Clergy re-victimization of a rape, incest victim?

Beware what kind of chaplain you seek counsel from in our Armed Forces (maybe even anywhere else).  In this disturbing account, a “conservative” “evangelical” Protestant minister seems to say that when a gay woman in the Navy came to him about being raped by a male Sailor, he did two things to her I’ve never heard of in a lifetime of theological study:

  • he supposedly got her to agree, through that bizarre Scholasticism that only his branch of Christianity does so well anymore, to be “married to Jesus” on the spot,* and
  • supposedly he involuntarily, unsolicited, imposed on her an “exorcism” of her homosexuality.

I’m not a lawyer, nor an expert in Clergy Malpractice, and I guess as long as the young woman is satisfied with his treatment of her and its effects in her life, he won’t face that lawsuit, and she’ll join the list of the — for now at least — “ex-gays.”  But his superior officers in the Corps of Chaplains at least, his Denominational Judicatory (if applicable), and/or his therapeutic credentialing body (if applicable), should look into the clerical, religious, and professional ethics of his own claimed behavior towards a woman who was within the military structure, already forced once to submit to heterosexual, male impositions recently therein, and he claims, also a victim of repeated incestuous heterosexual abuse previously.

This isn’t about my opinions concerning “evangelicalism” or demonology, simply what I believe to be — yes, the re-violation of a rape and incest victim by a minister she’d turned to for counsel and not, apparently, for a “wedding,” nor for a “cure” for her lesbianism, about which she had not, by his own account, complained.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this preacher involuntarily “baptized” playmates with water balloons or the garden hose in younger days.

He as much as admits to manipulating her: “And she had to answer ‘well, of course they’re full of the devil'” (emphasis mine).  Now, that one question-and-answer might have legitimate use in a ministry situation such as this, but not to catapult someone in an apparently fragile state into actions of dubious therapeutic, professional, or theological nature.  (I pray he didn’t also take it upon himself to ‘stand in for Jesus’ and “consummate” this “wedding” with her physically.)  Furthermore, he doesn’t tell us about her “renouncing” lesbianism: Did he make it up, lie to “the spirit of lesbianism”??  Or did he consider that the root of the presenting issue, the recent rape, would be legalistically removed if the victim were of an orientation not so disinclined logically, fundamentally, to reject male impositions, ie, straight?  Was it just more “evangelical” Scholasticism?  If so, was that his commission, basically to collaborate in her being ‘raped straight,’ as we’re seeing recently in other parts of the world?

I’m fully aware that Protestantism, today and historically, is full of such pietistic, emotional manipulation, as are certain streams of Catholicism and probably Orthodoxy also.  We’ve all seen the movies, TV dramas, read the books.  But even if we were to simplistically ask “What Would Jesus Do?,” did He ever do so with a woman, a victim of any kind, innocent or guilty?  I could be wrong, but I can’t recall that He did.  Did He ever work Himself and His beneficiary into the kind of frenzy of guilt feelings we’re all too familiar with — in this case turning the victim into the defendant, as she may well have been undergoing in the trial of her assailant already, as often happens in rape trials?

Tragically, many Americans, faced with the 40,000 sects of this land, would be hard-pressed to distinguish between one kind of Protestant chaplain and another.  Furthermore, in chaplaincy situations often clergy of one stripe are theoretically required to do double or even triple duty, serving patients or charges of a diversity of denominations on any given base, ship, or unit; often there aren’t many different chaplains to choose from.  If you’re from a small denomination, you’re at the mercy of whoever got stationed with you — and the Pentagon too is at the mercy of whoever volunteered after ‘having it put upon his heart by the Lord’ to go and do something for/to somebody(ies).

I’m not seriously trained in counseling either.  But I know what not to do, Lord have mercy on me.

