Saturday, June 21, 2003

Arguably one of the most depraved things I've seen recently is the paeans to Warren Zevon, who, with due respect to a dying man, wrote filth like this.

Lest you think I'm some sort of Tipper Gore-ish creature, prudishly eschewing the slightest hint of controversial lyrics, here is a brief sampling from my current play list:

Tha Dogg Pound (Dogg Food)

2Pac (All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World, The Don Killuminati)

Warren G (Regulate, Take a Look Over Your Shoulder)

Master P (Make Em Say Uhh!, If I Could Change)

Stabbing Westward (Wither Blister Burn & Peel)

Korn (Korn)

(Never, ever to appear on my play list, by the way: East Coast [c]rap, Rage Against the Machine, The Beastie Boys, White Sellout Zombie, Metallica after the Black Album.)

Point is, I can take, and frequently enjoy, lyrics that I wouldn't dream of letting my kids hear. But an "anthem" about a rapist is just a teeeeeeensy bit much, y'know? And lauding such a man should be outside the bounds of human decency.
Sadly, this study confirms an old joke.

Which joke, and why sadly? In order: Can't tell you; the wife is gonna slaughter me for this as it is.

More accurately, she's going to slaughter me for being able to back up the joke... and making the joke again and again.

A tout le monde
A tous mes amis
Je vous aime
Je dois partir...

Friday, June 20, 2003

When I first realized that the Left was deranged: When a friend -- on whom I'd had a mild crush to that point -- called me "evil" and refused to talk to me any more because I opined to her that sweatshops in Third World countries weren't that bad; in looking to deny those Third Worlders what amounted to better jobs and our own industrial revolution, we were holding them in perpetual poverty. I believe she said that she couldn't believe I was so evil, that she felt like she didn't know me, and that she saw no reason to talk to me any more.

We're not talking about saying that Bergen Belsen was a mixed good; we're saying that the folks who work in those sweatshops choose -- you know, like free-willed humans -- to work there, rather than living the (short, brutish, painful, hunger-ridden) life of the noble savage. (And bully for them, I say.)

Finger's hurting again. Don't ask where the preceding came from. I'll just say it's been over four years now, and leave it at that.
I appear to still be a quick healer. Back soon. In the meantime, damn, but this boy can write:

You will never understand JPII if you try to analyze him in political categories.

Look. Here's the deal: People continue to be let down by JPII because he doesn't do what they'd do about our crop of bishops: Fire Them All!!! I submit that's basically because they keep thinking that JPII thinks like them, so why doesn't he arrive at their conclusions?

JPII doesn't think like us. Here are some of his fundamental ideas: [...]

Now, it is customary at this point to whine about our helplessness and lack of access to the bureaucratic machinery that elects bishops and assigns priests--as if that's the sole or even the most important form of power wielded in the Church. This is, however, to think politically--precisely the terms in which JPII does not think. And the reason he doesn't think in those terms is because he's right: culture, not politics is much more determinative of how the Church lives. Don't believe that? Then explain how, if the laity are so powerless, a parish like St. Joan's can basically push a bishop like Abp. Flynn around and blow him off? If bishops hold all the cards and laypeople can only cringe and scrape before their almighty outstretched hand, then why do places like Seattle U tell Abp. Brunett to blow it out his ear and go ahead and invite the Jesus Seminar in anyway?
I was on a Mark Shea kick for a while there, then I got off onto, well, I don't remember, but another kick is what I'm betting.

This may be one of the most insightful pieces I've read on this. Someone should forward it to Andrew Sullivan. Not that he'd listen, but still.

On the other hand, the always estimable Paul Jaminet (the Brother by the Other Mother, if memory serves) has this:

This is true; but the Vatican should be looking at two things. First, the selection process for bishops is failing if 60% of those promoted to bishop are unwilling to do the job faithfully. Second, Judeo-Christian morals teach not only that decision-makers should resist temptation, but that others should strive to remove temptation from them. (Indeed, Jesus taught us to pray, "Lead us not into temptation," not, "Help us resist temptation.") The structure of the Church gives sole power to bishops, without checks or balances from other authorities and without sharing information with anyone. This structure made sense in the Middle Ages when it was extremely costly to travel more than a few miles and involve others in decision-making; but it tempts bishops to conceal embarrassing acts. It is long past time for canon law to introduce greater information-sharing, review of episcopal actions, and checks upon episcopal authority. The bishops would still retain their apostolic authority to lead, preach, and sanctify; but they would be less likely to sin.
I find Shea more compelling, except to note that Jaminet is right: The selection process, or perhaps the culture into which the selected arrive, is badly flawed.

That's all the typing I can manage for now. Back soon.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Another thing: Objectivism is a fantastic philosophy for high school students and college students who are just beginning their mental maturation; I tend to think less of those who cling to it in the face of experience in the real world.

