Similarity of Pascals wager to Precautionary Principle
I find it fascinating that the EU, an increasingly secularized union and one likely to scoff at Pascals wager, will use similar logic to support policies regarding the environment. This similar logic is captured in the "Precautionary Principle"
The February 2, 2000 European Commission Communication on the Precautionary Principle notes: "The precautionary principle applies where scientific evidence is insufficient, inconclusive or uncertain and preliminary scientific evaluation indicates that there are reasonable grounds for concern that the potentially dangerous effects on the environment, human, animal or plant health may be inconsistent with the high level of protection chosen by the EU".(source)
I see virtually no logical difference between this and Pascals Wager.
I am not arguing whether or not the Precautionary Principle is good or bad. For a theist, it seems, the concept is more useful because many an atheist has presumably rejected the similar logic used in Pascals Wager regarding God. With Pascals wager the stakes are much, much higher. They are eternal. However, a theist that bases his belief in God to some extent on Pascals wager can easily dismiss Precautionary Principle as it applies to global climate change if one feels the data supporting the concern is sufficiently flawed or if he simply feels the stakes do not warrant such a consideration. Remember the stakes in Pascals Wager are as high as they can get.
If countries can use an admitted matter of faith to dictate policy to its citizens regarding global climate change, how can they reject a matter of faith in terms of religion supporting or rejecting policy in the public square? After all, its my country too. Make no mistake, the goal of secularization is not only to remove God from the legal system but to remove God from the discussion entirely. I have encountered this numerous times. Theists are routinely asked to justify their political positions solely from a materialist perspective. Maybe we should require them to justify matters they accept on the Precautionary Principle all the same ... After all, it only seems consistent.
My wife and I were shopping for washers and came upon Samsungs SilverCare line of washers. Consider the claim
An increased consumer demand for energy-saving products prompted Samsung to develop a system to use silver, widely known for its anti-microbial properties, in the wash water of its newest line of washing machines. Metallic silver atoms, electrolytically stripped of an electron, are injected during the wash and rinse cycles, allowing over 100 quadrillion silver ions -- which act as a super cleaning solution -- to penetrate deep into the fabric to sanitize clothing without the need for hot water or bleach.
Here's how it works: A grapefruit-sized device alongside the tub uses electrical currents to nano-shave two silver plates the size of large chewing gum sticks. The resulting positively charged silver atoms -- Silver ions (Ag+) -- are injected into the tub during the wash cycle. According to tests, this process removed or killed 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria. The specific microorganisms tested were two bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538 and Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, and two fungi, Aspergillus niger ATCC 6275 and Penicillium citrinum ATCC 9849.(source)
Now, from what I can tell
ALL this process does is introduce silver ions into the water. They are not special nanosilver ions with different properties from other silver ions. The nano-technology deals with the process that produces them. Period. Still, this has not been without concern in the environmental world. Consider further the process of copper-silver ionization sometimes used in drinking water disinfection:
When copper-silver ionization is applied, positively charged copper (Cu+ and Cu2+) and silver (Ag+) ions are formed.
... Full Circle: the page spells out some common uses of this process
Drinking water and copper-silver ionization
In the United States, several drinking water production companies use copper-silver ionization as an alternative for chlorine disinfection and to prevent the formation of disinfection byproducts. The standard for trihalomethanes was decreased by EPA from 100 to 80 µg/L.
When copper-silver ionization is combined with chlorine disinfection, it is an excellent disinfection mechanism to deactivate viruses and bacteria.
... Full Circle: the page continues with some regulation information
The European Union does not dictate any standards considering silver concentrations in the water. Copper, however, has a maximum value of 20 µg/L, because it corrodes waterworks. Copper concentrations should be measured in taps. (EU Drinking water directive 98/83/EC, 1998)(source)
Here we have a process that accomplishes the same thing with some regulation already in place. What is different other than the technology used to produce this result? -- FC: a possibility is that they are larger particles --
The FDA rules as follows:
For readers following the Samsung washing machine controversy, marketing of Samsung's Silver Nano washing machine was curtailed for a while last year in the US after EPA indicated it intended to regulate silver ion generators as pesticides under FIFRA. EPA officially announced its position on silver ion generators in the September 21, 2007 federal register. Samsung is now marketing a SilverCare washing machine with antimicrobial properties in the United States. No word on whether the new machines use silver nanoparticles (doubtful). Stay tuned.(source)
First birthday, first soccer game
We had a few milestones in the past few weeks. Our youngest made his first birthday. Today I have updated it with pictures from our middle sons first soccer game. He is on the same team as his older brother.
