Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Oxymoron of the Day

'Miss America' May Become Reality Show




I don't even know where to start.

Your Weekly Dose of Baby Stuff

Wow. TFR just called, and in the last 5 days The Lad has gone from 7 lbs. 12 oz. to 8 Lbs 5.8 oz.

That's my lad!

It really is a trip being a father, but it's the coolest trip I could ever take. TFR has been wonderful, taking the graveyard shift feedings so I can sleep, while I take the morning feeding before leaving for work, and the evening feedings (Except the one during which I'm cooking). Teamwork definitely is a must for raising a kid.

He's still not quite getting the hang of nursing, so we are supplementing with a bottle using a mixture of formula and breast milk. Interesting consequence: Family trips are limited to distances with a round trip travel time that fits between scheduled pumpings, unless there is a destination or place to stop which can accomodate said pumping.

The other night, The Lad and His Dad had a moment. He was snigglued in my arms, staring up at me, and the moment seemed to warrant a lullaby. So Dear Old Dad sang to Chay the most beautiful song he could think of on the fly. It's a song he hopes his son grows up to love as dearly. It goes like this:

O! Say can you see, by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there. O! Say, does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

That Thumping Sound

Is my head banging against my desk.

Back during the first days after the birth of The Lad, my good friend Vulture 6 exhorted me not to turn Memento Moron into a Daddy Blog. Alas, according to Sobek, I have failed. I suppose Seppuku is in order? Yet not one to wallow in my "sin", I've made an effort to cut through the sleep deprivation fog and blog about other stuff. Yet since I returned to work and to blogging about other issues, my traffic has dropped, my comments have dropped, and at least once a week I get, "So when are you gonna blog about the kid more?"

So howsabout a compromise: I'll post a weekly update on the progress of the Lad, and you folks comment at least once a week on something other than how darn cute he is.


S is for Sedition

Thanks for the Memory to the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler.

This is truly sad. Apparently a young soldier (the brother of one of Emperor Misha's readers, as it turns out), serving currently in Korea, received apackage of letters from an elementarty school in New York. I've been told there are few things more bolstering to morale than receiving letters from home. Unfortunately, these letters were not all of a supportive nature:

That changed when he opened the envelope and found missives strewn with politically charged rhetoric, vicious accusations and demoralizing predictions that only a handful of soldiers would leave the Iraq war alive.

This is utterly shameful. I know that the left argues repeatedly that they support the troops but oppose the war. And I'm sure there are many who truly believe that. But they need to be made aware of the fact that there is an undercurrent within their political stream that does NOT truly support the troops. Incidents like the harassment of a recruiter at Seattle Community College, the Pearsalls, and this, indicate that there are plenty of people willing to direct their anger and disapproval directly at the troops.

The school from which the letters were sent has tried to distance itself from the controversy:

The JHS 51 teacher, Alex Kunhardt, did not return phone calls, but the school principal, Xavier Costello, responded with a statement:

"While we would never censor anything that our children write, we sincerely apologize for forwarding letters that were in any way inappropriate to Pfc. Jacobs. This assignment was not intended to be insensitive, but to be supportive of the men and women in service to our nation."

This is a cop-out. These are schoolchildren in a classroom, not adults exercizing their free speech. This was an ASSIGNMENT. If the teacher had the authority to assign these children to write the letters, he had the authority to ensure they were appropriate to the stated intent of the assignment. Since he obviously did not, I can only reach one of two conclusions: Either he shirked his duty to review the letters, or he himself approved of their content.

In either case, he's not conveying the kind of message I hope my child learns some day.

Do's and Don'ts

An excellent Blog has come to my attention by merit of the Blogger's comments here. I commend to you The Chairman's Corner. Thanks for the Memory to the Chairman for sharing an excellent editorial written by Charles Colson for Breakpoint, Moral Equivalency: The Religious Left Gets It Wrong.

Colson addresses the Sanctity of Life Vs. Social Justice argument. To explain this argument, Colson makes reference to Jim Wallis, editor of the left-leaning Christian magazine Sojourners:

Wallis’s favorite argument, as reported in the Times and elsewhere, is that the Bible makes more than three thousand references to poverty—far more than abortion or homosexuality—and yet religious conservatives, in his opinion, are obsessed with the abortion issue. So, says Wallis, the religious left is more in tune with the Bible than are conservatives.

Colson's counter-argument is that the issue of abortion has a higher moral priority, and that furthermore, from a Christian viewpoint, support of abortion removes the moral authority from which to speak concerning the poor. It's a well-made and compelling argument, and one with which I am inclined to agree. However, I must admit it is a point I had previously failed to note in my own rationale for becoming a political conservative.

Interesting note: Back in the late 1980's and early 1990's, at the time in my life when I was the most active in religious pursuits (I was aspiring to become a missionary, in fact), I was also the furthest to the left politically I've ever been -- for much the same reason as Wallis. I remember marching in an anti-abortion rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1987, piously holding up a sign which read "Totally Pro-Life", proclaiming that I opposed abortion, war, the death penalty, nuclear proliferation, and eating grapes picked by oppressed migrant workers. I read Sojourners and the Door and World Christian, attended Ubana in 1987, and even wrote in Tony Campolo for president in 1992.

So what changed my mind? What led me to the "Dark Side", to reject the liberal emphasis on social programs while still opposing abortion? Unlike Colson, I never thought through the issue of varying degrees of morality between the issues. For me, it had to do with the difference between making people do the right thing and preventing them from doing the wrong thing. I fully believe in helping the poor, and do so actively, to the degree that I am able. But I don't believe it's proper for the government to decide who is or isn't poor enough to merit my help, and I am skeptical regarding the efficacy of their methods of providing that help. That's what I mean by making others do right -- the essence of Socialism. On the other hand, abortion is an active wrong -- one living being killing another living being. I am not making someone extend themselves to do good, I am preventing them from doing bad.

Men's hearts may be dark, and that is their own business. When it becomes my business, nay, our business, is when they try to snuff out another's light.