Saturday, December 29, 2012

Quick Takes: See ya later, 2012, and don't let the door hit ya on the way out.

**Catholics and non-Catholics, find your saint for the year, here!**
And, I'd love to know who you got got you! 

Well, I have to say, I will not miss 2012. I can only hope that 2013 shapes up a little better, although if you read all the way to #6, there's at least one big bright spot that I will cherish in this otherwise dreary year!

After the New Year, I will resume regular blog posts, but for now, here's a final December Quick Takes.

1) This one struck my funny bone, from Mary Katharine Ham:
One of my favorite things about reading the New York Times and other liberal publications is how they frequently present age-old ideas we’ve all known about for centuries as new trends. For instance, sustainable eating? That’s what the rest of us call a garden. Co-parenting? That’s what the rest of us know as a two-parent family. Localvore charcuterie? Where I come from, that’s always been called bacon. 
Now, the NYT presents the brave new world of…teaching your children table manners. I can’t decide if it’s encouraging that parents actually want to do this or depressing that they’ve just discovered it might be a good idea and are now outsourcing it because they’re too wimpy to do it on their own. 

Read the rest at: Modern parents have discovered table manners & the NYT is on it!

2) To this one, I give a hearty "Hell yeah!"

We need more heroes, and civil disobedience against unjust laws should always be on the table. Go and patronize Hobby Lobby! You can be sure that the sexual left is hard at work trying to vilify this good company.


4) Is anyone else just a tad bit frustrated with the crybabies in Washington fighting about taxes (and the left and the media whining about needing more, more, more "revenue") and yet no one wants to address the massive, out-of-control, sickening and irresponsible SPENDING that has gotten us to this disgusting point??? I'll ask again: Where are the grown-ups? Live within your means, you idiots, before you demand that even a single taxpaying citizen pony up another red cent to cover your irresponsible spending sprees!

And let's make sure the already ignorant citizenry pays no attention to Obama's new executive order GIVING RAISES TO JOE BIDEN AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS!!!!!

Yes, we are that messed up, folks.

5) Okay, so the sweet irony of this was too good not to share:

A sampling of the amusement you'll find there:

When NRA President Wayne LaPierre called for armed guards to be placed in schools late last week, an irate David Gregory derided the idea during his interrogation of LaPierre on Meet the Press. Yet Gregory’s children attend the same school in Washington, D.C. as President Obama’s daughters. And yes, Sidwell Friends, a Quaker school, employs armed guards.

But seriously, can anyone help me make sense of this? I truly don't want to believe that people are this disingenuous, this hypocritical, or this arrogant and elitist.

6) My happy news! A couple of years ago, I wrote a piece about the kind of man you'd want your daughter to bring home (a "values" man or a man of virtue). That was right about the same time that my own daughter struck up a friendship with this young man:

Since you are all wondering, she's 5' and he's 6'.

And this very morning, the gentleman proposed marriage and the lady accepted! My firstborn found her "Athanasius"!

Be hopeful, parents, as this is proof that daughters can and do bring home men of virtue, despite how many things the parents have done wrong along the way!

Dean and I and the whole family wish them God's blessings and a holy, happy life together!

(Someday, if you ask really nicely, I will tell you the story of how they "met". It's probably one of my favorite stories ever, heh, heh, heh.)

7) Karen and Chrystyna are sisters. Karen has no special needs, but is simply a 16-year-old girl who is doing well but is in need of a family. She is legally too old to be adopted alone, and can only be adopted with her sister, Chrystyna, who is ten years old and does have some special needs.

Click for more information on beautiful Karen!
Click photo for much more information on Chrystyna!

Please consider these sisters for your daughters, and if you cannot be their family, then please pray for them, and share their information.

Many good wishes for the New Year, friends!

And thanks to Jen for hosting!


  1. Oh pretty please tell us the story eh!!! Jan 1 2013 would be a really good day to post it, get the year started off on a positive, happy foot ;D
    Congratulation to the happy couple!

  2. By the way you told the story and how they "met", I have a feeling you fixed those two kids up. :-) I would like to hear the story too!