If you are a friend of mine on Facebook (or if you are reading this on Facebook) you can see pictures of all of this.
We are also buying a new washer. I have a LONG post on that front which I will post in the next day or two.
Why do they remain Catholic?
Several weeks ago my wife and I went to mass and it happened to be one where they were going to baptize a few infants. The homily also happened to be on the well timed topic of leaving mass early. The deacon went through reason after reason why we should not leave mass early. I certainly agreed with him. Then my infant son started to act up a little. At this point I got up and walked to the back so that I would annoy as few people as possible. I remained in the back.
A young couple and their friends were waiting at the back until after mass to have their beautiful child baptized ... they talked the whole time despite shshes and glares of death from surrounding parishioners. I had been told in the past that baptism classes are where you meet the Chreaster Catholics -- those who show up only for Easter and Christmas. Well it was clear that this couple and none of their friends had ever spent much time in mass. I felt such sorrow for the grandmother who was just urging them to respect those around them. It just wasn't going to click in 15 minutes what hadn't clicked in 25 years.
After receiving I continued once again to the back to wait until the end of mass. I counted no less than 20 people exit mass early. I wouldn't have thought much of it except that the homily was specifically on that topic. I was floored. I kept asking myself if they were being deliberately disobedient or if they just were not listening. Then I wondered why they even came in the first place.
My wife asked this question to a priest once ... His theory was that the Eucharist is irresistible ... in his words it was "there is just something they cannot put their finger on that keeps them coming". True.
Then I thought of all the middle aged and elderly practicing Catholics that I talk to. I always hear the same thing "I regret not getting serious about my faith until I read Scott Hahn or started watching EWTN". At one time they were irreverent, shunning their faith for every other thing the world had to offer, but in the end they decided at one point to keep coming. It hurts even more to hear them voice regret of having used birth control during their fertile years. I keep hearing, "have children while you can" ....
I ask myself often why you see little old ladies at daily mass. Sometimes I think it takes decades for people to get out of the desert and come home. I think a vibrant church full of only twenty-somethings is a scary thing. I thought that when I was Protestant and I think that now. Where are the people who persevere? Where are the wise we are supposed to learn from? The Catholic Church can seem so desolate to young people because there just are not that many of them in the pews. Once mama isn't taking them to mass they often disappear. In the end, when wisdom gets more control over them they often come back. I pray they all come back sooner. As for me I need to see that the fact that most practicing Catholics are older than me as a gift. It is better to learn from the wise than to be part of the blind leading the blind.
Then again, it could just be my generation. I have much hope for the people younger than me that I see at mass.
Internet radio keeps getting better
I just recently bought a Sansa Connect to use with my Yahoo Music service. When I got it the battery would not take a charge so it is headed back for a refund. I may save the cash and go for this ... Slacker
It allows you to create a station that you will like almost instantly. Pick your favorite 15 artists -- viola. Good station. You are allowed 6 skips per hour on the free version. You have to pay for unlimited skips. The better thing is that there is a portable device that you can purchase to use with your stations.
As far as finding new music, LAUNCH, Last.fm and Pandora are also excellent and I recommend using all of them. I have found them helpful in different ways and there are free versions of all of them.
Also, if you HAVE a lot of MP3's a service called AnywhereFM allows you to upload them and create a station with YOUR music. They have recently been bought by imeem so keep that in mind.
Lots going on in the Internet music biz .... and I think its really cool.
Take the time - learn about how federal taxes affect others
One of the biggest raises I got in my career is when Bush passed his tax cuts ... thats just reality. I may not appreciate a lot of what the Bush administration has done but when it comes to my bottom line the Bush tax cuts are likely why my financial situation today is MUCH better than it was when he took office the first time.
