Talking with God -

Today my toe starting hurting - a little nerve went nuts and it just ached. I started complaining to myself about it, then I decided I needed to stop that. So I thought, "Ok, God, what are you trying to teach me?" And God said, "I'm trying to teach you that your toe hurts."

Please take a moment to pray for a private intention. THANKS!

The Trixie Update - a guy who has a ton of data on his kid. In part because he does not work outside the home. In part because he really likes data.
Landmark National Report Reveals 98% of High-School English Teachers Surveyed Believe Bible Literacy Gives Distinct Academic Advantage: "American high school students are deficient in their academic knowledge of the Bible, and it is limiting their ability to study literature and understand art, music, history, and culture, according to a new landmark national study of high school English teachers - funded by the John Templeton Foundation and published by the Bible Literacy Project."
Updated to add: The Bible Literacy Project also has a blog.
LILEKS (James) :: The Bleat: "The Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library - a group presumably formed to combat the work of their tireless foes, the Enemies of the Minneapolis Public Library..."
Trading Up - Where do baby names come from? By Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Premium Blend - Why is it so difficult to provide universal health care? By Robert Shapiro: "Health care's path began when employers in World War II, desperate to attract workers without breaching wage controls, first offered health insurance as an untaxed fringe benefit. This approach took strong root, because tax law requires that firms providing any tax-free form of compensation have to offer it to all their employees." - Views - Tongue Tied - Substitute Pledge, Bible Ban, Cupcake Cop: "A substitute principal at a middle school in Colorado has a new Pledge of Allegiance that she shared with students, one that is more inclusive and won't cross that line between church and state, according to the Denver Post.
During the morning pledge at Everitt Middle School in Wheat Ridge, eighth-grade counselor Margo Lucero, who was filling in for an absent principal, changed a portion of the pledge from 'one nation under God' to 'one nation under your belief system,' while on the school public-address system.
Lucero says she meant well.
'I said that because I believe that there should be separation between church and school,' she said. 'I believe that everybody should have their own beliefs and that we shouldn't have to say, 'under God.''"
CNS STORY: L.A. cardinal says pope might reform process for Synod of Bishops: "Cardinal Mahony also said the cardinals gathered inside the Sistine Chapel during the conclave were treated to wafts of smoke every time the door to the stove was opened to add more ballots.

Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna told an Italian newspaper, 'It's a good thing there were no art historians inside' to see the smoke drift up to Michelangelo's recently cleaned frescoes."

Your Linguistic Profile:

55% General American English

30% Dixie

15% Yankee

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

Same score as my husband -

Your Brain is 46.67% Female, 53.33% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female

You are both sensitive and savvy

Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed

But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

Informing Ourselves To Death: "I might add, by way of another historical example, that Johann Gutenberg was by all accounts a devoted Christian who would have been horrified to hear Martin Luther, the accursed heretic, declare that printing is 'God's highest act of grace, whereby the business of the Gospel is driven forward.' Gutenberg thought his invention would advance the cause of the Holy Roman See, whereas in fact, it turned out to bring a revolution which destroyed the monopoly of the Church.
We may well ask ourselves, then, is there something that the masters of computer technology think they are doing for us which they and we may have reason to regret? I believe there is, and it is suggested by the title of my talk, 'Informing Ourselves to Death.' In the time remaining, I will try to explain what is dangerous about the computer, and why. And I trust you will be open enough to consider what I have to say. Now, I think I can begin to get at this by telling you of a small experiment I have been conducting, on and off, for the past several years. There are some people who describe the experiment as an exercise in deceit and exploitation but I will rely on your sense of humor to pull me through.
Here's how it works: It is best done in the morning when I see a colleague who appears not to be in possession of a copy of The New York Times. 'Did you read The Times this morning?,' I ask. If the colleague says yes, there is no experiment that day. But if the answer is no, the experiment can proceed. 'You ought to look at Page 23,' I say. 'There's a fascinating article about a study done at Harvard University.' 'Really? What's it about?' is the usual reply. My choices at this point are limited only by my imagination. But I might say something like this: 'Well, they did this study to find out what foods are best to eat losing weight, and it turns out that a normal diet supplemented by chocolate eclairs, eaten six times a day, is the best approach. It seems that there's some special nutrient in the eclairs -- encomial dioxin -- that actually uses up calories at an incredible rate.
Another possibility, which I like to use with colleagues who are known to be health conscious is this one: 'I think you'll want to know about this,' I say. 'The neuro-physiologists at the University of Stuttgart have uncovered a connection between jogging and reduced intelligence. They tested more than 1200 people over a period of five years, and found that as the number of hours people jogged increased, there was a corresponding decrease in their intelligence. They don't know exactly why but there it is.'
I'm sure, by now, you understand what my role is in the experiment: to report something that is quite ridiculous -- one might say, beyond belief. Let me tell you, then, some of my results: Unless this is the second or third time I've tried this on the same person, most people will believe or at least not disbelieve what I have told them. Sometimes they say: 'Really? Is that possible?' Sometimes they do a double-take, and reply, 'Where'd you say that study was done?' And sometimes they say, 'You know, I've heard something like that.'"
Robert Rector: 'Good sex for teens': The war against abstinence: "Government officials now spend at least $12 promoting contraception for each $1 they spend teaching abstinence. "