A couple more quick points: 

  • Can exorcism ever be voluntary?  Well, someone might have a relatively mild problem — no head spinning, no projectile vomit, etc. — and go to a cleric asking about it, but is that then demonic possession, or maybe something else?  Otherwise, someone else might bring the supposedly-possessed person to the clergyperson, figuratively or literally kicking and screaming.  Neither is reported as happening here.
  • I won’t discuss Orthodoxy’s approach to homosexuality in this post, because I don’t believe it would be constructive or helpful to do so at this time or in this context.
  • In another, less-detailed allusion to this incident, this chaplain claimed that during it the evil one left the woman’s heart and Jesus moved into it, in the context of the “wedding.”  Actually this is said to happen Traditionally, not as such during the Orthodox Mystery of Holy Matrimony, but of Baptism / Chrismation** / Communion.  Orthodox Tradition goes on to say that previously, the evil one acted on you from within, and the All-Holy Spirit of God, One of The Trinity, from without; afterward, the Spirit of God acts on you from within — a position of strength for Him if you will — but the evil one may still act upon you from without — a relatively weaker position for him.
  • It seems this chaplain has become a political figure since late in his military career (sic).  Information about that is available through the linked page and elsewhere.  I’m so concerned about the particulars I’m discussing in this post that I’ll leave out the political angle, as well as his apparent or possible personal issues.

(*–Apparently, though, this didn’t make her a nun: Roman Catholic piety used to consider Religious Sisters “married to Christ,” but this preacher says his charge “started dating boys” openly.)

(**–likened to the Western Sacrament of Confirmation)

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Viva Viagra

How come when the commercials say to ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex, I philosophize, “Whose heart truly is healthy enough for sex?!”

Boobs

Looks like it was female exposure week on Late Night with Conan O’Brien!  (Is it Sweeps again already?!!!)  It concluded last night with the Rennaissance Faire “tavern wenches,” then Tina Fey plugging her new movie Baby Mama … and, well, BABY, MAMA!!!  If things don’t work out with What’s-His-Name, *I’m* a nice Orthodox boy who always loved you on Update with those glasses…!*

It seems today we have not just cleavage, but various kinds of actual breast exposure: ‘top breast meat,’ ‘side breast meat,’ even ‘bottom breast meat.’  If you know what I mean!  At 1am it’s OK, but “not ready for prime time” IMHO.

(*–UPDATE … so to speak … 23 May 2008: I kid, of course.  God grant Many Years to Tina and family!)

Taking marriage seriously

Here’s to it!  As we Orthodox say, Many Years to them both!

That’s the thing about old-fashioned marriage: you presumed this was the person you were going to spend the rest of your lives with, and so you operated out of that presumption.  Now, as divorce spreads, that presumption weakens in alot of people, or so you hear.  That’s a problem, and it probably has an untold impact on our society.

I’m not talking about staying if there’s physical abuse or outright emotional torture going on.

It probably helps that these two are reasonably-devout Catholics.  Divorce wasn’t a sin in Catholicism (though remarriage while your ex-spouse is still alive is), but frowned upon, and relatively rare, rarer I think than in Protestantism.  I think still Protestants are more likely to divorce than Catholics, though divorce is spreading among Catholics.  Andrew Greeley might say that traditionally, Catholicism’s “social capital” helped reinforce its principles among its adherents: neighborhood, parish, church, school, organizations (Knights of Columbus, Ajax Ladies, Ancient Order of Hibernians, etc.), back then even parish quasi-banks.

For Catholics traditionally this wasn’t really a “doctrinaire” approach like for “family values” Protestants today, it was just their religious culture.  As a Greeley character put it, tongue mostly in cheek, “Homicide, maybe. Divorce, never!”

I’d have to do more homework, but I’m not sure the vaunted increase in Catholic annulments of marriages in recent years is a percentage increase.  Their population numbers have grown in step with the nation’s population – they’ve been steadily approximately a quarter of the population for a century or more.  Have annulments outpaced population growth?  Or has there really been no change in the rate of annulments, just that the numbers have now grown so large?  Remember, despite their minority status here, the U.S. is one of the biggest Catholic countries in the world, up there with Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines….

The cause of clergy sex abuse

Power. That’s all.  Not liberalism, homosexuality, or in Catholics’ case, mandatory celibacy (or Vatican II).  Many have been married, Straight-identified, and conservative … and it’s been going on the whole time, long before the ’60s.

Makes sense when you think about it.  What causes it in the workplace, government offices, businesses, clubs and organizations, locker rooms, POW camps (Abu Ghraib), etc.?

