The controversy surrounds a storage shed built by the baseball booster club at Arbor View High School in Las Vegas. The youngsters needed a place to store their bats and balls and bases.
The boosters had wanted to build a clubhouse for the teenage ball players, but after months of delay they came up with an alternative plan.
One of the parents knew the owner of a company that made precast one-story buildings. The company offered to donate the manpower and materials to build the boys a shed.
Team sports are an important part of many lives of our youth, but all to often the adults take over and spoil the fun and the lessons that can be learned…
As the youngest of 4 athletic brothers and a 3-sport all-state sister, I grew up being towed around to hundreds of my siblings’ games and tournaments. From a very young age, I remember traveling to places like Pflugerville, TX to watch my older brothers play under those hallowed “Friday night lights.” I vividly remember those games where I looked on in awe, dreaming about the day when it would be my turn to take the field.
As my family moved across 4 US states and did a stint in Alberta, Canada as well, I ended up playing on many different teams throughout my youth and was exposed to a wide variety of coaches, as well as coaching styles and philosophies. After playing soccer, basketball, and football, I was fortunate to get the opportunity to play Division I football at Brigham Young University. It was at BYU that I would be exposed to knowledgeable professional coaches, from whom I learned a ton about how to play the game at an entirely new level.
For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.
In Detroit, you knew it was spring, not by the temperatures outside, but by the voice of Ernie on the air. Each and every Detroit Tigers Baseball session started off with the Voice of the Turtle, a short verse from the book of Solomon, yet, most of us hearing the words had no idea they were from the bible. I know that when I was growing up hearing Ernie’s words, I thought it was just a pome he wrote for the start of spring, I had no idea that he was evangelizing me, I had no idea I was hearing the inspired word of God.
Isn’t that just how life is, we hear something, it sounds cute, it sounds good, yet we fail to hear the voice of God with in it. But yet, like Ernie’s rendition of the Voice of the Turtle, it resonates with you, it seems to fill a spot within your heart. I know that’s how it was with Ernie, and that’s how it still is, even today when I hear his voice, I hear his reading of the Voice of the Turtle, I feel spring has arrived, all is right with the world. It’s amazing how certain things effect us.
God is that way, when you allow Him to be. He will resonate within you, make all things right, if you allow Him too. But like hearing the voice of summer, you have to tune in, to hear Ernie call a baseball game was like being in the park, feeling the sunshine and smelling the hotdogs. He made you fell as if you were apart of the action, one of the fans right behind home plate.
I remember many a Saturday afternoons listening to Ernie call a game, his voice was baseball, and you truly did feel safe and secure with his voice on the radio. Several years ago Ernie passed away, and it was like all of Michigan lost a grandfather, and we all knew Detroit Baseball would never be the same. Something was lost, the voice of summer had died. Sure, he had not been calling games for a few years before he passed on, but he was still there, you would hear him on the radio every now and than and you knew he was watching his beloved Tigers, just as you were. It just seemed different after his passing, nothing was the same, summer had lost its voice and silence now rained. Dramatic sounding I know, but some people just have the effect on you, some moments or memories are just that strong, and Ernie is one such memory. And not just for me, but for millions of fans.
Last year I had the opportunity to see a play in downtown Detroit called “Ernie!”, yep a play about the voice of summer. It was written by our own Mitch Album, a local sports writer and radio personality, and know nationally for his best selling book “Tuesdays with Morrie”. The one act play was a sell out each and every night and is returning this year for another go around. An amazing thing, if you stop and think about it, Ernie was just a sports broadcaster, a baseball guy. He didn’t invent the cure for cancer, he died from it. he didn’t bring world peace to the world, he brought baseball to the homes. He was, by every account, just a man who loved baseball, his wife Lulu and his kids. He was just Ernie. But he was beloved by all and holds a special place in the hearts of all Detroiters, for Ernie was, and still is to many, the voice of summer. Ernie knew his gifts and used them everyday, in small ways, to make God know and visible in this world. Be it by reading a small poem on the air waves, or by making us all feel as if we are welcomed into his world of baseball. It was his gifts that he chose to share with the world, and we are all better of for it. Ernie was truly one of a kind, he truly was a gift from God.
