In the name of God, here's looking forward to a single, unified Orthodox Church of the United States.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I knew I didn't like him...


Obama signs "hate-crimes" bill into law


Excerpts:
The Senate approved the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act by a vote of 68-29 on Oct. 22 after Democrats strategically attached it to a "must-pass" $680 billion defense appropriations plan.

...

American Family Association President Tim Wildmon warned that the new law "creates a kind of caste system in law enforcement, where the perverse thing is that people who engage in non-normative sexual behavior will have more legal protection than heterosexuals. This kind of inequality before the law is simply un-American."

Wildmon said the legislation creates possible situations where pastors may be arrested if their sermons on sexuality can be linked in even the remotest way to acts of violence.

...

Opponents point to cases in Canada and Sweden, where Christians have faced criminal prosecution for preaching that homosexual behavior is a sin.

"ADF has clearly seen the evidence of where 'hate crimes' legislation leads when it has been tried around the world: It paves the way for the criminalization of speech that is not deemed 'politically correct,'" Stanley explained. "'Hate crimes' laws fly in the face of the underlying purpose of the First Amendment, which was designed specifically to protect unpopular speech."

Stanley said such crimes are already punishable under existing federal, state and local laws.

"Bills of this sort are designed to forward a political agenda and silence critics, not combat actual crime," he said. "The bottom line is that we do not need a law that creates second-class victims in America and that gives the government the opportunity to ignore the First Amendment."


Aaaaaand confirmed!

See this post to see what I found in my inbox the other day. It has now been confirmed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween, seriously?

Will someone please prove to me that carving pumpkins is pagan, that trick-or-treating is pagan, and that Halloween is a completely pagan holiday that we as Christians are supposed to shun like ... well ... the devil?

From my decidedly small understanding of the history of the holiday, it seems that what we call "Halloween" is a distinctly American tradition going all the way back to ... the pilgrims - no further.

Besides, if, as everyone seems to be saying, we should avoid Halloween because it dates back to pre-Christian Celtic society and ohmygoshthatzbad!! then shouldn't we do the same for every Christian holiday? Easter? Why, that's Celtic, too. Christmas? Greek and ... other things. Seriously, every holiday celebrated anywhere and at any time can probably be traced back in some way, whether actually or falsely, to an earlier era with which the celebrants would disagree. The point is, we are here, in the now, we are not then, nor there. We are not ancient Celts, or Greeks, or Babylonians, etc.

There are plenty of other reasons not to celebrate Halloween, so why do we have to make up new ones?

