This is the story of the real Monuments Men on whose work the movie is based.
Americans should be proud that we did this. It is a powerful demonstration of who we were.
To what extent is it who we still are?
This is the story of the real Monuments Men on whose work the movie is based.
Americans should be proud that we did this. It is a powerful demonstration of who we were.
To what extent is it who we still are?
The video below is a newscast describing the vote to euthanize children in Belgium. It does not mention it in this video, but the same law also allows doctors to euthanize people with dementia.
Dementia is a vague diagnosis that is not necessarily life threatening. It can range from mild forgetfulness to a complete loss of mental faculties.
Dementia can be a cause of emotional distress in its early stages, when the person realizes they are forgetting. But once they pass this, it is no longer a problem for them. Dementia is not painful physically and it does not mean the person is unhappy.
My mother, who has dementia, is quite happy and enjoys her life. She tells me over and over again how much fun she is having when we go out for drives or she eats her daily ice cream cone. She always tells me that it’s been months since she’s eaten ice cream, and she enjoys it with the relish of someone who really hasn’t had ice cream for months.
My mother is not useless. She is a totally lovable and rather spoiled elderly child. She is not suffering.
My father, who did not have dementia, went through a period of increasing helplessness and decline before he died. That is nothing terrible that must be shortened to “spare” either the dying or their caregivers. It is a natural phase of life. Rather than a call for us to take up killing people, it is an opportunity for us to show our love in tangible and wonderful ways.
The opportunity to care for the people you love as they take their leave of this life is a gift to you. It is an exhausting experience, sometimes sad, sometimes surprisingly joyous. It is tender and so full of love that it lights up your life, even as you grieve the many losses of their decline.
My father died twenty years ago. No one urged me to dump him in a home or to withdraw food or water to “allow” him to die. But that was then. My time of caring for my failing Mama is in this new now of the post Christian West.
I have had a number of people, including medical personnel, urge me to do things that would either destroy my mother’s happiness and quality of life, or that would result in her premature death. Their reason? Sometimes they say that caring for her is too much “burden” for me. Other times, they don’t even bother with that gloss but demand that I do these things as if it was my responsibility to them to kill my own mother.
Make no mistake about it: Advanced directives and carping medical “advice” that has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with social values can be and often are used as a not-so-subtle way to bully people into euthanizing their loved ones.
We are not even one step away from the full-blown slaughter of “useless eaters” of our horrific past. We keep inching toward it in a movement fueled by media propaganda and sophisticated lies concerning what we are doing. The glam we put on murder only hides the reality of it from those who want to be deceived.
I have not — ever — expressed the thought that caring for my mother is a “burden,” much less that it is “too much” for me and I should institutionalize her or even hasten her death to save myself from the trouble of taking care of her.
I am appalled and angered by these repeated, intrusive and usually censorious and judgmental demands that I do away with my mother. But that is the world in which we live. It is a bleak, selfish and utterly cold culture of death.
Wendy Davis tried to broaden her appeal with a bit of mushy political-talk about 20 week abortions. But instead of making herself sound nuanced and thoughtful, she ended up looking all flip-floppy on her core issue.
The internet is all a-tweeter over comments she made in an interview with the Dallas Morning News. I had seen the claims that she had come out in favor of a ban for abortions after twenty weeks into pregnancy. Reading them made me kinda wonder who was smoking what.
After a bit of digging, it seemed clear to me that everybody involved had a toke or two.
Here’s what Senator Davis actually said. She is referring to the bill which was the target of her famous filibuster:
I would have and could have voted to allow that to go through, if I felt like we had tightly defined the ability for a woman and a doctor to be making this decision together and not have the Legislature get too deep in the weeds of how we would describe when that was appropriate.
Huh? Or, as we say North of the Red River, Come again?
Did she say she was in favor of banning abortions after 20 weeks, with provisos? Or, did she say was opposed to banning it? Or … maybe … she said she was in favor of abortion anytime, but would vote for a ban that didn’t stop a woman from having an abortion if she (and her doctor, of course) made the decision herself.
Humph. So … what she said was … nothing, all dressed up to look like something?
You betcha, boys and girls. That’s exactly what she said.
This is the woman who engaged in a 13-hour filibuster, complete with pink running shoes and a catheter, in a desperate fight to kill legislation that, among other things, banned all but a few abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Now, she’s saying she could have voted for that bill, if … well, if what?
Read her statement again.
If you think that statement says Senator Wendy Davis supports banning abortions after 20 weeks, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn we need to talk about.
