Friday, September 28, 2012

It's Probably Time for Anglicans to Turn to Rome

     These lines are somewhat awkward to write; in fact, it's difficult to believe that I'm even writing them: Catholicism is not perfect, but it may be the best religion we can expect while in this world.  Recently I've had to ask myself what the Episcopal Church would look like if the Revisionists had not captured it and destroyed it.  The answer, and again I can't believe I'm writing it, is that it would look very much like the Catholic Church.  I also must admit that for the past two Sundays, I have attended Holy Rosary Catholic Church here in Woodland.  It feels...well, it feels like it could be home, so far.  Then today I read the John Milibank article that I found through Ms. Linsley's wonderful "Just Genesis" blog  as well as the articles revealing that the Crown Nomination Committee has stalled or deadlocked.  The Church of England is so dysfunctional they can't even recommend a name to the Prime Minister to nominate as the next Archbishop of Canturbury.  Milibank's thoughtful analysis and top recommendation for the survival of Anglicanism although long-winded inevitably comes right down to it:  eventual reunification under Roman primacy.  Again, it's shocking, but I agree with Milibank's assessment.  I've been indulging the fantasy that the Anglican Church of North America with eventually spread to northern California and thrive and that I'll be vindicated for leaving the Episcopal Church.  But the few ACNA parishes even remotely near me are dreadfully anemic and already falling apart, and I see reports now that the AMiA and ACNA are feuding back east.  So, the answer is: never.  Anglicanism is never going to recover in the U.S. or Europe, until it aligns with Catholicism.  Since the Eastern Orthodox parishes I've visited in the area are at least as much ethnic enclaves as churches, it looks like the answer is right in front of me:  the Catholic Church.

"After Rowan: Priorities for the Anglican Communion"

Monday, September 24, 2012

How to Stop Hospitals from Killing Us!

     If you have read Death by Medicine by Gary Null, Ph.D., you are already familiar with the headline statistic in this article from YahooNews, specifically that medical errors in the U.S. kill enough people to fill four 747 Jumbo jets every week!  The real surprise about this article is that it made it past the corporate media censors!  But I suppose the reporters have children and other relatives like the rest of us and are tired of hiding the casualties.  Anyway, I'm glad to see this issue getting any media time at all.
How to Stop Hospitals from Killing Us!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour over Sacramento

At 09:45hrs on Friday, September 21, 2012, the space shuttle Endeavour slowly began making the first of two circles around the California state Capitol building at low altitude, sitting piggy-back on a modified 747.  Most schools in the district where I teach, Natomas Unified in north Sacramento, let classes go outside at 9:15 to watch as the fly-by was scheduled for 9:30. The flyover was wonderfully impressive and inspiring; the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft flew low enough for its engines to rattle the windows!  The excitement and discussions lasted throughout the school day; the students will remember this event all their lives.  Various teachers took the photos posted below.

I don't know how many of my students realize that NASA faces drastic budget cuts;  this wasn't the day to tell them.  Let's hope and pray that America recovers or perhaps finally finds its sense of purpose, and that these children can have the exciting and meaningful future that they looked forward to today.
See professional photos of the flyover here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Behave During an Islamic Massacre

     Recent events have made this video from about a year ago relevant again...unfortunately.  Andrew Klavan uses humor to make some important points.  Actually, I don't agree with several of his "Klavan on Culture"pieces, but this one really hits the spot...unfortunately.
Klavan on Culture

Saturday, September 15, 2012

"We All Belong to the Government Now"

We All Belong to the Government

     If you haven't already seen it, I invite you to follow the link provided above.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry after viewing this video of people's responses to the statement above from the Democratic National Convention earlier this month.  Of course, most rank-and-file Republicans are equally clueless and reactive.  Let's pray logic, higher-order thinking skills, and a thirst for knowledge return to all of our citizens!

"If a nation expects to remain ignorant and expects what never was and never will be."--Thomas Jefferson

Friday, September 14, 2012

Telling Melinda Gates to Invest in Education for Girls, Not Chemicals

      An African woman, Ms. Obianuju Ekeocha, currently working in Canterbury, England, gives an intelligent, articulate, and gracious reply to Melinda Gates' plan to send 4.6 billion dollars worth of contraceptives to women in Africa.

