Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saddam's Death: More of the same

Hat tip to Diogenes for Fr. Bernardo Cervellara's article in Asia Times regarding the crocodile tears shed by foes of capital punishment for Saddam Hussein.

I do not share the glee for Saddam's hanging as others around the world do. I am wary that capital punishment has any just application in our age of relativism. Not just in the United States, but anywhere in the world, political ideologies create political enemies where it is expedient to use capital punishment to gain the upper hand.

I'm not of the mindset that our world is a better place without Saddam. I think it remains unchanged; it's more of the same. Yet, to be truly prophetic with real credibility, one cannot retain relativism as a working philosophy. One must be a moral absolutist. Status quo relativism has nothing to say to regimes and cultures, and in comparison, the use of the authority in moral absolutes is completely consistent philosophically. It is the use of moral authority that drives our move to eliminate capital punishment. It is this same moral authority that the Church uses to move all of humanity to be more civil and charitable to each other.

On the other hand, wishy-washy relativism plays into an enormous self-contradiction: one must use of power and the threat of death to eliminate the use of the death penalty. Can anything be more illogical?

Oh, and in case you disagree with the last paragraph, you are safely NOT a relativist, at least not in action.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Beginning of this Never-ending Mystery

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them,

"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

(The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2: 1-19)

God bless you all and give you a Merry Christmas and a blessed year to come. And, if you lost the mystery, I hope you find it in Him.

--The UL--

Friday, December 22, 2006

Some Miracles for the Mystery of the Season

I thought I'd deviate from the unending political silliness and give you some stories for you to read. There are reasons we celebrate Christmas, but have you lost the mystery of it all? Hope the following stories will help.

CNN: Blind Man Healed--Doctors are Baffled

Here's an interesting angel story:

Helping an Angel Unaware

Here's a heartwarming story when people show love to one another:

It's Truly a Christmas Miracle

If I find more stories, I will post them. Please understand, the meaning of Christmas is that God has sent his Son into the world to redeem it, to be the Lamb of God. Though it occurred over 2000 years ago, God is still in the business of reaching out to us. There lies the mystery...that God is "with us," Emmanuel.

I hope you keep the mystery of God's presence as you celebrate this wonderful Christian feast. I recall times in my latter childhood when Christmas was just a time for presents and family. Though nice, it seemed hollow to me. At this point in my life, I cannot picture any other way to celebrate the season than with complete gratitude to God for sending His Son. Christ brings meaning to this otherwise commercial event. God Bless you all, and Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Breaking News: TIME Magazine cuts 27 Persons of the Year!

Time Inc Axes 27

See what happens when you become TIME's person of the year? You get fired. Plus, 400 more "persons of the year" will lose their job with TIME in the next few months.

Five Year Old Charged with Sexual Harrassment

A five year old "person of the year" was charged with sexual harrassment by "people of the year" school officials in a Maryland school district.

And finally,

Infant Placed in Airport X-Ray Machine

A Grandma "person of the year" mistakenly placed and infant "person of the year" into the X-Ray machine. A startled "person of the year" airport employee discovered the infant and pulled it out. They took the baby to a local hospital, where "persons of the year" hospital staff say the infant didn't receive any dangerous dose of radiation. Phew.

Good night, all you "persons of the year!"

Hey Everyone, I'm Time Magazine's "Person of the Year!"

I knew it! I knew that I'd make it! I really tried hard, too!!! Putting in my patio with brick pavers this year for my wife is what did it. Just think, my wife's influence with Time put me in the same category with Kim Jong "Ill", Mahmoud-baby, OBL, George W. Bush, any or all the Democrats, George Clooney, Dr. Kevorkian, or Saddam Hussein. Man! I'm good!!!

Tom Cruse, eat your heart out!

What...what did you say? Cruse made it? Hussein, Kevorkian, Clooney, Hillary, Bushy, OBL, Mahmoud-baby, the Kimster... they all made it too?

Humphf. Big deal, Time. So you didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Typical appeasers!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Santa's Annual Journey Extremely Dangerous

I don't know who figured this out, but it shows the lengths Santa will go to make sure the children of the world are happy. The author shows himself to be skeptic. But not us! Below are the laws of physics Santa must endure for our kids. God bless him!

1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.

2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn’t (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes. One presumes there’s at least one good child in each.

3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop our of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh an move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purpose of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75« million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding, etc. This means that Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 time the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.

4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, the conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting the “flying reindeer” (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload -not even counting the weight of the sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.

5) 353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force. In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s dead now.

Santa dead? No way! It's just like science to steal away the mystery!