Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The "Specter of Death" Switches (officially) to the Party of Death

Thank you Rick Santorum. You campaigned for Arlen Specter (formerly R)and endorsed Arlen Specter OVER a prolife challenger. You lost your own bid for re-election over this treacherous betray of life.

And now Arlen Specter will switch parties
giving the Democrats a Filibuster proof majority in the Senate- the magic number 60. (providing Al Franken wins MN- is there much doubt of that?)

The Republicans who helped Specter-of-death amass $5.8 million were not consulted about his switch.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


To be "unveiled" in NYC on April 29th:

And by sculptor, Matthew J. Clark:

From World Net Daily.

And I'm thinking the Swine Flu will be an excellent opportunity for Obama to declare martial law.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sleeping Beauty at the Wang

The Lobby of the Wang Theater:

It doesn't get much better:

And coming in October 1-11, 2009 the Boston Ballet will be performing "Giselle", and in April 8-18-2009, "Coppelia".

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Recent Rainy Day Reads

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

Here's the website for the film which I think I am going to have to see.

The Midnight Dancers by Regina Doman. You can see Regina's site here.

The book has its own website here with ordering information.

Rather than review them I'm just going to say read them. I read them both in one sitting because I couldn't put them down. I'm glad because they were that good but on the other hand, now they're over.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Beauty That Matters is Always on the Inside

Susan Boyle Hype Revitalizes 10-Year-Old Cover - Be sure to listen to the



Susan Boyle's story is a parable of our age. She is a singer
of enormous talent, who cared for her widowed mother until
she died two years ago. Susan's is a combination of ability
and virtue that deserves congratulation.

So how come she was treated as a laughing stock when she
walked on stage for the opening heat of Britain's Got
Talent 2009 on Saturday night?

The moment the reality show's audience and judging panel
saw the small, shy, middle-aged woman, they started to
smirk. When she said she wanted a professional singing
career to equal that of Elaine Paige, the camera showed
audience members rolling their eyes in disbelief. They
scoffed when she told Simon Cowell, one of the judges,
how she'd reached her forties without managing to develop
a singing career because she hadn't had the opportunity.
Another judge, Piers Morgan, later wrote on his blog that,
just before she launched into I Dreamed a Dream, the
3000-strong audience in Glasgow was laughing and the
three judges were suppressing chuckles.

It was rude and cruel and arrogant. Susan Boyle from
Blackburn, West Lothian, was presumed to be a buffoon.
But why?

Britain's Got Talent isn't a beauty pageant. It isn't
a youth opportunity scheme. It is surely about discovering
untapped and unrecognised raw talent from all sections
of society.

And Susan Boyle has talent to burn. Such is the beauty
of her voice that she had barely sung the opening bars
when the applause started. She rounded off to a standing
ovation and - in her naivety - began walking off the stage and
had to be recalled.

Susan, now a bankable discovery, was then roundly patronised
by such mega-talents as Amanda Holden and the aforementioned
Morgan, who told her: "Everyone laughed at you but no-one is
laughing now. I'm reeling with shock." Holden added: "It's the
biggest wake-up call ever."

Again, why?

The answer is that only the pretty are expected to achieve.
Not only do you have to be physically appealing to deserve fame;
it seems you now have to be good-looking to merit everyday
common respect. If, like Susan (and like millions more),
you are plump, middle-aged and too poor or too unworldly to
follow fashion or have a good hairdresser, you are a non-person.

I dread to think of how Susan would have left the stage if her voice
had been less than exceptional. She would have been humiliated in
front of 11 million viewers. It's the equivalent of being put in the
stocks in front of the nation instead of the village. It used to be a
punishment handed out to criminals. Now it is the fate of anyone
without obvious sexual allure who dares seek opportunity.

This small, brave soul took her courage in her hands to pitch
at her one hope of having her singing talent recognised, and
was greeted with a communal sneer. Courage could so easily have
failed her.

Yet why shouldn't she sound wonderful? Not every great singer
looks like Katherine Jenkins. Edith Piaf would never have been
chosen to strut a catwalk. Nor would Nina Simone, nor Ella
Fitzgerald. As for Pavarotti But then ridicule is nothing new
in Susan Boyle's life. She is a veteran of abuse. She was
starved of oxygen at birth and has learning difficulties as a
result. At school she was slow and had frizzy hair. She was
bullied, mostly verbally. She told one newspaper that her
classmates' jibes left behind the kind of scars that don't heal.

