Saturday, March 28, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bush "folly" ending in victory

(Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe)

Markets without bombs. Hummers without guns. Ice cream after dark. Busy streets without fear."
So began Terry McCarthy's report from Iraq for ABC's World News Sunday on March 15, one of a series the network aired last week as the war in Iraq reached its sixth anniversary.

A nationwide poll of Iraqis reveals that "60 percent expect things to get better next year - almost three times as many as a year and a half ago," McCarthy continued. "Iraqis are slowly discovering they have a future. We flew south to Basra, where 94 percent say their lives are going well. Oil is plentiful here. So is money."

In another report two nights later, ABC's correspondent characterized the Iraqi capital as "a city reborn: speed, light, style - this is Baghdad today. Where car bombs have given way to car racing. Where a once-looted museum has been restored and reopened. And where young women who were forced to cover their heads can again wear the clothes that they like."

For a long time the foes of both the Iraq war and the president who launched it insisted that none of this was possible - that the war was lost, that there was no military solution to the sectarian slaughter, that the surge would only make the violence worse. Victory was not an option, the critics declared; the only option was to partition Iraq and get out. Time and again it was said that the war would forever be remembered as Bush's folly, if not indeed as the worst foreign policy mistake in US history.

Even now, with a stubbornness born of partisan hostility or political ideology, there are those who cannot bring themselves to utter the words "victory" and "Iraq" in the same sentence. But six years after the war began, it is ending in victory. As in every war, the price of that victory was higher than we would have wished. But the price of defeat would have been far higher.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

hmmm ...

Scientists are baffled by one of their latest fossil finds.
It's an octopus they claim is 95 million years old.

And, guess what? It looks just like a modern-day octopus. Complete with eight legs, suckers, and even traces of ink.

In all that time it seems the octopus hasn't evolved one tiny bit.

What's rare about this find is that octopuses are almost all muscle and skin. When an octopus dies, it quickly decays and liquefies into the oozy slime from which evolutionary scientists claim life began. After just a few days, there's nothing left at all of a dead octopus. No octopus fossil has ever been found before – especially not one that old.
Maybe it's not so old after all...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

turning things upside down

God has a way of turning things upside down.

Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers in the temple reminds us of this fact ...... that God has a way of turning things upside down.

Abraham was an old man, his wife Sarah was barren, but God turned their lives upside down for them by giving them a son, giving them a new land, and giving them a promise.

The Israelites were enslaved under Pharaoh in Egypt, but God through His servant Moses turned things upside down, to bring them out of slavery and into the Promised Land.

Israel was the least of all the nations on earth, but God turned it around, and under King David and Solomon made it into a great nation, in order to show forth His glory.

And, when Israel disobeyed God by following sinful men and worshipping false gods, God turned the nation of Israel upside down, speaking words of judgment through the prophets, and giving Israel over to its enemies.
We see a vivid image of this in the Gospel, as Jesus overturns the tables in the temple. God’s judgment had to come upon wayward and rebellious Israel, but His grace and mercy would come as well, in the person of Jesus Christ for all who believed.

Jesus was on a mission, a mission to not only turn things upside down, but to make things right again. And the way He did this once and for all, was by dying on the cross and rising from the dead.

Yes - God has a way of turning things upside down, alright.
But thanks be to God that in Christ, He also has a way of putting them right side up again.

Friday, March 20, 2009

barack's bracket

As my brother put it - "So much indecision!! Not a good sign for our commander in chief."

Monday, March 16, 2009

saint patrick's prayer

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through the belief in the threeness, through the confession of the oneness, of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism, through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial, through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension, through the strength of his descent for the Judgment Day.

I arise today through the strength of the love of the cherubim, in the service of archangels, in the hope of the resurrection to meet with reward, in prayers of patriarchs, in predictions of prophets, in preaching of apostles, in faith of confessors, in innocence of holy virgins, in deeds of righteous men.

I arise today through the strength of heaven: Light of sun, Radiance of moon, Splendor of fire, Speed of lightning, Swiftness of wind, Depth of sea, Stability of earth, Firmness of rock.

I arise today through God's strength to pilot me: God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's host to save me from snares of demons, from temptations of vices, from everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils, against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul, against incantations of false prophets, against black laws of pagandom, against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry, against spells of witches and smiths and wizards, against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ to shield me today against poison, against burning, against drowning, against wounding, so that there may come to me abundance of reward. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the threeness, through confession of the oneness, of the Creator of Creation.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

big cake, lot of light , funny!

this is from my birthday 2 years ago, back when i was young in my 30's!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

turning 40...

As you turn 40 ...

Gardening suddenly seems like a good thing to do.

As does listening to classical music.

The prospect of dancing in public now terrifies you.

You begin to worry about rudeness, graffiti, the mail, the weather, road conditions, and the general decline of public services.

You think younger people who wear hooded sweatshirts with the hood up look sinister.

You don't need to join Facebook - you know who your friends are already.

You realize that texting has passed you by.

You are less certain of some things than you used to be, and more sure of others.

You argue with the television. You always win.

You can remember when TV sit-coms used to be funny.

Reading is something you now want to do, instead of something you have to do.

Cards and board games are now strangely attractive.

You increasingly find cryptic crossword puzzles to be a pleasant diversion.

You're physically incapable of doing high fives or other showy handshakes.

You have learned that maturity is CLEARLY not age based.

You've only got 30 years of work left to go.

You find solace in birdsong.

It's never quiet enough.

It can be too quiet.

You're going to die sooner than ever.

"40 is the old age of youth; 50 is the youth of old age." - Victor Hugo

Monday, March 9, 2009

the big 4-0

Now that I'm 40, I might have to stop eating these things.
(my 15 year old son Ben has no such worries ... )

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Church Reduces Carbon Footprint: Worships in Dark

(great satire from the sacred sandwich)

In an effort to stem the tide of global warming, Raintree Christian Fellowship began worshipping in the dark this month by turning off the earth-destroying electricity to their building. Though temporarily blinded by the decision, the congregation has seen a sharp increase in spirituality and stubbed toes.

“Turning off the lights has really forced us to find God and each other by using our other four senses,” said Pastor Mike Gruber. “Thankfully, since most of us also reject the use of cancer-causing deodorants, it wasn’t really hard to find each other in the dark. At first I wondered who brought the dead possum in here, but then I realized it was just Bob.”