There’s no denying that it’s especially disheartening when it’s people who spend their lives (and our money) telling us to control ourselves – or telling others to control themselves.  That’s why it’s called scandal – it tempts you to throw in the towel on your faith or virtue or morality, or makes you feel confirmed if you already have done so for other reasons.

Another Decency Rant

This is definitely not a commercial for the show, but I just saw a tease for Big Brother.  They’re now showing us actual fornication footage from the house?!!

Maybe they always have; I’ve never actually watched the show.  But IIUC, they’re turning it into an intentional soap opera, matching up residents they think might “hit it off,” apparently including sleeping together.  In front of cameras, for all the world to see.

MTV, of course, did this a long time ago on The (un)Real World, but we expect this from MTV.  Anyway, they’re cable/satellite; CBS ain’t.  You can be watching a perfectly OK program over-the-air, and all of a sudden there’s two kids going at it in bed.  I’m not a prude; I’m as pruriently interested as the next guy; but I prefer to choose when I see that sort of thing, often based on who else is in the room with me, the hour of late night – emphasizing late night – etc.

Is eHarmony a cult?

Yes, it’s true, I was rejected by eHarmony.  Now I know why: I’m not a wussy.  I’m a real human being, not some ’50s fundamentalist Ozzie-and-Harriet clone.  “Obstreporousness“?  What gall!  Basically you have to be a total doormat – or some cultist.  (I never knew Jim Jones’ full name was James Warren Jones.  Neil Clark Warren?  Hmmm … any relation?!!)

BTW, according to m-w.com, “obstreporous” doesn’t mean “can’t be pleased.”  Interestingly, it does mean “stubbornly resistant to control.”  Control, huh?  Especially when you look at the questions and the required answers, I seriously think some cult watchers should investigate this outfit.  What happens to these ‘shiny happy people’ long-term?  What happens to some of eHarmony’s ‘rejects’ short- and long-term?: I’m not a cult expert, but I do know that this kind of emotional manipulaton is typical of cults!  ‘Oh please I’ll do whatever you want just make me feel that hope again!’

F’KOFF!

There’s even at least one accusation of fraud against eHarmony, though obviously I can’t verify it.

Strangely, it’s a serious compromise of Warren’s Fundamentalism to make use of the term “soulmate,” since he must know it comes from reincarnation theology, but totally unChristian!  He must be really desperate for disciples, money, and/or deceiving non-Fundies who may actually believe in soulmates.

All of a sudden I’m glad they rejected me!

PS: A post here (search for text “eharmony cult”) suggests that eHarmony’s employees may be the cult, reminding me of that suicide cult of space-worshiping New Age computer techies from a few years ago….  OK, time for a serious probe, before they off themselves … and take God knows how many others with them!

Arranged marriages

I’m not endorsing them – not yet anyway! – and neither is this Orthodox Jewish guy in NYC.  Just something to think about, like what we’ve gained vs. lost in transitioning into Modernity / Classical Liberalism / individualism.

Gay Staph STD?

Do you have to be Gay, or a man who has sex with men, to get or spread MRSA, as alleged by “scientists” this week?  Or merely have skin-to-skin contact with someone infected, within or outside sexual intercourse, as de-emphasized even in this San Francisco version of the story?

DUH!!!

Wearing tape

It really is “the end of history”: Women are now taping their clothing on!  They’re being convinced/pressured to believe that they have to show us so much skin, or other improbable clothing positioning, that won’t keep from indecency in most U.S. jurisdictions or on most U.S. TV channels, without adhesives.  This isn’t fashion, it’s soft-core pornography, or circus-wear – and as usual, damned uncomfortable for the women, in more ways than one.

I guess this means the end of the old joke about when a young lady is old enough to wear a strapless dress: “If it stays up, you’re old enough.”  And I guess 8-year-old Lisa Simpson’s been taping since the ’80s!

How soon before the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models’ paint-as-clothing goes “mainstream”?!  It’d certainly give new meaning to the Golden Globes!!!*

Yup, paint ‘n’ spackle, that’s all an actress or supermodel really needs today!  She’s nothing more than a robot-(wo)mannequin!

