Monthly Archives: May 2004

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Euphemisms R Us

Check out this article on the French Revolution at thefreedictionary.com.

The term French Revolution refers to a period in the history of France covering the years 1789 to 1799, in which republicans overthrew the monarchy and the Roman Catholic Church perforce underwent radical restructuring.

Oh, is that what you call it when you ban the Church and guillotine every priest and nun you can find? Yeah, having no head is a change in your structure, all right.

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Manga Must Be Catholic Art –

It has its own bishop. (You know, this could be a very profitable thing for Burkino Faso.)

I ran across another example of Catholic characters in manga today. The second run of Vampire Yui — translated as Yui Kanonsho in the US — starts with Yui being found, amnesiac, by a priest. Eventually both her friends and enemies find her, and the priest ends up dying in Yui’s place. He’s a good character, and very POD, too — even wears that priesty cape thing. I’ll see if I can scan some pictures of the priest and the cherry blossoms.

(Btw, the Japanese way to say “Catholic priest” or “Father” is “Shinpu”. “Shin-” is an alternate pronunciation of the character for G/god, “Kami”; and “-pu” uses a character almost exactly the same as “father”. Nice, huh?)

Speaking of the Good Ol’ Days, there’s a brand new independent comic set in Japan which sounds pretty darned interesting. Blood and Bushido is the saga of a Norse pirate captain saved by Spanish and Portuguese priests. In gratitude, he offers himself and his crew as bodyguards to the new missions in Japan. This review claims that the story is too ambitious for the art, but that it’s a good, interesting comic all the same. And hey, how many comics feature heroic Jesuit characters?

On the more progressive side, we have an online American manga, Altar Girl. As the author describes it, this is “Your typical Catholic school girl meets naive dead boy scenario. Angels, half demons, bishounen, etc.” The saga of Ashley Altars has apparently been rolling since 2002, so it’s probably time for St. Blog’s to drop by! (Don’t be scared by the tattooed image in the first comic. As we all know, the cover of a comic never reflects its contents, and that’s especially true with this one. It’s as sweet and cute as the littlest kid at a May crowning. At least so far as October 23, 2002, which is as far as I’ve gotten so far.)

Sakkaku no Serenity (Illusions of Serenity) is another online American manga. This one uses the usual pretty boy and CLAMP-inspired Christian imagery to very good effect. It does seem to intend to deal with Christian themes, and hey, we all need a little dose of pretty horror comic every once in a while. Besides, the comic on “why we don’t always interpret the Bible literally” is a stitch.

Magical Boys is an online manga poking fun at the magical girls genre by reversing genders. That’s right — this time the magical fantasyland will be saved by guys with destinies! Radical, eh? Anyway, the Catholic connection is provided by the cast with good Catholic kids Brendan and Brooke Ashe, and their friends. Unfortunately, the series seems not to have been updated since 2003.

Great Teacher Onizuka (GTO) is a highly amusing anime series about a motorcycle gang member turned first-year teacher. (This must be the sort of stuff they were always watching back in the teachers’ lounge….) Apparently, however, the show had a live action drama special in which Onizuka was transferred temporarily to a Catholic girls’ school! This I have to see….

On the Japanese manga side, there’s apparently a good many Catholic characters in the horror/romance/adventure comics of Higuri You. You gotta love titles like “Lost Angel” and “Tenshi no Hitsugi-Ave Maria-”. The problem, is that the innocent fun of bishounen so often takes a turn into shounen-ai, and the next thing you know, some retired Episcopal bishop is wearing a lei on his head and “marrying” his boyfriend. Which sorta takes all the fun out of the Catholic background, if you know what I mean. (Not that it matters at this point, as this lady’s work apparently hasn’t been translated into English and I’m not likely to hit any Japanese comic stores any time soon.)

St. Blog’s is only one online parish, it seems.

Fr. Dennis Drury has an Elfwood gallery for his artwork. Some nice stuff. I don’t agree with him about women in armor, though. No “shape”? No shape? No shape?! Oh, totally shapeless. Bah, I say. Seriously, though, it would be difficult to confuse a woman in armor — even plate armor — with a guy. Totally different stance and leg shape, just for one. Half an hour in the SCA would open his eyes. Here’s a page with lots of styles of women’s armor.

B-Chan has apparently written a book called Think Manga. The next book is apparently going to be Think Stuart and Bourbon…. *grin*

Another anime and manga fan is at Embry-Riddle and looking for an RCIA program for over the summer, from what it sounds like. Anybody able to help her?

Here you can find even more members of whatever you’d call the Livejournal parish.

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Friday Dogblogging

There’s been a lot of Friday catblogging lately. So here’s our Irish wolfhound Liath to tip the scales back in the canine direction. She should outweigh any number of cats….

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A Visit to the Catacombs

Shrine of the Holy Whapping visits the Catacombs of Santa Priscilla!

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A Wrinkle in Time: The Disney TV Movie

I wrote a little too much for Bill Cork‘s comment box, so I’ll post it here instead. It’s a lot kinder and more balanced than the comments I had during and after the movie, I assure you.

It didn’t entirely stink. The CGI was done by people who’d obviously liked the book. Also, there were certain inherent problems in adapting a book about thoughts and feelings to a visual medium. But.

Any Meg who doesn’t wear glasses is wrong. I liked the actress and what she did with what she was given — but the angry pretty hood/nerd is a different species from the angry tubby nearsighted nerd. I cried bitter tears over this.

(Yes, literally. I hadn’t had a lot of sleep the night before, and besides, AWIT was the first science fiction book I ever read. It means a lot to me, and I identified heavily with Meg as a child. My fourth grade self takes adaptations very seriously, and insists they be faithful to the letter.)

Any movie which consistently reverses or destroys the writer’s really important images and metaphors is a bad adaptation. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it was pretty darned bad.

One of the prime moments of the novel is the street in Camazotz. It’s in the normal suburbs, and every house has the same accessories: the same perfect lawn, the same perfect flowers, and an expressionless girl skipping rope or an impassive boy bouncing a ball. (Little kids, mind you, not teenagers as in the movie.) Each child is doing the same thing the same way, not just to the same rhythm. The only exception is a boy who can’t quite manage to keep a ball bouncing in time at all, much less for as long and as perfectly as the others. The movie made this child a flashy Michael Jordan of the junior high set, which is quite a different metaphor than somebody who can’t do sports at all. Especially since we already have Calvin to be the gifted athlete of the book.

The image of a boy trying his best to bounce the ball and being embarrassingly bad at it, yet refusing to surrender to Evil in exchange for mindless perfection, was a very important and personal thing to many of us with bad coordination. Yet Disney changed this important plot point without an apology or second thought. It felt like a slap in the face to L’Engle and to us.

People who are awkward, or who don’t have perfect eyes or sports skills, have no business being in a movie, it seems.

As one blog reviewer said, “It raped my childhood.”

The Happy Medium was really gay. The sad thing was that the actor at least understood better than the Which, Who, and Whatsit actresses how to play a fantasy/comedy/drama role. I kept wanting to smack them upside the head for hamming so badly. This wasn’t children’s theater and playing to the back row in a giant turtle suit or something. They were supposed to be mysterious, powerful and bizarre beings with a touch of whimsy, not assaulting the world with a whimsy brick!

The book isn’t overrated. My fourth-grade self urges me to say this in the strongest term. (She also is exasperated by the idea of assigning it to anyone, much less the wide array of Cliff Notes and essays-for-sale ranged about it these days in defensive rings. Studying a book in school makes it less comprehensible and removes all of its power, she feels.)

I’m surprised most people didn’t comment about all the times the Christianity was sucked right out of the movie. For example, the translation of the winged people’s singing was originally a quote from the Psalms. Although other quotes were often left intact, almost all Biblical and saints’ quotes were removed. It was very blatant. I was surprised they left St Paul and Emily Dickinson in at the pivotal point.

So, although it didn’t stink as badly as it could have, it stunk.

As for la Madeleine, it should be recognized that she is old, sick, cantankerous (it’s said), and the possessor of an occasionally dry sense of humor. She has been known to write Bible fanfic herself (Many Waters). Also, she’s Episcopalian and was writer in residence at St. John’s the Divine.

