Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Separation of Church and State: O'Donnell v. Coons

Coons is simply smarter than O'Donnell in the Delaware Senate race. He may even be a better person and though Democrat more conservative in important ways!

O'Donnell comes off as more of a thug, despite her gender, when the heat is on.

Nonetheless, though I prefer Coons in the Senate, I wish that O'Donnell had done a better job representing the issue of constitutional separation of Church and State, in their most recent debate.

Coons stood by separation of Church and State. And that is alright, in the broad sense. If there is a state-sponsored religion, it might not be mine! And that would upset me! Right?

O'Donnell, for her part, challenged the separation concept slightly. She asked, correctly, "Where in the Constitution is sepation of church and state?"

The word "separation" is not there, but the concept is: "Congress shall make no law respecting," among other things, "an establishment of religion." That's "separation" enough for me.

But when I say, "I favor separation because I would not want a government-sponsored religion," I don't mean, and no one should mean, that the concept should govern all of reality in a simple-minded fashion from banning state-sponsored churches to controlling syllables falling from the mouths of government employees doing their work to prohibiting paper clips bent into the shape of an Muslim moon on a Department of Agriculture desk.

The First Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment (which probably intended to extend the First Amendment prohibitions to the States), WERE UNDOUBTEDLY NOT INTENDED TO MAKE "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS" THE PERSON-DAMNING, PERSON-DOOMING LAW OF THE LAND.

George Washington SIGNED the Constitution. He PRESIDED OVER the Consitutional Convention. He was our FIRST PRESIDENT.

How did he interpret the First Amendment Establishment of Religion Clause?

In his First Inaugural Adrerss, after he was elected President under the Constitution, he spent almost ONE-THIRD of the time talking about GOD.

Proof: My word counter says that the address is 1,433 words in length. 423 words are in the paragraphs about God. 423/1433 = 29.51%. See

Suppose a Congressional Page had walked up to Washington and whispered in his ear, "Sir, you are misinterpreting the document which you just signed. When you said, in that document, by your signature beneath those words, 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,' it means that all government officials may not even favorably speak of God while doing their work -- including you at this moment."

Which answer is George Washington most likely to have given?

(1) "Sir, you are mistaken. In fact, your words are so mistaken, I wonder if you are an insane man. Get off this podium, so that I can continue talking about that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, the benign Parent of the Human Race."


(2) "I'm sorry! I made a mistake!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Great Real Estate Question

Hypothetical: A smiling, very pretty little real estate agent shows a house to a newly-married couple. It is well-constructed. The major components -- roof, windows, furnace, air-conditioner -- are recently installed and ship-shape and so won't need replacing for decades. It is in a good neighborhood. The husband says, "Wow! What a deal! Why such a good price?"

"The widow who owned it had to move," the real estate agent explains. "She asked me not to invade her privacy too much by explaining more than that to persons interested in buying her home."

"Well, tell her that we'll take it!," the wife declares, smiling. "Where can we sign on the dotted line?"

A month-and-a-half later, closing occurs. An attorney appears for the widow, and signs for her under the authority of a Power of Attorney. 90% of the purchase price is mortgaged. The newlyweds are locked-in to 30 years of debt, but they are happy with their new home.

After they have moved-in, they hear knocking in the walls at night, they feel clouds of cold here and there in the house, they hear footsteps on the floors, and they are constantly awakened by tapping on their hips at night.

After a few weeks, a neighbor tells the disturbed couple, "Wow, we thought that this house could not possibly sell! And why do you both have such deep, dark circles under your eyes?"

"Why didn't you think that anyone would buy the house?," asks the wife.

"Oh, because of the double murder there last year! The wife murdered her unfaithful husband, and then she murdered her own son when he tried to stop her from murdering her husband! She was taken away in handcuffs by police, and is still awaiting trial! Ever since then, this place has been outrageously haunted! Even the police are afraid to go in! If you ask me, the market value of that house is about 2 cents!"

Shocked, the couple rush over to the real estate agent's office, and say, "You defrauded us! You know that we would never have bought this house had we known that there was a double murder, there! Who will ever buy it from us? And the murders left behind ghosts! We can't sleep there at night! The ghosts won't let us rest! It's terrifying, there!"

"So sue me!," answers the real estate agent. "I told you what I could! I called the seller a 'widow' and I said that she 'had to move.' She did, when they cuffed her! And then I resorted to the right of privacy. That should have been enough to tip you off! We have a duty to our clients, and this particular client insisted that the embarrassing accusations against her -- and they are ONLY 'accusations'; she's presumed innocent until proven guilty, right? -- be kept private! Do YOU have constitutional rights? Well, SHE DOES, TOO! And besides that, you don't REALLY believe in GHOSTS, do you?"

And the real estate agent drives to the bank and deposits her commission check, smiling.


Monday, October 18, 2010

A Football Question, Believe It or Not

One of the Eagles' touchdowns yesterday gave rise to this question.

The quarterback tosses the ball. The receiver is IN the end zone, standing behind the goal line, waiting to receive the ball.

The ball is a little bit high.

So, the receiver jumps up from the end zone grass and catches it WHILE he is airborne.

A player from the defense knocks the receiver forward, WHILE he is still airborne.

The receiver, holding the ball, flies forward so that his body slams down onto the ground on the FIELD side of the goal line. AFTER he is on his stomach, the toe of ONE of his shoes touches the grass on the END ZONE side of the goal line.

Even if we assume that the ball broke the plane of the goal line as the receiver was catching it while airborne, and that the receiver was, himself, flying ABOVE the end zone WHEN he caught the ball in his arms, at no point in time did a STANDING or RUNNING player actually HOLD the ball while BOTH feet were on the ground BEHIND the goal line.


ABSURD EXAGGERATED HYPOTHETICAL #1 TO CONSIDER, AT THE SAME TIME: On a windy day, the thrown ball breaks the plane of the goal line while in the air, but the wind blows it back ACROSS the goal line into the field, where it is caught, and the player is tackled after never crossing the goal line. Touchdown?

ABSURD EXAGGERATED HYPOTHETICAL #2 TO CONSIDER, AT THE SAME TIME: Receiver catches the ball; the ball itself never breaks the plane of the goal line, but as the receiver is tackled but before he hits the ground one toe of the receiver touches the grass in the end zone. Touchdown?

The reason for the hypotheticals is this: I think that in neither case would a ref call a touchdown, because the ref is looking for CONTROL of the ball BEHIND the goal line.

Did that ever happen in the case of the Eagles' touchdown, yesterday?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How I Say the Rosary...The Baptism of Jesus

Because most Christians do not understand "the economics of salvation," they do not understand that not only did Jesus not need baptizing, but also that it would have been a disaster for humanity if He had needed baptizing!

If Jesus had needed baptizing, then He would no longer have been the blemishless paschal lamb sacrificed to purchase grace from loving God's perfect brutal justice, which exacts eye-for-an-eye payment for sins. God would not have "seen" his sacrifice. They would have been "as filthy rags," as Isaiah puts it.

No grace would have issued from Jesus' sacrifice, and mankind, down here on Earth, would have been a faithless, self-aggrandizing monster, because that final ingredient of humanity -- grace -- would never have been added to the mix.

So, why was Jesus baptized?

Because He was "leading the way" through the sacramental procedure.

I also think that He was telling us something about Himself and salvation theology.

How was Jesus baptized -- by pouring or immersion?

Some art shows by pouring...

Some art shows by immersion...

Some art shows both, to avoid the issue...

In fact, in the Gospel narratives when Jesus is actually baptized it is clearly by immersion, but when He talks about it in John he refers to it as "bathing" -- a "washing away" of sins, the logic behind pouring.

I prefer the immersion procedure myself, because of the statement it makes about Baptism theology.

Calling it "Baptism by immersion" is a little bit of a misnomer. They should call it, "Baptism by coming out of the water."

Sea water is an expression of the Abyss Type, for the Sea of Damnable Souls -- sinners.

Potable -- non-salty -- river and stream water is the River Type, for Salvation.

Salty streams, however, are expressions of the Abyss Type.

The Jordan River is, and always has been, a salty stream.

Coming out of the Jordan River dramatized that one was no longer a part of the Sea of Damnable Souls.

By coming out of the Jordan, Jesus dramatized what happens to us when we are baptized.

In His case, though, Jesus is "He Who Was Made to Be Sin Who Did Not Know Sin," 2 Corinthians 5:21. In Jesus' case, He was simply the One Made to Be Sin, from the Sea of Damnable Souls.

I'll repeat the structure I devised, then post the Bible verses which I consider to be relevant to a consideration of the named Mystery.


The Sign of the Cross.

The Apostles Creed.

One Our Father.

One Hail Mary.

One Glory Be.

One Oh My Jesus ("Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins," etc.)

Then, the announcement, "First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation."

Then, one Our Father.

