Catholic commentary on culture, media, and politics.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Slurs, slurs, everywhere and not a thought to think

Imagine if a Supreme Court nominee was Jewish. Would anyone in the media dare dismissively refer to him as GinsburgStein or some such? A different standard for the Catholic (and Italian) Samuel Alito...

Then again, Republicans should get out of the slur paranoia business. That's Democrat territory.

Holiness by French standards

If "Abbe Pierre" is a living saint, no wonder Arabic will one day be France's lingua franca.

Mon Dieu indeed.

Media bias exposed



Condoleeza Rice has such bright, intelligent eyes. Can you believe how USA Today made them look all dull?

That's not right.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Bonny[TM] Prince Charles

Prince Charles complained to Steve Kroft in a recent ABC interview that he wished he was more relevant.

I'm sure his upcoming trip, during which he'll lecture President Bush on the glories of Islam, will turn it around for the Defender of Faiths (sic).

"I find the language and rhetoric coming from America too confrontational."

Saturday, October 29, 2005

I know, I know. "Don't rush to judgement."

Let's see. Hmmm: Indonesia. Huge Muslim population, tiny Christian minority. I'd say the killers who cut off the head of Christian girls this weekend were probably Methodists.

Maybe Presbyterians. Could have been Jews; you never know. How dare you give into hate by immediately thinking they were Muslims. All religions teach pretty much the same thing.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Canada: putting the pity back into pitiful

It's nice that someone in the Canadian media picked a conservative to hold up as worthy, but claiming Charles Krauthammer as a "beautiful Canadian mind"?

The guy went to McGill 30 years ago, and has never lived there since!

The National Post should be embarrassed. Can you imagine The New York Times reaching for some Canadian who went to Harvard in 1969 to honor as a great American intellectual?

New verb enters lexicon: to Mier

Supreme Court nominees know they can get Borked.

Now they can get Miered.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Has the bird flu made the leap?

Uh oh.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Wicked cool

On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) Pope Benedict XVI will release his first papal encyclical.

It's reportedly on the centrality of Jesus Christ in the life and mission of the Church.

Sounds like a deeper, richer explicitation of Dominus Iesus.

Only 50 pages long, too. I dig it.

Hat tip to Rick Lugari.

This is rich

It's happened to all of us. You're on the phone and you want to get off, but you've run out of ideas to end the call gracefully. It could be a telemarketer, it could be your boss, it could be that annoying second cousin.

Now you can produce credible background noises from the comfort of your own home, giving you the instant out you need:

http://www.SorryGottago.com

My favorite (for telemarketers): "I'm listening."

Hat tip to Terry Vanderheyden.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Not in Poe's worst imaginings

Naturally, this sicko will be charged only for babies born alive. Notice the "dollar a pound" price tag on the tiny victims' remains. Edgar Allan Poe is Dr. Seuss by comparison.

I'm very interested to know how you can be pro-abortion and stay sane.

"Sodomeee-ee, is such a lonely word!"

Remember the Lawrence v Texas case that went to the Supreme Court and ultimately overturned the anti-sodomy law?

Turns out, the whole case may have been rigged in a scam to change the law of the land. Talk about break and enter.

If Judge Law's research is correct, it will be the first time the Supreme Court has been duped from the get-go.

Then there's that mysterious murder attached to the case.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Dutch-Belgian separation from reality proceeds apace.

The authorities in the Netherlands and Belgium (aka the Powers That Be, aka The Man) have decreed that henceforth the word Christ shall no longer merit a capital C.

At press time, the words Satan and Muslim remain exempt from linguistic demotion.

"...a new and awesome change in the life of the Church."

Not all bishops are created equal. I say, let's pray for the less equal, and actively affirm the more equal when they stand up for the faith.

To whit, Bishop of Peterborough, Ontario, Nicola De Angelis deserves credit for publically correcting (and then some) a wayward liberal priest who saw the last summer's attempted ordination of some elderly feminists on a boat in the St. Lawrence River as "the beginning of a new and awesome change in the life of the church."

Careful what you wish for, Reverend.

Readers wishing to drop Bishop "Nick of the Angels" a message of encouragement can write, email or fax him below. You know he's going to be rated lower than Hitler for this.

