Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Untied

I don't know why, and I disagree with him about a bunch of things, but I've found myself becoming a reasonably avid fan of the Bowtie King himself: Tucker Carlson. As soon as I get a chance, his blog will be appearing in our links section.

Maybe it has been his stellar and fearless appearances on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. Maybe its because he has his own show on MSNBC which is kind of like watching ESPN & MTV News (back in the good ole days) cover news and politics.

Maybe its just because he's out from under the shadow of that bonehead Novak and isn't debating Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Cajun on Crossfire anymore.

Though he still has that mental block that equates all liberals with stupid people, he is actually more libertarian that right wing, and that puts him far closer to the American Consensus philosophy. This is especially true when he accurately critiques the current administration in Washington for failing to protect our borders. On this, I agree with him wholeheartedly.

Hurricane Season Over

We may joke about it a lot, but this was one of the years we should all remember for a very long time for all the wrong reasons. Let's hope we don't have to repeat it any time soon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Meida Bias

This is just a pack of misrepresentations.

For readers in Athens, Atlanta, Macon, Memphis and (shudder) Ohio, I will give you the real truth behind this story.


Today is one of those days I shoulda called in sick to work and went on down to the beach. That's right, hinterlanders, Weather Channel may say it feels like 72 degrees down here, but that's just to keep y'all from abandonin' y'all's posts all points north.

The thermometer may say it's 72, but it feels like 85, with a soft breeze out of the south. But you're still gonna warm up nicely just by steppin' outside the office. If I was at the beach and laying in the sun, enjoying a frosty beverage, I would get sun-burned.

It is not 'mostly cloudy' or even 'partly cloudy.' It's thinkin' it may be partly cloudy some time later on, once it runs out of margarita mix and wakes up from it's nap.

Standing in the shade and closing your eyes, you will know the definition of "perfect weather."

And Hurricane Zeke ain't nowhere on the horizon.

The Beach Boys were playing on the stereo where I went to get lunch. "Trop-i-cal contact high," that's right.

I had to turn my Christamas music off, and turn on some UB40 at my desk. Instead of jingle bells, "I got the bottle, bring me the cup. Pop the cork and try us some."

Jamm I amm.

Go and take a look at my 10-day forecast in the link above, if you will. There's a lot more days like this a-comin' up soon.

Have fun up north, y'all.

One Door Opens, Another Closes

From the same neighborhood in New Orleans.

For those of y'all living under a rock, Ben Franklin Elementary School in New Orleans reopened yesterday for those kids who are back. I feel especially warm that Ben Franklin was the first to reopen, as it is whistling distance from my Aunt and Uncle's home. When Pops and I were there recently, the Wyoming National Guard was cleaning up the school. The whole neighborhood threw them a barbecue the day after Pops and I got back to Georgia.

Unfortunately, a neighbor's home caught fire this morning. My Aunt called to let us know it wasn't them (there are lots of TV cameras in the area because of the school). From what I hear, everybody's OK, and the house wasn't a total loss. But that's something really difficult to deal with in one of the few neighborhoods to survive the storms and the floods. Here it is, months later, and folks are still losing their homes.

What a long road back.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Catholic League Response

I really hope no one takes this post the wrong way. I know that there are many Catholics out there that find the following quoted individual to be abhorrent, and not a fine example of Catholicism in practice, however, I feel I must bring this up. And please remember that I am being pity and sarcastic and downright mean for very good reason. The emperor has no clothes, and you may not like the way I tell him.

Thank you for reading,

-The Management

I was once asked about the folks who have told me that I am not a Catholic nor a Christian because I disagree with their bufoonery. A plethora of this divisive, culture war drivel can be found here.

Like I said: No more. If we have to hear about their interpretations of everything, they're gonna get mine right back at them. "We must all fear evil men, but there is a greater evil that we must fear even more: and that is the indifference of good men." - Boondock Saints.

Silence this.

Here's "Catholic League" President William Donahue talking with CNN's Anderson Cooper about how a culture of life is only acceptable as long as it exists within a Catholic rules structure.

