Thursday, March 31, 2016

Another old photo ...

I've been laughing ever since.

Pax et bonum

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Images from Good Friday Stations of the Cross for Life

What a peaceful pro-life protest looks like.

Pax et bonum

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Once again, "Democrat and Chronicle" ignores Good Friday pro-life march

(Photo from 2016 march)

Last Friday, the local Catholic prolife community held it's annual Good Friday Stations of the Cross in Reparation for Abortion march. The march focuses on not just abortion, but all the life issues: War, the death penalty, economic injustice, discrimination, euthanasia, and so on. By one estimate, nearly 200 people took part. Every year, the figure is generally between 150 and 200. 

(Photo from 2016 march)

And has also become an annual tradition, the Democrat and Chronicle, our local newspaper, despite being notified multiple times in advance, ignored the march.

(Photo from 2016 march)

The newspaper did cover a cross walk in the city - a worthy event that deserved the coverage, but one that was comfortable as it focused on life and justice issues other than abortion.

Frustrated, last year, I did a study of the newspaper's coverage of the various Good Friday marches over the years - using the newspaper's own archives.

(Photo from last year)
I haven't officially contacted them this year about why the pro-life march was not covered.  When the newspaper has been contacted in the past, though, spokespeople have given a number of reasons why the event was not cover THAT year. One of their most common claims was that they were not notified in time, but that has not been the case in the past, and was not this year.

(Photo from last year)

The other main reason given is that there are a variety of marches on that day, and so coverage is rotated to be fair.

In my study, I counted as coverage articles about an event, mention of an event in an article covering activities that day, or standalone photos.

If the newspaper’s claim is true, there should be an equitable distribution of coverage.

Between 2001 and 2016, the large city-based ecumenical marches (100 - 300 participants) got covered seven times - I'm including this year's cross walk in the tally.

The smallest of the marches, the Catholic economic justice one, typically with 20-25 participants, got covered 4 times – consecutively no less (2002-05).

The suburban ecumenical march got covered twice, with 60 and 150 participants respectively.

The city Catholic parishes’ marches (no numbers given, but small size implied) got covered twice.

And the Life march, with, remember, 150-200 participants every year, got covered once – a single sentence in a broader article about one of the city ecumenical marches.

Rotating coverage? Fair coverage?
Unless I missed any articles/photos, the evidence counters such claims.

In fact, it suggests a bias against pro-life events that bring up abortion.

This is not whining. It's just pointing out the reality.

Pax et bonum

Friday, March 25, 2016

Stations of the Cross in Reparation for Abortion

(A photo from Mike Gallagher)

We held our annual Good Friday Stations of the Cross in Reparation for Abortion today. We were joined by folks taking part in similar prayer efforts in some 70 cities.

We pray not only about abortion - we pray about all the life issues from economic injustice to unjust war.

I counted about 120 people at the prayer service before the march. Some folks can't do the march, but I suspect we had about 100 in the Stations march to an abortion clinic. The numbers were down this year - cold, damp day. But we were there witnessing to the Culture of Life.

Pax et bonum

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Discovering Norman Lewis

Sunday Morning on CBS had a report on African-American abstract impressionist artist Norman Lewis.

I had never heard of him before, but I found his art interesting. like the piece Migrating Birds above, or Jazz Band below.

I'd like to learn more about him.

Pax et bonum

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Those Giant Behemoths

This morning when I turned on the television one of the movie channels was showing The Giant Behemoth. I couldn't watch it all, but the few minutes I could watch brought back happy memories of the Saturday afternoon "Monster Movie" programs I used to watch.

I loved the giant dinosaur movies like The Giant Behemoth ...

                                                    ... and Gorgo ...

                                    ... and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.

I loved dinosaurs in general anyway - I even had vague dreams of being a paleontologist. These movies not only had dinosaurs, but ones foe which one could feel sympathy. They were awakened and disturbed, and were only trying to return to their home territories or just survive in a strange and hostile world. In the end, two of them - and others like them - died. Gorgo lived, but then, he had a loving mother to help out!

Pax et bonum

Friday, March 11, 2016

Chevron, Indigenous People, and Trump

Chevron is being sued for massive environmental pollution in Ecuador - and the Ecuadoran government has been accused of massive corruption in connection with the oil corporation.

The Canadian "Supreme Court" last September allowed the suit to continue in Canada. Other courts have allowed it to proceed elsewhere.

It remains to be seen if the indigenous people who are suing to protect their lives and homes and land will see any of the billions in compensation they are seeking - or that the company will be forced to clean up its toxic mess. The case has been dragging on for years.

I just learned about this today - but I was not shocked or surprised. There have been so many cases like this over the years, and so many business people and corporations that have pursued selfish, greedy policies that place profits above the needs of others.

And it got me to thinking of all the people who say Donald Trump will make a great president because he is a "successful businessman."

I think that argument is nonsense; being successful in business doe not necessarily translate into being a successful public official.

And what is meant by "success" anyway. Making billions in profits like Chevron - even at the expense of lives and the environment? No.

To me, being successful in business means making a reasonable living, not exorbitant profits, and helping to make the world a better place.

Chevron is an ethical failure, not a successful business.

And Trump, with his luxury and gambling (and strip club) interests may be rich, but he is not making  the world better. He's catering to some of our baser instincts.  

People are more important than profits.

To quote Marley (from A Christmas Carol):

"Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"

Pax et bonum

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Responsible posting

Over at Facebook a few of my friends like to repost memes from a group called Occupy Democrats. After putting up with and attempting to respond to some of those posts, I have finally "hidden" (i.e. - blocked) such memes.

From their site's very name you can tell there's a bias. I can handle that. But the unfair and inaccurate comments proved too much of a temptation to me to think unkind things and to argue (one of my failings).

It's one thing to point out what a politician/public figure/organization has said or done - that's fair game. It's another to stereotype or paint with a broad brush an entire group. There a certain irony to it in fact. A group that would decry such actions towards say Hispanics, or Immigrants, or Homosexuals, seems to have no problem doing exactly the same thing to Republicans, or Conservatives, or Prolifers.

It's also troubling to me that some of us who claim to be people of faith and who even work for religious organizations repost such unfair, inaccurate, and even unchristian items from OD and other groups (on both sides of the political spectrum). I know I have sometimes failed in this area. I constantly have to ask myself if I am being a good witness to my faith, and I have sometimes gone back and corrected or removed things I've posted.

So all of us - yes, myself included - need to be careful what we post or repost, and to ask ourselves: Is this in keeping with the faith we claim to follow?

Pax et bonum