So…my feeling about the Da Vinci comment is that she thinks it’s fun and interesting because she doesn’t believe it for a minute, and assumes that the readership knows it’s all made up as well. For a writer, it’s a fun trope to play with. If she has been spared the disheartening realization that people _are_ that ignorant and gullible by her age and meds — well, I only wish I could be so blessed.

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Ohio Bloggers!

Globe of Blogs has a bunch of Ohio bloggers for your perusal. Power to the Buckeyes!

Mommies at Law: Just what it says!
This Woman’s Work: Stay-home feminism.

Blogbandit: Kevin Cole is obviously not your stereotypical Cedarville resident.

Reds Daily: All Cincinnati Reds, all the time. (And if this is the same J Arney I know — hi, Sparky!)

Movies Past Tense: Historical flicks and sword-and-sandal pics. Joy, this one’s for you.

Joe Clifford Faust: Science fiction author. I’ve never really read his books, but I think I may have to read his blog. Which of course will lead me to feel guilty if I don’t buy his books….

Ferret Press: a small press for comics.

Celtic Fantasy is a heavily poetic blog by a woman from Cleveland.

Why should the earth continue?
Why does the universe become curious
To see what will be for me and you
When there is never going to be an us?

Ohio Parishioners of St. Blog’s:
Video meliora, etc.
My Domestic Church
Mannequin Hands
(Yet another convert! Congratulations, Erin from Columbus! You go!)

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“My Name Is Nick Berg” –

I’ve written a song about the civilian contractors killed in Iraq. You can download an mp3 of it from suburbanbanshee.com.

My Name Is Nick Berg
Lyrics and Music: Maureen S. O’Brien, 5/12/04

My name is Nick Berg, and I came to this land
To get a job giving her people a hand.
Now my killers hate freedom; that’s why they killed me.
So I died for my dream that Iraq would live free.

I’m Fabrizio Quattrochi. They thought I would cry,
But instead I showed them how Italian men die.
And if I had to die far from my own country,
I have family here — all who mean to live free.

REF: And the vines will grow green;
They’ll sit under their trees
And they’ll say what they like,
With no tyrant to please.
All the peace back at home
That we gave up will be
Born anew in this land
When Iraq can live free.

Our names are not few, though to you they’re not known.
We cry out from our graves with the rattle of bones.
As Saddam’s men killed us, now they kill you with glee.
But remember. Avenge us. Iraq must be free.

My name is Iraq. I am young and age-old.
Pain has just made me stronger and made my heart bold.
By my side are good friends, and no murd’rers scare me.
I will win, and my people will fin’lly live free.

REF: And the vines will grow green;
They’ll sit under their trees
And they’ll say what they like,
With no tyrant to please.
All the peace back at home
That we gave up will be
Born anew in this land
When Iraq can live free.

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A New Beginning

Blogger has new features up for us non-paying customers — obviously, Blogspot wants to be more competitive with LiveJournal — so I’m taking advantage of them. You can now comment on posts, if you like. If I get annoyed by spam or trolls or flames, I will make the comments for registered users only.

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Apostle to the Gweeps

Worcester, Massachusetts (once home to the folk of eyrie.net) has a new Catholic bishop. He seems to be starting out with some strong ideas about improving seminary recruiting and training, according to this interview in the Sentinel and Enterprise.


He said he grew up in a strong city parish of 3,000 members, where young priests inspired him to enter a part-time high school seminary.

“They were the heroes of our parish. They were our heroes, our mentors,” McManus said. “They played a tremendous role in our lives.”

But McManus said by the time he entered a college-level seminary, he saw changes that were not always for the better.

He said some would-be priests in the 1960s took the Second Vatican Council’s emphasis on personal responsibility and self-direction the wrong way.

“Some of that change led to confusion, or some indecision,” McManus said. “I think some people misinterpreted the de-emphasis of regimentation and the re-emphasis of self-education as permissiveness.”

McManus also said it’s even more important for priests to follow and support the church’s teachings.

“You wouldn’t be hired by IBM if you didn’t believe in the quality of the product,” he said.

Gweep, btw, was the term used for the Worcester computer geeks of yore, both in real life and in Undocumented Features.

