The Case Of The Missing Shadows

by Jimmy Akin

in Current Affairs

CastrosI’m writing this Monday night so I won’t have to blog on Tuesday’s holy day, so this all may be moot now, but here goes . . .

What happens when tyrants die?

Well, being tyrants, they aren’t well liked by their people (however much their people have been forced to act otherwise) and so as soon as the guy who’s ruled the land with FEAR for so many years kicks the bucket there can be a . . . y’know . . . popular uprising. People go out and celebrate, drink too much, shoot guns up in the air (if they have them), kill all the former dictator’s family and friends. That kind of thing.

So what do you do if you’re one of the family and friends?

In fact, what if you’re the tyrant’s baby brother and heir apparent?

If there’s a popular uprising, you’re going to be Target #1 to bump off.

So what do you do?

Do you . . . y’know . . . try to keep the people from finding out that the tyrant is dead? At least until you can consolidate your control on power? Do you try to make it sound like your brother–who is actually dead–is really sick so that you kind of ease the populace into the idea of him not being here any more, while you visibly rule the country, smoothing the transition into your own reign so that they get used to being afraid of you the way they were afraid of your brother?

Sounds like something that belongs in the Evil Overlord Rules.

Of course, word will leak out that your brother is not just dead but really most sincerely dead, and so you’ll need to fabricate evidence that he’s alive, like photoshopped pictures of him recuperating in the hospital and notes written in his name talking about the fact that he’s not dead. But those are small things.

Which brings us to the picture above.

What’s up with those shadows coming off of Castro’s brotherHugo Chavez? Y’know . . . the shadows that ain’t coming off Castro himself.

Certain quarters in the blogosphere LIKE HERE and HERE have been speculating that the recent recuperative photos of Castro have been faked in some kind of photoshoppy Caribbean version of Weekend At Bernie’s.

I haven’t really been following that beat (in fact, I haven’t read the two sites I just linked with any thoroughness, so there may be bad words or something on them, so caveat lector), and I haven’t seen anything that’s knocked me out as proof that the recent Castro photos are fake, but . . . DUDE! Where’s your shadow!

We’ve got two strong light sources causing Chavez to throw some crisply defined shadows. . . . Why ain’t Castro doing the same thing?

Of course, even if evidence emerges of Photoshop fakery (BTW, let’s try to use the word "Photoshop" as a generic term as many times as possible just to annoy the Adobe corporation; it’d be good revenge for their evil file format, .pdf) it wouldn’t mean that Castro’s dead. It might just mean that he looks like hades and they’re trying to keep the populace from realizing what horrible shape he’s in.

But until we’ve got video of Castro that is of unambiguously recent vintage, I’m going to have a question in my mind about whether Fidel is really still among us.

BTW, credit where credit is due . . .

PEGGY NOONAN CALLED THE "CASTRO MAY BE DEAD" THING TWO WEEKS AGO–EARLIER THAN ANYBODY ELSE I KNOW.

Also,

WIKIPEDIA’S ON THE BEAT.

And

HOW ABOUT THIS ALLEGED AUGUST 13TH NOTE FROM CASTRO.

PRE-PUBLICATION UPDATE: Late Monday night Drudge reported that Cuban TV has aired video of Castro that at least seems to be of recent vintage. (Conclusive proof of that didn’t seem to be mentioned, though.) Best guess is that Castro is still alive as of Monday night. Thought I’d let this post go up, though, since (a) the new video doesn’t prove that the Castro photos aren’t Photoshopped (take that, Adobe!), (b) it shows that even tyrant kid brother wannabes are waking up to the fact that photos aren’t enough anymore (though single-source video won’t be for long; soon you’ll need multiple free-world-accredited cameras rolling due to the possibility of a Lucasfilm fake; take that, Lucasfilm!), and (c) it provides a run-through for what this dictatorship (or any other) might do when the time fore Fearless Leader’s passing finally comes.