Then, I actually really do "contemplate the Mystery."

Then, after contemplating the Mystery, I say one Hail Mary, one Glory Be, and one Oh My Jesus.

Then I repeat the cycle, beginning with the announcement of the next Mystery, and the Our Father, followed by contemplation of that Mystery, and so on.


Matthew 3:13-17, but in light of John 13:5-10, and also in light of 1 Kings 18:1-46, especially Verse 44 in light of Psalm 77:16 and Exodus 15:22-25.

Genesis 7:6-16, but in light of 1 Peter 3:20-21. How? By getting wet? No. By being "rised-out-of" the "Sea of Damnable Souls" by the ark -- the Church.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How Is VERIZON's High Speed Internet Doing?

Frequently, it's really, really, really slo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ow.

The Night Sky

I'm pretty sure that I dealt with this subject before, but I'm going to do it again, anyway, because it is so interesting.

When you look up at the stars at night, you think, "Oh! Look at the stars up there!"

But that is a mistake.

Strictly speaking, those stars are not now there.

What you are looking at is where each star was, in the past, at a large variety of different times in the past. And sometimes even that is not true, due to any effect called "gravitational lensing."

The 3 nearest stars, Proxima Centauri, Alpha Centauri and Alpha Centauri B, all visible from the southern hemisphere, are all a little over 4 light years away. That means that the light from them took a little over 4 years to reach the Earth. So, when you look up at them from Brazil, you see them where they WERE, a little over 4 years ago, NOT where they are.

Barnard's Star, the next closest star, about 6 light years away, is seen where it was 6 years ago. And more than any other star, it is not even close to its apparent position. It moves very fast through the sky.

Wolf 359 is almost 8 light years away. When you look at it, you are seeing it where it was 8 years ago.

Do you see the problem?

The problem gets larger and larger with naked-eye views of the sky, until we get to the Andromeda Galaxy.

Andromeda Galaxy is 2 million light years away.

As the two million year old light from Andromeda tries to pass the Milky Way Galaxy, where we are, the gravity of our galaxy actually bends the beam of starlight from Andromeda, so that when the light falls upon the Earth, what appears up above the horizon may actually be below the horizon -- not anywhere near where we see it, not just because it has moved substantially since the light from Andromeda which we are seeing on Earth today left Andromeda 2 million years ago, but also because that light has had a lot of time to be bent in our direction by gravity.

You are seeing where it was 2 million years ago, not where it is today.

How I Say the Rosary...The Marriage Feast at Cana

I am glad that the Pope made the Marriage Feast at Cana a separate mystery of the Rosary, because the theology in that story is so important.

I'll repeat the structure I devised, then post the Bible verses which I consider to be relevant to a consideration of the named Mystery.


The Sign of the Cross.

The Apostles Creed.

One Our Father.

One Hail Mary.

One Glory Be.

One Oh My Jesus ("Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins," etc.)

Then, the announcement, "First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation."

Then, one Our Father.

Then, I actually really do "contemplate the Mystery."

Then, after contemplating the Mystery, I say one Hail Mary, one Glory Be, and one Oh My Jesus.

Then I repeat the cycle, beginning with the announcement of the next Mystery, and the Our Father, followed by contemplation of that Mystery, and so on.


John 2:1-12.

In effect, the Marriage Feast at Cana story is the Catholic answer to the Protestant objection to the Catholic theology assigning to Mary a special role in the New Testament salvation process. It really is amazing how squarely this story answers objections.

To understand what I mean, you have to understand how Bible typology, built into the Bible's words by the Holy Spirit, works.

WINE = the saving blood of Christ. Matthew 26:27-28.

JARS, POTS = Mankind, us. Genesis 2:7; Jeremiah 19:10-12. The fact that the jars in this story are called "stone" means that they were "stoneware," a variety of turned clay pot heated to great hardness, not carved out of stone.

SIX (stone pots) = evil. Proverbs 6:16.

TWO (measures) = the Church. Genesis 7:9, where we see God's people entering the Church saving them.

THREE (measures) = the Will of God. The Wioll of Go0d, the Commnandments, were brought down by Moses from the mountain on the third day, Exodus 19:16, of the third month, Exodus 19:1.

WATER (potable) = salvation. Isaiah 12:3.

Now, look at the order of things in the story...

They come to need the saving blood of Christ.

Mary intercedes with her son, as Catholics say she does on behalf of mankind.

At first, Jesus gives the Protestant answer: Bug off! This is God's business! Not yours! And your timing is lousy!

But Mary is nonetheless confident that her cheap human intercession will be heeded.

As we Catholics maintain, Jesus heeds her intercession, anyway!

He takes six jars -- evil humanity -- and has water -- salvation -- put into them, and then he changes the water into wine -- he "activates" salvation with his saving blood.

All of this inhj response to Mary's intercession.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

MRSA Recommendations -- Again

Because it continues to spread among people we know, here, again, are my recommendations for coping with MRSA.

MRSA is one of the boil-causing staph bacteria turned into a highly-contagious, extremely-drug-resistant super bug capable of turning into a subcutaneous ("beneath-the-skin") infection in which it dissolves the flesh. The variety I had -- called the "Camden County Jail strain" by one epidemiologist -- has a 16% death rate.

Health care professionals and writers are fond of repeating the tired old shibboleth, "Everybody carries MRSA somewhere on their body." But who cares!!! I wish they would stop saying that!!!

The question is, Do you have an infectious and communicable MRSA presence anywhere on your body?

You should assume that you have an infectious and communicable presence of MRSA on your body if you or a member of the family living with you have boils, if you or a member of the family living with you have cellulitis, if you or a member of the family living with you have been diagnosed with MRSA, or if you or a member of the family living with you have to engage in special measures to keep from reinfecting yourself with MRSA and to keep from spreading it to others.

If you are a MRSA carrier -- meaning you carry an infectious and communicable presence on your body -- you are carrying it in one or all of the following ways.

Assume all.

(1) In your boil or boils.

(2) In your subcutaneously-infected flesh.

(3) In a colonized area inside your body.

(4) As an invisible sheath on your skin.

(5) In your anus and in your defecation (your poop).

(6) In your nostrils.

Everybody in our society wants to pop pills to solve their problems. "Doctor, give me some pills to make my MRSA go away." But MRSA is different. Even if you stop the current infection, there is a good chance that you will carry it for years, and that you will repeatedly reinfect yourself and others, unless you do something about your infectious and communicable MRSA presence.

MRSA is so hard to beat, and it is so communicable, that I believe that ultimately every human being will get it. It is really depressing, and it is very, very, very dangerous.

So, learn about it.

How did I get MRSA? My wife brought it home. Someone carrying it in his bowels went to the bathroom where she worked, did not wash his hands thoroughly enough afterwards, shook my wife's hand, and she scratched an itch, injecting herself.

When she developed boils, we did not know that this meant that she was carrying a wildly communicable presence on her skin. Every time she sat on the toilet seat at home, she left an invisible sheath of MRSA bacteria behind on the toilet seat. Our sons, sitting on the toilet seat after her, all got it.

For some reason -- probably because of natural resistance -- I got it last of all.

It began as a giant boil "orbited" by a set of smaller "mini-boils" on the right cheek of my butt. They were extremely painful until they popped. When they popped they were extremely bloody -- MRSA is a "flesh-dissolving" bacterium. Antibiotics did not work well.

Later, in subsequent reinfections, I got the disease on my fingers, twice on my scrotum, once in one of my testicles, on my arms, thighs, knees, neck and scalp.

In one of my scrotum infections, it "turned cellulitic," and began to infect my entrails, and probably came within a day-or-so of killing me, except that the variety I carried was subject to the antibiotic Vancomycin. Not all are.

The following are the measures we developed for dealing with MRSA in our house. They work. Learn them, and use them.

(1) GETTING RID OF THE INFECTIOUS AND COMMUNICABLE PRESENCE ON YOUR SKIN AND IN YOUR NOSTRILS. In effect, we are talking about a numbers game, here. If you have an infectious and communicable MRSA presence on your skin, then showering once a day is not enough.

Showering twice a day may not be enough.

To get rid of MRSA, take a soapy shower three times a day -- early in the morning, in the evening after work, and at night just before bed.

The logic is this. When you shower, the shower washes off about 90% of the bacteria on your body. NOT "all" of the bacteria "from 90% of your body," but rather "90% of the bacteria from all parts of your body." In other words, all parts of your body still have 10% of the infectious and communicable MRSA presence. In one day -- maybe even in less than one day -- the MRSA can fully repopulate your skin with an infectious and communicable MRSA presence.

As you increase the number of showers per day, you decrease the post-shower percentage to such a low point that it takes longer than one day to regenerate an infectious and communicable MRSA presence.

The effect of that is that every time you take one of your multiple daily showers, the infectious and communicable MRSA presence becomes smaller and smaller until it vanishes.