Lent offers us an opportunity to look into ourselves, to evaluate our gifts and to determine the best way to share them with others. God gave Ernie the gift of Baseball, the gift to make you feel welcomed and the gift of the love of life, what gift do you have, and how are you using it. Find ways this Lent to use your gifts, to share them with others, to make God known a little better in this world.
God Bless & Happy Lent
Harvard University did a study on the effects of children attending a 4th of July celebrations. Yep, you read it right, the effects of the 4th of July celebrations on children. The results, simply put, children who attend some sort for 4th of July celebration will more than likely turn out to be…. Republicans…
• Fourth of July celebrations have a significant impact upon people’s political preferences;
• Attending one Fourth of July before age 18 increases the likelihood of identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent and voting for the Republican candidate by 4 percent. It also increases voter turnout by 0.9 percent and boosts political campaign contributions by 3 percent. (The press release)
So for me, I say if that is the case, than every child should attend a BBQ or parade on the 4th of July. Maybe our nation will than have a chance to survive.
But the better questions is why does 4th of July celebrations turn kids in to Republicans, and not Democrats? My simple answer, Republicans love America, Democrats despise her, so they wont show up at a 4th of July celebration anyway.
A Brief History of Fourth of July
On July 3, 1776, John Adams, the second president of the United States wrote “[Fourth of July]
ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance…It ought to be solemnized with pomp and
parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this
continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore” (Adams, 1776, p. 3).9 In the years that followed, Fourth of July was the only national holiday, marking the date of the nation’s existence and serving as a display of national unity. The latter function of Independence Day was particularly important in helping the scattered citizens of 13 states view themselves as part of a single nation (Waldstreicher, 1995; Travers, 1997; Heintze, 2007). Celebrations in the early republic included militia drills, processions, readings of the Declaration, dinners, and fireworks. 10 Present-day festivities took form in the late 19th and early 20th century, being part of the Progressive Movement’s effort to revive civic ceremonies on Fourth of July. Appelbaum (1989) describes how the tastes of the progressive reformers ran towards “patriotic pageants, patriotic music, parades with patriotic floats, marching units patriotically costumed in period dress, and tableaux vivants depicting patriotic scenes in American history” (Appelbaum, 1989, p. 141). Through campaigns such as “Safe and Sane July Fourth”, the reformers sought to convince local civic officials to make the public holiday resemble a playground festival, in which children performed dramatic skits and dances (Smilor, 1980; Glassberg, 1987). In documenting Fourth of July celebrations in Minnesota in the early and mid 20th century, Nemanic (2007) writes “Independence Day programs featured events for the entire family, with particular emphasis placed on children…festivities would begin with a noisy wakeup ritual followed by a patriotic parade. Afterwards, a formal ceremony might be held that included orations and readings from the Declaration of Independence. The afternoon offered an array of contests, concerts, and sporting events. In the evening,…a torch light parade might be held…Fireworks ended most celebrations” (Nemanic, 2007, p. 121).
Celebrations in the first half of the 20th century were political events. Local politicians were
involved in planning for the occasion, as well as providing financial support to the Fourth of July
festivities. They also participated actively in the parades and presented orations during the formal ceremonies. Many used the holiday to campaign or to gain visibility between campaigns by giving political speeches. In the cities, civic groups and political parties organized separate events to further their particular cause (Appelbaum, 1989; Nemanic, 2007).
