Thursday, January 31, 2008
REM has a (more sedate) version, too. Here's an audio clip:
It's one of the better ones I've seen. Glassbooth first asks you to select the issues of importance to you by rank and then offers you specific questions on those issues.
I tried it twice over two consecutive days.
Yesterday, it matched me with Ron Paul at 80 percent and John McCain at 74 percent. Today, my match with Congressman Paul decreased one point to 79 percent and my affinity with Senator McCain dropped to 68 percent.
(My rankings of the issues must have changed somewhat between the two tries.)
Hat-Tip: Theresa's Treehouse.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
For your consideration:
FYI: Folk singer Arlo Guthrie endorsed Ron Paul today, too. (I don't know anything about Guthrie so I pass this along without comment.) From the press report:
“Dr. Paul is the only candidate I know of who would have signed the Constitution of the United States had he been there,” Guthrie said in the announcement. “I’m with him because he seems to be the only candidate who actually believes it has as much relevance today as it did a couple of hundred years ago.”
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
From her op-ed that appeared in yesterday's New York Times:
I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.
I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.
Monday, January 28, 2008
From Matthew Chapter 4:
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee.
He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen."
From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.
He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
The show, "lovingly ripped off" from the 1975 movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," was joyful and fun throughout. I can see why it won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical.
For your viewing pleasure, here are some YouTube clips of scenes from "Spamalot":
An aside: This was the second week in which Clay Aiken (of "American Idol" fame) starred as Sir Robin in "Spamalot" on Broadway. To be honest, it was kind of a turn-off at the outset due to the cheese factor. But, I have to give Aiken his due -- he was fine in the role.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
William Hague of the Conservative Party has the floor:
Hat-tip: Andrew Sullivan (but he is crediting two other sources who in turn credit other sources).
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
The article was noticed over at Whispers in the Loggia. Additionally, Whispers' Rocco had this to say about Bishop Zubik's excellent homily at his installation Mass last year:
If 2007 could boast just one standout homily from an American prelate, the prize would belong to Pittsburgh.
Lasting all of 15 minutes at its core, Bishop David Zubik's off-the-cuff homecoming message at his late September installation (fulltext/video) was the sort of encouraging challenge an incoming pastor could only give to a people he already knew and loved... and who already knew and loved him.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Please keep all of those at the March in your prayers today. It's cold out there.
And, please pray that the March may help build a Culture of Life in our world.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Note to Glenn: Don't sit on the floor the next time you decide to challenge the bogus assertions of a presidential candidate.
Note to the Romney media team: It's lame to hold a press conference at Staples.
Hat-tips: The Darn News and Sully.
Sam's a fellow veteran of the campaign trenches in Western PA. We knocked on doors together in both the 'burgh and Washington County.
In addition to his work at Save The GOP, Sam maintains an excellent journal of public affairs in his new locale at Carolina Politics Online.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Since moving to New York some 11 months ago, I have been mostly going to Sunday Mass at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle on Manhattan's West Side -- the mother church of the Paulist Fathers. The Paulists, founded 150 years ago in 1858, were the first order of Catholic priests to be founded in the United States.
Here's the latest offering from their vocations department:
An aside: the Paulists' vocations director, Fr. Ed Nowak, is a native of Crafton, PA, outside the 'burgh.
And, Monsignor Ed Burns, the executive director of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' vocations office, is a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. In fact, he served at both Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Burgettstown, PA, and at Immaculate Conception Church in WashPA.
Though W. has made the issue of the progress of women in the Middle East a central part of “the freedom agenda” — he had a roundtable over the weekend with Kuwaiti women on democracy and development — he doesn’t seem bothered that 17 years after his father protected the Saudis when Saddam invaded Kuwait, Saudi women still can’t drive or publicly display hair or skin and still get beheaded and lashed because of archaic laws. Neither does the female secretary of state of the United States.
"It’s not allowed for ladies to use the gym,” the Marriott desk clerk told me, an American woman in an American franchise traveling with an American president.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Nine hundred thirty thousand, one hundred eighty minutes.
That’s how you measure the total running time “Rent” will have played on Broadway when, as the producers said on Tuesday, it closes after its evening performance on June 1, making it the seventh-longest-running Broadway show in history.
I knew "Rent" had entered the mainstream one night in early 2006 when, on the campaign trail during my last State House race, I heard "Seasons of Love" performed at an old-fashioned Grange dinner in Bavington, a little village in Robinson Township, Washington County, PA.
"Do all these blue hairs know what this show is about?," I wondered to myself.
The photo above from the NYTimes Website is credited to Hiroko Masuike.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
"Charlie Wilson's War" boasts an A-list cast, including Tom Hanks in the title role and Julia Roberts as Joanne Herring, a politically-active Houston socialite who lobbies for the funding. Phillip Seymour Hoffman portrays Gust Avrakotos, a colorful C.I.A. agent on the Afghanistan desk.
(Pittsburgh connection alert: According to Wikipedia, Avrakotos was born in Aliquippa, PA, attended Pitt and Carnegie Tech and later retired to Moon Township.)
"Charlie Wilson's War" was reasonably entertaining but not a blow-away. With direction from Academy Award-winner Mike Nichols and a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin ("The West Wing"), I had expected more -- a political movie more on par with Nichols' superb 1998 film "Primary Colors." There were some holes in the script and the ending was too schmaltzy.
Hanks and Roberts both turned in adequate performances but didn't break any new ground. Hoffman was brilliant, as always, and vanished into the role.
I'm not certain if this was meant to be a message film or not. Certainly, it did raise a lot of questions about U.S. intervention in foreign affairs. But, I'm not sure it fully delivered on the promise to show how the C.I.A. involvement in Afghanistan in the '80s contributed to the rise of the Taliban in that country -- and all of the problems that entailed.
My recommendation? Wait for the DVD. "Charlie Wilson's War" would make a good movie for a wintry Saturday night at home on the couch.
An aside: To see Franco Zeffirelli's depiction of Jesus' baptism from the television epic, "Jesus of Nazareth," go to The Deacon's Bench.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
-- Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche, an international network of communities for the mentally disabled.
I believe that what is important today is that we uncover the violence within us and discover that under the violence there is something very beautiful. One of the questions that always comes up is, "What do we fear?" One of the questions that I like to ask all the people of our communities is, "What are you most frightened of? Is it fear of not being respected? Is it fear of being put aside? Is it fear of not being loved? Is it fear of death?" What is that we're frightened of? Because from fear and anguish can rise hate and from hate can rise war.
We must learn how to look into our fears because we cannot let ourselves be controlled by fear. We have to look our fears right in the face and we can't always do it by ourselves. We need to be helped, because if we can't look death and failure in the face, well, then we can never live because to live means to risk, to do things, to have projects which might fail, which might go wrong. We cannot be totally secure for everything; we must discover inside ourselves this power that we have been given to receive the Holy Spirit, not alone, but with others in community, to decide to go forward and to risk things.
The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us and then we see that the whole vision of Jesus is bringing people together.
Friday, January 11, 2008
In 2006, Greg, pictured, came within just a few percentage points of defeating the district's longtime incumbent.
I had the opportunity to meet Greg several times on the '06 campaign trail when I also was a State House candidate in Washington County. Greg was a fine candidate then and I'm sure he will be again. He's a Morris Township auditor, farmer and community activist. For 11 years, Greg also was an arena football player, most notably for the Los Angeles Avengers.
Best wishes, Greg! Thank you to you and your team for again committing to the rigors of a State House campaign! Thank you for the time, energy and funds you will invest in the race.
For more background, here is Greg's 2006 campaign commercial:
For a couple of hours anyway, a city where mortar shells routinely zoom across to the Green Zone became united as one big White Zone. As of late afternoon, there were no reports of violence. The snow showed no favoritism as it fell faintly on neighborhoods Shiite and Sunni alike, and (with apologies to James Joyce) upon all the living and the dead.
Praise be to God.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Fr. Jim is the author of "My Life with the Saints" and "A Jesuit Off-Broadway."
Hat-tip: The Anchoress
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
We have the consolation of knowing that Dr. Paul ran almost twice as strong among young voters as he did among the primary electorate as a whole. The future of the Republican Party can STILL belong to Ron Paul’s successors, if we make it happen. But it will not be as simple as buying a blimp. We have to go through the long, hard work of changing hearts and minds. The people are not with us. Until that changes, nothing else we do will make a difference.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
For inspiration -- Morning Prayer in monastic Gregorian chant:
Hat-tip: Love To Be Catholic via The Anchoress
Wolf Blitzer interviews Ron Paul:
Monday, January 07, 2008
I liked it. Maybe not quite as much as Robert Ebert, but I liked it.
The pacing was good. The characters were well-portrayed. The soundtrack was enjoyable. And, it had Allison Janney (what more could a former "West Wing" junkie ask?).
What most intrigues me about "Juno" is that it's the second Hollywood offering of '07 that really has a pro-life message. Like "Knocked Up," it shows a current-day young woman faced with an unexpected pregnancy choosing life over abortion.
And, it does so in a humorous, engaging, non-preachy way.
Furthermore, "Juno" explores how adoption can be a good, viable alternative. Thumbs up to that.
Note: "Juno" also was #1 on Sr. Rose's Top 10 of 2007.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
The Gospel at Mass is from Matthew Chapter 2:
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,“Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Thursday, January 03, 2008
God speed, Steve, as you work to restore honor to the D.A.'s office. And, thank you for your public service.
Check out the Washington Co. GOP's blog for all the latest.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
We had a hearty breakfast this morning at The Original Pantry Cafe, the restaurant owned by this city's former GOP Mayor Richard Riordon:
Tomorrow, I leave the sunshine and warm temperatures behind for the wintery breeze on 15th Street.