MORE ON THE VIDEO.

If you liked this post, you should join Jimmy's Secret Information Club to get more great info!


What is the Secret Information Club?I value your email privacy

{ 57 comments }

MomLady August 16, 2006 at 12:30 am

I’m just asking . . .
Please forgive me if this has already been discussed; I’m relatively new here. Why is .pdf an evil file format? Is this a PC (as opposed to Mac) problem?
Just curious.
Just to be more on topic. I am charmed that seeing is no longer believing. Every day in every way I feel more and more like a character in a science fiction story.

J.R. Stoodley August 16, 2006 at 1:36 am

Jimmy,
Isn’t that Hugo Chavez in the picture not Kid Brother Castro?
And don’t you think using “photoshop” as a generic term helps Adobe by making their program the “name brand”?
MomLady,
Jimmy thinks the pdf format is evil. He blogged on this in the recent past. The only reason I remember why he thinks it is so evil is that it is slow to load. You might be able to find the post using the search thingy.

Sailorette August 16, 2006 at 2:18 am

PDF is evil because the documents take forever to load, freeze even my uber-computer (I can run two instances of World of Warcraft at the same time,or WoW with Dungeons and Dragons Online) and are annoyingly large for many of the things it’s used for.

StubbleSpark August 16, 2006 at 4:35 am

In similar news, I hear Kimmy hasn’t been seen since N Korea lobbed a warhead Japan’s way.

StubbleSpark August 16, 2006 at 4:37 am

Also, I thought the agreed term was no longer “photoshop” but “to reuter” a photo. As in “Hey that picture looks like its been reutered.”

Arieh August 16, 2006 at 4:38 am

Haha, I have for years been saying that Castro has been dead for a long time and that the Cuban commies have been playing “Weekend at Bernie’s” for decades.

Rhys August 16, 2006 at 5:16 am

Big corporations hate people genericasing their names, e.g. calling all inline skates rollarblades, (thinking of another example of the top of my head) because it makes it harder for them to make loads of irrational litigation. e.g. MacDonald’s suing everything starting with a mc or mac (even if it’s actually scottish and has nothing to do with hamburgers) or Toys R Us suing everything ending with a “R us” or a “B us” or “m us” or any other variation you can think of, even if it has nothing to do with toys.

Trish August 16, 2006 at 5:20 am

Um, I hate to be a spoil-sport but in addition to that being Chavez the insane from Venezuela – if Castro cast a shadow it appears that it would be out of the picture frame because the light source is decidedly to the left – a flash connected to the camera that Chavez is looking into.
I do like a good conspiracy theory though. Maybe Castro didn’t cast a shadow even when he was alive?

Ed August 16, 2006 at 5:21 am

There is an election company SEQUIA owned by different shell companies to the parent company in Venezuela. It may sound like a conspiracy, but I am not looking in the grassy noll. In Cook County Chicago they had machines that did not work and miscounting of votes. 4 states have law suits. Lou Dobbs on CNN has done shows on it. The Department of Treasury is looking into it. It seems to lead to Venezuela. These elections were not fair nor accurate.

Trish August 16, 2006 at 5:26 am

Then again — on closer inspection — Chavez is casting 2 shadows the large one on the wall to the right – and a more intense one right behind him — two light sources both to the left of the camera image we’re seeing — the one casting the darker shadow should at least produce a shadow behind Castro’s head — obvious conclusion — he’s dead and the photo is doctored or he’s undead and doesn’t cast shadows.

Jeff August 16, 2006 at 5:50 am

Other names used generically…
Xerox, Coke, Jet Ski (on occasion Wave Runner or Sea Doo is used generically), Escalator (originally a patent of Otis Elevator Co.), Mimeograph (patented by Albert Dick), Ace bandage, Aspirin (originally patented by Bayer), AstroTurf, Band-Aid, BIC lighter, Bobcat skid loaders, Bondo, Breathalyzer, Bubble Wrap, Brillo Pad, etc…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_generic_and_genericized_trademarks

Brain August 16, 2006 at 6:46 am

Also, look at their hands. Around the tube thing, the hands look just wrong.

