Saturday, January 27, 2007

Laid to rest...

Today the Curmudgeons attended the solemn Requiem and burial for a longtime acquaintance, and a decorated soldier in last fall's Missouri clone wars. Wolftracker marked his passing earlier this week.

While the "official" anti-cloning organizations sat back last fall, biting nails over whether or not the hypothetical semi-churched soccer mom in St. Charles or Lee's Summit would be turned off by the plain and simple truth, this guy--despite the hole in his head--actually went out and did something about it. And he used his edgy personality and marketing background to great effect. He did the hard part; we just passed the hat to get stuff printed and the folks at Missouri Right to Life found the money to run the billboards. Our friend was one important factor in closing the gap, so that Jim Stowers, who spent $30 million, almost lost his bid for the state of Missouri on November 7.

Looking through some of his non-cloning work today at the luncheon and visiting with his widow (may God bless her), I decided, with her consent, to rerun some of his work on that project: bumper stickers, billboard designs, and even his cloning party-crashing report. Enjoy, and take heart that, even though we won't have his talents in the next battle against the culture of death, we will, God willing, benefit from his intercession.

May almighty God have mercy on him, and may he rest in peace. Amen

Bumperstickers & Billboards:

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And the cloning party crasher's report:



I just returned from Satan's workshop, where about 30 of the deceived, the ignorant, and the willfully malicious were hangin' with Stower's handsome, eloquent puppet. Sorry I didn't catch his name.

They marked me right at the door – guy wearing church clothing, carrying a sheaf of loose papers. NOBODY carries papers in deepest, darkest Cass Co. unless they're a lawyer (there are no attorneys in Cass Co, just lawyers) or a process server. Or otherwise out to make trouble, which I was. Once I got into the gym, where the presentation was already in progress, I was flanked by the three women who were working the front door. (I wasn't late.) I thought that was weird – why did all three of them search me out and surround me?

I let the Mouth of Stowers give his presentation, which was naught but slickly packaged lies, one tumbling out after the other. The presentation was extremely thin on scientific facts, extremely thick on emotional, huggy-bunny "how can we let those mean, mean lawmakers in Jeff City ruin our precious chances for a perfect life, free from all pain and suffering, followed by eternal torment in Hell?"

There was ONE slide on the science behind Clone-and-Kill, and a great, steaming pile of unscientific crap – but it was GOOD unscientific crap. Here are the main points:

  • It's NOT cloning. No, no, NO! Just what it is remains undefined, but it's definitely NOT cloning. Even though the Mouth of Stowers said that the process produced an exact genetic copy of the donor. Naw, THAT'S not cloning. It's......something else.
  • The eggs required will come from the patient's dear old Mom, and his sisters, and his aunts, and his daughters, and great-grand-daughters, and may Almighty God help those poor guys whose womenfolk aren't willing to have their ovum hormonically squeezed out of them. The Mouth of Stowers (MOS) made it seem that all it would take was ONE egg, and, Voila! there would be a cure, all shiny and new and just laying there on the table! Cool!
  • Amendment 2 is all but required for the continued economic growth of Missouri, kinda like the Royals. Or the downtown stadium. Without it, Stowers might just take his ball and go home! And we all know what that would do to the economy! I mean, before Stowers built Mordor on the Plaza, the economy of the State was just, I don't know, not good!
  • Just look at all these doctors, and patient advocacy groups, who are behind this wholesale slaughter of human life! There are LOTS of them. So Amendment 2 MUST be good, right?
  • It's not about human life, or abortion, or anything like that! (Chuckle, chuckle.) If anybody tries to tell you it is, just ignore them. They're just silly, silly. Neanderthals, really, or Ostrogoths, Pay no attention to them! (Chuckle, chuckle.) We are sophisticated, and scientific, and so modern!
  • Religious people are against us. But look! We have Jack Danforth! He's an Ordained Episcopal Minister, and if he thinks it's OK, it's OK!
  • Are there cures now? No. But look-we've only been killing human embryos since 1998 or so! We haven't had the time to really get funky. We need that TIME, which the evil Matt Bartle tried to take from us. Bad Bartle! But if you vote yea, everything will be fine. So trust us - there will be cures SOMEDAY, we promise. Really.
  • There are 400,000 frozen embryos out there (really, trust us, there are) that the evil George Bush won't let us have! If we could just have this frosty population of a medium-sized city, which we could then kill, my, wouldn't all our lives be rosy!

Then it was Q & A time, which I blew big time. MOS asked for questions, and I sat on my tongue, waiting to see if there were "friendlies" in the crowd. There weren't. It was devolving rapidly into a Stowers love fest, which I decided to break up the way I know best. Tactlessly.

