It’s a dangerous job….

Steve and I did some major yard work today, so we are going to be stiff and sore for a few days. Yeah…we’re old  But the front yard looks good. I don’t enjoy actually doing all that hard work, but I do love the way the yard looks when we’re done. It’s satisfying to sit in the swing and look at it all.

And I like to be able to share plants. My mother and grandmother gave me cuttings off of theirs, and I gave Rachael some the other day. They have a huge deck, and she’s growing a garden on it.

We uncovered an overgrown sidewalk we haven’t seen in a long time. No…not the one by the street. There is a sidewalk that runs in front of the garage, and it was partially covered. We also moved bricks and Windsor stones around the flowerbed. I moved a large rock in another bed. I have a thing for collecting large rocks. We have several we hauled home from West Virginia and Kentucky.

While we were working, all the cats were happily playing in the yard and flowerbeds. Here’s Domino being cute among the daylilies:

Domino in the Daylilies

And I just thought this one was pretty…the sun’s rays shining through the trees in the front yard:

Sun rays

The pecan tree on the right is just now starting to put on leaves, but a lot of the bushes are already flowering. The hibiscus is gorgeous. It is going to be really unusually cool tonight. It is supposed to be 48 degrees in the morning, which is almost unheard of this time of year in Texas. The high tomorrow is supposed to be about 72, with no rain. Today was beautiful.

Daisy chain

John 14:1-7……14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. NIV 


Just some articles I found about Tony Capra, the EOD Tech who died April 9……

Air Force Times

The Iraq Page – Anthony L. Capra

Wedding picture

Blogspot (a friend from school)

His MySpace(it is private, but it shows a picture of his family – he was married with 5 children)


New Developments on Photographers’ Religious Rights 

In New Mexico, religious rights can disappear in a flash, and no one has learned that painful lesson better than Elane Photography. The company, a Christian husband-and-wife team named Huguenin, has become the latest victims of religious intolerance at the hands of the state of New Mexico for refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony. When a lesbian couple tried to hire the owners for their “wedding,” Elaine and her husband declined, saying that the ceremony violated their moral beliefs. To get even, the women filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Division, alleging that the couple discriminated against them. They asked the commission to issue an injunction that would ban the company from ever rejecting a contract based on a client’s sexual preferences. Yesterday, the commission charged Elane Photography with “sexual orientation discrimination” and ordered the couple to pay $6,637.94 in attorneys’ fees to the lesbians who filed the suit. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), who represented the photographers, called the ruling “a stunning disregard” of the First Amendment. Together with the couple, ADF has vowed to appeal. As a private company, Elane Photography has the freedom to establish its own criteria on issues of conduct and conscience. Clearly, the commission is so consumed with advancing the homosexual agenda that it is willing to trample the couple’s constitutional rights in the process. Perhaps what is most infuriating about this decision is that the Huguenins’ Christian beliefs aren’t the only thing opposed to same-sex “marriage”–so is New Mexico’s law. Neither civil unions nor homosexual “marriage” is recognized by the state. The Huguenins have the right to refuse to photograph any number of things they regard as moral issues, whether it’s a photo shoot at Planned Parenthood, a poster for the Ku Klux Klan, or a keepsake album for participants in a baby seal hunt. The Constitution may offend the politically correct crowd, but it is quite clear that Americans should not be forced to promote a private message that violates their conscience.

The Logic of Eliot Spitzer


Last month a rising political star fell suddenly.  Eliot Spitzer made what appeared to be a public admission of involvement in a prostitution ring and then resigned as Governor of New York two days later.  

Ironically, on the same day of the explosive admission, the Catholic Church came out in force against the radical abortion proposal Spitzer had been pushing for months.

New York law on abortion is already extremely permissive:  abortion is permitted at any point in pregnancy, no medical reason necessary.  And New York has the highest abortion rate of any state in the nation.   And Spitzer wanted more.  


He wanted abortion to be beyond the reach of even reasonable, common-sense regulation so he pushed for a new law enabling non-physicians to do abortions in New York.  And he threatened Catholic institutions such as hospitals, social service agencies, and schools with having to cooperate in abortion or risk losing state licensure.  

