Short Takes on the Day, 03/21/09

bballIt’s the beginning of March Madness, and we are deeply ensconced in the games. We are through the first round and today we begin the second. Being a graduate of MSU, I have a dog in the race, but of course many others I root for. The upsets have been fast and furious this year, much better than last, when the whole thing seemed a yawner to me.

No matter, this is not about basketball, but we are returning after a hiatus of sorts to the “Short Take” format. I never intentionally left, but it can be a tiresomely pedantic post to write, and I prefer the subject matter types.

A bit about how I do this, which has changed recently and will, hopefully explain why my visits to your blogs is a bit disjointed and irregular. (forgetting of course the week+ without computer capability and the oh so old story of dial up slowwwwwwness).

I use a reader, Google to be specific, and daily, I arrive to find 1000+ waiting for me. The reader doesn’t identify past 1000, so I have no idea how many really. I hit show all, and proceed to go through them as presented, latest first. I proceed in this manner, starring items that I find interesting but don’t seem to generate a full post in my head, until something does, and then write. What is starred remains for another day. As I run into a blogger friend, I read, and then bring up the website if I have a comment to leave.

I used to set aside specific time to read friends blogs, and leave comments, but found all too often that I ran out of time, and some people seemed to be perennially left out. If I’m searching for a blog idea, I start usually with the “political” ones and proceed. This meant I missed a lot of good “religious” stuff, and well, science and so forth.

This way, its indiscriminate and everything gets a fair chance to come across my eyeballs.  As I said, before, there were sources, yours and professional ones that I was consistently missing. At the end of the day, I mark everything I don’t get to as read, and start again the next day. That can be problematical. If you generally post in the early evening, you end up at the end of the list, since I clear at 5:30 Central DST. Thus, I may still miss you a lot, but never fear! Weekends are much better, and I can often get through everything! So hopefully, I’ll see you there if not during the week.

Anyway, I found my starred box getting full, so here’s a potpourri of stuff, some of which you might find interesting, informative or amusing. Some of it is just plain weird!

brit-humeWe start with the amusing and always snooty, Mr. Brit Hume, who was receiving a award (Wm. F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence) from the conservative group, Media Research Center.

Mr. “fair and balanced,” warned that as blogging increased, the idea of fair and balanced was errr, threatened? Gasp, we are in danger of being presented news that is biased? and presents only one “political point of view?”

Oh gosh, scary huh? I’m thinking that Hume should have been presented with the chutzpah award for “saying things with a straight face”. With thanks to Think Progress,  follow the link for all the details. And shake your head, I mean really Brit, you can’t really say that with a straight face can ya?

~~~

As long as we are on the subject of wingnuttery, and we were, don’t forget Glenn Beck, the new totally off the wall nut case at Foxy. It seems that the Missouri State Police worked up a profile of what an All-American terrorist might look like, and dang if it didn’t resemble some of our friends from the reactionary religious and otherwise right.

Well, Glenn got his shorts in a twist over that, and ponders what we are doing profiling honest Amarcans like that! Just another example of bad govement sneaking around and spying on good ole boys.

Glenn specializes in totally misunderstanding most of what he reads and then spewing it out as in his normal fear mongering way. Read this in full at Crooks & Liars.

~~~

If ya got some time, stop by Katie Schwartz’s blog. She received a “sisterhood” award. But she has a nice list of blogs that she adores. Many are old favorites and one’s a read anyway, but there were several I was unaware of, and Katie’s taste is well, good. So if you  want to add to the list of things you read daily, (and don’t we all) stop by and take a look.

I haven’t seen Katie posting a lot lately, but that may be more me than her. She is irreverent, witty and a great writer. Worth always reading!

~~~

Speaking of some of our favorite bloggers, Jennifer at In the Meantime . . . has some updates on the “Art Book Project” Paws for Charity, for breast cancer. Give her a look and see what you can do to help out.