Fourth of July in the 1950’s and the 1960’s included beauty contests, auto races, regattas, dog
shows, and parachute-jumping contests, as well as traditional parades and orations (Appelbaum, 1989). The holiday became increasingly commercialized as businesses took over the Fourth of July program sponsorship from town volunteer committees and the political parties (Nemanic, 2007). Also, the backyard barbecue was institutionalized during this period, making Fourth of July a more private tradition among friends as opposed to a community festival. As a consequence of the holiday’s changed character, the event became depoliticized. While Fourth of July celebrations in the last 40 years have kept much of the private features introduced in the 1950’s and 1960’s, some of the patriotic practices from the beginning of the 20th century were reintroduced. Contemporary festivities can be full-day affairs, with parades and speeches in the morning followed by afternoon barbecues, tailgating, and evening fireworks (Heintze, 2007).
9John Adams’ letter to his wife, Abigail, actually spoke of July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved, but from the outset, Americans celebrated independence on Fourth of July, the date shown on the Declaration of Independence (Appelbaum, 1989).
10Historic accounts further document how newspapers played a vital role in spreading common Fourth of July practices across the country (Waldstreicher, 1995; Newman, 1999).
I pray that everyone has a blessed, fun and safe 4th of July celebration, and God Bless America!
It has been 25 years since the space shuttle Challenger exploded upon lift-off, and our space program has never truly recovered. After the tragic explosion President Reagan comforted the American public but also pledged to continue with space exploration. With the second space shuttle tragedy President Bush began the process of grounding the shuttles altogether. With only three more flights scheduled, Americas domination in space is set to end. And along with it our investment in our future is also set to end.
Our vision of one day traveling space, the final frontier, like Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise is becoming a pipe dream. The reality of it ever happening is becoming less and less. America needs NASA and all her innovation, the space program has saved lives made our day-to-day living more pleasurable and is a source of pride for all Americans.
One of President Obama’s fist acts as President was to reshape and refocus NASA, with the directive to become a quasar diplomatic are of the US government.
“Bolden: I am here in the region – its sort of the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s visit to Cairo – and his speech there when he gave what has now become known as Obama’s “Cairo Initiative” where he announced that he wanted this to become a new beginning of the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world. When I became the NASA Administrator – before I became the NASA Administrator – he charged me with three things: One was that he wanted me to re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, that he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.” (source)
NASA as an outreach to the Muslim world, really, that’s our space program. Yes President Obama also had some ambition that also included space, but the simple fact that NASA is not in public relations with the Muslim world sets a new tone for our space program. One that is not space oriented, but rather one that is diplomatic in nature.
This is a new tone for NASA, one that is as far as you can get from the tone that JFK set for America:
“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.”
(Kennedy’s Speech: + HTML Excerpt, + PDF Excerpt, + Full Text) (source)
The American space program is part and parcel to American exceptionalism, we must continue to spend time, talent and money in this endeavor. American needs NASA now more than ever, we need something to place our dreams in and we need to see achievements that we once thought were impossible. The Space Program has given us many modern technologies, such as:
1. SATELLITE TELEVISION: Our world would not be the same without the satellites now in orbit around the Earth – all thanks to the space program. They not only give us satellite broadcast television and radio but also power telecommunications including mobile phones and terrestrial TV networks.
2. SAT NAV: The global positioning system on which our in-car navigation systems are based was developed by the US Department of Defense. They would not exist without the space satellites.
3. GOOGLE EARTH: Mapping was never as accurate as the images we can now get thanks to satellites which from space can even see a dog in your back garden.
4. VIRTUAL REALITY: NASA-developed research and advanced technology devices allow users to project themselves into a computer-generated environment. When coupled with a stereo-viewing device and appropriate software, it creates a feeling of actually being there.
5. ARTIFICIAL LIMBS: Prosthetic limbs are not new but advancements in space robotics are being adapted to create more lifelike, functioning limbs.
6. DIALYSIS: Modern machines to do the work of the kidneys – for patients waiting for or unable to have transplants – were developed as a result of a NASA-developed chemical process.
7. MRI AND CAT SCANS: NASA did not invent magnetic resonance imaging but it has contributed to major advances thanks to research into computer enhancement of pictures sent from the moon. Digital image processing has led to enhanced images of human organs.
8. BREAST CANCER SCREENING: A silicon chip originally developed for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope makes the testing process less painful, less scarring and less expensive than traditional biopsy methods.