She didn't have boyfriends, is a stranger to romance and has
never been kissed. "Shame," she said. Singing was her life-raft.

She lived with her parents in a four-bedroom council house and,
when her father died a decade ago, she cared for her mother and
sang in the church choir.

It was an unglamorous existence. She wasn't the glamorous type
- and being a carer isn't a glamorous life, as the hundreds of
thousands who do that most valuable of jobs will testify.
Even those who start out with a beauty routine and an interest
in clothes find themselves reverting to the practicality of a
tracksuit and trainers. Fitness plans get interrupted and
then abandoned. Weight creeps on. Carers don't often get
invited to sparkling dinner parties or glitzy receptions,
so smart clothes rarely make it off the hanger.

Then, when a special occasion comes along, they might reach,
as Susan did, for the frock they bought for a nephew's wedding.
They might, as she did, compound the felony of choosing a
colour at odds with her skin tone and an unflattering shape
with home-chopped hair, bushy eyebrows and a face without
a hint of make-up. But it is often evidence of a life lived
selflessly; of a person so focused on the needs of another
that they have lost sight of themselves. Is that a cause for
derision or a reason for congratulation? Would her time have
been better spent slimming and exercising, plucking and
waxing, bleaching and botoxing? Would that have made her
voice any sweeter?

Susan Boyle's mother encouraged her to sing. She wanted her
to enter Britain's Got Talent. But the shy Susan hasn't been
able to sing at all since her mother's death two years ago.
She wasn't sure how her voice would emerge after so long a
silence. Happily, it survived its rest.

She is a gift to Simon Cowell and reality television.
Her story is the stuff of Hans Christian Andersen: the woman
plucked from obscurity, the buried talent uncovered, the
transformation waiting to be wrought.

It is wonderful for her, too, that her stunning voice is
now recognised. A bright future beckons. Her dream is becoming

Susan is a reminder that it's time we all looked a little deeper.
She has lived an obscure but important life. She has been a
companionable and caring daughter. It's people like her who are
the unseen glue in society; the ones who day in and day out put
themselves last. They make this country civilised and they deserve
acknowledgement and respect.

Susan has been forgiven her looks and been given respect because
of her talent. She should always have received it because of the
calibre of her character.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

There are things that make me laugh

Like reading articles about how to "save money". It's not that the subject is not a serious and important one it's just that the ideas put forth in the article are either so blatantly obvious or so stupid, I can't believe people are paid to write them. (Obviously people who did not put themselves through college if you know what I mean).

Some examples:

1. Buy fewer clothes that need to be dry cleaned.

My solution: Buy as few clothes as possible, rarely go out in public and when you do have a large enough family and well dressed enough children so that you can stand behind them. If someone asks who you are your children can say that you are a homeless person they have befriended.

2. Use coupons.

Now this is an idea that never works because coupons are ALWAYS for brand name, processed foods. If you really want to save money you don't buy brand name, processed foods or you buy as little as possible. So little in fact that the time you've spent clipping, storing and trying to keep track of your coupons would be better spent making something from scratch.

3. For Appliance Purchases, check Consumer Reports and buy the most cost efficient.

Well, the most cost efficient is to do without the appliance if you can. You don't really need a dishwasher and I would never buy one. If you have one by all means use it but if it dies, get rid of it and glory in more kitchen cabinet space. If you seem to have more dishes than you can reasonably do, this introduces a delicate subject. The trick is to have enough children so that you never do a dish until the last child leaves the house. Though not much of a math whiz this is how I figure it [Mom = Cooking] and conversely [Kids = Dishes].

4. Money saving vacations.

This is a good one. You see pictures of trips to Disneyland, resorts, ranches and the happy Mom and Dad and kids doing nothing but spending money. To the family who is trying to save money there is no such thing as vacation. You might go camping, in a tent at a state park. You do not go to amusement parks, you do not eat out, you do not play miniature golf. You splurge on a fishing license that will provide 3 or 4 family meals. Your outings consist of going to the beach, going for walks, having a camp fire and making yourself sick on s'mores every night.

5. Save on Car Repairs by maintaining your vehicles.

This is a good one. Obviously written by someone with a car payment. Forget about car payments. Drive a beater for which any maintainance is laughably unnecessary. Your best bet is a car about 9 + years old with at least 200,000 miles on it. Any repairs except those to get it through inspection will not be worth it. This relieves the cost and stress of car repairs. This is also a way to find out who your real friends are- real friends are not embarrassed to see you, and be seen with you in your beater.

