Tale of A Ruined 19th Century Fresco

Some things should be left to experts

Is nothing sacred?

Alas or maybe eureka depending on who you talk to. A 19th Century fresco entrusted to a church in Spain was ruined by an 80-year-old woman who sought to restore the deteriorating painting. Once the lady’s ‘labor of love’ was discovered she declared the church priest had given her his blessing, others had seen her at it, and nary a soul had attempted to stop her. Apparently it’s all good because the church has now become a tourist attraction for those who find the defacing of a one-of-a-kind work of art a must-see.

And for those who can’t make the pilgrimage to Spain, the once beautiful depiction of Jesus wearing a crown of thorns is now a caricature of its former self. It now resembles, according to some, a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic. The image has gone virile and makes for a good laugh when digitally-imposed into unlikely scenes, and the paintings of great masters such as Michelangelo, Leonardo, etc. Excuse me if I don’t laugh.

The thought of nothing being sacred, not even old art, brings to mind my beloved poem ‘The Second Coming’ by William Butler Yeats. I don’t care how long ago it was written to me it’s timeless. One of its themes ‘the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity,’ can forever be applied to the human condition. The current political climate is a perfect example. Go ahead read the poem and tell me events and/or individuals it’s applicable to in today’s society.

THE SECOND COMING

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Is nothing sacred? A mass shooting in of all places a Sikh Temple, a place of worship; competitive sports made a mockery of by doping athletes; glowing book reviews bought and paid for by authors; a representative yelling out, “you lie,” as the president addressed a joint session of Congress in the House of Representatives; letting the rape of vulnerable young boys in the locker room shower of a prestigious university; a president, perhaps not the first, but the first we know of, defiling the oval office; Congressmen skinney-dipping in the Sea of Galilee, etc., etc…

The indignant desert birds are indeed circling ready to sink talons and beaks into our dying civility. So hey, it’s alas for me but eureka for those who pose with the ruined painting and slap it into other scenes and send it into cyberspace so others can have a good laugh.

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What If Men Could Get Pregnant

SHOW-ME-STATE MISSOURI

On Sunday, little known Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who is running against Sen. Claire McCaskill for the Missouri Senate seat, upheld his longstanding position that abortion should be illegal even if the woman was raped. According to Akin women who are the victims of “legitimate rape” don’t usually become pregnant because the female body has “biological defenses” that prevent rape victims from getting pregnant. Of course this outrageous claim caused an uproar that reverberated throughout the nation. If Akin wasn’t known beyond the show-me-state before, he’s definitely known all over the map now and by most reports not in a good way.

You don’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar to get the implication of Akin’s position which is simply this: If you were raped and became pregnant, you must have actually wanted it—it wasn’t really rape. REALLY?

That there are ignoramuses out there seeking to categorize rape, Legitimate Rape, Forcible Rape, Statutory Rape, for political reasons got me to thinking. What if men could become pregnant? If men could get pregnant I wonder if they would use what should clearly be a woman’s right to choose as a political football. Kicking around a subject of which they have no firsthand knowledge. Apparently ignoramuses equate rape with having sex – either the woman wanted it or didn’t.

According to Akin ‘doctors’ advised him that a woman’s body “could shut that whole thing down”. I suppose if the woman was ovulating at the time of the rape, a force field would magically surround the egg and shield it from the rapist’s evil sperm. Only someone backed by ‘low information’ constituents and could never get pregnant would actually say something that dumb out loud on television.

Of course Rep Akin apologized the next day. He sooo sorry he misspoke. He meant to say ‘Forcible Rape’ not ‘Legitimate Rape’ being that rape can’t just be rape. That would make it too darn easy for those who are hell bent on killing babies, not to mention using taxpayers to fund their evil doing.

There is such a thing as Statutory Rape and it must not be lumped in there with violent rape. I suppose all cases of Statutory Rape could be classified as consensual. Just don’t tell that to all those long suffering men, just innocent little boys under duress, Jerry Sandusky and Catholic priests the world over raped.