A.M. August 16, 2006 at 7:03 am

Actually, somebody else beat Peggy Noonan by a couple days in calling Castro dead: http://v-forvictory.blogspot.com/2006/08/its-official-castro-is-toast.html#links

momof6 August 16, 2006 at 7:03 am

I’m with Trish. The obvious reason for this is that Castro is actually a vampire.

Mike Koenecke August 16, 2006 at 7:21 am

Re: “PDF is evil because the documents take forever to load, freeze even my uber-computer.”
Like Jimmy, I think you’re confusing PDF (a file format) with Adobe Acrobat Reader (a program used with the file format). Try something like Foxit Reader or GSView instead for better performance.
See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Document_Format for more information.
Those saying PDF is an “evil” file format need to present an alternative open specification for document exchange. Currently, the only alternative is Microsoft’s XML Paper Specification (XPS). Abandoning an Adobe standard for a Microsoft one = going from the frying pan into the fire.
As an attorney, I find PDF invaluable for sending formatted, uneditable, printable documents to people. It’s not a perfect standard, but it’s the best we have right now.

John August 16, 2006 at 7:30 am

I think Jimmy’s on to something…the more one looks at the photo, the more one has to wonder…
The Chavez shadow…
Starting with the “thing” Chavez and Castro hold together, it’s clear there are at least two light sources in the photo…both from the left, the lighter shadow slightly higher than the photo subjects and farther to the left, projecting lighter shadows far to the right (note the shadow of the “thing” projected into the armpit of Chavez (lower and far to the right of the object, and tilted slightly in the opposite direction as the “thing”)…the second light source, as has been pointed out, is only slightly higher than the subjects, and only slightly to the left of the subjects in the photo (from the viewer’s perspective). The “thing” is clearly held somewhat away (or toward the camera) from the subjects given the arrangement of Castro’s arm, which should have provided some easily viewable darker shadowing to the immediate right of the “thing” as we see it, again tilted slightly away from the actual angle it was held at, and much darker…that shadow is simply not there! (there is a tiny bit of shadowing near the right side of Chavez’s hand holding the “thing,” but not dark shadowing extending up the “thing” as one would expect, given the dark, short shadow we see behind Chavez, and the apparent distance the object is held from his body.
Next look at the rather suspicious shadow cast by Chavez’s left forearm…where’s the light coming from to cast that shadow? (perhaps a third light source, but then why does Castro’s head not cast a similar shadow)?
Castro’s head…The second light source I mention above with the darker shadowing should appear dark, and to the right of Castro’s head as we view the image, above the “pillow-line”. Because Castro’s head clears the top of his pillow by several inches, we should see dark shadowing to the immediate right of the top of his head…clearly here we do not see that shadowing…below the “pillow-line” on the right side of Castro’s head (as we see the image), we might expect similar light shadowing as per Chavez’s forearm, but it’s simply not there. Lastly, Castro’s left hand (from the viewer’s perspective) also shows no light shadowing, from the far left light source.
All this ad’s up to interesting questions about the photo, but raise even more interesting questions on their own as to how and why the photo was taken…
Interesting post…
John

John August 16, 2006 at 7:40 am

At the tail-end of my post above where I state:
“Lastly, Castro’s left hand (from the viewer’s perspective) also shows no light shadowing, from the far left light source.”
I meant to say his right hand from the viewer’s perspective.
Sorry…
John

