David Warren today continues to sound the alarm against the hideous practices being committed by "Human Rights Commissions" in Canada. After pointing out some of the more high-profile "offenders," including our favorite Mark Steyn, Warren says:
I have mentioned only the current cases in which periodical publications have been prosecuted, in the strange new world of "Kafkanada" -- where you can be tried for the same imaginary "hate crimes" in any or all federal and provincial jurisdictions, simultaneously or sequentially. A single complaint by any reader anywhere is enough to launch a secret inquiry. The target has no right to confront his accuser, and will not at first even be told who he or she is.
Truth is no defence, the absence of harm is no defence, there are no rules of evidence -- due process is entirely subverted. The inquisitors of these kangaroo courts may ultimately reach any "judgement" they please, after months or years of playing cat-and-mouse with their selected victim.
Lest we be smug, the same elements operating in Canada are waiting with baited breath in this country, hoping for their success and acceptance so that similar measures can be tried here. Don't think it can't happen.
High Fuel Prices Affecting Brothels
Labels: Theater of the Absurd
California was a lovely break in my summer...a bit longer visit than I'd planned but definitely worth the changes. Thank you, Lyric, for the summer interlude...and for the crab cakes at Houston's :-)
One of the week's activities was (re)watching both of the Cate Blanchett Elizabeth I movies. These films, in addition to throwing light on a fascinating period of history, are so beautifully done that I will never tire of seeing them. They're a visual treat, hypnotic almost...or is that just Clive Owen I'm thinking of?
Now I must get serious about the rest of the summer projects or it's going to be time to start school again and I'll still be looking at all the stacks of things to be done! I'm thinking seriously about surreptitiously inserting two more calendar pages between August and September!
I had to laugh today, hearing CNN with a straight face predicting that we would soon be seeing "Chelsea for President" bumper stickers. Lord, save us.
$4 a gallon? Are you serious? And I'm talking about MILK! I'm thinking about going hybrid...
On the way to California I listened to The Chopin Manuscript. I can't wait for the movie!
Boy, has it ever been the spring/summer of extreme weather and related disasters. Tornadoes, floods, fires, drought, dangerously high heat--fall will certainly be welcome this year.
Our family vacation, wherein we will rendezvous at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, with the East Coast crowd, is now just 44 days away. Plans are buzzing for food, activities, the family talent show, and all the ways we can squeeze the very most out of seven days with 27 people who pretty much adore each other. Here are some pics of the lodge we've rented:
Home this morning because of pain, God whispered to me through the daily devotional on Elisabeth Elliot's site:
“The man who is challenged by Fate does not take umbrage at the terms,” wrote Dag Hammarskjold. So the man called by Christ. Any terms at all are acceptable if we may be permitted to walk with Him.
“But is this the path, Lord? Must we take this one in order to reach Home?”
When the way to the house of the Lord leads through the “Valley of the Shadow,” we accept those terms, too. If we suffer loss, scorn, misunderstanding, false accusation, or any other form of trouble, it is what we agreed on to begin with. Compared with the rewards promised, it is nothing; so let us not take umbrage. Let us be quite clear and matter-of-fact about it: “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer [cheer up!] I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).
May I never take umbrage.
I've always had this thing about sexist phones. Yep.
Is the iPhone sexist?
I am experiencinga bit of disorientation here in southern California. Usually when I arrive here I get a nice break from the summer heat of Texas (unless I'm here at another time of year, and it's usually pleasant no matter the month). But I've been here since Thursday and this is the first day it hasn't been over 100, and we're pushing that today. Happily, Lyric's place is WELL air-conditioned (not all places in this part of the country have air conditioning!) and so we've stayed indoors quite a bit.
Lyric treated me to a very special birthday dinner last night at Houston's in Pasadena. It was perfect, and almost worth having a birthday for :-)
I'm for drilling on the continental shelf and in ANWR. And while we're at it, could we outlaw the word "pristine"?
I miss mountains.
Michelle Obama likes sleeveless dresses.
It's just seven weeks until our family vacation to Tennessee.
Gas out here costs $4.75.
I'm embarrassed to admit that I used to love Rod McKuen. Don't ask.
Most of my kids are turning even years this year. And they're all older than I want to believe.