This is mushy political-talk designed to give the appearance of a softer stand for the upcoming election. She’s not backing off of anything. She just doing what she has to do with an issue like abortion in red-state Texas. She’s trying to look like she’s nuanced and fair-minded and could be persuaded by other nuanced and fair-minded people.
She is, in Okie parlance, trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
President Obama engaged in some famous back-tracking of his own when he ran for president. In fact, he flat-out lied when he said that he had not used his power as an Illinois State Senate committee chairman to kill an infant born alive bill and then in another legislative session, voted against it.
The difference is that the boys who write the stories went along with then Senator Obama and his lies. It would have been as easy as taking a breath for a reporter to come back with, “But Senator, the record/recordings/testimonies show that what you say is untrue.”
But they didn’t. They let him lie, and by doing that, they helped him lie.
Senator Davis may well have been counting on the same kind of help with her electoral twists and turns. But it appears she’s wrong. The same commenters and reporters who shamelessly bearded the American public for Senator Obama are going at Wendy Davis with their full force.
The facts are that Senator Wendy Davis has built what national reputation she has entirely on her absolutist stand for abortion.
When she tries to soften that with obfuscations, she forgets that she’s not playing to the home crowd anymore. The same national notoriety that gave her the idea of running for Governor of Texas is going to plague her every step of the race.
The national press is not going to beard for her the way they do President Obama. When she gets lost on the way to the rodeo, everyone, everywhere, will know about it.
A federal judge in Kentucky killed marriage this week.
A parliamentary vote in Belgium officially raised the Ashteroths and reinstituted the Baals in the name of medical Molochs.
It was the week that Western civilization, already weakened by the blood loss from the decades-long practice of cultural self-cutting, was given its death sentence. What we were and what we would like to think we still are is now a dead man walking, waiting for the final woof! of implosion that pushes us back down to the muck from which we came.
My first thought was to drape this blog in black crepe and declare a day of mourning. We civilized folk of the Western world now kill everyone, everywhere, with a pasted on silly-smile of patently bogus “consent.” The real consent is the one we have given ourselves; the consent to kill people from conception to the tremors and dependance of old age. No one is safe from the scythe.
And yet, the yammering for more continues unabated. Last night, when I googled euthanasia, I came across a forever-to-be-nameless blog that was chortling over the rise in public acceptance of medical murder, which polite folk like to call euthanasia. This blogger, who earns his literary bread by selling atheism, went on to say that this public approval of killing grandma pits Christians even more solidly against the culture of what’s happening now. This is, the writer said, an “opportunity” for him and his to gain converts.
The question arises: Converts to what?
Certainly not a disbelief in God, since that question never arises in this or most similar analyses. This wasn’t an argument against the existence of God. It was a smug rejoicing in the increasingly widespread public rebellion against God.
Rebellion and disbelief are two entirely different things.
But what of those of us who will not rebel against our Maker? We are free, unlike these self-appointed little g gods who have taken the power of life and death onto themselves, to not have to decide.
The burden of when to kill our elderly, murder our children, flush our unborn is removed from us. We know and accept that this is murder, plain and simple, and we will not do it.
By the same token, we do not eschew the pleasures of home and family. We still have our marriages between one man and one woman in lifelong fealty. We’re not burdened with the living death of empty sexual hooking up, polyamory, swinging and endless rounds of coupling and uncoupling. We have said “no” to the insect sexuality of modern day culture and the hollowed-out death of self that it ultimately brings.
We are human, and we know that means we are made in the image and likeness of the Eternal God.
We are free from these animalistic ways of living. Or we try to be. And when we fail, we go to Him to be washed clean so we can begin again.
What of us on this Valentine’s Day that falls on the Friday of the week that Western Civilization finally convicted itself and placed its life on death row?
We chose — of our own convictions — to withhold our support for this mass suicide of a whole world. We chose — through the enabling power of the merciful grace of a God Who loves us so much that He died for us — to go another way.
My husband of 30 years and I talked about the killing field that is Belgium over dinner last night. “Next, they will kill the disabled, the mentally ill, the mentally challenged,” he said. “That has already begun,” I told him, speaking of the two men who were euthanized because they were going blind, the many who have died because they were depressed, the untold numbers of the unborn who have been slaughtered for being disabled.
Who’s next for this “right” to be killed?
Marriage died in America the day before Belguim enlarged the killing fields of medical murder to include all of humanity. The symmetry is unmistakable. We destroy the home, the family, and the lives of our young and old, all in one week.
And yet, there are those of us who do not bend our knee to the Baals. If we are to be the remnant, a 21st century version of the 7,000 that God revealed to Elijah; if we are those whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him, then that is our honor and our privilege.
