Saturday, May 20, 2006

On a personal note:

A very talented photographer, Steve Azzara, who I feel is one of the most gifted modern artists, has produced a remarkable book of artistic nudes, Naked. A portion of the proceeds from the sake if the books are donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Unlike the usual artistic nude study, these images draw one to the subjects eyes -- fearless women in a variety of stages of life gaze back at the viewer, holding one's attention.

"Every Picture Tells a Story, Don't it?" (Rod Stewart/Ron Wood) - Not always, but in this particular case, each photograph does just that, leaving the viewer wondering, "What more can she tell me?"
September 11, 2001 - Revisited.

Several weeks ago the first movie regarding the events of September 11, 2001 made its way out of Hollywood. Several critics felt that it was too soon -- that the masses might be negatively affected by a film that depicted events that horrified our nation and turned American citizens into - American Citizens. Now trailers from Oliver Stone's new work, World Trade Center 2006, began playing in theaters this weekend. The trailer is available on line here, at It is not an easy trailer to watch; as it brings back to those American's who were anywhere near a television on that morning, the reality of what had happened. It is stunning and, from a personal perspective, produced a range of emotions, sorrow, fear, compassion for those who lived the event and, yes, anger.

What took Hollywood so long? Where are the films depicting the struggles and the brilliance of our American fighting men and woman in the ongoing battles in this world war? The films of the 1940's were designed to honor our society, our troops and our leaders. These films reminded American's about the cause and the effect of sending men and women (granted, few at the time) into battle to bring sanity to the world. These films depicted the horror as well as the triumphs of those involved in the struggle against evil.

It is time for Hollywood to reconnect with those American's who believe that our country is worth fighting for, worth defending and worth applauding. It cannot be believed that American's revel in the horrors of war, in fact, as a nation peace is preferable, however, American's are not sheep, easily lulled into a false sense of security by conspiracy theorists who have gained the attention of certain media.
For the most part, Americans prefer to keep their buildings intact, their borders secure, their language common and their flags held high.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Conspiracy Theories, Hollywood and the Holy Grail

It never ceases to amaze me that the alleged attack on Christian and Christianity continues unabated. One of the most intriguing aspects is the conspiracy theory centered on the Catholic Church. The Church has suffered greatly since the 1960's, when changing moral values brought about a rebellion amongst the faithful. To add insult to injury, all types of books have been written on the subject of Jesus and one conspiracy or the other. The Passover Plot is one example. The book deals with the fact that the entire resurrection of Christ was staged. It's theory, of course, but written as non-fiction. Dan Brown's book, The DaVinci Code, assumes that there is yet another conspiracy, this one involving Christ and His personal Relationships. Christ as a married man, with descendants that just happen to be the French Royal family. How convenient for France!

Lately, I've been examining my Catholic Faith - I've called myself a Christian for the past 15 years, not because of any doubts or anger against the church specifically, but more because I found that in an interest to attract and keep parishioners, the Church has looked the other way on key moral issues.
In a recent conversation with a friend regarding the entire issue of faith, the recent church scandals were brought into the conversation. I noted that this was something that did not affect my faith because it was of man, not of the Church that crimes were allegedly committed.

Note the alleged. As I was thinking and praying (which should be a daily habit, but sadly I often fail in that regard), I was struck by the notion that perhaps there has been yet another conspiracy. When we look at the past years secularization of all holidays, specifically Christmas, and the denial that there is an assault on Christians; when we see campus newspapers (University of Oregon), allowing lewd and obscene cartoons depicting Christ, when a movie is given more press and hoopla by the press specifically because it is about a conspiracy that may or may not be true (even though it is pure fiction), is it a stretch of the imagination to belief that perhaps, just perhaps, another form of persecution has taken place?

There were hundreds and hundreds of priests charged in sexual abuse cases over the past few years. How is it reasonably possible to believe that every single priest charged was guilty? - Is it not more reasonable that in our overly litiginous society, former alter boys that wanted a quick million and the personal injury layers that brought suits against the diocese, might have done so based on the knowledge that the church would, as it had done in the past, run for cover. It did.
Instead of defending its priests, the church paid up. I'm not proposing that one, 10 or even 100 of the accused were not guilty of some sort of abuse. Again, the church is made up of men. But, in the educational system and the medias continual assault on all things religious, is it a stretch to imagine that some innocents might have been caught in a different sort of conspiracy? A conspiracy not of the Church but against the Church.