I mean just imagine if men could become pregnant and young boys raped since the beginning of time had ended up ‘with child’ how different the issues of rape and abortion would be today. I for one believe abortions would be as readily available as wellness checkups. Unwanted pregnancies would be taken care of discreetly, with nary a thought about egg and sperm merging and what constitutes a live being, i.e. ‘personhood’, by simply popping a pill. And if the unwanted pregnancy progressed beyond the popping pill stage why a man could choose to walk into his doctor’s office and have the matter taken care of with dignity.

If only men could get pregnant. I wish someone would make a movie about it. Have this parallel universe where men got pregnant. Either the female would impregnate the man or vice-versa. It would be a game of chance where both could become pregnant or maybe one could be on birth control or both could be until such time they chose to start a family. For added drama a portion of the movie would be devoted to some guy who had gotten pregnant during a rape. I think such a movie would be awesome. I definitely would stand in line to see it.

If You Believe in the Power of Prayer Please Pass this Along

I received this from a dear “sister” and am passing it on as I believe through faith and prayer all things are possible.

Large Prayer Circle
As evidenced by people living in Oklahoma , West Texas , Southwest Kansas , and South Texas, Colorado , and New Mexico ever-increasing areas in other parts of the country, the drought condition is reaching critical status; cattle are being auctioned off; crops have burned up; and drinking water is becoming a concern. Please join us in this prayer circle. Let’s make this one of the largest prayer circles ever. It will be as though everyone is holding hands around the world.

Dear Heavenly Father,
You said whatsoever any two or more come together and agree and ask in Your Son’s name, it shall be given. We come to you, humbly, and ask that you bring down the rain to our parched lands. Our farmers and ranchers need it desperately, as well as our firefighters. We ask this all in Jesus’ name.
Amen

You may adopt this prayer and evidence your participation in this gathering by simply passing this prayer request on to your circle of friends!
PLEASE forward this if you believe in the power of prayer.

Congratulations Team USA for Bringing Home the Gold!

 

Congratulations Team USA for Bringing Home the Gold!

No doubt you are the greatest athletes in the world and yes, you are the CHAMPIONS and you are CHAMPIONS.

Out of all competing nations in the London 2012 Olympics, Team USA brought home the most gold medals with a total of 46. Combine that with 29 Silver and 29 Bronze for a grand total of 104 hard won medals. From archery to wrestling, TEAM USA medaled, testimony to hard work, discipline, strength, endurance, and a burning desire to do self and country proud.

Why do Olympic athletes bite their medals? Because winning taste so darn good. 

Swimming led the charge with a total of 16 juicy gold medals, followed by track and field with 9. All the rest was just golden nugget soup, sooo um-um good to the soul.

While Usain Bolt and Bruce Jenner, yeah the ‘Kardashians’ Bruce Jenner is a former gold-winning decathlete, needed a beer summit to settle who is indeed the world’s greatest athlete,  Ashton Eaton bought home decathlon gold and fellow American Trey Hardee bought home the silver. Kudos to them for delivering the decathlon one-two punch, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1956. Don’t sweat it. You are all greatest athlete.

Congrats to China on their 88 medals, Russia’s 82, Great Britain’s 65, and all other competing nations. Their athletes are shining examples of what it means to go the distance. Hopefully prosperity and happiness will forever rain down upon each and every athlete who competed with integrity and tenacity.

Again, multiple fist pumps to Team USA for bringing home the most gold. Y’all did the darn thang. Whatever your future endeavor(s) live long and prosper.  London 2012 Olympics.

Update On Tigger One Lone Lonely Cat

Tigger and the late Zoey

I know I haven’t mentioned my cats, well cat, in a while. The wound of Zoey’s gone too soon departure is still a bit raw. Thinking about that cat, her sweet gentleness, makes me sad. Even the vet, moments before administering Zoey’s ‘Big Sleep’, opined how the good ones die young and meanies live on and on. She had spent the better part of the day with Tigger who wasn’t happy about being at her cat clinic.

A couple of days before Zoey’s  appointment Tigger got sick, throwing up and behaving like he too had one foot in the grave. The day of ‘The Big Sleep’ he was more tore up than Zoey who moved around surprisingly well for a cat down to fur and bones. While a dying Zoey purred and rubbed against my legs Tigger’s ailing prompted us to call their owner.