I think I'm ready to try a Roomba.
It's easier to potty-train a child than to fill out a FAFSA. Keep 'em young is what I say.
You can't beat the smell of caramelizing onions.
Someone I love has just found out she's going to be a grandmother :-)
I'm listening to Don Quixote. Yes, seriously. And yes, unabridged. It never ceases to amaze me how a book written in the first years of the 1600's could remain so hilariously funny to modern ears. Now that says "classic."
I'm extending my stay in California by a couple of days to do some family-related things. In summer I can do that. Thankfully I had stocked the freezer with lots of meals so no one goes hungry while I'm gone. Not that I seriously think anyone who lives at my house would ever go hungry.
I will miss the Cambrons. However, anyone with the nerve to move to Colorado Springs...
That's all, folks!
I've mentioned before the site MyGroceryDeals.com. I'm using it more and more and reaping big benefits. Those of you who live in the San Antonio area know this is not a place with much grocery competition...we basically live in an HEB-opoly around here. But there are good deals even in the smaller places or at Wal-mart, or VERY occasionally, Super Target.
Many of us, though, love to shop when we can at Sun Harvest. Their great produce deals, the availability of organic foods, and their charming old-fashioned meat counter and frequent meat sales make it one of my favorites. Sadly, they are so far away that the savings can get eaten up in gas. But if you know what you're going for and especially if you can share deals with someone else, it can be WAY worth it.
So yesterday I wrote to the folks at MyGroceryDeals and asked them to include Sun Harvest on their site. I got such a nice response that I wanted to share it here (and I do so with permission of the writer):
Hi Cathi---thanks for checking in with us. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve asked our operations department to see if they can add your store request to MyGroceryDeals.com. As soon as I hear from them I’ll get back with you.
Cathi, thanks for reaching out to us and hope that MyGroceryDeals.com is helping you save time and money. As you know, we are a free service and we continue to build our business from the grassroots level. Any assistance in spreading the word to your friends and colleagues, if you have a spare moment, is certainly appreciated.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any additional questions.
And later, this:
Hi Cathi---thanks for your kind reply. At this time, I can’t really determine a precise time when operations will be able to get Sun Harvest into the fold as there are so many requests we receive from across the country, and naturally it is time and money consuming to handle everything that comes at us. Mind you, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I’m sure our team will do their best to get Sun Harvest up in the near term. I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready to go.
Cathi, by all means, you can share my letter with your mothers as it is people like you and your community group who help inform other individuals of this service and builds upon the foundation we have created. It also increases feedback, positive and negative, that allows us to make the site more useful for the user… and in the end, that is what is most important…building a site that meets the needs of the individuals using it.
Thanks again for reaching out to us and don’t hesitate to check in with us again when the feeling strikes you!
Warm regards, Ed
Just thought I'd let my readers know about this exchange since so often suggestions to businesses and web sites get ignored or are even rudely responded to. I encourage you to use the site and to let them know how they're doing. And of course, you should check it out no matter where you live!
A cancer patient has made a full recovery after being injected with billions of his own immune cells in the first case of its kind, doctors have disclosed.
The 52-year-old, who was suffering from advanced skin cancer, was free from tumours within eight weeks of undergoing the procedure.
After two years he is still free from the disease which had spread to his lymph nodes and one of his lungs.
Doctors took cells from the man's own defence system that were found to attack the cancer cells best, cloned them and injected back into his body, in a process known as "immunotherapy". After two years he is still free from the disease which had spread to his lymph nodes and one of his lungs.
Wouldn't it be amazing if the cure for many cancers had been inside us all along...
Cancer patient recovers
McCain Seeks to End Offshore Drilling Ban
It's been tragic this week to contemplate the suffering that's been caused by the "Katrina of the Midwest"...the devastating flood in Iowa and surrounding states. When last the national eye was on Iowa, it was for a very different reason. And although I did tire of seeing the seemingly eternal run-up to the Iowa caucuses, I'd be glad to endure the deluge of campaigning once again if it would avoid this kind of deluge...