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Speaking of Undocumented Features

…I stopped by eyrie.net to see what was new. Um…would you believe CSI: New Avalon? Yes, it’s time for forensic science to meet anime, science fiction, Marvel and DC Comics, and…well, just about everything else. The CSI folks work for the International Police Organization, which includes Lensmen. Sara’s a Salusian (the skunk-looking folks from Ninja High School) and so’s Gil, and Warrick Brown’s a Corellian. Raven and Starfire from Teen Titans make an appearance.

There are two “episodes” up at present: “Locard’s Exchange” and “Parallel Lines”.

Here’s a look at the dossiers of the CSI: New Avalon team.

ObCatholicism:

“The casing on the -left- was recovered after a firefight on Babylon 6 two years ago – an IPO ally against a bunch of militant xenos from the Church of Man. It, and 172 more just like it, came from the weapons of a man called Brother Neo.”

Grissom glanced up from the photo. “-Brother- Neo?”

“Yeah. He’s a monk – of the Holy Order of Saint Ignatius the Defender.”

“Are you saying this pistol-packing monk is our killer?”

“No,” Nick said, shaking his head. “Different caliber, different tool marks, but the same -kind- of marks…These rounds,” Nick said, tapping the photo on the right, “were processed by a droid ammunition handler. The Ignatines make them.”

“Most monks make wine,” Grissom remarked with an arched eyebrow.

“Ignatius was a pretty hardcore saint,” Stokes said. “His order’s dedicated to battling against wickedness. They have a group of itinerants who roam the galaxy spreading St. Ignatius’s justice.”

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Megas XLR — Anime Fanfic on TV

Once upon a time, the Net’s anime fans didn’t have much fanfic to choose from. But there was one huge unapologetic crossover, mainly starring Larry Stu versions of the writers and Leibowitzes of the writers’ friends, but filled with entertainment for every fan who read it. Action! Drama! Comedy! Obscure references! Computer geeking! And most importantly — new and improved versions of every anime and sf starship, mech, or weapon they wanted! The series was Eyrie Productions’ age-spanning epic, Undocumented Features, and even after all these years, it is still rolling along.

But now, someone has dared to mount a challenge. Someone gone pro.

Megas XLR is the saga of a guy who finds a giant robot in a junkyard and customizes it within an inch of its life. Its head is gone, so he replaces it with a convertible. He can pilot it because of his long experience with video games, from Atari on. Just as he and his slacker buddy are preparing to set out on a spree through their native New Jersey, more giant robots show up: first Kiva, a woman from the future military, and then the Glorft, the evil aliens who originally designed the robot (before Kiva customized the captured prototype herself). Kiva is won over and the Glorft defeated, but none of them can get home to the future until Kiva can make a new time travel device. And so, Coop and his giant robot Megas become the defenders of the Earth.

This show is killer, especially if you’re my age. (The younguns will miss a few references.) Megas can do virtually anything that any heroic giant robot has ever done, right down to the rocket-propelled fists. There are also plenty of other pop culture and anime references — for example, I howled when Megas’ chest opened to reveal the wave motion gun from Starblazers. (Which was the size of the bow of a battleship, so it was even funnier to see it stuffed into Megas’ comparatively smaller chest.)

And did I mention Coop is the only overweight action hero on television? (Unless you count Cadet Porky on Duck Dodgers in the 23 and 1/2 Century.)

“But what about the Larry Stu?” you ask. Heh. Take a look at the creators’ pictures over in the Akron Beacon Journal. Now scroll down to see pictures of Coop and Jamie. Gee. How did they ever design Coop and Jamie’s appearance? Hmmmm.

What can I say? I loved it. It’s going to be on Saturdays on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block at 7 and 7:30 PM tonight, with an additional showing at 12:30 in the afternoon. Watch it. Tape it. Tell your friends. This is good stuff.

Here’s lots more about Megas XLR from DVD Vision Japan and AnimatedBliss. The Megas vs the Universe game on Cartoon Network. Be sure to click on “Jester’s Advance” and “Chase Masters V” for some retro fun.

ObCatholicism: one neighborhood building Megas accidentally destroys is “St. Prynoski Elementary School”. The kids are out on the playground and cheer, of course. (And “Prynoski” is the name of the ep’s director.)