John August 16, 2006 at 8:07 am

Just checked out a few other sites for info re Castro…
MSNBC had video footage of Chavez and Castro (or his double) conversing…
The article below the video link, at one point stated the following:
“As the men bantered back and forth, Castro’s voice was inaudible. He was later shown in animated conversation with Chavez, but music played over his words.”
Maybe they did pull a “weekend at Bernies” op, but I think it’s far more likely that Castro just looks and sounds so weak and frail after the surgery, that his stooges doctored the photos and audio of his Chavez visit to make him appear more strong and vibrant. Even so…still dove-tails nicely into Jimmy’s theory…what better time time to overthrow a tyrant, than when he’s old and frail, and on death’s doorstep. Castro’s team has great exigence to pump their man up!
John

Mary August 16, 2006 at 9:41 am

While I agree that “reutered” has the extra benefit of really sticking it to Reuters, the very best new term I have come across is “fauxtography”…
Where was I when they handed out the ability to create clever new words and phrases? I can’t even make a decent pun…
And, um, what IS that thing they’re both holding? Any clue?
I agree with John – I can clearly see the outline of Castro’s head on the pillow. It’s a bad photoshop job at that. Reminds me of the old movies, you know, Bogie and Bergman “driving through Paris” when it’s clear the whole thing was done in a studio…
Plus I don’t think vampires can be photographed. I would have to consult Buffy to be certain, but I do seem to recollect that. So that shoots that theory down (which is too bad, because I liked that theory).
So I think the Cuban Weekend at Bernie’s is the correct theory.
Wonder how long it will take before they fess up…

Mary August 16, 2006 at 9:43 am

While I agree that “reutered” has the extra benefit of really sticking it to Reuters, the very best new term I have come across is “fauxtography”…
Where was I when they handed out the ability to create clever new words and phrases? I can’t even make a decent pun…
And, um, what IS that thing they’re both holding? Any clue?
I agree with John – I can clearly see the outline of Castro’s head on the pillow. It’s a bad photoshop job at that. Reminds me of the old movies, you know, Bogie and Bergman “driving through Paris” when it’s clear the whole thing was done in a studio…
Plus I don’t think vampires can be photographed. I would have to consult Buffy to be certain, but I do seem to recollect that. So that shoots that theory down (which is too bad, because I liked that theory).
So I think the Cuban Weekend at Bernie’s is the correct theory.
Wonder how long it will take before they fess up…

Catherine L August 16, 2006 at 10:01 am

I think the tube thingy is Castro passing the Latin American tyrant’s baton to Chavez.
The other thing about the shadows on the photo is that Castro’s face doesn’t have a shadow on it, which you would expect given the shadow on the pillow.

Jimmy Akin August 16, 2006 at 10:20 am

Isn’t that Hugo Chavez in the picture not Kid Brother Castro?
Thanks. Fixed.

J.R. Stoodley August 16, 2006 at 10:32 am

Who uses “Coke” as a generic term? Must be a Southern thang.
The thing they are holding looks like an intricatly hand-carved wooden stick of non-Western design. My guess is it is a Venezualian Indian healing-stick or friendship stick or something.

J.R. Stoodley August 16, 2006 at 10:39 am

I’m not convinced about the shaddow thing.
Castro’s bed seems more brightly lit on his left (our right) side. It looks to me like there is at least one more light in the room, shining on Castro from his left but pointed down so it doesn’t hit Chavez.

Jeff August 16, 2006 at 11:00 am

Coke is used often as a generic term for a soft drink; and yes, it is primarily a southern thing.

Tim J. August 16, 2006 at 11:02 am

I grew up calling all sodas “cokes”, as in “You want a coke?”.
I grew up in Alaska (not very southern), but my parents were both southerners, and I may have picked it up from them.
When I moved to Arkansas, though, I learned that what I had been calling a “coke” was in fact a “sodee”.
As to Castro, there is something funky about the light in the photo. It looks doctored to me.
Sorry… it looks Photoshopped to me.

Charlotte August 16, 2006 at 11:05 am

Who uses “Coke” as a generic term? Must be a Southern thang.
It is a Texas “thang” to be sure. Asking if someone wants a Coke is asking if they want a carbonated beverage whether it is of the Coca-cola brand or not.