Heroes … Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin
9. ULTRASOUND TO ASSESS SKIN DAMAGE: An advanced instrument uses ultrasound technology to assess the depth of burn damage immediately, improving patient treatment and saving lives in serious burn cases.
10. EAR THERMOMETER: Removing the need to use intrusive, mercury-based thermometers on newborn babies and critically ill patients, the ear thermometer uses infrared astronomy technology to measure the amount of energy emitted by the eardrum. This is how NASA measures the temperature of stars and planets.
11. ATTENTION GETTER: Techniques used to measure brain activity in NASA pilots are being used to improve attention spans for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
12. ROAD SAFETY: The cutting of grooves in concrete to increase traction was developed to reduce space shuttle accidents on runways. It is now applied to roads and has cut US traffic accidents by 85 per cent.
13. IMPROVED RADIAL TYRES: Goodyear developed a fibrous material five times stronger than steel for NASA to use in parachutes to land the Viking explorers on Mars. They expanded the technology to produce a harder-wearing radial car tire.
14. LANDMINE REMOVAL: Surplus rocket fuel is used for a flare that can burn a hole in the case of a mine and burn away its explosive content.
15. STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS: NASA software engineers have created thousands of computer programs to find imperfections in aerospace structures and components which has proved invaluable in air safety.
16. WATER FILTERS: Water-cleaning technology has existed since the early Fifties but NASA came up with ways to filter it in more extreme situations. The activated charcoal with silver ions used in commercial filter systems cleans the water and kills bacteria.
17. FREEZE-DRIED FOOD: NASA carried out extensive research to reduce the weight of food to be carried on missions. The result was a method for cooking food, freezing it quickly, then slowly heating it in a vacuum chamber to remove the ice crystals. The end product weighs one fifth of the original, while retaining 98 per cent of its nutrition.
18. TEMPER FOAM: NASA developed a soft, high-energy-absorbent padding to improve crash protection in aircraft. Now ?memory foam? is used in mattresses, pillows, military and civilian vehicles, sports safety equipment, amusement park rides, furniture and artificial limbs.
19. SCRATCH-RESISTANT LENSES: A modified version of a process developed by NASA involves coating the lenses with a film of carbon that helps avoid scratches and decreases friction and reduces water spots.
20. RIBBED SWIMSUITS: The swimsuit worn by Olympic sensation Michael Phelps was developed with NASA technology. Aerodynamic research came up with material which give 15 per cent faster speeds than any other swimsuit thanks to small, barely visible grooves that reduce friction and drag.
21. AERODYNAMIC GOLF BALLS: Technology is behind the design of golf balls with 500 dimples in a pattern of 60 triangles which allows the ball to maintain its initial speed longer and produce a more stable flight for better accuracy and distance.
22. ATHLETIC SHOES: Moon-boot material has been incorporated into running shoe midsoles to improve shock absorption and provide better stability and motion control.
23. PERSONAL ALARM SYSTEMS: A pen-sized ultrasonic transmitter used by prison guards, teachers, the elderly and disabled to call for help is based on space technology.
24. SPACE PENS: Most pens depend on gravity to make the ink flow to the ballpoint. The space pen was developed for the gravity-free space environment so that the ink cartridge contains pressurized gas to push the ink towards the ballpoint, so you can write upside down.
25. CORDLESS POWER TOOLS: The household and DIY products firm Black & Decker came up with a portable drill capable of extracting core samples from below the lunar surface during the Apollo missions. The same technology has been used on cordless miniature vacuum cleaners. (source)
Think cell phone, microwaved dinners and the computer I am using to post this blog. NASA may not have invented all of them, but it is because of NASA and the innovations created for our space program that I am able to post to the net at all.
So instead of looking to high-speed trains as an investment into America, look to NASA. I would consider that to be a nobler investment, and one that would have a far greater impact on American than a train that can get me from Detroit to DC in 1 hour. With NASA fully funded and achievable goals the sky truly is the limit for the American Dream.
