Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Before you start junking all your Google™ stuff ...

Full disclosure: Blogger, of course, is a service provided by Google. So is AdSense. I also have a couple of Gmail accounts, and use Google's Calendar app, which coordinates with my Android smartphone's agenda app. And other things. Right now, I'm almost Google's Siamese twin.

So how should I feel about this recent message from LifeNews?

Google Bans Ads From Pregnancy Centers After Lobbying From “Pro-Choice” NARAL

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 4/28/14 4:53 PM

Google has banned ads from pro-life pregnancy centers that offer women and their unborn children abortion alternatives. The decision came after extensive lobbying from a national “pro-choice” group, NARAL, that appears to favor just one choice, abortion. 
Upset that pregnancy centers were allowed to bid on the keyword “abortion clinics,” along with facilities that kill unborn children in abortions, NARAL launched a national campaign to complain to Google. Now, the national search engine company has banned the ads.
According to NARAL, people using Google to search for “abortion clinics” got ads advertising the crisis pregnancy centers about 79 percent of the time — which cuts into the profit margins of abortion clinics.

So now many of my colleagues in the Catholic blogosphere are calling for a boycott of Google — or, at least, emails of protests. Some are even vowing to shed themselves of Android phones and tablets. Me? As I said about the various Chick-fil-A flaps, I'm not really one to man the barricades; the only boycott I've maintained successfully so far is against Starbucks. (And, believe me, it hurts — I do love their Fr'appucinos. *sigh*)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Catholic Stand: "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"

This article originally appeared as two separate posts in The Impractical Catholic: "Good Friday" and "My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?" Since the two posts complement each other, I decided to collapse them into one larger post.

*     *     *
Dear God.

First, the frenzied, howling Sanhedrin. Slapping, punching, spitting all the while … perhaps kicking him if he fell. During the night watch, his anxiety and fear for what he knew is coming is so great that the net of blood vessels around his sweat glands constricted, then hemorrhaged. Hematidrosis. As a result, his skin is extremely fragile and sensitive; every punch and slap is exquisitely painful.

The humiliation of the crowning as Rex Iudaeorum - not a wreath or circlet but a cap woven out of branches from the local thorn bushes, each thorn a nail in his scalp, with a staff made out of reed for a scepter,  a scepter with which he’s struck like a club.

But that isn’t enough. Two Roman soldiers with flagella - whips of leather, with small bones tied to the ends that rip the skin off his back and tear pieces of muscle out. Tied to a post, there’s no way he can move, even involuntarily, that could avoid the clawing fragments that shred his back. There’s no way I can not hear him screaming his agony; slaves have been known to die as a result of the forty lashes.

Then the crossbeam is loaded onto his shoulders, raw and bleeding from the whips, bringing a fresh agony. Weakened, his heart already beginning to be squeezed and his lungs filled by fluids, he stumbles along the travertine-paved road from the castra praetoria to the place called Golgotha. He has probably already lost a liter of blood, if not more: category 3 shock numbs his mind, but doesn’t deaden the pain. He stumbles once, twice, a third time … a passerby is dragooned into helping him, not for mercy’s sake—what Roman soldier chooses mercy over duty?—but to speed things up: the Galilean isn’t moving quickly enough.

Read the rest at Catholic Stand!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

And you thought the "zombie apocalypse" was a joke

I think we risk becoming the best informed society that has ever died of ignorance.
—Rubén Blades

Zombies are fictional undead creatures regularly encountered in horror and fantasy themed works. They are typically depicted as mindless, reanimated corpses with a hunger for human flesh, and particularly for human brains in some depictions. ...

Intimately tied to the conception of the modern zombie is the "zombie apocalypse"; the breakdown of society as a result of an initial zombie outbreak which spreads. This archetype has emerged as a prolific subgenre of apocalyptic fiction and has been portrayed in many zombie-related media after Night of the Living Dead (Paffenroth, Kim [2006]. Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero's Visions of Hell on Earth. Waco: Baylor University Press). In a zombie apocalypse, a widespread (usually global) rise of zombies hostile to human life engages in a general assault on civilization. Victims of zombies may become zombies themselves. This causes the outbreak to become an exponentially growing crisis: the spreading "zombie plague/virus" swamps normal military and law enforcement organizations, leading to the panicked collapse of civilian society until only isolated pockets of survivors remain, scavenging for food and supplies in a world reduced to a pre-industrial hostile wilderness.
—Wikipedia, "Zombie (fictional)"

Take a good look at the sign the protester is carrying: Pro-life? Eating raped murdered animals makes u a hypocrite! It's not my purpose here to debate the morality of killing animals for food; nevertheless, somewhere in this person's arguably college-educated brain, it's logically and morally consistent to eschew eating unfertilized chicken ova for breakfast yet approve, instigate and even compel the medical murder of a developing baby ... especially her own. The sad thing is, her attitude is far too common to qualify for a Darwin Award.

And, by the bye, who rapes dead cows?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The futility of pride

I laugh at myself more than I laugh at anyone else. The sin of
pride most often begins with taking yourself too seriously.
One day I say, "I'm sick and tired of 'argument by meme'." The next day I produce one of my own or find a different one to continue the pointless trade-off.
 
Really, it's not so much that memes are simple; rather, it's that they often encapsulate, in a few choice words, the creator's failure to understand the other person's position. At minimum. At maximum, they often betray poor education, poor reasoning and poor wit as well.
 
The other day, a friend who works for eBay posted a meme in rainbow colors which had this admonition:
 
GAY PRIDE WAS NOT BORN OF A NEED TO CELEBRATE BEING GAY, BUT OUR RIGHT TO EXIST WITHOUT PERSECUTION. SO INSTEAD OF WONDERING WHY THERE ISN'T A STRAIGHT PRIDE MOVEMENT, BE THANKFUL YOU DON'T NEED ONE.
 
Which led me to ask, "Was I wondering?" There's really nothing more pompously asinine than to chide people for asking a question that's crossed nobody's mind. If sexuality is not a choice, then by right I should be no more proud of being straight than of having brown eyes or a hairline that has not merely retreated but fled the battlefield in a rout. No one wonders why there's not a "straight pride" movement ... but there may very well need to be something of a "Christian pride" movement in the not-too-distant future. Although it would have to be called something else, because "Christian pride" is an oxymoron.