To the Grey Havens (and to return anon)

Day is ended, dim my eyes,
But journey long before me lies.
Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship’s beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Foam is salt, the wind is free;
I hear the rising of the sea.



On the Question of Use of Deadly Force against Citizens

From the Washington Times:

Directive No. 3025.18, “Defense Support of Civil Authorities,” was issued Dec. 29, 2010, and states that U.S. commanders “are provided emergency authority under this directive.”

“Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority,” the directive states.

“In these circumstances, those federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances” under two conditions.

The conditions include military support needed “to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order.” A second use is when federal, state and local authorities “are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”

“Federal action, including the use of federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect the federal property or functions,” the directive states.

Read the rest here.

On May 28, our Holy Father addressed the 103rd Session of the International Labour Conference. In the message, Francis generally discusses the issue of the matter of human dignity. He says that “human labour” is both a gift and duty, as well as a “continuation of God’s creative work”.

He says that expanding solidarity for the laborer requires a renewal of commitment to the “dignity of every person”, which in setting out improved labour standards globally requires “focused development on the human person as its central actor and primary beneficiary.” The Holy Father is very clearly saying that while work is both a good and a gift, it must be recognized that work exists for — and because of — peopleand not vice versaUnder our American system of government, the same can be said; we are a government of, by, and for the People.

However, this Directive arguably implies that the lives of American citizens are expendable in order “to prevent… wanton destruction of property” and also “…when federal, state and local authorities ‘are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.’”

Due to the inequality of our economic system, there is a widening of the gap between rich and poor. An economic system that permits an exceedingly tiny fraction of the global population to possess almost all of the world’s wealth and resources while billions of people lack essentials like food, clean water, clothing, shelter, and basic health care is not a defensible system in its current form, especially when the system is supported by governments that create self-perpetuating policies in preference for things and power versus………….. PEOPLE.

It isn’t the fact that the government gives itself the power to “quell civil disturbances” that is so troubling; rather, it’s the fact that pursuant to this Directive the government may use deadly force against people in order to protect its own stuff and control, even in situations where human life is not in danger.

In our Preamble, it is We the People who form a more perfect union to promote the general Welfare to ourselves and our Posterity. That capital “P” in Posterity refers to our offspring — the People who come after us.

This seems awesome; am I missing something?

Solar roadways and the latest crowdfunding initiative. Made from recycled material, designed to last up to 30 years, no emissions, clean and attractive way to generate solar power, keeps snow clear in freezing climates, and embedded with programmable multicolored LEDs that can lay out lines for parking, sports games, directions, messages, whatever. The video claims that if our nation’s roadways were covered with these, we’d generate three times our current electricity outputs.

Somebody, please tell me what’s wrong with this (prohibitive price? They haven’t announced pricing and they’re currently funded by federal grant money) because it seems almost too good to be true.

The Lego Movie is Darn-Darn-Darny-Darn-Darn- Good Fun!

IMG_5812Legos are big in our family. We recently adopted a “no screens” rule, but every so often we still sit down together as a family to watch a movie or worthwhile television show. We try to choose something we can all enjoy. Last week, for “Family Date Night”, we got a pizza and popped popcorn, and watched the Lego Movie together, which was hilarious entertainment. Many PG-rated movies have a lot of cringeworthy content, but this movie was very creative and clean. Lots of laughs and things grownup will like, too.

A Lego "Hospital"

A Lego “Hospital”

Fr. A came over late Friday night, and I mentioned how good it was, he said he wanted to watch it, so I played it for him and Mrs. Q. I watched most of it with them, and laughed all over again. Father laughed so loud, we couldn’t believe that he didn’t wake anyone sleeping upstairs.

Check out the legendary Steven Greydanus’ Review of the Lego Movie for a more in-depth review (I understand he’s in the program for permanent diaconate, so take a moment and pray for him, too).


Update on Quartermaster’s “No Screens” Policy

Summer is upon us. The homeschool year is almost over. Just a few subjects finishing up this week, and next week we will end the year by having “The Challenges” (which I am making up to turn final exams into something a bit more fun).

So, what do modern First World children do when there are no screens to keep them occupied?

Well….. for starters, they make a lot more noise. Especially boys. I don’t know about girls yet, because the girl is too young to use screens. I guess I’ll never know if girls are more loud without screens. They probably are.

They also move around a lot more. Goes along with the noise. Wrestling, laughing, playing rowdy games. They go outside quite a bit. Building forts, playing ball, swimming, running through the sprinklers. Making mud puddles and destroying the yard.

Inside they play board games, card games, put together jigsaw puzzles. They build a lot of creations out of Legos. They word on crafts. Yesterday the 11-year-old made alphabet flashcards for the 4-year-old. They are generally more helpful and do their chores more happily. But there’s more mess too. Lot’s more stuff spread out everywhere.

They hunt for toads and frogs in the evening twilight. In preparation for an upcoming camping trip to the coast, we pitched the family tent in the backyard and they had a campout one night.

They are selling their personal game consoles and old games on Amazon and using the money from that to buy water guns, Nerf guns (with the foam bullets), more games and puzzles.

If they are quiet, that means they are reading.

Luckily, swim team has started and so the two bigger boys are swimming an hour each day. One of them also goes to Tai Kwon Do three times a week. The 4-year-old is doing swimming lessons.

Also, over Memorial Day weekend the boys and I planted our FIRST vegetable garden. I was so surprised how excited they were to help. I am certain they would have totally ignored this fun and healthy activity if it weren’t for turning off the screens. At bedtime, Mrs. Q asked them what they had the most fun doing over the weekend, and all three of them said it was planting the garden!

IMG_5807Note: Mrs. Q just forwarded this link to an article discussing brain abnormalities and Internet addiction


More on Conscience Protections for Pro-Life Physicians in Britain

From the Catholic “newsweekly” The Tablet, a physician who consults in emergency and intensive care medicine addressed the Catholic Medical Association conference in Britain, and said the best advice he could give to an “orthodox” Catholic wishing to specialise in obstetrics and gynaecology would be to “emigrate” from that country. He said, “There is a total conflict of culture of what is good sex, a dichotomy of belief between what we as Christians believe is good overall for the individual and what secular society believes.”

Good Stuff on the Catholic Heritage of Confession

A few months ago, I posted an article concerning the origins of Mandatory Private Confession in the Catholic Church. But, until reading this article entitled “Appreciating the Ancient Roots of Church Precepts: The ‘Didache’ Revisited” by Deacon Robert Gorman, Ph.D., I did not know this:

After spending several paragraphs describing the Eucharistic liturgy, in Chapter 14, the Didache commands Christians thus: “But every Lord’s day gather yourselves together, and break bread and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions.” In a pithy sentence, the early Church pointed to confession as the doorway for the worthy reception of Communion. Thus, we see a conflation of both the necessity for receiving Communion, and for the confession of sins.  In Chapter 15, the Didache mentions the confession and the repentance of sins in the context of the work of bishops and deacons.

According to Deacon Gorman, the Didache (Did-uh-Kay) was “lost to history” and only rediscovered in 1873. It’s a document that was likely written in Syria in the latter third of the first century, so this is good stuff for establishing the Tradition behind the Eucharist and Confession.

love the Catholic Church! There’s always more to learn!