Cardinal Edward Egan called Spitzer’s bill “an attack on human dignity and the well-being of society as a whole.”  Spitzer called it a top priority.

This wasn’t the first inkling of Eliot Spitzer’s immoderation on abortion.  As Attorney General he made national news for his aggressive attack on pregnancy aid centers, often the last hope of women who feel pressured into abortion.

Is it possible that Spitzer’s motives for propping up abortion were more complicated and personal than they appeared?  

The sex industry, exploits all that it touches, especially young women, is heavily reliant on abortion.  The prostitution-abortion link, evident throughout history, is still present today.  All contraception methods have some margin of error, with annual failure rates ranging from one or two percent all the way to fifty percent. When that failure rate is considered in light of a prostitute’s high number of sexual encounters, the chance of pregnancy increases exponentially and abortion becomes an integral part of the enterprise.  

Prostitution presents the promise of sex without consequences.  Abortion takes that check to the bank.

Before Roe v. Wade, proponents of permissive abortion laws were motivated by a misplaced fear of overpopulation, and then the cause was cloaked in feminism where it took root and remains today.  The accepted wisdom is that Roe v. Wade was and is an unmitigated good for women.

But Alice Paul, the original author of the Equal Rights Amendment, called abortion “the ultimate exploitation of women.”  Was she right?  Did an unlimited right to abortion actually undermine the best interests of women?

Why is so little made of the fact that men poll more “pro-choice” than women?  Is this just some inexplicable irony or is there a hidden truth in this apparent contradiction?  
It would be too much to say that all men who favor permissive abortion laws do so out of self-interest, but it would be naïve to think that none do.  

We can’t know the mind of Eliot Spitzer, but in his actions there is a certain logic.  

Cathy Ruse is Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at the Family Research Council



14 thoughts on “It’s a dangerous job….

  1. Cindy,
    If you lived closer I’d definitely go to Starbucks with you!! If you ever go on a road trip or whatever my way let’s make a date. God bless you!!:heartbeat:

  2. @cynrita – :goodjob: Would you believe I’ve never even been to Fourbucks? 😆 I just have a hard time thinking about paying as much for one cup of coffee, as I would pay for a whole can of Folger’s in the grocery store. They even just built a new Starbucks next to our HEB grocery store, and across the street from my nail salon. So how about if I just stop and pick up a can of Folger’s and bring it to your house? We can have several pots of coffee that way! 😆
    *Note to self: plan trip to Arizona* 😆

  3. @Singing4God8692 – No, he was just being a crazy cat. He was running and playing. He’d follow me around and whine when I wasn’t picking him up or playing with him. I didn’t tell you that the other night when I walked across the street to talk to Brian, several cats followed me over there, and Domino was one of them. When I came back they all followed…except Domino. He didn’t see me, and was walking up and down the sidewalk meowing like a little kid that was lost. I turned around and said, “Domino…come on!” Then he saw me and ran back across to our driveway. He was so glad to see me. He thought he was lost.

  4. I heard about that photography studio and what happened but I hadnt heard the ruling so this just is shocking! So unbelievable how things can turn so bad. I hope they appeal this!!!

  5. Eugene Volokh analyzed the photography case last week.The long and short of it: the photographer broke the law.The more pertinent questions: is the law constitutional?; and regardless, is the law something we think is appropriate for the state to be getting involved with, and what are the implications on other laws of our answer?Volokh paints the issue as a speech question. Under that framework, there’s no way the law could hold up in federal court, which is where ADF is sure to take this. But it seems the state instead views this as a service and subjects it to “public accommodation” rules. And “sexual orientation discrimination” is prohibited by these rules. The state has authority to regulate the formation of contracts, and it seems New Mexico’s policy is to regulate with a mind to various special interests including homosexuals.Personally, I think that’s a load of potty. I think people should have the right to discriminate. But here’s where we have to examine the implications of that view. If the ADF wins on grounds other than free speech, it will go a long way toward removing barriers to private discrimination. But the ADF itself likes to sue “public accommodations” that discriminate against Christians and conservatives, among others. Those suits would have to fail if the ADF wins this one. Strange bedfellows indeed.This will be an interesting case to continue to watch. Notice the way your press release subtly shifts the issue:…a lesbian couple tried to hire the owners….the women filed a complaint…[and] asked the commission to issue an injunction that would ban the company from…rejecting a contract…….Alliance Defense Fund (ADF)…called the ruling “a stunning disregard” of the First Amendment….As a private company, Elane Photography has the freedom to establish its own criteria….Clearly, the commission is…willing to trample the couple’s constitutional rights…the Huguenins’ Christian beliefs aren’t the only thing opposed to same-sex “marriage”–so is New Mexico’s law. Neither civil unions nor homosexual “marriage” is recognized by the state. The Huguenins have the right to refuse to photograph any number of things….Americans should not be forced to promote a private message that violates their conscience.One of the first things they teach in law school is that framing the issue matters. This press release proves it. The Commission considered it a “public accommodation” and contract case, and the ADF calls it a First Amendment case. As discussed above, that distinction is critical.What do I think? — 1) A professional photography company is a service, not speech. The First Amendment doesn’t apply. BUT 2) States should allow discrimination in the formation of contracts, so New Mexico should overturn the NMHRA. BUT 3) the Federal Government can’t require that. SO 4) the Huguenins should move to a less totalitarian state.

  6. Also, just to satisfy any curiosity, here’s the law under which the Commission made its ruling:N.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-1-7(F)It is an unlawful discriminatory practice for:…(F)any person in any public accommodation to make a distinction, directly or indirectly, in offering or refusing to offer its services, facilities, accommodations or goods to any person because of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, spousal affiliation or physical or mental handicap, provided that the physical or mental handicap is unrelated to a person’s ability to acquire or rent and maintain particular real property or housing accommodation…andN.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-1-11(E)Upon the conclusion of a hearing conducted by a hearing officer, the hearing officer shall prepare a written report setting forth proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law and recommending the action to be taken by the commission. The hearing officer shall submit the report to a review panel consisting of no more than three members of the commission designated by the chairman. No commissioner may sit on the panel reviewing the hearing officer’s report issued in connection with a complaint filed by the commissioner. A decision by a majority of the members of the review panel shall be the decision of the commission. If the commission finds from the evidence presented at any hearing held pursuant to this section that the respondent has engaged in a discriminatory practice, it shall make written findings of fact, conclusions of law and its decision based upon the findings of fact and conclusions of law. The commission may adopt, modify or reject the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law and the action recommended by the hearing officer. Within five days after any order is rendered by the commission following a hearing, the commission shall serve upon each party of record and his attorney, if any, a written copy of the order by certified mail to the party’s address of record. All parties shall be deemed to have been served on the tenth day following the mailing. As part of its order, the commission may require the respondent to pay actual damages to the complainant and to pay reasonable attorneys’ fees, if the complainant was represented by private counsel, and to take such affirmative action as the commission considers necessary, including a requirement for reports of the manner of compliance.Volokh points, as a possible defense by the Huguenins, to § 28-22-3: Religious freedom protected; exceptions A government agency shall not restrict a person’s free exercise of religion unless: A. the restriction is in the form of a rule of general applicability and does not directly discriminate against religion or among religions; and B. the application of the restriction to the person is essential to further a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.Volokh’s analysis is erudite:Elaine Huguenin’s refusal to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony does seem to be substantially motivated by her religious belief. She is therefore entitled to an exemption unless applying the law to her passes “strict scrutiny” — “is the least restrictive means of furthering [and is essential to furthering a] compelling governmental interest.”What government interests might justify denying Huguenin the exemption? If the interest is in making sure that people have roughly equal access to services, regardless of their sexual orientation, then I doubt that requiring Huguenin to photograph the ceremony is essential to serving that interest. There surely are lots of other photographers in Albquerque, and I have no reason to think that all or even most of them share Huguenin’s religious objections; if Huguenin is given an exemption, same-sex couples will still have lots of photography services available to them. And given that a wedding photographer, to do a great job, likely needs to feel some empathy with the ceremony, forcing the Huguenins of the world into photographing a ceremony that they disapprove of will likely not give same-sex couples very good service.But if the government’s view is that people have a moral right not to be discriminated against — entirely independently of any practical burden that such discrimination imposes on them — based on their sexual orientation, then it would appear that every instance of sexual orientation discrimination would violate that right. And if the government has a compelling interest in vindicating that right, then granting an exemption even to a few religious objectors would jeopardize that interest, and denying the objection would be essential to maximally furthering the interest. On the other hand, can New Mexico assert such a compelling interest when it itself discriminates against same-sex couples in its marriage laws?So the religious freedom issue would turn, I take it, on what version of the government interest New Mexico courts ultimately recognize — the first version, focusing on practical access to services, which should lead to granting an exemption, or the second, focusing on a supposed moral right not to be discriminated against, which should lead to denying an exemption (if the government is seen as having a compelling interest in protecting that right). Incidentally, in a similar area, marital status discrimination in housing against unmarried couples, the several state courts applying state religious accommodation regimes have split, based precisely on this issue of which sort of interest is involved.

  7. I hate yard work, but I always love how things look afterwards. I guess that’s just about how all work goes, though. :wink:Domino is adorable.Have a blessed Sunday!

  8. I love the picture you took through the trees!  It’s beautiful!  :sunny:
    Just my five cents about the photographer case –  What I have observed about homosexuals is this: 
    1.  They can take their business elsewhere.  Who says they have to hire such-and-such photographers to do their portraits?  I wouldn’t want to hire someone to take my pictures that felt uncomfortable doing it!  Isn’t it ‘coicidental’ that they went to a christian husband wife team for their pictures?  Don’t most people get references or word of mouth advertisements from like minded friends and family ??  :yes:
    2. They usually want money for their “pain”.    I’ve observed that they specifically target christians who profess their biblical beliefs and then make a case out of it.   :steamed:
    If I go to Wal Mart, and they don’t have the size clothing I’m looking for, or the shirt I wanted, I have to go to another Wal Mart!  I don’t sue Wal Mart because they didn’t fulfill my selfish need.  Because of what the Bible says about sowing to the flesh, you reap of the flesh corruption.  Homosexuals are clearly carnal (flesh-minded) as a result of feeding their flesh. 
    3.  I must remember ~ God hates sin but He loves the sinner. :hammer:  Lord, forgive me for being judgmental.  :sigh:
    4.  When they don’t get their way, they try to get what they can from others who won’t compromise. 
    5.  They should do just what the rest of us have to do when we don’t get our way ~ go somewhere else and find another photographer who will do it.  Chances are, they already know of someone who would, either through a friend who has the same lifestyle….you know???  It really makes me mad to see what is going on in our country when outright sin is rewarded.  The Bible talks about seeing the wicked rewarded.  It’s part of life isn’t it?  
    I’m done…..I hope I don’t sound too harsh.  They are just deceived and it’s a pity that our country has become the way it is when it comes to rewarding sin!
    Have a wonderful week!   🙂  :hmmmmm:

  9. @Resolved2WalkInLove – Stephanie, I think you are exactly right. I, too, wondered if they did not seek out this Christian couple, with that very thought in mind….to try to push their agenda. And since God doesn’t allow things to happen to a Christian without first getting His ok…I think it’s probably a test of their faith. A test to see if they would do what is right.
    This lesbian couple could have just gone to somebody else when they were turned down, but no….they had to try to punish the photographers. They didn’t just say, “Ok…I understand you viewpoint because it comes from your faith…we’ll go elsewhere.” They had to get even with them, which God also says not to do. That’s just trying to force others to accept the lifestyle that God says in scripture is “detestable.”
    I don’t think you sound harsh at all, or judgemental. God sees this the same way. He still loves the people, but He certainly will punish them for what they are doing. I know you would rejoice if this lesbian couple turned their lives around and lived according to God’s word. But since we are God’s people, we must view their lifestyle the same way God does :goodjob:

  10. If I were ever in town I would love to get coffee with you all. I’m gonna make it a point to come visit at some point. Probably won’t happen for a while but I really wanna!

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