17 luglio 2013

Sick of CorporateSpeak

For a while, certain terms at the office (I work in corporate America) have bothered the hell out if me. Here are some gems and why I hate them.

Onboard or On-board (stress on the first  syllable): Used as a verb. As in, "We need to establish a standard process before we onboard contributors to this project." 

While this could EASILY be replaced with normal verbs like "hire" or "involve", it's not. Why? I don't know. It's a stupid word. We don't work with boats, and "on board" should be a prepositional phrase, and NOTHING ELSE! When I hear this term I think of "waterboard" (only other verb I know of that ends with "board") and I feel really sorry for these poor contributors. They think they're getting hired for a project but in reality they're being subjected to practices which were banned at the Geneva Convention.

Leverage. Again, used as a verb. Like, "How can we leverage our existing products into new sales?" Translation: how can we reuse what we already have to pretend like it's a new product so that we can sucker people into buying something that's not actually new." My reaction when I hear this? Someone please just punch me in the face and knock me out. 

The Market. Ok, this is a legitimate noun, I just hate when it's used in the singular. As in, "the market doesn't respond well to this design" or "the market is asking for more interactive content." No. The Market is not a single person and shouldn't be spoken of as one, especially when the "market research" consists of the opinions of ten people who filled out a survey for $50.

12 luglio 2013

NakedDC.com - brilliant

I have a feeling this might be my new favorite website for all things political. NakedDC.com. The author, Emily Zanotti, sees DC for the absolute sham that it is, and wonderfully picks apart some of the ludicrous arguments used by both parties. Starting with this article:

Guys won’t have sex anymore if abortion laws pass. Or something.

An excerpt (emphases mine):
If that seems straightforward, even pro-science to you, you’re not alone: if a kid can survive outside the womb, than it’s kind of hard to make the argument that they are an inhuman parasite. But, whatever. This is abortion legislation, so the rules are made up and the points don’t matter. What matters is, we’re all like, ten Texas legislators away from starring in our own post-apocalyptic Margaret Atwood novel, where us poor folk are chained to beds and forced to have children against our will. Never mind that by the time the Texas deadline rolls around you’re more than four months pregnant, you’re an idiot who simply can’t make up her puny female mind about being a parent, and need to have available a procedure that most of the world (except Canada!) views as barbaric.... - See more at: http://nakeddc.com/2013/07/11/texas-dude-says-guys-wont-have-sex-anymore-if-abortion-laws-pass/#sthash.7iWoDRLp.dpuf

European Council Investigates France Over Abuse of Marriage Supporters

Written by Wendy Wright

NEW YORK, July 12 (C-FAM) France is under scrutiny by a European council for its police abuse of peaceful pro-marriage demonstrators.

The Council of Europe is sending investigators to France to look into government violence against people who oppose a new law allowing same-sex marriage. The Council also passed a resolution reaffirming the freedom of assembly and speech, citing the violence against marriage supporters in France “including the use of tear gas on peaceful demonstrators.”

The Monitoring Committee holds Council of Europe members accountable, especially regarding human rights. It has received only 7 petitions since it was established in 1997. The process could lead to sanctions against France.

The resolution that passed on June 27 notes that pro-marriage demonstrations in Paris have involved over 2 million people.

Videos of police beating marriage supporters have circulated on the Internet. Critics accuse France of arbitrarily arresting people – even passers-by – to quash free speech.

One documentary shows police in a huddle saying, “He’s calm and quiet. Attack him from the rear. The dude won’t see it coming.” Five officers then rush and tackle a young man.

Another shows Christine Boutin, a former Cabinet minister under former French president Nicholas Sarkozy and current president of the Christian Democratic Party, knocked to the ground with tear gas.
Nicolas-Bernard Busse, a 23-year old student sentenced to four months in jail, is being held in solitary confinement while awaiting his appeal.

President Francois Hollande introduced the homosexual marriage bill in October. Hundreds of demonstrations have taken place since November, with three massive rallies in Paris. Impromptu demonstrations greet Hollande and his officials as they travel.

Small vigils have also been met with disproportion responses, according to a report by the European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ).

When France’s minister of state visited a local college, fifteen demonstrators, mainly women and children, were confronted by a large number of police. Officers knocked a woman to the ground and beat her. A young girl who is disabled was also attacked, leaving her unable to work for ten days.

