I've been enjoying Father's blog. And Adder's, even though each post notes that he's thinking about posting, but still isn't quite ready. He won't be a trial lawyer, folks.
Speaking of Jews (and Muslims), check out Anne Wilson's statistics.
Christian libertarian Doug Bandow's column, "Crackpot theology makes bad foreign policy," questions the religious beliefs that motivate many U.S. Christians' support for Israel. While the title is a bit much, I sympathize with the issues he raises. Does anyone have any better defenses for U.S. support for Israel? E-mail them to me and I'll link them (with helpful glosses, natch.)
From Wired: "Nearly half of the FBI's 26,000 desktop computers are outdated, and most of its offices share 56K connections to the main FBI network, making the downloading of a digital photograph a nice afternoon's work. These days, data mining at the FBI is the task of about 1,000 of the bureau's 28,000 employees, who sift by hand through information collected by field agents ... And until about five years ago, the FBI's database consisted of 3-by-5 index cards stored in gray metal file cabinets in field offices and at headquarters."
At the Center is a magazine designed for pregnancy assistance center staff.
This commercial for new GE ultrasound technology is pretty amazing, and demonstrates clearly the power of ultrasound in bonding parents to children before birth. Of course, this movie has testified to the power of ultrasound for some time.
"En arche en ho blogos." I love it. Welcome, Cacciaguida, to the time-suck of blogdom.
Note to Eve, who's happy about a WP report that the birth rate has dropped: unless the abortion rate simultaneously has stayed the same or dropped, it's bad news. In this case, the Post doesn't mention it, which is not a good sign.
Here's a reasonable, down-to-earth site for teens who are or wonder if they are gay or lesbian. It's a hard subject to address properly - see what you think.
I am trying to create an About Zorak page and am typically finding it hard to describe myself, but here goes. Apologies for the annoying pop-up ad.
Also, the blogstickers on the page are fun. They remind me of Eve's blog-ified song lyrics.
Weird, but Creative:
The Michigan Democratic Party is accusing state Republican leaders of planting fake Democratic candidates in eight Senate races to force legitimate Democrats into primary contests.
"Currently, preteens are presented with a laundry list of dreadful things that can happen to them if they smoke pot, do 'club drugs' like ecstasy, or venture as far afield as heroin. Trouble is, the scare campaign lasts only until kids start to observe drugs in action among their peers. When, at age 12 they are told unequivocally that smoking pot ruins your life, that cocaine is instantly addictive and that MDMA will kill you, they believe it. And they will believe it up until the exact moment when their older brother's friend starts smoking dope, to no immediately perceptible harm."
Stanley Kurtz at NR Online - I've included the best part:
"After Vatican II, and in conformity with the broader cultural changes of the Sixties, the U.S. Catholic Church allowed homosexuals to enter the priesthood in increasing numbers. .... Imagine that an opponent of this new openness to homosexuals in the priesthood had uttered a warning cry. Imagine that someone had said, back in the 1970s, when homosexuals were flooding into Catholic seminaries all over the U.S., that substantial numbers of gay priests, far from accepting the rule of celibacy, would deliberately flout that rule, both in theory and in practice. Suppose that someone had argued that homosexual priests would gain control of many seminaries, that many would openly 'date,' that many would actively cultivate an ethos of gay solidarity and promote a homosexual culture that would drive away heterosexuals — especially theologically orthodox heterosexuals — from the priesthood. Suppose this person went on to argue that, at its extreme, the growing gay subculture of the priesthood would tolerate and protect not only flagrant violations of celibacy, but even the abuse of minors. Then suppose that this person predicted eventual public exposure of the whole sordid mess, an exposure that would precipitate a crisis within the Church itself.

