Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Quick Hits: Volume LXXIII

-I've said in this space before that MN Governor Mark Dayton occasionally appears irritable when speaking in public (except the final 2-3 weeks of this past legislative session when he was incognito). This is especially true when his narratives are rebutted with facts or he is asked to explain his behavior when acting in his capacity as a public servant. The latter doesn't seem too outlandish a request when you consider the people for whom Dayton works "have a right to know" what he's doing with his time. After all, that was a pledge Dayton made as a candidate for governor three years ago.

This has become a salient issue recently because of Dayton's travel out of state to supposedly convince a company (or companies) to move its operations to Minnesota. However, the destination of this trip and with whom Dayton was meeting was done in secret.

When conducting a press conference Tuesday, Dayton seemed to become quite defensive about the secrecy of this travel. Per Jennifer Brooks of the Star Tribune, Dayton snapped "Do you want me to go out and find more potential jobs or not?"

Y'know, all this hassle could be avoided if (and I'm just spit-balling here) our politicians would simply make this a more business-friendly environment for the businesses which currently reside here. As a result, there wouldn't be such a sense of urgency to go on secret trips and attempt to woo other companies to replace those that have left Minnesota.

Just a thought.

-Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson has, to say the least, set some lofty goals. After falling just short of Eric Dickerson's all-time single season rushing record in 2012, Peterson vowed to shatter it in 2013 with a stupefying 2,500 yard season. However, this seems to be an extreme long shot if one is able to glean anything from NFL history.

Of the six RBs prior to Peterson to gain 2,000 yards in a season, the highest total ever gained the following year was 1,491 by Barry Sanders in 1998 (as it turned out, that would be his final NFL season). In fact, no player has ever had more than one 2,000 yard season in a career. To say AP's 2013 aspirations are a long shot would be an understatement. 

But this week, Peterson set a more long-term goal: breaking Emmitt Smith's career mark.

(Peterson) has targeted Smith's record of 18,355 yards, and told the Star-Tribune that he expects to break the record in Week 16 of the 2017 season, even though his current pace would have him approaching the mark in Week 4 of the 2019 season.

Peterson currently has 8,849 yards. His estimate would mean it would take him 79 games to rush for the 9,507 yards needed to set the all-time rushing mark, which would require him to average 120.3 yards per game in that span.

"Whoo. That's pushing it, huh? But hey, pushing it is the only way to do it. You know it," he told the newspaper.

Once again, history suggests this to be a long shot. Again, of all the RBs to achieve a 2,000-yard season, Dickerson has the highest career total after his historic year, having amassed 9,346 yards the duration of his playing days. Keep in mind also that Dickerson was only 24-years old in 1984. Peterson is 28 entering this year, which is a significant factor.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Smith holds the record for most rushing yards after a player's 28th birthday with 8,195, meaning Peterson would shatter that mark if he vaults atop the all-time rushing list.

Peterson achieving those marks seem about as likely as a running back returning to action nine months after major knee reconstruction surgery and having a career season. Those kind of things just aren't.........Oh, wait.

-So there seemed to be much rejoicing by the gay lobby and their advocates over an interview given by Pope Francis, specifically when he uttered the following:

"There's a lot of talk about the gay lobby, but I've never seen it on the Vatican ID card."

"When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem ... they're our brothers."

In that context, some may ascertain that the pope is of a "live and let live" mentality regarding homosexuality (or as the Huffington Post conveyed the story: "Breakthrough: Pope OK with Gays.").

Fr. Jonathan Morris offered clarification and proper context.

Let’s begin with the fact that the pope has always been “OK” with homosexuals. In fact, by the demands of his own religion he is required to be much more than just “OK.” The Christian faith teaches that every person is endowed by God with an inviolable dignity and therefore deserves our unconditional respect and love.

A section of an Associated Press report also got the story very wrong. Summarizing the pope’s comments on homosexuals in the priesthood, the AP reported: “Francis was much more conciliatory [than Pope Benedict], saying gay clergymen should be forgiven and their sins forgotten.”

Pope Francis didn’t say that, and the report is wrong on so many levels.

First of all, it suggests that being gay itself, is a sin. What Pope Francis really said, in response to a reporter’s question about homosexual priests who are living a celibate life was this: “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Pope Francis simply and compassionately reiterated Biblical teaching. The Bible and the Catholic Church have never taught that it is a “sin” to be homosexual. They teach it is a sin to have homosexual sex because it goes against the laws of God’s nature, specifically his plan for human sexuality.

By all means, read Fr. Morris's entire piece.

Despite what they perceived as big victories in recent Supreme Court marriage decisions, the gay lobby knows there is still a fight ahead regarding same-sex marriage being legal throughout all 50 states (not to mention universal societal acceptance). As such, they'll look to any source to galvanize their narrative, even if it means mangling the context of an interview given by the Catholic church's highest ranking official.


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