Pray to Me

March 18, 2011

According to a story in The Los Angeles Times, the late Pope John Paul is on his way to sainthood:

“The Vatican saidĀ  [Pope] Benedict had approved findings by the church that John Paul had performed a miracle after his death, a prerequisite for beatification. A nun who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, as did the late pope, said she was healed of her affliction after praying to John Paul shortly after he died.”

Makes sense to me, as I am sure it does to you.

The Vatican does not disclose how many nuns (or others with Parkinson’s disease) prayed to John Paul and were not cured nor do they consider the possibility that the nun’s disease was misdiagnosed or in temporary remission.

I’ve always wanted to be a saint. Until I read this story, I didn’t know how easy it was.

I’d like for you to pray to me, Lloyd Williams, for a miracle (e.g., you win the Megabucks grand prize, the Cubs win the World Series, or your wife finally understands how to use a thermostat). If enough of you pray to me for enough miracles something improbable, but not impossible, is sure to happen.

Start praying right away and let me know when your miracle occurs. I promise not to forget the little people who helped me on the path to sainthood.

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13,000 Dead in Japan Earthquake; 500,000 Homeless

March 16, 2011

NHK, Japan’s public news agency, reports the death toll from last week’s earthquake and tsunami is likely to exceed 13,000; around a half-million Japanese are homeless.

Have you seen a headline similar to the one above? Not likely. Almost every story on the earthquake has a headline and opening paragraph on the possibility of a nuclear disaster. A sampling from today’s press:

Emperor Akihito’s speech underlines gravity of Japan’s nuclear crisis (Los Angeles Times)
Japan races to prevent nuclear reactor meltdown (ABC News)
Japan to spray water, acid on stricken nuke plant (Associated Press)
Panic, confusion over Japan plant evacuation (CBS News)
Devastation, confusion in Sendai amid nuclear fears (Bloomberg)
1st fire at Japan nuclear reactor not extinguished (Newsday)
Radiation risk from Japan puts prevention plans to test (USA Today)

and my personal favorite, from countless sources:

Anti-radiation pills flying off store shelves in US



Nuclear Disaster!!

March 11, 2011

This morning, I received a text message about an earthquake in Japan. I had not heard about this so I immediately went to Google News to find out what had happened. Here were Google’s headlines:

Japan trying to fix nuclear plant cooling problem
Nuclear emergency as Fukushima cooling system fails after Japan quake
Quake triggers shutdown of nuclear generators
Japanese PM declares atomic power emergency
Japan declares emergency at nuke plant; no radiation leak now
Quake-hit Japan declares nuclear power emergency

As you probably know by now, news agencies are reporting that this is one of the largestĀ  (9.0 Richter) earthquakes in history. Hundreds are reported dead; trains have stopped operating; some airports and highways are closed; tsunamis have caused major damage along the coast of Japan; an oil refinery is on fire; a ship and a passenger train are unaccounted for; cell phone service in Tokyo is out. In other words, this is a major disaster with all of the attendant death and devastation one would expect.

But what does Google report? Nuclear disaster!

Get a grip, guys. Nuclear reactors across Japan shut down automatically, as designed, when instruments detected an earthquake. Yes, at one reactor emergency power to operate the cooling system failed so they had to switch to battery power; they have enough battery power to keep the reactor cooled until backup generators are brought on line and the reactor is shut down gracefully. End of nuclear story.

It took Google about an hour to recognize that, perhaps, the wide-spread catastrophe in Japan was more important than a nuclear reactor that performed as designed during an earthquake.

On Monday, March 14, The Wall Street Journal put the matter in perspective:

“Even while thousands of people are reported dead or missing, whole neighborhoods lie in ruins, and gas and oil fires rage out of control, press coverage of the Japanese earthquake has quickly settled on the troubles at two nuclear reactors as the center of the catastrophe…

“If a meltdown does occur in Japan, it will be a disaster for the Tokyo Electric Power Company but not for the general public. Whatever steam releases occur will have a negligible impact. Researchers have spent 30 years trying to find health effects from the steam releases at Three Mile Island and have come up with nothing. With all the death, devastation and disease now threatening tens of thousands in Japan, it is trivializing and almost obscene to spend so much time worrying about damage to a nuclear reactor.”

You can read the whole article here.


Hey Everybody, Let’s Invade Libya!

March 4, 2011

President Obama announced he has ordered plans drawn up giving the US military “full capacity to act, potentially rapidly,” in Libya. Apparently the idea is to divert our attention from trillion-dollar deficits, 9% unemployment, and the new season of American Idol.

Libyan Dictator Colonel Muammar Ghadaffi, (Quadafi, Khadaffy, Gadaffi). Motto, "I don't care how you spell my name as long as you mention it." Colonel? This guy's been in charge for forty years and he still hasn't been promoted to General?

Or perhaps he’s hoping that we’ll pay less attention to the fifty American soldiers returning from Afghanistan every month in aluminum boxes.

It’s a shame that Libyans are dying in the streets of Tripoli and Benghazi. But the Arab world has made it plenty clear that, when they’re busy killing each other, they don’t want Americans intervening and spoiling the fun. We should honor their wishes.

The one real “hope” when Obama was elected was that he might have the balls to get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq. (According to a recent Gallup poll, 76% of Americans think we should bug out of Afghanistan most ricky tick). No such luck. Obama upped the ante, sending in more troops and money. We are now losing 10 soldiers and $2 billion a week in Afghanistan. The only thing we’ve accomplished is to stabilize the price of heroin.

Now Obama is toying with the idea of yet another foreign adventure. Apparently he’s tiring of “George Bush’s wars” and would like one of his very own.