Melinda has no problem speaking for millions of women she's never met.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Problems of Merit Pay for Teachers

     Sr. Mary Ann McGivern at the National Catholic Reporter writes:
     Today Chicago teachers are walking the picket line and teachers around the country are with them in spirit, wanting the authority to develop appropriate curriculum and rejecting merit pay.
     Politicians and school boards tend to disregard teachers. State boards impose tests, standards, and, in recent years, the very page every teacher must be on in every classroom. Some say what schools need is a business model. They should be operated efficiently, like factories.
     Most troubling, with merit pay, they pit teachers against one another. There’s no benefit in mutual problem-solving, shared strategies or cooperation. It’s a temptation to cheat. A teacher who can dump problem students elsewhere and teach to the test will reap rewards. But the children will lose.
     School reformers should read W. Edwards Deming.
     Sixty years ago W. Edwards Deming carried to Japan a new idea for manufacturing where quality circles and teamwork changed global industry. One of Deming’s ideas was that merit pay undermined efficiency on the factory floor.

     Deming's biography includes his key principles and a list of Seven Deadly Diseases for organizations.  Among his foundational concepts are placing teamwork within a system and slowing down production to ensure quality as top priorities.  He specifically rejects merit pay and ranking employees.  Such practices may temporarily elevate a few employees (or schools), he said, but the system itself suffers in the long run.  His ideas changed the world economy, yet now are ignored by "businessmen, " such as Bill Gates, Sam Walton, and Eli Broad, seeking to "reform" education...unless, of course, they really mean to run public education out of business.

Remembering 9/11: Homily at Funeral Mass of Fr. Mychal Judge

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Christian Bale's Good Deeds

  Here's a wonderful story about good deeds gracefully done.  Actor Christian Bale recently learned that a four-year old fan of "Batman" named Jayden was struggling with leukemia.  Bale paid for Jayden's family to spend a week at Disneyland, and he was even able to spend time with Jayden in the park!  The only way the wider-world found out about Bale's generosity and kindness was when Jayden's family returned home and posted the experience on their Facebook page, since Bale had deliberately avoided publicity.  
     Also, follow the links in the the story linked below to read about and see photos/video of Bale's visit in the hospital with the victims of the Aurora shooting.  Again, Bale never publicized his actions.

Please click here:  "Dark Knight" Christian Bale Performs Super Act of Kindness

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's the Food

In another sign of election season lunacy, the corporate apologists continue to slam organically grown food as a cult-like fad as they shill for GMOs, claiming again that nations like China and India simply can't feed their people without the increased yields from genetically engineered food.  Now, would that be the same China and India that have actually outlawed GMOs after finding, for example, that they didn't increase yields but did increase the need for herbicides? The New York Times' Roger Cohen, in his article "The Organic Fable," says organic supporters are delusional, yet he doesn't even seem to know there are differences between GMO, conventional, and organic foods; he even misquotes (lies about?) what the Stanford study actually said!  Fortunately, polls continue to show favorable numbers for Prop 37 here in California, in spite of such blatant corporate-sponsored attacks on consumer rights.

Mike Adams saves me the time and deconstructs Roger Cohen's incredibly biased and inaccurate New York Times article here:

The Organic Fable 

Organic is what our grandparents ate. Compare the rates back then of allergies, autism, cancer, auto-immune diseases, obesity, and diabetes to today's rates. It's the food, Roger, it's the food.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What the Stanford Study Missed

     Yesterday’s report out of Stanford that organic foods may not be much healthier or more nutritious than their conventional counterparts has caused quite a stir.
A deeper investigation into the study reveals a few things that were not highlighted in the coverage.

     While the scientists analyzed vitamins and minerals, suggesting little variation between foods produced organically and those produced conventionally using a chemically-intensive agricultural system, food isn’t simply a delivery device for vitamins and minerals alone.
     We are quickly learning in this industrialized food era that our food can be full of a lot of other things.  It has become a delivery device for artificial colors, additives, preservatives, added growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, insecticides and so much more.

Read more: