One hundred fifty years ago today, after some music and a two hour oration by the leading speaker of the day, a tall gaunt man stood and delivered in but a few brief remarks words that have and will stand forever
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion-that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
It is in fact very appropriate that Captain Teleprompter is skipping the events there today, as the comparison would shrink him even more.
…There is a chronic shortage of active duty Catholic chaplains. While roughly 25% of the military is Catholic, Catholic priests make up only about 8% of the chaplain corps. That means approximately 275,000 men and women in uniform, and their families, are served by only 234 active-duty priests. The temporary solution to this shortage is to provide GS and contract priests. These men are employed by the government to ensure that a priest is available when an active duty Catholic Chaplain is not present. With the government shutdown, many GS and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer.
During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.
The U.S. military has furloughed as many as 50 Catholic chaplains due to the partial suspension of government services, banning them from celebrating weekend Mass. At least one chaplain was told that if he engaged in any ministry activity, he would be subjected to disciplinary action.
“In very practical terms it means Sunday Mass won’t be offered,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services told me. “If someone has a baptism scheduled, it won’t be celebrated.”
…the military installations impacted are served by non-active-duty priests who were hired as government contractors.
…“Catholic military personnel should not have their religious liberties held hostage by this funding crisis,” Crews told me. “I find it alarming that these priests cannot even volunteer to provide services without threat of arrest.”
The archbishop said a priest at Joint Base Langley-Eustis was banned from officiating at the wedding of a couple he’d been counseling.
“The wedding could be on the base, but the priest can’t do the wedding,” Broglio told me.
…Rex stayed behind the signing table on the floor, slobbered on a red Kong and growled whenever Cpl JT Overland, his current and twelfth handler, nudged it with his foot. Most everyone wanted to pet the big furry dog, but Rex is a working dog still. No hugs from anyone other than his handler. No outside food treats such as peanut butter in the Kong– just the red toy and the loyalty to and from the Marine who works, plays and even sleeps with him. Cpl Overland assured the Marines and their families, “He’s never bitten anyone he wasn’t supposed to–yet.” They watchers laughed, and backed up.
Dogs suffer from PTSD, too. So Rex, the oldest military working dog won’t be deploying again. At ten years old, he’s already served three tours and been injured by an IED he alerted his handler Meagan Levy to but they were unable to get away from it before it exploded. Both received Purple Hearts. But Rex serves still with the Camp Pendleton SRT. He patrols with Cpl Overland on drug interdiction, security for VIPs such as at the Tim McGraw concert, and apprehending suspects who run.
Not much of a publicity hound, eh? Good dog, Rex. The best never let it go to their heads.
And the “The Crystal Singers”. I am so sad to hear of her passing, for she had such wonderous, accessible, engrossing tales to share.
GOD, they are FANTASTIC!
Science fiction author Anne McCaffrey dies at 85
Writer best known for the ‘worlds of her imagination’ in her ‘Dragonriders of Pern’ novels
Prolific science fiction and fantasy author Anne McCaffrey died Monday at her home in Ireland shortly after suffering a stroke. She was 85.
“The Thread” wreaked havoc on Pern. Scorched crops, laid waste to the land, economy ~ decimated the populace. Everyone watched for signs of the recurring menace when the cycle spun through towards its end.
I think it’s come again, but our defensive dragons are gone.
And so few people left with both courage and imagination.
What is a word worth? According to Publishers Weekly, NewSouth Books’ upcoming edition of Mark Twain’s seminal novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will remove all instances of the “n” word—I’ll give you a hint, it’s not nonesuch—present in the text and replace it with slave. The new book will also remove usage of the word Injun. The effort is spearheaded by Twain expert Alan Gribben, who says his PC-ified version is not an attempt to neuter the classic but rather to update it. “Race matters in these books,” Gribben told PW. “It’s a matter of how you express that in the 21st century.”
This may be the only time you will ever here me approvingly quote Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell, but what a freakin’ bunch of wussies we’ve become.
Now, I have to say, I’ve watched schmaybe one episode of Lost prior to last night, so I am of course perfectly versed in the show’s nuances to render decisive judgment on it, so here goes: the writers’ problem (and this shows in this final “church” scene whose stain-glassed windows are decorated with symbols of all the major religions, because, y’know, your actual beliefs don’t really matter but gosh do we respect them) is that they don’t believe in evil people. Oh sure, they believe that people can do bad things, but that in the “end” everyone is all happy and chummy; that, at their core, people are “good.”
And I just don’t buy it.
People are, at their core, nasty self-centered evil little shits.
Eliminate those pesky English class, Conjunction Junction-type nuisance rules and voilà! LESS ink, even in a story as compelling as this:
Escambia County drug ring shut down
A nearly two-year investigation into 11 men suspected of smuggling cocaine into Escambia County has resulted in the seizure of more than $500,000 in cocaine and cash. Five Pensacola men and six others from Texas and Mississippi are suspected of taking part in the drug ring, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday.
…The investigation started after a confidential source began helping investigators after being arrested June 26, 2008.
Cocaine fell out the source’s pocket while at Escambia County Jail…
More egregious than a typo…set my teeth on edge, it did.
It also explains why this rag is down to about 6 total pages per edition.
Long life, my Lord, an’ health be yours,
Unskaithed by hunger’d Highland boors;
Lord grant me nae duddie, desperate beggar,
Wi’ dirk, claymore, and rusty trigger,
May twin auld Scotland o’ a life
She likes-as butchers like a knife.