The Sisters of Mary whup up on their competition at the American Bible Challenge.
Five American presidents posed for photos when they got together for the opening of the Bush Presidential Library.
What caption would you use to describe the resulting picture?
This falls into what my grandmother would call the if-that-don’t-beat-hens-apeckin’-on-a-hot-griddle column.
Evidently, homebuilders are moving away from labeling the main bedroom in a house the “master” bedroom.
They think it’s sexist. Or maybe it’s heterocentric. Or … maybe they’re nuts.
Personally, I’m leaning toward nuts.
If you want to see some sexism, take a gander at a post I put up this morning called Where are all the good people dead: In the Heart or in the Head? Now that’s sexism. Also misogyny, and hatred of women, and deadly deep sinful hatred of humanity, all rolled into one.
But … “master bedroom??????” I don’t think so.
However, after all that grimness in the earlier post, it is kind of fun to talk about, isn’t it?
From Yahoo Homes:
Has the “master bedroom” ruled the roost for long enough?
Evidently so, according to Washington Business Journal writer Michael Neibauer. His informal survey of 10 major D.C.-area home builders found that six of them are instead using phrases like “owner’s suite” or — and this one just slays me — “mastre bedroom” in their floor plans.
“Why? In large part for exactly the reason you would think: ‘Master’ has connotation problems, in gender (it skews toward male) and race (the slave master),” Neibauer writes.
He found evidence of a trend among listing agents too. The vice president and managing broker of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., Lorraine Arora, told him that her office is split on the issue. Younger agents “want to be more politically correct,” she said, whereas older agents generally stick with “master.”
I asked the National Association of Realtors about this apparent shift. Spokesperson Sara Wiskerchen told me: “While this hasn’t become a widespread trend, we have heard that some real estate brokerages have shied away from using certain phrases that may carry negative connotations. Realtors are strong advocates for homeowners and strive to be respectful of and sensitive to the needs and concerns of their clients.” (Read more here.)
This guy clearly has senator-itis.
Senator-itis is a deadly brain disease that leads to delusions of self-importance, rudeness and bizarre behavior. Coupled with the instantaneous communication of the internet and the “send” button on email software, it can cause homeric public stupidity.
Something happens to people’s poor little brains when they walk into capitol buildings and take their seats in legislative chambers. They start believing the flattery. They start thinking that they are as important as the office that they hold on a temporary basis.
In truth, elective office belongs to the people. The house seat I represent is not “mine.” It belongs to the people of District 89. They chose me to speak for them in state government and they allow me to exercise their bit of power in government in their name. But both the power and the position belong to them, not me.
I’m just the messenger.
Missouri State Senator Brian Nieves appears to have forgotten all this. He got an email from someone who didn’t like the newsletter he sends. The emailer told him to take them off the mailing list.
In my office, the reply would have been I apologize and of course we will remove your name from our list. Thank you for letting us know your preferences. Done and done.
But Senator Bozo replied with a hectoring insult, initiating an email exchange that sounds for all the world like a couple of bratty kids yelling barbs at each other across a playground.
Aside from wondering how this guy managed to get himself elected, I do find his veiled threat about being “threatened” more than a little over the top. It is against the law to threaten an elected official, but so far as I know, there is no law whatsoever against insulting them.
Here’s how it works: If you tell me that you’re going to harm me or my family if I don’t vote the way you want, then that’s a crime. And it should be. We can’t run a government if the people we elect are in fear for their lives because of controversial votes.
However, if you tell me I’m 20 kinds of fool who could easily be replaced with a snail in a business suit, that’s not a crime. It’s an insult. If you tell me that you’re going to take my newsletters and flush them down the drain and that if I ever show up at your house to ask for your vote, you’ll sic the dogs on me, that’s still not a threat. In fact, I’d probably think that was funny … before I x-ed you off my list.
But Bozo the Senator evidently thinks that when someone insults him or tells him to go soak his head, they’re threatening him. And he feels obliged to issue a veiled threat back. I find that disturbing.
All in all, I think this senator needs to consider a return to private life. He’s doesn’t appear to have the mental equipment to handle public office. As for the John Q Citizen who thinks his senator is a douchetard … what can I say? He lost the dumb-off, but not by much.
From Yahoo News:
When an unsolicited email arrives, most people hit delete and move on with their lives. Not Bart Cohn.
The Wildwood, Mo., resident received a newsletter from Brian Nieves, a Republican member of the Missouri Senate with whom Cohn does not see eye to eye on the issues. According to River Front Times, which originally reported the story, Cohn wrote a seven-word reply to Nieves’ newsletter. “Take me off your mailing list. Freak.”