Yall play with this for a little while ... it will teach you a lot about who pays taxes in this country1040 Tax Estimator
Another interesting page in case you are looking for some input Personal Income in the United States
I am using standard deduction. Median household income is $48,000 so I am going with $50,000 for the examples. Median income for individuals is $32,000 -- numbers are from 2006 for year 2005
I put a few examples up for review ...Single
$8,750 is the 0% tax point
25k income $2,046
32k income $3,096 median income person pays 10%
50k income $7,586
64k income $10,236
100k income $19,661Married filing jointly
$17,500 is the 0% tax point
25k income $750
50k income $4,093 median income pays 8%
100k income $13,473Married jointly 2 kids
$42,875 is close to the 0% point (pays $8 federal tax)
25k income $0
50k income $1,073 median income pays 2%
100k income $9,773Married jointly 4 kids
$63,000 is close to the 0% point (pays $3 federal tax)
25k income $0
50k income $0 median income pays 0%
100k income $6,073
For those lower incomes I am not even considering EIC
which wipes out some of that tax burden. If one considers buying a home and other deductions that effective rate can go down even more.
Consider, wouldn't an average family likely be median income level with 2 kids? ... they are a 2% tax rate. The average single person pays 10% or less in federal taxes.
One more thing to consider ...
During 2006, Tax Foundation economists estimate that roughly 43.4 million tax returns, representing 91 million individuals, will face a zero or negative tax liability. That's out of a total of 136 million federal tax returns that will be filed. Adding to this figure the 15 million households and individuals who file no tax return at all, roughly 121 million Americans—or 41 percent of the U.S. population—will be completely outside the federal income tax system in 2006.1 This total includes those who pay no tax, and those who pay some tax upfront and are later refunded the full amount of the tax paid or more.(source)
Now some people will complain that the single person making 100k pays more than the married person making 100k. Its not as bad as it appears here. The married person is making money for TWO people. Compare two single people making 50k and the married person making 100k. Compare two single people making 50k to married couple making 100k
Two single people making 50k each will pay $15,172 (7586*2)
A married couple filing jointly making 50k each (100k) will pay $13,473
A married couple filing separately making 50k each (100k) will pay $19,094
Also consider that there is a REASON the state wants to encourage marriage. Quite simply children are the future tax base. They are the future of the nation. The state does well to encourage that.
I am not sure what I want you to take from this except that you need to know how the system works. When someone says that a tax cut benefits the rich they are completely right, but that is only because people who are NOT rich typically do not pay income taxes. There is no way to get a benefit from a tax cut when you are not paying taxes. The crime in income taxation is that many poor do not know how to do their taxes or that they should go to someone who does. If they pay more its because they have not taken advantage of the system. The system is not unkind to them. It is VERY forgiving, especially to low and middle income families.
Severe weather will be the story in the morning
I know everyone is focused on Super Tuesday but tomorrow the story will be what was happening with the weather ... and not that polls closed early.
The death toll is not insignificant. The number of injuries is high. The damage reports seem, initially that is, to warrant the HIGH they issued earlier today. One supercell starting in MS spawned tornadoes into KY (may still be doing so) ... thats over 300 miles. Hockey fans were held in the Nashville area due to that supercell passing through just as the game ended. Memphis has damage. Jackson TN has extensive damage and CNN was even reporting 86 injuries in Jackson alone. Arkansas unfortunately has (last I read) at least 7 dead and I know of at least 3 dead in KY. CNN is reporting 16 dead as of midnight CST.
There is a pipeline burning in TN and reportedly a plane down.
Its late and this post is a mess. I'll followup in the morning (more of the same expected further east) ... Maybe even a derecho tonight? Why not ... everything else seems to have happened.
Prayers for the victims and their families I am sure would be appreciated ... My 6 year old asked that we pray especially for the "little babies" in the path of these storms. Y'all listen to him as well. UPDATE:
See national news. Death toll up to 47 per Fox News/CNN... Super Tuesday results lead both sites. Americans know what is important (see image below).
With daylight I think the real damage assessments will begin. A tragic, tragic event ...
Severe weather outbreak expected (we are in the 5% threat area for tornadoes)
What that means is that there is a 5% chance of a tornado passing within 25 miles of my house.
For others in the threat areas BE PREPARED. Its looking scary.
As of 10:43 CST this is what SPC has to say on the tornado threat
Go to Storm Prediction Center
for details, especially if you live in these areas.