She arrived anxious to get her favorite to the vet. The tabby didn’t go willingly, putting up a surprisingly big fuss. The two had a nearly decade-long history together and he always rushed to greet her when she entered the house. Each visit she scooped him into her arms and hugged him until he bit her and she dropped him to the floor. Still I didn’t doubt their love for each other.

That day Tigger, the alpha male, let it be known he didn’t want to leave us. US, as in Zeke and I. Knowing that bossy, don’t touch me until I tell you to rascal, didn’t want to leave us was sobering to say the least. So while Tigger got whisked off to the vet, Zoey and I spent our last hours together. Later when we gathered in the small examining room, the vet assured us she would feel no pain. Zoey was scared but composed as the small woman lovingly stroked her and said what a sweet cat she was.

Then she mentioned Tigger. He hadn’t been nice to her staff or the other cats. Even after being given treats, he showed them no love. She diagnosed him with being a drama queen. Which led to her diatribe about the good sweet ones dying too young while mean sourpusses stick around forever. I thought it was strange for a cat doctor to actually say out loud but Tigger being Tigger isn’t for the faint of heart.

Zoey’s been gone for over two months now and Tigger is still Tigger but noticeably changed too. He doesn’t spend much time outside anymore. Which I don’t mind especially after having watched that video about the secret lives of cats. Who knew house cats turned into superheroes once outside, ridding the world of unwanted critters. I suspect like a war-weary soldier, he wants to kick back for a while. Also, he won’t admit it but I know he misses Zoey.

The lone lonely Tigger

For now he makes do with me. As loyal acolyte my job is to: search for his favorite food; brush and stroke all except for the undercarriage unless I’m ready for a good clawing; push open the cracked bathroom door for him and turn the water on to a drizzle while he jumps on the closed lid of the commode; wait for him to dive on the vanity then wait as he nuzzles his head against the spout before proceeding to stroke him from head to arched tail when he finally begins to lap the water.

He makes a little ‘umph’ noise when he jumps to the floor then dashes off and dives on my bed. Multitasking, I type, surf the net, use cell, go through mail, prick finger, test blood, inject with insulin, and whatever else, all while stroking and playing with him until finally he traipses off to my pillows and goes to sleep. Sometime I wish Tigger was a dog or a houseplant until it hits me they wouldn’t be nearly as fulfilling.

Another Day Another Mass Shooting

Here we go again

Barely had James Holmes, the so-called batman massacre shooter, faded from memory and here we have yet another merciless mass killing. This time Wade Michael Page, 40, of South Milwaukee, WI was the man wielding the gun.  Older and less educated but like Holmes he killed innocent folks, this time worshippers in a Sikh temple, perhaps targeting them because of their dark skin, their style of dress, their ‘otherness’.

According to reports the FBI was investigating whether the killings at the Sikh temple were an act of domestic terrorism. Page affiliated with hate groups and was described as, “a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.” After the Army cut him loose in 1998, a frustrated Page went on to sell everything except for a motorcycle and what he could fit into a backpack. In a world receptive to white guys with even an ounce of ambition, Wade Page spiraled downward even living on the streets at one point. Since hating is far easier than success, it appears the man made hating those he deemed ‘different’ his career of choice.

During an April 2010 interview with Heidi Beirich, who heads the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, which tracks hate groups, Page said he started his band ‘End Apathy’ in 2005 out of frustration that, “we have the potential to accomplish so much more as individuals and a society in whole.” Wade stated he wanted to get involved but doesn’t offer specifics.

Who are these guys and why do they do what they do?

A profiler on the news opined guys like Wade Page, James Holmes, and Jared Loughner are like missiles seeking the hot glare of the spotlight. But living to tell or enjoy one’s infamy isn’t guaranteed. Page is a perfect example.

Hate group activity, according to Beirich, spiked significantly since the election of President Obama. Last year the law center listed 1,018 hate groups in the USA, up from 602 in 2000. Beirich gives three reasons for the increase: the rise in immigration; the election of the country’s first black president, which she says is a result of the demographic shifts and the bad economy. She says during hard economic times, more people join extremist groups. “People are unemployed, frustrated,” she says. “People need someone to blame.”

