Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Kitchie on Love Life

I'd love to say "Hot off the press!" but the fact is, it'll be rolling off the press on Friday yet. Just wanted to post a "preview" here =)

In a week or two, the mag will be available at Shepherd's Staff, Books for Less, and Totus Bookstore. Then of course at the Pro-Life office in Q.C., it'll be up for sale starting this Monday.

More details later about what's inside (though you'll get an idea from the cover blurbs already). But trust me when I say that 35 pesos is really too cheap for such a loaded read!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Weighty issues

It looks like some people in the fashion and health industries are getting serious about doing their part to battle eating disorders (even skinny mannequins in Spain's shop windows will be replaced with ones of size 10 and above).

"It is not reasonable for a modern and advanced society to establish stereotypes of beauty that are far removed from the social reality of a community. It is everyone's commitment that beauty and health go hand in hand," Health Minister Elena Salgado said at a signing ceremony Tuesday.

The agreement follows last year's unprecedented decision by Spain's main fashion show, Madrid's Pasarela Cibeles, to ban some models from the catwalk on grounds they were too thin, saying this looked encouraged eating disorders among young people.

The Health Ministry's program aims to end a situation in which a woman who buys a size 40 dress from one designer may not fit in a size 40 garment from another designer. The ministry said the differences sometimes lead women to feel compelled to lose weight.

Read Spanish designers change women's sizes

Related news:

Spanish shop dummies to put on weight

Top British brand bars size zero models from fashion week

* * * * *

Addendum: Just in case that photo up there of the mannequins somehow ends up making thinness look glamorous and something to aspire for, maybe a photo of a real-live woman will bring home the point that maintaining a skeletal physique, even if you bask in the spotlights on a runway, is NOT a good thing when you are still alive in the first place.

They're not walking toothpicks

The fashion industry has to ask itself: Why do we want to be represented by a model who the average person would suspect is sick? Why shoot an advertising campaign using a model that women would pity rather than envy? The fashion industry likes to point out that a lot of these models are naturally super-skinny because of their metabolism, age or genetics. So what? Pear shapes are natural, too, but the industry has no trouble rejecting them.

The industry needs to think of models as women -- not as girls, mannequins, coat hangers or any of the other terms typically used to describe them. Think of them as women, and perhaps that's what they'll more often resemble.

Read They're Going, Going . . . Gaunt
The Washington Post

TeenSpeak 2007

Generations for Life is hosting TeenSpeak 2007 at the Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace, IL on Saturday, February 3. We were originally going to have our own GFL conference back in October, but Speak Out Illinois, a statewide conference, asked us to run their youth division - TeenSpeak. We jumped at the chance because it meant a better venue and reaching more teens. In the past TeenSpeak has drawn anywhere from 60-100 teens. We hope that if you are in the area you will attend. To register go here.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

See you at the finals

Fans were left gasping as it seemed whenever Federer touched the ball, it turned into an outrageous winner, shots that most of his rivals can only dream about.

Roddick was left reeling when he lost 11 games in a row and no matter how hard he tried, it appeared as if he was facing an opponent from a different planet.

That's how Reuters described how the 83-minute semifinal game went between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick today. I was out the entire afternoon so I wasn't able to catch the game. My mom watched it and said she had never seen Federer play that way and added that it was his greatest game ever (the Reuters story mentioned that even the Swiss master surprised himself, but ever the humble one, added that "the tournament isn't over yet so let's not get carried away." *swoon*). I hope there's a replay!

Read "Federer sends Roddick spinning into orbit"

Where have all the comments gone?

Because I just learned through a friend that his comments were not being published on my blog, which sounded ridiculous since I don't moderate comments and have never tried enabling moderation so I wouldn't know how to do that in the first place.

Then I checked. There were 17 unmoderated comments!!! Since early January!!! I have no idea how the settings changed, but I read all the comments that never got to see the light of day -- until now =)

Sorry for missing them, but at least they're there now. And I just thought regular visitors were feeling lazy about putting in their two cents worth for some reason...

By the way, I've disabled moderation here so if you comment, you'll see it pronto!

Have a restful weekend, everyone.