Georgia legislature chimes in against BCS (Blurred Championship Scam)
Opinionated Catholic rants on Georgia Legislature wanting a College Football Playoff System!!
"The only major sporting event without a playoff system to identify its true champion that I know of is NCAA Division I football," said state Rep. Quincy Murphy, D-Augusta.
I happen to agree with them ...
I cannot say I disagree with the sentiment though ... What I would love to see happen is for LSU to finish first in the AP while someone else wins the BCS championship (and next year preferably). That way the current mindset in Baton Rouge that the BCS is the only one that counts will suffer some real cognitive dissonance. Which championship do you throw out? The one when Saban was here or the AP only one? If the AP one doesn't count, what about 1958?
I, for one, would love it. What it really highlights is that LSU won a BCS National Championship twice in this decade and an AP National Championship once. There is a reason that the NCAA now refers to division 1-A as the Football Bowl Subdivision and 1-AA as the Football Championship Division. Its a rather overt way of saying the league that 1-A teams compete under doesn't recognize their championship. Why should they? The system excludes half its teams.
So as far as the NCAA and me are concerned all of the championships at the highest level are mythical ... They sure do sell hats and come with pretty trophies.
Seriously ... Give me a playoff ...
Oh, and I have some thoughts on how I would stage NCAA Division I-A playoffs
In the future will women be able to have children without men?
Creative Minority Report
links to the following article: Female Sperm?
Good news for lesbians who want to have biological children related to both parents: a new stem-cell technique could allow scientists to convert female cells into sperm. Use that sperm to fertilize an egg, and voila: children with two female biological parents.
I have been planning to discuss on this blog in-vitro fertilization and other acts that remove the unitive aspect of the marital act. This would certainly qualify.
When your team loses the big game and the only article of clothing you have is a huge arctic coat AND the forecast for the next day is a high of 80 degrees do you still have the responsibility to wear the coat?
Its actually painful that this was a good game. When your team loses and it was a blowout, its easier to deal with. Long battles that are settled in the final moments are painful because it could have gone either way ...
Fans are allowed a certain short time frame to mourn a loss. I don't know how long that is. I am not seething with rage but I am sort of down I admit. I wish I could say that I enjoyed the game that so many people are saying was the best one they had seen. If it had been any team other than New England or New Orleans, I could have enjoyed it from that perspective. It would have been better only for Giants fans ...
That said, I STILL enjoyed the excitement Peyton Manning showed during the game. Eli sure picked the right time to have a coming out party. That play where he escaped the sack and hit the first down (amazing catch as well) is a career defining play. I know its one I won't forget. It put a dagger through my heart because I deep down knew they had that extra intangible that makes champions.
Super Bowl: Louisiana should root for ... verdict - New England
I'll make this analysis easy ... fortunately the local news did all of the work for me.
The Super Bowl is set, and the matchup features plenty of Bayou State talent. The New York Giants and the New England Patriots boast nine players with Louisiana ties in the big game ...(source)
What the local news did not do is perform the hard hitting analysis that will reveal why you should be rooting for New England on Sunday. That is what I am for. First off the MSM neglected to let you in on a little secret. New England owns the sheer number count 5 to 4 over the Giants in this Super Bowl. Below is your list showing even more why everyone in Louisiana (especially those who love LSU) should be rooting for the New England Patriots ... New England Patriots
LSUEric Alexander | #52 | LBKevin Faulk | #33 | RBRandall Gay | #21 | CB Jarvis Green | #97 | DE
ULLAntwain Spann | #28 | DB New York Giants
LSUCorey Webster | #23 | CB
All these guys went out of state (BOO!)Brandon Jacobs | #27 |RBEli Manning | #10 | QB Reggie Torbor | #53 | OLB
... traitors? ;) ... You be the judge. Better yet, go with the safe choice ... PATRIOTS!!!
Lawsuit over sacramental wine label settled
This is an interesting lawsuit... Court rules Catholic Church is solely responsible for altar wine
Only the Roman Catholic Church is authorized to decide what wine can be labelled sacramental, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled on Tuesday. In a lawsuit filed by a wine-producing company against the Church, the court said that the Church has autonomy to decide which wine may be used in Catholic worship.
Apparently a wine maker was suing the Church for the right to label their wines as sacramental wines.