J.R. Stoodley August 16, 2006 at 11:12 am

Here in New York it is a soda unless you are from farther west than Syracuse, in which case you call it pop and get made fun of by us eastern New Yorkers. Coke is Coke. Cola is the generic term for that kind of soda.

Augustine August 16, 2006 at 11:40 am

The worst of all is that, after Arafat, we’re seeing yet another mass-murderrer die of old age, instead of hanging from a rope. Like on the passing of the Palestinian, we can expect the MSM singing praises to another idol of theirs.

Puzzled August 16, 2006 at 1:23 pm

Ghosts don’t cast shadows πŸ˜‰

Tim M. August 16, 2006 at 1:26 pm

sorry, but it is not just a southern thing.
Coke is generic for cola, Kleenex is generic for a tissue, and the one that we ALL use… zipper is generic…a brand name, named after the inventor.
and in the photo… isn’t that Elvis with a 29 year old tan there with Uncle Fidel?!?

Trish August 16, 2006 at 4:09 pm

“Coke” is generic for cola here in Michigan and my family is not southern. Also every other carbonated soft drink is called “pop” . . . You know the other distinct possibility regarding Fidel is that it’s a double — wasn’t he known for using them? Of course that doesn’t really explain the lack of a shadow.

patrick August 16, 2006 at 4:12 pm

Castro’s pic looks odd. Isn’t it possible they hired someone to pose in front of the camera and replace his head with that of Castro’s while the real one is either extremely ill or even dead. Time for America to send the CIA out there!

patrick August 16, 2006 at 4:12 pm

Castro’s pic looks odd. Isn’t it possible they hired someone to pose in front of the camera and replace his head with that of Castro’s while the real one is either extremely ill or even dead. Time for America to send the CIA out there!

Anonymous August 16, 2006 at 4:22 pm

right on Patrick… Bay of Pigs II
get that nation building war wagon on the roll again.

Vince C August 16, 2006 at 4:44 pm

I was raised in California, and every soft-drink there was a Coke (sometimes soda).
If anyone made the mistake of calling it “pop” in our presence, however, they were roundly castigated as a hopeless yokel.

Anonymous August 16, 2006 at 5:52 pm

Little wonder Vince, that you’d harass some poor soul for engaging his regional vernacular while ordering a soda. After all, California is the trend setting, intellectual epicenter of the country, despite being located on the left, er, umm, west coast. All the country’s braintrust seems to land in Cali at some point: Madonna, Brittany, Christina, Michael (take your pick), Kobi, that kook who took his faithful to rendezvous on the Hale-Bopp mother ship, the late Sonny Bono, Grey Davis, 99% of the populations of San Fran and L.A. I can see where hammering on some poor vacationing yokel couple from Prescott Wisconsin (the hometown of Solaus Casey, the only American Saint that I know of) might be fun, but I suspect they’d have some ammo of their own to lob at you non-provincial types.
All in fun dude!

MissJean August 16, 2006 at 6:33 pm

Trish, I am Michiganian, too. I have only heard two people use “Coke” as a generic for cola. Do you, by any chance, live in the Tri-Cities?
Oh, the origin of “soda” and “pop”… yay! My favourite!
“Soda” comes from “soda water”, the term used for manufactured mineral waters containing soda, potash, lithium or barium salts. (The first commercial “soda” was Mr. Bewley’s Julip, developed in the mid 1700s in Norfolk, England. But people had been drinking carbonated water since the 1600s.) so the term “soda” is older than “pop”. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s right. :)
The terms “soda pop” AND “pop” were coined when machines made it possible to bottle-cap the beverages and the mass-produced bottles then opened with a distinct popping sound. Therefore, “pop” is correct when identifying mass-produced bottled carbonated soft drinks. (BTW, the oldest soft drink in the United States is Vernor’s Ginger Ale, invented in Detroit.)
So, the difference between using “soda” and “pop” is really about a change in technology. Like in my state we call automobiles “cars” and in New England they evidentally still call them “horseless carriages”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. πŸ˜‰
Back to the real topic, it’s clear what that object is: the stake that some would-be assassin used on our beloved Fidel. Fortunately, his heart is easy to miss.

patrick August 16, 2006 at 7:23 pm

In the Philippines, Coke is the general term, like Colgate for toothpaste or Frigidaire for Refrigerators. So when my aunt from America visited, I felt odd since she uses ‘soda’ for ‘coke’.