You don't need some kind of "magical soap" to shower with. Some think that pHisohex prescribed by a doctor is necessary. It's not. Anti-bacterial soap isn't necessary. But, soap is. Ordinary, cheap Ivory Soap is fine.

When you shower, use one of those shower heads on a hose, so that you can very thoroughly clean out "the dark places" -- you anal and crotch areas.

Also, use the power setting on the shower head to fire lukewarm water up your nostrils. Do this with every shower. It will hurt, but you will get used to it. It will help to wipe-out the MRSA presence in your nose.

(2) GETTING RID OF THE MRSA BACTERIA IN YOUR FLESH -- INFECTIONS AND COLONIES. One of the infectious disease specialists we consulted explained that MRSA has one great goal -- it wants to eat the iron in your hemoglobin in your blood.

So, it occurred to me that I might be able to upset the MRSA's eating habits by oxygenating my blood.

So, I began to walk one hour every morning and one hour every night, day-in and day-out, day after day.

I walked at a forced-march rate -- 4 mph -- so that I was breathing heavily and so really oxygenating my blood.

It worked!

Within 24 hours, my giant MRSA boil began to vanish.

Within I week, they were gone completely.

Doing this every day for a year seemed to finally kill the colony in my testicular region. I could finally have unprotected sex with my wife without reinfecting her.

Suppose the infected person is a baby, or disabled. How can they walk at 4 mph twice a day? They can't. So, I suggested hyperbaric (high pressure) oxygen to one doctor for his infant patient.

THE MRSA PRESENCE IN MY BOWELS. The infectious and communicable MRSA presence in my bowels was the biggest problem. Proving that it was still there is easy. If I skipped taking showers on a weekend, pretty soon I started getting this very sweet-smelling scent inside my underpants -- the MRSA odor. Clearly, MRSA from my anal aperture were repopulating the skin oil and sweat in my personal region.

But then I remembered something I had heard in the hospital -- MRSA and other bacteria don't like a high (alkaline) pH. They want a low (acetic) pH environment.

So, on a particular Friday, I got up at 6:00 a.m., and once every half-hour, on the half hour, I took one Tum, and washed it down with Metamucil in water (to keep things loose -- just Tums might have turned my bowels into hopelessly constipating "concrete.") By midnight, I had taken 37 Tums in one day!

I got very, very, very sick. I was in agonizing pain all night.

But, I believe that poisoning myself in this way eliminated the MRSA bacteria in my bowels -- I'm not getting the sweet smell in my undies anymore.

OTHER MEASURES: THE TOILET. If you have that infectious and communicable MRSA presence, you are dangerous to your family. You could literally kill them. This is not an insignificant thing.

And MRSA is most easily communicated via the toilet seat. The infectious and communicable MRSA presence on your skin, and breaking wind into the toilet, leave a terrible infectious and communicable MRSA presence behind of the toilet seat. If someone else sits on it after the infected person's use, they are going to get MRSA, guaranteed.

So, adopt a rule in the house that if even one person has the infectious and communicable MRSA presence, EVERYBODY in the house has to clean the TOP AND BOTTOM of the toilet seat with any NON-AMMONIA cleaner BEFORE AND AFTER each toilet use.

By such a rule, everybody is protected by two toilet cleanings between each use, and the potty seat stops becoming MRSA infection generator #1.

OTHER MEASURES: THE WASH. The infected person should be given the job of washing and drying all of his own clothes and sheets and blankets in the washer and dryer. This is because his clothing becomes heavily infested with MRSA bacteria and bacterial spores. Just lifting them up and putting them down fills the ambient air with clouds of MRSA bacteria and spores. Let him or her breathe his or her own bacteria and spores. If anyone has at least some immunity, it will be that person, so he or she is the best candidate for doing the wash.

OTHER MEASURES: SEX. In effect, MRSA is a venereal disease. Sex will communicate an infectious and communicable MRSA presence.

Condoms won't help. The main problem is the MRSA on the skin and in the sexual sweat AROUND the penis and vagina, and condoms don't address that.

If you don't want to give someone else MRSA via sex, get rid of the infectious and communicable MRSA presence, or don't have sex. Simple. You're stuck.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What Is Free Speech?

Hypothetical: You have an 18 year old Catholic son. He volunteers, and gets shipped out to Afghanistan. There, he befriends local Muslims, and one night, while reading a storybook to a group of laughing Muslim children through a translator, a suicide bomber jumps into the room where this is going on. As the suicide bomber tries to let go of his spring-loaded dead man switch, your son grips the switch and wrestles the bomber out the door into a pit outside, where the bomb goes off, killing your son.

Muslims, fellow soldiers, nation and family all mourn the tragic loss of your son.

You greet the C-5A bearing your son's body at Dover AFB, and then make funeral arrangements.

The next day, Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas has protestors outside the New Jersey Catholic Church where the funeral is about to take place. Their signs say, "Does a soul belonging to a faggot-protecting religion go to Heaven?" "He fought and died for an Army which protects faggots. He's Hell-bound." "He died giving aid and comfort to members of the same religion which burned our families alive in the Twin Towers."

When you see the signs as you walk into Church, you collapse to the ground in tears.

Are the protestors engaging in Constitutionally-protected free speech?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Not Encouraging: President Obama Dropped the Reference to God Out of His Reading of the Declaration of Independence

These is the exact wording of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

In a speech to the Congressional Spanish Caucus Institute on September 15, Obama spoke exactly as follows:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are crated equal. [Long Pause] Endowed with certain inalienable rights: life and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

You can see it here...

How I Say the Rosary...The Baptism of the Lord

I'll repeat the structure I devised, then post the Bible verses which I consider to be relevant to a consideration of the named Mystery.


The Sign of the Cross.

The Apostles Creed.

One Our Father.

One Hail Mary.

One Glory Be.

One Oh My Jesus ("Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins," etc.)

Then, the announcement, "First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation."

Then, one Our Father.

Then, I actually really do "contemplate the Mystery."

Then, after contemplating the Mystery, I say one Hail Mary, one Glory Be, and one Oh My Jesus.

Then I repeat the cycle, beginning with the announcement of the next Mystery, and the Our Father, followed by contemplation of that Mystery, and so on.


Jesus did not need baptizing. If He did, then He was not the "blemishless lamb" whose death purchased grace for mankind.

So, probably He did what He did to institute the sacrament.

He may also have been talking to us, with His actions. Compare Matthew 3:16 with the verses at 1 Kings 17:1, and 18:41-46.

Remember that the sea symboilizes the Sea of Damnable Souls in typology.

But, why would Christ come OUT OF the Sea of Damnable Souls, in His Baptism.

Paul figured it out, at 2 Corinthians 5:21. Though sinless, He ended up being treated as though He were sin, itself.

If There Are No Aliens "Out There," Then Why Would God Put Space "Out There"?

When I opine to religious friends that I balance in favor of us being alone -- there may be relatively intelligent animals, but there are no aliens with self-knowledge and free will -- they usually respond, "But then why would got put so much space out there, with so much in it (as in the photo of galaxies, above)?

My answer is that we are midway between two empty worlds, the microscopic world of subatomic particles, and the macroscopic world of space.

The subatomic world is devoid of tiny little intelligent guys. Yet, it is filled with literally uncountable numbers of particles wafting hither and yon, doing this and doing that, completely oblivious to us.

If God can do that MICROscopically, why not do the same thing MACROscopically?

In truth, I think that space represents opportunity -- it is the frontier we could go to if we put our backs, and our social organization and good will, into it.

It is there for us.

Will we get there before wrap-up time?

I don't know. As I said in the prior post, we appear to be in The Great Falling Away.

The fuse appears to be lit.

Are the Organized Churches Collapsing?

An evangelistic Protestant minister told me the other night that in his opinion all of the great organized churches, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox, are collapsing, while small, independent churches are thriving.

While I think that in the long run he is wrong about small, independent churches, he is right about the large church organizations. Modern distractions -- especially the screens in our screen culture -- are eroding culture severely, including the desire to access organized religion. Women and "out-ed" active homosexuals going into the ministry and leading congregations, and the Catholic Church being plagued with ostensibly celibate homosexual wolves pursuing "prime beef" among young males in their flock -- these things are signs NOT of social advance but rather of the ghettoization of the churches and their abandonment to the effeminate.

In my opinion, we are in the midst of an event predicted in the Bible -- sometimes called "the Great Falling Away." Paul, in 2 Thessalonians, says,

1 We ask you, brothers, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling with him,
2 not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed either by a "spirit," or by an oral statement, or by a letter allegedly from us to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.
3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first [the Second Coming will not occur]
5 do you not recall that while I was still with you I told you these things?

"The apostasy" in 2 Thessalonians 3 seems to be a large, general departure from the churches employed by Paul as a pre-end marker. Thus the loose translation, "The Great Falling Away."