... the label gives the information that this particular wine is good enough even for the Church and the Church freely chooses to use it at the Holy Mass. It may of course give a signal to other customers as well about the quality of the wine. But the absurd argument of the complainant was that he, as a wine producer, is entitled to such permission by the Church for every wine that has objectively fulfilled the criteria set by the Canonical Law.
The article even uses the word transubstantiation.
Sportswriters, Coach Majerus and the battle with Archbishop Burke
Ed Peters hits the nail on the head
But folks, after reading a raft of pep rallies published for Coach Majerus over the weekend, I've reached a conclusion: if sports writers are really qualified to parse Catholic moral theology and ecclesiastical discipline against a world class theologian and canonist like Abp. Burke, then I'm more than qualified to coach college ball. Hey, I've watched some NBA All-Star videos, I saw "Hoosiers" (which, okay, wasn't about college basketball, but so what?),and people still talk about that right hand hook shot I made in the eighth grade basketball camp.
Laugh if you want, but that's about the level of ecclesiastical sophistication that sports writers are bringing to bear against Abp. Burke for his reaction to Majerus' support for abortion and experimentation on embryonic human beings. But let's be very clear about something here: Coach Majerus, not Abp. Burke, violated the wall of separation between Church and Sport, and now it's up to Majerus to repair the damage he did. In the meantime, the more his allies in the sports media try to defend the coach's blunder, the more they show themselves to be way, way out of their league. (source) via Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
I listen to sports radio. There is a air there that reeks of avoidance of the real problems of the world. You are not going to hear anything particularly controversial even on the boldest of sports talk radio. That simply isn't what its for. For most of us its an escape. I want to debate something inconsequential, in the grand scheme of things, so I debate the place of this years Patriots team on the list of best teams ever. I can get riled up at my opponent and get some good manly clashing of ideas. Its almost like a sport of its own. I know the rules and listeners can judge us like a boxing match, scoring points and figuring up a winner -- at least in their mind. In the end how good the Patriots are is not important. Abortion is important. Feeding a family is important. The war in Iraq is important.
Occasionally they dabble in what they consider edgy fare, usually the common slightly dated social themes applied to a specific case in sports. The real battles on those fronts were won by brave souls destined to remain in our history books. Thats not to say that barrier breakers in sports are not important. Its also not to say that current social battles in sports are not important. They are ... just like they are in my career field. Sports hiring and policy is evidence of the fallout of the real social battles. Its hardly ever at the forefront (there are certainly notable exceptions like Jesse Owens). In reality sports talk is pretty much on the same page. After all, everyone is for just minority hiring. Everyone is against steroids. There is just not much to debate there except crossing the t's and dotting the i's. That part is fun. I have an idea, you have an idea. We can be part of the solution.
This story is different though. It matters. It IS at the forefront for our time and our generation. When they teeter into the real problems of the world it makes it quite evident that the focus of their journalism is on everything but ... and that is where their focus should remain because, after all, thats the role they fill for the Average Joe like me.
Kids went to their first Mardi Gras parade
The kids attended their first ever Mardi Gras parade in Denham Springs. It was a great family friendly atmosphere and I plan to go yearly from now on. Honestly, it was my first parade since middle school (not counting the Catholic school parade last year) ... That would make something like 20+ years for those counting. The only problem was that loud sirens and the ears of young children do not mix well.
My house is currently covered in beads ... its a very colorful and festive place. We will enjoy the moment.
My kids are already asking when the next parade is .... This will be fun!
Catholic Church reshaping parishes in New Orleans
Catholic Church reshaping parishes
This is an interesting read on the process of re-opening, merging and closing of parishes that is going on in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
In February 2006, having absorbed nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in damages to dozens of schools and churches, the archdiocese underwent a forced, temporary reorganization of parish life.
It announced the permanent closure of 10 of its 151 parishes or missions, although it later reduced that number. It shut down all operations in 23 others in Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes.
Although the 23 church parishes remain technically open, members have been assigned to neighboring parishes for worship, education and other ministries until the archdiocese can sort out the future and develop a long-term plan for recovery.
It is evident that much pain will ensue in the decisions that have to be made. Katrina isn't exactly yesterday to New Orleans like it might be for the rest of the country. We would all do our best to pray for the leaders of the Church that they might be able to navigate the difficult waters of the future and return a city filled with vibrant life to its Catholic roots.