A husband of 30 years that I can share these thoughts with is a considerable reward for living the life Christ asks of me. Sons who are fine young men with values and kind hearts is another great reward.
But nothing, not even these wonderful things, can compare with the pearl of great price that is knowing and loving and walking with Jesus Christ.
He has saved me from the pit in which that other blogger I spoke of earlier, lies wallowing. He has lifted the deadly choice of killing grandma off my shoulders and left me free to love and, yes, to sacrifice for, my elderly parent.
He has given me the gift of love in my life and His own love, pouring down on me every day. He has spared me from the bloodguilt of killing my family members.
All of this in exchange for simply accepting that He — and not me — is God.
It’s Valentine’s Day. And on this day, those of us who follow Him have the many gifts of living good in this life, with eternal life ahead of us. In addition, He has also given us one another.
If we are today’s 7,000 who will not bend our knee to the Baals, then let’s rejoice and be glad for our salvation. Let us resolve to be the light that shines in this new darkness.
We, out of all this black morass of killing and license, are the ones who have chosen, by our free acceptance of the gift of God and His grace, to be blessed.
St Thomas said, “my Lord and my God.” My Lord, which means the One who decides. You decide, not me. You judge. I am the judged. You are the Lord of my life, which means I give fealty to you in all areas of my existence; in my work, play, home, and down to the secret corners of me that only You and I know exist. You are my Lord, my God. I do not confuse myself by thinking that I am the Lord. I know always, that the Lord of my life is you.
Jesus, born of a human mother, raised as the son of a carpenter, died at the hands of rapacious human power. You are human and I am human. You understand hunger, thirst, grief and temptation. You know what it is to be tortured, mocked, humiliated, shamed and murdered. You understand absolutely what it is to be helpless prey in the hands of human monsters in whom there is no pity, no remorse, not a shred of kindness. You are Jesus, my brother, who understands me with the tenderness of having been there with me in the depths of my experience.
Fulfiller of prophecy, God made human, the Great I Am; you are the Christ, the only Way to eternal life. Your death and resurrection are the unending testament to the Christ, the Savior of the World that you are.
Begotten, not made, You, who are the son of Mary, are also the great I Am. You declared “Before Abraham was, I Am,” and by saying that, you identified yourself forever with the One who has no beginning and will have no end.
OF THE LIVING GOD
God, Who lives and reigns over all creation. God, Who made everything, everywhere. God Who is outside time, outside the rules that govern existence, but Who, through the miracle of His greatness calls to every human heart. You, Oh Lord, are Son and One with Him.
Only faith in Your love could allow me to approach Your throne and ask for mercy. I do not deserve mercy. My hubris and sin define me too clearly as undeserving and lost. But You came to live among us, You died on the cross, for me and my lostness. You came to seek and find me, to redeem me, to bring me to You, and through Your sacrifice to restore me to what I was intended to be. You, Who have no sin, become sin, my sin, to pay the price and ransom me, to save me from getting what I deserve and from eternal death.
Me. The one and only me that ever was or ever will be. The beautiful, priceless, totally unique and beautiful me that You have created in Your image, and into whom You breathed the breathe of life. I not just a body that processes chemicals and will one day die and rot. I am a living soul, and my soul was made in Your Image. You gave me the power to chose, to decide, to go my own way and live according to whatever light I decide to follow. You made me free, even to reject You. Or, to turn to You to love You and accept Your guidance like the child I am, slipping my hand into the hand of my Father.
I am a child of the Fall, as well as a child of God. The stubborn stain of original sin mars my soul and leads me into the idolatry of self. I, who came to life on the breath of the Living God, am prone to iniquity. I can not stop myself. I can not do otherwise. I will sin. Of myself, there can be no salvation.
Which is why I pray,
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
The Belgian Parliament has passed a law allowing doctors to euthanize children and people with dementia. The vote was 86 to 44 with 12 votes abstaining.
I have no idea why anyone would abstain on a vote like this. Speaking as a lawmaker, I would never miss the chance to say “NO!!” to a heinous piece of legislation like this. I would be there and I would both speak and vote, if they had to carry me in on a gurney.
I’ve read that euthanizing children is a popular idea in Belgium. Pity for them — and all the rest of the so-called civilized world. I can only assume that some of the abstentions came from people who were afraid of the vote politically. Again, I say, pity for them. There are times, and this is certainly one of them, when getting kicked out of office over an unpopular vote would be a badge of honor.
I assume the usual folks will line up and explain how this is a great thing.
Let me be clear: It is murder. It is not acceptable. Nothing makes it acceptable.