    I'm so with you on the table manners thing. I mean, really? It's like society just grazes the top of the problems of this world but no one wants to get to the root of real issues. I personally have a problem with all these parenting resources; so many classes for parents, so many books. I know that there may be some that truly need the help but what bothers me is the lack of confidence! God does not make cookie cutter children, people, every child is different! No book or parent educator is ever going to be able to tell you how to raise your child but you, the parent. I strongly believe that God chooses every parent for every child. It doesn't mean that we should be able to figure out our child automatically and that mistakes won't be made, but really, where's the confidence in parents these days?

  3. Long time reader but rarely comment. I just had to say thrilled for your daughter, congrats to them both!

  4. Best wishes to your daughter!! I'm 5'2" and DH is 6'5". Just tell her to get some good 3 inch heels for her wedding and she will be good. ;)

    Yes, modesty is always beautiful. Happy New Year!! (and I am kicking 2012 out, out, out!!)

  5. If there's any time to briefly break my commenting silence, this is it. Congrats to your daughter -wishing her and her fiancé all the best!

  6. 5'1" and 6'4" here! Yes-high high heels are a must for the wedding! Congrats!

  7. Congratulations to your daughter and her fiance - so exciting!

  8. I think you should share your daughter's story (about how she met her fiance) on your dating blog!


  9. Congratulations to your daughter and your future son in-law! That is very exciting news.

  10. Congratulations on your daughter's engagement!

  11. Congratulations on C's engagement! They are a beautiful couple! Happy New Year!


  13. Thanks so much everyone!! And thanks for coming out of lurking, Michelle, that was sweet!

    I will tell you that yes, I had a small hand in "matching" these two lovebirds. I asked a blogger that many of you know (who has now gone private) if she knew of any great young men fitting x,y and z criteria. She had a eureka moment, and it all worked out from there, very romantically, I might add! (For example, they wrote letters only for the first nine months, never even hearing each other's voice! For three months, the letters were overseas, from America to Italy. It was a great way to get to know each other the old fashioned way, and I can tell you they cherish those letters, and the letters played a part in the proposal!)

    Okay, that is all I'm going to say, but be hopeful! Old-fashioned romance and love and values still exist, and it's a true pleasure to see it play out! Sometimes I am too much of a cynic, so this uplifts me, and I hope it does the same to you!

  14. What a joy-filled day for your DD, you, your DH and for your entire family!!! This is indeed a blessing to the entire world, since virtuous parents raise virtuous children. Mind, I never said nor implied perfection!! ;) Congratulations on this new stage of everyone's life, another jewel in your crown !! God bless you all in the year of Our Lord, 2013! Receive a holy hug from an old friend!

  15. Thank you, Leila, for a year of thought-provoking words and insights. May 2013 help all of us to grow in wisdom and faith.

    However, re point 4 of this post about the "idiots," I understand your frustration, but I trust this was only that, and not your true belief. I've written a number of posts about how it took me years and "in you face" confrontations to learn that people who don't agree with me are not all "idiots." From all the "idiots" who didn't vote for Kennedy in 1960 (who won by 18,000 votes nationwide), to the "idiots" who didn't know that OJ was guilty, to the "idiots" I sometimes negotiated multi-billion dollar contracts with, who couldn't understand the importance of many "obvious" things --- from all of these confrontations I learned that everyone who can't see things as I do are not "idiots." Nor can some of them ever be convinced of my worldview by arguments. In some way, I had to learn to live with them all, and they weren't "idiots."

    That is, as I described in one post, "as obvious as the nine fingers on your two hands."

  16. DNBA, you have a good point. I did hesitate before writing "idiots" and then plowed ahead. Would I do it again? Maybe. Is it right? Maybe not. It is idiotic to spend into oblivious and then allow others to pony up and pay the bill? Yes, it's beyond idiotic, to the point of immoral. Both the irresponsible spending and then the forcing of others to pay more for it. Are the folks who refuse to live any other way "idiots"? Hmmm…. I guess it's debatable? Not in the literal sense of the word, but in the colloquial sense, I think a case can easily be made.

    Have I been an idiot in my life? Yes. Still? Yes.

    And oftentimes, when I have done something idiotic (not just that I disagreed with someone, or we saw the world differently, as you pointed out, and which to me is a different situation entirely), I needed to be called out on it.

    Running up an unholy debt, and mandating that others keep paying and paying and paying, while continuing the massive spending is not a "disagreement" between parties, like who to vote for. Even most Obama voters (and most Romney voters) were "low information voters" who pretty much don't follow politics. The same cannot be said for our Congressmen and President (by the way, I blame Congress way more, as they actually control the pursestrings).

