Friday, October 31, 2008

Our Own Horror Story

JoJo fell out of bed three nights ago and fractured her clavicle (collar bone). And I do mean fractured it. I'm too sleep deprived to go into any more details. Suffice it to say, my darling, easy going three-year old channeled her dark side--an alter ego fueled by pain, frustration, boredom, and several Tylenol-with-codeine-cocktails. Picture the demure little damsel from The Exorcist. I'm pretty sure JoJo's head was spinning when she bellowed (in a voice four octaves lower than usual), "I NEED ANOTHER MOVIE IN MY DVD PLAYER AND I WANT IT NOW!!!!" Who knew she had it in her??

Wisecracks aside, she is in a lot of pain. And it's hard to see. But when we find a position she can endure, she's back to being my precious lamb.

Sorry Halloween 2008 was such a bust for you JoJo. Maybe we'll have a dress-up party with some of your friends when you get all better!

E's Halloween, on the other hand, was picture perfect. Class party, trick-or-treating, family Halloween party with his cousin K. In his world, it doesn't get much better than that!

Thanksgiving, Christmas--here we come!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mr. Obama: A Few Moments, Please

Barack Obama has occupied a lion's share of my thoughts these past few days. I've often said that I wish we conservatives had someone like him--someone whom inspires and rallies unprecedented support from every walk of life. While I've vocally disparaged his political and ethical positions, I have never doubted his sincerity. I truly believe that he believes what he says. By his own admission, he's no saint. But I get the sense that he's the type you could probably trust with a secret. Something tells me he's likely to keep his word when it's critical to do so. I'm especially impressed by his commitment to his family, which by every indication, is genuine and unwavering.

As of late, I've often thought about what I would say to Obama if given the chance. Forget about lottery fantasies. My windfall daydreams are all about having a good chat with Barry. You know--the guy. Not the politician. No reporters, no cameras. No calculated talking points or "gotcha" questions. I would, however, bring along a few photos--images that belie the Obama who has justly earned the scorn of conservative America. Here's how it would go...


Mr. Obama. Barack. My fellow American, my brother in Christ...

When I see these clear expressions of tenderness

and of whimsy

reflecting an unfeigned enjoyment of children....

I can only wonder why you have chosen to actively and staunchly support abortion. I ask this not in a rhetorical, argumentative way. I'm not asking for a well crafted, special-interest-group kind of answer. What I genuinely yearn to know is how a man of your intelligence, your empathy, and your compassion, can so obviously display concern for one young life...

and simultaneously reject the worthiness of another?

You've told us that determining the starting point for humanity is "above your pay grade". I'll trust that you simply fumbled with an unintentionally glib response in an attempt to distance yourself from the question that has become the political Achilles' heel of our time: When does life begin?

So, I humbly submit...If you, like so many others, are unsure when human life is deserved of full legal protection, might we agree that there is at least the possibility that our humanity begins at conception? As such, if there is even the slightest possibility that life does indeed begin long before a child leaves her mother's womb, wouldn't the most prudent course of action be determined by a willingness to err on the side of caution--in this case, on the side of life?

If not, help me understand, why not? Please. I've yet to hear a remotely convincing argument when I have posed the question in this manner. So, I hand it to you, Mr. Obama. I know you are capable of great reflection and intellect. I'm told you are a man of character. Please use these gifts when you respond. But first, do me a favor. Remove your presidential candidate armor. Base your answer in the courage you've mustered as a father. Root it in the respect you developed as a grandson. Couch your answer in language that honors the love you have known simply because you are your mother's child.

I can only hope, only pray, that the answer you now provide will reflect far more of the sentiment we see in your mother's loving gaze...

and much less of the political rhetoric we have come to expect...

May God bless you and inspire you to truly hear the pleas spoken on behalf of those with no voice at all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

American Church Leader Weighs In...Finally

Finally, an American Catholic Church heavyweight, Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput,publicly cautions against support of Barack Obama:

"To suggest - as some Catholics do - that Senator Obama is this year's 'real' pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse...the work of Democratic-friendly groups like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good have done a disservice to the Church, confused the natural priorities of Catholic social teaching, undermined the progress pro-lifers have made, and provided an excuse for some Catholics to abandon the abortion issue instead of fighting within their parties and at the ballot box to protect the unborn.Pro-Obama Catholics "seek to contextualize, demote and then counterbalance the evil of abortion with other important but less foundational social issues."

Not surprisingly, Archbishop Chaput chose to qualify his words with the notation that he made this statement, not on behalf of the Church, but as a private citizen. Traditionally, the clergy has been resistant to oppose or support political candidates for fear of losing the IRS tax-exempt status attributed to all qualifying, religious organizations. Still, you have to hand it to him...he used a precarious loophole to unequivocally communicate what is surely the collective conscience of our Church leadership. And you have to believe that the Catholic powers-that-be knew he was going to do it. My guess is even the Holy Father gave at least a tacit approval of the Archbishop's public declaration of these gutsy assertions.

My only criticism is one you might expect: What took you guys so long?? We're in the homestretch, with the McCain campaign flailing as much as 3-4 percentage points in the polls. I am convinced that more Catholics would side with their Church if presented with a clear declaration as to which side this is. On the face of it, one would expect that the appropriate choice in a candidate should be obvious based on Church teaching. But that's just it. Many Catholics are confused on even the basics.

The Church must consistently and repeatedly counter the near endless barrage of hokum spewed by non-Catholics and "new age" Catholics alike--seeking to reinvent traditional tenants of the faith. American Catholics are especially vulnerable to the prolific forces which work long and hard to convince us that a vote for Obama indeed equates to support for the sanctity of life. After all, he opposes the Iraq War. And he seeks to implement universal health care. More than a few Catholics are convinced that his positions amount to a pro-life stance. Throw in Obama's charm, charisma, celebrity status, and all around likability factor and what you have is a Catholic Obama supporter, albeit an errant, Catholic Obama supporter. Unfortunately, however, their errant statuses in no way invalidate their votes. Like any politician, Obama will gladly take 'em where he can get 'em. And I'm pained to say, he'll get 'em from many, many Catholics.

In the last ten years especially, we have seen our Church deftly wield the power of PR. And yet, when it comes to Obama and his unwavering support of abortion, Church communication has been tepid. As such, it does appear that Catholic leaders have been hesitant to put more of their own skin in the game. And because of it, we repeatedly witness Catholic Christians badly losing their way. It is a certainty that any Catholic committed to Obama's campaign has strayed from the core teaching of the Church. The thing is, I'm not at all convinced that these Catholics, brothers and sisters in our own parishes, are even aware that their pro-Obama support is tantamount to a repudiation of Catholic Doctrine. We're told during Lent that a complete refusal to fast and to sacrifice as directed is seriously sinful. And yet, similar direction with regard to withholding our vote from a politician known to actively support the death of hundreds of thousands of human beings, is often voiced in timid and unenthusiastic tones.

I'm thrilled that at least one daring Catholic man-of-the-cloth is willing to make the matter perfectly clear... Better late than never, anyway.

I've often said that we can learn much from our Evangelical friends. We have grown accustomed to their ability to form a united and consistent voting block--one that repeatedly influences and perhaps even sways electoral outcomes at every level. If most American Catholics voted in alignment with Church teaching on the issue of life, Obama's chances for winning in November would be non-existent. This cohesion, this much coveted solidarity, is a worthy goal but has been utterly elusive.

We have much work to do. Let's all put some skin in this game--even if the topic is uncomfortable and perceived as overly controversial. When we remain silent, and I mean any and all of us, the reality is that children die.

Over and over again.

Mommy's One-Liner Hall of Fame

"This aint no Etch-A-Sketch.That's one doodle that can't be un-done homeskillet!"
-From "Juno", Screenplay by Diablo Cody

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The T-Shirt Says It All

courtesy of Zazzle

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Palin Sanctioned ?

Alaska Panel Says Palin Abused Power In Firing?

To that I say...So what? Frankly, I would have done the same thing. If I knew that my ex-brother-in-law had tasered a 10-year old boy, I too would have done everything in my power to see the guy out-the-door. And if his boss didn't want to oust the creep, he'd be gone too. Apparently, that's the way it happened. Oh well.

I agree with Oracle. Palin's got testicular fortitude. You know...balls. I'm not looking for a squeaky clean do-gooder who follows every rule in the book. For that matter, I'm fairly certain that such a person couldn't accomplish anything in our system of government. If anything, this just further confirms that she does the right thing despite legislative minutia enacted to protect the status quo. ABC News reported that the sanction in question imperiled her status as a reformer. If anything, it seems to me that it CONFIRMED her status has a reformer.

You just have to see past the main stream media's "spin". By the way, is it just me or does this "sanction" seem particularly well timed?

We're in the home stretch. Let's not get side tracked by these trumped-up diversions.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Most Crucial Election Issue

I have often heard..."Why do YOU PEOPLE make abortion the number one issue in every election?" I've spoken and blogged about this at length so I won't reinvent that wheel on this post.

This video, however, speaks volumes. It's powerful and unequivocal. Mind you, it is not politically correct. But the piece truly and clearly delineates the position that the Church has taken on this and other issues. As Catholic Christians, we are called to elect leaders who will uphold the basic tenants of our doctrine. It's just that simple.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Getting Down To Business

Yesterday, Oracle and I were more than a little deflated about the prospects of the upcoming presidential election. McCain has a major hill to climb...largely because many voters are choosing to associate his policies with those of George W.'s train wreck. With Bush leading the charge, the House and Senate passed the mother-of-all economic bail-out bills--with the intent of restoring confidence on Wall Street and re-invigorating grid-locked credit markets across the globe. So far, this hap-hazard, ill-conceived scheme has created a mere ripple in our current cesspool of an economy. For $700 go-zillion, the U.S. tax payer is entitled to a tsunami of relief. C' and I know that the tidal wave 'aint coming folks. With nearly 100+ leading economists clearly stating that this spending orgy will only delay the economic pain that we must endure anyway, it seems clear that we've been had. What we bought, friends, is what the old timers used to call a pig-in-a-poke. This little piggy is gonna soak us for a long time indeed.

So, out of sheer anger alone, I'm not willing to give up. John McCain has got his detractors among the core base. No doubt. But if you think this latest government boondoggle is a mere stone's throw from a centralized economy, just wait until Barry and Company get a chance to impose their Michael Moore-esque policies on the misty-eyed proletariat. Celebrities who insist on using three names will be downright miffed by the change in cadence when COMRADE is added to their highly crafted monikers. Comrade Evan Rachel Wood. Comrade Robert Downey Jr. Hmm. Not quite the same ring, I dare say.

OK...I'm being snarky. Do I really think Obama is a card carrying communist of the Trotsky ilk? Of course not. But do I think that he has an elitist mentality? Yes! Do I think that he will impose a bevy of burdensome regulations on business and the free economy? Yes! Will he tax everything that moves? Yes! Does he value individual freedom over group think? No. Does he have ANY experience that lends itself to resolving the most fierce economic crisis to be seen in decades, perhaps in our lifetime? No, no. no.

So yes, McCain and Palin have election catch-up work to do. A lot of it. But the race is not over. Not by a long shot.

Four weeks left. A lot can happen.

Let's get crackin'.

World's CUTEST Car

Y'all know I luvs me some vehicles!

A few forward thinking townsfolk have buzzed by in these cuties.

They're called SmartCars, I'm told.

If you've been to Europe, especially Italy, you know that they have similar cars all over the place. Not sure if the trend will take hold here in the U.S. but something tells me it just might. After all, no one really expected the VW New Beetle nor the Mini Cooper to have the long term appeal that both mega compacts have enjoyed. (I really miss my 2000 New Beetle manual 5-speed turbo. But I sold it to a dear friend in the Bay Area who reports it is still going strong with well over 100K miles!)

We'll have to keep this chunky little car on the mommy radar screen. (FYI: the scaled down coupe starts at around $12K and the cabriolet starts at $16K. When is the last time you heard car numbers that low--for something that has this much style. And, incredibly, the safety ratings are surprisingly high. Amazing.

We love, love, love.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

For What It's Worth

"Loved the wedding. How about inviting me to the marriage?" - God

(author unknown)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Prayers Please

Dear Friends,

Once again, I ask for your help. Our family faces yet another loss.

...My dear Aunt Melody is quickly losing her battle with ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease...For the days or hours that remain of her fifty-seven years, please join me in prayer for her journey home. Pray for courage, for peace, and for an end to her suffering...I have no doubt that God is near. When we parted this August, I told her that very, very good things awaited her. I'm not sure she believes this and I cannot imagine enduring a very painful death without the comfort and assurance that our Faith brings. So mostly, I pray that she will feel His Grace and lose her fear...and her doubt.

If you can, take a moment to listen to "Prayer" by Gina Loring. It's a perfect and beautiful sentiment for anyone who feels doubt and needs His reassurance.

(Thanks Gina. Your voice is from Heaven above.)

Update: Melody passed on this evening. Thank you for all of the e-mail and your commitment to prayer. Her children and husband will continue to need our prayers as they cope with this loss.