Dminor August 16, 2006 at 8:41 pm

The caption should obviously read:
“Hey Fidel, thanks for this stick thingy, here. By the way, what was it you had removed again?”
———————————–
Of course Fidel did not cast a shadow here . . . . he was feeling light-headed.

patrick August 17, 2006 at 4:37 am

Now that you say it, I imagined that stick is Castro’s scepter and he’s passing the authority to Chavez. One question though, does being a dictator make your own shadow to leave you? If that’s the case, then to find the true Fidel Castro, he’s gotta have no shadow. At least that’s a clue for the CIA!

Steve August 17, 2006 at 5:46 am

Here in CT, “coke” is something everyone must snort before voting.

Tim J. August 17, 2006 at 5:53 am

“Here in CT, “coke” is something everyone must snort before voting.”
HAW!!

momof6 August 17, 2006 at 6:21 am

And in the Northeast, specifically Massachusetts, a “coke” is really a “taaw-nic”, as in “tonic”, with a sort of odd “w” right after the “t”. Don’t get me started on frappes vs. milkshakes.

Vince C August 17, 2006 at 7:39 am

“I can see where hammering on some poor vacationing yokel couple from Prescott Wisconsin (the hometown of Solaus Casey, the only American Saint that I know of) might be fun, but I suspect they’d have some ammo of their own to lob at you non-provincial types.”
No doubt. πŸ˜‰

Monica August 17, 2006 at 9:18 am

“Ding Dong the witch is dead…”

Anonymous August 17, 2006 at 1:42 pm

I read that Castro was excommunicated back in the 60s. Is this true? If so, why was he?

John August 17, 2006 at 2:20 pm

From Wikepedia – – section on Castro and Religion:
“Castro is an atheist and has not been a practicing Roman Catholic since his childhood. Pope John XXIII excommunicated Castro in 1962 on the basis of a 1949 decree by Pope Pius XII forbidding Catholics from supporting communist governments. The excommunication was aimed at undermining support for Castro among Catholics. For Castro, who had previously renounced his Catholic faith, this was an event of very little consequence, nor was it expected to be otherwise.”

Mary August 17, 2006 at 4:53 pm

Hi Guys,
Sorry about the double post back there – I hate it when that happens!
First, I’m really glad I’m not the only person who is clueless as to what the scepter thingy is in their hands. I thought I was just really slow on the uptake.
Second, I hate to correct, but I have been following Solanus Casey’s cause very closely, and I don’t think he has actually been sainted yet. When he is, he will be the first American male to be sainted. However, Elizabeth Ann Seton was the first American to be sainted. Plus there’s Kateri Tekakwitha, Rose Hawthorne and Katherine Drexel, in various points in the process.
BTW, I’m from Detroit and I say “pop,” and we Detroiters get called lots of things, but “yokels” isn’t one of them.
Also, Vernors ROCKS! Can someone tell me why Vernors with vanilla ice cream is a Boston Cooler? That makes ZERO sense. It should be a Detroit Cooler, but that actually is something different…
Also, Miss Jean, way to be bilingual (spelling favoUrite like a Canadian)!!
Mary

