Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Web Links Tuesday

Hello Dear Readers,
I know I have been away awhile it turns out that stacking soda cans takes a lot of time and more of my brains than perhaps I care to admit. Either way a lot has happened of late (or in at least one well publicized case, not happened, well here's hoping none of my readers was raptured anyway).

So let's take a look at the web and see what we find.

  • I should have written my own post on Macho Man Randy Savage's death, but it would have paled in comparison to Sport's Guy's so here is his take on the man who helped a lot of us become wrestling fans. Side note, the wife and I were discussing it the other day. Macho Man is one of only two wrestlers I truly remember from my early years, Hulk Hogan being the other. 
  • One more piece on Savage this one from Kevin Eck, who writes for the Baltimore Sun. Eck is a former wrestling creative guy (in other words he helped to write the soap opera parts).
  • A look at how the rapture isn't entirely biblical, it's proof texted out by folks who believe in it.
  • The recent tornado in Joplin, Mo. was a horrible thing to be sure one of it's architectural victims was a Catholic Church. Take a look at the photos in this post from Fr. Z and note what is still standing from said church. 
  • A look at the how the 2012 GOP field is shaping up from Michelle Malkin. Of the people mentioned I like Pawlenty and Cain so far I think. Well really I like Newt, but he has as much of a chance as I do of being President. 
  • Just a little fun from Reaganite Resistance. 
Well that's enough from me, hope everything is well with you Dear Reader.

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Book Club - Civil War

    Since they have set on my book shelf for several years unread, I finally decided to tackle Shelby Foote's three part historical narrative on the Civil War. Seemed only right since the sesquicentennial anniversary of the war's beginning was just about a month ago.

    This is a historical period that has always fascinated me, and one with a wealth of writing on the subject. In high school my American History teacher said there has been more ink spilled covering the Civil War than any other topic. It's hard to disbelieve that statement if you browse your local bookstore or library.

    Foote was a novelist by trade but, he tackled the biggest topic in our history with a historian's aplomb for facts and his novelist's eye for details and readability. Mind you I am only a third or so through the first of the three books, but I already know I will bore my poor wife to death describing passages from them.

    As I said the Civil War period is likely my favorite period of American History. The men who inhabit those stories all seem larger than life. Lincoln, the depressive US president, Davis the temperamental Confederate leader. Lee, a man torn between his nation and his state. Grant, the hard drinker who finally turned Union forces toward victory. Stonewall Jackson, accidentally killed by his own troops, devastating the South's tactical edge. Winfield Scott, the old man in charge of Union forces at the outset of war, whose time had passed him by. Sherman, the vicious take no prisoners leader of the scorched Earth march to the sea.

    Besides the people, the reasons we ended up in war, the military strategies, the rebuilding of a nation and how it might have changed had Boothe not ended Lincoln's life.

    As an aside, the lefties of recent times abhorred President Bush's leadership methods. Linc would have caused them all to have aneurysms. Suspending Habeas Corpus, calling for troops, running a war without Congress even in session. 

    If all you know about the Civil War is that it ended slavery and killed more Americans than any other war, do yourself a favor and pick up Foote's books, they are captivating. As a bonus if you are a military history buff or just interested in how certain battles played out, he is great at explaining them, so you almost see them in your mind.

    Another book on my wish list is Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin, about Lincoln's cabinet and how he picked people he had defeated for the Presidency and others to man his cabinet. How he kept those factions happy and ultimately won the war, freed the slaves (not really, but it's so much a part of the mythos), and saved the nation.

    Someday I will pick that one up and tear through it. Just like I say someday I will get hold of President Grant's memoirs and read them as well. They are said to be the cream of the crop of Presidential memoirs, besides I am sure he has great details in them about his leadership during the Civil War.

    You don't have to be a history buff to want to explore some of the things that shaped this nation and the Civil War definitely did that.

    Give some of these books a try you just might like them.

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Musings on Mothers

    With Mother's Day approaching I thought I would take sometime to reflect on motherhood, from the male perspective, or perhaps just to honor a few mothers I know.

    First obviously would be my own mother. She has always been a tough cookie. I think she beat up every boy in her neighborhood when she was growing up, except my dad, and probably only because she liked him. We all know she loves us, but sometimes she can't express it maybe. But I remember once when I was maybe five years old, sick with the flu, just feeling rotten. She got home from work and she took care of me, cuddling me and making sure I was as ok as I could get. I wish I had some of that backbone she has, because I can be pretty weak willed at times and that bothers me.

    One thing I did get from her is my faith, I can gripe about the fact I was behind in some of my sacraments, but she made sure I got them. I remember my sisters helped her out in teaching Sunday School. She taught the First Communion class and I finally got a chance in the last year or two she taught it to be her aide. I always liked that. In addition to just being able to help my mom out it was neat to teach the next generation some solid Catholic theology and respect for the Eucharist.

    I also remember when I said I wanted to be an Altar Boy, she about died. Telling me I had a hard enough time getting through Mass as it was, she was probably right but the Lord usually kept me on my best behavior when I was on the altar.

    For a stretch of my life Saturday late mornings into the early afternoon were our time. We would take her old Trans Am out wash it up, pay some bills and head to the library, or the mall, running errands and hanging out. Whatever we had to do that day we always ended it at Sonic for a cold drink. Good Times.

    She's always good for advice too. I remember walking with her before my wedding and talking things out. I needed someone just to tell me to pull my head out and just enjoy the day. Then when Tommy was born I remember asking her how to deal with all of it. She gave me some great advice that I still use today, just get through the next minute, until you get through an hour than keep piling those up until you make it through the day.