Put differently: Ayn Rand was a nut; Whittaker Chambers was too kind to her; and I have serious mental reservations about anyone who puts too much faith in a word she said.
Like I said, light posting, but I did want to point something out: A lot of folks in the Dem primaries are trying to be the next John McCain. To my mind, this raises an interesting question: Why?

He lost. I mean, he really, really lost.

I know there are some angry not-ex-McCainiacs out there who're convinced that he lost because "the GOP establishment was against him." On the contrary, there are two simple reasons why he lost: (1) He's a fairly creepy guy; (2) as a wag in the Washington Post put it, McCain did a fabulous job of reaching out to a lot of groups, but alienating a single, key constituency: Republicans. (As a friend of mine put it the other night, Dean is just like John McCain: Another egomaniac too liberal for his own party.) You see, when you run in the Republican primaries, it is generally a good idea to appeal to Republicans. Groundbreaking, I know, but there it is.

From the anti-Catholicism (asides about theocrats who want to bow to one man and ban all abortions), anti-evangelicism (calling for banning the evangelicals from the party), campaign finance reform silliness (there went the civil libertarians and any conservatives who actually read the First Amendment at some point), off-putting, classless, if funny, jokes ("Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father"), the ad hominems on anyone who dared question his candidacy, the easy handshakes with Senate liberals, the obvious egomania, channelling the ghost of Barry Goldwater's later years, and so on, McCain managed to gain the following Republican constituencies:

(1) The Weekly Standard;
(2) Northeastern RINOs (and not all of those, either);
(3) The more disconnected libertarians;
(4) The anti-religious bigots; and
(5) The deranged (meaning those who'd go on to vote Gore, admittedly with some overlap with (2)).

That he got anywhere at all is a testament to how skewing open primaries can be, and how odd Granite State Republicans (the sensible Brothers Judd excepted, of course) can be.

Which brings me back to the original point: McCain's Bullshit Straight Talk Express was decent PR, I suppose, but he lost. Why the heck do the Dems want to replicate that?
Interesting debate here. Stop in and add your $.02.
Blogging will be limited the next few days, as I experienced an accident involving a door, a dog, a leash, a hand, a floor, a great deal of bandaging, some queasiness, and a disproportionately large amount of blood.

How quickly I return is directly dependent on whether or not I'm still a quick healer.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Just when I'd given up on the old man, he comes through:

When asked whether he thought that that decision had had moral consequences, he said, oh yes. He explained: "It has led to the slaughter of millions of innocent unborn children." Does the attorney general of Alabama know nothing about governing protocols in dealing with proud liberal senators? You never say "unborn children" when referring merely to — fetuses. What you do is you tilt the language around a bit and talk about the rights of the mother. But Pryor — who almost certainly will not be confirmed — hadn't come to Washington to disguise his personal views on child pornography, homosexual practices, gun laws, or prayer in school. What he said was that he respected the right of the state legislatures to promulgate laws governing these matters, provided they did not violate constitutional postulates, for instance, the right to pray or to exhibit the Ten Commandments in a judge's chambers.

What is admirable about Mr. Pryor's personal deportment is his refusal to cavil. He came to conclusions about Roe v. Wade no different from those taken by Supreme Court justices who voted against the majority opinion in 1973. If a lawyer isn't free to believe that Roe was wrong as constitutional exegesis, and mischievous as political sociology, he isn't free to think, except as spokesperson for People for the American Way. The only proper concern for the Senate Committee, passing on a nomination by the president, who is given that authority by the Constitution, is whether the potential judge would enforce the law. And Pryor would do so, even laws based on opinions he thought wrong. He has more than once argued, as attorney general, to enforce the law based on judicial rulings with which he did not sympathize.

But people who are in favor of abortion don't want anybody around courthouses who thinks abortions immoral, let alone illegal. Because of course if they are, then those in favor of abortion are supporting immoral activity. Politicians don't want that kind of invidious language. That's why they talk about women's rights (which include the right to be immoral).
Sorry to take so much of that; it's so good, I could've taken the whole thing.

Stop over and read.
Why Is This Picture Link to The Thomas Crown Affair Broken So Often?

Good question. Briefly put, I had a link to a jpeg on another site for that pic, and, as I figured I might draw a whole twenty uniques a day, I didn't think I'd cost them any bandwidth in the process. This evening, I received an email inviting me to stop linking to that image, with various alternatives spelled out. Hey, their site, their bandwidth, their jpeg.

At any rate, I now have the image imperfectly stored somewhere else (I got it from another page, in case anyone's wondering -- figure out where, and I'll give you... well, nothing). That link is tenuous at best.

Should you ever think of patronizing that other site, I'd keep in mind this event. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Takings Clause violation.

Hatch should know better. State sanction to property destruction transforms the act into a state taking.