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Bush’s Campaign Visit to Lebanon

So the President left Dayton, hit I-75 at Needmore, and progressed to Lebanon down the open highway — open to the bus, that is; closed to everybody else. He was heading down to Lebanon for a speech at the historic Golden Lamb Inn. (Charles Dickens slept here. Lebanon was an important town in canal days — more important than Dayton by far.) It was a comparatively short speech. The important event, for the blogosphere anyway, came afterward.

Lynn Faulkner, a Republican but not a fan of Bush, and a 9/11 widower, stopped the President as he was going to return to the bus and introduced him to his daughter Ashley with the words, “This girl lost her mom in the World Trade Center on 9/11.” Bush of course spoke to the girl and did his best to convey his condolences. Lynn Faulkner took a picture of the moment and emailed it to his friends and family. They of course passed it on. The next day, the wire services picked up the story and photo.

Here are Mr. Faulkner’s comments, from the Washington Dispatch:

I stumbled upon this site and was interested by comments posted about this photo.

A 3+ year member of the White House Press Corps told me today this was the best image of the President captured by anyone in his 3 years of traveling with him everywhere. Why? Because none of them were anywhere around! They had already been ushered back into the busses to leave.

Bush was speaking to the child alone but looking into the eyes of the father when that dad lifted his camera to save the precious memory for his heartbroken child.

Bush did not expect to be photographed and the father struggles with concerns that he wrongly exposed this private moment to the whole world.

You see – this photo was never intended to be seen by anyone other than 15 family members and friends whom he e-mailed it to on Tuesday night. But those 15 were so moved by what they saw that they sent it to 15 more who felt the same and did the same over and over.

48 hours later it was being seen by tens of thousands (millions???) But you were never meant to see it!

Eyes ARE the windows to the soul. I got an unexpected look through those windows and LIKED WHAT I SAW INSIDE. I lifted my camera only to save a precious and absolutely REAL moment for my heartbroken child — To record a precious gift meant for her alone. It is purely coincidental that anyone other than the original intended 15 ever saw this photo.

I’m sorry but the cynics, anti-war leftists, anarchists, America haters, nut-cases and Bush-bashers are so blinded by politics that they cannot recognize strength, compassion, humanity and character even when it is staring them in the eyes.

The “Father”

Posted by: Lynn at May 7, 2004 11:25 PM

I don’t think this story really proves anything politically; as one Washington Dispatch commenter said, everyone in America would like to give that girl a hug. But it’s nice to read.

If you would like to know more about the Faulkners, check out the webpage for the Wendy Faulkner Memorial Children’s Foundation or read a tribute to her in Information Week.

The Cincinnati speech was a lot tighter-knit and hence less interesting, so I won’t blog about it. Only interesting thing was that, once again, somebody yelled out “Viva Bush!” at the beginning. Heh. I want to have that job. It doesn’t necessarily mean the sentiment’s insincere, btw. I’m sure the various local Hispanic groups are glad to yell this stuff out. But whether it’s actually pre-arranged, or whether this is just a popular enough slogan with Spanish speakers, hard to say. Fun to hear, though, I’m sure.

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President Bush’s Campaign Stop at Hara

Thanks to the White House transcript, I can just make some comments here based on the speech out at Hara Arena. First off, you’ll note that this is not the same speech Bush gave up in Maumee. It’s similar in certain areas, and a few sentences are the same, but…hmm. I’d almost say the President’s speechwriters just gave him a stack of outline notecards with a few sentences written out in full, and let him just say things his own way in each place. Which, frankly, would be sensible. It’s obvious that when he just reads along with the teleprompter he tends to stumble.

Anyway, the tailoring is also interesting. The Hara speech spent less time on the economy and jobs, although it made the same points. It spent less time on arguing the case for the war and more time on support for the military — which makes sense, given that we have Wright-Patterson AFB and tend to support the war. Technical issues were added: the search for alternate energy sources, no tax on access to broadband. Education was mentioned, with an appearance by the president of Sinclair Community College to talk about how they can tailor courses to business needs.

Here’s a quote that really struck me:

“The government is not a loving organization. I’m sure there’s loving people in government. I’m one. (Laughter.) But government, itself, is not loving. Government is law and justice. Love comes when somebody, a soul, says, what can I do to make my community a better place? What can I do to mentor a child? What can I do to love my neighbor just like I’d like to be loved myself?