For several years there's been a lot of speculation about how high gas prices would have to rise before the American public would begin to change their driving habits. I'm sure the answer is different for every family, but we've certainly seen the tipping point around our house. About the time we got over $3.50 a gallon, we sensed a distinct shift in our own habits...being careful to combine errands, meticulous scheduling to avoid doubling trips, and elimination of all unnecessary driving. We'd all like to think these changes are temporary, but my gut tells me otherwise. And it also tells me we'd better be prepared for more than just gasoline costs to skyrocket.
We did part of our Father's Day celebration yesterday (see pics below), but this morning before church we got up earlier than usual and the eight of us went out to breakfast together. I'm not sure when that happened last, and it was very nice. You can tell, though, when your kids are growing up: the waitress asked if we wanted separate checks :-)
Last August we started planning our family vacation in Tennessee, and we've talked about it excitedly for ten months. Now we're under two months and the anticipation is building, even with the littlest ones who are saving their nickels and dimes for spending money. What a joy it will be to have all the kids/grandkids/cousins/aunts/uncles AND Granny and The Papa together for a whole week in the same house!
Our little church, now four years old, is bursting at the seams! We have several logistical challenges now that might be an annoyance to some groups; though we'd love to have a larger facility in which to meet, we are thrilled to have to be figuring out what to do for seating and eating and little ones!
Books: A Thousand Splendid Suns is NOT overrated. It's heartbreaking, but it's worth every tear...and I did shed some. The plight of Afghan women, before, during, and after the Taliban, is difficult to comprehend and this book reads like a medieval tale in many ways. Sadly, it takes place in our own time, reminding us that the injustices and horrors women experience are not a thing of the past.
Bethany is enjoying a summer internship with the firm Frost & Sullivan, exploring different aspects of the marketing world and at the same time getting a taste of office life and a 5-day work week. I miss having her around the house but am thrilled she's getting this opportunity.
From our morning service, a snippet from one of my favorite hymns...
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace forevermore;
till, with the vision glorious,
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious
shall be the church at rest
~~from "The Church's One Foundation," lyrics by Samuel J. Stone (1839-1900); music by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876).
Labels: The Papa
What sad news that Tim Russert is gone. Not only is it a loss for the journalistic and political worlds, it is more than sobering when men and women so close to our ages begin leaving the scene, another reminder of the brevity and unpredictability of life.
Florida woman fired for laughing
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul
We're only halfway through the year and I'm ready to award the Cool Website of the Year award. I won't describe--I'll just say that if you're a language lover you cannot miss this. Just make sure you've taken care of all essentials for the day because you might be tempted to skip whatever's left and play at this site for hours...start by typing a random word in the box at the top. I am mesmerized!
For us tomato lovers, this week's news about the dangers of salmonella in tomatoes and the resulting disappearance of most tomatoes from the grocery store has been a shock...so I was delighted for a very welcome gift from a dear friend yesterday: seven lovely home-grown tomatoes from her garden! You can be sure I will be thinking how to get the most advantage out of each one!
Florida tomato industry "in complete collapse"
So at this time last week I was embarked on a secret project and since the word is now out to all the folks I was trying to surprise (and did, in some cases :-) ), I can now share what I was doing. After 23 years of home schooling and living with dual purpose rooms, I decided it was time to treat my family to a REAL dining room, free of textbooks and calculators and microscopes and slides with...with...what was it on that glass slide? Oh yeah. Well anyway, I emptied the room, and with the help of my non-decorating-challenged daughter, I put down a new rug, hung curtains, moved shelves, and put up pictures which do NOT include parts of speech, bones, or Civil War timelines. No, these pictures are sidewalk cafes and lovely bottles of Chardonnay and fruit still lifes...the kind of things you can look at and still want to eat your dinner. Nothing really fancy here...still the same beat up old table we've had since before CJ was born, crying for refinishing...bookshelves repurposed to hold silver and linens and candles...a treasured dresser finding new life as a sideboard. But it signals a transition in our lives, one that I might just write about someday. We still have lots of school days ahead (six years, probably), but we have no more real need of a school room. So when The Papa returns this week, we will "christen" our new dining room and celebrate the beginning of a new season at Granny's House. Wish I had some "before" pictures, but those of you who live in homeschool land don't need any visuals for that. Take it from me: these pictures represent a huge change...
