Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cate's Funeral

For being 7 months old, Cate sure made a lot of friends in a short period of time. The church was packed. The music selections were truly inspired (I'm sure my wife will cry every time she hears "Never let go" by Matt Redman). However, it was the Old Testament reading that struck me the most. The reading selected was the mass reading for June 24, 2008 (the day Cate passed away).
Hear me, O coastlands, listen, O distant peoples. The LORD called me from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name. He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me. You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory. Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, Yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength! It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
Cate did not toil in vain. She was truly a light to the nations. It is my hope and prayer the thousands of people who were touched by her life and death are left with a permanent impression on their hearts that might lead them to a deeper understanding of the sacrifice that God made for all of us in giving us his only Son.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Funeral Services for Baby Cate

Baby Cate's blog is updated with a message from her parents. I haven't had the heart to read past the first few sentences. I can't imagine what it took to write it.

The funeral home also has a very nice obituary for Baby Cate. I thought I'd link to it in case someone was interested in reading it or signing the guest book.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rest in Peace Cate Cantrell

I did not want to post anything until on this until I knew it was public knowledge. Sadly, Baby Cate has passed away. As much as we all prayed for her, she is now with our Lord in Heaven praying for her family. Please continue to pray with her, for her family.

Until we meet again...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cate Cantrell Needs Your Prayers

Charlie Cantrell and I made Cursillo together a million years ago. My wife and I and He and Ali (his wife) all worked together preparing the youth of our parish for confirmation (about half a million years ago). They are an incredible example of what, "living your faith" really means.

Their youngest daughter, Cate was born with heart defects. They are currently at Children's Hospital in Texas where Cate underwent surgery to try to correct some of those defects over a week ago. Unfortunately, the surgery did not go as well as everyone had hoped. She is now fighting for her life. If you want a lesson in "how to place your faith and trust in God", please take the time to visit Baby Cate's blog.

Please pray for Cate Cantrell and her mom and dad. This is truly their hour of need.

Obama's Policy on Drilling: No We Can't.

Rather than put words in his mouth I'll let him speak for himself:

He mentioned several things that I want to discuss.

1) Sen. Obama would tax oil company's profits to fund some sort of tax break and/or rebate for taxpayers. If this actually takes place oil companies will react just as any other business would. They will either manage their production in order to minimize reported profits (which they do now), INCREASE their prices or (most likely) a combination of both in order to offset the increased (and altogether artificial) tax burden. This means you and I will pay MORE at the pump, NOT LESS! What about Sen. Obama's tax break you say? Given the efficiency of government and the laws of economics we just discussed, I'd guess that in the event you actually receive $1,000.00 in tax relief, you will have spent $2,500.00 or more in taxes and/or fuel charges to get it.

2) It would take 30 years to develop new domestic oil fields. Sen. Obama must have gotten his notes mixed up because this is patently untrue. It may take 30 years to move to an alternative source of energy, but you can't tell me it will take 30 years to keep using what we already have! Five years ago, the Independence Hub gas platform did not exist in the Gulf of Mexico. As of today, it produces about 5% of the Nation's natural gas supply. Oil companies are also producing millions of gallons of oil off the West Coast of Africa. This area has virtually no infrastructure and there are ongoing civil wars in many regions. These undeveloped countries also demand that a large percentage of the labor used to develop these oilfields be performed using local laborers. In most cases local laborers are unskilled and must be trained, adding to the overall expense. In spite of all this, West Africa has developed very rapidly (i.e. quicker than 30 years) and contributes significantly to the world oil supply. We could develop fields along the US coastline much more quickly and efficiently. 20 to 30 years to develop an oil field is an absolutely ridiculous notion.

3) Drilling and production operations would ruin the coastline and the environment. While it is undeniable that there will be risks of oil spills in any location where drilling and production activities occur, these spills (at least in the gulf of Mexico) have historically been relatively small. A leak of 100 barrels a day would be large for this region. In my opinion, the net effect of installing large offshore production platforms has been environmentally positive when you consider the habitat that these structures provide for an incredibly variety of sea life. Ask any fisherman or offshore oilfield worker and they will tell you that these structures hold and produce fish abundantly. I live in Louisiana and I can tell you with authority that the threat to the environment here is not oil spills. It is the unchecked coastal erosion that is washing away 25 to 35 square miles of our wetlands every year. If Sen. Obama wants to help out, he can start by keeping our wetlands from washing away into the ocean, not by waging war on the companies which provide the very energy to which this country has become addicted.