About 30 people were injured in another demonstration. One vivid testimony stated:
“A young black man is chased by police. In his course, he is completely alone, and therefore does not present a single risk, given the large number of police present. He is caught quickly. He is thrown to the ground with extreme brutality and is savagely beaten. His head seems crushed by the legs and knees of the police who surround him. He bleeds. He find the force to continue to scream, with a voice more and more weak and broken: ‘Hollande . . . Your law . . . we do not want it.’ Just until his voice stops, apparently because of the boot of a policeman who crushed his mouth. He is finally dragged to a car in which he is thrown like a common package.”

Luca Volonte, a former member of the Council of Europe, and ECLJ, who compiled testimonies from 100 victims, presented evidence to the Council. Two-dozen deputies of different parties and nationalities introduced the resolution.

Families, elderly, and single people populate the overall cheerful protests. Prominent leaders include homosexuals who emphasize that children need a mother and father.

02 luglio 2013

An Open Letter to Wendy Davis, from TheMattWalshBlog

How Wendy Davis is being praised as a hero absolutely sickens me. This article from Matt Walsh hits the nail on the head:

(from: http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/06/29/an-open-letter-to-wendy-davis/)

An Open Letter to Wendy Davis

Dear Senator Wendy Davis,
Congrats! I know this is a bit belated, but I wanted to write a message of salutations and congratulations after that abortion rights filibuster you pulled off in the Texas senate this past week. The media tells me it was “historic” and “game changing” and “epic,” and I know it must have been because they only use those terms to describe, like, ten or twenty different events every day.
What a heroic performance it was. You were like Joan of Arc, Mother Teresa and Harriet Tubman, all rolled into one. Except they stood for courage, righteousness, truth, peace, and love, while you stood for the billion dollar abortion industry. They protected and defended life, while you protected and defended your right to destroy life. They faced grave danger, you face the adulation, admiration and campaign donations of the media, Hollywood, the president, pop culture, the abortion lobby and millions of Americans. The parallels are striking.
That’s why I’m writing to say “job well done.” In the midst of literally no adversity, you rose up and voiced an opinion that was sure to make you popular amongst the most powerful people in the country. How did you ever muster the courage? And let us not forget the content of your profoundly important message: That abortion clinics should not be regulated and the health and safety of its patients should not be ensured! Amen! Huzzah! So a few women die here and there due to extreme negligence and profit driven exploitation, big deal. We care about your reproductive rights, not your right to not be mutilated, injured, infected, or killed by quacks who flunked out of all legitimate medical fields and decided to perform abortions instead. This bill would have brought abortion enterprises up to snuff with every other facet of the medical industry, and required clinics to match the same standards that all other outpatient medical facilities are forced to adhere to — and that is just unacceptable. Certainly an orthodontist or a podiatrist must meet many health, safety and disclosure standards, that’s just logical. But an abortion clinic? Come on. Remember, Gosnell was unfairly and unjustly persecuted for killing hundreds of infants and at least two women, along with running a grotesquely unsanitary facility where patients were operated on with dirty medical tools and given lethal doses of drugs by untrained and unlicensed 15 year olds, while the body parts of dead babies piled up in the refrigerator and women sat on blood stained couches before being ushered into the bathroom to give birth into toilets, like these are “crimes” or something. This was all made possible for thirty years because of a total lack of regulatory oversight. Everyone in government was either too ideologically invested in abortion, or too afraid of the people who are, to do anything about these so called “horrific atrocities.” And that’s how it should be. Now, reports have circulated about Gosnell-ish clinics all across the country, including one right down there in Houston, and so we MUST make sure that there are NO laws or policies enforcing any standards of safety, hygiene and general human decency on abortion clinics — that is a burden they simply can’t be saddled with.
I mean, when women-haters babble on about imposing basic health and safety codes on abortion clinics, it makes me almost as mad as when they insist that the clinics should be forced to offer ultrasounds to their patients. What barbarians! Why should an abortion facility be required to provide information to women before taking their money and killing their kid? Ignorance and darkness, that’s the only proper environment in which to run a reputable abortion business. Again, literally all other medical fields are required by law to offer all available information to patients before performing surgical procedures, but abortionists must stay exempt from this otherwise reasonable policy!
Oh, but I mustn’t forget the most important message in your filibuster: Unborn children are expendable pieces of insignificant trash and we must never hinder society’s ability to exterminate as many of them as possible! Hell, they aren’t even “children,” they’re fetuses. Which means “offspring” in Latin, so it’s, like, totally a different thing. Hey, how did you explain to your own child that she was utterly worthless while she was in your womb? That must have been a really special moment when you had that talk with her. I know anytime my children point to a woman’s pregnant tummy and say “Look daddy, she has a baby,” I’ll make sure to correct them. “No, honey, she has a parasite that she can, and probably should, have extracted and thrown in the garbage.” The Texas bill would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks. At 20 weeks, the fetus has things like a brain, a nervous system, a heart, lungs, fingers, toes, the ability to hear his mother’s voice, the ability to dream, the ability to feel pain. But anyone who wants to protect these indisputably human creatures and stop them from being brutally butchered is clearly driven by a hatred for women or poor people or minorities or something! (Even though females, blacks, and the poor are exactly the demographics most often killed through abortions, but we are more focused on protecting their sex habits, not their very existence). During your filibuster you said, while arguing for the violent destruction of fully formed children, that you are speaking for those who have been “silenced.” Then, a crowd of fans erupted in uproarious applause. What a moment that was — a crowd of people stomping their feet and screaming for baby killing. How inspiring. It was like a scene from the Walking Dead, and I mean that in a good way, of course.
One more thing: You keep making the point that men have no right to have an opinion about abortion, and they certainly ought to have no say in whether their children live or die. Thanks for this. Please, keep trying to drive that wedge between men and women and men and their children. If there’s one thing our society needs to do, it’s stop men from caring about their families. There is just TOO much paternal involvement in society and it’s really becoming a problem. I mean, what good is it to simply turn women against their own children if we aren’t also turning them against their husbands, and disconnecting their husbands from their children? Let the message ring out: Men shouldn’t give a crap about kids! Hooray! Freedom!
Anyway, well Governor Perry will be reintroducing the bill you derailed. Stupid son of a gun just won’t get off his “we shouldn’t murder sentient human children” bandwagon. I hope you stand again and do whatever you can to stop him. Congratulations. If you are successful, more children will die as a direct result of your actions. You must be so proud.
Matt Walsh

