Sunday, January 30, 2005

ECUSA bishops respond to Windsor conference, sort of

Religion and Ethics Weekly writes about the ECUSA House of Bishops meeting in Salt Lake City January 12-14, which responded to the October 18 Windsor report that called on the American bishops to regret what they did. The bishops decided to regret the consequences and to think about regretting the actions in March. Africa was not satisfied.

Props to Thinking Anglicans for coverage on this issue.


Friday, January 28, 2005

You can never go home

Last week's lake storm dumped 15 inches of snow, making it hard to travel to St. Stephen's Episcopal for church. So, instead I went with Mom to St. Andrew's Catholic, where I had been a parishioner for most of my life. I had been apprehensive -- maybe the excellent music and beautiful interior would lure me from the Godly garage that is St. Stephen's.

That temptation disappeared when the piano sounded. The opening hymn was "All Are Welcome", whose chorus was "All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place." In the next pew was a woman whose husband left her -- should she marry again so her children can have a male presence in the house, the Communion table is forever denied her. But she's free to live in sin with whom she pleases, as long as she confesses before Communion. Of course, there was no question of my going up to the altar.


The Hymnal 1982, the Episcopalian hymnal we use, doesn't have very many of those "all are welcome" or "aren't we such a great congregation" songs, which to me is a good thing. Unfortunately it's almost all chants and pre-1920 anthems. Being a 1982 hymnal that came out in 1985, it has missed out on a lot of the great work done in the small-e episcopal branch of Christianity. I'd love to hear or play "Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace", "Let There Be Peace on Earth" or even "On Eagle's Wings". A supplement would be nice.

Blogs against Gonzalez

Just so you know, the Senate will be soon casting a vote whether or not to confirm Alberto Gonzalez as Attorney General. Gonzalez is infamous as the author of the document suggesting that Geneva Convention protocols don't apply if the President says so. So the Lair declares itself against Gonzalez.

Anyway, here is the database of blogs against Gonzalez.

With Gonzalez in line for the job, I'm starting to miss Ashcroft and his draping of nude statues. Better that than piling naked bodies of POWs into pyramids or leading them around on leashes, doggy-style.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Global warming report overhyped?

The BBC reports that British researchers

"Temperatures around the world could rise by as much as 11C, according to one of the largest climate prediction projects ever run.

This figure is twice the level that previous studies have suggested.

The scientists behind the project, called climateprediction.net, say it shows there is no such thing as a safe level of carbon dioxide."

The climate prediction program was run by thousands of PCs working on the same model, sore of like the SETI program. Over 60,000 runs of the model were made, and the results published in Nature magazine.

Climate change: 2 - 11 C

The problem with the story is the great majority of the runs indicate a temperature rise of 2-6 degrees Celsius, which is in line with the more alarming end of conventional wisdom. Just a reminder: months that remain 4 C above normal tend to be remembered for unusual heat in the summer or distressing mildness during winter. An average of +4 C in January around Chicago mean that the sap begins to run and plants begin to bud, just to be cut down when the next polar front comes through -- daffodils really can't tell the difference between -5 F and +2 F.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Anger management

I think I might be getting a bit too angry. Last New Year's Eve I purposefully blocked a Hummer from making a left turn into Arby's. Technically, I did nothing wrong, but I did manage to raise the driver's ire to the extent that he tried giving me a good talking-to. At least I didn't call his vehicle an Osama-mobile.

More disturbing was this sick thrill that greeted me this morning. It appears that Porter County, Indiana has a heroin problem that makes Chicago look sedate. Porter-Starke Mental Health Services did a survey on heroin deaths and had Porter County been a city, it would have had a higher rate of heroin fatality than places like Chicago and Washington DC. This is horrible news in its own right, full of broken and ruined lives. That Porter County is researching the problem and not trying to sweep it under the rug is a good thing. Yet all I could think was serves 'em right. Seeing red at the red counties and all that.

I wanted to talk smack about some white boy on his high horse looking down on my plebian burg. But I'm sure people shoot up in my town, and your town, and every town with at least one stoplight.

Anyway, here's a heroin drug slang dictionary.


Friday, January 21, 2005

¿Cómo se dice filk en español?

Picardía Mexicana was a game show that revolves around Mexican filk (song parodies). Each week three filks are selected, arranged and performed by singers, dancers and actors. The audience selected the winner, who received cash and prizes.

Before each number, ventriloquist Johnny Welch and don Mofles (his dummy) interviewed people in the street about the song's topic and closed with a joke. Here's one that reminds me of the wealth difference on either side of the border:

-What do you call people who eat vegetables?
-And what do you call those who eat meat?


Thursday, January 20, 2005

New US National Anthem?

Tune: Gimn Sovetskogo soyuza/Soviet national anthem

Unshakable union of red-state Republicans
Great W has welded forever to stand
Created in Florida by Jeb, Rove and Harris,
Most godly and mighty, American lands!

Sing to the Homeland, home of the righteous,
Bulwark of Christians crusading and strong!
O Party of Dubya! Strength of the nation!
For Oil and Cross, Dearest Bush, lead us on!

Through terror the rays of devotion shall lead us
Along the new path where great Reagan did lead,
Be true to your preachers, thus W has reared us,
Inspired us to holy and valorous wars!

Sing to the Homeland, home of the righteous,
Bulwark of Christians crusading and strong!
O Party of Dubya! Strength of the nation!
For Oil and Cross, Dearest Bush, lead us on!


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