A little song for the Pope

Who's the leader of the church
That was founded by Christ?
B-E-N-E-D-I-C-T X-V-I!

He’s the Panzerkardinal
Who captures today’s Geist
B-E-N-E-D-I-C-T X-V-I!



Forever let us hold his banner
High! High! High! High!

Swim the Tiber now
To escape liberality!
B-E-N-E-D-I-C-T X-V-I!
Did you know that there are such things as $200 baby rattles?
I didn't!
From Amy Welborn's Comments: "You know, if B16 _had_ been a Nazi, he would have espoused most of the liberal wantlist for pope positions. Socialism? Yup. Lay and governmental control of the Church? Uh huh. Anti-Zionism? Yup. Euthanasia? Sure! Killing unfit children? Okay! Neo-pagan maypole dancing? (Which a Nazi in his town wanted) Coming right up!

To be fair, though, this wouldn't help Andrew Sullivan or the women's ordination crowd. Unless the Nazis also had a thing for Freyan priestesses, which for all I know they did. - Maureen"

All Your Salvation Are Belong To Us

The blog -

Pope Benedict XVI

Oh, this is too much!

First One Hundred Days: The Future Papacy, the Future Church: "WASHINGTON, DC - Catholics for a Free Choice is deeply concerned that the election of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger as pope is a strong indication of continued dissension within the church."

Why Father Sibley is such a badass priest -

1. He listens to the Pixies!
2. From his parish bulletin (PDF): "Several parishioners have informed me that the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have been paying them unexpected visits. If either of these groups drop by, feel free to invite them in, and then go into another room and call me over. If I am available, I will be happy to "pop" in at your house while they are there. It should make for an interesting discussion!"
When I knew the pope was Ratzinger and was waiting for him to come out and greet the crowd, I wondered what his first words might be. Punning on John Paul II, I mused, "Be afraid. Be VERY afraid."
Extreme Homophobe Ratzinger Elected New Pope


JIMMY AKIN.ORG: Force-Feeding Dolphins: "(Michelle Arnold)
In case you ever wondered whether our society treats animals better than it does human beings, wonder no more:
You see, 'force-feeding' humans via feeding tubes who never legally directed that they be deprived of food and water is a Bad Thing. In some cases, even when written directives are left that allow for 'force-feeding,' it is a Good Thing to deprive humans of feeding tubes anyway. But what happens if Flipper cannot swallow? Do we do the 'humane' thing and deprive him of nutrition? Of course not! Dolphins require much better treatment than what we currently consider to be good enough for humans:
'In early March an estimated 80 rough-toothed dolphins stranded themselves in the shallows off Marathon in the Florida Keys.
'Rescue workers and volunteers worked nonstop to help as many as they could to return to deep water. Some dolphins made it. About two dozen died.
'For 26 that clung to life there was only one chance for survival -- transfer to the Marine Mammal Conservancy rehabilitation facility on Key Largo, farther up the Keys from Marathon.
'In the pool [where the recuperating dolphins were kept], volunteers hold the dolphins and keep their blowholes out of the water so they can breathe.
'A veterinarian injects the mammals with vitamin E to help with muscle cramping. Unable to eat on their own, they are fitted with a feeding tube to get them the needed nutrition.'
And so, roughly around the same period that Terri Schiavo was being dehydrated and starved to death by a Florida state judge's fiat, the great state of Florida was inserting feeding tubes into dolphins.
God have pity on us. "
The Chronicle: 4/15/2005: Microsoft Word Grammar Checker Are No Good, Scholar Conclude: "By BROCK READ
...After experimenting with the tool, [Sandeep Krishnamurthy, an associate professor of marketing and e-commerce at the University of Washington] concluded that it cannot identify many basic grammatical faux pas -- like errors in capitalization, punctuation, and verb tense.
Now he has dedicated himself to chronicling the grammar checker's blind spots, and to persuading Microsoft to improve the tool.
On his Web site, Mr. Krishnamurthy has posted evidence that he considers damning: a series of examples of poor grammar the software considers passable. One reads: 'Marketing are bad for brand big and small. You Know What I am Saying? It is no wondering that advertisings are bad for company in America, Chicago and Germany.'
Microsoft officials did not respond to calls for comment. But in a statement released in response to Mr. Krishnamurthy's Web site, the company argued that its grammar checker is a writing aid, not a catchall. 'The Word grammar checker is designed to catch the kinds of errors that ordinary users make in normal writing situations,' the statement said.
For above-average writers, the software might pick up a grammatical misstep or two, according to Mr. Krishnamurthy, but for subpar writers, the tool is useless.
Mr. Krishnamurthy says Mr. Krishnamurthy says many of his students are not native English speakers and often struggle with the written word.
The grammar checker, he argues, impedes their efforts to improve their writing -- by telling them that misconjugated verbs and poorly structured sentences are perfectly fine.
The tool is so pernicious, he says, that Microsoft should either improve it or ditch it. Mr. Krishnamurthy recommends that the software more easily let users choose whether they want only basic guidance or significant editing help. The current software allows users to pick which types of grammatical errors they want identified, but Mr. Krishnamurthy says that system is too complicated for many beginning writers.
Some technical experts say that creating a better grammar checker would be a tall order, but Mr. Krishnamurthy says the program just needs to do a better job of telling writers how to use it. 'I've heard some techies say, You're holding us to too high a standard,' he says, 'but I don't completely buy that.'"
via Jimmy Akin.
Mark Alexander: Income Redistribution Day 2005: "FDR set the stage for the entrapment of future generations by the welfare state and the incremental shift from individual freedom to dependence on the state. Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev said of Roosevelt's 'New Deal' paradigm shift, 'We can't expect the American people to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism.' Echoing that sentiment was perennial Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas -- the grandfather, incidentally, of Newsweek Assistant Managing Editor Evan Thomas: 'The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.'"
Mona Charen: Do you trust your neighbor to pay taxes?: "The 7 million words of the U.S. tax code are so abstruse, reports the CATO Institute's Stephen Moore, that 70 percent of the members of the two tax-writing committees in the House and Senate pay accountants to prepare their taxes.

The compliance cost for the American economy is quite staggering. The Tax Foundation estimates that in 2002, businesses, individuals and non-profits spent over 5.7 billion hours preparing taxes. Scott Moody of the Tax Foundation puts the cost of these man-hours at $194 billion -- more than the revenue of the Wal-Mart Corp. It is also considerably larger than the 2004 budget deficit of $71.3 billion."
The Curt Jester: Serving Cardinals Tea: "The dignity of women is not dependent on them being able to become priests. This is a degrading utilitarian view of women that only see them as dignified by the work they do and not who they are and that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. Why is it that the liberal cry for dignity always results in a less dignified view of the human person?"
Catholic World News (CWN): "Does the liberals' family-friendly language express a pro-life position? Well, yes, in the same sense in which an exasperated Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler, in 1944, might have scolded objectors to the Final Solution: 'You Jews complain about our extermination camps, but do you lift a finger to eliminate deeper need they address? Never! If you'd take it upon yourselves to begin an orderly program of contraception, sterilization, and suicide, our racial impurity problem would be solved, and the need for death camps would cease. You musn't think we enjoy killing -- we wish to eliminate the root cause that provides us the motive to kill: You.' " - News - Witnesses: Disabled Girl Punched In Face, Forced To Perform Sex Acts
Why not? If you can starve her to death, why not get a little fun out of her while she's still alive? Dance, nigger, dance!

Who does this remind you of?

Yahoo! News - Outlaw Laid Low by Short Fuse: "TIRANA (Reuters) - Albania's most wanted man fought off special police and eluded capture for years only to blow himself up while fishing with dynamite, police and newspapers said Friday.

