I wanted to write a little about the joys of CAT scans today – they’re not so bad, really, except for the disgusting drink – and also wanted to think a little more about the idea of Falling into Community and why Catholicism suits me, but I’m kind of wiped out, today, and so I’m hitting interesting links you may or may not have seen – and sharing emails of gift discoveries from readers:
GUESS WHO SAID IT: Zoe Romanowsky tickles the brains on a topical topic:
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
Look for the answer here.
Judith Klinghoffer says the rising gas prices, not the sub-prime mortgages broke the backs of consumers, and adds:
If all goes well, the American consumer (excluding its poorest component) will have a short memory and it will renew its reckless spending. If it turns thrifty, the recession will last longer. Either way, the new, less confident developing world consumers are no longer likely to follow suit and the corporate world is going to be much more risk averse. In other words, the era of fast paced global development is probably over and the poor will stay poorer longer.
What is to be done? We must use this crisis to make major strides towards energy independence. A major part of the stimulus package should be spent on investment in our energy resources. This is the time to take a holistic approach. We should do everything, so that never, but never, will energy warlords be in a position to hold us hostage again. As in 1973 and 1979, they have demonstrated yet again that they cannot be trusted. Enough is enough.
Yeah, well, that all may be true, but don’t look for drilling in Alaska anytime soon.
Building on my controversial germ from last week, Vanderleun looks at the reluctance of the Proposition 8 Gay Mauraders to confront the folks who actually put the measure over the top in California and writes:
What we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks is a long, long way from Stonewall. Indeed, if most of the protestors ganging up on the Mormon Church weren’t gay, you’d be allowed to call them sissies.
I don’t think you’re actually allowed to call anyone a sissy, anymore. But Victor Davis Hanson, also in a politically correct mood reveals his 10 Politically Incorrect Thoughts, most which you’ve probably had, but this one was striking, to me:
6. Something has happened to the generic American male accent. Maybe it is urbanization; perhaps it is now an affectation to sound precise and caring with a patina of intellectual authority; perhaps it is the fashion culture of the metrosexual; maybe it is the influence of the gay community in arts and popular culture. Maybe the ubiquitous new intonation comes from the scarcity of salty old jobs in construction, farming, or fishing. But increasingly to meet a young American male about 25 is to hear a particular nasal stress, a much higher tone than one heard 40 years ago, and, to be frank, to listen to a precious voice often nearly indistinguishable from the female.
Give me a good basso profundo, anyday.
Machosauce has his own website now, and he’s also talking about Christians and gays.
“I’m trying to come through with ideas, I’m trying to come through with that ‘win-win’ situation. You may not like everything I’m saying, but I’m seriously trying…
He doesn’t hold back, but I do believe he really is seriously trying to find the ‘win-win’ in every situation, and that’s why I like him. And of course I have a little crush on him, too.
God, Man and the Ballot Box: Reuel Marc Gerecht on why Bush was right about democratization in the Middle East. Some of us do remember the Cedar Revolution that looked to be taking place one spring and then, suddenly, went pfffft.
Michael Yon writes that you can’t keep up with all the good news and progress in Iraq. So, the media isn’t even going to try, I guess. They’re also not paying much attention to Afghanistan, and its heroes. Why look to military for our heroes, I guess, when The Greatest Hero of All Time in America or Throughout History is getting ready to move into the White House?
Is Thanksgiving Catholic in origin? Taylor Marsh makes the case.
More thoughts on Monasticism: Caites Day at the Beach quotes from the book Amata Means Beloved, a novel written by Sr. Catherine Perry, the novice mistress of the Summit Dominicans, which contains this sobering thought:
“The longer I’m in the monastery the more I marvel at the mystery of a vocation. Over and over I see women come, enthused to give everything to God, to become saints and to save souls. Nothing will stand in their way. Then they enter the monastery and bang-0!- They are faced with their own weaknesses, frailties and sins. And they don’t like it! They want to deny it, make it go away but they must face their frailty- they must face that they are part of the human race. Not only that, they have to realize and accept that only by God’s grace is any of this life possible.”
Adds Caite: [This is] true for each of up, whatever our vocation.
Can Cancer Go Away on Its Own? Now, there is an interesting question.
…researchers say they have found a situation in Norway that has let them ask that question about breast cancer. And their new study, to be published Tuesday in The Archives of Internal Medicine, suggests that even invasive cancers may sometimes go away without treatment and in larger numbers than anyone ever believed.
At the moment, the finding has no practical applications because no one knows whether a detected cancer will disappear or continue to spread or kill.
Dr. Barnett Kramer, director of the Office of Disease Prevention at the National Institutes of Health, had a similar reaction. “People who are familiar with the broad range of behaviors of a variety of cancers know spontaneous regression is possible,” he said. “But what is shocking is that it can occur so frequently.”
The study groups were very large, and you have to read through the article to get to the meat of it, but this will be interesting to follow. I have heard of two women who have seen their breast cancer “disappear” – one after taking a wait-and-see attitude – and another after adopting a very mild regime of prayer and organic eating. As far as I know they are both still cancer-free. More interesting is the question of whether “knowing” one has cancer and acknowledging it makes it more powerful. That’s an old idea, of course, that simply not naming an illness keeps you from its grips, but I once had a dear friend who died of cancer; the doctors surmised that – given its growth – she must have had it for 8-9 years, undiagnosed. One she was diagnosed, she died so quickly (and in such pain) that many did not even have a chance to say goodbye to her.
A Nice Idea I somehow always missed, Cathouse Chat is saying prepare ye the way of a Christmas Carnival; a way to find inspirational reading during the days of Christmas.
After seeing some of the great gift ideas you guys came up with from my blegging the other day, several readers have written to share Christmas gift ideas with the rest of us, and so I’m passing them on to you.
With Advent coming I was particularly interested in these three recommended Advent recordings sent in by reader Mark S.,
Processions based on the “O Antiphons”, Music for Advent & Christmas, St. John’s Choir, and – most enticingly – this recording of Music for the 2008 Advent Calendar, which I wish I’d known about a month ago, as I am putting my Advent musings together, now.
Jesse raves that this album by three Irish priests is great!.
Shelley likes Josh Grobin’s Noel
Finally Carol says if you know a fan of Dean Koontz’ “Brother Odd” series, his new book Odd Hours has come out, and that there is a graphic-novel sort of “prequel” called In Odd We Trust which sounds interesting. On my Elder Son’s recommendation, I read another graphic novel, recently, Watchmen, which I found entertaining and thought-provoking, too. I approached it with doubt, but ended up liking it quite a lot. In fact, some of the ideas in Watchmen were floating around my head when I wrote this post.
If, like me, you refuse to participate in the crowds and frenzies of Black Friday, Amazon is doing Black Friday All This Week and has some good sales.