    Okay, and I confess that in reading a lot on St. Padre Pio lately, I chuckled at how often he used such words, even with his spiritual children. They all understood his point, at least eventually. ;) Not that I am anything like Padre Pio, aside from the fact that I can be gruff and impatient! Especially with idiotic politicians!! (Oops, sorry!!)

  17. Congratulations to Ms. Miller and her fiancé! Beautiful news indeed!

    I also agree with DNBA, both on the heartfelt thanks to Leila for the incredible job she's doing with her blog, and with the lesson she drew on the idiots. While I am totally with Leila's politics, and also in favour of restraining spending, an argument can be made that cutting at the present moment of the political cycle can be counterproductive and potentially lead to civil unrest, which arguably is worse than having others pay for profligacy later. I do not defend this argument, but reasonable and intelligent people can make it. Personally I believe that in the end the debt situation will be resolved by a mixture of inflation, tax increases (on the "wealthy") and refusal by the government to honor its obligations to bondholders. Its already happening at municipal level where senior debt is not serviced in order to preserve the generous benefits of staff and retirees (e.g. Stockton/San Joaquin Valley, California). But the worst part is not financial, it's the moral disaster of losing a sense of national togetherness and mutual obligation that can only be sustained by voluntary association, not the theft the government is beginning to engage in, in the name of fairness.

    Sorry for my rambling thoughts, hope I make a little sense.

    All the best for 2013! I also try to remember - for God, nothing is impossible.

  18. If only more catholic's were as much less worldly, proud, strifeful, fearful, indulging, suspicious, smug, indignant, self-assured, stubbornly convicted, prickly, vexing, condescending, arrogant, myopic, intolerant, seeing everything in black and white... as you guys are. How is it that some people are so good at handing everything over to God, being at peace and storing their treasure in heaven? ...Instead of indulging in the prideful personal hell of attempting to correct everyone but themselves. I still can't pull it off myself.

  19. Hello, Dellentie! You've been here before.

    Okay, so if the Church cannot teach what is true, as handed on by Christ (the One who wanted us to know the truth), then what good is the Church? What was the authority of the Apostles and their successors for, exactly?

    Perhaps you are could go back and read this older post, about the concept of truth vis a vis arrogance:

    Also, you used the words "worldly" "proud" "strifeful" "fearful" "indulging" "suspicious" "smug" "indignant" "stubborn" "prickly" "vexing" "condescending" "arrogant" "myopic" "intolerant" (hopefully you are intolerant of sin, my friend!). Would you consider those words "judgmental"? You see, I am not against using descriptive words or being blunt, calling things like I see them. In fact, we are called to judge actions (not souls). The whole of the Christian moral law is about knowing what is right and what is wrong, no? I am guessing you think that Catholics are "judgmental" but you are not judgmental, correct? But what am I to make of these words? Are they accusatory?

    Again, I don't mind if you call someone out in truth, but could you back it up by please actually referencing something? Otherwise, you are just acting like a troll on this blog. If you would like to make a citation, then apply your judgement to the citation, please do. I am happy to discuss. But just name-calling in a string of words? Um, no. Not here, Dellentie.

    1. By the way, I have to laugh at this statement: "If only more catholic's were as much less … stubbornly convicted … seeing everything in black and white" etc…

      Where do you live? If you live in America or anywhere in the Western world, there are actually very, very few Catholics who know their faith or care about it enough to be "stubbornly convicted" about it. Most Catholics are lukewarm at best. So, again, not sure what you are talking about? Please clarify, if you will.

  20. Overall, 2012 was good for more personally, but for our nation? Not too great. You mentioned letters. Do you mean real letters with paper and stamps? I love real letters with paper and stamps.

  21. Yep, real letters, with paper and ink and stamps! It is awesome! A lost art. I am happy that 2012 was good for you personally! It makes my heart glad to hear it! God is good!

  22. Sebastian, good points! Although I admit, I have never heard the "civil unrest" argument as a justification to keep spending. That is new to me. The people I hear talking about spending think that more "stimulus" and "investment" are positive goods, and that we don't spend enough. To me, this is idiocy.

    I do love your hopeful words!! Let's see if God will work some miracles for 2013!