    So for all the times I have forgotten to say it over my last 30 years. I love you, mom. Thanks for being there, thanks for making sure your kids had someone we knew we could count on.

    Of course she had a great example. My Memaw, was a saint whether the Catholic Church ever recognizes it or not. She had to have been to have raised 6 kids and dealt with my grandfather and not killed anyone :-).

    I like to think of Memaw before she got sick, but somehow I think she taught me more when she was sick.

    I remember when we would go see her at work sometimes, she always had the hook up for a Dum Dum pop. She was always so quiet I think it scared me the handful of times I heard her raise her voice. I think my favorite memory of her has really very little to do with her, other than she and Papaw were present at the time.

    My dad and I had got up super early and left Las Cruces headed to Carlsbad for deer hunting, we were hunting our way to grandma's house essentially. We got to their house a little while after hunting had ended for the day and Memaw had a big thing of spaghetti waiting for us. I ate for all I was worth that night, best meal of my life.

    Ask me sometime about my other story involving Memaw and deer hunting...but be warned its a little rough....

    I still miss her, as we all do, it's hard wanting to show off my boys and my wife and not being able.

    Speaking of my wife, how she does what she does I don't know. She is another tough cookie. She wears herself so thin working full-time and then giving her boys everything she has left till bedtime. We have two sons but like most women will tell you she is raising all of us.

    But she puts up with me roughhousing the boys all over the house before bedtime on Monday nights for Living Room Wrestling. She puts up with my inability to throw things away immediately, I like to gather it all in at the end of the day, she hates that.

    She takes care of all of us in ways she shouldn't have to. Somehow she just grits her teeth and throws her shoulder into it and gets it all done.

    I don't think she believes me when I tell her I love the quiet grace she has about herself. She is my anchor. We make a perfect pair seeing as I usually have my head in the clouds and she has her feet firmly on the ground.

    I know sometimes I do things that just make her so mad she would like to throw bricks at my head, but she hasn't....yet.

    Her boys, all three of them, but especially the little guys just can't wait for Momma to get home at the end of every day. It's like the mommy tug of war as everyone wants a little piece of her. I worry that the two little ones are going to literally slug it out over her lap someday soon.

    I know that God blessed me with more than I deserve when He made her fall in love with me. I just pray that someday He will let me pay it all back to her.

    It cracks me up, but makes me a little jealous too, that when mommy is home the little man wants nothing to do with daddy. Sometimes she gets home and can't take him right away he will crawl down the hall, saying mom with his every move....cutest thing ever.

    I have been blessed, I have gotten to see three truly amazing moms at work and am thankful for their influence and love in my life as it has helped to shape me into the man I am slowly becoming. I had hoped the process would be quicker, but alas.

    So tell your mom you love her today, tell her how much she means to you, you might not have many more chances left.

    Happy Mother's day to all you mother's out there. You are the first teachers of your children and their first examples of so many things, cherish those duties.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Liberalism and Catholicism Don't Mix Pt. 2

    First I would like to point out I missed a great quote from scripture on the penalty for idleness in my last post. In 2nd Thess. 3:10 St. Paul admonishes his charges in Thessalonica, if a man will not work, he gets no share of the food.

    Now on to today's point:

    It seems to me that to be a good liberal, you must consent to the wholesale slaughter of innocent life at the hands of the Supreme Court's disastrous Roe vs. Wade ruling. Roe was perhaps the most insidious, harmful, destructive, piece of judicial activism ever in this nation's history, I'm not even sure Dred Scott was a worse decision.

    Somehow the Court found a right to privacy in the due process clause of the 14th amendment, securing legalized abortion. Mind you I think even if the Court had ruled in what should have been the correct way, send it to the states' and say you make your decisions, most states would have legalized abortions. Now I am not saying as I just pointed out that I think without the ruling we got in Roe that abortion doesn't happen here; merely that Roe turned what should have been a state-by-state issue into a big national issue.

    Because it became a national issue it has become a rallying cry for feminists, and many other groups. Groups which think that their right to decide how to treat their own bodies overrides all else. Including whether a child created out of their decisions has a right to live.

    And let us not talk falsely now, that "clump of cells," is a baby, a human life, period and nothing else. Those cells aren't going to morph into a banana plant, or a file cabinet. It is a human life.

    To be fair there are liberals who don't believe in the senseless killing of unborn babies; just as there are supposed conservatives who do. There are even some who masquerade as Catholics and believe in the legality of abortion, a certain wild-eyed former Speaker of the House, comes prominently to mind.

    As I mentioned awhile back the liberals seem intent on doing whatever they can to protect this right, that is to them sacrosanct. The conservatives in the House should use this to their advantage in all spending bills for the next two years. But they won't, Boehner, doesn't seem to have the stomach to stand up for his faith or principles.

    I am growing less and less surprised that Holy Mother Church doesn't forbid Communion for these politicians who proclaim to be Catholic, but deny it by their voting record. After all it seems to me that they are as the rules say notorious public sinners and should be denied Communion until they are ready to hold and profess all that they are supposed to.

    Canon 915 states the following: Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.

    Now to be sure some arguments can be made about just what it means to obstinately persist in grave sin, but I think if Ms. Pelosi, were to be denied the Sacrament a time or two she just might understand the seriousness with which her faith disagrees with her political view. Personally I was surprised when the Holy Father had an audience with her and she didn't come out excommunicated.

    I feel like it is these cafeteria Catholics in positions of power that do far more harm to the perceptions of the faith then nearly all of the other issues we face combined.