David Ancell's Virtual Home

Please Speak English

  /   Thursday, March 20, 2008   /   Comments(0)

I went to Geno’s and had a cheesesteak back in February. I remember seeing the sign that “This is America. When ordering, please speak English.” I had heard about the local human rights commission saying that the sign is discriminatory. Thankfully, the commission ruled otherwise. The owner, Joey Vento, even said that they won’t discriminate against people. It’s just that, if they don’t speak English, then they aren’t sure what to serve people.

I like Joey Vento’s quotes on the video accompanying this article on why this sign shouldn’t be offensive to non-English speakers:

If you don’t speak English, what’s the sign say to you. It says nothing!

If you don’t understand the language . . . you can’t speak it; you can’t read it.

Truthfully, I think the whole complaint from the city is silly. Even if Geno’s wants to discriminate, they are the ones who lose the business. If their employees speak English only, then they aren’t going to understand people ordering in other languages. What does the commission expect? You can call this bad business if you want, but it isn’t a human rights violation. I can understand where there would be a problem if this establishment were an essential service like health care, but this is a restaurant.

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On Crutches

  /   Saturday, January 05, 2008   /   Comments(0)

After doing some tests on me after my wreck, the doctor put me in a boot and on crutches a few weeks ago. I have not had this before in my life, so I had no idea what it would be like. I’m not so much trying to get sympathy as to try to tell you what I’ve learned from this.

First, it’s really tiring. I have almost no energy. This is really bad given that work has gotten much more stressful lately. Yes, I’m still at the same job. If it weren’t for the wreck, I’d probably have left Memphis. I never knew that walking on crutches would take so much out of someone. I get home and hardly feel like doing anything.

Second, I’ve found that holding and carrying things is very difficult, if not impossible. The crutches are in your hands, so you can only hold things that you can brace against the crutches. Even then, it’s awkward. I’ll have to remember when I see others in the future on crutches to ask if they need help carrying stuff. I can tell you that the staff in Kroger and Target have been very helpful to me. The people at Zaxby’s noticed my condition and helped me get my food to the table without my asking. Qdoba wasn’t quite so helpful; they seemed oblivious to my condition.

Third, you get sore arms. My wrists are so sore that it’s sometimes hard to pick things up around my work desk. Yes, I am still trying to work. I would suggest trying to take time off if you have to deal with this. No doubt, I’ll have the arm muscles going again once I’m done.

Hopefully, I’m almost done with these things. I know I want to try to do what I can for others I see on these things in the future. Now, I know what kind of things are difficult when you have crutches.

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What’s the Big Deal?

  /   Sunday, December 30, 2007   /   Comments(0)

Ok, so I’m a little late here. I debated whether to bother to post this. It’s hard for me to find time to update the blog these days. I did receive a bit from well-meaning people during December that could be construed as saying that it’s no big deal if people in the corporate world are out there saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” I want to address this here.

I’d have to agree that, if someone spends all his/her time writing protest letters about this, they really have gone too far. It’s kind of hard to tell someone to keep Christ in Christmas if we have done nothing but send angry letters. However, too many in the world have forgotten an essential truth of our salvation.

Take a look at this excerpt from Frank Sheed’s A Map of Life. I highly recommend this book. I got something more out of reading this article that I didn’t get on reading the book years ago.

Sheed’s writing here gives us an essential point of our faith. Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Our starting point in faith isn’t the deeds we do, though we must do good deeds. We start with Jesus Christ himself. He is not some accessory to our faith, nor is he a matter of our own opinion. Without him, we have no salvation. This even applies to those who may be saved without explicit belief in him.

People who have decided to remove reference to Christ are, first and foremost, missing the very reason why the holiday exists, making celebration ludicrous. It is Jesus Christ himself that we must first and foremost proclaim. We demonstrate his love by our good deeds, but we must also remind people of his importance when he is left out of our celebration.

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Sloppy Journalism on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

  /   Wednesday, November 21, 2007   /   Comments(0)

The New York Times reported that scientists have found out how to turn human skin cells into cells just like human embryonic stem cells. Of course, this will legitimately bypass the moral problem of embryonic stem calls. They managed to get a quote from Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk on this.

However, this line is a bit of a problem:

Until now, the only way to get such human universal cells was to pluck them from a human embryo several days after fertilization, destroying the embryo in the process.

Technically, this is correct, but it is still misleading. They leave no mention of adult stem cells that can be obtained and used to treat illnesses (and have been used that way) with no moral problems. The cells may not be as flexible as an embryonic cell, but they are easier to control. This leads me to my second point.

The article goes on to say that the method used to produce the cells could be a risk for them to become cancerous. This may be. However, the possibility of cells harvested from human embryos to become cancerous just because of the difficulty in controlling them was left out of the article.

I really wish someone who knew what they were talking about would write these stories on stem cell research. They could at least let people know that adult stem cells can and have been used. Without this, the public isn’t getting complete information.

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I Won’t Go to New Jersey

  /   Saturday, November 10, 2007   /   Comments(0)

I wasn’t planning on going to New Jersey anyway, but now that they’ve passed a law requiring pharmacists to dispense the morning-after pill, I’m really not going. Other sources state that a pharmacist can try to locate a nearby pharmacy that will dispense, but this doesn’t really help things. This state supposedly has a large Catholic population, but they apparently cannot or are not willing to stand against this.

The sick part of this is the senator who sponsored the bill saying that conscience “should not come into play when subjective beliefs conflict with objective medical decisions.” Uh, hello, just what kind of “objective medical decision” is this anyway? If someone told me to go kill someone on the street, I doubt I could tell the police that I couldn’t let my conscience get in the way of someone’s “objective decision.” There is simply no objective medicine involved.

I was scanning comments on Newsday (here and here), and I noticed a couple of interesting items. First, one writer seems to have forgotten what really causes pregnancy. She writes “If the condom fails to work and you become pregnant, just go to your pharmacist and all the other refusing pharmacists.” Did it ever occur to this person that one who does not want to get pregnant does not have to do that which causes pregnancy? It’s a choice, and any adult should know what they are doing. If the natural consequences occur, take the responsibility instead of expecting someone to give you a pill that may (but won’t necessarily) destroy the life you have helped create by your own choice.

Other comments that I have seen many times say such wonderful things about how people all have different opinions that are “equally valid.” I wonder if my opinion would be “equally valid” if I believed I should rob someone’s house, and I saw nothing wrong with it. If not, then how does he know? It isn’t “moralists” imposing “arbitrary values” on people that leads to “moral narcissism.” The narcissism in our society is caused by people who believe that they should be allowed to do whatever they want without considering the natural consequences.

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Surprised to be Alive

  /   Monday, October 29, 2007   /   Comments(0)

God kept me alive for some reason. Soon, maybe I’ll start to see what he has planned. Many of you who know me know what I am talking about.

I was driving on an interstate in the rain and fog when a car heading the opposite direction crossed the grass median. I had no way of stopping in time (though I tried), and I slammed into him. Behind me, an 18-wheeler tried to move to avoid the wreck, and he ran over my trunk with his back wheels or the back of his trailer. The authorities were right behind us immediately. My car is a total loss. I spent the night in the hospital, but I am still alive at least.

I can tell you that, if you are going to have a wreck, a Honda Accord is a good car to have a wreck in. It may not ever drive again, but it held up well enough to keep from crushing me. There were other factors. The 18-wheeler’s trailer was empty, or he wouldn’t have been able to turn so as not to crush me. If the authorities had not been right behind me, I probably would have been hit again. God kept me safe through this.

NOTE ADDED LATER: I forgot to mention that this was on Monday, October 22nd that this happened.

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Pope Calls for Conscientious Objection by Pharmacists

  /   Monday, October 29, 2007   /   Comments(0)

I am grateful for Pope Benedict as it is. Now, I just saw that he called for conscientious objection by pharmacists. We should not collaborate in supplying products used for immoral intent, specifically abortion or euthanasia. It’s interesting that there isn’t a mention of contraception here. I have heard (and even read in an old moral theology text) that a pharmacist could sell contraception to those who request it to keep his job, but he could not counsel regarding its use.

I had always felt forgotten in all the talk on health care and morality. I didn’t even know that the International Federation of Catholic Pharmacists existed. Maybe this will be a start to getting some things out there about the rights and moral responsibilities of pharmacists.

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How Not to Interview

  /   Saturday, September 15, 2007   /   Comments(0)

There are all kinds of sites out there advising you as to what to do on an interview and what not to do. This one details the outrageous. I have to wonder how any of these people expected to land a job this way.

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Back to Pharmacists for Life

  /   Sunday, August 12, 2007   /   Comments(0)

I had long let my membership lapse in Pharmacists for Life. I was thankful to see that an Illinois judge ruled that pharmacists are indeed health care professionals. One consequence of this ruling is that the conscience protection laws apply to pharmacists, which could very well mean the end of Blagojevich’s executive order requiring all pharmacists to dispense Plan B on demand.

Hopefully, any appeals will be decided the same way. I have to note that, as the articles states, mainstream organizations were notably absent from this suit. This is one reason why I won’t join any except our state and local organization.

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Yes, I Am Still Alive

  /   Sunday, August 05, 2007   /   Comments(0)

My blogging has definitely slowed down since I began, but I’m also busier than ever. This has to be the busiest summer I’ve ever had. Still, I feel like there has been a summer or two in the past few years that I’ve wasted, so I wanted to make sure I made the most of it. Here’s a rundown of what’s going on for those who are interested.

First, I’ve decided to seriously curtail the computers and electronics I’ve bought. In some cases, I’ve bought two or more of the same kind of thing that I don’t really need one of. I’m also not buying many more books because I have more books than I can stand, and I have no place for them. Buying things has become a kind of addiction for me, and now I’m taking control and saving money. After all, I’m 32 and still don’t own a house even though I could more than afford to do it.

Second, I’ve been doing major cleanup on my apartment. I’ve thrown a lot of clutter away, and I’m working on getting rid of more clutter. I need to simplify life and make moving easier to do since I don’t want to live in this place forever. My place is already much cleaner than it has been in a while, and I plan to maintain it.

Third, I’ve been trying to make sure I spend more time with friends. We’ve had a couple of burrito nights this summer. Another friend has graciously begun a breakfast group each month as well. I went to the Defending the Faith conference in Steubenville last summer and had a couple of friends from the area to spend time with. They were great people to spend time with, and it is great to spend time in Steubenville with the Lord and people who love him.

Fourth, I’ve decided to look around and see if I can find another city I’d like to live in. At this point, I’m not sure what will happen next. The young adult ministry in this area hardly exists anymore, and most of my friends are either married or just aren’t available like they used to be (though, if you see above, I’ve made some headway). I’m also finding that I don’t really like Memphis as well as I used to. I have obtained licenses to practice pharmacy in Missouri and Kansas, and I’m also considering Nashville as a place to live.

Finally, I’m adding to my efforts on Catholic Match and Ave Maria Singles. Lately, especially in the past year, I’ve met some really good people there and have had some live meetings. Nothing has gone beyond friendship yet, but I’m still hopeful. There has to be someone out there.

I had my vacation last week, which included a trip to Steubenville and to Nashville, where I saw The Hermitage. I wish I could repeat the whole vacation. If I’m still here in the fall, I hope to go see Rock City. Next year, I need to go somewhere I haven’t been before. If anyone has ideas, please drop them along.

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