Archive for August, 2005

Single households out number families

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

I was listening to the radio this morning and they were talking about a new survey that showed that for the first time single households out number families. I couldn’t find the survey online and it was unclear from the radio discussion what cohabitating couples counted as, but divorced, single parent and widowed people all fell under the single category, which is a little unfair to each of those groups as they are vastly different, especially the widows.

In any case, inevitably during the discussion a lady (from Davis, surprise, surprise, Berkeley’s mini-me) called in and asked why this is a bad thing.

For me, that pretty much sums up why it is a bad thing, because most people don’t see anything wrong with it. I mean, do I even need to justify my position? It feels like a waste of blog space to defend the need for families. It should be self evident. It’s about a ridiculous as needing to explain why a down trend in the amount of food being produced by farmers and ranchers is a bad thing.

But, just so it is on record:

The current reproduction rate in Europe is about 1.5. The current reproduction rate in the US of native born citizens is right around 2.0 and falling fast. We need a number around 2.2 for a stable population size. A shrinking population has TONS of problems including the overwhelming burden on younger people to support the elderly and a VERY unstable economy (lacking consumers).

There, and I didn’t even need to get into the social/religious values of the family to defend this one. As I said, it is pretty obvious. Just like we need food to survive (which is the answer to the why farmers are important question above for any EXTREMELY challenged readers), we need to reproduce to survive as a society. Any other questions?

The best blog I’ve seen in a while

Friday, August 5th, 2005

OK, I know everyone is amazed that this is the 3rd post today, but I’ll keep rolling while I can. I was introduced to a new blog today called Musum Pontificalis. I think it will be funny to most people, but I’m pretty sure the vast majority of conservative Catholics will find it hilarious. It’s a spoof site pretending to be the musings of Pope Benedict XVI. Here are some highlights to convince you to go over and read it:

The ‘About Me':
“Basically, I’m just your average Joe. I like to drink beer and muse like everyone else. I love the Good Lord with all my heart and He has blessed me immensely, for which I am eternally grateful.”

“I am really enjoying my vacation. So far, the better part of it has been spent trying to figure out this darn HTML code stuff. They made it so you can use both < "i"> and < "em"> tags, yet I have found that they don’t always work together. Relativists! They frustrate me to no end.”

On Seinfeld:
“A few co-workers and I were standing around the water-cooler discussing Seinfeld reruns when the conversation switched gears and became a heated debate. I don’t want to be a namedropper, but these colleagues were Cardinals Ruini and Mahony.”

On Beer:
“A very dear and thoughtful friend brought me a gift from the United States. Not to be a namedropper, but it was Archbishop Levada. I was honored by his gesture and humbly accepted his generous gift. The gift was a much-appreciated case of Budweiser. I thought to myself, “ah, how exciting; it’s been a while since you’ve enjoyed a good pilsner, Joey.”

That evening, after work, I cracked one open. Having fond memories of drinking Budweiser that had been smuggled in from Czechoslovakia, I was anxious to experience that poetic dance of barley and hops upon my palate once again.

What a surprise I was in for. Far from being the smooth, yet complex pilsner I was accustomed to fifty years ago, I found it utterly repugnant and it instantly gave me a headache. For a moment I had even wondered if certain Jesuits had poisoned me.

I began to reflect on the situation and realized that my negative experience was the expected consequence of Relativism. You see; this is precisely what happens in a Relativistic society. Terms like “good beer” become subjective. In this case, even the word “beer” seems to be subjective. Society can no longer trust labels and there is no honor to a man’s word.”

On modern technology:
“I marvel at modern technology and what can be done with it; if it were only used for good the world would be a much better place. As I am musing to you via my Blackberry, I was struck by how modern technology, particularly computer code, demonstrates to us how unworkable the Relativist system is.

Anyway, the stewardess has just informed me that I am not allowed to use cellular devices on the plane, so I have to go.”

On web browsers:
“You see, dear children, your Papa was unwittingly operating contrary to the principles laid out in the encyclical by Pope Leo XIII of happy memory, Rerum Novarum. In using the browser that came packaged with my computer’s operating system, I was supporting the efforts of a monopoly bent on dictating the market and denying computer programmers their dignity to create and market superior products that will benefit all of society, especially the poor.

As is so often the case with issues of social injustice, you can find Relativism in operation behind the scenes. Considering the web browser issue, the relativist would say the common good is defined by whoever controls the market. To them, the only operating principle is the power to control, and there are no principles directing the means to gain that control.

The resulting consequences are price gouging, lack of innovation, inconsistently applied standards and their forfeiting of security in order to maintain their dual monopoly in the market place.

For this reason, Fr. Norbert is going to install something called Firefox. He informs me that it will change the way I browse forever. He has also assured me that it is the product of benevolent individuals working for the common good, rather than the fruits of a monopoly or some socialist utopian scheme thought up by some Jesuits.”

On his brother:
“You see dear children, when George and I were young, we used to play priest. Oh what fun we had! One day when we were playing, George said that he just got word from Rome, that there was a conclave and the cardinals elected him pope, and that as his first pontifical act he was going to excommunicate me for using his football without asking (that is a soccer ball to you Americans).

I was so upset that I was beside myself. I begged him to lift the excommunication, but he refused. He held that thing over my head for years it seemed. It may not seem like a big deal now, but at the time I was traumatized over the whole thing. What is beautiful about Providence is that there really was a conclave and take a wild guess as to who was elected pope? That’s right – your Papa Ratzi. Perhaps when George is released from the hospital and we know everything is OK, I’ll remind him of the time he “borrowed” my bicycle without asking.”

Great stuff, don’t you think?

The Oakland A’s continue to be awesome

Friday, August 5th, 2005

Well, it looked at the start of the season like this might be a bad year in Oakland. It turns out, all we needed to do was be patient and wait. Unlike the Giants who are in a death spiral of steriod withdrawls (without Barry “I didn’t inhale, or at least know what I was inhaling” Bonds), the A’s are red hot!

How hot are they? They’ve won 34 of their last 42 (that’s 34-8 for a winning percentage of .810 for the math challenged out there) since the end of May.

Or said another way, they’re so hot I was disappointed when they lost their first game in over a week on Wednesday, to only take 3 of 4 in the Metrodome. 3 month’s ago I would have been happy (and I mean HAPPY) to get a split of a 4 game series there.

Way to go A’s!

The Play defines California?

Friday, August 5th, 2005

OK, we all know how much of a fan I am of The Play. (See my old posts here, here, here and here if you’ve forgotten or are a new visitor).

Well yesterday was ESPN’s day in California (they’re touring the 50 states one day at a time, highlighting the sports history/trivia of each as they go). What did they show parts of not once (to open the show), not twice (as a teaser), but THREE times (during the actual bit on great plays in California)? You guessed it: The Play!

At least from ESPN’s perspective, California consists of X-Games (tomorrow on ESPN), the Peanut guy at Dodger stadium, Barry Bonds (700th homerun), Joe Montana (The Catch), USC (Matt Lienart throwing an anonymous TD) and of course The Play!

Further proof that it is truly the most exciting finish in the history of college football.