklinesque conclusion that “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”
The Washington Post had a fine editorial - six paragraphs; I'm excerpting the first one -
YOU MIGHT think, at a moment such as this, that the moral calculus would be pretty well understood. Russian troops are occupying large swaths of Georgia, a tiny neighboring country, and sacking its military bases. Russian jets have roamed Georgian skies, bombing civilian and military targets alike. Russian ships are said to be controlling Georgia's port of Poti, while militia under Russia's control reportedly massacre Georgian civilians. Russian officials openly seek to depose Georgia's elected government. Yet, in Washington, the foreign policy sophisticates cluck and murmur that, after all, the Georgians should have known better than to chart an independent course -- and what was the Bush administration thinking when it encouraged them in their dangerous delusions? If the criticism is correct, a fundamental and generations-old tenet of American foreign policy is wrong, so we should be clear about what is at stake.
From the WSJ, Daniel Henninger's column, as he compares "the old Russian brutalisms' with what Georgia has accomplished since gaining independence:
Wonder Land - WSJ.com Putin's Rules or Ours?
Much of what they did to make Georgia fit with the world seems pedestrian. They passed laws to enhance property rights. They joined international conventions and institutions affecting arbitration, accounting and ownership. They changed their securities law so corporate insiders couldn't expropriate minority investors. They have pursued free-trade agreements with their regional trading partners. Naturally they want to join NATO. Georgia isn't John Locke's England yet -- the judicial system is notably weak -- but the trajectory is set.
In historical terms, this is essentially what Gen. Douglas MacArthur did for Japan after World War II and Konrad Adenauer did in West Germany. Both were explicit efforts to reorganize a nation to participate in the political and commercial life of the West. "The West," of course, is only a phrase that describes the civilized world's rules of the road during the postwar period. Russia opted out, adopting the Soviet gulag model until 1991.
Georgia is a microcosm of a world of nations now emerging from old systems. In that former, preglobalized world, the West's great powers were on top, and everyone else muddled below. What Georgia represents is an independent nation that has worked hard to be part of the established civilized order, rather than contribute to the chaotic and violent frictions that seem on the verge of constantly overwhelming the world. Putin's Russia is a manufacturer of frictions.
Some argue that Georgia is not a primary American interest. They see Georgia as ultimately a place that transits oil and gas through pipelines from somewhere else to Turkey or onto Europe. Georgia is unlucky geography. This is false.
When this crisis ends, Georgia will be either a model for a world that works or a world whose members do business with knives. ...
In this morning's Wall Street Journal -
The world has learned at great cost the price of allowing aggression against free nations to go unchecked. A cease-fire that holds is a vital first step, but only one. With our allies, we now must stand in united purpose to persuade the Russian government to end violence permanently and withdraw its troops from Georgia. International monitors must gain immediate access to war-torn areas in order to avert an even greater humanitarian disaster, and we should ensure that emergency aid lifted by air and sea is delivered.
At the same time, we must make clear to Russia's leaders that the benefits they enjoy from being part of the civilized world require their respect for the values, stability and peace of that world. The U.S. has cancelled a planned joint military exercise with Russia, an important step in this direction.
The Georgian people have suffered before, and they suffer today. We must help them through this tragedy, and they should know that the thoughts, prayers and support of the American people are with them. This small democracy, far away from our shores, is an inspiration to all those who cherish our deepest ideals.
Well actually an extended weekend, counting Friday.
Early Friday morning Mom, Dad, and Tim went on a 40 minute bike ride, out onto Croton point and then down along the waterfront to Senasqua Park.
Then Friday evening Brigid finally got going with her kayak, which she'd gotten way back in December for her birthday. She went out with Rose Raffa and Hallie Flanagan-Wolfe (of push-ups on Sugarloaf mountain fame Tom Faranda's Folly: Friday afternoon contest: Name this person and win $1 million! ). Tim was there to observe and help out.
Some instructions for Brigid, and then out of the Croton River, under the trestle, and into the Hudson. They were in the little Bay area, south of Croton Point.
The girls were out for about ninety minutes. They got back to the launch point at the end of the railroad station parking lot in the dark, about 9:20.
Then on to Saturday - a Tim baseball game. Tim is on one of the two Croton summer travel teams.
Patrolling the outfield. He's actually a pretty good outfielder - zero errors all year, and made some difficult catches.
We had big plans for Sunday - or rather I did, since I put a Sunday jaunt together for the four of us. But the weather intervened and messed us up a bit, as we went up to the intersection of Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut. Will do a separate post on the Sunday trip.
This is not one of my humor postings.
According to Robert Sheer, in a San Francisco Chronicle op ed ... OF COURSE - can't we all see it?
What is at work here is a neoconservative, self-fulfilling prophecy in which Russia is turned into an enemy that ramps up its largely reduced military, and Putin is cast as the new Joseph Stalin bogeyman, evoking images of the old Soviet Union. McCain has condemned a "revanchist Russia" that should once again be contained. Although Putin has been the enormously popular elected leader of post-Communist Russia, it is assumed that imperialism is always lurking, not only in his DNA but in that of the Russian people.
How convenient to forget that Stalin was a Georgian, and indeed if Russian troops had occupied the threatened Georgian town of Gori, they would have found a museum still honoring their local boy, who made good by seizing control of the Russian revolution. Indeed five Russian bombs were allegedly dropped on Gori's Stalin Square on Tuesday.
The budget in this fiscal year, at over $120 billion, is still 3.9% bigger then last year.
Coming less than three months before the general election, the plan appears designed to give state legislators some degree of political cover by proposing more than twice the amount of budget cuts Mr. Paterson had said were necessary.
But it also places them in the position of having to choose between paying for prized government programs or popular — but often inessential — projects in their districts.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Mr. Paterson cast his proposal as a pre-emptive strike to limit damage to the increasingly fragile New York economy. He said it was now up to the Legislature to prevent the situation from worsening.
“It puts us in an incredibly tough spot right before primaries, right before the general election,” said Micah Z. Kellner, a Democratic assemblyman who represents the Upper East Side of Manhattan. “It’s the hardest thing in the world to say, ‘Sorry, I promised you $10,000 for your playroom at your kindergarten center, but I don’t have that $10,000 to give you anymore.’ ”
Legislators were not the only ones expressing concern about Mr. Paterson’s plan on Monday. By proposing a $500 million reduction in the Medicaid budget, Mr. Paterson is setting himself up for a confrontation with the state’s powerful hospital lobby and health care unions.
I think it's amusing; better then the Britney/Paris fiasco. One minute long.
Update: Relevant to the point made in the McCain commercial above, Washington Post on Obama's "age problem"