What brought this up? As a former volunteer in a local rectory, I had the fortune to have met at a very young age, several of the most holy men imaginable. One in particular stood out above all others because he was quite young and quite good looking. I had to ask: Why would you even think of joining the priesthood? - You cannot marry? Raise a family? His answer was quite simple. We take vows of celibacy not chastity, however, there is simply no time to consider a relationship other than that the one I have with God, perhaps some men, but not all men. It is different for priests. Look to Matthew."

Which I did, and found that in an argument with the Pharisee's Jesus noted the following (paraphrasing here); some men are made eunuchs by other Men, Some Men are Made Eunuchs by God, and Some Men are Made eunuch for God (by choice). Why bring this up? This most holy man was accused of abusing a young girl. (One who was no longer young when the alleged assault took place). These allegations, and my personal knowledge that so many women (and young women) did throw themselves at this good looking priest to no avail, in the time frame mentioned by the accuser; made me wonder who was attacking who?

Now there's a book to be written and a movie to be made, the destruction of the largest Church in America through the persecution and false allegations made against the Church leaders in an attempt to eradicate religion from the country.

What should it mean to be a Catholic? It should mean that one follows the faith, to the letter. For example, if you are pro-choice, you are not a Catholic. In that case, a person who feels that abortion is not murder but a choice, should seek a different type of religion or no-religion at all. (This can be said of any Christian, not just Catholics.)

Some are looking under rocks for reasons to denounce their faith or modify their faith to their secular terms. Be it through false allegations, or a Hollywood film.
It is my fervent hope that the Church stands firm on its principals and begins to demand that if one considers themselves a catholic, then it follows they should uphold the laws and values of the Church.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Immigration Control - More than "we" bargained For

As the visible battle heats up in the congress over which version of who's bill is going to be presented to the President, an undercurrent of frustration and animosity towards all of our elected officials is growing. The funny thing is that this particular issue has done what leaders of both parties have promised over and over - it has united middle America, as well as the right and the left. Most people that identify themselves as "Democrats", are not exactly crazy about the idea of a debate over immigration reform legislation. There is going to be a message sent this November, to individuals of both parties, that the people want what the people want and that is - border control. All the finger pointing in the world isn't going to help the sad sack politician who doesn't comply with his constituents wishes. American's are finally paying attention.

What about the NSA phone taps, Iraq, Iran, Bird Flu and Al Gore's latest attempt at creativity? These issues have been surpassed by an urgent call for Border Control.
A gross miscalculation on the part of activists for illegal immigrants is what set this "movement" into motion. When Joe and Jean America viewed hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants parading through the streets of American cities, demanding rights and waving Mexican flags, inertia gave way to: anger, fear and frustration.

There seems to be a conundrum in Washington. On one hand, George W. Bush is the President who will bend over backwards to keep our country safe from terrorist, while at the same time, refusing (until recently) to even address the issue of controlling our borders. What's the deal?

American's want troops on the border, fences, dogs, surveillance equipment and, yes, they want this nonsense stopped - now. It is not that, as a nation of immigrants, we have no compassion for those here illegally who have thrown down roots, bought homes, raised their families - surely, we cannot round up 11 or 12 million people and just deport them? Surely not, but we can prevent more from crossing our borders illegally. For every decent illegal alien, or every 1000 or 10,000, the chance that one or two might be criminals is a chance American's are no longer willing to take.

The arrogance of the Mexican government coupled with the Milk-toast response from the President is further adding to this very unstable situation. The Mexicans are not happy with a plan to militarize our own border? Too Bad. They also want to bring lawsuits against our troops, in the US Courts! Apparently, the Mexican government worries that our national guard might rough up one of their citizens who is attempting to enter our nation illegally. Are our politicians so out of touch with reality that they are allowing another nation to demand that the United States not protect its own borders?

One cannot reasonably expect American's who are frightened and angry to sit quietly by and let Washington take its sweet time with this particular issue.

For a list of Senators who have rejected Border Enforcement visit Michelle Malkin's website. Michelle, like so many of us, is either a legal immigrant or a son or daughter of a legal immigrant and she urges her readers to "pick up the phone" and call the fence-sitting, border control oppossing, senators in question.