Diocese of Peterborough
350 Hunter Street West
Box 175 Peterborough, Ontario K9J 6Y8
Tel. 705/745-5123
e-mail: chancery@peterboroughdiocese.org
Fax. 705/745-2555
Diocesan website: http://www.peterboroughdiocese.org/
Most Rev. Nicola De Angelis, c.f.i.c Bishop of Peterborough



The above photo shows one of the ladies basking in the glow of an invalid sacrament, presumably getting ready to confect the Real Absence. My fellow Angelino el Senor Quintero at LA Catholic will correct me here, but isn't such a tender embrace a boundary violation?

I wonder who'll change the bump's diapers?

Just came across this on the Internet Movie Database (IMdB):

Katie Hides Her Bump at Fashion Show

Pregnant Katie Holmes dressed all in black in a bid to cover up her growing bump when she joined new pal Victoria Beckham at a Los Angeles fashion show on Wednesday. The pair sat in the front row at the Rock & Republic Fashion Show, surrounded by stars including Paris Hilton and Mena Suvari. It was Holmes' first public engagement since announcing she was expecting fiance Tom Cruise's child earlier this month.

Luckily, those who are given to hiding their shameful bumps are contracepting and aborting themselves out of the game. In no time, those who have large families, and those who support them, will begin to shape the culture away from the wide-eyed Sixties template.

I'd like to know if other readers find the whole "bump hiding" idea as repellent as I do.

Narcissus, call your rectory

Of course this would happen first in Canada. A Catholic priest who has evidently stopped struggling against same-sex attraction disorder (SSAD) will have his big coming out gala tonight on Canadian TV. Cue the Judy Garland.

Fabulous, Father. Way to make us all proud.

This will be an episcopal spine test par excellence.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Bono gives self upgrade from pompous ass

This just in. U2 frontman/political genius/third world advocate/ambassador to the poor/multi-millionaire Bono has increased his self-esteem to stratospheric levels.

"I'm representing the poorest and the most vulnerable people. On a spiritual level, I have that with me. I'm throwing a punch, and the fist belongs to people who can't be in the room, whose rage, whose anger, whose hurt I represent."

Like, he's a living embodiment of the lesser brother of Matt 25. And apparently still hasn't found what he's looking for.

Please. I know his heart is in the right place. If only his brain wasn't on Pluto.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Lexicon for young adult Catholic acronyms

Do you see yourself or someone you know in these acronymistic gems? Hat tip to my friend Patrick Prescott.

ACART --- Accepts Church And Republican Teachings (M, F)
CHIM --- Catholic Hyper-Intellectual Male (M)
CINO --- Catholic In Name Only (M, F)
CISTO --- Catholic In Skimpy Tight Outfit (hopefully F)
CLOWSIC ---- Cosmo Lifestyle On Weekdays, Sundays In Church (F)
COGISFAW --- Catholic Old Guy, Is Searching For Adolescent Wife (M)
CONOPE --- Catholic, Orthodox, No Other Personality Evident (M, F)
CHUPAME -- Catholic Having Unhealthy Preoccupation About Middle Earth (mainly M)
FOCID --- Flirts Outrageously, Chastity In Doubt (M, F)
FOYIC --- Flirts Outrageously, Yet Is Chaste (M, F)
FOFEBA --- Full Of Faith, Empty Bank Account
FOTSAV --- Full Of The Spirit, Alcoholic Variety (M, F)
GQC ---- "GQ" Catholic (M,F)
ISOFF --- In Search Of Free Food (M, F)
JLAW / JLAH --- Just Looking to Acquire a Wife / Husband (M, F)
MAWBAN / MAWBAP --- Might As Well Be A Nun / Priest (F, M)
OSCAR ---- Overly Sexual Catholic, Advise Restraint (M, F)
SOFTNOS --- Shares Our Faith Though Not Our Sanity (M, F)
SOTVEM --- Seen Once Then Vanishes Ever-More (mostly F)
WOVUOS --- Woman Of Virtue, Underwear Of Sin (F)
WIRTEP --- Will Inevitably Refuse To Ever Pay (M,F)

"The CINO JLAW is talking to the excellent CISTO CLOWSIC in the corner. Things may work unless she figures out he's a FOFEBA WIRTEP. If so, she'll be a SOTVEM, after hanging with all these CHIMS... unless she was just ISOFF!"

