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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Emissary

5 Trek-Inspired Thoughts

5. Just what do they put in those Class VIII probes to make them capable of travelling at Warp 9, hundreds of times the speed of light?

4. Why would you attempt to study anything while moving that fast, anyway?

3. This is the first time--but definitely not the last--when Worf will have some kind of romantic relationship with a mixed-race character. Paging Spike Lee!

2. K'Ehleyr doesn't seem to like herself much.

1. Nothing like putting your life at risk to blow off steam. (sarcasm)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Too Short A Season

5 Trek-Inspired Thoughts

5. Dude, there is no Fountain of Youth.

4. I find it amusing that Admiral Mark Jameson's earlier actions were so scorned. He'd be called a realist in foreign policy today.

3. Why would you need to be young for that mission?

2. Karnas forgives quickly. All you have to do is die.

1. Ron Paul wrote the Prime Directive, clearly.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Haven

5 Trek-Inspired Thoughts

5. An advanced civilization would totally walk around immodestly. (not)

4. Pantheism totally makes sense. Humans would totally embrace old, discredited religions in the future. (sarcasm)

3. Why is Counselor Troi so...unchaste?

2. Actually, the arranged marriage was the most normal part of the whole thing.

1. I would totally live among deadly lepers and forsake my obligations for a frizzy-haired hippie. (not)

This Really Makes No Sense...Unless You Are a Fascist

Ahem. I don't even think that Obama is particularly unlikable as a guy, although I can sympathize with those who can no longer stomach his rank incuriousness and arrogance. But it's time to just say it: He doesn't believe in liberty. I am not one of those people who thinks he was born in a foreign country. I don't get angry when I see his face, although I mourn. It's just the plain fact that he doesn't recognize a difference between the State and everything else. He does not hold esteem for spheres of life that he cannot control or use.

That's the only conclusion that fits all the data. This is why the HHS mandate happened. This is why the health-care law is written the way it is, either to destroy the private market or to make it small enough to be bought off.

It's cool to be pro-gay sex these days, but he doesn't do it to seem open-minded. He does it because statists of a certain stripe know that families, communities, and churches are impossible to break. But aberrant sexual expressions of many kinds destroy all these things, at least in their vitality, and the State can take care of the rest.

It's time to ask forthrightly if we are living in a tyranny. What evidence would convince you? There are those who make a cottage industry of telling others to stop overreacting, and I'm sure they'll continue their mindless chatter. But sometimes, slippery slopes are real.

I don't like speaking this way. I liked Obama. I voted for him. I am the most optimistic person I know. I love our country. I love our institutions. But we've blown past "progressive, well-meaning dunderhead" into something else entirely. I'll be surprised if this second term ends as it should, with a peaceful transfer of power.

Monday, April 08, 2013

The Real Opening Day

The Major League Baseball season doesn't really start until it starts in St. Louis. And so, the 11-time champions begin today. Their minds will be on revenge of a sort, until the San Francisco Giants no longer hold the crown the Cardinals gave away.

But it will also be on Stan Musial, the very definition of baseball in St. Louis. If a player in the 10 best of all time could be underrated, that's Stan. Of course, he's better known as an ambassador for the game, who taught younger fans to relish this game and this team just by example. He's not here now, but he really is.

You've never seen anything like the home opener in St. Louis. I'm not going to even try to describe it. You can't. Just know that no one even remotely associated with the Cardinals is overlooked or forgotten. And you would think the Cardinals won the World Series every year. When veteran players contemplate where to go next in mid-career or later, their good friends tell them to come to St. Louis. "Bro, you should go to St. Louis. Whatever happens, they will love you forever."

I've never actually been to Opening Day. It's a goal. It's harder to get than a World Series ticket. It seems like we always win. We lost the first six games, all on the road, in 1997. We won the opener at home, though. That may be the last time we weren't competitive, although 1998 was a struggle to achieve a winning record (which they did). The expectations are pretty high here, which is a little odd, considering that we are rarely if ever favored to win. When they were favored in 2004, they were swept in the World Series.

I know that fans in other cities despise us, but we still think we're the Little Team That Could. The last two titles were extremely unlikely. The Cardinals came out of nowhere both times. But not to the fans. In August or September, if they've got the goods, they'll prove it. Ask a Cardinals fan in July what he thinks; he'll let you know if his boys will be in the mix.

Happy Opening Day, everyone!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Divine Mercy

This is one of those days in Catholicism that sounds like so many hoops to everyone else, like a Pelagian's great idea, but to a Catholic who knows that he can't do anything without grace, it's like winning the lottery.

Divine Mercy. The short, short version is that Jesus gave some visions to St. Faustina about the greatness of his love, and of his suffering, and also relayed some prayers to us. The gist of what He said was, "You cannot fathom how much I love sinners. If you only knew..." Once again, days like today tempt me to laugh in the face of those who say that the faith is about rules. Which Catholic Church is that again?

But if you must know, Mass, Confession, and prayer for the pope gets thee out of Purgatory. I'm not really worried about it, because it's not Hell, for one thing. What a mercy it really is, if we understand the holiness of God, and his fatherly care. All the same, I'm not opposed to skipping it altogether.

I had just gone to Confession on Thursday, but there is a lingering wound from some time ago. I still don't think it's fair, and I still get mad. And knowing, Heaven help me, that I have been angry enough about it to not pray for the person who hurt me, I should ask for the grace and love to let it go. It was my fault, but two wrongs don't make a right. The priest said I should pray for that person whenever I can. I cannot control how people react to things. I certainly feel sorrow about what happened. And he said I could give that to God. Unite it to the sufferings of Christ. Easier said than done. But I prayed for my friend as though the bonds had never been broken. At least today, I can say that.

I think the Mass is the greatest thing since sliced (unconsecrated) bread. I'm pretty used to my Latin Rite, and probably won't leave. But here, there, and everywhere, let's just say that the liturgies of the true People of God are the most beautiful song this side of Heaven. I do my best to keep my head in the game, but results may vary.

Father Chrismation (names altered to protect the innocent) seems like a very holy priest. His homilies are great. But I daresay he will not win style points for the manner in which he says the Mass. It seems like he is afraid of messing it up. So it's quick and devoid of vocal personality. He and Father "Jim Boeheim" should say Mass together and see if they can set a speed record. [Does that other priest really look like Coach Boeheim?--ed.] Yes, man. I'm telling you. I've stopped short of asking him what he's doing here since the Orange have a game in two hours like 12 times. [You watch too much sports.--ed.] I know.

And so it was. I absolutely know that you'll never go anywhere or do anything without knowing utterly that you are loved by God. Even if that knowing passes like winds through forests, and comes again. But to presume upon it is something else. Let us at least desire to be found in Him. If they call us fools, so be it.

We'll Always Have Paris

5 Thoughts For Today

5. Fare thee well, Syracuse.

4. When fencing with the captain, lose on purpose.

3. Because marrying a German dude who talks funny and likes to mess with the universe is totally a good idea.

2. What scientific guild would allow dangerous, potentially universe-destroying experiments that have already claimed the lives of more than 100 people to continue?

1. No matter how scared you are, don't leave her waiting in Paris, in the rain. She'll marry a weird German dude, resent you, and try to seduce you for fun.