One can except, and rightly so, that Ms. Malkin is not the only blogger, journalist, left or right, that is taking this stance.

The day troops should have been deployed to our borders: September 12, 2001. Who's zoomin who here?

Personal Note: And yes, Ralph, I need an editor.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Just Another Manic Monday

The Drudge Report reports that CNN aired a false start to the President's immigration speech last night. This was all of a 16 (sixteen) second lapse where the US President was caught rehearsing the beginning of the speech and cameras were rolling. What on earth is the big deal? Flashing an image of the President rehearsing a speech is not in the same league as CBS reporting on false documents in an attempt to sway a presidential election. (Or the New York Times in collusion with treasonous partisans.)

The Presidents 5 (five) point plan to control the border is a good plan, a sound plan that will never see the light of day. While most moderate, clear thinking, individuals will agree on all points (troops placement on the border, ending a catch and release policy, national identification cards and a solid guest worker program), the hatred of this President by the left (progressive, elite media) is such that he will never gain support nor will a reasonable pass through congress. In other words, our elected officials will once again disappoint on a critical issue. The President asked the Congress to place a piece of legislation on his desk by the end of May -- hopefully 2006.

What the President, the Congress and the Media should understand:
The American People want and the Constitution allows for the militarization of our border. As the President pointed out, he is the former governor of Texas, a state that has historically been attacked by Mexico! He, better than most American's, should have a special interest and understanding in moving quickly on this issue. Control of our borders is not a partisan issue -- regardless of party affiliation, American’s want this taken care of - yesterday.

The issue is one of national security, let alone the cost of supporting millions of illegal aliens. Illegal immigrants cannot be expected to fully participate in our society, nor are they capable of finding employment at a wage sufficient to cover basics such as medicine. The American taxpayer picks up these costs. If one subtracts the $150 a week non-taxed lettuce picking wages from the medical bills, tuition at our public schools and colleges -- it boggles the mind. Guest worker?

Speaking of that lettuce and other forms of produce that are picked and sold in the United States by hard working illegal's -- why it is that local grocer's in the Northeast as well as the Wal-Mart chain carry produce and goods that are predominately picked or produced in Mexico?

Apparently, lettuce, avocados, tomatoes and more actually grow south of the San Diego Border. Why are Mexican’ invading our country by the millions? Health care and education as well as a lucrative drug market and a strong belief in manifest destiny (Mexico’s).

The US needs to call out it's national guard now, yesterday. Actually the day the national guard should have been on both borders was: September 12, 2001. There is no excuse for the lack of care shown for the citizens of this country by its elected officials, regardless of party.

In Local News: There is a small enclave of hamlets, somewhat like WACO, to the north of the 19th (nineteenth) most violent city in the country, where a call for impeachment of the President of the United States was brought before the City Council. This happened yesterday. Ranting on local news once again: The following station, WBBG-40, ran a ridiculous clip on this incident giving more air time to a group of rattled NOHOites praising the 30 plus congressmen who are pushing legislation to impeach the president (and noting proudly that the majority of them are from Massachusetts including the reprehensible John Olver) than the presidents speech on immigration.

Sane or Moderate Individuals in Western Massachusetts are running out of options. There simply are no credible local news outlets left, or very few.

Of course Massachusetts, the state that is known for it's citizen's contributions to society (Ted Kennedy (why bother with a list), Dr. Timothy Leary (LSD), Abby Hoffman (radical, author of "Steel This Book"), Arlo Guthrie (God I Miss the 1960's), the Massachusetts Supreme nauseaum) -- should give credence to a group of city residents who wish to impeach the president of the United States; while nominating Al Gores new film on Global Warming for the NOHO Film Festival Award.

I now answer the inquiry "Where are you from?" with the following:
"Well, I've lived in Florida, and Connecticut, and my parents were from New York!" Hopefully, placing a distance between myself and the cauldron of violence and insanity that is Massachusetts and avoiding the derision and questions that always follow an admission of residence to someone from outside the Commonwealth. I love my neighbors (who look like me, who talk like me), the landscape (mountains), but not the ability of a few of the residents (who happen to work in education and media) to embrace the most ridiculous fiction as fact and - report it!

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