Speaking of new seasons, we've just seen the changing of one in the '08 election. The week provided several electrifying moments and breathless speculation, surely only a prelude to the next five months. God protect us.
This week, during all the working and driving and whatnot, I've discovered a new favorite author--Leif Enger. His novel Peace Like a River has captivated me as much for the writing as for the story itself; I'll be watching for his novels the rest of my life. The only way I would know how to describe him is as the 21st century Mark Twain.
As dependent as I've become on the internet in the past few years and as much benefit as I've derived from it, I've worried at times that all its charms might isolate us and keep us hidden in our houses, safe from dangers but also sterilized from all the richness of face-to-face interaction and ministry. I'm no longer worried that the internet will cause this. If anything brings us to a hermit-like end, it's going to be gas prices.
And the highlight of today: our Bethany is 18 today. Because she is usually behind the camera instead of its target, I can't come up with many pictures of her, but those of you who know her need no reminder of her impish smile and her winsome personality. Beth is standing on the edge of adulthood, pursuing many different interests and avenues of ministry and continuing to amaze us with the breadth of her talents. Pint-sized compared to the rest of the family, her heart and her wit can outdo all of us...
When Beth was two, I said, "Bethany, you have such a tiny little face!" She looked at me with a slight bewilderment and replied, "But it goes all the way down to my chin!"
HAPPY 18TH, BETHANY!
LEAKED: Hillary’s Concession Speech, Endorsement
by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace
(2008-06-04) — A draft copy of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s planned concession speech leaked this morning after the candidate inadvertently emailed it to her entire “buddy list” and both copies then fell into the hands of the news media.
In the speech, Sen. Clinton attempts to lay the groundwork for Democrat unity, based on what she calls “a kind of unshakable bond that can only be sustained by proper treatment of one’s defeated adversaries.”
Here are some excerpts from the speech which Sen. Clinton is expected to deliver this weekend.
“No matter the outcome of the presidential race this November, the year 2008 is a watershed for Democrats. For the first time in the history of either party, a woman selflessly withdrew from a race she was winning to lend a merciful, helping hand to a young African-American in his time of need.”
“We have both broken down barriers, Sen. Obama and I, in this historic race. However, since he is only half black, but I am all woman, it goes without saying that my accomplishment in nearly winning is the greater civil rights triumph, mathematically speaking.”
“I will campaign vigorously for the party’s nominee, whoever that may be. I do it out of a sense of noblesse oblige — my nobility obligates me. I hope Sen. Obama sees my endorsement, and pledge of delegates, as a hand up, not a hand out.”
“If Barack Obama becomes the next president of the United States, let it never be said that he won only because he’s black, but rather that he won because a gracious white woman sacrificed her own ambitions for the good of humanity.”
“In closing, I want to personally address Sen. Obama by paraphrasing President John F. Kennedy, who, coincidentally, was assassinated like his brother Robert was: Sen. Obama, ask not what Hillary Clinton can do for you. Ask what you can do for the woman who was almost the first female president of the United States.”
Labels: Political Humor
Home schooling labeled anarchy
hat tip: Kim P.
Folks, Juan Williams is one of my favorite liberals. I appreciate that he is a thinker, that he is fair, and that he doesn't get bullied into falling along any particular ideological lines because of his race. Today's column is a very good example. William argues that it's time for Obama to give another speech on race, and that this time he needs to really come clean about his own race-baiting and using of race for political expediency. Given the recent wounds of Wright/Pfleger, I'm not sure that the time is right for more race oratory right now, but if it is, Williams is right about what needs to be said:
Thank you, Mr. Williams, for being a voice for healing. No matter how this election turns out, it will represent another chapter in our national conversation on race.
The heart of Mr. Obama's problem is that he risks being defined by Rev. Wright and Father Pfleger. Most American voters know him only as a fresh face with an Ivy League education, an outstanding credential – editor of the Harvard Law Review – an exciting speaker, and a man who stands for much-desired change. Beyond that he is a political mystery with a thin legislative record. But when voters look at his past for clues to the core of his character, they find religious leaders calling for God to damn America and concluding that America is the greatest sin against God.
To deal with this controversy effectively, Mr. Obama needs to give another speech. This time he has to admit to sins of using race for political expediency – by knowingly buying into divisive, mean messages being delivered from the pulpit. He has to say that, as a biracial young man with no community roots, attaching himself to Rev. Wright and the Trinity congregation was a shortcut to move up the ladder in the Chicago political scene. He has to call race-baiting what it is, whether it comes from a pulpit or calls itself progressive politics. And he has to challenge his supporters, especially his black base, to be honest about real problems at the heart of today's racial divide – including out-of-wedlock births, crime, drugs and a culture that devalues education while glorifying the gangster life.
Mr. Obama also has to raise the bar for how political criticism is handled in his camp. Step one is to acknowledge that not every critic is a racist. His very liberal record and his limited experience, like his association with Rev. Wright, is a fact, not the work of white racists. Just as he calls for the GOP not to engage in the politics of fear over terrorism, Mr. Obama needs to declare that he will refrain from playing the racial victim, because he understands such tactics will paralyze political debate and damage race relations.
Only by admitting to his own sins can Mr. Obama credibly claim that he has seen the promise of our country, in which Americans of all colors work together. Only then can he convince dubious white voters that he is ready to move beyond racial antagonism and be their president.
It's Time for Another Obama Race Speech
(If you're interested in more Juan Williams, see his excellent book, Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It )
Actually, it's a testament to my increasing health and stamina that I haven't been sitting and posting so much the past couple of weeks. The truth is that even though I still have physical issues and don't have the strength or the energy that I did seven years ago, the hard work I'm doing in physical therapy is really paying off.
On the one hand, it's not doing a whole lot about the bone pain I seem to still be having. And that, of course, doesn't make me happy.
On the other hand, it is greatly helping me with strength, flexibility, and endurance. I've made huge strides in these areas in the past month. And so even if therapy can't do anything about the bone issue, it can help me strengthen the areas around the bone and also help me to build up stamina. Part of my problem in the past few years is that I can't seem to build stamina because I start hurting long before I can start pushing myself energy-wise. The therapy is helping me find ways to get in shape and work around my pain. So now when I have lower pain days and can manage to be on my leg for a while, I don't tire so easily. That is, for me, a huge blessing.
Then, as a result, I've been able to take on some projects in the house that have had a physical component, and that's also included quite a bit of shopping. Consequently, I haven't spent hours and hours in my recliner reading, ruminating, and posting on the world's wonders and outrages. I'm sure you'll all be fine without most of it despite my vague sense that my opinions are indispensable ;-)
So...if you're wondering what's up with me, it's me that's up. And that's a good thing.
She can't be the president.
She can't even be the nominee for president.
She might wrestle Obama to the ground for the VP slot.
But according to close observers she doesn't believe Obama can win even with her on the ticket.
So is she willing to accept the default running mate position, knowing she could end up defeated even for that? What does that do to her future? She becomes an eternal Geraldine Ferraro? (Whose husband, by the way, played a big part in the failure of the Mondale bid.)
And if she IS trying to get the veep job, does Obama want to come anywhere near bringing a Billary time bomb onto the ticket and into the White House?
And if he doesn't, does he permanently alienate all the middle-aged women who can't believe they got this close to seeing a woman at the top only to see it collapse? Did you see this?
See why I say the drama isn't over?
Labels: Political Observation
Obama effectively clinches
Labels: Political Observation
Tonight, I am too tired and experiencing too much pain to make it through very many snippets...but a few highlights:
I finished John Adams today. I thought it would take me a lot longer, but I couldn't keep away from it. I feel like I've had a semester-long course in American history and I am so much the richer ... I give this one my very highest recommendation!
I've used my alone days this weekend to embark on a secret project to surprise the family. Can't tell what it is yet or share pictures, but I will soon. And thank you to Aubrey for being such a help to me!
Had dinner tonight at Chili's with Abby and Sam. Oh, what treasures they are...and how fast they're growing up! (Aubrey came along, too, but I gave up years ago on keeping her little :-) )
Every time I think we've squeezed all the news we can out of this year's Democratic primary, some new drama pops up. Today, it's Bill again?? Oh my goodness!
It's June! Wow...the year is almost half over and I'm still trying to find my list of New Year's