~~~

If religious art is your thing, don’t miss the Episcopal Church’s Visual Arts online. This one features a favorite of mine, Tobias Heller, from In a Godward Direction. Tobias will direct link ya.

~~~

Okay, I promised you weird, and this would be the one. Alaska and Florida are considering banning bestiality by statute. Well, one we can see, I guess. After Sarah, we’ve all come to know that there are some might strange folks up in Alaska. As to Florida, hmmm,  does this have to do with dementia and failing eyesight? We aren’t sure, but seems both states are having epidemics of folks who are doing the nasty with animals, and some folks want ‘em locked up.

I can appreciate that. I’t creepy in the extreme without considering the poor exploitation of the animal. Beware, though examples used were a guide dog ( how damn unthankful can a person get?) and a goat!.

Seriously, I guess there is some strong correlation between abusing animals and abusing people. Sick it is.

~~~

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute offers you a civics test. The results which they list are discouraging, Most Americans score 49% as an average, while even the college educated get only 55%. I’m gonna take it a bit later when I finish with this.  We thank Theology Web for the heads up.

~~~

pope

Robert S. McElvaine, is the author of Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America, thinks its high time the Catholic Church impeach its pope and move into the 21st Century. He does examine a rather long list of gaffes,the latest of which has been lighting up the blogosphere.

Benedict, as you may have heard, has told the African continent, where he is on an official visit, that they should not use condoms because condoms only make the problem worse. This to a continent suffering terribly from the AIDS epidemic.

While I can follow the logic of Benedict’s argument, it is based on what everyone surely knows is simply not reality. People do not refrain from sex when faced with NO contraception. They do it anyway, and have since the dawn of man and woman. When the Vatican finally admits that NFP (Natural Family Planning) is nothing more than contraception under the table, offered to placate a congregation that was leaving in droves, then I might listen.

Whatever you might think, the article is worth a look. Even the Vatican is beginning to worry.

~~~

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22 comments on “Short Takes on the Day, 03/21/09

  1. Chani says:

    Well, I will solve part of the problem. I really don’t want to have to compete for your attention that way. I kind of like interaction.. so I’ll remove my blatherings from your list – thus solving some of your problem.

    Best to you…. I’ve really enjoyed your posts! You write some awesome things!

    ~*

  2. Kvatch says:

    Today I heard that Il Papa admonished us all to beware of sorcery. Way to go Benedict! Lay those ‘out of touch with the 21st century’ fears to rest once and for all!

  3. Sherry says:

    Chani, I’m sorry, but I don’t understand at all what you mean. I meant no kind of offense to anyone :(

    Indeed Kvatch, he did advise African Catholics to help their brethren from their concerns about sorcery and bad spirits. He’s battling some difficulties there since I think like some in Asia, they tend to marry Catholicism to the practices they have used for centuries. It makes for a strange amalgamation that I think is fine, but I suspect some Catholics don’t care for it.

  4. Chani says:

    No offense taken. I just realize that it is not possible to have a reciprocal blogging relationship with you. You made it very clear that you have so many things to read that most of us will be either left out or marked as “read”, not quite able to get your attention, I guess unless we are willing to compete for it. I’d rather spend my time with those who have the time and desire to share ideas and reciprocate. I have no interest in competing or taking my time with people who don’t come back.

    I understand that’s not everyone’s priority. I make no judgments.

    ~*

  5. Sara says:

    Hi Sherry,

    Thanks for mentioning the Paws For Charity Art Book Project! It should be available for ordering shortly…and ALL profits are being donated to breast cancer charity. Some remarkable photos and artwork for dog and cat lovers submitted by artists in the US, UK, and Canada.

  6. Sherry says:

    You bet Sara, happy to broaden the knowledge. :)

  7. Sherry says:

    Chani, sorry you have decided to interpret it that way. Blessings to you. I certainly don’t intend to stop reading your posts and commenting when I can.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Sherry,
    Thanks for the mention and the link. It is much appreciated!