From BBC News Europe:
Parliament in Belgium has passed a bill allowing euthanasia for terminally ill children without any age limit, by 86 votes to 44, with 12 abstentions.
When, as expected, the bill is signed by the king, Belgium will become the first country in the world to remove any age limit on the practice.
It may be requested by terminally ill children who are in great pain and also have parental consent.
Opponents argue children cannot make such a difficult decision.
It is twelve years since Belgium legalised euthanasia for adults.
In the Netherlands, Belgium’s northern neighbour, euthanasia is legal for children over the age of 12, if there is parental consent.
- Patient must be conscious of their decision
- Request must be approved by parents and medical team
- Illness must be terminal
- Patient must be in great pain with no treatment available to alleviate their distress
Under the Dutch conditions, a patient’s request for euthanasia can be fulfilled by a doctor if the request is “voluntary and well-considered” and the patient is suffering unbearably, with no prospect of improvement.
One man in the public gallery of Belgium’s parliament shouted “murderers” in French when the vote was passed, Reuters news agency reports.
US District Judge John G Heyburn II has ruled that Kentucky must recognize gay marriages of residents who wed outside the state.
Judge Heyburn said that last summer’s US Supreme Court ruling that struck down DOMA led to his decision.
You may remember that I predicted this would happen when DOMA was struck. A number of people told me I was daft. I have to say that I take no pleasure in being right.
I caution those who are so quick to jump on this bandwagon to think carefully what they do. We are on the edge of a precipice here. I believe that gay marriage will be as culturally damaging as widespread divorce and abortion have been. The major difference is that gay marriage comes after divorce and abortion have already blunted our consciences and torn our social constructs to ribbons. I believe the effect of gay marriage will be geometric.
Are we at a societal tipping point? I’m too close to know for sure, but I’m inclined to think that we are, at least, approaching one.
For what it’s worth, I’m going to be very stubborn about this and stick with the two-thousand-year-old teachings of the Church. I’ve had my turn at being my own God and I have reaped a whirlwind of guilt, remorse and shame for my self-deification.
As for me and my house, I’m going to follow, not lead, when it comes to Christ and the teachings of His Church. It doesn’t matter how much Kool-Aid gets dumped on my head.
(Reuters) – Kentucky must recognize the legal same-sex marriages of residents who wed outside the state, a federal judge said on Wednesday in the latest of a series of rulings that expand gay rights following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year.
Four Kentucky same-sex couples who were married out of state had challenged a state law that declared such marriages void and the accompanying rights unenforceable. They did not challenge a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II in Louisville said a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions including the striking down of a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year led to his decision on Wednesday.
“Each of these small steps has led to this place and this time, where the right of same-sex spouses to the state-conferred benefits of marriage is virtually compelled,” Heyburn said in a 23-page ruling.
President Thomas S Monson of the Mormon Church
President Thomas S Monson, the head of the Mormon church, has been summoned before a Magistrate in Britain. The charge is that the teachings of his faith are fraudulent and that religious leaders can be prosecuted for teaching these beliefs and then asking for donations.
The charges were originally filed by Tom Philipps, a former Mormon bishop, stake president and area secretary who has evidently decided that he no longer believes the teachings he once taught. A Mormon convert named Stephen Bloor also filed a charge. Mr Bloor has, presumably, deconverted.
That, of course, is their privilege. I don’t believe in the teachings they once taught and believed, either. What I do believe is that people have the right to think whatever they want and that neither of these two men should interfere with others in this matter. I do not understand the spiteful, I’ll-burn-your-house-down crazy meanness of people who do things like this.
However, I do see a pattern of nuisance lawsuits against people of faith on both sides of the Atlantic. Being drug into court has a chilling effect on the exercise of free speech and the rights of personal religious belief. I think that is the immediate (but not the only) purpose behind these legal actions; to intimidate people of faith into backing down and withdrawing from public debate.
President Monson is an American citizen who lives in Salt Lake City, UT. I don’t know if the British government intends to make this an international situation by starting extradition proceedings. According to news stories, probably not.
President Monson is not charged with breaking American law. In fact, his work as a religious leader is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. He is not subject to this British Magistrate and her fanciful court orders. If it was me, she could just go ahead and draft up her arrest warrant. I wouldn’t be going to England.
The same procedure by which the summons was issued to President Monson was also used in the past by a Palestinian activist against the Israeli justice minister.
District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe signed this order.
