Friday, March 28, 2008

No mas

A story of conversion.

There was a priest in Mexico who went looking for a Crucifix for a chapel. He saw one in an old shop, and even if the cross was very worn out, the corpus was still in very good condition. He decided to purchase the Crucifix, thinking that replacing the cross was easy.

He asked a carpenter-sculptor to come to the chapel and see what can be done with the Crucifix. The man took off the corpus and brought the cross to his shop, where he fabricated another one to replace the worn out cross.

When he finished, he brought the new cross to the priest, who was happy with what the carpenter did. Before he paid him and sent him away, the priest asked him "to finish the job" by attaching the corpus to the cross. The man took the cross and the corpus to the work area of the chapel and started "crucifying" the corpus Christi.

As he was in progress, the man started to cry. When the priest arrived to check on his work, he saw the man crying. When he asked him what was wrong, the man told the priest, "No mas. No mas. For most of my life I have been crucifying our Lord over and over again with the the many wrongs I have done, the many sins I have committed. This is the last time."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Show me some class

I first saw her a few moments before my flight was called when she walked past me. She had class -- her beauty and her clothes, footwear, everything about her. I took my time even as my flight was called. I usually do that anyway. Not one to join the rush. Besides I almost always get an aisle seat (in Ceb-speak, a charlie or delta seat), so I do not have to rush.

As I entered the aircraft, I checked my boarding pass. 11D. I smiled and thought. I can react to this in two ways: as I was clearly to be seated in an emergency exit row (10 or 11), either the lady at the check-in counter saw how big I was so with all charity she placed me in that seat, or it was pure coincidence, as I never asked for it. Either way I was happy.

When I reached Row 11, I saw, seated on 11E, the lady with class.

As the flight progressed, I observed, not intentionally, that she had a diamond encrusted ring on her finger (married, lucky hubby!) and a lady's Rolex watch. Class. I say not intentionally, as she was reading the inflight magazine, and her left arm and hand just inside my peripheral vision.

As is usual in this airline's Manila flights, the game was called. It was the show me game. I don't like this game because I never win that game. Usually the gamemaster asks things that can be found in one's wallet or person; the more common ones: picture of your mother-in-law; senior citizen ID; Sun SIM; ticket -- lottery and bus tickets most popular. I don't win because I do not have the habit of having my wallet in my pocket (it's in the bag in the luggage bin above), and even if by teeny chance I have it, I would not have any of those things in it. If you know me, you would understand.

Back to the lady with class. When game was called, she got her bag, opened it, and scooped her wallet even before the F/A explained the mechanics of the game. Who would have thought? Lady with class came prepared. When an "ID" was called, lady showed one, and she was first even, but it was the senior citizen card that the gamesmaster wanted. When "picture" was called, surely it was that of the mother-in-law, but lady did not have -- in my experience on those flights, only once was anyone able to show a picture -- that was a tough one, and no one on board had the photo this time. When "ticket" was called, she had her e-ticket raised, but alas, it was a lottery ticket that was required. When a "Sun SIM" card was called, she almost made it but somewhere upfront someone was quicker.

Not that the game isn't with class, but lady with class had no qualms trying to win one of the prizes. Who would have thought?

I like the Q&A game. So far I've won 2 shoe bags (I kept them), 1 plastic tumbler (kid beside me was the lucky recipient), 1 belt bag (gave to my sister's cleaning lady), and 1 waterproof pouch (gave to a co-participant in a seminar).

I have to admit that there was another thing lady with class did that made me think that, well, lady with class was still human. See, as I sat beside her, she was just about to finish the cola-drink-in-a-plastic cup that she was sipping. Gas in, gas out. She did it. Ever so quietly, she did it. Then, quietly, she also says "sorry".

Burp. She burped. What were you thinking?

Good Friday: Where is Jesus?

As the crucifix was being prepared for the veneration of the cross, a young boy, Paul (we later knew his name), maybe 5 years old, came up to one of the ministers (altar boys) holding the crucifix and asked him, "Where is Jesus?" Perhaps Paul was intrigued that the crucifix was covered with a purple veil. Paul could not wait for the veil to be taken off, so that he may see Jesus again. Many years have I attended this church for the Good Friday services and I could not remember that there was a corpus on this wooden cross. What I know is that it has on it a relic of the True Cross of Christ. How would Paul's reaction be when he finds out that Jesus isn't on the cross, once the veil is removed?