But there is what may be an odd reference to the current crisis in the Catholic Church, in the Book of Revelation, which is ironic grounds for hope. More later. GTG.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Are Federal and State Political and Judicial Leaders Guilty of Conspiracy to Rape?

The title of this post is not a joke. It is a serious question.

Suppose I have a jail filled with reports of homosexual rape. Correctional officers hear screams in a cell, run to it, and there they see two thug inmates holding down an inmate while a third thug inmate shoves his X into the held-down inmate's Y and Z. Let's say that there are hundreds of cases of this every year in the jail, and report after report after report is filed, detailing witnessed homosexual rapes. A raw count verifies that one out of three inmates get it by force in the Y and Z.

Let's say that this goes on in jails across each state, in every state in the United States.

But no one ever fixes the problem, because fixing the problems of bad guys is politically unpopular.

Instead, the phenomenon is used by cops as a weapon of terror during arrest -- "I hope that you have some Vaseline with you, Fred, because you're going to need it, where you're going!" (I actually heard a sergeant-at-arms say that once in court to a newly-convicted defendant.) And Gary Sinise taunts fictionalized defendants with that line in "CSI New York."

In one of my cases, years ago, the defendant was this wonderful, innocent visitor from Somalia with no criminal record at all who was driving down Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia when a speeding car coming in from the right went through a red light and slammed into the Somali's car, spinning it around, and damaging the Somali's accelerator so that it was locked at the speed the Somali had been traveling. The Somali national screamed helplessly as his car, brakes smoking, sped into a crowd of churchgoers, injuring 6, including a man whose two legs had to be amputated. While the emotionally crushed, traumatized Somali jabbered at police in the Somali language, the white guy who really caused the accident calmly told police that HE had had the green light. African American police assumed that the white guy was telling the truth, did no search for witnesses, and had the Somali incarcerated, awaiting trial, under $50,000 bail. (I later found a group of 5 witnesses sitting on a local tavern's steps who saw the accident, who took bets that the innocent black guy got arrested.)

The Detention Center was overcrowded that day, so they put the Somali in Holmesburg Prison (still open, then) where he was held-down and forcibly raped again and again and again.

So, it happens. In this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer the editorial, headlined "Prison equals rape," discusses this problem. It notes that the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that 88,500 prisoners in federal and state prison were raped by homosexual inmates or guards in the last 12 months.

Suppose I run a nursing home that really is the last stop before the funeral home for 99% of the patients.

And suppose I, the owner, am fully aware that the place is a Bedlam of homosexual rape, ultimately for about one-third of the patients.

But I do NOTHING to solve the problem, but smilingly tease the new patients, after their families leave, with the words, "I hope you brought Vaseline, Joe!"

Aren't I GENUINELY guilty of the crime of Conspiracy to Rape, and shouldn't I GENUINELY go to prison for the rest of my life, if my actions (keeping the place open) and inaction (doing nothing to stop the rapes) causes helpless screaming patient after helpless screaming patient -- HUNDREDS -- to be relentlessly raped, again and again and again.

I have long believed that every judge who knowingly sentences inmates to such places, and every prosecutor who knowingly tries to put inmates in such places, and every governor and mayor and correctional officer who jokingly tolerates the problem, is guilty of Conspiracy to Rape, and should be tried, convicted, and imprisoned.

Did I Screw Up with a Friend from Colorado?

Friends from a devoutly religious Colorado family visiting us recently asked me if I was still friendly with the Vietnamese couple and little Vietnamese girl who used to live next to us.

"I still love them and miss them," I answered, "But their families are freezing me out completely. I miss that little girl terribly. I really became like a father to her, and so the freezing-out really fills me with torment. I feel like a daughter has been kidnapped."

"Why 'freezing you out'?" the 22 year old son asked in front of his seemingly suitably mature 17 year old sister.

"Well," I said, "What happened is that the Vietnamese husband savagely brutalized his Vietnamese wife and daughter, for years. So, we helped the wife and daughter in the ensuing separation and divorce. While we were helping them, a Vietnamese-speaking Filipino girl I had never met before caught me outside of church one day and said, 'You Mr. Peter? Mr. Peter, I see you and I know you love that family, especially the little girl. You a gift of God to them. But, Mr. Peter, I heard the wife tell a friend in Vietnamese that one week from now she would falsely accuse you of trying to get into her pants, to get rid of you, because you shame her family and husband's family by helping her when they don't. That make you "inconvenient," Mr. Peter, so they put "heat" on her to get rid of you. She do that by falsely accusing you to everyone of trying to get into her pants. She is stabbing you in back, Mr. Peter, and it make me very, very angry. Try to love her anyway.'

"Exactly one week later, the Vietnamese mother did exactly as the Filipino girl predicted. She told her family, 'Mr. Peter try to get into my pants!' Her American step-father called me with rage. A Vietnamese client in Philadelphia said that his family in Ho Chi Minh City had called him and told him that they had just heard it from American relatives!"

The 22 year old brother from Colorado seemed surprised, while his 17 year old sister looked on calmly.

"What happened then?" asked the brother.

"Well," I answered, "Because I never actually talked to the Vietnamese family about sexual issues, they did not know something about me -- namely, that I had a version of MRSA with a 16% death rate colonizing my sexual aspect. I can't have sex with anyone but my wife, who, like me, is probably about 90% to 100% immune, at this point. I faxed photocopies of hospital cultures proving this to the Vietnamese mother's American stepfather, who was shocked and said, 'You'd never try to have sex with the mother under these conditions. I know you -- you'd rather die than endanger them! So, the mother is lying! I can't believe it! Pete, I'm sorry! The mother is lying!'

"But, I was still frozen out. I miss that little girl terribly, even after a year-and-a-half!"

The 22 year old guy and 17 year old girl seemed interested, and the conversation ended.

Later, the patriarch of the Colorado family came to me and said, "Pete, you were over the line!" Puzzled, I said, "How?"

"In front of my 17 year old daughter, you talked about how the Vietnamese mother accused you of trying to put your hands inside her pants!"

So, as the story was "whispered down the lane" in their family, the story had gotten twisted so that the Filipino girl's polite colloquial euphemism for an accusation of attempting sex was turned into an attempted assault-by-masturbation accusation.

I explained, with shock, "Actually, what I said was a colloquial euphemism. I said that the Filipino girl predicted that the Vietnamese mother would accuse me of trying to 'get into her pants' -- not 'put my hand in her pants.' And, your daughter is 17! It's time for her to be able to hear such stories! Life is made of this stuff!"

"Pete," the Colorado father responded, "My daughter was shocked. You really floored her. My 22 year old son was, too."

"But," I objected, "How can they watch television???"

"We don't have a television," he responded. "We have raised her carefully."

I apologized and shook hands -- but I was very shook-up.

Did I screw-up somehow?

Should 17 year olds -- even home-schooled 17 year olds -- be treated like extremely delicate china which will crack-up and collapse into junk if they hear that X accused Y of "trying to get into her pants"?

Worried about how I could talk in the 17 year old girl's presence later, I thought about the neighbors living within 500 feet of my house -- and we have one of the nicest streets in our town.

One neighbor was arrested for using illegal drugs to juice-up sex with his girlfriend.

Another neighbor used to scream, louder and louder and louder, to provoke her husband into punching her. She did this repeatedly.

Another neighbor cheated on his wife with the singer in his band.

Another neighbor cheated with an Asian girl who invaded the neighborhood screaming to the neighbor's wife, "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE YOU BITCH!"

Another neighbor sent the dog catcher to our house to have our cat killed when I refused to get medication for an injury -- the cat needed the pain, I said, to keep him from moving around, so that his injury would heal.

Another neighbor was a woman hooked on dating pedophiles, who incestuously raped her kids.

Another neighbor used to scream, "F--K YOU! F--K YOU!" for minutes at a time, at his wife, loud enough to bring down the heavens, in front of his 4 year old, whom he also invited to look at the nude girl who used to sun herself next door.

Finally, the Vietnamese family they had asked about were completely bonkers. The husband used to attack and torture his wife and little girl repeatedly, to keep them in line, and once, to punish his wife, he ransacked their house and cut apart the wife's clothing and shoes. He, too, used to scream, "F--K MY MOTHER-IN-LAW! F--K MY WIFE'S UNCLE!," again and again and again and again, for hours at a time.

Simple question: How can my Colorado's friend's 17 year old daughter walk down the street?

Still, did I err? Or, should our kids be insulated from such realities even up to 17 years of age?

Would Aliens Need Baptizing?

In Bible study last week, we finally got to Genesis. (We had done other books of the Bible in the past.) Verses on the creation generated the question, "Okay, but are we alone?" My opinion has always been that there is a slightly-better-than-even chance that we are. Why?

I call the answer to that question "The 1,000,000 Jesus Christs Problem," which runs as follows.