Family affair

I couldn't help but notice that Charmaine Yoest of the Family Research Council had her whole family (I only presume this is the whole family) taking part in the March for Life in full force. Like her title stated in one of her blog posts, activism sure is hard work -- especially for the littlest in the family.

Pumped for LIFE!

Wanted to share Eric Scheidler's post from the Generations for Life blog:

These guys are pumped! As John and I reached the corner of 6th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue before the March for Life, this crowd of guys from Cathedral Prep High School in Queens, NY shouted out, “Pro-Life?” We shouted back “Pro-Life!” and they cheered like they’d just scored the winning touchdown in the state championship.

They were psyched to be there at the March for Life, and we were excited to see a group of pro-life guys on fire. So often it’s the girls who take the lead, so we encouraged these guys to put their zeal into action by starting a pro-life club at their school. I took their picture with John (click it for a bigger version) and told them to come to our site to see it and learn all they need to know to start up a club.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

When life throws you lemons...

...make lemon squares. Hehe.

I had used dayap (Philippine lemon) the first few times, substituting the lemon juice in the recipe with the juice of the the fruits of our little dayap tree in the yard. They're green, a little less than half the size of the American lemon and taste almost the same except for that peculiar tang that characterizes the yellow fruit.

Alas, when the orders for lemon squares started coming a few weeks before Christmas Day, the dayap supply just wasn't enough, so on I went to Farmer's Market and purchased three dozen lemons. Have you tried squeezing lemons with your bare hands?? It is a test not only of physical strength but of fortitude and humility as well. (I've since bought a new juicer as the old one seems to have vanished)

Frankly, I find these lemon squares delectable--they truly make me go "mmmm" and silently pay homage to the bakers who have the creativity and genius to come up with these heavenly recipes. In my case, it was a cousin who shared this recipe with me.

Lemon Snow Squares
Makes 16.
Preparation time: 45 mins.

1 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
Confectioner's sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl. Cut in butter until mixture
resembles large peas.
3. Pat into 8-inch square baking pan. Smooth with floured spatula then bake
15 mins. or until edges are light brown.
4. Beat eggs in bowl, gradually adding 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tbsp. flour and baking
5. Stir in lemon juice and rind. Beat well.
6. Pour over crust. Bake 20 minutes.
7. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Cool. Cut into squares and store in airtight container.

* Image from Ritzcards

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

On to the semis

Roger Federer (right) has advanced to the Australian Open semifinals after defeating Tommy Robredo (left) in today's match. Both were great players--but Federer was simply greater!!

It's always exhilarating to watch athletes give their all to win every point.

Wonderful photos of March for Life 2007!

From Mommy Life:

March for Life 2007

As a former radical leftist, I attended many demonstrations in Washington, DC.

Now having attended the March for Life two years in a row, I'm amazed at how under-reported this event is - and all too aware of how that under-reporting contributes to the rampant stereotyping of pro-lifers as middle-aged white males.

I actually saw very few of those today!

What I saw were hundreds of thousands of people willing to brave the cold (DC had its first snow of the winter the night before) to affirm that a baby in the womb is not property to be destroyed, but a person that those committed to human rights must defend.

It's a child, not a choice!

Home from the March, fixed dinner for the family, putting kids to bed.

I took 207 pictures, and though I've had time to edit, my comments will have to wait 'til tomorrow. In the meantime, you can see a slideshow by clicking on the album below:


When you view so many pictures...

...you can forget where you saw them in the first place. This is the case for me as I've been scouring the Web since yesterday for accounts of what transpired at the March for Life activities. I probably downloaded these from ProLifeBlogs but I can't be sure. Go ahead and check the blog for more updates!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Blogs4Life Conference is Live

From ProLifeBlogs:

Blogs4Life has begun and is being shown live over the internet at the Family Research Council's Website. Click here.

I've had a late start live blogging and will try to fill in details as the conference progresses.

9:00 am - We had a great introduction by Charmaine Yoest, one of the conference founders and Vice President of Communications of the FRC. [note - thanks Charmaine and the FRC for hosting Blogs4Life!]