John August 17, 2006 at 6:37 pm

Mary,
Correct me at will…I’m new to this whole thing…I saw the Solanus Casey documentary on EWTN (EWTN being an absolute gift from God for our family) and I thought I’d remembered them characterizing Father Solanus as the only American Saint…but it sounds like the only male Saint-to-be perhaps…Much of my family is from around his hometown area, so it’s kind of neat to think of my grandparents amd parents growing up and living in such close proximity to a real saint…perhaps they even ran into him…it’s interesting how a thread on Castro’s photo-shoppped image turns to a discussion about Fr. Solanus…but if you have good info on him, please post…also, if you or anyone else has info on LIVING saint’s-to-be, displaying attributes like Solanus or Padre Pio, etc., please post…
Indebted,
John

David B. August 17, 2006 at 8:07 pm

John,
Even though he wasn’t born here, saint Issac Jogues is an American saint, because he gave his life for the conversion of the indians.

CJ August 17, 2006 at 8:36 pm

For the record, I don’t allow profanity over at A Soldier’s Perspective. So, we’re safe.

J.R. Stoodley August 18, 2006 at 12:49 am

I believe Fr. Solanus Casey is in the running for first male saint born in America.
We already have:
St Elizabeth Ann Seton, born in New York City in 1774 of colonial decent. She married some sort of Revolutionary War hero of founding father or something and was well known to that crowed (Washington etc.) After her husband died she converted to Catholicism and founded the American Sisters of Charity and I think the Catholic School system in the United States.
St. Katharine Drexel, an American-born nun who reached out to African-Americans and American Indians in the 19th century. Very popular.
St. Isaac Joques, 17th century French Jesuit missionary sent to the American Indians, martyred in what is now upstate New York.
St. Rene Gaupil, same.
St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, a 18th-19th century French nun, sent to America to found a school for white children at the fronteer, but compeled by God to help the Anerican Indians.
St. John Neuman, a 19th century Redemptorist priest from Bohemia who came to America and served in upstate New York before becoming bishop of Philadelphia. He did a lot for the Catholic schools.
St. Francis Xavier Cabrini (Mother Cabrini), 19th-early 20th century Italian-born nun who came to the US to help Italian-Americans. Set up schools, clinics, and other social services with her sisters. The first American citizen to be canonized.
We also some blesseds:
Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, Mohawk princess from what is now Auriesville, NY who converted to Catholicism and consecrated herself as a virgin. She was persecuted by her people for her refusal to marry and apparently sexually abused before she escaped to a mission where she became a great contemplitive. Very popular ’round these parts (upstate New York).
Bl. Junipero Sierra, 18th century Spanish Franciscan friar who founded the missions in California.
Bl. Mother Theodore Guerin, 19th century nun born in Brittany, France, Superior-General of the Sisters of Providence in America and both a great medical doctor and a great theologian.
Bl Francis X. Seelos, 19th century Bavarian-born Redeptorist priest who attracted huge crouds to his confessional.
Bl. Damian the Lepar (Fr. Damian), 19th century Belgian-born missionary to the lepars of Hawaii. He contracted the desease and died there.
Bl. Marianne Cope, 19th-20th century Sister of St. Francis born in Utica, NY. Went to Hawaii to replace Fr. Damian when he was dieing. Never contracted it herself and served the lepars into her old age. She was just beatified last year, and is much celebrated in Central New York where I go to college. I know nuns in her Order.
If Puarto Rico counts, then Bl. Carlos Rodriguez, 20th century Puarto Rican layman who taught Catechism classes.
Fr. Solanus Casey is a venerable, on his way to sainthood. Other famous American venerables include Pierre Tousaint, an African American slave, Cardinal Terece Cooke the saintly Archbishop of New York who died in 1983, and Father Patrick Payton of the Family Rosary Crusade who produced radio and television programs in the mid-20th century.
There are others, not yet declared Venerable, who also have causes for their sainthood opened, like Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, a great theologian and author who had a hit television show in the 1950’s.
Thomas Merton may deserve attention as a great, famous American mystic, but some personal issues late in life and getting too caught up in the religious innovation of the sixties probably kill any chance of his being canonized. Still, he was a great spiritual writer whose writings are popular with not only liberals but those more orthodox Catholics who are not too uptight about people like him.
As for more recent people, well just a couple years ago a Conventual Franciscan priest from Syracuse, NY, died who apparently worked a lot of miricles. I met him once, though I didn’t know anything about him at the time. I know one of the friers who lived with him very well though, and he says the man was very humble and few people knew how many miricles he had worked until the funeral when lots of people came forward describing what this friar had done for them.
The only person still living that I know of that might fit the great Saint category is Mother Angelica. Her founding EWTN and building the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrement were almost miraculous works of God’s providence. She has told people (though she never mentioned it on air, and often took a long time before she felt it necessary to tell any one, and then was apparently embarised about it) that she has several visions, which told her to do things like build the “Temple” that really worked out well and are doing a lot of good.
Her fairly fundamentalist interpretaton of the Bible could be a problem as well as a conflict she got in with a bishop that went to the Vatican, but she admited she was wrong and publicly appologized. Also, even when I think she is a little ultra-Orthodox, she is just so innocent and honest and knows what religion is all about, so unlike radtrads, that I can not hold it against her. Her casual attitude, simplicity, self-effacement, and occasional wicked sense of humor may also prevent people from thinking of her as a saint, but I think they are all positive qualities.
She has been miraculously cured herself on a couple occasions, but I am not aware of her performing miracles herself, unless you count moral miracles. There have been many of those. I owe my own conversion to Catholicism in large part to her network. Shortly after 9/11/01 she suffered a series of strokes that greatly handicaped her, but she is still alive and a symbol of redemptive suffering for the world similar to JPII, who with Cardinal Ratzinger were supporters of her. Fr. Francis Mary Stone reported that she was overjoyed at Cardinal Ratzinger’s election, since he had been a great ally of the network when it was having hard times with the American bishops.