  23. Happy New Year, Leila! So so happy for your beautiful daughter and her dashing fiancé! I've been thinking about how excited and happy you all must be since I saw the announcement..enjoy this special time! I love the tidbits you've shared about how they met! So sweet! Oh and I'm 5'3 and G is 6'3...hehe. :)

  24. Still musing on the reaction to my use of the word "idiots". I wonder if it's cultural? I remember Mother Angelica talking about how non-Italians were scandalized to hear her family during mealtime. They said, "Why do you yell at each other all the time?!" She said she couldn't understand that question, because "We were just talking to each other! That's how we talk!" ha ha! My mom is an Anglo-Saxon Protestant (well, Catholic now) and she was from a quiet, stoic home. She married my dad, an Arab immigrant, and the family was QUITE different in speech and manner. There was (and still is, ha ha) some shellshock. I also am reminded that Padre Pio was Italian, and used those types of words a lot.

    Perhaps it's that Mediterranean blood in me that never bats an eye at words like "idiot", esp. when used to describe the politicians that are sinking our nation? I guess another culture might choose the word "fool", or still another culture might quietly say nothing in order not to rock the boat or get anyone's dander up? And other cultures might speak more softly than the ethnic, hot-blooded Mediterranean types? ;)

    The cultural stuff just fascinates me, as a combination English stiff-upper-lip Mayflower descendent and crazy, loud, outspoken Arab!

    1. Leila, the problem isn't with the word "idiot" or any other name, it's with serious thinking that they are mentally deficient. Half the country voted to continue spending without obvious plans for cutting --- or, at least, plans we understand. Now perhaps MANY in this country don't understand economics or even (sadly today) read of what's happening in Washington, but on average the people against our thinking on spending have the same IQ as we do; they are not idiots. So ... the question we must ask is: how can intelligent people see the same facts we do and arrive at differing conclusions. Certainly there are rare one who really thing we can spend anything forever -- write every American a check for a million dollars -- but those thinking that way are few. While I haven't seen it stated in ways I can understand with my reasoning (nor have you), I am certain that there is a logic among many intelligent people which says we are on an acceptable course, financially. Rather than call names, it behooves us to TALK and try and understand. No negotiation comes without it, and only power rules. But lest we forget, Christianity did not conquer by power, rather "see how much they love one another."

  25. I like that you bring up Padre Pio--I've been learning a lot about him through my sister in regards to the Dominic situation. (We're hopeful that he's going home possibly this weekend!)

    And you're right that Padre Pio himself was very gruff. I've often been surprised how he would talk to people in confession (these stories that were offered from the people who had confessed to him), how he would "call them out" on certain sins that they were hiding. Sometimes he was nice about it, other times, not so much.

    Honestly, who cares about the "idiots" reference. Jesus has often called it like He saw it, using the words "fool" more than once or twice.

  26. Congrats on your daughter's engagement. Is this your first child to be married?

  27. I think many of us are deeply worried about what might happen to us and our families and our nations if we as a nation have unlearned to live within our means. That can make us more pointed in the choice of our words. We call it as we see it, perhaps to wake everyone up. The other side sees it as namecalling though and reacts just as angrily. I don't have an answer how to get out of it either.

    Re spending cuts potentially leading to civil unrest: I've been to Greece several times last year. It's not funny. Spain, Greece, other Southern European countries have youth unemployment between 25-50%. That's a cocktail for disaster. Young men out of work - we all know that's bad news, always has been. My answer is EMPHATICALLY not more government spending - it's a key reason they are in this situation in the first place. But If I had a 28 year old son, perhaps married with kids, on the dole for a couple of years, I can see that I might think differently. Though I hope not.

  28. Johanne, yes, our first to be engaged! :) Of course, now I will have wedding on the brain for the next several months. Hopefully everyone can put up with me!

    DNBA, honestly, I never thought anyone would actually take my use of the word "idiots" here as a belief that those Congressmen and the President are literally of low IQ! Of course not. Many of these folks are quite intelligent, have high IQs, and perhaps many of them are even voting against what they know is right (for any number of political reasons). I believe those on the left truly do believe in a more Marxist/socialist and/or Keynesian view of economics. So, it's not a matter that I or others don't "understand". In fact, they are very clearly understood (and it's been tried in other nations and through history), and I think such views are idiotic, in the colloquial way. I might also use the terms "stupid", "dangerous", "awful", "destructive", etc. I clearly understand their views, and the views are what will sink an economy. So what is left to understand? There are philosophies that can never be reconciled, no matter how long we talk about them.