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Dolling up bigotry as satire

As many in St. Blog's have heard, last week Canada's largest leftwing newspaper, The Toronto Star, ran a column the anti-Catholic venom of which sparked a wide negative reaction (in and out of the Church) across the blogosphere.

The bulk of the screed, by the angry and confused Joey Slinger, is worth quoting:

With this Vatican, all's fair in faith and war

So the Pope is thinking about excommunicating our Prime Minister, is he? In the religion game, that's called hardball.

We're told he hasn't made up his mind. We're told he's taking advice from his bishops. They're an open-minded, in-tune-with-public-sentiment bunch of guys. They may not think it's such a wonderful thing to do if they happen to have been sitting around smoking a lot of dope.
And maybe it's just an idea the Pope is kicking around. Sort of the way George W. Bush kicked around the idea of invading Iraq.

Still, the Iraqis recognized a subtle message when they heard one. That was about weapons of mass destruction, wasn't it? With Paul Martin it's about leading a government that approved gay marriages. Where are those darned WMDs? That became the big Iraq question. Nobody has to even bother asking where gay marriages are. They're out there.
We can't turn around without getting a mouthfull of confetti as gays, their troths plighted, come bounding out of wedding ceremonies. Picture this: the Right Honourable Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada, stands at the altar rail.
The priest shakes his head and points a sanctimonious finger toward the exit. "No communion for you," says the priest. Jerry Seinfeld could've named the judgmental character in his shows "the Soup Pope."
For the record, Rev. John Walsh of Montreal's St. Jean de Br├ębeuf Church, which Martin attends, says he won't refuse him communion. "I think that we must look at the situation and say, `Are we respecting a person's conscience?'" Walsh said. Brave words. And foolhardy in today's rigid religious climate.
Dear Father Walsh, can you spell "defrocked"?
Can anybody think of one of the other five Roman Catholic prime ministers we've had going back to Trudeau who wouldn't, in today's circumstances, have obeyed the Parliamentary majority and the majority will of the country?

The same applies to abortion, which maybe the Pope and his legions will decide to go after Martin for if gay marriage doesn't do the trick. It was because of John Kerry's pro-choice record that influential American bishops, with the vigorous encouragement of the man who's now Benedict XVI, threatened to deny him communion during the U.S. election, inflaming enough conservative parishioners to deny him the presidency.
So if the Pope wants to play hardball, fine. We can play hardball too. How about he can excommunicate our Prime Minister and we can get rid of the tax exemption on Catholic church property? What a windfall that would be. Millions. Millions upon millions. Mega-millions if we make it retroactive back to, say, 1848 when St. Michael's opened its doors.
They'd have to start selling their real estate. Failing that, we'd have to seize it and auction it off. It's happened before. It was a fairly popular medieval screw-you gesture.
I hope this won't be mistaken for some kind of threat. It's just that if the Pope feels inclined to give us something to think about, we might as well give him something to think about.
All's fair in faith and war. But isn't it strange that the further we move ahead into the 21st century, the further the Vatican moves backward into the 12th?

About which, I complained:

Dear Editor: It's amazing that this brand of puerile rage is supposed to be humourous. I couldn't care less if Joey Slinger wants to create interest in himself and his sad column, but would you have printed such a vile attack if the object of his hate were directed against Jews or Muslims or a homosexual group?

Please.

His ridiculous errors of fact are too numerous and not worth correcting. Suffice it to say that that famous Canadian multicultural respect seems to end at the door of Catholicism. This Canadian is embarrassed at The Star's poor judgment in passively promoting intolerance. Outrageous.

Patrick D. Coffin

Los Angeles, CA

The editor wrote back what looks like a form letter:


Dear Patrick D. Coffin,

I'm sorry that you found Mr. Slinger's column to be offensive. Columnists are given wide latitude to express controversial opinions. Mr. Slinger was not inciting hatred and persecution against Roman Catholics, he was being critical of church leaders. He is a satirist and used an aggressive tone to mimic the aggressive tone that he believes the Pope is taking on this matter. When someone takes a strong position on a religious matter, many people will disagree. I would defend your right to disagree with Mr. Slinger as strongly as I would defend his right to express his opinion.

Yours truly,
Sharon Burnside
Public Editor
The Toronto Star

To which I wrote back:

Dear Ms. Burnside:

I'm sad to say I wasn't surprised to read your reply, nor to find that you missed my central point which is that The Star would never, ever, run such a piece of "satire" if the subject matter were Muslims, Jews, a gay-friendly church, or let's say a tribe of First Nations. And you are factually incorrect in saying he was merely "criticizing church leaders."

Come, come. His hate-filled rant had less noble ambitions and you know it. Characterizing Pope Benedict XVI, a gentle and scholarly soul, as "aggressive" and eager to "play hardball" as he "kicks around the idea of excommunicating Paul Martin" (likening this to George W. Bush's thinking about invading Iraq) betrays a glittering ignorance of the Pope's person and role. Contrary to your claim, the Holy Father's "tone" regarding pro-abortion Catholic politicians -- if anything -- has been quite the opposite of aggressive.

Perhaps, like Mr. Slinger you suffer tone deafness. I'd like to think not. The point is, no one has the right to receive Jesus Christ in the holy Eucharist, which is a sublime gift entailing certain conditions, like, uh, believing what the Catholic Church does on grave matters. Agree or disagree with the doctrine on abortion or homosexual marriage, but these are grave matters.

And how about the allusion to Seinfeld's Soup Nazi? Hardy har. I'd like to see the coward (I reached but could not find a better word) describe any Toronto rabbi or Imam in these very witty terms.

Finally, Slinger's dream of tax exemption for the Catholic Church can hardly be taken as a "threat" since he is, despite evident longings, only a newspaper columnist. But what fuels his revenge fantasy of an exemption-free Church is bigotry, pure and simple.

But for The Toronto Star, some opinions are more politically safe than others.

Cordially,

- Patrick Coffin

When will they ever learn?

Friday, October 14, 2005

So Canada wants more immigrants, eh?

Politicians in my home and native land might rue the day they started asking for more immigrants.

The solution? Since Canada won't let up with the abortions and contraception any time soon, just get the word out to the 11 million or so illegal aliens in the US that Canada has an even more "free" medicare system, many Home Depot parking lots, no sweltering deserts to cross, and plenty of long distance phone cards to Latin America. Plus, who's paying attention to south-to-north crossings?

Voila. A bigger Canada.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

When the MSM gets cognitive dissonance

This story will have the media completely flummoxed. The inner dialogue at the TheGlobeNYTimesChicagoSunLATimesSanFranChronicle machine will go something like this:

"We hate the Catholic Church and love seeing lawsuits hurled at it."

"This guy says a priest did a bad thing to him -- we'll do our part to see he gets the justice denied him by the most evil organized religion on earth!"

"The guy says he's gay. Another layer of victimhood! Yesss!"

"Wait a sec; the guy is saying the bad thing done to him turned into the bad thing of --what is this? -- being gay."

"But we know that Being Gay[TM] is the summum bonum of all human aspirations and the very summit of experiential sweetness and light."

"Does. Not. Compute. Attack or defend? Er. Can't. Seem to..." (Cue the sound of sparks, electrical sputtering and small explosions as the MSM machine chokes on a story pretzel it can't untangle.)

Is it a hate crime if the perpetrator is also gay?

I'm just asking.

Dear Ted:

Tell us you really will -- pleeease.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Artful Roger

The cardinal under whose reign of error I live (sic) keeps stepping in it. Some day soon it may be quick sand and not just doo doo.

This astounding report contains so much outrage in so few paragraphs, it's hard to know where to start. Since I can't afford prizes for a contest:

"We've been very forthcoming to law enforcement," he said on April 26. "You see, I don't want in the church anyone who's abused a child, so the last thing I want is to cover that up."

Oh, no, you get straight As for forthcomingness. And cover up? What cover up? This is the kissin' cousin to, "We have no liturgical abuses in the Archdiocese."

Earlier this week, Mahony faxed a two-page letter to 1,200 priests in his archdiocese, acknowledging that he mishandled Baker's case.