I have added bold for emphasis and inserted my pity comments for the sake of debate.

COOPER: There are Catholics, of course, who see the case much differently, including William Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. He is standing by in New York.

Mr. Donohue, thanks for being with us.

Do Catholic schools fire men who have premarital sex?

WILLIAM DONOHUE, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC LEAGUE: I don't know of any that do, but I certainly don't know too many that would fire a women in this particular case. But the bottom line is they have every right to.


Just because you have the right to do something does not make it the right thing to do, genius. Try burning an American flag in front of a VFW hall and tell me how that works out for you.

And, you know, I'm not buying the line that if the school knew that a man had impregnated a woman other than their wife, that they would have done nothing. That is a supposition which I think is very much a rebuttal presumption.


And all the men in the room laughed heartily.

COOPER: But, I mean, if this teacher had chosen to terminate her pregnancy and didn't tell anybody about it, she would have a job. What is the message this firing sends? I mean, do you have any concerns about what message it sends?

DONOHUE: If she had mugged somebody in the alley, and nobody knew about it, and killed a person, she would still have her job, too. What is the point here?


Two scoops of rasins, anyone? If a tree falls in the forest? One hand clapping? Apples? Oranges? I know the Catholic League doesn't like to admit it, but pregnancy termination remains legal in the United States of America. Mugging and murder are, to my knowledge, not. Don't let yourself be fooled by this sort of 'logic.'

The point is that she is a moral agent. She's standing there in the classroom in front of students whom she took a voluntarily contract to abide by the moral standards of the Catholic Church. She's a walking example of someone who violates those standards, standards which she voluntarily accepted.


She is bringing a pregnancy to full term, living a Catholic call to life that has echoed throughout the world since 1973. Yet, by choosing life, she is a "walking example of someone who violates [the moral] standards [of the Catholic Church]." Do all Catholic employees have to take daily polygraphs to avoid bearing false witness?

Look, if she was working in a diocese office, Anderson, let's say she's working with Catholic Charities or working for -- in the immigration office, and they fired her for this condition. I think then that could be problematic.

But if you're a teacher and you're a role model, particularly with the little kids, how are you supposed to explain to the parents, by the way, who might say, well, let's see now, what's the alternative? Let's say if the school did nothing. How do you explain as the principal to those parents who are paying their money expecting that a teacher is going to teach religion and abide by it that you're going to do nothing about it? You're going to have a laissez-faire attitude.


Those are brave words for the Catholic after the reign of Cardinal Law and the ferrying of unsavory characters from one location to the next. Glad to know that now we've learned our lesson and we can come down hard on individuals who are role models to the little kids who are teaching religion. Glad to know that now we're giving up on our laissez-faire attitudes, especially concerning those very dangerous women who have bought into our most positive social platform - that's really where we need to be more stringent with our hiring practices.

I think that principal would be in real trouble.


Yeah, he might face a little public ridicule.

COOPER: So, this woman who's pregnant now has no health benefits, no salary. You know, there are some who would argue that this maybe goes against church tenets about forgiveness and acceptance.

DONOHUE: Well, as a matter of fact, that's not true. I called the diocese of Brooklyn today to find out whether she was just thrown out on the street or was she given benefits. She was given benefits to the end of the year. She declines to have them.

Look, nature and nature's god make it such that the condition is woman get pregnant and men impregnate them. The problem is with radical feminists and people in the ACLU who don't like it.


Now, I think that feminists and the ACLU have their own battery of issues, but I'm not really seeing it here. Maybe Mr. Donahue will enlighten me as to how the feminists and the ACLU actually defending a choice of a woman to have a baby is incompatable with the Catholic belief structure.

Ready for it?

It reminds me of (INAUDIBLE) out of 1970 who talked about the fact that pregnancy was barbaric. That's really the problem here. It's anthropological and it's theological.


Oh, that's why the feminists and the ACLU (it is the NY Civil Liberties Unition, factually speaking) are defending a woman's right to have a baby. Because they hate pregnant women. Are you stunned by the logic yet?

Wait, there's more.

