Tuesday, August 26, 2008

White Lies

I just read a great article about being a conservative. Don't fight it. It feels good to be on this side...

Word of the Day: Ardent

Ardent, which means a feeling a warmth typically expressed in eager zealous support or activity, in the Latin present participle means to burn. I prefer the visual of a steady, consistent burn when I think of ardent.

I am an ardent fan of a few things, which I do not need to go into, but I can honestly tell you that those things which I am ardent in are steadfastly practiced and given large amounts of time and energy.

In Nancy Pelosi's words (on Meet the Press on Sunday), she is an ardent Catholic and confident that the Catholic Church has been unable to determine when a fetus becomes viable. Well, that set off a firestorm from real ardent Catholics. Here is a letter from Archbishop Chaput from Northern Colorado. In it he very eloquently lays out the case for why abortion has ALWAYS been against church doctrine, no matter what state of animation the fetus was in. As an ardent Catholic, wouldn't you have thought Pelosi would know that?

I recommend reading this open letter. It's not very long but it gives some very helpful doctrinal insight on abortion. My favorite line from the letter is taken from Jesuit John Connery's Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective (Loyola, 1977), in which he says,
"Whatever one would want to hold about the time of animation, or when the fetus became a human being in the strict sense of the term, abortion from the time of conception was considered wrong, and the time of animation was never looked on as a moral dividing line between permissible and impermissible abortion."
As to the separation of Church from State:
Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or "ensouled." But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong.

Of course, we now know with biological certainty exactly when human life begins. Thus, today's religious alibis for abortion and a so-called "right to choose" are nothing more than that - alibis that break radically with historic Christian and Catholic belief.

Abortion kills an unborn, developing human life. It is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it. Catholics who make excuses for it - whether they're famous or not - fool only themselves and abuse the fidelity of those Catholics who do sincerely seek to follow the Gospel and live their Catholic faith.

The duty of the Church and other religious communities is moral witness. The duty of the state and its officials is to serve the common good, which is always rooted in moral truth. A proper understanding of the "separation of Church and state" does not imply a separation of faith from political life. But of course, it's always important to know what our faith actually teaches.
How can an ardent Catholic not know where the Church stands on this issue? Apparently Pelosi (and Joe Biden, another ardent Catholic, fyi) do not hold with the Catholic Church on abortion. At the very least she should have said, "I know what the Catholic Church has been teaching for over two thousand years, and I disagree for political expediency." Just kidding on the last part. She would never admit to being pro-choice for political expediency.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Word of the Day: Loquacious

Loquacious is the word of the day. Loquacious means being characterized with excessive speech, long-winded, wordy, garrulous.

All words used this weekend to characterize, Joe Biden. Obama's choice for V.P. And to think, I was worried.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Word of the Day: Juju

Here is one for all my Scrabulous friends. Oh, I can hear the wheels turning. 'Juju is a word!' Yes, it is, my dear vocabulary-interested ones. And no, it is not the name of the popular chewy candy, which would make it a proper noun and not in the Scrabble Dictionary. No, the word is juju and it is something that is superstitiously believed to have magical powers.

Now don't you feel more prepared for your next Scrabulous match up?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Poop Training

I am potty-training Matilyn. Well, actually, she's doing fine for the #1 business. It's the #2 business that is seriously not happening. And actually, it's happening, just not in the potty.

Yesterday, my dear second daughter pooped in her pants. This is nothing new, so I cleaned it up. And since we were having neighbors over for dinner, I didn't bother to put panties on her. (Her dress was long enough and I was busy getting the house together.) Needless to say, the darling then pooped in Reagan's room. Oh yeah. Fun times. Erik went in to check on the girls, and Regan had already gotten a tissue and was starting to clean it up. Isn't that sweet? Erik said, "Reagan, you don't have to clean up Mati's poop." Honestly.

So, I would love some advice on how to help my second daughter succeed in this endeavor of pooping on the potty. Just some details about her, though. First, she's stubborn and not patient. So me getting her on the potty is enough of a battle. I'm having a tough time getting her to stay on the potty long enough to get the poop moving. Second, she's got serious attitude. So, any tips on how to make this funny, even if it's only funny for me would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'm in the McCain Camp

I have finally decided that John McCain is my candidate. Yep, I'm a McCain Girl. Wow, I didn't think I ever would be, but here it is, August 19th and I'm in the McCain camp.

Of course this means that I will be tirelessly working on my friends to join me in voting the GOP ticket. Now I am excited about John McCain. Before I was like, well, of course I'm voting Republican, how can I not? Oh yeah, now I'll be working to convince those around me that McCain is the better pick. The better candidate. The better person for the job.

What, you may ask, is the reason for this change in my level of interest? Well, it was the informal debate at Saddleback Church with Rick Warren. This is where McCain got me. I know it could be contrived; I am not naive. But McCain's answers were heartfelt and meaningful whereas Obama's answers were long-winded and philosophically void.

I found the question about the toughest moral dilemma the most telling. While Obama spoke of his personal experimentation with drugs and drinking McCain discussed his decision to stay in captivity when given the opportunity to leave while imprisoned in Vietnam. There's just something about the quiet application of the verse "Lay down his life for his friends" that I think McCain gets while Obama only seems to be able to quote it. After all, what is the Bible without personal application? I think McCain gets that and Obama doesn't.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Go World? No Way. GO USA!

So, like any red-blooded (and I do mean RED!) American I am going to partake in my share of the Olympics. I rather enjoy the swimming (Let's Go Phelps!), the diving (How in the world can they do that off a platform?) and of course, the gymnastics (Let's hear it for Johnson and Luikin!).

All of this to say that I'm intensely pro-America! I love this country. It totally rocks. And I love competition. I think competition is what keeps people interested. It keeps people from giving up. Competition is a God-send for Humans. Yes, I know, how very anti-socialist of me. And you guessed it, I'm incredibly anti-socialism! But back to the Olympics... (man, the vituperations lately!)

So, I don't think I'd be remiss to say that every country competing in the Summer Olympics is going to be thinking about anything but winning. It's all about the Final Medal count, right? For everyone! So why would Visa (the official credit card of the Beijing Olympics) run an entire marketing campaign (since May, no less) with "Go World" as the slogan. Go World? Excuse me, but isn't Visa an American company? Can they not say "Go America"? And since I'm sure Visa does have an international market, can't they at least say "Go America" for the United States and "Go Mexico" when they run the ads in Mexico? I kind of like that.

But truth be told, I totally love the ads. I know they play to the emotional aspect of Visa (did you ever hear of a credit card emoting?), but still I love them. Like the UK's 400m runner Derek Redmond story, from the 1992 Olympics. Man, who could forget what it was like to see Derek's father run onto the track to assist his son to the finish line? Still vaclempts me.

Or the Kerri Strug vault which secured Gold for the Women's Gymnastics team in 1996. I totally remember that. How amazing.

And then the Bob Beamon Long Jump, which I do not remember (It was in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.) but still think it's pretty rockin'. By the way, Beamon was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in '69. Interesting, no?

So, yes, Visa, great job on the ads. I just wish for the American ads they would have put Go USA.

Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus...What the...?

Is it possible that I am the only person over 18 years of age who does not know the difference between Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus? I thought they were the same person. If they are the same person (one being the Disney TV show character), then how in the world are they doing a CONCERT TOUR together? I'm so confused. One is a blond; one is a brunette. Is that it? Are there speech differences? Isn't the character on the show a rock star? So, where's the fiction?

And I don't think I'm the only one confused. It looks to me like Hannah/Miley doesn't know who she really is either. Her second album is called "Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus". Wow. Genius. Have a TV persona introduce you to the real world as yourself. I can not even imagine what her adulthood is going to be like.

And don't think that I'm wishing any of that Lohan-ick on Cyrus, cause I'm not. But all this feels a little weird. It feels like the Garth Brooks/Chris Gaines stuff. Did anybody else find that disturbing?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Oh, I'll Give You Vituperate

vituperate \vy-TOO-puh-rate, -TYOO-, vi-\, verb:
To find fault with; to scold; to overwhelm with wordy abuse; to censure severely or abusively; to rate.
Yesterday's word of the day was vituperate. And indeed, I felt like vituperating APS. That's Arizona Public Service for those of you not in Arizona. Yesterday I discovered this lovely document in my mail.That's right. A public notice that they are about to raise our rates, again. And the worst part is that they're calling this an "interim rate increase". Yeah right. It reminds me of when the Nazis asked the Jews in Germany to register themselves for the purpose of counting. And then they made it illegal to exist if you're Jewish. And then the Nazis started killing the Jews.

So, maybe my example is a bit over the top, but come on. Who do they think they are kidding? Interim rate increase my foot! I would like to know when the rates will go back to it's current price. Also, what about the declining price of fuel? Are we going to see any relief from the power companies? I doubt it! Are they going to ask the Corporation Commission if they can lower the price of electricity? Is that in the plan?

And before you go feeling sympathetic for APS, let me enlighten you of the recent profit announcement. Oh yes, APS (Parent company is Pinnacle West), just posted an almost $140 million dollar profit. (Which is up about 50% from this quarter last year.) Check out the full AZcentral.com story here. Here's the bottom line for us power-consumers.

In addition to the 9.4 percent rate increase that would bring the monthly average household electric bill up about $11, APS has asked the Corporation Commission to grant the utility an interim increase that would raise bills about $4.66 in the meantime while the lengthy rate hearings take place.

Did you see that? Already they are hoping to increase the cost to us consumers by 9.4%, and the interim rate would raise it about $5.00 more, a month!

Aparently, Pinnacle West has a hard time resolving regulation issues with supply and demand. "Analyst Philip Adams of Gimme Credit research said "but (Pinnacle West) has historically had a problem getting timely regulatory relief to meet rising costs and a return on invested capital to support the growth." And we consumers pay the price. Sounds like mismanagement on the part of Pinnacle West. Yet their executives all receive bonuses.

Please be careful who you vote for on the Corporation Commission. They are the ones who determine whether or not these rates increase or stay the same. I'll keep you posted about this one. I may go to the hearing and vituperate for a few minutes!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Word of the Day: Obeisance

\oh-BEE-suhn(t)s; oh-BAY-suhn(t)s\, noun:
1. An expression of deference or respect, such as a bow or curtsy.
2. Deference, homage.

Used in a sentence: I bow my head when I pray in obeisance to the Lord Most High.