IMG_0317.jpg9:05 am - Tony Perkins, President of the FRC, commemorates the 34th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade and provides encouraging signs for the future.


9:15 am - Bobby Schindler revealed the untold story about how he and a blogger from Florida began publicizing his sister's fate. He makes a good point that the media has now re-written his sister's story, erroneously referring her to as "brain dead". Bobby calls bloggers to publish the facts of his sister's case.

9:35 am - Thanks for Rep. Duncan Hunter from California for stopping by and committing to take a stand for life.


9:45 am - Jill Stanek is giving a live demonstration involving the use of this blog to communicate over the internet. Click here for her presentation. Check out her blog entry referred to in her presentation - infanticide soften by referring to a born baby as a "fetus".

We ran into a small glitch with Jill's video, which is actually available online (click here).

Jill has given a great case for why Blogs are becoming a key element of the new media. She suggests that individual bloggers pick up a specific life issue and become a topic expert.

Comments provide a means to interact with others and answer questions, especially by those who support abortion.

10:10 am - Peter Samuelson from Americans United for Life is giving a great speech on how bloggers can make a difference in the political process. Every year 1,000 pro-life bills are considered by the states and individual bloggers can make a difference by choosing a niche.

Demonstrations precede the March for Life

From ProLifeBlogs:

Pro-life groups from all over the country are converging on Washington D.C. in anticipation of the March for Life, a massive demonstration aimed at memorializing the Supreme Court's infamous abortion decision and petitioning the Congress for change. The event event kicks off at 12:00 pm EST with a rally overlooking the United States Capitol and culminates in the March along Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court. As shown in the photo above, the stage was set-up on Saturday and the setting is truly remarkable.

Hundreds held signs and prayed Saturday in front of a downtown Planned Parenthood while "clinic escorts" waited eagerly for a customer to usher into the building. Participants included individuals from American Life League, Rock for Life and Pro-Life Wisconsin.

Sadly, as I watched, a group of "escorts" surrounded a young woman and guided her past the praying Christians and into the abortion mill. "It will be ok," she was told. "You'll be in the building soon." At the March for Life tomorrow, there will be hundreds present who testify to the contrary, having made a "decision" that became a source of hurt and pain. (Note: many have found healing - click here)

We don't know how many more woman approached the clinic but turned back after the pro-life witness made the dark reality of abortion evident. Photos of the event can be found below and at ProLifeNews.tv.

Read the rest at ProLifeBlogs.com

In San Francisco

From SFGate.com:

Abortion foes march against Roe vs. Wade
John King, Chronicle Staffwriter
Sun., Jan. 21, 2007

The national debate over abortion came to San Francisco's waterfront on Saturday, as thousands of abortion opponents marched peacefully along the Embarcadero while supporters of legal abortion staged a counterprotest alongside them.

* * * * *

25,000 participate in Pro-Life Walk in Pelosi's home city of San Francisco

The walk began with a rally at Justin Herman Plaza and proceeded along the San Francisco Waterfront to the Marina Green. Last year, 15,000 people attended the Walk for Life West Coast to celebrate women and to celebrate life. This year, organizers and law enforcement officials estimated that crowds were nearly double in size.

"The Walk for Life West Coast is a growing movement that is young, wonderful and vibrant," said Meehan, co-founder of Walk for Life West Coast. "Clearly, the pro-life movement is quite alive in California."

Full story at Christian News Wire

In Twin Falls, Idaho

From Birth Story:

Magic Valley Catholics plant 1,000 little crosses to deliver message about Roe vs. Wade
TWIN FALLS - Some Magic Valley Catholics gathered Saturday to express their belief that life at any stage is sacred.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Chromosome #21

I found this in the archives while navigating Mommy Life. The photo is recent, though, taken during Christmastime 2006 and shows Barbara with her husband and some of their 12 children. They've welcomed four kids with Down Syndrome into their happy home -- one by birth (Jonny, whom she writes about here), three by adoption.

Excerpts from "About that exra chromosome..."

My son Jonathan has a little extra. A little extra enthusiasm, a little extra innocence, a little extra charm. Oh, and did I mention an extra chromosome? The one on the 21st pair that inspires so much fear in parents-to-be.