    I know how you feel about the overwhelming amount of stuff to read on these here internets. I’ve been behind for about a month and recently took a deep breath and clicked “mark all as read” on my reader. Whew!

    Fun link to the civics quiz. Thank goodness I scored above average!

    I haven’t forgotten your offer of providing some spiritual guidance. I’ll let you know when I am ready. Thank you. :-)

  9. Sherry says:

    Jennifer, I’m rather afraid to leave several thousand build up in mine, afraid it might blow up. It’s just that I have more than 50 “Personal” blogs plus more than 100 political, science, religion blogs. Huffington alone often does more than 300 per day. So I am afraid to let them build up, afraid it will lock up the computer or something.

    I appreciate that everyone is busy and no doubt will get busier as the summer approaches. I’m getting more and more involved with Church activities and that’s another big claim on my time.

    I will do whatever I can Jen as you need or desire regarding walking with you for a while on your journey. Just ask when you feel it’s right!

    Blessings,

  10. Jan says:

    I was interested to read how you get blogging topics and also how you read so many–or snippets of the multitudes. Good idea; as I just sometimes get overwhelmed and avoid everything.

    I’m glad you recommended the EVCA online exhibit. They are beautiful.

    Thanks for all the links, too, as always.

  11. Sherry you are a wonderful blogger, with great taste in blogs. I always feel honored when you visit me at Border Explorer. There are a million reasons to visit irregularly, and so many great & interesting blogs out there. Thanks for sharing what you’ve discovered.

    I’m just listening to Karen Armstrong on Bill Moyers Journal. She says: “The Pope is the world’s last, great, absolute monarch. He not only controls doctrinal and spiritual affairs, but also the political, social and economic fortunes of his church. And because he’s believed to be directly guided by God, his decisions have the ring of absolute truth, which is strangely out of kilter with the democratic tenor of today’s world.”

  12. Sailka says:

    Sherry, I’ve praised you very highly, but you’ve returned to your Free sex with anybody, anytime attitudes, and false Papal Bashings I’ve corrected you on before. So here go The Facts Again (Facts, not Spins):

    (1) The Pope is tjhe absolute Opposite of a Monarch. His Life as Pope is to Teach, Preach, Reason Practising Morality, not our self centered odd ideas, like unlimited Sex. Do you think that using Rubbers makes it OK for old men to have sex with 13 year olds? Innocence, Morality, Idealism, True Love (Which Is Mind/Soul/Friebndship contact, to complete in Marriage, and lifetime together, And Trying to save oneself for one’s spouse. That where a Vast number olf my Catholics friends have been, and are living the Ideal Results thereove, in Ideal, Idealistic large familes, with ideal Children’s attitudes.

    (2) Cheap sex is Using another for one’s own gratification. Ignoring the Person, Focused on Sexual Gratification. Banned in most all principal Religions.
    What do we think the Commandment not to cherish another’s wife leaves it ok to try to trick 13-15 year old girls or boys into sex is OK, as long as one uses condomns to prevent disease and pregnancy?

    (3) You Totally, absolutelly ignore what the Pope, and principal Religions Like Catholicism teach: Abstinence. No Intercourse, especially with the young, until Committed to ONE Lifetime, And Mature enough To commit. Marriage is the Binder to One.

    (4) Not aware the Abstinece from Casual Sex is the Only way to fight AIDS, And Sexual Diseases?

    (5) Not aware Why One African Country some years ago had the Lowest AIDS Rate? Because ideal Catholic/Christian/Moral Abstinence from Sex. As I recall it was Uganda. I know Ugandans who Confirmed that.

    (6) Natural Family Planning (NFP) Must not be spun Falselly” It is All Scientific Measuring the Woman’s Fertility Level (Honoring Her Womanhood) for the Husband to Save his “Production” to an intenselly Romantic 10 Day Fullness level, resulting in Most ideal Natural Loving Jointly, Mutually. As I wrote before, I Live that lifestyle of Abstinence, And trying not to jerk off, which results my being considered The Most Masculine, Most Ideally Romantic Real Man, (And Potent Lover).