And beyond that, are we going to have the state police the Catholic institutions?


Well, the state polices Michael Jackson's institutions as well...

Are we going to have to tell them what the rabbis do in the yeshiva? This is a violation of church and state. It smacks of the worst kind of church and state violation with you have the state trying to sit there in judgment of the strictures of the Catholic Church about a contract which a woman voluntarily undertook.


You tell me what to do in my science classes, jack. How's that shoe feel?

I hope all y'alls out there worried about 'rules and regulations' really heard that one. Religion in not beholden to the Law. Police vs Church is a violation of Church and State.

COOPER: Well, I mean, the state -- I mean, if the church has broken a law, people are held to standards. I mean, people have to follow the law, as we've seen with the sex scandals in the Catholic Church.

DONOHUE: Right.


Right.

COOPER: But -- but are you saying that she -- this woman is a radical feminist and that's really what's at the heart of this case?

DONOHUE: No. What I'm saying is she's another prototypical victim.

I'm a little sick and tired of all these people who get involved in a voluntarily, consensual situation such as a contract, they violate it. And what do they do? They don't expect that the Catholic Church is supposed to -- they expect the Catholic Church is supposed to change.


No, fool, I expect the Catholic Church to rise up and live out the character of its creed. You turn your back on this woman and all that Culture of Life stuff, all the good that is there with that moral compass, goes out the window. It proves that the only thing y'all really care about is sex, sex, sex, and the sanctity of life is just a tool in the arsenal. Well, some of us Catholics out here who have actually read some of the Book of Romans actually bought into that Culture of Life stuff to mean something higher than the way y'all are applying it.

I mean, why is it that it's incumbent upon the church to change a contract when she's the one who violated it? I don't know. If they violated her salary agreement, oh, boy, that would be different. But here, in this situation, she is the culprit.


Like I said, if this woman had been fired from a public school for choosing to have a baby, these faux 'right-to-life' organizations would be in the streets burning effigies of the principal. We'd get to hear all over again about how we need to put "God back in Schools" and how we need to respect a "Culture of Life."

Well, boys, here's your chance to show how "Culture of Life" you are, and prove "Culture of Death" folks like me are the misguided ones. You get to show how 'a la carte' and 'Cafeteria Catholic' folks like me are. There's the culture of life staring right back at you begging for justification...

Well I've said it before and I'll say it again. Put God back into Churches, cause it looks like the Philistines have taken up residence.

This ain't about contractual obligations, this is about higher obligations.

COOPER: William Donohue, appreciate your perspective. Thank you for being on the program.

DONOHUE: Thank you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Culture of Life?

(Yeah right.)

Usually I'm quite proud of the stance the Catholic Church takes on a lot of issues. But I've said before (and reiterate here) that I am a Culture of Death Catholic. The idea being that you have celebrate women who choose to have babies instead of demonizing women who choose not to if you truly want to encourage a true culture of life in this nation.

Well, at least the Diocese of Brooklyn came down about its beliefs, and in my opinion they are on the wrongest of wrong sides. Instead of celebrating the choice of one of their teachers to have a baby, and celebrating that choice as one an adult is making despite not being married (something that is quite laudable in America these days), they fired her from teaching at their school.

If you care about encouraging women to have babies instead of not having babies, you can't demonize them when they choose to have babies. Priorities, fellas. Priorities. I pray every day for more women to make such decisions, I celebrate every time a woman I know chooses to have a kid. And now y'all go and do this.

Earth to the Church: now ain't the time to start being ideologically inconsistent.

Sounds a lot less like cuttin' and runnin' now....

To paraphrase the new Iraqi mission statement: 'Thanks for the help, fellas, but we'll be able to take it from about the middle of next year. Oh and by the way, we think its OK to resist, just not to be terrorists. Whatever that means.'

At least they worked together on that one.

But don't take my word for it, go and look.