Did anyone teach contraception was acceptable before 1900?
This is interesting
Web page challenge issued 6/4/99:
E-Mail me a verifiable quotation from an orthodox Christian theologian who wrote prior to 1900 A. D. in support of contraception. I do not believe that one can be found!
I found a very beautiful quote on the site ... Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, Paedagogus
We must regard the woman's crown to be her husband, and the husband's crown to be marriage; and the flowers of marriage the children of both, which the divine husbandman plucks from meadows of flesh. 'Children's children are the crown of old men.'
Yes, 35 years of marriage means something
It is not an accident that what happened to me tonight came to pass. I received a tremendous grace from God. I will try to explain it here ...
Last week I brought a book to my adoration hour. I was thoroughly engrossed in it enough to stay awake through my 11pm hour. This week, I planned to bring the same book. When I went to thumb through the books on the shelf I remembered that I had brought the book to work in order to read a few chapters during lunch. That left me feeling somewhat discouraged, but alas I have many books at home I have not read. I grabbed a random one off the shelf ... the topic happened to be marriage.
The book was "Male and Female He Created Them" by Jorge Cardinal Medina Estevez. It starts off listing the many offenses against marriage: fornication, adultery, polygamy, sodomy etc. It was a thoroughly distasteful read. It was followed by a more pleasant exposition of the biblical support for the teaching of the Church on marriage. What I found was that I had forgotten there is so much in the Bible that refers to marriage, especially the Old Testament. It is so very clear the way God intended it -- that is, one man, one woman -- until death. My reading continued and as is often usual in my adoration hour, I fell asleep.
Midnight rolled around and I hopped in the car to head home. Immediately God revealed to me the gift of the wedding anniversary of my in-laws. Today is their 35th wedding anniversary. In their marriage I see an image of the faithfulness of God to the covenants He has made with us. For God, His covenant is forever. It is His people who have been unfaithful. His example, however, is one of faithfulness. For those who remain married are also committed to longevity. It is also a gift that my wife and I were able to celebrate it with them, including our children. In reality, the fruit of their marriage eventually resulted in the joy others saw in our children tonight.
The peace that my wife and I have received in our marriage is one that we received from the example of our parents, both having remained married. It is the basic gift of life my wife received from them, as I did from my parents to support the foundation for all that my children will know of life, love and even God. It is also the great gift of handing on the faith that my wife and I have been able to grow in the grace and love of our Lord forever learning new ways to serve each other and God. So while the world may see insanity in the longevity of marriage, what the Christian sees is a great triumph and even more importantly an image of fidelity that points directly to that even more perfect attribute of God towards each of us.
Blogging has been light ... I am struggling with the writing side of things so naturally I figured firing the head coach is out of the option so I made a big shakeup in the assistant staff. Introducing my "Offensive Coordinator" and new theme: Sainte Chapelle.
There is a reason for this.
1) I have been to Sainte Chapelle.
2) I think it captures my heritage as well as that of Louisiana (i.e. French)
3) Its WAY Catholic -- not that a theme with a picture of the Pope is LESS Catholic
4) AANNNND since the French are not currently on the standard conservative boycott list I figure I can get away with it even with my more conservative readers ;) ... I admit I never could make myself stop buying French wine even when Freedom Fries were all the rage ...
I am curious for those who visit enough to note the change whether or not you find it an improvement. For those who are visiting for the first time I am linking up some crude images showing the difference. There will likely be some minor typeface tweaks (a big ARGH! goes out to "web safe typefaces")BeforeAfter
Lamenting the general state of parks ...