    (7) Bestiality is Strong sign of Very Serious Mental Health Problem. Would you want Your Husband, Boyfriend to waste his lust on a goat or dog? Doesn’t his love, And Affection, belong to One Human Female?

    (8) Haven’t heard of the Strong Split up of the Anglican/Episcoplaian Church because of the Moral approval of the living with Gay Bishop? Many Northern Virginia Episcopalian Churches have swithched to Traditional “High Church” Catholic practices, or even fundamentalist “The Word” Living Bible Morality Churches.

    (9) I have such Pastor Acquaintances I’ve organized Ecumenical Word/Worshipped joint Choir/Prayer, Bible readings with. They are now based on a Joint World Council of Churches, Vatican Program, Avoiding Dogmas and Church Practices. The 100th Anniversary Such was at Our Traditional Catholic Church last October. The Next one is at a local Baptist Church. (I got the participation of 9 Different Denominations: Methodist, Baptist, Orthodox, AME, Brethren, Historic Anglican, my Roman Catholic among them.

    (10) The Catholic Church teaches that Sorcery, living ones Own Ideas instead of Morality, Money and Wealth as a main focus of life abusingly to others are equivalents of ‘worshipping false gods’.

  13. Sailka says:

    (11) And the Pope does not “Control the doctrinal and spiritual affairs of the Church”. The Magesterium does. All Thousands of Bishops, as their predecessors, The Apostles did in deciding if converts follow the Jewish Law in Circumsciscion, “Washing the woman” afterr giving birth, etc, etc. No!

    (12) The Pope, again, Teaches by Reasoning the benefits of morality, not “I wanna have sex with”, etc, etc.

    (13) God said in 1 Timothy 3:15 that The Truth on Earth is in the Apostles and Church he initiated.
    Nowhere ever does the Bible, Or history, ever suggest that popular opnion or ‘democracy’ should overule God’s Laws, guidance.

  14. For an informed opinion that supports Pope Benedict XVI in his remarks about AIDS, see http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=15445.

    It’s an article about a Harvard researcher who has spent 25 years in AIDS prevention. Not the sort of thing one would expect from the liberal dogmatists at Harvard, but once in a while science triumphs the sort of liberal dogma you have reiterated.

  15. Sherry says:

    Jan, finding what to post each day is weird, sometimes I get ideas from the strangest places, often something I saw on TV or from Church, sometimes I struggle through dozens of blogs without finding anything, and sometimes the first one couples with something else, and serendipity wins another one and off I go. It’s not intelligible really, it just happens.

    I skimmed through nearly 400 blogs yesterday and only starred 2…so it goes to show, some days nothing clicks.

    I loved the art exhibit. Another lady at my church reads Tobias’s blog too, and so I told her about it.

  16. Sherry says:

    BE, thanks for the kind words. I’m always awed by your social justice conscience. You guys do the work I often feel, I just try to spread the word a bit. I also envy you living down in the warm country! LOL. But slowly things are getting better here in Iowa.

    I was just so shocked by your report on the “agent orange” crap at the border. I’m so angry at all this, and of course the ugly repercussions felt in Iowa at Postville I’m sure you are only too aware of.

    One of the things I love about my parish is the number of people who are truly appalled at our immigration policies and are so supportive the the Hispanic population.

  17. Sherry says:

    Sailka, I’m not as you put it for free sex with anybody and bashing of the Pope. I don’t think that is much of my business what other people do in private, and I REPORTED on what some are saying about the pope. I do agree that the Church is not being rational about this issue.

    Thanks for the separate e-mail. I thoroughly enjoyed the attachment.

    The problem we have is that speaking against contraception doesn’t stop sex. Never has, and never will. And in fact there is biblical reference to contraception–read about rachel and leah in Genesis. mandrake root was a contraceptive.

    No one is calling for contraceptives to give the okay to abuse children. That’s simply nonsense.