(*–I own that one.  You can’t use it without paying me.  And since the writers are still on strike, don’t hold your breath!!!)

Britney’s pregnant kid sister

Is anyone else really disturbed that we’re now being subjected to tabloid speculations about “the real daddy” of the unborn child of a minor, or is it just me?  As if a single statutory rapist were not enough….  WHO CARES?!?!?!  Or, who should care?!!  This is intrusive for her/them (I mean, all 3 … or more), and prurient for the rest of us.  I think it’s great that she wants to go home to Louisiana; I just hope she isn’t persecuted there … or harassed by the “media.”

You know, the singular of media is medium, in-between excellent and lousy … but right now I’m thinking a little farther down the scale….

Another take on Canada’s ‘conservative progressiveness’

from a Boston Globe writer who seems to just about ‘get it’!

I would just add a comment on this paragraph:

The differences between the two countries are captured in their founding documents. As Canadian textbooks often note, Canadian politicians deliberately avoided the eloquence found in the Declaration of Independence, which ringingly celebrates ”life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Instead, Canada’s much more prosaic bedrock document, the British North America Act of 1867, promises ”peace, order, and good government.”

I wouldn’t call “peace, order, and good government” prosaic, or even excessively deliberately anti-demagogic vis a vis the Declaration of Independence.  Isn’t “POGG” the proper basis for “LLPH”???  Isn’t LLPH “a house built on sand” without POGG?  Couldn’t we use some POGG in America today, after all these years of so much of the opposite?!!!  As the writer says at the end, Canada’s progressive Classical Conservatism is “a conservative worldview – albeit a type of sober-minded conservatism that has few parallels in an ever more radically right-wing America” (emphasis mine).  And of course, most Americans have had to keep struggling for LLPH even since 1776: most Catholics, women, Blacks, non-landowners, the poor, workers, the disabled and elderly, the sick, Classical Conservatives, radicals, cities, immigrants, pacifists, progressives, gay people, Indigenous people/s….

An Andy Rooney moment

(Upon further review, I’ve decided not to keep this post.  Too graphic, too curious, too frivolous, too unrestrained.  C-ya.)

Holiday Blues = Low Testosterone?

This AOL article claims human (male – with sperm counts – but also I presume female, as she points out) testosterone, linked to sexual desire, peaks in November and early December, suggesting Fall is our traditional mating season, if Homo sapiens sapiens ever had one.*

But I have to wonder also if Holiday Blues then, or post-Holiday Blues, aren’t related to a decrease in T, and not just to Christmas/ Hanukkah/ solstice-related disappointments, shorter days (in the Northern Hemisphere at least), bad diets, etc.  Even “Seasonal” Affective Disorder!

For that matter, do people in the Southern Hemisphere even get this?  Yes, they say they get S.A.D., but in June-July.  So we Northerners get it on top of the Holidays, mate!  But do they get the lowered T then too?

(*–Certainly a number of old calendars started in Fall – Celtic Samhain, Jewish Rosh haShanah, Orthodox Ecclesiastical New Year.  Some Orthodox Christians say Creation was created in September; as some Russians say, apples ripen then – as in the Garden of Eden’s traditional forbidden fruit!! – at least in the Northern Hemisphere.  [Actually, the Scriptures don’t say “apple,” just “fruit”!])

2008 Starts Now!

I can’t afford to give to the Democratic Party just now, but maybe you can, to support their 50-State “strategery.”  Just look at all those brown people, and attractive young women!  They beat the Repugs hands down!  Who would you like to “have a beer” with?!!

Meat-eating causes Global Warming? (Got milk? That too!)

So said the head of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on TV the other day: factory-farming of livestock is a major cause of greenhouse gases, with them farting and burping and pooping so much.*

(My apologies to that lawyer-kid, although in fairness, what we’re talking about here is not “natural processes,” but the astronomical increase in livestock by humanity in recent centuries, now even in the Third World as it too “modernizes” and eats lots more meat.)

In addition, she pointed out that the fires from burning away forest for pasture and farming to feed the beasts, and in so doing taking away trees that remove carbon dioxide from the air, compound the effect.  And of course, it takes alot more crops to produce meat than to feed humans directly with the crops.