I suppose at one time I was fearful about Down syndrome. But in 1993 when they placed the blue-blanketed bundle in my arms and I could see he looked - well, just a little different - I actually felt a sense of awe. Here will be a challenge - so many things to learn.

It helped that we already had a few "normal" children. But other things had opened my heart as well. There was Amy, a six-year-old cutiepie we babysat for now and then. Amy's dad had left shortly after her birth - just couldn't get into having a daughter with Down syndrome. On the brighter side was the dad and daughter duo I'd seen a month before riding the merry-go-round. A gleeful almond-eyes three-year-old, a father helplessly in love. There's something special here, I thought.


My son Jonny, now 12, is a snappy dresser and an avid movie/Broadway buff, with a repertoire including songs from Phantom of the Opera, Annie, Bye, Bye Birdie and more. He loves people of all ages, but babies make him turn to mush. He has an uncanny way with animals. He loves school, but that doesn't keep him from loving the thrill of snow days more.

At home or school or church he is the first to offer help, to comfort someone who's down, and to laugh uproariously at the punch lines. His preschool teacher named him Ambassador of Goodwill. His public school kindergarten teacher, after 30plus years of teaching, said she'd never seen children as loving and caring as Jonny's classmates. The secret, she said, was Jonny. When he graduated from her class, she wrote us: "As the Bible says, "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Jonny certainly taught the children and me to look at the heart; for he has a very big heart!"

He's been a gift I never would have thought to ask for, bringing lessons I never knew I needed to learn. The greatest surprise is this: Our life together has been less about my helping him reach his potential than about him helping me reach mine.

Read the whole thing at Mommy Life

Townhall columnist Floyd Brown on Ronald Reagan and the Annual March for Life

Abortion was, in President Reagan’s view, an infringement on God’s sacred command to protect innocent human life. Indeed, Reagan felt so passionately about the right to life that he felt without it, other rights had no meaning. He called the restoration of the right to life the most important challenge facing the character of America. President Reagan believed that the continuance of abortion, the taking of some 4,000 lives of children everyday, would only bring about trouble for America. He even posed the ominous question: “Do you really think… God will protect us in a time of crisis even as we turn away from him in our day-to- day life?”

Read the rest

Hat tip: Alexa

Jan. 21, 2007 proclaimed Nat'l Sanctity of Human Life Day

National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2007; By the President of the United States of America -- A Proclamation

Contact: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 202-456-2580

, Jan. 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following text is a proclamation by President Bush:

was founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator with the right to life and that every individual has dignity and worth. National Sanctity of Human Life Day helps foster a culture of life and reinforces our commitment to building a compassionate society that respects the value of every human being.

Among the most basic duties of Government is to defend the unalienable right to life, and my Administration is committed to protecting our society's most vulnerable members. We are vigorously promoting parental notification laws, adoption, abstinence education, crisis pregnancy programs, and the vital work of faith-based groups. Through the "Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002," the "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003," and the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004," we are helping to make our country a more hopeful place.

One of our society's challenges today is to harness the power of science to ease human suffering without sanctioning practices that violate the dignity of human life. With the right policies, we can continue to achieve scientific progress while living up to our ethical and moral responsibilities.

National Sanctity of Human Life Day serves as a reminder that we must value human life in all forms, not just those considered healthy, wanted, or convenient. Together, we can work toward a day when the dignity and humanity of every person is respected.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Sunday, January 21, 2007, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call upon all Americans to recognize this day with appropriate ceremonies and to underscore our commitment to respecting and protecting the life and dignity of every human being.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.


Friday, January 19, 2007

About some of our Asian neighbors

Sometimes, it feels like my country has been invaded by Koreans. In Manila at least, especially in shopping malls and nearby areas, they are everywhere. Can't say I'm happy about it but what can I do? They've discovered the Philippines as the way to learn English without draining their bank accounts. Everything here is cheap, they say. And they raid the supermarket shelves containing dried mangoes (well, those really are hard to resist).

Anyway, I know it isn't fair to generalize. But I will -- in the form of "I wish." I wish Koreans here would mind their manners more. That is my generalization.