    Sorry, I guess I prefer the Padre Pio approach in this case, and he loved everyone, even as he was throwing them out of his confessional and calling them hypocrites and fools, ha ha (they almost always came back after they licked their wounds, by the way). I love my children mightily, but there are times that I am very sharp with them, and I say things very, very bluntly. I don't regret it for a moment, my young ones still know I love them, and the grown ones tell me they appreciate that I pulled the hard line. Sometimes, dialogue goes on interminably, with no result, and so it's time to end the dialogue and expose idiocy for what it is. Believe me, there are some personalities (mine included) who prefer blunt straight talk to endless, worthless talk.

    Again, I am sure this must be partly cultural. I'm completely surprised that there was such a response to my word. :)

  29. Sebastian, I guess we just have soooooooooooooo much waste that could be cut (including entire federal departments) that we don't ever need to get to the point of Greece. The reason we are getting there is precisely because we want to keep spending. It would be immoral to keep going forward, and we really shouldn't do anything immoral simply to try to fend off riots. Doing the right thing is damned hard. That's why our wimps in Washington (yes, now I called them "wimps"!) are caving. They are not prepared to face the political consequences of doing the right thing. Apparently, the CBO says that under the plan passed, our debt will INCREASE by 3 trillion or so over the next decade. What the heck kind of deal is that?

    My husband ran a state agency, overseeing a couple hundred folks. He was very careful with taxpayer money. He cut the budget across the board by 10% to stay within budget. He refused requests for each employee to have TVs in their offices (he thought if they wanted to watch the hearings, they could walk down the hall and go to the hearing rooms). He ran it within budget, and he was well liked. (Of course, after he left, everyone got their TVs!)

    Responsible people who know how to run things successfully can get it done. That is why we as a nation sooooo needed Romney to come in and get things on track again. Sigh.

  30. Everyone, don't forget to get your saint for the year, here:

    Non-Catholics, you can do this, too!

    And, please pray for the family of friends of ours. Last evening, their little one-year-old son, Blaise, was found in their pool and did not survive. They will need much prayer to get through this trial. Thank you.

  31. Leila, to be clear, I fully agree with every word you wrote. What your husband did at the government agency he led, I did at the NGO I lead (in the region I was responsible for). 800 staff overall. We became leaner, better, more fired up over 4 years. Some people who did not recognize that times had changed had to look for work elsewhere. I have zero doubt that it can be done. But the effort we are talking about to reverse the debt course the US, and much of the Western world is on, requires real pain for most people, and for a number of years. Not just cutting fat. Ireland, the Baltics, Iceland are some examples. It can be done, and it's good for the nation long term. But our politicians know all too well that it would cost them and their party the ability to keep power. In other words, "the people" won't tolerate it. I don't know of any examples where parties have been voted into power on a platform of austerity, implemented their promises, and been reelected.

  32. PS Pls forgive me for my spelling (lead/led 7 words apart?) and poor phrasing generally - English not my mother tongue. It hurts, because I love good writing!

  33. Sebastian, you write English much better than many folks whose mother tongue is English! I'm always impressed!

    As to your statement, "I don't know of any examples where parties have been voted into power on a platform of austerity, implemented their promises, and been reelected" -- that is what is so sad to me. That responsibility and truth-telling and discipline and hard choices are not honored. Again, it goes back to my lament: Where have all the grown-ups gone?

    I hope you are still in charge of an organization!

  34. Actually, I believe it was the ultra liberal Warren Buffet who in my opinion came up with the best solution to Congress' inability to deal with the budget would be a Constitutional Amendment that reads "Any year there is a deficit of more than 3 percent of GDP all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for reelection."

    Problem solved :-p

  35. Nicholas, I had heard that proposal, too! That would be amazing. (Was it really from Buffet?) It's such a just and common sensical proposal, which would so easily solve the entire problem, that it would never be considered by our politicians. Of course.

    The teens have the keys to the Jag, and the "grown-ups" (the electorate?) are too scared or complacent or foolish to do a thing.

  36. I'm finally catching up with my blogs! Congratulations to your daughter!!!


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