Turns out last November the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO [not Schwarz!!]) reported on this.  The animals’ poor diets are part of the problem, and that can be improved with positive benefit GW-wise, but it sure looks like “prosperity” will outstrip those efforts easily:

“With increased prosperity, people are consuming more meat and dairy products every year, the report notes. Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tonnes in 1999/2001 to 465 million tonnes in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tonnes.

The global livestock sector is growing faster than any other agricultural sub-sector. It provides livelihoods to about 1.3 billion people and contributes about 40 per cent to global agricultural output. For many poor farmers in developing countries livestock are also a source of renewable energy for draft and an essential source of organic fertilizer for their crops.”  [Emphasis added.]

Oh, yeah, dairy products too: milk, butter, cheese, casein, yogurt, (sodium) caseinate, lactose, etc etc etc.

But what’s clear is that once again, we “prosperous” of the world consuming all that meat and dairy, are screwing the whole planet, especially the poorest.  But of course, if we consume less meat and dairy, some real people (Screw corporations!) will get less money and thus be harmed.  Therefore what’s needed is a coordinated campaign to consume less meat and dairy, AND “economic conversion” help for the real people harmed thereby.

Makes me think of an idea from recent(?) Catholic and Orthodox fasting/abstaining practice, like for Lent/the Great Fast: The money you “save” from giving up meat (and for Orthodox, dairy also), you don’t bank, but do something better with – traditionally, give to the poor or charity; how about a more direct connection to the real people who make the stuff?!

It can be done.  I don’t eat alot of meat, and I’ve been lactose-intolerant since my religious-inspired vegan stint in the ’90s.  Many flavored soymilks actually taste better than cow’s milk now, and apparently lots of people are foregoing cheese on their pizzas or Mexican food already because of the fat content, so you won’t stick out as much as you/I did even a few years ago!  They’re even fortifying some soymilks with calcium (and other nutrients it lacks), and there are other sources for calcium too.

As for milk for human babies… and even their daddies**…!  For that matter, apparently it’s even possible for many women to “induce lactation” without a recent pregnancy or birth, so they could donate their milk to interested families, reducing human use of cow’s milk even further.  And doing so is real natural birth control, during lactation and for two months to two years after stopping… sure to appeal to many!

(*–This choice of words will bring the kiddies running!!)

(**–As far as I’ve looked into the “adult nursing relationship” concept – by reading only! – the common idea that the partner has to suckle 6-8 times per day around the clock doesn’t seem necessary, as long as the other times the lactating woman expresses instead [to keep the milk flowing]. ISTM the extra milk can be donated, used in cooking – what about cheesemaking? [After all, “Blessed are the cheesemakers“!] – or simply discarded.  NB: Breast milk does contain lactose, so if you’re lactose-intolerant, you might need to see if you can do something about that. The guys quoted on the first page of this PDF seem to think it’s easy, though their research is ten years old, so if it worked you’d think we’d have heard more about it since then, eh? I’d try it, for nothing else but the sake of my next relationship or marriage, but dairy stinks to me since I went off it, like, even fresh milk smells sour to me – not much motivation there!)

Men’s Fertility Kits

WARNING ADULT CONTENT:

Maybe I don’t get out enough, but I just saw in a drugstore (Do we even call them drugstores anymore?!!!) a home kit for determining if you produce at least 20 million sperm per milliliter (That’s cubic centimeter or “cc,” for those of us who grew up before the metric system!) of semen, considered by someone the “minimum fertility standard.”  (I am not making this up.)  It also includes two non-spermicidal condoms, I guess for guys who consider masturbation wrong or undesirable, so they can catch a semen sample during intercourse.

Honestly, I didn’t know we could count ’em without a microscope!  “One… two… three… 20,000,000….”  Just might’ve cured my insomnia!

Actually, what constructive purpose could be served by knowing?  OK, maybe then you’d know you should adopt.  There’s nothing I know of that can boost sperm count, is there?  (Maybe Mountain Dew! “Obey your thirst!” Actually, this is the exact opposite of the Urban Legend… or maybe we can start a new one! You guys OWE ME!!!)  Or get a sperm donor?: ooh, that’s pretty personal for a would-be father.