This is silly.
This one is probably getting added to the links on the left. The person right below might be, too.
I don't know who this kid is, but I like the style. Stop in and check it out.

He is wrong, though: Braves over Cards in the NLCS.
Update below.

I think I'm almost atoned now.
I changed my mind; after Tom Daschle's thoughtful, sincere, well-meant, down-home, just-folks, can't-we-get-along letter to Bush (calling for Bush "to consult with him and fellow Democrats before making any U.S. Supreme Court nomination"), I've decided that the Constitution's wording is too vague, on every possible count, to ever show true meaning; therefore, Mr. Daschle, I join with you in your call; dependent on the following:

As you love bipartisan compromise, please join with me in calling to your colleagues for the following:

* Consultation with the President before any bill is offered by any Democratic Congressman, of either House, on any issue;

* Consultation with the President before the DNC begins any significant ad campaign;

* Consultation with the President before any stump speeches by any Democratic candidate, anywhere in the nation, for any office, with a right of refusal or rebuttal to the President;

* Consultation with the President before the opposition response to the State of the Union address, granting the President or his speechwriters the ability to alter your text in any way he sees fit;

* Consultation with the President when considering a declaration of war;

* Consultation with the President on regulation of interstate commerce and trade with both foreign nations and Indian Tribes;

* Consultation with the President before disciplining, removing, or refusing to seat any Member;

* Consultation with the President before any impeachment proceedings, for any Article II or Article III officer;

* Consultation with the President before presentation of any proposed Amendment to the Constitution;

* Consultation with the President before effecting any change in the laws and regulations concerning the District of Columbia;

* Consultation with the President before acting under the enabling Clause of any Amendment to the Constitution;

* Consultation with the President before borrowing money (or not) on Federal credit;

* Consultation with the President before altering the laws relating to naturalization and bankruptcy;

* Consultation with the President whenever any of the mints runs off any currency;

* Consultation with the President on any issue related to the Post Office;

* Consultation with the President before considering any issue dealing with patents, trademarks, or copyrights;

* Consultation with the President before establishing any Article I courts, or acting to define the scope of an Article III Court's jurisdiction;

* Consultation with the President before defining and punishing piracy or felonies on the High Seas, or offenses against the Law of Nations;

* Consultation with the President before funding any armed service, or initiating any new one;

*Consultation with the President before acting to suppress Insurrections and repelling invasions;

* Consultation with the President acting on the Enabling Clause of Article I.

Mr. Daschle, I'm ready to sign off on both letters. Send me a copy of your waiver to sign, and we're off.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Of course, the downside to poor Luke is that he's about to start really using Blogger. Poor guy.
I would be remiss if I failed to point out that Lucas Sayre has started using Blogger, which means that I can now permalink to his posts (like this one), which can only be a good thing.

If you're not reading him yet, I have to wonder why not. That boy can flat-out write.
Three points about this article:

(Sample, because the Times gets prissy in a week or so:)

Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont has urged President Bush to avoid a traumatic national battle over the Supreme Court by consulting with him and other leading Democrats before choosing a nominee, should a vacancy occur.

In two recent letters to the White House, Mr. Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said that if Mr. Bush took advantage of a vacancy on the court to select a staunchly conservative judge, it would produce a political war that would upset the nation and diminish respect for the courts.
(1) Does the New York Times get paid by the DNC to run these ads-as-stories, or is it just done on a gratis basis?

(2) Would Leahy stand up and applaud if, say, Orrin Hatch had sent the same letter to Bill Clinton in the same circumstances? Cuz, I mean, I wouldn't, and I loathed Bill 'n Hill: The Executive appoints, the Senate confirms. End of story. Leahy's suggestion is an unconstitutional arrogation of the Executive's power.

(3) This bit is priceless:

"The courts are the one part of government people yearn to believe is free of politics," Mr. Leahy said. "That's why the Florida case shook people so much," a reference to the Supreme Court ruling in Bush v. Gore that resulted in Mr. Bush's presidency.
Yeah, because Roe v. Wade, to take one egregious example, was completely politics-free.

Of course, Leahy is another of those Catholics.
This isn't news to anyone who grew up with parents in a NASDAQ-heavy industry, or who's paid attention to the same since, oh, 1985 or so. It started out as getting cheaper white collar tech labor from abroad; this is simply the next, logical step.
Oh, and just wondering: What kind of "Catholic" thinks abortion is a-ok (just so long as the baby doesn't look like one) and that 2,000 years of Christianity (and Magisterium teaching) that weigh against his interpretation of sodomy restrictions are just silly (But I really feel conflicted about it, so it must be ok)?
On general principle, ignore people who tell you to completely alienate your base, especially when (1) your base represents a large plurality of the nation, (2) the writers clearly have axes to grind, and (3) it's been tried before, and your party (twice!) ended up losing to a corrupt governor of Arkansas (but I repeat myself).