From The Telegraph:
A British magistrate has issued an extraordinary summons to the worldwide leader of the Mormon church alleging that its teachings about mankind amount to fraud.Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been ordered to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London next month to defend the church’s doctrines including beliefs about Adam and Eve and Native Americans.A formal summons signed by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe warns Mr Monson, who is recognised by Mormons as God’s prophet on Earth, that a warrant for his arrest could be issued if he fails to make the journey from Salt Lake City, Utah, for a hearing on March 14.In one of the most unusual documents ever issued by a British court, it lists seven teachings of the church, including that Native Americans are descended from a family of ancient Israelites as possible evidence of fraud.It also cites the belief that the Book of Mormon was translated from ancient gold plates revealed to the church’s founder Joseph Smith by angels and that Adam and Eve lived around 6,000 years ago.The document suggests that asking members of the church to make contributions while promoting theological doctrines which “might be untrue or misleading” could be a breach of the Fraud Act 2006.The Church dismissed the summons as containing “bizarre allegations” and signalled that Mr Monson has no plans to attend.It was issued in response to a private prosecution attempt by Tom Phillips, a disaffected former Mormon who now runs MormonThink a website highly critical of the church.
Shirley Temple Black is dead at the age of 85.
I watched a few scenes from her old movies yesterday, and I was astounded. When I saw these movies on tv as a little girl, I took it for granted that she could sing and dance. But when I saw the scenes with her and Bojangles last night, I realized how extraordinary she was.
How could a little child perform at that level? Shirley Temple was an incredible talent.
She was also different in another way. Almost alone among child stars, Shirley Temple grew up to be a normal adult. We are all watching the implosion of Miley Cyrus’ young life as she destroys herself publicly. We’ve seen the suicides, the lives wasted on drug addiction and the inability to form meaningful relationships with people of the opposite sex over and over again.
But Shirley Temple grew up to become a young woman who was able to have and raise a stable family and engage in productive work at an incredibly high level in the diplomatic world. She had a successful life in the ways that matter.
What made the difference?
I would guess that the major difference was her parents. I read one story talking about the fact that Shirley’s mother was always present when she was performing. The story went that the director of a film sent Mrs Temple on a brief errand, and, while she was gone, deliberately frightened little Shirley to make her cry for a scene. When Mrs Temple returned and learned what had happened, she decided to never leave her daughter alone with these people again.
Contrast that with the famous story of the director telling Jackie Cooper that his dog had died to make him cry for a scene:
When young Cooper was unable to summon tears for a big crying scene, Taurog threatened to remove the boy’s small dog from the set and take it to the pound. The incident ended with Cooper believing his dog had been shot by an armed security guard.
“I could visualize my dog, bloody from that one awful shot,” Cooper wrote. “I began sobbing, so hysterically that it was almost too much for the scene. [Taurog] had to quiet me down by saying perhaps my dog had survived the shot, that if I hurried and calmed down a little and did the scene the way he wanted, we would go see if my dog was still alive.”
Only after doing the scene as best he could did Cooper learn that his dog was unharmed. He also saw Taurog, the guard and Cooper’s grandmother grinning over their successful deception.
“Later, people tried to rationalize to me that I had gained more than I lost by being a child star,” Cooper wrote. “They talked to me about the money I made. They cited the exciting things I had done, the people I had met, the career training I had had, all that and much more….
“But no amount of rationalization, no excuses, can make up for what a kid loses — what I lost — when a normal childhood is abandoned for an early movie career.”
It is worth noting that Jackie Cooper had a relative there when this happened — his grandmother. But instead of protecting her grandson, she allowed what happened and seemed to enjoy it.
The emotional abuse Jackie Cooper endured, bad as it was, was nothing compared to what Corey Feldman, and, according to books and testimonies by a number of former child stars, many others, have endured. Corey maintains that the single biggest problem for child actors is pedophilia.
He also says that the pedophiles are often big names in the entertainment industry. The way that industry people behave when famous directors are accused of child rape lends credence to these charges.
Shirley Temple Black and her normal, productive life, indicate that it is possible for a child to work as an entertainer and come out of the experience intact. But the fact that she is so rare as to be an anomaly raises serious questions about the practice of putting underage people into that world.
We’ve all seen the shattered lives of former child actors. From River Phoenix, to Michael Jackson, to Miley the story is the same. But we keep right on, ignoring the obvious.
Are the lives of children worth the “art” of the films they help make?
More to the point, are sexual predators in the entertainment industry who abuse and violate children off limits for prosecution and the long lives in prison that they deserve?
We will only truly know the degree of child abuse in the entertainment industry when adults who work in that world grow spines and begin to out these guys instead of covering for them and defending them. From what I’ve seen, that day is a long way off.