Or become a monk… it’s a great way to be saved, I hear, honestly – why not focus on it, eh?

I guess it’s only fair, what with home-based pregnancy kits and all.  Take some of the pressure off the woman: after all, it may not be her fault.  Although as one writer in the NY Times Magazine recently shared with us (link may require free registration), it’s possible to put sperm and ovum right next to each other in a petri dish, and still have nothing happen.  (Like many dates! Whatever that means….)  Apparently Desmond Morris was right: some sperm are dumb and some are dumber… or at least have different jobs.  OR maybe the writer’s husband’s sperm didn’t want to cheat on her.  OR maybe it was God’s Will (I say this in all seriousness).  It’s OK: apparently they eventually managed to conceive the traditional way, ie, with alcoholic lubrication!  (It’s in her book title. OK, actually, it’s not. I imagined it. Though I haven’t read the book, so who knows?)

(NB: By “alcoholic lubrication,” I definitely was NOT recommending using any form of alcohol on one’s genitals, or those of one’s partner.  As Frank McCourt’s first love would tell us had she lived, it’s quite painful.  I was merely humourously referring to the oft-joked-about tendency of intoxication to lead to risky behaviour: “HIGH = HIGH RISK”: risk of AIDS, risk of other sexually-transmitted diseases with or without symptoms, risk of pregnancy, risk of ending-up with someone you don’t want to end up with, etc etc etc.  Remember this.)

Aussie Cardinal probed by lawmakers on cloning threat

Catholic Cardinal of Sydney threatens Catholic members of New South Wales state legislature (called Parliament) with “consequences” if they vote to end state ban on therapeutic cloning.  The upper chamber of this parliament, called the Legislative Council (the lower chamber is called the Legislative Assembly), opens probe to see if his public comments violate any laws.

I don’t understand calling it “contempt of parliament,” since it doesn’t sound like he was testifying to parliament when he made the statement, just speaking publicly… nor refusing to testify under subpoena… the only times I believe contempt of Congress could be charged in the U.S.

Nevertheless, maybe he should look to Rome for marching orders, since there are ‘safer’ ways of making the point that, as recently raised in connection with pro-choice legislation in Latin America by various Catholic officials and even the pope, they might view not toeing the party line as self-excommunication.

He has every right to provide spiritual and ethical guidance to his adherents, even politicians among them, even publicly and broadly – though if he and others like him were better pastors and teachers, they might not have to.

Can you imagine the New York Legislature investigating Cardinal Egan?!!

Commandments to humanity at Creation?

In the Book of Genesis, God tells humanity to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion.”  Some “Christians” use this as religious cover to dismiss concern about the apparent ability of the planet to sustain many more human beings [or at least, many more First-World human beings!!!], and to destroy the environment.  But it occurs to me that these commands were given before the Fall.  After the Fall, humanity’s chief concern is different: to reunite with God in His Uncreated Energies/Activities.

Traditionally more than a few Orthodox have tried to collaborate with God through monasticism, ie, a lifestyle of NOT multiplying, and of using as little of the earth as possible.  Even practicing Orthodox laity try to include some of this asceticism in their lives, including abstaining from marital relations most Wednesdays and Fridays, during the four Fasting Periods (“lents”) of the year, several other prescribed days each year, any nights before and after receiving Communion… as well as the fast-related dietary self-restrictions during these periods, and in the weeks leading up to the Great Fast (ie, Great Lent, or just Lent, the pre-Pascha/Easter fast).  I believe many of these practices persist among Eastern Catholics, and some of them persisted among Latins (Catholics of Western Rite) before the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, and among many older Latins even afterward – though since the ’60s they have all retained the practices of fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent, and some bishops seem to want to bring back the year-round “fish on Fridays” practice.

Furthermore, a number of Protestant groups embrace what might be called a certain neo-asceticism, such as Amish, Mennonites, some Quakers, some individual liberal mainstream Protestants, and even some “conservative” Protestants, under the rubric of “How ought a Christian to live?”  Some pacifists extend their ethic to “simple living,” or at least advocating it, in the spirit of 1700s New Jersey Quaker John Woolman, who sought to remove from his life anything containing “the seeds of war,” including profiting from slave labor and foreign trade in unnecessary clothing accessories.  (In fact, he predicted the U.S. Civil War.)