Our Sun is 1 of 100,000,000,000 ("100 billion") stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.

Astronomers estimate that there are about 100,000,000,000 galaxies.

100,000,000,000 galaxies x 100,000,000,000 stars = 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 sextillion) stars.

Lets be conservative and say that 1 out of 10 billion stars has life on a planet orbiting it. And let us say that intelligent life evolved on only 1 out of a million of those.

Those conservative assumptions suggests that there is intelligent life on about 1 million planets throughout the Universe.

Now, contrary to Bible literalism, Original Sin is not an event in history. Instead, it is how we would react in the absence of the grace of the cross to normal human passions, beginning with "When do we eat?" Original Sin is "created biological entity without the Final Ingredient," grace.

Without grace, each of us would be man-consuming monsters, like the horrible creatures in the "Alien" movie series.

It follows from that if there are people-size entities out there among those 1,000,000 planets with intelligent life, they are going to be made of between 1 trillion and 10 trillion cells (humans are made of about 6 trillion cells each) and each cell in each entity's body screams at each entity's free will, "When do we eat?"

"When do we eat" without the Final Ingredient = Original Sin.

So, as far as I can see, intelligent aliens with a free will would need saving, which means that they would need grace.

Now, despite the nasty eye-for-an-eye demands of God's perfect Justice, grace is free for us because Christ paid the horrible price -- His excruciating and violent abuse and torture and murder -- exacted by that Justice.

The key to unlocking the door to access to saving grace purchased in this way is belief (to death) in that Christ, and that sacrifice.

Now, here is the problem...

There is substantial evidence that the determining factor in intelligence is the average brain weight versus average body weight for a species.

Man has the highest ratio in that test (although McDonald's supersizing might have heavily impacted that ratio).

Pictured above are some of the other past-and-present Earthbound life forms with a species-wide brain-weight-to-body-weight ratio almost as high as ours.

They include Gracile Australopithecines with a crest on their skulls, Saurornithoid reptiles, dolphins, of course, and elephants.

Now, suppose Flipper, one day, comes to the surface, and with squeaks, grunts and hums manages to evangelize to his aquarium owner that on the bottom of the sea the Second Person of the Trinity has come to Earth as a dolphin and lies dead, impaled and cut and bled by evil swordfish, sawfish and octopi, as a sacrifice to pay the price exacted by God's harsh justice for the grace of salvation, and that you must believe in the dead dolphin to be saved.

Would you bow to the Dolphin Christ?

Or to a Australopithecine Christ, with a crested skull?

Or to an egg-stealing Saurornithoid Christ?

Or to Elephant Christ?

If I were to stand in the middle of my street, and say, out loud, "Will any of you go to church with me to pay homage to the Saurornithoid Christ whose followers landed in the flying saucer last week," I'd be arrested, with good justification.

The only answer to cross-species worship of Christ seems to be 1,000,000 Christs.

I can't accept that.

Therefore, I am slightly biased against us being "not alone."

At Bible study, some dedicated to the concept that there are aliens "out there" argued that God may have created them "perfect," and that they don't suffer from Original Sin, so they won't need Christ.

I say that "Original Sin" is being made of cells and being alive while being attached to a free will.

If that is correct, then any other somatic (bodied) species with a free will needs grace, and therefore a Christ.

Are there 1,000,000 different Christ's? I doubt it.

Would I worship Elephant Christ or Reptilian Christ?


Would you?

Or, should you be "locked up" by your neighbors?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Koran Burners Should Know What the Koran Says

When a Koran burner burns the Koran, he is burning a book which speaks respectfully of Jesus and Mary.

Our Islamic brothers and sisters, for instance, have a kind of Original Sin concept and Immaculate Conception concept in their faith.

How I Say the Rosary...Finding Jesus in the Temple

I'll repeat the structure I devised, then post the Bible verses which I consider to be relevant to a consideration of the named Mystery.


The Sign of the Cross.

The Apostles Creed.

One Our Father.

One Hail Mary.

One Glory Be.

One Oh My Jesus ("Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins," etc.)

Then, the announcement, "First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation."

Then, one Our Father.

Then, I actually really do "contemplate the Mystery."

Then, after contemplating the Mystery, I say one Hail Mary, one Glory Be, and one Oh My Jesus.

Then I repeat the cycle, beginning with the announcement of the next Mystery, and the Our Father, followed by contemplation of that Mystery, and so on.


Probably very little "contemplation" goes into the story of the finding of Jesus in the temple when the Rosary is said, because everyone knows the story, perceived by most to be an almost kid-level account of an incident in Jesus' life.

In fact, the story has a very special secret built into it.

It's not about Jesus' life.

It's about His death.

See if you can figure it out. From Luke 2...

41 Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
42 and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom.

Here contemplate Luke 19:28-40, and Luke 22:7-38.

43 After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it.
Here contemplate Luke 22:39 to Luke 23:56.

44 Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
45 but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.

Here contemplate Luke 24:1-3.

46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions,
47 and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.
48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety."
49 And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"

Here contemplate Luke 24:4-53.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Old Joke

A jet is carrying the pilot, the world's smartest man, a Catholic priest and a Boy Scout, and 3 parachutes.

While the world's smartest man is telling everyone how smart he is, the 4 jet engines suddenly flame out, and the jet begins a sickening glide to the mountains below.

The pilot runs out of the cockpit, screaming, grabs a parachute, throws open the hatch, and jumps.

The worlod's smartest man says, "Listen, you two are just a worn-out old priest who says prayers and does other useless things, and a goodie two shoes kid. I, on the other hand, am the world's smartest man, and the world needs me, so..."

And before they can say anything, he pulls on a backpack, and jumps.

The priest says to the Boy Scout, "Well, son, it's only you and me, now, and there's only one parachute. What he said is half right -- I am a worn-out old priest, and you have your entire life before you. So, the parachute is for you!"

"That's okay, Father," says the Boy Scout. "That won't be necessary. The world's smartest man just jumped out of the plane with my camping backpack."

How I Say the Rosary...the Presentation

I'll repeat the structure I devised, then post the Bible verses which I consider to be relevant to a consideration of the named Mystery.


The Sign of the Cross.

The Apostles Creed.

One Our Father.

One Hail Mary.

One Glory Be.

One Oh My Jesus ("Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins," etc.)

Then, the announcement, "First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation."

Then, one Our Father.

Then, I actually really do "contemplate the Mystery."

Then, after contemplating the Mystery, I say one Hail Mary, one Glory Be, and one Oh My Jesus.

Then I repeat the cycle, beginning with the announcement of the next Mystery, and the Our Father, followed by contemplation of that Mystery, and so on.


Almost nobody knows what the Presentation is, because almost nobody really ever "contemplates" it.

The Presentation is really about sacrificial death -- not a joyous moment about a newborn's new life.

To more fully understand this, we have to understand God's perfect Justice.

It is brutal.

For the sins of Peter J. Dawson, and the sins of Jane Roe the Reader and John Doe the Reader, God's perfect Justice exacts perfect payment.

This won't magically "turn off."

But because Gode is a perfectly Merciful perfect Lover, God addressed the "problem" of His perfect Justice (in fact, we are the problem) in another way...

I have found that the best way to understand how God handles the "problem" of His perfect Justice is through a homespun myth -- an imaginary conversation within the Trinity.

GOD THE FATHER: "As we knew would happen, these humans we created out of love are disgusting. All they worry about are themselves -- not others. Our justice is outraged. Our justice makes me want to smash them in their selfish, hate-filled faces.

"But, I love them. I want to have mercy on them.

"Someone has got to pay for their faithlessness and sins -- to the last penny."

GOD THE SON: "I will. I volunteer. I'll pay."

GOD THE FATHER: "Because the humans hate to death, the price exacted by our justice is horrible suffering and death by a perfect one."

GOD THE SON: "I will. I volunteer. I'll pay."

GOD THE FATHER: "My son, whom I love so much, this gift of love and mercy to satisfy our perfect, brutal justice is hard for me in a way the humans can not understand. But, I accept your loving offer, and so I offer you up to our own brutal justice to suffer and die on their behalf."

GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT: "Your love is amazing. I will carry your loving gift to humanity, so that they, in their imperfect, hate-characterized way, will achieve the torture and murder necessary to bring about the suffering and death being wrought on their behalf.

"Before I do this, I will tell them stories, in their Scriptures, hinting at the suffering and death of God's beloved son to come, and the reason why. The curious will see it, with our help, through the Old Testament Church, Judaism. The rain of grace showering upon the faithless, sinful humans in both the Old Testament and New Testament Churches, as a result of the suffering and death of God's beloved son, I will tell them about with more clarity in the New Testament Church of the Popes, and also through their Protestant and Orthodox brothers and sisters, and also through the continuing Old Testament Church, Judaism. The grace will also be delivered, in a special way, through the New Testament Church.