Aborted Fetal Material Used in Anti-Wrinkle Cream

Found this is my inbox this morning:

~~~~~~

For Immediate Release: October 27, 2009

Aborted fetal material used in anti-wrinkle cream

(Tennessee) Children of God for Life announced today that Neocutis, a bio-pharmaceutical company focused on dermatology and skin care is using aborted fetal cell lines to produce several of their anti-aging skin creams.

“It is absolutely deplorable that Neocutis would resort to exploiting the remains of a deliberately slaughtered baby for nothing other than pure vanity and financial gain,, stated Executive Director Debi Vinnedge. “There is simply no moral justification for this.”

For years Children of God for Life has been a watchdog on pharmaceutical companies using aborted fetal cell lines in medical products and they have received thousands of inquiries from the public on the use of aborted fetal material in cosmetics.

Until now, this was the first time they have encountered any company bold enough to put the information right on their own website and product literature. A quick investigation into the science behind the products revealed the shameless data.

Neocutis’ key ingredient known as “Processed Skin Proteins” was developed at the University of Luasanne from the skin tissue of a 14-week gestation electively-aborted male baby donated by the University Hospital in Switzerland. Subsequently, a working cell bank was established, containing several billion cultured skin cells to produce the human growth factor needed to restore aging skin.

The list of products using the cell line include: Bio-Gel, Journee, Bio-Serum, Prevedem, Bio Restorative Skin Cream and Lumiere. But Vinnedge is calling for a full boycott of all Neocutis products, regardless of their source.

“There is absolutely no reason to use aborted babies for such selfish motives,” Vinnedge said. “It is anti-life, anti-woman and counter-productive as Neocutis is about to find out!”

Children of God for Life is calling on rival cosmetic companies to take advantage of some free advertising by their company.

“We know there are companies using moral sources for collagen and skin proteins. We intend to publicly promote these other cosmetic companies competing with Neocutis that are willing to step forward and contact us.”

Meanwhile Vinnedge advises women who are using Neocutis products to throw them in the garbage and to contact the company to express their concerns.

In addition she advised, “Contact some of these competing companies and ask them to verify their products are morally produced. If they are willing to commit to it in writing, they will get our endorsement.”

Contact Neocutis:

Neocutis Inc.

3053 Fillmore Street # 140

San Francisco CA 94123

Phone: 1-866-636-2884

Sunday, October 25, 2009

So I've been considering getting dreadlocks

The only things holding me back really are committment issues and my dandruff. I have really itchy, bad dandruff; using Neutrogena's T-Gel shampoo almost everyday seems to take the edge off, but doesn't control it completely. I'm worried that if I dread my hair, the dandruff will just build up and become unbearable.

The committment issues are self-explanatory. It's a big visual change and one that isn't easily undone. It seems, however, that you don't just get dreads in a day, you start them (especially if you're starting with really long hair) and, over time (like, years), they become more and more "dready". So, perhaps, if I don't like them right away, I'll still be able to remove them with slightly more ease than if I'd had them already for years. That could possibly help if I end up having serious dandruff issues, too.

Hmm, seems I just talked my way around both sticking points. To the salon!

Resources:

"Dry Scalp and Dandruff in Natural Black Hair and Dreadlocks" (I don't have black hair, nor am I African American, but it still seemed a good resource)

"Dandruff Problem"

"Severe Dandruff Problem"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Uh oh, I've been thinking...

... take cover. =P

*I am not, in any way, trying to mock or degrade the homeowners. These are just my personal thoughts on, and experiences in, a house.

I was taken to a bridal shower last week, kind of against my will. I didn't know the bride, had no connection to her family or herself, and I can confidently say that it was one of the most awkward things I've ever put myself through. (I'm not a social butterfly, so I mostly sat there with a smile pasted on my face, secretly clicking my heels together three times over and over again.)

Through it all, I was given quite a bit of time to study their home, which was beautiful, but strangely laid out. I've made several posts recently in which I stated my love for small houses, but, the more I think about it, the more I realize that it's not just about size of the house, it's about utility, how our homes are used. This particular house was large and quite beautiful on the outside and, having been built to the owners' specifications, I'm sure they were quite happy with it.

However, I just couldn't figure it out: As one walked into the foyer from the front door, a small sitting room appeared off to the left and a formal dining room to the right, but if you simply walked straight, you'd find yourself in another formal living room. Within that living room, yet another tiny sitting area to the left was ensconced within bay windows and seemed to serve as a tiny library. The kitchen off to the right was small and enclosed and didn't match or help the flow of the house. Upon passing through, one found access to the formal dining room as well as a large, pointless, awkward hallway which only led to a bathroom and seemed to enclose the space even more. Beyond the bathroom hallway (seriously, you just walked past it unless you needed the loo) was the entertainment room, housing the television and much more informal-looking and comfortable furniture than the other three sitting areas.

To me, this layout made absolutely no sense. The entertainment room was completely cut off from the rest of the house, the kitchen didn't match, and why on earth would any family need a parlor and a formal living room (hold-overs from the Victorian era) and a separate entertainment area?? Everything seemed boxy and made the house feel much smaller than it really was. To me, it seemed like they just added all these extra rooms because, "that's how it's done - never mind that it doesn't suit our lifestyle."

Granted, as I said, it's not my intention to bash these homeowners. The layout might fit their needs perfectly. I'm thinking about it from my own perspective and how I personally would use the house. I would combine the entertainment and formal living rooms, push the kitchen back a bit and open it up, while knocking out a wall to expose the dining room. The parlor could then serve as a much bigger, cozier library, while the little bay window room could either become a pretty reading or tea/coffee area or, rendered completely pointless, could simply be reduced to bay windows, with perhaps two plush chairs placed in front for a private conversation area. These changes might actually reduce the overall square footage, but it would probably make the house itself feel larger.

Poor layout is the reason many people feel they need to add on to their homes to create more room, when, in reality, many problems could potentially be solved by simply rearranging their existing spaces and making them more functional.*

Okay, my creative juices have been exercised for the day. I'll leave you alone now. =)

*Pretty much paraphrased from The Not So Big House.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

BIG FREAKING COCKROACH

Ahhh! Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! AAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hate bugs, I hate spiders, I hate beetles, I hate anything that's creepy and crawly and isn't a mammal, reptile, or fish, so imagine how I screamed like a little girl when I opened our silverware drawer and found a TWO INCH LONG cockroach hanging out among the serving spoons. EJ came to my rescue and was about to scoop it into a cup to take outside, but, when he turned back to the drawer the roach was gone. Where did it go?? It's still in my house. I don't know if I'm going to be able to sleep tonight, feeling each little twitch as tiny roach legs.

*gack!*

UPDATE: We found it! At least, I hope the one we found was it. Darn buggers all look the same and I can't handle the thought of a roach infestation in this apartment. The thing was big enough to make audible noises as it crawled across a plastic bag laying on the floor (I do keep a clean apartment, I swear. It didn't come visit because we're filthy). EJ smacked it with a fly swatter, which incapacitated it long enough to pop a dish over top and slide a paper plate underneath. We flung it outdoors, but I actually felt kind of bad. The fly swatter broke on of its legs and I would rather have just killed it than let it suffer.

Yes, I do feel bad for things I hate.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Have you discovered Cake Wrecks yet?

When Gangsters Go PC

I know it's not Christmas yet, but this was just too great to pass up.

** For those of you who haven't discovered Cake Wrecks yet (and I just found it yesterday), it highlights all the disasters of professionally made cakes (defined as cakes for which the decorator was expecting to be paid) - all in good humor, mind you. The above is merely one example among many. I suggest reading from the beginning. =)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Conceived in Rape

A beautiful, sad story about not punishing a baby for its father's mistakes.

Friday, October 9, 2009

My Man Godfrey

1936

One of the weirdest screwball comedies I've ever seen.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

O rly?

There, I Fixed It

There comes a point in one's pursuit of frugality when one must simply sit back, admire one's handiwork, and fend off the police.

This seems like it would actually be a good idea.

And, hey, if you ever get tired of holding the baby's bottle...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

As A Mom and the Life Chain

Watching Glenn Beck last night, I learned of AsAMom.Org and promptly joined. The site is a little confusing to navigate, at least to me, but it seems like a great way to connect with other wives, daughters, moms, grandmothers, etc. They have groups based on your state and also special interest groups you can join. The only downside is the site forces you submit your zip code in order to be granted membership and then shows it on your homepage. So, if that's an issue, you may want to carefully consider your options before joining.

On a slightly different note, I participated in my first Life Chain today. What a rush. The response was mostly positive, although one person did feel the need to shout "retards!" as he drove by. Apt, since, if we'd been diagnosed as mentally handicapped in the womb, we probably would have been aborted. But that was really the only problem. It allowed me to connect with the Right to Life chapter of our state and also get some info on the Crisis Pregnancy center in my city. Hopefully I'll be able to become more involved with either or both before too long.