As I have reflected previously, greater asceticism may be the lifestyle of the next two thousand years, as we face Global Warming, Peak Oil, and the other coming difficulties – lest we destroy ourselves even before the Lord returns in Glory!  Though as He said, ‘Don’t go around moping, unwashed, in ratty clothes, but smile, clean up, dress adequately’ (more or less!).  For Orthodox, asceticism is the privilege of collaborating with God in this world, and becoming more God-like (NOT “god-like”)!

I like hips.

There, I’ve said it.

Not immense hips, but definite hips, on a teenage girl or woman.  Someone who looks like a girl from the waist down, even in pants!

But current fashions seem to prefer girls who look like boys from the bottom of the breast, down (in some clothing, anyway) – and immense breasts, too big to be supported by the rest of their body.  What’s up with that, closet pedophiles or something?!!!

GW New Report ROUNDUP

I can’t read the thing myself today – I’ve been up all night – but according to Reuters, GW can be kept to less than 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 50 years by means of current technology and no more than an average annual investment/effect of one-eighth of one percent of global GDP, maybe even a slight increase in GDP if we really get it right.  It includes what will be a controversial nod to nuclear power – inevitable IMHO, the lesser evil, climatologically, ‘big picture.’

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 85 pct., though?  I don’t think so.  This is the next chapter in that sexennial* series of reports from thousands of United Nations scientists, always tweaked by government reps, and final editing went overtime, so I have to think the governments have spun it excessively optimistically.  Of course I would love to be wrong, but with China and India powering *up,* and First World “conservatives” resistant, and oil and natural gas sooner to be replaced by old coal and worse things than by new nukes….  Maybe the actual report can convince me.  I’ll try to catch it in the next couple days.

The underreported angle is that to make that one-eighth-percent GDP investment will require heavier regional commitments from the First World: we currently have the money to spare (comparatively), we have the concentration of economic production as well as of the technology that can help make this happen, and justly, we’re the source of most of the effect we’re seeing right now (since we industrialized first, back to 1750).  Logically, OTOH, ISTM any gains will mostly be realized in China and India, where they’re not completely powered-up yet, but have alot of tech know-how even if the First World remains reluctant to share.  So we’ll have to take the hit, they’ll get the short-term economic benefit – but in the end the whole world reaps the reward.

Can short terms in office, dependent on wealthy and business campaign contributions and Republican-dominated electronic voting companies, with perhaps our wisest leaders – our hereditary constitutional monarchs – having to just take “advice,” produce or sustain the kind of long view and altruism needed to make this happen?  Again, I remain seriously doubtful.  The Bushies have already panned this report claiming it costs too much… the same (fake) reason they kicked Kyoto in the groin, even though we’re the biggest offender (for now).  And the Democrats can’t even impeach the Republicans or get us out of Iraq.

What if we just totally replaced the Dems with the Greens?  Not bit-by-bit to undermine ourselves (ala Nader 2000), but all at once!  I notice Canada’s Green Party is raising its profile (though they really still need some form of Proportional Representation)….

If it goes as I expect, maybe we can cut some deal with China and India: we share the tech with them, they do what they can to help us with the necessary “recession.”  I don’t know exactly: continued offshoring sure won’t help us, but cutting the cost to us of what’s already there would, even some givebacks.  And what if we linked the Asian and North American electric grids across the Bering Strait and shared output?  (IS there an Asian one yet? or even in Alaska? Both might need serious build-outthat’ll be good for the economy… if we can produce the juice that is… which I also have doubts about.)  And there’s always cutting the cost to us of the products they already sell us, and service for same….

(*–They might get more WWW hits if they used the word sexennial frequently!!!)

Va. Tech questions

Totally politically incorrect.

  1. Will parents tell their kids not to pick on other kids, for fear they might turn around and shoot them someday?
  2. Can research determine if there’s any correlation between amount or degree of relational/sexual intimacy, and intensity of stalking/violence against college women by (ex-)boyfriends?
  3. Can we get some real Gun Control around here now?!!!