    Abstinence is fine, but it doesn’t stop sex. Studies show that children who take the purity pledge, hold off a mere 18 months before engaging in sex, and usually without safeguards so they get pregnant, abort, and contract STDS at a much higher rate than other teens.

  18. Sherry says:

    John Kippley, your site is a promotion of NFP, so I’m sure you would disagree with me. I’ve debated this issue a lot, and still have yet to get a convincing argument why this is different than outright contraception, beyond the usual non use of “artificial” means. I think God can pretty much get around what he wishes to. The fact remains both contraception and NFP has as their ultimate goal the control of the reproductive cycle.

    The point is, the desire in the hearts of both the contraceptor and the NFP user is to avoid pregnancy. God does judge the heart, so I believe.

    Frankly the article doesn’t explain much. And is somewhat contradictory. I don’t think anyone suggests that condom use alone is the panacea to AIDS, but it remains an important component. Every single discipline of science has some folks who take a 180 degree position from the majority. If there is truth to the researcher’s claims, no doubt they will prevail in the end. So far, the accepted science suggests that condom use is effective in preventing HIV infection. This does not, as I said, mean that it is the only solution, just part of it.

  19. Sailka says:

    Sherry, The Catholic Church is the Most Science, Fact, Morality, Reason Big Organization obn Earth. It is Very Most 21st Century. Ever watch EWTN? Mother Angelica’s Humor, the most ideal Answers to the biggest Problems, the greatest Wisdoms, the greatest Artistry in broadcasting Which even Commercial Media copied, etc, etc.

    Could you cite Any report that found that teens who took the Virginity pledge largelly Had sex, And got Pregnant or STD’s? I think that one-sided ‘study’ is a Phony, a Sham, to fight morality, Sell Fun, Drugs, Booze, Rubbers. Baasically, that ‘study’ is as Phony as the sky being green. I have had vast number of acquantances and personal knowledge that Abstinence is Ideal…..even for Engaged, sleeping together First time. I had 18 YO Baptist online Friend girl in LA online. Never been kissed. Baptist who Took the Pledge. She got engaged to her childhood classmate, who gave up the Air Force Academy appointment to Marry Her. She E-mailed me that they had slept on same bed, once, only touching, Not orgasming. Can Anything in the worl be more Romantic? She was Profoundly Christian, Baptist, Very Biblical. (And very Intelligent; Wish I could have married her).

    Rubbers Break. And they often don’t prevent STD’s, because not properly used. I’ve depised them because they so Phony, Big Business Unnatural Idea.

    Notice the numerous findings that Rubbers are BIG BUSINESS, And Cause more problewns than they solve, Including innocents becoming players, no longer capable of true soul love. Players are Losers, who “Pay the Price” in Middle age Drinking and Drug, etc, programs.

    Etc, Etc, Etc.

    A Founder of modern Psychology, perhaps even the “Issues Sexually” Sigmund Freund, who Wrote the Book on Analytical Psychology, Stated in the 1880’s in France that his Fewestr Percentile Mental Patients were Practising Catholics, who Lived the Faith, and whose Guilt for Sins was removed in the Confessional, by Christ, not the Priest. The Church teaches there is One Priest in the Universe: Christ. Priests, the Pope act On His Behalf. (And Confession of “Death In God” Serios sins like Murder, Fornication is Very Much Biblical: The Resurrected Lord Commisions the Apostles, And authorizes “Confession/Reconciliation” in Most clear John 20 : 23. Look at Context.

    Again, look at results: Lowest Mental Health Problem rate Among Fully Practising Catholics.

    And the National Council of Churches reported a few years ago that the Lowest Divorce Rate in the Country was about 6%, when Both go to Church regularly together. Same church. Higher divorce rate if different churches, slightly. But not 50%. One Tenth of Normal divorce rate if Same Churched, Living it.

    Please notice the Key Study by the Harvard University Specialist in AIDS Prevention, that very High “Rubberized”, Increased High AIDS rates turned to the Ideal “One Love, with One, Married; abstinence otherwise. Worked in Uganda Historically Untill the Condomns Big Business, Churches are obsolete Big Money moved in.

    What is Irrational, in your misunderstanding of Catholic and Big Church teachings, Sherry? I don’t want to be repetitive: The Church is All Science, Studies, Morality, Very Very Best advice, And the Only living All Bible Church on Earth, As it was written. Am about to write Major article that the Catholic Church is the Only, repeat Only Most Ideal, Most Idealistic Big organization on Earth. Unqualified. No Asterisk. Ideally Idealistic And Ideal.

    PS: A Catholic Priest Must have 3-4 years PostGraduate Education, as Job Requirement. Was Begun by Tibetan Monks, Millenia ago: The Highest Educatecd were Tibetan Monks.

    Ditto the West: Higher Education began in Europe and the USA as Seminaries (Harvard, Princeton); University of Padua, Paris, Oxford, Cambridge, to which some non-seminariabs were admitted in 1100’s, Later, resulting in Universities.

    The Born again dunking, few months learning to be Minister or Missionarry are Mightily lacking, every way.

  20. Sailka says:

    Sherry, John’s posting is No Way a promo for NFP. It Is a Detailed Report on use of Rubbers, By Big Business, in Africa, and 3 governments turning to One Love (Marriage) or abstinece. Preciselly what the Pope Preaches. Is Ideal, Every Way.

    NFP is opposite of Contraception: NFP is Abstinence by Both Man (Tough to for 10 days) and Woman During her scientifically proven Most Fertile Days.
    ContraCeption (Against Conceiving) is 100% Artificial chemical or other Barrier to fertilization.

    Quite Opposite was of avoiding pregnancy.

    How Romantic is popping pills to Kill new Fertilized Ova, or Prevent pregnancy? Where is the Romantic part?
    Where is the Morality in that.

    Often been said that Obama, Lincoln Churchill, Beethoven, Abe Lioncoln, Many Greats in History would not have been born, Not given a chance to Live Their ideal lives.

    By the way, Human Fetus has heartbeat at, what, 20 days? 10 Week old Fetus with Fingers shows Obvious great Hurt on face Being Aborted. Medical Research Medical Pic. Scientific Proof.

  21. Sherry says:

    Sailka, thanks by you’re never going to change my mind so I hate to see you expend so much time typing. I can assure you the study was from a scientific institute aligned with no manufacturer or such. The reason why states are opting out of abstinence only funding is that study after study shows it does not work. They are returning to full sex education because it does. While doing the abstinence only thing states saw their teen pregnancy rates soar and also their STD rates. you can search this site on abstinence and see the specific studies. I’ve written on this stuff before. It’s nothing new.

  22. Sailka says:

    Sherry, I don’t try to correct opinions. I only present The Facts, correct mistakes, mostly misunderstandings caused By personal prior attitude.

    It’s not “Abstinence Only”. That would never work.

    Proven Most superior is the 3 African Very High AIDS nations John F Kippley’s link to a lifetime Reducing AIDS Harvard Professor Results, and what Worked: One Lover!
    Isn’t that what every girl, and boy early, hopes for?
    Numerous studies show that Casual Sex, Too young, Massivelly reduce chances of One great Marriage.

    The USA Very High divorce rate of over 50% is a result of our Big Money promted “Have Fun, Party, Drink, Sex, Drugs” ‘culture.’

    Too early Sex by adult with Too Young girl is the Principal cause of Prostitution, Drug use copout, destruction of Their Potential.

    “Living Together First” before marriage is Proven Disaster, known by few: About 50% higher Violence/Divorce rates.

    One Lover Is The Proven model, Millenia. And best way to reduce AIDS/STD’s, mental problems.

    Facts, and Reason, and common sense Talk. Too many live with attitude of the Moment. Morality, Fairness Should be the Operative, I present. That is what true Churches, Experience Teach.

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