This is not a typo. He apologizes to....THE OTHER PRIESTS!!! What about the boys who were emotionally butchered by Mike Baker, the predator-priest whom Mahoney protected, coddled and shifted around for 14 years after revealing to Mahoney that he (Baker) had a compulsive thing for minors of the same sex? What about the rest of the faithful?

"As your archbishop, I assume full responsibility for allowing Baker to remain in any type of ministry during the 1990s," Mahony wrote. "I offer my sincere, personal apologies for my failure to take firm and decisive action much earlier."

He's sorry. Oh, okay then. Next up at bat: status quo sallies forth unruffled. Warming up in the bullpen: more loss of faith, more suicide attempts among sexual abuse victims.

When a lawyer for some of Baker's victims wrote the archdiocese two years ago and told them Baker had confessed to her as well, the church settled quickly. "Cardinal Mahony did what any other head of a big corporation does," said victims' attorney Lynne Cadigan. "He's going to clean up, cover up and pay off."

Many of these victims' lawyers are mercenary parasites, but to this assessment I have to say, "Amen sister."

Now more alleged victims are coming forward, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales.

Maybe now the clouds will part, and the molehole as described by Cardinal Mahoney will finally be revealed as the mountain it really is.

Late Thursday, the Los Angeles County district attorney told Cardinal Mahony to turn over all documents on abusive priests or face a grand jury.

As LA Catholic says, this latest list is a PR-vetted, sanitized version of truly diabolical events. The equivalent of The Exorcist told SpongeBob-style.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Air Force to chaplains: shut up already

The Air Force has apparently caved to the PC mob in deciding that its chaplains cannot evangelize.

Oh, no no no. As the Gospels show, Jesus never illegally imposed religious messages on anyone.

Justice in the age of videotape

You may have seen the sickening footage of the 64-year-old man getting pounded, punched and kneed by three burly New Orleans cops. I realize video can be deceiving, and that many suspects have a wobbly story, and that cops in New Orleans have been through the exhaustion ringer.

But.

The victim in this case comes across as legit, and truly shocked at what was done to him. Unlike the usual protocol obeyed here in Los Angeles, the gentleman is not playing the race card (which most assuredly would have helped him get justice). If he were my father, I'd be hopping mad.

His crime seems to have been to tell a policeman who interupted his conversation with another cop that it was unprofessional to do so. That comment seems to have gotten the back up of at least one blue-uniformed goon. The one identified as S.M. Smith (sadomasochist?) was definitely out of line in attacking an innocent AP reporter.

Monday, October 10, 2005

PETA up for 2005 Sixth Grader Conflict Management Award

Our gentle peace-loving animal "rights" crusaders over at PETA demonstrate superior debating skills as they talk rationally with someone they disagree with

Join me in loving that it was a tofu pie. Naturally!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bothersome Bushisms

While I'm generally supportive of President Bush, some recent political white lies got my back up. Recent sample:

"Harriet Miers and I never specifically discussed Roe v Wade."

Right. In 25 years, two ostensibly pro-life Christians -- one the Presdient the other his personal attorney who helped him vet other Supreme Court nominees -- have never said a peep about Roe v. Wade. Burger King only dreams of such whoppers.

"She is the most qualified candidate to replace Sandra Day O'Connor."

Sure. The very top candidate within 12 feet of him.

"I have no litmus test for my nominations."

Uh huh. He campaigned on the promise to nominate in the mold of a Scalia or a Thomas. Otherwise known as a publically acknowledged litmus test.

Personally, I think there is a greater-than-small chance that Ms. Miers will wilt and buckle under the harsh glare of nationally televised Senate hearings. Much as I disagree with most of what emerges from, for instance, Sen. Chuck Schumer's mouth, he's no dummy. In order to prepare for a marathon of aggressive questioning on arcane Constitutional minutiae, Harriet Miers's will need a miracle.

And God doesn't multiply miracles every time a president needs one.

Speaking of which, I think Miers' front-and-center evangelical Christian faith is a big plus, but nowhere near sufficient as a qualification. It seems the Bush Administration is harping on it as a way of putting rouge on a corpse. But very few Americans, including Christians, believe that following Jesus is a valid substitute for the kind of comprehensive Constitutional scholarship required for sitting on the highest court in the land. In the case of John Roberts, the spin was focused on his -- oh, let's see -- judicial expertise and jurisprudence prowess. In hers, it's been to win over the conservative base.