"They will always have trouble understanding these things, in part, because the grace, itself, makes life bearable, making it unclear how horrible they really are and so how badly they need the grace; in part, because the extent to which they refuse the grace, and so make their own lives hellish for each other, obfuscates their own understanding."

For the reasons stated, how these things are so, and why they are so, is very, very hard for people in our modern society to comprehend and then accept. Hopefully my little myth, here, helped. Hopefully, contemplating the Presentation using the Bible verses wehich follow will also help.

Re the Presentation, contemplate...

Luke 2:22-39.

In a sense, Verse 22 is poorly translated. Purification of the blood of childbirth and official Presentation are two different things. A =/= B.

Verse 23 does not make clear WHY " is written in the law of the Lord, 'Every first-born male shall be consecrated to the Lord.'" The answer is in the chain reference notes of good Bibles. My Bible, the New American Bible for Catholics, refers me to...

Exodus 13, which says that (1) all first-born males must be consecrated to the Lord, and (2) these males MUST BE KILLED IF NOT REDEEMED. Exodus 13:13 gives, as an example, an unredeemed first-born of an ass. It says, "If you do not redeem it, you shall break its neck."

Note the redemption price for people: Numbers 18:16.

Does Luke mention such a payment?

What is the implication?

There is mention of a payment by sacrifice of two turtledoves or pigeons. What was that for?

Read Leviticus 12.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Joke Making the Rounds: The Difference Between Men and Women

The wife doesn't come home one night. In the morning when she arrives home the husband says, "Where were you?" The wife says, "I slept over at my girlfriend's house." The husband gets out the phone book and calls her ten best girlfriends and they all answer with the same words: "I don't know anything about this."

The husband doesn't come home one night. In the morning when he arrives home the wife says, "Where were you?" The husband says, "I slept over at a male friend's house." The wife gets out the phone book and calls his ten best man friends and they all answer with the same words: "He was here last night." Two of them add, "And he's still here."

A Disturbing Question: Will God Cooperate With Cloning?

I first asked this question years ago with the following hypothetical. I know they're getting "up there" in years, but I'll use Raquel Welch and Arnold Schwarzenegger as my "model humans."

Suppose Arnold invites Raquel to a fashionable Hollywood restaurant. Arnold pays, they get up and leave.

A waiter who had been carefully watching them runs over to their table, bags their napkins in plastic baggies, and rushes them to a cloning lab.

From the epithelial cells of each on their napkins, the lab starts cloning new Sophia and Arnold nuclei, and inserts them into ova from fertility clinics from which the original nuclei have been popped.

Presto, change-o, the lab suddenly has 6,000 Sophia's and 6,000 Arnold's, and begins to market them for $1 million, each.

Question: Will God cooperate with the scheme by giving every Arnold and Sophia clone a soul?

This is not an absurd question. I bumped-into an extremely odd case several years ago -- a New Jerseyite had a son with approximately 50 twins built into his flesh. They are all microscopic, but alive. About once a year, one of the twins starts growing, and it has to be cut-out.

Question: Do each of those twins have a soul? In other words, when the Original-Sin-tainted world went on a "cloning rampage," did God cooperate and give each of the naturally-occurring twins a soul?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Counter-Intuitive Global Warming Solution

The deadline for submitting entries to the Gore-Branson carbon sequestration idea contest has passed, but, nonetheless, here is my submission. It is simple, and more importantly it is non-exotic.

The basic concept is this: While protecting existing forests even more strongly than we do now, we must greatly expand the number of acres dedicated to tree farming, and plant those acres with extremely-fast-growing pulp trees. Weyerhaeuser Corporation has genetically modified species of trees to grow very, very fast.

As we increase tree farming, we should change our economy back to one which makes MASSIVE use of paper and other cellulose-based products -- fit cellulose back into the economy whenever and wherever we can find a niche for it.

Next, instead of recycling paper, we need to BURY paper and those cellulose products after use, when it is time to throw them away -- and use the used paper and cellulose as backfill to fill exhausted strip mines.

This has the impact of sequestering carbon in the form of the relatively stable cellulose moloecule underground.

The existing paper-collection-and-recycling system can easily be converted into a a paper-collection-and-burying system. Rebuild railroad rights-of-way to exhausted strip mines, and simply dump enormous quantities of paper from the bottoms of hopper cars into the mines.

The mines can be lined (with cellulose-based sheathing materials) to cope with leachates, and they can be structured to "chimney" methane to a central collection point, and then covered and the methane recovered and converted to electrical generation and the electricity sold to the grid.

Increases in economic activity in a cellulose-burying economy would increase the rate of carbon sequestration. Paper non-recycling and strip mining become blessings, not a curse.

Fundamentally, there's nothing technologically novel about the approach. Fundamentally, it is conservative in its logic, and cheaply executed.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Impossible Coin Toss

There is an urban legend which has been around for many years to the effect that a professor teaching physics in a major university explained that it was feasible that, just by pure chance, the trajectory of the Brownian motion vibrating every water molecule in a cup might be "up," causing it all to evaporate in the twinkling of an eye.

"But," the professor is supposed to have said, "That's about as likely as this quarter landing on its edge and staying in that position when I throw it." And he supposedly threw the quarter across the amphitheatre - style classroom, and it landed on the floor on its edge and stayed there, upright.

Once many years ago, maybe around 1970, when I was alone in my parents' house in Philadelphia, I was thinking of the story, and on a lark threw a nickel across the room.

The nickel flew about 10 feet, landed on its edge on the linoleum floor -- and stayed there, upright.

I swear that that is a true story.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Why does lemonaid contain artificial flavours, but detergent contain real lemons?

What Is This a Picture of?

Old Joke

Sunday School Teacher, Leading Children to Church After Their Lesson: Okay, children, can anyone tell me why it is important to keep quiet in church during the service.

Innocent Little Girl Raising Hand: Because a lot of the people there are asleep?

Classic Logic Problem

Assuming that it always raining at the same clip, and that your starting point is a garage covering your car, and your ending point is another garage that will cover your car at your destination, and that there is only open space being showered upon by the rain between the two points...

To minimize the number of rain drops striking the car between the two points, is it better to drive the car fast or slow?

How I Say the Rosary...the Nativity

I'll repeat the structure I devised, then post the Bible verses which I consider to be relevant to a consideration of the named Mystery.


The Sign of the Cross.

The Apostles Creed.

One Our Father.

One Hail Mary.

One Glory Be.

One Oh My Jesus ("Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins," etc.)

Then, the announcement, "First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation."

Then, one Our Father.

Then, I actually really do "contemplate the Mystery."

Then, after contemplating the Mystery, I say one Hail Mary, one Glory Be, and one Oh My Jesus.

Then I repeat the cycle, beginning with the announcement of the next Mystery, and the Our Father, followed by contemplation of that Mystery, and so on.


Re the Nativity, contemplate...

Of course, Matthew 1:1-23, and Luke 21-21. But the key verse is Luke 2:7, because the Nativity is really about the Eucharist.

What do I mean by that?

Contemplate Exodus 12:1-28, especially Verses 3 through 10, inclusive. Also contemplate Genesis 27:1-29.

Hawking's Words About God

According to reviewers, Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking claims in an about-to-be-published book "The Grand Design" that The Big Bang was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and did not need God to spark the creation of the Universe.

Hawking is an influential guy, and he should be careful about what he says.

Hawking has erred before, in the same arena. The problem wasn't quite as simple as this, but it came down to this: Hawking Radiation, which has never been detected per se, was said by Hawking to be emitted by all black holes, causing them all, ultimately, to evaporate.

In other words, no black hole is truly black.

The problem with saying that is that relative to us, NO BLACK HOLE HAS EVER COMPLETED FORMING. This is called "relativistic time dilation." In a sense, there CAN'T BE such a thing as a "black hole," because black holes, relative to distant observers, never reach "black-hole-ness."

The reason why this happens is that as things get heavier, gravity from them gets stronger. As the gravity gets stronger, the forward progression of time within that gravitational field slows down relative to the time of observers not so close to the gravitational source. As the gravitational field of the heavy object approaches the theoretical weight of an object with gravity so strong that one must travel the speed of light to escape, time begins to become infinitely slow.

Result: The stuff making-up the star forming a black hole never quite succeeds in forming a black hole relative to people far away -- us.

Black holes thus can not, in a philosophical sense, "begin to evaporate," because the black holes themselves relative to us never finish forming. Ever.

What black holes do, instead, is approach "black-hole-ness" the same way a child, during recess, approaches the wall of the school by always stepping half of the remaining distance toward the wall of the school, never ever quite reaching it. She will be there for the next 20,000 centuries and beyond, trying uselessly to solve the problem of reaching the school wall while she follows the rule. In mathematics, we would say that the wall as become an "asymptope" -- something always approached but never reached.