As the priest and the ministers slowly unveiled the veil in the usual Good Friday rite, Paul was there every step of the way, down the center aisle. When alas all of the veil was removed, at this time near the steps leading to the presbiterium, still there was no Jesus. How would Paul take it?

As he did not see Jesus, Paul positioned himself near the crucifix and sometimes followed even the priests who were concelebrating. No one shooed him away. He was looking for Jesus and he couldn't find him. He did not see Jesus. Jesus had been laid in the tomb.

I would not know if Paul attended the Easter Vigil Mass in the same Church. I wasn't there too as I went to another church. But if he did, even as that crucifix will have been kept, Paul would have seen Jesus again, as He is truly Risen.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Celtics spoiler

Celtics lost to New Orleans, 106-113. Three out of four wasn't bad at all. Celtics now at 55-14.

Happy Easter y'all!!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

One more

The Celtics won over the Mavericks in the third road game the Celtics had in Texas, 94-90. Ray Allen was sent in at 1:54 left in the game and scored a triple that won the game for the Celtics.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Two down

The Celtics snuffed the firepower out of the Rockets, 94-74, on the Celtics's 2nd game on a four-game road trip to the West. The Rockets's win streak stops.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One down, three to go

The Celtics are on the road in the West for a 4-game schedule. While they played against "my team from the West" today (SA Spurs), I was still for the green-and-white. With a 22-point deficit at half-time, the Celtics worked hard for a come-from-behind victory, sparked by a less-than-a-minute-to-play triple from Celtic newcomer Sam Cassell. Celtics won 93-91.

Next stop: Rockets. Will Celtics play spoiler for the winning-streaking team from Houston?

Image from

Monday, March 17, 2008

Arctic ocean is warming up

If you read this (below in blue) today, would you agree?:

The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.

Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.

If you knew that this was written in the Nov. 2, 1922 edition of The Washington Post: Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt, by the Associated Press, what would you feel? Thought so too.

H/T Wattsupwiththat.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change

Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change

"Global warming" is not a global crisis

We, the scientists and researchers in climate and related fields, economists, policymakers, and business leaders, assembled at Times Square, New York City, participating in the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change,

Resolving that scientific questions should be evaluated solely by the scientific method;

Affirming that global climate has always changed and always will, independent of the actions of humans, and that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant but rather a necessity for all life;

Recognising that the causes and extent of recently observed climatic change are the subject of intense debates in the climate science community and that oft-repeated assertions of a supposed 'consensus' among climate experts are false;

Affirming that attempts by governments to legislate costly regulations on industry and individual citizens to encourage CO2 emission reduction will slow development while having no appreciable impact on the future trajectory of global climate change. Such policies will markedly diminish future prosperity and so reduce the ability of societies to adapt to inevitable climate change, thereby increasing, not decreasing, human suffering;

Noting that warmer weather is generally less harmful to life on Earth than colder:

Hereby declare:

That current plans to restrict anthropogenic CO2 emissions are a dangerous misallocation of intellectual capital and resources that should be dedicated to solving humanity's real and serious problems.

That there is no convincing evidence that CO2 emissions from modern industrial activity has in the past, is now, or will in the future cause catastrophic climate change.

That attempts by governments to inflict taxes and costly regulations on industry and individual citizens with the aim of reducing emissions of CO2 will pointlessly curtail the prosperity of the West and progress of developing nations without affecting climate.

That adaptation as needed is massively more cost-effective than any attempted mitigation and that a focus on such mitigation will divert the attention and resources of governments away from addressing the real problems of their peoples.

That human-caused climate change is not a global crisis.

Now, therefore, we recommend --

That world leaders reject the views expressed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as popular, but misguided works such as "An Inconvenient Truth."

That all taxes, regulations, and other interventions intended to reduce emissions of CO2 be abandoned forthwith.

Agreed at New York, 4 March 2008

See a commentary here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Klinsmann is back

Who would have known? Bayern Munich is giving the reins to Jürgen Klinsmann at the end of this season, a two-year contract worth $12.3 million annually. Why? The answer, according to Nick Bidwell, "is Germany's third-place finish at the '06 World Cup, a tournament the team illuminated with its heart and attacking élan."

