Dec 15, 2006

Apocalypto - Mel Gibson Interview

Kurt Loder of MTV has an interview with Mel Gibson that will be of interest to anyone who has seen the movie, Apocalypto.. It's best to turn off your computer sound and 'pause' the upper left video so you can concentrate on reading the interview.

Paramedic Experiences

I definitely recommend reading an interesting post by a young woman who writes the new blog, Salve Regina. She is a very attractive Canadian who describes her recent 24-hr experiences as a paramedic. It's a good Christmas story.

Weather and Dead Armadillos

If winter is like it was last year, it will be almost 10 degrees above normal. So far, our temperatures have been warmer than usual (50's and 60's for abnormal highs this week) and no really cold spells are anticipated in the near future. We really like to have it very cold in the winter for at least four or five days to kill pests, and that usually does happen.

I keep track of dead armadillos on the highway between Kansas City and Oklahoma. Dead armadillos keep appearing further north and now they seem to have made it north of Lamar, MO. These Central American critters love to travel!

I'm very fortunate to look out our rear window and see deer, squirrels, and many birds. At times, I've even seen a badger on the rocky hill. Usually we see does and fawns, but the apple tree attracted a 10-point buck a few weeks ago. He was definitely larger than the normal deer we see. My husband alternates between enjoying seeing beautiful deer and bemoaning the tiny deer ticks (and potential Lyme disease) that come with a deer population.

It's hard to believe that 30+ years ago there were no deer in our area and now there are so many. In Kansas and Missouri there are 20,000 vehicles accidents involving deer, many that injure and kill people. Deer accidents have happened twice to one of our children, with the second accident following the other within a few months. Major damage to the car on two occasions! The spouse of another child also has hit a deer and totaled the car. God continues to take good care of us, and in all three cases there were no serious injuries.

Our backyard trees and yard host a large number of birds, especially cardinals, bluejays, several different types of woodpeckers, and black and brown birds of various kinds. Even though it is mid-December, a robin was perched high in the tree outside our rear window this morning. Is this another sign of a mild winter?

Snakes have disappeared from our property and I haven't seen one in over 25 years--too many people, I guess. The ones I used to see lived in the strawberries (e.g., garter snakes, blue racers) and once we saw one in a tree (black snake). No poisonous copperheads or rattlesnakes were ever seen, and dangerous water moccasins are not supposed to live this far north--yet!

Dec 13, 2006

Phill Kline, The Kansas City Star, and Grocery Ads

My husband complained again about the editorial viewpoints of The Star, usually embedded liberally in the news they print. He said someone (guess who?) should write a letter to the editor of The Star complaining about the Star's treatment of Johnson County's new district attorney, a strong prolifer. Phill Kline, as the current Attorney General of Kansas, is investigating the shenanigans and crimes of abortion providers in Kansas and The Star recognizes and abhors him as a serious enemy of the abortion crowd.

I've decided that a letter to the editor of The Star would tell The Star that my husband was still buying and reading the paper. I mostly stopped reading it some years ago, except for the ads. I've found the best solution to buying the paper is simply to get news over the web, just like a lot of people who read this blog.

For those people who live in KC, the ad brochures carried by The Star are important. There are alternative sources to Weekly Specials because most stores now publish their ads on the web. Here's a list of weekly grocery ads that Kansas Citians may want to want to copy into a new folder under "Favorites", entitled "Grocery Ads":
  1. Hen House
  2. HyVee
  3. Aldi
  4. Price Chopper
  5. Save-a-Lot
  6. Dillon's
Don't forget that Sunday Saver with its weekly sales circulars allows you to enter your state name to link to a comprehensive list of web sites with ads for local grocery, electronic, building supplies, and box stores, and also includes many other weekly ads.

Dec 12, 2006

Does God Hate...? (Part II)

My original post of a couple of months ago on whether God hates the devil seems to be found by Google searches quite often, and I've wondered why. I concluded that God hates the devil with perfection, even though this conclusion initially seems contradictory for God to hate a being that he created. The reason God hates the devil is that the devil is a purely spiritual being gifted with free will and permanently chooses to reject God. Thus there is no reason for God's love which always seeks good things for, and union with, the beloved.

There is a continuing debate (or war of wirds!) taking place between The Wanderer Newspaper (George A. Kendall, guest editor) and the New Oxford Review (Dale Vree, editor) on whether God hates the souls condemned to hell-- a somewhat different question than "Does God hate the devil? Kendall argues in the 7 Dec 2006 issue of The Wanderer that he remembers
"the nuns teaching me that God loves the souls in hell....It was not just the nuns who taught that God loves the souls in Hell, but our priests as well. It was one of those taken-for-granted things."
Earlier Kendall stated that God's retraction of love would render a soul into non-existence. He also commented in The Wanderer editorial of 7 Dec 2006 that:
...if, as soon as he is in the state of mortal sin, God begins to hate him, then he will never be given the grace of repentence, because God is not going to give grace to someone He hates.
[Here it appears that Kendall switches subjects and is discussing a changeable man who is still living. Once that man dies, he cannot change his life and so the grace of repentence is not applicable. The teaching of the Church is Mercy in this world; Justice in the Next.]

In response, Dale Vree's arguments are summarized in a letter by Thomas Fayette:
"...if a soul ceased to exist in Hell, that would be the act of love, not eternal punishment....Mortal sin separates us from God, removes us from His Kingdom, and puts us under the godship of Satan. Then we must conclude that God loves Satan or he wouldn't exist either. 'Vengeance is mine..., says the Lord' (Rom. 12:19). Are we supposed to believe that this [vengeance] is an act of love? The opinion that God loves the souls in Hell is simply that, an opinion, and not Catholic teaching as I am aware....If someone chooses to provoke God's anger by choosing to be a member of Satan's kingdom, and is cast into Hell, to what avail is God's love to his soul?
I am most intrigued by George A. Kendall's appearance as a guest editor of The Wanderer, which the New Oxford Review points out has a long policy of not criticizing living Popes. Back in 2002, Kendall seemed to have a slightly different point of view in his The Saint & Dragon web periodical.
Let our bishops and our Holy Father repent their gross negligence and begin taking up arms seriously against the evils which afflict the body of Christ, and we will not hesitate to join them and submit ourselves to them....I would also add that criticizing the Hierarchy or even the Pope is not criticizing the Magisterium....

As to the notion that the Pope should somehow be held blameless in all this, that is obvious nonsense. If the Pope knows what has been going on in his Church during his reign, then he has been grossly negligent in his duties. Otherwise, why hasn’t he rescinded the Novus Ordo liturgy and restored the Old Mass throughout the Church? Why hasn’t he excommunicated grossly heretical and positively evil bishops like Kenneth Untener? Why hasn’t he ordered a cleansing of the seminaries? And so on.

Dec 10, 2006

Bad Writing.... Interesting but Scary Ideas?

Chapter 1. The Beta Craft (March 12, 2097)

The 'terminal' was crowded with green and red. No one knew when the BetaCraft would land, so the passengers remained in separate small places of the large room, as if separation would prevent an attack. Each traveler held his goods in his hands to board the craft quickly when it arrived.

It was difficult enough to reach the 'terminal' located on the outskirts of Florence (now Al Karim City), and much more difficult to obtain passage west on the BetaCraft. Very few craft flew these days when many countries and towns were ruled by tribal alliances. People simply did not travel because they could not find reliable transportation.

The BetaCraft silently appeared in the field outside the building now called the ‘terminal.’ Only those ‘in the know’ had been warned beforehand to expect the craft and to provide security by wearing green and red.

One old lady sat on her bag near the window, as if scanning the sky through the dirty glass panes. She remembered a long time ago when terminals had a better appearance and craft were regularly scheduled. She mused that she had had to pay a dowry’s fortune to be able to leave this place—at least 200 times the price of a craft fare in the old days. But it would be worth it if she could be with her son once again.

Passengers were marked with a mottled gray stain on their palms. These ‘tickets’ were able to be 'read' only once, so hands were kept closed around their bags and other possessions. Even though it was said that the ticket stains would last for two days before disappearing in natural sunlight, there would be no shaking of hands.

The passengers were alerted to board the craft by noise from the opened terminal door. Outside a few workmen stood around the BetaCraft and appeared to have finished their work quickly. They stood looking as if expecting at least one of the passengers climbing the old ladder to fall. Yet even the old lady made it up the ladder, with her bag being carried by a young man behind her, and both stepped through the small door.

No one had cleaned the craft. The old lady thought it was a good thing she had visited the stall outside the terminal before boarding. Passengers were counted by a young fellow with a well-shaved head and face. No hair was the preferred style of the Western alliance, while Muslims preferred hair and beards.

When the doors shut, but before all the passengers were seated, the craft moved away from the terminal to make its quick exit upward. The old lady had just pulled the lever that tightened around her when a whoosh was heard and the BetaCraft was airborne. Within a few seconds, it was pulsing along on a course to the southwest.

This was not the first time the old lady had tried to leave the New Mohammedan Empire (NeME). She had once paid over 12,000 gards to a fisherman who said he was able to travel quietly, undersea, if necessary. He said it would be slow but she would be able to reach her far away destination. His boat was old but well serviced and he even showed her a 3-D demo of a descent into the water after three passengers had been loaded. Of course, the demo was faked and she believed the scam. No boat, no undersea travel, and ruefully, no more 12,000 gards.

Not until she had learned that a trip to the west was planned for a special person did she and her friends know about the BetaCraft. It wasn’t totally unheard of that a BetaCraft would land and pick someone up, but it usually meant more money than she could arrange. This time the craft would carry more than 50 passengers in addition to the special passenger, and the shared cost was more reasonable.

All of the 12 women passengers were Mary’s Angels, founded in 2029 to work medical cures for both Muslims and Christians alike. A Mary’s Angel was appreciated not only for the cures but for the quiet and supportive manner in which she did her work. Consequently, trials faced by other non-Muslims were to a large extent not encountered by the neomedical practictioners.

A Mary’s Angel gained her unique skills in a very old way, by being apprenticed to older Mary’s Angels before she gained her ‘halo’ after 12 years of study and practice. The small white metal oval on her coat lapel told everyone that the old lady was a Mary’s Angel, and she had cured many people in the past 40 years. The perfected combination of medical, mental, and spiritual control of illnesses worked well even when the best medications and devices were not able to be obtained.

Few of the passengers talked, except for one older man who spoke animatedly to a companion. At least, the old lady thought it was his companion. A group of younger men in the rear section of the BetaCraft, near the pilot deck, kept their eyes on ‘dangle screens’ suspended in front of their eyes. The small viewing portholes could not be observed by others, and could show scenes of remote friends, books, news events, and the land over which they traveled.

The trip was fast and the BetaCraft prepared for its arrival on the west coast of upper Mexico. Mountains rose out of the Pacific ocean to form the steep land and few available landing spots were apparent. The village bridge stretched across the river that led down from the mountains. The bridge unrolled to become the only straight street in view and stretched up the far hill.

Dingle screens were now in use by all the passengers and they saw people come out from their shacks and houses to observe the BetaCraft pass slowly over the river as if assessing the situation. Then it turned to land gently on the bridge and travel up the straight street to where many young men were standing waving white flags.

The men first off the plane did not answer to the yells of “Papa, Papa.” Next down the ladder was a slight figure with a long brown robe. The shouts became greater as the Pope arrived for a hoped for temporary residence in the Western Alliance. The old lady watched the Pope wave to the crowd, and she decided to stay on the craft and watch the events.

The men attending the Pope were urged by the welcoming party to quickly move to an old bus that stood on a side street. Suddenly a flamegun was shot from the opposite side of the river. The warning was not ignored by the Pope’s attendants, but by then the welcoming party had turned sour. The fight was over quickly as people emerged from open windows and shouted, “Allah, Allah, Allah has conquered again!”

The old lady on the plane observed the unwelcome scene and brought her lips close to the oval ring. She whispered, “He’s in the wrong hands; we’ve been betrayed again.”

Chapter 2. Papal Rehistory (March 12, 2097)

The voice was undeniably his mother, and Noah Perez Amini knew they must move rapidly. Skip the intial simulation task and move to the next procedure to upload the data on current events to the Gorge of Alladin, at least that’s what they called the quantum computer discovered in a vault in Moscow in 2089 and now protected from unauthorized access by physical, radiological, chemical, and biological barriers.

The Gorge of Alladin was programmed in 2032 using Shor’s quantum factoring algorithm. Even computers in 2097 had not significantly advanced over the 2032 model. Consequently, many copies had been made of the 2089 computer discovery. The old quantum computer remained in its protected original environment, because it served to back-up history. Since 2095, its purpose was to record current history in the 2032 memory of the computer. Thus, the record of future history was documented in 2032, even though a rehistory event later changed history.

Noah looked at his oval ring again and knew the Papal capture must be undone. First, back up the most recent three days of history for documentation purposes, and then let history repeat itself—but this time with a successful escape of the Pope from Al Karim City and the New Mohammedan Empire to the Western Allliance. The Pope needed a voice again.