Parks --especially for children -- are hardly made by the state any more, often considered waste. Today they are increasingly made by corporations. Often they allow people to visit their play areas and nice strolls for free. They saw a need that had been eliminated and tried to fill it. Seems like a good deal. We retain the areas for kids payed for by corporate dollars and not tax dollars. A win/win for everyone right? Consider that both major malls in our area have huge play areas. Chick-fil-a, Burger King and McDonald's are regular gathering places for parents looking for a clean place for their kids to play. Every large book store in town has a Thomas the Train set. Now that I think about it, you can even replace your state funded library reading time with a trip to a big box book store but you cannot leave with a book unless you are willing to pay. Meanwhile, the story teller at the library reads to increasingly smaller crowds and local libraries -- a staple for local homsechoolers -- find themselves desperate for usage lest their funding be cut even more. The price of admission to these corporate parks, of course, is the expectation of buying something. So while it may be great for balancing local budgets its terrible for my pocketbook. Over the past year my wife and I traced every financial budget crisis we had to "eating out" ... It costs me, on average $15-20 to feed my family at any of these places. Those excursions we used to take to our modern day corporate parks are slowly coming to an end and we will be left with the increasingly underfunded state options, where you can borrow the books and walk away knowing the dent in your pocket came from the tax money you already doled out in the past. You feel like your dollars are well spent on the parks, even if the rest of the state is content to pay to have their children play at McDonald's.
There are exceptions to this rule of course. The state parks in Louisiana are much improved from when I was a child. Also the BEST kids play park in the area is a city funded park in a small town south of Baton Rouge. Still are we seeing a trend away from state funding or is it just me?
Pro-contraception homily causes priest to get dismissed?
A few days ago I read on a forum I visit about a priest who was dismissed from his parish. The Homily that Caused an Outcry and the Priest to be Dismissed
Homily on NFP provokes congregation member to stand up and shout at priest "When are you going to stop?"
After reading much of the commentary I decided to hold off on commenting. It all seems too
perfect. Good orthodox priest preaching the truth on a difficult subject. Bad person (a lesbian to boot) stands up to the priest at mass in a public and disrespectful manner. Bishop moves the priest. Its clear the conclusion ... right? The bishop is one of the bad guys ... you know ... the ones that marred the faith with their less than stellar handling of the priest abuse scandal? Most of the commentary I read seemed to suggest that it was all cut and dry. And then a few people with saner heads poked a few holes in the seemingly obvious conclusion. Robert at HMS
summarizes these thoughts quite well.
In fact, we don't even know if this is the reason he was moved. I agree that Bishop Doran and the Rockford diocese have a well-deserved reputation for promotion of the pro-life, pro-family Gospel message, so I wonder if there is something else going on here that we don't know about and can't know about. You know, we have to avoid rashly using a post hoc ergo propter hoc interpretation.
We shouldn't jump to conclusions especially when the priest is supportive of the bishop in a manner that sides with what we know about the bishop. Something doesn't add up so I recommend skepticism of the "obvious" conclusion ... besides, my wife made the interesting suggestion that they may be moving him from parish to parish to give the same homily. :)
Crowd favorite child molester gets probation
Child Molester Given Probation by Wac[k]o Jury
An 82-year-old child molester, Tommy George, has been given a sentence of PROBATION by a jury here in Waco, Texas. (Read all about it here). How can this happen? A friend and colleague at Baylor offers an answer: "This is a Texas-Jury: `This is a guy we all like from the community; we know his kids; we can't lock him up.'"
My wife went to a talk by a man who handles these types of cases. He told a story about a man that was a neighborhood favorite who was accused of molesting children. They went to arrest him and apparently could not on some technicality so they went back to get their ducks in a row to pick him up the next day. That night he committed suicide. The local residents became irate and blamed the police despite the overwhelming evidence against him. They just refused to believe that such a loved person could commit such crimes. He mentioned that all too often the most difficult process is fighting with friends and family who refuse to believe the truth about these perpetrators. It points out, sadly, how the testimony of a child is hardly considered credible. It also further underscores how on guard we have to be with our children. As my wife likes to say "I bet even Hitler was 'nice'"
Laying to rest the error that Hitler was a Christian
Was Hitler a Christian?and further evidence giving rest to the assertion that "Nazism was a deviant Catholic phenomenon" supported by Catholics.
The following maps show a stunning correlation between Catholic areas of Germany and relative lack of support for the Nazi's in 1932.
Two interesting maps of Germany. On the first, the black areas are those with the highest concentration of Catholics according to the 1934 census:Catholics and the Nazi vote 1932
On the second map, the black areas show the highest concentration of Nazi votes in the 1932 election (white the lowest)
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My 11mo son Peter just took 4 steps
That means in the next three days or so he should be walking quite well. YAY! Four walking children!