At this point I'd like to mention Jinna, a Korean college student whom I tutored for several months. Jinna is pleasant, refined and fun to be with. I helped her with her English (along with Phil. History as well as Psychology classes) for a while, but apart from that we had a good time just talking. We even went to the movies and had lunch a few times. Then several months later, after I had ceased to be her tutor, she got in touch with me to say that her boyfriend, Peter, was in need of a tutor. So Peter became my student. Peter was like a male version of Jinna -- well-mannered and cheery. Too bad he had to go back to Korea only about a month into our tutorials.

So, everytime I'm irritated by Koreans habits which I find annoying, I simply think of Jinna and Peter and remember that people are just different. Oh, did I mention that Korean soap operas are the rage here?? I'm not into them, though. Somehow, listening to Orientals chat in Tagalog gives me the creeps (in a funny way).

Okay, two features here about Korea. The first is from MercatorNet's Family Edge newsletter (Jan. 8 issue). For the other one, I thank Alexa at Birth Story. Her blog is such a rich source of news and other materials!

South Korea wants happy families on TV

Birth control groups in South Korea have a new and challenging job on their hands. After 40 years of talking down the birth rate, the government wants them to talk it up. Last month the Planned Population Federation of Korea held a seminar for writers of TV soaps and dramas, urging them to create more situations that show happy mothers with their children. "We are just asking the writers to be more considerate because some programmes now depict career women as being very egotistical, thinking only of themselves," said the group's Shin Sun-chol.

A recent government study of 50 South Korean dramas shows a television landscape in which single life is portrayed as cool, children as a burden, and love as something that does not always have to lead to marriage and a family. Such shows draw big audiences and are very influential with women in their 20s and 30s.

An October poll for the Health and Welfare Ministry found that 71 per cent of unmarried men considered marriage "necessary" while the same percentage of unmarried women preferred a good job to marriage. More than a third of married women now say that having children is not a priority -- up from 9 per cent in 1998. The birthrate fell in 2005 to a record low of 1.08, setting South Korea up to be the world's most aged society by 2050.

And the TV writers? Ten men and 22 women turned out to the seminar. The women said it was difficult to have a family and a television career. One said it was more exciting to write about families with problems than to write about happy families. The writers balked at writing more kids into prime time scripts -- they would have to give each a line and it would be too much work. ~ Los Angeles Times, December 10

* * * * *

South Korea High School Students Have Abortions at High Clip

Seoul, South Korea (LifeNews.com) -- New statistics in South Korea show that high school students are having abortions at a high rate as more than one in four female students who are sexually active have had an abortion. That's according to a new survey conducted by the Korea Federation for HIV/AIDS Prevention.

The group questioned 2,898 middle school and high school students in Seoul and found that 26.9 percent of female high school students who had sexual intercourse had abortions.

Full story at LifeNews

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Swiss Mister

The Australian Open is underway and my mother and I are rooting for the world's # 1!

More about Roger Federer

Less than a week to go!

Washington, D.C. - Monday, January 22nd at 9:00 am, Family Research Council, located at 801 G Street, NW, will host Blogs4Life, the second annual conference of pro-life bloggers.

Blogs4Life is scheduled to take place the day of the 34th annual March for Life, during which thousands of pro-life advocates gather in the Nation's capitol to celebrate life and demand the reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

More details at blogs4life.com

More news plus photos

There's so much news revolving around the March for Life events! Here are some of them --

Portugal plans March for Life Jan. 28
In effort to resist abortion referendum, joins marches worldwide
By Cassidy Bugos

LISBON, Portugal, January 17, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The nation of Portugal is set to witness its first March for Life Sunday January 28.

Full story

* * * * *

Memorial service for the unborn to be held at State Capitol

ATLANTA, GA--(MARKET WIRE)--Jan 12, 2007 -- Together for Life Memorial Service and Walk, Georgia's largest annual pro-life gathering, will be held Monday, January 22, 2007 on the steps of the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta, Georgia.