4) We must focus on alternative energy sources. I wanted to mention this point because it is one of the few points on which I must agree with Sen. Obama. At the risk of having my "Evil Oil" membership card revoked, we DO need to develop alternative energy sources which are renewable, cleaner and more efficient. I just don't think that we should focus on these sources exclusively, to the detriment of existing sources. Oil is readily available and perhaps more importantly, the infrastructure to use it already exists. Moving to another energy source will be a very gradual shift, not the overnight change that Sen. Obama seems to think it will be.

5) If we were to explore and produce more oil domestically, the additional supply would have NO effect on oil prices. This flies in the face of basic economics. While the net effect of the additional supply on the overall price of oil is certainly a nebulous question, there would definitely be SOME effect and the effect would certainly be positive. The price of oil will NEVER come down through a policy of taxing oil companies and NOT drilling for more oil.

In short, refusing to drill for oil within our own borders while putting ALL your hopes in unproven (albeit cleaner) energy technologies is a bit like refusing to eat the leftovers in the fridge because you have a cow in your back yard which will someday make great steaks. It makes more sense to do both, does it not?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Yak Stuff

I found a great way to secure my kayak to my trailer.

It's a Master Lock Python. The cable fits through the scupper holes so I can lock it to anything. Very nice.

Zone Defense

Happy Father's Day to all you Fathers out there! I suppose this is as good a day as any to announce that my wife and I will soon be forced to shift our defensive strategy from man-to-man coverage to zone defense. That's right, we are expecting our third child and we will be outnumbered!

Posting may be light starting in January. Wish us luck. Better yet, keep us in your prayers.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Rapture Racket

Hat tip to Van Kirby for finding this one. For $40/year, the web site automatically sends your loved ones messages in the event that you are taken up in the "Rapture". I hope I don't offend anyone, but as a Catholic I find this site quite amusing since we don't subscribe to Rapture Theology. Even if only 100 people to subscribe to the service, that's $4000/year for virtually nothing but electronic storage space. You don't have to build a fancy failsafe device to actually send the messages because the event will never happen (at least not as defined by your average Fundamentalist). Even if it did, it's not like there would be any consequences for not sending any of those messages out. I find it hard to believe that any of those folks would come back down from heaven and file a class action law suit against the owner of the web site?

What an awesome racket.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

DeColores Cursillistas!

I'm just wondering if anyone out there who might be reading this is a Cursillista. I made Cursillo 337 (young men's 52) in Prarie Rhonde, LA.

Anyone else?

What's your Cursillo number?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Catholic Disinformation

This article makes me wonder whether E.J. Dionne is ignorant or intentionally misleading in his remarks. Surely someone who has spent so much time in and around Catholic institutions would have been exposed to the concept of transubstantiation. E.J. should know that, for a Catholic, the Eucharist is God. Encouraging people to act in opposition to God and then presenting yourself to receive the very God you oppose is insanity, not to mention blasphemy. It's sort of like joining PETA and working at a slaughter house at the same time.

E.J. makes a selective reference to one specific sentence in the USCCB's statement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship" and then ignores the rest of the 44 page document which clearly states that voting for a candidate who supports abortion is unacceptable unless all of the candidates in the race support abortion to roughly the same degree, in which case you can stay home or vote for the candidate who you think will do the least damage and/or most good in other areas (see section 36 of the document).

So I ask you, is this yellow journalism or just really, really, reeeeaaaallllly poor journalism? Either way, I'm disappointed in E.J. I hope he reads the other 44 pages of the USCCB's statement and works to "fully form" his conscience as the document suggests.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Flight of the Bumblebee on an Accordian

I was on vacation last week so I haven't posted for a while. I couldn't pass this up though. This guy is amazing.

I'm guessing he types 45,948 words per minute.