An internet commenter, mirroring Beirich’s reasons stated: The shooter is typical of the ultra-right wing here in America. The immigrants coming here now are well educated, and generally run their own businesses. These losers just can’t compete on a level playing field, and lash out because they’re too lazy (or too stupid) to put in the time and hard work it takes to be successful. Instead of looking at their own failings, it’s always someone else’s fault why they are failures. It’s only going to get worse, especially if Obama is re-elected. They just can’t cope with people who are supposed to be “inferior” living a better lifestyle than they do. Welcome to the New World losers.

A dear friend once said, “There are three sides to a story, yours, mine, and the truth.” The commenter doesn’t mince words, but could this be the cold, hard truth? Do these mass murderers, mostly white guys, find solace in hate when failure is eminent? Hatred they then direct at those deemed somehow responsible for that failure. Of course this is all conjecture, not a proven fact. The unfortunate truth is that another twisted man with a gun spilled innocent blood for whatever reason and folks got to remain vigilant until next time. And there will be a next time.

***SECRETSHOPPER(URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED)***

Seed money for the part-time ‘secret shopper’s’ job I never knew I had

WE HAVE COME TO RIP YOU OFF – THE SCAMMERS HAVE MADE CONTACT

Several weeks ago I received a $975.00 money order out the blue from one Tom A. Lee. Sent USPS Priority Mail there was only the money order inside the envelope. According to my research a letter of instruction should’ve been included. These shysters either assumed I was desperate, gullible or both and didn’t even bother sending a letter. I’m really insulted.

Making a living working from home and getting something for nothing are like hitting the lottery. Everybody want it but the odds are long. So be wary when something too good to be true appears: In your ‘snail mail box’, ’email box’, in the guise of a smooth or fast-talker on the phone, in a business establishment’s parking lot, or right at your door. Fraud-committing snakes bound and determined to separate you from your money are slithering out sh*tholes here and abroad. Be knowledgeable. Ask the right questions and they’ll go back down that cesspool they came from. More on this in a future post.

JUST WHO ARE THESE SCAMMERS?

Scammers are unscrupulous characters who think it’s their God-given right to make a living off you. Only you can prevent that from happening.

For example, a Canadian scammer using the lottery or sweepstakes scam, not all that long ago depleted the life savings of an elderly North Carolina couple. In so doing, he also created dire financial straits for the couple’s grown children. After his arrest and subsequent prison sentence was he the least bit remoresful? Well, you decide. Responding to an interview request, Atkinson (the scammer) sent The Associated Press a three-page, expletive-laced letter, cursing prosecutors, his lawyer and America’s “corrupted justice system.”

“i am angry and miserable everyday,” he wrote in his unpunctuated, ungrammatical reply. “my life is (expletive) ruined now you think i care about the parkers. (actual victims in the case)”

MY SECRET SHOPPER/MONEY ORDER SCAMMERS FIRST CONTACT:

Secret Shopper® peterfredson2135@mail.com via entercomp.com          Jul 18
to undisclosed recipients

Hello there,

A response concerning the funds in your possession is needed and also confirm if you have completed the assignment at
this time.

We are auditing our firms so we need to know the situation of your assignment.

I also tried calling your telephone number but I couldn’t get through.

Regards,

Peter Fredson.

SECOND CONTACT:

Secret Shopper® peterfredson2135@mail.com via entercomp.com      Jul 21 (11 days ago) 
to undisclosed recipients

Hello there,
A response concerning the funds in your possession is needed and also confirm if you have completed the assignment at
this time.

We are auditing our firms so we need to know the situation of your assignment. (Notice the addition of this sentence stressing why my attention to the matter is needed. It appears to lend legitimacy to the scheme – see we’re serious. We’re ‘auditing’ our firms.)

I also tried calling your telephone number but I couldn’t get through.

Regards,
Peter Fredson.

THIRD CONTACT:

Secret Shopper® peterfredson2135@mail.com via entercomp.com        Jul 26 (6 days ago)

to undisclosed recipients

Attention:
An update is needed regarding your assignment.It shows on my memo that payment has since been delivered to your location
for your assignment..

I await your urgent response to this email.

NOTE:Correspondence is a major factor as stated in the prior E-mail sent to you about this part time job.

Best Regards,

Peter Fredson.

No other contact at this point.