Full story

* * * * *

France: Jan. 21 International March for Life expected to draw 10,000 participants
By Gudrun Schultz

PARIS, France, January 12, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Federation of Organizations in the Defense of Life is anticipating at least 10,000 participants for the 2007 March for Life scheduled for Paris January 21, with pro-life groups from several European countries expected to attend again this year.

Full story

* * * * *

Now for some photos of scenes from past March for Life events. The first was taken in Colorado in 2006, while the rest are shots of the event in Washington DC on the same year and in 2005.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Who brought the cat?

I just had to put this here. I get such a kick out of this photo that everytime I look at it, I cannot refrain from chuckling -- a chuckle that at times progresses into a hearty laugh (which isn't a good thing when you're in a public internet cafe, like what happened to me the first time I set eyes on this photo after roaming Cute Overload's archives).

"Who brought the cat?" is the title, but if you must know, Photoshop magic went into the airborne feline's hitching a ride with the little girls. Here's the original from which the supercat came --

What technology can do. Makes you wonder if all (and which ones) those photos in the papers have undergone some kind of manipulation...

Monday, January 15, 2007

You can't beat kids' imagination

It's been a while since I last visited Funnykids.com or checked out the archives at Heartwarmers.com, where there are some anecdotes about children and the amusing things they've said. Fortunately, I get light and funny stuff on email, like this which a friend sent me --

Kids in church

3-year-old Reese:

"Our Father, Who does art in heaven
Harold is His name.

* * * * *

A little boy was overheard praying:
"Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am."

* * * * *

I had been teaching my 3-year-old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord's Prayer for several evenings at bedtime.
She would repeat after me the lines from the prayer.
Finally, she decided to go solo.
I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer.
"Lead us not into temptation," she prayed,
"but deliver us from E-mail."

* * * * *

Six-year-old Angie and her four-year-old brother, Joel, were sitting together in church.
Joel giggled, sang and talked out loud.
Finally, his big sister had had enough.
"You're not supposed to talk out loud in church."
"Why? Who's going to stop me?" Joel asked.
Angie pointed to the back of the church and said,
"See those two men standing by the door?
They're hushers."

* * * * *

A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3.
The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.
"If Jesus were sitting here, he would say,
'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'?
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said,
"Ryan, you be Jesus!"

* * * * *

A wife invited some people to dinner.
At the table, she turned to her 6-year-old daughter and said,
"Would you like to say the blessing?"
"I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied.
"Just say what you hear Mommy say," the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said,
"Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"

Bringing the inside out

From Genevieve at Feminine Genius --

Defining -- or being defined

In this rough and tumble piece (not modest fare, to be sure) Kay Hymowitz goes a long way around to say what has been blatantly obvious to anyone who understands the mystery and lure of modesty. Using contemporary anecdotes (yes, our beloved Paris Hilton and Britney Spears) she shows that women have shot themselves in the foot by baring too much to strangers.

The problem with a Britney or a Bentley is not that they are floozies. It is rather that they are, paradoxical as it might seem, naive. They underestimate the magnetic force field created by intimate sexual information and violate the logic of privacy that should be all the more compelling in a media-driven age. People in the public eye always risk becoming objectified; they are watched by hordes of strangers who have only fragmentary information about them. When that information includes details that only their Brazilian waxers should know for sure, it's inevitable that, humans being the perverse creatures that they are, all other facts of identity will fall away. Instead of becoming freer, the exhibitionist becomes an object defined primarily by a narrow sexual datum.

Every publicist knows this. Even in the world of politics, the first question a candidate has to consider is whether he has "name recognition;" and secondly, for those who have it, is the name associated with "positives" or negatives."

Thus, in this modern, fast-paced world, people reduce public figures to bullet points: Monica = intern, blue dress; Arnold = body-builder, Terminator, Maria Shriver; Hillary = universal health care, Whitewater, constant makeovers. You get the drift. People make quick associations and move on -- and a public figure is happy to be on anyone's radar screen, even as a blip (go figure).

But even small town talk and high school memories end up with the same result. Sherry = athlete; Jessica = the brain; Carly = fast. These are probably unfair labels for complex people, but it's how a large world operates. In that sense, one has to carefully guard one's reputation because our fallen nature rarely gives us room to explain. Interestingly, Susan Sontag, it is presumed, understood this.