02 dicembre 2011

Vatican Cardinal Burke: ‘We’re well on the way’ to Christian persecution in the U.S.

Mon Nov 28, 2011

VATICAN, November 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of the highest ranking cardinals in the Vatican has said that the United States is “well on the way” to the persecution of Christians.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, former Archbishop of St. Louis and now the head of the Vatican’s highest court, told Catholic News Agency that he could envision a time when the Catholic Church in the U.S., “even by announcing her own teaching,” is accused of “engaging in illegal activity, for instance, in its teaching on human sexuality.”

Asked if the cardinal could even see American Catholics being arrested for their faith he replied, “I can see it happening, yes.”

In his remarks to several U.S. Bishops meeting with him Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI made similarly emphatic warnings about the U.S. The pope told the bishops that “the seriousness of the challenges which the Church in America, under your leadership, is called to confront in the near future cannot be underestimated.”

He added: “The obstacles to Christian faith and practice raised by a secularized culture also affect the lives of believers.”

In the interview published today, Cardinal Burke declared that “it is a war” and “critical at this time that Christians stand up for the natural moral law.” Should they not, he warned, “secularization will in fact predominate and it will destroy us.”

Pope Benedict too urged the bishops of the United States to speak out in defense of morality. “The present moment can thus be seen, in positive terms, as a summons to exercise the prophetic dimension of your episcopal ministry by speaking out, humbly yet insistently, in defense of moral truth, and offering a word of hope, capable of opening hearts and minds to the truth that sets us free,” he said.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue told LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Burke’s remarks were accurate and not exaggerations. “Secularism has become militant,” he said. “Many elites are taking an aggressive secular approach. They have lined up against the Catholic Church and other Christian churches particularly for their stand on moral values.”

Donohue pointed to New York where gay ‘marriage’ was passed without debate or exemptions for clerks who objected to having to grant such licenses. He also noted the closing of Catholic adoption and foster care agencies since they were unable to comply with laws forcing homosexual adoptions.

“The real big one,” he added, “is the HHS of the Obama Administration.” The forcing of abortifacient and contraceptive coverage in private health care plans under penalty of fines was described by the Catholic League President as the Obama Administration “on a full court press to shove its values down the throats of the Catholic Church.”

See the full interview with Cardinal Burke with Catholic News Agency

Link to story: http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-cardinal-burke-were-well-on-the-way-to-christian-persecution-in-the

01 settembre 2011


Art "Is Like a Door Opened to the Infinite"

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 31, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the Italian-language catechesis Benedict XVI gave today during the general audience.
* * *
Dear brothers and sisters,
On several occasions in recent months, I have recalled the need for every Christian to find time for God, for prayer, amidst our many daily activities.The Lord himself offers us many opportunities to remember Him. Today, I would like to consider briefly one of these channels that can lead us to God and also be helpful in our encounter with Him: It is the way of artistic expression, part of that "via pulchritudinis" -- "way of beauty" -- which I have spoken about on many occasions, and which modern man should recover in its most profound meaning.