Let's see how he fares at Bayern Munich, a club that already features German soccer greats club president Beckenbauer, Rummenigge, Hoeness, and board advisor Paul Breitner at headquarters, and of course, goalkeeper Oliver Kahn in the field.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Why computer models won't always work

Richard W. Rahn, chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth, writes in the Washington Times his commentary entitled "Model scams". He starts with this:

Experts use mathematical models to give us predictions about the future. Rank the following events according to the ability of the model builders to give accurate forecasts:

(A) The winner of the 2008 presidential election.

(B) The size of the U.S. budget deficit for the year 2009.

(C) The official low temperature in Chicago on April 1, 2008.

(D) The number of hurricanes that will strike Florida in 2010.

(E) The rise in the sea level over the next 100 years.

(F) The average temperature for the year 2100.

It's more towards the right on the global warming debate. But of course.

Racism in Europe?

I have heard many say that racism in Europe is more widespread than in any continent. In 1990, when I was in Italy, I felt that this was true; not towards me, but most especially towards blacks -- the polizia and the carabinieri had more surprise inspections of groups of blacks, but not without justified reasons most times. Racism in sports, especially football, has been a concern and advocacies have not been few (examples: Football Against Racism Europe (FARE), Let's Kick Racism Out of Football, and Campaign for Racial Equality). Sadly, though, even legitimate police actions against minorities are almost always slapped with the racism absolute moral authority card.

And it does not get any better, it seems. Even global warming alarmists seem to show their "racist tendencies", in the guise of genuine concern for climate change -- in reality, in their own words, "security implications and the dangers to European interests thrown up by climate change". Europe will be deluged by the "environmental migrants." Seems like they are saying: Hell, no. If governments will not act on climate change, then we will have more of these migrants in Europe.

Now who is really fear-mongering? Read here.

Friday, March 07, 2008

"Virgin monologues"

Something I picked up from Jill Stanek. I liked that she also gave some credit to fathers when she said, "What wonderful role models. We need to pray they stand strong. Note one commonality: fathers who are involved and positive role models."

She wrote about the band Jonas Brothers and Dancing with the Stars' Julianne Hough, on "true love waits". Here's the link (with comments).

Thursday, March 06, 2008

ESPN double standard?

In January 2008, the golfing world was stunned when a Golf Channel host/anchor said something that some thought was racist. The word used was "lynch" directed but in jest to Tiger Woods. It was a live telecast, and even as the anchor apologized (and some even wanted her fired), and Tiger himself referred to it as a non-issue, she was suspended for two weeks.

What many people did not know was that another ESPN anchor was in hot water for comments she made in a celebrity roast for ESPN Radio personalities Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic. According to a report from Don Wildmon, of the American Family Association, she shouted, “F*** Notre Dame… F*** Touchdown Jesus… F*** Jesus.” It was a private activity and the incident, according to Bill Donahue of Catholic League, involved "a person who went off the rails while drunk ."

She was suspended for ONE WEEK. Here is what the ESPN Ombudsman said.

Maybe so. But it appears that a person who says "lynch" is worse than one who says F*** three times (ok, 2, as some say, although the video has never been made public) directed toward a school, its football program, (and Jesus). It would have been better if Golf Channel's anchor said "lynch" when she was drunk -- she'd have probably gotten 1 week.

Safe Text

The UK has made available a "safe text" street. You cannot make this up.

Rossoneri out of CL (for 2 years?)

The Rossoneri drew Arsenal in their first match in the first knockout round of this year's edition of the Champions League, but lost 0-2 at the San Siro for the return match, sending ACM sitting out the CL finals. As they are 5th in Serie A, the Rossoneri might not even make it to next year's CL. The loss to Arsenal was the first loss of ACM at San Siro to an English club. Ma che succeso?

If it's any consolation to tifosi rossoneri, Real Madrid was also dumped in this year's edition of CL, by AS Roma.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Where's the outrage?

Various media outlets and blogs, and people in general, have expressed outrage over the puppy-throwing incident in Iraq and caught in video. Perhaps also because a marine is the "perp".

While it is cruel to do this to a puppy, how come there is no such outrage when thousands of babies are aborted daily in even the most civilized of nations (not that Iraq isn't civilized, it is just that with war going on in many places there, it is much less civilized than, say, the US)? To say nothing of the thousands of suffering pre- and post-abort mothers. Because abortion is such a common thing? Hardly newsworthy?

On a different take on pro-life feminism, etc., here's "hisman" as quoted by Jill in his piece entitled The New Underground Women's Movement.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Global warming and politics

Despite many people's belief that global warming is a moral issue, the lack of real scientific consensus puts it more political than moral. John Lott Jr asks: Is it really a crisis? In light of the US presidential elections, he proposes four questions that need a YES, if only to make a little more sense out of this GW debate. In part, he concludes: However good the intentions, the debate over global warming is much more complicated than simply saying that the world is getting warmer. It is too bad that these questions won’t be getting a real debate this election. The irony is that those who sell themselves as being so caring aren't careful enough to investigate the impact of their regulations.

Even as RP's policy makers are moving also towards tweaking regulations along the line of GWA, perhaps we can ask the same questions also.

Read Lott here.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Which side are you on?

Which side are we on? Always, on the side of truth. Recent events in RP have also pitted members of the Church against one another. Not that they have taken up arms to fight. Nope. Each "side" has organized prayer rallies and pray-overs. Which side are we on? (Almost like saying: Which side is God on?)

Maybe some words from Colleen on Pope Benedict XVI's take on faith-based political activism (the activist trap) can shed some light on where we stand.

In part:

The activist trap that Pope Benedict warns against is a common and familiar one: The temptation to align too closely with a particular political party and demonize opponents, to equate one’s personal judgments with the eternal truths of the faith, and to define “the Christian position” on every policy issue, thus losing focus on the few fundamental moral questions where authentic Christian witness is most countercultural and most needed. Lurking beneath those temptations is the one Benedict criticizes most forcefully: The human urge to use social and political activism to distract from our deepest questions, most intimate struggles, and most urgent longings for truth, goodness, beauty — and God.

While Benedict’s admonition against utopian social schemes and a materialist worldview seems particularly relevant to a Catholic liberals influenced by Marxist theories, conservatives should also beware becoming co-opted by political parties, hardened by ideology, negligent in charity, and hollowed out by incessant activity. In some ways, conservatives may need to hear Benedict’s message more than liberals. Those who believe most fervently in the socially transformative power of personal responsibility and personal conversion and in the existence of universal moral laws cannot expect to change the world through external activity and political victories alone. Their hope must lie in something deeper and more enduring, in the transcendent truths that can only be discovered in silence, solitude, and contemplation. As we leave summer behind and head into another contentious campaign season, Benedict’s advice — that we slow down, be still, and ponder the principles that inspire our activism — could not be more timely.

Church Needs People of Solid Faith

Pontiff to Jesuits: Church Needs People of Solid Faith. Essentially what Pope Benedict XVI told Jesuits in audience February 21.

Among others he said that the Jesuits continue their God-given mission "in full fidelity to the original charism."

"The Church urgently needs persons of solid and deep faith, of serious culture, and of genuine human and social sensitivity; [it needs] priests and religious who dedicate their lives to living at the margins in order to bear witness and help further the understanding that there is a profound harmony between faith and reason, between evangelical spirit and a thirst for justice and dedication to peace."

"... continue forming its members with great attention to the sciences and to virtue, without conforming to mediocrity, because the task of confrontation and dialogue in very diverse social and cultural situations with the different mentalities of today’s world is one of the most difficult and costly there is."

"... As you work as members of an apostolic body, you have to also remain attentive that your works and institutions always maintain a clear and explicit identity so that the goal of your apostolic activity is neither ambiguous nor obscure and so that many others might share your ideals and might effectively and enthusiastically join with you, collaborating in your vow of service to God and as human beings."

"The themes that are debated and questioned today, such as the salvation of all in Christ, sexual morality, and marriage and the family, should be considered in the context of contemporary reality, maintaining, however, that harmony with the magisterium that avoids the provocation of confusion and uncertainty in the people of God."

“For us, the option for the poor is not ideological but rather is born of the Gospel."

Read story in Zenit.