Talk about strategy backfire: Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Gary Bauer, Charles Krauthammer, Michelle Malkin, Bill Kristol, Rush Limbaugh, David Frum and Mark Levin -- for starters -- have protested with a synchronized spleen vent.

Her nomination stands or falls based on how well she does seated in that cushy upolstered seat, before that untouched glass of water, wondering if any surprise fastballs are going to cork her in the head.

As television goes, this particular kind of big league game should be watchable indeed.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Join the, uh, crusade to free Piglet



There is a movement afoot (or should that be ahoof) to liberate Piglet and all other benign expressions of porkdom that are currently offending thin-skinned Muslims everywhere.

Go here for the requisite background on this growing movement. In the meantime, you might familiarize yourself with the word dhimmitude. It refers to the obligations and restrictions placed on non-Muslims (dhimmis) living in Islamic states. A few examples:

* Not allowed to build new non-Muslim houses of worship, or expand existing locations.
* Not allowed to display non-Muslim symbols on the outside of their existing houses of worship.
* Not allowed to pray non-Muslim prayers, perform non-Muslim rituals, wear symbols of their faith visibly on their clothing, or preach non-Muslim faiths in public.
* Not allowed to publish or sell non-Muslim religious literature.
* Not allowed to ask Muslims to join them in worship.
* Non-Muslim males cannot marry Muslim females (but Muslim males may freely marry non-Muslim females).

Golly, this is exactly like the way Muslims are forced to live over here. Hat tip to Kathy Shaidle.

What I'm reading now

I know my readers care deeply about every aspect of my life, so here is a tidbit to tide you over. Chunk by chunk, I'm reading the following:

America's Bishop: The Life and Times of Fulton J. Sheen by Thomas C. Reeves (definitive biography of one of the great heroes in my life; uncle Fultie is the bomb)

Introduction to Philosophy: The Perennial Principles of Classical Realism by Daniel Sullivan (exceptional summary from Heraclitus to modern philosophy by way of St. Thomas Aquinas)

The 12 Keys to Discipline: A Guide for Parents and Teachers by Ronald Morrash (practical tips on disciplining children and the teaching of good habits from a renowned Canadian educator)

Ask the Pilot by Patrick Smith (Salon.com's resident pilot-columnist applies his sparkling prose to everything you always wanted to know about flight but had no one to ask)

ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kohberg and Kathleen Nadeau, PhD (what can I say except, "Waaaahhh! I need help!)

The Royal Road to Card Magic by Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue (my avocation is performing close-up magic)

What's got hold of your eye balls these days?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

This is hilarious

Relapsed Catholic's dynamic creatress Kathy Shaidle links to this parody of a conversation. When describing Canadian arrogance, a spoonful of parody helps the medicine go down.

And sometimes parody and reality dance so close you can't get 'em apart with a can opener.

Monday, October 03, 2005

As Dylan sang, "lay lay, LA."

Clayton Emmer over at Weight of Glory sheds some light on the latest bit of inscrutable dreck from Roger Cardinal Mahoney.

His latest wunnderful, pastoral luv letter is titled As One Who Serves (can we get any more pompous, Your Eminence?). Set forth in typically flowery libspeak, it's essentially a game plan for priestless Sundays that is not, repeat NOT, a stop-gap to deal with the trickle of vocations that is simultaneously also a stop-gap to deal with the trickle of vocations. Sorry, only a Jesuit can understand.

As Robert Shaw said to Paul Newman in The Sting, "Ya follow?"

Clayton, I think the term Reign of God is just the Cardinal's little way of avoiding any hint of masculine terminology (as opposed to the more scriptural Kingdom of God.)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A question I have for God

I'm an absolute baby when it comes to getting a cold or flu. Embarrassingly wimpy. I now have a cold, probably related to the forest fire micro-pollutants that are currently floating around the Los Angeles area. My wife got it, too (as did our three-year-old) the same day the smokey plumes of the Topanga Canyon fire made their ominous way into our valley. There's an odd haze in the air like fog save no humidity.

I don't understand the point of colds. Character development? Lessons in patience, or on ultimate dependence upon the divine Physician? Beats me.

All I know is, having one sucks.