Dubbed the 'Last Cowboy' in northern Albania because of his gunfights with the law, Riza Malaj, 34, failed to accurately gauge the length of the fuse as he tried to blow up trout.
Doctors at the Bajram Curri hospital said he had lost both hands, badly hurt his eyes and suffered serious wounds all over his body. His family rejected offers to have him flown to a Tirana hospital where he would have been arrested immediately.
Malaj was taken to a hospital in nearby U.N.-governed Kosovo.
He was sentenced in absentia to five years in jail on charges of leading an attack on the Bajram Curri police station last year. Since 2000, warrants have been issued for Malaj's arrest on charges of willful murder, armed robbery, armed assault and battery of the education directress of the town. " - Foxlife - Meet the Money: Sequels Cash In: "'Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous' has pulled in a tidy $37.5 million domestically since it opened three weeks ago - and is well on its way to meeting the $106.8 million the first installment made.
The Sandra Bullock vehicle is drawing viewers even though Roger Ebert called it 'doubly unnecessary,' ReelViews critic James Berardinelli likened it to 'steaming sewage' and The New York Times compared it to 'shoveling pig waste.'" - Views - Tongue Tied - Half-Mast Complaint, Seeing Red, Flying Fears: "The governor of Colorado is in trouble for using the phrase 'the natives are getting restless' during a conference on tribal gambling, according to the Rocky Mountain News.
Gov. Bill Owens uttered the phrase at the Western Governors' Association Summit after a participant's microphone wouldn't work and he urged it be fixed quickly.
His spokesman called it an inadvertent comment that the governor regrets, and offered an apology."
Bush's IPod
Catholic and Enjoying It!: "23,000 more adults have entered the Church every year than did in 1960:

An average 163,000 adults every year between 1994 and 2003. That's 1.635 million adult converts in only ten years.

If adult converts to Catholicism from those 10 years alone were a denomination, we would be the 16th largest in America, right behind the Episcopalians and ahead of the Churches of Christ and the Greek Orthodox."

What we talk about -

Zorak: "Can you distill blood?"
O.O.: "What do you mean?"
Zorak: "Can you make alcohol out of blood?"
O.O.: "Yuk! That's gross!" (Pauses.) "I don't think so. It doesn't have much sugar in it."
You scored as Intrapersonal. You prefer your own inner world, you like to be alone, and you are aware of your own strengths, weaknesses, and feelings. You learn best by engaging in independent study projects rather than working on group projects. People like you include entrepreneurs, philosophers and psychologists.















The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with
O.O. says, "The squeaking of the tape dispenser reminds me of a playful monkey's squeak, or maybe that of a baby orangutang - the old man of the forest."
O.O. says, while cutting plastic wrap, "If only the throats of our enemies were slit so smoothly." (Pauses.) "That is, if only the moral throats of our enemies were morally slit so smoothly."
O.O. asks, "Is it OK to cry over spilt soy milk?"
O.O. says, "I am off to spread joy and peace throughout the world. If anyone gets in my way, I will crush their spine."
IOL: Bono praises Pope as Church's 'best frontman': "Bono has praised Pope John Paul II as the 'best frontman' the Roman Catholic Church ever had. "
Ill. Pharmacies Required to Fill Prescriptions for Birth Control ( - including the morning-after pill.
Others Aware of Red Lake Plans, Officials Say ( "'It used to be when you saw someone who's a non-Indian coming on the reservation, there's only one reason -- he's either an FBI agent or a Mormon,' said Mike Fairbanks, a 40-year law enforcement veteran and a member of the Red Lake Chippewa. "
How Liberalism Failed Terri Schiavo: "Imagine, for example, that the Schindlers had agreed with Michael Schiavo that Terri's time had come, that she would never have wanted to live like this, that the feeding tube keeping her alive needed to come out. Chances are, there would have been no federal case, no national story, no political controversy. Terri Schiavo would have been buried long ago, mourned by the family that decided on her behalf that death was preferable to life in her incapacitated state. Under law, such an outcome would have been unproblematic and uneventful, so long as no one had claimed that Terri Schiavo's previous wishes were being violated. But morally, the deepest problem would remain: What do we owe those who are not dead or dying but profoundly disabled and permanently dependent? And even if such individuals made their desires clearly known while they were still competent, is it always right to follow their instructions--to be the executors of their living wills--even if it means being their willing executioners?
For some, it is an article of faith that individuals should decide for themselves how to be cared for in such cases. And no doubt one response to the Schiavo case will be a renewed call for living wills and advance directives--as if the tragedy here were that Michael Schiavo did not have written proof of Terri's desires. But the real lesson of the Schiavo case is not that we all need living wills; it is that our dignity does not reside in our will alone, and that it is foolish to believe that the competent person I am now can establish, in advance, how I should be cared for if I become incapacitated and incompetent. The real lesson is that we are not mere creatures of the will: We still possess dignity and rights even when our capacity to make free choices is gone; and we do not possess the right to demand that others treat us as less worthy of care than we really are."