And thus began a wackadoo exchange of insults between Cohn and Nieves, all of which were forwarded by Cohn to River Front Times.
After Cohn’s tersely worded response, Nieves issued a retort:
Who are you? Is there something wrong with you? Are you incapable of communicating in a way that common, decent people do?
Tell me this, how did you ever even get on MY Distribution list?
Cohn fired back:
Remove me from your list. I despise you.
Nieves then wrote this:
Tell me who you are and how you ever got on my list. I don’t take we’ll to some troll sneaking on to my distribution list.
Things get weird(er). From Cohn:
I don’t care what you take well to. Take me off your list. I don’t know how I got on your list. And I don’t sneak. I’ll tell you to your face I think you’re a freak. Now act like a big boy, senator, and remove me from your list as I’ve requested. And stop harassing me or I’ll make an issue of it.
Nieves apparently took issue with the word “issue.” He wrote:
Are you threatening an elected official? I’m sure your very Big & Bad & Tuff.
The ONE and ONLY way for you to have gotten on my list is by YOU having communicated with me via email. I guess your the type who wants to be able to throw something my way but not hear back?
You’ll be removed but be Very Careful to NEVER Threaten me! Also, don’t ever send anything to this email address again because every time you do, you automatically get put back on the distribution list.
Think that’s the end? Nope. Cohn responded with more insults:
I didn’t threaten anyone, you tool. You are such a douchetard it’s not even funny. Now go do some work on your insane conspiracy theories that everyone laughs about behind your back. You’re a joke!
Read the rest here.
Andreas, the Jesuit receptionist must have a short fuse.
At least it appears he does considering his quick response to what he thought was a crank caller. It was an understandable mistake. After all, everybody knows that popes don’t dial their own phones. According to a Vatican official, “When the pope wants to call someone, an official usually calls a secretary who places the call.”
That’s the way things have always been.
Francis, the black-shoe-wearing-hotel-bill-paying Pope is also a telephone-call-making Pope. He phoned a Jesuit residence in Rome last Friday wanting to speak to the superior general of his old Jesuit order.
The man who answered the phone, who has been identified only as Andreas, wasn’t about to be pranked. “Oh yes?” he said to the Pope. “And I’m Napoleon.”
Then he asked, “Who is it?”
When the Holy Father answered, “I really am Pope Francis. Do not worry Andreas, just connect me with the Father General. I would like to thank him for the charming letter.” Andreas seemed to figure things out. After all, who else talks like that? He apologized, and according to an article in the Mail, is now “extremely distraught” over his mistake.
After watching Pope Francis in action this past week, I doubt that Andreas has anything to worry about. I would guess that a black-shoe-wearing-hotel-bill-paying-phone-call-making Pope is not all that easily offended.
I don’t watch tv very often. Too busy.
But when I do, I ignore the network channels altogether. The only exception is when we’re under a tornado alert. Then I watch Gary England on Channel 9 to learn which way to duck.
Other than that, I spend most of my viewing time in the bigger numbers on the viewing chart, far away from the oddball take on the world that the network channels provide. But I do read about television from time to time. (Go figure.) What I’ve read says that “viewers” are attracted to more up-to-date entertainment with lots of cursing, sex and degrading insults to women.
Maybe the reason “viewers” tend to watch these shows is because they are the only shows being offered, and the kind of “viewers” who don’t like this trashy entertainment don’t watch at all. I can’t be the only person who doesn’t watch network programming. In fact, I know I’m not. In my circle — and that includes, family and friends — no one watches network programming.
We do however, all of us, every single one of us, watch Gary England when tornadoes are flying.
Some of the rest of us (Not me. Not my girlfriends.) watch football. But that’s really it for our network tv viewing. The reason? There aren’t any shows on that we want to see. We aren’t entertained by what they’ve got. We tend to be insulted and disgusted by it.
All this is a lead up to the surprising news that the series the Bible scored another hit this week. It came in first, beating out 60 Minutes, and The Walking Dead.
Now, who, in this “post-Christian” world would have predicted that? After all, isn’t the Bible (the book, not the show) irrelevant, out-of-date and totally embarrassing?
I remember shortly after Mel Gibson’s smash hit The Passion of the Christ came out, whoever it is that makes these decisions evidently decided that there was gold in that religion stuff. They put on a “Jesus” miniseries, presumably to try to cash in. My family tried to watch it, but we couldn’t make it through the first 15 minutes. Ever since then, “surfer Jesus” has been a joke line around our house to refer to the lame way that the networks approach our faith.
