Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Bragging Rights

John graduates from Air Force boot camp at Lackland AFB in San Antonio. We're going down there for the ceremony, which everyone says is really awesome.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bragging Rights

Youngest Eckardt adds to family golf tradition at KHS

By Mike Landis
Sports front page article from the Kewanee Star Courier, September 18, 2009

Kewanee, Ill. -

Scan the Kewanee High School golf results over the last decade or so and chances are an Eckardt was playing a prominent role in the team’s success.

That family tradition continues in 2009 as junior Michael Eckardt has emerged as the Boilers’ No. 1 player.

Eckardt nearly won the program’s first-ever Kewanee Invitational tournament Saturday, firing 77 at Baker Park to finish a shot out of the top spot. He eventually placed fourth, losing a scorecard playoff for third, but still played well enough to earn the Star Courier’s Athlete of the Week nod.

Michael is youngest of five Eckardt brothers to play golf for the Boilers. The eldest, Burnie, ran cross country for Kewanee but the next five — Andy, Peter, John, Joey and now Michael — have all played golf at KHS.

“It didn’t come from my parents,” said Michael when asked how the family golf tradition began. He credits Andy with infecting the Eckardt boys with the golf bug.

For the full story, click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Testing . . .

A mild request:

Is my blog feed ok?

If you're reading this, perhaps you'd be so kind as to reply with a brief "ok," or, as Sean Connery would say, "One ping only."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

It's really rather remarkable: both sides in the health care debate are openly declaring each other to be lying. The President addresses the nation and charges that his opponents spout "bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost." Without mentioning Sarah Palin by name, he decries "prominent politicians" whose allegations are "a lie, plain and simple." (The full text of the President's speech may be read here.)

During the selfsame address, we heard an Rep. Joe Wilson blurt out his now famous "You lie!" for which he was obliged to apologize 787 billion times to date.

So the President calls his opponents liars, and they (immediately) call him a liar.

And of course, we know that all men are liars, as the Psalmist declares, but the real question before us is whether either of these sides is actually lying, as the other side claims.

Hard to say, but there is this: if the President isn't lying, then he's pretty lousy at math, with his claim that "if we are able to slow the growth of health care costs by just one-tenth of 1 percent each year -- one-tenth of 1 percent -- it will actually reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the long term," unless by long term he meant 16,000 years. (HT: George Copeland, www.examiner.com.)

And secondly, about those poor folks he highlighted who were in the midst of cancer therapy when the evil insurance companies pulled the plug on them causing their deaths? Well, it turns out that's not true either, as Scott Harrington scrupulously detailed in an article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.

And what of Sarah Palin's "lie"? Here's her pre-speech rebuttal, and it's pretty convincing: "Many Americans . . . made themselves heard, and as a result Congress will likely reject a wrong-headed proposal to authorize end-of-life counseling in this cost-cutting context. But the fact remains that the Democrats' proposals would still empower unelected bureaucrats to make decisions affecting life or death health-care matters. Such government overreaching is what we've come to expect from this administration." (her full op-ed is here).

It's time to check the facts, I'd say. Charges of prevarication are serious ones, often hard to prove (and therefore worthy of reticence in making), but truthfulness is sometimes not difficult to ascertain.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Nothing Ever Really Matters Very Much

I was thinking of this sage advice of my mother tonight at mass. I don't remember when, exactly. Maybe one of the hymns got me thinking. It's so easy to think that your plans for the future will bear fruit, and because of that, you'll have a life on easy street at some point. But then--yeah, it must have been the hymn--trouble could come and ruin your plans and leave you in trouble. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

So I got to thinking, maybe it's best to think, "we're going to die." That's the truth, isn't it? We're going to die. So why not get used to the idea. And go to the altar, for that's the way to prepare for death, and that's really the only thing that matters. Nothing else really does.

That's life. Here I see that Petersen has some great advice for pastors starting out, along these lines, which reminded me of what I was thinking just an hour or so earlier.

Laying plans if fine, as far as it goes, but let's not get carried away.

Nothing matters, really, nothing at all . . . except being with Christ; and, as it happens, when you're at that altar, that's where you are.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Oktoberfest is just 32 days away

The Fourteenth Annual Oktoberfest and Third Annual Liturgical Seminar will take place at St. Paul’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Kewanee, Illinois, October 11-13, 2009 (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday)

Conference theme: Not a Matter of Indifferent Things.

For more info, click here. Go ahead, click.