This is pretty much the definition of conservatism: drawing the line between the jobs of the government and of private persons. But this is also the kind of spiritual talk that sounds completely natural coming out of Bush’s mouth, and completely holy-go-pious from Kerry’s. Being religious isn’t a requirement for running for office; but people who aren’t shouldn’t try to pretend that they are. People can tell. It puts them off.

Here’s a cute quote:

My name is Erica Keene. I’m eight years old. And what’s the funnest thing to be — about being President? (Laughter)

The funnest thing is this: making decisions that make the world a better place. (Applause.) I’ve got to make a lot of decisions — some of them you’ll see, and some of them you don’t see — which means that, in order to make good decisions, you better know what you believe, you better stand on principle.

Secondly, in order to make good decisions, I’ve got to listen to smart people. I like to be around smart, intelligent, capable people. I like to walk into a roomful of people like Condi Rice – (applause) — Dick Cheney or Don Rumsfeld or Colin Powell. (Applause.) I like to tell people the Oval Office is the powerful place. People will stand outside the Oval Office, and they say, I can’t wait to get in there and tell him what for. And then they open the door, and they walk in this majestic shrine to democracy, and they’re overwhelmed by the atmosphere. And they say, man, you’re looking beautiful, Mr. President. (Laughter.) Which means, you better have people around you who tell you the truth. (Laughter.)

A decision-maker must be willing to listen, must be willing to count on others to give good, solid advice. As you go out and gather the vote, remind people I’ve put together a really fantastic team of citizens. And they’re good and honest folks, who are smart and capable.

The best thing about this job is making decisions that I think will influence the world and the country in positive ways.

Let me talk to you real quick about history. I don’t think a President, if he does big things, will be around to see the history of his administration. Oh, yes, there will be the subjective history; there will be the political history; there will be the short-term history about an administration. But you won’t be able to see the big things that have changed: the momentum of freedom in parts of the world that’s desperate for freedom; or a cultural change in the country, to see the ultimate effects of a cultural change from one that — a culture that said, if it feels good, just go ahead and do it, and if you got a problem, blame somebody else, to a culture in which each of understands we’re responsible for the decisions we make in life.

So the idea — the best part of this job is to set in motion big changes of history. It’s unbelievably exciting to be in a position to do that. That’s why I want to be the President for four more years. I see clearly where I want to lead the country. I see the obligations we have as a great nation. We have an obligation, where we see tyranny and slavery, to act. I don’t mean militarily. I mean using our influence to free people. We have the obligation to free people from tyranny, and we have the obligation to free people from disease.

One of the things this country has done that I’m incredibly proud of is we’re leading the fight against HIV/AIDS on the continent of Africa, for example. It is an incredibly important mission for this great and compassionate country.

The next question went back to faith:

Yes. You’ve written this question down. That’s dangerous.

Q Yes, but that’s because I’m a little nervous.

THE PRESIDENT: Okay, well, don’t worry, it’s just the President. And a huge press corps. (Laughter.)

Q First of all, Mr. President, thank you. I want to thank you for being a man of faith. And as a fellow – (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Okay. He may have a question back there. (Laughter.)

Q Wow. Anyhow, as a fellow man of faith, how has the faith, first, affected you as a man? How has your faith affected you as President? And further, how do you think faith will affect the outcome of the 2004 election? Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. That’s a good question. First, let me make this abundantly clear to you, the job of the President is to promote a society in which people are free to worship as they see fit. (Applause.) A valuable and cherished tradition of America is that you can worship an Almighty if you want to, and you’re just as patriotic if you choose not to — that if you choose to worship, you can worship any religion that you choose. My job is to make sure that that is a absolute part of the American society and future.

From an individual perspective, as a person, I rely upon faith to give me the strength necessary to do my job. One of the interesting parts of the job, something that I discovered as President, is the fact that a lot of people pray for me. That’s a very humbling thought when you think about little old me. People pray for George W. and his family. I don’t ask; people just do. (Applause.) And for that I’m grateful, incredibly grateful.

I believe in prayer, and I appreciate the prayers of people. I think the 2004 election will be determined by the American people’s decision as to who best can lead the country. That’s what I think will determine the 2004 election. I think it’s the collective will of the people which make that determination. Some people of faith will participate. Some who don’t necessarily agree with faith will participate. The question of the outcome of the race is who best can describe as clearly as possible a positive and hopeful and optimistic future for every single citizen of this country, regardless of their political party, regardless of their background, regardless of their economic status. That’s what I think will determine the outcome of this election. (Applause.)