Another way-y to-o-o-o understand-d-d-d-d-d-d-d what-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t is-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s happening-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g is-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s ... and so on, ad infinitum. The sentence is infinitely long.

If, relative to us, a black hole never finishes becoming a black hole, the black-hole-in-formation -- what I call an "incipient black hole," or "IBH," can never evaporate.

Yet, Hawking's Hawking Radiation is talked about, and analyzed, as though black holes finish forming relative to us.

They don't.

One might respond, "But there are TWO realities, Mr. Dawson -- one AT the black hole, one away from it."

Are there? The problem with the dual reality claim is that the speaker of the sentence -- like Mr. Hawking himself -- is out here.

And he can PRETEND to himself that his mind can bridge the time dilation gap.

But can it, really? Can it, really? Philosophically, IS there a useful place to go?

Interestingly, as I discussed at the beginning of the blog, physicists at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland are apparently LOOKING FOR evaporating mini-black-holes -- as though one could finish form relative to observers and then -- phhhhhhtttttt! -- wink out of existence.

The best they are liable to come up with, I am afraid, is a non-evaporating persistently-existing mini-IBH -- a nearly invisible little monster which eats its way through the walls of the collider with extraordinary explosive violence, and then eats its way to the center of the Earth, where gravity will force-feed the Earth's rock to it, until we are gone.

If Mother Earth is collapsing all around him and he is about to be sucked-into an Earth-eating IBH created by the Collider, I wonder if Hawking will pray to God, or to Gravity?

Friday, September 3, 2010

How I Say the Rosary...the Visitation

I'll repeat the structure I devised, then post the Bible verses which I consider to be relevant to a consideration of the named Mystery.


The Sign of the Cross.

The Apostles Creed.

One Our Father.

One Hail Mary.

One Glory Be.

One Oh My Jesus ("Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins," etc.)

Then, the announcement, "First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation."

Then, one Our Father.

Then, I actually really do "contemplate the Mystery."

Then, after contemplating the Mystery, I say one Hail Mary, one Glory Be, and one Oh My Jesus.

Then I repeat the cycle, beginning with the announcement of the next Mystery, and the Our Father, followed by contemplation of that Mystery, and so on.


Re the Visitation, contemplate...

Of course, Luke 1:39-45, but also

Genesis 3:7, 21

Matthew 21:18-22

Mark 11:12-23

Try to discern how the Genesis, Matthew and Mark verses are related to the Visitation. The answers are fascinating.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Speaking of Prayer...


Prayers really are answered. The secret in "The Secret" is really just a secularized re-telling of the underlying Catholic Faith reality.

Christ promised, "Ask and you will receive." And he said it three times to get it through our thick skulls: Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.

It really does work.

But, you can't prayer any old way you want. And you don't necessarily get what you pray for. Note that we are not told, "Ask FOR IT and you will receive IT; seek IT and you will find IT; knock and it will be opened to you AND WE'LL GIVE IT TO YOU."

It doesn't work like that. If it did, because we are stupid and selfish if God answered our prayers by giving us what we asked for there would be a worldwide cataclysm.



If you can't pray with faith, begin by praying briefly for faith. Then pray the petition prayer.

Then, sit back and watch. The help will come.

When it comes, a voiceless voice will whisper, "This is the answer to your prayer."

The answer will always be more than what you asked for. Always.

Brag to your friends about how you prayed to God, and how your prayer was answered. In other words, give The Boss "free advertizing."

How I Say the Rosary...the Annunciation

I'll repeat the structure I devised, then post the Bible verses which I consider to be relevant to a consideration of the named Mystery.


The Sign of the Cross.

The Apostles Creed.

One Our Father.

One Hail Mary.

One Glory Be.

One Oh My Jesus ("Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins," etc.)

Then, the announcement, "First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation."

Then, one Our Father.

Then, I actually really do "contemplate the Mystery."

Then, after contemplating the Mystery, I say one Hail Mary, one Glory Be, and one Oh My Jesus.

Then I repeat the cycle, beginning with the announcement of the next Mystery, and the Our Father, followed by contemplation of that Mystery, and so on.


Re the Annunciation, contemplate

Genesis 8:8-9

Ezekiel 17:1-6

Matthew 1:18-25

Luke 1:26-38

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Philadelphia About to Tax Blogs Structured to Be Profit-Making

I'm over in Jersey. But, the news out of Philadelphia is significant to all.

If one has a blog structured for profit-making, it must be registered with the City, and pay a $50 annual fee, or a lifetime fee of $300.

The implications are larger.

(1) Even if the blog earns $0.01, it must pay the $50 annually. This will tend to suffocate start-ups.

(2) Registering also subjects the blogs' income to a requirement that the $0.01 blog income be reported on
(2a) a Philadelphia wage tax return;
(2b) a state income tax return;
(2c) a federal 1040 return.

Since blog income must be added to other income, taxability threshholds will not apply to people with other income.

So, let's add-up the tax rates...

(Philadelphia Wage Tax rate 3.93%) + (Pennsylvania Income Tax rate 3.07%) + (modal functional threshhold Federal Income Tax rate 15%) = ~22%.

Ignoring any federal deduction for state and local taxes paid, since the deduction must be amortized over all income, not just the blog, and since it is a deduction, not a credit, the result of going after the blog income, including First-Amendment-protected blogs, is...

(1) The blog must earn more than $64 to net any money at all. Up to the first $64, the blog operates at a loss. One has to PAY to express one's views in a for-profit blog.

(2) On $100 of gross blog income, the net income = $100 - $50 - $22 = $28. So, the functional tax on $100 is 72%.

(3) On $200 of gross blog income, the net income = $200 - $50 - $44 = $106. So, the functional tax on $200 is a little less than 50%.

(3) On $400 of gross blog income, the net income = $400 - $50 - $88 = $28. So, the functional tax on $400 is 34.5%.

So, new blogs have to earn about $400 in income a year before government revenue stops engaging in confiscatory levels of income seizure.

In an article the other day, the Philadelphia Inquirer soft-pedaled the "hit." The truth is that it's a roundhouse right for beginner blogs.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How I Say the Rosary

When I was young, I quickly came to realize that the Rosary, as we Catholics say it, is "the world's most boring prayer."

Many of our Protestant brothers condemn the Rosary as Bible-damned "vain repetitions" (Matthew 6:7), verifying our damned state.

But this judgment by our brothers-in-Christ is based on a misinterpretation. What Christ was condemning in Matthew 6:7 is thinking that one can make headway with God through repeated prayer -- in other words, He was condemning prayer uttered without trust in God.

If repetitious prayer, as repetitious prayer, were being condemned, then the divinely inspired Psalms, themselves, are dens of iniquity: Compare Psalm 136:1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 and 8 and 9 and 10 and 11 and 12 and 13 and 14 and 15 and 16 and 17 and 18 and 19 and 20 and 21 and 22 and 23 and 24 and 25 and 26.

A prayer which requires repetition is not, per se, prayer uttered without trust.

So, go ahead and say your Rosary. It's not proof that you are damned. But, I, personally, still find doing so to be extremely tedious, and I think that the Rosary ought to be substantially restructured.

This is how I have restructured it, for myself...

The Sign of the Cross.

The Apostles Creed.

One Our Father.

One Hail Mary.

One Glory Be.

One Oh My Jesus ("Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins," etc.)

Then, the announcement, "First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation."

Then, one Our Father.

Then, I actually really do "contemplate the Mystery."

The secret is how.

There are structures in Scripture, called "types" and "word pictures" by Bible commentators.

"Hand" or "arm" in the Bible, for example, are expressions of the "Hand/Arm Type" symbolizing "Christ," even in the Old Testament, not just the New Testament.

"Boat" and "ark" are expressions of the "Boat Type" symbolizing "the Church," wherever you see boats in the Old and New Testaments.

Now, go to Genesis 8:8-9...

8 Then he sent out a dove, to see if the waters had lessened on the earth.
9 But the dove could find no place to alight and perch, and it returned to him in the ark, for there was water all over the earth. Putting out his hand, he caught the dove and drew it back to him inside the ark.

Do you see how the inspired Bible text dwells "in nauseating detail" on how Noah returned the dove to the ark?

That's actually a God-inspired word-picture of the key moment in the Annunciation -- the Incarnation.

The dove "carrying" the hand into the boat is a word-picture of the Holy Spirit carrying Christ to the Church.

By realizing this and studying this, I am actually "comtemplating" the Mystery of the Annunciation, aren't I?

After my "contemplation," I return to the structure of the Rosary, saying a Hail Mary, then a Glory Be, then an Oh My Jesus.

And so on.

In the coming days, I will outline all of the verses in the Bible comprising "word-pictures" of the Mysteries to contemplate.

In effect, you will be saying the Rosary after the fashion it was originally conceived, centuries ago: Narrators would divide the basic gospel story into 150 portions, and then have listeners say one of each of the 150 Psalms during a pause in the narration.

That gradually deteriorated into 3 sets of Mysteries x 5 Mysteries per set x 10 Hail Mary's per Mystery, recited with almost no contemplation of the original core consideration of the Rosary, the basic Gospel story.

By doing what I describe, here, we return the Rosary to its original noble purpose -- careful consideration of the Gospel story!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How Jewish the Dawson / Eitelman's Are!!!

Believed to Be Jacob Woelfle

Believed to Be Mrs. Jacob Woelfle

Believed to Be Elizabeth Christine Wolfle

Years ago, after I commenced the genealogy, my generation of the Dawson/Eitelman clan would call and asked, "Pete, is it true that Jacob Woelfle was Jewish?"

Jacob Woelfle, recollect, is our ancestor by Bobo...

GF Edward Decatur Eitelman was the son of

G1 GF Michael George Eitelman, who was the son of

G2 GM Elizabeth Christine Wolfle, who was the daughter of

G3 GF Jacob Woelfle, our known Jewish ancestor.

Well, it turns out that we have more Jewish ancestors through Bobo, the Baehr's...

GF Edward Decatur Eitelman was the son of

G1 GF Michael George Eitelman, who was the son of

G2 GF Michael Andrew Eitelman, Jr., the blacksmith in Fort Worth married to Elizabeth Christine Wolfle, who was the son of

G3 GF Michael Andrew Eitelmann, Sr., who came from Germany, who was the son of

G4 GM Elisabetha Bahr.

G4 GM Elisabetha Bahr was clearly the descendant of a Jewish line...

G4 GM Elisabetha Bahr was the daughter of

G5 GF Abraham Baehr, who was the son of

G6 GF Mosche ("Moses") Baehr, who was the son of

G7 GF David "Dov" Baehr, who was the son of

G8 GF Mosche ("Moses") Baehr.

That's a very, very Jewish line of names, and almost certainly Jewish. So, when Michael Andrew Eitelman, Jr. married Elizabeth Christine Wolfle, he was functionally following in the steps of his grandfather Johann Georg Eitelmann, who also "married Jewish."

To me, this was very significant. When I married my wonderful wife Rise Deborah Sobel, I was "marrying Jewish" like G2 GF Michael Andrew Eitelman, Jr., and I have always been so proud of my boys' Jewish/ Catholic heritage.

Now I see that Johann Georg Eitelmann, in Germany, was doing the same.

The Wolfle's, the Baehr's. Who else?

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Dawson's in America

Perhaps in response to letters from friends or family who previously emigrated to Philadelphia, 20 year old WILLIAM travelled south to Philadelphia, and in short order met and married ANNA FULLER [17].

As suggested in Footnote [17], oral tradition in the family is that the marriage was extremely fruitful, that g1 gm ANNA FULLER DAWSON bore to g1 gf WILLIAM SAMUEL CHARLES DAWSON 12 children before the latter's death in 1869. Perhaps 2 or more of the children were twins. More than half of the children died before completing their teen years. The 1870 Census names only 5 in the year following g1 gf WILLIAM's death: Great uncle CHARLES DAWSON, 13; great uncle EDWARD DAWSON, 8; great aunt EMMA DAWSON, 7; great uncle THEO C. DAWSON, 6; and gf HENRY AVERY DAWSON, mysteriously referred to as JOHN R. H. DAWSON in the Census record.

G1 gm ANNA FULLER DAWSON and g1 gf WILLIAM SAMUEL CHARLES DAWSON raised their children Roman Catholic. It is unknown if WILLIAM SAMUEL CHARLES DAWSON ever actually converted to Roman Catholicism. Their address before 1860 is unknown. Perhaps they moved into ANNA's apartment at #3 Goldsmith Court. Perhaps they moved into WILLIAM's apartment, wherever that was. Perhaps they moved to the vicinity of Old St. Mary's Church at 4th and Locust, where some of the children were later baptized. Who knows?

In any event, something happened between their marriage around 1852 and the birth of their son, great uncle CHARLES DAWSON, in 1857 -- for great uncle CHARLES DAWSON was born in Maryland, according to the 1870 Census!

Once again, history may supply the answer. As millions of Irish Catholics escaped the consequences of the Potato Famine by emigration to the great cities on America's Eastern Seaboard, the economies of those cities became greatly disrupted. Millions of Irish men and women, having previously endured enormous deprivation, were willing to work for extremely low wages in the America workplace, since even that was a substantial improvement over what they had had in Ireland. This tendency had the impact of drastically driving down available wages in the cities, much to the dismay of native Protestant workers. As wages plummetted and unemployment rose in Protestant families, young men in those families banded together in groups nicknamed "the Know-Nothings." They terrorized immigrant families, especially Irish Catholics, and organized a powerful political group, the American Party, which sponsored legislation barring them from the country. They acquired their nickname from their members' tendency to tell the police, "I don't know nothin'," every time police would investigate another Irish Catholic hanging.

G1 gm ANNA FULLER DAWSON would have had a lot to say to these thugs. She would have told them how their Protestant counterparts in the British Isles stole the lands of her forefathers and outlawed her native language, her religion, and most forms of employment for her forefathers. She would have described how her Protestant neighbors in Londonderry County watched as ANNA and her husband back in Ireland starved, so that he died, and her baby was born blind. Perhaps, as she walked to Mass at St. Mary's one day, she spat at a member of a local Know-Nothing group. And then perhaps they chalked a death threat onto the sidewalk in front of the Dawson house. Again, who knows? That the DAWSON family should move to Maryland from Philadelphia in 1856 or 1857 corresponds very well with the historical background -- 1856 was the year in which the Know-Nothings were strongest in Philadelphia, for their formal organization, the American Party, had its national convention in Philadelphia that year.

In any event, if you were escaping anti-Catholic thugs, Maryland, even then known as "the Catholic state," was the place to go in those days. The Know-Nothing movement was very strong in Maryland, too; however, there were many more Catholics there.

And so that is where great uncle CHARLES DAWSON was born, according to the 1870 Census.

If g1 gm ANNA FULLER DAWSON had 12 children in 17 years, then children were born to her before and after CHARLES whose names do not appear in the 1870 Census, and who therefore presumably passed away before that year.

The fact that the DAWSON's do not make an appearance in the 1860 Census records for Philadelphia suggests that they stayed in Maryland till after that year. Again, this fits the historical background -- the Know-Nothing movement had largely run its course and died by 1861.

By 1862, however, the DAWSON family was back in Philadelphia. They began living in 510 Prune Street, on what is now the south side of the 500 block of Locust Street<[>18]. Although all of the homes on the 500 block of Locust have since been demolished in favor of one enormous building, the colonial-era homes still standing on the 400 block of Locust suggest that 510 Prune was a narrow 3 story row home. If great uncle CHARLES DAWSON, who would have been about 5 years of age in 1862, was the only surviving DAWSON child at that time, it would have been an "easy fit" for the family. The probability is that g1 gf WILLIAM SAMUEL CHARLES DAWSON and g1 gm ANNA FULLER DAWSON were renting 510 Prune [19].

Great uncle EDWARD SAMUEL DAWSON was born at 510 Prune Street in 1862 [20]. Family oral tradition is that he was baptized Roman Catholic. However, I was unable to locate the baptismal record for Edward Samuel Dawson in the records of the Roman Catholic parish in which 510 Prune Street was located, Old St. Mary's.

It appears certain that g1 gf WILLIAM SAMUEL CHARLES DAWSON did not fight in the Civil War, but instead worked, lived at home, and continued having babies with ANNA [21].

The next child, great aunt MARY EMMA DAWSON, known to us as "Aunt Emma" who married Edward Joseph Doyle, from whom Dad probably got his first and middle names, was probably born in the same house, on October 4, 1863. For whatever reason, MARY EMMA DAWSON was not baptized until years later, in 1877, apparently just before her first communion at Old St. Mary's [22].

The very next child was probably born substantially premature, otherwise it is a little hard to believe. Great uncle THEODORE C. DAWSON was born 9 calendar months and 6 days after MARY EMMA DAWSON, on July 10, 1864. The baptismal record for THEODORE shows that he, too, was baptized at Old St. Mary's, on May 25, 1865, by Fr. G. Strobel, with Maria Antoinette Preault as her godparent.

Though the baptismal record for THEODORE confirms that the "C" initial in g1 gf WILLIAM SAMUEL C. DAWSON's name stands for "Charles," there is a tiny bit of evidence that the "C" in THEODORE's name does not [23].

Aunt Marie insists that the photo circulating through the family of the young man who everyone believed to be a picture of gf HENRY AVERY DAWSON is actually a photo of great uncle THEODORE C. DAWSON. My notes show that years ago Dad told me that his only memory of his Uncle THEODORE is a photo of him lying in his casket.