Archive for February 2010
The example of a Croatian cardinal who first defied Hitler to save Jews and then resisted Communists to protect the faith is a model in a society marked by an aggressive secularism that seeks to silence believers, says an auxiliary bishop of Westminster. – Zenit
. . . So I was a little surprised when, out of the blue, I got an email from “Sarah Bennett” at a UK-based company called Linkstar Media seeking to place a handful of text ads on my site.
Sure, I said, I’d be happy to take some of your money. But first, could you tell me a little more about Linkstar?
You’d think the answer to that question would be simple. It wasn’t. The more information I sought, the more elusive it became.
After I pressed Sarah to tell me what kinds of ads they had in mind, who their advertisers were, if they are an affiliate-based ad company, and who actually owned Linkstar, her supervisor “Steve Martins” replied and said Linkstar was no longer interested in advertising on my site. – Dan Tynan
I, too, was a little surprised recently when I received a similar overture from “Sarah Bennett.” The initial pitch seemed reasonable enough, but the text of the proposed “ad” made no sense at all, and a quick search (by my even-more-skeptical wife) turned up the article linked above. Oh well. Could have used the money.
Above is a picture of an actual St. Joseph Altar from a Lions Club in Harahan, Louisiana, where I grew up. Eleven years ago, my wife created the world’s first Virtual St. Joseph Altar. Drop by and learn more about this unique Sicilian/Orleanian custom, make a virtual offering to St. Joseph, add the names of deceased loved ones to the prayer list, etc.
Feel free to publish, post, or pass on Your Weekly Politickle by F.R. Duplantier:
At the Winter Olympics, aghast,
All the skiers see someone fly past;
They’re left out in the cold
As Obama gets gold:
No one’s ever gone downhill so fast!
From the archive:
If unfailing commitment’s the thing
From which ultimate victories spring,
Then the spectators know
That the medals should go
To the Christians who live in Beijing.
YEAR OF THE RATS
Snowstorm and earthquake and flood,
Protest and riot and blood,
Algae in water,
Locust on order:
Chinese Olympics big dud.
Last week’s verse:
AN INCONVENIENT MIRTH
With the waning of warming pretense
Putting climate change on the defense,
Humbugs have a new hoax:
The world’s threatened by jokes
Being made at the humbugs’ expense.
Here’s an interesting post on the Cliff Notes for The Education of Henry Adams. A passage in which Adams is clearly lamenting the stifling of the religious impulse is perversely interpreted as being a celebration of the same. The poster notes that she has encountered such anomalies in Cliff Notes before and wonders if others have noticed this phenomenon.
I can remember having this same reaction as a kid, experiencing it with ever greater frequency as I got older. The teacher says the story is about such and such, but it really seems to be about quite the opposite. The news reader on TV says something means this, but it really seems to mean that. It got worse in college and graduate school.
But it didn’t even begin to dawn on me that I was being flat out lied to until I listened in on the radio broadcast of the Democratic Convention in 1976 (I didn’t own a television at the time). I had been a liberal in high school and college, a radical even, and had not yet begun my reluctant move to the right. I tuned in to the Democratic Convention because I was, or thought I was, a Democrat.
Barbara Jordan was giving the keynote address. I listened — for 20 excruciating minutes — to the most pompous, stilted, overwrought, platitudinous address I’d ever heard in my life. Finally, I turned the radio off in disgust. It was an aesthetic reaction, mind you, not ideological. I have no recollection of the content of the speech.
I waited 20 minutes or so before turning the radio on again. When I did, I was shocked to hear the anchor people marveling at what a magnificent speech they’d just heard. At first, I thought they must be talking about someone else. Barbara Jordan must have finished and the person following her must have been quite the orator. But no, they were talking about Jordan.
How could that be? Hadn’t we heard the same speech? How could our wildly different reactions be a simple difference of opinion? Were they insane? Was I insane?
In retrospect, it seems so obvious to me; but, back then, I honestly didn’t know the answer. I didn’t realize that we were being conditioned to have the “acceptable” opinion: The favored people are wonderful, no matter how they may seem lacking; the disfavored ones are awful, regardless of their apparent merits. As I commented on the post linked above, “They tell us what to think and most of us oblige.”
I’m not one of the obliging ones. I fight back, whenever and wherever I can. When I find a politically correct definition in our dictionary, for instance, I amend it. I cross out the misinformation and write an honest entry in the margin. I do this in ink, because it’s my book and I have a right to fix the errors in it.
When I encounter an ideologically motivated commentary in our movie review book, I make the necessary changes to bring it into compliance with truth and decency.
To my great delight, I’ve discovered that my older children have adopted my tactics. These are little things, of course, and only a sampling of my efforts as a counter-change agent — but, little by little, we’ll counter-change the world and the Truth will out.
The class action suit, Robbins v. Lower Merion School District, alleges that 1,800 students were provided with laptop computers equipped with webcams which — unbeknown to the students or their parents — could be activated at any time by teachers and school administrators to spy on the students and their families in their homes. – Law.com