I told the MOS that "you don't 'grow' stem cells, sir, as you have erroneously claimed over and over again in your presentation. You grow a human baby, which you then kill...."

The room erupted, predictably, in jeers and catcalls. "It's not a baby, it's a ball of cells!" And etcetera. The usual pro-abort "logic". The woman behind me began a hyperintellectual litany of "Do you eat eggs? Do you eat eggs? Is it a chicken, or an egg? It's an unfertilized ball of cells!" Over, and over, and over.

The guy next to her told me he had three genetic diseases, and he needed a new liver. "And I don't care how many stems cells die before I get it!" he said. Oh, you're gonna get it, alright, I thought to myself. A group of women behind those two ethicists asked me, "When this amendment passes, and your children get a disease, what are you gonna tell them?" I pointed to Mr Disease Trifecta sitting behind me, and I said, "I hope that, unlike this gentleman, that they will be unwilling to take human lives to heal themselves."

Then the room just exploded with inane pro-choice cliches. The three chicks who shadowed me got up, and one of them said, "If anyone would like a more productive line of questions, MOS is going to step over here." My cue to step over there, and out the door, being followed by one of my Democratic Escorts.

I bought a bottle of wine on the way home.

Until next time....

Since we received the story above back in October, Mrs. Curmudgeon hasn't been able to pass the Stowers Institute without chuckling....Mordor on the Plaza.

Our fallen comrade also did s few great handouts and ads for the Diocese of Kansas City St. Joseph, but I don't have these in a format I can post on blogger.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Me and Guy Crouchback

In my post-blogging life, I've been doing a lot of things. Lots of reading and writing. Most of the reading has been tedious, and most of the writing has been stuff that I pray will be put in a file drawer and never looked at again. I've had a fair bit of housework, too, which has kept me from doing too much reading for pleasure.

One thing I did pick up, though, was Evelyn Waugh's (perhaps most underrated) novels, Men at Arms, Officers and Gentlemen, and The End of the Battle, known as the Sword of Honour trilogy. Great read, I tell you. Great read.

If you haven't read Waugh, don't start with Brideshead Revisited. Save that one for later; the more you know Waugh, the more you'll appreciate Brideshead. My suggestion is that you start where Waugh started, Decline and Fall. A hilarious book, wherein you see Waugh's wit and style first emerge. Once you've done Decline and Fall, then you can move into the headier books. I'd read a couple more, though, before I hit Sword of Honour or Brideshead. Save A Handful of Dust and The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold until after Sword of Honour or Brideshead. They're downers. I would recommend that you also save Helena for later, because while it's certainly not a downer, I think you have to be familiar with Waugh to appreciate the way he applies the early stamp of 20th century British society to the late Roman Empire. Next comes Waugh's non-fiction. Perhaps because of my lack of enthusiasm for modern-day Jesuits, I haven't read Campion (no, I've got nothing against the old Jesuits). However, a friend just read it and it was highly recommended.


PS, "But Curmudgeon, it's been two months! Why won't you complain for us?" Ok, in my stealing time here and there to read, I picked up a belated Christmas gift, Frank Sheed's Theology and Sanity. Although I'm just a little ways into it, I thought, "Hey,. I wonder what they're up to at Frank's publishing house, Sheed & Ward, these days?

So I looked 'em up. And after I read the "About Us" page, I didn't go any further:

A Brief History of Sheed & Ward Book Publishing

Founded in 1926 by Australian lawyer Francis Joseph Sheed and his British wife Maisie Ward, Sheed & Ward is one of the most eminent Catholic publishing houses in the world today. In its now 77-year old history, Sheed & Ward have published some of the most prominent names in Catholic thought, including Hans Kung, John Courtney Murray, Edward Schillebeeckx, Dororthy Day, Clare Boothe Luce, Jacques Maritain, Francois Mauriac, G.K. Chesterton, and Paul Claudel. In recent years, Sheed & Ward have published some of the most important contemporary Catholic and Christian writers from both North America and Europe, including Daniel Berrigan,
Andrew Greeley, Rowan Williams, Joan Chittister, Michael Walsh, and Daniel Harrington.

Currently under the ownership of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Sheed & Ward are continuing its founders' original vision
and expanding it to meet the challenges of the publishing world of the 21st century. Drawing both from the storied tradition begun by Frank Sheed and Maisie Ward in 1926 and innovative strategies to bring the company forward, the young, dynamic Sheed & Ward team are committed to being the preeminent publishers of Catholic writing in the English-speaking world.

If only they published Rembert Weakland and Richard O'Brien, they'd have it made, eh?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Approaching 60 days....

...and I'm still not blogging. And Oh, but I want to!

What I really don't get though is that I still get 30-60 hits a day, down from 150 or so when I was really trying. So it goes.