Oh, yeah: Concerning the last post on Rep. Murtha & the Iraq war, there's even more follow up that can illuminate the point Murtha's trying to make.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Quagmire in Washington

I often wonder if the reason our worst foreign policy failures are always due to our greatest failures to come to consensus as a nation. Whilst the American public saw real reason to get involved with Gulf War I and the Balkans (two rousing successes where the Coalition was truly an International one), Vietnam, Somalia & Gulf War II all were conducted almost unilaterally, had no long term planning, and had a significant number of the American people who disagreed with the effort, for whatever reason.

The problem isn't that naysayers undermined the war effort at later dates, the problem is sending this nation's forces into harm's way when significant portions of the vocal and voting public have not been convinced they are necessary. The problem isn't having a bunch of nations like Poland and Spain lining up to join the Coalition, the problem is when America shoulders the burden, and not even Canada is willing to go with us. If the threat is to all the civilzations of the West, why isn't more of the West involved?

But it comes down to a very important fact that Corwyn made in regards to the last post. Noone's really operating off the same sets of facts.

I wonder then, if Corwyn feels good that his sentiments were mostly echoed in Newsweek. (At least I thought they were...) But I'd wager cash money it ticks him off that Newsweek paid somebody a lot of cash to say something that he said for free.

Here's some of that article that I thought were pertinent (and even SAWB may like some of this):

President Bush did not lie about why he took the country to war. Like President Clinton, he genuinely believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction; after all, American troops found much more WMD in Iraq in 1991 than prewar intelligence reports had indicated. So it was logical to think the same thing would happen again. At the same time, suggesting that intelligence was cooked to create a souffle of misleading certainty is hardly "one of the most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city," as Cheney said last week. We have proof now that policymakers did indeed cherry-pick the evidence. Contrary to the wind coming out of GOP's elephant echo chamber, no congressional committee reports debunked the cherry-picking, and it is simply false that Democrats had access to the same intelligence as the president.


Rather than obsessing over it, we should be holding a big national debate about whether the presence of U.S. troops reduces the insurgency or fuels it, whether timetables for withdrawal embolden the terrorists or motivate Iraqi forces to perform better. Instead of cut-and-run versus more-of-the-same, we need a few imaginative "Third Way" alternatives.


The stakes in Iraq are higher than in Southeast Asia 40 years ago. Failure would give Al Qaeda a huge base from which to kill us. But for now it looks as if we'll keep sinking in the quicksand, with no consensus, no substantive debate and no end to the finger-pointing. It's almost enough to make you nostalgic for Vietnam.


I think the article really makes a point that is necessary. Questioning the Administration is something we need to do, and is not 'giving comfort and succor to the enemy' as they maintain. We can't really fly off the handle and just abandon the place either, especially knowing that there is progress being made wether the MSM reports it or not. But we can't keep repeating 'stay the course,' and we can't just 'cut and run.' What else is on the table?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Laying the Lumber

I'd say this is better than any other argument against the war. It is beautifully and thoughtfully written, and it comes out swinging.

I suggest everyone go and read the full article yourselves, as we know the MSM won't actually report the full thing. Some excerpts:

The war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion. The American public is way ahead of us. The United States and coalition troops have done all they can in Iraq, but it is time for a change in direction. Our military is suffering. The future of our country is at risk. We can not continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf Region.


For 2 ½ years I have been concerned about the U.S. policy and the plan in Iraq. I have addressed my concerns with the Administration and the Pentagon and have spoken out in public about my concerns. The main reason for going to war has been discredited.


I said over a year ago, and now the military and the Administration agrees, Iraq can not be won “militarily.” I said two years ago, the key to progress in Iraq is to Iraqitize, Internationalize and Energize. I believe the same today. But I have concluded that the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq is impeding this progress.


Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME.


What is the most telling is the shameful response to this that the right, especially Administration leaders, have been putting forward in response to this. We all know what this group of folks did to Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) in the Republican primaries of 2000. We all know about how the Swift Boat people questioned the Navy's credibility for Senator John Kerry's (D-Mass) service. We all know that there are folks in the administration who would 'burn' the cover of CIA agents for political gain. In response to Congressman Murtha, Dick Cheney essentially said that talk like this aids the enemy.

Of course, Murtha was a Marine for 37 years, and he didn't take that criticism lightly: Speaking of Vice President Cheney, Murtha was pretty sarcastic Thursday when he said, “I like guys who’ve never even been there, that criticize us who’ve been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments, have never been there, and send people to war and then don’t like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done.”

It sure is going to be interesting watching a Marine take the Administration to task on this one.

Update: 6pm

This kind of chorus is what the right fears. No longer are the anti-war voices made up of crazy PCU style noodleheads who were just looking for something to be against. No longer is Michael Moore and his I told you so paternalism the vanguard.

Now it is a chorus of eloquent and credible speakers, pointing out really real reasons that the war is not going our way, and why it should be stopped.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Left Turn?

I love Parliamentary Democracies. You think you've got everyone figured out and then ... Surprise! All kind of new stuff goes on, and it happens so fast you may never see it happen.

Betcha didn't hear about this in the MSM. I sure didn't and I pay attention to this stuff. Shimon Peres is no longer the leader of the Israeli Labor Party. That's big. Ariel Sharon may leave the Likud Party to Netanyahu. That's bigger. I wonder if they'll team up and create a new party called "Really Old Fellas."

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The American Street

Sometimes I think my folks have been brainwashed by the Fox News line, and they get to thinkin' that maybe all (or most) Muslims support terrorism. I often tell them this is not the case. Then they ask me to prove it. Well, here it is. Front page, by the way, leading story. Thank you MSNBC.

Oh yeah, and for all of us older than 14, a little reminder. Happy Anniversary. We won.

Update: 11/15/05
Thanks to Jen for bringing up that the old title link to this post (which can be found here) has very little to do with my first paragraph thesis that not all Muslims support terrorism. When I copied and pasted the URL from MSNBC, it was about the Jordanians going into the street to curse Zarqawi's name and curse terrorism. At some point between the time I posted on this blog and when Jen read the link, the article at that particular URL had changed. That's the second time this has happened with me and MSNBC this month. (I don't want to hear it, SAWB...) I think there is a rouge intern running around who can't figure out how to create a new URL for new articles. Heck I can't even find the old article I was supposed to be linking to.

So what do you do when the MSM lets you down? Go to the blogosphere, of course. My new title link (which can be found by clicking on this post's title above or by clicking right here, can be found manually by going to PubliusPundit, scrolling down the sidebar on the left until you see the "MidEast Section" and clicking on "Jordan."

This is actually a better article than the one I linked to before, so hopefully that will make more sense then the way this article may have read at first to everyone.

-The Management

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Striking Back

That's right folks, now your kids will have to go to Church five days a week in Glynn County. This is the school system that requires our kids to attend assemblies where they are urged to become born again. You can read all about it here. One step forward, two steps back.

But here's my contention, especially after listening to this 'put God back in schools' nonsense on the radio on my way to work this morning.

We've lost this battle because we've been fighting it wrong. This goes for all us liberals and libertarians out there who realize that, in a plural society, the way you worship may not be the way I worship, if we choose to worship at all. For too long, we have waged a battle that can be too easily spun as a battle against God. That wasn't what we were doing at all, but we never responded adequately to the questions. These people who are for putting prayer in schools don't want students to have the option of prayer, the option of faith, they want to ram it down everyone's throats.

Well that's fine, culture warriors. This is one battle you will lose in the long run.

Remember what I said about all those "non-offensive" laws being written to protect Christian baby-darlins against what I was in high school (long hair, horn-throwing, steel toed boot and black trenchcoat wearing iconoclast)? Well it's time they remembered why.

When they do make this happen, I say let em. The backlash it inspires, if handled correctly, is always better than taking the First Amendment for granted. It will solidify those non-evangelicals and non-practicing into a vocal and thinking minority. Right now, we are seen as enemies of God even though we are not. Well, they are about to be seen as what they are: enemies of America.

When the School Board comes into a classroom and puts up the "In God We Trust" on the walls, there are three ways to respond, IMHO:

1. The Principled Opposition: Cover that sign with a homemade sign that is the text of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. See if the school board makes you take that down, and see how they explain that to the public.

2. The All-Inclusive Opposition: Next to the "In God We Trust" sign, put up a copy of the First Amendment, put up a copy of the "Give unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's and Give Unto God what is God's" verse. Put up "In God We Trust" in Hebrew, put up "there is no god but God" in Arabic, "Ad Astra Per Aspera," just cover the walls in whatever text from every religion says "In God We Trust," and when asked why, say you were just 'covering all the bases.'

3. The Iconoclastic Opposition: In order to fall in line with our new scholastic fatwah, we must have the words "In God We Trust" hanging from the classroom walls. Go buy a poster that is a replica of a $100 bill. Hang it up, front and center. The words "In God We Trust" will be prominent. The meaning behind this symbolism is wild and varied, but you are in line with school policy.

Next Up When they have this inch and decide to take another mile, they will start encouraging children to lead classes in prayer. My suggestion, for all those kids and teachers who don't want to go along with it, it to memorize and speak, loudly and clearly, the words to the First Amendment. Start loudly at first with "Congress Shall Make No Law."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Pure, unadulterated, complete lunacy...

I should be stunned, but I'm not. It appears that our ever-enlightened friends on the left coast have managed to pass a ballot referendum, banning private ownership of guns within the city limits of San Francisco. Yes, friends, once again, the feelings crowd strikes.

This is the liberal, anti-gun nut's wet dream. The complete abolition of private firearm ownership. Now, some of you out there might say, 'Hey there SAWB, if people ain't got them none of them shootin' irons, then there won't be no shooterin's!' Yeah, there won't be any more shootings by legally-armed, law-abiding citizens. However, there will still be a very well-armed contingent of gang-bangers, crack-heads, and other general low-life scum, ready, willing, and able to relieve you of your life, liberty, and property from the end of their barrel.

Notice, also, that the exemptions in the bill include police officers, active military personnel, and SECURITY GUARDS. This is important, because this loophole allows those people who feel that they are somehow more important than you and I, to hire large, well armed, security guards to ferry themselves back and forth. Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, and Rosie O'Donnell, I'm looking directly at you.

Now, getting back to the article, the feel-gooders have also passed an initiative that limits the presence of military recruiters in the public schools of San Francisco. Fantastic. According to the article, the supporters hope that this ballot initiative will give the anti-war/anti-recruiter crowd the 'moral authority' to tell the recruiters, who are there legally, to shove off.

Can we get a collective hobby for the voters of San Francisco...

Election Smackdown

While many pundits may speak primarily about elections held in Virginia, North Carolina and California, with the lefties saying that incumbents winning is something new (maybe it is for them) and the righties saying it doesn't really matter (which is true but not in the ways they think it is) the really real news happened in a small Pennsylvania town.

The rallying cry for the far, far-right wing Christians has been 'put God back in schools' (as if He was ever really kicked out). Well, I've got an old line and a new line for this debate. The old one "Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's and give to God what is God's." Sort of a ringing endorsement of keeping Church and State seperate, from the mouth of the Carpenter in Chief Himself. My new line: Put God Back in Churches. We live in a plural society where we have just as many different Christian faiths as non-Christian ones. Faith is an intensely personal decision. Picking a primarily evangelical creation story to teach in publicly funded science classes not only makes me mad as an American but also as a Catholic.

Though I have advocated, in the past, the teaching of a 'Creation Mythology' class in schools (combining the mythos of ancient cultures, today's religions and evolution side by side - and as a historian, still something I do think is a good idea), I have learned recently - by attending seminars at St Williams Catholic Church no less, that intelligent design is not science and therefore has no place in a science class. I have also learned that, contrary to the backlash mythology of the Christian right, that evolution is not the science of how life on Earth was created.

Seems the population of small town America seems to agree. As far as elections taking the pulse of the nation, this one was IMHO by far the most important. Clean sweep at the ballot box.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Introverts

Yeah, we know a couple of these folks, don't we?

Shucks, I'm probably one of them.

That's why this article is so important. Hat tip for the blog style to Clicked (though some MSNBC intenrn hasn't done the permalink correctly). Consequently, he also mentions that this article has popped up over at the conservative Ann Althouse and the liberal Kevin Drum.

I guess there's some interest in the psychology of this particular minority that cuts across all political, sexual, national, racial, geographical and any other stereotypical bounds. All the articles are pretty good, and you may learn something about yourself.

Reading stuff like this always makes me wonder if I'm an introvert or an extrovert. If I'm an extrovert it just means I've been around so many introverts for so long that I can talk for hours about any subject. But if I'm an introvert, then all the ranting and raving I do about things and the crazy side of me you see at parties and football games is just a coping mechanism. Just when I thought I had myself figured out, too. Cursed psychology!!!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sunday Comix

This is so funnny, I had tears in my eyes.

Hat tip to Clicked for this one. He claims it originates at StayFree Magazine out of Brooklyn. Go there, read about "the freaky world of McDonald's commercials" and laugh your rear end off.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Firestorm Paris

Oh, yeah, for any of you living under a rock, the City of Paris has been in flames for the better part of the last week. Like many riots in our own nation's history, this one started over a police incident and then boiled into the streets. In that same pattern, the riots took on a life of their own.

In a break from that pattern, the situation has gone from "riots" to "unrest" (never a good sign)and are starting to spread to other parts of France.

Unlike riots in our own nation's history (save that big one in Charleston in 1861, and the bigger one in Boston in 1776) civil unrest in France generally plays out with much higher stakes. This thing, unlike the professional protesters down in Argentina making trouble, has all the makings of a full scale, homegrown civil revolt. So far, the French government has responded with FEMA-like efficiency.

A cheap dig, to be sure, but the simple history of the matter is this: so goes Paris, so goes France. France has nuclear weapons, and a first world military apparatus. So goes France, Eurpoe generally gets caught up in the mess. The boys and girls in charge need to get in and restore order before those kids in the streets graduate from molotov cocktails to guillotines.

That's a slippery slope, I know, but stranger things have happened in our lifetimes.

Most likely this thing will be quelled, and the French won't actually have to deal with their national problems. They will once again be able to pretend they don't have any while telling every American that we're the ones with the most issues.

While this may shut up the very annoying individuals on the American left who like use the French as their model society and justification for unreasonable positions, this will (and already has) led the very loud and most obnoxious right wingers to use the French as their antithesis of society and justification for opposite, if still unreasonable positions.

And that makes me angry.

If you don't like the way the Main Stream Media is reporting on all this (many of us are not) make your first stop over at Clicked at MSNBC which is where I got most of these links. You can find the Gateway Pundit article yourself, as that is really the convocation of Right Blogistan links about this. Gloating doesn't even begin to describe it. You know the kind: "France in Retreat," "This is all the fault of Muslims," "we told you this would happen" wash rinse repeat ad nauseum ad infinitum.

Luckily, really real conservative Glen Reynolds has an excellent article on the subject over on Instapundit that really helps sum up a very complicated situation. I don't agree with ol' GR on many issues, but this boy's got a good head on his shoulders.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Beer Run

Don't know if this is true or not, but if there was any evidence that New Orleans will be back, here it is.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Product of Fanaticism

I spoke to my Father the other day about the prevalence of religious conflict in the world, and how it seems to be growing more sinister as time goes by. He wonders why I worry about such things that are so serious. As the Great Powers, then the Superpowers, now the Hyperpower don't really war with one another any longer, fanatics are turning to religion as the new hyper-nationalism. We see this especially in the Big Three: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. While it is easiest, right now, to denounce Islam with the harshest criticism, Judaism and Christianity are not without their own demons.

(I hear lamentations often about why Islam cannot be a "religion of peace" like Christianity. I find this hard to swallow from most folks, but especially from Pops: he was a history major, came out of a family heady with Irish ancestry AND lived in Birmingham, Alabama.)

I could go on about those non-Islamic demons at length, the ones we like to pretend didn't happen. (Northern Ireland, Anti-Semitism in Europe, the Serbs, Oklahoma City, Birmingham 1963 and the 16th Street Baptist Church, the Branch Davidians, James Byrd in Jasper Texas, Matthew Sheppard in Laramie Wyoming, Eric Rudolph's one man war, Pat Robertson's desire to assassinate democratically elected leaders of other nations, and the occupation of Palestine come to mind...) One particular event that occured within many of our lifetimes reared its ugly head on my computer today.

I thought I should share.

Guys and Gals, we grew up in a time of Giants. Like 'em or hate 'em, their names will ring through history loud and clear. I've spoken of this before: Thatcher, Reagan, John Paul the Great, Gorbachev and Rabin. Every name brings back memories for all of us.

But this is about Yitzak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel.

More to the point, it is about the slime who killed him. Was the cur who pulled the trigger some renegade member of Hamas? Perhaps a Neo-Nazi? Some other enraged anti-Semite? No, he was a Jewish fanatic so caught up and deluded in his own hyper-religious fervor that he would sacrifice from his own Nation one of the Pantheon of Heroes to the altar of self-righteousness.

I wish Israel would have shown him the same justice they showed Eichmann.

For a long time, I thought they had.

Then I read, today, that the beast is not only married, well read and listening to the radio, but is also arguing for a new trial, and the right to procreate.

I know that plausability and probability were discussed earlier this morning, but stranger things have happened. Israel, do what is right to this wretch and let him rot in your prisons. Do not let his sons populate the Earth while he stole one of your best away. You owe that to Rabin.

Culture of Death

Warning: This one is a real downer.

I am a Catholic, and my Church speaks out against the Death Penalty. I am proud to be a Catholic because of that stand. I have said my peace on this before, that I see the Church as a moral compass within world. That compass can help us learn the right ways to live. But their view of the world is a utopian one, and I'll say again that we don't live anywhere near "Perfect."

This is why there is a duality in being both an American and a Catholic, and why we must have a seperation of government and Church. Sometimes, what we do can not line up with what we believe.

The only acceptable number of Death Penalties is zero, but because stuff like this happens, that zero number will always be a goal and not a reality. This man and this woman are the reasons I believe we must always have that option on the table. Society must sometimes take lives, in spite of our desire to give a chance at redemption. Sometimes the nature of the crime makes the criminals un-redeemable: not to God, but to Man. We may not judge their souls, but their crimes and their bodies fall within our jurisdiciton.

Even if they are crazy.

To quote Ron White: "[they] should have eaten crayons and rolled their s*** into little balls; the penalty is much less severe."

Sometimes it can't be about rehabilitation or witnessing, it must be about Justice for the dead, and the protection of the living.

Class...

...Or a distinct lack of it. But it's ok, because he's a Republican...

Sickening.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Please God, make it so...

Cindy Sheehan for PRESIDENT?!? Cindy Sheehan for the United States Senate from New York?!? Please, God, let it happen. If the left thinks they can exploit the growing schism between the religious right and the rest of us on this side, just wait til they get a dose of their own medicine.

Key activists have come to that conclusion, too, figuring they'll have a better chance of finding an anti-war candidate than of moving Clinton. Already, the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, and the Progressive Democrats of America have begun casting about for a challenger. Some envision the perfect candidate as an anti-war Iraq veteran, like Paul Hackett of Ohio, who announced his run for a U.S. Senate seat last week. Others have a different kind of cachet in mind.

"When I heard the name Cindy Sheehan," says DeBar, the Ossining activist, "I thought, great."

Last month, DeBar, himself a former Green Party candidate, proposed a Draft Sheehan effort on a Green message board. Unlike some Greens who are pushing a Sheehan for President initiative, DeBar wants to see her move from her home state of California to run against Clinton in the New York primary next year. That way, he writes in his post, "she could force a seismic shift in the direction of the Democratic Party."


Yeah, it would be a seismic shift alright. Catastrophicly seismic.

In other news, Harry Reid has far too much free time on his hands. Hey Harry, you had more than a few opportunities to debate this before now. What's this end run about now?