See, this isn’t a theocracy. No truly religious person would want it to be.

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Bush’s Campaign Visit to Toledo

(Well, Maumee, actually.) It’s an unusual stop, btw, since Toledo has traditionally been Democrat territory. But apparently the local Republican Party has been making strides — and good for them. So Bush began the day there with a pancake breakfast, following hard on the heels of a house party teleconference with Vice President Cheney the previous week. Kerry was in town on Wednesday of that week, too. Yep, this is going to be interesting.

Anyway, as you’d expect in an industrial town like Toledo, the president focused on the war on terror and jobs. (Well, actually, you’d expect that almost anywhere in the US, come to think of it.) Bush also made a Lileks-like reference to the Seevers, local homeowners who were using their tax cut savings to redo their basement.

“Jeff and Katie can spend their money better than the Congress, in our opinion. It’s the cornerstone of our economic policy to trust them with their own money. They said they’re going to build a new playroom in their house. That’s good for the economy. In other words, they have made a different decision than they would have had they not gotten the tax relief. Somebody has got to build the playroom — unless old Jeff decides to do it himself. But when he hires somebody to build the playroom, somebody has got to buy the materials. When somebody buys the materials, somebody has got to manufacture the materials. In other words, when he makes a decision it begins to ripple throughout the economy.”

The president also had a movie rec:

“….First of all, see the movie, Osama. It’s an interesting portrayal and it’s a sad portrayal of what life was like for a young girl in Afghanistan under the Taliban. This child, of course, never had a chance to go to school, never had a chance to realize her potential, was literally enslaved by the barbaric behavior and attitude and ideology of these backward people. Not only did we uphold a doctrine, not only did we make America more safe and secure, this great, generous, compassionate country liberated — liberated — people from the clutches of tyranny and slavery. And I am proud of our nation for doing so.”

Early on, a Hispanic woman called out “Viva Bush!” to which Bush replied, “Vamos a ganar! That means, ‘We’re going to win!’”

Here’s a transcript of the Maumee pancake breakfast remarks.

Kudos to the Blade for its full and fair reporting, btw. It’s an unashamedly Democratic paper, yet its reporters wrote paragraphs like this:

Mr. Bush’s speech blended a recap of his first term in office with a look to the future, and included the firmness and folksy sense of humor that endears him to many of his backers.

Here’s some of the jokes:

“I, one time, said to a crowd — and my mother was in the audience — I said, Dick Cheney is the finest Vice President the country has ever had. Mother yelled out, ‘Wait a minute, buster!’”

“I appreciate everybody bringing their families… Go ahead and use me as a convenient excuse to skip school. Just tell them the President said, give you an “A”.”

“I’m running against an experienced United States Senator. He’s been there a long time. He’s been there so long, he’s just about on both sides of every issue.”

The audience also got into the act. When Bush spoke about Kerry’s plans to tax the rich (“And guess who ‘the rich’ is? It’s you. Because there’s not enough money when it comes to taxing the rich to pay for all these promises.”), an audience member yelled about Kerry, “Is he going to tax his wife?” The audience laughed, but Bush told the man to “Behave yourself.”

There was also the typical Toledo crowd of protestors and supporters along Maumee’s main drag, according to the Toledo Blade. But even the occasional nasty Toledo union folks are nothing compared to the sort of moonbat thugs that show up at rallies outside the “flyover states”. The two parties mostly stayed on opposite corners, it seems. Heck, you could even bring the kids to see the show:

With a paper sign unfurled behind them, a dozen children stood with flags on a driveway on Dussel Drive waiting for President Bush to speed by.

The youngsters, ages 1 to 7, walked from their nearby day-care centers, carrying a sign that read, “We love the U.S.A.” and they jumped with excitement as President Bush waved through his darkened limo window.

Bush then went back to Toledo Express Airport (the little one — used by both parties’ candidates when I was in school), flew down to Dayton, and made a speech at Hara Arena (the Trotwood speech referred to below). But I’ll save that for the next recap post.

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