The scandal of the Church has been on the front pages of the papers and lead stories on the nightly news. Over all this is a good thing, the Church needs to deal with this scandal. But what confuses me is the pure joy they, meaning the media, seem to get from all this. The catholic priest who molested young boys need help and prayers for sure, the bishops who allowed this to carry on and moved them from parish to parish need to be reprimanded, they need to step down. But why al the joy in the media?
It is good that the media is investigating the scandal, or should I say it would be good if they were investigating the scandal fairly. But that is not the case, they are on a witch hunt and they are willing to take down the innocent as well as the guilty, and at the same time look the other way when it comes to our school systems or other faiths. This to me is a misuse of power and an injustice to children.
The current scandal in the Church is a scandal from twenty or thirty or more years ago, by no means lessening the travesty of it all, the over all population of priest involved is 2% at most. Once again not taking anything away from the harm caused, 2% is way to much, .0001% is to much, but over all 2% of our priest is not a large number.
Family members — fathers, stepfathers, uncles, older siblings — commit 47% of all reported sexual assaults against children in their own homes.
49% of all sexual assaults against children are committed by persons known either by the child or the child’s family — teachers, coaches, physicians, ministers, priests, neighbors, youth leaders. (Source)
Over all the reporting on the scandal in the Church has been a scandal unto itself. And with the current wave of anti-Catholic feelings I expect it will continue for sometime to come. But we as Catholics can do something about we can fight back, promote the positive aspects of the Church, the good She does for youth and the community She resides in. We can also point out, in letters to the editors, the injustice of the persecution of the Church over our public schools.
In a way the abuse at the public schools is an even greater evil than the priest. We have no choice but to send our youth to school, and we allow teachers to have full access to our youth 8 hour per day, five days a week. And if they are involved in sports, we also allow them to change in front of grown adults. We, in some ways are asking for it,
The scandal involving the priest is sickening at best, but we hold some of that responsibility ourselves. We places the parish priest upon pedestals and made them gods in there own rights, we allowed our children to spend the night at the rectory or to go on trips with them. Sure some parents were good friends with the priest, and as the statistics above state 49% of abuse is by someone they know and trust. But do we have to allow the percentage to go up? Do we have to feed in to it?
The problem of abuse is a social problem and it is not a new problem, it is as old as time (article). The Greek society is full of stories of young boys and me, by no means justifying the actions, just pointing out the reality. The issue is social. Contrary to popular belief most people who sexually abuse youth are not gay. As stated above they are mostly family members or close family friends.
[M]ost men who molest little boys are not gay. Only 21 percent of the child molesters we studied who assault little boys were exclusively homosexual. Nearly 80 percent of the men who molested little boys were heterosexual or bisexual, and most of these men were married and had children of their own.27
These scientists have concluded that pedophilia is a separate orientation from homosexuality and that the vast majority of molesters who target boys have either no interest in mature males or are heterosexual men who are attracted to the feminine characteristics of young boys.(source)
Homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia are not synonymous. In fact, it may be that these two orientations are mutually exclusive, the reason being that the homosexual male is sexually attracted to masculine qualities whereas the heterosexual male is sexually attracted to feminine characteristics, and the sexually immature child’s qualities are more feminine than masculine. . . . The child offender who is attracted to and engaged in adult sexual relationships is heterosexual. It appears, therefore, that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater sexual risk to underage children than does the adult homosexual male.19 .(source)
My over all point to this blog, we need to look at facts and we need to understand what we are dealing with. Sexual abuse of children is not a “Catholic” thing, nor is it a “gay” thing, it is a society thing and one that needs to be understood. The media is not doing its job, rather it is conduction a man hunt, if you will, on Catholics.
As Catholics we need to educate ourselves so we can better defend the Church in these times of turmoil. We need to know facts so we are not just shooting from the hip but rather using facts to fight our cause. God willing the Church will survive and come out stringer when this persecution is over.
|Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church|
|Galatians 2:20“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
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