6. Clothing, sales, purchases and other follies.

You will invariably see a hard luck story about a family that 'gasp' is in so much difficulty they cannot even afford to buy their children new clothes. The horror of it is they have had to rely on "used clothing", hand me downs or resale shops. Well, let's cut directly to the chase here. Short of dumpster diving (and I qualify that statement by saying it could change next week) there is nothing beneath me in acquiring clothing. Forget "Resale Shops" unless you are going to a wedding or something. I have two words for you "Thrift Store" and another one is "Garage Sale". When you get into the underbelly of the frugal movement you will find that some of the best dressed people you know acquire most of their clothing from these two sources.

7. Gardening and raising animals for food.

This is an urban myth that must die. While there are many good reasons to raise your own food- you don't have to drive to the store to buy it, it makes your children do chores, you know the food is clean and you will just enjoy it, saving money is not realistic. I love to can tomatoes but have noticed that in tomato canning season the grocery stores lower their prices on canned tomatoes so that it is cheaper to buy them than to buy the canning jar. Still can, still garden and still raise chickens if you can but accept the fact that after you purchase the animals, buy feed, you will have spent about the same as buying the same thing from the grocery store. The feelings of moral superiority though, are priceless.

8. Sports, Lessons and other Childhood Expenditures.

Have you ever noticed that the masters in their field, Mozart, Beethoven, master painters had nothing. They were usually born into poverty and never achieved middle class status. And yet that does not stop us from expensive childhood lessons in music, art, sports, foreign languages etc. I'm not saying you don't get these lessons for your child if they really have any talent and interest but you find the least expensive way to satisfy these interests like free classes at the library, befriending artists and musicians, having college students who are studying these subjects give reasonable lessons. And completely rule out expensive sports- hockey, dirt biking, etc. It's not just the equipment, it's the trips to the ER, PT and specialists. (I know of what of I speak).

9. Hair Care

Your children need never see the inside of a salon. Buy a good hair cutting buzzer and learn while they are young and will not be mocked by their peers for your earlier mistakes. [Mothers are exempt from this and must visit the salon faithfully ever 8 weeks to maintain a shred of dignity.]

10. Saving for Your Kids College Fund.

I saved this for the last because it is the most laughable. If you can afford it and want to save for your children to go to college I doubt that I will be able to stop you. However, it is a guarantee that your child's grades will be mediocre at best. What is the incentive for doing well in High School if college is "paid for"? And once enrolled what is the incentive to do well in college, graduate in four years and actually major in something that will result in a job. No, sir, college loans taken out for your child and by your child and their "ghost of Christmas future" specter will guarantee excellent high school grades, good SATs and a zeal that cannot be matched when everything is taken for granted.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Randall Terry versus Notre Dame

Randall Terry met with the Vice President of Notre Dame and security officials about upcoming protests at the University. He even helpfully wrote a "resignation" letter for President of Notre Dame, Fr. Jenkins, CSC.

As you read the letter and when you get to the part about "unwavering fidelity" does your mind automatically go to Mr. Terry's "wavering fidelity" in regards to his 19 year marriage to Cindy and his "wavering fidelity" to his 5 children of that marriage? And then there is the part about "duty", "scandal" and "confusion".

I just couldn't help it.

The letter:

The Resignation Letter of Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC

To the Board of Trustees:

When I took holy vows as a priest, I had high hopes and deep desires to serve Christ and His Church with valor, and without wavering in fidelity. [emphasis mine]

Regrettably, I have failed in my duty as a priest, and brought much scandal and confusion to the faithful.

My decision to acquiesce to the urgings of others to invite President Obama to speak at our 2009 commencement – even though I knew he was openly defiant of our Lord’s commandment, “Thou shalt not murder,” and that as President he has personally authorized the shedding of innocent blood in America and around the world – shows that my moral compass has been badly damaged.

It is clear that I do not possess the internal fortitude to resist the machinations of those who promote child-killing, and who seek to tear apart Christ’s beloved bride. I am not fit to lead this institution in the battles to defend God’s innocents, and Catholic orthodoxy.

After much reflection, as an act of contrition before our Lord, His Church, Our Lady, the holy men who founded Notre Dame, and the millions of innocent children who have been slaughtered by abortion, I hereby tender my resignation as President of Notre Dame University, effective immediately.

Please pray for me.


Father John I. Jenkins, CSC