It was doubtless for this reason that Susan Sontag hesitated to write about her romantic relationship with the photographer Annie Leibovitz. After her death, many accused Sontag of cowardice and hypocrisy for avoiding the L-word, but this seems an unlikely charge. A woman who braved the brutes of Kosovo, Sontag was probably less fearful of having it known that she was in love with a woman than of having it become the defining trait of her public identity; she must have dreaded being boxed in as the "lesbian writer Susan Sontag."

She wanted to define herself, rather than be defined with a bullet point created by others. Thus for her, virtue was not the point, but "ownership" of her public personae was. That we could all be this wise.

The overall point is one of common sense, one that the Church has argued since her inception: women who are free with their bodies will be objectified, which is beneath their dignity. In living chastely in all states of life, a person is most respected as an integral being of depth, intrigue, and complexity.

Ironically, the more you show (physically), the less folks process. Cheap. Fast. Easy. With these bullet points attached to one's name, the face, the personality, the beauty of the soul are shot. Of course, our motherly hearts would never reduce anyone to this inhuman vision, right? When we see more in others -- especially their potential, we remind them of who they are called to be. Modesty says the body is so important, that less is so much more.

** Illustration from WSJ.com

Stand True stands up for Life

Remember the Student's Day of Silent Solidarity (renamed Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity) held every October? Stand True Ministries, the event's organizer, is holding March for Life weekend activities as well. From the Stand True website --

Our hotel block is now full, but we want to invite anyone to join us for any of the events over the weekend.

Here is a tentative schedule of Stand True's Events:

Friday Night: Arrive in D.C. - Evening meeting and prayer at the Holiday Inn

Saturday Morning: We will be starting our 24-hour prayer vigil at 8:00 a.m. at the Washington Surgi-center near the campus of George Washington University. At 10:00 a.m. we will do a one-mile prayer walk to Planned Parenthood. We will pray at Planned Parenthood, as a group, until 12:00 Noon and then break into shifts for the rest of the 24 hours. We will maintain our presence at Planned Parenthood until 6:00 PM, at which time we will move the prayer vigil indoors.

Saturday Afternoon: We will continue the 24-hour prayer vigil, in shifts, until 8:00 am on Sunday morning. When not on shift, Saturday afternoon will be free time to see some of Washington D.C.

Saturday Evening: Saturday evening we will be having a pizza party followed by our pro-life movie and discussion time. Stand True has always stressed how pro-life is more than just anti-abortion. This year's movie selection is about another form of inhumanity that is taking place in the world against precious little children. We will be showing the movie, The Invisible Children, and having a discussion time afterwards. We will have staff from Invisible Children at the screening of the movie.

Sunday Morning: We will meet in the lobby of the Holiday Inn at 7:30 a.m. for the last half hour of the 24-hour prayer vigil. Everyone is free to attend any local church. We will also be holding a prayer time and Bible study that morning at the Hyatt.

Sunday Afternoon: We will be leaving from the Hyatt Regency lobby at 1:00 p.m. and going to Arlington National Cemetery.

Sunday Evening: Stand True will be hosting their annual Candle Light Prayer Vigil at the Supreme Court starting at 5:45 PM. We will meet in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency at 5:15 p.m. and walk over at 5:30 p.m.. We will then return to the Hyatt Regency for an evening rally hosted by CEC for Life, with praise music and Bryan Kemper speaking.

Monday: We will be attending the National Memorial for the Unborn in the Dirksen Senate Building at 8:30 AM. We will leave the Dirksen Senate Building at 10:30 a.m. to get to the March for Life site where we will be passing out postcards, promoting Stand True and the Official March for Life t-shirt. The march will begin around 1:00 p.m. and end around 3:00 p.m.. We will get together for one last picture at the end of the March for Life before we say goodbye.

Again, we welcome anyone to join us for any of the events. If you plan on attending the pizza and movie night, but are not staying in the hotel with us, we will ask for a $5 donation towards the food and room rental. We will also need to know if you are coming ahead of time, as spots are limited. E-mail us at info@standtrue.com to reserve a spot for the pizza and movie night.