Now that I’ve typed that line, it all comes clear. No wonder we don’t watch network tv. Except for tornadoes and football, the people who decide what to put on network tv don’t “get” us. I’m sure that they would regard me and mine as a bunch of religious fanatic, unwashed, redneck hill-billies to whom the truth has not yet come.
The odd part is that we feel kinda the same way about them.
An article from The Baptist Press describing the success of the Bible series says in part:
NASHVILLE (BP) — History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries climbed back into the top slot in its third week Sunday (March 17), finishing No. 1 for the night among all broadcast and cable programs thanks to an increase in viewership.
The episode drew 10.9 million viewers, better than its previous week of 10.8 million. It bested AMC’s “Walking Dead” (10.8 million) and CBS’ “60 Minutes” (10.2 million).
The series was No. 1 among broadcast and cable shows in its first week but dropped to No. 3 in its second week.
Unlike most History Channel documentaries — which generally cast a skeptical eye on the truthfulness of Scripture — the five-part, 10-hour miniseries has placed the Bible in a more positive light. The final two episodes will be broadcast over the next two weeks, wrapping up on Easter Sunday. (Read the rest here.)
Next week and the week after, I will become less and less accessible, more and more grumpy, and if you push me, downright mean.
These next two weeks are “deadline” weeks in the Oklahoma legislature, or, as we affectionately think of them, living hell.
We have to vote on every bill that every House member managed to author, get out of the various committees and onto the House agenda. That means long days, longer nights, endless debate and mind-numbing exhaustion. I finish deadline weeks feeling like I’ve been drug by a runaway horse. So does everybody else. By the end of this two weeks we’ll hate our jobs and we’ll probably all hate each other, as well.
That’s how legislators do Lent in Oklahoma.
Once, years ago, I tried to give up swearing for Lent. If Lent happened when the legislature wasn’t in session I would have had a fighting chance. But after the third or fourth time I had to go to confession because I’d broken my penance, my pastor got exasperated and told me, “I want you to forget this and pick something you can do.”
I jokingly said, “Well, I haven’t killed anybody. Can I count that as giving up something for Lent?”
He was not amused.
Ever since then, I’ve tried to come up with Lenten practices that fit into my job. You know; things I can do while driving my car to work or when I’m standing in an elevator. That sort of idle time activity. I literally do not have time to pray during deadline week. When I try to pray before I go to bed, I fall asleep. When I try to pray in the mornings, I’m late for work. If I try to pray while I’m driving … well, I’m already tired and distracted, so that’s not the best plan.
One prayer I’ve found that I can actually do is called the Jesus Prayer. It goes: Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner.
That’s an excellent prayer for deadline week. If you reflect on it, it’s sort of a mini Gospel in a few words. Anytime you’re in a pinch for time, or at a loss for words, I recommend the Jesus Prayer. It says everything you have to say in one profound sentence.
Another one sentence prayer I pray a lot during deadline week comes from Scripture: May the words of my lips and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, my God and my Redeemer.
I pray that a lot before debate.
Then, there’s the Hail Mary: Hail Mary, full of grace. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for me, a sinner, now and at the hour of my death.
The Hail Mary is a cry for help and an act of worship, both at once. It, like the other short prayers I use during deadline week, covers all the ground you have to cover to talk to God.
These quick prayers save my soul (literally) during times like deadline week. But there is another prayer that I’ve learned through the years. This one doesn’t have words, and yet it is perhaps the most eloquent. There are many days when my work is my prayer. I know that sounds odd, but I’ve learned that this can be the most profound prayer and act of worship any of us can do.
What I mean by that is that I am convinced that the most profound act of worship is simply doing what God tells you to do. If I can do my work in a manner that follows what God wants, then I am giving Him obedience, which is profound worship and prayer with feet.
I learned this during a time when I was getting blasted and battered in an ugly and personal way for passing pro life bills. (This was the time when I tried to convince my pastor that the simple fact that I hadn’t killed anybody should count as giving up something for Lent.) It was tough for me as a person and as a woman. But with God’s grace I was able to persevere, and in the persevering I experienced the Lord’s presence in a way that taught me an enormous amount about what prayer and worship truly are.
The best worship is doing what God tells you to do. The most profound prayer is obedience to God from the heart.
All the other worship we do — the retreats, meditations, hymn-singing, scripture reading, long reflective silences — are simply exercises to get us to that state where we can do what He tells us to do with willing obedience from the heart.
I am looking forward to a real Lent one day. I think it would be most edifying to have time for prayer, reflection and long hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
But this week is deadline week, and my Lenten practice may very well be once again, not killing any of my colleagues. I think that’s a fine goal for a pro life legislator.