Perhaps it has happened to you at one time or another -- before a sculpture, a painting, a few verses of poetry or a piece of music -- to have experienced deep emotion, a sense of joy, to have perceived clearly, that is, that before you there stood not only matter -- a piece of marble or bronze, a painted canvas, an ensemble of letters or a combination of sounds -- but something far greater, something that "speaks," something capable of touching the heart, of communicating a message, of elevating the soul.

A work of art is the fruit of the creative capacity of the human person who stands in wonder before the visible reality, who seeks to discover the depths of its meaning and to communicate it through the language of forms, colors and sounds. Art is capable of expressing, and of making visible, man's need to go beyond what he sees; it reveals his thirst and his search for the infinite. Indeed, it is like a door opened to the infinite, [opened] to a beauty and a truth beyond the every day. And a work of art can open the eyes of the mind and heart, urging us upward.

But there are artistic expressions that are true roads to God, the supreme Beauty -- indeed, they are a help [to us] in growing in our relationship with Him in prayer. We are referring to works of art that are born of faith, and that express the faith. We see an example of this whenever we visit a Gothic cathedral: We are ravished by the vertical lines that reach heavenward and draw our gaze and our spirit upward, while at the same time, we feel small and yet yearn to be filled. … Or when we enter a Romanesque church: We are invited quite naturally to recollection and prayer. We perceive that hidden within these splendid edifices is the faith of generations. Or again, when we listen to a piece of sacred music that makes the chords of our heart resound, our soul expands and is helped in turning to God. I remember a concert performance of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach -- in Munich in Bavaria -- conducted by Leonard Bernstein. At the conclusion of the final selection, one of the Cantate, I felt -- not through reasoning, but in the depths of my heart -- that what I had just heard had spoken truth to me, truth about the supreme composer, and it moved me to give thanks to God. Seated next to me was the Lutheran bishop of Munich. I spontaneously said to him: "Whoever has listened to this understands that faith is true" -- and the beauty that irresistibly expresses the presence of God's truth.
But how many times, paintings or frescos also, which are the fruit of the artist's faith -- in their forms, in their colors, and in their light -- move us to turn our thoughts to God, and increase our desire to draw from the Fount of all beauty. The words of the great artist, Marc Chagall, remain profoundly true -- that for centuries, painters dipped their brushes in that colored alphabet, which is the Bible.

How many times, then, can artistic expression be for us an occasion that reminds us of God, that assists us in our prayer or even in the conversion of our heart! In 1886, the famous French poet, playwright and diplomat Paul Claudel entered the Basilica of Notre Dame in Paris and there felt the presence of God precisely in listening to the singing of the Magnificat during the Christmas Mass. He had not entered the church for reasons of faith; indeed, he entered looking for arguments against Christianity, but instead the grace of God changed his heart.

Dear friends, I invite you to rediscover the importance of this way for prayer, for our living relationship with God. Cities and countries throughout the world house treasures of art that express the faith and call us to a relationship with God. Therefore, may our visits to places of art be not only an occasion for cultural enrichment -- also this -- but may they become, above all, a moment of grace that moves us to strengthen our bond and our conversation with the Lord, [that moves us] to stop and contemplate -- in passing from the simple external reality to the deeper reality expressed -- the ray of beauty that strikes us, that "wounds" us in the intimate recesses of our heart and invites us to ascend to God.

I will end with a prayer from one of the Psalms, Psalm 27: "One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple" (Verse 4). Let us hope that the Lord will help us to contemplate His beauty, both in nature as well as in works of art, so that we might be touched by the light of His face, and so also be light for our neighbor. Thank you.

[Translation by Diane Montagna]
[The Holy Father then greeted pilgrims in several languages. In English, he said:]
I am pleased to greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors here today, especially those from Scotland and Malta. Today we reflect on the need to draw near to God through the experience and appreciation of artistic beauty. Art is capable of making visible our need to go beyond what we see and it reveals our thirst for infinite beauty, for God. Dear friends, I invite you to be open to beauty and to allow it to move you to prayer and praise of the Lord. May Almighty God bless all of you!

© Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
[In Italian, he said:]

Lastly, I address a word of cordial welcome to the Italian-speaking pilgrims. In particular, I greet the bishops who are friends of the Community of Sant'Edigio, the faithful of the various parishes, who are accompanied by their parish priests, and newlyweds. I hope that this meeting strengthens each of you in a renewed adherence to God, fount of light, of hope and of peace.
[After the prayer:]

Thank you, a good day to you all. Thank you!

[Translation by Diane Montagna]

Permalink: http://www.zenit.org/article-33326?l=english

21 giugno 2011


ZE11062008 - 2011-06-20
Permalink: http://www.zenit.org/article-32900?l=english

New Government Proposal Could Ease Restrictions

ASSIUT, Egypt, JUNE 20, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Coptic bishop of Assiut, Egypt, is optimistic about a new government proposal that, if passed, would make building a Church in Egypt a little easier.

Bishop Kyrillos Kamal William Samaan told Aid to the Church in Need that a new proposal to ease restrictions on church-building mark a crucial step forward for the 10 million Christians in Egypt, where tight restrictions on Church-building are frequently cited as one of the most serious forms of anti-Christian oppression.

Currently, the law states that permission to build a Church must be given by the president himself, and decisions over applications for new churches can take years, even decades.

According to the new law, put forward by the interim military regime that replaced President Hosni Mubarak’s government in February 2011, proposals would go before the regional governor for a decision within three months.

"If these proposals come into law," Bishop Samaan said, "it could mean that building churches will be almost on the same level as constructing mosques. It is a major step forward for the citizenship of Christians."

"What we are seeing here is one of the first fruits of the demonstrations back in January," he added. "When the Christians demonstrated, they asked for their rights and the first right they demanded was the construction of churches.
"Everybody knows that this has been a big problem for the Christians. Many moderate people have recognized it. In fact more than 50% of the problems Christians face will be resolved if we can make progress on this issue."

The bishop reported that permission to build two churches in his diocese in Upper Egypt came through before the January Revolution that ended with Mubarak’s departure from office. Applications for another three churches have been approved in the last few weeks, he added, leaving just one outstanding, with a decision expected soon.

19 aprile 2011

Duke lacrosse accuser charged with murder

And a few years after the reputations and lives of some college kids were ruined....

By MIKE BAKER, Associated Press Mike Baker, Associated Press – Tue Apr 19, 7:24 am ET
RALEIGH, N.C. – A murder charge against the woman who falsely accused three Duke lacrosse players of raping her is but the latest problem for a woman friends say is still haunted by the stigma of the lacrosse case.

Crystal Mangum, 32, was indicted Monday on a charge of first-degree murder and two counts of larceny. She has been in jail since April 3, when police charged her with assault in the stabbing of her boyfriend Reginald Daye, 46. He died after nearly two weeks at a hospital.

An attorney for Mangum did not return a call seeking comment. The district attorney's office declined to discuss the case.

Friends said Mangum has never recovered from the stigma brought by the lacrosse case and has been involved in a string of questionable relationships in an attempt to provide stability for her children.

Mangum, who is black, falsely accused the white lacrosse players of raping her at a 2006 party for which she was hired to perform as a stripper. The case heightened long-standing tensions in Durham about race, class and the privileged status of college athletes.

The district attorney who championed Mangum's claims was later disbarred. North Carolina's attorney general eventually declared the players innocent of a "tragic rush to accuse."

Prosecutors declined to press charges for the false accusations, but Mangum's bizarre legal troubles continued.

Last year, she was convicted on misdemeanor charges after setting a fire that nearly torched her home with her three children inside. In a videotaped police interrogation, she told officers she got into a confrontation with her boyfriend at the time — not Daye — and burned his clothes, smashed his car windshield and threatened to stab him.

A federal judge recently ruled the three players accused of rape — Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans — can pursue a lawsuit against former District Attorney Mike Nifong and the police investigators who handled their case. The players have not sued Mangum.

Vincent Clark, a friend who co-authored Mangum's self-published memoir, said he hopes people don't rush to judgment — echoing one of the oft-cited lessons of the lacrosse case itself.

Clark said Mangum realizes she has mental health problems.

"I'm sad for her. I hope people realize how difficult it is being her," Clark said.

Even when Daye's nephew talked to a 911 dispatcher after the stabbing, he referenced the notoriety Mangum still carries.

"It's Crystal Mangum. THE Crystal Mangum," said the nephew, whose name was removed from a publicly-released version of the emergency call. "I told him she was trouble from the damn beginning."