Naturally, anyone prescient — and foolish — enough to say all of these things in the wake of the Sixties would have been excoriated and ostracized as a hysterical gay-hater. It is simply bigoted, he would have been lectured, to claim that large numbers of homosexuals would take the vow of celibacy without making a good-faith effort to adhere to it; and even more so to claim that gay priests would embark on a campaign to deliberately subvert the Church's sexual teachings. And surely our foolish (and hysterically homophobic) friend would have been assured that an institution like the Catholic priesthood would attract only the most conservative homosexuals, not a bunch of 'queer' radicals. Besides, even if a very few homosexuals did go so far as to actually abuse the children who had been given into their care, surely the number of such cases could never rise to the point where the stature and credibility of the Church itself would be put into doubt."
Gets better. Read the whole thing. Twice.
John Bloom understands why I don't read a lot of books these days.
Gerard Serafin also has a A Catholic Blog for Lovers! Should be a good site to watch as it evolves.
My husband, who hates the pandas at the National Zoo, notes that the Washington Metro site features a picture of "a panda about to eat the White House."
Zorak's husband: "You have two modes: irony and manipulation."
Zorak: "Now, honey, that's not really fair, is it?"
Zorak's husband: "See, you're manipulating me right now."
My husband is doing lots of reading for his comprehensive exams in theology, and noted that his mind has begun to confuse the thinkers Karl Rahner and Bernard Lonergan into one name: Rahnergan. He thinks the Rahnergan should be the subject of a Lewis Carroll poem, which would include the line: "Beware the Rahnergan!" If you pressure him, he might write the poem on his blog.
So who's naming all these new companies, and what on earth are they thinking?
Schadenfreude: AOL Time Warner Execs Admit Missteps. I've got to get in on these shareholders' meetings, if they really let you yell at powerful executives as described in the article.
Go Michelle Malkin! So, so right on on the topic of cigarette taxes "funding" terrorists.
Issue in 2 Death Sentences: Judge's Drug Use
I don't know what I think of the cases, but it's an interesting question. It seems the appellants should be required to show an actual faulty judgment, rather than just hypothesizing one from the judge's drug use.
Gerard Serafin has a growing list of Catholic blogs. And if you're feeling blue, check out his heartwarming Catholic page for lovers.
Amy Welborn has a post on the worst songs heard at Mass, especially during the Eucharist. After reading it, scroll up for some additions. My husband has heard Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" during the Eucharist. I haven't heard anything like this myself, but I will never forget the time St. Matthew's had an African piece with loud bongo drums banging during the Eucharist. I tried to pray and couldn't, it was so loud.
Today is my birthday, or more accurately my hatching day. Why not give the gift that keeps on giving - a hyperlink?
My husband says that robot-assisted surgery is "one step away from devil worship." He's a joy in the doctor's office waiting room.
Blogging is my anti-drug
This story is a thought-provoking read on one young man's chastity. From the Mars Hill Review.
Martin Roth was kind enough to link to me. He has a nice article on Christian blogs as well as a semi-definitive list of them.
What Blogs are For
After blogging for a bit and reading other people's blogs, here's a thought on how they work, (which may only be relevant to anonymous blogs like my own):

Bloggers do not seem to blog about the projects or issues they are concerned with in work/school. Instead, they write about the things they care about, that may be only somewhat related to how they are earning a living or their major goals in life. (This doesn't mean they don't care about their goals, only that there may be a number of passions which aren't all vocation-related.) For example, my husband's Loverman post. Clearly, it's not related to systematic theology, but he's thought a lot about it. If not for the blog, where would this thought find an outlet? In "casual" conversation with other theology students? Mmm, no. Maybe with a professor? Doubt it. Even a conversation with a good friend probably would not get around to the insight about Metallica's "Loverman," and would not have the ability to go through the whole song, verse by verse.
Blogs are able to provide an outlet for all these other interests and thoughts we have, which aren't exactly "relevant" to what we're doing, but want to be free.
Here's a new blog by a canon lawyer who seems to spend most of his time processing annulments. Hope this develops into a commentary on canon law for us non-canonists.
The Washington Post has an interesting story on the difference between "African-Americans" and actual Africans. I'm not sure it adequately represents the distaste some black Africans have for American blacks, though.
Weird thing of the day:
The Georgia Guidestones.
Scientology cult pays $8,674,643 to ex-member to end 22-year legal battle.
Speaks for itself.
I think if I could adopt a complete stranger, one of the top candidates would be Peggy Noonan. Here's her latest column on why President Bush is well liked.
Quayle Loves "The Osbournes":
"In a weird way, Ozzy is a great anti-drug promotion. Look at him and how fried his brains are from taking drugs all those years and everyone will say, 'I don't want to be like that'."
-Dan Quayle
So this artist in L.A., fed up with a poorly marked exit lane, made his own sign to show the exit in time for motorists to change lanes appropriately. "Los Angeles artist and frustrated commuter" Richard Ankrom made the sign, to the exact specifications of the DOT's own signs, "as a benevolent gesture to guide motorists and to show that art has a legitimate place in society." Two cheers to this man, who, faced with interminable bureaucracy in asking for the signage to be improved, just did it himself. He calls it "Guerilla Public Service."
What's really scary is the number of times I check my own site to see if I've posted anything new.
Fr. Robert A. Sirico has a nice piece on the labor movement, tied into the death of "the labor priest," Msgr. Higgins.
Jay Mathews of the Washington Post has an interesting article, which I fully endorse, on where famous people went to college. Did you know that Peter Jennings is a high-school dropout?
A must-read: Abortion Advocates: The Real Perpetrators of Violence.
Here's a shout-out to my homie J-Dawg, who's got his own mad site. Keep it real, yo!
My husband and I have been fans of Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver for a long time. Here's why.
Bishops, media views of 'zero tolerance' create gap in perceptions: Good article that clears up some of the confusion about what the bishops are proposing.
In a recent study, more than 1,300 men and women in the UK over 16 years of age were asked to identify those events in life that represent transition into adulthood.
Regardless of age, the participants identified five important measures of adulthood:

-accepting responsibility for the consequences of actions;
-deciding on personal beliefs and values independently of parents or other influences;
-achieving financial independence from parents;
-becoming less self-oriented, and developing greater consideration for others;
-avoiding drunk driving.

I couldn't make this up if I tried.
Faye asks:
How often, when couples decide that they are going to stay together for the kids, does it actually end up working? And does it help or hurt the marriage to decide to try that approach?

Family Therapist William Doherty:
Deciding to stay together for the sake of the kids has gotten a bad rap in the past two decades. Obviously, if there is serious abuse going on, of if the family is a war zone, staying together does not help the kids.
But for most marriages, keeping the kids' needs in mind often gives the couple the time they need to work things out. There is new research evidence indicating that the vast majority of couples do get over even serious marital problems if they hang in there long enough.
Interesting article: Researcher: Vegetarian Diet Kills Animals Too
"Nobody's hands are free from the blood of other animals, not even vegetarians, he concluded. Millions of animals are killed every year, Davis says, to prepare land for growing crops, 'like corn, soybean, wheat and barley, the staples of a vegan diet.'"
Read this to learn how pitiful the D.C. Public Schools are.

-Average SAT Score = 822
-% of 9th graders reading at or above grade level = 25

No wonder the system is firing more than 1,000 central administrators this week. It's a good start.
The Washington Post has the best editorial so far on the rumors of Bill Clinton's potential talk show:
"This, after all, is the man who turned all of American politics into a talk show, with his trademark town meetings, his fervid emoting, his scandals, his denials, his tears, the lower lip. The man who made all of American life a talk show, really, compelling schoolteachers and highly paid defense lawyers alike to discuss the sort of nitty-gritty questions ('Is it adultery if . . .?') usually heard only on MTV's 'Loveline.'
In short, you have to admit Bill Clinton has the street cred. Like any great talk show host, he has the dysfunctional family history and a proven willingness to talk about it. The cyclical weight problems, always helpful (think Oprah, Rosie) in winning the sympathy of the daytime audience. And, of course, the garrulousness and the stamina . . .
As for real guests, what a range he could command. Kathleen Willey! Yasser Arafat! He could get Al Gore on; they could make up; cry; have a no-holds-barred discussion about male grooming and, if there was time left, the 2004 ticket."
Two searches that recently brought viewers to this page: under age latino chicks and female bulging muscles. Given how pervasive pornography is on the web these days, it's really pitiful that these people wound up on this page looking for it.
Read these important quotes from Margaret Sanger, the founder of the contraceptive movement. HLI also provides the context of these quotes.
While these statements by Sanger are one indication of the problems associated with contraception, the most important one is that our ability to reproduce isn't a defect or an illness to be medicated into submission.
Boundless is an interesting Christian webzine geared toward college students.
Cool Site to visit when you have 20 minutes to kill on a flash-enabled machine with speakers.
Thanks to Eve for the reference to Ben Domenech's quiz, "Which Presidential Hopeful Are You?" I'm John Kerry:

What if Groundhog Day were a religious ceremony?
In what possible sense can the term "sex scandal" be applied to the writer of the lyrics "I don't see nothin' wrong/ with a little bump n' grind?"
I will live forever.