Thursday, March 06, 2003

Byzantine Rite prayer of St Ephraim the Syrian
For Great Lent

Petition I signed today
Dear Friends:

They are now evacuating nonessential personnel from the US embassies in the Middle East. This means they are about to start. All it takes is 20% of us to cry out for "NO WAR", but they say our numbers are more like 2%. US Congress has authorized the President of the US to go to war against Iraq.

Please consider this an urgent request. UN Petition for Peace Stand for Peace. Islam is not the Enemy. War is NOT the Answer. Today we are at a point of imbalance in the world and are moving toward what may be the beginning of a THIRD WORLD WAR. If you are against this possibility, the UN is gathering signatures in an effort to avoid a tragic world event.

Please COPY (rather than Forward) this e-mail in a new message, sign at the end of the list, and send it to all the people whom you know. If you receive this list with more than 500 names signed, please send a copy of the message to: and

Even if you decide not to sign, please consider sending the petition on instead of eliminating it.

A note on Internet trollery
As noted on my site’s front page, somebody has been trying to discredit A conservative site for peace/A conservative blog for peace for some time now by impersonating me on various Catholic online fora (Ministry and Liturgy, CIN Eastern Catholics and possibly the Canterbury Forum), on none of which I post anymore because of these security problems. Seems this poor soul resurfaced in my guestbook yesterday and today posing as an interplanetary-craft occupant. I love a good joke and in a way I’m flattered someone is so moved by my views he feels he has to react. (The opposite of love isn’t hate but indifference.) But enough’s enough. This really seems like sick cyberstalker behavior - a (definitely unrequited by me) queer crush, perhaps? Anyway, he named one of my favorite sources, the libertarians at, and here is another gem from that source:

What’s wrong with American ‘conservatism’
Except The American Conservative
by Jeffrey Tucker

A tale
The woman in a gingham dress and the man in a homespun suit got off the train in Boston and made their way to the office of the president of Harvard University. They did not have an appointment. They entered the outer office where the secretary looked at them with disdain, taking in the gingham dress and homespun suit.

"What can I do for you?" she snapped.

"We wish to see the president" the man said quietly.

"He's busy all day" she snapped again.

"We'll wait" said the man.

Hours passed, and the secretary began to fidget. "These people had no right to be here taking up valuable time." Finally she could stand it no more and doing the chore she always regretted, she interrupted the president of Harvard University.

"Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they'll leave," she said to him.

He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance obviously didn't have time to spend with them, but he detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer office. The president, stern faced and with dignity, strutted toward the couple. The lady told him, "We had a son who attended Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But, about a year ago, he was accidentally killed. My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus."

The president wasn't touched...He was shocked.

"Madam, he said gruffly, "we can't put up a statue to every person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery."

"Oh, no," the lady explained quickly. "We don't want to erect a statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard."

The president rolled his eyes. He glanced at the gingham dress and homespun suit, then exclaimed, "A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the physical buildings here at Harvard." For a moment the lady was silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them now. The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all it costs to start a university? Why don't we just start our own?"

Her husband nodded.

The president's face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, traveling to Palo Alto, California where they established the university that bears their name, Stanford University, a memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing.

Me: Just read on the snopes urban-legend debunking site that this story isn’t true. That’s too bad. Still a great morality tale, though.

From Wired: Hackers may have compromised all AOL members’ privacy
I haven’t read any confirmation of this story but it seems plausible. Glad I finally came to my senses, woke up from my slothfulness and dumped AOHell this year.

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