Tim August 18, 2006 at 7:04 pm

As to the use of “Coke” as a generic term, there are actually parts of the country in which “what kind of coke do you want?” is a meaningful question, and one to which “7-Up” is a meaningful answer.
There’s also the less extreme use of it as a generic term for cola alone. This is, I believe, universal to some extent: who would ever call it a “Rum and Pepsi” even if it were made with Pepsi? Of course we could just call it by its official name, “Cuba Libre” . . . Don’t you love full-circle tangents?

MissJean August 18, 2006 at 8:32 pm

Cuba Libre? I drink it all the time and never call it that. Just “rum & diet Coke”.
J.R., I must also add Mother Henriette Delille, foundress of The Sisters of the Holy Family. She is the first native-born African American whose cause for sainthood has been opened.
Although he was born in Slovenia, I’m praying that Bishop Frederic Baraga’s cause will be opened soon. He served the Ottawa and Chippewa of Michigan, including writing a prayer/catechism book and Life of Christ in their language (and a dictionary/grammar of their language which is still in use). His letters and diary make excellent reading – but don’t take my word for it! His writings inspired St. John Neumann to come to the US. πŸ˜‰

patrick August 19, 2006 at 2:49 am

Lucky Americans. I can only name 1 Filipino Saint,2 blesseds,and 26 Japanese saints. All, except for one blessed, are martyrs.

MilPhoto March 28, 2007 at 10:56 am

What you’re lookign at is a play on shadow and light. There are lights around Castro for illumination purposes, possibly for cameras. The flash, or “sun-gun” from the camera to take this shot is brighter (and normally is) than the studio lighting. This created the double-shadow. The reason why the other shadows dont’ show up (i.e. behind Castro’s head) is because his head is parallel. I can almost bet if the shot was taken a little to the right, you’d be able to see the shadow off Castro form the sun-gun. The reason why the shadow isn’t coming off the stick is because the colors used in media are Red, Blue, and Green, and shadow vaguely shows up unless it’s dark enough (almost black).

Previous post:

Next post: