"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Most Likely to Succeed at Making You Smile

Ripley graduated from Puppy Toddler class tonight. Her mama is so proud. She has 'sit,' 'down,' and 'come' mastered, though she also appreciates the value of her free will and sometimes chooses not to respond. She was by far the best looking dog in the class too, which we all know counts for a lot in this world.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm gonna pop!

Remember that scene in the Matrix after Neo gets rescued from the human-powered electric plant, and he just can't process the difference between the real world and the land of computer make-believe, and he barfs and passes out?

I had a moment of feeling a little bit like that when I read this on the McCain website:
The pro-life movement has done tremendous work in building and reinforcing the infrastructure of civil society by strengthening faith-based, community, and neighborhood organizations that provide critical services to pregnant mothers in need.
Is he talking about civil society in the United States? A quarter or more of children in rural and inner-city communities are living below the poverty level. A QUARTER. 23 - 25%. In Mississippi (ironically, the home base of the dear ol' American Family Association), it's 35%. Maybe the pro-life movement just hasn't gotten around reinforcing the infrastructure of civil society in Mississippi. Or maybe I have a different understanding of the word "tremendous." Or maybe the "life" in pro-life means something a lot more specific than what it sounds like.

Or maybe McCain - Palin are agents of the Machines, and Obama is the One. McCain = Machines, Obama = One. Coincidence?

Oh, I'm sure all the well-schooled evangelicals will recall that Bible story about McCain and Abel, how he flew off the handle in a fit of jealousy and killed his brother, and then lied about it when asked what happened. Oh...I said McCain when I meant Cain. I'm sorry. John McCain flies off the handle, but as far as I know he's never killed any relatives, just yelled and called them nasty names. No real harm in that.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe...

McDonalds has really, really pissed off these folks in Mississippi because now the company is, as I understand this report, actively trying to turn all its employees gay(!!) and pays them to get sex change operations. Because all that sort of thing goes together, like parts of an Extra Value Meal.

Read it straight from the horse's... whatever:

A document shows McDonald's requested a 10% "group discount" to a recent pro-homosexual training seminar. Eligibility to receive the discount required "groups of 15 or more registrants for the full price 3-day (Out & Equal 2008 Workplace) Summit."

McDonald’s applied for the special "discount code" off the regular registration price of $775 per person. The registration price did not include the employee's air travel, hotel and meal expenses.

The conference, held in Austin, TX, was designed to train employees how to effectively advance homosexuality in the workplace and to persuade top corporate officials to embrace the lifestyle by offering special recognition and benefits to gay employees.

For example, McDonald's health benefits package includes full coverage for sex-change procedures, post-operative recovery, and mental health counseling throughout the process.

Wow! Special recognition and gay benefits. If only I'd known way back when I made different career choices. All the health food stores and the organic produce distributor I worked for didn't have special benefits, even though I worked for a number of top corporate officials who had obviously embraced the lifestyle. I feel like I was cheated.

the casserole gene

This time last year I was pretty laid up with my knee in a big brace, but enjoying the luxury of a hotel and my mom's TLC which in some ways makes it a rather pleasant memory (being on drugs helped too). After my mom had to go home and I was at least able to get up the stairs to my condo, H stayed for a couple days and between the two of them I had food for the next two months.

I'm seeing how good I really had it. My roommate had knee surgery today on his torn medial and lateral meniscii. Lucky for him they didn't have to take a piece of him from somewhere else to fix his knee, so hopefully the recovery will be easier, and he doesn't have to wear a brace. His pain pills aren't as strong as mine were (though it would be interesting to see a study on who gets prescribed what doses in what circumstances). He might not be doing so well in the morning. At any rate he's basically trapped here because he won't be able to get down the stairs, having just managed to climb up with his girlfriend and me spotting him. His mom doesn't seem to be available. [I had very strong pain pills AND my mom. I was so lucky!] For various reasons, staying at his girlfriend's house was not an option for him, so there he is on the couch with his knee all wrapped up. The least I could do was cook something.

I didn't actually bake a casserole. But I made a good pasta dinner with a jar of tomatoes my mom canned last year (the last one, I think), veggies, frozen meatballs and salad. It was one of the more balanced dinners I've managed to cook for myself recently too, and it made me feel lucky all over again.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Universe According to Sarah Palin

Did you know that in her free time, when not on the campaign trail or being a loving mom to her five children, Sarah Palin enjoys clubbing baby seals and shooting wolves from low-flying aircraft? With a high-caliber rifle she learned to use in the family's stay at a right-wing militia retreat. She said a lot of compelling things in her convention speech and later condensed versions of it, so it's easy to forget the part where she informed the crowd that the earth is actually flat and located at the center of the galaxy, and the sun moves around it as is obvious to anybody who watches the sky, and was met with cheers and chants of "Flat! Flat! Flat!"

It's such a relief to make up whatever stories you like about other people and yourself and without concern for accuracy. I'm learning from Sarah Palin already, that if a fact doesn't serve your purpose, out with it! Make a new one. Either that, or just stick with the script they give you even if it means you will have to utter boldfaced lies. I hope her kids have picked up on these principles too, as they need to soak up as much of their mother's wisdom as they can during the brief periods that she'll actually be seeing them.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Another Big Gay Mac Attack

I'm continuing to find my American Family Association action alerts a source of considerable entertainment. The last one included a statement from Brian Unger, McDonald's Senior VP of something or other, excerpted and bolded in such a way as to imply that McDonald's is trying to make more people gay:

In January, McDonald’s paid for travel and accommodations for 56 employees to attend the “Pioneer Summit” in San Diego. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a plan to promote the gay agenda within the company. Those attending were thrilled that McDonald’s showed such support for their agenda.
“It was truly inspiring to see McDonald’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender members come together to share heartfelt, personal stories about their journeys, challenges and personal reflections. Better understanding these journeys … will help us better grow our people in the restaurants and across the company,” said Brian Unger, senior vice president.

AFA has asked McDonald’s to remain neutral in the culture battle – to neither oppose nor support the gay agenda. McDonald’s has refused, choosing to support those groups and individuals promoting the gay agenda — including homosexual marriage. A McDonald’s official (Bill Whitman) went so far as to say that those who oppose the gay agenda are motivated by hate.

(Exactly as it appeared on the AFA website except for the lavender text color that I added for contrast.) I can see how upsetting this all is...to be accused of hatred. What exactly does it mean to be hateful? (I could go on a tangent about the burgeoning use of the word 'hater,' as in 'don't be a hater,' and how it's almost but not quite up there with the expression 'my bad' on my list of trendy expressions that I hate. Or, I mean, I'm just standing up for my belief in traditional English and I'm fearful of its deterioration.)

Monday, September 01, 2008

vanity press

I gave up on the online karaoke sometime back because I couldn't get the vocals to synch up with the music. This is way more fun.

"Save Me a Saturday Night" (Neil Diamond)

"My Friends" (Red Hot Chili Peppers)