If you would like to march with Stand True we will be meeting on the North West Corner of 7th and Madison on the Mall at 11:30 a.m.. Please let us know if you will be marching with us by sending an e-mail to sarah@standtrue.com

Important Address and numbers:

Holiday Inn Capitol
550 C St. SW, Washington DC, DC 20024

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., USA 20001

Planned Parenthood - Farragut North Metro Stop
1108 16th St NW
Washington, DC 20036

Washington Surgi-Clinic - Foggy Bottom Metro Stop
2112 F St NW # 400
Washington, DC 20037

Important mobile numbers are also listed in the website if you'd like to get in touch with Bryan or others at Stand True.

East Coast and West Coast events

Get involved! Not only will you learn -- you'll get to network with other young pro-lifers from all over as well and converge at Capitol Hill.

Go to Rock for Life for more info including the detailed schedule of exciting activities throughout the weekend.

* * * * *

Here's an article about the Walk for Life in San Francisco:

20,000 Expected to Participate in Third Annual 'Walk for Life West Coast' - Saturday - January 20, 2007

Contact: Stan Devereux, Steve Wharton, Walk for Life West Coast, 916-446-6409

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 12 /Christian Newswire/ -- In its third year, Walk for Life West Coast has rapidly become one of the fastest growing, most diverse Pro-Women /Pro-Life events in the nation and is expected to draw more than 20,000 supporters to San Francisco on Saturday, January 20.

Last year, more than 15,000 families, friends and students attended the Walk for Life West Coast to celebrate women and to celebrate life. This year, event organizers and law enforcement officials are preparing for an even greater turnout.

Full story here

Do you still doubt...

...that we need to stand up for life?

Woman suffers painful death at Zurich suicide facility

Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I'm 63?

Nobel Prize winner is more than anti-Semitic

Spanish Socialists block aid to pregnant women in Spain while promoting abortion in Latin America

What some people call "compassion" is not compassion at all. It is convenience.

The art of the matter

Curlin Reed Sullivan

Hat tip: Karin's Style Blog

Saturday, January 13, 2007

An interesting way of puttin' it

Saw this at Mommy Life --

Cowboy's Ten Commandments, posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Fairlie, Texas.

(1) Just one God.
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(3) No telling tales or gossipin'.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meeting.
(5) Put nothin' before God.
(6) No foolin' around with another gal if you already got one, and no foolin' around with another fellow's gal if you ain't got one.
(7) No killin'.
(8) Watch yer mouth.
(9) Don't take what ain't yers.
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.

Are you going?

I learned from Alexa at Birth Story that EWTN will have pro-life programming (including the airing of special live events) this month to celebrate life and to fight the culture of death. As expected, there will be lots to cover, with the annual March for Life coming up (Jan. 22) -- the March for Life being the biggest yearly pro-life event and this year being the 34th. Scenes from the 2006 event (images from Jewels of the Jungle) --

The main March for Life is always held at Washington D.C. but there are plenty of satellite activities (around and outside the U.S.) if not on the same day then thereabouts. One of them is the Walk for Life West Coast.

And there's even the Blogs for Life Conference, now on its 2nd year! Check out Blogs4Life.com for details like schedule, registration and featured guests.

I'll be posting more info on the various events over the next several days. By the way, the theme guiding the 2007 March for Life is 'Protect the Equal Right to Life.'

Friday, January 12, 2007


...and fervently hoping to get an interview with her for the magazine's next issue.

I'll know by tomorrow night.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

More fruits of creativity

Today I rummaged through some boxes in our garage -- boxes containing old magazines that I threw out a month ago. After seeing what great things one could do with old and seemingly useless stuff, like these belt buckles and wallets, I decided to reclaim two junked magazines. Who knows what masterpieces I could fashion later on with colorful pages?

Check out what Maxine, Dear comes up with using recycled book covers and magazine pages. Interesting, too, is how the artist photographs the finished products (set in doll houses).

When I checked out the site again today, the Beatles belt buckle and WW2 wallet have been sold. There are new items, though, such as the New England Village book wallet, created from the book's cover found at an amish thrift store after being discarded from a library.

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